The Aid-India Consortium was organized in 1958 as an international scheme to support the economic development of India, and led by the World Bank. This article reconsiders the economic diplomacy of the Indian Government in the 1950s and 1960s, by paying attention to the interactions between the Indian authorities and the donor countries and institutions, in the context of the Cold War regime, decolonization and economic aid to the newly independent countries.
First, it deals with the development of the Aid-India Consortium by considering debates at its annual meetings and the skillful negotiations of the Indian Government and financial authorities. It focuses especially on the leading role of an Indian diplomat and financial expert, B. K. Nehru. The article then tries to reveal an Indian initiative in solving the ‘food crises’ of 1965-67 through intimate collaboration with the US government and the World Bank, using the frame-work of the Aid-India Consortium. These attempts lead to a reconsideration of the economic order of Asia in the 1950s and 1960s.
The traditional and orthodox interpretation of the British Raj (colonial rule in India) characterizes it in terms of the economic exploitation of India. However, recent historical studies have focused on the revival or development of the Indian cotton industry at the turn of the twentieth century. This article pays special attention to the rapid development of the Indian cotton-spinning industry as an export industry for the Chinese market and its implications for intra-Asian competition.