Indian Industries During British Rule - All you need to know

Indian Industries During British Rule was a well-known producer of handicraft and textile business. India was also famous for its industries in silk and cotton textiles. In addition, Indians were skilled in metal and high-priced stonework too. When the Britishers came, they were followers of de-industrialization in India. They did this by devising circumstances which were helpful to the decline of the handicraft and textile industry. They also did not make any attempt to help to allow the production of the metal and high-priced stone works.

The following was the condition of the industrial sector on the eve of independence:

The decay of the Handicraft Industry: The traditional handicraft industry in India was in high demand. But the British rule absolutely victimized the work. The predominance of unfair tariff policy and the competition from machine-made goods was very important for the destruction. The introduction of railways in India was one of the reasons for market expansion. Consequently, the demand for handicrafts began to face the downfall.

Slow Growth of the Modern Industry: Due to the confined growth of the PSEs and the unbalanced industrial formation, the growth of the modern industry was stagnant. In addition, there was a scarcity of basic and heavy industries.

Also read: Indian Industries during british rule

Q.1- What was the state of industrial sector under british rule?
  • Similar to the agriculture sector in India, Industrial sector also did not see much growth and development.
Following were the major reasons which were responsible for bleak growth of industrial sector.

Systematic De-Industrialisation


  • The Primary motive of Britishers behind de-industrialization was two-fold(i) To make India a net exporter of Raw material to the British Industries.(ii) To sell British products at a higher rate in the Indian market.
  • British followed Discriminatory Tariff poll
  • Discriminatory Tariff policy signifies free export of raw material from India and Import of Finished product from Britain and placing a heavy duty on Export of Indian handicrafts.

Lopsided modern industrial structure

  • British rulers never permitted modernization nor did they encourage the growth of Industries.
  • Unbalanced and lopsided growth structure was a legacy of British rule in India.
  • In 1850-55 first cotton mill, jute mill and coal mine were established.
  • By the end of the 19th century, 194 cotton mills and 36 jute mills were located in the western part of the country (Maharashtra and Gujarat)
Lacking capital goods industry
  • Capital goods industry refers to the industry which produces goods such as machines, tools, etc. which are further capable of producing consumer goods.
  • Primary objective of British rulers was to develop such an industry in India which would never be able to compete with the British Industry.
  • They want to make Indian industry to be dependent upon British industry for capital goods.

Recommended links: Class 11 Economics Important Question

Q.1- What was the two-fold motive behind the systematic deindustrialization affected by the british in pre-independent india? (NCERT)
Two-Hold Motovies 1. First Motive-To get the raw material from India at a cheap rate and thus to reduce India to a mere exporter of raw materials to the British industries.

2. Second Motive– To sell British manufactured goods in the Indian market at higher prices.

Q.2- Which indian industry was adversely affected due to the partition of india and why?
  • Jute industry was adversely affected due to the partition of India because :(a) The whole of the jute producing area became part of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh); and(b) India’s jute goods industry suffered heavily for lack of raw material.
Q.3- What do you mean by capital goods industry? Discuss the status of such industry during the british rule?
  • Capital goods industry means industries which can produce machine tools which are used for producing articles for current consumption.
  • During the British rule, there was hardly any capital goods industry to support the slow industrial development taking place in India.
  • Britishers did not pay any attention for the set-up of such industries because they wanted Indians to be dependent on Britain for the supply of capital and heavy goods.
Q4- Name some modern industries which were in operation in our country at the time of independence.
Modern industries which were in operation in our country at the time of independence are as follows:

(i) Cotton textile industries.

(ii) Jute textile industries.

(iii) Iron and steel industries.

(iv) Sugar industries.

(v) Cement industries etc.

Q.5- Whate are capital goods?
Capital goods refer to those goods which are used to produce consumer goods such as Plant and Machine etc.

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