Industries : UPSC / HCS
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Industries : UPSC / HCS

This article is an overview of the topic of Industries. Industry implies the transformation of existing materials into something new, into goods that are used as end-products themselves or are utilized to manufacture more goods. Hence, we can say that Industries are concerned with: Production of goods ( steel energy), Extraction of minerals (coal mining), Provision of services (tourism). 






  • Industry implies the transformation of existing materials into something new, into goods that are used as end-products themselves or are utilized to manufacture more goods

Primary Industries

  • Use natural raw material
  • Examples Hunting-gathering, pastoral activities, fishing, forestry, agriculture, mining, and quarrying

Secondary Industries

  • Make complex products using the material obtained from primary industry
  • Steel Automobiles, Railway engines
  • Wooden Pulp   Rayon
  • Fibers Readymade Garments

Secondary Industry can be subclassified into:

  • Heavy IndustriesEngineering, metal goods, heavy chemicals, shipbuilding, locomotives
  • Light industriesElectronics, plastic, textile, cosmetic, etc

Tertiary Industries

  • Not a branch of manufacturing but sells the product of primary and secondary industries via transport, trading, wholesale & retailing
  • Basically include Service providers industry
  • Provides services such as tourism, education, entertainment, consultancy, advertisements, healthcare, etc.


Forest and wildlife resources 

Natural vegetation

Classification of Industries

On the basis of the strength of Labour:

  • Large-scale Industries
  • Medium-scale Industries
  • Small-scale Industries

On the basis of Raw Material and Finished Goods:

  • Heavy Industries: Industries, which use heavy and bulky raw materials and produce products of the same category. Example: Iron and steel industry 
  • Light Industries: Industries that use light raw materials and produce similar finished products. Example: Textile industry, electronics, fans, sewing machines.

On the basis of Ownership: 

  • Private Sector Industries: Industries owned by individuals or firms such as Bajaj Auto or TISCO situated at Jamshedpur are called private sector industries.
  • Public Sector Industries: Industries owned by the state and its agencies, like Bharat heavy Electricals Ltd. or Bhilai Steel Plant, or Durgapur Steel Plant, and are public sector industries.
  • Joint Sector Industries: Industries owned jointly by the private firms and the state or its agencies, such as Gujarat alkalies Ltd. or Oil India Ltd., fall in the group of joint sector industries.

On the basis of source of Raw Material:

  • Agro-based Industries: Industries that obtain the raw material from agriculture. Example: Cotton textile, jute textile, silk, sugar, vegetable oil, and paper industry.
  • Mineral-based Industries: Industries that receive raw material primarily from minerals. Example: Iron and steel, aluminum, and cement industries.
  • Pastoral-based Industries: Industries that depend upon animals for their raw material. Hide, skin, bone, horn, shoes, dairy, etc., are some of the pastoral-based industries.
  • Forest-based Industries:  Industries that use forest products as their raw materials. Example: Paper, cardboard, lace, rayon, resin, basket, etc. 

Miscellaneous Industries: 

Industries can also be classified into the following categories:

  • Village industries: Village industries are located in villages and primarily cater to the needs of the rural people. They usually employ local machinery such as oil extractors, flour-grinding, and agricultural implements.
  • Cottage Industries: Industries which artisans set up in their own houses, work with wood, cane, brass, stone, etc. Example: Handloom Khadi and leatherwork at the artisan's house 
  • Consumer Industries: Industries that convert raw materials or primary products into commodities directly used by the people. Example: Textile industry, bakeries, etc., are some of the consumer industries.
  • Basic Industries: Industries, on which many other industries depend for their manufacturing processes. Example: Iron and steel industry and power generating industry
  • Capital-intensive Industries: Industries that require huge investments.  Example: Iron and steel, cement, and aluminum industries.
  • Labor-intensive industries: Industries that require a huge labor force for running them and labor is more important than capital. Example: Shoemaking and bidi making, etc.

Another common classification of industries is based on the nature of the manufactured products: 

  • Metallurgical Industries
  • Mechanical Engineering Industries
  • Chemical and Allied Industries
  • Textile Industries
  • Food Processing Industries
  • Electricity Generation

Factors responsible for the location of Industries

  • Availability of Raw Material
  • Power Resources
  • Availability of water
  • Labour
  • Transportation
  • Availability of Market
  • Capital
  • Government Policies

Raw Material:

  • Industries using weight-losing raw materials are located in the regions where raw materials are located. 


    • Sugar mills (in sugarcane growing areas)
    • The pulp industry, copper smelting industries are located near their raw materials.
    • In the iron and steel industries, iron ore and coal both are weight-losing raw materials.
    • Hence, most of them are located either near coalfields (Bokaro, Durgapur, etc.) or near sources of iron ore (Bhadravati, Bhilai, and Rourkela). 


  • Power provides the motive force for machines, and therefore, its supply has to be ensured before the location of any industry.
  • Certain industries, like aluminum and Synthetic nitrogen manufacturing industries, are power-intensive and require a huge quantum of electricity, hence tend to be located near sources of power.


  • provide the outlets for manufactured products. 
  • The cotton textile industry uses a non-weight-losing raw material and is generally located in a large urban center, (Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat, etc).
  • Petroleum refineries are located near the markets as the transport of crude oil is easier and several products derived from them are used as raw material in other industries. 
  • Koyali, Mathura, and Barauni refineries are typical examples.


  • The concentration of industries in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, and in and around Kolkata from the beginning due to the fact that they had excellent transport links. 
  • The industries shifted to interior locations, only when railway lines were laid.
  • All major industrial plants are located on the trunk rail routes.


  • Industries require skilled labor. 
  • In India, labor is quite mobile and is available in large numbers due to our large population.

Historical factor:

  • During the initial phase of colonization, manufacturing activities received new impetus provided by the European traders.
  • Places like Murshidabad, Dhaka, Bhadohi, Surat, etc., emerged as important manufacturing centers.

Energy Resources : UPSC / HCS

Manufacturing  Industries

  • Production of goods in large quantities after processing from raw materials to more valuable products is called manufacturing
  • People employed in secondary activities manufacture the primary materials into finished goods
  • Workers employed in steel factories, car, breweries, textile industries, bakeries, etc fall into this category
  • The economic strength of a country is measured by the development of manufacturing industries
  • The manufacturing sector is considered the backbone of development in general and economic development.
  • Manufacturing industries help in Modernising agriculture, which forms the backbone of our economy
  • Reduce the heavy dependence of people on agricultural income
  • It was also aimed at bringing down regional disparities by establishing industries in tribal and backward areas
  • Industrial development is a precondition for the eradication of unemployment and poverty from our country.
  • Export of manufactured goods expands trade and commerce and brings in much needed foreign exchange
  • Countries that transform their raw materials into a wide variety of furnished goods of a higher value are prosperous

Mineral-based industry

  • Industries that use minerals and metals as raw materials are called mineral based industries
  • The iron and steel industry is the basic industry since all the other industries — heavy, medium, and light, depend on it for their machinery.
  • Steel is needed to manufacture a variety of engineering goods, construction material, defense, medical, telephonic, scientific equipment, and a variety of consumer goods.
  • Raw material: Iron ore, coking coal, limestone, dolomite, manganese, and fire clay. Iron ore, coking coal, and limestone are required in the ratio of 4: 2: 1.

The Iron and Steel Industry

  • Location factor: All the raw materials are gross (weight losing), therefore, the best location for the iron and steel plants is near the source of raw materials
  • However, recent technological developments in transport, as well as processing, the use of scrap as raw material, and agglomeration economies make market location, especially coastal, advantageous as well.

Main location factors:

  • Near coal deposits or iron ore mining areas, especially for an inland location
  • Near the major steel consuming centers
  • Seaport locations.


  • High costs and limited availability of coking coal
  • Lower productivity of labor
  • Irregular supply of energy
  • Poor infrastructure.
  • India also imports good quality steel from other countries. However, the overall production of steel is sufficient to meet our domestic demand.


  • The Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO) set up its first factory at Hirapur and later on another at Kulti and in 1937 at Burnpur( West Bengal). 
  • All the three plants under IISCO are located very close to Damodar valley coalfields (Raniganj, Jharia, and Ramgarh).
  • Iron ore comes from Singhbhum in Jharkhand. 
  • Water is obtained from the Barakar River, a tributary of the Damodar.
  • All the plants are located along the Kolkata-Asansol railway line. 
  • Steel production from IISCO fell considerably in 1972-73 and the plants were taken over by the government.

Visvesvaraiya Iron and Steel Works Ltd. (VISL)

  • Third integrated steel plant
  • Initially called the Mysore Iron and Steel Works, is located close to an iron ore producing area of Kemmangundi in the Baba Budan hills. 
  • Limestone and manganese are also locally available. 
  • But this region has no coal.
  • In the beginning, charcoal obtained by burning wood from nearby forests was used as fuel till 1951.
  • Afterward, electric furnaces were installed which use hydroelectricity from the Jog Falls hydel power project. T
  • Water supplied by Bhadravati river

Integrated steel plants

After independence, during the Second Five Year Plan (1956-61), three new integrated steel plants were set up with foreign collaboration:

  • Rourkela in Odisha
  • Bhilai in Chhattisgarh
  • Durgapur in West Bengal

These were public sector plants under Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL). In 1973, the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) was created to manage these plants.

Rourkela steel plant

  • Was set up in 1959 in the Sundargarh district of Odisha in collaboration with Germany
  • Located on the basis of proximity to raw materials, thus, minimizing the cost of transporting weight losing raw material.
  • Has a unique locational advantage, as it receives coal from Jharia (Jharkhand)
  • Iron ore from Sundargarh and Kendujhar.
  • The Hirakud project supplies power for the electric furnaces
  • Water is obtained from the Koel and Sankh rivers.

Bhilai steel plant

  • Established with Russian collaboration in Durg District of Chhattisgarh and started production in 1959.
  • The iron ore comes from the Dalli-Rajhara mine.
  • Coal comes from Korba and Kargali coal fields.
  • The water comes from the Tandula Dam and the power from the Korba Thermal Power Station.
  • This plant also lies on the Kolkata- Mumbai railway route.
  • The bulk of the steel produced goes to the Hindustan Shipyard at  Vishakhapatnam.

Durgapur Steel Plant

  • Durgapur Steel Plant, in West Bengal, was set up in collaboration with the government of the United Kingdom and started production in 1962. 
  • This plant lies in Raniganj and Jharia coal belt 
  • Gets iron ore from Noamundi 
  • Durgapur lies on the main Kolkata-Delhi railway route. 
  • Hydel power and water are obtained from the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).

Bokaro Steel Plant

  • This steel plant was set up in 1964 at Bokaro with Russian collaboration. 
  • This plant was set up on the principle of transportation cost minimization by creating Bokaro-Rourkela combine. 
  • Iron ore from the Rourkela region and the wagons in return take coal to Rourkela.
  • Water and Hydel power are supplied by the Damodar Valley Corporation.

Other Steel Plants

  • New steel plants which were set up in the Fourth Plan period are away from the main raw material sources. 
  • The Vizag Steel Plant (Visakhapatnam ) is the first port-based plant (1992). 
  • The Vijaynagar Steel Plant at Hospet in Karnataka was developed using indigenous technology. 
  • The Salem Steel Plant in Tamil Nadu was commissioned in 1982.
  • Apart from these major steel plants, there are more than 206 units located in different parts of the country. 
  • Most of these use scrap iron as their main raw material.

 Aluminium Industry

  • Aluminum smelting is the second most important metallurgical industry in India.
  • The main operations of the Indian aluminum industry are mining ores, refining the ore, casting, alloying, sheet, and rolling into foils. 
  • India is the fifth largest producer of bauxite in the world (Australia being first).
  • It is light, resistant to corrosion, a good conductor of heat, malleable, and becomes strong when it is mixed with other metals.
  • It is used to manufacture aircraft, utensils, and wires.
  • It has gained popularity as a substitute for steel, copper, zinc, and lead in a number of industries.

Manufacturing process: 

  • Bauxite, the raw material used in the smelters is a very bulky, dark reddish colored rock. 
  • A regular supply of electricity and an assured source of raw material at minimum cost are the two prime factors for the location of the industry

Locational Factors:

  • Aluminum is a raw material-oriented industry as it grossly weighs losing.
  • Due to the high quality of bauxite and close proximity between bauxite mines and alumina refineries, the cost of bauxite to Indian producers is one-third of that of global producers.
  • Other raw materials used in the manufacturing process are calcined, petroleum, coke, caustic soda, aluminum fluoride, fuel oil, steam coal, and anthracite coal.
  • The reduction of bauxite into alumina requires a heavy amount of energy.
  • Therefore, besides the nearness to bauxite deposits, cheap availability of power is the major consideration in the location of this industry.


Aluminum smelting plants in the country are located in Odisha, West Bengal, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.

Major Production Centers

Korba – (Bharat Al. Co. Ltd): 

  • Bauxite – Amarkantak – Phula- Kawahara region
  • Electricity- Korba Thermal Power Plant. Transport – Harwa- Nagpur Rail-line.

Renukoot (Hindustan Al. Co. Ltd):

  • Set up in 1988 as one of the biggest units Bauxite–Bagni Hills (Bihar) and Amarkantak  Mts. 
  • Electricity – Rihand Dam.

Belgaum (Indian Al. Co. Ltd.): 

  • Bauxite–Chandgad, (Kolhapur Dist). Electricity – Sharavati HEP

Alwaye (Indian Al. Co. Ltd.): 

  • Convert alumina into Aluminium metal.
  • Alumina is produced at Muri from bauxite available at Bagru Hills.

Mettur (Madras Al. Co. Ltd.)

  • Bauxite – Sheravoy Hill. 
  • Electricity – Mettur HEP.

Ratnagiri (Bharat Al. Co. Ltd.) Maharashtra: 

  • Bauxite – Kolaba, Kolhapur, Satara of Udaigiri Dhangarwadi region.
  • Electricity-Koyna HEP 

Nalco (National Al. CO Ltd): 

Established in 1981.


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