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The Communal Electorate system in India was first introduced by the ______
1. Rowlatt Act, 1919
2. Morley - Minto Reforms, 1909
3. Wavel Plan, 1945
4. Cripps Mission, 1942

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Correct Answer - Option 2 : Morley - Minto Reforms, 1909

The correct answer is Morley - Minto Reforms, 1909.

  • The Communal Electorate system in India was first introduced by the Minto- Morley reforms in 1909.
  • The Indian Councils Act of 1909 is also known as Morley-Minto Reforms.
    • Lord Morley was the then Secretary of State for India and Lord Minto was the then Viceroy of India.
  • Indian Council Act of 1909, also known as Morley-Minto Reform, introduced separate electorates based on the religion known as the communal electorate.
  • Lord Minto came to be known as the Father of Communal Electorate.
  • This Act provided for the separate representation of zamindars, chambers of commerce, presidency corporations, and universities.
    • It allowed for a non-official majority in the provincial legislative councils but retained the official majority in the Central Legislative Council.
  • For the first time, Indians were associated with the executive councils of the Viceroy and Governors.
    • Satyendra Prasad Sinha was appointed as the law member and he thus became the first Indian to join the Viceroy’s Executive Council.

  • ​Cripps Mission, 1942 : 
    • The Cripps Mission was sent by the British government to India in March 1942 to obtain Indian cooperation for the British war efforts in the 2nd World War.
      • It was headed by Sir Richard Stafford Cripps, a Labour minister in Winston Churchill’s coalition government in Britain.
    • Purpose of Cripps Mission: Britain suffered many losses in Southeast Asia and Japan’s threat to invade India seemed real for them.
    • Britain was pressurized by the allies (USA, USSR & China) to seek India’s cooperation.
    • Indian nationalists had agreed to support the Allied as they hoped for immediate transfer of substantial power and complete independence after the war.
    • Members of Cripps MissionLord Pethick-Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade, and A.V. Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty.
  • Rowlatt Act, 1919 : 
    • The Rowlatt Act was an act that allowed the British government the authority and the power to arrest people and keep them in prison for up to two years, without any trial if they were suspected of the charge of terrorism.
      •  It is officially called the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act and gave enormous power to the British government and police to arrest anyone suspected of seditious activities.
    • The Act was passed by the Rowlatt Committee, presided by Sir Sydney Rowlatt.
  • Wavell Plan, 1945 :
    • The Wavell Plan was first presented at the Shimla Conference in 1945.
      • It was named after the Viceroy of India, Lord Wavell. 
    • On 14 June 1945 Lord Wavell announced a plan for a new Executive Council in which all members except the Viceroy and the Commander in Chief would be Indians.
    • This executive council was to be a temporary measure until a new permanent constitution could be agreed upon and come into force.
    • Lord Wavell was the Governor-General who proposed the Wavell plan in 1945 which is called the Breakdown plan. 

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