Prelims 2021

Q. What was the exact constitutional status of India on 26th January, 1950?

a) A Democratic Republic
b) A Sovereign Democratic Republic
c) A Sovereign Secular Democratic Republic
d) A Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic

Correct Answer: b) A Sovereign Democratic Republic

Question from UPSC Prelims 2021 GS Paper

Explanation : 

India’s Constitution Adoption and Republic Status

On January 26, 1950, India adopted its new Constitution and became a republic. The exact constitutional status of India on this date was “Sovereign Democratic Republic.”

Sovereign: This indicates that India is a fully independent country, not subject to any external authority.
Democratic: This signifies that the country’s government is elected by its people and that it operates on the principles of democracy.
Republic: This means that the head of state is elected, not a hereditary monarch.

42nd Amendment and Changes to the Preamble

At this point in time, the words “Socialist” and “Secular” were not part of the preamble to the Constitution. These terms were added later by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, during the Emergency period under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. After this amendment, the preamble reads “Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic.”

Therefore, on January 26, 1950, the correct constitutional status of India was “A Sovereign Democratic Republic.”

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