IAS Pre: GS – Indian History – Modern Indian History: Governors & Viceroys

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Robert Clive (1757-67) (1766-67)

  1. Governor of Bengal from 1757-60 and again from 1765-67.
  2. Started dual Government in Bengal in 1765.
  3. He forbade the servants of the company from indulging in private trade and made payment of internal duties obligatory.
  4. Established Society of Trade in 1765 with monopoly of trade in salt, betelnuit and tobacco However this was abolished in 1767.
  5. Bengal white Mutiny-by white brigades at Allahabad and Monghyr, they were arrested and tried.

Warren Hasting (1772-85)

  1. First Governor General after serving as the Governor of Bengal (1772).
  2. Introduced quinquennial settlement of land revenue in 1772 farming out lands to the highest bidder, later on he reversed to annual settlement (1777) on the basis of open auction to the highest bidder.
  3. Made the appointment of collectors and other revenue officials.
  4. Codified Hindu and Muslim laws.
  5. Trial of Nand Kumar and his judicial murder in 1775.
  6. 6. Fondation of Asiastic Society of Bengal with the help of Sir William Jones in 1784.
  7. Associated with the Chait Singh (Raj of Banaras) affair (1778).
  8. Associated with Bengams of Oudh affair (1782).
  9. After his return of England in 1785, impeachment proceedings were initiated against him in the house of Lords but after a long trial of 7 years he was eventually acquitted.
  10. Dual Govt. was abolished in 1772 by him.
  11. In 1776 Manu’s Law was Translated into English as Code of Gentoo Laws.
  12. In 1991 William Jones and Colebrok prepared digest of Hindu Laws.
  13. Fatawa-i-Alamgiri was also tranlated.

Lord Cornawallis (1786-93)

  1. Set up courts at different levels and separation of revenue administration from judicial administration in order to reform the judiciary.
  2. Introduced Cornwallis Code based on the principle of separation of powers in 1793.
  3. Superintendent of Police was made the head of district police and became the incharge of an area of 1000 sq. km. Besides the English magistrates were given police powers and the Zamindars were divested of all police powers.
  4. A ten-year settlement was concluded with the Zamindars in 1790 which was made permanent in 1793 (came to be known as Permanent Settlement of 1793.
  5. Raised salaries of the officials. Collectors were to get 1% of the revenue collection in addition to their salary of Rs. 1500.

Lord Wellesley (1793-1798)

  1.  Described himself as Bengal Tiger.
  2. Created Madras Presidency after the annexation of the Kingdoms of Tanjore and Carnatic. 
  3. Introduced the system of Subsidiary Alliance in 1798 which provided for defence of an Indian state by the British, stationing of British Subsidiary Force in the territory, the maintenance of which was to be borne by the ruler, stationing of a British Resident at the headquarters of the state and British control over the external affairs of the state.
  4. The States that signed the alliance were first Hyderabad in 1798 and them Mysore, Tanjore, Awadh, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Macheri, Bundi, Bharatpur, Berar and the Peshwar.
  5. Signed Treaty of Bassein (1802) with the Peshwa and fought second Anglo-Maratha war during 1803-05.
  6. Lord Lake captured Delhi and Agra in 1803 and the Mughal emperor was pur under company’s protection.

Lord Minto-I (1807-1813)

  1. Signed Treaty of Amritsar in 1809 between Ranjit Singh and English.
  2. Sent in 1808 mission of Malcom of Persia and that of Elphinstone to Kabul.

Lord Hastings (1813-1823)

  1. He was made Marquis of Hastings due to his success in the Gokha wasr of the Anglo- Nepalese war (1813-23).
  2. Signed Treaty of Sanguali after defeating the Gorkha leader Amar Singh.
  3. Abolished Peshwaship & annexed of his territories in the Bombay Presidency after the Third Anglo-Maratha was (1818).
  4. Pindari War (1817-1818).
  5. Introduction of Ryotwari settlement in Madras Presidency by Governor, Thomas Munro (1820).
  6.  Mahalwari (village community) system of land revenue was made in North-West Province by James Thomson.

Lord Ahmerst (1813-1828)

  1. Received by the Mughal emperor (Akbar II) on terms of equality in 1827.
  2. Signed Treaty of Yaudaboo in 1826 with lower Burma of pegu by which British merchants were allowed to settle on southern coast of Burma and Rangoon.

Lord William Bentinck (1828-35)

  1.  Known as the Benevolent Governor-General
  2. Introduced a number of social reforms. Banned the practice of Sati in 1829 (pionnerring efforts made in this connection by Raja Ram Mohan Roy), suppressed Thugi in 1830 (Millitary operation led by William Sleeman).
  3. Defined the aims and objectives of the educational policy of the British Governmentappointed Lord Macualay, the President of the Committee of Public Instruction which recommended English as the medium of instruction and introduction of English language, Literature, Social and Natural Science in the curriculam in 1835.
  4.  Banned female infanticide.
  5. Created the Province of Agra in 1834.
  6. English was to be court language at higher courts but Persian continued in lower courts.
  7. The Regulation of 1833 on land revenue settlement by Mertins Bird (called father of land-revenue settlement in the North). Use of fields maps and filed registrars were prescribed for the first time.

Sir Charle Metacalfe (1835-36)

  1. Abolished restriction on press.
  2. Called “Liberator of press”.

Lord Auckland (1836-42)

  1. Tripatriate Treaty was signed between the company Ranjit Singh and Shah Shuja by which
    • Ranjit Singh accepted company’s mediation in disputes Amirs (sind).
    • Shah Shuja conceded his sovereign right to the company over Sind on condition of receiving the arrears of the tribute, the amount of which was to be determined by the company.
  2. Mandavi state was annexed in 1839.

Lord Ellenborough (1942-44)

  1. Annexation of Sindh to British Empire (1843).
  2. Charles Napier was replaced by Major Outram as the Resident in Sind.
  3. On the annexation of Sind, Charles Napier commented – we have no right to seize yet we shall do and a very advantages, useful, Humane piece of rascality it will be.
  4. Disagreeing to Napier’s policy in Sind, Major Outram wrote to him-I am sick of your policy I wll not say yours is the best, but it is undoubtedly the shortest that of the sword. Oh, I how wish you had drawn it in a better curse.

Lord Dalhausie (1849-56)

  1. Introduced the policy of Doctrine of Lapse of Law of Escheat which postulated that Indian States having no natural heir would be annexed to the British Empire. The Indian States annexed by the application of his doctrine were Satara (1848), Jaipur and Sambalpur (1849), Baghat (1850), Baghat (1850), Udaipur (1852), Jhansi (1853) and Nagpur (1854). 
  2. In troduced Wood’s despatch known as the Magna Carta of English education in India prepared by Charles Wood the President of the Board of control in 1854 on education in suggested a scheme of education from the primary to the university level. It recommended, establishment of Anglovemacular Schools in districts, government colleges in important towns and universities in presidency towns and introduction of vermacular languages as the medium of introduction.
  3.  Boosted up the development of railways-laid the first railway line in 1853 from Bombay to thane and second from Calcutta to Raniganj.
  4. Gave a great impetus to post and telegraph. Telegraph lines were laid. (First line from Calcutta to Agra).
  5. Organised a separate Public Works Department by divesting the Malitary Board of this power.
  6. Shmla was made summer capital and army headquarter.
  7. Hindu widow remarriage Act was passed in 1856.
  8. Annexed Awadh in 1856 on excuse of misgovernment when nawab Wajid Ali Shah refused to abdicate.

Lord Canning (1856-62)

  1. Queen Victoria’s Proclamatior and passing of the Indian Act of 1856.
  2. Doctrine of Lapse started by Lord Dalhausie was officially withdrawn in 1859.
  3.  Foundation of the universities at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1857. 4. Indigo revolt in Bengali in 1858-60.
  4. White Mutiny by the European trooops of the EICO in 1859.
  5. Bahadur Shah was sent to Rangoon (Burma).

Lord Elgin (1862-63)

  1. Suppressed the Wahabi movement.

Sir John Lowrance (1864-69)

  1. Followed a policy of rigid non-interference in Afghanistan called Policy of Masterly Inactivity.
  2. Set up High Courts at Calcutta, Bombay and  Madras (865).

Lord Lyttan (1876-80)

  1. Passing of the Royal Title Act of 1876 and the assumption of the title Express of India (Kaiseri- Hind) by Queen Victoria.
  2. Holding of Delhi Durbar in 1877.
  3. Passing of Vernacular Press Act of 1878 which empowered a magistrate to call upon the printer and publisher of any vermacular newspaper to enter in into an undertaking not to publish any news which would create antipathy against the government.
  4. Passing of Arms Act of 1878 which declared keeping, bearing and trafficking in arms without a licence a criminal offence (The Europeans, Anglo-Indians and same categories of government officials were exempted).
  5. Lowering of the maximum age from 21 yrs. to 19 yrs. for the Civil Services Examination – an attempt to prevent Indians from entering Civil Services.
  6.  Appointment of the first Famine Commission under Sir Richard Strachey.  Policy of Masterly inactivity towards Afghanistan was replaced by Forward Policy.
  7. Started statutory civil services.

Lord Ripon (1880-84)

  1. Passing of the first Factory Act in 1881 for the welfare of child labour.
  2. Repeal of Vernacular Press Act in 1882.
  3. Foundation of local Self-Government (1882) – passing of local Self-Government acts in various provinces during the period 1883-85.
  4. Holding of first decennial & regular censes in 1881 which put the total population at the figure 254 millions.
  5. Financial decentralisation in 1882 which was earlier initiated by Lord Mayo.
  6. Appointment of an education commission under Sir William Hunter in 1882.
  7. The Ilbert Bill controversy, 1883-84 relating to passing of a bill, framed by the law member of the Viceroy’s Council Sir C.P. libert which abolished judicial disqualification based on race. There was a strong protest on the part of the Europeans particularly the English and eventually under pressure the government amended the bill and provided for the rights of the European to claim trial by jury of 12, out of which at least 7 were to be European.
  8. Famine Code in 1883.
  9.  He usually said “Judge me by my works and not by my words”.

Lord Dufferin (1884-88)

  1. Commented on the Congress being a microscope minority in 1888.

 Lord Lansdowne (1888-94)

  1. passed the Age of Consent Act in 1891 which  forbade marriage of girl below 12.

Lord Elgim-II (1894-99)

  1. Famine in part of Rajasthan – Lyli Commission appointed to look into the cause of femines.

Lord Curzon (1899-1905)

  1. Creation of a new province called the North West Frontier Province.
  2. Appointment of a Police Commission under the  president ship of Sir andrew Frazer to inquire into the police administration in 1902-03. It  recommended for enhancement in salaries  and creation of a department of Criminal intelligence.
  3. Creation oa a new Department of Commerce and Industry.
  4. Passing of Ancient Monuments Protection Act in 1904 for the preservation of India’s Cultural heritage. This was followed by the foundation of Archeological Survey of India.
  5. Appointed Mac Donell Commission on Famine in 1900.
  6.  Appointed Moncrief Commssion on irrigation in 1902.
  7. His biography has been written by ronaldshay – The life of Lord Curzon.

Lord Minto-I (1905-10)

  1. S.P. Sinha was appointed a member of Governor-Generals council.

Lord Hardinge (1910-16)

  1. Coronation Durban in 1911 at Delhi in the honour of George V.
  2. A separate state of Bihar and Orissa was created in 1911.
  3. A bomb was throuwn on his carriage at Chandni Chowk in Delhi in 1912 while he was entering the capital.

Lord Chelmsord (1916-21)

  1. Foundation of Women’s University at Poona in 1916.
  2. Hunter Committee was constituted on Punjab wrongs.
  3.  Chambers of Princess was established in 1921.

Lord Reading (1921-26)

  1. Foundation of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sang (RSS) by K.B. Hedgewar at Nagpur in 1925.
  2. Beginning of Indianisation of the officers cadre of the Indian army.
  3.  Railway budget was separated from General Budget in 1925.  Skeen Committee or Indian Sandhurst Committee on Army reforms was appointed in 1925. It submitted its report to 1926.
  4. Lee Commission on Public Service in 1924, Report Submitted in 1924.
  5.  Young Hilton Committee on Currency (1926).

 Lord Irwin (1926-31)

  1. Popularly known as Christan Viceroy.
  2. Appointment of the Indian States Commission under. Harcourt Butler (1927) to recommend measures for the establishment of better relations between the Indian states and the  Central government.
  3. Deepavali Declaration (1929) that India would be granted Dominion status in due course.
  4. Royal commssion on Indian Labour was appointed (1929), Report (1931).
  5. Sard Act was passed in 1929 Marriages of girl below 14 and boys below 18 years of age was prohibited.

Lord Willington (9131-36)

  1. Communal Award in August 1932.
  2. Third Round Table Conference (1932)
  3. White Paper on political reforms in India was published (1933).
  4. Burma and Aden was separated from the British Empire (1935).
  5. Orissa, Bihar and Sind were made new States (1935)
  6. Lees-Mody Pact (October 1933) by this Bombay textiles group agreed to further preferences for British textiles in place of Japanese Imports in return for a Lancaashire promise to buy more Indian raw cotton.
  7. Muslim Conference was founded in Kashmir (1932), renamed National Conference in 1938. Important leaders Sheikh Abdullah and P.N. Bazaz.

Lord Llnlthgow (1936-43)

  1. October offer by the Vicroy in which he declaraed the Dominion status as the ultimate goal of British policy in India.
  2. At its Haripura Session (February, 1939) Congress declared Poorna Swaraj ideal to cover native states and British India.

Lord Wavell (1943-47)

  1. Wavell Plan and Shimla conference. Congress represented by Maulana Azad.
  2. RIN mutiny (1946).
  3. Interim Goverfnment was formed (September 2, 1946).
  4. Prime Minister of Britain Clement Attlee announced independence of India by June 1948. (February 20, 1947).

Lord Mountbatten (1947-48)

  1. Earlier proposed Plan-Balkan i.e. total dismemberament of the Indian territory but  soon lieft the idea.
  2. Made it clear to the Princely states that they shall not be granted separate independence and they will have to join either India or Pakistan.
  3. His plan to make India free on August 15, 1947 is also known as 3rd June Plan.
  • G.G. Council held meeting of two kinds one was ordinary meetings which were associated with executive business. Second was known as legislative, meetings which were for making laws & regulations. Executive Council & Legislative Council were two terms used to indicate two separate functions of council.
  • Act introduced concept of porfolio system. Members of G.G. Council were made incharge of separate departments.


Source: xaam.in

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