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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings


  • Regulating act 1773
  • Pitt's India Act 1784
  • Charter act of 1813
  • Charter act of 1833
  • Charter act of 1853
  • Government of India Act 1858
  • Indian Council act 1861
  • Indian Council act 1892
  • Indian Council act 1909
  • Government of India Act 1919
  • Government of India Act 1935
  • Indian Independence Act 1947

Indian constitution was developed through several acts.
Regulating act 1773

  • First step taken by the British government to control and regulate the East India company's affairs.
  • Recognise,First time the political and administrative function of East India Company and it laid the foundation of the central administration Designated ‘governor of Bengal’ as ‘Governor-General of Bengal’.
  • Warren Hastings was the first governor general of the Bengal.Created executive Council of 4 members to assist him.
  • Bombay and Madras Presidency where made the subordinate to the Bengal.
  • Supreme Court was established at Kolkata (1974)-One chief justice and 3 others Judges
  • prohibited servant of the company from engaging in any private trade.
  • Court of directors( governing body of the company)should report its revenue
Pitt's India Act 1784

  • `Distinguished between commercial and political functions of the company.
  • Court of Directors for Commercial functions and Board of Control for political affairs.
  • Establish a system of government. 
  • Reduced the strength of the Governor General’s council to three members.
  • The companies territories in India were called “the British possession in India” and placed the Indian affairs under the direct control of the British Government.
  • Governor’s executive councils were established in Madras and Bombay.

    Charter act of 1813
  • The Company’s monopoly over Indian trade ended except trade in Tea with China;
  • Trade with India open to all British subjects.
  • Grant permission to the missionaries to come to India and engage in religious proselytization.
Charter Act of 1833

  • Governor-General (of Bengal) became as the Governor-General of India,final steps to the centralisation of the British India.
  • First Governor General in India was Lord William Bentinck.
  • It deprived the legislative power of Bombay and Madras province and governor general of India was given exclusive legislative power.
  • The Act ended the activities of the East India Company as a commercial body and it became a purely administrative body.
  • Attempted to introduced open competition for selecting civil servants But failed because of opposition from the court of directors.
Charter act of 1853 
  • The legislative and executive functions of the Governor-General’s Council were separated.
  • It is introduced first time local representation.6 members in Central legislative council. 4 out of 6 members were appointed by the provisional governments of Madras, Bombay, Bengal and Agra.
  • Introduce the open competitive system for recruiting Civil Servant, Indian can also participate.It was based on Macaualy Committee(1854)
Government of India Act 1858
  • It is also known as act for good governance. 
  • The rule of Company was replaced by the rule of the British Crown.
  • Governor General of India was known as viceroy of India was the representative of the British Crown.
  • It ended the system of dual government by abolishing Board of Control and court of directors.creates a new office, Secretary of the state for Indian vested with complete authority and control over Indian Administration.
  • Establish a 15 member Council of India(Advisory body) to assist the Secretary of state for India.
  • This act also ended the doctrine of lapse.
  • First Secretary of State for India: Lord Stanley and first Viceroy of India: Lord Canning.
Indian Council act 1861
  • It introduced for the first time Indian representation in the institutions like Viceroy’s executive+legislative council (non-official). 3 Indians(Maharaja of Patiala Raja of Banaras and sir Dinkar Rao) entered Legislative council.
  • Legislative councils were established in Center and provinces.
  • Initiate process of decentralisation by restoring legislative power of Bombay and Madras Presidency.
  • Empower the viceroy to issue ordinance without concurrence of the legislative Council,during an emergency.
  • Life of such Ordinance all six month.
  • It accorded statutory recognition to the portfolio system.
India Council Act of 1892
  • Enlarged the size of the legislative councils(Increase the number of additional members{Non-official} in Central and provincial Legislative councils But maintain official majority in the official majority in them)
  • Increase the function of Legislative Council and give them power to discuss the budget and addressing questions to executive.
  • Introduced indirect elections (nomination).
Indian Councils Act of 1909
  • This Act is also known as the Morley- Minto Reforms(Lord Morley was the secretary of state India and Lord Minto was the viceroy of India).
  • Increase the size of Legislative Council both Central( 16 to 60) and the provinces( not uniform) Retained official majority in Central but allow non-official majority in provinces. 
  • Indians for the first time in Viceroy's executive council. (Satyendra Prasad Sinha, as the law member)Introduced a system of communal representation for Muslims by accepting the concept of ‘separate electorate’.
  • It also provides Separate representation of the presidency Corporation,Chamber of Commerce Universities and jamindar.
Government of India Act of 1919
  • This Act is also known as the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms.(Montagu was Secretary of state for India and Lord chelmsford was the viceroy of India).
  • The Central subjects were demarcated and separated from those of the Provincial subjects.
  • The scheme of dual governance, ‘Dyarchy’, was introduced in the Provincial subjects
  • The subjects are-Transfer subject(Administered by governor with the aid of ministers responsible to the Legislative Council)and reserved subject( administered by governor with Executive Council without being responsible to the Legislative Council)
  • The Act introduced, for the first time, bicameralism at center(Council of state and legislative assembly)
  • Direct election was started(Limited number of people on the basis of the property tax and education got franchise) and the majority of the members of both houses were directly elected.

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