Basic features of the Constitution/ Salient features of the Indian Constitution are as follows :
1) Written Constitution -
It is codified and defines the nature of the Constitutional set up. It defines the Rights of its citizen and rules concerning the political set-up.( Britain has an unwritten constitution ,it is governed by customs precedents and judicial pronouncements)
2) Lengthiest Constitution -
Indian Constitution is lengthiest constitution among all the written constitution in the world. There is a single constitution for the Union and States ( except the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has its separate constitution. It enjoys this special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution)
3) Amendment procedure a combination of rigid and flexible. -
Amendment to the constitution can be done by simple majority for a few provisions, hence procedure is flexible. Further, Article 368 of the Constitution lays down two methods of the amendment, one is through special majority of the Parliament only and another special majority which requires ratification by half of the total states. The latter is a rigid method of amendment.
[Special Majority - Two third majority of members of each house present and voting and up more than 50% of the total membership of each house]
4) Federalism -
The constitution of India is an Indestructible Union of destructible states. That means, there is a separation of powers between centre and the state but strong centralizing tendency Professor Wheare also called this type of federalism as ' quasi-federal'. Part VII of the Constitution has reflected this Cooperative federalism.
5) Parliamentary form of Government -
There is a check and balance mechanism between the Parliament and the executive. There is no water tight compartmentalization between these two organs of the State. It signifies a responsible government at the both centre and states.
6) Secularism -
The head of the state of India is an elected one and not hereditary. Also ,it does not have a state religion of its own. It accords equal status and respect to all the religions.
7) Judicial review -
The Indian judiciary can declare a law as unconstitutional if it violates any of the provision of the Constitution.
8) Independent Judiciary -
The Indian judicial set-up is in hierarchy with Supreme Court being the Apex Court of the country, with various High courts and other courts under its ambit. The constitution provides various safeguards to the judges in terms of fixed tenure, salary being charged upon the consolidated fund of India etc. It is a harmonizing factor between the Parliament and executive .
9) Fundamental Rights -
These are a set of political rights guaranteed by the constitution and against the state. They are justifiable, that means, in case of violation of these rights, a person can approach the Supreme Court directly. They are subject to reasonable restrictions and are not absolute. They are enshrined in Part III of the Constitution.
10) Fundamental duties -
These are a set of duties which a responsible citizen of the country should hear in mind and follow, however, they are non-binding in nature and non justifiable, that is in case of any violation, a person cannot be tried in a court of law.
11) Directive Principles of State Policy -
These enshrine social and economic rights. Part IV of the Constitution acts as a code of principles for the state, these principles are fundamental in the Governance of the country and state is duty bound to apply these while framing laws. They are a novel feature of the Indian Constitution.
12 ) Single citizenship -
India does not have separate citizenship's for state and union.( USA has dual citizenship that is, one at the state level and other at the country level ).
13) Adult Suffrage -
India follows the system of Universal adult franchise that is every citizen who is not less than 18 years of age has Right to Vote without any discrimination of caste, race, religion , sex , literacy etc.