Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 7 – Q 3.The 42nd amendment to the Constitution can be termed as a watershed in post independence India’s constitutional history. Elucidate.

3. The 42nd amendment to the Constitution can be termed as a watershed in post independence India’s constitutional history. Elucidate.   

संविधान के 42 वें संशोधन को स्वतंत्रता के बाद के भारत के संवैधानिक इतिहास में एक वाटरशेड कहा जा सकता है। स्पष्ट करें।


42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, sometimes called ‘mini-Constitution’ or ‘Constitution of Indira’, is the most comprehensive amendment carried out in the year 1976 during internal emergency (1975-1977). It has brought about widespread changes to the Constitution most of which were curtailed in the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act 1978. 


The main purpose behind the enactment of the amendment was to trim the powers of judiciary with regard to the issue of judicial review and writs and strengthen the central government. Some of the changes made under the Amendment are-


The characterization of India as “Sovereign Democratic Republic” was changed to “Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic”. 
The words ‘unity of Nation’ replaced with ‘unity and integrity of Nation’.

Parliament and State


Life of Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly was extended from 5 to 6years.


Insertion of Article 32A in order to deny Supreme Court the power to consider the Constitutional validity of a State law. Another new Article 131A, gave the Supreme Court an exclusive jurisdiction to determine question relating to the Constitutional validity of a central law.

Executive    Article 74(1) was added, which stated that President shall act in accordance to the council of ministers.


Insertion of Article 257A, to enable the Centre to deploy armed forces to deal with any grave situation of law and order arising in any State.


It authorized the President to declare emergency in any part of the country.

Directive Principle of State Policy

Four new directive principles were added

  • To secure opportunities for healthy development of children (Article 39)
  • Enabling free legal aid Article39A, 
  • Protection of workers in factories Article 43A, 
  • Protection of environment and to safeguard Forest and Wildlife Article 48A

Fundamental Duties

Part IVA was added to the Constitution enabling Fundamental Duties to the citizens.


A Constitution to be living must be growing. Using Article368, the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976 has touched upon almost all the parts of the Constitution, disturbing the balance between Government and Judiciary on one hand and federal balance between Centre and State on the other. This imbalance was restored by 44th Constitutional Amendment Act  of 1978.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email