Skip to main content

General Studies :: Indian Polity #1

Constitutional evolution under British rule

  1. Regulating Act 1773
    • beginning of British parliamentary control over the East India Company
    • subordination of the presidencies of Bombay and Madras to Bengal
    • Governor of Bengal made Governal-General
    • council of Governor-General established
    • Supreme Court established in Calcutta
  2. Pitt’s India Act 1784
    • commercial and political activities of the Company separated
    • established a board of control over the Company
  3. Charter Act 1813
    • trade monopoly of the Company abolished
    • missionaries allowed to preach in India
  4. Charter Act 1833
    • Governor-General of Bengal becomes Governor-General of India
    • first Governor-General Lord William Bentick
    • ends commercial activities of the Company
  5. Charter Act 1853
    • legislative and executive functions of the Governor-General’s council separated
    • open competition for Indian Civil Services established
  6. Indian Council Act 1861
    • establishes legislative councils at the centre, presidencies and provinces
    • Governor-General’s executive council to have Indians as non-official members
    • restores legislative power to Bombay and Madras presidencies
    • recognises portfolio system of governance
  7. Indian Council Act 1892
    • introduces indirect elections
    • enlarges the function of legislative councils giving the power to discuss the budget and address questions to the executive
    • enlarges the size of the legislative councils
  8. Government of India Act 1898
    • administration taken over directly by the British crown
    • office of the Governor-General replaced by the Viceroy
    • first Viceroy is Lord Canning
  9. Indian Council Act 1909 (Minto-Morley Reforms)
    • first attempt to introduce representative and popular element to government
    • changed name of Central Legislative Council to Imperial Legislative Council
    • increased the non-official members in the Imperial and Provincial legislative councils
    • non-official members hold majority in the provincial legislative councils, but official members hold majority in the central
    • appointed Indians to the Viceroy’s Executive Council and provincial executive councils
    • established separate electorate for Muslims
  10. Government of India Act 1909 (Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms)
    • classified government subjects into central and provincial
    • established dyarchy in the provinces
    • provincial subjects divided into Reserved and Transferred. Reserved subjects administered by the Governor, Transferred subjects by Indian ministers
    • central legislature covered all central subjects and some provincial subjects
    • all bills of the legislatures required Governor-General’s assent, while the Governor-General could enact bills without assent from legislatures
    • established the Public Service Commission
  11. Government of India Act 1935
    • provided for the establishment of a Federation of India consisting of the Provinces and Princely States
    • dyarchy withdrawn from the provinces and established at the Centre. Introduced ‘provincial autonomy’
    • introduced direct elections
    • proposed the Federal Legislature to be bicameral
    • administrative subjects divided into Federal, Provincial and Concurrent
    • reserved subjects at the Centre to be administered by the Governor-General
    • Governor-General to be assisted by a Council of Ministers
    • provided for the establishment of a Federal Court with original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. Appeals from the Federal Court went to the Privy Council in London
    • Burma and Aden separated from India
  12. Indian Independence Act 1947
    • sovereignty and responsibility of the British Parliament for India abolished
    • Governor-General and provincial Governors become constitutional heads
    • the British crown ceases to be the source of authority

The Constituent Assembly (1946 – 1950)

  • first met on 09 Dec 1946
  • consisted of 389 members. 292 were elected from the Provinces, 93 were nominated by the Princely States, and 4 were nominated from the Chief Commissioners Provinces
  • Dr. Sachidananda Sinha was the first President of the Constituent Assembly
  • The Preamble of the Constitution was a modification of the ‘Objective Resolution’ introduced Jawarharlal Nehru
  • The Assembly appointed 22 committees
  • The most important of these committees was the Drafting Committee, set up in Aug 1947
  • The Drafting Committee had 7 members. B.R. Ambedkar was its Chairman
  • The Drafting Committee published the Draft Constitution in Feb 1948, which was adopted on 26 Nov 1949
  • The Constitution came into effect on 26 Jan 1950. However, certain provisions regarding citizenship, elections, provisional parliament and presidential election procedures came into effect earlier, on 26 Nov 1949.
  • 26 Jan was chosen in significance of the informal ‘Independence Day’ observed in 1930
  • The term of the Constituent Assembly ended on 24 Jan 1950. However, it re-emerged as the Provisional Parliament on 26 Jan 1950, and remained so until the first Lok Sabha elections
  • The President of the Constituent Assembly, Rajendra Prasad, became the first President of India
  • Gandhi and Jinnah were not members of the Constituent Assembly


  1. Tempo Traveller rent in varanasi Omkashi Taxis is one of the leading tour operators in India providing best spiritual tour packages in and around Varanasi. we have 18 years of specialisation with more than 8,700 happy clients and we are still counting. Also we cover corporate tour, romantic delight, adventurous or just a short break, we have multiple tour choices to suit the most of your taste, requirement and budget. So Hurry up and book your next holiday package with Omkashi!!!Bus on hire in Varanasi


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog



13.0 Learning Outcome

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Initiatives towards Constitutional Status to Local Governance

13.2.1 Features of 73rd Constitutional Amendment

13.2.2 Features of 74th Constitutional Amendment

13.2.3 Decentralised Planning in Context of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act

13.3 Initiatives after Economic Reforms

13.4 Functioning of PRIs in Various States after 73rd Amendment

13.5 Functioning of Local Governance after 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment: Observations

13.6 Conclusion

13.7 Key Concepts

13.8 References and Further Reading

13.9 Activities


After studying this Unit you should be able to:

• Identify the background of revitalisation of local governance;

• Understand the features of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment;

• Discuss the initiatives after economic reforms; and

• Outlines the functioning of local governance in various states after the amendment.


The revitalization of Pancha…

Q. What is the meaning of the terms like ‘Pardon’, ‘Reprieve’, ‘Respite’, ‘Remission’ and ‘Commutation’ with respect to the power of the President to grant pardon to convicted persons?

Ans. In terms of their scope and effect, these terms have specific connotations. The effect of Pardon is to abolish punishment and to absolve the convict of all charges. If Pardon is granted, it is assured as if the convict has not committed any crime. The convict will not face any disabilities due to the allegations and charges made against him. ‘Remission’ means reducing the punishment without changing the nature of punishment. For example, the imprisonment for 20 years may be reduced to the imprisonment for 10 years. ‘Commutation’ means reducing the punishment by changing the nature of punishment. For example, punishment to death may be changed to life imprisonment. ‘Respite’ means reducing or changing the nature of punishment in view of the specific facts and circumstances of the convict. For example, the punishment to death awarded to a pregnant woman, may be changed to simple life imprisonment. Respite means delay in execution of punishment especially that of death, in order to …



1.0 Learning outcome

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Concept of Democratic Decentralisation

1.3 Evolution of Democratic Decentralisation

1.4 Significance of Democratic Decentralisation

1.5 Democratic Decentralisation in India

1.6 Conclusion

1.7 Key concepts

1.8 References and Further Reading

1.9 Activities


After studying this unit, you should be able to:

• Understand the concept of Democratic Decentralization;

• Know the evolution and significance of Democratic Decentralization; and

• Describe the Democratic Decentralization pattern in India.


The dawn of 21st century is marked by decentralized governance both as a strategy and philosophy of brining about reforms and changes in democracies. These changes led to such virtues of transparency, responsiveness and accountability and ensures good governance. Today decentralization and democracy are the most significant themes in the development discourse. In the present contex…