Citizenship: Definition, Importance, Rights in India Political Science YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Citizenship: Definition, Importance, Rights in India | Political Science


  • A citizen is a member of a political community who enjoys the rights and assumes the duties of membership.
  • Citizenship, relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Citizenship implies the status of freedom with accompanying responsibilities.

Important of the Citizenship

  • Citizens have certain rights, duties, and responsibilities that are denied or only partially extended to aliens and other non-citizens residing in a country.
  • In general, full political rights, including the right to vote and to hold public office, are predicated upon citizenship. The usual responsibilities of citizenship are allegiance, taxation, and military service.
Important of the Citizenship

Citizenship in India

The Constitution of India provides for a single citizenship for the whole of India. Every person who was at the commencement of the Constitution (26 January 1950) domiciled in the territory of India, and (a) who was born in India, or (b) either of whose parents was born in India, or (c) who has been ordinarily resident in India for not less than five years, became a citizen of India. The Citizenship Act, 1955 deals with matters relating to acquisition, determination and termination of Indian citizenship after the commencement of the Constitution.

Rights Exclusive to Indian Citizens and Persons

  • The Fundamental Rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 20,21, 21 A, 22, 23, 24, 25,26, 27 and 28 are available to all persons whether citizens or foreigners.
  • The Fundamental Rights guaranteed by Articles 1 5, 16,19, 29, and 30 are available only to citizens of India.

Fundamental Rights Available Only to Citizens of India

  • 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 19 – Protection of six rights related to freedom – (a) of speech and expression; (b) to assemble peaceably and without arms; (c) to form associations or unions; (d) to move freely throughout the territory of India; (e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and (f) to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
  • Article 29 – Protection of language, script and culture of minorities.
  • Article 30 – Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

Fundamental Rights Available to Both Citizens and Foreigners Except Enemy Aliens

  • Article 14 – Equality before the law and equal protection of laws.
  • Article 20 – Protection in respect of conviction for offences.
  • Article 21 – Protection of life and personal liberty.
  • Article 21 A – Right to elementary education.
  • Article 22 – Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.
  • Article 23 – Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.
  • Article 24 – Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc.
  • Article 25 – Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
  • Article 26 – Freedom to manage religious affairs.
  • Article 27 – Freedom from payment of taxes for promotion of any religion.
  • Article 28 – Freedom from attending religious instruction or worship in certain educational institutions.

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