Salient Features of Indian Constitution

A Constitution contains basic or fundamental laws of the land and establishes Rule of the Law. Indian Constitution was prepared by a representative body, known as the Constituent Assembly.

1. Written Constitution: Constitution of India is the longest written constitution in the world.

2. Rigidity and Flexibility: Rigidity ensures continuity and firmness in the political system while flexibility helps in accommodating changing aspiration of the people.

3. Fundamental Rights and Duties: Fundamental Rights protect individuals against the arbitrary and absolute exercise of power by the state. They are justiceable or enforceable by the court. Fundamental Duties reflect some values like patriotism, humanism, environmentalism, scientific temper, inquiry etc., which citizens are expected to observe and promote.

4. Directive Principles of State Policy: These are the directions given to the Central as well as the state governments to ensure greater socio-economic justice. These principles aim at the establishment of a Welfare State.

5. Integrated Judicial System: Although the Supreme Court is at the national level, High Courts at the state level and Subordinate Courts at the district and lower level, there is a single hierarchy of Courts. At the top of the hierarchy is the Supreme Court. This unified judicial system is aimed at promoting and ensuring justice to all the citizens in uniform manner. Moreover, the constitutional provisions ensure the independence of Indian judiciary which is free from the influence of the executive and the legislature.

6. Single Citizenship: Unlike USA and other federal countries, our Constitution has provision for single citizenship. Every Indian is a citizen of India irrespective of residence or place of birth or the State in which he or she lives.

7. Universal Adult Franchise: Every Indian citizen of 18 years and above has Right to Vote without any discrimination.

8. Federal system: Two or more levels of the government; The Union Government, the State Governments and the Local Self Governments. The Constitution specifies division of powers between them.

9. Parliamentary form of Government: Executive is part of the legislature and it remains responsible to the legislature for its actions. The President of India as Head of the State is nominal executive whereas Prime Minister and Council of Ministers are the real executive responsible to the Parliament.