The government celebrated ‘Constitution Day’ or ‘Samvidhan Diwas’ today in the Central Hall of Parliament to mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution by the Constituent Assembly.
President Ramnath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the MPs on the occasion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India has strengthened and empowered its democracy in the last 70 years.
Addressing members of both Houses of Parliament in the Central Hall of Parliament House, he also said that while November 26 is a happy occasion as India celebrates Constitution Day, it also reminds of the Mumbai terror attacks that took place on this day in 2008.
“I pay tributes to those killed in the Mumbai terror attacks,” he said.
Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla welcomed all the dignitaries present to witness the joint sitting.
The first amendment of the Constitution in 1951 was to empower the State to undertake affirmative action for the advancement of any socially and economically backward classes or categories of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by restricting the application of Fundamental Rights.
The latest 103rd amendment passed in 2019 enabled 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections in educational institutions and in appointments.
Since the first Constitution amendment made by the Provisional Parliament in 1951, when Rajya Sabha was not in existence, the Constitution has been amended 103 times so far, the Upper House Secretariat said.
Of these 103 amendments to the Constitution, the 99th amendment for setting up of a National Judicial Commission was held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, it noted.
A maximum of 32 amendments were related to the matters of states including reorganisation, transfer of territories, inclusion of some languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution etc.
Twelve amendments were aimed at extending reservation for SCs, STs and Anglo-Indians in Parliament and state legislatures, eight each related to reservations in educational institutions and employment, including in promotions. Another six amendments related to taxation including introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Since coming into being in 1952, the Rajya Sabha has passed 107 constitution amendment bills out of which one was negatived by Lok Sabha while four have lapsed on its dissolution, it said.
Accordingly, Rajya Sabha has been a party to 102 Constitution amendments.
And the only Bill passed by the upper house in 1990 for proclamation of President’s Rule in Punjab, was negatived by the lower house.
The Lok Sabha has passed 106 constitution amendment bills.