Introduction to the Indian Economy

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSUS1EC1314

Ambedkar University Delhi

Course Outline

Winter Semester (January-May 2018)

School: Undergraduate Studies

Programme with title: BA (Honours)

to which offered: (I/ III/ V) II

Course Title: Introduction to the Indian Economy

Credits: 4 Credits

Course Code (new): SUS1EC131

Course Code (old): EC02

Type of Course: Compulsory    No           Cohort BA (H) Economics

                            Elective          Yes          Cohort BA (H) other than Economics

For SUS only (Mark an X for as many as appropriate):

  1. Foundation (Compulsory)
  2. Foundation (Elective)
  3. Discipline (Compulsory)
  4. Discipline (Elective) X
  5. Elective X

Course Coordinator and Team: AnirbanBiswas

Email of course coordinator: anirbanbiswas[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: Desired understanding of basic social sciences at 10+2, EC01

Aim: The objective of this course is to provide a broad sweep of the Concept, Structure and Trends in the Indian Economy in a roughly chronological manner. It begins with a review of the evolution of the Indian economy during colonial rule and introduces the roots of Indian underdevelopment. It then takes the students across time periods that make out the Indian development experience such as the initial planning period of the 1950s and 1960s, the decade and a half of the initiation of the Green Revolution and of Poverty Alleviation Strategies/food security, Industrialisation, the changed economic policy period preceding the major economic reforms and then introduces the idea of globalization in the context of the Indian economy and some of the debates that have been key in the Indian context.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Development and Underdevelopment – India as an underdeveloped economy.

Indian Economy in the Colonial Period: Land Revenue Systems in British India- Permanent settlement, Ryotwari/Mahalwari system, emergence of land intermediaries-Zamindari system ; Export-orientation of the economy, deindustrialization and tribute transfer to British Raj

Overview of the economy- Evolutions in the sectoral structure of the national economy- trends in output and employment – Strategy of import substitution role of Planning and Five-Year Plans

Agricultural development, green revolution, food security and poverty alleviation

Economic reforms policies and post-reform development

Course outcomes:

  • Content: This course is the second course offered to the SUS students intended to learn economics. In that direction the course offers an introductory understanding of the Indian Economy. The focus of the course is on two main aspects of the economy. First, on the colonial interventions in India and second, the post-colonial developments. With these the offerings, it is expected that by the end of the course the students should be able to (1) describe the historical and socio-political back ground of the colonial economic developments and changes with a special reference to the rural/agricultural sector, traditional and modern industrial activities and emergence of Indian capitalist class; (2) discuss the reason behind India’s underdeveloped situation during independence and the requirement for the planning models; (3) discuss the changes during the economic reforms and post reform scenarios in agriculture, industrial and service sectors.
  •  Skills: By the end of the course the student should be able to:
  1. describe the changes bought by the colonial government in India regarding economic and socio-political structures.
  2. illustrate the changes bought by colonial government in the rural economy e.g. various forms of tenancy and their impact on rural population.
  3. illustrate the de-industrialisation and emergence of modern industries.
  4. illustrate the emergence of indigenous capitalist class and modern markets during the colonial period.
  5. ask basic questions on the colonial mode of exploitations.
  6. describe the developments in the planning era.
  7. describe economic liberalisation policies.
  8. describe/discuss developmental challenges e.g. poverty, inequality, unemployment etc in India.
  9. seek effective help from reference sources.

Some suggested references but not limited to:

Amiya Kumar Bagchi (2010) Colonialism and Indian economy, OUP

Arun Kumar (2013) Indian Economy Since Independence: Persisting Colonial Disruption, Vision Books.

B. R. Tomlinson (1996) The economy of modern India, 1860-1970. Vol. 3. Cambridge University Press

Dharma Kumar and Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (2005) Cambridge Economic History of India: Vol. 2, 1757-2003, Orient Longman.

IrfanHabib (2013) Indian Economy 1858-1914,Tulika Books.

IrfanHabib (2013) Indian Economy Under Early British Rule 1757-1857,Tulika Books.

S. Deshpande (2014) The Problem of Caste, Orient Blackswan Private Limited.

S. Jodhka (2012) Village Society, Orient Blackswan.

Tirthankar Roy (2011) "Economic History of India, 1857-1947." OUP Catalogue.

Uma Kapila. Indian Economy Since Independence, Academic Foundation.

UtsaPatnaik (1999) The Long Transition: Essays on Political Economy, Tulika, Delhi.

Tentative Assessment schedule with details of the distribution of weight:



Date/period in which Assessment will take place

Distribution of weight


Class test 1

Mid February/End week of February



Class test 2

Mid March/ End week of March



End Semester Exam

End of semester