UPSC IAS Prelims 2021: Important Questions on Modern History - Topic 7 (Acts and Reforms During British Rule)

Check 10 most important questions from the topic Reforms and Acts during British India. Aspirants of UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2021 exams can solve these questions to test their knowledge on this topic. 

Created On: Jan 29, 2021 13:44 IST
UPSC IAS Prelims Important Questions on Modern History Acts and Reforms During British Rule
UPSC IAS Prelims Important Questions on Modern History Acts and Reforms During British Rule

The rule of the British in India included legislative bodies in the presidencies and provinces of British India. These legislations were created under the Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom. They were responsible for passing many laws that to this day are used in Independent India. This itself makes Reforms and Acts during British India one of the most important topics of Modern Indian History. To help the UPSC aspirants in their preparation and revision, we have provided 10 questions based on the latest UPSC Prelims pattern. These questions have been framed by the subject expert on the topic.

Also Check: Important Topics to Prepare from Modern History

Ques 1: Consider the following statements with reference to Indian Council Act 1892:

  1. It gave members the power of discussing the budget and addressing questions to the executive.
  2. The act was introduced to enlarge the membership of the central legislative council.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: c

Explanation:

The Indian Council Act of 1892 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that empowered legislative councils in British India by increasing their size which laid the foundation of the Parliamentary system in India. Before this act, the Indian National Congress put forth some demand during its session of 1885-1889. Read more...

Ques 2: The system of Dyarchy was introduced in India through:

(a) Indian Council Act 1861

(b) Government of India Act, 1912

(c) Government of India Act 1919

(d) Indian Independence Act, 1947

Ans: c

Explanation:

Dyarchy, system of double government introduced by the Government of India Act (1919) for the provinces of British India. It marked the first introduction of the democratic principle into the executive branch of the British administration of India.

Ques 3: Consider the following statements regarding the provisions of the Hindu Widows Remarriage Act of 1856:

  1. The act was drafted and passed by Lord Dalhousie.
  2. It gives rights of widow in deceased husband’s property to cease on her re-marriage

Which of the given statement/s is/are not correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: a

Explanation:

The Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act, 1856, also Act XV, 1856, enacted on 26 July 1856, legalised the remarriage of Hindu widows in all jurisdictions of India under East India Company rule. It was drafted by Lord Dalhousie and passed by Lord Canning before the Indian Rebellion of 1857. 

Ques 4: Consider the following statements regarding the Indian Councils Act 1909:

  1. Through the act, Indians were given membership to the Imperial Legislative Council for the first time.
  2. It introduced separate electorates for the Muslims.
  3. S.C. Banerjee was appointed as the first Indian member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council. 

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

© 2 and 3 only

(d) 1 and 3 only

Ans: b

Explanation:

The Indian Councils Act 1909 was an act of the British Parliament that introduced a few reforms in the legislative councils and increased the involvement of Indians (limited) in the governance of British India. It was more commonly called the Morley-Minto Reforms after the Secretary of State for India John Morley and the Viceroy of India, the 4th Earl of Minto.

Lord Minto appointed Satyendra P Sinha as the first Indian member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council.

Ques 5: Which of the following is not a feature of the Government of India Act, 1935?

(a) Diarchy at the Provincial levels

(b) Bicameral legislature

(c) Governor as head of the executive

(d) Federal court

Ans: a

Explanation:

The Act gave more autonomy to the provinces. Diarchy was abolished at the provincial levels. The Governor was the head of the executive. 

Ques 6: Consider the following statements related to Charter Act 1813:

  1. The act served as the foundation of the modern parliamentary form of government. 
  2. The act provided for a financial grant towards the revival of Indian literature and the promotion of science.
  3. It gave birth to the Indian civil services and was open to all including Indians.

Which of the given statement/s is/are not correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

© 2 and 3 only

(d) 1 and 3 only

Ans: d

Explanation:

Charter Act of 1853 served as the foundation of the modern parliamentary form of government. The legislative wing of the Governor-General’s Council acted as a parliament on the model of the British Parliament. It gave birth to the Indian civil services and was open to all including Indians. This ended the system of appointments by recommendation and started a system of open and fair competition.

Ques 7 The Indian Penal Code came into force in the year:

(a) 1837

(b) 1856

(c) 1860

(d) 1878

Ans: c

Explanation:

he first draft of the Code was presented before the Governor-General in council in the year 1837, but subsequent revisions and amendments took two more decades. The complete drafting of the code was done in 1850 and presented to the Legislative Council in 1856. It was delayed being placed on the statute book of British India due to the Indian Revolt of 1857. The code came into force on January 1st, 1860 after undergoing many revisions and amendments

Ques 8: Consider the following statements with reference to Rowlatt Act of 1919:

  1. The bill is oficially known as the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act, 1919.
  2. In response to this act, Gandhi ji called for nationwide protest also known as “Kheda Satyagraha”.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: a

Explanation:

In response to Rowlatt act, a nationwide hartal was called by Gandhiji on 6th April. This was called the Rowlatt Satyagraha. The movement was cancelled by Gandhiji when it was marred by rioting in some provinces, particularly in Punjab where the situation was grim.

Kheda Satyagrah:

1918 was a year of failed crops in the Kheda district of Gujarat due to droughts. As per law, the farmers were entitled to remission if the produce was less than a quarter of the normal output. But the government refused any remission from paying land revenue. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, under Gandhi’s guidance, led the farmers in protest against the collection of taxes in the wake of the famine.

Ques 9: In which act the term ‘British possessions in India’ was used for the first time?

(a) Regulating Act of 1773

(b) Charter Act of 1853

(c) Pitt's India Act 1784

(d) Charter Act of 1793

Ans: c

Explanation:

The Pitt’s India Act, 1784 also called the East India Company Act, 1784 was passed by the British Parliament to correct the defects of the Regulating Act of 1773. This act resulted in dual control of British possessions in India by the British government and the Company with the final authority resting with the government. This act continued in effect until 1858. For the first time, the term ‘British possessions in India’ was used. 

Ques 10: Consider the following statements with reference to Ilbert Bill:

  1. The act introduced in 1883 during the tenure of Viceroy Ripon.
  2. The contents of the bill stated that from now on, British and Europeans could only be tried by a higher court.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: a

Explanation:

The Ilbert Bill was a legislative act introduced in 1883 during the tenure of Viceroy Ripon and written by Sir Courtenay Pergine Ilbert. 

The contents of the bill stated that from now on, British and Europeans subjects would be tried in session courts by Indian judges, who were senior enough in the civil service to preside over such proceedings. It was this provision that would be a source of great anger among the European community.

We sincerely hope that the given questions would have helped you in your Prelims preparation. You can also check the below link to keep yourself updated on the latest GK quiz and events. 

GK Quiz on Daily Static and Current Events

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