Marquess of Ripon
Marquess is a title given to noblemen in the United Kingdom. George Robinson claimed this title in 1871. He was a politician and 2nd Earl of Ripon. He is known as the first Marquess of Ripon.
George Robinson was born in England in 1833. His father, F.J Robinson, was the prime minister of England at that time. He didn’t attend any school or college.
Marquess of Ripon as the Viceroy of India
He was assigned the role of Viceroy of India in 1880 after Lord Lytton. He enacted a series of reforms in India which we will highlight below.
First Factory Act (1881)
Lord Ripon introduced the first factory act in 1881. This act aimed to secure the rights of the factory workers. According to this act
- Factories were not allowed to employ children under the age of seven
- The working time of children between 7-12 years was a maximum of 9 hours/ day
- Workers were allowed to have a lunch break and four off days a month.
- Factory owners must put a fence around the machines to prevent any fatal hazard.
- The act was valid for the factories that used mechanical power and employed at least 100 workers.
- This act was the first milestone in the long process of the industrial revolution in India.
The Negotiable Instruments Act (1881)
The negotiable Instruments act 1881 was introduced in India by Lord Ripon. This act holds great value in business, banking, tax and money transfer.
Repeal of Vernacular Press Act
The vernacular press act was applied in India by the British Government in 1878 by Lord Lytton. According to this act, the magistrate had the authority to summon the local publishers and censor their news. The purpose of this act was to suppress the resistance against the British Government. It was also known as the “gagging act”.
Lord Ripon annulled this act in 1882. This gave people the freedom to raise their voices against the colonial regime, and it was a big step toward the independence movement.
Government resolution on local self-government
Marquess of the Ripon is the father of local self-government in India. He passed a resolution that ensured power transfer to the local bodies (urban and rural areas).
This gave the local Government the freedom to make decisions to some extent.
Ilbert Bill 1883
Until 1883, the British residing in India were exempted from appearing before the Indian magistrates.
Lord Ripon tried to eliminate this racial discrimination by passing the Ilbert Bill in 1883. According to
Ilbert Bill 1883 , British people involved in any crime or dispute were answerable to Indian magistrates.
Foundation of the University of Punjab
The Punjab University was the fourth University to be established under the British colonial regime. The first three were found in Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay.
Appointment of Education Commission
The education status in India was inferior under the British Government. After Considering this, Lord Ripon designated an education commission known as the Hunter Commission under the supervision of Sir William Hunter in 1882.
The primary purpose of this commission was to analyze and reform the primary schools in India. The commission also considered secondary and high schools.
The first complete census in India
In 1881, the British Government held the first complete census in India under Lord Ripon. The stats included the categorization of sex and age groups. It was the first synchronous census in India. Before that, the census used to be conducted citywide.
Marquess of Ripon was one of the few members of the British Government who worked to benefit the Indian people and helped them obtain their rights.