The Indian Constitution Study Notes for NCERT Class 8 Pol. Science (Civics)

The Indian Constitution Study Notes for NCERT Class 8 Pol. Science: These notes would help students in understanding and revising the chapter ‘The Indian Constitution’ in a proper systematic way. So, enjoy free earning here👍

I. Why Does a Country Need a Constitution?

Most countries in the world have a Constitution. A Constitution is not only limited to democratic countries. A Constitution plays a very important role in democratic societies.

A Constitution serves several purposes

1. Defining Ideals and Nature of Society:

  • The Constitution lays out certain ideals that form the basis of the kind of country citizens aspire to live in
  • The Constitution helps to 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
  • The Constitution ensures that citizens agree on certain ideals that the country should uphold
  • Example of Nepal:
    • Nepal’s previous Constitution reflected the fact that the final authority rested with the King
    • A people’s movement in Nepal fought for several decades to establish democracy and finally succeeded in putting an end to the powers of the King
    • The people of Nepal adopted a new Constitution in 2015 to establish Nepal as a democracy

2. Defining Nature of Political System:

  • Constitution defines the nature of a country’s political system
  • It plays a crucial role in laying out certain important guidelines that govern decision-making within these societies
  • It provides safeguards against the misuse of authority by political leaders
  • The Indian Constitution contains laws on Fundamental Rights, including the Right to Equality

3. Protective and Guarding Features of Constitution:

  • The Constitution often lays down rules that guard against the misuse of authority by our political leaders Many of these laws are contained in the section on Fundamental Rights
  • The Constitution ensures that a dominant group does not use its power against other less powerful groups
  • It protects the interests of all citizens equally.
  • The 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
  • The Constitution helps guard against strong emotions that may go against the larger interests of society
  • The Constitution protects us against certain decisions that we might take that could have an adverse effect on the larger principles that the country believes in
  • A good Constitution does not allow for the easy overthrow of provisions that guarantee citizens’ rights and protect their freedom


  • The Constitution plays a crucial role in democratic societies
  • It helps define the nature of society and political systems, protects against the misuse of authority, and guards against individual emotions that may go against larger interests.

II. The Indian Constitution: Key Features

The Experiences of Nationalist Movements:

  • Indian national movement struggled for independence from British rule for several decades.
  • Nationalists had imagined and planned what a free India would be like.
  • Authoritarian rule under colonial state convinced Indians that free India should be a democracy.

Constituent Assembly:

  • Around 300 people became members of the Constituent Assembly in 1946 to write India’s Constitution
  • The Constituent Assembly met periodically for the next three years to write India’s Constitution
  • Had a huge task before them because the country was made up of several different communities who spoke different languages, belonged to different religions, and had distinct cultures

Challenges faced by the Constituent Assembly:

  • India was made up of several different communities who spoke different languages, belonged to different religions, and had distinct cultures
  • India was going through considerable turmoil, with the partition of the country into India and Pakistan imminent.
  • Some of the Princely States remained undecided about their future, and the socio-economic condition of the vast mass of people appeared dismal
  • These issues played on the minds of the members of the Constituent Assembly as they drafted the Constitution

Visionary Document:

  • The members of the Constituent Assembly gave this country a visionary document that reflects a respect for maintaining diversity while preserving national unity
  • The final document reflects their concern for eradicating poverty through socio-economic reforms as well as emphasizing the crucial role the people can play in choosing their representatives.

The key features of the Indian Constitution

1. Federalism:

Definition of Federalism:

  • Refers to the existence of more than one level of government in the country.
  • In India, there are governments at the state level and at the centre.
  • Panchayati Raj is the third tier of government.

Need for Federalism in India:

  • India’s vast number of communities required a system of government that didn’t involve only persons sitting in the capital city of New Delhi and making decisions for everyone.
  • Another level of government was necessary in the states so that decisions could be made for that particular area.

Functioning of Federalism in India:

  • 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.
  • 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.

2. Parliamentary Form of Government:

  • India’s Constitution guarantees universal adult suffrage for all citizens.
  • The Constituent Assembly believed that universal adult suffrage would encourage a democratic mindset and break traditional caste, class, and gender hierarchies.
  • People of India have a direct role in electing representatives
  • Every citizen can contest in elections
  • Elected representatives are accountable to the people

3. Separation of Powers:

  • There are three organs of government – the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.
  • The legislature comprises elected representatives.
  • The executive consists of a smaller group of people who are responsible for implementing laws and running the government.
  • The judiciary refers to the system of courts in the country.
  • The Constitution mandates that each of the organs should exercise different powers to prevent the misuse of power by any one branch of government.
  • Separation of powers ensures that each organ of government acts as a check on the others, leading to a balance of power between all three.

4. Fundamental Rights:

  • The Fundamental Rights section in the Indian Constitution is often called the ‘conscience’ of the Constitution.
  • Fundamental Rights protect citizens against arbitrary and absolute exercise of power by the State
  • Constitution guarantees the rights of individuals against the State as well as against other individuals
  • The Constitution also guarantees the rights of minorities against the majority.

Directive Principles of State Policy:

  • A section in the Constitution designed to ensure greater social and economic reforms.
  • Serves as a guide to the independent Indian State to institute laws and policies that help reduce poverty.

Objective of Fundamental Rights:

  • Every citizen must be in a position to claim those rights.
  • These rights must be binding upon every authority that has the power to make laws.
The Six Fundamental Rights in the Constitution

1. Right to Equality:

  • All persons are equal before the law.
  • No citizen can be discriminated against on the basis of religion, caste or sex.
  • Every person has access to all public places.
  • The State cannot discriminate against anyone in matters of employment.
  • The practice of untouchability has been abolished.

2. Right to Freedom:

  • Includes freedom of speech and expression.
  • The right to form associations.
  • The right to move freely and reside in any part of the country.
  • The right to practice any profession, occupation or business.

3. Right against Exploitation:

  • Prohibits human trafficking, forced labour, and employment of children under 14 years of age.

4. Right to Freedom of Religion:

  • Religious freedom is guaranteed to all citizens
  • Every person has the right to practice, profess, and propagate the religion of their choice.

5. Cultural and Educational Rights:

  • All minorities, religious or linguistic, can set up their own educational institutions to preserve and develop their culture.

6. Right to Constitutional Remedies:

  • Allows citizens to move the court if they believe that any of their Fundamental Rights have been violated by the State.

5. Secularism:

A secular state is one in which the state does not officially promote any one religion as the state religion. We will read more about this in the following chapter.


  • The history of a country often determines the type of Constitution it adopts.
  • The Constitution outlines the ideals that citizens and elected representatives must adhere to.
  • A change in the Constitution can fundamentally alter a country.
  • The Indian Constitution has been amended to reflect new concerns of the polity.
  • A change in constitutive rules can affect the game, similar to how a change in the Constitution can affect a country.
  • Nepal had to adopt a new Constitution after becoming a democracy.
  • The features of the Indian Constitution are complex and can be difficult to understand.

Leave a Reply