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The Government of India Act 1935

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  • Last Updated : 08 Sep, 2022
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The Britishers before leaving our country made a very strong foundation for themselves. But as we moved towards our independence, there were many milestones made for a stable Indian government that will rule in an independent India. The Government act of 1935 is no less than a milestone under which the contribution of Indians was discussed and provided.

The GOI Act 1935 is a lengthy and detailed document that contained the whole act that talks a lot about the administration system, in which Indians were playing a major role. The document is made with 321 sections and 10 schedules talked about every section of Indian society. Every section of the Indian society was involved in the big decisions of the free constitution.

Background Of Act 1935:

The events before the act of 1935 have influenced the features of this act. The previous commissions made by the British government had no Indian representative, which led to the discussion of the new reforms between the leaders and the government. To make an act under which every section of the Indian society is involved agreed, and participated.

The previous acts of Chelmsford reforms and the Simon commission have been the biggest disagreement among the Indians. After many famous protests against Simon’s commission, the Indian leaders made their commission and take out the Nehru report.  The Simon commission and the Nehru report were published in the year of 1930.

The Nehru report was made under the leadership of Motilal Nehru, under which the demands of the Indian population were drafted. After the three round table conferences, a white paper was published, under which every report was discussed to make the foundation of the 1935 act. Let us look at and understand all the 10 features that made this act a milestone for the Indian administration.

Features Of Act 1935:

There are ten features of this act under which the Indian leaders made sure that they involved every section of their society.

  1. Division of powers in list: An All-India federation was established, under which the princely states and the provinces were a single unit. Of all the units, there are three lists. Namely, the Federal list, Provincial List, and Concurrent list. This list holds subjects. Subjects were distributed first into two lists and then into three lists. The viceroy, on the other hand, was given the power to make laws on the subject that were not added to any of these lists.
  2. Adoption of Dyarchy in central legislation: The provincial subjects were divided into two parts, i.e. Reserved subjects and transferred subjects. The main difference that this caused was that in reserved subjects, the governor and his administration were in power. Whereas, in the transferred subjects, Indian ministers were also given the power to make judgments along with the governor. Now, there were two governments at the centre for taking action.
  3. Provincial autonomy: This feature was to establish a stable decision and policymaking body at the provincial level. This made the role of the Governor a major part of the act. A governor was visioned to work as an advisor to the provincial legislature. The power to decide without the interference of the centre was given under this act.
  4. Bicameralism:  Six out of eleven provinces faced bicameralism in their legislative assembly. These states were Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Assam, Burma, Bihar, and the United Province. With which it was announced that there will be no dyarchy at the provincial level. Only the governor and the elected or chosen Indian ministers will make the decision. 
  5. Establishment of Federal court: GOI act 1935 took a very big step for the disputes that can arise between any two states. In 1937, the first federal court was made in Delhi. Which later came to be known as the Supreme court.
  6. Communal representation: As the promise was to include every section of Indian society, the GOI act 1935 included the Schedule class, women, and labourers as a priority.
  7. Currency control: The establishment of the Reserve Bank of India was also provided under this act. The control of the Indian rupee under the hands of the Indian administrators was recommended in the form of RBI.
  8. Voting rights:  To form an All-Indian federation, elections took place in the country. At that time, around 30  million people were eligible under the adult franchise to vote. To fill the seats of the provincial legislature, the voting took place in high numbers.
  9. Commissions: Along with many, the establishment of many public service commissions was also established under the GOI act 1935. These commissions were given power at federal and provincial levels. The joint public service commission was also made for two or more provinces.
  10. Abolishment of Council of India: The GOI of 1858 established the council of  India, under which the Secretary of State was given a set of advisors that will help them make decisions. It was abolished under the GOI act, of 1935.
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