Indian Economy on The Eve of Independence (Ch-1) Important Questions || Class 12 Economics (Indian Economic Development) Book 2 Chapter 1 in English ||

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Chapter – 1

Indian Economy on The Eve of Independence

In this post, we have given the Important Questions of Class 12 Economics Chapter 1 (Indian Economy on The Eve of Independence) in English. These Important Questions are useful for the students who are going to appear in class 12 board exams.

BoardCBSE Board, UP Board, JAC Board, Bihar Board, HBSE Board, UBSE Board, PSEB Board, RBSE Board
ClassClass 12
Chapter no.Chapter 1
Chapter Name(Indian Economy on The Eve of Independence)
CategoryClass 12 Economics Important Questions in English
Class 12 Economics Chapter 1 Indian Economy on The Eve of Independence Important Questions in English

Chapter -1 Indian Economy on The Eve of Independence

Q-1. What was the condition of agriculture sector at the time of Independence?

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Ans :

  • Low level of agricultural productivity : Agricultural productivity became very low and this stagnation in agriculture sector was mainly due to systems of land settlement that were introduced by the British Government. The Zamindari system, the profit accuring out of the agriculture sector went to Zamindaris instead of the cultivators. This lead to discouragement amongst the cultivators to produce less.
  • High dependence on Monsoon : Agriculture sector was mainly dependent on monsoon. No effort was ever made under the British rule to develop permanent mode of irrigation.
  • Lack of Proper Input: Low level of technology, lack of irrigation facility and negligible use of fertilizers, added to aggravate the plight of the farmers and contributed to the dismal level of agricultural productivity.

Q-2 What was the condition of foreign trade under the British rule?


  • Due to discriminative tariff policy adopted by the British Government, India became net exporter of raw materials and primary products. On the other hand, it became net importer of finished goods reproduced by the British Industry.
  • Composition of exports and imports showed the backwardness of Indian economy. Exports and imports were largely restricted to Britain only due to monopoly control of India’s foreign trade.
  • Surplus profit made and account of foreign trade during the British rule was distributed on administrative and as well as on war expenses. It was only used to increase the pursuits of the British Government.

Q 3 Mention the demographic profile during the British rule.

Ans :

  • High birth and High death rate implied low survival rate, which was nearly 8 per thousand per annum.
  • Life expectancy was as low as 32 years which shows the lack of health care facilities, lack of awareness.
  • Literacy rate was as low as 16 percent, which reflects the social and economic backwardness of the country.

Q4 What were the objectives of of the British government in bringing about infrastructural changes in the Indian economy.

Ans. Their objective was to serve colonial interest

  • The roads built served the purpose of mobilizing the army within India and transporting raw material from the countryside to the ports for onwards export to Britain from where the British merchant could make large profit.
  • Railways were also developed for same motive.
  • Post telegraph and other modes of communication were required for effective administration.

Q.5 Describe the Indian economy at the time of independence.


  • Stagnant economy: the growth rate of output was very low about 2% this happened because the British reduced the Indian economy to Mere exporter of primary product the agriculture took the major hit due to to the introduction of zamindari system which was extremely exploitative
  • commercialization of agriculture also lead to a shift from subsistence agriculture and thus to food grain insufficiency
  • demographic indicators literacy rate poverty per capita income sectoral occupation all fare poorly under the the 200 years of colonization and enslavement of India drain of wealth all the precious metals handicraft prints of textile and valuable minerals war used up up by the British. The Indigenous Industries declined under the British rule and there was a complete absence of capital goods industries there was some infrastructure that was developed like the railways and telegraph services but that was only two ease the administration and control for the British.

Q.6 What was the condition of Industrial sector at the time of Independence?

Ans :

(i) Discriminatory Tariff Policy : The British Government allowed tariff free export of raw materials from India and tariff free import of British industrial products into India. But a heavy duty on the export of Indian handicrafts products. It leads to decay of handicrafts industry in India.

(ii) Competition from machine : Industrial revolution in Britain gave a stiff competition to the handicraft industries in India. Due to low cost and better quality product produced by machine forced the Indian craftsmen to shut down the handicraft Industry in India.

(iii) New Patterns of Demand : Owing to British rule in India, a new class of people emerged in India. This changed the pattern of demand in India against the Indian products and in favour of British products. As a result, the Indian Industry tended to Perish

(iv) More market for British Goods : An introduction of railways facilitated the transportation of the British products to different parts of the country. As a result, the size of the market for the low cost British product expanded while it started shrinking for the high cost Indian products. This lead toof foreign trade under the British rule.

Q7 Mention the condition of occupation structure at the time Independence.

Ans :

  • Agriculture was the principal source of occupation and about 72 percent of working population was engaged in agriculture.
  • Only 10% of the working population were engaged in the manufacturing sector, which showed the backwardness of Indian Industry at the time of Independence.
  • only 17.2 percent of the working population were engaged in the service sector, which also proved the slow growth of tertiary sector at the time of Independence.
  • There was an unbalanced growth of Indian economy at the time of Independence

Q8 What was the condition of Infrastructure at the time of Independence.

Ans :

  • There was some infrastructural development during the British in the area of transport and communication.
  • Introduction of railways, was a major break through followed by the development of some ports and the construction of some roads.
  • But the main motive of the British government was to foster the interest of the British Government rather than to accelerate the growth of Indian economy.
  • There was transition from barter system of exchange to monetary system of exchange, which facilitated division of labour & large scale production.

Q-9 How the Indian handicrafts industry was ruined during the British rule?

Ans: The British were always guided by their own interests they never bothered to considered the effect of their policies on the people of India in terms of unemployment ,human suffering ,burden on agriculture etc.they imposed heavy duties on Indian handicrafts so that they become more expensive than British woolen and silk. they followed a policy of duty free export of raw material and import of finished goods from Britain but post heavy duties on exports of of Indian handicrafts moreover Indian handicrafts had to face competition from machine made goods from Britain in this way the Indian handicraft industry was ruined during the British rule.

Q10 British intended to achieve some objectives through their policies of infrastructure.” Explain the given statement.

Ans. This is true statement. British intended to achieve the following objectives through their policies of infrastructure.

  • Expansion of Indian market for the British products through the railways expansion.
  • To handle export of raw material to Britain and import of finished goods from Britain through the development of ports.
  • To increase administrative efficiency through the development of post and telegraphs.
  • To facilitate transportation of raw material from different parts of the country to the ports through the developments of roads. Thus, it is clear from the above points that they were having personal objectives for which they were making policies and developing infrastructure

Q-11 Discuss the positive contribution made by the British in India?

Ans: The following are the positive contribution made by the British

  • Introduction of railways the introduction of railways by the British was abe through to a breakthrough the development process of Indian economy it opened up the cultural and ud geographical barriers and facilitated commercialisation of Indian agriculture
  • Introduction of commercialisation of agriculture: prior to the advent of the British Indian agriculture was of subsistence nature but with the commercialization of agriculture the agricultural production was carried out as per the market requirements it was due to this factor that today de India can I am at attaining self sufficiency in food grains production
  • Development of infrastructure the infrastructure developed in India by the British proved as useful tool to check the spread of the famines. The telegraph and postal services served ud Indian people. Promoted education and brought some social reforms: English as a language promoted westernised form of education. The English language acted as a a window to the outside world this integrated India with the rest of the world they also band sati system and passed widow remarriage act

Unification of India: Before British rule India was divided into small princely state British became a cause of unification of India and Indians in the name of freedom fight Legacy of a strong and efficient administrative setup; British left behind role model of an an efficient administrative setup that Indian leaders followed.

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