Sovereign Democratic Republic, a Secular State, Directive Principles, Union List, State List and Concurrent List

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Sovereign Democratic Republic

  • The most important feature of our Constitution is that the supreme political power belongs to the people. The people drafted the constitution through their representatives. It is the people of India who govern the country through their elected representatives. The people are the real masters with whom the ultimate authority rests.

  • India is a Sovereign Democratic Republic. It is Sovereign because it is supreme and free in all matters governing the country. No outside nation can interfere with its affairs. It is Democratic because the people govern the country through their elected representatives. It is a Republic because the Head of the State, The President of India, is elected for a limited period of five years. He may seek re-election on the expire of his term.

A Secular State

  • The Preamble of the Constitution was modified in 1976. India is now a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic.

  • It is secular because the state does not favour or propagate or finance any particular religion. It does not discriminate among people of different religions or faiths.

A Socialist State

Our Constitution stands for a society based on economic and social equality. Ours is a Socialist Republic. It exists for the welfare of the masses.

Written Constitution

Ours is a written Constitution. It is the lengthiest in the World. It originally contained 395 Articles.

Single Citizenship

Our Constitution provides for single citizenship for all Indians. A citizen of our country can freely move to any part of the country for the sake of employment. He can purchase property or start a business in almost all parts of the country.

Union of State

Our motherland, India or “BHARAT”, is a Union of States. There are 26 states and 6 Union Territories in the Union.

Universal Adult Franchise

The Constitution gives “the right to vote” to all the people of India who are not less than21 years (now reduced to 18 years) of age, whether they are educated or uneducated, rich or poor, men or women. This is known as Universal Adult Franchise.

Fundamental Rights and Duties

  • An important feature of our Constitution is that it guarantees some basic rights to the people and also prescribes some basic duties. These rights are essential rights and provide help and safeguards to the citizens in many ways.

  • Ten fundamental duties of citizen were included in the Constitution in 1976. It is the duty of a citizen to pay taxes, to vote wisely and to serve the country in peace and war. Rights and duties help society to achieve its goals.

Directive Principles

  • Our Constitution states in clear terms that the Governments should make all efforts to remove poverty, ignorance, economic disparities and social inequalities in the country.

  • These directions have been mentioned in what we call Directive Principles of State Policy.

Parliamentary Form of Government

  • Our Constitution provides a precise outline of the framework of the Government. All policies and programmes of the Government must be approved by a majority of the elected representative in the legislature.

  • No tax can be imposed nor any amount of money be spent without the sanction of the parliament or the State Legislature.

Independent Judiciary

The Constitution provides for a uniform pattern of judiciary. The Supreme Court is the highest court in India. The judiciary in India is independent of the executive control.

An Instrument of Social Change

  • To sum up, our Constitution aims at fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people. It resolves to secure to all its citizens Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

  • It aims at establishing a democratic secular, Socialist Society in a peaceful manner and is an instrument of social change.

Union List, State List and Concurrent List

The Union Government and the state Governments have exclusive powers to make laws on the subjects.

Union List

The main subjects are defence, external affairs, railways, shipping, airways, post and telegraph, currency and coinage, banking, insurance, RBI etc.,

State List

Agriculture, health, irrigation, electricity, law and order in the state, entertainment etc.,

Concurrent List

Both the Union Parliament and the State Legislature have power to legislate. Some important subjects under the list are: criminal law, criminal procedure, marriage, divorce, labour welfare, factories, newspaper books, printing, social welfare, education price control etc.,

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