Indian Constitution
General Knowledge

Constituent Assembly and Making of the Constitution

Constituent Assembly and Making of the Constitution

» The Cabinet Mission envisaged the establishment of a Constituent Assembly to frame a Constitution for the country. Members of the Constituent Assembly were elected by the Provincial Legislative Assemblies.
» Each Province and each Indian State were allotted seats in proportion of its population, roughly in the ratio of one to a million. The seats so ascertained were distributed among the main communities in each Province. The main communities recognised were Sikh, Muslim and General.

Important Committees of the Constituent Assembly and their Chairman
Name of the Committee Chairman
Committee on the Rules of Procedure Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Steering Committee Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Finance and Staff Committee Jawahar Lai Nehru
Ad hoc Committee on the National Flag Jawahar Lai Nehru
Union Constitution Committe Jawahar Lai Nehru
Union Powers Committee Jawahar Lai Nehru
State Committee Jawahar Lai Nehru
Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Drafting Committee Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
Credential Committee Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar
House Committee B.Pattabhi Sitaramayya
Order of Business Committee K. M. Munshi
Committee on the Functions of the Constituent Assembly G.V. Mavalankar
Minorities Sub-Committee H.C. Mookherjee
Fundamental Rights Sub-Committee J. B. Kripalani
North-East Frontier Tribal Areas and Assam Excluded & Partially Excluded Areas Sub Committee Gpinath Bardoloi
Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas (other than those in Assam) Sub-Committee A. V. Thakkar

» The total number of members of the Constituent Assembly was 385, of whom 93 were representatives from the Indian States and 292 from the Provinces (British India).
» After the partition of India number of members of the Constituent Assembly came to 299, of whom 284 were actually present on the 26th November, 1949 and signed on the finally approved Constitution of India. The Constituent Assembly, which had been elected for undivided India, held its first meeting on December 9, 1946, and reassembled on August 14, 1947, as the sovereign Constituent Assembly for the dominion of India.
» It took two years, eleven months and eighteen days for the Constituent Assembly to finalize the Constitution.

» Objective Resolution was moved in the first session of the Constituent Assembly ( on 13 December, 1946 ) by Pt. Jawahar Lai Nehru which was adopted after considerable deliberation and debate in the Assembly on 22 January, 1947. The following objectives were embodied in the resolution :
    ★ To foster unity of the Nation and to ensure its economic and political security, to have a written Constitution, and to proclaim India as a Sovereign Democratic Republic.
    ★ To have a federal form of Government with the distribution of powers between the centre and states.
    ★ To guarantee and secure justice, equality, freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action to all the people of India.
    ★ To provide adequate safeguards for minorities, backward and tribal areas and depressed and other backward classes.
    ★ To maintain the integrity of the territory of the republic and its sovereign rights on land, sea and air according to justice and the law of civilised nations.
    ★ To attain rightful and honoured place in the world and make its full and willing contribution to the promotion of the world peace and the welfare of mankind.

» The principles of the Constitution were outlined by various committees of the Assembly, and there was a general discussion on the reports of these Committees. The Assembly appointed the Drafting Committee with Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as the Chairman on August 29, 1947.
» The Drafting Committee, headed by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, submitted a Draft constitution of India to the President of the assembly on 21 February, 1948.
» The members of Drafting Committee were N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar, Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar, K.M. Munshi, Mohd. Saadullah, B.L. Mitter (later replaced by N. Madhava Rao), Dr. D.P Khaitan (replaced on death by T.T. Krishnamachari).
» The third and final reading of the draft was completed on November 26,1949. On this date, the signature of the President of the Assembly was appended to it and the Constitution was declared as passed.
» The provisions relating to citizenship, elections and provisional Parliament etc were implemented with immediate effect, that is, from the 26th November, 1949. The rest of the provisions of the constitution came into force on January 26,1950 and this date is referred to in the Constitution as the date of its commencement