3                                           Polity
            INDIA, a union of states, is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a
      parliamentary system of government. The Republic is governed in terms of the Constitution,
      which was adopted by Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949 and came into force on
      January 26, 1950.
            The Constitution which envisages parliamentary form of government is federal in structure
      with unitary features. The President of India is the constitutional head of executive of the union.
      Article 74(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the
      Prime Minister as its head to aid and advise the President who shall in exercise of his functions,
      act in accordance with such advice. The real executive power thus vests in the Council of
      Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head. The Council of Ministers is collectively
      responsible to the House of the People (Lok Sabha). Similarly, in states, the Governor is the head
      of executive, but it is the Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head in whom real
      executive power vests. The Council of Ministers of a state is collectively responsible to the
      Legislative Assembly of the state.
            The Constitution distributes legislative power between Parliament and State Legislatures
      and provides for vesting of residual powers in Parliament. The power to amend the Constitution
      also vests in Parliament. The Constitution has provision for independence of Judiciary,
      Comptroller and Auditor-General, Public Service Commissions and Chief Election Commission.
      Union and its Territory
            India comprises 29 states and seven union territories. The states are: Andhra Pradesh,
      Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh,
      Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur,
      Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana,
      Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Union territories are: Andaman and
      Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, National Capital
      Territory of Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.
            The Constitution of India provides for a single citizenship for the whole of India. Every
      person who was at the commencement of the Constitution (January 26, 1950) domiciled in the
      territory of India and: (a) who was born in India; or (b) either of whose parents were born in
      India; or (c) who has been ordinarily resident in India for not less than five years became a
      citizen of India. The Citizenship Act, 1955, deals with matters relating to acquisition,
      determination and termination of Indian citizenship after the commencement of the Constitution.
      Fundamental Rights
            The Constitution offers all citizens, individually and collectively, some basic freedoms.