Green Revolution: A Historical Perspective


The history of modern agriculture in India begins in 1757. In that fateful year the Indians lost the Battle of Plassey to the East India Company of the British soldier-traders. As a consequence of the defeat, the revenue rights of one district in Bengal, the 24-Paragannahs, had to be ceded to the Company. The foothold thus gained by the British in the civil and revenue administration of India expanded rapidly. By 1765, large territories of India, particularly in the provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, had come under the control of the Company; and agriculture in India had become subject to the British administration and its modernising influences.

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Impact of Modernisation on Milk and Oilseeds Economy

 

Cereals, pulses, milk products and oils form almost the whole of the Indian diet. These along with sugarcane and cotton also account for most of the production potential of Indian agriculture. Traditional Indian agricultural practices seem to have maintained a balance in the relative production of these products and their spread over the geographical extent of India, which perhaps corresponded to the dietary needs in various areas and perceived priorities of the Indian farmers.

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Plannig without the Spirit and the Determination

 

In the mid-eighties Indian polity passed through a short spell of unusual frankness and honest introspection. This period lasted for no more than a couple of years. But during those two precious years an atmosphere was generated in which it became possible to undertake a proper assessment of our achievements in various fields of national endeavour, and to make efforts to set new pragmatic goals, without being bound by the moralistic rhetoric and empty day-dreaming that had marked much of the Indian planning till then. The series of technical reports prepared by the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, and collected in these two volumes, are a product of the efforts initiated in that phase.

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