GS-1 (Mains), Modern History, Prelims Booster

(MH/4) Modern History – Quick Revision Series Part-4

Modern History

Administrative Changes After 1857

1. Changes After 1857

  • Emergence of new Colonial Powers (The USA, Japan & European Countries).
  • British Supremacy in world economy challenged.
  • Large-scale capital investment in India (Railways, Tea plantations, Coal-mining, Jute mills etc.)

2. Changes in Government at the Centre

  • The Crown assumed the power to govern– to be exercised through a secretary of state. (Act for Better Government of India, 1858; ICA, 1861)
  • Indians could be associated with legislative process in Indian Legislative Council, which had very limited power.

3. Changes in Provincial Administration

  • Process of financial & administrative devolution initiated in 1870.
    1. Lord Mayo bifurcated Central & Provincial finances (Mayo’s Resolution of 1879).
    2. Lord Lytton transferred land revenue, excise, general administration and Law & Justice to Provinces in 1877.
  • Half-hearted & inadequate measures introduced (aimed at increasing revenue only).

4. Changes in Local Bodies

  • A process of decentralisation initiated in 1860s(ICA, 1861).
  • Mayo’s Resolution of 1870 (bifurcating Central & Provincial finances).
  • Ripon’s Resolution of 1882
    • Policy of administering local affairs through Urban & Rural Local bodies.
    • ULBs & RLBs charged with definite duties & entrusted with suitable sources of revenue.
    • Non-officials to act as  chairpersons to these bodies.
  • Royal Commission on Decentralisation (1908).
  • Under Dyarchy, Local Self-Government was made a “transferredsubject by GoI Act, 1919.
  • Article 40 of Indian Constitution.
  • The 73th CAA & 74th CAA. (Ryotwari by Munro)

5. Changes in the Army

  1. Supremacy of European branch ensured.
  2. Indian branch to be reorganised on the basis of balance & counterpoise.
  3. Indians to be excluded from important & strategic locations & branches.
  4. Army to be used to promote commercial interests of Great Britain.

6. Public Services

  1. Very tough for Indians to enter in it.
  2. Indians subordinated to British authority.

7. Administrative Policies

  • Divide and Rule
  • Hostility to Educated Indians (Demanded Indian participation in Administration).
  • Zamindars & Landlords propped as counterweights to the nationalists.
  • Reversal of policy of support to social reforms.
  • Social services ignored.
  • Half-hearted & inadequate labour legislations introduced (Indian Factory Act, 1881 & 1891.
  • Restrictions on the freedom of Press.
  • Racial arrogance.

8. Foreign Policy

  1. Guided by interest of British imperialism (Often led to India’s conflicts with neighbouring countries).
  2. Keep other European powers at an arm’s length.
  3. Promote British economic & commercial interests.


Economic Impact of British Rule in India

1. Economic Impact of British Rule

A] Deindustrialisation– Ruin of Artisans & Handicrafts Men

  • One-Way Free Trade (flooded the Indian market after the Charter Act of 1813).
  • No Steps towards Modern Industrialisation.
  • Ruralisation (decline of many cities).

B] Impoverishment of Peasantry

  • Only interested in maximisation of rents & in securing its share of revenue.

C] Emergence of New Land Relations Ruin of Old Zamindars.

D] Stagnation & Deterioration of Agriculture

E] Commercialisation of Indian Agriculture

F] Late Development of Modern Industry.

G] Rise of Indian national bourgeoisie

H] Economic Drain (The Poverty and UnBritish Rule in India)

I] Famine and Poverty

2. Nationalist Critique

  1. India getting poorer due to colonial exploitation.
  2. Problem of Poverty- A national problem of raising productive capacities & energy.
  3. Development equated with Industrialisation, which should take place through Indian, not foreign capital.
  4. Mostly British policies designed to serve imperialist interests.


Development Of Indian Press

James Augustus Hickey(1780) started The Bengal Gazette (or Calcutta General Advertiser) => 1st Newspaper in India.

1) Early Regulations


  • Censorship of Press Act, 1799


      • Enacted by Lord Wellesley (1798-1805)
      • Relaxed under Lord Hastings (1813-1823)


  • Licensing Regulations, 1823


      • Rammohan Roy’s Mirat-ul-Akbar had to stop publication.


  • Metcalfe Act (Press Act of 1835)


      • Repealed the obnoxious 1823 ordinance.
      • Called “Liberator of the Indian Press


  • Licensing Act, 1857


      • Due to the emergency caused by 1857 revolt licensing restriction was imposed.


  • Registration Act, 1867


    • Replaced Metcalfe Act of 1835.
    • Regulatory, not restrictive nature.

2) Vernacular Press Act, 1878

  • Designed to ‘better control’ the vernacular press and effectively punish & repress seditious writing.
  • District Magistrate’s action was final & no appeal could be made in a court of law.
  • Nicknamed as “The Gagging Act”.

Worst feature

  1. Discrimination between English & Vernacular press,
  2. No Right of appeal.

(Incidentally, the Amrita Bazar Patrika turned overnight into an English Newspaper)

  • In 1883, Surendranath Banerjee became the 1st Indian journalist to be imprisoned (The Bengalee).
  • Tilak was arrested after the murder of Rand(murdered by Chapekar Brothers) on the basis of the publication of a poem “Shivaji’s Utterances”.

3) Newspaper (Incitement to Offences) Act, 1908

  • Aimed against Extremist nationalist activity.
  • Act empowered Magistrate to confiscate press property.

4) During & After WW-1

-> Defence of India Rules imposed for

  • Repression of Political agitation.
  • Free Public Criticism during WW-1.

-> Indian Press (Emergency Powers) Act, 1931

  • Gave sweeping powers to provincial govt to suppress propaganda for CDM.

5) After Independence

  1. Press Enquiry Committee, 1947
  2. Press (Objectionable Matters) Act, 1951
  3. Press Commission under Justice Rajadhyaksha.


Development Of Education

1) Under Company Rule

  • Calcutta Madrasa– by Warren Hastings in 1781.
  • Sanskrit College– by Jonathan Duncan in 1791 for study of Hindu law & Philosophy, to help Britishers.
  • William College– by Wellesley in 1800 for training of Civil Servants. (Closed in 1802).
  • Charter Act of 1813 Act directed Company to sanctioned Rs. 1 lakh annually.

=> Orientalist-Anglicist Controversy

Anglicists = education should be exclusively for Modern Studies.

Orientalists = emphasis should be on expansion of traditional Indian learning apart from Western Science & Literature.

-> Lord Macaulay’s Minute (1835) settled the row in favour of Anglicists.

-> Teaching of Western Sciences & Literature through English Medium alone.

-> Lord Macaulay says” Indian learning was inferior to European learning.”

-> Downward Filtration Theory“Indian in blood & colour but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect”.

=> Wood’s Despatch (1854)

  • Considered “Magna Carta of English Education in India”.
  • GoI should assume responsibility for education of masses.
  • Recommended English medium for Higher studies & Vernacular for School level.
  • Laid stress on female & vocational education, and on teachers’ training.
  • Secular education.
  • Recommended a system of grant-in-aid to encourage private enterprise.

Bethune School at Calcutta(1849)= 1st movement for Education of Women.

2) After Crown Took Over

A. Hunter Commission (1882-83)

  • To review the progress of Education in the country since Wood’s Despatch of 1854.
  • Confined its recommendations to Primary & Secondary education.


  • Transfer of control of primary education to District & Municipal Boards.
  • Encouraged women education.
  • Primary Education through Vernacular languages.
  • Suggested 2 channels- Literary Education & Vocational career.
  • Encouraged Private participation.

B. Raleigh University Commission (1902)

  • For improvement of universities condition & working.

C. Saddler University Commision (1917-19)

D. Education Under Dyarchy (1919)

  • Education was shifted to Provinces.

E. Hartog Committee (1929)

F. Sergeant Plan of Education (1944)

  • Free, Universal & Compulsory Elementary Education for 6-11 yrs age group.

3) Wardha Scheme of Education

  • Based on Gandhian Principles(After an article published in Harijan).
  • Formulated by Zakir Hussain Committee.
  • Free & Compulsory Education to be provided for 7 yrs in regional language.(No Place for English)
  • Included Handicraft as a part of syllabus.

4) Education After Independence

  1. Radhakrishnan University Commission (1948-49)
  2. Kothari Commission (Based on this National Policy was announced in 1968)
    • Free, Universal & Compulsory Education upto the age of 14.
    • 3 Language formula– Mother tongue, Hindi & English.
    • Investment of 6% of GDP on Education.

1976: Education placed in Concurrent List

2002: Free & Compulsory Education of 6 to 14yrs made a FR.


Additional Note:

  • Lord Curzon estd an Agriculture College at Pusa.
  • The British wanted to use Modern Education to strengthen the foundation of their political authority in India.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s