Buddhism and Jainism are two branches of the Samana tradition that still exists today. Buddhism and Jainism originated from the prevailing pessimism of the time and both creeds had some common points.
Jainism and Buddhism had the largest number of followers among the mercantile class. Both Mahavira and Buddha preached their doctrines in the language of the people.
• Buddhism was started by Gautam Buddha who was also known as Sakyamuni and Tathagata
• Gautam Buddha was born in the year 563 B.C at Lumbini near Kapilvastu district of Nepal on the day of the Poornima (full moon day)
• His childhood name was Siddhartha
• His father’s name was king Suddhodhana who was the ruler of the Saka dynasty and the mother’s name was Mahamaya who was the princess of the Kosalan dynasty
• 7 days after the birth of Gautam Buddha, her mother died and he was brought up by his stepmother Mahaprajapati Gautami who gave him the title of Gautam
• In his childhood Gautam Buddha use to play with his horse named Kanthak
• At the age of 16 years Gautam Buddha was married with extremely beautiful Yasodhara and had a son named Rahula
• After seeing the sorrow of the world Gautam Buddha decided to leave the pleasures of the life and start living the life of the wanderer
• At the age of 29 years he left home in search of salvation or Nirvana and reached Vaishali where he became the disciple of Alara Klama but he was not convinced by the teachings of Alara Klama and he moved from there and became the disciple of Udraka Ramputra
• He wondered for 6 years and one day at Bodh Gaya under the Peepal tree (bodhi tree) he attained the Nirvana or Enlightenment at the age of 35 years
• Tapasso and Mallic became the first disciple of Gautam Buddha whereas Ananda was the most favorite disciple of Gautam Budddha
• Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath on the topic “Dharmachakrapravartan” or Turning of the Wheel of Law
• In his last days of life he reached Vaishali where his disciple named Kunda fed him pork due to which he died at the age of 80 years in the year 483 B.C at Kushinagar district Deoria in the Malla republic. His death is known as Mahaparinirvana
➤Important events in the life of Buddha :
Lotus and Bull
➤Doctrines of Buddhism :
• Four noble truths
1. Dukha – life is full of sorrow
2. Samyuda – there are causes for the sorrow
3. Nirodha – they can be stopped
4. Nirodha Gamini Pratipada – Path leading towards cessation of sorrow
• Eight-Fold Paths of Buddhism
1. Right observation
2. Right determination
3. Right exercise
4. Right action
5. Right speech
6. Right memory
7. Right meditation
8. Right livelihood
• Madhya Marga – to avoid the excess of both luxury and austerity
• Triratnas – Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
➤ Buddhist Literature :
The Buddhist literatures were written in the Pali language
• Vinay Pitaka
It deals with the laws of the Buddhist monasteries. It was recited by Uppali in the first Buddhist council in the year 483 B.C
• Sutta Pitaka
It is the collection of the Buddha’s sermons and it is divided in 5 parts
• Abhidhamma Pitaka
It deals with the life and the philosophy of the Buddha’s teachings
It deals with the conversation with the Greek king Menander and the Buddhist Monk Nagasena
It is the sacred book of the Buddhism
➤Buddhist Councils :
1. First Council
The first council was held in the year 483 B.C at Saptaparni caves near Rajgriha in Bihar under the chairmanship of king Ajatshatru, during the first council two Buddhist literatures were compiled Vinaya and Sutta Pitaka by Upali
2. Second Council
The second council was held in the year 383 B.C at Vaishali under the chairmanship of king Kalashoka
3. Third Council
The third council was held in the year 250 B.C at Patliputra under the chairmanship of king Ashoka the Great, during the third council Abhidhamma Pitaka was added and Buddhist holy book Tripitaka was compiled.
4. Fourth Council
The fourth council was held in the year 78 A.D at Kundalvan in Kashmir under the chairmanship of king Kanishka, during this council Hinayana and Mahayana were divided.
➤Types of Buddhist :
The Buddhism after the death of Gautam Buddha was divided into 3 parts
They believe in the real teachings of Gautam Buddha of attaining Nirvana. They do not believe in idol worship and Pali language was used in the Hinayana text
They believe that Nirvana is attained by the grace of Gautam Buddha and not by following his teachings. They believe in idol worship and Sanskrit was used in Mahayana text
They believe that Nirvana is attained by the help of magical tricks or black magic.
➤Famous Monks at the time of Buddha :
• Ananda – constant companion of Buddha and most devoted disciple
• Anurddha – master of right mindfulness
• Mahakassapa – president of Buddhist council held at Rajagriha
• Moggallana – he had greatest super natural powers
• Sariputta – possessed the profound insight into the dhamma
• Upali – master of Vinaya
➤Famous Buddhist Scholars :
• Ashvagosha – contemporary of Kanishka, poet, dramatist, musician who wrote famous book Buddhacharita
• Nagarjuna – friend and contemporary of Satavahana kings wrote the famous book Madhyamik Shastra
• Buddhagosha – pali scholar who wrote “Visuddhimaga”
• Dinnaga – founder of Buddhist logic
➤Important Buddhist Gods and Goddess :
1. Buddha Shakyamuni – the historical Buddha
2. Buddha Maitreya – the future Buddha.
3. Avalokiteshavara – the Bodhisattva of Compassion
4. Manjushri – the bodhisattva of wisdom and literature.
5. Tara – a female Bodhisattva. She is considered a great protector that guards people against the eight major dangers in life
6. Padmasambhava – also called Guru Rinpoche, is the historically tangible founder of Tibetan Buddhism
• According to Jain tradition, there were 24 Tirthankaras. Rishabha was the first Tirthankara and Vardhaman Mahavira was the 24th Tirthankara.
• Mahavira was born in 540 BC Kundagrama near Vaishali, and left his home at the age of 30.
• At the age of 42, he attained the highest spiritual knowledge called Kevala-Jnana.
• As per Jainism way to Nirvana is also known as Three Ratnatraya involves Right faith, Right knowledge and Right conduct.
• Five carinal principles of Jainism are Ahimsa, Non-Lying, Non-Stealing, Non-Possession, and Brahmacharya.
• Later divided into two sects: Swethembaras and Digambaras.
➤Five vows of Jainism :
• Ahimsa – non-violence
• Satya – do not speak a lie
• Asteya – do not steal
• Aparigraha – do not acquire property
• Brahmacharya – celibacy
➤Three main principles :
➤Triratna’s of Jainism :
• Right faith – Samayak Shradha
• Right Knowledge – Samayak Jnan
• Right Conduct – Samayak karma
➤Five types of knowledge :
• Mati jnana
• Shruta jnana
• Avadhi jnana
• Manahparayaya Jnana
• Keval Jnana
➤Jain council :
• 1st Council at Patliputra under the Patron of Chandragupta Maurya in 300 BC during which the 12 angas were compiled
• 2nd Council at Vallabhi in 512 AD during which the final compilation of 12 angas and 12 upangas was done
• Shwetambars – Sthulabhadra – People who put on white robes. Those who stayed back in the North during the times of famine
• Digambars – Bhadrabahu – Exodus of monks to Deccan and South during the times of Magadhan famine. They have a naked attire
➤Jain Literature :
Jain literature used Prakrit, which is a common language of people than using Sanskrit. In this way, Jainism reached far and wide through people. The important literary works are
• 12 Angas
• 12 Upangas
• 10 Parikramas
• 6 Chhedsutras
• 4 Mulasutras
2 Sutra Grantas
• Part of Sangam literature is also attributed to Jain scholars.
History Notes: Rise of Maratha Empire
• The geographical condition of Maharashtra helped in the rise of the Maratha empire.
• It’s an important episode of Indian history.
• Most of the region of Maharashtra had plateau region plateau also provided a good facility for guerilla-warfare to the Maratha.
• The rise of the Maratha empire was the result of the efforts of the entire Maratha people who on the basis of unity of their languages, literature, community, and homeland gave birth to Maratha nationalism and desired to create an independent state of their own.
• The saints of the Bhakti Movement in Maharashtra had also played an important role.
➤Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
• Shivaji was born in 1627. In fort of Shivneri
• He was the son of Shahji Bhonsle and Jija Bai.
• Shivaji inherited the Jagir of Poona from his father in 1637.
• After the death of his guardian, Dadaji Kondadev, in 1647, he assumed full charge of his Jagir.
• His guru was Ramdas Samrath
• He conquered many Forts viz., Singh Garh/ Kondana (1643), Rohind and Chakan (1644-45), Toran (1646), Purandhar (1648), Rajgarh/ Raigarh (1656), Supa (1656), Panhala (1659).
• In 1657 Shivaji first confronted the Mughals, talking advantage of the Mughal invasion of Bijapur, he raided Ahamadnagar and plundered Junnar.
• In 1659-60, Afzal Khan was deputed by Adil Shah of Bijapur to punish Shivaji; but the later Afzal Khan was murdered by Shivaji in 1659. The famous ―baghnakh‖ episode is related with the death of Afzal Khan.
• In 1660, Shaista Khan, governor of Deccan, was deputed by Aurangzeb to check Marathas. Shivaji lost Poona, Kalyan and Chakan also suffered several defeats till he made a bold attack on Shaista Khan(1663) and plundered Surat (1664) and later Ahmadnagar.
• Raja Jai Singh of Amber and Diler Khan were then appointed by Aurangzeb to curb the rising power of Shivaji in 1665.
• Jai Singh succeeded in besieging Shivaji in the fort of Purandhar. Consequently the treaty of Purandhar (1665) was signed according to which Shivaji ceded some forts to the Mughals and paid a visit to the Mughal court at Agra.
• 1666, Shivaji visited Agra but there he was insulted.
• 1670, Shivaji captured most of the forts lost by the treaty of Purandhar.
• 1674 Shivaji was coroneted at capital Raigarh and assumed the title of Haindava Dharmodharak (Protector of Hinduism).
• After that Shivaji continued the struggle with Mughals and Siddis (Janjira). He conquest Karnataka during 1677-80.
• His last expedition was against Ginjee and Vellore.
➤Successors of Shivaji
- Shambhaji (1680-1689)-
• Sambhaji, the elder son of Shivaji, defeated Rajaram, the younger son of Shivaji, in the war of succession.
• He provided protection and support to Akbar II, the rebellious son of Aurangzeb.
• He was captured at Sangameswar by a Mughal noble and executed(killed).
- Rajaram (1689-1700)-
• He succeeded the throne with the help of the ministers at Rajgarh.
• He fled from Rajgarh to Jinji in 1689 due to a Mughal invasion in which Rajgarh was captured along with Sambhaji‘s wife and son (Shahu) by the Mughals.
• Rajaram died at Satara, which had become the capital after the fall of Jinji to Mughal in 1698.
• Rajaram created the new post of Pratinidhi, thus taking the total number of the minister to nine (Pratinidhi+Ashtapradhan).
• Rajaram was succeeded by his minor son Shivaji II under the guardianship of his mother Tarabai.
• Tarabai continued the struggle with Mughals
- Shahu (1707-1749)-
• Shahu was released by the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah.
• Tarabai‘s army was defeated by Shahu at the battle of Khed (1700) and Shahu occupied Satara.
• Shahu‘s reign saw the rise of Peshwas and the transformation of the Maratha kingdom into an empire based on the principle of the confederacy.
- Balaji Viswanath (1714-20)=The First Peshwa
• He began his carrier as a small revenue official and was given the title of Sena Karte (a marker of the army) by Shahu in 1708.
• Balaji became Peshwa in 1713 and made the post the most important and powerful as well as hereditary.
• He concluded an agreement with the Syed Brothers-King Maker (1719) by which the Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar recognized Shahu as the king of the Swarajya.
- Baji Rao-I (1720-40)-
• Baji Rao, the eldest son of Balaji Viswanath, succeeded him as Peshwa at the young age of 20.
• He was considered the greatest exponent of guerrilla tactics after Shivaji and Maratha’s power reached its zenith under him.
• Under him, several Maratha families became prominent and got themselves entrenched in different parts of India.
• He conquered Bassein.
• Baji Rao-I also defeated the Nizam-ul-Mulk near Bhopal and concluded the treaty of Doraha Sarai by which he got Malwa and Bundelkhand from the latter (1738).
• Baji Rao-I said about Mughals: Let us strike at the trunk of the withering tree and the branches will fall of themselves‘
- Balaji Baji Rao(1740-61)-
• Popularly known as Nana Saheb, he succeeded his father at the age of 20.
• After the death of Shahu (1749), the management of all state affairs was left in his hands.
• In an agreement with the Mughal emperor Ahmad Shah, the Peshwa was to protect the Mughal empire from internal and external enemies (like Ahmad Shah Abdali) in return for Chauth (1752).
• The third battle of Panipat (Jan 14, 1761) resulted in the defeat of the Marathas by Ahmad Shah Abdali and the death of Viswas Rao & Sadashiv Rao Bhau. This event shocked the Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao and after six months he also died. This battle ended the Maratha power.
➤Anglo Maratha Wars:
- First Anglo -Maratha War (1775-1782)
The British fought in favour of Peshwaship to Raghunath Rao. The English (under Hastings) were defeated by the Marathas. They had to sign the Convention of Wadgaon in 1779, which was humiliating for the British. The English later signed the Treaty of Salbai in 1782 where they renounced their cause of Peshwaship for raghoba.
- Second Anglo – Maratha War (1803- 1806)
The Maratha Peshwa Baji rao II signed the Subsidiary Alliance Treaty of Bassein in 1802. Other Maratha chief who were part of Maratha confederacy, were not happy due to this arrangement. The Scindias of Gwalior began the war against the British but they were defeated by the British.
- Third Anglo – Maratha War (1817-1818)
It is also known as Pindari war. Lord Hastings was determined to proclaim British paramountcy in India. Hastings moved against Pindaris which transgressed the sovereignty of the Maratha chiefs and the war began. The Marathas were defeated.
India betters score in the latest SDG Index, but methodological (प्रणाली संबंधी) tinkering (फेरबदल, इधर-उधर करना) is cause for concern
India’s push (धक्का दें, प्रयास, अभियान, पहल) in the right direction in achieving Sustainable (सतत, चिरस्थायी, दीर्घकालिक) Development Goals (SDGs) related to clean energy (स्वच्छ ऊर्जा), urban development and health has helped it improve its overall SDG score from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2021, according to NITI Aayog’s SDG India Index (सूची, तालिका) 2020-21. Besides (के अलावा, इसके अतिरिक्त) SDGs on eradication (नाश, तबाही, उन्मूलन) of poverty and hunger (भूख, भोजन की आवश्यकता; भुखमरी), measures (उपाय, कार्रवाई, कदम, प्रक्रिया) related to the availability of affordable, clean energy (स्वच्छ ऊर्जा) in particular (विशेष रूप से, ख़ासकर), showed improvements across several States and Union Territories. The campaign to improve the access of households (गृहस्थी) to electricity and clean cooking fuel has been shown to be an important factor. While this is cause for cheer (खुशी का कारण, हंसमुख होने का कारण), the Index reveals that there has been a major decline in the areas of industry, innovation and infrastructure (the basic physical or organisational structure for something (to function properly)) besides decent work and economic growth, again made worse by the lockdowns imposed by the governments seeking (try, aim, attempt) to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. But the stark differences (dissimilarity, contrast, deviation, unevenness, variation) between the southern and western States on the one hand and the north-central and eastern States on the other in their performance on the SDGs, point to (indicate, suggest, denote) persisting (continuing, prolonged, persistent, unrelenting, unending, lingering) socio-economic and governance disparities (imbalance, inequality, unevenness, disproportion). These, if left unaddressed, will exacerbate (intensify, increase, heighten, aggravate, worsen, compound) federal challenges and outcomes, as seen in the public health challenges during the second wave across some of the worse-off (in a difficult situation; in a tight spot; less fortunate/wealthy; beleaguered, troubled, hard-pressed) States.
Notwithstanding the improvement in key indicators (measure, gauge, index, signal), the Index has curiously made some methodological changes that render (make, cause to be, cause to become) comparisons on some SDGs over previous years moot (debatable, doubtful, arguable, disputable, problematic). The SDG on inequality (Inequality is simply defined as “the state of not being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities; imbalance, unevenness, disproportion, disparity) shows an improvement over 2019, but the indicators used to measure the score have changed. The 2020-21 Index drops several economic indicators and gives greater weightage to social equality (fairness, justness, egalitarianism, equal rights/opportunities, non-discrimination) indicators such as representation of women and people from marginalised (treated as insignificant, treated as unimportant, neglected) communities in legislatures (local authority, administration, executive, local government) and local governance institutions, and crimes against SC/ST communities. By dropping the well-recognised Gini coefficient (a statistical measure of economic inequality in a population. The coefficient measures the dispersion of income or distribution of wealth among the members of a population) measure and the growth rate for household expenditure per capita among 40% of rural and urban populations (instead, only the percentage of population in the lowest two wealth quintiles is used), the SDG score on inequality seems to have missed out (fail to add/include something, omit; fail to utilize/take advantage of something) on capturing the impact of the pandemic on wealth inequality. This could be a significant miss (omission, slip, blunder, error, mistake) as a UN assessment of the impact of COVID-19 had said that the South Asian region may see rising inequality. Methodological issues on measuring other SDGs have been flagged (indicate, identify, point out) before, but the lack of adequate measurement of economic inequality seems to be a glaring (obvious, visible, apparent, flagrant, blatant) miss. Like in the first wave, the second wave, with more fatalities, has had similar outcomes on livelihoods (means of making a living with the basic necessities (food, water, shelter and clothing); means of support, subsistence, source of income) and jobs. While the better score for India in its endeavour (activity, pursuit; aim/effort) to achieve SDGs will bring some cheer, governments must work on addressing (tackle, deal with, attend to, try to sort out) pressing issues such as increased inequality and economic despair (hopelessness, depression, distress, pain).
Courtesy: The Hindu
Important Word List With Meaning
Hindi Meaning – सतत, चिरस्थायी, दीर्घकालिक
English Meaning – reasonable, sensible, well-founded (without disturbing the balance of nature and then without exhausting all of the natural resources)
2.Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (noun)
Hindi Meaning – सतत विकास लक्ष्यों
English Meaning – The sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a new, universal set of goals, targets, and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years.
Hindi Meaning – सूची, तालिका
English Meaning – an (economic) data figure reflecting something (e.g. price/quantity) compared with a standard or base value; pointer, indicator.
Hindi Meaning – प्रणाली संबंधी
English Meaning – relating to method/methodology; systematized, systematic, methodical, organized.
Hindi Meaning – फेरबदल, इधर-उधर करना
English Meaning – an act of trying to make some small changes to something amateurishly, in order to improve/repair it; repairing, improving, mending.
6.cause for concern (phrase)
Hindi Meaning – चिंता का कारण
English Meaning – a reason to worry (feel anxious).
Hindi Meaning – धक्का दें, प्रयास, अभियान, पहल
English Meaning – effort, campaign, initiative, drive.
8.clean energy (noun)
Hindi Meaning – स्वच्छ ऊर्जा
English Meaning – renewable energy, green energy; energy generated from natural resources (such as water, wind & solar energy).
9.besides (preposition/linking adverb)
Hindi Meaning – के अलावा, इसके अतिरिक्त
English Meaning – apart from, in addition to.
Hindi Meaning – नाश, तबाही, उन्मूलन
English Meaning – removal, elimination, wiping out.
Hindi Meaning – भूख, भोजन की आवश्यकता; भुखमरी
English Meaning – need for food; starvation, famine, malnutrition.
Hindi Meaning – उपाय, कार्रवाई, कदम, प्रक्रिया
English Meaning – action, step, procedure.
13.in particular (phrase)
Hindi Meaning – विशेष रूप से, ख़ासकर
English Meaning – particularly, specifically, especially.
Hindi Meaning – गृहस्थी
English Meaning – family, house.
15.cause for cheer (phrase)
Hindi Meaning – खुशी का कारण, हंसमुख होने का कारण
English Meaning – reason to be cheerful (happy and optimistic).
16.NITI Aayog (noun)
English Meaning – The National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog, was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015. NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. (Thinktank is a panel of experts who provide advice and ideas on political, social or economic issues).
English Meaning – the basic physical or organisational structure for something (to function properly).
18.make worse (phrase)
English Meaning – worsen, aggravate, exacerbate, compound.
English Meaning – an emergency protocol implemented by the authorities that prevents people from leaving from a place; An extended state of confinement/encirclement/isolation of a person by the authority.
English Meaning – force, thrust, inflict (an unwelcome decision/ruling).
English Meaning – try, aim, attempt.
English Meaning – the worldwide spread of a new disease; The illness spreads around the world and typically affects a large number of people across a wide area.
English Meaning – clear, distinct, evident, obvious, striking.
English Meaning – dissimilarity, contrast, deviation, unevenness, variation.
25.on the one hand (phrase)
English Meaning – it is used to introduce the first of two contrasting different, points, facts, or ways of looking at something. It is always followed later by “on the other hand” or ‘on the other’.
26.point to (verb)
English Meaning – indicate, suggest, denote.
English Meaning – continuing, prolonged, persistent, unrelenting, unending, lingering.
English Meaning – relating to the interaction of social (position, rank, or importance) and economic (income, pay, and wealth) aspects.
English Meaning – imbalance, inequality, unevenness, disproportion.
English Meaning – unnoticed, not considered, not dealt with, not tackled.
English Meaning – intensify, increase, heighten, aggravate, worsen, compound.
English Meaning – relating to a system of government in which establishments such as states or provinces share power with a national government.
33.public health (noun)
English Meaning – the branch of medicine handling public health; public health is also the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities through education, policy-making, and research for disease and injury prevention.
English Meaning – in a difficult situation; in a tight spot; less fortunate/wealthy; beleaguered, troubled, hard-pressed.
English Meaning – although, in spite of the fact that, despite the fact that, even though.
English Meaning – measure, gauge, index, signal.
English Meaning – mysteriously, surprisingly, unexpectedly.
English Meaning – make, cause to be, cause to become.
English Meaning – debatable, doubtful, arguable, disputable, problematic.
English Meaning – Inequality is simply defined as “the state of not being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities; imbalance, unevenness, disproportion, disparity.
English Meaning – importance, significance, value.
English Meaning – fairness, justness, egalitarianism, equal rights/opportunities, non-discrimination.
English Meaning – participation, involvement, engagement (in something (e.g. legislature) as a representative of somebody (e.g. voters).
English Meaning – treated as insignificant, treated as unimportant, neglected.
English Meaning – local authority, administration, executive, local government.
English Meaning – famous, well-known.
47.Gini Coefficient/Gini Index (noun)
English Meaning – a statistical measure of economic inequality in a population. The coefficient measures the dispersion of income or distribution of wealth among the members of a population.
48.per capita (adverb & adjective)
English Meaning – per person, for each, individually.
English Meaning – any one group of the five equal group proportions used in statistics; In statistics, a quantile for the case where the sample or population is divided into fifths (five equal groups/classes) based on the distribution of values of a particular variable.
50.miss out (phrasal verb)
English Meaning – fail to add/include something, omit; fail to utilize/take advantage of something.
English Meaning – hopelessness, depression, distress, pain.
English Meaning – omission, slip, blunder, error, mistake.
English Meaning – indicate, identify, point out.
54.lack of (noun)
English Meaning – absence, deficiency, scarcity, dearth.
English Meaning – obvious, visible, apparent, flagrant, blatant.
English Meaning – death, casualty, mortality/loss.
English Meaning – means of making a living with the basic necessities (food, water, shelter and clothing); means of support, subsistence, source of income.
English Meaning – activity, pursuit; aim/effort.
English Meaning – tackle, deal with, attend to, try to sort out.
English Meaning – urgent, critical, crucial, important
World Environment Day 2021
The World is celebrating World Environment Day today i.e. 5th June 2021. Every year a different country host an event on this day to celebrate the beautiful presence of mother nature and to raise awareness about the various human activities that are disrupting the harmonious balance of life around us.
“World Environment Day, it’s Time for Nature”
This quote sets the tone and defines the purpose behind celebrating the day. United Nations first celebrated World Environment Day in 1974. Since then, the UN celebrates this day on 5th June of every year to raise awareness about the environmental issue world is facing today such as human overpopulation, global warming, marine pollution, wildlife crimes, desertification etc.
➤History of the World Environment Day
World Environment Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, resulting from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. Two years later, in 1974 the first World Environment Day was held with the theme “Only One Earth”. Even though the celebration has been held annually since 1974, in 1987 the idea for rotating the centre of these activities through selecting different host countries began.
Note: India hosted World Environment Day on 5th June 2018. The theme of the day was “Beat the Plastic Pollution.”
➤World Environment Day 2021
Every year a different country host this prestigious day. This year’s World Environment Day is being hosted by ‘Pakistan’ in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The event has become the platform for reaching out and engaging governments, NGOs, corporations, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on a pressing environmental issue. The theme for World Environment Day 2021 is “Ecosystem Restoration” and will see the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Ecosystem restoration can take many forms: Growing trees, greening cities, rewilding
What is Ecosystem restoration?
Ecosystem restoration means assisting in the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded or destroyed, as well as conserving the ecosystems that are still intact. Healthier ecosystems, with richer biodiversity, yield greater benefits such as more fertile soils, bigger yields of timber and fish, and larger stores of greenhouse gases.
Restoration can happen in many ways – for example through actively planting or by removing pressures so that nature can recover on its own. It is not always possible – or desirable – to return an ecosystem to its original state. We still need farmland and infrastructure on land that was once forest, for instance, and ecosystems, like societies, need to adapt to a changing climate.
The Earth – Shape and Size
Shape of the Earth
Pythagoras (572-500 B.C.), a Greek philosopher and mathematician, was among the first to suggest that the Earth was shaped like a globe.
The Earth is not flat
1. If the Earth were a flat disc, then the rising Sun would have been seen at all places at the same time. But this does not happen. Places in the east see the rising Sun earlier.
2. When a ship approaches land, its funnel or mast is seen first and then the hull. If the Earth had been flat, the whole ship would have been seen at the same time.
The Earth is a sphere
1. The Earth is rarely oriented in the same position during successive eclipses but it always casts a circular shadow, thus proving that the Earth is a sphere. A sphere is the only solid body that will always cast a circular shadow.
2. At the North Pole, the Pole Star can always be observed at 90 degrees in the sky, since the star lies in the line with the axis of the Earth.
3. As one travels southwards, the angle of Pole Star decreases.
4. At the Equator the angle becomes zero degree.
5. This observation proves that the path of travel is an arc of a circle.
6. The Sun, Moon and all the heavenly bodies appear to be spherical when viewed from different positions. It seems logical to conclude that the Earth is no exception.
7. The photographs of the Earth taken from the space prove beyond any doubt that the Earth is a sphere.
The Earth as an Oblate Spheroid
1. Refined measurements of the Earth have proved that the true form of the Earth resembles a sphere that has been compressed at the poles and made to bulge at the Equator. This form is known as an oblate spheroid.
2. The various factors which make the earth suitable for
3. life to evolve and survive are
4. The earth has all the essential elements like carbon (in the form of C02), hydrogen (H2), nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (02) which act as building blocks for the origin of life.
5. The earth is neither too hot nor too cold. It has the right temperature range for carrying out the life-sustaining chemical reactions.
6. The earth has a lot of water in the form of lakes, rivers and oceans for the growth and survival of life.
7. The earth has enough oxygen gas in its atmosphere for the survival of living beings through breathing.
8. The earth has a protective blanket of ozone layer high up in its atmosphere to save life from harmful ultraviolet radiations coming from the sun.
Australia with New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands (Micronesian, Melanesian and Polynesian Islands) is called Australasia by some geographers while some others call it “Oceania”, which includes proximate islands (Caribbean countries etc.).
Oceans on The Earth
There are four oceans. In order of their size, they are : Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and Arctic Ocean.
1. The explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who circumnavigated the Earth, named the ocean “Pacific” meaning calm or peaceful.
2. The Pacific Ocean (Area : 166,240,000 sq. km.) is the largest ocean of the world.
3. It is the deepest ocean with an average depth of 4,200 m.
4. The Mariana Trench is the world’s deepest trench with a depth of 11,033 metres (36,201 feet).
5. Most of the islands of this ocean are of volcanic or coral origin.
1. The Atlantic Ocean (Area : 86,560,000 sq. km.) is the second largest ocean in the world
2. Its name is derived from Atlas, a Titan (giant) in Greek mythology.
3. The Atlantic Ocean has the longest coastline.
4. The Atlantic Ocean is the busiest ocean for trade and commerce since its shipping routes connect the two most industrialized regions, namely Western Europe and N.E. United States of America.
5. The Atlantic Ocean was formed millions of years ago when a rift opened up in the Gondwanaland and the continents of South America and Africa separated. The separation continues even today and the Atlantic Ocean is still widening.
6. The continental islands of Newfoundland and British Isles are the major ones.
7. Volcanic islands are fewer and they include those of Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Iceland is the largest island of volcanic origin.
1. The Indian Ocean (Area : 73,430,000 sq. km.) is the only ocean named after a country.
2. The Indian Ocean is deeper than the Atlantic Ocean.
3. It contains numerous continental islands, Madagascar and Sri Lanka are being the largest ones.
4. Some of the islands of volcanic origin are those of Mauritius, Andaman and Nicobar, Seychelles, Maldives and Lakshadweep are of coral origin.
South Indian Ocean
1. Warm currents : 1. South Equatorial 2. Mozambique 3. Madagascar 4. Agulhas.
2. Cool Currents : 1. Antarctic drift 2. West Australian currents.
1. The Arctic Ocean (Area : 13,230,000 sq. km.) is the smallest of all the oceans.
2. It lies within the Arctic Circle, hence the name Arctic Ocean.
3. The North Pole lies in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.
4. Most of the parts of Arctic Ocean remains frozen with thick ice for most of the days every year.
5. It is the shallowest of all oceans, with an average depth of 1,500 m.
6. It has the least salinity of all the oceans. It has a salinity of 20 unit per thousand.
1. The flow of a large amount of water in a definite direction with a great intensity is known as Ocean Current.
2. Ocean Currents are of two types-Hot and Cold.
1. The currents flowing from tropical zones of lower latitudes to higher temperate and sub polar zones are known as hot water currents.
1. The currents flowing from higher latitudes to lower latitudes are known as cold water currents.
2. The only exception to the conduction of ocean currents is found in the Indian Ocean. The flow of currents changes here with a change in the direction of the Monsoon Winds. The hot currents flow towards cooler oceans and the cold currents flow towards the warmer oceans.
Important Scientific Instruments and their usage
It is used to store electrical energy
It measures altitudes and is used in aircraft.
It measures the strength of electric current (in amperes).
It measures the force and velocity of the wind.
It measures the intensity of sound.
It is used for improving the imperfect sense of hearing.
It is used for continuous recording of atmospheric pressure.
It measures atmospheric pressure.
It is used to view distant objects
It measures heat radiation
It measures the quantity of heat.
It is used in an internal combustion engine for charging the air with petrol vapor.
It traces movements of the heart, recorded on a cardiograph.
It determines the longitude of a place in a ship.
It is an instrument used in cinema making to throw on screen and enlarged image of the photograph.
An instrument for comparing intensities of colour.
An instrument to change or remove the direction of an electric current, in dynamo used to convert alternating current into direct current.
It measures the growth in plants.
A charged particle accelerator which can accelerate charged particles to high energies.
It converts mechanical energy into electrical energy
It measures force, torque, and power
It detects the presence of an electric charge.
It examines the internal parts of the body.
A glass tube for measuring volume changes in chemical reactions between gases.
It measures the depth of the ocean.
It measures the electric current of low magnitude.
It measures the specific gravity of liquids.
It measures sound under water.
It measures humidity in the air.
It graphically records physiological movements (Blood pressure and heartbeat).
It determines the purity of milk.
It measures the pressure of gases.
It is an instrument used by the sailors to determine the direction.
It converts the sound waves into electrical vibrations and to magnify the sound.
It is used to obtain a magnified view of small objects.
An instrument by which the distance covered by wheeled vehicles is measured.
It is used to view objects above sea level (used in submarines)
An instrument for producing sound.
The instrument compares the luminous intensity of the source of light
It is used for comparing the electromotive force of cells.
It measures very high temperature.
A highly accurate clock used in astronomical observations and other precision work
Radio, angle, detection and range is used to detect the direction and range of an approaching aeroplane by means of radio micro waves
It measures the emission of radiant energy.
An apparatus for recording rainfall at a particular place.
An instrument used for the conversion of AC into DC.
It measures refractive index.
It measures the amount of sugar in the solution.
It determines salinity of solution.
It measures the intensity of earthquake shocks.
This is used by navigators to find the latitude of a place by measuring the elevation above the horizon of the sun or another star.
It is an instrument for measuring the energy distribution of a particular type of radiation.
An instrument used for spectrum analysis
It is an instrument placed in a vehicle to record its speed.
It measures the curvatures of surfaces.
It measures blood pressure.
It is used to view two dimensional pictures.
An instrument which is used by the doctors to hear and analyse heart and lung sounds.
It is used to view rapidly moving objects.
An instrument used in measuring speeds of aero planes and motor boats.
This instrument receives and sends typed messages from one place to another.
It views distant objects in space.
It measures horizontal and vertical angles.
This instrument is used for the measurement of temperatures.
It regulates the temperature at a particular point.
A small device which may be used to amplify currents and perform other functions usually performed by a thermionic valve
It is used to measure the amount of liquid precipitation over a set period of time. It is also called Rain Gauge.
An adjustable scale for measuring small subdivisions of scale
It measures the viscosity of liquids.
It measures the electric potential difference between two points.