NCERT Notes: Second and Third Round Table Conferences

Subject: History
Category: Modern History
Topic: Second and Third Round Table Conference 1930

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

Second Round Table Conference
  • When: September – December 1931
  • Where: London
  • Attended by:

British delegates belonging to various political parties including the British Prime
Minister, James Ramsay Macdonald.
Indian princely states represented by Maharajas, princes and divans.
British Indians represented by:
Indian National Congress (INC) – Mahatma Gandhi, Rangaswami Iyengar, Madan
Mohan Malaviya
Muslims - Md. Ali Jinnah, Aga Khan III, Muhammad Iqbal, etc.
Hindus - M R Jayakar, etc.
Depressed classes – Dr B R Ambedkar
Women – Sarojini Naidu, etc.
Liberals, Justice Party, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Parsis, Europeans, Anglo-Indians,
industry, labour, landlords, Burma, Sindh and other provinces.

  • The session started on 7 September 1931.
  • The major difference between the first and the second conference was that the INC was participating in the second one. This was one of the results of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact.
  • Another difference was that unlike the previous time, British PM Macdonald was heading not a Labour government, but a National government. The Labour Party had been toppled two weeks before in Britain.
  • The British decided to grant a communal award for representing minorities in India by providing for separate electorates for minority communities. Gandhi was against this.
  • In this conference, Gandhi and Ambedkar differed on the issue of separate electorates for the untouchables. Gandhi was against treating untouchables as separate from the Hindu community. This issue was resolved through the Poona Pact 1932.
  • The second round table conference was deemed a failure because of the many disagreements among the participants. While the INC claimed to speak for the whole of the country, other participants and leaders of other parties contested this claim.

Third Round Table Conference
  • When: November – December 1932
  • Where: London
  • Attended by:

Only 46 delegates in total took part in this conference.
The INC and the Labour Party decided not to attend it. (The INC wasn’t invited).
Indian princely states were represented by princes and divans.
British Indians were represented by the Aga Khan (Muslims), depressed classes
(Ambedkar), women, Europeans, Anglo-Indians and labour groups.

  • Not much was achieved in this conference also.
  • The recommendations of this conference were published in a White Paper in 1933 and later discussed in the British Parliament. The recommendations were analysed and the Government of India Act of 1935 was passed on its basis.

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