the heavy engineering and chemical industries. It was, however, the
technological leap of the Second World War that enabled Indian industry to
launch out on these new and complex lines. The production of basic and
heavy capital goods was hampered by formidable technological problems
arising from the absence of essential equipment, machinery and technical
know how. The problem dictated a new pattern of co-operation between the
big Indian houses and several multinational corporations by the time of
independence.
                           FAMINES IN INDIA
  A. Nature of Famines
   1. British rule began in India with a Bengal famine in 1770 and
       practically ended with disastrous famine of 1943 in Bengal. Before
       1850, inadequate or complete failure of rains or floods in certain parts
       country used to result in scarcity of food grains and fodder in
       particular local areas. Scarcity of food grains used to mean a famine.
       These local famines used to occur because it used to be practically
       impossible to bring food grains from other areas because of absence
       or inadequate means of transport.
   2. With development of roads and railways, nature of famines in India
       changed. After 1850, famine did not mean absolute scarcity of food
       grains and fodder, but meant considerable reduction in their supplies
       and therefore prices of food grains and fodder. It was now possible to
       rush food grains from other areas; but failure of rains meant absence
       of employment opportunities in that region and lack of income
       coupled with extremely high prices of food grains and fodder.
  B. Causes of Recurrent Famines
   1. Recurrent failure of monsoon is most important cause of famines in
       India.
   2. Comparative neglect of irrigational works by British is another cause.
   3. Absence of alternative occupations in villages resulting in low
       income of villagers.
   4. General poverty of country        and people and practical absence of