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Geography Chapter 1 Resources and Development – Notes

Resources and Development


All the useful substances of the environment that satisfy our basic needs, provided it is technologically accessible, economically feasible and culturally acceptable can be termed as ‘Resource’.

Classification of Resources 

(a) On the basis of origin

·         Biotic resources

·         Abiotic resources. 

(b) On the basis of exhaustibility,

·         Renewable resources

·         Non-renewable resources. 

 (c) On the basis of ownership,

·         Individual resources

·         Community-owned resources

·         National resources

·         International resources. 

(d) On the basis of status of development

·         Potential resources

·         Developed resources

·         Stocks

·         Reserves 

Natural resources

 A resource that is found in nature and can be used by people for economic gain is called Natural resource.

Earth’s natural resources include sunlight, air, water, plants, animals, soil, stone, minerals, fossil fuels, etc.

Man-made resources

 Resources which are created by humans by transforming and natural resources a celled Man-made resources.

Example: Bridges, buildings; roads; vehicles; machinery, equipment, etc.

Non-renewable resources

Resources that can be used one time only, can’t be reproduced or replenished, are called Non-renewable resources. 

Examples: fossil fuels, minerals like copper and iron ore.

Biotic resources

Biotic resources are obtained from the biosphere and have a life.

Example: Human beings, flora and fauna, fisheries, livestock, etc.

Abiotic resources

 All those things which are composed of non-living things are called abiotic resources, such as rocks, minerals, etc.

·         Potential resources

·         Developed resources

·         Stock

·         Reserves 

Renewable resources

Resources that can be reproduced by means of physical, chemical or mechanical processes are termed as Renewable resources.

Examples: solar energy and wind energy.

National resources: All the resources, which are present in the political boundary of any nation are termed as national resources. Political boundary is considered, up to 12 nautical miles in the ocean from the coast.

International resources: The resources that do not belong to any individual country are termed as international resources.

Potential resourcesResources that are available in a region, but have not been utilized are termed as potential resources.

Examples: Wind and solar energy in Rajasthan and Gujarat have not been fully utilized are under potential resources.

Developed resources:  Resources that are surveyed and their quantity and quality have been determined for utilization are called developed resource.

The development of resources depends on technology and level of their feasibility.

Stock: Materials present in the environment, which have the potential to satisfy human needs, but human beings do not have the appropriate technology to access these materials are called stock.

For example, water is a compound of two gases; hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen can be used as a rich source of energy. But we do not have technology to use it. Hence, it can be considered as stock.

Reserves: Resources, which are kept for future generation’s use are termed as reserves.

River water can be used for generating hydroelectric power but presently, it is being utilised only to a limited extent. Thus, the water in the dams, forests etc. is a reserve which can be used in the future.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development means that development should take place without harming the environment and development in the present should not compromise with needs of future generations.

Resource planning

Resource planning means widely accepted strategy for the judicious use of existing resources. Resource planning is the basic need of Sustainable development.

Resource planning is a complex process which involves:

(i)                  Identification and inventory of resources across the regions of the country. This involves surveying, mapping and qualitative and quantitative estimation and measurement of the resources.

(ii)                 Evolving a planning structure endowed with appropriate technology, skill and institutional set up for implementing resource development plans.

(iii)                Matching the resource development plans with overall national development plans.

Resource conservation

Resource conservation refers to the sustainable utilisation of natural resources, such as soil, water, plants, animals, and minerals. It also refers to the preservation of forests, watershed areas, etc.

Irrational consumption and over-utilisation of resources may lead to socio-economic and environmental problems. To overcome these problems, resource conservation at various levels is important.

Need For Conservation of Resources:-

• Save them for future use.

• To maintain ecological balance.

• Most of the resources are non-renewable, once they will get exhaust, can never be reused.

• The economic development of country depends totally on the availability and proper utilization of resources.

• In-appropriate utilization of resources can deplete the resource at fast rate that can led to problems in future use.

Land Resources

Land is a very important resources because-

• It supports natural vegetation.

• It supports wildlife & human life.

• It supports human economic activities and transport and communication system.

India has land under a variety of relief features:

• 43 % is plains which is important for agriculture & industries.

• 30 % is mountains. Which help to provide rivers system and also facilities for tourism and wildlife.

• 27 % is plateau region which is rich in minerals, fossils fuels & forest.

Land resources utilization

(1) Forests

(2) Land not available for cultivation

(a) Barren and waste land 

(b) Land put to non-agricultural uses, e.g. buildings, roads, factories, etc. 

(3) ​​Other uncultivated land (excluding fallow land)

(a) Permanent pastures and grazing land

(b) Land under miscellaneous tree crops groves (not included in net sown area)

(c) Culturable waste land (left uncultivated for more than 5 agricultural years).

Net sown area: Net sown area is the total area sown with crops and orchards.

Gross cropped area:  Area sown more than once in an agricultural year plus net sown area is known as gross cropped area.

Fallow land:  A land which is left without cultivation for one or less than one agricultural year in order to increase its fertility is known as the fallow land.

(a) Current fallow-(left without cultivation for one or less than one agricultural year is called current fallow land)

(b) Other than current fallow-(left uncultivated for the past 1 to 5 agricultural years are termed as Other than current fallow).

Land use Pattern in India

Land use depends upon the following factors :

• Physical factors: It includes topography, climate, soil.

• Human factors: Population density, Technological capability, Culture, Traditions etc.

• The total area of India is 3.28 million square km. Land use data accounts for only 93 % because for most of the northeast states land use reporting is not done.

• The net sown area differs greatly from one state to the other.

• In Punjab & Haryana it is over 80 % and in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Andaman and Nicobar island it is less than 10 %.

• Wasteland includes rocky arid and desert areas, land used for housing, roads, railways etc.

• According to National Forest Policy 33 % should be under forest cover but in India it is only 22 %.

Land Degradation & Conservation Measures

Land Degradation : It is a process through which land becomes unfit for cultivation.

Factors Responsible for Land Degradation:

• Mining: It is the most important factor for land degradation.

• The mining sites are abandoned after excavation work is over. The excavation work leaves deep scars and other material which degrades the soil. This is common in states like Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.

• Mineral processing, grinding of limestone, ceramic industry releases a heavy amount of dust, which later settles down in the surrounding areas.

• Overgrazing: Overgrazing of land by animals results in the removal of grass over a large area making it easy for wind and water to remove the soil. Example Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra etc.

• Water Logging: Over irrigation of land is also responsible for land degradation, water-logging, increases salinity and alkalinity in the soil making it unfit for cultivation.

• Industrialisation: Industrial waste also leads to water and land degradation.

Solutions For Land Degradation

• Afforestation should be encouraged.

• Proper management of grazing.

• Control over overgrazing.

• Planting of shelter belts of plants

• Stabilisation of sand dunes by growing thorny bushes.

• Proper management of wasteland.

• Control of mining activities.

• Proper discharge & disposal of industrial waste.

• Moisture conservation and weed control.


Soil is a living system which takes millions of years to form.

Formation of soil

Soil is the thin upper surface layer on the earth, comprising mineral particles formed by the breaking down of rocks, weathered mineral particles, decaying organic matter, living organisms, water and air.

Importance of Soil

• Soil is the medium in which plants grow. All living things depend directly or indirectly on soil for food.

• Agricultural production is basically dependent on the fertility of the soil.

• The rich deep fertile soils support a high density of population through agricultural prosperity.

Important factors of soil formation

• Parent Material: The source of the rock fragments that make up the soil is parent material which may
either be bedrock or loose sediments transported elsewhere by water wind or ice.

• Relief: The most important being the slope of land Steep slope encourages the swift flow of the water,
so steep slopes usually have a thin soil layer.

• Climate: Temperature and moisture (rainfall) are the climatic variables of greatest significance in soil

• Natural Vegetation: Vegetation of various kinds growing in soil performs a certain vital function.

• The decayed leaf material adds much-needed humus to soil thereby increasing its fertility.

• Roots hold the soil together and so prevent erosion.

Classification of Soil

Soil can be classified on the basis of colour, thickness texture & physical properties. Indian soil are classified as:

• Alluvial soil

• Black soil

• Red & Yellow soil

• Laterite soil

• Arid soil

• Forest soil.

Alluvial Soil

• Formation: Most of the soil are derived from the sediments deposited by rivers as in the Indo-Gangetic
plain. It consists of sand silt and clay.

• Features

• This is the most widespread soil in India.

• It is the most fertile soil.

• Due to high fertility, they are intensively cultivated and are densely populated.

• They are very fine-grained, rich in potash and phosphoric acid but deficient in nitrogen and humus.

• According to age alluvial soil is classified into :

• (A) Old alluvial or Bhangar

• (B) New Alluvial or Khadar


• The Khadar soil is found in low areas of valley

•  of soil and the soil is easily washed away by rains.

• Faulty Methods of Agriculture: Ploughing fields along the slope makes it easier for running water and wind to cause erosion.

Natural Factors

Natural factors are the force of wind, glaciers & water.
Running water causes erosion in the following ways:

• When deep cuts & channels are formed through the clayey soil gulleys are formed.

• When the land becomes unfit for cultivation it is called bad land.

• When water flows as a sheet over large areas down a slope, the soil is washed away, it is called sheet

• Wind causes erosion by blowing away the loose soil over flat or sloping land.

Steps that can be taken to improve soil erosion by farming :

• Ploughing should be done along contour lines. This will reduce the flow of water.

• Steps should be cut on the slopes to make terraces & restrict erosion.

• Field should be divided into strips & strips of grass should be left to grow between the crops. Such
strip cropping breaks the force of wind.

• Planting trees in a row as shelter belts. These shelter belts check the spread of desert.


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