Explain the key features of the Indian Constitution.

Some of the Key Features of Indian Constitution are listed below:

  1. Federalism
  2. Parliamentary Form of Government
  3. Separation of Powers
  4. Fundamental Rights
  5. Secularism

Fundamental Rights

The Fundamental Rights section of the Indian Constitution has often been referred to as its ‘conscience.’ 

The objective of Fundamental Rights  is two-fold as per Dr. BR Ambedkar. 

  1. The first objective is that every citizen must be in a position to claim those rights.
  2. And secondly, every authority that has got the power to make law these rights must be binding upon them.

Fundamental Rights – Protection it guarantees

  • Fundamental Rights, therefore, protect citizens against the arbitrary and absolute exercise of power by the State. 
  • The Constitution guarantees the rights of individuals against other individuals and against the State.

In addition to Fundamental Rights, there is a section which was designed by the members of the Constituent Assembly to ensure greater economic and social reforms. This section of the constitution is known as Directive Principles of State Policy.

List of Fundamental Rights 

The different fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution are listed below

  1. Right to Equality
  2. Right to Freedom
  3. Right Against Exploitation
  4. Right to Freedom of Religion
  5. Cultural and Education Rights
  6. Right to Constitutional Remedies

Right to Equality

  • Each and every person is equal before the law, which means everyone will receive the same protection as per laws of the country.
  • There will be no discrimination of any person on the basis of religion, sex, or caste.
  • Practice of untouchability has been abolished.
  • In matters of employment, no one will be discriminated against.
  • Every person will have equal access to public places.

Right to Freedom

  • Any person has the right to move freely and live anywhere in India.
  • Everyone has the right to expression and freedom of speech.
  • Every person has the right to practise any profession, occupation or business.
  • Everyone has the right to form associations.

Right against Exploitation

  • Constitution of India prohibits employment of children below 14 years of age, it also prohibits forced labour, human trafficking.

Cultural and Education Rights

  • In order to develop and preserve their own culture, all linguistic and religious minorities can set up their own education institutions.

Right Against Constitutional Remedies

  • As per this right, if any citizen feels the fundamental rights have been violated by the State, then they can move the court.

Secularism

  • As per Secularism, a state does not promote any 1 religion as the state religion.

Separation of Powers

  • There are 3 organs of the Government, as per the Constitution of India.
  • The 3 organs are Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
  • Each of these 3 organs have different powers as per the Constitution of India, this is done to ensure that there is no misuse of power and balance of power is maintained.
  • The executive is a smaller group of people who are responsible for  running the government and implementing the laws.
  • Our elected representatives are known as the Legislature.
  • The System of courts is known as the Judiciary.

Parliamentary Form of Government

  • Every citizen of the country, irrespective of his/her social background, can contest in elections.
  • People of India have a direct role in electing their representatives through elections.
  • The Constitution of India guarantees universal adult suffrage for all citizens. 
  • Elected representatives are accountable to the people.

Federalism

  • Federalism refers to the existence of more than one level of Government in India.
  • The 1st tier is the Central Government, 2nd tier are the State Governments and 3rd tier is the Panchayati Raj or Local Self Government.
  • This is done so that there is decentralization of power, when decisions are made for a particular area.
  • The Constitution of India has demarcated the powers of different tiers of Government through creation of Union List, State List and Concurrent List.
  • Subjects of national concern require that all of these states follow the laws of the Central government.

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