Saturday, September 25, 2010

Constitution of India

[caption id="attachment_684" align="alignleft" width="282" caption="Constitution of India - Preamble"]Constitution of India[/caption]

The Union of India is governed by the Constitution. Adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November 1949, the Constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950 and was a great attempt of the leaders and nation as a whole to make the governance stands on the strong laws and principles put in the Constitution. The Constitution was drafted over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 17 days and the 26th January from then onwards was celebrated as the Republic Day of India. The Constituent Assembly was set up after India got its independence from the British in 1947. On this day, India became a truly sovereign state and came to known as Republic Of India. Thus the Constitution lays the foundations on which govt. system works.

The great Indian Constitution stands out as one of the most historic events our country witnessed and truly the credit for the success of India in its modern democratic form goes to the Constitution of India and its framers. It declares the Indian Union to be sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. The constitution gives the powers of the governance in the hands of people and it was a brave effort of our leaders that made it stand apart from the world.

The work was already started in framing the constitution of India much early before independence. The Constituent Assembly held its first meeting on December 9, 1946. Though, there were many people who framed the Constitution, some of them took the lead role in framing the Constitution. Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, Acharya Kriplani, Pandit Nehru, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, Maulana Azad, Sardar Patel and Dr Rajendra Prasad were some of the prominent faces who were involved in the drafting committee appointed on August 29,1947. All these people were highly skilled and talented and brought the varying experiences that they have on the Constitution table. The framers won great praise from contemporary observers for their exemplary work. Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar was known as the main architect of the Indian Constitution.

The Constitution guarantees for the protection of a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the abolition of untouchability and the outlawing of all forms of discrimination. There were extensive debates and discussions over economic and social rights for women.

Constitution of the nation established the Parliamentary form of Government in India. This is federal in structure with certain unitary features. The President of India is the Constitutional head of the executive of the Union. The Parliament consists of the President and two Houses known as the Council of States (also called as Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (also called as Lok Sabha). The council of Ministers are headed by the Prime Minister and are collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. Different states have a Legislative Assembly with exceptions to certain states that have an upper House called State Legislative Council. President of India appoints a Governor for each state. The executive powers of the state are in Governor hands and is regarded as the head of the state.

The legislative powers have been distributed between Parliament and State legislatures as per the seventh schedule to the Constitution. The residuary powers are vested in the Parliament. The Union Territories are administered and controlled centrally.

The structure of the Constitution consists of a preamble, 395 Articles in 22 parts, 12 Schedules, nearly 100+ amendments with five appendices.

Preamble to the Constitution The Preamble is the basic part of the Constitution of India. The Preamble, states : "WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION."

Parts of the Indian Constitution - 22 The 22 parts of the Constitution of India has 395 Articles. These are the different parts of the Indian Constitution:

  • Part I - The Union and its Territory

  • Part II - Citizenship

  • Part III - Fundamental Rights

  • Part IV - Directive Principles of State Policy

  • Part IVA - Fundamental Duties

  • Part V - The Union

  • Part VI - The States

  • Part VII - The States in Part B of the First Schedule

  • Part VIII - The Union Territories

  • Part IX - Panchayats

  • Part IXA - Municipalities

  • Part X - The Scheduled and Tribal Areas

  • Part XI - Relations Between The Union and The States

  • Part XII - Finance, Property, Contracts and Suits

  • Part XIII - Trade, Commerce and Intercourse within The Territory of India

  • Part XIV - Services Under The Union and The States

  • Part XIVA - Tribunals

  • Part XV- Elections

  • Part XVI - Special Provisions Relating to Certain Classes

  • Part XVII - Official Language

  • Part XVIII - Emergency Provisions

  • Part XIX - Miscellaneous

  • Part XX - Amendment of the Constitution

  • Part XXI - Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions

  • Part XXII - Short Title, Commencement, Authoritative Text in Hindi and Repeals

Schedules to Indian Constitution
There are twelve schedules to Constitution of India:

  • First Schedule: States and Union Territories of India.

  • Second Schedule: Emoluments for high-level officials of the govt.

  • Third Schedule: Forms of Oaths or Affirmations.

  • Fourth Schedule: Allocation of seats in the council of states or the Rajya Sabha.

  • Fifth Schedule: Provisions as to the Administration and Control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes.

  • Sixth Schedule: The provisions of the Administration of Tribal Areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

  • Seventh Schedule: The Union, state, and concurrent lists of responsibilities.

  • Eighth Schedule: The 22 official languages.

  • Ninth Schedule: Validation of certain Acts and Regulations

  • Tenth Schedule: Provisions as to disqualification on ground of defection.

  • Eleventh Schedule: Deals with Panchayati Raj.

  • Twelfth Schedule: Deals with Municipalities.

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