Major Amendments in Indian Constitution

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 26, 2022, 5:43

The Constitution of India has been amended multiple times, and under Article 368, Part CC, it gives the Indian Parliament the power of making amendments to it. Ever since the Constitution of India came into effect, there have been a total of 105 amendments to it till October 2021.

Keep reading as we go through some of the key Important Amendments in the Indian Constitution -

List of Major Amendments in the Indian Constitution

First Amendment Act, 1951

  • The First Amendment to the Indian Constitution empowered the state to make the advancement of socially and economically backward classes. It added the 9th Schedule to protect the land reform and other laws included in it from the judicial review.
  • The Amendment also added three more restrictions on freedom of speech and expression, viz., public order, friendly relations with foreign states and incitement to an offence. However, it also made the restrictions' reasonable' and thus, justifiable in nature.

Constitutional (8th Amendment) Act, 1960

  • It extended the reservation period for seats for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Anglo-Indians in the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies until 1970.
  • It Amended article 334 of the Constitution.

Constitutional (10th Amendment) Act, 1961

Incorporation of Dadra, Nagar and Haveli as a Union Territory in India from the Portuguese.

It amended article 240 of the Constitution.

Constitutional (13th Amendment) Act, 1963

  • It allowed the formation of the State of Nagaland, with special protection under Article 371A.
  • It amended article 170.

The Constitution (24th Amendment) Act, 1971

  • Affirmed the power of Parliament to amend any part of the Constitution, including Fundamental Rights.
  • Made it compulsory for the President to give his consent to a constitutional Amendment Bill.

The Constitution (31st Amendment) Act, 1973

  • Increased the elective strength of the Lok Sabha from 525 to 545.

The Constitution (36th Amendment) Act, 1975

  • Added Sikkim as the 22nd State of the Indian Union.

The Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976

  • It was this Amendment that led to the emergency period in Indian history. The Amendment was passed by Parliament on 11th November 1976 and received Presidential assent on 18th December 1976.
  • The Amendment established beyond doubt the supremacy of Parliament over the other wings of Government; gave the Directive Principles precedence over the Fundamental Rights; enumerated a set of ten Fundamental Duties for the first time.
  • Imposed restrictions on the power and jurisdiction of the judiciary; raised the term of the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha from five to six years; authorized the use of Central armed forces in any State to deal with law and order problems.
  • The Act also clearly laid down that no Constitutional Amendment could be questioned in any court of law.

The Constitution (43rd Amendment) Act, 1978

  • This Act repeals the obnoxious provisions of the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act passed during the Emergency. It deleted Article 3ID, which gave powers to Parliament to curtail even legitimate trade union activity under the guise of legislation to prevent anti-national activities.
  • The new law, ratified by more than half of the States under the Constitution, also restores legislative powers to the States to make appropriate provisions for anti-national activities consistent with Fundamental Rights. In addition, under the Act, the judiciary has also been restored to its rightful place.
  • The Supreme Court will now have the power to invalidate state laws, a power taken away by the 42nd Amendment Act. The High Courts will also be able to answer the constitutional validity of Central laws, thereby enabling persons living in distant places to obtain speedy justice without having to come to the Supreme Court.

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The Constitution (46th Amendment) Bill, 1982

  • It authorized the Government to prepare an authoritative text of the Constitution in Hindi.

The Constitution (55th Amendment) Act, 1987

  • Granted statehood to Arunachal Pradesh which became the 24th State of the Indian Union.
  • Granted special Status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir

The Constitution (56th Amendment) Act, 1987

  • Conferred Statehood to Goa and formed a new Union Territory of Daman and Diu. Goa thus became the 25th State of the Indian Republic.

The Constitution (57th Amendment) Act, 1987

  • Made a special provision for setting up the new State of Goa. Consequently, Daman and Diu were separated from the former to form a Union Territory.

The Constitution (58th Amendment) Act, 1988

  • Provided special arrangements concerning the reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya.

The Constitution (59th Amendment) Act, 1988

  • Empowered the Central Government to impose an Emergency in Punjab. Under the Amendment, the President's rule can be extended up to three years. The earlier maximum period was two years.

The Constitution (61st Amendment) Act, 1989

  • Lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.

The Constitution (62nd Amendment) Act, 1989

  • Provided for the extension by another ten years of reservation of seats in the Parliament and State Assemblies for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes and reservation for the Anglo Indian community by nomination.

The Constitution (63rd Amendment) Act, 1989

  • Repealed Amendment 59, which empowered the Government to impose an emergency in Punjab.

The Constitution (64th Amendment) Act, 1990

  • Extended the President's rule in Punjab by six months.

The Constitution (66th Amendment) Act, 1990

  • Brought land reforms within the purview of the 9th Schedule of the Constitution.

The Constitution (69th Amendment) Act, 1991

  • Delhi made National Capital Region. The Act also made provisions for a Legislative assembly and a council of ministers for Delhi.
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The Constitution (71st Amendment) Act, 1992

  • The Act amends the 8th Schedule to the Constitution to include Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali languages.

The Constitution (86th Amendment) Act, 2002

  • Provides the Right to Education until the age of fourteen and early childhood care until the age of six.

The Constitution (92nd Amendment) Act, 2004

  • Included Bodo, Dogri, Santali and Maithali as official languages.

The Constitution (93rd Amendment) Act, 2006

  • Provided 27 per cent reservation for other backward classes in Government and private higher educational institutions.

The Constitution (104th Amendment) Act,2020

  • The Amendment increased the deadline for reservation of SC and ST seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies until 2030.

The First Amendment to the Constitution was made in 1950, and it has been an ongoing process as time and society progress. Even the Constitution of India mentions that the basic structure of the Constitution cannot be altered in any way. Still, there are provisions to make changes as applicable, making it neither too rigid nor too flexible.

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FAQs on Amendments in Indian Constitution

Q.1. How many Amendments are in Indian Constitution?

Ever since the Constitution of India came into effect, there have been a total of 105 amendments till October 2021.

Q.2. Which Amendment in the Indian Constitution is the most important?

The First Amendment made in 1951 is considered the most important since it gave the state special powers to advance socially backward classes. The First Amendment was made after India became an independent and republican country.

Q.3. What is the latest Amendment in the Indian Constitution?

The One Hundred and Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of India is the most recent Amendment, which was enacted in the Rajya Sabha in 2020. The Amendment increased the deadline for reservation of SC and ST seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies until 2030.

Q.4. What is the procedure for Amendments in Indian Constitution?

An Amendment in the Indian Constitution can be initiated by introducing a Bill in either the upper or lower House of Parliament. The Bill, once presented, must be passed in each House by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of those present and voting.