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GOVERNOR – GENERAL AND VICEROYS
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Tuesday, 27 December 2011 03:20

GOVERNORS OF BENGAL (1757-74)

Robert Clive: Govenror of Bengal during 1757-60 and again during 1765-67 and established Dual Government in Bengal from 1765-72.

Vanisttart (1760-65): The Battle of Buxar (1764).

Cartier (1769-72): Bengal Famine (1770).

Warren Hastings (1772-74): Abolished Dual Government (1772).

GOVERNOR-GENERALS OF BENGAL (1774-1833)

Warren Hastings (1774-85): Became Governor-General in 1774 through the Regulating Act, 1773; Wrote introuction to the first English translation of the ‘Gita’ by Charles Wilkins; Founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal with William Jones in 1784.

  • Revenue Reforms: Auctioned the right to collect land revenue to the highest bidder; Divided Bengal into districts and appointed collectors and other revenue of officials.
  • Judicial Reforms: Started Diwani and Faujdari adalats at the district level and Sardar diwani and Nizamat adalats (appellate courts) at Calcutta; Redefined Hindu and Muslim laws; A translation of the code in Sanskrit appeared in 1776 under the title of “Code of Gentoo laws”.
  • Wars: Rohilla War (1774); 1st Anglo-Maratha War (1776-82): 2nd Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84).

Lord Cornwallis (1786-93): First person to codify laws in 1793. The code separated the revenue administration from the administration of justice; Created post of district judge, Introduced permanent Settlement in Bengal (1793); Conrwallis is called ‘the father of civil service in India’.

  • Wars: 3rd Anglo-Mysore War (defeat of Tipu and the Treaty of Serinagpatanam, 1792).

Sir John Shore (1793-98): Introduced the 1st Charter Act (1793).

  • Wars: Battle of Kharda between Nizam and the Marathas (1795).

Lord Wellesley (1798-1805): Started Subsidiary Alliance system to achieve British paramountcy in India.  Madras Presidency was formed during his tenure.

  • Wars: 4th Anglo-Mysore War (1799) – defeat and the death of Tipu Sultan; 2nd Anglo-Maratha War (1803-05) – defeat of the Scindia, the Bhonsle and the Holkar; Treaty of Bassein (1802).

George Barlow (1805-1807): Vellore Mutiny (1806).

Lord Minto I (1807-1813): Concluded Treaty of Amritsar with Ranjit Singh (1809); Charter Act of 1813 was passed.

Lord Hastings (1813-1823): Adopted the policy of intervention and war.

  • Wars: Anglo-Nepalese War (1813-23); 3rd Anglo-Maratha War (1817-18). Hastings forced humiliating treaties on Peshwa and the Scindia; Introduced the Ryotwari settlement in Madras by Thomas Munro, the Governor.

Lord Amherst (1823-28): Wars: 1st Burmese War (1824-26). Acquisition of territories in Malay Peninsula; Capture of Bharatpur (1826).

Lord W. Bentick (1828-33): Most liberal and enlightened Governor-General of India; Regarded as ‘the Father of Modern Western Education in India’; Abolished Sati and other cruel rites (1829); Annexation of Mysore (1831). Concluded a treaty of perpetual friendship with Ranjit Singh (1831); Passed the Charter Act of 1833, which provided that no Indian subject of Company was to be debarred from holding an office on account of his religion, place of birth, descent and colour.

GOVERNOR-GENERALS OF INDIA (1833-58)

Lord W. Bentick (1833-35): Macaulay’s minutes on education were accepted declaring that English should be the official language of India; Abolished provincial courts of appeal and circuit set up by Cornwallis, appointment of Commissioners of revenue and circuit.

  • (USA) Annexed Coorg (1834), Central Cachar (1834) on the plea of misgovernment.

Sir Charles Metacalfe (1834-1836): Passed the famous Press Law, which liberated the press in India.

Lord Auckland (1836-42): 1st Anglo-Afghan War (1836-42) – great blow to the prestige of the British in India.

Lord Ellenborough (1842-44): Brought an end to the Afghan War. Annexation of Sindh (1843); War with Gwalior (1843).

Lord Hardings I (1844-48): 1st Anglo-Sikh war (1845-46) and the Treaty of Lahore 1846 (marked the end of Sikh sovereignty in India); Gave prererence to English education in employment.

Lord Dalhousie (1848-56): Abolished Titles and Pensions, Widow Remarriage Act (1856).

  • Wars: Introduced Doctrine of Lapse (Captured Satara (1848), Jaitpur and Sambhalpur (1849), Baghat (1850), Udaipur (1852), Jhansi (1853) and Nagpur (1854); Fought 2nd Anglo-Sikh War (1848-49) and annexed the whole of the Punjab; 2nd Anglo-Burmese War (1852) and annexation of Lower Burma or Pegu; Annexation of Berar in 1853; Annexation of Avadh in 1856 on charges of mal administration.
  • Administrative Reforms: Introduced the system of Centralized control in the newly acquired territories known as Bon-Regulation system; Raised Gurkha regiments.
  • Education Reforms: Recommended the Thomsonian system of Vernacular education for  whole of the North western Provinces (1853); Wood’s Educational Despatch of 1854 and opening of Anglo-Vernacular Schools and Government Colleges; An Engineering College was established at Roorkee.
  • Public Works: Started the first railway line in 1853 (connecting Bombay with Thana); Started electric telegraph service. Laid the basis of the modern postal system (1854); A separate public works department was set up for the first time; Started work on the Grand Trunk Road and developed the harbours of Karachi, Bombay and Calcutta.

Lord Canning (1856-58): the last Govrnor General of India; Revolt of 1857; Passed the Act of 1858, which ended the rule of the East India Company. Withdrew Doctrine of Lapse.

GOVERNOR GENERALS AND VICEROYS (1858-1947)

Lord Canning (1858-62): The Indian Councils Act of 1862 was passed, which proved to be a landmark in the constitutional history of India; The Indian Penal Code of Criminal Procedure (1859) was passed; The Indian High Court Act (1861) was enacted; Income Tax was introduced for the first time in 1858; The Universities of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras founded in 1857; The Indigo riots in Bengal (1860).

Lord Elgin I (1862-63): Wahabi Movement (Pan-Islamic Movement).

Sir John Lawrence (1864-69): Telegraphic communication was opened with Europe; High Courts were established at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1865; Expanded canal works and railways; Bhutan War (1865); Advocated State-managed railways; Created the Indian Forest Department and recognized the native Judicial service.

Lord Mayo (1869-72): Introduced financial decentralization in India, Established Mayo College at Ajmer for the princes; Organized the Statistical Survey of India; Established the Department of Agriculture & Commerce, He was the only Viceroy to be murdered in office by a convict in Andamans in 1872, Introduction of State Railways.

Lord Northbrook (1872-76): Kuka Movement of Punjab took rebellious turn during his period.

Lord Lytton (1876-80): Most infamous Governor-General, pursued free trade and abolished duties on 29 British manufactured goods which accelerated drain of wealth of India; Arranged the Grand Darbar in Delhi (in 1877) when the country was suffering from a severe famine; Passed the Royal Title Act (1876) and Queen Victoriya was declared as Kaisar-i-Hind; Arms Act (1878) made mandatory for Indians to acquire licence for arms; Passed the infamous Vernacular Press Act (1878); Proposed the plan of Statutory Civil Service in 1878-79 and lowered the maximum age limit from 21 to 19 years, the 2nd Afghan war proved a failure.

Lord Ripon (1880-84): Repeal of the Vernacular Press Act, 1882; The First Factory Act, 1881 to improve labour condition, Resolution of Local Self Government in 1882, Resolution of Land Revenue Policy; Appointed Hunter Commission (for education reforms) in 1882; The Ilbert Bill controversy erupted during his time (1883).

Lord Dufferin (1884-88): 3rd Burmese War (Annexation of Upper and Lower Burma) in 1885, Establishment of Indian National Congress in 1885.

Lord Lansdowne (1888-94): The Factory Act of 1891; Categorization of Civil Services into imperial, provincial and subordinate; Indian Council Act of 1892 (introduced elections which was indirect); Appointment of the Durand Commission to define the line between British India and Afghanistan (1893).

Lord Elgin II (1894-99): The Munda uprising (Birsa Munda) of 1899, Convention delimiting the frontier between China and India was ratified, Great famine of 1896-97, Lyall Commission appointed after famine (1897), Assassination of two British officials-Rand & Amherst-by Chapekar Brothers in 1897.

Lord Curzon (1899-1905): Appointed a Police Commission in 1902 under Andrew Frazer; Set up the Unversities Commission and accordingly the Indian Universities Act of 1904 was passed; Set up the Department of Commerce and Industry; Calcutta Corporation Act (1899); Passed the Indian Coinage and Paper Currency Act (in 1899) and put India on a gold standard; Partition of Bengal took place in 1905.

Lord Minto II (1905-10): Swadeshi Movement (1905-08); Foundation of the Muslim League, 1906; Surat session and split in the Congress (1907), Newspapers Act, 1908; Morley-Minto Reforms, 1909.

Lord Hardings (1910-16): Annulment of the partition of Bengal (1911), Transfer of Capital from Calcutta to Delhi (1911); Delhi Darbar and Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary (1911); Establishment of Hindu Mahasabha by Madan Mohan Malviya (1915).

Lord Chelmsford (1916-21): Home Rule Movement launched by Tilak and Annie Besant (1916); Lucknow Pact between Congress and Muslim League (1916); Arrival of Gandhi in India (1915); Champaran Satyagraha (1917); Montague’s August Declaration (1917); Kheda Satyagraha and Satyagraha at Ahmedabad (1918); Government of India Act (1919), Repressive Rowlatt Act (1919); Jalianwala Bagh Massacre (1919); Khilafat Movement (1920-22); Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22).

Lord Reading (1921-26): Criminal Law Amendment Act and abolition of cotton excise; Repeal of Press Act of 1910 & Rowlatt Act of 1919; Violent Moplah rebellion in Kerala (1921); Foundation of CPI (1921); Chauri Chaura Incident (1922); Foundation of Swaraj Party (1923); Kakori Train Dacoity (1925); Foundation of RSS (1925); Murder of Swami Shardhanand (1926).

Lord Irwin (1926-31): Simon Commission announced in 1927; Butler Commission (1927); Nehru Report (1928); 14 points of Jinnah (1929); Lahore session of Congress and ‘Poorna Swaraj’ declaration (1929); Civil Disobedience Movement (1930); Dandhi march (1930); Ist Round Table Conference (1930); Gandhi-Irwin Pact (1931).

Lord Willingdon (1931-36): IInd Round Table Conference (1931); Civil Disobedience Movement (1932); Announcement of MacDonald’s Communal Award (1932); IIIrd Round Table Conference Foundation of Congress Socialist Party-CSP (1934); Government of India Act (1935); Burma separated from India (1935); All India Kisan Sabha (1936).

Lord Linlithgow (1936-43): General Election (1936-37); Congress ministries in 1937 and Resignation of Congress ministries in 1939; ‘Deliverance Day’ by Muslim League in 1939; Foundation of Forward Block by S.C. Bose (1939); Lahore Resolution (1940); August Offer (1940); Cripps Mission (1942); Quit India Movement (1942).

Lord Wavell (1943-1947): C.R. Formula 1944; Wavell Plan and Shimla Conference in 1945; End of IInd World War in 1945; INA Trails in 1945; Naval mutiny in 1946; Cabinet Mission, 1946 and acceptance of its proposals by Congress; Direct Act Day by the Muslim League on 16th August, 1946.

Lord Mountbatten (Mar-Aug 1947): Announced the 3 June, 1947 Plan; Introduction of Indian Independence Bill in the house of Commons; Appointment of 2 boundary commissions under Sir Cryil Radicliffe.

GOVERNOR GENERALS OF INDEPENDENT INDIA (1947-50)

Lord Mountbatten (1947-48): The first Governor General of free India; Kashmir acceded to India (Oct. 1947); Murder of Gandhi (Jan 30, 1948).

C. Rajagopalachari (June 1948 – January 25, 1950): The last Governor General of free India; The only Indian Governor-General.

 

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