NCERT Notes: Gandhi-Irwin Pact

Subject: History
Category: Modern History
Topic: Gandhi-Irwin Pact

NCERT notes on important topics for the UPSC civil services exam preparation. These notes will also be useful for other competitive exams like banking PO, SSC, state civil services exams and so on.

Gandhi-Irwin Pact is a very important part of the History syllabus for the IAS exam General Studies. History is a very interesting subject and even as an optional, is taken by many IAS aspirants. It can be made an interesting subject by following a few tips to make history interesting.

Gandhi-Irwin Pact is the name given to a political agreement concluded by Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India, on 5th March 1931.

  • The Second Round Table Conference was to be held in 1931 at London.
  • In 1930, the Salt Satyagraha was conducted and India and Gandhi received worldwide attention. The British government in India was criticised for its unjust treatment of Indians.
  • Gandhi and many other leaders were imprisoned along with thousands of Indians.
  • Lord Irwin wanted the issue to come to an end.
  • So, Gandhi was released from prison in January 1931.
  • The then Congress President Sardar Vallabhai Patel authorised Gandhi to hold talks with Lord Irwin.
  • Accordingly, Gandhi met Irwin and held negotiations. It was for the first time that the two were meeting as ‘equals’.


Terms/features of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact
  • The Indian National Congress (INC) agreed to take part in the Round Table Conference.
  • The INC would stop the civil disobedience movement.
  • Withdrawal of all ordinances that curbed the activities of the Congress.
  • Withdrawal of all prosecutions except those involving violent crimes.
  • Release of those who were arrested for taking part in the civil disobedience movement.
  • Removal of the salt tax.

Outcomes of Gandhi Irwin Pact

Effects of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact
  • The INC participated in the Second Round Table Conference which was held in 1931 during September – December.
  • The government agreed to withdraw all ordinances.
  • It agreed to release all political prisoners save those involved in violence.
  • It agreed to allow peaceful picketing of liquor and foreign cloth shops.
  • It agreed to revoke the ban on the INC.
  • It agreed to restore the confiscated properties of the Satyagrahis.
  • It agreed to permit the collection of salt by people near the sea coasts. 
  • It agreed to forego fines not yet collected.
  • It agreed to the lenient treatment of all government servants who had resigned from service in the wake of the civil disobedience movement.


Demands of Gandhi not agreed to by Irwin
  • A public inquiry into police excesses during its suppression of the movement.
  • Commuting the death sentences of Bhagat Singh and his associates to life sentences.

Also See: