One of the key features of Indian Constitution is that it is the longest written Constitution in the world. The reason for
bulkiness of Indian Constitution is due to inclusion of Articles on the basis of religion, region, caste, sex, etc., inclusion of
administrative aspects like Election Commission, Public Service Commission, etc., exhaustive enumeration of rights and non-rights
(Directive Principles of State Policy), inclusion of
temporary and transitional provisions like Articles 371A to 371I, etc.
The salient features of Indian Constitution include Largest written Constitution, Combination of rigidity and flexibility, Federal system,
Single citizenship, Fundamental rights, Directive principles of state policy, Independent and integrated judiciary, Parliamentary form of
Longest written Constitution in the World
Bulkiness of Indian Constitution is explained in terms of Articles, PARTs and Schedules. On 26th January, 1950, the Constitution
contained 395 Articles, 22 PARTs and 8 Schedules. Now, it contains 448 Articles,
25 PARTS and 12 Schedules.
New Articles that are being added, will not be given the number as 396 but should be added like 1A, 1B, 24A, etc. When an Article
gets deleted, it should be kept vacant.
For example, Article 31 was deleted in 1978 in the 44th Amendment ofthe Constitution.
The Article was kept vacant and new Articles to the same number were added as 31A, 31B, etc.
PART is the partition of Articles into different sections. This is made for easy access. Schedule is an explanatory part of an
Article. It is an annexure to the Constitution.
Rigidity and Flexibility of Indian Constitution
Indian Constitution is partially flexible and partially rigid. It is flexible because some of the Articles in the Constitution can be amended
with simple majority in the Parliament, while some other Articles can be amended with a special majority of the Parliament. The flexibility is
one of the unitary features of Indian Constitution because Parliament alone can amend certain Articles.
The Constitution is said to
be rigid because some of the crucial Articles need to be amended by special majority of the Parliament and consent of the states. So,
rigidity is one of the federal features of Indian Constitution.
Federal System with Unitary Bias
Though the word Federation is not incorporated into the Indian Constitution, India is a federation of states with maximum power given to
the Central government.
The Constitution of India says it as "Union of States". That means Indian
federation has an undestroyable Union of destroyable states which implies that the states can be merged or divided, but they cannot go away
from the Union.
According to the Constitution of India, all the citizens residing in the 28 States and 8 Union Territories will have a single
citizenship in the country.
Fundamental Rights and Duties
Fundamental Rights are included in our
Constitution so that the State cannot exercise arbitrary and absolute power against its citizens. They protect the rights of individuals
against the other individuals and against the Government itself.
The fundamental duties
reminds the citizens about their responsibility towards the State and the fellow citizens.
Directive Principles of State Policy
The Directive Principles of State Policy that are included into the Constitution, are a kind of guidelines to the State so that it will
strive to push for the wellbeing of its people.
Independent and Integrated Judiciary
The Judiciary is the final resort for the citizens of the country to protect their rights. So, its independence is utmost important. The
makers of the Constitution envisaged this and kept the Judiciary completely independent of both Executive and the Legislature. Independence of Judiciary is one of
the main features of Indian Constitution.
Ours is a an Integrated Judiciary as we have single hierarchy of
Courts and no separate courts for Central as well as State laws.
Universal Adult Franchise
Indian Constitution guarantees that without any discrimination, every adult above the age of 18 years has the right to exercise his
vote to elect the people's representatives.
Parliamentary Form of Government
Parliamentary form of government is nothing but responsibility of the Executive towards the Legislature, which
has the people's representatives.
Unlike the Presidential form of government, in parliamentary form of government the Executive and Legislature are clubbed together,
making the Executive more accountable towards the Legislature.
Though the Indian Government operates in a federal structure, during the proclamation of emergency, all the powers will be vested with the
Union government and the Constitution acquires a kind of unitary character.
Local Self Governments
In order to enhance the democratic decentralization, Indian Constitution renders power to the rural and urban populace to manage their developmental
activities on their own with the assistance of local self governments.
Indian Constitution incorporated some affirmative provisions
for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in government jobs and made provisions for their upliftment by reserving some seats in
Legislatures as well as educational institutions.