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NCERT Summary: Mineral & Energy Resources - 2 Notes | Study Geography for UPSC CSE - UPSC

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Nuclear Energy Resources:  Nuclear energy as a viable source in recent times. Important minerals used for the generation of nuclear energy are uranium and thorium. Uranium deposits occur in the Dharwar rocks. Geographically, uranium ores are known to occur in several locations along the Singbhum Copper belt. It is also found in Udaipur, Alwar and Jhunjhunu districts of Rajasthan, Durg district of Chhattisgarh, Bhandara district of Maharashtra and Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. Thorium is mainly obtained from monazite and ilmenite in the beach sands along the coast of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. World’s richest monazite deposits occur in Palakkad and Kollam districts of Kerala, near Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Mahanadi river delta in Orissa.

Atomic Energy Commission was established in 1948, progress could be made only after the establishment of the Atomic Energy Institute at Trombay in 1954 which was renamed as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in 1967. The important nuclear power projects are Tarapur (Maharashtra), Rawatbhata near Kota (Rajasthan), Kalpakkam (Tamil Nadu), Narora (Uttar Pradesh), Kaiga (Karnataka) and Kakarapara (Gujarat).

Non-Conventional Energy Sources: Fossil fuel sources, such as coal, petroleum, natural gas and nuclear energy use exhaustible raw materials. Sustainable energy resources are only the renewable energy sources like solar, wind, hydro-geothermal and biomass. These energy sources are more equitably distributed and environmental friendly. The non-conventional energy sources will provide more sustained, ecofriendly cheaper energy after the initial cost is taken care of.

Solar Energy: Sun rays tapped in photovoltaic cells can be converted into energy, known as solar energy. The two effective processes considered to be very effective to tap solar energy are photovoltaics and solar thermal technology. Solar thermal technology has some relative advantages over all other non-renewable energy sources. It is cost competitive, environment friendly and easy to construct. Solar energy is 7 per cent more effective than coal or oil based plants and 10 per cent more effective than nuclear plants. It is generally used more in appliances like heaters, crop dryers, cookers, etc. The western part of India has greater potential for the development of solar energy in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Wind Energy: Wind energy is absolutely pollution free, inexhaustible source of energy. The mechanism of energy conversion from blowing wind is simple. The kinetic energy of wind, through turbines is converted into electrical energy. The  permanent wind systems such the trade winds, westerly’s and seasonal wind like monsoon have been used as source of energy. Besides these, local winds, land and sea breezes can also be used to produce electricity.

India, already has started generating wind energy. It has an ambitious programme to install 250 wind-driven turbines with a total capacity of 45 megawatts, spread over 12 suitable locations, specially in coastal areas. According to the estimation by Ministry of Power, India will be able to produce 3,000 megawatts of electric from this source. The Ministry of non-conventional sources of energy is developing wind energy in India to lessen the burden of oil import bill. The country’s potential of wind power generation exceeds 50,000 megawatts; of which one fourth can be easily harnessed. In Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka, favourable conditions for wind energy exist. Wind power plant at Lamba in Gujarat in Kachchh is the largest in Asia. Another, wind power plant is located at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.

Tidal and Wave Energy: Ocean currents are the store-house of infinite energy. Since the beginning of seventeenth and eighteenth century, persistent efforts were made to create a more efficient energy system from the ceaseless tidal waves and ocean current.

Large tidal waves are known to occur along the west coast of India. Hence, India has great potential for the development of tidal energy along the coasts but so far these have not yet been utilized.

In India, the Gulf of Kuchchh, provides ideal conditions for utilizing tidal energy. A 900 mw tidal energy power plant is set up here by the National Hydropower Corporation.

Geothermal Energy: When the magma from the interior of earth, comes out on the surface, tremendous heat is released. This heat energy can successfully be tapped and converted to electrical energy. Apart from this, the hot water that gushes out through the gyser well is also used in the generation of thermal energy. It is popularly known as Geothermal energy. This energy is now considered to be one of the key energy sources which can be developed as an alternate source. The hot springs and geysers are being used since medieval period.

The first successful (1890) attempt to tap the underground heat was made in the city of Boise, Idaho (U.S.A.), where a hot water pipe network was built to give heat to the surrounding buildings. This plant is still working.

Bio-energy: Bio-energy refers to energy derived from biological products which includes agricultural residues, municipal, industrial and other wastes. Establishment of iron and steel industry in Bhilai and Rourkela were based on decision to develop backward tribal areas of the country. At present, government of India provides lots of incentives to industries locating in backward area.


The iron and steel industry is basic to the industrial development of any country. The cotton textile Industry is one of our traditional industries. The sugar Industry is based on local raw materials which prospered even in the British period.

The Iron and Steel Industry: The development of the iron and steel industry opened the doors to rapid industrial  development in India. Almost all sectors of the Indian industry depend heavily on the iron and steel industry for their basic infrastructure.

The other raw materials besides iron ore and coking coal, essential for iron and steel industry are limestone, dolomite, manganese and fire clay. All these raw materials are gross (weight losing), therefore, the best location for the iron and steel plants is near the source of raw materials. In India, there is a crescent shaped region comprising parts of Chhattisgarh, Northern Orissa, Jharkhand and western West Bengal, which is extremely rich in high grade iron ore, good quality coking coal and other supplementing raw materials.

The Indian iron and steel industry consists of large integrated steel plants as well as mini steel mills. It also includes secondary producers, rolling mills and ancillary industries.


TISCO: The Tata Iron and Steel plant lies very close to the Mumbai-Kolkata railway line and about 240 km away from Kolkata, which is the nearest port for the export of steel. The rivers Subarnarekha and Kharkai provide water to the plant. The iron ore for the plant is obtained from Noamundi and Badam Pahar and coal is brought from Joda mines in Orissa. Coking coal comes from Jharia and West Bokaro coalfields.

IISCO: The Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO) set up its first factory at Hirapur and later on another at Kulti. In 1937, the Steel corporation of Bengal was constituted in association with IISCO and set up another iron and steel producing unit at Burnpur (West Bengal). All the three plants under IISCO are located very close to Damodar valley coal fields (Raniganj), Jharia, and Ramgarh. Iron ore comes from Singhbhum in Jharkhand. Water is obtained from the Barakar River, a tributary of the Damodar. All the plants are located along the Kolkata-Asansol railway line. Unfortunately, steel production from IISCO fell considerably in 1972-73 and the plants were taken over by the government.

Visvesvaraiya Iron and Steel Works Ltd. (VISL): The third integrated steel plant, the Visvesvaraiya Iron and Steel Works, initially called the Mysore Iron and Steel Works, is located close to an iron ore producing area of Kemangundi in the Bababudan hills. Limestone and manganese are also locally available. But this region has no coal. At the beginning, charcoal obtained by burning wood from nearby forests was used as fuel till 1951. Afterwards, electric furnaces were installed which use hydroelectricity from the Jog Falls-hydel power project. The Bhadravati river supplies water to the plant. This plant produces specialized steels and alloys.

After independence, during the Second Five Year Plan (1956-61), three new integrated steel plants were set up with foreign collaboration: Rourkela in Orissa, Bhilai in Chhattisgarh and Durgapur in West Bengal. These were public sector plants under Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL). In 1973, the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) was created to manage these plants.

Rourkela Steel Plant: The Rourkela Steel plant was set up in 1959 in the Sundargarh district of Orissa in collaboration with Germany. The plant was located on the basis of proximity to raw  materials, thus, minimizing the cost of transporting weight losing raw material. This plant has a unique locational advantage, as it receives coal from Jharia (Jharkhand) and iron ore from Sundargarh and Kendujhar. The Hirakud project supplies power for the electric furnaces and water is obtained from the Koel and Sankh rivers.

Bhilai Steel Plant: The Bhilai Steel Plant was established with Russian collaboration in Durg District of Chhattisgarh and started production in 1959. The iron ore comes from Dalli-Rajhara mine, coal comes from Korba and Kargali coal fields. The water comes from the Tanduladam and the power from the Korba Thermal Power Station. This plant also lies on the Kolkata-Mumbai railway route. The bulk of the steel produced goes to the Hindustan Shipyard at Vishakhapatnam.

Durgapur Steel Plant: Durgapur Steel Plant, in West Bengal, was set up in collaboration with the government of the United Kingdom and started production in 1962. This plant lies in Raniganj and Jharia coal belt and gets iron ore from Noamundi. Durgapur lies on the main Kolkata-Delhi railway route. Hydel power and water is obtained from the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).

Bokaro Steel Plant: This steel plant was set up in 1964 at Bokaro with Russian collaboration. This plant was set up on the principle of transportation cost minimization by creating Bokaro-Rourkela combine. It receives iron ore from the Rourkela region and the wagons on return take coal to Rourkela. Other raw materials come to Bokaro from within a radius of about 350 km. Water and Hydel power is supplied by the Damodar Valley Corporation.

Other Steel Plants: New steel plants which were set up in the Fourth Plan period are away from the main raw material sources. All the three plants are located in South India. The Vizag Steel Plant, in Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh is the first port based plant which started operating in 1992. Its port location is of advantage.

The Vijaynagar Steel Plant at Hospet in Karnataka was developed using indigenous technology. This uses local iron ore and limestone. The Salem Steel Plant in Tamil Nadu was commissioned in 1982. 

Apart from these major steel plants, there are more than 206 units located in different parts of country. Most of these use scrap iron as their main raw material, and process it in electric furnaces.

The Cotton Textile Industry
In 1854, the first modern cotton mill was established in Mumbai. This city had several advantages as a cotton textile manufacturing centre. It was very close to the cotton producing areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Raw cotton used to be brought to Mumbai port to be transported to England. Therefore, cotton was available in Mumbai city itself, Moreover, Mumbai even then was the financial centre and the capital needed to start an industry was available there. As a large town, providing employment opportunities attracted labour in large numbers. Hence, cheap and abundant labour too was available locally. The machinery required for a cotton textile mill could be directly imported from England. Subsequently, two more mills, the Shahpur Mill and the Calico Mill were established in Ahmedabad. By 1947, the number of mills in  India went up to 423 but the scenario changed after partition, and this industry suffered a major recession. This was due to the fact that the most of the good quality cotton growing areas had gone to West Pakistan and India was left with 409 mills and only 29 per cent of the cotton producing area.

After Independence, this industry gradually recovered and eventually flourished. In 1998, India had 1782 mills; of which, 192 mills were in the public sector and 151 mills in the cooperative sector. The largest number, that is, 1,439 mills were in the private sector.

The cotton textile industry in India can be broadly divided into two sectors, the organized sector and the decentralized sector. The decentralized sector includes cloth produced in handlooms (including Khadi) and power looms. The production of the organized sector has drastically fallen from 81 per cent in the mid-twentieth century to only about 6 per cent in 2000. At present, the power looms on the decentralized sector produce more than 59 per cent and the hand loom sector produces about 19 per cent of all cotton cloth produced in the country.

Cotton is a “pure” raw material which does not lose weight in the manufacturing process, so other factors, like, power to drive the looms, labour, capital or market may determine the location of the industry. At present the trend is to locate the industry at or close to markets, as it is the market that decides what kind of cloth is to be produced. Also the market for the finished produces is extremely variable, therefore, it becomes important to locate the mills close to the market.

After the first mills were set up in Mumbai and Ahmedabad in the second half of the nineteenth century, the cotton textile industry expanded very rapidly. The number of units increased dramatically. The Swadeshi movement gave a major impetus to the industry as there was a call for boycotting all British made goods in favour of Indian goods. After 1921, with the development of the railway network other cotton textile centres expanded rapidly. In southern India, mills were set up at Coimbatore, Madurai and Bangalore. In central India, Nagpur, Indore, Solapur and Vadodra became cotton textile centres. Cotton textile mills were set up at Kanpur based on local investment. Mills were also set up at Kolkata due to its port facilities. The development of hydroelectricity also favoured the location of the cotton textile mills away from the cotton producing areas. The rapid development of this industry in Tamil Nadu is the result of the abundant availability of hydel power for the mills. Lower labour costs at centres like Ujjain, Bharuch, Agra, Hathras, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli also caused industries to be located away from cotton producing areas.

Thus, the cotton textile industry is located in almost every state in India, where one or more of the locational factors have been favourable. The importance of raw materials has given way to market or to a cheaper local labour force or it may be the availability of power.

Presently, the major centres of the cotton textile industry are Ahmedabad, Bhiwandi, Solapur, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Indore and Ujjain. All these centres are the traditional centres and are located close to the cotton producing regions. Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are the leading cotton producing  states. West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Punjab are the other important cotton textile producers.

Tamil Nadu has the largest number of mills and most of them produce yarn rather than cloth. Coimbatore has emerged as the most important centre with nearly half the mills located there. Chennai, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Thanjavur, Ramanathapuram and Salem are the other important centres. In Karnataka, the cotton textile industry has developed in the cotton producing areas in the north-eastern part of the state. Davangere, Hubli, Bellary, Mysore and Bangalore are important centres. In Andhra Pradesh, the cotton textile industry is located in the cotton producing Telengana region, where most of the mills are spinning mills producing yarn. The important centres are Hyderabad, Secundrabad, Warangal and Guntur.

In Uttar Pradesh, Kanpur is the largest centre. Some of the other important centres are Modinagar, Hathras, Saharanpur, Agra and Lucknow. In West Bengal, the cotton mills are located in the Hugli region. Howrah, Serampur, Kolkata and Shyamnagar are the important centres. Production of cotton cloth increased almost five times from 1950-51 to 1999-2000. Cotton textile has been facing tough competition from synthetic cloth.

The document NCERT Summary: Mineral & Energy Resources - 2 Notes | Study Geography for UPSC CSE - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Geography for UPSC CSE.
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