Distribution of Major Industries in India

The distribution of major industries in India is highly uneven. This is mainly because of the concentration of financial resources, enterprises and necessary conditions at one place and uneven distribution of major resources and raw materials.  

This article aims to elaborate on the distribution of major industries in India, the classification of industries and the factors affecting the distribution of industries in India relevant for the IAS Exam.

Information provided in the article will help the candidate prepare for UPSC Prelims and Mains examination  

What are Industries?

Industry refers to economic activity that is concerned with the production of goods, extraction of minerals or the provision of services. For example, we have iron and steel industry (production of goods), coal mining industry (extraction of coal) and tourism industry (service provider).

The world’s major industries are:

  1. Iron and steel industry – Germany, USA, China, Japan and Russia.
  2. Textile industry – India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
  3. Information technology industry – Silicon Valley of Central California and the Bangalore region of India.

Distribution of Major Industries in India

As already mentioned, the major industries are the Iron and Steel industry, the Textile industry and the Information and Technology industry. 

While information technology is an emerging industry the iron and steel and textile industry are the older industries and have played an important role in Indian Industrialization. The main reason for the development and growth of towns and cities is Industrialization. 

Countries like Germany, the USA, China, Japan and Russia have a firm hold on the iron and steel industry. The textile industry is concentrated in India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. The major hubs of the Information technology industry are the Silicon Valley of Central California and the Bangalore region of India. 

Industrial Distribution in India

Iron and Steel Industry

  • These are feeder industries whose products are used as raw materials for other industries.
  • The product obtained by this industry is used as raw material by other industries
  • The inputs for the industry include raw materials such as iron ore, coal and limestone, along with labour, capital, site and other infrastructure. The process of converting iron ore into steel involves smelting and refining. The output obtained is steel (often called the backbone of modern industry.) which is a basic material needed in every other industry.
  • In a developing country like India, the Iron and Steel industry has taken the advantage of cheap labor, raw material, and the ready market.
  • All the important steel-producing centres such as Bhilai, Durgapur, Burnpur, Jamshedpur, Rourkela, Bokaro are situated in a region that spreads over four states that are West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. 
  • Bhadravati and Vijay Nagar in Karnataka, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Salem in Tamil Nadu are other important steel centres utilising local resources.
  • The development of the iron and steel industry opened the doors to rapid industrial development in India. 
Jamshedpur Steel Plant

  1. Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited (TISCO) was started in 1907 at Sakchi (renamed as Jamshedpur).
  2. It is the most conveniently situated iron and steel centre in the country.
  3. It was close to the iron ore, coal and manganese deposits as well as to Kolkata, which provided a large market.  
  4. TISCO, gets coal from Jharia coalfields, and iron ore, limestone, dolomite and manganese from Odisha and Chhattisgarh. 
  5. The Kharkai and Subarnarekha rivers ensured a sufficient water supply.

Important Note – Pittsburgh is an important steel city of the United States of America.

Candidates can check the following relevant links to prepare comprehensively for the upcoming exams-

Cotton & Textile Industry

  • Weaving cloth from yarn is an ancient art. Cotton, wool, silk, jute, flax have been used for making cloth.
  • Fibres are the raw material of the textile industry and textile industries can be divided on the basis of raw materials used in them.
  • Fibres can be natural or man-made. Natural fibres are obtained from wool, silk, cotton, linen and jute. Man made fibres include nylon, polyester, acrylic and rayon.
  • The cotton textile industry is one of the oldest industries in the world. 
Until the Industrial Revolution [1760-1840] in the 18th century, cotton cloth was made using hand spinning techniques (wheels) and looms. In the 18th century power looms facilitated the development of the cotton textile industry, first in Britain and later in other parts of the world. Today India, China, Japan and the USA are important producers of cotton textiles.
  • The Muslins of Dhaka, Chintzes of Masulipatnam, Calicos of Calicut and Gold-wrought cotton of Burhanpur, Surat and Vadodara are some of the well known and highly demanded fibres worldwide for their quality and design.
  • After the industrial revolution, the first successful mechanized textile mill was established in Mumbai in 1854. The warm, moist climate, a port for importing machinery, availability of raw material and skilled labour resulted in rapid expansion of the industry in the region.
  • In Gujarat on the banks of the Sabarmati river the first cotton textile mill was established in 1859. It soon became the second-largest textile city of India, after Mumbai. Ahmedabad was therefore often referred to as the ‘Manchester of India’. 
Ahmedabad Textile Industry

  • The textile industry in Ahmedabad is situated very close to the cotton growing area ensuring easy availability of raw material. 
  • The climate is ideal for spinning and weaving. 
  • The flat terrain and easy availability of land is suitable for the establishment of the mills. 
  • The densely populated states of Gujarat and Maharashtra provide both skilled and semi-skilled labour. 
  • Well-developed road and railway networks permit easy transportation of textiles to different parts of the country, thus providing easy access to the market.
  • Mumbai port nearby facilitates the import of machinery and the export of cotton textiles.
  • Initially, this industry flourished in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat because of the favourable humid climate. But today, Coimbatore, Kanpur, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Puducherry and Panipat are some of the other important centres.

Important Note – Osaka is an important textile centre of Japan, also known as the ‘Manchester of Japan’.

Information & Technology Industries

  1. The information technology industry deals in the storage, processing and distribution of information.
  2. Due to a series of technological, political, and socio-economic events the industry has become global in a decade.
  3. The main factors guiding the location of these industries are resource availability, cost and infrastructure.
  4. Apart from Bengaluru in India, there are other emerging information technology hubs in metropolitan centres of the nation such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. Other cities such as Gurgaon, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Chandigarh are also important centres of the IT industry.
Silicon Valley, California and Bangalore both share many similar aspects in the development of Information technology such as pleasant climate, skilled workforce, presence of high quality educational, technological and scientific centers and access to markets.

Classification of Industries

Industries can be classified on the basis of raw materials, size and ownership.

  1. Based on Raw Material – Industries classified based on the type of raw material they use. For example – Agro based industries use plant and animal based products as their raw materials. Marine based industries use products from the sea and oceans as raw materials, etc.
  2. Based on Size – Industries classified based on the amount of capital invested, number of people employed and the volume of production. Based on size, industries can be classified into small scale and large scale industries. For example – Production of automobiles and heavy machinery are large scale industries. They produce large volumes of products, Investment of capital is higher and the technology used is superior while Cottage and household industries are small scale industries where the products are manufactured by hand and use a lesser amount of capital and technology.
  3. Based on Ownership – based on the ownership industries can be divided into 
    • Private sector – owned and operated by individuals or a group of individuals
    • Public sector or state-owned–  owned and operated by the government, such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Steel Authority of India (SAIL).
    • Joint sector-  owned and operated both by the state and individuals or a group of individuals, example, Maruti Udyog limited
    • Cooperative sector – owned and operated by the producers or suppliers of raw materials, workers or both. Example – Amul India and IFFCO Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperatives.

Aspirants can refer to the following related links to prepare for the upcoming Civil services exam even better –

Industrial System

  1. An industrial system consists of inputs, processes and outputs. 
  2. The inputs are the raw materials, labour and costs of land, transport, power and other infrastructure. 
  3. The processes include a wide range of activities that convert the raw material into finished products. 
  4. The outputs are the end product and the income earned from it. 

Industrial Region or Industrial Cluster

Industrial regions emerge when a number of industries locate close to each other and share the benefits of their closeness. Major industrial Cluster or region in India are – 

  • Mumbai-Pune cluster, 
  • Bangalore-Tamil Nadu region,
  • Hugli region,
  • Ahmedabad-Baroda region,
  • Chota Nagpur industrial belt, 
  • Vishakhapatnam-Guntur belt,
  • Gurgaon-Delhi-Meerut region
  • The Kollam-Thiruvananthapuram industrial cluster

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