Salient Features of Indian Constitution
The constitution of India is lengthiest and most detailed compared to any constitutions in the world.
It originally had 395 Articles divided in to 22 parts and 9 schedules. There are 6 Fundamental Rights in the constitution. India is a secular state meaning the state does not uphold a particular religion on its own – Articles 25 to 28 gives shape to this secularism.
It provides for single citizenship for the whole of India. There is no citizenship for each state.
The preamble of the constitution states India has a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic Republic.
Sovereign: Country does not dependent on any outside authority.
Socialist: Ownership of the revenues of production and distribution by the state – insertion made through 42nt amendment Act.
Democratic: It has the government which gets its authority from the will of the people.
Republic: Indian democracy is based on adult suffrage, where any person who is 18 years of age and who is otherwise eligible has a right to vote without any discrimination on gender or religion.
The Indian constitution was drawn up by constituent assembly (established in accordance with the Cabinet Mission Plan) initially summoned on Dec 9 1946, under the presidentship of Sachithanandha Sinha for undivided India. On 1st July, 1947 the British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act to divide the country into India and Pakistan. With partition of India the representative of East Bengal, West Punjab, Sindh and Baluchisthan, N-W Frontier Provenience and the Sylhet District of Assam, which joined Pakisthan, ceased to be member of constitution assembly. On August 14 1947, the constituent assembly met again as the Sovereign Constituent Assembly for the Territory of India under the presidentship of Schithananda Sinha. On the demise of Schithananda Sinha Dr.Rajendra Prasad became the president of constituent assembly. A draft constitution was published Feb 1948. 284 out of 299 members affixed their signature to the constitution finally adopted it on 26th Nove 1949. It came into effect on 26th Janu 1950.
Chairman: Dr.B.R.Ambedkar. Members: Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyyar, N.Gopalswami Iyangar, Syed Md.Saadulla, Dr.K.M.Munshi, B.L.Mitter (was replaced by N.Madhava Rao), and D.P.Khaitan (was replaced by T.T.Krishnamaachari).
The work started with the presentation of the ‘Objective Resolution’ moved by Jawaharlal Nehru was adopted on Jan 22 1947. The committee for scrutinizing draft constitution and suggesting amendments was formed Aug 29 1947. The draft was prepared by Feb 1948. The constituent asssembly met three times to read the draft Clause by Clause in Nov 1948, Oct 1949 and Nov 1949. After the 3rd reading, it was signed by the Indian President and was adopted on Nov 26 1949. In fact, a Committee on Rules of Procedure was in place as early as
The constitution of India closely follows the British-Parliamentary model but differs from it in 1 aspect that is, the Constitution is supreme, not Parliament. Hence, the Indian courts are conferred with the authority to adjudicate on the constitutionality of any law enacted by the Indian Parliament.
The Indian Constitution consists of the following:
1. The Preamble,
2. Parts I to XXII covering articles 1 to 395,
3. Schedules 1 to 12
4. Appendix. Part IX and Schedule XI (Article 243-G) have been incorporated under 73rd Constitution Amendment Act 1992.
The Fundamental Rights:
- The Right to Equality
- Right to Freedom
- Right against Exploitation
- Right to Freedom of Religion
- Cultural and Educational Rights
- Right to Constitutional Remedies
The Fundamental Duties:
- To abide by the Constitution & respect the ideals and Institutions.
- To reverence the National Flag and National Anthem.
- To realize and follow the vital ideals of secularism, democracy and non-violence.
- To preserve the culture and heritage of our nation.
- To guard the Sovereignty, Unity and Integrity of our nation.
- To safeguard the public property.
- To protect the country even at the cost of our life.
- To protect natural resources.
- To strictly avoid dowry, Gambling and other social evils.
- To endeavor towards excellence in the respective spheres of activities of the individuals.