Bangalore-Industrial developments post independence

By Amartya Aishwarya → Sunday, 15 January 2017
Bangalore-Industrial developments post independence


As a city, Bangalore’s history in the last six decades has undergone many changes. In the post independence decades Bangalore was known as a Garden City of retirees’ bunglows, and for a significant public sector presence, as a large number of centrally owned public sector units as well as state government owned enterprises were set up from the early to mid nineteen fifties onwards. The city also saw the growth of several premier scientific research institutions, set up by the central government. Bangalore is the third most populous city in India and the 18th most populous city in the world. Bangalore was the fastest-growing Indian metropolis after New Delhi between 1991 and 2001, with a growth rate of 38% during the decade. The cosmopolitan nature of the city has resulted in the migration of people from other states to Bangalore.

During the British Raj, Bangalore developed as a centre for colonial rule in South India. The first train was flagged out of the city in 1859. And the lovely Cubbon Park was built by Sankey in 1864. The establishment of the Bangalore Cantonment brought in large numbers of migrants from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and North India for developing and maintaining the infrastructure of the cantonment.

Industrialisation-Phase I

Bangalore by the end of 20th century enjoyed certain advantages which laid the foundation for further expansion of industry. It was the most prominent trading centre located among 18 towns within 25 kilometres radius. Cotton cultivation, sericulture, availability of- timber, quality clay, etc, in the hinterland (Umland) of Bangalore had aided the expansion of industry and trade in Bangalore over a period of time. The infrastructure for industrialization that was already in place was the availability of hydro-electric power. Apart from that the overall industrial policy and state government’s assistance made a great impact on the industrialization of the Bangalore Town. What followed was the planned economic development. Bangalore was already a place where modernization in many spheres, had become a defining attribute of the city. Industrialization was central to modernization process which was initiated and encouraged by the Princely Mysore State. Given this backdrop Bangalore drew the attention of policy makers at the National level. In one of the visits to Bangalore, Bangalore City became the site for the planned industrial development. The national policy channelized resources for the development of public sector enterprises-large-scale heavy industries.

Social Space

In terms of city-size, city-growth, and functional rank Bangalore city held a primate position in the State of Karnataka, because none of the town in State resembled its development, growth and expansion pattern. In the first phase from 1951-1971, the city of Bangalore had become an industrial city. During 1951-1961, 50% of the increase in population was found in the ‘marginal areas’ of outer zone of the city. The growth of population had high correlation with industrial population. During the
decade 1961-71, the population increase in sub-urbs was 92%. In contrast, the increase in the city was only 35%. Thus, the city’s sub-urbs grew faster than the inner city, during the decade of 1961-71, revealing the industrialization of the sub-urbs which had a total population of 1, 13,038. The city had become a multifunctional city. It reveals the industrialization of the outward moving city.


By the mid 1970s, a new wave of industrialization was introduced to the existing Industrial base. A new type of concentration of ‘sunrise industries in high technology fields’ had been planned by Karnataka State Government, to ‘generate the kind of synergy associated with arena of innovation. This kind of state supported industrialization gave a new driving factor to urbanization. The result was the establishment of Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation (KEONICS) by Government of Karnataka’s department of medium and large industries. Keeping intact the spirit of
mixed economic style of development, the new corporation made entry into production by setting up its own plants in alliance with Indian and foreign companies. It also encouraged the private enterprises through ‘marketing support, and ran manpower training centres.’ In the context of State-led industrialization, Government lacked capital and the technological sophistication to start high-technology industries. Government was mainly confronted with the problem of under-accumulation. Under these circumstances Government played the role of a facilitator by creating infrastructure and land, and by allowing and aligning with the private sector to develop high technologies in the electronics and ‘telematics’.
With the new wave of industrialization, there was a new configuration of space owing to high-technology industrialization. As a concomitant of the IT industry there were new kinds of social spaces as domestic and leisure life changed. ‘A conspicuous class of software entrepreneurs has also emerged in Bangalore, running firms that have made them instant multimillionaire producing a new transnational elite of well-paid “infocrats”. Information technology parks came up with a package of self-contained/self-sufficient civic amenities. Construction of IT parks began in 1995, and the first phase was completed in 1997. The IT park was inclusive of one high-rise building for commercial space, another for office space, and a six-floor building designed for light industrial production, all faced with light reflective glass and polished stone high-rise apartment blocks for 764 flats, complete with swimming pools and tennis courts, and shopping areas plus a gymnasium. The expected tenants to occupy this spaces were the transnational and Indian companies engaged in research and development, education and training, testing or manufacture in information technology fields. The private investment proposals that have come to Karnataka in the 1990s show a dominance of very large projects, most of them in manufacturing industries. In relative terms, investment in the software industry is not substantial. This does not imply that software is an insignificant sector, but only that it is not as capital intensive as some other industries. Nearly half of the proposed investment is accounted for by companies already operating in the state (expansions projects). Bangalore is now known as the Silicon Valley of India because of the large number of information technology companies located in the city which contributed 33% of India's IT exports in 2006–07. Bangalore's IT industry is divided into three main clusters - Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), International Tech Park, Bangalore (ITPB) and Electronics City.


There are numerous companies which have flourished in Bangalore, some of which are Accenture(IT), Accord(IT), Acer(IT), Bosch(Non-IT), Hyundai(Automobile), JCB(Automobile),etc

Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru said ‘Bangalore is very much a picture of India of the future, more especially because of the concentration of science, technology and industries in the public sector here'. And yes, Nehru ji was right!
- Amartya Aishwarya

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