Government of India. [26 GEO. 5.] Act, A.D. Section. Provisions as to defence, ecclesiastical affairs, external affairs, and the tribal areas. Original Print PDF · View more An Act to make further provision for the government of India. This Act may be cited as the Government of India Act, The Government of India Act was originally passed in August (25 & 26 Geo. 5 c. Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.
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second installment of constitutional reforms passed by British Parliament for implementing the ideal of responsible government in India. The Act of THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, (26 Geo. V &1 Edw. VIII Ch. 2). An Act to make further provision for the Government of India. [2nd August, ]. Government of Act Question: Why did majority of the Indians reject the act? What were their reasons for the same? The Government of India Act
Communal and Separate Electorate and Reservations: The Act not only retained the separate electorate of previous act of but also enlarged its scope. The Anglo-Indians and the Indo-Christians were also given separate electorate.
Women were granted reservation in 41 seats in provincial legislatures as well as limited reservations in central legislature. But women reservation was subdivided in religious lines. The reservation of seats for the Depressed Classes was incorporated into the act, Supremacy of the British Parliament: The supremacy of the British Parliament remained intact under the government Act of India No Indian legislature whether federal or provincial was authorized to modify or amend the constitution.
The British Parliament alone was given the authority to amend it. Aden was also transferred from the administrative control of the Government of India to that of the colonial offices. Thus Aden became a Crown colony.
The Secretary of State was to have advisers on its place. With the introduction of the provincial autonomy the control of the Secretary of State over Transferred Subjects was greatly diminished. His control, however, remained intact over the powers of Governor General and Governors. Reorganisation of Provinces and Creation of Two New Provinces: A partial reorganization of the provinces: Sindh was separated from Bombay Bihar and Orissa was split into separate provinces of Bihar and Orissa Hence, the Act provided for the creation of two new provinces of Sindh and Orissa.
Analysis of the Act: The basic conception of the act of was that the government of India was the government of the crown, conducted by authorities deriving functions directly from the crown, in so far as the crown did not itself retain executive functions. His conception, familiar in dominion constitutions, was absent in earlier Acts passed for India.
The experiment of provincial autonomy under the act of , definitely served some useful purposes, thus we can say that the Government of India Act marks a point of no return in the history of constitutional development in India. A significant element in British political circles doubted that Indians were capable of running their country on this basis, and saw Dominion status as something that might, perhaps, be aimed for after a long period of gradual constitutional development.
This was seen in India as yet more mixed messages from the British, suggesting at best a lukewarm attitude towards satisfying Indian desires. However, in the case of the proposed Federation of India there was a further complication in incorporating such a set of rights, as the new entity would have included nominally sovereign and generally autocratic princely states.
To achieve this, in the face of a gradually increasing Indianization of the institutions of the Government of India, the Act concentrated the decision for the use and the actual administration of the safeguards in the hands of the British-appointed Viceroy and provincial governors who were subject to the control of the Secretary of State for India.
A close reading of the Act reveals that the British Government equipped itself with the legal instruments to take back total control at any time they considered this to be desirable. However, doing so without good reason would totally sink their credibility with groups in India whose support the act was aimed at securing.
But is not every power here vested in the King? Everything is done in the name of the King but does the King ever interfere? Once the power passes into the hands of the legislature, the Governor or the Governor-General is never going to interfere.
The unfairness of this arrangement is clear when one considers the dominant position of British capital in much of the Indian modern sector and the complete dominance, maintained through unfair commercial practices Like: Insignificance of Indian capital in Britain and the non-existence of Indian involvement in shipping to or within the UK.
There are very detailed provisions requiring the Viceroy to intervene if, in his view, any India law or regulation is intended to, or will in fact, discriminate against UK resident British subjects, British registered companies and, particularly, British shipping interests.
British Political Needs vs. Indian Constitutional Needs — the Ongoing Dysfunction: From the moment of the Montagu statement of , it was vital that the reform process stay ahead of the curve if the British were to hold the strategic initiative.
However, imperialist sentiment, and a lack of realism, in British political circles made this impossible. Thus the grudging conditional concessions of power in the Acts of and caused more resentment and signally failed to win the Raj the backing of influential groups in India which it desperately needed.
There is evidence that Montagu would have backed something of this sort but his cabinet colleagues would not have considered it.
Considering the balance of power in the Conservative party at the time, the passing of a Bill more liberal than that which was enacted in is inconceivable. Objectives of the British Government: The federal part of the Act was designed to meet the aims of the Conservative Party.
Over the very long term, the Conservative leadership expected the Act to lead to a nominally dominion status India, conservative in outlook, dominated by an alliance of Hindu princes and right-wing Hindus which would be well disposed to place itself under the guidance and protection of the United Kingdom.
By giving Indian politicians a great deal of power at the provincial level, while denying them responsibility at the Centre, it was hoped that Congress, the only national party, would disintegrate into a series of provincial fiefdoms.
But, the congress High Command was able to control the provincial ministries and to force their resignation in The Act showed the strength and cohesion of Congress and probably strengthened it. Convince the Princes to join the Federation by giving the Princes conditions for entry never likely to be equaled. It was expected that enough would join to allow the establishment of the Federation.
The Federation, as planned in the Act, was not viable and would have rapidly broken down with the British left to pick up the pieces without any viable alternative. Why Princes did not join Federation: It was hoped hat the Princes would see that their best hope for a future would lie in rapidly joining and becoming a united block without which no group could hope, mathematically, to wield power.
However, the princes did not join, and thus exercising the veto provided by the Act prevented the Federation from coming into existence. Among the reasons for the Princes staying out were the following: They did not have the foresight to realize that this was their only chance for a future.
They were not a cohesive group and probably realized that they would never act as one. Each Prince seemed consumed by the desire to gain the best deal for himself were his state to join the Federation: the most money, the most autonomy. Congress had begun, and would continue, agitating for democratic reforms within the Princely States. Since the one common concern of the or so Princes was their desire to continue to rule their states without interference, this was indeed a mortal threat. In all likelihood, these representatives would be largely Congressmen.
Thus, contrary to their official position that the British would look favorably on the democratization of the Princely States, their plan required that the States remain autocratic.
This reflects a deep contradiction on British views of India and its future. Indian Reaction to the Proposed Federation: So little was offered that all significant groups in British India rejected and denounced the proposed Federation. A major contributing factor was the continuing distrust of British intentions for which there was considerable basis in fact.
No significant group in India accepted the Federal portion of the Act. After all, there are five aspects of every Government worth the name: a The right of external and internal defence and all measures for that purpose; b The right to control our external relations; c The right to control our currency and exchange; d The right to control our fiscal policy; e the day-to-day administration of the land.
Reserve Bank Bill just passed has a further reservation in the Constitution that no legislation may be undertaken with a view to substantially alter the provisions of that Act except with the consent of the Governor-General….
However, the Liberals, and even elements in the Congress were tepidly willing to give it a go. Linlithgow asked Sapru whether he thought there was a satisfactory alternative to the scheme of the Act. Sapru replied that they should stand fast on the Act and the federal plan embodied in it. Birla said that It was not ideal but at this stage it was the only thing. He thought that Congress was moving towards acceptance of Federation. Birla wanted the Viceroy to help Gandhi by persuading a number of Princes to move towards democratic election of representatives.
The Working of the Act: The British government sent out Lord Linlithgow as the new viceroy with the remit of bringing the Act into effect. Linlithgow was intelligent, extremely hard working, honest, serious and determined to make a success out of the Act. In , after the holding of provincial elections, Provincial Autonomy commenced.
From that point until the declaration of war in , Linlithgow tirelessly tried to get enough of the Princes to accede to launch the Federation. The matter was important and was discussed in the round tables of , , and respectively. On the basis of the report generated by the the government, it constituted a committee consisting of 20 representatives from the British India which consisted of 7 members from Indian states which included 5 Muslims afterwards, which discussed in the session which started in and after a lot of debate upon the topic and white papers, gave its report at the end of stating to pass the act.
After which the matter went to the parliament and the parliament gave its assent to pass the act and which was passed in the year and came to be known as the Government of India Act, One of the reasons for the enactment of the act were the Indian Leaders who urged and fought to bring reforms in the country through these acts.
Under the act, it basically implied that the executive authority is governed by the Governor-General on behalf of the crown who was advised by 3 councils of ministers on matters related to it. The Dyarchy has divided into parts the Reserved and the Transferred depending upon the subject matters related, they were categorized respectively. The provisions were divided under the heads of the advice of the ministers and the councilors.
The idea of dyarchy was imposed so that better administration could be done and the governor general was appointed to look after and coordinate among the two parts of the government.
The act also gave a new dimension by making it a Federal form of Government. Also, the viceroy is vested with certain overriding and certifying powers in this under the Secretary of State for India. The main purpose of imposing dyarchy was to bring stability and efficiency at the center. So that the flaws that were there in the Act of could be corrected. The act holds great importance in the Indian history and some points are stated below which define its importance: click above The introduction of the act ended the dyarchy system by giving more freedom to british India for better governance in the form of Provincial Autonomy and established at dyarchy at the center, There was a division of the federal Subjects between the Centre and the provinces, as the division made in the act of was revised, This act is of utmost importance because it leads to the Relationship of a Dominion Status which urged the need for Independence again in the minds of the people, The main provision of the act was to make the Governor General Pivot of the constitution to settle if there were any disputes among the people, An important provision of the act was the protection of minorities such as women etc.
The Salient Features of the act are as follows: The most important feature of the act was that it introduced a dyarchy at the central level in the government, The act mainly focused to fulfill the National Aspirations, The act gave a measure to form a federal form of government and an all India Federation, The act involved the making of a federal form of Government in India which is still prevalent in our Indian constitution by dividing the central and its units under 3 lists as- Federal List, Provincial List, and Concurrent list while the residuary powers were with the viceroy, There was the separation of states which lead to the creation of two new states -Sindh and Orissa.
The act abolished the Indian Council and made provision for the introduction of an advisory body in India, The act re-organized certain provinces such as separating Burma from India, To control the credit flow in the economy it leads to the establishment of the Reserve bank of India to control the currency in the country. The act had so much to promise to the people for their welfare but was not able to deliver anything that could turn out in its implementation.