M Visvesvaraya, the diwan of the princely state of Mysore, developed a network of institutions that gave birth to Bangalore’s high-tech present.
The city’s modern identity is linked to the information technology revolution and the fact that companies such as Infosys and Wipro initially established themselves in the city in the 1980s. The presence of a broad network of public sector enterprises in the city’s unique industrial economy had a vital role in catalyzing that moment.
Several other types of institutions, facilities, and infrastructures evolved in tandem with public sector activities. To some extent, economic and urban development were intertwined. Bangalore’s growth was aided as a result of the procedure.
How did the industrial sector, which employed over 3 lakh people at its peak in the 1970s and 1980s, impact the city’s development?
Bengaluru’s venture into the industry may be traced back to the several institutions established by M Visvesvaraya – engineer, bureaucrat, statesman, and Diwan or prime minister of the empire of Mysore – during the early twentieth century.
Visvesvaraya strongly advocated for state-led industrial expansion at the pivotal Mysore Economic Conference in 1911.
As a result, the Department of Industries and Commerce was founded, as well as the establishment of the kingdom’s first public sector unit, the Government Porcelain Factory, in 1932.
This was pursued by many additional enterprises that would aid the Mysore state to create an industrial foundation, a concept that was well advanced in the Indian setting.
Mysore Sandal Soap Factory, established in 1916; Government Electrical Factory, established in 1933; Mysore Lamps, established in 1936; Mysore Electrical Industries, established in 1945;
and New Government Electric Factory, established in 1956, were among the industries founded following the Mysore Economic Conference.
The preceding existence of textile factories like Binny and Minerva, as well as colonial organizations like the Railways and the Cantonment, had created a core level of expertise in
Bengaluru, which made it an excellent structure for these corporates, their private equivalents like Kirloskar and Motor Industries Company Ltd or MICO, and later government-linked
Furthermore, the state of Mysore had a strong desire to absorb the newest scientific and technical advancements from throughout the world, a practice that dates back to the
early twentieth century and its enterprising Diwans. Dams, power stations, and factories were created by the state, and Diwans were dispatched to the west to study them.
Why has the IT industry grown hugely in Bangalore?
These industries, as well as their townships, are now well within the municipal boundaries. However, they were placed on the outskirts at the time they were built up. Bangalore has divided into two halves at the time: the local town and the cantonment.
HAL and BEML, two wartime or defensive businesses, were established east of the Cantonment, where the army was stationed. The remainder were built on the property of the Wodeyars, the royal family of the Mysore Princely State, to the northwest of the original town.
The necessity to lodge employees in these units led to the creation of townships, which were developed on enormous swaths of land purchased from the city’s surrounding settlements.
According to Janaki Nair’s book The Promise of the Metropolis, ITI — the city’s first government sector initiative township – purchased 368 acres of property from the Krishnarajapuram
village and other nearby villages after agreeing on a price.
The HAL plant, on the contrary, was built on 200 acres of military territory and drew labour from nearby settlements.
As the city expanded around the nucleus of factories on the periphery, the placement of significant companies and accompanying townships had a key influence on the city’s orientation
and pattern of growth. Because the townships could only accommodate a quarter of the workers, the state provided financial incentives for the rest to establish their own homes and
Since the late 1960s, industrialization has migrated to small-scale and auxiliary sectors that serve large-scale industries. This increase, as well as the construction of apartment schemes within the city, resulted in the development of the city’s inner suburbs. Workers in the public sector who did not reside in the settlements on the outskirts of cities would take the 400 buses supplied by their employers to get to the workplace.
According to studies conducted by the Times Research Foundation in the 1980s, approximately 14% of Bangalore’s workforce was widely used in industrial work related to the huge manufacturing economy driven by public sector companies during the pinnacle of the industrial economy.
Visvesvaraya’s support for educational and skill-developing institutions, which would go hand-in-hand alongside rapid industrialization, was integral to his vision for modernization.
Because high-tech sectors such as computers and machine tools required constant advancements and worker skill upgrades, various skilling, research, and development organizations were ultimately established.
Several government agencies maintained their own research and development divisions, and workers could acquire early-career and mid-career training at one of the city’s many training
institutions. Several well-known research institutions were founded, and they assisted the industry. The Indian Institute of Science (founded in 1909), the Defense Research and Development
Organization (founded in 1958), Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, government polytechnic institutions, and industrial machinery training institutes are only a few examples.
Bangalore now boasts more private engineering institutions than other regions of the country, indicating the city’s high level of competence. As a result, when IT businesses and corporations
set up a base in Bangalore following liberalization in 1991, they had access to a big pool of highly qualified engineers and workers from which to recruit.
Bengaluru’s IT industries hire around 1.5 million people in the IT sectors, out of a total of nearly 4.4 million all over India, and they represent the country’s biggest IT-related shipments.
The city generated US $45 billion in 2014, accounting for 38% of the Country’s total IT exports.
Bangalore is currently India’s IT heartland, and it is often referred to as the “Silicon Valley of India“.