In this article, You will read the Major and Minor Industrial Regions of India – for UPSC IAS.

Industrial Regions

  • Industrial regions are those areas, where the concentration of industries has occurred due to favorable geo-economic conditions. These are areas within which the manufacturing industry is carried out on a relatively large scale and employs a relatively large proportion of the population.
  • An industrial region is usually a lot larger, such as the Ruhr in Germany, being even a significant proportion of the whole country, such as the Midlands in the UK.
  • It is often developed around some natural resource, often coal or iron ore, or a water supply. It is usually well serviced by transport arteries eg rail, and may not be homogenous, that is, there may be several different unrelated types of manufacturing in the one area. So, in an industrial area, you may find steel manufacture, power generation, primary food processing, and service industries like education altogether.
  • This is because such areas need more labour than a complex, and then you find residential areas nearby or even mixed in.
  • Delineation of industrial regions empirically has been attempted by a number of geographers. The parameters used by them, however, differ from each other.
  • It was Trewartha and Burner (1944) who divided India into industrial regions. Subsequently, P.P. Karan and W.M. Jenkrins (1959) demarcated the industrial regions of India.
  • Industrial regions of India were also delineated by Spencer and Thomas (1968), R.L. Singh (1971), B.N. Sinha (1972), M.R. Chaudhry (1976), and the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) (1971, 1982).
  • The industrial district concept was initially used by Alfred Marshall to describe some aspects of the industrial organization of nations. An industrial district (ID) is a place where workers and firms, specialized in the main industry and auxiliary industries, live and work. At the end of the 1990s, the industrial districts in developed or developing countries had gained recognized attention in international debates on industrialization and policies of regional development.
  • Industrial regions emerge when a number of industries locate close to each other and share the benefits of their closeness. They tend to concentrate on certain locations because of the favorable locational factors. Several indices are used to identify the clustering of industries, important among them are:
    • The number of industrial units
    • Number of industrial workers.
    • Population engaged in the secondary activities.
    • Percentage of industrial workers to the total workers.
    • Quantum of power used for industrial purposes.
    • Total industrial output (Gross industrial output).
    • Value added by manufacturing, etc.
Industrial Regions of India UPSC

Industrial Regions of India

  • India has several industrial regions like Mumbai- Pune cluster, Bangalore-Tamil Nadu region, Hugli region, Ahmedabad-Baroda region, Chottanagpur industrial belt, Vishakhapatnam-Guntur belt, Gurgaon-Delhi-Meerut region, and the Kollam Thiruvananthapuram industrial cluster.
  • Industrial Regions can be demarcated into two types:
    • Major Industrial Regions
    • Minor Industrial Regions

The Major Industrial Regions of India

In the demarcation of industrial regions, most of the experts divided India into six major Industrial Regions. A brief description of the industrial regions of India as demarcated by Prof. R.L. Singh is:

industrial regions of India UPSC

The Mumbai-Pune Industrial Region

  • This is the most important industrial region of the country. The region developed after the arrival of British in India who developed the Mumbai seaport.
  • After the opening of Suez Canal in 1869 the sea-route between India and Europe was reduced substantially.
  • The development of this industrial region is closely connected with the history of development of cotton textile industry in India.
  • The humid climate, natural port facilities, availability of hydro-power, skilled labour, and a vast hinterland producing cotton became the main factors in the development of this industrial region.
  • There are more than 8000 registered factories only in the greater Mumbai, out of which 350 belong to cotton textile.
  • The other industries of the region are engineering goods, chemical industries, food processing industries, leather goods, pharmaceutical, and film industries. In Mumbai, the bulk of the production is light textured, fine and super fine cotton cloths. Over 15 lakh people are engaged in the industrial sector of this region.
  • Pune is the second most important industrial centre of the region. It has more than 1200 registered factories. Its industries are producing metallurgical, chemical, engineering, and automobile goods. Pune has two factories producing Scooters and Mopeds.
  • In addition to Mumbai and Pune, the industrial centres of this region are: Ambarnath, Andheri, Bhandup, Ghatkopar, Hadapsar, Jogeshwari, Kalyan, Kirkee, Kolhapur, Kurla, Nashik, Sholapur, Thane, Trombay, Ulhasnagar, and Vikroli.
  • This industrial region has almost reached the saturation level. Some of the important problems of this industrial region are:
    • Inadequate supply of power
    • Obsolete and outdated machinery
    • High cost of land and high rent of commercial space
    • Labour unrest
    • Increasing regionalism
    • High rate of crime
    • Increasing environment pollution
  • The partition of the country in 1947 adversely affected this region because 81% of the total irrigated cotton area growing long-staple cotton went to Pakistan. Mumbai, the nucleus of this industrial region, is facing the current limitation of space for the expansion of the industry. Dispersal of industries is essential to bring about decongestion.

The Kolkata-Hugli Industrial Region

  • The Kolkata-Hugli industrial region is located along the banks of the Hugh River.
  • Industries have also developed in the Midnapur district in the west. The river Hugli offered the best site for the development of an inland river port as a nucleus for the development of the Hugli industrial region.
  • The availability of Agro-Raw Material (jute, indigo, and tea), nearness of coal mines (Raniganj and Jharia), abundance of water, cheap labour and facilities of export are the main factors which helped in the fast growth of this industrial region.
  • Moreover, Kolkata was the capital of British India from 1773 to 1911. Being the capital, Kolkata attracted many of the industrialists to locate their industries in this region.
  • There are over 10, 0000 registered industrial factories in this region in which over 20 lakh people are engaged.
  • This belt specializes in the production of jute, silk, cotton textile, engineering, electrical goods, automobiles, chemicals, pharmaceutical, transport equipment, leather-footwear, iron and steel and food processing, light machine, locomotives, iron and steel, and spare goods for different types of machines.
  • The main industrial cities and towns of this region are, Naihati, Bhatpara, Shamnagar, Krishnanagar, Serampore, Titagarh, Rishra, Kolkata, Haora, Budge.
  • The main problems of this industrial region are:
    • Paucity of space and traffic jams
    • Shortage of drinking water, insanitation and lack of infrastructural amenities.
    • Silting of the Hugli river resulting in the silting of Kolkata port
    • Obsolete machinery
    • Naxalites movement and political unrest
    • Strikes and lockouts
    • Shortage of power supply
  • In order to overcome these problems the government of West Bengal is pursuing the policy of liberalization and inviting domestic and foreign entrepreneurs to invest in the region. Some progress has been made in this direction in recent years.

The Ahmadabad -Vadodra Industrial Region

  • This is the third largest industrial region of the country.
  • The main cause for the development of this industrial region is the availability of cotton in the hinterland, availability of cheap land, cheap skilled and unskilled labour, port facilities, and nearness of petroleum, thermal, hydel (Ukai project), and nuclear power station (Kakrapara).
  • There are over 11 thousand registered factories in this region engaging over 15 lakh workers.
  • It is the second largest cotton textile industrial centre in the country. It also specialises in chemical industries, engineering goods, and pharmaceutical products.
  • Vadodra is an important centre of woollen textile and petrochemical goods.
  • Surat is well known for silk textile and diamond cutting. The other important industrial centres of this region are Anand, Ankleshwar Bhavanagar, Bharuch, Godhra, Jamnagar, Kalol, Kheda, Rajkot, and Surendernagar.
  • Scarcity of water and shortage of good quality of cotton are some of the important problems of the region. For the last few years, communal tension has adversely affected the investment in industries in this region.

The Madurai-Coimbatore-Bangalore Industrial Region

  • Stretching over the state of Tamil Nadu and the southern parts of Karnataka, it is an important industrial center that made great progress after independence.
  • This region is mainly the cotton-producing area of the country. The good climate, disciplined skilled and unskilled labour, regular supply of power (from the Mettur, Papanasam, Pykara, Savitri and Sivasamudram), and the nearness of Chennai, Kochi, Mangalore, and Tuticorin seaports have contributed in the fast development of this industrial region.
  • About 60% of the workers are engaged in the textile industry followed by engineering at 18%, and food-processing about 12%.

The Chotanagpur Industrial Region

  • This industrial region stretches over Jharkhand, Odisha, Southern Bihar, and western parts of West Bengal.
  • Having a large concentration of iron and steel industry, it is often called as the ‘Ruhr of India’. This region is rich in fossil fuel and metallic and non-metallic minerals. Power is available from the Damodar Valley Corporation. There is an enormous supply of cheap labour from the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
  • The main Iron and Steel producing centers of the region are Asansol, Bokaro, Burnpur, Durgapur, Kulti, Jamshedpur, and Raurkela. The other important industrial centers of the region are Sindri for fertilizer, Chittranjan for locomotives, Ranchi for HMT, and Ramgarh and Bhurkunda for the glass industry.
  • The main problems of the region are shortage of power supply and political unrest like those caused by Naxalites. The labour unrest has deterred many of the investors in this region.

The Agra-Delhi-Kalka-Saharanpur Industrial Region

  • The main industrial centres are Agra (textile, tourisms), Ambala (scientific instruments), Chandigarh (electronic and strategic goods), Delhi (textile, chemical, drugs, pharmaceutical, light machine, electronic goods, food processing), Faridabad (engineering), Ghaziabad (synthetic fibre, chemicals, electronics, pharmaceuticals, agricultural equipment, iron & steel, cycle tyre, and tubes), Gurgaon (automobiles), Kalka (HMT), Mathura (petrochemicals), Meerut (sugar and textiles), Modinagar (textile, engineering goods, and paper) Modipuram (textiles), Mohannagar (brewery, alcohol), Moradnagar (ordinance), NOIDA (automobile, electronics, etc.), Panipat (textile, chemical, and food processing), and Saharanpur (paper, wood-work, sugar, textile, and food-processing).
  • High price of land, traffic jam, and high rate of crimes are the main problems of this region.
Major Industrial Regions of India

The Minor Industrial Regions of India

Apart from the industrial regions described there are several minor emerging industrial regions in the country. Some of them are as under:

  • Kanpur-Lucknow Industrial Region: This Industrial Region is known for cotton, woollen and jute textiles, leather goods, fertilisers, chemical, drugs, pharmaceuticals, electric goods, and light machinery.
  • Assam valley industrial region: This region has the industries of petrochemical, jute and silk textiles, tea-processing industry, paper, plywood, match, and food processing industries. Important industrial centres are Bongaigaon, Dlbrygarh, Digboi, Guwahati, Noonmati and Tipsukia.
  • Darjeeling-Siliguri Industrial Region: This region is known for the production of the tea processing industry and tourism.
  • North Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh Industrial Region: This Industrial Region is known for sugar, cement, glass, jute, fertilisers, locomotive, paper, and food processing are main industries. The main industrial centres are Allahabad, Dalmianagar (Bihar), Gorakhpur, Patna, Sultanpur, and Varanasi.
  • Indore-Ujjain Industrial Region: Main industries are cotton textile, chemicals, drugs, electronic and engineering goods, and food processing.
  • Amritsar Jalandhar-Ludhiana Industrial Region: This Industrial Region is known for sports goods, cotton and woollen, textiles, hosiery, food-processing, and tourism..
  • Nagpur-Wardha Industrial Region: textiles, engineering, chemicals, and food processing are the main industries of this region.
  • Godavari-Krishna Delta: Main industries are Iron and Steel, ship-building, fertilizer, rice-milling, cotton textile, sugar, fish processing, engineering, and chemicals. Main industrial centres are Guntur, Machlipatnam, Rajamundry, and Vishakhapatnam.
  • Dharwar-Belgaum Industrial Region: cotton textile, chemicals, spices packing, and food processing are the main industries.
  • Kerala coast Industrial Region: Main industries of this region are coconut-oil extraction, rice-milling, fish packing, paper, coir-matting, ship-building (Kochi), petroleum refining (Kochi), and chemical and electronic goods.
The Minor Industrial Regions of India

Industrial Districts

  1. Kanpur,
  2. Hyderabad,
  3. Agra,
  4. Nagpur,
  5. Gwalior,
  6. Bhopal,
  7. Lucknow,
  8. Jalpaiguri,
  9. Cuttack,
  10. Gorakhpur,
  11. Aligarh,
  12. Kota,
  13. Pumia,
  14. Jabalpur,
  15. Bareilly.

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Charan Preet Singh

Thanks for high quality, information rich resource for preparing the topic, Industrial Regions of India.


I guess the number 4 and number 5 industrial region in map has been interchanged. (3rd map)