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What was the impact of the Permanent Settlement on Indian agriculture?

The Permanent Settlement significantly impacted Indian agriculture, leading to a decline in agricultural productivity and increased rural poverty.

The Permanent Settlement, introduced by the British in 1793, was a system of land revenue collection that had profound implications for Indian agriculture. It was implemented primarily in the Bengal Presidency, which included modern-day West Bengal, Bihar, and parts of Odisha and Bangladesh. Under this system, zamindars or landlords were made the owners of the land, and they were required to pay a fixed amount of revenue to the British government, irrespective of the income from the land.

One of the most significant impacts of the Permanent Settlement was the decline in agricultural productivity. The system did not provide any incentive for the zamindars to invest in agricultural improvements, as they were required to pay a fixed amount of revenue regardless of the yield. This led to a lack of investment in irrigation, better seeds, and other agricultural inputs, resulting in a decline in agricultural productivity.

Moreover, the Permanent Settlement led to increased rural poverty. The zamindars, in order to meet their revenue obligations, often imposed high rents on the peasants. This, coupled with the lack of investment in agricultural improvements, led to a decline in the income of the peasants, pushing many into poverty. The system also led to a significant amount of landlessness among the peasants, as many were unable to pay their rents and were evicted from their lands.

The Permanent Settlement also had a profound impact on the social structure of rural India. It led to the emergence of a class of wealthy zamindars, who wielded significant power and influence. On the other hand, it led to the impoverishment of the peasantry, leading to a deepening of social inequalities.

In conclusion, the Permanent Settlement had a significant impact on Indian agriculture. It led to a decline in agricultural productivity, increased rural poverty, and a deepening of social inequalities.

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