Lord Rippon, Lord Lansdowne, Lord Curzon & Partition of Bengal - Civil Services Preparation Online! UPSC & IAS Study Material

Lord Rippon, Lord Lansdowne, Lord Curzon & Partition of Bengal

by Devender 08-Jul-21

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Lord Rippon was the most popular Gov. General of India and he was known as Rippon the Good whereas Lord Curzon was known for the Bengal partition.

Lord Rippon

He came to power in 1880 and stayed in power till 1884. He reversed the Afghan policy of Lytton & made peace with Afghanistan and he also stood against the vernacular press act of Lytton. He carried out the rendition of Mysore and introduced local government. He helped in the growth of local bodies like the Municipal Committees in towns and the local boards in taluks and villages. He trusted them with the care of local amenities, sanitation, drainage, water supply, and primary education.

  • He appointed the Hunter commission under Sir William Hunter for expansion and improvement in the education of the masses
  • The commission suggested providing primary education in local languages and recommended transferring control of primary education to district & municipal boards.
  • The commission recommended two channels for secondary education:
  • one for the Entrance Examination of the university

    other for preparing the students for a vocational career

    It also drew attention to not having enough facilities for women's education especially outside presidency towns and made recommendations for its spread.

  • First Factory act:
  • It came out in 1881 and focused on improving the conditions of factory workers in India. It banned the appointment of children below age 7 in factories and reduced children working hours. This act also made it compulsory to fence dangerous machines in factories for the safety of workers.

  • Ilbert Bill Controversy:
  • According to the law, a European can only be tried by a European judge. However, Lord Rippon didn't like it and thought it is a dishonor of Indian-born members of the judiciary. He tried to end this law and C P Ilbert who was a law member of his council gave a bill in 1883 to end the discrimination in the judiciary.

  • Europeans were against the bill
  • They raised a fund of one lakh fifty thousand rupees to establish an organization called the Defence Association
  • Britishers said it was better to end the British rule in India than to put English people in front of an Indian Judge
  • The press in England also joined the debate
  • Rippon was forced to make amends in the bill to satisfy Britishers both at home and in India
  • This controversy helped Indian nationalism but broke Rippon, he resigned from his post and left for England. It resulted in the awakening of India as the very next year after Rippon left, Indian National Congress was formed. It was formed in 1885.


  • Lord Dufferin:
  • He held the office from 1884 to 1888 and witnessed the third Anglo Burmese war which led to the accession of upper Burma. During his period, Indian National Congress was formed in 1885 and 3 Tenancy Acts were passed to give greater security of tenure or to the tenants.


    Lord Lansdowne

    He held the office from 1888 to 1894 and he was famous for categorization of civil services into imperial, provisional, and subordinate. He set up the Durand commission to define the Durand Line between India and Afghanistan which is now between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  • During his period, the Second Indian council Act came out in 1892
  • It increased the number of additional members in the Central Legislative Council & provincial councils
  • The Indian Factory act:
  • It came out in 1891 and it did major reforms.

  • It increased the minimum age from 7 to 9 years and the maximum from 12 to 14 years for children
  • It also reduced the children working hours to 7 hours a day and fixed working hours for women at 11 hours a day with a one-and-a-half-hour interval
  • However, the working hours for men were left unregulated
  • It also provided a weekly holiday for everyone
  • These rules were not applicable to British-owned tea and coffee plantations where the labor was exploited ruthlessly and treated like slaves. The rules are such that a worker cannot refuse to work once they entered the contract and breaching the contract was a criminal offense.


    Lord Curzon

    He was in charge from 1899 to 1905.

  • Calcutta Corporation Act:
  • It came out in 1899 and acc. to it, the elected member's strength was decreased whereas that of the official members increased. He gave more representation to Britishers as compared to Indians.

  • Police Commission:
  • It was instituted in 1902 with the chairmanship of Sir Andrew Frazer. It recommended to set up training schools for both the officers and the constables. It also introduced provincial police service.

  • Indian Universities Act of 1904:
  • Curzon believed that universities had become factories to generate political revolutionaries. So, he set up the Raleigh Commission to go through the entire university education in the country. On the commission's findings, Corzon brought this act. Key provisions of this act were:

  • Universities were to give more attention to study and research
  • The number of fellows of a university and their time period in the office was reduced and they were nominated by the government
  • The government was to have powers to veto universities senate regulations and could amend these regulations or pass regulations on its own
  • The conditions for affiliation of private colleges were made strict
  • For improvement of higher education and universities, 5 lakh rupees were to be sanctioned per annum for five years
  • Curzon justified greater control over universities in the name of quality and efficiency but in fact, he was just trying to control education so that educated people stay loyal to the government.

  • Crime & Investigation:
  • The Imperial Cadet Corps was set up in 1901 and a new Criminal Investigation Department was opened in each district.

  • Ancient Monuments Act:
  • It was passed in 1904 and it put government and local bodies in charge to preserve monuments of archaeological importance.

  • Sedition Act and the Official Secrets Act:
  • This act was passed in 1904, It was passed to contain the Indian press. Acc. to it, no work procedure of government should be leaked to the public and if someone was found leaking the government secrets, they will be punished under this law.

  • Partition of Bengal:
  • It started in 1905, the government decided to divide Bengal into Western Bengal & Eastern Bengal, where Eastern Bengal consisted of Assam with headquarters at Dacca. This partition divided the Hindus and Muslims of Bengal.

    This Partition provided a spark for the rise of extremism in the Indian National Movement. The official reason given for this partition was that Bengal was too large to be administrated but Corzon had other plans:

  • He wanted to break the strength of Bengali Nationalism as Bengal was the center of Indian nationalism
  • He wanted to divide Hindus and Muslims in Bengal
  • He wanted to show Indians the power of the British Government that they can do whatever they like



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