top of page
MHI-05: History of Indian Economy

MHI-05: History of Indian Economy

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for MHI-05 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject History of Indian Economy, you have come to the right place. MHI-05 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in MAH courses of IGNOU.

Looking to download all solved assignment PDFs for your course together?

MHI-05 Solved Assignment Solution by Gyaniversity

Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: MHI-05/AST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MHI-05

Assignment Name: History of Indian Economy

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Total Marks: 100


Note: Attempt any five questions. The assignment is divided into two Sections 'A' and 'B'. You have to attempt at least two questions from each section in about 500 words each. All questions carry equal marks.




Q1. Discuss major approaches to the study of medieval economy. 20

Ans) Early mediaeval India has generally been characterised by historians as a dark era characterised by political disintegration and a decline in culture. Due to this characterization, historical research has largely ignored this time period. New research has uncovered a lot of significant and fascinating elements of this time period over the past few decades. The notion that this time period was characterised by a "dark age" has been dispelled by recent studies. Even the lack of political unification, which earlier scholars saw as a negative quality, is now recognised as a positive attribute that contributed to the mediaeval period's rich regional cultural development.


On the basis of two sets of presumptions, early mediaeval theories have been divided into two major categories. This and similar assumptions presume that the traditional political order is essentially unchangeable. This theory holds that historians have labelled early mediaeval India's polity as "traditional" or "Oriental despotic" (originally derived from Marx) Marx's depiction of an alleged oriental despotism was influenced, claims Hermann Kulke, by "Occidental prejudice against an alleged oriental despotism."


Instead of the earlier assumption that the Indian political system is immutable, more recent works on this era assume that it has the potential to change. The "centralised state model" or "imperial model" is possibly the first kind of model that anticipates change. According to this interpretation, historians who followed the imperial model saw the dynasties changing and the empire's realm enlarging. As a result, it was viewed as deviating from the norm established by "imperial rulers until the time of Harsha who tried to tame the tide of disintegration" (B.D. Chattopadhyay, The Making of Early Medieval India).


The early Middle Ages were therefore seen as a departure from the ideal imperial system in this model. Instead of being the norm in a stable, centralized controlled country, change is viewed in this context as a negative shift toward an unstable state. This approach can lead to a lack of understanding of state formation processes at this time. Because of this, it does not go much beyond summarising military triumphs and dynastic history. This approach, which was primarily adopted by nationalist Indian historians, uses the "Hindu political order" as the ideal or normative ideal but is also susceptible to communal interpretations of Indian history.


He claimed that the decline in urbanism and trade, especially foreign trade, made the issue worse. Another factor to take into account was coin scarcity. As a result, he believed that the economy was in a state of decline and decay during this time. Politically, he described it as being constantly fragmented and decentralised, a result of the practise that was commonplace of giving both large and small territories to feudatories and officials who established their control over territories and became independent potentates through the grant of land. In other words, the Mauryan state holds the key to understanding how a centralised bureaucratic state system gradually collapsed into a feudal polity. Land-assignment systems gradually spread during the early Middle Ages and were associated with the transfer of the centralised state's administrative and revenue-generating rights. This process led to a decline in the state's sovereignty and an erosion of its power.


Q2. Examine the nature and pattern of Mauryan economy. 20

Ans) In contrast to the earlier smaller kingdoms, the founding of the Mauryan empire brought about a new type of centralised empire. The Mauryan Empire shows that tribal republics were defeated by monarchy as a political system. The administrative structure can be determined by examining the Arthasastra alongside the edicts.


The king, who had the authority to enact laws, stood in the middle of the building. When the social order founded on the varnas and ashramas (stages in life), Kautilya advises the King to spread dharma. He refers to the king as the "promulgator of the social order," or Dharmapravartaka. The king was advised by a council of ministers known as the Mantri-parishad, and occasionally this may have served as a political check. Under Ashoka, the centralised monarchy of the Maurya’s devolved into a paternal despotism. In his first separate edict, Ashoka commands Dhauli and Jauguda to "Savve Munisse Paja Mama." (Every man is my child.) Even though the Mauryan king made no claims to divine origin, he made an effort to highlight the relationship between kinship and divine power.


It appears that the Chief Minister and a small group of councillors, the ministerial council or mantri-parisad, were chosen to serve as an inner council or close advisory body. The Purohit, Senapati (Commander in Chief), Mahamantri, and Yuvaraja were among its important members.



The highest administrative and judicial positions were filled by amatyas, a type of administrative staff or civil servant. Their pay ranges, service policies, and payment options were all spelled out in detail. Their role and responsibilities were crucial because they served as the foundation for all government activity.


Superintendent or Adhyaksha:

Highly skilled Superintendents or Adhyakshas who managed various departments ran the central administration. Adhyakshaprachara, the second book of Kautilya's Arthasastra, contains an account of the activities of nearly 27 adhyaksas. Below are some of the significant officials.


The two offices of currency and accounts were under the control of the accountant-General, or Akshapataladhyaksha. The Sitadhyaksha was in charge of overseeing agriculture on government farms or crown lands.


Military and Espionage Department

The king himself would frequently command the army. Only during the reign of the last Maurya do we find a Senapati dominating the king and winning the soldiers' allegiance. Pliny claims that in addition to chariots, Chandragupta's army also consisted of 9,000 elephants, 30,000 cavalries, and 600,000-foot soldiers.


Kautilya divides the types of troops into four categories: the Maula (hereditary), the Bhritakas (hired), the Atavivala (supplied by forest tribes), and the Allies (mitravala). The first were the most significant and made up the king's standing army.


They were probably the soldiers Megasthenes was referring to when the spoke of the fifth class. Kautilya also discusses the pay scales for various military commander ranks. For instance, the Senapati was paid 48,000 panas annually.


Six committees, each with five members, make up the administration of the armed forces, according to Megasthenes. The first committee was in charge of naval warfare, the second, comparable to the modern commissariat, was in charge of overseeing the transportation of war materials, the third, the fourth, the cavalry, the fifth, chariots, and the sixth, the elephant corps.


Q3. Analyse the features of the agrarian order and revenue organization of the Cholas during the 9th to 13th centuries. 20

Ans) The pattern of agrarian order further got restructured in the 9-13th centuries with more direct state interventions in the regions.


Tamil Nadu: The Cholas

Due to the state directly entering localities and regions for a land survey and assessment as well as new and larger revenue units formed out of the existing peasant regions and Brahmadeyas, the agrarian order under the Cholas came to be further restructured. In non-Brahmadeya villages, the nadu continued to organise and regulate agricultural production and redistribution. However, the creation of the Valanadu (groups of nadus for revenue administration) and the enhancement of the position of the major Brahmadeyas into separate revenue units (tan-kuru or taniyur) with control over several non- Brahmadeya villages with temples, around the Brahmadeya, meant greater intrusion of royal authority through such institutions into the regions for the mobilisation of agrarian resources. Corporate merchant organisations also played a significant role in the local production and redistribution processes as the nagaram grew in popularity as the market hub for each nadu. Although by the end of the Chola period land rights had become more complicated and stratification of land rights had become common in non-Brahmadeya villages, it appears that communal ownership persisted in Ur (Ur).



There are reportedly 32 Brahmana settlements in Kerala, according to tradition. Interestingly, no Brahmadeya has a royal charter, so it appears that they were founded by roving Brahmanas. They multiplied, founding new settlements, combining parts of older ones, and joining two or more settlements to create a larger one. There are nine such communities between the rivers Parumpula and Karumanpula, thirteen between Karumanpula and Curni, and ten between Curni and Kanya Kumari. Some of the significant ones are Perumcellur, Isan Mangalam, Mulikkalam, and Tiruvalla. In their more fertile regions, such as the Pampa and Periyar valleys, they can be found in groups. Subsidiary settlements, known as upagramas, began to be joined to the main Brahmana settlement as a result of the rapid growth in agricultural production and expansion (The Tiruvarruvay Copper Plate of Sthanu Ravi (AD 861)). But when referring to these Brahmana settlements, which are almost always connected to temples, the term "Brahmadeya" is hardly ever used.


Karnataka: The Chalukyas of Badami and the Rashtrakutas

The land grant system established a similar organisation of agricultural villages in Karnataka under the Chalukyas of Badami (6th–8th century AD) and the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed (Manyakheta) (8th–10th century AD). The Brahmans were the major landowners and controlled the cultivation process in the Agraharas or Bramapuris (Brahmadeyas are not as prominently mentioned in the inscriptions as Agrahara The term Okkalu, which refers to agriculturists who, like the Velalas of the Tamil region, were both land controllers and tenant cultivators under the reorganised agrarian order, here denotes the presence of non-Brahmana land controlling groups.


Andhra Region:The Eastern Chalukyas

In Andhra, agriculture expanded in the early fourth to sixth centuries AD. Due to the high soil fertility (alluvial) and sufficient rainfall in the initial phase, a larger portion of the land in coastal Andhra, particularly the deltaic region, was put under cultivation. Hence the widespread pattern of dense settlement in coastal Andhra. About 27 early grants of Agrahara’s dating from the fourth to sixth centuries are concentrated in the Krishna, Guntur, and Godavari districts of the Andhra region (coastal Andhra).





Q6. Write a note on the business practices of medieval India with special reference to partnership and brokerage. 20

Ans) Business practises included two important elements: partnerships and brokerage. Both typically operated within the larger family, and the members' cooperation was crucial to their success.


Capital and labour are the two essential elements of any business endeavour. If someone has both, they can work independently for as long as their business allows them to. The choice to enlist the assistance of kinsmen, people from the same caste and subcaste, and even outsiders become preferable in the absence of both or due to their limitations. A formal partnership is when two or more parties pool their resources in terms of labour, expertise, and capital. Depending on the nature of the enterprise and the obligations of the participants, partnerships can take on a variety of complex forms.


The most typical type of business arrangement in mediaeval India appears to have been partnerships involving the extended family. Prospective business owners were encouraged to look outside the kinship circuit for wider collaboration, though, as a result of the search for suitable partners. Kharagsen had a Shaivite as a long-time business partner, and Banarasidas once became an Oswal Jain's partner. In both instances, relationships developed between members of different Bania sub-castes.



The speed and transparency of doing business start to decline as the economy grows. The variety of business dealings tends to keep the parties apart from one another and from their respective markets. Businessmen need a broker's services to bridge the gap between transactions that are still far apart in time and space in order to get around these obstacles. Any successful business environment without the institution of brokerage is difficult to imagine.


Trading with the aid of brokers (Arabic dallal; Persian gumashta) was a common practise in mediaeval India. The brokers were prevalent in all commercial areas and were mostly from the Bania community, with a small number of Parsis and Muslims. All large merchants were expected to employ a broker to secure various commodities and keep them prepared for sale or shipment at the appropriate time of year.


The Surat merchant prince Mulla Abdul Ghafur owned a broker named Gangadas, and his grandson Muhammad Ali owned two. When Englishmen J. Ovington and John Fryer visited Surat in the 1680s, they claimed that foreign merchants (particularly European and Armenian ones) had brokers who were of the "Banian caste, skilled in the Rates and value of all the commodities in India," and without whom no one could "do any Business" in India.


The brokers typically operated as family businesses with shared investments and accounts managed by a senior member chosen for his knowledge and experience. Each day's working family members gathered to discuss the deals they made and to give an account of the money they received and spent. Brokers typically charged 1% commission from each party on every business deal, but the rate could increase if the deal was complicated or required a sizable investment.

Q7. Discuss the impact of European intervention on Indian merchants and trade during the eighteenth century. 20

Ans) In the first half of the colonial century, the Indian merchant class underwent a difficult process of redeployment. Those who survived the eighteenth-century financial crisis were largely integrated into the new colonial system as dependent partners of British businesses in the expanding country trade of India. The collaboration between British private traders and Indian merchants produced its most notable results in the cotton and later opium trades in Western India, where it proved to be essential and long-lasting. The most significant participants in the colonial trade between Bombay and Western India emerged to be Parsis and Bania merchants. The research conducted by Asiya Siddiqi (1995) on Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy reveals the close ties between Parsi business and British advertising agencies.


His income came from a number of different places, including trade profits made on his own account, hire of freight on his ships, interest on loans to shippers, dividends from shares of marine insurance companies, and commission from the sale of his own bills. Despite his extraordinary talent and wealth, he was still subject to the fundamentally unfair trading environment in which he operated. British traders were able to buy and sell bills of exchange at prices that Indians could hardly afford thanks to their global network of operations. In order to send money back home, they frequently had to import British metals and textiles.


Therefore, Jamsetjee found American bills undesirable and challenging to sell in Bombay, despite the eagerness with which European remitters sought after them. Other businesses were impacted by the issues with payments and remittance arrangements; for instance, Jamsetjee's national shipping was unable to operate in the face of competition from private European shipping. According to Asiya Siddiqi, the success of English shipping wasn't just a technological one. "English ships were able to offer freight at prices that Indian ships could not match, just as their connections with the dominant international networks of commerce and banking, centred in Britain, allowed the Liverpool trading houses to sell bills of exchange at rates that Indian merchants could not afford." Given these circumstances, Jamsetjee's success must be viewed as a testament to his dexterity and insight, which allowed him to amass a sizeable fortune.


Farooqui contends that this was demonstrated by the significantly higher involvement of indigenous enterprise in the development of capitalism in Bombay as compared to Calcutta. The main participants in the massive Malwa trade smuggling operation were the Marwari soucars, Gujarati and Parsi merchants of Bombay and Ahmedabad, as well as the European agency houses. The soucars, who were primarily Gujarati and Marwari, controlled the wholesale trade in opium. They paid cultivators advances and collected the crop in collusion with the princely states of Rajputana and Central India. They stored the produce in sizable warehouses. They took part in extensive stock speculation and gambling. The two most popular types of speculation and futures trading are described by Farooqui. Jullub and cowri sutta were these. As a pledge that he will pay him a specific price, at a specific date, for a specific quantity of grain, the former practise involved anticipating price at specific dates "accompanied by unreal entries and transfers."

100% Verified solved assignments from ₹ 40  written in our own words so that you get the best marks!
Learn More

Don't have time to write your assignment neatly? Get it written by experts and get free home delivery

Learn More

Get Guidebooks and Help books to pass your exams easily. Get home delivery or download instantly!

Learn More

Download IGNOU's official study material combined into a single PDF file absolutely free!

Learn More

Download latest Assignment Question Papers for free in PDF format at the click of a button!

Learn More

Download Previous year Question Papers for reference and Exam Preparation for free!

Learn More

Download Premium PDF

Assignment Question Papers

Which Year / Session to Write?

Get Handwritten Assignments

bottom of page