The Constituent Assembly appointed a number of committees to deal with different tasks of constitution-making. Out of these, eight were major committees and the others were minor committees. The names of these committees and their Chairman are given below:

Major Committees

  1. Union Powers Committee – Jawaharlal Nehru
  2. Union Constitution Committee -Jawaharlal Nehru
  3. Provincial Constitution Committee -Sardar Patel
  4. Drafting Committee – Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
  5. Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas – Sardar Patel. This committee had the following five sub-committees:
    1. Fundamental Rights Sub-Committee – J.B. Kripalani
    2. Minorities Sub-Committee – H.C. Mukherjee
    3. North-East Frontier Tribal Areas and Assam Excluded & Partially Excluded Areas Sub-Committee -Gopinath Bardoloi
    4. Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas (other than those in Assam) Sub-Committee – A.V. Thakkar
    5. North-West Frontier Tribal Areas Sub-Committee
  6. Rules of Procedure Committee – Dr. Rajendra Prasad
  7. States Committee (Committee for Negotiating with States) Jawaharlal Nehru
  8. Steering Committee – Dr. Rajendra Prasad

Minor Committees

1. Finance and Staff Committee – Dr. Rajendra Prasad
2. Credentials Committee – Alladi Krishnaswami Ayyar
3. House Committee – B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya
4. Order of Business Committee – Dr. K.M. Munshi
5. Ad-hoc Committee on the National Flag – Dr. Rajendra Prasad
6. Committee on the Functions of the Constituent Assembly G.V. Mavalankar
7. Ad-hoc Committee on the Supreme Court – S. Varadachari (Not an Assembly Member)
8. Committee on Chief Commissioners’ Provinces – B. Pattabhi Sitaramayya
9. Expert Committee on the Financial Provisions of the Union Constitution -Nalini Ranjan Sarkar (Not an Assembly Member)
10. Linguistic Provinces Commission – S.K. Dar (Not an Assembly Member)
11. Special Committee to Examine the Draft Constitution Jawaharlal Nehru
12. Press Gallery Committee – Usha Nath Sen
13. Ad-hoc Committee on Citizenship – S. Varadachari (Not an Assembly Member)

Drafting Committee

Among all the committees of the Constituent Assembly, the most important committee was the Drafting Committee set up on August 29, 1947. It was this committee that was entrusted with the task of preparing a draft of the new Constitution. It consisted of seven members. They were:

1. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (Chairman)
2. N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar
3. Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar
4. Dr. K.M. Munshi
5. Syed Mohammad Saadullah
6. N. Madhava Rau (He replaced B.L. Mitter who resigned due to ill-health)
7. T.T. Krishnamachari (He replaced D.P. Khaitan who died in 1948)

The Drafting Committee, after taking into consideration the proposals of the various committees, prepared the first draft of the Constitution of India, which was published in February, 1948. The people of India were given eight months to discuss the draft and propose amendments. In the light of the public comments, criticisms and suggestions, the Drafting Committee prepared a second draft, which was published in October, 1948.

The Drafting Committee took less than six months to prepare its draft. In all it sat only for 141 days.

Previous Page:Constituent Assembly and The Indian Independence Act of 1947


By : Ramakant Verma

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