The Pitts India Act of 1784, also known as the India Act of 1784, was a significant administrative and legislative reform that was enacted in British India before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. This act was designed to improve upon the provisions of the Regulating Act of 1773, which aimed to bring about better discipline in the East India Company’s system of administration.
- Board of Controllers: The Pitts India Act of 1784 established a 6-member Board of Controllers, which was headed by a minister of the British Government. This board was responsible for all political responsibilities in British India. The Court of Directors of the company was responsible for trade and commerce-related issues.
- Centralization of Power: The act stipulated that provinces in British India had to follow the instructions of the Central Government, and the Governor General was empowered to dismiss the failing provincial government. This was a significant step towards centralization of power in British India, as it ensured that the Central Government had complete control over the provinces.
- Financial Accountability: The Pitts India Act of 1784 also established a system of control over the finances of the East India Company, with the British Government having the power to approve the company’s budget and expenditures. This was an important step towards ensuring financial accountability and transparency in the administration of British India.