Mains Daily Question
Jan. 17, 2020

Q. Discuss the difference between Himalayas and Peninsular drainage system. Also put forth importance of the river system in India.

Structure of the answer:

  • Introduction

  • Difference between Himalayan and Peninsular river system

  • Importance of river system in India

  • Conclusion

Model Answer

Rivers are considered as the lifelines of a country as they provide the most valuable thing for the survival i.e. water. The rivers in India can be broadly categorized into two different categories based on their origin: the Himalayan Rivers and the Peninsular Rivers.

The difference between the two is tabulated below:

Himalayan Rivers

Peninsular Rivers

1.      These rivers originate from the Himalayan mountain ranges.

1.      These rivers originate from the peninsular plateaus.

2.      They are longer and larger than the peninsular rivers.

2.      They are comparatively smaller than the Himalayan Rivers.

3.      They have larger basins and catchment areas.

3.      They have smaller basins and catchment areas.

4.      The bedrocks of these rivers are soft, sedimentary and easily erodible.

4.      The bedrocks of these rivers is hard and not easily erodible.

5.      They are perennial in nature.

5.      They are seasonal and non-perennial.

6.      They are fed by the meltwater from glaciers/ rains.

6.      They are fed only by rains.

7.      They form V-shaped valleys.

7.      They form U-shaped valleys.

8.      They form meanders.

8.      They may not form meanders.

9.      They form big deltas.

9.      They form small rivers and estuaries.

10.   They are antecedent rivers.

10.   They are consequent rivers.


In light of the aforesaid, it is also important to discuss the importance of the rivers as such:

  • Rivers are the biggest source of fresh water for drinking.

  • Rivers provide fertile soil, which is important for increasing agricultural productivity.

  • Rivers are not only important for human beings but also for animals and trees. Various aquatic animals and plants breed in rivers, which is important to maintain the balance in the food chain.

  • These are also a source of energy as help generating electricity. For ex.- Bhakra Nangal Dam.

  • Rivers also help in improving the economy by providing cheap means of transportation.

Thus, considering the importance of river system and impending climate change, it is important that steps are taken to protect rivers.

Subjects : Geography
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