Important Amendments in Indian Constitution – UPSC

In this article, you’ll get a list of Important amendments in Indian constitution – for UPSC exam preparation.

Important amendments in Indian constitution

Constitution provides for its amendment in order to adjust itself to the changing conditions and needs.

Indian Constitution is neither flexible nor rigid but a synthesis of both.

Article 368 in Part XX – deals with the powers of the Parliament to amend the Constitution and its procedure.

Article 368 states that “the Parliament may amend by way of addition, variation or repeal any provision of the Constitution in accordance with the procedure laid down for the purpose”.

However, the Parliament cannot amend those provisions which form the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution – ruled by the Supreme Court in the Kesavananda Bharathi v. State of Kerala (1973) case.

Procedure for Amendment as Laid Down in Article 368 Part XX

  1. Amendment of the Constitution can be initiated only by the introduction of a bill in either of the House and not in the state legislatures.
  2. The Bill can be introduced either by a minister or by a private member and doesn’t require prior permission of the President.
  3. The bill must be passed in each House by a Special Majority**
  4. Each House must pass the bill separately. In case of a disagreement between the 2 Houses, there is no provision for holding a joint sitting of the 2 Houses.
  5. If the bill seeks to amend the federal provisions of the Constitution, it must also be ratified by the state legislatures of half of the states by a simple majority#
  6. After duly passed by both Houses and ratified by the state legislatures, the Bill is presented to the President for assent.
  7. The President must give his assent; he can neither withhold his assent to the bill nor return the bill for reconsideration of the Parliament.
  8. After the President’s assent, the Bill becomes an Act (CAA).

Types of Majority

Simple Majority

Simple majority or working majority refers to the majority of more than 50% of the members present and voting.
Example:

  • The total strength of Lok Sabha: 545
  • Vacant Seats: 45
  • Members present: 500
  • Members present, but decide to abstain / not to vote: 50
  • Members present and voting: 500-50=450
  • The simple Majority, in this case, would be: 226
  • Most of the normal motions and bills in the house such as No-confidence Motion, motion of Confidence, Motion of Thanks, Censure Motion, Adjournment Motion, Money Bills, Ordinary Bills, etc.

Absolute Majority

The absolute majority refers to the majority of more than 50% of the total strength of the house.
Example:

  • The total strength of Lok Sabha: 545
  • Absolute Majority: 273
  • Such kind of majority is not required in isolation in the Indian Parliament. There are instances when such a majority is needed with another majority which would be thus called a special majority.

Effective Majority

Effective Majority of the house means more than 50% of the effective strength of the house. This implies that out of the total strength, we deduct the absent and vacant seats.

  • The total strength of Lok Sabha: 545
  • Vacant Seats: 5
  • Effective Strength: 545-5=540
  • Members present, but decide to abstain / not to vote: 50
  • Members present and voting: 540-50=490
  • Effective Majority: 490/2+1=245+1
  • In the constitution of India, the “all the then members” present indicates an effective
  • majority. In Constitution, effective majorities are needed for removal of VicePresident, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha Speaker, and Deputy Speaker.

Special Majority

Any Majority other than a simple, absolute, and effective majority is called a special majority. These include

  • Majority by two-third strength of the house {example impeachment of the president under article 61}
  • The majority by two-third of present and voting members {Example Power of Parliament to legislate with respect to a matter in the State List in the national interest, under article 249}; certain constitution amendment bills, etc.
  • Absolute majority + the majority of two-third present and voting {Example: Removal of Supreme Court Judge, CAG, etc.

Examples of Majorities in the Constitution

  • Impeachment of President: Special Majority
    • According to Article 61, When a President is to be impeached for violation of the Constitution; the charge shall be preferred by either House of Parliament. A 14 days’ notice to move a resolution is given. Then, the resolution has to be passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the House. This is an example of a Special Majority.
  • Removal of the Vice-President: Effective Majority
    • Vice-President may be removed from his office by a resolution of Rajya Sabha passed by a majority of all the then members of the Rajya Sabha and agreed to Lok Sabha. This is an example of an effective majority in Rajya Sabha.
  • Removal of Deputy chairman Rajya Sabha: Effective Majority
    • A member holding office as Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Council passed by a majority of all the then members of the Council. (Simple Majority in Rajya Sabha)
  • Removal of Speaker and Lok Sabha Speaker: Effective Majority
    • Member holding office as Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of the People may be removed from his office by a resolution of the House of the People passed by a majority of all the then members of the House.
  • Removal of Supreme Court Judge: Absolute + Special Majority
    • A Judge of the Supreme Court shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the President passed after an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House (Absolute Majority) and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting (Special Majority) voting has been presented to the President in the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity. (Article 124)
  • Abolition of Council of States: Absolute + Special Majority
    • Parliament may by law provide for the abolition of the Legislative Council of a State having such a Councilor for the creation of such a Council in a State having no such Council if the Legislative Assembly of the State passes a resolution to that effect by a majority of the total membership of the Assembly (Absolute Majority) and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Assembly present and voting. (Special Majority) Article 169 (1).
  • Removal of Speaker or Deputy Speaker of Assembly: (Effective Majority)
    • Speaker or Deputy Speaker of Assembly may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Assembly passed by a majority of all the then members of the Assembly (Effective Majority). Article 179 (C)
  • Removal of Chairman or Deputy Chairman of a Legislative Council: (Effective Majority)
    • Chairman or Deputy Chairman of a Legislative Council may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Council passed by a majority of all the then members of the Council. (Simple Majority) Article 183 (C)
  • Emergency Proclamation (Absolute + Special Majority)
    • According to article 352 (4) an emergency proclamation is laid before each House of Parliament and shall cease to operate at the expiration of one month unless before the expiration of that period it has been approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament. Once approved it shall cease to be in force if again not approved within six months. For both of these purposes, the resolution should be passed by either House of Parliament only by a majority of the total membership of that House (Absolute Majority) and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the Members of that House present and voting. (Special Majority)
  • Amendment of the Constitution via article 368: (Absolute + Special Majority)
    • According to Article 368(2), the amendment to Constitution may be initiated only by the introduction of a Bill for the purpose in either House of Parliament, and when the Bill is passed in each House by a majority of the total membership of that House (Absolute Majority) and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting, (special Majority).
    • Further, if the amendment of the constitution also requires the assent of the state assemblies, they can pass the constitutional Amendment Bill with a simple majority.

1. By Simple Majority of the Parliament – outside the scope of Article 368

  • Admission or establishment of new states.
  • Formation of new states or alteration of areas, boundaries, or names of existing states.
  • Abolition or creation of legislative council in states.
  • 2nd Schedule – emoluments, allowances, privileges, etc. of the President/Governor/Speakers/Judges.
  • Quorum in Parliament.
  • Salaries and allowances of MPs.
  • Rules of procedure in Parliament.
  • Privileges of the Parliament, its members, and its committees.
  • Use of English language in Parliament.
  • Number of puisne judges in SC.
  • Conferment of more jurisdictions on the SC.
  • Use of official language.
  • Citizenship – acquisition, and termination.
  • Election to the Parliament and State legislatures.
  • Delimitation of constituencies.
  • Union Territories.
  • 5th Schedule – administration of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.
  • 6th Schedule – administration of tribal areas.

2. By Special Majority of the Parliament

  • FRs
  • DPSPs
  • All other provision which is not covered under (1) and (3)

3. By Special Majority of the Parliament and the ratification of half of state legislatures

  • Election of the President and its manner.
  • Extent of the executive power of the Union and the states.
  • SCs and HCs.
  • Distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the states.
  • Any of the lists in the 7th Schedule.
  • Representation of states in Parliament.
  • Power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and its procedure (Article 368 itself)

Amendability of Fundamental Rights

The question of whether FRs can be amended by the Parliament under Article 368 came for consideration of the SC:

Shankari Prasad vs. Union of India (1951) Case – the constitutional validity of the 1st Amendment Act (1951) which curtailed the Right to Property was challenged.

SC ruled that – “the power of the Parliament to amend the Constitution under Article 368 also includes the power to amend FRs”

Golak Nath vs. State of Punjab (1967) Case – the constitutional validity of the 7th Amendment Act which inserted certain state acts in the 9th Schedule was challenged.

SC ruled that –“FRs are given a transcendental and immutable position and hence the Parliament cannot abridge or take away any of the FRs”.

The Parliament in response to Golak Nath Case enacted the 24th CAA (1971) – declared that “the Parliament can abridge or take away any of the FRs under Article 368”.

Kesavananda Bharathi vs. State of Kerala (1973) case – SC overruled its judgment in the Golak Nath Case(1971) and laid down a new doctrine of ‘basic structure’.

SC upheld the validity of 24th CAA (1971) and stated that — “the Parliament is empowered to abridge or take away any of the FRs under Article 368 but does not enable the Parliament to alter the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution”. i.e. Parliament cannot abridge or take away an FR that forms a part of the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution

The Parliament in response to this judicially innovated doctrine of ‘basic structure’, enacted the 42nd CAA (1976) – amended Article 368 and declared that “there is no limitation on the constituent power of Parliament and no amendment can be questioned in any court on any ground including the contravention of any FRs”

Minerva Mills v. Union of India (1980) – invalidated this provision as it excludes Judicial Review which is a ‘basic feature’ of the Constitution.

Waman Rao v. Union of India (1981) – SC adhered to the doctrine of ‘basic structure’ and further clarified that it would apply to constitutional amendments enacted after April 24, 1973 (i.e., the Date of judgment in the Kesavananda Bharathi case).

The present position is that the Parliament under Article 368 can amend any part of the Constitution including the FRs but without affecting the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution.

The following have emerged as ‘basic structures’ from various judgments –

  • Supremacy of the Constitution.
  • Sovereign, democratic and republican nature of the Indian Polity.
  • Secular character of the Constitution.
  • Separation of powers between the L, E, and J.
  • Federal character of the Constitution.
  • Unity and integrity of the Nation.
  • Welfare State (socio-economic justice)
  • Judicial Review
  • Harmony and balance between FRs and DPs
  • Parliamentary System
  • Rule of Law
  • Freedom and dignity of the individual
  • The principle of Free and fair elections
  • Principle of Equality, not every feature of equality, but the quintessence of equal justice
  • Independence of Judiciary
  • Effective access to justice
  • Limitations upon the amending power conferred by Article 368
  • Articles 32 and 226
  • Powers of the Supreme Court under Articles 32, 136, 141, 142

Criticism of the Amendment procedure

  • No provision of the special body like Constitutional Convention (as in the USA) or Constituent Assembly for amending the Constitution.
  • The constituent power is vested in the Parliament and only in few cases in the state legislatures (that too very minimal role).
  • The power to initiate an amendment lies with Parliament (unlike in the USA); the state legislatures cannot initiate amendment bills except in 1 case.
  • SL can pass a resolution requesting the Parliament to create or abolish legislature councils in the states – here also; the Parliament can either approve or disapprove such a resolution.
  • A major part of the Constitution can be amended by the Parliament itself and only in few cases it needs the ratification of states.
  • Constitution does not prescribe the time frame within which the state legislatures should ratify or reject an amendment submitted to them.
  • Also, it is silent on the issue of whether the states can withdraw their approval after according the same.
  • No provision of holding Joint Sitting of the Houses.
  • The process of amendment is similar to that of a legislative process. Except for the special majority, the amendment bills are to be passed by the Parliament in the same way as ordinary bills.
  • The provisions relating to the amendment procedures are too sketchy. They leave a wide scope for taking the matters to the judiciary.

Important Amendments

First Amendment Act, 1951

  • Reasons:
    • To remove certain practical difficulties created by the court’s decision in several cases such as Kameshwar Singh Case, Romesh Thapar Case, etc.
    • Issues involved in the cases included freedom of speech, acquisition of the Zamindari land, State monopoly of trade, etc
  • Amendments:
    • Empowered the state to make special provisions for the advancement of socially and economically backward classes.
    • Provided for the saving of laws providing for acquisition of estates, etc.
    • Added Ninth Schedule to protect the land reforms and other laws included in it from the judicial review. After Article 31, Articles 31A and 31B were inserted.
    • Added three more grounds of restrictions on freedom of speech and expression: public order, friendly relations with foreign states and incitement to an offence. Also, it made the restrictions ‘reasonable’ and thus, justiciable in nature.
    • Provided that state trading and nationalisation of any trade or business by the state is not to be invalid on the ground of violation of the right to trade or business.

Fourth Amendment Act, 1955

  • Amendments:
    • Made the scale of compensation given in lieu of compulsory acquisition of private property beyond the scrutiny of courts.
    • Authorised the state to nationalise any trade.
    • Included some more Acts in the Ninth Schedule.
    • Extended the scope of Article 31 A (savings of laws).

Seventh Amendment Act, 1956

  • Reasons:
    • To implement the recommendations of the State Reorganization Committee and to implement the State Reorganization Act, 1956.
  • Amendments:
    • Second and Seventh Schedules were amended
    • Abolished the existing classification of states into four categories i.e., Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D states, and reorganised them into 14 states and 6 union territories.
    • Extended the jurisdiction of high courts to union territories.
    • Provided for the establishment of a common high court for two or more states.
    • Provided for the appointment of additional and acting judges of the high court.

Ninth Amendment Act, 1960

  • Reasons:
    • After the Nehru-Noon agreement was signed between India and Pakistan to divide the territory of Berubari Union, the Government of West Bengal opposed it. After this Union referred the matter to SC which held that the power of Parliament to diminish the area of a state (under Article 3) does not cover cession of Indian territory to a foreign country. Hence, Indian territory can be ceded to a foreign state only by amending the Constitution under Article 368. Consequently, the 9th Constitutional Amendment Act (1960) was enacted.
  • Amendments:
    • Facilitated the cession of the Indian territory of Berubari Union (located in West Bengal) to Pakistan as provided in the Indo-Pakistan Agreement (1958).

Tenth Amendment Act, 1961

  • Amendments:
    • Incorporation of Dadra, Nagar and Haveli as a Union Territory, consequent to acquisition from Portugal.

Eleventh Amendment Act, 1961

  • Amendments:
    • Changed the procedure of election of the vice president by providing for an electoral college instead of a joint meeting of the two Houses of the Parliament.
    • Provided that the election of the President or vice president cannot be challenged on the ground of any vacancy in the appropriate electoral college.

Twelfth Amendment Act, 1962

  • Amendments:
    • Incorporated Goa, Daman and Diu in the Indian Union.

Thirteenth Amendment Act, 1962

  • Amendments:
    • Gave the status of a state to Nagaland and made special provisions for it.

Fourteenth Amendment Act, 1962

  • Amendments:
    • Incorporated Puducherry in the Indian Union.
    • Provided for the creation of legislatures and council of ministers for the Union Territories of Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Goa, Daman and Diu, and Puducherry.

Seventeenth Amendment Act, 1964

  • Amendments:
    • Prohibited the acquisition of land under personal cultivation unless the market value of the land is paid as compensation.
    • Included 44 more Acts in the Ninth Schedule

Eighteenth Amendment Act, 1966

  • Amendments:
    • Made it clear that the power of Parliament to form a new state also includes a power to form a new state or union territory by uniting a part of a state or a union territory to another state or union territory.
    • It created new states namely, Punjab and Haryana

Twenty First Amendment Act, 1967

  • Amendments:
    • Included Sindhi as the 15th language in the Eighth Schedule.

Twenty Fourth Amendment Act, 1971

  • Reasons:
    • Twenty Fourth Constitutional Amendment Act was brought in response to the Golaknath ruling (1967) of the Supreme Court which held that the Parliament does not have the power to take away any fundamental rights through amendment to the Constitution.
  • Amendments:
    • Affirmed the power of Parliament to amend any part of the Constitution including fundamental rights by amending Article 13 and 368.
    • Made it compulsory for the President to give his assent to a Constitutional Amendment Bill.

Twenty-Fifth Amendment Act, 1971

  • Amendments:
    • Curtailed the fundamental right to property.
    • Provided that any law made to give effect to the Directive Principles contained in Article 39 (b) or (c) cannot be challenged on the ground of violation of the rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 19 and 31.

Twenty-Sixth Amendment Act, 1971

  • Amendments:
    • Abolished the privy purses and privileges of the former rulers of princely states.

Thirty First Amendment Act, 1973

  • Reasons:
    • An increase in the population of India revealed in the Census of 1971.
  • Amendments:
    • Increased the number of Lok Sabha seats from 525 to 545.

Thirty Third Amendment Act, 1974

  • Amendments:
    • Amended Articles 101 and 190 and provided that the resignation of the members of Parliament and the state legislatures may be accepted by the Speaker/Chairman only if he is satisfied that the resignation is voluntary or genuine

Thirty-Fifth Amendment Act, 1974

  • Amendments:
    • Terminated the protectorate status of Sikkim and conferred the status of an associate state of the Indian Union. The Tenth Schedule was added laying down the terms and conditions of association of Sikkim with the Indian Union

Thirty Sixth Amendment Act, 1975

  • Amendments:
    • Made Sikkim a full-fledged State of the Indian Union and omitted the Tenth Schedule.

Thirty-Eighth Amendment Act, 1975

  • Amendments:
    • Made the declaration of emergency by the President non-justiciable.
    • Made the promulgation of ordinances by the President, governors and administrators of Union territories non-justiciable.
    • Empowered the President to declare different proclamations of national emergency on different grounds simultaneously

Thirty-Ninth Amendment Act, 1975

  • Reasons:
    • It was enacted in response to the ruling of the Allahabad High Court who declared the election of PM Indira Gandhi to Lok Sabha void on the petition of Raj Narain.
  • Amendments:
    • Placed the disputes relating to the president, Vice President, prime minister and Speaker beyond the scope of the judiciary. They are to be decided by such authority as may be determined by the Parliament.
    • Included certain Central Acts in the Ninth Schedule

Forty Second Amendment Act, 1976

  • Amendments:
    • Added three new words (i.e., socialist, secular and integrity) in the Preamble.
    • Added Fundamental Duties by the citizens (new Part IV A).
    • Made the president bound by the advice of the cabinet.
    • Provided for administrative tribunals and tribunals for other matters (Added Part XIV A).
    • Froze the seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies on the basis of 1971 census till 2001 – Population Controlling Measure
    • Made the constitutional amendments beyond judicial scrutiny.
    • Curtailed the power of judicial review and writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and high courts.
    • Raised the tenure of Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies from 5 to 6 years.
    • Provided that the laws made for the implementation of Directive Principles cannot be declared invalid by the courts on the ground of violation of some Fundamental Rights.
    • Empowered the Parliament to make laws to deal with anti-national activities and such laws are to take precedence over Fundamental Rights.
    • Added three new Directive Principles viz., equal justice and free legal aid, the participation of workers in the management of industries and protection of the environment, forests, and wildlife.
    • Facilitated the proclamation of national emergency in a part of the territory of India.
    • Extended the one-time duration of the President’s rule in a state from 6 months to one year.
    • Empowered the Centre to deploy its armed forces in any state to deal with a grave situation of law and order.
    • Shifted five subjects from the state list to the concurrent list, viz, education, forests, protection of wild animals and birds, weights and measures and administration of justice, constitution and organisation of all courts except the Supreme Court and the high courts.
    • Did away with the requirement of quorum in the Parliament and the state legislatures.
    • Empowered the Parliament to decide from time to time the rights and privileges of its members and committees.
    • Provided for the creation of the All-India Judicial Service.
    • Shortened the procedure for disciplinary action by taking away the right of a civil servant to make representation at the second stage after the inquiry (i.e., on the penalty proposed).

Forty-Third Amendment Act, 1977

  • Amendments:
    • Restored the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the High Courts in respect of judicial review and issue of writs.
    • Deprived the Parliament of its special powers to make laws to deal with anti-national activities.

Forty-Fourth Amendment Act, 1978

  • Amendments:
    • Restored the original term of the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies (i.e., 5 years).
    • Restored the provisions with regard to the quorum in the Parliament and state legislatures.
    • Omitted the reference to the British House of Commons in the provisions pertaining to the parliamentary privileges.
    • Gave constitutional protection to publication in a newspaper of true reports of the proceedings of the Parliament and the state legislatures.
    • Empowered the president to send back once the advice of the cabinet for reconsideration. But, the reconsidered advice is to be binding on the president.
    • Deleted the provision which made the satisfaction of the president, governor, and administrators final in issuing ordinances.
    • Restored some of the powers of the Supreme Court and high courts.
    • Replaced the term ‘internal disturbance’ by ‘armed rebellion’ in respect of national emergency.
    • Made the President to declare a national emergency only on the written recommendation of the cabinet.
    • Made certain procedural safeguards with respect to a national emergency and President’s rule.
    • Deleted the right to property from the list of Fundamental Rights and made it only a legal right.
    • Provided that the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 20 and 21 cannot be suspended during a national emergency.
    • Omitted the provisions which took away the power of the court to decide the election disputes of the president, the vice-president, the prime minister and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Fiftieth Amendment Act, 1984

  • Amendments:
    • Empowered the Parliament to restrict the Fundamental Rights of persons employed in intelligence organisations and telecommunication systems set up for the armed forces or intelligence organisations.

Fifty-Second Amendment Act, 1985

  • Reasons:
    • To stop defection and the politics of ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’
  • Amendments:
    • Provided for disqualification of members of Parliament and state legislatures on the ground of defection and added a new Tenth Schedule containing the details in this regard.

Fifty Eighth Amendment Act, 1987

  • Amendments:
    • Provided for an authoritative text of the Constitution in Hindi language and gave the same legal sanctity to the Hindi version of the Constitution.

Sixty-First Amendment Act, 1989

  • Amendments:
    • Reduced the voting age from 21 years to 18 years for the Lok Sabha and state legislative assembly elections.

Sixty-Fifth Amendment Act, 1990

  • Amendments:
    • Provided for the establishment of a multi-member National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the place of a Special Officer for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Sixty-Ninth Amendment Act, 1991

  • Amendments:
    • Accorded a special status to the Union Territory of Delhi by designing it as the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The amendment also provided for the creation of a 70-member legislative assembly and a 7-member council of ministers for Delhi.

Seventy-First Amendment Act, 1992

  • Amendments:
    • Included Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali languages in the Eighth Schedule. With this, the total number of scheduled languages increased to 18.

Seventy Third Amendment Act, 1992

  • Amendment:
    • Granted constitutional status and protection to the Panchayati Raj institutions. For this purpose, the Amendment has added a new Part-IX entitled as ‘the panchayats’ and a new Eleventh Schedule containing 29 functional items of the panchayats

Seventy Fourth Amendment Act, 1992

  • Amendment:
    • Granted constitutional status and protection to the urban local bodies. For this purpose, the Amendment has added a new Part IX-A entitled as ‘the municipalities’ and a new Twelfth Schedule containing 18 functional items of the municipalities.

Seventy Seventh Amendment Act, 1995

  • Amendment:
    • Provided for reservation in promotions in government jobs for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. This amendment nullified the Supreme Court ruling with regard to reservation in promotions.

Eightieth Amendment Act, 2000

  • Amendment:
    • Provided for an ‘alternative scheme of devolution’ of revenue between the Centre and states. This was enacted on the basis of the recommendations of the Tenth Finance Commission which had recommended that out of the total income obtained from Central taxes and duties, 29% should be distributed among the states.

Eighty First Amendment Act, 2000

  • Amendments:
    • Empowered the state to consider the unfilled reserved vacancies of a year as a separate class of vacancies to be filled up in any succeeding year or years. Such class of vacancies is not to be combined with the vacancies of the year in which they are being filled up to determine the ceiling of 50% reservation on total number of vacancies of that year. In brief, this amendment ended the 50% ceiling on reservation in backlog vacancies.

Eighty Second Amendment Act, 2000

  • Amendments:
    • Provided for making of any provision in favour of the SCs and STs for relaxation in qualifying marks in any examination or lowering the standards of evaluation, for reservation in matters of promotion to the public services of the Centre and the states

Eighty Fourth Amendment Act, 2001

  • Amendments:
    • Extended the ban on the readjustment of seats in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies for another 25 years (i.e., up to 2026) with the same objective of encouraging population limiting measures. In other words, the number of seats in the Lok Sabha and the assemblies are to remain the same till 2026. It also provided for the readjustment and rationalisation of territorial constituencies in the states on the basis of the population figures of 1991 census.

Eighty Fifth Amendment Act, 2001

  • Amendments:
    • Provided for ‘consequential seniority’ in the case of promotion by virtue of rule of reservation for the government servants belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with retrospective effect from June 1995.

Eighty Sixth Amendment Act, 2002

  • Amendments:
    • Made elementary education a fundamental right under the Article 21A
    • Changed the subject matter of Article 45 in Directive Principles
    • Added a new fundamental duty under Article 51-A

Eighty Seventh Amendment Act, 2003

  • Amendments:
    • Provided for the readjustment and rationalisation of territorial constituencies in the states on the basis of the population figures of 2001 census and not 1991 census as provided earlier by the 84th Amendment Act of 2001.

Eighty Ninth Amendment Act, 2003

  • Amendments:
    • Bifurcated the erstwhile combined National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes into two separate bodies, namely, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (Article 338) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (Article 338-A).

Ninety First Amendment Act, 2003

  • Amendments:
    • Made the following provisions to limit the size of Council of Ministers, to debar defectors from holding public offices, and to strengthen the anti-defection law:
      • The total number of ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Central Council of Ministers, shall not exceed 15% of the total strength of the Lok Sabha.
      • A member of either house of Parliament belonging to any political party who is disqualified on the ground of defection shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a minister.
      • The total number of ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a state shall not exceed 15% of the total strength of the Legislative Assembly of that state. But, the number of ministers, including the Chief Minister, in a state shall not be less than 12.
      • A member of either House of a state legislature belonging to any political party who is disqualified on the ground of defection shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a minister.
      • A member of either House of Parliament or either House of a State Legislature belonging to any political party who is disqualified on the ground of defection shall also be disqualified to hold any remunerative political post. The expression “remunerative political post” means:
        • Any office under the central government or a state government where the salary or remuneration for such office is paid out of the public revenue of the concerned government or,
        • Any office under a body, whether incorporated or not, which is wholly or partially owned by the central government or a state government and the salary or,
        • Remuneration for such an office is paid by such a body, except where such salary or remuneration paid is compensatory in nature (Article 361-B).
      • The provision of the Tenth Schedule (anti-defection law) pertaining to exemption from disqualification in case of split by one-third members of the legislature party has been deleted. It means that the defectors have no more protection on grounds of splits.

Ninety Second Amendment Act, 2003

  • Amendments:
    • Included four more languages in the Eighth Schedule. They are Bodo, Dogri (Dongri), Maithili and Santhali. With this, the total number of constitutionally recognised languages increased to 22

Ninety Third Amendment Act, 2005

  • Amendments:
    • Empowered the state to make special provisions for the socially and educationally backward classes or the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes in educational institutions including private educational institutions (whether aided or unaided by the state), except the minority educational institutions (clause (5) in Article 15).
    • This Amendment was enacted to nullify the Supreme Court judgement in the Inamdar case (2005) where the apex court ruled that the state cannot impose its reservation policy on minority and non-minority unaided private colleges, including professional colleges. The court declared that reservation in private, unaided educational institutions was unconstitutional.

Ninety Sixth Amendment Act, 2011

  • Amendments:
    • Substituted “Odia” for “Oriya”. Consequently, the “Oriya” language in the Eighth Schedule shall be pronounced as “Odia”.

Ninety Seventh Amendment Act, 2011

  • Amendments:
    • Gave constitutional status and protection to cooperative societies. It made the following three changes in the constitution:
      • It made the right to form co-operative societies a fundamental right (Article 19).
      • It included a new Directive Principle of State Policy on the promotion of co-operative societies.
      • It added a new Part IX-B in the constitution which is entitled “The Co-operative societies”.

Ninety Ninth Amendment Act 2014

  • Amendments:
    • Replaced the collegium system of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts with a new body called the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).
    • However, in 2015, the Supreme Court declared this Amendment Act as unconstitutional and void. Consequently, the earlier collegium system became operative again.

One Hundredth Amendment Act, 2014

  • Amendments:
    • Gave effect to the acquiring of certain territories by India and transfer of certain other territories to Bangladesh (through the exchange of enclaves and retention of adverse possessions) in pursuance of the Land Boundary Agreement of 1974 and its Protocol of 2011.
    • For this purpose, this amendment act amended the provisions relating to the territories of four states (Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya, and Tripura) in the First Schedule of the Constitution.

One Hundred and First Amendment Act, 2017

  • Amendments:
    • Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax
    • Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax (or consumption tax) used in India on the supply of goods and services. It is a comprehensive, multistage, destination-based tax: comprehensive because it has subsumed almost all the indirect taxes except a few state taxes.

One Hundred and Second Amendment Act, 2018

  • Amendments:
    • Constitutional status was provided to the National Commission for Backward Classes under India’s Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
    • Article 338B into the Constitution after Articles 338 and 338A which deal with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (SC) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (ST) respectively.

One Hundred Third Amendment Act, 2019

  • Amendments:
    • It introduced reservations for Economic Weaker Section for the first time in independent India
    • Amendment in Article 16 allows a 10% reservation to EWS in public employment.

One Hundred Fourth Amendment Act, 2020

  • Amendments:
    • Extended the deadline for the cessation of seats for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and states assemblies from Seventy years to Eighty years.
    • Removed the reserved seats for the Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
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Vinothkumar Dharmalingam

Its excellent & easier to grasp.. thanks a lot for your efforts

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