Consider the following observations with respect to the position of French East India Company and British East India Company before the Battle of Plassey:
1. While the French East India Company was a state undertaking, British East India Company was a private undertaking
2. While the French East India Company had its headquarters in Bengal, British East India Company operated in Bengal only through it’s subordinate factories
Which among the above observations is / are correct?

Answer: [A] Only 1

• The first statement is correct. The French East India Company was a state undertaking company whose directors were appointed by the crown. The lethargy and bureaucratic control of this company was one of the reasons of its failure. On the other hand, the English East India Company was a private undertaking.
• The second statement is incorrect. The British East India Company was at an advantage over its French counterpart because its headquarters was at Calcutta and Bengal was richest region of India at that time. The Dutch and the French were present in Bengal only through their subordinate factories, like Chinsura of Dutch and Chandernagar of the French.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module