Cotton and Textile Industry (in India and World)

Cotton and Textile Industry (in India and World)

This article deals with the ‘Cotton and Textile Industry (in India and World).’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’, which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Location Factors of the Cotton & Textile Industry

Many factors have influenced the establishment of cotton and textile industries in India. 

  1. Proximity to Raw Material: Unlike other industries where the weight or perishability of raw materials is a critical concern, cotton and textile industries benefit from the fact that cotton is relatively lightweight and non-perishable. Therefore, being in immediate proximity to the source of raw cotton is less important than in some other industries.
  2. Proximity to Market: Given the importance of market demand in dictating the type of cloth to be produced, a significant consideration is the proximity to the consumer markets. Being close to the market facilitates efficient distribution and reduces transportation costs.
  3. Water Availability: The textile industry involves processes like dyeing and bleaching that require substantial amounts of water. Consequently, the availability of water bodies such as rivers and lakes plays a role in industry location. 
  4. Energy Availability: Cotton and textile production requires a considerable amount of energy, particularly in processes like spinning, weaving, and finishing. 
  5. Labour Supply: Textile production involves intricate processes that require skilled workers, and a region with an ample labour pool can provide a competitive advantage.
  6. Capital and Finance: Access to financial resources can facilitate expansions, modernization, and technological advancements.
  7. Climate: Climate considerations are also relevant. Dry climates can lead to thread breakages during textile production. Historically, this led to the preference of coastal areas with higher humidity for textile industry setup. However, technological advancements, such as artificial humidifiers, have diminished the climate-related constraints on industry location.

At present, the trend is to locate industry at or close to markets, as the market decides what kind of cloth is to be produced. 

Cotton Industry in India

Cotton and Textile Industry (in India and World)

Cotton Industry in Ancient & Medieval India 

  • The cotton textile sector has been integral to India’s traditional industries. Across the globe, India held a renowned reputation for crafting muslin, an exceedingly delicate form of cotton fabric, along with calicos, chintz, and various other superior cotton textiles.
  • The development of the textile industry in India stemmed from many factors. 
    1. Firstly, the nation’s tropical climate made cotton the optimal fabric, providing a large market. 
    2. Secondly, India has abundant raw materials due to the substantial cultivation of cotton.
    3. The country possessed an abundant reserve of skilled labour necessary for this industry.

During the Colonial Era

  • Initially, the British didn’t foster the growth of the native cotton textile sector. They shipped raw cotton to their mills in Manchester and Liverpool, then imported the finished goods back to India. These products were more affordable due to mass production in British factories.
  • In 1854, the first modern cotton mill was set up in Mumbai. The city had various advantages as a hub for cotton textile manufacturing:
    • It was situated close to Gujarat and Maharashtra, key cotton-producing regions.  
    • Mumbai’s status as a financial centre provided access to the necessary capital for industrial initiation.
    • Its urban nature attracted a substantial labour force, ensuring a readily available pool of affordable workers.
    • The machinery required for cotton textile mills could be directly imported from England.
  • Subsequently, Ahmedabad saw the establishment of two more mills, namely the Shahpur Mill and the Calico Mill.
  • By 1947, the total number of mills in India rose to 423. However, this situation changed after the partition, leading to a significant downturn in the industry. This was because most of the prime cotton-producing areas were now in West Pakistan, leaving India with 409 mills and only 29% of the previous cotton-producing territory.

After Independence 

  • After Independence, this industry gradually recovered and eventually flourished.
  • Production of cotton cloth has increased almost five times since Independence. Cotton textile has been facing tough competition from synthetic cloth.

Importance of Cotton and Textile Industry

India’s Cotton and Textile industries are vital to the nation’s economic landscape, owing to their multifaceted significance and widespread impact.

  1. Backward Linkage with the Agriculture Sector
  2. Employs 4.5 crore individuals
  3. Approximately 12% of the nation’s total exports are comprised of textiles and textile products.
  4. Rural Development: Cotton cultivation and subsequent processing through the textile value chain often occurs in rural areas. As a result, the growth of these industries contributes to rural development.

Location of Cotton and Textile Industry in India 

The Cotton and Textile industry is located in almost every state where one or more locational factors have been favourable.

South India Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Bengaluru
Central India Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Ujjain, Nagpur, Indore, Kolhapur and Solapur
UP Kanpur, Agra and Hathras
West Bengal Kolkata (due to port facilities)
Punjab Ludhiana

Important Points

  • Among the major centres of this industry, Ahmedabad, Bhiwandi, Solapur, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Indore, and Ujjain stand out, which are strategically located in proximity to cotton-producing regions, optimizing their supply chains.
  • The role of hydroelectricity in shaping the industry’s geography cannot be overlooked. Cotton textile mills began to sprout away from traditional cotton-producing areas due to the availability of hydroelectric power. This shift is particularly evident in Tamil Nadu.
  • Labour costs can play a pivotal role in determining industry locations. Centres like Agra, Ujjain, Bharuch, Agra, Hathras, Coimbatore, & Tirunelveli capitalized on lower labour expenses, prompting the industry to be located away from primary cotton-producing areas.

Reasons: Why Cotton and Textile Industry is located in Mumbai?

Mumbai, known as the “Cottonopolis of India,” is the epicentre of the country’s thriving cotton and textile industry.

  1. Abundant Raw Material: Maharashtra, particularly the region around Mumbai, has black soil well-suited for cotton cultivation.
  2. Access to Premium Cotton: Being a busy port, Mumbai historically had access to international trade routes as a bustling port city, allowing the import of long-staple cotton from places like Egypt.
  3. Favourable Climate: Mumbai’s proximity to the sea results in a humid coastal climate conducive to textile manufacturing.
  4. Reliable Power Supply: The Tata hydroelectric grid in the nearby Western Ghats provides a consistent and reliable source of power.
  5. Availability of Soft Water: The Mithi River in Mumbai supplies soft water, which is ideal for dyeing and bleaching (important processes in the textile industry). 
  6. Capital and Financial Infrastructure: During the American Civil War, Mumbai-based capitalists amassed substantial profits through the cotton trade. They later reinvested this wealth into the establishment of textile industries. Today, Mumbai is home to a well-developed banking and financial sector.
  7. Skilled and Affordable Labour: Mumbai and its surrounding regions provide a vast pool of labour, which is both skilled and cost-effective. 
  8. Access to Expansive Markets: Mumbai’s strategic location places it at the heart of India, with access to the local and national markets.

Reasons: Why Cotton and Textile Industry is located in Gujarat?

  1. Abundant Raw Materials: Gujarat benefits from its proximity to cotton-producing districts in the state and neighbouring regions.
  2. Water Availability: Water is a crucial resource in textile manufacturing, particularly for dyeing, cleaning, and bleaching. Gujarat benefits from water sources such as the Sabarmati and Khari rivers.
  3. Proximity to Markets: Gujarat has a large domestic market for textiles, owing to its population and the presence of major industrial and commercial centres.
  4. Port Facilities: Gujarat’s coastline is dotted with major ports like Kandla, Mundra, and Pipavav. These ports offer excellent connectivity for the export of textile products. 
  5. Government Support: The state government has been proactive in supporting the growth of the textile industry through favourable policies, incentives, and infrastructure development. 

Reasons: Why Cotton and Textile Industry is located in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu)?

  1. Abundant Raw Material Supply: Tamil Nadu has a consistent and substantial cotton supply. The region is known for cultivating a specific variety of cotton known as “Cambodia cotton,” which is highly sought after in the textile industry.
  2. Energy Resources: Coimbatore is home to the Pykara Hydel project, a significant source of hydroelectric power. 
  3. Water Resources: Access to ample water resources is critical for various stages of textile production, including dyeing, cleaning, and bleaching—Coimbatore benefits from the Noyyal River. 
  4. Market: Coimbatore has a massive demand due to its proximity to large consumer markets in the southern states, including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.

Problem faced by Indian Cotton Textile Industry

  • Fierce International Competition: The industry faces fierce competition from countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Ethiopia, which enjoy Duty-Free Access or have signed Free Trade Agreements with major markets such as the EU and USA. This advantage puts Indian textiles at a disadvantage in terms of pricing and market access.
  • Most Indian mills are small-scale operations, preventing them from achieving the economies of scale enjoyed by larger competitors.
  • Mechanization vs Job Dilemma: The Indian industry is caught in a dilemma regarding mechanization. While mechanization can enhance productivity, it also threatens traditional jobs. Balancing technological advancement with employment opportunities is a critical challenge
  • Competition from synthetic textiles:  The rise of synthetic textiles has further intensified the struggle for market share. Synthetic textiles often offer cost advantages and versatility.
  • Cotton Farmers under stress: Indian Cotton Farmers face immense stress due to various factors, including the monopolization of seeds by a few major corporations and the introduction of genetically modified crops like BT Cotton.

Location of Cotton and Textile Industry in the World

The foundation of the cotton and textile industry lies in cotton cultivation. Cotton is primarily grown in regions with favourable climatic and soil conditions. Significant producers of cotton include 

  1. United States: Cotton is grown in southern states like Texas and Mississippi
  2. India: Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh 
  3. China: Northwest regions, particularly Xinjiang
  4. Pakistan: Sindh and Punjab provinces contribute significantly to Pakistan’s cotton production
  5. Brazil: Mato Grosso region  

After cotton is harvested, it goes through a series of processing stages. Major cotton processing centres are concentrated in:

  1. United States: Southern states like North Carolina.
  2. India: Textile Mills are concentrated in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu  
  3. China: Coastal regions like Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu  
  4. Pakistan: Karachi, Faisalabad, and Lahore  
  5. Brazil: São Paulo and Santa Catarina

Analysis: Rise and Fall of Textile Industry in Manchester & Lancashire

iver ool 

The textile industry in Manchester and Lancashire has a rich history that witnessed remarkable growth during colonial times but declined significantly after World War II. 

Rise during Colonial Times

  1. Favourable Climate: Manchester and Lancashire’s location was advantageous due to the moist Westerlies, providing high humidity levels and preventing threads from breaking during manufacturing.
  2. Abundant Raw Materials: Cheap cotton was available from its colonies, such as India and Egypt.
  3. Strategic Transportation: The proximity of Liverpool as a major port city facilitated the import of raw materials and the export of finished products.
  4. Quality Water Sources: Streams from the Pennine hills provided soft water, ideal for dyeing and bleaching.
  5. Abundant Energy: The availability of coal from Northern England and Wales served as a reliable source of energy.
  6. Expansive Market: The demand for textiles in Europe And the massive market in British colonies provided a market for the finished product. 

Decline after World War II

The decline of the Textile industry after World War II can be attributed to the following factors.

  1. Loss of Colonies: Post-World War II, the loss of colonies meant that the dirt-cheap raw materials(cotton) from India and Egypt were no longer readily available. 
  2. Competition from Other Nations: Emerging players like Japan entered the global textile market with cheaper production methods.

Reason: Cotton Industry in the USA 

Cotton Industry in the USA

In the USA, there are two important regions of the cotton and textile industry, which can be attributed to several geographical factors.

New England Region

  • It is located in the northeast corner of the US and emerged as a hub for cotton-related activities. 
  • Major factors of the concentration of cotton and textile industry include 
    1. Its proximity to major urban centres like Boston and New York
    2. Easy access to ports for exporting cotton 
    3. The region attracted immigrant workers, adding to the labour force and diversity of skills. 
    4. The availability of coal from the Appalachian region ensured a stable energy supply, powering the cotton mills.  

Cotton Belt in the South

  • The Cotton Belt, stretching across states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and parts of Texas and California, constitutes the heartland of cotton cultivation in the USA. This region boasts vast expanses of fertile land, forming large cotton-growing areas.  
  • Transformation from Slave Labour to Mechanization: Historically, the cotton industry in the South relied heavily on slave labour. However, over time, technological advancements led to the mechanization of cotton production. Highly efficient machines revolutionized the industry, making it less reliant on human labour.
  • Hydroelectric Power: Major rivers in the cotton-producing regions have been harnessed for hydroelectric power generation.

Reason:  Cotton Industry in China

Various factors contribute to the thriving cotton industry in China, with a major concentration in the bustling city of Shanghai. 

  • Favourable Climate: Shanghai is a port city with a humid climate. This humidity is crucial in the cotton industry as threads are less likely to break during production.
  • Raw Material:  The Yangtze-Kiang Delta, where Shanghai is located, is fertile ground for cotton cultivation. 
  • Transport: Shanghai benefits from its status as a port city, offering easy access to international markets. Additionally, the city is well-connected by rail and road networks, facilitating the movement of raw materials and finished products.
  • Water and Energy: The Yangtze River not only serves as a transportation route but also provides a source of water and energy. Access to water resources is crucial for textile industries. Furthermore, the river can be harnessed for hydroelectric power.
  • Labour: With a large population, Shanghai has a pool of skilled workers who contribute to the manufacturing process.
  • Market: Within 1000 nautical miles, major markets like Kobe, Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong are accessible, facilitating international trade. Moreover, within China, cities like Nantong, Wuhan, and Chongqing, connected via the Yangtze River, create a robust domestic market. 

Other centres in China include Hwang-Ho Valley, Sichuan, Nanjing, Beijing, etc.        

National Register of Citizens

National Register of Citizens

This article deals with ‘National Register of Citizens – Indian Polity.’ This is part of our series on ‘Polity’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here.

National Register of Citizens

What is the National Register of Citizens (NRC)?

  • On the eve of Independence, the Indian government felt the need to identify Indian Citizens. Hence, the National Register of Citizens was conducted in 1951 in respect of each village, showing the houses and holdings of each person in a serial order. Based on the National Register of Citizens, the Citizenship of each person was confirmed.
  • This Register was used to be kept in the office of the District Collector and Sub Divisional Officer. But in 1960, on the orders of the Home Ministry, all data was given to the Police and was never updated after that.
  • The issue in Assam: Due to the large-scale migration of Bangladeshis in Assam, the need was felt to recognize the Indian Citizens. 

Assamese vs Outsiders

The issue of Outsiders coming into Assam dates back in history.

  • Assamese used to resent the settlement of outsiders (Bengali and Bihari labourers) brought by Britishers to work in Tea Plantations. 
  • After Independence, Assam saw a large-scale arrival of Bengalis.  
  • During the persecution of Bengali Muslims in Bangladesh at the end of the 1960s, more than 10 lakh people came to Assam to take shelter. After the formation of Bangladesh, most of them went back, but some stayed.
  • Even after 1971, Bangladeshis kept on settling in Assam. 

All this created fear in the indigenous population of Assam. They started to fear demographic change, converting them into a minority and heavy stress on the limited resources of Assam.

Assam Accord

1978: Powerful agitation under the All Assam Students Union (AASU) started, which demanded that before conducting elections, the problem of illegal migrants should be solved. They demanded the removal of those who arrived after 1961 from Assam.

1985: Assam Accord between Rajiv Gandhi Government and AASU

  • Those who arrived between 1951 and 1961 will be given full Citizenship and the right to vote. 
  • Those who have arrived after 1971 will be sent back
  • Those who arrived between 1961 and 1971 were given Citizenship, but the right to vote wasn’t given
  • A Special Package was given for the development of Assam
  • Oil Refinery, Paper Mills and Technical institutions would be opened in Assam

But due to politics, little happened over the decades. Finally, in 2014, the Supreme Court asked the state government to update the 1951 NRC in a timebound manner and conduct the exercise under its supervision.

NRC updating process in Assam

NRC updating involves the procedure of adding the names of individuals (or their descendants) whose names are found in either of the following lists.

  • Any of the Assam’s Electoral Rolls up to March 24 1971, or
  • National Register of Citizen of 1951, or
  • Any of the admissible documents stipulated, such as land or tenancy records, citizenship certificate, permanent residential certificate, etc.

In August 2019, the updated and final National Register of Citizens, which validates bonafide Indian citizens of Assam, was released with over 19 lakh applicants who had failed to make it to the list (and many were Hindus).

Hence, this process has the danger of exclusion and inclusion errors, and a large number of legitimate Indian citizens could end up being denied their rights. Along with that, Illegal migrants out of NRC will be sent back to Bangladesh. However, India does not have any deportation treaty with Bangladesh. Moreover, there are apprehensions that a large number of stateless people can be created in India, thus impacting the overall image of people.

Assam Accord vs Citizenship Amendment Act

There are inherent differences between the Assam Accord and the Citizenship Amendment Act, as the Amendment provides citizenship rights to Hindu migrants who have arrived post-1971.

Citizenship – Indian Polity

Citizenship – Indian Polity

This article deals with ‘Citizenship – Indian Polity.’ This is part of our series on ‘Polity’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here.


Citizenship - Indian Polity

Some Fundamental Rights belong to citizens alone, such as

Rights available only to Indian Citizens only

Only (Indian) citizens can hold certain offices, such as​

  1. The President of India
  2. The Vice-President of India
  3. The Judges of the Supreme Court  
  4. The Judges of the High Court  
  5. The Governor of a State
  6. The Attorney General of India
  7. The Advocate General of the State
  8. Only citizens can vote in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly elections.
  9. Only citizens of India can become MLA and MP

However, apart from enjoying these exclusive rights, the citizens must also fulfil certain ​duties towards the Indian State (called the Fundamental Duties), e.g., paying taxes, respecting the national anthem and national anthem, defending the country, etc.

Different countries follow different principles for granting Citizenship of a country. These include

  1. Right of the Soil/Jus Soli: If a person was born in the territory (within the borders) of that country
  2. Right of Blood/Jus Sangunis: If one or both of his parents are citizens of that country.
  3. By Marriage: If a person is married to a person who is a citizen of that country.
  4. Naturalization: If a person obtains Citizenship by passing through the legal process of naturalization.

Presently, India follows the principle of the Right of Blood (with some caveats) and Naturalization for its Citizenship. However, the process has changed since independence. Initially, everyone born in the Indian territory was granted Citizenship, i.e. India followed the right of the land principle. But it was changed through the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 1986 when the condition was added that a person born in India could become a citizen only if one of the parents was an Indian citizen.

Note: In India, anybody who is a citizen of India, whether by birth or naturalized, can become President, but only a citizen by birth can become President in the USA.

Constitutional Provisions

Article 5 to 11 of Part II deals with Citizenship. It only identifies persons who will become citizens on January 26, 1950 and leaves it to Parliament to make laws relating to other matters of Citizenship. Consequently, the Parliament of India enacted the Citizenship Act 1955, which has been amended many times, subsequently in 1957, 1960, 1985, 1986, 1992, 2003, 2005, 2015 and 2019.

Article 5 of Indian Constitution

Article 6 of Indian Constitution

Article 7 of Indian Constitution

Article 8 of Indian Constitution

Article 9 of Indian Constitution

Article 10 of Indian Constitution

Article 11 of Indian Constitution

Citizenship Act, 1955

The Parliament of India made this Act following the constitutional provisions.

It provides 5 ways of acquiring Indian Citizenship

1. By Birth

A person born in India

Indian Citizenship by Birth

2. By Descent

A person born outside India will be considered a Citizen of India by descent if

Indian Citizenship by Descent

3. By Registration

The registration process is applicable for those who have some Indian connection. The person should fulfil the following conditions.

  1. Person of Indian Origin who is ordinarily residing in India for 7 years ( i.e., 12 months ​immediately before making the application and 6 years in the aggregate in the 8 years preceding the 12 months)
  2. A person married to an Indian citizen & ordinarily residing here for 7 years.
  3. Minor children or children of the full capacity of persons who are Indian citizens
  4. A person registered as OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) for 5 years and residing for ONE YEAR in India before making the application.

Individuals falling into the groups mentioned above must take an oath of allegiance before being officially recognized as Indian citizens.

4. By Naturalisation

Indian Citizenship, through the process of naturalization, can be acquired by a foreigner (not an illegal migrant), and he/she must follow all the conditions given below:-

  • Must not be a citizen of the country where Indian citizens are barred from becoming citizens.
  • Must renounce previous Citizenship.
  • A person must be ordinarily resident of India for 12 years (i.e., twelve months ​immediately before making an application and Eleven years in the aggregate in the twelve years ​ preceding the twelve months).
  • Must have knowledge of at least one language specified in Schedule 8.
  • Such a person should intend to reside in India or continue to work for the Government of India.

Furtherthe Government of India may waive all or any of the above conditions for naturalization if, in its opinion, the person has rendered distinguished services in the field of science, art, philosophy, world peace, literature, or human progress.

5. By Incorporation of Territory

  • If foreign territory becomes part of India in future. In that case, the Government of India may specify the residents of the territory to be citizens of India by orders notified in the Official Gazette.
  • E.g., When Pondicherry was acquired by India & the Government of India issued the Citizenship (Pondicherry) Order, 1962, under the Indian Citizenship Act,1955.

Loss of Citizenship

The Citizenship Act 1955 prescribes three ways for it

1. Renunciation

  • A citizen of full capacity can make a declaration renouncing his Citizenship.
  • It must be noted that when a person renounces his Citizenship, their minor children cease to be citizens of India. But such children may make a declaration one year after attaining the age of 18 years that they wish to resume Indian Citizenship.

2. Termination

  • When a citizen voluntarily accepts Citizenship of another country.
  • However, the provision of termination doesn’t apply when India is engaged in any war.

3. Deprivation

Compulsory termination of Indian Citizenship by the government when

  • Citizenship is obtained by fraud.
  • Citizen has shown disloyalty towards the constitution.
  • Citizen has unlawfully traded with the enemy country during the war.
  • Citizens within 5 years after registration or naturalization have been imprisoned for two years in any country.
  • The citizen has been ordinarily out of the country for 7 years.

Single Citizenship

  • In India, there is single Citizenship, i.e. all the persons are citizens of India, and there is no citizenship of state (unlike the USA)
  • All the citizens owe allegiance to India and not to any particular state.

Side Topic: Concept of Dual Citizenship

  • Dual Citizenship means a person can be a citizen of two or more countries simultaneously. Dual citizens have two passports and can live, travel and work in both countries, i.e. their native and the naturalized country.
  • Some countries do allow dual Citizenship. However, the Indian constitution doesn’t allow Dual Citizenship. 

Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)

  • Initially, India did not allow any rights to people of Indian origin who are residents of other countries. However, the High-Level Committee on Indian Diaspora, under the Chairmanship of LM Singhvi, recommended the Person of Indian Origin Card (PIO) Scheme and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) for establishing a constructive relationship with the Indian diaspora. Subsequently, the Indian Parliament amended the Citizenship Act in 2002 and provided two special statuses, i.e. Person of Indian Origin Card (PIO) Scheme and Overseas Citizenship of India. These schemes were later merged into “Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder.” 
  • Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) is a person who, or any of their ancestors, were Indian nationals and presently holding another country’s Citizenship and passport (other than Pakistan and Bangladesh).

Benefits available for OCI

  • Facilitate visa-free travel to India.
  • Rights of residency in India.
  • Rights regarding participation in business and educational activities in the country

However, such persons shall not have the following rights as given to Citizens of India, which include

  • Right to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
  • Eligibility for election as President of India, Vice President of India, Member of the Lok Sabha, Member of Rajya Sabha, Member of State Legislative Assemblies or Councils
  • Eligibility for appointment as a Supreme Court Judge and High Court Judge

Sugar Industry (in India and World)

Sugar Industry in India

This article deals with the ‘Sugar Industry (in India and World).’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’, which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


India is the world’s second-largest sugarcane producer, and sugarcane stands as its most crucial cash crop. In addition to yielding sugar, jaggery, and khandsari, it furnishes molasses for the alcoholic beverage sector and bagasse for the paper manufacturing industry.

Locational factors

1. Raw material

  • The sucrose content in sugarcane starts to decrease as time passes after harvesting, making it imperative for the sugar to be extracted within 24 hours to achieve better recovery. As a result, the ideal location for sugar mills would be close to the sugarcane fields to minimize transportation time and maximize sucrose content preservation.

2. Weight loss

  • The weight loss of sugarcane during processing is significant, with sugar accounting for around 10% of the total bulky sugarcane. This high weight loss further underscores the importance of situating sugar mills near the source of raw material, as it reduces transportation costs and logistical challenges associated with moving large quantities of sugarcane over long distances.

Sugar Mill & Sugar Refinery : 2 Separate Location Principles

Sugar Industry (in India and World)

Sugar Mill

The core unit of the Sugar Industry is the sugar mill, a facility where sugarcane undergoes a series of processes to yield various forms of sugar products.

Input Sugarcane
Process Sugar juice + boiling =brown sugar
output Raw Coarse Brown Sugar, Bagasse and Molasses
Location Principle Regarding the location of sugar mills, they are strategically placed in close proximity to sugar-farming areas to minimize the transportation costs of raw sugarcane. This proximity ensures freshly harvested sugarcane can be quickly transported to the mill for processing, minimizing transportation time and maximizing sucrose content preservation. E.g. in Uttar Pradesh, Maharahstra, South Gujarat.

Sugar Refinery

Sugar Refinery transforms the raw coarse brown sugar obtained from sugar mills into refined sugars of various grades, including brown and white sugars.

Input Raw Coarse Brown Sugar (from sugar mill)
Process Raw Sugar is refined
output Brown and White sugars of various grades.
Location Principle Sugar refineries are strategically located near their target markets. By situating the refineries close to major urban centres or food processing industries, the sugar industry can effectively supply its products to various sectors of the economy, including food and beverage production, confectionery, and other consumer goods.

Cuba is the Sugar Bowl of the world. WHY?

Cuba is the Sugar Bowl of the world. WHY?

The following factors contribute to Cuba’s remarkable success in the sugar industry.


  • Cuba’s high temperatures and the prevalence of the northeast trade winds create an ideal environment for sugarcane cultivation.  


  • The fertile calcareous soil in Cuba allows sugarcane crops to thrive and ensures that multiple harvests can be obtained within a year.


  • The influx of American capital following the Spanish-American War in the late 19th century facilitated modernization, technological advancements, and increased efficiency in sugar production.  


  • Cuba has a strategic geographic location due to its proximity to the United States and its relatively short distance from northwest Europe.  


  • Slave labour was used to cultivate sugarcane, resulting in significant production.

Government policy

  • Before the rise of Fidel Castro, the main market for Cuba’s sugar exports was the United States. 
  • After the Cuban Revolution, the focus shifted towards other markets, such as the Soviet Union, and the country experimented with cooperative and collective models of sugar production.

USA is a major producer of sugar?

Sugar production is primarily concentrated in two distinct regions: Louisiana and Hawaii.


  • Subtropical climate is conducive to sugarcane cultivation. 
  • Earlier, cheap labour was available. Later, they invested in automated harvesting machines and precision agriculture techniques. 


  • Hawaii’s islands’ volcanic soils are suitable for sugarcane cultivation.
  • Historically, Hawaii’s sugar industry relied heavily on immigrant labour, including Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Portuguese workers. Later, they invested in Mechanized methods like combine harvesters and automated irrigation systems. 

Other Producers: Mauritius and Fiji

Soil and Climate

  • Soil is favourable for sugarcane cultivation
  • Wet Climate favours sugarcane plantations.


  • Indentured labourers played a crucial role in establishing and sustaining the sugar industry in these island nations.  

Sugar Industry in India

  • In India, the sugar industry holds significant prominence as it leads the world in the production of both sugarcane and cane sugar. 
  • Besides, khandasari and gur or jaggery are also prepared from sugarcane. 
  • This industry directly employs 4 lakh persons.
  • Development of the industry on modern lines dates back to 1903 when a sugar mill was started in Bihar. Subsequently, sugar mills were started in other parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In 1950-51, 139 factories were in operation. The number of sugar factories rose to 662 in 2010-11.

Concentration of Sugar Mills in India

The sugar industry in India is geographically diverse, with various regions contributing significantly to its production. 


  • Maharashtra stands out as the largest sugar producer, accounting for over one-third of the country’s total output. 
  • The sugar industry in Maharashtra is concentrated in the following regions 
    1. Western Maharashtra’s river valleys
    2. Sangli, Solapur and Satara
    3. Ahmadnagar, Pune and Nasik

Uttar Pradesh

  • Uttar Pradesh is the second-largest sugar producer in India. 
  • The sugar industry in Maharashtra is concentrated in the following regions 
    1. Western UP and Terai region
    2. Meerut, Moradabad and Muzaffarnagar
    3. Sitapur, Gorakhpur and Saharanpur

Tamil Nadu

  • Tamil Nadu’s presence in the sugar industry is notable, with Coimbatore and Tiruchirapalli as key centres of production.


  • In Karnataka, Chitradurga and Shimoga are instrumental in contributing to the state’s sugar output. 

Andhra Pradesh

  • Andhra Pradesh’s sugar industry is prominent around cities like Hyderabad and Nizamabad.

Sugar Mills are concentrated in Maharashtra?

The concentration of sugar mills in Maharashtra, India, can be attributed to a combination of various favourable factors 

  1. Favourable Climate 
    • The warm climate supports better yield, and Maharashtra benefits from the abundant sunlight and warmth. 
    • The proximity to the ocean further enhances the sugarcane growth, as the minimal temperature fluctuations between day and night increase sugar yield and sugar content within the cane.
  2. Soil: Lava soil in the region enhances fertility and water retention capabilities. This soil characteristic proves beneficial for sugarcane growth.
  3. Energy: Mills use bagasse as fuel ( and is not a deciding factor in the case of the Sugar industry)
  4. Transport: The transport infrastructure, specifically the presence of Mumbai Port, plays a crucial role in facilitating exports.
  5. Labour: The transport infrastructure, specifically the presence of Mumbai Port, plays a crucial role in facilitating exports.

Sugar Mills are concentrated in UP?

The sugar industry in India has a significant concentration of sugar mills in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). Various factors have influenced this geographical concentration. 

  1. Soil Composition: The presence of potash and lime in the soil of Uttar Pradesh provides a favourable environment for sugarcane growth. 
  2. Abundant Water Resources: The state of Uttar Pradesh is blessed with major rivers like the Ganga and Yamuna, along with their numerous tributaries. 
  3. Energy Efficiency: Sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh have adopted an eco-friendly approach by utilizing bagasse, a by-product of sugarcane processing, as a renewable energy source.
  4. Well-Connected Transportation Network: The dense road network in Uttar Pradesh and its flat terrain facilitate easy sugarcane transportation from farms to mills.
  5.  Seasonal and Migratory Labour: The availability of seasonal and migratory labour in Uttar Pradesh helps maintain lower production costs. 
  6. Large Domestic Market: With its substantial population, Uttar Pradesh boasts a large domestic market that exhibits a consistent demand for various sugar products like gur, khandsari, and sugar itself. 
  7. Government Intervention: Regulatory measures, subsidies, and price support mechanisms impact the industry’s economic dynamics and stability

Sugar Industry: North vs South

When comparing the sugar industries in North and South India, it’s intriguing to note that despite the favourable climatic conditions for sugarcane growth in the southern regions due to the absence of extreme heat, frost, and the moderating influence of the sea, the northern part of the country has a greater concentration of sugar industry. This phenomenon can be attributed to historical, economic, and agricultural factors.

  1. Historical Factors: During the British colonial period, the northern regions of India were known for cultivating indigo, a plant used for producing natural dyes. However, with the advent of synthetic dyes, the demand for natural indigo diminished, leading many farmers in the North to seek alternative crops. Sugarcane emerged as a viable substitute due to its potential for sugar production. 
  2. Other Options Available: Despite the climatic advantages in the South, farmers in those regions have better options for cultivating cash crops. Cash crops like cotton, tobacco, and coconut are well-suited to the southern climate and soil conditions.
  3. In the North, the historical presence of sugar mills and the availability of infrastructure might have facilitated the growth of the sugar industry.

Problems Faced by the Sugar Industry in India 

  • Problem with State Advised Price (SAP): Due to political considerations, SAP is kept high, making sugarcane the most attractive crop to grow (due to this, it is grown even in drought-prone regions like Maharashtra). As a result, sugar mills are forced to pay high prices, culminating in high arrears to farmers. 
  • Low Yield of Sugarcane: Per hectare, sugarcane productivity is low in India compared to global standards. For instance, productivity in India is 64.5 tons/hectare compared to Java – 90 tons/hectare & Hawaii – 120 tons/hectare.
  • Mismatch between Sugar and sugarcane prices: The government tries to keep sugar prices low (to get the votes of consumers) but sugarcane prices high (to get the votes of farmers). As a result, sugar mills suffer losses. 
  • Over-Regulation
    • The sugar industry is an over-regulated industry. Every sugar mill is allocated a command area, and the mill is bound to purchase sugarcane grown in that area. Sugarcane farmers can sell their sugarcane only in designated mills. 
    • State governments fix the quotas for different end uses of molasses and restrict their movement outside the state. 
    • Some states have even restricted the selling of power generated from bagasse outside the state. 
  • Old and obsolete machinery: Most of the machinery used in Indian mills, particularly in UP and Bihar, is old and obsolete, being 50-60 years old 

Copper Industry in India and World

Copper Industry in India and World

This article deals with the ‘Copper Industry in India and World.’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’, which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


  • Copper is essential for the electric industry.
  • Due to the increase in demand,  new mining & smelting techniques have developed.

Uses of Copper

Copper Industry in India and World

Stages of Copper Refining

  • First stage, i.e. Concentration: In this process, we get blister copper using the froth floatation method, which is 2.5% of the original quantity. Hence, concentration is done near the mine.
  • Second Stage: Blister Copper is 99% pure but can’t be used as such. Refining of Blister Copper is done using electrolysis. In this process, weight loss is just 1%. Hence, electricity is the deciding factor in this stage. 

Location Factors of Copper Industry

  1. Availability of Copper Deposits:  Regions with abundant copper ore reserves have a competitive advantage. For example, 
    • Malanjkhand copper deposit in Madhya Pradesh is one of India’s largest copper deposits, leading to the establishment of the Malanjkhand Copper Project.
    • Khetri Copper Complex in Rajasthan is strategically located near the Khetri mines, a major copper ore source.
  2. Power Supply: Reliable and affordable power supply is essential for copper smelting and refining processes. Areas with access to sufficient electricity, preferably with a stable grid, are preferred. 
  3. Infrastructure and Transportation: Adequate infrastructure, including transportation networks, is crucial for the copper industry. The Tuticorin Port in Tamil Nadu is an important hub for copper imports and exports, providing a favourable location for copper-related industries in the region.
  4. Skilled Labor Force: A skilled labour force with expertise in mining, metallurgy, engineering, and related fields is crucial for the copper industry.
  5. Government Policies and Incentives: Favorable government policies, like tax incentives, subsidies etc., can attract copper industries to specific locations.
  6. Market Access: Proximity to domestic and international markets is important for copper industries. 

Global Copper Industry

1. Chile

  • Chile is the world’s largest copper producer, accounting for a significant portion of the global copper supply. The country’s vast copper deposits are mainly located in the Atacama Desert.

 2. Zaire and Zambia

  • Zaire and Zambia, both African nations, possessed significant copper ore reserves and established refineries to process the raw material into valuable copper products. In an effort to exert more control over their natural resources and economic sectors, the governments of Zaire and Zambia chose to nationalize these refineries. 
  • However, the nationalization of the copper refineries did not go as planned, and the refineries began to face financial struggles, turning into loss-making ventures due to mismanagement, lack of expertise, and changing market dynamics.

3. China

  • China is a significant player in both copper production and consumption. Major copper-producing provinces in China include Jiangxi, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang.

4. Australia

  • Australia has substantial copper resources and availability of cheap electricity.

5. Indonesia

  • Indonesia is a major copper producer, with its Grasberg mine being one of the world’s largest copper and gold mines.

6. USA

  • The Copper industry was concentrated around the states of Utah, Montana, and Arizona (UMA). These states are known for their historical significance in copper mining and refining. 
  • However, the landscape of the industry in the UMA region started to shift due to factors such as rising costs of electricity, legal requirements to curb sulfur dioxide emissions necessitating expensive upgrades and Foreign competitors offering increased competition.

7. Canada

  • Canada has copper production primarily in provinces such as British Columbia and Ontario.

8. Russia

  • Russia’s copper operations are concentrated in regions like the Ural Mountains and Siberia.

9. Mexico

  • Mexico’s copper production is centred in areas like Sonora and Zacatecas.

Main Copper producing units in India

Da ej 

1. Khetri, Rajasthan

  •  Khetri, in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan, is one of India’s largest copper mining and smelting complexes. 
  • It is operated by Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) and houses one of the oldest copper mines in the country.

2. Korba, Chattisgarh

  • Korba unit is operated by BALCO.
  • It gets its ore from Amarkantak and electricity from Korba thermal plant.

3. Dahej, Gujarat

  • HINDALCO (a company of the Aditya Birla Group) has its Copper Division in Dahej (in Bharuch district of Gujarat).

4. Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh

  • The Malanjkhand Copper Project, located in Balaghat, is one of the largest open-pit copper mines in India. 
  • It is operated by Hindustan Copper Limited.

5. Bhubaneswar, Odisha

  • Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, is home to the Indian Copper Complex (ICC) smelter and refinery operated by Hindustan Copper Limited.  

6. Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu

  • Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu houses Sterlite Copper Smelter, which is one of the largest copper smelters in India. 
  • However, the smelter has been non-operational since 2018 due to environmental concerns.

Evolution of Indian States & UTs

Evolution of Indian States & UTs

This article deals with ‘Evolution of Indian States & UTs – Indian Polity.’ This is part of our series on ‘Polity’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here.

Evolution of Indian States & UTs

During British times

During British colonial rule, the states and territories in India were characterized by a complex administrative structure consisting of two main categories: Provinces and Princely States.

  1. Provinces: These were governed directly by British Officials.
  2. Princely States: These were ruled by the local hereditary rulers (Maharajas, Nawabs, or Rajas), who acknowledged the suzerainty of the British Crown through treaties or agreements but maintained a significant degree of autonomy over their internal affairs. 

At the time of Independence

When India became independent on August 15, 1947, the Britishers dissolved their existing treaties with more than 600 Princely States. They were allowed to either accede to India or Pakistan or declare Independence. Most Princely States (except 3) joined India voluntarily or through armed intervention.

Three notable exceptions stood out among these princely states: Junagadh, Hyderabad, and Jammu & Kashmir. These states posed unique challenges to the newly formed Indian Union and required distinct approaches for their integration.

Junahgarh The issue of Junagadh’s accession was resolved through a Referendum
Hyderabad The integration of Hyderabad was achieved through a military intervention known as “Operation Polo” or the “Police Action.”
Jammu & Kashmir The State of Jammu & Kashmir’s accession to India is a complex and contentious chapter in Indian history. The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, signed the Instrument of Accession, aligning the State with India. This led to a series of events, including tribal incursions and conflict with Pakistan, ultimately resulting in the establishment of the Line of Control.  

In 1950, India’s administrative framework underwent a comprehensive reorganization, leading to a four-fold classification of states:

Part A These included the nine Governor’s Provinces of British India—Assam, Bihar, Bombay, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Orissa, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. 
These states were placed under the governance of a Governor.
Part B These included nine former Princely States or groups of Princely States with Legislative Assemblies—Jammu & Kashmir, Hyderabad, Madhya Bharat, Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU), Mysore, Rajasthan, Travancore-Cochin, Saurashtra, and Vindhya Pradesh. 
These states were under the governance of Rajpramukh, often a Royal Prince.
Part C This category included Commissioner’s Provinces and certain Princely States, totaling ten—Ajmer, Bhopal, Bilaspur, Cooch-Behar, Coorg, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Kutch, Manipur, and Tripura. 
These states were placed under the jurisdiction of a Chief Commissioner.
Part D Part D State included Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
A Lieutenant Governor administered it.

Linguistic Provinces Commission/Dhar Commission of 1948

  • Boundaries of Indian provinces were drawn haphazardly, and no heed was paid to linguistic and cultural cohesion. Hence, there was a constant demand for the linguistic reorganization of states. 
  • In the wake of such demands, a Linguistic Provinces Commission, also known as the Dhar Commission, under the Chairmanship of SK Dhar, was constituted by the Constituent Assembly in 1948 to look into the reorganization of states in India. 
  • In the course of its deliberations, the Dhar Commission conducted a meticulous examination of the prevailing dynamics, consulting a broad spectrum of stakeholders, intellectuals, and experts across the nation. 
  • In its report, the Commission recommended that the reorganization of states should be based on administrative convenience rather than on a linguistic basis.
  • But the stance on prioritizing administrative convenience sparked intense debates and discussions throughout the nation. Proponents of linguistic states expressed concerns about the potential dilution of cultural identity and argued that administrative efficiency should not overshadow the emotional and historical bonds that language shared among communities. 

JVP Commission of 1949

  • Indian National Congress, in its Jaipur Session, set up a high-level committee consisting of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramiah (JVP Committee) to consider the recommendation of the Dhar Commission.
  • It concluded that language couldn’t be considered the basis for State Reorganisation, and utmost caution should be observed in proceeding with the linguistic reorganization of States.
  • But it resulted in strong agitations. The commission’s recommendations particularly impacted the Telegu-speaking regions of Madras. Tragically, the agitation took a grave turn when Poti Sriramulu, a prominent Congress leader, embarked on a hunger strike demanding the creation of a separate Andhra state. His sacrifice and subsequent death due to the fast further exacerbated tensions, resulting in violent riots and disturbances. The government, under pressure, carved out Andhra Pradesh from Madras by separating the 16 Telugu-speaking districts of Madras State. 
  • This move, although addressing the immediate concerns of the agitating masses, set a precedent and emboldened other linguistic groups across the country to demand similar reorganization based on linguistic affinity.  

State Reorganization Commission or Fazl Ali Commission of 1953

  • The creation of Andhra sparked agitations all over the Union of India, where the various linguistic and religious regions demanded separate statehoods. Hence, Jawaharlal Nehru appointed the States Reorganization Commission (1953), under the chairmanship of Fazl Ali and consisting of KM Panikkar and HN Kunzru, to resolve the issue.
  • Recommendations of the Fazl Ali Commission or State Reorganization Commission 
    1. Language as the Basis for Reorganization: The commission was to accept language as the fundamental criterion for the reorganization of states. 
    2. Rejecting ‘One Language, One State’: While the commission endorsed the principle of linguistic states, it rejected the notion of a strict ‘one language, one state’ policy.
    3. Comprehensive Considerations: Financial, economic and administrative considerations, as well as planning & welfare of people, should also be considered in state reorganization.
    4. Abolishing Four-Fold Classification: 4 fold classification of states should be abolished, and 16 states & 3 centrally administrative territories should be created instead.
  • Subsequently, the State Reorganisation Act of 1956 was passed, leading to the 7th Amendment, which resulted in 14 states & 6 UTs. 

Formation of States

The reorganization of existing state boundaries since the consolidation of the Indian Union in 1950 can be broadly classified under 3 phases.

Phase 1: Linguistic Reorganization (Till 1960)

Andhra Pradesh 1953 Andhra Pradesh was established by separating 16 Telugu-speaking districts from Madras State, fulfilling the linguistic aspirations of the Telugu-speaking population.  
Kerala 1956 The State Reorganisation Act of 1956 led to the creation of Kerala by combining the princely states of Travancore and Cochin, thus consolidating all Malayalam-speaking regions.  
Karnataka 1956 Karnataka emerged as a state predominantly for Kannada speakers, encompassing areas of the Erstwhile princely state of Mysore.  
Gujarat and Bombay 1960 The state of Bombay was divided to form the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, responding to linguistic and cultural identities.  

Phase 2

Nagaland 1962 Nagaland was created by separating it from Assam, recognizing the unique identity and aspirations of the Naga people.  
Punjab and Haryana 1966 The division of Punjab resulted in the creation of Haryana as a separate state, with Chandigarh serving as a union territory shared by both states.  
Himachal Pradesh 1970 Himachal Pradesh attained statehood, transitioning from a Union Territory.  
Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura 1971 These were first made ‘autonomous states’ within the State of Assam by the 22nd Constitutional Amendment. Later they were made full-fledged states in 1971.
Sikkim 1974    Sikkim was originally ruled by the Chogyal dynasty and a Protectorate of India. But in 1974, Sikkim was given the status of an Associate State through the 35th Constitutional Amendment. Subsequently, in 1975, the rule of Chogyals was abolished, and Sikkim was incorporated into India as a full-fledged state.  
Mizoram 1986 Mizoram was established as a separate state, recognizing the unique identity of its people.  
Arunachal Pradesh 1986 The North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) was reorganized and granted full statehood as Arunachal Pradesh.  
Goa 1987 Goa was separated from the Union-Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu and was made a full-fledged State of Goa. The remaining regions, i.e. Daman and Diu, remained as Union Territories.  

Phase 3: 2000s to Present

From 2000s, the basis of the demanding state has changed from linguistic principles to ethnicity, backwardness, administrative convenience etc. For example, the State of Uttarakhand was created based on administrative convenience, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand based on tribal ethnicity and Telangana based on backwardness. 

Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand 2000 These states were carved out of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, respectively, addressing regional imbalances and tribal aspirations.  
Telangana 2 June 2014 Formed through the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act of 2014, Telangana emerged as a separate state, addressing issues of backwardness and regional disparities.

Ongoing Demands: Aspirations and Challenges 

Despite the substantial reorganization, several demands for new states persist based on different criteria:

  1. Gorkhaland (West Bengal): Ethnic considerations underlie the demand for Gorkhaland.
  2. Kamtapur (Assam): The Koch Rajbangsi community seeks a separate Kamtapur state.
  3. Bodoland (Assam): The Bodo people aspire for a separate Bodoland state.
  4. Vidarbha (Maharashtra): Calls for Vidarbha statehood are grounded in developmental and regional concerns.
  5. Saurashtra (Gujarat): The demand for a Saurashtra state reflects regional identity and underdevelopment.
  6. Fourfold Division of Uttar Pradesh (Harit Pradesh, Awadh Pradesh, Purvanchal, Bundelkhand): Administrative convenience and developmental factors underpin demands for dividing Uttar Pradesh.

Aluminium Industry in India and World

Aluminium Industry in India and World

This article deals with the ‘Aluminium Industry in India and World.’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’, which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Aluminium is abundant in the earth’s crust, but a significant concentration in one place is needed for mining. 

Useful Properties of Aluminium

The following properties of Aluminium make it a valuable metal.

  1. Elasticity: Aluminium exhibits impressive elasticity, allowing it to be bent and deformed without easily breaking. This property is vital in applications where materials must withstand varying stresses and strains.
  2. Conductivity of Electricity and Heat: Aluminium boasts excellent electrical conductivity, allowing it to transmit electric current efficiently. Hence, it is preferred for heat sinks, radiators, and cookware.
  3. Modulability: Aluminium can be easily modulated into a wide range of shapes. 
  4. Corrosion Resistance: Upon exposure to air, Aluminium forms a thin oxide layer that protects it from further oxidation, extending its lifespan and reducing maintenance requirements.
  5. Recyclability: Aluminium’s recyclability is noteworthy, as it can be recycled repeatedly without losing its fundamental properties. 
  6. Lightweight: The low density of Aluminium contributes to its lightweight nature, making it an ideal choice for applications where weight reduction is crucial, such as in the aerospace and automotive industries.
  7. Non-Toxicity: Aluminium is considered safe for various applications due to its non-toxic nature, making it suitable for contact with food and beverages. This characteristic has led to its prevalent use in food packaging and kitchen utensils.

Process of obtaining Aluminium

Aluminium Industry in India and World

Location Factors Influencing Aluminium Industry

Manufacturing one metric ton of Aluminium requires around 6 metric tonnes of Bauxite and power consumption of 18,573 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

  • Bauxite Availability: The availability of Bauxite, the primary raw material for producing Aluminium, plays a crucial role in determining the location of Aluminium industries. Countries like Guinea, Australia, and Brazil, which possess significant bauxite reserves, enjoy a competitive edge in Aluminium production. They can obtain Bauxite at a lower cost compared to countries that need to import it, giving them an advantage in the Aluminium manufacturing sector.
  • Cheap Electricity: Alumina to Aluminium conversion is done using electrolysis. Aluminium smelters require large amounts of energy, often supplied by hydroelectric power plants near the smelter. Therefore, Aluminium plants are usually located near water sources and dams that can generate electricity.

Global Aluminium Industry

The availability of cheap electricity has influenced the location of the Aluminium industry. This factor has played a significant role in determining the locations of main Aluminium refining centres worldwide.

During the 1970s, countries like Japan, the USA, and Western Europe were prominent players in the Aluminium industry. However, as the cost of electricity increased in these areas, they faced challenges in maintaining their competitive edge. This shift in competitiveness prompted the relocation of Aluminium production facilities to other regions that offered more cost-effective electricity options.

Presently, major Aluminium refining countries include Australia, Canada, Brazil, China, and Russia. These countries have been able to maintain their competitiveness due to their relatively low electricity costs.

Main Producers Include

1. Canada and Norway

  • Canada and Norway are prime examples of countries that lack domestic bauxite resources but have a strong Aluminium industry presence. 
  • The availability of cheap electricity, primarily from hydroelectric resources, has enabled these nations to attract Aluminium refining companies. 

2. Japan

  • Japan, once a leader in Aluminium production, faced a decline due to rising electricity prices. Consequently, many companies shifted their operations to countries like Australia and Indonesia, which offer abundant bauxite reserves and comparatively lower electricity costs.

3. Australia

Australia stands out due to its significant deposits of bauxite and diverse electricity generation sources.

  • Queensland & Victoria: In regions like Queensland and Victoria, coal-based thermal power plants contribute to the availability of cheap electricity
  • Tasmania: Tasmania benefits from its ample hydroelectric resources.

4. USA

The United States, with its vast geography, has seen Aluminium production centres in various regions. 

  • Eastern USA: The eastern part of the USA, encompassing states like Arkansas, Georgia, and Alabama, has historically been associated with Aluminium production. 
  • Western USA: Western states like Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico have also hosted Aluminium refineries. 

However, environmental considerations and taxes have impacted the growth of the Aluminium industry in the USA.

5. Iceland

  • Iceland has emerged as an attractive destination for Aluminium companies due to its abundant supply of low-cost and renewable energy sources. The country’s geothermal and hydroelectric energy has lured Aluminium manufacturers seeking energy-efficient and sustainable operations.

Main Aluminium producing units in India

The Aluminium smelting sector holds the second most significant position in India’s metallurgical landscape, trailing only behind the iron and steel industry. Its contribution is pivotal to the comprehensive growth of the nation’s industrial sector.

Aluminium producing units in India

Aluminium Industry in India

Both private and public sector enterprises are present in Aluminium production

1. Private Sector


HINDALCO, owned by the Aditya Birla Group, is a prominent player in the Indian Aluminium industry. The company operates two major plants in Renukoot (Uttar Pradesh) and Hirakud (Odisha).

a. Renukoot Plant, Uttar Pradesh (UP) 

Bauxite Lohardaga-Pakhar region in Jharkhand
Electricity Rihand Dam on the Rihand River
Skilled Labour Comprehensive residential township and medical facilities are present to ensure a conducive working environment.
Transportation Well connected via rail and road

b. Hirakud Plant, Odisha 

Bauxite Kalahandi-Koraput region in Odisha
Electricity Captive coal blocks at Talabira
Transportation Well connected via rail and road

2. Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)

1. National Aluminium Company (NALCO)

  • NALCO is a leading PSU in the Indian aluminium industry, with its primary facility located in Koraput, Odisha.
  • The company capitalizes on the abundant bauxite reserves in Odisha.
  • NALCO’s operations are supported by a coal-based captive power plant, ensuring a steady energy supply for its Aluminium production processes.

2. Madras Aluminium Company (MALCO)

  • MALCO is situated in Salem, Tamil Nadu.  
  • The Shevaroy Hills in Tamil Nadu provide the necessary Bauxite.  
  • The company utilizes hydroelectricity from the Mettur Dam to power its Aluminium production operations.

3. Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO )

  • BALCO, located in Korba, Chhattisgarh. 
  • The Korba region is rich in Aluminium reserves.
  • BALCO relies on a coal-based captive power plant for its energy needs.

4. Others

  • Indian Aluminium Company (INDAL): In Alupuram, Kerala

Union and its Territory – Indian Polity

Union and its Territory – Indian Polity

This article deals with ‘Union and its Territory – Indian Polity.’ This is part of our series on ‘Polity’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here


Under International Law as laid down under the Montevideo convention, to be recognized as STATE some basic components are required like

  1. Permanent Population
  2. Defined Territory 
  3. Government
  4. Capacity to enter into relations with other states

Hence, TERRITORY plays a significant role in making a recognized state. 

Territory serves as a cornerstone in the establishment of statehood due to its multifaceted implications. A defined territory not only provides a physical space where a population resides and governance takes place but also serves as the spatial jurisdiction within which the State exercises its authority. This territorial demarcation delineates the scope of a state’s legal, political, and economic activities while also acting as a symbol of its sovereignty and distinct identity on the global stage. 

(E.g., Kurds have a Permanent Population, even a somewhat independent government, and they enter into relations with other powers like the US, but they don’t have a defined Territory which is internationally recognized by other states; hence, although Kurds are a nation but not State).

Union and its Territory - Indian Polity

Constitutional Provisions

Articles 1 to 4 of Part 1 deal with Union and its Territory.

Article 1

Article 1 of Indian Constitution

Analysis of Article 1(1)

  • Article 1(1) states that India, that is, Bharat, shall be a Union of States. Hence, the official name of India is ‘India that is Bharat‘. The nomenclature of “India that is Bharat” underscores the country’s rich cultural heritage and historical continuity. It serves as a bridge between the modern and ancient, acknowledging the deep-rooted historical legacy while embracing the contemporary identity.
  • India is a Union of States and not a Federation of States because
    • India is not the result of an agreement among different states.
    • No state can secede from the Union.
    • States can’t change the boundaries on their own free will.
  • It should also be noted that the term ‘Union’ was preferred over ‘Centre’ because 
    • States are neither the agencies of the Union nor derive their powers from it. Both the entities, i.e. the Union and the States, are the creation of the Constitution, and both derive their respective authority from the Constitution.
    • The Constitution clearly demarcated the Legislative and Executive powers between Union and States.
    • The relationship between Union and States is not of subordination but cooperation.
  • Point to note
India Indestructible Union of destructible state
USA Indestructible Union of indestructible states
Canada Destructible Union of destructible states

Analysis of Article 1(2)

  • Article 1(2) of the Indian Constitution states that the states and territories thereof shall be as specified in the First Schedule.
  • Hence, Schedule 1 of the Indian Constitution contains the name of states and Union Territories along with their territorial extent.

Analysis of Article 1(2)

Article 1(2) of the Indian Constitution delineates the expansive and dynamic concept of the territorial boundaries of India. This provision lays down the comprehensive composition of the territory of India, highlighting the multi-faceted nature of its geographical and political entity.

The Territory of India consists of

  • Territory of States: The first component encapsulates the territories of the different states that collectively form the Indian Union. 
  • Union Territories:  The second aspect encompasses the Union Territories (UTs), regions directly administered by the central government.
  • Territories that the Government of India may acquire at any time: The third facet introduces a dynamic and potentially evolving aspect of India’s territory. It emphasizes that the territorial scope of India is not static, as the Government of India has the authority to acquire additional territories at any time. 

Hence, the Territory of India is greater than the Union of India. While the Union of India comprises only those states that are members of the federal structure and share powers with the central government, the Territory of India extends beyond this federal composition. It encompasses not only states but also union territories and, importantly, leaves room for potential future territorial acquisitions.

Article 2

  • Article 2 of the Indian Constitution empowers Parliament to admit new States into the Union and the power to establish new States on such terms & conditions as it thinks fit.
  • This article is meant for the newly acquired area, which wasn’t part of India earlier. Parliament exercised this power to admit the French enclaves of Pondicherry, Karaikal, and others, as well as the Portuguese enclave of Goa, into the Indian Union.
  • Significant Supreme Court Judgements in this regard include
    • In N. Masthan Sahib v. Chief Commissioner of Pondicherry, the Supreme Court held that mere having administrative control over the Territory of Pondicherry didn’t mean the territory had been transferred to India. For the legal transfer of territory, ratifying the cession between France and India is necessary.
    • Similarly, later in SR Bhansali v. Union of India, it was held that mere physical control of territory by force of arms didn’t amount to ‘acquisition’ and the territory conquered in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 had not become a part of the Territory of India.

Hence, ratification by both sovereigns is an essential condition for the acquisition of territory.

Article 3

Article 3 of Indian COnstitution


  • Bill can be introduced in any house with the prior recommendation of the President.
  • Before recommending the bill, President would send it to the concerned state legislature to seek its opinion within the time limit.
  • If State doesn’t respond within time, it can be extended or introduced in Parliament without the State’s recommendation.
  • Parliament is not bound to act on the recommendation of the State Legislature (ruled by the Supreme Court in Babulal Parate v. the State of Bombay).
  • The bill needs to be passed by the Parliament with a simple majority.

Recent development happened in 2017 when the above provision was challenged in Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation. In the case of the creation of the State of Telangana, the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013 was decisively rejected by the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Council. But the same did not deter the Government from going ahead with the passage of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 (Telangana) in the Parliament. Hence, the petition demanded to declare bifurcation to be Unconstitutional. The petition claimed that the 

  • The Centre had introduced the bill when the Andhra Pradesh State Legislature rejected it. They contended that the bifurcation violated the basic provisions of federalism.
  • There should be a “federal index” for State formation. The Union can’t have roughshod over the federal structure.

A full verdict is awaited. It is hoped that the Supreme Court will clarify the procedure to be followed in case of such bifurcations.

There are instances where the State Legislatures have passed a resolution for creating new states. But constitutionally, states cannot initiate the creation process of states. The motion passed by Uttar Pradesh Assembly in 2011 to divide the State into 4 parts – Poorvanchal, Paschim Pradesh, Awadh Pradesh, and Bundelkhand had only suggestive value but no material significance in Constitutional terms.

Article 4

Laws made under Article 2 & Article 3 are not Amendments to Constitution under Article 368 and hence can be passed by a simple majority. The ordinary legislative procedure can pass such laws through a simple majority.

Supreme Court rulings on the important questions

Do the power to diminish the area of the State also constitute the power to cede territory to a foreign country?

  • The matter arose in the Berubari Union Case of 1960 when India ceded the Berubari Union region in West Bengal to Pakistan (under the Nehru-Noon Agreement of 1958).
  • The Supreme Court said  Parliament doesn’t have the power to diminish area by ceding its territory to another country under Article 3 as its implementation would reduce the total area of India. Consequently, amending Article 1 and pertinent sections of the Constitution’s First Schedule becomes necessary, requiring a Constitutional Amendment as per Article 368.
    • Consequently, the 9th Constitutional Amendment was enacted in 1960 to transfer Berubari to Pakistan.
    • In 2015, when India ceded 111 Land Enclaves to Bangladesh, the 100th Constitutional Amendment Act was passed. It amended the First Schedule of the Constitution. 
  • In the 1970s, India ceded Katchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka after signing a bilateral treaty. The decision was against the Berubari Judgement as Indian territory can be ceded to any foreign country through a constitutional amendment. Hence, Tamil groups challenged this action in the Supreme Court of India, and the case is still pending before the Supreme Court. 

How to settle boundary disputes?

  • In the Ram Kishore case / Berubari II Case, the Supreme Court held that cessation of the territory is different from the settlement of the boundary.  
  • Settlement of boundary disputes & the implementation of the International Tribunal’s Award is within the executive powers of the Government. It doesn’t require any amendment and can be done by executive order.

Leasing of Territory

In Sukumar Sengupta v. Union of India, Supreme Court held that where territory was leased to another State (in this case, it was leased to Bangladesh), it wasn’t necessary to Amend the Constitution. There was no cessation and abandonment of the Sovereignty of India over the territory. 

Stampede (Disaster Management)

Stampede (Disaster Management)

This article deals with ‘Stampede (Disaster Management).’ This is part of our series on ‘Disaster Management’, an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

What is Stampede?

Stampede (Disaster Management)

A stampede refers to a collective and chaotic rush of movement where a large group runs together without coordination, typically driven by a shared instinct to flee from a perceived danger.

Major Stampede Disasters in India

Stampede disasters include 

  • Uphaar Cinema ’97
  • Sabrimala stampede ’99
  • Railway Station Allahabad ’13 
  • Elphinstone Bridge Mumbai ’17 

Causes of Stampede

Structural factors and poor crowd control measures lead to stampedes.

1. Structural Factors  

  • Insufficient exits, narrow passageways, and poorly designed venues can impede the flow of people during events or emergencies, increasing the risk of stampedes.

2. Poor Crowd Management

  • Underestimation of the audience 
  • Crowd Behaviour: The influx of people in a gathering that triggers a stampede occurs when individuals perceive a threat or a lack of personal space. This disruption frequently hampers the organized flow of the crowd, resulting in chaotic and hazardous movements driven by the instinct to protect oneself. As a consequence, injuries and even deaths can occur.  

3. Panic and Fear

  • Stampedes can be triggered by panic and fear within the crowd. Factors such as sudden loud noises, rumours of danger, or perceived threats can create a sense of panic, causing people to rush and trample over each other in an attempt to escape the perceived danger. 

4. Poor coordination between Stakeholders

  • Stampede can happen due to a lack of understanding of the range of duties entrusted, communication delays, coordination gaps between agencies etc. 

Note: Deaths from stampedes occur primarily from compressive asphyxiation. 

Side Topic: Crowd Management

Stampede is closely associated with the concept of Crowd Management.

Crowd management is a strategy employed to maintain public safety by effectively handling and controlling large gatherings, aiming to avoid incidents such as stampedes, conflicts, violent clashes, uprisings, or dispersing assemblies, protests, or demonstrations.

The dynamics of crowds consist of a blend of voluntary and involuntary influences. 

  • When the density of a crowd is properly regulated, individuals within it are primarily influenced by voluntary forces.
  • But when the crowd density exceeds a critical threshold, people’s movements are compelled by involuntary forces, which involve physical pressures exerted by pushing from behind, the sides, or other directions in tightly packed circumstances. During stampede, involuntary forces are dominant.

Dealing with Stampede Disasters

According to NDMA guidelines 

  • Risk Analysis and planning should be the first step. All event organizers should conduct a Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
  • Information management dissemination is crucial. The absence or poor information management in itself may be a source of crowding.  
  • Capacity Planning (Long term and Short term): It emphasizes the need to develop infrastructure based on popularity, periodicity of the event, weather, terrain and local population. 
  • Understanding Crowd Behaviour: The behaviour of an individual in a crowd is influenced by the behaviour of others. The unlawful actions of a few people can result in a larger number following them. 
  • Crowd control-The guiding principle for crowd control should be managing the demand-supply gap by controlling the crowd inflow, regulating the crowd at the venue and controlling the outflow if needed. 
  • Stakeholder approach-organizers/law enforcement agencies must encourage community stakeholders (NGOs, Business Associations, Schools/Colleges, neighbourhoods, societies. Mohall committees etc.) to take ownership in events to uphold unity of purpose, faster decision/response, better coordination etc.  
  • Training: Training crowd management personnel, providing instructions on normal and emergency crowd movement and conducting mock drills is essential to prevent crowd disasters.
  • Technology: Use of Technology like remote sensing, GIS etc., to improve the crowd experience and crowd control.

Earthquakes (Disaster Management)

Earthquakes (Disaster Management)

This article deals with ‘Earthquakes (Disaster Management).’ This is part of our series on ‘Disaster Management’, an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Earthquakes (Disaster Management)

The sudden release of energy in Earth’s crust, which leads to a series of motions due to waves created by the released energy, is called Earthquake. 

Earthquake Prone Regions

  • Tectonic Activity: The Himalayas are still evolving and adjusting to ongoing tectonic movements. The collision between the Indian plates and Eurasian tectonic plates creates immense pressure, resulting in frequent seismic activity in this region. The Himalayas are considered one of the most earthquake-prone regions in the world.
Himalayas- Why are they Earthquake Prone?
  • Gulf of Khambhat and Rann in Western Gujarat: The movement of the Arabian Plate against the Indian Plate contributes to seismic events.
  • Parts of Peninsular India, particularly along the Bhima Fault represented by the river Bhima near Latur, also experience significant seismic activity.
  • The islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands are prone to earthquakes due to their proximity to major tectonic boundaries.
Mercalli Scale and India

Examples of Earthquakes

Some Great Earthquakes occurred in India.

1819: Gujarat 8.3 It caused widespread devastation
1897: Assam 8.7 This event led to extensive liquefaction in the alleviated plains of the Brahmaputra River.
1934: Bihar-Nepal 8.4 The impact of this earthquake was severe, with extensive liquefaction occurring and buildings tilting and slumping into the ground.
1967: Koyna 6.5 The construction of the Koyna Dam induced an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale. The region was relatively aseismic before the dam’s construction in 1962. However, after the dam’s completion, seismic activity increased significantly.

Impact of Earthquake

Earthquake is a natural hazard. The following are the immediate hazardous effects of Earthquakes:

  • Ground Shaking 
  • Land and mudslides
  • Soil liquefaction. 
  • Ground lurching 
  • Avalanches 
  • Ground displacement 
  • Floods from dam and levee failures 
  • Fires.
  • Structural collapse
  • Falling objects
  • Tsunami.
  • Change in the course of the river
  • Human and property loss
  • Cracks in building 

Importance of Preparedness in Earthquakes

  • Disaster Preparedness is most important in case of Earthquakes because it can save a lot of lives. 
  • The most devastating earthquakes in terms of casualties are not necessarily the ones with the highest magnitudes on the Richter scale. Other factors, such as population density, building infrastructure, and preparedness levels, play a significant role in determining the outcome of an earthquake. The Haiti earthquake of 2010, measuring 7 on the Richter scale, serves as a tragic example. It claimed the lives of approximately 316,000 people due to a combination of factors, including a densely populated area and insufficient preparedness measures. 

Ways to deal with Earthquake

1. Disaster Risk Reduction (Before Earthquake)

1.1 Earthquake Resistant Buildings

  • Earthquake Resistant Buildings: Constructing buildings that can withstand seismic forces is crucial. Currently, around 80% of houses in India are not Earthquake resistant. Enhancing building standards and promoting earthquake-resistant construction techniques can significantly reduce casualties 
  • In the Bhuj Earthquake of 2001, RC buildings collapsed just an Earthquake of 7 on the Richter scale when RC buildings should stand up to 7.5

1.2 Seismic Codes

  •  India has a range of seismic codes that provide guidelines for constructing earthquake-resistant structures. However, enforcement of these codes is often lacking. Strengthening the implementation and enforcement of seismic codes is necessary to ensure the safety of buildings. 

1.3 Early Warning Systems

  • Developing and implementing early warning systems can provide valuable seconds to minutes of advance notice before an earthquake strikes. These systems use sensors to detect seismic waves and issue alerts, allowing people to take immediate protective actions and evacuate if necessary. 

1.4 Preparing Vulnerability Maps

  • Creating vulnerability maps of earthquake-prone areas can help identify higher-risk regions and guide decision-making processes. 

1.5 Educating People on How to Respond

  • Conducting mock drills and training sessions in highly vulnerable areas can educate people on earthquake response strategies. 

2. Disaster Response (During Earthquake)

2.1 Fast Response 

  • The time window for rescuing survivors after an earthquake is often narrow. Prompt response by emergency services is crucial. Establishing effective communication channels, coordinating rescue efforts, and deploying trained personnel quickly can increase the chances of saving lives.

2.2 Rescue Operations

  •  Immediate focus should be on clearing debris and locating individuals who are trapped or in need of help. Efforts should be made to find and extract survivors efficiently using specialized equipment and search-and-rescue techniques.

2.3 Relief

  • Providing temporary shelters, medical assistance, and essential supplies to injured individuals is essential. Ensuring that relief camps maintain proper hygiene standards is important to prevent the spread of diseases and minimize casualties. 

3. Recovery and Rehabilitation (After Earthquake)

3.1 Build Back Better

  • Build Back Better: After an earthquake, reconstruction efforts should aim to “build back better.” It involves incorporating seismic-resistant design principles and construction techniques in the rebuilding process. Learning from successful examples, like the reconstruction programs in Bhuj, India, can help create models for earthquake-resistant construction in other affected areas.

3.2 Psychological Services

  • Earthquakes can cause immense psychological trauma for those who have lost loved ones or witnessed the destruction. Providing psychological support services to affected individuals can aid in their recovery and help them cope with the emotional impact of the disaster.  

Case Study: Japan Model 

Japan is located in a seismically active region known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, making it highly prone to earthquakes. Over the years, Japan has developed an exemplary model of earthquake management that combines proactive measures, technological advancements, and public awareness. 

  1. Earthquake-Resistant Buildings: Japanese engineers and architects have devised innovative techniques and building codes to ensure structures can withstand seismic forces.
  2. Mock Drills: Regular mock drills are crucial in preparing Japanese citizens for earthquake emergencies. These drills are conducted at various levels, from schools and workplaces to entire communities. 
  3. Research and Development: Japan has established the Institute for Earthquake Research, an institution dedicated to studying earthquakes and developing cutting-edge technologies for earthquake management