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Exam oriented notes on Indian History, India Polity - Acts & reforms after 1857

Important notes for various competitive examinations on administrative and legislative reforms after 1857.
Important Acts:

Government of India Act 1858:
  • The act known as the Act for the Good Governance of India abolished the East Indian Company and transferred the powers of government territories and revenues to the British Crown. 
  • Governor General of India was designated as Viceroy of India.
  • Lord Canning was the first Viceroy of India.
  • The Board of Control and Court of Directors were abolished. Thus this act ended the system of double government. 
  • The country was divided into provinces headed by a Governor or Lieutenant Governor aided by his Executive Council.
  • It created a new office, Secretary of State for India.
  • The Secretary of State was ultimately responsible to the British Parliament. 

Indian Council's Act 1909:
  • It is also known as Morley-Minto Reforms.
  • Lord Morley was the then Secretary of State and Lord Minto was the then Viceroy of India.
  • The number of members in the Central Legislative Council was raised from 16 to 60. 
  • It allowed the provincial legislative councils to have non-official majority.
  • Satyendra Prasad Sinha was appointed as the law member in the Executive Councils of the Viceroy.
  • For the first time, it provided separate electorate for the Muslims. Thus it sowed the seed of separatism.
  • Lord Minto came to be known as the Father of Communal Electorate.

 Government of India Act 1919:
  • This Act is also known as Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms.
  • Mr. E.S. Montagu was the Secretary of State for India and Lord Chelmsford was the Viceroy of India.
  • Dyarchy or dual government introduced.
  • Administration was divided into two categories, Central and Provincial.
  • It provided for the establishment of a public service commission. In 1926, a Central Public Service Commission was set up to recruit civil servants.
  • The Indian Legislature was made more representative and for the first time bi-cameral.
  • The Upper House was named the Council of State and the Lower House was named the Legislative Assembly. 
  • It granted franchise to a limited number of people on the basis of property, tax and education.

 Also read important reforms before 1857.

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