What Is Infrastructure?


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.

What then is infrastructure?

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 facilities and
  • the monetary system including banks, insurance and other financial institutions.

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.

Some divide infrastructure into two categories — economic and social.

  • Infrastructure associated with energy, transportation and communication are included in the economic category;
  • whereas those related to education, health and housing are included in the social category.

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Bibliography : NCERT – Indian Economic Development

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