Download PDF Notes for this Topic
WHAT IS A RESOURCE?
- 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’.
- The process of transformation of things available in our environment involves an interdependent relationship between nature, technology and institutions. Human beings interact with nature through technology and create institutions to accelerate their economic development.
These resources can be classified in the following ways–
- On the basis of origin – biotic and abiotic
- On the basis of exhaustibility – renewable and non-renewable
- On the basis of ownership – individual, community, national and international
- On the basis of status of development – potential, developed stock and reserves
On the Basis of Origin
- Biotic Resources: These are obtained from the biosphere and have a life such as human beings, flora and fauna, fisheries, livestock etc.
- Abiotic Resources: All those things which are composed of non-living things are called abiotic resources. For example, rocks and metals.
On the Basis of Exhaustibility
- Renewable Resources: The resources which can be renewed or reproduced by physical, chemical or mechanical processes are known as renewable or replenishable resources. For example, solar and wind energy, water, forests and wildlife, etc.
- Non-Renewable Resources: These occur over a very long geological time. Minerals and fossil fuels are examples of such resources. These resources take millions of years in their formation.
On the Basis of Ownership
- Individual Resources: These are also owned privately by individuals. In villages, there are people with land ownership. Urban people own plots, houses and other property. Plantation, pasture lands, ponds, water in wells etc. are some of the examples of resources ownership by individuals.
- Community Owned Resources: There are resources which are accessible to all the members of the community. Village Commons (grazing grounds, burial grounds, village ponds, etc.) public parks, picnic spots, playgrounds in urban areas are de facto accessible to all the people living there.
- National Resources: Technically, all the resources belong to the nation. You might have seen roads, canals, railways being constructed on fields owned by some individuals.
- International Resources: There are international institutions which regulate some resources. The oceanic resources beyond 200 nautical miles of the Exclusive Economic Zone belong to open ocean and no individual country can utilise these without the concurrence of international institutions.
On the Basis of the Status of Development
- Potential Resources: Resources which are found in a region, but have not been utilised. For example, Rajasthan & Gujarat have untapped wind energy.
- Developed Resources: Resources which are surveyed and their quality and quantity have been determined for utilisation.
- Stock: Materials in the environment which have the potential to satisfy human needs but human beings do not have the appropriate technology to access these are included in stock. For example, water is a compound of two inflammable gases; hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used as a rich source of energy. But we do not have the required technical ‘know-how’ to use them for this purpose. Hence, it can be considered as stock.
- Reserves are the subset of the stock, which can be put into use with the help of existing technical ‘know-how’ but their use has not been started.
DEVELOPMENT OF RESOURCES
Resources are vital for human survival as well as for maintaining the quality of life. It was believed that resources are free gifts of nature. As a result, human beings used them indiscriminately and this has led to the following major problems.
- Depletion of resources for satisfying the greed of few individuals.
- Accumulation of resources in few hands, which, in turn, divided the society into two segments i.e. haves and have-nots or rich and poor.
- Indiscriminate exploitation of resources has led to global ecological crises such as global warming, ozone layer depletion, environmental pollution and land degradation.
A lot of resources have been depleted since the Industrial Revolution. Although late, now countries have started realising the importance of saving these resources and hence, various summits (eg. Earth Summit, Rio) have taken place leading to the formation of organisations that show concern for the environment and its resources.
- Planning is the widely accepted strategy for judicious use of resources.
- It has importance in a country like India, which has enormous diversity in the availability of resources.
- There are regions which are rich in certain types of resources but are deficient in some other resources.
- There are some regions which can be considered self-sufficient in terms of the availability of resources and there are some regions which have an acute shortage of some vital resources.
- For example:
- the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are rich in minerals and coal deposits.
- Arunachal Pradesh has an abundance of water resources but lacks in infrastructural development.
- The state of Rajasthan is very well endowed with solar and wind energy but lacks in water resources.
- The cold desert of Ladakh is relatively isolated from the rest of the country. It has very rich cultural heritage but it is deficient in water, infrastructure and some vital minerals.
- This calls for balanced resource planning at the national, state, regional and local levels.
- Resource planning is a complex process which involves :
- 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.
- Evolving a planning structure endowed with appropriate technology, skill and institutional set up for implementing resource development plans.
- Matching the resource development plans with overall national development plans.
Land Resources are used for the following purposes:
- Land not available for cultivation
- Barren and wasteland
- Land put to non-agricultural uses, e.g. buildings, roads, factories, etc.
- Other uncultivated lands (excluding fallow land)
- Permanent pastures and grazing land,
- Land under miscellaneous tree crops groves (not included in net sown area)
- Cultruable wasteland (left uncultivated for more than 5 agricultural years).
- Fallow lands
- 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
- Net sown area: Area sown more than once in an agricultural year plus net sown area is known as gross cropped area.
LAND USE PATTERN OF INDIA
- The use of land is determined both by physical factors such as topography, climate, soil types as well as human factors such as population density, technological capability, culture, traditions etc.
- Total Geographical Area of India: 3.28 million sq. km.
- Mining sites abandoned after full use (eg- Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand etc)
- Overgrazing (eg. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra etc)
- Over-irrigation (eg. Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh etc)
- Mineral Processing (like grinding of Limestone for Cement Industry & Calcite along with Soapstone for Ceramic Industry)
- Management of Grazing
- Shelter Belts for Plants
- Stabilisation of Sand Dunes by growing thorny bushes
- Management of Wastelands
- Control of Mining
- Checking Industrial Effluents (Treatment)
- Soil is a very important resource as it takes millions of years to form.
- It is formed by the process of change in temperature; actions of running water, wind & glaciers; activities of decomposers etc.
- Indian Classification of Soil:
- Alluvial Soil
- Black Soil (Regur)
- Red & Yellow Soil
- Laterite Soil
- Arid Soil
This classification is on the basis of Colour, Age, Texture, Factors for Soil formation, Thickness, Physical & Chemical Properties of Soil.