The Constitution of India or the Constitution of the Republic of India came in effect on January 26, 1950 and is the longest written constitution of any independent nation in the world. It contains 395 articles and 12 schedules. It has a total of 117,369 words in its English language version.
History of the Constitution of India
At the end of World War II in Europe on May 9, 1945, a new government came to power in the United Kingdom. This government announced to convene a constituent drafting body in India. A team of ministers, called the Cabinet Mission, were sent to India to find solution to the question of India's independence.
The Cabinet Mission discussed the framework and the procedure to be followed the drafting body. With India's independence, the Constituent Assembly became a fully sovereign body and they began the working from 9 December 1947.
The Assembly had members belonging to different communities, regions and even from different political persuasions of India. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the elected president and B.R. Ambedkar, the chairman of the Drafting Committee.
Over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days, before submitting the final copy of the Constitution, the Constituent Assembly met for 166 days and the sessions were always open to the press and the public.
Features of the Constitution of India
It has been extensively drawn from Western legal traditions in enunciation of the principles of liberal democracy. The principles of the Constitution reflects aspirants to end the inequities of traditional social relations and to enhance the social welfare of the population. Since the enactment, the constitution has always fostered for a steady concentration of power to the central government, especially to Prime Minister Office (PMO).
Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution from other Constitutions
United States Constitution
- Parliamentary form of government
- The idea of single citizenship
- The idea of the Rule of law
- Institution of Speaker and his role
- Lawmaking procedure
- Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is similar to the United States Bill of Rights
- Federal structure of government
- Power of Judicial Review and independence of the judiciary
- Constitutional enunciation of the directive principles of state policy
- Ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity
- A quasi-federal form of government (a federal system with a strong central government)
- The idea of Residual Powers
- The idea of the Concurrent list
- Freedom of trade and commerce within the country and between the states
- The Planning Commission and Five-Year Plans
- Fundamental Duties