NCERT Class 8 Civics Chapter 1 - The Indian Constitution Notes

Chapter 1 - The Indian Constitution Notes

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

2. Key Features of Constitution
• Federalism
• Parliamentary Form of Government
• Separation of Powers
• Fundamental Rights
• Secularism

3. Need for Constitution
• Lays down ideals how citizens aspire to live.
• Nature of the country's political.
• Dominant power does not use its power against less powerful group.
• Discourages misuse of power.
• Save us from ourselves.

4. The Constituent Assembly consisted of 300 members. It was headed by Dr Rajendra Prasad.

5. The Constituent Assembly completed the work in 2 years 11 months and 18 days.

6. Federalism
Federalism is a type of government with the Government of country works at more than one level.

7. Features of Federalism
• To distribute power
• All levels of government deserve equal respect, enjoy autonomy.
• No government is subordinate of the other government.
• The constitution specifies with regard to their funding.
• Different tiers of government govern the same citizens, but each tier has its own jurisdiction in specific matters of legislation, taxation and administration.
• The jurisdictions of the respective levels or tiers of government are specified in the constitution.
• Infact, The 7th schedule of Indian constitution consists of union list, state list, and concurrent list.

8. The division of powers between the central and state governments is done in a three-level fold distribution of Legislative powers between the Union Government and the State Government. There are three list - the Union list, State list and the Concurrent list.

9. Union list includes subjects of national importance like Defence of the country, Foreign Affairs, Banking, Communication, Currency. The Central Government alone can make decisions on these matters. The aim of including these matters in Union list is to ensure uniformity in the policy of these areas throughout the country.

10. State list contain subjects of the state and local important such as police, trade, commerce, agriculture and irrigation. The State Government alone can make laws and decisions on these areas. 

11. Concurrent list includes those subjects which are common interest to both the Central as well as State Government. It includes matters like Education, Forest, Marriage and Trade Union. Both Central and State Government can make decisions on these matters.

12. A constitution tells us what the fundamental nature of a society. A Constitution helps to serve as a set of rules and principles that all people in a country can agree upon as the basis of the way in which they want the country to be governed.

13. Constitution comprises a set of fundamental rules that govern a country. India has one of the largest constitution in the world which consists of 395 articles, 22 parts and 12 schedules.


15. Parliamentary Form of Government
• Every citizen of India plays a direct role in electing their representatives.
• regardless of their social background or gender any Indian citizen can contest the elections.

16. Separation of Powers
There are three organs of government:
• Legislature refers to elected representatives by people.
• Executive is the smaller group of people who are responsible for implementing laws and running the Government.
• Judiciary refers to the system of courts in the country. 

17. Fundamental Rights
The Constitution guarantees the rights of individual against the State as well as against other individuals. It also guarantees the rights of minorities against the majority.

The fundamental rights in the Indian Constitution include
• Right to Equality
• Right to Freedom
• Right against Exploitation
• Right to Freedom of Religion
• Cultural and Educational Rights
• Right to Constitutional Remedies

18. Right to Equality: All persons are equal before the law. This means that all persons shall be equally protected by the laws of the country. It also states that no citizen can be discriminated against on the basis of their religion, caste or sex. Every person has access to all public places including playgrounds, hotels, shops etc. The State cannot discriminate against anyone in matters of employment. The practice of untouchability has also been abolished.

19. Right to Freedom: This includes the right to freedom of speech and expression, the right to form associations, the right to move freely and reside in any part of the country, and the right to practice any profession, occupation or business.

20. Right against Exploitation: The Constitution prohibits human trafficking, forced labour, and employment of children under 14 years of age.

21. Right to Freedom of Religion: Religious freedom is provided to all citizens. Every person has the right to practice, profess and propagate the religion of their choice.

22. Cultural and Educational Rights: The Constitution states that all minorities, religious or linguistic, can set up their own educational institutions in order to preserve and develop their own culture.

23. Right to Constitutional Remedies: This allows citizens to move the court if they believe that any of their Fundamental Rights have been violated by the State.

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

25. Arbitrary: When nothing is fixed and is instead left to one’s judgment or choice. This can be used to refer to rules that are not fixed, or decisions that have no basis etc.

26. Ideal: A goal or a principle in its most excellent or perfect form.

27. Indian national movement: The Indian national movement emerged in nineteenth-
century India and saw thousands of men and women coming together to fight British rule. This culminated in India’s independence in 1947. 

28. Polity: A society that has an organized political structure. India is a democratic polity.

29. Sovereign: It refers to an independent people.

30. Human Trafficking: The practice of the illegal buying and selling of different
commodities across national borders. It refers to illegal trade in human beings, particularly women and children.

31. Tyranny: The cruel and unjust use of power or authority.

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