What is Constitution Day?

In 2015, the BJP led government at the centre declared 26 November as Constitution Day by a gazette notification on 19 November


The day was earlier commemorated as National Law Day, after a resolution by the Supreme Court Bar Association, a lawyers’ body, in 1979. Photo: Mint
The day was earlier commemorated as National Law Day, after a resolution by the Supreme Court Bar Association, a lawyers’ body, in 1979. Photo: Mint

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that there was a need to continuously commemorate the day the Constitution was adopted in order to stay connected with it, especially in the context of the present time.

26 November 2016, is officially the second Constitution Day in Indian history. In 2015, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government at the centre declared 26 November as Constitution Day by a 19 November gazette notification.

The day was earlier commemorated as National Law Day, after a resolution by the Supreme Court Bar Association, a lawyers’ body, in 1979.

However, the importance of the day goes back a little longer.

Sixty-seven years ago, on 26 November 1949, the Constitution of India was adopted.

The draft of the Constitution prepared by the drafting committee under B.R. Ambedkar’s aegis was approved and accepted on this day. The Constitution Day was also a tribute to Ambedkar, according to last year’s government notification.

The Constitution is a core legal document which lists out fundamental rights of citizens, their duties, role of the government, interaction between the government and its citizens, powers of the prime minister, president, governor and chief minister and defines how the federal structure of the country will be maintained.

This document, with nearly 400 articles or provisions, also defines the powers of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. Separation of powers while keeping a check on each arm of the government is a key feature of the Constitution – something that finance minister Arun Jaitley says has eroded because of judicial activism

The Indian Constitution drafters borrowed concepts and ideas from the Constitutions of UK, US, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Canada and Japan.

Interesting facts about the Constitution.

9 December 1946 : The Constituent Assembly started its first session for the Constitution.

11 sessions : Number of sessions the Constituent Assembly had to complete the Constitution.

17 : Number of committees formed in the Constituent Assembly.

299: Number of members of the Constituent Assembly.

284: Number of members who finally signed the Constitution.

15 : Number of women in the Constituent Assembly.

165 : Number of days for which the Constituent Assembly held meetings.

2 years, 11 months, 17 days – The time it took to finish the Constitution.

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