Constitution of India: Features borrowed from other countries

Indian Constitution came into existence on November 26, 1949. The Constituent Assembly of India drafted it, with the consideration of features included in the Constitutions of the other countries and also from the Government of India Act 1935. Know here which countries have contributed to the Constitution of India.
Created On: Nov 23, 2021 16:16 IST
Modified On: Nov 23, 2021 16:16 IST
Constitution of India: features taken from other countries
Constitution of India: features taken from other countries

Indian Constitution is a mixed bag of borrowings. On November 26, 1949, the Constitution was adopted. It came into force on January 26, 1950. It was on this day that the members of the Constituent Assembly signed the documents. Many countries have been an inspiration for the framing of the Constitution of India. Take a look at such countries below and the parts that have been borrowed from them. Indian Constitution Day is observed on November 26 every year. 

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The Constitution is a set of laws and rules that sets up the machinery of the Government of a state, which defines and determines the relations between the different institutions and components of the government, the executives, the legislature, the judiciary, the central, and the local government.

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The Indian Constitution is unique in its contents and spirit. Although it had picked up many best features from other constitutions of the world. The constitution of India has several salient features that distinguish it from the constitutions of other countries.

Many people criticise that the Indian Constitution is a bag of borrowings or just paper and scissor work.

It is true that it had borrowed some features but was drafted according to the Historical perspective, Geographical diversity, Cultural and traditional characteristics of India.

The chairman of the drafting committee Dr Ambedkar had said –

As to the accusation that the Draft Constitution has reproduced a good part of the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935, I make no apologies. There is nothing to be ashamed of in borrowing. It involves no plagiarism. Nobody holds any patent rights in the fundamental ideas of a Constitution….

When is Constitution Day celebrated?

It is celebrated on 26 November and is also known as Samvidhan Divas or National Law Day or National Constitution Day. On 26 November 1949, the Constitution of India was adopted and came into force on 26 January 1950. To acknowledge the contribution of the framers of the Constitution and to aggravate the people regarding the prominent values, 26 November is celebrated as "Constitution Day."

The BJP led Government declared 26 November as Constitution Day on 19 November 2015 by a gazette notification. 

List of Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution:

Name of Countries

Borrowed Features of the Constitution

         Britain

 1. Parliamentary government

 2. Rule of Law

 3. Legislative procedure

 4. Single citizenship

 5. Cabinet system

 6. Prerogative writs

 7. Parliamentary privileges

 8. Bicameralism

         Ireland

 

 1. Directive Principles of State Policy

 2. Method of Election of the president

 3. Members nomination to the Rajya Sabha by the President

   United States of America

 1. Impeachment of the president

 2. Functions of president and vice-president

 3. Removal of Supreme Court and High court judges

 4. Fundamental Rights

 5. Judicial review

 6. Independence of judiciary

 7. The preamble of the constitution

  Canada

 

 1. Centrifugal form of federalism where the centre is stronger than the states.

 2. Residuary powers vest with the centre

 3. Centre appoints the Governors at the states

 4. Advisory jurisdiction of the supreme court

  Australia

 

 1. Concept of Concurrent list

 2. Article 108 i.e. Joint sitting of the two houses

 3. Freedom of trade and commerce

  USSR (Now Russia)

 

 1. Fundamental duties

 2. The ideals of justice (social, economic, and political),  expressed in the Preamble.

  France

 

 1. Concept of  “Republic”

 2. Ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity(contained in the Preamble)

  Germany

 

 1. Fundamental Rights are suspended during Emergency

  South Africa

 

 1. Election of members of the Rajya Sabha

 2. Amendment of the Constitution

  Japan

 1. Concept of “procedure established by Law”

Government of India Act of 1935

The Government of India Act contributed the following to the Constitution of India:

1. Federal Scheme

2. Office of the governor

3. Judiciary

4. Public Service Commissions

5. Emergency provisions

6. Administrative details

Countries and their contribution in detail:

Britain

Great Britain ruled India for over 100 years. This was what was adopted from their Constitution

1. Parliamentary government

2. Rule of Law

3. Legislative procedure

4. Single citizenship

5. Cabinet system

6. Prerogative writs

7. Parliamentary privileges

8. Bicameralism

Ireland

A small country but a big contributor to the Indian Constitution. It provided for the ideas of:

1. Directive Principles of State Policy

2. Nomination of members to Rajya Sabha

3. Method of election of the president

United States of America

1. Impeachment of the president

2. Functions of president and vice-president

3. Removal of Supreme Court and High court judges

4. Fundamental Rights

5. Judicial review

6. Independence of judiciary

7. The preamble of the constitution

Canada

1. Federation with a strong Centre

2. Vesting of residuary powers in the Centre

3. Appointment of state governors by the Centre

4. Advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court

 

Australia

 

1. Concurrent List

2. Freedom of trade

3. Commerce and intercourse

4. The joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament

Soviet Constitution (USSR, now Russia)

1. Fundamental duties

2. The ideal of justice (social, economic, and political) in the Preamble

France

1. The ideals of the Republic in the Preamble

2. The ideals of liberty in the Preamble

3. The ideals of equality in the Preamble

4. The ideals of fraternity in the Preamble

Weimar Constitution of Germany

1. Suspension of Fundamental Rights during Emergency

 

South African Constitution

1. Procedure for amendment of the Constitution 

2. Election of members of Rajya Sabha

Japan

Concept of “procedure established by Law”

As we know our constitution is the lengthiest written constitution, one factor contributing to it having been drawn from many different sources. The constituent assembly assessed many constitutions and drafted one taking all the provisions that best applied to India’s diversity. Dr. B R Ambedkar rightly claimed it to be framed after “ransacking” the known constitution.

 

 Indian Polity & Governance: A Complete Study Material Questions Bank (500+)on Indian Polity & Governance

 

FAQ

Who was the head of the drafting committee of the Indian Constitution?

Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar was the head of the drafting committee

Name the features taken from the Constitution of Germany in the Indian Constitution?

Fundamental Rights are suspended during emergency idea was borrowed by the Indian Constitution makers from Germany.

Which country is the source of the Preamble introduced in the Constitution of India?

The preamble of the Indian constitution is taken from the constitution of the USA.

From which country Directive Principles of State Policy feature is taken in the Constitution of India

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are taken from the Constitution of Ireland. It is mentioned in Part IV of the Indian Constitution from Articles 36 to 51.
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