Changes in Indian Administration after 1858


The Constitution of Indian republic is the product not of the political revolution but of the research and deliberations of a body of eminent representatives of the people. These representatives want to constitute India, by making a retrospect of the constitutional development.

After the revolution of 1857, the British parliament started administering India directly under the Govt of India Act, 1858. However, the administration of county under this act is rigidly centralized, this is a time of bureaucratic development in India.

The addition of non-official members in the executive council of Governor General had been started by the Indian Council Act,1861. These non-official members transact its business as legislative council. However no effective power is given to them, this act is a step forward in parliamentary type of system.

The next reforms were regarding the distribution of power and growth of representative government. Indian Council Act, 1892, Morley- Minto reforms, 1909 and Montagu-Chelmsford report,1919 are the developments in this direction. However, these are the reforms that sowed the seeds of communalism.

Indian constitution imitates many sections from the Govt of Indian act,1935. Before the enactment of this act, Simon commission already accepted that Dominion status was the goal of Indian political development. Therefore most of the Articles of this act are as according to the need of free India. However, Learning from the previous experiences of constitutional development, our representatives establish the concept of secular, Democratic and federal type of govt.

Act of 1861 

  1. It made a beginning of representative institutions by associating Indians with the law-making process. It thus provided that the viceroy should nominate some Indians as non-official members of his expanded council.
  2. It initiated the process of de-centralisation by restoring the legislative powers to the Bombay and Madras Presidencies.
  3. It also provided for the establishment of new legislative councils for Bengal, North-Western Frontier Province (NWFP) and Punjab, which were established in 1862, 1866 and 1897 respectively.

Act of 1892 

  1. It increased the number of additional (non-official) members in the Central and provincial legislative councils, but maintained the official majority in them.
  2. It increased the functions of legislative councils and gave them the power of discussing the budget and addressing questions to the executive.
  3. The act made a limited and indirect provision for the use of election in filling up some of the nonofficial seats both in the Central and provincial legislative councils.