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History: Maghad and Beyond Quick Revision Notes

IAS Prelims History of India

The following revision notes of Indian history, of Maghad era and beyond, are helpful while preparing for General Awareness preparation of IAS Prelims History of India and for other competitive exams held in India

Magadh kingdom’s most remarkable king was Srenika or Bimbisara, who was anointed king by his father at the young age of 15.

The capital of Bimbi­sara’s kingdom was Giriv­raja. It was girded with stone walls which are among the oldest extant stone struc­tures in India.

The most notable achievement of Bimbisara was the annexation of neigh­bouring kingdom of Anga or East Bihar. He also entered into matrimonial alliances with ruling families of Kosala and Vaishali. The Vaishali marriage paved the way for expansion of Maga­dha north-ward to the bor­ders of Nepal.

Gautama Buddha and Vardhaman Mahavira prea­ched their doctrines during the reign of Bimbisara.

The modern town of Rajgir in the Patna district was built by Bimbisara. He had named it Rajagriha or the king’s house.

Bimbisara was suc­ceeded by his son Ajatsha­tru. Tradition affirms that Bim­bisara was murdered by Ajat­shatru.

To repel the attacks of the Vrijis of Vaishali, Ajat­shatru fortified the village of Pataligrama, which stood at the confluence of Ganga and Sona rivers. This fortress, within a generation, devel­oped into the stately city of Pataliputra (modern day Patna).

According to the Puranas, the immediate suc­cessor of Ajatshatru was Darsaka, after whom came his son Udayi.

The name of Darsaka also occurs in a play named Svapna-Vasavadatta, attri­buted to Bhasa, which repre­sents him as a brother-in-law and contemporary of Uday­ana, king of Kausambi. However, Jain and Buddhist writers assert that Udayi was son of Ajatshatru.

Bimbisara’s dynastic lineage ended with the Nan­da dynasty taking over the reigns of Magadha. The first king of Nanda dynasty was Mahapadma or Mahapamapati Nanda. He was succeeded by his eight sons, of whom the last was named Dhana-Nanda.

Dhana-Nanda was overthrown by Chan­dragupta Maurya, the founder of a new and more illustrious dynasty.

Among the State functionaries, the Purohit was of special importance in Kasi-Kosala, as we learn from Ramayan and several Jatakas. In Kuru-Panchal and Matsya countries it was the Senapati who held the spe­cial place.

The armies of the period usually consisted of infantry, cavalry, chariots and elephants. While rulers of delta regions were known to maintain small naval fleets, a big naval department came into being only during the reign of Chan­dragupta Maurya.

The Indian infantry usually carried long bows and iron-tipped arrows made of cane. They used to wear cotton garments. The chariots of the cavalry were drawn by horses or wild asses and carried six soldiers apiece—two bowmen, two shield bearers and two charioteers.

Greek writers bear testimony to the fact that in the art of war Indians were far superior to other peoples of Asia. Their failure against foreign invaders was often due to inferiority in cavalry. Indian commanders pinned their faith more in elephants than horses.

The oldest source of revenues was the bali. Bha­ga, the king’s share of reaped corn, became the most important source of State revenue in course of time. Among the most important revenue officials was the Grama-bhojaka or village head-man.

The early Buddhist texts refer to six big cities that flourished during the days of the Buddha. These were: Champa (near Bha­galpur), Rajagriha (in Patna district), Sravasti (Saheth-Maheth), Saketa (Oudh), Kausambi (near Allahabad) and Benaras (Varanasi).

The usual recrea­tions of women during the Magadhan era were singing, dancing and music. Little princesses used to play with dolls called panchalikas.

The chief pastimes of knights were gambling, hunting, listening to tales of war and tournaments in amphitheaters. Buddhist texts refer to acrobatic feats, combats of animals and a kind of primitive chess play.

The principal sea­ports of the period were: Bhrigukachcha (Broach), Surparaka (Sopara, north of Mumbai), and Tamralipti (Tamluk in West Bengal).

The chief articles of trade during the Magadhan era were: silk, muslin, embroidery, ivory, jewellery and gold. The standard unit of value was the copper Karshapana, weighing a lit­tle more than 146 grains. Sil­ver coins, called Purana or Dharana, were also in circu­lation. The weight of a silver coin was a little more than 58 grains, which is one-tenth of that of the Nishka known to the Vedic texts.

The first undoubted historical reference to image-worship by an Aryan tribe occurs in passage of Curtis, who states that an image of Herakles was car­ried in front of Paurava army as it advanced against Alexander.

The early Magad­han period saw develop­ment of variant languages from Sanskrit. In the towns and the villages a popular form of Sanskrit, Prakrit, was spoken. This had local variations; the chief west­ern variety was called Shauraseni and the eastern variety Magadhi. Pali was another local language. The Buddha, wishing to reach wider audience, taught in Magadhi.

Persian and Macedonian Invasions
Cyrus, the founder of the Achaemenian empire of Persia, destroyed the famous city of Kapisa near the junction of the Ghorband and Panjshir rivers north­east of Kabul.

The successor of Cyrus, Darius sent a naval expedition to the Indus under the command of Sky-lax. This expedition paved the way for the annexation of the Indus valley as far as the deserts of Rajputana. The area became the most populous satrapy of the Persian empire and paid a tribute pro­portionately larger than all the rest—360 Eubic talents of gold dust, equivalent to more than a million sterling.

Once the Persian hold over Indian possessions became weak, the old territo­ry of Gandhara was divided into two parts. To the west of Indus river lay the kingdom of Pushkalavati in the mod­ern district of Peshawar; to the east was Takshasila in present district of Rawalpin­di. Tradition affirms that Mahabharata was first recited in Takshasila.

In 331 B.C., Alexan­der inflicted heavy blows on the king of Persia and occupied his realm. In 327 B.C. Alexander crossed the Hindukush and resolved to recover the Indian sat­rapies that had once been under his Persian prede­cessors.

To secure his com­munications, Alexander gar­risoned a number of strong­holds near modern Kabul and passed the winter of 327-326 B.C. in warfare with fierce tribes of Kunar and Swat valleys.

Alexander finally crossed Indus river in 326 B.C. using a bridge of boats. Ambhi, the king of Taxila gave him valuable help in this. Alexander’s march faced a major hurdle when it reached the banks of Hydaspes (modern Jhelum) river, near the town of Jhelum. Here he faced stiff resistance from Paurava king (Porus).

After crossing the Akesines (Chenab) and the Hydraotes (Ravi), Alexander stormed Sangala, the strong­hold of the Kathaioi, and moved on to the Hyphasis (Beas). He wished to press forward to the Ganga valley, but his war-worn troops refused. Alexander erected 12 towering altars to mark the utmost limit of his march, and then retraced his steps to Jhelum.

During the return journey, Alexander received a dangerous wound while storming a citadel of the powerful tribe of the Malawas. He returned to Babylon after a long and treacherous journey and died soon after in 323 B.C.

The Persian con­quest unveiled India for the first time to the Western world and established con­tact between the people of both regions.

The introduction of new scripts—Aramaic, Kharoshti and the alphabet style Yavanani by Panini— can be traced to Greek source.

The Macedonian garrisons were swept away by Chandragupta Maurya. However, these were not wiped out completely. Colonies like Yavana contin­ued to serve the king of Magadha just as they served the Macedonians, and carved out an independent kingdom only after the sun set of Magadha.

One positive out­come of Alexander’s inva­sion was that Greeks of later ages got to learn lessons in philosophy and religion from Indian Buddhists and Bhagavatas and Indians learned use of coins, hon­oured Greek astronomers and learned to appreciate Hellenistic art.

One of the most remarkable things in the foreign policy of Alexander was his encour­agement of inter-racial marriages. He was the first ruler known to history who contemplated the brother­hood of man and the unity of mankind. The White Kafirs of Kafiristan, classed in Ashoka’s edicts as definitely Greeks, are said to be descended from Alexander’s men. Of the ruling Frontier families, eight claim direct lineage from the son born to Alexander by Cleophis queen of the Assakenoi.

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Geography Quick Revision Notes

Civil Services Exam Geography Notes

The Civil Services Exam geography notes are also useful in preparing for general awareness paper of other competitive exams.

Acid precipitation (Acid Rainfall): is now regarded as a serious problem in some European and Asian countries, the main cause and source of which is emissions of sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides from thermal power plants and burn­ing of fossil fuels. These oxides dissolve in atmospheric water vapour and fall back on earth as acid rainfall. Acid rainfall can cause destruction of crops and trees; destruction of fish; and damage to buildings.
Agronomy: Soil manage­ment and production of field crops is known as Agronomy.
Aleurone layer: is that part of the grain in cereals where much of the protein lies.
Alluvial soil: is the richest and most fertile soil of India spread over large areas in north­ern plains of India.
Arakan Yoma: is the exten­sion of the Himalayas located in Myanmar.
Asthamudi Lake: is locat­ed in Kerala State.
Bailadila: in Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh, is known for its wealth of Manganese.
Barhara (Tribes): The Barhara tribes mentioned in the Mahabharata who had settled in the north-western regions of India, are associated with—(1) Ambashthas (a mixed Mongolian Aryan race); (2) Gandharas (Afghans); (3) Pavas.
Bhabhar region: in south of the Shivaliks, is an example of Piedmont situation i.e., belong­ing to or related to the foot of a mountain.
Bushmen (Tribes): They live in the Kalahari desert. They are probably the descendants of the earliest inhabitants of Africa. They rank among the most uncivilized and backward peo­ples in the world. Their food consists almost entirely of meat, often raw or decomposed, and in times of scarcity they will eat insects, snakes etc.
Cardamom: Karnataka is the largest producer of car­damom. India is the largest exporter of cardamom in the world.
Chinook: Warm, dry wind experienced along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains in Canada and the USA.
Climograph: is a graphical representation of the differentia­tion between various types of climate. It reveals the type of cli­mate at a glance—a climograph showing wet bulb temperatures and relative humidities which are high, for instance, depicts a constantly hot damp climate.
Coastline of India, Length of: The length of India’s coast­line is 7,516 km and its territory includes 1,256 islands. Gujarat (1600 km) has the longest coastline in India.
Cosmic year: One cosmic year is equal to the time taken by the sun to complete one orbit around the galactic centre.
Cotopaxi: is the highest volcano in the world. It is situat­ed in Ecuador.
Date Line, International: International Date Line is an internationally agreed line drawn parallel to the 180° meridian. It divides the Pacific Ocean into two equal parts. A crossing of the International Date Line entails repeating one day when travelling westwards.
Detroit of India: Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh, where a large number of auto­mobile industries have been set up, is called the “Detroit of India”.
Doldrums Belt: is a zone of the tropics where the calm last­ing for some weeks prevails, broken at times by erratic squalls and baffling winds. It is an area of low pressure. The wind system in the Equatorial areas is known as doldrums.
Dust Devil: is a dusty whirlwind normally a few feet in diameter and about 100 feet tall, sometimes also wider and higher.
Earth mass: The mass of the earth is about 81 times that of the moon.
Earth’s core: is mainly composed of iron and nickel. Lithosphere is the outer-most layer of the earth.
El Nino: is the weather phenomenon brewing in the tropical Pacific Ocean. It is the largest climate event of the 20th century setting off more global disasters than ever before. El Nino is warming of the waters off Equatorial South America which causes climate abnor­malities around the world. The impact can be flooding drought in California, Brazil, Africa and Australia, severe storms in the Central Pacific and a decline in hurricanes hitting the south-eastern United States.
Exfoliation: This type of weathering is common both in the cold as well as in the hot cli­mate regions.
Fertilizer plant, First: The first fertilizer plant in India was set up at Sindri (Bihar).
Garo (Tribes): Garos are the tribe of Garo Hills in Meghalaya.
Glacial lake—example in India: Dal Lake in Srinagar.
Great Circle: A circle on the earth’s surface whose plane passes through its centre, and bisects it into two hemispheres. Two opposing meridians together form a Great Circle. The shortest distance between any two points on the earth’s surface is the arc of the Great Circle which passes through them. 0° latitude forms a Great Circle. (The latitude or longi­tude 75°W should be combined with 75°E to obtain the Great Circle).
Horse Latitudes: Sub-trop­ical belts of high atmospheric pressure over the oceans situat­ed in both hemispheres. These are called Belts of Calm between regions of the Trade Winds and Westerlies of higher latitudes.
Hydroponics: means culti­vation of the plants without use of soil.
Hyetology: is the study of rainfall.
Indira Point: in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the southern-most tip of India.
Irrigated area, Indian State having largest: The Indian State with the largest irrigated area is Uttar Pradesh.
Jhum: It is a slash and burn method of shifting cultivation (called jhum) practised on rain­fall-bed slopes of forest hills and dales in Arunachal Pradesh.
Kandla: is a sea port situat­ed at the head of the Gulf of Kuch in Gujarat State. It was the first port to be developed after independence. It has a free trade zone.
Khonds (Tribes): were primitive tribes living in Orissa.
Kikuyu (Tribes): are a race of Bantu negroes who live to the north of Mount Kenya. These people combine agriculture with pastoralism.
Kirghiz (Tribes): of Central Asia are an example of people adapted to a grassland environment. The Kirghiz are pastoral nomads who move from pasture to pasture with the flocks and herds of horses, camels, oxen, sheep and goats. Meat forms only a small portion of their food. The Kirghiz are fearless horsemen, and even their children are expert riders
Lambadies (Tribes): are concentrated in Karnataka.
Lapse Rate: is the rate of change in temperature with increase of altitude.
Laterite soils: Laterite soils are formed by the weathering of laterite rocks. These can be dis­tinguished from other soils by their acidity. Laterite soils are generally poor on the higher levels and cannot retain mois­ture. In the plains, however, they consist of heavy loams and clay and can retain moisture. Laterite soils occur in Madhya Pradesh, Assam and along the eastern and western Ghats. Tea plantation require acidity which is there in the laterite soil. It is, therefore, common in these areas.
Loams (loamy soil): Amix­ture of sand, clay and silt is known as loamy soil. Loams are formed where the soils have equal proportion of sand, silt and clay.
Local winds and their areas: Khamsin—Egypt; Zonda—Argentina; Santa Ana—California; Simoon—Iran.
Lushais (Tribes): are tribes of Mizoram.
Mansarover Lake: is in Tibet. Near it, the rivers having their source are the Brahamputra, the Sutlej and the Indus.
Maoris (Tribes): are the original inhabitants of New Zealand.
Masai (Tribes): of the East African plateau are the example of pastoral peoples. They are a tall, strong, warlike race, partly negroid in type. They treat their cattle with great respect and affection and do not kill them for food or for sale as meat.
Monsoon in India: is relat­ed to differential heating and cooling of the huge landmass of Asia and the Indian Ocean and the origin of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal. The term Monsoon was introduced by the Arabs.
Munda (Tribes): are most­ly located in Madhya Pradesh.
Negritos (Tribes): are the ancient tribes of Andamans.
Nutrification: is the process of conversion by action of bacteria, of nitrates in the soil.
Onges: are tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Oraon (Tribes): are aborig­inal people of the Chhota Nagpur region in the State of Bihar. They call themselves Kurukh and speak a Dravidian language.
Pangong Tso: is one of the world’s highest and brackish lakes in Jammu & Kashmir.
Pressure zones on earth: are created due to differential heating of the earth’s surface by the sun.
Proxima Centauri: is a star nearest to the earth.
Rare earths (Or Lignite and Monazite): are found on the beaches of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Monazite is an ore of tho­rium.
Roaring Forties: are west­erly winds.
Saddle peak: is the highest peak of Andaman and Nicobar islands, located in Great Nicobar.
Savannas: are found between latitudes 5° and 20° North and South of Equator. These are tropical grasslands bordering the equatorial forests in each hemisphere. The Llanos and Pampas of South America are chief examples of Savannas but extensive Savannas are in Africa. Savanna grasslands are also found in Australia. The three-tier growth of vegetation is found in these regions. The natural vegetation of Savannas consists of tall grass.
Selvas: The rain forest of Amazon basin is called Selvas. These are rainy tropical forests..
Semangs (Tribes): are trib­al people living in Malaysia.
Spring Tides: are caused when the sun and the moon are in a straight line. The tide on its maximum height is known as Spring Tide.
Taiga Belt: lies between the Tibet-type climate and the Tundras.
Telegu Ganga Project: in Tamil Nadu envisages optimal use of surplus water of the Krishna river. It is a joint ven­ture of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Time Zone: A zone on the terrestrial globe that is 15° longi­tude wide and extends from pole to pole and within which a uniform clock time is used. Time zones are the functional basis of standard time. The world is divided into 24 time zones.
Tsunamis: are huge sea waves caused by earthquakes.
Willy Willy: is a tropical cyclone of the north-west Australia.
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Constitution Quick Revision Notes

Indian Constitution Notes for General Knowledge Questions

Following are Quick Revision notes for General Knowledge questions asked in competitive exams – Bank PO, Civil Services Exams, CLAT, CSAT

  • Idea for a Constituent Assembly for drafting a con­stitution for India was first provided by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1895.
  • The elections for the  first Constituent Assembly were held in July 1946. Ini­tially it had 389 members, but later the reformed Assembly had 324 members.
  • The State of Hyderabad did not participate in elections to the Constituent Assembly.
  • The first meeting of Constituent Assembly was held on December 9, 1946— its president was Dr Sacchidanand Sinha.
  • The second meeting was held on December 11, 1946. Its president was Dr Rajendra Prasad.
  • The Objectives Reso­lution was passed under chairmanship of J.L. Nehru.
  • The Draft of Indian Constitution was presented in October 1947. President of the Drafting Committee was Bhim Rao Ambedkar.
  • The Flag Committee worked under J.B. Kripalani.
  • The total time con­sumed to prepare the draft was 2 years, 11 months, 18 days. Total 11 meetings were held for this.
  • The Indian Constitu­tion was enacted on Novem­ber 26, 1946 and put into force on January 26, 1950.
  • The Constitution today has 444 Articles and 12 schedules. Originally there were 395 Articles and 8 schedules.
  • SOCIALIST, SECU­LAR, INTEGRITY—these words were added to the Preamble later, through the 42nd Amendment, 1976.
  • The Preamble con­tains aims and objectives of our Constitution.
  • Fundamental Rights are contained in Part III— called “Magna Carta” of the Constitution. The idea was borrowed from USA. Initial­ly there were 7 fundamental rights, now there are only 6. (The Right to Property was deleted by the 44th amend­ment in 1978. It is now a judicial right—it has been moved to Article 300(A).)
  • The Supreme Court judgement in Keshwanand Bharti vs Kerala case provid­ed that Fundamental Rights can be altered by the Parlia­ment as long as the basic structure of the Constitution remains intact.
  • The Minerva Mills case ruling of the Supreme Court, however, ruled that Fundamental rights are basic part of the Constitution. The power to alter them was snatched away.
  • Fundamental Right of Equality provides for:
    —Equality in govern­ment jobs (Article 16).
    —No discriminations (Article 15).
    —No untouchability (Article 17).
    —Abolition of titles (Article 18).
  • The important free­doms granted are:
    —Against exploitation (Article 23).
    —Against child labour (Article 24).
  • The Right to Consti­tutional Remedies is provid­ed under Article 32.
  • The Constitution provides that High Courts and the Supreme Court can issue various writs (written orders) to safeguard free­dom of an individual. There are five types of writs:
    Habeas Corpus—”may I have the body”—it orders to present reasons as well as physical presence of a body in court, within 24 hours of arrest.
    Mandamus—issued to person, office or court—to enforce duties—also called “Param Aadesh”.
    Prohibition—issued to inferior courts, by superior courts—it prohibits (stops) action of acts outside their jurisdiction.
    Quo Warranto—it asks how one has gained unau­thorised office.
    Certiorari —Higher Court takes over case from lower courts.
  • Dr Ambedkar has called this article as “soul” of the Constitution.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy act as guide­lines or morals for the gov­ernment. They are contained in Part IV of the Constitu­tion. They were borrowed from Ireland. Some impor­tant directive principles are:
    —Gram Panchayats (Article 40).
    —Uniform civil code (Article 44).
    —Free and compulsory education (Article 45).
  • Fundamental duties are contained in part IV(A). There are ten fundamental duties listed in the Constitu­tion. This idea was borrowed from Russia.
  • The Vice President is the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. However, he is not a member of any House.
  • If a member is found sitting in another House of Parliament, of which he is not a member, he has to pay a fine of Rs 5000.
  • Rajya Sabha has 250 members—238 elected and 12 nominated by the Presi­dent. Uttar Pradesh elects maximum number of mem­bers for the Rajya Sabha (34), followed by Bihar (22) and Maharashtra (19).
  • In one year time, the President must hold at least two meetings of the Rajya Sabha.
  • If a state of Emer­gency is declared, the Lok Sabha is dissolved, but not the Rajya Sabha (It is a per­manent House).
  • Lok Sabha has 547 members—545 elected and 2 nominated from the Anglo-Indian Community.
  • During a state of emergency, the tenure of Lok Sabha can be extended by a maximum of one year.
  • Maximum number of members of Lok Sabha are elected from Uttar Pradesh (80 members), followed by Bihar (54) and Maharashtra (48).
  • Minimum age for becoming member of Lok Sabha is 25 years and Rajya Sabha is 30 years.
  • Minimum age to be eligible for the post of the President is 35 years.
  • The President is elected by members of both Houses of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies.
  • The Vice President is elected by all members of the Parliament.
  • To discuss an impor­tant topic, the normal proce­dure of the Parliament is stopped under the Adjourn­ment motion.
  • Decision about whe­ther a Bill is a Money Bill or not is taken by the Lok Sabha Speaker.
  • The first High Courts in India were estab­lished at Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras, in 1862. Alla­habad and Delhi were estab­lished next in 1866.
  • Maximum age to remain a High Court judge is 62 years and maximum age to remain a Supreme Court judge is 65 years.
  • The process for removal of Comptroller and Auditor General of India is same as that of judges of the Supreme Court.
  • Attorney General is the law expert to govern­ment. He can participate and speak in both Houses of Par­liament, but is not allowed to vote.
  • The idea of having a Lokpal to check corruption at the highest level has been borrowed from “Ombuds­man” of Sweden. In the States, we have the Lok Ayuk­ta.
  • There are three types of Emergencies that can be proclaimed by the President. Emergency under Article 352—due to war or internal rebellion. (Implemented three times (1962, 71, 75).)
    Emergency under Article 356—Constitutional prob­lems. (Implemented many times, in various States like J&K, Punjab, etc.)
    Emergency under Article 360—Financial Emergency. (Not implemented so far).
  • The Constitution ini­tially recognised 14 National Languages. Later, four more were added. These were: Sindhi (21st amendment), Nepali, Konkani and Manipuri (71st amendment).
  • To gain the status of a National Party, a political party must be recognised in four or more States, attaining at least 4% votes on national scale and 9% in each State.
  • The flag of the Con­gress party was accepted as the National Flag (with few changes) on July 22, 1947.
  • The new Flag Code of India gives freedom to individuals to hoist the flag on all days, but with due respect to the flag.
  • The Question hour in the Parliament is observed from 11 am  to 12 noon. The Zero hour is observed from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm.
  • Balwant Rai Mehta Committee suggested a three-tier structure for Pan­chayati Raj—Gram Pancha­yat village level, Panchayat Samiti at block level and Zila Parishad in districts.
  • First Constitutional Amendment—1951—put a ban on propagating ideas to harm friendly relations with foreign countries.
  • Planning Commis­sion is only an advisory and specialist body. Its chairman is the Prime Minister.
    National Develop­ment Council is the main body concerned with the actual planning process. Its chairman is also the Prime Minister.
  • The first leader of the Opposition was Ram Subhag Singh, in 1969.
  • The shortest Lok Sabha span was 13 days (12th Lok Sabha in 1998).
  • Although the Parlia­ment can pass impeachment motion against judges, their conduct cannot be discussed by it.
  • There are at present 18 High Courts in India.
  • Article 370 gives special status to Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The Indian Consti­tution was the first of the preceding two centuries which was not imposed by an imperial power, but was made by the people them­selves, through representa­tives in a Constituent Assembly.
  • The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is not enforceable in a court of law. It states the objects which the Constitution seeks to establish.
  • The Indian Constitu­tion endows the Judiciary with power of declaring a law as unconstitutional if it is beyond the competence of the Legislature according to the distribution of powers provided by the Constitu­tion, or if it is in contraven­tion of the fundamental rights or of any other mandatory provision, e.g. Articles 286, 299, 301 and 304.
  • As part of the inte­gration of various Indian States into the Dominion of India a three-fold process of integration, known as the Patel Scheme, was imple­mented:
    (i) 216 States were merged into the respective Provinces, geographically contiguous to them. These merged States were included in the territories of the States in Part B in the First Sche­dule of the Constitution. The process of merger started with the merger of Orissa and Chattisgarh States with the then province of Orissa, on January 1, 1948. The last instance was merger of Cooch-Behar with West Ben­gal in January 1950.
    (ii) 61 States were con­verted into Centrally-admin­istered areas and included in Part C of the First Schedule.
    (iii) The third form was consolidation of groups of States into new viable units, known as Union of States. The first Union formed was the Saurashtra Union on February 15, 1948. The last one was Union of Travan­core-Cochin on July 1, 1949. As many as 275 States were integrated into five Unions—Madhya Bharat, Patiala and East Punjab States Union, Rajasthan, Saurashtra and Travancore-Cochin. These were included in Part B of the First Sche­dule. Besides, Hyderabad, J&K and Mysore were also included in Part B.
  • At the time of acces­sion to the Dominion of India, the States had acceded only on three subjects (Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications). Lat­er, revised Instruments of Accession were signed by which all States acceded in respect of all matters includ­ed in Union and Concurrent Lists, except only those relat­ing to taxation.
  • The process of inte­gration culminated in the Constitution (7th Amend­ment) Act, 1956, which abol­ished Part B States as a class and included all the States in Part A and B in one list.
  • Supreme Court judgements that changed the Indian Constitution:
    1960: K.M. Nanavati v State of Maharashtra: This case ended jury trials in India.1967: Golaknath vs State of Punjab: The SC ruled that Parliament cannot curtail fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

    1973: Kesavananda Bharati Vs State of Kerala: The SC laid down the Basic Structure Doctrine in this case. It limited the Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution.

    1976: ADM Jabalpur Vs S. Shukla: The SC declared the right to move court for protection of Equality before law, protection of arrest without cause and right to life and liberty are remain suspended during an Emergency.

    1978: Maneka Gandhi Vs Union of India: The SC ruled the fundamental rights are not mutually exclusive and are interlinked.

    1980: Minerva Mills Vs Union of India: The SC ruled that the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution cannot be exercised to grant itself an unlimited power.

    1992: Indira Sawhney Vs Union of India: The SC upheld the implementation of Mandal Commission recommendations for OBCs. It also defined the “creamy layer” criteria and put a 50% cap on quota.

    1993: Supreme Court AoR Association vs UoI: The SC creates the collegium system of appointing judges in SC and HCs.

    1994: S.R. Bommai Vs Union of India: SC laid down the guidelines in proving a majority under Article 356. The recent Arjun Munda case judgement was also passed with reference to the Bommai case.

    1994: R. Rajagopal Vs State of Tamil Nadu: The SC decided that the right to privacy was a part of right to personal liberty.

    1997: Vishaka Vs State of Rajasthan: SC defined ‘Sexual harassment’ including at workplace and issued Vishaka guidelines that remained in force till 2013.

    2003: People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India: The SC ruled candidates contesting elections must declare their assets, liabilities and criminal antecedents.

    2007: SC rules that laws placed in the ninth schedule can be struck down if they violate basic structure of the Constitution.

    2007: SC upholds expulsion of MPs in cash-for-query scam; rules that each House of Parliament has inherent power to expel its members.

    2013: Lily Thomas vs Union of India: The SC ruled all politicians sentenced to more than two years in jail on a criminal conviction will be disqualified as an elected representative.

    2013: Aruna R. Shanbaug vs UoI: The Supreme Court issued guidelines allowing passive euthanasia.

    2015: Supreme Court AoR Association vs UoI: The SC strikes down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act.

Other Revision Notes