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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Hindu

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Hindu (78.1%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 unclear [Preamble and Article 290A]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Article 25(1)]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Article 15(1)]

Constitution

Constitution Year3 1949
Last Amended3 2016
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Original was written in English.
Current as of3 October 10, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Preamble

... having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a ... secular ... republic ...

...

LIBERTY of ... belief, faith and worship;

...

Article 15. Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, [etc.]

(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion ...

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion ... caste ... be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to---[here follows a list of public accommodations]

...

[Technical exceptions follow for caste-based affirmative action]

Article 16. Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.

...

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion ... caste ... be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State.

...

(4A) [Technical exception for caste-based affirmative action]

...

(5) Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any law which provides that the incumbent of an office in connection with the affairs of any religious or denominational institution or any member of the governing body thereof shall be a person professing a particular religion or belonging to a particular denomination.

Article 17. Abolition of Untouchability.

"Untouchability" is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of "Untouchability" shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.

Article 23. Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.

...

(2) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from imposing compulsory service for public purposes, and in imposing such service the State shall not make any discrimination on grounds only of religion ... caste ...

Article 25. Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

(1) Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.

(2) Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law---

(a) regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice;

(b) providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus.

Explanation I

The wearing and carrying of kirpans shall be deemed to be included in the profession of the Sikh religion.

Explanation II

In sub-clause (b) of clause (2), the reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions shall be construed accordingly.

Article 26. Freedom to manage religious affairs.

Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right---

(a) to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes;

(b) to manage its own affairs in matters of religion;

(c) to own and acquire movable and immovable property; and

(d) to administer such property in accordance with law.

Article 27. Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion.

No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.

Article 28. Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions.

(1) No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds.

(2) Nothing in clause (1) shall apply to an educational institution which is administered by the State but has been established under any endowment or trust which requires that religious instruction shall be imparted in such institution.

(3) No person attending any educational institution recognised by the State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or, if such person is a minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto.

Article 29. Protection of interests of minorities.

...

(2) No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion ... caste ...

Article 30. Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

(1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

...

(2) The State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.

Article 46. Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes [etc.]

The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes ..., and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.

Article 51A. Fundamental duties.

It shall be the duty of every citizen of India---

...

(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious ... diversities; ...

Article 124A.

(1) There shall be a Commission to be known as the National Judicial Appointments Commission consisting of the following, namely:

...

(d) ... Provided that one of the eminent person shall be nominated from amongst the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes ...

Article 164. Other provisions as to Ministers.

(1) ... Provided that in the States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, there shall be a Minister in charge of tribal welfare who may in addition be in charge of the welfare of the Scheduled Castes ...

...

Article 239AA. Special provisions with respect to Delhi.

...

(2) ...

(b) The ... number of seats [in the Legislative Assembly] reserved for Scheduled Castes ... shall be regulated by law made by Parliament.

Article 243D. Reservation of seats.

(1) Seats shall be reserved for---

(a) the Scheduled Castes; ...

...

in every Panchayat and the number of seats so reserved shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in that Panchayat as the population of the Scheduled Castes in that Panchayat area ... bears to the total population of that area and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat.

(2) Not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved under clause (1) shall be reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes ... [among others]

(3) Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes ...) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat.

(4) The offices of the Chairpersons in the Panchayats at the village or any other level shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes ... and women in such manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide:

Provided that the number of offices of Chairpersons reserved for the Scheduled Castes ... in the Panchayats at each level in any State shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of such offices in the Panchayats at each level as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the State ... bears to the total population of the State: ...

...

Article 243M. Part not to apply to certain areas.

...

(3A) Nothing in article 243D, relating to reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes, shall apply to the State of Arunachal Pradesh.

...

Article 243T. Reservation of seats.

(1) Seats shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes ... in every Municipality and the number of seats so reserved shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats to be filed by direct election in that Municipality as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the Municipal area ... bears to the total population in that area and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a municipality.

(2) Not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved under clause (1) shall be reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes ...

(3) Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes ...) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Municipality shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Municipality.

(4) The offices of Chairpersons in the Municipalities shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes ... in such manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide.

...

Article 243ZJ. Number and term of members of board [of directors of any cooperative society] and its office bearers.

(1) ... Provided further that the Legislature of a State shall, by law, provide for the reservation of one seat for the Scheduled Castes ... on board of every co-operative society consisting of individuals as members and having members from such class or category of persons.

...

Article 290A. Annual payment to certain Devaswom Funds.

A sum of forty-six lakhs and fifty thousand rupees shall be charged on, and paid out of the Consolidated Fund of the State of Kerala every year to the Travancore Devaswom Fund; and a sum of thirteen lakhs and fifty thousand rupees shall be charged on, and paid out of the Consolidated Fund of the State of Tamil Nadu, every year to the Devaswom Fund established in that State for the maintenance of Hindu temples and shrines in the territories transferred to that State on the 1st day of November, 1956, from the State of Travancore-Cochin.

Article 325. No person to be ineligible for inclusion in, or to claim to be included in a special, electoral roll on grounds of religion [etc.]

There shall be one general electoral roll for every territorial constituency for election to either House of Parliament or to the House or either House of the Legislature of a State and no person shall be ineligible for inclusion in any such roll or claim to be included in any special electoral roll for any such constituency on grounds only of religion ... caste ...

Article 330. Reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People.

(1) Seats shall be reserved in the House of the People for---

(a) the Scheduled Castes;

...

(2) The number of seats reserved in any State or Union territory for the Scheduled Castes ... under clause (1) shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats allotted to that State or Union territory in the House of the People as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the State or Union territory ... in respect of which seats are so reserved, bears to the total population of the State or Union territory.

...

Article 332. Reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assemblies of the States.

(1) Seats shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes ... in the Legislative Assembly of every State.

...

(3) The number of seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes ... in the Legislative Assembly of any State under clause (1) shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats in the Assembly as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the State ..., in respect of which seats are so reserved, bears to the total population of the State.

...

Article 334. Reservation of seats and special representation to cease after seventy years.

Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Part, the provisions of this Constitution relating to---

(a) the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes ... in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies of the States; and

...

shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of seventy years from the commencement of this Constitution: ...

Article 335. Claims of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to services and posts.

The claims of the members of the Scheduled Castes ... shall be taken into consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of appointments to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State.

Provided that nothing in this article shall prevent in making of any provision in favour of the members of the Scheduled Castes ... for relaxation in qualifying marks in any examination or lowering the standards of evaluation, for reservation in matters of promotion to any class or classes of services or posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State.

Article 338. National Commission for Scheduled Castes.

(1) There shall be a Commission for the Scheduled Castes to be known as the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes.

...

(5) It shall be the duty of the Commission---

(a) to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes under this Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards;

(b) to inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Castes;

(c) to participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development: of the Scheduled Castes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State;

(d) to present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;

(e) to make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes; and

(f) to discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled Castes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.

...

(9) The Union and every State Government shall consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting Scheduled Castes.

...

Article 341. Scheduled Castes.

(1) The President may with respect to any State or Union territory, and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor thereof, by public notification, specify the castes ... or parts of or groups within castes ... which shall for the purposes of this Constitution be deemed to be Scheduled Castes in relation to that State or Union territory, as the case may be.

(2) Parliament may by law include in or exclude from the list of Scheduled Castes specified in a notification issued under clause (1) any caste ... or part of or group within any caste ... but save as aforesaid a notification issued under the said clause shall not be varied by any subsequent notification.

Article 366. Definitions.

...

(24) "Scheduled Castes" means such castes ... or parts of or groups within such castes ... as are deemed under article 341 to be Scheduled Castes for the purposes of this Constitution;

...

Article 371A. Special provision with respect to the State of Nagaland.

(1) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,---

(a) no Act of Parliament in respect of---

(i) religious ... practices of the Nagas,

...

shall apply to the State of Nagaland unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides;

...

...

Article 371G. Special provision with respect to the State of Mizoram.

Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,---

(a) no Act of Parliament in respect of---

(i) religious ... practices of the Mizos

...

shall apply to the State of Mizoram unless the Legislative Assembly of the State of Mizoram by a resolution so decides: ...

...

SEVENTH SCHEDULE: (Article 246 [on division of powers between national and state governments])

...

List II: State List

...

(32) Incorporation, regulation and winding up of ... unincorporated ... religious ... societies and associations ...

...

List III: Concurrent List

...

(28) ... religious endowments and religious institutions.

...

NINTH SCHEDULE: (Article 31B [specifically validating certain Acts and Regulations])

...

(24) The Assam State Acquisition of Lands belonging to Religious or Charitable Institution of Public Nature Act, 1959 (Assam Act IX of 1961).

...

(222) The Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prohibition of Transfer of certain Lands) Act, 1978 (Karnataka Act 2 of 1979).

...

(257A) The Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of appointments or posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1993 (Tamil Nadu Act 45 of 1994).

...

(267) The Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prohibition of Transfer of Certain Lands) (Amendment) Act, 1984 (Karnataka Act 3 of 1984).

...

ELEVENTH SCHEDULE: (Article 243G [Purview of Panchayats])

...

(27) Welfare of the weaker sections, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes ...

...


Sources

1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

3.  Text from country constitutions was copied from primary documents obtained online using a variety of sources, including the Constitute Project, World Constitutions Illustrated, and government sources. When the text was in a language other than English, it was translated to English by ARDA staff or with web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to differentiate religious content from non-religious content. Text is current to the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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