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Board of Control


Board of Control worked as the supreme body looking after the affairs of the colonial state of India under the east india company from 1784 to 1858. The Board was appointed by the British Parliament. The company's Bengal State was established without taking any formal orders or assent from parliament. Its governance also remained unattended by parliament until the enactment of the regulating act of 1773. The circumstances like the holocaust caused by the Great Famine (1769-70), rampant corruption among company officials, breakdown of civil authorities, collapse of Bengal economy, and most importantly, near bankruptcy of the company after territorial acquisitions led parliament to intervene into the affairs of the company. The Regulating Act was the result.

But the Regulating Act did not improve the situation much. Parliament intervened again and enacted the pitt’s india act of 1784. This measure put the East India Company and its territorial possessions under the firm control of the crown. Under this Act, the parliamentary control was to be exercised through a statutory autonomous board called the Court of Commissioners, popularly known as the Board of Control. The Board consisted of six ex-officio members, such as, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, one of the principal Secretaries of State (President of the Board) and four Privy Councilors. The Board was empowered 'to superintend, direct and control all acts, operations and concerns which in any wise relate to the civil or military government or revenues of the British territorial possessions in the East Indies'. The court of directors was to comply with all its orders on the civil or military government and revenues of India. The Board held its inaugural meeting on 3 September 1784 and controlled the colonial state of India until the abolition of the Company and bringing British India under the direct rule of the Crown-in-Parliament in 1858. [Sirajul Islam]