British contribution to India’s Indusrial,scientific and technological development


The British during their rule brought railways to India in 1853,within a few years of the invention. Postal system was introduced even earlier in 1837,Telegraph line was opened for traffic as early as 1851, immediately after invention of telegraphy. Similarly telephone service was introduced in 1882, within six years of invention. Electric supply commenced in 1897 and hydro-Electric Power Station was established in 1902. Coal mining on modern scale commenced in eighteenth century itself. Radio broadcasting commenced in 1927, feature film production started in 1912, modern banking was introduced in 1881 and Reserve Bank of India was established in 1935; Geological Survey of India was established in 1850, and is one of the oldest such institutions in the world.

Similarly India Meteorological Department was established during the British time, as early as 1875.Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was also established during the British time in 1942. Indian Council of Medical Research was established in 1911(as Indian Research Fund Association). Modern Universities were established as early as 1850s.Even in cultural matters, the British established several institutions like the National Library in Calcutta Central Library in Mumbai and Connemara Public Library in Chennai, as also Anthropological Survey of India and Archaeological Survey of India.

At the time of the British leaving India, India already had a fairly well established industry. It had about 350 textile mills with about 10 million spindles, nearly 0.2 million looms, over 100 sugar mills, hundreds of rice mills, oil mills, several cement factories with a production of over 2.5 million tonnes, many paper mills with production of about 0.15 million tonnes (paper production started as early as 1812), machine tool industry, a fairly large steel industry ( the first steel factory was established in West Bengal state in 1870, Tata Iron and Steel Company in 1907 Indian Iron and Steel company in 1919,and Visveswaraiya Iron and Steel Company in 1923), Kolar gold mine, over 53000 km route length of railways (the present route length is just 10000 km more), 20000 coaches (the present strength is only about 40000) about 200000 wagons ( the present strength is only abbot (300000 wagons), well established national highway road system, 17 light houses, ship building industry (the shipyard at Visakhapatnam was established in 1941),coal and other mining industry etc.”

The British did not establish so many institutions etc in other countries where they ruled even after many years of granting independence to India i.e till 1950s and 1960s)


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