Salient Features of the Constitution of India The main features of Indian Constitution are the following: (i) A written and

lengthy constitution: The Constitution of India is a written constitution. It was framed by a Constituent Assembly which was established for the purpose in 1946. It has 395 Articles and 12 Schedules. A number of amendments, (about 96) passed since its enforcement in 1950, have also become a part of the Constitution. The Constitution of India is the lengthiest constitution in the world as no other constitution contains as many articles. The constitution of USA has 7 Articles, of China 138, Japanese 103, and Canadian 107 Articles. (ii) Sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic: The Constitution declares India to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic. The words, 'Socialist' and 'secular' were added in the Preamble of the Constitution by 42nd amendment which was passed in 1976. Sovereign means absolutely independent; it is not under the control of any other state. Before 1947, India was not sovereign as it was under the Britishers. Now it can frame its policy without any outside interference. Socialist: Word 'Socialist' was added in the Preamble by 42nd Amendment of the Constitution which was passed in 1976. This implies a system which will endeavour to avoid concentration of wealth in a few hands and will assure its equitable distribution. It also implies that India is against exploitation in all forms and believes in economic justice to all its citizens. Secular: The word 'Secular', like Socialist, was also added in the Preamble by 42nd Amendment of the Constitution. There is no state religion in India. Every citizen is free to follow and practise the religion of his/her own choice. The state cannot discriminate among its citizens on the basis of religion. Democratic: Means that the power of the government is vested in the hands of the people. People exercise this power through their elected representatives who, in turn, are responsible to them. All the citizens enjoy equal political rights.

The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Parliament. police. In India. social security etc. On these subjects. On these subjects. (iv) Parliamentary government: Indian Constitution provides for a parliamentary form of government. State list contains 66 subjects of local importance. (vi) Directive principles of state policy: . iv.Republic: Means that the head of the State is not a hereditary monarch but a President who is indirectly elected by the people for a definite period. there are two governments-at the central level and at the state (province) level. the government is run by the Prime Minister and other members of the Council of Minister. Right against Exploitation. Right to Freedom of Religion. Right to Equality. state legislatures make laws. Cultural and Educational Rights. In a federation. These include marriage.(i) Union list. Foreign Affairs. These are: i. These subjects include agriculture. In actual practice. Railways. the central law will prevail. President is nominal head of the state. Concurrent list contains 47 subjects which are of common concern to both the central and state governments. ii. divorce. both the parliament and state legislatures can legislate. and jails. only central legislature (Parliament) can make laws. ten Fundamental Duties of citizens have also been added. the powers of the government are divided between the central government and state governments. By 42nd Amendment of the Constitution. The Constitution of India guarantees six fundamental rights to every citizen. Currency. (v) Fundamental rights and duties. Right to Constitutional Remedies. There are three different lists of subjects. (ii) State list and (iii) Concurrent list. Right to Freedom. iii. Post and Telegraph. On these subjects. However. Vi. v. The Union list contains 97 subjects of national importance like Defence. if there is a conflict between a central law and the state law over a subject given in the concurrent list. (iii) Federal government: The Constitution provides for a federal form of government.

There is no citizenship of Delhi. we have 22 languages which have been recognised by the Indian Constitution. Haryana or U. It means that every citizen who is 18 years of age or more is entitled to cast his/her vote irrespective of his caste. (c) The remaining provisions can be amended by the Parliament by two-third majority. Punjab. (c) Language policy: The Constitution has also defined the language policy. These principles are instructions given by the Constitution to government. They. normally we have double citizenship. every citizen besides being a citizen of United States of America is the citizen of the state in which he or she resides. (b) Certain provisions can be amended by a two-third majority of the Parliament and its ratification by at least fifty percent states.The Directive Principles of State Policy are listed in Part Four of the Constitution. A state can adopt the language spoken by its people in that state also as its official language. Hindi and English have been made official languages of the central government. sex.S. is a citizen of India. The aim of these principles is to establish a welfare state in India.P. The framers of our constitution took the idea of having such principles from the Irish Constitution. our constitution has been divided into three parts: (a) certain provisions of the constitution can be amended by a simple majority in the Parliament. But the Constitution of India provides for singi' citizenship-every Indian. religion or place of birth. creed. In U. (ix) Universal adult franchise: The constitution provides for Universal Adult Franchise. (vii) Partly rigid and partly flexible: The Constitution of India is neither wholly rigid nor wholly flexible. It is partly rigid and partly flexible. (viii) Single citizenship: In federation.A. however. These are: Languages Recognised by the Indian Constitution . State and Local-are expected to frame their policies in accordance with these principles. It is because of the fact that for the purpose of amendment. India is a country where different languages are spoken in various parts of the country. are not binding on the government-they are mere guidelines. irrespective of his place of birth or residence. All the governments-Central. At present.

It shall be the duty of the union to promote and spread Hindi language. . Seats have been reserved for them in Parliament. (xiv) One national language: Although India is a multi-lingual state. some writers call Indian Constitution a 'bag of borrowings'.Assamese Gujarati Konkani Marathi Sanskrit Telugu Bengali Hindi Maithili Nepali Santhali Urdu Bodo Kannada Malayalam Oriya Sindhi Dogri Kashmiri Manipuri Punjabi Tamil (xi) Special provisions for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes: The Constitution provides for giving certain special concessions and privileges to the members of these castes. Hence our constitution contains certain emergency provisions. all government services and in all professional colleges. (xii) Independent judiciary: The Indian Constitution provides for an independent judiciary. the constitution provides that Hindi in Devnagri script will be the national language. At present these concessions will continue up to the year 2010. The judges give impartial justice. The judiciary has been made independent of the Executive as well as the Legislature. (xiii) A constitution derived from many sources: The framers of our constitution borrowed many things from the constitutions of various other countries and included them in our constitution. State legislature and local bodies. That is why. During emergency the fundamental rights of the citizens can be suspended and our government becomes a unitary one. (xv) Emergency provisions: The framers of our constitution had realised that there could be certain dangerous situations when government could not be run as in ordinary time.

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