The Presidency had its origins in the Agency of Fort St George established by the British East India Company soon after the purchase of the village of Madraspatnam in 1639. Madras was upgraded to a Presidency in 1652 before reverting to its previous status as an Agency. In 1684, Madras was elevated to a Presidency once again and Elihu Yale appointed its first President. From 1785 onwards, as per the provisions of the Pitt's India Act, the ruler of the Presidency of Fort St George was styled Governor instead of President and was made subordinate to the Governor-General at Calcutta. Madras made a significant contribution to the Indian freedom movement in the early decades of the 20th century. Madras was the first province in British India where the system of dyarchy was first implemented. The Presidency was dissolved when India became independent on August 15, 1947. On January 26, 1950, when the Republic of India was inaugurated, Madras was admitted as one of the states of the Indian Union.
The judicial, legislative and executive powers are rested in the Governor who is assisted by a Council whose constitution has been modified by reforms enacted in 1861, 1909, 1919 and 1935. As per the Montague-Chelmsford reforms of 1919, a system of dyarchy was established and regular elections were conducted till the outbreak of the Second World War. The head of the government was known as Prime Minister. In 1908, the province comprised 22 districts each under a District Collector. Each district was further sub-divided into taluks and firqas. The smallest unit of administration was the village.
Sanjukta Panigrahi (24 August 1944 – 24 June 1997) was a dancer of India, who was the foremost exponent of Indian classical danceOrissi. Sanjukta was the first Oriya girl to embrace this ancient classical dance at an early age and ensure its grand revival.
In recognition of her contribution to dancing and associated activities, she was honoured with one of India's highest civilian awards the, Padma Shri (1975). She is also recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1976.
Apart from presenting Orissi performances in different parts of India, Sanjukta Panigrahi has been a part of Government’s cultural delegation to different countries, including to the USA and the Philippines (1969), United Kingdom (1983), Israel, Delphi International Festival in Greece (1989). She has also performed in France for eleven weeks, and participated there in the International Music Festival at Paris.