This Act was the final step towards centralisation in British India.
Features of the Act:
- It made the Governor-General of Bengal as the Governor-General of India and vested in him all civil and military powers. Thus, the act created, for the first time, a Government of India having authority over the entire territorial area possessed by the British in India. Lord William Bentick was the first governor-general of India.
- It deprived the governor of Bombay and Madras of their legislative powers. The Governor-General of India was given exclusive legislative powers for the entire British India. The laws made under the previous acts were called as Regulations while laws made under this act were called as Acts.
- It ended the activities of the East India Company as a commercial body, which became a purely administrative body. It provided that the company’s territories in India were held by it ‘in trust for His Majesty, His heirs and successors’.
- The Charter Act of 1833 attempted to introduce a system of open competition for selection of civil servants, and stated that the Indians should not be debarred from holding any place, office and employment under the Company. However, this provision was negated after opposition from the Court of Directors.