Transport – Communication and Trade
Transport – Communication and Trade – The transportation system has been revolutionized completely in India both internally and externally. Waterways, roads, airways and railways are the main transportation means in India.
In the recent times, improvement in communications has played a major role in India’s internal development. Various parts of the country have become much closer now. Peasantry has special advantage with the advent of railways. Railway construction has also ensured positive political and social influences.
- Cheaper Means Of Travelling
- Develops Greater Nationalism Spirit
- Maintenance Of Greater Order And Peace
- Less Difficulty In The Country’s Defense System
A vast road network of both, unmetalled and metalled roads is seen in India. However, needs of the country are high and the communication and transportation means are still insufficient. Bullock carts, trucks and motorbuses are still being used on village roads.
The only means of communication to export surplus produce had been the roads, before the railways came into existence. The railway system has been gradually extended across the country, thus increasing the need to construct roads to feed the railways.
During the rainy season, accessing many of the agricultural districts becomes quite difficult, which in turn causes losses to the economy. Railways have yet to penetrate tracts covered by forests, hilly and sandy regions and so roads continue to be used for long distance transportation.
Demand for constructing roads has increased with the opening of railways. Provincial and local bodies are able to meet this requirement. Unless and until towns and villages in India are connected well, significant progress in the economy cannot be expected.
One of the cheapest and oldest modes of transportation is water transport. In all developed nations across the globe, waterways proved to be an important internal and external means of transportation to carry heavy and bulky products.
The river system in India is great. While some rivers are not fit for navigation, others are used for the purpose of irrigation, there are other waterways used for navigation purposes exclusively. In India a systematic policy for inland water transportation should be develop and canals and rivers should be made more navigable. Coastline of India is very large making shipping an important industry as well.
Air transport is an important means of international and national communication. In this respect, India is blessed with some natural advantages which can be exploited completely for the development of airways. Civil aviation expansion has been undertaken by the government for transportation. As far as national defense is concerned, airways do have strategic importance. The country has aerodromes in large numbers.
The conclusion is that good progress is being made in the transportation system of India and to attain this all facilities required are being provided by the government. Transportation facilities have to be taken advantage of for the purpose of progress of the nation. Long distances can be covered to transport finished products and raw materials. This way undesirable consequence in transportation can be avoided.
The world we live in today is well connected. Latest inventions and innovations in communication and transportation have made it possible to talk to people living thousands of miles away and can also visit them.
Since the time India was formed, one primary necessity has been communication. In the prehistoric times, carving was done with sharp rocks on walls. Language and thought of men during prehistoric times was depicted in these inscriptions. Gradually communication was done through paper, pamphlets, newspapers etc during the British rule.
As time passed, improvement was seen in technologies and methods of communication in India. Collecting, processing and exchanging information from across the boundaries became a possibility. Noticeable changes in the society were seen with new technologies in communication, including computers, satellites, internet, wireless telephony and cable television.
In India the 3 main branches of communication include television broadcast, telephones and the internet. Telephones are the second largest telecommunication systems in the world. Users have increased in larger numbers, innovations have been made recently and tariffs charged are very affordable making telecommunications a popular means of communication.
Internet And Mobile Networks
Computer networks dominated the communication scene as well for many decades. It proved to be a tool, useful in sending letters to business contacts and members of the family, exchanging messages, etc. The internet came into existence during the 1990s creating an endless number of business opportunities for the country.
The number of internet users in India is really large with around 450 million internet users. Mobile networks and internet subscriptions have become cheaper with developments happening since the year 2016. This has made penetrating the market much easier.
Currently there are numerous telecentres, PCOs –public call offices, cyber cafes, ICS – internet community centres in India. Sending faxes, messages and surfing on the internet can be done at a nominal fee. Without having to own communication technologies, the people of India are able to gain easy access of them. However there is still need to reduce the ‘digital divide’ that segregates rural counterparts from the elite-information rich urban people in India.
A total overhaul was seen in the television industry of India, since the privatization drive in the year 1990. Just one channel called Doordarshan was initiated, but as of now it has become a global network of platforms and channels, in thousands. As of today in the urban and especially in the rural regions, television broadcast has proved to be the most penetrative and far-reaching communication source.
Print media is one of the topmost communication methods with thousands of periodicals, newspapers, magazines etc being printed in hundreds of languages for millions of people to read across the country.
Highly influential policies of the India government have helped shape the agenda of communication technology in India. Trained human resources, future managers of factories and plants, engineers attain training at various institutes like IIMs – Institutes of Management etc in developing the communication sector.
Overall long term interest and needs of the British colonial powers before independence in 1947, has largely determined foreign trade in India. India supplied agricultural goods and raw materials to Great Britain and many other industrial nations and in turn imported manufactured products from Britain. The industrialization process in India was affected by this dependence for products on Britain. The indigenous cottage and handicraft industries were getting wiped out gradually.
Attaining Favorable Balance
As compared to imports, India had to export more before the Second World War as part of British strategy. This helped in meeting unilateral payment transfer by way of pensions and salaries, dividends, interest on loans etc to civil and military officers and British capital.
A favorable balance in trade was attained. Even after the sterling debt balance was paid, India still could rebuild a big sterling balance. However, raw material share in exports became lesser while the manufactured goods share, increased.
Considering developmental needs of the country, changes began taking place in trade patterns in India, after independence. Machinery and equipment was not produced domestically, so it was imported for creating new capacities for production and infrastructure building. Raw material, intermediate goods, food grains etc were imported due to shorter domestic supply. The country’s balance of trade was affected creating the need for expanding exports so that imports could be financed.
As competitiveness for manufactured products in India increased, demand conditions across the globe became favorable and supportive domestic policy measures and commodity prices firmed up, the growth in imports and exports became more robust during 2006-2007.
After an initial negative growth, a significant remarkable growth in exports has been seen in the last 4 decades. However as compared to many South East Asian economies, the growth of exports in India has not been very high. The share of South East Asian economies increased rapidly in global world trade.
The total external trade including goods and services as well as share of services in total external trade grew faster as compared to merchandise trade.
India has gradually become a fast growing exporting nation. More openness was reflected in the goods market. Trade deficit widened with imports growing at a faster rate as compared to the exports. Imports of office machines, telecommunications, aircrafts, equipments and fuel have appreciably risen.
The US continues to remain the single largest nation that exports to India. Remarkable growth has also been seen in imports from developing nations.
A positive move has been made by making a remarkable shift to exporting manufactured goods including drugs, readymade garments, jewelry, gems, fine chemicals, semi-finished iron and steel, etc, as compared to agricultural products in the past.
4.Balance of Trade and Balance of Payment
In 1991, around 15 years back, a severe crisis of balance of payments was experienced in India. To tackle this disequilibrium issue, various measures had to be adopted.
The Indian economy would suffer from disastrous consequences in the case of default on payment. In June 1991, for the very first time, in the economical history of India, this had become a serious problem. To help overcome crisis in the balance of payments, a number of long term and short term measures were undertaken by the then Finance Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Many far reaching measures were undertaken besides undertaking different measures for domestic liberalization. In July 1991, devaluation of the Rupee took place and then within 24 months, the foreign exchange rate of the Rupee was made convertible into foreign currencies and market-determined.
Removal of anti-export basis in the strategy of the economy, reduction on import tariffs and promoting competition were steps taken. As a result, the industrialization strategy of import-substitution was discontinued. India started gaining success in resolving the issue of balance of payments, as these measures bore fruits.
Rapid growth was seen in exports, there was increase in remittances and capital flows by NRIs and the World Bank and IMF gave special help in fulfilling obligations related to the balance of payments.
Balance Of Trade
It is the difference in value of exports and imports of only visible goods. Visible trade is movement of goods between nations as verification of this open movement is conducted by customs officials.
Balance of trade can be termed as a balanced one, when imports and exports of merchandise is equal, during a specific given time period. However this isn’t necessary in case those who import and exports are not the same parties. A favorable situation in balance of trade is said to be attained, when the value of exports is more than the value of imports. India as a country will face an adverse balance of trade if the import value is higher as compared to the value of its exports.
Mercantilist writers, in the past termed import surplus as an adverse balance which had to be settled in terms of gold. However in today’s times, transactions across borders are not settled in terms of gold.
- Balance of Payments – The Determinants
- The national currency exchange rate
- Supply and demand of foreign currency
- National income abroad and in the country
- Domestic pricing of goods and factors
- International prices of commodities and oil
Income distribution, product function, tastes, condition of the economy, the state of technology, expectations of the state etc are some of the supply factors that lie at the back of these variables. In case these variables don’t change and other variables do not change appropriately, then there are high chances of disequilibrium in the balance of payments.
An imbalance in exports and imports of goods and services causes disequilibrium in the balance of payments. It causes a surplus or deficit in the balance of trade.
In any country, an important factor in developing the economy is foreign trade comprising exports and imports to and from the country. These operations are managed at the Central Government level by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Imports and exports of India are determined by domestic production which is dependent on endowment of factor availability.
The financial system is at relative advantage. In a development strategy, a crucial part is international trade which proves to be a mechanism that can effect reduction in economy, job opportunities and financial growth. As per the development pattern followed traditionally, resources obtained from the agricultural sector are transferred first to the manufacturing sector and then to services.
Initial Trade In India
It was during the latter half of the 19th century that foreign trade began in India. Foreign trade in India developed from 1900-1914. Export trade thrived on production of tea, oilseeds, jute and cotton mainly. Deceleration of trade took place in the First World War. Later, due to increased raw material demand, exports increased to different nations across the globe. In the process war time restrictions were also eliminated.
Restricted demand was satisfied by increasing imports. The great depression of 1930s affected foreign trade of India quite rigorously as the colonial government adopted unfair trade policies, consumer purchasing power declines and commodity prices became low.
Substantial real balance got accumulated and huge export surplus were attained by the country during the Second World War. The country faced huge pressure of restricted demand during this war period. At the end of the war, export surpluses were lesser and outsizing of import requirements was done. Agricultural and colonial economy was associated with foreign trade in India, before India gained independence. While plantation crops and raw materials were the main exports, imports comprised of consumer materials and other kinds of manufactures. Foreign leaders utilized foreign trade in India in an organized way. Finished goods were imported from UK and raw materials exported there. Foreign leaders discouraged India in producing final goods, as a result Indian industries declined.
Gradual Changes –
Transport – Communication and Trade
Gradually, in terms of commodity composition, changes were seen in foreign trade. While raw materials, petroleum goods, chemicals, intermediates and capital goods were mostly imported, exports included non-traditional and conventional goods. During the period 1950-1960 there wasn’t much increase in exports of agricultural products but raw material exports increased. The Indian export sector was dominated by main products including raw wool, cashew kernels, mica, black pepper, tanned hides and skins, raw cotton, coal tea and manganese ore.
A balance of payments crunch arose in the 1950s. Demand for imports emerged but fulfilling this with export proceeds wasn’t enough. More pressure added with the growing rate of development activity and turning down in agriculture production. Tension increased on the financial system after the Suez Canal closed and foreign exchange became a critical issue.
The Second Five Year Plan laid greater emphasis on development of transport, mining, industries resulting in a bigger foreign exchange factor. At a later stage, the import strategy was firmed up to manage tension on the balance of payments.
It was in the year 1962, that the Indian space program began. The ISRO – Indian Space Research Organization was set up in 1969 at Bangalore, its headquarters.
The Space Commission was established in1972. Aryabhata, the very first satellite was launched by India in 1975. With this, India had made an entry in the space age. Through a self reliant and well integrated programme, the progress made by the Indian space programme has been very impressive since the last 6 ½ decades.
Objectives Of ISRO
- ISRO was set for rapid development and application of space technology and providing guidelines, policy formulation and monitoring the implementation of the space policy of India.
- Using satellites for mass education and communication
- Making the nation self reliant by using space technology for the purpose of developing the nation
- Using meteorological forecasting, environmental monitoring and remote sensing technology so managing and surveying natural resources of the country
- Developing indigenous satellite launch vehicles and satellites
- The other organizations conducting space research are:
1. ISTRAC – ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command: Network
Mission support is provided to satellites at low orbit as well as missions related to vehicle launching.
2. ISAC – ISRO Satellite Centre
Located at Bangalore, ISAC is the lead centre for developing technology related to satellites and for implementing the satellite systems for scientific applications and technological missions.
3. LPSC – Liquid Propulsion System Centre
It is the lead centre in developing cryogenic and liquid propulsion for launching satellites and vehicles.
4. VSSC – Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre
Located at Thiruvananhapuram, VSSC is the head centre for developing associated technology and vehicles for satellite launches.
5. SAC – Space Applications Centre
Located at Ahmedabad, SAC is involved in developing pay loads for remote sensing and meteorological satellites and communication.
6. SDSC–SHAR – Satish Dhawan Space Centre
It is ISRO’s main centre for launching satellites. It has facilities for static testing of solid motors, launching operations, solid propellant casting, launching vehicles, command network and mission control centre and range operation comprising telemetry tracking.
7. DECU – Development and Educational Communication
It is involved in planning, conception, implementation, definition and socio-economic evaluation of innovative configurations for space applications.
8. IISU – ISRO Inertial System Unit
Located at Thiruvanathpuram it undertakes resource and development in systems and inertial sensors.
9. NRSA – National Remote Sensing Agency
This autonomous institution under DOS is located at Hyderabad. It takes responsibility of acquiring satellite data, aerial remote sensing, processing data dissemination and offering decision support for managing disasters.
10. MCF – Master Control Facility
Located at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and Hassan in Karnataka, it undertakes the controlling and monitoring of all the geo-stationery satellites of ISRO.
11. NARL – National Atmospheric Research Laboratory
This is a premier institute and autonomous society supported by DOS. It is located at Gadanki near Tirupati and conducts atmospheric research facilities including LIDAR, Stratosphere troposphere radar and Mesosphere.
12. PRSSC – Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres
The DOS at Nagpur, Bangalore, Dehradun, Kharagpur and Jodhpur have established, 5 PRSSCs. They support different remote sensing tasks related to regional and national level.
13. PRL – Physical Research Laboratory
Located at Ahmedabad, this is a premier and autonomous institution supported by DOS mainly. Likewise, Multi-disciplinary research in astrophysics and astronomy, basic science, space sciences, planetary sciences and earth sciences is conducted here.
14. NE SAC – North Eastern – Space Application Centre
It is a joint initiative of North Eastern Council and DOS to provide development support to the region in north east India that use space science and technology. It is located at Shillong.
15. SCL – Semi:Conductor Laboratory
It is responsible for development and design of VLSI – very large scale integration devices and systems development for space sectors and telecommunications.
15.Antrix Corporation Limited, Bangalore
This apex marketing agency under DOS has access to resources of Indian space industries and DOS.