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Modern History / British Administration

Administrative Structure of British Rule in India


    Administrative structure of British rule in India changed from time to time. In 1772, East India Company became a territorial power. From 1773 onwards, the British Parliament made regulations for the administration in India. With passage of each Act, the power of East India Company were reduced.

    The British Administrative Structure in India

    • Regulating Act, 1773 and Pitt's India Act, 1784 created the structure of British administration in India. Two administrative structures were created, one in London and the other in India.
    • The Regulating Act, 1773 created Court of Directors in London. The Court of Directors consists of 24 directors (major shareholders of the company) of East India Company.
    • The Pitt's India Act, 1784 created another organization called Board of Control, having 6 Members of Parliament of which 2 are Cabinet ministers. Board of Control was given every power. So, Indian administration was subjected to duality of command.
    • In India, by the Regulating Act of 1773, the governors of Bombay and Madras were subordinated to the Governor of Fort William in the matters of war and peace. The designation of governor of Fort William has been changed to Governor General of Fort William. Warren Hastings became the first Governor General of Fort William.
    • Regulating Act, 1773 created an Executive Council, consisting of 4 members to assist the Governor General of Fort William. Pitt's India Act reduced the executive council members to three.
    • A Supreme Court was created in Calcutta by the Regulating Act of 1773. Though the name is Supreme Court, it was equivalent to a High Court. Elijah Impey has been appointed as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Elijah Impey gave death penalty to Nanda Kumar for the first time.
    • The Charter Act, 1833 made the Governor General more powerful in every aspect. The Governor General started making laws for the whole of British India. Designation of Governor General has been changed to Governor General of India. William Bentinck was the first Governor-General of India.