NCERT Class 8 Political Science Chapter 1: The Indian Constitution YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 8 Political Science Chapter 1: The Indian Constitution


  • Rules are formed in the country
  • In modern nations available as written form – known as Constitution
Rules Are Formed in the Country

Why a Need for Constitution?

  • 1934: Demand for constituent assembly
  • Gained momentum in Dec 1946
  • B/w Dec 1946 & Nov 1949: Constituent Assembly was drafted

All Democratic nations have constitution

Not all nations with constitution are democratic

  • Ideals of nation where we plan to live
  • Explains fundamental nature of society
  • Set of rules and principles agreed by all people
  • Explain nature of a country՚s political system
  • Lays rules to guard against misuse of power
  • Guarantees right to equality
  • Check if dominant group is not using power against less dominant group
  • Protect minorities and their rights – check one community dominating another, i.e.. , inter-community domination, or members of one community dominating others within the same community, i.e.. , intra-community domination
  • Protect us from taking decisions that could adversely affect the society as a whole

Case Study: Nepal

  • Till recent Nepal was a monarchy
  • Previous Constitution of Nepal adopted in 1990 - reflected that the final authority rested with King
  • People՚s movement in Nepal fought for several decades to establish democracy
  • In 2006: Succeeded & power of kind was ended
  • Write new constitution to establish Nepal as a democracy
  • Change from monarchy to democracy (we choose leaders so that they exercise power on our behalf)

Key Features of Indian Constitution

  • Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Father of the Indian Constitution, he urged SC to join government jobs
  • Start of 20th Century: Indian National Movement started
  • Time spent to plan and imagine what free India would be like
  • Everyone to be treated equally and allowed to participate in governance
  • Done by group of 300 people – in period of 3 years
  • Bring together different communities, different languages, different religions, and cultures
  • Accompanied by partition of India, few indecisive princely states & poor socio-economic states of people
  • Document that reflects respect for maintaining diversity while preserving national unity

Pillars of Indian Constitution

  • Federalism: More than one level of government – local, state and center. While each state enjoys autonomy in terms of powers, subjects of national concern require that all states follow central government laws. Also state as agent of central government
  • Parliamentary Form of Government: Guarantees universal adult suffrage for all citizens, people have role in electing representatives. Encourage democracy and break clutches of caste, class, and gender
  • Separation of Powers: Each organ performs different functions and check another organ maintaining a balance between them. Executive (implement laws and run government) , judiciary (system of courts) and legislative (elected representatives)
  • Fundamental Rights: Referred as ‘conscience’ of Indian Constitution, guard against misuse of state powers, protect citizen against arbitrary and absolute power. Every citizen must claim it and must bind on every authority that has got power to make laws (Directive Principles of State Policy: Section was designed to ensure greater social and economic reform)
  • Secularism: Officially does not promote any one religion

Part III: Fundamental Rights

Right to Equality

  • Article 14: Equality before law
  • Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth
  • Article 16: Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
  • Article 17: Abolition of Untouchability
  • Article 18: Abolition of titles

Right to Freedom

  • Article 19: Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc.
  • Article 20: Protection in respect of conviction for offences
  • Article 21: Protection of life and personal liberty (right to privacy)
  • Article 21A: Right to education
  • Article 22: Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases

Right Against Exploitation

  • Article 23: Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labor
  • Article 24: Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc.

Right to Freedom of Religion

  • Article 25: Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion
  • Article 26: Freedom to manage religious affairs
  • Article 27: Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any religion
  • Article 28: Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions

Cultural and Educational Rights

  • Article 29: Protection of interests of minorities
  • Article 30: Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions

Saving of Certain Laws

  • Article 31A: Saving of laws providing for acquisition of estates, etc.
  • Article 31B: Validation of certain Acts and Regulations
  • Article 31C: Saving of laws giving effect to certain directive principles

Right to Constitutional Remedies

  • Article 32: Remedies for enforcement of rights conferred by this Part
  • Article 33: Power of Parliament to modify the rights conferred by this Part in their application to Forces, etc.
  • Article 34: Restriction on rights conferred by this Part while martial law is in force in any area
  • Article 35: Legislation to give effect to the provisions of this Part

State Versus Government

  • Government: Administer and enforce laws and can change with elections
  • State: Political institution that represents sovereign people who occupy a definite territory like Indian State, Nepali State etc.
  • Government is one part of the State
  • State is more than government and cannot be used interchangeably

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