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Salient features of constitution of India

Enlisted below features of constitution of India.

  1. Lengthiest Written Constitution:
    • The Indian Constitution is one of the longest written constitutions in the world, containing a preamble and 470 articles, grouped into 25 parts.
  2. Preamble:
    • The Constitution begins with a preamble that outlines the ideals and objectives of the Constitution, such as justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity.
  3. Federal Structure with Unitary Features:
    • India follows a federal structure with a division of powers between the central government and the states. However, during emergencies, the Constitution provides for a unitary form of government.
  4. Parliamentary System:
    • India has adopted the parliamentary system of government, where the President is the ceremonial head, and the real executive powers are vested in the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.
  5. Rigidity and Flexibility:
    • The Constitution is partly rigid and partly flexible. While some provisions can be amended only by a special majority of the Parliament and with the ratification of at least half of the states, others can be amended by a simple majority of the Parliament.
  6. Fundamental Rights:
    • Part III of the Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to citizens, including the right to equality, freedom of speech, and protection of life and personal liberty. These rights are justiciable, meaning citizens can move the court for their enforcement.
  7. Directive Principles of State Policy:
    • Part IV of the Constitution contains Directive Principles of State Policy that guide the government in making laws and policies. While not enforceable in court, they are fundamental in the governance of the country.
  8. Fundamental Duties:
    • The 42nd Amendment Act in 1976 introduced Fundamental Duties (Article 51A) to remind citizens of their moral and civic responsibilities towards the nation.
  9. Independent Judiciary:
    • The Constitution establishes an independent judiciary with the Supreme Court at the apex. It is entrusted with the power of judicial review, ensuring that laws and actions of the government are in conformity with the Constitution.
  10. Emergency Provisions:
    • The Constitution provides for three types of emergencies—national emergency, state emergency (President’s Rule), and financial emergency—granting the central government extraordinary powers during these periods.
  11. Single Citizenship:
    • Unlike some federal countries, India has a single citizenship. Every citizen of India is a citizen of the Union of India.
  12. Universal Adult Suffrage:
    • The right to vote is granted to all citizens above the age of 18, irrespective of caste, creed, gender, or education.
  13. Secularism:
    • The Constitution declares India to be a secular state. It provides for freedom of religion and ensures that the state does not discriminate on the basis of religion.
  14. Reservations:
    • The Constitution allows for the reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes in educational institutions and government jobs to promote social justice.
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