Government of India Act 1935

Government of India Act 1935
Posted on 13-06-2022

Government of India Act 1935: The Government of India Act 1935 proved to be a milestone for the formation of a fully responsible government in India and the creation of the present Constitution of India. The Government of India Act was a long and elaborate document, containing 321 sections and 10 schedules.

The features of the Government of India Act 1935 and the main points of this Act are as follows –

  • According to the Government of India Act 1935, the All India Federation was established, in which the states and princely states were treated as one unit.
  • It divided the powers between the Center and the units (states and princely states) on the basis of three lists – the Federal List (59 subjects), the State List (54 subjects), and the Concurrent List (36 subjects). Residuary powers were given to the Viceroy, through which the Viceroy could decide on matters which were not on any of the lists.
  • However, this federal system never came into existence because the princely states refused to join this union.
  • It ended the diarchy system in the provinces and introduced provincial autonomy. States were given the right to govern autonomously by staying within their purview.
    • Responsible government was established in the states, that is, the governor was obliged to act on the advice of the ministers responsible to the state legislative councils. This system was introduced in 1937 and was abolished in 1939.
    • The bicameral system (Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council) was introduced in 6 out of 11 states. Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Bihar, United Provinces, and Assam. However, there were many restrictions on these.
  • According to this act, the dual government system was started in the center. As a result, the federal subjects had to be transferred and divided into reserved subjects, although this too could never be implemented.
    • It expanded the franchise. About 10% of the population got the franchise.
    • Expanded the communal representation system by arranging separate elections for the Dalit castes, women, and the working class.
    • Reserve Bank of India was established.
    • It established not only the Federal Public Service Commission but also the Provincial Service Commission and the Joint Service Commission for 2 or more states.
    • Under this, the Federal Court was established in 1937.
  • By this act, the Council of India established by the Government of India Act, 1858, was abolished.
    • In England, the Secretary of India got an assembly of advisors.
  • The permission of the British Parliament was mandatory to make changes in this act.
  • Burma was separated from India.

After this came the Indian Independence Act 1947.


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