Means of Communication
Communication today is limitless network of computers, radio and T.V. broadcasting as well as traditional mail transmission. No doubt some of the chief means of communication are the same as were used a 100 years back, revolution has been in the field of transmission as well as their integrated use. The chief means of communication are the following:
(i) Postal Network: The country has today over 1,50,000 post offices and the mail system consists of traditional post cards, inland letters and envelopes. In majority of cases they are either airlifted or sent by train. In order the facilitate easy sorting and transmission the Posts and Telegraphs Department has introduced various channels like Rajdliani, Metro, Green, Business and Bulk Mail channels. Automatic mail processing centres are functioning at Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. Over 500 post-offices have been computerised. Today money orders can also be sent via satellites or via computer. Other new services include: e-post — chiefly meant for P.C. users. Information is communicated via internet. Bill-Post: A web-based application for payment at one source for telephone, mobile phone, electricity, water supply and municipal taxes.
(ii) Telecommunication: India is emerging the largest telecom networks nation in Asia. Apart from 32,000 landline telephone exchanges with a capacity of over 40 million lines and 35 million working landline telephones, the recent addition of mobile phones is yet to be estimated. Like in other fields Telecom services have also been thrown open to private sector. The mobile plus internet (via computer) offer immense communication—cum—knowledge based services to users. Through the mobile phone one can receive or make calls through the Global System for Mobile (GSM), on the mobile hand-held device users can do lot more than merely listening to telephone conversation. The services on mobile phone today include graphics, watching video clips, playing games, solving puzzles, doing calculation, getting information from electronic libraries anywhere in the world, reading latest news or newspaper, doing:
bank transactions and lots of other services. All these are known as Value Added Services.
(iii) Computer and Internet Communication: The internet is a network of computer linking world wide. Internet Services Provider (ISP) have registered more than 50 lakh internet subscribers in India. Basically internet is a. convergence of modern communication technologies. It initiates some of the functions that the human brain performs. For two-way communication e-mail service has both personal and business applications. It is used by millions of users daily.
(iv) Other Communication Services: These include print media like newspapers, magazines and other printed literature, Electronic mass media like radio and television which are also undergoing revolutionary changes, Fax and other services via satellites.
Trade in India
Trade occurs when there are differences in availability of resources between two areas whether at local level or global level. Foreign trade has played a crucial role in India’s economy since the time of Harappan culture 5000 years ago. During 2001 India’s exports amounted to Rs. 2,01,000 crores against imports of Rs. 2,27,000 crores. The exports registered a growth of 26.4 per cent. Chief items of export include ores,
minerals, marine products, jewellery, electronics including computer software, textiles, chemicals, engineering goods and handicrafts. The principal imports included oil (petroleum), fertilizers, edible oils, newsprint, precious stones, machinery, project goods, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, artificial resins. India’s trading partners include USA, West
European and CIS countries, ASEAN and East Asian countries. The major trading countries in ASEAN region include Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar. New Zealand and Australia are also India’s major trading partners. Trade with South American and Caribbean nations is also increasing. The United States is India’s largest trading partner. India’s exports to USA in 2001 amounted to Rs. 42,403 crores against imports of Rs. 12,812 crores.
Balance of Trade : In the context of today’s globalisation, the unfavourable balance of trade is not worrying India very much. It is because there has been all round progress on many fronts. The trade deficit of Rs. 25,898 crores during 2001 came down from Rs. 55,967 crores in the year 2000.
Measure to Promote Exports : Exports Measures taken to promote exports include exports of value added agricultural products, setting up of trade facilitation centres abroad simplifying export- import procedures, free-trade agreements with countries like Sri Lanka as well as preferential trading agreements with many countries. Above quality improvements and improving the image of the tag ‘Made-in-India.’