Constituent Assembly of India - Relevant Facts for IAS Exam

The idea of a constituent assembly was first proposed in 1934 by M.N. Roy. However, the actual constituent assembly was formed in 1946 on the basis of the cabinet mission plan.

This article will talk about the Constituent Assembly of India. Candidates can also download the notes PDF from the link provided below.

Constituent Assembly of India (UPSC Notes):- Download PDF Here

Background of the Constituent Assembly of India

The following table lists the trail of the development of the constituent assembly of India:

Constituent Assembly of India – Background
  • In 1934, M N Roy first proposed the idea of a constituent assembly.
  • The demand was taken up by the Congress Party in 1935 as an official demand
  • The British accepted this in the August Offer of 1940
  • Under the Cabinet Mission plan of 1946, elections were held for the formation of the constituent assembly
  • The members of this assembly were elected indirectly, i.e., by the members of the provincial assemblies by the method of a single transferable vote of proportional representation
  • The constituent assembly was formed for the purpose of writing a constitution for independent India

Composition of Constituent Assembly

  • Initially, the number of members was 389. After partition, some of the members went to Pakistan and the number came down to 299. Out of this, 229 were from the British provinces and 70 were nominated from the princely states.
  • Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha was the first temporary chairman of the Constituent Assembly. Later, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President and its Vice President was Harendra Coomar Mookerjee. BN Rau was the constitutional advisor.

Key Facts Related to the Constituent Assembly of India for IAS Exam

Constituent Assembly of India – Key Facts for UPSC Exam
When did the constituent assembly first meet? The assembly first met on 9 December 1946
Was there any role of the Muslim League in the formation of the Constitution of India No, there no role played by the Muslim League in the constituent assembly as it had boycotted this meeting citing their demand for partition
What is ‘Objective Resolution’ concerned with the constituent assembly of India? Objective Resolution enshrined the aspirations and values of the constitution-makers. Under this, the people of India were guaranteed social, economic and political justice, equality and fundamental freedoms. This resolution was unanimously adopted on 22 January 1947 and it became the Preamble to the Constitution
When was Objective Resolution moved and by who? On 13 December, Jawaharlal Nehru moved the ‘Objective Resolution’.
When was National Flag of Union adopted? The National Flag of the Union was adopted on 22 July 1947
For how many days, the constituent assembly assembled to frame the constitution? The time is taken by the assembly to frame the constitution: 2 years, 11 months and 18 days. Money spent in framing the constitution: Rs.64 lakhs
When was Jana Gana Mana adopted as our national anthem? On 24 January 1950, ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was adopted as the national anthem
How many articles our final constitution has? The final document had 22 parts, 395 articles and 8 schedules.
What was the total number of sessions constituent assembly had? The assembly had met for 11 sessions
When was the draft of the Indian Constitution published? The draft was published in January 1948 and the country’s people were asked for their feedback and inputs within 8 months
What is the date of the last session? The last session was held during 14 – 26 November 1949. The constitution was passed and adopted by the assembly on 26 November 1949
When did the constitution of India come into force? The constitution came into force on 26 January 1950 (which is celebrated as Republic Day)

Committees of Constituent Assembly of India with their Chairmen

There were eight committees, mentioned below:

Committees of Constituent Assembly of India
Drafting Committee Dr. B R Ambedkar
Union Constitution Committee Jawaharlal Nehru
Union Powers Committee Jawaharlal Nehru
States Committee Jawaharlal Nehru
Steering Committee Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Rules of Procedure Committee Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Provincial Constitution Committee Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas:
  • Fundamental Rights Sub-Committee: Acharya Kripalani
  • Minorities Sub-Committee: H C Mookerjee
  • Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas (Other than those in Assam) Sub-Committee: A V Thakkar
  • North-East Frontier Tribal Areas and Assam Excluded & Partially Excluded Areas Sub-Committee: Gopinath Bardoloi

Criticism of the Constituent Assembly

  • It was not a representative body since the members were not directly elected by adult franchise. However, the leaders did enjoy popular support from the people. Direct elections by the universal adult franchise at that time when the country was on the brink of partition and amidst communal riots would have been impractical.
  • It is said that the makers took a long time in framing the constitution. However, keeping in mind the complexity and the peculiarities of the diverse and large Indian nation, this can be understood.
  • The constituent assembly was not a sovereign body since it was created by the British. However, it worked as a fully independent and sovereign body.
  • The language of the constitution was criticised for being literary and complicated.
  • The assembly was dominated by the Congress Party. But the party dominated the provincial assemblies and this was natural. Moreover, it was a heterogeneous party with members from almost all sections of Indian society.
  • It was alleged that the assembly had Hindu dominance. This was again because of proportional representation from communities.

Constituent Assembly of India (UPSC Notes):- Download PDF Here

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