Agencies of British India

An agency of British India was an internally autonomous or semi-autonomous unit of British India whose external affairs were governed by an agent designated by the Viceroy of India.[1] They varied in character from fully autonomous self-governing dependencies such as princely states, where the agent functioned mainly as a representative of the Viceroy, to tribal tracts which were integral parts of the British Empire and where the agent was completely in charge of law and order. The agent of a protected tract or princely state usually resided outside the territory in his charge, as opposed to a Resident who usually resided within his confines and was not infrequently the District Collector of the adjoining British district.

Civil and criminal justice in agencies were usually administered through locally made laws, and the Indian Penal Code was not applicable by default in these agencies.

Colonial India
IndiaPolitical1893ConstablesHandAtlas
Imperial entities of India
Dutch India1605–1825
Danish India1620–1869
French India1668–1954

Portuguese India
(1505–1961)
Casa da Índia1434–1833
Portuguese East India Company1628–1633

British India
(1612–1947)
East India Company1612–1757
Company rule in India1757–1858
British Raj1858–1947
British rule in Burma1824–1948
Princely states1721–1949
Partition of India
1947

List of agencies

Political agencies were created, merged or abolished at different times during the history of the British Raj.[2] This list includes all agencies, regardless of the historical period.

See also

References

  1. ^ Great Britain India Office. The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1908.
  2. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "British Empire" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Sources and external links

Bagelkhand Agency

The Bagelkhand Agency was a British political unit which managed the relations of the British with a number of autonomous princely states existing outside British India, namely Rewa and eleven minor states, of which the more important were Maihar, Nagod —with its capital at Uuchahara— and Sohawal. The less important states included Jaso State, Kothi, Baraundha, also known as Patharkachhar, as well as the Kalinjar Chaubes —consisting of the princely estates of Paldeo, Kamta-Rajaula, Taraon, Pahra and Bhaisaunda.

Baluchistan Agency

The Baluchistan Agency (or Balochistan or Baloochistan or British Balochistan) was one of the colonial agencies of British India. It was located in the present-day Pakistani Balochistan province.

Baroda, Western India and Gujarat States Agency

The Baroda, Western India and Gujarat States Agency was a political agency of British India, managing the relations of the British government of the Bombay Presidency with a collection of princely states.The political agent in charge of the agency resided at Baroda (Vadodara).

Baroda and Gujarat States Agency

Baroda and Gujarat States Agency was a political agency of British India, managing the relations of the British government of the Bombay Presidency with a collection of princely states.The political agent, who was also Collector of the British District of the Panchmahal, resided at Baroda (Vadodara).

Bhopal Agency

The Bhopal Agency was a section of British India's colonial Central India Agency, a British political unit which managed the relations of the British with a number of autonomous princely states existing outside British India.

Bhopawar Agency

Bhopawar Agency was a sub-agency of the Central India Agency in British India with the headquarters at the town of Bhopawar, so the name. Bhopawar Agency was created in 1882 from a number of princely states in the Western Nimar and Southern Malwa regions of Central India belonging to the former Bhil Agency and Bhil Sub-agency with the capitals at Bhopawar and Manpur. The agency was named after Bhopawar, a village in Sardarpur tehsil, Dhar District of present-day Madhya Pradesh state. Manpur remained a strictly British territory.

The other chief towns of this region were: Badnawar, Kukshi, Manawar and Sardargarh. The mighty Vindhya and Satpura ranges crossed the territory of the agency roughly from east to west, with the fertile valley of the Narmada River lying between them. The agency also included the "Bhil Country", inhabited by the Bhil people.

Bundelkhand Agency

The Bundelkhand Agency was a political agency of the British Raj, managing the relations of the British government with the protected princely states of the Bundelkhand region.

Cutch Agency

The Cutch Agency was one of the agencies of British India. The appointed Political Agent looked after only one territory, that of the princely state of Cutch, which had a surface of 19,725 square kilometres (7,616 sq mi), not including the Rann of Kutch.

The agency's headquarters were at Bhuj, where the Political Agent used to reside. He reported to the Political Department office at Bombay, Bombay Presidency.

Deccan States Agency

The Deccan States Agency, also known as the Deccan States Agency and Kolhapur Residency, was a political agency of British India, managing the relations of the British government of the Bombay Presidency with a collection of princely states and jagirs (feudal 'vassal' estates) in western India.

Eastern States Agency

The Eastern States Agency was a grouping of princely states in eastern India, during the latter years of Britain's Indian Empire. It was created in 1933, by the unification of the former Chhattisgarh States Agency and the Orissa States Agency; the agencies remained intact within the grouping. In 1936, the Bengal States Agency was added.

Gilgit Agency

The Gilgit Agency (Urdu: گلگت ایجنسی‬‎) was a system of administration established by British Indian Empire over the subsidiary states of Jammu and Kashmir at its northern periphery, mainly with the objective of strengthening these territories against Russian encroachment.

An Officer on Special Duty was established in 1877 in the town of Gilgit, upgraded to a permanent Political Agent in 1889. In 1935, the Gilgit wazarat was leased from the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, which also came under the administration of the Political Agent. In July 1947, shortly before the independence of India and Pakistan, these areas were returned to the Maharaja. However, the Gilgit Scouts rebelled on 1 November 1947 after the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India, and Pakistan took over the administration of the areas soon thereafter.The Gilgit Agency remained in existence under Pakistani control till about 1974, when it was abolished by the Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

Madras States Agency

The Madras States Agency was a colonial agency for the indirect rule of princely states associated with British India. Founded in 1923, it consisted of these five princely states (by precedence) :

Travancore, ruled by a Maharaja with a hereditary salute of 19-guns;

Cochin, ruled by a Maharaja with a hereditary salute of 17-guns;

Pudukkottai, ruled by a Raja with a hereditary salute of 11-guns;

Banganapalle, ruled by a Nawab with a hereditary salute of 9-guns;

Sandur, a non-salute state ruled by a Raja.

Mahi Kantha Agency

Mahi Kantha was a political agency or collection of princely states in British India, within the Gujarat Division of Bombay Presidency. In 1933, the states of the Mahi Kantha Agency, except for Danta, were included in the Western India States Agency. The total area of the agency was 8,094 km2 (3,125 sq mi); the population in 1901 was 361,545.

Malwa Agency

Malwa Agency was an administrative section of British India's Central India Agency. The headquarters of the political agent was at Mandsaur (Mandasor) / Neemuch (Nimach). The other chief towns of the region were : Ratlam and Jaora.

North-West Frontier States Agency

The North-West Frontier States Agency was one of the colonial Agencies of British India exercising indirect rule.

It comprised the Princely States associated with the North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, in Pakistan).

Subagencies were the Dir, Swat and Chitral Agency and the Deputy Commissioner of Hazara acting as the Political Agent for Amb and Phulra.

Punjab States Agency

The Punjab States Agency was a political office of the British Indian Empire. The agency was created in the 1930s, on the model of the Central India Agency and Rajputana Agency, and dealt with forty princely states in northwest India formerly dealt with by the British province of the Punjab.After 1947, most of the states chose to accede to the Union of India, the rest to the Dominion of Pakistan.

Rewa Kantha Agency

Rewa Kantha was a political agency of British India, managing the relations (indirect rule) of the British government's Bombay Presidency with a collection of princely states. It stretched for about 150 miles between the plain of Gujarat and the hills of Malwa, from the Tapti River to the Mahi River crossing the Rewa (or Narmada) River, from which it takes its name.The political agent, who was also District collector of the prant (British District) of the Panchmahal, resided at Godhra.

Surat Agency

The Surat Agency was one of the agencies of British India in the Bombay Presidency.

Western India States Agency

The Western India States Agency (WISA) was one of the agencies of British India. This agency was formed on 10 October 1924 as a part of the implementation of the Montague Chelmsford report on constitutional reforms. It was formed by merging the areas under the erstwhile Kathiawar, Cutch [covering only Kutch state] and Palanpur agencies.At one time or another between 1924 and 1944, 435 princely states were included in this agency, roughly covering the present Gujarat state, but only eighteen out of these were salute states. Some 163 Talukas and Estates were included in this Agency: these were mostly petty (e)states, some no larger than a town or village.

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