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Montague-Chelmsford Reforms of 1919

The political developments in India duringdivisionthe ofFirst World War such as the Home Rule Movement led to the August Declaration. On 20th August, 1917 Montague, the Secretary of State for India made a momentous declaration in the House of Commons.

Montague-Chelmsford Reforms of 1919

 

The political developments in India duringdivisionthe ofFirst World War such as the Home Rule Movement led to the August Declaration. On 20th August, 1917 Montague, the Secretary of State for India made a momentous declaration in the House of Commons. His declaration assured the introduction of responsible government in India in different stages. As a first measure the Government of India Act of 1919 was passed by the Parliament of England. This Act is popularly known as Montague-Chelmsford Reforms. At that time Lord Chelmsford was the Viceroy of India.

The main features of the Act were:

Dyarchy was introduced in the provinces. Provincial subjects were divided into 'Reserved Subjects' such as police, jails, land revenue, irrigation and forests and 'Transferred Subjects' such as education, local self-government, public health, sanitation, agriculture and industries. The Reserved subjects were to be administered by the Governor and his Executive Council. The Transferred subjects by the Governor and his ministers.

 

A bicameral (Two Chambers) legislature was set up at the centre. It consisted of the Council of States and the Legislative Assembly. The total member in the Legislative Assembly was to be a maximum of 145, out of which 105 were to be elected and the remaining nominated. In the Council of States there would be a maximum of 60 members out of which 34 were elected and the remaining nominated.

The salaries of the Secretary of State for India and his assistants were to be paid out of the British revenues. So far, they were paid out of the Indian revenues.

A High Commissioner for India at London was appointed.

The most important defect in this Act was the powers under the system of Dyarchy in the provinces.


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