Introduction to Colonialism and Indian Economy MCQ and Answers

1. Which is one of the main positive contributions made by the British in India?

a) Construction of all-weather roads

b) Introduction of railways

c) Development of inland trade and sea lanes

d) None of these

Answer: b

Explanation: The introduction of railways by the British is one of the main positive contributions made by the British to India. It was a breakthrough in the development process of Indian Economy. It opened up the cultural and geographical barriers and facilitated the commercialization of Indian agriculture.


2. The opening of the _______ Canal significantly reduced the cost of transportation of goods between Britain and India.

a) Agra

b) Munak

c) Suez

d) Conolly

Answer: c

Explanation: The opening of the Suez Canal significantly reduced the cost of transportation of goods between Britain and India. In 1869, the Suez Canal was opened, greatly reducing the distance by some 4,500 miles as ships no longer needed to travel around southern Africa.


3. The main interest of the Zamindar was:

a) to collect rent

b) to improve the condition of agriculture

c) to produce food crops

d) to produce cash crops

Answer: a

Explanation: The main interest of the Zamindars was only to collect rent regardless of the economic condition of the cultivators causing immence misery and social tension.


4. Farming in which crops are produced to provide for the basic needs of the family is called:

a) stagnant agriculture

b) subsistence agriculture

c) commercial agriculture

d) None of these

Answer: b

Farming in which crops are produced to provide for the basic needs of the family is called subsistence agriculture. The majority of farmers in India practice subsistence farming- farming for their consumption. The entire production is largely consumed by the farmers and their families and they do not have any surplus to sell in the market.


5. India entered the ________ stage of Demographic Transition after the year 1921.

a) Fourth

b) Second

c) Third

d) First

Answer: b

Explanation: India entered the Second stage of Demographic Transition after the year 1921. India was in the first phase of demographic transition till 1921, that was characterised by high birth rate and high death rate. After 1921, India’s population growth never declined and showed a consistent upward trend.


6. The Indian economy on the eve of Independence was:

a) developed

b) Underdeveloped

c) stagnant

d) b) and c)

Answer: d

Explanation: The Indian economy on the eve of Independence was underdeveloped and stagnant. The Indian economy was an agro-based economy on the eve of independence. 75% of the Indian population was earning a livelihood from agriculture. Despite being a primary source of income for a major population, this sector faced a decline under the British rule.


7. Read the following statements relating to the industrial sector during British rule and choose the correct statement.

a) Cheap imports of British manufactured goods increased in the country.

b) The growth rate of the Industrial sector was very small.

c) India was reduced to be a mere exporter of raw material

d) India faced a shortage of locally made goods

Answer: d

Explanation: At the end of British rule, Indian economy was subjected to the problems of low per capita income, unemployment, shattered structure of cottage and small industries, low capital formation, low level of investment, high birth and death rates and conservative attitudes of Indian people.


8. Despite being the major source of livelihood, the agriculture sector continued to experience stagnation and deterioration during the British rule in India because of:

a) decline of handicraft

b) land tenure system

c) drain of India’s wealth

d) none of the above

Answer: b

Explanation: Despite being the major source of livelihood, the agriculture sector continued to experience stagnation and deterioration during the British rule in India because of land tenure system. The major cause of this sorry state of Indian agriculture was the various land settlement systems of the colonial government. The highlight of this was the zamindari system which was practiced in the then Bengal presidency.


9. Decay of handicrafts was majorly caused by

a) British tariff policy

b) competition from man-made machines

c) new patterns of demand

d) Introduction of Railways in India

Answer: d

Explanation: The introduction of Railways in India became responsible for the decay of handicrafts. It increased the domestic market for the British goods in India. Consequently the market for Indian goods began to contract. It led to the fall of handicraft goods.


10. One of the following was high during the British rule over India:

a) Literacy rate

b) Female literacy rate

c) Infant mortality rate

d) Life expectancy

Answer: c

Explanation: The infant mortality rate in British India was 218 per thousand live births that were quite high and due to the presence of the water and airborne diseases that took a toll on life and the situation was quite alarming.


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