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Morley-Minto Reform

Posted on : 01 Feb 2020

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  • Indian Councils Act 1909 or Morley-Minto Reform was an extension of the 1892 reform. The Morley-Minto Reforms, so named after John Morley, who was the secretary of state for India (1905-1910 & 1911) and Minto was the Governor-General of India (1905-1910).
  • The British Parliament appointed a Royal Commission on Decentralisation in 1907, to inquire into relations between the Government of India and the provinces and suggest ways and means to simplify and improve them. Thus the report of Royal Commission on Decentralization became the basis for Morley-Minto Reform.

Features of the Act of 1909

  • It considerably increased the size of the legislative councils, both Central and provincial. The number of members in the Central Legislative Council was raised from 16 to 60. The number of members in the provincial legislative councils was not uniform.
  • It retained official majority in the Central Legislative Council but allowed the provincial legislative councils to have non-official majority.
  • It enlarged the deliberative functions of the legislative councils at both levels. For example, members were allowed to ask supplementary questions, move resolutions on the budget, and so on.
  • It provided (for the first time) for the association of Indians with the executive councils of the Viceroy and Governors. Satyendra Prasad Sinhabecame the first Indian to join the Viceroy’s Executive Council. He was appointed as the law member.
  • It introduced a system of communal representation for Muslims by accepting the concept of ‘separate electorate’. Under this, the Muslim members were to be elected only by Muslim
  • voters. Thus, the Act ‘ legalized communalism’ and Lord Minto came to be known as the Father of Communal Electorate.
  • It also provided for the separate representation of presidency corporations, chambers of commerce, universities, and zamindars.

Article Related Questions

  1. Consider the following statements regarding the Morley-Minto Reform
    1.It increased the size of the central legislative council only.
    2.Members of the council were allowed to ask supplementary questions, move resolutions on the budget.
    3.It provided for the separate representation of presidency corporations, chambers of commerce, universities, and zamindars.
    Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  2. 1.1 and 2 only

    2.2 and 3 only

    3.3 only

    4.1, 2 and 3

    Right Ans : 2 and 3 only

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