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Technological Slips between the Cup and the Lip-Unlearnt Lessons from Inter-War Colonial Madras

The establishment of the Government Industrial Institute in Madras in 1919 coincided with the development of chemical engineering as a distinct discipline at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It would thus be unhistorical to expect that readymade chemical engineering expertise would have been available to the Industrial Institute. However, other problems at diverse levels, raised by the history of the Institute remain unresolved to this day: the provision of venture capital, infant technology protection, and plain incomprehension of the issues involved The case of the Industrial Institute clearly forms the prehistory of more recent lunges at self-reliance.

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