Features of the Constitution

Topics : 

K)-A Secular State
L)-Universal Adult Franchise
M)-Single Citizenship
N)-Independent Bodies
O)-Emergency Provisions
P)-Three-tier Government

K)- A Secular State
 following provisions of the Constitution reveal the secular character of the Indian State.
 1)-‘Secular’ was added to the Preamble 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976.
 2)-Secures to all citizens of India liberty of belief, faith and worship.
 3)-State shall not deny equality before the law or equal protection of the laws (Article 14).
 4)-State shall not discriminate against any citizen on the ground of religion (Article 15).
 5)-All persons- freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate any religion (Article 25).
 6)-Every religious denomination shall have the right to manage its religious affairs (Article 26).
 7)-Any person- Not to pay any taxes for promotion of a particular religion (Article 27).
 8)-No religious instruction in any educational institution maintained by State (Article 28).
 Any section citizens shall have right to conserve distinct language, script or culture (Article 29)
 Minorities- Right- establish and administer educational institutions of their choice (Article 30)
 State shall endeavour to secure for all the citizens a Uniform Civil Code (Article 44)

 Western concept of secularism connotes a complete separation between the religion (the church) and the state (the politics).
 Negative concept of secularism is inapplicable in the Indian situation where the society is multi-religious.
 Indian Constitution embodies the positive concept of secularism, i.e., giving equal respect to all religions or protecting all religions equally.
 Constitution has also abolished the old system of communal representation, that is, reservation of seats in the legislatures on the basis of religion.
 Provides for the temporary reservation of seats for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to ensure adequate representation to them.

L) Universal Adult Franchise
 Adopts- basis of elections- Lok Sabha and State legislative assemblies.
 Every citizen- 18 years of age has a right to vote without any discrimination of caste, race, religion, sex, literacy, wealth, and so on.
 Voting age was reduced to 18 years from 21 years 1989- 61st C A Act of 1988.
 Constitution-makers was a bold experiment and highly remarkable in view of
 1)- Vast size of the country,
 2)- Its huge population,
 3)- High poverty,
 4)- Social inequality and
 5)- Overwhelming(भारी) illiteracy.
 Universal adult franchise :

1)-makes democracy broad-based,

2)-enhances the self-respect and prestige of the common people,

3)-upholds the principle of equality etc.

M) Single Citizenship : 
 Constitution- dual polity (Centre and states)- Only a single citizenship- Indian citizenship.
 Unlike USA, on the other hand, each person is not only a citizen of USA but also a citizen of the particular state to which he belongs- Both and enjoys dual sets of rights—conferred by National & state government.
 All citizens irrespective of the state- born or reside enjoy- same political and civil rights of citizenship all over the country and
 No discrimination is made between them excepting in few cases like tribal areas, Jammu and Kashmir, and so on.
 Despite constitutional provision for a single citizenship and uniform rights for all the people witnessing-communal riots, class conflicts, caste wars, linguistic clashes and ethnic disputes.
 This means that the cherished goal of the Constitution-makers to build an united and integrated Indian nation has not been fully realised.

N)-Independent Bodies : 

 Bulwarks(बाांध) of the democratic system.
 (1)- Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections –


b)-State legislatures,

c)-Office of President of India

d)- Office of Vice-president.
 (2)- Comptroller and Auditor-General – audit accounts- Central and state- Acts as the guardian of public purse and comments on legality and propriety(औदित्य) of government expenditure.
 (3)- Union Public Service Commission- conduct examinations for recruitment to all-India services and higher Central services and to advise the President on disciplinary matters.
 (4)- State Public Service Commission- every state to conduct examinations for recruitment to state services and to advice the governor on disciplinary matters.
 Constitution ensures the independence of these bodies through various provisions like security of tenure, fixed service conditions, expenses being charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.

O)-Emergency Provisions : 
 Provisions to enable the President to meet any extraordinary situation effectively.
 Rationality behind incorporation of these provisions is to safeguard the sovereignty, unity, integrity and security of the country, the democratic political system and the Constitution.
 Three types of emergencies
 (a) National emergency- war or external aggression or armed rebellion (Article 352);
 (b) State emergency (President’s Rule)- 1)-Failure of Constitutional machinery in the states (Article 356) or failure to comply with the directions of the Centre (Article 365); and
 (c) Financial emergency- Threat to the financial stability or credit of India (Article 360).
 During an emergency- Central Government becomes all powerful
 Converts federal structure into a unitary one without a formal amendment of the Constitution.
 Transformation of the political system from federal (during normal times) to unitary (during emergency) is a unique feature of the Indian Constitution.

P)-Three-tier Government : 
 Originally- dual polity and contained provisions- Centre and the states.
 Later- 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts (1992) have added a third-tier of government (i.e., local) which is not found in any other Constitution of the world.
 73rd Amendment Act of 1992- gave constitutional recognition to the panchayats (rural local governments) by adding a new Part IX and- New Schedule 11 to the Constitution.
 74th Amendment Act of 1992- gave constitutional- Recognition to the municipalities (urban local governments) by adding a new Part IX-A and a new Schedule 12 to the Constitution.

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