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Know India’s Economic State on the Eve of Independence Better

The economy of a nation includes the sectors of the constitute economic activities, which relate to the standard of living of its citizens. It is very important to know about the exploitative economic policies imposed by the colonial rule in India before learning the current economic status of the country. Due to British’s policies that mainly aimed at favoring England’s economy, Indian economy was in a terrible shape on the eve of Independence. They costed India’s economic development to preserve their interest in enriching themselves. They had turned India into a supplier of raw materials to England and consumer of finished goods from England.

Some of the learning objectives mentioned for NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Indian Economy on the Eve of Independence include:

  • Low level of economic development under the British rule.
  • Agricultural sectors.
  • Foreign sectors.
  • Industrial sectors.
  • Demographic conditions.
  • Occupational structures.
  • Infrastructures.
  • The impact of British rule on Indian Economy.

The chapter provides an overview regarding the challenges that were to be confronted India’s economic growth, and the factors that led to the underdevelopment and decline in its development. India being a country with agriculture, which is a major source of livelihoods of the major fraction of the population. However, during British colonial rule, Indian agricultural sector saw a significant decline and faced stagnation and deterioration. This saw a low-level of productivity and a high degree of vulnerability due to several factors including land tenure systems, commercialization, lack of resources, dependence on monsoon, land revenue system, and lack of modern knowledge in agriculture.

India flourished with its magnificent handicraft, textile, metal, and jewelry industries in the pre- British period. The British policy led to de- industrialization in the country. This was mainly due to factors like the decline of handicraft industry, stunted growth of modern industry, development of railways and others. British also framed policies that restricted commodity production, tariff, and trade which influenced the structure of India’s foreign trades. These policies resulted in draining of India’s wealth straight into England. This was achieved by creating a large export surplus They established a monopoly control over India’s trade.

Even not a lot of human resources were available for work in other sectors than agriculture. The basic infrastructure for transportation was built during the British rule. However, these were not meant to serve a developmental purpose, but for their colonial interests. The same was the condition with communication services like postal system and telegraph.

Some of the major India’s demographic conditions on the eve of independence as mentioned in CBSE class 11 economics chapter 2 include-

  • Literacy level as low as 16%, where female literacy level was below 7%.
  • Life expectancy was 44 years.
  • Lack of public health facilities.
  • High birth rates and death rates.
  • High infant mortality rates.
  • Declined agricultural production.
  • Lack of food.
  • Unemployment.

These conditions further exaggerated the issue of economic inequalities in the country during the time of independence. All these events and conditions challenged the country’s economic growth as a result of British’s rule for several decades in India.

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