Q. 1. Explain with examples the changing nature of the international trade of India.
Write a note on the changing nature of the international trade of India.
Ans. India’s international trade has undergone a sea change:
(i) The share of agriculture and allied products has declined whereas shares of petroleum and crude products and other commodities have increased. The increase in the share of petroleum products is due to a rise in petroleum prices as well as increase in India’s refining capacity.
(ii) The decline in traditional items is largely due to the tough international competition. Amongst the agricultural products, there is a great decline in the exports of traditional items such as coffee, spices, tea, pulses, etc., though an increase has been registered in floricultural products, fresh fruits, marine products and sugar, etc.
(iii) Textile sector could not compete with the export of the engineering goods. China and other East Asian countries are our major competitors.
(iv) Foodgrain import was discontinued due to success of the Green Revolution.
(v) Import of fertilisers continued due to high demand in India.
(vi) Import of machines and equipment, special steel, edible oil and chemicals continued to be high.
Q. 2. Why are ports known as ‘gateways’ of international trade? Explain any three characteristics of inland ports.
Ans. Ports are known as gateways of international trade because cargoes and travellers pass from one part of the world to another through these ports.
The ports provide facilities of docking, loading, unloading and the storage facilities for cargo. Port authorities make arrangements for maintaining navigable channels, arranging tugs and barges, and providing labour and managerial services. The importance of port is judged by the size of cargo and the number of ships handled.
Characteristics of inland ports:
(i) These ports are located away from sea coast.
(ii) They are linked to the sea through a river or a canal.
(iii) Such ports are accessible to flat bottom ships or barges. For example: Kolkata Port.
Q. 3. “Air transport plays an important role in the international trade.” Support the statement.
Ans. Air transport is of recent origin in the development of transport system of a country. It is the gift of 20th century to the world. The Second World War has stimulated the growth of air transport and it has made progress in the recent years, because it is the fastest way of transporting the goods. The transport of goods through airways is costly and therefore it is designated to carry costly goods of small quantity.
Air transport does not give emphasis on construction of tracks like railways. As no capital investment in surface track is required, it is less costly mode of transport. Air transport is regarded as the only means of transport in those areas which are not easily accessible to other modes of transport.
It is therefore accessible to all areas regardless of the obstruction of land. Air transport is free from physical barriers because it follows the shortest and direct routes where seas, mountains and forests do not obstruct.
Air transport offers numerous advantages for international trade such as:
(i) Delivers items quickly over long distances.
(ii) Gives the high levels of security for sensitive items.
(iii) Used for a range of goods.
Q. 4. Why is there a constant need to upgrade or develop the Indian ports?
Ans. Development of Indian ports:
(i) Today Indian ports are handling large volume of domestic as well as overseas trade.
(ii) Most of the ports are equipped with modern infrastructure.
(iii) Previously, the development and modernisation was the responsibility of the government’s agencies but now private entrepreneurs have been invited for the modernisation of ports in India.
(iv) The capacity of Indian ports increased from 20 million tonnes in 1951 to more than 500 million tonnes at present.
(v) Most of the foreign trade is handled by the sea routes. Hence, ports continue to develop.
(vi) For example: Kandla Port situated at the head of Gulf of Kutch has been developed as a major port to cater to the needs of western and north western parts of the country.
Q. 5. Write a note on the changing nature of the international trade of India.
Ans. International trade has undergone a sea change in the last fifteen years.
(i) Exchange of commodities and goods have been superseded by the exchange of information and knowledge.
(ii) India has emerged as a software giant at the international level and it is earning large foreign exchange through the export of information technology.
(iii) India has trade relations with all the major trading blocs and all geographical regions of the world. Among the commodities in export the share of agriculture and allied products has been 9.9 per cent, ores and minerals 4.0% gems and jewellery 14.7%, petroleum products (including coal) 16.8 % in 2010-11.
(iv) The commodities imported to India include petroleum and petroleum products (28.6%), pearls and precious stones (9.4%), chemicals (5.2%), coal, coke and briquettes (2.7%) and machinery (6.4%) in 2010-11.
(v) Bulk imports as group registered a growth accounting for 28.2% of total imports. This group includes fertilizers (33.4 %), cereals (14.3%), edible oils (17.4%) and newsprint (40.3%) in 2010-11.