Development Experience (1947-90) and Economic Reforms since 1991
Current Challenges Facing Indian Economy
Development Experience of India

Infrastructure

Infrastructure refers to the supporting structure to industries and helps to increase production. It includes transportation, communication, banking, power, roadways, railways etc.”

Infrastructure in India

  • Britishers developed basic modern infrastructures such as roads, railways, water transport, ports, posts and telegraph.

Introduction of railways:

The British introduced the railway system in 1950 in India. The railways affected the structure of the Indian economy in two important ways:

  1. It enabled people to undertake long-distance travel and thereby break geographical and cultural barriers.
  2. It fostered commercialisation of Indian agriculture. However, it adversely affected the self-sufficiency of the village economies in India as now they are forced to produce cash crops. It reduced food production and the country faced severe and frequent famines. 

Construction of Roads fit for Modern transportation:

Roads constructed in India prior to the advent of the British rule were not fit for modern transport. The roads that were built primarily served the purposes of mobilising the army within India and drawing out raw materials from the countryside to the nearest railway station or the port to send these to  England or other lucrative foreign destinations.

Inland waterways, Sea lanes and Ports

Britishers also took measures to develop the inland waterways and sea lanes. However, the inland waterways proved uneconomical. For example, Coast Canal on the Orissa coast was built at a huge cost to the government exchequer, yet, it failed to compete with the railways, which soon traversed in the region running parallel to the canal, and had to be ultimately abandoned.

Ports were developed with the main motive of drawing out raw material to their home country England and other lucrative foreign destinations.

Postal services

One of the most important contributions by the British government is the introduction of postal services. It served a useful public purpose but it was inadequate.

Electric Telegraph:

The British government also introduced expensive electric telegraph. However, the main purpose of this was to serve the purpose of maintaining law and order.

Real Motive behind Infrastructure

The real motive behind the development of  Infrastructure was not to provide amenities to the Indians but to satisfy its own colonial interest.

  • The roads, inland waterways, sea lanes, railways were built primarily with a view to Mobilise army within India and for drawing out raw materials to port to export them to England and other lucrative destinations to maximise their profit.
  • Electronic Telegraph services were introduced with the objective of serving the fast communication requirement for military, maintaining law and order.

Railways: An important contribution of the British.

  • The British introduced railways in India in 1850 and it is considered as one of its most important contributions.

Railways affected the Indian economy in two ways:

  • It enabled people to undertake long-distance travel and break geographical and cultural barriers.
  • It fostered Commercialisation of Indian agriculture and helps to expand the volume of India’s export but its benefits rarely accrued to the Indian people. Moreover, it adversely affected the self-sufficiency of the village economies in India.

It is very much evident that social benefits, which the Indian people gained by the introduction of railways, were thus outweighed by the country’s huge economic loss.

Quick Acid Test

Infrastructure refers to the supporting structure to industries and helps to increase production.It includes transportation,communication,banking,power,roadways,railways etc.

Railways was introduced in India by the Britishers in 1850

Real Motive behind Infrastructure

The real motive behind the development of  Infrastructure was not to provide amenities to the Indians but to satisfy its own colonial interest.

  • The roads, inland waterways, sea lanes, railways were built primarily with a view to Mobilise army within India and for drawing out raw materials to port to export them to England and other lucrative destinations to maximise their profit.
  • Electronic Telegraph services were introduced with the objective of serving the fast communication requirement for military, maintaining law and order.

The British introduced railways in India in 1850 and it is considered as one of its most important contributions.

It affected the Indian economy in two ways:

  • It enabled people to undertake long-distance travel and break geographical and cultural barriers.
  • It fostered Commercialisation of Indian agriculture and helps to expand the volume of India’s export but its benefits rarely accrued to the Indian people. Moreover, it adversely affected the self-sufficiency of the village economies in India.

    It is very much evident that social benefits, which the Indian people gained by the introduction of railways, were thus outweighed by the country’s huge economic loss.

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