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April 12 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


Soil erosion is a significant environmental concern impacting agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. A recent study employing the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) highlighted alarming rates of soil erosion across India.  

Key Highlights of the Study: 

  • 30% of India’s landmass experiences “minor” soil erosion. 
  • 3% of the land faces “catastrophic” topsoil loss. 
  • Brahmaputra Valley in Assam is a major hotspot for soil erosion. 
  • Odisha is highlighted as another hotspot due to anthropogenic interventions. 
  • “Catastrophic” erosion is described as the annual loss of more than 100 tonnes of soil per hectare. 

About Soil Erosion: 

Soil erosion is the process where soil is displaced from one place to another. It occurs due to various natural and human-induced factors. 

Factors Contributing to Soil Erosion: 

Natural Causes: 

  • Wind: Strong winds can carry away loose soil particles, especially in dry, vegetatively sparse areas. 
  • Water: Heavy rainfall or fast-flowing water can detach and transport soil particles, particularly on sloped lands or areas with little vegetation. 
  • Glaciers and Ice: Glacier movements can scrape and transport soil, while freezing-thawing cycles can make soil particles more susceptible to erosion. 

Human-Induced Factors: 

  • Deforestation: Removal of trees exposes soil to wind and rain, increasing erosion risk. 
  • Poor Agricultural Practices: Excessive tilling, leaving fields bare, and inadequate crop rotation degrade soil structure. 
  • Overgrazing: Excessive livestock grazing can damage vegetation cover, leaving soil exposed. 
  • Construction Activities: Land clearing during construction disturbs soil, increasing erosion risk. 

Status of Soil Erosion in India: 

  • According to the National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, 30% of India’s soil is degraded. 
  • Around 29% of degraded soil is lost to the sea, 61% is transferred elsewhere, and 10% is deposited in reservoirs. 

Challenges Related to Soil Health in India: 

  • Low Organic Carbon Content: Indian soils have low organic carbon content essential for fertility and water retention. 
  • Nutrient Deficiencies: Many Indian soils lack major nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, exacerbated by over-reliance on chemical fertilisers. 
  • Water Management Issues: Water scarcity and improper irrigation practices impact soil health. About 70% of irrigation water in India is wasted due to poor management. 
  • Socioeconomic Factors: Land fragmentation due to population growth and economic constraints hampers farmers’ ability to adopt sustainable soil practices. 

Government’s Initiatives for Soil Conservation: 

  • Soil Health Card Scheme: Provides information on soil health to farmers, aiding in informed agricultural decisions. 
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): Promotes organic farming to reduce chemical fertiliser and pesticide use, fostering natural soil replenishment. 
  • Neem Coating of Urea: Slows urea release, reducing fertiliser wastage and potentially improving soil health. 
  • Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme: Subsidises essential plant nutrients, promoting balanced fertiliser use and preventing soil degradation. 


Soil erosion poses a grave threat to India’s agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. Addressing this challenge requires a multi-faceted approach and robust government initiatives. Through concerted efforts, India can mitigate soil erosion, ensuring long-term agricultural prosperity and environmental health. 

Mains Question: 

  1. “Discuss the factors contributing to soil erosion in India. (150 WORDS)


April 12
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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