2nd Five Year Plan
[ Home ]
<< Back to Index

1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 || 9 || 10 || 11 || 12 || 13 || 14 || 15 || 16 || 17 || 18 || 19 || 20 || 21 || 22 || 23 || 24 || 25 || 26 || 27 || 28 || 29 || 30 || Conclusion || Appendix

Chapter 22:


Communication services include postal, telegraph and telephone services, overseas communications and meteorology. This chapter deals with broadcasting also, which it is customary to consider along with communications. The growth of communications and broadcasting is an integral element in the economic and technological advance of the country and factors such as expansion of industrial and commercial activity, rise in living standards, growth of literacy and changes in social life influence the rate at which these services are developed. Programmes for the development of communications and broadcasting in the second live year plan have been drawn up with due regard to developments envisaged in other sectors. The plan provides Rs. 76 crores for these programmes—Rs. 63 crores for post and telegraph and telephone services, Rs. 50 lakhs for the Indian Telephone Industries, Rs. 2 crores for overseas communications, Rs. 1.5 crores for meteorology and Rs. 9 crores for broadcasting. Besides Rs. 1.75 crores will be spent during the plan period from the revenues of the Posts and Telegraphs Department on the opening up of new post offices, which is a normal activity of the Department. The programme for the development of communications provides, among other things, for the opening of 20,000 post offices, 1400 telegraph offices and 1200 public call offices and the installation of 180,000 telephones. The programme is intended to be reviewed from year to year so as to ensure that the growth of communications keeps in step with demands from trade and industry and from the various development projects taken up during the second five year plan.


2. A provision ofRs. 50 crores was made in the first plan for the programme of the Posts and Telegraphs Department. The actual expenditure on the programme during the period of the plan is expected to be about Rs. 41 crores. The provision of Rs. 63 crores made in the second plan for posts and telegraphs is distributed as followed:

Rs. crores

Local telephone service 29.0
Public call offices 1.0
Open wire trunks and carriers 3.0
Trunk cables and carrier cables 8.5
Trunk exchanges 1.4
Telegraph service 2.0
Demands from other administrations 2.1
Miscellaneous requirements 6.0
Buildings 10.0
total . 63.0

3. Local telephone service .—Before the commencement of the first plan, there were 168,000 telephones in use in the country. About 100,000 telephones have been installed during the plan period. There are at present pending demands for over 100,000 telephones and large additional demands will also arise during the second plan. During the second plan it is proposed to instal 180,000-new telephones. This expansion programme will require the installation of 160,000 exchange lines, the opening up of a number of new exchanges and the automisation of a number of existing manual exchanges. The programme is broadly correlated with the development of capacity within the country for the production of telephone instruments and exchange lines and more especially with the production plan of Indian Telephone Industries. In view of the expansion in demand from various sources it is necessary to keep the programme under constant review.

4. Trunk telephone service.—-The trunk telephone service is provided by public call offices and trunk exchanges which are connected into the trunk network by physical circuits and carrier systems worked on open-wire routes and underground cables. In the expansion of the trunk telephone service, the objective to be kept in view is to make the service available not merely in all towns and administrative units but within a convenient distance, say 5 miles, of any place in the country. The standard of the service has to be raised, so that direct dialling is possible on the main sections of the net-work and service on the subsidiary sections is available with practically no delay. Provision has been made in the second plan for substantial increases in the number of public call offices and trunk exchanges in the country and for the expansion of the net-work of open-wire trunks and carriers. Adequate provision is also made for the laying of long distance underground irunk cables, on which a beginning was made during the first plan.

5. At the commencement of the first plan, there were 338 public call offices in the country. Up till September, 1953, Government's general approach was to open such offices only at places where they were expected to be self-supporting. It was then decided to provide all district headquarters with public call offices; later it was agreed to extend the programme also to sub-divisional headquarters. This programme is to be completed during the second plan. It is proposed now to extend public call offices to tehsil headquarters, towns with a population of 20,000 and over, centres where public call offices will pay their way and a few other places. The total number of offices at the end of firs-t plan is expected to be 1218 and this will be nearly doubled during the second plan period.

6. In regard to the expansion of trunk exchanges, the target of new installations in the first plan was 409 positions; of this 350 are expected to have been completed during the plan period. The trunk exchange system is proposed to be reorganised so as to divide the country into 11 zone centres, 65 district centres and a number of minor and dependent exchanges. In the second plan it is proposed to take up installations for 6 zone centres, 9 district centres and the minor and dependent exchanges served by them. A number of technical improvements will also be carried out

7. A programme for the extension of open wire routes and underground cables has been drawn up for the second plan. As against over 50,000 carrier channel miles on open wire routes completed in the first plan period, the target of installation in the second plan is 150,000 miles which includes the setting up of new routes as well as the erection of additional wires on existing routes. The programme provides for 226 open wire carrier systems of various types. In regard to underground cables, a scheme has been formulated for laying long-distance cables on the Bombay-Delhi-Calcutta, Delhi-Amritsar, Ambala-Simla and Thana-Poona trunk routes. These cables will be equipped with cable carrier systems with provision for telephone, music and V.F.T. channels. The total cost of the scheme will be about Rs. 11 crores.

8. Telegraph service.—Before the first plan, there were 3,592 telegraph offices; 1320 new offices were opened during the plan period. As in the case of trunk exchanges, the general aim in the expansion programme for telegraph offices is to make the telegraph service available within a distance, say 5 miles, of any place in the country. The time interval between the booking of an ordinary telegram and its delivery at its destination has to be reduced to the minimum. This necessitates installation on an extensive scale of modem devices like teleprinters and the tape relay systems to avoid repeated handling of telegrams and the gradual replacement of Morse working. The programme in the second plan aims at opening telegraph offices at about 700 administrative centres, including tehsils and thanas which are not provided for at present, and at 400 towns with a population of 5,000 and over. To facilitate the expansion, the limit of average working loss per centre is to be raised from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000 per annum. Telegraph offices will also be opened where they are expected to be remunerative and at other selected places. In all, about 1400 telegraph offices are expected to be established during the second plan. A number of technical improvements with a view to the modernisation of the telegraph system will also be carried out These will include, amongst others, the installation of 70,000 to 80,000 channel miles of VFT carrier systems, tape relay systems at Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras, teleprinter exchanges at Calcutta, Delhi and Madras and the introduction of facsimile working.

9. Expansion of postal facilities.—"Before the first plan there were 36,000 post offices and during the plan period 18,900 post offices have been added. The objective in the first plan was to serve, besides all administrative headquarters such as tehsils, talukas and thanas, every group of villages located within a radius of 2 miles and having a total population of 2,000, provided the annual loss involved was not more than Rs. 750 and that there was no post office within a distance of 3 miles. During the second plan the aim will be to provide a post office to each group of villages within a radius of 4 miles and having a population of 2,000. In addition, post offices will be provided during the second plan period at the headquarters of all national extension and community project areas, provided these fulfil the general conditions as to annual loss and distance from an existing post office. In all, about 20,000 post offices are expected to be opened during the second plan period.

10. Simultaneously with this expansion programme, steps will be taken to facilitate speedier transmission of mails. Thus air-mail is proposed to be extended to all routes served by air services. It is also proposed to extend air parcel service to about 18 countries for which this service is not at present available. Provision is being made for additional railway mail vans and for about 100 new mail motors. A programme for the mechanisation of postal services has also been formulated. This will include the introduction at important post offices of mechanical devices like conveyors and lifts for mail bags, comptometers, post card and envelope vending machines, stamp cancelling machines and parcel-label issuing machines, etc. These measures are expected to add materially to the efficiency of the post offices.

11. Other programmes.—Among the schemes included in the programme of the Posts and Telegraphs Department mention may be made of a teleprinter factory, a posts and telegraphs workshop at Ma'ithon, development of existing posts and telegraphs workshops and the setting up of research and training centres. The building programme of the Departmental includes, besides construction of office buildings, a large number of residential quarters for staff. Provision has been made for the requirements in respect of telecommunication circuits of Government Departments and of private parties.


12. For the rapid development of the telephone service it is necessary that telephone equipment should be manufactured within the country. With this in view, the Indian Telephone Industries project was taken up in 1948. A provision of Rs. 130 lakhs was included in the first plan for the expansion of the factory, which v{3iS later increased to Rs. 349 lakhs. The actual expenditure during the plan period is expected to be of the order ofRs. 291 lakhs. The capacity of the factory has increased to 35,000 exchange lines and 50,000 telephone instruments per annum. The factory started by assembling telephone instruments from imported parts but the manufacture of parts has been developed satisfactorily. The factory is now in a position to produce 520 out of the 539 parts of a telephone instrument and of the remaining 19 items as many as 17 are manufactured by other Indian firms, only 2 being imported from abroad. In the case of exchange line equipment also, Indian Telephone Industries are endeavouring to attain an increasing measure of self-sufficiency and expect to manufacture during the second plan period 85 per cent of the total number of components required.

13. The tentative production targets envisaged for the second plan are 40,000 exchange lines and 60,000 telephone instruments per annum, but production will be raised to these levels, if an export market develops. A provision of Rs. 50 lakhs has been included in the plan for Indian Telephone Industries and the undertaking will also be in a position, if necessary, partly to finance its own development


14. For extending and strengthening contacts with other countries India needs a well-developed system of overseas communications. The overseas Communications Service aims at establishing direct wireless telegraph, telephone and radio-photo services with all important countries. Before the first plan, India had direct radio services with six countries, namely U.K., U.S.A, Australia, China, Afghanistan and Japan. To contact the rest of the world, she was dependent on the communication system of Cable and Wireless, Ltd., London. By the beginning of the second plan, India will have direct radio-telegraph circuits with 14 countries, radio-telephone circuits with 16 countries and radio-photo service with five. In addition, the Overseas Service provides multi-address broadcasts for the Indian embassies and consular bodies abroad and news-cast services for the press.

15. There have been growing demands in recent years from the public, press, business houses. Government agencies and foreign countries for additional facilities for expeditious long-distance communications. In certain cases ad hoc arrangements were made with the available equipment. In the second plan priority has to be given to the consolidation of existing circuits by the installation of suitable equipment. Where possible, modern techniques are to be incorporated in the existing equipment so as to increase its capacity for handling messages. The programme also provides for opening a number of additional circuits. It is hoped that direct radiotelegraph, radio-telephone and radio-photo circuits will be established with 25 more countries-during the plan period. Further the plan provides for a high-grade privacy system on radio-telephone circuits, special facilities for news transmissions for the press, larger coverage for press broadcasts undertaken for the Ministry of External Affairs and a number of 'leased circuit' channels for the benefit of aviation companies and business houses. The circuits are designed to be distributed for operation from all the four overseas communications centres in India and the plan aims at the integration of services provided by all the centres so that, in the event of failure of any centre, it will be possible to maintain contact with the outside world through other centres. The total outlay for the programme during the second plan period is estimated to be Rs. 2 crores.


16. During the first five year plan steps were taken to modernise the observational equipment at important aerodrome observatories. New equipment was obtained for the Central Seismological Observatory at Shillong and for the Kodaikanal Observatory and for the workshops and laboratories of the Department. Preliminary work was also undertaken for the manufacture of a number of instruments required for the observatories. Skeleton hydromet organisations have also been set up in the catchment areas of some rivers e.g. the Kosi, Narbada, Tapti, etc. so as to collect hydrometeorological data and study these with reference to flood control projects. Satisfactory progress was made on the construction of buildings for offices and observatories and residential quarters for the staff. In the second plan, it is proposed to undertake further modernisation of observational equipment at important aerodrome observatories, to expand departmental workshops and laboratories and to undertake developmental work in climatology and agricultural meteorology. Activities of the Central Seismological Observatory at Shillong and the Magnetic Observatory at Alibag will be expanded. The Kodaikanal Observatory will be further developed with new equipment for stellar, radio-astronomical and other new lines of work. The works proposed to be undertaken in connection with the development of this Observatory include an optical workshop and machine shop. Work will be undertaken during the plan period on two new observatories, namely, a Central Astronomical Observatory and a Naval Time Observatory. The plan also provides for the construction of office and observatory buildings, workshops and laboratory extensions and residential quarters for staff;"especially at aerodromes. A provision ofRs. 1.5 crores has been made in the plan for all these schemes.


17. The provision for broadcasting in the first plan was raised in the fourth year of the plan from Rs. 3.52 crores to Rs. 4.94 crores. The targets in respect of the area and population to be covered by extension of broadcasting envisaged under the plan as originally formulated have been substantially achieved. The programme of installation of six 50 KW MW transmitters at Bombay, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jullundur and Calcutta has been completed; 20 KW MW transmitters have been installed at Indore, Madras and Ajmer, and the installation of 20 KW MW transmitters at Patna, Cuttack, Vijayawada, Trichur and Delhi will be completed by the end of 1956. These additional installations "have been provided with a view to giving a wider coverage. Mediumwave transmitters of lesser power have also been installed as paM of the first plan at Nagpur and Gauhati and at the new stations at Poona, Rajkot and Jaipur. In some parts of the country as in Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Assam, having regard to the nature of the terrain and the needs of the regions, the installation of short-wave transmitters will have been nearly completed by the end of 1956. Thus, under the first plan, each language has been provided with at least one transmitting station, and fairly effective coverage has been given to almost all the regions in the country. A major portion of the programme of international services on shortwave under the first plan will also be completed by the end of 1956.

18. The main aim under the second plan is not so much to establish new "centres for languages as to extend the services now available for all languages to as wide an area as possible. The installation of transmitters under the second plan has, therefore, been determined -bv the objective of serving areas which have not been reached before. Depending upon local conditions, this objective is to be achieved through appropriate combinations of mediumwave and shortwave coverage. Thus, the Tamil speaking-area will be given additional coverage by the installation of a 50 KW mediumwave transmitter at Tiruchirapally, and the services in Bombay and Calcutta will also be strengthened on the medium-wave. On the other hand shortwave coverage will be used to provide satisfactory reception in^areas of high atmospheric noise and for areas with special geographical configuration or with sparse population and scattered towns or a multiplicity of dialects. Accordingly, the installation of shortwave transmitters has been planned for hill areas, at Simla, Lucknow and Gauhati; for tribal areas in an around Madhya Pradesh; for Rajasthan; and for Marathi and Telugu aieas.

19. For meeting the growing demand for national programmes and for ensuring a countrywide hook-up of national broadcasts, it is proposed to instal at Delhi a 100 KW shortwave and a 100 KW mediumwave transmitters. Services emanating from Calcutta, Bombay and Madras are being made available to the entire country by the installation of 50 KW shortwave transmitters at these centres. These transmitters will also be available for strengthening the external services. Additional facilities for external services which have become necessary with India's increasing contacts with other countries will be provided by the installation of two 100 KW shortwave transmitters at Delhi.

20. A beginning is also proposed to be made in the field of television.

21. Facilities for rural listening will be considerably extended so as to enable the rural population to benefit from the broadcast coverage which has been provided under the first plan and which will be further extended under the second plan. It is proposed to provide for the supply 6f community receivers to all villages having a population of 1000 and above. In all, about 72,000 sets are proposed to be installed during the period of the plan.

22. The rest of the provision made in the plan is for replacements, for providing permanent studios at certain centres and for strengthening facilities for transcription, research and training. The manpower requirements of the All India, Radio for .carrying out the expansion programme are being provided for. These include 678 radio engineers.

23. The provision of Rs. 9 crores proposed for Broadcasting'under the second plan is distributed as follows:

l. Transmitters Rs. in lakhs
  Internal services 219.99
  External services 128.06
2. Studio installations and additional office accommodation 267.81
3. Television- 40.00
4. Community listenine 75.00
5. Replacement of assets 31.20
6. Research department 16.60
7. Transcription service 14.00
• 8. Staff training school 5.00
9. Staff quarters 5.00
10. Other schemes like field strength and soil conductivity survey, mobile recording vans, proto-type unit etc. 68.34
11. Installation group 29.00
total . 900.00
[ Home ]
^^ Top
<< Back to Index