Administrative Changes & Objectives in India after 1858

IAS Mains General Studies Sample Answers


A new stage of colonialism was introduced in India after the revolt of 1857. It demonstrated that in a sense the hold of the company on India was still rather weak, and its lessons continued to influence British administration in India for several generations. After the revolt of 1857,as the first, the basic administrative change came in form of the Act of 1858 which transferred the control of India to the Crown from the East India company. The power to govern India was vested in the crown through the secretary of state who was responsible to the British Parliament. As a result, India came to be ruled directly by the British Parliament as a colony. It was called the queen’s proclamation, described as the ‘Magnacarta’ of the Indian people.

Administration was decentralized and powers were given to local bodies like municipalities and district boards to overcome financial difficulties faced by the Government due to over centralization. The army which took the initiative in the out-break was thoroughly reorganized, and for the next fifty tears, ‘’the idea of division and counterpoise ‘’dominated the British military policy in India. Not to give any key and strategic post to Indians was an old policy which was started to be followed strictly after 1857. Indians were not promoted or recruited to higher posts in army.

The British government now took up a new attitude towards the Indian states. From now on the reactionary and vested interest were well protected and encouraged and became pillars of British rule in India. Apart from law and policy making, Indians were intentionally excluded from civil services by making their entry tough. The maximum age limit was further reduced to 19 years form 23.
So, it can be said that administrative changes were made to control India more effectively.

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