Government of India Act 1919

Government of India Act 1919
Posted on 11-06-2022

Government of India Act 1919: Government of India Act 1919 also known as Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, Montagu was then Secretary of State for India, and Chelmsford was the then Viceroy of India. This act was passed in 1919, but it was implemented in 1921, by the "Duke of Connaught", the son of Queen Victoria.

The important points of this Act are as follows-

  • On August 20, 1917, the British government announced for the first time that its objective was to establish a progressively responsible government in India.
  • The Office of the High Commissioner of India to Britain was formed and some of the functions of the Secretary of India were transferred to him.
  • Central control over the states was reduced by identifying and separating a list of central and provincial subjects. But the structure of government remained central and unitary.
  • The Central and Provincial Legislative Councils were given full power to make laws on the subjects of their respective lists.
  • In this, the provincial subjects were again divided into two parts 'transferred' and 'reserved'.
    • On the transferred subjects, the Governor took the help of the ministers who were responsible for the Legislative Council.
    • Reserved subjects were governed by the Governor with the help of the Executive Council, which was not responsible to the Legislative Council.
    • This dual system of government was called the dual system of government. However, this system was largely unsuccessful.
  • The suggestion of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) was given in this Act.
  • The Narendra Model of 1921 (chamber of provinces) in which there was a system of dividing the princely states into three categories. It was an improvement in the Moteguy-Chelmsford reforms.
  • In this act, for the first time, the system of bicameral system and the direct election were introduced in the country. Thus, in place of the Legislative Council in India, a bicameral system i.e. Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha was formed.
    • The majority members of both the houses were elected through direct election.
  • According to this, out of 6 members of the Viceroy's Executive Council, three members were required to be Indian.
    • Total Members – 8
    • 1st position – Viceroy (British)
    • 2nd post – Commander in Chief (British)
    • Of the remaining 6, three were required to be Indians.
  • It also extended the principle of separate electorates on communal lines to Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians, and Europeans.
  • This law granted franchises to a limited number of people on the basis of property tax or education. Through this act, women got the right to vote for the first time.
  • According to the provisions of this Act, the Public Service Commission was constituted in 1926 for the recruitment of civil servants.
  • According to this Act, for the first time, the Union Budget and the Provincial Budget were separated. The state legislatures were given the power to make their own budget.
  • According to this act, there was a provision to give the salary and allowances of the Minister of India in the British Parliament from British revenue instead of Indian revenue.
  • Under this, a statutory commission was constituted, whose task was to investigate after ten years and submit its report, to what extent this act has been successful in achieving its goals.
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