salient features of indian constitution

salient features of indian constitution
  • Lengthiest written constitution
  • Drawn from various sources
  • Blend of rigidity and flexibility
  • Federal system with unitary bias
  • Parliamentary system of government
  • Synthesis of parliamentary sovereignty and judicial Supremacy
  • Integrated and independent judiciary
  • Fundamental rights
  • Directive Principles of State Policy
  • Fundamental duties
  • Secular state
  • Universal adult franchise
  • Single citizenship
  • Independent bodies
  • Emergency provisions
  • Cooperative societies
  • 3 tier government

Sources of Indian Constitution

  • Government of India Act 1919
  • Government of India Act 1935
  • US Constitution
  • Irish constitution
  • South African constitution
  • Canadian constitution
  • French constitution
  • Soviet constitution
  • Australian constitution
  • Constitution of Germany
  • Japanese constitution
  • British constitution

salient features of indian constitution Upsc

As we described above there are 17 salient features in the Indian Constitution that are:

1. Lengthiest written constitution

At the time of implementation of the constitution in 1950, there are 22 parts 395 articles, and 8 schedules. At present till 2021 in Indian constitution contains 470 articles divided into 25 parts and 12 schedules. Indian Constitution is the lengthiest written constitution in the world.

2. Drawn from various sources

  • Government of India Act 1919
  • Government of India Act 1935
  • US Constitution
  • Irish constitution
  • South African constitution
  • Canadian constitution
  • French constitution
  • Soviet constitution
  • Australian constitution
  • Constitution of Germany
  • Japanese constitution
  • British constitution

3. Blend of rigidity and flexibility

Constitutions are defined as rigid and flexible. The constitution of India is neither rigid nor flexible but a synthesis of both Article 368 provides two types of amendments. Some provisions were amended by the special majority and some by a simple majority. Unlike America, we don’t have a very rigid constitution and also unlike Britain, we don’t have an Agile constitution.

federal system with unitary bias

The constitution says India will have a Federal government. It contains all features of Federation, division of powers, Supremacy of constitution, an independent judiciary, bicameralism, written constitution, dual government.

Indian constitution also contains non-Federal features as a strong Centre single constitution single citizenship, Agile constitution, integrated judiciary all India services, emergency provisions.

So India is a federal system with unitary bias and we can also say it is a Quasi-federal system.

5. Parliamentary form of Government

India has a Westminster model of government. It has a responsible Government and cabinet. The constitution established a parliamentary system not only at the center but also on States. The pictures of parliamentary government are:

6. Synthesis of parliamentary sovereignty and judicial Supremacy

This feature is derived from British Parliament and judicial Supremacy is added by the American constitution. It is also defined as rule of law in western countries. Indian Constitution provides for due process of law against the procedure established by law contained in the Indian constitution Article 21.

7. Integrated and independent judiciary

Indian Constitution has a judicial system that is integrated and independent. Supreme Court is the top body in the judicial system of the country and all the high courts are at the state level. This is the single system that enforces the implementation of Central and state law at both levels.

Supreme Court is also the guarantor of the fundamental rights of citizens.

8. Fundamental rights

There is six fundamental right at present in the Indian Constitution. Those are as follows,

  1. Right to Equality [Article 14 to 18]
  2. Right to freedom [Article 19 to 22]
  3. Right against exploitation [Article 23 to 24]
  4. Right to freedom of religion [Article 25 to 28]
  5. Cultural and educational rights [Article 29 to 30]
  6. Right to constitutional remedies [Article 32]

Fundamental rights are given to promote democracy and human rights. Most of the fundamental rights may be abrogated during the emergency.

9.Directive Principles of State Policy

According to the father of the constitution, Dr. BR Ambedkar DPSP is a novel feature of our constitution. Dpsp contains articles 36 to 51. DPSP is written in part 4 of the constitution. Unlike the fundamental rights the directive principles are known justice cable in nature, they are not enforceable by the courts, the real force behind DPSP is a political force.

10. Fundamental duties

At the beginning of the constitution, there are no fundamental duties. Fundamental duties are added at the time of Indira Gandhi in the 42nd Amendment Act 1976 on the Recommendation of Swaran Singh Committee. 86th amendment act 2002 added one more fundamental duty. Fundamental duties lie in part 4A(Article 51A) of the constitution.

11. A secular state

India is a secular country, India does not promote or demote any particular religion.

The secularism of India is defined in articles:

  • Article 14
  • Article 15
  • Article 16
  • Article 25
  • Article 26
  • Article 27
  • Article 28
  • article 29
  • Article 30
  • article 44

12.Universal adult franchise

India was the first country to initiate the Universe adult franchise at that level. India adopts Universal adult franchise as a basis of elections to Lok Sabha and states legislative assemblies. Without any discrimination of caste race religion sex literacy wealth, etc, every citizen who is not less than 18 years has the right to vote. Initially, age was defined as 21 years but later it was reduced to 18 years by the 61st constitutional amendment act of 1988.

13. Single Citizenship

Though the Indian Constitution is Federal, it provides for only single citizenship that is Indian citizenship.

14. Independent bodies

The Indian government established an independent body. They are envisaged by the constitution as the group workers of the democratic system of government in India.

15. Emergency provisions

Article 352 to 360 contains the emergency provision for the Republic of India. It empowers the President to meet any extraordinary situation effectively. During an emergency the central government becomes all-powerful and States got into total control of the center. It converts the federal structure into a unitary one without a formal amendment of the constitution.

16. Cooperative societies

A cooperative society is a voluntary association of individuals having common needs who join hands for the achievement of common economic interests. The 97th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2011 gave constitutional status and protection to cooperative societies. It added the right to form cooperative societies a fundamental right in Article 19. It included the promotion of cooperative society as DPSP. It added today’s new part 9B in the constitution which is called cooperative societies.

17. Three tier government

Indian constitution provided a dual polity and contained provisions for the center and the states. Later the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment act 1992 It had amended. Now India has a three-tier government.

What are the salient features of indian constitution

salient features of indian constitution are Lengthiest written constitution, Drawn from various sources, Blend of rigidity and flexibility, Federal system with unitary bias, Parliamentary system of government, Synthesis of parliamentary sovereignty and judicial Supremacy, Integrated and independent judiciary, Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy, Fundamental duties, Secular state, universal adult franchise, single citizenship, Independent bodies, Emergency provisions, Cooperative societies, 3 tier government

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