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Constitutional Framework GS Paper II

Organization of Constituent Assembly of India

Time Line of Formation of "The Constitution of India".Committees of the Constituent Assembly.Organization of Constituent Assembly of India

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Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as the president and Its vice-president was Harendra Coomar Mookerjee, a Christian from Bengal and former vice-chancellor of Calcutta University. Also chairing the assembly’s Minorities Committee, Mookerjee was appointed governor of West Bengal after India became a republic. Jurist B. N. Rau was appointed constitutional adviser to the assembly; Rau prepared the original draft of the constitution and was later appointed a judge in the Permanent Court of International Justice in The Hague.

The assembly’s work had five stages:

  • Committees presented reports on issues.
  • 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.
  • The draft constitution was discussed, and amendments proposed and enacted.
  • The constitution was adopted, with a committee of experts led by the Congress Party (known as the Congress Assembly Party) played a pivotal role

Committees of the Constituent Assembly

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.

Major Committees

  1. Drafting Committee – B. R. Ambedkar
  2. Union Power Committee – Jawaharlal Nehru
  3. Union Constitution Committee – Jawaharlal Nehru
  4. Provincial Constitution Committee – Vallabhbhai Patel
  5. Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas – Vallabhbhai Patel. This committee had the following subcommittees:
    1. Fundamental Rights Sub-Committee – J. B. Kripalani
    2. Minorities Sub-Committee – Harendra Coomar Mookerjee,
    3. North-East Frontier Tribal Areas and Assam Excluded & Partially Excluded Areas Sub-Committee – Gopinath Bordoloi
    4. Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas (Other than those in Assam) Sub-Committee – A V Thakkar
  6. Rules of Procedure Committee – Rajendra Prasad
  7. States Committee (Committee for Negotiating with States) – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
  8. States Committee – Jawaharlal Nehru
  9. Steering Committee – Rajendra Prasad
  10. National Flag and HOC Committee – Rajendra Prasad
  11. Committee for the function of the Constitution Assembly – G V Mavlankar
  12. House Committee – B Pattabhi Sitaramayya
  13. Language Committee – Moturi Satyanarayana
  14. Order of Business Committee – K M Munshi

Time Line of Formation of “The Constitution of India”

  • 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. (Demanding a separate state, the Muslim League boycotted the meeting.)
  • 11 December 1946: President Appointed – Rajendra Prasad, vice-Chairman Harendra Coomar Mookerjee and constitutional legal adviser B. N. Rau (initially 389 members in total, which declined to 299 after partition. out of 389 – 292 were from govt. province, 4 from chief commissioner province and 93 from princely states)
  • 13 December 1946: An ‘Objective Resolution’ was presented by Jawaharlal Nehrulaying down the underlying principles of the constitution. which later became the Preamble of the constitution.
  • 22 January 1947: Objective resolution unanimously adopted.
  • 22 July 1947: National flag adopted.
  • 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 the committee were: K.M.Munshi, Muhammed Saadulah, Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, Gopala Swami Ayyangar, N. Madhava Rao(He replaced B.L. Mitter who resigned due to ill-health), T. T. Krishnamachari(He replaced D.P. Khaitan who died in 1948),
  • 16 July 1948: Along with Harendra Coomar Mookerjee V. T. Krishnamachari was also elected as second vice-president of Constituent Assembly.
  • 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)
  • 26 January 1950: ‘Constitution of India’ came in to force. (It Took 2 Years, 11 Months, 18 Days – at a total expenditure of ₹6.4 million to finish)
  • Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar was the first speaker when meeting the assembly of Lok Sabha, after turning republic.

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