Sojourn to odyssey



ABM: Anti Ballistic Missiles
ABVP: Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad
AC: Alternating Current; Ashoka Chakra
ACU: Asian Currency Union
AD: anno Domini; in the year of Lord Christ
ADB: Asian Development Bank
ADC: Aide-de-Camp; Access Deficit Charge
ADF: Asian Development Fund
ADS: Air Defence Ship
AJT: Advanced Jet Trainer
AG: Accountant General; Adjutant General
AI: Air India
AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
AIIMS: All India Institute of Medical Sciences
AIR: All India Radio; Annual Information Report
AITUC: All India Trade Union Congress
AJT: Advanced Jet Trainer
ALH: Advanced Light Helicopter
AM: ante meridiem; before noon
AMC: Army Medical Corps; Asset Management Companies
AME: Associate Member of the Institute of Engineers
APC: Agricultural Prices Commission
APEC: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
APPLE: Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment
APPU: Asian Pacific Postal Union
ARC: Asset Reconstruction Company
ARDR: Agricultural and Rural Debt Relief
ASAT: Anti-Satellite weapon
ASC: Army Service Corps
ASCI: Advanced Strategic Computing Initiative
ASCII: American Standard Code for Information
ASEAN: Association of South-East Asian Nations
ASEM: Asia-Europe Meeting
ASIMO: Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility
ASLV: Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle
ASMA: Antarctica Specially Managed Area
ASSOCHAM: Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry
ATA: Air Time Authority; Allen Telescope Array
ATC: Air Traffic Controller
ATM: Automatic Teller Machine
ATR: Action Taken Report
ATV: Automatic Transfer Vehicle
AUM: Assets Under Management
AVC: Army Veterinary Corps
AVM: Additional Volatility Margin
AWACS: Airborne Warning and Control System

BARC: Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
BBC: British Broadcasting Corporation
BC: Before Christ; Board of Control; British Columbia; Battery Commander
BCG: Bacillus Calmette Guerin—Anti-Tuberculosis Vaccine
BICP: Bureau of Industrial Costs and Prices
BIFR: Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction
BIOS: Basic Input Output System
BKU: Bharatiya Kisan Union
BMD: Ballistic Missile Defence System
BOLT: BSE On-Line Trading (System)
BOSS: Bharat Operating System Solutions
BPO: Business Process Outsourcing
BPR: Bottom Pressure Records
BRO: Border Road Organisation
BSE: Bombay Stock Exchange
BSF: Border Security Force
BSNL: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd

CA: Chartered Accountant
CABE: Central Advisory Board of Education
C & AG: Comptroller & Auditor General
CAIR: Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
CAPART: Council for People’s Action and Advancement of Rural Technology
CAPES: Computer-Aided Paperless Examination System
CAS: Chief of Army Staff; Chief of Air Staff; Conditional Access System
CB: Citizen Band (Radio)
CBI: Central Bureau of Investigation
CBFC: Central Board of Film Certification
CCPA: Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs
CD: Conference on Disarmament
C-DAC: The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing
CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access
CECA: Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement
CERN: European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Pronounced CERN in French)
CFC: Chlorofluro Carbon
CFS: Container Freight Station
CHOGM: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
CIA: Central Intelligence Agency (of U.S.A.)
CIBIL: Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd
CIC: Chief Information Commissioner
CID: Criminal Investigation Department
C-in-C: Commander-in-Chief
cif: cost, insurance and freight
CIS: Commonwealth of Independent States
CISF: Central Industrial Security Force
CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
CITU: Centre of Indian Trade Unions
CLASS: Computer Literacy and Studies in Schools
CLAWS: Centre for Land Warfare Studies
CM: Command Module; Chief Minister
CMP: Common Minimum Programme
CNG: Compressed Natural Gas
CNN: Cable News Network
CNS: Chief of the Naval Staff
CO: Commanding Officer
COD: Central Ordnance Depot; Cash on Delivery
CPCB: Central Pollution Control Board
CPI: Communist Party of India
CPI(M): Communist Party of India (Marxists)
CPU: Central Processing Unit
CR: Central Railway
CRAC: Cyber Regulation Advisory Council
CRDi: Common Rail Direct injection
CRISIL: Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited
CRM: Customer Relationship Management
CRR: Cash Reserve Ratio
CRPF: Central Reserve Police Force
CSIR: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
CTBT: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
CTT: Commodities Transaction Tax
CVRDE: Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment

DA: Dearness Allowance; Daily Allowance
DAVP: Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity
DC: Deputy Commissioner; Direct Current in Electricity
DDT: Dichloro-Diphenyl Trichloro-ethane (disinfectant)
DIN: Director Information Number
DM: District Magistrate; Deputy Minister
DMIC: Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor
DMK: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (a regional political party of Tamil Nadu)
DNA: de-oxyribonucleic acid
DO: Demi-official (letter)
DOD: Department of Ocean Development
DPEP: District Primary Education Programme
DPI: Director of Public Instruction
DRAM: Dynamic Random Access Memory
DRDO: Defence Research and Development Organisation
DST: Daylight Saving Time
DRES: Department of Renewable Energy Sources
DTH: Direct to Home (broadcasting)

ECG: Electro Cardio-gram
ECS: Electronic Clearing Service
ECT: Electro-convulsant Therapy (electric shock treatment)
EDUSAT: Education Satellite
EEG: Electro-encephalography
EET: Exempt Exempt Taxation
EFA: Education for All
EFF: Extended Fund Facility
e.g.: exempli gratia; for example
EHTP: Electronic Hardware Technology Parks
ELISA: Enzyme Linked Immuno Solvent Assay (used for testing AIDS)
EMI: Equated Monthly Instalment
EMS: European Monetary System
EMU: Electric-Multiple Unit; Extra-vehicular Mobility Unit; (European) Economic and Monetary Union
E & OE: Errors and Omissions Excepted
EPROM: Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory
ER: Eastern Railway
ERM: Exchange Rate Mechanism
ERNET: Educational and Research Network
ESA: European Space Agency
ESCAP: Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
ESMA: Essential Services Maintenance Act
ESOP: Employee Stock Option Programme
etc.: et cetera (and other things)
EU: European Union
EVM: Electronic Voting Machine

FAO: Food and Agriculture Organisation
FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation (of the U.S.A.)
FCNR: Foreign Currency (non-resident) Accounts Scheme
FDR: Flight Data Recorder; Fixed Deposit Receipt
FEMA: Foreign Exchange Management Act
FERA: Foreign Exchange Regulations Act
FICCI: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
FII: Foreign Institutional Investors
FIPB: Foreign Investment Promotion Board (of India)
FLAG: Fibre Optic Link Around the Globe
FM: Field Marshal; Frequency Modulated
FPSB: Financial Planning Standards Boards (India)
FRBM: Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management
FSSA: Food Safety and Standards Authority (of India)
FTA: Free Trade Area
FTP: File Transfer Protocol

GAGAN: GPS-aided Geo-augmented Navigation
GAIL: Gas Authority of India Limited
GAIN: Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
GATS: General Agreement on Trade in Services
GATT: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GCA: General Currency Area
GCC: Gulf Cooperation Council
GCM: Greatest Common Measure
GEF: Global Environment Fund
GHQ: General Headquarters
GIC: General Insurance Corporation
GIST: Graphics and Intelligence-based Script Technology
GMPS: Global Mobile Personal Communications System
GMRT: Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope
GMT: Greenwich Mean Time
GNSS: Global Navigation Satellite System
GNP: Gross National Product
GOC: General Officer Commanding
GPO: General Post Office
GPRS: General Packet Radio System
GPS: Global Positioning System
GSLV: Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle
GSP: Generalised Special Preferences
GST: Goods and Service Tax
GSTP: Global System of Trade Preferences

HAWS: High Altitude Warfare School
HCF: Highest Common Factor
HDI: Human Development Index
HDTV: High Definition Television
HE: His (or Her) Excellency; His (or Her) Eminence; High Explosive; Horizontal Equivalent
HITS: Headend In The Sky
HMMWV: High Mobility Multipurpose-Wheeled Vehicle
HMS: Hybrid Mail Service
HP: Himachal Pradesh; Horizontal Plane; Horse Power
HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language
HTTP: Hypetext Transfer Protocol
HUDCO: Housing and Urban Development Corporation
HVDC: High Voltage Direct Current

IAAI: International Airport Authority of India
IAAS: Indian Audit and Accounts Service
IADF: International Agricultural Development Fund
IAEA: International Atomic Energy Agency
IAF: Indian Air Force
IAMC: Indian Army Medical Corps
IAS: Indian Administrative Service
IATA: International Air Transport Association
IATT: Inland Air Travel Tax
IBRD: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
IBEX: Interstellar Boundary Explorer Mission
ICANN: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
ICAO: International Civil Aviation Organisation
ICAR: Indian Council of Agricultural Research
ICCR: Indian Council of Cultural Relations
ICCW: Indian Council for Child Welfare
ICDS: Integrated Child Development Service
ICJ: International Court of Justice (with Headquarters at the Hague)
ICL: Indian Cricket League
ICMR: Indian Council of Medical Research
ICPA: Indian Cricket Players’ Association
ICRC: International Committee of the Red Cross
IDA: International Development Association
IDBI: Industrial Development Bank of India
IDSA: Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis
i.e.: id est; that is
IEA: International Energy Agency
IES: Indian Economic Service
IEX: Indian Energy Exchange
IFRS: International Financial Reporting Standard
IFS: Indian Foreign Service; Indian Forest Service
IFTU: International Federation of Trade Unions
IFWJ: Indian Federation of Working Journalists
IGNOU: Indira Gandhi National Open University
IIPA: Indian Institute of Public Administration
IISS: International Institute of Strategic Studies
IIT: Indian Institutes of Technology
ILO: International Labour Organisation
IMA: Indian Military Academy
IMET: International Military Education Training Programme
IMF: International Monetary Fund
IMO: International Maritime Organisation
IN: Indian Navy; Intelligent Network
INA: Indian National Army
INK: International Newspaper Kiosks
INMARSAT: International Maritime Satellite Organisation
INMAS: Institute of Nuclear Medicines and Allied Sciences
INS: Indian Naval Ship; Indian Newspaper Society
INSAS: Indian Small Arms System
INSAT: Indian National Satellite
INTERPOL: International Police Organisation
INTUC: Indian National Trade Union Congress
IOC: International Olympic Committee
IP: Indian Police
IPC: Indian Penal Code
IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IPEC: International Programme on Elimination of Child Labour
IPR: Intellectual Property Right
IPS: Indian Police Service; Indian Postal Service
IPTV: Internet Protocol Television
IPU: Inter-Parliamentary Union
IQ: Intelligence Quotient
IR: Infra-red
IRA: Insurance Regulatory Authority
IRBM: Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile
IREP: Integrated Rural Energy Planning
IRS: Indian Remote Sensing Satellite; Indian Revenue Service
ISAF: International Stabilization and Assistance Force (in Afghanistan)
ISC: Inter-State Council
ISCS: Integrated Smart Card System
ISD: International Subscriber Dialled (telephone)
ISH: Information Super Highway
ISKCON: International Society for Krishna Consciousness
ISO: International Standardisation Organisation
ISP: Internet Service Provider
ISRO: Indian Space Research Organisation
ISS: International Space Station
IST: Indian Standard Time
ISTRAC: ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network
ITDC: Indian Tourism Development Corporation
ITO: International Trade Organisation; Income-tax Officer
ITU: International Tele-communication Union
IUC: Interconnect User Charge





Pioneers in Science
Inventions and discoveries in Physics and Chemistry

Anderson—Discovered positive electrons.
Archimedes—Discovery of the Principles of lever and of specific gravity; invention  of the famous Archimedean screw.
Avogadro—An Italian scientist known for Avogadro’s Hypothesis.
Bacquerel—Radio-activity of uranium.
Baron Napier—Logarithms.
Benjamin Franklin—Invented lightning conductor.
Bessemer—Steel smelting process.
Bhabha, Dr H.J.—Research in Cosmic rays and Quantum theory.
Binet—Intelligence Test.
Birbal Sahni—Researches in Botany.
Bose, J.C.—Invented Crescograph and published many works on plant physiology. He discovered that plants have sense and perception.
Bose, S.N.—Discovery of a group of nuclear particles named after him “Boson”.
Boyle—Boyle’s law; Pressure x volume = constant at a constant given temperature. Boyle was the greatest scientist of England in his time.
Bohr—Electron Theory—Atomic structure.
Braun, Dr Wernher von—space flying.
Bunsen—Invention of the spectroscope.
Carothers—Nylon plastics.
Cavendish—Discovery of chemical composition of water; discovery of hydrogen (Inflammable Air); ‘rare gases’.
Chadwick—Discovery of the neutron.
Chandrasekhar—Mathematical Astrophysics.
Charles Darwin—Theory of Evolution; Origin of Species.
Clarke, Arthur C.—Concept of Geostationary Orbit.
Curie, Madame—Discovery of radium.
Dalton—Atomic theory; laws of chemical combination; law of partial pressures; the law of multiple proportions.
Democritus—Greek philosopher—(Atomic theory).
Dewar—Invented cordite, liquid oxygen and introduced thermos flask.
Einstein—Theory of relativity.
Euclid—Science of geometry.
Fahrenheit—Fahrenheit mercury thermometric scale in which freezing point is  –32° and boiling point is 212°.
Faraday—Electromagnetic induction and laws of electrolysis.
Fermi—Discovered artificial splitting of atoms.
Freud—Doctrine of Psycho-analysis.
Gay Lussac—Law of gases.
Gauss—System of absolute electric measurements.
Good Year—Discovered the art of vulcanising rubber.
Herschel, William—Discovered the Planet—Uranus.
Hertz—Electrical waves.
Hippalus—Founder of scientific astronomy.
Hoffmann—Discovered the first aniline dye.
Kelvin, Lord—Dynamical theory of heat.
Khorana, Dr Hargobind—Deciphering the genetic code.
Kodak—Film and photographic goods.
Lablanc—Manufacture of washing soda.
Lawrence—Invention of cyclotron.
Lockyer—Helium gas.
Louis Braille—Perfected his system of  reading and writing for the blind.
Marconi—Wireless telegraphy; radio.
Maria-Montessori—‘Montessori’ method of teaching children.
Maxwell—Electro-magnetic Theory of Light.
Meghnad Saha—Effect of pressure on Radiation through bodies.
Mendel—Laws of heredity.
Mandeleev—Periodic Table.
Morse—Morse system of electric telegraphy.
Newton—Laws of gravitation; Law of Motion.
Oliver Lodge—Physicist. Researches in wireless communications.
Oppenheimer—Researches in atomic theory.
Otto Hahn—Discovery of uranium fission.
Parsons—Steam turbine.
Pavlov—Theory of Conditioned Reflex.
Perkin—‘Mauve dye’.
Pitman—Founded the Pitman system of phonographic shorthand.
Planck—Quantum theory.
Plimsoll--Introduced a line of demarcation on the ships beyond which the ships cannot be loaded.
Priestley—Discovery of Oxygen.
Raman, C.V.—“Raman Effect” on polarisation of light and theories on crystals and diamond formation.
Ramanathan—Molecular scattering of light in fluids.
Ramanujam—A great Indian mathematician.
Ramsay—Discovery of Inert gases such as Argon, Neon, Helium etc.
Ray, P.C.—Researches in chemistry.
Regnault—Experiments in regard to the physical properties of bodies and their relation to heat.
Roger Bacon—Gun powder.
Rontgen—Discovery of X-rays.
Rohmkorff—Induction coil.
Rutherford—Atomic Research; succeeded in splitting the atom for the first time in 1918.
Stephenson—British engineer and pioneer in Railways. He was the first to put a locomotive on the line that was able to draw a train of 31 carriages.
Thomson, J.J.—Discovered electron.
Travers—Discovery of Neon gas (Working with Ramsay).
Urey--Discovery of Heavy Hydrogen.
Volta—Current electricity and electric battery.

Pioneers in Mechanical Inventions and Discoveries

Austin—Motor Car.
Bell, Graham—Telephone.
Caxton—Printing Press.
Daimler—Gas engine.
Davy—Miner’s Safety Lamp.
Diesel—Internal Combustion engine (Diesel engine).
Dunlop—Pneumatic tyre.
Edison—First electric bulb and gramophone.
Fick—Law of Diffusion—Fick’s Law.
Frank Whittle--Jet propulsion.
Fulton—Stream boat.
Gillette—Safety razor.
Guttenburg—Art of Printing.
Hoe—Rotary Printing Press.
Howe—Sewing Machine.
Huygens—Pendulum clock.
James Watt—Steam engine (patented in 1769).
Landstrom, J.E.—Safety Matches.
Macmillan--Bicycle (1842).
Mauser--Magazine of rifle.
Mercator—Celestial and a terrestrial globe.
Montgolfier—Balloon (1883)
Pascal--Calculating Machine.
Puckle, James—Machine gun
Stephenson—Railway engine.
Swinton—Military tank.
Watt, Robert Watson--Radar.
W. & O. Wright (Wright Brothers)--Aeroplane (1903).
Waterman—Fountain pen.
Zeiss—Lenses; Camera.

Pioneers in
Medical Inventions and Discoveries

Banting—Insulin (as a palliative for diabetes).
Barnard, Christian—Replacing the human heart.
Brahmchari, U.M.—Cure of Kala-a-zar fever.
Davy—Isolation of metals by electricity; studied properties of chlorine.
Domagk—Sulpha drugs as bactericides.
Eijkman—Cause of Beri-Beri.
Finsen—Discovered curative effect of ultra violet rays; photography.
Fleming, Alexander—Penicillin (in 1929).
Harvey--Circulation of blood.
Hahnemann--Homoeopathy (founder).
Hopkins, Frederick Gowland—Vitamin D.
Jenner—Smallpox Vaccination.
Koch—Tubercle Bacillus.
Lister, Lord—Antiseptic treatment.
Pasteur, Louis--Treatment of rabies; cure of hydrophobia.
Ronald Ross—Malaria Parasite.
Salk, Jonas E.—Anti-polio Vaccine.
Simpson and Harrison—Chloroform.




Abdul Kalam, Dr A.P.J.: is credited with advancement of missile technology in India. He was honoured with Bharat Ratna award on November 26, 1997. He is known as “father of India’s Missile Technology”. Elected 11th President of India.

Alvares, Luis W.: is an American physicist teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1968 for an important breakthrough he made in elementary physics in 1960 when he discovered a new resonance particle—a discovery that shattered the then prevailing notions as to how matter was built.

Anfinsen, Dr Christian B.: of the U.S.A.’s National Institute of Health, Bethseda, Maryland was one of the three co-winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1972.

Archimedes: Greek mathematician (born in Sicily) who lived about 250 B.C. is known for the discovery of the Archimedes’ principle viz., The volume of any insoluble solid can be found by noting its loss of weight when immersed in water. He is also credited with the invention of Archimedean Screw, a cylindrical device for raising water.

Arrow, Kenneth, J.: of Harvard University, U.S.A. is co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, 1972 with Sir John Richard Hicks of Oxford University. The two men are known for their pioneering contributions to general economic equilibrium and welfare theories.

Aryabhatta: (A.D. 476-520) after whom India’s first scientific satellite has been named, was a great Indian astronomer and mathematician. Among his important contributions are the recognition of the importance of the mov ement of the earth round the sun, determination of the physical parameters of various celestial bodies, such as diameter of the earth and the moon. He laid the foundations of algebra and was responsible for pointing out importance of “zero”.

Avogadro, Amedeo: (1776-1856) Italian physicist; founder of Avogadro’s hypothesis: “Equal volumes of all gases under similar conditions of temperature and pressure, contain equal  number of molecules.” He also defined a molecule.

Bardeen, Prof John: of the University of Illinois (U.S.A.) is co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, 1972 (with Prof Leon N. Cooper and Prof John Robert Schrieffer) for researches into the “theory of super-conductivity” usually called the BCS theory.

Barnard, Christian: South African surgeon who shot into world news in December 1967 when he completed the first heart transplant operation on Louis Washkansky.

Beadle, Dr G.: American scientist awarded Nobel Prize for medicine in 1958 for his work concerning the actual basis of heredity—the way in which characteristics are transmitted from one generation to another.

Becquerel, Henri: (1852-1908) French physicist known for his discovery in 1896 of Becquerel rays, the first indications of radio-activity; these rays were later named gamma rays. He shared Nobel Prize for Physics with the Curies in 1903.

Berzelius, J.J: (1779-1848) Swedish Chemist, known for introduction of chemical shorthand symbols and atomic weights.

Bessemer, Sir Henry: (1813-1898) English engineer. He invented the process for the manufacture of steel known after his name.

Bhabha, Dr H.J.: (1909-66) Indian scientist. He published important papers on Cosmic Rays and Quantum Theory. He was professor at the Indian Science Institute, Bangalore; Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission; Director, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research; President, Indian Science Congress in 1951 and presided at the Atoms for Peace Conference held at Geneva in 1956. He had many significant researches in structure of atom and contributed largely to the setting up of atomic reactors at Trombay (Mumbai).

Bhagvantam, Dr S.: is an eminent Indian scientist who has made a rich contribution to research in radio astronomy and cosmic rays. He has published more than 150 research papers and several books. He retired in October 1969 as the Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence, and Director General of the Defence Research Development Organisation. He is an old-time associate of Sir C.V. Raman.

Bhaskaracharya: Born in A.D. 1114, he was almost the last great Hindu mathematician and astronomer until modern times. He wrote Sidhanta-Siromani in 1150  which consisted of two mathematical and two astronomical parts. Bhaskara anticipated the modern theory on the convention of signs (minus by minus makes plus, minus by plus makes minus). He also anticipated Kepler’s method for determining the surface and volume of sphere.

Bhatnagar, Dr Shanti Swarup: (1895-1955) great Indian scientist. He was Director of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (C.S.I.R.). A chain of National Laboratories has been established in the country due to his able organisation and unbounded energy.

Bohr, Neils: (born 1885) Danish Physicist. He was awarded Nobel Prize for Physics in 1922. He greatly extended the theory of atomic structure of devising an atomic model in 1913 and evolving theory of nuclear structure; assisted America in atom bomb research.

Borlaug, Norman Ernest: American agricultural scientist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1970. He was one of those who laid the groundwork of the Green Revolution.

Bose, Sir J.C.: (1858-1937) Eminent Indian physicist and Botanist; founder of Bose Research Institute, Calcutta. Inventor of crescograph which is used to magnify movements made by plants.
Bose, S.N.: Eminent Indian scientist who won fame by expounding the Bose-Einstein theory, which is concerned in detection of a group of nuclear particles—named after him ‘Boson’ in recognition of his contribution to the subject; contributed to Plank’s law. Professor of physics, Calcutta University; nominated member to the Council of States. Awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1954. He died on February 4, 1974.

Boyle, Robert: (1627-1691) Irish natural philosopher; one of the founders of modern chemistry and Boyle’s law: “Temperature remaining constant, volume of a given mass of gas varies inversely as its pressure.”

Bragg, Sir William: (1862-1942) British physicist known for researches on the behaviour of crystals with regard to X-rays incident upon them. Author of the book: “Atomic Structure of Minerals”.

Cavendish, Henry:
(1731-1810) English physicist and chemist; he discovered properties of hydrogen in 1766 and identified it as an element.

Chadwick, Sir James: (1891-1974) British physicist. He discovered the particle in an atomic nucleus which became known as the neutron, because it has no electric charge.

Chandrasekhar, Dr Subramanian: He was a scientist of Indian origin settled in the U.S.A., who shared the 1983  Nobel Prize for physics with an American, William Fowler. He was one of the most outstanding astrophysicist of the world.
His theory of stellar evolution—the birth and death of stars—is more than 30 years old. When he first propounded his finding that old stars just collapse and disappear in the light of denser stars of low light, the world’s top-flight astronomers laughed at him and rejected his theory. A disappointed Dr Chandrasekhar left Trinity, Cambridge, to pursue his research in the University of Chicago. Over the next two decades the “Chandrasekhar Limit” became an intrinsic part of text-books on advanced astrophysics. Global recognition and awards poured in, and the 1983 Nobel Prize tops a remarkable career spanning almost half a century.

Charak: (c.A.D. 80-180) was a court physician to Kushan king Kanishka. His writings are invaluable in the study of Hindu medicine.

Charles, Jacques Alexander Cesar: (1746-1823) a French scientist of great repute. He was the first to make a balloon ascension with hydrogen. He is known for his work on the effect of temperature on the volume of gases.

Clarke, Arthur C.: He is known for his suggestion of the concept of Geostationary Orbit.

Clark Maxwell, James: (1831-79) British physicist. His theoretical work prepared the way for wireless telegraphy and telephony. His principal works include: Perception of Colour, Colour Blindness, Theory of Heat, Electricity and Magnetism, Matter and Motion.

Claude, Albert: is a biologist of Luxembourg who shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Medicine. His field of research relates to causes and treatment of cancer.

Columbus, Christopher: (1446-1506) A well-known Italian navigator set out on his first voyage in 1492; he discovered West Indies Islands, Cuba and Bahamas; he also discovered South America in 1498.

Cooper, Leon N.: Of the Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (U.S.A.) was one of the three co-winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics, 1972 for researches into the theory of super-conductivity.

Copernicus: (1413-1543) A prominent astronomer of Poland who discovered the “Solar System”.

Cornforth, John Warcup: co-winner of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is a deaf professor. He is an Australian living in England. His chief distinction is mapping out the formation of cholesterols which he calls “a great discovery” and contains the key to, for instance, sex hormones.

Curie, Madame Marie: (1867-1934) Polish physicist and chemist; famous for her discovery of radium was awarded Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1911 and shared Nobel Prize in physics in 1903 with her husband and Becquerel.

Dalton, John: (1766-1844) British scientist. He was founder of the Atomic Theory and law of Multiple Proportions.

Darwin, Charles: (1809-82) was the British scientist who discovered the principle of natural selection. His famous work is “The Origin of Species”.

Davy, Sir Humphrey: (1771-1829) British chemist. First to apply electric current for the isolation of metals. Studied anaesthetic action of nitrous oxide, properties of chlorine and alkali metals.

Debreu, Gerard: Gerard Debreu of the University of California at Berkeley, who has been awarded the 1983 Nobel memorial prize in economics is known for his research on market equilibrium in which he “incorporated new analytical methods into economic theory”.
Mr Debreu has expanded on a mathematical model designed by the two men in the early 1950s that confirmed the logic of Adam Smith’s “theory of general equilibrium” in which prices supply and demand tend to reach a balance within a free market economy.

Delbrueck, Dr Max: is a German-born American doctor working at the California Institute of Technology. He was one of the three American co-winners of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1969 for discoveries in molecular genetics.

De Vries: is known for Mutation theory.

Dhanvantri: a great physician during the reign of Chandragupta Vikramaditya (375-413 A.D.).

Dhawan, Prof Satish: He is former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Under his dynamic leadership India entered Space Age by launching “Aryabhata”, a scientific satellite, into space on April 19, 1975.

Edelman, Dr Gerald Maurice: of U.S.A. is co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1972. He is known for researches into the chemical structure of blood-proteins or antibodies which shield the human body against infection. He shared the prize with Dr Rodney Robert Porter of Oxford. The two Nobel-laureates were able to break the  giant molecules formed by antibodies into their component sections.

Edison, Thomas Alva: (1847-1931) American inventor of Dutch-Scottish parentage. He started life as a newsboy and then a telegraph operator. His inventions include: phonograph, the incandescent lamp, a new type of storage battery, an early form of cinematography etc.

Einstein, Prof Albert: (1879-1955) was German-Swiss world-famous scientist known for his theory of relativity. He was awarded Nobel Prize for his work on photoelectric effect.

Faraday, Michael: (1791-1867) An eminent English scientist; showed great prominence in the field of electromagnetism; discovered the laws of electrolysis and wrote a number of useful books on the subject.

Fleming, Alexander: (1881-1955) British bacteriologist. His notable discovery was lysozyme (1922), followed by penicillin (1929)—an antibiotic drug.

Fleming, Sir John Ambrose: (1849-1945) British physicist and engineer who was pioneer in the development of the telephone, electric light and radio.

Fraunhofer: German physicist. He gained prominence on the researches of ‘Light’ while performing spectrum-analysis of Sunlight; he discovered the spectrum to be crossed with some indifferent black lines. And the lines are so named as Fraunhofer Lines.

Freud, Sigmund: (1856-1939) originator of psycho-analysis, born of Jewish parents. Works: The Interpretation of Dreams; The Psychopathology of Every-day Life; The Ego and the Id; Civilization and Its Discontents.

Gabor, Dr Dennis: Who won the 1971 Nobel Prize award for Physics is a 71-year old British electrical engineer working as a scientist in the U.S.A. He was cited for his “invention in development of the holographic method”—three dimensional photography. Dr Gabor was the 16th Briton to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics. He was born and educated in Hungary. He later worked as research engineer in Germany and came to join the staff of the Imperial College in London in 1949. He invented holography in the late forties. But the science became fully developed with the coming of the laser in 1960. A holographic image is so lifelike that a viewer can see around things in a holograph by moving his head just as he looks around the real object.

Galileo: (1564-1642) Italian scientist. He was professor of mathematics. His view that all falling bodies, great or small, descend with equal velocity, made him unpopular with the orthodox scientists. He improved telescope and with it was the first man to see the satellites of Jupiter.

Gell-Mann, Prof Murray: was the recipient of the 1969 Nobel Prize for Physics. He is a teacher in the California Institute of Technology. Born in New York in 1929, Prof Gell-Mann has been the leading theorist in elementary particle research for the last 15 years. He was the 28th American to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in which the U.S.A. now leads. The Nobel Prize was given to him for “his classification of elementary particles and their interactions”.

Goddard, Robert H.: was an American who mentioned the possibility of shooting a rocket to the moon in a paper entitled “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes” published by him in 1919. By 1926 he had put some of his ideas into practice. He is looked upon as one of the pioneers of space research.

Graham, Thomas: (1805-1914) Scottish chemist called the “father of colloidal chemistry”. He did remarkable work on diffusion of substances in solution.

Heisenberg: is known for his theory of Uncertainty Principle.

Hahn, Otto: was a German pioneer of nuclear research. He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1944. It was Hahn who had proved in 1938 that atomic fission can be achieved by bombarding uranium with neutrons. The discovery revolutionised atomic science.

Hall, Charles Martin: (1863-1914) American chemist who discovered the modern method of extraction of aluminium by electrolysis of bauxite in 1886.

Harvey, William: (1578-1675) English physician who discovered the circulation of blood.

Herzberg, Dr Gehard: has been awarded the 1971 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, for his researches in atomic and molecular structures, particularly free radicals. He is the first Canadian to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Holley, Robert: Co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1968, belongs to Cornell. His researches into the genetic code and its function in building protein led to the discovery of the complete structure of a transfer RNA molecule and the way it works.

Hopkins, Sir Frederick Gowland: He was an eminent English biochemist famous for his important work on proteins and vitamins. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1929 for the discovery of Vitamin D.

Hoyle, Fred: is a British scientist and science-fiction writer who won the £ 1,000 Kalinga Prize in 1968.

Jenner, Edward:
(1749-1823) Eminent English physician who discovered the vaccination system of alleviating small pox.

Josephson, Dr Brian: is a British scientist who co-shared the 1973 Nobel Prize for physics for “his theoretical predictions of the properties of a super-current through a tunnel barrier, in particular those phenomena which are generally known as Josephson effects”.

Joshi, Prof S.S.: He has done commendable work on physical and chemical reactions under electric discharge on active nitrogen; colloids; hydrogen peroxide; permanganates and  a phenomenon called “Joshi Effect”.

Joule, James Prescott: (1874-1937) a great English physicist who first demonstrated that mechanical energy can be converted into heat.

Kepler, Johannes: (1571-1630) German astronomer. He discovered 3 laws of planetary motion that bear his name viz., (1) The orbit of each planet is an ellipse with the sun at one of the foci; (2) the Radius vector of each planet describes equal areas in equal times; (3) The squares of the periods of the planets are proportional to the cubes of their mean distances from the sun.
Kepler had evolved a set of laws governing man in space with rare prescience. In a kind of allegory, he referred to the dangers of solar radiation, the need to overcome gravitational resistance, gravitational capture of spacecraft by the moon etc. What he wrote nearly 360 years ago was, however, little understood and his family was persecuted for it. His mother had to die in jail having been condemned as a witch.

Khorana Hargobind: who shared with two others the 1968 Nobel Prize for Medicine is an Indian by birth and an American by domicile. He deciphered the genetic code and later created an artificial gene.

Krishnan, Dr K.S.: (born 1898) collaborated with Sir C.V. Raman in the discovery of “Raman Effect”. President, Indian Science Congress, 1949; delegate to several international scientific conferences; Director, National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi.

Lavoisier, A.L.: (1743-1794) French chemist; established law of Indestructibility of Matter, Composition of Water and Air.

Lister, Joseph: (1827-1912) British surgeon. He was the first to use antiseptic treatment for wounds; introduced antiseptic surgery.

Lodge, Sir Oliver Joseph: (1851-1940) British physicist. He is chiefly known for his researches on radiation, and the relation between matter and ether.

Lovell, Sir Bernard:
He is professor of Radio-Astronomy in the University of Manchester and is also Director of the Jodrell Bank Observatory. He remains very much in the news for tracking space-ships.

Lysenko: Author of Agro-biology, Lysenko gained fame as a Soviet geneticist. In 1948, he declared the Mendelian theory obsolete and erroneous.

Marconi: (1873-1937) Italian scientist; pioneer in wireless telegraphy and radio.

Max Planck: He was a German theoretical physicist who formulated the quantum theory which revolutionized physics. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1918.

Mendel, Johann Gregory: (1822-84) Austrian monk and naturalist whose discovery of certain principles of inheritance (heredity) is of deep significance in the study of biology.

Mendeleef, D.I.: (1834-1901) a Russian chemist, founder of periodic law and famous for the development of petroleum and other industries in Russia.

Meyer, Victor: (1848-1897) discovered a method to determine the molecular weights of volatile substances.

Morley, Edward William: (1818-1923) American chemist and physicist best known for his work in determining the composition of water by weight.

Moseley, Henry G.: (1887-1915) British physicist who did valuable work on atomic structure, and in 1913, devised the series of atomic numbers.

Nagarjuna: the renowned chemist of Buddhist era whose works are mostly preserved in  China and Tibet. A great Philosopher and Chemist. He makes a mention of crucibles, distillation stills, sublimation, colouring process, alloying of metals, extraction of copper and use of many metallic oxides in medicines. About chemistry he said, “As long as the science of chemistry prevails, let hunger, pain and poverty not torment men.”

Nag-Chowdhury, B.D.: an eminent Indian nuclear physicist, known all over the world.

Narlikar, J.V.: Indian scientist; co-author of Hoyle-Narlikar Theory of continuous creation. The theory of which he is co-author has been hailed as supplying some important missing links in Einstein’s theory of Relativity. The new theory of gravitation propounded by both the scientists, Narlikar and Hoyle, shows that gravitation is always attractive and there is no gravitational repulsions.

Newton, Sir Isaac: (1642-1727) was the British natural philosopher. He discovered binomial theorem; the differential and integral calculus. He expounded the universal law of gravitation. He is author of Principia Mathematica.

Nirenberg, Dr Marshall: is a U.S. molecular biologist who shared the 1968 Nobel Prize for Medicine with Dr Robert Holley and Dr Hargobind Khorana. Nirenberg is the author of a very simple but ingenious experiment which helped a great deal in clarifying the general character of the genetic code.

Oberth, Hermann: is a Rumanian-German Professor who is credited with establishing the experimental basis of modern rocketry. In 1923, the publication of his book, “The Rocket into Interplanetary Space” aroused great interest in space travel.

Ohm, George Simon: (1787-1854) physicist and mathematician; discovered the law known as Ohm’s Law.

Onsager, Lars: is a U.S. Professor who became a Nobel laureate in 1968 by winning the prize for Chemistry “for the discovery of the reciprocal relations bearing his name which are fundamental for the thermo-dynamics of irreversible processes”.

Paraceisus: (1493-1541) a Swiss mystic and chemist. He was the first to employ laudanum and antimony in Pharmacy.

Parson, Sir Charles: (1854-1931) British  engineer;  inventor of Parson steam turbine.

Pasteur, Louis: (1822-95) He was a French chemist who discovered the causes of fermentation in alcohol and milk and founded the Pasteur Institute in 1888. He made researches in silkworm disease, anthrax, and hydrophobia.

Pauling, Linus: American bio-chemist. He applied the quantum theory to chemistry and was awarded Nobel Prize (1954) for his contribution to the electrochemical theory of valency.

Porter, Dr Rodney Robert: is Professor of Biochemistry in Oxford University. Dr Porter is known for his discoveries relating to the chemical structure of antibodies.

Priestley, Joseph: (1733-1804) British Chemist; discovered oxygen and methods of collecting gases.

Pythagoras: is known as the father of Geometry.

Rainwater, James: of the U.S.A. who co-shared the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics is known for the development of the theory that atomic nucleus is not always spherical but can also be egg-shaped which has no immediate practical meaning but is extremely essential to scientists.

Ramanna, Dr Raja: former Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre at Trombay. He was one of the Indian scientists associated with staging India’s first nuclear blast at Pokhran on May 18, 1974.

Raman, Sir C.V.: (1888-1970) Eminent Indian Scientist (F.R.S.) National Professor of Physics and founder Director of Raman Research Institute, Bangalore. He was awarded Nobel Prize for his discovery of ‘Raman Effect’ (Feb 28, 1928). His work on study of crystal structure is of unique importance. Feb 28 is celebrated every year as National Science Day.

Ramanujan, Srinivas: (1887-1920) Indian mathematician who contributed to the theory of numbers, theory of partitions, and the theory of continued fractions.

Ramsay, Sir William: (1852-1916) English chemist who discovered helium and later on neon, argon in collaboration with Rayleigh and others. He was awarded Nobel Prize in 1904.
Rao, Prof U. Ramachandra: is the Director of Indian Scientific Satellite Project (ISSP) at Peenya near Bangalore.

Ray, Sir P.C.: (1861-1944) founder of Indian Chemical Society and Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works Ltd., and author of ‘Hindu Chemistry’. His work about nitrous acid and its salts deserves special mention.

Richards, T.W.: He was Prof of Chemistry at Harvard University in U.S.A. He did notable  work in the accurate determination of atomic weights and was awarded Nobel Prize in 1916.

Roger Bacon: (1214-1294) He was inventor of Gun Powder and founder of experimental science; man of remarkable gifts and inventive power.

Rontgen, W. Konrad: (1845-1923) German physicist. He discovered X-rays, also called Rontgen rays. He was awarded the first Nobel Prize in 1901 for discovery of X-Rays.

Ross, Ronald: (1857-1932) leading British physician who discovered the cause of Malaria; awarded Nobel Prize for medicine in 1902.

Rutherford, Daniel: (1749-1819) a Scottish scientist who is given the credit for the discovery of nitrogen.

Rutherford, Lord: (1871-1937) won a Nobel Prize for his work on structure of atom and radio-activity.

Ryle, Sir Martin: of the U.K. who shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics is known for the development of “aperture synthesis” technique designed to identify stellar objects through radio signals.

Saha, Dr Meghnad: (1893-1956) late Palit Prof of Physics, University College of Science and Technology, Calcutta University—well known for his researches in nuclear physics, cosmic rays, spectrum analysis and other branches of theoretical physics.

Sanger, Dr Frederik: British scientist awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1958 for his work in determining the composition of the insulin molecule. By his discovery he has put science a step forward towards knowing how disease attacks the human body. In 1980, he became only the fourth person ever to be awarded a second Nobel Prize.

Sarabhai, Dr Vikram A.: former Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) died on December 30, 1971. Dr Sarabhai was an eminent physicist mainly interested in the astrophysical implications of Cosmic Ray Time Variations.

Sen, P.K. (Dr): is the Indian surgeon who performed Asia’s first heart transplant operation in Mumbai.

Simpson, Sir James Young: (1811-70) British physicist who was largely instrumental in the introduction of chloroform as an anaesthetic in 1847.

Soddy, Frederick: (1877-1956) British physical chemist. He was a pioneer of research into atomic disintegration. He coined the term “isotopes”;  did classic work on radioactivity.

Solvay, Earnest: (1838-1922) Belgian chemist known for devising a process known after his name for manufacture of sodium carbonate.

Susruta: was a fourth century Hindu surgeon and physician. He wrote an important  book on medicine and also a thesis on the medical properties of garlic.

Sutherland, Dr Earl W.: was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1971.  He is credited with the discovery that the hormones in the human body produce another substance known as cyclic A.M.P., which activates them and controls the body’s cells. He has demonstrated that changes in the level of cyclic A.M.P. in the body can influence its disease-resisting capacity. This discovery opens up new vistas for the development of drugs that can treat diseases which have so far been regarded as incurable.

Teller, Edward (Dr): is a U.S. nuclear scientist who has played a major role in developing the hydrogen bomb. He is in fact known as the “father of the H-bomb”.

Thomson, Sir J.J.: (1856-1940) British physicist. He discovered the electron which inaugurated the electrical theory of the  atom. He is regarded as the founder of modern physics.

Tsiolkovsky: was a Russian teacher who in 1903 published a  treatise presenting remarkably accurate calculations on rocket dynamics and space-travel. He is looked upon as the earliest among the pioneers who laid the foundations of space exploration. The Russians call him the “Father of Rocketry”.

Varahmihira: (505-587) was a distinguished Indian astronomer, mathematician and philosopher. He was one of the nine gems of the court of king Vikramaditya.

Verne, Jules: (1828-1905) French science-fiction writer was author of “From the Earth to the Moon” published in 1865. The book carried a more or less accurate prediction of the launching and flight of Apollo-8.

Volta, A.: (1745-1827) Italian physicist and pioneer of electrical science; invented voltaic pile, the electrophorus and electroscope. The volt is named after him.

Voronoff, S.: Russian scientist best known for his method of preventing or delaying senility by grafting healthy animal glands, into the human body.

Watson and Crick: known for DNA double helix.

Watson-Watt, Sir Robert: British physicist. He developed radar.

Watt, James: (1736-1819) was Scottish engineer. He invented steam engine.

Yukawa, Dr H.: (born 1907) predicted a new particle meson which holds the protons and neutrons of the atomic nucleus. He is the first Japanese to win the Nobel Prize in Physics (1949).






Altimeter: an apparatus used in aircraft for measuring altitudes.
Ammeter: is used for to measure intensity of sound.
Anemometer: is an instrument for measuring the force and velocity of wind.
Audiometer: an instrument to measure intensity of sound.
Audiophone: is an instrument required for improving imperfect sense of hearing.
Barograph: for continuous recording of atmospheric pressure.
Barometer: is an apparatus used for measuring the atmospheric pressure.
Binoculars: is an instrument used for seeing distant objects, the rays of light are twice reflected by means of right-angled prisms.
Callipers: a compass with legs for measuring the inside or outside diameter of bodies.
Calorimeter: an instrument used for measuring quantities of heat.
Carburettor: is an apparatus for charging air with petrol vapours in an internal combustion engine.
Cardiogram: a medical instrument used for tracing the movements of the heart.
Cardiograph: is a medical instrument for tracing heart movements.
Chronometer: is an instrument kept on board the ships for measuring accurate time.
Cinematograph: It consists of a series of lenses arranged to throw on a screen an enlarged image of photographs. The lens system which forms the image on the screen is termed the focusing lens.
Commutator: split ring which forms the main part of a D.C. Dynamo.
Compass needle: for knowing approximately the North-South direction at a place.
Crescograph: is an instrument for use in recording growth of plants; invented by J.C. Bose.
Dip Circle: It is an instrument used to determine the angle between the direction of the resultant intensity of earth’s field and the horizontal component at a place. This particular angle is know as the dip of that place.
Drinker’s apparatus: to help breathing in infantile paralysis.
Dynamo: The origin of electricity in a Dynamo is the transformation of mechanical energy into electrical energy. It depends on the principle of electro-magnetic induction whereby a current is produced on traversing a magnetic field.
Electroencephalograph (EEG): It is the technique of recording and interpreting the electrical activity of the brain. Records of the electrical activity of the brain, commonly known as “brain waves”, are called electroencephalograms or electroencephalographs. EEG is the common abbreviation for both the technique and the records.
Epidiascope: for projecting films as well as images of opaque articles on a screen.
Eudiometer: It is a glass tube for measuring volume changes in chemical reactions between gases.
Fathometer: is an instrument used for measuring depth of the ocean.
Galvanometer: an instrument for measuring currents of small magnitude.
G.M. Counter (Geiger Muller Counter): This special device is used for detecting the presence of radiation and counting certain atomic particles.
Gramophone: an instrument with which we can reproduce the sound recorded by a suitable recording apparatus. It is fitted with a special type of apparatus known as sound box invented by Berliner.
Gravimeter: is an instrument for recording measurement under water and to determine the presence of oil deposits under water.
Gyroscope: is an instrument used to illustrate dynamics of rotating bodies. It is a type of spinning wheel fixed to the axle.
Hydrometer: is an instrument used for measuring the specific gravity of liquids.
Hydrophone: is an instrument used for recording sound under water.
Hygrometer: is an instrument used for measuring humidity in air.
Kymograph: is an instrument used to record graphically various physiological movements i.e., blood pressure, heart beating, study of lungs etc in living beings.
Lactometer: is an apparatus used for measuring the purity of milk.
Manometer: for determining the pressure of a gas.
Mariner’s Compass: is an apparatus which is used to guide the sailors. The needle always points north-south.
Micrometer: is an instrument used for converting sound i.e., fraction of the lowest division of a given scale.
Microphone: is an instrument used for converting sound waves into electrical vibrations.
Microscope: is an instrument which is used for magnifying minute objects by a lens system.
Microtome: is used for cutting an object into thin parts for microscopic inspection.
Odometer: is an instrument by virtue of which the distance covered by wheeled vehicles is recorded.
Periscope: It is usually used by the crew of a submarine to survey the ships etc, on the surface of the sea while the submarine is under water. It also enables the sailors to observe objects on the other side of an obstacle without exposing themselves.
Phonograph: is an instrument used for reproducing sound.
Photometer: is an apparatus used to compare the illuminating power of two sources of light.
Pipette: It is a glass tube with the aid of which a definite volume of liquid may be transferred.
Potentiometer: is used for comparing the e.m.f.s, of cells, measurements of the thermal e.m.f.s, large potential differences and currents. It is also used for measuring low resistances.
Psychrometer: is an instrument for measurement of the humidity of the atmosphere.
Pyrometer: is an instrument for recording high temperatures from a great distance (i.e., for recording temperature of the sun etc.) by making use of the laws of radiation.
Radar: Radio, Angle, Detection And Range is used to detect the direction and range of  an approaching aeroplane by means of radio microwaves.
Rain Gauge: is an apparatus for recording of rainfall at a particular place.
Radiometer: is an instrument for measuring the emission of radiant energy.
Refractometer: is an instrument to measure refractive indices.
Saccharimeter: is an instrument for determining the amount of sugar in a solution. It is used in breweries.
Seismometer or Seismograph: is an instrument used for recording earthquake shocks.
Sextant: is an instrument invented by John Hadley used for measuring the altitude of the sun and of other inaccessible heavenly bodies.
Spectrometer: (1) It is a type of spectroscope suitable for the precise measurements of refractive indices. (2) An instrument for measuring the energy distribution of a particular type of radiation.
Speedometer: is an instrument which indicates speed at which a vehicle is moving.
Spherometer: is an instrument for measuring curvature of surfaces.
Sphygmomanometer: an instrument used for measuring arterial blood-pressure.
Sphygmophone: an instrument, with the help of which a pulse beat makes a sound.
Sphygmoscope: an instrument, by virtue of which, arterial pulsations become visible.
Stereoscope: It is a special type of binocular, through which a double photograph snapped from two different angles by a two-lensed camera is viewed in solid relief.
Stethoscope: is an instrument to hear and analyse movements of heart and lungs.
Stop watch: for recording small intervals of time in the laboratory, in races and other events.
Stroboscope: is an instrument for viewing objects moving rapidly with a periodic motion and to see them as if they were at rest.
Tachometer: is an instrument for determining speeds of aeroplanes and motor boats.
Telephone: a device by virtue of which two persons at  two different places can communicate. It consists of two main parts (i) a microphone and (ii) a receiver.
Teleprinter: an instrument which prints automatically messages sent from one place to another, on telegraph lines.
Telescope: is an apparatus used for observing distant objects.
Theodolite: is an instrument for measuring horizontal and vertical  angles.
Thermocouple: an instrument based on thermo-electricity used for measuring temperatures.
Thermometer: is an apparatus used for measuring temperature.
Thermostat: It is an instrument used to regulate the temperature to a particular degree.
Viscometer: is an instrument to measure viscosity.


Archimedes’ Principle: It states that a body, when immersed in a liquid, experiences an upward thrust equal to the weight of the liquid displaced by it.

Avogadro’s Hypothesis: It is a modification of Berzelius’ hypothesis. It states that equal volumes of all gases under similar conditions of temperature and pressure contain equal number of molecules. Avogadro’s law is applicable only to gases.

Boyle’s Law: states that the volume of certain gas is inversely proportional to the pressure at a constant temperature. In other words the product of pressure  and volume remains constant provided the temperature is kept constant i.e., P x V = a constant if T remains the same.

Charles’s Law: It states that at constant pressure all gases expand by 1/273 of their volume at 0°C for a rise in temperature of 1°C  i.e., the volume of a given mass of gas at constant pressure is directly proportional to the absolute temperature.

Dulong and Petit’s Law: states that the product of atomic weight and specific heat of solid elements is nearly equal to 6.4 i.e., At wt. x sp. heat = 6.4 approx.

Gay-Lussac’s Law of combining volumes: Gases react together in volumes which bear simple whole number ratios to one another and also to the volumes of the products, if gaseous—all the volumes being measured under similar conditions of temperature and pressure.

Graham’s Law of Diffusion:
states that the rates of diffusion of gases are inversely proportional to the square roots of their densities under similar conditions of temperature and pressure.

Kepler’s Law: According to this law, a line drawn from the sun to a planet, moving around it, sweeps over a fixed area in a given interval of time.

Law of definite proportions: A chemical compound is always found to be made up of the same elements combined together in the same ratio by weight.

Law of Floatation: for a body to float, the following conditions must be fulfilled: (1) The weight of the body should be equal to the weight of the water displaced. (2) The centre of gravity of the body and that of the liquid displaced should be in the same straight line.

Lenz’s Law: When there is change in the magnetic flux linked with a circuit, the electric current induced in the circuit will have a magnetic field opposing the change producing it.

Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation: states that “Every portion of matter attracts or tends to approach every other portion of matter in the universe with a force proportional to the masses and inversely as the square of the distance.”

Newton’s First Law of Motion: “A body continues in its state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled by an external force to change that state.”

Newton’s Second Law of Motion: “The rate of change of momentum is proportional to the impressed force and takes place in the direction of the force.”

Newton’s Third Law of Motion:
“To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Newton’s Law of Cooling: states that the rate of loss of heat of a hot body is directly proportional to the difference of temperature between the body and the surroundings and is independent of the nature of the body.

Ohm’s Law: states that the ratio of the potential difference between the ends of a conductor and the current flowing in the conductor is constant, e.g., for a potential difference of E volts and a current I amperes, the resistance R,  in ohms is equal to E/I.

Principle of conservation of energy: It states that, in any system, energy cannot be created or destroyed; the sum of mass and energy remains constant.

Snell’s Law: It states that the ratio of the sine of angle of incidence to the sine of the angle of refraction remains constant for any two given media.

Specific heat of substance: The quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram.  of a substance through 1°C.




Aeroplane: An aeroplane usually consists of the following three parts: (i) Wings, (ii) The engine and the propeller; and (iii) The tail. Working: In order to operate an aeroplane, the propeller is made to revolve at a very high speed with the help of a powerful petrol engine. The direction of the blades is so adjusted as to push the air in a backward direction, thereby producing a relative velocity between the ’plane and air—thus pushing the aeroplane in a forward direction. The push should be large enough to overcome the drag  and should supply power for climbing.

Air conditioning: is the process of controlling the humidity, temperature, purity and circulation of air in a certain factory, a public building, hotels or a private house. The major aim of air-conditioning is to regulate the temperature, thereby producing a “cooling effect” on the whole. Exhaust machines are devised at a particular place for driving out waste and dirty gases, thereby completely purifying the air.

Binoculars: is an instrument used for seeing distant objects; the rays of light are twice reflected by means of right-angled prisms.

Carburettor: It is an apparatus for getting liquid fuel mixed with air as it is taken into an automobile or other like engines.

CD-Rom: It is a computer peripheral device that employs compact disk technology to store large amounts of digitized data for later retrieval.

Cellular Phone: This phone allows you to make a telephone while on the move. It can be installed in vehicles or can be carried along.

Cinematography: The  principle  of  persistence  of vision is utilised in cinematography. A cinematograph is an apparatus for projecting the pictures of moving objects on the screen. The instantaneous photographs of the successive positions of the moving body are photographed on a continuous film with the help of a special camera called the movie camera, with an automatic shutter at the rate of nearly 16 per second. The film duly developed is projected intermittently with a similar shutter as above so that it opens when the film is stationary and closes when it jerks off.

Computer: A complicated electronic machine which can perform incredibly complex calculations at incomprehensible speeds. It was invented by Charles Babbage. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform. A computer consists of a Central Processing Unit (C.P.U.) and a number of peripheral units. A computer does not do anything which a human being cannot do. Only that it does is much faster and accurately.

Dewar Flask: is a double-walled glass flask, the inner surface of the outer vessel and the outer surface of the inner vessel of which have been silvered. The vacuum is created in the space between the two walls. This principle successfully prevents any interchange of temperature of the contents, because: (1) glass is a bad conductor (2) convection is not possible because there is vacuum between the walls and (3) a little radiation that takes place from the inner vessel is reflected by the inner surface of the outer wall.

Daniel Cell: In this a rod of zinc is placed in dilute sulphuric acid contained in a cylindrical porous pot. The porous pot and its contents are placed in a large cylindrical copper vessel which also functions as positive pole of the cell. The space between the porous pot and the copper vessel is occupied by a solution of copper sulphate. The hydrogen produced by the action of the zinc on sulphuric acid travels towards the copper electrode. On delivering its electricity to the copper, it reacts with the copper sulphate turning copper out of the solution and forming sulphuric acid. The particles of copper liberated from the solution adhere to the outer copper vessel and thus the hydrogen is rendered harmless so far as polarisation is concerned.

Diesel Engine: It is a particular type of internal combustion engine, known as compression ignition engine. The air inside the cylinder is usually compressed to over 500 lbs. per sq. in. and the temperature is attained up to 800°F. At this stage the oil is injected into the hot compressed air, which gets ignited immediately, thereby producing a continuous gas stream, which pushes the piston upward. And thereafter the engine gets into operation.

Dynamo: The origin of the electricity in a dynamo is the transformation of mechanical energy into electrical energy. It depends on the principle of electro-magnetic induction whereby a current is produced on traversing a magnetic field.

Electric Bell: In an electric bell, there is one horse-shoe electromagnet, which plays an important role. A soft iron armature which is connected to a hammer H, is placed in front of the pole pieces of the electromagnet.
One end of the coil of the electromagnet is connected to the terminal T2  while the other end is connected indirectly to the terminal T1 (i.e., through the soft iron armature which rests on the spring contact as shown in the diagram).
On connecting the terminals T1 and T2  through battery, the electromagnet attracts the soft iron piece, and the hammer H in turn strikes the gong G, which produces a sound. Simultaneously, the contact between the spring and the screw breaks which demagnetises the electromagnet and the soft iron piece falls back to make up the circuit once again. The process is repeated again and again, which produces a continuous sound.

Electric Lamp: The electric lamp is based on the principle that when an electric current is passed through a very fine metallic filament inside an evacuated glass bulb, it is heated so as to render the wire white hot or incandescent. The wire being very thin offers great resistance to the passage of the current so that considerable heat is developed and the temperature rises to make it luminous and thus emit light. The resistance generally increases as the temperature rises and soon an equilibrium is reached and there is no further rise of temperature, the amount of heat radiated by the filament being equal to that generated in it by the electric current. In order that the metallic filament shall not oxidise or rust, oxygen is removed from the bulb by pumping out air or generally some inert gas such as nitrogen or some other gas is made to fill the bulb.

Electric Motor: An electric motor is a device which converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. A D.C. motor generally consists of several segments of a coil of a wire of a large number of turns wound over a soft iron cylinder called the armature. It is mounted on an axle about which it revolves and is placed between the poles of an electromagnet called the field magnets.  There are the commutator, brushes and the leads. It is based on the principle that a conductor carrying current experiences a force when placed in a magnetic field.

Electro Cardio-gram (E.C.G.): It is actually a graphic picture of the heart-beat which the physician can make use of in the diagnosis. When the heart beats, its muscles contract and this causes a change in the electrical potential of the system. This change in potential is recorded on a paper by an electrical instrument known as electrocardiograph. The electrodes are connected to the two wrists and the left leg of the patient, and the machine acts like a galvanometer, the needle of which rests on a rotating drum covered with a paper, and thus the movements of the needle are recorded.

Electromagnet: whenever an electric current passed through a coil of wire, a large number of turns, wound round a soft iron core, the iron core gets magnetised and it becomes a powerful magnet, and is known as an electromagnet. This magnetism is temporary and lasts so long as the current passes through the coil. Looking at the end of the soft iron bar if the current in the coil is clockwise in direction that end of the bar is South Pole; if the current is counter-clockwise, that end is a North Pole.

Electron Microscope: It is just analogous to optical microscope in a way that beams of electrons are focused by magnetic lenses in a similar way to the focusing of light beams in the ordinary optical microscope. Germans were the pioneer to invent the electron microscope, during the year 1930. Direct  magnification up to 10,000 times is possible. Still higher magnification is possible with the Proton Microscope.

FAX: Short for facsimile, it is a device that transmits pictures, drawings, text to a similar device at the receiving end, using telephone lines.

Fibre Optics: It is a branch of physics based on the transmission of light through transparent fibres of glass or plastic. These optical fibres can carry light over distances ranging from a few inches or centimetres to more more than 100 miles (160 kilometres). Such fibres work individually or in bundles. Some individual fibres measure less than 0.004 millimetre in diameter.
Optical fibres have a highly transparent core of glass or plastic surrounded by a covering called a cladding. Light impulses from a laser, a light bulb, or some other source enter one end of the optical fibre. As light travels through the core, it is typically kept inside it by the cladding. The cladding is designed to bend or reflect-inward-light rays that strike its inside surface. At the other end of the fibre, a detector, such as a photosensitive device or the human eye, receives the light.
Uses of Optical Fibres: Optical fibres have a number of uses. Various industries use optical fibres to measure temperature, pressure, acceleration, and voltage. In fibre-optic communication systems, lasers transmit coded messages by flashing on and off at high speeds. The messages travel through optical fibres to interpreting devices that decode the messages, converting them back into the form of the original signal. Fibre-optic communication systems have a number of features that make them superior to systems that use traditional copper cables. For example, they have a much larger information-carrying capacity and are not subject to electrical interference. In addition, signals sent over long-distance fibre-optic cables need less amplification than do signals sent over copper cables of equal length.
Optical fibres are well-suited for medical use. They can be made in extremely thin, flexible strands for insertion into the blood vessels, lungs, and other hollow parts of the body. Optical fibres are used in a number of techniques that enable physicians to look and work inside the body through tiny incisions.

Fire Extinguisher: works by spraying continuous streams of carbon dioxide gas, which does not support combustion, and so acts as a fire extinguishing agent. Fire extinguisher is a medium size metallic cylinder fitted with a head-knob and a handle. At the time of emergency, the knob is struck against the floor, and carbon dioxide gas begins to evolve. Inside this cylinder a bottle of dilute solution of sulphuric acid is embedded in sodium carbonate powder. When the bottle is broken, sulphuric acid reacts with sodium carbonate to produce large quantities of the gas.

Fusion Torch: is an instrument to be evolved by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. It will use the power of the Hydrogen bomb to vaporise solid waste like junk-cars and bearcans, into their basic elements. The idea is based on the assumption that within a few years scientists will be able to harness the energy of the Hydrogen bomb—Controlled thermo-nuclear fusion—for use in electrical power plants.

Geiger Counter: A G.M. counter or Geiger-Muller counter is a device used for detecting and/or counting nuclear radiation and particles.

Heart Lung Machine: A machine which operates the function of the heart and lung at the time when the heart or lung is under operation. It directs the circulation of blood into body.

Incandescent lamp: If a body of sufficiently high melting point say platinum wire is raised to a high temperature, some of the radiations coming out fall within the range termed “light”. The range comprises of radiation of short wave lengths and high frequencies. When such a body is heated it emits different colours at different temperatures, and ultimately, it gives dazzling white light at 1500°C and above. So the incandescent lamp consists of a metal of a high melting point (generally tungsten) enclosed in an evacuated glass globe and heated by an electric current. The filament is either in the form of an open spiral of straight wire or in the form of a ring of coiled wire. This lamp consumes about 1.4 watt per candle.

Internal Combustion Engine: is an engine in which energy supplied by a burning fuel is directly transformed into mechanical energy by the controlled combustion of the fuel in an enclosed cylinder behind a piston. It is usually applied to the petrol- burning or Diesel oil-burning engine.

Jet Engine: The essential components of the jet engine is the Gas turbine. It drives the rotary air compressor, which supplies compressed air to the combustion chamber, where a fuel like kerosene oil or gasoline enters and burns. The hot exploded gases are then expelled to the rear in a high velocity jet exhaust. It is the reaction of the plane on this jet of ejected gases that drives it forward.

Jet Propulsion: It is now being commonly employed for propulsion of aircraft and the underlying principle is Newton’s third law of motion, that is, “to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Here a gas turbine drives the rotary air compressor which supplies compressed air to the combustion chamber, where the fuel-like gasoline enters and burns. The hot exploded gases are expelled to the rear in a high velocity jet exhaust. It is the reaction of the ‘plane on this jet of fastly ejected gases that drives it forward. It has made possible supersonic speeds.

Difference between Rocket and Jet Engine: The essential difference between the propulsion of a jet engine and a rocket is that the gas turbines used in a jet engine require air to supply oxygen for the burning of the fuel. Rockets contain both fuel and an oxidizer to make them burn. Liquid oxygen is often used. So a jet engine would work only in the lower strata of the atmosphere where sufficient oxygen can be supplied by the air-compressors. The high velocity jet from a rocket is available for thrust in the upper atmosphere and even beyond the limits of our atmosphere. For rocket flights of course, the wings and rudders would be absolutely useless since there would be no air to exert force on them.

LASER: or Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, LASER is a device that harnesses light to produce an intense beam of radiation of a very pure, single colour. The power of the beam can be low (as in a food store laser scanner which reads prices on packages) or high (as in lasers used to cut metals). The first laser was built in 1960.

Lightning Conductor: It consists of a metal rod, the upper part of which is made up of copper with a number of conical points, the lower portion being an iron strip which extends deep into the earth’s moist layers. A lightning conductor protects the building from the effect of lightning in two ways: (i) The pointed conductors are charged by induction oppositely thus setting up an opposite wind which brings about a slow and silent discharge of the cloud. (ii) If however the lightning does strike, the discharge may be carried to the earth through the metal strip without doing any damage to the building. In ships also, lightning conductors are fixed to the masts and carried down through the ship’s keel-sheathing.

Loud Speaker: It is a device for converting electrical energy into sound energy. There are various types of loud speakers but the commonest and most efficient type used now-a-days is the moving coil type. It is based on the principle that when a varying current is passed through a conductor in a magnetic field, the conductor is acted on by a variable force and if the current is oscillatory, the conductor is set into vibrations.

Mariner’s Compass: is an apparatus which is used to guide the sailors. The needle always points north-south. It consists of a magnetised bar with a card bearing the directions viz., north, south, east etc. The card is correctly mounted above and firmly attached to the magnetised bar. When the magnet moves in relation to the ship’s course, the card automatically moves with it.

Motor-Car: A motor-car usually consists of the following working parts: (i) Internal combustion engine (ii) Gear Box (iii) Battery (iv) Carburettor (v) Dynamo (vi) Radiator.
Working: In order to operate a motor-car, the petrol from a container is ignited with the help of the battery. The vapours produced thereof are allowed to mix with air in the carburettor section, and thereafter the mixture is allowed to enter the cylinder of the internal combustion engine. The gases on expansion push the piston upwards thereby moving the crank-shaft, which in turn moves the main axle of the car. The motion of axle is controlled by the gear box.

Periscope: It is a device for viewing objects which are above the eye-level of the observer, or are placed so that direct vision is obstructed. It is usually used by the crew of a submarine to survey the ships etc., on the surface of the sea while the submarine is under water. It also enables sailors to observe objects on the other side of an obstacle without exposing themselves. It consists of a long tube, at each end of which is a right-angled prism, so situated that, by total internal reflection at the longest faces, light is turned through an angle of 90° by each prism. The light from a viewed object thus enters the observer’s eye in a direction parallel to, but below, the original direction of the object.

Phytotron: is a big machine costing two million dollars and capable of producing any type of climate to order. It has been installed in Duke University, Durham, North Carolina to facilitate studies of environmental biology—particularly growing of plants under varying climatic conditions. The machine can duplicate any set of climatic conditions from the tropical to the Arctic in the brick and glass building in which it is housed. It has six specially equipped green houses and 40 controlled plant chambers. It is a useful device for the study of environmental biology.

Radar: precisely means: Radio, Angle, Detection And Range. It is one of the interesting developments of wireless waves the principle of which has been utilised in the radio location technique or popularly known as RADAR. It is an electrical device used for the detection and location of the aircraft with the help of radio frequency waves.
Working: Wireless waves having very short wavelengths are set free in the shape of concentrated beam to flood or cover the required area of the sky. An aircraft entering that particular area is supposed to intercept the spreading waves, and an echo is reflected back to the transmitting station. In addition to detection of the aircraft, its distance from a particular place can also be calculated by recording the time taken by the wireless waves in travelling back. A discrimination between the aircraft of an enemy and a friendly nation can be made by understanding the nature of Echo.

Refrigerator: It is an apparatus or chamber for producing and maintaining a low temperature. The principle employed in the working of a refrigerator is that heat is absorbed by a liquid as it evaporates, thus producing a cooling effect. The substance commonly employed is liquid ammonia sulphur dioxide.

Rocket: The underlying principle of the flight of a rocket is Newton’s Third Law of Motion viz., To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is a self-propelled vehicle which depends upon the force provided by a fuel carried along with it. As the fuel burns, products of combustion are forced out at terrific speed at the rear of the vehicle and ejection imparts motion to it in the forward direction. It has its own oxygen supply for burning the fuel and therefore, there is no dependence on air for combustion or propulsion.

Rocket Bomb: If a rocket engine is used as a missile to carry an explosive charge it is termed as a Rocket Bomb. The principle of a rocket engine is the same as that of a jet engine but unlike the jet engine it carries its supply of oxygen with it to burn the fuel and is thus independent of the oxygen of the air. The hot gases formed in the combustion of the fuel are led through a nozzle. If a quantity of gas of mass m leaves the nozzle in time t with a velocity v, the force exerted on the mass of gas and hence the force also on the rocket = mv/t. Such a rocket bomb can be hurled from a place outside our atmosphere.

Safety Lamp, Davy’s: It is based on the principle of rapid conduction of heat by a metal. In the miner’s safety lamp, the flame of the lamp is surrounded by glass and above this is a space surrounded by five copper gauzes. Inflammable gases which may be present in the mine can pass through and burn inside the lamp. The copper gauze conducts away the heat so rapidly and effectively that the ignition point of the gas outside the gauze is never reached and thus the possibility of an explosion is avoided.

Seismograph: It is an instrument used for the registration of earth tremors, and consists of principle of a heavy pendulum system, the supporting framework following the ground movements and the bob remaining at rest on account of its large inertia thereby setting up a relative movement between the two parts of the seismograph. This movement is recorded with the help of electromagnetic transducers, galvanometers and electronic amplifiers. In order to record the displacements completely, usually three seismographs are made to set at one particular station.

Sound Barrier: Before the advent of aircraft with supersonic speeds, it was apprehended that when the speeds of the aircraft and sound were equal, the compressional waves produced by the flight of the aircraft will be unable to get away and will give rise to a sound barrier which will offer a considerable resistance to the motion of the aircraft and huge structural stresses and strains will be called into play attended by great noise likely to react unfavourably on the crew. But no such effects have been observed now that the speed of the jet-propelled aircraft and rockets far exceeds that of sound.

Spring Balance: A Spring Balance is used for measuring weights. The principle involved is that the stretching in the case of a Spring is proportional to the load suspended and if a load of 1 kilogram produces a stretching of 1 cm, a load of two kilograms will stretch it by 2 cm and so on. The spring is held at the upper end and load is suspended by a hook attached to the lower end with a pointer attached to the upper end of the spring which moves over a scale.

Steam Engine: is a machine utilizing steam power through a device by virtue of which heat is converted into mechanical energy. The steam engine has two main parts: (i) boiler, and (ii) proper engine. It consists essentially of a cylinder in which a piston is moved backwards and forwards by the expansion of steam under pressure.

Stereoscope: It is an optical device that makes photographs seem to have three dimensions. An ordinary camera sees things only in a flat plane and never in the round. But if two cameras set several inches apart photograph the same object simultaneously, and if these two photographs are then mounted side by side and viewed through a combination of lenses and prisms in such a manner that the two units enter the two eyes without strain, the resulting mental picture (image) appear to have three dimensions. Everything is seen in the round, the way our two eyes normally view things. These are employed in aerial survey and in astronomical telescopes.

Submarine: may be regarded as a ship having a variable and controllable specific gravity. It is equipped with large ballast tanks (in the low, the middle and the stern of the ship) into which water can be admitted through valves so that the vessel can be made to sink when desired. On the water being expelled again by pumps worked by compressed air, the ship rises to the surface. Inside the water it is the electric motors which drive it forward and there are horizontal rudders (or hydroplanes) which are fitted on both sides of the vessel so that by tilting them the vessel is gradually submerged, the same rudders help to maintain it at a desired depth of submergence.

Tape Recorder: It is an instrument which converts sound waves into electrical impulses which are recorded as a wavy groove on the tape.  When it is required to produce the voice, the electrical impulses are again converted into sound waves.

Telephone: It is a device to produce sound to enable two persons to talk to each other from distance. The circuit, which is closed when the line is connected, consists of a transmitter and a receiver connected by an electrical conductor. The transmitter which is usually a carbon microphone causes variable electrical impulses to flow through the circuit. In the telephone-receiver, these impulses flow through a pair of coils of wire wound upon soft iron pole-pieces which are attached to the poles of a magnet. An iron diaphragm near these coils experiences variable pulls and vibrates so as to produce sounds corresponding to those made into the microphone.

Telephotography: is a process by which the transmission of moving objects is made by radio from one place to another. A succession of still pictures is transmitted at the rate of twenty-five per second which gives an illusion of continuous movement. The television camera changes the light pattern of the transmitted scene into a series of electrical signals which modulate a very high frequency radio carrier wave. The received signals are changed into light variations and reassembled on the screen of a cathode-ray tube at the receiver.

Teleprinter: It is an instrument which prints automatically messages sent from one place to another. It consists of a telegraph transmitter with a type-writter key-board by which characters of a message are transmitted electrically in combination of 5 units, being recorded similarly by the receiving instrument. The receiving instrument then translates the matter mechanically into printed characters.

Telescope: A simple refracting astronomical telescope is an optical arrangement for seeing very distant objects. Two convex lenses are mounted at the ends of two tubes so that by sliding one tube within the other, the distance between the lenses can be changed and the images thereby can be focused correctly. The lens at the larger end of the telescope is of considerable focal length and is called the object glass and a smaller lens of short focal length is called the eye-piece. Parallel rays proceeding from a distant object form its real image at the principal focus of the object glass. The position of the eye-piece is adjusted so that a magnified virtual image of it is seen. Since the real image is inverted, this virtual image is also upside down—a fact of little importance in astronomical work. For viewing terrestrial objects, the real image formed by the object glass is re-inverted by another convex lens before it is magnified by the eye-piece.

Television: It is the transmission of images of moving objects by radio waves. The scene to be transmitted or its image on a photo-mosaic inside an iconoscope camera is scanned with the help of a fine beam of light traversing horizontally and vertically. The reflected pulses in the former case are picked up by photoelectric cells which convert light energy into varying electric currents, or in the latter case, the photo-mosaic with the help of suitable electrical circuits generates varying currents. These currents are amplified with the help of valve amplifiers and are then made to modulate the carrier waves from a transmitter. At the receiving station, the electrical vibrations are reconverted into light waves which are collected on the fluorescent screen of a cathode ray oscilloscope at the same rate with which they are generated at the sending station. With the help of the property of persistence of vision possessed by the eye, we can see on the screen an exact photograph of the transmitted scene.

Thermometer, Clinical: A clinical thermometer is used to note the temperature of a human body and has graduations from 65°F to 100°F. It consists of a thin glass bulb connected with a thick walled capillary tube known as the stem. There is a constriction in the bore near the bulb. When the thermometer is placed below the tongue (or in the arm-pit) of a person, mercury in the bulb gets heated and expands. The force of expansion pushes the mercury past the constriction, which thus rises into the stem. When thermometer is removed, the temperature falls and mercury contracts. But the level remains intact as the thread is now broken at the constriction. The temperature can thus be conveniently read. The mercury can be again brought into the bulb by giving it a slight jerk.

Thermos Flask (Vacuum Flask): It is used to keep hot liquids hot and cold liquids cold. The principles involved in its construction are: (i) It is made of glass which is a bad conductor of heat; (ii) As there is vacuum between the walls, convection is not possible; (iii) The outer face of the inner vessel is silvered, so there is very little radiation as polished surfaces are bad radiators. The inner surface of the outer vessel is polished which serves as a good reflector of any small radiation from the inner surface.

Tokamak T-3: is a machine designed by Russians to harness fusion reaction for peaceful purposes. A fusion reaction takes place under extreme pressure and temperatures such as exist in the core of the sun. In this machine such conditions are created by generating a hot gas or plasma. The Russians are already at work on an improved version of the machine which should achieve self-supporting generation of fusion-energy.

Transformer: It is an apparatus by which the voltage of an alternating current is made higher (step-up Transformer) or lower (step-down Transformer) or its frequency. Transformer is made up of two coils, one of a small number of turns of thick wire and the other of a great number of turns of thin wire. A current going through the first of these causes an induction current of higher voltage in the second. If the main current goes through the second one, induction current of a lower voltage is generated in the first coil.

Transistor: It is an active component of an electric circuit which may be used as an amplifier or detector. It consists of a small block of a semi-conducting material to which at least three electrical contacts are made, two of them being closely spaced rectifying contacts generally and one ohmic or loose (non-rectifying) contact. Transistors are now being used in radio receivers, in electronic computers, in electronic control equipments, in place of vacuum tubes where the required voltages are not too high. They are much smaller than their vacuum tube counterparts, consume less  power and have no filaments to burn out.

Ultrasonoscope: It is a compact, diagnostic instrument designed to measure and use ultrasonic sound (with a frequency higher than 20,000 cycles per second, beyond human hearing). It emits brief bursts of ultrasound which are reflected back by bone, fluid or tissue in the body and give an “echo-gram”. The instrument can be helpful in detecting deep-seated brain tumours, defective heart valves and abnormal growths.

Videophone: The world’s first commercial videophone service was started for limited experimental use in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is as much of an advance on the ordinary telephone as the addition of sound and colour was to the movies. The visual dimension also increases the functional utility of this communication apparatus, but the trouble so far has been in designing and making videophones which will be cheap enough to be installed and used by thousands of people.





Adina Mosque: Pandua (West Bengal)
Ajanta Caves: Aurangabad (Maharashtra)
Akbar’s Tomb: Sikandra, Agra
Aksherdham: Gandhinagar, Gujarat
Amarnath Cave: Kashmir
Amber Palace: Jaipur (Rajasthan)
Anand Bhawan: Allahabad
Bibi Ka Maqbra: Aurangabad
Birla Planetarium: Kolkata
Black Pagoda: Konarak (Orissa)
Bodhistava: Ajanta Caves
Brihadeeswara: Tanjore Temple
Brindaban Gardens: Mysore
Buland Darwaza: Fatehpur Sikri
Char Minar: Hyderabad
Cheena Kesava Temple: Bellur
Chilka Lake: East Coast of India near Bhubaneswar
Dal Lake: Srinagar
Dilwara Temples: Mt Abu
Elephanta Caves: Mumbai
Ellora Caves: Aurangabad
Gateway of India: Mumbai
Golden Temple: Amritsar
Gol Gumbaz: Bijapur
Hanging Gardens: Mumbai
Hawa Mahal: Jaipur
Howrah Bridge: Kolkata
Island Palace: Udaipur
Itmad-ud-Daulah’s  Tomb: Agra
Jagannath Temple: Puri
Jahaz Mahal: Mandu
Jai Stambha (Tower of Victory): Chittorgarh
Jama Masjid: Delhi
Jantar Mantar: New Delhi
Jog (Gersoppa) Falls: Mysore
Kailasa Temple: Ellora
Kalan Masjid: Delhi
Kanyakumari Temple: Cape Comorin (Tamil Nadu)
Khajuraho: Bhopal
Konarak: Puri
Lakshmi Vilas  Palace: Baroda
Lal Bagh Garden: Bengaluru
Lalgarh Palace: Bikaner
Lingaraj Temple: Bhubaneswar
Mahakaleshwar Temple: Ujjain    
Maheshmurti (Trimurti): Elephanta Caves
Mahmud Gawan’s Mosque: Bidar
Malabar Hill: Mumbai
Marble Rocks: Jabalpur
Marina: Chennai
Minakshi Temple: Madurai
Mt Girnar (Jain Temples): Junagadh
Nagin Lake: Srinagar
Nataraja: Chennai
Nishat Bagh: Srinagar
Padmanabha Temple: Thiruvanthapuram
Palitana: Junagadh
Panch Mahal: Fatehpur Sikri
Pichola Lake: Udaipur
Qutab Minar: Delhi
Raj Ghat: Delhi
Rashtrapati Bhawan: Delhi
Red Fort: Delhi
Sanchi Tope (The Great Stupa): Sanchi, Bhopal
Santa Cruz: Mumbai
Shakti Sthal: Delhi
Shalimar Bagh: Srinagar
Shahi Chashma: Srinagar
Shanti Van: Delhi
Shore Temple: Mahabalipuram
Sidi Sayyid Mosque: Ahmedabad
Somnathpur Temple: Mysore
Statue of Gomateswara: Mysore
Statue of Ugra: Hampi
Sunderbans: West Bengal
Sun Temple: Konarak
Taj Mahal: Agra
Tehzeeb Mahal: Srinagar
Tirupati Temple: Andhra Pradesh
Tower of Silence: Mumbai (of the Parsis)
Victoria Memorial: Kolkata
Victoria Garden: Mumbai
Vijay Ghat: Delhi




Chief Crops and Producing States
(The first mentioned is the chief producing State)

Bajra (millets): Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Barley: U.P., Bihar, Haryana. Its cultivation requires cool climate.
Cardamom: Karnataka. India is the largest producer of cardamom in the world.
Cashewnut: Kerala.
Cinchona: Tamil Nadu (Nilgiri Hills); West Bengal (Darjeeling).
Coconut: Kerala is the leading producer of coconut in India. A coconut tree normally yield 60-70 nuts in a year.
Coffee: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu (Nilgiri Hills) and Kerala. It is a tropical shrub.
Cotton: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Maharashtra.
Cotton Seeds: Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Gram and Pulses: U.P., Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Groundnut: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
Hemp: Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and U.P.
Jute: Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
Linseed: Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, U.P.,  Maharashtra and West Bengal.
Maize: U.P., Bihar and the Punjab.
Mustard and Rape-seed (Sarson): U.P., West Bengal, Punjab, Bihar and Orissa.
Poppy (opium plant): U.P., Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
Rice: Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Orissa. Rice is sown on the largest acreage in India.
Rubber: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka.
Saffron: Jammu and Kashmir. It is obtained from the stigma of the saffron plant.
Silk: Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal and Assam.
Spices: Pepper in Kerala and West Bengal; Chillies in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra; Cardamom in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu; Betelnuts in West Bengal and South India.
Sugarcane: U.P., Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab and Maharashtra.
Tea: Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu (Nilgiri Hills), Uttarkhand (Dehradun)  and Himachal Pradesh (Kangra Hills).
Tobacco: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, U.P., West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Wheat: U.P., Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. To some extent in Bihar, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. It is sown in October-November and reaped in April.

Kharif and Rabi Crops
Kharif Crops: are crops raised in autumn as a result of sowing done in June-July. These are cotton, rice, maize and millets.
Rabi Crops: are winter crops sown in October and November and reaped in April. These are wheat, gram, linseed and mustard.

Favourable climate and soil conditions for the growth of certain crops
Wheat: Its plant requires a cool climate in the beginning, warm and dry weather at the time of harvesting and rainfall at intervals—between 20’’ to 30’’. A clayey soil is very favourable.
Barley: cool climate and a soil poorer than that required for wheat.
Rice: hot and moist climate with rainfall from 40’’ to 80’’ or over and rich soil. The plant is required to remain under water for several days in the beginning. A marshy soil is very suitable.
Sugarcane: an evenly high temperature with sufficient rainfall—about 40’’. It needs a fertile soil, having lime and salt in it.
Tobacco: hot and moist climate; rich soil.
Spices: (pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmegs) hot, moist and even climate.
Opium: It requires hot and moist climate with a rich soil.
Maize: warm and moist (but not very moist) climate.
Cotton: It requires warm, moist and even climate where summer is long and where the soil contains salt. Sea-breeze is beneficial for quality of the fibre. The ideal situation for plantation is lowlands near the sea coast or on islands in semi-tropical latitudes.
Jute: It requires a high temperature with a minimum of about 80°F during the period of growth. It also needs rich sandy soil, sufficient rainfall well distributed over the period of growth, ample supply of water for soaking of plants and for washing the stripped fibre. It also needs suitable and sufficient labour to handle the crop at the proper time.
Rubber: The plantation of rubber trees is better adapted to areas where the climate is warm and humid.
Tea: (Tea is dried leaves of an evergreen shrub). It requires warm and moist climate. It is grown on mountain slopes. At least 60’’ annual rainfall in showers is needed for the new leaves to sprout. If water is allowed to stay, the roots are destroyed. So mountain slopes on which water does not accumulate are necessary. Soil containing iron is an additional advantage.
Coffee: requires warm and moist climate and a height between 457 metres and 762 metres—rainfall above 60’’. The plant cannot stand extreme cold. When young, the plant is required to be protected from strong sunshine.
Millets: (Jawar and Bajra) require a hot and sufficiently dry climate and poor soil.
Groundnuts: require a hot climate and moderate rainfall 29’’ to 40’’. Soil should be light and sandy.
Oilseeds: require hot and moist climate and a rich soil.

Diseases of Crops
Black heart: Potatoes
Kernel bunt: Wheat
Powdery Mildew: Peas
Red Rot: Sugarcane

Fertilizers normally contain three main ingredients namely nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Nitrogen: imports a healthy green colour to the leaves.
Phosphorus: hastens leaf development and promotes root growth.
Potassium: plays an essential part in the formation of starch.

Mineral Resources of India
India possesses huge mineral wealth but it is not much exploited. Coal, gold, mica, building materials, salt, petroleum, manganese ore, iron ore, copper ore and ilmenite are produced in quantities to be of real importance to industry and other sectors of economy. Out of these, mica, manganese ore and ilmenite are largely exported. India has, however, adequate resources of industrial clay, steatite, bauxite, chromite, titanium ore etc.

Minerals—Where Found
(The first-mentioned is the State in which the mineral is chiefly found)
Aluminium: Kerala. It is extracted from Bauxite.
Antimony: Antimony deposits are found in the Punjab and Karnataka.
Asbestos: Karnataka and Rajasthan.
Barytes: (Barium Sulphate) Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Manbhum and Singhbhum districts of Jharkhand.
Bantonite: Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.
Bauxite: Ranchi and Palamau districts of Jharkhand, Belgaum, Kharia and Thana districts of Maharashtra; Balaghat, Jabalpur, Mandia and Bilaspur districts of Madhya Pradesh. It is an ore of aluminium.
Beryllium Sands: Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Kashmir and Bihar.
Cement: Katni in M.P., Lakheri in Rajasthan, Jabalpur (M.P.), Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Jhinkapani (Singhbhum district of Jharkhand), Surajpur (Haryana).
China Clay: Rajmahal Hills, Singhbhum district of Bihar, Kerala.
Chromite: Singhbhum and Bhagalpur (Jharkhand); Ratnagiri, Salem (Tamil Nadu); Karnataka; Keonjhar (Orissa); Ladakh (Kashmir).
Coal: Raniganj (West Bengal); Jharia, Giridih, Karanpur (Bihar); Bokaro, (Jharkhand) Panch Valley and Chanda (M.P.); Singareni (Andhra Pradesh) and Mukum (Assam).
Cobalt: Rajasthan and Kerala.
Copper: Jharkhand (Singhbhum and Barajamda); Rajasthan (Khetri).
Corborundum: Khasi Hills (Assam); Rewa (M.P.); Salem (Tamil Nadu); Karnataka and Jammu & Kashmir.
Diamond: Diamond mines are found in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh.
Feldspar: Burdwan (West Bengal); Rewa (M.P.); Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu); Alwar and Ajmer (Rajasthan).
Fuller’s Earth: (soft clay used in soap-making) is found in Rajasthan, M.P. and Karnataka.
Gold: Kolar gold-fields (Karnataka).
Graphite: Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Orissa and Kerala.
Gypsum: Bikaner and Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu), Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
Heavy Water: Talchar in Orissa; Kota in Rajasthan; Baroda in Gujarat; Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu; Nangal in Punjab.
Ilmenite: Kerala. Occurs in the “Bank Sands” of the beaches near Quilon.
Iron Ore: Singhbhum (Jharkhand), Keonjhar and  Mayurbhanj (Orissa).
Kaynite: largest deposits occur at Kharswan near Jamshedpur, Singhbhum (Bihar).
Lac: W. Bengal.
Lead: Zawar in Udaipur and at the Banjavi mines in Jaipur (Rajasthan).
Lignite: Neyveli in South Arcot district (Tamil Nadu).
Limestone: Singareni and Singhbhum (Jharkhand), Panchmahal (Gujarat), Balaghat, Bhandara, Chhindwara, Nagpur, Indore, Vishakhapatnam, Sandur (Tamil Nadu).
Manganese: Madhya Pradesh.
Marble: Jaipur (Rajasthan).
Mica: Koderma in Hazaribagh district, Monghyr (Bihar), Nellore in Andhra Pradesh.
Monazite Sands: are found in abundance in Travancore coast (Kerala State). Thorium is processed from Monazite sands.
Nitre: Bihar, U.P., Tamil Nadu and Punjab.
Petroleum: Digboi, Badarpur, Musimpur and Patharia fields of Assam, Cambay basin near Baroda where oilfields have been discovered and production has started. Large-scale drilling for oil is in progress in India in Bombay and Gujarat.
Pitchblende: Gaya (Bihar).
Red Stone: Jodhpur (Rajasthan).
Salt: Sambhar Lake (Rajasthan), and is also obtained from ocean water of Ranns of Kutch, on the north-western and south-eastern littoral (sea-shore) of India.
Saltpetre: Punjab, U.P. and Bihar.
Silmanite: Khasi Hills (Assam); Rewa (M.P.). Silmanite is used in the manufacture of furnace-lining in iron and steel industry. It is also used in glass and ceramic industry.
Silver: Karnataka; Singhbhum and Manbhum (Jharkhand); Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.
Steatite: Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, U.P., Karnataka and Rajasthan.
Tin: (Bihar) Hazaribagh district.
Thorium: (Processed from monazite sand) Travancore (Kerala).
Tungsten: Bihar, Nagpur (Maharashtra) and Marwar.
Uranium: Bihar.
Zinc: from Zawar mines in Udaipur (Rajasthan).
Zircon: occurs in the beach sands of Kerala and Cape Comorin.

Bihar produces 40% of the mineral wealth of India.

World’s Largest Producers of Crops, Minerals, Industrial goods etc.
(The first-mentioned country in each case shown in italics is the largest producer)

Aluminium: U.S.A., Canada Norway, Switzerland, France and India.
Asbestos: Canada leads in the world in production of Asbestos.
Carpets: Iran, India.
Cheese: U.S.A., England, Netherlands and Australia.
Coal: U.S.A., England, Germany, Russia, Australia and India.
Cocoa: Ghana, S. America and West Indies.
Coffee: Brazil, Indonesia, India.
Copper: Chile.
Cotton: U.S.A., Russia, Egypt, India, Brazil, Argentina and Pakistan.
Electric Bulbs: England, U.S.A., India.
Gold: South Africa, Australia, Canada, S. America, India.
Ilmenite: India.
Iron ore: U.S.A., CIS, U.K., France, Germany, India and Spain.
Jute: Bangladesh, India.
Manganese: India is largest producer of Manganese in the world. Gabon Republic situated on the western coast of South Africa is known as having one of the richest deposits at Moanda.
Mercury: Italy, Spain and U.S.A.
Monazite: India, supplies 88% of the world’s need.
Petroleum: U.S.A., Venezuela, Russia, Middle East countries, Iran and Myanmar.
Plastic Goods: U.S.A., England.
Rock Phosphate: Morocco is world’s leading supplier.
Rubber: Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. About 40% of the world’s natural rubber is produced by Malaysia.
Silk: China, U.S.A., France.
Silver: Mexico, U.S.A., Peru and India.
Steel: U.S.A., Germany, CIS and England.
Sugar: Cuba.
Tea: India, China, Sri Lanka, Japan and Indonesia.
Tin: Malaysia, Indonesia.
Wool: Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa.




India completed 62 years as a nation on August 15, 2009. During these 62 years, sizeable progress had been made, but there were also many failures. India has made numerous achievements, notably in agriculture, defence and industrial development. Other problems, such as population growth, law and order and corruption continue to be ignored.

India is a huge country, now with more than 1 billion people, and also a nuclear power. Yet, it does not account for much in the world. The 2009 Human Development Report ranked it at 134th out of 182 countries, wedged in between Lao and Solomon Islands. India is a globalization success but it cannot look after its children. Over 2.5 million children die in India every year, accounting for one in five child deaths in the world. Girls under five are 50 per cent more likely to die than boys, with the female death risk remaining higher till the age of 30. Poor mother and child health is one of the major factors that have kept India’s Human Development Index (HDI) rank low. The disparity between States remains phenomenal, with four States—Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh—accounting for over half of the child deaths in the country.

According to Economic Survey, 2009, economic growth decelerated in 2008-09 to 6.7 per cent. This represented a decline of 2.1 per cent from the average growth rate of 8.8 per cent in the previous five years (2003-04 to 2007-08). The five years of high growth had raised the expectations of the people. Few, however,  remember that during the preceding five-year period from 1998-99 to 2002-03 average growth was only 5.4 per cent, while the highest growth rate achieved during the period was 6.7 per cent (in 1998-99). Per capita GDP growth, a proxy for per capita income, which broadly reflects the improvement in the income of the average person, grew by an estimated 4.6 per cent in 2008-09. Though this represents a substantial slowdown from the average growth of 7.3 per cent per annum during the previous five years, it is still significantly higher than the average 3.3 per cent per annum income growth during 1998-99 to 2002-03.

The per capita income in 2008-09, measured in terms of gross domestic product at constant 1999-2000 market prices, was Rs. 31,278. In 2007-08 this stood at Rs. 29,901. Per capita consumption in 2008-09 was Rs. 17,344 as against a level of Rs. 17,097 in 2007-08. While there has been an increase in levels of per capita income and consumption, there has been a perceptible slowdown in their growth rate. The growth in per capita GDP decelerated from 8.1 per cent in 2006- 07 to 4.6 per cent in 2008-09, while the per capita consumption growth declined from 6.9 per cent in 2007-08 to 1.4 per cent in 2008-09.

The overall growth of GDP at factor cost at constant prices in 2008-09, as per revised estimates released by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) (May 29, 2009) was 6.7 per cent. This is lower than the 7 per cent projection in the Mid-Year Review 2008-09 (Economic Division, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), December 2008) and the advance estimate of 7.1 per cent, released subsequently by CSO in February 2009. With the CSO drastically reducing their estimate of GDP from agriculture (based on third advance estimates), and given that the DEA’s 7 per cent estimate assumed normal agricultural growth, it would have had to be adjusted for any shortfall. The growth of GDP at factor cost (at constant 1999-2000 prices) at 6.7 per cent in 2008-09 nevertheless represents a deceleration from high growth of 9.0 per cent and 9.7 per cent in 2007-08 and 2006-07 respectively.

The deceleration of growth in 2008-09 was spread across all sectors except mining & quarrying and community, social and personal services. The growth in agriculture and allied activities decelerated from 4.9 per cent in 2007-08 to 1.6 per cent in 2008-09, mainly on account of the high base effect of 2007-08 and due to a fall in the production of non-food crops including oilseeds, cotton, sugarcane and jute. The production of wheat was also marginally lower than in 2007-08.

The manufacturing, electricity and construction sectors decelerated to 2.4, 3.4 and 7.2 per cent, respectively, during 2008-09, from 8.2, 5.3 and 10.1 per cent, respectively, in 2007-08. The slowdown in manufacturing could be attributed to the combined impact of a fall in exports followed by a decline in domestic demand, especially in the second half of the year. The rise in the cost of inputs during the beginning of the year and the cost of credit (through most of the year) reduced manufacturing margins and profitability. The growth in production sectors, especially manufacturing, was adversely affected by the impact of the global recession and associated factors. The electricity sector continued to be hampered by capacity constraints and the availability of coal, particularly during the first half of the year. As long as the coal sector remains a public sector monopoly (the only remaining nationalized sector), it could remain a bottleneck for accelerated development of the power sector.

The construction industry consists of different segments like housing, infrastructure, industrial construction, commercial real estate, etc. While the industry went through a boom phase with growth as high as 16.2 per cent in 2005-06, and continued to grow thereafter (albeit with moderation), the increase in the costs of construction due to a rise in the prices of inputs like steel and cement and interest costs had started impacting the industry. In certain segments of the industry, there was an excessive price build up in the form of a speculative bubble, related to limited supply of urban land for those segments. The rise in interest rates and the slowdown in housing loans also moderated demand. The double squeeze on the costs, as well as the demand side, and the fall in the liquidity in mid-September 2008 precipitated a sharp downturn in this sector.

A notable feature of the growth of the Indian economy from 2002-03 has been the rising trend in the gross domestic capital formation (GDCF). Gross capital formation (GCF), which was 25.2 per cent of the GDP in 2002-03, increased to 39.1 per cent in 2007-08. Much of this increase is attributable to a rise in the rate of investment by the corporate sector. The rise in the rate of investment has been on account of various factors, the most important being the transformation in the investment climate, coupled with an optimistic outlook for the growth prospects for the Indian economy.

The growth in capital formation in recent years has been amply supported by a rise in the savings rate. The gross domestic savings as a percentage of GDP at current market prices stood at 37.7 per cent in 2007-08 as compared to 29.8 per cent in 2003-04. Private sector savings dominated the total savings in 2007-08 and were at 33.2 per cent of GDP. Of this, the household sector savings was 24.3 per cent of GDP while the private corporate sector accounted for 8.8 per cent. Savings by the public sector was 4.5 per cent of GDP.

For three consecutive years (2005-06 to 2007-08), foodgrain production recorded an average annual increase of over 10 million tonnes. The total foodgrain production in 2007-08 was estimated at 230.78 million tonnes as against 217.3 million tonnes in 2006-07.

Some of the major social sector initiatives for achieving inclusive growth and faster social sector development and to remove economic and social disparities in the Eleventh Five Year Plan include: the Bharat Nirman programme, Mid-day Meal Scheme, National Rural Health Mission, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). Central support for the social programmes has continued to supplement efforts made by the States.

Under NREGS, over four crore households were provided employment in 2008-09. This is a significant jump over the 3.39 crore households covered under the scheme during 2007-08. Out of the 215.63 crore person-days of employment created under the scheme during this period, 29 per cent and 25 per cent were in favour of SC and ST population respectively. 48 per cent of the total person-days of employment created went in favour of women. The agriculture debt waiver and relief scheme implemented during the year was able to restore institutional credit to farmers and helped to support demand and revive investment in the rural and the agriculture sector.

General: India is a country of huge dimensions, measuring 3,214 km from north to south, and 2,933 km from east to west. The total area is 32,87,263 sq km, with a land frontier of 15,200 km and a coastline of 6,083 km.

Occupying a strategic position in the Asian continent, the country shares its borders with Pakistan on the west, Bangladesh and Myanmar on the east; along the northern boundary are Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and the Sinkiang province of China. Just across the seas are Arabia and Africa on the west, Malaysia and the large Indonesian Archipelago on the east.

Indian rivers carry about 1,683,000 million cubic metres of water every year. The main rivers of the Himalayan system, both snow-fed and rain-fed, are the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra, all of them flowing throughout the year. The Indus has five tributaries—Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej; it runs through the Himalayas, then flows into Sind (Pakistan) and finally into the Arabian Sea.

The major rivers of the Deccan system are Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, Mahanadi, Damodar, Sharavati, Periyar, Narmada and Tapti. Being all rain-fed, many of them are reduced into rivulets during the summer. These rivers contribute about 30 per cent of the outflow.

Area and Population: India has only 2.4 per cent of the total world area but contains about 16 per cent of the population. It is the second most populous country in the world, next to China which accounts for over one-fifth of the world’s total. India’s 2001 Census put the total population at 1,027,015,247, comprising 531,277,078 men and 495,738,690 women.

The decadal growth, however, declined from 23.86 per cent in 1981-91 to 21.34 per cent in 1991-2000. In real numbers, India has registered a fall in its decadal growth rate by 2.52 per cent, the sharpest of its kind in Independent India. Bihar beat everyone in the decadal growth percentage with a high of 28.43 per cent, against Kerala with the lowest at 9.42 per cent.

The number of literate people in the country too has gone up significantly, comprising three-fourths of the male population and more than half of the female population, while, for the first time since independence, the absolute members of illiterates have shown a significant decline. The literacy rates among the population seven years and above stood at 65.38 per cent and the corresponding figures for males and females were 75.85 and 54.16, respectively. Kerala continued its lead in literacy rate with 90.02 per cent, followed by Mizoram (88.49) and Lakshadweep (87.52), while Bihar recorded the lowest literacy rate of 47.53 per cent. West Bengal has shifted from 6th to 11th position when it comes to literacy.

Uttar Pradesh continued to be the most populous State with 16.7 per cent of India’s population, followed by Maharashtra (9.42 per cent) and Bihar (8.07 per cent). Due to creation of Jharkhand, Bihar has become the third populous State after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Till the 1991 census composite Bihar was the second most populous State.

Kerala recorded the lowest population growth rate of 9.42 per cent, followed by Tamil Nadu (11.19) and Andhra Pradesh (13.86).

The sex ratio in the country is 933 females per 1000 males, which is an improvement of six points over 927 recorded in 1991 census.

The highest sex ratio of 1058 women per 1000 men has been reported from Kerala, while Haryana recorded the lowest ratio of 861. The sharpest decline in sex ratio of child population has been observed in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttaranchal, Maharashtra and Chandigarh.

West Bengal is the most densely populated State with 904 persons living per sq km, followed by Bihar with 880.

National Population Policy: The Union Cabinet adopted the National Population Policy, 2000 detailing several promotional and motivational measures, including extension of the freeze on Lok Sabha seats till 2026.

Seeking higher investments in social infrastructure, and a comprehensive package of reproductive and child health services, the policy stated that sustainable development with more equitable distribution was not possible without stabilising population. The annual increase of 15.5 million people was neutralising the efforts to conserve the environment or to boost development. A national commission on population, chaired by Prime Minister, has also been announced, which would monitor and guide the implementation of the policy.

Free Schooling: The Union government decided to make free and compulsory elementary education, for children in the age group of 6-14 years, a fundamental right. The Muhiram Saikia Committee estimated that an expenditure of Rs 40,000 crore over a period of 5 years was required to set up the necessary facilities.

The Lok Sabha, on November 28, 2001, unanimously passed a Constitution amendment making education for children in the age group of 6-14 years a fundamental right.

Education is the eighth in a set of fundamental rights recognised by the Constitution as basic privileges due to every Indian citizen. Among them are right to equality, right to freedom, right against exploitation and right to freedom of religion.

The new fundamental duty in the Constitution requires parents or guardians to provide opportunities for education, while not penalizing them for failing to do so. The legislation also incorporates a new Directive Principles of State Policy—a list of principles the government is expected to work towards—that says: “the State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children till the age of six.”

Critics, however, say that the move has two major flaws—it does not talk about compulsory education for children up to six years, and it shifts the main responsibility of providing education from the State to parents.

Most parents, they argue, don’t have the means to provide education, or lack the inclination. It would be difficult to translate the right into action. Most poor parents don’t have enough means to accord priority to education. The State should have taken the responsibility.

Religious Communities: India has several religious communities and sects, the important among them being: (1) the Hindus (who constitute 82.72 per cent) of the total population and the majority (60 per cent and above) in most of the States and Union Territories; (2) Muslims (11.21 per cent); (3) Christians, the third biggest community (2.60 per cent). Over 60 per cent of the Christians live in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh; (4) Sikhs (about 1.89 per cent) are concentrated largely in Punjab where they form 60.22 per cent of the population; (5) Buddhists form only 0.73 per cent of the population. Over 85 per cent of them live in Maharashtra, and most of the others in Arunachal Pradesh; (6) Jains form only 0.47 per cent of the population. They live mostly in the Western region—Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat. A small number reside in other States; (7) Zoroastrians (only around 90,000 in number) are concentrated in Mumbai.

Census of religions: The Census Commissioner of India released in September 2004, for the first time, data on population, number of literates, category and types of workers for each major religious group, to give valuable insights into the developmental patterns of each major community.

As per the Census figures, Hindus continue to comprise an overwhelming majority of the country—80.5%—although their growth rate has declined by 4.8% in the period 1981-91 to 1991-2001, from 25.1% to 20.3%.

Muslims account for 13.4% of the population, but their growth rate has nudged up by 1.5%, from 34.5% to 36%. In other words, for every Muslim there are six Hindus in the country.

The highest, and perhaps puzzling, growth rate has been among Jains—from 4.6% to 26%. In the same period, Sikhs’ growth rate declined by a significant 6.1%, from 24.3% to 18.2%, while Buddhists’ growth rate dipped even more sharply—by 10.6%, from 35.1% to 24.5%. The Christian growth rate has, however, gone up by 1.1%, from 21.5% to 22.6%.

Literacy-wise, Jains top the list with 94.1%, followed by Christians at 80.3%, Buddhists 72.7%, Sikhs 69.4%, Hindus 65.1% and Muslims 59.1%. The national average for literacy is 64.8%. For female literacy, the national average is expectedly lower at 53.7%. Jains take the lead with a female literacy figure of 90.6%, followed by Christians at 76.2%, Sikhs 63.1%, Buddhists 61.7%, Hindus 53.2% and Muslims 50.1%.

At the national level, among the major religious groups, Christians had the highest sex ratio of 1009, growing from 994 in 1991. They are followed by Buddhists (953) and Jains (940). Sikhs have the lowest sex ratio (893) among all major religious communities. The sex ratio among Hindus is 931, a shade lower than the national average of 933, while that among Muslims is 936. ‘Other religions and persuasions’, the term that clubs together various smaller groups like the Parsis, the Jews and animists, do rather well (992) on this count.

Excluding the Muslims of J&K from the 2001 figures, the growth of the Muslim population from 1991 to 2001 was 29.3%, significantly lower than the near 33% growth figure of 1981-91. The adjusted Hindu growth rate comes to 19.9%.

Languages: India is a country of hundreds of languages and dialects. The 1961 census had listed 16,752 languages as mother tongues spoken in the country. Of these mother tongues, only 33 are spoken by one lakh or more people, the others being minor ones.

India’s official language, as prescribed in Article 343 of the Constitution, is Hindi in Devanagari script. Eighteen regional languages are officially recognised by the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. These are: (in alphabetical order) Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telegu and Urdu.

Article 343 also provided that for a period of 15 years from the commencement of the Constitution, the English language would continue to be used for all official purposes of the Union. In view of the demand from the Southern States, which were reluctant to accept Hindi as the country’s sole national language, English was continued as an additional official language. No date was fixed for elimination of English and adoption of Hindi as the language for official use throughout the country.

Constitution and Political set-up: India is a Union of 28 States and 6 Union Territories, including National Capital Region Delhi, the largest in area being Rajasthan and the smallest being Sikkim.

India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic Republic with a parliamentary system of government. The country’s Constitution came into force from January 26, 1950. The overall structure is federal with several features of the unitary system.

Article 79 of the Constitution says that the Parliament shall consist of the President and two Houses known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and House of the People (Lok Sabha).

Though the President is not a member of either House, he is an integral part of the Parliament and performs certain functions relating to its proceedings.

The Parliament has the following functions: a) to make legislations for development and for benefit of society, b) exercise control over the Executive, c) it supplies members of the Council of Ministers, d) it has financial control over the Executive and e) provides an opportunity to deliberate various policies and measures before implementation.

Rajya Sabha: The Rajya Sabha consists of two categories of members, elected and nominated. They have a term of six years, and one-third of the members retire every two years. Article 80 says that the Rajya Sabha will consist of a) 12 members to be nominated by the President and b) not more than 238 representatives of the States and Union Territories. At present the strength of the Rajya Sabha is 245, of which 233 are elected and 12 nominated. The persons to be nominated by the President shall consist of persons having special knowledge or experience, such as literature, science, art and social service. The Vice-President is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The Deputy Chairman is elected by the Rajya Sabha from among its members.

Lok Sabha: Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by the people of India, except for two members of the Anglo-Indian community nominated by the President. In the Constitution, the strength of the Lok Sabha was provisioned to be not more than 552, with 530 members from States, 20 from Union Territories and 2 nominated from among the Anglo-Indian community. The Parliament has fixed the strength of the Lok Sabha to be 545 (530 + 13 + 2). The 42nd Amendment had frozen the representation of States and UTs at 543 till the year 2001. The 91st Amendment further extended the freeze till 2026, as an incentive aimed at population stabilisation. However, readjustment and rationalisation of territorial constituencies within the States has been allowed. This means that while the number of constituencies allotted to each State will remain constant, the territorial boundaries of the constituencies will be redrawn to balance out the electorate represented by each of them.

The normal tenure of the Lok Sabha is 5 years. But the House can be dissolved by the President before the end of the normal tenure. It can also be extended by the Parliament beyond the normal 5-year term during a national emergency proclaimed under Article 352. This extension is not more than one year at a time. Under Article 83 the normal tenure was 5 years, which was extended to 6 years by the 42nd Amendment but the 44th Amendment again fixed the normal tenure of 5 years.

To become a member of Lok Sabha, a person must: a) be a citizen of India, b) be not less than 25 years of age, c) be a registered voter in any Parliamentary constituency, and d) should not hold any office of profit.

The Speaker is the Chief Presiding officer of the Lok Sabha. He is elected from among the members of the Lok Sabha but continues to hold office even after dissolution of the House. He is responsible for the dignity and privileges of the House since the Speaker represents the Lok Sabha as an institution.

The quorum to constitute a meeting of either House of Parliament is one tenth of the total number of members of the House.

The Constitution states that there should not be a gap of more than 6 months between two consecutive sittings. There are 3 types of sessions:
a) Budget session, between February and May
b) monsoon session, July-August
c) winter session, November-December
The Lok Sabha can be dissolved by the President but the Rajya Sabha is a permanent body not subject to dissolution.

50 years of Lok Sabha: 2002 marked the 50th year of the constituting of the Lok Sabha. The official notification of the constituting of Lok Sabha was made on April 17, 1952. During the first two years it was known as ‘House of People’. It began to be known as Lok Sabha on May 14, 1954.

Presidential Elections: The President of India is the Constitutional head of the executive. He is elected for five years by an electoral college comprising all elected M.P.s and M.L.A.s. The real power rests with the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister, as provided in Article 74(1). The Ministry is collectively responsible to the House of the People (Lok Sabha).

Similarly, in the States the Governor is the executive head, but all effective power rests with the Ministry, which is collectively responsible to the State Legislative Assembly.

The Vice-President is elected by an electoral college consisting of members of both Houses of Parliament.

The legislative powers are distributed between the Parliament and the State legislatures, the residual powers being vested in the Parliament.

The Parliament comprises two Houses, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha (with a total strength of 244 of whom 12 are nominated for distinction in arts, science and social service).

State Executive: The Governor is the executive head of the State and acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State. Generally one Governor is appointed for each State but after the 7th Amendment (1956), a Governor could be appointed for two States. The Governor is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers at the Union. A Governor must: a) be a citizen of India, b) must have completed 35 years of age, c) must not hold any office of profit and d) if an MP is appointed as Governor, his seat becomes vacant.

Fundamental Rights and Directives: Several basic freedoms are guaranteed by the Chapter on Fundamental Rights (Part III of the Constitution, Articles 12 to 35) which are justiciable (can be enforced by courts). The Constitution also lays down certain Directive Principles of State Policy (Part IV of the Constitution, Articles 36 to 51) which are not justiciable but are important guidelines and are fundamental to the governance of the country. It is the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws. These Directives require the State to strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting, as effectively as it may, a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of national life.

In a judgement delivered on July 1, 1993, the Supreme Court ruled that the Right to Life (Art. 21) included the right to livelihood. Arbitrary dismissal of an employee after paying him one month’s salary in lieu of statutory notice was held to be violative of the Constitutional rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21.

The Fundamental Duties of citizens are enumerated by the 42nd Amendment (Article 51A), enjoining upon every citizen to follow the noble ideals of the founding fathers and promote harmony and brotherhood among all the people.

The Constitution is supreme, not the Parliament. The Supreme Court, the final tribunal of appeal, has the authority to adjudicate on the constitutionality of any law passed by the Parliament.




Afghanistan: Kabul
Albania: Tirana
Algeria: Algiers
Angola: Luanda
Antigua & Barbuda: St John’s
Argentina: Buenos Aires
Armenia: Yerevan
Australia: Canberra
Austria : Vienna
Azerbijan: Baku
Bahamas: Nassau
Bahrain: Manama
Bangladesh: Dhaka
Barbados: Bridgetown
Belgium: Brussels
Belarus: Minsk
Belize: Belmopan
Benin: Porto Novo
Bhutan: Thimpu
Bosnia-Herzegovina : Sarajevo
Botswana: Gaberones
Bolivia: La Paz
Brazil: Brasillia
Brunei: Bandar Seri Begawan
Bulgaria: Sofia
Burkina Faso: Ouagadougau
Burundi : Bujumbura
Cambodia: Phnom Penh
Cameroon: Yaounde
Canada: Ottawa
Cape Verde: Praia
Central African Republic: Bangui
Chad: Fort Lamy
Chile: Santiago
China: Beijing
Colombia: Bogota
Congo: Brazzaville
Costa Rica: San Jose
Croatia: Zagreb
Cuba: Havana
Cyprus: Nicosia
Czech Republic: Prague
Denmark: Copenhagen
Djibouti : Djibouti
Dominican Republic: Santo Domingo
East Timor: Dilli
Ecuador: Quito
Egypt: Cairo
Equatorial Guinea: Santa Isabel
Eritrea: Asmara
Estonia: Tallion
Ethiopia: Addis Ababa
Fiji: Suva
Finland: Helsinki
France: Paris
Gabon: Libreville
Gambia: Banjul
Georgia: Tiblisi
Germany: Berlin
Ghana: Accra
Greece: Athens
Grenada: St George’s
Guatemala: Guatemala City
Guinea: Conakry
Guinea-Bissau: Bissau
Guyana: Georgetown
Honduras: Tegucigalpa
Hungar: Budapest
India: New Delhi
Indonesia: Jakarta
Iran: Tehran
Iraq: Baghdad
Ireland (or Eire): Dublin
Israel: Jerusalem
Italy: Rome
Ivory Coast: Abidjan
Jamaica: Kingston
Japan: Tokyo
Jordan: Amman
Kenya: Nairobi
Kazakhstan: Alma-Ata
Kirghiztan: Bishkek
Kiribati: Tarawa
Korea (North): Pyongyang
Korea (South): Seoul
Latvia: Riga
Latvia: Riga
Laos: Vientiane
Lebanon: Beirut

Lesotho: Maseru
Liberia: Verduz
Libya: Tripoli
Liechtenstein: Vaduz
Lithuania: Vilnius
Luxembourg: Luxembourg
Macedonia: Skopje
Madagascar: Antananarivo
Malawi: Zomba
Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur
Maldives: Male
Mali: Bamako
Malta: Valletta
Mauritius: Port Louis
Mauritania: Nouakchott
Mexico: Mexico City
Moldova: Chisinan
Monaco: Monaco
Mongolia: Ulan Bator
Morocco: Rabat
Mozambique: Lourenco Marques
Myanmar (Burma): Rangoon
Namibia: Windhoek
Nauru: Yaren
Nepal : Kathmandu
Netherlands: Amsterdam
New Zealand : Wellington
Niger: Niamey
Nigeria: Abuja
Northern Ireland: Belfast
Norway : Oslo
Oman: Muscat
Pakistan: Islamabad
Palau: Koror
Palestine: Jericho (Headquarters)
Panama: Panama City
Papua New Guinea: Port Moresly
Paraguay: Asuncion
Peru: Lima
Philippines: Manila
Poland: Warsaw
Portugal: Lisbon
Qatar: Doha
Romania: Bucharest
Russia: Moscow
Rwanda: Kigali
Saudi Arabia: Riyadh
Senegal: Dakar
Serbia: Belgrade
Seychelles: Victoria
Sierra Leone: Freetown
Singapore: Singapore City
Slovakia: Bratislava
Slovenia: Ljubejana
South Africa: Pretoria and Cape Town
Somalia: Magadishu
Spain: Madrid
Sri Lanka: Colombo
Sudan: Khartoum
Suriname: Paramaribo
Swaziland: Mbabne
Sweden: Stockholm
Switzerland: Berne
Syria: Damascus
Tajikistan: Dushanbe
Taiwan: Taipei
Tanzania: Dodoma
Thailand: Bangkok
Togoland: Lome
Tonga: Nuku’alofa
Trinidad and Tobago: Port-of-Spain
Tunisia: Tunis
Turkey: Ankara
Turkmenistan: Ashkhabad
Uganda: Kampala
Ukraine: Kiev
United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi
United Kingdom: London
Upper Volta: Quagadougon
Uruguay: Montivideo
U.S.A.: Washington
Uzbekistan: Tashkent
Vanuatu: Port Vile
Vietnam: Hanoi
Western Samoa: Apia
Yemen: San’a
Zaire Republi: Kinshasa
Zambia: Lusaka
Zimbabwe: Harare




The Earth—Its Motions and their Effects
The earth has two motions, viz., (1) Rotation around its axis or the daily motion. The axis of the earth is an imaginary line inclined at 66.5° to the plane of the orbit of the earth. The earth rotates round its axis from west to east once in 24 hours. Effects: Days and nights are caused. The sun, moon and other heavenly bodies appear to revolve round the earth from east to west. Direction of winds and currents is changed.

(2) Revolution round the sun on its orbit, or the annual motion: The earth revolves round the sun once in about 365.25 days. Effects: It causes seasons; days and nights are of unequal length at the same place.

Important elements in the earth’s crust
The five most abundant elements in the earth’s crust are: Oxygen, Silicon, Aluminium, Iron and Calcium. (The other three are Sodium, Potassium and Magnesium.)

Oceans—Their Importance
Oceans are the source of all water on earth as the evaporated water from over their surface is brought to earth by the winds passing over them. They are the highways of the world and most of the world trade is carried through the sea. Innumerable fish and other animals living in the oceans are a great source of food to mankind. Minerals like salt, iodine etc. are derived from the ocean waters and sea-weeds.

Ocean Currents: are rivers of warm or cold water flowing in an ocean. Their banks and beds also consist of water.

Natural Regions
A natural region is a large area in which the topography, climate and vegetation are largely similar, and therefore there is a certain uniformity in human activities.

Natural Regions of the World
(1) Equatorial Region (2) Hot-Grassland Region (3) Monsoon Region (4) Hot Deserts Region (5) Mediterranean Region (6) Steppe Region (7) Tundra Region (8) Warm Temperate Region (9) Cool Temperate Region.

Natural Regions of India
(1) The Himalayas and the adjacent mountains; (2) The Sutlej-Ganga plains; (3) The coastal plains of Western and Eastern ghats; (4) The Deccan plateau.

Factors Determining Climate of a Place
(1) Distance from the Equator (2) Height above sea-level (3) Distance from the sea (4) Winds (5) Direction of Mountains (6) Ocean currents (7) Slope of land (8) Nature of the soil (9) Forests.

Factors Determining Temperature
(i) sun rays, (ii) height above sea-level (iii) movements of atmospheric winds, (iv) ocean currents.

Two important conditions must be satisfied in order to have rain: (1) There should be moisture-laden air, (2) There should be some means whereby air is cooled and condensation takes place. The air obtains water vapours by evaporation from the surface of large bodies of water, usually from the sea.

Monsoons in India
Monsoons are periodic winds which blow from sea to land for six months in summer and from land to sea for six months in winter. Monsoon winds prevail over India at different seasons.

South-West Monsoons: These are rain-bearing winds which prevail from about the end of May to the end of September. During summer, the sun’s rays fall vertically on the Tropic of Cancer making the Indian plains intensely hot. But the rays of the sun fall obliquely over the Indian Ocean during this period. The land is hotter than the sea, there is, therefore, low pressure over the land and high pressure over the sea. The winds blow from high to low pressure i.e., from the sea to the land, and are therefore wet winds. Because of the rotation of the earth, the monsoon winds blowing over India deflect to the right after crossing the Equator and become south-west winds. These are, therefore, called south-west monsoons.
India depends largely on these rain-bearing south-west winds. These winds give to India about 90% of the total rainfall. During their prevalence, the chief crops cultivated are rice, cotton, tobacco, tea, jawar and bajra.

North-East Monsoons (or Winter Monsoons): During the months of November to January i.e., in winter, the sun’s rays fall vertically on the Tropic of Capricorn. The air over the Indian Ocean during this period thus becomes hot and light and there is low pressure. The sun’s rays fall obliquely on the plains of India during these months with the result that the air over these plains is cold and heavy and there is high pressure. The winds, therefore, blow from plains to the Indian Ocean. While crossing the Equator, they deflect to the left and are known as north-east monsoons.

The North-East Monsoons bring only about 10% of the total rain to India as they are chilly and dry land winds. But the moisture that they pick from the Bay of Bengal, little as it is, is very useful. Wheat, barley, oats, oilseeds and sugarcane are cultivated during this season.

Thus these monsoon winds have much importance for India.

Weather and Climate
Weather means the atmospheric conditions e.g., temperature, rainfall, humidity, winds, sunshine and cloudiness of a particular place on a particular day. Climate, on the other hand, is the average condition of weather obtaining in a country or a place for a considerable period.

India has a great diversity of climatic conditions. Lying largely within the tropics and in the great Asiatic Continent and the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean to the South, the climate of India is essentially the tropical monsoon type. The average annual rainfall in India is 42 inches.

Types of Soil in India
The main categories of soils in India are: (i) Alluvial soils (ii) Black soils (iii) Red soils (iv) Laterite soils (v) Mountain and hill soils (vi) Terai soils (vii) Desert (or Arid) soil and (viii) Peat soils.

Alluvial soil and Black soil
Alluvial soil is that soil which is formed by deposition of silts brought down by the rivers. It is rich in hydrated oxides of iron and is very fertile. Black soil or the black cotton soil has a good water-holding capacity and is best suited for deep-rooted crops like cotton. The black soil in wet condition is compact and sticky.

The most extensive soil cover of India comprises alluvial soils.

Soil Erosion: The soils are usually six to twelve inches in depth. In course of time, the fertility level of the soil is depleted with the result that the soil no longer remains suitable for agriculture. Soil conservation is, therefore, necessary for continued agricultural prosperity.

The agencies of erosion are winds, water and waves of which the water erosion is most common. Rain water removes soil from the surface of sloping lands. Winds remove top soil of lands.

Laterite soils are formed by the weathering of laterite rocks. These can be distinguished from other soils by their acidity. Laterite soils are generally poor on the higher levels and cannot retain moisture. In the plains, however, they consist of heavy loams and clay and can retain moisture.

Laterite soils occur in Madhya Pradesh, Assam and along the Eastern and Western Ghats. Tea plantation requires acidity which is there in the laterite soil. It is, therefore, common in these areas.

Star and Planet
Star is the name given to a fixed celestial body which has its own light whereas Planet is the name given to a celestial body which revolves round the sun in elliptical (regular oval shape) orbit. A planet has no light of its own but reflects the light of the sun.

Three main groups of rocks: Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.

Classification of rocks
Igneous rocks: granite.
Sedimentary rocks: sandstone; limestone; shale; coal.
Metamorphic rocks: marble.
Phyllite: This rock is formed by deposits of animal shells and skeletons.

Land Breeze and Sea Breeze
Land Breeze: At night, land masses cool quicker than the sea. Therefore, in calm, cloudless weather, an air-stream passes from the land to the sea. This breeze carries no moisture, and is a little warm.

Sea Breeze: In day-time, the land is hotter than the sea. The air over it rises, and is replaced by a cool breeze from the sea carrying some moisture.

Alternate rise and fall of waters of the ocean twice in the course of nearly twenty four hours is termed as “tides”. The tides are caused by the gravitational force exerted by the moon and to a lesser degree by the sun, on the earth. The tides do not always rise to the same height. At the time of the new and full moon, when the sun and moon are in a straight line with the earth, the tides rise higher and are known as Spring Tides. Midway between new and full moon when the sun and the moon are at right angles as to their direction from the earth, tides are at the lowest height and are called Neap Tides.

Spring Tides and Neap Tides

When a high tide is caused twice a month at new moon and again when the moon is full, spring tide is caused as a result of combined attraction of the sun and the moon.

When the high tide is not so high, nor the low tide so low, neap tides are caused as a result of the difference of attraction of the sun and the moon.

The change of seasons is due to (i) revolution of the earth round the sun (ii) inclination of earth’s axis at 66.5° to the plane of its orbit and always pointing to the same direction. On the 21st June, the North Pole is inclined towards the sun and the South Pole is inclined away from it. The rays of the sun fall perpendicularly at the Tropic of Cancer (23.5° North) and fall comparatively slanting in the southern hemisphere. Hence the days are longer than nights in the northern hemisphere and it is summer there. Just opposite is the case in the southern hemisphere where the nights are longer at that time and it is winter there.

Latitudes and Longitudes
India lies entirely to the north of the Equator, between latitudes 8°-4´ and 37°-6´ north and longitude 68°-7´ and 97°-25´ east.

The latitude of the South Pole is 90°. South Pole has no longitude.

Longitude of a place is its distance east or west of a fixed meridian. The distance of any place north or south of the Equator is called the Latitude of that place.

Parallels of latitude: are lines drawn on a map (or globe) showing the latitude of a place.

Meridians (or lines) of longitude: These are lines drawn on a map (or globe) showing the longitude of a place. These lines join the north and south pole cutting the Equator at right angles.

(Latitudes and Longitudes should be clearly distinguished from Parallels of Latitude and Meridians of Longitude respectively.)

By knowing these lines, we can find out exact location of a place. By knowing the latitude of a place we can find out its average temperature, as also its distance from the Equator. By knowing the longitude of a place, we can calculate its local time.

Longitude is the angular distance of a place east or west of the prime meridian. The earth rotates upon its axis once in 24 hours and covers 360° in 24 hours. Thus it takes 60 x 24/360 or 4 minutes to cover a degree of longitude or we may say that in four minutes, the earth moves through 1°. There is thus a difference of 4 minutes for each degree of longitude. This fact is used for determining the longitude of a place. All longitudes are measured from the meridian of Greenwich.

We can determine the latitude of a place in the northern hemisphere by measuring the altitude of the Pole Star. The altitude of the Pole Star is the latitude of that place. For example, if the altitude of Pole Star at Delhi is 28.5° North, its latitude will also be 28.5°N. The altitude of Pole Star is measured by an instrument called Sextant.

Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse
Solar Eclipse: is the partial or complete obscuration of the sun because of the passage of the moon in front of it i.e., when the moon comes in between the sun and the earth.

The moon then appears as a dark object obscuring the sun. Over a small portion of the earth’s surface, the moon is seen to blot out the sun completely and a total eclipse is seen by the people in that particular area. But over most of the earth’s surface, the eclipse seen is partial because only a portion of the sun’s face remains covered by the moon.

Lunar Eclipse: is the partial or complete obscuration of the moon’s surface when the earth comes in between the sun and the moon. The moon, when it moves through the shadow of the earth, loses its bright direct illumination by the sun, although its disc still remains faintly visible.

An eclipse of the moon is visible and presents the same features at all places on the earth where the moon is above the horizon. The lunar eclipse can be seen with the naked eye, field glass or a small telescope.

The lunar eclipse occurs at full moon only when the earth comes in between the sun and the moon which phenomenon does not occur at every full moon.

Indian Standard Time
The Indian Standard Time is a uniform time adopted by all palces in India without regard to their local time. It is usual for each country to have its standard time for use over the whole country as it would be very difficult if every town or village had its own local time and whenever we moved from one place to another, we should have to alter our watches.

Indian Standard Time is the local time of a place near Allahabad situated at 82.5° East longitude.

Air moving from one direction to another horizontally is called wind. It is the air in motion.

Cause of Wind: The chief cause of winds is difference in pressure. Air always moves from region of high pressure to a region of low pressure to equalize the pressure. For example, the low pressure belt round the Equator is a region of calm known as the doldrums. Although there are no regular winds there, violent squalls and thunderstorms are frequent which come from high pressure areas north and south of the Equator.

Direction of Winds: As the earth is rotating daily on its axis from west to east, all winds are deflected. According to Ferrel’s Law, winds are deflected to the right in Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.

Characteristics of the important Wind Systems of the World:
1. Trade Winds: The rays of the sun fall almost vertically at the Equator and the air there becomes hot and the pressure is low. The air rises towards the Poles and descends near 30°N and 30°S. The pressure is high near 30°N and 30°S. Because winds blow from high-pressure to low-pressure areas, winds from over these altitudes blow towards the Equator and Trade Winds are caused.

2. Westerlies (or Anti-Trade Winds): are winds which blow from about 40 degrees N to the Arctic Circle and from about 35 degrees S to the Antarctic Circle throughout the year. They derive their name from the direction in which they blow. In the northern hemisphere they blow in the south-westerly direction and bring winter rain to the Mediterranean regions etc. In the southern hemisphere, they blow in a north-westerly direction.

3. Polar Winds: The winds which blow from the high pressure area around the poles towards the temperate regions are known as polar winds. They are extremely cold. They rise from the North West in the Northern Hemisphere and from the South East in the Southern Hemisphere.

4. Periodical Winds: These are (i) Land and Sea Breezes and (ii) Monsoons which blow in one direction at a particular time or during a particular season. In the hot season in India, the sun shines vertically over the Tropic of Cancer, i.e., roughly over the great plains of the Ganges and Brahmaputra so that the air over the plains becomes very hot by about the month of May. At this time, South West Monsoon commences to blow. They bring heavy rains. Monsoon winds prevail over India at different seasons. India depends on the rain-bearing south-west winds which prevail from about the end of May to the end of September. These winds bring to India about 90% of all the rain that falls there.

5. Variable Winds: are the irregular winds as Cyclones and Anti-Cyclones.

There is heavy rainfall on the West coast because the Western Ghat ranges receive the full force of the monsoons from the Arabian sea and there is heavy rainfall (about 100 inches). On the other hand, the Deccan Plateau gets very scanty rainfall because it falls within the rain-shadow area.

Chennai gets winter rainfall as the north-east monsoons which blow in winter pick up moisture from the Bay of Bengal and bring rain to that city.

The Bay of Bengal monsoons first bring rain to the eastern parts and then turn westwards. As Kolkata is in the east, it receives more rainfall. As the monsoons blow westwards they become drier and cause less rainfall. So Delhi does not get as much rainfall as Kolkata.

In the northern region, the Bay of Bengal monsoons first bring rain to eastern parts and then turn westwards. As the monsoons blow westwards, they go on losing moisture and cause decreasing rainfall.

In the southern region, the Arabian Sea monsoons first strike the western ghats and the moisture is drained on the western side whereas rainfall goes on decreasing towards eastern region.

Two important conditions must be satisfied in order to have rain: (1) There should be moisture-laden air, (2) There should be some means whereby air is cooled and condensation takes place. The air obtains water vapours by evaporation from the surface of large bodies of water, usually from the sea.

The moisture-laden air is cooled in two ways: (i) by rising upward into colder upper regions of the atmosphere, (ii) by blowing as wind to colder regions.

Thus we see: (a) Moist air is lighter than dry air and so it readily rises, expands in a short time, cools and falls. (b) When warm winds blow towards cooler regions, it is condensed by cooling effect and rain falls. (c) The land masses or mountains also tend to condense water vapours. When moisture-laden wind is obstructed by mountains, it is forced to rise. As it rises, it becomes cool and rainfall results.

The work of a river is three-fold:
(i) The Mountain Stage: The mountain or upper course of a river is swift as the slope at this stage of a river is steep. The main work of a river at this stage is denudation (wearing away). In this swift upper course, the rivers carry big stones, pebbles etc. which go on eroding the sides and beds of the valleys. As time goes on, the river cuts away the spurs on both sides and the valleys become wider and deeper. The mountain stage of the Ganges in India extends from its source up to Hardwar.

(ii) The Plain Stage: In this stage the river moves slowly as the slope is gradual and its main work is transportation (navigation) and irrigation. The plain stage of the Ganges extends from Hardwar to Bhagalpur.

(iii) The Delta Stage: This is the last stage and the rivers are very slow at this stage. In this slow lower or deltaic course, the main work of the river is deposition. The level of the bed at this stage rises due to mud and silt brought by it and deposited into several channels before falling into the sea. The Ganges forms her delta from Bhagalpur up to the sea.

The deltas are not formed at the mouths of rivers where tides carry away all the mud and silt deposited (at the mouth) e.g., the Narbada and the Tapti do not form any delta. Also rivers which deposit all their mud into the lakes through which they pass do not form delta e.g., the St Lawrence in Canada.

Estuary is formed at the mouth of a river where tidal effects are evident and where fresh water and sea water mix. In most cases it is due to subsidence of coastal low-land.

Delta is the triangular piece of land formed by the deposition of mud and silt near the mouth of a river. In the case of delta formation, more solid material is deposited which cannot be removed by tidal or other currents.

The rivers of Northern India are more important than those of Southern India because they have a flow of water throughout the year. Even in summer these rivers receive water from the melting of Himalayan snow. Flowing through broad basins, they form large tracts or rich alluvial soil on either side. It is no wonder, therefore, that their fertile basin are the natural grannaries of the country. Further, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra are navigable and provide excellent waterways for commerce. The Peninsular rivers, on the other hand, have water during the monsoons but shrivel into muddy pools in the dry season. These rivers are of little use for navigation on account of their torrential nature in the upper course, and the rapids that occur where they descend into deep gorges from the table land to the coastal plains.

Climate and Vegetation
The Equatorial type climate, in which the temperature remains high all the year round but does not vary much, produces hot, wet forests.

The Tropical type climate produces grasslands which are found on either side of the equatorial belt where the rainfall usually occurs soon after the sun has been shining vertically while the dry season occurs in the colder part of the year.

The lowlands along the Tropic of Cancer lie mainly in the high-pressure belt just outside the Tropics. The Trade Winds blow away from these lowlands towards the Equator and the Westerly winds blow away from them towards the Poles. There are, therefore, no winds to bring rain to this region. Some of these lowlands are dry because these are very very far from the sea, like centre of Asia. There are few clouds and very little rain with the result that the sun’s rays strike straight on the ground and make the days very hot.

The temperature of the ocean varies much less than that of land because (i) water has a higher specific heat than land with the result that it both absorbs and loses heat slowly as compared to land; and (ii) due to large surface of water at sea more evaporation occurs than on land. Evaporation causes cooling and this results in the sea having a lower temperature than that on land.

We may divide India into two parts for the purpose of climatological studies: (1) peninsular India and (2) Northern India. Peninsular India has the characteristic of tropical climate where “the temperature is uniformly high and seasonal variation relatively low”.

The climatic conditions in Northern India have no general similarity. This region lies beyond the Tropic of Cancer. The Western part of it includes East Punjab and Rajasthan where air is devoid of moisture and it is hot in summer and very cold in winter. The eastern part of this region includes U.P., Bihar, Assam and West Bengal. Here winter is mild and summer is very hot with plenty of moisture in the air.

These climatic conditions are however, disturbed by two Monsoon Currents—the South West Monsoon and the North-East Monsoon. The South-West Monsoon causes heavy rainfall in Assam, West Bengal and U.P. It begins to retreat from Northern India in early October and this retreat is completed by mid-December. During this retreat period the weather in Northern India becomes dry.

The North-East monsoons begin in January and last till March. These winds cause light rain in Northern India, particularly in the Punjab plains. This scanty rainfall is very important for Rabi crops.

Vegetation: Agriculture is the most important occupation of the people of India. In Northern India, typical monsoon land crops are grown such as rice in Bengal with its warm and humid climate; wheat and maize in Northern plains, Punjab and U.P.; jute in Bengal and Assam and tea in Assam.

In Peninsular India where regur or black cotton soil is found and sufficient moisture available, cotton is grown. It is the chief crop of the Deccan Peninsula—Mumbai and Berar being the chief producers. Coffee is grown on the Nilgiris in the South.
Climatic Effect: India has on the whole monsoon-tropical climate: ‘Monsoon—lands are dominated by the winds from sea to land in summer—the wet season and by winds from land to sea in winter—the dry season.’ This type of climate is not very conducive to health and vigour. Man’s well-being in such a climate depends largely on rainfall. The agricultural products do not grow if the monsoon fails and famine conditions break out. This dependence on rain, however, is not absolute owing to development of irrigation by means of projects, canals, wells etc.

The desert type climate is hot and dry. The rainfall is scanty, not more than 10 inches a year. The day and night temperatures vary to much extent. The evenings and afternoons are marked by hot dust storms.

The regions lie mainly in the high-pressure belts just outside the Tropics. The Trade Winds blow away from them towards the Equator and the Westerly Winds blow away from them towards the Poles. There are no winds which bring rain to this region and the climate remains hot and dry.

Mediterranean Climate

It is the type of climate experienced by the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea, and also by other regions, in both hemispheres, situated in a similar geographical position. The characteristic features are warmth of the summer, mildness of the winter, and ample sunshine.

The entire west coast of the United States has Mediterranean type of climate because this region gets winter rainfall from “Westerlies” winds.

Methods of Irrigation: The various systems of irrigation used in India are: (1) Canals; (2) Wells; (3) Tube-wells; and (4) Tanks.

Canals: Canals are the most important of the systems of irrigation in India because:
(i) the rivers are snow-fed and never run dry; (ii) the plain has a soft and alluvial soil, so canals can be easily dug; (iii) the rainfall is insufficient for irrigation and wells alone cannot satisfy the needs of agriculturists.

Of the total irrigated land in India, 40 per cent is irrigated by canals.

Wells: Wells are found all over India but these are largely used in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Bihar. They are also used in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The reason for irrigation by wells is that the soil is porous and after a rainfall, water is stored up below the soil, and wells can be easily sunk.

Tube-wells: Irrigation by tube-wells has become very popular these days. Tube-wells are worked by electric power. These are much deeper than the ordinary wells. Due to shortage of power, the agriculturists do face the difficulty in running the tube-wells as and when they require but the prosperous ones are making use of the diesel engines for the purpose.

Tanks: Tanks are used in the Deccan plateau—especially in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and in some parts of Madhya Pradesh. They are made by filling natural hollows with water or by building dams across the river valleys. As the soil is rocky in these areas, it is not easy to sink wells. The soil is not porous and the rain water flows off; Canals cannot be constructed as the rivers are not snow-fed. So the tanks are the chief means of irrigation in the Deccan plateau.

Volcanoes and Earthquakes
Volcanoes: By the pressure of the earth’s crust the hot matter or lava in the interior of the earth is pressed down. It gushes out through a crack or a hole when it finds a weak spot in the crust and begins to accumulate round it. By and by it cools down and solidifies and in the course of several years these accumulated layers of lava build up a conical mountain. Such lava mountains are called volcanoes.

Volcanoes are also formed when rain or sea water percolates in the soil and sinks deep down into the earth where it is converted into steam by the internal heat and forces its way out of the crust bringing with it large quantity of lava etc.

Earthquakes: (i) When an active volcano bursts with great force or when a dormant volcano erupts into activity, the surrounding areas feel tremors and earthquake is caused. (ii) When the interior part of the earth cools down and contracts, the outer crust cracks or a part of it actually drops down causing earthquake. (iii) Sometimes water percolates deep down into the earth and is converted into steam on account of internal heat. This steam forces its way out by expanding and thus causes earthquake shocks.

Fold and Block Mountains
Fold Mountains: These are formed as a result of series of earthquakes by which in course of a long time, rocks are folded up above the general level and the agents of denudation start to wear them away. The Himalayas, the Andes, the Alps are example of Fold Mountains.

Block Mountains: the formation of mountains when a mass of land is pushed up between several cracks, is known as Block Mountains as shown in the figure below. The narrow piece of the crust led down between two parallel cracks forms what is called “Rift Valley”.

Mountain Ranges
Himalayas: The Himalayan ranges stretch for about 2400 km from the eastern extremity of Assam to the western limit of Kashmir. Their width varies from 150 km to 450 km. These are fold mountains and consist of long lines of folded ranges.

Arvalies: It stretches from Gujarat in the west to Delhi in the north.
Indian Plateau: It is the table-land region of the Deccan lying south of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. It is bounded on the north by the ranges of Vindhyas and the Satpuras running east to west.

Vindhyas and Satpura: The Vindhyas lie north of the Narbada Valley, whereas the Satpuras Range lies south. Satpura ranges are an example of Volcanic mountains.

Western Ghats: In the west, the plateau is margined by the Western Ghats which rise abruptly from the Malabar and the Konkan coasts and run parallel to the sea coast with an average height of 1200 metres.

Eastern Ghats: Towards the east are broken Eastern Ghats which descend to the low-lands of the Coromandal coast and are broken by a number of rivers, the most important of which are the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Penner and Cauvery. These rivers flow south-east across the plateau to the Bay of Bengal.