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01 JULY, 2017 (MAINS)

TODAYS ANSWER WRITING CHALLENGE FROM GS-II

 

Q1. Many similarities are found between the constitution of India and the Constitution of the United States of America. Explain. (200 words)

 

Please write the answer in comments section

  • Ashish

    Being the largest democratic countries in the world, both United States and India are based on federalism in their political structure.
    Both countries had attained dominion status in which a number of smaller states had got affiliated forming a union with a strong central government that came to be called as Federal Government in the US and Central Government in India.
    While framing the Indian constitution, its drafting committee headed by Dr. Ambedkar, had borrowed many salient features from various constitutions in the world including US but adopted them in the Indian context. Hence, both U.S and India, despite being federal in structure have many similarities between them.
    1) Written constitution:-
    Both US and India have a written constitution based on which the federal political structure has been set up and both federal governments are functioning. Both constitutions have provisions for amending the constitution to meet the growing socio, political and economic needs and demands of their respective countries.
    2) Bill of Rights and Fundamental Rights:-
    The US constitution has ensured the fundamental rights of its citizens like right to equality, freedom, right against exploitation, freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights, right to property, and right to constitutional remedies etc through ‘The Bill of Rights’,. They became part and parcel of the US constitution through first ten amendments that were carried out and adopted into the US constitution. The Indian constitution has guaranteed the fundamental rights of the people through articles 14 to 34 in Part III.
    3) Supremacy of the Federal or Union Government over legislative matters in concurrent list:-
    While Federal Government or the Union Government as well as the states are empowered to enact laws on a particular subject,(known as concurrent powers),the law enacted by the Federal or Union Government will have overriding effect over the law enacted by the states on the same subject. Thus Federal or Union Government is supreme in the present federal structure.
    4) Separation of Powers:-
    Adhering to Montesquieu’s theory of division of labor and separation of powers, both US and Indian constitutions have three basic divisions with regard to division of power in their federal set up known as executive, legislature and judiciary with clear cut ‘Separation of Powers’
    President of US is the chief executive head of US, whereas the Union cabinet headed by the Prime Minister is the real chief executive body in India.
    Both US and India have a bicameral legislature. US legislature has an upper and lower house known as the House of Senate and the House of Representatives respectively and the Indian Parliament has Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as its Lower and Upper house respectively.
    Both US and India have a well organized judiciary, having the Supreme Court or the Federal Court as the apex court and a number of other courts in various states to administer original and appellate jurisdictions.
    5) Checks and Balances:-
    In the US, the President as the chief executive power appoints his members of ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ and he is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Army,Navy and the Air Force. He appoints the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the US. He enters into treaties with other countries. However, his treaties must be approved by the House of Senate. Otherwise, the treaty will not come into force like US could not become the member of League of Nations that came into being after the first world war. Thus important policy decisions must be necessarily approved by the House of Senate, which definitely acts as a check on the powers of US President, who is the head of the executive. Similarly laws enacted by both houses may be subjected to the power of Judicial Review and can be declared null and void by the judiciary. The President can be impeached and removed from power on the motion moved by the House of Senate in the presence of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the US.
    Similarly in India, the Prime Minister can be removed from power by a no confidence motion passed by both Lok Sabha . The laws enacted by the parliament are subject to the judicial review of the Supreme Court of India. The Chief Justice and other Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President as recommended by the cabinet and the Prime Minister.
    Thus the powers of checks and balances have been the effective mechanism both in the US and in India in safeguarding the democracy in both countries.

  • Osho Korde

    Being the largest democratic countries in the world, both United States and India are based on federalism in their political structure.
    Similarities between US and India: –
    1) Written constitution: –
    Both US and India have a written constitution based on which the federal political structure has been set up and both federal governments are functioning.
    2) Bill of Rights and Fundamental Rights: –
    Both constitutions have ensured the fundamental rights of its citizens like right to equality, freedom, right against exploitation, freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights, right to property, and right to constitutional remedies etc.
    3) Supremacy of the Federal or Union Government: –
    Both in US and India, states which have acceded to the Federal set up have no unilateral power to secede from the Federal Government or the Union Government.
    4) Division of Labor and Separation of Powers: –
    Adhering to Montesquieu’s theory of division of labor and separation of powers, both US and Indian constitutions have three basic divisions with regard to division of labor and power in their federal set up known as executive, legislature and judiciary with clear cut ‘Separation of Powers’ Each division has been entrusted with a separate power.
    Both US and India have a bicameral legislature.
    Both US and India have a well-organized judiciary, having the Supreme Court or the Federal Court as the apex court and a number of other courts in various states to administer original and appellate jurisdictions.
    5)Powers of Checks and Balances: –
    a fantastic mechanism known as powers of ‘checks and balances’ has been maintained in both countries. In other words, each division of power is somehow or other checked and controlled by other divisions of power.