India became a British colony following the 1857 uprising.British East India Company was set up to dominate India through its clever use of political strategy, military force. In 1858 India became a colony of the British Empire. Under the British rule, India suffered poverty, famine and lack of freedom which ultimately led to the Indian struggle for independence. The first Module therefore gives an overview of the Indian economy prior during British rule.


British period & Indian economy:

The Economy of India during the colonial era describes the economy of India during the years of the ‘British Raj’ from 1750- 1947. During this period, the Indian economy’s share of the world economy declined from 22% to 1-3%.

India in the pre colonial time had a stable ,efficient economy. There was adequate agricultural, trade – vast handicraft industries. The landowners were not landlords they only had the right to collect the taxes from the workers. India had large trade both within countries of Asian and Europe. There was a balance in imports and exports, the items imported in India were dried fruits, wool, dates , rosewater from Persian gulf; gold, coffee, honey from Arabia; silk, tea, sugar from China; paper, iron, copper, from Europe.

Structure of villages and town

Indian Economy in the pre – British period consisted of two divisions, namely a) Isolated & self-sustaining villages b) Towns which took care of Administration, Commerce , Handicrafts. The means of transport & communication were highly underdeveloped as the size of market was small.

  • Cobblers
  • Weavers
  • Goldsmiths
  • Carpenters
  • Potters
  • Oil Pressers
  • Washer men
  • Barber
  • Surgeons

The structure of Villages 

Three distinct classes existed in villages that were;Agriculturist; Hand–owning and Tenants.

Labor & capital needed was supplied by producer themselves out of their saving or village landlord or village money lenders. Credit agencies gave credit at exorbitant rates of interest. Only source of credit for peasants & artisans were money lenders and the peasants were forced to depend on the money lenders. Artisans & menials were mere servants of the village

Economic Consequences of British Conquest :

The British  rule can be divided into particular period of time; first the rule of East India Company ranging from 1757 to 1858.Second was the rule of the British government in India from 1858 to 1947. British conquest started in 1757 with the battle of Plassey and completed in 1858, during this period the British changed the techniques of production. The industrial revolution helped the British to sell machine made goods give great competition to Indian handicrafts. The British conquests led to break down of the village community partly by introduction of new land revenue system by the process of commercialization of agriculture

Impact of colonial rule of British on India agriculture

Agriculture was the one of essential and main stay of Indian economy. About 80% people were used to cultivate either as principal or secondary occupation. About 70% of the national income used to came from this agriculture side. Agriculture productions were mainly food grain and other crops such as oil seed, sugar cane used for domestic consumption, fiber crops and many more.

Process of Industrial Transition, Colonialism and Modernization

Tariff protection to Indian industries–  In 1923 the government  accepted the recommendations of the first fiscal commission  to gave protection to selected Indian industries against foreign competition. Between 1924 and 1939 several major industries were given protection  the government prominent among them being iron and steel industry , cotton mills , jute , sugar , paper ,pulp industry , matches etc . Indian industrialists took advantage of the policy of protection extended  the government ,developed the protected industries rapidly. They were able to capture the entire Indian market and eliminate foreign competition altogether in important fields.



 Evolution Of Indian Railways

The origin of Indian railways was primarily done to facilitate the commercial interest of the British. Indian railways, the largest rail network in Asia and the world’s second largest under one management are also credited with having a multi gauge and multi traction system. The Indian Railways have been a great integrating force for more than 150 years. Indian Railways is known to be the largest railway network in Asia.

History of Indian railway:

The introduction of a rail system, transformed the whole history of India. This innovative plan was first proposed in 1832; however no auxiliary actions were taken for over a decade. In the year 1844, private entrepreneurs were allowed to launch a rail system by Lord Hardinge, who was the Governor-General of India. By the year 1845, two companies were formed and the East India Company was requested to support them in the matter.

The credit from the UK investors led to the hasty construction of a rail system over the next few years. On 22nd Dec’ 1851, the first train came on the track to carry the construction material at Rorkee in India. With a passage of one and a half years, the first passenger train service was introduced between Bori Bunder, Bombay and Thana on the providential date 16th Apr’ 1853. This rail track covered a distance of 34 km (21 miles).On the occasion of India’s Independence in 1947, the maximum share of the railways went under the terrain of Pakistan.  The existing rail networks were forfeited for zones in 1951 and 6 zones were formed in 1952. In 1985, the diesel and electric locomotives took the place of steam locomotives. In 1995, the whole railway reservation system was rationalized with computerization.

 Development of Indian Railways — Three Phases

 Initial Phase(1853-1880) 

The year 1853 was of great importance in the history of India. On 16 April 1853 the first passenger train was introduced between Bombay and Thane covering a distance of 34 kilometers formally heralding the birth of railways in India. Robert Mint Land Breton was responsible for the expansion of railways. By 1880 the network had route mileage of about 14500 kilometers mostly radiating from major ports like Bombay and Calcutta.

Second Phase(1880-1915) 

The second phase saw the introduction of some competition among the major lines in north India i.e. Delhi and Bombay, Punjab and Karachi. With the completion of these lines as well as the main lines serving Calcutta there was a struggle to gain control of shipments for the export trade because Karachi and Bombay had very poor facilities. Calcutta was much farther from Europe but it was able to compete because it held a monopoly on coal and could force up its price and consequently the costs of operation of other lines.All India average prices of charges for freight declined to 50% between 1881 and 1916 due to competition between the northern lines. This was further declined to 84% between 1881 and 1919

Third Phase(1916-1947)

In this period government acted to prevent the further falling of rates by establishing a central clearing house to foster cooperation and reduce competition, key lines were permitted and encouraged to form mergers. In 1886 there was amalgamation of Delhi railways with Punjab, the Indus valley and the Sind Sagar railways.

The expansion of branch lines which the government of India promoted also reduced competition. By 1916, through mergers growth of branch lines and agreement between the firms they began to stabilize.Company practiced price discrimination in order to maximize profit. Block rates were instituted which consisted of premiums charged to shippers who started their goods on one line and later had them transferred to another. This encouraged the use of a single line. Companies charged lower rates to and from ports than for comparable inland distances. These all things had critical effects on the economy.

 Indian Railways and Its Effect on Indian Economy

Railways were the most important infrastructure development in India between 1850 & 1947. They inter-connected all dimensions of Indian society. In terms of the economy, railways played a major role in integrating markets and increasing trade. Domestic -international economic trends shaped the pace of development of railway. Indian railways not only contributed towards economic development of Indian economy but brought about price stability and relief from famine damages among many Indian States. Another major economic change that was largely debated by economists with the introduction of Indian railways was the concept of ‘social-saving’. 

Contributing to Modern Market Economy

Prior to the introduction of railways transportation except in the Indus and Ganges valleys and in the coastal regions was costly undependable and difficult.  It provided rapid, reliable and cost-effective bulk transportation to the energy sector, to move coal from the coal fields to power plants and petroleum products from refineries to consumption centers. It linked places, enabling large-scale, rapid and low-cost movement of people across the length and breadth of the country. In the process, the Indian Railways became a symbol of national integration and a strategic instrument for enhancing trade and market integration.

 Contributing to Economic development

The Indian Railways contributed to India’s economic development and accounted for about one per cent of the GNP. Not only did it become the backbone of freight needs of the core sector. It also accounted for six per cent of the total employment in the organized sector directly and an additional 2.5 per cent indirectly through its dependent organizations. The Indian Railways, with nearly 63,000 route kilometers fulfilled the country’s transport needs, particularly, in respect of long-distance passenger , goods traffic. Today, freight trains carry nearly 1.2 million tons of originating goods and 7,500 passenger trains carry nearly 12 million passengers .



Green chemistry :A New Route TO Protection Of Environment

GREEN CHEMISTRY  is   a program of developing new chemical products and chemical processes or making improvements in the already existing compounds and processes so as to make them less harmful to human death and environment. Green chemistry uses the database information about the toxic and hazardous properties of certain in order to fully evaluate their positive and negative impact. The non  availability of such data in the previous years posed problems to the chemists for evaluating consequences of the chemical substance being  synthesis and green chemistry tries to find the solution of these problems.


PAUL.T.ANASTAS (American) the father of green chemistry. They for the first time in 1991 coined the term green chemistry. Recently Paul T. Anastasio the Director of Yale University’s  for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering.   15 years ago in 1990 the concept of green chemistry was established at the Environment Protection Agency . It was a response to the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990


When we start talking about GREEN CHEMISTRY many of us relate Green chemistry to the branch of science involving plants.  However, it is nothing to do with the chemistry of plants. In fact, it relate to the program of alternative synthetic pathways for prevention of environmental pollution. The expression green chemistry was used by scientists in 1902 after the formation of Pollution Prevention Act 1990.

GREEN CHEMISTRY is simply a way of utilizing the existing knowledge and principles of Chemistry  and other sciences to reduce the  harmful impact on environment due to the compounds.




In the period of 1990’s a variety of ideas and research efforts (such as atom economy and catalysis ) emerged Green Chemistry .

Green chemistry is also known as  “clean” and “sustainable” chemistry .

In 1962 a book Silent spring was written by Rachel Carson . It was a scientific book  it talked about the devastation that certain chemical had on local ecosystem. The book served as wake up call for thee Public  as well as the scientist and inspired the Morgen environmental movement . After this the congress noticed the importance and passed the National Environment Policy Act  in 1969. This was The  first step taken for the environment.

12 Principles of Green Chemistry

  • Prevention

“ It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it is formed”.

  • Atom Economy

“Synthetic method should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in process into the final products”.

  • Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses

Whenever practicable, synthetic methodologies should be designed to use and generate substance that litter or no toxicity to human health and environment”

  • Designing Safer Chemicals

Chemical products should be designed to preserve Efficacy of function while reducing toxicity”.

  • Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries

“ The use of auxiliary substance should be made unnecessary where possible and innocuous when used”.

  • Reduce Derivatives

Reduce derivatives unnecessary derivatives should be avoided whenever possible”.

  • Catalysis

“Catalytic reagents are superior to chemical reagents”

Use of a catalyst facilities transformation without the catalyst being consumed in the reaction and without incorporated in the final product.

  • Design for Degradation

“Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they do not persist in the environment and break down into innocuous degradation products”.

  • Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention


“ Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substance”.

“Checking the Progress of chemical reaction as it happens”.

  • Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention

“Substance and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to low  potential for chemical accidents, including releases explosions, and fires”.

Design for Energy Efficiency

“Energy requirements should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. Synthetic method should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure”.

Use of Renewable Feed stocks

“ A raw material or feed stock are often made from agricultural products are the waste of the other processes depleting feed stock are made from fossil fuels or are mined.


Green Chemistry In industry

  • Development of dense-phase carbon dioxide.

Dense-phase Carbon dioxide has been characteristics. This super critical Carbon dioxide is wonderful material which has the ability to clean everything from the plutonium pits to semiconductor wafer as well as clothes. It can also be used as recyclable solvent and finds number of applications in food industry. Future possible uses of the Carbon dioxide  include making cement stronger and also in reducing pollution emission from coal plants.

  • Development of fuel cells for cellular phones which can last full life time of thee phones. These cells are based on methanol-oxygen fuels.
  • Development of new method for synthesizing ibuprofen in 99 Percent yield, avoiding the use of large quantities of solvents and waste associated with traditional methods.
  • Development of a safer marine  compound sea-nine that degrades more rapidly than organised  which persist in Marin environment and cause pollution problems.
  • Development of a method for catalytic hydrogenation of diethanolamine. The new Friendly herbicide in a less dangerous way. This technology represents a major break through because it avoids the use of cyanide  and formaldehyde.


application of green chemistry


  • Dry Cleaning of clothes

1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane was earlier used as solvent for dry cleaning clothes. The compound contaminates the ground water and is also a suspected carcinogen. Now a days, Carbon dioxide  along with suitable detergent is used for dry cleaning in place of 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane Replacement of hydrogenated solvent  Carbon dioxide will result in less harm of ground water.

  • Bleaching of paper and clothes

Chlorine gas was used earlier for bleaching of the paper. These days, hydrogen peroxide with some Suitable  catalyst is used. Hydrogen peroxide is also used for the purpose of bleaching of clothes in the Laundry processes, which gives better results and makes use of lesser amount of water.


Agriculture is the one of the most important things for humans.It  plays an important role in the field of agriculture. Green chemistry principle are mostly related to the manufacturing part of the agriculture the pesticide, fertilizers should be non-toxic and should not harm the agriculture by any means And they also not harm humans and environment. There are many ways by which agriculture can be protected by green chemistry like:

  • Minimise the risk of pesticides
  • Using suitable fertilizer
  • Maintain the variety
  • Energy efficiency in the chemicals industry


 1: Availability of green technologies

2: Scale-up and commercial

3: Connecting green chemistry solution providers to industry

4:Understanding of basics of green principle

5: Green chemistry is costly, complex and not viable for SME?

6: Regulatory hurdles

Future aspects of green chemistry:

As we know green chemistry plays very important role for environment. In India present day also there are places where green chemistry should be applied but due to many reasons . In future

Green chemistry should be used there are  many of the reasons 

  • Results in healthier living conditions
  • Is economical and profitable
  • Encourages creativity in the world of chemistry
  • Is healthy for the environment.