British territories were broadly divided into administrative units called Presidencies. There were three Presidencies: Bengal, Madras and Bombay. Each was ruled by a Governor. The supreme head of the administration was the Governor-General. Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General, introduced several administrative reforms, notably in the sphere of justice.
This article will inform you about all the relevant information about the first Governor-General of Bengal, various Governors-General of India, their achievements, and the major reforms that took place during their tenure as the Governors-General or viceroys of India. This topic is covered in the general awareness section of most of the competitive exams including the IAS Exam.
List of Governors-General of India- Download PDF Here
General awareness often ignored by the candidates is an important part of any entrance exam. Around 25% of the exam paper features questions based on general awareness and current affairs. Like Governor-General of India, there are more such topics from Indian history that is covered in the UPSC exam and also hold relevance in major competitive examinations.
Know the UPSC Syllabus in detail on the linked page.
Governor-General of India & Important Events
The first Governor-General of Bengal was Warren Hastings with tenure of office from 1772-1785. Warren Hastings was an English statesman, the head of the Supreme Council of Bengal. He brought an end to the Dual Government system by enforcing the Regulating Act of 1773. He founded the Calcutta Madrasa for the promotion of Islamic studies, and the Asiatic Society of Bengal with William Jones in the year 1781 and 1784 respectively. Hastings was also elected as a fellow of the Royal Society in 1801.
Charter Act of 1833 made Governor-General of Bengal as Governor-General of British India. And, William Bentick was the first Governor-General of British India.
More such information on different Viceroys and Governor-General Of India along with the major reforms brought by them are given below in the form of a list.
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List of Governors-General of Bengal
|Year||Governor-General of Bengal||Major Reforms & Events|
|1772-1785||Warren Hastings||First Governor-General of Bengal
End to the dual system of administration
Supreme Court at Calcutta
Asiatic Society of Bengal
First Anglo-Maratha War and Treaty of Salbai
First English translation of Bhagavad Gita
|1786-1793||Lord Cornwallis||Establishment of Appellate courts and lower grade courts
Establishment of Sanskrit college
Third Anglo-Mysore War and Treaty of Seringapatam
Introduction of Permanent Settlement and civil services
|1793-1798||Sir John Shore||Charter act of 1793
Policy of Non-intervention
Battle of Kharda
|1798-1805||Lord Wellesley||Introduction of Subsidiary Alliance System
Fourth Anglo- Mysore war and the Treaty of Bassein
Establishment of Madras presidency
Establishing Fort William College at Calcutta
|1805-1807||Sir George Barlow||The Acting Governor-General of India until the arrival of Lord Minto,
Diminished the area of British territory because of his passion for economy and retrenchment,
The Mutiny of Vellore took place in 1806
|1807-1813||Lord Minto I||Concluded the treaty of Amritsar with Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1809,
Introduced the Charter Act of 1813
|1813-1823||Lord Hastings||The policy of Non-intervention came to an end
Abolition of Peshwaship
Establishment of the Ryotwari System in Madras (By Thomas Munroe) and Bombay
Mahalwari system in north-western Provinces and Bombay
|1823-1828||Lord Amherst||The annexation of Assam leading to the first Burmese war of 1824,
The mutiny of Barrackpore in 1824
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Governors-General of India
|Year||Governors-General of India||Major Reforms|
|1828-1835||Lord William Bentinck||First Governor-General of India (Charter Act of 1833 made Governor-General of Bengal as Governor-General of India.)
Suppression of Thugee, infanticide and child sacrifices.
English Education Act of 1835
Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata
|1835-1836||Lord Charles Metcalfe||‘Liberator of the Indian press
detached all restraints on an open press
|1836-1842||Lord Auckland||Dedicated himself to the improvement of native schools and the expansion of the commercial industry of India
The first Anglo-Afghan war
|1842-1844||Lord Ellenborough||Sindh was annexed|
|1844-1848||Lord Hardinge I||First Anglo Sikh War (1845-46)|
|Lord Dalhousie (Governors-General of India)||introduced ‘Doctrine of Lapse‘
Doctrine of Good
Post Office Act, 1854
1st Railway line connecting Bombay and Thane
Established engineering college in Roorkee
First telegraph line
Establishment of the Public Works Department
Abolition of titles and pensions.
Started Competitive examination for Indian Civil Services
|1856-1857||Lord Canning||Three universities at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay in 1857 were established
Revolt of 1857 took place
Note – Post-1857 Revolt, Governor-General of India was made Viceroy of British India and Canning became the first Viceroy of India/British India.
Note: Aspirants should know about the only Indian Governor-General of India who was CR Gopalachari. India was made a republic in 1950. He was the last governor-general of India, following which the post was abolished.
List of Governors-General of India- Download PDF Here
The information provided on the Viceroys of India, Governors-General of India and first governor General of Bengal is helpful to tackle the tricky general awareness section questions in any competitive exam.
Frequently Asked Questions on Governor-General of India
Q 1. Who was the first Governor-General of Bengal?
Q 2. Who was the first Governor-General of British India?
Aspirants can also read articles linked below related to modern Indian history: