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Borrowed Features of the Indian Constitution from Other Countries

Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution

The Indian Constitution is a living document and an instrument which makes the government system work.  A large number of provisions in the Indian constitution are inspired by other Constitutions of the world. However, our Constitution has a few distinctive features that set it apart from other constitutions.

With more than 6,000 pages of text, the Indian Constitution is among the most comprehensive constitutions globally. Our Constitution includes 12 schedules and 470 articles, which makes it the lengthiest written constitution in the world. 

There are various factors which have contributed to the vast size of the Indian Constitution. These include; the first historical factors as 70% (approx.) portion of our constitution has the influence of the Government of India Act, 1935 which was bulky in itself. Second, geographical factors as India is a vast and diverse country and Single Constitution for both Centre and States.

Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution

The Indian Constitution has borrowed most of its provisions from varied sources. Dr BR Ambedkar rightly said that the Indian constitution has been framed after ransacking all the known Constitutions of the world. Despite the borrowed features in the Indian Constitution, it is a unique set of laws which explains the structure and workings of the Government of India.

The Government of India Act 1935 is the primary reference for the Constitution as the structure and framework of the Indian constitution are largely derived from it. The philosophical part of the Constitution is largely borrowed from the American and Irish constitutions. The political part of the constitution has been drawn from the British constitution. It includes the principle of Cabinet Government and the relations between the Executive and the legislature.

Read about: Important Articles of Indian Constitution

List of Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution

Here is a List of Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution and their respective source country is given below:

Sources Features Borrowed
Government of India Act of 1935 Federal Scheme

Office of the governor


Public Service Commissions

Emergency provisions

Administrative Details

United States of America Written Constitution

Impeachment of the President

Functions of the President and Vice-president

Removal of Supreme Court and High Court judges

Fundamental Rights

Judicial review & Independence of Judiciary

Independence of Judiciary

Preamble of the Constitution

Vice President as ex-office chairman of Rajya Sabha

United Kingdom Nominal Head-President

Bicameral Parliament

More powerful Lower House

Council of Ministers responsible for Lower House

Speaker in Lok Sabha

Cabinet System of Ministers

Post of Prime Minister

Parliamentary Type of Government


USSR Fundamental Duties

Five-year Plan

Justice (Social, Economic and Political) in the Preamble

Australia  The concurrent list under the seventh schedule of the Constitution.

Language of the preamble

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

Freedom of trade and commerce

Japan Law on which the Supreme Court function
Germany Suspension of Fundamental Rights during the emergency
Canada  Federalism with a stronger centre.

Distribution of powers between the centre govt. and the state govt.

Residuary powers vest with the centre.

Centre appoints the Governors at the states.

Advisory jurisdiction of the supreme court.

Ireland Concept of Directive Principles of States Policy (whereas Ireland Borrowed it from Spain)

Method of election of President

President nominating Member to the Rajya Sabha

France Concept of “Republic”

Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity (Mentioned in the Preamble)

South Africa Election of members of the Rajya Sabha

Amendment of the Constitution

Read about: Preamble of Indian Constitution

Is Indian Constitution a Bag of Borrowing?

In response to this critique, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (chairman of the Drafting Committee) during his speech at the Constituent Assembly stated that “One can wonder whether there can be anything new or unique thing in the Indian Constitution. “But in the true sense, the makers of the Indian constitution did not precisely imitate the features or aspects of other countries constitutions.

Instead, the makers made the necessary and possible adjustments to the borrowed features from the other constitutions in order to adapt them to the Indian conditions while at the same time putting aside their shortcomings.

Read about: Constitution Day of India

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What Indian Constitution borrowed from Japan?

Concept of “procedure established by Law”

Which country Indian Constitution adopted Preamble?

Preamble is taken from the constitution of the USA

What is the basic source of constitution?

Government of India Act 1935

Which country Indian Constitution adopted Residuary Power?

Canadian Constitution

Which country Indian Constitution adopted Judicial Review?

Constitution of US

Which country Indian Constitution adopted Directive Principles?

Constitution of Ireland

Which country Indian Constitution adopted Writs?

United Kingdom

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