• Everything available in our environment that can be used to satisfy our needs, are known as resources. It should be technologically accessible, Economically feasible and culturally acceptable. Only then, it can be termed as a ‘Resource’. For examples: minerals, forests, fossil fuels, etc.
Classification of Resources
• On basis of origin: Biotic and Abiotic.
1. Biotic Resources are obtained from biosphere. They have life or are Living resources, e.g., human beings, fisheries, forests, etc.
2. Abiotic Resources include all non-living things, e.g., rocks & minerals.
• On basis of exhaustibility: Renewable and Nonrenewable.
1. Renewable Resources: The resources which can be renewed or reproduced by physical, chemical & Mechanical processes are called renewable or replenishable resources, e.g., Water, wildlife, forests, solar energy, wind energy, etc.
2. Non-renewable Resources: The resources which once get exhausted, cannot be renewed. They take a long Geological period of time, i.e., millions of years in their formation, e.g., Minerals, etc
• On basis of ownership:
1. Individual resources: Owned by individuals, e.g., own land, house;
2. Community Owned Resources: Resources that are accessible to all members of community, e.g., parks, playgrounds;
3. National Resources: Resources that belong to nation, e.g., roads, railways;
4. International resources: Resources that no individual country can utilize e.g oceanic water beyond 200 km.
• On basis of status and development: Potential, Developed, Reserve & Stock.
1. Potential resources: Resources found in a region but not in use, e.g., Solar energy in Rajasthan, Wind in Gujarat
2. Stock: Resources available, but unavailability of appropriate technology to Access, e.g., lack of technical knowledge how to use hydrogen and oxygen as a Source of energy.
3. Reserve: Subset of stock. Can be used for future needs, e.g., water in Dams, and forest resources.
• Sustainable Development: Sustainable economic development means that ‘development should take place without damaging environment and development in present should not compromise with needs of future generation’.
• Plains acquire 43% land, Mountains acquire 30% land and Plateaus acquire 27% land under important relief features in India.
• Planning is widely accepted strategy for judicious use of resources.
• India has enormous diversity in availability of resources.
• There are regions which are rich in certain types of resources but are deficient in some other resources, some regions can be considered self-sufficient in terms of availability of resources and some regions have shortage of some vital resources.
• The states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are rich in minerals and coal deposits.
• Arunachal Pradesh has abundance of water resources, but it lacks in infrastructural development.
• The state of Rajasthan is very rich in solar and wind energy, but it lacks in water resources. The cold desert of Ladakh has very rich cultural heritage, but it is deficient in water, infrastructure and some vital minerals.
• This difference in resources calls for balanced resource planning at national, state, regional & local levels.
Resource Planning in India
• Resource planning involves:
1. Identification and inventory of resources across regions of country. This involves surveying, mapping & qualitative and quantitative estimation and measurement of resources.
2. Evolving a planning structure endowed with appropriate technology, skill & institutional set up for implementing resource development plans.
3. Matching resource development plans with overall national development plans.
• For achieving goals of resource planning right from First Five-Year Plan launched after Independence, India has made concerted efforts.
• There are many regions in India that are rich in resources but are included in economically backward regions. On other hand, there are some regions which have a poor resource base but are economically developed.
• It is proved from history of colonisation that rich resources in colonies were main attractions for foreign invaders.
Conservation of Resources
• Resources are vital for any developmental activity, but irrational consumption and over-utilisation of resources may lead to socio-economic and environmental problems.
• Resource conservation at various levels is important to overcome these problems.
• Gandhiji said: ‘There is enough for everybody’s need and not for anybody’s greed.’
• He was against mass production and wanted to replace it with production by masses.
Land use Pattern in India
• Total geographical area of India is 3.28 million sq. km.
• Land use data, however is available only for 93% of total area because land use reporting for most of North-East States except Assam has not been done fully.
• Some areas of Jammu and Kashmir occupied by Pakistan and China have not been surveyed.
• The land under permanent pasture has decreased.
• Fallow land – left without cultivation for one or less than one agricultural year.
• Net sown area-total area sown in an agricultural year. – More net sown area in Punjab and Haryana less net sown area in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur & Andaman Nicobar Islands.
• Land Degradation
1. Continuous use of land over a long period of time without taking appropriate measures to conserve and manage it.
2. Measures to solve problem of land degradation: Afforestation, proper management of grazing to control overgrazing, planting of shelter belts of plants, stabilization of sand dunes by growing thorny bushes, Control of mining activities, avoiding over-irrigation and overuse of fertilizers and pesticides.
Classification of Soils
• Alluvial soils: Entire northern plains are made of alluvial soil. Also found in eastern coastal plains particularly in deltas of Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna & Kaveri rivers.
1. Classification based on age: These can be classified as old Alluvial (Bhangar) and New Alluvial (Khadar).
2. Chemical components: Rich in potash, phosphoric acid and lime.
3. Important crops: Sugarcane, paddy, wheat & other cereal and pulse crops.
• Black soil: Black in colour and are called regur soils. Ideal for Growing cotton and is called black cotton soil. It is made up of lava flows. It is found in Plateaus of Maharashtra, Saurashtra, Malwa, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and along Godavari and Krishna valleys. Wellknown for their capacity to hold moisture. Rich in calcium carbonate, magnesium, potash & lime.
• Red and yellow soils: Found in areas of low rainfall in eastern and southern parts of Deccan plateau. Also found in parts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, southern parts of middle Ganga plain and along Piedmont zone of Western Ghats. Develop a reddish colour due to diffusion of iron in crystalline and metamorphic rocks.
• Laterite soils:Develops in areas with high temperature and heavy rainfall. Found in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and hilly areas of Odisha and North-East regions. Suitable for cultivation with adequate doses of manures and fertilizers. Low Humus content because decomposers, like bacteria, get destroyed due to high temperature.
• Arid soils: Found in western parts of Rajasthan. After proper irrigation these soils become cultivable. Lacks humus and moisture because dry climate, and high temperatures make evaporation faster. Salt Content is very high and common salt is obtained by evaporating water.
• Forest soils: Found in hilly and mountainous areas where sufficient rain forests are available. Its features differs based on location like Loamy and Silty in valley sides and coarse grained on upper slopes. Silt in lower parts of valleys particularly on river terraces and alluvial fans are fertile.
Soil Erosion and Soil Conservation
• The denudation of soil cover and subsequent washing down is described as soil erosion.
• The processes of soil formation and erosion, go on simultaneously and usually there is a balance between two.
• Sometimes this balance is disturbed due to certain human activities. The running water cuts through clayey soils and makes deep channels as gullies. The land becomes unfit for cultivation and is called bad land.
• Sometimes water flows as a sheet over large areas down a slope. In such cases top soil is washed away. This is called sheet erosion.
• Soil erosion is caused due to defective methods of farming.
• Terrace cultivation restricts erosion. Strip cropping and shelter belts are used for same process.