General Studies IIConstitutionHistorical Background

Government of India Act of 1935

Historical Background of Government of India Act of 1935:

  • Demand for constitutional reforms in India by Indian leaders.
  • Simon Commission Report
  • The recommendations of the Round Table Conferences
  • The White Paper published by the British government in 1933 (based on the Third Round Table Conference)
  • Report of the Joint Select Committees.
  • The Lothian Report

Provisions of Government of India Act of 1935:

  • 321 Sections and 10 Schedules
  • The establishment of an All-India Federation consisting of provinces and princely states as units
  • 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.
  • Council of India which was established as per the 1858 act was abolished The secretary of state was instead provided with a team of advisors.

  • Diarchy was removed from the provinces and brought at centre. However, this provision did not come into effect at all.
  • Introduced ‘provincial autonomy’
  • The governor was required to act with the advice of ministers responsible to the provincial legislature.

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  • It introduced bicameralism in six out of eleven provinces (Legi. Council; Legi. Assembly)
  • Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Bihar, Assam and the United Provinces (BBM BA UP)

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  • It extended franchise. About 14 per cent of the total population got the voting right
  • Communal representation by providing separate electorates for depressed classes (scheduled castes), women and labour (workers).
  • Establishment of a Reserve Bank of India
  • Federal Public Service Commission; Provincial Public Service Commission; Joint Public Service Commission
  • Establishment of a Federal Court (the final court of appeal was Privy Council in London)

Source: M. Laxmikant

THE COMPANY RULE (1773–1858)THE CROWN RULE (1858–1947)
1. Regulating Act of 17731. Government of India Act of 1858
2. Pitt’s India Act of 17842. Indian Councils Act of 1861
3. Charter Act of 18333. Indian Councils Act of 1892
4. Charter Act of 18534. Indian Councils Act of 1909
 5. Government of India Act of 1919
 6. Government of India Act of 1935
 7. Indian Independence Act of 1947


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