Contemporary India - II (Geography)
Chapter-1 Resources and Development
Types of Resources
Everything available in our environment which can be used to satisfy our needs, provided, it is technologically accessible, economically feasible and culturally acceptable can be termed as “Resource”.
Classification of Resources
1. On the basis of Origin of Resources
Biotic Resource: All living things are known as Biotic Resources. These resources are obtained from the Biosphere and they have life, such as – Human Beings, Flora, Fauna, fisheries, etc.
Abiotic Resource: All non-living things are known as Abiotic Resources, such as Wind, Water, Air, Rocks, Metals, etc.
2. On the basis of Exhaustibility of Resources
Renewable Resource: Resources that can be renewed or reproduced by the physical, chemical or mechanical process are known as Renewable or Replenishable Resource. E.g. Solar & Wind Energy, Water, etc.
Renewable resources are further classified into continuous or flow.
Many resources are replenishable which means these resources are recycled within the environment by natural process and their quantities remain constant. E.g. Oxygen Cycle and Water Cycle take place rapidly, whereas e.g. like Rock Cycle is very slow.
Non-Renewable Resource: Fossil Fuels like, coal, petroleum, natural gas are the best examples of non-renewable resources. These resources are limited in supply and it takes millions of years in their formation.
Metals like Gold, Silver, Copper, and Iron are recyclable.
3. On the basis of Ownership of Resources:
Individual-Resource: Resources that are owned by an individual. E.g. plot, car, house, etc.
Community Resource: Resources that belongs to a community of people. E.g. parks, community halls, picnic spots, etc.
National Resource: Resources that belongs to a nation. These resources are found within the political boundaries and territorial waters (i.e ocean water up to 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from the coast of a country. E.g. rivers, forests, minerals, etc.
The country has legal powers to acquire private property to facilitate the public.
International Resource: Resources that are found beyond the territorial boundaries of a country. These resources are managed by international institutes. No single country can use these resources without the permission of the international authorities. E.g. Minerals, fisheries, etc.
4. On the basis of Distribution of Resources
Ubiquitous Resource: Resources which are found everywhere are called ubiquitous resource. E.g. air, land, water, etc.
Localised Resource: Resources which are found only in certain places are localised resources, like coal, petrol, iron, etc.
5. On the basis of Stage of Development of Resources
Actual or Developed Resource: Resources whose existence has been proved and whose quality, quantity and location have been determined for utilization with the available technology.
Potential Resource: Resources which are found in a region but have not been utilized, might be because of the lack of technology. They can be used in the future. E.g. Solar and Wind are potential resources. Rajasthan and Gujarat have great potential for the development of these two resources.
Reserves: Resources that can be put into use with the help of the existing technology but their use has not been started. They can be used in the future. E.g. more rivers can be used for generating electricity.
Stocks: Reserves that have the potential to satisfy human needs but we don’t have the technology to access it.
Development of Resources
Development of Resources
Resources are the free gifts of nature and are very important for human beings. Some of the problems faced are:
Depletion of resources for satisfying the greed of a few individuals.
Accumulation of resources in only a few hands leaves others unsatisfied.
Unsystematic use of resources is creating many problems around the world, such as global warming, ecological crisis, disturbance in the ozone layer, etc.
Development which should take place without damaging the environment and compromising with the needs of the future generations is called sustainable development.
Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, 1992
In June 1992, more than 100 heads of states met in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, for the first International Earth Summit.
The Summit was organized for addressing urgent problems of environmental protection and socio-economic development.
The assembled leaders signed the Declaration on Global Climatic Change and Biological Diversity.
The Rio Convention endorsed the global Forest Principles and adopted Agenda 21 for achieving Sustainable Development in the 21st century.
- It aims at achieving global sustainable development.
- It is an agenda to combat environmental damage, poverty, disease through global co-operation on common interests, mutual needs and shared responsibilities.
- One major objective of Agenda 21 is that every local government should draw its own local Agenda 21.
- Resource planning is the judicious use of resources.
- In India, resources are unevenly distributed and thus resource planning becomes very essential.
- In India, many states are rich in minerals and deficient in other resources, such as Jharkhand is rich in minerals, but there is the problem of drinking water and other facilities, Arunachal Pradesh has plenty of water but lack of other development because of lack of resources.
- These types of discrimination can be reduced or completely eradicated with proper planning of judicious use of resources.
Resource Planning in India
Resource Planning in India
In order to get the maximum output, good resource planning is must keep in mind the technology, skills, and institutions.
Since independence “Five Year Plans” have played a vital role in the planning and development of the resources.
The following are the main points of Resource planning.
Identification of resources across the country.
Proper planning structure with appropriate technology, skill, and institutions.
Matching the resource development plans with overall development plans.
Conservation of Resources
Irrational consumption and over-utilization of resources have to lead to socio-economic and environmental problems.
Judicious use and conservation of resources is a must. Gandhiji told, “There is enough for everybody’s need and not for any body’s greed.” He thought that the exploitative nature of modern technology is the root cause of depletion at a global level. He believed in the production by masses and not in mass production.
The land is one of the most important natural resources. The land supports our life system. Thus, careful planning of the use of land resources is necessary. India comprises of many types of land. These are mountains, plateau, plains, and islands.
Mountains: About 30% of the land area in India is in the form of the mountain. Mountain supports the perennial flow of rivers, which carry fertile soils, facilitate irrigation and provide drinking water.
Plain: About 43% of the land area in India is in the form of plains. Plains provide facilities for agriculture, the building of industries and houses, etc.
Plateau: About 27% of land in India is in the form of the plateau which provides many types of minerals, fossil fuels, and forest
Land Utilisation: Patterns of use of Land Resources
Land not available for cultivation: There are two types of land which are not used for agriculture purpose. These are:
Barren and wasteland
Lands used for buildings, roads, factories, etc. i.e for non-agriculture purposes.
Other uncultivated lands (excluding fallow land)
Permanent pastures and grazing land,
Land under miscellaneous tree crops groves (not included in the net sown area),
Culturable waste land (left uncultivated for more than 5 agricultural years).
Current fallow-(left without cultivation for one or less than one agricultural year),
Other than current fallow-(left uncultivated for the past 1 to 5 agricultural years).
Net sown area: Area which is sown at least once in a year is called the net sown area.
Gross cropped area: Area sown more than once in an agricultural year plus the net sown area is known as gross cropped area.
Land Use Pattern in India
Land Use Pattern in India
The pattern of use of land depends upon physical and human factors.
Climate, topography, type of soil, etc. are considered as physical factors.
While population, technology, skill, population density, tradition, capability, etc. are considered as human factors.
India has a total of 3.28 million square kilometer land used data. But only 93% of land in the total geographical area is available. This is because land use data has not been collected for the northeastern states except Assam and the land occupied by Pakistan and China has not been surveyed because of many unavoidable reasons.
The land under permanent pasture is decreasing; this will create the problem for grazing.
The total net sown area (NSA) is not more than 54% including land other than fallow land.
Land other than fallow land is either of poor quality or too costly to cultivate, these lands are cultivated only once or twice in two or three consecutive years.
The pattern of the net sown area varies widely from state to state. Where a net sown area is 80% in a state like Punjab, it is only 10% in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Andaman, and Nicobar Island. Such a difference is creating a lot of discrimination.
According to the National Forest Policy (1952), the forest should be 33% of the total geographical area, which is essential to maintain ecological balance. But the forest area in India is far less than the desired measures. This is because of illegal deforestation and development which cannot be overlooked, such as the construction of roads and buildings, etc.
On the other hand, a large population that is dwelling at the edge of the forest depends upon the forest and its produce, resulting in the reduction of forest area.
Moreover, continuous use of land over a long period without taking measures to conserve and manage, degrade them. This has led to a serious problem for the environment.
Land Degradation and Conservation Measures
Land Degradation & Conservation
The land is limited but the demand is increasing every day.
The change in land use pattern shows the changes in society.
Land Degradation: It is the decline in the productive capacity of the land for some time or permanently.
Most of our basic needs (i.e. food, clothing & shelter) are obtained from the land.
But in the past few decades, the quality of land is degrading fiercely because of human activity.
Presently, about 130 million hectares of land are reported under degraded land in India.
Approximately, 28% of the land belongs to forest degraded areas.
56% is water eroded land area.
Rest degraded land is because of the over deposition of salinity and alkalinity.
Overgrazing, mining, deforestation, division of lands in a small area because of family disputes, etc. are some of the major causes of degradation of land.
In the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh along with mining, deforestation in these states have degraded the land very fast.
In the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra overgrazing is the major cause of land degradation.
In the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, over-irrigation causes water shortage and an increase in salinity and alkalinity due to waterlogging.
In Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, the land is degraded because of the flood.
The degradation of land creates many problems, such as floods, a decrease in yield, etc. which leads to a decrease in GDP and the country has to face economic problems.
Land Degradation & Conservation
Common causes of land degradation are:
Dumping of Chemical Wastes
Excessive use of Fertilizers
Bad Farming Techniques
Some of the measures to control land degradation are
Constructing retention walls in the mountain areas to stop landslides.
Land Reclamation (i.e. Proper management of wastelands)
Regulated use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides
Check on Overgrazing
Control of Mining Activities
By proper irrigation.
By proper harvesting.
Discharge of industrial waste and effluents only after proper treatment.
By preventing the deforestation.
Soil as a Resource
The uppermost or topmost layer of the earth’s crust is known as soil. It is the loose material consisting of organic and inorganic substances.
(Humus is a dark-colored stable form of organic matter that remains after most of plant or animals residues have decomposed).
Soil as a Resource
Soil is the most important renewable natural resource. It is the medium of plant growth and supports different types of living organisms on the earth.
It takes millions of years to form soil up to a few cms in depth. Various forces of nature such as a change in temperature, actions of running water, wind and glaciers, activities of decomposers, etc contribute to the formation of soil.
Parent rock or bedrock, climate, vegetation and other forms of life and time are important factors in the formation of soil.
Chemical and organic changes that take place in the soil play an important role.
Soil also consists of organic (humus) and inorganic materials.
Classification of Soils
Classification of Soil
Soil is categorized in many types on the basis of texture, color, age, chemical properties, etc. India is a vast country which comprises of many types of land. Thus, many types of soils are found in different regions in India.
The entire northern plains are made of alluvial soil.
The Alluvial Soil is deposited by 3 important Himalayan river systems – the Indus, the Ganga, and the Brahmaputra.
It is also found in Rajasthan, Gujarat and eastern coastal plains particularly in the deltas of the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna, and the Kaveri rivers.
The alluvial soil consists of various proportions of sand, silt, and clay. As we move inland towards the river valleys, soil particles appear to be bigger in size whereas, in the upper side of the river valley, the soils are coarse.
Based on age, Alluvial soils can be classified as:
Old Alluvial (Bangar): The Bangar soil has a higher concentration of Kanker nodules than the Khadar.
New Alluvial (Khadar): It has more fine particles and is more fertile than the Bangar.
Alluvial soils are very fertile. These soils contain an adequate proportion of potash, phosphoric acid, and lime, which are ideal for the growth of sugarcane, paddy, wheat, and other cereal and pulse crops.
The black soil is also called the Regur Soil or the Black Cotton Soil. Cotton grows best in this soil.
Black soil is formed from the weathering of the igneous rocks.
The black soil is mostly found in the Deccan Trap, covering large areas of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh. It is also found in some parts of Godavari and Krishna river valleys, covering parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
Black soil has a high concentration of fine particles and thus can hold moisture for a long time.
It contains calcium carbonate, potassium, magnesium, and lime.
This soil is poor in phosphoric contents.
Red & Yellow Soil
Red soil is derived from the weathering of the igneous and metamorphic rocks. It is found in the areas of low rainfall.
The red color is due to the high percentage of iron contents.
Red & Yellow soils are found in the parts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh Ganga plain and the Western Ghats. It is also found in the southern and eastern parts of the peninsular plateau.
The laterite soil develops under a tropical and subtropical climate with the alternate wet and dry season.
This soil is the result of intense leaching due to heavy rain.
Lateritic soils are acidic (pH<6.0) in nature and generally deficient in plant nutrients. This type of soil is found mostly in Southern states, Western Ghats region of Maharashtra, Odisha, some parts of West Bengal and North-east regions.
The soil supports deciduous and evergreen forests but humus poor.
This soil is very useful for growing tea and coffee.
Arid soil is found in those areas which receive scanty rainfall.
Due to the high temperatures, evaporation is faster in these regions.
The soil has a high content of salt. Arid soil can be made cultivable with proper treatment.
Arid soil is present in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The Forest soil is generally found on the hill slopes covered with forests.
This type of soil is found in the Himalayan region, the Western and Eastern Ghats and in some parts of Peninsular India.
Soil is loamy and silty in valley sides and coarse-grained in the upper slopes.
This soil is rich in humus but poor in potash, phosphorus, and lime.
This soil is especially suitable for producing plantation crops, such as tea, coffee.
Soil Erosion and Soil Conservation
SOIL EROSION AND SOIL CONSERVATION
The denudation of the soil cover and subsequent washing down is described as soil erosion. Or The removal of top soil is called soil erosion.
The running water cuts through the clayey soil and makes deep channels known as Gullies.
The land becomes unfit for cultivation and is known as Bad Land.
DEGRADATION OF SOIL
Soil erosion is the degradation of soil by human activities.
Following are the factors responsible for soil erosion: –
- Overuse of Chemical Fertilizers
- Natural Calamities (Flood, landslides, etc.)
CONSERVATION OF SOIL
Soil conservation means protection, preservation and proper utilization of the soil.
Some methods of soil conservation are: –
Mulching: Bare ground between plants is covered with a layer of organic matter like straw. It helps to retain soil moisture.
Contour Ploughing: Ploughing along contours can decrease the flow of water down the slopes.
Terrace Cultivation: Steps can be cut out on the slopes making terraces.
Strip Cropping: Strips of grass are grown between the crops. This breaks the force of the wind.
Shelter Belts: Rows of trees are planted to create shelter. Thus, the speed of the wind is reduced.
Rock Dam: Rocks are piled to slow the speed of the wind.
Contour Barriers: Stones, grass, soil are used to make barriers. Trenches are made in front of the barriers to collect water.
Afforestation, Crop Rotation, Control over Deforestation and Overgrazing, etc.
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