Short Answer Type Questions
Q1: Describe the steps taken to form the Constituent Assembly. [CBSE 2016, 2023]
How was the Indian Constituent Assembly formed? [hots]
Ans: The Indian Constituent Assembly was formed for the task of framing the Constitution for independent India. The elections to the Provisional Legislative Assembly were held in July 1946. The elected members of the Provisional Legislative Assembly elected the members for the Constituent Assembly through a proportional representation system. There were in total of 389 members in the Constituent Assembly. Later with the Partition of India into India and Pakistan, 299 members wrote the constitution. It included 70 members from princely states and nine women. 284 present members gave their assent and the Indian Constitution was passed.
Long Answer Type Questions
Q1: The formation of the Indian constitution was no less difficult than that of the constitution of South Africa. Do you agree? Explain with five arguments. [CBSE 2017, 2022]
“India emerged as an independent country against heavy turmoil.” Justify the statement. [CBSE 2019]
Ans: It is a fact that like South Africa, India’s Constitution was also drawn up under very difficult circumstances as mentioned below :
(i) India is a huge and diverse country. This made making the constitution a difficult task.
(ii) We got independence in 1947, People were emerging from the status of subjects to that of citizens.
(iii) The country was born as a result of partition on the basis of religious differences. A large number of people were killed in communal clashes. This was a traumatic experience for the people of India as well as Pakistan.
(iv) The British had left it to the rulers of the princely states to decide whether they wanted to merge with India or with Pakistan or remain independent. It was a very difficult task.
(iv) The future of the country was not as secure as it is today.
Thus the condition was that of turmoil and uncertainty. People were facing problems such as unemployment, violence and anxiety, separation from their loved ones due to partition.
Q2: “The familiarity with political institutions of the colonial rule helped to develop an agreement over the institutional design.” Justify the statement. [CBSE 2016, 2022]
Ans: The familiarity with political institutions of colonial rule helped to develop an agreement over the institutional design in the following ways.
(a) The British rule gave voting rights to only a few. Later Election Commission was set up and voting rights were granted to all.
(b) Elections were held in 1937 to Provincial Legislatures and Ministries were formed all over British India. The experience gained by Indians in the working of these institutions proved to be very useful for the country in setting up its own institutions and working in them.
(c) The Indian Constitution adopted many institutional details and procedures from colonial laws like the Government of India Act, 1935.
(d) The ideals of the French Revolution, the practice of Parliamentary democracy in Britain and the Bill of Rights in the US-inspired us to set up fundamental rights and duties.
(e) The political institutions of the colonial rule are not just copied. They are questioned at every step to suit our nation’s conditions and set-up. In a way, they serve as a blueprint for setting up our institutions.
Q3: Explain the importance of the institutional design of the Constitution of India. [CBSE 2016, 2018]
Ans: The importance of the institutional design of the Constitution of India as follows:
(a) The constitution is mainly about embodying its values into institutional arrangements.
(b) It is a long and detailed document. Therefore, it needs to be amended quite regularly to keep it updated.
(c) The constitution describes the constitutional arrangements in a very legal language.
(d) The Constitution lays down a procedure for choosing persons to govern the country. It defines who will and how much power one will have to make which decisions.
(e) It also puts limits on what the government can do by providing some rights to the citizens that cannot be violated.