Salient Features of Indian Constitution


“Salient features of Indian Constitution” the one the most import chapters in Indian Polity. It is necessary for student to thoroughly go through all Salient features of Indian constitution mentioned in this post. We have taken all necessary points from Indian Polity Laxmikanth Book. All information required for UPSC PRE exam is given here about Salient features of Indian constitution .

Constitution of India is lengthiest written constitution in the world. Founding fathers of Constitution of India went through Constitution of more than 60 countries. It has all the necessary provisions which are required for all round development and growth of a country and better administration and governance.

  • has gone through several amendments 7th, 42nd, 44th, 73rd, 74th and 97th
  • 42nd amendment is known as mini constitution
  • Kesavananda Bhartu case – 1973 -superem court held that constituent power of parliament under article 368 does not enable it to alter the basic structure of Constitution.

Salient features of Indian constitution

following are the Salient features of Indian constitution, given in the bullet point form. We have also mentioned some important information about each Salient features of Indian constitution.

  1. Lenghtinst written constitution
  2. Drawan from various sources
  3. Blend of rigidity and flexibility
  4. Federal system with unitary bias
  5. Parliamentary form of government
  6. Synthesis of parliamentary sovereignty and judicial supremacy
  7. Integrated and Independent judiciary
  8. Fundamental rights
  9. Derivative principles of state policy
  10. Fundamental duties
  11. A secular state
  12. Universal adult franchise
  13. Single citizenship
  14. Independent bodies
  15. Emergency provisions
  16. Three tier government
  17. Co-operative societies

Lengthiest written constitution

Which is the lengthiest written constitution in the world ? This question about Salient features of Indian constitution has been asked man imes in various exams like UPSC, ssc, RPSC and other state PSC examinations.

  • Lengthiest of all written constitution
  • Very comprehensive , detailed and elaborate document
  • 1949- it had preamble, 395 articles , 22 parts and 8 schedules
  • Four factors for large size
  • Geographical factors
  • Historical factors
  • Single Constitution
  • Dominance of legal luminaries in the constituent assembly

Drawn from various sources

  • Structural part from government of India act 1935
  • Philosophical part (fundamental rights and dpsp ) from USA and Irish
  • Political part – principal of cabinet government and relations between executive and legislature from British constitution

Government of India act 1935

  • Federal scheme
  • Judiciary
  • Office of Governor
  • Public service commission
  • Emergency provisions
  • Administrative details

British constitution

  • Parliamentary privileges
  • Parliamentary government
  • Legislative procedure
  • Cabinet system
  • Prerogative writs
  • Single citizenship
  • Rule of law
  • bicamaralism

USA Constitution

  • Fundamental rights
  • Judicial review
  • Independence of judiciary
  • Impeachment of president
  • Removal of jusdges of supreme Court and high court
  • Post of vice president

Canada constitution

  • Vesting of residuary powers in central government
  • Advisory jurisdiction of supreme Court
  • Appointment of state governor by cnetre
  • Federation with strong centre

Australia Constitution

  • Concurrent list
  • Freedom of trade, commerce and inter course
  • Joint sitting of both the houses of parliament

Weimar constitution

  • Suspension of fundamental rights during emergency

USSR constitution

  • Fundamental duties and ideals of Justice – social, political and economical

French constitution

  • Republic
  • Ideals of fraternity , equality and liberty

South african constitution

  • Procedure of amendment
  • Election of members of rajya Sabha

Japanese constitution

  • Procedure established by law

Blend of rigidity and flexibility

  • Rigid constitution – require speacial procedure for amendment – American constitution
  • Flexible – can be amended in same manner as ordinary laws are made- British constitution
  • Article 368 provides for two trypes of amendments
  • Special majority of parliament – two third majority of members of each house , present and voting and a majority ( that is more than 50% ) of total membership of each house
  • Some other provisions can be amended by a special majority of parliament and with the ratification by half of the total states
  • Some provisions can be amended by simple majority by ordinary legislation these amendments do not come under 368

Federal system with unitary bais

  • Federal system of government in India
  • Features of federation – two government , division of powers, written constitution, supremacy of constitution, rigidity of constitution, independent judiciary, bicamaralism
  • Also contain Unitary features or non fedeal features – strong centre , single Constitution ,single citizenship , flexibility of constitution, integerated judiciary , appointment of state governor by centre, all Indian services, Emergency provisions
  • Article 1 – India is Union of states
  • Co – operative federalism by Granville Austin

Parliamentary form of government

  • Principal of cooperation and coordination between legislative and executive organ

Synthesis of parliamentary sovereignty and judicial supremacy

  • Doctrine of supremacy of parliament – British parliament
  • Princit of judicial supremacy – American supreme Court
  • American constitution – due process of law
  • Indian constitution – procedure established by the law article 21

Integerated and Independent judiciary

  • Judicial system that is integrated and Independent
  • Supreme Court at the top of judiciary
  • USA – federal laws by federal judiciary and state laws by state judiciary
  • Supreme Court gurantor of fundamental rights of citizenship and guardian of Constitution

Fundamental rights

  • From article 12-35 part 3
  • Fundamental rights are. Not absulute and subject to reasonable restrictions
  • Article 20 and 21 can not be suspended during National emergency

Directive principals of state policy

  • B R Ambedkar called them novel features of Indian constitution
  • Socialistic , gandhian ,liberal- intellectual
  • Meant for promoting ideals of social and economic democracy
  • Seek to establish welfare state
  • Minerva Mills case 1980- sc held that Indian constitution is founded on bedrock of balance between fundamental rights and directive principals

Fundamental duties

  • Emergency 1975-77
  • 42nd constitutional amendment act of 1976 on the recommendation of swaran sing committee
  • 86th constitutional amendment act of 2002 added one more fundamental duty
  • Pat 4 a – article 51 a contains 11 fundamental duties
  • Fundamental duties serve as remainder that while enjoying their rights they have also to be quite conscious while enjoying their rights

Secular state

  • It does not uphold any particular religion as official religion of Indian state
  • Secular term was added to preamble by 42nd constitutional amendment act of 1976
  • Article 14 equality before law
  • Article 15
  • Article 16
  • Article 25
  • Article 26
  • Article 27
  • Article 28
  • Article 29
  • Article 30
  • Article 44
  • Indian constitution positive concept of secularism

Universal adult franchise

  • Universal adult franchise for elections to loksabha and state assemblies
  • Voting age was redut to 18 years from 21 years in 1989 by 61th constitutional amendment act of 1988

Single citizenship

  • USA has dual citizenship
  • India- single citizenship

Independent bodies

  • Election commission
  • Comptroller and auditor general of India
  • Union public service commission
  • State public service commission

Emergency provisions

  • National emergency on the ground of war , external aggression , armed rebellion – article 352
  • State emergency failure of constitutional emergency – article 356
  • State failure to comply with he direction of centre – article 365
  • Financial emergency article 360

Three tier government

  • Originally constitution provided for dual polity and contained provisions with regard to the organization and powers of entre and states
  • 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment act 1992 added three tier government which is not found in any other constitution of world
  • 73rd constitutional amendment – constitutional recognition to panchayats and added part 9 and a new schedule 11 to constitution
  • 74th amendment act of 1992 gave constitutional recognition to municipalities ( urban local language) – part 9a and a new schedule 12 to constitution

Co-operative societies

  • 97th constitutional amendment act of 2011 gave status and protection to co-operative societies
  • It made three changes in constituention of India
  • Article 19- right to form co-operative societies
  • New dpsp on promotion of co-operative societies – article 43b
  • It added new part 9b – article 243ZH TO 243ZT

Criticism of constitution

  1. A borrowed constitution
  2. A carbon copy of 1935 act
  3. UN Indian or anti Indian
  4. An un- gandhian constitution
  5. Elephantine size
  6. Paradise for lawyers

Important points

  • Keshavananda Bharti vs state of KERALA 1973
  • AMERICAN constitution originally consisted 7 articles, Australian 128, and Chinese 138 and Canadian 147
  • 250 provisions of government of India act has been included in constitution
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