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The Constitution offers all citizens, individually and collectively, some basic freedoms. These are guaranteed in the Constitution in the form of six broad categories of Fundamental Rights, which are justifiable. Article 12 to 35 contained in Part III of the Constitution deal with Fundamental Rights. These are:
Right to equality, including equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and equality of opportunity in matters of employment.
Right to freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association or union, movement, residence, and right to practice any profession or occupation (some of these rights are subject to security of the State, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, decency or morality).
Right against exploitation, prohibiting all forms of forced labour, child labour and traffic in human beings.
Right to freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion.
Right of any section of citizens to conserve their culture, language or script, and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice; and
Right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
Source: India Book 2020 - A Reference Annual
The Polity: Citizenship Fund. Rights Fund. Duties
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Fundamental rights in India
Fundamental rights in India
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The Fundamental Rights in India enshrined in the Part III (Article 12-32) of the Constitution of India guarantee civil liberties such that all Indians can lead their lives in peace and harmony as citizens of India. These rights are known as "fundamental" as they are most essential for all-round development i.e., material,intellectual, moral and spiritual and protected by fundamental law of the land i.e. constitution.
These include individual rights common to most liberal democracies, such as equality before law, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, freedom to practice religion, and the right to constitutional remedies for the protection of civil rights by means of writs such as habeas corpus. Violations of these rights result in punishments as prescribed in the Indian Penal Code, subject to discretion of the judiciary. The Fundamental Rights are defined as basic human freedoms which every Indian citizen has the right to enjoy for a proper and harmonious development of personality. These rights universally apply to all citizens, irrespective of race, place of birth, religion, caste or sex. They are enforceable by the courts, subject to certain restrictions. The Rights have their origins in many sources, including England's Bill of Rights, the United States Bill of Rights and France's Declaration of the Rights of Man.
The six fundamental rights are:
Right to equality (Article 14–18)
Right to freedom (Article 19–22)
Right against exploitation (Article 23–24)
Right to freedom of religion (Article 25–28)
Cultural and educational rights (Article 29–30)
Right to constitutional remedies (Article 32)
Rights literally mean those freedoms which are essential for personal good as well as the good of the community. The rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India are fundamental as they have been incorporated into the and are enforceable in a court of law. However, this does not mean that they are absolute or that they are immune from Constitutional amendment.
Fundamental rights for Indians have also been aimed at overturning the inequalities of pre-independence social practices. Specifically, they have also been used to abolish untouchability and hence prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. They also forbid trafficking of human beings and forced labour. They also protect cultural and educational rights of ethnic and religious minorities by allowing them to preserve their languages and also establish and administer their own education institutions. When the Constitution of India came into force it basically gave seven fundamental rights to its citizens. However, Right to Property was removed as a Fundamental Right through 44th Constitutional Amendment in 1978. In 2009, Right to Education Act was added. Every child between the age of 6 to 14 years is entitled to free education.
In the case of (1973), it was held by the Apex Court that Fundamental Rights can be amended by the Parliament, however, such amendment should not contravene the basic structure of the Constitution.
2 Significance and characteristics
3 Right To Equality 3.1 Article 14 3.2 Article 15 3.3 Article 16 3.4 Article 17 3.5 Article 18 4 Right To Freedom
4.1 Right to information (RTI)
5 Right against exploitation
6 Right to freedom of religion
7 Right to life
8 Cultural and educational rights
9 Right to Constitutional Remedies
10 Right to privacy
11 Critical analysis
13 Fundamental rights and its issues
13.1 Basic structure doctrine
13.2 Validity of Article 31B
13.3 Amendment to Article 31C
13.4 Right to property
13.5 Right to education
14 See also 15 References 15.1 Sources
See also: Indian independence movement
The first demand for fundamental rights came in the form of the “Constitution of India Bill, in 1895. Also popularly known as the Swaraj Bill 1895, it was written during the emergence of Indian nationalism and increasingly vocal demands by Indians for self-government. It talked about freedom of speech, right to privacy, right to franchise, etc.
In the following period attempts were made from quarters asking the British government to grants rights for Indians .These demand were made in resolution by the INc between 1917 and 1919 in several reports ands bills
In 1919, the Rowlatt Act gave extensive powers to the British government and allowed indefinite arrest and detention of individuals, warrantless searches and seizures, restrictions on public gatherings, and intensive censorship of media and publications. The public opposition to this act eventually led to mass campaigns of non-violent civil disobedience throughout the country demanding guaranteed civil freedoms, and limitations on government power. Indians, who were seeking independence and their own government, were particularly influenced by the independence of Ireland and the development of the Irish constitution. Also, the directive principles of state policy in Irish constitution were looked upon by the people of India as an inspiration for independent India's government to comprehensively tackle complex social and economic challenges across a vast, diverse nation and population.
Fundamental Rights (Article 12
Fundamental Rights (Articles 12-35) are in Part III of the Indian Constitution. Fundamental Rights are broadly classified into 6 different rights - these rights are conferred on the citizens of India by the Constitution, these rights are inviolable. Download Fundamental Rights notes PDF. For UPSC 2022 Preparation, follow BYJU'S.
Articles 12-35 of Indian Constitution deal with Fundamental Rights. These human rights are conferred upon the citizens of India for the Constitution tells that these rights are inviolable. Right to Life, Right to Dignity, Right to Education etc. all come under one of the six main fundamental rights.
Fundamental rights are a very important topic in the polity section of the UPSC exam. It is a basic static portion of the syllabus but it is highly dynamic in the sense that it is featured in the daily news in some form or the other. Hence, it is highly important for the IAS exam.
In this article, you can read all about 6 fundamental rights of India:Right to EqualityRight to FreedomRight against ExploitationRight to Freedom of ReligionCultural and Educational RightsRight to Constitutional Remedies
The significance and list of fundamental rights for the UPSC exam are also given in the article.Aspirants can get strategy articles and study material at Free IAS Prep now!!UPSC Previous Year Question PapersCurrent AffairsUPSC Notes PDFIAS Mock Tests NCERT Notes PDF
What are the Fundamental Rights?
Fundamental rights are the basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution of India which are guaranteed to all citizens. They are applied without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, etc. Significantly, fundamental rights are enforceable by the courts, subject to certain conditions.Why are they called Fundamental Rights?
These rights are called fundamental rights because of two reasons:
They are enshrined in the Constitution which guarantees them
They are justiciable (enforceable by courts). In case of a violation, a person can approach a court of law.
List of Fundamental Rights
There are six fundamental rights of Indian Constitution along with the constitutional articles related to them are mentioned below:
Right to Equality (Article 14-18)
Right to Freedom (Article 19-22)
Right against Exploitation (Article 23-24)
Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28)
Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29-30)
Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)
Why Right to Property is not a Fundamental Right?
There was one more fundamental right in the Constitution, i.e., the right to property.
However, this right was removed from the list of fundamental rights by the 44th Constitutional Amendment.
This was because this right proved to be a hindrance towards attaining the goal of socialism and redistributing wealth (property) equitably among the people.Note: The right to property is now a legal right and not a fundamental right.
Introduction to Six Fundamental Rights (Articles 12 to 35)
Under this section, we list the fundamental rights in India and briefly describe each of them.1. Right to Equality (Articles 14 – 18)
Right to equality guarantees equal rights for everyone, irrespective of religion, gender, caste, race or place of birth. It ensures equal employment opportunities in the government and insures against discrimination by the State in matters of employment on the basis of caste, religion, etc. This right also includes the abolition of titles as well as untouchability.
Aspirants can read more about Right to Equality in the linked article.2. Right to Freedom (Articles 19 – 22)
Freedom is one of the most important ideals cherished by any democratic society. The Indian Constitution guarantees freedom to citizens. The freedom right includes many rights such as:
Freedom of speech
Freedom of expression
Freedom of assembly without arms
Freedom of association
Freedom to practise any profession
Freedom to reside in any part of the country
Read more on the Right to Freedom in the linked article.
Some of these rights are subject to certain conditions of state security, public morality and decency and friendly relations with foreign countries. This means that the State has the right to impose reasonable restrictions on them.
Aspirants can find the details on Right to Life (Article 21), in the linked article.3. Right against Exploitation (Articles 23 – 24)
This right implies the prohibition of traffic in human beings, , and other forms of forced labour. It also implies the prohibition of children in factories, etc. The Constitution prohibits the employment of children under 14 years in hazardous conditions.
Read more on the Right against Exploitation in the linked article.4. Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25 – 28)
This indicates the secular nature of Indian polity. There is equal respect given to all religions. There is freedom of conscience, profession, practice and propagation of religion. The State has no official religion. Every person has the right to freely practice his or her faith, establish and maintain religious and charitable institutions.
Read more on the Right to Freedom of Religion in the linked article.5. Cultural and Educational Rights (Articles 29 – 30)
These rights protect the rights of religious, cultural and linguistic minorities, by facilitating them to preserve their heritage and culture. Educational rights are for ensuring education for everyone without any discrimination.