Government of India Act of 1935

  • It provided for the establishment of an All India federation consisting of provinces and princely states as units.
  • It divided the powers between the centre and units in terms of three lists- Federal list, provincial list and the concurrent list. Residuary powers were given to the Viceroy. However, this federation never fructified since princely states did not join it.
  • It abolished dyarchy in the provinces and introduced ‘provincial autonomy’ in its place
  • The act introduced responsible government in provinces, that is, the governor was required to act with the advice of ministers responsible to the provincial legislature
  • It provided for the adoption of dyarchy at the centre. However, this provision did not come into effect at all
  • Bicameralism was introduced in six provinces- Bengal, Bombay Madras, Bihar, Assam and the United Provinces
  • Separate electorates was further extended to depressed classes, women and labour
  • Council of India which was established as per the 1858 act was abolished The secretary of state was instead provided with a team of advisors.
  • The act provided for setting up- Federal public service commission, provincial public service commission, joint public service commission, federal court, Reserve Bank of India

Practice question:

It would have been difficult for the Constituent Assembly to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India in just three years but for the experience gained with the Government of India Act, 1935. Discuss.(250 words)