Sustainable economic development refers to the process of economic development which aims to maintain the quality of life of both- the present and the future generations without harming natural resources and environment .

Why is the issue of sustainability important for development?

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(i) It is linked to sustainability since it has to be maintained for future generations .

(ii) Resources are to be used judiciously so that they can be replenished For example ,   if trees are cut, they should also  be re-planted and allowed to grow.  

(iii) Overuse of resources which exhausts them.   For example , Petroleum if it  is used indiscriminately, it will  soon get finished and future  generations will have nothing  left in their hands.  

(iv) If development is not sustainable,  it will give rise to environmental degradation and become a global problem .  

(v) People must be protected against pollution , thereby ensuring their quality of life and  health. 


Sustainable development is important for economic growth because-

  1. Environment must be conserved while development is taking place.
  2. Resources must be utilised in such a way that they are conserved for future generations.
  3. The standard of living of all people must be raised.

Resource Exploitation

Exploiting a resource means overusing it more than nature replenishes it.  

For example

  1. Groundwater is overused due to -
    1. Urbanization - Large and growing population of cities.
    2. Agricultural advancement - rising demand for food and cash crops, thus resulting in increased use of tube wells.

Yes, development can be brought about without overuse of groundwater by taking the following steps-

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  1. Alternative sources of irrigation such as canals need to be developed.
  2. By conserving rainwater through rainwater harvesting.
  3. Use of sprinklers and dripping pipes to irrigate fields and save water.
  4. Increasing the vegetation cover helps increase groundwater as plants reduce surface runoff and allow more water to seep into the ground.
  5. People of the present generation must use water in such a way that people of future generations may also be able to use groundwater, using the above-mentioned strategies.

     B. Crude oil is essential for the country’s development process but being a non-renewable energy source, has to be imported.

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Resource Classification on the basis of exhaustibility

  1. Renewable Resources
  2. Non-Renewable Resources


Renewable Energy Source

Non-Renewable Energy Source

Renewable Sources of Energy are those Sources of Energy which can be renewed naturally over time. 

Non-Renewable Sources of Energy are those sources which are a vailable in limited quantity.

They are replaced by nature in a short period of time

They cannot be replaced by nature

They are inexhaustible.

They will exhaust one day

They do not cause any pollution

They cause pollution when used

Example - Solar Energy, Wind Energy

Example - Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Energy


Measures and Strategies to achieve sustainable development 

  1. Alternate sources of energy that can be used in the present instead of overuse of fossil fuels-
  1. Conventional Sources of energy- refer to such sources which are in use since a long period of time. Such sources are non-renewable. For eg- coal, petroleum, natural gas, etc.
  2. Non-Conventional Sources of energy- refer to such sources which have come into use only in recent times.  For eg- solar energy, wind energy, biogas and tidal power. These are renewable sources of energy

        B.Shift to organic farming - Vegetable and livestock production using natural sources of nutrients (such as compost, crop residue, and manure) and natural methods of crop and weed control, instead             of using synthetic or inorganic agrochemicals. 

      C. Rainwater Harvesting for water conservation.

       D.Use of cleaner fuels such as CNG in urban areas and LPG, and biogas in rural areas .

       E. Energy efficient appliances and LED bulbs .

Possibilities 50 years from now if resource management and sustainable development are not considered-

  1. Possibility of energy crisis - Resources like coal and petroleum are limited and once  exhausted can’t be regenerated. Their consumption at present is too high in comparison to production and reserves. If  these resources are recklessly used to increase production, India will face energy crisis. For example- If we continue using oil at present rate, then future generations will have no oil reserves after 50 years. 
  2. Possibility of financial debt - India depends on oil imports from oil producing countries. The rising prices of oil and its related articles will increase financial burden on everyone.
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Davneet Singh's photo - Co-founder, Teachoo

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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.