Notes of Ch 3 Constitutional Design| Class 9th Civics

Study Material and Notes of Ch 3 Constitutional Design Class 9th Civics

Democratic Constitution in South Africa

Struggle against Apartheid

• Apartheid was the name of a system of racial discrimination unique to South Africa.

• This system was particularly oppressive for the blacks.
→ They were forbidden from living in white areas.

• Since 1950, the blacks, coloured and Indians fought against the apartheid system.

• The African National Congress (ANC) was the umbrella organisation that led the struggle against the policies of segregation.

• In 1964, Nelson Mandela and seven other leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 for daring to oppose the apartheid regime in his country.

Towards a New Constitution

• As protests and struggles against apartheid had increased, the white regime changed its policies.

• After 28 years of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela released from jail.

• At the midnight of 26 April 1994, democracy was adopted as a form of government in South Africa.

• After two years, a constitution came out which gave to its citizens the most extensive rights available in any country.

Why do we need a Constitution?

• A constitution is necessary because:
→ It generates a degree of trust and coordination that is necessary for different kind of people to live together.
→ It specifies how the government will be constituted, who will have power to take which decisions.
→ It lays down limits on the powers of the government and tells us what the rights of the citizens are.
→ It expresses the aspirations of the people about creating a good society.

Making of the Indian Constitution

• In 1928, Motilal Nehru and eight other Congress leaders drafted a constitution for India.

• In 1931, the resolution at the Karachi session of the Indian National Congress dwelt on how independent India’s constitution should look like.

• Factors contributed to the making of our Constitution.
→ Ideals of French Revolution
→ The practice of parliamentary democracy in Britain
→ The Bill of Rights in the US
→ The socialist revolution in Russia

The Constituent Assembly

• In July 1946, Elections to the Constituent Assembly were held.
→ The drafting of the document called the constitution was done Constituent Assembly.
→ Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly.
→ In December 1946, the first meeting was held.

• After the country was divided into India and Pakistan, the Constituent Assembly also got divided.

• The Assembly adopted the Constitution on 26 November 1949 but it came into effect on 26 January 1950.

• To mark this day we celebrate January 26 as Republic Day every year.

• The Constituent Assembly worked in a systematic, open and consensual manner.
→ First some basic principles were decided and agreed upon.
→ Then a Drafting Committee chaired by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar prepared a draft constitution for discussion.
→ More than two thousand amendments were considered.

Philosophy of the Constitution

• The Constitution begins with a short statement of its basic values which is called the Preamble to the constitution.

The preamble focuses on:
→ Justice, social, economic and political.
→ Liberty of thoughts, expression, belief, faith and worship.
→ Equality of status and of opportunity.
→ Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.

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