The main features of Indian Constitution are the following:
A written Constitution:
The Indian Constitution is mainly a written constitution. A written constitution is framed at a given time and comes into force or is adopted on a fixed date as a document.
As you have already read that our constitution was framed over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days, it was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and enforced on January 26, 1950.
The Constitution of India does not use the term ‘federal state’.
It says that India is a ‘Union of States’.
There is a distribution of powers between the Union/Central Government and the State Governments.
Since India is a federation, such distribution of functions becomes necessary. There are three lists of powers such as Union List, State List and the Concurrent List.
India has a parliamentary form of democracy. This has been adopted from the British system. In a parliamentary democracy there is a close relationship between the legislature and the executive.
The Cabinet is selected from among the members of legislature. The cabinet is responsible to the latter.
In fact, the Cabinet holds office so long as it enjoys the confidence of the legislature.
In this form of democracy, the Head of the State is nominal.
In India, the President is the Head of the State.
Constitutionally the President enjoys numerous powers but in practice the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister, which really exercises these powers.
The President acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.
Fundamental Rights and Duties:
Fundamental Rights are one of the important features of the Indian Constitution.
Directive Principles of State Policy:
The Directive Principles of State Policy which have been adopted from the Irish Constitution, is another unique feature of the Constitution of India.
Partly rigid and Partly flexible:
A constitution may be called rigid or flexible on the basis of its amending procedure.
The Constitution of India provides for three categories of amendments.
Language Policy: India is a country where different languages are spoken in various parts of the country. Hindi and English have been made official languages of the central government.
A state can adopt the language spoken by its people in that state also as its official language.
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. That is why; some writers call Indian Constitution a bag of borrowings.
Indian judiciary is independent an impartial. The Indian judiciary is free from the influence of the executive and the legislature. The judges are appointed on the basis of their qualifications and cannot be removed easily.
Single Citizenship: In India there is only single citizenship. It means that every Indian is a citizen of India, irrespective of the place of his/her residence or place of birth.
All the citizens of India can secure employment anywhere in the country and enjoy all the rights equally in all the parts of India.
Universal Adult Franchise:
Indian democracy functions on the basis of ‘one person one vote’. Every citizen of India who is 18 years of age or above is entitled to vote in the elections irrespective of caste, sex, race, religion or status. The Indian Constitution establishes political equality in India through the method of universal adult franchise.
Emergency Provisions: The Constitution makers also foresaw that there could be situations when the government could not be run as in ordinary times. To cope with such situations, the Constitution elaborates on emergency provisions.
There are three types of emergency;
- emergency caused by war, external aggression or armed rebellion;
- emergency arising out of the failure of constitutional machinery in states; and
- Financial Emergency