Short introduction: Assam occupies 2.4 per cent of India’s land area and is home to 2.6 per cent of the country’s people (As per the 2011 census). During the years 2001 to 2011, Assam’s literacy rate and gender ratio grew. The proportion of people living in rural areas has declined yet again, while the proportion of people living in cities has climbed. According to the 2011 census, Assam has seven Class-I towns and six Class-II towns. Although the birth rate, death rate, and migration all affect population growth in Assam, migration has a substantial impact. Between 1901 and 1941, the population of Assam expanded by more than twofold. However, during the post-Independence period, from 1951 to 1971, it grew quickly.
During the period 1981-2011, the population slowly fell. Population density varies from region to region due to the uneven distribution of the state’s population. The population density of the Brahmaputra Valley rises from the upper to the middle, then from the middle to the lower. Similarly, the Barak Valley has a high population density, although the hill zone that encompasses Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao district has a low population density. The most densely inhabited district in the state is Kamrup (Metro), while the least densely populated district is Dima Hasao.
In the past, many ethnic groups have migrated to Assam, resulting in the assemblage of distinct groups of people with their diverse languages, faiths, and traditions. Assam’s unique qualities and diversity have greatly enriched Assamese society and culture. As Assam is the entrance to North-East India, the improvement of Assam’s transportation system is directly beneficial to the North-economic East’s development. Assam’s transportation systems include road, rail, water, and air travel. All of these transportation methods have issues.
Assam’s transportation sector is not developed to its full potential. Both natural and human resources are vital in the economic growth of Assam, and Assam is rich in both sorts of resources. Land, forest, mineral, and water resources are Assam’s most important natural resources.
Textual Questions and answers of Geography of Assam
1. Write briefly about Assam’s land area, population and population density with necessary data.
Answer: Assam’s entire land area is 78,438km2, accounting for 2.4 per cent of India’s total land area.
According to the 2011 census, Assam has a population of 312.05 lakh people, accounting for 2.6 per cent of India’s total population. There are 159.39 lakh men and 152.66 lakh women among them.
According to the 2011 census, Assam’s population density is around 398 people per square kilometre, up from 42 people per square kilometre in 1901. The population density in the Brahmaputra Valley, where 85 per cent of Assam’s population lives, is 1502 people per square kilometre.
2. Briefly mention how the literacy rate of Assam is increasing.
Answer: According to the 2001 census, Assam’s literacy rate was just 63.25 per cent, but by 2011, it had risen to 72.19 per cent, an increase of more than 10% in a decade.
3. According to the 2011 census, how many first- and second-class towns exist in Assam?
Answer: Assam contains roughly 7 first-class towns and 6 second-class towns, according to census statistics from 2011. A ‘first class town’ has a population of one lakh or more, whilst a second class town’ has a population of 50 thousand to one lakh.
4. Describe the trend of population growth in Assam from 1901 to 2011.
Answer: According to the census, Assam had a population of 3 million people in 1901, accounting for 1.38 per cent of India’s total population. Following then, the state’s population grew, reaching a peak of 7 million in 1941. Between 1951 and 1961, and 1961 and 1971, population growth was 34.98 per cent and 34.95 per cent, respectively. However, in the following decades, from 1971 to 1981, 1981 to 1991, 1991 to 2001, and 2001 to 2011, population growth slowed marginally, owing to a lower death rate and tighter control over migration from Bangladesh. In 2001-11, the growth rate was barely 17.07 per cent, compared to almost 30 per cent in the decades after independence. The state’s entire population has grown from 3 million in 1901 to 31 million today, a ten-fold increase.
5. Analyse the geographical region-wise distribution of population in Assam.
Answer: The distribution of population in Assam by geographical region in terms of the state and population density may be described by splitting the state into three regions: –
The Brahmaputra Valley Region is one of Assam’s most densely populated areas, accounting for over 85% of the state’s population. According to the 2011 census, the region has a population density of 1502 people per square kilometre.
The valley of the Brahmaputra can be divided into the following regions:
Upper Brahmaputra Valley: The Upper Brahmaputra Valley has a population density of 372 people per square kilometre, accounting for 21% of the total population.
Middle Brahmaputra Valley: The middle Brahmaputra Valley has a population density of 500 people per square kilometre, accounting for 27% of the valley’s total population.
Lower Brahmaputra Valley: The Lower Brahmaputra Valley has the highest population density, with around 36% of the valley’s total population and a density of 631 people per square kilometre.
Barak Valley: According to the 2011 census, this region is home to 11% of the state’s total population. According to 2011 census data, the region has a population density of 545 people per square kilometre.
Hill Region: This region is made up of the state’s two hill districts, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao, which are situated between the Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys. With a population density of 68 people per square kilometre, it houses roughly 3.75 per cent of the state’s population.
6. Briefly discuss the causes responsible for variation in the distribution of Assam’s population with suitable examples.
Answer: According to the 2011 census, Assam’s total population is 31 million, with a population density of 398 people per square kilometre. The Brahmaputra Valley Region is home to 85 per cent of its people, while Barak Valley is home to 11 per cent. The hill region is home to 3.75 per cent of the state’s overall population. At the same time, population density varies from one location to the next. The Brahmaputra Valley region contains 1502 people per square kilometre, according to the 2011 census. While the Barak Valley and Hill regions contain 545 and 68 people per square kilometre, respectively.
The main factors responsible for this variation are given below:
i. Differences in climate.
ii. Topographic variations.
iii. Differences in the region’s economic development.
iv. Differences in transportation and communication development.
v. Disparities in the accessibility of different resources.
Because of its plain land, fertile soils, and well-developed agriculture and transportation, the Brahmaputra Valley region supports a high-density population. The high population density in the Barak Valley is due to similar circumstances. Due to unfavourable topography and other physiographic characteristics, the hill regions of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao have few populations. According to the 2011 census, Kamrup (metro) district has the highest population density, with 2010 people per square kilometre, whereas Dima Hasao has only 44 people per square kilometre.
14. What do you mean by the term ‘resource’? What are the major natural resources of Assam?
Answer: Resources are materials that directly or indirectly meet human desires. Assam’s key natural resources include:
Land resources: Assam’s land resource is made up of four different types of soil: piedmont soil, alluvial soil, hill soils, and laterite soils. On the Brahmaputra and Barak flood plains, alluvial soils can be found. Pulses, rice, and vegetables can all be grown in this sort of soil. Assam’s land area is cultivated to the tune of 35%.
Forest Resource: Assam is a state with a lot of forest resources. Tropical woods of all varieties can be found here, providing a diverse home for a wide range of plants and animals. There are valuable tall trees such as Nahar, Cham, Sirish, Amari, Simul, and short trees and grasses such as Bamboo, Cane, and others. About 35 per cent of Assam’s area is covered in forest, with 72 per cent of these woods being reserved. Assam has five national parks and twenty wildlife sanctuaries.
Mineral Resources: Coal, mineral oil, natural gas, and limestone are among the key minerals found in Assam. Digboi, Naharkatia, Lakoa, Amguri, and other major oilfields can be found. These areas are also rich in natural gas deposits. Makum, Dilly-Jaipur, Koliajan, Garampani, and other places have coal. Limestone may be found in the Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao hill districts. Iron ore, feldspar, quartz, and clay are some of the other minerals found in Assam.
Water Resources: Both surface and groundwater resources abound in Assam. The Brahmaputra and Barak rivers, as well as their tributaries, are present, as are numerous ponds, wetlands, and other natural features. Wetlands and marshes are home to a wide variety of fish and aquatic plants.
15. Name the major oil fields of Assam.
Answer: The Digboi oilfield, located in the state of Assam, was India’s first oilfield to be discovered and exploited. In 1889, this oilfield began producing. Naharkatia, Moran, Hugrijan, Rudrasagar, Lakoa, Geleki, Borhola, and Amguri oilfields have all been developed in the state over the years.
16. Write briefly about the water resources of Assam.
Answer: Due to significant rainfall, multiple perennial rivers, thousands of wetlands, and other factors, Assam has abundant surface and groundwater resources. The Brahmaputra River and the Barak River, the two biggest rivers, convey enormous amounts of water. These two rivers, combined with their tributaries, account for over a third of the country’s water resources. Aside from it, there are a number of large and small marshes and ponds scattered around the state.
These rivers’ surface water is used for agricultural and household purposes, as well as for industrial purposes. These rivers also serve as one of the state’s primary modes of transportation. The Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys have substantial groundwater resources as well. The subsurface water level in the plains varies by 5 metres from the surface. It is also used in agriculture, industry, and home settings. However, it should be highlighted that the state’s water resources are underutilised, and much more may be done in this respect.
17. What are the causes responsible for the degradation of Assam’s natural resources?
Answer: The causes responsible for the degradation of Assam’s natural resources are:
(a) Land misuse has resulted in erosion, loss of land fertility, soil pollution, and other issues.
(b) In order to meet increased demand for food crops, forest lands and wetlands have been cleared and converted to agricultural land.
(c) The use of artificial fertilisers to improve crop yield has resulted in the destruction of the natural qualities of farmland soils.
(d) Pollution of air, water, and land resources has resulted from unplanned urbanisation and industry.
(e) The irrational exploitation of natural resources has contributed significantly to their depletion.
18. How has the growing population of Assam impacted natural resources?
Answer: Assam has a wealth of natural resources, including land, forest, mineral, and water resources. However, these resources are depleting at an alarming rate. The main cause of this rapid depletion is the enormous strain placed on them as a result of the state’s rapidly rising population. The following are some of the ways that the growth in population has impacted natural resources:
i. The demand for more settlements has increased as the population has grown. Forests have been removed, marshes have been filled, and even good agricultural land has been seized to accommodate this demand for human settlements.
ii. A growing population necessitates the production of additional food crops. More forests and wetlands have been exploited for agriculture as agricultural land has been used for human settlements.
iii. The growing population entails concurrent development of the transportation and energy sectors, resulting in non-renewable mineral resources being depleted.
19. Is the vast population of Assam a burden (problem) on the resources of the state? Discuss.
Answer: The state’s fast-growing population has become a hardship. The state’s population problem has caused numerous issues. If the population problem is not addressed and the vast population is not developed as human resources, the problem will become more serious. According to the 2011 census, Assam’s population is 2.6 per cent, or 31 million people, accounting for 2.6 per cent of the country’s total population. The state’s overall literacy rate is 73 per cent, with male and female literacy rates of 78 and 67 per cent, respectively. Literacy rates in rural and urban areas are 70 per cent and 88 per cent, respectively.
The age group of 15-34 years accounts for almost 35% of the overall population of the state. If this youth force is provided effective education, intellect, technical know-how, and other benefits through competent management, and the weaker sectors of society, poor communities, and disabled people are also given stress, the expanding population might be a boon.
20. According to you what steps need to be followed in creating human resources in Assam?
Answer: The steps needed to be followed in creating human resources in Assam are:
(a) The literacy rate must be enhanced by expanding educational opportunities for women in rural regions.
(b) More funding should be allocated to education growth by the government.
(c) More vocational and industrial training institutes should be established by the government.
(c) The government should assist the state’s highly qualified youth in starting their own firms.
(e) The state’s bright children should be encouraged to pursue higher education. They should be provided with sufficient financial assistance for this purpose.
21. Discuss briefly the role of the agricultural sector on Assam’s economy.
Answer: Assam is primarily an agricultural state. Agriculture is the main source of income for the majority of the population. Agriculture is Assam’s economic base, and the agricultural sector is the state’s main driving force. The agriculture sector has played a significant part in the state’s economic development. More than half of Assam’s working population is employed in the agricultural sector, either directly or indirectly.
The main agricultural goods exported outside the state, such as tea, jute, rubber, and others, bring in a lot of revenue for the state. Assam produces more than half of all tea produced in the country. This also generates a significant amount of revenue for the government. Food processing industries, tea industries, paper industries, sugar industries, oil seed industries, and other agro-based sectors in the state all rely entirely on agriculture for their survival. As a result, agriculture is one of the most important cornerstones of the Indian economy. It keeps the state’s economy afloat.
22. What are the agro-climatic regions of Assam? Mention the characteristics of each of them in brief.
Answer: The agro-climatic regions of Assam are:
i. Lower Brahmaputra Valley Zone
ii. North Bank Plain Zone
iii. Central Brahmaputra Valley Zone
iv. Upper Brahmaputra Valley Zone
v. Barak Valley Zone and
vi. Hill Zone
Lower Brahmaputra Valley Zone: Kamrup, Kamrup (metro), Nalbari, Barpeta, Baksa, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, and Goalpara are among the 10 districts. A total of 9.30 lakh hectares are cultivated.
North Bank Plain Zone: Darrang, Udalguri, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, and Dhemaji are among the five districts covered. The total cultivated area is 5.37 lakh hectares.
Central Brahmaputra Valley Zone: Morigaon and Nagaon districts are included. The total cultivated area is 3.28 lakh hectares.
Upper Brahmaputra Valley Zone: Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, Jorhat, and Golaghat are among the districts covered. The total cultivated land area is 6.20 lakh hectares.
Barak Valley Zone: Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi are included in this district. The total cultivated land area is 2.42 lakh hectares.
Hill Zone: Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts are included. The total cultivated land area is 1.54 lakh hectares.
30. Write about the tea industry of Assam in brief?
Answer: Assam’s tea business is the state’s main agro-based sector. It has a substantial impact on the state’s economy. It generates a significant amount of revenue and employs thousands of people. Due to suitable climatic and topographical circumstances, tea cultivation thrives in the state. In Assam, there are around 765 tea estates and 78,901 small tea gardens. Tea is grown over 318 thousand hectares of land in Assam, which produced 590 thousand tonnes of tea in 2012. Assam is India’s leading tea producer, accounting for 51 to 53 per cent of the country’s total tea production.
31. State the present status of the fish industry of Assam.
Answer: Fishing is currently a thriving economic industry in Assam. The state has ideal conditions for the growth of the fishing sector. It has a lot of wetlands, rivers, abandoned channels, marshy lands, and a lot of tiny water bodies like pits, ponds, tanks, and so on where fish can be found. Fish can also be found in abundance in the marshes of the Brahmaputra and Barak flood plains. According to current statistics, there are around 430 government-registered wetlands covering approximately 60 thousand hectares, as well as 767 unregistered wetlands covering approximately 40 thousand hectares.
32. Mention the problems of agricultural development in Assam.
Answer: Assam’s agricultural development issues include:
i. In the plains, traditional agriculture and jhum farming are still practised using traditional ways.
ii. Farmers’ agricultural fields are fragmented into small plots, making modern agricultural instruments and techniques impossible to employ.
iii. Irrigation methods have not been established, and irrigation facilities are insufficient.
iv. Rice is widely grown in the state and has a considerable impact on the agricultural sector. However, the adoption of contemporary agricultural methods for rice cultivation improvement is not given the attention it deserves.
v. Floods and bank erosion have wreaked havoc on the state’s agriculture. Flood damages more than 25% of the state’s croplands each year, and vast amounts of fertile alluvial plains are lost each year owing to riverbank erosion.
vi. There is no effective agricultural planning in place to protect agricultural activities and farmers from severe drought.
33. Why is the industrial development in the state still slow?
Answer: The following are the reasons for Assam’s delayed industrial development:
(a) There is a lack of integrated planning for industrial growth that makes effective use of the state’s natural resources.
(b) Despite more opportunities, the development of agro-based industries is restricted and slow.
(c) A transportation and communication system that is underdeveloped.
(d) Inadequate capital.
(e) Energy supply and distribution are insufficient in comparison to demand and requirement.
(f) Inadequate planning to instil entrepreneurial passion in the local population.
(g) The state lacks a straightforward and adaptable industrial policy.
34. Mention the problems of the tourism industry of Assam.
Answer: The following are the issues facing Assam’s tourism industry:
i. Inadequate government and private sector capital investment in this sector.
ii. A transportation system that is underdeveloped.
iii. Inadequate planning and development of tourism attractions.
iv. Inadequate infrastructure outside of the capital city
v. There is very little public awareness about the state’s terrorism pathways.
vi. A lack of air travel options to various sections of the state.
35. What are the prospects for the economic development of Assam?
Answer: Assam’s different economic development opportunities include:
i. Assam has a wealth of natural resources. It has enough land, forest, mineral, and human resources to meet its needs. It has enormous plains, large rivers, vast forests, vast flood plains, numerous marshes, and lengthy stretches of low-lying mountain slopes, among other things. All of these, if correctly developed, can help the state’s economic development.
ii. Mineral resources like coal, oil, natural gas, and limestone abound throughout the state. These resources, if properly harnessed and expanded, have the potential to drive the state’s industrial development.
iii. Agro-based sectors such as tea, rubber, paper, jute, food processing, and so on have a lot of room for growth. These industries, on the other hand, can only thrive in an environment of government backing, a tranquil environment, and people’s coordination, which the state currently lacks.
iv. It is true that the state’s immense human potential has not been fully realised. Of the 31 million residents in the state, around 10 million are between the ages of 15 and 34. Their entire potential has yet to be realised. They can be made more efficient by giving skills such as employability.
Additional questions and answers on the Geography of Assam
1. What is the total geographical area of Assam?
Answer: Assam covers 2.4 per cent area of India.
2. What per cent of India’s total population does Assam have?
Answer: As per the 2011 census, Assam has 2.6 per cent of the country’s population.
3. Name the most densely and sparsely populated districts in Assam.
Answer: According to 2011 census data, the most densely populated district in Assam is Kamrup (Metro), while the least densely populated district is Dima Hasao.
4. What is the cause of Assam’s population growth?
Answer: Although Assam’s population growth is determined by the birth, death, and migration rates, migration has a significant impact.
5. Explain in brief the population fluctuation in Assam.
Answer: During the four decades i.e from 1901 to 1941, Assam’s population increased more than twice as much. Again, the population increased rapidly between 1951 and 1971 during the post-Independence period. However, between 1981 and 2011, the population slowly declined.
6. Explain the population distribution in Assam.
Answer: Population density varies by region due to the uneven distribution of the state’s population. The population density in the Brahmaputra Valley increases from upper to middle to lower. Similarly, the population density in the Barak Valley is high, while the hill zone covering Karbi Anglong and DimaHasao District is low.
7. What accounts for Assam’s diverse culture?
Answer: In the past, various ethnic groups of people have been migrating to Assam, resulting in the assemblage of various groups of people with their diverse languages, religions, and cultures. Such variations and diversities are unique to Assam, and they have greatly enriched Assamese society and culture.
15. How many types of industries are found in Assam?
Answer: The industries of Assam can be classified into five types:
i. Mining Industries.
ii. Handicraft Industries
iii. Agro-based industries
iv. Power industries and
v. Service sector industries.
16. Which is the biggest agro-based industry in Assam?
Answer: The tea industry is the state’s largest agro-based industry, and it is well-known not only in India but also around the world.
17. How many class-I and class-II towns are there in Assam?
Answer: There are 7 class-I towns and 6 Class-II towns in Assam as per 2011 census data.
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