Preamble of Indian Constitution – Objectives, Significance, Preamble of India UPSC PDF

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Preamble of Indian Constitution displays and explains the mindset of its framers and the history behind the construction of the constitution. The Preamble of India is the crux of the summary of the constitution that defines the philosophy and objectives of the Indian constitution. The constitutional expert, N.A. Palkhivala defined the preamble as the identity card for the constitution of India.

The Preamble was first introduced in the Constitution of America. After the United States of America, many countries, including India, started to follow the concept of having an Indian Constitution Preamble. Know more about the objectives, significance, and notes on the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

What is Preamble?

The preamble of Indian Constitution was adopted on 26th November 1949. The United States of America was the first constitution in the world to have a Preamble. The Preamble of India was inspired by the constitution of the USA and the ‘Objective Resolution’ drafted and moved by Pandit Nehru.

  • An eminent jurist and constitutional expert, N. A. Palkhivala, called the Indian Constitution Preamble the ‘identity card of the Constitution, wherein it briefly carries the message and philosophy of the constitution.
  • To add the three new words Socialist, Secular, and Integrity, the Preamble of India has been amended by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976.

The Preamble of Indian Constitution indicates that we seek to establish an egalitarian society. Wherein social, economic, and political justice would be achieved through various provisions such as Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy, Universal Adult Suffrage, etc.

Preamble of Indian Constitution

The official Preamble of Indian Constitution is given below. It is important to read each line properly as it holds significance.

Preamble of Indian Constitution

Preamble of India Meaning

The Preamble of Indian constitution can be understood as a gist of the entire constitution. It summarises the complete contents of the constitution. The main words mentioned in the Preamble are Socialist, Democratic, Liberty, Sovereign, Secular, Equality, Justice, Fraternity, and Republic. All these important keywords have been described below.


The word ‘Sovereign’ refers to power. Sovereignty is an important word that is highlighted in the Indian constitution and represents the country. India is a sovereign state which means that it is independent and is not part of the dominion of any other country.


Another important keyword in the Preamble is ‘Socialist’ which depicts the idea of equality. The word was included in the Preamble after the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976. It aims to remove inequality in both social and economic areas.

The meaning of socialism in Indian terms has been clarified by the Supreme Court in the case of Samatha vs the State of Andhra Pradesh. Articles 39 (B) and 39 (C) of the Directive Principles of State Policy further state the meaning of Indian socialism.


India is considered a secular state. Secularism is a concept that makes it easier to comprehend the relationship between people, their religion, and the country as a whole. The idea was to make all religions co-exist peacefully in one space.


India is a democratic country which means it is “for the people, by the people, and of the people”. It provides complete importance to its citizens and gives them the right to vote to select their representatives in the government. The constitution gives various other rights to its citizens to provide them with civic liberties that help them live a life of dignity and discipline.


The word ‘Republic’ represents India’s democracy in the Preamble. It implies that India is governed by an elected representative called President. He is elected by an indirect election and has a fixed tenure. The word Republic also means that there is no privilege given to any specific class of citizens.


The idea of ‘Justice’ in the Indian Preamble refers to the provision of maintaining law and order in society. This can be accomplished by providing justice on three levels- social, political and economic. Social justice is equality for all people on a social & cultural level. Economic justice means there should not be any kind of discrimination on the basis of economic status & lastly political justice implies equal chances for all to participate in political activities.


The Indian Preamble mentions the word ‘Liberty’ which means the people of India are provided with the freedom to live their lives in their own way. However, they can do so within the boundaries of the law.


The word ‘Equality’ in the Preamble communicates the idea of providing equal opportunities to each and every individual irrespective of caste, creed, sex, colour or community. It withholds law as the supreme factor where everyone is equal.


The word ‘Fraternity’ was added to the constitution of India in order to promote a sense of brotherhood among all the members of the society. It implies having a feeling of patriotism towards one’s country and compassion towards one another.

Objective Resolution of Preamble of India

The Preamble of India originated from the Objective Resolution passed by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1946, which highlighted the basic idea behind the constitution. The modified version of the Objective Resolution is now called the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

The basic highlights of the Preamble include the structure of the governance and the ideals to be achieved in independent India. A few points of the objective resolution are given below.

  • To build and draw the Indian Constitution.
  • To unite India from pre-independent territories into states. Former British Indian territory, Indian States, additional regions outside of British India, and any Indian States that choose to join the Union should all be a part of India.
  • Distribution of powers between union and state.
  • The constitution of a sovereign, independent India should be derived entirely from the will of the people.
  • In addition to essential freedoms of expression, religion, faith, worship, vocation, association, and action, according to the law and public morality, all Indians must be granted social, economic, and political justice as well as equality of position and opportunity before the law.
  • Minorities, indigenous communities, underprivileged individuals, and other vulnerable groups need to be carefully protected.
  • In accordance with the justice and law of a civilized country, the Republic’s territorial integrity and sovereign rights on land, sea, and air, should be safeguarded.
  • The nation will freely and fully contribute to the progress of global peace and human welfare.

Significance of Preamble of Indian Constitution

The Preamble consists of the basic philosophy and fundamental values on which the constitution is based. The Preamble reflects the dream and aspiration of the founding father of the Constitution; as Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Iyer said, ‘The Preamble to our constitution expresses what we had thought or dreamt for so long. The preamble is a proper yardstick with which one can measure the worth of the constitution. The Constitution’s adoption date is November 26, 1949. But most of the constitutional articles entered into force on January 26, 1950. Several cases have discussed the significance and status of the preamble of India in the constitution.

Berubari Union Case (1960)

  • The supreme court in the Berubari Union case provided its opinion that the Preamble is key to understanding the mind of the Constitution makers.
  • The Preamble is separate from the constitution and isn’t a part of it.

Kesavananda Bharati Case (1973)

  • The Preamble is part of the Constitution. It can be amended, and it is subject to Judicial review.
  • The objective resolution of 13 December 1946 carried many provisions that we can find in the Preamble.

Union Government v. LIC of India case (1995): In the Union Government Vs LIC of India case, the Supreme Court ruled that the Preamble is an inalienable part of the Constitution.

Amendment of Preamble

The Preamble has been amended once till now. It happened through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1976. Some modifications were made and a few words were added to the Preamble of the Indian Constitution. It is also sometimes referred to as the ‘mini-constitution’ of India. It changed the description of India as a nation by adding new words.

The word Socialist was included in the Preamble after the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976. The main purpose of including the word ‘Socialist’ in the constitution of India was to totally erase inequality on all fronts. The idea was to make a mixed economy like India exist where both government and private sectors function simultaneously.

The word ‘secular’ was also added to the constitution’s Preamble by the same Amendment Act. Many new articles and sections were introduced through this Act. It also gave power to the Parliament to be able to modify the parts of the constitution without judicial review.

Facts about Indian Constitution Preamble

A few things should be noted here regarding the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

  • The Objectives Resolution presented by Jawaharlal Nehru was approved on January 22 by the Constituent Assembly. It presents the main principles that are reflected in the Indian Constitution.
  • The preamble is non-justiciable means its provisions are not enforceable in a court of law.
  • The Preamble neither grants the legislature any authority nor forbids it from exercising any type of authority.

Preamble of Indian Constitution UPSC

The preamble of the Indian Constitution is an important topic of Indian Polity related to UPSC Prelims and Mains for the IAS Exam. Here we have provided comprehensive notes to help the candidates in preparing efficiently. You can also download the NCERT Books for UPSC or reference books for the Indian Polity for UPSC from here.

Questions on Preamble of India

Here aspirants are also facilitated with UPSC Previous Year Question Paper and other study materials. Practising the questions will help the candidates in tracking the preparation methodology and understand the concepts.

Question: Prelims 2013- Economic Justice’ the objective of the Constitution has been one of the Indian provided in- [A] The Preamble and Fundamental Rights, [B] The Preamble and the Directive Principles of State Policy, [C] The Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy, [D] None of the above

Answer: (Option B) The Preamble and the Directive Principles of State Policy.

Question– Prelims 2017- The mind of the makers of the Constitution of India is reflected in which of the following? [A] The Preamble, [B] The Fundamental Rights, [C] The Directive Principles of State Policy, [D] The Fundamental Duties

Answer: (Option A) The Preamble

Question– Prelims 2020- The Preamble to the Constitution of India is- [A] A part of the Constitution but has no legal effect, [B] Not a part of the Constitution and has no legal effect either, [C] Part of the Constitution and has the same legal effect as any other part,  [D] A part of the Constitution but has no legal effect independently of other parts.

Answer: (Option D) A part of the Constitution but has no legal effect independently of other parts.

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