The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world. The nation is governed by it. B. R. Ambedkar is regarded as its chief architect.

It imparts constitutional supremacy and not parliamentary supremacy, as it is not created by the Parliament but, by a constituent assembly, and adopted by its people, with a declaration in its preamble. Parliament cannot override the constitution.

It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950. With its adoption, the Union of India became the modern and contemporary Republic of India replacing the Government of India Act, 1935 as the country’s fundamental governing document. To ensure constitutional autochthony, the framers of the constitution repealed the prior Acts of the British Parliament via Article 395 of the constitution. India celebrates its coming into force on 26 January each year, as Republic Day.

It declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens of justice, equality, and liberty, and endeavors to promote fraternity among them.

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The task of drafting the Constitution was assigned to the Constituent Assembly which was an elected body, containing the representatives of the Stated and Provinces in India. Constituent Assembly had its first meeting on December 9, 1946 and had its last working day on January 24, 1950, though it continued functioning as provisional Parliament till first general election of 1951-1952. Various committees were formed for the drafting of the Constitution. Prominent among them were as under:-

Drafting committeeDr. B. R. Ambedkar
Committee for StatesSardar Vallabh Bhai Patel
Provincial constitution committeeSardar Vallabh Bhai Patel
Special committee to examine the draft constitutionSir Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer
Union powers committeeJawaharlala Nehru
Committee on fundamental rights and minoritiesSardar Vallabh Bhai Patel
Union constitution committeeJawaharlal Nehru

Constitution was adopted on November 26, 1949 and it came into force on January 26, 1950. However, some of the important provisions, which were temporary in nature, were given effect to from November 26, 1949 viz, provisions relating to Elections, Citizenship, Provisional Parliament. It took 2 years, 11 months, 18 days to prepare the draft of the Constitution.

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