Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Disclaimer:- All the Information provided in this post are prepared & compiled by A. Praveen Kumar, SPM, Papannapet SO-502303, Telangana State  for in good faith of Postal Assistant Exam Aspirants. Author of blog does not accepts any responsibility in relation to the accuracy, completeness, usefulness or otherwise, of contents.

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

(NOTE: the original 1950 constitution stated "SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC" and the words "SOCIALIST SECULAR" were added via the 42nd amendment during the Emergency in 1976)

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY, of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

(NOTE: the original 1950 constitution stated "unity of the Nation" and the words "and integrity" were added via the 42nd amendment during the Emergency in 1976)


Indian Constituition- written Constitution 

UK & Newzealand - Unwritten Constitution

Making of Indian Constitution:

Adopted by constituent assembly- 26th Nov. 1949

Came into force - 26th Jan, 1950 (As desired by Mahatma Gandhi)

Constituent Assembly set up under - Cabinet Mission(1946)

Body: Members- 385, Elected-292, Nominated-93

After separation in 16,1947 of Muslim League = Members remain=299, Elected-229 & Nominated=70

First Meeting of Constituent Assembly - 9th Dec 1946

President- Sachidanand Sinha

First session of constituent assembly- 13th Dec 1946

Dr Rajendra Prasad elected president on 11th Dec 1946

Formation of Drafting Committee - 29th Aug,1947

Chairman of Drafting Committee- Dr B.R.Ambedkar

Draft came open Feb 1948

Last session 24th Jan,1950

First Elected president- Dr Rajendra Prasad

Objective Resolution Adopted-22 Jan,1947 adviced by J.L.Nehru.

Different Sources of Indian Constitution

Following are the borrowed features of constitution from different countries.

From U.K.
Nominal Head – President (like Queen)
Cabinet System of Ministers
Post of PM
Parliamentary Type of Govt.
Bicameral Parliament
Lower House more powerful
Council of Ministers responsible to Lowe House
Speaker in Lok Sabha
From U.S.
Written Constitution
Executive head of state known as President and his being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
Vice- President as the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha
Fundamental Rights
Supreme Court
Provision of States
Independence of Judiciary and judicial review
Removal of Supreme court and High court Judges
Fundamental Duties
Five year Plan
Concurrent list
Language of the preamble
Provision regarding trade, commerce and intercourse
Law on which the Supreme Court function
Suspension of Fundamental Rights during the emergency
Scheme of federation with a strong centre
Distribution of powers between centre and the states and placing. Residuary Powers with the centre
Concept of Directive Principles of States Policy(Ireland borrowed it from SPAIN)
Method of election of President
Nomination of members in the Rajya Sabha by the President

Followings are the schedules in Constitution of India

First Schedule
List of States & Union Territories
Second Schedule
Salary of President, Governors, Chief Judges, Judges of High Court and Supreme court, Comptroller and Auditor General
Third Schedule
Forms of Oaths and affirmations
Fourth Schedule
Allocate seats for each state of India in Rajya Sabha
Fifth Schedule
Administration and control of scheduled areas and tribes
Sixth Schedule
Provisions for administration of Tribal Area in Asom, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram & Arunachal Pradesh
Seventh Schedule
Gives allocation of powers and functions between Union & States. It contains 3 lists
Union List (For central Govt) 97 Subjects.
States List (Powers of State Govt) 66 subjects
Concurrent List (Both Union & States) 47 subjects.
Eighth Schedule
List of 22 languages of India recognized by Constitution
1. Assamese
2. Bengali
3. Gujarati
4. Hindi
5. Kannada
6. Kashmiri
7. Manipuri
8. Malayalam
9. Konkani
10. Marathi
11. Nepali
12. Oriya
13. Punjabi
14. Sanskrit
15. Sindhi
16. Tamil
17. Telugu
18. Urdu
19. Santhali
20. Bodo
21. Maithili
22. Dogri
Sindhi was added in 1967 by 21 Amendment
Konkani, Manipuri ad Nepali were added in 1992 by 71 amendment Santhali, Maithili, Bodo and Dogri were added in 2003 by 92 amendment
Ninth Schedule
Added by Ist amendment in 1951. Contains acts & orders related to land tenure, land tax, railways, industries.{Right of property not a fundamental right now}
Tenth Schedule
Added by 52nd amendment in 1985. Contains provisions of disqualification of grounds of defection
Eleventh Schedule
By 73rd amendment in 1992. Contains provisions of Panchayati Raj.
Twelfth Schedule
By 74thamendment in 1992. Contains provisions of Municipal Corporation.

Deals with
The Union and its Territory
Name and territory of Union
Admission of new states
Creation of new states, alteration of existing
Citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution
Citizenship of migrants from Pakistan
Persons acquiring foreign citizenship not to be citizens
Fundamental Rights
Equality before law
Prohibition of discrimination
Abolition of untouchability
Prohibition of human trafficking and forced labour
Prohibition of child labour
Freedom to manage religious affairs
Protection of minority interests
Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties
Organisation of village panchayats
Right to work, education and public assistance
Humane work conditions and maternity relief
Uniform civil code
Free and compulsory education for children
Promote interests of SC/ST, other weaker sections
Protection of monuments/places of national importance
Separation of judiciary from executive
The Union
President of India
Vice-President of India
Council of Ministers
Attorney-General for India
Composition of the Council of States
Composition of the House of the People
Qualification for membership to Parliament
Chairman & Deputy Chairman of the Council of States
Speaker & Deputy Speaker of the House of the People
Provisions for the introduction and passing of bills
Joint sitting of both houses
Establishment and constitution of the Supreme Court
Appointment of the Chief Justice
Appointment of additional judges
The States
Governor of the state
Council of Ministers
Composition of the Legislative Assemblies
Composition of the Legislative Councils
Qualification for membership to state legislature
High Courts
Appointment of the Chief Justice
Appointment of additional judges
Jurisdiction of the High Courts
Control over subordinate courts
Union Territories
Administration of Union Territories
Legislatures for certain UTs (esp. Pondicherry)
Special Provisions for NCT Delhi
High Courts for UTs
Panchayat and Municipalities
Gram Sabha
Composition of Panchayats
Authority and responsibility of Panchayats
Relation b/w the Union and States
Distribution of legislative powers
Administrative relations
Disputes relating to water
Co-ordination between states
Distribution of revenue b/w Union and states
Right to property
Official languages of the Union
Language of the states
Language of the Supreme Court and High Courts



Amendments to the Constitution

Allowed by Article 368 of the Constitution

Amendments can happen in three ways

Simple majority of Parliament

Special majority of Parliament

Special majority of Parliament and ratification by at least half of the state legislatures by a special majority

Indian Constitution is the most frequently amended governing document in the world

Supreme Court struck down two amendments for violation of basic structure of Constitution

39th Amendment: election of Executive beyond scrutiny of courts, 1975 (during Emergency)

Parts of 42nd Amendment: reduced power of Supreme Court and High Courts to judge constitutionality of laws, 1976 (during Emergency)

There have been a total of 94 amendments, as of 2009

Important of Amendments to the Constitution

Amendment no.
June 1951
Secure validity for zamindari abolition laws
Place restrictions on freedom of speech
Protect laws contrary to fundamental rights
Nov 1956
Reorganize states on linguistic lines
Introduce Union Territories
Dec 1961
Incorporate Goa, Daman and Diu as UTs following acquisition from Portugal
Dec 1963
Formation of Nagaland
Dec 1962
Incorporate Pondicherry into India
Create Legislative Assemblies for HP, Tripura, Manipur, Goa
Sep 1969
Form autonomous states within the State of Assam
Jan 1970
Extend reservation for SC/STs and nomination of Anglo Indians for another 10 years (up to 1980)
Dec 1971
Abolition of privy purse paid to former rulers of princely states
Aug 1972
Rationalize Civil Service rules
Oct 1973
Increase size of Parliament from 525 to 545
Increased seats go to newly formed states in NE
Apr 1975
Incorporation of Sikkim within the Indian Union
Jan 1980
Extend reservation for SC/STs for another 10 years (i.e. up to 1990)
Mar 1985
Anti-defection law
Mar 1989
Lower voting age from 21 to 18
Feb 1992
Provide for legislative assembly for NCT Delhi
Delhi continues to be a UT
Dec 1991
Include NCT Delhi and Pondicherry in the electoral college for Presidential election
Aug 1992
Include Konkani, Manipuri, Nepali as National Languages
Jan 2000
Extend reservation for SC/STs for another 10 years (i.e. up to 2010)
Dec 2002
Provide right to education until the age of 14
Provide early childhood care until the age of 6
Sep 2003
Reservation in Assam Assembly relating to Bodoland Territory Area
Jan 2004
Restrict cabinet size to 15% of legislative members
Strengthen anti-defection laws
Jan 2006
Reservation for OBCs in government and private educational institutions

Union and its territory:-

Art 1 - India as a union of states.

Art 3 - Empowerment of parliament to form a new state

State reorganisation act
States formed
Assam act-1951
Andhra state act-1953
AP -1956
State reorganisation act-1956
Kerala and KN -1956
Bombay re- organisation act-1960
Gujarat and Maharashtra-1960
Acquired territory and merger act-1960
State of Nagaland Act-1962
Punjab re- organisation act-1966
Punjab & Haryana-1966
Himachal Pradesh act-1970
North East areas re- organisation act-1971
Manipur,Tripura & Maghalya
New state Sikkim 36th amendment act-1975
NE state act-1986
Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh
Goa act-1987
M.P. re-organisation act-2000
UP re- organisation act-2000.
Bihar re- organisation act-2000

Citizenship Part-II

Non- Citizens do not enjoy the following rights
Art-19 : freedom of speech,expression,assembly;association,movement,residence and profession.

Art-29 & 30 : Cultural and educational rights

Indian Citizenship Act-1955

Art-11: power of parliament to decide Citizenship.
Citizenship (Amendment ) Act,1986
* provides acquisition of citizenship in five ways
1. Birth
2. Descent
3. Registration
4. Naturalisation
5. Incorporation of territory
Fundamental Rights- Part -III
* First time adopted resolution on fundamental rights in Karachi session 1931 (Sardar Patel)

* Art (12-35),also art 300A,301 and 326.

* President enjoy the power to suspend the enforcement of fundamental rights ( except Art 20 and 21) during national emergency Art-359

* Fundamental rights are not absolute rights.

Negative Worded-Art 14-16(2),18(1),20,22(1)

Positive worded- Art 16(2),19,25,29(1),30(1).

* Generally personal rights preferred over the rights when any legislation is reviewed by the courts.

Judicial Review and the Fundamental rights -Art 13

Prasad vs Union of India-1951

Sajjan Sing vs state of Rajasthan -1965

Parliament Power to amendment - Art 368

Golaknath vs state of punjab (1967)- even parliament can't amend the FR

* 24th Amendment Act,1967

Kapesavananda Bharti vs State of Kerala,1973 opposed 24 th amendment
Rule of given- A.V.Dicey

Rights to equality:

Art 14- Concept of rule of law provides legal equality or equality before rule of law.
Exceptions of Rule of law-President,Governor,Foreign diplomats,ambassadors etc.
Classification of Fundamental rights: six groups

(1) Rights to equality Art 14-18
(2) Rights to freedom Art 19-22
(3) Right against exploitation Art 23-24
(4) Right to freedom of religion Art 25-28
(5) cultural & educational rights Art 29-30
(6) Rights to constitutional remedies Art 32-35

Art 14-Equality before law and equal protection of law.

Art 15-Right against discrimination on ground of religion,race,caste,sex and place of birth.
15(1)-within control of state
15(2)- Prohibits both state,private individual
15(3)-Power to the state to specially protect women and children.
15(4)-special protection to backward classes or SC,ST(1 st constitutional amendment act,1951)

Art 16-Equality of opportunity in public employment under Art 16(1),16(2)
Art 16(2)- forbid discrimination on the ground of residence.
Art 16(3)-Exception of 16(2)
Art 16(4)- Exception of 16(1) and 16(2)

Empowers to state to make special provision for the reservation in two conditions-
(1) socially and educationally backward
(2) said class do not adequately represented in state service.

Art 16(4A)- Provides for reservation of seats in promotion for SC and ST ,77 th amendment,1995

Art 16(4B)- carrying over of unfilled vacancies reserved for SC/ ST to subsequent year 81st amendment,Act 2000

Art 16(5)- exception of Art 16(1) and 16(2):

Law which provides that a person holding an office in connection with the affair of a religious or denominational institution etc shall be a person professing the same religion or belonging to a particular denomination shall not be treated to be repugnant to this articles.

Art 17: Abolition of untouchability.

Untouchability (offences) Act,1955, Art-35

Untouchability (offences) amendment act,1976

Name changed Civil Rights (Protection) Act,1976

Art 15(2)- also helps to eradication of untouchability.

Art 18 : Abolition of titles

Exempted: military,Academic distinctions.

Bharat Ratan,Padma Vibhusan,Padam Bhusan,Padama Shree And other state awards.

Art 18(2): Prohibits a citizen of India from accepting any tittles from a foreign state.

Art 18(3): A foreigner holding any office of profit or trust under the state can't accept any title from any foreign state without consent of the president.

Art 18(4): No person holding any office of profit or trust under the state is to accept without consent of president. 

For Art 18- No penalty prescribed but parliament have power to make a law.
Right to Freedom:-
Art 19: Right to six democratic freedoms
(1) freedom of speech and expression-Art 19(1)(a)
(2) freedom of assembly- Art 19(1)(b)
(3) freedom to form association- Art 19(1)(c)
(4) freedom of movement -19(1)(d)
(5) freedom of residence and settlement -19(1)(e)
(6) freedom of profession,occupation,trade and business-19(1)(g)

Art 33- Constitution empowers the parliament to modify rights conferred by part III Application to Armed forces and other forces engaged in maintenance of public order.

Art 20- protection in respect of conviction for offences.

* As per 44th Amendment this can't be suspended even in emergency under Art 359.
(1) Retro specific criminal legislation or ex-post facto law-Art 20(1)
(2) Double jeopardy-Art 20(2)
(3) Prohibition against self-incrimination -Art 20(3)

Art 21: Protection of life and personal liberty.
Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India (1978)

Art 22: Protection against arrest and detention
(1) Enemy alien
(2) Preventive detention means detention without trial
Preventive detention Act:
(1) Conservation of foreign exchange and prevention smuggling activities act
(2) National Security Act,1980
(3) Terrorist and disruptive ( prevention) act,1990
Art (23-24)- right against exploitation.
Art 23- prohibits traffic in human beings & beggar and other similar forms of forced labour.

Art 24 - Prohibits employment of children below the age of 14 years in any factory or mine or any hazardous employments.
Art (25-28): Right to freedom of religion
Art 25(1)- Guarantees to every person the freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practice, and propagate religion.

Art 25 is a individual right while the right guaranteed by art 26 is the right of an “organized body" like the religious denomination.

Art 26: subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination or any section of it.

Art 27: freedom from taxes for promotion of any particular religion.

Art 28: Prohibition of religious instruction in state aided institutions.
Art (29-30): cultural and educational rights
Art 29(1): guarantees to every section of the citizens, residing in any part of India having a distinct language

Art 30(1): All minorities whether based on religion or language shall have right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

Art 30 (2): which prohibits the state in granting aid to educational institutions, from discriminating against any educational institutions on the ground that it is under the management of minority.

A note on right to property and 44th amendment act 1978.

* Till 1978, the right to property formed a part of fundamental right and as defined in Art 19(1)(f) and Art 31.

* Janta Goverment through 44th amendment act,1978 removed the right to property from part-III and made it a constitutional right under Art-300 A

Art 300-A: state that no person shall be deprived of his property save except by authority of law.

Art 32: Right to constitutional Remedies.

* B.R. Ambedkar described Art 32 as the most important and an article without which constitution would be nullity.

 it is heart and soul of the constitution

 It is the right which makes the supreme court the protector and guarantor of fundamental rights.

Art 32(2) : The supreme court is endowed with the power to issue direction or order or writs.

(A) Habeaus Corpus: writ can be issued against any person private or official.
The word Habeaus Corpus literally means to have the body.The object of this writ is to have the detained person before the court so that it can be ascertained whether detention is legal or not.

(B) Mandamus:- literally means 'command' it is thus an order of a superior court commanding a person holding a public office or a public authority to do or not to do something.
not against private individual or organisation
this can not be enforced against the president and governor.

(C) Prohibitionthis writ is issued by a superior court to an inferior court to prevent it from exceeding its jurisdiction and to compel it to keep within the limits of jurisdiction.
 can be issued only against judicial and quasi judicial bodies.
only high court and supreme court can issue it and not the subordinate courts.

(D) Certiorari: A writ of prohibition is issued to prevent an inferior cort or tribunal to go ahead with the trial of a case in which it has assumed excess of jurisdiction. Whereas a writ of certiorari is issued to quash the order passed by an inferior court or tribunal in excess of jurisdiction.

(E) Quo Warranto: Means " what is your authority"
A writ of Quo Warranto is issued against the holder of a public office to the court under what authority he holds the office.
Armed forces and fundamental rights:
Art 33: the parliament can restrict or abrogate by law the FR applicable to the members of the armed forces or the forces charged with maintenance of public order.
Any law passed by parliament in this regard under Art 33 can not be challenged in any court under Art 13(2).

Fundamental Rights and Emergency:

Art 352 of the constitution a national emergency on ground of war or external aggression, the rights guaranteed to citizens under Art 19 are automatically suspended.
Rights outside part- III of the constitution:

(a) According to Art 300A - no person shall be deprived of his property except by authority of law.

(b) Art 301 deals with the freedom of trade,commerce and intercourse.

(c) Art 326, the election to the house of the people and to the legislative assemblies of the state should be on the basis of adult suffrage.
Human Rights :
As per the protection of human rights act 1993, " human rights" means the rights relating to life,liberty,equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the constitution.
National Human Rights Commission will be set up.
Chairman - A person who is or has been Chief Justice of supreme court.
Headquarter- Delhi

Directive principles of state policy: Part-IV

The fundamental rights and directive principles together have been rights described as the conscience of the constitution by Grenville Austin.
Directive Principles ( Art 36 to 51) - taken from constitution of Ireland

Art 38: To secure and protect a social order which stands for welfare of the people.

Art 39: State shall directs its policy towards securing:-
(i) adequate means of livelihood to all
(ii) a proper distribution of the material resources of the community for the common good.
(iii) prevention of concentration of wealth common detriment
(iv) equal pay for equal work for both men and women
( v) the protection of the strength and health of workers and avoiding circumstances which force citizens to enter avocations unsuited to their age and strength.
(vi) the protection of childhood and youth against exploitation or moral and material abandonment.

Art 40: To organise village panchayats as units of self Government.

Art 41: To secure the right to work, education and public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age sickness etc.

Art 43: To secure work, a living wage, a decent standard of life leisure and social and cultural opportunities for people and in particular to promote cottage industries.

Art 44: To secure a uniform civil code applicable to the entire country.

Art 45: To provide within 10 years from commencement of the constitution, free and compulsory education to all children's up to the age of 14.

Art 46: To promote with special care the educational and economic interest of the weaker section of the people especially SC and ST.

Art 47: To secure the improvement of public health and the prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs.

Art 48: To organise agriculture and animal husbandry on scientific lines and improve breeds and prohibits the slaughter of cow calves and other milch and draught cattle.

Art 49: To protect all monuments of historic interest and national importance.

Art 50: To bring about the separation of the judiciary from the executive

Art 51: To endeavour to secure -
(a) the promotion of international peace and security.
(b) the maintenance of just and honourable relations between nations and
(c) the settlement of international disputes by arbitration
Directive added after commencement of constitution:-
1. Art 38(1),added by 44th amendment act 1978:
The state shall in particular strive to minimise the inequalities in income & endeavour eliminate inequalities in status,facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of peoples residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.

2. Art 39(f): The children are given opportunities & facilities to develop in a healthy manner & in conditions of freedom & dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

3. Art 39-A: To provide equal justice by ensuring the legal system promotes justice and provide free legal aid by suitable legislation.

4. Art 43-A: participation of workers in management of industries.

5. Art 48-A: Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life.
Directives in other parts (not in part IV) of the constitution:
Art 350-A: of the Indian Constitution enjoins every state and every local authority within the state to provide adequate facilities for instruction in mother tongue at the primary stage to the children of linguistic minorities.

Art 351: enjoins the union to promote the spread of hindi language so that it may serve as a medium of expression of all the elements of composite culture of India.

Art 335: directs that the claims of the SC and ST's shall be taken into constitution, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in making of appointments to services and posts in connection with affairs of union or of a state.
Fundamental Duties (Part IV-A)
Fundamental duties were inserted into the constitution of India by the 42nd constitutional amendment act 1976. Initial there were 10 fundamental duties and now they are 11 fundamental duties contained in Art 51-A of constitution. These Duties were added on the recommendation of Suwarn singh committee.

Japan- only democratic country in the world which provides for a set of fundamental duties in its constitution.

Indian Constitution borrowed concept of FD's from constitution of socialist countries ( erst while USSR).

Duties enumerated in Art 51-A are statutory duties and are not enforceable by law.
11 FD's are followings:-

1. To abide by the constitution and respect its ideals,institutions,the national flag and the national anthem.

2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired out national struggle for freedom.

3. To uphold and protect sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India.

4. To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so.

5.To promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities, renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.

6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.

7. To protect and improve the national environment including forests,lakes,rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.

8. To develop scientific temper ,humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform,

9. To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.

10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievements.

Qualifications of the President
Must be a citizen of India.
Must be 35 years or older
Must be qualified to be a member of the Lok Sabha, but should not be a member
Must not hold an office of profit under the Central or State or local governments
The name of the candidate must be proposed and seconded by at least 50 eleKeywords: ias, study material, general studies, Indian polity
Conditions of service
Holds office for 5 years.Is elected indirectly by an electoral college consisting of Elected members of both Houses of Parliament. Elected members of State Assemblies in accordance with proportional representation
The value of the vote of an MLA differs from state to state in order to give equality of representation
Eligible for immediate re-election
Resignation must be addressed to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha
Oath of affirmation is administered by the Chief Justice of India. In the CJI’s absence, the senior most available judge of the SC administers the oath.
The President can be impeached for violation of the constitution. Impeachment can be initiated by either House of Parliament. Requires a 2/3rd majority to pass.
If the office of the President falls vacant, the Vice President takes over. If the VP is not available, the CJI acts as President. If he is also not available, the senior most available judge of the SC acts as President. The acting President enjoys all powers of a regular President
Fresh elections to the office of President must be held within 6 months of vacancy
All election disputes are decided by the Supreme Court
1.     Administrative powers
1.     All executive actions of the Union Government are carried out under the name of the President
2.     Appoints senior officials like the Prime Minister, CJI, CAG, AG etc
3.     Directly controls the administration of the Union Territories
2.     Legislative Powers
1.     Nominates 12 distinguished public figures to the Rajya Sabha and 2 Anglo-Indians to the Lok Sabha
2.     Can summon and prorogue sessions of both Houses
3.     Can dissolve the Lok Sabha (but not the Rajya Sabha)
4.     All bills must receive the President’s assent before they become law
5.     Enjoys suspensive veto power that can be applied to non-money bills. No veto power on Constitutional Amendment Bills
6.     Can enact ordinances on Union and Concurrent List subjects. Can issue ordinances on State subjects, only if the state is under President’s Rule
3.     Financial Powers
1.     All money bills can originate in the Lok Sabha only on the recommendation of the President
2.     Controls the Contingency Fund of India
3.     Appoints a Finance Commission every 5 years to recommend tax distribution between the Union and states
4.     Judicial Powers
1.     Can pardon or reprieve the sentence of anyone punished under Union law
2.     Appoints the Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts
5.     Emergency Powers
1.     Can proclaim emergency after getting the recommendation of the Cabinet in writing
6.     Military Powers
1.     Appoints the Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force
2.     Enjoys the power to declare war and peace
7.     Diplomatic Powers
1.     Appoints Ambassadors to foreign countries and receives their diplomats
2.     All international treaties are concluded on behalf of the President. However, these are subject to ratification by Parliament
8.     President’s Rule
1.     Can declare President’s Rule either on the advice of the Governor or on self discretion
2.     Such a proclamation must be laid down before Parliament within two months
3.     Cannot remain in force for more than one year
4.     The concerned State Assembly can be dissolved or suspended
9.     Discretionary Powers: The President almost always acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers except under the following circumstances
1.     Appointment of a Prime Minister from among contenders when no single party has a majority in the Lok Sabha
2.     A Council of Ministers is voted out/resigns and recommends dissolution of the Lok Sabha
3.     While exercising a pocket veto
4.     Disqualifying members of the Legislature
5.     Return the advice of the Council of Ministers once for reconsideration
6.     Return a Bill passed by the Parliament once for reconsideratio, general studies, Indian polity
First imposed on Kerala, June 1951. In effect till April 1952
Longest duration of President’s Rule was in Punjab May 1987 – Feb 1992
Imposed maximum number of times on Kerala and Punjab (9 times each)
Minimum number of times on Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh
Shortest duration of imposition was on Karnataka. Imposed for 7 days in Oct 1990

Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Jun 1950 – May 1952
First President
Longest tenure
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
May 1962 – May 1967
Dr. Zakir Hussian
May 1967 – May 1969
Shortest tenure
Died in office
V.V. Giri (Acting)
May 1969 – July 1969
First Acting President
Justice M Hidayatullah
July 1969 – Aug 1969
Second Acting President
V.V. Giri
Aug 1969 – Aug 1974
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
Aug 1974 – Feb 1977
Died in office
B. D. Jatti (acting)
Feb 1977 – July 1977
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
July 1982 – July 1987
Youngest President (64 years)
Elected unopposed
Giani Zail Singh
July 1982 – July 1987
R. Venkataraman
July 1987 – July 1992
Oldest President (76 years)
Dr. S.D. Sharma
July 1992 – July 1997
K.R. Narayanan
July 1997 – July 2002
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
July 2002 – July 2007
Pratibha Patil
July 2007 – present
First female President
Keywords: ias, study material, general studies, Indian polity
Election of the Vice-President
Is elected by all members of both Houses of Parliament in accordance with proportional representation
The name of the candidate must be proposed and seconded by at least 25 members
All election disputes are decided by the Supreme Court
Holds office for 5 years. Is eligible for re-election
Oath of office administered by the President
y material, general studies, Indian polity
Powers and functions of the Vice-President
Is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, but is not a member of the same
Has no right to vote except in a tie
All bills, resolutions, motions and questions in the Rajya Sabha can be taken up only with the consent of the VP
Acts as the chief spokesperson of the Rajya Sabha
Functions as Acting President if required. Can do so for a maximum of 6 months, and then a new President must be elected
Does not automatically become President in the absence of the President (unlike the USA)Keywords: ias, study material, general studies, Indian polity

The President of India is vested with the following three types of veto power.

1. Absolute Veto
2. Suspensive Veto
3. Pocket Veto.

Absolute Veto: 

 It refers to the power of the President to withhold his assent to a bill passed by the Parliament. The bill then ends and does not become an act. Usually, this veto is exercised in the following two cases:
(a) With respect to private members' bills (bills introduced by any member of Parliament who is not a minister);
(b) With respect to the government bills when the cabinet resign (after the passage of the bills but before the assent by the President) and the new cabinet advises the President not to give his assent to such bills

Suspensive Veto:

The President exercises this veto when he returns a bill for reconsideration of the Parliament. However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and again presented to the President, it is obligatory for the President to give his assent to the bill. This means that the President veto is overridden by a re-passage of the bill by the same ordinary majority (and not a higher majority as required for Qualified Veto in U.S.A.).
The President does not possess this veto in the case of Money bills. The President can either give his assent to a money bill or withhold his assent to a money bill but cannot return it for the reconsideration of the Parliament. Normally, the president gives his assent to the money bill as it is introduced in the Parliament with his previous permission.

Pocket Veto: 

In this case, the President neither ratifies nor rejects nor returns the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period. This power of the President no to take any action (either positive or negative) on the bill is known as the Pocket Veto. The President can exercise this veto power as the Constitution does not prescribe any time-limit within which he has to take the decision with respect to a bill presented to him for his assent. In USA, on the other hand, the president has to return the bill for reconsideration within 10 days. Hence, it is remarked that the pocket of the Indian President is bigger than that of the American President.

In 1986, President Zail Singh exercised the pocket veto with respect to Indian Post Office (Amendment) Bill. The bill, passed by the Rajiv Gandhi Government, imposed restriction on the freedom of press.

 It should be noted here that the President has no veto power in respect of a Constitutional Amendment Bill. The 24th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1971 made it obligatory for the President to give his assent to a constitutional amendment bill.


Conditions of service

It is composed of all Union Ministers – the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers
The council is appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister
A Minister must be a member of either House of Parliament, or be elected within 6 months of assuming office

Collective Responsibility

The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha
A vote of no confidence even against a single Minister means the entire Council must resign
Each Minister is also responsible for his department and can be removed from office by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister

Functions of the Council of Ministers

Formulates policies of the country on the basis of which administration is carried out
Introduces all important Bills in Parliament and oversees their passage
Presents the Budget to the Parliament
Determines foreign policy
Approves international agreements and treaties
Render advice to the President regarding proclamation of war or emergency


Cabinet Minister

Senior minister in charge of a particular Ministry
May hold additional charges of other Ministries (if no other Cabinet Minister is appointed)
Cabinet Ministers must belong to either House of Parliament
Currently there are 33 Cabinet Ministers

Minister of State (Independent Charge)

In charge of a particular portfolio
Is not under the oversight of a Cabinet Minister
Currently there are 7 MoS with independent charge

Minister of State

A minister with a specific responsibility in a particular Ministry
Reports to the concerned Cabinet Minister
Currently there are 38 MoS


The Prime Minister is the head of government and the head of the Council of Ministers
The PM is responsible for the discharge of functions and powers of the President
The PM must be a member of either House of Parliament, or be elected within 6 months of taking office

The Prime Minister is appointed by the President on the basis of his being the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha

If no party gets an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha or a PM resigns or dies, the President can use his own discretion in the choice of a Prime Minister

If the person the President so appoints is not a member of the Lok Sabha, he must get himself elected within a period of 6 months

Conditions of service
The Prime Minister serves in office for 5 years
He can be re-appointed
When the Lok Sabha is dissolved, he can continue in office upon the request of the President
If the government is defeated in the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister and entire cabinet must resign
However, if defeated in the Rajya Sabha, resignation is not obligatory

1.     Legislative functions

1.      He is the leader of the majority in the Lok Sabha
2.      The President convenes and prorogues sessions of Parliament in consultation with the PM
3.      Can recommend dissolution of the Lok Sabha to the President
4.      All members of the Cabinet are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the PM

2.     Administrative functions

1.      Acts as the chief channel of communication between the President and the Council of Ministers
2.      Allocates portfolios among various ministers and shuffles them
3.      Presides over meetings of the Council of Ministers
4.      Supervises the working of other Ministers

3.     Executive functions

1.      Represents the country internationally
2.      Acts as the ex-officio Chairman of the Planning Commission
3.      Has exclusive jurisdiction over the disposal of the PM’s National Relief Fund and the PM’s National Defence Fun

4.     Advisory functions

1.      Assists the President in the appointment of all high officials
2.      Recommends to the President proclamation of emergency
3.      Advices the President on the imposition of President’s Rule

Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru
1947 – 1964
First Prime Minister
First to die in office
Longest tenure
Guzari Lal Nanda
May 1964 – Jun 1964
First and only “acting” PM
Lal Bahadur Shastri
Jun 1964 – Jan 1966
First PM to die abroad during official tour
Guzari Lal Nanda
Jan 1966 – Jan 1966
Indira Gandhi
Jan 1966 – Mar 1967
First woman PM
First PM to lose an election
Moraji Desai
Mar 1977 – Jul 1979
Oldest to become PM (81 years)
First to resign from office
Charan Singh
Jul 1979 – Jan 1980
Only PM that did not face Parliament
Indira Gandhi
Jan 1980 – Oct 1984
First PM to be assassinated
Rajiv Gandhi
Oct 1984 – Dec 1989
Youngest to become PM (40 years)
VP Singh
Dec 1989 – Nov 1990
First PM to resign after vote of no confidence
Chandra Shekar
Nov 1990 – Jun 1991
Narasimha Rao
Jun 1991 – May 1996
AB Vajpayee
May 1996 – Jun 1996
Shortest tenure (13 days)
Deve Gowda
Jun 1996 – Apr 1997
IK Gujral
Apr 1997 – Mar 1998
AB Vajpayee
Mar 1998 – May 2004
Manmohan Singh
May 2004 – Present

It is not a constitutional post
Does not carry any specific powers
Can chair meetings of the Cabinet in the absence of the PM, and take on the responsibility of the PM in case of the latter’s death
India has had 7 Deputy Prime Ministers
Sardar Vallabhai Patel was the first Deputy PM. He was also the Home Minister concurrently

The current government does not have a Deputy PM

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