Industrialization is a process of social and economic change which transforms a group from a primarily agriculture one to the one which focuses on manufacturing goods. This includes a large-scale reorganization of an economy to suit the purpose of manufacturing. In such revolution, often the craftsmen are replaced by assembly lines and manual labour is replaced by machines for mass production. The main characteristic of Industrialization is economic growth, more efficient labor division and use of technology to solve problems which are impossible to be solved by humans. It is usually associated by an increase in income and raising the quality of life.

Historically, Industrialization is often associated with huge amounts of pollution; a main reason is the dependence of industries on fossil fuels. However with increase of sustainable development and awareness towards environment, industries have a greater focus on using cleaner technologies. The re-organization of the economy had a lot of knock offs. It accompanied a great deal of changes in the structure of the society; the main transition was from farm work to factory work. It ruined the family system as they left the rural community and moved to urban locality for work. It created a class structure as now the commoners were separated from the well off citizens. This change contributed in spreading of diseases as well. There was an increase in child labour cases and then it led to an increase in educational systems. This paper discusses about the impact of industrialization in Indian society. Further it discusses negative and positive impact of industrialization in the world.

Keywords: India, Industrialization, Pollution, Factories, Economy, Society, Development.


India is a developing nation and is often referred to as the world’s biggest growing economies. Industrialization has led to development in quality of life and now the necessities are not only extended to cloth, food and shelter. Modernization has brought changes in diverse areas like cola, timber, bottling plants, agriculture, gas and chemicals. This has definitely led to development. However, this has also led to the degradation in the environmental conditions. It has led to extinction of flora, fauna in the ecosystem, depletion of natural resources and a major deforestation for wood and more resources from forest. The major cause of deforestation is industrialization. Not only this but it has led to ozone layer depletion and has caused deadly diseases.

The process of industrialization has changed the whole old economic structure which was formed earlier on the traditional feudal principles of birth and death. It has transformed the property system, division of labour and gave rise to new social structure and class which are above the traditional division of religion. Many changes that did not occur in pre-industrial societies have been brought on by industrialization. New social ties, urbanization, spatial concentration of people and changes in the composition of occupations have been implemented. It has led to certain common characteristics which differ from the characteristics of pre-industrial or traditional agricultural societies.


The Industrial Revolution was largely limited to Britain in the era from 1760 to 1830. Conscious of their head start, the British banned equipment, professional workers, and production methods from being exported. In particular, as some Britons saw lucrative manufacturing prospects abroad, the British hegemony could not last forever, whereas continental European businessmen tried to tempt their countries with British know-how. By establishing machine shops in Liège (c. 1807), two Englishmen, William and John Cockerill, introduced the Industrial Revolution to Belgium, and Belgium became the first nation in continental Europe to be economically transformed. The Belgian Industrial Revolution centered on iron, coal, and textiles, like its British progenitor.


France was slower than either Britain or Belgium, and less fully industrialized. France was engaged in its Revolution when Britain was developing its industrial leadership, and the volatile political situation prevented major investments in industrial developments. France had become an industrial power by 1848, but it remained behind Britain, despite great growth under the Second Empire. Other countries in Europe lagged far behind. Their bourgeoisie lacked their British, French, and Belgian counterparts’ power, authority, and opportunities. Industrial expansion has also been hampered by political conditions in other countries. Germany, for example, did not begin its industrial expansion despite the vast resources of coal and iron until after national unity was achieved in 1870. Once the industrial production of Germany had begun, it expanded so rapidly that by the turn of the century the nation had out-produced Britain in steel and had become the world leader in the chemical industry. European efforts were also well outstripped by the growth of U.S. manufacturing power in the 19th and 20th centuries. And, with striking success, Japan even entered the Industrial Revolution.

The countries of Eastern Europe were behind in the early 20th century. The Soviet Union became a major industrial force, telescoping the industrialization that had taken a century and a half in Britain in a few decades, not until the five-year plans. In the mid-20th century, the Industrial Revolution spread to historically non-industrialized countries, such as China and India.


In the late 19th and 20th centuries, despite significant continuity with the “old,” there was mounting evidence for a “new” Industrial Revolution. In terms of raw materials, many natural and synthetic resources not traditionally used have started to be used by modern industry: lighter metals, new alloys and synthetic goods such as plastics, as well as new energy sources. Developments in machinery, tools, and computers that gave rise to the automated factory were coupled with these. While certain parts of manufacturing were almost fully mechanized in the early to mid-19th century, in the second half of the 20th century, automated operation, as distinct from the assembly line, first gained significant significance.

Changes have also taken place in the ownership of the means of production. Oligarchic control of the means of production that dominated the Industrial Revolution in the early to mid-19th century, through the acquisition of common stocks by individuals and organizations such as insurance firms, gave way to a broader distribution of ownership. Many countries in Europe socialized the basic sectors of their economies in the first half of the 20th century. There was also a shift in political theories during that period: instead of the laissez-faire ideals that dominated the classical Industrial Revolution’s economic and social thinking, governments generally moved into the social and economic sphere to meet the needs of their more dynamic industrial societies. In the United States and the United Kingdom, the pattern was reversed starting in the 1980s.


The Industrial Revolution started in the 18th century in the United Kingdom and later spread too many other parts of the world, during which the agrarian and handicraft economies changed rapidly to industrial and machine-manufacturing-dominated ones. Not only did this economic change alter how work was done and goods were produced, but it also altered how individuals related to each other and to the world as a whole. Today, this wholesale shift in social organization continues and has created many impacts that have rippled through the political, ecological, and cultural spheres of the World.


Goods became cheaper and more affordable:

The factories and equipment they housed started making goods faster and cheaper than they could make by hand. As the availability of different goods increased, their cost to the customer declined (see supply and demand). Shoes, clothes, household goods, equipment, and other products have become more common and less costly to improve people’s quality of life. For these products, international markets were also established, and the balance of trade changed in favor of the consumer, bringing increased prosperity to the businesses that manufactured these products and adding tax revenue to government coffers. It has, however, also led to the disparity in income between countries producing products and consuming goods.

Manual labour was replaced by machine work:

The rapid manufacture of hand tools and other useful objects has led to the development of new types of instruments and vehicles for moving goods and people from one location to another. The development of road and rail transport and the formation of the telegraph (and its related telegraph infrastructure and later telephone and fiber optic lines) meant that progress in manufacturing, agricultural harvesting, energy production, and medical techniques could be easily communicated between stakeholders. Also well-known products of the Industrial Revolution are labor-saving machines such as the spinning jenny (a multi-spindle machine for spinning wool or cotton) and other inventions, particularly those driven by electricity (such as home appliances and refrigeration) and fossil fuels (such as cars and other fuel-powered vehicles).

Evolution in the field of medicine:

The Industrial Revolution was the catalyst behind numerous medical advancements. Industrialization has made it possible to manufacture medical instruments more rapidly (such as scalpels, microscope lenses, test tubes, and other equipment). Using machine production, refinements to these tools could be more effective for the doctors who wanted them to roll out. When contact between doctors in various fields increased, it was possible to easily spread the information behind new cures and disease treatments, resulting in better care.

Increased standard of living:

Mass production reduced the cost to the common (i.e. non-aristocratic) people of much-needed tools, clothing, and other household goods, which allowed them to save money for other things and create personal wealth. Furthermore, new job opportunities emerged as new manufacturing devices were developed and new factories were established. The average citizen was no longer so tightly tied to land-related issues (such as being dependent upon the wages farm labor could provide or the plant and animal products farms could produce). The emphasis on land ownership as the chief source of personal wealth was diminished by industrialization. The increasing demand for manufactured goods meant that as factory workers and as employees of companies that sponsored the factories, average individuals could make their fortunes in towns, paying better salaries than farm-related positions.

Rise of Professional jobs:

As industrialization advanced, in search of better pay in the factories, more and more rural folk flocked to the towns. To improve the overall productivity of the factories and to take advantage of new business opportunities, factory employees have been qualified to perform specific tasks. The owners of the factory divided their employees into numerous groups, each group concentrating on a particular mission.

Some groups secured and transported the raw materials used in the mass production of goods (namely iron, coal and steel) to factories, while other groups worked different machines. When they broke down, some groups of workers repaired equipment, while others were tasked with making changes to them and the overall operation of the plant.

Additional teachers and trainers were required to pass on advanced skills as the factories expanded and employees became more specialized. Furthermore, factory workers’ lodging, transportation, and leisure needs contributed to the rapid growth of cities and towns. To support these, governmental bureaucracies expanded, and new specialized departments were formed to manage traffic, sanitation, taxation, and other services. As more builders, doctors, attorneys, and other staff were added to handle the diverse needs of the new inhabitants, other industries inside the cities also became more skilled.


Over crowded cities:

The prospect of better pay attracted refugees, who were ill-prepared to manage them, to cities and manufacturing cities. Although initial housing shortages ultimately gave way to construction booms and the development of new buildings in many areas, first existed crowded shantytowns made up of shacks and other types of poor-quality housing. The sudden influx of people overwhelmed local sewerage and sanitation schemes, and drinking water was frequently polluted. Ideal conditions for outbreaks of typhus, cholera, smallpox, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases were provided by people living in such close proximity, fatigued by bad working conditions, and consuming contaminated water.

Environmental degradation:

In India two centuries ago, factories emitted toxins such as carbon di oxide, carbon monoxide, and other harmful gases that caused air pollution along with vehicular exhausts that were not heard or seen before. Because of Greedy Indians and their Expansionist conquests, India lost many of its forests and natural ecosystems and botanical and zoological species became Endangered or Extinct overnight. Water contamination is caused by heavy metals, arsenic, lead; hard water and industrial hazardous waste are released into lakes, rivers and other water bodies. Aquatic and aquatic animals are dying as a result of water bodies being polluted. As the human population of the planet continues to rise and more and more people are chasing the material benefits promised by the Industrial Revolution, more and more of the resources of the Earth are appropriated for human use, leaving a diminishing stock of plants and animals on which ecological services the biosphere depends (clean air, clean water, etc.).

Moreover, more than 40 percent of the Earth’s land-based net primary production is used by human beings, a measure of the rate at which plants transform solar energy into food and development. Coal, which had to be extracted or obtained after wood burning, was used by most factories, creating smoke and photo chemical smog in North Indian cities such as New Delhi, where visibility and breathing was difficult. Fossil fuels had to be imported from foreign countries and would again produce smoke, Green House Effect, Global Warming by using them for industrial purposes.

Poor working conditions:

Their owners valued production and profit above all else as factories appeared in the cities and industrial towns. Security and salaries of employees were less important. Compared with farm workers, factory workers received higher wages, but this also came at the cost of time and less than desirable working conditions. Factory staff frequently work six days a week for 14-16 hours a day. Human beings (employees) have become more vulnerable to exploitation, violence at work, more working hours and fewer fixed payments, job instability, and after retirement or termination of their employment, a bleak future. Also, finished Indian products were not on par with global standards and labels, but were more costly than comparatively cheaper imports from countries such as China, Hong Kong, Japan, etc.

Other problems

Nuclear plants are a threat to health and different forms of diseases can be caused by human beings living in close proximity. Farmers, who were in heavy debt to pay their dues to industrialists and real estate sharks, sold agricultural land with fertile and cultivable soil, and these lands have now become less yielding as factories or buildings have been constructed upon them. Inflation in India has always been increasing due to scarce natural resources or lack of availability.


Industrialization has affected our society in both a positive and a negative way. Industries which releasing toxins like mercury in the water bodies not only poison the lake and fishes but also create a threat to consumer of fishes. Increasing pollutants in air like carbon di oxide and carbon monoxide is a clear proof of pollution, which owe their responsibility to industries. These are a major cause of global warming which is the reason behind the rise in temperature on the globe. But on the other hand we can agree that it has increased the quality of life. It provides job opportunities and the production of high end products can’t be denied. It is a fact that life without factories cannot be imagined. We are at a stage where it is not possible to reverse the industrialization. But we can work on sustainable options to improve our environment. Policies which ensure healthy work conditions, preferring resources which are inexhaustible and improve our environment should be implemented. Without machines our life cannot be imagined but a world with worse living conditions can’t be imagined either, so we need to work on the dark side of industrialization.