Competitive Exams: Constitutional Development

Regulating Act, 1773

  • End of Dual govt.
  • Governor of Bengal to be the Governor-General of British territories of India.
  • Establishment of Supreme Court in Calcutta.

Pitts Act of 1784

  • This Act gave the British Government a measure of control over the company's affairs. In fact, the company became a subordinate department of the State.

Act of 1786

  • Governor General given the power to over-ride the Council and was made the Commander-in-chief also.

Charter Act of 1793

  • Company given monopoly of trade for 20 more years.
  • It laid the foundation of govt. By written laws, interpreted by courts.

Charter Act of 1813

  • Company deprived of its trade monopoly in India except in tea and trade with China.

Charter Act of 1833

  • End of Company's monopoly even in tea and trade with China. Company was asked to close its business at the earliest.
  • Governor General of Bengal to be Governor General of India (1st Governor General of India was Lord William Bentinck).

Charter Act of 1853

  • The Act renewed the powers of the Company and allowed it to retain the possession of Indian territories in trust of the British crown.
  • Recruitment to Civil Services was based on open annual competition examination (excluding Indians).

Government of India Act, 1858

  • Rule of Company in India ended and that of the Crown began.
  • A post of Secretary of State (a member of the British cabinet) for India created. He was to exercise the powers of the Crown.
  • Secretary of State governed India through the Governor General.
  • Governor General received the title of Viceroy. He represented Secretary of State and was assisted by an Executive Council, which consisted of high officials of the Govt.

Indian Council Act, 1861

  • The Executive Council was now to be called Central Legislative Council.

Indian Council Act, 1892

  • Indians found their way in the Provincial Legislative Councils.

Indian Council Act, 1909 or Morley-Minto Act

  • It envisaged a separate electorate for Muslims.

Government of India Act, 1919 Or Montague-Chelmsford Reforms

  • Dyarchy system introduced in the provinces. The Provincial subjects of administration were to be divided into 2 categories: Transferred and Reserved. The Transferred subjects were to be administrated by the Governor with the aid of ministers responsible to the Legislative Council. The Governor and the Executive Council were to administer the reserved subjects without any responsibility to the legislature.
  • Indian legislature became bicameral for the first time, it actually happened after 1935 Act.

Government of India Act, 1935

  • Provided for the establishment of All-India Federation consisting of the British Provinces and the Princely States. The joining of Princely States was voluntary and as a result the federation did not come into existence.
  • Dyarchy was introduced at the Centre (Eg, Department of Foreign Affairs and Defence were reserved for the Governor General). Provincial autonomy replaced Dyarchy in provinces. They were granted separate legal identify.
  • Burma (now Myanmar) separated from India.