Salient features of the Indian Constitution.

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  • Lengthiest written Constitution: Originally our constitution contained 395 articles divided in 22 parts and 8 schedules. Constitution has been amended 98 times. Currently there are 25 Parts, 12 Schedules, and 448 Articles. These figures show our constitution as the most comprehensive constitution in the world. (British have no written constitution and Constitution of USA had originally only 7 articles)
  • Starts with a Preamble: It gives an insight into the Philosophy of the Constitution.
  • Drawn from different sources: fundamental rights from USA, bicameralism from UK, Fundamental duties from USSR etc,
  • Blend of Rigidity and Flexibility: making Law is quite flexible and easy in comparison to amending a law.
  • Sovereignty of the Country: managing internal and external affairs freely without any external forces.
  • Democratic state: governing power is derived from the people by means of elected representatives of the people.
  • Republic: India does not have a hereditary post of Head of the State. The Head of the state in India is President and he / she is elected.
  • Socialist State: Indian socialism is democratic socialism. The goals of the socialism are to be realized through democratic means.
  • Secular state: India is secular country. Here No religion is a state religion. The constitution provides equal treatment to all religions.
  • Parliamentary Form of Government: Westminster model of government. Presence of nominal and real executives, majority party rule, collective responsibility of executive to legislature, dissolution of lower house, prime minister has crucial and important role.
  • A blend of Federal and Unitary System: there are separate governments in the Union and States and there is division of power. Unitary features: Strong centre. Single Citizenship, single constitution for both the centre and states, emergency provisions, all India services. India is also quasi-federal as constitution describes India as union of states. States cannot unjoin as well as there is no agreement by states. We have union as well as state lists.
  • Integrated and independent Judiciary: The states have high courts but the verdicts of these courts are subject to appeal to the Supreme Court. The Constitution has made the High Courts subordinate to the Supreme Court.
  • Universal Adult Franchise: Every citizen who is above 18 years has a Voting Right without any discrimination.
  • Three tier government structure: union, state and panchayats.
  • Synthesis of parliamentary sovereignty and judicial supremacy: judicial review of Supreme Court by procedure established by law. Also, parliament can amend major portion of constitution.
  • Fundamental rights: to promote political democracy. Enforceable by courts for violation. They are Justiciable in nature.
  • Fundamental duties: to respect constitution; to promote national unity, integrity, sovereignty; to preserve rich cultural heritage and promote common brotherhood. They are not justiciable in nature.
  • Directive principles of state policy: socialistic, liberal and gandhian meant for promoting ideal social and economic democracy. To establish welfare state. It is the duty of state to apply these in governance. They are not justiciable.
  • Independent bodies: constitution not only provides legislative, executive and judicial organs of government (state and centre) but also has independent election commission, CAG, UPSC, SPSC with security of tenure, service conditions.

constitution of india

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