Indian Economy on the Eve of Independence
- Characteristics of Indian Economy before Colonial rule
- India had an independent Economy.
- Agriculture was the main source of livelihood of most of the people.
- Known for its handicraft industries in the fields of Cotton and silk textiles, metal and precious stone works etc.
- Reputation in the market for fine quality of material produced.
- Standard of craftsmanship seen in all imports from India.
- Concerns of Policies introduced in India during Colonial rule
- Protection and promotion of the economic interests of their home country.
- Transforming India into net supplier of raw material.
- Making India a consumer of finished industrial products from Britain.
- State of different economic sectors
|Agricultural Sector||Industrial Sector||Foreign Trade|
|85% of people deepen on it directly or indirectly
|Could not develop sound industrial base during colonial rule||More than half of India’s foreign trade was restricted to Britain|
|Deterioration and Stagnation in agricultural sector||Handicraft industry declined||Little trade was done with China, Ceylon and Persia.|
|Low agricultural productivity||No modern industry base was allowed to come||Opening of Suez Canal intensified the British control over India|
|Land Settlement and
|There was hardly any Capital market||Generation of large export surplus at huge cost|
|Commercialisation of agriculture in some areas|
- Motives of de-industrialising India
- Make India exporter of raw material.
- To make India a market of finished goods.
- Demographic Conditions
- First census was done in 1881.
- India was in the first stage of demographic transition before 1921.
- The second demographic transition stage started after 1921.
- Very high population growth.
- Social Indicators were not encouraging.
- Literacy level was less than 16%.
- Female literacy was negligible.
- Bad State of Public Health Services.
- High Mortality Rate.
- Infant mortality was high – 218 per thousand.
- Low Life Expectancy – 32 years.
- High level of poverty.
- Occupational Structure during colonial rule
Share of workforce in different sectors (in %)
|Primary Sector||70 – 75|
|Tertiary Sector||15 – 20|
- Electric telegraph
- Postal services