SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP 2017 [20th Feb] – Day 26

  • March 20, 2017
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IASbaba's Think Learn and Perform 2017, UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2017 [20th Feb] – Day 26


1. What is ‘basic structure’? Discuss the evolution of this concept in Indian constitutional jurisprudence.

The Supreme Court recognized BASIC STRUCTURE concept for the first time in the historic Kesavananda Bharati case in 1973. Ever since the Supreme Court has been the interpreter of the Constitution and the arbiter of all amendments made by parliament. The majority held that article 368 even before the 24th Amendment contained the power as well as the procedure of amendment. The Supreme Court declared that Article 368 did not enable Parliament to alter the basic structure or framework of the Constitution and parliament could not use its amending powers under Article368 to ‘damage’, ’emasculate’, ‘destroy’, ‘abrogate’, ‘change’ or ‘alter’ the ‘basic structure’ or framework of the constitution. This decision is not just a landmark in the evolution of constitutional law, but a turning point in constitutional history.

(Note: the following details are only for the understanding. All points are not to be mentioned in the answer.)

Basic Features of the Constitution according to the Kesavanada verdict each judge laid out separately, what he thought were the basic or essential features of the Constitution.
Sikri, C.J. explained that the concept of basic structure included:

  • Supremacy of the Constitution
  • Republican and democratic form of government
  • Secular character of the Constitution
  • Separation of powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary
  • Federal character of the Constitution

Shelat, J. and Grover, J. added three more basic features to this list:

  • The mandate to build a welfare state contained in the Directive Principles of State Policy
  • Unity and integrity of the nation
  • Sovereignty of the country.

Unegde, J. and Mukherjea, J. identified a separate and shorter list of basic features:

  • Sovereignty of India
  • Democratic character of the polity
  • Unity of the country
  • Essential features of the individual freedoms secured to the citizens
  • Mandate to build a welfare state

Jaganmohan Reddy, J. stated that elements of the basic features were to be found in the Preamble Of the Constitution and the provisions into which they translated such as:

  • Sovereign democratic republic
  • Justice – social, economic and political
  • Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship
  • Equality of status and the opportunity.

Evolution to Basic Structure theory:

The question whether fundamental rights can be amended under article 368 came for consideration in the Supreme Court in Shankari Prasad case.In this case validity of constitution (1st amendment) act, 1951 which inserted inter alia , articles 31-A and 31-B of the constitution was challenged. The amendment was challenged on the ground that it abridges the rights conferred by part III and hence was void. The Supreme Court however rejected the above argument and held that power to amend including the fundamental rights is contained in Article 368and the same view was taken by court in Sajjan Singh case.
In Golak Nath case, the validity of 17th Amendment which inserted certain acts in Ninth Schedule was again challenged. The Supreme Court ruled the parliament had no power to amend Part III of the constitution and overruled its earlier decision in Shankari Prasad and Sajjan Singh case. In order to remove difficulties created by the decision of SC in Golak Nath case parliament enacted the 24th Amendment act.

Finally in Keshavananda Bharti case Supreme Court came up with the idea of ‘Basic Structure’.

There is no hard and fast rule for basic feature of the Constitution. Different judge keep different views regarding to theory of basis structure. But at one point they have similar view that parliament has no power to destroy, alter, or emasculate the ‘basic structure’ or framework of the constitution. So for the protection of welfare state, fundamental rights, Unity and integrity of the nation, Sovereign democratic republic and for Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, interpretation of judiciary is mandatory. We can say none is above constitution even parliament and judiciary.

Best answer: Black Swan

Doctrine of “Basic structure” in Indian judicial system refers to the basic features of the constitution which cannot be altered or abridged away even by an Act of Parliament.

Though the words “basic structure” do not find a place in our constitution, the concept has evolved over the years. It gives the Supreme Court power to strike down the constitutional amendments which conflict with or seek to alter the basic structure.

Evolution of the concept of ‘basic structure’:

  • In cases like, Shankari Prasad Singh Deo v. Union of India and Sajjan Singh v. State of Rajasthan Supreme court had ruled that Article 368, which grants constituent power to make formal amendments in the constitution, also extends to fundamental rights. 24th constitutional amendment further reinforced the verdict. In other words, the power to amend the rights had been upheld on the basis of Article 368.
  • In Golaknath v. State of Punjab, 1967 SC ruled that amendment under article 368 is “law” within the meaning of article 13 of the Constitution and therefore, if an amendment “takes away or abridges” a Fundamental Right conferred by Part III, it is void. It conferred a “transcendental position” to the FRs which is immutable
  • Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala, 1973 is regarded as a landmark decision and rightly so, cause it outlined the “Basic Structure doctrine” of the Constitution.
    This conferred the power of judicial review on the Indian judiciary, and limited the power of Indian parliament to enact laws which conflict with or seek to alter this basic structure of the Constitution.

Though 42nd CAA, 1976 tried to curtail the power of judiciary wrt to judicial review, 44th CAA, 1978 nullified it and restored the powers to judiciary.

Though, the basic structure is not well defined, the constitutional ideals such as sovereign democratic republic, liberty, equality, secular, federal character, separation of powers and so on forms the basic structure. With these ideals, the three organs of the government strive to achieve the goals of welfare state as envisioned by our constitutional forefathers.

2. The Government of India Act, 1935 has influenced the Constitution to a great extent. Do you agree? Examine.


Write a short introduction.


  1. It provided for the establishment of an All-India Federation consisting of provinces and princely states as units. The Act divided the powers between the Centre and units in terms of three lists—Federal List (for Centre, with 59 items), Provincial List (for provinces, with 54 items) and the Concurrent List (for both, with 36 items).
  2. Residuary powers were given to the Viceroy in the 1935 act, this power now lies with the Parliament according to Art 248
  3. It abolished Dyarchy in the provinces and introduced ‘provincial autonomy’ in its place. The provinces were allowed to act as autonomous units of administration in their defined spheres.
  4. The Act introduced responsible governments in provinces, that is, the governor was required to act with the advice of ministers responsible to the provincial legislature. This system is followed presently under the PART VI Art. (152-237) of the Indian constitution.
  5. It introduced bicameralism in six out of eleven provinces. The provinces’ had two houses the legislative assemblies and the legislative councils. However, many restrictions were placed on them. Currently seven Indian States, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Jammu-Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, have bicameral Legislatures
  6. It provided for the establishment of a Reserve Bank of India to control the currency and credit of the country.
  7. It provided for the establishment of not only a Federal Public Service Commission but also a Provincial Public Service Commission and Joint Public Service Commission for two or more provinces. The constitution of India adopted the UPSC and SPSCs on these lines.
  8. It provided for the establishment of a Federal Court, which was set up in 1937.the current federal nature of Supreme Courts derives its existence from the GOI act 1935.


Write a brief conclusion


Best answer: Ashish Dahiya

The Government of India Act 1935 passed by British Parliament in August 1935 in itself was a mammoth legislative document. The Government of India Act 1935 derived material from four key sources viz. Report of the Simon Commission, discussions at the Third Round Table Conference, the White Paper of 1933 and the reports of the Joint select committees. The Government of India act 1935 had major influence on the formation of Indian Constitution. It must be noted that the act itself was never implemented fully.

Features taken from GOI Act 1935

  1. The Federal System of government: The basis of Federal structure in India taken from the GOI 1935.
  2. Separation of legislative powers between the centre and states also taken from the GOI act 1935.
  3. Office of Governor: This concept was taken from Govt. of India Act 1935. In present structure of Constitution, article 154-162 deals with the governor and its power.
  4. Judiciary power division: The formation and separation of power to various judicial bodies for example district court, high court and Supreme Court, this part also taken from GOI act 1935.
  5. Bicameral central legislature consisting of a federal assembly and a Council of States in the form of State legislative assembly and state legislative council.
  6. Emergency provisions as in article 352, 356 and 360 are taken from GOI Act 1935.
  7. Service commissions in GOI Act 1935 form the basis of Union Public Service Commission and other State Public Service Commissions.
  8. Creation of RBI under RBI Act of 1935.
  9. Union, state and Concurrent list as present in Indian Constitution also came from the concept of Federal Provincial and Concurrent lists present in GOI Act 1935.

Therefore I agree that Indian Constitution greatly influenced by the Government of India Act, 1935. There are many features taken in Indian Constitution from many sources still Government of India Act 1935 from the basis of Indian Constitution.

3. Why fundamental rights are considered fundamental? Substantiate by taking suitable examples.


The Fundamental Rights are enshrined in Part III of the Constitution from Articles 12 to 35. Part III of the Constitution is rightly described as the Magna Carta of India.1 It contains a very long and comprehensive list of ‘justiciable’ Fundamental Rights. In fact, the Fundamental Rights in our Constitution are more elaborate than those found in the Constitution of any other country in the world.


Importance of the fundamental rights:

The Fundamental Rights are named so because they are guaranteed and protected by the Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the land.

They are ‘fundamental’ also in the sense that they are most essential for the all-round development -material, intellectual, moral and spiritual (Art21, 21A, 15, 16, 25 and 31) of the individuals. E.g.  Under article 25 every person is free to practice, profess and propagate any religion of his choice.

The Fundamental Rights are guaranteed by the Constitution to all persons without any discrimination. They uphold the equality of all individuals (Art 14 and 21), the dignity of the individual (Art 17), the larger public interest and unity of the nation.

The Fundamental Rights are meant for promoting the ideal of political democracy. They prevent the establishment of an authoritarian and despotic rule in the country, and protect the liberties and freedoms of the people against the invasion by the State.

They operate as limitations on the tyranny of the executive and arbitrary laws of the legislature. In short, they aim at establishing ‘a government of laws and not of men’.

The power of judicial review has been conferred on the Supreme Court (Article 32) and the high courts (Article 226) that can declare a law unconstitutional and invalid on the ground of contravention of any of the Fundamental Rights.

The Supreme Court held in the Kesavananda Bharati case2 (1973) that a Constitutional amendment can be challenged on the ground that it violates a fundamental right that forms a part of the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution and hence, can be declared as void.


Write a brief conclusion.


Best answer: Mahi

Fundamental rights are considered as basic and fundamental requisite for the all round development of human being. It may be political , religious , social rights. FRs are enforceable in court of law and are negative rights against the state.

Equality before law or every person is treated equally before law is the basic requirement to think people freely and have a healthy feeling of competition to achieve their goal ( article – 14).

Without freedom of speech and expression , people can’t express their ideas or oppose the arbitrary action of the state which is also the fundamental for the democracy and the people. Freedom of occupation and right to reside in any part of the country are also basic need.
Basic requirement to live a happy and prosperous life one should live in healthy environment. (article 21 – right to life and personal liberty . There are many cases filed by the M.C mehta for the protection of environment, Ganga cleaning , ill effect mining activities etc. In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of india , court held that every citizen of India is to free to travel abroad subject to procedure established by law , under the ambit of article 21.

Every person has some religious sentiments and belief , it should also be protected . There should be no interference of the state power with the religion to maintain the essence of the secular character of constitution and identity of people. Under article 25 and 26 , every person are are free to practice, profess and propagate any religion of their choice.
Every arrested or detained person have the right to know the crime he has committed and have the right to defend himself through a legal practioner.These provisions are made under article 22 which deals with these rights of detenue.

If the fundamental rights of any citizens is infringed, they can directly go to supreme court under article 32 , which is also a fundamental rights for imparting the justice to all and maintain the harmony in the society.

4. What is 3D printing? Discuss it’s applications.

3D printing is based on methods of applying a 2D image on a 3D surface, a system for generating three-dimensional objects by creating a cross-sectional pattern of the object to be formed. 3D scanning is the process of analyzing and collecting data of real object; its shape and appearance and builds digital, three dimensional models.

3D Printing employs additive layer processes, where successive layers of materials are laid down in different shapes.

The 3D printing technology is used for both prototyping and distributed manufacturing with applications in architecture, construction, industrial design, automotive, aerospace, military engineering, civil engineering, dental and medical industries, biotech (human tissue replacement), fashion, footwear, jewellery, eyewear, education, geographic information systems, food, and many other fields.

(Refer best answer for detailed discussions on 3D printing applications)

Best answer 1: Ashish Dahiya

Ans: 3D Printing is a technical process of manufacturing or making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. This is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process, an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire objected is created.

Applications of 3D Printing:

  1. Product formation: Currently the main use of 3D printing is product formation. E.g. toys and all other products.
  2. In medical field: Surgeons are using this technique to print body parts for reference before complex surgeries. These 3D machines are also used to construct bone grafts for patients who have suffered traumatic injuries.
  3. Test out ideas cheaply: These 3D machines allow engineers and designers to test out ideas for 3 dimensional products cheaply before committing to expensive tooling and manufacturing processes.
  4. To save time and money: This innovative technology has been proven to save companies time, manpower and money as it is less costly.
  5. Environment friendly: This technique generates low wastes than traditional techniques as 3D printing is additive in nature.

This technique includes design visualization, prototyping/CAD, metal casting, education, healthcare etc. Research is also underway as scientists are working on creating replacement organs. Therefore, this technique is the future of science and technology.

Best answer 2: Navneet Khubber

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a manufacturing method in which objects are made by fusing or depositing materials such as plastic, metal, ceramics, powders, liquids, or even living cells in layers to produce a 3D object.This process is also referred to as additive manufacturing (AM), rapid prototyping (RP), or solid free-form technology .


Medical Applications:

– Prosthetic Hands, limbs for disabled persons and animals can be made with 3D printing.

-3D-printed neuroanatomical models can be particularly helpful to neurosurgeons by providing a representation of some of the most complicated structures in the human body like cerebral structures.

Environmental Applications: It helps in innovation of eco friendly techniques like handheld sponge which has ability to absorb pollutants.

Industrial applications: It helps in reducing the Cost for Developing the Prototype of new parts and devices, creation of automotive parts etc.

Education: Science students can study cross-sections of internal organs of the human body,explore 3D models of molecules etc.

Space: offers the ability to print parts or tools on-site, as opposed to using rockets to bring along pre-manufactured items for space missions.

The 3D printing is one of greatest innovation and has huge potential in interest of mankind. But at the time the technology is still in its initial phase and some challenges which can be overcome with time.

5. Civic polls are gaining importance in the current electoral landscape of India. Do you agree? What are its positives and negatives? Examine.

Civic polls are the elections conducted to elect representatives of nagar panchayat, municipal council and municipal corporations. These are introduced as a part of 74th amendment in 1992 with the intention to provide more autonomy to urban local bodies and to decentralize the governance for more efficiency.

Civic polls are gaining importance – Here, one can discuss about how the world is witnessing increasing urbanisation and about the growing importance of cities in national economy and development. With urbanisation, conventional methods of governing the city with top down approaches have proved to be restrictive and inadequate. There has been an increasing demand for avenues for participation, to increase transparency, modernize administration, and improve service delivery and hence for local bodies’ governance and elections to civic bodies.

Once can also discuss about recent trend – how the mainstream political parties (both National and Regional parties) increasingly using this (civic bodies’ elections) platform eyeing the vote bank.


  • Devolution of power and cooperative federalism will enhance
  • Empowerment of local government and governance
  • To promote an active exchange of experiences and enhance awareness of national and international good practices for improving the accountability and creditworthiness of urban local governments and ensuring effective delivery of services, particularly to the urban poor
  • Inclusive and facilitate active and effective participation of stakeholders , furthers bottom-up approach or grass-root democracy
  • Political parties will field better candidates due to increased importance
  • Development of cities and identity of cities


  • Excessive decentralization and unnecessary competition
  • Political interference – increases nepotism and decreases constitutive discourse, accelerated growth of regionalism, communalism, favoritism – against democracy
  • Criminalisation of politics and influence of money power and muscle power
  • Growth of regional rivalries within strong political parties

Best answer 1: Kartik

  1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a4e34b07f3b0e8c287035285a4ab5e53506f74f39323c0ec416cf20582cccc41.jpg
  2. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d06b4eea64ea3ed3bb8bcde1f2bbfc73f23cb37d8cc37a0877262d085f7509c0.jpg

Best answer 2: Fara dar

  1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d79ef76904bd3372a8560362eff26933933ae112e10576471524c5ccf459ca52.jpg
  2. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6a26b8fbdacab67f308fac01084f5279834a8b326c49b21a6d3ca82e708e6317.jpg

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