Go through these RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 18 Constitutional Development in India-Government of India Act, 1935 contain important concepts so that students can score better marks in the exam.
Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 18 Constitutional Development in India-Government of India Act, 1935
Government Act, 1935
- The British parliament passed a bill for the effective administration of its rule which came into effect on August 2, 1935 after the assent of the Emperor, and was known as The Government of India Act, 1935.
Main characteristics of Government of India Act, 1935:
- A detailed Act.
- The proposal of the plan of an All India Association
- Establishment of diarchy system at the centre
- Provincial autonomy
- Power division
- The arrangement of protection and reservation
- Enhancement of coalition and right to vote in the legistatures
- Federal court
- Supremacy of British parliament
- End of India Council
- The clause related to Burma, Berar and Adaen
- Enhancement of communal election system.
Main elements of proposed All India Federal System:
- The necessity of including all the units in the federation was not same for all.
- The units were not of equal level
- The arbitrary powers of governor-general
- Lack of autonomy in all the units of federation
- Inappropriate division of powers
- The presence of unitary elements in the federation.
There may be two meanings of provincial autonomy. In one sense, provisions should have the autonomy of working independently in their respective area. In other sense, provincial autonomy refers to the establishment of a responsible government in the provinces.
The diarchy system in provinces provided by the Act of 1919 was removed, and provinces were given the form of autonomous political unit.
The Evaluation of Provincial Autonomy:
The provincial autonomy established by the Government of India Act, 1935 was far off from reality. Both external and internal restrictions were imposed over them, so that the provinces had no autonomy with them. The external restrictions imposed over provincial autonomy were:
- Declaration of emergency
- The control of centre on the provinces
- Unnecessary interference and control of governor-general in provincial laws and regulations
- The bills approved in the provincial legislature, were kept safe for review by Governor-general
- The specific powers of governor-general.
Major Internal Restrictions on Provincial Autonomy
- The role of governor was greater then that of constitutional president
- The unlimited financial powers of governor
- The governor’s control on the ministers
- The civil service officers did not cooperate with the ministers.
Implementation of Provincial Autonomy
- The British government tried to apply provincial autonomy in India under the Act of 1935.
- After getting the assurance for cooperation from governors, in July 1937, British government formed the provincial government.
Impact of the Act of 1935 on the Present Constitution of India
Main effects of the Government of India Act, 1935 on the present Indian constitution are
- In the present constitution of India, in comparison to the units of union, more powers have been provided to the centre. The arrangement of division of power is largely affected by the Government of India Act, 1935
- The idea of bicameral legistature
- Provision of constitutional crisis
- The post of governor
- The constitution of India is a detailed constitutional document
- As compared to state laws, federal laws will be given supremacy
- The federal parliament and legislature guide the executive council of states in their working.
Evaluation of Government of India Act, 1935:
- The Government of India Act, 1935 has an important place in the history of Indian constitutional development.
The Government of India Act is criticized on the basis of the following points :
- Criticism in England
- The act was useless and preposterous
- No solution of the Indian problems
- The act was a betrayal and only a mere show
- No participation of the people of India in its formation
- The federal law was faulty
- Provincial autonomy was only a farce
- The expanse of communal election system was merely by words
- No right of self determination
- Faulty system of protection and reservation.
Constitutional Development in India-Government of India Act, 1935 Notes Important Terms
→ Government of India Act, 1935: An act passed by British parliament to address the Indian constitutional problem. The British crown gave its approval on August 2, 1935.
→ White paper: A white paper is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution.
→ Princely state: A princely state, also called a native state or Indian state, was a state within the former British Indian empire wherein a native Indian prince held rule on behalf of the British rather than his holding direct control over the state.
→ Federal court: The federal court of India was a judicial body established in India in 1937 under the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935 with original appellate and advisory jurisdiction.
→ Bicameral legislature: An independent legislature established by the Government of India Act, 1935. There were two houses in it-federal assembly and state council.
→ Diarchy: The meaning of diarchy is dual independent rule. A form of government in which two individuals (the diarchy) are the heads of state or Kingdom. The diarchy system was removed from the states of India and imposed in the centre by the Government of India Act, 1935.
→ Provincial autonomy: Under the government of India Act, 1935, there was provision of a system of provincial autonomy. This meant that provincial government (legislatures and executive councils) had limited independent powers.
→ Union List: A union list is a combined list of 59 subjects related to national interest, it was imposed under the Government of India Act, 1935. The central legislative assembly has a right to make the laws on these subjects. Post and telegraph department, bank, insurance, etc. were included in this list.
→ Provincial List: A list of 54 subjects of local importance. According to the Government of India Act, 1935, the subjects such as peace, justice, court, local self-government were included in it.
→ Concurrent list: Under the Act of 1935, on the subjects of this list, both the centre as well as the provinces could make the laws. In case of any difference, the federal assembly enjoyed supremacy.
→ Residual powers: Under the Act of 1935, residual powers were handed over to the governor-general. He was given the right to make the law either by central or by provincial legislature.
→ Collective responsibility: The Cabinet’s collective responsibility, also known as collective ministerial responsibility is a constitutional convention in parliamentary systems that members of the cabinet must publicly support all governmental decisions made in cabinet even if they do not privately agree with them.
→ Council of India: The council of India was the name given at different times to two separate bodies associated with British rule in India. The original Council of India was established by the Charter Act of 1833 as a council of four formal advisors to the governor-general at Fort William.
The president of the council of India was known as India secretary. India council was removed by the government of India Act, 1935.
→ Communal election system: Under the Indian Council Act, 1909, communal electorate system was introduced. The different communities and groups were given a separate right to vote in this Act. There was a separate electoral arrangement for the Muslims, Chamber of Commerce, zamindars, Sikhs, Anglo Indians, Christians, Europeans and Harijans. They were given a reservation in the election. This system paved the path for the demand of division of India. It was expanded in the Act of 1935.
→ Provincial legislature: It is the legislative branch of the government of a province. The provincial legislatures are unicameral and vary in size from 30 to 80 members.
→ Governor: A governor is a public official with the power to govern the executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state.
→ Governor-General: The representative of British empire in India. The post of governor-general was created by the Regulating Act, 1773.
Warren Hastings was the first governor-general of India.
→ Constitutional president: The constitutional head of the state assembly. The role of a governor was considered as a constitutional president in India under the Government of India Act, 1935.
→ Ordinance: There are two meanings of an ordinance: Ordinances are temporary laws that are promulgated by the president of India on the recommendation of the union cabinet. These can only be issued when the parliament is not in session. These enable the Indian government to take immediate legislative action. The governors of provinces had power to issue ordinance under the government of India Act of 1935.
→ Governor: The head of the state legislature is called the Governor.
→ Michael Copeland: A Political thinker. He described the Government of India Act, 1935 as a “constructive political thought” and declared the Act to be a great success. According to him, “The Act of 1935 transferred the fate of India from the British hands to the Indians.”
→ Madan Mohan Malviya: A well-known freedom fighter, and a senior Congress leader. He presided over the Indian National Congress sessions a number of times. He was the founder of Banaras Hindu University. He commented on the Government of India Act, 1935, saying, “The Act has been imposed on us through one-sided provision. It looks like means of democratic system, but actually, it is internally hollow”.
→ C. Rajagopalachari: The first governor-general of free India. He was also the last governor-general of India. He was awarded the highest Indian award “Bharat Ratna”. He declared that the Government of India Act, 1935 was worse than the diarchy system.
→ Jawaharlal Nehru: The first prime minister of free India, a famous freedom-fighter and the founder of modern India. He propounded the panchasheel principle. He is the author of the excellent book, ‘The Discovery of India’. He declared the Government of India Act, 1935 as “The Manifesto of Slavery.”