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Movement is an essential component of life. Right from the beginning of civilisation, humans have been moving from place to place in search of food, for a living and for exchanging goods. Before the invention of wheel, humans moved on foot. Wheels were quickly followed with carts and other means of transport.

Now, there are moving cars, buses, trains, ships and aeroplanes. Earlier, they moved in small numbers and over small distances. Now, they are moving in large numbers and over long distances. They also carry with them goods and materials.

The volume of trade has increased tremendously in recent years. Various means of transport help us in both production and distribution of goods. They also help in the development of communication.

Communication is an essential requirement of human life. No one can live without interacting with others. Earlier communication between people was less and only faces to face. Now it has increased and the modes of communication have also changed.

The increase in the volume and the change in the modes of communication are the result of increased human movement and transport of materials and goods. Today, we are living in the age of communication, using telephone, television, films and Internet. Even books, magazines and newspapers are the important means of communication. Various means of transport and communication have reduced distances, bringing the world closer.

Modern life is so complex that one has to depend on others. The same is true of the countries as well. No country today can prosper without the co-operation and assistance of others.

This requires movement of goods and materials between countries. Trade provides us with our necessities and also adds to amenities and comfort of life. In the following pages we will study the distributional patterns of transport and communication in India. We may also notice that they are rightly called the lifelines of our national economy.

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