Era of different Acts & Pacts Tnpsc

Charter acts from 1773 to 1935

Regulating Act of 1773

  • Changes in the constitution of the court of directors such as the term of the directors, eligibility for the right to vote etc and subjection of their actions to the British Government.

  • Government of Bengal to be carried on by a Governor-General of Fort William and his Council of 4 members (Warren Hastings –first Governor-General of Fort Williams).

  • The power of the Governor General-in-Council to supervise and control the Bombay and Madras Presidencies in matters of peace and war.

  • Establishment of a Supreme Court at Calcutta, with a Chief Justice (first Chief Justice –ElijaImpey) and three judges to administer justice (both civil and criminal) over all British subjects of Bengal Presidency.

  • Prohibition of receiving all presents and bribes by the servants of the Company.

Pitt’s India Act of 1784

  • Establishment of a Board of Control, consisting of 6 members (called Commissioners), to supervise and control the Government of India.

  • Giving to the Court of Directors the right to make all appointments in India and to recall.

  • Reduction of the number of members of the Council of the Governor General to 3 from 4 in order to make him more powerful and efficient.

  • Clear-cut subordination of the Bombay and Madras Presidencies to the Governor General-in-Council in all questions of diplomacy, war and revenue.

Charter Act of 1813

  • Throwing open the India trade to all British subjects, though the company’s monopoly of trade in tea and trade with China was not disturbed.

  • Providing an annual sum of Rs.1,00,000 for the spread of education.

  • It required the company’s servants to undergo some training in England before entering service.

Charter Act of 1833

  • Completion of the introduction of free trade in India by abolishing the company’s monopoly of trade in tea and trade with China.

  • Renaming the Governor General of Fort William as the Governor General of India (William Bentinck was the first Governor General of India as well as the Governor of Bengal Presidency).

  • Inclusion of a Law Member in the Council of the Governor General (Macaulay –the first Law Member).

  • Abolition of the legislative decentralization (i.e., the power of different Presidencies to make law for themselves) and giving the Governor General-in-council the power to make laws for all British India.

Charter Act of 1853

  • Appointment of a separate Lieutenant Governor for Bengal and making Dalhousie the first real Governor General of India (i.e. without any additional charge).

  • Depriving the company (Court of Directors) of its right to appoint and recall officials in India, and introduction of the system of direct recruitment to the I.C.S. through a competitive exam (Board of Control was to, do the recruitment).

  • Inclusion of additional members to the Governor General’s council, which was to act as the Legislative Council (total members –12).

Government of India Act of 1858

  • Abolition of the company’s rule and beginning of the rule by the British Crown.

  • Abolition of the Board of Control and the Court of Directors.

  • Appointment of a Secretary of State for India (who wouldbe a member of the British Cabinet) who would rule India with the aid of a Council, viz. India Council, consisting of 15 members. (Sir Charles Wood, the last President of the Board of Control, was made the first Secretary of State for India).

  • Making theGovernor General of India as Viceroy (Lord Canning –first Viceroy as well as the last Governor General of India) and increased control of British Home Government over the Viceroy (through the new Secretary of State for India) due to the establishment of direct telegraph link.

Indian Councils Act of 1861

  • Enlargement of the legislative wing of the Viceroy’s council (from now onwards known as the Imperial Legislative Council).

  • Introduction of the Portfolio System (based on Lord Canning’s rules of business) by which each member of the Viceroy’s Excecutive Council was put in change of a department.

  • Establishment of Legislative Councils in various provinces like Madras, Bombay and Bengal.

Indian Councils Act of 1892

  • Introduction of indirect elections for the non-official members of the Imperial and Provincial Legislative Councils: those of the former were to be nominated by the Bengal, Chamber of Commerce and the Provincial Legislative Councils: those of the latter by certain local bodies such as universities, district boards, municipalities, etc. Retention of the official majority at both levels.

  • The Councils at both levels were to have the power of discussing the budget (but not of voting) and of addressing questions to the executives.

Indian Councils Act of 1909 or the Morley –Minto Reforms

  • Introduction of an element of direct elections in the Legislative Councils.

  • Introduction of separate electorate for the Muslims (Communal Electorates).

  • Enlargement of the Provincial Legislative Councils and removal of official majority in them.

  • Retention of official majority in the Imperial Legislative Council.

  • Increase in the deliberative functions of the Councils at both levels.

  • Still majority of the non-official at both levels were indirectly elected.

Government of India Act of 1919 or the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms or Montford Reforms

  • Introduction of ‘Dyarchy’ in the provinces; division of the provincial subjects into ‘Reserved Subjects’ (like police, jails, land revenue, irrigation, forests, etc. to be administered by the Governor and his Executive Council) and ‘Transferred Subjects’ (like education, local self-government, public health and sanitation, agriculture, industries, etc., to be looked after by the Governor and his ministers).

  • Relaxation of central control over the provinces through ‘Devolution Rules’ which categorized the subjects of administration into two groups, viz, Central and Provincial. (This devolution of powers to the provinces should not, however, be mistaken for a federal distribution of powers for by way of delegation from the centre and not as constitutional division).

  • Making the Central Legislature bicameral (consisting of the Council of States and Legislative Assembly) and more representative by removing the official majority and increasing the non-official directly elected majority.

  • The salaries of the Secretary of State for India and his assistants to be paid out of the British revenues (hitherto they were paid out of Indian revenues).

  • Appointment of a High Commissioner of India at London, who was responsible to Indian Government and paid by it. His duties –to procure stores for Indian government, to supply trade information and promote commerce, and tolook after the education of Indian students in England.

Government of India Act of 1935

  • Provision for the establishment of an All India Federation to be based on a union of the provinces of British India and the Princely States (It did not come into existence since the Princely States did not give their consent for the union).

  • Division of powers into three lists –Federal, Provincial and Concurrent, Residuary Powers with the Governor-General.

  • Provincial Autonomy–the introduction of responsible government in the provinces and abolition of Dyarchy in them.

  • Provincial Legislatures were made bicameral, for the first time, in 6 provinces (Bengal, Madras, Bombay, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam).

  • Extension of the principle of separate electorates to Sikhs, Europeans, Indian Christians and Anglo-Indians.

  • ‘Discretionary Powers’ of the Governor-General and the Governors.

  • Establishment of a Federal Court at Delhi (in 1937) with a Chief Justice and not more than 6 judges.
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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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