Slide 1 -

Imparting education to the world…
British Administration
Company Rule
• 1765: Company acquired the diwani of Bengal
• 1765-1833: Company had dual role of trader
and ruler
– 1833: its commercial role was abolished
• Civil Services under the company divided into
– Covenanted Civil Service: consisted only of
– Uncovenanted Civil Service: included Indians,
Parsis, English and the Portuguese
Public Administration
• Regulating Act 1773
– Laid down the skeleton of the present governmental system in
the country
– Gov Gen and council appointed in Bengal
– Provided that a Supreme Court of justice be established
• Pitt’s India Act, 1784
– Board of Control established in England
– The Court of Directors was retained but was subjected to the
authority of the Board of Control
– BoC became the real ruling authority over India
– Gov Gen was given more effective power over the council
– Positives
• After years of irresponsible administration, Act was a measure to
rationalise the system
Public Administration
• Hastings
– Civil service became structured
– Company became a govt and took up functions of
revenue and maintenance of law and order.
– Establishment of the secretariat system
– The post of collector was introduced
– He laid the foundation on which Cornwallis built a
– Civil and Criminal courts established
– Supreme court
• Area administration
– Consolidated Indian districts into definite administrative units
– Each district placed under a magistrate and a collector
• Law and order
– Each district was divided into a number of police circles, or thanas
• Judicial Administration
– Comprehensive system of justice
• Introduced highly liberal system of remuneration
• Efforts to remove patronage and see that all important offices are
held by covenanted CS
• Cornwallis Code: concerned with correctives against the abuse of
power by the officials
• Separated customs from the revenue department
• Permanent Settlement
• Boards were set up for administration: board of trade, board of
revenue, military board and medical board
• Positives
– Introduced into the organisation of civil service a definitive, legal and
rational principle, expressed in the separation of revenue and judicial
– Cornwallis Code
• Defined the powers of civil servants in each capacity, with fixed salaries
assigned according to the degree of responsibility
• Drawback
– Europeanisation of Civil Service: his systematic effort to exclude
Indians from taking part in the administration
– Could not give India a modern code of law
• Conclusion
– Cornwallis created certain basic conditions for the growth of
– Apart from consolidating the foundations of state authority, he
brought corporate, legal and professional concepts into bear upon the
organisation of his administrative staff
Public Administration
• Wellesley
– Contribution in the field of training: Fort William College in Calcutta in
1800. (abolished in 1802).
– Hartford Castle (1806): the qualification of candidates was tested by a
written and an oral examination
• Bentinck: evolved the modern concept of district magistrate
• Charter Act of 1833
– Centralisation was the guiding principle
– Gov Gen’s council enlarged
– Presidency of Bengal divided into two parts: Bengal and Agra (nullified
in 1835)
– Gov Gen of Bengal became Gov Gen of India
– The activities of the Company as a commercial body came to an end
– Mentioned that Indians should not be debarred from holding office
under the company
Public Administration
• Dalhousie
– Post and telegraph
– Public Works department
– Division of governmental functions into well-defined
departments was yet another of his reforms
• Charter Act of 1853
– Introduced a system of open competition for recruitment
– Released the gov gen from direct involvement in the details of
provincial administration
• Macaulay Committee Report, 1854
– Laid the foundations for administrative reforms in India
– Competitive recruitment and training
– Proposed a detailed scheme of the examination
Public Administration
• Consequences of the Company rule
– Decadence of the indigenous institution of selfgovernment
– Provinces grouped arbitrarily
– Enormous growth in public taxation and expenditure
– Insufficient attention to education, public health,
– Neglect of indigenous industry and agriculture ->
– Excessive curbs on the political activities of the people
Public Administration
• Act of 1858
• 1859: Portfolio system by Canning
– Work of the govt, divided into several branches, was entrusted
to different members of the Gov Gen’s council
• Act of 1861
– Initiated the process of decentralisation
– Member in-charge of his dept could issue final orders with
regard to matters which concerned his department
– Restored some of the powers of the legislative councils of
Madras and Bombay
– Provided for setting up of new councils in other provinces as
– Provision for inclusion of some Indians in the council of the gov
Public Administration
• Aitchison Commission (1886-87)
– Supported the formation of a lower, local civil
service to be called the provincial civil service
– Covenanted CS was abolished and three services
were carved out
• Imperial Civil Service
• Provincial CS
• Subordinate CS
Public Administration
• Councils Act 1892
– Enlarged the functions of the legislative councils
– Elected representatives in LC
• Councils Act 1909
– Provided for a distribution of powers between the centre and
the provinces
– The division however, did not make India federal. Centre was
still very powerful
– Further increased the size of legislative councils
– Communal Award
• Decentralisation Commission (1909) made
recommendations for the revival and growth of panchayats
Public Administration
• Govt of India Act 1919
– Dealt with the structure of provincial governments
– Dyarchy: provincial subjects were divided into
‘reserved’ and ‘transferred’
– LSG became a provincial and transferred subject
under a responsible Indian minister
Public Administration
• Why dyarchy failed?
– Dividing the govt into branches proved to be unscientific
and unnatural
– Destroyed the unity of purpose of govt activities
– Governor had the last word. No system of collective
– Finance was a reserved subject
• 1923: Royal Commission on superior civil services in
– Chair: Lord Lee of Farham
– Recommended the establishment of a Public Service
Public Administration
• Act of 1935
– Abolished dyarchy in the provinces but introduced it in the
– Provincial autonomy
– Three lists: Union, state and concurrent
– Relaxed some autocratic control of the Crown in certain spheres
and replaced it with a popular government
– Created an All-India Federation
• Drawbacks
– It was not mandatory for the princely states to join the
– Federal features of the constitution were thus not implemented
Public Administration
• Features of the British rule can be discussed under the
following heads
Creation of the ICS
Secretariat system
Pay, promotions and transfers
Provincial civil service
Financial administration
Financial accountability
Law and order
Administration of justice
Local self government
Bureaucratic leadership
Public Administration
Bureaucratic Development
• Three phases under Company rule
– Phase 1: Upto 1765 when it emerged as a territorial power
– Phase 2: 1765-1798 – period of parliamentary intervention
without definite political policy
– Phase 3 – 1798 onwards – developments by Wellesley
• Phase 1
– Royal charter of 1661 authorised the company to appoint
governor to the provinces
– Writers were appointed
– Organisation of CS contained modern ingredients such as a
centralised agency of recruitment, graded heirarchy, contractual
service and a body of rules governing the transaction of its
corporate business
– Patronage was rampant
Public Administration
• Phase 2
– To check nepotism and abuse of nomination, the Charter Act of 1793
laid down that all vacancies occuring in Civil offices below the Council
should be filled by the members of the Convenant CS belonging to that
– Made CS a compact body of officers who were paid according to the
number of years of service
• Phase 3
Fort William College for training of CS established
Charter of 1813
During this phase there were two competing principles of
• First recognised the rule of law as the ruling force
• Second advocated a form of rule by discretion of executive inter-position
– Selection on merit and promotion on seniority
Public Administration
• 1858-1919
– Efforts at rationalisation of the bureaucracy
– Was a period of bureaucratic despotism where every level of hierarchy tried to
tighten the chains around the subordinates
– Act of 1858 provided for recruitment to CCS through open competitive exam
held at London
– Indian Civil Service Act, 1861: reserved certain high posts in administration for
the members of ICS
– 1876: age limit for recruitment reduced to 19
– 1892: min age raised to 21 and max to 23
• 1919-1947
– Towards decentralisation
– 1907: decentralisation commission
• Collector to be recognised as the head of the district in all administrative matters
• Rural and municipal councils
– 1935: provincial autonomy
Public Administration
Public Administration
• Even before 1765, the company had set up an elaborate
system of administration
– Apparantice and Writers constituted the lowest level
• Two types
– Covenanted
– Un-covenanted
• Beginning of Civil Services
– Hastings took steps to separate the commercial and
administrative activities of the company
– Gave large powers to the covenanted civil servants
– Mixed system of administration
• Both Europeans and Indians in the CS
• Though Europeans were at higher posts.
Public Administration
• Europeanisation of Civil Services
– Cornwallis abandoned the system of mixed
– Since he introduced rule of law and security of
property (European concepts) he needed
Europeans to man the administration
Organisation and Recruitment
• Divided into two main classes
– Covenanted
– Uncovenanted
– (After 1892 these were called ICS and Provincial CS
• ICS consisted of only that body of civil servants
recruited according to provisions of the GoI Act, 1858
and for whom certain posts were reserved
• Later other methods besides open competition were
also used
• Between 1858 and 1919 recruitment to the ICS was
made chiefly by open competition held in London
Public Administration
• Act of 1833 made two major changes regarding
– Cornwallis’ policy of excluding Indians was repudiated
– The policy of combining nomination with examination was
adopted (early it was mostly nomination)
• Act of 1853
– Removed the provision of nomination to the covenanted
– All recruitment hence was to be through an open
• First competitive exam held in 1855
• First Indian civil servant: Satyendra Nath Tagore (1864)
Statutory Civil Service
• Instituted in 1879 by Lord Lytton
– Was a device to appease educated Indian who
were agitating for employment in the covenanted
civil service
– Appointments were generally confined to young
men of ‘good family’ and social position
possessing fair abilities and education
Indian Civil Service
1892, the two services rechristened as
– Indian Civil Service
– Provincial Civil Service
Macaulay Report: Led to the establishment of a merit based bureaucracy
– Recruitment to ICS made on the basis of an open competitive examination which was held in
– Emphasised that this be a service of men endowed with the best intellectual traditions, ideas
and sentiments
– Macaulay’s ideas of recruitment lent support to the power elite theory of bureaucracy being
the ruling class
Idea of specific age limit for taking the exam evolved with Macaulay’s report
By 1920, there were a total of five methods of entry into the higher civil service
Competitive exam conducted by and independent agency
Another substantial contribution was institutionalizing a training system
Indianisation of ICS
• 1870: Parliament passed an Act making provision for
appointment of Indians to certain posts reserved for ICS
• This arrangement proved to be unsatisfactory and was
abolished on the recommendation of the Aitchison
Committee (1889)
• 1877-79: Indian Association organised agitation on the civil
services question
• This resulted in the creation of Statutory CS
• Congress also took up the issue
• Curzon’s govt reiterated the policy of English occupying the
highest posts
• By 1913 only 5 pc of the ICS were Indians
Public Administration
• 1886: Public Service Commission
Chair: Lord Aitchison
Upheld the recruitment policy of 1858
Provincial and Indian CS
Continuance of the London test was strongly defended
• Through the commission’s recommendations, a three tier structure was
– ICS, PCS and Subordinate CS
– This structure continues to till date
– In a sense, the commission imparted finality to the public service structure
• 1912: Royal Commission on Public Services in India
– Chair: Lord Islington
– Rejected the demand for simultaneous exam
– Recommended that recruitment to be made through two channels
• One in London open to all
• One in India open to statutory natives only
Creation of a provincial civil service
• On the recommendation of the Aitchison
Commission the following changes were made
– Covenanted CS renamed as Indian Civil Service
– Uncovenanted CS renamed as Provincial CS
• An element of reservation existed in PCS to
provide representation to different classes
• Portfolio System (1858)
• Staffing
– Central pool for drawing manpower
– Recruitment to the upper division of the secretariat made
through direct appointments
– 1937: Maxwell committee recommended that the ministerial
staff should be divided into two main grades – assistants and
• Features of the secretariat system
– Reliance on precedents
– Incapacity of the lower grades of officials to share responsibility
– Practice of excessive record keeping and noting
Secretariat Reforms
• Secretariat Procedure Committee, 1919
– Recommended a pyramidal organisation
• Lewellyn Smith Committee (1920)
– Recommended that tenure of the secys and dy secys be
fixed to bring stability
• Secretariat Committee (Wheeler), 1935
– Studied the problem of delays in working
– Rec. practice of double notings to speed work
• Tottenham Committee (1945-46)
– Reported on the organisation of departments, the
question of staffing and reorganisation of the entire
secretariat system
Pay, promotions and transfers
• Posts divided into superior and inferior
categories. Pay depended on this.
• The system of promotion brought about an
onslaught on the traditional-bound Indian
– Promotion provided an element of social mobility,
especially for the lower castes
• The frequency of transfers sapped the vitality
of the British administration
Area Administration
• After the revolt, a four tier structure was
– District Administration
– Provincial Government
– Government of India
– Home Government
• The administrative links between these four
tiers were provided by statures, rules and
Revenue Administration
• Permanent Settlement of Cornwallis
Financial Administration
Initially the Accountant General of Fort William of Bengal controlled the finances
From 1846, the Secy to the Govt of India in the Finance Dept was nominated the
ex-officio Accountant General of India
Creation of the general department of accounts in place of separate accounts for
each presidency
During Company rule, revenue came from
– Land and taxes on trade and personal property
– Security or defence
– Social and development services
1860: The most important administrative innovation was the introduction of the
budget sytem
– Financial resources to be ascertained before the start of the year
– Central Revenue Department created
– Imperial Audit Department was set up
Public Administration
• Creation of reform committees in the field of
revenue administratiion
– Resolution of 1860 provided for the creation of a
Budget and Audit Committee
• Introduction of govt paper currency in 1860
Financial Accountability
• 1772: Supervisors as collectors in district
• 1781: Board of Revenue became the controlling
authority for revenue purposes
• 1829: Divisional commissioners appointed to supervise
the collectors
• 1919: C&AG was made responsible to the central
• 1922: Central Public Accounts Committee created
• 1926: given power to inspect any government office of
• 1934: RBI established
Law and Order Administration
• Foundations of the contemporary police administration laid during
British rule
• Indian Police Act, 1861
• IGP head of state police. SP at district level.
• Subordinate police force consisted of the inspectors, head
constables, sargeants and constables
• Prior to the Police Act, the magistrate was the head of the district
• After 1861, magistrate ceased to be a direct police functionary but
still had some control over police matters, in addition also retained
judicial authority.
• Thus, DM now had powers over the district police as well over
subordinate magistracy. Over centralisation of authority in one
official paved the way for administrative despotism at the district
Public Administration
• Report of the Police Commission (1902-03)
– A European service to be recruited entirely in England
– A provincial service to be recruited entirely in India
– Upper subordinate service consisting of inspectors and
– Lower subordinate service comprising head constables and
• A province to be divided into ranges
• IPC, 1960, CrPC, 1861, Indian Evidence Act etc
constituted the legal framework of criminal justice
administration that helped the police system to
exercise its functions effectively
Judicial Administration
• Hastings organised two courts in each district
– Exercising civil and criminal jurisdiction
• Cornwallis introduced the separation of power between executive and
– Cornwallis code of 1793 took away the judicial powers of the Collector.
– Laid the foundation of independent judiciary
• Code provided for a three tier system
– European judges with the zilla and city courts at the bottom
– Four Provincial court of appeal at the middle level
– Sadar Diwani and Nizamat Adalat at the top. Besides, Privy Council at the top
• Criminal justice was in the hands of the four provincial courts
– Called Circuit Courts
– At the top was the Sadar Nizamat adalat to hear appeals from the Circuit
• Holt Mackenzie
– Removed the intermediate tier as it slowed down the process
– Recommended that primary jurisdiction in all cases, except a few, be vested in
Judicial Administration
• Judicial admin created perpetual problems
– People did not know the laws of the rulers
– Rulers did not know the traditions of the people
• Bentinck introduced major reforms to improve the
– The district judges of Cornwallis’ creation had to surrender
their magesterial powers to the district collectors
– Thus there emerged the district officer who was the DM,
collector and the head of the police force
– DM of Bentick continued till the end of the British
Local Self Government
• 1864: statutory recognition was granted to panchayats as petty courts in
Bombay and Madras
• 1870: Mayo included the panchayats in the management of funds devoted
to education, public works etc
• Ripon
– 1882: recommended the extension of the elected element in rural bodies,
reduction in the size of the official element, an elected non-official as the
chairman of rural bodies and financial decentralisation
• Decentralisation Commission of 1909 recommended
Three tier system
Village Panchayat
Local tehsil
District board
• 1919
– LSG became a provincial and transferred subject under a responsible Indian
• Indian Administration built on its British heritage
– Eg. All India services, recruitment, training, secretariat
system, district admin, revenue admin, police system,
fin admin
• Uniform system of administration
– The princely states had different systems of
• Their Acts and statutes are still in use
• Innovation and stuff

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