company’s hands. Act of 1773 found a via media in remodelling the
company’s governing body and establishing a governor-general-in-council.
Act of 1784 created a ‘double government’ system (Court of Directors and
Board of Control).
Direct administration of India by the Crown Act of 1858 replaced the
Board and the Court by secretary of state for India and his council
respectively. Unquestioned authority of the Home Government to control and
direct authorities in India was established. But the necessity of carrying on
the government of India in India itself made it wiser to delegate authority to
the man on the spot.
System of British Indian Government The system was unitary or highly
centralised in nature. For it was supreme with undivided authority. The
Presidency system, though historically of an earlier origin, died out in 1833,
and the later revival provincial governments was based on devolution and
Evolution of Unitary System or Centralised Government Initially there
was no central authority in India with every presidency being directly
responsible to the Company’s Directors. First signs of centralisation were
seen in the Act of 1773, which designated the governor of Calcutta as
governor general of Bengal. Further strengthening of the central government
was made possible by the Acts of 1793 and 1813, though the other
presidencies continued to be independent in all matters except war and peace.
Act of 1833 invested the central authority in Calcutta with more powers and
reduced others to mere agents: The Unitary System set up in 1833 continued
to be in operation until 1919.
Process of Decentralisation and Devolution First attempt at
decentralisation was initiated by Lord Mayo in 1870 in the sphere of finance,
but real development take place only after 1918. Act of 1919 provided for the
division of subjects between central and provincial governments and the
introduction of ‘Dyarchy’ in the provinces. Act of 1935 brought about the
abolition of Dyarchy in the provinces and establishment of provincial
Structure of the Colonial