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World resources and their distribution UPSC


Everything available in our environment satisfies our needs called resources. 
To become resources, substances should be: 
  • Technological accessible
  • Economical feasible
  • Culturally acceptable.
Resources are valuable or worthy of human beings. Values can be 

  • economically 
  • aesthetic values

Time, knowledge, and technology change substance to resources.
resource making
resource making

Why oil is found in desert or Arctic ocean beds?
Oil is a hydrocarbon substance and is the result of the burial of dead organisms. It is found in those environments where the dead organism does not decompose because of the absence of oxygen and they converted into hydrogen carbon bonds that are liquid or in gas forms.

Classification of world resources

Major types of resources:
  • Natural: Biotic and abiotic
  • Human-made: machinery, buildings, roads
  • Human resources: The healthy, educated person is most valuable to the country.

On the basis of origin: 

  • Biotic: The resource which is derived from the biosphere such as living things. For example, Vegetation, and animals.
  • Abiotic: The resource which is derived from non-living things is called an abiotic resource. For example, Minerals

On the basis of exhaustibility:
  • Renewable: The resources, in which renewal time is short. For example, forest, wildlife, wind, solar, and water.
  • Non-renewable: The resources, which renewal times are very long say millions of years take to renew are called non-renewable resources. Fossil fuels, Minerals.

On the basis of ownership:

  • Individual: For example, home
  • Community: For example, community forest
  • National: For example, Dams, PSU.
  • International: Beyond 200 nautical miles of the exclusive economic zone is called the open ocean. It is open to all, no individual country can be utilized without concurrent international institutions.

On the basis of development: 
  • Potential 
  • Developed
  • Reserve

The resource exists but is not able to utilize due to inaccessibility, uneconomically, or do not have technology. Examples are the Thorium reserve in India, oil deposits in the arctic ocean bed, and uranium deposits in the Ladakh region.

Developed stock:
 The resource that is accessible, economically feasible, and culturally acceptable. For example, Crude oil, coal,

The resource that is accessible and available to use, but not being used properly, For example, running river water for hydroelectricity generation we are using on a limited scale. 

On the basis of availability types:

  • Ubiquitous
  • Localized.

The resources which are present everywhere are called Ubiquitous. For example, water, air, and land.
The resources which are not present everywhere and are found in a specific location are called localized resources. For example, Iron ore, coal, etc.

On the basis of metallic :

  • Metallic: For example, Iron, Gold.
  • Non-metallic: For example, Fossil fuels, 
Indiscriminate uses of resources lead to the depletion of resources

Try to solve the following question:

  • Identify the importance of biotic resource regions of India and highlight their problems. ( UPSC 2016,250 words, 20 marks)
  • Evaluate the impact of technology on resource utilization in India. (UPSC 2016, 200 words, 15 marks)

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