[Model Answer QP2021 GS2] Analyse the distinguishing features of the notion of Equality in the Constitutions of the USA and India.

The concept of fundamental rights in the Indian Constitution is similar to the ‘Bill of Rights’ in the American Constitution. These rights are meant to promote political democracy and protect the rights of individuals against the state’s infringement.
U.S. ConstitutionIndian Constitution
Expression of EqualityThe term “equality” isn’t explicitly used in the original text, but is implicit and developed via amendments and judicial interpretations.The term “equality” is explicitly mentioned in the Preamble and further detailed in Articles 14-18.
Equal ProtectionThe Fourteenth Amendment mandates equal protection of the laws, meaning states must treat all individuals in similar circumstances alike.Article 14 guarantees equality before the law and equal protection of laws within the territory of India.
Positive DiscriminationThere is no explicit provision for positive discrimination in the Constitution, although some affirmative action programs have been recognized through judicial interpretationsThe Constitution provides explicit provisions for positive discrimination or affirmative action to uplift socially and educationally backward classes (Articles 15(3), 15(4), 16(4), and 16(4A)).
The U.S. Constitution’s approach to equality is more implicit and focused on equal treatment under the law, whereas the Indian Constitution makes explicit provisions for equality and includes mechanisms for achieving substantive equality through positive discrimination.

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