Indian Constitution – Drafting & Features

Hello readers, last week we have discussed about the circumstances, acts & documents which led to the evolution of Indian Constitution, i.e. Indian Constitution – Bygone Context and Evolution”.

Today we will talk about the drafting of Indian constitution & its features. Lets’s start with it’s meaning.

 

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What is a Constitution?

The government of a country is premised on the fundamental principles of supreme body which is dubbed as a constitution. It is a set of rules which governs the conduct of an organization or nation state. These laws are designed for the country or state and its citizens in order to make proper regulations and proper working of society. In the absence of laws, there would be nihilism.

  • The oldest (1787) written national constitution is that of the United States.

The constitution is concerned with 2 main aspects:

  • Between the different levels of government.
  • Between the government and the citizens.

The Constitution has divided the Governments in separate parts, as shown below:

3 organs of government

 

Arrow We can mark the establishment of Indian Constitution from the time of Emprorer Ashoka (324 BC – 185 BC) as he set up constitutional principles & engraved them on rocks and pillar for public to take reference.

 

Drafting of Indian Constitution

The Constitution of India was drafted by the Constituent Assembly and it was implemented under the Cabinet Mission Plan on 16 May 1946.

  • Composition of Constituent Assembly – It was consisted of 389 members out of which 292 were representatives of the states, 93 represented the princely states and 4 were from the chief commissioner provinces of Delhi, Ajmer-Mewar, Coorg and British Baluchistan.

As it happened

Indian constitution is the longest constitution of the world.

  • Originally, it was comprised of 395 articles divided into 22 parts and 8 schedules.
  • Now, it has 448 articles divided into 1 Preamble, 25 parts, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and 98 amendments.

 

Designing of Indian Constitution

The original Constitution of India is hand-written with beautiful calligraphy. Each page was decorated by artists from Shantiniketan which includes Beohar Rammanohar Sinha and Nandalal Bose.

  • The calligraphy in the book was done by Prem Behari Narain Raizda.
  • It was published in Dehra Dun and photolithographed at the offices of Survey of India.
  • 1,00,00,000 was official estimate of expenditure on constituent assembly.

 

Constitution of India – The Bag of Borrowings

The blue print of the constitution was obtained from Government of India Act, 1935 along with many provisions which were borrowed from other constitutions of the world and are listed as follows:

Country Features
United Kingdom
  • Post of PM
  • Speaker in Lok Sabha
  • Bicameral Parliament
  • Nominal Head President
  • Parliamentary Type of Govt
  • Cabinet System of Ministers
  • Lower House more powerful
United States
  • Judicial review
  • Fundamental rights
  • Written Constitution
  • Independence of judiciary
  • Removal of Supreme court and High court Judges
  • Preamble and functions of President and Vice-President
Canada
  • Federation with strong centre
  • Residuary powers with centre
  • Supreme Court’s advisory jurisdiction
  • Appointments of State Governor by Centre
Ireland
  • Method of Presidential elections
  • Directive Principles of state policy
  • Nomination of members to the Rajya Sabha by the President
Germany
  • Suspension of Fundamental Rights during the emergency
Australia
  • Concurrent list
  • Trade and commerce provisions
South Africa
  • Amendment with 2/3rd majority in Parliament
  • Election of members of Rajya Sabha
France
  • Republican system
  • Principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity
USSR
  • Fundamental Duties
  • Preamble
Japan
  • Procedure established by Law

 

Unitary and Federal features of Constitution

Indian Constitution is the supreme law of the country and shows federal as well as unitary features.

In federation, there are two governments at centre level and state government level.

  • Division of Powers – Indian constitution has divided the powers of centre and state governments on the basis of the 7th schedule which have 3 lists viz. union list, state list and concurrent list.

Federal Features

  • Written and Rigid – It is the most elaborated constitution of world but it is rigid in nature as amendment requires a consent by the Parliament. If the amendment is affecting federal structure then it must be retified by the 50% of the State legislatures.
  • Independent judiciary – India has independent judiciary as Supreme Court of India has the original jurisdiction to settle disputes between the Union and the States.

 

In Unitary system, power is concentrated with central government with weak state government & Union can interfere in the state matters.

 

  • India has single constitutione. states are not allowed to make separate constitution.
  • In federation people have dual citizenship but Indian constitution provides single citizenship to every Indian.
  • As per Article 3, States can be created and destroyed by the Union of India.
  • As per Article 155 & 156 provide that the Governor is to appointed by the Centre. He/She acts as the agent of Centre in the States.
  • All India Services such as IAS , IPS & IFS etc. have been created which are kept under the control of the Union.

 

    Arrow  During emergency system becomes unitary. Following are the 3 emergency provisions under which Center has the power to take complete control of the State:

Unitary emergency feature1

 

Preamble

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is the brief introductory and legal statement which highlights the entire Constitution. In 1976, a committee under the chairmanship of Sardar Swaran Singh recommended an amendment. It was:

  • To add words “socialist” and “secular” between the words “Sovereign” and “democratic”.
  • The words “unity of the Nation” were replaced to “unity and integrity of the Nation”

 

ArrowArticle 370 of Indian Constitution grants a separate constitutional status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

 

 

With this we have completed Today’s topic. Hope you have learned today.

We will post Quiz on Indian Constitution – Drafting & Features in Today’s Cracking Session. 

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