Indian National Congress Sessions from 1885 to 1947: INC Sessions and Presidents List

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Indian National Congress Session: The first Congress Session was conducted in Bombay from 28 to 31 December 1885 by Allan Octavian Hume, who was a retired Civil Service officer. The Indian National Congress (INC), also known as the Congress Party or just the Congress, is a well-established political party in India. It was the first contemporary nationalist movement to arise throughout the British Empire in Asia and Africa when it was founded in 1885. Under Mahatma Gandhi’s direction, Congress took the lead in the Indian independence struggle starting in the late 19th century and notably after 1920.

The Congress had a vital role in the British Empire’s various anti-colonial nationalist movements as well as in the independence of India from the United Kingdom. The Congress is frequently referred to as the “great old party” due to its long and rich history. This article shall present the Indian National Congress Sessions along with its objectives. It will also map out the extensive history of the party briefly along with its foundational story.

Indian National Congress Session

The Indian National Congress also known as Congress Party, was established in 1885. The INC is one of the effective political parties facing opposition from other recognized parties like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) to name a few.

Indian National Congress Sessions From 1885 to 1947 PDF

The Indian National Congress sessions were organized at different places in successive years with every session contributing its own significance to the political history of India. Primarily, the Congress session is divided into four segments namely:

  • (1885-1900): Founding years
  • (1900-1947): Pre-independence Period
  • (1947-1990): Post-independence Period
  • (1990-2019): Post-liberalization Period.

Objectives of Congress Session

Founded in 1885, the Indian National Congress is one of the oldest political parties in the world. It was a broad-based party encompassing all sections of the society that took the lead during the Indian Independence struggle.

The primary goal of the Indian national congress (1885-1947) was to create a sense of national unity. The first and foremost objective of the INC was to get rid of British colonial rule and to promote the nation-building process by including all sections of society. Some other objectives of the Congress Session were:

  • The INC was committed to social inclusion regardless of caste, gender, and religion and vouched for equal rights of all communities and the upliftment of the underprivileged.
  • Promoting political consciousness and political awakening among the citizens of the country.
  • Lastly, the Indian National Congress aimed to promote political liberal democracy, anti-colonial ideology, and democratic culture among the people.

Important Indian National Congress Sessions from 1885 to 1947

The Indian National Congress has had a critical role in influencing India’s political scenario. Comprising prominent leaders such as Nehru, Bose, Gandhi, and more, the INC was the first contemporary nationalist movement party in the country.

We have provided a summary of the prominent INC sessions of the party from 1885 to 1947 below:

  • 1885: The first session of Indian National Congress was held in 1885 under the presidency of W C Bonnerjee in Bombay. 72 delegates attended the session.
  • 1896: The national song of the country ‘Vande Mataram’ was sung for the first time in 1896.
  • 1907: The Indian National Congress was divided into two sections – Extremists and moderates.
  • 1911: The national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was sung for the first time in this session.
  • 1917: The first women president of the INC was appointed in this session.
  • 1919: The massacre of Jallianwala Bagh was strictly condemned and criticized in this session.
  • 1925: The first Indian woman president was appointed in this session, and it was Sarojini Naidu.
  • 1929: It was the Lahore session where the resolution for Poorna Swaraj was taken, and 26 January was marked as Independence Day.
  • 1931: The Irwin-Gandhi pact was approved, and Gandhi was proposed as the representative of INC for the second round table conference.
  • 1938: The National planning committee was set up under the leadership of Pandit Nehru.
  • 1948: This was the first session to be held after the country’s independence.

Congress President List (1885 – 1947)

Since 1880, educated Indians have acknowledged the requirement for an all-India organization, but the Ilbert Bill dispute fueled this urge even more. One of the most significant political organizations of the 20th century was born with the foundation of Indian National Congress (INC).

Since the INC has held a significant role in the country’s political scenario. Below, we have tabulated the Indian National congress session list from 1885 to 1947.

  INC Session List from 1885 to 1947
Number of Sessions INC President List Location Year Importance
1 W C Bonnerjee Bombay 1885 1st session was attended by 72 delegates
2 Dadabhai Naoroji Calcutta 1886 National Congress and National Conference
3 Syed Badruddin Tyabji Madras 1887 Appeal made to Muslims to join hands with other national leaders
4 George Yule Allahabad 1888 First English president
5 Sir William Wedderburn Bombay 1889
6 Feroz Shah Mehta Calcutta 1890
7 P. Ananda Charlu Nagpur 1891
8 W C Bonnerjee Allahabad 1892
9 Dadabhai Naoroji Lahore 1893
10 Alfred Webb Madras 1894
11 Surendranath Banerjee Poona 1895
12 Rahimtullah M. Sayani Calcutta 1896 National song ‘Vande Mataram’ sung for the first time
13 C. Sankaran Nair Amravati 1897
14 Ananda Mohan Bose Madras 1898
15 Romesh Chandra Dutt Lucknow 1899
16 N G Chandavarkar Lahore 1900
17 Dinshaw E. Wacha Calcutta 1901
18 Surendranath Banerjee Ahmedabad 1902
19 Lal Mohan Ghosh Madras 1903
20 Sir Henry Cotton Bombay 1904
21 Gopal Krishna Gokhale Benares 1905 Expressed anger against the partition of Bengal
22 Dadabhai Naoroji Calcutta 1906 The word ‘Swaraj’ was mentioned for the first time
23 Rash Behari Ghosh Surat 1907 Party splits into extremists and moderates
24 Rash Behari Ghosh Madras 1908 Continued revious session
25 Madan Mohan Malaviya Lahore 1909 Indian Councils Act, 1909
26 Sir William Wedderburn Allahabad 1910
27 Bishan Narayan Dhar Calcutta 1911 ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was sung for the first time
28 Raghunath Narasinha Mudholkar Bankipore (Patna) 1912
29 Syed Mohammed Karachi 1913
30 Bhupendra Nath Basu Madras 1914
31 Satyendra Prasanna Sinha Bombay 1915
32 Ambica Charan Mazumdar Lucknow 1916 Lucknow Pact was made in this joint session with the Muslim League
33 Annie Besant (1847 – 1933) Calcutta 1917 First woman president of the INC
34 Syed Hasan Imam (Bombay) And Madan Mohan Malaviya (Delhi) Bombay And Delhi 1918 Two sessions were held. First in Bombay in August/September Second in Delhi in December
35 Motilal Nehru Amritsar 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre criticised and condemned
36 C Vijayaraghavachariar Nagpur 1920
37 Hakim Ajmal Khan (acting President For C R Das) Ahmedabad 1921
38 C R Das Gaya 1922
39 Maulana Mohammad Ali, Kakinada 1923
40 M K Gandhi Belgaum 1924
41 Sarojini Naidu (1879 – 1949) Kanpur 1925 First Indian woman president
42 S Srinivasa Iyengar Guwahati 1926
43 M A Ansari Madras 1927
44 Motilal Nehru Calcutta 1928 All India Youth Congress formed
45 Jawaharlal Nehru Lahore 1929 Resolution for “Poorna Swaraj.” Campaign for total independence to be started by the Civil Disobedience Movement; 26 January to be marked as “Independence Day.”
46 No Session 1930
47 Vallabhbhai Patel Karachi 1931 Resolution on national economic development and fundamental rights. Irwin-Gandhi Pact was approved. Gandhi was proposed as the INC representative at the second round table conference.
48 Amrit Ranchhorddas Seth Delhi 1932
49 Malaviya Was Elected But Mrs Nellie Sengupta Presided Calcutta 1933
50 Rajendra Prasad Bombay 1934
51 Jawaharlal Nehru Lucknow 1937
52 Jawaharlal Nehru Faizpur 1936 First rural session/first session to be held in a village
53 Subhas Chandra Bose Haripura 1938 National planning committee set up under Nehru
54 Subhas Chandra Bose Tripuri 1939 Despite being elected, Bose was forced to resign because Gandhi backed Pattabhi Sitaramayya. Rajendra Prasad was appointed instead.
55 Abul Kalam Azad Ramgarh 1940
56 1941-45 No session because of arrest
57 Acharya Kripalani Meerut 1946 Last session before independence
58 Pattabhi Sitaramayya Jaipur 1948 First session after independence
59 Purushottam Das Tandon Nashik 1950 Resigned in 1951; Nehru became President
60 Jawaharlal Nehru Delhi 1951
61 Jawaharlal Nehru Hyderabad 1953
62 Jawaharlal Nehru Kalyani 1954
63 U. N. Dhebar Avadi(madras) 1955
64 U. N. Dhebar Amritsar 1956
65 U. N. Dhebar Gauhati 1958
66 Indira Gandhi Nagpur 1959
67 Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy Bangalore 1960
68 Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy Bhavnagar 1961
69 Damodaran Sanjvayya Bhubaneshwar 1962
70 Damodaran Sanjvayya Patna 1963
71 K. Kamaraj Bhubaneshwar 1964
72 K. Kamaraj Durgapur 1965

History of Indian National Congress Session

The Indian National Congress (INC), which was founded in 1885, quickly rose to prominence as one of the country’s most significant political organizations before independence. In 1885, the first meeting of the Indian National Congress took place.

A party of commoners having notable leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lajpat Rai, Gandhi, Nehru, Bose, etc. as members, it began as an organization made up only of the intellectual elite in India.

  • At Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Mumbai on December 28, 1885, the Indian National Congress was established by 72 delegates (then Bombay);
  • Allan Octavian Hume, a former Indian Civil Services Officer, started it;
  • The Congress was established with the goal of fostering a climate that would allow for polite dialogue between Indians and the British;
  • The only educated Indians were those who participated in Congress;
  • The British could obtain support for their rule in India through Congress;
  • This was made feasible because educated Indians were more receptive to modernization ideas and could therefore influence other Indians;
  • The General Secretary of the Congress was Allan Octavian Hume, and the President of the Congress was Womesh Chunder Banerjee;
  • As years moved by, some Congress members became inspired by the Swadeshi movement and desired to adhere to the idea of “home rule”;
  • Mahatma Gandhi converted the Congress from an exclusive to a people-centered party after being elected president in 1919, despite opposition;
  • Many concerns, including caste inequality, the healthcare system, illiteracy, and the Purdah regime, were solved with Mahatma Gandhi’s assistance;
  • The Quit India Movement, the establishment of the Indian National Army Defense Committee, and the regrettable Partition of India and Pakistan were all events that the Congress witnessed at the end of British rule.

Indian National Congress Sessions UPSC

The Indian National Congress (INC) was founded in 1885 and it advanced to evolve into one of the most substantial political parties in India before independence. Candidates can download the PDF to learn INC or Indian National Congress Session list and details about the Indian National Congress President list. INC sessions topic comes under the History syllabus for UPSC Prelims, Mains General Studies – 1, and History Optional.

IAS aspirants preparing for the Indian National Congress Sessions UPSC topic must carefully study the UPSC syllabus for a better insight into the examination and outline the preparation strategy accordingly.

Indian National Congress Sessions MCQs

Question: Where was the first Congress Session in Bihar held? (a) Darbhanga, (b) Muzaffarpur, (c) Gaya, (d) Patna
Answer: Patna

Question: Who was the president of the Indian National Congress during the Lucknow Session in 1916? (a) Lala Lajpat Rai, (b) Aurobindo Ghosh, (c) Dadabhai Naoroji, (d) Ambica Charan Mazumdar
Answer: Ambica Charan Mazumdar

Question: Which session of INC passed the famous 4 resolutions, namely – swaraj, swadeshi, Boycott and National Educations? (a) 1929 Lahore session, (b) 1919 Amritsar session, (c) 1906 Calcutta session, (d) 1920 Calcutta session, (e) None of the above/ More than one of the above
Answer: 1906 Calcutta session

Question: With reference to Congress annual sessions, consider the following statements: (1) Sarojini Naidu is the first woman to preside in the Congress session, (2) Gandhiji presided over the congress session of 1924 at Belgaum, (3) Dadabhai Naoroji was elected thrice as the president of Congress. Which of the statements is/ are correct? (a) 2 and 3 only, (b) 1 and 2 only, (c) 1, 2 and 3, (d) 1 and 3 only, (e) None of the above/ More than one of the above
Answer: 2 and 3 only (Dadabhai Naoroji was elected thrice as the president of Congress, Gandhiji presided over the congress session of 1924 at Belgaum).

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