We have all heard about India’s warriors and fearless freedom fighters who have contributed their lives and everything they had to earn independence from the British Rule. But have you ever thought about the Indian economy on the eve of Independence in 1947? Our economy was in a terrible condition and state due to the Colonial government’s presence and their policies and measures that they had adopted. Thus back in 1947, when the Britishers handed over our country back to us, we were a destroyed and crippled economy. Let us know more about chapter class 11 Indian economy on the eve of Independence, in this blog.
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Must Read: Class 11 Introduction To Microeconomics
Conditions Of The Indian Economy On The Eve Of Independence (1947)
The condition of the Indian Economy on the eve of independence was not good. We, as a country, had to start from scratch and all over again in order to have a better future for ourselves and the coming generation. Mentioned below are the conditions of each sector as mentioned in chapter class 11 Indian Economy on the eve of Independence.
Agricultural Sector on the Eve of Independence
Class 11 Indian economy on the eve of independence first talks about the agricultural sector. The important points are mentioned below.
- There was a low level of agricultural production and productivity due to land settlements introduced by the Britishers and their government. The reason was the zamindari system back in the days when all the profits went to the Zamindars instead of the farmers and cultivators. This definitely leads to discouragement amongst the farmers to produce more.
- High dependence on the monsoon showers and no efforts were being made under the British rule to develop proper irrigation canals and irrigation systems.
- Lack of proper input such as low technology, lack of irrigation facilities and poor usage of fertilisers, all contributed to the dismal level of agricultural productivity.
- Hence, the agricultural sector’s condition by the Indian economy on the eve of Independence was severely poor.
Industrial Sector On The Eve Of Independence
Moving on in class 11 Indian economy on the eve of independence, we look at the condition of the industrial sector. The circumstances of the industrial sector were not too good either. You can have a look here:
- Indian economy on the eve of independence lacked modern machinery and equipment. The Industrial Revolution in Britain gave stiff competition to India’s handicraft sector and hence due to better quality of goods that can be produced at lower costs by machines; it forced the Indian handicraft industry to shut down.
- In the days, the British government allowed tariff-free export of goods and raw materials from India, which made raw materials extensively cheap. They imposed high tariffs on the imports from Britain to India of the finished goods.
- New patterns of demand could be seen in the market. Due to the British influence on our economy and lifestyles, a new class of people emerged here in India, which certainly had changed the pattern of demand in the Indian markets. Their demands also changed for the Indian produced goods and handicrafts and, hence, favoured the superior quality of goods and products produced by the British.
- The market for British goods eventually increased in the Indian economy. The railways facilitated transportation for British goods and products and made the goods reach different parts of the country. Eventually, the market size for the low cost and good quality British products expanded; on the contrary, the market for Indian high-cost goods reduced and shrunk.
- Hence, the Indian industrial sector’s condition following the Indian economy on the eve of Independence was also in bad shape and state.
Foreign Trade Sector On The Eve Of Independence
Class 11 Indian Economy on the eve of independence further talk about the condition of the foreign trade sector.
- Due to the discriminative tariff policies that were being adopted by the Colonial government, India became a net exporter of raw materials and other primary products and goods.
- We also became the net importer of all the finished products that were produced by the British Industry.
- Exports and imports were largely restricted and constrained to Britain only due to the policies and measures that were being adopted by the British government.
- All the surplus profits that were made on account of foreign trade during the British rule were only distributed among administrators and on war expenses as well.
- Hence the foreign trade sector of India in accordance with the Indian economy on the eve of Independence was also in bad shape and state.
The occupational structure of our country also finds mention in class 11 Indian economy on the eve of independence.
- In the Indian economy on the eve of Independence, agriculture was our principal source and sector of occupation with almost 72.7% of the working population engaged in this sector of the economy.
- On the other hand, only 10.2% of the working population were engaged in the manufacturing or industrial sector.
- Apart from this, about 17.2% of the working population were engaged in the service or the tertiary sector of the economy. This provided slow growth to the tertiary or the service sector of the Indian economy on the eve of Independence and afterwards.
- Eventually, there was an unbalanced growth of the Indian economy on the eve of Independence.
As far as the demographic conditions are concerned as mentioned in the class 11 Indian economy on the eve of Independence, there were high birth rates as well as high death rates.
- This implied a low survival rate of the population, which was nearly around 8 per thousand annum.
- Life expectancy rate was also quite low. It was 32 years that depicted and showed a lack of health care facilities, lack of awareness and lack of all means for health care in the Indian economy on the eve of Independence.
- The literacy rate was as low as 16% only. This showed the social and economic backwardness of our country.
Infrastructure Of The Indian Economy
The Indian economy works together with all the above mentioned points and factors. Since the shape of the sectors of the economy was bad, the infrastructure of the Indian economy was staggered as well. Here are the important points on the infrastructure as mentioned in the chapter class 11 Indian economy on the eve of independence.
- Although the Indian economy on the eve of Independence was in a very bad state and shape, there was some major infrastructure-related development during the British rule in India such as in the areas of transportation and communication.
- The introduction and development of the railways was a major development and breakthrough that was followed by the development of ports and development of roadways as well.
- But behind all these infrastructure developments that took place in India, the main motive of the Colonial government was to actually foster the interest of the British government rather than to accelerate development and growth of the Indian economy.
- Furthermore, there was also a transition from the old lived and used the barter system of exchange to the monetary system of exchange using money. This further facilitated the division of labour and large scale production in the Indian economy.
At the time the GDP of India was at 2.7 lakh crore which was only 3% of the world’s GDP. However, in 2018 India overtook France and became the 5th largest economy in the World.
On the eve of independence, the Indian economy had low economic growth. Hence, knowledge and effort was required to move forward
India’s GDP stands at $3.737 trillion. Today, the country is recognised as an emerging country/developing country.
With this, we come to the end of our blog on Class 11 Indian Economy on the Eve of Independence and hope that the blog successfully delivered you quick revision and study notes on this chapter of economics. Are you confused about choosing your career path after class 12th? If so, get in touch with our experts at Leverage Edu, who will not only help you in choosing the right stream but also make sure that you make the right decision to become super successful!