Natural resources refer to the resources that we find readily available in the natural world or nature. It refers to the water we get from the flowing rivers and seas, the wood and timber we get from trees, the oil we get from the deep reserves of our planet, the plants we get from every corner of our earth, among so many others. Natural resources hold a place in every life, whether we live in a rural or urban area, whether we live a life of wealth or poverty, whether we are daily wage labourers or CEOs of world-renowned companies.
In its essence, a natural resource is a resource that is abundantly available in nature and comes to good use by humans. Here is a list of what all we call natural resources to understand what they are:
Coal or natural gas
Solar energy or sunlight
WaterMetals like silver, gold, copper, aluminium, iron, etc.
SaltTimber or wood
All plants, medicinal and general
Natural Resources in India
Now that we know what natural resources are, let’s wander together: is India rich in natural resources?
India is incredibly rich in natural resources, as our country is so vast and has so many different kinds of lands and sceneries. Now, we will explain the most important natural resources of India and where they are found in the country.
India has one of the largest reserves of coal in the entire world, falling in 4th place for the same. The states in descending order of the number of coal reserves in India are Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and several others underneath these states.
India is also fairly rich in oil, as can be with its positioning in the world. The highest amount of reserves of crude oil in India lies in Assam, Gujarat and the Western as well as Eastern Offshores.
In India, the natural gas distribution is also fairly high - the Eastern and Western Offshores have the highest amount of natural gas reserves, as does the Coal Bed Methane. Assam and Gujarat, once again, are the two states which have the leading reserves of natural gas in the country.
Metallic minerals include iron, copper, aluminium, gold, silver, bauxite, manganese, zinc, and others. The distribution of these metals, as well as their production and sourcing, is spread out all over the country, depending on where all their belts lie. Private companies, as well as public enterprises, have taken up the production of metallic minerals.
India’s Department of Atomic Energy has been working on developing nuclear energy from the resources uranium and thorium. Nuclear energy is an incredibly important natural resource as even a little bit of nuclear power can create a big boost of power. The development of nuclear power as a natural resource adds the same as one of the very important economic resources of India.
The Role of Natural Resources in Economic Development
An abundance of natural resources in a country means that development will come a lot easier to that country than for one where there isn’t much natural resource available. There is a positive relationship between natural resources and economic development. Why are natural resources important in terms of development then?
To understand the role of natural resources in economic development, we need to understand what ‘capital’ means. Capital refers to an asset that can be used to bring about growth and development, and it can include such things as machinery, money, etc. It is with natural resources that we can create capital that will help us begin or catalyse the process of development.
Another reason why the role of natural resources in economic development is undeniable is because of this - we often equate development and urbanisation, and in both their essences, we are correct in doing so. When foreign companies like MNCs (multinational corporations) see that natural resources are abundant in a country, they choose to invest in factories and build more workplaces in such countries, bringing about the urbanisation of such areas in the process. This is how urbanisation is defined when new infrastructure comes about, and this is also how commercial towns are created.
Natural resources are simply the fundamental raw material that supplies basic substances to be manufactured. There will be technically nothing to depend on if there is no presence of natural resources. The Indian economic sector, to a big extent, relies on agriculture and raw production. But even these processes are complemented by natural resources. Big technological industries like coal mines, oil factories and all sustain as they are involved in the processing and refinement of such natural resources. These industries also add up to about 40% of total economic value.
The optional value of nature is another topic to consider. As humans continue to use these resources lavishly, there are high chances of resources getting over and animals becoming extinct. This will leave our future generation to suffer and starve with nothing else to do. Optional value refers to the value that is placed on private willingness to preserve by maintaining or protecting the natural assets or service even if there is little or no likelihood of the individual ever using it. So, it is our duty to keep our environment saved and safe for the future.
There is something known as the aesthetic value of nature. A humongous Indian revenue comes from travel and tourism. India, being the most visually pleasing and aesthetically rich country, the aesthetic value of India is high. The preservation of natural resources is important to keep the economy growing.
Thus, the importance of natural resources, especially in development, is essential and undeniable.
Students being the future of the country should always take care of natural resources and the environment. Missions and moments should be conducted to boost the significance of the protection of the environment. Awareness campaigns should be regularly carried out throughout the countries. Overconsumption of natural resources like coal and all not only drain the resource faculty but also causes pollution problems. So that should be also taken care of.
Thus natural resources not only add to economic development but also to the sustainable and peaceful livelihood of people.
For more information, visit Vedantu and grab the opportunity to get access to numerous customized PDF notes. Vedantu learning platform offers the latest NCERT textbooks and solutions. There is a wide variety of choices in terms of the syllabus. Crash courses for competitive exams, spoken English classes for the pre and post-KG are also available.