Reforms of Warren Hastings – UPSC GS1

Reforms of Warren Hastings
  • The financial position of the Company became worse and the difficulties were intensified by famine. When Warren Hastings assumed the administration of Bengal in 1772, he found it in utter chaos. Warren Hastings realized the immediate need for introducing reforms.
  • Abolition of the Dual System: The East India Company decided to act as Diwan and to undertake the collection of revenue by its own agents. Hence, the Dual System introduced by Robert Clive was abolished.  To improve the finances of the Company Hastings reduced the allowance of Nawab to half and also stopped the annual payment to Mughal Emperor.
  • Revenue Reforms:  Due to abolition of Dual system the responsibility to collect revenue came to Company. For that purpose a Board of Revenue was established at Calcutta to supervise the collection of revenue. English Collectors were appointed in each district.
  • Reorganisation of the Judicial System: The Nawab who was hitherto the chief administrator of justice, misused his powers. Often, his judgments were careless. The zamindars who acted as judges at lower levels within their own areas were highly corrupt and prejudiced. On the whole, the judicial institution suffered from extreme corruption.
    Each district was provided with a civil court under the Collector and a criminal court under an Indian Judge. Appellate courts, one for civil cases and another for criminal cases, were established at Calcutta.
    The highest civil court of appeal was called Sadar Diwani Adalat, which was to be presided over by the Governor and two judges recruited from among the members of his council. Similarly, the highest   appellate criminal court was known as Sadar Nizamat Adalat which was to function under an Indian judge appointed by the Governor-in-Council. Experts in Hindu and Muslim laws were provided to assist the judges.
  • Trade Regulations: Warren Hastings abolished the system of dastaks, or free passes and regulated the internal trade. He reduced the number of custom houses and enforced a uniform tariff of 2.5 percent for Indian and non-Indian goods. Private trade by the Company’s servants continued but within enforceable limits.
  • Other Reforms:
    Weavers were given better treatment and facilities were made to improve their condition.He also introduced a uniform system of pre-paid postage system. A bank was started in Calcutta.He improved the police in Calcutta and the dacoits were severely dealt with.
Scroll to Top