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List of Governors-General of India

List of Governors-General of India

WARREN HASTINGS (1773-1785):

  • Brought the Dual Government of Bengal to an end by the Regulating Act, 1773.
  • In 1781, he founded the Calcutta Madrasa for promotion of Islamic studies. This was the first educational institute established by the Company’s government.
  • Auctioned the right to collect land revenue to the highest bidder: Divided Bengal into districts and appointed collectors and other revenue officials. Zamindars were given judicial powers; establishment of civil and criminal courts in each district.


  • First person to codify laws in 1793. The code separated the revenue administration from the administration of justice.
  • Introduced Permanent settlement system in which the land was given on permanent basis to the zamindar in 1793.
  • Fought the famous Anglo Mysore war.

LORD WELLESLEY (1798-1805):

  • Started Subsidiary Alliance system to achieve British paramountcy in India.
  • He opened college to train the Company’s servants in Calcutta. That is why he is also called the Father of the Civil Services in India .
  • Fought Fourth Mysore war, second Maratha War.

LORD HASTINGS (1813-23):

  • Introduced the Ryotwari settlement in Madras.
  • Fought third Maratha war.
  • The first vernacular newspaper Samahar Patrika begin to be published during his time.


  • Replacement of Persian by vernaculars and Scott language, introduction of the residuary system.
  • English accepted as the medium of instruction after the famous Macaulay’s recommendation; Medical colleges at Calcutta in 1835.
  • Abolition of sati in 1829. Suppression of thuggee in central India; banning of female infanticide; banning of human sacrifice; reform in the Hindu Law of Inheritance.

LORD DALHOUSIE (1848-1856):

  • He is famous for the the Doctrine of Lapse. The second Anglo Sikh War and did Sikh power and Punjab was annexed.
  • First railway line was led from Bombay to Thana, in 1853.
  • Served Charles Woods despatch on Education (1854) recommended the setting up of universities in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. In 1853, competitive examination for the Indian Civil Services began.
  • He also passed Widow Remarriage Act, 1856.

LORD CANNING (1856-1858):

  • Annexation of Avadh, enactment of Hindu Widow Remarriage Bill, 1857.
  • Establishment of universities at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay.                                List of Governors-General of India
  • Passed the Act of 1858, which ended the rule of the East India Company. Mutiny took place in his time.
  • Withdrew Doctrine of Lapse.

LORD LYTTON (1876-80):

  • Pursued free trade and abolished duties which accelerated drain of wealth of India.
  • Arranged the Grand Darbar in Delhi (in 1877) when the country was suffering from a servere famine.
  • Passed the infamous Vernacular Press Act (1878).
  • Proposed the plan of Statutory Civil Service in 1878-79 and lowered the maximum age limit from 21 to 19 years.

LORD RIPON (1880-84):

  • Repeal of the Vernacular Press Act, 1882.
  • The First Factory Act, 1881 to improve labour condition
  • Resolution of Local Self Government in 1882.
  • Resolution on Land Revenue Policy.
  • Appointed Hunter Commission (for education reforms) in 1882.
  • The Ilbert Bill controversy erupted during his time (1883) enabled Indian
    district magistrates to try European criminals. But this was withdrawn later.                                      List of Governors-General of India

LORD CURZON (1899-1905) :

  • Appointed a Police Commission to review police administration
  • Set up the Universities Commission and accordingly the Indian Universities Act of 1904 was passed.
  • Partition of Bengal took place in 1905.


  • Home Rule League launched by Tilak and Annie Besant (1916).
  • Lucknow Pact between Congress and Muslim League (1916).
  • Arrival of Gandhi in India (1915); Champaran Satyagraha (1917).
  • Montague’s August Declaration (1917).
  • Government of India Act (1919), Repressive Rowlatt Act (1919).
  • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919), Khilafat Movement (1920-22).
  • Non-cooperation Movement (1920-22).                                        List of Governors-General of India


  • Congress ministries in 1937 and Resignation of Congress ministries in 1939.
  • ‘Deliverance Day’ by Muslim League in 1939; Foundation of Forward Block by S.C. Bose (1939); Lahore Resolution (1940); August Offer (1940); Cripps Mission (1942); Quit India Movement (1942) and outbreak of second world war in 1939.

LORD WAVELL (1943-1947):

  • R. Formula 1944.
  • WaveII Plan and Shimla Conference in 1945.
  • INA Trials in 1945; Naval mutiny in 1946.
  • Cabinet Mission, 1946 and acceptance of its proposals by Congress.
  • Direct Action Day by the Muslim League on 16th August, 1946 and first meeting of the constituent assembly was held on Dec. 9, 1946.


  • Introduction of Indian Independence Bill in the house of Commons.                                              List of Governors-General of India
  • Appointment of 2 boundary commissions under Sir Cryil Radicliffe.


Modern History

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