Railway freight is losing it’s way to the highways which is neither good from an economy point of view nor sustainable for the environment. Do you agree? Substantiate. Also suggest policy changes which must be brought in to address this anomaly.
Railway is cheaper mode of freight and travel than roadways but in recent time it is losing its charm as Economic survey 2015 identifies more freight transportation has been preferred by road than railways in recent time. This is not preferable in developing country like India because
- More freight by roadways than railways will increase the total cost and will lead inflation which will hurt poor more.
- Poor railways lead poor connectivity of ports and hinterlands. It adversely affects the Indian import-export efficiency as compare to other global economy.
- It has hazardous effect on environment as road transportation produces more pollution than railways. Also fuel consumption increase which hurt as current account deficit.
- It will lead congestion on roads and lead more traffic challenges and accidents.
- Railway freight and its efficiency is need for India to achieve its INDC targets proposed in Paris climate summit.
To overcome these challenges proposed suggestions for efficiency are
- Inter departmental coordination; support of PPP model, innovative funding mechanism is needed for interlining roadways, railways, waterways, and ports together for more freight efficiency.
- Dedicated freight corridors are need of India to interlink major ports to major metro cities, SEZs, and areas like coal mining. It will increase the speed for transportation.
- Switching technology for advance locomotive engines and switch from conventional engines to electric and efficient engines.
- Cross subsidy between freight and other additional services need to be rationalizing. Independent regulator need to setting freight price charges.
- Long run railway development plan for country is needed and for each zone to develop own plan for freight development.
- Railway linkage to more interior areas to link more and more people and industries direct with railway freight.
Identify various silk types which are reared in India along with their areas. Isn’t silk rearing facing stiff competition from synthetic fibres? Can you suggest some ways to enhance the competitiveness and popularity of silk? Also discuss the potential of silk for exports.
India is one among very few nations which cultivates all 5 type of silk. India has Oak silk, Muga silk, Mulberry silk, Tropical Lakh, and Eri silk. India is in global map for production and consumption of silk.
Eri silk get produce in North East states including Arunanchal Pradesh, Assam, and so on
Muga Silk produced in Assam
Oak silk in sub Himalayan region states including Uttarakhand, Himanchal Pradesh, and J&K.
Mulberry silk is the maximum produces silk in different parts of India lead by Karnakataka. Other states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra also produces. It contributes 90% of total silk production.
After industrialization silk get fierce competition from synthetic because
- Synthetic silk production is cheaper than natural silk; production takes less time and labor work
- It is easy to handle while producing end products, smoother for mechanical work and price for consumers is lower than natural silk, Durability, workability, flexibility is more
For making natural silk competitive in market many innovations are needed
- Skilled labors are important for producing aesthetic export quality. India has rich legacy of silk work so cluster approach with blend of technology and traditional knowledge need to adopt for end product production.
- Proposal for GI tag to put it as brand in international market.
- India needs to focus on end produce sale rather selling raw silk in international market.
- International designers and artists also can significantly contribute to promote silks as fashion trend among youth.
- Exhibition, integration in Make in India movement, promotion thought E commerce will also help in marketing.
- Reducing middle man is important to ensure maximum profit sharing with artisans.
For international promotion scope lies in developed countries market through BITs, also in South East Asian market under FTAs. South America is also one emerging market for Indian silk.