Charter Act 1813: Features, Importance, Clause 43 of Charter Act 1813

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The British East India Company’s charter was extended by the Charter Act 1813, also referred to as the East India Company Act 1813, which was enacted by the British Parliament. This continued the Company’s sovereignty over India. The Company’s commercial monopoly was broken, with the exception of the trade in tea, opium, and products with China, to signify the growth of British dominance in India. Under the Charter Act of 1813, British merchants could trade in India under a strict licensing system. The Company maintained its monopoly in trade with China and the tea trade.

The Charter Act 1813 is a significant topic in the Indian Polity syllabus for the UPSC exam and is covered in considerable detail here. In this article, we have provided you with all the important information regarding the 1813 Charter Act including its features, provisions, and importance.

What is Charter Act 1813?

The British Parliament granted the East India Company a charter in the Charter Act 1813, establishing the Company’s sovereignty over India. British India allocated INR 100,000/- for Indian education under the 1813 Charter Act. They were allowed to preach both their religion and English by the Christian Missionary. The Charter Act of 1813 gave the Indian courts more authority and knowledge over the European British and the power of the interim administration.

Go through the highlights of Charter Act 1813 for easy and quick revision.

Charter Act 1813 Overview
Introduced by The British Parliament
Purpose of Charter Act 1813 To end the East India Company’s monopoly over trade in India. Though, the company’s monopoly in trade with China and trade in tea with India was kept intact.
Also Known as East India Company Act, 1813
Governor-General Lord Hastings
Territories Affected Territories under British possession in India
Status The Charter Act 1813 was repealed by the Government of India Act, 1915.

Features of Charter Act 1813

The Charter Act of 1813 explicitly defined the constitutional position of the British territories in India and asserted the Crown’s sovereignty. The features of the Charter Act 1813 are:

  • It ended the East India Company’s monopoly in India. But the East India Company retained its monopoly on the trade in tea, opium, and with China.
  • Another 20 years of the Company’s rule was proclaimed.
  • The Act granted permission to Christian Missionaries who wished to come to India to promote moral improvements and religious proselytization.
  • The Act also allows panchayats and municipalities to charge tax from people, subject to the Supreme Court jurisdictions. It made Indian Courts more powerful.
  • Those who did not pay taxes were punished under the Charter Act of 1813.
  • The act helped in the management of property revenues and commercial profits of the Company. The company’s dividend was fixed at 10.5%.
  • The provision was to keep the territorial and commercial accounts separate.
  • Clause 43 of the Charter Act 1813 stated that the Company should invest ₹1 Lakh every year in the education of Indians. It helps boost the financial grants towards education, eventually promoting the knowledge of Science and Indian literature among students.

Importance of the Charter Act 1813

The importance of the Charter Act 1813 can be understood by going through the following points:

  • It asserted the Crown’s sovereignty over British possessions in India.
  • It ended the East India Company’s monopoly in India.
  • The Act also empowered the local governments to tax people, subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

Charter Act 1813 Governor General

Lord Minto was the Governor General of India at the time of the Charter Act 1813. On the other hand, Lord Minto was elected President of the Board of Control in 1806 and made Governor-General of India in 1807; he retained this position until October 1813. Minto tried to enact reforms in the press and education because he was worried about the improvement of administration in India.

The Charter Act 1813 governed the company’s territorial income and commercial profits. It was requested that it maintain a distinction between its commercial and territorial accounts. He arrived in England in December of 1813, and the following year he became an Earl. The Governor General of the 1813 Charter Act was buried in Westminster Abbey after passing away on June 21, 1814.

Conclusion of Charter Act 1813

The Board of Control’s leadership and control functions were formed by the Charter Act 1813 and subsequently expanded. One of its most important sections was the 1813 Charter Act’s allocation of Rs. 1 lakh annually for the revival and advancement of literature, support for India’s learned natives, and introduction and promotion of scientific knowledge among the populous of British Indian colonies.

The Charter Act of 1813 marked the beginning of the idea of state responsibility for education. It was one of the most important actions taken by the British government in regard to India.

Charter Act 1813 UPSC

The Charter Act 1813 is a crucial topic in Modern Indian History syllabus of the UPSC exam. Over the years, several questions have been asked about this topic in both UPSC Prelims and Mains GS Paper- 1. Candidates must study the features and significance of Charter Act 1813 thoroughly in order to score well in the exam.

Also Check:

Charter Act 1813 UPSC Question

One of the sample UPSC Prelims Questions on Charter Act 1813 can be,

Question: Which of the following is one of the reasons for considering the Charter Act 1813 important for India?

  1. It banned propaganda by Christian missionaries in India.
  2. It emphasized industrialization in India.
  3. It made the Financial allocation for the education of the Indian people.
  4. It approved the development of the railway system in India.

It is good to practice UPSC Previous Year Question Papers and try writing answers for any Mains questions asked related to the topic.

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