Globalization Process in India: A Historical Perspective since Independence, 1947

Article excerpt

The objective of this paper is to explain the meaning of Globalization in terms of the genesis, the evolution, and the characteristics of globalization with respect to India. The methodology adopted for this research is the Historical Analysis of the globalization process since 1947 - the year India became a sovereign state - till 2004. The analysis includes the study of six variables, viz., trade and investment policies of the Government of India, responses of foreign companies to the trade and investment policies of the Government of India, responses of foreign Governments in terms of the structure and motivation of their overseas development assistance, policies of GATT/WTO, Inward foreign direct investments, nature of exports from India, and outward foreign direct investments. The study reveals that globalization with reference to India has been rather shallow in its characteristics. It has been more of globalization in India and less of globalization of India.

INTRODUCTION

Since the early 1970s, there have been several research papers on varied issues of globalization with reference to India. However, one of the basic issues is still not researched sufficiently. The key concern of this paper is to explain the meaning of Globalization in terms of the genesis, the evolution, and the characteristics of globalization with respect to India. In other words, the paper focuses on what globalization has meant for India during the last about 60 years.

Overlooking such a fundamental issue in the past studies has lead to confusion on the subject and has lead to misplaced views on the meaning, problems and prospects of globalization with respect to India. First, it is believed that India put restrictions on Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) that restricted the flow of FDI to India since India became free from colonial rule in 1947. The policies of the GOI and the amount of FDI in India since 1948 to 1961 reveal a different story. India has also been a founder member of General Agreement of Tariff and Trade (GATT), a body for free global trade and investment, way back in 1948.

Second, globalization with respect to India has been seen mostly in terms of how freely the GOI has allowed the foreign business entities to operate in India and how much of foreign direct investments have entered India. However, seeing globalization on these lines is only seeing globalization as a one-way process. Third, globalization process in India is generally perceived as a phenomenon of post 1991. The trends in the changes in the policies of the GOI again reveal a different reality. Further, contrary to the reality, the amount FDI in India in the post 1991 period is presumed to be mainly from the American companies.

To clarify the concept of globalization and place it in the proper perspective, our research has undertaken a historical analysis of the various processes involved in the evolution of globalization since 1947 with respect to India. For our analysis, we took seven key parameters, viz., (1) trade and investment policies of the GOI during 1947-2004, (2) responses of foreign companies to the trade and investment policies of GOI, (3) responses of foreign governments in terms of the structure and motivation of their overseas development assistance, (4) GATT/WTO policies on trade and investment, (5) trends in foreign direct investments, (6) exports including outsourcing from India, and (7) outward foreign direct investments from India.

This paper has four main sections, viz., (I) Literature Review, (II) Research Methodology (III) Parameters of the Globalization Process, and (IV) Conclusions.

I. LITERATURE REVIEW

The great significance of globalization to India and to the world has drawn many scholars and academicians including business historians, economists, social scientists, political economists, management experts and others to write on the subject. Globalization has been addressed from different angles by various scholars and hence it is rather difficult to classify the literature on globalization. …