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Constitution of India (Introduction)

Posted Date: 02-Jan-2009  Last Updated:   Category: General    
Author: Member Level: Silver    Points: 30


Q. 1. What is a Constitution?
Ans. A Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It is the basic structure which defines the powers of three organs of the State, that is the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and the Rights and Duties of its citizen. According to Gilchrist, constitution consists of "that body of rules or laws, written or unwritten, which determines the organization of government, the distribution of powers to the various organs of government, and the general principles on which those powers are exercised”.

Q. 2. Who made the Constitution of India?
Ans. The Constitution of India was made by a Constituent Assembly.

Q. 3. What is a Constituent Assembly?
Ans. It is an Assembly which is specially convened to frame the constitution of a country.

Q. 4. Under what law or authority the Constituent Assembly was set up?
Ans. The Constituent Assembly was set up under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946. The Cabinet Mission had recommended for the establishment of a Constituent Assembly to frame the Constitution of free India.

Q. 5. When was the Cabinet Mission Plan announced?
Ans. It was announced on May 16, 1946.

Q. 6. When did the Constituent Assembly meet for the first time?
Ans. The Constituent Assembly met for the first time on December 9, 1946.

Q. 7. When was the Drafting Committee of the Constitution set up to prepare the Constitution and who was its Chairman?
Ans. The Drafting Committee to prepare a Draft Constitution for India was set up on August 29, 1947. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was its Chairman.

Q. 8. Who was the pro tern President of the constituent Assembly?
Ans. Sachidananda Sinha.

Q. 9. Who was the President of the Constituent Assembly?
Ans. Dr. Rajendra Prasad.

Q. 10. When did the Drafting Committee submit its report?
Ans. The Drafting Committee submitted its report on 21st February, 1948. The Draft Constitution was introduced in the Constituent Assembly on 5th November, 1948.

Q. 11. When was the Constitution actually ready?
Ans. The Constitution was ready on 26th November, 1949.

Q. 12. When was the Constitution promulgated?
Ans. The Constitution was promulgated on January 26, 1950.

Q. 13. What was the strength of the Constituent Assembly of India after the formation of Pakistan?
Ans. 299.

Q. 14. How many members affixed their signatures on the final draft of the Constitution?
Ans. 284 out of 299.

Q: 15. What is a Republic?
Ans. A Republic is a state, the Head of which is elected one and not hereditary like the British Queen.

Q. 16. Why was the Constitution promulgated on January 26, 1950 while it was ready on November 26, 1949? What is the importance of January 26?
Ans. The Constitution was promulgated on January 26, 1950 because on this date in 1929, the Indian National Congress had passed a resolution under the Presidentship of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in its Lahore Session demanding "PURNA SWARAJYA" from the British Government. Since that day 26th January was being celebrated every year as a "PURNA SWARAJYA" day. To coincide with this day it was decided to promulgate the Indian Constitution on January 26, 1950 in spite of the fact that our Constitution was ready on November 26, 1949. Thus 26th January, our Republic Day, is celebrated every year on this day.

Q. 17. What was initially the number of the, members of the Constituent Assembly when it was constituted under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946?
Ans. The Constituent Assembly constituted under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946 consisted of 389 members.

Q. 18. Who were the members of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution?
Ans. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was the Chairman. The other members were M/s N. Gopalaswami Ayyanagar, Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar, K.M. Munshi, Sayed Mohd. Saadulla, N, Madhava Rau and D.P. Khaitan.

Q. 19. How much time did the Constituent Assembly take to prepare the Constitution?
Ans. The Constituent Assembly took 2 years 11 months and 17 days to prepare the Constitution.

Q. 20. How much money did it cost to prepare the Constitution?
Ans. Nearly 6.4 crore rupees of were spent on the preparation of the Constitution.

Q. 21. Who is called the architect of Indian Constitution?
Ans. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

Q. 22. How many Articles and Schedules did the Constitution contain when it was passed? How many Schedules are there at present?
Ans. 395 Articles and 8 Schedules. There are 12 Schedules at present.

Q. 23. Who had given the idea of a Constitution for India in the beginning?
Ans. Mr. M.N. Roy, the distinguished Indian political philosopher, who had been a contemporary of. Lenin and Stalin gave first of all the idea of a Constitution for free India. Gandhiji, the Father of our Nation, also supported the idea of a Constitution. Gandhiji said that although India would be granted freedom under the Act of British Parliament but the Constitution for free India should be made by the elected representatives of the Indians. Later on Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru also supported the idea of a Constitution for India.

Q. 24. What was Mount batten Plan of June 3, 1947?
Ans. The Mountbatten Plan was formulated by the last British Governor-General of India, lord Mountbatten. According to this plan, India was to be partitioned into two dominions-lndia and Pakistan.

Q. 25. What were the main recommendations of the Cabinet Mission which visited India in 1946 ?
Ans. On 19th February, 1946, lord Pethick lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, announced the decision of the British Government to send a special mission to India to resolve the constitutional deadlock in the country. This Mission consisted of lord Pethick lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Cripps and Mr. AV. Alexander, the First lord of the Admirality. Following were the main recommendations of the Cabinet Mission Plan announced on May 16, 1946 after studying the situation in India:
(i) Paramountcy of the British Crown should cease in India.
(ii) A Union of British India and Indian States should be established.
(iii) A Constituent Assembly should be elected for framing the Constitution of India.
(iv) With the exception of certain reserved subjects, all departments were to be retained by the States.
(v) The members of the Constituent Assembly were to be elected by the Provincial Assemblies which were to be split up into Muslim and non-Muslim on the basis of population of each community in the province.
(vi) An interim government was to be set up having the support of the main political parties.
Q. 26. What was the original date announced by Mr. Attlee, Prime Minister of England for transfer of power to India.
Ans. On February 20, 1947, Mr. Attlee, Prime Minister of England, declared that by June 1948 the British Government will transfer power to the representatives of the Indians. But later on, this date was advanced to August 15, 1947 as per the Mountbatten Plan announced on June 3, 1947 on the basis of which the Indian Independence Act, 1947 was passed and the country was partitioned into two dominions of India and Pakistan.

Q. 27. What do you know about the Indian Independence Act, 1947 ?
Ans. The elections to the Constituent Assembly were held in July, 1946 under the Cabinet Mission Plan. However, after the elections were over, the Muslim league refused to cooperate with Congress in the Constituent Assembly. As a result thereof, political situation in the country deteriorated and there commenced country-wide communal riots. The Muslim league demanded a separate Constituent Assembly for Muslim India. On June 3, 1947, Lord Mountbatten, the last British Governor-General of India announced his plan of partitioning the country into two dominions, India and Pakistan.
The Indian Independence Act, 1947 was accordingly passed by the British Parliament which received the royal assent on July 18, 1947, as a result of which
(i) India was granted independence on August 15, 1947 instead of June 1948 as declared earlier.
(ii) India was no more under the British Crown. The power of paramountcy of the British over the Indian States lapsed.
(iii) The British India was partitioned into two independent separate dominions of India and Pakistan.
(iv) The powers and privileges of the British Government in India were transferred to the representatives of the two Dominions of India and Pakistan.
(v) The Constituent Assemblies of India and Pakistan were to function also as the legislatures of the two Dominions and were also to make laws for their respective territories.

vi) To determine the boundaries of the two Dominions, a Boundary Commission was appointed. The Chairman of the Commission was Sir Radcliff.
vii) India and Pakistan were given the powers to have their separate Constituent Assemblies. These Assemblies were given unlimited powers to frame a Constitution each for their countries according to their needs.
viii) It was provided by the Act of 1947 that till the new Constitutions of India and Pakistan were brought into operation, the work of the administration would be carried on according to the provisions of the Government of India Act 1935.
ix) The Indian States were given the option either to join India or Pakistan or to remain independent.
x) The British Parliament had henceforth no control over the activities of the Constituent Assembly of India or Pakistan.

Q. 28. Who is the Chairman of the Constitution Review Panel set up by NDA Government on February 24, 2000?
Ans. Justice M.N. Venkatachalaiah, former Chief Justice of India.

Q. 29. How many members are there in the Constitution Review Panel? Name them.
Ans. Eleven including the Chairman, Justice M.N. Venkatachalaiah. The other 10 members are 11) Justice R.S. Sarkari a former Supreme Court Judge and Chairman of the Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State Relations; (2) Justice Kondapalli Punniah, former Andhra Pradesh High Court Judge; (3) Mr. Soli Sorabjee, Attorney General of India; 14) Mr. K. Parasaran, former Attorney General of India; 15) Mr. Justice B.P. Jeevan Reedy, Chairman, Law Commission; 16) Mr. P.A. Sangma, MP and former Lok Sabha Speaker; (7) Mr. Subhash Kashyap, former Secretary-General of Lok Sabha; (8) Mr. CR. Irani, Editor-in-Chief of The Statesman; 19) Mr. Abid Hussain, former Indian Ambassador to USA; 11 0) Mrs. Sumitra Kulkarni, former MP and a grand daughter of Mahatma Gandhi.

Q. 30. Who is the Secretary of the Constitution Review Panel?
Ans. Shri Raghubir Singh, former Secretary (Legislative Department), Ministry of Law.

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