Indian Constitution: First amendment, and the last

Indian Parliament. (DH Photo)

The Constitution of India was first amended in 1951 for the welfare of scheduled castes, tribes and backward classes and its latest amendment was for providing 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections in educational institutions and in appointments.

These details were provided by a Rajya Sabha publication titled 'Rajya Sabha : The Journey since 1952' which has chronicled all the amendments. Their details were shared by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat in a statement.

The government is celebrating 'Constitution Day' or 'Samvidhan Diwas' on Tuesday in the Central Hall of Parliament to mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution by the Constituent Assembly.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the MPs on the occasion.

The first amendment of the Constitution in 1951 was to empower the state to undertake affirmative action for the advancement of any socially and economically backward classes or categories of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by restricting the application of fundamental rights.

The latest 103rd amendment passed in 2019 enabled 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections in educational institutions and in appointments.

Since the first Constitution amendment made by provisional parliament in 1951, when Rajya Sabha was not in existence, the Constitution has been amended 103 times so far, the Upper House Secretariat said.

Of these 103 amendments to the Constitution, the 99th amendment for setting up of a National Judicial Commission was held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, it noted.

A maximum of 32 amendments were related to the matters of states including reorganisation, transfer of territories, inclusion of some languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, etc.

Twelve amendments were aimed at extending reservation for SCs, STs and Anglo-Indians in Parliament and state legislatures, eight each related to reservations in educational institutions and employment, including in promotions. Another six amendments related to taxation including introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Since coming into being in 1952, Rajya Sabha has passed 107 constitution amendment bills out of which one was negatived by Lok Sabha while four have lapsed on its dissolution, the Upper House Secretariat said.

Accordingly, Rajya Sabha has been a party to 102 Constitution amendments. And the only Bill passed by the upper house in 1990 for proclamation of President's Rule in Punjab, was negatived by the lower house.

Lok Sabha has passed 106 constitution amendment bills. 

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