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Day 60 – Q 3. The presence of geographical features has strong impact on the society, economy and power of a nation. Elucidate. (15 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • April 1, 2022
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TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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3. The presence of geographical features has strong impact on the society, economy and power of a nation. Elucidate. (15 Marks)

भौगोलिक संरचनाओं की उपस्थिति एक राष्ट्र के समाज, अर्थव्यवस्था और शक्ति पर मजबूत प्रभाव डालती है। स्पष्ट करें।

Approach-

Candidates need to elucidate how the presence of geographical features has strong impact on the society, economy and power of a nation. Give strong references and examples and highlight in order to elucidate this.

Introduction:

Development can be defined as a culmination of economic, social, and political progress that gives rise to higher standards of living, in balance, across the population. 

The geographical features of a nation:

Geographical features refer to the landscape of a region, which encompasses the continual interaction between culture and the natural environment over an extended period.

The presence of geographical features has strong impact on the society,

economy and power of a nation. 

  • Topography or configuration of the physical features of an area is significant in the context of development as the physical features, in combination with the human interaction, are foundational for the sustenance of life. 
  • For example: where situated between nations, such as the Himalayas between China and India, mountain ranges can offer the key benefit of protection from a militaristic perspective, but within Russia the Ural Mountains bisect the nation into East and West.
  • Geopolitics is the use of geographical framework to understand world affairs, especially concerning the basis of influence, and power of space and territory.
  • Trade and natural resources do determine economic development of a nation. Sometimes effect can be negative also. 
  • For example, when looked at in isolation, Russia’s economic development has been restricted by their lack of a warm-water port with access into open sea lanes. Their ports on the Arctic and Pacific, such as Murmansk and Vladivostok, freeze for a few months annually.
  • Another example of importance of geographical factor can be demonstrated by example of China. China’s geographical location creates potential ocean trade chokepoints that could threaten their economic development. 
  • The Malacca Strait, at its smallest 2 miles wide, has been a cause for concern as it could potentially prevent access to China, effectively strangling their economy that relies heavily on the gas and oil. 
  • Moreover, this could have severe social consequences, as a breakdown in the chain of production may result in widespread laying off of workers, reducing disposable income and their quality of life. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that with international co-operation and agreement of passage, China’s geographical location should be less influential. 
  • Geographical features are key components in many political decisions and actions. The borders of countries, location of natural resources, access to ports, and the designation of voting districts are a few of the many geographical factors that affect politics.
  • Geographical features like location and climate have large effects on income levels and income growth through their effects on transport costs, disease burdens, and agricultural productivity, among other channels. 
  • As stated earlier, location is an extremely important factor in the development of power because it determines climates, economics, natural resources strategic position, and even national policies. Favourable geographic location results in tremendous economic and strategic advantages.
  • Human settlement and cultural development are shaped by geographic features like mountains, deserts, and water. Other factors that affect cultural development are climate, location, topography, water resources, and natural resources.

Conclusion

Geographical features have had a greater influence on the nation’s overall development. However, it must be acknowledged that geographical features cannot be evaluated in isolation; they operate in partnership with political direction to influence all components of development.  

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