The Government of India Act, 1919 – the Dyarchy

by Ben Alford

The Government of India Act was passed by congress in December 1919 and put the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms into effect. The Montagu-Chelmsford reforms set the system, that became known as the ‘Dyarchy’.

• The Executive Council was set up to be advisory to the Viceroy. It included the Viceroy and the commander-in-chief and 6 other members, three of which were Indians.

• The Imperial Legislative Council changed to the Imperial Legislative Assembly and grew to 146 members, 106 of them being elected members. And was effectively to be the lower house of parliament.

• A Council of State was created, with 61 people. The Council of State was to review legislation passed by the Assembly.

• The British Council members dealt with areas such as foreign relations, defence and taxation; Indian members dealt with thing such as education, sanitation and agriculture.

• Provincial governments would now have both British ministers and Indian ministers.


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