Growth of Industries in India:
In India, traditionally, the family members used to process the locally available raw materials with simple tools. This system still exists in many parts of our country. Gradually simple tools were replaced by machines, which not only produced more goods in lesser time, but also produced goods of uniform size and of superior quality. These machines were run with the energy provided by coal, petroleum or electricity.
The history of modern industrial development in India dates back to about 150 years, when the charcoal based iron smelting was attempted in 1853. But it failed in 1874. The first successful attempt in the field of textile industry was the establishment of cotton mill in Mumbai in 1854, and a jute spinning mill at Risra (near Kolkata) in 1855.
i. The introduction of railways in 1853, and its further development helped the movement of raw materials and manufactured goods.
ii. The real expansion of cotton textile industry was witnessed during 1870s due to an increase in demand in the wake of the American Civil War.
iii. The real beginning of the iron and steel industry commenced with the working of Bengal Iron and Steel Works Ltd. in 1874 at Kulti.
iv. The establishment of the iron and steel industry on a large-scale dates from 1911, when the Tata Iron and Steel Company started its production in Jamshedpur.
v. The first paper mill was started at Ballygunge near Kolkata in 1870.
vi. Some woollen textile mills were set up at Kanpur, Dhariwal and Bangalore during the 1870s to meet the requirements of the military, police and railway personnel.
vii. Though many industrial units producing a variety of goods were started, but the real push to industrial development was given by the two World Wars.
The main industrial centres were the port cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. This pattern for locating large-scale industries was planned and executed by the British rulers in India. It was to help the import and export of raw materials and finished goods.
After the partition of India in 1947, there was disruption in raw material supplies, shortage of skilled labour and breach in railway transport system. The Government of India adopted a new industrial policy based on mixed economy, in which the state and the private enterprises were allowed to co-exist.
Since 1950s, progress was made in the establishment of a large number of new industries in collaboration with UK, USA, Russia, Germany, Japan and a few other countries. Industries that benefitted were iron and steel, metallurgy, petroleum refining, synthetic fibres, chemicals, petrochemicals, engineering, electronics, fertilisers, etc.