Population: Distribution, Density, Growth and Composition

Chapter 11


Distribution of Population

Distribution of population can be defined as how the population is distributed in any given area. 

In India, the spatial pattern of population distribution is very uneven. Some areas are sparsely populated whereas others are dense. 


The states can be categorised into three categories:


States with High Population: Uttar Pradesh (highest population), Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. These states together account for 76% of the population.

  • States with Moderate Population : Assam, Haryana, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Punjab, Goa.
  • States with Low Population Hilly and tribal areas : Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, all North-Eastern states (except Assam) and Union Territories excluding Delhi.

Density of Population

Population density means the number of persons living per unit area. According to the 2011 census, in India 382 persons live per sq km of area. 

Spatial Pattern of Population Density in India

Spatial pattern of population density is also uneven in India. 

For example:


States/UTs having High Density of population:

Bihar (1106 highest), West Bengal (1028), Kerala (860), Uttar Pradesh (829), Delhi (11320 highest), Chandigarh (9258).


States/UTs having Moderate Density of Population:

 Haryana (573), Tamil Nadu (555), Punjab (551), Jharkhand (414), Assam (398), Goa (394), Maharashtra (365) Tripura (350).

Dadra andNagar Haveli (700).

States/UTs having Low Density of Population:

States Arunachal Pradesh (17 Lowest), Mizoram (52), Jammu and Kashmir (56), Sikkim (86), Nagaland (119).

Andaman and Nicobar islands (46 lowest).


Growth of Population

Growth of population refers to the changes occurring in the number of persons living in a particular area between two points of time. 

Its rate is expressed as percentage. 

Two components in population growth are as follows:

Natural Growth :refers to the changes occurring due to the births and deaths in any area.


Induced Growth :refers to the changes occurred by the volume of inward and outward movement in an area.

Phases of Population Growth

There are four different phases of population growth:


Phase-I (1901-1921): It is stagnant or stationary – because of a very low growth rate.


Phase-II (1921-1951): It is the period of steady population growth.


Phase-III (1951-1981): This period is referred to as the period of population explosion in India. Rapid fall in death rate and high fertility rate were the main causes of this explosion.


Phase-IV (Post 1981 till present): Growth rate has started reducing gradually because of the downward trend in birth rate. But in developing countries like India, the growth rate is still high.

Regional Variation in Population Growth

The spatial pattern of population growth in India is uneven, ranging from -0.58% (Negative) in Nagaland to 55.88% in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.


States/UTs having High Growth Rate of Population

States Meghalaya (27.95%), Arunachal Pradesh (26.03%), Bihar (25.42%), Manipur (24.50%), Jammu and Kashmir (23.64%).

UT’s Dadra and Nagar Haveli (55.88%), Daman and Diu (53.76%), Puducherry (28.08%).


States/UTs having Moderate Growth Rate of Population: Chhattisgarh (22.61%), Jharkhand (22.42%), Rajasthan (21.31%), Madhya Pradesh (20.35%), Uttar Pradesh (20.23%).


States/UTs having Low Growth Rate of Population

States Nagaland (-0.58% lowest), Kerala (4.91%), Goa (8.23%), Andhra Pradesh (10.98%).

UT’s Lakshadweep (6.30%), Andaman and Nicobar islands (6.86%).

Growth of Adolescent Population

The United Nation considers people aged 10-19 year under the  adolescents population. 

Since 1971, the proportion of the adolescent population has remained around 21%. 

The decadal growth rate of adolescent population of India is 12.5% as per census 2011. 

India is in 4th place in adolescent population (10-19 years) after Pakistan, Nigeria and Bangladesh. 

Adolescent population has increased from 85 million in 1961 to 253.2 million in 2011. 

Sex-ratio of adolescent population of India is 898 females per 1000 males.

The Government of India has taken many steps by some policies like, National Youth Policy 2003, for channelisation and proper utilisation of adolescents by giving them proper education.

Population Composition

It is the detailed analysis of age , sex, place of residence, ethnic characteristics, tribes, language, religion, marital status, literacy and education, occupational characteristics, etc in population geography.

Rural-Urban Composition

In India, 68.84% of the total population lived in rural villages by 2011. According to census 2011, India has 6,40,867 villages.

Percentage of rural population is high in Himachal Pradesh (89.97% highest) and Bihar (88.71%) and low in Goa (37.83%) and Mizoram (47.89%).

 Delhi has the least rural population (2.50%).

Rural Population in Indian States


States having High Proportion of Rural Population :

Himachal Pradesh (89.97%) and Bihar (88.71%), Assam (85.90%), Odisha (83.31%).


States having Moderate Proportion of Rural population

Meghalaya (79.93%), Uttar Pradesh (77.73%), Arunachal Pradesh (77.06%), Chattisgarh (76.76%), Jharkhand (75.95%).


States having Low Proportion of Rural Population

States Goa (37.83%), Mizoram (47.89%), Tamil Nadu (51.60%), Kerala (52.30%).

UTs Delhi (2.50%), Chandigarh (2.75%).


Urban Population in Indian States

States having High Degree of Urbanisation

Goa (62.17%), Mizoram (52.11%), Tamil Nadu (48.40%) Kerala (47.70%).

UTs Delhi (97.50%), Chandigarh (97.25%), Lakshadweep (78.07%).


States having Low Degree of Urbanisation 

Himachal Pradesh (10.03%), Bihar (11.29%), Assam (14.10%), Odisha (16.69%), Meghalaya (20.07%).


Linguistic Composition

India is a land of linguistic diversity. 

According to Grierson (Linguistic Survey of India, 1903-1928) there were 179 languages and as many as 544 dialects in India. 

Now, there are 22 scheduled languages and a number of non-scheduled languages.

Linguistic Classification

The speakers of major Indian languages belong to

four language families, which have their sub-families and branches or groups.



  1. Austric (Nishada-1.38%)
  2. Dravidian (Dravida-20%)
  3. Sino-Tibetan (Kirata-0.85%)
  4. Indo-European (Aryan-73%)


Religious Compositions

All India Religion Census Data 2011

Composition of Working Population

The proportion of the working population to the total population is called work participation rate.


The population of India according to their economic status is divided into three groups like:

  • Main workers: A person who works at-least 183 days in a year.
  • Marginal workers: A person who works for less than 183 days in a year.
  • Non-workers: A person who does not work and depends upon the working class.


According to the 2011 census, it is observed that the proportion of workers (both main and marginal) is only 39.8% and about 60% are non-workers.


Occupational categories

The 2011 census has divided the working population of India into four major categories:

  1. Cultivators
  2. Agricultural labourers 
  3. Household labourers
  4. Other workers

Migration: Types, Causes and Consequence


Census of India records population and migration related data of the country.


Many modifications in data related to migration has been done from the first census in 1881 to 1981 as:

A person who moves from one place to another in order to find work or better living conditions is known as ‘Migrant’.


There are two types of migrants on the basis of enumeration of census:

  • Life-Time Migrant: If a person’s place of birth is different from the place of census enumeration, then he is known as lifetime migrants. As per census 2011, this group reported 36.7% migrants.


  • Migrant by place of last residence: If a person’s place of last residence is different from the place of enumeration, then he is known as migrant by place of last residence. 
  • As per the 2011 census, 37% migrants settled in a place different from their last residence.


Streams or Types of Migration:
In general, there are two types of migration: 


Internal Migration: refers to the movement of people within a country or nation. 

This can be intra-state and inter-state migration.

There are four streams of migration identified under the internal migration:

  1. Rural to Rural (R-R)
  2. Rural to Urban (R-U)
  3. Urban to Urban (U-U)
  4. Urban to Rural (U-R)

Women migrants are highest in both intra-state and inter-state migration, short distance rural to rural migration because of their marriage. 

Whereas male migrants are highest in rural to urban and inter-state migration due to the economic reasons.


International Migration: It refers to the movement of people out of the country or out of the geopolitical border. 

India experiences a large number of international migration majorly from neighbouring countries.

As per census 2001, there were more than 5 million persons reported from other countries in India.

Out of these 96% came from the neighbouring countries as:

Bangladesh   – 3.0 million

Pakistan        – 0.9 million

Nepal             – 0.5 million

Spatial Variation in Migration

In India, there is an uneven spatial variation in migration in terms of in-migration and out-migration.

States with High Number of In-Migrants

Maharashtra is the largest migrant receiving state (2.3 million). Besides this, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana and other urbanised areas attract a high number of migrants.


States with High number of Out-Migrants

Uttar Pradesh (-2.6 million), Bihar (-1.7 million) and some other backward states have the largest number of out- migrants. 

Urban agglomerations are largely expanding because of high Intra-state immigration. 


Causes of Migration

The reasons/causes of migration can be put under two categories:


Push Factors: These are factors which urges people to leave their place of residence or origin.

  1. Natural disasters like flood, drought, cyclonic storms, earthquake, tsunami, etc.
  2. Political/Local conflicts like-war, riots.
  3. Poverty, lack of employment opportunities.
  4. High population pressure on land.
  5. Lack of basic infrastructural facilities like health care, education, etc.


Pull Factors: These refer to factors which attract the people from different places.

  1. Better opportunities for education.
  2. Better health facilities.
  3. Source of entertainment.
  4. According to an estimation, about 38% males migrate for work and employment whereas only 3% females migrate for the same reason. (But according to census 2011 there is a downfall of 4.2% as compared to 2001 census).
  5. About 65% (69.7% according to the 2011 census) of women migrate because of marriage, whereas only 2% males migrate for the same reason.

This migration of males (marriage) is higher in Meghalaya.


Consequences of Migration


Economic Consequences


  •  Remittances are important for the economy of a country. 

Migrants send remittances to their family members for food, repayment of loans/debts, treatment, marriages, children’s education, agricultural inputs, construction of houses, etc.

  • The Green Revolution in the rural areas of Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh was a success because of the migrants from rural areas of ‘ Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.



Overcrowding due to unregulated migration. 

Development of unhygienic slums in industrially developed states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.

Demographic consequences


  • Redistributing population within a country. 

The process of urbanisation is dependent on rural-urban migration.



  • Imbalance in demographic structure. 

Age and skill selective out migration created an imbalance in demographic structure of rural areas.


Social consequences


Migrants work as an agent of social change. 

They diffuse new ideas of science and technology, family planning, girls education, etc from one place to another place. People also bring different cultures with them which help to break the narrow considerations and broaden up the mental horizon of the people.



Anonymity increases and creates a social vacuum and feeling of ejection. This feeling ultimately results in anti-social activities such as crime, drug abuse, theft, etc.


Environmental consequences


  • Overcrowding in the cities , puts tremendous pressure on the infrastructure resulting in unplanned and haphazard growth of cities 


   ex:slums and shanty colonies being very common. 


  • Over-exploitation of natural resources and cities are facing serious problems of water shortage, air and water pollution, problem of sewage disposal and management of solid wastes.

Other consequences

  • When male migrants leave their wives in rural areas, this puts extra physical and mental pressure on women.
  • Migration of women for education and employment gives them more freedom, on the other hand it also adds to their vulnerability

Human Development

Chapter 13

Development in India

  • India has mixed experience of development. 
  • A small section of the population enjoys all the available modern facilities.
  • Whereas the marginalised sections include scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, landless agricultural labourers, poor farmers, slum dwellers and others, who do not have basic amenities like potable water, education, and health facilities.
  • Among all the sections, women are the most marginalised. 
  • With the increasing developmental activities, these marginalised sections are becoming even more marginalised and hence have been forced to live under poverty and subhuman conditions. 


There is another interrelated aspect of development that has a direct role in making human life uncomfortable and causing environmental pollution, e.g. air, water, soil and noise pollution. 

These are leading to the tragedy of commons and threatening the existence of human society. 


Consequently, the poor are being subjected to three interrelated processes of declining capabilities, they are:

  • Social Capabilities -due to displacement and weakening social ties
  • Environmental Capabilities– due to increasing pollution.
  • Personal Capabilities– due to increasing incidence of diseases and accidents.

Thus, in turn, this has adverse effects on their quality of life and human development.


Human Development

Human development is a process of widening and providing more choices to people, more opportunities for education, health care, empowerment, income and covering all the choices from a healthy physical environment to economic, social and political freedom.


The first systematic effort at enhancing human development was made by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by publishing the first Human Development Report in 1990. 


UNDP is responsible for making and amending the indicators to decide the human development of a country. 

It gives ranks to all member countries, on the basis of calculated scores by using indicators and publishes them in the report.


Human Development in India

According to Human Development Report (HDR) of 2011, India ranks 134th with the composite HDI value of 0.547 (medium human development) among 172 member countries of the world.(latest figures needs to be updated)


There are many socio-cultural and historical factors which are responsible for the low score condition of human development in India.

  • Historical factors: These include colonisation, imperialism and neo-imperialism.
  • Socio-Cultural factors: These include violation of human rights, social discriminations like race, religion, gender and caste based discriminations, social problems of crimes, terrorism and war.
  • Political factors: These include political stability and nature of state, forms of government, level of empowerment, etc.

Indicators of Economic Attainment

Economic productivity forms an integral part of human development. 

Gross National Product (GNP) and per capita income are taken as measures to assess the resources base/endowment of any country.


Variation in Per Capita Income

The spatial pattern of per capita income is uneven.

  • States having high per capita income (More than ₹ 4000 per year at 1980-81 prices) Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Delhi.
  • States having low per capita income ( Less than ₹ 2000 per year) Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, etc.


Variation in Per Capita consumption

  • There are large regional disparities in terms of per capita consumption.
  • Developed states having high per capita consumption (more than ₹ 690 per month) are Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, etc.
  • Poor states having low per capita consumption (less than ₹ 520 per month) are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, etc.
  • These variations in both per capita income and consumption are showing some serious problems like poverty, unemployment and under-employment.



  • Poverty is a state of deprivation. 
  • In absolute terms, it reflects the inability of an individual to satisfy certain basic needs for a sustained healthy and reasonably productive living.
  • In India, poverty varies among different states. 
  • Bihar and Odisha (population living below poverty line) recorded more than 40% poverty, while Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland recorded more than 30% of poverty. Union Territories with a record poverty rate less than 30% are Chandigarh, Daman and Diu and Delhi.
  • Employment rate for educated youth is only 25%. Jobless growth and rampant unemployment are some of the major causes responsible for poverty in India.


Indicators of Healthy Life


  • Mortality rate
  • Average life expectancy rate 
  • Birth rate 
  • Sex-ratio 

Indicators of social Empowerment

  • Freedom from hunger, poverty, servitude, bondage, ignorance, illiteracy and other forms of domination is the key to human development.
  • Empowerment and participation of the people by using their capabilities and choices in the society, leads to actual freedom.
  • People can use their capabilities and choices by understanding the society and environment. This can happen through literacy as it opens the door of a world of knowledge and freedom.


literacy in India

  • According to the 2001 census, India’s literacy is about 65.4%, while its female literacy is 54.16% (according to 2011, 74.04% is total literacy rate, of which 82.14% and 65.46% are males and females respectively).
  • Percentage of total literacy and female literacy are higher than the national average in most of the southern states.
  • Literacy rate is low in Bihar (47.53%) and high in Kerala (90.92%). It shows a large regional disparities in the context of literacy in India.
  • Literacy rate is low in rural areas, in some marginalised sections of our society like females, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, agricultural labourers, etc. 
  • In Spite of having some improved condition in literacy rate in these sections, there is still a wide gap between the rich and the marginalised sections.

Human Development Report in India is prepared annually by the Institute of Applied Manpower Research by taking states and Union Territories as the unit of study. 


States with high HDI value are : Kerala (highest HDI among Indian states i.e. 0.92), Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Punjab, whereas Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Bihar (Lowest HDI among Indian States with 0.41) recorded as lowest HDI value.

Reasons for High and Low HDI Value


  1. Higher number of literates is the main reason for Kerala having high HDI value. On the other hand, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Uttar Pradesh have low composite value of HDI because of their lowest literacy rate.


  1. Economic development also has a very important role in HDI. Economically developed states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Punjab have higher value of HDI as compared to states like Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh.


  1. Historical reasons are also responsible for having high or low human development, e.g. regional imbalances and social disparities which emerged under the British period are still crucial in determining the level of development because they are still affecting the political, economical and social system in India.


Population, Environment and Development

  • Development is important because it results in improved quality of life, but it brings many problems like regional disparities, social inequalities, discriminations, deprivations, displacement of people, violation of human rights and declining human values and environmental degradation. 
  • UNDP in its Human Development Report of 1993 tried to amend these issues and found an important role of civil societies in bringing about peace and human development. 
  • Civil societies can help by building up opinions for reduction in military expenditure, demobilisation of armed forces, transition from defence to production of basic goods and services and reduction in nuclear weapons in developed countries.
  • The views of these approaches are presented by Neomalthusians, environmentalists and Radical ecologists. 
  • These thinkers argued to maintain a balance between population and resources before starting any developmental activity. 
  • Sir Robert Malthus was the first scholar who drew attention towards the imbalance between population and resources. 
  • Along with the problem of the scarcity of resources and growing population, there was another problem of unevenly distributed resources over space and their accessibility only by a few rich countries and people. 
  • So there were conflicts between rich and poor countries for these unevenly distributed resources.
  • Along with Malthus, Mahatma Gandhi was also a supporter of balance and harmony between population and resources. According to him, industrialisation has institutionalised the loss of morality, spirituality, self-reliance, non-violence and mutual co-operation and environment. 
  • Gandhiji was of the opinion that higher goals in the life of a person or by a nation can be achieved through the austerity for individuals, trusteeship of social wealth and non-violence.

Human Settlements

Chapter 14

Rural Settlements

They are mainly smaller in size and poorly spaced. The people of these settlements are mainly engaged in primary activities like agriculture, fishing, mining, etc, e.g. people surviving in hamlets and villages.


Factors Determining the Rural Settlements


  • Physical Features: These include the nature of terrain, altitude, climate and availability of water.
  • Cultural and Ethnic Factors: These include social structure, caste and religion.
  • Security Factors: These include defence against thefts and robberies.


Types of Rural Settlements


In India, Rural settlements can broadly divided into four types:

  • Clustered, agglomerated or nucleated
  • Semi-clustered or fragmented
  • Hamleted, and
  • Dispersed or isolated

Clustered Settlements

  • The houses in this settlement are closely spaced or have no space between houses.
  • The living place is distinct and separated from the surrounding farms and pastures.
  • The settlement sometimes present distinct patterns or geometrical shapes like rectangular, radial, linear, etc which are recognisable in fertile alluvial plains and North-Eastern states.
  • This type of settlement is built due to various reasons

e.g. in Bundelkhand and Nagaland, people live in these settlements for defence and security purposes, in Rajasthan these settlements are built around/ near water resources due to water scarcity.


Semi-Clustered Settlements

  • This type of settlement develops by the concentration of houses in a restricted area of a dispersed settlement or develops due to segregation or fragmentation of a large compact village.
  • Here, a dominant community captures the most important part of the main village and forces other communities to live away. 

e.g. plains of Gujarat and Rajasthan.


Hamleted Settlement

  • This type of settlement is formed due to social or ethnic factors and thus known for different identity and name, like, panna, para, nagla, dhani etc.
  • Each hamlet is a unit and has a number of houses.
  • Several units of hamlets collectively form a village. 

e.g. middle and lower Ganga plain, Chhattisgarh and lower valleys of Himalayas.


Dispersed Settlements

  • Isolated huts or hamlets of few huts in remote jungles or on small hills with farms or pastures are characteristics of dispersed type of settlement.
  • These houses may be of temporary use. It is found in Meghalaya, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, etc.


Urban Settlements

  • Unlike rural settlement, urban settlement are
  • usually more dense, compact and larger in size.
  • Here, people are mostly engaged in non-agricultural activities i.e. industries, services, administrative functions, etc.
  • Cities and towns both are connected directly or indirectly with villages and also with each other and exchange goods, services and also commute.


Evolution of Towns in India

The evolution of towns started in India from prehistoric times, e.g. Harappa, Mohenjodaro towns, European colonies of the modern period, etc.

Indian towns may be classified into three groups on the basis of their evolution in different periods:


Ancient Towns
These towns were developed over 2000 years ago by the various kings as religious and cultural centres, e.g. Varanasi, Prayag (Allahabad), Pataliputra (Patna), Madurai, etc.


Medieval Towns

  • These towns were developed as headquarters of principalities and kingdoms by medieval kings and Sultans of India.
  • These towns are about 100 in numbers and were generally fort towns which came up on the ruins of ancient towns.
  • For example, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Agra and Nagpur.


Modern Towns

These towns were developed by the Britishers and other Europeans in India. These are further divided into the following groups:

  • Port Towns: These are located on the coastal areas of India i.e. Surat, Daman, Goa, Puducherry, etc.
  • Administrative Towns: These were developed for the administrative purposes, e.g. Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras) and Kolkata (Calcutta).
  • Industrial Towns: After 1850, these towns were developed like Jamshedpur.
  • Some other Towns of European Styles: These towns include hill stations for summer resorts, military towns and small towns for administrative purposes.


Towns after Independence

After Independence, some towns were also developed like:

  • Administrative Headquarters or Capital of States: These towns include Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar, Gandhinagar and Dispur etc.
  • Industrial Towns/Centres: These towns include Durgapur Bhilai, Sindri, Barani, etc.
  • Satellite Towns: These were old towns which developed around metropolitan cities such as Ghaziabad, Rohtak, Gurgaon (Gurugram), etc.
  • Medium and Small towns: These are developed due to increasing investment in rural areas.


Urbanisation in India

  • Urbanisation is the transition of rural population into urban population.
  • It is measured by the percentage of urban population into total population. In India, the level of urbanisation is very low, as it was just 28% in 2001.
  • Developed countries have a higher level of urbanisation than India.
  • Although urbanisation in India is increasing at a high rate, as it increased 11 times in the twentieth century, this process is comparatively slow during recent two decades.


Classification of Towns on the Basis of Population Size

Census of India is responsible for defining and classifying urban areas in India. 

Cities and urban areas are classified into six classes by census of India.

Urban areas use their population size as base:

  • An urban Area that has a population of more than one lakh is considered as a city or class I town.
  • Cities that have a population more than one million but less than 5 million are considered as metropolitan or metro cities. 
  • Cities that have a population more than 5 million are considered as ‘megacities’ or ‘megalopolis’.


The six classes of towns are given below

Apart from these cities, there is also a concept of urban agglomeration in India. 


According to census of India, an urban agglomeration may have to fulfil anyone of the following conditions:

  1. A town and its adjoining urban growth.
  2. Two or more contiguous towns with or without their outgrowths.
  3. A city and one or more adjoining towns with their outgrowths together forming a contiguous spread.

Examples of these outgrowth may be in the form of railway colonies, university campus, part area, military cantonment, etc.


According to the given table, class IV cities are highest in number but a larger proportion of urban population lives in class I cities (61.48%).


Besides these towns, India has 423 cities.

 Among them, 35 cities or urban agglomerations are metropolitan cities. 

Six of them are mega cities with populations over 5 million each.

For e.g.. Greater Mumbai being the largest urban agglomeration with 16.4 million population, followed by Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.

Functional Classification of Towns

Indian towns and cities can also be classified into the following heads on the basis of their functions (dominant economic activity):

  • Administrative towns and cities: These towns work as headquarters for surrounding region.Government offices and departments, etc are mainly concentrated in these cities. 
  • For example: Chandigarh, New Delhi, Bhopal, Shilong, Guwahati, Imphal, Srinagar, Gandhinagar, Jaipur and Chennai, etc.


  • Industrial Towns: These towns/ cities are mainly dominated by industries. 
  • For e.g. Jamshedpur, Bhilai, Durgapur, Madurai, Mumbai, etc.


  • Transport Cities: Transportation is the main function of these cities. Port towns are examples of these towns that are always busy transporting commodities to other cities. 
  • For e.g. Kandla, Kochchi, Kozhikode, Visakhapatnam, etc. There are some cities which are hubs of inland transport such as Agra, Dhulia, Mughal Sarai, Itarsi, Katni, etc.


  • Commercial Towns: The important functions of these towns are trade and commerce. 
  • For e.g. Kolkata, Saharanpur, Satna, etc.


  • Mining Towns: These towns have developed in mineral rich areas. 
  • For e.g. Raniganj, Jharia, Digboi, Ankaleshwar, Singrauli, etc.


  • Garrison Cantonment Towns: These towns are meant for the army or defence purpose. 
  • For e.g. Ambala, Jalandhar, Mhow, Babina, Udhampur, etc.


  • Educational Towns: Initially these towns were important education centres, but later they emerged as major campus towns. 
  • For e.g. Roorkee, Varanasi, Aligarh, Pilani, Allahabad, etc.


  • Religious and Cultural Towns: These towns are famous for pilgrimage, religious worship or old cultures. 
  • For e.g. Varanasi, Mathura, Amritsar, Madurai, Pune, Ajmer, Tirupati, Kurukshetra, Haridwar, Ujjain, etc.


  • Tourists Towns: These towns are famous for attracting a wide range of tourists from India and all over the world. 
  • For e.g.Nainital, Mussoorie, Shimla, Pachmarhi, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udagamandalam (Ooty), Mount Abu, etc.


The functions of these cities are not fixed and can change with time as cities are dynamic in nature. 

With increase in population, cities become metropolis and multi-functional i.e. industry, business, administration, transport, etc. 

Land Resources and Agriculture

Chapter 15


Land use Categories

  • Land revenue department is responsible for categorising land and maintaining its records. 
  • These records contain a reporting area.


Under the land revenue records land use categories are as follows:

  1. Forest
  2. Land put to non-agricultural uses.
  3. Barren and Wastelands.
  4. Area under permanent pastures and grazing lands.
  5. Area under miscellaneous tree crops and groves.
  6. Culturable wastelands
  7. Current fallow
  8. Net sown area


Land use Changes in India

Unlike other natural resources, land is fixed, it does not change by size or area. Economic activities are the major causes that affect land use. 


The three main economic changes that changes the land use are:

  1. The size of the economy.
  2. The composition of an economy (proportion of different sectors).
  3. Increasing pressure on agricultural lands.

During the period of 1960-61 to 2008-09 some land use changes are worth mentioning which show an increase and decrease in these categories:


Area Records Increase in Land use

  • Area under forest.
  • Current fallow lands.
  • Area under non-agricultural use.
  • Net sown area.


Area Records Decrease in Land use

  • Barren and wasteland.
  • Culturable wasteland
  • Area under permanent pastures and tree crops.
  • Fallow other than current fallow.


On the basis of ownership land can be classified into two categories:


  1. Private land Owned by an individual or group of individuals.


  1. Common Property Resources (CPRs): Available for all , they can be used by any person. 
  • It provides fodder for the livestock and fuel for the households. 
  • In rural areas, such land is of particular relevance for the livelihood of the landless and marginal farmers.


Agricultural Land Use in India

  • Most of the Indians are dependent on agriculture, directly or indirectly for their subsistence. 
  • Agriculture is mainly Land-based activity unlike secondary and tertiary sectors. 
  • The role of quality of land is important in agriculture. 
  • The more the land is fertile the more it gives output/production. Ownership of land resources is considered as a social status in rural areas. 
  • It is also seen as security for credit, natural hazards or life contingencies. 
  • Availability of total resources for agricultural uses is calculated by adding up net sown area, all fallow lands and cultivable wastelands.


Cropping Intensity (Cl)’is calculated as follows:


Cropping Intensity in percentage = GCA (Gross Cropped Area)/NSA (Net Sown Area) x 100

Cropping seasons in India


Types of Farming

In India farming is classified on the basis of moisture available for crops:

  • Irrigated Farming :The main source of moisture for this farming is irrigation by various methods i.e. wells, tube-wells, etc.
  • Rainfed Farming (Barani):The main source of moisture for this farming is rainfall. Two types are dryland farming and wetland farming.

Dryland farming is largely confined to the regions having rainfall less than 75 cm. 

These regions grow hardy and drought resistant crops such as ragi, bajra, moong, gram and gaur. 

On the other hand, in wetland farming, the rainfall is in excess of the soil moisture requirement of plants during the rainy season. 

Such regions may face flood and soil erosion hazards. These areas grow various water intensive crops such as rice, jute and sugarcane.

Cropping Pattern

Food grains

Food grains are important for the agriculture economy which constitute about two-third of total cropped area in the country. 

The food grains are classified on the basis of structure of grains:


India ranks 3rd in the production of cereals after China and USA. India produces 11% of the world and covers about 54% of the total cropped area in India. 

These cereals are:

Rice: It is the most important food crop of India which feeds more than half of our population. 

  • India ranked second with the production nearly 22% after China in the world. 
  • States like West Bengal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh were major rice producing states in India. 
  • In North-Western and in. Himalyas regions, it is grown as a Kharif crop, whereas in West Bengal, farmers grow three crops of rice called ‘aus’, ‘aman’ and ‘boro’.

Wheat: India shares 12% of total wheat production of the world. 

  • It is cultivated on about 14% of the total cropped area. 
  • About 85% of this area comes under the Indo-Gangetic Plain, Malwa Plateau and Himalayas in North and central parts of the country. 
  • The major wheat producing states of India are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir.

Coarse Grains

These crops are grown in almost 16.50% of the total cropped area in the country. These coarse grains are:

  • Jowar/Sorghum: It is grown in about 5.3% of total cropped area. Maharashtra is the largest producer of Jowar in India. The major producer of Jowar are central and Southern states i.e. Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Bajra: It is grown in about 5.2% of the total cropped area in the country. The major producers of bajra are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.
  • Maize: It is grown in about 3.6% of the total cropped area in the country. There is no particular region under maize. It is sown all over India except Eastern and North Eastern regions. The leading producers are Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Pulses: Pulses are grown in India on about 11% of the total cropped area. India is one of the largest producers of pulses, as it cultivates about 20% of the world. Pulses are legume crops. These are largely confined to the drylands of Deccan and Central plateaus and North-Western parts of the country.
  • Gram: It is grown in 2.8% of the total cropped area. The major producers are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • Tur (Arhar): This is grown in 2% of the total cropped area of India. It is the second important pulse crop in the country. Maharashtra is the leading producer of tur which produces about 75% of tur in India. It is also called red gram or pigeon pea.
  • Oil seeds :Oil seeds are produced for extracting edible oils. 
  • Oil seeds include groundnut, (3.6%), rapeseed and mustard (2.5%), soybean, sunflower, etc. 
  • These different oilseeds are grown in India about 14% of the total cropped area in the country.
  • Drylands of Malwa Plateau, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana and Rayalaseema of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka plateau are leading producers of oilseeds. 
  • Soybean and sunflower are other important oil seeds grown in India.

Fibre Crops

Fibre crops are one which provides fibre for preparing cloth. These includes:

  • Cotton: India grows both short staple (Indian) cotton as well as long staple (American) cotton. 
  • India produces about 8.3% of the world’s cotton. 
  • This makes India the fourth largest producer of cotton after China, USA and Pakistan. 
  • Largest producers of cotton in India are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.
  • Jute: India accounts for about 60% of the world’s jute production. West Bengal (75%) is the largest producer of jute in the country. Other producers are Bihar and Assam.

Other Crops

  • Sugarcane: It is an important cash crop in India. 
  • India’s sugarcane production is about 23% of the world’s total production, which makes India the 2nd largest producer after Brazil. 
  • Major producers are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Uttar Pradesh accounts for 40 percent of sugarcane production and secures a position as the largest producer of India.
  • Tea Assam (53.2%) is the largest producer of tea in India. Other states are West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
  • Coffee India is the 7th largest producer of coffee in the world which accounts for about 3.2% share. 
  • Karnataka is the largest producer of coffee that produces more than 66% of India’s total coffee.

Agricultural Development in India

  • About 54.6% of the population is engaged in agricultural activity. According to the census (2011) about 57% of its land is used for cultivation of various crops in India whereas the world average is only about 12%.
  • The land-human ratio in India is only 0.31 hectare whereas, the world is almost double of this figure i.e. 0.59 hectare.

Strategy of Development

Before Independence, Indian agriculture was largely subsistence in nature, this period was frequently  witnessed severe droughts, famines and food shortage. 

About l/3rd of the irrigated area went to Pakistan. 

Consequently, the Government took several steps to increase the production of food grains. 

Following three strategies were adopted to achieve this goal:

  1. Switching over from cash crops to food crops.
  2. Intensification of cropping over already cultivated land.
  3. Increasing cultivated area by bringing cultivable and fallow land under plough.

However, Indian agriculture could not progress much, so the Government introduced modern technology into agriculture. 

These were:

  • High Yielding Variety (HYV) of seeds
  • Fertilisers
  • Mechanisation
  • Improved irrigation and credit marketing facilities.
  • Intensive Area Development Programme

All the above inputs were the main components of what is known as the Green Revolution. 

This strategy of agricultural development in the country made the country self-reliant in foodgrain production. 

But, the green revolution was initially confined to irrigated areas only. This led to regional disparities in agricultural development in the country till the seventies. 

Consequently, the Planning Commission prepared plans to solve the problems of agriculture in rainfed areas in the 1980s. It initiated agro-climate planning in 1988 to induce regional balance.

Growth of Agricultural Output and Technology

  • Since independence, there has been improvement in technologies used for agricultural production. As a result, an increase in agricultural production has been recorded.
  • India has now become the 1st largest producer of pulses and jute and 2nd largest in rice, wheat, groundnut, sugarcane and vegetables.
  • New technologies also came up to increase the production of food grains, for e.g. HYV seeds, chemical fertilisers have raised 15 fold since the mid 1960s.

Problems of Indian Agriculture

  • Dependence on Erratic Monsoon: Only 33% of cultivated area is under irrigation. The nature of the South-West monsoon is very fluctuating which causes flood and drought situations in India.
  • Low Productivity: India also lag behind in terms of per hectare production and per person production and also behind at International level. This low productivity is a result of high population which creates a heavy pressure on available land resources.
  • Constraints of Financial Resources and Indebtedness :Lack of money and financial resources are the major constraints to the development of agriculture in India. As the majority of farmers are small, marginal and poor, they cannot afford highly expensive inputs to increase their production.
  • Lack of Land Reforms: Lack of land reforms and unequal distribution of land resources led to the worst condition of poor and marginal farmers and also became a constraint in the development of agriculture in India.
  • Small Farm Size and Fragmentation of Landholdings ‘Inheritance law’ is mainly responsible for small and fragmented farm size.
  • Lack of Commercialisation: As most of the farmers are poor and marginal, farmers practice subsistence agriculture for their living.
  • Vast Under-employment: There is seasonal unemployment in the agricultural sector. There is no income from ploughing fields to harvesting crops.

Degradation of Cultivable Land: After the green revolution degradation has started in India. Excessive use of irrigation, chemical fertilizers, etc created problems of water lodging and solemnization. Fertility of land is also decreasing day by day.

Water Resources

Chapter 16

Water Resources of India

  • India contributes about 2.45% of the world’s geographical area, 4% of the world’s water resources and about 16% of world population.
  • India receives water from annual precipitation i.e. 4000 cubic km, and surface and groundwater sources i.e. 1869 cubic km. But only 60% (1122 cubic km) from these two sources of water are beneficial and usable.

Surface Water Resources

  • Rivers, lakes, ponds and tanks are four main sources of surface water resources in India.
  • About 10,360 rivers and tributaries exist here and each tributary is more than 1.6 km long.
  • The mean annual flow in all the river basins in India is estimated to be 1,869 cubic km. But only about 690 cubic km or 32% of this water can be utilised due to topographical, hydrological and other constraints.
  • Size of catchment area/river basin and rainfall in its catchment area control the flow of water in a river. Water availability in rivers is more during monsoon than other seasons in India.
  • In India, Ganga, Brahmaputra and Indus have large catchment areas. Catchment areas of Ganga and Brahmaputra and Barak rivers fall into the high rainfall receiving area thus, have 60% of total water resources and have only 33% of the surface areas in India, but most of the water is not utilised.
  • On the other hand, in the Peninsular rivers like Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, etc mean annual flow of water is less, but much of their water resources has been utilised.

Groundwater Resources

  • There are about 432 cubic km of total replenishable ground water resources available in India. 
  • Ganga and Brahmaputra basins have about 46% of the total replenishable groundwater resources.
  • The level of groundwater utilisation is relatively high in the river basins of North¬Western parts and Southern parts of India.
  • States having very high utilisation of groundwater are Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
  • States having moderate utilisation of groundwater are Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura and Maharashtsa.
  • States having low Utilisation of groundwater are Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Kerala, etc.
  • It is assumed that if the utilisation of water continues with the present rate, there are chances that it will limit the development and create a situation of social upheaval disruptions.

Lagoons and Backwaters

  • Some states of India have indented coastline and thus a number of lagoons and lakes have formed. Examples of such states are Kerala, Odisha, and West Bengal.
  • Due to brackish water-bodies, these water resources are used for fishing and irrigating certain varieties of paddy crops, coconut, etc.

Water Demand and Utilisation

  • Agriculture, being an important part of Indian economy, alone uses about 89% of surface water and 92% of groundwater.
  • Most of the developmental projects, river valley projects like the Bhakra-Nangal, Hirakund, Damodar Valley, Nagaijuna Sagar, Indira Gandhi Canal project, etc as well as five year plans were started to provide water to the agricultural sector and increase agricultural production.
  • Besides this, utilisation of surface and groundwater for domestic purposes are 90% and 3% and for the industrial sector are 2% and 5%, respectively.

Demand of Water for Irrigation

  • Need for irrigation is very high in India due to the spatial and temporal variation of rainfall.
  • As winter and summer season are more or less dry in most parts of India. So, without irrigation agriculture cannot be practised in these parts.
  • Some crops like rice, sugarcane, jute and others are water intensive and require more water to grow.
  • Irrigation helps to grow multiple crops, gives more agricultural productivity, and along with HYV seeds gives more yield at a fast rate. 
  • For e.g. Punjab Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh which have more than 85% of net source area under irrigation.
  • Total net irrigated area in Punjab under wells and tube wells is 76.1% whereas it is 51.3% in Haryana. These states utilise a large share of their groundwater resources and thus, it is the major cause behind the depletion of these resources.
  • Besides these in Rajasthan and Bihar, the concentration of fluoride in groundwater is also increasing due to over withdrawal of this resource. Whereas in West Bengal and Bihar, the concentration of arsenic has increased because of the same reason.

Emerging Water Problems

  • Rapid growth in population and pollution from various sources like industries, agriculture, and domestic sources are the major problems which are responsible for declining the availability of potable water.
  • The per capita availability of water in India is also decreasing day by day.

Deterioration of Water Quality

  • Water quality refers to water free from unwanted foreign substances that make the  water polluted i.e. micro-organisms, chemicals, industrial and other wastes.
  • These toxic substances are responsible for water pollution by dissolving or suspended in lakes, streams, rivers and oceans.
  • Sometimes, such pollutants seep down and pollute groundwater. The most polluted rivers in India are Ganga and Yamuna.

Water Conservation and Management

  • The conservation and management of water become necessary after decreasing the availability of freshwater and increasing its demand by increasing population.
  • For Sustainable development and maintaining the quality of life the government should encourage people to adopt watershed development, rainwater harvesting, recycling and reuse of water, conjunctive use of water for availability of quality water for a long time.

Prevention of Water Pollution

  • Availability of water resources is shrinking at a faster rate. It is seen that hilly areas have less dense population and thus, have high quality of water in their rivers. Whereas plains have dense population and thus have low quality of water in their rivers, and here water is widely used for irrigation, domestic works and industrial works.
  • Plains also contribute more in polluting water sources by draining agricultural wastes (chemical fertilisers and insecticides) solid and domestic wastes and industrial wastes.
  • During summer, the concentration of pollutants in rivers remains high because of the low amount of water which is unable to flow due to the presence of these pollutants.
  • Water quality of national aquatic resources at 507 stations have been monitored by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), with the collaboration of State Pollution Control Boards.
  • The analysis of data recorded from these stations shows that the major rivers of India are most polluted by organic and bacterial pollution.
  • Yamuna river is the most polluted river in the country between Delhi and Etawah. Other severely polluted rivers are the Sabarmati at Allahabad, the Gomti at Lucknow, the Kali, the Adyar, the Cooum (at entire stretches), the Vaigai at Madurai, Musi at Hyderabad and the Ganga at Kanpur and Varanasi.
  • Groundwater is also polluted because of high concentrations of heavy toxic metals, fluoride nitrates at different parts of the country.

Legislative Provisions and Laws to Prevent River Pollution

  • Government has taken various steps to minimise river and water pollution but due to some obstacles, these were proved to be less effective, for e.g. Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974, and Environment Protection Act of 1986 were unsuccessful as in 1997, 251 polluting factories were established along the rivers and lakes.
  • The Water Cess Act of 1977 which was made to prevent pollution, was also less effective. So there is an urgent need to create awareness in public about the importance of water in life. It will result in reducing the pollutants from agricultural activities and industrial discharge.

Recycle and Reuse of Water

  • Recycle and reuse is a simple and best way to conserve fresh water and make it available for all.
  • Industries can use water of low quality and their wastewater for cooling and fire fighting, which can decrease the cost of water for them and conserve fresh water.
  • Water could be collected after bathing and washing utensils, washing clothes and cars can be a better option for gardening.
  • Today, reusing and recycling of water is limited to few people but there is enormous scope for replenishing water through recycling.

Watershed Management

Watershed management basically refers to efficient management and conservation of surface water.

Watershed management includes:

  1. groundwater resources.
  2. prevention of surface runoff.
  3. storage and recharge of ground-water by different methods such as percolation tanks, recharge wells, etc.
  4. the conservation, regeneration and judicious use of all natural resources (land, water, plants and animals) and human resources.
  5. create a balance among natural elements as well as in society.
  6. Community participation is a key to success of a Watershed Development programme.

There are various Watershed Development and management programmes started by both Central and State Government at national and state level in India like:

  • Haryali: It is sponsored by the central government while gram panchayats of different villages execute it with the public participation. This programme enabled people to conserve water for various uses such as drinking, irrigation, fisheries and afforestation.
  • Neeru-Meeru (Water and You) Programme in Andhra Pradesh and Arvary Pani Sansad (in Alwar, Rajasthan)are examples of state initiated watershed development programmes.

Under these two programmes numerous percolation tanks, dugout ponds (johad), check dams, etc were constructed for harvesting water with the help of public participation. 

Tamil Nadu is the only state which has made the construction of water harvesting structures compulsory in the houses.

The construction of a building without the structure of water harvesting is not allowed. Despite having such programmes, still most of the people in India are not aware of the benefits of watershed development and management of water. Thus, there is a need to encourage more people to participate in this programme.

Rain Water Harvesting

Rain water harvesting is a cheap and environmentally friendly technique that guides us to store rainwater into bore wells, pits and also recharge groundwater aquifers for different uses. There are various benefits of rainwater harvesting which are as follows:

  1. It increases.water availability.
  2. Check the declining groundwater level.
  3. It improves the quality of groundwater by dilution of pollutants like fluoride and nitrates.
  4. It prevents soil erosion and flooding.
  5. It can be used to arrest salt water intrusion in coastal areas, if used to recharge aquifers.

There are numerous methods to harvest rain water in India. 

In traditional rain water harvesting techniques, water is usually collected in any surface water body i.e. lakes, ponds, irrigation tanks, etc of rural areas. 

Another technique is kund or tanka which is a covered storage underground tank. 

This technique is widely used in Rajasthan. 

Rain water harvesting structures can be made on the open spaces and even on the rooftops of the houses and the collected water can be used for domestic use by a large number of people and reduce their dependence on groundwater.

Other Methods

  • To solve the problem of water scarcity, we can use brackish water of arid, semi-arid and coastal areas after the desalinised processes.
  • By interlinking of rivers, water can be transferred from the water surplus areas to water deficit areas.

Highlights of India’s National Water Policy, 2002

  • The National water Policy, 2002 stipulates water allocations priorities broadly in the following order i.e. drinking water, irrigation, hydro-power, navigation, industrial and other uses.
  • The main objectives of this policy are to provide water to all human beings and animals, regular monitoring of surface and ground water quality, create awareness of water as a scarce resource, create conservation consciousness among people through education, regulation, incentives and disincentives, etc.

Mineral and Energy Resources

Chapter 17

Types of Mineral Resources

Mineral are classified on the basis of their physical and chemical properties which are as follows:

Metallic Minerals

These are of two types:

  • Ferrous Minerals: These are rich in iron contents and an important source of iron.
  • Non-Ferrous Minerals: These do not have iron content and have the highest proportion of other metals. For e.g. copper, bauxite, etc.

Non-Metallic Minerals

These minerals do not have the contents of metals. They are classified into two groups:

  • Organic Minerals :These are made up of organic matter of buried animals and plants. For e.g, coal, petroleum.
  • Inorganic Minerals: These are inorganic in nature of origin. For e.g. Mica, limestone, graphite, etc.

Characteristics of Minerals Resources

The main characteristics of minerals are as follows:

  1.  Their distribution over the earth surface is uneven.
  2. There is an inverse relationship in quantity and quality of minerals i.e. good quality minerals are less in quantity as compared to low quality minerals.
  3. Minerals are exhaustible. Once they are used, they can not be replenished immediately at the time of need. So, minerals have to be conserved and used judiciously.

Distribution of Minerals in India

  • Most metallic minerals in India occur in the Peninsular Plateau region in the old crystalline rocks.
  • River valleys of Damodar, Sone, Mahanadi and Godavari have over 97% of coal reserves in India.
  • Sedimentary basins of Assam and offshore regions in the Arabian Sea (Gujarat and Mumbai High) are famous for their crude petroleum reserves.
  • New reserves of petroleum also have been found in the basins of Krishna-Godavari and Kaveri.
  • Most of the major mineral resources occur to the east of a line linking Mangalore and Kanpur.
  • Minerals are generally concentrated in three broad belts in India.
  • There may be some sporadic occurrences here and there in isolated pockets. 

These belts are:

The North-Eastern Plateau Region

  • This belt includes the regions of Chotanagpur (Jharkhand), Odisha Plateau, West Bengal and parts of Chhattisgarh.
  • Important minerals are iron ore, coal, manganese, bauxite and mica.
  • Due to availability of these minerals, most of the iron and steel industries are located here.

The South-Western Plateau Region

  • This belt extends to lower Karnataka, Goa and contiguous uplands of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • Ferrous metals and bauxite are concentrated here along with high grade iron ore, manganese and limestone. This belt is rich in coal packs except Neyveli lignite.
  • Neyveli has a lignite coal deposit. Deposits of monazite sand and thorium are found in Kerala.
  • Mines of iron-ore are located in Goa.

The North-Western Regions

  • Minerals of this belt are associated with the Dharwar system of rocks which are found in Rajasthan and parts of Gujarat.
  • Major minerals are copper and zinc. Rajasthan is rich in building stones i.e. sandstone, granite, marble, fuller’s earth and gypsum.
  • Some cement industries are also concentrated here due to availability of dolomite and limestone which are the raw materials of these industries.
  • Gujarat is rich in petroleum deposits. Salt is also produced in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Other Areas/Regions

  • Both Eastern and Western parts of the Himalayan belt have minerals like copper, lead, zinc, cobalt and tungsten.
  • Assam Valley has mineral oil deposits. Besides, oil resources are also found in off-shore areas near Mumbai Coast (Mumbai High).

Spatial Pattern of Metallic Minerals

Spatial pattern of some of the important minerals are as follow:

Ferrous Minerals

  • India is well placed in respect of ferrous minerals like iron-ore, manganese, chromite, etc.
  • These minerals provide a strong base for the development of metallurgical industries.

Iron ore

India has the largest iron ore reserves in Asia. 

Its superior quality of hematite and magnetic iron-ore have a great demand in the International market. 

Iron ore mines of India are found near the coal fields of North-Eastern Plateau region which is an advantage for iron-ore industries of India. 

During 2004-05, India had about 20 billion tonnes of iron-ore reserves. 

Few Indian states have about 95% of total iron-ore reserves in India.

These states are:

  • Odisha: The important mines are located at Sundergarh, Mayurbhanj and Jhar. Gurumahisani, Sulaipat, Badampahar in Mayurbhanj and Kiruburce and Bonai (Sundergarh) have important mines.
  • Jharkhand: It has the oldest mines in India. Important mines are Noamundi and Gua in Poorbi and Paschimi Singhbhum districts.
  • Chhattisgarh: The mine belt further extended to Durg, Dantewada, Bailadiala, Dalli and Rajhara.
  • Karnataka: Important mines are Sundar-Hospet area of Bellary district, Baba Budan hills and Kundremukh in Chikmagalur Tumkur districts,
  • Maharashtra: Important iron-ore deposits are located in Chandrapur, Bhandara and Ratnagiri districts.
  • Andhra Pradesh: Important areas of iron ore are Karimnagar Warangal, Kumool, Cuddapah and Anantapur districts.
  • Others: These include Salem and Nilgiris Districts of Tamil Nadu state and Goa state.


It is an important raw material which is used in the iron and steel industry for smelting of iron-ore and in the manufacturing of ferro alloys.

It is mainly associated with the Dharwar system but found almost in all geological formations. Important states are:

  • Odisha: It is the largest manganese producer of India. The central part of the iron-ore belt of India has most of the manganese mines of Odisha. Important mines are located in the districts of Bonai, Kendujhar, Sundargarh, Gangpur, Koraput, Kalahandi and Bolangir.
  • Karnataka: Dharwar, Bellary, Belgaum, North Canara, Chikmagalur, Shimoga, Chiradurg and Tumkur.
  • Maharashtra: The main disadvantage of its mines are that these are located away from iron and steel plants. Nagpur, Bhandara and Ratnagiri have manganese mines.
  • Madhya Pradesh: Balaghat, Chhindwara, Nimar, Mandla and Jhabua districts have manganese mines.
  • Others: Other producer states of manganese are Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Jharkhand.

Non-Ferrous Minerals

India has large deposits of bauxite but is lacking behind in other non-ferrous minerals.


It is the ore that is used to manufacture aluminum and aluminium products.

It is found in laterite rocks mostly in the plateau or hilly regions of peninsular India and also in the coastal areas. Important states are:

  • Odisha: It is the largest producer of bauxite and important producing areas are Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Bolangir and Koraput.
  • Jharkhand: Pelands of Jharkhand in Lohardaga home rich deposits.
  • Gujarat: Bhavanagar and Jamnagar are important sites of bauxite.
  • Chhattisgarh: Amarkanatak plateau region has large deposits of bauxite.
  • Madhya Pradesh: Katni-Jabalpur and Balaghat have important deposits of bauxite.
  • Others Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Goa are other producers of bauxite.


It is an alloy, malleable and ductile and an indispensable metal in the electrical industry used for making wires, electric motors, transformers and generators.

It is also used to give strength in gold jewelleries. Important copper producing states are:

  • Jharkhand- Singhbhum district
  • Madhya Pradesh- Balaghat
  • Rajasthan- Jhunjhunu and Alwar
  • Andhra Pradesh- Agnigundala in Guntur district
  • Karnataka- Chitradurga and Hasan
  • Tamil Nadu- South Arcot district

Non-Metallic Minerals

Limestone, dolomite, phosphate and mica are some non-metallic minerals produced in India. Mica is the most important among them while others are produced for domestic consumption.


Mica is mainly used in the electrical/electronic industries which can be split into very thin, strong and flexible sheets.

Due to its resistance quality it is used in the electrical and electronic industry. Important producer states are:

  • Jharkhand -Hazaribagh plateau produces a high quality of mica.’
  • Andhra Pradesh- Nellore district is an important producer of mica, it produces best quality mica.
  • Rajasthan A 320 km long belt from Jaipur to Bhilwara near Udaipur produces mica.
  • Karnataka Mysore and Hasan are important producers of mica.
  • Others -Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai and KanyaKumari (Tamil Nadu), Ratnagiri(Maharashtra), Alleppey, (Kerala), Purulia and Bankura (West Bengal) are also known for mica deposits.

Energy Resources

All sectors of the economy i.e. agriculture, industry, transport are run by power which comes from mineral fuels whether conventional or non-conventional energy resources.

Conventional Sources of Energy

These are exhaustible in nature e.g. fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and natural gas.


  • It is required in the generation of thermal power and smelting of iron-ore.
  • India has about 80% of bituminous coal which is of non-cooking grade.
  • It is found in two rock sequences i.e. Gondwana coal fields and tertiary coal fields.

Gondwana Coal Fields

Damodar Valley is the important coal field of India. Jharkhand and West Bengal coal have the entire area of this coal field. Jharia (largest coal field), Raniganj (second largest), Bokaro, Giridih, Karanpura are important coal fields of this valley. Other river valleys are Godavari, Mahanadi and Sone.

Tertiary Coal Fields

Important states are:

Meghlaya -Darangiri, Cherrapunji, Mewlong and Langrin (Meghalaya).

Assam -Makum, Nazira in Upper Assam.

Arunachal Pradesh- Namchik-Namphurk Jammu and Kashmir Kalakot 

Other Coal Fields

Besides, the brown coal or lignite coal occurs in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir.


Crude petroleum consists of hydrocarbons of liquid and gaseous states varying in chemical composition, colour and specific gravity. It is used as a source of energy in all internal combustion engines of automobiles, railways and aircrafts. 

It is also used as a raw material in petrochemical industries to produce fertilizer, synthetic rubber, synthetic fibre, medicines, vaseline, lubricants, wax soap and cosmetics, etc.

It is also called liquid gold due to its scarcity and different uses. Crude oil is found in sedimentary rocks of tertiary age. 

Before independence, Digboi was the only crude oil producing region in India but after independence in 1956, Oil and Natural Gas Commission was set up.

Important oil producing regions are:

  • Assam Digboi, Naharkatiya and Moran.
  • Gujarat and Mumbai High Ankleshwar, Kalol, Mehasana, Nawagam, Kosamba and Lunej. Krishna, Godavari and Kaveri basin also have Oil and Natural Gas reserves on the East coast of India.

There are two types of oil refineries in India:

  • Field Based Refineries: Digboi is an example of a field based refinery.
  • Market Based Refineries: Barauni is an example of a market based refinery. There are a total 21 refineries as of June 2011.

Natural Gas

  • It occurs along with oil as well as separately in gas reserves in India.
  • These gas reserves are located along the Eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • Gujarat and Maharashtra have off-shore wells of natural gas.
  • According to a survey report, there are indications of huge gas reserves in Ramanathapuram in Tamil/Nadu state.

Non-Conventional Energy Sources

  • Unlike conventional sources of energy, non-conventional energy sources are renewable i.e. solar, wind, hydro-geothermal and biomass and are not a threat to the natural system.
  • Their use ensures sustainable development as these are environment friendly and cheaper energy sources.

Nuclear Energy Sources

  • Nuclear energy has emerged as a feasible source in recent times.
  • Uranium and thorium are main minerals that are used to generate nuclear energy.

Uranium Deposits in India
It is found in the Dharwar rock system. Important regions are:

  • Jharkhand Singhbhum (alongwith the copper belt)
  • Rajasthan Udaipur, Alwar, Jhunjhunu districts.
  • Chhattisgarh Durg district Maharashtra Bhandara district.
  • Himachal Pradesh Kullu district.

Thorium Deposits in India

It is found in very few places in India:

  • Kerala (in monazite and ilmenite beach sands) Palakkad and Kollam districts.
  • Andhra Pradesh Visakhapatnam.
  • Odisha Mahanadi river delta
  • These three states have the world’s richest monazite deposits. 
  • The development of nuclear energy was started after the establishment of Atomic Energy Institute at Trombay in 1954 which was renamed as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in 1967. 
  • Tarapur (Maharashtra), Rawatbhata near Kota (Rajasthan), Kalapakkam (Tamil Nadu), Narora (Uttar Pradesh), Kaiga (Karnataka) and Kakarapara (Gujarat) are other nuclear power sites in India.

Solar Energy

  • Sun’s energy trapped by two methods i.e. photovoltaic cells and solar thermal technology and converted into electricity is called solar energy.
  • Its construction is easy, eco-friendly and cost competitive.
  • It is 7% and 10% more effective than coal and oil based plants and nuclear energy, respectively.
  • Heaters, dryers, cookers and other heating appliances use solar energy more than others.
  • Gujarat, Rajasthan and the Western part of India have higher potential for the development of solar energy.

Wind Energy

  • Wind energy is a non-polluting and renewable source. Through the turbine mechanism, kinetic energy of wind can be directly converted into electrical energy.
  • Electricity can be produced by permanent wind systems like trade wind, westerlies or seasonal winds like monsoon winds. Besides, production of electricity can also be done by local winds, land and sea breezes.
  • India has already started generating wind energy to lessen the burden of the oil import bill. It is
  • estimated that India has 50000 megawatts potential of wind generation, of which one-fourth may be easily employed.
  • Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka have higher potential for the development of wind energy.

Tidal and Wave Energy

  • Ocean currents are the storehouse of infinite energy. Large tidal waves are known to occur along the west coast of India.
  • Many efforts for the efficient use of oceanic tides and waves were made in the 17th and 18th century.
  • But these waves have not yet been utilised properly because of lack of technology’.

Geothermal Energy

  • Magma that comes over the earth’ surface releases vast amounts of heat. This heat energy can be converted into electrical energy by tapping it. It is called geothermal energy
  • Main sources of this energy are magma, hot springs (hot water), hot geysers, etc.
  • Geothermal energy is gaining importance and can be used as an alternative to conventional energy sources.
  • In India at Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh, a geothermal energy plant has been commissioned.


  • Bio-energy refers to energy derived from biological products which includes agricultural residues, municipal, industrial and other wastes.
  • It can be converted into electricity or electrical energy, heat energy or gas for cooking food.
  • This can also solve the problem of garbage and waste in urban areas because energy can also be derived from these.
  • It can contribute to improving economic life of rural peoples in developing countries, increasing environmental problems like pollution, solid waste management, enhancing self-reliance and reducing pressure on fuel wood.
  • A project in OKHLA (Delhi) is an example that generates energy from municipal waste.

Conservation of Mineral Resources

There are some methods through which we can conserve mineral resources:

  1. Adoption of renewable resources in place of exhaustible resources like solar power, wind, geothermal energy can save our non-renewable resources.
  2. Use of recycled scrap metals should be encouraged.
  3. Use of substitutes for scarce metals may also reduce their consumption.
  4. Export of strategic and scarce minerals must be reduced, so that the existing reserve may be used for a longer period.

Manufacturing Industries

Types of Industries- Classification

On the basis of size capital investment and labour force employed:

  1. Large scale industries
  2. Medium scale industries
  3. small scale and cottage industries

On the basis of ownership:

  1. Public sector industries
  2. Private sector industries
  3. Joint and cooperative sector

On the basis of use of finished goods:

  1. Basic goods industries
  2. Capital goods industries
  3. Intermediate goods industries
  4. Consumers goods industries

On the basis of raw materials used by them:

  1. Agriculture based industries
  2. Forest based industries
  3. Mineral based industries
  4. Industrially processed raw material based industries

On the basis of nature of the manufactured products:

  1. Metallurgical industries
  2. Mechanical engineering industries
  3. Chemical and allied industries
  4. Textiles industries
  5. Food processing industries
  6. Electricity generation
  7. Electronics
  8. Communication industries

Location of Industries

  • Location of industries is determined by important factors i.e. raw materials, power resources, water, labour, markets and the transport facilities.
  • Raw materials and industries are inter-related to each other. Most of the manufacturing industries are located at a place where cost of production and cost of delivery of finished goods are least.
  • Nature of raw materials and finished goods decide the cost of transportation.

Factors of Industrial Location

The following factors influence the location of industries:

Raw materials

  • Industries using raw materials which are perishable or lose weight in the process of manufacture are usually located near the source of the raw materials.
  • For example, sugar mills, pulp industries, copper smelting, pig iron industries, etc.
  • Iron and steel industries are mostly located near coalfields (e.g. Bokaro, Durgapur ) or near source of iron-ore (Bhadravati, Bhilai, Rourkela) as both iron-ore and coal lose their weight during the process of manufacturing of steel.
  • Power is must for every industry so supply of power should be ensured before locating any industry. For e.g. aluminum and synthetic nitrogen manufacturing industries.


  • Market is an important factor for market oriented industries as markets provide outlets for manufactured products like heavy machines, machine tools, heavy chemicals, to sell finished goods.
  • For example, Petroleum refineries like Koyali, Mathura and Barauni are located near markets so that the products derived from them can be used as raw material in other industries.


  • It is important for the location of industries to move goods and labour from industrial areas to markets and others.
  • For example, around Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, the concentration of industries is maximum.


  • It is another important factor of the location of industries.
  • Due to our large population, labour is quite mobile and is available in large numbers.

Historical Factors

Colonial influence like competition from the British goods and the British discriminatory policies, are also important reasons for the emergence of some of our industrial nodes (like, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai) and manufacture centres (like Murshidabad, Dhaka, Bhadohi, Surat, Vadodara, Kozhikode, Coimbatore, Mysore, etc).

Industrial Policy

  1. To bring balanced regional development and to eradicate regional disparities in the economy, are the main objectives of our democratic country.
  2. India attempts to promote backward areas like tribal areas into the economic development process by providing lots of incentives. For example, the establishment of the iron and steel industry in Bhilai and Rourkela were based on the decision to develop backward tribal areas of the country.

Major Industries

The Iron and Steel Industry

  • The iron and steel industry provides basic infrastructure to almost all sectors of the Indian industry. 
  • The raw materials used in this industry, iron-ore, coking coal, limestone, dolomite, manganese and fire clay are found in parts of Chhattisgarh, Northern Odisha, Jharkhand and Western West Bengal.
  • This industry comprises large integrated steel plants as well as mini steel mills and also includes secondary producers, rolling mills and ancillary industries.

Some integrated steel plants are:


The Tata Iron and Steel Plant lies near to Mumbai-Kolkata railway line and about 240 km away from Kolkata which is the nearest port for the export of steel. 

This industry gets its raw materials from different source regions like:

  1. Water supply from Subamarekha and Kharkai rivers.
  2. Iron-ore from Noamundi and Badam Pahar.
  3. Coal from Joda mines in Odisha.
  4. Coking coal from coal fields of Jharia and West Bokaro.


  • The first factory of the Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO) was set-up at Hirapur and another at Kulti. 
  • In 1937, the steel corporation of Bengal was established in association with IISCO by setting up another unit at Burnpur (West Bengal).
  • IISCO gets its raw materials from different source regions like:
  1. Coal from Damodar valley coalfields (Raniganj, Jharia and Ramgarh).
  2. Iron-ore from Singhbhum in Jharkhand.
  3. Water supply from river Barakar (a tributary of Damodar river).
  • The Kolkata- Asansol railway line runs along the plants. 
  • Later in 1972-73, the government took over the IISCO plant because of the fall of steel production.

Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Works Ltd. (VISL)

Initially named Mysore Iron and Steel Works, the VISL is located at the banks of Bhadravati in Shimoga district of Karnataka. 

This plant produces specialised steels and alloys.

VISL gets raw materials from:

  1. Kemmangundi in the Baba Budan hills, limestone and manganese from the local area.
  2. water supply from the Bhadravati river.
  3. Due to unavailability of coal in this region, at the beginning charcoal was used as fuel by burning wood till 1951. Later, electric furnaces were installed which use hydroelectricity from the Jog falls hydel power project.
  • During the second five years plan (1956-61), three new public sector integrated steel plants were set up with foreign collaboration i.e. Rourkela in Odisha, Bhilai in Chhattisgarh and Durgapur in West Bengal.
  • These were under Hindustan steel Limited (HSL). 
  • In 1973, the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) was created to manage these plants.

Rourkela Steel Plant

This plant was established in 1959 in the Sundargarh district of Odisha in collaboration with Germany.

This plant gets its raw materials from different sources region like:

  1. Coal from Jharia.
  2. Iron-ore from Sundargarh and Keonjhar districts.
  3. Hydro-electric power from Hirakud Power Project.
  4. Water from Koel and Shankh rivers.

Bhilai Steel Plant

It was set up with Russian collaboration in Durg district of Chhattisgarh and started production in 1959.

It gets its raw material from different places like:

  1. Coal from Korba and Kargali.
  2. Water from Tanduladam.
  3. Power from Korba thermal power station.

This plant is connected with the Kolkata-Mumbai railway line. This plant supplies the bulk of steel to the Hindustan Shipyard at Visakhapatnam.

Durgapur Steel Plant

It was set up in collaboration with the Government of the United Kingdom in West Bengal and started production in 1962.

It gets its raw material from the following places:

  1. Coal from Jharia and Raniganj.
  2. Iron-ore from Noamundi.
  3. Water and hydel power from Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).

It lies on the main Kolkata-Delhi railway route.

Bokaro Steel Plant

Bokaro steel plant was set up in 1964 with Russian collaboration at Bokaro. It aims at transport cost minimisation by creating a Bokaro-Rourkela combine. The raw materials and their source regions are:

  1. Iron-ore from Rourkela.
  2. Water and Hydel power from Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).
  3. Other raw materials come from within a radius of about 350 km.

Other Steel Plants

In the Fourth Five Year Plan, three new steel plants were set up away from the main raw materials sources, namely:

  1. The Vizag Steel Plant in Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh is the first port based plant which started operating in 1992.
  2. The Vijayanagar Steel Plant at Hospet in Karnataka.
  3. The Salem Steel Plant in Tamil Nadu was commissioned in 1982.

There are also more than 206 units in India which use scrap iron as main raw material and process it in electric furnaces.

The Cotton Textile Industry

  • This industry is one of the traditional industries of India. 
  • The first successful modem cotton textile mill was established in Mumbai in 1854. 
  • Since, it is very close to the cotton producing areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra and being a large town, provide employment opportunities to many people. 
  • After the first mill, two more mills, the Shahpur mill and the Calico mill were established in Ahmedabad (Gujarat). 
  • But, after partition, India was left with 409 mills out of 423 mills and only 29% of the cotton growing area.
  • The cotton textile industry can be classified as organised and decentralised sectors. 
  • The decentralised sector includes cloth produced in handlooms (including khadi) and power looms. 
  • On the other hand, production of the organised sector has drastically fallen from 81% in the mid twentieth century to only about 6% in 2000. 
  • Now power looms on the decentralised sector produce more than the handloom sector. 
  • As cotton does not lose weight in the manufacturing process, hence the location of the cotton textile industry is determined by other factors like power supply, labour, capital or market.
  • At present, the market is the most preferred factor to locate industry as the market decides what is the current trend of clothes. 
  • After the first cotton textile mills were set up in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the cotton textile industry expanded very rapidly. Development of the railway network also contributed to the expansion of mills. 
  • In southern India, mills were set up at Coimbatore, Madurai and Bengaluru.
  • In central India, mills were set up at Nagpur, Indore, Solapur and Vadodara. 
  • Mills were also set up at Kanpur and Kolkata. Availability of hydel power favoured the setting up of cotton mills in Tamil Nadu. Availability of cheap labour favoured the setting up of cotton mills at Ujjain, Bharuch, Agra, Hathras, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli.

Distribution of Cotton Textile Industries

  • At present time, important centres of cotton textile industries are Ahmedabad, Bhiwandi, Solapur, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Indore and Ujjain. Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are the leading cotton producing states. West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Punjab are the other important cotton textile producers.
  • Tamil Nadu has the largest number of mills and most of them produce yam rather than cloth. Coimbatore accounts for 50% of total mills. Other important centres are Chennai, Madura, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Thanjavur, Ramanathapuram and Salem.
  • In Karnataka, Bengaluru, Hubli Davangere, Bellary, Mysore are some important centres.
  • The cotton textile industry has developed in the cotton producing Telangana region. The important centres are Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Warangal in Telangana and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Most of the cotton textile industry has developed in the Western part of Uttar Pradesh. Kanpur is the largest centre and is known as Manchester of Uttar Pradesh. Other important centres are Agra, Modinagar, Sahranpur, Lucknow and Hathras.
  • In West Bengal, important centres are Kolkata, Serampore, Howrah and Shyamnagar.
  • Cotton textile industry has been facing tough competition from synthetic cloth.

Sugar Industry

The sugar industry being the second largest agro-based industry in India, is the largest producer of both sugar and sugarcane. It contributes about 8% of the total sugar production in the world.

The first sugar mill was established in 1903 in Bihar and then many mills were established in many parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

This industry provides employment to more than 4 lakh persons and a large number of farmers. It is a seasonal Industry.

Location of the Sugar Industry

As sugarcane is a heavy, low value, weight losing and perishable raw material, thus sugar factories are located mostly in sugarcane growing regions.

Maharashtra has emerged as a leading sugar producer in the country and produces more than one-third of the total production of the sugar in the country. 

Uttar Pradesh is now the second largest producer of sugar.

There are two belts where sugar factories are located:

  • The Ganga-Yamuna Doab Saharanpur, Muzaffamagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Bulandshahr districts.
  • Terai region: Lakhimpur Kheri, Basti, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Bahraich district.

Sugar producing States

  • Tamil Nadu has sugar factories in Coimbatore, Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram and Tiruchirappalli districts.
  • In Karnataka, the important sugar producers are Belgaum, Bellary, Mandya, Shimoga, Bijapur, and Chitradurg.
  • The industry is distributed in the coastal regions i.e. East Godavari, West Godavari, Visakhapatnam districts and Nizamabad, and Medak districts of Telangana alongwith Chittoor district or Rayalaseema.

Other sugar producing states are:

  • Bihar Saran, Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Si wan, Darbhanga, Gaya.
  • Punjab Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Sangarur, Patiala, Amritsar.
  • Haryana Yamuna Nagar, Rohtak, Hissar, Faridabad.
  • Gujarat Sugar industry is comparatively new here. Important sugar producing mills are located in Surat, Junagarh, Rajkot, Amreli, Valsad and Bhavnagar districts.

Petrochemical Industries

  • This group of industries has been growing very fast in India. 
  • The demand for its products has been very high since the 1960s. 
  • Many items are derived from crude petroleum, which provide raw materials for many new industries, these are collectively known as petrochemical industries.

Petrochemical industries are divided into four sub-groups:

  1. Polymers
  2. Synthetic fibres
  3. Elastomers
  4. Surfactant intermediate

Distribution of Petrochemical Industries:

  •  Mumbai is the hub of the petrochemical industries. 
  • Other cracker units are at Auraiya (Uttar Pradesh), Jamnagar, Gandhinagar and Hajira (Gujarat), Nagothane, Ratnagiri (Maharashtra), Haldia (West Bengal) and Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).

There are three organisations which are working in the petrochemical sector under the administrative control of the department of chemicals and petrochemicals:

  • Indian Petrochemical Corporation Limited: It is a public sector undertaking and responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of the polymers, chemicals, fibres and fibre intermediates.
  • Petrofils Cooperative Limited (PCL): It is a joint venture of the government of India and weaver’s cooperative societies. It has two plants at Vadodara and Maldhari where polyester filament yam and nylon chips are produced.
  • Central Institutes of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET): It is involved in imparting training in the petrochemical industry.

Sub-Groups of Petrochemical Industries

  • Polymers are made from ethylene and propylene which are obtained after refining crude oil. 
  • It provides the basic raw materials for the plastic industry which are preferred because of their strength, flexibility, water and chemical resistance and low prices.
  • The National Organic Chemical Industries Limited (NOCIL) was established in 1961 and started the first naphtha based chemical industry in Mumbai. 
  • The major producers of plastic materials are Mumbai, Barauni, Mettur, Pimpri and Rishra.
  • About 75% of these units are in the small-scale sector. 
  • The industry also uses recycled plastics which constitutes about 30% of the total production.
  •  Synthetic fibres are widely used in the manufacturing of fabrics because of their durability, washability and resistance to shrinkage.
  • The important fibres and their producing centres are Nylon and Polyester industries at Kota, Pimpri, Mumbai, Modinagar, Pune, Ujjain, Nagpur and Udhna and Acrylic Staple Fibre Industries at Kota and Vadodara.
  • Now, plastic has emerged as the greatest threat to our environment because of its non-biodegradable quality.

Knowledge Based Industries

  • The IT and IT enabled business process outsourcing (ITES-BPO) services continue to grow at an outstanding rate.
  • A number of software parks have been created by the government and the production of the software industries has surpassed electronic hardware production.
  • The contribution of the IT software and services industry in India’s GDP is about 2%.
  • Most of the multinational companies in the IT field have re-established software or research development centres in India.
  • In the hardware development sector, India has yet not achieved so much but in the IT sector, it creates a double employment rate every year.

Liberalisation, Privatisation, Globalisation (LPG) and Industrial Development in India

The new industrial policy was announced in 1991 with the following objectives:

  1. To build on the gains already made.
  2. Correct the distortions or weaknesses that have crept in.
  3. Maintain a sustained growth in productivity, and gainful employment.
  4. Attain international competitiveness.

Following were the policy measures taken under LPG:

  1. Abolition of industrial licensing.
  2. Free entry to foreign technology.
  3. Foreign Investment Policy
  4. Access to the capital market.
  5. Open trade
  6. Abolition of phased manufacturing programme.
  7. Liberalised industrial location programme.
  • The policy has three main dimensions: Liberalisation, Privatisation, and globalisation. 
  • Except six industries based on security, strategic or environmental concerns, for all industries the licensing system has been abolished. 
  • The number of industries reserved for the public sector since 1956 have been reduced from 17 to 4. 
  • The Department of atomic energy as well as railways have remained under the public sector. 
  • For investment in delicensed sector no prior approval is required. 
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) became a supplement to domestic investment in achieving a higher level of economic development in this policy. 
  • The industrial policy has been liberalised to attract private investors both domestic and multinationals.
  • Globalisation refers to the integration of the country’s economy with the world economy. 
  • There is free flow of goods and services, labours, capitals from one nation to another. 
  • Globalisation aimed at increasing domestic and external competition through market mechanisms and facilitating dynamic relationships with the foreign investors and suppliers of technology.

In Indian context, globalisation has following objectives:

  • Opening of the economy to foreign direct investment by providing facilities to foreign companies to invest in different fields of economic activities in India.
  •  Removing restrictions and obstacles to the entry of multinational companies in India.
  • Allowing Indian companies to enter into foreign collaboration in India and also encouraging them to set up joint ventures abroad.
  • Carrying out massive import liberalisation programmes by switching over from quantitative restrictions to tariffs in the first place and then bringing down the level of import duties considerably.
  • Instead of a set of export incentives, opting for exchange rate adjustments for promoting export.

Adverse Effect of LPG

  • Infrastructural sector was remained untouched while major share went to core sectors.
  • The gap between developed and developing states has became wider and inter-regional disparity has been increased, e.g. out of total investment from 1991-2000, one fourth (23%) was for Maharashtra, 17% for Gujarat, 7% for Andhra Pradesh about 6% for Tamil Nadu, and only 8 % for Uttar Pradesh. Thus, the share of both domestic and foreign investment went to already developed states. Share of both domestic and foreign investment went to already developed states.
  • Economically weaker states could not compete with developed states in the open market in attracting industrial investment.

Industrial Regions In India

Most of the industries are located in a few pockets due to some favourable factors. The pockets having high concentrations of industries are known as industrial clusters.

Several indices are used to identify the clustering of industries, important among them are:

  1. the number of industrial units
  2. number of industrial workers
  3. quantum of power used for industrial purposes
  4. total industrial output
  5. value added by manufacturing

Industrial Regions and Districts

Major industrial Regions

  1. Mumbai-Pune region
  2. Hugli region
  3. Bengaluru, Tamil Nadu region
  4. Gujarat region
  5. Chotanagpur region
  6. Vishakhapatnam-Guntur region
  7. Gurugram-Delhi-Meerut region
  8. Kollam-Thiruvananthapuram region

Minor Industrial Regions

  1. Ambala-Amritsar
  2. Saharanpur-Muzaffarnagar-Bijnor
  3. Indore-Dewas Ujjain
  4. Jaipur-Ajmer
  5. Kolhapur-South Kannada
  6. Northern Malabar
  7. Middle Malabar
  8. Adilabad-Nizamabad
  9. Allahabad-Varanasi-Mirzapur
  10. Bhojpur-Munger
  11. Durg-Raipur
  12. Bilaspur-Korba
  13. Brahmaputra valley

Industrial Districts

  1. Kanpur
  2. Hyderabad
  3. Agra
  4. Nagpur
  5. Gwalior
  6. Bhopal
  7. Lucknow
  8. Jalpaiguri
  9. Cuttack
  10. Gorakhpur
  11. Aligarh
  12. Kota
  13. Purnia
  14. Jabalpur
  15. Bareilly

Major industrial regions of India are as follows:

Mumbai-Pune Industrial Region

  • It extends from Mumbai-Thane to Pune and in adjoining districts of Nashik and Solapur. Besides, Kolaba, Ahmednagar, Satara, Sangli and Jalagaon districts also have industries.

Factors which favoured the location of this region are:

  1. Development of cotton textile industry in Mumbai.
  2. Opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 gave impetus to the Mumbai port.
  3. Machineries were possible to import through this port.
  4. Development of hydro-electricity in Western Ghat region.
  • Later, a number of industries were developed like chemical industry, Mumbai High petroleum field, nuclear energy plants, engineering goods, petrochemicals, leather, drugs, fertilizers, shipbuilding software, transport equipment and food industries, etc. 
  • Important industrial centres are Mumbai, Kolaba, Kalyan, Thane, Trombay, Pune, Pimpri, Nashik, Manmad, Solapur, Kolhapur, Ahmednagar, Satara and Sangli.

Hugli Industrial Region

  • Located along the Hugli river, this region extends from Bansberia in the north to Birlanagar in the south and in Medinipur in the west.
  • Factors which are responsible for the location of industries here are:
  1. Opening of river port on Hugli river.
  2. Kolkata emerged as a leading centre and connected with interior parts by railway lines and road routes.
  3. Development of tea plantations in Assam and northern hills of West Bengal.
  4. Opening of coalfields of the Damodar valley and iron-ore deposits of the Chotanagpur plateau.
  5. The processing of indigo earlier and jute later.
  6. Availability of labour from Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Odisha.
  7. Kolkata attracted British capital as it was the capital city of the Britishers.
  8. The establishment of the first jute mill at Rishra in 1855 ushered in the era of modern industrial clustering in this region.
  9. Location of petroleum refinery at Haldia has facilitated the development of a variety of industries here.
  • The major concentration of jute industry is at Haora and Bhatapara. Important industries are cotton textile, jute, paper, engineering, textile machinery, electrical, chemical, pharmaceuticals, fertiliser and petrochemical industries.
  • Factory of the Hindustan motors limited at Konnagar and the diesel engine factory at Chittaranjan are landmarks of this region. 
  • The major industrial centres are Kolkata, Haora, Haldia, Serampore, Rishra, Shippur, Naihati, Kakinara, Shamnagar, Titagarh, Sodepur, Budge Budge, Birlanagar, Bansberia, Belgurriah, Triveni, Hugli, Belur, etc.

Bengaluru (Bangalore} Chennai Industrial Region

  • It is spread over all the districts of Tamil Nadu except Viluppuram.
  • Its development is dependent on the Pykara hydro-electric plant, which was built in 1932.
  • Cotton textile industry was the first to take roots due to the presence of cotton growing areas.
  • Heavy engineering industries are located at Bengaluru.
  • Aircraft (HAL), machine tools, telephone (HTL) and Bharat Electronics are industrial landmarks of this region.
  • Important industries are textiles, rail wagons, diesel engines, radio, light engineering goods, rubber goods, medicines, aluminium, sugar, cement, glass, paper, chemicals, film, cigarette, matchbox, leather goods, etc.
  • Petroleum refinery at Chennai, iron and steel plant at Salem and fertilizer plants are recent developments.

Gujarat Industrial Region

The place for the basis for its activity growth lies between Ahmedabad & Vadodara but this region Extends up to Valsad & Surat in the South & to Jamnagar in the west.

Location factors of industries in this region are:

  1. Decline of the cotton textile industry at Mumbai.
  2. This region is located in a cotton growing area, hence raw material and market are easily available.
  3. The discovery of oil fields led to the establishment of petrochemical industries around Ankleshwar, Vadodara, Jamnagar .
  4. Development of Kandla port.
  5. Petroleum refinery at Koyali.
  • Important industries are textiles (cotton, silk, synthetic fabrics), petrochemical industries, heavy and basic chemicals, motor, tractor, diesel engines, textile, machinery, engineering, pharmaceuticals, dyes, pesticides, sugar, dairy products and food processing. Recently, the largest petroleum refinery has been set up at Jamnagar. Important industrial centres are Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch, Koyali, Anand, Khera, Surendranagar, Rajkot, Surat, Valsed, Jamnagar.

Chotanagpur Region

  • This extends over Jharkhand, Northern Odisha and West Bengal. 
  • The region is well known for its heavy metallurgical industries.
  • Factors which are favourable for the location of industries here are:
  1. Discovery of coal in the Damodar valley.
  2. Metallic and non-metallic minerals in Jharkhand and northern Odisha.
  3. Thermal and hydro-electric plants in the Damodar valley.
  4. Cheap labour from surrounding regions,
  5. Hugli provides a vast market for its industries.
  • Important industries are heavy engineering, machine tools, fertilizers, cement, paper, locomotives, and heavy electricals. Important centres are Ranchi, Dhanbad, Chaibasa, Sindri, Hazaribag, Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Rourkela, Durgapur, Asansol and Dalmianagar.

Visakhapatnam-Guntur Region

  • This region extends from Visakhapatnam to Kurnool and Prakasam districts in the South.
  • Important locational factors are:
  1. Presently Visakhapatnam and Machilipatnam ports, developed agriculture and rich reserves of minerals in their hinterlands.
  2. Coal fields of Godavari basin.
  3. Presence of petroleum refineries.
  • Guntur district has one lead-zinc smelter. 
  • Important industries are sugar, textile, jute, paper, fertiliser, cement, aluminium and light engineering. 
  • Important centres are Visakhapatnam,Vijayawada, Vijayanagar, Rajahmundry, Guntur, Eluru and Kumool.

Gurugram-Delhi-Meerut Region

  • The industries of this region are light and market oriented as this region is far located from mineral and power resources.
  • Important Industries are electronics, light engineering, electrical goods, cotton, woollen and synthetic fabrics, hosiery sugar, cement, machine tools, tractor, cycle, vanaspati, etc.
  • Software industry is recently developed.
  • Important industrial centres are Guru gram (Gurgaon), Delhi, Shahdara, Faridabad, Meerut, Modinagar, Ghaziabad, Ambala, Agra and Mathura.

Kollam-Thiruvananthapuram Region

  • Important industrial centres are Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alwaye, Emakulam, Punalur, and Alappuzha districts.
  • It is away from the mineral belt of India, so agricultural products processing and market oriented light industries predominate the region.
  • Important industries are cotton textile, sugar, rubber, matchbox, glass, chemical fertilizers, fish-based industries, food processing, paper, coconut coir products, aluminium and cement.

Planning and Sustainable Development in Indian Context

Approaches of Planning

There are two approaches of planning which are as follows:

  • Sectoral Planning Approach: In this approach, the development of various sectors of economy, 

e.g. agriculture, irrigation, manufacturing, power, construction, transport, communication, social infrastructure and services, etc, are taken into consideration to which various sets of schemes or programmes are to be formulated and implemented.

  • Regional Planning Approach: In this approach, the main emphasis is on to draw such plans which may help to reduce regional disparities and bring uniform economic development.

Target Area Planning

  • The core focus of the planning process is in promoting economically backward areas. 
  • It is important that for proper economic development of a region, there is a need for a resource base as well as technology and investment simultaneously, because sometimes resource rich regions also remain backward.
  • After having about one and half decade planning experience, it is realised that our economic development is still facing the regional imbalances. 
  • In order to encounter both regional and social disparities, the Planning Commission introduced the ‘Target area’ and ‘target group approaches’ to planning.

Target Area Programmes

Target area has the following programmes such as:

  1. Command Area Development programme
  2. Drought Prone Area Development Programme
  3. Desert Development Programme
  4. Hill Area Development Programme

Target Group Programmes

Target groups has the following programmes such as:

  1. The Small Farmers Development Agency (SFDA)
  2. Marginal Farmers Development Agency (MFDA)

In the Eighth Five Year Plan, hill areas, North-Eastern states, tribal areas and backward areas were taken into consideration in order to develop special area programmes.

Planning Related to Area Development Programme

Hill Area Development Programme

  • It covers 15 districts comprising all the hilly districts of Uttar Pradesh (present Uttarakhand), Mikir hill and North Cachar hills of Assam, Darjiling district of West Bengal and Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu. It was stated in the Fifth five year plan.
  • It was recommended in 1981, by the National committee on the Development of Backward Area, that the hill areas having a height above 600 m and not covered under tribal sub-plan be treated as backward hill areas.

The aims of Hill Area Development Programmes are as follows:

  1. Development of horticulture, plantation agriculture, animal husbandry, poultry, forestry and small scale and village industry were the main objectives of the programme through which exploitation of local resources may become possible.
  2. The detailed plans were based on topographical, ecological, economic and social conditions of the hill areas.

Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP)

This programme was started during the Fourth Five Year Plan. The main objectives of Drought Prone Area Programme are as follows:

  1. This plan mainly emphasised on generating employment opportunities to the people of drought prone areas along with creating productive assets.
  2. Besides, irrigation projects, land development programmes, afforestation, grassland development and creation of basic rural infrastructure such as rural electrification, roads, market, credit and services were also its main priorities.
  3. The National Committee on Development of Backward Areas found that this programme was mostly confined to the development of agriculture and allied sectors along with restoration of ecological balance.
  4. The society due to the burden of population was bound to utilise the marginal lands for agriculture and as a result led ecological degradation.

Thus, it was observed that there is an urgent need to generate alternative employment opportunities in these regions.

Drought Prone Regions

  • There are 67 districts (entirely or partly) in India identified by the planning commission (1967) as drought prone regions.
  • Irrigation commission (1972), demarcated the drought affected areas and also introduced the criterion of 30% irrigated land.
  • These areas are semi-arid and arid tracts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Western Madhya Pradesh, Marathwada, region of Maharashtra, Rayalaseema and Telangana plateaus of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka plateau and Highlands and interior parts of Tamil Nadu.

Due to the advancement in irrigation facilities, Haryana, Punjab and Northern Rajasthan have become protected regions.

Integrated Tribal Development Project in Bharmour Region

  • The region lies between 32° 111 N and 32° 41′ N latitudes and 76° 22′ E and 76° 53′ E longitudes. 
  • Spread over an area of about 1818 sq km, the region mostly lies between 1500 m to 3700 m above the mean sea level.
  • This region is popularly known as the homeland of Gaddis and is surrounded by lofty mountains on all sides. 
  • It has Pir Panjal in the North and Dhaula Dhar in the South. In the east, the extension of Dhaula Dhar converges with Pir Panjal near Rohtang pass.
  • The river Ravi and its tributaries, the Budhil and the Tundahen, drain this territory and carve out deep gorges.
  • These rivers divide the region into four physiographic divisions called Holi, Khani, Kugti and Tundah areas. 

Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP)

  • In the 1970s, Gaddis were included in the list of scheduled tribes and in the same period the development process of the tribal area of this region started.
  • Later in 1974 under the Fifth Five Year Plan, the tribal sub-plan was introduced and Bharmour was designated as one of the five Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) in Himachal Pradesh.

Aims and priorities of the Integrated Tribal Development Project are as follows:

  1. Improving the quality of life of the Gaddis.
  2. Narrowing the gap in the level of development between Bharmour and other districts of Himachal Pradesh.
  3. The highest priority was on development of transport and communications, agriculture and allied activities as well as social and community services.

The main achievements of the tribal sub-plan are as follows:

Infrastructural Facilities

  1. Development of infrastructure i.e schools, health care facilities, potable water, roads, communications and electricity supply.
  2. Villages located along the river Ravi in Holi and Khani areas are the main beneficiaries of infrastructural development.

Social Benefits

  1. There is a tremendous increase in literacy rate, e.g, the female literacy rate in the region increased from 1.88% in 1971 to 65% in 2011.
  2. Decline in gender inequality i.e. between male and female literacy rate.
  3. Improvement in sex-ratio.
  4. Decline in child marriage.

Economic Benefits

As the Gaddis had practiced traditionally, subsistence agriculture cum- pastoral economy, later on during the last three decades of twentieth century, pulses and other cash crops became one of the main crops of the region.

Some Shortcomings to ITDP

  1. In terms of infrastructural facilities, the remote villages in Tundah and Kugti areas still remained unaffected.
  2. The technology is still traditional in nature.
  3. The importance of pastoralism has been decreasing day-by-day as only about one tenth of the total households practice transhumance.
  4. But, still a sizable portion of the Gaddis migrate to Kangra and its Fringing Zone in order to earn living from wage labour during cold season.

Overview of Planning Perspective in India

  • India has centralised planning and the Planning Commission has been assigned to administer the functions of planning in India.
  • Being a statutory body, the Planning Commission is headed by the Prime Minister and has a Deputy Chairman and members. 

Five year plans are responsible to carry out the planning in India which are as follows:

  • The First Five Year Plan launched in 1951 and covered the period 1951-52 to 1955-56.
  • Second and Third Five Year Plans covered the period from 1956-57 to 1960-61 and 1961-62 to 1965-1966, respectively.
  • Two successive droughts during the mid sixties (1965-66 and 1966-67) and war with Pakistan in 1965 forced a plan Holiday in 1966-67 and 1968-69. This period was covered by annual plans which are also termed as rolling plans.
  • The Fourth Five Year Plan began in 1969-70 and ended in 1973-74.
  • Following this the Fifth Five Year Plan began in 1974-75, but it was terminated by the government one year earlier i.e. in 1977-78.
  • The Sixth Five Year Plan took off in 1980.
  • The Seventh Five Year Plan covered the period between 1985 and 1990.
  • Once again, due to the political instability and initiation of liberalisation policy, the Eighth Five Year Plan got delayed. It covered the period from 1997 to 2002.
  • The Tenth Five Year Plan began in 2002 and ended in 2007.
  • The Eleventh Five Year Plan started in 2007 and ended in 2012. It was entitled ” Towards faster and more inclusive growth”.
  • The Twelfth Five Year Plan in 2012 and it is still in progress. It will come to an end in 2017.

Sustainable Development

  • In the 1960, this was the period when people throughout the world were much concerned about the environmental issues because of undesirable effects of industrial development and thus, the concept of sustainable development emerged in western world.
  • This level of fear among environmentalists and common people reached at its peak with the publication of The population Bomb’ by Ehrlich in 1968 and ‘The Limits to Growth’ by Meadows

Aims of Sustainable Development

  • The main aim of sustainable development is to take care of economic, social and ecological spheres of development during the present times as well as conserve all the resources in such a manner that these can be retained for future generations.
  • So, there is a need to change our attitude towards nature as well as economic development.

Concept of Development

  • Development is a dynamic concept and has evolved in the second half of the twentieth century, used to describe the state of particular societies and the process of changes experienced by them.
  • In early human history, the main criteria of determination of a society’s state was the interaction process between human societies and their biophysical environment.
  • Societies helped in the development of various levels of technology and institutions upon which human-environment processes depend.
  • These have helped in increasing the pace of human environment interaction, therefore, the momentum generated and fascinated technological progress and transformation and creation of institutions.
  • After the period of World War II, the two important terms i.e. development and economic growth were considered as one concept. But due to unequal distribution, a faster rate of growth in poverty is experienced by even the developed nations having high economic growth.
  • Then, redistribution with growth and ‘growth and equity’ broadened the term development in the 1970s. 
  • Now, the concept of development is not only restricted to the economic sphere alone, but also incorporates balance and equality among people in terms of welfare and quality of life of people, health education and other facilities, equal opportunity to all and ensuring political and civil rights.
  • Hence, the concept of development has become multi-dimensional and stands for positive, irreversible transformation of the economy, society and environment.

World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED)

  • The United Nations established a World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), after concerning the opinion of the world community on the environmental issues.
  • The WCED was headed by the Norwegian Prime Minister,  Harlem Brundtland. The commission gave its report entitled ‘Our Common Future’ in 1987, also known as Brundtland Report.
  • In this report, ‘sustainable development’ was taken into consideration and defined as ‘A development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.

Measures for Promotion of Sustainable Development

As we have seen, this project has affected the ecological sustainability and physical environment of the region badly. So, attaining the goal of sustainable development in the command area requires such measures that can achieve ecological, social and economic sustainability, simultaneously.

Hence, five of the seven measures have been proposed in this respect such as:

  1. Rigorous implementation of water management policy is the first and foremost requirement of this project. Stage I and Stage II comprising protective irrigation and extensive irrigation for crops and pasture development, respectively according to the canal project.
  2. By and large water intensive crops shall be avoided and plantation crops such as fruits shall be encouraged by folks.
  3. In order to reduce the conveyance loss of water, few important programmes shall be taken into account such as the CAD (Command Area Development) programmes i.e.
  • Lining of water courses.
  • Land development and levelling.
  • Warabandi system (means equal distribution of canal water in the command area of outlet).
  1. The areas should be reclaimed that got affected by water logging and soil salinity.
  2. Eco-development is a must, especially in the fragile environment of Stage II, through afforestation, shelter belt, plantation and pasture development activities.
  3. By providing a decent financial and institutional support for cultivation of the land, allottees who have poor economic background can prove a positive step towards achieving the social sustainability in the region.
  4. The economic sustainability can be attained through expanding the economic sector which must include agriculture and allied activities along with other economic sectors, as a whole. Hence, we will then find diversification of economic base and establishment of functional linkages between basic villages, agro-service centres and market centres.

Promotion of Sustainable Development in Indira Gandhi Canal Command Area

  • It is one of the largest canal systems in India, conceived by Kanwar Sain in 1948. This project was launched on 31st March 1958 that transformed a desert into green land.
  • The origin place of the canal is at Harike barrage in Punjab state and goes parallel to Pakistan Border at an average distance of 40 km in Thar Desert of Rajasthan (Marusthali).
  • 9060 km is the total planned length of the system catering to the irrigation needs of a total cultivable command area of 19.63 lakh hectares.
  • The canal has two irrigation systems such as ‘flow system’ and ‘lift system’. Around 70% land of the command area is irrigated by flow system and the rest 30% land by lift system.
  • There are two stages through which the construction work of the canal system has been done such as:

Stage I of Indira Gandhi Canal Command Area

  • This command area covers Ganganagar, Hanumangarh and Northern part of Bikaner districts.
  • Its cultivable/culturable command area is 5.53 lakh hectares along with gentle undulating topography.
  • In this stage, the irrigation system was introduced in the early 1960s.

Stage II of Indira Gandhi Canal Command Area

This stage covers 14.10 lakh hectares of cultivable area of Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagpur and Churu districts.

The main characteristics of the area are:

  1. Hot desert with shifting sands dunes.
  2. Summer temperature upto 50°C.

Irrigation system was introduced at this stage in mid- 1980s. 

In the lift canal, water is lifted up to make it flow against the slope of the land. 

All the lift canals of this system originate at the left bank of the main canal while all the canals on the right bank of main canal are flow channels.

Effects of Indira Gandhi Canal Irrigation

There are various effects of Indira Gandhi Canal irrigation on environment and on agricultural economy:

Effects on Environment

The environment of the areas is influenced by this project both positively and negatively:

  • Positive Effect :Now, there is sufficient soil moisture availability for a longer duration. Various afforestation and pasture development programmes came into being.
  • A considerable reduction in wind erosion and siltation of canal systems have also been recorded.
  • Negative Effect: Due to intensive irrigation and excessive use of water, an alarming rate of water logging and soil salinity have been recorded.

Effects on Agriculture

There are some positive and negative effect on agriculture:

  • Positive Effect: This canal irrigation led to increase in cultivated land and intensity of cropping. 
  • Main commercial crops i.e. wheat, rice, cotton, groundnut replaced the drought resistant crops like gram, bajra, and Jowar.
  • Negative Effect: Intensive irrigation has also become a cause of waterlogging and soil salinity. So, in the near future it may hamper the sustainability of agriculture.

Transport And Communication

Chapter 20

Means of Transport
There are various means of transportation by which we can move goods, commodities, ideas etc from one place to another place. 

Major means of transportation are as follows:

Land Transport

Transportation of people and goods by road transport is not new in India. Since ancient times, pathways and unmetalled roads have been in use for this purpose. 

With technological advancement, there are now metalled roads, railways, cableways and pipelines for movement of large volumes of goods and passengers.

Road Transport

India has its count in countries which have the largest road networks worldwide. 

India has a total road length of 42.3 lakhs km that places it among the countries which have the largest road network.

Road transport carries about 85% of passengers and 70% of freight traffic every year. 

Road transport is preferable for short distance travel. 

The first attempt to improve and modernise the road network was made in 1943 with ‘Nagpur Plan.’ 

But due to lack of coordination among princely states and British India, it remained unimplemented.

The second attempt was made after independence with a twenty year road plan (1961) to improve the conditions of roads in India but still roads continue to concentrate in and around urban centres and rural and remote areas remained less connected by road.

For the purpose of construction and maintenance, roads are classified as National Highways (NH), State Highways (SH), Major District Roads and Rural Roads.

National Highways

  • NH refers to roads which are constructed and maintained by the central government.
  • National Highways are meant for inter-state transport and movement of defence men and material in strategic areas.
  • In 2008-09, total length of National Highways was 70934 km which was 19700 km in 1951.
  • These highways connect the state capitals, major cities, important ports, railways junctions, etc and carry about 40% of the road traffic despite they constitute only 1.67% of total road length.
  • The National Highways Authority of India is an autonomous body, under the Ministry of Surface Transport which is entrusted with the responsibility of development, maintenance, operation and for the improvement of the quality of national Highways.

National Highways Development Projects

  • Golden Quadrilateral It is 5846 km long 4/6 lane, high density corridor. It was meant to connect India’s four big metro cities of Delhi-Mumbai- Chennai-Kolkata. It will deduct the time-distance and cost of movement among the mega cities of India. Its construction helps reduce the time, distance and cost of movement among mega cities considerably.
  • North-South and East-West corridors The North-South corridor is a 4076 km long highway which is meant to connect Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir with Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu including Kochchi-Salem Spur. The East-West corridor is a 3640 km long road which aims to connect Silchar in Assam with the port town of Porbandar in Gujarat.

State Highways

These roads are connected to the National Highways and join the state capitals with district headquarters and other important towns. Their share in the total road length is about 4%. 

State governments are responsible for constructing and maintaining these highways.

District Roads

These roads connect district headquarters and other important nodes in the district. They account for 60.83% of the total road length of the country.

Rural Roads

These roads provide links in the rural areas. About 33.86% of the total road length in India are categorised as rural roads.

Other Roads

These include Border Roads and International highways:

Border Roads: These are strategically important roads along the Northern and North-Eastern boundary of the country. 

  • Border Road Organisation (BRO) is responsible for construction and maintenance of these roads. 
  • It was established in May 1960 with the aim to accelerate economic development and strengthen defence preparedness through rapid and coordinated improvement of strategically important border roads.
  • BRO’s major achievement is construction of roads in high altitude mountainous terrain joining Chandigarh with Manali (Himachal Pradesh) and Leh (Ladakh). 
  • This road is located at the average height of 4270 meters above mean sea level.
  • The total length of border roads was 40450 km in 2005 which was constructed by BRO. 
  • Besides the construction and maintenance of roads in strategically sensitive areas. 
  • The BRO also undertakes snow clearance in high altitude areas.

International Highways :They are constructed with the aim to promote harmonious relationships with neighbouring countries and provide an effective connection with India.

Density of Roads

  • The distribution of roads is not uniform in the country. Density of roads (length of roads per 100 sq km of area) is the method to compare the network of roads of one area to another area. The national average road density is 125.02 km (2008).
  • The density of roads is influenced by nature of terrains, and level of economic development. As most of the Northern states and major Southern states have high density of roads (e.g. Uttar Pradesh has highest road density of 532.27 km), whereas Himalayan region, North-Eastern region, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have low density of roads (e.g. Jammu and Kashmir has lowest road density of 10.04 km).
  • Quality of roads, besides density, is also better in plains as compared to high altitude areas, rainy and forested regions.

Rail Transport

    • India has one of the longest railway networks in the world. 
    • On one hand, it facilitates the movement of freight and passengers and on the other hand, it contributes to the growth of the economy. 
  • Mahatma Gandhi said, the Indian railways, “brought people of diverse cultures together to contribute to India’s freedom struggle”
  • In 1853, the first Indian railway was started from Bombay to Thane covering a distance of 34 km.
  • Being the largest Government undertaking in India, Indian Railways network is 64460 km long (31th March, 2011).
  • To reduce the pressure of this large size railway from a centralised railway management system, Indian Railway system has been divided into seventeen zones.

    These are as follows:

                           Railway Zone                                                                                     Headquarters



    Mumbai CST





    East Central



    East Coast




    New Delhi








    North East Frontier

    Maligaon (Guwahati)








    South Central






    South East Central







    Mumbai (Church Gate)


    West Central





    Gauges in Indian Railways

    Indian Railways has been divided into three


    On the basis of the width of the track of Indian railways as follows:

    • Broad Gauge: In broad gauge, the distance between rails is 1.676 metre. The total length of broad gauge lines is 55188 km in 2011.
    • Metre Gauge: In metre gauge, the distance between the rails is 1 metre. The total length of the metre gauge is 6809 km in 2011.
    • Narrow Gauge: In narrow gauge, the distance between the rails is 0.762 metres or 0.610 metres. The total length of the narrow gauge line was 2463 km in 2011. This category of railway lines is mostly found in the hilly areas.


    Indian Railways has taken major steps to improve the performance of this means of transport like:

    1. To convert the metre and narrow gauges to broad gauge.
    2. Replacement of steam engine by diesel and electric engines which may help in keeping the environment clean.
    3. Introduction of metro rail in Kolkata and Delhi, etc.


    • Development of railways in India was started by the Britishers and after independence, the scenario has been changed by extending railway routes to other areas. 
    • Konkan railways along the western coast which provide a direct line between Mumbai and Mangalore was a significant development in this regard.
    • Konkan Railway is one of the important achievements of Indian Railways which was constructed in 1998. 
    • It is a 760 km long rail route which connects Roha in Maharashtra to Mangalore in Karnataka. 
    • It is considered an engineering marvel. 
    • Railway is still the most important means of transport for the masses. 
    • In the hill states, North-Eastern states, central part of India and Rajasthan, the railway network is relatively less dense.

    Water Transport

    • Water transport is the cheapest means of transport for carrying heavy and bulky material as well as passenger services. 
    • It is a fuel efficient and eco-friendly mode of transport. 
    • The water transport is of two types:
    1. Inland Waterways
    2. Oceanic Waterways


    Inland Waterways

    Before the introduction of railways, inland waterways were the chief mode of transport. 

    But, now it is losing its significance due to:

    1. Tough competition from road and railway transport.
    2. Diversion of river water for irrigation purposes made them non-navigable in large parts of their courses.
    • India has 14500 km of navigable waterways which accounts for about 1% of the country’s transportation.
    • It includes rivers, canals, backwater, creeks etc. 
    • At present 3700 km of major rivers are navigable by mechanised flat bottom vessels, but out of it only 2000 are actually used. Similarly, out of 4800 km of the network of navigable canal, only 900 km is navigable by mechanised vessels.
    • The Inland Waterways Authority which was setup in 1986 is responsible for the development, maintenance and regulation of national waterways in the country. 
    • Currently, there are three inland waterways which are considered as national waterways by the authority. 
    • Description of these waterways are as follows:

      National Waterways of India

Oceanic Routes

Ten other inland waterways have been identified by inland waterways authority. 

The backwaters (Kadal) of Kerala has special significance which not only provides transport but also attract tourists here. 

The famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race (Vallamkali) is also held in the backwaters.

  • These play an important role in the transport sector of India’s economy.
  • India’s vast coastline of about 7,517 km (including islands) easily facilitates this type of transport. There are twelve major and 185 minor ports which provide infrastructural support to these routes.
  • About 95% of India’s foreign trade by volume and 70% by value moves through ocean routes.
  • These routes give international trade service as well as provide transportation between the islands and the rest of the country.


Air Transportation

  • Air transport facilitates the fastest movement of goods and passengers from one place to another place. 
  • It is good for long distances and areas which have uneven terrain and climatic conditions. 
  • Air transport in India was started in 1911 with a short distance, (10 km) airmail operation from Allahabad to Nairn.
  • The Airport Authority of India is responsible for providing safe, efficient air traffic and aeronautical communication services in the Indian Air space. 
  • Now it manages 126 airports including 11 international, 86 domestic and 29 civil enclaves at defence airfields. 
  • There are two corporations, Air India and Indian Airlines which manage air transport in India. 
  • Both corporations were nationalised in 1953. Now, many private companies have also started passenger services.


Air India

  • It is a corporation of India which provides International Air Service for both passengers and cargo traffic. 
  • It connects all the continents of the world through its services.


Indian Airlines

  • Indian Airlines, the largest state owned domestic carrier changed its name to ‘Indian by dropping’ word ‘Airlines’ on 8th December, 2005. The new brand name ‘Indian’ now appears on both sides of the fuselage. 
  • The logo depicting IA which used to be displayed on an orange tail is now replaced by a new logo. 
  • New logo is partly visible blue wheel and is inspired by the Sun Temple at Konark (Odisha), symbolising timeless motion, convergence and divergence. 
  • It also represents strength as well as trust that has stood the test of time.


History of Indian Airlines

  • 1911-Air transport in India was launched between Allahabad and Naini.
  • 947-Air transport was provided by four major companies namely Indian National Airways, Tata Sons Limited, Air Services of India and Deccan Airways.
  • 1951-Four more companies joined the services i.e. Bharat Airways, Himalayan Aviation Limited, Airways India and Kalinga Airlines.
  • 1953-Air transport was nationalised and two corporations, Air India international and Indian Airlines were formed. Now, Indian Airlines is known as Indian.
  • Pawan Hans is the major organisation in India which provides helicopter services in hilly areas, for tourism in North-Eastern sector and mainly to petroleum sector and tourism.


Oil And Gas Pipelines

  • Pipelines are convenient and the best means of transporting liquids and gases over long distances. 
  • These can also transport solids after converting them into slurry. 
  • Oil India Limited (OIL) is responsible for exploration, production and transportation of crude oil and natural gas.
  • One of the major achievements is the construction of Asia’s first cross country pipeline. 
  • This pipeline covers a distance of 1157 km from Naharkatiya oil field in Assam to Barauni refinery in Bihar. 
  • In 1966, this pipeline was further extended to Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.


  • In Western region of India, OIL also constructed an extensive network of pipelines – Ankleshwar-Koyali, Mumbai High-Koyal and Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur (HVJ) pipelines. 
  • Recently, a pipeline was also constructed from Salaya (Gujarat) to Mathura (Uttar Pradesh). 
  • It is a 1256 km long pipeline which transports crude oil from Gujarat to Punjab (Jalandhar) via Mathura. Construction of a 660 km long pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri is also in progress.


Communication Networks

A number of communication cum-transportation means have been used since human history

For example- messages were delivered by beating drum or hollow tree trunks, giving indication through smoke or fire or with the help of fast runners. 

Development in the field of science and technology brought many revolutionary inventions in means of communication like post office, telegraph, printing press, telephone, satellite, etc.

On the basis of scale and quality, the mode of communication can be divided into following categories:


Personal Communication System

  • The most advanced and best means among all personal communication systems is the internet which is widely used in urban cities.
  • E-mail is the main source through which a user can directly connect with others and can also get access to the world of knowledge and information.
  • Use of the internet is increasing for e-commerce and carrying out money transactions.
  • The internet is like a huge control warehouse of data, with detailed information on various items.
  • It is a cheaper mode of communication which provides an efficient access to information at a comparatively low cost.
  • Letters, telephone, fax are also used for personal communication.


Mass Communication System Radio

  • Radio broadcasting was started in 1923 by the Radio Club of Bombay. Within a short time, it gained immense popularity and became a part of every household in India.
  • After seeing its popularity, the government of India, in 1930 took control of this mode of communication under Indian Broadcasting System.
  • It was changed to All India Radio in 1936 and to Akashwani in 1957.
  • It broadcasts various programmes related to information, education, entertainment and special news bulletins on special sessions of parliament and state legislature.


Television (TV)

  • Television (TV) broadcasting has emerged as the most effective audio-visual medium for disseminating information and educating masses.
  • First television broadcasting was started in the National Capital in 1959. Until 1972, it was the only urban place where TV services were available.
  • After 1972, several other centres became operational. In 1976, TV broadcasting services were separated by All India Radio and got a separate identity as Doordarshan (DD).
  • Its revolutionary development began after the launch of INSAT-IA (National Television -D1) when Common National Programmes (CNP) were started for the entire network and its services were extended to the backward and remote rural areas.


Satellite Communication

  • Satellite is an advanced mode of communication. 
  • They also regulate the use of other means of communication. 
  • From an economic and strategic point of view, use of satellites is very vital for the country as these give continuous and synoptic views of a larger area. 
  • Various operations can be done through satellite images, e.g. weather forecast, monitoring of natural calamities, surveillance of border areas etc.

There are two satellite system in India on the basis of configuration and purposes:


Indian National Satellite System (INSAT)

  • This was established in 1983. 
  • It is a multi-purpose satellite system for telecommunication, meteorological observation and for various other data and programmes.


Indian Remote Sensing Satellite System (IRS)

  • The IRS satellite system started in India with the launch of IRS-IA in March 1988 from Vaikanour in Russia.
  • India has also developed her indigenous launching vehicle PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle).
  • These remote sensing satellites collect data in several spectral bands and transmit them to ground stations which is very useful in the management of natural resources and other various purposes.
  • The National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) at Hyderabad is responsible for facilitating the acquisition of data and its processing.

International Trade

Chapter 21


Changing Patterns of the Composition of India’s Exports

  • During recent years, a change has been recorded in the composition of commodities in India’s international trade. 
  • There is a decline in the share of agriculture and allied products whereas shares of petroleum and crude products and other commodities have increased. 
  • The share of petroleum products has increased mainly because of the rise in petroleum prices and increase in the petroleum refining capacity of India.
  • A huge decline is registered in the export of traditional items like coffee, spices, tea, pulses, etc due to the tough international competition. 
  • Though an increase has been registered in floricultural products, fresh fruits, marine products and sugar, etc. 
  • But the manufacturing sector alone accounted for 68% of India’s total value of export in 2010-11.
  • The major competitors of India are China and other East Asian countries. 
  • Apart from this, the gems and jewellery are other commodities that have a larger share in India’s international trade.

Changing Patterns of the Composition of India’s Import

  • During the 1950s and 1960s, India faced serious food shortages, thus the country had to import food grain, capital goods, machinery and equipment at large scale.
  • The balance of payment was adverse as imports were more than export in spite of all the efforts of import substitution.
  • After the 1970s, the success of the green revolution discontinued the food grain import. 
  • But the energy crises of 1973 replaced the import of food grains by fertilizers and petroleum as the prices of petroleum had been raised.
  • Besides, other imported goods were machines and equipment, special steel, edible oil and chemicals.
  •  According to economic Survey data over the past 10 years, petroleum products have registered a rapid increase in import goods.
  • It is a raw material for petrochemical industries and also used as fuel. 
  • The increase signifies the tempo of rising industrialisation and improvement in standard of living.
  • Periodic price rise of petroleum in the international market may be another reason for this increase.
  • Import of capital goods like non-electrical machinery, transport equipment, manufactures of metals and machine tools registered a steady increase. 
  • This increase could be because of increasing demand in the export oriented industrial and domestic sectors.
  • Import of food and allied products registered a decrease because of a sudden decline in imports of edible oils.
  • Pearls and semi-precious stones, gold and silver, metalliferous ores and metal scrap, non-ferrous metals, electronic goods, etc are other important items of India’s import.

Direction of Trade

  • India is a trading partner with most of the countries and major trading blocs of the world.
  • India has a goal to double its share in international trade within the next 5 years. To achieve this objective, India has started to adopt suitable measures which includes import liberalisation, reduction in import duties, de-licensing and change from process to product patents.
  • India has created an example in terms of the percentage of Asia and ASEAN (Association of South-east Asian Nations) in total trade of the world has increased. It was 33.3% in 2000-01 and it increased to 57.3% in 2011-12 . In contrast to this, the share of Europe and America decreased from 42.5% to 30.8%. This has helped India to survive during the global crisis in Europe and America.
  • With the development of India’s trade direction, India’s trading share with different countries also changed. During 2003 -04, USA was India’s largest trading partner. Now UAE has displaced the USA as it was India’s largest trading partner during 2010-11.
  • After the UAE, China is the second largest trading partner with India continuing this position from 2008-09 to 2010-11. USA has slipped to third position.
  • India’s foreign trade is mainly carried through oceanic and air routes. Foreign trade via land route is only limited to neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.


Sea ports as Gateways of International Trade

  • India has a long history of international trade via sea ports as it has a long coastline and is surrounded by sea on 3 sides. 
  • Water provides a smooth surface and cheap transport without any hindrance.
  • India has developed many ports on its coast. 
  • These ports are named with the suffix ‘pattan’ meaning port. 
  • It is interesting to know that India has more sea ports on its West coast than its East coast.
  • After the coming of the European traders and colonisation of the country by the British, the Indian ports have emerged as gateways of international trade.
  • There are some parts which have a very vast area of influence and some have limited area of influence.


Major and Minor ports

  • At present, India has 12 major and 185 minor or intermediate ports. 
  • For major ports, the central Government is responsible for deciding the policies and regulating their functions and for minor ports, the State Government is responsible for the same functions stated above.
  • A larger port of total traffic is handled by major ports, e.g. about 71% of India’s oceanic traffic was handled by the 12 major ports during 2008-09.
  • The Britishers used these ports to export natural resources of India; particularly from their hinterland but this trend was discontinued after 1947.
  • The India lost its two very important ports i.e. Karachi port to Pakistan and Chittagong port to Bangladesh (erstwhile East-Pakistan). 
  • But India recovered successfully from this loss by opening many new ports, for instance, Kandla in the West and the Diamond harbour near Kolkata on river Hugli in the East.
  • Today, large volumes of domestic and international trade are handled by these Indian ports. 
  • Most of the ports are equipped with modem infrastructure.
  • Previously, it was expected that government agencies are responsible for the development and modernisation of Indian ports. But it was considered that there is a need to increase the functions and bring these ports at par with the international ports. Thus, private entrepreneurs have been invited for the modernisation of ports in the country.
  • The cargo handling capacity of Indian ports increased from 20 million tonnes in 1951 to more than 600trillion tonnes at present.


Important Ports


Kandla Port

  • This port is situated at the head of the Gulf of Kachchh. The main objectives of this major port are to serve the needs of Western and North-Western ports of the country and also to reduce the pressure at Mumbai port.
  • This port is mainly designed to receive large quantities of petroleum and petroleum products and fertilizers.
  • To reduce the pressure at Kandla port, an offshore terminal named Vadinar has also been developed.
  • Due to confusion in demarcation of the boundary, the hinterland of one port may overlap with that of the other.


Mumbai Port

  • This is a natural harbour and the biggest port of India.
  • The location of this port is closer to the general routes from the countries of the Middle East, Mediterranean Countries, North Africa, North America and Europe, where the major share of the country’s overseas trade is carried out.
  • This port is extended over a large area with the length of 20 km and width of 6-10 km with 54 berths and has the country’s largest oil terminal.
  • The main hinterlands of this port are Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Rajasthan.


Jawaharlal Nehru Port

  • This satellite port is located at Nhava Sheva. It was developed to relieve the pressure at the Mumbai port.
  • It is the largest container port in India.


Mormugao Port

  • It is located at the entrance of the Zuari estuary which is a natural harbour in Goa. It gained significance after its remodelling in 1961 to handle iron-ore exports to Japan.
  • Construction of Konkan railway extended its hinterland, e.g. Karnataka, Goa, Southern Maharashtra constitute its hinterland.


New Mangalore Port

  • It is mainly used to export iron-ore and iron concentrates, and other commodities like fertilizers, petroleum products, edible oils, coffee, tea, wood pulp, yam, granite stone, molasses, etc.
  • It is located in Karnataka which is its major hinterland.


Kochi Port

  • This port is popularly known as ‘Queen of the Arabian sea’.
  • It is a natural harbour and situated at the head of Vembanad Koyal.
  • Kochi port is located close to the Suez-Colombo route.
  • It serves the needs of Kerala, Southem-Karnataka, and South-Western Tamil Nadu.


Kolkata Port

  • It is located on the Hugli river 128 km inland from the Bay of Bengal. This port was developed by the British as it was once the capital of British India.
  • The port has lost its significance considerably on account of the diversion of exports to the other ports such as Visakhapatnam, Paradip and satellite port, Haldia.
  • It is also facing the problem of silt accumulation in the Hugli river, which hinders the link to the sea.
  • Its hinterland covers Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,
  • Jharkhand, West Bengal, Sikkim and the North-Eastern states.
  • It also provides port facilities to our neighbouring land-locked countries such as Nepal and Bhutan.


Haldia Port

  • It is located 105 km downstream from Kolkata.
  • It has been constructed to reduce the congestion at Kolkata port.
  • It handles bulk cargo like iron-ore, coal, petroleum, petroleum products and fertilizers, jute, jute products, cotton, and cotton yarn, etc.


Paradip Port

  • The port is located in the Mahanadi delta and it is about 100 km far from Cuttack.
  • It has the advantage of having the deepest harbour, thus it is best suited to handle very large vessels.
  • It mainly handles large scale exports of iron-ore.
  • Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand constitute its hinterland.


Visakhapatnam Port

  • It is a land locked harbour situated in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is connected to the sea by a channel which is cut through solid rock and sand.
  • To handle various commodities like iron-ore, petroleum and general cargo an outer harbour has been developed.
  • Andhra Pradesh is the main hinterland for this port.


Chennai Port

  • The artificial harbour of Chennai is one of the oldest ports on the eastern coast.
  • It was built in 1859.
  • Because of the shallow water near the coast, it is not suitable for large ships.
  • Tamil Nadu and Puducherry constitute its hinterland.

Ennore Port

  • This newly developed port is situated 25 km north of Chennai.
  • It was developed to minimise the pressure at Chennai port.


Tuticorin Port

  • It is another port which was developed to relieve the pressure of Chennai port.
  • This port handles a number of commodities like coal, salt, food grains, edible oils, sugar, chemicals and petroleum products.


Air transport plays a significant role in the international trade of a nation.

The advantages are follows:

  1. Air transport is very useful for handling high value or perishable goods over long distances.
  2. It takes less time to transport cargo.

The disadvantages are as follows:

  1. Air transportation is very costly.
  2. It is not suitable for the transportation of heavy and bulky commodities.

Thus, having these disadvantages air transport is not/less preferred for international trade as compared to oceanic routes. 

At present, there are 12 international airports. 

They are: 

  • Ahmedabad, 
  • Amritsar, 
  • Bengaluru, 
  • Chennai, 
  • Delhi, 
  • Goa, 
  • Guwahati, 
  • Hyderabad, 
  • Kochi, 
  • Kolkata, 
  • Mumbai and 
  • Thiruvananthapuram. 


Apart from these, there are 112 domestic airports in India.

Geographical Perspective on Selected Issues and Problems

Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution is “the contamination of the physical and biological components of the earth/atmosphere system to such an extent that normal environmental processes are adversely affected”.


They are classified on the basis of medium through which pollutants are transported and diffused.

The classification of pollution are as follows:

  1. Water pollution
  2. Air pollution
  3. Noise pollution
  4. Land pollution


Water Pollution

  • Quality of water is majorly degraded by a number of factors i.e. indiscriminate use of water by fast growing population and expansion of industries. 
  • No surface water is found in pure form in rivers, canals, lakes, etc as all the water sources contain small quantities of suspended particles, organic and inorganic substances. 
  • Water becomes polluted, when the quantity of these substances increases. 
  • It becomes unsuitable for human uses and its self purifying capacity declines.

There are two sources of water pollution:

  • Natural Erosion, landslides, decay and decomposition of plants and animals, etc are natural sources that make water polluted.
  • Industrial, agricultural and cultural activities of human beings make water polluted.
  • Water pollution created by human beings is a major problem in modern times. Industrial activities of pollution.


Sources of Pollution in the Ganga and the Yamuna Rivers

  • Most of the industrial wastes such as polluted wastewater, poisonous gases, chemical residuals, numerous heavy metals, dust, smoke, etc are disposed of in running water, lakes, reservoirs, rivers and other water bodies and thus, destroy the bio-system of these waters. 


  • Major culprits are leather, pulp and paper, textiles and chemicals industries.
  • Today use of various types of chemicals like inorganic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides are common in agriculture. 
  • These chemicals pollute surface water such as rivers, lakes, tanks as well as groundwater by infiltrating into the soil. 
  • These fertilizers increase the amount of nitrate content of surface waters. 
  • Besides this, cultural activities such as pilgrimage, religious fairs, tourism, etc also cause water pollution. 
  • In India, almost all surface water sources are contaminated and unfit for human consumption.


  • Use of polluted water can harm human health and can cause various water borne diseases, e.g. diarrhoea, intestinal worms, hepatitis, etc. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that about one-fourth of the communicable diseases in India are water borne.


Air Pollution

  • A larger proportion of contaminants like dust, fumes, gas, fog, odour, smoke or vapour in air for a long duration is known as air pollution may be harmful to flora and fauna and to property. 
  • There is an increase in emission of poisonous gases into the atmosphere because of increasing use of various fuels for energy in various sectors, thus resulting in the pollution of air.
  • The main sources of air pollution are combustion of fossil fuels, mining and industries which release oxides of sulphur, and nitrogen, hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead and asbestos.


Effects of Air Pollution

The effects of air pollution are as follows:

  1. Air pollution is responsible for many diseases related to our respiratory, nervous and circulatory systems.
  2. Air pollution is responsible for creating smoky fog over cities which is known as urban smog. It has negative effects on human health.
  3. Air pollution is also responsible for acid rain. First rain after summer in urban areas always shows a high acidic nature of rain water i.e. it shows lower pH level than the subsequent rain.


Noise Pollution

  • Noise pollution refers to a noise that causes a condition which is unbearable and uncomfortable to human beings. 
  • This noise can be from various sources. 
  • It is a recent phenomenon which became a serious concern only after a variety of technological innovations. 
  • The level of steady noise is measured by sound level expressed in terms of decibels (dB).
  • Factories, mechanised construction and demolition works, automobiles and aircrafts are major sources of noise that cause noise pollution. 
  • Apart from these, there are also some periodic sources of noise pollution such as sirens, loudspeakers in different festivals and programmes and other activities of different communities. 
  • Noise produced by traffic is a major source of noise pollution. 
  • It creates a huge inconvenience to the people. 
  • Intensity and nature of noise made by traffic is dependent on various factors such as type of vehicle (aircraft, train vehicle, etc)/ condition of road and condition of vehicle (in case of automobiles).
  • In sea traffic, the noise; pollution is limited to the harbour because of loading and unloading activities of containers. 
  • Noise pollution from industries is also a serious problem but its intensity varies because of some factors such as type of industry, types of machines and tools, etc.
  • The intensity of noise pollution decreases as distance from source of pollution (Industrial areas, arteries of transportation, airport, etc) increases. Thus, noise pollution is location specific.


Effects of Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is a major cause of anxiety, tension and some other mental problems and disorders among people in many metropolitan and big cities in India.


Urban Waste Disposal

Overcrowding, congestion, increasing population, improper infrastructure and facilities to support this population, lack of sanitation, foul air, etc are some features of urban areas. Mismanagement of solid wastes and environmental pollution caused by them has now become a major problem.

Solid wastes are a variety of old and used articles, for example stained small pieces of metals, broken glass wares, plastic containers, polythene bags, ashes, floppies, CDs, etc dumped at different places.

These discarded materials are also known as refuse, garbage and rubbish, etc and are disposed of from two sources i.e. household or domestic establishments and industrial or commercial establishments. 

Public lands or private  contractor’s sites are used to disposed off household or domestic wastes. 

Low lying public grounds (landfill areas) are used to dispose of industrial solid wastes by public (municipal) facilities. 

Industries, thermal power houses and building constructions and demolitions are contributing with more turn out of ashes and debris in solid wastes.


Disposal of industrial wastes has increased because of the concentration of industrial units in and around urban centres. 

Urban waste is a bigger problem in small towns and cities than metropolitan cities in the country. 

About 90% of solid waste is collected and disposed of successfully in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and other metropolitan cities. 

About 30-50% solid waste in other towns and cities in the country is not collected and disposed of properly. 

It is a major problem because it accumulates on streets, in open spaces between houses and in wastelands and can cause various health problems.


Impacts of Improper Management of Solid wastes

  1. Solid wastes are a threat to human health and can cause various diseases. It creates foul smell and it harbours flies and rodents that can cause typhoid, diphtheria, diarrhoea, malaria, cholera and other diseases.
  2. Solid waste can create inconvenience rapidly if they are not properly handled. Wind and rain water can splitted it and cause discomfort to people.
  3. Industrial solid waste can cause water pollution by dumping it into water bodies. Drains carrying untreated sewage also result in various health problems.
  4. Untreated waste releases various poisonous biogases such as methane in air by slow fermentation process. These wastes are resources as energy can be generated from them! By compositing these wastes, the problem of energy could be solved as well as its management in urban areas.


Rural-Urban Migration

Movement of people from rural areas to urban areas are caused by various factors such as high demand for labour in urban areas, low job opportunities in rural areas and disparities in terms of development in rural and urban areas. 

Smaller and medium cities provide low opportunities which force people to bypass these small cities and directly come to the mega cities for their livelihood.

Mostly daily wage workers like welders, carpenters, etc move to other cities for work, periodically and provide remittances to their families for daily consumption, health care, schooling of children, etc. 

This has improved their early abject situation into a better one. Simultaneously, due to temporary and transferable job situations, these labourers and their families hear the pain of separation of their near and dear ones.


Sometimes these workers also face difficulty in assimilation to the new culture and environment. 

Due to these menial jobs at low wages in the informal sector in urban areas, the spouses are left behind in rural areas to look after children and elderly people. 

Thus, the rural-urban migration stream is dominated by the males.


Trend of Urbanisation in the World

  • Currently, about 54% of the world’s 7 billion (2011) population lives in urban areas of the world . 
  • This proportion of urban population will increase in future. 
  • It is estimated that between 2025 to 2030, this percentage would grow 1.44% per year. 
  • This high urban population will pressurise governments to optimise infrastructure facilities in urban areas for giving a standard quality of life.
  • It is estimated that by 2050, about two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. It would create a high pressure on existing infrastructure and sanitation, health, crime problems and urban poverty.

There are various factors responsible for growth of urban population:

  1. When high birth rate and low mortality rate increase.
  2. Net in-migration or movement of people from other areas.
  3. Reclassification of urban areas to encompass formerly rural settlements.

In India there is an estimation that about 60% of India’s urban population has increased after 1961. About 29% of this growth has been caused by rural-urban migration.


Problems of Slums

  • Settlement geography differentiate the two concepts namely urban or urban centres and rural. They are also defined differently in different countries.
  • These two are differentiated by their functions but sometimes interdependent on each other. These two concepts are also divided in terms of their separate cultural, economic and technological aspects.
  • According to the 2001 census, about 72% of India’s population is rural (according to 2011, rural population is 68.84%). Most of these rural areas are still in poor conditions and perform primary activities.
  • According to Mahatma Gandhi, villages are ideal republics. These work as a supplement to the core urban centre forming its hinterland.
  • Urban areas are more developed in terms of socio-economic, politico-cultural, etc than other areas.
  • Urban areas have farm houses, high income of people and their localities, wide roads, street lights, water and sanitation facilities, lawns, well developed green belts, parks, playgrounds and other facilities, provisions for individual security and right of privacy.
  • Apart from these attractions urban areas also have slums, jhuggi jhopri’ clusters and colonies of shanty-structures.
  • These are environmentally incompatible and degraded areas of the cities. These are occupied by the migrants who were forced to migrate from rural areas to urban areas for employment and livelihood. But because of high rent and high costs of land, they could not afford proper housing and started to live in these areas.


Characteristics of Slums


  1. Slums are least choice residential areas that have broken down houses, bad hygienic conditions, poor ventilation and do not have basic facilities like drinking water, light and toilet facilities, etc.
  2. Slums are overcrowded with people and have many narrow street patterns prone to serious hazards from fire.
  3. Most of the slum dwellers work for low wages, high risk-prone and unorganised sectors of the urban economy.
  4. They face various health related problems such as malnutrition, illness and are prone to various diseases. They are not able to send their children to school to provide them education because of low levels of income.
  5. Dwellers are vulnerable to drug abuse, alcoholism, crime, vandalism, escapism, apathy and social exclusion because of poverty.

Land Degradation

The limited availability and deterioration of quality of land, both are responsible for exerting pressure on agricultural land.

Soil erosion, water logging, salinisation and alkalinisation of land lead to land degradation which declines productivity of land. 

In simple words, temporary or permanent decline in productive capacity of the land is known as land degradation. 

All degraded land may not be considered as wasteland. 

But if the process of degradation is not checked, then a degraded land may be converted into wasteland. 

Natural and man-made processes both degrade the quality of land.


Classification of Wastelands

  • National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA): It is an organisation responsible for classification of wastelands in India. 
  • It classifies wastelands by using remote sensing techniques on the basis of the processes that have created them.
  • Wasteland Caused by Natural Agents Gullied/ ravenous land, desertic or coastal sand, barren rocky areas, steep sloping land, glacial areas, etc are types of wastelands caused by the natural agents. These are considered as wastelands caused by natural agents.
  • Wasteland Caused by Natural as well as Human Factors Waterlogged and marshy areas, land affected by salinity and alkalinity and land with and without scrubs which are degraded by the natural as well as human factors are included in this category.
  • Wastelands Caused by Man-made Processes Shifting cultivation area, degraded land under plantation crops, degraded forests, degraded pastures and mining and industrial wastelands are some types of wastelands that are degraded because of human action.