1-The Indian Constitution | Civics | NCERT | Class 8

The blog presents the important summary notes from the Chapter 1, Civics, Social Studies, NCERT Class 8. This can be used for school studies as well as for Competitive entrance exams and Olympiads.

1. Constitution :

In large societies in which different communities of people live together, rules are formulated through consensus. In modern countries this consensus is usually available in written form.
Thus, a written document in which we find such rules is called a Constitution.

2. While all democratic countries are likely to have a Constitution, it is not necessary that all countries that have a Constitution are democratic.

3. The Constitution serves several purposes:
• A Constitution tells us what the fundamental nature of our society is.
• A Constitution helps serve as a set of rules and principles that all persons in a country can agree upon as the basis of the way in
which they want the country to be governed.
• This includes not only the type of government but also an agreement on certain ideals that they all believe the country should uphold.

4. Nepal became a democracy after abolishing the monarchy in 2008.

5. The Indian Constitution guarantees the right to equality to all persons and says that no citizen can be discriminated against on grounds of religion, race, caste, gender, and place of birth.

6. A Constitution is precisely to prevent any tyranny or domination by the majority of a minority.

7. The significant reason why we need a Constitution is to save us from ourselves. We might at times feel strongly about an issue that might go against our larger interests and the Constitution helps us guard against this.

8. The Indian Constitution: Key Features

(a) Federalism:

• This refers to the existence of more than one level of government in the country.
• In India, we have governments at the state level and at the centre.
• While each state in India enjoys autonomy in exercising powers on certain issues, subjects of national concern require that all of these states follow the laws of the central government.
• The Constitution contains lists that detail the issues that each tier of government can make laws on.
• In addition, the Constitution also specifies where each tier of government can get the money from for the work that it does.
• Under federalism, the states are not merely agents of the federal government but draw their authority from the Constitution as well.
• All persons in India are governed by laws and policies made by each of these levels of government.

(b) Parliamentary Form of Government:

• Constitution of India guarantees universal adult suffrage for all citizens.
• This means that the people of India have a direct role in electing their representatives.
• Also, every citizen of the country, irrespective of his/her social background, can also contest in elections.
• These representatives are accountable to the people.

(c) Separation of Powers:

• According to the Constitution, there are three organs of government.
Legislature : refers to our elected representatives
Executive : a smaller group of people who are responsible for implementing laws and running the government
Judiciary : refers to the system of courts • In order to prevent the misuse of power by any one branch of government, the Constitution says that each of these organs included a number of provisions in the should exercise different powers.
• Each organ acts as a check on the other organs of government and this ensures the balance of power between all three.

(d) Fundamental Rights:

• The section on Fundamental Rights has often been referred to as the conscience of the Indian Constitution.
• Colonial rule had created a certain suspicion of the State in the minds of the nationalists and they wanted to ensure that
a set of written rights would guard against the misuse of State power in independent India.
Fundamental Rights, therefore, protect citizens against the arbitrary and absolute exercise of power by the State.
• The Constitution, thus, guarantees the rights of individuals against the State as well as against other individuals.
The Fundamental rights serves two main objectives:
– Every citizen must be in a position to claim those rights.
– These rights must be binding upon every authority that has got the power to make laws.

* Fundamental Rights :

i. Right to Equality
ii. Right to Freedom
iii. Right against Exploitation
iv. Right to Freedom of Religion
v. Cultural and Educational Rights
vi. Right to Constitutional Remedies

* Directive Principles of State Policy :

– In addition to Fundamental Rights, the Constitution also has a was section designed called Directive Principles of State Policy.
– This section ensure greater social and economic reforms, and to serve as a guide to the independent Indian State to institute laws and policies that help reduce the poverty of the masses.

(e) Secularism:

A secular state is one in which the state does not officially promote any one religion as the state religion.


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