Lord Lytton wanted to thwart the seditious ambitions of the western educated elite. He promulgated the Vernacular Press Act (1878) which imposed severe restrictions on the vernacular press- a major instrument in the hands of the intelligentsia in spreading nationalist ideas. The Arms Act which made it mandatory for Indians possessing arms to draw out licenses deeply smacked of racialism and was strongly resisted by the educated elite of India. The holding of the Imperial Darbar at Delhi in 1877 when the country was suffering from famine showed what value the government attached to the welfare of Indians. In 1878 the government reduced the maximum age limit for the Civil Service from 21 to 19 years.