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Useful & reliable: technological transformation in colonial India

Roy, Tirthankar (2021) Useful & reliable: technological transformation in colonial India. Technology and Culture, 62 (2). 494 - 520. ISSN 0040-165X

[img] Text (Roy Technology and Culture post-copyedited version March 2021) - Accepted Version
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Identification Number: 10.1353/TECH.2021.0055


The proposition that Useful and Reliable Knowledge (URK) produced divergent patterns of long-term economic growth implies that such knowledge had weak agency in countries that fell behind. This article rejects such a theory on the evidence of colonial India. Indo-European contacts activated transfer, transplantation, and adaptation in URK; however, the impact was uneven within India. Despite boosting productivity in manufacturing and consumption, large areas were left untouched. These contrasts highlight the differentiated impact of URK on production conditions in India and question its transferability and mode of knowledge exchange under colonialism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: :© 2021 by the Society for the History of Technology. All rights reserved.
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N15 - Asia including Middle East
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2022 10:27
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 09:51

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