Amendment means to change or alter existing provisions of law. With time laws of the country need to be updated. They can’t be stiff and stagnant. Modifications in law provisions are a great sign of development. There have been many important constitutional amendments that have changed the shape of a statute or a particular provision completely. Let’s have a look at eighteen such amendments to the Constitution of India.
Most Important Amendments of the Indian Constitution
To date, there have been 104 amendments to the Constitution of India. Now you may ask, which amendment is the most important? Well.
Here are the eighteen most important amendments of the Indian Constitution from 1951 to 2021.
1st Constitutional Amendment Act, 1951
15th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1963
This amendment increased the retirement age of the High Court judge from 60 to 62 years.
21st Constitutional Amendment Act, 1967
This amendment added the Sindhi language as the regional language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
24th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1971
This amendment came to reverse what was held in Golaknath’s case. According to the amendment, parliament has the power to amend fundamental rights or any part of the Constitution. The parliament can, under Article 368, alter or amend any provision of the Constitution.
42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976
This amendment is also famous as the mini Constitution. This amendment brought a big change in the Constitution’s Preamble by adding the words ‘SOCIALIST’, ‘SECULAR’, and ‘INTEGRITY’ to the Preamble. This amendment made it mandatory for the President to work with the aid and advice of the council of ministers. This amendment also added a vital Part IVA in the Constitution as Fundamental duties.
44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1978
After this amendment, the right to property no longer remained a Fundamental right in Part III of the Constitution. Now the right to property is only a legal and Constitutional right under Article 300A.
In Article 352, there are three grounds on which a national emergency can be imposed in India. One of the grounds, ‘internal disturbance,’ was substituted by the words ‘armed rebellion’. This amendment made it obligatory for the President to follow the advice tendered by the council of ministers after sending it for reconsideration. Now proclamation of emergency came under the ambit and judicial review of the court.
58th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1987
By this amendment, the people of India were given an authoritative text of the Constitution in the Hindi version.
61st Constitutional Amendment Act, 1988
This amendment brought a change in the pattern of the election in India. It reduced the voting age from 21 to 18 years.
73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992
This amendment added Part XI to the Constitution to deal with the Panchayati Raj System in India. For more: 73rd Indian Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992 Explained
74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992
This amendment added Part IXA to the Constitution for municipalities.
77th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1995
This amendment added clause 4A in Article 16 of the Constitution for the promotion of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in government jobs.
81st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2000
This amendment added clause 4B in Article 16 of the Constitution by ending the 50% ceiling cap for the reservation of SCs and STs. Through this amendment, parliament made a forward carry rule of backlog vacancies for SCs and STs.
86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002
This amendment brought a change in education for children. It added Article 21A in the Constitution as the right to education for children of age group 6 to 14 years. Now right to education has become a Fundamental Right.
92nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003
This amendment added four more languages to the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, namely Bodo, Dogri, Santhali, and Maithili.
99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014
This amendment established the National Judicial Appointment Commission for the appointment of judges. But this commission was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2015 and resumed with the collegium system to appoint judges.
101st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2017
This amendment brought the Goods and Services Tax as a comprehensive and multi-stage tax. GST abolished many central and state taxes and brought uniformity to the tax system. It applies to the whole of India.
103rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019
This amendment added clause 6 in Articles 15 and 16, respectively, to provide 10% reservation to the economically weaker section (EWS) who are not already a reserved category under SC, ST, and socially and economically backward classes. The reservation is made for access to government jobs and admissions.
104th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2020
This amendment has extended the period of reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. It also abolished the President’s power to nominate two Anglo-Indians to the Lok Sabha.
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