India Notes





Introduced as early as 1853, Indian Railways has grown into one of the largest Railway network in the world. The network spread and expanded rapidly and has become the principal mode of transport in the country. The Railways have also been modernized in terms of technology, ticketing, computerization and over all management. This effort has been in tune with the requirement of moving large volumes of passengers and freight traffic.
Indian Railway network is spread over 81,511 Km covering 6,896 stations. Operating on three gauges - broad gauge (1676 mm) meter gauge (1000 mm) and narrow gauge (762 and 610 mm), trains in India carry more than 12 million passengers and more than a million tons of freight every day during the year 1998-99. Broad gauge although forming 64.5 per cent of the route, generated 96 per cent of freight output and 89.6 per cent of the passenger output during 1998-99. Almost all the double/multiple track sections and electrified routes lie on broad gauge. 14,579 route kms constituting over 19.5 per cent of the total network and 30 per cent of broad gauge network on Indian Railway is electrified. This carries approx. 41 per cent of the passenger traffic and 52 per cent of the freight traffic on Indian Railways.
Indian Railways has nearly 1,21,699 bridges of which 10799 are major bridges. In 1998-99, 384 bridges were rebuilt or rehabilitated and 270 strengthened or re-girdered. The transport effort is sustained through the use of 7429 locomotives, 2,53,186 wagons and 40,775 coaching vehicles. 1,56,846 telephone exchange lines, 18,445 long haul MT Kms., 1,730 optical fiber communication route Kms and over 8,54,613 trunk tele channels Kms distinguishes Indian Railway telecom network.
Indian Railway system has developed a capacity to carry 441.58 million tons of originating revenue earning traffic which in terms of transport output is 284.27 billion NTKms (net tonne kilometers). During 1998-99 the revenue earning freight traffic moved by Railways was 420.9 million tons growing at the rate of 7%. The total passenger traffic in the year 1998-99 was 4411 million tons.
Table:
NETWORK OF RAILWAYS- 1998-99
GAUGE ROUTE (km) RUNNING TRACK(km) TOTAL TRACK (km)
Broad 44,220 62,180 1,06,400
Meter 15,180 15,880 31,060
Narrow 3,410 3,450 6,860
TOTAL 62,810 81,510 1,44,320
Table:
ZONAL DISTRIBUTION OF ROUTE KILOMETERS
ZONES ROUTE KM.
CENTRAL 7,047
EASTERN 4,318
NORTHERN 11,004
NORTH EASTERN 5,107
NORTH EAST FRONTIER 3,816
SOUTHERN 7,049
SOUTH CENTRAL 7,203
SOUTH EASTERN 7,351
WESTERN 10,020
TOTAL 62,915


Information Technology
Information Technology Industry in India has the potential of tremendous growth as a global IT solutions provider. Increasingly, India is being regarded as the hub and the base for world-wide IT solutions development. In addition to the global market that the Indian IT industry is well placed to tap, there is also a huge market within India to transform conventional brick and mortar industry through IT solutions. Likely economic and industrial growth and a large consumer base are the additional and significant growth drivers for Indian IT industry.
Convergence of Information Technology, Communication, Entertainment, Content and Consumer Electronics and the increasing penetration of internet, PC, desktop sets, mobile phones, cable TV etc. should result in a massive surge in world-wide demand for IT solutions for internet based activities and e-commerce. India today is well placed to offer quality and competitive IT products and services.
Software industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing sectors in Indian economy with a CAGR exceeding 50% over the last five years and with a likely turnover of US $ 6 billion and exports of US $ 4 billion during 1999-2000. The government projects an export of US $ 50 billion by the year 2008 for the Indian software industry.
Hardware Industry
The IT Industry revolution in India rests on four pillars i.e., hardware, software, service and training. It is imperative that there is uniform growth in all these sectors.
According to the figures of the recently formed Ministry of Information Technology (MIT), the hardware production during the year 1999-2000 is expected to be Rs. 2000 crores. The PC production is expected to be around 4 lac units during the year against an estimated demand of 1.4 millions. The items of manufacture include personal computers, servers, workstations, super-computers, data processing equipment, and peripherals like monitors, keyboards, disk drives, printers, plotters, digitizers, SMPS, modems, networking products and add-on cards. The bulk production was in PII and PIII based PCs. Amongst the printers, Ink Jet printers have been most popular.
The Government is projecting a PC penetration from the present level of