Effect of Geography on the Indian Economy

Effect of Geography on the Indian Economy:

“A country is said to make its inhabitants.” The economic activities of a people are vitally affected by the natural forces operating in their country. The climate affects the efficiency of labor and determines the extent of the market for certain goods connected with food and clothing; and, together with rainfall and the nature of the soil, it decides what crops can be cultivated. The physical features and the river systems are the outcomes of the peculiar geological structure of a country. All these together determine the volume and the course of trade and industry which, in their turn, affect government finances and governmental activity. Thus all economic and political phenomena are ultimately the outcome of the natural environment.

But the man may conquer nature. He has spanned the seas and cut the mountains; he has conquered the air; he can travel underwater; distance has been annihilated by the fast means of locomotion. By means of electricity, man has turned night into day and toned down the rigors of climate. Through irrigation schemes, he has tried to secure his independence from nature in the matter of rain. But this mastery of man over nature is not, however, complete and unquestioned. We have been able to conquer nature only partially, and nature’s influence on economic activity cannot be altogether ignored and completely eliminated.

In Indian economic life, nature’s influence has been dominant. The Himalayas affect rainfall which, in its turn, governs agricultural operations throughout the country. The nature of the coastline and of the land frontier has influenced the direction and the volume of trade. Configuration and geological structure cause the mineral wealth of the country to be what it is, and they are also responsible for the power resources available to the country. We owe it to our climate that we can grow such a large variety of crops and lay the foundation of many a prosperous industry. The working capacity of Indian labor, our economic needs, and the location of industries are the outcome of our climate. The Indian budget is said to be “a gamble in monsoons.”

Take the case of fuel and power. Coal mines in India are located in one corner of the country. The cost of transporting it to some remote parts of the country like Western India and the South is prohibitive. The result is that these parts are seriously handicapped in the matter of industrial development. If any development has taken place it is in spite of this handicap. Similarly, it is due to natural factors that there are excellent sites for the generation of hydroelectricity. There are two clearly marked zones: the water zone and the coal zone.

India is a country of long distances and hence means of transport have special importance. But certain parts are traversed by numerous rivers and rivulets which necessitate the building of so many bridges and thus add to the cost of road construction. Also, the mountainous terrain makes some parts totally inaccessible. That is why some parts remain unexplored and unexploited.

Thus, Indian agriculture, trade and industry, finances, and whatnot, are all influenced by the natural environments of the country. Really, it is difficult to think of any aspect of Indian economic life which is not directly or indirectly influenced by the natural factor.

Dr. Vera Anstey has thus summed up the economic influence of geographical factors: “Due to the diversity of Indian climate India possesses a great variety of animal, vegetable and mineral products, ranging from the heavily-coated Kashmir hill sheep to the camel of Rajasthan and the elephant and tiger of Bengal; from the wheat, fruit and fig trees of the North to the rice and coconuts of the hot low-lying swamps of coastal regions; and from the coal and iron fields of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa to the gold of Mysore, and salt ranges of Punjab.”

Industrial Revolution
Impact of the Industrial Revolution
Gandhiji Approach to Industrial Relations
Gandhian Socialism
Gandhi View on Economic Equality
Gandhi Views on Nationalism and Internationalism
Revolt Of 1857
Early Indian Nationalism
India Between AD 750-1200– NIOS

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