Charter Act 1853: The series of Charter Acts which was going on by the British Government every 20 years since 1793, was the last act in that series. The Act was originally based on the Select Committee report of 1852, which recommended the inclusion of provincial representation in the Indian British government. This act made a significant contribution to constitutional development.
The important points of this Act are as follows –
- Now the company was allowed to keep the Indian territories under its control "as long as the Parliament wanted".
- According to the Charter Act 1853, the number of directors was reduced from 24 to 18 and there was a provision for 6 to be nominated by the emperor.
The director's protection in the matter of appointments in the company was abolished.
- The fourth "law member" who was added to the Governor-General's Council in accordance with the provisions of the Charter Act 1833 did not have the right to vote. By this act, the Governor-General was also given the right to vote and his position was made equal to the other three members.
- According to the Charter Act 1853, the legislative and administrative functions of the Governor-General's Council were specified and separated.
- Six new councilors were added for legislative work, which was called Legislative Councillors.
- These 6 councilors were elected by the local provincial governments of Bengal, Madras, Bombay, and Agra. Therefore, this act also introduced local representation.
- According to the provisions of this act, now the "Governor-General of India" was freed from the rule of Bengal and there was a provision for the appointment of a governor for the administrative work of Bengal. A temporary lieutenant governor was appointed until the new governor was appointed.
- The Governor-General now had to handle the governance of India centrally.
- Thus the Charter Act 1853 laid the foundation of central administration in India.
- According to this act, provision was made for open competition for the recruitment of civil services.
- In 1854, the Macaulay Committee was formed for the Indian Civil Service.
- According to this provision, the civil service was now opened to Indians also. But the age qualification was kept as 18-23 years, which was not justified according to the educational level of that time.
- Due to the expansion of the Company's land area in India, two new provinces of Sindh and Punjab were formed by this Act.
After this came the Charter Act 1858.