Industrialization in India after Independence

Before going into the details of Industrialisation in India after independence, lets gather an idea about what is the actual meaning of Industrialisation in general terms. According to Wikipedia, Industrialisation or industrialization is the natural time frame 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 modernisation process, where social change and economic development are closely related with technological innovation, particularly with the development of large-scale energy and metallurgy production. 

The first country to industrialise was the United Kingdom during the Industrial Revolution, commencing in the 18th century. Industrialisation in Asia began in the late 19th century starting from Japan. 

One of the fastest rates of industrialisation occurred in the late 20th century across four countries known as the Asian tiger (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan), due to the existence of stable governments and well structured societies, strategic locations, heavy foreign investments, a low cost skilled and motivated workforce, a competitive exchange rate, and low custom duties. 

China and India, while roughly following this development pattern, made adaptations in line with their own histories and cultures, their major size and importance in the world, and the geo-political ambitions of their governments.

Industrialisation in India

India's government is investing in economic sectors such as bioengineering, nuclear technology, pharmaceutics, informatics, and technologically-oriented higher education, exceeding its needs, with the goal of creating several specialisation poles able to conquer foreign markets. 

Prime Minister Nehru firmly believed that "no country can be politically and economically independent unless it is highly industrialised and has developed its resources to the utmost". Nehru’s ideas about India’s development were broadly incorporated in free India’s first Industrial Policy Resolution adopted by the Contituent Assembly in 1948. The resolution officially accepted the principle of mixed economy. Industries were divided into four categories. 

In the first category were strategic industries which were made the monopoly of the Government. In the second category were six industries which included, among others, coal, iron and steel. Government decided that all the new units would be started exclusively by the government in the public sector without disturbing the existing ones in the private sector. 18 industries, including heavy castings and forings of iron and steel, ferro alloys and tool steel were covered by the third category and the rest of the industries by the fourth. 

In total, the government committed itself to the development of basic steel industry while the private sector was to benefit through the establishment of downstream units which would use pig iron, billets, blooms and flat products to be made by the public sector steel plants. In keeping with the spirit of the resolution the Government decided to start a chain of steel plants all over the country in the public sector. 

The first such plant was set up at Rourkela in Orissa. The second came up at Bhilai in Madhya Pradesh. It was followed by a third at Durgapur in West Bengal. Each of these three plants had an initial production capacity of one million tonne. Durgapur was followed by a steel plant at Bokaro in Bihar. 

Durgapur Steel Plant is one of the integrated steel plants of Steel Authority of India Limited, located in Durgapur, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. It has played a historically important part in the industrial development of India. It is the first Ingot(1960) producing steel plant in India. Apart from it its the only steel plant in India which produces train wheels for all passenger cars which includes Rajdhani, Shatabdi Express. 

Bokaro Steel Plant is located in the Bokaro district of Jharkhand. It is the fourth integrated public sector steel plant in India built with Soviet help. It was incorporated as a limited company in 1964. It was later merged with the state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited. Bokaro Steel Plant is hailed as India's first Swadeshi movement steel plant. Its first blast furnace was started on 2 October 1972. 

The onward march of Indian steel did not stop at Bokaro. The fifth public sector steel plant was set up at Visakhapatnam in andhra Pradesh. As a matter of fact, the country was dotted with steel and steel-related plants in public and private sectors, like Alloy Steel Plant, Salem Steel Plant, Kalinga Iron Works, Malavika Steel Ltd., Jindal Vijaynagar Steel Ltd., to name only a few. About the same time TISCO launched its two-million-tonne expansion programme. 

The Government’s Industrial Policy had undergone changes, once in 1956 and then in 1991. The resolution modified in 1956 brought changes in the category pattern and listed more industries for the public sector than did the earlier one, though it was not harsher towards the private enterprise. In the new industrial policy announced in 1991 iron and steel industry, among others, was included in the list of industries reserved for the public sector and exempted from the provision of compulsory licensing.