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Classification of Resources


  • Biotic-Biosphere, Have Life, Flora, Fauna, Livestock Etc
  • Abiotic-Non-Living Things-Rocks, Metals Etc.NCERT Summary: Resources & Development | Geography for UPSC CSE


  • Renewable-Continuous or Flow and Biological. Can be renewable or reproduced by Physical, Chemical, and Mechanical-Solar, Wildlife, Wind, Water, Forests Etc
  • Non-Renewable-Take Millions of years for formation/ Cannot be recycled, Get Exhausted with their use,
    Example: Fossil Fuel, Metals can be recycled


  • Individual-Pasture Lands, Plantations Etc.
  • Community Owned-Accessible to all, Public Parks, Playground, etc
  • National-The country has the legal power to acquire even private property for the public good, Minerals, Water Resources, Land within Political Boundaries,
  • International-Regulated by International Institutions-
    Example: Oceanic Resources beyond 200 Nautical Miles of the Exclusive Economic Zones belong to Open Ocean and no individual country can utilize these without the concurrence of International Institutions.

Status of Development

  • Potential Resources, but have not been utilized
  • Developed Resources-surveyed and their quality and quantity have been determined for utilization.
  • Stock-environment which have the potential to satisfy human needs but human beings do not have the appropriate technology to access these. E.g-Hydrogen can be used as a rich source of energy. But we do not have advanced technical ‘know-how’ to use it for this purpose
  • Reserves-can be put into use with the help of existing technical ‘knowhow’ but their use has not been started-can be used for meeting future requirements. 
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Development of Resources

Major problems

  • Depletion of resources
  • Accumulation of resources
  • Indiscriminate exploitation of resources global ecological crises:
  • Global warming, ozone layer depletion, environmental pollution, and land degradation.

Sustainable Development

‘Development should take place without damaging the environment, and development in the present should not compromise with the needs of future generations.’

Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit 1992

  • Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
  • First International Earth Summit.
  • Endorsed the global Forest Principles and adopted Agenda 21 for achieving Sustainable Development in the 21st century


  • An agenda to combat environmental damage, poverty, disease through global co-operation on common interests, mutual needs, and shared responsibilities.
  • One major objective - every local government should draw its own local Agenda 21.

Resource Planning in India

Judicious Use of Resources

  • India-Enormous, Diversity in the availability of Resources

Complex Process

  • Identification and inventory of resources across the regions of the country
  • 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.

Resource Conservation

  • Club of Rome advocated resource conservation for the first time in a more systematic way in 1968
  • Resource conservation at the global level was made by the Brundtland Commission Report, 1987, which introduced the concept of ‘Sustainable Development, a book entitled Our Common Future

Land Resources

  • Supports natural vegetation, wildlife, human life, economic activities, transport and communication systems

Land Utilisation

 Land resources are used for the following purposes

  • Forests 
  • Land not available for cultivation Barren and wasteland (b) Land put to non-agricultural uses, e.g. buildings, roads, factories, etc. 
  • Other uncultivated lands (excluding fallow land) (a) Permanent pastures and grazing land, (b) Land under miscellaneous tree crops groves (not included in the net sown area), (c) Culturable wasteland (left uncultivated for more than 5 agricultural years).
  • Fallow lands (a) Current fallow-(left without cultivation for one or less than one agricultural year), (b) Other than current fallow-(left uncultivated for the past 1 to 5 agricultural years).
  • Net sown area sowed more than once in an agricultural year plus the net sown area is known as gross cropped area.

Land Degradation and Conservation Measures

  • Human activities such as deforestation, over-grazing, mining, and quarrying have contributed significantly to land degradation.
  • Mining, overgrazing, over-irrigation, industrial effluents as waste ways to solve the problems of land degradation.
  • Afforestation and proper management of grazing can help to some extent.
  • Planting shelter belts of plants, control overgrazing, stabilization of dunes by growing thorny bushes are some of the methods to check land degradation.
  • Proper management of wastelands, control of mining activities, proper discharge and disposal of industrial effluents and wastes after treatment can reduce land and water degradation in industrial and suburban areas.

Soil as a Resource

  • Soil also consists of organic (humus) and inorganic materials

Classification of Soils

Alluvial Soils

  • Most widely spread and important soil.
  • Entire northern plains.
  • Three important Himalayan river systems- the Indus, the Ganga, and the Brahmaputra.
  • Also, extend in Rajasthan and Gujarat
  • Found in the eastern coastal plains particularly in the deltas of the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna, and the Kaveri rivers.
  • Consists of various proportions of sand, silt, and clay.
  • More common in piedmont plains such as Duars, Cho's, and Terai.
  • According to their age alluvial soils can be classified as old alluvial (Bangar) and new alluvial (Khadar).
  • The Bangar soil has a higher concentration of Kanker nodules than the Khadar.
  • Khadar has more fine particles and is more fertile than the bangar.
  • Very fertile
  • The adequate proportion of potash, phosphoric acid, and lime
  • Ideal for the growth of sugarcane, paddy, wheat, and other cereal and pulse crops.
  • Intensively cultivated and densely populated.

Black Soil

  • Also known as regur soils.
  • Ideal for growing cotton and is also known as black cotton soil.
  • Climatic conditions along with the parent rock material are the important factors for the formation of black soil.
  • Soil is typical of the Deccan trap (Basalt) region spread over the northwest Deccan plateau and is made up of lava flows.
  • Cover the plateaus of Maharashtra, Saurashtra, Malwa, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh and extend in the southeast direction along the Godavari and the Krishna valleys.
  • Made up of extremely fine i.e. clayey material.
  • capacity to hold moisture.
  • Rich in soil nutrients, such as calcium carbonate, magnesium, potash, and lime.
  • Poor in phosphoric contents
  • Develop deep cracks during hot weather. 
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Red and Yellow Soils

  • Develops on crystalline igneous rocks
  • Areas of low rainfall in the eastern and southern parts of the Deccan plateau.
  • Found also in parts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, southern parts of the middle Ganga plain, and along the piedmont zone of the Western Ghats.
  • Develop a reddish colour due to the diffusion of iron in crystalline and metamorphic rocks. It looks yellow when it occurs in a hydrated form.

Laterite Soil

  • Means brick
  • Develops in areas with high temperatures and heavy rainfall.
  • Result of intense leaching due to heavy rain
  • Humus content is low because most of the micro-organisms, particularly the decomposers, like bacteria, get destroyed due to high temperature.
  • Suitable for cultivation with adequate doses of manures and fertilizers.
  • Found in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and the hilly areas of Odisha and Assam.
  • Very useful for growing tea and coffee.
  • Red laterite soils in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala are more suitable for crops like cashew nuts.

 Arid Soils

  • Range from red to brown in colour
  • Generally sandy in texture and saline in nature
  • The salt content is very high
  • Lacks humus and moisture
  • Dry climate, high temperature, evaporation is faster
  • The lower horizons of the soil are occupied by Kankar because of the increasing calcium content downwards. The Kankar layer formations in the bottom horizons restrict the infiltration of water.
  • After proper irrigation, these soils become cultivable as has been in the case
    of western Rajasthan.

Forest Soil

  • Found in the hilly and mountainous areas where sufficient rain forests are available.
  • The texture varies according to the mountain environment
  • Loamy and silty in valley sides and coarse-grained in the upper slopes
  • Snow-covered areas of Himalayas-soils experience denudation and are acidic with low humus content
  • Soils found in the lower parts of the valleys particularly on the river terraces and alluvial fans are fertile.

Soil Erosion

  • The denudation of the soil cover and subsequent washing down. The running water cuts through the clayey soils and makes deep channels as gullies. The land becomes unfit for cultivation and is known as bad land. In the Chambal basin, such lands are called ravines.

 Contour ploughing

  • Ploughing along the contour lines can decelerate the flow of water down the slopes.
  • Terrace farming:
  • Terrace cultivation restricts erosion. Western and central Himalayas have well-developed terrace farming.

 Strip cropping

  • Large fields can be divided into strips.
  • Strips of grass are left to grow between the crops. This breaks up the force of the wind.


  • Planting lines of trees to create shelter also works similarly.
  • These shelter belts have contributed significantly to the stabilization of dunes and in stabilizing the desert in western India.

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NCERT Summary: Resources & Development | Geography for UPSC CSE

The document NCERT Summary: Resources & Development | Geography for UPSC CSE is a part of the UPSC Course Geography for UPSC CSE.
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FAQs on NCERT Summary: Resources & Development - Geography for UPSC CSE

1. What are the different classifications of resources?
Ans. Resources can be classified into three categories: natural resources, human-made resources, and human resources. Natural resources include air, water, soil, minerals, forests, wildlife, etc. Human-made resources include infrastructure, industries, buildings, roads, etc. Human resources refer to the population and their skills, abilities, and knowledge.
2. How does sustainable development contribute to resource conservation?
Ans. Sustainable development aims to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It promotes the conservation and efficient use of resources to ensure their availability in the long run. By adopting sustainable practices, such as renewable energy sources, recycling, and responsible consumption, we can conserve resources and protect the environment.
3. What is resource planning in India?
Ans. Resource planning in India is the process of assessing the available resources in the country and formulating strategies to utilize them effectively and sustainably. It involves the identification of resources, their quantification, allocation, and development. Resource planning aims to minimize wastage, promote equitable distribution, and ensure the sustainable utilization of resources for the country's economic and social development.
4. How does land degradation occur, and what are the conservation measures?
Ans. Land degradation occurs due to various factors like deforestation, overgrazing, mining, urbanization, and improper farming practices. It leads to the loss of fertile soil, erosion, desertification, and reduced biodiversity. Conservation measures include afforestation, soil erosion control, terrace farming, contour plowing, crop rotation, and the use of organic fertilizers. These measures aim to prevent land degradation, restore degraded land, and promote sustainable land use practices.
5. What are the different classifications of soils?
Ans. Soils are classified based on their fertility, texture, and composition. The main classifications of soils are sandy soil, clayey soil, loamy soil, and peaty soil. Sandy soil has larger particles and poor water-holding capacity. Clayey soil has fine particles and can retain water but is prone to waterlogging. Loamy soil is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay, making it fertile and suitable for most crops. Peaty soil is rich in organic matter but has poor drainage.
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