INDIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
INDIAN ECONOMY ON THE EVE OF INDEPENDENCE
PURPOSE OF BRITISH COLONIAL RULE
The sole purpose of the British colonial rule in India was to reduce the country to being the feeder country to Great Britain’s own rapidly expanding modern industrial base.
CONDITIONS OF INDIAN ECONOMY
BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF BRITISH RULE
India had an independent economy before the arrival of British rule. Following were the features :
- Agriculture was the main source of livelihood for the people apart from other manufacturing activities.
- India was well known for its handicraft industry in the fields of cotton and silk textiles, precious stone work etc.
ECONOMIC POLICIES – IMPACT
The various economic policies pursued were for the betterment and the protection of the home country Great Britain. Such policies brought lots of change in the structure of the Indian economy.
- Transforming the country into the net supplier of the raw material to the Great Britain at the cheap rates.
- India became the consumer of the finished industrial products from Britain.
- India’s national and per-capita income was never estimated by the colonial govt., which was finally done by V.K.R.V. Rao whose estimates were considered very significant.
- The country’s aggregate net output during the first half of the twentieth century was less than
- There was just half percent growth in per capita output per year.
About 85% of the country’s population lived mostly in villages and derived the livelihood directly or indirectly from agriculture. Being the occupation of such a large population agriculture sector in India experienced the stagnation under the colonial rule because of the following :
(1) System of Land Settlement :Under the Zamindari system, which was first introduced in Bengal, profits occurring out of the agriculture sector went to the Zamindars instead of cultivators. However, nothing was done to improve the conditions of agriculture sector the main interest of Zamindars was to collect the rent and this caused misery and social tension among the cultivators.
(2) Commercialisation of Agriculture : It means production of crop for sale in the market rather than self consumption. Farmers were forced to cultivate commercial crops like Indigo. Indian agriculture was transformed into the raw material exporting sector for England.
(3) Partition of the Country :Partition of the country in 1947, also adversely affected the Indian agriculture. The rich food producing area of West Punjab, and Sindh went to Pakistan. It created food crises in the country. Also the whole of fertile land under jute production went to East Pakistan. The industry were most adversely affected due to partition.
(4) Other Reasons :Low level of technology. Lack of irrigation facilities and lack of fertilizers all contributed towards low level of productivity.
The Indian Agriculture become backward. Stagnant and non-vibrant under which rule.
India could not develop a sound industrial base under the colonial rule. The Primary motive of the colonial Government behind the policy of deindustrializing India.
(1) To reduce India to the status of the mere exporter of raw material for promoting modern industry in Britain.
(2) To turn India into the spreading market for the finished of those industries.
IMPACT OF THE DECLINE OF INDUSTRIES IN INDIA
It has the following impacts :
- It created massive unemployment due to the decline of indigenous handicrat industries.
- The demand of the Indian Consumer was deprived of the locally made goods. These
- The policy of Britishers were simply to develop those industries which would never be competitive to the British industry. They always wanted. Indians to be dependent on British for the supply of capital goods and heavy equipment.
INDUSTRIES IN OPERATION
The development of the modern industry in India was started in second half of the nineteenth century the development was confined to the cotton and jute textile mills the cotton textile mills were situated in western part of the country while jute mills dominated by foreigners were located in Bengal. The TATA iron and steel industry was in cooperated in the beginning of the twentieth century. However, there was no capital good industry to help promote further industrialization in India (capital good industry means the industries which can produce machines, tools)
DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION POPULATION OF INDIA IS
The population of India is collected through census.
The theory of the demographic transition shows 3 stages of population growth.
First stage – Slow growth of population (1881 – 1921)
In such an economic situation, both birth and death rate are equally high due to the lack of medical and health facilities and low level of income and nutrition. So, population growth is slow and uneven.
Second stage – Population explosion (1921 onwards)
As the economy develops, income rises, health and medical facilities expand and death are falls sharply but birth rate remains high. The gap between birth and death rate become wider. The year 1921 is described as the year of GRATDIVIDING.
Third stage – Low growth rate
As the development proceeds, the death rate falls further but birth rate also declines. The gap between the two become narrower and the population growth becomes slow.
DATA AT THE TIME OF INDEPENDENCE
- High Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) :It refers to the death rate of the children below the age of one year. It was around 147 per thousand live birth at the time of independence.
- Life Expectancy :-Life expectancy means number of years a new born child on an average expected to live. It was as low as 32 years.
- Mars Illiteracy :-It is an indicatory of poverty and backwards. Literacy rate was 17%.
- Low standard of Living :At the time of independence people used to spend 80 to 90% of this income on necessaries.
Occupational structure means distribution of the working persons across the different Industries and Sectors.
- Predominience of Agriculture Sector : – The agriculture sector, in the colonial period accounted for the largest share of work force which usually remained at a high of 70 – 75 percent while the manufacturing and service sector accounted for 10 and 15 – 20
- Growing Regional Variations :–In the states of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra the dependency of the workforce on agriculture sector declined. On the other hand there was an increase in the workforce in the agriculture sector in the states like Orissa, Rajasthan and Punjab.
Under the colonial rule, basic infrastructure such as, railways, posts and telegram developed. The main motive was to serve various colonial interests.
The infrastructure constructed were :-
- Roads :-The roads that were built served the purpose of mobilizing the army with in India, and drawing out raw material from the country side to the nearest railway station.
- Railway :-The British introduced the railway in India in 1850. And it is considered most important contribution 2 ways : –
(i) It enabled the people to undertake long distance travel and thereby break geographical and cultural barriers.
(ii) It helped in the commercialization of Indian agriculture.
(iii) The volume of the Indian export expanded.
The main motive of Britishers for constructing railways
- To have effective control and administration over vast territory of India. For this Britishers linked important administrative and military centres with railways track.
- To create an opportunity for profitable investment of British funds in India.
- Inland Trade and Sea Lanes :The colonial rule, also took measures for developing the Inland trade and sea lanes, but it was proved uneconomical.
- Electric Telegraphs :It was the expensive system of electric telegraphs in India, served the purpose of maintaining law and order. Modern Postal System was started in India in 1837.
IMPORTANCE OF INFRASTRUCTURE
CONTRIBUTION OF BRITISHERS
(1) It provided cheap and rapid transport system especially for distant travel.
(2) It broke geographical and cultural barriers.
(3) It created new employment opportunities.
(4) It promoted foreign trade.
(5) It encouraged the process of industrializing.