Please see Chapter 1 Indian Economy on the Eve of Independence Case Study Questions and answers below. We have provided Case Study Questions for Class 11 Economics with answers for all chapters. Students should read the case study for Chapter 1 Indian Economy on the Eve of Independence which is an important chapter in Class 11 Economics and then attempt the questions provided below. Our teachers have provided answers too so that students can check their solutions.
Case Study Questions Chapter 1 Indian Economy on the Eve of Independence
Muslin is a type of cotton textile which had its origin in Bengal, particularly, places in and around Dhaka. Daccai Muslin had gained world wide fame as an exquisite type of cotton textile. The finest variety of muslin was called malmal. Foreign travelers also used to refer to it as malmal shahi or malmal khas meaning that it was worn by or fit for, the royalty.
Question. What was Muslin refer to?
Answer. Muslin isa type of cotton textile which had its origin in Bengal, particularly, places in and aroundDhaka.
Question. For whom was that special kind of Muslin made for?
Answer . It was made and meant for Royal people
Question. What kind of growth does Industrial sector had andwhy?
Answer . Lopsided Industrial Structure The industrial growth was lopsided, in the sense that consumer goods industry was not adequately supported by the capital goods industry
Question. Dhaka is the capital of _______________.
Before colonial period, India was exporting manufactured goods which enjoyed worldwide demand. Under the colonial rule, India was reduced to a supplier of raw materials like jute, cotton, indigo, wool, sugar etc. and importer of finished consumer goods like silk and woollen clothes and light machinery manufactured in the factories of Britain. Additionally, the opening of Suez Canal intensified this control of Britishers over Indian foreign trade.The remaining volume of foreign trade was allowed with a handful of countries namely China, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Persia (Iran). Interestingly, even this trade was heavily monitored by the colonials. As a matter of fact, there was a large generation of export surplus under the British Raj. India was a large exporter in the colonial period. However, it did not affect the country’s economy. Commodities like food grains, clothes, kerosene hit the country hard with its scarcity. Ironically, this export surplus never made its way to India. It was used to make payments for an office set up in Britain, war expenses of the British and import of invisible items. Such brutalities eventually led to the dawn of a rising foreign trade aspect of India
Question. How did the opening of suez canal help the Britishers?
Answer . Cost of transportation and access to Indian market was made easier.
Question. The export surplus was used for the welfare of Indian Industry. (True/ False)
Answer . False
Question. Name the countries with which India had Foreign Trade.
Answer . Britain, China, Ceylon, Persia.
Question. What is the reason for shortage of food grains?
Answer . Commercialization of Crops
The French traveller, Bernier, described seventeenth century Bengal in the following way: “The knowledge I have acquired of Bengal in two visits inclines me to believe that it is richer than Egypt. It exports, in abundance, cottons and silks, rice,sugar and butter. It produces amply — for its own consumption — wheat, vegetables, grains, fowls, ducks and geese. It has immense herds of pigs and flocks of sheep and goats. Fish of every kind it has in profusion. From rajmahal to the sea is an endless number of canals, cut in bygone ages from the Ganges by immense labour for navigation and irrigation.”
Question. Name the items exported by India.
Answer . cottons and silks, rice, sugar and butter
Question. Name the items produced for self consumption.
Answer . wheat, vegetables, grains, fowls, ducks and geese
Question. Highlight the form of developed infrastructure mentioned in the paragraph.
Answer . Canals for navigation and irrigation
Question. Name the livestocks maintained by Indians in the given era.
Answer . Pigs, sheep and goats
Before 1947 ,?More than 90% of the national income relied on the Indian agriculture sector. A significant portion of the country’s population resided in rural areas where agriculture was the primary source of livelihood. The pre -colonised India produced primary two crops ,wheat and rice. Even if it was only two types of crops, country’s agriculture sector was sustainable and self sufficient.The British invasion resulted in total commercialization of India’s agriculture industry. On the eve of independence the once most prominent sector of this country was known to be suffering from stagnation and constant degradation.
Question. What is meant by commercialization of agriculture?
(a) Production of crop for sale in the market
(b) Production of crop for self consumption
Question. Reason for low productivity in agriculture sector
(a) HYV seeds
(b) Low level of technology
(c) Improved irrigation system
(d) All of these
Question. Which of the following statements are correct with reference to the Zamindari system.
(i) The profit accruing out of the agriculture sector was proposed to go to the cultivators.
(ii) The main interest of the zamindar’s was only to Collect rent regardless of the economic condition of the cultivators.
(a) Both are correct
(b) Both are incorrect
(c) (i)correct (ii) incorrect
(d) (ii)correct (i) incorrect
Question. What was the main reason for the stagnation in the agriculture sector under the British rule?
Answer . Land settlement system introduced by the British rule
Feudalism and sub-feudalism were prevalent. In some cases there were as many as 50 intermediaries between the peasants and the Government. Around 4/5th of the produce was taken from the peasants as taxes, which in turn led to impoverishment of farmers. Focus was not on new ways and bringing the technology in agriculture. Many farmers lost their lives to famine. Britishers brought about commercialisation of agriculture. It was hard for peasant communities, at large, to arrange food for themselves throughout the year, though they were the real producers of the food. Measures to improve agriculture were not momentary that could be all done, all of sudden, in 1947
Question. What was the main reason for stagnation in agriculture sector during British rule?
Answer . Land settlement system
Question. Name some cash crops grown during British rule.
Answer . Opium, tea, coffee, sugar, jute and indigo
Question. What was the effect of growing cash crops on the soil?
Answer . Spoiled the fertility of the land and no other crop could be grown on it.
Question. What do you mean by commercialisation of agriculture?
Answer . commercialisation of agriculture means production of crops for sale in the market rather than for self-consumption.
The products such as raw silk,cotton, wool,sugar,indigo,jute etc.and an importer of finished consumer goods like cotton, silk and woollen clothes and capital goods like light,machinery produced in the factories of Britain.For all practical purposes, Britain maintained a monopoly control over India’s exports and imports.The opening ofthe Suez Canal further intensified British control over India’s foreign trade.
Question. Which restrictive policies pursued by the Colonial government adversely affected the structure, composition and volume of India’s foreign trade?
Answer . The restrictive policies of commodity production, trade and tariff pursued by the Colonial government adversely affected the structure, composition and volume of India’s foreign trade.
Question. The opening of_____________ further intensified British control over India’s foreign trade.
Question. More than ______________ of India’s foreign trade was restricted to Britain.
Question. Name the area of operation of the public sector under the British Colonial Rule.
Answer . Railways, Power generation, communications, ports and some other departmental undertakings.
The rule of the British in India is possibly the most controversial and the most hotly debated aspect of the history of the British Empire. Admirers of British rule point to the economic developments, the legal and administrative system, and the fact that India became the centre of world politics. Critics of British rule generally point out that all of these benefits went to a tiny British ruling class and the majority of Indians gained little. Admirers of British rule counter this by saying that most Indians were poor and oppressed by their own leaders before the British arrived, and that British rule was less harsh on ordinary Indians than rule by Indian princes. Perhaps the main reason why the arguments are so heated and so complex is that India was very different from the other territories that made up the empire. North America and Australia, for example, were sparsely populated and their populations
were less economically developed than Britain. India, however, had a huge population and was just as developed as Britain in the 1700s when the British arrived. The British were able to take control of India mainly because India was not united. The British signed treaties and made military and trading alliances with many of the independent states that made up India. The British were very effective at infiltrating these states and gradually taking control of trade. They often left the local princes in charge of the various parts of India. These local princes were effective at maintaining British rule and gained much from being loyal to the British.
Question. Mention any one positive impact of British rule except the ones mentioned in above case study.
Answer . Railways.
Question. Huge population of India in 1700 proved to be a ___________ (liability/ asset) for the country.
Question. The British were very effective at infiltrating these states and gradually taking control of trade. How according to you, British turned trade in their favour?
Answer . By imposing high tariffs on Indian exports of finished goods. And low or no tariff on British imported goods.
Question. ‘British rule was less harsh on ordinary Indians than rule by Indian princes’. Do you agree with statement?
Answer . No. Because before the advent of the British almost all the Indian states were self-sufficient. They were exploited by British.
During the second half of the nineteenth century, modern industry began to take root in India but its progress remained very slow. Initially, this development was confined to the setting up of cotton and jute textile mills. The cotton textile mills, mainly dominated by Indians, were located in the western parts of the country, namely, maharashtra and Gujarat, while the jute mills dominated by the foreigners were mainly concentrated in Bengal. Subsequently, the iron and steel industries began coming up in the beginning of the twentieth century. The Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) was incorporated in 1907. A few other industries in the fields of sugar, cement, paper etc. came up after the Second World War.
Question. When did the modern industry begin to take root in India?
Answer . During the second half of the nineteenth century.
Question. Which country had command over cotton mills?
Answer . India
Question. Who is the founder of TISCO?
Answer . Jamshetji Tata
Question. There was systematic _____________ by Britishers.
By the time India won its independence the impact of the the two century long British colonial rule was already showing on all aspects of the Indian economy. The agricultural sector was already saddled with surplus labour an extremely low productivity. The industrial sector was crying for or modernization diversification, capacity building and increased public investment. Foreign trade was oriented to feed the industrial revolution in Britain.
Question. The main reason for stagnation in agriculture during British rule was :
(a). Land settlement system
(b). De industrialization
(c). Lack of technology
(d). Commercialization of agriculture
Question. Which industry received the major setback during the colonial rule?
(d). Iron in steel
Question. At the time of independence Indian industry was crying for modernization due to
(a). Lack of capital goods industries during British rule
(b). Adverse effects of decline of handicraft industry
(c). Limited role of public sector
(d). None of these
Question. Foreign trade was oriented to feed the industrial revolution in Britain as India became an __________ of primary products and an ______of finished consumer goods.
Backward, stagnant and non-vibrant agriculture during the British Raj sharply contrasted with the pre-British period agriculture. Prior to the British Raj in India, rural India was described as a system of self-contained village communities. These village communities included farmers and the functionaries. The farmers were engaged in crop farming or cattle
farming while the functionaries would render essential services like that of blacksmiths, goldsmiths, washermen and shoemakers. Prosperous Agriculture even without Mechanization (Pre-British Period) . There were no intermediaries (like zamindars) between the state and the farmers; the farmers would pay land revenue directly to the king. Prosperity and stability were the key characteristics of life in rural India. Thus, the French traveler, Bernier, described Bengal in 17th century as “richer than Egypt” producing amply for self-consumption and exporting in abundance.
Question. During British rule Indian economy was-
(c). non vibrant
(d). all of the above
Question. __________ described Bengal in 17th century as “richer than Egypt” producing amply for self-consumption and exporting in abundance.
The French traveler, Bernier
Question. Before British rule Indian economy was backward. (true/false)Give reason.
Answer . False, Prior to the British Raj in India, rural India was described as a system of self-contained village communities
Question. Why did Britishers come to India?
Answer . For trade
Important Questions on Chapter 1 Indian Economy on Eve of Independence Class 11 Economics
Question. What was the focus of the economic policies pursued by the colonial government in India? What were the impacts of these policies?
Answer. The economic policies pursued by the Colonial Government in India, were concerned more with the protection and promotion of their own economic interests, than with the development of the Indian economy.
Following were the impacts of these policies :-
i) Low Economic Development
ii) Backwardness of Indian Agriculture
iii) Deindustrialization of Indian Economy
iv) Regression in Foreign Trade
Question. Name some notable economists who estimated India’s per capita income during the colonial period.
Answer. Dadabhai Naoroji, V.K.R.V. Rao, William Digby, Findlay Shirras and R.C. Desai.
Question. Name some modern industries which were in operation in our country at the time of independence?
Answer. Iron and Steel company (TISCO), sugar, cement, chemical and paper industries
Question. What was the two-fold motive behind the systematic deindustrialization effected by the British in pre-independent India?
Answer. (i) To get raw materials from India at cheap rates to be used by upcoming modern industries in Britain;
(ii) To sell finished products of British industries in Indian market at higher prices.
Question. The traditional handicrafts industries were ruined under the British rule. Do you agree with this view? Give reasons in support of your answer.
Answer. Yes, I agree with this view. British Government systematically destroyed Indian handicraft industries in order to serve their following two-fold motive;
(i) To get raw materials from India at cheap rates to be used by upcoming modern industries in Britain;
(ii) To sell finished products of British industries in Indian market at higher prices. Colonial government enforced discriminatory tariff policy, which allowed free export of raw materials from India and free import of final goods of British Industry to India. But, heavy duty was imposed on the export of Indian handicrafts. As a result, Indian markets were full of finished goods from Britain, which led to the decline of Indian handicrafts, both in the domestic market as well as the export market.
Question. Critically appraise some of the shortfalls of the industrial policy pursued by the British colonial administration?
Answer. The industrial policy pursued by the British colonial administration suffered from the following shortfalls;
(i) De- industrialization – Decline of handicraft Industry: British Government systematically destroyed Indian handicraft industries and no modern industrial base was allowed to come up. The primary motive of British rule behind the de- industrialization was two-fold:
(a) To get raw materials from India at cheap rates to be used by upcoming modern industries in Britain’
(b) To sell finished products of British industries in Indian market at higher prices. The two-fold policy of British rule was enforced to ensure the maximum advantage of their home country
(ii) Adverse affects of decline of decline of handicraft Industry: Decline of handicraft industries adversely affected the Indian economy in the following ways: (a) it resulted in unemployment on a mass scale;
(b) It encouraged import of manufactured goods from Britain as Indian made goods could not withstand foreign competition of machine made cheap goods.
(iii) Lack of Capital Goods Industries: During the British rule, there was hardly any capital goods industry to promote further industrialization in India.
(iv) Limited role of public Sector: The limited area of operation of the public sector was also a significant reason for drawback of the industrial sector. The Public sector remained confined only to the railways, power generation, communications, ports and some other departmental undertakings.
Question. What do you understand by the drain of Indian wealth during the colonial period?
Answer. Drain of Indian wealth during the Colonial period means that national product of India was used by the British government for development of their own country and not for India. India’s foreign trade generated large export surplus. However, there was drain of such surplus into Britain. India’s export surplus was used:
(i) To make payments for expenses incurred by an office set up by the colonial government in Britain.
(ii) To meet expenses on war fought by the British government.
(iii) To import finished goods.
Question. Which is regarded as the defining year to mark the demographic transition from its first to the second decisive stage?
Answer. 1921 is the defining year.
Question. Underscore some of India’s most crucial economic challenges at the time of independence?
Answer. Some of India’s most crucial economic challenges at the time of independence were;
(i) Increasing dependence of population on agriculture.
(ii) Traditional methods of cultivation.
(iii) Inadequate industrialization.
(iv) Destruction of Indian handicrafts.
(v) High level of Unemployment and underemployment.
(vi) High infant mortality rate, low life expectancy and literacy rate;
(vii) Widespread mass Poverty.
Question. When was India’s first official census operation undertaken?
Answer. The First official census was undertaken in the year 1881.
Question. Indicate the volume and direction of trade at the time of independence?
Answer. The volume and direction of trade at the time of independence is discussed as under;
(i) Exporter of Primary Products and Importer of Finished Goods: India became an exporter of primary products such as raw silk, cotton, wool, sugar, indigo, jute, etc. and an importer of finished consumer goods like cotton, silk and woolen clothes and capital goods like machinery, produced in the British Industries.
(ii) Monopoly Control of British Rule: British Government maintained a monopoly control over India’s exports and Imports. More than ½ India’s foreign trade was restricted to Britain while the rest was allowed with few other countries like China, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Persia (Iran).
Question. What was the main reason for the stagnation in the agricultural sector under the British rule?
Answer. Land settlement systems introduced by the British rule.
Question. What was the main focus of the economic policies pursued by the colonial government in India?
Answer. The main aim of colonial government was to protect and promote economic interests of their home country than with the development of the Indian economy.
Question. What was the rate of growth of per capita output per year during the first half of the twentieth century?
Answer. It was only half per cent (0.5 per cent).
Question. What percentage of India’s population depended on agriculture under the British rule?
Answer. About 85 per cent of the country’s population.
Question. Which traditional industries was India particularly well known for before the advent of the British rule?
Answer. Handicrafts Industries
Question. What were the main reasons behind agricultural backwardness ?
Answer. (i) Poor and outdated technology; and (ii) Lack of irrigation facilities.
Question. Which Indian industry was adversely affected due to the partition?
Answer. Jute industry was adversely affected as most of the jute producing areas went to Pakistan.
Question. Give the meaning of occupational structure.
Answer. Occupational structure refers to distribution of working persons across different industries and sectors.
Question. What was the affect of the decline of the handicraft industry in India?
Answer. Massive unemployment and rise in demand for Britain’s manufactured goods.
Question. What do you mean by commercialization of agriculture?
Answer. Commercialization of agriculture means production of crops for sale in the market rather than for self -consumption.
Question. What was the main cause of food shortage in India after partition?
Answer. The main cause was that the food surplus areas of West Punjab and Sindh went to Pakistan.
Question. What was the infant mortality rate during the British period?
Answer. 218 per thousand.
Question. Mention the most important infrastructure developed during the British period?
Question. What was the affect of the decline of the handicraft industry in India?
Answer. It created massive unemployment and increased demand for Britain’s manufactured goods in the domestic market.