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C HAPTER 4 Economic Infrastructure Introduction Infrastructure means structure below, which means foundation. It can, therefore, be taken as basic to all activities in the economy, whether related to agriculture or industry or even tourism. Infrastructure refers to some kind of permanent installations, which are used over a long period of time for supply of basic inputs: railway lines, roads, dams, canal system, power stations, satellites and pipelines; schools, colleges, universities and institutes; dispensaries and hospitals; and buildings for services of state organs like police and judiciary. Most economic activities require some kind of power for transformation of inputs into output. Power may be needed to preserve certain commodities over time as their use may spread over long duration while production matures in short duration of time. One also needs power to use in homes. All activities require transportation. Raw materials may be away from production premises. Both production units and consumption units may be away from markets. A product may be used in production or consumption. It may need to be transported from one production unit to another production unit. People also need to move to different places for economic and social reasons as also for leisure. Transportation itself requires some kind of energy. Today, we cannot think of living without being connected through communication. Besides posts, people and activities are connected through various links of telecommunication. We are passing through a phase of revolution in telecom much beyond telegraph and telephone. Whether it is business or entertainment, information technology has made a great revolution. One also sees a lot of banking, finance and insurance activities around, which connect savers with investors in one way or the other. It is difficult to wish away these activities even when we read many problems associated with these activities. Thus, we find that we need a lot more power than we directly use in lighting and warming/cooling our houses and in using various home appliances. Transportation vehicles use many more equipments and machinery help movement of people and goods. So is thecase of telecommunication goods. Business transactions dominate the scene of banking and financial activities. And general insurance of property is much larger business than insurance of life.
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42 INDIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Many of these developments in infrastructure would not have been possible without development of manpower, at the base of which is education. Without health, how do you enjoy whatever you produce? How do you produce if you do not stay healthy? An unhealthy population produces much less than what technology permits. Every human being requires reasonable housing facilities.
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