Indian constitution and its features, Fundamental rights and duties: The constituent assembly adopted the constitution of India on November 26, 1949. It came into force on January 26, 1950.

Indian constitution

Silent features of the Indian constitution

1. Sovereign democratic secular Socialist Republic
2. Universal adult franchise
3. Federal structure
4. Written
5. Flexible
6.Provision of fundamental rights and fundamental duties
7. Parliamentary form of Government
8. Provisions
9. Independent judiciary

Fundamental rights of the Indian constitution

1. Right to Equality
2. Right to freedom
3. Right to freedom of religion
4. Cultural and educational rights
5. Right against exploitation
6. Right to constitutional remedies

Ten Fundamental Duties were incorporated in the constitution through the constitution (42nd) Amendment act 1976. The 11th fundamental duty [Article (51A (K)] was added through the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002.

Directive Principles of State Policy

They are not enforceable by any Court but it shall be the duty of the state to apply this principle in making laws. These principles include organisation of Villages Panchayats, provisions for just and human conditions of work, equal pay for equal work, unemployment benefits assistance in old age and sickness, maternity relief Uniform Civil Code for the citizens, provisions for compulsory and free education of children, separation of judiciary for executive, organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry on modern scientific lines, prohibition intoxicating drinks and drugs; protection of national monuments, promotion of international peace and security and settlement of international disputes by arbitration.


It consists of President, the Vice President and the Council of Minister headed by the Prime Minister.

1. President:

He is the constitutional head of the republic but not the real executive.


  • Indian citizen
  • Age not less than 35 years
  • Should have qualifications for election to Lok Sabha
  • Should not hold any office of profit
  • Should not be a member of parliament or state legislature.


He is elected by the elected Members of Parliament and State legislative assemblies in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of Single Transferable Vote.


He makes an appointment to all the constitutional posts. He can address either House of Parliament and send the message to them. He can Summon and prorogue either House of Parliament and dissolve Lok Sabha. All Bills passed by parliament must receive his assent to become an actor. He issues ordinance when Parliament is not in session. No money bill can be introduced in Lok Sabha without his recommendations. He can grant pardon, reprieve or remit punishment and he can commute death sentences. He can declare a national emergency, state emergency and financial emergency.

2. Vice-President:

The vice president acts as the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha and acts as the President when the latter is unable to discharge his functions due to illness, absence or any other reason, or till the election of a new President when a vacancy is caused by the death, resignation or removal of the President

The vice president is elected by an electoral college consisting of members of both houses of parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. He must be a citizen of India, not less than 35 years of age, and should be eligible for election is a member of Council of States

3. Council of Ministers:

Council of Ministers is to aid and advise the president in the exercise of his functions. Prime Minister and other ministers are appointed by the president.


Every member of the council of the minister is not a cabinet minister. The cabinet is a small body consisting of only senior members of the council of minister. The cabinet functions like the executive committee of the council of minister.

Functions of The council of the minister:-

  • To formulate the internal and foreign policy of the government.
  • To decide on the legislative program of the Parliament.
  • To formulate the economic and fiscal policy of the government.
  • To take decision an important administrative matters
  • To advise Parliament on issues of war and peace with other countries.
  • To advice the President on the appointment of high officials.

The Prime minister is a link between the President and the Council of the minister and he keeps the President informed of the decision relating to the affairs of the state. As head of the Council of Minister, he is the chief advisor to the president. It is the Prime Minister Who approves the policy statement to be made by the President.

The official language of the Indian constitution :

Hindi in Devanagari Script is the official language of the Indian Union with effect from January 26, 1965. The official language act, 1963 stipulates the use of English language in addition to Hindi even after January 26, 1965.

Languages enumerated in English schedule to the constitution of India:-

These are:-

  • Assamese
  • Bengali
  • Gujarati
  • Hindi
  • Kannada
  • Konkani
  • Kashmiri
  • Malayalam
  • Manipuri
  • Marathi
  • Nepali
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi
  • Sanskrit
  • Sindhi
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Urdu
  • Bodo
  • Maithili
  • Santali
  • Dogri


Union legislature is called Parliament and consists of the president, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.

1. Rajya Sabha:

It consists of representatives from the states or constituent units of the Indian Union. It is a permanent body, one-third of its member retiring every 2 years. Its Maximum strength is 250. Of these 12 members are nominated by the President from among the well-known personalities in the realm of literature, science, art and social services.

2. Lok Sabha

Maximum strength is 552. The number of seats allotted to each state is based on the total population of the state. If the president feels that the Anglo-Indian community is not adequately represented in the Lok Sabha, he may nominate two members of that community in the house. Unless dissolved earlier, the term of the Lok Sabha is five years from the date appointed for its first meeting. The Lok Sabha at present consist of 545 members.

Functions of parliament

Main functions are to make laws for the country, to make finances available for the needs of the government and appropriate funds necessary for the services of the state. The Council of Minister is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha which also votes the salaries and allowances of the minister and he can force the resignation of the council of the minister by refusing to ask the budget or any other major legislative measures or by adopting a vote of no- confidence.

The parliament is also vested with the power of impeaching the president and judges of the supreme court and high courts the Comptroller and Auditor General in accordance with the procedure laid down in the constitution.

3. Judiciary:

Supreme Court is the biggest court in the country. It consists of the chief justice and not more than 30 other judges, appointed by the president only a citizen of India who has been for at least five years a judge of High Court or for ten years an advocate of High Court, or a person, who in the opinion of the president, is a distinguished jurist, is qualified to be appointed judge of the supreme court. Every judge of the supreme court is to hold office until he the age of 65 years unless he resigns or is removed by a special procedure. Supreme Court can give the opinion on legal matters when requested by the president.

A well-integrated, competent and independent judiciary is the guardian of democracy. It safeguards the rights and liberties of the people. In a federal structure true is also the custodian of the constitution.

Election Commission:

It is a three-member body appointed by the president. Its main functions include:-

  • To ley general rules of election
  • To determine constituencies and to prepare electoral rolls
  • To Accord recognition to political parties
  • To allot symbols
  • To supervise the conduct of elections

Distribution of Powers between the Union and States:

The legislative powers of the union are divided into three list

Union list: Important subjects defence of India; arms, ammunition and explosives; atomic energy; foreign relations; War and Peace; citizenship; Railways; national highways; shipping; Airways; posts and telegraph; currency; coinage; foreign loans; banking; insurance; higher education; census; election; audit; tax; duties of customs; Corporation tax; estate duty, etc

State List: Important subjects are: public order; police; prison; local government; public health and sanitation; libraries; roads; bridges; agriculture; preservation and protection of stock; water supply; market and fairs; land revenue, etc.

Concurrent List: Important subjects are: criminal law; code of criminal procedure; marriage and divorce; adoption; wills; succession; transfer of properties; trust; adulteration of foodstuff; education; forest; registration of birth and death; price control; factories; electricity; newspaper; archaeological sites and remains; custody; management and disposal of properties; stamp duties, etc.

Sources of Ancient Indian history – Resources and Instruments for Study

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