UPSC Indian Polity and Civics Constitutional Framework and Citizenship Notes - Constitutional Framework and Citizenship

Notes - Constitutional Framework and Citizenship

Category : UPSC


Constitutional Framework and Citizenship



The term constitution is derived from latin word “constituere” which means to “to establish”.

Constitution means a document having a special legal sanctity, which sets out the framework, principles and functions of the government. The idea of constitutionalism suggests ways and means to work out a government form, which exercises power and ensures, at the same time, individuals freedom and liberty.





Constitutional Landmark

Important Provisions

Regulating Act, 1773

·    British government to regulate affairs of East India Co.

·    Designated Governor of Bengal as Governor General of Bengal. Warren Hastings was the first Government General.

·    Establishing a Supreme Court at Calcutta.

Pitts India Act, 1784

·    Indian affairs under direct control of British government.

·    Board of Control was established.

Charter Act of 1793

·    Salary of company to drawn from the Indian exchequer.

·    The Governor General and governors to override the decision of Councils.

·    Company got monopoly of trade with India for another 20 years.

Charter Act, 1833

·    Governor General of Bengal became Governor General of India.

·    Lord William Bentinck was the first Governor General of India.

·    The Act centralized British rule in India.

·    East India Co. lost its monopoly of tea trade and China trade.

·    The Indian Civil Services was founded.

Charter Act, 1853

·    Separated legislative & executive functions of Governor General?s Council.

·    Open competition for Indian Civil Services.

·    Patronage of the directors of the company ends.

Government of India, Act ,1858

·    Act Known as the Act for the Good Government of India.

·    Company rule was replaced by British crown.

·    Secretary of state for India was appointed to exercise the power of the Crown. He was a members of British cabinet, responsible to it and was assisted by Council of India with 15 members.

·    Governor General became the agent of the crown and now known as Viceroy of India.

·    Lord Canning became the first Viceroy of India.

Indian Councils Act, 1861

·    Parliamentary system started in India.

·    Indians became non-official members of the legislature.

·    Started decentralization of power.

·    Recognition to the ?Portfolio? system, was introduced by Lord Canning in 1859.

Indian Councils Act, 1892

·    Introduced indirect elections. Governor General could nominate members.

·    Functions of Legislative Council Expanded to discuss the budget and ask questions to the executive.

Indian Councils Act, 1909 (Morley-Minto Reforms. Lord Morley was then the sectary of state for India and Lord Minto was then the victory of India).

·    Central Legislative Council became imperial Legislative Council with officials forming the majority.

·    Provincial legislative councils had a majority of non-official members.

·    Satyendra Prasad Sinha became the first Indian to join the Viceroy?s Executive Council.

·    Introduced communal representation for Muslims with a separate electorate system. Legalized communalism. Lord Minto created a communal electorate.

Government of India Act, 1919/ Montague-Chelmsford Reforms. Montague was the secretary of state for India and Lord Chelmeford was the viceroy of India.

·    Separated central subjects from provincial subjects.

·    Provincial subjects were transferred and reserved.

·    Transferred subjects were administered by governor with the help of ministers who were responsible to the legislature.

·    Reserved subjects were administered by governor and Executive Council who were not responsible to the legislature.

·    Dyarchy/Dual system of government was introduced.

·    Bicameral legislature with upper and lower houses were formed with direct elections.

·    Majority of members in both houses were directly elected.

·    3 of the 6 members of governor-general?s council had to be Indians.

Government of India Act, 1935

·    Established All India federation of provinces & princely states as constituent units.

·    It provided for the establishment of Reserve Bank of India, Federal Court, Public Service Commission, Provincial Public Service Commission & Joint Public Service Commission for two or more Provinces.

·    Federal, provincial and concurrent were lists introduced.

·    Abolished diarchy in provinces which now had provincial autonomy.

·    Introduced diarchy at the centre and bicameralism in the provinces.

·    Introduced responsible governments in provinces. 

The August Offer, 1940

·    Expansion of the Governor-General?s Executive Council to include more Indians.

·    Establishment of an Advisory War Council.

Cripps Proposals, 1942

·    Provision made up for participation of Indian States in the Constitution making body.

·    The leaders of the principal sections of the Indian people were invited to take active and effective participation in the councils of their country.

C.R. Formula, 1944

·    C.R. Raja Gopalchari presented the ?C.R. Formula? by which the Muslim League would support the Congress demand for complete freedom.

Wavell Plan, 1945

·    Under this plan, India was to be granted Dominion status in the near future.

Lord Attlee?s Announcement, March1946

·    There should be a Union of India, embracing both British India and the states which should deal with foreign affairs.

·    To set up Interim Government.

·    A Constituent Assembly should be set up to draw up the future Constitution of the country.

Indian Independence Act, 1947

·    Declared India as independent & sovereign state.

·    Established responsible government at the Center & provinces.

·    Designated Governor General of India & Provincial Governors as Constitutional heads or nominal heads.

·    Lord Mountbatten became the first Governor General of free India. The first & last Indian Governor General was C. Rajagopalachari.







Interim Government (1946)


S. No.


Portfolios Held


Pt. Jawaharalal Nehru

External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations


Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Home, Information and Broadcasting


Dr Rajendra Prasad

Food and Agriculture


Dr John Mathai

Industries and supplies


Jagjivan Ram



Sardar Baldev Singh



CH Bhabha

Works, Mines and Power


Liaquate Ali Khan



Abdur Rab Nishtar

Posts and Air


Asaf Ali

Railways and Transport


C Rajagopalachari

Education and Arts


II Chundrigar



Ghaznafar Ali Khan



Joginder Nath Mandal



First Cabinet of free India (1947)


S. No.


Portfolios Held


Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru

Prime Minister, External Affairs and Commonwealth Relation, Scientific Research


Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Home, Information and Broadcasting; States


Dr. Rajendra Prasad

Food and Agriculture


Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad



Dr. John Mathai

Railways and Transport


Jagjivan Ram



Rk Shanmugham Chetty



Dr. BR Ambedkar



Sardar Baldev Singh



Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur



C.H. Bhabha



Rafi Ahmed Kidwai



Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherji

Industries and Supplies


V.N. Gadhil

Works, Mines and Power






Sources of Indian Constitution

India constitution has borrowed its provisions from following sources.



Provisions Borrowed

Government of India Act, 1935

·     Federal scheme.

·     Declaration of emergency powers.

·     Ordinance defining the power of the President and Governors.

·     Office of the Governors.

·     Power of federal judiciary.

·     Administration at the Centre state level.

United Kingdom

·     Parliamentary system.

·     Bicameral parliament.

·     Prime minister.

·     Council of ministers.

·     Single citizenship.

·     Office of CAG.

·     Write jurisdiction of courts.

·     Rule of law.


·     Written Communication

·     Fundamental rights.

·     Supreme Court.

·     President as executive head of the state.

·     Impeachment of the president, removal of SC and HC judges.

·     Vice President as chairman of Rajya Sabha.

·     Judicial review, independence of judiciary.


·     Concurrent list.

·     Cooperative federalism.

·     Joint sitting of two houses of parliament.


·     Fundamental duties

Weimer Constitution of Germany

·     Suspension of fundamental rights during emergency.

·     Ballot system.


·     Federal system.

·     Residuary powers.

·     Appointment of Governor.

·     Advisory jurisdiction of  SC.

South Africa

·     Procedure of constitutional amendment.

·     Electing member to Rajya Sabha.


·     Concept of directive principles of state policy.

·     Nomination of members to Rajya Sabha by the president.

·     Presidential election.





  • The idea of Constituent Assembly for making the Constitution was first mooted by M. N. Roy in 1934. Indian National Congress (INC) officially demanded the formation of Constituent Assembly in 1935. The demand was accepted, in principle, for a Constituent Assembly in August offer of 1940.
  • Under the Cabinet Mission Plan, 1946 a Constituent Assembly was constituted in Nov. 1946 for framing the Indian Constitution.
  • Out of 389 members, 296 were indirectly elected from British India and 93 were nominated by princely states. The Constituent Assembly had both nominated and elected members. The elected members were indirectly elected by members of the provincial assemblies.
  • First meeting of Constituent Assembly was held on Dec 9, 1946.
  • Muslim League boycotted the Constituent Assembly.
  • Sachidanand Sinha, the senior most member of the assembly, was elected as the temporary president of the assembly.
  • Rajendra Prasad was elected as the permanent president of the Assembly.
  • Sir B. N. Rau was appointed as the legal advisor to the Assembly.
  • An Objective Resolution' was moved by Jawaharlal Nehru on Dec. 13, 1946, which later became the Preamble to the Constitution.
  • On the 26th November, 1949 the Constitution was declared as passed after the President of the Assembly signed the document. Thus on 26th November, 1949 the Constitution of India was adopted. The commencement of the Constitution occurred on 26th Jan. 1950.
  • Provisions relating to citizenship, elections, provisional parliament, and temporary provisions became effective from 26th November, 1949.
  • On January 24, 1950 the Constituent Assembly held its final session. It had continued as a provisional parliament from 26 January, 1950 till the formation of new parliament in May, 1952.
  • First 'Draft Constitution of India' was published in Feb, 1948. It was prepared by Sir B. N. Rau, Constitutional Advisor to the Constituent Assembly.
  • B. R. Ambedkar is considered the father of the Indian Constitution.
  • The Constituent Assembly took almost 3 years (2 years, 11 months & 18 days) to draft the Constitution for Independent India.
  • It held 11 sessions covering a total of 165 days.


Objective resolution

On January 22, 1947, the Constituent Assembly adopted Objective Resolution proposed by Jawahar Lal Nehru. The Objectives Resolution contained the fundamental propositions of the Constitution and set forth the political ideas that should guide its deliberations.

The main principles of the resolution were:

(i)   India is an Independent, Sovereign, Republic;

(ii) India shall be a Union of erstwhile. British Indian territories, Indian states and the parts outside British India and Indian states as are willing to be a part of the Union.

(iii) Territories forming the Union shall be autonomous units and exercise all powers except those assigned to or vested in the Union.

(iv) All powers and authority of sovereign and independent India and its Constitution shall flow from the people.

(v) All people of India shall be guaranteed and secured social, economic and political justice; equality of status and opportunities before law; and fundamental freedoms of talk, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action - subject to law and public morality.

(vi) The minorities, backward and tribal areas, depressed and other backward classes shall be provided adequate safe guards.

(vii) The territorial integrity of the republic and its sovereign rights on land, sea and air shall be maintained according to justice and law of civilized nations.

(viii) The land would make full and willing contribution of the promotion of world peace and welfare of mankind.




(i) Bulkiest Constitution of the World

Indian Constitution is the one of longest Constitution in the world. Originally it contained 395 Articles, 22 Parts and 8 Schedules. After amendments till date, there are more than 447 Articles, 24 Parts and 12 Schedules.


(ii) Combination of Rigidity and Flexibility

The Indian Constitution is a combination of rigidity and flexibility. While some provisions of the Constitution can be amended by the Parliament by a simple majority, others require a two-third majority of the members of the parliament as well as ratification of not less than one-half of the state legislatures (Article 368). Again, some provisions of the Constitution can be amended by the parliament alone by a two-third majority.


(iii) Parliamentary System of Government

The Constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government under which the real executive power rests with the Council of Ministers and the President is only a nominal head. The Council of Ministers stay in office as long as they enjoy the confidence of the Parliament. The framers of the Constitution decided to adopt a parliamentary system of government for several reasons. Firstly, the system was already in existence in India and people were well acquainted with its working. Secondly, the vast size of the country and the diversity of its culture necessitated the adoption of a parliamentary form of government.

Thirdly, the desire to avoid conflicts between the Executive and the Legislature, which was a common features in America, also induced the members of the Constituent Assembly to opt for a parliamentary system.

Federal System with a Unitary Bias

The Indian Constitution provides for a federation with a strong centre. It is noteworthy that the Constitution has not used the word 'federation', anywhere, and has described India as a 'Union of States' which implies that the Indian federation is not the result of any agreement among the units and the units cannot secede from it. India possesses most of the federal features but also several of the unitary features. The Indian federal structure acquires a unitary character during emergency, when the normal distribution of powers between the centre and the states undergoes vital changes.

Therefore, it is said by KC Wheare that India has a quasi-federal set up.

Morris Jonnes called it as Bargaining Federalism & Granville Austine called it as Cooperative Federalism.

  • India is a distinct federation with following characteristics:
  • Division of power.
    • Bicameral legislature.
    • Supremacy of the constitution.
    • Written constitution.
    • Independency of Judiciary.
  • Constitution has a unitary bias with:
  • Appointment of Governors by the centre.
  • Parliament's power to legislate in national interest.
  • Parliament's power to form new states, change their names and alter boundaries of existing states.
  • Emergency provisions.
  • Single constitution.
  • Single citizenship.
  • Integrated judiciary.
  • Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • Fundamental Rights

The Constitution contains an elaborate list of Fundamental Rights. The state cannot make laws which take away or abridge any of the fundamental rights of the citizens. If it does so, the courts can declare such a law as unconstitutional. It may be noted that the fundamental rights granted by the Constitution are not absolute and are subject to certain restrictions. In other words, the Constitution seeks to strike a balance between individual liberty and social interests.

  • Fundamental Duties

The constitution also contains a list of 11 fundamental duties of the citizens. While ten of these duties were added to the Constitution by the Forty Second Amendment in 7976, the eleventh duty was added by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act (2002). These duties serve as constant reminders to the citizens that they have to observe certain basic norms of democratic conduct.

  • Directive Principles of State Policy

The Constitution outlines certain Directive Principles of State Policy which the government has to keep in mind while formulating any policy. These principles seek to provide social and economic basis for democracy and the establishment of a welfare state. Unlike the Fundamental Rights, the Directive Principles of State Policy are non-justiciable, which implies that no action can be brought against the State before a court of law for its failure of implementing the Directive Principles of States policy.

  • Secular State

The Constitution makes India a secular state. This means that there is no state religion and the state is completely detached from religious dogmas. It also implies that citizens are free to profess, practise and propagate any religion. However, freedom of religion is not absolute and the same can be regulated in the interest of the public.

  • Independent & Integrated Judiciary

The Constitution provides an independent judiciary which ensures that the government is carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Judiciary acts as the guardian of the liberties and fundamental rights of the citizens. It also determines the limits of the powers of the

centre and the states.

The Constitution provides a single integrated judiciary with the Supreme Court at the top. Below the Supreme Court, there are high Courts at the state level. Under the High Court, there are Subordinate courts.

  • People as Source of Authority

The Constitution draws its authority from the people and has been promulgated in the name of the people. This is evident from the Preamble which states 'We, the people of India... do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this Constitution.'

  • Universal Adult Franchise

The Constitution introduces universal adult franchise and accords the right to vote to all citizens above 18 years of age without discrimination. However, it makes reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to provide them adequate representation.

  • Emergency Powers

The Constitution vests extraordinary powers in the President during emergencies arising out of armed rebellion or external aggression; emergency due to the breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state; and financial emergency when the credit of the country is threatened. In fact, during emergency the federal Constitution can virtually be converted into a unitary Constitution.

  • Single Citizenship

It provides single citizenship. All persons residing in different parts of the country are treated as Indian citizens and are entitled to the same rights of citizenship. There is no separate citizenship of different states.

  • Bicameral Legislature

It provides a bicameral legislature at the Centre consisting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The former contains representative of the people, while the latter contains representatives of the states.

  • Special Provision of Minorities

The Constitution makes special provision for minorities, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, etc. It not only reserves seats for them in the Parliament and State legislatures, but also grants them certain special rights and privileges.

  • Panchayati Raj

The Constitution provides constitutional basis to Panchayati Raj institutions as well as urban local bodies. This was achieved through the seventy-third and seventy-fourth amendments to the Constitution carried out in December 1992.

  • Strike Balance between Constitutional Supremacy and Parliamentary Sovereignty

The Indian Constitution combines two seemingly contradictory principles of supremacy of constitution, (as obtains in USA), and Parliamentary sovereignty (as obtains in Britain). The Supreme Court through its power of judicial review can declare the laws passed by the Parliament as unconstitutional. On the other hand, the Parliament can amend major portions of the Constitution.

  • Basic Structure

Certain features of the Constitution are beyond the amending powers of the Parliament. All laws and constitutional amendments which transgress the basic structure are liable to be struck down. Some of the major features of the basic structure include; supremacy of the Constitution, republican form of government, secularism, federal character, sovereignty of the country, parliamentary democracy, fundamental rights, directive principles etc. In Kesavananda Bharati Vs State of Kerala case 1973, Supreme Court propounded the Doctrine of Basic Structure of the Constitution.



Schedules in Constitution of India


Subject Matter

Articles Covered

First Schedule

1. Names of the states and their territorial jurisdiction

2. Names of the Union Territories and their extent.

1 and 4

Second Schedule

Provisions relating to the emoluments, allowances, privileges and so on:

59, 65, 75, 97, 125, 148, 158, 164, 186 & 221


1. The President of India

2. The Governors of States

3. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha

4. The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha

5. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the states

6. The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council in the states

7. The Judges of the Supreme Court

8. The Judges of the High Courts

9. The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India


Third Schedule

Forms of Oaths of Affirmations for:

75, 84, 99, 124, 146, 173, 188 and 219


1. The Union ministers



2. The candidates for election to the Parliament



3. The members of Parliament



4. The judges of the Supreme Court



5. The comptroller and Auditor-General of India



6. The state ministers



7. The candidates for election to the state legislature



8. The members of the state legislature



9. The judges of the High Courts


Fourth Schedule

Allocation of seats in the Rajya Sabha to the states and the union territories

4 and 80

Fifth Schedule

Provisions relating to the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes


Sixth Schedule

Provisions relating to the administration of tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

244 and 275

Seventh Schedule

Divisions of powers between the Union and the states in terms of List I (Union List), List II (State List) and List III (Concurrent List). Presently, the Union List Contains 100 subjects (originally 97), the state list contains 61 subjects (originally66) and the concurrent list contains 52 subjects (originally 47).


Eighth Schedule

Languages recognized by the Constitution.

Originally, it had 14 languages but presently there are 22 Languages. They are: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri (Dongri), Gujrati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, mathili (Mithili), Malyalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrati, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Sindhi was added by the 21st Amendment Act of 1967; Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added by the 92nd Amendment Act of 2003.

344 and 351

Ninth Schedule

Acts and Regulations (originally 13 but presently \[282{{)}^{19}}\]of the state legislatures dealing with land reforms and abolition of the Zamindari system and of the parliament dealing with other matters. This schedule was added by the 1st Amendment (1951) to protect the laws included in it from judicial scrutiny on the ground of violation of fundamental rights. However, on 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the laws included in this schedule after April24, 1973, are now open to judicial review.


Tenth Schedule

Provisions relating to disqualification of the members of parliament and State Legislatures on the ground of defection. This schedule was added by the 52nd Ammendment Act of 1985, also known as Anti-defection Law.

102 and 191

Eleventh Schedule

Specifies the powers, authority and responsibilities of panchayats. It has 29 matters. This schedule was added by the 73rd Ammendment Act of 1992.


Twelfth Schdule

Specifies the powers, authority and responsibilities of Municipalities. It has 18 matters. This schedule was added by the 74th Amendment Act of 1992.





The term Preamble refers to the introduction or preface to the Constitution.

The Preamble is not enforceable in a court of law and, generally, not considered a part of the Constitution, it provides a key to the understanding and interpretation of the Constitution, it has, therefore, been described as the soul of the Constitution. In cases of doubt the Supreme Court has referred to the Preamble to elucidate vague aspects of the Constitution.

The Constitution of India is preceded by a Preamble which (i) indicates the source from which it derives authority; and

(ii) state the objective which the constitution seeks to achieve.

It has been amended by the 42nd Amendment Act 1976 which added 3 new words- Socialist, Secular & Integrity.

‘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:

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 integrity and integrity of the nation.

In our Constituent Assembly this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949 we do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this Constitution.

The word sovereign means that India is both internally as well as externally free and is not dependent upon any outside authority. The term 'socialist' in the Preamble (inserted by the 42nd Amendment) refers to elimination of inequality in income and status and standards of living. Secularism implies that the state is only concerned with relations between various citizens and is not concerned with relations of man with God. Further, it means that the state has no religion of its own. The term Democratic implies that the government draws its authority from the people. The rulers are elected by the people and are accountable to them. The word republic implies that the head of the state in India shall be an elected person and shall hold office for a fixed term. The President of India is the chief executive head of India.



The preamble speaks of social, economic, said political justice. Social justice implies that discrimination on the basis of caste, race, sex or religion should cease.

Economic justice implies that the gap between the rich and the poor is bridged, and that exploitation ceases.

Political justice implies that all citizens should have equal opportunity to participate in the political system.



Derived from latin word 'liber' means freedom. Certain minimal rights must be enjoyed by every person in a community for a free and civilised existence.



All citizens are equal before law and enjoy equal protection of the laws of the land.



Fraternity means a sense of brotherhood. Fraternity is also sought to be promoted by ensuring equal rights to all. Fraternity is not possible unless the dignity of each individual is presented and respected.


The Union and its Territory

Part 1 of the Constitution comprises four Articles concerned with the territory of India. Article 1 stipulates that India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States. The states and territories of India are to be specified in the First Schedule. It is to be noted that the expression, 'Union of India', is not synonymous with 'the territory of India'; the 'Union' includes only the States which are members of the federal system and share a distribution of powers with the Union while the 'territory of India' includes the entire area over which the sovereignty of India extends.

The makers of the Indian Constitution, gave the Union Parliament the power to reorganize the States by a simple procedure. In the original Constitution there were four categories of States and Territories. But since the Seventh Amendment Act, 1956, all the States (except for Jammu and Kashmir) belong to one class and all the constitutional provisions relating to States apply to all of them in the same manner. As for the administration of the certain Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas within the States, the provisions are specially listed in the Fifth and Sixth Schedules. The Union Territories are centrally administered according to provisions contained in Part VII of the Constitution. They are governed by the President through an administrator appointed by him. At present, there are 29 states & 7 Union Territories.


Reorganisation of States

Article 2 empowers Parliament to admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit. By Article 3, Parliament has the power by law to form a new State from the territory of any State or by uniting two or more States, increase or decrease the area of any State, or alter the boundaries or the name of any State. The only conditions laid down for the making of such a law are that

(i) such a Bill must be introduced only on the recommendation of the President, and

(ii) before recommending the Bill, the President is to refer it to the concerned State Legislature which would express its views within a specified period. The President is not, however, bound by the views of the State Legislature. However, in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, the consent of the State Legislature is required before a Bill on such alterations is introduced in Parliament. A simple majority and ordinary legislative procedure is enough for Parliament to form new States or alter existing State boundaries. Thus the will of the Union Executive and Legislature prevails in matters of altering x redistributing the territories of the units of the federation.


States Reorganisation Act

The Government appointed a commission under S.K. Dhar to examine the feasibility of reorganisation of States on a linguistic basis. The S.K. Dhar Commission preferred reorganization for administrative convenience rather than on a linguistic basis.

The Dhar Commission's report created much resentment ax led to the appointment of another Linguistic Provinces Committee in December 1948 to examine the Linguistic basis of states reorganisation. This Committee consisted of J.L. Nehru. Vallabhbai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya and hence was popularly known as JVP Committee. However, in 1953, the first linguistic State came into being was Andhra Pradesh, created by separating the Telugu speaking areas from the State of Madras. This compelled he Govt. of India appoint a 3 member States Reorganization Commission in 1953 took into the question of redrawing of the boundaries of states. This commission was chaired by Fazal Ali.


Territory of Indian States


Andhra Pradesh




Arunachal Pradesh




























Himachal Pradesh


Tamil Nadu


Jammu Kashmir














Uttar Pradesh


Madhya Pradesh


West Bengal






Union Territories

1. Andaman & Nicobar Islands

2. Chandigarh

3. Dadra and Nagar Haveli

4. Daman and Diu

5. Delhi (National Capital Territory)

6. Lakshadweep

7. Puducherry




Formation of states after 1950s

Andhra Pradesh

Formed by the State of Andhra Pradesh Act, 1953 by carving out some areas from the State of Madras.


Formed by the State Reorganization Act, 1956. It comprised Travancore and Cochin areas.


Formed from the princely state of Mysore by the state Reorganization Act, 1956, It was renamed Karnataka is 1973 from Mysore.

Gujarat and Maharashtra

The State of Bombay was divided into two Maharashtra states namely, Maharashtra and Gujarat by the Bombay (Reorganization) Act, 1960.


State of Nagaland Act, 1962 created the State of Nagaland, which was carved out of Assam (now Asom).


It was carved out from the State of Punjab by the Punjab (Reorganization) Act, 1966.

Himachal Pradesh

State of Himachal Pradesh Act, 1970 elevated the Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh to the status of state.


First carved out as a sub-state within the State of Assam by 23rd Constitutional Amendment, 1969. Later, in 1971, it received the status of full-fledged State by the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Act, 1971.

Manipur and Tripura

Both these states were elevated from the status of Union Territories by the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Act, 1971.  


 Sikkim was given first the status of associate state by the 35th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1974. 36th Amendment Act, 975, uplifted its status to full state in 1975. From 947 to 1974, Sikkim was a protectorate of India, with India being responsible for its defense, external affairs and communications.    


It was uplifted to the status of a full state by the State of Mizoram Act, 1986.

Arunachal Pradesh

It received the status of a full state by the State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986.


It was separated from the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu and was made a full- fledged state by the Goa, Daman and Diu Reorganization Act, 1987. But, Daman and Diu remained as Union Territory till date.


Chhattisgarh Created, as 26th State of India, in 2000, by dividing Madhya Pradesh on 1st November, 2000. 


Earlier known as Uttaranchal, it was formed in 2000 by dividing Uttar Pradesh on 9th November, 2000. In January 2007, the name of the state was officially changed from Uttaranchal to Uttrakhand. It is 27th state of the Union of India    


Created as 28th State, in 2000, by dividing Bihar on 15th November, 2000.


Created as 29th State on 2nd June, 2014. It was separated from Andhra Pradesh with Hyderabad as the capital of both state for the period of 10 years.

On the recommendation of Shri Krishna Committee Report, the new State Telangana is carved out from Andhra Pradesh.



Part II of Constitution (Articles 5-11) contains provisions relating to citizenship of India. In brief:

Article 5 - citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution.

Article 6 - rights of citizenship of certain persons who have migrated to India from Pakistan.

Article 7- rights of citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan.

Article 8 - right of citizenship of certain persons of India origin residing outside India.

Article 9 - Persons voluntarily acquiring citizenship of a foreign state not be citizens.

Article 10 - continuance of the rights of citizenship.

Article 11 - parliament to regulate the right of citizenship by law.

  • The Constitution of India provides for single citizenship. All persons residing in different parts of the country enjoy Indian citizenship (Article 5). There is no separate citizenship of states. According to the Constitution, the following three categories of persons are entitled to citizenship:
  1. Person domiciled in India,
  2. Refugees who migrated to India from Pakistan,
  3. Indians living in other countries.
  • Domiciled persons include those with permanent homes in India, persons born in India, persons either of whose parents was some in Indian Territory, and persons ordinarily residing in India for at least five years before the commencement of the Constitution, provided they had not voluntarily acquired the citizenship of some foreign country.


Acquisition and Termination of Citizenship

Rules regarding acquisition and termination of Indian citizenship have been laid down in the Citizenship Act of 1955. A person can acquire citizenship of India in five ways.


  1. Citizenship by Birth

A person born in India on or after January 1950 is treated as citizen of India by birth.


  1. Citizenship by Descent

A person who was residing outside India on or after 26 January 1950 is treated as a citizen of India by descent if his father was citizen of India at the time of his birth.


  1. Citizenship by Registration

The following categories of persons can be registered as citizens of India on application by the prescribed authority:

(a)  Persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in India for five years before filing of application for registration.

(b) Persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in any country or place outside India.

(c) Women who are married to citizens of India.

(d) Minor' children of persons who are citizens of India.

(e)  Persons of full age and capacity who are citizens of Commonwealth countries or the Republic of Ireland.


  1. Citizenship by Naturalisation

A person can acquire citizenship of India through naturalisation if he (a) belongs to a country where the citizens of India are allowed to become subjects or citizens of that country by naturalisation;

(b) renounces the citizenship of his country and intimates the renunciation to the government of India;

(c) has been residing in India or serving the government for 12 months before the date of making application for naturalisation;

(d) possesses a good character;

(e) possesses workable knowledge of an Indian language;

(f) intends to reside in India or to serve under the Government of India after naturalisation. However, the Government of India can waive any or all of the above conditions in case of a person who has rendered distinguished service in the cause of philosophy, science, art, literature, world peace and the like.


  1. By Incorporation of Territory

If any new territory is added to India, the Government of India can specify the persons of the territory who shall be citizens of India by reasons of their connection with that territory.


Citizenship can be terminated in three ways

(a) A citizen may voluntarily renounce his citizenship by making necessary declaration to this effect in the prescribed form. Usually citizenship is renounced by a citizen who wants to become the national to another country.

(b) The citizenship can be terminated if a person voluntarily acquires the citizenship of any other country by naturalisation, registration or otherwise.

(c) The Central Government can deprive a naturalised citizen of his citizenship, if it is satisfied that the citizenship was acquired by fraud, false representation or concealment of material facts; or if the person shows disloyalty towards the Indian Constitution or indulges in trade with enemy countries during war; or if the person has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of two years or more within five years of his registration of naturalisation or if he has been continuously residing out of India for more than seven years.


Amendment of Citizenship Act

In 1986, the Citizenship Act was amended and acquisition of citizenship by persons coming to India as refugees from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries was made difficult. It provided that persons born in India

(a)  on or after January 26, 1950 but prior to 26 November 1986, (b) on or after the commencement of the Amending Act, 1986, shall be citizens of India by right only if either of their parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth. It increased the period for acquisition of citizenship through registration from six months to five years.

In December 2003 the Citizenship Act 1955 was amended to facilitate the re-acquisition of the Indian citizenship by persons of full age who are children of Indian citizens and former Indian citizens. However, the Act made the acquisition of Indian citizenship and naturalisation more stringent to prevent illegal migrants from becoming eligible for Indian citizenship.

Recently Adan Sami, A Pakistani singer, who has been staying in India since 2001, will be given Indian citizenship under Section 6 of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955. The provision allows citizenship, through a Certificate of "naturalisation", to applicants with distinguished contribution in the field of science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace or human progress.


Commonwealth Citizenship

Every person who is a citizen of a Commonwealth country, by virtue of that citizenship enjoys the status of Commonwealth citizenship in India. The Indian Citizenship   Act 1955 empowers the Central Government to make provisions on the basis of reciprocity for the enforcement of all or any of the rights of a citizen of India on the citizens of U.K. Australia, Canada, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), New Zealand, Pakistan, and other Commonwealth countries.


Single Citizenship

Another notable feature of the Indian citizenship is that the Constitution recognizes only one citizenship, viz. that of India. There is no separate state citizenship as in other federal countries. This implies that every citizen has same rights, privileges and immunities, no matter in which state he resides.

Dual Citizenship for People of India Origin (PIOs)

  • In December 2003 a new law was passed which permits the people of Indian origin residing in 16 countries, viz. Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Cyprus, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and United States, to have dual citizenship status. This will enable them to participate in the economic activities and acquire real estate.
  • As of January, 2006, the Indian government has introduced the "Overseas Citizenship of India" (OCI) so as to allow a limited form of dual citizenship. A citizenship (Amendment) ordinance 2005, was promulgated in June 2005 and an Act was passed in August 2005. The amended Act enables the central government to register, as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), any person of full age and capacity.
  • Who is a citizen of another country now, but was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after the commencement of the Constitution of India on 26th January 1950.
  • Who is a citizen of another country, but was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of common cement of the Constitution.
  • Who is a citizen of another country, but belonged to a territory that became a part of India after the 15th of August 1947.


  • Who is child or a grandchild of such a citizen; or a minor child of a person mentioned in all the above. No person who is or has been citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh shall be eligible to be registered as an OCI.


Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD)


It is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian Community in the development of India. 9th January, was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion, since community to engage with the government and people of the It was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India's freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.

PBD conventions are being held every year, since 2003. These conventions provide a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutual beneficial activities.

The decision to celebrate the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was taken in accordance with recommendations of the High level Committee (HLC) on the Indian Diaspora set-up by Government of India under the Chairmanship of Dr. LM Singhvi.




Political system is a social institution dealing with the governance of a state and its relationship with the people. The form, structure, functions and organs of government are usually related to the type of the political system adopted and the nature of the distribution of powers among the units of Government and organs of the state.




Forms of Government


Notes - Constitutional Framework and Citizenship

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