Q.1. Name the popular fields of Indian handicrafts industry.
Ans. The popular fields of Indian handicrafts industry were cotton and silk textiles, metal and precious stone works, etc.
Q.2. Where was the muslin type of cotton textile found in India?
Ans. The muslin type of cotton textile had its origin in Bengal, particularly, places in and around Dhaka (known as Dacca before partition), now the capital city of Bangladesh.
Q.3. Who made a significant contribution to the estimation of GDP during colonial period?
Ans. V. K. R. V. Rao made a significant contribution to the estimation of GDP during colonial period.
Q.4. What was the state of country’s real output during the first half of the twentieth century?
Ans. The country’s growth of aggregate real output was less than two per cent during the first half of the twentieth century.
Q.5. Discuss the economic features of Indian economy prior to the advent of the British rule?
Ans. India was a prosperous, wealthy and independent economy prior to the advent of the British rule. Agriculture was the main source of livelihood for the most people. However, the country’s economy was also characterized by various kinds of manufacturing activities. India was mainly known for its handicraft industries in the fields of cotton and silk textiles, metal and precious stone works, etc. These products enjoyed a worldwide market due to their fine quality and the high standards of craftsmanship.
Q.6. What was the aim of the policies pursued by the British during colonial rule?
Ans. The aims of the policies pursued by the British during colonial rule were:
(a) To exploit India for raw material to expand British modern industrial base.
(b) To protect and promote the economic interests of their home country.
Q.7. Write a short note on commercialization of agriculture during British rule?
Ans. Generally, commercialization of agriculture implies production of crops for sale in the market rather than for self-consumption. However, during British rule, it acquired a different meaning. Commercialization of agriculture took place only in a few productive areas and it basically became commercialization of crops. The British used to offer higher prices to farmers for producing cash crops rather than for food crops. British government used these cash crops as raw materials for industries in Britain. In other words, British government exploited Indian agriculture to serve the base of their modern industries.
Q.8. Where was the zamindari system implemented by British in India? Discuss its features.
Ans. The zamindari system was implemented in the then Bengal Presidency, comprising parts of India’s present-day eastern states.
Following were the features of zamindari system implemented by British in India:
(a) The zamindars were the permanent owners of the land.
(b) The profit accruing out of the agriculture sector went to the zamindars instead of the cultivators.
(c) The main interest of the zamindars was only to collect rent and they did nothing to improve the condition of agriculture or cultivators.
Q.9. Name the industries which were in operation in our economy at the time of independence.
Ans. Handicrafts industries, metal and precious stone works, cotton and jute textile mills, iron and steel industries were in operation in our economy at the time of Independence.
Q.10. When and where was the first iron and steel company established?
Ans. The first iron and steel company was established in 1907 at Jamshedpur.
Q.11. What was the impact of decline of the indigenous handicraft industries?
Ans. The impact of the decline of the indigenous handicraft industries was massive unemployment and shortage of locally made goods in India.
Q.12. Define capital goods industries?
Ans. Capital goods are those goods which are producer’s fixed assets and are used in the production of other goods and services.
Q.13. Discuss the state of industrial sector on the eve of independence.
Ans. The state of industrial sector on the eve of independence is discussed below:
(a) Decay of Handicraft Industry: The traditional handicraft industry in India was an important industry of pre-British period. British misrule in India led to the decline of Indian handcrafts.
(b) Lack of Basic and Heavy Industries: During the British rule, priority was seldom given to the basic and heavy industries. At the time of independence, Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) was the only basic industry in India.
Q.14. Describe the role of public sector during British Rule.
Ans. During the British Rule, the role and operation of the public sector remained very limited. It was only confined to areas that provided large market for British products. Railways, power generation, communications, ports and some other departmental undertakings were the main areas under operation of public sector.
Q.15. State the factors responsible for the downfall of indigenous handicraft industries during British Rule.
Ans. The factors responsible for the downfall of indigenous handicraft industries during British Rule:
(a) Discriminatory tariff policy of the state
(b) Disappearance of princely courts
(c) Competition from machine-made products
(d) New patterns of demand
(e) Introduction of railways in India
Q.16. Discuss the state of Indian foreign trade on the eve of independence.
Ans. The state of Indian foreign trade on the eve of independence is discussed below:
(a) Owing to colonial exploitation of the Indian economy, India became net exporter of raw materials and primary products. On the other hand, it became net importer of finished goods produced by the British industry.
(b) During the British regime, India’s exports exceeded its imports, implying export surplus. However, the surplus came at huge cost to the India’s economy as there was shortage of essential commodities in the domestic market.
Q.17. India experienced export surplus during colonial rule, then why was there drain of wealth from India during the same period.
Ans. Throughout the colonial period, India’s foreign trade experienced the generation of a large export surplus. However, the surplus came at huge cost to the India’s economy. There was shortage of essential commodities such as food grains, clothes, kerosene, etc. in the domestic market. The export surplus did not result in any flow of gold or silver into India. Rather, this was used to make payments for the expenses incurred by an office set up by the colonial government in Britain, expenses on war, and the import of invisible items. All these led to the drain of Indian wealth during the colonial period.
Q.18. Explain the role of the Suez Canal in intensifying British control over India’s foreign trade.
Ans. Suez Canal is an artificial waterway running from north to south across the Isthmus of Suez in north-eastern Egypt. It connects Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea with the Gulf of Suez. The canal provides a direct trade route for ships that operate between European or American ports and ports located in South Asia, East Africa and Oceania by eliminating the need to sail around Africa. It is one of the most important waterways in the world from strategic and economic point of view. Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal reduced the cost of transportation and made access to the Indian market easier.
Q.19. What happens in the first stage of demographic transition?
Ans. The first stage of demographic transition is associated with pre-modern times and is Characterization by a balance between birth rates and death rates. During this stage, both birth and death rates are very high, which result in very slow population growth. This stage is also known as the ‘High Stationary Stage’ of population growth.
Q.20. Why are death rates so high in the first stage of demographic transition?
Ans. The death rates are high in the first stage of demographic transition due to lack of knowledge of disease prevention and cure. Occasional food shortage is also a reason for the high death rates in this stage.
Q.21. State in brief, the demographic profile of India under British rule.
Ans. The demographic profile of India under British rule was as below:
(a) The overall literacy rate was less than 16 per cent.
(b) Female literacy rate was as low as 7 per cent.
(c) Morality rate was high.
(d) lnfant Mortality Rate was 218 per 1000.
(e) Life expectancy was only 44 years.
(f) Extensive poverty prevailed.
Q.22. “The real motive behind infrastructural development in India was not to provide basic amenities to the people but to subserve various colonial interests. Do you agree? Give reasons.
Ans. Basic infrastructure such as railways, ports, water transport, posts and telegraphs developed under the British rule. However, the intention was not to provide amenities to Indian population but to satisfy colonial interests. The infrastructural development during British rule and the motives behind them are mentioned below:
(a) Roads were built primarily to serve the purposes of mobilizing the army within India and drawing out raw materials from the countryside to the nearest railway station or the port for export.
(b) Railways were introduced in India in 1850 to assist British industries in widening the market for their finished goods.
(f) The aim of developing postal and telegraph was to enhance the efficiency of British administration.
Q.23. How can you say that there were growing regional variations in the occupational structure of India during British rule?
Ans. Growing regional variations in the occupational structure of India during British rule are evident from the facts given below:
(a) Parts of the Madras Presidency, Bombay and Bengal witnessed a decline in the share of workforce dependent on agricultural sector and increase in the share of workforce in the manufacturing and the services sectors.
(b) On the other hand, in states such as Orissa, Rajasthan and Punjab, there had been an increase in the share of workforce dependent on agriculture during the same period.
Q.24. Describe the positive impact of the British rule on Indian economy.
Ans. The positive impacts of the British policies in India are discussed below:
(a) Introduction of railways enabled people to undertake long distance travels and hence, break geographical and cultural barriers.
(b) Commercialization of agriculture widened the scope of primary sector activities.
(c) Postal and telegraphs services introduced by the British serve the public of the country even today.
Q.25. Briefly state the position of agriculture, industry and foreign trade on the eve of independence.
Ans. The position of different sectors on the eve of independence is stated below:
(a) Agriculture: Agricultural sector was burdened with surplus labour and there was low productivity.
(b) Industry: There was lack of modern industries, capacity building and public investment.
(c) Foreign Trade: India became the net supplier of raw materials and consumer of finished industrial products from Britain.