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The Constitution of India – Indian History – Free PDF Download

CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

  • The Constitution of India Bhāratīya Saṃvidhāna) is the supreme law of India. The document lays down the framework demarcating fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens.
  • It is the longest written constitution of any country on earth. B. R. Ambedkar, chairman of the drafting committee, is widely considered to be its chief architect.

CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

  • It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and became effective on 26 January 1950.The constitution replaced the Government of India Act, 1935 as the country’s fundamental governing document, and the Dominion of India became the Republic of India.
  • India celebrates its constitution on 26 January as Republic Day.The constitution declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens’ justice, equality and liberty, and endeavors to promote fraternity.

FORMATION OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY

  • The Constituent Assembly of India was elected to write the Constitution of India. Following India’s independence from British Government in 1947, its members served as the nation’s first Parliament.
  • An idea for a Constituent Assembly was proposed in 1934 by M. N. Roy. It became an official demand of the Indian National Congress in 1935, C. Rajagopalachari voiced the demand for a Constituent Assembly on 15 November 1939 based on adult franchise, and was accepted by the British in August 1940.
  • Under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946, elections were held for the first time for the Constituent Assembly. The Constitution of India was drafted by the Constituent Assembly, and it was implemented under the Cabinet Mission Plan on 16 May 1946.
  • The total membership of the Constituent Assembly was 389 of which 292 were representatives of the states, 93 represented the princely states.

FORMATION OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY

  • The elections for the 296 seats assigned to the British Indian provinces were completed by August 1946. Congress won 208 seats, and the Muslim League 73. After this election, the Muslim League refused to cooperate with the Congress.
  • On 3 June 1947 Lord Mountbatten, the last British GovernorGeneral of India, announced his intention to scrap the Cabinet Mission Plan; this culminated in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and the separate nations of India and Pakistan.
  • The Constituent Assembly met for the first time on 9 December 1946, reassembling on 14 August 1947 as a sovereign body.As a result of the partition, under the Mountbatten plan, a separate Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was established on 3 June 1947.

DRAFTING COMMITTEE

  • B.N. Rau prepared an initial draft based on the reports and his research into the constitutions of other nations.The drafting committee, chaired by B. R. Ambedkar, presented a detailed draft constitution which was published for public discussion.
  • At 11 am on 9 December 1946 the Assembly began its first session, with 207 members attending. By early 1947, representatives of the Muslim League and princely states joined, and the Assembly approved the draft constitution on 26 November 1949.

MEMBERS

  • Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha was the first chairman (temporary) of the Constituent Assembly. Later Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the president and Its vice president was Harendra Coomar Mookerjee.
  • Jurist B. N. Rau was appointed a constitutional adviser to the assembly; Rau prepared the original draft of the constitution.

COMMITTEES

  • The Constituent Assembly appointed a total of 22 committees to deal with different tasks of constitution-making. Out of these, eight were major committees and the others were minor committees.
  • Drafting Committee – B. R. Ambedkar
  • Union Power Committee – Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Union Constitution Committee – Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Provincial Constitution Committee – Vallabhbhai Patel
  • Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas – Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • Rules of Procedure Committee – Rajendra Prasad
  • States Committee (Committee for Negotiating with States) – Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Steering Committee – Rajendra Prasad
  • National flag ad hoc committee – Rajendra Prasad
  • Committee for the function of the constitution assembley – G V Mavlankar
  • House committee – B Pattabhi Sitaramayya
  • language committee – Moturi Satyanarayana
  • Order of business committee – K M Munshi

TIMELINE

  • 6 December 1946: Formation of the Constitution Assembly. (in accordance with French practice.)
  • 9 December 1946: The first meeting was held in the constitution hall (now the Central Hall of Parliament House). 1st person to address – J. B. Kripalani. Temporary president Appointed – Sachchidananda Sinha
  • 11 December 1946: President Appointed – Rajendra Prasad, viceChairman Harendra Coomar Mookerjee and constitutional legal adviser B. N. Rau (initially 389 members in total, which declined to 299 after partition.
  • 13 December 1946: An ‘Objective Resolution’ was presented by Jawaharlal Nehru, laying down the underlying principles of the constitution. which later became the Preamble of the constitution.
  • 22 July 1947: National flag adopted.

TIMELINE

  • 15 August 1947: Achieved independence. India Split into Dominion of India and Dominion of Pakistan.
  • 29 August 1947: Drafting Committee appointed with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar as the Chairman.other 6 members of committee was : Munshi, Muhammed Saadulah, Allad Krishna Swami Ayyar, Gopala Swami Ayyangar, Khaitan, Mitter
  • 26 November 1949: ‘Constitution of India’ passed and adopted by the assembly.
  • 24 January 1950: Last meeting of Constituent Assembly. ‘constitution of india’ all signed and accepted. (with 395 Articles, 8 Schedules, 22 Parts)

TIMELINE

  • 26 January 1950: ‘Constitution of India came in to force. (It Took 2 Years, 11 Months, 18 Days – at a total expenditure of Rs.6.4 million to finish)
  • Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar was the first speaker when meeting the assembly of Lok Sabha, after turning republic.

SOME FACTS

  • The basic five lines of principles the committee confined itself to were – the country being a Republican State, a Parliamentary form of government, a Federal structure, Fundamental Rights, an independent judicial branch.
  • The original Constitution of India was handwritten by Prem Behari Narain Raizada in a flowing italic style with beautiful calligraphy. Each page was beautified and decorated by artists from Shantiniketan.
  • When the draft was prepared and put for debate and discussion, over 2000 amendments were made, before it was finalised.

SOME FACTS

  • The handwritten Constitution was signed on 24th January, 1950, by 284 members of the Constituent Assembly, which included 15 women. It came into force two days later on 26th January.
  • The Indian Constitution has also been hailed as one of the world’s best Constitution because in 62 years of its adoption, it had been amended only 94 times. As of now, our Constitution has undergone a total of 100 amendments.

 

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