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Peek into History: Post-Independence Era Growth of the Telugu land

 
After India’s independence in 1947, Hyderabad became a state in Independent India, formed after the accession of the princely state of Hyderabad into the Indian Union on 24 November, 1949. It existed from 1948 to 1956.


 
At the outset of the formation of the new government, big irrigation and hydro-power projects for agriculture and industrial development were taken up and removal of trade barriers on customs was underway. Meanwhile, separate currency was decided apart from requesting the government to set up an Advisory Board, representing the Commerce and Industries Department.
 
The new government discontinued the old practice of the support to industries i.e. directly contributing to the share capital of the industrial concerns, and decided to advance loans to deserving companies on suitable security. 
 
Even as the Hyderabad state was to come to terms with the new political developments in the country, in 1948, the Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police Academy (NPA), which has the onus of maintaining administrative structure of country and provide training to IPS officers, was established in Hyderabad.
 
Later, in 1951, the government took the decision to replace the “Industrial Trust Fund” with the State Finance Corporation. This was also the year in which Hyderabad Chemical and Pharmaceuticals was established in the city. Later, Hyderabad Potteries in 1952 and the famous Karachi Bakery was started at Moazzam Jahi Market.
 
 HMT’s tick-tock moment
 
One of the most prominent businesses that was established in the city during this period was Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) Limited (HMT). It was incorporated in 1953 by the Government of India as a machine tool manufacturing company. In the later years, the company diversified into other products including watches. Its watch division, known as the HMT Watches Limited, started in 1961 with the support of Japan’s Citizen Watch Company. (The company took over Praga Tools Ltd. as one of its subsidiaries in 1988)
 
Meanwhile, 1953 also witnessed South India’s first pharmaceutical company establishing its base in Hyderabad. Biological E. Limited, founded by Dr. Vijay Kumar Datla, was the first private sector biological products company.
 
This was also the time when Andhra State was formed after breaking out of the Madras Presidency in 1953. Following the formation of the Andhra state, agitations for linguistic division across the country broke out. As a result the Andhra State’s geographical region expanded when Telangana with 9 districts was merged into it, to form Andhra Pradesh on November 1st, 1956, with Hyderabad as the capital.
 
As the formation of Andhra Pradesh was underway, the Government of India decided to set up the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) in 1956 in Hyderabad. It is located at the palace of the erstwhile Prince of Berar known as Bella Vista at Hyderabad who was heir apparent to the (throne) of Hyderabad. 
 
In 1959, a comprehensive plan on the development of intermediate ports was made. It suggested that Kakinada, Kalingapatnam, Machilipatnam, Bhimunipatnam, Nizamapatnam and Krishnapatnam ports should be developed as it had the potential for coastal as well as overseas trade. The problems of Textile mills in the state due to the non-availability of adequate finance and entrepreneurial skills, spurred the creation of management agents to save the industry.
 
Second wave of modernisation with PSUs
 
This was also the time when Central sector investment resulted in creation of a large number of small-scale and ancillary units. Promotional organisations revived adequate financial support from the State government, to enable them to play the envisaged catalytic role. 
 
Allocation of Public Sector Utilities (PSUs) to different areas in and around Hyderabad led to development of infrastructure like electricity, water, roads, etc. The presence of PSUs boosted the development of social infrastructure such as planned townships, basic facilities, transportation, schools, etc. The availability of good infrastructure also helped migrants to thrive in Hyderabad. Due to PSUs, other supporting sectors like education, health, hotel, banking, etc., also evolved in the city.
 
Some of the major PSUs like BHEL, BEL, HAL, Hindustan Cables and NMDC came up to Hyderabad in early 1960s. Hyderabad also became home to defence establishments like BDL, Air Force Academy in Dundigal, Defense Research institutes like DLRL, DRDL, DRDO, IICT. Institutes like National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) and Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) situated in Hyderabad cater to various technology-based requirements. 
 
In 1961, several industry leaders stressed on the need for the economic development of the state through which licenses could be liberally granted to cement units, spinning mills and fisheries units. A plea for the setting up a Central Sector Steel Plant in the state was made in the process. Later, the then Union Minister for Commerce announced that a synthetic drug plant would soon be established in the state.
 
The making of a bulk drugs capital
 
The setting up of Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (IDPL) in 1961 boosted Hyderabad’s position in making it the bulk drug capital of India. It was set up to attain self-sufficiency in life-saving drugs. As an additional step, in 1977, the government established an industrial estate at Jeedimetla in Hyderabad, to develop ancillary units for IDPL. This started off a growth phase of the pharma cluster in the city.
 
This was also the time when a group of technocrats who settled down in Hyderabad were laying the foundations for electronic industries in the state. The earliest ones were: Elico, promoted by DVS Raju and the Radio Instruments Associates by Madan Mohan, the Instruments Technique Labs by Dr. SSRL Swamy in 1962, Microceramics by Dr. M. Sanjeeva Rao for Electronics and Kadevi Industries by Purushotham in 1963. Simultaneously in the Andhra region, Ramoji Rao, in 1962 had started the Margadarshi Group to help people meet their needs through a chit system.
 
Following this, Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. (ECIL) was set up under the Department of Atomic Energy in 1967 in Hyderabad with a view to generate a strong  indigenous capability in the field of professional grade electronics. ECIL played a very significant role in the training and growth of high caliber technical and managerial manpower especially in the fields of Computers and Information Technology. 
 
Ancillary industries such as the cable, fan industries developed as a result of this, providing huge employment and contributed to the growth of the state’s economy. In the same year, Coromandel Fertilizers’ unit was set up in Visakhapatnam for pesticides and specialty nutrients.
 
Given that the state of Andhra Pradesh witnessed a gradual growth in the number of industries, the government decided to establish an industrial estate in Uppal, following which 700 acres were allotted around the Synthetic Drug Plant established in the area.
 
 In 1966, when Secunderabad was declared the headquarters of South Central Railway, FAPCCI suggested the setting up of a warehouse near the station to store grain and piece goods, in collaboration with merchants’ associations. This was received well by the government which realised the potential of the idea, making the Secunderabad Railway station one of the top stations in warehousing capacity.
 
Rocket-Science gets a fillip
 
By this time, the establishment of defence PSUs in the state gave a fillip to space research. This led to the setting up of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (ISRO) at Sriharikota by the Government of India in 1969. Sriharikota, a remote inaccessible island near Sullurpeta in the State, was acquired to establish a national range for launching of multistage rockets and satellite launch vehicles. SHAR, popularly known as "Spaceport of India”.
 
Gradually, the industrial process in the State had gained momentum in the early 1970s. However, in the manufacturing sector, structural diversification had taken place over the period though a few traditional agro-based industries such as food products, tobacco and tobacco products, textiles etc., still dominate the industrial economy of the State. Their relative importance has declined significantly since the mid-seventies in favour of modem high-tech industries such as chemical and chemical products, electrical machinery, basic metal and alloy industries, cement, etc. 
 
The Companies Act, which was a complicated piece of legislation, also was one of the reasons for the slowing of industrialisation. The nature of industrialisation was such that the traditional, agro-based industries went to the modern non-agro-based and capital intensive industries. At this juncture, industry leaders appealed to the Union Minister of State for industrial development to simplify the legislation that would in turn promote small-scale industries in the state. 
 
The emergence of capital-intensive industries during this period is due to massive public sector investments and the starting of a large number of resource-based industries in the private sector in general and particularly, in cement and paper sectors. Several representations were made on the following subjects: issue of export permits to move wheat products, mechanisation of in-land water transport, foodgrains licensing order and expansion of RBI’s activities in the city.
 
Gradually, Hyderabad and places like Visakhapatnam started booming as PSUs and ancillary units began generating revenue for the state, eventually growing the economy. 
 
(This article is part 1 of The Better Andhra’s ‘History Series’ on post-independence development in Andhra Pradesh)

 

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