Important Questions Class 11 Economics Indian Economic Development Chapter 1

Important Questions Class 11 Economics Indian Economic Development Chapter 1- Indian Economy on the Eve of Independence

An economy is where interrelated activities related to the production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services occur. An economy will be shaped according to the culture, values, education, technological development, history and social and political organisations that reside there. To understand why the economy is in a certain state, one needs to take a glance at what happened in the past. Studying the post-independence economy is also essential to understand the present state of the Indian economy and assess its future. Chapter 1 in Class 11 Economics deals with the same. The chapter on Indian Economy on the Eve of Independence wishes to help the students understand the state of the economy in the year 1947 and make them understand what led to the stagnation and underdevelopment of the Indian economy.

This chapter lays the basic foundation for students to learn about Class 11 Economics hence understanding the pretext of the current economic situation that prevailed is essential for them. Students can study the Class 11 NCERT book post which they can practice questions from Important Questions Class 11 Economics Indian Economic Development Chapter 1 provided by Extramarks.

Extramarks is a trusted study material for  students across India  to study, prepare and revise for their examinations. The Important Questions Class 11 Economics Indian Economic Development Chapter 1 is curated by experts from various sources such as NCERT books, CBSE sample papers, reference books, etc. We at Extramarks understand the importance of practising questions to help understand concepts better. The step-by-step solutions prepared by subject experts at Extramarks will be an excellent aid for students to understand Chapter 1 of  Class 11 Economics thoroughly.

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Economics Class 11 Chapter 1 Questions and Answers

Chapter 1 contains essential topics for students to get a  thorough understanding of the Indian economy. The questions cover critical topics from the whole chapter, including topics such as the agricultural sector, industrial sector, foreign trade, demographic conditions, infrastructure and so on, so that students can revise  while practising these questions. Studying Chapter 1 Class 11 Economics Indian Economic Development Important Questions will also greatly help students  get good grades in their examinations.

Here is the list of Important Questions Class 11 Economics Indian Economic Development Chapter 1 with solutions provided by experienced Economics experts to support the students to learn and grasp with better understanding and score well in their exams. :


Question 1. When was the first census data collected in British India?

  • 1882
  • 1881
  • 1981
  • 1985

Answer 1: b) 1881

Explanation: The first comprehensive census was conducted in 1881, and the results provided the most comprehensive and extensive demographic record for any population of comparable  size in India. Before 1881, there was census data collection in British India, but it was a non-synchronous census meaning it did not take place in the same period.

Question 2. In which century did the iron and steel industries begi?

  • 19th century
  • 17th century
  • 20th century
  • 14th century

Answer 2: c) The 20th century.

Explanation: Modern steel production in India began in 1870 with the establishment of India’s first blast furnace at Kulti-Burnpur, and production started in 1874 with the establishment of Bengal Iron Works. Dorabji Tata founded the Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) as a division of his father’s business in 1907. It made history again in 1918 when it established the Indian Iron and Steel Company Ltd. in Burnpur, West Bengal.


Question 3. What is Muslin?

Answer 3: Muslin is a high-quality cotton fabric that is now readily  available. The purest material in the world, malmal is the best variety of muslin. There is a notion that the British Indian port city of “Maisolos” is where the name “Muslin” first appeared. It was once manually woven in Dhaka (now in Bangladesh) using fine hand-spun yarn.

Question 4. What is the commercialisation of agriculture, and when did it begin?

Answer 4: Commercialisation of agriculture is when agriculture is undertaken for sale in the national and international market rather than self-consumption for the farmers and villagers. The commercialisation of agriculture began during the British rule in the country to provide input for the British industries. So only the products required by British industries or could fetch a profit in the British markets were commercialised. Agriculture, which had previously been more of a way of life than economic activity, was now being practised for export to domestic and foreign markets.


Question 5. What was the two-fold motive behind the systematic deindustrialisation brought into effect by the British in pre-independent India?

Answer 5: India’s textile and handicraft industry was famous worldwide before the Britishers rule. Like the agriculture sector, the industrial sector could not develop for the better during the British rule in India. The handicraft industry declined, and no new industry was allowed to come into place. The following were two main reasons for the systematic deindustrialisation by the British:

  • Make India a Supplier of Raw Materials:

The main motive of the Britishers for deindustrialisation was to make India a supplier of cheap raw materials to feed its flourishing industries.

  • Make India a Market for Finished Goods:

Another strong motive was to make India a market for selling the finished products manufactured by the British industries. This also ensured a continued demand for their products.


Question 6. What is GDP in economics?

Answer 6: The Gross Domestic Product or GDP is the value of the total expenditure for producing all the goods and services in the country for a specific period. It shows the level of economic activity of the country. Though the gross domestic product is commonly measured annually, it can also be computed quarterly. In 2020, India’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) was valued at 2.62 Lakh Crore USD.


Question 7. What was the main focus of the economic policies undertaken by the British government in India? What were the impacts of these policies?

Answer 7: The British government’s economic policies in India were designed to position India as a supplier to Britain’s expanding industries. The initiatives were intended to help Britain grow and improve its financial standing. The Britishers completely disregarded India and its development. These measures led to India being a market for completed British goods as well as a supplier of raw materials. Following are some points to enumerate the impact of the Britisher’s policies:

  1. The Indian economy only had very little growth. According to studies, the economy expanded at a rate of 2% between 1900 and 1950. The British government was more concerned with preserving and expanding Britain’s economy. The British administration destroyed the agricultural and handicraft industries, which also turned India into a provider of raw resources.
  2. Before India gained its freedom, its agricultural system was not advanced, it used outdated methods, and colonial rule had a significant impact when it ordered farmers to plant cash crops rather than food crops. Several industrial crops, including cotton and indigo, were utilised in Britain to make textiles. Since the peasants had no financial gain from cultivating these crops, no economic progress occurred.
  3. By causing the handicraft sector to collapse and other industries to fail due to a lack of investment, the British scheduled for systematic deindustrialisation. The downfall of the handicraft industry was ultimately caused by the imposition of high export duties on goods produced in India, which decreased demand on the global market.
  4. The money that Indian exports brought in through international trade was not put into the Indian economy; instead, it was utilised to run the British army and extend their colonial influence throughout Asia.


Question 8. What objectives did the British want to achieve through their infrastructure development policies in India?

Answer 8: Under British rule, there were significant infrastructural developments in India. The underlying intent wasn’t India’s development but to fulfill the British Empire’s interests. Under colonial rule, India saw significant developments in transport and communication networks. A detailed explanation of the same is given below:

  • Construction of Roads:

Roads made it easier to get raw materials from different parts, from villages to the nearest railway station to ports where the Britishers would export them to British industry. There was still a shortage of all-weather roads around the country which caused significant troubles.


  • Starting the Railways:

Railways were introduced in 1850 and were one of the most significant infrastructural contributions by the Britishers. It enabled travelling long distances and overcoming geographical boundaries. The Britishers mainly used the railways to transport raw materials and encourage agriculture’s commercialisation. The other reasons why the Britishers developed the railways  was to mobilise the army, effectively control the Indian subcontinent, and maintain proper administration.


  • Developing Ports: 

The ports and various marketing centres were developed to ensure better railways connectivity, and the Britishers earned profits from foreign trade.


  • Post and Telegraph:

To improve the efficiency and reach of the British administration in India, Posts and Telegraph were built by colonial rule.


Question 9. The traditional handicrafts industries were ruined under British rule. Do you agree with this view? Give reasons in support of your answer.

Answer 9: British economic policy destroyed India’s handicrafts and cottage industries, historically the primary sources of trade and revenue. Following are some reasons :

  • The British  damaged  the silk, woollen, pottery, paper, metal, and tanner sectors in addition to the cotton weaving and spinning industries. 
  • Deindustrialisation was a strategy used by the British to destroy the Indian handicraft industry for personal gain. The Britishers transformed India into a straightforward exporter of raw materials for Britain’s upcoming modern businesses. 
  • The East India Company could control trade conditions thanks to their support for free trade.
  • Additionally, they hired Indian artisans at wages significantly below market rates and compelled them to sell their goods at sub-market costs. 
  • In contrast to British goods, which were allowed duty-free access to Indian markets, Indian goods were subject to high tariffs in the English market. They exploited  India , which led to the extinction of famous Indian handicrafts.

Hence it can be said that the British economic policies ruined the flourishing handicraft and cottage industry.


Question 10. Highlight the significant features of India’s pre-independence occupational structure.

Answer 10: The distribution of the population engaged in different occupations is known as the occupational culture. The following are the salient features of India’s pre-independence occupational structure:

  1. The Prime Occupation- Agriculture:

Under British rule, India was an agriculture-based country where more than 75% of the population was involved in agriculture. A large section of people depended on agriculture to earn a sustenance income due to widespread poverty in the country. In agriculture, the zamindari system existed, which further resulted in the sector not growing to its full potential.


  • The Bleak Occupation- Industry and Manufacturing:

The Industry and Manufacturing sector employed just about 10% of the workforce. This resulted from the tough competition that Indian goods had to face from the cheap machine-made goods from England. In addition, the high tariffs imposed on Indian exports added fuel to the fire, leading to restrictions on the industry sector’s growth.


  • Regional Variations:

India experienced regional differences in the composition of the workforce. It was observed that states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and cities like Mumbai had more work focused on production and manufacturing. In contrast, states like Punjab, Orissa, and Rajasthan had more people moving toward agriculture.


Question 11. What do you understand about the draining of Indian wealth during the colonial period?

Answer 11: The concept of the drain of Indian wealth was given by Dadabhai Naoroji. Following are some points that help to explain this concept:

  • A distinctive feature of the colonial era was the exploitation of Indian resources. Britain invaded India mainly to seize control over a steady supply of cheap raw materials to develop its own industrial base there. 
  • On the other side, Indian money was used to purchase expensive finished goods imported from Britain, enriching Britain at the expense of India. 
  • In addition, the British government used Indian labour to strengthen its imperial influence overseas. Indians in the British army received lower pay than their British counterparts.
  • Additionally, the funds raised from India and the export surplus produced by its international trade were used to pay for the expenditures of the war and the administrative costs incurred by the British government to run the colonial administration.

Hence it can be seen that the Britishers used to drain the wealth in terms of Indian resources to use for the benefit of their country and serve their interests.


Question 12. Indicate the volume and direction of trade at the time of independence.

Answer 12: During the colonial era, India was a resource-rich nation. India produced many goods, including sugar, silk, jute, and others. The British government’s restrictive restrictions impacted the structure, nature, and volume of India’s foreign commerce on international trade and product export. Following are the conditions of international trade during independence: 

  1. India became a destination for the export of essential goods like sugar, raw silk, indigo, jute, etc. India also began importing machinery made in Britain as well as machine-made goods like cotton, silk, and woollen clothing. India’s primary import source was Britain, with food grains being the most common import.
  2. With the Suez Canal opening up in 1869, Britain gained a monopoly over international trade. It aided in the establishment of a direct connection between India and Britain. As a result, the Britishers much more exploited the Indian market as the time required by the Britishers for the transit of goods was cut down. The British managed to keep up all of India’s trade, with more than half going to them and the rest going to China, Persia, and Ceylon.


Question 13. What were the different forms of revenue settlement adopted by the British in India? What was the impact created by such systems in today’s scenario?

Answer 13: One of the systems of revenue collection adopted by the Britishers was the Zamindari System. 

Lord Cornwallis introduced the Zamindari System in 1793. It was first introduced in colonial India in the provinces of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, and Varanasi. The zamindars were recognised as landowners if they paid the East India Company’s revenue on time. The zamindars, regarded as India’s equivalent of the British nobility, have been around since the post-Mauryan era and have become more well-known throughout the British period. They were found in almost every state, including Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and, as well as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Hyderabad, and Kerala. The pattern of land ownership had altered over time, though. During the king’s administration, the land was divided into Jagirs and given to Jagirdars.

These Jagirdars split the land they had been given and gave it to Zamindars beneath them. Zamindars compelled peasants to cultivate the land in exchange for a charge that was a percentage of their income. In Bengal, the British founded their first settlement.


The British followed three types of land tenure systems which were as follows:

  • Permanent Settlement/Zamindari System: Under this system, the zamindars were required to collect revenue and pay the East India Company. The revenue demand was fixed. The area under this system was roughly 19% of the total area during British rule. Areas of Bengal, Bihar, Banaras, and the NWFP (North West Frontier Province) were under this system.


  • Ryotwari System: The cultivators or peasants were recognised as the landowners under this arrangement. They held ownership rights, and the government personally gathered the taxes from the peasants. This system’s taxes were relatively high compared to the Permanent Settlement. The Ryotwari system was done in the provinces of Assam and Coorg and Madras and Bombay and covered 51% of British-ruled India.


  • Mahalwari System: The land area was divided into Mahals under this method. A village or more villages may have made up a mahal. The Mahal was charged with the tax. Each farmer contributed his fair share. The peasants held ownership rights in this instance as well. The village headman or other local officials were in charge of collecting money. It defined average rents for various soil classes. This system covered 30% of colonial India, including NWFP, central provinces, and Punjab.


Following are some impacts of the Zamindari System:

  1. The Zamindari System eliminated the farmer’s traditional land rights, and India developed as a commercial through these land agreements. The cash payments of revenue increased money lending operations.
  2. The wealthy could use the legal system to protect their assets, while the poor could not do the same.
  3. Due to the compelled production of commercial crops, peasants would pay more for food grains and less for cash crops.
  4. The stability of Indian groups, where agriculture and related industries generated the majority of income, was shaken by the British land revenue system in India. They became miserable if a crop failed in any given year.


Question 14. Were there any positive contributions made by the British in India? Discuss.

Answer 14: While many British policies damaged India, there were some positive contributions. The guidelines were only meant for the benefit of the East India Company but proved to be a blessing in disguise for India. 

Some of these contributions are as follows:

  • Introduction of Railways: 

Railways’ development was one of the most significant benefits for India. The introduction of railways helped to connect people to distant regions while also increasing people’s business due to the expansion of geographical boundaries.


  • Introduction to Commercial Agriculture:

In the history of Indian agriculture, the commercialisation of agriculture was a significant turning point. It aided in achieving self-sufficiency in the production of food grains. Production was based on market demands, which helped India to develop a sustainable agricultural economy.


  • Free Trade:

During colonial control, India was forced to adhere to free trade, which gave it a foothold to compete with British businesses and also raised the number of exports.


  • Infrastructure development:

The infrastructural developments relating to the ports, telegram and postal services also helped India to achieve better connectivity in terms of communications.


  • English Language:

Indians could communicate with the outside world and join the global community because of the promotion of the English language.


Question 15. Give a quantitative assessment of India’s demographic profile during the colonial period.

Answer 15: India’s demographic profile during the colonial period is below –

  1. High death rate and birth rate: Both the death date and birth rate were very high, standing at 40 and 48 per thousand persons, respectively.
  2.  High infant mortality rate: The infant mortality rate was about 18 per thousand live births.
  3. Low life expectancy: Life expectancy was as low as 32 years.
  4. Illiteracy: It was about 83% of the total population.
  5. Low standard of living: An estimate of 80 to 90% of the income was spent on basic necessities, people could not get an adequate quantity of food, shelter and clothing, yet the population witnessed low living standards.

It is clear from the data above that India was going through a period of extreme poverty, and a low survival rate, a low standard of living. The lack of medical facilities and the overall lack of awareness of health issues among Indians made the problem worse.


Question 16. How was the Indian economy before the arrival of British colonial rule in India?

Answer 16: The British governed India for more than a century. Given the circumstances in India, before the British arrived, the Empire was acquired by the British piece by piece. The leading cause of colonialism were a weak central governmental power, rivalry with European nations, military might, and Mughal neglect. Even though the British had no political influence in India when they arrived, it took more than 200 years for British political power to develop there. The conditions before the British’s arrival prompted the colonisation of India.

The following points explain the pre-colonial condition of India:

  • Political:

Caste was the primary determining factor in the period, and the upper castes held the majority of the political authority. Thakurs and Patels served as the  political leaders of the village.

  • Economic:

They were trading goods or services with one another most of the time. During the period, gold was also significant. The economy was supported mainly by agriculture and allied industries.

  • Social:

The prevalence of “untouchability” and caste discrimination made the social climate the worst it had ever been. Decision-making in social, political, or economic aspects was not open to women. The only Brahmins allowed to attend school were the men; Brahmin women were not allowed.

  • Administration:

In terms of administration, in India, the Britishers handled everything well. Three administrative levels existed. The smallest autonomous administrative unit was the village. The judicial system was flawed; it was typically caste, family, and gender biased.

  • Military:

The Mughal army served as the inspiration for the majority of it. In the military, cavalry played a significant role. It was deliberate and successful.


Question 17. Name some notable economists who estimated India’s per capita income during the colonial period.

Answer 17: The British government never took any steps to estimate India’s national and per capita GDP since they were never interested in advancing our nation. Some economists attempted to assess India’s national and per capita income during the colonial era, but the results were confusing and conflicting. Some prominent economists who were involved in the estimation of national income and per capita income include the following:

  1. Dadabhai Naroji
  2. William Digbay
  3. Findlay Shirras
  4. VKRV Rao
  5. R.C. Desai

VKRV Rao’s estimates are considered to be the most significant of these. Most of these analyses showed that the Indian economy expanded at less than two per cent between 1900 and 1950, with annual increases in per capita output of half a pcent.


Benefits of Solving Important Questions Class 11 Economics Indian Economic Development Chapter 1

Although Economics might seem a little intimidating at first, studying Economics will help students understand their surroundings better. It enables them to understand people, surroundings, businesses, markets and governments around them. Developing an understanding of Economics will also allow the students to understand the models applied to help in the growth of Economies. To understand all of this, students also need to understand the past scenarios that led to the current situations in the economy. Chapter 1 of Class 11 Economics helps the students dig deep into that past to lay down basics for further understanding of the subject. Chapter 1 talks in detail about the condition before independence, the Britisher policies that hampered India’s growth, and other factors that led  to stagnation and underdevelopment of India’s economy..

Solving Important Questions Class 11 Economics Indian Economic Development Chapter 1 will help students develop a basic understanding of how the Indian economy shaped itself on the eve of independence. Practising these questions will help students understand the concepts better while preparing them for their tests and evaluations.

 Here are some of the benefits of solving Important Questions Class 11 Economics Indian Economic Development Chapter 1:

  • The essential questions list is designed with the CBSE syllabus and guidelines in mind so that when the students go through them, they can provide a comprehensive review of the entire chapter.Students  will be able to understand every concept and answer any question easily. This encourages them to master the topic and increase their confidence in achieving higher grades. 
  • Subject matter experts prepare the step-by-step solutions with  years of experience in the field of Economics; hence students can rely upon and trust these solutions completely.
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  • Practising Important Questions Class 11 Economics Indian Economic Development Chapter 1 will help students ace their examinations and get better grades.One of the top e-learning platforms in India, Extramarks has earned the trust of millions of primary and secondary school students.

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Q.1 Aarti is crazy for Laddus. To be in equilibrium she decides to purchase 3 Laddus. She obtains marginal utility equal to 10 utils. Suppose marginal utility for money for her is 5 utils. What is the market price of laddu


The level of consumer equilibrium or maximum satisfaction is achieved at the level where the marginal utility derived by the consumer in terms of money becomes equal to the price of the commodity.
Using the formula


We substitute the values of MUm as 5 and MUx as 10 we get the equation 10= P x 5
P = 2 per Laddu

Q.2 According to the law of diminishing marginal utility, marginal utility is

maximum at the first unit.
increases with increase in consumption.
remains constant.
lowest at the first unit.

maximum at the first unit.

Q.3 A factor that causes change in quantity demanded is

A. price of the commodity.

B. price of substitute goods.

C. income of the consumer.

D. price of complementary goods.


price of the commodity.

Q.4 Distinguish between movement along the demand curve and shifting in demand curve.


Movement along the demand curve Shifting in demand curve
1. When quantity demand changes due to the change in own price of the commodity, it is called movement along the demand. 1. When demand changes due to the change in the other factors keeping own price constant, it is called shifting in the demand curve.
2. The only reason is change in own price. 2. The reasons are change in price of substitute good, change in weather, change in income, and etc.
3. There can be either upward or downward movement. 3. There can be either rightward or leftward shifting
4. It is also called change in quantity demand. 4. It is also called change in demand.
5. Diagrammatically it is shown as

5. Diagrammatically it is shown as

Q.5 A consumers income is given `60 and he consumes two goods coke and sandwiches. The price of coke and sandwiches are `6 and `2 per unit respectively. Answer the following questions.

(a) How many cans of coke can consumer buy if he spends all his income of coke

(b) How many sandwiches can consumer buy if he spends all his income of sandwiches

(c) How many units of sandwiches needs to be sacrificed to consume one more can of coke

(d) Can consumer do better than buying 4 cans of coke and 5 sandwiches

(e) Is the combination of 4 cans of coke and 6 sandwiches affordable

(f) What will be the value of MRS if consumer is in equilibrium


(a) Price of coke = 6

Total income = 60

Maximum number of cans can buy from given income

= 60/6 = 10

(b) Price of sandwiches = 2

Total income = 60

Maximum number of sandwiches can buy from given income = 60/2 = 30

(c) 3 sandwiches need to be sacrificed to get one additional can of coke.

(d) Equation of budget line

PX.X + PY.Y = M

Where PX and PY are prices of X and Y respectively,

M = income,

X and Y are the units of good- X and good-Y.

6 × 4 + 2 × 5 = 24 + 10 = 34 < 60

Since consumer has not spent all his income, he can afford more units of coke and sandwiches and can get more satisfaction than the given bundle.

(e) 4 × 6 + 2 × 6 = 24 + 12 = 36 < 60

Yes, the bundle 4 cans of coke and 6 sandwiches is affordable.

(f) When a consumer is in equilibrium,

MRSXY = PX/PY = 6/2 = 3

So the marginal rate of substitution at equilibrium is 3.

Q.6 Explain the effect on the demand curve in the following cases:

a) Rise in the price of Pepsi on the demand curve of Coke Cola.

b) Demand of Desktop due to rise in income of consumer.


(a) Pepsi and Coke Cola are substitute of each other. Due to the rise in price of Pepsi, the consumers of Pepsi will shift to the Coke Cola. So, the demand of Coke Cola will increase and demand curve will shift to the rightward from DD to DD.

When the consumers income increases, consumers will demand more for laptops and less demand for desktop. In this case, the desktop will become inferior good. Since there is a negative relationship between income and demand for an inferior good, so the demand curve for the desktop will shift to the leftward from DD to DD.

Q.7 The elasticity of demand is (-) 2. The initial quantity of a commodity is 10 units and the initial price is 10. If the price of good falls by 2 per unit, what will be the new quantity after fall in price


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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the topics covered in Chapter 1, Economics?

Class 11 Economics Chapter 1 is Indian Economy on the Eve of Independence. The following are the topics covered in Chapter 1: :

  • Introduction
  • Low level of economic development under the colonial rule
  • Agricultural sector
  • Industrial sector
  • Foreign trade
  • Demographic condition
  • Occupational structure
  • Infrastructure
  • Conclusion

First, students can study this chapter from the NCERT book to understand the theoretical part. They can refer to Class 11 Economics Indian Economic Development Chapter 1 Important Questions for practice to recall whatever they have learned in the lesson.

2. How many books are there for Class 11 Economics?

There are two books in  Class 11 Economics. The first book, called the Indian Economic Development, covers topics such as the Indian economy, liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation policies, rural development, poverty, infrastructure, environment, etc.

The second book, Statistics for Economics, contains topics such as collection, organisation and presentation of data, central tendency, measures of dispersion, correlation and use of statistical tools, etc.

Studying from both NCERT books can benefit students as they can learn about complex theories in simple and easy language. Also, the NCERT books are revised yearly to match the latest examination pattern and curriculum. Hence, studying these NCERT books will help students better understand microeconomics and macroeconomics concepts. When they  practice a lot of questions, stick to a study schedule and follow it religiously to come out with flying colours.