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

These resources can be classified in the following ways

  • On The Basic of Origin.
  • Biotic    b)Abiotic
  • On the Basic of Exhaustibility.
  • Renewable     b)Non- Renewable
  •  On The Basic of Ownership
  • Individual , b) Community ,c) National ,d)International
  • On  The Basic of Status Of Development

a) Potential, b) Developed, c) Reserve, d)Stock

1.1 classification of resource

Type Of Resource

On the Basic Of Origin

Biotic Resource:  These are obtained from biosphere and have life such as human beings, flora and fauna, fisheries, livestock etc.

Abiotic Resource: 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.

Community Owned Resource: 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: Legally, all the resources belong to the nation. The country has legal powers to acquire even private property for public good.All the minerals, water resources, forests, wildlife, land within the political boundaries and oceanic area up to 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from the coast termed as territorial water and resources therein belong to the nation.

International Resources: Some resources are owned and regulated by international institutions .The oceanic resource beyond 200 nautical miles  of exclusive Economic zone belong to open oceans and no individual  country  can utilize these without the concurrence of international institutions.

Do you know that India has got the right to mine manganese nodules from the bed of the Indian Ocean from that area which lies beyond the exclusive economic  zone. Identify some other resources which are international in nature.

On the Basis of the Status of Development

Potential Resources: Resources which are found in a region, but have not been utilized. For example, the western parts of India particularly Rajasthan and Gujarat have enormous potential for the development of wind and solar energy, but so far these have not been developed properly.

Developed Resources: The resource which are surveyed and their quality and quantity have been determined for utilization .They are also known as actual resources. The development on technology and levels of their feasibility.

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 among 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 advanced technical ‘know-how’ to use it 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. These can be used for meeting future requirements. River water can be used for generating hydroelectric power but presently, it is being utilized only to a limited extent. Thus, the water in the dams, forests etc. is a reserve which can be used in the future.


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 a few individuals
  • Accumulation of resources in few hands, which, in turn, divided the society into two segments i.e. haves and have not’s  or rich and poor.
  • Indiscriminate utilization of resource had led to the global ecological crisis such as, global warming, ozone layer depletion, environmental pollution and land degradation.

Sustainable development

Sustainable economic development means ‘development should take place without damaging the environment, and development in the present should not compromise with the needs of the future generations

Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, 1992

In June 1992, more than 100 heads of states met in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, for the first International Earth Summit. The Summit was convened for addressing urgent problems of environmental protection and socioeconomic development at the global level. The assembled leaders signed the Declaration on Global Climatic Change and Biological Diversity. The Rio Convention endorsed the global Forest Principles and adopted Agenda 21 for achieving Sustainable Development in the 21st century.

Agenda 21

 It is the declaration signed by world leaders in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which took place at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It aims at achieving global sustainable development. It is an agenda to combat environmental damage, poverty, disease through global co-operation on common interests, mutual needs and shared responsibilities. One major objective of the Agenda 21 is that every local government should draw its own local Agenda 21.

Resource planning

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 some regions which can be considered self sufficient in terms of the availability of resources and there are some regions which have 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 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 in India

Resource planning is a complex process which involves there stages:

  1. 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.
  2. The second stage examines resource from the point of view of technology, economic, and need.
  3. The third stage match overall national development plans with the resource development plans.

India has made concerted efforts for achieving the goals of resource planning right from the First Five Year Plan launched after Independence The availability of resources is a necessary condition for the development of any region. But development of a region depends on the availability in that particular regions but mere availability of resource in the Absence of corresponding change in technology and institutions may hinder the development.

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. To overcome these problems, resource conservation at various levels is important. This had been the main concern of the leaders and thinkers in the past. For example, Gandhiji was very apt in voicing his concern about resource conservation in these words: “There is enough for everybody’s need and not for any body’s greed.” He placed the greedy and selfish individuals and exploitative nature of modern technology as the root cause for resource depletion at the global level. He was against mass production and wanted to replace it with the production by the masses.

At the international level, the Club of Rome advocated resource conservation for the first time in a more systematic way in 1968. Subsequently, in 1974, Gandhian philosophy was once again presented by Schumacher in his book Small is Beautiful. The seminal contribution with respect to resource conservation at the global level was made by the Brundtland Commission Report, 1987. This report introduced the concept of ‘Sustainable Development’ and advocated it as a means for resource conservation, which was subsequently published in a book entitled Our Common Future. Another significant contribution was made at the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992


We live on land, we perform our economic activities on land and we use it in different ways. Thus, land is a natural resource of utmost importance. It supports natural vegetation, wild life, human life, economic activities, transport and communication systems.

India has land under a variety of relief features, namely; mountains, plateaus, plains and islands. About 43 per cent of the land area is plain, which provides facilities for agriculture and industry. Mountains account for 30 per cent of the total surface area of the country and ensure perennial flow of some rivers, provide facilities for tourism and ecological aspects. About  27 per cent of the area of the country is  the plateau region. It possesses rich reserves of minerals, fossil fuels and forests.

Fig: INDIA : Land under important Relief Features


Land resources are used for the following purposes:

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

4. 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).

5. Net sown area:

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


The Land use is determined by both physical factor and human factor 

  • Physical factor such as topography, climate, soil type,
  • Human factors such as population density, technological capability, and cultural traditions, etc.


Degradation of land is also caused by over grazing and deforestation. Surface mining also leads to degradation of land .mining sites are abandoned after excavation work is complete leaving deep scars and over burden.

Land degradation can be solved with the help of certain ways.

  1. Afforestation
  2. Proper management of grazing belts of plants
  3. Planting of shelter  belts of plants
  4. Control on over grazing
  5. Stabilization of sand dunes to check land degradation
  6. Proper Management of wastelands
  7. Control of Mining activities
  8. Proper discharge and disposal of industrial effluents and wastes after treatment.


Soil is the most important renewable natural resource. It is the medium of plant growth and support different types of living organisms on the earth. .The soil is a living System. It takes millions of years to form soil up to a few centimeters in depth.

              Chemical and organic changes which take place in the soil are equally important. Soil also consists of organic (humus) and inorganic material.


India is a large having a variety of relief features, such as landforms, climatic realms and vegetation types.

Indian soils are classified into the following types:

Alluvial Soils.                              Black soils.

Red & yellow soils.                     Laterite  soils.

Arid Soils.                                   Forest soils

Alluvial soil

  1. Alluvial Soils are Found over a large Parts of the country.
  2. The Entire northern plains are made of alluvial soil .
  3. The Alluvial Soil is deposited by 3 important Himalayan river systems      The Indus, the Ganga and the Brahamputra.
  4. Alluvial soil is also found In the Rajasthan and Gujarat through a narrow corridor and it is also found in the eastern coastal plains particularly in the deltas of the Godavari, the Krishna, And The Kaveri river.
  5. The alluvial soil consists of various Proportions of Sand,Silt, and Clay. As we move inlands towards the river valleys, soil particles appear somewhat bigger in size. In the upper reaches of the river valley i.e. near the place of the break of slope, the soils are coarse.
  6. Alluvial soils are very fertile. Mostly these soils contain adequate proportion of potash, phosphoric acid and lime which are ideal for the growth of sugarcane, paddy, wheat and other cereal and pulse crops.
  7. Based on age, alluvial soil can be classified as:
  8. old alluvial  (Bangar)
  9. new alluvial  (Khadar)

       Bangar: The bangar soil has higher concentration of kanker nodules than the Khadar.

       Khadar :  It has more fine particles and is more fertile than the bangar.


  1. These soils are black in colour and are also known as regur soils. Black soil is ideal for growing cotton and is also known as black cotton soil.
  2. Climatic condition along with the parent  rock material are the important factors for the formation of black soil.
  3. The black soils are made up of extremely fine i.e. clayey material. They are well-known for their capacity to hold moisture.
  4. Black Soil cover the plateaus of Maharashtra, Saurashtra, Malwa, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and extend in the south east direction along the Godavari and the Krishna valleys.
  5. Black Soil are rich in soil nutrients, such as calcium carbonate, magnesium, potash and lime.
  6. These soils are sticky when wet and difficult to work on unless tilled immediately after the first shower or during the pre-monsoon period.


  1. Red soil develops on crystalline igneous rocks in areas of low rainfall in the eastern and southern parts of the Deccan plateau.
  2. These soils develop a reddish colour due to diffusion of iron in crystalline and metamorphic rocks. It looks yellow when it occurs in a hydrated form.
  3. Yellow and red soils are also found in parts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, southern parts of the middle Ganga plain and along the piedmont zone of the Western Ghats.

Laterite Soil

  1. Laterite has been derived from the Latin word “later” which means brick . The laterite soil develops under tropical and subtropical climate with alternate wet and dry season.
  2. This soil is the result of intense leaching due to heavy rain.
  3. these soils support deciduous and evergreen forests but  humus poor
  4. this soil is very useful for growing tea and coffee.
  5. Lateritic soils are mostly deep to very deep, acidic (pH<6.0), generally deficient in plant nutrients and occur mostly in southern states, Western Ghats region of Maharashtra, Odisha, some parts of West Bengal and North-east regions.

Arid Soils

  1. Arid soils range from red to brown in colour.
  2. 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.
  3. They are generally sandy in texture and saline in nature.  In some areas the salt content is very high and common salt is obtained by evaporating the water.

Forest Soils

  1. These Soils are found in the Hilly and Mountainous areas.
  2. They are loamy and silty in valley sides and coarse grained in the upper slopes.
  3. In the snow covered areasof Himalayas, these soils experience denudation and are acidic with low humus content.

Soil Erosion and Soil Conservation

The Denudation of the soil cover and subsequent washing down is described as soil erosion. The processes of soil formation and erosion, go on simultaneously and generally there is a balance between the two. Sometimes, This balance is disturbed due to human activities like deforestation, over-grazing, construction and mining etc., while natural forces like wind, glacier and water lead to soil erosion.

  • 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.
  • Sometimes water flows as a sheet over large areas down a slope. In such cases the top soil is washed away. This is known as sheet erosion. Wind blows loose soil off flat or sloping land known as wind erosion.
  • Ploughing along the contour lines can decelerate the flow of water down the slopes. This is called contour ploughing.
  • Terrace cultivation restricts erosion. This type of agriculture practice is in. Western and central Himalayas.
  • 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. This method is known as strip cropping.
  • Planting lines of trees to create shelter also works in a similar way. Rows of such trees are called shelter belts.
Categories: General


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