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India: Industry
Country Study > Chapter 6 > Character and Structure of the Economy > Industry


At independence, industrialization was viewed as the engine of growth for the rest of the economy and the supplier of jobs to reduce poverty. By the early 1990s, substantial progress had been made, but industrial growth had failed to live up to expectations. Industrial production rose an average of 6.1 percent in the 1950s, 5.3 percent in the 1960s, and 4.2 percent in the 1970s. Although this increase was respectable, it was less than the rate achieved by some other developing countries and less than what the planners expected and the economy needed to bring about a large reduction in poverty. The emphasis on large-scale, capital-intensive industries created far fewer jobs than the estimated 10 million annual entrants into the labor force required. Hence unemployment and underemployment remained growing problems. In the 1980s, however, industrial production rose at an average rate of 6.6 percent. Observers believed that this increase was largely a response to economic liberalization, which led to increased investment and competition.

Last Updated: September 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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