NCERT Solutions for Class 11th: Ch 8 Infrastructure Economics

Page No: 159

1. Explain the term infrastructure.


Infrastructure is a network of physical facilities and public services and with this social infrastructure is equally important to support it. It is an important base for economic development of the country. 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 facilities and the monetary system  including banks, insurance and other financial institutions.

2. Explain the two categories into which infrastructure are divided. How are both interdependent?


Infrastructure can be divided into categories - economic and social. Infrastructure associated with energy, transportation and communication are economic infrastructure whereas those related to education, health and housing are social infrastructure.
Economic infrastructure helps in economic growth while social infrastructure enhances the quality of standard of living and ultimately leads to the welfare of the economy as a whole. Both infrastructures contributes to the prosperity of the economy. The economic growth attained with the help of economic infrastructure is imperfect without the human development which is attained by means of social infrastructure. Thus, both infrastructure are interdependent.

3. How do infrastructure facilities boost production?


The efficient working of a modern industrial economy, agriculture, transportation and communication and social sector depend upon infrastructure facilities. It decreases the cost of production and increases the profit of producers which boosts the production.

4. Infrastructure contributes to the economic development of a country. Do you agree? Explain.


Yes, infrastructure acts as a support system for production activity in the economy which contributes to economic development. Social and economic Infrastructure facilitates production. The availability of quality infrastructure guarantees increase in production and productivity. Infrastructure ensures easy movement of goods and raw materials also reduces the wastages of resources and lead to efficient utilisation of scarce resources through human capital formation which increases the productivity. It provides an environment conducive to investment. Infrastructure contributes to economic development of a country both by increasing the productivity of the factors of production and improving the quality of life of its people. It is helpful in minimizing the morbidity of people.

5. What is the state of rural infrastructure in India?


Rural Infrastructure of India is quite inadequate. Despite so much technical progress in the world, rural women are still using bio-fuels such as crop residues, dung and fuel wood to meet their energy requirement. They walk long distances to fetch fuel, water and other basic needs. According to Census 2001 data, only 56 percent of household have electricity connection and 43 percent still use kerosene. About 90 per cent of the rural households use bio-fuels for cooking. Tap water availability is limited to only 24 per  cent  rural households. About 76 per cent of the population drinks water from open sources such as wells, tanks, ponds, lakes, rivers, canals, etc. Access to improved sanitation in rural areas was only 20 per cent.

6. What is the significance of energy? Differentiate between commercial and non-commercial sources of energy.


Energy is the most important component of the development process of a nation. It is needed for for industries. Now it is used on a large scale in agriculture and related areas like production and transportation of fertilisers, pesticides and farm equipment. It is required in houses for cooking, household lighting and heating.

Commercial energy
Non Commercial energy
(i) The sources of energy that are available to the users at some price are referred to as commercial energy.

(ii) This form of energy is used for commercial purposes.

(iii) For example, coal, petroleum, natural gas and electricity.
(i) The sources of energy that are usually available freely to the users are referred to as non-commercial energy.

(ii) This form of energy is used for domestic consumption.

(iii) For example, Firewood, agricultural waste, animal waste (cow dung)

7. What are the three basic sources of generating power?


The three basic sources of generating power are thermal, hydro-electric, and nuclear power.

8. What do you mean by transmission and distribution losses? How can they be reduced?


Transmission and distribution losses refer to that losses which occur at the time of transmission between the sources of supply and points of distribution. They can be reduced by better management, using improved technology of transmission and distribution and avoiding theft of power.

9. What are the various non-commercial sources of energy?


The various non-commercial sources of energy are firewood, agricultural waste and dried dung.

10. Justify that energy crisis can be overcome with the use of renewable sources of energy.


The consumption of non-renewable sources of energy created threat for sustainable development of country and leads to energy crisis. Most commercial source of energy that we are using today are exhaustible also the rate of consumption of resources is faster than the rate of their production so, the resources get exhausted quickly. But on the other hand, renewable resources get renewed or replenished quickly. These are unlimited and are not affected by human activities, such as solar and wind energy. Hence, energy crises can be overcome by the increased use of cost-effective technology of searching the renewable resources of energy.

11. How has the consumption pattern of energy changed over the years?


The pattern of energy consumption has undergone considerable change overtime. The use of primary sources like coal, petroleum and natural gas has undergone a significant change. The non-commercial use of this energy has increased from 36% to 76% during 1953-54 to 2004-05. The percentage of direct final consumption of coal has drastically reduced irrespective of the increase in the total consumption of coal. Its consumption increased from 95 million tonnes in 1980-81 to 355 million tonnes in 2008-09. Also, the consumption of oil, for which our country was dependent upon Gulf countries, has increased. The consumption of electricity in the agricultural sector has increased overtime, whereas, it remained the highest in the industrial sector as compared to other sectors.

12. How are the rates of consumption of energy and economic growth connected?


Electricity plays an important role in the development of a country. Transportation, communication, Industrial production which are essential for economic growth of a country require energy. According to a study to achieve 8 percent of GDP growth rate the power supply should go around 12 percent.

13. What problems are being faced by the power sector in India?


The problems being faced by the power sector in India are:

→ The installed capacity of India to generate electricity is not sufficient enough to meet an annual economic growth of 7%.

→ The State Electricity Boards (SEBs) that distribute electricity suffered a great loss of more than Rs.500 billion due to transmission and distribution of electricity.

→ The wrong pricing of electricity like supply of electricity at subsidised rates to agricultural sector and theft of electricity has exaggerated the problems of power sector.

→ The high power tariffs and prolonged power cuts is another challenge in the power sector.

→ The thermal power station faces the scarcity of the raw materials to generate electricity.

14. Discuss the reforms which have been initiated recently to meet the energy crisis in India.


The reforms which have been initiated recently to meet the energy crisis in India are:

→ Privatisation in Power Generation Sector: The government earlier had the monopoly in the generation and distribution of electricity. Now, private sector has been given the rights to generate power.

→ Privatisation in Power Transmission:The Indian government has approved Tata Power and Powergrid Corporation of India for constructing transmission networks in joint venture.

→ POWER for ALL by 2012: The Ministry of Power has set up an objective of 'POWER for ALL by 2012' to achieve the target of 1000 KwHr (Units) of per capita consumption of electricity in India. This objective is aligned with the objective to achieve an economic growth of 8% p.a. The main motive of this target is to improve the quality of power, improve the commercial viability of power industries and to provide power to all.

→ Setting up Regulatory Mechanism: The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) along with State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERC) has been established in 19 states under the Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998. These commissions and authorities regulate tariff, promote efficiency and competition.

→ Encouraging FDI: In order to achieve the target of POWER for ALL by 2012, the Ministry of Power aimed at attracting US $250 billion of Investment (FDI and Domestic Investment Combined) into the power sector.

→ Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (APDRP): APDRP has been initiated in the year 2000-01 with the motive of improving financial viability, reducing transmission and distribution losses and promoting transparency through computerization.

→ Awareness: The government is encouraging people to increase the use of renewable resources and also creating awareness among the people to reduce the conventional resources. During the Eight Five Year Plan, government has set up National Energy Efficiency Programme (NEEP) that aimed at conservation of petroleum products.

→ Improving Productivity: The Indian government has been emphasising on the measures to improve the productivity of the existing power generating industries.

15. What are the main characteristics of health of the people of our country?


Health is not only absence of disease but also the ability to realise one’s potential. It is a yardstick of one’s well being. Health is the holistic process related to the overall growth and development of the nation. The health status of a country can be assessed through indicators such as infant mortality and maternal mortality rates, life expectancy and nutrition levels, along with the incidence of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Life expectancy at birth is only 67 years which is low in comparison to global standards. Infant modality as well as child mortality rates are still high in India though they have shown a declining trend in the past Few years. Around 60% of births In India still take place without the help of skilled attendants.

16. What is a global burden of disease?


Global Burden of Disease (GBD) is an indicator used by experts to know the number of people dying prematurely due to a particular disease as well as the number of years spent by them in a state of 'disability' owing to the disease.

17. Discuss the main drawbacks of our health care system.


 The main drawbacks of our health care system are:

→ Unequal Distribution of Health Care Services: The health care services are unequally distributed across rural and urban areas. Rural areas that supports 70 % of the population, has only 1/5th of the hospitals. Further, the doctor-population ratio is as worse as 1:2,000. This implies that for every 2,000 people, there is only one doctor in India. Only half of the dispensaries are set up in villages. Most of the health care facilities have been confined mostly to the urban areas.

→ Communicable Diseases: various communicable diseases like AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Syndrome), and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)have made their way to India.. All these deadly diseases pose serious threat to t human capital reserve, thereby,impeding economic growth.

→ Poor Management: The health care centres lack trained and skilled personnel in the rural areas. Therefore, rural people have to rush to the urban health care centres. This becomes worse in the absence of proper roads and other cost-effective means of transportation.

→ Lack of Modern Techniques and Facilities:The government health centres are usually devoid of the basic facilities like blood testing, X-rays, etc. These centres lack modern techniques and medical facilities like, CT-scan, sonography, etc. In order to avail these services, people need to depend on the private hospitals that charge exorbitant fees.

→ Privatisation: The inability of the government to provide sufficient health care centres and other medical facilities paved the way for the private sector to step in. The private sector is governed by price signals, thereby, catering to the need of the higher income group, leaving the low income group and the poor at their own mercy. This is due to the privatisation of the health care sector The private hospitals are attracting more patients than the government hospitals as the government hospitals are devoid of facilities.

18. How has women's health become a matter of great concern?


Women constitute about half the total population in India. The deterioration in the child sex ratio in the country from 927 in 2001 to 914, as revealed by the census of 2011, points to the growing incidence of female foeticide in the country. Close to 3,00,000 girls under the age of 15 are not only married but have already borne children at least once. More than 50 per cent of married women between the age group of 15 and 49 have anaemia and nutritional anaemia caused by iron deficiency, which has contributed to 19 per cent of maternal deaths. Abortions are also a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in India. Therefore, women's health become a matter of great concern.

19. Describe the meaning of public health. Discuss the major public health measures undertaken by the state in recent years to control diseases.


The science and practice of protecting and improving the health of a community, as by preventive medicine, health education, control of communicable diseases, application of sanitary measures and monitoring of environmental hazards is called public health.
In the recent years, India has embarked upon the development of vast infrastructure.. At the village level, a variety of hospitals were set up by the name of Primary Health Centres (PHCs). The large number of hospitals is run by various voluntary agencies and by the private sector. The hospitals are managed by professionals and by Para Medical professionals trained in medical, pharmacy and nursing colleges. There has been a significant expansion in the provision of health services. The number of hospitals and dispensaries has increased from 9300 to 43300 and hospital beds from 1.2 to 7.2 million during 1951 to 2000. Also, nursing personnel has increased from 0.18 to 8.7 lakh and allopathic doctors from 0.62 to 5 lakhs during the same period. The provision of various facilities has resulted in the eradication of small pox, polio, leprosy, and other deadly diseases.

20. Differentiate the six systems of Indian medicine.


The six systems of medicines are Ayurveda, Yoga, Siddha, Naturopathy, Unani  and Homeopathy.

21. How can we increase the effectiveness of health care programmes?


Health is a vital public good and a basic human right. These facilities can be provided to all if public health services are decentralised. It implies that the power of providing these services should be delegated from the central to the local authorities. The success of health care depends upon education, spread of knowledge, awareness and efficient health infrastructure. It is crucial to create awareness about health and hygiene among people. The telecom and IT sectors can further aggravate the effectiveness of health care programmes. Further, providing quality medical facilities at nominal costs can promote its worthiness and popularity. In order to enhance the effectiveness of health care programmes, the main focus should be on increasing the number of hospitals, modernisation of medical facilities, development of infrastructure, improving the doctor-population ratio and increasing the number of medical colleges in India. The availability and development of medical facilities in the rural areas is still a far cry. Further, there must be some regulation to check the exorbitant fees charged by the private medical centres to make health care facilities accessible and affordable to all.

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