K. T. Shah graduated from the London School of Economics and went on to become a Professor of Economics at Mysore University.
Shah was appointed as the General Secretary of the National Planning Committee, 1938 which was set up by the Indian National Congress. The Planning Committee aimed to tackle the issues of unemployment, defence, poverty, economy and focus on industrialization.
Contribution to Constitution Making:
Shah was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Bihar. He was an active member of the Assembly who made immense contributions during the debates. He was a socialist and intervened on issues ranging from freedom of speech, presidential elections, citizenship and separation of powers.
Shah wrote extensively on administration, economics, history, and politics. His works include Sixty Years of Indian Finance, Splendor That Was India, Insurance, Promise That Was China, Federal Structure and Principles of Planning, Ancient Foundations of Economics in India, The Consequences of Post-War Price Change.
- Member, Advisory Committee;
- Member, Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights;
- Member, Sub-Committee on Minorities; and
- Member, Union Constitution Committee.
- When the Assembly was debating Draft Draft Article 1 (Article 1 of the Constitution of India), Shah argued for including ‘Secular, Federal, Socialist’. The Assembly rejected his amendment. However, The Constitution (Forty-Second Amendment) Act, 1976 inserted ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ to the Preamble of the Constitution of India, 1950.
- During the discussions around citizenship provisions Shah argued to allow for dual citizenship. He suggested not providing equal rights of citizenship to nationals of countries which don’t extend the same to Indian citizens.
- Shah proposed to include freedom of press under Draft Article 13 (Article 19 of the Constitution of India, 1950). He pointed out that all liberal constitutions have clearly provided for this freedom and its inclusion is a pre-condition to have a ‘progressive liberal constitution’.