The Government of India Act of 1919 clearly defined
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2015 Prelims]
(a) the separation of power between the judiciary and the legislature
(b) the jurisdiction of the central and provincial governments
(c) the powers of the Secretary of State for India and the Viceroy
(d) None of the above
- The Government of India Act 1919 marked a departure from central control over the provinces by defining and distinguishing between central and provincial subjects.
- This allowed the central and provincial legislatures to pass laws on their respective subjects. However, the government remained centralized and unitary.
- The provincial subjects were divided into two categories – transferred and reserved.
- The Governor was responsible for the administration of transferred subjects, aided by Ministers accountable to the legislative council.
- The Governor and his executive council were responsible for the reserved subjects, without being answerable to the legislative council.
- This system of governance was known as ‘dyarchy’, derived from the Greek word ‘diarche’, meaning double rule.
- The Act introduced bicameralism and direct elections, replacing the Indian legislative council with a two-chamber legislature, comprising the Council of State (Upper House) and Legislative Assembly (Lower House).
Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.