What was called the constituent assembly?

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Dr Rajendra Prasad was chosen as the First President of the Constituent Assembly. It also served as the first Parliament of Independent India.

Complete answer:
The constituent assembly is an assembly of chosen representatives who gather to draft a constitution. It is also called the constitution assembly. As the constitution is the fundamental document for the functioning of the state, it cannot be amended or modified by the normal legislature procedures. It is done by a constitutional convention or constituent assembly and rules and procedures for the same are also written down in the constitution.

The first constituent assembly in India was elected in 1946 and it also served as the first Parliament of Independent India. They were indirectly elected by the state legislative assembly that existed under the British Raj. It was set up after negotiations between the leaders of the Indian Independence Movement and the members of the British Cabinet Mission. Dr Rajendra Prasad was chosen as the First President of the Constituent Assembly. The Assembly approved the Constitution of India on 26th November 1949 and this day is remembered as Constitution Day in India.

The Constituent Assembly had a total of 22 committees to look into the different tasks in the making of the constitution. Out of the 22 committees, 8 were major committees and the rest were minor committees.

The 8 major committees were:
> Drafting Committee – Chairman B.R. Ambedkar
> Union Power Committee – Chairman Jawaharlal Nehru
> Union Constitution Committee – Chairman Jawaharlal Nehru
> Provincial Constitution Committee – Chairman Vallabhbhai Patel
> Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights and Minority – Chairman Vallabhbhai Patel
> Rules of Procedure – Chairman Rajendra Prasad
> States Committee – Chairman Jawaharlal Nehru
> Steering Committee – Chairman Rajendra Prasad

Working of the assembly: The assembly worked in five stages:
> Presentation of reports on issues
> Preparation of an initial draft based on the reports and researches
> Presentation of a detailed draft constitution by the Drafting Committee, which is also published for discussion
> Discussion on the draft constitution, proposal and enactment of amendments
> Adopting the Constitution

> The Constituent assembly had 299 elected members including 15 women.
> But in its first session, the assembly had an attendance of only 207 members.
> The representative of princely states and the Muslim League joined the assembly in 1947 and they together approved the draft constitution on 26th November 1949.