Complete information on British policies and administration in India after AD 1858.

1. Queen Victoria’s Proclamation (AD 1858) tried to pacify all sections of society. However, the promises made were never quite fulfilled.

2. The government machinery was taken over by the British Crown. The British Parliament became the supreme authority on all matters concerning India. India was to be looked after by the Secretary of State.

3. In India, the Governor-General was the supreme authority. He was given the title of ‘Viceroy’.


4. India was divided into provinces. Bengal, Bombay and Madras were called Presidencies.

5. Local self-governing institutions were set-up. Municipal committees and district boards were set up in the towns and rural areas respectively.

6. Financial administration was revamped. Budgets were introduced. Later, all available revenue sources were divided into three categories.

7. The Civil Services were dominated by British officers. In AD 1879, a statutory Civil Service was created and some Indians were included in it. In AD 1886, three separate services were introduced- Indian Civil Service and Subordinate Civil Service. Indians were still kept out of the bureaucracy.


8. The army was re-organized. The policy of Divide and Rule began to be practiced in the army.

9. Annexation of Princely States was abandoned. Instead, rulers were made to serve British political and economic interests.

10. Spread of education was neglected. A policy of indifference and disinterest was followed towards social reforms.

11. Foreign policy was guided by three principles-protecting their commercial interests, keeping other foreign powers out and securing the frontiers of India. An active foreign policy was followed with Afghanistan, Burma, Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet.