The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any country in the world, containing 444 articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules and 118 amendments. Besides the English version, there are 22 other official languages in India.
What is the Constitution of India?
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles and the duties of citizens. It is the longest constitution in the world.
The Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950. The date 26 January was chosen to commemorate the Purna Swaraj declaration of independence of 1930. With its adoption, the Union of India officially became the modern and contemporary Republic of India and it replaced the Government of India Act 1935 as the country’s fundamental governing document.
The Constitution headings are: Union and its territory; Citizenship; Fundamental Rights; Directive Principles of State Policy; Fundamental Duties; The Union Legislature; The Executive; The President; Vice-President; Prime Minister and Council Ministers; The Supreme Court; High Courts for each state; Election Commission; Comptroller & Auditor-General Of India (CAG); Attorney General for India.
Parts III–IV of the constitution guarantee fundamental rights to Indian citizens including equality before law, freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association or union or cooperatives, movement, residence within Indian territory, religious worship and practice, profession or occupation (including employment under government),acquisition and terminationof propertyand right to constitutional remedies for enforcementof these rights. These freedoms are subject to reasonable restrictions as provided for in
The Preamble to the Constitution of India
The Preamble to the Constitution of India is a brief introductory statement that sets out the guiding principles of the Constitution. It was drafted by the Constituent Assembly as a preamble to the Constitution of India which was ratified on 26 November 1949. The Preamble, as it stands today, reads:
“We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens: Justice, social, economic and political; Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; Equality of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; In our constituent assembly this twenty-sixth day of November 1949 do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this Constitution.”
The Preamble encapsulates the basic philosophy and values that were envisaged for independent India by its makers. It lays down the framework within which the Indian polity is supposed to function. The words used in the Preamble are not idle or empty rhetoric but have specific meaning and significance.
Sovereign: The Constitution declares India to be a sovereign state. This means that it is not answerable to any other country or authority for its actions. It is an independent entity with the power to make its own decisions.
Socialist: The Constitution envisages a society in which there is equitable distribution of
The Constitution of India guarantees a number of fundamental rights to its citizens. These rights include the right to equality, the right to freedom, the right to life and liberty, and the right to practice any religion.
The Constitution also protects the rights of minorities and provides for special safeguards for their protection. In addition, it provides for the right to education and the right to property.
The Constitution of India is one of the most progressive constitutions in the world and has been praised by many for its commitment to protecting the rights of its citizens.
The Fundamental Duties of citizens are enshrined in Part IVA of the Constitution of India. They were added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976. There are 10 Fundamental Duties assigned to Indian citizens, which are as follows:
1) To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
2) To cherish and follow the noble traditions and culture of our country;
3) To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
4) To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
5) To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
6) To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures;
7) To develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform; 8)To safeguard public property and to abjure violence; 9)To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.
Directive Principles of State Policy
The Directive Principles of State Policy are a set of guidelines for the government of India that are laid out in the Constitution. They are not enforceable by the courts, but they are meant to guide the government in its decision-making. The Directive Principles are based on the principles of socialism, secularism, and democracy. They promote economic and social justice, and they protect the rights of minorities. The Directive Principles have been an important source of inspiration for many constitutional democracies around the world.
The Union and its Territory
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any country in the world.
India is a federal republic with 28 states and 7 union territories. The states and union territories are further subdivided into districts and smaller administrative units. The Constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government with two Houses of Parliament: the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States). The President is the head of state, but his or her executive power is subject to parliamentary approval.
The Constitution guarantees equality before the law and equal protection of all citizens regardless of caste, religion, race, or gender. It also provides for freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and cultural and educational rights. Directive principles set out goals for social and economic justice; these include ensuring access to food, shelter, education, and healthcare; protecting workers’ rights; eliminating discrimination; promoting international peace and security;and protecting our natural environment. Fundamental duties require all citizens to uphold the Constitution and respect our national symbols including the national flag and anthem.
The States and their Territories
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any country in the world. Borrowing heavily from the constitution of the United Kingdom, it was framed by the Constituent Assembly as a result of negotiations between the leaders of Indian independence movement and members of the British government. India has a federal structure with 28 states and 7 union territories. The states are further divided into districts and villages/towns. The village/town panchayats are responsible for local self-government.
The Constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government with two Houses: The Lok Sabha (House of the People) and The Rajya Sabha (Council of States). The President is head of state while the Prime Minister is head of government. Parliament is bicameral in most states, meaning there are two Houses, but in some states there is only one House, called a Legislative Assembly. All laws must be passed by both Houses before they come into effect, except in emergency situations when only Lok Sabha needs to pass them. If there is a disagreement between the two Houses on a bill, then a joint sitting can be held where members from both Houses debate and vote on it again.
The Constitution gives every Indian citizen the right to equality (Article 14), freedom
Federalism in India
Federalism in India refers to the distribution of power between the central government and the states. The Constitution of India establishes a federal system of government, with a central government and 28 state governments. The central government is responsible for defense, foreign affairs, finance, and communications, while the state governments are responsible for education, health, agriculture, and other local matters.
The Constitution of India contains several features that promote federalism, including a division of powers between the central government and the states, a bicameral legislature with separate representation for the states in the upper house, and a system of checks and balances that gives each level of government a role in decision-making. Federalism has helped to maintain national unity while accommodating regional diversity within India.
The Constitution of India sets out the framework for the relations between the Central government and the State governments. The Seventh Schedule to the Constitution divides the subjects on which Parliament may make laws into three lists:
1. The Union List contains 97 subjects on which only the Central government can make laws. Examples include defence, foreign affairs, currency, income tax and customs.
2. The State List contains 66 subjects on which only State governments can make laws. Examples include police, trade, agriculture and irrigation.
3. The Concurrent List contains 47 subjects on which both the Central government and State governments can make laws. Examples include education, marriage, banking and elections.
The Constitution of India is a living document that has helped to shape the country into the democracy it is today. It is a document that guarantees basic rights and freedoms for all citizens, and it provides a framework for the government to operate. The Constitution of India is an important part of our history, and it is something that we should all be proud of.