Date of Award:

2016

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)

Department:

History

Advisor/Chair:

Tammy Proctor

Abstract

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) was a government institution that was created to map the geography and mineral resources of colonial India. British geologists Thomas Oldham and Valentine Ball used the GSI in order to affect policy changes regarding museum ownership, environmental conservation, and railroad construction. All of these policies were intended to impose order on the landscape and streamline the resource extraction process. Their goal was to enrich the British Empire. An Indian geologist named Pramatha Nath Bose, who also worked for the GSI for a time, also worked to enact policy changes regarding education and production. But instead of trying to make the British Empire stronger, he wanted to push it out of India. He left the GSI since he found it too restrictive, and, together with other Indians, restructured geological education at the university level and set up a successful steel manufacturing mill. Both the British geologists and Bose helped lay the economic foundation of India's independence. The GSI gave geologists power in some situations, but in others it restricted the advancement of the field.

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