A situation of scarcity requires people to judiciously or efficiently allocate the scarce resources to meet the needs of society. IAS officers play animportant role in exploring new resources or create replacements for existing resources.


  • Scarcity


Scarcity refers to the limited availability of a resource in comparison to the limitless wants. Scarcity may be with respect to any natural resources or with respect to any scarce commodity. Scarcity may also be referred to as paucity of resources.

A situation of scarcity requires people to judiciously or efficiently allocate the scarce resources to meet the needs of society.


  1. A scarcity of resources arises when the resources or means to fulfil an end are either limited or costly.
  2. Scarcity is an economic problem. It calls for the economic allocation of scarce resources to fulfil unlimited wants or needs.
  3. Free natural resources could also become scarce resources due to the incremental costs of obtaining them and consuming them. Scarcity also arises in the case of an increase in demand in comparison to its availability.
  4. Lionel Robbins defined 'Economics' as "the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses". Thus, the study of 'Economics' facilitates the allocation of scarce resources.
  5. In simple terms, money and time are among the most scarce resources. People have too little of the former, the latter, or both. People who have little or no work would have abundant time, but little money to pay for their basic necessities. People who have professionally demanding jobs might have enough earnings for retirement, but yet insufficient time to eat and rest.
  6. Scarcity of a commodity or resource is relative to its demand. A resource which is of no use or not known to the people would not be scarce even when it is limited in nature.

Economics is one of the most important part of UPSC syllabus. To read more articles on Economics click here