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Drought-prone area development UPSC | Regional Development and Planning | Geography of India

Drought-prone areas include those areas that do not receive sufficient rain or often face crop failure problems.

The areas characterized by less than 75 % normal annual rainfall or less than 60% normal monthly rainfall were included in drought-prone areas.

. These areas are characterized by the following problems:

  • Huge pressure on vegetation and land due to high population and cattle
  • Depletion of vegetation cover leads to soil erosion which also leads to soil degradation.
  • Depletion of groundwater due to overexploitation
  • Decreasing crop production
  • Desertification problems
  • Hunger and Malnutritions
  • Force migration

Drought Prone areas development (DPAP) was launched in the year 1973-74 (the fourth five-year plan) with the following major objectives:

  • Minimize the adverse effect of drought on crops, livestock, land, 
  • To promote overall economic development and improve socio-economic condition
  • Provide employment
  • Create productive asset
  • Emphasized in the irrigation project, land development, afforestation, grassland


  • Area development on a watershed basis
  • Direct participation of the people in planning and development
  • Monitoring by Panchayat
  • Adoption of watershed development at the micro-level
  • Restoration of ecological balance between water, soil, plants, human, and animal population
  • Emphasized on:
    • Construction of labor-intensive civil works:
    • Irrigation projects
  • Land development program
  • 30 % of the fund were utilized in soil conservation
  • 25 % of the fund were utilized in forestry and grassland
  • 20 % of the fund was utilized for water conservation method

In the year 1995-96, the Hanuman Rao committee evaluated the Drought Prone development Program and Desert Development Program and in recommendation:

  • New Block added in Desert Development Program
  • Some blocks transferred from Drought prone areas development to Desert Areas Development.

In the year 2000,

  • Drought-prone Area development, Desert Areas Development, and the Integrated Watershed Development program get merged and named to Integrated Watershed Management Program( IWMP).
Try to solve the following questions:
  • Comment on the criteria for identifying Drought Prone Areas in India. ( UPSC 2014, 150 words, 10 Marks)
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