Constitutional Review Panel
A 11-member Constitution Review Commission chaired by Mr. Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah was set up by the government on February 13, 2000. A gazette notification formally setting up the Commission was issued on February 23, 2000. The Commission will suggest changes, if any, within the framework of parliamentary democracy, by submitting a report within a year ending on February 21, 2001. On 14-1-2001 the Union Cabinet formally decided to extend the term by eight months, upto October 31, 2001.The Commission set up with a mandate to examine how best the Constitution could respond to the changing needs of the country in the limelight of the experience for the past 50 years. The other 10 members of the Commission are :
- Mr. Justice B.P. Jeewan Reddy, Chairman, Law Commission and former Supreme Court Judge.
- Mr. Justice R.S. Sarkaria, former Supreme Court Judge and Chairperson, Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State relations.
- Mr. Justice Kandapalli Punniah, Former Andhra High Court Judge
- Mr. Soli Sorabjee, Attorney-General
- Mr. Parasaran, former Attorney-General
- Mr. P.A. Sangma, former Speaker, Lok Sabha,
- Mr. Subhash Kashyap, former Secretary General, Lok Sabha
- Mr. C.R. Irani, Chief Editor, The Statesman
- Mr. Abid Hussain, former Indian Ambassador to the United States
- Mrs. Sumitra Kulkarni, former M.P.
Important Amendments to the Constitution
- 42nd Amendment , 1976 : It is a piece of comprehensive legislation containing 39 clauses, the main features of which may be summarised as follows :
- The Preamble has been altered from 'sovereign, democratic republic' to 'sovereign, socialist, secular democratic republic' and 'unity of the nation' has been modified to 'unity and integrity of the nation'.
- Provision of Fundamental Duties.
- Directive Principles brought under legal purview and given precedence over Fundamental Rights.
- Division of jurisdiction between the Supreme Court and the High Courts in the matter of determination of the constitutional validity of central and state laws.
- Limitation of the jurisdiction of High Courts in certain respects and provision, or for creation of Administrative Tribunals for adjudication for service matters.
- Duration of the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies increased from 5 to 6 years.
- Provision for dealing with anti-national and communal activities.
- Proclamation of Emergency may be made applicable to any part of the country (instead of the whole country), and emergency could be lifted from any part of the county while it remained in force in other parts.
61st Amendments 1989 : It has reduced the voting age from 21 years to 18 yearsfor the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
71st Amendment 1992 : It included Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali in the Eighth Schedule of the Consitution. The Eighth Schedule now has 18 languages.
73rd Amendment 1993 : Article 40 of the Constitution which enshrines one of the Directive Principles of the State Policy lays down that the state shall take steps to organise village 'Panchayats' and endow them with such powers and authorities as may be necessary to enable them to function as a unit of self-government
74th Amendment 1993 : A new part IX-A relating to the Municipalities has been incorporated in the Constitution to provide, among other things, constitution of three types of Municipalities, i.e, 'Nagar Panchayats' for areas in transition from a rural area to urban area, Municipal Councils for smaller urban area, and 'Municipal Corporations' for larger urban areas.
83rd Amendment 2000 : It exempts Arunachal Pradesh from reserving seats for scheduled castes in Panchayati Raj institutions as there are no
92nd Amendment 2003 of the Constitution of India, officially known as The Constitution (Ninety-second Amendment) Act, 2003, amended the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution so as to include Bodo, Dogri, Santhali and Maithali languages, So Eighth Schedule now has 22 languages
Official Books and Papers
- Blue Book : Official report of the Government of U.K.
- White Paper : Short Phamplet giving authoritative recital of facts given by the Government.
- Red Book : Book banished in a country.
- Green Book : Official Publications of Italy and Iran.
- Grey Book : Official Publications of Japan and Belgium.
- Orange Book : Official Publications of Netherlands.
- White Book : Official Publications of Germany, China and Portugal.
- Yellow Book : Official Publications of France.