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Kerala Plus One Economics Notes Chapter 8 Infrastructure
Infrastructure means some kinds of permanent installation, which are used over a long period of time for the supply of basic inputs like railway lines, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, etc. Infrastructural facilities are often referred to as economic and social overheads.
- The economic infrastructure consists of energy, transport, communication
- The social infrastructure consists of education, health, and housing.
Relevance of Infrastructure
Infrastructure plays important role in economic growth and development. Developed nations have good record of social and economic infrastructure. The contributions of infrastructure are:
• It invites investment which leads to growth.
• It enhances productivity.
• It improves the quality of life of people.
State of Infrastructure in India
Two important infrastructures in India are energy and health. We shall examine their details below:
Energy: Energy is very vital for rapid economic growth. There is a big gap between consumer demand and the supply of electricity in India. Energy is a critical aspect of the development process of a nation. It is, of course, essential for industries. Now it is used on a large scale in agriculture and related areas like the production and transportation of fertilizers, pesticides, and farm equipment. It is required in houses for cooking, household lighting, and heating.
Sources of Energy: There are commercial and non-commercial sources of energy. Commercial sources are coal, petroleum, and electricity as they are bought and sold. Non-commercial sources of energy are firewood, agricultural waste, and dried dung. These are non-commercial as they are found in nature/ forests. While commercial sources of energy are generally exhaustible, non-commercial sources are generally renewable.
Non-conventional Sources of Energy: Both commercial and non-commercial sources of energy are known as conventional sources of energy. There are three other sources of energy which are commonly termed as non-conventional sources – solar energy, wind energy and tidal power.
Power/Electricity: The most visible form of energy, which is often identified with progress in modern civilization, is power, commonly called electricity; it is one of the most critical components of infrastructure that determines the economic development of a country.
Health: Health is an essential element of human resource development. Health is a holistic process related to the overall growth and development of the nation. WHO defines health as Economists judge the health conditions of the people of a country by looking at the following indicators.
- Infant mortality
- Maternal mortality
- Life expectancy
- Nutritional levels
- Incidence of communicable and non-communicable diseases
- Health infrastructures
Health System in India: India’s health infrastructure consists of a three-tier system such as primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary health care includes health education, health problems, prevention and control of diseases, promotion of nutrition, issues relating to potable water and sanitation, maternal and child health care, immunization against major infectious diseases like Polio, T.B, diphtheria, promotion of mental health and provision of essential drugs, etc.
Primary health care is provided through, sub-centers catering to a population of about 5000, Primary health care centres (PHCs) at block level and community health centres (CHCs) at the district level. The primary health care centres have only limited facilities. When the patient need advanced health care they are referred to secondary or tertiary hospitals.
Secondary care institutions are those which have facilities for clinical investigations like X-ray, clinical laboratory, scanning, etc., specialist doctors like a surgeon, gynecologists, pediatricians, etc. It is mostly available in district headquarters and big towns and cities.
Tertiary health care institutions these are health care institutions at the top of the three-tier system, devoted in health care, health education and research: Medical colleges, super-specialty hospitals and multi-specialty hospitals. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) Bangalore, Sree Chithra Institute of Medical Science (SCIM) Trivandrum, etc., are tertiary health care institutions.
Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM): Natural systems of medicine have to be explored and used to support public health. There is a great scope of advancement of medical tourism in India. It includes six systems: Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Naturopathy and Homeopathy (AYUSH). At present, there are 3,004 ISM hospitals, 23,028 dispensaries and as many as 6,11,431 registered practitioners in India. But little has been done to set up a framework to standardize education orto promote research. ISM has huge potential and can solve a large part of our health care problems because they are effective, safe and inexpensive.