17 Feb 2024 : Daily Answer Writing

Q1) “The Indian Independence Act 1947 changed the existing constitutional position, root and branch.” Discuss the changes introduced by the Indian Independence Act 1947 and the immediate challenges that emerged as a result. (250 Words/15 Marks)


The Indian Independence Act, 1947, a legislation of the British Parliament, created two new dominions viz. India, and Pakistan.

The changes introduced by the Indian Independence Act, 1947 can be seen as:

  1. It ended the British rule in India and paved the way for creation of an independent and sovereign state.
  2. The independence act proclaimed the lapse of British paramountcy over the Indian princely states; it granted freedom to Indian princely states either to join the Dominion of India or Dominion of Pakistan or to remain independent.
  3. It provisioned for the partition of India, creating two independent dominions of India and Pakistan, with the right to secede from the British Commonwealth.
  4. The office of Viceroy was abolished, and parallelly the Act called for the post of governor general, to be appointed by the British Monarch.
  5. It empowered the constituent assembly of the country to frame and adopt a constitution of its own volition.
  6. Other relevant changes:
    • It made the constituent assembly a legislating body. It empowered the constituent assembly to legislate for the country till such time the new constitutions were drafted and enforced.
    • It dropped the title of Emperor of India from the royal titles of the King of England.
    • It discontinued the appointment to civil services and reservation of posts by the secretary of state for India.

Though the Indian Independence Act, 1947 was a watershed moment for India, it also created significant challenges, such as:

  1. Partition: The partition of the subcontinent into two dominions created not only political turbulence but also a communal crisis.

E.g., communal riots; refugee crisis etc.

  1. Integration of the country: Lapse of paramountcy opened the Pandora’s box, wherein the princely states desired autonomy. Integration of the country came at a huge diplomatic, economic, and political expense.

E.g., operation Polo for integration of Hyderabad; the case of Kashmir was internationalised etc.

  1. Administrative challenges:
  2. In the absence of any transitional institutional structures, tackling partition became more challenging.

E.g., division of administrative/civil and military staff; logistical challenges etc.

  1. Different governor general for India (Mountbatten) and Pakistan (Jinnah) further frustrated the possibility for a seamless transfer of men and resources.
  2. Economic challenges: Creation of two dominions in addition to the political strife created economic drags for the country.

E.g., partition unsettled the established economic linkages like cotton and jute growing areas; food shortages etc.

  1. Delay in the announcement of the boundary award (Radcliffe), and the unscientific way in which the boundary commission conducted its work left cultural/social cleavages.
  2. Constituent assembly, after the passage of Indian Independence Act, 1947, had to function as a legislative body also.


Indian Independence Act, 1947 was the culmination of a long-drawn struggle against the colonial rule; however, the legacy of the ensuing partition continues to impact the region even to this day.

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