Competitive Exams: Constitutional Committees

Drafting Committee of Constitution

Dr. B R Ambedkar is rightly regarded as the ‘Father of the Constitution of India’ According to Article 394, provisions relating to the citizenship elections, provisional Parliament and temporary and transitional provisions contained in Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60, 324, 366, 367, 379, 380, 388, 391, 392 and 393 came into force on the day of adoption (i.e.. 26 November 1949) of the Constitution and the remaining provisions of the Constitution came into being on the day of the commencement (i.e.. 26 January 1950) of the Constitution.

According to Article 395, the Government of India Act of 1935 and the Indian Independence Act of 1947 got replaced with the commencement of the Constitution of India.

Chairman: Dr BR Ambedkar Members

  1. N Gopalswami Ayyangar

  2. Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar

  3. KM Munshi

  4. Mohammed Sadullah

  5. BL Mittar (replaced by N Madhav Rao)

  6. DP Khaitan (who died in 1948 and was replaced by TT Krishnamochari)

Committees of the Constituent Assembly

The Constituent Assembly appointed 22 committees to deal with different tasks of Constitution-making. Out of these, 10 were on procedural affairs and 12 on substantive affairs. These were as follows: Committees on Procedural Affairs

  1. Steering Committee (Chairman: Dr K M Munshi)

  2. Rules of Procedure Committee (Chairman: Dr Rajendra Prasad)

  3. House Committee

  4. Hindi Translation Committee

  5. Urdu Translation Committee

  6. Finance and Staff Committee

  7. Press Gallery Committee

  8. Committee on the effect of Indian Independence Act of 1947

  9. Orders of Business Committee

  10. Credentials Committee

Committees on Substantive Affairs

  1. Drafting Committee (Chairman: Dr B R Ambedkar)

  2. Committee for Negotiating with States (Chairman: Dr Rajendra Prasad)

  3. Committee on Chief Commissioners'Provinces

  4. Union Constitution Committee (. Chairman: Jawaharlal Nehru)

  5. Provincial Constitution Committee (Chairman: Sardar Patel)

  6. Special Committee to Examine the Draft Constitution (Chairman: Sir Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer)

  7. Commission on Linguistic Provinces

  8. Expert Committee on Financial Provisions

  9. Ad-hoc Committee on National Flag

  10. Union Powers Committee (Chairman: Jawaharlal Nehru)

  11. Ad-hoc Committee on the Supreme Court

  12. Committee on Fundamental Rights and Minorities (Chairman: Sardar Patel)

Different Sources of Our Constitution

  • January 26 was selected as the date of commencement of the Constitution of India because on this date in 1930, Indian people observed ‘Independence day’ following the resolution of ‘Purna Swaraj’ of the Congress session held in the midnight of December 31, 1929 at Lahore.
  • The founding fathers of our Constitution had before them the accumulated experience from the working of all the known constitutions of the world, and were aware of the difficulties faced in the working of those constitutions.
  • Hence, besides incorporating some provisions from the other constitutions, a number of provisions were included to avoid some of the difficulties experienced in the working of these constitutions.
  • This is an important reason for making our Constitution the lengthiest and the most comprehensive of all the written constitutions of the world.
  • The most profound influence was exercised by the Government of India Act of
  • 1935, the federal scheme, office of governor, power of federal judiciary, emergency powers etc were drawn from this Act. The British practice influenced the lawmaking procedures, rule of law, system of single citizenship, besides, of course, the model of a parliamentary government. The US Constitution inspired details on the independence of judiciary, judicial review, fundamental rights, and the removal of Supreme Court and High Court judges. The Irish Constitution was the source of the Directive Principles, method of Presidential elections, and the nomination of members of Rajya Sabha by the President. From the Canadian Constitution was taken the idea of a federation with a strong Centre, and placing residuary powers with the Centre. The Weimar Constitution of Germany was the source of provisions concerning the suspension of fundamental rights during emergency.
  • The idea of a Concurrent List was taken from the Australian Constitution.