Ch14 India Human Settlements - Revision Notes

 CBSE Class 12 Geography

Revision Notes
India-People and Economy

Chapter-4 Human Settlements

Key Notes:

  • Human Settlement means cluster of dwellings of any type or size where human beings live
  • Settlements vary in size and type. They range from a hamlet to metropolitan cities
  • Settlements could be small and sparsely spaced; they may also be large and closely spaced
  • The sparsely located small settlements are called villages, specialising in agriculture or other primary activities
  • Larger settlements are termed as urban settlements specialising in secondary and tertiary activities
  • The basic differences between rural and urban settlements are as follows :
  •  Rural settlements derive their life support or basic economic needs from land based primary economic activities
  • Urban settlements depend on processing of raw materials and manufacturing of finished goods on the one hand and a variety of services on the other.
  • Cities act as nodes of economic growth,provide goods and services not only to urban dwellers but also to the people of the rural settlements in their hinterlands in return for food and raw materials. 
  • Rural and urban settlements differ in terms of social relationship, attitude and outlook
  • Rural people are less mobile and therefore, social relations among them are intimate
  • In urban areas, on the other hand, way of life is complex and fast, and social relations are formal.

Types of Rural Settlement

  • Types of the settlement are determined by the extent of the built-up area and inter-house distance
  • There are various factors and conditions responsible for having different types of rural settlements in India
  •  These include: (i) physical features –nature of terrain, altitude, climate and availability of water (ii) cultural and ethenic factors – social structure, caste and religion (iii) security factors – defence against thefts and robberies

Rural settlements in India can broadly be put into four types:

  1. Clustered , agglomerated or nucleated- The clustered rural settlement is a compact or closely built up area of houses. In this type of village the general living area is distinct and from the surrounding farms, barns and pastures. The closely built-up area and its intervening streets present some recognisable pattern or geometric shape, such as rectangular, radial, linear, etc. Such settlements are generally found in fertile alluvial plains and in the northeastern states. People live in compact village for security or defence reasons, such as in the Bundelkhand region of central India and in Nagaland. In Rajasthan, scarcity of water has necessitated compact settlement for maximum utilisation of available water resources.
  2. Semi-clustered/ fragmented- Semi-clustered or fragmented settlements may result from tendency of clustering in a restricted area of dispersed settlement. The land-owning and dominant community occupies the central part of the main village, whereas people of lower strata of society and menial workers settle on the outer flanks of the village. Such settlements are widespread in the Gujarat plain and some parts of Rajasthan.
  3. Hamleted Settlement-These settlement are locally called panna, para, palli, nagla, dhani, etc. in various parts of the country. This segmentation of a large village is often motivated by social and ethnic factors. Such villages are more frequently found in the middle and lower Ganga plain, Chhattisgarh and lower valleys of the himalayas
  4. Dispersed/ isolated- In India it appears in the form of isolated huts or hamlets of few huts in remote jungles, or on small hills with farms or pasture on the slopes. Extreme dispersion of settlement is often caused by extremely fragmented nature of the terrain and land resource base of habitable areas. Many areas of Meghalaya, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala have this type of settlement.

Urban Settlements

  • urban settlements are generally compact and larger in size
  • They are engaged in a variety of non-agricultural, economic and administrative functions
  • cities are functionally linked to rural areas around them
  • cities are connected directly as well as indirectly with the villages and also with each other

Evolution of towns in India
On the basis of their evolution in different periods, Indian towns may be classified as:

  • Ancient towns- Most of this towns developed as religious and cultural centres. Varanasi is one of the important towns among these. Prayag (Allahabad), Pataliputra (Patna), Madurai are some examples of ancient towns in the country.
  • Medieval towns- Most of them developed as headquarters of principalities and kingdoms. These are fort towns which came up on the ruins of ancient towns. Important among them are Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Agra and Nagpur.
  • Modern towns- The British and other Europeans have developed a number of towns in India. They first developed some trading ports such as Surat, Daman, Goa, Pondicherry, etc. The British later consolidated their hold around three principal nodes – Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), and Kolkata (Calcutta)-and built them in the British style. They established their administrative centres, hill-towns as summer resorts, and added new civil,administrative and military areas to them. Towns based on modern industries also evolved after 1850. For eg. Jamshedpur.

After  independence, a large number of towns have been developed as administrative headquarters, e.g. Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Dispur, etc. and industrial centres such as Durgapur, Bhilai, Sindri, Barauni. Some old towns also developed as satellite towns around metropolitan cities such as Ghaziabad, Rohtak, Gurgaon around Delhi.

Urbanization in India

  • The level of urbanisation is measured in terms of percentage of urban population to total population
  • The level of urbanisation in India in 2001 was 28%
  • Enlargement of urban centres and emergence of new towns have played a significant role in the growth of urban population and urbanisation in the country

Classification of Towns on the basis of Population Size

  • Census of India classifies urban centres into six classes 
  • Urban centre with population of more than one lakh is called a city or class I town
  • Cities accommodating population size between one to five million are called metropolitan cities
  • Cities more than five million are mega cities
  • Majority of metropolitan and mega cities are urban agglomerations
  • An urban agglomeration may consist of any one of the following three combinations: 
    • a town and its adjoining urban outgrowths,
    • two or more contiguous towns with or without their outgrowths
    • a city and one or more adjoining towns with their outgrowths together forming a  contiguous spread
  • Examples of urban outgrowth are railway colonies, university campus, port area, military cantonment, etc. located within the revenue limits of a village or villages contiguous to the town or city
  • In India more than 60% of urban population lives in Class I towns
  • Out of 423 cities, 35 cities/urban agglomerations are metropolitan cities
  • Six of them are mega cities with population over five million each
  • More than one-fifth (21.0%) of urban population lives in these mega cities
  • Among them, Greater Mumbai is the largest agglomeration with 16.4 million people
  • Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad are other mega cities in the country

Functional Classification of Towns
On the basis of dominant or specialised functions, Indian cities and towns can be broadly classified as follows:

  1. Administrative towns and cities-Towns supporting administrative headquarters of higher order are administrative towns, such as Chandigarh, New Delhi, Bhopal, Shillong, Guwahati, Imphal, Srinagar, Gandhinagar,Jaipur Chennai, etc.
  2. Industrial towns- Industries constitute prime motive force of these cities such as Mumbai, Salem, Coimbatore,Modinagar, Jamshedpur, Hugli, Bhilai, etc.
  3. Transport Cities-They may be ports primarily engaged in export and import activities such as Kandla, Kochi,Kozhikode, Vishakhapatnam, etc. or hubs of transport such as Agra, Dhulia, Mughal Sarai, Itarsi, Katni,etc.
  4. Commercial towns-Towns and cities specialising in trade and commerce are kept in this class. Kolkata, Saharanpur, Satna, etc. are some examples.
  5. Mining towns- These towns have developed in mineral rich areas such as Raniganj, Jharia, Digboi,Ankaleshwar, Singrauli, etc.
  6. Garrisson Cantonment towns- These towns emerged as garrisson towns such as Ambala, Jalandhar, Mhow, Babina, Udhampur, etc.
  7. Educational towns- Starting as centres of education, some of the towns have grown into major campus towns such as Roorki, Varanasi, Aligarh, Pilani, Allahabad etc.
  8. Religious and cultural towns- Varanasi, Mathura, Amritsar, Madurai, Puri, Ajmer, Pushkar, Tirupati, Kurukshetra,Haridwar, Ujjain came to prominence due to their religious/cultural significance.

Tourist towns- Nainital, Mussoorie, Shimla, Pachmarhi, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udagamandalam (Ooty), Mount Abu are some of the tourist destinations.