42 Amendment of Indian Constitution – Mini Constitution, 42 Constitutional Amendment Act

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

42nd Amendment of Indian Constitution was passed by the Indian National Congress led by Indira Gandhi and is one of the most remarkable amendments to the Indian Constitution. The 42nd Amendment Act 1976 is also known as the ‘Mini-Constitution’ as it is believed to have brought many amendments to the Indian Constitution.

The 42nd Amendment of Indian Constitution tried to alter the basic structure of the constitution by limiting the powers of the court, preamble, state list, and more. This Act introduced three major terms in the constitution of India Integrity, Socialist, and Secular. This modified the constitution. It also presented the changes in the preamble, seventh schedule, fundamental duties, parliament, judiciary, and DPSP. Learn more about the 42nd Amendment of Indian Constitution topic and its relation to the 44 CAA.

What is 42nd Amendment of Indian Constitution?

The 42nd Amendment Act is also called the Constitution Act, 1976 as it tried to and made significant changes to the Indian Constitution. The 42nd Amendment of Indian Constitution introduced the Fundamental Duties for citizens, added a few important terms in the Preamble, and added new Directive Principles of State Policy. The general term for the 42nd Amendment Act 1976 is one of the most contentious acts in the history of amendments to the Indian Constitution.

42nd Amendment Act Mini Constitution
42nd Amendment Was Made By Indian National Congress Government headed by Indira Gandhi
42nd Amendment of Indian Constitution Year 1976
Words Added Into Preamble by The 42nd Amendment Are “Socialist”, “Integrity” and “Secular”

Why 42nd Amendment is Called Mini-Constitution?

The 42nd amendment attempted to modify the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. Read all amendments obtained by the 42nd Amendment Act 1976, called the mini-constitution. The following features of the constitution were amended in the 42 CAA.

  • Preamble – added three new words
  • Seventh Schedule – Shifted 5 subjects from the state list to the concurrent list
  • Fundamental Duties – Article 51A was added.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) – Three new DPSPs were added.
  • Parliament – Extension of Lok Sabha term, Made the President bound to cabinet’s advice, and more.
  • Judiciary – Judicial Powers of HC were curtailed.
  • Part XIV-A – Articles 323A and 323B for Tribunals were added.

Provisions in 42nd Amendment Act

The provisions stipulating the 42nd amendment of the Indian Constitution added numerous changes in the preamble, DPSP added by the car, concurrent list, fundamental duties, judiciary etc. Following modifications were done by the 42 Constitutional Amendment

42nd Amendment Act, 1976 – Preamble

The 42nd amendment act 1976 in the preamble now includes three new words: ‘Socialist,’ ‘Secular,’ and ‘Integrity’. The word sovereign refers to India being an independent state. The term socialist refers to the equality enshrined in the Constitution of India.

India as a country, is in a much better position today than it was earlier. It has become a much more developed country and possesses enough resources to defend and protect itself from any kind of threat.

DPSP Added by 42nd Amendment of Indian Constitution

The addition of three new DPSPs to the existing list and the amendment to one:

  • Article 39: to provide opportunities for children’s healthy development.
  • Article 39 A: to provide free legal assistance to the poor and to promote equal justice
  • Article 43 A: To ensure worker participation in industry management.
  • Article 48 A: to safeguard forests and wildlife and protect and improve the environment.

Concurrent List under VII Schedule

The transfer of five subjects from the state list to the concurrent list:

  • Education
  • Forests
  • Weights and Measures
  • Protection of Wild Animals and Birds
  • Administration of Justice

Fundamental Duties Under 42nd Amendment Act 1976

The government added Article 51A to the Constitution, which consists of ten Fundamental Duties, based on the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee.

The addition of the 11th Fundamental Duty by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act states that a parent or guardian must provide educational opportunities for his or her child or ward between the ages of six and fourteen.


  • Limitation to the High Courts’ judicial review authority.
  • The provision for the establishment of the All-India Judicial Service.

Addition to Part XIV A (Articles 323A and 323B) in the 42nd Amendment of Indian Constitution

Establishment of ‘Administrative tribunals’ and ‘tribunals for other matters.’ Though the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 is regarded as the most contentious in the history of the Indian Constitution.

Specific provisions listed below have remained in effect for many years and continue to be so today because they are supposed to be beneficial.

  • Free legal aid policy, protection of children and the environment
  • Fundamental duties, etc.

Importance of 42nd Amendment of Indian Constitution

The 42nd Amendment of the Indian Constitution led to the defeat of the Indira Gandhi-led government in the next general elections of 1977. It was highly opposed and criticized as it crept into civil freedoms and tried to curtail the judicial review powers of the court. The 42 Amendment Act established the importance of the basic structure of the constitution and the next government led by the Janata Party enacted the 44th 42 Amendment Act to restore the pre-1976 conditions.

44th Amendment Act and 42th Amendment of Indian Constitution

The 44th Amendment was introduced in 1978 to overturn the changes made by the 42CAA. the 44th Amendment changed the emergency provisions and restored the court’s jurisdiction and powers. The 44th Amendment Act also removed the Right to Property from the fundamental rights and made it a legal right.

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