To satisfy their needs, Humans have been using resources. This process is called ‘resource utilisation’.
Human skills, technical know how and hard work converts the neutral stuff into a commodity or service to serve material and spiritual needs of the human society. Thus resources are created by man.
But man needs the help of culture to convert the neutral stuff into valuable resources. Culture includes all the equipments and machines, means of transport and communication as well as efficient management, group cooperation, recreation, intellectual work, education, training, improved health and sanitation. Without culture, man has only a limited capacity to work and produce.
In the modern age, the application of science and technology has increased the human capacity and capability to use resources in efficient manner for production purposes.
- For example, United States of America and West European countries have ‘high developed economies’ for efficient use of their natural wealth with advanced technologies.
- On the other hand, several countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America are lagging far behind in development level in-spite of abundant natural resources there because these countries are lagging behind in terms of advanced technology.
Extent of Resource Utilisation in India
The natural resources have played a significant role in the socio-economic development of our country. India is the second largest agricultural giant in the world today. It is because India has varied climatic conditions and an endless growing seasons to grow different crops. India’s large mineral wealth has enabled India to be industrially developed.
In our desire not only to feed the fast growing population but also to accelerate economic well being to vast Indian population, exploitation of resources has increased phenomenally. This has led to environmental and ecological imbalances as resources were used on unsustainable basis.
Production of resources has been motivated by the maximisation of output and profit maximization rather than the optimization of net social benefits. The precious resource of land is the under the threat of degradation because of soil erosion, deforestation, overgrazing and careless management of forests.
Unscientific farming practices like Jhuming in north-east India and an excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides coupled with over irrigation result in loss of soil nutrients, water logging and salinity.
Under pressure from rapid population growth the available resources of water are being exploited and depleted at a fast rate. Due to lack of technology only 37 per cent of total annual flow of Indian rivers and equal proportion of the available ground water resource is available for use.
After independence, the fisheries Industry, particularly the marine sector, has witnessed a massive transformation from a traditional and subsistence type enterprise to market driven multi crore industry. Currently, India exports nearly 55 categories of marine products to South Asian, European countries and U.S.A.
To satisfy their material and spiritual needs humans have been using the resources from the time immemorial and this process is called ‘resource utilisation’.
Bibliography : NIOS Geography Book