CBSE 10 Geography Lifeline of National Economy Notes


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 supply to demand locations needs 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.

For a long time, trade and transport were restricted to limited space. The area of trade and transport expanded far and wide with help of the development of science and technology.

Transport can be classified into three different part

Mode of Transport
Mode of Transport


India has the second largest road network in the world after the United States of America, aggregating about 62.16 lakh km (2020–21). In India, roadways are the first transport then railways come.

The growing importance of road transport vis-à-vis rail transport is rooted in the following reasons

  • (a) the 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 economically helpful in the transportation of few persons and a 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. 

Classifications of Roadways

In India, roads are classified into the following six classes according to their capacity.

  1. Golden Quadrilateral Super Highways
  2. National Highways
  3. State Highways
  4. District Highways
  5. Other Roads
  6. Border 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 Porbandar (Gujarat) are part of this project.
  • The major objective of these Super Highways is to reduce the time and distance between the megacities 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 system 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.

District Roads

  • These roads connect the district headquarters with other places in the district.
  • These roads are maintained by the Zila Parishad.

Other Roads

  • Rural roads, which link rural areas and villages with towns, are classified under this category.
  • These roads received special impetus under the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana.
  • Under this scheme, special provisions are made so that every village in the country is linked to a major town in the country by an all-season motorable road.

Border Roads

  • Apart from these, the Border Roads Organisation a Government of India undertaking constructs and maintains roads in the bordering areas of the country.
  • This organisation was established in 1960 for the development of roads of strategic importance in the northern and northeastern border areas.
  • These roads have improved accessibility in areas of difficult terrain and have helped in the economic development of these areas.

Roads can also be classified on the basis of the type of material used for their construction such as metalled and unmetalled roads. Metalled roads may be made of cement, concrete, or even bitumen of coal, therefore, and narrow. However, in recent years fast development of road networks has taken place in different parts of the country.

National Highway Map
Source: NCERT – National Highway Map


Railways are the principal mode of transportation for freight and passengers in India. Railways also make it possible for people to conduct multifarious activities like business, sightseeing, and pilgrimage along with the transportation of goods over longer distances.

  • Apart from being an important means of transport, the Indian Railways has been a great integrating force for more than 150 years.
  • Railways in India bind the economic life of the country as well as accelerate the development of industry and agriculture.
  • The Indian Railway is now reorganised into 16 zones.
  • The distribution pattern of the Railway network in the country has been largely influenced by physiographic, economic, and administrative factors.
  • The northern plains with their vast level of the land, high population density, and rich agricultural resources provided the most favorable condition for their growth.
  • However, a large number of rivers requiring the construction of bridges across their wide beds posed some obstacles.
  • In the hilly terrains of the peninsular region, railway tracts are laid through low hills, gaps, or tunnels.
  • The Himalayan mountainous regions too are unfavorable for the construction of railway lines due to high relief, sparse population, and lack of economic opportunities.
  • Likewise, it was difficult to lay railway lines on the sandy plain of western Rajasthan, the swamps of Gujarat, and forested tracks of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Jharkhand.
  • The contiguous stretch of Sahyadri could be crossed only through gaps or passes (Ghats).
  • In recent times, the development of the Konkan railway along the west coast has facilitated the movement of passengers and goods in this most important economic region of India.

Problem face by Railways

  • It has also faced a number of problems such as the sinking of tracks in some stretches and landslides.
  • Today, the railways have become more important in our national economy than all other means of transport put together. However, rail transport suffers from certain problems as well.
  • Many passengers travel without tickets.
  • Thefts and damage to railway property have not yet stopped completely.
  • People stop the trains and pull the chain unnecessarily and this causes heavy damage to the railway. Think over it, how we can help our railway is running as per the scheduled time?
railways map
Source: NCERT – railways map

*The Indian Railways is the largest public sector undertaking in the country. The first train steamed off from Mumbai to Thane in 1853, covering a distance of 34 km.


The pipeline transport network is a new arrival on the transportation map of India. In the past, these were used to transport water to cities and industries.

  • Now, these are used for transporting crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas from oil and natural gas fields to refineries, fertilizer factories, and big thermal power plants.
  • Solids can also be transported through a pipeline when converted into a slurry.
  • The far inland locations of refineries like Barauni, Mathura, Panipat, and gas-based fertilizer plants could be thought of only because of pipelines.
  • The initial cost of laying pipelines is high but subsequent running costs are minimal. It rules out trans-shipment losses or delays.

Three important networks of pipeline transportation in India.

  • From the oil field in upper Assam to Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), via Guwahati, Barauni, and Allahabad. It has branches from Barauni to Haldia, via Rajbandh, Rajbandh to Maurigram and Guwahati to Siliguri.
  • From Salaya in Gujarat to Jalandhar in Punjab, via Viramgam, Mathura, Delhi, and Sonipat. It has branches to connect Koyali (near Vadodara, Gujarat) Chakshu, and other places.
  • The first 1,700 km long Hazira-VijaipurJagdishpur (HVJ) cross-country gas pipeline, linked Mumbai High and Bassein gas fields with various ferilizer, power, and industrial complexes in western and northern India. Overall, India’s gas pipeline infrastructure has expanded from 1,700 km to 18,500 km of cross-country pipelines.


Since the ancient period, India was one of the seafaring countries. Its seamen sailed far and near, thus, carrying and spreading Indian commerce and culture.

  • Waterways are the cheapest means of transport.
  • They are most suitable for carrying heavy and bulky goods.
  • It is a fuel-efficient and environment friendly mode of transport.
  • India has inland navigation waterways of 14,500 km in length. Out of these only 5685 km are navigable by mechanised vessels.
  • The following waterways have been declared as National Waterways by the Government.
    • N.W. No.1 – The Ganga river between Allahabad and Haldia (1620 km).
    • N.W. No.2 – The Brahmaputra river between Sadiya and Dhubri (891 km).
    • N.W. No.3 – The West-Coast Canal in Kerala (Kottapurma-Kollam, Udyogamandal and Champakkara canals-205 km).
    • N.W. No.4 – Specified stretches of Godavari and Krishna rivers along with Kakinada Puducherry stretch of canals (1078 km).
    • N.W. No.5 – Specified stretches of river Brahmani along with Matai river, delta channels of Mahanadi and Brahmani rivers, and East Coast Canal (588 km).
    • *NW – National Waterways
  • There are some other inland waterways on which substantial transportation takes place. These are Mandavi, Zuari and Cumberjua, Sunderbans, Barak, and the backwaters of Kerala.
  • Apart from these, India’s trade with foreign countries is carried from the ports located along the coast. 95 percent of the country’s trade volume (68 percent in terms of value) is moved by sea.

Major Sea Ports

With a long coastline of 7,516.6 km, India is dotted with 12 major and 200 notified nonmajors (minor/intermediate) ports. These major ports handle 95 per cent of India’s foreign trade.

  • Kandla in Kuchchh was the first port developed soon after Independence to ease the volume of trade on the Mumbai port, in the wake of the loss of Karachi port to Pakistan after the Partition.
  • Kandla also known as the Deendayal Port, is a tidal port. It caters to the convenient handling of exports and imports of the highly productive granary and industrial belt stretching across the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, and the states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujrat.
  • Mumbai is the biggest port with a spacious natural and well-sheltered harbour. The Jawaharlal Nehru port was planned with a view to decongesting the Mumbai port and serve as a hub port for this region.
  • Marmagao port (Goa) is the premier iron ore exporting port of the country. This port accounts for about fifty percent of India’s iron ore export.
  • New Mangalore port, located in Karnataka caters to the export of iron ore concentrates from Kudremukh mines.
  • Kochchi is the extreme southwestern port, located at the entrance of a lagoon with a natural harbour.
  • Moving along the east coast, you would see the extreme south-eastern port of Tuticorin, in Tamil Nadu. This port has a natural harbour and rich hinterland. Thus, it has a flourishing trade handling of a large variety of cargoes to even our neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Maldives, etc. and the coastal regions of India.
  • Chennai is one of the oldest artificial ports in the country. It is ranked next to Mumbai in terms of the volume of trade and cargo.
  • Vishakhapatnam is the deepest landlocked and well-protected port. This port was, originally, conceived as an outlet for iron ore exports. Paradwip port located in Odisha specialises in the export of iron ore. Kolkata is an inland riverine port. This port serves a very large and rich hinterland of the Ganga Brahmaputra basin. Being a tidal port, it requires constant dredging of Hoogly.
  • Haldia port was developed as a subsidiary port, in order to relieve growing pressure on the Kolkata port.


  • Today, air travel is the fastest and most comfortable, and most prestigious mode of transport.
  • It can cover very difficult terrains like high mountains, dreary deserts, dense forests, and also long oceanic stretches with great ease.
  • Think of the northeastern part of the country, marked by the presence of big rivers, dissected relief, dense forests and frequent floods and international frontiers, etc. in the absence of air transport. Air travel has made access easier.
  • Air transport was nationalised in 1953.
  • Air India provides domestic and international air services.
  • Pawanhans Helicopters Ltd. provides helicopter services to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in its off-shore operations, to inaccessible areas and difficult terrains like the north-eastern states and the interior parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
airport map
Source: NCERT – airport map


Ever since humans appeared on the earth, they have used different means of communication. But, the pace of change, has been rapid in modern times.

  • Long-distance communication is far easier without the physical movement of the communicator or receiver.
  • Personal communication and mass communication including television, radio, press, films, etc. are the major means of communication in the country.
  • The Indian postal network is the largest in the world. It handles parcels as well as personal written communications.
  • Cards and envelopes are considered first-class mail and are airlifted between stations covering both land and air. The second-class mail includes book packets, registered newspapers, and periodicals.
  • They are carried by surface mail, covering land and water transport. To facilitate quick delivery of mail in large towns and cities, six mail channels have been introduced recently.
    • Rajdhani Channel
    • Metro Channel
    • Green Channel
    • Business Channel
    • Bulk Mail Channel
    • Periodical Channel
  • India has one of the largest telecom networks in Asia. Excluding urban places, more than two-thirds of the villages in India have already been covered with Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) telephone facility.
  • In order to strengthen the flow of information from the grassroots to the higher level, the government has made special provisions to extend twenty-four hours STD facilities to every village in the country.
  • Mass communication provides entertainment and creates awareness among people about various national programmes and policies. It includes radio, television, newspapers, magazines, books and films. All India Radio (Akashwani) broadcasts a variety of programmes in national, regional and local languages for various categories of people, spread over different parts of the country. Doordarshan, the national television channel of India, is one of the largest terrestrial networks in the world. It broadcasts a variety of programmes from entertainment, educational to sports, etc. for people of different age groups.
  • India publishes a large number of newspapers and periodicals annually. They are of different types depending upon their periodicity. Newspapers are published in about 100 languages and dialects. Did you know that the largest number of newspapers published in the country are in Hindi, followed by English and Urdu? India is the largest producer of feature films in the world. It produces short films; video feature films and video short films. The Central Board of Film Certification is the authority to certify both Indian and foreign films.

International Trade

The exchange of goods among people within states and countries is referred to as trade. The market is the place where such exchanges take place. Trade between two countries is called international trade. It may take place through sea, air or land routes.

  • Local trade is carried in cities, towns, and villages, and state-level trade is carried between two or more states.
  • The advancement of international trade in a country is an index to its economic prosperity. It is, therefore, considered the economic barometer for a country.
  • As the resources are space-bound, no country can survive without international trade.
  • Export and import are the components of the trade. The balance of trade of a country is the difference between its export and import. When the value of export exceeds the value of imports, it is called a favourable balance of trade. On the contrary, if the value of imports exceeds the value of exports, it is termed as unfavourable balance of trade.
  • India has trade relations with all the major trading blocks and all geographical regions of the world. The commodities exported from India to other countries include gems and jewellery, chemicals, and related products, agriculture and allied products, etc.
  • The commodities imported to India include petroleum crude and products, gems and jewellery, chemicals and related products, base metals, electronic items, machinery, agriculture, and allied products.
  • India has emerged as a software giant at the international level and it is earning large foreign exchange through the export of information technology.

Tourism as a Trade

Tourism in India has grown substantially over the last three decades. More than 15 million people are directly engaged in the tourism industry.

  • Tourism also promotes national integration and provides support to local handicrafts and cultural pursuits.
  • It also helps in the development of an international understanding of our culture and heritage.
  • Foreign tourists visit India for heritage tourism, eco-tourism, adventure tourism, cultural tourism, medical tourism, and business tourism.
  • There is a vast potential for the development of tourism in all parts of the country. Efforts are being made to promote different types of tourism for this upcoming industry.
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