Amendments of the Constitution

Article 368 of Part XX of the Constitution empowers the parliament to amend the constitutional provisions. The constitution's authors recognised that the demands of a rising democracy are dynamic, and hence the constitution should leave room for future needs. As a result, they designed the modification method to be both flexible and rigid, making it difficult to change things.

What are Constitutional Amendments?

Constitutional amendments are changes made to the country's founding document, which serves as its supreme law. Changing or amending the constitution requires a formal change to the written text of the country's constitution. It comprises adding a new article or clause, removing an existing article or clause, or improving existing articles. There have been other changes made to the constitution's language. The amendment to the constitution must follow a specified protocol, which involves passing it through various legislative assemblies before being forwarded to the president for final approval and signing.

Types of Amendments

Its type can be studies as:

  • By Simple Majority of Parliament: There are several clauses in India's Constitution that can be altered with a simple majority, that is, more than half of the people present and voting. Article 5—Citizenship; Article 169—Establishment of the Legislative Council; and Article 239A—Establishment of local legislatures or councils of ministers.

  • By Special Majority of Parliament: A special majority is defined as more than 50% of total members and two-thirds of those present and voting. Each house has 545 Lok Sabha members and 245 Rajya Sabha members. Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy, and all other sections not covered by the other two groups are altered by the special majority.

  • By Special Majority in Parliament and State Ratification: The special majorities are the majorities that are not absolute and simple; they are classified into four categories: "Article 249," "Article 368," "Article 368 plus 50% of the consent of the state of a simple majority," "Article 61," and "Article 249." According to the Rajya Sabha's decision in the list of states, all sorts are legal. Part 4 of the constitution contains the guiding principles of governmental policy.

Constitutional Provisions

It includes:

  • Part XX, Article 368, addresses Parliament's authority to amend the Constitution and the method for doing so. It checks the arbitrary authority of the Indian Parliament.

  • The method for modifying the Constitution is outlined in Article 368 of the Constitution, which specifies that an amendment can only be initiated by proposing a bill in either House of Parliament, which must be passed by both.

  • Both chambers must pass the bill with a total majority (regardless of vacancies or absentees) and a majority of not less than two-thirds of those present and voting.

  • There is no provision for a joint sitting in the case of changes.

  • To change provisions listed in Article 368, such as changing federal characteristics, it must be ratified by at least half of the states.

Modes of Amendment in the Indian Constitution

There are two modes of amending the constitution:

Informal Method of Amendment

The language of the statute remains unchanged in this way. It is still the same. The shift occurs in its interpretation and meaning. Many modifications, for example, occur in Article 21. However, it never modifies the content of Article 21, just the context, extent, and ambit. The right to life encompasses the right to clean air, education, medical care, dignity, a prompt and fair trial, and many other things.

Formal Method of Amendment

The wording or words of the statute are modified in this type of amendment. The provision is changed by adding, changing, or removing anything. The phrases "secular," "socialist," and "integrity," for example, were added to the Preamble by the 42nd Amendment in 1976. This was accomplished by inserting the preamble.

Procedure for Amendment of the Constitution

  • The Indian Constitution is a unique blend of rigour and flexibility. Article 368 of the Constitution provides for two ways of amending this clause.

  • The first way is the flexible method, which allows Parliament to modify specific sections of the Constitution unilaterally.

  • The United Kingdom's unwritten constitution is the biggest example of an exceedingly flexible constitution, with no boundary between legislative and constituent authority. Both sorts of laws can be passed using the same standard legislative procedure.

  • The rigorous approach demands that after the parliament has passed the constitutional amendment bill, it be forwarded to the state legislatures, and at least half of them have to confirm it by resolution before the Constitution is altered.

  • For example, the United States Constitution is a written document, and the authority to alter it is either placed in a body other than the usual legislature or it is vested in the ordinary legislature, subject to a specific amendment procedure.


The Parliament appears to have the only power to alter the Constitution in any form, which is one issue that jumps out in the Article 368 approach. Therefore, claiming that the Parliament is self-governing while Article 368 is in effect is untrue. Because the method itself restricts the use of Parliament's ability to amend the Constitution, it cannot be the determining authority of the constitutional framework. The Indian Constitution was intended to be a dynamic law that retains its legality over time without becoming obsolete, while also responding to the needs of India's many socioeconomic groups.


Q1. What does "amendment" mean?

Ans. An amendment is a revision or addition to the provisions of a contract or agreement. An amendment is frequently an addition or modification that leaves the original document essentially intact.

Q2. Which amendment is known as the Indian mini-constitution?

Ans. The Indian mini-constitution is the 42nd amendment, commonly known as the Act of the Constitution of 1976.

Q3. What does Article 356 say?

Ans. Article 356 of the Constitution grants the President the authority to act only when he believes that the governance of a state cannot be carried out in line with the provisions of the Constitution.

Q4. Can Article 32 be amended?

Ans. According to Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, people have the right to petition the Supreme Court for justice if they believe their rights have been "unduly denied." As the "protector and guarantee of Fundamental Rights," the Supreme Court has the ability to make directions or instructions for the implementation of any of the rights endowed by the Constitution.

Q5. Can the preamble be amended under Article 368?

Ans. The Supreme Court has stressed that, as a component of the Constitution, the Preamble can be subject to Constitutional Amendments under Article 368, but the core structure cannot be changed. As a result, it is regarded as the Constitution's heart and soul.

Updated on: 30-Jan-2023


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