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Exam Oriented Important Notes on Indian Polity - Administrative and Legislative Reforms before 1857

Competitive examination oriented important notes on Indian Polity part - Administrative and Legislative Reforms before 1857

Regulating Act of 1773:
  • This act was  based on the recommendations of a committee headed by the British Prime Minister Lord North. 
  • It is the first step taken by British Government to control and regulate the affairs of the East India Company in India. 
  • It laid the foundations of central administration in India.
  • Under this Act, a Supreme Court was established in  Calcutta, now named as Kolkata in 1774 comprising one Chief Justice and three other judges.
  • British East India Company's governance was put under direct control of the British parliament.
  • This Act prohibited company servants in engaging in private trades. 
  • The court of Directors (governing body of the company) was made compulsory to report on its civil, revenue and military affairs to the British Government.
  • The Governor of Bengal was given more power. He was made Governor General for all the three constituencies of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.
  • Lord Warren Hastings was the first Governor General.

Pitts India Act of 1784:
  •  It distinguished between the political functions and commercial functions of the Company.
  • It was enacted to improve the provisions of Regulating Act of 1773.
  • A 6-member new body called the Board of Control was created to manage the political affairs. All political responsibilities were given to this board.
  • It empowered the Board of Control to supervise and give directions to all operations of the civil and military government, revenues of the British possessions in India.
  • Trade and commerce related issues were under the control of the Court of Directors.
  • The territories of the Company was, for the first time, called the 'British possessions in India'.

Charter Act of 1813:
  • Trade monopoly of the East India Company came to an end. 
  • The Christian Missionaries were allowed to spread their religion in India.

Charter Act of 1833:
  • This Act was the final step towards centralisation in British India. 
  • The Governor General of Bengal was made the Governor General of India.
  • Lord William Bentick was the first governor general of India.
  • Laws made under previous acts were called as Regulations while laws made under this act were called as Acts.
  • The East India Company was reduced to an administrative and political entity. Thus it ended the activities of the East India Company as a commercial body.
  • For the first time, the Governor General's Government was known as the Government of India and his Council as the Indian Council.
  • Introduced a system of open competition for selection of civil servants.

Charter Act of 1853:
  • It was the last of the Charter Acts.
  • It separated the legislative and executive functions of the Governor General's council. 
  • It introduced local representation in the Indian Legislative Council. 
  • British Parliament was empowered to put Company's governance of India to an end.

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