Development of Industries : Types of Industries;factors of industrial location, distribution and changing pattern of selected industries [iron and steel, cotton textile, sugar and petro- chemicals); Weber’s theory of industrial location-lts relevance in the modern world.


Types of Industries

Based on the value addition and tangibility broadly we can have three types of industries – primary industries,secondary industries and tertiary industries.

  • Primary industries are usually very simple industries involving processing of raw materials to give input goods for secondary industries.
    Here value addition is usually minimal and they are
    usually material oriented.Scale of operation may be small or may be very large.Examples are: coal mining and washing, oil-refining,flour milling, metal smelting, stone crushing, etc.
  • Secondary industries are very complex and diversified which took input from primary industries and add significant value to it in different processing stages.
    The value additions are so significant that they may have a locational preference in favour of market.Secondary industries may again divided into heavy industries, light industries, footloose industries, etc.
  1. a) Heavy industries are identified by nature of their bulkyproduct or very high capital inputs or units which mayhave high capacity to influence environment adversely.Examples are: heavy chemical, heavy machinery,locomotive, shipbuilding, heavy electrical, etc.
  2. b) Light industries are less capital intensive and moreinclined to consumer products.
    Products are usually lighter in weight, require lesspower, less polluting and can be established in small areas.
  3. c) Footloose industries are those industries which nearly remain indifferent with locational aspects of plant.Their products are having very high value addition and smaller in size and so transportation cost is only a small fraction of total cost.These industries usually requires a very small production space, are usually less polluting and butrequires highly skilled workers.Examples are: watch, camera, diamond cutting,precision electronics, etc.

Tertiary industries are not related to production process.They are basically trade and services providing industries.The scale of operation is so large that it is regarded as an industry.Examples are: banking industry, insurance industry, consultancy industry, etc.

Factors of industrial location

The factors affecting the location of industries are :-

  • the availability of raw material,
  • the availability of land,
  • the availability of water,
  • the availability of labour,
  • the availability and consistency of power supply,
  • the availability of capital,
  • the availability of transport network and market.
  •  Sometimes, the government provides incentives like subsidised power, lower transport cost and other infrastructure so that industries may be located in backward areas.
Distribution and changing pattern of iron and steel industry

Although iron and steel manufacturing activity in India is very old, modern iron and steel industry started with the establishment of ‘Bengal Iron and Steel Works’ at Kulti in West Bengal in 1817. Tata Iron and Steel company was established at Jamshedpur in 1907. This was followed by ‘Indian Iron and Steel plant’ at Burnpur in 1919. All the three plants were established in the private sector. The first public sector iron and steel plant, which is now known as ‘Visvesvarayya Iron and Steel works’, was established at Bhadrawati in 1923.

After independence a great focus was given for self dependence and investments were made in heavy industries. Three new integrated steel plants were established at Rourkela, Bhilai and Durgapur. Bokaro steel plant was established under public sector in 1964. Bokaro and Bhilai plants were set up with the collaboration of the former Soviet Union. Durgapur steel plant was set up in Collaboration with United Kingdom while Rourkela plant was established with the help of Germany.

The change in the spatial pattern of this industry is linked to the change in patterns of consumption, production and exchange of goods and services. This is dependent on the spatial organization and location of economic, transportation and communication systems that produce and facilitate the trade of the concerned commodities.

Distribution and changing pattern of Cotton textile industry

The industrial development in India began with the establishment of first successful modern cotton textile mill at Mumbai in 1854.Traditional cotton textile industry could not face the competition from the new textile mills of the West, which produced cheap and good quality fabrics through mechanized industrial units. Majority of cotton textile mills are still located in the cotton growing areas of the great plains and peninsular India.

The Muslins of Dhaka, Chintzes of Masulipatnam, Calicos of Calicut and Gold-wrought cotton of Burhanpur, Surat and Vadodara were known worldwide for their quality and design. But the production of hand woven cotton textile was expensive and time consuming. Hence, traditional cotton textile industry could not face the competition from the new textile mills of the West, which produced cheap and good quality fabrics through mechanized industrial units.

Distribution and changing pattern of Sugar industry

India is the second largest producer of sugar in the world after Brazil and is also the largest consumer. Today Indian sugar industry’s annual output is worth approximately Rs.80,000 crores.Most of the sugar mills are concentrated in six states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Over the period, sugarcane industry is gradually shifting from north Indian states to states in Peninsular India. Some of the important reasons are as follows:

1) The production of sugarcane per hectare is higher is Peninsular India. In fact, sugarcane crop grows well in the tropical climate of south India.

2) The sucrose contents is higher in the tropical variety of sugarcane grown in the south.

3) The crushing season in south India is longer than in north India.

4) In south India most of the mills have modern machinery.

5) Most of the mills in Peninsular India are in cooperative sector, where profit maximization is not the sole objective

Distribution and changing pattern of Petro- chemicals industry

Petro-chemicals are derived from petroleum or natural gas.Products such as Toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, hairpins, soap cases, plastic mugs, garments, radiocaes, ball point pens, detergents, electric switches, lipstick, insecticides, bags, bed covers, and foam are some of the goods made from petro-chemicals. The share of offshore crude oil production was about 50.2%. The remaining crude oil production was from 6 States viz., Andhra Pradesh (0.7%), Arunachal Pradesh (0.2%), Assam (12.1%), Gujarat (12.5%), Rajasthan (23.7%) and Tamil Nadu (0.6%).

Besides Vadodara, Gandhar, and Hazira in Gujarat and Nagathone in Maharashtra are other important centres of petro-chemical industry. India is self sufficient in the production of petrochemicals.

Weber’s theory of industrial location-its relevance in the modern world.

Weber’s main point was that the cost of transport (another theory on this) determined the location of industry. Therefore, he uses Von Thunen’s idea (that the cost of transport determines crop selection) and applies it to industry. Similar to Von Thunen, the weight of the raw materials and the weight of the end product (this difference is known as the material index) will determine the site of production depending upon how much the industry is willing to pay to get its product to the market (connecting to Christaller’s ideas of market area). Weber’s theory rest primarily on four such sites, what he calls industrial orientations

  • Material orientation
  • Labor orientation
  • Transport orientation
  •  Market orientation

He analyzed the factors that determine the location of industry and classified these factors into two divisions. These are:

(i) Primary causes of regional distribution of industry (regional factors)

(ii) Secondary causes (agglomerative and deglomerative factors) that are responsible for redistribution of industry.

The three locational factors explained by weber in his theory of industrial location are:-

  • Transport cost
  • labour cost
  • agglomeration economies

Weber uses the location triangle within which the optimal is located based on the three locational factors.


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