Sources of the Constitution of India

Sources of the Constitution of India

Soon after independence, there was a new, unique, and huge challenge before the then government of India, i.e., of framing the constitution of India. The task of framing the constitution was completed by a drafting committee under the chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. They used various constitutions of the world as a source to frame a constitution that would be suitable for India. The constitution of India was completed (and passed by the government) on 26 November 1949 and was adopted on 26 January 1950.

Sources of the Constitution of India

Constitution Day or Samvidhan Divas is celebrated in India on November 26, the day when the Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly in 1949. After India became an independent nation, the Constituent Assembly entrusted the job of drafting the Constitution to a committee chaired by Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar. Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, was the President of the Constituent Assembly.

In the beginning of 1948, Dr. Ambedkar completed the draft of the Indian Constitution and presented it in the Constituent Assembly. On November 26, 1949, this draft was adopted with very few amendments. The Indian Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950.

Some Facts:

The Constituent Assembly of India was established in 1946. It met for 166 days spread over 2 years, 11 months and 18 days.

The Constitution of India is a hand-written document. It is one of the longest hand-written documents in the world. There are a total of 1,17,369 words in the English version.

The Constitution of India has borrowed most of its provisions from the Constitutions of various other countries as well as from the
Government of India Act of 1935. Dr B.R. Ambedkar proudly acclaimed that the Constitution of India has been framed after ‘ransacking all the known Constitutions of the World. The structural part of the Constitution is, to a large extent, derived from the Government of India Act of 1935.

The philosophical part of the Constitution (the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy) derives its inspiration from the American and Irish Constitutions, respectively. The political part of the Constitution (the principle of the Cabinet
Government and the relations between the Executive and the Legislature) have been largely drawn from the British Constitution.
The other provisions of the Constitution have been drawn from the Constitutions of Canada, Australia, Germany, USSR (now Russia), France, South Africa, Japan and so on.

Borrowed Features (Sources) of the Constitution of India

S.No.SourcesFeatures Borrowed
1.Government of India Act of 1935Federal Scheme, Office of governor, Judiciary, Public Service Commissions, Emergency provisions and administrative details
2.British ConstitutionParliamentary government, Rule of Law, legislative procedure, single citizenship, cabinet system, prerogative writs, parliamentary privileges and bicameralism.
3.US ConstitutionFundamental rights, independence of judiciary, judicial review, impeachment of the president, removal of Supreme Court and high court judges and post of vicepresident.
4.Irish ConstitutionDirective Principles of State Policy, nomination of members to Rajya Sabha and method of election of president
5.Canadian ConstitutionFederation with a strong Centre, vesting of residuary powers in the Centre, appointment of state governors by the Centre, and advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
6.Australian ConstitutionConcurrent List, freedom of trade, commerce and inter-course, and joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament.
7.Weimar Constitution of GermanySuspension of Fundamental Rights during Emergency.
8.Soviet Constitution (USSR, now Russia)Fundamental duties and the ideal of justice (social, economic and political) in the Preamble.
9.French ConstitutionRepublic and the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity in the Preamble.
10.South African ConstitutionProcedure for amendment of the Constitution and election of members of Rajya Sabha.
11.Japanese ConstitutionProcedure established by Law.
Source: LaxmiKanth’s Indian Polity



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