Regulating Act of 1773


  • British decided to regulate East India Company demarcated the Political and Administrative functions of Company laid foundations for central administration in India.


  • Governor of Bengal was designated as Governor general of Bengal
  • Governors of Bombay and Madras became subordinate to Governor general
  • Executive council of 4 members was formed to assist Governor general
  • Officers were prohibited from private trade

Important Facts

  • First Governor General – Warren Hastings
  • Supreme court was established in Calcutta – One chief justice, Three judges

Pitts India Act 1784


  • Demarcated the political and commercial functions of the company
  • Commercial Affairs to be managed by Court of Directors
  • Political affairs to be managed by a newly formed Board of control
  • Board of control can supervise the operations of government and revenue
  • British government got complete control over company’s affairs

Charter Act 1833


  • Governor general of Bengal was designated as Governor general of India
  • Bombay and Madras presidencies lost their legislative powers
  • Governor general got complete control over civil and military affairs
  • Law Commission was constituted
  • Laws made from these act were named as acts
  • East India company has to end its commercial activities

Important Facts

  • First Governor general of India : Lord William Bentick
  • This act tried but failed to introduce open competition for civil services

Charter Act 1853


  • A separate governor was appointed for Bengal
  • Extended the company’s rule to possess Indian territories
  • no specification of tenure
  • Separated the legislative and executive functions of Governor General’s Council
  • Open competition was introduced to recruit for civil services
  • Macaulay committee was appointed 1854
  • Number of court directors were reduced from 24 to 18
  • Legislation became a separate entity
  • Central Legislative Council was formed –
  • Six legislative members
  • Local representation for the first time in legislative council
  • 4 members from local provincial governments –
  1. Madras
  2. Bombay
  3. Bengal
  4. Agra
  • 2 members appointment by British
  • If functioned as mini-parliament in making laws

Government of India Act 1858


  • East India company was abolished
  • Court of Directors and Board of control were abolished
  • Governor General of India was designated as Viceroy of India
  • Office of the “Secretary of state” was formed
  • Secretary was the member of British cabinet
  • A 15 member council was formed as an advisory body Secretary of state as Chairman


  • Also called as “Act for the good government of India”
  • First viceroy of India
  • Lord Canning
  • Direct representative of British crown

Indian Councils Act 1861


  • Legislative powers of Bombay and Madras were restored
  • Viceroy can appoint Indians as non-official members of his council
  • New legislative councils were established at –
  • Bengal 1862
  • NWFP 1866
  • Punjab 1897
  • Viceroy was empowered to make rules and orders
  • Viceroy can issue ordinates emergency –
  • No need for support form legislative council valid for 6 month from promulgation


  • Lord canning nominated three Indians to his legislative council –
  1. Maharaja of Patiala
  2. Raja of Benares
  3. Sir Dinkar Rao
  • Portfolio system go importance after this act

Indian Council Act 1892


  • Increased the number of members in non-official council legislative members can discuss budget and ask questions nomination system for non-official members –
  • Viceroy can appointment non-official members for Central legislative council
  • Governors can appoint non-official members for provincial legislative council

Indian Councils Act 1909


  • Central legislative council was expanded from 16 to 62 members
  • Members count in Provincial assembly was not constant
  • Members in councils were empowered to ask Supplementary questions and move resolutions on budget
  • Provincial legislative councils was allowed to have non-official majority
  • Indian were admitted in executive councils of Viceroy and Governor
  • System of communal representation was introduced –
  • Separate electorate system
  • Muslims can vote only for Muslims also provided for local bodies and Zamindars
  • Introduced by Lord Minto
  • Became the “Father of Communal electorate”.


  • This act is also called as Morley-Minto reforms
  • Lord Morley – Secretary of state
  • Lord Minto – Viceroy of India
  • Satyendra Prasad Sinha
  • First Indian to join Viceroy’s executive council appointed as law member

Governor of India Act 1919


  • Also known as Montagu-Chelmsford reforms
  • Montagu – Secretary of state
  • Chelmsford – Viceroy of India
  • British declared the act as “introduction of responsible government in India”


  • Provincial subjects were divided into two –
  1. Reserved subjects
  • Administered by governor along with his executive council not responsible to the legislative council
  1. Transformed subjects
  • Administered by governor with the aid of ministers
  • ministers are responsible to the legislative council

Central and Provincial legislative were authorized to make laws on their respective subjects

This system is popularly known as “Dyarchy”

  • Budget
  • Provincial budgets were separated from Central budget
  • Provincial legislatures were empowered to enact their budgets
  • Provision for establishment of Public service commission
  • Office of “High Commissioner for India” was setup in London
  • Transformed some functions of secretary of state to commissioner
  • Legislature
  • Central Legislative Council was replaced by Bicameral legislature
  • Upper house or Council of state
  • Lower house of Legislative assembly
  • Direct elections was introduced for electing members for legislature
  • Fanchise was limited to affluent people on the basis of property, tax and education
  • Separate electorates were introduced for
  • Sikhs
  • Anglo-Indians
  • Indian Christians
  • Europeans

Simon Commission


  • Statutory Commission
  • 7 Members
  • Constituted to report the impact of constitution of India
  • Chairman : Sir John Simon
  • Submission of report : 1930


  • Abolition of Dyarchy
  • Continuation of communal electorate
  • Establishment of federation of British India and Provinces
  • Responsible government in provinces

Reasons for Boycott of commission

  • All members in commission were British
  • Commission was appointed two years before schedule

 Communal Award


  • Scheme for Representation of minorities
  • Announced by Ramsay MacDonald (British PM)
  • Separate electorates were extended to scheduled castes
  • Gandhi Ji fast led to Poona pact
  • Hindus to have Joint electorate reserved seats for scheduled castes


Government of India Act 1935


  • Legislature
  • Six bicameral legislatures were introduced with restrictions
  1. Bengal
  2. Bombay
  3. Madras
  4. Assam
  5. Bihar
  6. United provinces
  • Extended Frachise to 10 percent of people
  • Extended the separate electorate to –
  1. Scheduled castes
  2. Labourers
  3. Women
  • Composition of Act
  • 10 schedules
  • 321 sections
  • Provisioned for establishment of RBI
  • Abolished the Council of India
  • Provisions for establishment of –
  1. Federal Public Service Commission
  2. Provincial Public Service Commissions
  3. Joint Public Commissions
  • Administration
  • Provision for all India Federation (provinces +Princely states)
  • Federation was not formed princely states did not join
  • Dyarchy was abolished at provinces but allowed at the centre
  • Divided the powers into lists –
  1. Federal list 59 items
  2. Provincial list 54 items
  3. Concurrent list 36 items
  • Introduced responsible government in Provinces
  • Governor should act according to the advice of ministers
  • came to effect in 1937 but discontinued in 1939

Indian Independence Act 1947


  • Provisioned for Partition of India
  • British dropped its title “Emperor of India”
  • Abolished the
  • Office of viceroy
  • office of secretary of state
  • Governor general was given powers to assent or Veto the bill
  • Discontinued the appointment of members for civil services
  • Ended British rule in India and India became a Sovereign state
  • Provisioned for governor of India by governor of India act 1935 at will
  • Granted freedom to princely states to either join or remain independent
  • Empowered constituent assembly as a sovereign body to frame and adopt their own constitution