Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-29] Static Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

The idea of Constituent Assembly for India; Preamble; Fundamental Duties; Secular State; Enforcement of the Constitution; India as a ‘Union of States’; Article 1; Section 4 of the RTI Act; Government of India Act of 1858; Simon Commission; Pitt’s India Act of 1784;
By IASToppers
April 06, 2020

‘Pitt’s India Act of 1784’ introduced the system of double government in India. Right OR Wrong?

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Answer:

  • Right

Enrich Your Learning:

Pitt’s India Act of 1784:

The defect of the Regulating Act of 1773 and the urgency of the British Politics necessitated the passing of Pitt’s India Act in 1784.

Provisions/Features of the Act:

  • It distinguished between the commercial and political functions of the Company.
  • System of Double Government– It allowed the Court of Directors to manage the commercial affairs but created a new body called Board of Control to manage the political affairs.
  • It empowered the Board of Control to supervise and direct all operations of the civil and military government or revenues of the British possessions in India.
  • British Possessions in India– The Company’s territories in India were for the first time called the ‘British possessions in India’; 
  • The British Government was given the supreme control over Company’s affairsand its administration in India.
  • The political and economic functions of the East India Company were bifurcatedfrom each other.

The Constituent Assembly was formed under the scheme formulated by Mountbatten Plan. Right OR Wrong?

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Answer:

Wrong.

  • The Constituent Assembly was formed under the scheme formulated by Cabinet Mission Plan, 1946.

Enrich Your Learning:

The idea of Constituent Assembly for India

  • N. Roy,a pioneer of communist movement in India, was the first to give the idea of Constituent Assembly for India in 1934.
  • For the first time an official demand was made in 1935 by the Indian National Congress (INC) for a Constituent Assembly to frame the Constitution of India.
  • On behalf of INC, in 1938, Jawaharlal Nehru, stated that the Constitution of free India must be framed. This should be done without any outside intervention, by a Constituent Assembly elected on the base of adult franchise.
  • This was then taken up by the Congress party and the British government accepted the demand in 1940.

Background

  • The Constitution of India, after the partition of 1947, was drafted by the Constituent Assembly.
  • Elections were held for the first time for the Constituent Assembly under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946.
  • Members of Constituent Assembly were elected indirectly. By a single transferable-vote system of proportional representation,the members of the Constituent Assembly were elected by the provincial assemblies.
  • The total membership of the Constituent Assembly wasto be 389. Of these, 296 seats were to be allotted to British India and 93 seats to the Princely States. Out of 296 seats allotted to the British India, 292 members were to be drawn from the eleven governors’ provinces and four from the four chief commissioners’ provinces, one from each.
  • After partition, the Constituent Assembly of India had 299 representatives.
  • These included 229members from provinces and 70 from princely states.
  • There were total nine womenmembers also.

Were recommendations of the ‘Simon Commission’ accepted by the British government?

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Answer:

  • The recommendations of the committee were accepted and also included in the next Government of India Act 1935 by the British government.

Enrich Your Learning:

Simon Commission

  • It was a group of seven British Members of Parliamentunder the chairmanship of Sir John Simon.
  • It was constituted on November 1927 to review and report on the condition of India under its new Constitution after the enactment of Government of India Act 1909.
  • All the members of the commission were Britishand hence, all the parties (even the Muslim League) boycotted the commission. Indians saw it as a violation to their right of self-determination and insult to their self-respect.
  • The commission submitted its report in 1930 and recommended the following:
  1. Abolition of diarchy
  2. Extension of responsible government in the provinces
  3. Establishment of a federation of British India and princely states
  4. Continuation of communal electorate and so 
  • TheBritish Government convened three round table conferences of the representatives of the British Government, British India and Indian princely states to consider the proposals of the commission.
  • On the basis of these discussions, a ‘White Paper on Consitutional Reforms’ was prepared and submitted for the consideration of the Joint Select Committee of the British Parliament.
  • The recommendations of this committee were incorporated (with certain changes) in the Government of India Act of 1935.

Who decided to boycott the Simon Commission?

  • The Indian National Congress at its December 1927 meeting in Madras resolved to boycott the Commission.It challenged Lord Birkenhead, the then Secretary of State of India to draft a constitution that would be acceptable to the Indian populace.
  • A faction ofthe Muslim League led by Jinnah also decided to boycott the Commission.
  • Lala Lajpat Railed a protest in Lahore. He suffered a police beating during the protest, and died of his injuries on 17 November around 1928.

What changes were brought by the Government of India Act of 1858 in the policies of East India Company’s administration in India?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Government of India Act of 1858

This act was passed after the revolt of 1857 or as most commonly known as Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.

Features of the Act

  • East India company Abolished– This act abolished the East India Company and transferred the powers of government, territories and revenues to the British Crown. Thus, the act provided that India was to be governed by, and in the name of, Her Majesty (British Crown).
  • First Viceroy of India– The Governor-General of India designation was changed to that of Viceroy of India.  The Viceroy was the direct representative of the British Crown in India. Lord Canning thus became the first Viceroy of India.
  • System of double government ended– It ended the system of double government by abolishing the Board of Control and Court of Directors.
  • Secretary of State of India– the act created a new office of Secretary of State for India, which was vested with complete authority and control over Indian administration. The secretary of state was a member of the British cabinet and was responsible ultimately to the British Parliament.
  • 15-member council to assist secretary of state– A 15-member Council of India was created by the act to assist the secretary of state for India. The council was an advisory body. The secretary of state was made the chairman of the council.
  • It constituted the secretary of state-in-council as a body corporate, capable of suing and being sued in India and in England.

Which duties of every public authority are listed under the ‘Section 4’ of the Right to Information Act?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Section 4 of the RTI Act

  • Section 4 of the RTI Act calls for pro-active and voluntary dissemination of information.
  • Section 4 was a commitment and promise of Parliament to ensure that “It shall be a constant endeavour of every public authority to take steps in accordance with the requirements of clause (b) of sub-section (1) to provide as much information suo motu to the public at regular intervals through various means of communications, including internet, so that the public have minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information.
  • Every public authority shall maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexedin a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under this Act.
  • Every information shall be disseminated widelyand in such form and manner which is easily accessible to the public.

According to B R Ambedkar, which was/were the reason/s for describing India as a ‘Union of States’?

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Answer:

  • According to Dr B R Ambedkar, the phrase ‘Union of States’ has been preferred to ‘Federation of States’ for two reasons: one, the Indian Federation is not the result of an agreement among the states like the American Federation; and two, the states have no right to secede from the federation.

Enrich Your Learning:

Article 1

  • Article 1 describes India, that is, Bharat as a ‘Union of States’rather than a ‘Federation of States’.
  • This provision deals with two things: one, name of the country, and two, type of polity.
  • The federation is a Union because it is indestructible. The country is an integral whole and divided into different states only for the convenience of administration.
  • According to Article 1, the territory of India can be classified into three categories:
  1. Territories of the states
  2. Union Territories
  3. Territories that may be acquired by the Government of India at any time

The Purna Swaraj declaration was adopted by the Indian National Congress in its which session?

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Answer:

  • Indian National Congress declared ‘Purna swaraj’ as its goal in its Lahore session of 1929.

Enrich Your Learning:

Enforcement of the Constitution

  • January 26 was specifically chosen as the ‘date of commencement’ of the Constitution because of its historical importance.
  • It was on this day in 1930 that Purna Swaraj day was celebrated, following the resolution of the Lahore Session (December 1929) of the INC.
  • With the commencement of the Constitution, the Indian Independence Act of 1947 and the Government of India Act of 1935, with all enactments amending or supplementing the latter Act, were repealed.
  • The Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act (1949) was however continued.

The ‘secular’ character of Indian Constitution is reflected from which Articles of the Constitution of India?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Secular State:

  • The term ‘secular’was added to the Preamble of Indian Constitution by the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976.
  • The Constitution of India does not uphold any particular religion as the official religionof the Indian State.

The following provisions support the secular character of the Indian State:

  • The Preamble: It secures to all citizens of India liberty of belief, faith and worship.
  • Article 14: The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection of the laws.
  • Article 15: Non-discrimination against any citizen on the ground of religion.
  • Article 16:Equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters of public employment.
  • Article 25:Right to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate any religion.
  • Article 26:Every religion or any of its section have the right to manage its religious affairs.
  • Article 27:No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes for the promotion of a particular religion.
  • Article 28: No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution maintained by the State.
  • Article 29: All citizens have the right to conserve their distinct language, script or culture.
  • Article 30: All minorities have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
  • Article 44:The State shall endeavour to secure for all the citizens a Uniform Civil Code.

The Fundamental Duties are inspired by the (a) Constitution of France OR (b) Constitution of erstwhile USSR?

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Answer:

  • The Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution are inspired by the Constitution of erstwhile USSR.

Enrich Your Learning:

Fundamental Duties:

  • The original constitution did not provide for the fundamental duties of the citizens.
  • These were added during the operation of internal emergency (1975–77) by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976 on the recommendation of Swaran Singh Committee.
  • The Part IV-Aof the Constitution consisting Article 51-A specifies the eleven Fundamental Duties.

They are:

  1. To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
  2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals that inspired the national struggle for freedom;
  3. To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
  4. To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do;
  5. To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities and to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of the country’s composite culture;
  7. To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures;
  8. To develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
  9. To safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
  10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement;
  11. To provide opportunities for education to his child or ward between the age of six and fourteen years. (This duty was added by the 86thConstitutional Amendment Act, 2002.)

Key facts:

  • The Fundamental Duties are confined to Indian citizens onlyand not to the foreigners.
  • they are non-justiciable i.e. the constitution does not provide for their direct enforcementby the courts, thereby no legal sanction against their violation.

The provisions of the Preamble are justiciable and if needed, can be enforced by the courts. Right OR Wrong?

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Answer:

Wrong.

  • Preamble is non-justiciablee. its provisions are not enforceable in court.

Enrich Your Learning:

Preamble:

  • Preamble refers to introduction to the Constitution.
  • It contains the summary or essence of the Constitution.
  • It is based on the ‘Objectives Resolution’, drafted and moved by J.L. Nehru, and adopted by the Constituent Assembly.
  • Preamble has been amended once by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act (1976), adding three new words- Socialist, Secular and Integrity.

Text of the Preamble:

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 unity and integrity of the Nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION”.

Ingredients of The Preamble:

  1. Authority: Constitution derives its authority from the people of India.
  2. Nature of Indian State: Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic and Republic.
  3. Objectives:Justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.
  4. Date of adoption: November 26, 1949 is the date of adoption of constitution.

Key Facts:

  • Preamble is a part of the Indian Constitution.
  • It is neither a source of power nor a prohibition upon the powers of legislature.
  • It is non-justiciablee. its provisions are not enforceable in court.

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