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Chapter 7: Lifelines of National Economy
We use different materials and services in our daily life. Some of these are available in our immediate surroundings, while other requirements are met by bringing things from other places. Goods and services do not move from supply locales to demand locales on their own.
The movement of these goods and services from their supply locations to demand locations necessitates the need for transport. Some people are engaged in facilitating these movements. These are known to be traders who make the products come to the consumers by transportation. Thus, the pace of development of a country depends upon the production of goods and services as well as their movement over space.
Therefore, efficient means of transport are prerequisites for fast development. Movement of these goods and services can be over three important domains of our earth i.e. land, water and air. Based on these, transport can also be classified into land, water and air transport. the help of equally developed communication system.
Therefore, transport, communication and trade are complementary to each other. Today, India is well-linked with the rest of the world despite its vast size, diversity and linguistic and socio-cultural plurality. Railways, airways, waterways, newspapers, radio, television, cinema and internet, etc. have been contributing to its socio-economic progress in many ways.
The trades from local to international levels have added to the vitality of its economy. It has enriched our life and added substantially to growing amenities and facilities for the comforts of life. In this chapter, you will see how modern means of transport and communication serve as lifelines of our nation and its modern economy.
It is thus, evident that a dense and efficient network of transport and communication is a prerequisite for local, national and global trade of today. For a long time, trade and transport were restricted to a limited space. With the development in science and technology, the area of influence of trade and transport expanded far and wide.
Today, the world has been converted into a large village with the help of efficient and fast moving transport. Transport has been able to achieve this with India has second largest road networks in the world, aggregating to about 62.16 lakh km (2020–21). In India, roadways have preceded railways. They still have an edge over railways in view of the ease with which they can be built and maintained.
The growing importance of road transport vis-à-vis rail transport is rooted in the following reasons; (a) construction cost of roads is much lower than that of railway lines, (b) roads can traverse comparatively more dissected and undulating topography, (c) roads can negotiate higher gradients of slopes and as such can traverse mountains such as the Himalayas, (d) road transport is economical in transportation of few persons and relatively smaller amount of goods over short distances, (e) it also provides door-to-door service, thus the cost of loading and unloading is much lower, (f) road transport is also used as a feeder to other modes of transport such as they provide a link between railway stations, air and sea ports.
In India, roads are classified in the following six classes according to their capacity. Look at the map of the National Highways and find out about the significant role played by these roads. • Golden Quadrilateral Super Highways: The government has launched a major road development project linking DelhiKolkata-Chennai-Mumbai and Delhi by six-lane Super Highways. The NorthSouth corridors linking Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir) and Kanniyakumari (Tamil Nadu), and East-West Corridor connecting Silchar (Assam) and Porbander (Gujarat) are part of this project.
The major objective of these Super Highways is to reduce the time and distance between the mega cities of India. These highway projects are being implemented by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
• National Highways: National Highways link extreme parts of the country. These are the primary road systems and are laid and maintained by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). A number of major National Highways run in NorthSouth and East-West directions. The historical Sher-Shah Suri Marg is called National Highway No.1, between Delhi and Amritsar.
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NCERT Solutions Class 11 Social Science Chapter 7 Lifelines of National Economy
State any three merits of roadways.
The growing importance of road transport is rooted in the following reasons:
- The construction cost of roadways is much lower than that of the railways.
- Its maintenance is also cheap and easy.
- Roads can be built in mountainous areas. The roads can traverse comparatively more dissected and undulating topography.
- Roads can negotiate higher gradients of slopes and as such can traverse mountains such as the Himalayas.
- Road transport is economical in the transportation of a few persons and a relatively smaller amount of goods over short distances.
- It provides door-to-door service, which results in a lower cost of loading and unloading.
- It is used as a feeder to other modes of transport such as they provide a link between railway stations, air, and seaports.
- Road transport connects fields with markets and factories.
- Road transport is useful for the transport of perishable commodities.
Where and why is rail transport the most convenient means of transportation?
- Railways can transport larger number of goods and passengers over long distances at an economical cost. Hence, railways are the most convenient means of transport in the vast northern plains of India.
- The flat terrain, dense population, rich agricultural resources and greater industrial activity have favoured the development of railways in this region.
- The northern plains, therefore, have the densest railway network.
- Railways have accelerated the development of industry and agriculture in this region
by providing quick availability of raw materials and distributing the finished products to the markets.
- However, in spite of the fact that railways is the most convenient means of transportation in northern plains, a large number of rivers requiring construction of bridges across their wide beds posed some obstacles.
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