Out of the total 9 papers in the UPSC Mains exam, GS II is very important. Moreover, the topics under GS II are equally crucial for your prelims exam. They form a major part of the GS paper one in the prelims exam. In addition to this, GS II is a static subject. Hence, one cannot simply avoid it or choose to neglect the subject. This paper will fetch you many marks if you attempt questions rightly. But when we say GS II, what comes to your mind? It is probably something about Indian Polity. Or about the Laxmikanth book around India Polity. Some may think about Governance or International Relations. But how many of us think about an Indian Constitution Book. We often forget that we need some constitution books for GS II prep. Today’s article will talk about the best book for the constitution of India.
Topics under Polity and the Indian Constitution Book
Many among us think that Indian polity covers some detailed aspects of the constitution. No doubt, the constitution of India is covered under polity. However, a single book will not cover everything. There is a total of 20 questions from GS paper two. You can either answer the question in Hindi or English. Moreover, the answering word limit is either 150 mins or 250 mins. If we follow a strict separation of topics, the polity is not the same as the constitution. If you want a detailed focus on the Indian Constitution, you will need a detailed book. Firstly, let us help you with the topics which must be covered in the best Indian Constitution Book.
The first topic to study under this topic is the history of the constitution. Secondly, you need to read about the evolution of the code. Further, you need to read about the salient and basic features of our constitution. Moreover, you also need to focus on the various detailed amendments that took place over the years. For example the 42nd amendment and the 73rd amendment. Other than this, you also need to focus on some imp provisions of the constitution. In addition to this, you should also read about Union and States. Moreover, you must also read about the issues with our federal structure.
Other Important Topics
Now that the 73rd amendment has kicked in, you must also read about the local govt. Hence, you will need to read about the devolution of powers up to the different levels of the govt. You must also read of the hardships in this distribution of powers. This will be called the vertical distribution of powers. However, the best books on the constitution will also talk about the horizontal distribution of powers. What does the horizontal distribution of powers mean? Basically, here the powers are divided among the different organs of the govt. That is the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. Another imp topic under this is the dispute redressal mechanism of our country. Lastly, you must read about the comparison b/w our constitution and other countries.
Feautures of the best book for the Constitution of India
A good Indian Constitution Book will clearly compare the various features from different constitutions. The reason behind this comparison is because our constitution has borrowed many things. However, it has still maintained its originality in the Indian context.
A good Indian constitution book will help you to know the positives and negatives of the constitution. Which books can I read to get the crux of the subject? We are here to answer this. The first book to refer to in case you need basic learning is for the polity. You should refer to the Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth book. It is among the best constitution books for UPSC aspirants. It will cover a wide area around the govt. Moreover, it will simplify the tough concepts of our original constitution for you. The language is clear.
However, it might take you 2 to 3 reads to completely know the subject. The book has some great updated chapters useful for your prep. Mostly, aspirants think that this book covers all that you need to read in polity and governance. However, the major focus of this book isn’t constitutional. Hence, you should also read a specialized book to sharpen your constitutional prep. One such among other constitution books is Introduction to Constitution of India. DD Basu is the author of this book. It is easily available online. The latest edition was out in 2019. Hence, for years, these two Indian Constitution Books are popular. To buy this book: click here.
Facts about the Indian Constitution
Now let us look at some facts about our constitution. Firstly, it is a written constitution. Moreover, it is one of the lengthiest legal texts in our country. Secondly, it is a compilation of features from various sources. That is, some of the features are borrowers from Britain, the USA, etc. The idea behind this was to have the best of all constitutions in one book. Thirdly, usually, there are two types of charters. You can either amend a constitution very easily or not at all. However, our constitution is in the middle of rigidity and flexibility. This is a very amazing feature. The very basic features are rigid. Whereas, the features which need to be regularly updated are flexible to change. However, the court has revised the basic features theory time and again. You will read about this more in the constitution of India Book.
Another amazing feature is the federal system adopted along with unitary bias. This is unique to the Indian Constitution. Although there is a federal govt system, the union has more power. Moreover, the country turns into a unitary system during crises. This isn’t found in any other country systems except India. Further, we have adopted the parliamentary system. Also known as the Westminister system of Britain. The book tries to find the perfect balance b/w political sway and judicial power. You can also find a mention of an integrated or an independent judiciary. Other imp features are the fundamental rights, duties, DPSP, Secularity, and universal adult franchise.
Criticims of the Indian Constitution Book
The constitution also declares a single citizenship system across the country. Moreover, it mentions a three-tier govt, cooperative societies, emergency, etc. All these features strengthen our constitution. Hence, these are the common positives about the book. However, no constitution is perfect. Hence, it invites some criticism as well. Let us talk about the criticisms of the Indian Constitution Book. Firstly, the book is criticized as a borrowed constitution. Secondly, it was called the carbon copy of the 1935 act. Which is true. A majority of the provisions of the constitution come from this act. We can say that this act was the basis of our constitution. Another imp criticism is the Un-Indianness of the book. Members of the constituent assembly felt that it was a foreign-based book. Hence, there was no ethnicity to it.
Moreover, it was also criticized as an Un-Gandhian constitution. We know that Mahatma Gandhi was not a part of the constituent assembly. This lead to exclusion of the Gandhian ethics as a part of the constitution. The book was very bulky. Hence, it was believed to be difficult to read and interpret. Only the judiciary can do that. Thus, it is also called a paradise for lawyers. The book was made by the lawyers for the lawyers. Hence, it is difficult for the common poor and illiterate to understand the constitution. We must consider all these features while reading the best constitution books for UPSC. For more such book tips: click here.
Yes. The basics are well covered in the Indian Polity Book by M Laxmikanth. However, it is not enough to get a detailed understanding. This book will give you an outline. But you should focus on learning the deep details for your exam.
Usually, a month or two is enough to take a basic look at the books. Moreover, you will need more time to cover polity and the constitution. Hence, you should first cover the basics. Then go for the detailed chapters. The Indian Constitution Book is vast. Hence, you must aim to cover one or two chapters per day to finish the syllabus on time.
Firstly, you must stick to static books. Make sure that they are covering your syllabus. In addition to this, you must read the political issues of our country. Refer to the newspaper like the Hindu. Hence, add some current affairs to your learning. You can also watch TV channels like Rajya Sabha TV. Try and relate topics with your static syllabus.
Editor’s Note | Indian Constitution Book
Here we will conclude our article. In today’s article, we talked about the different books for GS II. Our focus was on the best Indian Constitution books for UPSC. These books will help you to score great marks in the mains paper. Moreover, it will also help you in clearing the prelims exam. We have already talked that GS II carries great weightage in case of prelims and mains. Hence, you need special focus on these books for your prep.