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20 Solved Questions with Answers
  • Ancient History and Art & Culture

    1. How will you explain that Medieval Indian temple sculptures represent the social life of those days?

    A sculpture is not only ornamental. To depict the politics, culture, history, religion, rituals, and memorial homages of the area, sculpture is utilized in a variety of circumstances. The work changes across time and space since it is a tactile creative form that exists in the same space as its audience. Sculptural forms, whether bronze busts, spectacular statues, or sophisticated stone carvings, represent accurate images and ideas from ancient cultures.

    • One of the most prevalent messages is that a sculpture communicates about a civilization’s belief in certain forms of religion.
    • During the early phase of Buddhism, Buddha is depicted symbolically through footprints, stupas, lotus throne, chakra etc. This indicates either simple worship or paying respect or at times depicts historicizations of life events.
      • The Jataka stories also became equally important for sculptural decorations.
      • The motif of the chakra becomes significant as a representation of the Dhammachakra in the entire Buddhist art.
      • The wheel represents the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha. In the center of the wheel are three swirls that represent the three jewels of Buddhism, which are the Buddha (or the teacher), the Dharma (teachings of Buddha), and the sangha (the community).
      • The Dharmachakra takes the form of a wheel to represent the completeness of the Dharma.
    • The sculptures, carved panels, and open pavilion style temples of Gurjara-Pratihara are well-known.
    • The most significant advancement in their temple-building style occurred at Khajuraho, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • The design, structure, and placement of the building's components are symbolic and represent the core Hindu values.
    • The most important places in Rajasthan where sculptural activity continued to be in progress were Vasantgarh, Devangarh, Palta, Osian, Dilwara, Chittor, Mandor etc.
    • The Gurjara Pratiharas had a vast kingdom that embraced the territory of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh. Their rule in the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries saw a great cultural renaissance.
      • Mahishasuramardini in relief, Girigovardhana panel, Arjuna's penance or the Descent of the Ganga, Trivikrama Vishnu, Gajalakshmi and Anatasayanam are the few prominent sculptures which represent the faith and belief of the society.
    • The sculptural tradition in Gandhara had the confluence of Bactria, Parthia and the local Gandhara tradition which reveals the structure and tradition of the society.
    • The local sculptural tradition at Mathura became so strong that the tradition spread to other parts of northern India.
      • The best example in this regard is the stupa sculptures found at Sanghol in the Punjab.
    • Images of Vaishnava (mainly Vishnu and his various forms) and Shaiva (mainly the lingas and mukhalingas) faiths are also found at Mathura. It represents the religious belief of society.
    • The Chola sculptures started bronze casting sometime about the middle of the tenth century A.D. of the numerous bronze images, the Nataraja image in its various forms holds the first place.

    Typical life scenarios are shown in sculpture. Nearly all of the sculptures and paintings are motivated by the activities taking place in the immediate vicinity. All works of art, including sculptures, eventually aim to convey a message. Sculptures are created by artists to convey ideas, religious views, historical figures, and even heroic mythical tales.

  • Modern History

    2. Why did the armies of the British East India Company – mostly comprising of Indian Soldiers – win consistently against the more numerous and better equipped armies of the then Indian rulers? Give reasons.

    Indians were recruited for the British East India Company's army because they were familiar with the conditions in India. Indians were prepared to take lower wages. As a result, the East India Company's overall expenditures were cheaper than those of contracted British army men. Because of the immense distance that separated Britain from India, the British people were not willing to move India. The English had enforced every available means of war and administrative procedures in order to consolidate their own authority over India.

    Superior military and armaments strategy:

    • The British had cannon and assault rifles that were more advanced in terms of their range and shooting speed than Indian weapons.
    • Many Indian rulers brought European weapons, but they were unable to develop war strategy like British authorities.

    Armed regulation, dedication, and consistent remuneration:

    • The British were very careful about a regular income and a rigid code of conduct that guaranteed the loyalty of the commanders and soldiers.
    • The rulers of India lacked the resources necessary to make regular salary payments.
    • Some of the kings were dependent on their own personal guards of unruly and disloyal mercenaries.

    Effective leadership:

    • Robert Clive, Warren Hastings, Elphinstone, Munro, and others demonstrated exceptional leadership traits.
    • The British also profited from second-line commanders like Sir Eyre Coote, Lord Lake, Arthur Wellesley, and others who stand up for their nation's interests and honor.
    • While the Indian side had excellent commanders like Haider Ali, Tipu Sultan, Madhu Rao, Sindhia, and Jaswant Rao Holkar, they needed a second line of leadership.

    A solid financial foundation:

    • A great deal of wealth was contributed to England by British trade, which led to government assistance in the form of money, materials, and other resources.

    Absence of national pride and unification:

    • Indian rulers lacked a cohesive political nationalism, which the British skillfully exploited to incite civil war among them.

    The East India Company had a private army. The corporation utilized its armed power to impose terrible taxes, carry out officially approved plundering, subjugate Indian governments and principalities with which it had previously entered into commercial deals, and defend its economic exploitation of both skilled and unskilled Indian workers.

  • Modern History

    3. Why was there a sudden spurt in famines in colonial India since the mid-eighteenth century? Give reasons.

    The term "famine" is derived from the Latin word "Fames," which means "hunger." Famine is defined as "a state of intense hunger experienced by a region's population as a result of a lack of regular food supply."

    • The 1769-70 famine in Bengal followed two years of erratic rainfall but was worsened by a smallpox epidemic. The 1783-84 famine again followed a crop failure over a wide area.


    • Drought:
      • The excessive rainfall in 1770 did not relieve the people from the sufferings of drought of the year before; on the contrary, it caused overflowing of rivers and damaged standing crops.
      • The proximate cause of famines, without exception, was a sharp rise in food prices, which in turn reduced real wages and caused starvation, malnutrition and epidemic, mainly among agricultural laborer groups.
    • Rural Indebtedness:
      • Debt has always been a major component of India's rural economy. Due to exorbitant rents and illegitimate taxation imposed by the British Government, peasants were heavily indebted, this indebtedness was exacerbated by the onset of severe drought-like circumstances which culminated in the onset of famines.
    • British Policy:
      • The main cause of the devastating famines during the colonial rule was the British policy of exploitation, repression and oppression inflicted upon the Indian people.
      • Mass export of agricultural produce to the England by the Britishers led to shortage of the food supply in India which ultimately culminated into the severe famine.
      • Cornwallis introduced the permanent settlement in 1793. The peasants were dispossessed of their ownership of land by this strategy, which for the first time in India's agricultural history made the zamindars and talukdars the true landowners.

    Famines that occurred during the colonial era had a tremendous influence on the economy and even the culture. Famines unquestionably had a negative impact on population growth and slowed down economic development.

  • Geography

    4. Describe the characteristics and types of primary rocks.

    Igneous rocks are called primary rocks because they are the first one to be formed in the rock cycle and they do not leave any organic remains. They form when hot, molten rock crystallizes and solidifies.

    Depending upon where the molten rock solidifies, they can be divided into two types:

    • Intrusive Igneous Rocks: They form when magma is trapped deep inside the Earth where it cools very slowly over many thousands or millions of years until it solidifies. Slow cooling means the individual mineral grains have a very long time to grow, so they grow to a relatively large size. These rocks have a coarse-grained texture. Example - Diabase, Granite, Pegmatite and Peridotite.
    • Extrusive Igneous Rocks: They are produced when magma exits and cools above (or very near) the Earth's surface. These rocks form at erupting volcanoes, so molten rock erupts on the surface, the magma cools and solidifies almost instantly when it is exposed to the relatively cool temperature of the atmosphere. Quick cooling means that mineral crystals don't have much time to grow, so these rocks have a very fine-grained or even glassy texture. Hot gas bubbles are often trapped in the quenched lava, forming a bubbly, vesicular texture. Example - Basalt, Pumice, Obsidian and Andesite.

  • Geography

    5. Discuss the meaning of colour-coded weather warnings for cyclone prone areas given by India Meteorological Department.

    The IMD uses four colour-coded weather warnings to signify the intensity of the weather situation and alert people about possible widespread disruption or danger to life:

    • Green (All is well): No advisory is issued.
    • Yellow (Be Aware): Yellow indicates severely bad weather spanning across several days. It also suggests that the weather could change for the worse, causing disruption in day-to-day activities.
    • Orange (Be prepared): The orange alert is issued as a warning of extremely bad weather with the potential of disruption in commute with road and rail closures, and interruption of power supply.
    • Red (Take Action): When extremely bad weather conditions are certainly going to disrupt travel and power and have significant risk to life, the red alert is issued.

    In Cyclone prone areas, the IMD issues cyclone warnings to state government officials in four stages:

    • Pre-Cyclone Watch - It is issued 72 hours prior and contains early warning about the development of a cyclonic disturbance in the north Indian Ocean.
    • Cyclone Alert - It is issued at least 48 hours prior to the expected commencement of adverse weather over the coastal areas.
    • Cyclone Warning - It is issued at least 24 hours in advance. Landfall point is forecast at this stage.
    • Post Landfall Outlook - it is issued at least 12 hours in advance of the expected time of landfall. It gives the likely direction of movement of the cyclone after its landfall.
    Stage of Warning Colour Code
    Cyclone Alert Yellow
    Cyclone Warning Orange
    Post landfall out look Red

  • Geography

    6. Discuss the natural resource potentials of ‘Deccan Trap’.

    Deccan Trap is a large region of thick basaltic rock located in west-central India and associated with one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the history of the earth.

    • The Deccan Trap covers a significant part of western peninsular India, in states of Maharashtra, Goa, and Gujarat and to some extent in Madhya Pradesh and southern Rajasthan.

    Natural resources found in Deccan Trap:

    • Soil & Rocks:
      • Black Soil: It is also known as “Regur Soil” or the “Black Cotton Soil”.
        • Black soils are rich in iron, lime, aluminium, magnesium and also contains potassium. However, these soils are deficient in nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter.
        • Cotton, pulses, millets, castor, tobacco, sugarcane, citrus fruits, linseed, etc. are mainly cultivated in black soil.
      • Rocks:
        • Ancient cave temples have been carved out of the Deccan basalts in many places and the Elephanta Caves located on a small island offshore Mumbai (Bombay) is one such place.
    • Non-Ferrous Minerals:
      • Bauxite: India’s reserves of bauxite are sufficient to keep the country self-reliant.
        • Major reserves occur in Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Uttar Pradesh.
    • Ferrous Minerals:
      • India is endowed with fairly abundant resources of iron ore. It has the largest reserve of iron ore in Asia.
        • The districts Maharashtra and Goa have also emerged as important producers of iron ore.
    • Natural Gas:
      • It is obtained along with oil in all the oil fields, but exclusive reserves have been located along the eastern coast as well as Tripura, Rajasthan and offshore wells in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
        • Recently, the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has noticed the presence of oil and natural gas in the Deccan region that spreads over a vast area including parts of Telangana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.
    • Geothermal Energy:
      • The western margin of volcanic Deccan traps, also known as Western Ghats, is characterized by the presence of numerous hot springs.
    • Nuclear Energy:
      • Nuclear energy has emerged as a viable source in recent times. Important minerals used for the generation of nuclear energy are uranium and thorium.
        • The important nuclear power projects are Tarapur (Maharashtra), Rawatbhata near Kota (Rajasthan), etc.

  • Geography

    7. Examine the potential of wind energy in India and explain the reasons for their limited spatial spread.

    The wind is used to produce electricity using the kinetic energy created by air in motion. Wind turbines or wind energy conversion systems transform this into electrical energy.


    • India has the potential of about 60 GW of wind.
      • It is quite likely that it would go up substantially because over time some of the old wind power stations that have very low capacity could be replaced with wind turbines that have higher capacity.
    • There is another unexplored area, which is in the oceans.
      • Across the world, exploration in this area is at a nascent stage.
      • On the eastern side of India, there are a lot of cyclones that hit the coast.
        • India is a country having around 7,516.6 km long coastline and in all of its exclusive economic zones, it has enough opportunity to harness wind energy.
    • It is found by the National Institute for Wind Energy (based in Chennai) that western states have larger potential in terms of a stable, steady and speedy windflow.
      • In 2022, Tamil Nadu is among the largest producer of wind energy.


    • Wind power must compete with other low-cost energy sources.
    • Wind plants can impact local wildlife.
    • A wind project may face public opposition if a cultural or historically important land is being occupied by a wind farm.
    • Lack of infrastructures and institutions to carry out R&D (Research & Development).

  • Indian Society

    8. Explore and evaluate the impact of ‘Work From Home’ on family relationships.

    The rising wave of the Covid-19 outbreak in India forced the corporate world in the country to opt for ‘work from home’ widely. Work from home was the only viable option to continue and sustain economic activities in the country to contain the spread of Covid-19.

    Impact of Work from Home on Family Relationships

    • Stronger Bonds: While working from home a person spends more time with family, which helps in strengthening family bonds.
    • Proper Attention to Children: Work from home gives adequate time to parents to spend adequate time with their children, which is good for parent-children relationships.
    • Better Take Care of Old People: While working from home the young generation can better take care of their old parents and provide them with the requisite attention.
    • Domestic Violence and Children Abuse: According to an official data, National Commission for Women (NCW) registered an increase of at least 2.5 times in domestic violence complaints during the nationwide lockdown.
    • Strained Marital Relations: When a husband and wife spend extended periods of time together without leaving the house, the likelihood of disputes between them increases and already tense marital relations worsen.
    • Disputes in family: While working from home one shares the same workplace with other family members (wife, son, sister, brother) who may also be working from home. One may be sharing the same resources as internet, computer, Fan etc .If work timing or meeting time clash then it leads to arguments.
    • Leads to Frustration: Working from home makes some people frustrated due to lack of required infrastructure.
    • Disturbed Domestic Chores: Due to the same timing of work of both husband and wife it causes the negligence of routine domestic works which creates a situation of stress and tension between two.

  • Indian Society

    9. How is the growth of Tier 2 Cities related to the rise of a new middle class with an emphasis on the culture of consumption?

    As per the government, cities having a population size ranging between 50,000 and 1,00,000 are categorised as tier 2 cities in India.

    The middle class is a description given to individuals and households who typically fall between the working class and the upper class within a socio-economic hierarchy. In Western cultures, persons in the middle class tend to have a higher proportion of college degrees than those in the working class, have more income available for consumption, and may own property. Those in the middle class often are employed as professionals, managers, and civil servants.

    Relationship between New middle class and tier 2 cities:

    • Increase in Entrepreneurship: White-collar employment significantly grew in tier 2 cities during the LPG era as a result of increased entrepreneur activity. The growth of the service sector, which accounts for more than 50% of India's GDP and more than 64% of jobs in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, is a result of globalisation.
    • Increased wages, the digital revolution, and the westernisation of habits under globalisation all contributed to the promotion of popular culture and altered this class's consumption patterns.
    • Government efforts: The Government efforts through schemes like Make in India, Stand up India, Startup India, MUDRA Yojana, JAM trinity, UDAN, etc. have prompted the culture of consumption by increasing disposable income.

    Reasons behind the emergence of Tier 2 Indian cities as major growth engines:

    • Attractive options for larger firms: Tier 2 cities like Jaipur, Patna, Indore, and Surat have experienced economic growth rates of more than 40%.
      • With 80% of households having middle-class incomes by 2030, disposable income is set to increase. In India, consumer behaviour is significantly influenced by value for money.
    • E-commerce: Over 15 million traditional "kirana" stores, or 88% of the retail market, are present in India. Many families come to stock up on fresh produce every two to three days.
    • Employment: The Tier-2 Cities attract potential employees from rural places and provide them with different avenues of employment for them.
    • Lower Cost of Living: The moderate cost of living in Tier 2 cities encourages greater consumption since a better lifestyle does.

  • Indian Society

    10. Given the diversities among tribal communities in India, in which specific contexts should they be considered as a single category?

    • Government of India Act 1935 included members of the community living or dependent on the forest, in a single category called Scheduled Tribe (STs).
    • The tribals in India have a very broad diversity ranging from matriarchal khasis of the Meghalaya and patriarchal tribes of the Rajasthan and Gujrat. They also differ on the basis of the origin like African origin Siddis of Gujarat and indigenous tribes of Andaman and Nicobar like sentinels.
    • Apart from the constitutional and legal provisions to include STs in a single category, there are several socio-economic grounds which binds them in a single category. Like:
      • They are usually geographically isolated.
      • They follow similar religious practices like tattoo, amulets, and Jewlery and belief in magic.
      • Usually, they worship their common ancestors and nature worship is common among them.
      • They are mostly dependent on the forest for their livelihood and have unanimity with nature for a well-balanced environment.
      • Their social structure is less stratified compared to caste and have egalitarian structure.
      • They have an animistic belief system.
      • Most of them are territorial groups and dedicated to their own tribe and culture.
      • Most of them are practicing primitive occupations like shifting cultivation, etc.
      • They have most indigenous political organization i.e., the council of the elders like sabhas and samitis of the vedic period.
      • Their society is usually self-reliant and self-sufficient.
      • Most of them are different from mainstream society.
    • Dr. Ambedkar had also advocated their distinct socio-religious and cultural practice and demanded to include them in a separate, single and distinct category.

  • Post Independent India

    11. The political and administrative reorganization of states and territories has heen a continuous ongoing process since the mid-nineteenth century. Discuss with examples.

    Early on in the company's rule, the East India Company began reorganising the territories in the states they captured, starting with Bengal, Bombay, and Madras Presidency. Since then, reorganisation and consolidation of states has been a constant process.

    Phase-1 1850’s to 1947:

    • After the revolt of 1857, the British government accelerated the process of continuous political and administrative reorganisation.
      • New presidencies were created (Central Province)
      • Several independent states became part of the Chief Administration provinces (Assam, Awadh)
    • North-West Frontier Province, was created in 1901 from the north-western districts of the Punjab Province.
    • Bengal was partitioned in 1905 on the basis of religion and language.

    Phase 2: 1947- 2022:

    • In 1950, the Indian Constitution contained a four-fold classification of the states of the Indian Union- Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D States on a political and administrative basis.
    • In 1953, the States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) under Fazal Ali was constituted to recommend the reorganisation of state boundaries.
      • Subsequently, the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act was passed which laid out two classifications of units:States and Union Territories.
      • Andhra Pradesh became the first state to be formed on a linguistic basis.
    • Several territories acquired from the Portuguese (Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra Nagar Haveli, and Puducherry) were incorporated into the Union Territories (Goa was given statehood later).
    • The creation of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand was made possible by disintegrating regional boundaries and political territories from within the existing States of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, respectively.
    • In 2014, Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014 was passed that carved Telangana State out of Andhra Pradesh.
      • The demand for separate statehood for Telangana has rested on factors such as the scale of inter-regional inequalities causing socio-economic backwardness of the region, inadequate industrial infrastructure, lack of educational and employment opportunities, diversion of water and natural resources of Telangana to the coastal region of Andhra, the hegemonic control of the coastal capitalist class over the Telangana region, etc.
    • Most recently, in 2019 the State of Jammu and Kashmir was reorganised for administrative and security purposes.

    As our Indian Constitution is a living document, which allows reorganisation of states and union territories (Article-3), reorganisation of states may remain a continuous process with regard to the evolving nature of political and administrative dynamics.

  • Ancient History and Art & Culture

    12. Discuss the main contributions of Gupta period and Chola period to Indian heritage and culture.

    The Golden Period in Indian history, was established by Chandragupta I as the Gupta Dynasty in the 3rd Century AD.

    Chola dynasty was established as one of the longest ruling dynasties in the southern regions of India by Vijayalaya in 9th century.

    Both Gupta and Chola Rulers have contributed to Indian Culture & Heritage in the following ways:

    Category Gupta Period (300-600 AD) Chola Period (900-1300 AD)
    • Brick temples were started to be made during the Gupta period.
    • Dashavatara temple in Deogarh has the presence of a curvilinear tall rekha-deol (or rekha-prasada) type shikhara (Nagara Style).
    • Square temples emerged in Gupta Period such as Vishnu and Varaha temples at Eran in Vidisha.
    • Chola rulers continued temple construction on the lines of Pallava architecture with variations, which came to be known as Dravidian architecture.
    • Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu and Gangaikondacholapuram temple are such examples.
    • A new school called Sarnath School emerged. Cream colored sandstone was used in it.
      • At Sarnath, Buddha is shown standing, seated and in other positions as well.
    • Goddess Ganga from Besnagar and Apsaras from Gwalior were also found.
    • Bronze Nataraja of Chola period indicates sound of creation, destruction, benediction and path of salvation etc.
    • Sculpture of Sembiyan Mahadevi, a 10th century AD chola queen was found.
    • 9th century AD Kalyanasundara murti represents the Panigrahana (ceremony of marriage).
    Cave Architecture
    • Junagrah caves: They have a citadel called ‘uparakot’ apart from a lower prayer hall.
    • Nashik Caves: Primarily Hinyana Buddhist caves and Buddha is shown in form of symbols, there are 23 such caves and are termed as ‘Pandav Leni’.
    • Ajanta Cave: These are 29 Rock-cut cave belonging to Hinayana and Mahayana period.
    • Other examples: Udaigiri Caves, Bagh Caves, Ellora Caves etc.
    No significant cave development took place during chola’s rule.
    • Ajanta Paintings: It depicts events from Buddha’s life in the form of Jataka tales.
      • They are drawn in continuity without using separate frames and they are essentially two dimensional.
      • Dying Princess is one the most prominent examples.
    • Ellora Cave Paintings: It has influences from three religions – Jaina, Buddhism and Hinduism.
    • Brihadeshwara temple houses paintings of Hindu deities that were made during Chola period.
    • The paintings show narrations and aspects related to Lord Shiva, Shiva in Kailash, Shiva as Tripurantaka etc.

    The significant contribution by both of the dynasties have shaped India’s culture and heritage into a rich and prosperous shape with Gupta’s cave being in a good shape even after 1500 years and Nataraja sculpture by Chola’s being worshiped at various temples of modern India.

  • Ancient History and Art & Culture

    13. Discuss the significance of the lion and bull figures in Indian mythology, art and architecture.

    Since the advent of humans, animals have also been a complimentary companion on earth. The traces of human animal relationship traces back to the paintings of the upper paleolithic period, around 12,000 year ago.

    Two amongst the important animals who have been a significant part of human life are “Lion” & “Bull”. From the stone age period to Modern India, traces have been found of their presence in various aspects, which could be understood in an elaborate way, as stated below.


    • Vehicle of Goddess Durga:
      • Lion is the 'vahana' or vehicle of Maa Durga. The animal also represents the power of Maa Durga.
    • Nandi Bull of Shiva:
      • Nandi, which means “giving delight” or “giving joy” is the sacred bull of the Hindu god Shiva.


    • Sculpture:
      • National Emblem of India:
        • It is an adoption of Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka.
        • There are four lions, standing back to back, an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell-shaped lotus.
          • The Bull depicts the Zodiac sign of Taurus.
          • The Lion shows the attainment of enlightenment.
      • Indus Valley Bronze Bull:
        • The bronze bull of Indus Valley Civilisation signifies the presence of Bronze in the Indus Valley Civilization i.e. Bronze Age Civilization.
      • Bull in Tamil Nadu Rockart:
        • Rock art discoveries in Tamil Nadu have depicted prehistoric men capturing bulls and attempting to tame them.


    • Mauryan Pillar:
      • The top portion of the pillar was carved with capital figures like the bull, the lion, the elephant, etc.
      • The Mauryan symbolism of the lions indicate “the power of a universal emperor (chakravarti) who dedicated all his resources to the victory of dharma”.
    • Sanchi Stupa:
      • Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh is the most famous of the Ashokan stupas.
      • Rock engraving of Lion with wings and Bull has been found in the torana of the stupa.

    From traces in ancient India to significance in the national symbol of the country, lion and bull have been a witness of the phases of development and changes of the land of India.

  • Geography

    14. What are the forces that influence ocean currents? Describe their role in fishing industry of the world.

    Ocean currents are like river flow in oceans. They represent a regular volume of water in a definite path and direction.

    Ocean currents are influenced by two types of forces i.e. Primary Force, which initiates the movement of water while the secondary force influences the currents to flow. These forces are:

    • Primary Force:
      • Heating by Solar Energy: It causes the water to expand which causes water to spread from hot to cold regions.
      • Wind: Wind blowing on the ocean surface pushes the water to move on.
      • Gravity: Gravity tends to pull the water down the pile and create gradient variation.
      • Coriolis Force: It causes the water to move to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.
    • Secondary Force:
      • Landmass: Interaction of ocean with landmass results in change in direction of ocean current. For example: Brazil Ocean Current.
      • Salinity: Water with high salinity is denser than water with low salinity, leading to variation in ocean currents as denser water tends to sink, while relatively lighter water tends to rise.

    Ocean currents affect fishing industries in the following ways:

    • Creation of Fishing Zones: Meeting of cold and warm ocean currents forms fishing zones in the ocean.
      • Prominent examples are North East Pacific Zone, Newfoundland (Labradour & Gulf Stream), North West Pacific Zone along Japan (kuroshio and oyashio current) etc.
      • Upwelling is a process in which currents bring deep, cold water to the surface of the ocean. Upwelling is a result of winds and the rotation of the Earth.
    • Movement of Planktons: Planktons are the organisms that come with ocean currents. They act as the base of the marine food chain and attract the fish populations towards them, leading to accumulation of fishes in a particular zone.
      • Upwelling is a process in which currents bring deep, cold water to the surface of the ocean. The deeper water that rises to the surface during upwelling is rich in nutrients. These nutrients “fertilize” surface waters, encouraging the growth of plant life, including phytoplankton.
    • Long Shelf Life: Fishes in cold ocean currents have longer shelf life as compared to warm ocean currents, leading to non-perishable fish products.
    • Ecological Balance: Ocean currents maintain ecological balance by transferring water to the areas of less oceanic current and having low fish population to maintain oxygen level and fishes in the deficit area. Example: Saragasso Sea; Dead Zone.

    Although ocean current is the main player in creating fishing zones, the use of technology could be carried to develop fishing industries in other potential zones as well.

  • Geography

    15. Describing the distribution of rubber producing countries, indicate the major environmental issues faced by them.

    • Natural rubber is a polymer of isoprene, an organic compound. It comes from various sources, the most common being the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis).
    • Distribution of rubber producing countries: Thailand produced 35% share of global natural rubber in 2020 followed by Indonesia.
      • The tropical climate supports healthy rubber trees. It thrives in deep soil with resistance to flooding and in areas where the annual rainfall remains between 60 and 78 inches.
    • Despite natural rubber being native to the Amazon basin, approximately 90% of the world’s supply is grown in Asia. Much of this comes from Southeast Asia – specifically Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
    • The other countries of the world that are producing the rubbers are Ivory coast, Brazil, Mexico, Gabon, Guina, Ecuador and Sri Lanka etc.

    Environmental issues:

    • The rubber cultivation is a plantation crop and takes a long gestation period to become a fruitful crop for providing monetary benefits. This plantation incurs many negative externalities like:
      • Countries like Malysia and Indonesia has lost a large part of its natural forest due to cultivation of Rubber.
        • It also leads to extinction of biodiversity and population of some of the iconic species like orangutans have reduced.
      • Preference to plantation crops like Rubber reduces the cultivation of the food crops and reduces the chance to achieve SDGs.
      • Monotonous cropping pattern reduces the rejuvenation capacity of the soil and the accelerated application of the synthetic fertilizer further reduces the capacity of the soil and residue fertilizer prevails various illnesses in the society.
      • The long gestation period of the rubber plantation (7-8 years) makes it more vulnerable to pests and other climate induced diseases and illnesses that hamper the interest of the small crop holders and bring the issue of livelihood.
      • The rubber plantation itself is the source of various pollution and GHGs like:
        • The open burning of rubber plantation wastes in the form of rubber tree stumps after land clearing (in Malaysia).
        • Per kg dry rubber generates eight kg of effluents and its Natural degradation releases a huge amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane.
        • The emission of the rubber industry has been linked to various diseases and diverse impacts on human health.
      • The rubber industry is one of the major water polluting industries. It accelerates the problem of water scarcity in the rubber producing countries.

    Increasing demand of rubber due to industrial expansion, the sustainable cultivation of rubber is the only way forward. The synthesis of local and global knowledge with the use of modern technology can prevail in the interest of all the stakeholders involved in the industry.

  • Geography

    16. Mention the significance of straits and isthmus in international trade.

    • A strait is a narrow oceanic waterbody connecting two seas or two other large water bodies. It acts as a passage or gallery for ships in the water between water bodies. E.g., Malacca strait, Gibraltar strait, etc.
    • An isthmus is a narrow strip of land that connects two larger landmasses and separates two bodies of water. E.g., Isthmus of Suez, connecting Africa and Asia.

    Significance of Staits and Isthmus in international trade:

    • They reduce distance between the places and facilitate greater trade. E.g., the Suez Canal on the isthmus of Suez prevents the circumvent of the Africa by ships for trade between Asia and Europe.
    • The straits and isthmus also provide good harbor and ports leading to international trade facilitation. E.g., Singapore port on the Malacca strait.
    • It also provides connectivity between lager landmass and the water bodies. Like Panamá Canal on isthmus of Panama connects Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
    • It also revolutionizes the shipping industry by facilitating efficient transportation.
    • It provides the bridge between the demand and supply of the commodity. E.g., Japan buys the iron ore of India through the strait of Malacca.
    • It provides environmentally friendly shipping. E.g., By making the Palk Strait deeper, Indian ships could circumvent Sri Lanka (a long route) while transporting goods from Vizag to Kochin (saving fuel).
    • It facilitates the export and import of international trade in tourism services by providing recreational services along the coasts of the isthmus and straits.
    • It provides good ground for fishing and aquaculture and thus, promotes international trade in marine products.
    • It also provides the strategic place for defence establishment that facilitates international trade by providing security from pirates.

  • Geography

    17. Troposphere is a very significant atmosphere layer that determines weather processes. How?

    The troposphere is the first and lowest layer of the atmosphere of the Earth. Most of the mass (about 75-80%) of the atmosphere is in the troposphere, and is where most weather phenomena occur.

    • Weather refers to short-lived temperature, wind and precipitation conditions that vary from place to place.
      • Elements of Weather Processes: Cloud cover, rain, snow, low or high temperatures, storms and wind.
    Layers of Atmosphere Height ( in km)
    Exosphere Beyond 400
    Thermosphere 80- 400
    Mesosphere 50- 80
    Stratosphere 10- 50
    Troposphere 0- 10

    Significance of Troposphere in Determination of Weather Phenomena:

    • Increasing altitude decreases temperature in the troposphere, thus keeping water from leaving this atmospheric layer.
      • That’s why the troposphere contains 99% of the total mass of water vapour and aerosols in the atmosphere, and it is therefore the source of most of the clouds that induce weather phenomena.
    • Ozone absorbs sunlight in the stratosphere to raise the air temperature. Thus, temperatures in the stratosphere generally rise with elevation (opposite in case of troposphere)
      • The Stratosphere acts as a knot that inhibits vertical motion of winds, resulting in weather phenomena that can only be seen in the troposphere.
    • In the troposphere, water evaporates from the surface of the earth and is transported by the wind to other regions.
      • The rise, expansion, and cooling of air causes water vapour to condense into clouds, producing an unstable atmosphere that causes rain.
    • Global winds and fronts occur in the troposphere creating weather events such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards.

    Temperatures and weather patterns are shifting due to climate change, causing abnormal weather phenomena in the Troposphere like Heat Waves (recently in Europe and India). Therefore, there is a need to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact (Sustainable Development Goal 13).

  • Indian Society

    18. Analyse the salience of ‘sect’ in Indian society vis-a-vis caste, region and religion.

    Sects and Cults are a smaller group of faith that follows either a traditional religion or has its fundamentals in a different religion.

    Sects are subgroups from a single faith or religion, such as Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and others.

    Sects can also refer to religious groups that have separated themselves from an established religion and now follow their own rules.

    On the other hand, a cult is a social group that follows unusual religious, philosophical, spiritual beliefs to attain a common interest or goal in life.

    Salience of ‘sect’ vis-a-vis Caste:

    Sects encourages its members to work for a common vision of brotherhood, equality and goals. Sects frequently form when society is undergoing rapid transformation.

    Owing to the rising socio-economic status of the sub-caste in India, they are asserting their dominance in political and socio sectors. E.g. Gujjjar, Jats, Patidhar etc.

    Even though the position of sub-sectors have improved, yet the practice of homogeneity, culture are still prevailing which cannot be said to be modernizing.

    Salience of ‘sect’ vis-a-vis Region:

    Sects also emerges from geographic aspects e.g. hill tribes like gaddis are nomadic in their practice, also, the shiekh are Muslim Community found in the north Indian states. There are four main sections in Shaikh e.g. siddiqi, farooq, usmani, abbasi.

    Various sects emerged in Maharashtra due to experience of inequality in the observance of religion on the part of various sections of the society, invasion of Muslims and the political predominance acquired by the Muslim rulers over Hindu society.

    Salience of ‘sect’ vis-a-vis Religion:

    Hinduism is divided into four major denominations: Va ishnavism, Shaivism, Smartism and Shaktism. The denominations differ primarily in the god worshipped as the Supreme One and in the traditions that accompany worship of that god.

    Muslims are divided into several sects based on their understanding of Islamic law (fiqh) and Islamic history. On the basis of sect, Muslims are divided into two parts- Sunni and Shia.

    Buddhism was divided into two sects namely Mahayana and Hinayana.

    Christians are divided into two sects - the Catholics and the Protestants. The former may be considered as the traditionalists and the latter the reformists. The two are divided mainly on the question of the authority of the Church.

    Indian society is the result of a journey from the Indus civilization to today’s globalized world.

    In this journey, it has gone through many transformations under the influence of the outside world and reform movements within society. However, what is unique and appreciable is the fact that it has managed to adopt and accept various features while preserving its past.

  • Indian Society

    19. Are tolerance, assimilation and pluralism the key elements in the making of an Indian form of secularism? Justify your answer.

    In western nations, negative form of secularism is followed which means state is separate from religion and has nothing to do with religion of the people but in India, positive form of secularism is followed which means the state gives equal respect to all religions. Citizens can publicly wear their religious signs and symbols. There is no official religion of India.

    Secularism is an essential feature of Indian Constitution. This feature reflects the secular values of Indian society from ancient past. Tolerance, assimilation and pluralism are the key elements in the making of an Indian form of secularism.

    Tolerance as the key element of Indian form of Secularism:

    It means people of different religions; sects have respect and tolerance for each other's religion.

    • India is where Buddhism and Jainism first appeared. These religions propagated a message of peace and tolerance.
    • The founder of the Sikh religion, Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, preached about international brotherhood (tolerance).
    • Almost no native King forced his subjects to convert to another religion, with a few exceptions.
    • The religious tolerance policies of Mughal King Akbar and Buddhist King Ashoka are particularly well-known.
    • 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbaka' is a phrase in Maha Upanishad, a Hindu religious text which essentially means "the world is family".
    • The fundamental rights guaranteed by the state's constitution (Articles 25 to 28), which guarantee that everyone of its inhabitants has the right to practice any religion, represent the state's tolerance of all religions. The state doesn't have a recognized religion.

    Assimilation as the key element of Indian form of Secularism:

    Assimilation is the process whereby individuals or groups of differing ethnic heritage are absorbed into the dominant culture of a society.

    • People from all major religions coexist peacefully in India. India was the birthplace of Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Along with invaders from Persia and Afghanistan, Islam arrived in India. What's fascinating, though, is that new religions that developed here were introduced by invaders, yet they coexisted with the rest of society at the time without losing their distinctive identities.
    • When multiple religious communities coexist, over time they begin to incorporate elements of one another's art, architecture, culture, and religion. For instance, Mughal period produced a distinctive Mughal style as a result of the fusion of Persian Islamic architecture and native Indian design. The Mughal era strongly influenced the Rajput paintings of Jaipur and Amber.

    Pluralism as the key element of Indian form of Secularism:

    It means people of different religion, sects, cultures live together with harmony.

    • Since ancient times, people of various sects and religions have lived in India. All of the world's main religions are represented in India. These include Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.
    • Each religion also has a number of subgroups. For instance, there are followers of Shaivism and Vaishnavism in Hinduism, and Sunni and Shia Muslims. Here, there are residents of various faiths and religions.
    • Around India, Buddhism first appeared in the sixth century BC. In India, Jainism grew mostly after the sixth century BC. After the 10th century AD, India was where Islam flourished most quickly. Sikhism was started by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the 15th century. In the eighth century AD, Zoroastrianism arrived in India. Therefore, pluralism has always been a part of India.
    • With a few exceptions, the governing rulers did not meddle in peoples' religious practices. Instead, they offered them financial support and land for religious purposes. Secularism has therefore been a part of Indian society and culture for many years.

  • Indian Society

    20. Elucidate the relationship between globalization and new technology in a world of scarce resources, with special reference to India.

    • Globalization means growing interdependence and integration of world economies, societies and cultures brought about by cross border trade of goods, services and technology and flow of investment and people.
    • In the human world 'resource' is anything that can be used to fulfill our needs and wants. Often some resources are abundant in some nations and scarce in other nations. Mutual needs lead to cooperation between them.
    • The relations between globalization and new technology in the world of scarce resources have varied facets with its pros and cons.

    The positives of the relation between globalization and new technology, in context of scarce resources are:

    • Natural Resources: Globalization brings cooperation for efficient use of the resource. Like:
      • Energy: India’s global initiative i.e., International Solar Alliance (ISA) to tackle the scarcity of fossil fuel by securing solar energy.
      • Infrastructure: Diven by technical knowledge and sustainable spirit, the organization like Coalition for Disaster Resilient infrastructure (CDRI) initiated by India for global contribution.
    • Defence: Indian engagement with global players and partners like Israel (Barak Missile), Philippines (Brahmos Missile), Russia (AK-203) to manage the security challenge.
    • Space cooperation: India’s global cooperation with countries like Russia and France (Gaganyaan), US (NISAR Satellites) for best utilization of expensive resources.
    • Transport and Communication: Cooperation with global countries like Japan (Bullet train), EU (5G), etc.

    Apart from the positive, there are negatives as well. Like:

    • Brain Drain: Indian trained youth choose developed countries and devoid India for further development.
    • Neo-tech-colonization by the large tech giant on the name of data privacy, freedom of speech etc.
    • Diversion of scarce resources for technology adaptation (Bullet train) and thus curtailing the expenditure on humanitarian development.
    • Global relations promote the import of cutting-edge technologies. This decreases the forex on one hand and the technological research on the other hand. E.g., Not a single successful Indian handset in Indian market.
    • The monopoly and scarcity of strategic technologies compromised the security of Indians like Red Echo attack on Power supply in Mumbai by Chinese equipment.

    In view of the advantages and disadvantages of India’s relation with global world in an era of scarce resources, we have to be Atmanirbhar with suita ble and strategic global support to increase our capabilities.

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