Resources and Development I Notes

Resources and Development I Notes

Resources and Development


Natural Resources and their Classification


Resources are an indispensable part of human development. Everything which is available in our environment and which can be technologically and economically exploited for satisfying human wants are known as resources.
Classification of Resources
Resources can be classified on the basis of

  • Origin:
    • Biotic and abiotic
      Biotic resources: These resources are obtained from nature and have life. Examples: Humans, forests, fisheries, livestock
      Abiotic resources: These resources are obtained from nature but are made of non-living things. Examples: Metals, air, soil
  • Exhaustibility:
    • Renewable and nonrenewable
      Renewable resources: These resources are available in plenty in nature and can be replenished. Examples: Sunlight, wind, water
      Non-renewable resources: These resources are present in nature and are formed after millions of years. They can be exhausted or depleted after a particular period of time. Examples: Coal, petroleum
  • Ownership:
    • Individual, community-owned national and international resources
      Individual resources are owned privately by a person such as farmlands and houses.
      Community resources are owned by a community and are accessible to the members of that community such as grazing lands and burial grounds.
      National resources belong to a nation. Examples: Water resources, forests, minerals
      International resources are regulated by international laws and regulations. Example: Oceanic resources beyond 200 nautical miles of the Exclusive Economic Zone\
  • Status of Development
    • Potential resources, developed resources, stock and reserves
      Potential resources: These resources are available in the region but are not fully used such as wind energy and solar energy.
      Developed resources: These resources are surveyed and their quantity and quality are known. Examples: Coal mines, oil wells
      Stock: These resources can satisfy human needs but humans do not have the required technology to access and harness them. Examples: Geothermal power, hydrogen fuel
      Reserves: The use of such resources has not been fully started and they are used only up to a limited extent.

Resources are often centred in a few hands. This has led to a wide gap between the rich and the poor. Indiscriminate use of resources has resulted in its depletion and global ecological crises.

Resource Planning in India


Resource planning in India involves the following processes:

  • To identify and make a list of existing resources across the country by surveying and mapping
  • To frame a planning structure with the estimates of the level of technology, skill sets and institutions which are required for harnessing these resources
  • To map the resource development plans with the national development plans

Land Resource


Land is one of the most important natural resources as we perform our economic activities on land. Land
is used for the following purposes:

  • Forests
  • Other uncultivated lands which include lands under pastures, grazing, trees, crops
  • Fallow lands(lands left without cultivation for one year and more)
  • Net sown area and gross cropped area
  • Land not available under cultivation (barren, waste land used for build ing roads and houses)

Land Use Pattern in India

The forest cover of the country is less than the prescribed 33% of the total country’s land. Forests occupy about 23.81% of the total land surface in India.
The total net sown area of India is 46.24% of the total land in the country. The net sown area differs from state to state. While in Punjab and Haryana, the net sown area is more than 80% of the total land in the state, it is less than 10% in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 3.38% of the total land is used for grazing, while the remaining lands are fallow and waste lands.

Reasons for the Degradation of Land in India

  1. Deforestation
  2. Mining
  3. Erosion of land because of flooding
  4. Overgrazing
  5. Industrial effluents
  6. Excess irrigation of lands

Mining and deforestation have deteriorated the quality of land in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha. Overgrazing is one of the main reasons for the land degradation in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. In Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, excess irrigation has resulted in water logging leading to increased soil salinity. In major metropolitan cities, industrial effluents have degraded the land.

Methods to Conserve Land

  1. Afforestation
  2. Proper management of grazing and wastelands
  3. Control on unrestricted mining
  4. Proper treatment of industrial effluents

Soil Resource


Soil is a renewable natural resource. It supports various living organisms and is a medium of plant growth. Topsoil is the uppermost layer of the Earth. It consists of humus. Factors such as variation of temperature, parent rock, decomposers and running water affect the formation of soil. Soil in India can be classified based on their texture, thickness, age, chemical and physical properties.

Classification of Soils

Alluvial Soil: It is the most widely spread soil in India. It has been deposited by three Himalayan river systems—Ganga, Indus and Brahmaputra. Alluvial soil is composed of sand, silt and clay particles. The entire North Indian Plains are made of this soil. It is also found in the eastern coastal plains and some parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The soil is suitable for the cultivation of paddy, wheat, sugarcane and other cereal and pulse crops.

On the basis of age, soil can be classified as bangar and khadar soils.

Differences between bangar and khadar soils

Bangar Soil Khadar Soil
It is an old alluvial soil. It is a new alluvial soil
It has higher concentration of kankar nodules. It has less cconcentration of kankar nodules.
It is comparatively less fertile. It is more fertile.

Black Soil:

  • This soil is black and is also known as regur. Because the soil is ideal for growing cotton, it is also known as black cotton soil.
  • This soil is found in the plateau regions of Saurashtra, Maharashtra, Malwa and Chhattisgarh. The soil is made of fine clayey material and is known for holding moisture.
  • The soil is rich in calcium carbonate, magnesium and potash. It is most suitable for growing cotton.

Red and Yellow Soils:

  • These soils are found in parts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, southern parts of middle Gangetic plains and some parts of Western Ghats.
  • The soil becomes reddish because of the presence of iron oxides. It looks yellow in a hydrated form. Potatoes, maize and cotton are crops which are grown in red soil. Vegetables, tobacco and citrus fruits such as grapes are grown in yellow soil.

Laterite Soil:

  • This soil is found in areas of high temperature and heavy rainfall. This soil has low humus content as most of microorganisms get destroyed because of high temperature.
  • This soil is found in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and hilly regions of Assam.
  • This soil is suitable for growing tea and coffee. Cashew nuts are grown in red laterite soils of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

Arid Soils:

  • These soils are sandy in texture and saline in nature. They are found in areas of high temperature and dry climate.
  • Because of dry climate, the moisture and humus content of the soil is very low. In some areas, common salt is obtained by evaporating the water from the soil.
  • These soils are not fertile but can become fertile after adequate irrigation of the soil.
  • The arid soil is found in Rajasthan and in the northwestern parts of Gujarat.

Forest Soil:

  • This soil is found in the hilly and mountainous regions. It is made of sand and silt. In the snow regions of the Himalayas, the soil lacks humus content because of the loss of top cover of the soil.
  • The forest soil found in the lower parts of the Himalayas is fertile.

Soil Erosion

The wearing away (because of the action of winds) and washing down of soil cover (because of running water) is known as soil erosion. Because the processes of erosion and soil formation occur simultaneously, there is a balance between the two. However, overgrazing and deforestation at a rapid pace can disturb this balance.

Different kinds of erosions are

  • Gully Erosion: This occurs when running water cuts through the soil making deep channels. The land thus becomes unsuitable for cultivation and is known as bad land.
  • Sheet Erosion: The washing away of the topsoil because of the flowing of water as a sheet over large areas is known as sheet erosion.
  • Wind Erosion: When the wind blows away the topsoil, it is known as wind erosion.

Soil Conservation

Soil can be conserved in the following ways:

  • Contour Ploughing: When one ploughs along the contour lines, it is called contour ploughing. It decreases the flow of water down the slopes and thus helps in soil conservation.
    Contour Ploughing
  • Terrace Farming: When steps are cut out on the slopes of the hills making terraces, it reduces soil erosion.
  • Strip Cropping: When strips of grass are grown between the strips of crops, it is known as strip cropping. It breaks down the speed of winds.
  • Shelter Belts: When trees are planted in a row, it breaks the force of winds. This method has proved very useful in destabilising the sand dunes in the deserts of western India.