On the Basis of Origin

Biotic Resources:

  • These are obtained from the biosphere.
  • they have 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, 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.
  • Some of the resources like metals are recyclable and some like fossil fuels cannot be recycled and get exhausted with their use.

On the Basis of Ownership

Individual Resources:

  • These are also owned privately by individuals.
  • In villages, there are people with land ownership.
  • in Urban areas, people own plots, houses, and other properties. pasture lands, ponds, water in wells, etc.
  • these are some of the examples of resource ownership by individuals.

Community Owned Resources:

  • The resource which are, accessible to all the members of the community.
  • Village commons (grazing grounds, burial grounds, village ponds, etc.)
  • public parks, picnic spots, and playgrounds in urban areas are accessible to all the people living there.

National Resources:

  • all the resources that belong to the nation and The country have legal powers to acquire them.
  • urban development Authorities have the power to acquire individual land.
  • it includes All the minerals, water resources, forests, wildlife, and land within the political boundaries.
  • the oceanic area up to 12 nautical miles (19.2 km) from the coast is termed as territorial water, and resources therein belong to the nation.
  • There are international institutions that regulate some resources like oceanic resources.

International Resources:

  • some international institutions that regulate these resources.
  • beyond 200 km of the Exclusive Economic Zone belong to the open ocean and no individual, or country can utilize these resources without the permission of international institutions.
  • 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.

On the Basis of the Status of Development

Potential Resources:

  • Resources that 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:

  • Resources that are surveyed and their quality and quantity have been determined for utilization.
  • The development of resources depends on technology and the level of their feasibility.


  • Materials in the environment have the potential to satisfy human needs.
  • we do not have the appropriate technology to access these resources.
  • they 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 a 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 utilised only to a limited extent.
  • Thus, the water in the dams, forests, etc. is a reserve that can be used in the future.

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 state 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 socio-economic 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

  • the declaration was signed by world leaders in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.    
  • It aims at achieving global sustainable development.
  • It is an agenda to combat environmental damage, poverty, and disease through global cooperation 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.


  • 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 that are rich in certain types of resources but are deficient in some other resources.
  • There are some regions that can be considered self-sufficient in terms of the availability of resources.
  • there are some regions that 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 infrastructural development.
  • The state of Rajasthan is very well endowed with solar and wind energy but lacks water resources.
  • The cold desert of Ladakh is relatively isolated from the rest of the country. It has a 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.

Conservation of Resources:

  • Resources are vital for any developmental activity.
  • 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.


  • We live on land, we perform our economic activities on land and we use it in different ways.
  • the land is a natural resource of utmost importance.
  • It supports natural vegetation, wildlife, human life, economic activities, transport, and communication systems.
  • the land is an asset of a finite magnitude, therefore, it is important to use the available land for various purposes with careful planning.
  • India has land under a variety of relief features. namely; mountains, plateaus, plains, and islands.
  • About 43 percent of the land area is plain, which provides facilities for agriculture and industry.
  • Mountains account for 30% of the total surface area of the country and ensure the perennial flow of some rivers, and provide facilities for tourism and ecological aspects.
  • About 27 % of the area of the country is the plateau region. It possesses rich reserves of minerals, fossil fuels, and forests.


  • 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 and culture, and traditions, etc.
  • The total geographical area of India is 3.28 million sq km Land use data.
  • however, is available only for 93 percent of the total area because the land use reporting for most of the northeast states except Assam has not been done fully.
  • Moreover, some areas of Jammu and Kashmir occupied by Pakistan and China have also not been surveyed.
  • lands are cultivated once or twice in about two to three years and if these are included in the net sown area then the percentage of NSA in India comes to about 54 percent of the total reporting area.
  • The pattern of the net sown area varies greatly from one state to another.
  • It is over 80 percent of the total area in Punjab and Haryana and less than 10 percent in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, and Andaman Nicobar Islands.
  • Forest area in the country is far lower than the desired 33 percent of geographical area, as it was outlined in the National Forest Policy (1952).
  • It was considered essential for the maintenance of the ecological balance.


  • We have shared our land with the past generations and will have to do so with future generations too.
  • 95% of our basic needs for food, shelter, and clothing are obtained from the land.
  • Human activities have not only brought about the degradation of the land but have also aggravated the pace of natural forces to cause damage to the land.
  • At present, there are about 130 million hectares of degraded land in India.
  • 28 % of it belongs to the category of forest degraded area.
  • 56 %of it is water eroded area
  • the rest is affected by saline and alkaline deposits
  • human activities such as deforestation, overgrazing, mining, and quarrying.
  • In states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa deforestation due to mining has caused several degradations.
  • In states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtraovergrazing is one of the main reasons for land degradation.
  • In the states of Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, over-irrigation is responsible for land degradation due to waterlogging leading to an increase in salinity and alkalinity in the soil.
  • The mineral processing like the grinding of limestone for the cement industry and calcite and soapstone for the ceramic industry generates a huge quantity of dust in the atmosphere. It retards the process of infiltration of water into the soil after it settles down on the land.
  • In recent years, industrial effluents as waste have become a major source of land and water pollution in many parts of the country.

ways to solve the problems of land degradation.

  • Afforestation
  • proper management of grazing
  • shelter belts of plants,
  • control on overgrazing,
  • stabilization of sand dunes by growing thorny bushes
  • Proper management of waste lands,
  • control of mining activities,
  • proper discharge and disposal of industrial effluents and wastes


  • renewable natural resource.
  • It is the medium of plant growth and supports different types of living organisms on the earth
  •  It takes millions of years to form soil up to a few cm in depth.

Relief, parent rock or bedrock, climate, vegetation, and time are important factors in the formation of soil.

Classification of Soils

Alluvial Soils

  • This is the most widely spread and important soil.,
  • the entire northern plains are made of alluvial soil.
  • These have been deposited by three important Himalayan river systems– the Indus, the Ganga, and the Brahmaputra.
  • on the basis of their age old alluvial (Bangar) and new alluvial (Khadar).
  • The bangar soil has a higher concentration of Kanker nodules than the Khadar. It has more fine particles and is more fertile than the bangar.
  • these soils contains-potash, phosphoric acid, and lime
  • ideal for the growth of sugarcane, paddy, wheat, and other cereal and pulse crops.

Black Soil

  • 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.
  • They cover the plateaus of Maharashtra, Saurashtra
  • The alluvial soil consists of various proportions of sand, silt, and clay.
  • They are well-known for their capacity to hold moisture.
  • they are rich in calcium carbonate, magnesium, potash, and lime.
  • These soils are sticky when wet and difficult to work on unless tilled immediately after the first shower or during the pre-monsoon period.

Red and Yellow Soils

  • Red soil develops on crystalline igneous rocks in areas of low rainfall
  • found in the eastern and southern parts of the Deccan plateau.
  • Yellow and red soils are also found in parts of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, southern parts of the middle Ganga plain, and along the piedmont zone of the Western Ghats
  • These soils 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

  • Laterite has been derived from the Latin word‘ later’ which means brick.
  • The laterite soil develops in areas with high temperatures and heavy rainfall.
  • Humus content of the soil is low because most of the micro organisms, particularly the decomposers, like  bacteria, get destroyed due to high temperature
  • Laterite soils are suitable for cultivation with adequate doses of manures and fertilizers.
  • These soils are mainly found in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and the hilly areas of Orissa and Assam.
  • After the proper treatment, this soil is 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

  • Arid soils range from red to brown in colour.
  • 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.
  • the soil lacks humus and moisture.
  • 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

Forest Soils

  • found in the hilly and mountainous areas where sufficient rainforests are available.
  • The soil’s texture varies according to the mountain environment where they are formed.
  • They are loamy and silty on valley sides and coarse-grained on the upper slopes.
  •  In the snow-covered areas of the Himalayas, these soils are acidic with low humus

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.

human activities responsible for soil erosion-

  • deforestation,
  • over-grazing,
  • construction and mining
  • defective methods of farming

natural forces responsible for soil erosion-

  • wind, glaciers,s, and water lead to soil erosion.

methods to prevent soil erosion-

  • Ploughing along the contour lines can decelerate the flow of water down the slopes. This is called contour ploughing.
  • Terrace cultivation restricts erosion.
  • 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 Rows of such trees are called shelter belts. These shelter belts have contributed significantly to the stabilisation of sand dunes and in stabilising the desert in western India.

bad land

  • 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.

sheet erosion

  • Sometimes water flows as a sheet over large areas down a slope. In such cases, the topsoil is washed away. This is known as sheet erosion.

wind erosion

  • The wind blows loose soil FROM flat or sloping land known as wind erosion.