Lifelines of National Economy

8 minute read
Liflelines of National Economy

A strong transportation and communication network plays an imperative role in building a prosperous nation. There are multifarious benefits of ensuring the development of advanced systems of transportation and communication in a country as they not only connect the varied regions and states as well as people through a smooth network but also significantly contribute to the economy as well. The 7th chapter of Class 10 Social Science is focused on the essential lifelines of the national economy, i.e. its transportation and communication networks like roadways, railways, waterways, airways, seaports, and pipelines, etc. as well as modes of communication and how they contribute to the economy. This blog summarizes this chapter and its key pointers which you must cover while studying this topic.

Lifelines of National Economy Class 10 PDF


India has one of the largest road networks in the world. Roads play a crucial role in ensuring the economic progress of our country. The expanse of the road network in the country is around 54.7 lakh km. Here are a few reasons why roads are considered more important than other modes of transportation:

  • The construction cost of roads is much cheaper when compared with laying railway tracks.
  • Roads can be easily laid to cover geographically remote locations, unlike railways.
  • Movement of goods and travelling on roads is economical.
  • Roads can reach the steep slopes of the Himalayas and other hilly terrains.
  • Roads offer end-to-end connectivity.
  • Roads offer last-mile connectivity to airports, railway stations, and seaports.

Classification of the Road Network in India: Geographical Location

The road network in India is classified on the basis of geographical location and capacity. Majorly they are divided into six different types depending on their purpose and capacity.

Golden Quadrilateral Super Highways

Studying the chapter on Lifelines of National Economy, you will get to know about the Golden Quadrilateral Super Highways which is a network of highways that connect the top four metropolitan cities of the country namely – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. The construction and maintenance of these highways are carried out by the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India).

National Highways

The National Highways are the next big network of roads. These are maintained by the CPWD (Central Public Works Department). The historical Sher-Shah Suri Marg that runs between Delhi and Amritsar is known as National Highway No.1. Each national highway is assigned a unique numerical code.

State Highways

As the name implies, these roads are under the purview of each state government. They link a state capital with district capitals and are constructed and maintained by the SPWD (State Public Works Department).

District Roads

These roads connect the district headquarters with other towns and villages in the district. They are constructed and maintained by the Zilla Parishad as stated in Lifelines of National Economy. 

Other Roads

Rural roads connecting rural villages with nearby towns fall under this category. These roads receive grants under the PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana) for maintenance and construction.

Border Roads

These are the roads that lie on India’s borders connecting our country with our neighbours. The Border Roads Organisation was established in 1960 for the construction and maintenance of strategic roads in the north-eastern and northern border states.

Related Read: The Rise of Nationalism in Europe Class 10 Study Notes

Classification of the Road Network in India: Construction Material

Apart from the classification of roads with respect to their geographical location, the chapter titled Lifelines of a National Economy also has also another category of road networks on the basis of construction material. The classification of roads as per the construction material used is as follows:

  • Metalled Roads – These are all-season roads and are made of concrete, cement, or bitumen of coal.
  • Unmetalled Roads – These roads do not withstand the rainy season.


Next to the roadways, railways are the major mode of transportation in India. Railways not only ply passengers but also carry tons of bulky goods on long and short distances. Railways have always occupied a major role in the nation’s economy. However, there are certain troubles plaguing rail transport and the key issues faced by railways are:

  • It is difficult to lay railway tracks on sandy plains.
  • Construction of bridges is required for laying railway tracks across river beds.
  • In the hilly terrain of the Indian peninsula, railway tracks are laid via low hills, tunnels or gaps.
  • Construction of railway lines in the Himalayan mountainous region is unfavourable due to several factors like – sparse population, uneven terrain, and lack of economic opportunities.


Pipelines are a large network of pipes that usually run underground. This network is used to transport and distribute crucial fluids like – water, petroleum, crude oil, natural gas to thermal power plants, and fertilizer factories. Even solids are transported via the underground pipeline network, by converting it into a slurry. The three important pipelines in the country as mentioned in Lifelines of National Economy:

  • From Hazira in Gujarat to Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh
  • From Salaya in Gujarat to Jalandhar in Punjab
  • From the oil fields in upper Assam to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh


Waterways are used for transporting bulky and heavy goods. They are the cheapest modes of transportation and offer several advantages like – fuel-efficiency and eco-friendly. As per the chapter on Lifelines of National Economy, here are the types of national waterways-

National Waterways

There are five national waterways in India. They are:

National Waterway No.LocationDistance
NW No.1On the Ganga river, between Allahabad and Haldia1620 km
NW No.2On the Brahmaputra between Sadiya and Dhubri891 km
NW No.3On the west coast canal in Kerala between Kottapuram – Kollam to Udyogamandal and Champakkara205 km
NW No.4Certain stretches on Godavari and Krishna rivers along with the Kakinada to Puducherry canals1078 km
NW No.5Certain stretches along the Brahmani river and Matai river, on the East Coast Canal of Mahanadi588 km

Inland Waterways

The major inland waterways in the country are Zuari and Cumberjua, Mandavi, Sunderbans, the backwaters of Kerala and Barak.

Sea Ports

The bulk of India’s foreign trade is carried from its major seaports. There are two major and 200 minor/intermediate (notified non-majors) ports in India. The major ports are that can be counted as one of the lifelines to the national economy are:

  • Kandla in Kutch is the first port to be built post-independence. It is also called the Deendayal Port.
  • Mumbai is the biggest port in India. It’s a natural port and has a well-sheltered harbour.
  • Chennai port has a long history and is one of the oldest artificial ports in the country. 
  • Kolkata is an inland river port.
  • Mangalore port in Karnataka is one of the major exporters of iron ore.
  • Mormugao port in Goa is another premier port that exports iron ore.
  • Paradip port, Odisha is another exporter of iron ore.
  • Kochi, Kerala is the south-westernmost port in India and is situated at the entrance of a backwater lagoon.
  • Tuticorin port, Tamil Nadu is the south-easternmost port in India.
  • Visakhapatnam is one of the well-protected ports in the country. It is a landlocked port.
  • Haldia port is a subsidiary port and was developed to relieve the pressure on Kolkata port.


Amongst the pivotal lifelines of the National Economy, Airways correspond to the Air-based mode of transport. It is a modern, fast, comfortable and prestigious mode of transport in India. Development of airways has opened the access to difficult to reach areas like – hilly terrains, dense forests and dreary deserts. Air transport in India was nationalized in 1953. Air India is the national carrier and offers both domestic and international air services. Today, there are several private players in the air transport sector.

Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd offers helicopter services to ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) to reach offshore operations centres and other difficult and inaccessible terrains.


The major modes of communication in our country are as stated in the chapter on lifelines of the national economy are television, press, radio, films, etc.

  • The Indian postal network is the biggest postal network in the world. Besides personal written communications, it also offers parcel services. Envelopes and cards are considered first-class mail and are airlifted between stations. Journals, periodicals, and magazines are considered second-class mail and are sent via land and water transport.
  • India has one of the largest telecom networks in Asia. Mass communication in India is used for entertainment as well as to create awareness of national policies and programs. The major modes of mass communication in India are newspapers, magazines, televisions, radio, films, and books.
  • The national radio channel – Akashwani broadcasts in national, regional, and local languages.
  • Doordarshan is the national television channel and broadcasts in national, regional, and local languages.
  • In India, newspapers are published in over 100 languages.

Check Out: Streams After 10th

International Trade

The exchange of goods and services between the two countries is known as international trade. The lesson on lifelines of national economy states that international trade is one of the crucial economic parameters. Goods sent out from the country are known as exports and goods brought into the country are known as import.

The major commodities exported from India include jewellery and gems, agriculture and allied products, chemicals, etc. The major commodities imported to India include electronics, machinery, petroleum and crude products, gems and jewellery, base metals, etc. Trade balance is the difference between export and import.

  • When exports exceed imports, it is termed as a favourable trade balance.
  • When imports exceed exports, it is known as the unfavourable trade balance.

Tourism as Trade

The final section in the chapter on the Lifelines of National Economy deals with the importance of the tourism sector. In India, more than 15 million people are a direct part of the tourism sector. Tourism in India helps in:

  • Promoting national integration
  • Providing support to local handicrafts
  • Promoting understanding about Indian heritage and culture

Foreign tourists visit India for eco-tourism, adventure tourism, heritage tourism, cultural tourism, business tourism, and medical tourism.

Lifelines of National Economy Slideshare

Credits: SlideShare

Lifelines of National Economy MCQ

  1. Lifelines of National Economy Class 10 MCQ Question 1. What is the name given to the International Airport at Kolkata?
    (a) Jawaharlal Nehru
    (b) Meenambakkam
    (c) Rajiv Gandhi
    (d) Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

2. Which one of the following is an inland riverine port? [Delhi 2012]
(a) Kandla
(b) Kolkata
(c) Mumbai
(d) Tuticorin

3. Which one of the following is not the means of mass communication?
(a) Cards and envelopes
(b) Radio
(c) Newspaper
(d) Films

4. The longest pipeline connects
(a) Hazira to Kanpur
(.b) Salaya to Jalandhar
(c) Flazira to Jagdishpur
(d) Koyali to Haldia

We hope that through these detailed notes, you have understood the chapter on Lifelines of National Economy. Unsure about selecting a stream after 10th? Our Leverage Edu experts are here to help you choose the best stream based on your choices and future goals. Sign up for a free session with us today!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *



1 comment