Indian Economic History

2333 words 10 pages
The Dragon and the Elephant: India and China in the Asian Century


Essay Topic No 1
“It is the context and circumstances prevalent in any nation that should determine its policies and strategies of growth” (Mahtaney, 2010, p. 159). Illustrate the truth or falsehood of this statement with reference to either India or China
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching”
(Mahatma Gandhi, 1946).

Economic thought is an ever-adapting philosophy, which has been ‘preached’ by many differing schools of thought throughout the centuries. In this current global economic context, the majority of worldwide economic strategies and polices
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Undoubtedly, infrastructure acts as the backbone to any nation, without easy access to clean water, transportation, education, health and social welfare benefits, citizens cannot improve their living standards. Contrary to the ‘preached’ Western liberalisation agenda, India enforced Five Year Plans, which is a common economic and political strategy of socialism and communism, to stimulate the economy and create new employment opportunities. This central government planning strategies were designed to address the issues present in India during that time for instances the sixth plan (1980-1985) was focused upon increasing the industrial productivity of the economy and improving electricity supply. This strategy of addressing contextual issues proved to be successful as by the mid 2000’s electricity production and supply had increased by
45% (Government of India, 1957, p. 27-29). Similarly to China, the Indian government heavily invested and regulated in a command economy by focusing upon the production sector being mainly steel, coal and hydro-electricity production, and the agricultural sector. After a series of Five Year Plans, the Indian economy had increased heavy industrial productivity to equate to 26.7% of all GDP. Moreover, with the East Indian Company (1601) and British Imperial Empire (1875


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