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


The Constitution of India is the lengthiest written constitution of 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
  • Federal structure of government
  • Electoral college
  • Judicial review
  • Equal protection under 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
  • Idea of single citizenship
  • Concept of the rule of law
  • Institution of speaker and his role
  • Legislative process
  • Procedure established by law

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:

  • 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.

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