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Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Crown Rule (1858- 1947) - Part VI : Government of India Act (1935)

The Crown Rule (1858-1947) - Part VI

Government of India Act (1935)

The Act marked a second milestone towards a completely responsible government of India. It was a lengthy and detailed document having 321 Sections and 10 Schedules.

The Crown Rule (1858- 1947) - Part VI : Government of India Act (1935)

Features of Act:

  • It provided for the establishment of an All India Federation consisting of provinces and princely states as units. The Act divided the powers between the Centre and units in terms of three (3) lists- Federal List (for Centre, with 59 items), Provincial List (for provinces, with 54 items), and the Concurrent List (for both, with 36 items). Residuary powers were given to the Viceroy. However, the federation never came into being as the princely states did not join it.

  • It abolished dyarchy in the provinces and introduced 'provincial autonomy' in its place. The provinces were allowed to act as autonomous units of administration in their defined spheres. Moreover, the Act introduced responsible governments in provinces, that is, the governor was required to act with the advice of ministers responsible to the provincial legislature. This came into effect in 1937 and was discontinued in 1939.

  • It introduced bicameralism in six (6) out of eleven (11) provinces. Thus, the legislatures of Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Bihar, Assam, and the United Provinces were made bicameral consisting of a legislative council (Upper House) and a legislative assembly (Lower House). However, many restrictions were placed on them.

  • It further extended the principle of communal representation by providing separate electorates for depressed classes (scheduled caste), women, and labor (workers).

  • It abolished the Council of India, established by the Government of India Act, (1858). The secretary of state for India was provided with a team of advisors.

  • It provided for the establishment of a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to control the currency and credit of the country.

  • It provided for the establishment of a Federal Public Service Commission and a Provincial Public Service Commission and Joint Public Service Commission for two (2) or more provinces.

  • It provided for the establishment of a Federal Court, which was set up in 1937.



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