Dominion of India

Dominion of India
भारत अधिराज्य
Flag Emblem
Jana Gana Mana

Royal anthem
God Save the King
Capital New Delhi
Government Constitutional monarchy
   1947–1950 George VI
  1947–1948 Louis Mountbatten
  1948–1950 Chakravarthy Rajagopalachari
Prime Minister
  1947–1950 Jawaharlal Nehru
Legislature Constituent Assembly
Historical era Cold War
   Indian Independence Act 15 August 1947
  Indo-Pakistani War 22 October 1947
   Republican constitution adopted 26 January 1950
   1950 3,287,263 km² (1,269,219 sq mi)
Currency Indian rupee
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Indian Empire

The Dominion of India (Hindi: भारत अधिराज्य, Bhārata Adhirājya), also known as the Union of India, was a predecessor to the modern-day Republic of India and an independent state that existed between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950. It was transformed into the Republic of India by the promulgation of the Constitution of India on 26 January 1950.[1]

George VI was the king (the head of state) and was represented by the Governor-General of India. However, the governor-general was not designated viceroy, as had been customary under the British Raj. Two governors-general held office in India during the Dominion period (after the office of Viceroy was abolished by the Indian Independence Act 1947): Mountbatten of Burma (1947–48) and Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1948–50). Jawaharlal Nehru held office as prime minister formerly as Secretary for State (the head of government) of the Union of India throughout this period.

Partition of India

Main article: Partition of India

The Partition of British India on 14/15 August 1947 led to the creation of two sovereign states, both dominions: Pakistan (which later split into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh) and India (later the Republic of India).

The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India, drafted by a committee headed by Dr Rajendra Prasad, on 26 November 1949. India became a federal, democratic republic after its constitution came into effect on 26 January 1950. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India.


Standard of the Governor-General (1947–1950)

The sovereign and head of state of the dominion of India was a hereditary monarch, George VI, who was also the sovereign of the United Kingdom and the other dominions in the British Commonwealth of Nations. His constitutional roles were mostly carried out by the Governor-General of India. The royal succession was governed by the Act of Settlement 1701.

The monarchy was abolished on 26 January 1950, when India became a republic within the Commonwealth, the first Commonwealth country to do so.

List of Indian monarchs

The King in relation to independent India held the following official style and titles:

House of Windsor
Portrait Name Birth Death Monarch From Monarch Until Relationship with Predecessor(s)
King George VI 14 December 1895 6 February 1952 15 August 1947 26 January 1950 Son of George V, Emperor of India

List of Governors-General

Picture Took office Left office Appointer
Governors-General of the Dominion of India, 1947–1950
The Viscount Mountbatten of Burma[4]
15 August 1947 21 June 1948 George VI
C. Rajagopalachari
21 June 1948 26 January 1950

See also

  1. Winegard, Timothy C. (2011), Indigenous Peoples of the British Dominions and the First World War, Cambridge University Press, pp. 2–, ISBN 978-1-107-01493-0
  2. website
  3. The London Gazette: no. 38330. p. 3647. 22 June 1948. Retrieved 25 August 2014. Royal Proclamation of 22 June 1948, made in accordance with the Indian Independence Act 1947, 10 & 11 GEO. 6. CH. 30. ('Section 7: ...(2) The assent of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is hereby given to the omission from the Royal Style and Titles of the words "Indiae Imperator" and the words "Emperor of India" and to the issue by His Majesty for that purpose of His Royal Proclamation under the Great Seal of the Realm.')
  4. Created Earl Mountbatten of Burma on 28 October 1947.
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