1901 in teaching carpentry and smithy-work to boys who never intended to be carpenters or smiths; but this misdirection of industry has since been remedied, and the industrial schools have been made the first stepping-stone towards a professional career. In addition a number of technical scholarships of £150 each have been founded tenable in Europe or America.
By the act of parliament which transferred the government of India from the company to the crown, the administration in England is exercised by the sovereign through a secretary of state, who inherits all the powers formerly belonging to the Court of Directors and the Board of Control, and who, as a member of the cabinet, is responsible to parliament. In administrative details he is assisted by the Council of India, an advisory body, with special control over finance. This council consists of not more than fifteen and not fewer than ten members, appointed by the secretary of state for a term of seven years, of whom at least nine must have served or resided in India for ten years. A Hindu and a Mahommedan were for the first time appointed to the council in 1907.
At the head of the government in India is the governor-general, styled also viceroy, as representative of the sovereign. He is appointed by the crown, and his tenure of office is five years. The supreme authority, civil and The Supreme Government. military, including control over all the local governments, is vested in the governor-general in council, commonly known as “the Government of India,” which has its seat at Calcutta during the cold season from November to April, and migrates to Simla in the Punjab hills for the rest of the year. The executive council of the governor-general is composed of six ordinary members, likewise appointed by the crown for a term of five years, of whom three must have served for ten years in India and one must be a barrister, together with the commander-in-chief as an extraordinary member. A Hindu barrister was first appointed a member of council in 1909. The several departments of administration—Foreign, Home, Finance, Legislative, Army, Revenue and Agriculture (with Public Works), Commerce and Industry, Education (added in 1910)—are distributed among the council after the fashion of a European cabinet, the foreign portfolio being reserved by the viceroy; but all orders and resolutions are issued in the name of the governor-general in council and must be signed by a secretary.
For legislative purposes the executive council is enlarged into a legislative council by the addition of other members, ex officio, nominated and elected. In accordance with regulations made under the Indian Councils Act The Legislative Council. 1909, these additional members number 61, making 68 in all with the viceroy, so arranged as to give an official majority of three. The only ex-officio additional member is the lieutenant-governor of the province in which the legislative council may happen to meet; nominated members number 35, of whom not more than 28 may be officials; while 25 are elected, directly or indirectly, with special representation for Mahommedans and landholders. Apart from legislation, the members of the council enjoy the right to interpellate the government on all matters of public interest, including the putting of supplementary questions; the right to move and discuss general resolutions, which, if carried, have effect only as recommendations; and the right to discuss and criticize in detail the budget, or annual financial statement.
The local or provincial governments are fifteen in all, with varying degrees of responsibility. First stand the two presidencies of Madras (officially Fort St George) and Bombay, each of which is administered by a governor and council appointed by the crown. The governor is usually sent from England; the members of council may number four, of whom two must have served in India for ten years. Next follow the five lieutenant-governorships of Bengal, the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, the Punjab, Burma, and Eastern Bengal and Assam, for each of which a council may be appointed, beginning with Bengal. Last come the chief commissionerships, of which the Central Provinces (with Berar) rank scarcely below the lieutenant-governorships, while the rest—the North-West Frontier Province, British Baluchistan, Ajmer-Merwara, Coorg and the Andamans—are minor charges, generally associated with political supervision over native states or frontier tribes. The two presidencies and also the five lieutenant-governorships each possesses a legislative council, modelled on that of the governor-general, but so that in every case there shall be a majority of non-official members, varying from 13 to 3.
Within the separate provinces the administrative unit is the district, of which there are 249 in India. In every province except Madras there are divisions, consisting of three or more districts under a commissioner. The title Districts. of the district officer varies according to whether the province is “regulation” or “non-regulation.” This is an old distinction, which now tends to become obsolete; but broadly speaking a larger measure of discretion is allowed in the non-regulation provinces, and the district officer may be a military officer, while in the regulation provinces he must be a member of the Indian civil service. In a regulation province the district officer is styled a collector, while in a non-regulation province he is called a deputy-commissioner. The chief non-regulation provinces are the Punjab, Central Provinces and Burma; but non-regulation districts are also to be found in Bengal, Eastern Bengal and Assam, the United Provinces and Sind.
The districts are partitioned out into lesser tracts, which are strictly units of administration, though subordinate ones. The system of partitioning, and also the nomenclature, vary in the different provinces; but generally it may be said that the subdivision or tahsil is the ultimate unit of administration. The double name indicates the twofold principle of separation: the subdivision is properly the charge of an assistant magistrate or executive officer, the tahsil is the charge of a deputy-collector or fiscal officer; and these two offices may or may not be in the same hands. Broadly speaking, the subdivision is characteristic of Bengal, where revenue duties are in the background, and the tahsil of Madras, where the land settlement requires attention year by year. There is no administrative unit below the subdivision or tahsil. The thana, or police division, only exists for police purposes. The pargana, or fiscal division, under native rule, has now but an historical interest. The village still remains as the agricultural unit, and preserves its independence for revenue purposes in most parts of the country. The township is peculiar to Burma.
Bengal (including Eastern Bengal and Assam), Madras, Bombay and the old North-Western Provinces each has a high court, established by charter under an act of parliament, with judges appointed by the crown. The Judicial Service. Of the other provinces the Punjab and Lower Burma have chief courts, and Oudh, the Central Provinces, Upper Burma, Sind and the North-West Frontier Province have judicial commissioners, all established by local legislation. From the high courts, chief courts and judicial commissioners an appeal lies to the judicial committee of the privy council in England. Below these courts come district and sessions judges, who perform the ordinary judicial work of the country, civil and criminal. Their jurisdictions coincide for the most part with the magisterial and fiscal boundaries. But, except in Madras, where the districts are large, a single civil and sessions judge sometimes exercises jurisdiction over more than one district. In the non-regulation territory judicial and executive functions are to a large extent combined in the same hands.
The law administered in the Indian courts is described in the article Indian Law.
The chief of the Indian services is technically known as the Indian civil service. It is limited to about a thousand members, who are chosen by open competition in England between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-four. Indian Services. Nearly all the higher appointments, administrative and judicial, are appropriated by statute to this service, with