This book is about the ideas regarding the concept of the term "development" which emerged circa 1930-50. It is a study of the formative period in history when the underlying notions of progress, self government, and nation building were articulated. The author considers how the notions weredriven by immediate political battles, yet inspired by a vision of the future that incorporated notions of sovereignty and equity.Drawing on a variety of intellectual resources, the author analyses three themes around development: the importance of science and technology, the need for the government to express certain social concerns, and the need for national discipline. The argument is that alternative notions ofdevelopment-consciously different from those based on free trade and industrialization could emerge in the inter-war period, when the future of capitalism did not appear as assured as they did in the nineteenth century. This book opens up a new arena in the historiography of South Asia, that of anintellectual history of late colonialism in India, and of the nationalism that succeeded it.