INDIAN POLITY NOTES WITH PRACTICE MCQ Part-1

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION

  • The British came to India in 1600 AD as traders in the form of East India Company.
  • East India Company was also known as East India Trading Company or English East India Company.
  • The East India Company was founded in the year 1600 for persuading the trade with East Indies (South Asia and South East Asia).
  • But the East India Company traded mainly in the Indian subcontinent and China.
  • The East India Company has exclusive rights to trade in India.
  • In the year 1765 the East India Company obtained “Diwani” (Rights over revenue and civil justice) of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
  • In the year 1858 after the Sepoy mutiny, British crown assumed direct responsibility for the governance of India.
  • This rule continued up to August 15, 1947 (India got independence)

The Cabinet Mission to India was headed by?

(a)        Stafford Cripps

(b)        A.V. Alexander

(c)        Lord Pethick Lawrence

(d)       Hugh Gaitskell

 Ans: (c)

The Constitution of India was adopted by the?

 (a)       Governor General

(b)        British Parliament

(c)        Constituent Assembly

(d)       Parliament of India

Ans: (c)

The Constituent Assembly for undivided India first met on?

(a)        6th December, 1946

(b)        9th December, 1946

(c)        20th February, 1947

(d)       3rd June, 1947

Ans: (b)

When the Constituent Assembly for the Dominion of India reassembled on 31 st October, 1947, its reduced membership was:

(a)  299

(b)  311

 (c) 319

(d) 331

 Ans: (a)

Who among the following was the Constitutional adviser to the Constituent Assembly of India?

(a)        Dr. B.N. Rao

(b)        Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

(c)        K.M. Munshi

(d)       M.C. Setalvad

Ans: (a)

 

THE COMPANY RULE (1773-1858) &THE REGULATING ACT OF 1773

  • This was the first step taken by British Government to control and regulate the affairs of East India Company in India.
  • The political and administrative functions of the company were recognized for the first time.
  • It laid the foundation of central administration in India.

 

SALIENT FEATURES OF 1773 ACT

 

    The Governor of Bengal was designated as the Governor-General of Bengal and the Executive council of the 4 members was created to assist the Governor-General.

  The first Governor-General of Bengal was Lord Warren Hastings.

  The 1773 act made the Governors of Bombay and Madras presidencies subordinate to the Governor-General of Bengal.

  The act provided for the establishment of Supreme Court at Calcutta in the year 1774.

  The Supreme Court comprised of a Chief Justice and 3 other judges.

  This act prohibited the servants of the company from engaging in any private trade or accepting presentations (gifts) or bribes from the natives (local people).

  The 1773 act strengthened the control of British government over the company by requiring the court the Directors to report on its revenue, civil and military affairs in India.

  The 1781 act of Settlement – passed by the British parliament to rectify the defects of 1773 Act

 

 

Who presided over the inaugural meeting of the Constituent Assembly of India?

(a)  Sachidananda Sinha

(b)  B. R. Ambedkar

(c)  Dr. Rajendra Prasad

(d) P. Upendra

 

Ans: (a)

 

Who among the following was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution?

(a)  Rajendra Prasad

(b)  Tej Bahadur Sapru

(c)  C. Rajagopalachari

(d) B. R. Ambedkar

 

 Ans: (d)

 

How long did the Constituent Assembly take to finally pass the Constitution?

 

(a)  About 6 months in 1949

(b)  Exactly a year since Nov 26, 1948

(c)  About 2 years since Aug 15, 1947

(d) About 3 years since Dec 9, 1946

 

Ans: (d)

 

Who was the President of the Constituent Assembly?

(a)  Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru

(b)  Dr. Rajendra Prasad

(c)  Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

(d) C. Rajagopalachari

 

Ans: (b)

 

The demand for the Constituent Assembly was put forward by the Indian National Congress in 1936 at its session held at:

(a)  Kanpur

(b)  Bombay

(c)  Lucknow

(d) Lahore

 

 Ans: (c)

 

PITTS INDIA ACT OF 1784

 

  The Pitts India act distinguished between commercial and political functions of the company.

  The Court of Directors entrusted with the responsibility to manage commercial affairs of the company.

  The Board of control was entrusted with the responsibility of political affairs.

  Thus the Pitts India act established the dual (double) government.

  The company territories in India were for the first time called British possessions in India.

CHARTER ACT OF 1833

  • This is the final step towards centralization of power in India.
  • The Governor-General of Bengal was made the Governor-General of India.
  • The first Governor-General of India was Lord William Bentinck.
  • The laws that were made prior to 1833 were called regulation.
  • The laws that were made under 1833 charter were called Acts.
  • The East India Company purely became the administrative body.
  • Commercial body …….> Administrative body.
  • This act provided for the company’s territories in India were held by it in trust for His Majesty, his heirs and successors.
  • The superintendence, direction and control of whole civil and military government of all the British territories and revenues in India were expressly vested in ‘The Governor General of India in Council”.
  • For the first time the Governor-General’s government was known as the Government of India.
  • The council was known as ‘Indian Council”.
  • The council was enlarged for legislative work by the addition of a Law member in addition to the existing three.
  • This act attempted to introduce a system of open competition for selection of civil servants. (This is an attempt only; open competition system was introduced later).
  • Indians were not debarred from holding any place, office and employment under the company, but negated because of the opposition from the court of directors.

 

CHARTER ACT OF 1853

This was the last charter act passed by the British Parliament between 1793 and 1853.

This act created the Legislative council. The legislative council functioned as a mini Parliament. The Charter Act of 1853 introduced Open competition system of selection and recruitment of civil servants. This was also open to Indians. (Indians were permitted to take part in the competitive examination). Accordingly Macaulay Committee (Committee on the Indian civil services) was appointed in the year 1854.

  • Satyendra Nath Tagore was the first Indian to join the civil services.

 

The most profound influence on the drafting of the Indian Constitution was exercised by the?

(a)        U.S. Constitution

(b)        British Constitution

(c)        Government of India Act, 1935

(d)       French ideals of Liberty and Fraternity

Ans: (c)

Match the following:

    Committees of Constituent Assembly                             Chairmen

  1. Drafting Committee                                                  1. Vallabhbhai PateI
  2. Committee on Fundamental and Minority Rights 2. Jawaharlal Nehru
  3. Union Constitution Committee                              3. Kanhiyalal Munshi
  4. Working Committee                                                  4. B.R. Ambedkar

            A         B         C         D

(a)        1          2          3          4

(b)        4          2          1          3

(c)        4          1          3          2

(d)       4          1          2          3

Ans: (d)

Which one of the following statements is correct?

(a) The Constituent Assembly of India was elected by the Provincial Assemblies in the year 1946

(b) Jawaharlal Nehru; M.A. Jinnah and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel were members of the Constituent Assembly of India

(c) The First Session of the Constituent Assembly of India was held in January, 1947

(d) The Constitution of India was adopted on 26th January, 1950

 Ans: (a)

 Match the following:

  1. July 22, 1947        1. Adoption of National Song by the Constituent Assembly
  2. January 24, 1950 2. Adoption of National Emblem by the Government
  3. January 26, 1950 3. Adoption of National Calendar by the Government
  4. March 22, 1957 4. Adoption of National Flag by the Constituent Assembly

     A    B         C         D

(a)  4    1          2          3

(b)  3    1          2          4

(c) 4     2          1          3

(d)  2   1          3          4

Ans: (a)

Which of the following is/are correctly matched?

  1. India’s National Song-Vande Mataram
  2. India s National Flower-Rose
  3.  India’s National Animal-Tiger
  4. India’s National Bird-Eagle

(a)        I and IV

(b)        I, II and III

(c)        II, III and IV

(d)       I and III

Ans: (d)

The design of the National Flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India in:

(a)        July, 1948

(b)        July, 1950

(c)        July, 1947

(d)       August, 1947

Ans: (c)

Which of the following are the principal features of Government of India Act, 1919?

Introduction of dyarchy in the executive government of the provinces.

Introduction of separate communal electorate for Muslims.

Devolution of legislative authority by the Centre to the Provinces.

Expansion and reconstitution of Central and Provincial Legislatures.

(a)        1, 2 and 3

(b)        1, 2 and 4

(c)        2, 3 and 4

(d)       1, 3 and 4

Ans: (d)

Which of the following proved to be the shortest lived of all the British constitutional

experiments in India?

(a)        Government of India Act, 1919

(b)        Indian Council Act, 1909

(c)        Pitt’s India Act, 1784

(d)       Government of India Act, 1935

Ans: (b)

Which one of the following Acts formally introduced the principles of elections for the

First time?

(a)        Indian Councils Act, 1909

(b)        Government of India Act, 1919

(c)        Government of India Act, 1935

(d)       Indian Independence Act, 1947

 Ans: (a)

Which of the following features do not contribute to making the Indian Constitution the bulkiest in the world?

Various types of emergencies are considered in detail.

It codifies the rights and privileges of the members of Parliament and State Legislatures.

It enumerates all types of Indian citizenship and how it can be terminated.

It contains not only a list of fundamental rights but also the restrictions to be placed on them.

(a)        I and II

(b)        I and IV

(c)        II and III

(d)       II, III and IV

Ans: (c)

Which of the following statements is/are not correct about the Objectives Resolution?

It was moved by Jawaharlal Nehru in the Constituent Assembly.

It called for just rights for minorities.

 It formed the basis for the chapter on Fundamental Rights.

It called for the establishment of a socialist and secular polity.

(a)        I and II

(b)        I, II and III

(c)        III and IV

(d)       Only III

Ans: (c)

Which of the following items is wrongly matched?

(a) December 9, 1947-Constituent Assembly’s first meeting

(b) November 26, 1949-the people of India adopted, enacted and gave to themselves the Constitution

(c) January 24,’ 1950-the Constitution was finally signed by the members of the Constituent Assembly

(d) January 26, 1950-the date of commencement of the Constitution

Ans: (a)

Which of the following provisions of the Constitution came into force from November 26, 1949?

Provisions relating to citizenship.

Provisions relating to elections.

Provisions relating to provisional Parliament

Fundamental Rights.

(a)        I and II

(b)        I, III and IV

(c)        I, II and III

(d)       None Ans: (c)

THE CROWN RULE (1858 – 1947)

 

THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT 1858

 

This came into being after the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. This act is also known as the Act for good government in India. This is the first statute enacted by the Parliament for the governance of India under the direct rule of the British government. The GOI Act abolished the East India Company.

  • The British crown assumed sovereignty over India from the East India Company.
  • The designation of Governor-General of India was changed to the Viceroy of India.
  • The last Governor-General of India was Lord Canning.
  • The first Viceroy of India was Lord Canning.
  • The GOI act abolished the Board of Control and Court of Directors.
  • A new position called Secretary of State for India was created and the powers of the crown were exercised by the Secretary of State for India.
  • The Secretary of state for India is a member of Cabinet and is responsible to the British Parliament.
  • The Secretary of state for India was assisted by a council called ‘Council of India’ that contained 15 members.
  • The Council of India was composed of exclusively of people from England.
  • The secretary of state of India who was responsible to the British Parliament governed India through the Governor-General, assisted by an executive council which consisted of higher officials of the government.
  • The administration of the country was unitary and rigidly centralized through 1858 Act.
  • The provincial governments though existing headed by a Governor were mere the agents of the Government of India and functioned under the direct control of the Governor-General.
  • There was no separation of functions. The legislative, executive, civil and military authority was vested in Governor-General in council of India who was responsible to the secretary of state for India.
  • The control of the secretary of state of India over the Indian administration was absolute (complete, total).
  • The machinery of the administration was totally unconcerned about the public opinion.

INDIAN COUNCILS ACT OF 1861

  This act introduced a grain of popular element by including some non-official members in the executive council while transacting legislative business like legislative council. The Viceroy of India would nominate Indians to the legislative council.

  The functions of nominated members were confined exclusively to the consideration of the legislative proposals placed before it by the Governor-General (Viceroy).

  Even in the provinces for initiating legislations the prior sanction of the Governor-General (Viceroy) was necessary.

  In the year 1862 Lord Canning (first Viceroy of India) nominated Raja of Benaras, the Maharaja of Patiala and Sir Dinakar Rao to the legislative council.

  • This act restored the powers of Bombay and Bengal presidencies.
  • The Legislative Council for Bengal was created in the year 1862.
  • The Legislative council for NWFP (North West Frontier Province) was created in the year 1866.

  The Legislative Council for Punjab was created in the year 1897.

  This act gave recognition to the portfolio system. (Portfolio system means placing each member in charge of a specific department).

  Lord canning introduced Portfolio system in the year 1859.

  This act also empowered the Viceroy to issue ordinances.

1892 ACT: (THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT)

  This act gave the legislative councils the power of discussing the budget and addressing questions to the executive. This act also provided for the nomination of some non-official members to the legislative councils by the Viceroy.

Indian Councils ACT of 1909 (MORLEY – MINTO REFORMS)

  • Minto was the then Viceroy. Morley was the then Secretary of State. This act increased the size of legislative councils by including elected non-official members. an element of election was introduced at the central legislative council but the official majority was maintained.
  • The members of the legislative council were allowed to ask supplementary questions.The members were allowed to move the resolutions on budget or on any matter of public interest except subjects like armed forces, Foreign affairs and Indian states.
  • This act provided the association of Indians with executive council of the viceroy and the Governor.

  The first Indian to join the Viceroys Executive council was Satyendra Prasad Sinha.

  The 1909 act introduced a system of communal representation for Muslims by accepting the concept of ‘Separate Electorate’.

  Under the ‘Separate Electorate’ the Muslim members were to be elected only by Muslim voters.

  For the 1st time the seeds of separatism were sown.

  The 1909 act legalized communalism.

  Minto was regarded as the “Father of Communal Electorate

  The Minto-Morley reforms did not aim at establishing a parliamentary system of the government.

  The final decision on all matters was retained in the hands of the irresponsible executive.

 

THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1919

  This act came into picture when the Indian National Congress became very active during the 1st World war and launched the ‘Home Rule’ movement.

  This is also called Montague – Chelmsford reforms.

  Chelmsford was the then Viceroy.

  Montague was the then Secretary of state.

  On August 20, 1917 the British Government made a declaration that the policy of His Majesty’s Government is that of increasing association of Indians in every branch of administration and the gradual development of self-governing of institutions with a view to progressive realization of responsible government in British India as an integral part of the British empire.

  Montague-Chelmsford were entrusted with the responsibility of formulating proposals for the said policy and the GOI Act, 1919 gave a formal shape to the same.

  The report of Montague-Chelmsford led to the enactment of GOI of 1919.

  The GOI Act 1919 introduced diarchy or dual government

  The diarchy was introduced at the provinces and not at the centre.

  This act demarcated the central and provincial subjects.

  The provincial subjects were further divided into transferred subjects and reserved subjects.

  Transferred subjects are those subjects that are administered by the Governor with the aid of ministers and responsible to the Legislative Council in which the proportion of elected members was raised to 70 percent.

  Hence, the foundation of responsible government was introduced in the narrow sphere in the form of transferred subjects.

  The reserved subjects on the other hand were to be administered by the Governor and his executive council without any responsibility to the Legislature.

  The source of revenue was also divided into 2 categories, so that the provinces could run the administration with the aid of revenue raised by the provinces by themselves.

  Provincial budget was separated from the Central budget.

  The control of the Governor-General over provinces was retained by empowering the Governor to reserve the bill for the consideration of the Governor-General.

  Through the GOI Act of 1919 bicameralism (two houses i.e. Upper and Lower House) was introduced at the centre.

  The Upper House was called Council of state composed of 60 members of whom 34 were elected.

  • The lower House was called Legislative Assembly composed of 144 members of whom 104 were elected.
  • The powers of both the Upper and Lower Houses were equal except that the power to vote supply (budget) was given only to the Lower House.
  • The concept of elections was introduced.
  • The Indian Legislative council consists of the Upper House (Council of State) and the Lower house (Legislative Assembly).
  • The majority of the members from both the houses are elected directly.
  • The act of 1919 extended communal representation for Sikhs, Indian Christians, Europeans and Anglo-Indians. (Remember the 1909 act introduced communal representation only for Muslims and not for all communities).
  • This act provided for the establishment of Public Service Commission.
  • Accordingly the Public Service Commission was set up for recruiting Civil Servants.
  • The act of 1919 also provided for the separation of provincial budget from the central Budget. (Province means a smaller area, just like a present day state. Today we have 2 budgets in the country, central and state budgets, this started with the 1919 Act and even after the commencement of the Constitution we continued with the same).
  • The 1919 reforms failed to fulfill the aspirations of the people in India and this led to “Swaraj” or “Self-government” agitation under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.  
  • In the year 1927 a statutory commission was appointed under the chairmanship of Simon to inquire into and report on the working of the 1919 Act.

Which of the following was adopted from the Maurya dynasty in the emblem of Government of India?

(a)        Four lions

(b)        Chariot wheel

(c)        Horse

(d)       Words ‘Satyameva Jayate’

Ans: (a)

The office of Governor General of India was created by

 (a)       Charter Act, 1813

(b)        Charter Act, 1833

(c)        Government of India Act, 1858

(d)       Government of India Act, 1935

Ans: (c)

Who among the following is known as the Father of the Indian Constitution?

(a)        Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

(b)        Mahatma Gandhi

(c)        Jawaharlal Nehru

(d)       Vallabhbhai PateI

Ans: (a)

When did Mr. Attlee, Prime Minister of England, announce the transfer of power to the

Indians?

(a)        February, 1947

(b)        August, 1947

(c)        June, 1948

(d)       June, 1949

 Ans: (c)

Who proposed the Preamble before the Drafting Committee of the Constitution?

(a)        Jawaharlal Nehru

(b)        B.R. Ambedkar

(c)        B.N. Rao

(d)       Mahatma Gandhi

Ans: (a)

Which of the following is correct regarding the Indian Constitution?

(a)        It is completely based on British Constitution

(b)        It is made only on the basis of Government of India Act, 1935

(c)        It is a mixture of several Constitutions

(d)       It is original

Ans: (c)

Match the following:

  1. Govt. of India Act, 1919 1. Provincial autonomy
  2. Govt. of India Act, 1935 2. Separate Electorate
  3. Minto-Morley Reforms 3. Dyarchy
  4. Cabinet Mission Plan 4. Constituent Assembly

      A   B         C         D

(a)  1    2          3          4

(b)  2    4          3          1

(c)  4    1          3          2

(d)  3   1          2          4

Ans: (d)

The amendment procedure laid down in the Constitution of India is on the pattern of?

(a)        Government of India Act, 1935

(b)        Government of India Act, 1947

(c)        Constitution of South Africa

(d)       Constitution of UK

Ans: (c)

The first session of the Constituent Assembly was held in:

(a)        Bombay

(b)        Calcutta

(c)        Lahore

(d)       New Delhi

Ans: (d)

Who among the following was the Chairman of the Union Constitution Committee of the Constituent Assembly?

(a)        B.R. Ambedkar

(b)        J.B. Kripalani

(c)        Jawaharlal Nehru

(d)       Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar

Ans: (c)

Who among the following was not a member of the Constituent Assembly?

 (a)       Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

(b)        Acharya J.B. Kriplani

(c)        Lok Nayak Jayprakash Narayan

(d)       K.M. Munshi

Ans: (c)

Which among the following is/are the feature (s) of a Federal State?

  1. The powers of the Central and the State (Constituent Unit) Governments are clearly laid down
  2. It has an unwritten Constitution. Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a)        1 only

(b)        2 only

(c)        Both 1 and 2

(d)       Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (a)

Who was the first Foreign Minister of free India?

(a)        Jawaharlal Nehru

(b)        Gulzari Lal Nanda

(c)        Lal Bahadur Shastri

(d)       John Mathai

Ans: (a)

Under whom among the following was the first draft of the Constitution of India Prepared in October 1947 by the advisory branch of the office of the Constituent Assembly?

(a)        Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

(b)        Jawaharlal Nehru

(c)        K.M. Munshi

(d)       B.N. Rau

Ans: (d)

Which one among the following is a fundamental duty of citizens under the Constitution of India?

 (a)       To provide friendly cooperation to the people of the neighbouring countries

(b)        To protect monuments of national importance

(c)        To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so

(d)       To know more and more about the history of India

Ans: (c)

The first effort at drafting a Dominion Status Constitution for India was made in response to the

(a)        Minto-Morley Reforms

(b)        Montague-Chelmsford Reforms

(c)        Simon Commission

(d)       First Round Table Conference

 Ans: (c)

SIMON COMMISSION

  • The Simon Commission was appointed by the British Government in November 1927. This was a 7 member Commission.
  • The Chairman of the Commission was Sir John Simon.
  • The purpose of the commission was to report on the condition of India under the new constitution (GOI 1919).
    All the members of the committee were British.

  Hence all the parties boycotted the Commission.

  The Simon Commission submitted the report in the year 1930.

  The Simon Commission recommended for the abolition of diarchy.

  This commission also recommended for the continuation of communal electorate.

  The British government convened three round table conferences to consider the proposals of Simon Commission.

  • The conferences to be attended by the representatives of British Government, British India and Indian princely states. The three rounds table conferences held between 1930 and 1932.
  • Mahatma Gandhi attended the second round table conference only.
  • On the basis of these discussions a white paper on constitutional reforms was prepared and the same was submitted to the Parliament.
  • The recommendations were incorporated in the GOI Act of 1935.

COMMUNAL AWARD OF 1932

On August 4, 1932 the communal award was announced by Ramsay MacDonald (The then British Prime Minister).

  • This is meant for providing extending separate electorate to Scheduled Castes.
  • In fact the concept of separate electorate for depresses classes was raised by Dr. B.R.Ambedkar.
  • The proposal was accepted by the British and announced the Communal award.
  • Gandhi opposed this on the grounds that this proposal would disintegrate the Hindu society.
  • Mahatma Gandhi began indefinite hunger strike in Yeravada jail (Pune, Maharashtra) against the separate electorate for Scheduled Castes.

 

POONA PACT OF 1932

 As Mahatma Gandhi went on to hunger strike Dr Ambedkar was under tremendous pressure to save the life Gandhi. Hence Dr. Ambedkar accepted for an agreement.

  This is an agreement between the Dalits (Then called depressed classes) of India led by Dr. B.R.Ambedkar and the upper caste Hindus of India.

  This took place on September 24, 1932 at Yeravada jail.

  Under Poona pact of 1932 there shall be seats reserved for the depressed classes out of general electoral seats in the provincial legislature.

 

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT OF 1935

  The GOI Act 1935 prescribed a Federation.

  The GOI act 1935 divided the powers into

  • Federal List
  • Provincial List
  • Concurrent List

  The residuary powers were vested with the Viceroy.

  The GOI act of 1935 abolished the diarchy in provinces.

  The GOI act of 1935 provided the diarchy at the centre.

  The responsible government was introduced in provinces. The Executive authority of the province was also exercised by the Governor on behalf of the crown and not as a subordinate of the Governor-General.

  The GOI act of 1935 introduced bicameralism (2 house, Upper and lower) in 6 out of 11 provinces. This was Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.

  In the rest of the provinces the legislature was unicameral.

  This act extended separate electorate for depressed classes (SC’s), Women and labor.

  This act extended the franchise (Right to vote).  With this 10% of the population got the voting right.

  The GOI 1935 granted limited franchise on the basis of tax, property and education.

  The GOI act of 1935 provided for the establishment of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the year 1935.

RBI was recommended by Hilton-Young Commission in the year 1926. The GOI act of 1935 provided for the establishment of Provincial and Joint Public Service Commission.

  The GOI act also provided for the establishment of Federal Court.

  The Federal Court was set up in the year 1937 in Delhi.

  The seat of the Federal court was the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament building in Delhi.

  The first Chief Justice of the Federal Court was Maurice Gayer.

  •   The present Supreme Court was established on January 28, 1950

 

Leave a Reply