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42nd Constitutional Amendment UPSC NOTE


  • The 42nd amendment to the Indian Constitution was a significant amendment made during the Emergency period in 1976. 


  • Enacted during the national emergency declared by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975.

  • Aimed to strengthen the power of the central government and Prime Minister's office.

  • Faced criticism for undermining democratic institutions and individual rights.

Key Changes:

  • Preamble: Inserted the words "socialist" and "secular" to describe India.

  • Fundamental Rights: Diluted the power of judicial review, making it harder to challenge laws on the grounds of violating fundamental rights

  • Directive Principles: Given supremacy over fundamental rights, potentially allowing the government to prioritize social goals over individual liberties in certain cases.

  • Increased powers for the Prime Minister: Expanded the Prime Minister's power to dismiss state governments and dissolve state legislatures.

  • Electoral changes: Made it harder to challenge the election of the Prime Minister and President.


  • The Janata Party, which defeated Indira Gandhi in 1977 elections, revoked most of the controversial changes made by the 42nd amendment.

  • However, some changes, like adding "socialist" and "secular" to the preamble, remain.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: 42nd Constitutional Amendment UPSC NOTE
42nd Constitutional Amendment UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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