(1) The President may by order appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes within the territory of India and the difficulties under which they labour and to make recommendations as to the steps that should be taken by the Union or any State to remove such difficulties and to improve their condition and as to the grants that should be made for the purpose by the Union or any State and the conditions subject to which such grants should be made, and the order appointing such Commission shall define the procedure to be followed by the Commission.

 

(2) A Commission so appointed shall investigate the matters referred to them and present to the President a report setting out the facts as found by them and making such recommendations as they think proper.

 

(3) The President shall cause a copy of the report so presented together with a memorandum explaining the action taken thereon to be laid before each House of Parliament.

Debate Summary

Article 301, Draft Constitution, 1948

“301. (1) The President may by order appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes within the territory of India and the difficulties under which they labour and to make recommendations as to the steps that should be taken by the Union or any State to remove such difficulties and to improve their condition and as to the grants that should be given for the purpose by the Union or any State and the conditions subject to which such grants should be given, and the order appointing such Commission shall define the procedure to be followed by the Commission.

(2) A Commission so appointed shall investigate the matters referred to them and present to the President a report setting out the facts as found by them and making such recommendations as they think proper.

(3) The President shall cause a copy of the report so presented, together with a memorandum explaining the action taken thereon to be laid before Parliament.”

 

Draft Article 301 (Article 340) was debated in the Constituent Assembly on 16th June 1949. It gave the President the power to appoint a Commission to investigate the conditions of the backward classes.

 

One member proposed an amendment to put the onus to take action on Parliament rather than the President. This received some support from another member, who contended that it was the duty of Parliament to ‘consider ways and means of removing backwardness of the people’.

 

A member expressed concerns that the term ‘backward classes’ was not clearly defined. He suggested that the Commission should set out the communities who came under this term. Further, proposed that the Draft Article should not be limited only those communities who enjoyed constitutional reservations.

 

All the amendments were negatived, except for a minor one proposed by the Chairman of the Drafting Committee. The amended Draft Article was adopted by the House on 16th June 1949.