ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Modern Industry under the Empire

Padmini Swaminathan Entrepreneurahip and Industry in India, 1800-1947 (ed) Rajat K Ray; Oxford University Press, 1992; pp 263, Rs 240. THE volume under review comprises (according to its blurb) "some of the most important essays" whjph focus specifically on two sets of themes. First, the evolution of business enterprise: the nature of entre- preneurship and the operational strategies of different groups. Second, the history of modern industries: the structure of industrial investment, the patterns of regional growth and the temporal rhythms of industrialisation. The volume is concerned with modern industry alone, and with the role of capitalist business enterprise in developing it; the contentious issue of the decline of artisan manufactures in the 19th century having been left for another volume in the series. In an elaborate 'Introduction' to the volume Ray discusses, broadly, the impact of British capital and British government on the development (or underdevelopment) of Indian industry. Important observations made by Ray in the course of his discussion include the following: (a) Statistical evidence available on employment in the secondary sector of the economy seems to indicate that despite the emergence of factories and mines, the proportion of the population depending on industry declined significantly in the course of the 19th century. The emergence of modern industry dicj not offset the decline in artisan industries (p 6).

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