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Chapter 8 - 8 INFRASTRUCTURE After studying this chapter...

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After studying this chapter, the learners will understand the main challenges India faces in the areas of social and economic infrastructure know the role of infrastructure in economic development understand the role of energy as a critical component of infrastructure understand the problems and prospects of the energy and health sectors understand the health infrastructure of India. I NFRASTRUCTURE 8
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140 INDIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 8.1 I NTRODUCTION Have you ever thought of why some states in India are performing much better than others in certain areas? Why do Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh prosper in agriculture and horticulture? Why are Maharashtra and Gujarat industrially more advanced than others? How come Kerala, popularly known as ‘God’s own country’, has excelled in literacy, health care and sanitation and also attracts tourists in such large numbers? Why does Karnataka’s information technology industry attract world attention? It is all because these states have better infrastructure in the areas they excel than other states of India. Some have better irrigation facilities. Others have better transportation facilities, or are located near ports which makes raw materials required for various manufacturing industries easily accessible. Cities like Bangalore in Karnataka attract many multinational companies because they provide world-class communication facilities. All these support structures, which facilitate development of a country, constitute its infrastructure. How then does infrastructure facilitate development? 8.2 W HAT IS I NFRASTRUCTURE ? Infrastructure provides supporting services in the main areas of industrial and agricultural production, domestic and foreign trade and commerce. These services include roads, railways, ports, airports, dams, power stations, oil and gas pipelines, telecommunication facilities, the country’s educational system including schools and colleges, health system including hospitals, sanitary system including clean drinking water facili- ties and the monetary system including banks, insurance and other financial institu- tions. Some of these facilities have a direct impact on the working of the system of production while others give indirect support by building the social sector of the economy. “Many things we need can wait, the child cannot. To him, we cannot say, ‘tomorrow’. His name is today.” Gabrriella Mistral—Chilean poet So is the Infrastructure. Fig. 8.1 Roads are the missing link with growth
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141 INFRASTRUCUTRE Some divide infrastructure into two categories — economic and social. Infrastructure associated with energy, transportation and communication are included in the former category whereas those related to education, health and housing are included in the latter.
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