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QNO1:-Discuss the contemporary ideas on ancient Indian economic history. OR. Analyze the new emerging trends in historiography during the early 1960s. OR. Account for the recent trends in the economic history writings of ancient India. OR. Discuss major approaches to study the medieval Indian economy. OR. Discuss Marxist approach to study the medial Indian economy. OR. Examine the new emerging trends to study the medieval Indian economy. OR. Give a brief account of the revisionist approach to studying the pre-colonial economy. OR. In what ways was commercialization of agriculture based on a system of economic compulsions and physical coercion? Or what are the dominant features of the 19th century colonial economic? OR. Give a historiographical sketch of the economic impact of colonial role. OR. Discuss the Marxist interpretation of the colonial viewpoint. Evaluate the neo-liberals critique of Marxist historiography. (MOST IMPORTANT)

ANS: – The known Economic history of India begins with the Indus Valley civilization. The Indus civilization’s economy appears to have depended significantly on trade, which was facilitated by advances in transport. Around 600 BC, the Mahajanapadas minted punch-marked silver coins. The period was marked by intensive trade activity and urban development. By 300 B.C., the Maurya Empire united most of the Indian subcontinent. The political unity and military security allowed for a common economic system and enhanced trade and commerce, with increased agricultural productivity.

For the next 1500 years, India produced its classical civilizations such as the Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas and Western Gangas. During this period India is estimated to have had the largest economy of the ancient and medieval world between the 1st and 17th centuries AD, controlling between one third and one fourth of the world’s wealth up to the time of the Marathas, from whence it rapidly declined during European rule.

India has followed central planning for most of its independent history, which have included extensive public ownership, regulation, red tape, and trade barriers. After the 1991 economic crisis, the central government launched economic liberalization. India has turned towards a more capitalist system and has emerged as one of the fastest growing large economies of the world.

Finally, it needs to be mentioned that today economic history is seen as a part of a wider canvas of history and it is not treated in isolated. The practice of interdisciplinary and the concern for opening up and addressing new dimensions of early Indian history have led to enhanced interest in issues like social differentiation, stratification, social mobility and state formation. Studies in these areas clearly indicate that economy is not the only agency of social change. Thus, it is realized that differentiation could emanate from multiple sources: access or absence of access to economic resources or political power. Upward social mobility was conditional up on acquiring economic or political power or both, which in turn were prerequisites for the observance and emulation of upper caste norms and rituals. The subject of state formation provides a good example of how one dimension of society cannot be studied to the exclusion of other dimensions. For the emergence of states an agrarian base, settlements and social differentiation of some kind are usually necessary. However, once states emerged they could, and in fact did, influence changes in each of the aforesaid areas. Examples such as these, and they can easily be multiplied, illustrate the continuous interplay of numerous forces in the making of history, while simultaneously drawing our attention to the overlap between economic history and other facets of history.

The colonial historians defended the colonial policies and colonial rule in general buy underlining the backwardness of India’s pre-colonial economy. The first serious attaching on colonial historiography was provided in the early 1960s by Marxist historians particularly by irfan Habib. His writings shuddered the exiting myth of a ‘stagnant’ pre-colonial Indian economy. Instead he highlighted the presence of a vibrant economic life in the pre-colonial period based on high levels of commercialization of agriculture and money economy. The Marxist approach to study the medieval economy is largely ‘state-centric’. ‘Revisionists’ challenged their approach. They emphasized that ‘regions’ too played and equally dominate role. Recent studies on medieval economic history have broadened the base further and tried to integrate ethno-history with it.

The British colonial scholars were proud of the achievements of the British Empire in India. The nationalists were sharply critical of the negative consequences of British rule for the Indian economy. British rule did not modernize India and the drain of wealth from India impoverished the people. The Marxists developed their critique of colonialism in terms of a certain understanding of capitalism and phases of capitalism. The arguments of colonial as well as neo-liberal economists are not acceptable to Marxist scholars. Nevertheless some of the arguments of the left nationalist school are not as convincing today in the light of new work.

The eighteenth century is no longer a period of decline and decay. The economy was growing and the political turmoil did not lead to economic decline. There were negative trends in the Indian economy during the nineteenth century deindustrialization, drain of wealth, and increase in famines. The Indian economy made some progress in the twentieth century in terms of industrial growth. Recent works on the Indian economy are concerned with issues of environment, labour and gender. The linkages of the economy with society and the environment have become more important in recent times.

Qno2. Write a brief essay on the historiography of the colonial economy of India by focusing attention of the Nationalist view and the Marxist perspective. OR. Account for the historiography of economic history of ancient India. OR. Provide a critique of the Marxist historiography.

ANS:-Marxist or historical materialist historiography is a school of historiography influenced by Marxism. The chief tenets of Marxist historiography are the centrality of social class and economic constraints in determining historical outcomes.

Marxist historiography has made contributions to the history of the working class, oppressed nationalities, and the methodology of history from below. The chief problematic aspect of Marxist historiography has been an argument on the nature of history as determined or dialectical; this can also be stated as the relative importance of subjective and objective factors in creating outcomes.

Marxist history is generally deterministic, in that it posits a direction of history, towards an end state of history as classless human society. Marxist historiography, that is, the writing of Marxist history in line with the given historiographical principles, is generally seen as a tool.

Historians who use Marxist methodology, but disagree with the mainstream of Marxism, often describe themselves as Marxist historians (with a lowercase M). Methods from Marxist historiography, such as class analysis, can be divorced from the liberatory intent of Marxist historiography; such practitioners often refer to their work as Marxian or Marxian.

Marx and Engels:-Frederick Engels’s most important historical contribution was Der deutsche Bauernkrieg (The German Peasants War), which analyzed social warfare in early Protestant Germany in terms of emerging capitalist classes. The German Peasants War is over determined and lacks a rigorous engagement with archival sources. It does however indicate the Marxist interest in history from below and class analysis, and it attempts a dialectical analysis.

Marx’s most important works on social and political history include The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, The Communist Manifesto, and The German Ideology.

Engels’ short treatise The Condition of the Working Class in Manchester England (1870s) was salient in creating the socialist impetus in British politics from then on, e.g. the Fabians. Modern European democratic socialism finds its roots here.

Marxist historiography in the Soviet Union:-Marxist historiography suffered in the Soviet Union, as the government requested over determined historical writing. Soviet historians tended to avoid contemporary history (history after 1905) where possible and effort was predominantly directed at premodern history. As history was considered to be a politicized academic discipline, historians limited their creative output to avoid prosecution.

Notable histories include the Short Course History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik), published in the 1930s, which was written in order to justify the nature of Bolshevik party life under Joseph Stalin.

Marxist historiography in India:-In India, the main representatives of Marxist historiography are R.S. Sharma, Irfan Habib, and K. N. Panikkar.

One debate in Indian history that relates to a historical materialist schema is on the nature of feudalism in India. D.D. Kosambi in the 1960s outlined the idea of “feudalism from below and feudalism from above”. This element of his feudalism thesis was rejected by R.S. Sharma in his monograph Indian Feudalism (2005).

The Communist Party Historians Group in Britain:-A circle of historians inside the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) formed in 1946. They shared a common interest in “history from below” and class structure in early capitalist society. While some members of the group (most notably Christopher Hill and E. P. Thompson) left the CPGB after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the common points of British Marxist historiography continued in their works. They placed a great emphasis on the subjective determination of history. E. P. Thompson famously engaged Althusser in The Poverty of Theory, arguing that Althusser’s theory overdetermined history, and left no space for historical revolt by the oppressed.

Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class is one of the works commonly associated with this group. Eric Hobsbawm’s Bandits is another example of this group’s work.

C.L.R. James was also a great pioneer of the ‘history from below’ approach. Living in Britain when he wrote his most notable work The Black Jacobins (1938), he was an anti-Stalinist Marxist and so outside of the CPGB.

Qno3. Discuss briefly the relationship between changing seasons and crop patterns in India. OR. Examine the importance of navigation fordable rivers for communication and transportation. OR. Discuss the factors that determined the agrarian environment of Indian subcontinent. OR. Examine the factors influencing the migration pattern in the coastal regions.

ANS: – Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea. Usually, the term monsoon is used to refer to the rainy phase of a seasonally-changing pattern, although technically there is also a dry phase.

The major monsoon systems of the world consist of the West African and Asia-Australian monsoons. The inclusion of the North and South American monsoons with incomplete wind reversal has been debated.

The term was first used in English in British India (now India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) and neighboring countries to refer to the big seasonal winds blowing from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea in the southwest bringing heavy rainfall to the area.

Agriculture landscapes emerge over long period s of time from farming activity that conditions the natural world of human aesthetics. Agrarian history unfolds in the seasons of everyday life in agricultural societies. Seasons connect farming time to natural time and divinity. The physical quality of seasons in south Asia from a huge transition zone between the aridity of Southwest Asia and the humidity of Southeast Asia. Seasons and monsoons not only determined the agricultural map of the subcontinent, it steered in the past, to a large extent, the trading activities of the region. With the discovery of monsoon Indo-Roman trade increased greatly. Along the rivers, not only flourished the earliest and the greatest Indian civilization- the Indus valley civilization-but also their emerged a number of towns and cities. Rivers occupied a key position in communication and transportation of goods all through the pre-railway.

Monsoons may be considered as large-scale sea breezes, due to seasonal heating and the resulting development of a thermal low over a continental landmass. They are caused by the larger amplitude of the seasonal cycle of land temperature compared to that of nearby oceans. This differential warming happens because heat in the ocean is mixed vertically through a “mixed layer” that may be fifty meters deep, through the action of wind and buoyancy-generated turbulence, whereas the land surface conducts heat slowly, with the seasonal signal penetrating perhaps a meter or so. Additionally, the specific heat capacity of liquid water is significantly higher than that of most materials that make up land. Together, these factors mean that the heat capacity of the layer participating in the seasonal cycle is much larger over the oceans than over land, with the consequence that the air over the land warms faster and reaches a higher temperature than the air over the ocean. The hot air over the land tends to rise, creating an area of low pressure. This creates a steady wind blowing toward the land, bringing the moist near-surface air over the oceans with it. Similar rainfall is caused by the moist ocean air being lifted upwards by mountains, surface heating, convergence at the surface, divergence aloft, or from storm-produced outflows at the surface. However the lifting occurs, the air cools due to expansion in lower pressure, which in turn produces condensation.

In winter, the land cools off quickly, but the ocean retains heat longer. The cold air over the land creates a high pressure area which produces a breeze from land to ocean. Monsoons are similar to sea and land breezes, a term usually referring to the localized, diurnal (daily) cycle of circulation near coastlines, but they are much larger in scale, stronger and seasonal.

Most summer monsoons have a dominant westerly component and a strong tendency to ascend and produce copious amounts of rain (because of the condensation of water vapor in the rising air). The intensity and duration, however, are not uniform from year to year. Winter monsoons, by contrast, have a dominant easterly component and a strong tendency to diverge, subside and cause drought.

Even more broadly, it is now understood that in the geological past, monsoon systems likely accompanied the formation of supercontinents such as Pangaea, with their extreme continental climates.

Qno 4. What are the Effects of Monsoon on Economy?

ANS: – Monsoon does play an important role on the economy of a country. Economy of a country depends on Agricultural, Industrial sector especially in a country like India. In India, agriculture provides around 70% of employment either directly or indirectly. This is the major reason for the economic growth of India to depend on Monsoon season. Monsoon season in India starts from June and continue till September. If the monsoon is good, it boosts up the economy of the country and helps in maintaining GDP growth. But if monsoon rains get delayed even by 15 days, it becomes a cause of worry for the government to maintain GDP growth. But as per the estimates given by India Meteorological Department, rains this year in 2011 are expected to be normal as were in 2010, which could encourage government to ease curbs on export of wheat and rice, and good rainfall will boost output of grain and oil seeds, and help calm inflation.

As per MET, monsoon rains hit the country’s southern coast two days ahead of expectations and would help boost the country’s output of grain and oil-seeds. After covering southern India, Monsoon has entered Maharashtra and the monsoon rains were 12 percent above normal in the first week. Last year, many parts of Northern India witnesses monsoon rains and heavy rainfall which caused a lot of havoc and created a flood-like situation in several districts and states of North India. Rainfall in July, the wettest month of the monsoon season experienced less rainfall than expected. Showers in August were forecast at 101 percent, according to the weather office and the seasonal rainfall in the country seen 97 per cent of the long period average at 635.1 mm against the normal of 652.3 mm.

Effects of Less Rainfall

In southern part of India, monsoon rains hit in the second half of June 2009, but northern part of India did not receive enough rainfall by July. In Delhi, capital of the country, there was not much rainfall even in the month of July. Due to the shortage of rainfall, prices of agricultural products went up and affected consumers drastically. Rising temperature also affected power supply of many districts, which was also a reason for the increase in prices. In some parts of North-India, less monsoon rains affected several crops severely and caused the condition of drought in several states of India, especially in Bihar, which prompted the government to drop import tax on a number of commodities, including sugar. Monsoon season has a direct impact on agricultural sector, which has an impact on industrial sector as well, particularly for FMCG companies which depends on agricultural and rural market. It also causes shortage of water supply for production of power and electricity. Electricity shortage has a strong effect on almost all sectors, which also causes delay in productions or increase in costing of products.

Effects of Monsoon Rains

Monsoon rains has an impact on several crops of different states in India. It impacts the sowing of groundnut in Rajasthan and Gujarat, soya-bean in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and paddy in Uttar Pradesh. Kharif crop also gets affected due to the delay of rains. Rains also affect the production of rice, millet, sugarcane, oilseeds and cotton. As per the metrological department, rains were 51 percent below normal till the second half of June which is badly affecting the farming sector.

Less rain affects the purchasing power in rural areas and contract demand for products and services. With the global recession still pertaining, India is depending on the domestic demand which mainly comes from rural India. To reduce the dependency on monsoon, Indian government needs to take some action and provide improved infrastructure for the agricultural sector in the following budget and literate the farmers about the latest technologies and equipments to use, rather than depending on monsoon rains.

Qno5. Analyze the process of early urbanization in the Deccan. OR. Discuss the nature of Roman trade in India. What was its long term impact? OR. Describe the state of coinage in the Deccan and south India during 3rd century BC to 3rd century AD. Analyze the presence of Roman coins in the region.

ANS: – Urbanization in the South was comparatively a latecomer. It entered the region when North India had already entered into the second phase of its urbanization. The beginning of urbanization in South India coincides with the Mauryan period. Through exchange networks existed even much before the Mauryan period, from Mauryan period onwards they became more regular and frequent. While the impact of the Mauryans was distinctly visible in the Deccan, in Tamilnadu it appeared to be minimal. In Tamilkam, urbanization was largely the result of her sea trade. Rome and the eastern Mediterranean occupied an important place in the entire process. Konkan and Malabar coasts and Coromandel and Andhra coasts were active partners in the Roman trade as a result of Roman contacts; in the years to come several Yavana settlements became visible in peninsular India. Initially, these settlers were applauded as brave but looked down upon as aliens. In the Deccan they got assimilated into Indian cultural tradition to the extent that they appropriated Sanskrit-zed names.

Roman trade with India started around the beginning of the Common Era following the reign of Augustus and his conquest of Egypt. The use of monsoon winds, which enabled a voyage safer than a long and dangerous coastal voyage, helped enhance trade between India and Rome. Roman trade Diaspora stopped in Southern India, establishing trading settlements which remained long after the fall of the Roman empire and Rome’s loss of the Red Sea ports, which had previously been used to secure trade with India by the Greco-Roman world since the time of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Contact between the Greco-Roman Empire had been far more extensive the previously thought. Alexander the Great established contact with India by way of his aborted invasion of India in the 4th century B.C.E., followed by the establishment of a Indo-Greco dynasty in northwest India before Christ. Rome’s trade route by sea to southwest India opened an exchange of goods and ideas that may have had far reaching impact upon Judaism in Israel, Christianity, and the philosophical views of the Roman Empire. Roman merchants became aware of the teachings of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. The possibility that Jesus traveled to southern India by Roman merchant ship out of a Red Sea port is likely. The Apostle Thomas’s voyage to India to start a Christian mission has sounder evidence to support it. India’s impact upon Israel, Christianity, and the Greco-Roman empire before, during, and after the time of Christ may have been extensive.

The Seleucid dynasty controlled a developed network of trade with India which had previously existed under the influence of the Persian Achaemenid dynasty. The Greek Ptolemaic dynasty, controlling the western and northern end of other trade routes to Southern Arabia and India, had begun to exploit trading opportunities with India prior to the Roman involvement but according to the historian Strabo the volume of commerce between India and Greece paled compared to later Indian-Roman trade.

Qno6. To what extent is European model of feudalism relevant in the Indian context? OR. Analyze recent developments in feudalism debate. (MOST IMPORTANT)

ANS:- Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the ninth and fifteenth centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour. Although derived from the Latin word feodum (fief), then in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Medieval Period. In its classic definition, by François-Louis Ganshof (1944), feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. There is also a broader definition, as described by Marc Bloch (1939), that includes not only warrior nobility but the peasantry bonds of manorialism, sometimes referred to as a “feudal society”. Since 1974 with the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown’s The Tyranny of a Construct, and Susan Reynolds’ Fiefs and Vassals (1994), there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians if Feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society.

Classic feudalism:-The classic François-Louis Ganshof version of feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. A lord was in broad terms a noble who held land, a vassal was a person who was granted possession of the land by the lord, and the land was known as a fief. In exchange for the use of the fief and the protection of the lord, the vassal would provide some sort of service to the lord. There were many varieties of feudal land tenure, consisting of military and non-military service. The obligations and corresponding rights between lord and vassal concerning the fief form the basis of the feudal relationship.

Feudal society:-The term ‘Feudal society’ as defined by Marc Bloch expands on the definition proposed by Ganshof and includes within the feudal structure not only the warrior aristocracy, but also the peasantry, bound by manorialism.

History of Feudalism:-Feudalism traditionally emerges as a result of the decentralization of an empire. This was particularly the case within the Japanese and Carolingian (European) empires which both lacked the bureaucratic infrastructure necessary to support cavalry without the ability to allocate land to these mounted troops. Mounted soldiers began to secure a system of hereditary rule over their allocated land and their power over the territory came to encompass the social, political, judicial, and economic spheres as well. These acquired powers significantly reduced the presence of centralized power in these empires. Only when the infrastructure existed to maintain centralized power—as with the European monarchies—did Feudalism begin to yield to this new organized power and eventually disappear.

Historiography of Feudalism:-The term feudalism was unknown and the system it describes was not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Medieval Period. This section describes the history of the idea of feudalism, how the concept originated among scholars and thinkers, how it changed over time, and modern debates about its use.

Evolution of the term:-Feudalism became a popular and widely used term in 1748, thanks to Montesquieu’s De L’Esprit des Lois (The Spirit of the Laws). In the 18th century, writers of the Enlightenment wrote about feudalism to denigrate the antiquated system of the Ancien Régime, or French monarchy. This was the Age of Enlightenment when writers valued reason and the Middle Ages were viewed as the “Dark Ages”. Enlightenment authors generally mocked and ridiculed anything from the “Dark Ages” including feudalism, projecting its negative characteristics on the current French monarchy as a means of political gain. For them “feudalism” meant seigneurial privileges and prerogatives. When the French Constituent Assembly abolished the “feudal regime” in August 1789 this is what was meant.

Adam Smith used the term “feudal system” to describe a social and economic system defined by inherited social ranks, each of which possessed inherent social and economic privileges and obligations. In such a system wealth derived from agriculture, which was organized not according to market forces but on the basis of customary labor services owed by serfs to landowning nobles.

Marx:-Karl Marx also used the term in political analysis. In the 19th century, Marx described feudalism as the economic situation coming before the inevitable rise of capitalism. For Marx, what defined feudalism was that the power of the ruling class (the aristocracy) rested on their control of arable land, leading to a class society based upon the exploitation of the peasants who farm these lands, typically under serfdom. “The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill, society with the industrial capitalist.” Marx thus considered feudalism within a purely economic model.

Later studies:-In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, John Horace Round and Frederic William Maitland, both historians of medieval Britain, arrived at different conclusions as to the character of English society before the Norman Conquest in 1066. Round argued that the Normans had brought feudalism with them to England, while Maitland contended that its fundamentals were already in place in Britain before 1066. The debate continues today, but a consensus is building: England before the Conquest had commendation, which embodied some of the personal elements in feudalism. William the Conqueror introduced a modified northern French feudalism to England which countered decentralized aspects of feudalism abroad. In 1086 he required oaths of loyalty to the king by all, even the vassals of his principal vassals, who held by feudal tenure. Holding by feudal tenure meant that vassals must provide the quota of knights required by the king or a money payment in substitution.

In the 20th century, the historian François-Louis Ganshof was very influential on the topic of feudalism. Ganshof defined feudalism from a narrow legal and military perspective, arguing that feudal relationships existed only within the medieval nobility itself. Ganshof articulated this concept in Feudalism (1944). His classic definition of feudalism is the most widely known today and also the easiest to understand, simply put, when a lord granted a fief to a vassal, the vassal provided military service in return.

One of Ganshof’s contemporaries, the French historian Marc Bloch, was arguably the most influential 20th century medieval historian. Bloch approached feudalism not so much from a legal and military point of view but from a sociological one. He developed his ideas in Feudal Society (1939–40; English 1961). Bloch conceived of feudalism as a type of society that was not limited solely to the nobility. Like Ganshof, he recognized that there was a hierarchical relationship between lords and vassals, but Bloch saw as well a similar relationship obtaining between lords and peasants. It is this radical notion that peasants were part of feudal relationship that sets Bloch apart from his peers. While the vassal performed military service in exchange for the fief, the peasant performed physical labour in return for protection. Both are a form of feudal relationship. According to Bloch, other elements of society can be seen in feudal terms; all the aspects of life were centered on “lordship”, and so we can speak usefully of a feudal church structure, a feudal courtly (and anti-courtly) literature, and a feudal economy.

Feudalism revisionism:-In 1974, U.S. historian Elizabeth A. R. Brownrejected the label feudalism as an anachronism that imparts a false sense of uniformity to the concept. Having noted the current use of many, often contradictory, definitions of feudalism, she argued that the word is only a construct with no basis in medieval reality, an invention of modern historians read back “tyrannically” into the historical record. Supporters of Brown have suggested that the term should be expunged from history textbooks and lectures on medieval history entirely. In Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted (1994), Susan Reynolds expanded upon Brown’s original thesis. Although some contemporaries questioned Reynolds’s methodology, other historians have supported it and her argument. Note that Reynolds does not object to the Marxist use of feudalism.

The term feudal has also been applied to non-Western societies in which institutions and attitudes similar to those of medieval Europe are perceived to have prevailed (See Other feudal-like systems). Ultimately, critics say, the many ways the term feudalism has been used have deprived it of specific meaning, leading some historians and political theorists to reject it as a useful concept for understanding society. Others have taken the concept to its heart: the contract between a lord and his or her vassals, a reciprocal arrangement of support in exchange for service

Qno7. State briefly the dominant features of Indian agriculture during the medieval period. OR. How did the soil conditions effect the growth pattern agriculture operations? OR. Analyze the techniques of production used in India during the medieval period. OR what role did the state play in the growth of agriculture during the medieval period.

ANS:-Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science. Agriculture is also observed in certain species of ant and termite, but generally speaking refers to human activities.

The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies. However, all farming generally relies on techniques to expand and maintain the lands suitable for raising domesticated species. For plants, this usually requires some form of irrigation, although there are methods of dryland farming; pastoral herding on rangeland is still the most common means of raising livestock. In the developed world, industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has become the dominant system of modern farming, although there is growing support for sustainable agriculture (e.g. permaculture or organic agriculture).

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, pesticides and fertilizers, and technological improvements have sharply increased yields from cultivation, but at the same time have caused widespread ecological damage and negative human health effects.[4] Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry such as intensive pig farming have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal cruelty and the health effects of the antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemicals commonly used in industrial meat production.

The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials. In the 21st century, plants have been used to grow biofuels, biopharmaceuticals, bioplastics, and pharmaceuticals. Specific foods include cereals, vegetables, fruits, and meat. Fibers include cotton, wool, hemp, silk and flax. Raw materials include lumber and bamboo. Other useful materials are produced by plants, such as resins. Biofuels include methane from biomass, ethanol, and biodiesel. Cut flowers, nursery plants, tropical fish and birds for the pet trade are some of the ornamental products.

In 2007, one third of the world’s workers were employed in agriculture. The services sector has overtaken agriculture as the economic sector employing the most people worldwide. Despite the size of its workforce, agricultural production accounts for less than five percent of the gross world product (an aggregate of all gross domestic products).

History of agriculture:-Agricultural practices such as irrigation, crop rotation, fertilizers, and pesticides were developed long ago, but have made great strides in the past century. The history of agriculture has played a major role in human history, as agricultural progress has been a crucial factor in worldwide socio-economic change. Division of labor in agricultural societies made commonplace specializations rarely seen in hunter-gatherer cultures. So, too, are arts such as epic literature and monumental architecture, as well as codified legal systems. When farmers became capable of producing food beyond the needs of their own families, others in their society were freed to devote themselves to projects other than food acquisition. Historians and anthropologists have long argued that the development of agriculture made civilization possible. The total world population probably never exceeded 15 million inhabitants before the invention of agriculture.

Ancient origins:-The Fertile Crescent of Western Asia, Egypt, and India were sites of the earliest planned sowing and harvesting of plants that had previously been gathered in the wild. Independent development of agriculture occurred in northern and southern China, Africa’s Sahel, New Guinea and several regions of the Americas. The eight so-called Neolithic founder crops of agriculture appear: first emmer wheat and einkorn wheat, then hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax.

By 7000 BC, small-scale agriculture reached Egypt. From at least 7000 BC the Indian subcontinent saw farming of wheat and barley, as attested by archaeological excavation at Mehrgarh in Balochistan in what is present day Pakistan. By 6000 BC, mid-scale farming was entrenched on the banks of the Nile. This, as irrigation had not yet matured sufficiently. About this time, agriculture was developed independently in the Far East, with rice, rather than wheat, as the primary crop. Chinese and Indonesian farmers went on to domesticate taro and beans including mung, soy and azuki. To complement these new sources of carbohydrates, highly organized net fishing of rivers, lakes and ocean shores in these areas brought in great volumes of essential protein. Collectively, these new methods of farming and fishing inaugurated a human population boom that dwarfed all previous expansions and continues today.

By 5000 BC, the Sumerians had developed core agricultural techniques including large-scale intensive cultivation of land, monocropping, organized irrigation, and the use of a specialized labor force, particularly along the waterway now known as the Shatt al-Arab, from its Persian Gulf delta to the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates. Domestication of wild aurochs and mouflon into cattle and sheep, respectively, ushered in the large-scale use of animals for food/fiber and as beasts of burden. The shepherd joined the farmer as an essential provider for sedentary and seminomadic societies. Maize, manioc, and arrowroot were first domesticated in the Americas as far back as 5200 BC.

The potato, tomato, pepper, squash, several varieties of bean, tobacco, and several other plants were also developed in the Americas, as was extensive terracing of steep hillsides in much of Andean South America. The Greeks and Romans built on techniques pioneered by the Sumerians, but made few fundamentally new advances. Southern Greeks struggled with very poor soils, yet managed to become a dominant society for years. The Romans were noted for an emphasis on the cultivation of crops for trade.

In the same region, a parallel agricultural revolution occurred, resulting in some of the most important crops grown today. In Mesoamerica wild teosinte was transformed through human selection into the ancestor of modern maize, more than 6000 years ago. It gradually spread across North America and was the major crop of Native Americans at the time of European exploration.[28] Other Mesoamerican crops include hundreds of varieties of squash and beans. Cocoa was also a major crop in domesticated Mexico and Central America. The turkey, one of the most important meat birds, was probably domesticated in Mexico or the U.S. Southwest. In the Andes region of South America the major domesticated crop was potatoes, domesticated perhaps 5000 years ago. Large varieties of beans were domesticated, in South America, as well as animals, including llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs. Coca, still a major crop, was also domesticated in the Andes.

A minor center of domestication, the indigenous people of the Eastern U.S. appear to have domesticated numerous crops. Sunflowers, tobacco, varieties of squash and Chenopodium, as well as crops no longer grown, including marshelder and little barley were domesticated. Other wild foods may have undergone some selective cultivation, including wild rice and maple sugar. The most common varieties of strawberry were domesticated from Eastern North America.

By 3500 BC, the simplest form of the plough was developed, called the ard.[33] Before this period, simple digging sticks or hoes were used. These tools would have also been easier to transport, which was a benefit as people only stayed until the soil’s nutrients were depleted. However, through excavations in Mexico it has been found that the continuous cultivating of smaller pieces of land would also have been a sustaining practice. Additional research in central Europe later revealed that agriculture was indeed practiced at this method. For this method, ards were thus much more efficient than digging sticks.[34]

Middle Ages:-During the Middle Ages, farmers in North Africa, the Near East, and Europe began making use of agricultural technologies including irrigation systems based on hydraulic and hydrostatic principles, machines such as norias, water-raising machines, dams, and reservoirs. This combined with the invention of a three-field system of crop rotation and the moldboard plow greatly improved agricultural efficiency.

In the European medieval period, agriculture was considered part of the set of seven mechanical arts.

Modern era:-Infrared image of the above farms. To the untrained eye, this image appears a hodge-podge of colors without any apparent purpose. But farmers are now trained to see yellows where crops are infested, shades of red indicating crop health, black where flooding occurs, and brown where unwanted pesticides land on chemical-free crops.

After 1492, a global exchange of previously local crops and livestock breeds occurred. Key crops involved in this exchange included the tomato, maize, potato, manioc, cocoa bean and tobacco going from the New World to the Old, and several varieties of wheat, spices, coffee, and sugar cane going from the Old World to the New. The most important animal exportation from the Old World to the New was those of the horse and dog (dogs were already present in the pre-Columbian Americas but not in the numbers and breeds suited to farm work). Although not usually food animals, the horse (including donkeys and ponies) and dog quickly filled essential production roles on western-hemisphere farms.

The potato became an important staple crop in northern Europe. Since being introduced by Portuguese in the 16th century, maize and manioc have replaced traditional African crops as the continent’s most important staple food crops.

By the early 19th century, agricultural techniques, implements, seed stocks and cultivar had so improved that yield per land unit was many times that seen in the Middle Ages. Although there is a vast and interesting history of crop cultivation before the dawn of the 20th century, there is little question that the work of Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel created the scientific foundation for plant breeding that led to its explosive impact over the past 150 years.

With the rapid rise of mechanization in the late 19th century and the 20th century, particularly in the form of the tractor, farming tasks could be done with a speed and on a scale previously impossible. These advances have led to efficiencies enabling certain modern farms in the United States, Argentina, Israel, Germany, and a few other nations to output volumes of high-quality produce per land unit at what may be the practical limit.

The Haber-Bosch method for synthesizing ammonium nitrate represented a major breakthrough and allowed crop yields to overcome previous constraints. In the past century agriculture has been characterized by enhanced productivity, the substitution of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides for labor, water pollution, and farm subsidies. In recent years there has been a backlash against the external environmental effects of conventional agriculture, resulting in the organic movement.

The cereals rice, corn, and wheat provide 60% of human food supply. Between 1700 and 1980, “the total area of cultivated land worldwide increased 466%” and yields increased dramatically, particularly because of selectively bred high-yielding varieties, fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, and machinery. For example, irrigation increased corn yields in eastern Colorado by 400 to 500% from 1940 to 1997.

However, concerns have been raised over the sustainability of intensive agriculture. Intensive agriculture has become associated with decreased soil quality in India and Asia, and there has been increased concern over the effects of fertilizers and pesticides on the environment, particularly as population increases and food demand expands. The monocultures typically used in intensive agriculture increase the number of pests, which are controlled through pesticides. Integrated pest management (IPM), which “has been promoted for decades and has had some notable successes” has not significantly affected the use of pesticides because policies encourage the use of pesticides and IPM is knowledge-intensive.

Although the “Green Revolution” significantly increased rice yields in Asia, yield increases have not occurred in the past 15–20 years. The genetic “yield potential” has increased for wheat, but the yield potential for rice has not increased since 1966, and the yield potential for maize has “barely increased in 35 years”. It takes a decade or two for herbicide-resistant weeds to emerge, and insects become resistant to insecticides within about a decade. Crop rotation helps to prevent resistances.

Agricultural exploration expeditions, since the late 19th century, have been mounted to find new species and new agricultural practices in different areas of the world. Two early examples of expeditions include Frank N. Meyer’s fruit- and nut-collecting trip to China and Japan from 1916-1918 and the Dorsett-Morse Oriental Agricultural Exploration Expedition to China, Japan, and Korea from 1929-1931 to collect soybean germplasm to support the rise in soybean agriculture in the United States.

In 2009, the agricultural output of China was the largest in the world, followed by the European Union, India and the United States, according to the International Monetary Fund.Economists measure the total factor productivity of agriculture and by this measure agriculture in the United States is roughly 2.6 times more productive than it was in 1948.

Six countries – the US, Canada, France, Australia, Argentina and Thailand – supply 90% of grain exports. The United States controls almost half of world grain exports. Water deficits, which are already spurring heavy grain imports in numerous middle-sized countries, including Algeria, Iran, Egypt, and Mexico, may soon do the same in larger countries, such as China or India.

Crop production systems:-Cropping systems vary among farms depending on the available resources and constraints; geography and climate of the farm; government policy; economic, social and political pressures; and the philosophy and culture of the farmer. Shifting cultivation (or slash and burn) is a system in which forests are burnt, releasing nutrients to support cultivation of annual and then perennial crops for a period of several years.

Then the plot is left fallow to regrow forest, and the farmer moves to a new plot, returning after many more years (10-20). This fallow period is shortened if population density grows, requiring the input of nutrients (fertilizer or manure) and some manual pest control. Annual cultivation is the next phase of intensity in which there is no fallow period. This requires even greater nutrient and pest control inputs.

Further industrialization lead to the use of monocultures, when one cultivar is planted on a large acreage. Because of the low biodiversity, nutrient use is uniform and pests tend to build up, necessitating the greater use of pesticides and fertilizers. Multiple cropping, in which several crops are grown sequentially in one year, and intercropping, when several crops are grown at the same time are other kinds of annual cropping systems known as polycultures.

In tropical environments, all of these cropping systems are practiced. In subtropical and arid environments, the timing and extent of agriculture may be limited by rainfall, either not allowing multiple annual crops in a year, or requiring irrigation. In all of these environments perennial crops are grown (coffee, chocolate) and systems are practiced such as agroforestry. In temperate environments, where ecosystems were predominantly grassland or prairie, highly productive annual cropping is the dominant farming system.[49]

The last century has seen the intensification, concentration and specialization of agriculture, relying upon new technologies of agricultural chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides), mechanization, and plant breeding (hybrids and GMO’s). In the past few decades, a move towards sustainability in agriculture has also developed, integrating ideas of socio-economic justice and conservation of resources and the environment within a farming system.[50][51] This has led to the development of many responses to the conventional agriculture approach, including organic agriculture, urban agriculture, community supported agriculture, ecological or biological agriculture, integrated farming and holistic management, as well as an increased trend towards agricultural diversification.

Crop statistics:-Important categories of crops include grains and pseudograins, pulses (legumes), forage, and fruits and vegetables. Specific crops are cultivated in distinct growing regions throughout the world. In millions of metric tons, based on FAO estimate.


Livestock production systems:-Animals, including horses, mules, oxen, camels, llamas, alpacas, and dogs, are often used to help cultivate fields, harvest crops, wrangle other animals, and transport farm products to buyers. Animal husbandry not only refers to the breeding and raising of animals for meat or to harvest animal products (like milk, eggs, or wool) on a continual basis, but also to the breeding and care of species for work and companionship. Livestock production systems can be defined based on feed source, as grassland – based, mixed, and landless.

Grassland based livestock production relies upon plant material such as shrubland, rangeland, and pastures for feeding ruminant animals. Outside nutrient inputs may be used, however manure is returned directly to the grassland as a major nutrient source. This system is particularly important in areas where crop production is not feasible because of climate or soil, representing 30-40 million pastoralists. Mixed production systems use grassland, fodder crops and grain feed crops as feed for ruminant and monogastic (one stomach; mainly chickens and pigs) livestock. Manure is typically recycled in mixed systems as a fertilizer for crops. Approximately 68% of all agricultural land is permanent pastures used in the production of livestock.

Landless systems rely upon feed from outside the farm, representing the de-linking of crop and livestock production found more prevalently in OECD member countries. In the U.S., 70% of the grain grown is fed to animals on feedlots. Synthetic fertilizers are more heavily relied upon for crop production and manure utilization becomes a challenge as well as a source for pollution.

Production practices:-Tillage is the practice of plowing soil to prepare for planting or for nutrient incorporation or for pest control. Tillage varies in intensity from conventional to no-till. It may improve productivity by warming the soil, incorporating fertilizer and controlling weeds, but also renders soil more prone to erosion, triggers the decomposition of organic matter releasing CO2, and reduces the abundance and diversity of soil organisms.

Pest control includes the management of weeds, insects/mites, and diseases. Chemical (pesticides), biological (biocontrol), mechanical (tillage), and cultural practices are used. Cultural practices include crop rotation, culling, cover crops, intercropping, composting, avoidance, and resistance. Integrated pest management attempts to use all of these methods to keep pest populations below the number which would cause economic loss, and recommends pesticides as a last resort.

Agricultural policy:-Agricultural policy focuses on the goals and methods of agricultural production. At the policy level, common goals of agriculture include:

  • Conservation
  • Economic stability
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Food quality: Ensuring that the food supply is of a consistent and known quality.
  • Food safety: Ensuring that the food supply is free of contamination.
  • Food security: Ensuring that the food supply meets the population’s needs.
  • Poverty reduction

QNO8:-Discuss the condition of peasants during the medieval period? OR Discuss various forms of peasant resistance during the medieval period?

ANS:-A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally owns or rents only a small plot of ground. The word is derived from 15th century French peasant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district (when the Roman Empire became Christian, these outlying districts were the last to Christianise, and this gave rise to “pagan” as a religious term). The term peasant today is sometimes used in a pejorative sense for impoverished farmers.

Peasants typically make up the majority of the agricultural labour force in a Pre-industrial society, dependent on the cultivation of their land: without stockpiles of provisions they thrive or starve according to the most recent harvest. The majority of the people in the Middle Ages were peasants. Pre-industrial societies have diminished with the advent of globalization and as such there are considerably fewer peasants to be found in rural areas throughout the world (as a proportion of the total world population).

Though “peasant” is a word of loose application, once a market economy has taken root the term peasant proprietors is frequently used to describe the traditional rural population in countries where the land is chiefly held by smallholders. It is sometimes used by people who consider themselves of higher class as slang to refer pejoratively to those of poorer education who come from a lower income background.

In many pre-industrial societies, peasants comprised the bulk of the population. Peasant societies often had well developed social support networks. Especially in harder climates, members of the community who had a poor harvest or suffered other hardships were taken care of by the rest of the community. Peasants usually only had one set of clothing, two at most. Also, a peasant usually owed their lord 20% of their earnings. They also owed the priest or bishop 10% of their ownings. Of course, knights could, and would usually demand tributes for keeping them alive. Overall, the peasant usually retained only 10-20% of their total work and earnings.

Peasant societies can often have very stratified social hierarchies within them. Rural people often have very different values and economic behavior from urbanites, and tend to be more conservative. Peasants are often very loyal to inherited power structures that define their rights and privileges and protect them from interlopers, despite their low status within those power structures.

Fernand Braudel devoted the first volume–called The Structures of Everyday Life–of his major work, Civilization and Capitalism 15th–18th Century to the largely silent and invisible world that existed below the market economy.

Since it was the literate classes who left the most records, and these tended to dismiss peasants as figures of coarse appetite and rustic comedy, the term “peasant” may have a pejorative rather than descriptive connotation in historical memory. Society was theorized as being organized into three “estates”: those who work, those who pray, and those who fight.

QNO9:-State different views pertaining to the village community of the medieval period? OR explain the notion of power in the context of village community in the medieval period. OR state the salient features of the village community of the Deccan during the medieval period. OR critically examine the changing pattern of the village community of medieval south India.

ANS:-Indian Village life is a mixture of tranquility, serenity, quietude and innocence. Along with numerous small and big grass fields, several rivers, chirping of birds, swinging of emerald trees, speaking in a low voice the tale of languishment and love to the big and clear blue sky give a mesmerizing, captivating and bewitching effect to the Indian villages. Ever since the country`s independence from the British colonial rule in 1947, the economy of the nation has banked upon its agrarian society. A majority of the persons living in India have involved themselves in agriculture and associated industries, and have thus made the country the quickest developing world economy. The country is hope to people of different castes and creeds which rightly demonstrates the principles of `Unity in Diversity`. Indian village life is fully relied on agriculture and innate all over the land. The lifestyle maintained by the people of Indian villages as well as their working styles are as fascinating as the balance offered by the metropolitan city lifestyles.

The primary occupation of the people living in the India villages is agriculture and is therefore reckoned as an unchangeable part of the Indian village culture. Traditionally, village and caste are regarded as similar to each other and the villages in India also follow the same trend. In Indian village life the presence of all the four castes with the hierarchy of the Brahmin is noticed. The caste system which originated long back has however remained unchanged in the village life in India. Although, caste system in its original sense has collapsed yet caste identities are very much present there in the village life in India. People belonging to different castes in a village deal with each other in kinship terms, which shows the fictive kinship relationships distinguished within each settlement.

Habitually the Indian villagers manifest a deep loyalty to their villages. A rural family which has its root seated deeply in a specific village does not move easily to another. The uniqueness of the village life in India lies in this deep loyalty which is again marked with a rich culture. The mystic charm and the cultural diversities of the village life in India, make the Indian villages that never land where beauty never fades away, and dream never cease to exist.

The village life in India is idyllic, unchanging with its immense beauty. The villagers of India are normally habituated in sharing and using the common facilities of the village including the village shrines and temples, the village pond, schools, grazing grounds, sitting places, etc. This interdependence of the village life in India perhaps provides a matchless unity amongst the villagers which supports them in surviving amidst thousands of odds. Village unity is therefore the primary concern of the village life in India.

Characteristically, each of the Indian villages recognizes a particular deity as the protector of the concerned village and the people of that village get together to worship the deity. Religion, which is deeply instilled in the village life in India, further supports the villagers to consider this as an essential part of village prosperity. The uninterrupted village life in India entertain themselves amidst the color of the festivals like Diwali, Holi, Muharram, Dussehra, etc, in the captivating pulse of dance and songs and of course in the emotion of rural theatres.

In the Indian village life, there is a headman who is recognized often to respectfully listen to the village panchayat`s decision. The village panchayat comprises of some important men from the major castes of the village. The panchayat in Indian villages are responsible to clarify the disputes within the village boundaries as much as possible, with occasional choices of the interference of police or the court system. In the recent era, the Government supports an elective Panchayat system in the Indian villages.

The Government of India helped the villages with advanced technology for farming implements and presently most of the villages in India have access to modern farming equipments. Now-a-days, the Indian village outskirts boast up with food packaging plants, textile industries, sugar industries and steel plants. These have created for the village youth suitable employment opportunities. Continuous reform is made by the government in order to fashion the country a `motor` for the economy of the world. Developments in the agrarian infrastructure, public sector reforms, rural development, righted labor norms, etc have changed the Indian village life. The village life in India blessed with its innocence, purity and uncomplicated saga makes the villages as the quaint, archaic, mystic yet charming places to rediscover nature.

QNO10:-Critically analyze the growth of textile production during the medieval period. OR How was the artisanal production organized during the medieval period. OR What was dadni? How was the production organized under dadni system? OR analyze dominant features of medieval Indian textile production. OR What role did the state play in the growth of non-agriculture production during the medieval period?

ANS: – the non-agricultural production of India which was sufficiently enveloped for being recognized separately. Here the largest and perhaps the most widespread production was that of textile goods. There was a great demand for cotton textile which seemed to have given a great boost to the industry. The other ago-based industries were those pertaining to indigo and sugar.

The salt production was sufficient for meeting the needs of the domestic sector.

Saltpeter was another important industry where the production was carried out on a large scale. As a result there existed enough surpluses for export. Substantial quantities of iron and copper were also produced though production of silver on an equal scale was missing. Tile ship-building industry also developed considerably during this period. Significantly the bulk of production in non-agricultural sector was undertaken through the agency of .he individual artisan. In some sectors like, saltpeter and diamond mining, large number of artisans and workmen worked jointly under common supervision. A few experiments for establishing manufactories for silk winding were undertaken by the East India Company. But they met with little success. The system of advancing money to artisans for production purposes was well developed. Royal karkhanas produced luxury items catering to the needs of the royalty and the nobility.


These problems gave rise to a revised form of production called dadni or a sort of putting-out system. In dadni the money was advanced to artisans by the merchants and the artisans promised to deliver the goods at a given time. Here the merchant was in a position to dictate his specifications. The practice in textiles sector became so widespread that it was difficult to obtain cloth without making advance payment to the artisans. In the seventeenth century, the weaving industry in Deccan was found to be dominated by merchants. In South India, according to Alaev., “The subjection of crafts to merchant capital was widespread. Practically all the artisan settlements along the Coromandal coast were under the control of one trader or another. In the

17th century, the biggest of them (merchant) was Kasi Viranna, who had in his hands all the coasts from Madras to Annagaon except Pulicat. Weaver settlements of this region were known as ‘the Viranna villages’.” The system of dadni empowered the buyer to dictate the quality and quantity of the goods produced. The artisan got the much needed money to buy raw material with the guarantee of the sale of the goods made, but he lost his control over sale.


In 1620-21, the English factory at Patna established probably the first such unit for winding silk yarn and employed around 100 workmen. The Dutch at Qasimbazar employed 700-800 weavers in their silk factory. But such instances are just sporadic (see A. J. Qaisar, ‘The Role of Brokers in Medieval India’).

Another specialized area where large numbers of workmen were assembled to work at one place were ship-building and building construction. Almost all the ship-building centers in Deccan and South India had large number of artisan’s working on each ship under one single supervision. Building activity also like ship-building required large number of artisans working under one single super-vision. (See A.J.Qaisar, ‘Shlpballding in the Mughal Empire duriq the Seventeenth Century’ and Building Construction in Mugbal India: The Evidence from Painting.) There were two other production sectors where large numbers of workmen (thoughnot very skilled artisans) were employed. One, the diamond mines of Golconda and Deccan had around 30,000 to 60,000 people working at periodical season of mining.

Here, the plots of land were taken on rent from the ruler by the prospectors. Each of them used to employ 200 to 300 miners to work on their plots. The miner’s we repaid wages per day. Similarly, in Bihar around 8000 men used to come to diamond mines in the season of mining (December-January). These people were generally peasants and workers who came to work here after sowing their fields.

The second case of assemblage of large workers was in the production of saltpeter. In this case also large number of people worked under one master in small groups. In Bihar they were called nooneas. With the increasing demand, the Dutch and English established their own units for refining saltpeter. The workmen in their refineries were to work with the equipment provided by these European companies.

A unique feature of production in the period of our study was the Irrukbpnrrs. These lcarkhanas were in operation even in 14th-15th centuries. These karkhanas were part of the royal establishment and also of the nobles. These produced things for the consumption of the royal household and the court. Many high nobles also had their own karkhanas. Generally expensive and luxury items dere produced here. Skilled artisans were employed to work less than one roof to manufacture things needed. They were supervised by state officials. The need for such karkhmm arose because the artisans on their own were not in a position to invest huge amounts required for royal needs. Because of valuable raw material, the state also did not want to give these to artisans to work at their own places. We will not go here into details of the functioning of these karkhanas as their production was not for the market but for personal consumption of the king and nobles.

We notice that the process of production was undergoing a change during the period of our study. As summed up by Tapan Ray Chaudhari, “The organization of manufacture in Mughal India did not remain unchanged. A lot was happening, button a limited scale, and the sum total of new developments did not amount to a break with the past. Continuity was still the dominant characteristic. Yet the changes in organization were more basic than those in technique”.


Under the textiles we will mainly study the manufacture of cotton, silk and wool cloth. ”


Cotton textiles were manufactured practically all over the country since with the exception of sub-Himalayan region; cotton could be grown almost everywhere. Abul Fazl gives a list of important centers of production of cotton textiles. Gujarat emerges as one of the important region of textile manufacture. Here the main centers were Ahmadabad, Broach, Baroda, Cambay, Surat, etc. In Rajasthan we could mention Ajmer, Sironj and many small towns. In U.P., Lucknow and number of small towns around it. Banaras. Agra, Allahabad, etc. were prominent centers. Other areas in the north like Delhi. Sirhind,Samana, Lahore, Sialkot, Multan and Ttiatta produced textiles of good quality. In Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, Sonargaonand Dacca. Rajrnahal. Qasimhazaind a number of towns, Balasore, Patna and number of small toans around it were famous textile centers. However, the most common cotton cloth much in demand was superior quality white calico cloth called by different names such as Ambaries (in Bihar, Bengal etc.), Baf’tain Gujarat, etc. Other famous varieties were fine muslin of Bengal called Khasa,

Chintz, a printed cloth and fabric made with mixing silk yam. Ahmadabad aquiiedfame for its printed cloth known as chintz (Chheent).In Deccan. Burhanpur and Aurangabad produced cotton cloth of a fine variety. Onthe western coast of Maharashtra Chaul and Bhivandi had a flourishing weaving industq. The Qutab Shahi kinsdom was also famous for its textiles. Masulipatnamand Coromandal also produced cotton textiles. In the South. Coimbatore and Malabar were also known for producing good quality cotton. Many centers specialized in producing only yam which was taken to weaving centre sand even exported. Spinning of yam thus became a specialized occupation. In and around all the major centers of textile production. Many peasants and women took it up as an additional source of earning and supplied yam to weavers. Women in large number spun yam in Mysore. Vizagapatam and Ganjam. Broach,

Qasimbazar and Balasore were pro7minent markets for selling yam. Gujarat supplied yam to Bengal in the second half of the seventeenth century. The fine yam required for Dacca muslin was spun by young women with the help of takli or spindle.

There was a considerable variation in quality. Hameeda Naqii has listed forty-nine varieties of clothes, produced in five major production centers of the Mughal ~mbire.The European accounts mention more than one hundred names. It is very difficult to list all the varieties of cotton textiles produced in the country. Every region had their own specialties. A few important varieties may be explained here. Baf’ta is described in the

Ain-i Akbari as a type of high quality calico normally white or of a single colour. Theword calico was commonly used by Europeans for all kinds 6f cotton cloth. It also meant white cloth of a thick variety. Tafta was a silk cloth sometimes inter-woven with cotton yam. Zartari was a cloth which was inter-woven with gold or silverthread. Muslin was a very fine quality of thin cloth. Chintz (Chheent) was cotton cloth with floral or other patterns printed or painted. Khasa was a kind of muslin. It was expensive cloth of a fine quality. (Irfan Habib has provided a detailed glossary of textile terms, see An Atlas of the Mughal Empire, pp. 69-70.)Some clothes were named after the place of production, such as Dariabadi and Khairabadi, Samianas (Samana), Lakhowries (Lakhowar near Patna), etc some regions specialized in a particular variety, Bafta from Gujarat and muslin ‘from

Sonargaon and thereafter from Dacca in Bengal are examples of this specialization.

In the seventeenth century, significant changes were noticed due to the intensified activities of the European trading companies whose numbers now increased with thermal of the English, Dutch and French East India Companies, etc.

The manufacture of cotton textiles involved a number of steps. The first was ginning, that is, separating seeds from cotton. Later, the carder (dhuniya) cleaned cotton with the bowstring. Next, yarn was spun on the spinning wheel. The yam was used on looms by the weavers. The most common loom was horizontal, the pit-loom with foot treadles. The cloth thus woven was as yet in a raw state. The next step was to get it bleached or dyed before being used. These functions were performed by a separate group of people. Though these processes were performed everywhere, some centers became prominent. Broach in Gujarat was supposed to be the best bleaching place because of the special quality of its water. The English East India Company sent baftaspurchased in Agra, Lahore, etc. to Broach and Nausari (Gujarat) for bleaching before exporting them. Ahmadabad, Surat, Patna, Sonargaon, Dacca, Masulipatam,

etc., were other towns where textiles were bleached in large quantities. Bleaching involved soaking of cloth (as in fine fabrics) or boiling it in a special solution. After this it was washed and dried. Indigo was used for bleaching (whitening).Dyeing and printing also became specialized profession. Rangrez (dyers) had specialized in it and were considered a separate caste. Vegetable dyes were generally used. Red dye was produced by chay or lac and blue by using indigo.


Silk was another important item for the manufacture of textiles. Abul Fazl mentionsKashmir where abundant silk textile was produced. Patna and Ahmedabad wereknown for silk fabrics. Banaras was equally famous. In the seventeenth century,

Bengal produced the largest amount of raw silk which was exported abroad as well as to other parts of India. In Bengal silk fabrics were manufactured at Qasimbazarand Murshidabad. Around the middle of the 17th century, the total annual production was estimated around 2.5 million pounds. Around .75 million pounds were carried away in raw form by the Dutch alone. In 1681, the London silk weaverspetitioned to the British Parliament to ban its import by the English East India Company. The import of Bengal silk fabrics was stopped in 1701. Nevertheless, Bengal remained the premier centre in India for producing silk textiles and raw silk.


Wool was another important material used for manufacturing textiles. The most famous was the Kashmiri shawl, exported all over the world. The fine wool used in these shawls was imported from Tibet. Akbar promoted its manufacture at Lahore but it could not match the quality of Kashmiri shawls. Finer varieties of woolen textiles were generally brought in by the Europeans for the upper classes. Blanket were made from wool almost all over North India.

Other textile items included cotton durries, carpets (of silk and wool), tents and quilts, etc. Carpet weaving was yet another branch of textile production. Bihar(Daudnagar, Obra, etc.), Delhi, Agra, Lahore and Mirzapur were famous centers in the north. Warangal in the south was also famous for carpet weaving. The carpet weaving was also done in Masulipatam along the Caromandal coast. The output ofcarpet weaving was not very large and Persian carpets continued to be in use. Akbar took special interest in developing the manufacture of silk carpets in the royal Karkhana after the Persian variety.

The tents used mostly by royal establishment and nobles were also manufactured. Abul Fazl mentions eleven types of tents. Their size varied a great deal.

Embroidery on all types of textiles with cotton, silk or silver and gold thread was also an allied craft. Large numbers of craftsmen were involved in it.

QNO11:-Give a brief account of the nature of Islamic theory of taxation. To what exant the Turks and the Mughals implemented the Islamic practices? OR Critically examine the methods of assessment under the Mughals with special reference to zabt.

ANS:-Zakat is the only tax an Islamic government can impose upon its Muslim citizens. It is not merely a charity fund but can be spent on the collective needs of the people as well: The zakat money can be used to pay the salaries of all government officials including that of the head of state, to build all works of public interest, to cater for defense requirements and to establish an Islamic system of Insurance. In short, the system of zakat envisaged by the Qur’ān and Sunnah totally meets the requirements of running a welfare state. Unfortunately, the true concept of zakat has over, the years, altogether vanished from our religio-political scenario. This dissertation is a humble attempt to revive this concept and as such a modest contribution towards the re-establishment of an Islamic Economic Order.

The historian’s pen bears witness that man has continued to stumble over the issue of the relationship between a state and its subjects ever since the creation of the first polity at the dawn of civilizational history. In this regard, the right of a state to levy taxes on its public, in particular, has created an unending rift between the rulers and the ruled. An institution which apparently began as a voluntary contribution by the people to relieve a few individuals of their financial responsibilities and entrust them with the development and progress of their collectivity gradually became the most effective means of their own exploitation and persecution.

Taxes were, probably, first imposed in ancient Palestine. The secession of the ten tribes of Israel as recorded in the Biblical Book of the Kings was to an important extent a response to punitive taxation. The ancient empires of Egypt and Babylon obtained revenues from public lands and extracted levies in kind, in the form of forced labour and personal servitude or as a share in the produce of private lands. In Athens, at the time of Pericles, taxes were imposed largely on foreigners and slaves. One who was taxed but failed to pay was guilty of a capital offense. In Rome, along with custom taxes and custom duties, there were certain ‘direct’ taxes. The principal of these was the tributum paid by the citizens and usually levied on as a head tax; later when additional revenue was required the base of this tax was extended to real estate holdings. In the reign of the emperor Augustus (27 BC–14 AD) land and inheritance taxes became a familiar aspect of Roman economic life. Subsequent emperors raised rates and included more and more objects in taxable items: wheat, barley, oil, meat, wood, salt, sales, bachelors and even urinals.

As the Western civilization moved into agrarian feudalism, the principal source of revenue of the governing feudal lord became the rents paid by his vassals in exchange for Military protection he gave them. The Normans brought this system to England in 1066. When King John (1167-1216) tried to enlarge royal power and income with new levies, the feudal nobility rose against him. In 1215, when the barons imposed the Magna Carta on the king, the first principle of modern taxation arose: taxes are to be imposed only by the consent of the governed. It was, however, centuries later before this right came to be formally established—and that too to no avail.

During the middle ages, kings derived most of their income from their feudal holdings, and generally needed to levy taxes only to pay for their extensive wars. Because, ordinarily, such taxes could be collected only with the consent and aid of the nobles and other large landholders, monarchs found it necessary to call these landholders into session to approve such taxation. These sessions of landlords subsequently evolved into parliaments and other legislative bodies. In 1628, the petition of rights deprived the crown of Britain to levy taxes without the consent of the parliament. However, this right, though contributed to a marginal development for the citizens of Britain, subsequently started a bloody struggle elsewhere: The American Revolution was triggered by public resentment over the Stamp Act imposed by the British Parliament in 1765, after the Seven Year’s War. Requiring the colonists to pay fees to Britain, this act called forth protests against ‘taxation without representation’ and was subsequently revoked by the British Parliament. However, tariff duties imposed thereafter on tea and other articles rekindled the protest. The ensuing Boston Tea Party hastened the advent of the American Revolution. A similar story may be told about France. Taxation during the years preceding the French Revolution had become exceedingly heavy with burdensome levies collected by both the king and the church. The taille, initially a broad based tax on the value of income from land, had come to be primarily a tax on the poor farmers, with the nobility, the clergy and the wealthy largely exempted. A regressive system of customs and excise duties also imposed a heavy burden falling primarily on the poor. The taxes were used for financing lavish court expenditures. It is not surprising, therefore, that taxes became a major dissatisfaction with the old regime that culminated in the French Revolution of 1789.

Near the end of the eighteenth century, when the Scottish economist Adam Smith set forth his famous four canons1 about taxation in his celebrated treatise “The Wealth of Nations”, mankind thought that it had finally found the solution to the whole problem. Later Ricardo in his “Principles of Political Economy and Taxation”, and Mill in his “Principles of Political Economy” further developed the thought of Smith in an effort to formulate an ultimate taxation structure acceptable both to the tax imposer and the tax payer alike. The leading writer in the field around the turn of the century was E.R.A. Seligman. In his major work “The Shifting and Incidence of Taxation” (1892), and “Progressive Taxation in Theory and Practice” (1894), he developed the ‘ability-to-pay’ criterion and developed a persuasive theoretical justification for progressive income taxes. Seligman, however, admitted that the ‘ability-to-pay’ doctrine cannot specify a definite rate of progression as the ideally just rate. In recent years, Richard Musgrave of the Princeton University stands out prominently among those who have worked on this problematic issue.

  1. “1) One should be taxed according to the ability to pay.

2) The tax should be certain and not arbitrary.

3) The tax should be levied at a time and in a manner most convenient for the tax payer.

4) The tax should be devised so that costs of collection are minimal.”

However, all this intellectual effort,  which  though  formally bagan with Adam Smith in 1776 and was actually initiated as early as in 1470 by an Italian Diomede Crafa1, has repeatedly failed to settle this conflict between the state and its citizens. The taxpayer’s revolt in I979 in the USA is a recent example of this rivalry which continues unabated to this day.

…fourteen hundred years ago Islam had solved this problem once and for all. While acknowledging the institution of taxation as the most natural agency to run a state, it took away the right to impose taxes from man and divinely ordained the statutes of this institution. It laid down in bold the principles of taxation because they were actually beyond the reach of human intellect: the above mentioned history of taxation clearly testifys to this fact. Furthermore, Islam declared zakat, its institution of taxation, an obligatory act of worship, thereby completely transforming the attitude of the people towards it. Instead of being considered as a burden it became a wholeheartedly acknowledged religious obligation!

This brings us to the Islamic concept of zakat. We shall discuss the principles of this institution set forth by the Qur’ān and Sunnah in three sections:

(1) The Nature of Zakat.

(2) The Heads of Zakat.

(3) The Rates of Zakat.

We now take up these in order:

(1) The Nature of Zakat

According to the Qur’ān, zakat has a dual nature: (a) intrinsic and (b) extrinsic.

(a) The Intrinsic Nature: Viewed thus, zakat is an act of worship. This is evident from a number of Qur’ānic verses in which it is mentioned adjacent to salat (prayer), the most important form of worship. The word ‘zakat’ means both ‘to purify’ and ‘to grow’: paying zakat purifys one’s wealth and soul, and it actually increases ones wealth in his afterlife. The Qur’ān stresses both these aspects of zakat:

“[O Prophet!] Take zakat out of their wealth—thou would cleanse them and purify them thereby.”

and “That which ye give in riba in order that it many increase on [other] people’s wealth has no increase with Allah; but that which you give as zakat, seeking Allah’s countenance, it is these people who will get manifold [in the Hereafter] of what they gave.” (30:39)

(b) The Extrinsic Nature: Viewed thus, it is the only tax an Islamic State can impose on its Muslim subjects. While declaring the requisites of citizenship of an Islamic State, the Qur’ān says:

“And if they repent [from all un-Islamic beliefs], establish salat and pay zakat, leave them alone.”

The above verse clearly points out that salat and zakat are part of the public law of an Islamic State, and the only two things which an Islamic government can positively demand from its Muslim citizens. As far as zakat is concerned, after a Muslim has paid it to the government, not a single penny can be further exacted from him. This is further illustrated by the following two traditions:

“There is no [legal] share [for the society] in the wealth [of people] except zakat.” (Ibni Maajah: Kitab-uz-Zakat)And “After you have paid the zakat of your wealth you have paid [all] that was [legally] required of you.” (Ibni Maajah: Kitab-uz-Zakat)

In this regard, the severe warning sounded by the Prophet (sws) to those who impose taxes other than those ordained by the Almighty must also be kept in mind:

“No tax-imposer shall enter paradise.” (Abu-Daud: Kitab-ul-Khiraj)

(2) Heads of Zakat

The following Qur’ānic verse spells out the heads under which the zakat fund can be expended:

“Zakat is only for the poor and the needy, and for those who are ‘aamils over it, and for those whose hearts are to be reconciled [to the truth], and for the emancipation of the slaves and for those who have been inflicted with losses and for the way of Allah and for the wayfarers.”

We take up these heads in order:

1) The Poor and Needy (Fuqaraa and Masaaqeen): The poor and the needy are the foremost recipients of zakat because they are the primary responsibility of the state. It must cater for their basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, health and education. In this regard, the Prophet (sws) is said to have said:

“It [ie zakat] should be taken from their rich and returned to their poor.” (Bukhari, Kitab-uz-Zakat)

2) The ‘Aamils over Zakat (‘aamileen-a-’alaihaa): Under this head, the salaries of all employees of the government including the head of the state can be paid.

3) Those whose hearts are to be reconciled (Muallafatul Quloob): Under this head come all forms of political expenditure in the interest of Islam. There may be many instances, when the affection of certain influential people must be obtained, particularly in border areas where their role can be decisive in the safety of a country. During the time of the Prophet (sws) many tribes were given money under this head to deter them from harming the newly founded Islamic State.

4) Slaves (riqaab): The institution of slavery was totally eliminated by Islam fourteen centuries ago. From this particular head money was given to free slaves. Today, by analogy, this head can be extended to include other recipients. For example, prisoners of war and other prisoners who are unable to pay the fine imposed by the courts can be freed by giving money through this head.

5) Those inflicted with losses (Ghaarimeen): Under this head, an Islamic system of Insurance can be established and all those who are inflicted with economic losses can be compensated. Whether rich or poor the real criterion is that their means of living and its role in the national economy have been destroyed. People who have acquired a loan and are unable to pay it back may also be helped from this money so that they may start afresh and the society can benefit from their abilities.

6) In the Way of Allah (Fee Sabeelillaah): Under this head defence expenditures of a state can be met and institutions for religious propagation as well as all works of public interest like roads, bridges, mosques, hospitals, educational institutions and libraries can be built.

7) The Wayfarer (Ibnussabeel): This implies the welfare of the wayfarer. Circumstances often make a traveller a needy person, in which case, his needs can be fulfilled from this head.

(3) Rates of Zakat

Before we mention the rates of zakat, a mention seems necessary of the items which are exempt from zakat. Nothing except the following three are exempt:

(i) Means of production: eg. Tools, machinery etc.

(ii) Personal items of daily use: eg. Personal belongings like, house, car etc.

(iii) A fixed quantity called nisaab.

However, an Islamic government can give ralaxation on any item in the interest of the public or because of any constraint in the collection of zakat on a particular item.

As far as the various rates of zakat are concerned, three distinct categories can be classified:

  1. Wealth: After deducting the nisaab and taking into consideration other exemptions mentioned above, the wealth of a person, shall be taxed annually at the rate of 2%. Tax on trade capital shall also be levied at the same rate by considering this capital to be the sum of cash in hand and cash in trade.
  2. Produce: Zakat on produce is deducted at the time of produce and depending upon the various items has three rates: 5%; 10%; 20%
  3. i) 5%: On items which are produced by the interaction of both labour and capital: eg. Produce from irrigated lands and industrial produce from factories.
  4. ii) 10%: On items which are produced such that the major factor in producing them is either labour or capital, but not both. Examples of the former include an artist’s creation like paintings and the works of scholars and intellectuals, while examples of the latter include rented houses, and produce from rainy lands.

iii) 20%: On items which are produced neither as a result of labour nor capital but are actually a gift of God, eg treasure etc.

  1. Animals: Only those animals which are bred and reared for the purpose of trade and business are subject to zakat. The details of the rates of zakat on animals can be consulted from any book of fiqh.

This is the concept of zakat envisaged by the Qur’ān and Sunnah. From the above details it is clear that zakat is the only tax which an Islamic government can impose on its Muslim subjects and that it is not merely a fund for the destitute. Moreover, since there is no basis for necessarily giving it in the possession of an individual (tamleek), it can be spent on the collective needs of the people as well.

However, after meeting the running expenses of a state, how the revenue needed for development should be obtained is an important question, and though it does not directly relate to our topic, yet keeping in view its profound importance, we end this dissertation while attempting to answer this question.

Revenue for Development

Before we proceed to answer this question, it is important to appreciate that Islam drastically reduces a major part of non-development expenditures of modern day states through a mandatory requirement for those in authority namely: their standard of living must be equal to that of a common man. Furthermore, Islam strictly enjoins the government to plan its expenditure according to its income. It totally forbids an economy which is based on debt, ie, planning a state’s expenditure beyond its income and covering the deficit  through other means. However, in emergency situations, the state has a right to appeal to its public for money. Of course, this appeal will only have an effect if the government has established its credibility, and history bears witness that whenever a state whose rulers and administrators lived like commoners and administrated justice appealed for wealth in times of need people presented them with all the wealth they could spare.

In our opinion, the above stated regulation about those in authority, the total elimination of interest in the economy and the imposition of the true concept of zakat will not only generate enough money to meet the running expenses of the state but a considerable amount for development as well. However, a major part of the revenue for development would be obtained by means of all state owned enterprises whose management would be transfered to the private sector through either or both of the following two modes: (i) selling a certain quantity of shares to the private sector, (ii) imposing kharaaj (tribute) on the party of the private sector which is entrusted with the job of management.

  1. His work “About the Office of the King and the Good Prince” (De regis et boni principis officio) gives financial questions more serious treatment than they had probably ever received before.
  2. On non-Muslims, however, who have become citizens of an Islamic state after being subdued through a war, Jazya and other taxes can be imposed.
  3. Consequently, Hadhrat Abu Bakr, when he waged war against those who were desisting to pay zakat stated unequivocally: ‘The Almighty has said: Hence if they repent, establish zakat and pay zakat, leave them alone. By God! I shall neither ask for more nor less.’ (“Ahkaam-ul-Qur’ān”, Jassaas, Vol 3, Pg 82)
  4. It must be borne in mind that the tradition ‘Indeed in the wealth [of people] there is a share [for the society]’, (Tirmazee: Kitab-uz-zakat) often quoted in favour of taxes other than zakat actually implies a different meaning: it urges a Muslim to spend as much as possible in the way of Allah after paying the mandatory amount ie zakat.
  5. If a need arises these personal belongings can be specified by an Islamic government and a law enacted on the basis of the Qur’ānic verse: ‘Eat and drink and do not commit excesses’ (7:31).
  6. Exactly on these grounds, to encourage the rearing and breeding of horses in Arabia, where camels were mostly used, the Prophet (sws) exempted horses from zakat. Similarly, vegetables were exempted from zakat because at that time there existed no arrangement for their storage over long periods of time.
  7. Zakat on industrial produce must, by analogy, also be imposed at the same rates as those of agricultural produce.
  8. It should be clear that the kharaaj imposed on land by Hadhrat Umar was not a tax but actually a form of rental income on state owned lands. Similarly, fai, khums and other similar sources of the Bait-ul-Maal are forms of state income and have nothing to do with taxation.
  9. For details see “Taudheehaat”, ‘Masala-i-Tamleek’, Amin Ahsan Islahi.
  10. Since this recommendation is actually an integral part of a proposed interest-free economic framework as formulated by our mentor, Mr Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, it would be appropriate to present the other relevant details of this framework as well. It is essentially based on the following three-faceted scheme:

(1) All institutions which provide capital on loan should be completely abolished, and all Banks should be converted into various branches of the Public Treasury (the Bait-ul-Maal), where people can deposit their savings. These branches shall provide protection, exchange and other similar facilities. In return for this service, the deposited money will be invested only in industrial, commercial, agricultural and welfare projects of the public sector with the precondition that without being given any profit on the original amount, the depositers would be returned their money whenever they demand it. This broad-based public sector shall be planned by the government keeping in view the collective requirement and welfare of all the people. It shall finance all projects which need huge investments as part of its basic obligation towards the public.

(2) The public sector so created shall not be run by the government. Leaving it in state ownership, its running and management shall be entrusted to the private sector by adopting either or both of the following two modes, depending upon the circumstances: (i) selling a certain quantity of shares to the private sector, (ii) imposing kharaaj (tribute) on the party of the private sector which is entrusted with the job of management. However, if necessary, the government can keep certain ventures of public interest, like the ordinance factories or the mass media under its own management.

(3) Individuals in the private sector who intend to set up their own business shall be freely allowed to do so. They can pool their money to form a joint venture and employ other means to procure funds. Joint Stock Companies can also play their role in the set up. However, no financial institution shall be allowed to mediate and advance loans. Also the only form of absentee partnership permitted would be one in which people can directly become shareholders in various projects of the private and public sector.

QNO12:-State briefly the pattern of land tax in south India. Compare it to that of Mughal land tax. OR Critically examine the nature of land tax during the medieval period. Access states attitude towards thaw peasants. OR Enumerate the taxes other than land tex.( most important).

ANS:-land tex formed the bulk of the state’s income. There existed regional variations with regard to the methods of revenue assessment and collection. States efforts were to maximize its revenue returns. Since land was in abundance it was in the interest of the state to keep the peasants tied to the land. State used to take all precautions to restrict peasant’s flight. In trying circumstances states efforts were to extend all possible help. In general the taxation was harsh and repressive especially for the small peasants across regions throughout the medieval period. State directly extracted the revenues in the khalisa territories but large portion was granted to the ruling elite in lieu of their salaries (jagir, moqasa, nayankara). For the effective working of the empire it was essential to keep this class of revenue grantees in complete check.

A land value tax (or site valuation tax) is a levy on the unimproved value of land. It is an ad valorem tax on land that disregards the value of buildings, personal property and other improvements but not the value due to the land’s location, such as proximity to a major highway or shopping complex. A land value tax (LVT) is different from other property taxes, because these are taxes on the whole value of real estate: the combination of land, buildings, and improvements to the site.

Land value taxes have been implemented in Taiwan (Republic of China), Singapore, Russia and Estonia, as well as in some localities in the American state of Pennsylvania, the Australian state of New South Wales and Mexicali, in Mexico. In 2010 the government of the Republic of Ireland announced a plan to introduce an LVT, beginning in 2013.

Economic effects

Most taxes distort economic decisions. If labor, buildings or machinery and plants are taxed, people are dissuaded from constructive and beneficial activities, and enterprise and efficiency are penalized due to the excess burden of taxation. This does not apply to LVT, which is payable regardless of whether or how well the land is actually used. Because the supply of land is inelastic, market land rents depend on what tenants are prepared to pay, rather than on the expenses of landlords, and so LVT cannot be directly passed on to tenants. The direct beneficiaries of incremental improvements to the surrounding neighborhood by others would be the land’s occupants, and absentee landlords would benefit only by virtue of price competition amongst present and prospective tenants for those incremental benefits; the only direct effect of LVT on prices in this case is to lower the unearned increment (reduce the amount of the socially generated benefit that is privately captured as an increase in the market price of the land). Put another way, LVT is often said to be justified for economic reasons because if it is implemented properly, it will not deter production, distort market mechanisms or otherwise create deadweight losses the way other taxes do. Nobel Prize winner William Vickrey believed that “removing almost all business taxes, including property taxes on improvements, excepting only taxes reflecting the marginal social cost of public services rendered to specific activities, and replacing them with taxes on site values, would substantially improve the economic efficiency of the jurisdiction.” A correlation between the use of LVT at the expense of traditional property taxes and greater market efficiency is predicted by economic theory, and has been observed in practice.

Practical issues

There are several practical issues involved in the implementation of a land value tax. Most notably, it needs to be:

  • Calculated fairly and accurately,
  • High enough to raise sufficient revenue without causing land abandonment, and
  • Billed to the correct person or business entity.

Land Tax

Land Tax is an Ad valorem tax which is Latin that means “according to value.” Thus, an ad valorem tax is a tax based on the value of something. Typically, in the United States, we think of real estate taxes when we hear the term. Ad valorem taxes are generally imposed at one of two times. At the time of a transaction – in this sense typical “sales taxes” are ad valorem taxes – or on a recurring basis, such as annual real estate tax also known as a land tax, land value tax or property tax.

Components of Land Taxes

There are several components to the calculation of a land tax. First, there is the rate of taxation to be imposed. This rate is imposed by whatever governmental group is granted the power to levy the land value tax. In most jurisdictions, real property taxes are used to fund the budgets of several different government entities such as counties, fire districts, school districts, cities, or states.

The second component is, of course, the value of the land. Since values of real property can fluctuate, the appraisal of the land must be done repeatedly. In more depressed economic times, the lower valuations of property lead to lower tax collections, and thus can strain governmental budgets and limit services available to the public. The party making the valuations is sometimes called the “tax assessor” which is something of a misnomer. He is neither assessing what the tax should be nor who should pay it. He is simply assessing, or appraising, the value of the land.

The third factor in deciding the amount of the land tax to be paid is the nature or use of the land. For instance, a distinction may be made in the jurisdiction between the rates and the assessments for residential and commercial property. Schools, churches or non-profits may all be taxed differently. The final factor in determining the land taxes are the exemptions, if any, granted. Some states allow a homestead exemption for the primary home of a resident. Sometimes special exemptions are given to the elderly or disabled. Some exemptions are granted to attract large businesses to the areas. Usually these exemptions deduct a certain amount from the valuation of the property before the land tax rate is imposed.

QNO13:-Discuss the growth of Artillery under the Mughals.

ANS;-Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons. These engines comprise specialised devices which use some form of stored energy to operate, whether mechanical, chemical, or electromagnetic. Originally designed to breach fortifications, they have evolved from nearly static installations intended to reduce a single obstacle to highly mobile weapons of great flexibility in which now reposes the greater portion of a modern army’s offensive capabilities.

In common speech the word artillery is often used to refer to individual devices, together with their accessories and fittings, although these assemblages are more properly referred to as equipments. By association, artillery may also refer to the arm of service that customarily operates such engines.

Artillery may also refer to a system of applied scientific research relating to the design, manufacture and employment of artillery weapon systems although, in general, the terms ballistics and ordnance are more commonly employed in this sense.

Artillery is by far the deadliest and most effective form of land-based armament; in the Napoleonic Wars, World War I and World War II the vast majority of combat deaths were caused by artillery. In 1944, Joseph Stalin said in a speech that artillery was “the God of War”. The most famous artillery officer in history is probably Napoleon; artillery officers in many European armies were distinguished by their excellent education, compared to their colleagues in the Infantry and Cavalry.

Although not called as such, machines recognizable as artillery have been employed in warfare since antiquity. The first references in the western historical tradition may be those of Hero of Alexandria c. AD 1C. but these devices were widely employed by the Roman Legions in Republican times well before the Christian era. Through much of their early history artillery was treated as part of the engineering art because the devices were often constructed mostly of local materials whenever needed and not permanently assembled. Until the introduction of gunpowder into western warfare artillery depended upon mechanical energy to operate and this severely limited the range and size of projectiles while also requiring the construction of very large apparatus to store sufficient energy.

For much of artillery’s history during the Middle Ages and the Early modern period, artillery pieces on land were moved with the assistance of horse teams. During the more recent Modern era and in the Post-Modern period the artillery crew has used wheeled or tracked vehicles as a mode of transportation. Artillery used by naval forces has changed significantly also, with missiles replacing guns in surface warfare.

QNO14:-In what ways respect Persian wheel and spinning wheel provided a big boost to the medieval economy? Analyze.

ANS:-The Persian wheel is a mechanical water lifting device operated usually by draught animals like bullocks, buffaloes or camels. It is used to lift water from water sources typically open wells. In Sanskrit the word Araghatta has been used in the ancient texts to describe the Persian Wheel. The ‘ara-ghatta’ comes from the combination of the words ‘ara’ meaning spoke and ‘ghatta’ meaning pot.

There is evidence to argue that this system of lifting water from open wells was probably invented in the India of the past. With its use also in Iran, the then Persia, and perhaps its discovery there, it came to be called the Persian wheel. The celebrated writer philosopher Ananda K Coomaraswamy in his monograph ‘The Persian Wheel’ argues that it is not justified to draw its origins to Persia as it finds mention in the Panchatantra (3rd Century BCE) and the Rajatarangini (12 th century CE) as the ‘cakka-vattakka’ or the ‘ghati yantra’.

The word ‘araghatta’ itself became to be called the rahat or reghat in North India, a name by which it is known even now. The Araghattikka or arahattiyanara describes the person or animal working the Araghatta and this description was extensively used in the twelfth century. Usually men, bullocks, elephants or camels did the job of moving in circles to lift water.

The Persian Wheel is perhaps actually the Indian Wheel. The ‘ara-ghatta’ was a leap in the hydraulics of agriculture and represented technological progress in the voluminous use of water. Extensive irrigation must have become possible through the use of animal power and this technological development would have helped extend irrigation to larger tracts of land.

But falling water tables have made the Persian wheel redundant as well as the arrival of the electric pumps, their greater yield and cost efficiencies.

However, the Persian wheel represents a water culture and water heritage of India. It therefore seems imperative to document and preserve the knowledge base around this instrument which was both a function and an indicator of the ecological availability of water at shallow levels.

It seems necessary to work with farmers to ensure efficient use of water and allow the Persian wheel -a symbol of sustainable and carbon free water use- to continue its existence. Because, with its disappearance, would go a water culture and history at least 1200 years old.

Spinning wheel

A spinning wheel is a device for spinning thread or yarn from natural or synthetic fibers.

The earliest clear illustrations of the spinning wheel come from Baghdad (drawn in 1237), China (c. 1270) and Europe (c. 1280), and there is evidence that spinning wheels had already come into use in both China and the Islamic world during the eleventh century. According to Irfan Habib, the spinning wheel was introduced into India from Iran in the thirteenth century.

According to Mark Elvin, 14th century Chinese technical manuals describe an automatic water-powered spinning wheel. Comparable devices were not developed in Europe until the 18th century. However, it fell into disuse when fiber production shifted from hemp to cotton. It was forgotten by the 17th century. The decline of the automatic spinning wheel in China is an important part of Elvin’s high level equilibrium trap theory to explain why there was no indigenous industrial revolution in China despite its high levels of wealth and scientific knowledge.

The spinning wheel replaced the earlier method of hand spinning with a spindle. The first stage in mechanizing the process was mounting the spindle horizontally so it could be rotated by a cord encircling a large, hand-driven wheel. The great wheel is an example of this type, where the fiber is held in the left hand and the wheel slowly turned with the right. Holding the fiber at a slight angle to the spindle produced the necessary twist. The spun yarn was then wound onto the spindle by moving it so as to form a right angle with the spindle. This type of wheel, while known in Europe by the 14th century, was not in general use until later. It ultimately was used there to spin a variety of yarns until the beginning of the 19th century and the mechanization of spinning.

In general, the spinning technology was known for a long time before being adopted by the majority of people, thus making it hard to fix dates of the improvements. In 1533, a citizen of Brunswick is said to have added a treadle, by which the spinner could rotate her spindle with one foot and have both hands free to spin. Leonardo da Vinci drew a picture of the flyer, which twists the yarn before winding it onto the spindle. During the 16th century a treadle wheel with flyer was in common use, and gained such names as the Saxony wheel and the flax wheel. It sped up production, as one needn’t stop spinning to wind up the yarn.

In the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution had a big effect on the spinning industry by beginning to mechanize the spinning wheel. Lewis Paul and John Wyatt first worked on the problem in 1738, patenting the Roller Spinning machine and the flyer-and-bobbin system, for drawing wool to a more even thickness. Using two sets of rollers that traveled at different speeds, yarn could be twisted and spun quickly and efficiently. However, they did not have much financial success. In 1771, Richard Arkwright used waterwheels to power looms for the production of cotton cloth, his invention becoming known as the water frame.

More modern spinning machines use a mechanical means to rotate the spindle, as well as an automatic method to draw out fibers, and devices to work many spindles together at speeds previously unattainable. Newer technologies that offer even faster yarn production include friction spinning, an open-end system, and air jets.

Importance: direct and secondary

The spinning wheel increased the productivity of thread making by a factor of greater than 10. Medieval historian Lynn White credited the spinning wheel with increasing the supply of rags, which led to cheap paper, which was a factor in the development of printing.

QNO15:- Critically analyze the technology used in handling the basic tools and precision instruments during the medieval period.

ANS:-Medieval technology refers to the technology used in medieval Europe under Christian rule. After the Renaissance of the 12th century, medieval Europe saw a radical change in the rate of new inventions, innovations in the ways of managing traditional means of production, and economic growth. The period saw major technological advances, including the adoption of gunpowder, the invention of vertical windmills, spectacles, mechanical clocks, and greatly improved water mills, building techniques (Gothic style, medieval castle), agriculture in general (three-field crop rotation).

The development of water mills from its ancient origins was impressive, and extended from agriculture to sawmill both for timber and stone. By the time of the Domesday Book, most large villages had turntable mills, around 6,500 in England alone. Water-power was also widely used in mining for raising ore from shafts, crushing ore, and even powering bellows.

European technical advancements in the 12th to 14th centuries were either built on long-established techniques in medieval Europe, originating from Roman and Byzantine antecedents, or adapted from cross-cultural exchanges through trading networks with the Islamic world, China, and India. Often, the revolutionary aspect lay not in the act of invention itself, but in its technological refinement and application to political and economic power. Though gunpowder had long been known to the Chinese, it was the Europeans who developed and perfected its military potential, precipitating European expansion and eventual imperialism in the Modern Era.

Also significant in this respect were advances in maritime technology. Advances in shipbuilding included the multi-masted ships with lateen sails, the sternpost-mounted rudder and the skeleton-first hull construction. Along with new navigational techniques such as the dry compass, the Jacob’s staff and the astrolabe, these allowed economic and military control of all seas adjacent to Europe and enabled the global navigational achievements of the dawning Age of Exploration.

At the turn to the Renaissance, Gutenberg’s invention of mechanical printing made possible a dissemination of knowledge to a wider population, that would not only lead to a gradually more egalitarian society, but one more able to dominate other cultures, drawing from a vast reserve of knowledge and experience. The technical drawings of late medieval artist-engineers Guido da Vigevano and Villard de Honnecourt can be viewed as forerunners of later Renaissance works such as Taccola or da Vinci.

Civil technologies

In the following, a list of some important medieval technology. The approximate date or first mention of a technology in Medieval Europe is given. Technologies were often a matter of cultural exchange and date and place of first inventions are not listed here (see main links for a more complete history of each).


Heavy plough :The heavy wheeled plough with a mouldboard first appears in the 5th century in Slavic lands, is then introduced into Northern Italy (the Po Valley) and by the 8th century it was used in the Rhineland. Essential in the efficient use of the rich, heavy, often wet soils of Northern Europe, its use allowed the area’s forests and swamps to be brought under cultivation.

Hops :Added to beer, importance lay primarily in its ability to preserve beer and improve transportability for trade.

Horse collar :Multiple evolutions from Classical Harness (Antiquity), to Breast Strap Harness (6th) to Horse collar (9th). Allowed more horse pulling power, such as with heavy ploughs.

Horseshoes :Allowed horse to adapt to non-grassland terrains in Europe (rocky terrain, mountains) and carry heavier loads. Possibly known to the Romans and Celts as early as 50 BC.

Wine press :First practical means of applying pressure on a plane surface. The principle later used for printing press.

Architecture and construction

Artesian well :A thin rod with a hard iron cutting edge is placed in the bore hole and repeatedly struck with a hammer; underground water pressure forces the water up the hole without pumping. Artesian wells are named after the town of Artois in France, where the first one was drilled by Carthusian monks in 1126.

Central heating through under floor channels :In the early medieval Alpine upland, a simpler central heating system where heat travelled through underfloor channels from the furnace room replaced the Roman hypocaust at some places. In Reichenau Abbey a network of interconnected underfloor channels heated the 300 m² large assembly room of the monks during the winter months. The degree of efficiency of the system has been calculated at 90%.

Rib vault :Essential element for the rise of Gothic architecture. Allowed vaults to be built for the first time over rectangles of unequal lengths. Also greatly facilitated scaffolding. Largely replaced older groin vault.

Segmental arch bridge :The Ponte Vecchio in Florence is considered medieval Europe’s first stone segmental arch bridge.

Treadwheel crane :Earliest reference to a tread wheel in archival literature in France about 1225, followed by an illuminated depiction in a manuscript of probably also French origin dating to 1240. Apart from tread-drums, windlasses and occasionally cranks were employed for powering cranes.

Stationary harbor crane :Stationary harbor cranes are considered a new development of the Middle Ages, its earliest use being documented for Utrecht in 1244. The typical harbor crane was a pivoting structure equipped with double tread wheels. There were two types: wooden gantry cranes pivoting on a central vertical axle and stone tower cranes which housed the windlass and tread wheels with only jib arm and roof rotating. These cranes were placed docksides for the loading and unloading of cargo where they replaced or complemented older lifting methods like see-saws, winches and yards. Slewing cranes which allowed a rotation of the load and were thus particularly suited for dockside work appeared as early as 1340.

Crane: Beside the stationary cranes, floating cranes which could be flexibly deployed in the whole port basin came into use by the 14th century.

Mast crane:Some harbour cranes were specialized at mounting masts to newly built sailing ships, such as in Danzig, Cologne and Bremen.

Wheelbarrow :Proved useful in building construction, mining operations, and agriculture. Literary evidence for the use of wheelbarrows appeared between 1170 and 1250 in North-western Europe. First depiction in a drawing by Matthew Paris in the middle of the 13th century.


Oil paint :As early as the 13th century, oil was used to add details to tempera paintings. Major breakthrough by Flemish painter Jan van Eyck around 1410 who is credited with introducing a stable oil mixture.


Hourglass :Reasonably dependable, affordable and accurate measure of time. Unlike water in a clepsydra, the rate of flow of sand is independent of the depth in the upper reservoir, and the instrument is not liable to freeze. Hourglasses are a medieval innovation (first documented in Siena, Italy).

Mechanical clocks :A European innovation, these weight-driven clocks were used primarily in clock towers.


Compound crank:The Italian physician Guido da Vigevano combines in his 1335 Texaurus, a collection of war machines intended for the recapture of the Holy Land, two simple cranks to form a compound crank for manually powering war carriages and paddle wheel boats. The devices were fitted directly to the vehicle’s axle respectively to the shafts turning the paddle wheels.


Blast furnace :European cast iron first appears in Middle Europe (for instance Lapphyttan in Sweden, Dürstel in Switzerland and the Märkische Sauerland in Germany) around 1150, in some places according to recent research even before 1100.  Technique considered to be an independent European development.


Paper mill :The first certain of a water-powered paper mill, evidence for which is elusive in both Chinese and Muslim papermaking, dates to 1282.

Rolling mill :Used on producing metal sheet of even thickness. First used on soft, malleable metals, such as lead, gold and tin. Leonardo da Vinci described rolling mill for wrought iron.

Tidal Mills :The earliest tide mills were excavated on the Irish coast where watermillers knew and employed the two main waterwheel types: a 6th century tide mill at Killoteran near Waterford was powered by a vertical waterwheel, while the tide changes at Little Island were exploited by a twin-flume horizontal-wheeled mill (c. 630) and a vertical undershot waterwheel alongside it. Another early example is the Nendrum Monastery mill from 787 which is estimated to have developed 7–8 HP at its peak.

Vertical windmills :Invented in Europe as the pivotable post mill, first surviving mention of one comes from Yorkshire in England in 1185. Efficient at grinding grain or draining water. Later also as the stationary tower mill.

Water hammer :Used in metallurgy on forging the metal blooms from bloomeries and Catalan forges. Replaced manual hammerwork. Eventually superseded by steam hammers in the 19th century.


Dry Compass :The first mention of the directional compass is in Alexander Neckam’s On the Natures of Things, written in Paris around 1190. Either transmitted from China or the Arabs or an independent European innovation. Dry compass invented in the Mediterranean around 1300.

Astronomical compass :The French scholar Pierre de Maricourt describes in his experimental study Epistola de magnete (1269) three different compass designs he has devised for the purpose of astronomical observation.

Stern-mounted rudders :First depiction of a pintle-and gudgeon rudder on church carvings dating to around 1180. First appeared with cogs in the North and Baltic Sea, quickly spread to Mediterranean. The iron hinge system was the first stern rudder permanently attached to the ship hull and made a vital contribution to the navigation achievements of the age of discovery and thereafter.

Printing, paper and reading

Movable type printing press :Invented by Johannes Gutenberg. His great innovation was not the printing itself, but instead of using readily-carved plates as before, he used separate letters (types) from which the printing plates for pages were made up. This meant the types were recyclable and a page cast could be made up far faster than with readily-carved plates.

Paper :Invented in China, transmitted through Islamic Spain to Europe in the 13th century where the papermaking processes were mechanized by water-powered mills and paper presses (see paper mill).

Spectacles :European innovation. Florence, Italy. Convex lenses, of help only to the far-sighted. Concave lenses were not developed prior to the 15th century.

Watermark :Medieval innovation to mark paper products and to discourage counterfeiting. First introduced in Bologna, Italy.

Science and learning

Arabic Numerals :First recorded mention in Europe 976, first widely published in 1202 by Fibonacci with his Liber Abaci.

University:The first medieval universities were founded between the 11th and 13th century leading to a rise in literacy and learning. By 1500, the institution had spread throughout most of Europe and played a key role in the Scientific Revolution. Today, the educational concept and institution has been globally adopted.

Textile industry and garments

Functional button :Buttons with buttonholes used to fasten or close garment, being the most convenient method before the introduction of the zipper, appear in the 13th century Germany as indigenous innovation. Became soon widespread with the rise of snug-fitting clothing.

Horizontal loom :Horizontal and operated by foot-treadles, faster and more efficient.

Silk :Manufacture of silk began in Eastern Europe in the 6th, in Western Europe in the 11th or 12th centuries. Imported over the Silk Road since antiquity. Technnology of “silk throwing” mastered in Tuscany in the 13th century. The silk works used waterpower and some regard these as the first mechanized textile mills.

Spinning wheel brought to Europe probably from India.


Chess ;The earliest predecessors of the game originated in 6th century AD India and spread via Persia and the Muslim world to Europe. Here the game evolved into its current form in the 15th century (see History of chess).

Forest glass :Type of glass which uses wood ash and sand as the main raw materials and is characterized by a variety of greenish-yellow colours.

Grindstones :Rough stone, usually sandstone, used to sharpen iron. The first rotary grindstone (turned with a leveraged handle) occurs in the Utrecht Psalter, illustrated between 816 and 834. According to Hägermann, the pen drawing is a copy of a late antique manuscript. A second crank which was mounted on the other end of the axle is depicted in the Luttrell Psalter from around 1340.

Liquor :Alcohol distillation by way of Islamic alchemists initially used as medicinal elixir. Popular remedy for the Black Death during the 14th century; “national” drinks like vodka, gin, brandy come into form.

Magnets :First reference in the Roman d’Enéas, composed between 1155 and 1160.

Mirrors :First mention of “glass” mirror in 1180 by Alexander Neckham who said “Take away the lead which is behind the glass and there will be no image of the one looking in.”

Illustrated surgical atlas

Guido da Vigevano (ca. 1280−1349) was the first author to add illustrations to his anatomical descriptions. His Anathomia provides pictures of neuroanatomical structures and techniques such as the dissection of the head by means of trephination, and depictions of the meninges, cerebrum, and spinal cord.

Quarantine :Initially a 40-day-period, the Quarantine was introduced by the Republic of Ragusa as measure of disease prevention related to the Black Death. Later adopted by Venice from where the practice spread all around in Europe.

Rat traps :First mention of a rat trap in the medieval romance Yvain, the Knight of the Lion by Chrétien de Troyes.

Soap :Soap came into widespread European use in the 9th century in semi-liquid form, with hard soap perfected by the Arabs in the 12th century.

QNO16:-Explain the term Wheeled transport?

ANS:-Wheels appear to have been developed in ancient Sumer in Mesopotamia around 5000 BC, perhaps originally for the making of pottery. Their original transport use may have been as attachments to travois or sleds to reduce resistance. It has been argued that logs were used as rollers under sleds prior to the development of wheels, but there is no archeological evidence for this. Most early wheels appear to have been attached to fixed axles, which would have required regular lubrication by animal fats or vegetable oils or separation by leather to be effective. The first simple two-wheel carts, apparently developed from travois, appear to have been used in Mesopotamia and northern Iran in about 3000 BC and two-wheel chariots appeared in about 2800 BC. They were hauled by onagers, related to donkeys.

Heavy four-wheeled wagons developed about 2500 BC, which were only suitable for oxen-haulage, and therefore were only used where crops were cultivated, particularly Mesopotamia. Two-wheeled chariots with spoked wheels appear to have been developed around 2000 BC by the Andronovo culture in southern Siberia and Central Asia. At much the same time the first primitive harness enabling horse-haulage was invented.

Wheeled-transport created the need for better roads. Generally natural materials cannot be both soft enough to form well-graded surfaces and strong enough to bear wheeled vehicles, especially when wet, and stay intact. In urban areas it began to be worthwhile to build stone-paved streets and, in fact, the first paved streets appear to have been built in Ur in 4000 BC. Corduroy roads were built in Glastonbury, England in 3300 BCand brick-paved roads were built in the Indus Valley Civilization on the Indian subcontinent from around the same time. Improvements in metallurgy meant that by 2000 BC stone-cutting tools were generally available in the Middle East and Greece allowing local streets to be paved. Notably, in about 2000 BC, the Minoans built a 50 km paved road from Knossos in north Crete through the mountains to Gortyn and Lebena, a port on the south coast of the island, which had side drains, a 200 mm thick pavement of sandstone blocks bound with clay-gypsum mortar, covered by a layer of basaltic flagstones and had separate shoulders. This road could be considered superior to any Roman road.

QNO17:-Write a detailed note on the communication network in the northern part of India during the medieval period. OR Discuss the basic features of the organization of postal communication in Mughal India. OR What types of resting facilities were available to travelers? Elaborate.

ANS:-The period of Mughal rule in India left its indelible mark on not only the arts and culture of the land, but also laid the foundations of an organized postal administration in India. From a parochialistic system of postal governance, there emerged an expansive system of distinct regional operations controlled by a centralized postal authority.

Till early medieval period, postal communications was for exclusive sovereign usage spurred on by a military rationale. Initiated by the landmark postal reforms of Sher Shah Suri, the Mughal regime witnessed a gradual changeover to a communication mechanism merged with administrative restructuring.


The Diwan-i-Barid system of the Caliphate during 7th-11th century returned in a new progressive garb during the Mughal period. A similar postal communication termed the Mughal Dak Chawki system. However, this was not independent of the political administration as in the Barid service. The Dak Chawki system was a part of the Mughal governance.

The practice of division of work within the postal department started during the period of Barid service later became the hallmark of the Mughal Dak Chawki system. The Sahib-i-Barid and Sahib-i-Risalat took care of the military and provincial reportage, and correspondence section respectively. This translated into the Mughal-period ranks of Darogah-i-Dak Chawki who oversaw the entire postal and news gathering operations, and Secretaries or Munshis who headed the various postal operations.

While the Barid service was confined to a horse-relay post, the Dak Chawki system functioned on a three-tier level with mail runners, mounted couriers and horse-drawn carriages. The speed of these foot runners also surpassed that of mounted couriers, probably because of improved roads and security during the Mughal rule.

Whereas the Barid messengers were publicly appointed officers, only the mail runners, Darogah-i-Dak Chawki, and the nazir under the Mughal aegis, were appointed overtly. The others, namely Wagai Navis, Sawani Nigar and Khufia Navis were fixed secretly.

The earlier method of apportioning land to the postal officers was discontinued, and the postal employees including dak runners were paid salaries in the Dak Chawki system.

In the past, the communication routes were traditionally dependent upon the military agenda, but during the Mughal chapter, they developed in synergy with the administrative machinery.

However, the former extensive use of waterway routes, along rivers and seas, finds no reference in studies relating to the Mughal period.

A Rundown of Postal Communications during Mughal period

The process of radical development begun by Sher Shah Suri with 3000 miles of communication network was further expanded by the Mughals. Feeder routes synchronised with the district or provincial layout served the postal system, with Dak Chawkis dotting the route at fixed intervals.

The structure was developed as a centralised postal machinery with nodal agencies called Dak Chawkis, chaired by the Darogah-i-Dak Chawki who supervised the entire operations. While all Darogahs and postal officials were accountable to him, the Darogah-i-Dak Chawki was answerable only to the royal office.

The Dak Chawki system was divided into separate departments that operated independently, servicing the needs of security, intelligence, supervision and military. Thus, communication needs were categorized according to urgency, secrecy and nature of missive. Modes of conveyance and division of postal work were also fixed accordingly.

Chief modes of communication were the mail runner, horse carrier or special speedy horse carriages drawn by fast-paced stallions, used at times of grave importance and emergency.

References to the use of royal pigeons and camels have also been found. Though camels and camel caravans were used primarily in desert areas, camels were also used in non-desert zones, specifically for carrying royal or State mail. The introduction of pigeon post is attributed to Akbar, and not Jahangir, as mentioned in several accounts. Pigeons were trained and housed in the royal palace, in the Kabutar-Khaana, found even today in the relics of Mughal palaces. They were used to carry urgent missives over short distances, exclusively for royal purpose. The practice continued to be favoured by Jahangir who extended its use to special occasions.

The racial profile of mail runners was confined to mewras or sturdy messengers belonging to lower strata of the caste system or tribal origin.

The postal work was assigned and processed by the departments of waqai navis, sawanih navis , khufia navis and dak runner. (See Part 9 for details) All postal staff except the mail runner, was accorded the rank of mansabdar, with army-type gradations. Their ranks, promotions and degradations were conveyed vide dastaks.

Categorization of state correspondence was done to ensure speedy transmission and efficiency in administration – farmans, shuqque, nishan,hasb-ul-hukum, sanad, parwanah and dastak.

This is the first time we find mention of parcels being carried as part of regular mail service. These mostly contained documents or records, and sometimes personal requirements of the ruler.

Postal rules and reforms were created. The procedure of frequent transfer of postal officials started by Babar continued throughout the Mughal regime. Jahangir’s construction of a pillar at every kos with a sign, and a well at every 3 kos, served as milestones along the routes. Aurangazeb’s introduction of the rule that a dak runner cover a fixed travel distance or be penalized is an example of the stringent measures established in the 17th century.

While transparency was introduced with a system of an open register in public offices for record of all information and reports reaching through dak chawkis, there were plenty of undercover operations and recruits involved at the same time.

Security was provided by the Subedars and Kotwals of the districts, who provided escorts and ensured safe passage through their province. To this effect, the dak runners carried a written permit duly endorsed and sealed by the Darogah-i-Dak Chawki on his outward journey. For his return passage, he carried a similar permit sanctioned by the Sawanih Navis. These permits were an obligation upon the provincial faujdar, zamindar and thanedar to render their utmost co-operation and protection to the dak runners.
Babar introduced a mathematical dimension to road mapping. The precise measurements adopted by the royal clerks called tamaghachis set the precedence for calculation of mileage thereafter.

The Dak Chawki system was initially restricted to royal and official use. For urgent letters people had to make their own arrangements at personal cost or await the arrival of the regular messengers and prevail upon them to carry the same. In fact, it was this random practice of the postal employees being subject to inducements by the common public, which compelled Babar to introduce the system of transfer.

News was conveyed through an efficient channel of confidential reports, supplied daily, bi-weekly and weekly by different agencies acting independently. This system ruled out erroneous information reaching the ruler, not only because of the inbuilt cross-checks but also by giving the emperor different perspectives to a situation.

Besides the news reports, weekly cash statements of the dewan and administrative dispatches by the district governor, were also conveyed vide this dak system.

The Akhbar Navis system organized by Akbar set off the nascent form of the newspaper. The waqai submitted by the wakai navis (official news reporters/ news writers) were in fact, periodical summaries of the regular communiqué. These gradually evolved into periodical newsletters. The era also saw the emergence of the official ante-typographic newspapers, which were indeed the confidential reports and special newsletters devised for instant perusal of the monarch.

From this, there emerged the akhbar, or private news periodicals, perhaps designed by the private postal operators. The contents were meant for public consumption and discussion. This was very much evident during the reign of Aurangazeb.

We also find evidences of the random private post co-existing with the Dak Chawki system. For instance the private messenger system operating from the bazaars of Patna, called Bazar kasids, and the private system at Merta. These were usually operated by the traders or businessmen serving the needs of commerce along pre-determined routes. However, exorbitant rates were charged for conveyance of such private mail.

Separate postal arrangements were made at times of war and military expeditions. Postal staff was appointed as required. A superintendent was allocated the responsibility of Ithminan Dak Chawkiyat Lashkar for management of military postal stations. His terms of appointment and working directives were also as per the situation, different from that of the regular Dak Chawki operations. Farmans, arzi waqaims and all communication between the emperor and army officials were however, delivered personally.

The system of proctectorates, like Bijapur and Golkonda, began with the signing of a Treaty called Inqiyad Nama. This meant that the importance of news transmission assumed grave importance to the Emperor, so news reporters and secret agents operated in such territories too. The simultaneous operation of a regular postal system within the protectorates and that of the median Dak Chawki system is a distinct feature of the Mughal period, post Deccan subjugation.

The parallel dak chawkis operating within these kingdoms subsequently became a part of the imperial network of dak chawkis, adopted by Aurangazeb. This perhaps paved the way to annexation of these kingdoms at a later stage.

Thus, with the extension of the Mughal dominion into the Deccan region of India, the Dak Chawki system stretched beyond Karnataka by the end of the Mughal rule.

Babar mostly continued along the lines of postal system designed by Sher Shah, with some further areas of delegation. It was particularly during the regime of Akbar that a structured postal system developed with a well-planned method. The roles and work of the postal department were well demarcated into the routine provincial reports and State correspondence on one hand, and the tri-furcated news-gathering sections on the other. Jahangir is noted for his extension of postal services and pigeon post to Bengal. While Aurangazeb’s rule ensured stringency in the postal methods and administration.

Thus it was in the early 16th century, that a systemic synergized two-way communication system began operations on a routine basis. In introspection, the Mughal period spanning two centuries, kick-started the process of an organized postal system in India that was later emulated by the Britishers, as mentioned by the author in Part 5.

QNO18:-Describe the key features of communication routes in the north India in the medieval period?

ANS:-Methods of communication during the medieval period were very limited. Without the use of television, telephone, radio, Internet or the postal service, correspondence took place in the form of letters delivered by private messenger. Letters were written on parchment (pieces of dried animal skin) with the use of ink and quill pen.

Books were very expensive in the Middle Ages, as each was written and illustrated by hand. A book consisted of a series of bound parchment leaves. Before the invention of the printing press, it took a team of scribes, illuminators and bookbinders a very long time to make a single book.

Book illumination was a very important art form during this time period, but faded in the 16th century with the invention of the printing press. Books were written primarily for the literate classes and the people wealthy enough to afford them: the nobility, merchant upper class and the church. The Book of Kells is a famous example of an illuminated manuscript that has survived to this day.

There are too many varieties of calligraphic and illumination styles to list. The reason for this is that calligraphy varies with each culture and with the time period in which it was used. The following are the characteristics of different types of calligraphy that students can incorporate in their own work:

  • In medieval times, to use special or grand letters in a document suggested power and authority.
  • Irish letters were the first medieval style. Their rounded shapes influenced later styles of calligraphy.
  • Modern handwriting is based on the italic style of writing. Italic was designed to be written quickly.

Illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages portrayed the meaning of the written words through illustration. Artists used shape, color and design to define the meaning behind the text. Usually the artists changed plant, animal and human images into abstract forms. Illuminated manuscripts are important to the history of art, but also to the history of books themselves. Books today are a direct descendent of illuminated manuscripts.


Most major roads in Hackney were established in medieval times, if not Roman, as in the case of Ermine Street (now Shoreditch High Street and Kingsland Road) and Old Street. Ermine Street was an important road northwards from the City. Mare Street was also an important route north and its name probably comes from the Middle English word ‘mere’ meaning boundary. The north of Mare Street, the Narrow Way, which ran through the old village of Hackney used to be called Church Street, due to the medieval church that stood there. The tower of the church, which dates from the 13th century, is still standing. Other roads known to have existed were Mill Lane (later Mill Field Lane), Well Street, Clapton Street and Dalston Lane.

Roads in medieval times were narrow and uneven and usually in poor condition. For this reason it was better to travel by foot if possible. Only the rich could afford horses anyway. As well as being ridden they were used to carry litters, which were couches that were stretchered between two horses or men.

The busiest traffic in London was on the River Thames. The Thames was the main transport route in London for heavy goods. By the fifteenth century caravels appeared, which were small fast ships with two or three masts which brought cargo from overseas. London’s first public transport was also on the Thames in the form of wherries which were small rowing boats. The City of London had only one bridge across the Thames and that was London Bridge. As well as being a busy thoroughfare and lined with houses and shops, London Bridge was also used to display the heads of criminals. This grisly scene is visible on the enhnaced panorama on the right.

Likewise there was only one bridge across the River Lea, at Temple Mills. Tolls were charged for navigating goods along some parts of River Lea. It was a major route for the transport of malt, corn, hay and other produce into London. Tolls were collected on behalf of the River Lea Commissioners, who were in charge of the river and whose office dates back to the fifteenth century, but they were not responsible for the bridge. In medieval times roads that carried national carriage were usually given money for repairs by the Crown. The maintenance of other roads and local bridges were the responsibility of local people and landowners. As traffic increased in the future this became an issue.

QNO19:-The 18th century was a century of universal decline. Comment. OR How would you view the 18th century in the context of the regions emerging as vibrant centers of Scio-economic activities. OR Examine the region centric approach of historians in the context of the 18th century. OR Analyze the state of Indian economy during the 18th century.

ANS:-The 18th century was marked by the decline of the Mughal Empire, giving rise to the emergence of several regional centers of power. Towards the middle of the century another factor came into the forefront with the establishment of the political power of the British East India Company, which had much dipper implications. The eighteenth century in India was an important period of transition and remains the subject of continuing debate among scholars of late medieval and modern Indian history. The two main debates on the eighteenth century are (1) the nature of transition from a centralized Mughal polity to the emergence of regional confederations, and (2) the nature of the transformation brought about by the increasing role of the English East India Company in the economic, commercial, and financial life of the subcontinent. This volume presents extracts and selections from the key interventions in the historiographical debates, along with an introduction and a bibliography, which provide a concise and useful survey of the field for the benefit of students.


The eighteenth century in India was characterized by two critical transitions which altered the structure of power and initiated important social and economic changes.

The first was the transition in the first half of the century from the Mughal Empire to the regional political orders. The second was the transition in the polity, society and economy. In the 18th century English East India Company steered its way to position of political dominance. The decline of the Mughal authority gave rise to the emergence of a number of independent kingdoms. In this question we will study the emergence of these independent kingdoms in different parts of the country. The aggressive

British policies affected the economic situation. The agricultural and non agricultural production was altered. The commercial activities also underwent changes.


The unity and stability of the Mughal Empire was shaken during the long and strong reign of Emperor Aurangzeb. However, in spite of setbacks and adverse circumstances the Mughal administration was still quite efficient and the Mughal army strongat the time of his death in 1707. This year is generally considered to separate the era of the great Mughals from that of the lesser Mughals. After the death of Aurangzeb the Mughal authority weakened, it was not in a position to militarily enforce its regulations in all parts of the empire. As a result many provincial governors started to assert their authority. In due course of time they gained independent status. At the same time many kingdoms which were subjugated by the Mughals also claimed their indolence. Some new regional groups also consolidated and emerged as political power with all these developments, the period between 1707 and 1761 (third battle of Panipat, where Ahmed Shah Abdali defeated the Maratha chiefs) witnessed resurgence of regional identity that buttressed both political and economic decentralization. At the same time, intraregional as well as interregional trade in local raw materials, artifacts, and grains created strong ties of economic interdependence, irrespective of political and military relations.


QNO20:-Analyze the chief characteristics of British Indian governments land policy. OR Discuss the reasons behind the introduction of the Permanent Settlement. What were its Scio- economic impacts? OR Critically examine the tenancy reforms by the British Indian government OR To what extent did British agrarian policy deepen the differentiation within the land rights.

ANS:-India’s invasion by the British brought about, in the course of time, a complete transformation in the country’s land tenure system. The East India Company experienced difficulty in its trading because the sale of British goods in India was insignificant. On the other hand, the exportation of gold and silver from England to pay for Indian goods was soon prohibited. The company found a solution by securing money from India to pay for Indian goods. It collected taxes for the Indian rulers which, in the beginning, brought revenues of only 10 % of the levied taxes, but, since the control over the amount of levied taxes became lax at the end of the Mogul period, its revenues increased. In addition, they were assigned areas as “jagir:°’ The decisive breakthrough came when, in 1765, the office of ‘dewan’ for Bengal, Orissa, and Bihar, namely the financial sovereignty for these areas, was assigned to the Company with the concession for levying taxes in exchange for a global sum of Rs. 2.6 million per annum.

After some time of experimentation, in 1793, Corwallis’ Permanent
Settlement brought a final regulation of the procedure for levying taxes,
which led to decisive changes in land tenure. The British did as if all the
land belonged to the state and was thus at their disposal. They registered
the local tax collectors, who were called zamindars, as owners of the land
in their district. These zamindars had to collect and deliver the taxes; the
amount was fixed at the beginning and remained the same permanently. To give them an incentive, they were free to decide how much to demand from the cultivators. On the other hand, the fixed lump tax sum was an incentive to put more land under cultivation and, thus, have more taxpayers in one region. In order to do so, one could rot bleed the individual farmers too much.

The right to the land conferred on the zamindars was alienable, rentable, and heritable. This meant the introduction of a complete novelty, in India. The privilege of utilizing land had become a saleable good. Those who had been cultivators until then obtained the status of ‘occupancy tenants.’ These occupancy rights were heritable and transferrable and were not tampered with as long as the holders paid their taxes. In contrast to these, the tenants who cultivated land owned by the tax collectors were” tenants at will’, i.e., they could be evicted.

In the beginning, there were hardly any problems. The scarcity of cultivators prevented the zamindars from demanding too high taxes. They were interested in attracting people to cultivate the land and, thus, to increase the number of tax payers in order to increase the difference between the revenues and the fixed amount that bad to be remitted.

The detrimental consequences of recognizing the tax collectors as landlords and of introducing the legal institution of saleable private landed property first became evident as, later, considerable changes occurred in India in the demographic and economic situation. The industrial revolution in England, namely, brought about a change in the British policy in India. The objective was no longer to import from India, but to sell English products in India. Since the textile industry played an important role at the beginning of industrialization in England, very large amounts of cheap products manufactured by mechanical looms were exported to India and this soon led to a collapse in the textile home industry in India. A large number of weavers became unemployed. In order to secure a basis of existence, they migrated to the rural areas and tried to lease land they could farm. The scope of this migration-Dacca’s inhabitants alone decreased from 150,000 to 20,000 between 1824 and 1837- caused pressure on the rural areas and brought about a complete change in the relationships between zamindars and tenants. The monopoly of controlling the means to secure livelihood shifted power unilaterally into the hands of the zamindars who were able to extort more and more taxes as the demand for land increased. This led to indebtedness and often to the loss of occupancy rights and relegation to tenants at will.

The great discrepancy between the fixed amount of taxes to be remitted and the increasing revenues made the zamindars wealthy. Soon they no longer went to the trouble of collecting the taxes themselves but rather sub leased this office to others while they themselves lived on the remainder between the amount claimed as taxes and that paid to the “sub assignees.” The difference between the revenues and the amounts to be remitted was so great that even the “sub assignees” tried to sub lease. After some time, it became quite common to have 10 to 20 intermediaries, more or less without a specific function, between the government and the farmers, and they all had a share in the cultivation yield.

In addition, abwabs, supplements and fees for the most curious reasons were introduced; for example, for using an umbrella, for permission to sit down in the zamindar’s office, for being allowed to stand up again, etc. Moreover, the “began” unpaid work which the tenants were forced to perform on the zamindar’s land, took on larger and larger proportions. On the average, it amounted to 20 25 % of the lease. Under the effect of these developments which should be regarded as late consequences of the changes in the land tenure brought about by the “Permanent Settlement,” more and more cultivators became indebted, lost their occupancy rights, and dropped in status to tenants at will or agricultural labourers. On the other hand, the wealth of the zamindars kept increasing on account of the income they earned from the difference between the amount of taxes and the rentals, the increase in cultivated areas, ,money lending, and expropriation of debtors. In the course of time, the zamindari region was characterized by the marked difference between wealth, power, and prospects in life. Even the government experienced drawbacks on account of this system. Changes in the monetary value, prices, and the amount of cultivated areas turned the fixed tax, after 150 years, into nothing but a token sum, and considerable tax tosses ensued.

The zamindari system was not introduced in the whole of India. Because of the experience made with the system, better knowledge of the conditions in India, and liberal influences on the colonial policy, the provinces which became British possessions later were assigned other taxation systems. The ryotwari system was introduced in Madras, Bombay, and Assam. Under that system, the government claimed the property rights to all of the land. but allotted it to the cultivators on the condition that they pay the taxes. They could use, sell, mortgage, bequeath, and lease the land as long as they paid their taxes. Otherwise, they were evicted. This direct tax relation between the government and the cultivators was meant to prevent sub tax collectors, thus increasing purchasing power, and, in that way,improving the marketing prospects for English products. Here, the taxes were only fixed in a temporary settlement for a period of thirty years and then revised. This way, the government increased its revenue.

In North India and in the Punjab where villages with joint land rights were common, an attempt was made to utilize this structure in the Mahalwari system. Taxation was imposed with the village community as theoretical landlord, since it had the land rights. The village community had to distribute these taxes among the cultivators who owed taxes individually and jointly. Everyone was thus liable for the others’ arrears. A village inhabitant- the lambardar- collected the amounts and remitted them in bulk. Here, too, tax assessment was revised at intervals.

Despite this different system, the conditions for cultivators constantly deteriorated in these regions as well. The high taxes fixed by the governmen-t half to two thirds of the net yield was the usual amount made investments impossible. Because of fragmentation resulting from inheritance, the farms became smaller and smaller. The fact that land could be used as collateral made it possible to borrow money to pay taxes in the case of crop failures. But, in that way, more and more farms passed into the hbands of moneylenders, often better off cultivatorsin the village. In the course of time,these ceased to cultivate their land themselves and sub leased it instead. Finally, the ryotwari region was no longer a self cultivator region. More than one third of the land was leased and in many districts more than two thirds. The great demand for land owing to the population growth made it possible to let others work for oneself.

In the Mahalwari region as well, sub leasing and indebtedness became ,more and more common. Indeed, it was not possible to transfer the land to people who were not from the locality, but the result was that landed property became concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy people, whereas the others lost their rights. A constantly increasing number of people were or became landless. While in the middle of the last century there were still no landless, in 1931 and 1945, respectively 33 and 70 million landless labourers were registered. Others succeeded in renting some land, but on less favourable terms. Share tenancy, in particular, increased greatly.

The British land policy which lasted 150 years as well as the consequences of economic changes and the drastic population growth led to a complete change in the land tenure system in India. Whereas, formerly, the cultivators possessed the right of use and the government the right to impose taxes, now the rights in land were split into many pieces. In this process, not only did a large number of cultivators lose their valid land rights and fell in status to unprotected tenants and labourers. At the same time, the tax collectors became landlords and large landowners. A stratum of intermediaries who did not have a specific function developed, and the land passed into the hands of moneylenders. This caused an enormous differentiation in financial conditions, whereby, the mass of farmers lived in abject poverty.

To explain the further development following India and Pakistan’s independence, it is very important tonote that, admittedly, the economic situation of the different groups of the rural population had developed very differently, and a large part of the population became poor, but, in its main traits, the social system remained intact, There existed namely a complicated relationship pattern between landlords, cultivators, and landless people which was based on mutual rights and obligations and which provided everyone with a place-even if a poorone am within the rural society. The system aimed at satisfying the needs of everyone in the economic and social sector, and was based on the fact that all members depended upon one another.

Thus, the landlords owned land, it is true, but were dependent upon
the landless tenants, agricultural labourers, and village craftsmen to
cultivate it. Inversely, the landless could rot utilize their labour in an
agrarian society if the landlords did not give them the possibility of
working on the fields. This made it necessary for the landlords to maintain
the landless’ economic situation at least at a level which was not detrimental
to their capacity to work, nor caused them to migrate. This not only forced
the existence of a minimum wage, although very low, but also induced
financial aid in emergencies, crop failures, etc. In addition, the landlords
preferred to face want than not meet the obligations resulting from their
labour relationships.

Such mutual relationships existed even in the social sector. The landlord assured the protection and representation of their workers externally, whereas the landless adopted a loyal attitude towards their employers and was, so to say, automatically on his side. This secured him power and influence and put him in a position to represent their interests well externally. In the wars. Of time these behavioural patterns became so ingrained that the obligations of the strong towards the weak became social norms, and paternalistic behaviour was a prerequisite for being recognized as a leading personality. This norm, which is typical for rural societies, sets obvious limits to exploitation. It is true that the level of these limits is very low, but they guaranteed subsistence. It is also important to observe that the rights had been unilaterally shifted to the benefit of the landlords, but the landless did not consider themselves to be exploited. Here, religion may have played an important role, but the existence of mutual relationships even if they were unequal which granted security against threat to existence were also of extreme importance.

QNO21:-What is commercialization? Do you agree that Indian commercialization began with British imperialism? OR What role did millenarian play in commercialization during the colonial period? OR Analyze the spatial patterns of commercialization in the first half of the 20th century. OR Critically examine the Scio-economic impact of commercialization during the colonial period?

ANS:-Commercialization is the process or cycle of introducing a new product or production method into the market. The actual launch of a new product is the final stage of new product development, and the one where the most money will have to be spent for advertising, sales promotion, and other marketing efforts. In the case of a new consumer packaged goods, costs will be at least $10 million, but can reach up to $200 million.

We began by defining commercialization and its impact over the existing culture, society and commerce. The history of commercialization can be traced back to the pre-colonial period. A high degree of commercialization was achieved in the Mughal period. During the 18th century, with fading Mughal boundaries, we see the emergence of highly commercialized coastal regions-like Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta. At the same time we also see the growth of a ‘commercial capitalism’ in which European Companies because equel partners’ particularly the Portuguese’ English and the Dutch. Introduction of railways and the emphasis on plantation economy led to the emergence of new spatial patterns of commercialization. With British Imperlism commercialization spread – moving up the hills, into river valleys, across forest areas.

Commercialization is often confused with sales, marketing or business development. The Commercialization process has three key aspects:

  1. The funnel. It is essential to look at many ideas to get one or two products or businesses that can be sustained long-term
  2. It is a stage-wise process and each stage has its own key goals and milestones
  3. It is vital to involve key stakeholders early, including customers

Example of commercialization

When Germany’s Siemens unveiled its new fashion mobile phone brand, Xelibri, in 2003, the main thrust of Xelibri’s launch strategy was to establish credibility as a fashion brand. Xelibri hosted the opening party of the London Fashion Week to which celebrities and opinion-leading editors and journalists of the fashion press were invited to celebrate “Xelibri’s birthday party”. This, together with other selected fashion events and a comprehensive PR campaign, drew huge media attention, including the support of fashion industry influencers, while creating high brand and product awareness. Advertising was used to sustain the high brand awareness already created by other communication tools; TV and cinema ads served to reinforce Xelibri’s fashion statement. Being positioned as a fashion accessory, upmarket department stores like Selfridges in the UK and Peek & Cloppenburg in Germany, that did not sell mobile phones before, were used as the primary distribution channel for this new line of phones.

QNO22:-What was the nature and pattern of tribal economy in the pre-colonial period? OR pre-colonial economy was ‘closed and isolated” comment. OR Analyze the impact of colonial interventions on tribal economy. OR Examine the nature of tribal protests and conflicts during the colonial period. OR what was the implication of the transformation of the tribals from producers to laboures?


ANS: – studies on pre-colonial tribal societies often romanticize the past. This societies are referred to as relatively “closed and isolated” but egalitarian. This question shows the problems with such ideas. it shows that tribal societies were not closed and isolated structures. They were part of a wider economic and political network. Colonial interventions created a drastic imbalance within the existing tribal structures. Permanent settlement led to the penetration of rich Bengali peasents into the tribal areas who exploited the tribal’s to their advantage. The mahajani system produced future contradictions. The Indian Forest Act of 1865, restricted tribal access to forests. All this led to clashes, conflicts and even armed uprising- Kol, Birsa Munda, Maria, etc. the growing demands of forest produce across borders encouraged foreign capital to make inroads into tribal areas. Over the long term, these changes altered the existing production relations and resulted in loss of tribal control over productive resources to a large extent.

According to Oxford Dictionary “A tribe is a group of people in a primitive or barbarious stage of development acknowledging the authority of a chief and usually regarding themselves as having a common ancestor.

D.N Majumdar defines tribe as a social group with territorial affiliation, endogamous with no specialization of functions ruled by tribal officers hereditary or otherwise, united in language or dialect recognizing social distance with other tribes or castes. According to Ralph Linton tribe is a group of bands occupying a contiguous territory or territories and having a feeling of unity deriving from numerous similarities in a culture, frequent contacts and a certain community of interests.

L.M Lewis believes that tribal societies are small in scale are restricted in the spatial and temporal range of their social, legal and political relations and possess a morality, a religion and world view of corresponding dimensions. Characteristically too tribal languages are unwritten and hence the extent of communication both in time and space is inevitably narrow. At the same time tribal societies exhibit a remarkable economy of design and have a compactness and self-sufficiency lacking in modern society.

T.B Naik has given the following features of tribes in Indian context:-

  • A tribe should have least functional interdependence within the community.
  • It should be economically backward (i.e. primitive means of exploiting natural resources, tribal economy should be at an underdeveloped stage and it should have multifarious economic pursuits).
  • There should be a comparative geographical isolation of its people.
  • They should have a common dialect.
  • Tribes should be politically organized and community panchayat should be influential.
  • A tribe should have customary laws.

Naik argues that for a community to be a tribe it should possess all the above mentioned characteristics and a very high level of acculturation with outside society debars it from being a tribe. Thus term usually denotes a social group bound together by kin and duty and associated with a particular territory.

  • Characteristics Of Indian Tribes
  • Geographical location of tribes
  • Tribal-Caste Continuum
  • Exploitation and Unrest of the tribes
  • Problems of tribal communities
  • Tribal Development Efforts after Independence
  • Tribal Struggles
  • Tribal policy- Isolation, Assimilation and Integration
  • Characteristics of Tribal Society
  • Tribal Practices
  • Profiles of some of the selected Indian tribes
  • Some of the studies of Tribes

QNO23:-Examine the Tirthankar Roys argument on de-industrialization. OR Give a brief account of Daniel Thorners critique of the Nationalist thesis on de- industrialization. OR Define FTJE. Analyze the impact of de-industrialization on employment.

ANS:-The evidence on de-industrialization in recent writings indicates that the picture is more complicated and less dismal than that which emerges from the works of the older nationalists and nationalist historians. Nevertheless it cannot be denied that there was a decline in artisanal production and employment in India during the 19th century. Despite the evidence of regional variations the overall employment, output and incomes of the artisans in India suffered a notable decline that was related to the disruptive impact of colonial rule and the steady rise in the imports of manufactures from Britain. The recent evidence has drawn attention to the creative responses of the traditional crafts to the to the impact of long-distance trade on craft production and the capacity of these industries to survive by combining technological with organizational changes to improve productivity and raise the output per worker. In the most optimistic account the share of artisanal production in total textiles consumption grew somewhat in the inter-war period in terms of output. Further, the value of the output of the artisanal sector grew because of a growing proportion of goods of higher quality and value produced by this sector in the 20th century. During the 1930s the share of the handloom sector in terms of physical output did not change, but there was an increase in terms of the value of output.

Technological changes and improvements in productivity may have been limited but a case for de-industrialization in the 20th century is unacceptable to older experts like Thorner and Krishnamurthy as well as more recent ones like Haynes and Roy. There is no denying the decline in traditional industry in the 19th century with Eastern India being the worst affected region. Even if in Madras Presidency in the 19th century the decline in handlooms is not much in evidence, according to Speaker, there is a reduction in the range and quality of the products manufactured. There is a general shift towards the production of coarse cloth in this region too and the incomes of the weavers decline as they do in other regions exposed to competition from imported products. Probably the greatest decline in output, incomes and employment was during the period 1850-1880 for the country as a whole. The controversy about de-industrialization is not only about the extent of disruption and decline but also about the colonial impact on the Indian economy. The negative impact of colonial rule in India is a subject of wider significance and other elements of the critique of colonial rule will be taken up in subsequent sections.

QNO24:-Discuss the changes that took place in the Indian small scale industries during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. OR Discuss the changes within textile and leather industries in India during the first half of the 20th century?

ANS:-Small Scale Industries may sound small but actually plays a very important part in the overall growth of an economy. Small Scale Industries can be characterized by the unique feature of labor intensiveness. The total number of people employed in this industry has been calculated to be near about one crore and ninety lakhs in India, the main proponents of Small scale industries.

The importance of this industry increases manifold due to the immense employment generating potential. The countries which are characterized by acute unemployment problem especially put emphasis on the model of Small Scale Industries. It has been observed that India along with the countries in the Indian continent have gone long strides in this field.

Advantages associated with Small Scale Industries

  • This industry is especially specialized in the production of consumer commodities.
  • Small scale industries can be characterized with the special feature of adopting the labor intensive approach for commodity production. As these industries lack capital, so they utilize the labor power for the production of goods. The main advantage of such a process lies in the absorption of the surplus amount of labor in the economy who were not being absorbed by the large and capital intensive industries. This, in turn, helps the system in scaling down the extent of unemployment as well as poverty.
  • It has been empirically proved all over the world that Small Scale Industries are adept in distributing national income in more efficient and equitable manner among the various participants in the process of good production than their medium or larger counterparts.
  • Small Scale Industries help the economy in promoting balanced development of industries across all the regions of the economy.
  • This industry helps the various sections of the society to hone their skills required for entrepreneurship.
  • Small Scale Industries act as an essential medium for the efficient utilization of the skills as well as resources available locally.

Small Scale Industries enjoy a lot of help and encouragement from the government through protecting these industries from the direct competition of the large scale ones, provision of subsidies in the form of capital, lenient tax structure for this industry and many more.

Economic historians often have a tendency to focus on the large industries and international trade in goods. This module emphasis the need to look at the small producers, study the changes within artisanal production, and the significance of local trade in sustaining specific types of manufactures. Before the consolidation of the Europeans in the Indian Ocean trade, production in different regions was linked to particular trading networks: Central Asian in the case of Punjab, Red Sea and Persian Gulf with Gujarat, Southeast Asia with Coromandel. With the entry of Europeans the older networks were weakened, and the textile trade was re-oriented towards Europe. By 1800 the European bound trade dwindled and the local demand in fine handicrafts was affected by the decline of the nobility. There is no doubt that over the nineteenth century there was a decline of handicrafts, reflected in the substantial shrinkage in the work force. But this essay argues that there is no agreement as to the scale and the timing of this decline. Local studies show that the decline was often gradual and spread out over time and not as cataclysmic as it is often through to be.

Textile production survived because European imports could not displace the very coarse and very fine varieties of textiles. By the third quarter of the nineteenth century, the decline was in fact offset by a trend towards recovery- a process that may be described as re-industrialization. While the work force continued to decline, output increased. This was because of reorganization of production and technological changes within small-scale industries. This essay elaborates this argument through case studies of cotton textile and leather industries.

QNO25:-Discuss the nature of industrialization during 1900-1946. OR Account for the flustering trends of industrial production in the different phases of industrialization in India. OR Discuss the role of commercial enterprises in the growth of India industries during the pre-independence period. OR Examine the growth pattern of Bierd Heilgers and company and Birla Broyhers enterprises.

ANS:-Industrialization (or industrialization) is the process of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one. It is a part of a wider modernization process, where social change and economic development are closely related with technological innovation, particularly with the development of large-scale energy and metallurgy production. It is the extensive organization of an economy for the purpose of manufacturing.

Industrialization also introduces a form of philosophical change where people obtain a different attitude towards their perception of nature, and a sociological process of ubiquitous rationalization.

There is considerable literature on the factors facilitating industrial modernization and enterprise development. Key positive factors identified by researchers have ranged from favourable political-legal environments for industry and commerce, through abundant natural resources of various kinds, to plentiful supplies of relatively low-cost, skilled and adaptable labour.

As industrial workers incomes rise, markets for consumer goods and services of all kinds tend to expand and provide a further stimulus to industrial investment and economic growth.

The first country to industrialize was the United Kingdom during the Industrial Revolution commencing in the eighteenth century.

By the end of the 20th century, East Asia had become one of the most recently industrialized regions of the world.

Industrialization in the European context has been usually associated with the growth of large-scale industries. In India, till the twentieth century, industrial production was based on the cottage sector. So it is difficult to study the developments in the factories without reference to what was happening to small-scale production.

Economists and historians commonly use two differences measures. First, they calculate the growth of output of each sector (primary/secondary/tertiary), and their relative weights. Second, they estimate the changes in employment and distribution of work force in different sectors. By considering both these measures we see that factory industries did not grow in the ninetieth century, but expanded in the twentieth. Between 1900 and 1946 the national income from secondary sector increased substantially, and factory output went up more rapidly than the number of workers engaged, implying an increase in the net per capita output per engaged person. This expansion did not, however, lead to a take off into sustained growth. While industrialization did occur in the twentieth century, the figures tend to over state the magnitude of growth since the base level from which it started was very low. The process of industrialization was halting and lopsided. Capital goods industries did not grow, and production was limited to consumer goods. This question traces the phases through which industrialization occurred in the twentieth century, and the process through which the Indian capitalists acquired business power.

QNO26:-Critically examine the colonial policy towards science education in india. OR Analyze the Indian response towards colonial interventions in the field of science and technology. OR Examine the impact of swadeshi movement on the development of science and technology in India. OR To what extent did colonial policies influence the development of science and technology in India. OR Analyze the development of scientific knowledge during the British period.


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The structure and development of all modern societies are deeply influenced by the knowledge of natural sciences and their applications. Science Education plays an important role in creating scientific temper and generating wealth through science-based technologies; hence, science education across the globe is given huge importance.

Developed countries in spite of being very successful in science and technology keep on working at making science education more attractive for young people so that their citizens maintain interest and curiosity about the world they live in, and also to meet the future challenges in health, energy, global warming and many other critical areas. When it comes to fostering research and development, richer countries have an advantage as they are at the forefront in generating new knowledge, but they are not sitting on their laurels and continue to invest heavily in research and development to continue to invest heavily in research and development to continue to be at the forefront in invention and innovation.

Forensic science colleges specialize in the application of a wide range of knowledge, processes, and methods used to find evidence from a crime scene. These science colleges train to aid law enforcers to bring the culprits to justice.

It is now up to countries like India and China to embrace science and technology to create a scientific and secular temper and also to create a skilled workforce which is competitive at an international level in research and development.

Science Education in India is suffering both at the teaching level due to faulty pedagogy and at the research level due to lack of interdisiciplinarity and below threshold funding. Our problems in teaching are further compounded by lack of broad-based education at the undergraduate level.

Natural science encompass both the physical sciences containing subjects like physics, chemistry, geology and the biological sciences which have been further split in to subgroups like zoology, botany, microbiology and biochemistry.

A learner can specialize at the Master’s or doctoral level, however, every student studying natural science needs to develop a broad feel of both biological sciences needs to develop a broad feel of both biological sciences containing subjects like physics, chemistry, geology and the biological science which have been further split in to subgroups like zoology, botany, microbiology and biochemistry. A learner can specialize at the Master’s or doctoral level; however, every student studying natural sciences needs to develop a brad feel of both biological A reasonable knowledge of mathematics and computational skills is essential for all the areas of natural sciences to field of science. A recent set of recommendation by the three major science academies of India have rightly suggested broad-based four-year undergraduate science degree to overcome the deficiencies of the current degree programmes.

Colonial policy towards science education in India.

The colonial rule never gave any importance to science education in India. The British could well understand that if Indians were able to get scientific knowledge then they will no longer be dependent on the foreigners and began to find out solutions of their own problems. The charter of 1813 called for the introduction and promotion of knowledge of science among the inhabitants of British India. But it remained a pious wish: moreover, it gave no indication of which system of science, indigenous or European was to be preferred. The dissension of the British colonial rule to introduce science in the educational curriculum deprived the Indians from receiving scientific knowledge for a long time. In 1835, Thomas Babington Macaulay not only succeeded in making English the medium of instruction in school, college and universities, but was able to prepare an educational curriculum which was purely literacy. Hi personal distaste for science delayed the process of advent of science. A few medical and engineering colleges were opened, but they were meant largely to supply assistant surgeons, hospital-assistant, overseers etc. The educational curriculum was prepared in such a way that the requirement of only subordinate services was met. It was a strategy of British colonial rule i.e. not to give any scope to the Indian to get scientific knowledge of highest quality and complete the British. Later in 1870, the Indian universities began to show some inclination towards science education. In 1875, the madras university decided to examine its matriculation candidates in geography and   elementary physics in place of British history. Bombay was the first Indian city to grant degrees in science, Calcutta University divided its B.A into two branches— ‘A’ course (i.e. literacy),’B’ course (i.e. science). Even the slow growth of science education was bestowed with many problem, first was the very aim and character of educational policy itself i.e. ’character formation’ K.M.Chatfield, principal of Elphinstone college, admitted that the institution of university professorship would indeed foster the development of knowledge through research but youth was the aim of the system. For this purpose a liberal-literacy education was found more suitable. The second problem was the shortage of funds in providing scientific education. In 1900 the four college of Patna, Cuttack, Hooghly and krishnanagar cost the government Rs 55,441 while the presidency college of Calcutta claimed Rs 1, 14,702.another problem of providing science education is that the authorities always looked for western model and did not try to follow any indigenous model. Major emphasis was laid on theoretical instruction without any proper model to follow. British institutions were looked upon as the ideal models. But they would not grant anything like, higher form of scientific or technical education. The most important feature that is to follow is a hybrid form of education which is the result of careless fusion between industrial and technical education. Further English was the only medium of instruction in science. As a result providing science education to the lower became very difficult as they didn’t understand English. The British educational experiments in India have often been severely criticized education was no doubt on important segment of the whole colonial enterprise and was definitely meant to strengthen it. Gauri Viswanathan calls it a ‘mask of conquest’. Use of education as a medium to strengthen colonial power raises many questions. Chance and bureaucratic momentum’s were two instruments which propelled colonial bureaucracy. This bureaucracy ensured the importance of colonial requirements before anything else. Colleges related to P.W.D were called civil engineering colleges. There were remarkable differences between engineering education in India and England. In England it started from the lowers classes and gradually being in corporate in university curriculum. On the other hand it was organized from above. Though in France also it was organized from above, the motive differed greatly. In Europe, engineering education was developed in order to facilitate the process of industrialization.

QNO27:-Discuss the problems that the planners faced immediately after Indian independence. OR Analyze the nature of Indian economic growth in the first three five year plans. OR How did the Indian economy respond to the challenges faced in the 1960s?

ANS:-India at the time of independence was left with crippling economy by British, which needed attention and well planned strategies to boom again in the global market. The pioneers of the Indian government at then times formulated 5 years plan to develop the Indian economy.

The five years plan in India is framed, executed and monitored by the Planning Commission of India. Jawahar Lal Nehru was the chairman of the first Planning Commission of India.

The duty of the chairman of the planning commission in India is served by the Prime Minister of the country. The tenth plan finished its term in March 2007 and the eleventh plan is currently underway.

Objectives and success of different Five Year Plans in India:

  • 1st Five Year Plan (1951-56)It aimed towards the improvement in the fields of agriculture, irrigation and power and the plan projected to decrease the countries reliance on food grain imports, resolve the food crisis and ease the raw material problem especially in jute and cotton.

Nearly 45% of the resources were designated for agriculture, while industry got a modest 4.9%.The focus was to maximize the output from agriculture, which would then provide the momentum for industrial growth.

1st five year plan proved dramatic success as agriculture production hiked, national income went up by 18%, per capita income by 11% and per capita consumption by 9%.

  • 2nd Five Year Plan (1956-61)It projected towards the agriculture programs and to meet the raw material needs of industry, besides covering the food needs of the increasing population. The Industrial Policy of 1956 was socialistic in nature. The plan aimed at 25% increase in national income.

Second Five Year Plan showed a moderate success. Agricultural production was greatly affected by the unfavorable monsoon in 1957-58 and 1959-60 and also the Suez crisis blocked International Trading increasing commodity prices.

  • 3rd Five Year Plan (1961-66) Plan’s main motive was to make the country self reliant in agriculture and industry and for this allotment for power sector was increased to 14.6% of the total disbursement.

The plan aimed to increase national income by 30% and agriculture production by 30% and to promote economic developments in backward areas; unfeasible manufacturing units were augmented with subsidies and agriculture production by 30%.

The 3rd five year plan was affected by wars with China in 1962 and Pakistan 1965 and bad monsoon.

  • 4th Five Year Plan (1969-74)This five year plan mainly emphasized on encouraging education and creating employment opportunities for the marginalized section of the society as improvement in their standard of living would only make the country economically self- reliant.

Another aim of the plan was to create awareness about the Family planning program among Indians. The achievements of the fourth plan were not as per the expectations as agriculture and industrial growth was just at 2.8% and 3.9% respectively.

  • 5th Five Year Plan (1974-79)The fifth plan mainly aimed on checking inflation and various non-economic variables like nutritional requirements, health, family planning etc. The plan anticipated 5.5% growth rate in national income.

The plan could not complete its 5 year tenure and was discontinued by the new Janata government in the fourth year only.

  • 6th Five Year Plan (1980-85) The 6th five year plan was formulated by the Congress government in 1980 which equally focused on infrastructure and agriculture. The plan was successful in achieving a growth of 6% pa.
  • 7th Five Year Plan (1985-1989)The plan focused at improving various sectors like welfare, education, health, family planning and also encouraged employment opportunities. The plan introduced programs like Jawahar Rozgar Yojana.  This plan was proved successful in spite of severe drought conditions for first three years consecutively.
  • Period (1989 – 1991) This period was of political instability hence, no five year plan was implemented during the period; only annual plans were made for the period between 1990 and 1992. The country faced severe balance of payment crisis.
  • 8th Five Year Plan (1992-1997) The eighth plan aimed towards modernization of industries, poverty reduction, encouraging employment, strengthening the infrastructure. Other important concerned areas were devaluation of rupees, dismantling of license prerequisite and decrease trade barriers.

The plan helped to achieve an annual growth rate of 5.6% in GDP and also controlled inflation.

  • 9th Five Year Plan (1997-2002)The ninth five year plan focused on increasing agricultural and rural income and to improve the conditions of the marginal farmer and landless laborers. The plan helped to achieve average annual growth rate of 6.7%.
  • 10th Five Year Plan (2002-2007)The 10th five year plan targeted towards making India’s economy as the fastest growing economy on the global level, with an aim to raise the growth rate to 10% and to reduce the poverty rate and increase the literacy rate in the country.

The plan showed success in reducing poverty ratio by 5%, increasing forest cover to 25%, increasing literacy rates to 75 % and taking the economic growth of the country over 8%.

  • 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012)The eleventh five year plan targets to increase GDP growth to 10%, to reduce educated unemployment to below 5% while it aims to reduce infant mortality rate to 28 and maternal mortality ratio to 1 per 1000 live births, reduce Total Fertility Rate to 2.1  in the health sector.

The plan also targets to ensure electricity connection and clean drinking water to all villages and increase forest and tree cover by 5%.

QNO28:-Critically assesses the impact of liberalization on the Indian economy. OR Analyze the contradictions that paralyzed the interventionist regime set up in the 1950s.

ANS:-The economic liberalization in India refers to ongoing economic reforms in India that started on 24 July 1991. After Independence in 1947, India adhered to socialist policies. In the 1980s, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi initiated some reforms. In 1991, after India faced a balance of payments crisis, it had to sell 67 tons of gold to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of a bailout deal, and promise economic restructuring. The government of P. V. Narasimha Rao and his finance minister Manmohan Singh (the present Prime Minister of India) started breakthrough reforms. The new neo-liberal policies included opening for international trade and investment, deregulation, initiation of privatization, tax reforms, and inflation-controlling measures. The overall direction of liberalization has since remained the same, irrespective of the ruling party, although no party has yet tried to take on powerful lobbies such as the trade unions and farmers, or contentious issues such as reforming labour laws and reducing agricultural subsidies. The main objective of the government was to transform the economic system from socialism to capitalism so as to achieve high economic growth and industrialize the nation for the well-being of Indian citizens. Today India is mainly characterized as a market economy.

As of 2009, about 300 million people—equivalent to the entire population of the United States—have escaped extreme poverty. The fruits of liberalization reached their peak in 2007, when India recorded its highest GDP growth rate of 9%.With this; India became the second fastest growing major economy in the world, next only to China. An Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report states that the average growth rate 7.5% wills double the average income in a decade, and more reforms would speed up the pace.

Indian government coalitions have been advised to continue liberalization. India grows at slower pace than China, which has been liberalizing its economy since 1978. McKinsey states that removing main obstacles “would free India’s economy to grow as fast as China’s, at 10 percent a year”.

For 2010, India was ranked 124th among 179 countries in Index of Economic Freedom World Rankings, which is an improvement from the preceding year.

Pre-liberalization policies

Indian economic policy after independence was influenced by the colonial experience (which was seen by Indian leaders as exploitative in nature) and by those leaders’ exposure to Fabian socialism. Policy tended towards protectionism, with a strong emphasis on import substitution, industrialization under state monitoring, state intervention at the micro level in all businesses especially in labour and financial markets, a large public sector, business regulation, and central planning. Five-Year Plans of India resembled central planning in the Soviet Union. Steel, mining, machine tools, water, telecommunications, insurance, and electrical plants, among other industries, were effectively nationalized in the mid-1950s. Elaborate licenses, regulations and the accompanying red tape, commonly referred to as License Raj, were required to set up business in India between 1947 and 1990.

Before the process of reform began in 1991, the government attempted to close the Indian economy to the outside world. The Indian currency, the rupee, was inconvertible and high tariffs and import licensing prevented foreign goods reaching the market. India also operated a system of central planning for the economy, in which firms required licenses to invest and develop. The labyrinthine bureaucracy often led to absurd restrictions—up to 80 agencies had to be satisfied before a firm could be granted a license to produce and the state would decide what was produced, how much, at what price and what sources of capital were used. The government also prevented firms from laying off workers or closing factories. The central pillar of the policy was import substitution, the belief that India needed to rely on internal markets for development, not international trade—a belief generated by a mixture of socialism and the experience of colonial exploitation. Planning and the state, rather than markets, would determine how much investment was needed in which sectors.

In the 80s, the government led by Rajiv Gandhi started light reforms. The government slightly reduced License Raj and also promoted the growth of the telecommunications and software industries.

The Vishwanath Pratap Singh government (1989–1990) and Chandra Shekhar Singh government (1990–1991) did not add any significant reforms.


  • The low annual growth rate of the economy of India before 1980, which stagnated around 3.5% from 1950s to 1980s, while per capita income averaged 1.3%.At the same time, Pakistan grew by 5%, Indonesia by 9%, Thailand by 9%, South Korea by 10% and in Taiwan by 12%.
  • Only four or five licences would be given for steel, electrical power and communications. License owners built up huge powerful empires.
  • A huge public sector emerged. State-owned enterprises made large losses.
  • Infrastructure investment was poor because of the public sector monopoly.
  • License Raj established the “irresponsible, self-perpetuating bureaucracy that still exists throughout much of the country” and corruption flourished under this system.

Ongoing economic challenges

  • Problems in the agricultural sector.
  • Highly restrictive and complex labour laws.
  • Inadequate infrastructure, which is often government monopoly.
  • Failing education.
  • Inefficient public sector.
  • Inflation in basic consumable goods.
  • Corruption
  • High fiscal deficit

QNO29:-Examine the process of Economic Recovery in the 1980s.

ANS:-The recovery that first built up steam in the early 1980s was not without its problems. Farmers, especially those operating small family farms, continued to face challenges in making a living, especially in 1986 and 1988, when the nation’s mid-section was hit by serious droughts, and several years later when it suffered extensive flooding. Some banks faltered from a combination of tight money and unwise lending practices, particularly those known as savings and loan associations, which went on a spree of unwise lending after they were partially deregulated. The federal government had to close many of these institutions and pay off their depositors, at enormous cost to taxpayers.

While Reagan and his successor, George Bush (1989-1992), presided as communist regimes collapsed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the 1980s did not entirely erase the economic malaise that had gripped the country during the 1970s. The United States posted trade deficits in seven of the 10 years of the 1970s, and the trade deficit swelled throughout the 1980s. Rapidly growing economies in Asia appeared to be challenging America as economic powerhouses; Japan, in particular, with its emphasis on long-term planning and close coordination among corporations, banks , and government, seemed to offer an alternative model for economic growth.

In the United States, meanwhile, “corporate raiders” bought various corporations whose stock prices were depressed and then restructured them, either by selling off some of their operations or by dismantling them piece by piece. In some cases, companies spent enormous sums to buy up their own stock or pay off raiders. Critics watched such battles with dismay, arguing that raiders were destroying good companies and causing grief for workers, many of whom lost their jobs in corporate restructuring moves. But others said the raiders made a meaningful contribution to the economy, either by taking over poorly managed companies, slimming them down, and making them profitable again, or by selling them off so that investors could take their profits and reinvest them in more productive companies.




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