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British Administration [Civil, Police, Judicial & Education]

1. Civil Services

The foundation of civil service in India was laid by Cornwallis (1786-93). He also introduced certain reforms to tackle corruption in civil services. He increased the salaries of EIC officials. He started the system of promotions would be based on seniority to tackle nepotism.

In 1793, a policy was made, according to which, every position with salary of 300 Pound + would be reserved for British individuals. This was done because British assumed themselves ‘racially superior’ and also because they felt that Indians cannot be trusted with positions of power and influence.

Initially, appointments of civil services was done by East India company itself and favouritism was an accepted practice. However, by 1853, these posts became highly lucrative and in Charter Act of 1853, CSEs were made open for the British citizens. (Lord Dalhousie was Governor @ that time). It was merit based recruitment.

In Govt. of India Act 1861, the exam was thrown open to Indians as well. And in 1863, Satyendranath Tagore (brother of Ravindranath Tagore) became 1st Indian civil servant. (1st Indian to join civil services).

Lord Lytton (1876-1880) introduced several provisions in 1879, to make it difficult for Indians to pass the exam. He announced that exam was to be held only in London. Maximum eligible age for exam was decreased from 21 to 19 yrs. And it was mandatory to have linguistic proficiency in Greek & Latin as well to appear for exam.

However these restrictions were lifted in 1888 due to strong opposition by Indian nationalists.

2. Police Structure

Cornwallis (1786-93) relieved Zamindars of their duty of Policing. He established an independent system.

At village level, village watchmen would do policing as before. He divided districts into Thanas, to be headed by DarogaAnd the district as a whole, was headed by District Magistrate. Later on the DM was relieved of his policing duty and separate post of SP (Superintendent of Police) was created.

SP would oversee law & order while DM would see to other administrative work. The post of Daroga was given to Indians. But once again, Indians were barred from higher posts.

To avoid the friction between SP & DM, William Bentinck (1828-35) removed the post of SP and supervision of law and order was transferred to DM. But in long term, it led to overburdening of DM and law & order in the district were compromised.

Indian Police Act, 1861 re-introduced the position of SP (Superintendent of Police).

Fraser commission recommended intelligence agency (CID) at central and provincial level under Lord Curzon in 1902.

3. Judicial Structure

Warren Hastings (1772-85) introduced modern judicial System in Calcutta in 1773. This system was to be governed by principles of equality before law and written, codified laws. However, the personal laws related to marriage, religion etc. of Indians were left largely untouched.

There were two parts of Judicial system.
Diwani Adalat (civil court) would deal with property, revenue, tax, financial disputes etc. and was located in district headquarter;
And Fauzadari courts would look into criminal affairs. These were located only in some of the big districts.

Cornwallis (1786-93) modified the system introduced by Warren Hastings. He separated the offices of District Judge and revenue Collector.

To deal with criminal matters, Cornwallis replaced Fauzadari courts with Circuit courts. The Bengal presidency was divided into four divisions and there was circuit court for each division. These courts were ‘court of appeal’ for civil matters and ‘final court’ in criminal matters.

Law Commission headed by Macaulay (1835), appointed during tenure of Lord Bentinck, recommended the codification of laws. As a result, in 1861  IPC, CPC, CrPC were formulated.
IPC – Crime and corresponding punishment.
CrPC – What procedure should be followed while investigation.
CPC – Procedure to be followed in civil matters.

Indian judge could not sit in case involving British person.

3.1 Ilbert Bill 1883-84

  • / Bill aimed to end racial discrimination in judiciary which will allow Indians to sit in a case involving British. But it could not be passed. During tenure of Lord Ripon as Governor.
  • An Indian Judge Biharilal Gupta was promoted to session court, despite his promotion he was not allowed to try cases of Europeans. Taking note of this anamoly, Ilbert, law member of Ripon govt. presented bill for the cause, but was opposed stiffly.
  • Issues with ‘Modern’ judicial system.
  • Inaccesibility since courts were distant.
  • Delays since courts were few.
  • Codified laws demanded need of lawyer, making it expensive.

Education Policy

  1. Orientalists and Anglicist viewpoint.
What is the goal/objective of education policy?Civilization of culture is goal. Univerals education must be aim.Goal is to create a group of educated middle class Indians, who would aid the British in administration.
Medium of instrcution.Vernacular language.English
What is content of education?Largely rooted in local culture, environment and traditions.Largely European or scientific advancements and culture.
 They were not opposed to modern elements completely. 
 J J Thompson. He also made to translate texts in local languages.Thomas Macualy
Ultimately Anglicist viewpoint prevailed.
  1. Role of various commissions.
  2. Thomas Macauly – Downward filtration theory.
  • We will educate section of middle class and they will educate fellow Indians and that’s how whole society will be uplifted.
  • / When India gained independece, literary rate was 16!
  • This theory prevailed approximately 1830s.
  1. Wood’s dispatch in 1854
  • Rejected Macaulay’s minute of Aglicist viewpoint.
  • British must take responsibility to educate masses.
  • Education can be divided in
  • Higher – English language.
  • College level education – local language.
  • High Shchool – Anglo Vernacular language.
  • Recommended to establish universities on line of London Uni. In Madras, Bombay, Calcutta etc.
  • At least one govt. school in every distr.
  • Affilated pvt. Schools should be given grant in aid.
  • Vocational and women’s education were also stressed upon.
  • But due to lack of funds these could not be recommended.
  • / Woods dispatch is also called Magna Carta of British education policy.
  1. Hunter Commission 1882
  • Higher – English.
  • Primary – Local and also there should be focus on vocational (skill) eduaction. Employable skills should be imparted.
  1. Rayleigh Commission 1902 by Lord Curzon
  • To recommend steps to ‘improve’ quality of higher education in India.
  • Reco – Number of colleges granted affilation to universities must be reduced.
  • Number of scholarships /fellowships must be decreased.
  • Intake in universities must be decreased.
  • / Since there were protests against Bengal Partition announcement even in universities, these steps were taken in name of ‘improvement’.
  • Universities Act 1904 was introduced. Congress opposed it as regressive.
  1. Madarasa at Calcutta 1781 Warren Hastings For study of teachings of Muslim law and related subjects. Sanskrit College at Varanasi 1791 Jonathan Duncan For study of Hindu law and philosophy. Hindu College 1800 David Hare a Dutch watchmaker with assistance from Raja Rammohan Roy.   Vedanta College 1825 Raja Rammohan Roy Both Indian and Western subjects were taught. Bethune School 1849 Founded by John Bethune. Iswarchandra Vidyasagar acted as its secretary. First girls school for higher education in Asia. Bombay, Calcutta & Madras University 1857 On recommedations of Wood’s Dispatch.       AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) 1875 Sir Sayyad Ahmed Khan Erstwhile Muhammedan Anglo-Oriental College. For spreading western sci & culture. Benaras Hindu University 1916 Earlier Central Hindu School by Annie Besant & Later Madan Mohan Malaviya developed into BHU. N K Wodeyar was also involved. COEP 1854 VJTI 1887.

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