Framing the Constitution The Beginning of a New Era –  CBSE Notes for Class 12 History

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• Indian constitution was prepared by the learned members of the Constituent Assembly.
• The constitution was framed between December 1946 to December, 1949.
• Each clause of the constitution was discussed by the Constituent Assembly. All in all, eleven sessions of Constituent Assembly were held and 165 sittings took place.
• Different committees and sub-committees carried out the work of revising and refining the drafts of the constitution.
• The Constituent Assembly had 299 members. The assembly adopted the constitution on 26 November 1949, but it came into effect on January 26, 1950.
• The members of the Constituent Assembly were elected on the basis of provincial election held in 1946.
• Muslim League did not participate in the meeting of Constitutent Assembly. These meetings were held before the partition of India.
• The Constituent Assembly remained as a one party show as its 82% members belonged to Congress party.
• The meeting of the Constituent Assembly was influenced by the public opinion. The arguments of various sections were published in all leading newspapers and there was a public debate on all proposals.
• Dr. B.R. Ambedkar played an important role in Constituent Assembly. He acted as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the constitution.
• Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru moved the objective resolution in the Constituent Assembly.
• Objective Resolution was a historic resolution which defined the ideals of the constitution of free Indian.
(i) It proclaimed India as an independent sovereign Republic.
(ii) It guaranteed justice, equality and freedom to all citizens of India .
(iii) It assured that safeguards shall be provided for all the minorities, backward and tribal area.
• By 1949, most of the members of the Constituent Assembly agreed that the resolution of separate electorate is against the interest of minorities.
• A socialist leader and the leader of the peasant movement N.G. Ranga urged that the word minorities must be interpreted in economic terms.
• Dr. B.R. Ambedkar demanded the separate electorates for scheduled caste. He raised this issue during the national movement. It was opposed by Mahatma Gandhi, who said that this would segregate from the rest of the society.
• K. Santhanam favoured the right to the states because he felt that a reallocation of powers of the state as well as the centre is necessary.
• The language issue was debated in the Constituent Assembly for many months.
• Till the decade of 1930s the Congress accepted the Hindustani out to be given the status of national language. Hindustani which was blend of Hindi and Urdu was a popular language among most of people of India.
• R.V. Dhulekar favoured the use of Hindi language as a language of constitution making. He argued that the Hindi must be declared as a national language not as an official language. He criticised that those who protested that the Hindi language was being forced on the nation.
• Most of the members of the Assembly were agreed on the fact that all the adult citizens of India must be granted the right to vote.
• Our constitution is a very long and detailed document. Therefore, it needs to be amended quite regularly to keep it updated.
• Those who drafted the constitution of India felt that it has to be in accordance with people’s aspiration and changes in the society. So, they made provisions to incorporate changes from time to time.
• The constitution describes the institutional arrangements in a very legal language. It lays downs the procedure for choosing person to govern the country.
• Constitution declares India as a secular state. Every person is allowed to practise the religion of his/her choice.
• The Indian Constitution came into effect on 26 January 1950.
• It is the largest Constitution of the world.
• On 16 Jun, 1946 Cabinet Mission presented scheme for the formation of an Interim Government at Centre.
• On 2nd September 1946, the Indian National Congress formed Interim Government with Jawaharlal Nehru as the Vice-President.
• On 13 October 1946, Muslim League decided to join the Interim Government.
• Federal form of government was adopted in which political power is divided among Centre and States . It means Government works at two levels.
• Citizens of India have been granted Fundamental Rights. These are important for the progress and development of any individual.
• Division of power was made between the Centre and the States. There are 97 issues in the Union List, 66 issues in the State list and 47 in the Concurrent List.
• On the subjects of the Union List only Centre can make laws.
• State has the power to make laws on subjects related to the State List.
• State and the Centre both have the power to make laws on the subject related to Concurrent list. But whenever there is a clash, the centre Law will prevail.
• At present there are 30 states and 7 Union territories in the Union of India.
1. Constitution: Set of rules and regulations according to which a country is governed.
2. Draft: A premier version of legal document.
3. Clause: A distinct section of a document.
4. Constituent Assembly: An assembly of people’s representative that writes a constitution for a country.
5. Constituent Amendment: A change in the constitution made by the supreme legislative body in the country.
Time line:
26 July 1945  Labour Government comes to power in India
16th May 1946  Cabinet Mission announces its constitutional scheme.
16th June 1946  Cabinet Mission presented the scheme for the formation of an interim government at centre.
2 Sept. 1946  Congress forms the interim govt.
13 October 1946  Muslim League decides to join the interim government.
11 August 1947  Jinnah was elected as the president of Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.
14 August 1947  Pakistan Independence
15 August 1947  India became an independent nation.