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Kerala PSC Indian History Book Study Materials Page 1965Book's First Page
Lord Curzon The immediate cause for the rise of extremism was the reactionary rule of Lord Curzon (1889–1905) and his partition of Bengal (1905). Curzon’s eventful tenure as viceroy was to mark the end of an epoch in the British period. His viceroyalty falls broadly into two uneven halves with the Delhi Darbar (1903) serving as a dividing line. During the first four years, he was not only admired in India but also supported at home; in the last two, however, his popularity in India began to wane while his relationship with Whitehall got increasingly strained. During the first half he launched a programme of administrative reform covering twelve major fields. Commissions were constituted to deal with irrigation, railways, agricultural banks and police. His financial reforms soon began to bear fruit while the currency reform was widely applauded. His Calcutta Municipal Act (1899) sought to officialise municipal administration and diminish the Indian control. The measure proved to be extremely controversial and was ultimately undone in 1923. The widespread famine of 1897-8 made him to revise the earlier Famine Code. Through the Punjab Land Alienation Act (1901) he sought to protect cultivators from eviction. To promote agricultural production, he set up an Agricultural Research Institute at Pusa in Delhi. He also ordered a land survey under Sir Colin Scott Monorieff who recommended widespread irrigation. A new department of commerce and industry was started to promote, among other things, railway construction. The Police Commission (1901) under Sir Andrew Fraser was appointed to inquire into all facets of the force. On the basis of its recommendations a new covenanted police service was constituted and a criminal intelligence department established.