Important Governor Generals and Viceroys


21st Aug 2021

  • With almost absolute power the Governor-General and viceroy played a significant role in the shaping history of the country. Following are some of these important figures and significant events and major reforms carried out by them.

     Governor Generals of Bengal/India (Period)

      Important events/Reforms

        Warren Hastings


    • Regulating Act of 1773.
    • First Governor-General of Bengal.
    • End of the dual system of administration (1765-1772).
    • Supreme Court at Calcutta.
    • Wrote Introduction to the first English translation of Gita.
    • Founded Madarasa Aliya at Calcutta.

         Lord Cornwallis


    • Separation of three branches of service: commercial, judicial and revenue.
    • Permanent Land Revenue Settlement of Bengal-1793.
    • Reformed, modernised and rationalised the civil service.
    • Introduced the Cornwallis Code.
    • Sanskrit College, Varanasi.

         Lord Wellesley


    • Introduction of Subsidiary Alliance System.
    • Fourth Anglo-Mysore war.
    • Fort William College, Calcutta.

         Lord Hastings


    • Anglo-Nepal War (1814-16)
    • Third Anglo-Maratha War-(1817-19) and dissolution of Maratha confederacy.
    • Introduction of Ryotwari System of Thomas Munro, Governor of Madras-1820.

         Lord William Bentinck


    • Charter Act of 1833.
    • Abolition of Sati-1829.
    • Resolution of 1835 and Education reforms and introduction of English as the official language.
    • The annexation of Mysore-1831, Coorg, and Central Cachar-1831.

         Lord Dalhousie


    • Introduction of the Doctrine of Lapse and annexations of Satara-1848, Jaitpur and Sambhalpur-1849, Udaipur-1852, Jhansi-1853, Nagpur-1854 and Awadh-1856.
    • Wood’s Dispatch of 1854.
    • Railway Minute of 1853.
    • Telegraph and Postal reforms.
    • Widow Remarriage Act-1856.

         Lord Canning


    • Establishment of universities at Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.
    • Mutiny of 1857.
    Governor-General and Viceroy of India (Period)                                Important events/Reforms
     Lord Canning


    • First Voiceroy of India.
    • Transfer of control from East India Company to the Crown by the Government of India Act 1858
    • Indian Councils Act-1861

         Lord Mayo


    • Opening of Rajkot College in Kathiawad and Mayo College at Ajmer for political training of Indian Princes.
    • Statistical Survey of India was established.
    • Department of Agriculture and Commerce was established.
    • Introduction of state railways.

         Lord Lytton


    • The Great Famine of 1876 affecting Bombay, Madras, Mysore, Hyderabad, Central India and Punjab.
    • Appointment of Famine Commission under the presidency of Richard Strachey.
    • Vernacular Press Act was passed- 1878.
    • The Arms Act-1878.

         Lord Ripon


    • Education Commission 1882 under William Hunter-1882.
    • Ilbert Bill controversy.
    • Repeal of Vernacular Press Act in 1882.
    • The First Factory Act in 1881 to improve labour conditions.
    • Government resolution on local self government-1882.

         Lord Dufferin


    • Establishment of Indian National Congress.

         Lord Lansdowne


    • The categorisation of civil services into imperial, provincial and subordinate.
    • Indian Councils Act-1892
    • Durand Commission (1893) was set up to define the Durand Line between India and Afghanistan.

         Lord Curzon


    • Police Commission (1902) was appointed under Sir Andrew Frazer.
    • University Commission (1902) was appointed and Universities Act (1904) was passed.
    • Department of Commerce and Industry was established.
    • Calcutta Corporation Act-1899
    • Partition of Bengal (1905).

         Lord Minto-II


    • Popularisation of anti-partition and Swadeshi Movements.
    • Split in Indian National Congress at Surat in 1907.
    • Indian Muslim League was established by Aga Khan (1907)
    • Morley-Minto reforms or Indian Councils Act 1909.

         Lord Hardinge-II


    • Transfer of capital from Calcutta to Delhi (1911).
    • Establishment of Hindu Mahasabha (1915) by Madan Mohan Malviya.
         Lord Chelmsford


    • Home Rule League was formed by Annie Besant and Tilak (1916)
    • Lucknow session of Congress (1916).
    • Lucknow Pact between Congress and Muslim League (1916).
    • Champaran Satyagraha (1918), and Satyagraha at Ahmadabad (1918).
    • Montague’s August Declaration.
    • Government of Indian Act- 1919
    • Jallianwalla Bagh massacre (1919).
    • Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movements were launched.
    • Foundation of Women’s University at Poona (1916) and Saddler’s Commission was appointed for reforms in educational policy.
    • Appointment of S. P. Sinha as governor of Bihar first Indian to do so.

         Lord Reading


    • The Chaura-Chauri Incident-Feb5, 1922 and withdrawal of Non-Cooperation movement.
    • Moplah rebellion in Kerala (1921).
    • Repeal of the Press Act of 1910 and Rowlatt Act of 1919.
    • Kakori train robbery (1925)
    • Establishment of Swaraj Party (1922).
    • The decision to hold a simultaneous examination for ICS in Delhi and London with effect from 1923.

         Lord Irwin


    • Simon Commission-1928
    • Appointment of the Harcourt Butler Indian States Commission (1927)
    • Murder of Saunders and Bomb blast in the Assembly Hall of Delhi-1929
    • Lahore session of Congress 1929 and Purna Swaraj Resolution.
    • Dandi March (12 March, 1929) and launch of Civil Disobedience Movement.

        Lord Willingdon


    • Second Round Table Conference and failure of the conference, resumption of the Civil Disobedience Movement.
    • Announcement of the Communal Award (1932).
    • Poona Pact (1932)
    • Third Round Table Conference 1932.
    • The Government of India Act, 1935.
    • Establishment of All India Kisan Sabha 1936.
    • Establishment of Congress Socialist Party by Acharya Narendra Dev and Jayaprakash Narayan (1934)

         Lord Linlithgow


    • First general elections were held and Congress attained absolute majority (1936-1937).
    • Congress ministers resigned (1937) after the outbreak of WW-II
    • Subhash Chandra Bose elected as the president of Congress-1938.
    • Lahore Resolution by Muslim League for the demand of separate state for Muslims.
    • August Offer by the viceroy-1940.
    • Cripp’s Mission to India
    • Passing of the Quit India Resolution by Congress-1942

         Lord Wavell


    • C Rajgopalachari’s CR Formula (1944) and Gandhi-Jinnah Talks failed.
    • Wavell Plan and the Shimla Conference (1942)
    • Cabinet Mission and Congress accepted its plan 1946
    • Observance of the ‘Direct Action Day’ (16 August 1946) by the Muslim League.
    • Elections to the Constituent Assembly and formation of Interim Government by the Congress (September 1946).
    • Announcement of the end of British rule in India by Clement Attlee on February 20, 1946

         Lord Mountbatten


    • June Third Plan (June 3, 1947) announced.
    • Introduction of Indian Independence Bill in the House of Commons.
    • Appointment of two boundary commissions under Sir Cyril Radcliff for the partition of Bengal and Punjab.

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