Unit 1: Indian Constitution at work

Chapter 1 Making of the constitution

Why Do We Need A Constitution

Q1: What is a constitution?

Ans: A Constitution is a legal document that expresses people's beliefs and ambitions. It is a supreme law, which establishes the relationship between the people and the government. It consists of set of rules that establishes the duties, power and functions of the various institutions of the government.

Q2: What are the features of the Indian constitution? Ans: The features of the Indian Constitution as it stands today, are as follows:

· Lengthiest Written Constitution

· Blend of Rigidity and Flexibility

· Parliamentary Government

· Independent Judiciary

· A federal system with Unitary Features

· Secular State

· Universal Adult Franchise

· Emergency Provisions

Q3: Why do we need constitution? Ans: The constitution is a fundamental document that sets out the framework for a country's governance. It is a written document that outlines the fundamental principles, rules, and regulations that govern a state or nation. The importance of a constitution for a country cannot be overstated. Here are some of the reasons why we need a constitution:

1. Establishes the Rule of Law:-The constitution is the supreme law of the land. It provides a framework for the establishment of laws that govern the country. It ensures that all individuals, including those in power, are subject to the law. The constitution guarantees the rights of citizens and ensures that the government is accountable for its actions.
2. Protects Individual Rights:-The constitution spells out the rights of citizens and protects them from being violated. It ensures that individuals are granted freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and association. It also protects the right to due process, the right to a fair trial, and the right to privacy.

3. Provides Stability and Continuity:-The constitution provides stability and continuity in the governance of a country. It sets out the rules and regulations for the smooth transfer of power from one government to another. It also provides a framework for resolving disputes and ensures that the government operates within a set of established principles.

4. Guides the Government:-The constitution provides a framework for the government to operate within. It sets out the powers and limitations of each branch of government. It also establishes checks and balances to ensure that no single branch of government becomes too powerful.

5. Encourages Participation in Government:-The constitution encourages citizen participation in government. It guarantees the right to vote and ensures that individuals have a say in the governance of the country.

In conclusion, the constitution is a critical document that provides a framework for the governance of a country. It ensures that the government operates within established principles and is accountable for its actions. It establishes the rule of law and protects individual rights. It also provides stability and continuity in the governance of a country and encourages citizen participation in government.

What does a constitution do?

Q4. Briefly explain the role of a constitution.

The Constitution plays an important role in the governance of a nation.

a. lt generates trust and coordination. b. Specifies and limits powers of government.

c. Expresses aspirations of the people. d. Determines relationship between people and government

Q5. What are the functions of a constitution?

Ans: The main functions of the constitution are-

(i) It generates a decree of trust and coordination that is necessary for different kind of people to live together.

(ii) It specifies how the government will be constituted, who will have power to take which decisions.

(iii) It lays down limits on the powers of the government and tells us what the rights of the citizens are.

(iv) It expresses the aspirations of the people about creating a good society

(v) It sets some limitations on the government.

(vi) It expresses the fundamental identity of people.

(vii) lt gives a guarantee of the rights of the citizens

Who Made Our Constitution

Q6. Who made our constitution of India?

Ans: The constitution of India was made out by the Constituent Assembly. In December 1946, the Indian Constituent Assembly met for the first time. This constituent assembly consisted of eminent leaders of the people. It began drafting India's first constitution. The Drafting Committee was chaired by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar while the Constituent Assembly was chaired by Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Our Constitution was ratified on November 26, 1949, and took effect on January 26, 1950 which we celebrate as Republic Day.

Q7. How was the Constituent Assembly formed?

Ans: In 1934, MN Roy first proposed the idea of a constituent assembly. The demand was taken up by the Congress Party in 1935 as an official demand. The British accepted this in the August Offer of 1940. Under the Cabinet Mission plan of 1946 elections were held for the formation of the constituent assembly. The members of this assembly were elected indirectly that is by the members of the provincial assemblies by the method of a single transferable vote of proportional representation. The constituent assembly was formed for the purpose of writing a constitution for independent India. Initially, the number of members was 389. After partition, the number came down to 299. Out of this 229 were from the British provinces and 70 were nominated from the princely states. Dr Sachchidananda Sinha was the first temporary chairman of the Constituent Assembly. Later, Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President of constituent assembly.

Q8. Is our constitution a tribute to the wisdom and foresight of the constitution makers?

Ans: Yes, our constitution is a tribute to the wisdom and foresight of the constitution makers because they presented to the nation a document that enshrined fundamental values shared by the people. It is a document, which contains the essence of the other constitutions of the world together with Indian ideals.

How did the country's partition affect the working of the constitution assembly?

Q9. How did the country's partition affect the working of the constitution assembly?

Ans: Partition of India affected structure of Constituent Assembly. As a result of the partition, under the Mountbatten plan, a separate Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was established on 3 June 1947. The representatives of the areas incorporated into Pakistan ceased to be members of the Constituent Assembly of India. The numbers in the Assembly were reduced to 299 of which 284 were actually present on 26 November 1949 and appended their signature to the Constitution as finally passed. The Constitution was thus framed against the backdrop of the horrendous violence that the Partition unlashed on the sub-continent. But it is a tribute to the fortitude of the framers that they were not only able to draft a constitution under immense pressure but also learnt the right lessons from the unimaginable violence that accompanied Partition. The Constitution was committed to a new conception of citizenship, where not only would minorities be secure but religious identity would have no bearing on citizenship rights.

What were the sources of Constitution?

Q10: What are the various sources of Indian constitution?

Ans: The framers of the Indian Constitution, after lots of deliberations had framed the Constitution. The features of the Indian Constitution were adopted from different nations, but it is important to take account of the fact that all the features mended and molded as per the Indian requirement.

  1. Government of India Act 1935

Office of Governor Emergency Provision Public Service Commission

  1. British constitution

Parliamentary form of Government Rule of law Single citizenship Bicameralism

  1. US Constitution

Fundamental Rights Judicial review Impeachment of the President Post of Vice President

The provision for removing the judges of the Supreme Court or High Court

  1. Irish constitution

Directive Principles of State Policy Method of election of the President Nomination of 12 members of Rajya Sabha.

  1. Canadian constitution

A quasi-federal form of government (Federation with a strong centre) Appointment of Governor in the state by the government

Advisory Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

  1. Germany’s constitution

Supervision of fundamental rights during emergency

  1. Australian constitution

Concurrent list Joint sitting of parliament by two houses Freedom of trade and commerce.

  1. Russian constitution

Fundamental Duties Justice, social, economic, and political terms in the preamble.

  1. France constitution

Republic, liberty, equality, and fraternity in the preamble

  1. South Africa’s constitution

The procedure of Constitutional Amendment Election of member of Rajya Sabha.

  1. Japan’s constitution

The procedure of establishment of law

Chapter End.

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