The independence of India created conditions for setting up of the special institutions, called Development Banks, for supply of finance for industrial development. Although special financial institutions for industrial development were in existence in other countries since the early nineteenth century, they were essentially a post-war phenomenon, especially so far as the developing countries are concerned. To begin with, the Industrial Finance Corporation of India was set up in 1948, within a year of the independence of the country. With the opening of a few more development banks in the country, the industrial finance in India got rapid boost. The present study is an academic probe into the evolution of the development banks in India, along with their changing operational aspects. The analysis should be useful to the researchers and students of financial economics, especially those dealing with industrial finance in India, by providing a deep insight into the development banks in India in the pre-liberalization era.