Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination (Topic: Evolution of Indian Constitution Part - II (The Crown Rule 1858-1947)

Government of India Act 1858:

  • After the revolt of 1857, Rule of Company was replaced by Rule of Crown in India.
  • Powers of the British Crown were to be exercised by the Secretary of State of India, assisted by the Council of India having 15 members.
  • Governor General was made Viceroy of India.
  • Abolition of Board of Control and Court of Directors.

Indian Councils Act 1861:

  • Decentralization initiated by restoration of the legislative powers of Madras and Bombay Presidencies.
  • For the first time, Viceroy’s extended Council had 3 Indians.
  • Bengal, North-western Provinces and Punjab were provided new legislative councils.
  • Viceroy empowered to issue ordinances, during an emergency.

Indian Councils Act 1892:

  • Introduction of indirect elections.
  • Governor-General’s council enlarged.
  • Functions of the Legislative Council increased. Power given to them to discuss budget and address questions to the executives.

Indian Councils Act 1909:

  • Also known as Marley- Minto reforms.
  • Size of Legislative Councils at Centre and provinces was significantly increased. Members in Central Legislative Council increased from 16 to 60.
  • Communal representation introduced, separate electorate for Muslims. Lord Minto became Father of Communal Electorate.
  • Indians were allowed in the Executive Councils of the Viceroy and Governor.
  • Councils given the right to discuss any matter, move resolution on budget and ask supplementary questions.

Government of India Act 1919:

  • Also known as Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms.
  • Central subjects were demarcated and separated from those of the provincial subjects.
  • ‘Dyarchy’ introduced at provincial level.
  • Under Dyarchy system, provincial subjects were divided in Transferred and Reserved Subjects. Governor was not responsible to the Legislative Council on reserved subjects.
  • For 1st time, bicameralism was introduced in the centre.
  • Direct elections.
  • Act mandated, 3 of 6 members of the viceroy’s executive Council but not theCommander-in-chief, to be Indians.
  • Provided for the establishment of Central Public Service Commission.

Government of India Act 1935:

  • Act proposed for the establishment of an All India Federation consisting of the provinces and the Princely states as Units, though the federation never came into being.
  • Act divided the powers between the Centre and units into Federal list, Provincial List and Concurrent list.
  • Residuary powers were vested in Viceroy.
  • Provided for adoption of dyarchy at Centre.
  • Introduced bicameralism in 6 provinces i.e., Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Bihar, Assam and United Provinces.
  • Reserve Bank of India established.
  • Provided for the establishment of Federal Court

Indian Independence Act of 1947:

  • It ended British rule in India and declared India as an independent state.
  • Provided for partition of India.
  • The office of the Secretary of State for India abolished