Lord Ripon UPSC: Father of Local Self Government, Good Viceroy of India

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : November 13th, 2022

Lord Ripon, or George Frederick Samuel Robinson, was the 1st Marquess of Ripon. He was a British politician who served in every Liberal cabinet from 1861. Lord Ripon implemented several changes to improve the situation of the native Indians while serving as the Viceroy of India. The most important of these reforms was the introduction of local self-government, the first of its type in British India. As a result, he earned the moniker "Father of Local Self Government."

The article here provides all the necessary information about Lord Ripon, relevant for the UPSC Exam. 

Table of Content

Lord Ripon: Early Life

Lord Ripon, the second child of Prime Minister F.J. Robinson and Lady Sarah Hobart, was born on October 24, 1827. He pursued his education independently, not attending either high school or college. Oxford University conferred an honorary degree upon him.

  • In 1852, Lord Ripon was chosen to represent the Liberal party in the House of Commons.
  • He was given the titles of Privy Counselor and Secretary of State for War under Palmerston, along with a cabinet position. Palmerston died in 1865, and Lord Russell became prime minister. From February to June 1866, Palmerston was Russell's secretary of state for India.
  • During William Gladstone's first term in office, he served as Lord President of the Council (1868–1873). He presided over the joint commission writing the Treaty of Washington with the United States over the Alabama Claims during this time.
  • Because of this, he was made Marquess of Ripon in the County of York in 1871.

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Lord Ripon: Good Viceroy of India

William Gladstone named Lord Ripon the Viceroy of India in 1880. His introduction of the IIbert Bill, which would have given Indians wider legal rights, including the ability for Indian judges to hear cases involving Europeans, was one of his first acts. Despite being a progressive measure, Europeans who were appalled by the idea of being judged by native Indians vehemently opposed the bill.

  • Additionally, he introduced the Bengal Land Tenancy Bill, which ultimately evolved into the Bengal Tenancy Act of 1885, to better the predicament of peasants. Lord Ripon additionally overturned the contentious Vernacular Press Act of 1878.
  • The most well-known person to receive credit for the Resolution of 1882, which granted Indians the right to local self-government, is Lord Ripon. The local self-government plan would lead to the evolution of municipal institutions that had previously been directly governed by the British Crown.
  • A series of laws would create local self-government organisations in urban and rural areas. In India, he is known as the "Father of Local-Self Government" as a result.
  • The Hunter Commission, headed by William Wilson Hunter, called for extensive educational reforms at the primary and secondary levels of education. The First Factory Act of 1881 sought to improve the working conditions of nearby factory workers by reducing the number of hours they were required to work.
  • Additionally, Lord Ripon had a significant role in the expansion of organised forest conservation in India as well as the restructuring of the Madras Forest Department.

Lord Ripon- Father of Local-Self Government: Resolution of 1882

By establishing Local Self Government in India in 1882, Lord Ripon is credited with providing Indians with their first taste of liberty.

  • He created the municipal institutions that had developed in the nation since the British Crown had invaded India with his plan for local self-government. He oversaw several laws that gave rural and urban bodies more local self-government authority and increased voting rights for the populace.
  • Lord Ripon is the Father of Local Self Government in India. This was established through a resolution issued in 1882 rather than any legislation.

Later Life of Lord Ripon

In 1884, Lord Ripon's term as Viceroy ended, and he left for England. He held a variety of significant posts, including:

  • Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding of Yorkshire from 1873 to 1906
  • Honorary Colonel of the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Prince of Wales's Own
  • West Riding's Provincial Grand Master
  • United Grand Lodge of England's Deputy Grand Master from 1861 to 1869
  • University of Leeds' Chancellor from 1904 until he died in 1909 

Lord Ripon was buried at St Mary’s, Studley Royal- in North Yorkshire, England.

Lord Ripon UPSC

Lord Ripon, regarded as the Good Viceroy of India, was the Father of Local Self Government in India. One can study about him in the History Books for UPSC. In the UPSC Exam, several times questions were asked concerning Lord Ripon, such as

Question: Who among the following is known as the Father of Local Self Government in India?

  1. Lord Reading
  2. Lord Minto
  3. Lord Ripon
  4. Lord Dalhousie

Answer: Option C

Question: Which of the following statements are correct regarding Lord Ripon?

  1. He appointed Wood’s commission for education.
  2. He got enacted the Vernacular Press Act of 1878.

Select the correct code from the options given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: Option D

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Lord Ripon FAQs

  • During his time as Viceroy, Lord Ripon, also known as the "Good Viceroy of India," started several reforms to improve the situation of the native Indians. The institution of local self-government, the first of its type in British India, was foremost among these reforms. He is referred to as the Father of Local Self-Government as a result.

  • When Ripon repealed the contentious Vernacular Press Act (1878), which required the editors of Indian newspapers to either give an undertaking not to publish any matter objectionable to the government or to submit the proof sheets for inspection before publication, his liberal policies encountered resistance.

  • Since it created the groundwork for local self-government, Lord Ripon's Resolution of 1882 is regarded as the "Magna Carta" of local self-government in India. Download Lord Ripon UPSC Notes from here.

  • Between 1880 and 1884, Lord Ripon served as a viceroy in India under British authority. He is regarded as the most liberal viceroy and is referred to as the Good Viceroy of India. He began many reform initiatives as soon as he assumed office on June 8, 1880.

  • Lord Dufferin succeeded Lord Ripon as the Viceroy of India.

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