RHI Seminar: Capital and the ‘Cooperative’ in Rural India, 1904-1914

We happily invite you to the RHI Seminar of November. Our speaker for this month is dr. Maanik Nath from Utrecht University. He will be presenting his paper titled: 'Capital and the ‘Cooperative’ in Rural India, 1904-1914''

The seminar will take place in room B0075 in the Leeuwenborch. Hope to see you there!

Organised by Economic and Environmental History

Thu 10 November 2022 16:00 to 17:15

Venue Leeuwenborch, building number 201
Room B0075


Credit cooperatives in India have been mismanaged and discriminatory in their lending practices for over a century. This paper traces the source of the problem to the design of the cooperative enterprise. Cooperatives were a top-down initiative in India. Colonial officials installed credit cooperatives in villages from 1904. Analysing new sources from three major provinces, the paper shows that government agents managed, registered and regulated cooperative enterprises, discouraging peasants from saving or investing in their local cooperative. The government expanded responsibilities held by officials to substitute for the lack of private participation in the decade after the first registered cooperative, a period that saw large public investment and rapid expansion in the number of cooperatives. The quasi-public structure combined political, profit and developmental interests, leaving a legacy of corruption in the cooperatives sector.