Best Notes – Salient Features of Indian Constitution PDF

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Features of Indian Constitution

In this post, we will cover the All important basic and key features of Indian Constitution. We are also providing the mindmap of features of Indian constitution, upsc notes, list of all features important for different competitive exams, explained features of Indian constitution. this is a part of complete Polity Notes for India’s top government exams like CSE, state pcs, SSC CGL, EPFO, APFC, and others.

Salient Features of Indian Constitution

Unique Features of Indian Constitution

Fundamental Rights: Our Constitution contains a very comprehensive Charter on Fundamental Rights. Fundamental Rights, incorporated in Part III of the Constitution, are the inviolable rights of the individual against the State. The Constitution also lays down the machinery and mechanism for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

Directive Principles: The Directive Principles of the State Policy are a unique feature of our Constitution. Most of the Socioeconomic rights of the people have been included under this head. Even though these are not enforceable in the Courts of Law, these principles are expected to guide the governance of the country.

Citizenship: Our Constitution provides for one single citizenship despite the federal structure. Unlike the US, there was to be no separate citizenship of the Union and of States, and all citizens were entitled to the same rights all over the country without any discrimination subject to a few special protections in the case of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, tribal areas, etc.

Fundamental Duties: Fundamental Duties were included in the constitution by the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution. It lays down a code of eleven duties for all the citizens of India. Most of these basically refer to such values as have been a part of the Indian tradition, mythology, religion, and practices.

Independent Judiciary: Unlike the US, we do not have separate federal and State Court systems. In India, the entire judiciary is one hierarchy of courts. This means the High Courts and the Supreme Courts have the jurisdiction over all laws — Union, State, Civil, Criminal or Constitutional.

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Important Facts of Indian Constitution

  • It is the lengthiest constitution ever given to any nation
  • A large portion of the Government of India Act 1935 got reproduced in the Constitution.
  • It includes not only the Constitution of the Union but also of the States.
  • It contains very comprehensive Charters on Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles, and Fundamental Duties.
  • The size, complexities, and diversities of the Indian situation also necessitated several special, temporary and transitional, and emerging provisions.

In Which Category Our Constitution Fits In

  • American Constitution is written, while the British Constitution is based on conventions.
  • It is the procedure of amendment that makes a constitution rigid or flexible. Amending the procedure of a constitution could be either difficult or easy.
  • British Constitution vests all powers in the central government, while in the US, Centres, and States enjoy exclusive powers. Former is the example of unitary constitution, while the latter is defined as federal.

Thus, a constitution could be either a) written or unwritten, b) rigid or flexible, c) federal or unitary In which category does the Constitution of India fit in?

  • Although our Constitution is the written one, still it allows conventions to play a part in so far as they are in keeping with the provisions of the Constitution.
  • When it comes to amending procedure, certain provisions of the Constitution could be amended by a simple majority, while there are many provisions which require special majority in each House of the Parliament. Moreover, few provisions require special majority in each House plus ratification of not less than one-half of the States. As many as 94 Constitutional amendments during the last 60 years are testimony to the fact that our Constitution is not too rigid.
  • Our constitution can’t be considered as unitary:
    a) Because it distributes powers between the Union and the States
    b) Provisions related to the powers of the State or Union-State relations can’t be amended without ratification by the state
  • Neither it is strictly federal as:
    a) Because the residuary powers vest in the Union
    b) Article 249 grants the Union Parliament powers to invade the State List
    c) In the face of the breakdown of constitutional machinery in any state, the Union can take over all executives and legislative powers of a State under articles 356 and 367
    d) Articles 352 to 354 provide for converting the Constitution into an entirely unitary during the Proclamation of Emergency
  • The text of the Constitution does not use the term ‘federal’ or ‘federation’

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Parliamentary or Presidential System – Unitary features of Indian Constitution

In the Republic State of India, all executive powers vest in the President and in whose name they are to be exercised. The President is the head of the Republic as well as the Supreme Commander of the armed forces. However, unlike the US, the President of India is just a nominal or constitutional head of the executive; he acts only with the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

  • Our Constitution makers did not follow the American system of Presidential Government with separation of powers and a nearly irremovable President as the Chief Executive for a fixed term.
  • The parliamentary system of Government with ministerial responsibility to the popular House (Lok Sabha) that our Constitution makers opted for is based on the British model.

Parliament or Judiciary: Who is Supreme

  • In the absence of a written constitution, the parliamentary enjoys unrestricted powers in Britain. British Parliament is the supreme and sovereign authority. Judiciary has no powers of Judicial Review of legislation.
  • The US constitution lays down the provision of judicial review. With the power to interpret the Constitution, the judiciary assumes supremacy in the US.

The Indian Constitution has arrived at a middle course. The powers and functions of every organ are defined. Both Parliament and the Supreme Court are supreme in their respective spheres. Our Constitution empowers the Parliament to amend most parts of the Constitution. However, it also puts certain restriction on the Parliament. The Supreme Court has the power to declare a law passed by the Parliament ultra vires being violative of the constitution.

Notwithstanding the vast poverty and illiteracy, the makers of our Constitution opted for Universal Adult Franchise. With this, every Indian gets equal voting rights. Even in the advanced democracies of the West, the franchise was extended only gradually.

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15 Salient Features of the Indian Constitution

  1. Lengthiest Written Constitution
  2. Drawn 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. Rule Of Law
  8. Integrated and Independent Judiciary
  9. Fundamental Rights
  10. Directive Principles of State Policy
  11. Fundamental Duties
  12. Indian Secularism
  13. Universal Adult Franchise
  14. Single Citizenship
  15. Independent Bodies

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FAQs on Salient Features of the Indian Constitution

what are the key features of Indian constitution?

Salient Features of Indian Constitution

The Key features of Indian Constitution are –

Lengthiest Written Constitution
Drawn from Various Sources
Blend of Rigidity and Flexibility
Federal System with Unitary Bias
Parliamentary Form of Government
Synthesis of Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Supremacy
Rule Of Law
Integrated and Independent Judiciary
Fundamental Rights
Directive Principles of State Policy
Fundamental Duties
Indian Secularism
Universal Adult Franchise
Single Citizenship
Independent Bodies

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Last updated: August 18, 2023 Updated on 8:32 AM