Saturday, July 18, 2015

Administrative & Legislative Reforms Before 1857

Administrative & Legislative Reforms Before 1857
  • Regulating Act of 1773
    • This Act was based o the report of a committee headed by the British Prime Minister Lord North.
    • Governance of the East India Company was put under British Parliamentary control.
    • The Governor of Bengal was nominated as Governor General for all the three Presidencies of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. Warren Hastings was the first such Governor General.
    • A supreme court was established in Calcutta(Now Kolkata).
    • Governor General was empowered to make rules, regulations and ordinances with the consent of the supreme court.
  • Pitts India Act of 1784
    • It was enacted to improve upon the provisions of Regulating Act of 1773 to bring about better discipline in the Company's system of administration.
    • A 6-member Board of Controllers was set up which was headed by a minister of the British Government. All political responsibilities were given to this board.
    • Trade and commerce related issues were under the purview of the Court of Directors of the company.
    • Provinces had to follow the instructions of the Central Government and Governor General was empowered to dismiss the failing Provincial Government.
  • Charter Act of 1793
    • Main provisions of the previous Acts were consolidated in this Act.
    • Provided for the payment of salaries of the members of the Board of Controllers from Indian revenue.
    • Courts were given the power to interpret rules and regulations.
  • Charter Act of 1813
    • Trade Monopoly of the East India Company came to an end.
    • Powers of the three Councils of Madras, Bombay, and calcutta were enlarged, they were also subjected to greater control of the British Parliament.
    • The Christian Missionaries were allowed to spread their religion in India.
    • Local autonomous bodies were empowered to levy taxes.
  • Charter Act of 1833
    • The Governor General and his Council were given vast powers. This Council could legislate for the whole of India subject to the approval of the Board of Controllers.
    • The Council got full powers regarding revenue, and a single budget for the country was prepared by the Governor General.
    • The East India Company was reduced to an administrative and political entity and several Lords and Ministers were nominated as ex-officio members of the Board of Controllers.
    • For the first time, the Governor-General's Government was known as the "Government of India" and his Council as the "Indian Council".
  • Charter Act of 1853
    • This was the last of the Charter Acts and it made important changes in the system of Indian legislation.
    • This Act followed a report of then Governor General Dalhousie for improving the administration of the company.
    • A separate Governor for Bengal was to be appointed.
    • Legislative and administrative functions of the Council were separately identified.
    • Recruitment of the Company's employees was to be done through competitive exams.
    • British Parliament was empowered to put Company's governance of India to and end at any suitable time.

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