Source of Indian Constitution | Features borrowed from Other Countries in Indian Constitution

The Constitution of India is the lengthiest written constitution in the world. With approximately 1,45,000 words, it is the second-longest constitution in the world after the Constitution of Alabama. It took the Constituent Assembly about 2 years and 11 months to prepare it.

Indian constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and it became effective on 26 January 1950. On 26 January, the constitution replaced the Government of India Act 1935, and the Dominion of India became the Republic of India. India celebrates 26 January as its Republic Day.

Initially, there were 22 parts, 395 articles, and 8 schedules in the Indian Constitution. Its provisions were borrowed from the Government of India Act 1935 and the Constitutions of the US, Ireland, Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany, the USSR, France, South Africa, Japan, and other countries. Thus, the Indian constitution contains provisions of more than 60 constitutions present at that time. All major sources of the Indian constitution are provided below:

1. Government of India Act 1935:

  • Administrative details
  • Federal plan
  • Emergency provision
  • Public service commission
  • Governor's office
  • Judiciary

2. US Constitution:

  • Preamble
  • Fundamental rights
  • The federal structure of government
  • Electoral college
  • Judicial review
  • Equal protection under the law
  • President as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, his impeachment and functions)
  • Post of vice-president
  • Independence of the judiciary and separation of powers between the three branches of government, judicial review

3. British Constitution:

  • Parliamentary form of government
  • The idea of single citizenship
  • Concept of the rule of law
  • Institution of the speaker and his role
  • Legislative process

4. Constitution of Canada:

  • A quasi-federal form of government
  • A federal system with a strong central government
  • Distribution of powers between the Central Government and the State Governments.
  • Residual powers of central government
  • Supreme Court’s advisory jurisdiction
  • Centre’s power to appoint governors of states

5. Constitution of Ireland:

  • Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)
  • Nomination of Rajya Sabha members  
  • Method of President’s election

6. French Constitution:

  • Concept of Republic
  • Ideals of freedom, equality and fraternity in the preamble

7. Australian Constitution:

  • Concurrent List
  • Freedom of trade and commerce within the country and between states
  • Power of the national legislature to enact laws to implement treaties, even on matters outside the general federal jurisdiction.
  • Joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

8. Constitution of the Soviet Union (USSR):

  • Fundamental Duties
  • Planning Commission
  • Ideals of social, economic and political justice in Preamble

9. Constitution of South Africa:

  • Constitution amendment process
  • Election of Rajya Sabha members

10. Weimar Constitution of Germany:

  • Union emergency powers
  • Suspension of Fundamental Rights during Emergency.

11. Constitution of Japan:

  • The procedure established by law

Indian Constitution is also called a bag of borrowings because it contains many provisions borrowed from a large number of Constitutions. The Constitution of India is a unique document as it was prepared after nearly about 2 years and 11 months of hard work by the Constituent Assembly. It is a flexible constitution having provisions that allow for amendments to address the immediate needs and future problems of Indian society.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Sources of Indian Constitution

Which countries did Indian Constitution refer to while being drafted?

USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, France, Australia, USSR, Japan, South Africa, Germany

From which constitution did Indian Constitution borrowed feature of Republic?

Indian Constitution borrowed concept of Republic from the French Constitution

Fundamental Duties are borrowed from which Constitution?

Fundamental Duties in Indian Constitution are borrowed from USSR Constitution

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are borrowed from which Constitution?

DPSP are borrowed from the Irish Constitution

Federal structure of the government is borrowed from which Constitution?

The source of Federal structure of Indian government is US Constitution

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