The rapid development of

Location of cotton textile industry in India


Iron and Steel IndustryJust like all vegetation cannot be seen all over the world, industries too are not seen every where. Industries have affinity towards particular locations. Of-course, availability of raw material is one of the major reasons, but that is not the sole determinant. This post explores the distribution of major industries across the world, and reasons for the variations.

Note: This is one topic specifically mentioned in UPSC syllabus for main exam and aspirants are advised to start from our previous articles related to various sectors of economy and factors responsible for the location of industries.

World’s Major Industries

Yes, there are lot many industries, and it is not possible to analyze location details of all. So we are limiting this post on world’s major industries (article courtesy : NCERT). Our focus is on three major industries in the world, but aspirants are advised to go through other industries like petroleum, fertilizers, automobile, pharmaceuticals, sugar etc too.

The world’s major industries are:

  1. Iron and steel industry – Germany, USA, China, Japan and Russia.
  2. Textile industry – India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
  3. Information technology industry – Silicon valley of Central California and the Bangalore region of India.

The iron and steel and textile industry are the older industries while information technology is an emerging industry.

Iron and Steel Industry

Like other industries iron and steel industry too comprises various inputs, processes and outputs. The inputs for the industry include raw materials such as iron ore, coal and limestone, along with labour, capital, site and other infrastructure. The process of converting iron ore into steel involves many stages. The raw material is put in the blast furnace where it undergoes smelting. It is then refined. The output obtained is steel which may be used by other industries as raw material.

Cotton Textile IndustryThe Indian iron and steel industry consists of large integrated steel plants as well as mini steel mills. It also includes secondary producers, rolling mills and ancillary industries.

Changes in locations: Before 1800 A.D. iron and steel industry was located where raw materials, power supply and running water were easily available. Later the ideal location for the industry was near coal fields and close to canals and railways. After 1950, iron and steel industry began to be located on large areas of flat land near sea ports. This is because by this time steel works had become very large and iron ore had to be imported from overseas.

Locations in India: In India, iron and steel industry has developed taking advantage of raw materials, cheap labour, transport and market. All the important steel producing centres such as Bhilai, Durgapur, Burnpur, Jamshedpur, Rourkela, Bokaro are situated in a region that spreads over four states — West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Bhadravati and Vijay Nagar in Karnataka, Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Salem in Tamil Nadu are other important steel centres utilising local resources. India’s steel production increased from one million tonne in 1947 to 30 million tonnes in 2002.

Why Jamshedpur? Before 1947, there was only one iron and steel plant in the country – Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited (TISCO). It was privately owned. After Independence, the government took the initiative and set up several iron and steel plants. TISCO was started in 1907 at Sakchi, near the confluence of the rivers Subarnarekha and Kharkai in Jharkhand. Later on Sakchi was renamed as Jamshedpur. Geographically, Jamshedpur is the most conveniently situated iron and steel centre in the country.

Sakchi was chosen to set up the steel plant for several reasons. This place was only 32 km away from Kalimati station on the Bengal-Nagpur railway line. It was close to the iron ore, coal and manganese deposits as well as to Kolkata, which provided a large market. TISCO gets coal from Jharia coalfields, and iron ore, limestone, dolomite and manganese from Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The Kharkai and Subarnarekha rivers ensured sufficient water supply. Government initiatives provided adequate capital for its later development.



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