Land Resources


Land is a finite resource and put to many competing uses.
Agriculture, forestry industries, transport, housing and other services use land as a natural and/or an economic resource.
Land is also an integral part of ecosystems and indispensable for biodiversity and the carbon cycle.

Land can be divided into two interlinked concepts:
1. Land cover refers to the bio-physical coverage of land (for example, crops, grass, broad-leaved forest, or built-up area);
2. Land use indicates the socio-economic use of land (for example, agriculture forestry, recreation).

Land cover and land use data forms the basis for spatial and territorial analysis which are increasingly important for:
1. the planning and management of agricultural, forest, wetland, Water and urban areas.
2. Nature, biodiversity and soil protection, and;
3. The prevention and mitigation of natural hazards and climate change.

The land-use categories

The land-use categories as maintained in the Land Revenue Records are as follows:

It is important to note that area under actual forest cover is different from area classified as forest.
The latter is the area which the Government has identified and demarcated for forest growth.
The land revenue records are consistent with the latter definition. Thus, there may be an increase in this category without any increase in the actual forest cover.

Land put to Non-agricultural Uses
Land under settlements (rural and urban), infrastructure (roads, canals, etc.), industries, shops, etc. are included in this category.
An expansion in the secondary and tertiary activities would lead to an increase in this category of land-use.

Barren and Wastelands
The land which may be classified as a wasteland such as barren hilly terrains, desert lands, ravines, etc. normally cannot be brought under cultivation with the available technology.

Area under Permanent Pastures and Grazing Lands
Most of this type land is owned by the village ‘Panchayat’ or the Government. Only a small proportion of this land is privately owned.
The land owned by the village panchayat comes under ‘Common Property Resources’.

Area under Miscellaneous Tree Crops and Groves (Not included is Net sown Area) 
The land under orchards and fruit trees are included in this category. Much of this land is privately owned.

Culturable Waste-Land 
Any land which is left fallow (uncultivated) for more than five years is included in this category.
It can be brought under cultivation after improving it through reclamation practices.

Current Fallow 
This is the land which is left without cultivation for one or less than one agricultural year.
Fallowing is a cultural practice adopted for giving the land rest. The land recoups the lost fertility through natural processes.

Fallow other than Current Fallow
This is also a cultivable land which is left uncultivated for more than a year but less than five years.
If the land is left uncultivated for more than five years, it would be categorised as culturable wasteland.

Net Area Sown
The physical extent of land on which crops are sown and harvested is known as net sown area.

Land Usage Pattern In India

  • Net Sown Area 
    • It is the total absolute value of the area cropped.
    • This means that even if the same land is cropped multiple times each year, it will be counted only once.
    • 05% is the Net Sown Area in India
    • It is about 142 million hectares (Total land area of India is ~328 million hectares)
  • Cropped More Than Once
    • About 40% of Net Sown Area
    • ~57 million hectare
    • Rapid increase in last decade
    • This is the only course left to drastically increase production
    • Indo-Ganga plains is the leader in this regard
  • Forest Area
    • 23% of reported area notified as forest area
    • For tropical country, 33% is ideal coverage
    • Madhya Pradesh has largest forest area
    • Mizoram has highest percentage of area under forest
    • Punjab, Delhi, UP and Bihar lag behind
    • Forest Area was 14% in 1950-51
  • Not Available for Cultivation
    • a) Land put to non-agricultural use
      • Housing, industry, roads, lakes etc.
    • b)Barren Unculturable Wasteand
      • Mountains, hill slopes etc.
    • About 14% land falls under this category
    • Mostly due to prohibitive input cost
    • Largest area in Andhra Pradesh>Rajasthan>Himachal Pradesh
  • Permanent Pastures
    • About 3.5% of reported area
    • Continually decreasing
    • 1/3 of all pastures in Himachal Pradesh alone
  • Fallow Land
    • a) Current Fallow (upto 1 year)
    • b) Fallow other than Current Fallow (1-5 years)
    • About 8% area under fallow. This is done to recoup the fertility levels of land
  • Tree crops and Groves
    • This is continually decreasing
    • Only ~1% land
  • Culturable Wasteland
    • Land available for agriculture but not utilized for various reasons
    • Saline soil, e.g. Reh/Bhur/Usar in UP/Haryana/Punjab
    • Faulty agricultural practices
    • 5% of total area
    • Rajasthan alone has 36% of such wasteland

It is important to memorize the above basic data and information about Land Usage Pattern in India. There can be direct question asking you to list out the land usage pattern in India. Sometimes they may ask related question where you can use this information to add value to your answers.

Land-use Changes in India

Land-use in a region, to a large extent, is influenced by the nature of economic activities carried out in that region. However, while economic activities change over time, land, like many other natural resources, is fixed in terms of its area.

At this stage, one needs to appreciate three types of changes that an economy undergoes, which affect land-use.

  • The size of the economy (measured in terms of value for all the goods and services produced in the economy) grows over time as a result of increasing population, change in income levels, available technology and associated factors. As a result, the pressure on land will increase with time and marginal lands would come under use.

  • Secondly, the composition of the economy would undergo a change over time. In other words, the secondary and the tertiary sectors usually grow much faster than the primary sector, specifically the agricultural sector. This type of change is common in developing countries like India. This process would result in a gradual shift of land from agricultural uses to non-agricultural uses. You would observe that such changes are sharp around large urban areas. The agricultural land is being used for building purposes.

  • Thirdly, though the contribution of the agricultural activities reduces over time, the pressure on land for agricultural activities does not decline. The reasons for continued pressure on agricultural land are:

(a) In developing countries, the share of population dependent on agriculture usually declines much more slowly compared to the decline in the sector’s share in GDP.

(b) The number of people that the agricultural sector has to feed is increasing day by day.

India has undergone major changes within the economy over the past four or five decades, and this has influenced the land-use changes in the country.

Following are the changes increased:

  • The rate of increase is the highest in case of area under non-agricultural uses. This is due to the changing structure of Indian economy, which is increasingly depending on the contribution from industrial and services sectors and expansion of related infrastructural facilities. Also, an expansion of area under both urban and rural settlements has added to the increase. Thus, the area under non-agricultural uses is increasing at the expense of wastelands and agricultural land.

  • The increase in the share under forest, as explained before, can be accounted for by increase in the demarcated area under forest rather than an actual increase in the forest cover in the country.

  • The increase in the current fallow cannot be explained from information pertaining to only two points.
    The trend of current fallow fluctuates a great deal over years, depending on the variability of rainfall and cropping cycles.

  • The increase in net area sown is a recent phenomenon due to use of culturable waste land for agricultural purpose.
    Before which it was registering a slow decrease.
    There are indications that most of the decline had occurred due to the increases in area under non agricultural use.

The four categories that have registered a decline are barren and wasteland, culturable wasteland, area under pastures and tree crops and fallow lands.
The following explanations can be given for the declining trends:

  • As the pressure on land increased, both from the agricultural and non agricultural sectors, the wastelands and culturable wastelands have witnessed decline over time.

  • The decline in land under pastures and grazing lands can be explained by pressure from agricultural land.
    Illegal encroachment due to expansion of cultivation on common pasture lands is largely responsible for this decline.

 Land Reforms in India

Under the 1949 Indian constitution, states were granted the powers to enact (and implement) land reforms.
This autonomy ensures that there has been significant variation across states and time in terms of the number and types of land reforms that have been enacted. 
We classify land reform acts into four main categories according to their main purpose.

  1. The first category is acts related to tenancy reform. These include attempts to regulate tenancy contracts both via registration and stipulation of contractual terms, such as shares in share tenancy contracts, as well as attempts to abolish tenancy and transfer ownership to tenants.

  2. The second category of land reform acts is attempts to abolish intermediaries.
    These intermediaries who worked under feudal lords (Zamandari) to collect rent for the British were reputed to allow a larger share of the surplus from the land to be extracted from tenants.
    Most states had passed legislation to abolish intermediaries prior to 1958.

  3. The third category of land reform acts concerned efforts to implement ceilings on land holdings, with a view to redistributing surplus land to the landless.

  4. Finally, we have acts which attempted to allow consolidation of disparate land-holdings.
    Though these reforms and in particular the latter were justified partly in terms of achieving efficiency gains in agriculture it is clear from the acts themselves and from the political manifestos supporting the acts that the main impetus driving the first three reforms was poverty reduction.

Existing assessments of the effectiveness of these different reforms are highly mixed.
Though promoted by the centre in various Five Year Plans, the fact that land reforms were a state subject under the 1949 Constitution meant that enactment and implementation was dependent on the political will of state governments.
The perceived oppressive character of the Zamandari and their close alliance with the British galvanized broad political support for the abolition intermediaries and led to widespread implementation of these reforms most of which were complete by the early 1960s.
Centre-state alignment on the issue of tenancy reforms was much less pronounced.
With many state legislatures controlled by the landlord class, reforms which harmed this class tended to be blocked, though where tenants had substantial political representation notable successes in implementation were recorded.

Despite the considerable publicity attached to their enactment, political failure to implement was most complete in the case of land ceiling legislation.
Here ambivalence in the formulation of policy and numerous loopholes allowed the bulk of landowners to avoid expropriation by distributing surplus land to relations, friends and dependents.
As a result of these problems, implementation of both tenancy reform and land ceiling legislation tended to lag well behind the targets set in the Five Year Plans.
Land consolidation legislation was enacted less than the other reforms and, owing partly to the sparseness of land records, implementation has been considered to be both sporadic and patchy only affecting a few states in any significant way.
Village level studies also offer a very mixed assessment of the poverty impact of different land reforms.
Similar reforms seemed to have produced different effects in different areas leaving overall impact indeterminate.
There is some consensus that the abolition of intermediaries achieved a limited and variable success both in redistributing land towards the poor and increasing the security of smallholders.

For tenancy reform, however, whereas successes have been recorded, in particular, where tenants are well organized there has also been a range of documented cases of imminent legislation prompting landlords to engage in mass evictions of tenants and of the de jure banning of landlord-tenant relationships pushing tenancy under- ground and therefore, paradoxically, reducing tenurial security.
Land ceiling legislation, in a variety of village studies, is also perceived to have had neutral or negative effects on poverty by inducing landowners from joint families to evict their tenants and to separate their holdings into smaller proprietary units among family members as a means of avoiding expropriation. Land consolidation is also on the whole judged not to have been progressive in its redistributive impact given that richer farmers tend to use their power to obtain improved holdings. 
There is a considerable variation in overall land reform activity across states with states such as Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu having a lot of activity while Punjab and Rajasthan have very little.

National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP):
• It was launched by the Government in 2008, aimed ta modernize management of land records, minimize scope of land property disputes, enhance transparency in the land records maintenance system, and facilitate moving eventually towards guaranteed conclusive titles to immovable properties in the country.
• the activities to be supported under the Programme, inter alia, include survey   using modern technology including aerial photogrammetry updating of land records including mutation records, completion of computerization of the records of rights (RoRs). Computerization of registration, automatic generation of mutation notices, digitization of maps, integration of the entire system digitization of maps and training and capacity building of the concerned officials and functionaries.

Land Degradation Problem

One of the serious problems that arise out of faulty strategy of irrigation and agricultural development is degradation of land resources.
This is serious because it may lead to depletion of soil fertility. The situation is particularly alarming in irrigated areas.
A large tract of agricultural land has lost its fertility due to alkalisation and salinisation of soils and water logging.
Alkalinity and salinity have already affected about 8 million ha land.
Another 7 million ha land in the country has lost its fertility due to water logging.
Excessive use of chemicals such as insecticides and pesticides has led to their concentration in toxic amounts in the soil profile.
Leguminous crops have been displaced from the cropping pattern in the irrigated areas and duration of fallow has substantially reduced owing to multiple cropping. This has obliterated the process of natural fertilization such as nitrogen fixation.
Rainfed areas in humid and semi-arid tropics also experience degradation of several types like soil erosion by water and wind erosion which are often induced by human activities.

UN Convention to Combat Desertification: COP 14

The 14th edition of the Conference of Parties (COP-14) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) ended on 13th September 2019.

  • Held in Greater Noida, this was the first time that India hostedan edition of the UNCCD COP.

  • The themeof the Conference was ‘Restore land, Sustain future’.

  • India being the global host for COP 14has taken over the COP Presidency from China for the next two years till 2021.

  • India is among the select few countries to have hosted the COP of all three Rio conventionson climate change, biodiversity and land.

Key Takeaways

  • Delhi Declaration:
    Commitment for a range of issues, including gender and health, ecosystem restoration, taking action on climate change, private sector engagement, Peace Forest Initiative and recovery of five million hectares of degraded land in India.

    • The country parties have agreed to make the Sustainable Development Goal target of achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030,a national target for action.

    • Peace Forest Initiative:It is an initiative of South Korea to use ecological restoration as a peace-building process. It aims at addressing the issue of land degradation in conflict-torn border areas and would go a long way in alleviating tensions and building trust between communities living there and between enemy countries in particular.

  • Drought Toolbox:
    It is launched as a one-stop-shop for all actions on drought. It is a sort of knowledge bank which contains tools that strengthen the ability of countries to anticipate and prepare for drought effectively and mitigate their impacts as well as tools that enable communities to anticipate and find the land management tools that help them to build resilience to drought.

  • International coalition for action on Sand and Dust storms (SDS):
    The coalition will develop an SDS source base map with the goal of improving monitoring and response to these storms. SDS affects approximately 77% of UNCCD country Parties or approximately 151 countries.

  • Initiative of Sustainability, Stability and Security (3S):
    Launched by 14 African countries to address migration driven by land degradation. It aims at restoring land and creating green jobs for migrants and vulnerable groups.

  • Cooperation From Youth:
    The global Youth Caucus on Desertification and Land convened its first official gathering in conjunction with the UNCCD COP14 to bring together youth advocates from different parts of the world, to build their capacity, share knowledge, build networks and to engage them meaningfully in the UNCCD processes.

High-Level Segment Meeting of the COP14

  • The Prime Minister of India inaugurated and addressed the high-level segment meeting of the COP-14.

    • India seeks to propose initiatives for greater South-South cooperationin addressing issues of climate change, biodiversity and land degradation.

    • India would raise its ambition of the total area that would be restored from its land degradation status, from twenty-one million hectares to twenty-six million hectares between now and 2030.

    • India has proposed to set up a global technical support institutefor the member countries of the UNCCD for their capacity building and support regarding the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Program.

    • India called upon the leadership of UNCCD to conceive a global water action agenda which is central to the Land Degradation Neutrality strategy.

    • India advocated on the need to eradicate the menace of single-use plastic.


Water Resources


India accounts for about 2.45 per cent of world’s surface area, 4 per cent of the world’s water resources and about 16 per cent of world’s population.
The total water available from precipitation in the country in a year is about 4,000 cubic km.
The availability from surface water and replenishable groundwater is 1,869 cubic km.
Out of this only 60 per cent can be put to beneficial uses.
Thus, the total utilisable water resource in the country is only 1,122 cubic km.

Surface Water Resources

There are four major sources of surface water. These are rivers, lakes, ponds, and tanks.
In the country, there are about 10,360 rivers and their tributaries longer than 1.6 km each.
The mean annual flow in all the river basins in India is estimated to be 1,869 cubic km.

However, due to topographical, hydrological and other constraints, only about 690 cubic km (32 per cent) of the available surface water can be utilised. Water flow in a river depends on size of its catchment area or river basin and rainfall within its catchment area.
Precipitation is relatively high in the catchment areas of the Ganga, the Brahmaputra and the Barak rivers, these rivers, although account for only about one-third of the total area in the country, have 60 per cent of the total surface water resources.
Much of the annual water flow in south Indian rivers like the Godavari, the Krishna, and the Kaveri has been harnessed, but it is yet to be done in the Brahmaputra and the Ganga basins.

Groundwater Resources

The total replenishable groundwater resources in the country are about 432 cubic km.
Table shows that the Ganga and the Brahmaputra basins, have about 46 per cent of the total replenishable groundwater resources.

Name of Basin
Ground Water Resources

Total Replenishable
 Utilisation (%)

Level of Groundwater

1. Brahmani with Baitarni



2. Brahmaputra



3. Chambal Composite



4. Kaveri



5. Ganga



6. Godavari



7. Indus



8. Krishna



9. K and S Luni



10. Chennai and S. TN



11. Mahanadi



12. Meghna



13. Narmada



14. Northeast Composite



15. Pennar



16. Subarnrekha



17. Tapi



18. Western Ghat






Source: NCERT

The level of groundwater utilization is relatively high in the river basins lying in north-western region and parts of south India.
The groundwater utilisation is very high in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu.
However, there are States like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Kerala, etc., which utilise only a small proportion of their groundwater potentials.
States like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura and Maharashtra are utilising their ground water resources at a moderate rate.
If the present trend continues, the demands for water would need the supplies.
And such situation, will be detrimental to development, and can cause social upheaval and disruptions.

Lagoons and Backwaters

 India has a vast coastline and the coast is very indented in some states.
Due to this, a number of lagoons and lakes have formed. 
The States like Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal have vast surface water resources in these lagoons and lakes.
Although, water is generally brackish in these water-bodies, it is used for fishing and irrigating certain varieties of paddy crops, coconut, etc.

Water Demand and Utilization

India has traditionally been an agrarian economy, and about two-third of its population have been dependent on agriculture.
Hence, development of irrigation to increase agricultural production has been assigned a very high priority in the Five Year Plans, and multipurpose river valleys projects like the Bhakra-Nangal, Hirakud, Damodar Valley, Nagarjuna Sagar, Indira Gandhi Canal Project, etc. have been taken up.
In fact, India’s water demand at present is dominated by irrigational needs.
As shown in Fig. 6.2 and 6.3, agriculture accounts for most of the surface and ground water utilisation, it accounts for 89 per cent of the surface water and 92 per cent of the groundwater utilisation.
While the share of industrial sector is limited to 2 per cent of the surface water utilisation and 5 per cent of the ground-water, the share of domestic sector is higher (9 per cent) in surface water utilisation as compared to groundwater.
The share of agricultural sector in total water utilisation is much higher than other sectors.
However, in future, with development, the shares of industrial and domestic sectors in the country are likely to increase.

Annual precipitation in India, including snowfall, which is the main source of water, is about 4000 bcm.
About 53.3 per cent of the total precipitation is lost due to evapo-transpiration, which leaves a balance of 1869 bcm water in the country.
Of this, the available utilizable water resource potential is 1137 bcm, comprising 690 bcm of surface water and 447 bcm of ground water.

According to the Water and Related Statistics published by the Central Water Commission, per capita annual water availability in the country has decreased from 1816 cubic metres (cu m) in 2001 to 1544 cum in 2011.
As per the Falkenmark Index, one of the most commonly used measures of water scarcity, if the amount of renewable water in a country is below 1,700 cu m per person per year, the country is said to be experiencing water stress; below 1000 cu m it is said to be experiencing water scarcity.
The National Commission for Integrated Water Resources Development (NCIWRD) has projected the total demand for water at 1,180 bcm for a high demand scenario.

Water resources are facing pressure due to population explosion, urbanization, rising demand for water from the agriculture, energy, and industry sectors, pollution, inefficient use, poor management and poor institutional mechanisms.
Several regions experience water scarcity due to the uneven distribution of water resources over space and time.

The government has specific programmes for various aspects of water resources.
The scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), which is an umbrella scheme for irrigation has prioritized 99 major and medium irrigation projects for completion by December 2019.
The government also launched the “Namami Gange” scheme in 2014-15 to clean and rejuvenate the River Ganga to maintain “Aviral” and “Nirmal Dhara” and ensure its ecological and geological integrity.
Data for the period 2015-17 indicates improvement in water quality in terms of dissolved oxygen and coliform bacteria.
However, a lot needs to be done in terms of meeting the targets of sewage treatment plans (STP) and of controlling household and industrial waste.
Besides, a scheme for groundwater development and management to prepare aquifer management plans and facilitate sustainable management of groundwater has been launched.


1. There is a huge gap between the irrigation potential created (112.5 million ha in 2012) and the irrigation potential utilized (89.3 million ha in 2012).
Apart from the underutilization of the potential, the efficiency of the irrigation systems is low at 30 per cent to 38 per cent for surface water and 55 per cent for ground water.
2. Despite clear evidence of rising water stress, water is still used inefficiently and indiscriminately, particularly in agriculture.
Poor implementation and maintenance of projects, absence of participatory irrigation management, non-alignment of cropping patterns to the agroclimatic
zones, and absence of field channels (CAD works) are some of the challenges.
3. The Easement Act, 1882, which grants groundwater ownership rights to the landowner is one of the reasons for water over-use and depletion of groundwater levels.
4. The subsidized pricing of water in various states has resulted in non-revenue water and a sharp decline in groundwater levels in all states.
5. As per 2011 Census, only 30.8 per cent of the total rural households and 70.6 per cent of the total urban households get piped water supply.
6. The sustainability of the source and growing contamination of ground water in newer areas are constraints in ensuring safe drinking water supply in rural and urban areas.

Demand of Water for Irrigation

 In agriculture, water is mainly used for irrigation. Irrigation is needed because of spatio-temporal variability in rainfall in the country.
The large tracts of the country are deficient in rainfall and are drought prone. North-western India and Deccan plateau constitute such areas.
Winter and summer seasons are more or less dry in most part of the country.
Hence, it is difficult to practise agriculture without assured irrigation during dry seasons.
Even in the areas of ample rainfall like West Bengal and Bihar, breaks in monsoon or its failure creates dry spells detrimental for agriculture.
Water need of certain crops also makes irrigation necessary.
For instance, water requirement of rice, sugarcane, jute, etc. is very high which can be met only through irrigation.
Provision of irrigation makes multiple cropping possible.
It has also been found that irrigated lands have higher agricultural productivity than unirrigated land.
Further, the high yielding varieties of crops need regular moisture supply, which is made possible only by a developed irrigation systems. In fact, this is why that green revolution strategy of agriculture development in the country has largely been successful in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.

In Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh more than 85 per cent of their net sown area is under irrigation.
Wheat and rice are grown mainly with the help of irrigation in these states.
Of the total net irrigated area 76.1 per cent in Punjab and 51.3 per cent in Haryana are irrigated through wells and tube wells.
This shows that these states utilise large proportion of their ground water potential which has resulted in ground water depletion in these states.
The share of area irrigated through wells and tube wells is also very high in the states given in table.







 Madhya Pradesh




Uttar Pradesh


West Bengal


Tamil Nadu


The over-use of ground water resources has led to decline in ground water table in these states.
In fact, over withdrawals in some states like Rajasthan and Maharashtra has increased fluoride concentration in ground-water and this practice has led to increase in concentration of arsenic in parts of West Bengal and Bihar.

Emerging Water Problems

The per capita availability of water is dwindling day by day due to increase in population.
The available water resources are also getting polluted with industrial, agricultural and domestic effluents, and this, in turn, is further limiting the availability of usable water resources.

Deterioration of Water Quality

Water quality refers to purity of water, or water without unwanted foreign substances.
Water gets polluted by foreign matters such as microorganisms, chemicals, industrial and other wastes.
Such matters deteriorate the quality of water and render it unfit for human use.
When toxic substances enter lakes, streams, rivers, ocean and other water bodies, they get dissolved or lie suspended in water.
This results in pollution of water whereby quality of water deteriorates affecting aquatic systems. Sometimes, these pollutants also seep down and pollute groundwater.
The Ganga and the Yamuna are the two highly polluted rivers in the country.

Water Conservation and Management

Since there is a declining availability of fresh water and increasing demand, the need has arisen to conserve and effectively manage this precious life giving resource for sustainable development.
Given that water availability from sea/ocean, due to high cost of desalinisation, is considered negligible, India has to take quick steps and make effective policies and laws, and adopt effective measures for its conservation.
Besides developing water saving technologies and methods, attempts are also to be made to prevent the pollution.
There is need to encourage watershed development, rainwater harvesting, water recycling and reuse, and conjunctive use of water for sustaining water supply in long run.

Prevention of Water Pollution

Available water resources are degrading rapidly.
The major rivers of the country generally retain better water quality in less densely populated upper stretches in hilly areas.
In plains, river water is used intensively for irrigation, drinking, domestic and industrial purposes.
The drains carrying agricultural (fertilisers and insecticides), domestic (solid and liquid wastes), and industrial effluents join the rivers.
The concentration of pollutants in rivers, especially remains very high during the summer season when flow of water is low.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in collaboration with State Pollution Control Boards has been monitoring water quality of national aquatic resources at 507 stations.
The data obtained from these stations show that organic and bacterial contamination continues to be the main source of pollution in rivers.
The Yamuna river is the most polluted river in the country between Delhi and Etawah.
Other severely polluted rivers are: the Sabarmati at Ahmedabad, the Gomti at Lucknow, the Kali, the Adyar, the Cooum (entire stretches), the Vaigai at Madurai and the Musi of Hyderabad and the Ganga at Kanpur and Varanasi.
Groundwater pollution has occurred due to high concentrations of heavy/toxic metals, fluoride and nitrates at different parts of the country.
The legislative provisions such as the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974, and Environment Protection Act 1986 have not been implemented effectively.
The result is that in 1997, 251 polluting industries were located along the rivers and lakes.
The Water Cess Act, 1977, meant to reduce pollution has also made marginal impacts.
There is a strong need to generate public awareness about importance of water and impacts of water pollution.
The public awareness and action can be very effective in reducing the pollutants from agricultural activities, domestic and industrial discharges.
Recycle and Reuse of Water Another way through which we can improve fresh water availability is by recycle and reuse.
Use of water of lesser quality such as reclaimed waste-water would be an attractive option for industries for cooling and fire fighting to reduce their water cost. Similarly, in urban areas water after bathing and washing utensils can be used for gardening.
Water used for washing vehicle can also be used for gardening.
This would conserve better quality of water for drinking purposes.
Currently, recycling of water is practised on a limited scale.
However, there is enormous scope for replenishing water through recycling.

Watershed Management

Watershed management basically refers to efficient management and conservation of surface and groundwater resources.
It involves prevention of runoff and storage and recharge of groundwater through various methods like percolation tanks, recharge wells, etc. However, in broad sense watershed management includes conservation, regeneration and judicious use of all resources – natural (like land, water, plants and animals) and human with in a watershed. Watershed management aims at bringing about balance between natural resources on the one hand and society on the other. The success of watershed development largely depends upon community participation.

The Central and State Governments have initiated many watershed development and management programmes in the country.
Some of these are being implemented by nongovernmental organisations also.
Haryali is a watershed development project sponsored by the Central Government which aims at enabling the rural population to conserve water for drinking, irrigation, fisheries and afforestation. The Project is being executed by Gram Panchayats with people’s participation.

Neeru-Meeru (Water and You) programme (in Andhra Pradesh) and Arvary Pani Sansad (in Alwar, Rajasthan) have taken up constructions of various water-harvesting structures such as percolation tanks, dug out ponds (Johad), check dams, etc.  through people’s participation.
Tamil Nadu has made water harvesting structures in the houses compulsory.
No building can be constructed without making structures for water harvesting.

Watershed development projects in some areas have been successful in rejuvenating environment and economy. However, there are only a few success stories. In majority of cases, the programme is still in its nascent stage. There is a need to generate awareness regarding benefits of watershed development and management among people in the country, and through this integrated water resource management approach water availability can be ensured on sustainable basis.

Rainwater Harvesting

Rain water harvesting is a method to capture and store rainwater for various uses.
It is also used to recharge groundwater aquifers.
It is a low cost and eco-friendly technique for preserving every drop of water by guiding the rain water to bore well, pits and wells.
Rainwater harvesting increases water availability, checks the declining ground water table, improves the quality of groundwater through dilution of contaminants like fluoride and nitrates, prevents soil erosion, and flooding and arrests salt water intrusion in coastal areas if used to recharge aquifers. Rainwater harvesting has been practised through various methods by different communities in the country for a long time.

Traditional rain water harvesting in rural areas is done by using surface storage bodies like lakes, ponds, irrigation tanks, etc.
In Rajasthan, rainwater harvesting structures locally known as Kund or Tanka (a covered underground tank) are constructed near or in the house or village to store harvested rainwater.
There is a wide scope to use rainwater harvesting technique to conserve precious water resource.
It can be done by harvesting rainwater on rooftops and open spaces.
Harvesting rainwater also decreases the community dependence on groundwater for domestic use. Besides bridging the demand supply gap, it can also save energy to pump groundwater as recharge leads to rise in groundwater table.
These days rainwater harvesting is being taken up on massive scale in many states in the country.
Urban areas can specially benefit from rainwater harvesting as water demand has already outstripped supply in most of the cities and towns.

 Apart from the above mentioned factors, the issue desalinisation of water particularly in coastal areas and brackish water in arid and semi-arid areas, transfer of water from water surplus areas to water deficit areas through inter linking of rivers can be important remedies for solving water problem in India (read more about inter linking of rivers).
However, the most important issue from the point of view of individual users, household and communities is pricing of water.

National Water Policy

National Water Policy is formulated by the Ministry of Water Resources of the Government of India to govern the planning and development of water resources and their optimum utilization. The first National Water Policy was adopted in September, 1987. It was reviewed and updated in 2002 and later in 2012.

India accounts for 18% of the world population and about 4% of the world’s water resources. One of the solutions to solve the country’s water woes is to create Indian Rivers Inter-link.

India has been successful in creating live water storage capacity of about 253 billion cubic meter(BCM) so far. In a first, the ecological needs of river have also been taken into consideration.

Salient features

The major provisions under the policy are:

Envisages to establish a standardized national information system with a network of data banks and data bases .
Resource planning and recycling for providing maximum availability.
To give importance to the impact of projects on human settlements and environment.
Guidelines for the safety of storage dams and other water-related structures.
Regulate exploitation of groundwater.
Setting water allocation priorities in the following order: Drinking water, Irrigation, Hydropower, Navigation, Industrial and other uses.
The water rates for surface water and ground water should be rationalized with due regard to the interests of small and marginal farmers.
The policy also deals with participation of farmers and voluntary agencies, water quality, water zoning, conservation of water, flood and drought management, erosion etc. 

National Water Policy 2012

The main emphasis of National Water Policy 2012 is to treat water as economic good which the ministry claims to promote its conservation and efficient use.
This provision intended for the privatization of water-delivery services is being criticized from various quarters.
The policy also does away with the priorities for water allocation mentioned in 1987 and 2002 versions of the policy. The policy was adopted with a disapproval from many states.


Paradigm shift in approach from service provider of water to facilitator of service.
Policy does not deter use among those who can afford to pay for water.
PPP mode may not ensure equity.
Policy does not follow polluter pay principle, rather it gives incentives for effluent treatment.
Policy was criticized for terming Water as an economic good.
In some regions it has not yet become successful .
The policy does not focus on the reduction of water pollution.
The policy doesn’t lay out objective for commercial use of water, especially ground water

Strategy for New India @ 75


By 2022-23, India’s water resources management strategy should facilitate water security to ensure adequate availability of water for life, agriculture, economic development, ecology and environment.
This broader vision can be achieved by attaining the following sectoral goals:
• Provide adequate (rural: 40 litres per capita per day (lpcd); urban 135 lpcd) and safe drinking water (piped) and water for sanitation for citizens and livestock.
• Provide irrigation to all farms (Har Khet Ko Pani) with improved on-farm water-use efficiency (more crop per drop).
• Provide water to industries, encourage industries to utilize recycled/treated water and ensure zero discharge of untreated effluents from industrial units.
• Ensure Aviral and Nirmal Dhara in the Ganga and other rivers along with their tributaries.
• Create additional water storage capacity to ensure full utilization of the utilizable surface water resources potential of 690 billion cubic metres (bcm).
• Ensure long-term sustainability of finite ground water resources.
• Ensure proper operation and maintenance of water infrastructure with active participation of farmers/consumers.
• Promote R&D to facilitate adoption of the latest technologies in the water sector.

Way Forward

1. On-going programmes

• By 2022-23, the water storage capacity needs to be increased from the current level of 253 bcm to 304 bcm by completing on-going projects on time.
• A coordination mechanism at the field level may be set up for PMKSY to find the reasons for delays in the completion of projects and corrective measures undertaken project wise to
ensure speedy implementation.
• The Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) may draw up an action plan to complete CAD works in 317 identified projects to reduce the gap between the irrigation potential created and utilized.
• Other notable programmes that need to be completed include the Ken-Betwa River linking project, the Pancheshwar project, the Rajasthan feeder and Sirhind feeders (Punjab Rajasthan) and the Siang project in North-East India.
• The National Mission for Clean Ganga needs to coordinate with the Ministry of Drinking Water, Supply and Sanitation for solid and liquid waste management in 1600 gram panchayats (covering 4464 villages situated on the banks of the Ganga in five states). Corrective measures need to be taken to expedite the completion of the projects.

2. Water efficiency

• Incentivize the wider adoption of sprinkler and drip irrigation by diverting resources otherwise used to subsidize power and surface irrigation.
• As per the fourth Minor Irrigation (MI) Census, there are about 5 lakh water bodies/tanks with an irrigation potential of 5.89 million ha. For these, the MoWR’s programme to revitalize, renovate and repair water bodies should be significantly expanded and adequately funded.
• Special emphasis should be laid on desilting of water bodies, including river, lakes, ponds and reservoirs.

3. Recycle of waste water

• With the country generating 140 bcm of wastewater annually, a pilot scheme to irrigate 10 lakh ha with treated waste water by 2020 may initially be taken up.
• Industries should be encouraged to meet a major share of their demand through recycled water. Besides, programmes for smart water meters and tradable permits for use of recycled
water may be launched.

4. Groundwater management

• As on date, development of groundwater, i.e.,  utilization of groundwater resources vis-à-vis replenishable quantity, is 62 per cent. There is a need to develop recharging zones at identified places to make groundwater resources sustainable using check dam, farm ponds, tanks and injection wells.
• Participatory aquifer management initiated in the 12th Plan National Aquifer Management (NAQUIM) under PMKSY should be strengthened through a network of partnerships
to control unbridled, competitive extraction of groundwater since it is virtually impossible to police more than 30 million groundwater structures through licences and permits.
• The participatory approach to encourage behavioural changes and community engagement in ground water management at the gram panchayat level as envisaged in the
Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY) should be adopted and extended to other regions.
• Promote the use of solar pumps to improve the utilisation of groundwater in Eastern India where utilisation is hampered by the lack of power. In Western India, solar pumps with a
buyback guarantee for surplus solar power can offer reliable daytime energy for irrigation and stable cash income as well act as an incentive to conserve power and water.
• PMKSY – Har Khet Ko Pani – envisaging enhancement of food production more than two-fold in 96 prioritized most ‘deprived irrigation districts’ in 12 states by creating irrigation facilities through tube wells, dug wells, bore wells and dug-cum-bore wells, should be expedited. This will facilitate assured irrigation in tribal and backward areas that traditionally have
been deprived of canal irrigation.
• Special focus should be placed on the quality of rural drinking water supply in arsenic and fluoride affected areas by tapping multiple sources through conjunctive use of surface water, ground water and rain water harvesting. All new, piped water supply schemes should have mandatory provisions on operation and maintenance involving local communities and  stakeholders.

5. Water harvesting

a. Watershed (check dam development)

• The MoWR may develop specific strategies to tap water through watershed development (check dams) in rain-fed areas, expand micro irrigation coverage to 80 lakh ha, and
link ground water development to aquifer mapping.
• The timeline for watershed development projects needs to be shortened from seven to four years with special efforts by state governments. Funds available under MGNREGA
and state plans may be used for watershed ,development projects.
• Introduce public-private partnerships in the water sector, initially to develop microirrigation- based CAD works based on a hybrid annuity model. This should be accompanied
by a revision in water tariffs to recover at least operation and maintenance costs.

b. Rainwater harvesting

• Model Building Bye Laws, 2016 circulated by Ministry of Urban Development includes the provision of rain water harvesting. Barring the states/UTs of Manipur, Sikkim, Mizoram and
Lakshadweep, all states have incorporated the provision in their respective Building Bye Laws. It is suggested that the states ensure effective ,implementation of the rain water harvesting structures for buildings.

6. Suggested reforms

• To mitigate conflicts and achieve equitable distribution of water, an integrated river basin management approach needs to be adopted. The setting up of river basin organisations for
major basins may be expedited.
• NITI Aayog has developed a concept note on Revitalization of Rivers, which may be implemented on a pilot basis before being expanded across major states.
• To ensure Aviral and Nirmal Dhara in the Ganga, the river should be managed as a single system.
• There is need for a scheme on medium term measures for flood management. This should include completion of incomplete works in the states of Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Besides, long term measures for Bihar, UP and NE states should be explored to achieve permanent protection from floods. The formation of North East Water Management Authority (NEWMA) in North- East states will comprehensively address the ,flood issue in the region.
• A water regulatory framework should be established for water resources in all states.
• An action plan should be drawn up to improve water use efficiency (with 2017 as the base year) by 20 per cent in all sectors by 2022.
• The composite water management index developed by NITI Aayog may be used as a potent tool to assess and further improve the efficiency of water resources management.

Interlinking of Rivers

Brief Background

The idea of interlinking rivers was first mooted by the Chief Engineer of the Madras Presidency in 1919, Sir Arthur Cotton.

  • This idea was revisited in 1960 by the then Minister of State for Energy and Irrigation, KL Rao, who proposed to link rivers Ganga and Cauvery.

  • The National Water Development Agency was established by the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1982.

  • In 2002, the Supreme Court asked the government to finalise a plan for interlinking rivers by 2003 and execute it by 2016.

  • A task force was formed by the government for the same in 2003.

  • In 2012, the SC again asked the government to start the project.

  • In 2014, the Ken-Betwa River Linking Project got Cabinet approval. However, the project is yet to take off because of opposition faced by the government chiefly from environmentalists.

India Map showing River Interlinking Project

What is Inter-linking of Rivers (ILR)?

The idea behind the interlinking of rivers is that many parts of the country face problems of drought while many others face the problem of flooding every year. 

  • The Indo-Gangetic rivers are perennial since they are fed by rains as well as the glaciers from the Himalayas.

  • The peninsular rivers in India are however, not seasonal because they are rain-fed mainly from the south-west Monsoons.

  • Due to this, the Indo-Gangetic plains suffer from floods and the peninsular states suffer from droughts.

  • If this excess water can be diverted from the Plains to the Peninsula, the problem of floods and droughts can be solved to a large extent.

  • Hence, the interlinking of rivers will bring about an equitable distribution of river waters in India.

National Interlinking of Rivers Authority

  • To be called the NIRA, the proposed body is expected to take up both inter-State and intra-State projects.

  • It will also make arrangements for generating up funds, internally and externally.

  • Headed by Union Minister of Jal Shakti, the panel includes Irrigation or Water Resources Ministers and Secretaries of States.

  • It is being assisted by a Task Force for ILR, which is a committee of experts essentially drawn from the Jal Shakti Ministry, Central Water Commission and the NWDA.

National River Linking Project (NRLP)

This project envisages the transfer of water from water-excess basin to water-deficient basin by interlinking 37 rivers of India by a network of almost 3000 storage dams. This will form a gigantic south Asian water grid.

There are two components to this project:

  1. Himalayan Component

  2. Peninsular Component

Himalayan Component of NRLP

Under the Himalayan component of the NRLP, there are 14 projects in the pipeline.

  • Storage dams will be constructed on the rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra, and also their tributaries.

  • The linking of the Ganga and the Yamuna is also proposed.

  • Apart from controlling flooding in the Ganga – Brahmaputra river system, it will also benefit the drought-prone areas of Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat.

  • This component has two sub-components:

    • Connecting the Ganga and Brahmaputra basins to the Mahanadi basin.

    • Connecting the Eastern tributaries of the Ganga with the Sabarmati and Chambal river systems.

Peninsular Component of NRLP

This component of the NRLP envisages the linking of the 16 rivers of southern India.

  • Surplus water from the Mahanadi and the Godavari will be transferred to the Krishna, Cauvery, Pennar and the Vaigai rivers.

  • Under this component, there are four sub-component linkages:

    • Linking Mahanadi and Godavari river basins to Cauvery, Krishna and Vaigai river systems.

    • Ken to Betwa river, and Parbati & Kalisindh rivers to Chambal river.

    • West-flowing rivers to the south of Tapi to the north of Bombay.

    • Linking some west-flowing rivers to east-flowing rivers.

Benefits of River Interlinking

There are many benefits that the proposed interlinking projects will bring about. They are discussed below:

  • Interlinking rivers is a way to transfer excess water from the regions which receive a lot of rainfall to the areas that are drought-prone. This way, it can control both floods and droughts.

  • This will also help solve the water crisis in many parts of the country. 

  • The project will also help in hydropower generation. This project envisages the building of many dams and reservoirs. This can generate about 34000 MW of electricity, if the whole project is executed.

  • The project will help in dry weather flow augmentation. That is, when there is a dry season, surplus water stored in the reservoirs can be released. This will enable a minimum amount of water flow in the rivers. This will greatly help in the control of pollution, in navigation, forests, fisheries, wildlife protection, etc.

  • Indian agriculture is primarily monsoon-dependent. This leads to problems in agricultural output when the monsoons behave unexpectedly. This can be solved when irrigation facilities improve. The project will provide irrigation facilities in water-deficient places.

  • The project will also help commercially because of the betterment of the inland waterways transport system. Moreover, the rural areas will have an alternate source of income in the form of fish farming, etc.

  • The project will also augment the defence and security of the country through the additional waterline defence.

Challenges in River Interlinking

Despite the many benefits that are associated with the river interlinking project, the project is yet to take off because of the many hurdles it is facing. Some of the challenges in this regard are as follows:

  • Project feasibility: The project is estimated to cost around Rs.5.6 lakh crores. Additionally, there is also the requirement of huge structures. All this requires a great engineering capacity. So, the cost and manpower requirement is immense.

  • Environmental impact: The huge project will alter entire ecosystems. The wildlife, flora and fauna of the river systems will suffer because of such displacements and modifications. Many national parks and sanctuaries fall within the river systems. All  these considerations will have to be taken care of while implementing the project. The project can reduce the flow of freshwater into the sea, thus affecting marine aquatic life.

  • Impact on society: Building dams and reservoirs will cause the displacement of a lot of people. This will cause a lot of agony for a lot of people. They will have to be rehabilitated and adequately compensated.

  • Controlling floods: Some people express doubts as to the capability of this project to control floods. Although theoretically it is possible, India’s experience has been different. There have been instances where big dams like Hirakud Dam, Damodar Dam, etc. have brought flooding to Odisha, West Bengal, etc.

  • Inter-state disputes: Many states like Kerala, Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, etc. have opposed the river interlinking project. Read more on interstate river disputes in India at the linked article.

  • International disputes: In the Himalayan component of the project, the effect of building dams and interlinking rivers will have an effect on the neighbouring countries. This will have to be factored in while implementing the project. Bangladesh has opposed the transfer of water from the Brahmaputra to the Ganga.

Inter-State River Water Sharing Disputes

The Inter-State River Water Disputes are one of the most contentious issues in the Indian federalism today.
The recent cases of the Cauvery Water Dispute and the Satluj Yamuna Link Canal are some examples.
Various Inter-State Water Disputes Tribunals have been constituted so far, but they had their own problems.

Constitutional Provisions

Entry 17 of State List deals with water i.e. water supply, irrigation, canal, drainage, embankments, water storage and water power.
Entry 56 of Union List empowers the Union Government for the regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys to the extent declared by Parliament to be expedient in the public interest.
According to Article 262, in case of disputes relating to waters:
Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-State river or river valley.
Parliament may, by law provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint as mentioned above.

Major Inter-State River Disputes
River (s)States
Ravi and BeasPunjab, Haryana, Rajasthan
NarmadaMP, Gujarat, Mah., Ra.
KrishnaMah., AP, Karnataka, Telangana
VamsadharaAn. Pradesh & Odisha
CauveryKerala, Kar., TN and Puducherry
GodavariM., An. P., Kar., MP, Odisha
MahanadiChhattisgarh, Odisha
MahadayiGoa, Maharashtra, Karnataka
PeriyarTamil Nadu, Kerala

Mechanism for Inter-State River Water Disputes Resolution

  • The resolution of water dispute is governed by the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.

    • According to its provisions, if a State Government makes a request regarding any water dispute and the Central Government is of opinion that the water dispute cannot be settled by negotiations, then a Water Disputes Tribunal is constituted for the adjudication of the water dispute.

  • The act was amended in 2002, to include the major recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission.

    • The amendments mandated a one year time frame to setup the water disputes tribunal and also a 3 year time frame to give a decision.

Active River Water Dispute Tribunals in India

  • Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II (2004) – Karnataka, Telangana, Andra Pradesh, Maharashtra

  • Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal (2018) – Odisha & Chattisgarh

  • Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal (2010) – Goa,Karnataka, Maharashtra

  • Ravi & Beas Water Tribunal (1986) – Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan

  • Vansadhara Water Disputes Tribunal (2010) – Andra Pradesh & Odisha.

Issues with Interstate Water Dispute Tribunals

  • Protracted proceedings and extreme delays in dispute resolution.

    • For example, in the case of Godavari water dispute, the request was made in 1962, but the tribunal was constituted in 1968 and the award was given in 1979 which was published in the Gazette in 1980.

    • The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, constituted in 1990, gave its final award in 2007.

  • Opacity in the institutional framework and guidelines that define these proceedings; and ensuring compliance.

  • Though award is final and beyond the jurisdiction of Courts, either States can approach Supreme Court under Article 136 (Special Leave Petition) under Article 32 linking issue with the violation of Article 21 (Right to Life).

  • The composition of the tribunal is not multidisciplinary and it consists of persons only from the judiciary.

  • The absence of authoritative water data that is acceptable to all parties currently makes it difficult to even set up a baseline for adjudication.

  • The shift in tribunals’ approach, from deliberative to adversarial, aids extended litigation and politicisation of water-sharing disputes.

  • The growing nexus between water and politics have transformed the disputes into turfs of vote bank politics.

    • This politicisation has also led to increasing defiance by states, extended litigations and subversion of resolution mechanisms.

    • For example, the Punjab government played truant in the case of the Ravi-Beas tribunal.

  • Too much discretion at too many stages of the process.

    • Partly because of procedural complexities involving multiple stakeholders across governments and agencies.

    • India’s complicated federal polity and its colonial legacy.

The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017

  • In order to further streamline the adjudication of inter-State river water disputes, the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha in March 2017 by amending the existing ISRWD Act, 1956.

  • The Bill envisages to constitute a standalone Tribunal with permanent establishment and permanent office space and infrastructure so as to obviate the need to set up a separate Tribunal for each water dispute which is invariably a time consuming process.

  • In the proposed Bill, there is a provision for establishment of a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) by the Central Government for resolving amicably, the inter-State water disputes within a maximum period of one year and six months.

  • Any dispute, which cannot be settled by negotiations shall be referred to the Tribunal for its adjudication.

  • The dispute so referred to the Tribunal shall be assigned by the Chairperson of the Tribunal to a Bench of the Tribunal for adjudication.

  • Under the Bill, the requirement of publication of the final decision of tribunal in the official gazette has been removed.

  • The Bill adds that the decision of the bench of the tribunal will be final and binding on the parties involved in the dispute

  • The Bill also calls for the transparent data collection system at the national level for each river basin and a single agency to maintain data bank and information system.

  • The proposed amendments in the Bill will speed up the adjudication of water disputes referred to it.

  • The Bill was referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Water Resources for examination.

  • The Standing Committee has submitted its recommendation on the Bill, accordingly, the Ministry has prepared draft Cabinet Note for Official Amendments to Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017.


  • The Centre’s proposal to set up a single, permanent tribunal to adjudicate on inter-state river water disputes could be a major step towards streamlining the dispute redressal mechanism.

  • However, this alone will not be able to address the different kinds of problems—legal, administrative, constitutional and political—that plague the overall framework.

  • Centre’s proposal to set up an agency alongside the tribunal, that will collect and process data on river waters can be a right step in this direction.

  • To strengthen the cooperative federalism, parochial mindset making regional issues superior to national issues should not be allowed.

  • So disputes must be resolved by dialogue and talks and the political opportunism must be avoided.

  • robust and transparent institutional framework with cooperative approach is need of the hour.


Power Resources

1. Coal

  • Coal is originated from organic matter wood.
  • When large tracts of forests are buried under sediments, wood is burnt and decomposed due to heat from below and pressure from above.

1.1 Classification

  • On the basis of carbon content it can be classified into following three types:
  • Anthracite: It is the best quality of coal with highest calorific value and carries 80 to 95% carbon content. It ignites slowly with a blue flame and found in small quantities in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Bituminous: It has a low level of moisture content with 60 to 80% of carbon content and has a high calorific value. Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have deposits of Bituminous.
  • Lignite carries 40 to 55% carbon content and is often brown in colour with high moisture content thus, gives smoke when burnt. Rajasthan, Lakhimpur (Assam) and Tamil Nadu has deposits of Lignite.
  • Peat is the first stage of transformation from wood to coal with low calorific value and less than 40% carbon content.

1.2 Occurrence in India

Coal occurs in two stratigraphic horizons

Permian sediments (c. 290Ma) mostly deposited in Intra-cratonic Gondwana basins.
Early Tertiary (c. 60Ma) near-shore peri-cratonic basins and shelves.

Gondwana Coal

  • Gondwana Coal occurs in Eastern and central part of Peninsular India. It Rank Bituminous to sub-Bituminous. It’s Character is moderate to High in Ash and Low in Sulphur.
  • Gondwana basins of Peninsular India disposed in four linear belts following several prominent lineaments in the Precambrian craton.
  1. Raj Mahal Basin
  2. Koel -Damodar Valley Basin
  3. Satpura BASIN
  4. Son Narmada Valley Basin
  5. Pranhita – Godawari Valley Basin

Tertiary coal

  • Tertiary coal occurs in North East India. It’s rank Meta and Ortholignitous. It is High in Sulphur.
  • Oligocene sediments – Tikak Parbat Formation in Upper Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Eocene sediments – Tura Sandstone, Lakadong Sandstone in Garo, Khasi and Jaintia hills of Meghalaya, Sylhet Limestone in Mikir hills of Assam, Lower Subathu Group in Jammu.

Lignite Coal

  • It occurs in western and southern India. High in Moisture and volatile Matter.

1.3 Coal Reserves

  • India has the fifth largest coal reserves in the world.
  • As on 31 March 2018, India had 319.04 billion metric tons (351.68 billion short tons) of the resource.
  • The known reserves of coal rose 1.23% over the previous year, with the discovery of an estimated 3.88 billion metric tons (4.28 billion short tons).
  • The estimated total reserves of lignite coal as on 31 March 2018 was 45.66 billion metric tons (50.33 billion short tons), a decrease of 0.96% from the previous year.

Coal deposits are primarily found in eastern and south-central India. Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra accounted for 98.26% of the total known coal reserves in India. As on 31 March 2018, Jharkhand and Odisha had the largest coal deposits of 26.06% and 24.86% respectively.

Distribution of coal reserves by states

he following table shows the estimated coal reserves (In Billion Metric Tonnes) in India by state as on 31 March 2018.

State ReservesType 
Jharkhand85.6 (28%)Gondwana
Odisha84.6 (25%)Gondwana
West Bengal32.937Gondwana
Madhya Pradesh29.285Gondwana
Andhra Pradesh1.607Gondwana
Uttar Pradesh1.062Gondwana
Arunachal P.0.09Tertiary

Distribution of lignite reserves by states

The following table shows the estimated lignite reserves (Billion MT) in India by state as on 31 March 2018.

StateCoal Reserves

Tamil Nadu36.13
West Bengal0.00

State wise % of Coal Reserve

State                Percentage
Jharkhand        28%
Odisha              25%
Chhattisgarh    17%
West Bengal     10%.
M. Pradesh       7%
An. Pradesh      7%
Maharashtra     7%
Others                 Remaining

Gondwana Coal

  • Gondwana coal makes up to 98 per cent of the total reserves and 99 per cent of the production of coal in India. Satpuras, denudation [weathering + erosion] has exposed coal bearing Gondwana strata.
  • The carbon content in Gondwana coal [250 million years old] is less compared to the  Carboniferous coal [350 million years old][Almost Absent in India] because of its much younger age.
  • Gondwana coal forms India’s metallurgical grade as well as superior quality coal.
  • The Damuda series (i.e. Lower Gondwana) possesses the best worked coalfields accounting for 80 per cent of the total coal production in India. 80 out of 113 Indian coalfields are located in the rock systems of the Damuda series [lower Gondwana Age].
  • Coking as well as non-coking and bituminous as well as sub-bituminous coal are obtained from Gondwana coal fields.
  • Anthracite is generally not found in the Gondwana coal fields.
  • The volatile compounds and ash (usually 13 – 30 per cent) and doesn’t allow Carbon percentage to rise above 55 to 60 per cent. [It requires few million years more if the quality has to get better. Remember Gondwana coal is 100 million years younger than Carboniferous coal].
  • Gondwana coal is free from moisture, but it contains Sulphur and Phosphorous.
  • These basins occur in the valleys of certain rivers viz., the Damodar (Jharkhand-West Bengal); the Mahanadi (Chhattisgarh-Odisha); the Son (Madhya Pradesh Jharkhand); the Godavari and the Wardha (Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh); the Indravati, the Narmada, the Koel, the Panch, the Kanhan and many more.

Coal (G) Distribution

  • First coal mine was opened in 1774 at Raniganj in West Bengal.
  • Coal industry was nationalized in 1973-74. [The present government made some serious changes during the last year [2015] by allowing private sector to play a bigger role in coal production].
  • India is now the third largest coal producer in the world after China and the USA.
  • Coal industry provides employment to nearly seven lakh persons.
  • Gondwana Coalfields == exclusively found in the Peninsular plateau of India.

Jharkhand (G)

  • 1st in reserves [28%].
  • 2nd in production [20%].
  • Most of the coal fields are located in a narrow belt running in east-west direction.
  • Major coalfields are present in Dumka (Santhal Parganas), Hazaribagh, Dhanbad and Palamu.
  • Jharia, Bokaro, Girdih and Karanpura are the major coal fields

Odisha (G)

  • 2nd in reserves [25%].
  • Talcher field – Talcher town to Rairkhol in Dhenkanal and Sambalpur districts.
  • Rampur-Himgir coalfields – Sambalpur and Sundargarh – Coal occurs here in middle and lower Barakar seams. Inferior quality.
  • Ib river coalfield – Sambalpur and Jharsuguda district, Much of the coal is of inferior quality.

Chhattisgarh (G)

  • 3rd in reserves [17%].
  • Korba coalfield in Korba district.
  • Birampur coalfield, Hasdo-Arand coalfield, Chirmiri coalfield, Lakhanpur coalfield in Surguja district.
  • Jhilmili coalfield in Shandol district & Koriya district.
  • Johilla coalfield in Johilla valley.
  • Sonhat coalfield in Surguja district.
  • Tatapani-Ramkota in Surguja district.

Madhya Pradesh (G)

  • Singrauli (Waidhian) coalfield in Sidhi and Shandol districts, It is the largest coalfield of Madhya Pradesh. Jhingurda, Panipahari, Khadia, Purewa and Turra are important coal seams, Jhingurda with a total thickness of 131 m is the richest coal seam of the country. Thermal power plants at Singrauli and Obra.
  • Pench-Kanhan-Tawa in Chhindwara district, Ghoravari seam in Kanhan field is 4.6 m thick and contains coking coal.
  • Sohagpur coalfield in Shandol district.
  • Umaria coalfield in Umaria district, it is inferior quality with high percentage of moisture and ash.

Andhra Pradesh (G)

  • 6th in reserves [7.07 %].
  • 5th in production [9.69 %].
  • Most of the coal reserves are in the Godavari valley.
  • Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, East Godavari, and West Godavari.
  • The actual workable collieries are situated at Singareni and Kothagudam.
  • Almost the entire coal is of non-coking variety.
  • These are the southern most coalfields of India and a source of coal supply to most of south India.

Maharashtra (G)

  • 3 per cent reserves.
  • 7 per cent of the production.

West Bengal (G)

  • 4 % of India’s coal.
  • 11 % of the coal reserves.
  • Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri are the chief producing districts.
  • RANIGANJ is the largest coalfield of West Bengal.
  • Raniganj == Barddhaman, Bankura and Purulia districts; Small part of this field is in Jharkhand state.
  • The coal here is non-coking steam coal.
  • Dalingkot coalfield == Darjeeling district.

Uttar Pradesh (G)

  • Do not possess coal reserves.
  • A small portion of the Singrauli field of Madhya Pradesh falls within Mirzapur district.
  • A high grade coal seam, about 1 to 1.5 m thick occurs near Kotah.

Tertiary Coal

  • Tertiary coal 15 to 60 million years old. Carbon content is very low.
  • Mainly confined to the extra-Peninsula [Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh etc.]
  • Coal generally has low carbon and high percentage of moisture and Sulphur.[It takes few hundred million years for the carbon content to improve].
  • Important areas of Tertiary coal include parts of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Himalayan foothills of Darjeeling in West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala,
  • Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Pondicherry also bear tertiary coal reserves [exceptions].

Assam (TC)

  • Makum, Nazira, Mikir Hills, Dilli-Jeypore and Lakhuni.
  • Makum coalfield in Sibsagar district is the most developed field.
  • Assam coals contain very low ash and high coking qualities but the sulphur content is high, as a result of which this coal is not suitable for metallurgical purposes.
  • But these coals are best suited for hydrogenation process and are used for making liquid fuels.

Arunachal Pradesh (TC)

  • Upper Assam Coal belt extends eastwards as Namchick-Namrup coalfield.
  • High in volatiles and in sulphur.

Meghalaya (TC)

  • Garo, Khasi and Jaintia hills.
  • Darrangiri field == Garo hills.
  • Siju, Cherrapunji, Liotryngew, Maolong and Langrin coalfields == Khasi and Jaintia hills.

Jammu and Kashmir (TC)

  • Kalakot and surrounding regions in Jammu, south of Pirpanjal.

Himachal Pradesh (TC)

  • Himachal Pradesh == Chamba district.

Tertiary Coal – Lignite

  • Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Puducherry.
  • Tamil Nadu excels all other states regarding reserves and production of lignite.

Lignite in Tamil Nadu

  • 90 per cent of the reserves.
  • 57 per cent of the production.
  • Neyveli Lignite fields of Cuddalore district.
  • These are the largest deposits of lignite in south – east Asia.
  • Neyveli mines suffer from the artesian structure [mining goes deep and deep].
  • Mining in Lignite coalfields is risky due to SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION of lignite.

Lignite in Gujarat and Rajasthan

  • Kachchh district and Dharuch district; poor quality.
  • Rajasthan == Palana in Bikaner district; The 250 MW thermal plant at Bikaner wholly depends upon lignite as the basic fuel.

Tertiary Coal – Peat

  • Confined to a few areas only.
  • Occurs in Nilgiri hills.
  • Kashmir valley, peat occurs in the alluvium of the Jhelum.
  • In West Bengal peat beds are noted in Kolkata and its suburbs.
  • In the Ganga delta, there are layers of peat which are composed of forest and rice plants.

1.4 Production

India is the second largest producer of coal in the world, after China. The production of coal was 675.40 million metric tons (744.50 million short tons) in 2017–18, a growth of 2.66% over the previous year. The production of lignite was 46.26 million metric tons (50.99 million short tons) in 2017–18, a growth of 2.27% over the previous fiscal.
Coal production in India, 1950–2012

Demand, production and import of coal (in million tonnes)

Major Coal-mining areas:

Raniganj West Bengal
Birbhum West Bengal
NeyveliTamil Nadu

1.5 Coal Consumption

  • Industries in India consumed 841.56 MT of raw coal in 2016-17. The largest consumers of coal in India are electricity generation (527.26 MT), steel and washery industries (54.15 MT), cement industries (6.43 MT) and sponge iron industries (5.68 MT). Consumption of lignite stood at 43.16 MT in 2016-17. Electricity generation alone accounts for 89.96% of the total lignite consumption.
  • Due to high demand and poor average quality, India is forced to import high quality coal to meet the requirements of steel plants. India’s coal imports have risen from 49.79 million metric tons (0.05488 billion short tons) in 2007-08 to 190.95 million metric tons (0.21049 billion short tons) in 2016-17. India’s coal exports rose from 1.63 million metric tons (1.80 million short tons) in 2007-08 to 2.44 million metric tons (2.69 million short tons) in 2012-13, but subsequently declined to 1.77 million metric tons (1.95 million short tons) in 2016-17.
    Coal Consumption

1.5 Import of Coal

As per the present import policy, coal can be freely imported (under Open General Licence) by the consumers themselves considering their needs based on their commercial prudence.

Coking Coal is being imported by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and other Steel manufacturing units mainly to bridge the gap between the requirement and indigenous availability and to improve the quality of production.
Coal based power plants, cement plants, captive power plants, sponge iron plants, industrial consumers and coal traders are importing non-coking coal.
Coke is imported mainly by pig-Iron manufacturers and Iron & Steel sector consumers using mini-blast furnace.
Details of import of coal and products i.e. coke during the last six years is as under:

1.6 Government Initiatives

  • In April 2018, The Ministry of Coal has launched UTTAM (Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal) Application for coal quality monitoring.
  • The app aims to ensure transparency and efficiency in coal quality monitoring process and bring coal governance closer to people.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a new coal linkage policy to ensure adequate supply of the fuel to power plants through reverse auction.
  • The new policy will help in ensuring fuel supplies to the power plants in an organised manner.
  • Ministry of Coal has developed Online Coal Clearances System to provide a single window access to its investors to submit online applications for all the permissions / clearances and approvals granted by Ministry of Coal.
  • Coal Allocation Monitoring System (CAMS) is developed to monitor the allocation of coal by CIL to States, States to SNA and SNA to such consumers in a transparent manner.
  • Opening up of commercial coal mining for Indian and foreign companies in the private sector.
  • The CCEA approved the methodology for auction of coal mines/ blocks for sale of the commodity on 20 February 2018. The move has been defined as the most ambitious reform of the sector since its nationalisation in 1973.
  • The auction will be done on an online transparent platform. The bid parameter will be the price offer in Rupees/ Tonne, which will be paid to the State government on the actual production of coal.
  • This reform is expected to bring efficacy into the coal sector by moving from an era of monopoly to competition. It will increase competitiveness and allow the use of best possible technology in the sector.

2. Petroleum & Gas

  • The oil and gas industry in India dates back to 1889 when the first oil deposits in the country were discovered near the town of Digboi in the state of Assam.
  • The natural gas industry in India began in the 1960s with the discovery of gas fields in Assam and Gujarat.
  • As on 31 March 2018, India had estimated crude oil reserves of 594.49 million tonnes (MT) and natural gas reserves of 1339.57 billion cubic meters (BCM).
  • India imports 82% of its oil needs and aims to bring that down to 67% by 2022 by replacing it with local exploration, renewable energy and indigenous ethanol fuel.
  • India was the third top net crude oil (including crude oil products) importer of 205.3 Mt in 2018.

2.1 Oil Fields


  1. Digboi– Digboi oilfield was the only petroleum producing are of India till the 1950s. The oil from here is refined in the Digboi refinery.
  2. Naharkatiya– Naharkatiya oilfield is located on the left bank of the Burhi Dihang river. The oil from here is transported to Noonmati refinery in Assam and Barauni refinery in Bihar.
  3. Moran-Hugirijang– The oilfield is located on the Brahmaputra river valley. The oil from here is transported to Barauni refinery in Bihar.
  4. Rudrasagar-Lakwa– The oilfield is located in the Sibasagar district in the state of Assam in the Brahmaputra river valley.
  5. Surma Valley– The Badarpur, the Patharia and the Masimpur are the major oilfields in the Surma valley.

North-East other 

  1. Nigru region– The oilfield is located in Tirap district in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  2. Borholla region– The oilfield is located across the border of Assam-Nagaland.


  1. Ankleshwar– Ankaleshwar oilfield is the largest and the oldest (1960) oilfield in Gujarat. The oilfield is located near Bharuch in the Narmada valley lower plains. The oil is transported to Trombay and Koyali for refining.
  2. Khambat and Lewnage– The oilfield is located in Borsad region, on the northern side of the Gulf of Khambat.
  3. Kalol oilfield
  4. Mehsana oilfield
  5. Navagaon oilfield
  6. Kosamba oilfield
  7. Sanand oilfield

Western offshore region

  1. Bombay High– The oilfield is located around 175 km south-west of Mumbai in the Arabian Sea. The production in the oilfield was started in 1976.
  2. Bassein– The oilfield is located to the south of Bombay High.
  3. Aliabet– The oilfield is located near Aliabet, an island 45km away from Bhavnagar in Gujarat, in the Gulf of Khambat.

Eastern coast region

  1. The Godavari-Krishna river basin oilfield– The oil here is found in both the offshore and onshore regions. The first oil well in the region was dug in the year 1980 in south-east 75 km far from Kakinara.

Kaveri Basin region

  1. The oilfields in the Kaveri basin region are found in Narimanam and Kovilappal. The oil from here is transported to Kaveri refinery in Panaigudi near Chennai.

2.3 Reserves

  • As of 31 March 2018, India had estimated crude oil reserves of 594.49 million tonnes (MT), declining by 1.59% from the previous year.
  • The largest reserves are found in the Western Offshore (Mumbai High, Krishna-Godavari Basin) (40%), and Assam (27%).
  • The estimated reserves of natural gas in India as of 31 March 2018 was 1,339.57 billion cubic meters (BCM), increasing by 3.87% from the previous year.
  • The largest reserves of natural gas are located in the Eastern Offshore (38.13%) and the Western Offshore (23.33%).

Distribution of reserves by state/region

  • The following table shows the estimated crude petroleum and natural gas reserves (million MT) in India by state/region as on 31 March 2017.
RegionCrude oil ResShare %
Arunachal P.1.520.25
Andhra Pradesh8.151.35
Eastern Offshore40.676.73
Tamil Nadu91.49
Western Offshore239.239.6
RegionNatural gas RShare of gas (%)
(in BCM)
Arunachal Pradesh0.930.07
Andhra Pradesh48.313.75
Coal Bed Methane106.588.26
Eastern Offshore507.7639.37
Tamil Nadu31.982.48
Western Offshore302.3523.44

Strategic petroleum reserves

Building petroleum reserves like underground tank storage, above-ground tank storage, and fully developed and ready-to-exploit in situ reserves is a lucrative proposition for an oil-importing country like India as the oil exporters charge exorbitant prices when the oil demand is little more than supply. The Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is an emergency fuel store of total 5 million tonne or 31.5 million barrels (5.0 million cubic metres) of strategic crude oil enough to provide 10 days of consumption which are maintained by the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited. Strategic crude oil storages are at 3 underground locations in Mangalore, Visakhapatnam and Padur with ready access to the refineries on the east and west coasts. Another method to build up strategic petroleum reserve at low cost is to develop a proven oil field for higher oil extraction rate and keeping it reserved for full production on an intermittent basis when the global oil price cross the set upper limit.

Two more SPRs will add strategic petroleum reserves of 12 days in addition to 10 days of reserves achieved in Phase I. These SPRs under Phase II will be located at Chandikhol in Odisha and Padur in Karnataka. Indian refiners maintain 65 days of crude storage, and when added to the SPR storage planned and achieved takes the Indian crude storage tally to 87 days. This is very close to the storage of 90 days mandated by IEA for member countries. The total storage figure is excluding the storage capacity of petroleum products with the marketing agencies and bulk consumers.

2.4 Oil and gas imports

India is heavily dependent on crude oil and LNG imports with 82.8% import dependence for crude oil and 45.3% for natural gas/LNG.[17] The net foreign exchange outgo is 63.305 billion US$ in the financial year 2017-18 on account of crude oil imports. India generated 35.2 million tons of petroleum products from indigenous crude oil production whereas the consumption of petroleum products is 204.9 million tons. Similarly India generated 31.7 bcm natural gas locally against the consumption of 58.1 bcm. LNG price is linked to the prevailing crude oil price in global markets.

India is the third biggest oil importer after US and China in 2018 and expected to occupy second place surpassing the US in 2019. In the year 2019, US is going to become net exporter of LNG, LPG, crude oil and its products from its shale oil production boom. Shale oil production cost would be the lower ceiling price for the crude oil in international trade as its substantial production is consumed internally in US.

2.5 Production

Before 1960, petroleum oil was produced only in Assam.
In 1960, for the very first time, an oil well was dug out of Assam state, in Ankaleshwar area in the state of Gujarat.
The oil well was named as Vasudhara.
India’s first offshore oil mining was done on Aliabet, an island 45km away from Bhavnagar in Gujarat, in the Gulf of Khambat.
In 1975, oil was discovered in Bombay High and in the subsequent year, production was started.

Production of crude oil in India (in descending order)
Maharashtra   ( more than 60% of the production)
Gujarat            ( around 20% oil production)
Assam              ( around 15% oil production)
Other states

Petroleum Refining

  • India’s first oil refinery started working way back in 1901 at Digboi in Assam.
  • 1954: another refinery at Tarapur (Mumbai).
  • Refinery hub and refining capacity exceeds the demand. Excess refined oil and other petroleum products are exported.
  • Oil from wells is transported to nearest refineries through pipelines.

List of major oil refineries in India

  1. Digboi
  2. Bongaigaon
  3. Noonmati
  4. Numaligarh
  5. Koyali
  6. Haldia
  7. Vizag
  8. Kochi
  9. Mangalore
  10. Chennai
  11. Trombay
  12. Jamnagar
  13. Paradeep
  14. Ratnagiri
  15. Vadinar
  16. Tatipaka
  17. Nagapatnam
  18. Barauni
  19. Mathura
  20. Karnal
  21. Bina
  22. Panipat
  23. Bhatinda

Advantages of Pipeline

  • Ideal to transport liquids and gases.
  • Pipelines can be laid through difficult terrains as well as under water.
  • It needs very little maintenance.
  • Pipelines are safe, accident-free and environmental friendly.

Disadvantages of Pipelines

  • It is not flexible, i.e., it can be used only for a few fixed points.
  • Its capacity cannot be increased once it is laid.
  • It is difficult to make security arrangements for pipelines.
  • Detection of leakage and repair is also difficult.

Crude Oil Pipelines

  • Salaya-Mathura Pipeline (SMPL)
  • Paradip-Haldia-Barauni Pipeline (PHBPL)
  • Mundra-Panipat Pipeline (MPPL)

Petroleum Product Pipelines

Remember locations of Oil Refineries and Major Oil producing centers. Pipeline are the ones that connect these centers.

  • Guwahati-Siliguri Pipeline (GSPL)
  • Koyali-Ahmedabad Pipeline (KAPL)
  • Barauni-Kanpur Pipeline (BKPL)
  • Panipat-Delhi Pipeline (PDPL)
  • Panipat-Rewari Pipeline (PRPL)
  • Chennai – Trichy – Madurai Product Pipeline (CTMPL)
  • Chennai-Bangalore Pipeline
  • Naharkatia-Nunmati-Barauni Pipeline == first pipeline constructed in India
  • Mumbai High-Mumbai-Ankleshwar-Koyali Pipeline.
  • Hajira-Bijapur-Jagdishpur (HBJ) Gas Pipeline == world’s largest underground pipeline
  • Jamnagar-Loni LPG Pipeline == longest LPG pipeline in the world
  • Kochi-Mangalore-Bangalore pipeline
  • Vishakhapatnam Secunderabad pipeline
  • Mangalore-Chennai pipeline
  • Vijayawada-Vishakhapatnam pipeline


India is the third largest consumer of crude oil in the world, after the United States and China. The country accounted 4.81% of total world oil consumption in 2016-17.
The estimated total consumption of crude oil in India rose from 160.77 MMT in 2008-09 to 251.93 MMT in 2017-18 with a CAGR of 4.59%.
High speed diesel oil accounted for 39.3% of total consumption of all types of petroleum products in 2017-18, followed by petrol (12.7%), petroleum coke (12.4%), liquefied petroleum gas (11.3%), and naphtha (6.1%).
The country accounted for 1.41% of total world natural gas consumption in 2016-17.
The largest consumers of natural gas are the fertilizer industry (27.78%), power generation (22.77%), and the use of natural gas as a domestic fuel for transportation (16.25%).
Natural gas is consumed for both energy (60.68%) and non-energy (39.32%) related uses.

Electricity generation
Crude oil and natural gas are the second and third largest sources of electricity generated in India, after coal. Crude oil accounted for 10.34% and natural gas accounted for 8.7% of the total electricity produced in 2017-18.[7] As on 23 October 2015, the installed capacity of gas-based power plants in India was 25,057.13 MW, accounting for 7.9% of the total installed capacity. Diesel is a minor source for electricity generation in India. The total installed capacity of diesel-based power plants in utility sector of India is 927.89 MW accounting for a mere 0.3% of total installed capacity.

Foreign trade

India is the third largest oil importer after the United States and China and is highly dependent on imports of crude oil. The net imports of crude oil rose from 132.78 MTs during 2008-09 to 220.43 MTs during 2017-18. Despite the dependence on imports, India has developed sufficient processing capacity over the years to produce different petroleum products. As result, India is now a net exporter of petroleum products. The export of petroleum products increased from 38.94 MT in 2008-09 to 66.83 MT during 2017-18. The import of petroleum products was 35.46 MT in 2017-18, decreasing by 2.28% from the previous fiscal. The gross import of natural gas increased from 8.06 BCM in 2008-09 to 19.87 BCM in 2017-18, recording a CAGR of 9.44%. 

India has an 82.8% import dependence for crude oil and 45.3% for natural gas/LNG. The net foreign exchange outgo is 63.305 billion US$ in the financial year 2017-18 on account of crude oil imports. India generated 35.2 million tons of petroleum products from indigenous crude oil production whereas the consumption of petroleum products is 204.9 million tons. Similarly India generated 31.7 bcm natural gas locally against the consumption of 58.1 bcm.

Oil imports by source country

India was the third largest crude oil importer in the world in 2018. The country spent an estimated ₹8.81 lakh crore (US$120 billion) to import 228.6 million tonnes of crude oil in 2018-19. The following countries were the 15 largest sources of crude oil imports into India in 2018.

RankCountryImport value
1Iraq$23 billion
2Saudi Arabia$21.2 billion
3Iran$13 billion
4Nigeria$9.6 billion
5UAE$8.9 billion
6Venezuela$7.4 billion
7Kuwait$5.7 billion
8Mexico$3.7 billion
9Angola$3.4 billion
10United States$2.8 billion
11Malaysia$2.4 billion
12Oman$1.7 billion
13Brazil$1.5 billion
14Qatar$1.2 billion
15Russia$1.2 billion


3.1 Uranium


Uranium is a silvery-gray metallic radioactive chemical element. It is only naturally formed in supernova explosions.
Uranium, thorium, and potassium are the main elements contributing to natural terrestrial radioactivity.
Uranium has the chemical symbol U and atomic number 92.
Uranium isotopes in natural uranium are 238U (99.27%) and 235U (0.72%).
All uranium isotopes are radioactive and fissionable. But only 235U is fissile (will support a neutron-mediated chain reaction).
Traces of Uranium are found everywhere. Commercial extraction is possible only in locations where the proportion of Uranium is adequate. There are very few such locations.


Largest viable deposits are found in Australia, Kazakhstan, and Canada.
Olympic Dam and the Ranger mine in Southern Australia are important mines in Australia.
High-grade deposits are only found in the Athabasca Basin region of Canada.
Cigar Lake, McArthur River basin in Canada are other important uranium mining sites.
The Chu-Sarysu basin in central Kazakhstan alone accounts for over half of the country’s known uranium resources.


India has no significant reserves of Uranium. All needs are met through imports.
India imports thousands of tonnes of uranium from Russia, Kazakhstan, France, and
India is trying hard to import uranium from Australia and Canada. There are some concerns regarding nuclear proliferation and other related issues which India is trying to sort out.

Mines in India

It is the first uranium mine of India which started its operations in 1967. This mine is located in the state of Jharkhand. Jadugoda process plant is located close to the mine which is used for the processing of the uranium ore. The ore from Bhatin and Narwapahar mines is also processed here.

This mine is located 3 km away from Jaduguda and shares most of the infrastructure with the Jaduguda mine.

This mine was commissioned in April 1995. It is known to be the most modern mine of the country.

Turamdih mine is located 24 km to the west of Jaduguda and five km south to Tatanagar railway station which is on howrah Mumbai main line. It was commissioned in 2003. Turamdih Processing Plant has been set up to treat the ore from Turamdih, Banduharang and Mohuldin mines.

Bagjata Mines is an underground mine in east singhbhum district of Jharkhand.

4. Thorium

  • Thorium is found in small amounts in most rocks and soils. Soil commonly contains an average of around 6 parts per million (ppm) of thorium.
  • It is found in the Monazite sands of Placer deposits of coastal regions.
  • Although Monazite sands are found in east and west coast, the largest concentration is on the Kerala coast.


USGS Estimates in tonnes (2011)
United States440,000
South Africa35,000
Other Countries90,000
World Total1,913,000
  • India and Australia are believed to possess about 300,000 tonnes each; i.e. each has 25% of the world’s thorium reserves.
  • India’s thorium is mostly located in a contiguous belt of eastern coastal states as placer sands.
  • 2016 monazite reserve estimates:
    Andhra Pradesh (31%)
    Tamil Nadu (21%), and Odisha (20%)
    Kerala (16%), and West Bengal (10%)
    Jharkhand (2%)



  • Beryllium oxide is used as moderator in nuclear reactors.
  • India has sufficient reserves of Beryllium.

Lithium and Zirconium

  • Lithium is a light metal which is distributed in the states of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • Zirconium is found in Kerala coasts and in alluvial deposits of Ranchi and Hazaribagh of Jharkhand.


[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Which one of the following types of coal contains a higher percentage of carbon than the rest? [1999] (a) Bituminous coal(b)Lignite (c)Peat (d)Anthracite
Ans (d)Anthracite is a dense, shiny coal that has a high carbon content. Very little volatile matter is present in it. It gives a clean flame while burning. Anthracite contains 91% of carbon; is very little volatile and has almost smokeless burning. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following statements:[2006] 1.Petronet LNG Ltd. is setting up another LNG terminal at Mangalore. 2.The Head Office of the Dredging Corporation of India is at Vishakhapatnam. 3.The Narwapahar Mine is operated by the Uranium Corporation of India Limited. Which of the statements given above are correct? (a)1, 2 and 3 (b)1 and 2 only (c)2 and 3 only (d)1 and 3 only

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] In which one of the following states are Namchik Namphuk coalfields located?[2008] (a)Arunachal Pradesh (b)Meghalaya (c)Manipur (d)Mizoram
Ans.(a)Namchik-Namphuk coalfields are located in Arunachal Pradesh. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following statements:[2009] 1.India does not have any deposits of Thorium. 2.Kerala’s monazite sands contains Uranium. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)1 only (b)2 only (c)Both 1 and 2 (d)Neither 1 nor 2
Ans.(d)India has 12% of thorium deposits of the world. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following statements:[2013 – I] 1.Natural gas occurs in the Gondwana beds. 2.Mica occurs in abundance in Kodarma. 3.Dharwars are famous for petroleum. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)1 and 2 (b)2 only (c)2 and 3 (d)None
Ans.(b)Dharwar rocks are non fossilliferous rather they are metalliferous. They bear out gold, iron ore, manganese mica, cobalt, chromium, copper, tungsten, lead, nickel, precious stones and budding stones. Kodarma is a store house of mica and Gondwana beds has coal and not natural gass. [/tippy]


Mineral Resources

1.   Introduction

  • India is endowed with a rich variety of mineral resources due to its varied geological structure.
  • Bulk of the valuable minerals are products of pre-Palaeozoic age and are mainly associated with metamorphic and igneous rocks of the peninsular India.
  • The vast alluvial plain tract of north India is devoid of minerals of economic use.
  • The mineral resources provide the country with the necessary base for industrial development.
  • Fortunately, India is endowed with a rich variety of mineral resources due to its varied geological structure.
  • It possesses more than hundred minerals, out of which, there are around thirty minerals which have economic significance.
  • Some of the examples are coal, iron ore, manganese, bauxite, mica, etc. But the reserves of petroleum and some nonferrous metallic minerals, especially copper, lead, zinc, tin, graphite are inadequate.

2.   Types of Mineral Resources

On the basis of chemical and physical properties, minerals may be grouped under two main categories of metallics and non-metallics which may further be classified as follows:

Metallic Minerals

  • Metallic minerals are the sources of metals. Iron ore, copper, gold produce metal and are included in this category.
  • Metallic minerals are further divided into ferrous and non-ferrous metallic minerals.
  • Ferrous, as you know, refers to iron. All those minerals which have iron content are ferrous such as iron ore itself and those which do not have iron content are non-ferrous such as copper, bauxite, etc.

Non-metallic minerals

  • Non-metallic minerals are either organic in origin such as fossil fuels also known as mineral fuels which are derived from the buried animal and plant life such as coal and petroleum.
  • Other type of non-metallic minerals are inorganic in origin such as mica, limestone and graphite, etc.

3.   Characteristics

Minerals have certain characteristics.

  • These are unevenly distributed over space.
  • There is inverse relationship in quality and quantity of minerals i.e. good quality minerals are less in quantity as compared to low quality minerals.
  • The third main characteristic is that all minerals are exhaustible over time. These take long to develop geologically and they cannot be replenished immediately at the time of need.
  • Thus, they have to be conserved and not misused as they do not have the second crop.

4.   Mineral Belts in India

Overall, India is a hotspot of the following mineral reserves:

  • Metallic and non-metallic minerals: iron, chromite, copper, mica, and manganese.
  • Energy reserves: coal, petroleum, thorium, and uranium.

4.1. Chhota Nagpur Belt

  • Kyanite reserves (100%)
  • Iron ore (93%)
  • Coal (84%)
  • Chromite (70%)

4.2. The Himalayan Belt

  • Generally poor in metallic minerals

4.3. The Indian Ocean

  • Presence Mineral oil and Natural gas in Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal
  • Contains poly-metallic nodules (around 4000 m deep under the ocean)
  • Comprises minerals like Phosphate, Manganese, Barium, Silicon, Iron Aluminium, etc.

4.4. The Midland Belt

  • Rich in Manganese, Bauxite, Copper, Graphite, Mica, Lignite, marble, and Limestone.
  • Stretch around the states of Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh.

4.5. The Western Belt

  • Constitutes non-ferrous metals
  • Spreads around the states of Maharashtra oil resources and granaries near Mumbai coast), Gujarat and Rajasthan (sandstone, marble, granite, fullers, gypsum, etc)
  • Both Gujarat and Rajasthan are rich in salt production.

4.6. The South-western Belt

  • Contains rich deposits of iron ore
  • Located in the states of Goa (iron ore deposits), Kerala (thorium, Mozart, and bauxite clay) and Karnataka.

5. State wise Value of mineral production in India

During 2017-18, mineral production was reported from 32 States/Union Territories (actual reporting of MCDR from 22 states and estimation of minor minerals for all 32 States/Union Territories) of which the bulk of value of mineral production (excluding fuel and atomic minerals) of about 93.65% was confined to 10 States.
Rajasthan is in leading position, in terms of estimated value of mineral production in the country and had the share of 20.26% in the national output.
Odisha share of 17.77% followed by
Andhra Pradesh (9.45%),
Chhattisgarh (8.80%),
Karnataka (7.83%),
Telangana (6.06%),
Gujarat (5.66%),
U. P. (4.98%),
Maharashtra. (4.67%) 
Bihar (3.77%) in the total value of mineral production.

6 Metallic Minerals in India

Metallic minerals are the minerals which contain one or more metallic elements. They occur in rare, naturally formed concentrations known as mineral deposits. Metallic minerals available from India are zinc, iron ore, manganese ore, gold, bauxite, silver, lead, tin, copper and chromite.

6.1 Iron Ore

India stands first in iron ore reserves in Asia. Iron ore is mainly distributed in the peninsular India.

Varieties of Iron Ore:

  • Magnetite: The best quality iron ore containing 72% of pure Iron.
  • Haematite: Contains 60-70% of pure Iron
  • Limonite: Contains 40-60% of pure Iron
  • Siderite: Contains less than 40% of pure Iron
StMinesType Prod.
KaChikmangalur(Bababudan Hills, Kudremukh), Bellary(Sandur)Haematite, Magnetite25%
OdCuttack, Keonjhar, Sundargarh (Baonaigarh), Koraput, Mayurbhanj(Badampahar)Haematite22%
ChBastar(Bailadila), Durg(Dalli-Rjhara)Haematite20%
GoNorth GoaMagnetite, Haematite16%
JhBonai Ragne, Singhbhum, Naomandi, Daltenganj, Hazaribagh, Ranchi, GurumahisaniMagnetite, Haematite14%

6.2 Manganese 📌6

  • It is used for smelting of Iron and also for making alloys containing Manganese.
  • India has second largest manganese reserves after Zimbabwe.
  • India is the fifth largest producer of Manganese in the world.
  • Manganese reserves in India are found in Odisha (44%), Karnataka (22%), Madhya Pradesh (13%), Maharashtra(8%) among others.
  • As of 2011-12, Maharashtra is the leading producer of Manganese followed by Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
BalaghatM P
Nagpur  Maharashtra

6.3 Copper 📌7

  • It is widely utilised by electrical industry for manufacturing wires and other electrical equipments. It is also added with gold to impart strength.
  • Major share of Copper production comes from Madhya Pradesh(58%), Rajasthan(32%) and Jharkhand(11%).
  • Major copper mining centres are at Singhbhum (Jharkhand), Malanjkhand(MP), Khetri, Singhana, Alwar, Dariba, Delwara, Kirovli in Rajasthan.

6.4 Bauxite 📌8

  • Major producers of Bauxite are Kalahandi and Koraput belt of Odisha (36%), Gujarath (20%), Maharashtra (13%) and Jharkhand (13%).
  • NALCO, BALCO and HINDALCO are major companies engaged in mining of Bauxite in the country.
  • It is the ore of Aluminium.
Katni, AmarkantakMadhya Pradesh
Bilaspur & Maikal Chhattisgarh

6.5 Gold 📌9

  • India’s share in the world gold production is less than one percent.
  • Karnataka is the leading producer of gold accounting for 99% of total production and the rest comes from Jharkhand.
  • Major gold fields in India: Kolar (Karnataka), Hutti (Karnataka), Ramgiri (Andhra Pradesh).

6.6 Other Metallic minerals:

  • 📌Diamond (10) is found in Panna belt of Madhya Pradesh, Raichur, Gulbarga districts of Karnataka.
  • 📌Silver  is produced from Zawar (11) mines of Udaipur district of Rajasthan.
  • 📌 More than 99% of Zinc production comes from Zawar (12) area of Udaipur district of Rajasthan.
  • 📌Galena, the ore of lead, is produced from Rajasthan (94%) (13), 
  • 📌Nickel (14) – The State of Odisha is endowed with the largest share of resources of nickel ore in the country at 175 million tonnes (93%) followed by Jharkhand & Nagaland. These resources are mainly found to occur in three districts, namely, Jajpur (140 million tonnes), Mayurbhanj (27 million tonnes) and Keonjhar (8 million tonnes).

7 Non-Metallic Minerals

  • Non-metallic minerals – fossil fuels, derived from the buried animal and plant life such as coal and petroleum or inorganic in origin such as mica, limestone and graphite, etc.
  • Among the non-metallic minerals produced in India, mica is the important one. The other minerals extracted for local consumption are limestone, dolomite and phosphate.
  • India presently produces a total of 47 non-metallic minerals.
  • The resource base of industrial / non-metallic minerals in India is adequate except for Rock Phosphate, Magnesite and Ball Clay, for which the estimates show decreasing reserves.

7.1 Mica 

Significance of Mica

  • It has a unique combination of elasticity, toughness, flexibility and transparency.
  • It possesses resistance to heat and sudden change in temperature and high dielectric strength.
  • It is chemically inert, stable and does not absorb water.
  • It possesses highly perfect basal cleavage due to which it can easily and accurately split into very thin sheets which are tough and flexible.
  • Mica is mainly used in the electrical and electronic industries.
  • The three major types of mica found in India are — Muscovite, Phiogopite and Biotite.

Distribution of Mica in India 📌 15

Bihar (Gaya), Jharkhand (Hazaribagh), Rajasthan (Ajmer, Shahpur, Tonk, Bhilwara, Jaipur), Andhra Pradesh (Nellore)

State wise total resource distribution of Mica is as follows:-

  • Andhra Pradesh leads with 41% share in country’s total resources followed by
  • Rajasthan (21%)
  • Odisha (20%)
  • Maharashtra (15%)
  • Bihar (2%) and
  • The remaining 1% is in Jharkhand and Telangana together.

7.2 Limestone


  • Limestone is the primary constituent for the manufacture of cement.
  • Other important uses of limestone are as in Glass, Ceramic, Paper, Textile, fertilizer, chemical and sugar industry.

State wise total resource distribution of limestone is as following:-

  • Karnataka is the leading state having 28% of the total resources followed by
  • Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan (11% each),
  • Telangana (9%),
  • Chhattisgarh (5%),
  • Madhya Pradesh (4%) and
  • remaining 21% by other states.

8 Atomic Minerals

Uranium and Thorium are the main atomic minerals. Other atomic minerals are beryllium, lithium and zirconium.

8.1 Uranium 📌 16

Uranium deposits occur in Singhbhum and Hazaribagh districts of Jharkhand, Gaya district of Bihar, and in the sedimentary rocks in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Some uranium is found in the copper mines of Udaipur in Rajasthan. India produces about 2 per cent of world’s uranium. The total reserves of uranium are estimated at 30,480 tonnes.

8.2 Thorium

The known reserves of thorium in India are estimated to be between 457,000 and 508,000 tonnes. Kerala, Jharkhand, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are the main producers. Thorium is predicted to be able to replace uranium as nuclear fuel in nuclear reactors, but only a few thorium reactors have yet been completed.

9 The Legislative Framework 

The entry at serial No. 23 of List II (State List) to the Constitution of India mandates the state government to own the minerals located within their boundaries,
The entry at serial No. 54 of List I (Central List) mandates the central government to own the minerals within the exclusive economic zone of India (EEZ).
In pursuance to this Mines & Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act of 1957 was framed.
International Seabed Authority (ISA) regulates mineral exploration and extraction. It is guided by the UN treaty and India being a party to the treaty has received an exclusive right to explore polymetallic nodules over 75000 sq. km in Central Indian Ocean Basin.
The MMDR Amendment Act of 2015 introduces Mineral Concessions Grant through auctions to bring transparency and remove discretion; The District Mineral Foundation (DMF) to address the longtime grievance of the people affected by mining; and the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) for incentivising regional and detailed exploration to fill the gaps in exploration in the country, and stringent measures to check illegal mining.

9. National Mineral Policy, 2019

The New National Mineral Policy (NMP, 2019) will ensure more effective regulation in the sector. It will lead to sustainable mining sector development  in future while addressing the issues of project affected persons especially those residing in tribal areas.

The aim of NMP 2019 is to have a more effective, meaningful and implementable policy that brings in further transparency, better regulation and enforcement, balanced social and economic growth as well as sustainable mining practices.

Key Proposals of the Policy

  • Proposes to increase the production of major minerals by 200 per cent in seven years and reduce trade deficit in mineral sector by 50 per cent in seven years.
  • Aims to attract private investment through incentives like financial package, right of first refusal at the time of auction etc. or any other appropriate incentive according to international practices.
  • Introduces the concept of ‘Exclusive Mining Zones’. These ‘zones’ will come with approved, in-principle clearances to “curtail delay in commencement of mining operations”.
  • Emaphasises on simplifying the clearance process and making it time-bound for mineral development and commencement of mining operations.
  • Proposes to identify critically fragile ecosystems and declare such areas as “no-go areas”/ “inviolate areas”.
  • Encourages merger and acquisition of mining entities and transfer of mining leases that have been granted in a transparent manner to ensure seamless supply of ores and scaling up of business.
  • Focuses on a long term exportimport policy for the mineral sectorto provide stability for investing in large scale commercial mining activity.
  • Proposes harmonising royalty and all other levies and taxes with mining jurisdiction across the world.
  • Emphasises on ensuring welfare of mining-affected people / communities and ensuring rehabilitation and resettlement, by suitable implementation of all relevant Acts / Rules.
  • Introduces the concept of ‘Inter- Generational Equity’ in mineral resource exploitation.
  • Proposes development of an overarching inter-ministerial body, under the aegis of the Ministry of Mines, to institutionalise mechanisms of sustainable mining. The body will also advise the government on rates of royalty, dead rent etc.

Significance of NMP, 2019

  • The 2019 Policy also introduces the concept of ‘Inter-Generational Equity’ that deals with the well-being not only of the present generation but also of the generations to come and also proposes to constitute an inter ministerial body to institutionalize the mechanism for ensuring sustainable development in mining.
  • Among the changes introduced in the NMP, 2019 include the focus on ‘Make in India’ initiative and gender sensitivity in terms of the vision.
  • In so far as the regulation in minerals is concerned, e-Governance, IT enabled systems, awareness and Information campaigns have been incorporated.
  • Regarding the role of state in mineral development online public portal with provision for generating triggers at higher level in the event of delay of clearances has been put in place.
  • NMP, 2019 aims to attract private investment through incentives while the efforts would be made to maintain a database of mineral resources and tenements under mining tenement systems.
  • The new policy focuses on use coastal waterways and inland shipping for evacuation and transportation of minerals and encourages dedicated mineral corridors to facilitate the transportation of minerals.
  • The utilization of the district mineral fund for equitable development of project affected persons and areas.
  • NMP, 2019 proposes a long term export import policy for the mineral sector to provide stability and as an incentive for investing in large scale commercial mining activity.


[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Which one of the following countries has replaced Italy as the major importer of bauxite from India? [1998]
(a)Canada (b)Greece (c)Ukraine (d)United Arab Emirates
Ans.(a)Canada is the largest importer of bauxite from India. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Match List-I (Ores) with List-II (States where they are mined) and select the correct answer:[1996] List-IList-II A.Manganese1.Madhya Pradesh B.Nickel2.Orissa C.Lead-zinc3.Rajasthan
D.Asbestos4.Andhra Pradesh Codes: (a) A – 1; B – 3; C – 3; D – 4 (b)A – 4; B – 3; C – 2; D – 1 (c)A – 1; B – 2; C – 3; D – 4 (d)A – 4; B – 2; C – 3; D – 1
Ans.(c)The state which produce maximum amount of metal ores are : Ores State A.Manganese1.Madhya Pradesh B.Nickel2.Orissa C.Lead-Zinc3.Rajasthan D.Asbestos4.Andhra Pradesh [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Match List-I (Minerals) with List-II (Location) and select the correct answer using the codes given below: List-IList-II A.Coal1.Giridih B.Copper 2.Jayamkondam C.Manganese3.Alwar D. Lignite4.Dharwar
Codes: (a)A-1; B-4; C-3; D-2 (b)A-2; B-3; C-4; D-1 (c)A-1; B-3; C-4; D-2 (d)A-2; B-4; C-3; D-1
Ans.(c)MineralsLocation A.Coal1.Giridih B.Copper3.Alwar C.Manganese4.Dharwar D.Lignite2.Jayamkondam [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] In which one of the following districts, have large reserves of diamond-bearing Kimberlite been discovered in the recent past?[2007] (a)Hoshangabad (b)Raipur (c)Sambalpur (d)Warangal
Ans.(b)Payali and Behradein in Raipur, Chhattisgarh has large reserves of diamond bearing kimberlite. It has 28% of the total diamond reserve of India. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following statements:[2007] 1.Balaghat is known for its diamond mines. 2.Majhgawan is known for its manganese deposits. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)1 only (b)2 only (c)Both 1 and 2 (d)Neither 1 nor 2
Ans.(d)Balaghat of Madhya Pradesh is known for its manganese mines. Majhgawan is famous for diamond. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] 155.Which of the following minerals found in a natural way in the state of Chhattisgarh?[2008] 1.Bauxite 2.Dolomite 3.Iron ore 4.Tin Select the correct answer using the code given below: Code: (a)1, 2 and 3 only (b)1 and 3 only (c)2 and 4 only (d)1, 2, 3 and 4
Ans.(d)The minerals deposits in Chhatisgarh is Bauxite (96 million ton), Dolomite (606 million ton) and iron ore (2336 million ton). Tin is not found in Chhatisgarh. [/tippy]


Power Generation

General Information

India is the world’s third largest producer and third largest consumer of electricity.
India’s electricity sector is dominated by fossil fuels, and in particular coal, which in 2017-18 produced about three fourths of all electricity.

Electricity coverage

(9 Jan 2019)

Installed capacity

350.162 GW

Share of fossil energy


Share of renewable energy


GHG emissions from
electricity generation (2017)

2,194.74 MtCO2

Average electricity use

1,149 kWh
per capita

Transmission & Distribution
losses (2016-17)

21.42% & 24.20%

Industrial consumption
(% of total, 2017-18)


Agriculture consumption
(% of total, 2017-18)


Commercial consumption
(% of total, 2017-18)


Traction consumption
(% of total, 2017-18)


Share of private sector in generation


Installed capacity by source in India
as on 31 March 2020

Coal:                   205,344.5 MW   (55.5%)
Large Hydro:    45,699.22 MW   (12.3%)
Small Hydro:    4,683.16 MW      (1.3%)
Wind Power:     37,669.25 MW    (10.2%)
Solar Power:     34,405.67 MW    (9.3%)
Biomass:            10,001.11 MW    (2.7%)
Nuclear:             6,780 MW           (1.8%)
Gas:                    24,955.36 MW   (6.7%)
Diesel:                509.71 MW         (0.1%)

Total installed utility power capacity by sector and type


Total (MW)











All India



Per-Capita Electricity consumption (kWh)
in 2016-2017

State/Union territoryPer-Capita Consumption
D&N Haveli15,783
Daman and Diu7,965
Madhya Pradesh989
Tamil Nadu1,847
Andhra Pradesh1,319
Himachal Pradesh1,340
J & K1,282
Uttar Pradesh585
West Bengal665
Arunachal Pradesh648

Rural and Urban electrification

India’s Ministry of Power launched Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) as one of its flagship programmes in July 2015 with the objective of providing round the clock power to rural areas.

The programme focused on reforms in the rural power sector by separating feeder lines for rural households from those for agricultural applications, and strengthening transmission and distribution infrastructure.

A previous scheme for rural electrification, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) was subsumed into the new scheme.
As of 28 April 2018, 12 days ahead of the target date, all Indian villages (a total of 597,464 census villages) were electrified.

India has also achieved close to 100% electrification of all rural and urban households.
As of 4 January 2019, 211.88 million rural households were provided with electricity, close to 100% of the 212.65 million total rural households.
As of 4 January 2019, 42.937 million urban households are provided with electricity, close to 100% of the 42.941 million total urban households.

The two major sources of energy can be classified under:

  • Conventional Sources

  • Non-Conventional Sources

Below you could see the difference between conventional and non-conventional sources of energy.

Thermal power

India’s electricity sector consumes about 72% of the coal produced in the country.

Coal consumption by utility power is 608 million tons in 2017-18.

Growth of Installed Capacity in India

India has an extensive review process, one that includes environment impact assessment, prior to a thermal power plant being approved for construction and commissioning.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests has published a technical guidance manual to help project proposers and to prevent environmental pollution from thermal power plants.

The operating coal fired power stations both in utility and captive power sectors need to invest nearly INR 12.5 millions per MW capacity for installing pollution control equipment to comply with the latest emission norms notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in the year 2016. India has banned import of pet coke for using as fuel.

India, a signatory to Paris Agreement, is also reducing power generation from coal to control the emission of global warming gases.

Coal supply constraints

A large part of the Indian coal reserve is similar to Gondwana coal.

It is of low calorific value and high ash content. The carbon content is low in India’s coal, and toxic trace element concentrations are negligible.

The natural fuel value of Indian coal is poor.

On average, the Indian power plants using India’s coal supply consume about 0.7 kg of coal to generate a kWh, whereas United States thermal power plants consume about 0.45 kg of coal per kWh.

This is because of the difference in the quality of the coal, as measured by the Gross Calorific Value (GCV).

On average, Indian coal has a GCV of about 4500 Kcal/kg, whereas the quality elsewhere in the world is much better; for example, in Australia, the GCV is 6500 Kcal/kg approximately.

In the year 2017, India imported nearly 130 Mtoe (nearly 200 million tons) of steam coal and coking coal which is 29% of total consumption to meet the demand in electricity, cement and steel production.

Hydro power

Classification of Hydro Projects based on Installed Capacity

Hydro power projects are generally categorized in two segments i.e. small and large hydro.

In India, hydro projects up to 25 MW station capacities have been categorized as Small Hydro Power (SHP) projects.

  • Micro: upto 100 KW

  • Mini: 101 KW to 2 MW

  • Small: 2 MW to 25 MW

  • Mega: Hydro projects with installed capacity >= 500 MW

  • Thermal Projects with installed capacity >=1500 MW

While Ministry of Power, Government of India is responsible for large hydro projects, the mandate for the subject small hydro power (up to 25 MW) is given to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

Advantages of hydropower

  • Hydropower is a renewable source of energy because it uses and not consumes the water for generation of electricity, and the hydropower leaves this vital resource available for other uses.

  • It is a renewable source of energy with no consumables involved; there is very little recurring cost and hence no high long term expenditure. It is cheaper as compared to electricity generated from coal and gas fired plants. It also reduces the financial losses due to frequency fluctuations and it is more reliable as it is inflation free due to not usage of fossil fuel.

  • Hydropower stations are preferred solution for meeting peak loads in grids due to its unique capabilities of quick starting and closing.

  • The operational needs of hydro & thermal stations are complimentary and the balanced mix helps in optimal utilization of the capacity. Seasonal load curves of regional grids match with the pattern of hydro power generation. During summer/monsoon season when the generation at hydro power plants is high, the load factor of the system is high due to heavy agricultural load. During winter, the thermal stations operating at base load and hydro stations working as peak load stations will take care of weather beating loads.

Challenges related to hydropower

  • The hydropower generation is highly capital-intensive mode of electricity generation.

  • Due to the fact that hydropower projects are primarily located in hilly areas, where forest cover is comparatively better than plain areas, diversion of forest land is sometimes unavoidable.

  • Submergence of land, thereby loss of flora and fauna and large scale displacement, due to the hydropower projects

Hydropower potential in India

The hydropower potential of India is around 1,45,000 MW and at 60% load factor, it can meet the demand of around 85, 000 MW.

The estimated potential for power generation from Small hydropower projects is about 20,000 MW.

India is endowed with economically exploitable and viable hydro potential assessed to be about 125,570 MW at 60% load factor. India ranked fourth globally by underutilized hydro power potential.

The installed capacity as of 31 March 2018 is approximately 45,293.42 MW which is 13.17% of total installed utility capacity in India.

In addition, 4486 MW capacity from Small, Mini, and Micro Hydro schemes have been installed. The public sector has a predominant share of 97% in this sector.

Hydro power Production 

India is the 7th largest producer of hydroelectric power in the world.

As of 30 April 2017, India’s installed utility-scale hydroelectric capacity was 44,594 MW, or 13.5% of its total utility power generation capacity.

India is endowed with economically exploitable and viable hydro potential assessed to be about 125,570 MW at 60% load factor.

India ranked fourth globally by underutilized hydro power potential.

The installed capacity as of 31 March 2018 is approximately 45,293.42 MW which is 13.17% of total installed utility capacity in India.

In addition, 4486 MW capacity from Small, Mini, and Micro Hydro schemes have been installed.

The public sector has a predominant share of 97% in this sector.

Unconventional Power

India’s renewable energy sector has been growing vigorously for the last decade.

As of 31 March 2018, India had grid-connected installed electricity generation capacity of about 69.02 GW from non-conventional renewable technologies and conventional renewable power or major hydroelectric power capacity of 45.29 MW.

Installed capacity of non-conventional renewable power

(in MW)
Small Hydro Power Projects4,485.81
Biomass Power8,700.80
Waste to Power138.30
Total 69,022.39

Solar power

Solar power in India is a fast developing industry. The country’s solar installed capacity reached 25.21 GW as of 31 December 2018.

The Indian government had an initial target of 20 GW capacity for 2022, which was achieved four years ahead of schedule.

In 2015 the target was raised to 100 GW of solar capacity (including 40 GW from rooftop solar) by 2022, targeting an investment of US$100 billion.

India expanded its solar-generation capacity 8 times from 2,650 MW on 26 May 2014 to over 20 GW as on 31 January 2018.

The country added 3 GW of solar capacity in 2015-2016, 5 GW in 2016-2017 and over 10 GW in 2017-2018, with the average current price of solar electricity dropping to 18% below the average price of its coal-fired counterpart.


Solar power
generation (TWh)











Installed solar power capacity (MW)


31 March

31 March

31 March

31 Dec











An Pr

























Major photovoltaic (PV) power plants





Kamuthi Solar Power Project

Tamil Nadu



Gujarat Solar Park-1




Welspun Solar MP project

M. Pradesh



ReNew PowerNizamabad




Sakri solar plant




Wind power

Generation of electricity has emerged as the most important application of wind energy world-wide.

The concept is simple: flowing wind rotates the blades of a turbine, and causes electricity to be produced in generator unit.

The blades and generator (housed in a unit called ‘nacelle’) are mounted at the top of a tower.


Wind turbines generally have three rotor blades, which rotate with wind flow and are coupled to a generator either directly or through a gear box.

The rotor blades rotate around a horizontal hub connected to a generator, which is located inside the nacelle.

The nacelle also houses other electrical components and the yaw mechanism, which turns the turbine so that it faces the wind.

Sensors are used to monitor wind direction and the tower head is turned to line up with the wind.

The power produced by the generator is controlled automatically as wind speeds vary.

The rotor diameters vary from 30 metres (m) to about 90 m, whereas the towers on which the wind electric generators (WEGs) are mounted, range in height from 25 to 80 m.

The power generated by wind turbines is conditioned properly so as to feed the local grid.

The unit capacities of WEGs presently range from 225 kilowatt (kW) to 2 megawatt (MW), and they can operate in wind speeds ranging between 2.5 m/s (metres per second) and 25 m.

Establishment of wind mills

Wind speed data of potential locations is compiled for a period of one to two years, to identify suitable sites for the installation of WEGs.

Thereafter, WEGs are installed on the sites with appropriate distances between them to ensure minimum disturbance to one another.

After the identification of sites, wind turbines generally take two to three months for installation.

The equipment is tested and certified by agencies to ensure that it conforms to the laid-down standards, specifications, and performance parameters.

The machines are maintained by the respective manufacturers after installation.

Cost of wind power projects

The cost of wind power generation varies between Rs 4 and 5 crores per MW, depending upon state characteristics.

The machines can be maintained at a cost of Rs 0.25 to 0.60/kWh. The projects are estimated to have a pay-back period of five to eight years.

Wind power generation

Wind power generation capacity in India has significantly increased in recent years.

As of 31 December 2018 the total installed wind power capacity was 35.288 GW, the fourth largest installed wind power capacity in the world.

Financial year





Installed capacity (MW)





Generation (GWh)





Installed wind power capacity and generation in India


Total Capacity (MW)

Tamil Nadu










Andhra Pradesh


Madhya Pradesh










Biomass- based power generation

India produces a huge quantity of biomass material in its agricultural, agro-industrial, and forestry operations.

According to some estimates, over 500 million tonnes of agricultural and agro-industrial residue alone is generated every year.

This quantity, in terms of heat content, is equivalent to about 175 million tonnes of oil.

A portion of these materials is used for fodder and fuel in the rural economy.

However, studies have indicated that at least 150–200 million tonnes of this biomass material does not find much productive use, and can be made available for alternative uses at an economical cost. These materials include a variety of husks and straws.

This quantity of biomass is sufficient to generate 15 000–25 000 MW of electrical power.

In addition, electricity can also be generated from biomass grown on wastelands, road and rail track side plantations, etc. The quantum of electricity that can be produced from such biomass has been estimated to be in excess of 70 000 MW.

Thus, the total electricity generation potential from biomass could reach a figure of about 100 000 MW.

Technology used for biomass based power generation

The technology for generation of electricity from these biomass materials is similar to the conventional coal-based thermal power generation.

The biomass is burnt in boilers to generate steam, which drives a turbo alternator for generation of electricity.


  • These projects can be designed to match the electric loads as biomass can be stored and used according to demand.

  • Equipment for these projects is similar to that for coal-based thermal power projects and hence, no new technological developments are required.

  • Due to their proximity to the rural areas, these projects are likely to improve quality of electricity supply there.

  • A variety of biomass materials can be used in the same plant, providing flexibility of operations.


Typical capital costs for biomass power projects range from Rs 3 crores/ MW to Rs 4 crores/MW.

Costs of generation depend upon the cost of biomass, the plant load factor, and the efficiencies of conversion.Biomass Gasification for Thermal and Electrical Applications

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. India’s geothermal energy installed capacity is experimental, and commercial use is insignificant.

According to some estimates, India has 10,600 MW of geothermal energy available.

The resource map for India has been grouped into six geothermal provinces:

India has about 340 hot springs spread over the country.

Of these, 62 are distributed along the northwest Himalaya, in the states of Jammu and KashmirHimachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

They are found concentrated in a 30-50-km wide thermal band mostly along the river valleys.

The Naga-Lusai and West Coast Provinces also manifest a series of thermal springs.

The Andaman and Nicobar arc is the only place in India where volcanic activity continues, potentially a good site for geothermal energy.

The Cambay geothermal belt is 200 km long and 50 km wide, with Tertiary sediments.

Thermal springs have been reported from the belt although they are not of very high temperature or flow levels.

High subsurface temperature and thermal fluid have been reported in deep drill wells in depth ranges of 1.7 to 1.9  km during drilling in this area.

Steam blowout has also been reported in drill holes in a depth range of 1.5 to 3.4  km.

The thermal springs in India’s peninsular region are more related to the faults, which allow water to circulate to considerable depths.

The circulating water acquires heat from the normal thermal gradient in the area, and can emerge at a high temperature.

In a December 2011 report, India identified six promising geothermal sites for the development of geothermal energy.

In decreasing order of potential, these are:

  • Tattapani (Chhattisgarh)
  • Puga (Jammu & Kashmir)
  • Cambay Graben (Gujarat)
  • Manikaran (Himachal Pradesh)
  • Surajkund (Haryana)
  • Chhumathang (Jammu & Kashmir)

Puga was chosen for the first geothermal plant, but as of December 2017 little progress had been made.

Tidal power

Total identified potential of Tidal Energy is about 9000 MW in West Coast Gulf of Cambay (7000 MW), Gulf of Kutch (1200 MW) and in East Coast the Ganges Delta in the Sunderbans in West Bengal for small scale tidal power development estimates the potential in this region to be about 100 MW.

In 2011, Government of Gujarat signed MOU for establishing a 250 MW tidal power project in Gulf of Kutch with GPCL, Atlantis Resource Corporation (U.K) and PMES, Singapore. A 50 MW tidal power project at Mandavi in kutchh district has been initiated in first phase.

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) in 2008, sanctioned a demonstration project for setting up a 3.75 MW tidal power plant at Durgaduani Creek in Sunderbans, West Bengal but due to some reason it could not see the light of the day.

Nuclear power

Nuclear power is the fourth -largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources of electricity.

As of March 2017, India has 22 nuclear reactors in operation at seven sites, having an installed capacity of 6780 MW. and producing a total of 30,292.91 GWh of electricity 11 more reactors are under construction to generate an additional 8,100 MW.

All the twenty two nuclear power reactors with an installed capacity of 6,780 MW equal to 2.0% of total installed utility capacity, are operated by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India. India ranked seventh in number of operated reactors (22) and fourteenth in total installed capacity.

Power stationEstLocationStateInstalled Capacity
Tarapur Atomic Power Station1969TarapurMah 
Kakrapar Atomic Power Station1993KakraparGujarat440
Western  21,840
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant2013KudankulamTN2,000
Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant 2000KaigaKarnataka880
Madras Atomic Power Station1984KalpakkamTN440
Southern  33,320
Rajasthan Atomic Power Station 1973RawatbhataRajasthan1,080
Rajasthan Atomic Power Station 1973RawatbhataRajasthan
Narora Atomic Power Station1991NaroraUttar Pradesh440
Gorakhpur Nuclear Power Plant FatehabadHaryana
Northern  31520
TOTAL  86,680

Government Schemes

Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY)
The rural electrification scheme provides for (a) separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeders; (b) strengthening and augmentation of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas including metering at distribution transformers, feeders and consumers end.

Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS)
The scheme provides for (a) strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in urban areas; (b) metering of distribution transformers/feeders/consumers in urban areas; and (c) IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network.

Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY)
The scheme has been launched for operational and financial turnaround of Discoms.

‘4 Es’ in the revised Tariff Policy: The 4Es include Electricity for all, Efficiency to ensure affordable tariffs, Environment for a sustainable future, Ease of doing business to attract investments and ensure financial viability.
GARV (Grameen Vidyutikaran) App
To monitor transparency in implementation of the electrification schemes, Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVAs) have been appointed by the government to report progress through GARV app.


The Union government’s Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) and LED Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP), marked their fifth anniversary on 5th January 2020.

Both schemes have been spearheaded and implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
These programmes have bagged global awards like the South Asia Procurement Innovation Award (SAPIA) 2017, CIO 100 award 2019, the Global Solid State Lighting (SSL) award of excellence.

Key Points

Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All

It was launched in 2015 with a target of replacing 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs and to nullify the high-cost of LEDs that acted as a barrier previously in the adoption of energy-efficient systems.
The scheme was implemented to set up a phase-wise LED distribution.
The objective is to promote efficient lighting, enhance awareness on using efficient equipment that will reduce electricity bills and preserve the environment.
It is the world’s largest domestic lighting project.


Through the UJALA initiative, over 36.13 crore LED bulbs have been distributed across India. This has resulted in an estimated energy savings of 46.92 billion kWh per year, avoided peak demand of 9,394 MW, and an estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction of 38 million tons of CO2 annually.
The reduced electricity bills add to a household’s disposable income and lifetime savings, thus improving the quality of life, generating prosperity in local communities and in expanding energy access to all.
Apart from this, the Government of India initiated the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (GSA) in 2018, which was aimed at the promotion of social harmony by appraising rural communities of various government welfare schemes and initiatives. As a part of it, villages with poor households were able to buy LED bulbs for a special price under UJALA programme.

National Energy Policy.

The 2017 National Energy Policy (NEP), drafted by the NITI Aayog, takes the baton forward from the 2006 Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) in setting the trajectory of growth for the energy sector.

Key Objectives of NEP:

There are four key objectives of National Energy Policy.
Access at affordable prices,
Improved security and Independence
Greater Sustainability and
Economic Growth.

Targets of National Energy Policy:

The intention of the National Energy Policy is to present a broad framework for the overall energy sector, taking into account the multiple technology and fuel options.
All the Census villages are planned to be electrified by 2018, and universal electrification is to be achieved, with 24×7 electricity by 2022.
The share of manufacturing in our GDP is to go up to 25% from the present level of 16%, while the Ministry of Petroleum is targeting reduction of oil imports by 10% from 2014-15 levels, both by 2022.
INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) target at reduction of emissions intensity by 33 percent-35 percent by 2030 over 2005.
Achieving a 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022, and share of non-fossil fuel based capacity in the electricity mix is aimed at above 40% by 2030.
NITI Aayog’s National Energy Policy is aimed at curbing imports by increasing production of renewable energy in the country fivefold to 300 billion units by 2019 and tripling coal production to 1.5 billion tonnes.
Coal imports are envisaged to come down by 10% by 2022 and by 50% by 2030.
This policy will replace the Integrated Energy Policy of the previous government.
Policy focus on clean energy resources such as solar and natural gas
NITI aayog also plans to set up the National Energy Data Agency on the lines of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Agency will aim to provide oil and gas mapping by working with the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, transmission line mapping, energy demand mapping and solar irradiation mapping, among others.

Need for NEP:

Energy is acknowledged as a key input towards raising the standard of living of citizens of any country, as is evident from the correlation between per capita electricity consumption and Human Development Index (HDI).
Accordingly, energy policies of India have over the years directly aimed to raise per capita energy consumption, even while the main focus of the country’s development agenda has been on eradication of poverty.
While India strives to achieve a double digit growth rate in its national income, it is equally important that clean energy is available to all the citizens.
The NEP draft comes at a time when the energy sector is seeking clarity. In the face of claims of surplus power, even as rampant energy poverty continues to plague the country, the sector needs clear signals of the future pathways.

IEP 2006 Vs. NEP 2017

The Integrated Energy Policy of 2006 is the base of the current National Energy Policy drafted by the NITI Aayog.
The primary difference between the two policies is the approach used to achieve the objectives, the IEP made a basket of specific measures which were to be used to achieve the goals.
In the case of NEP, a broad framework for the entire energy sector is considered including vast technology and various fuel options.
The transition from IEP to NEP is important to check the sudden decline in the renewable energy tariffs and to scale up the grid-connected to clean energy sources.
India Vision 2040
The NEP aims at supporting the Indian ambition to emerge as a well-developed and resilient economy with high level of human development.
Additionally, it helps prepare the nation to anticipate the technological and market related changes in the energy sector.

Issues with the draft NEP 2017

The NITI Aayog claims that over a period of time India will become a net exporter of coal at a time when most of the countries are shunning coal based energy plants for clean and environment-friendly energy plants.
The consumption of coal has been estimated to grow to around 330-441 GW by the year 2040 which contradicts the aim to shift towards renewable sources of energy like wind and solar plants.
Also at a time when the tariffs of solar and wind energy are at an all time low growing dependency nullify the motive behind adopting environment-friendly energy sources.
The draft instead of phasing out the existing thermal power plants focuses more on relocating the existing plants in places where do not affect human habitations to an extent of causing serious damage.
There is also some amount of repetition in the current draft. Promoting LPG imports and providing incentives for shale and conventional gas exploration have already been proposed in previous policies.
There needs to be more strict and strong action proposed for pipelines like the Ira-Pakistan India (IPI) and Turkmenistan- Afganistan- Pakistan- India as there has been little progress in the past 20 years on them.


[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”]          Which of the following pairs are correctly matched? [1996] 1.Idukki       : Thermal power station 2.Sabarigiri : Hydro-electric project 3.Ghatprabha: Irrigation project 4.Ramganga: Multipurpose project (a)2, 3 and 4 (b)1, 2, 3 and 4 (c)3 and 4 (d)1 and 2 
Ans.(a)Idukki is a hydro-electric project of Kerala. So, the ‘1’ option is not correct. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”]          Consider the following statements regarding power sector in India:[2001] 1.The installed capacity of power generation is around 95000 MW 2.Nuclear plants contribute nearly 15% of total power generation 3.Hydroelectricity plants contribute nearly 40% of total power generation 4.Thermal plants at present account for nearly 80% of total power generation Which of the statements is/are correct? (a)1 only (b)2 and 3 (c)3 and 4 (d)1 and 4
Ans.(a)According to the data of 2000, the power generation is 95000 MW. Nuclear plants  contribute 2% of total power generation.  Hydroelectricity plants contribute 25% of total production and 73% is contributed by thermal power plants. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”]          Consider the following statements:[2004] 1.National Thermal Power Corporation has diversified into hydropower sector 2.Power Grid Corporation of India has diversified into telecom sector Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)1 only (b)2 only (c)Both 1 and 2 (d)Neither 1 nor 2
Ans (a)Statement ‘1’ is correct, because National Thermal Power Corporation has diversified into the hydro projects. Presently it has undertaken Koldem project in Himachal Pradesh. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”]          Consider the following statements :[2004] 1.Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research uses fast reactor technology 2.Atomic Minerals Directorate for Research and Exploration is engaged in heavy water production 3.Indian Rare Earths Limited is engaged in manufacture of Zircon for India’s Nuclear Programme beside other rare earth products Which of the statements given above are correct? (a)1, 2 and 3 (b)1 and 2 (c)1 and 3 (d)2 and 3

Ans.(a)All the statements are correct according to Atomic developments in India. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”]          Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer using the code given below the lists.[2005] List-I List-II (Atomic Power Plants(State) /Heavy Water Plants) A.Thal1.Andhra Pradesh B.Manuguru2.Gujarat C.Kakrapar3.Maharashtra D.Kaiga4.Rajasthan 5. Karnataka Codes : (a)A-2; B-1; C-4; D-5 (b)A-3; B-5; C-2; D-1 (c)A-2; B-5; C-4; D-1 (d)A-3; B-1; C-2; D-5
Ans.(d)Atomic Power Plant     State A.ThalMaharashtra B.ManuguruAndhra Pradesh C.KakraparGujarat D.KaigaKarnataka [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”]          Match items in the List-I with List-II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists. [2005] List-I (Power Station)List-II (State) A.Kothagudem1.Andhra Pradesh B.Raichur2.Gujarat C.Mettur3.Karnataka D.Wanakbori4.Tamil Nadu Codes : (a)A-4; B-2; C-1; D-3 (b)A-1; B-3; C-4; D-2 (c)A-4; B-3; C-1; D-2 (d)A-1; B-2; C-4; D-3
Ans.(b)Power StationState A.Kothagudem:Andhra Pradesh B.Raichur:Karnataka C.Mettur:Tamil Nadu D.Wanakbori:Gujarat [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”]          Consider the following statements:[2006] 1.Appellate Tribunal for electricity has been established by each state government in India. 2.One of the component of the Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (APDRP) is up gradation of sub-transmission and distribution system for electricity in India. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct? (a)1 only (b)2 only (c)Both l and 2 (d)Neither 1 nor 2
Ans.(b)By virtue of section 110 of the Electricity Act 2003, an Appellate Tribunal for Electricity having jurisdiction throughout India has been set up to hear appeals or original petitions against the order of the Adjudicating officer. But in states like Delhi and Orissa electricity has been privatized. So, the statement ‘1’ is wrong. It is not present in Jammu and Kashmir. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”]          Where are Tapovan and Vishnugarh hydroelectric project located?[2008] (a)Madhya Pradesh (b)Uttar Pradesh (c)Uttarakhand (d)Rajasthan
Ans.(c)Tapovan and Vishnugarh hydroelectric project are located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”]          The Dul Hasti Power Station is based on which one of the following rivers?[2009] (a)Beas (b)Chenab (c)Ravi (d)Sutlej
Ans.(b)The Dul Hasti Power Station is on the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir. [/tippy]

[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”]          Which of the following is/are the characteristic/characteristics of Indian coal?[2013 – I] 1.High ash content 2.Low sulphur content 3.Low ash fusion temperature Select the correct answer using the codes given below. (a)1 and 2 only (b)2 only (c)1 and 3 only (d)1, 2 and 3
Ans.(a)Indian coal  has high ash content and low calorific value. It has low sulphur and low phosphorous content but high ash fusion temperature. [/tippy]