21 Jun 2017

Sage Speak

Sage Speak

Q: I have graduated recently. I gather Insurance is a sun-rise career sector in India providing a quick career opening. Please detail me the career options and opportunities in the Insurance sector.

Sage Response:

Insurance as a financial instrument is a cover or a protection against risks and hazards on life and property. Such an instrument is an agreement between the Insurer (the seller of the instrument) and the insured to give effect to such a cover is called an Insurance Policy.

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15 Jun 2017

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), previously known as the Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work, was established in 1936 in Mumbai, with the aim of creation and provision of socially relevant and high quality professional education in a wide range of interdisciplinary areas of Social Sciences to a large number of students from all sections of the society in the country. TISS was the first recognized educational institution on social work in India. The feather in the cap was when TISS was accorded a “Deemed university” status in 1964. Since then, the Institute has focused on continuously enhancing the spectrum of social science studies by incorporating varied social issues as subject themes in tune with the changing socio-economic scenarios across various sectors in India.

True to its avowed objectives,TISS has evolved into an institution of excellence aiding all sections of society to gain valuable knowledge and education, and develop knowledge that is in style with the changing facets of Indian society and economy. The Institute apart from its quality autonomous research and knowledge extension services has also retained its focus on social field actions. In diverse fields these pioneering action have helped in the creation of new policies and programs by the government as well.

Also TISS has continuously offered professional aid in tackling rehabilitation and relief programs in cases of natural or man-made disasters. It has been an active participant in state planning and policy formulations, thanks to its synchronized approach it has adopted in fields of teaching, research and field actions.


Academics has been at the centre of all the seminal works at TISS. The academics wing of TISS comprises of schools, resource centers and independent centers, spread out at different campuses and locations  across India with a wide range of course offerings.

Centers of School under TISS include

School of Education School of Develop-ment Studies School of Habitat Studies School of Health System Studies
Centre for education Advanced centre for women’s studies Centre for urban policy and governance Centre for health and social sciences
Centre for higher education Centre for the study of developing economies Centre for science, technology and society Centre for health, policy, planning and management
Centre for public policy, habitat and human development Centre for water policy regulation and governance Centre for public health
Centre for climate change and sustainability studies Centre for hospital management
Centre for population health and development Jamsedji Tata centre of disaster management


School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance School of Management and Labor Studies School of Media and Cultural Studies School of Social Work
Centre for law and society Centre for human resource mgmt and labor relations Centre for critical media praxis Centre for community organization and development practice
Nodal centre of excellence for human rights education Centre for labor studies Centre for study of contemporary culture Centre for criminology and justice
Centre for social entrepreneurship Media archive and resource centre Centre for equity for women, children and families
Centre of social and organizational leadership Centre for disabilities study and action
Centre for public policy and governance Centre for health and mental health
Centre for social justice and governance
Environment equity and justice
Centre for livelihoods and social innovation


Apart from these academic Centers there are quite a few independent centers, as well functioning under TISS, including-

  • Centre for Human Ecology
  • Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • Centre for Research Methodology
  • Centre for Studies in Sociology of Education


One of the core thematic components of TISS is Research.The Institute runs autonomous research programs mainly in basic and applied social sciences. Research programs leading to M.Phil and PhD generally focuses on contemporary and relevant social development and policy improvement themes. Uniqueness lies in its research and doctoral offerings with their flexibility and freedom to students to choose from research areas of their personal interest and of social relevance. In research programs at TISS, the scholars perse gain knowledge and learning, and also play a major role in promoting practical social actions across sectors in the country. TISS runs a research development cell, aimed at strengthening the institute’s research capabilities. Funding options for the research undertaken at TISS are available by way of self-funding by TISS, as well as by Central/State government, international organization and financial institution fundings. Keeping pace with the ever-changing socio-economic patterns and movements in the country, the areas of research and development have continuously evolved thus opening up new unexplored avenues.


Since its inception,TISS has initiated and promoted various Field Actions. Such Field Action forays have provided valuable insights to a program’s relevance to the real life socio-economic scenarios and this has helped both teachers and students alike to apply the theoretical learning they have acquired into practical action situations. Designed as an extension of the learning experiences, such actions have spread awareness on the latest happenings in the social sectors of the country, so that relevant and much needed programs are initiated in the future.

Some of the most popular Field action projects at TISS have been –

  1. Koshish– Targetted at the inter-related issues of begging, destitution and homelessness through a combination of support-building measures, pitched at varying levels, such as,

(i). Providing support for basic and immediate needs,

(ii). Facilitating linkages to provide employment opportunities and

(iii). Advocating the integration of the distressed masses into the larger society.

Koshish has also spawned the development of meaningful policies for securing rightful entitlements.

  1. Prayas– Established way back in 1990, Prayas is a social work demonstration project of the Centre for Criminology and Justice.Its project focus has been on service delivery, networking, training, research and documentation, and policy change in custodial/institutional rights and rehabilitation of socio-economically vulnerable individuals and groups.
  2. RCI-VAW Research Centre for Interventions on Violence against Women– RCI-VAW fostered creation of effective and efficient interventions with various stakeholders via training and research to enable deeper understanding of issues and interventions needed to stop violence against women.
  3. Tarasha– Tarasha, conceptualized as a community based rehabilitation model for women recovering from mental illnesses, this program supported women in achieving financial independence through psycho-social support, vocational training, job development and job support. One of the key aims of the program has been fighting poverty, unemployment, marginalization and increasing disabilities among women.
  4. iCall– iCall, a community service initiative of TISS, has provided psychological assistance and information – accurate, unbiased, non-discriminating and accessible information to all individuals coming from across India,with specific emphasis on those hitherto excluded, marginalized and discriminated persons. Support provided at iCall has been acknowledged as warm, patient and non-judgmental, with assistance provided via phone or email by professionally trained counselors. The hallmark of iCall service is characterises by its confidentiality, anonymity, accurate information/knowledge dissemination, easy accessibility and wide referral network.
  5. Saksham– Saksham, a part of TISS and with A-1 rating by Global Fund-was developed for conducting master training programs and helping in building infrastructure to develop the capacities of forty and odd academic institutions, spread across the country. The program aimed at providing supportive supervision and training to 12,000 counselors working in the National HIV/AIDS counseling program.

Key programs

Some of the key and Salient programs offered by the Institute:

  • Integrated B.A. and M.A. in Social Sciences and Arts Program
  • Integrated M.Phil and PhD. in Education and Women Studies
  • Direct PhD. in Women Studies and Social Sciences
  • Executive PG in HRM


  • Admissions for PG programs are based on a national entrance test, popularly known as TISSNET. Candidates cannot apply for more than five courses at a time. Once candidates clear the entrance test, calls are given for the interview round and based on the total scores rankings the course admission is granted.
  • Admissions for graduate programs are based on entrance tests and only candidates successfully clearing these tests are invited for the succeeding interview rounds.
  • Admissions for Integrated M. Phil and PhD programs are done once every academic year, mostly during June and July, at the beginning of the academic session.
  • Admissions for direct PhD programs are done twice a year, usually in June/July and Jan/Feb months.


Post TISS, there are substantial career opportunities available for graduating students. Graduates wanting to pursue social and developmental work, with an aim at affirmative social action, can have sizeable job offerings in various government and volunteer organizations.

Further, graduating students looking for higher paying jobs and substantial salary packages can opt for the major IT and other companies including MNCs and private organizations, such as Nestle, Nokia, Ernest & Young and IMRB, among several others, who regularly recruit at TISS Campus. It is notable that with changes in CSR regulations and corporate obligations thereof, opportunities have really burgeoned. TISS runs an active placement cell, with reputed institutions and companies calling at TISS every year to hire their graduates. As per TISS- pressers the placement percentage is total for each of the successive years.

Career opportunities are not restricted to any particular sector for a TISS graduate/PG. However, the key is the specific area of expertise in social reform and developmental programs,that one is specialised in. Many TISS grads move to IAS and such other Administrate Services as well where social action and leadership have a big role for which TISS students specifically are groomed too.

A career dedicated for a cause may have challenges and hurdles and also be inspiring and rewarding too. So, if contributing to mankind and society at large and bringing about positive changes in the society appeal to you as a career, TISS is one of the best institutes to get groomed in.

– See more at: /tata-institute-social-sciences/page/0/1#sthash.CijoUSQN.dpuf

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09 Jun 2017

Competition / Help Material

Tests for recruitment into jobs and for entry into Institutes including the reputed ones such as the  IIMs, IITs and others, have been commonplace.Apart from these, there are tests mandatory for admissions in colleges and universities such as the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, SAT and ACT. These tests need structured preparation and practice. To facilitate such a preparation, T&C Magazine has an exclusive column space, providing such Help-material useful in preparation for these tests and examinations. This Help-material can be about imparting of knowledge and basics for and about the tests or about practice/test Help material featuring previous tests/test patterns and the best suggested methods of solving them.

In compiling these Test Help-materials, we acknowledge drawing such resources from our sister organisation, SYNERGY ACADEMY, that is pioneering new age methods for such test coaching preparatories.

General Knowledge

General knowledge (GK) section of competitive examinations is an important section of subject testing.Hence preparing adequately for it is an essential part of Test preparation.One of the advantages of preparing for this part of the test is that it allows lot of flexibility in the preparation in terms of study material available for it; it is available anywhere and everywhere in the form of newspaper supplements, GK books and books of general reading.

Indian Judicial System-A Sample Essay for Civil Services Exam

Indian Judicial system has a three tiered structure,comprising of the Supreme Court at the top,High Courts at the helm of various states and various district and session courts,lower courts of civil and criminal jurisdiction such as metropolitan magistrate courts etc.at the lowest level.

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09 Jun 2017

Indian Judicial System-A Sample Essay for Civil Services Exam

Indian Judicial system has a three tiered structure,comprising of the Supreme Court at the top,High Courts at the helm of various states and various district and session courts,lower courts of civil and criminal jurisdiction such as metropolitan magistrate courts etc.at the lowest level.

This structure of Indian judiciary is in a way derived from legal system established by the British, who ruled the Indian subcontinent for more than 20 years. Thus one can see lot of similarities between British and Indian Judiciary. The Indian Judiciary is an autonomous body that operates with a range of courts such as Supreme Court, High Courts and District Courts. It is also distinct in its scope and jurisdiction from the legislative bodies, such as Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, and the executive bodies, such as Central Government, State Governments and Union Territories etc. Let’s take a look at the Indian Judicial System in detail.

Historical background

India has a recorded legal history since the Vedic times. Even as early as 300 BC, there existed a legal system  which was governed by the rules laid out in Arthashastra, a treatise on statecraft written by Kautilya and during the later stages of 100 AD it was governed according to the tenets of Manusmriti. Ancient Indian people also followed ‘Amrithis’ (rules and procedures of the time and place) as described in Vedas, Upanishads and scriptures followed by Hindu, Jain and Buddhists. Ancient Indian history is replete with stories about kings and rulers conducting daily courts to deal with civil and criminal cases. Following the Mughal conquest of Indian subcontinent, the region came under Mughal laws and judicial system. But after the British Empire took over the region, a new legal system came into existence, with separate laws for Muslims and Hindus and drastic changes in the commercial, criminal and procedural laws.

When India attained Independence, a framework for the new legal system was drawn in the form of “Indian Constitution”. As a result, a unified and hierarchical judiciary, headed by the Supreme Court came into existence. Although many laws from the British period were preserved, changes were made to give powers to the Supreme Court rather than to the Privy Council as dictated by the British rule. Some of the amendments made were:

  • Each state should have a single judiciary with the High Court at the apex. There should not be any lower central courts, but there will be specialized tribunals to handle cases on income tax and labour matters
  • The traditional justice will be resurrected in the form of informal village courts
  • Constitutionalism came into effect where courts were given empowerment and legislative and administrative acts that violate the Indian Constitution would be acted against
  • Issues regarding Fundamental Rights of citizens can be directly brought to the High Courts or the Supreme Court without the need for lodging the complaint in local courts. This also led to the development of an elaborate constitutional jurisprudence
  • After India was declared as a secular state, equality among individuals became a nodal aspect. So the practice of “untouchability” and other social practices were abolished from the Indian Constitution
  • Tribal groups and other backward class groups were given privileges in jobs, schools and other career prospects
  • Laws for the empowerment of rights of women, abolition of dowry and emancipation of bonded labourers were created
  • The Constitution also laid out that over a period of time a Uniform Civil Code and the same set of secular civil laws will be enacted to govern all people irrespective of their religion, caste and tribe.

Present Indian Judicial System

The existing Indian Judicial System is framed by one of the lengthiest, written Constitutions in the history.  The Constitution declares India as a sovereign socialist, democratic and republic country assuring all its citizens equality, justice and liberty. The new system has laid down all the powers, duties, procedures and structures of government at the union and state levels. It contains 395 articles and 12 schedules and numerous amendments enacted from time to time.

It has also provided for various provisions for setting up a single integrated system of courts for administering union and state laws. The striking feature of the modern judiciary is the use of a common law system which combines decisions, orders and judgments from judges in addition to statutory and regulatory laws. This common law, in  contrast to the British laws was only limited to decisions, orders and judgments from judges. Another salient feature of our judicial system is that it follows the adversarial system. In the adversarial system, if a case is analyzed, the case is said to have two sides and both the sides can present their arguments to a neutral judge, who would give his/her final judgment after analyzing the merits of each side.

The laws of the Indian judiciary are also drawn from other legal systems, but designed in a manner that the laws do not conflict with each other while dealing with the rights and benefits of the nation and  people. For ex: our judiciary has adopted the policy of providing powers to Supreme Court and High Court. This has been taken from the American legal system.

According to the Constitution, Supreme Court is the Apex Court and it will be followed by various High Courts at the state levels. The High Court can have jurisdiction on one or more states based on the High Courts availability in each state and hence some states can share High Courts with other states (For ex: Punjab and Haryana share the HC of Chandigarh). Below the level of High Courts there will be subordinate courts comprising of District Courts and the Session Courts and other lower courts.

The Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court came into existence after India became a Sovereign Democratic Republic country on January 28 1950. It is the highest judicial forum and the final court for appeals as on to the Constitution of India. The Supreme Court is only located at the capital of India, Delhi, without any benches in any part of the nation. The Supreme Court is presided by the Chief Justice of India and the retirement age of the Chief Justice is 65 years. Currently Justice M.L.Dattu is the Chief Justice of India and he will be and the helm of the Indian judiciary from 28th September 2014- 2nd Dec 2015

Composition of Supreme Court and pre-requisites of SC Judges:

The Supreme Court comprises of the Chief Justice and 30 other judges (since 2008) who are appointed by the President of India. The number of judges has increased in the Supreme Court from time-to-time. During 1950s, the total numbers of judges were 8 and it was increased to 11 in 1960. The count was increased to 18 during 1978. In 1986, the number went up to 26 and again it was raised to 31 in 2008. The increases have been mainly due to the accumulation of cases and the increased workload of courts.

The cases in the SC are heard by different benches with varied sizes. The largest bench of the Supreme Court is referred to as the Constitution bench that consists of 5 to 7 judges. The constitution of a bench is done after analyzing the magnitude of the case and the work load it entails. A Divisional Bench comprises of two judges, while a Full Bench may consist of 3 to 5 judges.


  • A person who is appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court has to be a citizen of India
  • He/she must have at least served as a High Court judge or two or more such courts for 5 years in succession or as an Advocate of a High Court or two or more such courts for at least 10 years in succession
  • The President should give a good opinion about the judge and in the President’s view, the Supreme Court judge should be a distinguished jurist.

The judges of Supreme Court will be discharged from their duties as a result of death or when he/she attains the retirement age of 65 years. However, he/she can be removed from duty from the order of the President due to misbehaviour or incapacity, in which case there would be a vote in the Houses of Parliament, which should be supported by two-third of the voting members. Also, a person who has served as a Supreme Court judge cannot practice in any court and should not practice before any Indian Authority.

Functions of Supreme Court

  • SC deals with interstate matters, issues pertaining to more than one state and issues between the Union Government and one or more states
  • It has the power to punish anyone for its own contempt
  • Appeals to the Supreme Court are allowed from High Courts only if the matter is deemed to be highly important or has an effect on fundamental principles and laws of the Indian Constitution. Matters escalated to the Supreme Court by the High Courts should also be certified by the HC for their severity
  • Supreme Court can review orders passed by HC and it can also transfer the case from one HC to other or from one District Court to another
  • The Supreme Court exercises judicial independence on all judicial, legal and other matters of state
  • The proceedings of the Supreme Court are conducted in English only
  • A High Court has powers to correct errors on petitions from cases of lower courts and tribunals in judicial and quasi judicial matters
  • High Courts are required to hear all the orders dictated by Sessions Courts and declare references in case of criminal cases
  • High Courts hear criminal appeals from Session and Additional Session judges or from any other court, where more than seven years of imprisonment are awarded for a convict
  • High Courts, when dealing with large numbers of cases of particular regions, may have permanent benches situated there.

Appointment of High Court Judges

The High Court judges are usually appointed by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the State. The number of judges in a HC is decided by the average registration of total number of cases in the previous five years or the average clearance of number of main cases per year in that respective High Court.

Subordinate courts

These courts are under the administrative control of High Courts and the jurisdiction of these courts is confined to the districts they are responsible for. They have almost similar structures in all parts of the country and they deal with civil and criminal cases and revenue cases with their respective jurisdiction under Code of Civil Procedure and Code of Criminal Procedure and Land Revenue Acts. They are basically classified into two types as District and Sessions Courts to deal with civil and criminal cases, respectively.

District Judge, Additional District Judge and Civil Judge will deal with civil cases. The civil issues will only be escalated to the High Court, if the amount of dispute in the matter is way above the jurisdiction of the District Courts. The decisions of the District Courts are subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the High Court.

The Session judges usually handle criminal cases with jurisdiction in order to revise the orders from subordinate magistrates and other serious offences.

The subordinate or lower courts can broadly be classified into Civil Courts, Criminal Courts and Revenue Courts.

Civil Courts

Civil courts handle disputes between two or more persons regarding property, breach of agreement or contract, divorce, landlord and tenant issues, and others. These courts do not award any punishments to the convicts. The hierarchy of the civil court contains Munsifs at the low level, followed by Sub-judge and additional sub-judge and then followed by District Judge on top of the hierarchy. Most of the civil cases will be filed in Munsifs and it will be then heard by sub-judge and additional sub-judge and the appeals from them will go to the District Court. The final verdict will be given by the District Judge after hearing all the sides of the case. If the petitioner feels the verdict is not satisfactory, he/she is entitled to escalate the case to the High Court.

The appointment of officers and other functionaries of the Supreme Court are usually done by the Supreme Court Registry. The Registry is headed by Secretary General, who gets assistance from seven Registrars and twenty one Additional Registrars.



Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction is divided into: Original jurisdiction, Advisory Jurisdiction, Writ Jurisdiction and Appellate Jurisdiction.

Original Jurisdiction

Original Jurisdiction is referred to as the process when the court hears the issue for the first time. It is usually applied while hearing cases of conflicts between the Government of India and one or more states or between one state and other state or between two or more states. The original jurisdiction is also applied for issues regarding Fundamental Rights.

Appellate Jurisdiction

It is the process when a case is heard for the second instance. For ex: if the case is escalated from High Court to Supreme Court, the appellate jurisdiction is applied. The apex court hears appeals against any judgment or final order with respect to civil or criminal cases or Constitutional matters that require an interpretation of the Constitution or on a matter of general importance such as awarding death sentences.

Writ Jurisdiction

The Writ Jurisdiction is also a part of the Original Jurisdiction, where it can issue directions for enforcement of any rights including the Fundamental Rights.

Advisory Jurisdiction

This type of jurisdiction mainly involves advising on matters, which is usually referred to the President of India.

The Supreme Court also gives permission to advocates to practice law based on three categories. They are: Senior Advocates, Advocates-on-record and other advocates.

Senior Advocates: These people are usually appointed by HC or SC based on the skill and knowledge of professionals. A senior advocate cannot appear in the SC without advocate-on-record or without any junior in any other court. He/she is not entitled to draw affidavits or any drafting works of the Supreme Court.

Advocates-on-record: These advocates are only entitled to file any matter or documents before the Supreme Court.

Other Advocates: They can argue on behalf of any party in the Supreme Court, but are not entitled to file any documents before the Supreme Court.

Some of the recent notable high profile cases handled by the Supreme Court include 2G spectrum scam case, judgment on National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, Coal scam, and others.

High Courts

The High Courts are the supreme judicial authorities at the state level. There are 24 High Courts in India at the state level and all the High Courts are governed by the orders and rules of the Supreme Court of India. These courts are entitled to exercise their jurisdiction powers in the state, union territories or a group of states or group of union territories based on the necessity.

The distinction between the Supreme Court and a High Courts are:

  • Any law or order passed by a High Court need not necessarily be binding on other High Courts or subordinate courts under them, unless these courts choose to follow their judgments. However, orders passed by the Supreme Court are binding on all other courts
  • The territorial jurisdiction of the High Courts are varied.

Criminal Courts

The Court of Sessions Judge is the highest court to handle the criminal cases in a district. These cases relate to violation of laws pertaining to theft, dacoit, rape, pick-pocketing, physical assault, murder and so on. The cases will be usually filed against the accused by police and it will be submitted for hearings in the later stages of dealing with the case. These courts also award punishments to the convict, if he/she is found guilty. The punishments can be imprisonment, fine or even death sentence depending upon the severity of the case.

Revenue courts

These courts mainly deal with land revenues of the state. The lands will mostly be agricultural and revenue lands of the district.

Tribunals and Regulators

Apart from all above cited courts, there are also public administrative agencies which exercise powers resembling to that of a court of law called quasi judicial system to enforce certain actions. Such bodies are called Tribunals and Regulatory Bodies. A Tribunal is a statutory system for addressing grievances and dispute adjudications. Some of the Tribunals are – Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which deals with disputes arising from recruitment conditions and services of persons of public services, Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) which deals with issues of the telecom sector, Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) which deals about the issues of armed forces, Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) which deals with administrative control of Banking and Financial services. The functions and jurisdictions of these Tribunals are limited to the specific areas and are not applicable to other areas.

Regulatory bodies are bodies that regulate all corporate activities which fall under the purview of the statute. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI, and State Electricity Regulatory Commissions are two examples of such regulatory bodies.


The Indian judicial system has undergone various changes since Independence and has evolved into a robust structure and system of justice. Recent notable developments in this system include computerisation of courts, setting up of special courts, fast-track courts and evening courts for quick disposal of cases, setting up of Lok Adalats to resolve petty disputes and others.

At a time when sections of Indian political system, bureaucracy media and business sectors are dogged by charges of corruption, nepotism and crony capitalism, judiciary more or less has been a polestar. Though criticised as practicing activism by a few, India’s Apex court to its credit has been unsparing on shady practices of the executive and government bodies. No wonder many view our judicial system as one of the few hopes for the future of this country.

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09 Jun 2017

General Knowledge

General knowledge (GK) section of competitive examinations is an important section of subject testing.Hence preparing adequately for it is an essential part of Test preparation.One of the advantages of preparing for this part of the test is that it allows lot of flexibility in the preparation in terms of study material available for it; it is available anywhere and everywhere in the form of newspaper supplements, GK books and books of general reading.

GK, as tested in competitive tests, covers all general areas of knowledge viz. History, General Science, Economics, Geography, Polity and others. To facilitate easy assimilation of such knowledge on a regular basis, Synergy Tests & Careers magazine will provide to test-takers easy-to-understand informative long type passages as well as objective type material covering relevant topics on each of the abovecited subjects. The study material presented here will be simple and straight-forward GK-content to facilitate your easy reading and grasping. Go ahead, happy reading!


1.The seven continents of the world are

North America
South America
2.Poles, Longitudes and Latitudes

Our earth, as a global planet, has at its two spherical ends, designated pole areas called as the North Pole and South Pole. In between these two poles an imaginatory line called ‘Equator’ is drawn around the globe at the centre. Thus earth sphere is divided into two equal hemisphere parts, namely Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere.
A set of imaginary lines drawn on the globe joining the north and south poles are called the meridians of longitude. The line drawn at 0° passing through the Royal observatory situated in Greenwich new London (U.K) is called the Prime Meridian. All other Lines drawn passing through various places parallel to this Prime Meridian to the east or west of it are normal meridians and the longitude of a plane is the arc measured in degrees of such parallel lines with the Prime Meridian.
Prime Meridian is a zero degree line passing through the Greenwich Royal Observatory in London, UK. Latitudes are the ones passing through a place measured in degrees measured north or south of meridian between that place and the equator at zero degree.
The latitudes range from 0° at the equator to 90° north or south at the poles.
An ‘international nautical mile’ is defined as equivalent to 1852 international metre. It is proved that one nautical mile very closely approximates to the average length of one minute of latitude.
Each rotation of earth on its axis takes 23 hours 56 minutes and 4.09 seconds.
The velocity of rotation of an object on the earth’s surface at the equator is about 1700 km per hour and it decreases towards the poles.
Earth’s average orbital rotational velocity is 29.79 km/sec.
One revolution is completed in 365 days and six hours.
Eclipses: The total or partial obscuration of light from a celestial body as it passes through the shadow of another body is known as eclipse.
The solar system-The sun and the eight planets and other heavenly bodies that revolve around it constitute the solar system.
Geoids: The geoid is the theoretical shape of the earth based on estimates of its mass, elasticity and speed of rotation, ignoring its surface irregularities.
Based on certain astronomical observation made by French astronomer, Jean Richer, it is revealed that the true from of the earth is not a perfect sphere.
Great circle: It is a circle on earth’s surface, the plane of which passes through earth’s centre, cutting it into two equal halves.
Small circle: It is made by a plane passing through the globe any-where except through the centre.
The Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn are examples of small circles.
Summer Solstice: On June 21, the earth is so located in its orbit that the sun is overhead on the Tropic of Cancer.
The northern hemisphere is tipped towards the sun, having the longest day, while the southern hemisphere is tipped away from the sun, having the shortest day.
The sun is overhead on the Tropic of Capricorn resulting in the shortest day in the northern hemisphere.
Equinoxes: Two days in a year when day and night are equal throughout the world are equinoxes, namely 23rd September and 21st March.
Winter Solstice: On December 22, the earth is in an equivalent position on the opposite point is its orbit; so the southern hemisphere is tipped towards the Sun and the northern hemisphere away from it.
Time and Longitude

One hour of time is equivalent to 15 degree of longitude.
This also means that 1 degree of longitude is covered every 4 minutes during the daily rotation of the earth.
Standard Time

Most countries adopt a standard time as per the International Meridian Conference of 1884, held in Washington.
The Standard time in India is the local time of a place at longitude near Allahabad.

International Date Line

  • The 180th meridian was designated the International Date Line by the IMC held in Washington D.C., in 1884.
  • Counting from Greenwich Meridian, the date immediately east of this line is one day ahead or 12 hours faster than the west.

The Moon

  • The moon is earth’s only satellite with a diameter of about 3480 km and a mass of about 1/81 that of earth.
  • The mean distance between the earth and the moon is about 385000 km.
  • The time taken by the moon to complete one revolution around the earth is 27 days. 7 hours, 43 minutes and 11.6 seconds.
  • The moon at all times keeps the same side towards the earth. This means it rotates on its axis exactly once in each side-real month.
  • Like the earth, half of the moon’s surface is always illuminated by the Sun’s rays.

Structure of Atmosphere

  • Trophosphere: It is the lower most atmospheric layer extending from about 8 km at the poles and 16 km at equator.
  • It is characterised by almost uniform decrease of temperature with a rise in altitude (about 10C per 165 metres)
  • Stratosphere:  The second layer of atmosphere is called stratosphere.
  • The level at which the troposphere gives way to stratosphere is called tropopause.
  • The upper limit of this layer is called stratopause.
  • Within the stratosphere, temperature increases from about 600C tropopause to about 00C at stratopause
  • Ozone is produced in tropical and mid latitudes of stratosphere.
  • The stratosphere provides ideal conditions for flying aeroplanes.
  • Mesosphere: It is the atompsheric layer extending between the stratopause (at an altitude of about 50 km) and mesopause-the upper limit of mesosphere (at about 80-90 km).
  • Within mesosphere, the temperature decreases with altitude from about 00C at stratopause to about 1000C at mesopause.

Thermosphere is the uppermost layer of the atmosphere, extending from the mesosphere at an altitude of about 85 km to 400 km of the atmosphere.

  • Within it, the temperature increases with altitude from about 1000C at the mesosphere to over 1500C.
  • Exosphere: It is the boundary between the earth’s atmosphere and the interplanetary space.
  • The magnetosphere: It is the area surrounding the earth extending to about 60,000 km on the side facing the Sun and more on the opposite side.


  • It is the radiant energy that reaches the surface of the earth from the Sun. The Sun emit’s a wide variety of energy waves from very short X-rays to longer infrared rays.
  • Only about 1 part in 2000 million of the total of Sun’s radiation reaches the earth, it is essential for the sustenance of life here.

Tropical Rain Forests

  • Average temperature about 270C. Annual rainfall-about 250cm. Characterised by high annual temperature and heavy rain fall, this climate type occurs in the belt 00 to 250 North and South.
  • Areas-Amazon Basin, Congo Basin, Indonesia. High temperature is due to high humidity, little air movement.
  • Monsoon: Annual average temperature- about 260C. Highest temperature in May before summer, rainfall-300 cm, annual.
  • This type occurs in western Guinea coast of Africa, South eastern Asia, Eastern Amazon valley, West Indies and Guiana Coast lands of South America.

Tropical Savannah or Sudan

  • Annual average temperature about 230C. Annual rainfall about 160 cm.
  • Area-Columbia, Guianas, north of Amazon in South America, Burma, Thailand, Northern Australia, Vietnam and Venezuela.

Tropical and Sub-tropical Deserts

  • Average annual temperature is 380C; annual summer temperature is 400C, annual winter temperature is 150C.
  • Areas-Arabia, South-West Africa, Central Australia, the Thar, The Sahara and South-Western USA.

Tropical and sub-tropical steppe: Average annual temperature is 21°C. Rainfall-small and highly variable. Areas-Arabia, southern Australia, southern Iran, north-western Mexico and north western India.

Humid Meso-thermal or Warm Temperate

  • This type is classified into the following sub-groups.
  • Mediterranean Type: Average annual temperature is 16°C. Average winter temperature, 10°C, average summer temperature 25°C. Annual rainfall is 40-60 cm. This type is classified into the following sub-groups.

Areas-south-western and south-eastern tip of Australia, Central California, Central Chile, Mediterranean Sea, southern tip of South Africa.

  • China type: Annual average temperature is 19°C, annual rainfall 120 cm. Areas-Argentina, eastern coal belt of Australia, southern Brazil, China, Japan, south-east U.S.A. and Uruguay.
  • West European type:  Annual average temperature is 10°C, annual winter temperature 7°C, annual summer temperature is 15°C. Rainfall occurs throughout the year.

Areas-North America, South America, South-eastern coastal strip of Australia, Western Europe.

  • Snow or Humid Micro-Thermal of Taiga: Average temperature of Taiga: Average temperature annual 5°C, winter 3°C, summer, 13°C. Total annual rainfall less than 50 cm. Extends in two large belts in east-west direction from Alaska to New found land in North America from Norway to Kamchatka Peninsula in Eurasia.
  • Ice or Polar or Tundra: Annual temperature-summer 10°C, winter, below 0°C.
  • Undifferentiated Highland Types: Covers the Andes Mountains, a small part of Alps, the Himalayas, the Rockies and the Tibetian plateau.


  • Tropical Desert: Mostly situated between 15°N and 30°S and between 15°N and 30°S. They lie on the western side of land-masses except for Africa where they extend from coast to coast, linking up with the Asian deserts. The chief regions are Sahara (N. Africa), Arabia, parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Israel, parts of Pakistan, central Australia Namib Desert (S.W. Africa), Atacama (coastal Peru and N.Chile), S. California, N.Mexico and parts of Arizona (N.America). The most common plants are cacti, thorn bushes and coarse grasses.
  • Mid-Latitude Deserts: These are situated in the interior of continents of Asia and North America, 30° to 35° latitude. Aridity and a great annual temperature with extremes of winter cold mark the region. In North America these deserts are found in basins surrounded by the Rockies. In South America the Patagonia desert lying to the east of the Andes is an example.
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