What is Infrastructure?

It is the basic systems needed for operation of society


Railways, Roads, Bridges, Communication Systems etc


How was the Infrastructure in India Before and during British Rule?

Before British Rule

Roads which were made were not fit for public transport

During British Rule

Britishers constructed the following:



Britishers were responsible for introduction of Railways in India in 1850s

They also constructed roads as well as sea lanes and inland waterways


Britishers introduced the expensive system of telegraph

They also launched postal service

However, these systems were inadequate considering India's high population

Infrastructure-before And During British Rule - Teachoo.JPG

What was the social economic effect of Introduction of Railways by Britishers?

1. It enabled people to do long distance travel

Hence, they were able to break geographic and culture barriers (People from small areas can now go to big cities easily)

2. It helped in commercialization of Agriculture

Earlier Village economy was self sufficient as goods produced were consumed by farmer or sold within the village

Now Agriculture was commercialized


3. Volume of Exports Expanded

Raw Material were transported by Railways to the ports and exported from there

This leads to increase in exports of country, however benefit did not reach people

Introduction of Railway By Britishers in 1850s (1853) - Teachoo.JPG

Note - In Case of Export Surplus during British Rule
Majority of Trade was with Britain
Money was not received in India in form of Gold/Silver from Britain
Money was used to Make Payments of:
1.Expenses on War
2.Office of British Officers in India
3.Import of Invisible Items(Services from Britain)

Was Development of Infrastructure by British, good for India or Bad?

1 Social Benefits to Indian People

It enabled people to do long distance travel

Hence they were able to break geographic and culture barriers (People from small areas can now go to big cities easily)

Also, they could communicate with each other easily (through post and travel)


2 Economic Loss to India

Some projects were very expensive

Example - Telegraph
Some project had to be abandoned

Example - Coast Canal in Orissa


3 Increase in Exports

Road and Railways lead to Increase in Exports from India of Raw Materials

Hence, India was now not self sufficient

Roads and Railways were used to Transport Raw Materials out of country and Import Finished Goods in Country



4 Inadequate Infrastructure

Infrastructure in Rural and Remote areas were inadequate

Example -There was Lack of Roads, Railways, Postal service etc
Development of Other Infrastructure By Britishers - Teachoo.JPG


Motive of Infrastructural Development

The basic objective of Britishers for Infrastructural development was their own colonial interests:

1 Roads were built:

a) For mobilizing the army within the country

b) Movement of raw materials from villages to railway stations

2 Railways were developed for 3 main reasons:

a) To have effective control and administration over India

b) To earn profits in foreign trade by linking railways with ports

c) To make profitable investment of British funds in India


3 Electric Telegram was introduced to maintain the purpose of law and order.


NCERT Questions

Question 7

What objectives did the British intend to achieve through their policies of infrastructure development in India?

View Answer

MCQ Other Books

Question 1

In the following questions, select the correct answers:

British introduced railways in India in the year ___.

  1. 1849
  2. 1850
  3. 1851
  4. 1852
View Answer


Question 2

During British regime, which one of the following works was not performed?

  1. Establishment of railways
  2. Establishment of telephone system
  3. Establishment of wire-less system
  4. Establishment of Metro in Delhi
View Answer


Question 3

From the set of statements given in Column A and Column B, choose the correct pair of statement:

Column A  Column B  
1. Railway services in India  (a) 1897  
2. First Indian Census  (b) 1881  
3. Second stage of Demographic  Transition   (c) 1883  
4. First Train in India  (d) 1921  
  1. 1 – (a)
  2. 2 – (b)
  3. 3 – (c)
  4. 4 – (d)
View Answer


What is Infrastructure? INFRASTRUCTURE-BEFORE AND DURING BRITISH RULE It is the basic systems needed for operation of society Example-Railways, Roads, Bridges, Communication Infrastructure is Developed by Govt for economic development of a country Infrastructure Before British Rule Horse Travel Pigeon Messenger Infrastructure During British Rule Railways Roads Postal Service Telegraph Introduction of Railway By Britishers in 1850’s (1853) Positive Points Long Distance Travel Possible (Geographic and Cultural Barriers Broken) Commercialization of Agriculture (Agricultural Goods grown for sale transported over long distances) Increase in Exports (Raw Material Exported from India to Britain, transferred to port by Railways) Negative Effect Economic Loss to India (High cost of Making Railway Infrastructure) Self Sufficiency of Village Affected (Villages now dependent upon goods from other areas for their needs) Inadequate Infrastructure (especially in villages and remote areas) Development of Infrastructure By Britishers Rails Post Telegraph Coast Canal Overall Positive Points Social benefit (People can travel long distances) Commercialization of Agriculture Increase in Exports Social benefit (People can communicate) Social benefit (People can communicate fast) Modernised the Economy Negative Points Increase in Imports Inadequate infrastructure Expensive Project Expensive Project (Had to be abandoned) Infrastructure Inadequate especially in Rural Areas

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Maninder Singh

CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 14 years and a teacher from the past 18 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo