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Indian Constitution And It’s Unique Features

Constitution of India

Introduction to Indian Constitution

The Indian Constitution is the supreme law of the state. It is the longest written constitution so far and contains all the laws, rights, duties, responsibilities of the citizens of India. It covers the rights & duties of both the citizens & the government of India. Dr. B.R Ambedkar chaired the drafting committee and is known as the chief architect in this case. The constituent assembly was enforced on 26th January 1949 & it came into action on 26th January 1950. Therefore, India celebrates 26th January as Republic Day every year.

Indian Constitution
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 Indian Constitution has some unique features

  • The bulkiest constitution of the world

The Indian constitution is the bulkiest one in the world. It has 395 articles, 22 parts & 12 schedules. As of January 2020, the Indian Constitution has undergone 104 amendments so far. It is a written constitution with all duties & powers of the citizens & government mentioned in it. The election laws also feature in this law book.

Indian Constitution
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  • Rigid & flexible at the same time

The Indian constitution has struck a fine balance between rigidity & flexibility. In a few cases, amendments can be done with a simple majority in the parliament and others with a 2/3rds majority including not less than half of the state legislatures.

  • Parliamentary Government

The Indian constitution suggests a parliamentary form of government in which the actual executive powers lay in the hands of the Prime Minister & the council of ministers & not the President. (Article 74)

  • Federal system

The Indian Constitution identifies India as a ‘Union Of States’ (Article 1) which means that the Indian Federation is not a product of any agreement between the units and they cannot break away from it. 

  • Fundamental rights & duties

The Indian Constitution provides several fundamental rights to the citizens of India ranging from article 12-35. These laws cannot be taken away or curbed by the state. Rights always come with duties and even in this case we have no exception. It also contains 11 duties enrolled in the article 51A.

  • Directive Principles of State Policy

The government also has to abide by certain rules and regulations while framing new policies for the country. These rules are known as the Directive Principles of State Policy. These policies are listed in articles 36-51.

  • The idea of a secular state

In the 42nd amendment of the constitution, India was tagged as ‘a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic’. India was declared a secular state & it rejected all religious bias.

  • A separate Judiciary

The constitution suggests an independent judiciary in article 76 and it acts as guardian to the government bodies and the citizens. It protects their rights and supervises the functioning of the government. 

  • Single citizenship

According to articles 5-11, it allows single citizenship for citizens residing in different parts of the country. 

  • Bicameral legislature

According to article 79, the Indian constitution instructs to form a Bicameral legislature at the center with the Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha. Also read Why Do We Need A Parliament It’s Functions And Responsibilities

Indian Constitution
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The above features make the Indian Constitution unique and detailed. We hope that this gives you a better idea of the constitution. 

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Need Of Parliament And It’s Functions

Introduction

Parliament

After a long colonial rule of the British and a fierce freedom struggle, our country finally became independent on August 15, 1947. The tyrannies of the British rule and the unjust laws spurred the freedom movement until they could achieve self-rule. Therefore, the newly set up government and the Constitution makers decided to opt for a democratic nature where the policymakers will be chosen “by the people, for the people, of the people. So there is a need for Parliament for the smooth functioning of democracy.

Need for the Parliament in a Democracy

A democratic government cannot do whatever it wants. It has to be sensitive to the needs of the people and make laws that are beneficial for them. The main idea of democracy is based on the idea of consent, that is, the desire, approval, and active participation of the citizens. Therefore, to protect this democracy, a parliamentary form of government was set up.

So, what is the Parliament? Why do we need it?

A Parliament is a system of government elected by its people. Such a government is chosen through elections where people choose their representatives by casting their votes. All the elected representatives form the government. Through this process, the people actively participate in the decision-making procedures, thus helping to create a healthy, working democracy.

The Parliament of India and its Functions

The Parliament of India possessed absolute legislative authority. It has immense powers as it is the representative body of the citizens, but many methods help keep a check on them. The Parliament has two houses: The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha is the lower house, and it represents the house of people. The Rajya Sabha is the upper house, and it represents the council of states.

Some of the functions of the Parliament are:

1. Legislative Functions

The main functions of the Parliament are to make laws that are beneficial for the citizens. Laws can be made under the subjects of the union, state, or concurrent lists, as established by the constitution. The Parliament has the responsibility to make laws under the union (and sometimes) the concurrent list. It can also make laws on state subjects when:

  • Under national emergency
  • Under Presidential rule

2. Executive Functions

The Constitution of India provides the Parliament with the power to keep a check on the members of the cabinet. As it is formed by both the representatives of the people and the council of the states, several important portfolios are held by some of the members, like defense, finance, etc. The parliament exercises control and checks over the cabinet through various methods like zero hours, question hours, etc. The cabinet ministers are collectively responsible for their actions to the Parliament.

The opposition party in the parliament has to ensure that they act as a critique of the ruling party. While discussing matters of importance, the opposition should always try to put forward better suggestions and ideas for healthy decision-making in the house.

3.Financial Functions

The financial functions of the Parliament include enacting the budget and scrutinizing the judicious use of taxes. This is inspected by the two standing committees under the Parliament: the Public Accounts Committee and The Estimates Committee.

4.Constitutional Functions

This function includes passing laws and amending the constitution when required.

5.Judicial Functions

Some of the Parliament’s Judiciary functions are Impeachment of the President for violation of the constitution. It can also impeach the Vice President, the judges of the Supreme Court, and the High Courts. It can also punish members of the houses if they insult or defame the house.

6.Electoral Functions

Members of the Parliament participates in the election of the President and Vice President of India. They are also responsible for the election of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, and the Deputy Chairman.

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