Chapter 1 of Class 10 Geography introduces you to resources and its classification. Furthermore, going into the depth of the chapter, you will learn the development of resources and resource planning in India. You will know about land resources and the classification of different types of soils found in India. In the end, the chapter discusses Soil Erosion and Soil Conservation. All these topics are discussed in detail in “CBSE Notes Class 10 Geography Chapter 1 – Resources and Development“. Go through these CBSE Class 10 Social Science notes and make your studies more effective. You can also download these notes in PDF.

CBSE Class 10 Geography Chapter 1 Notes – Resources and Development PDF

Everything available in our environment which can be used to satisfy our needs, provided, it is technologically accessible, economically feasible and culturally acceptable can be termed as ‘Resource’

Human beings themselves are essential components of resources. They transform material available in our environment into resources and use them.

These resources can be classified in the following ways

(a) On the basis of origin – biotic and abiotic 

(b) On the basis of exhaustibility – renewable and non-renewable 

(c) On the basis of ownership – individual,

community, national and international 

(d) On the basis of status of development –potential, developed stock and reserves.

CBSE Class 10 Geography Chapter 1 Notes


On the Basis of Origin

Biotic Resources: These are obtained from biosphere and have life such as human beings, flora and fauna, fisheries, livestock etc. 

Abiotic Resources: All those things which are composed of nonliving things are called abiotic resources. For example, rocks and metals.

On the Basis of Exhaustibility

Renewable Resources: The resources which can be renewed or reproduced by physical, chemical or mechanical processes are known as renewable or replenishable resources. For example, solar and wind energy, water, forests and wildlife, etc. The renewable resource may further be divided into continuous or flow.

Non-Renewable Resources: These occur over a very long geological time. Minerals and fossil fuels are examples of such resources. These resources take millions of years in their formation. Some of the resources like metals are recyclable and some like fossil fuels cannot be recycled and get exhausted with them. 

On the Basis of Ownership

Individual Resources: These are also owned privately by individuals. Many farmers own land which is allotted to them by the government against the payment of revenue. In villages there are people with land ownership but there are many who are landless. Urban people own plots, houses and other property. Plantation, pasture lands, ponds, water in wells etc. are some of the examples of resources ownership by individuals. Make a list of resources owned by your household.

Community Owned Resources: There are resources which are accessible to all the members of the community. Village commons (grazing grounds, burial grounds, village ponds, etc.) public parks, picnic spots.

National Resources: National Resources are owned by a nation or country. All the minerals, water resources, forests, wildlife, land within the political boundaries and oceanic area up to 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from the coast termed as territorial water and resources therein belong to the nation.

Eg: Roads, canals, railways etc.

International Resources: International Resources are regulated by international institutions. The oceanic resources beyond 200 nautical miles of the Exclusive Economic Zone belong to the open ocean and no individual country can utilise these without the concurrence of international institutions.

On the Basis of the Status of Development

Potential Resources: Resources which are found in a region, but have not been utilised. For example, the western parts of India particularly Rajasthan and Gujarat have enormous potential for the development of wind and solar energy, but so far these have not been developed properly.

Developed Resources: Resources which are surveyed and their quality and quantity have been determined for utilisation. The development of resources depends and level of their feasibility. 

Stock: Materials in the environment which have the potential to satisfy human needs but human beings do not have the appropriate technology to access these, are included among stock. For example, water is a compound of two inflammable gases; hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used as a rich source of energy.

Reserves are the subset of the stock, which can be put into use with the help of existing technical ‘know-how’ but their use has not been started. These can be used for meeting future requirements. River water can be used for generating hydroelectric power but presently, it is being utilised only to a limited extent. Thus, the water in the dams, forests etc. is a reserve which can be used in the future.

Development of Resources

Resources have been used by human beings indiscriminately and this has led to the following major problems -

  • Depletion of resources for satisfying the greed of a few individuals.
  • Accumulation of resources in a few hands, which, in turn, divided the society into two segments i.e rich and poor.
  • It has led to global ecological crises such as global warming, ozone layer depletion, environmental pollution and land degradation.

Sustainable development

Sustainable economic development means ‘development should take place without damaging the environment, and development in the present should not compromise with the needs of the future generations.’

Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, 1992

In June 1992, more than 100 heads of states met in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, for the first International Earth Summit. The Summit was convened for addressing urgent problems of environmental protection and socio- economic development at the global level. The assembled leaders signed the Declaration on Global Climatic Change and Biological Diversity. The Rio Convention endorsed the global Forest Principles and adopted Agenda 21 for achieving Sustainable Development in the 21st century.

What is Agenda 21 ?

It is the declaration signed by world leaders in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which took place at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It aims at achieving global sustainable development. It is an agenda to combat environmental damage, poverty, disease through global co-operation on common interests, mutual needs and shared responsibilities. One major objective of the Agenda 21 is that every local government should draw its own local Agenda 21.

Resource Planning

Resource planning is essential for the sustainable existence of all forms of life. Sustainable Economic Development means “development should take place without damaging the environment, and development in the present should not compromise with the needs of future generations.” 


In India, there are some regions which can be considered self-sufficient in terms of the availability of resources and There are some regions which can be considered self-sufficient in terms of the availability of resources and there are some regions which have acute shortage of some vital resources. For example, the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are rich in minerals and coal deposits. Arunachal Pradesh has an abundance of water resources but lacks in infrastructural development.

Resource Planning in India

Resource planning is a complex process which involves:

(i) Identification and inventory of resources across the regions of the country. This involves surveying, mapping and qualitative and quantitative estimation and measurement of the resources.

(ii) Evolving a planning structure endowed with appropriate technology, skill and institutional set up for implementing resource development plans.

(iii) Matching the resource development plans with overall national development plans.

Resources can contribute to development only when they are accompanied by appropriate technological development and institutional changes. India has made concerted efforts towards achieving the goals of resource planning, right from the First Five Year Plan launched after Independence. To overcome irrational consumption and overutilization of resources, resource conservation at various levels is important.

Conservation of Resources

Resources are vital for any developmental activity. But irrational consumption and over-utilisation of resources may lead to socio-economic and environmental problems. To overcome these problems, resource conservation at various levels is important. This had been the main concern of the leaders and thinkers in the past.

 At the international level, the Club of Rome advocated resource conservation for the first time in a more systematic way in 1968. Subsequently, in 1974, Gandhian philosophy was once again presented by Schumacher in his book Small is Beautiful. The seminal contribution with respect to resource conservation at the global level was made by the Brundtland Commission Report, 1987. This report introduced the concept of ‘Sustainable Development’ and advocated it as a means for resource conservation, which was subsequently published in a book entitled Our Common Future. Another significant contribution was made at the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.

Ways to conserve natural resources are followings

  • Walking or cycling for short distances
  • Use of cloth bags instead of plastic bags
  • Try to cut short the usage of plastic and try to replace them by metal containers or biodegradable ones
  • Using the kitchen waste as manure instead of fertiliser
  • Having a small kitchen garden for the supply of oxygen and greenery at home
  • Using public transport, car or bike pooling for travelling the same amount distance
  • Avoid wastage of food
  • Try using electric bikes or cars rather than fuel ones
  • Purchase products made from recycled materials
  • Recycle materials such as metal cans, old cell phones, and plastic bottles
  • Conserve energy at home (turn out lights when they are not needed)

Following these above-mentioned ways may contribute to the conservation of natural resources. Creating awareness to the public is necessary. Now it's high time to take action and start saving our planet earth.

Land Resource

land is a natural resource of utmost importance. It supports natural vegetation, wild life, human life, economic activities, transport and communication systems.

India has land under a variety of relief

features, namely; mountains, plateaus, plains and islands. About 43 per cent of the land area is plain, which provides facilities for agriculture and industry. Mountains account for 30 per cent of the total surface area of the country and ensure perennial flow of some rivers, provide facilities for tourism and ecological aspects. About 27 per cent of the area of the country is the plateau region. It possesses rich reserves of minerals, fossil fuels and forests.

CBSE Class 10 Geography Chapter 1 Notes


Land resources are used for the following purposes:

1. Forests

2. Land not available for cultivation

  1. Barren and waste land

  2. Land put to non-agricultural uses, e.g. buildings, roads, factories, etc.

3. Other uncultivated land (excluding

fallow land)

  1. Permanent pastures and grazing land,

  2. Land under miscellaneous tree crops groves (not included in net sown area),

  3. Culturable waste land (left uncultivated for more than 5 agricultural years).

4. Fallow lands

  1. Current fallow-(left without cultivation for one or less than one agricultural year),

  2. Other than current fallow-(left uncultivated for the past 1 to 5 agricultural years).

5. Net sown area

Area sown more than once in an agricultural year plus net sown area is known as gross cropped area.

Land Use Pattern In India

The use of land is determined both by physical factors such as topography, climate, soil types as well as human factors such as population density, technological capability and culture

and traditions etc. Total geographical area of India is 3.28 million sq km. Land use data, however, is available only for 93% of the total geographical area because the land use reporting for most of the north-east states

Physical factors: such as topography, climate, soil types Human factors: such as population density, technological capability and culture and traditions etc. The data below represents the land use pattern in India.

CBSE Class 10 Geography Chapter 1 Notes

Land Degradation and Conservation Measures

Human activities such as deforestation, overgrazing, mining and quarrying have contributed significantly to land degradation. Mining sites leave deep scars and traces of over-burdening the land. In recent years, industrial effluents as waste have become a major source of land and water pollution in many parts of the country.

CBSE Class 10 Geography Chapter 1 Notes

Some of the ways through which we can solve the problems of land degradation are:

  1. Afforestation and proper management of grazing.
  2. Planting of shelterbelts of plants.
  3. Stabilisation of sand dunes by growing thorny bushes.
  4. Proper management of waste lands.
  5. Control of mining activities.
  6. Proper discharge and disposal of industrial effluents and wastes after treatment.

Soil as a Resource

Soil is the most important renewable natural resource. It is the medium of plant growth and supports different types of living organisms on the earth.

It takes millions of years to form soil upto a few cms in depth. Various forces of nature such as change in temperature, actions of running water, wind and glaciers, activities of decomposers etc contribute to the formation of soil.

Parent rock or bedrock, climate, vegetation and other forms of life and time are important factors in the formation of soil.

Chemical and organic changes which take place in the soil play an important role.

Soil also consists of organic (humus) and inorganic materials.

Classification of Soils

On the basis of the factors responsible for soil formation, colour, thickness, texture, age, chemical and physical properties, the soils of India are classified in different types as mentioned below.

CBSE Class 10 Geography Chapter 1 Notes

Alluvial Soils

The entire northern plains are made of alluvial soil. The Alluvial Soil is deposited by 3 important Himalayan river systems – the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra.

It is also found in Rajasthan, Gujarat and eastern coastal plains particularly in the deltas of the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri rivers.

The alluvial soil consists of various proportions of sand, silt and clay. As we move inlands towards the river valleys, soil particles appear to be bigger in size whereas in the upper side of the river valley, the soils are coarse.

Based on age, Alluvial soils can be classified as:

     Old Alluvial (Bangar): The Bangar soil has a higher concentration of kanker nodules than the Khadar.

     New Alluvial (Khadar): It has more fine particles and is more fertile than the Bangar.

Alluvial soils are very fertile. These soils contain an adequate proportion of potash, phosphoric acid and lime, which are ideal for the growth of sugarcane, paddy, wheat and other cereal and pulse crops.

Black Soil

This soil is black in colour and is also known as regur soil. Climatic conditions along with the parent rock material are the important factors for the formation of black soil.

The soil is ideal for growing cotton and is also known as black cotton soil.

This type of soil is typical of the Deccan trap (Basalt) region spread over northwest Deccan plateau and is made up of lava flows.

The soil covers the plateaus of Maharashtra, Saurashtra, Malwa, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and extends in the south-east direction along the Godavari and the Krishna valleys.

The black soils are made up of extremely fine i.e. clayey material and well-known for their capacity to hold moisture.

Black soil is nutrients rich and contains calcium carbonate, magnesium, potash and lime.

The soil is sticky when wet and difficult to work on unless tilled immediately after the first shower or during the pre-monsoon period.

Red and Yellow Soils

This type of soil develops on crystalline igneous rocks in areas of low rainfall in the eastern and southern parts of the Deccan plateau.

These soils develop a reddish colour due to diffusion of iron in crystalline and metamorphic rocks. It looks yellow when it occurs in a hydrated form.

Found in parts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, southern parts of the middle Ganga plain and along the piedmont zone of the Western Ghats.

Laterite Soil

The laterite soil develops under tropical and subtropical climates with the alternate wet and dry season.

This soil is the result of intense leaching due to heavy rain.

Lateritic soils are acidic (pH<6.0) in nature and generally deficient in plant nutrients. This type of soil is found mostly in Southern states, Western Ghats region of Maharashtra, Odisha, some parts of West Bengal and North-east regions.

The soil supports deciduous and evergreen forests but humus poor.

This soil is very useful for growing tea and coffee.

Arid Soils

Arid soils range from red to brown in colour. This soil is generally sandy in texture and saline in nature. In some areas, the salt content is very high and common salt is obtained by evaporating the water.

Arid soil lacks humus and moisture.

The lower horizons of the soil are occupied by Kankar because of the increasing calcium content downwards. The Kankar layer formations in the bottom horizons restrict the infiltration of water.

Forest Soils

These soils are found in the hilly and mountainous areas.

The soil texture is loamy and silty in valley sides and coarse grained in the upper slopes. In the snow covered areas of Himalayas, these soils experience denudation and are acidic with low humus content. The soil is fertile on the river terraces and alluvial fans.

The map below shows the different types of soils found in India.

Soil Erosion and Soil Conservation

The denudation of the soil cover and subsequent washing down is described as soil erosion. The soil erosion is caused due to human activities like deforestation, overgrazing, construction and mining etc. Also, there are some natural forces like wind, glacier and water which lead to soil erosion. Soil erosion is also caused due to defective methods of farming.

The running water cuts through the clayey soils and makes deep channels as gullies. The land becomes unfit for cultivation and is known as bad land. When water flows as a sheet over large areas down a slope and the topsoil is washed away, it is known as sheet erosion. Wind blows loose soil off flat or sloping land known as wind erosion.

Ways for Soil Conservation

Ploughing along the contour lines decelerates the flow of water down the slopes. This is called Contour Ploughing.

Terrace cultivation restricts erosion. This type of agriculture practice is done in Western and Central Himalayas.

When a large field is divided into strips and strips of grass are left to grow between the crops. Then, this breaks up the force of the wind. This method is known as Strip Cropping.

Planting lines of trees to create shelter helps in the stabilisation of sand dunes and in stabilising the desert in western India. Rows of such trees are called Shelter Belts.

Why We need to conserve soil 

Soil is a vital part of our ecosystem and  is the foundation of plant, animal and human life. 

Plants grow on soil and play an important role in regulating the climate of a region. In absence of plants, the region becomes inhabitable

Animal kingdom eats plants and grasses. Carnivorous animals eat the herbivorous animals.

Humans grow crops on soil and thus live a settled life.

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