Exam Topics Related to India
The Importance of Culture In India
• Culture describes how people live their lives
• Can include descriptions of ethnic origin,
language, religion, foods, festivals
• India has 1.2 Billion people and its population
is growing
• Its culture has been influenced by British
colonialism, European migrants and migrants
from other parts of Asia
India - Culture
• There is cultural Diversity throughout India
• Several different regions can be recognised by the
differences in Language and Religion
• There are over 1,600 languages spoken in India
• Language – India can be divided into 2 Regions
from a language perspective.
• In the far north of India in the mountainous
regions, (Himalayas) people speak languages
related to Tibetan and Chinese
• In Southern Regions, people speak Dravidian
India - Culture
• The Dravidian language group has over 200
million speakers and is unrelated to other
languages used in India
• Hindi is the official language of India and is
spoken throughout the country
• English was brought to India with the British
colonisation and is still the language of
Business and Commerce
India - Culture
• Religion – Also used to define regions in India
• India has 2 main religions – Hinduism and Muslim
• Majority of people are Hindi and this religion is found
throughout the country
• A minority of the population is Muslim and they tend
to live in the north along the Indus and Ganges river
• They would have tended to settle along the north as
their ancestors would have been Muslim traders from
the east
• People living in this region converted to Ilam over the
India - Culture
• 1947 after independence from Britain the region
was divided into 2 States – India and Pakistan
• Pakistan is the Islamic state and India is the Hindu
• However, the partition has caused many
problems. Over 12 million people were displaced
and moved between regions as they did not wish
to remain in the newly – created states
• They wished to be with people of their own
• Muslims moved to Pakistan and Hindus moved to
The Development of Mumbai
• Mumbai is in western India
• It is an island Mega-City with 23 million
• The second largest city in the world after
• Originally made up of seven islands joined
together by reclaimed land
• In the 17th century trade with Britain and
Europe lead to a significant growth of the city
• Mumbai was controlled by the East India
Trading company – developed it into a major
trading port and built sea defences
• The city attracted many merchants from
Europe and Asia – it was politically stable and
allowed religious freedom
• Mumbai had a population of 60,000 by end of
17th century
• Religious conflict between Muslims and Hindis in 19th
century forced many people to flee to Mumbai from
other areas of the subcontinent
• The beginning of Rural-Urban migration and this led to
a large increase in the population
• The second half of the 19th century saw the
development of cotton spinning and weaving to supply
the British Empire with textiles
• Mumbai developed further with the opening of the
Suez Canal in Egypt which made the transport distance
between Mumbai and Europe much shorter
• It became a stop-off point between Europe and Asia
• Nowadays it is the Financial Capital of India
• The centre of Bollywood Film Industry – much
more substantial than Hollywood
• The largest port in India – 25% of India’s
International Trade
• The rapid growth though has caused problems
which are typical of Mega-Cities –
Pollution/Crime/Slums (Bustees)
• Almost 10 Million live in slums in Mumbai
• Dharavi is the largest slum in Mumbai
• It originated as an area where migrants from
rural areas of India first settled. They did not
have money or permission to locate here but
did so anyway
• Dharavi was originally a swamp on the edge
of the city but now is a prime development
area in the city of Mumbai
• It is a problem for planners and developers
• State officials have planned to demolish Dharavi
and move the slum residents to apartments
elsewhere in Mumbai
• They have planned an 800 Million Euro
development of Business
Parks/Restaurants/Universities/Hotels for the site
• However, before this happens they must build
new areas for the slum dwellers to relocate
• They plan to develop new suburbs on the edge of
the city which may further increase Urban Sprawl
Agriculrure in India
Factors Affecting Agriculture in India
2 Factors – Climate and Soils
Factor 1: Climate
• A Tropical climate with highs of 20-32 degrees
celcius throughout the year which influences the
types of crops grown
• The climate allows for the growth of crops such
as: Rice and Sugar Cane which require high
• The amount of rainfall in India is controlled by the
effect of Monsoon
India - Agriculture
• Monsoon is a reversal of wind patterns over the
continent which creates 2 seasons
• Wet season – June-September and Dry season October
– June
• The monsoon rains control the type of crops grown by
people and when they can be planted or harvested
• If the rains are late or bring low rainfall, irrigation,
planting and crop yields are affected
• In the Wet season thirsty crops such as Rice are grown
in the Eastern half of India along the Ganges Valley and
the Eastern Ghats
• Rainfall can total over 2,500mm
• In the Dry season Millet is grown throughout India
India Agriculture
• In drier regions of the North-West, Wheat, Maize,
Chickpeas are grown
• Tropical climate is also suited to Tea Production.
• Asam State in in the North-East is a major
supplier of tea to world markets
• The extreme North-West has the Thar Desert and
the desert soils are unsuited to most crops.
However, Cotton and Millet bare grown in areas
where irrigation is used
India - Agriculture
• Factor 2: Soils
• Soils have an influence on the pattern of agricultural
production in India
• In South-West (Kerala State) deep fertile soils are
found. They are used for the production of coffee. It is
the largest coffee producing state in India
• In the Ganges Valley the soils are wet, clay, rich in
alluvium. A result of the Ganges flooding its floodplain
• In very far North, the high relief (mountains) has
caused the formation of thin, infertile soils and results
in subsistence farming – eg Goat Herding
Agriculture - India
• Northern States of Assam/Himachal/Pradesh
have well drained, well aerated, red coloured
soils and are used for Tea Production
India - Secondary Activities
• 2 Factors have influenced industrial
development –
1. Government Influence
2. Availability of Raw Materials
• Indian secondary sector was very
underdeveloped prior to independence in
• Most industrial development was focused on
food processing and textiles
Secondary Activities
• Only 2% of the workforce was employed in
• Industry was located in Colonial cities established
by British -- Kolkata/Mumbai/Chennai
• Post Independence Government policy was to
spread industry across India and into rural areas
• This was done by investment in local craft
industries and food processing – Labour Intensive
Secondary Activities
• These industries used locally sourced raw
• Also developed fertiliser production and
manufacture of agricultural machinery
• Despite this Kolkata/Mumbai/Chennai remain
the main drivers of secondary activities
Secondary Activities
• India has major advantages for Industry – eg.
Resources and large supply of Labour
• Well-educated – but low-cost workforce
• Indian government has invested heavily in
education and Indians value education very
• India has more third level graduates than USA
and Canada combined
• About 40% have engineering and science
Secondary Activities
• These advantages have attracted many
multinational companies in the high-techsoftware sector/Back Office Operations
• Skilled Indian graduates can be employed at
less than one third of the cost of European or
American workers
• Bangalore is the centre of the Indian software
with high profile companies like IBM located
there – India’s Silicon Valley
Secondary Activities
• Raw materials are widely available throughout India for
traditional industries
• Iron Ore and Coal near Kolkata – as a result Kolkata is
the centre of Iron and Steel Industry – TATA STEEL CO.
• Transport has also helped develop industry –
Infrastructure is very poor outside the main cities
especially roads
• Industries therefore locate in the major cities as
transport network is superior
• Mumbai is the main port. Pharmaceutical Industry is
located in Mumbai to take advantage of this and keep
costs low
India - Tourism
• Largest service industry in India – 10% of
employment and 6% GDP
• Approximately 5 million tourists visit annually
– USA and UK are main visitors
2 Factors have influenced the development of
tourism in India –
1. Physical Factors
2. Human Factors
India - Tourism
• Very varied landscape due to its vast size eg.
Mountains, river valleys, plateaux, desert,
rainforest, beaches
• Himalayas attract thousands of climbers and
trekkers to Northern India every year
• Eco-tourism is a developing sector in the south –
west of the country
• Likewise the beaches in the south are extremely
attractive for tourists and offer great potential
• Goa in the South – West is a renowned holiday
India - Tourism
• Human attractions are quite diverse in India
• The ‘Golden Triangle’ of the cities of Delhi,
Agra and Jaipur in Northern India attract many
tourists. They are well connected by trains and
luxury coaches
• Kerala in the south has many temple festivals
throughout the year which attract religious
tourists and is a popular honeymoon
India - Tourism
• Tourism in India has its problems – Poverty in
the mega-cities has restricted people form
visiting in large numbers
• Internal tourism has yet to grow as so many
people cannot afford to take holidays in India
• India is a long-haul destination for Europeans
and Americans and the distance and expense
restrict tourists from coming in larger
India - Tourism
• Terrorist bombings – eg. Mumbai in 2008 have had a
negative impact on foreign tourists
• The Indian Tourism Development Plan has been established
to promote India as a destination abroad. It aims to
increase international tourist numbers to 8 million by 2015
• Improved airport access and development of luxury hotels
in cities like Mumbai and Bangalore will help as will the
development of the road infrastructure
• Since 2000 there has been an increase of internal tourism
due to wealthy IT workers from Bangalore and Chennai
heading to the south-west coast on ‘Monsoon Holidays’
India – Population Distribution
• India has a population of aprx. 1.2 Billion but it is
unevenly distributed
• The 2 main reasons for the uneven distribution
are (1)Physical factors – Climate/Relief (2) Human
Factors – Availability of jobs and services
• Population density is highest along the river
valleys, in the narrow coastal plains and in the
cities and their hinterlands
• Population density is lowest in the Himalays
region of the North and The Thar desert area of
the North - West
India - Population
• The most densely populated zone is along the Indus and
Ganges river valleys
• The population density here is over 250 per square km
• The region has a constant supply water, fertile alluvial soils
and flat land
• Millions of people live here and survive by intensive
subsistence rice farming
• Another are of high population density is along the narrow
coastal plains of the Eastern and Western Ghats
• The region has intensive rice farming and commercial
farming of Tea, Coconuts and Cotton
• There are lots of plantations of these cash crops so density
is loqwer here than in the river valleys
India - Population
• The main cities of Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai have very high
population densities
• Kolkata has a density of over 2,050 per square km – this is
mainly due to the high rate of rural-urban migration
• Poor people move to the cities in search of a better life –
• Cities such as Chennai and Bangalore attract lots of internal
and international migrants seeking work in IT sector
• Mumbai is India’s largest port and has many port-related
jobs that attract migrants
• The high relief of the Himalayas is the main reason for low
population density in Northern India
India - Population
• The steep slopes, snow-covered land, poor
soils and poor road infrastructure discourage
settlement here
• The low population density of 100 per square
km in the North-East is mainly due to the Thar
• Lack of water prevents agriculture and the
population is dispersed among the small
communities where water is available

REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY - leavingcertgeography