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Hydro-geography: Contemporary Issues and Future Agenda

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As an academic discipline, especially in the higher education system, geography is a relatively new branch of study among the sciences and humanities. Initially in India geography used to be regarded as a school subject and its vertical development started within the teachers’ training colleges. Then geography was taught and nurtured by scholars of other disciplines. However, geography education in twentieth century witnessed several important developments that had great influence in shaping modern geography in the country. Some of the important features of development of the discipline in India can be outlined as follows:

Indian geography took a modern path since the Independence of the country along with the restructuring of Indian economy through the Five Year Plans. In the beginning, involvement of foreign geographers, like O. H. K. Spate, and academics of other disciplines like sociologists, economists and statisticians is commendable.

The change in content and approach of geography, from traditional to modern, incorporated the specializations of the pioneering practitioners and makers of the subject in consideration with the national goal of the country. Thus, geography included many themes of social, economic and regional issues along with its physical base. The traditional cartographic techniques gradually took merger with sophisticated statistical and other quantitative techniques for better analysis of the subjects. Building of mathematical/ statistical model became a passion among the modern geographers.

The last quarter of the twentieth century witnessed, quite justifiably, large number of themes of social interest in geography, making it more inter-disciplinary. But, this trend gave the subject more social (or human) orientation than it was before.

The contemporary Indian geography, in the era of globalization, cannot be placed in isolation. So in terms of its themes of investigation and methodological issues it has become multi-dimensional, and sometimes trans-disciplinary in the line of global geography. Now individual problems (i.e. themes or topics) of contemporary relevance have become more important for investigation in a suitable scale of spatial context. This has led to the emergence of many new areas of specializations in geography.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Indian Geography in the 21st Century: The Young Geographers Agenda
    This book, primarily a collection of statements on action agenda to be pursued in geography in India, consists of nineteen chapters exclusively authored by the young geographers. It is organised into five parts: Part I provides "The Contextual Orientation", Part II contemplates on "Reshaping Geography Education", Part III explores "Resurrecting Physical Geography", Part IV looks at "Retrieving Human Geography", and Part V: "The Summum Bonum" attempts to garland the emerging thoughts. The book seeks to provide a peep into the future Indian Geography and serve professional geographers, researchers, teachers and students alike.
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