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industrial Visit ( BSNL REPORT )
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The word telephone, from the Greek roots tele, "far," and phone, "sound," was applied as early as the late 17th century to the string telephone familiar to children and was later used to refer to the megaphone and the speaking tube; but in modern usage it refers solely to electrical devices derived from the inventions of Alexander Graham Bell and others. The U.S. patent granted to Bell in March 1876 for the development of a device to transmit speech sounds over electric wires is often said to be the most valuable ever issued. The general concepts involved in the invention of the telephone -- of speech sounds as a complex of vibrations in air that is transferrable to solid bodies and of the convertibility of those vibrations to electrical impulses in conducting metals ? had by then been understood for decades. Bell was but one of a number of workers racing to pull them together into a practical instrument for the transmission of speech. Within 20 years of the Bell patent, the telephone instrument, as modified by Thomas Watson, Emil Berliner, Thomas Edison, and others, acquired a form that has not changed fundamentally in a century. Since the invention of the transistor in 1947, metal wiring and other heavy hardware have been replaced by lightweight and compact microcircuitry. Advances in electronics have improved the performance of the basic design, and they also have allowed the introduction of a number of "smart" features such as automatic redialing, call-number identification, and analog- to-digital conversion for transmission over digital circuits. Such advances supplement, but do not replace, the basic telephone design. As it has since the early years of telephone communication, the telephone instrument comprises the following functional components: a power source, a switch hook, a dialer, a ringer, a transmitter, a receiver, and an anti-sidetone circuit.
Like the Ocean that is made of tiny drops, the P&T had a slow and uneasy start. The sprawling Posts and Telegraphs Department, for instance, occupied a small corner of the public works department, in 1851. Dr. William O?Shaughnessy who pioneered telegraph and telephone in India belonged to the Public Works Department all through the experimental stage. A regular, separate department was opened around 1854 when telegraph facilities were thrown open to the public.
The Telegraph Department during 1854-57 comprised a Superintendent of Telegraphs, with three Deputy Superintendents at Bombay, Madras and Pegu in Burma. There were Inspectors at Indore, Agra, Kanpur and Banaras and an operating and maintenance staff. Dr. O'Shaughnessy was the first Superintendent of Electric Telegraphs in India and later became the first Director General. The Indo-European Telegraph Department, which later came to be known as the Overseas Communications, was administered by a Director-in-Chief whose headquarters was in London. On the 15th February, 1888, it was merged with the Director-General of the Indian Telegraph Department. It was decided that the administration reports of the two departments, Indian Telegraph and the Indo-European Department, should be separated so as to show how the finances of the country were affected by each unit. The operations of the two separate services, Post Office and Telegraph Department developed side by side. On the eve of World War I, in 1914, the next big administrative change came. The Postal Department and the Telegraph Department were amalgamated under a single Director-General. The process had started in 1912, but it was completed in 1914. During 1923-24, 152 questions relating to the Department were asked and answered in the Indian Legislative Assembly. Posts and Telegraphs has always evoked a great deal of interest from law maker.
A major reorganisation of the department took place in April, 1925. The accounts of the Indian Posts and Telegraphs were reconstituted to examine the true fiscal profile of the department. The attempt was to find out the extent to which the department was imposing a burden on the taxpayers or bringing in revenue to the Exchequer, how far each of the four constituent branches of the department, the postal, telegraph, telephone and wireless were contributing towards this result. It was further examined whether the rates charged from the public for the various services were inadequate or excessive.The Posts and Telegraphs, like all public and private undertakings, was a victim of the universal financial and economic depression which crashed on the world in 1930. During 1931, numerous economy measures had to be introduced according to the advice of the Posts and Telegraphs Sub-Committee to the Retrenchment Committee presided over by Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Jr. Naturally, the adoption of the various measures of retrenchment could not but have an adverse effect on the emoluments and interests of the personnel of the Department.
From the beginning, P&T set up was run on welfare lines. Profit was not the motto. The annual report of the department for 1931 said "It is the accepted policy of the Government that the department should be so administered that there should be neither any substantial profit nor any substantial loss on its working under normal conditions. As has already been indicated, the achievement of this ideal has not proved possible owing mainly to the exceptional economic and trade conditions of recent years. One of the main contributory causes was the revision and improvement of pay of the great bulk of the employees of the department in recent years. This was undertaken with the approval of and indeed under pressure by the Legislative Assembly. While the department is commonly spoken of as a 'commercial' one and though as far as possible it is guided by the commercial considerations in the regulation of its business, it must be realised that in many directions it is debarred from observing strict business principles. Many of the purposes which it is required to serve are unremunerative and notably, in matters relating to the employment and control of staff, the department is bound by a large volume of statutory and other rules, doubtless necessary for the regulation of a public service, but which in the aggregate involve many restrictions of a kind unknown to private commercial concerns.
After the implementation of the Federal Financial Integration Scheme of 1st April, 1950, the administration of the entire network of telegraph and telephone systems of the nation, including those that previously existing in the former princely states became a major adventure. In 1950 the number of Telephone Exchanges absorbed from princely states was 196. These systems which were working with different degrees of efficiency could fit into the general telecommunication network. The installed capacity of these 196 exchanges was 13,362 lines with 11,296 working connections. Soon after the absorption an attempt was made to improve their technical efficiency by replacing obsolete and unserviceable equipment and lending well-qualified and experienced staff. Simultaneously, isolated exchanges were integrated with the general pool. The more complicated task was acquisition of the staff. Their final absorption into the different cadres of service in Posts and Telegraphs was a major step.
Till 31st December, 1984, the postal, telegraph and telephone services were managed by the Posts and Telegraphs Department. In January 1985, two separate Departments for the Posts and the Telecommunications were created. The accounts of the department, initially, were maintained by the Accountant General of the P&T. However, by April 1972, the telecommunications accounts were separated. Simultaneously the department also started preparing the balance sheet annually. With the takeover of the accounts from the audit and delegation of larger financial powers to the field units, internal Financial Advisers were posted to all the circles and units.
The Telecommunication Board consisted of the Secretary Telecommunications, who was the Chairman with Member(Finance), Member (Operations), Member (Development), Member (Personnel) and Member (Technology). The Telecom Commission was constituted in 1989. The Commission has the DoT Secretary as its Chairman with Member (Services), Member(Technology) and Member (Finance) as its full time members. The Secretary (Finance), Secretary (DoE), Secretary (Industries) and Secretary (Planning Commission) are part time members of the Commission. The Department in 1986 reorganised the Telecommunication Circles with the Secondary Switching Areas as basic units. This was implemented in a phased manner. Bombay and Delhi Telephones were separated to create the new entity called Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.(MTNL). On 1st October 2000, Department created BSNL, a new entity to operate services in different parts of the country as a public sector unit.


To overcome the limitations of manual switching, automatic exchanges having electromechanical components were developed. Strowger exchange the first automatic exchange having direct control features was invented. Though it improved over the performance of manual exchange, it still had a number of disadvantages, viz, a large number of mechanical parts, limited availability, inflexibility, bulky size, etc. As a result of further research and development, cross bar exchanges having indirect control features appeared later on. Cross bar exchanges improved upon many shortcomings of the strowger exchanges. However much more improvement was expected and revolutionary change in the field of electronics provided it. A large no. of moving parts in registers, markers, translators, etc. was replaced en-blocked by single computer. This made the exchange smaller in size, volume and weight; faster and reliable; highly flexible; noise free; easily manageable with no preventive maintenance etc.
The first electronic exchange employing space division switching (analog switching) was commissioned. This exchange use one physical path for one call and hence full availability could still not be achieved. Further research resulted in development of time division switching (digital switching) which enables sharing a single path by several calls, thus providing full availability.


? In electromechanical exchanges category analysis, routing, translation, etc., is done by relays while in

electronic exchanges translation, speech path, subscriber facilities, etc., are managed by map and other data.

? In electromechanical exchanges any change in facilities require addition of hardware changes whereas in electronic exchanges changes can be carried out by simple commands.

? Electromechanical exchanges have limited flexibility while electronic exchanges are highly flexible.

? Testing is done manually externally and time consuming process in electromechanical exchanges whereas in electronic exchanges testing is carried out automatically analysis is printed out.

? In electromechanical exchanges, there is partially full-availability hence blocking problem is there. Electronic exchanges are fully available hence no blocking.

? Limited facilities are available to subscriber in electromechanical exchanges than electronic exchanges.

? Electromechanical exchanges are slow in speed as compared to electronic exchanges.

? Switch room occupies large volume in electromechanical exchanges.

? There is lot of switching noise in electromechanical exchanges as compared to electronic exchanges.

? Longer installation time is required in electromechanical exchanges.

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