Political Science: Preamble and the Salient Features of the Constitution of India: Introduction, Communication and The Constituent Assembly

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Introduction

  • The Constitution of India was framed by a Constituent Assembly, indirectly elected body, laid down ideals to be included in the Constitution:

    • Commitment to democracy

    • Guarantee to all the people of India- Justice, equality and freedom.

    • India be a Sovereign Democratic Republic.

  • Constitution of India begins with a Preamble, contains the ideals, objectives and basic principles of the Constitution.

  • The salient features of the Constitution evolved directly and indirectly from these objectives of the Preamble.

What is a Constitution?

The document containing laws and rules which determine and describe the form of the government, the relationship between the citizens and the government, is called a Constitution.

The Constituent Assembly

  • Constituted in 1946, it framed the Indian constitution.

  • Members were indirectly elected by the members of the existing Provincial Assemblies. In addition, there were members nominated by the rulers of the Princely States.

  • After Independence of India, the Assembly became a fully sovereign body.

  • After the Partition, the Constituent Assembly consisted of 299 members as on 31st December 1947. Of these 229 members were elected by the provincial assemblies and the rest were nominated by the rulers of the princely states.

  • Majority members belonged to the Congress party. All prominent leaders of the freedom movement were members of the Assembly.

Working of the Constituent Assembly

  • Chaired by a President- Dr. Rajendra Prasad

  • Worked with help of various committees and sub-committees.

  • Committees were of two types:

    • relating to matters concerning with procedures

    • Concerning important issues.

  • There was an Advisory Committee too which advised from outside.

  • Most important committee was the Drafting Committee.

    • Chairman- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

    • Task-to prepares the draft of the Constitution.

  • Constituent assembly met for- 166 days - over a period of 2 years 11months and 18 days.

  • The procedure followed in the Assembly was similar to that which is followed in legislature.

Objectives of the Constitution

  • Main objectives of the Constitution were that it should take into account:

    • Aspirations of the people

    • Integrity and unity of the country

    • establishment of a democratic society

  • Constituent assembly tried to avoid disagreement and reach consensus. The consensus was in the form of ‘Objectives Resolution ‘moved by JL Nehru on December 17, 1946 unanimously adopted on January 22, 1947.

  • In the light of these ‘Objectives’ the Assembly completed its task by November 26, 1949 was enforced with effect from January 26, 1950. From that day India became a Republic.

  • January 26, 1950 was decided as the day to enforce the constitution as exactly twenty years ago, on the same date, the first Independence Day was celebrated on Jan. 26, 1930 as decided by the Lahore session of the Congress on Dec. 31, 1929.

The Preamble

The ‘Preamble’ to the Indian Constitution provides the guidelines of the Constitution.

The constitution of India

The Constitution of India

The constitution of India

The objectives, which are laid down in the Preamble, are:

  • Description of Indian State as Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic. (Socialist, Secular added by 42nd Amendment, 1976).

  • Provision to all the citizens of India i.e.,

    • Justice social, economic and political

    • Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship

    • Equality of status and opportunity

    • Fraternity assuring dignity of the individual and unity and integrity of the nation.

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