(India, People and Economy) 4- HUMAN SETTLEMENTS – (NCERT Class-XII)

  • Human Settlement means cluster of dwellings of any type or size where human beings live
  • the process of settlement inherently involves grouping of people and apportioning of territory as their resource base The basic differences between rural and urban settlements are as follows
  • The rural settlements derive their life support or basic economic needs from land based primary economic activities, whereas, 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. This functional relationship between the urban and rural settlements takes place through transport and communication network.
  • 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

  • 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 ethnic factors – social structure, caste and religion (iii)security factors -defense against thefts and robberies.

four types:

  • Clustered, agglomerated or nucleated,
  • Semi-clustered or fragmented,
  • Hamleted, and 
  • Dispersed or isolated

1. Clustered Settlements

  • 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 separated from the surrounding farms, barns and pastures.
  • The closely built-up area and its intervening streets present some recognizable pattern or geometric shape, such as rectangular, radial, linear, etc.
  • Such settlements are generally found in fertile alluvial plains and in the northeastern states. 
  • Sometimes, 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 Settlements

  • result from tendency of clustering in a restricted area of dispersed settlement.
  • one or more sections of the village society choose or is forced to live a little away from the main cluster or village.
  • 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 Settlements 

  • Sometimes settlement is fragmented into several units physically separated from each other bearing a common name.
  • These units 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 Settlements 

  • Dispersed or isolated settlement pattern in India 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

  • Evolution of Towns in India – at the time of Indus valley civilisation, towns like Harappa and Mohanjodaro were in existence. The following period has witnessed evolution of towns. It continued with periodic ups and downs until the arrival of Europeans in India in the eighteenth century.
  • On the basis of their evolution in different periods, Indian towns may be classified as:
  • Ancient towns, Medieval towns, and Modern towns.

1. Ancient Towns

  • There are number of towns in India having historical background spanning over 2000 years. Most of them developed as religious and cultural centres. 
  • Varanasi is one of the important towns among these. Prayag (Allahabad), Pataliputra (Patna), Madurai are some other examples of ancient towns in the country.

2. Medieval Towns

  • About 100 of the existing towns have their roots in the medieval period. 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.

3. Modern Towns

  • The British and other Europeans have developed a number of towns in India. Starting their foothold on coastal locations, 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.

Urbanization in India

  • The level of urbanization is measured in terms of percentage of urban population to total population. The level of urbanization in India in 2001 was 28 per cent 
  • Enlargement of urban centres and emergence of new towns have played a significant role in the growth of urban population and urbanization in the country.
  • growth rate of urbanization has slowed down during last two decades.

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 and
  • 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: (i) a town and its adjoining urban outgrowths, (ii) two or more contiguous towns with or without their outgrowths, and (iii) a city and one or more adjoining towns with their outgrowths together forming a contiguous spread

Functional Classification of Towns

  • On the basis of dominant or specialized 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, Kochchi, Kozhikode, Vishakhapatnam, etc. or  hubs of inland 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, T irupati, Kurukshetra, Haridwar, Ujjain came to prominence due to their religious/cultural significance.

9. Tourist towns

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

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