Sources of Indian Constitution – Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution from Other Countries

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

There are different sources of Indian Constitution, such as the Government of India Act 1935 and the Constitution of other countries such as France, Ireland, Russia, Australia, etc. Our constitution is the backbone of democracy, giving us the right to live freely in a democratic society. The Indian Constitution was brought into existence on 26 November 1949, and the drafting committee borrowed some of the important features of the constitution of other countries into ours, keeping in light the development of our nation.

Some examples of sources of Indian Constitution are as follows:

  • The position of Vice President, independent Judiciary, removal of the high court and supreme court judges, and fundamental rights are taken from the US Constitution.
  • Fundamental Duties were taken from the Russian Constitution.
  • The ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity were borrowed from the French constitution.

There are 11 sources of Indian Constitution, of which more than half of the features of the Indian Constitution were adopted from the Government of India Act 1935. Check the complete list of borrowed features of the Indian Constitution and various sources of Constitution of India in this article.

Sources of Indian Constitution

Sources of Indian Constitution are the different sources that influenced the framing of the Indian Constitution. The Constitution of India is one of the country’s most essential and unique documents with many provisions and borrowed features, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, and a few others. But, all these provisions suit the Indian polity and government.

Indian Constitution is the world’s lengthiest Constitution that forms the spirit of the Republic of India, which has borrowed features from other countries. Even though the Indian Constitution has borrowed specific provisions from other countries, it is a well-established fact that it is the world’s most detailed Constitution that initially consisted of 395 Articles (Note – The number of Articles has been increased to 448 to date).

Sources of Indian Constitution PDF

Aspirants preparing for the UPSC exam can download the Sources of Constitution of India PDF from the direct link below. It is an important part of the Indian Polity syllabus of the Civil Services examination.

Sources of Indian Constitution PDF

The Indian Constitution was framed after three years of hard work by the members of the constituent assembly that acts as an umbrella of rights accountable for maintaining a fair society for its citizens.

  • The Indian Constitution borrowed from the Government of India Act 1935 and the Constitution of other nations.
  • It came into existence on 26 November 1949, i.e., it was adopted by the Constituent Assembly in 1949, providing the state’s executive, Judiciary, and Legislative powers.
  • However, on 26 January 1950, the Indian Constitution came into effect. Dr B.R. Ambedkar was the chairman of the drafting committee and is known as the chief Architect of the Indian Constitution.

Indian Constitution Adopted from which Country?

Indian Constitution is adopted from multiple countries like France, Australia, Ireland, South Africa, USSR, etc. For example, fundamental rights were brought to our constitution from the US Constitution. Here is a table showing the different sources of Indian Constitution, along with the borrowed features from other countries:

Foreign Sources of Indian Constitution Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution from Other Countries
French Constitution Provisions for the Republic and the introduction of ideals of equality, fraternity, and liberty
Constitution of South Africa Election of members of Rajya Sabha and Procedure for amendment in the Indian Constitution
Constitution of Germany (Weimar) Suspension of Fundamental Rights during emergency
Constitution of US Post of vice-president, Removal of Supreme Court and High Court judges, Impeachment of the president, Judicial review, Independence of judiciary, and Fundamental rights
Constitution of UK The legislative procedure, Cabinet system, Parliamentary government, Rule of Law, Bicameralism, Parliamentary privileges, and Prerogative writs
Constitution of Soviet Union (USSR) (now Russia) Ideals of justice (social, economic, and political) in the Preamble and Fundamental duties
Constitution of Ireland Method of the election of the President, Nomination of members to Rajya Sabha, Directive Principles of State Policy,
Constitution of Japan Procedure Established by law
Australian Constitution Freedom of commerce, trade and intercourse, Concurrent list, and a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament

Sources of Indian Constitution: Government of India Act, 1935

The Government of India act is a historical act (the most extended act of all) passed by the Government of Britain. It had 321 sections and 10 schedules. Most of the Indian Constitution draws its features from the Government of India Act of 1935.

The borrowed features adopted from the Government of India Act of 1935 include the following:

  • Administrative details
  • Emergency provisions
  • Public Service Commissions
  • Judiciary
  • Office of Governor
  • Federal Scheme

Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution from Other Countries

Several features of the Indian Constitution are borrowed from countries like Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, the Soviet Union (Russia), the UK, the USA, Germany (Weimar), South Africa and France. Learn about each of these foreign sources of Indian Constitution below, along with a brief explanation of the features borrowed from these countries.

Indian Constitution Borrowed From Constitution of France

France gained much popularity in terms of policy stability after the French Revolution. The Indian Constitution adopted the ideals of Fraternity, Equality, and liberty in the Preamble from the French Constitution. After adopting such principles, the Indian Constitution was recognized as the Republic of India.

Indian Constitution Adopted from Constitution of the United Kingdom

The Indian Constitution indeed had its roots in the Constitution of the United Kingdom. A few features and concepts borrowed from Great Britain are as follows:

  • The Parliamentary Form of Government – In India, the parliamentary system of government is adopted. According to this form of government, the nation is run by the Ministers (cabinet of ministers). This cabinet is led by the head of the Country, the Prime Minister, while the President is the head of the state.
  • Rule of Law – According to the rule of law, it is the law that governs a nation instead of the people or their representatives. Everyone is equal in the name of the law, codified in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Writs – The power of issuing writs is available to the high courts and supreme court in India so that the Right to Constitutional Remedies is available to all Indian Citizens. There are five writs – Mandamus, Certiorari, Prohibition, Habeas Corpus, and Quo-Warranto.
  • Single citizenship – According to the idea of single citizenship, all the individuals born in India or migrated to the Country can benefit from enjoying civil and political rights in India only, i,e, no two countries at the same time interval.

Sources of Indian Constitution: Borrowed Features from USA

The features that are re-borrowed from the Constitution of the United States of America are as follows-

  • Judicial Review: The Judiciary has the right to interpret the Indian Constitution. It means that the Judiciary can nullify the order made by the executive or the legislature (only if there is a conflict between that order with the Indian Constitution).
  • Fundamental Rights – The fundamental rights of a citizen are incorporated in Article 12 to Article 32 of the Constitution of India. It includes the 6 fundamental rights – Right to Freedom, Right to Equality, Right to Freedom of Religion, Cultural and Educational Rights, Right against Exploitation, and Right to Constitutional Remedies.
  • Removal of Judges and Impeachment of the President – According to Article 124(4) of the Indian Constitution, judges can be removed from office under the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968. The impeachment of the Indian President is provisioned under Article 61 of the Constitution of India.

Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution from Canada

Indian Constitution has adopted the following four significant features from the Canadian Constitution-

  • Appointment of state governors by the Center
  • Federation with an intense Center
  • Advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
  • Vesting of residuary powers in the Center

Features Borrowed from Constitution of Australia

The Indian Constitution borrowed the provisions for the Freedom of trade and commerce from the Constitution of Australia. Article 301 to 307 has provisions for the Freedom of trade and commerce between the states and within the Country. Along with the Freedom of trade and commerce, provisions of the Concurrent list are also adopted from the Australian Constitution.

Indian Constitution Drawn from Constitution of Ireland

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) is adapted from the Constitution of Ireland. It is listed in Part 4 of the Constitution of India. According to this, the state has to perform the duty of applying all the principles that are responsible for the law-making process. These principles are subdivided into three major categories-

  • Liberal Intellectual Directives
  • Gandhian Directives
  • Socialist Directives

Borrowed Features from Constitution of South Africa and Germany

The provision for elections of the Rajya Sabha members and the procedure of amendment are borrowed from the South African Constitution. In contrast, the provision of suspension of fundamental rights during an emergency is adopted from the Constitution of Germany.

Borrowed Features of Indian Constitution from Russia

The fundamental duties enlisted in Article 51A under Part IV of the Constitution of India are borrowed from the Russian Constitution. Apart from this, the social, economic, and political ideals of justice in the Preamble of Indian Constitution are also taken from the USSR constitution.

Learn more about Constitution of India:
Basic Structure of Constitution Salient Features of Indian Constitution
Citizenship in Indian Constitution Schedules of Indian Constitution
Constitutional Development of India Amendments of Indian Constitution
Constitutional Morality Historical Background of Indian Constitution
Important Articles in Constitution of India Comparison of Indian Constitution With Other Countries

Sources of Indian Constitution Tricks to Remember

After learning about various sources of Indian Constitution, aspirants must be wondering how to remember the borrowed features of Indian Constitution from different countries. The tricks to remember the sources of Indian Constitution are shared here. These are suggested by our experts and can be easily memorized by the candidates preparing for the UPSC and other competitive exams.

To remember the features borrowed from the British (UK) Constitution, all you need to do is remember the phrase “Pa-rLe Bi-SCuit” which can be expanded as Pa – Parliamentary government, R – The rule of law, Le- Legislative Procedure, Bi – Bicameralism, and Si – Single Citizenship.

Similarly, sources of Indian Constitution tricks to remember features adopted from Irish Constitution is “Elep’s DP is NO. 1”. This phrase can be expanded as,

  • Ele’s – Election of the President
  • DP – Directive Principles of State Policies
  • No. 1 – Nomination of Rajya Sabha members

Learn more about the Mnemonics for UPSC exam here.

Sources of Indian Constitution UPSC

In almost all competitive exams, you must have found questions on the sources of Indian Consitution, such as from which country Indian constitution borrowed the fundamental rights, fundamental rights, preamble, etc. Aspirants preparing hard for the Civil Services exam must go through the detailed Sources of Indian Constitution UPSC Notes provided here for sound exam preparation. It is an important topic in the Indian Polity section of the UPSC syllabus, from which questions can be asked in Prelims, Mains, and IAS Interview.

Why Indian Constitution is called Bag of Borrowing?

Being the world’s lengthiest written Constitution, it is true that there are various sources of Indian Constitution, including features borrowed from other countries. However, it is unfair to call it a bag of borrowing, as the features were not adopted as it is. They were made suitable for the country’s people and then added to the document.

A few important aspects of the Indian Constitution are as under-

  • It has unitary features and adopts the federal system.
  • It favors the parliamentary form of government.
  • It has provisions to balance Judicial Supremacy and Parliamentary Sovereignty.
  • It supports India’s Integrated and independent state of the Judicial System.
  • It has provisions for the directive principles.
  • It has a unique combination of flexibility and rigidity.

☛ Read More:

Original Form of Indian Constitution

The Indian Constitution was adopted in the Assembly’s final session on 24 January 1950. The last session of the Assembly was on 24 January 1950. It took 5 years to publish the Indian Constitution for the first time. Every member of the Assembly signed two copies of the document. The original form of the Indian Constitution was hand-written on the pages decorated by Shantiniketan artists. These include- Nandalal Bose and Beohar Rammanohar Sinha, and the calligrapher of the Original form of the Indian Constitution was Prem Behari Narain Raizada.

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Cripps Mission Non Cooperation Movement
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AFSPA Green Revolution
Kyoto Protocol Economic Planning in India
Fundamental Duties Five Year Plan in India
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