(IGP) GS Paper 1 – Indian Polity & Governance – “Constitution Amendment”

Integrated Guidance Programme of General Studies for IAS

Subject – Indian Polity & Governance
Chapter – Constitution Amendment

Constitutions Amendment

Constitutions undergo amendments informally (imperceptibly) and formally
(perceptibly). In the former method, there are two ways.

  • Judicial pronouncements
  • Conventions

Formal and Perceptible Method

It refers to an amendment according to the procedure laid down in the


  • The Constitution amendment process is given in Art.368 in which two
    methods of amendment are mentioned.
  • One category of amendments are those which can be made by Parliament by
    the prescribed ‘special majority’. The second category of amendments require
    ratification by at least one half of the State Legislatures after being
    passed by a special majority by each House of the Parliament.

Amendment by Special Majority

  • A majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House
    present and voting which is more than
  • Majority of the total membership of that House. Total membership means
    total number of members comprising the House irrespective of any vacancies
    or absentees on any account.
  • Special majority is required at all stages of the passage of the
    Constitution Amendment Bill.

All provisions of the Constitution can be amended by a special majority in
the parliament except the ‘federal provisions’. They require amendment by
special majority and ratification by State Legislatures.

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Amendment Acts Since 2000

  • 84th Amendment Act, 2001 – delimitation of constituencies for LS and LA
    elections on the basis of 1991 census
  • 87th Amendment Act, 2003 – delimitation of constituencies for LS and LA
    elections on the basis of 2001 census
  • 88th Amendment Act, 2003- Service tax amendment
  • 89th Amendment Act, 2003- for SCs and STs, separate Commissions were set
    up while earlier they were combined into a single one.
  • 91st Amendment Act relate to strengthening the anti defection law and
    limiting the size of the ministries
  • 92nd amendment Act related to inclusion of four languages in the Eighth
    Schedule- Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali.
  • 93rd amendment Act 2006 to provide reservations in educational
    institutions for SC, ST and SEBCs- other than minority educational
  • 94th Amendment Act amends Art. 164 stipulate that there shall be a
    minister in the council of Ministers of the states of Jharkhand and
    Chattisgarh while excluding Bihar as it has no significant tribal
    population. The other two states that must have a tribal affairs minister
    are Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.
  • 95th Amendment Act – with effect from 25 January 2010. It amended
    Article 34 to extend the reservation of seats for SC/STs in the Lok Sabha
    and State assemblies from sixty to seventy years.
  • 96th Amendment Act – with effect from 23 September 2011. It substituted
    “Odia” for “Oriya”.
  • 97th Amendment Act – 12 January 2012. It amended Article 19 and added
    Part IXB. It added the words ‘or co-operative societies’ after the word ‘or
    unions’ in Art. 19(1)(c) and X insertian of Art. 43B, i.e., promotion of
    co-operative societies and added part IX B i.e. the Co-operative Societies.

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