India – Industries

India – Industries | Geography


  • A country becomes rich by converting natural resources into usable products. So the key to the prosperity of any century lies in increasing manufacturing industries.
  • India is rich in natural resources.
  • These resources include forest products, agricultural products and Minerals.
  • Some of the resources can be used directly but some of them need processing.

For example:

  • cotton has to be processed before it is brought into use in the form of a finished product.
  • So cotton is the raw material of agricultural origin. Similarly, products like petrol, diesel, kerosene and gasoline are derived at different degrees of refinement of petroleum is of mineral origin.
  • Through agriculture is the major occupation of the people in India, there has been tremendous growth in industries under five-year plans and it has provided job opportunities for many people. This in turn as improved their status of living.

Factors influencing Location of Industries

The location of an industry is determined by

  • Raw material
  • Power
  • Transport
  • Manpower
  • Water market
  • Government policies

Raw material

  • Industries are located with respect to the availability of raw materials.

For example:

  • Sugar industry is located near the raw material region (sugarcane field) because sugarcane is a weight losing material and when it is processed, the weight of sugar becomes 10 per cent of the weight of sugarcane.


  • Most of the industries tend to be located near the source of power.
  • The power is needed to process raw materials.

For example:

  • Iron and steel industries are generally located near the coal fields because it requires about 5 tons of coking coal to melt 1 ton of iron ore.


  • Transport is an important factor for carrying raw materials to manufacturing units and finished products to the market.

For example:

  • iron and steel industries and oil refineries are located near railway stations or near the port as these industries involve a high cost of transportation.


  • Availability of skilled and unskilled or technically qualified manpower is an important factor for the location of industries.
  • Adequate supply of unskilled labour in urban locations is due to rural-urban migration. For example Mumbai gets manpower from all over the country.


  • Water is very essential for industries like iron and steel, textiles, rayon, paper etc.

For example:

  • 1 ton of steel needs 300 tons of water for cooling and 1 ton of rayon needs 100 tons of water for bleaching. Hence the above industries are located near the rivers, canals or lakes.


  • High demand and purchasing power determine the market.
  • So most of the industries are located close to the centres of consumption because it reduces the cost of transportation and enables the consumers to get things at comparatively cheaper rates.

Government Policy

  • In almost every country, government policies play an important role in determining the location of industries.
  • In order to avoid regional disparities, the state government has marked out certain areas as industrial zones.
  • These industrial zones and government concessions have helped in the growth of industries in backward areas.
  • Nowadays due to scientific and technological development, geographical factors, manpower and energy are considered as negligible factors.
  • Therefore new factors have come to play major roles which include skilled managerial services, availability of capital and export potential of products.

Classification of Industries

On the basis of the raw materials, industries are classified into

  • Agro-based industries
  • Forest-based industries and
  • Mineral-based industries.

Agro-based industries

  • These industries use agricultural products as their basic raw material.

For example:

  • The cotton textile industry, jute industry, sugar industry etc.

Cotton Textile Industry

  • The cotton textile industry is based on indigenous raw materials, cotton.
  • It contributes about 14% industrial productions, provides employment to 35 million persons and 4% towards GDP.
  • Mumbai in Maharashtra is the leading cotton textile centre and it is called the “Manchester of India”.
  • The following factor favours the cotton textile industries in Mumbai.
  • Location of port facilities for the export of finished goods.
  • Well connected through rail and road links cotton-growing areas.
  • Humid Coastal climate favours yarning.
  • Availability of capital goods and finance.
  • Availability of manpower.
In Tamil Nadu, Major cotton textile centres:
  • Coimbatore
  • Chennai
  • Tirunelveli
  • Madurai
  • Tuticorin
  • Salem
  • Virudhunagar
  • Pollachi
  • India’s cotton textile industry holds the third place among cloth producing countries in the world.
  • India ranks second in the world in cotton textile trade and stands first amongst the industries in our country.

Jute Industry

  • The jute sector has been playing an important role in the economy of the country.
  • It provides sizable employment in the agricultural and industrial sectors.
  • About 4 million farmers are engaged in the cultivation of jute. India tops in the production of raw jute and jute goods and second in the export of jute goods next to Bangladesh.
  • Jute products include gunny bags, canvas, pack sheets, jute webs, Hessians, carpets, cordage and twines.
  • Now jute is also used in plastic furniture insulation, bleached fibres to blend with wool.
  • It is also mixed with cotton to make carpets and blankets.
  • Nearly 90% of jute industries are located in West Bengal mainly along the Hooghly River.
  • Recently there has been dispersal of jute industries in U.P, Bihar, Orissa and A.P.

Sugar Industry

  • The Indian sugar industry is the second largest agro-based industry in India.
  • Sugar factories are located near the areas if cultivation due to the following factors
  • Sugarcane is a weight losing material.
  • It cannot be stored for a long time as it loses sucrose contents.
  • It cannot be transported for long distances
  • Since the sugarcane, harvesting is done in a particular season and the crushing continued to a limited period and the sugar factories do not function throughout the year.
  • Uttar Pradesh and Bihar alone account for 70% of the sugar production.
  • So this belt is known as ‘sugar bowl of India’. Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the other sugar-producing states of India.
  • Nellikuppam, Pugalur, Coimbatore and Pandyarajapuram are the famous centres for sugar production in TN.
  • The government of India has developed a dual price system for internal sugar trade.
  • Every sugar mill has to seal 40% of its production to the government at a fixed price.
  • The government sells this sugar through the public distribution system.
  • Reset of the 60% is sold in the open market at a higher price.
  • India is the fourth major sugar-producing country in the world.
  • Top three countries are Cuba, Brazil and Russia.
  • India exports some of its surplus sugar to USA, UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran and sri Lanka

Forest-based Industries

  • India has a rich diversity of forest resources which are capable of supporting a wide variety of industries.
  • The most important is the paper industry.

Paper Industry

  • Paper industry is a vital and core industry for any country.
  • The raw materials for paper industry include wood pulp, bamboo, salai and Sabai grasses, waste paper and bagasse.
  • Location of the industry is greatly influenced by bulky raw materials and to a lesser extent by bulky raw materials and to a lesser extent by market.
  • The Indian paper industry is ranked one among the 15 top global paper industries in the world.
  • The leading states in paper production in our country are west Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Mineral-based Industries

  • Mineral-based industries use both metallic and non-metallic minerals as raw materials.
  • The major mineral-based industry of our country is the iron and steel industry.

Location of iron and steel industries in India

  • India’s major iron and steel industries are located either near the coal fields or iron ore mines or midway between the coal and iron ore fields.
  • Most of our country’s major iron and steel industries are located in the Chota Nagpur Plateau region due to the following reasons
  • High-grade hematite and magnetite iron ore are available from the mines of Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
  • Jharia and Singhbhum in Jharkhand, Raniganj in West Bengal have abundant coking coal suited for the manufacture of high trade steel.
  • West Bengal and Jharkhand states are rich in flux materials needed for purifying.
  • Limestone from Ranchi, Silica from Jabalpur and Dhanbad, Dolamite from Madhya Pradesh, Quartz from Bihar are available in close proximity.

Distribution of iron and steel industries

  • India has 11 integrated steel plants and 150 mini steel plants and a large number of rolling and re-rolling mills.

Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO)

  • IN 1907 Tata iron and steel company was setup a Jamshedpur now it is called Tata Steel Limited.
  • It is the oldest and the largest integrated iron and steel plant in India.
  • It is the 10thlargest producer of iron and steel in the world. The company produces pig iron and steel.

Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO)

  • The steel plants at Kulti, Burnpur and Hirapur were integrated and the Indian iron and steel company was setup at Burnpur in 1919.
  • The control and management of IISCO were taken by SAIL (Steel Authority of India) in 1972. The company produces pig iron and crude steel.

Visveshwaraiya Iron and Steel Limited (VISL)

  • Visveshwaraiya iron and steel limited were set up in 1923 at Bhadravati in Karnataka.
  • Its major products are alloy and special steel.

Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL) Bhilai

  • The Rourkela plant was started in 1959 in the Sundargarh district of Orissa. Its major products include hot and cold rolled sheets galvanized sheets and electrical steel plates.

Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL) Rourkela

  • The Rourkela plant was started in 1959 in the Sundargarh district of Orissa. Its major products include hot and cold rolled sheets galvanized sheets and electrical steel plates.

Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL) Durgapur

  • The Durgapur steel plant is located at Bardhhaman district of West Bengal.
  • It was setup in 1959 and it started its production in 1962.
  • This plant specializes in the manufacture of alloy steel, construction material and railway items like wheel axles and sleepers.

Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL) Bokara

  • The Bokara steel plant is situated in the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand.
  • It started its operation in 1972.
  • The sludge and slog of the plant are used in making fertilizer at Sindri.

The Salem Steel Plant

  • The Salem Steel Plant is located at Salem in Tamil Nadu and started its production in 1982.
  • This plant is the major producer of the world-class stainless steel which is exported to many advanced countries in the world.

The Vijayanagar Steel Plant

  • The Vijayanagar Steel Plant has been setup at Tornagal in Karnataka.

The Vishakhapatnam Steel Plant

  • The Vishakhapatnam Steel Plant came into operation in 1992.
  • This is the first plant in the shore region.
  • This is the most sophisticated and modern integrated steel plant in the country.
  • It is a major export-oriented steel plant.

Mini Steel Plant

  • Mini Steel Plant are decentralized secondary units with capacity ranging from 10,000 tonnes to 5 lakh tonnes per year.
  • It operates through electric furnaces and generally uses ferrous scrap, pig iron or sponge iron as raw materials. They help in recycling of iron and make the scrap useful and profitable.
  • They produce mild steel, alloy steel and stainless steel.
  • There are more than 150 mini steel plants with an installed capacity of about 120 lakhs tonnes of crude steel per annum.
  • Most of the mini steel plants are located in areas far away from the major steel plants, so that they can meet the local demands.
  • They suit the Indian economy because they require less investment.
  • As these units are smaller in size they can be conveniently located in the industrial towns.

Automobile Industry

  • The growth of the Automobile industry in India is only after independence, the first automobile industry was started at Kurla (Mumbai) in 1947 under the name of Premier Automobile Limited.
  • In 1948 Hindustan motors limited setup the automobile industry at Uttar Para, (Kolkata).
  • In the last 30 years, India has made a tremendous progress in this industry by manufacturing commercial vehicles, passenger cars, jeeps, scooters, motorcycles, mopeds and three-wheelers.
  • The major centres are Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Pune, Ahmadabad, Lucknow, Satara and Mysore.
  • With liberalization of the economy there are several foreign collaborations in the automobiles sector and well-known world leaders have entered the market-Suzuki, general motors, Ford, Mitsubishi, Honda, Daewoo, Mercedes, Nissan, Mahindra and Mahindra, Millennium motors.

Electronic Industries

  • The electronic industry in India started with radio manufacturing in the 1850s.
  • The setting up of Indian telephone industry in 1950 at Bangalore gave a boost to this industry.
  • The industry now meets the needs of posts and telegraph boards, metrological department etc.
  • Bangalore is the leading producer of electronic goods and it is referred as electronic capital of India.
  • The other important centres are Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Kanpur, Pune, Lucknow, Jaipur and Coimbatore.
  • The revolution in the electronic industry has changed the lifestyle of the people to a greater extent.
  • The most popular products of the industry are television, transistor, telephone, cellular phones, computers, CD players, iPod and pen drive.

Software Industry

  • The main reason for its rapid growth is due to the availability of cheap and skilled young software professionals in our country.
  • The software industry has emerged as a major industry in the Indian economy.
  • The department of electronics has established “Electronic Parks” in different parts of our country.

The main centres are

  • Chennai
  • Coimbatore
  • Thiruvananthapuram
  • Bangalore
  • Mysore
  • Hyderabad
  • Vishakhapatnam
  • Mumbai
  • Pune
  • Bhuvneshwar
  • Indore
  • Gandhi Nagar
  • Jaipur
  • Kolkata
  • Noida
  • Mohali
  • Srinagar
  • At present, there are more than 500 software firms in the country.
  • It is expected that the Indian software industry will generate total employment of around six million people which accounts for 9% of India’s total GDP in the year 2011.
  • Today the software industry in India exports software and services to nearly 95 countries around the world.
  • The government has also played a vital role in the development of the software industry.
  • Industrialization, urbanization and growing population along with increasing consumption of resources have by far crossed the carrying capacity of the earth.
  • The industrialization has undoubtedly made life more comfortable for modern man, but it has led to extreme stresses and degradation on the environment and its resources.
  • Indiscriminate use of substances has a detrimental effect on environment.
  • These have made the world realize the importance of preserving our environment by changing harmful technologies into more eco – friendly technology.

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