Complete list of Governor Generals of India 1772 to 1950

Governor Generals of India

Warren Hastings (1772-86)

In 1769 he Warren Hastings was appointed in Council in Madras.

Two years later he was sent back to Bengal as governor in charge of the company’s affairs there.

Warren Hastings acquired the new title of the governor-general and new responsibilities for supervising other British settlements in India.

But these powers had now to be shared with a Supreme Council of four others.

These four were ClaveringFrancisMonson, and Barwell.

Warren Hastings ended the Dual System put forth by Robert Clive.

Next step he took was to stop the payments of tributes to the Delhi Emperor.

He introduced settlement of land revenue in 1772 farming outlands to the highest bidder on an annual basis.

He was the conservator of Asiatic Society.

Following things were happened during Warren Hastings’ tenure:

The Act of 1773 approved for setting up of Supreme Court at Calcutta.

Founded the administrative system with district collectors, divisional commissioners in charge of revenue and law and order.

First Anglo Maratha War with the treaty of Salbai.

Second Anglo- Mysore War with the treaty of Mangalore.

Foundation of Asiatic Society of Bengal by William Jones in 1784.

Established the Calcutta Madarasa in 1781.

In 1784 the Calcutta Gazette was published.

Created five custom houses – CalcuttaHugaliMurshidabadDacca and Patna, and duties were lowered to 2 and a half percent payable by all merchants.

Royal treasury shifted from Murshidabad to Calcutta.

Warren Hastings tendered his resignation in protest against the Pits India Bill in 1785.

He was accused of the Rohilla war and Nand Kumar’s murder.

His impeachment lasted for seven years from 1788 to 1795. He was exonerated for all the charges.


Lord Cornwallis (1786-93)

Lord Cornwallis is Father of civil services in India

Prior to Cornwallis’s tenure, company employees were allowed to trade on their own accounts and use company ships to send their own goods back to Europe.

This practice was tolerated when the company was profitable, but by the 1780s the company’s finances were not in good shape.

Lord Cornwallis eliminated the practice, increasing employee salaries in compensation.

In 1790 he introduced circuit courts with company employees as judges and set up a court of appeals in Calcutta.

He had the legal frameworks of Muslim and Hindu law translated into English and promulgated administrative regulations and a new civil and criminal code.

This work, introduced in 1793, was known as the Cornwallis Code.

He introduced the Permanent Settlement system.


Sir John Shore (1793-98)

On 10 March 1793, he arrived at Calcutta, where he remained without official employment or responsibility until the departure of Cornwallis.

He succeeded to the government on 28 October 1793.

The period of Shore’s rule as governor-general was comparatively uneventful.

His policy was attacked as temporizing and timid.

He showed weakness in dealing with the mutiny of the officers of the Bengal army.

He settled the question of the Oudh succession.


Lord Wellesley (1798-1805)

Aims of Lord Wellesley were expansionism and imperialism.

Another aim was the removal of French influence from India.

To achieve his political aims Lord Wellesley relied on three methods: the system of’ Subsidiary Alliances‘, outright war, and the assumption of the territories of previously subordinated rulers.

Robert Clive and Warren Hastings followed the same policy.

 Events occurred during his tenure:

Formation of Madras Presidency after the annexation of the Kingdoms of Tanjore and Carnatic.

Censorship of Press Act 1799 was passed.

Fourth Anglo- Mysore War 1799 and defeat of Tipu Sultan

Wellesley annexed the South Kanara coast, Wynaad  in the south-east, Coimbatore and Darupuram in the south-east besides Shrirangapattanam.

Treaty of Bassien with Bajirao II and second Anglo- Maratha war.

The company’s territorial gains included the upper doab, all territories north of the Rajput states of Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Gohud, the part of Baroach, the Fort of Ahmedabad and Cuttack in Orissa.

Lord Wellesley established the Fort William College in Calcutta in 1800.

He opened Administrative Training College.

During his tenure, Christian missionaries established a printing press at Serampore.

In 1799 Wellesley took the administration of Tanjore, Surat, and Carnatic.

He introduced the Subsidiary Alliance policy.


Sir George Barlow (1805-07)

Sir George Barlow, 1st Baronet, served as Acting Governor-General of India from the death of Lord Cornwallis in 1805 until the arrival of Lord Minto in 1807.

An important event was the Mutiny of Vellore in 1806 in which the Indian soldiers killed many English officials.

Slave trade abolished in the British Empire in 1807.


Lord Minto (1807-13)

Lord Minto’s rule is famous for a treaty with Shah of Persia and the Treaty of Amritsar (1809) with Ranjit Singh.

The importation of slaves into India was stopped.


Lord Hastings (1813-23)

Following things occurred during his tenure

Victory in the Gurkha War (1814–1816).

The final conquest of the Marathas in 1818.

Purchase of the island of Singapore in 1819.

He terminated the priorities of Magistrates.

He was the first to appoint Indians to the highest posts of responsibility.

The first vernacular newspaper Samahar Patrika begins to be published during his time.


Lord Amherst (1823-28)

Amherst was Governor-General of India from August 1823 to February 1828.

He acquired Malaya peninsula.

The principal events of his government were:

Annexation of Assam

First Burmese war of 1824

Cession of Arakan and Tenasserim to the British Empire.


Lord William Bentinck 1828-35

Lord William Bentinck was a man of peace, discipline and of the economy.

He was a liberal reformist who took an active part in the reform movement of England.

He was the first Governor-General who was sympathetic towards the Indian people and also tried to remove the difficulties of the Indians.

After Cornwallis, it was Governor-General Lord William Bentick who paid attention to any new administrative reforms and introduced some changes in the sphere of administration.

He started the practice of appointing Indians in the Company’s service.

Cornwallis had stopped appointing Indians in administrative service.

Bentick appointed Indians in government service.

Now the educated Indians were also appointed to the post of Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector.

Bentick had introduced land revenue settlement in the North-Western province.

The Provincial Courts of appeal and circuit had been largely responsible for the huge arrears of cases.

The judicial procedure followed in these courts often resulted in delays and uncertainties.

Bentinck abolished these courts.

He established different grades of courts to avoid delay in the trial of cases.

He established a Supreme Court in Agra. The civil and criminal appeals were heard in this court.

A separate Sadar Diwani Adalat and Sadr Nizamat Adalat were set up at Allahabad for the convenience of the people of Delhi and Upper Provinces.

Lord William Bentinck also reduced the severity of the punishment.

In higher courts, Persian was replaced by English as the court language.

Qualified Indians were appointed as Munsiffs and Sadar Amins.

Bentinck reduced the high salary of civil Servants.

During those days opium was produced in Central India and was sent to China from KarachiBentick changed the route of the trade from Karachi to Bombay which gave the company a share in the profits in the form of duties.

Bentick also enhanced the income of the company by appointing Indians in administrative posts. The Indians were paid less salaries in comparison to their European Counterparts.

On the recommendations Lord Macauley, the decision was taken that the amount which was kept for education should be spent on the education of the Indians and the education be imparted through English medium.

The English language also became the official language and it helped the people of India for the exchange of ideas.

William Bentinck is famous for his social reforms in Indian.

By the abolition of the systems of ‘Sati’ and the human sacrifice, he freed the society from two of the worst superstitions.

Raja Rammohan Roy the great Indian reformer supported this pioneering Venture of Bentinck.

Bentinck suppressed the system of Thugee. By the end of 1834 Thugee System was completely stopped.


Sir Charles Metcalf (1835-36)

At the age of nineteen, Metcalfe was appointed a political assistant to General Lake, who was then conducting the final campaign of the Second Anglo-Maratha War against Yashwantrao Holkar.

In 1808 he was selected by Lord Minto for the responsible post of envoy to the court of Ranjit Singh at Lahore.

Here, on 25 April 1809, he concluded the important treaty securing the independence of the Sikh states between the Sutlej and the Jumna.

On 14 November 1834, he was posted as Governor of the Presidency of Agra where he served for over four months till 20 March 1835.

Lord Metcalfe” is called Liberator of India Press.


Lord Auckland (1836-42)

Following events occurred during Lord Auckland’s tenure:

Tripatriate Treaty was signed between the companyRanjit Singh and Shah Shuja by which:

Ranjit Singh accepted the company’s mediation in disputes Amirs (sind).

Shah Shuja conceded his sovereign right to the company over Sind on condition of receiving the arrears of the tribute, the amount of which was to be determined by the company.

Lord Auckland improved of native schools.

He also expanded the commercial industry of India.


Lord Ellenborough (1842-44)

Following events occurred during Lord Ellenborough’s tenure:

Termination of the Afghan war.

The annexation of Sindh.

The imposition of humiliating treaties on Sindh and Gwalior.


Lord Hardinge (1844-48)

The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire and the East India Company between 1845 and 1846.

This extended the British territory to the lands between the Beas and the Sutlej.

He prohibited female infanticide and suppression of human sacrifice.

In 1844 rebellion took place in Kolhapur.

English education declared as essential qualification for public services.


Lord Dalhousie (1848-56)

He served as the Governor-General of India from 1848-1856.

After the conquest of PunjabSindh, and Avadh, the frontiers of the company were extended and the military interest of India was transferred to the North.

Thus Dalhousie shifted the headquarters of the Bengal Artillery from Calcutta to Meerut.

As he had no confidence in the Indians, a new Gurkha regiment was created.

He was the father of Indian Railways.

The first railway line connecting Bombay with Thane was laid down in 1853.

The following year a railway line was constructed from Calcutta to Raniganj coal-fields.

In 1852 Dalhousie introduced the Electric Telegraph System in India.

The first telegraph line from Calcutta to Agra was opened in 1854, covering a distance of 800 miles.

By 1857, it was extended to Lahore and Peshawar.

In Burma, a line was laid down from Rangoon to Mandalay.

A new post office act was passed in 1854.

Postage stamps were issued for the first time.

Before Lord Dalhousie, military boards were in charge of the construction of Public Works.

A separate Public Works Department was established by Lord Dalhousie.

The Chief Works of this department was to construct roads, bridges and government buildings.

Irrigational works were undertaken on an extensive scale.

The construction of the Ganges Canal was completed and was inaugurated on April 8, 1854.

The construction of Grand Trunk Road was taken up.

Dalhousie’s special contribution was the construction of an engineering college at Roorkee and in other presidencies.

Dalhousie abolished female infanticide.

He also abolished the practice of human sacrifice practiced by the Khonds of OrissaMadras and Central Provinces.

Dalhousie passed the Religious Disability Act in 1850 which enabled the Hindu convert to inherit his ancestral property.

Moreover, he also passed the Widow Remarriage Act in 1855 which legalized the marriage of Hindu widows.

In 1856 Oudh was annexed on the pretext of misgovernment.

All ports of India were declared free.

The harbours of KarachiBombay, and Calcutta were developed and lighthouses were also constructed.

In 1857 examining universities on the model of London University were established at CalcuttaBombay, and Madras.

These universities were to hold examinations and award degrees.

Vernacular Schools were opened in the villages and education was imparted to the children through vernacular or regional language of the province in the Lower Classes.

The Doctrine of Lapse was an annexation policy purportedly devised by Lord Dalhousie.

By applying the doctrine of lapse, Dalhousie annexed the States of Satara (1848 A.D.), Jaipur (1849 A.D.), Sambhalpur (1849 A.D.), Bahat (1850 A.D.), Udaipur (1852 A.D.), Jhansi (1853 A.D.), and Nagpur (1854 A.D.).


Lord Canning (1858-62)

He was the first viceroy of India.

He established three universities at CalcuttaMadras, and Bombay.

With the end of the Company’s rule, it was necessary to reorga­nise the armed forces and to pursue a new military policy in order to eliminate the possibility of any revolt in the future.

For this purpose, one-third of the armed forces in India were manned by British soldiers. The artillery was now composed of the British soldiers only.

Indian Council Act of 1861.

The imperial legislative council came into existence after the act.

Indian High court Act 1861 introduced judicial reforms and reorganized the police department.

The recommendations of the Police Commission led to the Indian Police Act of 1861.

Indian Civil Services Act 1861 theoretically opened the services to all subjects but exams only in London.

In 1863 Satyendra Nath Tagore became the first Indian to qualify for the Civil Services.

He introduced the portfolio system of cabinet in the Indian Council Act of 1861

The Queen’s Proclamation was issued at a durbar in Allahabad on Nov 1, 1858, by which the British crown assumed direct responsibility for the administration of the country.

The proclamation restored the right of the Princes to adopt their heirs.

The Bengal Rent Act removed some of the defects of the Permanent Settlement.


Lord Elgin (1862-63)

He became Viceroy of India in 1862 and was the first to use PeterhoffShimla as the official residence of the Viceroy.

Wahabi movement broke out during his regime.

The movement was suppressed.


Sir John Lawrence (1864-69)

During the First Sikh War of 1845 to 1846, Lawrence organized the supplying of the British army in Punjab and became Commissioner of the Jullundur district, serving under his brother, the Governor of the province.

In 1849, following the Second Sikh War, he became a member of the Punjab Board of Administration.

As Viceroy, Lawrence pursued a cautious policy, avoiding entanglement in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf.

In domestic affairs, he increased educational opportunities for Indians, but at the same time limited the use of native Indians in high civil service posts.

He established High courts at CalcuttaMadras, and Bombay in 1865.

He passed the Punjab Tenancy Act (1868).

War was fought with Bhutan in 1864.


Lord Mayo (1869-72)

In 1871, India’s first census was taken by Lord Mayo.

He organized the Statistical Survey of India.

He introduced the State Railway system.

Mayo’s resolution of 1870 started the process of decentralization of finances.

He greatly reduced military expenditure and other expenses pertaining to the civil administration, implemented salt duty and increased income tax.

He authorized provincial governments to resort to local taxation to balance their budgets.

The Department of RevenueAgriculture and Commerce were established by Lord Mayo on June 9th, 1871 and he also initiated the Land-improvement Act.

He vigorously advocated the importance of primary education among Indian citizens.

He laid down a set of codified laws to be effectively put into practice for the betterment of the prisoners.

He opened Rajkot College at Kathiawar and the Mayo College at Ajmer for political training of Indian princes.

On 8th February 1872, Lord Mayo was brutally assassinated by a convict named Sher Ali.

Lord Northbrook (1872-76)

His tenure witnessed the Kuka revolt in 1872.

When the British Resident at Baroda lost his life under suspicious circumstances, Northbrook dispossessed Malhar Rao Gaikawar from the throne of Baroda.

It was during Lord Northbrook’s administration that the Prince of Wales came to visit India.

During his administration, a terrible famine broke out in Bihar (1873-74).

In 1876 Lord Northbrook resigned his office due to his differences with the British Cabinet.


Lord Lytton (1876-1880)

The principal event of his tenure was the Afghan war.

In 1877, Lord Lytton convened a durbar (imperial assembly) in Delhi which was attended by around 84,000 people including princes and title holders.

In 1878, he promulgated the Vernacular Press Act, which empowered him to confiscate the press and paper of a local language newspaper publishing ‘seditious material’.

The act resulted in a public outcry in Calcutta led by the Indian Association and Surendranath Banerjee.

Lord Lytton arrived as Viceroy of India in 1876. In the same year, a famine broke out in south India which claimed between 6.1 million and 10.3 million people.

His implementation of Britain’s trading policy has been blamed for increasing the severity of the famine.

Lord Lytton appointed a Famine Commission which proposed certain principles to be followed for the help of the famine-stricken.

On the basis of these principles, the later Famine Code was drawn.

He changed the existing policy of duties of cotton and seaborne goods to some extent.

Lord Lytton made the duty on salt uniform all over the country.

During the administration of Lytton, the Anglo-Russian rela­tions became very bitter.

Vernacular Act passed in 1878, Arms Act 1878 repealed and Factory Act was finalized.

It was he who for the first time proposed the formation of the north-western frontier province.

He also had suggested the introduction of gold standard in India.


Lord Ripon (1880-84)

Lord Ripon tried to make the Indian administration democratic in character.

He undertook liberal and public welfare measures.

In muni­cipal administration, he gave the Indians the right to self-government.

He established Local Boards and placed the rural administration, public health, construction and maintenance of roads, education, prevention and fighting of epidemics and infectious diseases, etc. in their charge.

These self-governing institutions were given the full control over income and expenditure of the areas under them.

Lord Ripon extended the local self-government not only in urban areas but also in rural areas and in place of nominated members arranged for the election of the members, mayors, chairmen, etc.

In this way, he made the local self-government democratic in character.

Some of the members of these institutions were still nominated by the govern­ment.

He completed the policy of freedom of trade initiated under Lord Northbrook and Lord Lytton.

He abolished tariffs from all commo­dities except salt, wine, arms, and ammunition.

The tariff duty of salt was considerably reduced.

Lord Ripon repealed the Vernacular Press Act 1878.

Lord Ripon appointed a Commission under Sir William Hunter’s Chairmanship to review the progress of education under the new policy followed pursuant to Wood’s Despatch of 1854.

In order to prevent the eviction of the ryots by the zamindars, Ripon prepared a Tenancy Act which was passed under the next governor-general.

In 1881 Ripon passed the Factory Act prohibiting employment of children between seven and twelve years of age for more than nine hours per day in any factory.

He modified Permanent Settlement.


Lord Dufferin (1884-88)

He supported the founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885.

Dufferin handed back Gwalior to the Sindia with adequate compensation which proved his liberal attitude towards the native States.

In 1885 he passed the Bengal Tenancy Act by which he pro­hibited an increase in the land revenue ryots or their wrongful eviction by the zamindars.

In 1887 he passed a similar Tenancy Act for Punjab.

Third Anglo-Burmese War started in 1885.

In 1886 Upper Burma was annexed and delimitation of Afghan Northern boundary took place.

Allahabad University was incorporated.

He introduced a number of new taxes such as salt tax and petroleum tax.


Lord Lansdowne (1888-94)

During Lord Lansdowne’s ad­ministration the price of silver fell considerably in the international market.

Fall of the value of silver naturally brought about terrible economic distress in India.

Factory Act of 1891 was passed.

Age of Consent Act 1891, which forbade the marriage of girls below 12, was passed.


Lord Elgin-II (1894-99)

In order to improve the finances of the government, Elgin levied duties on all imports.

But in order to protect the interests of the English cloth merchants, Elgin levied excise duties on Indian made cloth.

These measures and the intro­duction of gold standard ultimately made the Indian economy sound.

In 1895 all armies of Bengal, Bombay, and Madras were brought under the same organization and placed under one single Commander-in-Chief.

By the Durand Agreement of 1893, a formal British protectorate was declared over Chitral and Gilgit.

Railways were constructed up to the north-west frontiers.

In 1896 famine took place all over India.

In 1897, plague broke out at Bombay.


Lord Curzon (1899-1905)

Following events occurred during his tenure:

The Indian Coinage and Paper Currency Act passed in 1899.

Northwest Frontier Province was created in 1900.

Punjab land alienation act was passed in 1901.

In matters of revenue settlement and revenue collection Curzon intro­duced the principle of taking into fullest consideration the condition of the ryots.

He established an Agricultural Depart­ment and placed it under an Inspector General of Agriculture.

He passed the Co-operative Societies’ Act of 1904.

The father of co-operative credit in India was Sir Frederick Nicholson, a Madras civilian.

He established the De­partment of Archaeology.

In 1902 Curzon set up a University Commission with widest powers of inquiry into, all aspects of the university administration.

Indian University Act was passed in 1904.

The Universities were not to be merely examining bodies but also institutions of higher teaching and research.

For the improvement of trade and commerce, Curzon set up a new department and placed it under a high official.

For the benefit of the low-income group Curzon specified a minimum exemption of income from income tax.

For the sons of the rulers of the native States, Curzon arranged for military training by forming an Imperial Cadet Corps.

Bengal partition took place in 1905.


Lord Minto II (1905-10)

Main events during his tenure are:

On 16th Oct 1906 Partition of Bengal came into force.

Anti-partition and Swadeshi movements.

Foundation of Muslim League in 1906.

Morley-Minto Reforms in 1909 increased the number of elected members in the central and provincial legislatures, also introduced the system of communal electorates.

In 1906 Foundation stone of Victoria Memorial Hall laid at Calcutta.

In Oct 1906 Arundel Committee on political reforms submitted its report.

In 1906 Lord Minto received the Muslim deportation headed by Aga Khan.

In 1907 Indian Decentralization Committee was appointed under Sir Charles Hobhouse.

On May 11, 1907, the Seditious Meeting Act was passed.

On June 8th, 1908, Explosives Substances Act and Newspaper Act were passed.

In 1910 Press Act was passed.

In 1910 Depart of Education under the separate member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council was established.


Lord Hardinge (1910-15)

Main events during his tenure are:

During the administration of Lord Hardinge, George V and his Queen-Empress Mary came to visit India (1911).

The famous Delhi Durbar was convened on that occasion in which it was decided to transfer the capital of India from Cal­cutta to Delhi.

The most important decision of the Durbar was the annulment of the Bengal Partition of 1905.

In the ceremonial procession at the time of entry into the new capital of India—Delhi, a bomb was thrown on Hardinge.

Lord Hardinge was injured but his life was saved but one of his attendants lost his life.

The bomb was thrown by Rashbehari Bose who made good his escape.

Towards the end of the administration of Lord Hardinge the First World War began.

In 1912 Delhi was made a province.

Islington Commission on civil services was constituted in 1911.


Lord Chelmsford (1915-21)

Main events during his tenure are:

Prices rose as a result of the First World War.

Fall in the production due to labour unrest.

Besides the demand for constitutional reforms, revolutionary terrorism also added to the political unrest of the time.

In order to suppress all this, the British government passed the Rowlatt Act in 1919 by which the government assumed the power to imprison persons without trial.

Further, anybody might be punished with transporta­tion for life, the Press was gagged, the executive department was authorized to try political offenders without the help of the jury.

Gandhiji organised a passive resistance movement in protest.

In Punjab, the movement became very strong.

The citizens of Amritsar assembled in an enclosed place called Jalianwalla Bagh in defiance of a prohibitory order.

Under orders of General Dyer, the military fired 1600 rounds of ammunition on the unarmed people killing even according to official estimates 379 persons and injuring 1200.

Martial law was proclaimed in Punjab.

During the administration of Lord Chelmsford Amir Habib Ullah of Afghanistan was assassinated and his son Aman Ullah succeeded as Amir.

Under Chelmsford’s administration the reform Act of 1919 on the basis of the Montagu-Chelmsford report, was passed.

In 1920 Aligarh Muslim University was founded.

In 1920 Central Advisory Board on education was founded.


Lord Reading (1921-26)

After Lord Chelmsford Lord Read­ing came as the governor-general and viceroy of India.

The most important event of his period of administration was the non-co-opera­tion movement of Gandhiji.

Imprisonment of Mahatma Gandhi, enhancement of salt tax despite the opposition of the Central Legislature made Lord Reading very unpopular with the people of India.

Lord Reading repealed the Rowlett Act and withdrew tariff duties on cloth.

He also conceded the right of the Indians to be appointed as King’s Commissioned Officers in the army.

Besides, he threw Sandhurst military college of England open to the Indians for military training.

Plan for developing the Royal Indian Navy was prepared.

In 1923 Civil Marriage Bill was passed.

In 1924 Lee Commission on civil services submitted its report.

In 1925 Devdasi system was abolished by an Act.

On 22nd August 1925 V.J Patel elected the first Indian President of the Legislative Assembly.


Lord Irwin (1926-31)

His rule was marked by a period of great political turmoil.

The exclusion of Indians from the Simon Commission examining the country’s readiness for self-government provoked serious violence.

Incidents included protests against the Simon Commission Report:

the Nehru Report

the All-Parties Conference

the Muslim League leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s 14 points

the Civil Disobedience Movement launched by the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi

the Round Table Conferences


Lord Willingdon (1931-34)

On 1st December 1931, Ramsay Macdonald announces the decision to constitute NWFP into a governor’s province and Sindh was made a separate province.

In 1932 Poona Pact was signed between Gandhiji and Dr. Ambedkar.

The Third Round Table Conference took place from 7th November to 24th December 1932.

Congress Socialist Party was formed by Acharya Narendra Dev and Jai Prakash Narayan.

All India Kisan Sabha was formed in 1936.

Gandhiji started Harijan Seva in 1934.


Lord Linlithgow (1936-43)

He served as Governor-General and Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1943.

First general elections were held in 1937.

Congress Ministries formed in seven out of eleven provinces.

Congress ministries resigned after the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

Subhas Chandra Bose resigned from Congress membership and formed the Forward Block in 1939.

In Oct 1937, Gandhiji formulated Wardha Educational Scheme.

Individual Civil Disobedience Movement started in 1940.

In 1942, Cripps Mission arrived in India offering Dominion Status to India and setting up of a Constituent Assembly. On 11 August the Quit India Movement started.


Lord Wavell (1943- 1947)

Main events during his tenure are:

Visit of King George V.

Shimla Conference begins on 25th June 1945.

In January 1946 Wavell introduced Government’s intention to set up an Executive Council of political leaders.

In March 1946 Attlee announces the Cabinet Mission and it arrives in Delhi on 24th March 1946.

On 6th August 1946, Wavell invites Nehru to form an Interim Government.

On 16th August 1946, the Muslim League begins the Direct Action Day.

On 5th January 1947, All India Congress Committee accepts Provincial Grouping under the Cabinet Mission Plan.

On 20th February 1947, Attlee announces the end of British rule in India.


Lord Mountbatten (1947-48)

Main events during his tenure are:

Mountbatten was fond of Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru and his liberal outlook for the country.

He felt differently about the Muslim leader Muhammed Ali Jinnah, but was aware of his power, stating “If it could be said that any single man held the future of India in the palm of his hand in 1947, that man was Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Mountbatten brought forward the date of the partition from August 1948 to 15 August 1947.

On 2nd June 1947 Mountbatten Plan was announced.

On 4th June 1947, Mountbatten announced transfer on power on 15th August.

On 4th July 1947 India Independence Bill was introduced in the House of Commons.

On 6th July referendum took place in NWFP boycotted by Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

On 11th August 1947, Constituent Assembly of Pakistan meets and elects Jinnah as President.

On 15th August 1947, India became independent.


C Rajagopalachari (1948-50)

Lord Mountbatten was on leave in England to attend the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to Mountbatten’s nephew Prince Philip.

In the absence of him, C. Rajagopalachari served as Acting Governor-General of India from 10 until 24 November 1947.

Impressed with his abilities, Mountbatten made Rajagopalachari his second choice to succeed him after Vallabhbhai Patel, when he was to leave India in June 1948.

Rajagopalachari was eventually chosen as the Governor-General when Nehru disagreed with Mountbatten’s first choice.

C Rajagopalachari served as Governor-General of India from June 1948 until 26 January 1950.

He was not only the last Governor-General of India but the only Indian national ever to hold the office.


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