The Salient Features of Indian Constitution for IAS Preparation

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The Salient Features of Indian Constitution for IAS Preparation

“So long as you do not achieve social liberty, whatever freedom is provided by the law is of no avail to you.” Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar.

Any IAS aspirant preparing to write the Indian Polity exam should have thorough knowledge about the basics of the Constitution of India, the important topics of the Polity syllabus (GS-II). Some of the important topics covered are the Constitution, Executive, Legislature, Judiciary, Fundamental Rights, Political system, Panchayati Raj, etc.

Let’s have a brief look at the topic.

The Constitution of India

The Constitution of India is the lengthiest in the world, with 395 Articles and 12 Schedules. Since 1951, around 90 Articles have been added along with more than 100 Amendments. They are not considered as separate but a part of the existing one, so, the total number remains at 395.

Other constitutions around the world don’t even come close like the US Constitution has only 7 Articles, and the UK doesn’t have a written constitution. Have a short glimpse of it here.

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution

The Preamble declares that India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic. The objectives of the Preamble are to gain security, liberty, justice, and equality for all citizens and to maintain the unity and integrity of the nation.

The Preamble is a brief introductory statement of the Constitution. The main features of the Preamble are:

  • Source of the Constitution
  • The objectives
  • Date of adoption
  • Nature of the Indian State

An amalgamation of Features from Around the World

The Constitution of India was built by borrowing the features from different sources of various countries and the Government of India Act of 1935.

Countries

Features taken

US
  • Preamble
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Functions of Vice-president
  • Amendment of Constitution
  • Nature and functions of the Supreme Court
  • Independence of the judiciary
British
  • Parliamentary system
  • Constitutional Head of State
  • Lower House of Parliament more powerful than the Upper House
  • Responsibility of the Council of Ministers towards Parliament
  • Prevalence of the rule of law
Irish
  • Directive Principles of State Policy
  • Method of the nomination of members to the Rajya Sabha
Australian
  • List of concurrent powers
  • Procedure for solving deadlock over concurrent subjects between the Centre and the States
Weimar Constitution of Germany
  •  Powers of the President
Canadian
  • Provisions of a strong nation
  • Name of the Union
  • Vesting residuary powers
South African
  • The procedure of amendment with a two-thirds majority in Parliament
  • Election of the members of the Rajya Sabha on the basis of proportional representation by the State Legislatures

The main features of the Indian Constitution are:

The Unitary Federal System

The Constitution has all the federal features of governance and they are a division of powers between the three organs of the state (judiciary, executive, and legislature), the dual system of government (center and states), Supremacy of the Constitution, independent Judiciary and bicameralism (lower and upper house).

Despite all this, it is unique as it has many unifying factors such as a strong center, all services common to the center and the states, emergency provisions to modify the Constitution into a unitary one when needed, appointment of the Governor by the President on the advice of the Center, etc.

The rest of the salient features of the Constitution will be coming up next week!

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