Quick Revision Series for Prelims 2021: Governor-Generals and Viceroys of India Part 2

By Aman|Updated : July 26th, 2021

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Table of Content

Governor-Generals and Viceroys of India Part 2 (1858–1947)

Lord Canning (1858–62)

  • He was the Governor-General during Mutiny of 1857 and after the war, he was made the first Viceroy of India.
  • The Indian Councils Act of 1862 was passed, which proved to be a landmark in the constitutional history of India
  • The Indian Penal Code of Criminal Procedure (1859) was passed
  • The Indian High Court Act (1861) was enacted
  • Income Tax was introduced for the first time in 1858
  • The Universities of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras founded in 1857.

Lord Elgin I (1862–63)

  • Wahabi Movement (Pan-Islamic Movement).
  • High Courts were established at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1862

Sir John Lawrence (1864–69)

  • Telegraphic communication was opened with Europe;
  • Expanded canal works and railways
  • Bhutan War (1865)
  • Advocated State-managed railways
  • Created the Indian Forest Department and recognised the native Judicial service.
  • He introduced various reforms and became the member of Punjab Board of Administration after the second Sikh war.
  • He was known as the Saviour of Punjab.

Lord Mayo (1869–72)

  • Introduced financial decentralization in India
  • Established Rajkot College at Kathiawar and Mayo College at Ajmer for the princes
  • Organised the Statistical Survey of India
  • Established the Department of Agriculture & Commerce.
  • He was the only Viceroy to be murdered in office by a Pathan convict in Andamans in 1872.
  • For the first time in Indian history, a census was held in 1871.

Lord Northbrook (1872–76)

  • Kuka Movement of Punjab took a rebellious turn during his period.

Lord Lytton (1876–80)

  • Most infamous Governor-General pursued free trade and abolished duties on 29 British manufactured goods which accelerated drain of the wealth of India
  • Arranged the Grand Darbar in Delhi (in 1877) when the country was suffering from a severe famine
  • Passed the Royal Title Act (1876) and Queen Victoria was declared as the Kaiser-i-Hind
  • Arms Act (1878) made mandatory for Indians to acquire a license for arms
  • Passed the infamous Vernacular Press Act (1878)
  • Proposed the plan of Statutory Civil Service in 1878-79 and lowered the maximum age limit from 21 to 19 years

Lord Ripon (1880–84)

  • Repeal of the Vernacular Press Act, 1882
  • The First Factory Act, 1881 to improve labour condition
  • Resolution of Local Self Government in 1882
  • Resolution on Land Revenue Policy
  • Appointed Hunter Commission (for education reforms) in 1882
  • The Ilbert Bill controversy erupted during his time (1883) which enabled Indian district magistrates to try European criminals. But this was withdrawn later.

Lord Dufferin (1884–88)

  • 3rd Burmese War (Annexation of Upper and Lower Burma) in 1885.
  • Establishment of Indian National Congress in 1885.

Lord Lansdowne (1888–94)

  • The second Factory Act of 1891; Categorization of Civil Services into imperial, provincial and subordinate.
  • Indian Council Act of 1892 (introduced elections which were indirect).
  • Appointment of the Durand Commission to define the line between British India and Afghanistan (1893).

Lord Elgin II (1894–99)

  • The Munda uprising (under Birsa Munda) of 1899.
  • Convention delimiting the frontier between China and India was ratified.
  • The great famine of 1896–97.
  • Lyall Commission appointed after famine (1897).
  • The assassination of two British officials-Rand & Amherst-by Chapekar Brothers in 1897.

Lord Curzon (1899–1905)

  • Appointed a Police Commission in 1902 under Andrew Frazer.
  • Set up the Universities Commission and accordingly the Indian Universities Act of 1904 was passed.
  • Set up the Department of Commerce and Industry.
  • Calcutta Corporation Act (1899).
  • Passed the Indian Coinage and Paper Currency Act (in 1899) and put India on a gold standard.
  • Partition of Bengal took place in 1905.
  • Created the NWFP and Archaeological Survey of India.

Lord Minto II (1905–10)

  • Swadeshi Movement (1905–08).
  • Foundation of the Muslim League, 1906.
  • Surat session and split in the Congress (1907).
  • Newspapers Act, 1908.
  • Morley-Minto Reforms, 1909.

Lord Hardinge II (1910–16)

  • Annulment of the partition of Bengal (1911).
  • Transfer of Capital from Calcutta to Delhi (1911).
  • Delhi Darbar and Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary (1911).
  • Establishment of Hindu Mahasabha by Madan Mohan Malviya (1915).

Lord Chelmsford (1916–21)

  • Home Rule Movement launched by Tilak and Annie Besant (1916).
  • Lucknow Pact between Congress and Muslim League (1916).
  • The arrival of Gandhi in India (1915).
  • Champaran Satyagraha (1917).
  • Montague’s August Declaration (1917).
  • Kheda Satyagraha and Satyagraha at Ahmedabad (1918).
  • Government of India Act (1919).
  • Repressive Rowlatt Act (1919).
  • Jalianwala Bagh Massacre (1919).
  • Khilafat Movement (1920–22).
  • Non-cooperation Movement (1920–22).
  • Saddler Commission (1917) and an Indian Sir S. P. Sinha was appointed Governor of Bengal.

Lord Reading (1921–26)

  • Criminal Law Amendment Act and abolition of cotton excise
  • Repeal of Press Act of 1910 & Rowlatt Act of 1919
  • Violent Moplah rebellion in Kerala (1921)
  • Foundation of CPI (1921)
  • Chauri Chaura Incident (1922)
  • Foundation of Swaraj Party (1923)
  • Kakori Train Dacoity (1925)
  • Foundation of RSS (1925)
  • Murder of Swami Shardhanand (1926).
  • Suppressed non-cooperation movement.

Lord Irwin (1926–31)

  • Simon Commission announced in 1927.
  • Butler Commission (1927); Nehru Report (1928).
  • 14 points of Jinnah (1929); Lahore session of Congress and ‘Poorna Swaraj’ declaration (1929).
  • Civil Disobedience Movement (1930).
  • Dandi march (1930).
  • 1st Round Table Conference (1930).
  • Gandhi-Irwin Pact (1931).
  • Martyrdom of Jatin Das (hunger strike).

Lord Willingdon (1931–36)

  • 2nd Round Table Conference (1931).
  • Civil Disobedience Movement (1932).
  • The announcement of MacDonald’s Communal Award (1932).
  • 3rd Round Table Conference.
  • Foundation of Congress Socialist Party-CSP (1934).
  • Government of India Act (1935).
  • Burma separated from India (1935).
  • All India Kisan Sabha (1936).
  • Poona Pact was signed between Ambedkar and Gandhi.

Lord Linlithgow (1936–43)

  • First General Election (1936–37).
  • Congress ministries in 1937 and Resignation of Congress ministries in 1939.
  • ‘Deliverance Day’ by Muslim League in 1939.
  • Foundation of Forward Block by S.C. Bose (1939).
  • Lahore Resolution (1940); August Offer (1940); Cripps Mission (1942); Quit India Movement (1942) and Outbreak of Second World War in 1939.

Lord Wavell (1943–1947)

  • R. Formula 1944; Wavell Plan and Shimla Conference in 1945.
  • End of 2nd World War in 1945.
  • INA Trials in 1945; Naval mutiny in 1946.
  • Cabinet Mission, 1946 and acceptance of its proposals by Congress.
  • Direct Action Day by the Muslim League on 16th August 1946 and the first meeting of the constituent assembly was held on Dec. 9, 1946.

Lord Mountbatten (March–August 1947)

  • Announced the 3 June 1947 Plan; Introduction of Indian Independence Bill in the House of Commons and passed by the British Parliament on July 4, 1947.
  • Appointment of 2 boundary commissions under Sir Cyril Radcliffe.

Governor Generals of Independent India (1947–50)

Lord Mountbatten (1947–48)

  • The first Governor-General of free India; Kashmir acceded to India (Oct. 1947); Murder of Gandhi (Jan. 30, 1948).

Rajagopalachari (June 1948–January 25, 1950)

  • The last Governor-General of free India; The only Indian Governor-General. 


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