- Abolition of Sati: Issuing Regulation XVII on December 4, 1829, outlawing the practice of Sati. Those who engaged in sati were sentenced as accomplices to the crime by law courts. The Regulation was extended to the presidencies of Madras and Bombay in 1830.
- Female infanticide: Bentinck took effective steps to prevent the ritual of child sacrifice on Bengal’s Saugar Island. He not only prohibited female infanticide but also made it a punishable offence.
- Suppression of Thugs: They were a family of robbers. They moved around in small groups of fifty to a hundred people, posing as commercial gangs or pilgrims and strangling and robbing peaceful travelers in central and northern India. The majority of them were exterminated, while the remainder were transported to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- Introduction to English Education:
- He formed a committee, chaired by Lord Macaulay, to make recommendations for the advancement of education. In his report, Macaulay emphasized the promotion of European literature and science to the people of India through the English medium. William Bentinck wholeheartedly accepted this recommendation.
- In 1835, the government passed a resolution making English the official and literacy language of India. In the same year, William Bentinck established the Calcutta Medical College.
- Administrative Reforms:
- Judicial Reforms: In the judicial department, he abolished Cornwallis’ provisions for courts of appeal. They were largely to blame for the massive backlog of cases. The Directors readily accepted this step because it reduced their expenditure.
- Another good measure implemented by Bentinck was the use of local languages in lower courts and English in higher courts in place of Persian.
His social reforms, such as the abolition of Sati and the prohibition of child sacrifice, wiped out long-standing evils in Hindu society. It’s encouraging to see that “Bentinck acted where others had talked.”