Lord Dalhousie – Founder of modern India

Lord Dalhousie was an able administrator, though forceful and tough. His contribution in the development of communication-railways, roads, postal and telegraph services-contiributed to the modernization and unity of India. His notable achievement was the creation of modern, centralized states.

Other measures with the same object were carried out in the Company’s own territories. Bengal, long ruled by the Governor-General or his delegate, was placed under its own Lieutenant-Governor in May 1854.

A department of public works was in each presidency, and engineering colleges were provided. An imperial system of telegraphs followed. The first link of railway communication was completed in 1855.

The construction of massive irrigation works such as the 350-mile Ganges Canal, which contains thousands of miles of distributaries, was a substantial project that was particularly beneficial for the largely agricultural India.

He created an imperial system of post-offices, reducing the rates of carrying letters and introducing postage stamps. He created the department of public instruction; he improved the system of inspection of goals, abolishing the practice of branding convicts; freed converts to other religions from the loss of their civil rights; inaugurated the system of administrative reports; and enlarged the Legislative Council of India


To the civil service he gave improved leave and pension rules, while he purified its moral by forbidding all share in trading concerns, by vigorously punishing insolvents, and by his personal example of careful selection in the matter of patronage.

Another consequential set of reforms, were those aimed at modernizing the land tenure and revenue system.