COMPOSITION OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY | UPSC EXAM

INTRODUCTION:

  • The idea for the need of a constituent assembly was initiated by Gandhi in 1922 and M.N Roy in 1927.
  • Indian National Congress, officially demanded it in 1935.
  • The proposal was accepted in Linlithgow’s August offer of 1940.
  • In July 1946, Cabinet Mission Plan recommended the constituent assembly of 389 members to frame the constitution of India.
  • The team of three members of cabinet was send by then British PM Clement Atlee under Cabinet Mission Plan.
  • They were Pethick Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps, A.V Alexander.

 

COMPOSTION:

  • Initially, it was decided that 389 seat representation would be bifurcated into 296 from British India and 93 from Princely States.
  • Out of 296, 292 were supposed to get elected by provincial legislatures, while 4 members were to represent the Chief Commissioner’s provinces.
  • Members of Princely States were to be nominated by the rulers of their respective states.
  • After the partition of the country into India and Pakistan, the membership was reduced to 299 out of which 229 represented British provinces and 70 from princely states.

 

FEATURES:

  • British provinces representatives were indirectly elected by a system of propositional representation. The election on the basis of a limited franchise, established by the Sixth Schedule of the 1935 Act.
  • It excluded the majority of population from the participation in the election through tax, property and educational qualification.
  • The seats in British provinces were divided among three communities- Muslim, Sikh and General (including Hindu and all others).
  • The Constituent Assembly was partly elected and partly nominated.
  • When the first meeting was held on 9 December 1946, only 211 members attended the meeting as it was boycotted by Muslim league and princely states refused to join.
  • Sachchidanand Sinha, was the first but temporary President of the Assembly as he was the senior most member.
  • Rajendra Prasad became the permanent President of the Constituent Assembly on 11 December 1946.
  • The Vice-President was Professor Harendra Kumar Mukherjee.
  • First speaker of the assembly was J.V Kriplani.
  • There were 11 sessions held in total.
  • Jawahar Lal Nehru on 13 December,1946, put forward the Objectives Resolution before the assembly.
  • The Resolution was unanimously adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 22 January 1947.
  • Our National Flag was adopted on 22 July 1947 by the Constituent Assembly. The design of the tricolour was prepared by Pingali Venkaiah.
  • After Independence, the Legislative Assembly took over the onstituent Assembly.
  • The Constituent Assembly took two years, eleven months and seventeen days to complete the draft.
  • The Constitution was adopted on 26 November,1949. Some pre-constitutional provisions were enforced on this day to establish basic law and order structure in the country.
  • The Articles enforced were 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391,392 and 393.
  • The draft of the Constitution consisted 395 articles, 22 parts and 8 schedules when it was adopted.
  • It was signed by all members on 24 January, 1950 and the same day our National Anthem and National song were adopted.
  • Finally, it was enacted on 26 January,1950. This day was chosen because on this same day in April 1929, Purna Swaraj resolution was announced by INC in Lahore session.
  • The Indian Independence Act of 1947 and the Government of India Act of 1935 stopped existing after this.

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