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Man has primary products from agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining and from animals. Yet, very few of them are in the forms in which man can use them. Cotton produced by agriculture must be ginned, spun and woven to give it the form of cloth. Wheat must be ground into flour and then baked to bring it into useful form. In this manner almost every primary product must pass through a process before coming to the form as required by man. The processes by which primary products are converted into more useful form are known as manufacturing. The term industry is often used to denote it.
Industries include all types of processing of raw materials into finished products. The cultivation of sugarcane is a part of agriculture. The manufacture of sugar from sugarcane is an industry. The mining of bauxite is a primary occupation. The processing of bauxite into aluminium is an industry.
After the Industrial Revolution and the spread of the use of mechanical energy on a large scale, modern industry came into existence and spread to various parts of the world. Such industries now employ more people than primary occupations in the developed nations. Modern industries have provided a variety of machines for reducing the manual labour needed for primary occupations. Industries have provided a wide range of good which enable man to lead a comfortable life. It has given him a lot of leisure for enjoyment and reduced the drudgery of hard manual labour. All these comforts are enjoyed by mankind by consuming the resources on a large scale. Industries are thus indispensable for progress and economic development.
Classification of Industries
As there is a wide variety of industries and they may be classification the bases of size, nature of products produced and the type of management adopted. Such classification is an aid to understand the complex processes involving in industrialization. Industries are usually classified into three categories on the basis of size or scale of operation adopted like cottage industry, small scale industry and large scale industry.
Cottage industry: Cottage industry involves simple processing of goods by village artisan and his family. Local raw materials are used generally. Such cottage industry is located in the home of the artisan. There may not be a separate work place or shed. Moat of the products are meant for local use. Surplus may be sold in the weekly market or in near by town. This does not involve payment of any wages as only members of the family are employed. There are no fixed working hours. Cottage industry may be of seasonal nature when there is no work in the farm.
Hand spinning and weaving is a cottage industries and is widely prevalent in India and other developing nations. Pottery, simple footwear and jewellery and a number of artifacts are needed by the people. These are produced by blacksmith, goldsmith, carpenters, cobbler and other artisans. The products are of excellent workmanship as they are made carefully by hand.
The growth of modern industry led to a gradual decline of cottage and village industries. The product of cottage industries were unable to compete with cheaper article produced by modern industry on a large scale. They still survive in the developing nations of Asia and Africa. In India, encouragement is given by the Government for the development of cottage industries and village handicrafts. Arrangements are made for marketing their products in India and abroad. Cottage industries serve the purpose of providing seasonal employment for agriculturist or full time employment for village artisans.
Small scale industry is different from cottage industry in that it employs a few workers on wages. Small scale industry may use mechanical power like electricity. There is a separate shed where work is carried on. Simple tools may be used and generally consumer goods are produced. Small scale industry may also produce components for large scale industry. Small scale industry requires low capital investment. The spread of electricity to rural areas encouraged growth of small scale industry in many countries. Japan has encouraged the development of small scale industry on a large scale. About two-thirds of the industrial establishments in Japan employ less than 9 workers.
A large variety of products are manufactured by small scale industries. Food products, brown sugar, vegetable oils, power loom cloth, electrical and electronic goods, matches, handmade paper, printing, leather goods are some of the common items produced. Technically qualified people are encouraged to start small scale industry. Products of small scale industries are given preference for purchase by Government departments in India.
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