Get summary, textual answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF to NBSE Class 12 (Arts) History (Themes in Indian History) chapter 15 “The Making of the Constitution”. However, the educational materials should only be used for reference and students are encouraged to make necessary changes.
- Exercise/textual questions and answers
- Extra/additional questions and answers
- Extra/additional MCQs
The period surrounding India’s independence and partition was a tumultuous and challenging time, marked by a mix of hope, disappointment, and significant obstacles. Despite the spirit of unity demonstrated in popular risings and the struggle against British rule, the Congress and Muslim League failed to reach a consensus on religious and social harmony. This led to a series of riots and violence, culminating in the tragic partition of India and the subsequent mass migration of millions of people. The newly formed Indian government was faced with the enormous task of integrating princely states into the Indian Union and rehabilitating the countless refugees displaced by the creation of Pakistan. Amidst these difficult circumstances, the Constituent Assembly began its work to frame the Constitution of independent India, demonstrating the resilience and courage of a nation determined to overcome adversity.
Exercise/textual questions and answers
I. Very Short Answer Questions
1. Write the full form of ‘PEPSU’.
Answer: The full form of ‘PEPSU’ is “Patiala and East Punjab States Union”.
2. Who was the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly Drafting Committee?
Answer: The Chairman of the Constituent Assembly Drafting Committee was Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
3. Who was the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly?
Answer: The Chairman of the Constituent Assembly was Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
4. When did the Constitution of India come into force?
Answer: The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950.
5. When did Pakistan come into existence?
Answer: Pakistan came into existence on 14th August 1947.
II. Multiple Choice Questions
(i) When was the Constituent Assembly established?
Answer: (ii) September 1946
(ii) Who was elected as the permanent chairman of the Constituent Assembly?
Answer: (iv) Dr. Rajendra Prasad
(iii) Who was known as ‘The Iron man of India’?
Answer: (ii) Sadar Ballabh Bhai Patel
(iv) When did the constitution of Indian Republic come into force?
Answer: (ii) 26th January, 1950
(v) Who was the Chairman of Drafting committee?
Answer: (i) Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar
III. Short Answer Type Questions-l
1. What was the immediate problem which India faced at the time of partition of the country in 1947?
Answer: The immediate problems India faced at the time of partition in 1947 were social and economic backwardness, the problem of integrating about 542 native states into the Indian Union, and the rehabilitation of millions of refugees from Pakistan.
2. Which two provinces of India were divided between India and Pakistan in August 1947?
Answer: Punjab and Bengal were the two provinces of India that were divided between India and Pakistan in August 1947.
3. What was the object of Displaced Persons Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 1954?
Answer: The object of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954, was to provide compensation and rehabilitation to displaced persons who had been forced to leave their properties due to the Partition of India in 1947. The Act aimed to establish a legal framework to assess and verify the claims of displaced persons, determine the compensation payable to them, and facilitate their rehabilitation.
4. Give any three problems faced by India at the time of the partition of the country.
Answer: Three problems faced by India at the time of the partition of the country were:
Rehabilitation of refugees: Millions of refugees from Pakistan had to be resettled in various parts of India, as they were forced to leave their homes due to the violence and unrest caused by the partition.
Integration of princely states: The integration of about 542 native states into the Indian Union was a challenging task, as some princes and Maharajas desired to remain independent powers in India rather than join the newly-formed nation.
Communal violence and social disharmony: The partition led to widespread communal violence, especially in northern and eastern India, resulting in mass killings and destruction of property. The situation strained the relations between Hindus and Muslims, who had been living together for centuries with mutual tolerance.
9. Give the names of any three committees appointed by the Constituent Assembly to deal with different aspects of the constitution.
Answer: Three committees appointed by the Constituent Assembly to deal with different aspects of the constitution were:
Union Power Committee: This committee, presented by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, dealt with the distribution of powers between the central government and the states.
Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights and Minorities: This committee, chaired by Sardar Patel, focused on the fundamental rights to be granted to the citizens and the protection of minority rights.
Committee on the Union and Provincial Constitutions: This committee addressed the structure and relationship between the Union and the Provincial governments in the new constitution.
10. Describe any two basic values of the Indian Constitution.
Answer: Two basic values of the Indian Constitution are the granting of the right to vote to every adult Indian and the emphasis on secularism, which is enshrined in the provisions of the Constitution through a series of Fundamental Rights given in Articles 25 to 28, and Articles 29-30, which provide for cultural and educational rights. Additionally, Articles 14, 16, and 17 provide for the Right to Equality.
IV. Short Answer Type Questions-II
1. Describe briefly how the problems of the refugees from Pakistan were solved by the Government of Indian Republic.
Answer: The Government of India faced the problem of rehabilitating millions of refugees from Pakistan after the partition of India in 1947. To solve this problem, the government set up refugee camps and provided them with food, shelter, and medical aid. The government also provided financial assistance to the refugees to help them start their lives anew. The government took measures to ensure that the refugees were given equal rights and opportunities in the new India. The government also passed the Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Act in 1954 to provide legal and financial assistance to the refugees. Through these measures, the Government of India was able to successfully rehabilitate the refugees from Pakistan.
2. Write a note on the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.
Answer: The Preamble of the Indian Constitution declares India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. It also highlights the objectives of the Constitution, which include justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. The Preamble acts as an introduction to the Constitution and reflects the ideals and aspirations of the people of India. It is not justiciable, but it serves as a guiding principle for the interpretation of the Constitution. The Preamble was adopted on 26th November 1949 by the Constituent Assembly and came into force on 26th January 1950, the day the Constitution was enacted.
3. Describe the role of the Constituent Assembly before August 15, 1947.
Answer: Before August 15, 1947, the Constituent Assembly worked in a dual capacity as a constitution-making body and a Legislature. It had no real control over the constitution making of the native states and the provinces, and was subject to the final authority of the British Parliament. The attitude of the Muslim League was also a great internal hindrance to the working of the Constituent Assembly. However, these limitations were soon removed by the Indian Independence Act, 1947.
4. What were the ideals expressed in the objective resolution?
Answer: The ideals expressed in the Objective Resolution were that the constitution framed by the Assembly must guarantee and secure to all the people of India justice- social, economic and political; equality of status, of opportunity, and equality before law; freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action subject to law and public morality. The Constituent Assembly was to frame a democratic constitution for the country, and the Resolution proclaimed that the “ancient land” would attain its rightful and honoured place in the world and make its full and willing constitution to the promotion of world peace and welfare of mankind.
8. Write a note on the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly.
Answer: The Drafting Committee was set up by the Constituent Assembly of India on August 29, 1947, under the chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Other prominent members of the committee included N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar, Alladi Krishnaswami Iyer, K.M. Munshi, T.T. Krishnamachari, Muhammad Saadullah, N. Madhav Rao, and D.P. Khaitan. The committee was assisted by B.N. Rao.
The Drafting Committee was responsible for preparing the draft of the Constitution of India. They used the reports of various committees appointed by the Constituent Assembly as the basis for their work. The committee worked for a total of 2 years, 11 months, and 18 days before presenting the final draft of the Constitution to the Constituent Assembly on November 4, 1949.
The Drafting Committee had to face many challenges during their work, including disagreements among members and the need to balance the interests of different groups. However, they were able to overcome these challenges and produce a draft that was acceptable to the majority of the members of the Constituent Assembly.
9. Describe the arguments given by Dr. Ambedkar in the Assembly in justification of establishing Parliamentary Government in India.
Answer: Dr. Ambedkar argued in the Assembly that the chief merit of Parliamentary government lay in its ability to satisfy the essential test of a democratic executive, which was a combination of stability and responsibility. He believed that in India, where poverty and illiteracy of the masses might encourage the growth of executive despotism, responsibility was no less important than stability. He also pointed out that under the Parliamentary system, there is daily and periodic assessment of the responsibility of the government.
V. Long Answer Type Questions-l
1. Describe the history of framing of the Indian Constituent Assembly.
Answer: The Constituent Assembly of India was established in 1946, under the Cabinet Mission Plan. The demand for a Constituent Assembly was first adopted by the Indian National Congress in September 1939, but it was not initially heeded by the British Government. However, the shock of World War II made the British Government realize that the Indians would not be satisfied with anything less. The substance of the demand for a Constituent Assembly was conceded in the August 194 statement of the Government.
The Cripps Mission of 1942 contained a concrete proposal on the part of the British Government to set up a constitution-making body charged with the task of framing a new constitution for India immediately after the War, consisting of Indians alone. However, the Cripps Mission proposals were rejected by the leaders of all the political parties of India.
It was in February 1946 that Mr. Clement Attlee, the British Prime Minister, categorically admitted the right of the Indians to frame their own constitution. The Constituent Assembly, which framed the present constitution of India, started its work in December 1946, when the British were still in India. At this time, an interim administration headed by Jawaharlal Nehru was in place, but it could only operate under the direction of the Viceroy and British Government in London.
The Constituent Assembly debates help us to understand the many conflicting views of those who took part in the discussions in the Assembly while framing the constitution. The members articulated many demands and invoked the ideals. At times, the members changed their ideas, and the debates continued for about three years. Hearing the arguments of other members, some members changed their positions, opening their minds to contrary views, while some changed their views reacting to the events around.
The Constituent Assembly, in all, held eleven sessions, with sittings spread over 165 days from 9 December 1946 to 26 November 1949. In between the sessions, the work of revising and refining the drafts was taken up by various committees and sub-committees.
In an impressive ceremony, the members of the Constituent Assembly signed the embossed and illuminated copies of the Constitution. The Constitution came into force on the Republic Day, January 26, 1950. On the same day, Dr. Rajindera Prasad assumed the office of the President of the Indian Republic.
2. What historical factors shaped the vision of the constitution?
Answer: The vision of the Indian Constitution was shaped by various historical factors. The British Government had introduced a series of acts like the acts of 1909, 1919 and 1935 which had gradually enlarged the scope for Indian participation in the provincial legislatures. As a result of elections held in 1937 under the Act of 1935, the Congress formed ministeries in 8 out of 11 provinces. But the Act of 1935 had given the right to vote to no more than 10 to 15 per cent of the adult population. It meant that there was no universal adult franchise.
The vision that Jawahar Lal Nehru was trying to outline on 13 December, 1946, in the Objective Resolution was the vision of the constitution of the Indian sovereign republic. The question arose in the Assembly that should the oppressed groups have any special rights. What rights the minorities should have? The members had no collective answer to any of these questions. There was a clash of opinions. Nehru had declared that the makers of the constitution had to “fulfil the passions that lie in the hearts of the masses.” The different groups expressed their will in different ways, and made different demands. The conflicting views had to be debated and reconciled before a consensus could be reached.
3. Describe the different arguments given in favour of the protection of oppressed groups.
Answer: The Constituent Assembly of India had to decide what kind of protection was to be provided to the oppressed groups, particularly the depressed castes. It was realized that the problem of “Untouchability” could not be resolved through protection and safeguards alone. A member from Madras, Mr. Nagappa, pointed out that numerically depressed classes formed between 20 and 25 per cent of the total population of the country. They were not suffering because of the three committees appointed by the Constituent Assembly to deal with different aspects of the constitution.
The representative of the tribals, Jaipal Singh, welcomed the Objective Resolution. He spoke eloquently on the need to protect the tribes and ensure the conditions that could help them to come up to the level of the general population. Singh was not asking for a separate electorate, but he said that reservation of seats in the legislatures was essential to allow the tribals to represent themselves.
Mr. Ranga, a member of the Assembly, said that the minorities needed to take an active part in the democratic process so that they had a decisive voice in the political system. He also said that they needed props, a ladder, and protection to do so.
It was essential that conditions must be created where the constitutionally enshrined rights could be effectively enjoyed. The members of the Assembly urged that only the Objective Resolution would not do much. They argued that the protection of the oppressed groups should be ensured through reservation of seats in the legislatures and in government jobs, as well as through the provision of economic and social opportunities.
7. What was Objective Resolution? What is its significance?
Answer: The Objective Resolution was a historic resolution adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on January 22, 1947. The Resolution was moved by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and seconded by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It laid down the fundamental principles that would guide the framing of the Constitution of India.
The significance of the Objective Resolution lies in the fact that it provided the basic framework for the Constitution of India. It declared that India would be a sovereign, democratic republic, and that the Constitution would guarantee justice, equality, and freedom to all citizens. The Resolution also ensured that safeguards would be provided for minorities, backward and tribal areas, and depressed and other classes.
The Objective Resolution was a landmark in the history of India, as it marked the beginning of the process of framing a Constitution that would be truly representative of the aspirations of the people. It was a clear statement of the ideals that would guide the new nation, and it set the stage for the drafting of a Constitution that would be a model for other countries.
In the words of Dr. M.K.M. Munshi, “The Resolution cast the horoscope of our Sovereign Democratic Republic.” It declared that the Assembly’s firm and solemn resolve laid down that this Republic would be a union of autonomous units in which residuary powers should be with the latter. The Resolution also stated that the Sovereign Independent India and its constituent parts must derive their authority and power from the people and that the constitution framed by the Assembly must guarantee and secure to all the people of India justice- social, economic and political; equality of status, of opportunity, and equality before law; freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation, association and action subject to law and public morality.
8. Examine the basic values of the Indian Constitution.
Answer: The basic values of the Indian Constitution can be examined under the following categories:
- Sovereignty: The Preamble of the Constitution declares India as a sovereign state, free from external or internal control. This means that the country has complete authority over its territory and can independently make decisions without interference from other countries.
- Social and Economic Justice: The Constitution aims to establish a social and economic order free from exploitation and unjust distribution of wealth. The Directive Principles of State Policy emphasize the government’s responsibility to provide adequate means of livelihood, raise the standard of living, and ensure social and economic welfare for all citizens.
- Secularism: The Constitution establishes India as a secular state, meaning there is no official state religion. Every individual is free to adopt, practice, propagate, and protect any religion of their choice. The State does not discriminate based on religion and does not impose taxes to propagate any specific faith.
- Democracy: India is a democratic state where people are the source of power. Citizens elect their representatives through general elections, and every adult above the age of 18 has the right to vote. Responsible governments are established at the center and in the states, with special laws ensuring the rule of law, independence of the judiciary, and free and fair elections.
- Republic: The Indian Constitution establishes the country as a republic, with no monarchy. The President, the head of the state, is elected for a fixed term and the position is not hereditary.
- National Integration: The Constitution aims to promote national integration by recognizing the diverse cultural and historical backgrounds of its citizens. It provides fundamental rights to all citizens, the right to adult suffrage, protection of minority rights, and directives for the social and economic welfare of all people.
- Federalism with Unity: The Indian Constitution establishes a federal system with a strong central government, balancing power between the central and state governments. This ensures unity in basic matters, while allowing for diversity in laws, administration, and judicial protection. This structure prevents chaos and maintains stability within the nation.
These basic values form the foundation of the Indian Constitution, reflecting the aspirations of its citizens and providing a framework for governance that promotes unity, justice, and equality.
9. How did the Constituent Assembly seek to resolve the language controversy?
Answer: It is known that the issue of language was a major point of contention during the framing of the Indian Constitution. There were different groups with varying opinions on the matter, and it was a complex issue that required careful consideration and deliberation.
One of the key debates was whether Hindi or English should be the official language of India. This was a sensitive issue as both languages had their own supporters and detractors. Some argued that Hindi was the most widely spoken language in India and should be given priority, while others felt that English was necessary for communication and international relations.
To address these concerns, the Constituent Assembly set up a Language Committee in 1947 to study the issue and make recommendations. The Committee recommended that Hindi in Devanagari script should be the official language of India, but with the provision that English would continue to be used for official purposes for a period of 15 years.
This recommendation was eventually incorporated into the Constitution as Article 343, which declared Hindi in Devanagari script as the official language of India, while also providing for the continued use of English for official purposes.
However, this decision was not without controversy and there were protests and opposition from some quarters. Over the years, there have been various movements and demands for the recognition of other regional languages and the promotion of multilingualism in India.
VI. Long Answer Type Questions-II
1. Explain how the constitution of India protects the rights of the Central Government and the States.
Answer: The Constitution of India protects the rights of both the Central Government and the States through a system of checks and balances. The Constitution provides for a federal system of government where powers are divided between the Central Government and the States.
The Constitution provides for a Union List, a State List, and a Concurrent List. The Union List contains subjects on which only the Central Government can legislate, such as defense, foreign affairs, and currency. The State List contains subjects on which only the State Governments can legislate, such as public order, health, and agriculture. The Concurrent List contains subjects on which both the Central Government and the State Governments can legislate, such as education, forests, and marriage.
The Constitution also provides for a system of distribution of powers between the Central Government and the State Governments. The Central Government has the power to make laws on subjects in the Union List and the Concurrent List, while the State Governments have the power to make laws on subjects in the State List and the Concurrent List. In case of a conflict between a Central law and a State law on a Concurrent List subject, the Central law prevails.
The Constitution also provides for a system of financial distribution between the Central Government and the State Governments. The Central Government collects taxes and distributes a portion of it to the State Governments through a system of grants. The Constitution also provides for the formation of a Finance Commission every five years to recommend the distribution of financial resources between the Central Government and the State Governments.
Furthermore, the Constitution provides for the establishment of a judiciary that is independent of both the Central Government and the State Governments. The Constitution provides for the establishment of a Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the land, and High Courts in each State. The Constitution also provides for the establishment of subordinate courts in each State.
Thus, the Constitution of India protects the rights of both the Central Government and the State Governments through a system of checks and balances. The Constitution provides for a federal system of government, a distribution of powers, a system of financial distribution, and an independent judiciary.
4. Describe the views of eminent members of the Assembly about the incorporation of Directive Principles of the State Policy.
Answer: There were varying views among the members of the Assembly about the incorporation of Directive Principles of State Policy. Professor K.T. Shah described them as “a cheque payable by the bank concerned at its convenience” and further stated that they will not be more than moral precepts. Mr. Nassiruddin contended that these principles are no more than “new year resolutions which are broken on the second of January.”
However, Dr. Ambedkar had a different view. He contended that the Directive Principles were not a parade of high-sounding principles. He said that it was the intention of the Assembly that in the future, both the legislature and the executive should not merely pay lip service to these principles but that they should be made the basis of all legislative and executive actions that may be taken hereafter in the matter of governance of the country.
Overall, there was heated discussion about the incorporation of Directive Principles of State Policy in the Assembly, with some members expressing skepticism about their effectiveness while others saw them as a fundamental part of the Constitution.
Extra/additional questions and answers
1. When did India achieve her independence and what were the two separate states formed?
Answer: India achieved her independence on 15th August, 1947, and the country was partitioned into two separate states: India and Pakistan.
2. What were the main challenges faced by the Indian government after independence?
Answer: The main challenges faced by the Indian government after independence were the integration of about 542 native states into the Indian Union, rehabilitation of millions of refugees from Pakistan, and framing the new Constitution of independent India.
3. What were some of the popular movements against British rule in India that took place before the framing of the constitution?
Answer: Some of the popular movements against British rule in India before the framing of the constitution included the Quit India movement of 1942, which was the most widespread movement against British rule; the armed struggle with foreign aid led by Subhash Chandra Bose; and the rising of the ratings of the Royal Navy in Bombay and other cities in the spring of 1946, which evoked much popular sympathy.
29. Mention the two important features of the Indian Constitution that had substantial agreement among the Constituent Assembly members.
Answer: The two important features of the Indian Constitution that had substantial agreement among the Constituent Assembly members were:
- The granting of the right to vote to every adult Indian.
- The emphasis on secularism, which was done through a series of Fundamental Rights given in Articles 25 to 28, Right to Freedom of religion, Articles 29-30 cultural and educational rights, and Articles 14, 16, 17, Right to Equality.
1. When did India achieve independence?
A. 1945 B. 1946 C. 1947 D. 1948
Answer: C. 1947
2. Which two countries were formed after the partition of India?
A. India and Bangladesh B. India and Nepal C. India and Pakistan D. India and Bhutan
Answer: C. India and Pakistan
3. How many native states were to be integrated into the Indian Union?
A. 542 B. 250 C. 350 D. 600
Answer: A. 542
4. Which popular movement took place in 1942 against British rule in India?
A. Non-Cooperation Movement B. Civil Disobedience Movement C. Quit India Movement D. Swadeshi Movement
Answer: C. Quit India Movement
5. Who led the armed struggle with foreign aid against British rule in India?
A. Mahatma Gandhi B. Jawaharlal Nehru C. Subhash Chandra Bose D. Bhagat Singh
Answer: C. Subhash Chandra Bose
50. Who was the main architect of the Indian Constitution?
A. Dr. Rajendra Prasad B. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru C. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar D. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Answer: C. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
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