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Bush favours UN Security Council seat for India

 Bush favours UN Security Council seat for India 

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Full List – Heroes of the Environment 2009 – TIME

Full List – Heroes of the Environment 2009 – TIME.

Filed under: Article of Week,

Slashing the Slashes – Top 10 Internet Blunders – TIME

Slashing the Slashes – Top 10 Internet Blunders – TIME.

Filed under: Article of Week,

India won 7th Nobel Prize

indian-nobel-winners-7

It sounds interesting. Because India won its 7th Nobel Prize on Wednesday, 7th Of October 2009. Yes! Indian born Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a senior scientist at the MRC Laborartory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge, England, has won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry along with two others, the Nobel Committee announced on 7th October 2009.

The two other scientists, who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with V Ramakrishnan are Thomas E Steitz (US) and Ada E Yonath (Israel). They all are working with MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge.

Born in 1952 in Chidambaram, Tailnadu, Ramakrishnan shared the Nobel Prize with Thomas E Steitz (US) and Ada E Yonath (Israel) for their “studies of the structure and function of the ribosome”.

Ramakrishnan earned his B.Sc. in Physics (1971) from Baroda University and his Ph.D. in Physics (1976) from Ohio University.

He moved into biology at the University of California, San Diego, where he took a year of classes, then conducted research with Dr Mauricio Montal, a membrane biochemist.

Let us remember the Great Sons of India who made Indians feel proud by winning the Nobel Prize which is the most respected award the world over.

Here is the list of Those Indians who won this prestigious award and let us salute them…

1) Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941)

Nobel Prize for Literature (1913). Tagore was born and lived in Calcutta for most of his life. He was one of modern India’s greatest poets and the composer of independent India’s national anthem. In 1901 he founded his school, the Santiniketan, at Bolpur as a protest against the existing bad system of education.

The school was a great success and gave birth to Viswabharati. He was awarded the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature for his work “Gitanjali”; for the English version, published in 1912. The noble citation stated that it was “because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West.” In 1915, he was knighted by the British King George V. Tagore renounced his knighthood in 1919 following the Amritsar massacre or nearly 400 Indian demonstrators.

2) Sir C.V. Raman (Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman) (1888 – 1970). Nobel Prize for Physics (1930). C V Raman was born on 7th Nov. 1888 in Thiruvanaikkaval, in the Trichy district of Tamil Nadu. He finished school by the age of eleven and by then he had already read the popular lectures of Tyndall, Faraday and Helmoltz.

He acquired his BA degree from the Presidency College, Madras, where he carried out original research in the college laboratory, publishing the results in the philosophical magazine. Then went to Calcutta and while he was there, he made enormous contributions to vibration, sound, musical instruments, ultrasonic, diffraction, photo electricity, colloidal particles, X-ray diffraction, magnetron, dielectrics, and the celebrated “RAMAN” effect which fetched him the Noble Prize in 1930.

He was the first Asian scientist to win the Nobel Prize. The Raman Effect occurs when a ray of incident light excites a molecule in the sample, which subsequently scatters the light. While most of this scattered light is of the same wavelength as the incident light, state (i.e. getting the molecule to vibrate). The Raman Effect is useful in the study of molecular energy levels, structure development, and multi component qualitative analysis.

3) Dr. Hargobind Khorana Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology (1968)Dr. Hargobind Khorana was born on 9th January 1922 at Raipur, Punjab (now in Pakistan). Dr. Khorana was responsible for producing the first man-made gene in his laboratory in the early seventies. This historic invention won him the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1968 sharing it with Marshall Nuremberg and Robert Holley for interpreting the genetic code and analyzing its function in protein synthesis.

They all independently made contributions to the understanding of the genetic code and how it works in the cell. They established that this mother of all codes, the biological language common to all living organisms, is spelled out in three-letter words: each set of three nucleotides codes for a specific amino acid.

4) Dr. Subramaniam Chandrasekar

Nobel Prize for physics (1983) Subramaniam Chandrashekhar was born on October 19, 1910 in Lahore, India (later part of Pakistan). He attended Presidency College from 1925 to 1930, following in the footsteps of his famous uncle, Sir C. V. Raman.

His work spanned over the understanding of the rotation of planets, stars, white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, galaxies, and clusters of galaxies. He won the Nobel Prize in 1983 for his theoretical work on stars and their evolution.

5) Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997) Nobel Prize for peace (1979)Born in 1910, Skoplje, Yugoslavia (then Turkey) and originally named Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, Mother Teresa dedicated her life to helping the poor, the sick, and the dying around the world, particularly those in India, working through the Missionaries Of Charity in Calcutta. The Society of Missionaries has spread all over the world, including the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries.

Missionaries of Charity provide effective help to the poorest of the poor in a number of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and they undertake relief work in the wake of natural catastrophes such as floods, epidemics, and famine, and for refugees. The order also has houses in North America, Europe and Australia, where they take care of the shut-ins, alcoholics, homeless, and AIDS sufferers. Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997.

6) Dr. Amartya Sen Nobel Prize for Economics (1998)Amartya Sen (born 1933) was the first Indian to receive the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, awarded to him in 1998 for his work on welfare economics. He has made several key contributions to research in this field, such as to the axiomatic theory of social choice; the definitions of welfare and poverty indexes; and the empirical studies of famine.

All are linked by his interest in distributional issues and particularly in those most impoverished. Whereas Kenneth Arrow’s “impossibility theorem” suggested that it was not possible to aggregate individual choices into a satisfactory choice for society as a whole, Sen showed that societies could find ways to alleviate such a poor outcome.

And the Seventh Man who won the Nobel Prize is Venkatraman Ramakrishnan.

There are few others connected to India also won the prestigious Nobel Prize.

They are:

1) Ronald Ross. Born in Almora, India, in 1857 Ronald Ross was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on malaria.

He received many honours in addition to the Nobel Prize, and was given Honorary Membership of learned societies of most countries of Europe, and of many other continents. He got an honorary M.D. degree in Stockholm in 1910 at the centenary celebration of the Caroline Institute. Whilst his vivacity and single-minded search for truth caused friction with some people, he enjoyed a vast circle of friends in Europe, Asia and America who respected him for his personality as well as for his genius.

2) Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). Rudyard Kipling, born in Mumbai, 1865 (then Bombay in British India), was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907. He remains the youngest-ever recipient and the first English-language writer to receive the Prize. British writer, Kipling wrote novels, poems and short stories — mostly set in India and Burma (now known as Myanmar).

3) Abdus Salam.

Abdus Salam (1926-1996), born in undivided Punjab and a citizen of Pakistan, and shared a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979, with Steven Weinberg, for his work on electroweak unification, one of the important puzzles of modern theoretical physics. He was a visionary and an advocate of science in the third world. He founded the International Center for Theoretical Physics, in Trieste, Italy, which has nurtured world class physicists through workshops, fellowships and conferences.

4) V.S. Naipaul (1932- ) A British writer, V.S. Naipaul (Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul) was born in 1932 in a family of north Indian descent living in Chaguanas, close to Port of Spain, on Trinidad. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. In awarding him the Prize, the Swedish Academy praised his work “for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories.” The Nobel Committee added: “Naipaul is a modern philosopher, carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres persanes and Candide. In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony.”

The Committee also noted Naipaul’s affinity with the Polish-born British author of Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad: “Naipaul is Conrad’s heir as the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings. His authority as a narrator is grounded in the memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished.”

5)14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama (Born on 6 July 1935 at Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet).Former Head of state of Tibet and active leader of Tibetan Resistance towards PRC. Escaped to India when the PRC took over Tibet. Although legally a citizen of Tibet and hence indirectly China, he is head of Tibetan Government in Exile which is stationed in India. He got Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for efforts for Tibetan Freedom through Non-Violence and Spreading Global Peace through Buddhism. Also during Prize Distribution, Head of Prize Committee commented that the prize was a part of tribute to memory of Mahatma Gandhi. Tenzin travels widely, in an effort to promote peaceful ideals.

Filed under: Awards, General Knowledge, , , , , , , , ,

Who’s Who

GK Who is Who? 1

1. Who led a military campaign with 1000 men all wearing red shirts, leading to the unification of Italy?

a) Benito Mussolini
b) Oliver Cromwell
c) Giuseppe Garibaldi
d) Otto Von Bismarck

2. Who among the following American Presidents was assassinated in 1963?

a) Eisenhower
b) John F Kennedy
c) Harry Truman
d) Roosevelt

3. Who made it to the Guinness Book of World records by delivering eight hour long non stop speech in the UN General Assembly?

a) AB Vajpayee
b) VK Krishna Menon
c) Jawaharlal Nehru
d) KPS Menon

4. Who among the following is known as the Iron Man of India?

a) Bhagat Singh
b) Sardar Vallabhai Patel
c) Lala Lajpat Rai
d) Subash Chandra Bose

5. This South American revolutionary is known as the Liberator for his efforts that put an end to the Spanish colonial rule in South America. Who is he?

a) Fidel Castro
b) Carl Marx
c) Simon Bolivar
d) Che Guevara

6. Which Soviet Union leader is associated with ‘Glasnost’ and ‘Perestroika’?

a) Mikhail Gorbachev
b) Boris Yeltsin
c) Vladimir Putin
d) Nikita Khrushchev

7. Who is the inventor of telegraphic code?

a) Alexander Graham Bell
b) Albert Einstein
c) Samuel Morse
d) JL Baird

8. Who among the following was the first woman President of the UN General Assembly?

a) Annie Besant
b) Sarojini Naidu
c) Vijaya Lakshmi Pundit
d) Sucheta Kripalani

9. Who is the first space traveler?

a) Neil Armstrong
b) Edwin Aldrin
c) Yuri Gagarin
d) Rakesh Sharma

10. Who was the first winner of Bharat Ratna?

a) Dr S Radhakrishnan
b) R Rajendra Prasad
c) C Rajagopalachari
d) BR Ambedkar

11. Who among the following was offered the President ship of Israel but refused to accept it?

a) Ariel Sharon
b) Albert Einstein
c) Bill gates
d) Kofi Annan

12. Who was the Swiss business man who founded the Red Cross?

a) Paul Harris
b) Jean Henri Dunant
c) Michael Crichten
d) George Gallop

13. Who was the first Indian woman to be crowned as ‘Miss World’?

a) Aishwarya Rai
b) Sushmita Sen
c) Rita Faria
d) Yukta Mukhi

14. Who among the following Indians has won the Nobel Prize for economics?

a) CV Raman
b) Amartya Sen
c) MS Swaninathan
d) Har Gobind Khorana

15. Who among the following Presidents of America has won the Nobel Peace Prize?

a) John F Kennedy
b) George Washington
c) Abraham Lincoln
d) Theodore Roosevelt

Answers

1. Giuseppe Garibaldi
2. John F Kennedy
3. VK Krishna Menon
4. Sardar Vallabhai Patel
5. Simon Bolivar
6. Mikhail Gorbachev
7. Samuel Morse
8. Vijaya Lakshmi Pundit
9. Yuri Gagarin
10. C Rajagopalachari
11. Albert Einstein
12. Jean Henri Dunant
13. Rita Faria
14. Amartya Sen
15. Theodore Roosevelt

GK Who is Who? 2

1. Who was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize?

a) Rabindranath Tagore
b) Yasunari Kawabatha
c) CV Raman
d) None of these

2. Who among the following scientists have won the Nobel Prize for chemistry and peace?

a) Niels Bohr
b) Linus Pauling
c) Madam Curie
d) De Broglie

3. Who wrote the preface to the English translation of Gitanjali?

a) WB Yeasts
b) Shelly
c) TS Eliot
d) Rabindranath Tagore

4. Who won the first Dada Saheb Phalke award?

a) Dilip Kumar
b) Devika Rani
c) Pradip
d) Nargis Dutt

5. Who among the following national leaders have won the highest civilian honours of Pakistan?

a) Jawaharlal Nehru
b) Morarji Desai
c) Lal Bahadur Shastri
d) Indira Gandhi

6. Who created the famous painting ‘Mona Lisa’?

a) Picasso
b) Michelangelo
c) Raphael
d) Leonardo da Vinci

7. Name the Italian sculptor and painter who is famous for painting the ceiling of the Sistine chapel?

a) Michelangelo
b) Pablo Picasso
c) Leonardo da Vinci
d) Vangog

8. The greatest operas of which great musician include ‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘the Magic Flute’?

a) Wolfgang Mozart
b) Beethoven
c) Johann Sebastian Bach
d) William Blake

9. Michael Jackson is a reputed

a) Jazz singer
b) Pop singer
c) Ballet dancer
d) piano dancer

10. Hari Prasad Chaurasia is a renowned player of

a) tabla
b) sarod
c) flute
d) sitar

Answers

1. Rabindranath Tagore
2. Linus Pauling
3. WB Yeasts
4. Devika Rani
5. Morarji Desai
6. Leonardo da Vinci
7. Michelangelo
8. Wolfgang Mozart
9. Pop singer
10. flute

GK Who is Who? 3

1. Who founded the new religion Din-i-Elahi?

a) Akbar
b) Sikander Lodhi
c) Qwaja Moinuddin Chisti
d) Babur

2. Who was the first woman Chief Minister of an Indian state?

a) Jayalalitha
b) Padmaja Naidu
c) Sucheta Kripalani
d) Vijayalakshmi Pandit

3. Name the Indian political leader who served two times as acting Prime Minister of India?

a) Gulzari Lal Nanda
b) Lal Bahadur Shastri
c) N Sanjiva Reddy
d) GS Pathak

4. Who was the first lady governor of a state in India?

a) Sheila Kaul
b) Sarla Grewal
c) Sarojini Naidu
d) Indira Gandhi

5. After which famous national leader is the Ahmedabad Airport named?

a) Morarji Desai
b) Kasturba Gandhi
c) Mahatma Gandhi
d) Sardar Vallabhai Patel

6. Who among the following did not serve as the Vice President before becoming the President of India?

a) Dr S Radhakrishnan
b) Dr Zakir Hussain
c) Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy
d) R Venketaraman

7. Who wrote the American declaration of Independence?

a) George Washington
b) Thomas Jefferson
c) James Madison
d) John Adams

8. Who is regarded as the father of Russian Revolution?

a) Kerensky
b) Trotsky
c) Karl Marx
d) Lenin

9. Who among the following inspired and initiated the renaissance of modern India?

a) Aurobindo Ghosh
b) Swami Vivekananda
c) Raja Ram Mohan Roy
d) Keshab Chandra Sen

10. Who is the first Indian Prime Minister who didn’t belong to the Congress party at any time in his political career?

a) Charan Singh
b) Chandrasekhar
c) Deva Gowda
d) AB Vajpayee

11. Who among the following was an advocate of radical humanism?

a) Annie Besant
b) Raja Ram Mohan Roy
c) MN Roy
d) VD Savarkar

12. Who among the following is associated with the invention of Jet Engine?

a) James Watt
b) Charles Parsons
c) Orville and Wilbur Wright
d) Frank Whittle

13. Who amongst the following was the first woman to climb Mount Everest?

a) Valentina Tereshkova
b) Junko Tabei
c) Santhosh Yadav
d) none of these

14. Who amongst the following is known as ‘Iron Lady’?

a) Benazir Bhutto
b) Indira Gandhi
c) Margaret Thatcher
d) Chandrika Kumaratunge

15. Who amongst the following is the youngest man to win world heavyweight crown?

a) Muhammad Ali
b) Mike Tyson
c) Peter McNeely
d) none of these

Answers

1. Akbar
2. Sucheta Kripalani
3. Gulzari Lal Nanda
4. Sarojini Naidu
5. Sardar Vallabhai Patel
6. Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy
7. Thomas Jefferson
8. Lenin
9. Raja Ram Mohan Roy
10. AB Vajpayee
11. MN
Roy
12. Frank Whittle
13. Junko Tabei
14. Margaret Thatcher
15. Mike Tyson

GK Who is Who? 4

1. Who among the following described Gandhiji as ‘Half-naked Fakir’?

a) Joseph Stalin
b) Mussolini
c) Winston Churchill
d) Muhammad Ali Jinnah

2. Who is the author of the book ‘Unto This Last’ which profoundly influenced Gandhiji?

a) John Ruskin
b) Emerson
c) Tolstoy
d) Vivekananda

3. Who founded the Rotary Club?

a) Michael Kalashnikov
b) Paul Harris
c) Pat Barker
d) Paul Crutzen

4. Who among the following was the first popularly elected president of Russia?

a) Michael Gorbachev
b) Boris Yeltsin
c) Vladimir Putin
d) none of these

5. Who was the first Indian to win the World Food Prize?

a) V Kurien
b) MS Swaminathan
c) MGS Narayan
d) none of these

6. Who created Dolly, the first cloned sheep?

a) Eric E Wieschaus
b) Ian Wilmut
c) James Watson
d) Franscis Crick

7. Who is the only woman to have climbed Mount Everest twice?

a) Santhosh Yadav
b) Junko Tabei
c) Bachendri Pal
d) Rita Ang

8. Who is the chief architect of Green Revolution in India?

a) V Kurien
b) MS Swaminathan
c) Norman Ernest Borlaug
d) Sundar Lal Bahuguna

9. Who among the following former Presidents of America was also a film star and television artist?

a) Theodore Roosevelt
b) Ronald Reagan
c) Wudro Wilson
d) John F Kennedy

10. Who is known as the ‘Father of India’s White Revolution’?

a) V Kurien
b) MS Swaminathan
c) MGS Narayanan
d) Hargobind Khorana

Answers

  1. 1. Winston Churchill
    2. John Ruskin
    3. Paul Harris
    4. Boris Yeltsin
    5. MS Swaminathan
    6. Ian Wilmut
    7. Santhosh Yadav
    8. MS Swaminathan
    9. Ronald Reagan
    10. V Kurien

Current Events Quiz 1

1. Who was recently re-elected the President of the People’s Republic of China?

a) Hu Jintao
b) Jiang Zemin
c) Ma Ying-jeou

2. Who recently won the ‘Person of the Year’ award by the India Abroad newspaper in New York?

a) Indra Nooyi
b) Mira Nair
c) Deepa Mehta

3. Mr David A Paterson was in news recently. For what?

a) for being the first legally blind person to become the governor of a US State
b) for winning the Booker Prize
c) for conquering Mt Everest

4. Who recently became the first ever woman to become the Speaker of Pakistan’s parliament?

a) Fahmida Mirza
b) Fahtima Bhutoo
c) Razia Mirza

5. Who won the Femina Miss India Universe title in 2008?

a) Parvathy Omanakuttan
b) Simran Kaur Mundi
c) Harshita Saxena

6. Who won the WTA Tour Player of the Year 2007 award?

a) Maria Sharapova
b) Justin Henin
c) Venus Williams

7. Which Indian cricketer recently became the third cricketer in history to score two triple Test centuries?

a) Sachin Tendulkar
b) Virender Sehwag
c) Rahul Dravid

8. Who/what won the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, disarmament and Development for 2007?

a) Aung Saan Suki
b) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
c) Medha Patkar

9. The Anglo-Dutch steel company Corus was recently taken over by

a) ArcelorMittal
b) Jindal Steel
c) Tata Steel

10. Who is the President of India?

a) APJ Abdul Kalam
b) Somnath Chatterjee
c) Pratibha Patil

11. Which is the first Indian bank to get approval to start normal banking operation in China?

a) Indian Bank
b) State Bank of India
c) Corporation Bank

12. Which Indian company manufactures automobiles for Mitsubishi?

a) Tata Motors
b) Bajaj Tempo
c) Hindustan Motors

13. Which one of the following is the world’s busiest port today?

a) Port of Rotterdam
b) Port of Shanghai
c) Port of Singapore

14. For international payments, the Indian currency is linked to

a) British sterling
b) American Dollar
c) International oil price

15. Which of the following countries is the top source of FDI inflows to India at present?

a) Mauritius
b) USA
c) UK

Answers

  1. 1. Hu Jintao
    2. Mira Nair
    3. for being the first legally blind person to become the governor of a
    US State
    4. Fahmida Mirza
    5. Simran Kaur Mundi
    6. Justin Henin
    7. Virender Sehwag
    8. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
    9. Tata Steel
    10. Pratibha Patil
    11. State Bank of
    India
    12.
    Hindustan Motors
    13.
    Port of Singapore
    14. American Dollar
    15.
    Mauritius

Current Events Quiz 2

1. China launched its first lunar orbiter in 2007. What is its name?

a) Lunz’e 1
b) Wan Hu
c) Chang’e 1

2. The Suzuki Corporation has launched its first scooter for the Indian market. What is the name of this scooter?

a) Access 125
b) Marut 125
c) Excellent X
d) Pawan 125

3. Who won the Linares-Morelia Chess tournament in 2008?

a) V Anand
b) Veselin Topalov
c) Vladimir Kramnik

4. Which Indian bank recently opened its 10,000th branch becoming the second bank in the world to have as many branches?

a) Bank of India
b) State Bank of India
c) ICICI Bank

5. Gas has recently been discovered at which of the following river basins?

a) Krishna-Godavri bain
b) Cauvery basin
c) Ganga basin

6. Which Indian entity recently bagged a position in the list of world’s top ten largest derivative bourses?

a) NSE
b) Sensex
c) MCX

7. Which Indian company recently acquired Jaguar and Land Rover?

a) Bajaj Auto
b) Tata Motors
c) Mahindra & Mahindra

8. Which company topped the ‘Global 2000 List’ complied by the Forbes magazine in April 2008?

a) HSBC
b) Bank of America
c) General Electric

9. Who recently won the Best writer award in the Europe region category of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize 2008?

a) VS Naipaul
b) Indra Sinha
c) Tahmima Anam

10. India’s first centre to monitor climate change has been opened at

b) Mumbai
b) Chennai
c) Kolkata

Answers

1. Chang’e 1
2. Access 125
3. V Anand
4. State Bank of
India
5. Krishna-Godavri bain
6. NSE
7. Tata Motors
8. HSBC
9. Indra Sinha
10. Chennai

Current Events Quiz 3

1. The 2008 NAM summit was recently held at

a) Tehran
b) Colombo
c) New Delhi
d) Lahore

2. Who among the following was recently appointed the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights?

a) Navanethem Pillay
b) Dayana Mendoza
c) Vijay Nambiar
d) None of these

3. Which country has the highest number of internet users today?

a) China
b) USA
c) India
d) Japan

4. Google recently launched its own online encyclopedia. What is the name of this project?

a) Wikipedia
b) Knol
c) Encyclopedia
d) None of these

5. Dr Ram Baran Yadav was in news recently for

a) being the first President of Republic Nepal
b) being first Prime Minister of Nepal
c) for winning the Magsasay Award
d) for winning the Kalinga Award

6. What is SpaceShipTwo?

a) world’s first civilian passenger spacecraft
b) Nasa’s lunar explorer
c) ESA’s craft to study Mars
d) None of these

7. Sir Richard Branson was in news recently. Who is he?

a) founder of Virgin group of companies
b) winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics
c) winner of the Booker Prize
d) none of these

8. Europa is a moon of which planet?

a) Jupiter
b) Saturn
c) Pluto
d) Mars

9. The WTO Ministerial Meeting of 30 trade ministers was recently held at

a) Geneva
b) Stockholm
c) Paris
d) Seattle

10. Who won the Men’s singles title at Wimbledon this year?

a) Rafael Nadal
b) Roger Federer
c) Andy Roddick
d) None of these

11. Who won the Men’s singles title at French Open this year?

a) Rafael Nadal
b) Roger Federer
c) Mahesh Bhupathi
d) None of these

12. Which country won the Azlan Shah Hockey tournament in 2008?

a) Argentina
b) Spain
c) Netherlands
d) India

13. Which country won the Euro Cup 2008 Football tournament?

a) Spain
b) Germany
c) Italy
d) France

14. According to the worldwide Corruption Perceptions Index, which country is the least corrupt in the world?

a) Denmark
b) Finland
c) Myanmar
d) USA

15. India recently made aviation history by sealing a $51 million deal with which country for the sale of seven Dhruv advanced light helicopters.

a) Ecuador
b) Israel
c) Egypt
d) Vietnam

Answers

1. Tehran
2. Navanethem Pillay
3.
China
4. Knol
5. first President of Republic
Nepal
6. world’s first civilian passenger spacecraft
7. founder of Virgin group of companies
8. Jupiter
9.
Geneva
10. Rafael Nadal
11. Rafael Nadal
12.
Argentina
13.
Spain
14.
Denmark
15.
Ecuador

Current Events Quiz 4

1. Which one of the following was named by Time Magazine as the Invention of the Year 2007?

a) iPod
b) iPhone
c) Napkin PC
d) None of these

2. Who among the following won the Best of the Booker award in 2008?

a) Salman Rushdie
b) VS Naipaul
c) Arundhati Roy
d) Vikram Chandra

3. President’s rule was recently imposed in which of the following states?

a) Karnataka
b) Jammu & Kashmir
c) Punjab
d) Bihar

4. Which one of the following is not a member of the G8?

a) Britain
b) Switzerland
c) France
d) Italy

5. What are Plutoids?

a) Dwarf planets that orbit the sun beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune
b) Moons of Pluto
c) Small rocky bodies found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter
d) There is nothing called a Plutoid

6. Which one of the following recently lost its planet status?

a) Pluto
b) Uranus
c) Neptune
d) Earth

7. What is Wi-Fi?

a) A method of wireless internet connection
b) A Bluetooth device
c) A service launched by Wikipedia
d) A wired broadband connection

8. Who is the author of the novel Midnight’s Children which recently received a special Booker Prize?

a) Salman Rushdie
b) VS Naipaul
c) Jack London
d) Agatha Christie

9. Who among the following was crowned Miss Universe 2008?

a) Dayana Mendoza
b) Marianne Cruz Gonzalez
c) Vera Krasova
d) Taliana Vargas

10. Inspiron is a series of laptops launched by

a) DELL
b) Apple
c) Lenovo
d) HP

Answers

1. iPhone
2. Salman Rushdie
3. Jammu & Kashmir
4.
Switzerland
5. Dwarf planets that orbit the sun beyond the orbit of the planet
Neptune
6. Pluto
7. A method of wireless internet connection
8. Salman Rushdie
9. Dayana Mendoza
10. DELL

GK – Current Events Quiz 5

1. Who was recently sworn in as the first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal?

a) K Yumkella
b) PKD Prachanda
c) Duvvari Subharao
d) HY Sharda Prasad

2. Who among the following businessman was recently awarded the UK India Business Council Award?

a) NR Narayana Murthy
b) Ratan Tata
c) Lakshmi Mittal
d) Sunil Bharati Mittal

3. Who was recently appointed the governor of Reserve Bank of India?

a)YV Reddy
b) Duvvari Subharao
c) HY Sharda Prasad
d) S Balakrishnan

4. Michael Phelps, the American swimmer has so far how many Olympic gold medals?

a) 12
b) 8
c) 14
d) 16

5. Who is the first ever individual to win an Olympic Gold for India?

a) Vijender Kumar
b) Sushil Kumar
c) Abhinav Bindra
d) Leander Paes

6. Who won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for the year 2007?

a) Sachin Tendulkar
b) Mahendra Singh Dhoni
c) Abhinav Bindra
d) Sania Mirza

7. Who won the Women’s Singles title at the US Open 2008?

a) Ana Ivanovic
b) Serena Willaims
c) Maria Sharapova
d) Venus Williams

8. Who recently became the first man in history to hit 12 sixes in a One Day International match?

a) Yuvraj Singh
b) Xavier Marshall
c) Sanath Jayasurya
d) Shahid Afridi

9. The International Day for the Elderly is observed on

a) October 1
b) October 2
c) October 3
d) October 9

10. The World Vegetarian Day is observed on

a) October 2
b) October 8
c) October 9
d) October 24

11. Who was recently sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Jharkhand?

a) Shibu Soren
b) Madhu Koda
c) Abhay Singh Chautala
d) RK Pachauri

12. Who is the author of ‘A Golden Age’ which won the 2008 Commonwealth Writer’s prize for the Best First Book?

a) Ritu Dalmia
b) Tahmina Anam
c) Alexandra Harney
d) Kiran Desai

Answers

  1. 1. PKD Prachanda
    2. Ratan Tata
    3. Duvvari Subharao
    4. 14
    5. Abhinav Bindra
    6. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
    7. Serena Willaims
    8. Xavier Marshall
    9. October 1
    10. October 2
    11. Shibu Soren
    12. Tahmina Anam

// GK – Current Events 6

1. Who won the best actor award at the 54th National Film Awards?

a) Soumitra Chatterjee
b) Dilip Prabhavalkar
c) Tapan Sinha
d) Sanjay Dutt

2. Who won the Women’s singles title at French Open 2008?

a) Maria Sharapova
b) Ana Ivanovic
c) Venus Willims
d) Dinara Safina

3. Who recently sworn in as the Chief Minister of Karanataka?

a) HG Devagauda
b) BS Yeddyurappa
c) Virendra Kumar
d) none of these

4. Ms Manjula Sood was in news recently for being

a) the winner of Orange prize for 2008
b) the first Asian woman to become the Mayor of Leicester, Britain
c) the first woman scientist to head an important DRDO project
d) none of these

5. Who won the Media Person of the Year Award at the 55th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival?

a) Anthony O’ Reilly
b) Prasoon Joshi
c) Yves Saint Laurent
d) none of these

6. Who was chosen as the Man of the Series in the DLF-IPL Twenty20 cricket tournament?

a) MS Dhoni
b) Shane Warne
c) Shane Watson
d) Ricky Ponting

7. Who recently set a new 100 m world record?

a) Justin Gatlin
b) Asafa Powell
c) Usain Bolt
d) Nathan Deakes

8. Which nation was recently readmitted to Commonwealth after a six month suspension?

a) Nepal
b) Pakistan
c) Afghanistan
d) Myanmar

9. Ms Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner of Austria was in news recently for being

a) the first woman to conquer 11 peaks of over 8,000 metres without breathing apparatus
b) winning an international award
c) the first woman head of state of Austria
d) none of these

10. The country’s first helium extraction pilot plant was launched by

a) RIL
b) ONGC
c) Bharat Petroleum
d) SAIL

11. Which Indian corporate head made it to the list of the Best Brains in Business compiled by business publication Conde Nast Portfolio?

a) Mukesh Ambani
b) Ratan Tata
c) NR Narayanamurthy
d) Nandan Nilekani

12. OIL (Oil India Limited) recently signed an agreement with the National Oil Corporation of which country for four oil exploration blocks?

a) Sudan
b) Libya
c) Cameroon
d) Zimbabwe

13. An astronaut in outer space will observe sky as

a) White
b) black
c) blue
d) red

14. The science dealing with the study of teeth is called

a) odontology
b) ornithology
c) phenology
d) cosmology

15. According to India’s Census report of 2001, percentage of population living in rural areas is

a) 70
b) 72
c) 74
d) 80

16. India has announced the construction of the first ever rail link to which Himalayan country from Hashimara in northern Bengal?

a) Nepal
b) Bhutan
c) Myanmar
d) Pakistan

17. Kuomintang is the ruling party in

a) China
b) Taiwan
c) Myanmar
d) Cuba

18. Who won the Mahaveer award for excellence in community service in 2008?

a) Mahasweta Devi
b) S Sankara Raman
c) Medha Patkar
d) Rajashree Birla

19. Which of the following pairs of countries were voted the most environment friendly by a survey by the National Geographic magazine and pollster Globalscan?

a) India and China
b) India and Brazil
c) USA and Brazil
d) UK and France

20. Who is the new Russian President?

a) Vladimir Putin
b) Dmitry Medvedev
c) Michael Sleiman
d) none of these

21. The World Population Day is observed on

a) July 6
b) July 11
c) May 24
d) April 11

22. The G-8 Environment Ministers Meeting 2008 was held at

a) Berlin
b) Kobe
c) Kyoto
d) Paris

23. Who is the author of the book Gandhi’s Emissary?

a) Sudhir Ghosh
b) Hamid Ansari
c) Shyam Bhatia
d) Chetan Bhagat

24. Who was recently appointed the Chairman of Prasar Bharti?

a) MV Kamath
b) Vir Sanghvi
c) Arun Bhatnagar
d) Vikram Srivastava

25. What is UNASUR?

a) an NGO fighting for environment protection
b) Union of South American nations
c) Union of South Asian nations
d) None of these

Answers

1. Soumitra Chatterjee
2. Ana Ivanovic
3. BS Yeddyurappa
4. the first Asian woman to become the Mayor of
Leicester, Britain
5. Anthony O’ Reilly
6. Shane Watson
7. Usain Bolt
8.
Pakistan
9. the first woman to conquer 11 peaks of over 8,000 metres without breathing apparatus
10. ONGC
11. Ratan Tata
12.
Libya
13. black
14. odontology
15. 72
16.
Bhutan
17.
Taiwan
18.
S Sankara Raman
19.
India and Brazil
20. Dmitry Medvedev
21. July 11
22.
Kobe
23. Sudhir Ghosh
24. Arun Bhatnagar
25.
Union of South American nations

GK – Current Events 7

1. Who was recently crowned Miss World 2008 at the beauty pageant held in Johannesburg?

a) Parvathy Omanakuttan
b) Ksenia Sukhinova
c) Diana Mendoza
d) none of these

2. Who won the Monaco F1 Grand Prix in 2008?

a) Lewis Hamilton
b) Kimi Raikkonen
c) Felipe Massa
d) Fernando Alonso

3. Whose birthday is likely to be declared as a ‘World No Alcohol Day’ by the UN from next year?

a) Mahatma Gandhi
b) Swami Vivekananda
c) Rajiv Gandhi
d) None of these

4. Which country leads the list of best places for investment and business, according to a list prepared by global consultancy Grant Thornton?

a) India
b) China
c) Russia
d) USA

5. The parliament of which country recently approved a bill allowing the use of hybrid embryos in stem cell research?

a) USA
b) India
c) Britain
d) Italy

6. Justin Henin who announced her immediate retirement from professional tennis is from

a) Spain
b) Belgium
c) France
d) Switzerland

7. The Three Gorges, the world’s biggest hydroelectric power project is built on

a) Pearl river
b) Yangtze river
c) Yellow river
d) Danube

8. The Phonix Lander is a mission sent to explore

a) Mars
b) Jupiter
c) Saturn
d) Mercury

9. Min Bahadur Sherchan was in news recently for being

a) the speaker of Nepal’s new parliament
b) a) the oldest man to summit Everest
c) the oldest man to climb seven summits
d) none of these

10. Which Asian country recently abolished monarchy and became a republic?

a) China
b) Myanmar
c) Nepal
d) Pakistan

11. Which party won the most number of seats in the recently held Karnataka Assembly Elections?

a) BJP
b) Congress
c) Janta Dal
d) NDA

12. What is the name of the tropical cyclone that hit Myanmar last month?

a) Rita
b) Nargis
c) Katrina
d) Ann

13. The Agni-III missile has a range of

a) 5000 km
b) 1200 km
c) 3000 km
d) 4000 km

// 14. ‘Leaves of Grass’ is a collection of poems written by

a) Walt Whitman
b) Robert Frost
c) Wordsworth
d) Allan Poe

15. What is the official distance of a marathon running race?

a) 26 miles
b) 26 miles 385 yards
c) 25 miles 895 yards
d) 25 miles

16. Which country turned 60 in May, 2008?

1) Sri Lanka
b) Nepal
c) Israel
d) Serbia

17. ISRO made history in April by placing how many satellites in their respective orbits in a single launch.

a) 12
b) 10
c) 7
d) 16

18. Viswanathan Anand has so far won how many Chess Oscars?

a) 6
b) 7
c) 5
d) none

19. Bajaj recently announced its low cost car. This car will be built in collaboration with which of the following companies?

a) McLaren
b) Honda
c) Renault-Nissan
d) Fiat

20. India’s much anticipated Moon mission ‘Chandrayan 1’ is expected to lift off in

a) October
b) July
c) September
d) December

21. The Heptathlon is a track and field athletic competition consisting of how many events?

a) five
b) six
c) seven
d) eight

22. The Scandinavia occupies which region of Europe?

a) southern
b) northern
c) central
d) western

23. Which one of the following is currently the world’s fastest super computer?

a) IBM’s Roadrunner supercomputer
) Blue Gene/L
c) Kibo
d) None of these

24. Which Indian automobile manufacturer was recently voted the world’s fourth most reputed?

a) Maruti Suzuki
b) Tata Motors
c) Mahindra & Mahidra
d) Bajaj

25. Which country is the first in the world to pass climate act?

a) Britain
b) India
c) Canada
d) Australia

Answers

1. Ksenia Sukhinova
2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Mahatma Gandhi
4.
China
5.
Britain
6.
Belgium
7.
Yangtze river
8. Mars
9. the oldest man to summit Everest
10.
Nepal
11. BJP
12. Nargis
13. 3000 km
14. Walt Whitman
15. 26 miles 385 yards
16.
Israel
17. 10
18. 5
19. Renault-Nissan
20. September
21. seven
22. northern
23. IBM’s Roadrunner supercomputer
24. Maruti Suzuki
25.
Canada

GK – Current Events 8

1. Who among the following industrialist was recently conferred the prestigious ‘Energy Star Partner of the Year award’?

a) Ratan Tata
b) LN Mittal
c) Sunil Bharati Mittal
d) None of these

2. Who won the Femina Miss India World 2008 title?

a) Simran Kaur Mundi
b) Parvathy Omanakuttan
c) Harchita Saxena
d) Deepika Padukone

3. Who was recently appointed the new Prime Minister of Belgium?

a) Yves Leterme
b) Guy Verhofstadt
c) Hu Jinatao
d) None of these

4. Who is the only Indian tennis player to reach the semi finals of Wimbledon Tennis Singles?

a) Vijay Amritraj
b) Leander Paes
c) Ramanathan Krishnan
d) Mahesh Bhupati

5. Who among the following tennis players recently announced her retirement from professional tennis?

a) Kim Clijsters
b) Justin Henin
c) Ana Ivanovic
d) None of these

6. What is Kibo?

a) Japan’s experimental laboratory sent to ISS
b) a humanoid robot
c) a satellite
d) the name of an exo-planet

7. Zeus is the father of Gods in Greek mythology. Who is the father of Gods in Roman mythology?

a) Jupiter
b) Neptune
c) Cupid
d) Saturn

8. What is the difference between Indian standard time and Greenwich Mean Time?

a) 6: 30 hrs
b) 6 hours
c) 5: 30 hrs
d) 5 hrs

9. Which one of the following dance forms involves solo performance?

a) Bharatanatyam
b) Kuchipudi
c) Mohiniattam
d) Odissi

10. Who among the following was responsible for the passing of Hindu Widows Remarriage Act?

a) Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar
b) Radha Kant Deb
c) Raja Ram Mohan Roy
d) Kesab Chandra Sen

11. Which Indian state has the longest coastline?

a) Rajastan
b) Gujarat
c) Kerala
d) Karnataka

12. Who was the captain of Team Jaipur which won the inaugural IPL Championship?

a) Shane Warne
b) Shane Watson
c) Shahid Afridi
d) Yuvraj Singh

13. Who was recently felicitated by BCCI for being the first Indian bowler to reach the 600 Test wickets mark?

a) Anil Kumble
b) Harbajan Singh
c) Yuvraj Singh
d) None of these

14. Which one of the following is the biggest Indian company by market capital?

a) Tatas
b) Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)
c) Anil Dirubhai Ambani Group
d) LIC

15. Which company topped the ‘Global 200: The World’s Best Corporate Reputations list’?

a) Tatas
b) Google
c) Toyota
d) Johnson and Johnson

16. Which of the following companies recently entered into a joint venture with the Hero Group for manufacturing commercial vehicles in India?

a) Daimler
b) Renault
c) Toyota
d) Ferrari

17. Which among the following Indian companies will be granted a $600 million loan from World Bank?

a) ONGC
b) Power Grid Corporation of India
c) SAIL
d) None of these

18. Which of the following is the first public sector unit in India to introduce the SAP-powered reverse auction process?

a) ONGC
b) LIC
c) SAIL
d) none of these

19. Which day is observed as the Press Freedom Day?

a) May 1
b) May 3
c) May 4
d) May 8

20. Who is the author of ‘Book of Humour’?

a) Ruskin Bond
b) VS Naipaul
c) Anita Nair
d) None of these

21. Who is the Union Home Minister?

a) Pratibha Patil
b) Shivraj V Patil
c) Ramdoss
d) Renuka Chaudhary

22. India recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding on leather and leather processing with which African country?

a) Ghana
b) Ethiopia
c) Nigeria
d) Cameroon

23. The International Herbal Summit-cum-exhibition on medicinal and aromatic products was held on April 4, 2008 at

a) Mumbai
b) Kottakkal
c) New Delhi
d) Chennai

24. Who is the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that won the Nobel Peace Prize recently?

a) RK Pachauri
b) Al Gore
c) Sunita Narain
d) None of these

25. In a survey conducted by Dataquest IDC, which Indian state tops the Best e-governed States in 2007?

a) Goa
b) Delhi
c) Chattisgarh
d) Tamil Nadu

Answers

1. LN Mittal
2. Parvathy Omanakuttan
3. Yves Leterme
4. Ramanathan Krishnan
5. Justin Henin
6.
Japan’s experimental laboratory sent to ISS
7. Jupiter
8.
5: 30 hrs
9. Mohiniattam
10. Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar
11.
Gujarat
12. Shane Warne
13. Anil Kumble
14. Reliance Industries Ltd
15.
Toyota
16. Daimler
17. Power Grid Corporation of
India
18. ONGC
19. May 3
20. Ruskin Bond
21. Shivraj V Patil
22.
Ethiopia
23.
New Delhi
24. RK Pachauri
25.
Delhi

GK – Current Events 9

1. Which country has the most number of mobile customers in the world?

a) USA
b) China
c) India
d) Japan

2. This former territory of Serbia declared its independence in February 2008. What is its name?

a) Montenegro
b) Kosovo
c) Albania
d) None of these

3. How many countries are there in the world today?

a) 191
b) 195
c) 196
d) 200

4. Which one of the following is not a member of UN General Assembly?

a) Taiwan
b) China
c) Serbia
d) Montenegro

5. Arthur Clarke, the science fiction author who passed away in March 2008, had adopted which country as his home?

a) New Zealand
b) Sri Lanka
c) USA
d) France

6. The newest Republic in the world is

a) Kosovo
b) Nepal
c) Bhutan
d) Montenegro

7. Which Indian state was in news recently for bringing broadband connectivity to all its villages?

a) Maharashtra
b) Andhra Pradesh
c) Kerala
d) Gujarat

8. Who won the Taiwan presidential election recently?

a) Frank Hsieh
b) Ma Yingjeou
c) Jerry Yang
d) none of these

9. What is the name of the proposed NASA mission to Moon?

a) LADER
b) LAD
c) LADEE
d) none of these

10. Which one of the following was recently voted the greatest toy craze of all time?

a) Yo-yos
b) skateboards
c) Rubik’s cube
d) Lego bricks

11. The Maitreyi Express is a train service between

a) India and Pakistan
b) India and China
c) India and Bangladesh
d) India and Nepal

12. According to WHO, which country has the world’s lowest life expectancy?

a) Namibia
b) Zimbabwe
c) Zambia
d) none of these

13. The Earth Day is observed on

a) May 8
b) June 5
c) April 22
d) April 8

14. Which songwriter won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008?

a) Norah Jones
b) Elton John
c) Bob Dylan
d) none of these

15. Which one of the following recently became the only organization in the world to have conquered all three poles – the conventional South and North Poles besides Mt. Everest?

a) US Air Force
b) British navy
c) Indian navy
d) none

16. The Universal Postal Union was established in 1874. Where is its headquarters?

a) Vienna
b) Hague
c) Berne
d) Paris

17. Which two Indian companies recently made it to the league of the world’s most innovative companies?

a) Tata and RIL
b) LIC and ONGC
c) SBI and SAIL
d) Infosys and Wipro

18. Nasa’s Messenger spacecraft is on a mission to study

a) Mars
b) Mercury
c) Jupiter
d) Moon

19. The ThinkPad X300 ultra-portable machine is currently the thinnest laptop in the world. It is built by

a) Apple
b) Sony
c) Lenovo
d) IBM

20. Who won the Oscar award for the Best Actor in 2008?

a) Johny Depp
b) Will Smith
c) Mick Jagger
d) Daniel Day Lewis

21. Which one of the following is the world’s richest soccer club?

a) AC Milan
b) Manchester United
c) Chelsea
d) Real Madrid

22. Who are Chang and Eng?

a) The original Siamese twins
b) mascots for Beijing Olympics 2008
c) two elements in Fengshui
d) none of these

23. ‘Animal’s People’, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize 2008 is based on

a) partition of India
b) Mumbai underworld
c) drug trafficking
d) Bhopal gas tragedy

24. Which day is observed as the International Women’s Day?

a) March 8
b) March 12
c) April 20
d) May 11

25. Who is the author of the book ‘Sense and Sensibility’?

a) Emile Bronte
b) Virginia Wolf
c) Jane Austen
d) Sylvia Plath

Answers

  1. 1. China
    2. Kosovo
    3. 195
    4.
    Taiwan
    5.
    Sri Lanka
    6.
    Nepal
    7.
    Gujarat
    8. Ma Yingjeou
    9. LADEE
    10. Rubik’s cube
    11.
    India and Bangladesh
    12.
    Zimbabwe
    13. April 22
    14. Bob Dylan
    15. Indian navy
    16.
    Berne
    17. Tata and RIL
    18. Mercury
    19. Lenovo
    20. Daniel Day Lewis
    21.
    Manchester United
    22. The original Siamese twins
    23.
    Bhopal Gas Tragedy
    24. March 8
    25. Jane Austen

GK – World History 1

1. Which of the following year is associated with the outbreak of World War II?

a) 1935
b) 1937
c) 1638
d) 1939

2. Who was the author of the American Declaration of Independence?

a) George Washington
b) Thomas Paine
c) Lafayette
d) Thomas Jefferson

3. The Russian city where a tank of radio active waste exploded in April 1993 is

a) Chernobyl
b) Serov
c) Tomsk-7
d) Cerepovec

4. The Hijra era is counted from

a) 1526 AD
b) 712 AD
c) 632 AD
d) 622 AD

5. The Gulf war of 1991 was precipitated by the Iraqi annexation of

a) Bahrain
b) Kuwait
c) Saudi Arabia
d) South Yemen

6. Who among the following were known as ‘Physiocrats’ at the time of French Revolution?

a) The clergy
b) economists
c) the nobility
d) medical professionals

7. The parleys between the Prime Ministers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Indira Gandhi, so much referred to in world politics, were held at

a) Manali
b) Rawalpindi
c) Shimla
d) Islamabad

8. Which of the following was strongly advocated by Fascism?

a) disarmament
b) federalism
c) secularism
d) war

9. Fabian socialism emerged first in

a) India
b) Great Britain
c) Germany
d) Russia

10. Which of the following is not associated with socialism?

a) Fabianism
b) Syndicalism
c) Communism
d) Fascism

11. Russian revolution took place in

a) 1789
b) 1776
c) 1688
d) 1917

12. In America, the Bill of Rights was added to the Federal Constitution largely at the instance of

a) Thomas Jefferson
b) George Washington
c) Thomas Paine
d) Benjamin Franklin

13. Who wrote ‘Das Capital’?

a) Engel
b) Lenin
c) Karl Marx
d) Adam Smith

14. Civil Disobedience is associated with

a) Voltaire
b) Thomas Paine
c) HD Thoreau
d) Thomas Hobbes

15. French Revolution took place in

a) 1789
b) 1776
c) 1688
d) 1917

16. Who among the following is associated with the philosophy of ‘the social contract’?

a) Voltaire
b) Thomas Paine
c) HD Thoreau
d) Thomas Hobbes

17. American War of Independence took place in

a) 1776
b) 1789
c) 1801
d) 1919

18. Which of the following was built between 3000 BC and 1800 BC?

a) The tomb of Alexander
b) The Collosus of Rhodes
c) The Palace of Diana at Ephesis
d) The Pyramids of Egypt

19. Which of the following parties is associated with former Pakistan cricket team captain Imran Khan?

a) Pakistan People’s Party
b) Jamhurie Islam
c) Tehreek e-Insaf
d) Awami League

20. Who among the following is associated with the philosophy of ‘Rights of Man’?

a) Thomas Paine
b) Rousseau
c) Emerson
d) Abraham Lincoln

21. The Cairo Summit held in March 1996 was concerned with which of the following?

a) peace in West Asia
b) terrorism
c) oil crisis
d) economic aid to African countries

22. No taxation without representation is a well-known slogan associated with which of the following?

a) French revolution
b) British civil war
c) Indian National Movement
d) American War of Independence

23. Which one of the following is not related to the continuing turmoil in Bosnia?

a) Serbs
b) Muslims
c) Jews
d) Croats

24. The fall of the prison at Bastille is associated with which of the following?

a) Russian revolution
b) French revolution
c) American War of Independence
d) none of those

25. Who among the following faced a devastating defeat in the battle of Waterloo?

a) Duke of Wellington
b) Napoleon
c) Alexander the Great
d) Hitler

Answers

1. 1939
2. Thomas Jefferson
3.
Chernobyl
4. 622 AD
5.
Kuwait
6. economists
7. Shimla
8. war
9.
Great Britain
10. Fascism
11. 1917
12. Thomas Jefferson
13. Karl Marx
14. HD Thoreau
15. 1789
16. Voltaire
17. 1776
18. The Pyramids of
Egypt
19. Tehreeq-e-Insaf
20. Thomas Paine
21. terrorism
22. American War of
Independence
23. Jews
24. French revolution
25. Napoleon

GK – World History 2

1. The first World War broke out in

a) 1919
b) 1914
c) 1939
d) 1944

2. The Battle of Waterloo took place in

a) 1815
b) 1800
c) 1911
d) 1839

3. Who was the Prime Minister of England at the time of Second World War?

a) Winston Churchill
b) Neville Chamberlain
c)Clement Atlee
d) James Ramsay MacDonald

4. Who among the following is associated with the Peacock throne?

a) Shah Jahan
b) Jahangir
c) Akbar
d) Babur

5. Who among the following signed the charter called ‘Magna Carta’?

a) King John II
b) Henry II
c) Edward II
d) Henry V

6. Magna Carta was signed in

a) 1215
b) 1485
c) 1138
d) 1189

7. In which year did Hitler become the Chancellor of Germany?

a) 1933
b) 1939
c) 1945
d) 1951

8. Which of the following parties was credited by Lenin in Russia in 1918?

a) Red Army
b) White Forces
c) Green Grenade
d) Blue Rifle

9. In which year did the Soviet Union disintegrate into independent states?

a) 1991
b) 1992
c) 1993
d) 1994

10. Who became the first black President of South Africa in 1994?

a) Desmond Tutu
b) Milton Obote
c) Robert Mugabe
d) Nelson Mandela

11. In which year did Victoria become the Queen of Great Britain?

a) 1857
b) 1837
c) 1887
d) 1911

12. The Norman Conquest of England took place in

a) 1066
b) 1138
c) 1042
d) 1087

13. Which of the following nations was granted self-government in internal affairs by the Durham report?

a) India
b) Canada
c) Japan
d) Argentina

14. Which of the following is hailed as the ‘Bible of the English Constitution’?

a) Bill of Rights
b) Magna Carta
c) Reforms Act of 1832
d) Parliament Act of 1911

15. The Renaissance Movement first began in

a) Italy
b) England
c) France
d) Germany

16. Who defined Liberalism as the philosophy of ‘Live and let live’?

a) Bertrand Russel
b) Harold Laski
c) JS Mill
d) Jeremy Bentham

17. At which of the following places was the Declaration of Independence of the American Colonies adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776?

a) Washington DC
b) New York
c) Chicago
d) Philadelphia

18. With which of the following is the famous ‘Tennis Court Oath’ associated?

a) American War of Independence
b) French Revolution
c) Emperor Czar Alexander
d) Italian Renaissance

19. Who among the following leaders said ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat’?

a) Abraham Lincoln
b) Mahatma Gandhi
c) Subash Chandra Bose
d) Winston Churchill

20. When was the Treaty of Versailles signed?

a) 1919
b) 1921
c) 1943
d) 1945

21. Id-l-Milad is associated with which of the following?

a) the martyrdom of Hussein
b) the birth of Prophet Muhammad
c) the death of Muhammad
d) none of these

22. The eleven independent states of former Soviet Union have assumed the name of

a) Cooperative Commonwealth
b) Commonwealth of independent States
c) East European Commonwealth
d) None of these

23. Which one of the following was the only European power trading in India in the seventeenth century?

a) The English
b) The French
c) The Portuguese
d) The Danish

24. ‘Man is born free yet everywhere he is in chains’. Who said this?

a) Rousseau
b) Voltaire
c) Emerson
d) Karl Marx

25. In the American War of Independence, the leader who was put in command of American forces was

a) Thomas Jefferson
b) George Washington
c) Thomas Paine
d) Abraham Lincoln

Answers

1. 1914
2. 1815
3. Winston Churchill
4. Shah Jahan
5. King John II
6. 1215
7. 1933
8. Red Army
9. 1991
10. Nelson Mandela
11. 1837
12. 1066
13.
Canada
14. Magna Carta
15.
Italy
16. JS Mill
17.
Philadelphia
18. French Revolution
19. Winston Churchill
20. 1919
21. The birth of prophet Muhammad
22.
Commonwealth of Independent States
23. the Portuguese
24. Rousseau
25. George Washington

GK – World History 3

1. Saint Simon, Charles Fourier and Robert Owen were

a) renaissance artists
b) Portuguese navigators
c) early socialists
d) activists in the American War of Independence

2. In which of the following battles did Napoleon defeat the allied forces of Russia and Austria?

a) Battle of Austerliz
b) Battle of Waterloo
c) Battle of Sedan
d) Battle of Sadowa

3. The Battle of Nations in which Napoleon faced a disastrous defeat was fought in

a) 1805
b) 1814
c) 1815
d) 1866

4. The Battle of Waterloo was fought in

a) 1815
b) 1866
c) 1857
d) 1777

5. Which of the following battles was fought in question of abolition of slavery?

a) Battle of Nations
b) American civil war
c) Battle of Waterloo
d) French Revolution

6. Who among the following was the Austrian Chancellor from 1815 to 1848 AD?

a) Metternich
b) Louis Philippe
c) Cavour
d) Bismark

7. Who among the following was known as the ‘Citizen King’ because he shunned traditional symbols of monarchy?

a) King John II
b) Louis Philippe
c) Napoleon
d) Cavour

8. Who among the following great military general of France was exiled to St. Helena Island?

a) Charlemagne
b) Captain James Cook
c) Napoleon Bonaparte
d) Robespierre

9. Who among the following was a black American leader who led a non violent movement to obtain full civil rights for American Negroes?

a) Martin Luther King
b) Muhammad Ali
c) Ben Kingsley
d) Rosa Luxemburg

10. Who among the following Austrian born – German dictator played a very significant role in the Second World War?

a) Bismarck
b) Mussolini
c) Adolf Hitler
d) Giueseppe Garibaldi

11. Who was the Pakistan Prime Minister who was replaced by Gen. Pervez Musharaf in a military coup?

a) Nawaz Sheriff
b) Benazir Bhutto
c) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
d) none of these

12. When was the first atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima?

a) August 6, 1945
b) August 8, 1942
c) August 9, 1945
d) August 9, 1944

13. In which year was the League of Nations formed?

a) 1946
b) 1914
c) 1939
d) 1920

14. In which year did Britain recognize the independence of America?

a) 1775
b) 1783
c) 1789
d) 1813

15. In which year was Israel founded as a Jewish state?

a) 1945
b) 1947
c) 1948
d) 1950

16. The demolition of Berlin wall leading to the unification of Germany took place in

a) 1989
b) 1990
c) 1991
d) 1992

17. Who succeeded Prophet Muhammad as the first Caliph in 632 AD?

a) Omar
b) Abu Bakr
c) Othman
d) Ali

18. Who among the following led the Russian revolution in 1917?

a) Lenin
b) Stalin
c) Voltaire
d) None of these

19. With which of the following is ‘Boston tea party’ associated?

a) Glorious revolution
b) French revolution
c) Russian revolution
d) American war of Independence

20. Lenin died in

a) 1924
b) 1925
c) 1921
d) 1922

21. The Turkish capture of Constantinople took place in

a) 1498
b) 1448
c) 1453
d) 1942

22. The nationalization of Suez canal took place in

a) 1953
b) 1956
d) 1959
d) 1557

23. When did the Communists in China establish a Republic?

a) 1947
b) 1948
c) 1949
d) 1950

24. Who among the following princes abdicated the throne of England to marry his beloved?

a) George I
b) Edward VIII
c) Edward VII
d) George IV

25. The Tashkent declaration was signed in

a) 1966
b) 1956
c) 1959
d) 1962

Answers

  1. 1. Early socialists
    2.
    Battle of Austerliz
    3. 1814
    4. 1815
    5. American civil war
    6. Matternich
    7. Louis Philippe
    8. Napoleon Bonaparte
    9. Martin Luther King
    10. Adolf Hitler
    11. Nawas Sheriff
    12.
    August 6, 1945
    13. 1920
    14. 1783
    15. 1948
    16. 1989
    17. Abu Bakr
    18. Lenin
    19. American War of
    Independence
    20. 1924
    21. 1453
    22. 1956
    23. 1949
    24. Edward VIII
    25. 1966

GK – India Facts File

1. Which of the following is the first country in the world to introduce a family planning policy?

a) India
b) Japan
c) China
d) USA

2. Which state has the highest density of population according to the 2001 census?

a) Kerala
b) West Bengal
c) Uttar Pradesh
d) Punjab

3. The first Five Year Plan was launched in

a) 1947
b) 1950
c) 1951
d) 1952

4. In India, the first railway train steamed off in April, 1853 between

a) Agra to Mathura
b) Bombay to Thane
c) Delhi to Meerut
d) Howrah to Burdwan

5. Production unit at which of the following places manufactures wheels and axles for Indian railway?

a) Chittaranjan near Calcutta
b) Perambur near Madras
c) Mughalsarai
d) Yelehanka, near Bangalore

6. Production unit at which of the following places manufactures Diesel locomotives for Indian railway?

a) Varanasi
b) Perambur
c) Yelehanka
d) Chittaranjan

7. Which production unit undertakes the manufacture of the bulk of passenger service vehicles for Indian railway?

a) Perambur
b) Varanasi
c) Yelehanka
d) Chittaranjan

8. At which of the following places is the headquarters of the research, designs and standards organization of the Indian railways located?

a) Mumbai
b) Delhi
c) Lucknow
d) Varanasi

9. At which of the following places is the Indian railways Institute of Advanced Track technology for training of civil engineers located?

a) Pune
b) Jabalpur
c) Secunderabad
d) Vadodara

10. At which of the following places is the Railway staff college located?

a) Kolkatta
b) Gorakhpur
c) Secunderabad
d) Vadodara

11. Which is the biggest sea port of India which also has a natural harbour?

a) Mumbai
b) Calcutta – Haldia
c) Cochin
d) Vishakhapatnam

12. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port is in

a) Gujarat
b) Karnataka
c) Maharashtra
d) Kerala

13. In terms of size, the Indian Railways occupy what position in the world?

a) Largest
b) Second largest
c) Third largest
d) Fourth largest

14. In which year was railway introduced in India?

a) 1853
b) 1860
c) 1855
d) 1854

15. Which railway zone has the maximum route kilometrage in India?

a) Central railway
b) Northern railway
c) Southern railway
d) Konkan railway

16. Which railway zone conducts service through the maximum number of states?

a) Northern railway
b) Western railway
c) Central railway
d) Southern railway

17. Which is the oldest Indian news agency?

a) PTI
b) UNI
c) Samachar Bharti
d) Hindustan Samachar

18. In terms of size of population, what position India occupies in the world?

a) First
b) Second
c) Third
d) fourth

19. Under the control of which ministry does the Border Roads Organization function?

a) Communications
b) Defence
c) Surface transport
d) Urban development

20. Which of the following is the largest circulated daily in India?

a) Malayala Manorama
b) Times of India
c) Hindustan Times
d) Hindu

21. In which language is the largest number of newspapers published in India?

a) Hindi
b) English
c) Telegu
d) Urdu

22. Which of the following is the primary source of energy in India?

a) Coal
b) Nuclear fuels
c) Petroleum, LPG, diesel and bio-gas
d) Hydroelectricity

23. The National Literacy Mission was launched in

a) 1985
b) 1988
c) 1990
d) 1991

24. During which Five Year plan was the Mid-day Meals scheme for school children commenced?

a) Seventh plan
b) Eighth Plan
c) Sixth Plan
d) Ninth Plan

25. NCERT was established in

a) 1960
b) 1961
c) 1962
d) 1963

Answers

1. India
2.
West Bengal
3. 1951
4.
Bombay to Thane
5. Yelehanka, near
Bangalore
6.
Varanasi
7. Perambur
8.
Lucknow
9. Pune
10. Vadodara
11. Mumbai
12.
Maharashtra
13. second largest
14. 1853
15. Northern railway
16. Northern railway
17. PTI
18. Second
19. Defence
20. Times of
India
21. Hindi
22. Coal
23. 1988
24. Eighth Plan
25. 1961

GK – India Facts File 2

1. In India which organization is concerned with the qualitative development of school education?

a) UGC
b) NCERT
c) IB
d) IGNOU

2. The resolution on ‘National Policy on Education’ was adopted in?

a) 1982
b) 1986
c) 1975
d) 1947

3. During which five year plan was the system of Mid-day meals commenced?

a) 5th Plan
b) 6th Plan
c) 7th Plan
d) 8th Plan

4. ‘Operation Blackboard’ is a scheme launched to improve the quality of

a) Rural education
b) Elementary education
c) Higher education
d) Technical education
5. In India which organization is the apex body for formulating plans and coordinating agricultural research?

a) CSIR
b) UGC
c) ICAR
d) IGNOU

6. The National policy on education provides for the opening of residential schools to provide free and quality education for the talented children in the rural arrears. What are these schools called?

a) Balwadis
b) Navodaya Vidyalayas
c) Kendriya Vidyalayas
d) Board schools

7. When was the National Literacy Mission launched by the Prime Minister?

a) 1990
b) 1988
c) 1985
d) 1992

8. Which commission is concerned with the promotion and co-ordination of University education in India?

a) CBSE
b) NCERT
c) UGC
d) IGNOU

9 Which institution conducts advanced research in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences at the national level?

a) Indian Institute of Technology
b) Indian Institute of Sciences
c) Indian Institute of Advanced Study
d) IGNOU

10. When was the University Grants Commission set up?

a) 1947
b) 1953
c) 1956
d) 1960

11. Which commission or committee report recommended for the first time the adoption of the 10+2+3 pattern of education?

a) Mumbai University Commission in 1920 -22
b) Calcutta University Commission in 1917 – 1919
c) Madras University Commission in 1920-22
d) None of these

12. When was the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) established by an act of Parliament?

a) 1985
b) 1982
c) 1990
d) 1986

13. When was the first three Universities-Calcutta, Madras and Bombay set up under the British rule?

a) 1917
b) 1857
c) 1890
d) 1902

14. Who is the founder of Aligar Muslim University?

a) Sir Sayyid Ahmmad Khan
b) Abdul Kalam Azad
c) Annie Bessant
d) None of these

15. When was NCERT established?

a) 1956
b) 1961
c) 1947
d) 1972

16. Which council assists and advises the Ministry of Education and Culture in implementing policies and programs in the field of education, particularly school education?

a) CBSE
b) NCERT
c) UGC
d) ICSE

17. Who is the founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

a) Dr S Radha Krishnan
b) KM Munshi
c) Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar
d) Annie Bessant

18. National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) was formed in?

a) 1990
b) 1991
c) 1995
d) 1952

19. The Board of High School and Intermediate Education was established in 1929 by a resolution of the Govt. of India. When was it renamed as the Central Board of Secondary Education?

a) 1952
b) 1956
c) 1960
d) 1962

20. Which is the first Indian University for Women?

a) SNDT University
b) Calcutta University
c) Shanti Niketan
d) National Open University

21. There are two Kendriya Vidyalayas outside India. One is at Kathmandu. The other is at

a) New York
b) Moscow
c) London
d) Lahore

22. Open schools are for the propagation of distance education in the country. When was the first open school set up in India by CBSE?

a) 1979
b) 1982
c) 1980
d) 1975

23. When was the National Open School (NOS) set up?

a) 1989
b) 1985
c) 1980
d) 1982

24. Who is the Chancellor of Universities?

a) Governor of the State
b) Chief Minister of the State
c) Chief Justice of the State
d) President of India

25. Which is the education TV channel started by IGNOU in 2000?

a) Vidya
b) Edu Channel
c) Gyandarshan
d) Shiksha

Answers

1. NCERT
2. 1986
3. 8th Plan
4. Elementary education
5. ICAR
6. Navodaya Vidyalayas
7. 1988
8. UGC
9. Indian Institute of Advanced Study
10. 1953
11.
Calcutta University Commission in 1917 – 1919
12. 1985
13. 1857
14. Sir Sayyid Ahmmad Khan
15. 1961
16. NCERT
17. KM Munshi
18. 1995
19. 1952
20.
SNDT University
21.
Moscow
22. 1979
23. 1989
24. Governor of the State
25. Gyandharshan

GK – India Facts File 3

1. How many Union Territories are there in India?

a) 7
b) 6
c) 5
d) 8

2. Which Indian state has the highest population?

a) Uttar Pradesh
b) Maharashtra
c) Rajasthan
d) Madhya Pradesh

3. In terms of area, which is the largest state in India?

a) Uttar Pradesh
b) Rajasthan
c) Madhya Pradesh
d) Punjab

4. The Indian constitution came into effect in

a) 1947
b) 1950
c) 1956
d) 1949

5. What is the Indian Standard Time?

a) 82030’E
b) 30082’E
c) 85030’E
d) 80035’E

6. Which one of the following is the smallest state in India?

a) Goa
b) Kerala
c) Manipur
d) Assam

7. Which one of the following is the least populous state in India?

a) Goa
b) Sikkim
c) Mizoram
d) Manipur

8. Before they became a part of India in 1954, Pondicherry and Mahe were under the rule of

a) Portuguese
b) French
c) British
d) Dutch

9. When did India annex Goa, Daman and Diu?

a) 1954
b) 1962
c) 1961
d) 1972

10. Which one of the following was the first Indian state to be formed on a linguistic base?

a) Tamil Nadu
b) Andhra Pradesh
c) Rajasthan
d) Punjab

11. The State Reorganization Act took effect in

a) 1952
b) 1956
c) 1972
d) 1951

12. Haryana was created out of Punjab in

a) 1966
b) 1972
c) 1956
d) 1958

13. Kuchipudi is the traditional dance form of

a) Kerala
b) Maharashtra
c) Andhra Pradesh
d) Karnataka

14. Itanagar is the capital of

a) Manipur
b) Mizoram
c) Arunachal Pradesh
d) Meghalaya

15. The Kaziranga National park is in

a) Assam
b) West Bengal
c) Rajasthan
d) Mizoram

16. The ruins of Nalanda, world’s earliest Buddhist University, is in present day

a) Bengal
b) Uttar Pradesh
c) Bihar
d) Madhya Pradesh

17. Gujarat was formed in

a) 1956
b) 1960
c) 1952
d) 1947

18. The Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary is known for its

a) One-horned rhinoceros
b) Asiatic lions
c) Birds
d) Black buck

19. Mohiniattam is the traditional dance form of

a) Kerala
b) Tamil Nadu
c) Karnataka
d) Andhra Pradesh

20. How many states are there in the Indian Union?

a) 26
b) 27
c) 28
d) 29

21. Jharkhand was formed out of which state in November 2000?

a) Madhya Pradesh
b) Bihar
c) Rajasthan
d) Uttar Pradesh

22. The folk dance form Lavni is from

a) Maharashtra
b) Gujarat
c) Punjab
d) Uttar Pradesh

23. Silvassa is the capital of

a) Goa
b) Dadra Nagar Haveli
c) Daman & Diu
d) None of these

24. India is divided into how many PIN code zones?

a) 6
b) 8
c) 9
d) 12

25. Where is the headquarters of the Southern Railway?

a) Kochi
b) Chennai
c) Secunderabad
d) Bangalore

Answers

1. 6
2. Uttar Pradesh
3. Rajasthan
4. 1950
5. 82030’E
6.
Goa
7.
Sikkim
8. French
9. 1961
10. Andhra Pradesh
11. 1956
12. 1966
13. Andhra Pradesh
14. Arunachal Pradesh
15.
Assam
16.
Bihar
17. 1960
18. one-horned rhinoceros
19. Kerala
20. 28
21.
Bihar
22.
Maharashtra
23. Dadra Nagar Haveli 24. 8
25. Chennai

GK – India Facts File 4

1. Which one of the following states does not form part of the Narmada basin?

a) Rajasthan
b) Madhya Pradesh
c) Gujarat
d) Maharashtra

2. On which river is the Srisailam hydroelectric project built?

a) Tungabhadra
b) Sharavati
c) Krishna
d) Cauvery

3. Chilka Lake is in

a) Orissa
b) Andhra Pradesh
c) Tamil Nadu
d) West Bengal

4. Which of the following Indian states does not lie on the Indo-Nepal border?

a) Bihar
b) Himachal Pradesh
c) Sikkim
d) Uttar Pradesh

5. The largest producer of salt in India is

a) Gujarat
b) Rajasthan
c) Kerala
d) Madhya Pradesh

6. Which is the most widely consumed cereal in India?

a) Barley
b) Sorghum
c) Wheat
d) Rice

7. Which cash crop is grown in the largest area in India?

a) cotton
b) jute
c) tobacco
d) sann hemp

8. Which Indian state is known for its sandal wood?

a) Karnataka
b) Assam
c) Kerala
d) West Bengal

9. Which one of the following projects consists of the Gandhi Sagar Dam, the Kota Barrage and the Rana Pratap Sagar dam?

a) The Chambal Project
b) The Hirakud Project
c) The Rajasthan Canal Project
d) The Kosi Project

10. Which of the following states is not a party to the Cauvery water issue?

a) Kerala
b) Maharashtra
c) Karnataka
d) Tamil Nadu

11. Kuki tribes belong to which state?

a) Nagaland
b) Manipur
c) Assam
d) Sikkim

12. Which of the following nations are linked by the Teen Bigha Corridor?

a) India and Pakistan
b) India and China
c) Bangladesh and Pakistan
d) Bangladesh and India

13. Which of the following rivers is not a tributary of Ganga?

a) Indravati
b) Son
c) Gomati
d) Yamuna

14. Which Indian state is the largest producer of natural rubber?

a) Assam
b) Tamil Nadu
c) Kerala
d) Karnataka

15. Which of the following is not a sea port?

a) Cochin
b) Paradeep
c) Rameshwaram
d) Vishakhapatnam

16. Which one of the following is the most salty lake in India?

a) Wular
b) Chilka
c) Sambhar
d) Dal

17. The Vidyasagar Setu is located at

a) Cuttack
b) Rameshwaram
c) Madurai
d) Calcutta

18. Which one of the following area has been declared as a ‘Biosphere Reserve’?

a) Nilgiris
b) Gulf of Mannar
c) Nokrek
d) Manas

19. On the bank of which river is Srinagar situated?

a) Indus
b) Jhelum
c) Tawi
d) Wooler lake

20. Which of the following is an inland drainage area?

a) Chilka region
b) Sambhar area
c) Rann of Kutch
d) Manasarovar lake

21. The Kanha Tiger Reserve is located in

a) Karnataka
b) Madhya Pradesh
c) Assam
d) Tamil Nadu

22. The Bandipur tiger reserve is located in

a) Maharashtra
b) Assam
c) Karnataka
d) Kerala

23. The Pushkar Lake is in

a) Jammu & Kashmir
b) Punjab
c) Rajasthan
d) Assam

24. Which national park is India is famous for the Chinkara (Indian Gazalle)?

a) Shivapuri National Park
b) Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
c) Ghanna Wildlife Sanctuary
d) Kanha National Park

25. Which of the following is the most extensively grown oil seed crop in India?

a) Ground nut
b) Sunflower
c) Mustard
d) Linseed

Answers

1. Rajasthan
2.
Krishna
3. Orissa
4. Himachal Pradesh
5.
Gujarat
6. Rice
7. cotton
8. Karnataka
9. The Chambal Project
10.
Maharashtra
11. Manipur
12.
Bangladesh and India
13. Indravati
14. Kerala
15. Rameshwaram
16. Sambhar
17.
Calcutta
18. Nilgiris
19.
Jhelum
20.
Rann of Kutch
21. Madhya Pradesh
22. Karnataka
23. Rajasthan
24.
Shivapuri National Park
25. Ground nut

GK – India Facts File 5

1. Who translated our National Song into English?

a) Rabindranath Tagore
b) Dr S Radhakrishnan
c) Sarojini Naidu
d) Aurobindo Ghosh

2. Which of the following was the capital of Andhra Pradesh before Hyderabad?

a) Kurnool b) Nellore c) Guntur d) Warangal

3. Which city is known as the ‘Garden City of India’?

a) Sri Nagar
b) Munnar
c) Bangalore
d) Jaipur

4. The southernmost tip of India is

a) Kanyakumari
b) Kovalam
c) Indira Point
d) Nagarcoil

5. Which one of the following folk-dance drama is associated with Rajasthan

a) Jatra
b) Garba
c) Khayal
d) Kootiyattam

6. India’s National Calendar was introduced for official purposes in

a) 1947
b) 1951
c) 1957
d) 1969

7. Which state stands first in the production of ginger?

a) Maharashtra
b) Himachal Pradesh
c) Andhra Pradesh
d) Kerala

8. What is the first date of the National Calender?

a) 1st January
b) 1st April
c) 1st July
d) 22nd March

9. Which of the following is the first month of our national calendar?

a) Chaitra
b) Bhadra
c) Falgun
d) Ashad

10. Which of the following is the last month of our national calendar?

a) Chaitra
b) Ashad
c) Falgun
d) Bhadra

11. Which of the following is not a popular form of Hindustani music?

a) Qawwali
b) Thumri
c) Ghazal
d) Padam

12. Which of the following was the first Indian state to achieve 100 percent literacy?

a) Kerala
b) Goa
c) Karnataka
d) Tamil Nadu

13. Martyr’s day is observed on

a) January 30
b) October 2
c) August 15
d) January 3

14. Which Indian state has the largest population of Scheduled Tribes?

a) UP
b) Madhya Pradesh
c) Bihar
d) Orissa

15. The smallest and least populated territory in India is

a) Lakshadweep
b) Pondicherry
c) Daman and Diu
d) Dadra and Nagar Haveli

16. Who was the first woman judge of the Supreme Court of India?

a) Leila Seth
b) Anna Chandi
c) Fatima Bibi
d) Sujata Manohar

17. Who among the following was India’s first acting Prime Minister?

a) Lal Bahadur Shastri
b) BD Jatti
c) Gulzarilal Nanda
d) Indira Gandhi

18. Who was the first woman President of the Indian National Congress?

a) Vijayalakshmi Pandit
b) Indira Gandhi
c) Sarojini Naidu
d) Annie Besant

19. Before India acquired Pondicherry, it was under the control of

a) Portuguese
b) French
c) Dutch
d) British

20. Who is the first woman Chief Justice of a High Court?

a) Fatima Bibi
b) Anna Chandi
c) Leila Seth
d) Rajkumari Amrit Kaur

21. The Indian Army is divided into how many commands (divisions)?

a) 11
b) 12
c) 6
d) 8

22. In India, the ‘Urs’ fair is organized in

a) Secunderabad
b) Ajmer
c) Ghaziabad
d) Mirzapur

23. Where in Madhya Pradesh is the Kumbha Mela held?

a) Indore
b) Ratlam
c) Gwalior
d) Ujjain

24. Which of the following is the main festival of Maharashtra?

a) Durga Puja
b) Ganpati Festival
c) Onam
d) Pongal

25. Which of the following is the main festival of Kerala?

a) Diwali
b) Onam
c) Navratri
d) Pongal

Answers

1. Aurobindo Ghosh
2.
Kurnool
3.
Bangalore
4. Kanyakumari
5. Khayal
6. 1957
7. Kerala
8. 1st April
9. Chaitra
10. Falgun
11. Padam
12. Kerala
13. January 30
14. Madhya Pradesh
15.
Lakshadweep
16. Fatima Bibi
17. Gulzarilal Nanda
18. Annie Besant
19. French
20. Leila Seth
21. 6
22.
Ajmer
23.
Ujjain
24. Ganpati Festival
25. Onam

GK – India Facts File 6

1. How many spokes are there in the ‘Chakra’ of our national flag?

a) 24
b) 25
c) 26
d) 30

2. The ratio between the length and width of our national flag is

a) 1:2
b) 2:3
c) 1: 4
d) 2:5

3. The Himasagar Express runs between

a) Jammu Tawi and Kanyakumari
b) Culcutta and Delhi
c) New Delhi and Chennai
d) Mumbai – Kolkatta

4. How many lions are visible in our National Flag?

a) two
b) one
c) three
d) four

5. The Mumbai High Court was set up in

a) 1832
b) 1862
c) 1889
d) 1901

6. Which Indian state gave us four Nobel Prize winners?

a) West Bengal
b) Uttar Pradesh
c) Tamil Nadu
d) Punjab

7. Who among the following is not associated with the Sitar?

a) Amir Khusro
b) Ravi Shankar
c) Ustad Alauddin Khan
d) Amjad Ali Khan

8. The Shimla agreement was signed between India and Pakistan in

a) 1965
b) 1948
c) 1956
d) 1972

9. Our National Emblem was adopted on

a) August 15, 1947
b) January 26, 1950
c) November 26, 1946
d) December 26, 1949

10. Which of the following is India’s biggest dam?

a) Kosi
b) Nagarjuna Sagar
c) Hirakud
d) Bhakra

11. Gol Gumbaz, the largest dome in Asia, is in

a) Tamil Nadu
b) Karnataka
c) Andhra Pradesh
d) Kerala

12. Project Tiger, aimed at protecting tigers from extinction, was launched in

a) 1970
b) 1973
c) 1976
d) 1980

13. Who composed our National Anthem?

a) Rabindranath Tagore
b) Muhammad Iqbal
c) Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
d) Sri Aurobindo

14. Who among the following is not associated with Karnatic music?

a) Tanzen
b) Tyagaraja
c) Muthuswami Dikshitar
d) Shyama Shastri

15. Jana Gana Mana, our national anthem was sung for the first time in

a) 1947
b) 1950
c) 1906
d) 1911

16. What is the official language of Jammu and Kashmir?

a) Urdu
b) Kashmiri
c) Dogri
d) English

17. Who was the first Chief Justice of India?

a) M Patanjali Sastri
b) BK Mukherjee
c) Harilal J Kania
d) MC Mahajan

18. Who was the first recipient of the Jnanpith Award?

a) G Sankara Kurup
b) TS Bandopadhaya
c) Uma Shankar Joshi
d) Sumitranandan Pant

19. How many stanzas are there in our national anthem?

a) two
b) three
c) four
d) five

20. Who was the first Chief Election Commissioner of India?

a) KVK Sundaram
b) Sukumar Sen
c) SP Sen Verma
d) Dr Nagendra Singh

21. Mother Teressa won the Nobel Peace Prize in

a) 1930
b) 1913
c) 1968
d) 1978

22. Who was the first recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award?

a) Devika Rani
b) V Shantaram
c) Prithviraj Kapoor
d) Pankaj Mallick

23. What percentage of the world population lives in India?

a) approximately 15
b) approximately 21
c) approximately 7
d) approximately 12

24. India’s largest petro-chemical complex is located in

a) Maharashtra
b) Gujarat
c) Assam
d) Bihar

25. Which of the following is India’s first indigenous submarine?

a) INS Shahkul
b) INS Savitri
c) INS Vibhuti
d) INS Shalki

Answers

1. 24
2. 2:3
3.
Jammu Tawi and Kanyakumari
4. three
5. 1862
6.
West Bengal
7. Ustad Alauddin Khan
8. 1972
9.
January 26, 1950
10. Hirakud
11. Karnataka
12. 1973
13. Rabindranath Tagore
14. Tanzen
15. 1911
16. Urdu
17. Harilal J Kania
18. G Sankara Kurup
19. five
20. Sukumar Sen
21. 1978
22. Devika Rani
23. approximately 15
24.
Gujarat
25. INS Shalki

GK – Indian States and Union Territories

1. Which state was formerly known as NEFA?

a) Andhra Pradesh
b) Arunachal Pradesh
c) Assam
d) Manipur

2. The original population of Andaman Islands belongs to which ethnic group?

a) Dravida
b) Negroids
c) Mongoloids
d) Arya

3. The Tavang monastery, the oldest Buddhist Monastery, in India is located in

a) Assam
b) Arunachal Pradesh
c) Bihar
d) Uttar Pradesh

4. What is the state language of Jammu & Kashmir?

a) Hindi
b) Arabic
c) Urdu
d) English

5. In how many states is Hindi the official language?

a) 5
b) 6
7) 7
8) 4

6. Which one of the following was the last state to be formed in India?

a) Chattisgarh
b) Jharkhand
c) Uttaranchal
d) Goa

7. The South Indian hill tribes Irulas, Kodars, Paniyans and Kurumbas belong to which ethnic group?

a) Mongoloids
b) Negroids
c) Dravida
d) Arya

8. In terms of area Rajasthan is the biggest state in the union of India. Which is the smallest?

a) Goa
b) Assam
c) Delhi
d) none of these

9. Which was the first Indian state to be formed purely on a linguistic basis?

a) Tamil Nadu
b) Andhra Pradesh
c) Kerala
d) West Bengal

10. Which language has the second largest number of speakers in India?

a) Tamil
b) Telugu
c) Urdu
d) Hindi

11. Which Indian state has the largest number of tribal population?

a) Uttar Pradesh
b) Madhya Pradesh
c) Bihar
d) Manipur

12. The historically famous city ‘Pataliputra’ is the capital of an Indian state. Which is this state?

a) Bihar
b) UP
c) Assam
d) Bengal

13. Which Indian state has the highest per capita income?

a) Bengal
b) Punjab
c) Kerala
d) Tamil Nadu

14. ‘Bihu’ is the national festival of which north – eastern state?

a) Assam
b) Manipur
c) Meghalaya
d) Nagaland

15. Which Indian state has contributed the largest number of Prime ministers to the union of India?

a) Uttar Pradesh
b) Madhya Pradesh
c) Punjab
d) Delhi

16. Pondichery is the most populous Union Territory in India. Which is the least populous?

a) Andaman
b) Lakshdweeps
c) Goa
d) none of these

17. Which two cities in India are often called ‘Twin Cities’?

a) Hyderabad and Secunderabad
b) Mysore and Bangalore
c) Madras and Coimbatore
d) Mumbai and Thane

18. The Nagarjuna Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary famous for its tiger population is in

a) Andhra Pradesh
b) Tamil Nadu
c) Karnataka
d) UP

19. Jhumming practiced in the north-eastern states is a method of

a) learning
b) agriculture
c) living
d) dancing

20. The Kaziranga Forest Reserve is famous for its

a) One horned rhinoceros
b) Asiatic Lion
c) Asiatic Tiger
d) Elephants

21. Which Indian state faces severe threat from the extremist outfits ULFA and BODO?

a) Assam
b) Manipur
c) Kashmir
d) Bengal

22. The place where Mahavira breathed his last is in Bihar. Which is this place?

a) Pawapuri
b) Saranath
c) Sanchi
d) Vaishali

23. Goa is the 25th state in the Indian Union. In Which year was this formed?

a) 1987
b) 1990
c) 1995
d) 1985

24. What is the official language of the state of Goa?

a) Hindi
b) English
c) Konkani
d) Malayalam

25. This wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat is the World’s last habitat of Asiatic lion. What is its name?

a) Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary
b) Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
c) Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
d) Corbett National Park

Answers

  1. 1. Arunachal Pradesh
    2. Negroids
    3. Arunachal Pradesh
    4. Urdu
    5. 6
    6. Jharkhand
    7. Negroids
    8.
    Goa
    9. Andhra Pradesh
    10. Telugu 11. Madhya Pradesh
    12.
    Bihar
    13.
    Punjab
    14.
    Assam
    15. Uttar Pradesh
    16. Lakshdweeps
    17.
    Hyderabad and Secunderabad
    18. Andhra Pradesh
    19. agriculture
    20. One horned rhinoceros
    21.
    Assam
    22. Pawapuri
    23. 1987
    24. Konkani
    25. Gir Wildlife Sanctuary

GK – Indian States and Union Territories

1. Haryana is rather dry, sandy and barren. Which is the only river that flows through Haryana?

a) Ghaggar
b) Narmada
c) Beas
d) Sutlej

2. Which is the first Indian state to have electrified all of its villages?

a) Gujarat
b) Haryana
c) Kerala
d) Punjab

3. Who was the king of Kashmir who took the decision to join Kashmir to the Union of India after independence?

a) Raja Mansingh
b) Maharaja Harisingh
c) Raja Jayadeep Singh
d) None of these

4. The headquarters of Dalailama is in Dharmasala. In which state is this situated?

a) Haryana
b) Himachal Pradesh
c) Assam
d) Bihar

5. The state of Jharkhand was formed on Nov.1, 2000. It was carved out of which state?

a) UP
b) Madhya Pradesh
c) Bihar
d) Punjab

6. Which state is probably India’s richest state in mineral deposits?

a) Tamil Nadu
b) Jharkhand
c) Bihar
d) Assam

7. Jamshedpur and Bokaro famous for their steel plants are in

a) Madhya Pradesh
b) Uttar Pradesh
c) Jharkhand
d) Bihar

8. Which state tops in the production of rubber and coconut?

a) Kerala
b) Karnataka
c) Maharashtra
d) Goa

9. Which state was called by Jawaharlal Nehru ‘A Jewel of India’?

a) Kashmir
b) Meghalaya
c) Manipur
d) Kerala

10. Which state in India can claim to be an exclusive tribal state?

a) Assam
b) Meghalaya
c) Manipur
d) Jharkhand

11. Which city is known as the Cathedral City of India?

a) Goa
b) Bhuvaneswar
c) Jaipur
d) Calcutta

12. Which state in India is the homeland of tribal communities the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos?

a) Manipur
b) Meghalaya
c) Assam
d) Bihar

13. Which of the following Indian cities was designed by Le Corbusier, a French architect?

a) Chandigarh
b) Amritsar
c) Kochi
d) Goa

14. Bharatpur in Rajasthan is an important tourist center. What is it famous for?

a) Tiger reserve
b) Lion reserve
c) Rhinos
d) Bird sanctuary

15. Which of the following is the southernmost tip of India?

a) Kanya Kumari
b) Mancheswar
c) Indira Point
d) Tuticorin

16. The capital city of Punjab and Haryana is a Union Territory. Which is this?

a) Ludhiana
b) Chandigarh
c) Amritsar
d) None of these

17. When was Dadra and Nagar Haveli liberated from the Portuguese rule?

a) 1947
b) 1954
c) 1960
d) 1955

18. Which union territory in India can claim to be a living monument of French culture in India?

a) Pondichery
b) Chandigarh
c) Lakshadweep
d) Daman and Diu

19. When was the Union Territory of Lakshdweep formed?

a) 1956
b) 1947
c) 1954
d) 1960

20. The largest man-made lake in India is situated in Andhra Pradesh. Which is this lake?

a) Chilka
b) Sambhar
c) Nagarjuna Sagar
d) Dal

21. English is the official language in one of the Indian states. Which is this state?

a) Meghalaya
b) Nagaland
c) Manipur
d) Assam

22. Which Indian state has the least area under forest cover?

a) Punjab
b) Haryana
c) Kerala
d) Karnataka

23. Which on of the following is a land-locked state?

a) Gujarat
b) Orissa
c) West Bengal
d) Bihar

24. Singhbhum and Hazaribagh in Bihar are famous for their

a) Copper deposits
b) Coal deposits
c) Bauxite deposits
d) Gold deposits

25. Which Indian state has more than 90% of its area under forests?

a) West Bengal
b) Arunachal Pradesh
c) Kerala
d) Madhya Pradesh

Answers

1. Ghaggar
2. Haryana
3. Maharaja Harisingh
4. Himachal Pradesh
5.
Bihar
6. Jharkhand
7. Jharkhand
8. Kerala
9. Manipur
10. Meghalaya
11. Bhuvaneswar
12. Meghalaya
13.
Chandigarh
14. Bird sanctuary
15. Indira Point
16.
Chandigarh
17. 1954
18. Pondichery
19. 1956
20. Nagarjuna Sagar
21. Nagaland
22. Haryana
23.
Bihar
24. copper deposits
25. Arunachal Pradesh

Filed under: General Knowledge, , , ,

Scientific Facts: A General study

Scientific Facts

Does frequent switching on/off of a fluorescent lamp reduce its life?
The life of a fluorescent lamp is essentially determined by life of the cathode filament it uses. A conventional fluorescent lamp employs closely wound coil of tungsten wire as filament. Upon switching on the lamp, electric current passing through the filament will raise the temperature of the filament that in turn will generate thermions (electrons generated by a thermal process). Thermions are necessary to initiate electric-discharge through the column of the fluorescent lamp.

 

Frequent switching on/off the fluorescent lamp occurs through several cycles of filament heating and cooling. If the cycles of heating and cooling of the filament are too frequent this may result in tremendous loss of oxide coating (at the rate of 10-20 micro-grams/cm{+2} per cycle).

The loss of oxide coating in the cathode filament through rapid on/off (heating/cooling) operations will lead to poor performance of the filament in generating thermions to initiate the discharge process. This in turn will reduce the life of the fluorescent lamp. Life of a conventional fluorescent lamp usually rated for several thousand hours of continuous burning can be halved or made still less, just by frequent switching on/off. Courtesy : The Hindu

How is a ventriloquist able to throw his voice?
ANSWER I : Ventriloquism is the art of projecting or ‘throwing,’ the voice so that is appears to come from a different source. The performer also directs the attention of the audience to the place from where the sound is supposed to come.

 

The sounds are produced in the usual method adopted in talking, but the lips are held as nearly and motionless. Sounds are modified by the throat and palate. Consonants are often changed to avoid lip-moving syllables. Lack of facial expression on the part of the performer helps to fool the audience.

//

ANSWER II : Ventriloquism relies on the fact that the ability of the human ear to locate the source of a sound without visual and other cues is very poor. What the ventriloquist does is to supply misleading cues through the use of what we ‘masters of deceit’ refer to as stagecraft and voice. Stagecraft consists of using gestures, eye movements, patter, and so on to direct attention to wherever the voice is supposed to be coming from.

Ventriloquism is the ability, not only to talk without moving your lips but also to alter the pitch and cadence of your voice so as to create a second personality, which you can then bestow on the object of your choice.

Scientists have explained the trick of ventriloquist in detail, and have managed to produce the reverse effect — where people are tricked into believing their ears over their eyes.

People place different amounts of faith in their different senses. This is exploited by ventriloquists, who fool us into thinking sound is coming from someplace it isn’t by relying on the fact that people use their vision more heavily than their hearing to locate the source of a sound. This is because the eye’s retina is very sensitive to the direction of light that hits it, while the ear isn’t so sensitive to the direction of a noise.

The cinema is the classic ventriloquist effect. It is assumed the voices are coming from the actors on the screen instead of from the loudspeaker kept somewhere else in the room.

There are only six tough sounds the ‘labials,’ or lip sounds, b, f, m, p, v, and w. Essentially what one does is to substitute some vaguely similar sound, talk fast, and let people hear what they want to hear. For ‘w’, for instance, ‘oo’ is substituted and ‘where’ becomes ‘oo-air’, ‘twenty’ becomes ‘too-en-tee’. — The Hindu S & T Desk Courtesy : The Hindu

What is the peculiar smell of the earth after the first shower?
ANSWER I :The characteristic earthy odour of soil is caused by the production of a series of streptomycete metabolites called geosmins.

 

These substances are sesquiterpenoid compounds and unsaturated compound of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. The geosmins first discovered has the chemical name trans-1, 10-dimethyl-trans-9-decalol; however, other volatile products produced by certain species of Streptomyces may also be responsible for the characteristic smell.

An unforgettable attribute of the streptomycetes is the musty odour they emit, an odour reminiscent of freshly turned soil.

Streptomyces are primarily soil micro-organisms requiring a lower potential for growth. The most significant environmental adaptation of the Streptomyces group is their ability to withstand dessication. Geosmins are also produced by some cyanobacteria.

//

ANSWER II : The piquant, musky odour that hangs in the air emanates from an odorous chemical buried in the soil called ‘geosmin’ (literally, earth smell).

The smell is given off by Streptomyces bacteria, a genus belonging to the Actinomycetales order of Gram-positive eubacteria, also called actinomycetes. The soil normally contains a multitude of environmental saprophytic fungi.

Actinomycetes, a type of filamentous bacteria grow in soil when conditions are damp and warm. When the soil dries out, the bacteria produces the geosmin spores in the soil. Rain hitting the ground kicks up an aerosol of water and soil and spores into the air, where they are easier to smell. (just like an aerosol air freshener).

We breathe in fine particles of soil containing the bacteria.

ANSWER III : A pleasant smell after the first shower is because of a group of filamentous bacteria Actinomycetes found in the soil. They grow well in soil when the conditions are damp and warm.

When the soil is too hot, the bacteria are not able to tolerate the dessication, so it produces spores as survival strategies. The spores remain invulnerable for years and are resistant to dessication and heat. During the rainfall, the spores are taken up in the air by the force of wind and suspended in the air as aerosol. When we breathe the air, which contains spores, we are able to feel the earthy “after the rain smell”. Geosmine (dimethyl-9-decalols) is the microbial product found in the spores is responsible for the pleasant smell. Courtesy : The Hindu

How does a rechargeable battery work? What is the life of such batteries and how are they different from ordinary batteries?
Electrochemical cells and batteries are identified generally as primary and secondary batteries. The primary batteries cannot be easily or effectively re-charged electrically and hence are discharged (used) and discarded. The electrochemical reactions in primary cells are not easily reversible. When the battery delivers current (during use) the active materials undergo changes and the active materials slowly will become inactive because the discharged active materials can’t deliver current. In secondary batteries (example., lead-acid) the reactions are said to be reversible because once the battery is used, the inactive materials can be converted back to active materials by re-charging and the battery will be again ready for use.

 

These systems are also called as ‘storage batteries’. (example., lead-acid, nickel-cadmium) In the primary category, for example., zn-carbon cells, the anode is zinc and cathode is manganese dioxide. During discharge (when battery in use), the simplified reaction can be written as (the actual electrochemical process is more complicated)

Zn + 2 MnO{-2} ZnO + Mn{-2}O{-3}

Discharge (delivers current)

The discharged products (right hand side) cannot be formed back into original active materials (left hand side) by passing current in an opposite direction (charging). It is said to be ‘irreversible’

Where as in secondary batteries, for example., lead-acid, the active materials can be formed back after discharge (use) and it will be ready for use again after charge.

Pb + PbO{-2} + 2H{-2}SO{-4}

Technically some primary batteries can be recharged for several cycles but may not deliver full capacity and may have poor charge retention after recharge. Generally the cells are not designed for that type of use. The life of a secondary battery (lead-acid or nickel-cadmium) may vary from 200-1200 cycles (one cycle represents one discharge and charge) depending on its design parameters. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why is fuel used in airplanes different from those used in motor vehicles?
Aviation turbine fuels are used for powering jet and turbo-prop engine aircraft. Kerosene was used to fuel the first turbine engines. Kerosene-type fuel was chosen as having the best combination of properties.

 

As the primary function of aviation turbine fuel (jet fuel) is to power an aircraft, energy content and combustion quality are key fuel performance properties. Other significant performance properties are stability, lubricity, fluidity, volatility, non-corrosivity, and cleanliness. Besides providing a source of energy, fuel is also used as a hydraulic fluid in engine control systems and as a coolant for certain fuel system components.

However, compared to a kerosene-type fuel, other type fuels like used in motor vehicles were found to have operational disadvantages due to their higher volatility:

Greater losses due to evaporation at high altitudes.

Greater risk of fire during handling on the ground.

Crashes of planes fuelled with wide-cut fuel were less survivable.

Lighter (less dense) fuels, such as gasoline, have higher heating values on a weight basis: whereas heavier (more dense) fuels, like diesel, have higher heating values on a volume basis. Since space is at a premium in most aircraft, the amount of energy contained in a give quantity of fuel is important. A fuel with high volumetric energy content maximises the energy that can be stored in a fixed volume and thus provides the longest flight range.

There are currently two main grades of turbine fuel in use in civil commercial aviation: jet A-1 and jet A, both are kerosene type fuels. There is another grade of jet fuel, jet B which is a wide cut kerosene (a blend of gasoline and kerosene) but it is rarely used except in very cold climates.

Jet A-1 is a kerosene grade of fuel suitable for most turbine engine aircraft. It is produced to a stringent internationally agreed standard, has a flash point above 38 degrees centigrade (100 degrees Fahrenheit) and a freeze point maximum of minus 47 degrees Centigrade.

Jet A is a similar kerosene type of fuel, produced and normally only available in the U.S. It has the same flash point as Jet A-1 but a higher maximum freeze point (minus 40 degrees centigrade).

Jet B is a distillate covering the naphtha and kerosene fractions. It can be used as an alternative to jet A-1 but because it is more difficult to handle (higher flammability), there is only significant demand in very cold climates where its better cold weather performance is important. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why does an egg (with the shell) burst when cooked in a microwave oven?
Microwave radiation is generated in an electronic tube called a magnetron, and passes along what’s called a wave-guide into the oven cavity.

 

The microwaves are absorbed by foods — a characteristic that make them ideal for cooking. The microwave energy transmitted in a microwave oven is directed toward the centre of the compartment. The highest absorption factor for microwave energy is water. The water absorbs the energy and becomes agitated and this molecular level agitation is the friction that heats up food

When microwaved, different components in an egg expand at different rates, which can result in the egg exploding. White portion of egg contains a high proportion of water and yolk contains a high proportion of fat. Microwaved eggs can reach temperatures much higher than if they were simply boiled in water at 100 degrees Celsius. At these elevated temperatures, water inside the egg, mostly in the white albumen, vapourises — even as the albumen solidifies. If the pressure inside the egg exceeds the breaking strength of the shell, the egg will explode.

Using a wooden pick or tip of a knife to break the yolk membrane of an unbeaten egg before micro cooking to allow the steam to escape, can help prevent the explosion. Covering cooking containers with a lid, plastic wrap or wax paper encourages even cooking and (if we forget to prick the yolk) helps to confine the explosion Courtesy : The Hindu

How does a compact fluorescent lamp consume less electricity than conventional fluorescent lamps and bulbs?
Fluorescent lamps are based on the phenomenon of gas discharge between two electrodes at the ends of a glass tube. Generally these tubes contain a little mercury in the low-pressure vapour phase. When sufficiently large voltage is applied between the electrodes, some atoms of the vapour get ionised.

 

The process of ionisation usually starts with stray electrons and ions that are generally present in the vapour. The electron-ion pairs so formed get accelerated towards electrodes of opposite electrical polarity, gaining kinetic (speed-dependent) energy.

When they collide neutral mercury atoms, some of them are ionised and some are electronically excited. Excited (higher-energy) atoms release their energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, part of which is in the visible and in the infrared regions of the spectrum. But it is rich in the invisible ultraviolet region.

A fluorescent light source has the inner surface of its glass tube painted with a material called phosphor. Zinc sulphide is the commonest example of a phosphor. But phosphors used in practice are complex mixtures of the sulphides and phosphates of barium, strontium and rare earth elements.

These phosphors have the property of absorbing ultraviolet component of the radiation and re-emitting a major fraction of the corresponding energy in the form of visible light. This enhances the lamp’s efficiency of converting electrical energy into visible light.

The ordinary fluorescent lamp works with a supply voltage of about 220 volt. Since the start of discharge process demands a little higher voltage, it also employs a starter and ballast (a choke coil) that together produce the desired voltage. On the other hand, the compact tube works at about 400 volt (constant), which is produced by a transformer arrangement embedded in its base.

Working at a higher voltage improves its efficiency of producing electromagnetic radiation. Another factor adding to its efficiency is the phosphor composition, which produces light richer on the violet side of the spectrum. This makes the light of a compact lamp somewhat more bluish than that of the ordinary fluorescent lamp. These newer phosphors are not yet being used in ordinary fluorescent lamps perhaps for cost reasons.

Higher efficiency means low consumption of electrical energy. A filament lamp has the lowest efficiency, because it is based on the fact that a material body heated to a high temperature emits radiation of all wavelengths. This radiation is richer in the infrared part of the spectrum and since there is no mechanism of converting this into visible light, it has poor efficiency. The three types of lamps may have a typical efficiency ratio of 8:6:3. Courtesy : The Hindu

What causes milk to rise up when we boil it?
Milk contains 87 per cent water, 4 per cent proteins and 5 per cent lactose (milk sugar). When we boil milk, the fat, sugar, proteins and minerals get separated. Since they are lighter than milk they collect on the surface in the form of cream.

 

During heating some amount of water gets converted into vapour and the bubbles of water vapour rise to the top but the heat is conducted away by the layer of water and by the fat droplets that have a higher boiling point than water.

The vapour gets trapped in the creamy upper layer. As the milk is heated further the water vapour expands and thick foam is produced on the top.

As the milk is boiled continuously the water, which boils at 100 degrees Centigrade, produces more water vapour and pressure builds up in the boiling milk so that the vapour pressure raises the creamy layer. So the milk pushes the creamy layer out and milk spills out. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why are we unable to see through a frosted glass?
A glass plate, which is polished on both the surfaces is ‘perfectly’ transparent to light and so one can see through it. However if one of the surfaces is sand blasted to get a frost glass, this rough surface would scatter almost all the light in all directions.

 

Therefore light entering one side of the glass plate is totally scattered and lost and thus is not able to pass through. So we cannot see through. If one of the surfaces is mirrored then too one cannot see through but in this case the light is not scattered but completely reflected off and one would then see it as a shiny mirror. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why does our mouth stink after a night’s sleep despite brushing before going to sleep?
Bad breath, or ‘Halitosis’ is a common problem, which often occurs due to bacterial activity in the mouth.

 

Although brushing is a good mechanical aid for maintaining proper oral hygiene, there are many factors that may cause morning bad breath or halitosis. Some people suffer from bad breath without knowing it, while others build up exaggerated fears about breath odour even though they do not have it. Halitosis, also termed ‘oral malodour’ is a foul or offensive odour emanating from the oral cavity. It is caused primarily by volatile sulphur compounds specifically hydrogen sulphide and methyl mercaptan which result from bacterial putrefaction of protein containing sulphur amino acids. These products could be involved in the transition from good oral health to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums or gingival) and then to periodontitis (inflammation of supporting tissues of the teeth).

Local source of mouth odour is mainly the tongue. Post nasal drip on the back of the tongue which occurs during sleep can also cause oral malodour in the mornings and can cause throat infections in some cases. A coated tongue is also said to be a cause of halitosis, due to excessive bacterial activity on the tongue. The causes of bad breath can be divided into

Intraoral sources(sources inside the mouth which can cause bad breath)

Extraoral sources(sources outside the mouth or anywhere else in the body).

Intraoral sources include retention of odoriferous food particles on and between the teeth, coated tongue and dehydration states which can cause dryness of mouth leading to oral malodour. caries

Habits like smoking, alcoholism and pan chewing, artificial dentures, insufficient salivary flow, gum problems, post nasal drip on the back of the tongue cause bad breath. Any infections of the respiratory tract like bronchitis, pneumonia can also cause bad breath.

Periodontitis (inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth) is one condition if left untreated can cause bad breath from accumulated debris and increased rate of putrefaction of the saliva.

There are many ways to prevent halitosis or oral malodour. Getting teeth cleaned periodically in a dentist’s office is one such practice.

Dental flossing along with tooth brushing helps in removing debris from in between the teeth. Using a soft bristled toothbrush on your tongue, taking plenty of liquid, cleaning your mouth after eating or drinking milk products, fish, meat helps. If you are a denture wearer, soak the denture in antiseptic solution overnight.

Chlorhexidine, Listerine and triclosan mouthwashes are available in the market that can be used after consulting your dentist.

Thus halitosis can be prevented by education of people regarding brushing techniques and other oral hygiene aids and motivation of people to make behavioural and habitual changes thereby avoiding unnecessary anxiety and apprehension. Courtesy : The Hindu

How does wheat flour become malleable and elastic when mixed with water?
Basically wheat flour does not contain any malleable or elastic characteristic materials. When water is added to wheat flour, a new product called Gluten is formed by hydration of wheat proteins. It causes the production of dough. Gluten contains water approximately 2/3rd of its weight. It forms about 90 per cent of the total protein of flour. It is stretchable product just like rubber. It also contains small quantity of fat, cellulose and minerals.

 

Gluten in turn contains protein fragments called Glutenin and Gliadin. These two confer the dough the elastic and malleable properties. When mixed together, as they are in dough, these two proteins form a tangle of strands that trap the gas. While gliadin in gluten confers mellowness and elasticity, the glutenin provides the structure. Greater the amount of gliadin, softer will be the gluten. Gluten is responsible for the rheological properties of dough because it forms the skeleton of the dough. High structured products like bread and bun require stronger quality of gluten while low structured products like biscuits and cakes do not require strong gluten. Courtesy : The Hindu

How do raw mangoes and bananas become ripe when treated with chemicals?
ANSWER I: The process of fruit ripening is chiefly regulated by a gaseous plant hormone called ethylene. Most fruits have elevated ethylene levels during ripening and sometimes just a peak in ethylene levels, just before the process of ripening begins.

 

Ethylene regulates the expression of several genes involved in fruit ripening so as to modulate the activity of various enzymes involved in the process of ripening. These enzymes act to soften the ‘skin’ of the fruit and also convert complex polysaccharides into simple sugars.

The chemical commonly used to ripen fruits commercially is ethephon (2-chloroethylphosphonic acid), which penetrates into the fruit and decomposes to ethylene. Incidentally, chemicals (e.g. calcium carbide) that produce acetylene, an analogue of ethylene, are also used in some places posing dangers of explosion and carryover of toxic materials to consumers.

Ethylene is induced by several cues such as higher temperature, wounding, disease etc. Higher levels of ethylene and enhanced respiration might contribute to ripening when stored at higher temperatures.

ANSWER II: The ripening signal of a fruit comes form a hormone ethylene. Production of ethylene turns on some genes that are transcribed and translated to produce other enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for the conversion of starch into simple sugar, degradation of chlorophyll and appearance of other new pigments like carotenoids, change in the skin colour and the breakdown of acid, making the fruit taste neutral.

Hardy nature of the skin loosens when pectin is broken-down by an enzyme pectinase. Conversion of larger molecules into smaller volatile substances causes an aromatic odour.

Natural process of fruit ripening is accelerated by using certain chemicals. Here, calcium carbide is used. When carbide is dissolved in water it produces acetylene, an analogue of ethylene, a natural fruit-ripening agent.

The ripening process is accelerated since acetylene imitates ethylene. Since the amount of carbide needed to ripen the immature fruit is more it makes the fruit become more tasteless and toxic. Presence of trace amount of arsenic and phosphorous in carbide makes the healthy fruits poisonous.

One can distinguish the artificially ripenened fruit by the uniform skin colour in fruits like tomato, mango, papaws, etc and in the case of banana, yellow colour fruit with dark green stem. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is the powdery deposit found on some fruits like grapes? What is its use?
The white deposit seen on grapes and most other berries is cuticular wax. Cuticle is the outermost layer covering the plant surface and plays a role in the plant’s interactions with its environment.

 

Cuticular wax is part of the cuticle in several plant parts in almost all plant species. It is usually embedded in the cuticle and in some plant species crystalline wax structures overlay this layer and appear as powdery white/grey deposit (for example, grapes and other berries).

The wax is composed primarily of long-chain fatty acids, hydrocarbons, ketones, alcohols and alkaloids. Plants use cuticular wax primarily to regulate non-stomatal loss of water.

Cuticular wax is also reported to play important roles in disease resistance against bacterial and fungal pathogens of plants and in plant-insect relationships.

Being reflective in nature, waxes are also thought to offer some protection against UV damage. In agriculture, waxes impede the uptake of foliar sprays without surfactants due their hydrophobicity (water repellent property). Courtesy : The Hindu

How is the speed of a computer measured?
Two important factors that determine the speed of a computer are the amount of data that the Central Processing Unit can process in a given period of time and the CPU’s clock speed.

 

The speed at which a CPU executes instructions is called the clock rate.

Every system contains an internal clock that regulates the rate at which instructions are executed and synchronizes all the various computer components. The CPU requires a fixed number of clock ticks to execute each instruction.

The faster the clock, the more instructions the CPU can execute per second. Clock speeds are expressed in megahertz MHz or gigahertz GHz. Mega means million and hertz means times per second, 200 MHz is 200 million times per second (and 200 GHz is 200 billion times per second).

The internal architecture of a CPU has as much to do with a CPU’s performance as the clock speed. One common architecture is parallel processing. For example, while an instruction is being executed, the next instruction can be fetched from memory and decoded.

Instruction Prefetching is another idea where the CPU fetches the next instruction beforehand and places it in a queue for the execution unit to use the same.

The overall speed of a computer is also affected by the speed and size of the instruction/data bus. The instruction/data bus is the pathway for data communications between the computer’s CPU and the various components in the computer.

The computer’s bus has a certain size or width called the data path which is measured in bits and the speed of the bus is measured in MHz.

The larger the bus width and/or the faster the bus speed, the more data that can travel on it in a given amount of time.

Another factor affecting the speed is the size of the primary memory and cache. Increasing the size of the primary memory will speed up the performance if you run several applications at the same time or work with large files and documents. Cache is a small amount (normally less than 1 MegaByte) of high-speed memory residing on or close to the CPU. Cache memory supplies the CPU with the most frequently requested data and instructions.

Finally, effective interfacing of Input-Output devices to the CPU also increases the speed. Systems today use direct memory access (DMA) hardware wherein I/O device acts as a master and transfers large number of data to/from memory without intervention by the CPU. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is magnetic levitation? How does it work?
Magnetic levitation is the use of magnetic fields to levitate a (usually) metallic object. Manipulating magnetic fields and controlling their forces can levitate an object.

 

In this process an object is suspended above another with no other support but magnetic fields.

The electromagnetic force is used to counteract the effects of gravitation. But it has also been proved that it is not possible to levitate using static, macroscopic, ‘classical’ electromagnetic fields.

The forces acting on an object in any combination of gravitational, electrostatic, and magnetostatic fields will make the object’s position unstable.

The reason a permanent magnet suspended above another magnet is unstable is because the levitated magnet will easily overturn and the force will become attractive. If the levitated magnet is rotated, the gyroscopic forces can prevent the magnet from overturning.

Several possibilities exist to make levitation viable.

It is possible to levitate superconductors and other diamagnetic materials, which magnetise in the opposite sense to a magnetic field in which they are placed.

A superconductor is perfectly diamagnetic which means it expels a magnetic field (Meissner-Ochsenfeld effect). Other diamagnetic materials are commonplace and can also be levitated in a magnetic field if it is strong enough.Diamagnetism is a very weak form of magnetism that is only exhibited in the presence of an external magnetic field.

The induced magnetic moment is very small and in a direction opposite to that of the applied field. When placed between the poles of a strong electromagnet, diamagnetic materials are attracted towards regions where the magnetic field is weak.

Diamagnetism can be used to levitate light pieces of pyrolytic graphite or bismuth above a moderately strong permanent magnet. As water is predominantly diamagnetic, this property has been used to levitate water droplets and even live animals, such as a grasshopper and a frog.

Superconductors are perfect diamagnets and when placed in an external magnetic field expel the field lines from their interiors (better than a diamagnet). The magnet is held at a fixed distance from the superconductor or vice versa. This is the principle in place behind EDS (electrodynamic suspension) maglev trains. The EDS system relies on superconducting magnets.

A maglev is a train, which is suspended in air above the track, and propelled forward using magnetism. Because of the lack of physical contact between the track and vehicle, the only friction is that between the carriages and air. So maglev trains can travel at very high speeds (650 km/h) with reasonable energy consumption and noise levels Courtesy : The Hindu

Why is it easier to tear wet paper and not dry paper?
Tearing a paper involves overcoming the cohesive force between the cellulose fibres (of which paper is made). In the case of dry paper this force is high and hence tearing it is not very easy. However, the cohesive force that is of electrostatic origin becomes weakened in the presence of water.

 

This is akin to the way table salt (sodium chloride) dissolves in water due the weakening of the electrostatic attraction between the positively and negatively charged ions. In the case of paper, the effect becomes easily perceptible as paper is hydrophilic and absorbs water.

Once dipped in water, the water molecules can easily flow into the spaces between the fibres, weakening the cohesive force between them and making them susceptible to easy tearing. Courtesy : The Hindu

How are some insects able to walk on the surface of water?
ANSWER I :Water has a see-through film on its top layer that is created by surface tension. That means molecules of water are more likely to cling to other molecules of water than to something else. Some insects have a waxy coating on their body/feet. The surface tension of this coating [20 to 30 ergs/cm{+2}] is much less than water [72 ergs/cm{+2}] and hence water tends to bond to itself rather than wetting the insect’s feet and unless the insect is too heavy, it can remain on top of the water surface. For example, water striders and carpenter ants are so light that they can support themselves by spreading their weight on the surface tension of the water.

 

ANSWER II: Insects like the pond skater are able to walk on the surface of water mainly because of two factors. The first is their water-repellent (hydrophobic) cuticle. The cuticle of a pond skater is coated with wax to make it waterproof.

Again, the insects are able to maintain floatation or stand on the surface because a sufficiently large amount of its surface area is in contact with the water. The heavier the object, the more surface area is necessary to maintain floatation. As insects are very light weight the area of contact with the water surface is enough for it to prevent it from drowning. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why do wounds heal slowly in diabetics?
It is well known that chronic hyperglycaemia (raised blood sugar) impairs some host defence mechanisms and is associated with increased mortality due to infection in diabetic patients. Several studies have now confirmed that hyperglycaemia per se or the metabolic abnormality of diabetes is sufficient to explain the impaired immune response in patients responding to infections. There are multiple defects in the immune function in diabetics unlike people without diabetes.

 

There are normally 4000-11000 white blood cells per microlitre of human blood. Of these, the granulocytes (polymorphonuclear leukocytes, PMNs) are the most numerous. Acting together with lymphocytes and monocytes, these cells provide the body with powerful defences against viral, bacterial and parasitic infections.

The PMN granulocytes (a particular type of white blood cells) represent the host’s first defence barrier against bacterial agents. An abnormality in the antibacterial function of these white blood corpuscles is a very important factor. In diabetic patients these cells show various defects in their function.

PMN cells are attracted to the site of infection by various substances secreted by microorganisms. Cells from diabetic patients have an impaired movement, especially when the diabetes is poorly controlled.

The PMN type of white blood cells also show defect in ingestion of the microorganisms, which is an important step in fighting infections.

Uncontrolled diabetes also leads to a decrease in the killing activity of PMN. However, normalisation of blood glucose levels following intensive insulin therapy improves killing activity within 48 hours.

Diabetics also have other important defects in the immune system like reduction in the T lymphocytes (helper cells), a type of white blood cell. These cells normally help in cell-mediated immunity.

Serum immunoglobulin levels have been reported to be reduced in diabetic patients compared to normal subjects. Moreover, diabetics have reduced blood circulation to the extremities. This impairs wound healing particularly in the lower extremities. The antibiotics will be unable to reach the target tissues due to the poor blood supply. Courtesy : The Hindu

How do pharmaceutical companies arrive at expiry dates for medicines?
Most of the drugs used in modern medicine are organic molecules, which have, apart from their pharmacological properties, diverse physical and chemical properties. The utility of a drug depends on the availability of the active molecule in blood circulation for curing or controlling the disease. Due to various factors including the structure of the molecule, the formulation the packing and environmental factors these molecules undergo decomposition and degradation over time.

 

To determine the period over which the degradation will lead to reduction in the availability of the drug to levels below what is required, studies are conducted under what are called accelerated stability tests.

These tests simulate the long term effects of these factors on the stability of the active drug and the formulation in acute experiments lasting up to 45 days at temperatures of 45 degrees or more and humidity of 70 per cent or more. From the correlative data available, it is possible to predict the stability of the drug over long periods of even up to five years. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is the difference between computer monitor and colour television?
Computer monitor and colour television monitor use Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT). In all CRT monitors, the image is painted on the screen by an electron beam that scans from one side of the display to the other. A CRT is an evacuated tube containing an anode and a cathode that generates cathode rays (electrons) when operated at a high voltage.

 

The cathode rays produce an image on a screen when they strike phosphors on the screen, causing them to glow. The terms anode and cathode are used in electronics as synonyms for positive and negative terminals.

In a computer monitor the transitions in colour, intensity and pattern, as the beam scans across the screen are abrupt as areas of high intensity transform to areas of black as soon as text is placed on the screen. In television, the transitions tend to be very gradual.

Television relies on the brain’s ability to integrate transitions gradually in pattern that the eye sees as the image is painted on the screen. Each image on a television screen is composed of 525 lines, numbered from 1 to 525. The image drawing is a phased activity.

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During the first phase of screen drawing, even-numbered lines are drawn. During the next phase, the odd lines are drawn. The eye integrates the two images to create a single image. The scan is interlaced.

In the case of a computer monitor, the viewer is sitting within a foot or two of the screen, and is viewing a frequently changing text image. If a computer monitor used the same method of display as television, the many transitions would produce an annoying amount of flicker, because the brain is less able to integrate the dramatic transitions from bright to dark. Also, another problem is the inability of the monitor to paint the interlaced images exactly in between the lines from the preceding scan.

Text images make this much more visible to the eye at close range, and at the relatively slower speeds of an interlaced scan.

Therefore, computer monitors use a technique that does not try to interlace two images into one, but rather paints one continuous image at a time and is said to be non-interlaced. Consequently, computer monitors are designed to paint every line during every write of the picture to prevent flicker. This requires electronics that operate at twice the speed (or bandwidth) as that of a television and higher the bandwidth, higher the cost of the display. Courtesy : The Hindu

How are snake pits formed?
ANSWER I: Snake pits are a network of caves and crevasses formed by underground water and collapsed limestone serving as perfect locations for hibernating snakes. In cold countries, these pits protect them from very cold temperatures, which tend to dip as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius during winter. The snakes huddle themselves below the frost lines during harsh winter.

 

Snakes of the tropical countries, however protect themselves from the heat of summer by staying in pits, which are formed far below the ground level. These are protected underground from surface heat.

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ANSWER II : Most snakes do not make their own burrows, but inhabit the burrows made by other creatures, such as rodents. They also inhabit termite mounds.

Only a few species of snakes, such as sandboas and shieldtail snakes, are capable of making their own burrows, but even they prefer existing burrows, when available – Courtesy : The Hindu

How does a compact fluorescent lamp consume less electricity than conventional fluorescent lamps and bulbs?
Fluorescent lamps are based on the phenomenon of gas discharge between two electrodes at the ends of a glass tube. Generally these tubes contain a little mercury in the low-pressure vapour phase. When sufficiently large voltage is applied between the electrodes, some atoms of the vapour get ionised.

 

The process of ionisation usually starts with stray electrons and ions that are generally present in the vapour. The electron-ion pairs so formed get accelerated towards electrodes of opposite electrical polarity, gaining kinetic (speed-dependent) energy.

When they collide neutral mercury atoms, some of them are ionised and some are electronically excited. Excited (higher-energy) atoms release their energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, part of which is in the visible and in the infrared regions of the spectrum. But it is rich in the invisible ultraviolet region.

A fluorescent light source has the inner surface of its glass tube painted with a material called phosphor. Zinc sulphide is the commonest example of a phosphor. But phosphors used in practice are complex mixtures of the sulphides and phosphates of barium, strontium and rare earth elements.

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These phosphors have the property of absorbing ultraviolet component of the radiation and re-emitting a major fraction of the corresponding energy in the form of visible light. This enhances the lamp’s efficiency of converting electrical energy into visible light.

The ordinary fluorescent lamp works with a supply voltage of about 220 volt. Since the start of discharge process demands a little higher voltage, it also employs a starter and ballast (a choke coil) that together produce the desired voltage. On the other hand, the compact tube works at about 400 volt (constant), which is produced by a transformer arrangement embedded in its base.

Working at a higher voltage improves its efficiency of producing electromagnetic radiation. Another factor adding to its efficiency is the phosphor composition, which produces light richer on the violet side of the spectrum. This makes the light of a compact lamp somewhat more bluish than that of the ordinary fluorescent lamp. These newer phosphors are not yet being used in ordinary fluorescent lamps perhaps for cost reasons.

Higher efficiency means low consumption of electrical energy. A filament lamp has the lowest efficiency, because it is based on the fact that a material body heated to a high temperature emits radiation of all wavelengths. This radiation is richer in the infrared part of the spectrum and since there is no mechanism of converting this into visible light, it has poor efficiency. The three types of lamps may have a typical efficiency ratio of 8:6:3. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why does it take a longer time to copy a file to a computer than delete it?
An Operating System (OS) is a program that acts as an intermediary between a user of a computer and the computer hardware.

 

Depending on the storage device being used, computers can store information in several physical forms. Each device has its own characteristics and physical organization, and hence different views of information are created. To unify all these views of information, a uniform logical view called a file is created.

A file is a contiguous set of data. It is the job of the OS to map this sequence of data into physical devices. The part of the OS responsible for this is the file system.

So the main task of the file system is to free the users of the details of storing of information in the physical devices. That is, when the storage device is changed, from disk to CD for example, the user still sees the same information.

In the most basic form, a file system consists of two distinct parts: a collection of files and a directory structure. The directory structure organizes and provides information about all the files in the system.

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Every file has certain attributes like its name, location (its address in the file system), size, access control information (whether the file can be read or written to or only executed etc), type (whether it is just a collection of data or has other special instructions), time, date and user identification.

If file A is to be copied to file B, then first a new file called B is created, next the contents of A are read and finally, this is written to B.

For this to happen, three steps are necessary. First, space must be found for B in the file system. Second, an entry for B must be made in the directory. The directory records the name of B and the location of B in the file system. Third, a request is sent to the OS to read the contents of A.

The OS finds the location information of A from the directory and reads the contents. Now to write to B, the OS again searches the directory for the address of B. Finally the content of A is written onto the space provided for B.

On the other hand if a file deletion is to take place, the process is much simpler. If file A is to be deleted, the OS just searches the directory for the named file.

Having found the entry, the space occupied by A is released so that it can be used by other files and the directory entry is erased.

As can be seen, the operations involved while copying a file are much more than those involved while deleting a file. Courtesy : The Hindu

A hen lays an egg every day. From where does it get the calcium required to make the eggshell?
A commercial layer that lays an egg almost everyday derives its calcium requirements entirely from the feed it consumes. The nutritional requirements of chicken have been understood completely over the years. Today’s layer bird yields 325 eggs in 365 days.

 

The chicken feed is mainly composed of maize, broken rice, soya, groundnut and sunflower cake, oyster shell grit and dicalcium phosphate.

The calcium requirements are mainly contributed by the shell grit. The feed is a precisely formulated one and the nutritional requirements of the layer are fully met by the feed it consumes daily. Courtesy : Th

Why do doctors prescribe some medicines to be taken before and some after food?
When we take a medication, it is absorbed from various parts of our gut — some get absorbed in the stomach, some pass through the stomach into the intestines and get absorbed there.

 

The most important reason for timing a medication that is taken orally is to maximise its absorption so that more of the medication goes through the stomach into the blood.

Many medicines get absorbed better when food is not present and hence are taken on an empty stomach (an example is the hormone thyroxine which must be taken first thing in the morning). A few actually get absorbed better when food is present — an example of this is the antibiotic azithromycin. Some drugs are taken specifically with or after food because this may reduce the side effects of the drug on the stomach.

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For example pain medications and certain antibiotics all can irritate the lining of the stomach and therefore are best taken with or after food. Some drugs work in the wall of the stomach to reduce the absorption of food and this is the desired therapeutic effect — an example of this is the anti-diabetic drug called acarbose.

This drug must be taken with the first bite of food. Similarly other oral anti-diabetic drugs and the injection insulin are taken before food because that is when they need to act — just after you eat a meal. The long and short of it is that the timing of a drug has important effects on its absorption, action, potency and even side effects and it is a good idea not to leave the doctor’s office without being sure when you should be taking your medicine. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why does a mushroom shaped cloud form after a nuclear bomb explosion?
ANSWER I: When a nuclear weapon explodes, there is a rapid release of a large amount of energy within a small volume. This results in significant increase in temperature and pressure. The temperature may be a few tens of million degrees and pressure a few million times the atmospheric pressure. At this temperature, all the material present in the weapon will be converted into hot compressed gases.

 

Within a fraction of a millionth of a second of the explosion, the weapon’s residues emit large amounts of energy mainly in the form of X-rays. The surrounding atmosphere absorbs this energy. This results in the formation of a blazing, highly luminous, spherical mass of air and gaseous weapon residues called the fireball.

Within an extremely short time after the explosion, the fire ball from a high yield nuclear weapon will be about 130 metres across increasing to about 1700 metres in ten seconds.

The fireball expands rapidly engulfing the surrounding air. The ball of hot air is less dense than the surrounding air. It rises swiftly like a hot air balloon.

This rising column pulls up debris of the weapon, dust and moisture along with it forming a cloud. As it moves up, it cools gradually and reaches about 10 km where the atmosphere is extremely stable.

The ball of air mass moving up does not have enough energy to penetrate this stable layer. It flattens out. As the relatively warmer layers at the bottom push up, the top layers spread laterally and equally in all directions, and the cooler denser layers descend at the edges, giving a distinct mushroom shape.

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ANSWER II: Atmospheric nuclear explosion leads to sudden formation of a massive fireball near the ground, setting aflame whatever is in its vicinity. Since the fireball is very hot and thus less dense than the surrounding air, it rises very quickly. The massive updraft due to the rapidly rising fireball leaves a column of low-pressure. This acts as a chimney, sucking in smoke, dust and debris from the surroundings. This forms the stem of the mushroom.

At first the mixture of hot air and dust rises vertically, forming the column of the cloud. But as the hot cloud meets the colder air at higher altitudes, it slowly cools. Eventually the cloud reaches the temperature of the surrounding air and ceases to rise, but spreads horizontally along air levels at the same altitude, which are at the same temperature. This forms the cap of the mushroom.

The smoke, dust and debris gushing into the central column cause toroidal eddy currents in the horizontally spreading hot cloud. This introduces curling under the cap of the mushroom. Mushroom clouds are most commonly associated with nuclear weapons. However, any massive explosion capable of creating the same conditions would produce a mushroom cloud. Volcanic eruptions are typical natural mushroom clouds. Courtesy : The Hindu

Is sweat examined as a clinical sample like blood, urine and sputum?
Sweat analysis is used in clinical medicine for the diagnosis of a genetic disease called Cystic fibrosis (CF). Sweat is collected from the flexor surface of forearms from infants who are more than two weeks old and weigh more than 3 kg.

 

Sweat is collected on pre-weighed sodium chloride free filter paper or Wescor disposable collectors. After collection all precautions must be taken to avoid evaporation of the sample. If the test could not be done immediately, the sample can be stored at 4{+0} C, but for not more than 72 hours.

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For the diagnosis of Cystic fibrosis, concentration of chloride in the sweat is estimated by colorimetry. A Chloride concentration of more than 60 mmol/L supports the diagnosis of CF. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why do pregnant women like eating tamarind and raw mangoes?
Craving for unusual food (and some non food items like ash called pica) is considered as the first sign of pregnancy. In reality, although some women do get strong cravings, many do notNo one knows for sure what causes food cravings. Many women find that their senses of taste and smell are changed by pregnancy. For example, some women experience an odd metallic taste in their mouths very early in pregnancy (maybe the first sign of pregnancy for an ‘experienced’ mother); others find that taste and smell are dulled. It is possible that these changes affect food likes and dislikes.

 

Some people think that cravings happen in response to temporary deficiency of specific nutrients. There is probably some truth in this, but it is not the whole story. We only need minute quantities of each vitamin and mineral — certainly not enough to justify a continual craving for just one food. For some women, food cravings may be a conscious or subconscious response to emotion.

They may crave a favourite childhood food, or a food that is of special significance to their religion or culture. Craving unusual foods may also be a private way of marking the special state of being pregnant.

Rather than develop a food craving, many women find they suddenly go off certain foods or drinks like fried foods and coffee.

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This is often related to pregnancy sickness, but may also be the body’s way of ensuring that they eat and drink wisely. Generally, there’s no harm in giving into food cravings, especially if doing so helps getting through phases like early morning sickness which can be pretty distressing. However this must be done in moderation.

Eating a lot of one food only means eating less of other foods and therefore running the risk of becoming deficient in important nutrient. A craving for non-food items — such as ash or soap or toothpaste — is known as ‘pica’.Pica is potentially very harmful if indulged in and must be resisted.

Also, substances like soaps and ash may prevent the absorption of nutrients and other food substances. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why does the reception of a transistor become clear when the antenna is touched?
Radio frequency region of electromagnetic spectrum spreads from few Kilohertz to few thousand Mega Hertz .

 

The geometry of the Human body allows the limbs, head and torso to act as 3-dimensional antennas. The resulting effect can be called antenna factor. It amplifies the signal as high as five times the signal one may receive with other type of antennas like monopole, dipole and the like.

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We can see this effect in any radio frequency receiving instrument, such as, oscilloscope in any electronic lab or more commonly a transistor radio.

If one grabs the tip of antenna or touches the body of any transistor, the signal received multiplies several-fold and the reception improves. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why are antibodies not produced against sperms by the female’s immune system?
Some women do develop antibodies to sperm. This can be confirmed by doing tests on the serum (blood) for anti sperm antibodies or by doing sperm-cervical mucus (secretion from the neck of the uterus) interaction test.

 

In 25 per cent of infertile women and even in some fertile/pregnant women anti sperm antibodies are demonstrable. Why some women develop and others do not develop anti sperm antibodies is difficult to explain.

Sperms are foreign to both the man who produces them and the woman who receives them. In normal life, in normal men the sperms are kept away from the blood stream by the blood-testis barrier formed by the Sertoli cells in the testes.

This barrier is as strong as the blood brain barrier. Breach of this barrier, as occurs with infections or injury, may lead to the formation of anti sperm antibodies in men. Besides, semen also contains immune-suppressive agents secreted by seminal vesicles (accessory structure).

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We can see this effect in any radio frequency receiving instrument, such as, oscilloscope in any electronic lab or more commonly a transistor radio.

In normal women, sperms are deposited in the vagina and they gain access to the cervix and uterus within minutes. The acidic environment in the vagina kills the remaining sperms. Under normal circumstances the sperms do not gain access to the blood stream and hence do not lead to an immune response.

The possible explanations as to why some women develop anti sperm antibodies are:

– The breach of the blood tissue barrier in the women as occurs in vaginal injuries and possible exposure of the women to sperms in sufficient quantities.

– Each woman’s immune response is individualistic and varies from person to person.

The precise role of anti sperm antibodies in causation of infertility is not clear. Some believe anti sperm antibodies can be the cause of infertility both in men and women. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why are we unable to walk straight and tend to lose our balance when we walk with our eyes closed?
ANSWER I: When one wants to walk in a straight line the brain takes a visual reference point and uses this reference point to maintain the movement in a straight line. In the absence of a visual reference point the brain is unable to ascertain the exact direction in which the body is moving and hence most of us will be unable to walk in a straight line with our eyes closed.

 

However visual reference is not the only mechanism of maintaining balance or direction in our movements. We can judge the direction of movement very accurately with the balance sense from the balance mechanism in our inner ear and by kinesthetic sense, which is sensations we derive from our muscles, joints and ligaments.

Both these sensations will tell us very accurately as to the balance and direction of movement and position of the body at any point of time. This is highly developed in acrobats, gymnasts and ice skaters. They would be able walk in a straight line even with their eyes closed.

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ANSWER II: Human balance is maintained by three pillars namely vestibular system — balance organ in the inner ear and its connections — eye and proprioceptors in the joints of the body. Man can maintain balance with any two pillars but not with one pillar alone. Imagine a blind man who can walk without losing balance.

If the same person develops any disorder in the vestibular system or proprioceptive system, then he cannot stand or walk. Similarly if a normal person develops a disorder in the inner ear or proprioceptive system and tries to stand with eyes closed and feet together, he will lose balance. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why are diesel driven vehicles noisy?
Diesel engines are inherently noisy because of the auto-ignition of the initially formed mixture of fuel-vapour and air, which causes rapid rate of pressure rise producing the characteristic noise. This abnormality is due to the inborn feature of a diesel engine, which uses a high compression ratio to obtain high fuel efficiency and a high compression-temperature for ignition of the fuel injected into the cylinder at high pressure. In a diesel engine, unlike a petrol engine, the air and fuel do not mix outside the engine.

 

Air is compressed to a high compression ratio leading to high fuel efficiency, and also to a high compression temperature to initiate combustion. They just meet inside the combustion chamber for a brief period, while all the processes of mixture formation like fuel-jet break-up, evaporation and mixing should take place within a short time called ignition delay period. Combustion follows this after the initially formed fuel-air vapour auto-ignites with a noise, forming the sources of ignition (chemical spark plugs if you wish to call) for the bulk of the fuel remaining. Diesel engine can be made less noisy by using common rail high-pressure injection system and electronic control. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why does a single cross hybrid give better yield compared to double cross hybrid?

 

Hybrid lines yield better than either parent due to hybrid vigour, a phenomenon not thoroughly understood yet.

 

Single cross hybrids are generated by crossing two inbred (genetically pure; homozygous) parental lines.

Double cross hybrids are obtained by crossing two different hybrid plants. While these seeds might still have hybrid vigour, there is genetic variation between siblings in the double cross hybrid population. This is why the double cross hybrids do not perform as good as single cross hybrids. Earlier, use of less vigorous female parents in the production of single cross hybrid seeds led to low hybrid seed yields and higher seed production costs. The double cross hybrid method was developed to overcome these problems while retaining hybrid vigour. However, due to very good selection processes over the years, parental lines with good seed yields have been identified for generating single cross hybrid seeds. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why does a battery operated transistor make noise when a nearby tube light is switched on?
A conventional fluorescent lamp while switching on/off generates electromagnetic waves with frequency around 1400 kilo-hertz lying in the medium wave frequency region. Hence this can be considered as a mini radio-frequency generator.

 

Transistor radios (radio receiver to be more precise) operating especially in the medium frequency can pick-up this radio-frequency interference in the same fashion as they do while switching an ordinary electrical switch on/off. In particular this phenomenon is more pronounced in fluorescent lamps employing glow-switch starters operated to initiate the electrical discharge process inside the column of the fluorescent lamp.

This interference has profound dependence on the distance between the fluorescent lamp and the radio receiver, which varies as inverse square of the distance between them. This interference can also propagate via electrical connections leading to main cables so that this can travel longer distances.

Radio receivers can be made to overcome this interference by proper grounding or constructing an antenna of suitable design and length. That is why a radio operating in a properly grounded main electrical system does not pick-up this interference.

Another way to overcome this interference is to connect a small capacitor across the lamp terminals along with stabilisation of self-inductance (from the choke coil of the ballast). Hence in order to overcome this interference from radio waves it can be seen that a small capacitor is connected across the terminals of the glow-switch starter and the combination is put inside a canister for being used in fluorescent lamp fitting. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why do we see rainbow colours on a CD?
Display of colours by a CD can be understood in terms of the working of a plane optical reflection grating. It is a flat optical device whose surface is ruled (striped) with a set of closely and uniformly spaced lines, such that light is reflected by the gaps and absorbed by the lines. , When light falls on a plane reflection grating, it is scattered in all directions by each of its reflecting stripes. These waves from individual gaps are termed wavelets. When we look at the grating from a distance, wavelets from different stripes travel different distances to reach the retina of our eye. Their crests (or troughs) do not reach a given point at the same time. Usually crests of some wavelets and troughs of others reach a point. Troughs have the property of partially or totally nullifying crests and vice versa, depending on their strengths. In this case the wavelets are said to interfere destructively.

 

But for certain orientations of the grating, it so happens that troughs (or crests) of all wavelets reach a point together, enhancing the effect of each other. The wavelets are then said to interfere constructively. Ordinarily, when light falls on a grating, wavelets corresponding to all wavelengths (or colours) are sent out by the reflecting gaps. Since the conditions of constructive interference hold good only for some particular wavelength, light intensity at the receiving point is exceptionally high only for that wavelength. Light from the grating from the related direction is thus rich in the corresponding colour. Similarly light from slightly different direction is rich in another colour. A CD has a data recording track, which spirals from its outer periphery to the inner circular boundary. This takes many tens of thousand rounds about the CD’s centre. When examined along a radius of the CD, it is found to have a structure similar to that of a reflection grating — a set of almost straight tracks running perpendicular to the radius and separated by gaps. Therefore, like a grating the CD also displays colours. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is Nucelar Winter?
Nuclear explosions trigger a horrendous chain reaction. The instantaneous outcome is the thermal and blast effect annihilating everything in and around the area. The mushrooming cloud due to the explosion rises high into the stratosphere, spreading out vast quantities of soot and radioactive debris. Some of the debris fall back to the ground as rain out. The soot and other particles suspended in the atmosphere would block sunlight and lower the global temperatures steeply to subzero levels, ushering in wintery conditions over the planet. This sequence of events has been termed as “Nuclear Winter”. As a consequence, photosynthesis would stop leading to the destruction of all green plants.

 

Subsequently oxygen regeneration would cease and carbondioxide would accumulate. Earth’s radiation balance and heat budget would get altered leading to drastic changes in the global circulation pattern. the seasonal monsoons and tropiacl rains may disappear. the duration and extent of the nuclear winter scenario would depend on the location, season and intensity of the explosion. Courtesy : The Hindu

How is heat suddenly generated to the extent of 50,000 Fahrenheit during lightning?
Lightning is essentially an electrical discharge through gases. During the course of formation and segregation of clouds, some clouds lose electrons and acquire positive charge and others collect those electrons and become negatively charged.

 

Due to the electrostatic repulsion of similar charges, the static electricity is condensed more on the surface zones of the clouds. During rain, the clouds move very swiftly causing frequent close encounters. When clouds holding positive and negative static electrical charges approach one another, they constitute to form capacitors regionally.

A capacitor discharge its accumulated charge once its potential and the charge accumulated reach their limits. The discharge is sudden and occurs in a short span of time. Essentially, the situation is like a built-in high voltage CR (Capacitor-Resistor) circuit in which charge flows(discharges) through the clouds(resistor) once the capacitor is maximally charged.

During the course of the discharge that takes place in ( say t) seconds, there is a current I, flowing across the clouds which have a high potential difference, V between them.

Under these circumstances, the electrical energy is converted into heat, which is quantitatively equal to iVt. Even if the time t is short, the voltage V and the current i are in scales of thousands and hence the heat liberated amounts to temperatures of thousands of degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperatures are greater than even those on the surface of the sun (10,000 degrees Fahrenheit). The heat liberated devastates molecules and particles of the discharged portions of the clouds into a plasma state, which emits bright polychromatic(white) radiation (lightning light) and sends intense pressure variations in the atmosphere that results in the exploding loud noise(thunders).

Since the discharge through charged capacitors(clouds) is sudden and the current and voltage are very large, the heat liberated reaches suddenly to een 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit during lightning.
Courtesy : The Hindu

How is the light produced when an object is burnt?
A chemical reaction is a simple rearrangement of atoms leading to formation of newer substances(products). Hence, to favour the rearrangement,breaking of bonds in the reactants and making of bonds between atoms in the products occur.

 

Due to this in every chemical reaction there is involvement of energy (liberation or absorption depending on the bond energies of the elements in the reactant and the products). The energy involved may be light, heat or electrical energy.

All combustions (burning) are chemical reactions of a fuel with oxygen in which carbon-hydrogen and oxygen-oxygen bonds are broken in the reactants (except hydrogen) and carbon-oxygen and hydrogen-oxygen bonds are formed in the formation of the products.

The bond energies of these atoms are in such a way that the energy liberated is always more than the energy consumed for the breaking of bonds. The net energy is liberated in the form of both light and heat. Courtesy : The Hindu

Diamond is a good thermal conductor. But it is an excellent electrical insulator. How?
Diamond crystal is a three-dimensional network of carbon atoms. All carbon atoms in the network are strongly bonded by carbon-carbon covalent bonds.

 

Therefore diamond crystal has a highly symmetric cubic structure. The carbon atoms in diamond are precisely aligned. Thus diamond is an ideal crystal. Atoms in the crystal lattices in solids vibrate.

These vibrations, called the atomic vibrations facilitate thermal conduction (transport of heat) in solids. In an ideal crystal, the lattices are so precisely aligned that they do not interact with each other.

Therefore an ideal crystal conducts better than a non-ideal crystal resulting in ideal crystals having good thermal conductivity, which is a measure of heat conduction. Diamond being an ideal crystal is thus a good thermal conductor.

Mobile electrons facilitate electrical conduction – flow of current in solids. There are no free mobile electrons in diamond crystal to ficilitate electrial conduction. Thus diamond is an excellent electrical insulator. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is the difference between dial up and broadband Internet connections?
The fundamental difference between dialup and broadband connections is the manner in which the connection is made from PC to the Internet.

 

A dialup service connects to the Internet through a phone line with a maximum speed of 56kbps.

Broadband refers to a connection that has capacity to transmit large amount of data at high speed. Presently a connection having download speeds of 256kbps or more is classified as broadband.

Broadband comes in a number of forms – depending how the data is delivered – for example via cable, satellite and most commonly using a telephone line where as a dialup service always connects to the Internet through a phone line.

While using a dialup connection, we need to pay for a local call every time we dial the Internet. In addition phone line is engaged while we are on the Internet. With a broadband connection, phone line (if existing phone line is used) can still be used while using the Internet and both the phone and the Internet work simultaneously and no dialup costs are incurred. Telecommunication systems were originally built to carry analogue signals. In a dial up connection, modems are used to translate digital into analogue signals and communicating with Internet.

However, analogue transmission between the subcriber and the telephone company is a bandwidth bottleneck. Dialup connection speeds make it more difficult to view certain types of media, such as video, and it can take much longer to download and open emial attachments, play online games and so on.

In an broadband system, digital data does not have to be converted into analogue. it uses a different part of the line’s frequency spectrum, offers much wider bandwidth 9more lanes) and does not interfere with the use of the line for voice transmission. When connected to the Internet, such a connection allows surfing or downloading much faster than a dial-up connection. Dialup connection users a built-in modem to connect and does not require a special router, whereas broadband requires a special router or modem.

In terms of security for attack, dialup is more secured then broadband, Broadband users need to use a firewall to keep the computer “invisible” to the outside. Courtesy : The Hindu

When a lighted matchstick is shown before another light source, the shadow of the matchstick is formed on a screen but not the shadow of the flame. Why is it so?
A shadow is a lightless (dark) region formed beyond an opaque object in the direction opposite to the source of light. An opaque object that comes in the way of light prevents the light that is due to fall beyond it resulting in the formation of shadow.

 

When a lighted matchstick is shown before a source of light, the matchstick, being opaque obstructs the light from the source and acts a shadow of it on a screen.

The flame of the matchstick itself is a source of light. The flame throws its own light to fall on the region beyond it and cannot prevent the light from the other source too. Hence the shadow of the flame is not formed. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why are fishes not able to survive in distilled water?
Take a fresh grape fruit and keep it in distilled water for an hour. it is stouter than before. Another fresh grape fruit kept in salty water for an hour will appear slim and wrinkled. The grape has dissolved minerals,sugars and other ingredients in its juice. The skin of the grape is a semi permeable membrane across which water can diffuse from one side to the other through osmosis.

 

When the grape is kept inside distilled water, the concentration(salinity) of juice in the grape is higher than that of water and water moves osmotically from outside the grape to inside. Hence the grape appeared stouter. the reverse happened in the case of salty water.

The skin of the fish is like the skin of the grape fruit. If the fish is in distilled water, there is an osmotic flow of water from outside the fish to the inside because the salinity of the fish body is higher than that of water. Thus there is danger of dilution of the body fluids of the fish or at worst that of being blown out if the fish is to be in distilled water for a very long period of time. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why do eggs become hard on boiling?
Egg contain 67 per cent proteins (in egg white) and 33 per cent fats and proteins (in egg yolk). Egg white protein is mostly albumin (ovalbumin and Conalbumin) All proteins have primary,secondary and tertiary structures.

 

Tertiary structure of egg white protein is due to hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonding. They also contain Cysteine amino acid, which has sulfhydryl group (SH).

These sulfhydryl groups form covalent disulfide bonds and hold 2 distant sections of proteins in close proximity. Disruption of the tertiary structure (or 3 dimensional structure) due to heat, chemicals or acidity is called “denaturation”.

When we heat an egg, the, heat breaks the intermolecular forces and the tertiary structure gets broken. The proteins unfold from their nature folded structure and precipitate forming a white solid mass. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is the powder like material found on the wings of butterflies? What is its use?
Butterflies and moths belong to the taxonomic order,Lepidoptera. In Greek, Lepido means scales and Ptera means wings. In other words, Lepidoptera means scaly wings.

 

As the order name implies, the powder like materials found on the Butterfly wings are called scales.

Butterfly wings have two membranous layers which are made up of chitinous materials. Wings are nourished by a number of tubular veins which play a significant role in oxygen exchange.

Like all other insects,butterflies also have two pairs of wings, viz forewings and hind wings. The wing surfaces are generally covered with unicellular,setae(hair) like or flattened, overlapping scales. Scales are outgrowths of the body wall and they are of different colours.

There are two fundamental mechanisms by which colous are produced on butterfly wings. the ordinary colour, the first one, is due to the presence of chemical pigments, which absorb certain wavelengths of the light and transmit or reflect others.

The second colour, which is known as iridescent colour, is produced by the interference of light due to multiple reflections within the physical structure of a material and thus most of the butterflies exhibit brilliant iridescence on their wings.

The scales have different functions such as attracting the opposite sex for mating,warning the predators and hiding with the background of environment (camouflage).

Some male butterflies have scented scales on their forewings,which release the pheromones to attract their mates. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why do our eyelashes and eyebrows never continue to gow unlike hair on our head?
Answer 1: The cilia or eyelashes are hairs situated on the margin of the lids. They are dispensed in two rows, totalling about 100-150 cilia in the ipper lid and half the number in the lower lid.

 

The pigmentation of the cilia is deeper than that of the scalp hair throughout adult life.

The average life of each cilium is from 3-5 months after which it falls out and a new one grows in to take its place. If the cilia is pulled out the new one replacing it reaches full size in about 2 months. Since the life of the cilia is only 3-5 months, it does not grow as long as scalp hairs.

Answer 2 : Small organs in the skin, called follicles produce hair. All follicles go through a three-stage cycle- anagen is a period when the hair grows actively; catagen is marked by a short phase during which growth winds down; and finally telogen is the stage of rest. The cycle is completed at the end of telogen and the hair falls and a new hair begins to grow.

Scalp hairs (hairs on the head) have the longest anagen period – four to eight years during which they grow and have just two to four months of rest stage.

Eyelashes, arm hair, and most other hairs on the body have significantly shorter growth periods of one to six months, followed by a 2-4 month period of rest.

That is why these hairs are shorter and appear to grow to a fixed length. Thus the length of time that the hair is able to spend growing during the growth phase controls the maximum length of the hair. The Hindu

ackfruit is the only fruit that grows also from the tree trunk. What makes this possible?
The jackfruit tree bears fruits in the trunks or near the base of older branches from where the female flowers emerge in the first place. Given that jackfruit is the heaviest among the tree borne fruits, reaching up to 35 kg in weight, it is possible that the trees bear them in the trunk or older branches that are strong enough to hold the fruit.

 

Another example is the durian tree, which is commonly found in south-east Asia. Durain fruits can weight up to 4 kg and emerge in large clusters from the trunk. Both jackfruit and durain have thick pedicels that hold these large fruits. Jackfruit trees bear male and female flowers in separate flower – heads.

The male flowers appear in new growth among the leaves above the female flowers.

Female flowers appear on short, stout twigs emerging from the base of the trunk or large branches; sometimes even from the base of the tree under the soil.

Durain flowers appear as a cluster and have bisexual flowers borne on short, thick twigs. The stigma (female part) matures much earlier than the another bearing stamens (male part) enabling cross-pollination. Courtesy : The Hindu

JACKFRUIT – Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam – Moraceae

Common Names: Jackfruit, Jakfruit, Jaca, Nangka.

Related Species: Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), Breadnut (A. altilis ‘Seminifera’), Champedak (A. integer), Lakoocha (A. lakoocha), Marang (A. odoratissimus). Distant affinity: Figs (Ficus spp.), Mulberries (Morus spp.), African Breadfruit (Treculia african).

Origin: The jackfruit is believed indigenous to the rain forests of the Western Ghats of India. It spread early on to other parts of India, southeast Asia, the East Indies and ultimately the Philippines. It is often planted in central and eastern Africa and is fairly popular in Brazil and Surinam.

Adaptation: Jackfruit is adapted to humid tropical and near-tropical climates. Mature trees have survived temperatures of about 27° F in southern Florida, but these were frozen to large limbs. Young trees are likely to be killed at temperatures below 32° F. Unlike its relative, the breadfruit, the jackfruit is not injured by cool weather several degrees above freezing. There are only a dozen or so bearing jackfruit trees today in southern Florida, and these are valued mainly as curiosities. There are also several trees planted in the Asian exhibit at the San Diego Zoo. What they will do or how high they will grow remains a question. The tree is too large to make a suitable container-grown plant.

DESCRIPTION

Growth Habit: The jackfruit tree is handsome and stately. In the tropics it grows to an enormous size, like a large eastern oak. In California it is very doubtful that it would ever approach this size. All parts contain a sticky, white latex.

Foliage: The leaves are oblong, oval, or elliptic in form, 4 to 6 inches in length, leathery, glossy, and deep green in color. Juvenile leaves are lobed.

Flowers: Male and female flowers are borne in separate flower-heads. Male flower-heads are on new wood among the leaves or above the female. They are swollen, oblong, from an inch to four inches long and up to an inch wide at the widest part. They are pale green at first, then darken. When mature the head is covered with yellow pollen that falls rapidly after flowering. The female heads appear on short, stout twigs that emerge from the trunk and large branches, or even from the soil-covered base of very old trees. They look like the male heads but without pollen, and soon begins to swell. The stalks of both male and female flower-heads are encircled by a small green ring.

Fruit: Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, reaching 80 pounds in weight and up to 36 inches long and 20 inches in diameter. The exterior of the compound fruit is green or yellow when ripe. The interior consists of large edible bulbs of yellow, banana-flavored flesh that encloses a smooth, oval, light-brown seed. The seed is ¾ to 1-1/2 inches long and ½ to ¾ inches thick and is white and crisp within. There may be 100 or up to 500 seeds in a single fruit, which are viable for no more than three or four days. When fully ripe, the unopened jackfruit emits a strong disagreeable odor, resembling that of decayed onions, while the pulp of the opened fruit smells of pineapple and banana.

There are two main varieties. In one, the fruits have small, fibrous, soft, mushy, but very sweet carpels with a texture somewhat akin to a raw oysters. The other variety is crisp and almost crunchy though not quite as sweet. This form is the more important commercially and is more palatable to western tastes.

CULTURE

Location:

The jackfruit tree should have a well-drained, frost-free location that is sunny and warm.

Soil: The jackfruit flourishes in rich, deep soil of medium or open texture. Planting on top of an old compost heap would be ideal. The faster one can force a tropical plant to grow, the better the chance of keeping it alive. The tree needs the best drainage and cannot tolerate “wet feet”.

Irrigation: The tree will not tolerate drought. Water frequently during warm months and warm periods in cooler months. Less water is necessary during colder weather.

Fertilization: The jackfruit’s requirements are not known, but frequent, weak solutions of all-purpose fertilizer will speed the plant’s growth without causing burn. In the regions where it is commonly grown, it succeeds without much care from man, the sole necessity being abundant moisture.

Frost Protection: Although mature jackfruit trees will take several degrees of frost, it is prudent to provide young plants with overhead protection if possible and plant them on the south side of a wall or building. Small plants should be given complete protection with a covering on cold nights and even a light bulb if possible.

Propagation: Propagation is usually by seeds, which can be kept no longer than a month before planting. Germination requires 3 to 8 weeks. The seedlings should be moved when no more than 4 leaves have appeared. A more advanced seedling, with its long and delicate tap root is very difficult to transplant successfully. Cutting-grown plants and grafted seedlings are possible. Air-layering is common in India.

Pruning: Little or no pruning is required other than to remove any dead branches from the interior of the tree, so that sufficient light is obtained for the developing fruit.

Pests and Diseases: A variety of pests and diseases afflict the jackfruit tree and fruit regions where it is commonly grown. In California the white fly is a minor pest.

Harvest: Jackfruits mature 3 to 8 months from flowering. When mature, there is usually a change of fruit color from light green to yellow-brown. Spines, closely spaced, yield to moderate pressure, and there is a dull, hollow sound when the fruit is tapped. After ripening, they turn brown and deteriorate rather quickly. Cold storage trials indicate that ripe fruits can be kept for 3 to 6 weeks at 52° to 55° F and relative humidity of 85% to 95%. Immature fruit is boiled, fried, or roasted. Chunks are cooked in lightly salted water until tender and then served. The only handicap is copious gummy latex which accumulates on utensils and hands unless they are first rubbed with cooking oil. The seeds can also be boiled or roasted and eaten similar to chestnuts. In Southeast Asia dried slices of unripe jackfruit are sold in the markets. The ripe bulbs, fermented and then distilled, produce a potent liquor.

How does one control the movement of hot air balloons?
Hot air balloons rise ito the sky because of the fundamental property of the hot air filled in them; air when heated becomes lighter (less denser) than the surrounding cold air. The balloon does not have controls such as accelerator, steering or brake. It is driven by breeze and so there is no control over the flight path. Ascending is by heating the air with the help of burners suspended beneath it. As a result, the balloon rises to find its equilibrium with the surrounding air. Descending is by releasing the hot air from the balloon. Hot air balloon enthusiasts venture out after studying the weather and making sure there are no strong winds. Courtesy : The Hindu
How does remote control in TV work?
In earlier days, remote controls wre based on ultrasonics (sound frequency above the audible range of frequencies). The controlling circuitry included a hand held transmitter 9that transmits ultrasound) and a TV-based receiver circuit. Electronic filter and stepper motors were used to allow/select certain frequencies and perform various functions depending on the key pressed.

 

But the recent remote controls use infra-red(IR) rays and a special binary (0 and 1) coding mechanism. The code, intensity and wavelength of the IR wave, help to select different functions. Depending on the key pressed, a signal is sent out by IR source say, an injetion laser diode(ILD). It generates a code in parallel format. This is converted to a series format by s shift register. This signal is received by photo-sensitive devices such as an avalanche photo diode at the receiver.

Here another shift register is used to convert the code back to a parallel form. This operates a one-of-n decoder, which selects one function from a set of “n” predefined functions and executes it. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why is the power of a loudspeaker expressed in watts?
Unlike sounds generated by human beings, and animals and materials, the sound output of a speaker is derived from an electrical signal. This electrical signal, like in other electrical appliances, represents the energy used or work done by a current flowing through it. This power, as we know,depends on the voltage, current and phase difference between the current and voltage, and is measured in watts. One watt is the energy or work done at one Joule per second. This scale makes measuriing of power output easy for commercial purposes. Courtesy : The Hindu
What makes the earth rotate?
The earth rotates simply because it has not yet stopped moving. The Solar System, and indeed the Galaxy, were formed by the condensation of a rotating mass of gas.

 

Conservation of angular momentum meant that any bodies formed from the gas would themselves be rotating. As frictional and other forces in space are very small, rotating bodies, including the Earth, slow only very gradually. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is the difference between a sodium vapour lamp, Which gives out a yellowish colour illumination, and a mercury vapour lamp that gives out a white colour illumination?
Answer I: The light in Sodium Vapour lamp is from an atomic emission process whereas in Mercury Vapour Lamp it is, finally, from fluorescence emission. The mechanism of light emission in a sodium vapour lamp is simple and straight-forward. The filaments of the lamp sputter fast moving electrons, which hit the sodium atoms(vapour) causing the valence electrons of the sodium atoms to excite to higher energy levels and the electrons thus excited relax by emiting the characteristic monochromatic bright yellow light(589nm).

 

The mechanism in mercury vapour lamp is more involved and sequential. The sputtered electrons from the filaments, after having been accelerated by high voltage, hit the mercury atoms.

Here also, the excited electrons of mercury atomsrelax by emitting characteristic but ultravilot(254nm,invisible) light.

The photons of this ultravilot light fall on the fluorescent layer on the inner walls of the tube and excite the molecular bonds of the fluorescent material to various electronic and vibrational energy states. Hence, the light from the mercury vapour lamp is white.

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Answer II: The basic difference between the two is, the former works by electric discharge (passage of electricity through sodium vapours at high/low pressure) while the latter works through the combined effect of electric discharge through mercury vapours and fluorescence from phosphors (luminescent materials). Although sodium vapour lamps produce much higher light output (about 90 lumens/watt) they cannot be used in lighting applications where colour-rendering property is very crucial. This is because most of the light emitted from a sodium vapour lamp is concentrated in the yellow part of the visible spectrum (around 580-590 nm)

On the other hand, a mercury vapour lamp is quite suitable for lighting applications. This is because, the mercury vapour lamp can feed almost the entire visible region (380-780 nm) of the human visual system. Conventional fluorescent lamps can also be called as low-pressure mercury discharge lamps. In this system, when electric discharge strikes mercury vapours held at low pressure ( a few mm of mercury) it produces a lot of ultravilot radiation dominantly at 254 nm inside the column of the discharge tube. This UV radiation when impinging on the white coating made of fluorescent materials coated inside the discharge column of the tube will generate white light(called daylight).

Light output from a fluorescent lamp is moderate (60 lumens/watt) while the colour-rendering index is high. Courtesy : The Hindu

Both Infrared and Microwave bands are invisible to the human eye. Then how are IR and microwave images from remote sensing satellites printed? How do they substitute the wavelenghts?
Both infrared and microwaves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which stretches from radio waves to gamma rays. each band of this spectrum corresponds to a small range of frequencies. each frequency is uniquely connected with an energy level.

 

The total spectrum is very wide. Our eyes respond only to a very small band called the visible band. However, different chemicals do react to certain higher or lower level of energy bands and hence can be used as photographic plates for detecting and measuring some of these radiations.

Satellites nowadays use sensors whose working principle is based on photoelectric effect, converting radiation reaching the sensor iinto electric charge, which can then be easily measured and processed.

Essentially, the energy detected over a given spectral band, whether it is in the visible, infrared or microwave band, is converted to an array of digits corresponding to the energy range and radioed to ground stations.

After receiving it, those values corresponding to the measured energy range (known as grey levels) are finnaly printed on a computer screen as a picture or as a conventional photograph. Courtesy : The Hindu

How does lightning affect TVs?
Lightning is actually a sudden discharge of high voltage and high current arisiing out of large viltage(potential) differences between charged clouds. These surges, in their path towards the earth, can strike power lines and antennae and pass through the wires to the terminal equipment such as TV. The huge currents and voltages, even though of short life, can damage the electrical components and electronic circuits which are usually designed for low power. The surges are so powerful that they can destroy the equipment even if they are off but connected to the mains/antenna. Courtesy : The Hindu
Soaps come in different colours. But why is soap’s lather always white in colour?
Lather or foam is nothing but a large collection of small soap bubbles. A soap bubble is , in turn, a very thin film of soap solution enclosing some air. Because of the low surface tension of soap solution, the film can stretch and spread and form innumerable bubbles with a very large total surface area.

 

Due to this, whatever slight tint is present in the thin film of the coloured soap solution gets subdued. Although a soap film is more or less transparent, the lather or foam looks white because the light striking this large collection of bubbles gets scattered. That is the reason why all kinds of lather or foam appear white. Courtesy : The Hindu

Is the mosquito a carrier of AIDS causing virus?
Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The presence of HIV in blood, semen and vaginal secretion of infected people promotes the spread of the infection through sexual contact (both heterosexual and homosexual), exposure to contaminated blood and blood products.

 

The virus can also be transmitted to the child from the mother. There is no concrete evidence to show that it is transmitted through insect bites.

Mosquitoes do transmit diseases like Malaria. In the case of AIDS they act as biological vectors and a certain period of time has to elapse for the parasite to become infective. The vector can transmit the infection only after the infectious agent undergoes a developmental process or multiplies in its body.

However HIV does not replicate in mosquitoes. Scientists at Centre for Disease Control, Atlanta have proved that even in mosquitoes injected with HIV contaminated blood, the virus survives only for one hour. Further, studies on epidemiology of AIDS have provided no evidence linking mosquitoes with disease. Courtesy : The Hindu

How many kinds of mosquitoes are there?

Throughout the world there are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes. Florida has 76 mosquito species from 13 different genera, 30 of which occur throughout the entire state. There are 14 species in Bay County. Each type of mosquito has a common name and a scientific name which includes a genus and a species name. For instance, the Asian tiger mosquito is the common name, while Aedes albopictus is the scientific name. Aedes albopictus is a container-breeding mosquito, and on our visits to residents homes this is the most common mosquito found.

What purposes do mosquitoes serve?

Mosquitoes are an important link in the food chain. Many animals depend on them as a source of food. During their aquatic stage, mosquito larvae provide food for the other aquatic insects such as, dragonfly nymphs and beetles, fish, frogs and other water-dwelling animals. As adults, mosquitoes are eaten by birds, bats, spiders, lizards and other insects. Mosquitoes do not feed on blood alone. The blood meal is taken by the female to produce eggs. Both male and females need liquid nourishment for food. Plants provide the source of liquid nourishment. Mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, honeydew, fruit juices and liquids oozing from injured plants. Because of this need for nourishment, mosquitoes are important pollinators of wildflowers during this feeding process.

Are mosquitoes attracted to some people more than others?

Yes. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from the breath and pores of humans. In addition to CO2, some species of mosquitoes are attracted to certain fragrances and colors. During mosquito season it is recommended that people who wish to be less attractive to mosquitoes wear unscented products such as hair spray, soap, deodorant, etc. and light colored clothing.

Why can’t mosquito control programs spray during the day?

Mosquitoes are more active in the evening, and people are less active. The second reason is the spray will be lifted quicker from the ground due to rising air currents during the day. Daytime spraying is also not practiced to avoid killing beneficial insects.

When can I expect to see a spray truck?

When conditions meet the required criteria, you should see a spray truck every 5 to 7 working days (weather permitting). Adulticide spraying can vary from year to year due to environmental conditions, which include rainfall amount and tide changes.

Is the Spray harmful to people or pets?

The amounts of mosquito control pesticides that are sprayed out of the trucks are not harmful to people or pets. However, as with any pesticides, it is a good idea to keep exposure to a minimum. For this reason, children should not be allowed to follow the mosquito trucks as people often did in the 1940s and 1950s. Pets usually are repelled by the high pitch of the machine. Therefore, even if it seems that they are not spraying, the trucks should not be followed. Unless someone is very sensitive or allergic to pesticides, washing the skin with water is all that is needed. At the low insecticide dosage used, no symptoms should be experienced. People who are sensitive should call the office and notify us prior to any spraying.

Is it safe to eat vegetables or fruit from the garden after a mosquito control application?

Fruits and vegetables exposed to malathion at mosquito control rates can be safely eaten after washing the food to cleanse it of germs and microorganisms. In fact, malathion is registered by the EPA for the control of many insect pests on a wide variety of fruit and vegetable crops.

Is the mosquito a carrier of AIDS causing virus?
Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The presence of HIV in blood, semen and vaginal secretion of infected people promotes the spread of the infection through sexual contact (both heterosexual and homosexual), exposure to contaminated blood and blood products.

 

The virus can also be transmitted to the child from the mother. There is no concrete evidence to show that it is transmitted through insect bites.

Mosquitoes do transmit diseases like Malaria. In the case of AIDS they act as biological vectors and a certain period of time has to elapse for the parasite to become infective. The vector can transmit the infection only after the infectious agent undergoes a developmental process or multiplies in its body.

However HIV does not replicate in mosquitoes. Scientists at Centre for Disease Control, Atlanta have proved that even in mosquitoes injected with HIV contaminated blood, the virus survives only for one hour. Further, studies on epidemiology of AIDS have provided no evidence linking mosquitoes with disease. Courtesy : The Hindu

How many kinds of mosquitoes are there?

Throughout the world there are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes. Florida has 76 mosquito species from 13 different genera, 30 of which occur throughout the entire state. There are 14 species in Bay County. Each type of mosquito has a common name and a scientific name which includes a genus and a species name. For instance, the Asian tiger mosquito is the common name, while Aedes albopictus is the scientific name. Aedes albopictus is a container-breeding mosquito, and on our visits to residents homes this is the most common mosquito found.

What purposes do mosquitoes serve?

Mosquitoes are an important link in the food chain. Many animals depend on them as a source of food. During their aquatic stage, mosquito larvae provide food for the other aquatic insects such as, dragonfly nymphs and beetles, fish, frogs and other water-dwelling animals. As adults, mosquitoes are eaten by birds, bats, spiders, lizards and other insects. Mosquitoes do not feed on blood alone. The blood meal is taken by the female to produce eggs. Both male and females need liquid nourishment for food. Plants provide the source of liquid nourishment. Mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, honeydew, fruit juices and liquids oozing from injured plants. Because of this need for nourishment, mosquitoes are important pollinators of wildflowers during this feeding process.

Are mosquitoes attracted to some people more than others?

Yes. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from the breath and pores of humans. In addition to CO2, some species of mosquitoes are attracted to certain fragrances and colors. During mosquito season it is recommended that people who wish to be less attractive to mosquitoes wear unscented products such as hair spray, soap, deodorant, etc. and light colored clothing.

Why can’t mosquito control programs spray during the day?

Mosquitoes are more active in the evening, and people are less active. The second reason is the spray will be lifted quicker from the ground due to rising air currents during the day. Daytime spraying is also not practiced to avoid killing beneficial insects.

When can I expect to see a spray truck?

When conditions meet the required criteria, you should see a spray truck every 5 to 7 working days (weather permitting). Adulticide spraying can vary from year to year due to environmental conditions, which include rainfall amount and tide changes.

Is the Spray harmful to people or pets?

The amounts of mosquito control pesticides that are sprayed out of the trucks are not harmful to people or pets. However, as with any pesticides, it is a good idea to keep exposure to a minimum. For this reason, children should not be allowed to follow the mosquito trucks as people often did in the 1940s and 1950s. Pets usually are repelled by the high pitch of the machine. Therefore, even if it seems that they are not spraying, the trucks should not be followed. Unless someone is very sensitive or allergic to pesticides, washing the skin with water is all that is needed. At the low insecticide dosage used, no symptoms should be experienced. People who are sensitive should call the office and notify us prior to any spraying.

Is it safe to eat vegetables or fruit from the garden after a mosquito control application?

Fruits and vegetables exposed to malathion at mosquito control rates can be safely eaten after washing the food to cleanse it of germs and microorganisms. In fact, malathion is registered by the EPA for the control of many insect pests on a wide variety of fruit and vegetable crops.

Does the change in mother’s food affect the baby?
Whatever the nursing mother eat will be secreted in her milk, but in insignificant quantities. Generally if the mother tolerates a particular food item well the baby also tolerates it well.

 

A normal well nourished mother secretes about 500 ml of milk daily for the first 6 months to one year and after that the quantity slowly comes down. Whereas an undernourished mother’s milk is insufficient in fats and vitamins and inadequate for the baby also.

Eating fishes and vegetables contaminated with pesticides may cause problems in the baby because of their secretion in the milk. Eating spices, condiments, chocolates, onions, tomotoes may cause loose stolls in the babies.But the problems are plenty in the baby of a mother who smokes, drink alcohol and abuses the drugs. Almost all the drugs are excreted in the breastmilk and they will have their effect on the body.

For medical reasons if the mother has to take certain drugs like anticoagulants, anti-cancer drugs, antithyroid drugs, radioactive drugs, purgative etc., seh has to stop feeding her baby as long as she is on those rugs. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is Radio Therapy?
Radiotherapy, also called radiation therapy, is the treatment of cancer and other diseases with ionising radiation. There are generally two types – internal radiotherapy and external radiotherapy. Internal radiotherapy is given in one of two ways; either by placing radioactive implants directly in a tumour or body cavity, or by giving a radioactive liquid, either through mouth or as an injection into a vain. Ionizing radiation deposites energy that injures or destroys cells in the area being treated (the “target tissue”) by damaging their genetic material, making it impossible for these cells to continue to grow. Although normal cells are also affected, they can repair themselves more effectively.

 

The damage to normal cells is usually temporary and has some unwanted side effects. Possible side effects include temporary or permanent loss of hair in the area being treated, skin irritation, tempory change in skin colour in the treated area, and tiredness. This therapy is used to treat localised solid tunours, such as cancers of the skin, tongue, larynx, brain, breast, or uterine cervix. It can also be used to treat leukemia and lymphoma.

External radiotherapy does not make you radioactive, and is perfectly safe. X- rays were the first forms of photon radiation to be used to treat cancer.

Linear accelerators and betatrons are used to produce high-energy X- rays. The higher the energy of the X- ray beam, the deeper the X – rays can go into the target tissue.

Gamma rays are another form of photons used (cobalt irradiation), in radiotherapy. Particle beam radiation therapy, which uses fast-moving subatomic particles like neutrons, pions, and heavy ions are also used to treat localised cancers. It is referred to as high linear energy transfer (high LET) radiation. Courtesy : The Hindu

Since clouds contain tiny water droplets, why are rainbows not permanently present?
On a rainy day, sunrays, which are polychromatic(with all the seven colours), fall on water droplets at a certain incident angle adn refract with certain other refractive angle because water is denser than air.

 

Since the line of incidence of the rays may not be collinear to the drop’s diameter, the angle of refraction, however, is different for different colours of the rays in order that each colour catches up with the other at the opposite side of the droplet (remember the frequency of a given colour is invariable irrespective of the medium and the velocity of all colours is same in a given medium).

In other words, a polychromatic ray gets dispersed into seven colours of the visible light as the light beam is refracted into the body of the droplet.

The colours, thus dispersed undergo total internal reflection on the opposite inner side of the droplet and reach the eye to enable us feel the virtual image of the rainbow.(In fact, the mechanism of appearance of the rainbow is more complex than this and there is a cooperative phenomenon that includes interference in space and time.)

However the extent of the resolution of the seven colours in the droplet depends greatly in the extent of the (path) length the rays cover in the droplet.

Consider the case of weven sprinters of varied sppeds covering s ahorter (say 100 mts) and a longer track (say 400 mts).

In a shorter track the ralative gap, after the run is less whereas ina longer track it is more.

In normal clouds, the droplets are too small to cause sufficient resolution of the colours and to enable total internal reflection and hence rainbow is invisible with dry clouds.

On a rainy day, the droplets are big enough to cause the resolution and total internal reflection of the clours to enable us to see the rainbow(also theyare numerous and closer ans t an appropriate viewing angle to allow the cooperative phenomenon.) Courtesy : The Hindu

How does the solar wind affect Earth?
Solar wind contains intense clouds of high energy particles which are produced by solar stroms. These clouds of particles affect Eart. These clouds are called coronal mass ejections. They reach the earth in three to four days.

 

The coronal mass ejections cause changes in the magnetic field of the earth when they collide with the field. They cause more changes to the magnetic field at times even at lower altitudes close to the ground when they leak through the field especially near the north ans south Poles. These changes can produce many problems with electrical equipment.

Not much light has been thrown on the way in which solar wind” plasma” invades the Earth’s magnetic field and seeps into the inner regions where the Van Allen radiation belts are located. Also, in the direction opposite the Sun, the Earth’s magnetic field is pulled way out into interplanetary space making it look like a comet. Many different electrical disturbances take place in this “geotail” region. These can accelerate partiles to high speeds and energies. All of this is made much more violent by the solar wind, especially the strom clouds that the Sun launches our way very often. Courtesy : The Hindu

How do icebergs form?
Icebergs are blocks of fresh-water ice that break off from glaciers and float out to sea. Glaciers are formed in polar regions where snowfall lasts for centuries, or even millennia, without entirely melting, and is eventually compressed into ice.

 

In the North Altantic, most icebergs originate from the tidewater glaciers of Western Greenland. Compressed snow becomes firm, a granular snow, transformed eventually by pressure into a dense ice. The weight of the icecap builds, causing the ice to flow as much as 60 feet a day through openings in the coastal mountains. Rising and falling tides cause slabs of ice to break off and form moving “rivers of ice”. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why is fire hot?
Chemical reactions can be either exothermic(heat liberation) or endothermic (heat absorption). Oxidation reactions are exothermic and reduction reactions are endothermic. Combustion is an oxidation reaction and hence is exothermic.

 

All liquid,solid and gaseous fuels contain any one of the three combustibles constituents viz, carbon, hydrogen ans sulphur. When a fuel is burnt the heat liberated makes the products of combustion hot. The products of combustion are carbon dioxide, water vapour ans sulphur dioxide. Along with these, the unused oxygen in the atmospheric air supplied for combustion and also the entire quantity of nitrogen which is the major constituent in the air are also heated. That is why fire is hot. Courtesy : The Hindu

How is sex determined in dioecious plants?
More than 90 per cent of flowering plants produce perfect flowers that have both male and female reproductive organs.

 

Of the remaining plant species, about half are monoecious, producing male and female flowers on the same plant and the rest are dioeceous, producing male and female flowers on separate plants. Plants have developed weveral interesting mechanisms for determination of sex.

Silene latifolia is the most well studies dioeceous plant for sex determination mechanisms. In this species, sex determination is by sex chromosomes similar to that inmay animals, males are XY and felames are XX.

In male and female plants, female and male reproductive organs do initiate respectively by are aborted early in flower development. The Y- Chromosomes are thought to carry genes that promote male development and suppress female development. A similar mechanism has also been reported in the bryophyte Marchantia.

Papaya can produce male,female and hermaphrodites depending on the genotype of a single sex determining locus. This locus is thought to be clustered with several genes that play a role insex determination.

Cucumber is usually monoecious producing female flowers at the top of the inflorescence ans male flowers at the bottom. It has been found that sex is determined by the concentration gradient of the plant hormone ethylene, which acts to promote female sex.

In maize, agradient of the plant hormone gibberellic acid regulats the emergence of the male and female inflorescences. Hormone gradients in these species are genetically determined by two or three different genetic loci.

IN addition to the above mechanisms, in the fern Ceratopteris, sex determination is epigenetically determined by a pheremone.

All individuals are hermaphrodites ans developed individuals secrete the pheromone so as to masculinise the surronding juvenile plants Courtesy : The Hindu

How does the camel walk in the desert easily?
The camel is dubbed the ‘ship of the desert’. It can adapt itself easily to the hot conditions due to various reasons. Its special adaptation features are its hump, long legs, long hair and special eyelids.

 

The hump enables it to store food. Long hair on its body helps it keep warm in the cold desert nights.

The long legs of the camel are strong and have powerful muscles allowing it to carry heavy loads for long distances. It walks at a medium speed. It has two toes on each foot. A hoof that looks like a toenail grows at the front of each toe. The camel walks on a broad pad that connects its two toes. This cushion like pad spreads when the camel places its foot on the ground.

The pad supports the animal on loose sand in much the same way that a snowshoe helps a person walk on snow. The pad enables the animal to firmly grasp the earth. The toenails protect the feet from damages resulting from a bump. In the camel both legs on the same side rise and fall together. This leg action produces a swaying, rocking motion. Taller animals like the camel snap into a rotary walk more often than short animals.

This helps them to shift the balance on one side of a body while the long legs on the other side are in a suspended phase. In the rotary motion on one side they put both legs forward and on the other side they are both back. Thick, broad sole pads and thick callosities on the joints of the legs and on the chest, upon which it rests in a kneeling position, enable it to withstand the heat of the desert sand. It is also able to close its nostrils against flying dust and its eyes are shielded by eyelashes.

The camel has three eyelids and two layers of eyelashes to protect itself from dust and sun. To protect their eyes, camels have long eyelashes that catch most of the sand when desert winds blow sand on to their eyes.

If sand gets into an eye a camel has a third eyelid to get it out. The extra eyelid moves from side to side and wipes the sand away. As the eyelid is very thin the camel can see through it. So a camel can find its way through a sandstorm with its eyes closed. Courtesy : The Hindu

How can we test the purity of honey?
Answer I :The purity of honey can be easily detected using different methods. One such test is the aniline chloride test. Here aniline chloride is first prepared and then used for testing. Three parts of aniline and one part of concentrated hydrochloric acid gives us aniline chloride.

 

A small ceramic vessel is taken and a small quantity of honey is placed in it. About 5-7 drops of aniline chloride is added to it and stirred well. If the honey is adulterated a crimson red colour appears.

In another method honey is taken in a test tube and equal quantity of water is added to it and stirred well. About 100 millilitres of this solution is taken and 5 ml of ether is added to it. This mixture is kept aside for some time in order to get a fine solution after stirring. The ether layer settling on the top is transferred to another small flat bottom vessel. The ether gets vapourised in a short while and to this resorcinol is added. This gives a red colour. This indicates that the honey has an adulterant.

In addition to all these tests an important factor to be highlighted is about the granulation of honey. One of the nutrients (sugar) in pure honey precipitates when it is subjected to cool weather. This precipitation gives an appearance of sugar crystals. The honey giving more sugar precipitates faster. Mostly this is mistaken for adulteration. But if the precipitated honey is kept in hot water it attains normal liquid state which shows that it has no adulterant.

Answer II: A cotton wick dipped in pure honey when lighted with a matchstick burns and shows the purity of honey. If adulterated, the presence of water will not allow the honey to burn, If it does, it will produce a cracking sound. Generally honey is adulterated by adding a syrup of jaggery. Pure honey does not dissolve in water but impure honey dissolves. So to test it mix a spoon of honey in a cup of water and find out whether it dissolves to check its purity. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is meant by ozonised mineral water?
Ozone is a blue gas with a relative molar mass of 48 and molecular formula of O{-3}.

 

It converts back into oxygen after its oxidising process. This makes it the most eco-friendly treatment known today.

Ozone is the ultimate in disinfection. When drinking water is treated with chlorine (chlorine is a highly carcinogenic chemical), the residual chlorine in water is also consumed along with the water.

On the other hand ozone, having half the life of only about 20 minutes, unreacted ozone reduces to oxygen, leaving no trace of toxicity in water.

The water is free from chlorine. Ozone reacts with impurities such as micro organisms including bacteria, virus, spores, mould and fungi. Chemicals such as chlorine neutralise them.

As ozone destroys all micro organisms and it removes disagreeable odours, the resultant water is absolutely safe, pure, fresh and healthy. Ozonised water is colourless and odourless.

The advantage of the use of ozone in water is that it does not leave a dangerous chemical residue like many conventional treating chemicals.

Ozone generators produce ozone by passing oxygen through an electrical field.

Then the generated ozone is bubbled through the water to be treated in a specially designed vessel to control rate of injection. The amount of ozone to diffuse in water depends on the

Why do lips become dry during winter?
Our skin is endowed with both cold and warmth receptors. There are more cold receptors than warmth receptors. Therefore peripheral detection of temperature mainly concerns detecting cool and cold instead of warm temperatures.

 

When the skin is chilled over the entire body immediate reflex effects are involved to increase the temperature of the body. The two important effects are providing a strong stimulus to cause shivering, with resultant increase in the rate of body heat production and promoting skin vasoconstriction to diminish the transfer of body heat to the skin.

The effects of hypothermia depend on whether there is whole body exposure or exposure of only body parts.

When the whole body is exposed, metabolic processes; particularly in the brain and medullary centres slow down, causing death, before apparent changes in the cells or local reactions will occur in the parts of the body.

When only parts of the body gets exposed to very chill temperature, the local reactions begin to appear. These reactions are chilling and freezing of cells and tissues leading to frost bite. The injury is in two ways. (1) Crystallisation of the intra and extra-cellular water causing physical dislocation within the cells, which is the direct effect. (2) The indirect effects are exerted by circulatory changes. Depending on the rate at which the temperature drops and the duration of the temperature, slowly developing chilling may induce vasoconstriction and increased permeability, leading to oedematous changes. This results in the dryness of the body skin and also lips.

When the drop in temperature persists for a long time atrophy and fibrosis may follow, which result in permanent circulatory impairment as well as tissue damage. Often gangrene follows thawing and the frostbitten areas are lost.

This we often experience in the lips by the appearance of infarction necrosis of affected areas even after the temperature begins to return towards normal. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why do houseflies rub their front legs together?
Housefly (Musca Domestica) is a common insect found in all places. It has a very short life span. Adult houseflies feed on human and animal food and waste materials and often use buildings as shelter.

 

The housefly is well adapted in structure and behaviour to transmit disease causing organisms from place to place.

The body of a housefly is covered with fine hairs and bristles that readily pick up filth particles.

At the base of each leg there is a cushion-like structure covered with granular hairs.A sticky secretion which excretes from the granular hairs gathers bacteria and other micro organisms which stick to the legs. In order to clean its body and the legs, houseflies rub their legs together. It is estimated that whenever a housefly rubs its legs, lakhs of bacteria are discharged from the legs for each rubbing. Courtesy : The Hindu

ow does a lightning arrestor work?
ANSWER I: Lightning, is a form of visible discharge of electricity between rain clouds or between a rain cloud and the earth. The electric discharge is seen in the form of a brilliant arc, sometimes several kilometres long, stretching between the discharge points. How thunderclouds become charged is not fully understood, but most thunderclouds are negatively charged at the base and positively charged at the top. However formed, the negative charge at the base of the cloud induces a positive charge on the earth beneath it, which acts as the second plate of a huge capacitor.

 

When the electrical potential between two clouds or between a cloud and the earth reaches a sufficiently high value (about 10,000 V per cm or about 25,000 V per in), the air becomes ionized along a narrow path and a lightning flash results.

Many meteorologists believe that this is how a negative charge is carried to the ground and the total negative charge of the surface of the Earth is maintained.

The possibility of discharge is high on tall trees and buildings rather than to ground. Buildings are protected from lightning by metallic lightning rods extending to the ground from a point above the highest part of the roof. The conductor has a pointed edge on one side and the other side is connected to a long thick copper strip which runs down the building. The lower end of the strip is properly earthed. When lightning strikes it hits the rod and current flows down through the copper strip. These rods form a low-resistance path for the lightning discharge and prevent it from travelling through the structure itself. — The Hindu S & T Desk

ANSWER II: The lightning arrestor protects the structure from damage by intercepting flashes of lightning and transmitting their current to the ground. Since lightning strikes tends to strike the highest object in the vicinity, the rod is placed at the apex of a tall structure. It is connected to the ground by low-resistance cables. In the case of a building, the soil is used as the ground, and on a ship, water is used. A lightning rod provides a cone of protection, which has a ground radius approximately, equal to its height above the ground. Courtesy : The Hindu

Like ordinary paints do metallic paints also fade?
Metallic paints do fade. It depends on the quality and the type of the aluminium paste used. Usually in most of the metallic paints, the commonly used pigment is aluminium pigment in the form of paste.

 

Two types of aluminium pigments are available in the market. One is leafing, and the other is the non-leafing aluminium pigment.

The difference between these two is, the leafing aluminium pigment will not get dispersed (or dispersed partially) with the resin while mixing, whereas the non-leafing will get completely dispersed with the resin during mixing.

So, if the metallic paint contains the leafing aluminium pigment it will get faded over a period of time, whereas if it contains a non-leafing aluminium pigment it will not fade for a longer period.

Example: The street lampposts on the roads and highways which are coated with metallic paints appear dull after a short period of coating, whereas cars coated with metallic paints shine even after a long time. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is the difference between tv screen and computer monitor?
ANSWER I: Computer monitors are capable of accepting signals only from the central processing unit of a computer. Therefore they are unable to reproduce a colour image from a composite video signal whose waveform conforms to a broadcast standard (NTSC, PAL, D-MAC, etc.).

 

Computer monitors are fitted with connectors characteristic of data processing systems (eg. DINorDB9/15 also called MINI SUB D15Connectors) and do not have an audio circuit.

They are controlled by special adaptors (eg. monochrome or graphic adaptors), which are integrated in the central processing unit of the automatic data processing machine. . Their display pitch size starts at 0.41 mm for medium resolution and gets smaller as resolution increases.

Sor to accommodate the presentation of small, yet well-defined images, computer monitors utilise smaller dot (pixel) sizes and greater convergence standards than those applicable to television receivers. In computer monitors, the video frequency (bandwidth), which is the measurement determining how many dots can be transmitted per second to form an image, is generally 15 MHz or greater. But in case of TV or video monitors, the bandwidth is generally not more than 6 MHz.

The horizontal scanning frequency of these monitors varies according to the standards for various display modes, generally from 15 kHz to over 155 kHz. Some are capable of multiple horizontal scanning frequencies. Horizontal scanning frequency of video/TV monitors is fixed, usually 15.6 or 15.7 kHz depending on applicable television standard.

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ANSWER II: In all computer monitors, the image is painted on the screen by an electron beam that scans from one side of the display to the other. In television, transitions in colour, intensity, and pattern as the beam scans across the screen tend to be gradual.

But, the transitions a computer monitor typically processes are abrupt as areas of high intensity transform to areas of black as text is placed on the screen. Television uses a process that relies on the brain’s ability to integrate gradual transitions in pattern that the eye sees as the image is painted on the screen. During the first phase of screen drawing, even-numbered lines are drawn. In the next, odd lines are drawn. The eye integrates the two images to create a single image. The scan is interlaced. But, a computer viewer has different needs. The viewer is sitting within a foot or two of the screen and viewing a frequently changing text image.

If a computer monitor used the same method of display as TV, many transitions would produce an annoying amount of flicker, because the brain is less able to integrate the dramatic transition from bright to dark.

Also, a secondary problem occurs due to inability of the monitor to paint interlaced images exactly in between the lines from preceding scan.

Text images makes this much more visible to the eye at the close range, and at the relatively slower speeds of an interlaced scan. So, computer monitors use a technique that paints one continuous image at a time and is said to be non-interlaced.

Consequently, although the scan frequencies of the TV receiver and monitor are similar, computer monitors must be designed to paint every line during every write of the picture to prevent flicker. This requires electronics that operate twice the speed as that of a television. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is the pH of rainwater? Is the pH suitable for drinking?
The technical definition of pH is that it is a measure of the activity of the hydrogen ion (H+). It is essentially a measure of acidity. The pH scale ranges from 0 -14. In the scale the reading ‘7’ denotes the neutral point. A substance can be rated acidic or basic depending on its pH value. It will be rated as acidic if it has a pH of less than 7 and basic if it is greater.

 

Normal rainwater has a pH of 5.6 (slightly acidic). This is because it is exposed to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide gets dissolved in the rainwater and forms carbonic acid (H{-2}CO{-3}).

Rainwater with ph value below 5.6 is considered as acid rain. There are both natural and non-natural sources of materials that cause pH of rain water to change.

Increasing pollution results in acid rains. The primary air pollutants are sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. These pollutants are released into the air due to many factors and burning fossil fuels (ex: coal) is one of the major causes.

Generally rainwater is pure and potable. The pH of drinking water falls in the range of 6.5- 8.

Therefore if the pH of rainwater centres around this value it is fit for drinking. Also the pH of rainwater differs from place to place. This is due to heavy pollution in one area and clean air in another.

In the present scenario urbanization has increased its acidity. But in case of rains whose pH generally falls around 5.6, it is potable, but it will be slightly acidic and corrosive.

But in and around cities and other industrially developed areas where the pH of rainwater tends to fall drastically, rainfall is highly acidic and the water thereby becomes unfit for consumption. Courtesy : The Hindu

In the past, why was injection administered in the stomach for dog bite?
ANSWER I: This is the only disease where the vaccine is given after the exposure (post-exposure). Nervous tissue vaccine (NTV), is one of the vaccines administered for dog bite.

 

This vaccine is prepared from a fixed virus grown in the brain of adult sheep or other animal. The final vaccine is a 5 per cent emulsion of infected sheep’s brain containing the inactivated virus.

These viruses do not cause the disease but still retain the antigenecity, i.e., capability of producing the antibodies when injected.

After the bite, about 2-5 ml of the vaccine is administered depending upon the bite severity. More vaccine is administered for a longer duration for severe bites. Bites in the neck, head, face, palm, fingers and multiple wounds are categorised as class three bites.

They require injection for 10 days daily with two booster doses. For such volume of vaccine and duration, the ideal injection site is the anterior abdominal wall. This is preferred as there is a wide area and injection can be given at different points to avoid pain, swelling and discomfort.

Moreover the injections are to be given subcutaneously (below the skin) in the fatty layer. It is a misconception that it is given in the stomach. The needle does enter the abdominal cavity or, for that matter, any of the abdominal organs.

On the abdominal wall skin is held in a fold and elevated. A 1.5 cm needle is used to inject the vaccine in the subcutaneous tissue. After the fold is elevated and such a needle is used there is no possibility of going beyond the subcutaneous layer of the anterior abdominal wall.

This anterior abdominal wall is divided into ten quadrants and injections are given in different quadrants each time. This again results in less pain and swelling.

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ANSWER II: The vaccine is given in the stomach region because of the presence of large subcutaneous layer there. Earlier version of this injection needs slower absorption and prolonged activity. Only injection given to a subcutaneous layer can achieve this.

Buttocks and arm region contain larger area of muscle and less of subcutaneous layer.

Hence they are not suitable sites. One more reason is that the stomach region can also accommodate large doses and avoid any complication.

In children despite the subcutaneous layer not being thick and stomach not being large pose no problem as the quantity of injection given is less.

The improved version is a cell cultured vaccine and acts the same way as any other vaccine. In other words it does not require a subcutaneous layer. Hence, it can be given in the buttocks or arm region Courtesy : The Hindu

How does scratching cure itching sensation?
Very sensitive, rapidly adapting, mechanoreceptive free nerve endings that elicit only the tickle and itch sensation are found almost exclusively in the superficial layers of the skin. This sensation is transmitted by very small type – C nerve fibres. These nerve fibres are unmyelinated fibers with a diameter of 0.5 to 2 microns. These fibres transmit impulses as slowly as 0.5 m/sec, unlike the type – A fibres, which transmit impulses at velocities as great as 120 m/sec.

 

The process of scratching can relieve itch. This scratch reflex is the important spinal cord reflex found in some animals including man. This reflex is initiated by the itch and tickle sensation. It involves two different functions (1) a position sense that allows the hand to find the exact point of irritation on the surface of the body and (2) a to and fro scratching movement. This scratching removes the irritant and the itch is relieved. Sometimes the scratch is strong enough to elicit pain. The pain signals are believed to suppress the itch signals in the cord by the process of lateral inhibition. This lateral inhibition is by the transmission of sensory signals by the anterolateral system, in contrast to the dorsal column system. The anterolateral system is a cruder type of transmission system than the dorsal column system. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why does sea water not erode coastal areas in all places?
The main cause of coastal erosion is the kinetic energy of wind. The main medium of transmission of wind energy is through wind generated water waves.

 

Occasionally waves are also generated by other forms of energies such as earthquakes (sometimes at sea beds). The waves in turn cause erosion upon breaking on the shoreline or by way of wave induced currents. In coasts where substantial tidal variation occurs (as in Mumbai) there may be marginal erosion.

While erosion of loose materials like sand is visible clearly, it is not so with hard materials like rock. It may be interesting to note, that where the water is still and calm, as in a lagoon, the coastline is be stable. Also to be noted, is the phenomenon of beach formation due to littoral drift ( as in Chennai Marina), stopped by the harbour structures jutting into the sea. Courtesy : The Hindu

Do animals also have blood groups like humans?
In man blood group is applied to single factor. This factor is agglutinogen and is also called antigen. It is found on the surface of red blood corpuscles.

 

Accordingly a person with ‘A’ antigen is designated as a person with A-group, with ‘B’ antigen as B-group, with both A and B antigens as AB-blood group and a person without any antigens is designated as O-blood group.

In the case of animals blood group is applied to combinations of blood factors. So it is preferable to call it as blood group systems rather then blood groups. Each system has many factors, which are together called blood group factors.

Dr. J. Moustgaard, of the Royal Veterinary & Agricultural College, Copenhagen has identified in cattle ten group systems namely A,B,C,FV,J,L,M,SU, Z and R’S’. Except J and L, all the other group systems have more than one group factor. For example the group factors of the group system A are designated as A{-1}, A{-2}, D, H, Z’.

The grouping factors are particular serum proteins. Acquiring of each protein is an inherited character. So examination of blood sample from within a breed might eventually prove a very useful means of selection. It might also indicate what mating could be expected to result in infertility.

The B-group system only has greater number of grouping factors. It has nearly 27 group factors, which are called phenogroups. Some of these are unique to particular breeds.

They are particularly valuable in determining incorrectly stated parentage. In dogs serum major groups have been recognised in the USA and they are referred to as A to G.

In veterinary practice blood transfusion is used in cases of haemorrhage and shock and to a lesser extent as part of the treatment of certain infectious diseases.

In cattle the donor and recipient are usually in the same herd. This fact lessens the risk of introducing infection and incompatibility does not arise.

But normal antibodies against the blood group factor-J are sometimes found in cattle. Thus if the donor’s blood is J-positive and the recipient’s blood contains normal antibody called anti-J the so-called transfusion reaction might be expected immediately following blood transfusion. These reactions are dyspnoea, muscular twisting, increased salivation and circulatory disturbances.

However, if an animal has been exposed to repeated blood transfusions, a different situation will arise. The animal will now have formed antibodies against the blood group antigens it does not have itself. It is therefore by no means unlikely that the blood of donor and the recipient are incompatible.

If this is so, transfusion will set off strong transfusion reactions. Such reaction can occur on the second or on subsequent blood transfusion. Courtesy : The Hindu

What is Computer Simulation Technique?
ANSWER I: ‘Simulation’ in general terms can be defined as the representation or imitation of a system in its realistic form. When a computer program is used to create a model to mimic a real world system, then the term ‘computer simulation’ comes into action. Such models are called computer simulated models. Computer simulation is of two types. One is called discrete simulation, in which, a system is observed only at some fixed regular time points, an example of which is the queuing system. It is a system where the events or jobs arrive at a time and wait in the queue to be processed. Generally the queue operates in a FIFO (First In First Out) fashion. Some real time examples for this case can be customers waiting in the queue in banks or to buy groceries in departmental stores. The involvement of the computer here is to maintain the queue according to the arrival time of the event, in this case the customers, and process each event one after the other according to their arrival time.

 

The other type is called Analogue simulation, which involves traditional mathematics. This is applied to a system whose state varies continuously in time. In this technique, sets of differential equations were used to describe a system. Since computers have the ability to solve equations, using various algorithms, in minimal time, its usage was very much relevant here. Some examples of this type are cosmology systems and chemical applications, which involve a large number of equations and require huge computing power.

//

ANSWER II: To simulate a phenomenon, on a computer, we need a mathematical model that imitates the phenomenon. As an example consider the motion of Earth around the sun. The sun and Earth attract each other.

Once we model this gravitational force we can simulate the elliptic orbit of Earth. Here we do not need a computer since the governing equation is simple.

But consider a projectile hurled in the atmosphere. Here the friction of air plays an important role. The trajectory can be stimulated by approximate numerical techniques. We start with the condition of the projectile (position and velocity; then frictional force is known) at some instant. We can calculate its condition after a very small interval.

Then the new value for friction can be evaluated. We continue this process of numerical integration to get the trajectory. Smaller the time interval employed more accurate is the solution. This is where the computer enters to make the job easy. Complex fluid flow phenomena like turbulent flows, vibration of an aeroplane frame, combustion, weather and ocean circulation are some of the examples that need huge computer power. Courtesy : The Hindu

How does ballast-less track provide safe travel?
ANSWER I: Ballast is a prime component of the track that acts as a vibrant medium to transmit from the rail surface the weight of the train down to the formation, the wells set on prepared terrain. It ensures a cushioned and smooth run for the train and precludes the longitudinal displacement of the rail called creep. In ballast-less track, as the name suggests the ballast is replaced by a bed of concrete. The rails rest on rubber pads placed over concrete sleepers, which are fixed on the concrete bed.

 

The ballast-less track helps to eliminate the evils of dust and noise pollution and proves suitable for underground railway also. So it is also safe for travel.

//

ANSWER II: The MRTS in Chennai is equipped with a ballast-less track. The rubber pads on which the rails rest help to absorb the vibration caused due to the movement of the train. The cost involved in laying a ballast-less track is more initially but it requires less recurring maintenance cost. Courtesy : The Hindu

How do certain species of birds such as Humming Birds, Terns, Gulls and Kestrels remain in the air without a forward motion?
ANSWER I: The humming bird’s wings consist mainly of elongated hand bones to which the flight feathers are attached, and the whole wing can rotate as does the wrist.

 

The short arm bones not only allow movement in all directions but can also accommodate axial rotation through 180 degrees. The tips of the wings are capable of achieving a great deal of controlled movements. Birds have two sets of muscles operating the wings.

One powers the down-strokes and the other provides the upstroke or lifts the wings. A humming bird has more number of muscles to lift it upwards.

The angles through which the wings can be twisted and rotated by means of the big muscles that give the upstroke, can convert even the upstroke into a power movement providing both lift and propulsion.

Thus the bird is able to hover in perfectly still air, its quivering wings moving rapidly backwards and forwards rather than up and down, the tips of the primary feathers tracing a figure of eight.

Every time the beat is reversed, the wings are pivoted through 180 degrees, this ensuring that the front edge always leads, and on the back stroke, it is always the underside of the flight feathers which are on the top.

This means that although forward and backstrokes both produce lift the two actually cancel each other out and leave the bird still on station with no movement.

The kestrel and kingfisher are adept at this, but it does not constitute true hovering. Humming birds are able to maintain their hovering in perfectly still air, a feat totally beyond the kestrel which, true to its vernacular name of wind hover, cannot function unless a breeze is flowing, even though this can be so slight that at ground it may not be noticeable to a human observer. Reference: How Birds work. A guide to bird biology.

//

ANSWER II: Wings of hummingbirds are adapted to a helicopter-like flight. They can move their wings from shoulder and can beat them up to 70 beats per second. They have two sets of flight muscles.

They are the pectoralis majors (one left and one right), which are attached to the sternum and keel, the upper wing bones (humerus), and the clavicles (which are fused at the tip to form the furcula, or wishbone). The pectoral muscles pull the wings down, which causes forward motion of the bird.

The wings are raised by the supracoracoideus muscles (right and left), which in hummingbirds are particularly large — about half the size of the pectorals.

Hummingbirds can rotate their wings backward, which creates downward ‘lift’ and backward ‘thrust’. By alternating their wings forward and backward, the up and down forces and forward and back forces cancel each other out, enabling the bird to hover in one place.

, . They are the only birds which can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways or move instantaneously in any direction Courtesy : The Hindu

How is carbon dioxide removed from blood before it is exhaled?
In humans, carbon dioxide is generated in the tissues during oxidation of glucose, in order to liberate energy, which is resumed to perform body functions. Before exhalation through lungs the gas is transported from the tissues to the lungs. Under normal resting conditions an average of 4 millilitres of CO{-2} is transported from the tissues to the lungs in each decilitre of blood.

 

This transport is performed by venous system of the body and pulmonary artery of the heart. The venous system first transports deoxygenated blood carrying CO{-2} to the heart. From there, blood is transported to lungs for purification by the pulmonary artery.

To begin with CO{-2} diffuses out of the tissue cells in the dissolved molecular CO{-2} form. On entering the capillary, it initiates a host of almost instantaneous physical and chemical reactions. A small portion of the CO{-2} is transported in a dissolved state to the lungs. This is about 7 per cent of all the CO{-2} transported.

Nearly 70 per cent of CO{-2} is transported as bicarbonate ions. The dissolved CO{-2} in the blood first reacts with water to form carbonic acid. This can be effected by the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which catalyse the reaction between CO{-2} and water, accelerating 5000-fold.

//

Since the enzyme is found only in the red blood cells (RBC) carbonic acid formation is so rapid in them than in the plasma. In the red blood cells it occurs in a small fraction of a second. In no time the carbonic acid formed in the red blood cells dissociates into hydrogen ions (H{++}) and bicarbonate ions (HCO{-3}) ions. Most of the H{++} ions then combine with the haemoglobin (Hb) in the red blood cells because Hb is a powerful acid-base buffer. In turn, many of the bicarbonate ions diffuse into the plasma while chloride ions diffuse into the red cells to take their place.

This is possible by the presence of a special bicarbonate carrier protein in the red cell membrane that shuttles the two ions in opposite directions at rapid velocities. Thus, the chloride content of venous red blood cells is greater than that of arterial cells, a phenomenon called the chloride shift. In the alveolar capillaries the carbonate ions under the influence of carbonic anhydrase by reversible reaction again produce the CO{-2} and water molecules. These CO{-2} molecules are then easily released into the alveoli for exhalation.

Transport of CO{-2} in combination with haemoglobin is also possible. In addition to reacting with water, CO{-2} also reacts directly with haemoglobin to form the compound of carbaminohaemoglobin (CO{-2}HHb).

This combination of carbon dioxide with the haemoglobin is a reversible reaction that occurs with a very loose bond, so that the carbon dioxide is easily released into the alveoli where the partial pressure of CO{-2} is lower than the tissue capillaries. Nearly 23 per cent of CO{-2} is transported this way. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why is the Earth’s core hot? What caused it to heat up? Is it still heating, or now cooling?
Scientists estimate that temperature at the Earth’s core is about 5538{+0}C.

 

Much of the heat inside the Earth today comes from elements that were present when the planet was first formed billions of years ago. One theory is that radioactive decay of the primordial elements inside the Earth, U-238, Th-232, and U-235 and their radioactive products generate thermal energy (heat).

A nucleus — the central core of an atom — contains both protons and neutrons. Elements, such as the ones mentioned above, have a fixed number of protons but may exist with various numbers of neutrons.

The sum of the protons and neutrons makes up the mass number of an element. Isotopes of an element have the same chemical properties but different weights (indicated by the mass number). Radioactive elements are isotopes with an unstable nucleus.

The isotopes decay by emitting energetic alpha and beta particles until stability is reached. Alpha particles are the nuclei of ordinary helium atoms, which consist of two protons and two neutrons. Beta particles are electrons or positrons. The half-life of an isotope is the amount of time it takes for half of the atoms to decay into a more stable form.

Within the Earth, the released particles from the elements are slowed by friction through interaction with Earth material, thereby generating heat.

The primordial radioactive elements have half-lives on the order of a billion years. Hence, since the Earth formed, their abundance is decreasing over time as a function of their half-life. Therefore, Earth’s core is not heating up, it’s cooling down. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why does rain come in drops and not in a continuous stream?
When warm wet air rises, it cools and water vapour condenses to form clouds. A cloud is made of small drops of water or ice crystals, depending on its height and how cold its surrounding air is. Most rain originates in nimbus or in towering cumulonimbus clouds.

 

To form rain, water vapour needs what’s called a condensation nucleus, which can be tiny particles of dust, or pollen, swept up high into the atmosphere. When the condensing droplets that form the cloud get large and heavy enough to overcome the upward pressure of convection, they begin to fall.

Although all clouds contain water, some produce precipitation and others drift away placidly without giving rain. First all the droplets in a cloud are less than 20 micrometer in diameter. In a cloud there are lot hygroscopic particles and normally drops form by absorbing moisture by these particles.

Rain is restricted to drops of water that fall from a cloud. They have a typically diameter of at least 0.5 mm. A raindrop large enough to reach the ground without evaporating contains roughly a million times the water of a cloud droplet (typical diameter is 0.012 mm). No matter what the intensity of rain is the size of the drop rarely exceeds about 5 mm. Larger drops do not survive as the process of surface tension which holds the drop together is exceeded by the frictional drag of air and therefore larger drops break apart into smaller ones.

Raindrops as they descend, initiate a chain reaction, a downward trend of the water droplets, with the larger drops always breaking — a common feature observed when one forcefully disgorge the contents of a glass of water.

Most rainfall begins as snow crystals or other solid forms. Entering the warmer air below the cloud, these ice particles often melt and reach the ground as raindrops.

A raindrop starts falling and then picks up speed due to gravity. When one drop starts falling a wake follows in the cloud. (Wake is a clearance that is normally found behind a speeding boat.) This clearance is convenient for another drop to follow and not exactly in the same path but close to it, says Mr. C. Ranganathan of Tiruchy.

Drops that pick up speed are slowed down by the drag of the surrounding air. Indeed the smallest drop may not fall at all, being suspended or perhaps forced upward by ascending currents of air until they grow large enough to fall. As larger droplets descent, they produce an airstream around them.

The larger the cloud droplet the better the chance of its colliding with a giant droplet. So each drop falls at a different speed as their sizes are different. There are collisions between raindrops. Some collisions cause drops to coalesce, forming a large drop and some cause drops to break into smaller ones. As the number of drops grows the intensity of rain increases.

Collision does not guarantee coalescence. Experiments have indicated that the presence of atmospheric electricity may be the key to what keeps the drops together as they collide. That is when a droplet with a negative charge collides with another with a positive charge their electrical attraction may hold them together.

Rate at which drops fall is size dependent. Giant droplets fall rapidly. Thus drops keep on falling side by side and not in a continuous stream. Courtesy : The Hindu

What are polaroid sunglasses made of?
ANSWER I: Polaroids are thin and large sheets of crystalline polarising material (made artificially) capable of producing plane polarised beams of large cross section.

 

As early as 1852, it was discovered by researchers that synthetic small needle-shaped crystals of iodosulphate of quinine possess the property of polarising light. These crystals are not stable. A Polaroid sheet is prepared from the suspension of these crystals of nitrocellulose. To impart stability, its thin sheet is mounted between two sheets of glass or celluloid.

It can also be obtained by stretching a thin sheet of polyvinyl alcohol strained with iodine. When such a sheet is subjected to a large strain, the molecules get oriented in the direction of applied strain. If the stretched sheet of polyvinyl alcohol is heated in the presence of a dehydrating agent such as hydrochloric acid, it becomes strongly stable. Each polaroid sheet is enclosed between thin glass plates so as to provide mechanical support.

Polaroids are of two types. H-polaroid and the k-polaroid. The main difference is that k-polaroid are not strained with iodine.

//

ANSWER II: A light wave vibrating in more than one plane is referred to as unpolarised light. Polarised light waves are those in which the vibrations occur in a single plane. It is possible to transform unpolarised light into a polarised one and this process is called polarisation.

A Polaroid filter is able to polarize light because of the chemical composition of the filter material. The molecules of the filters are all oriented along the same direction so that they all absorb light of the same polarisation.

When light reflects from a horizontal surface at an angle, the reflected light tends to be polarised horizontally. At a specific angle, the light is completely horizontally polarised because any vertically polarised light that hits the surface at this angle is allowed to enter the surface without reflection. Since reflections from horizontal surfaces are mostly horizontally polarised, glare is mostly horizontally polarised.

Polarising sunglasses deliberately block horizontally polarised light to reduce glare. There are several types of lens material. CR-39 is a plastic made from hard resin that meets optical quality standards. Polycarbonate is a synthetic plastic material that has great strength and is very lightweight.

Eyeglasses that darken when exposed to the sun are called photochromatic. Photochromatic lenses rely on a specific chemical reaction to UV radiation.

These lenses have millions of molecules of substances, such as silver chloride or silver halide, embedded in them. The molecules are transparent to visible light in the absence of UV light. But when exposed to UV rays in sunlight, the molecules undergo a chemical process that causes them to change shape. The new molecular structure absorbs portions of the visible light, causing the lenses to darken. The number of the molecules that change shape varies with the intensity of the UV rays.

When we go indoors and out of the UV light, the reverse chemical reaction takes place. The sudden absence of UV radiation causes the molecules to return to their original shape, resulting in the loss of their light absorbing properties. Courtesy : The Hindu

Why is the @ symbol used in an email address?
ANSWER I: The e-mail address generally has two parts, user id and the domain name. The @ (at) symbol is used to separate the user id from the domain name in the e-mail address.

 

The e-mail address is in the form, userid@domainname.com (example : rajiv@hotmail.com).

The domain name is usually the name of the service provider and it cannot be changed. The user name can be changed by creating a new e-mail address.

Some websites like www.myownemail.com allow the users to have a domain name of their choice like rajiv@rajiv.com or rajiv@britneyspears.com or rajiv@quackquack.com or any other name on earth.

The significance of the @ symbol is that it separates the user id from the domain name.

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ANSWER II: Email addresses are basically identifiers of users and are unique. They are usually composed of the following parts, namely: username@subdomain.domain. Example: rajesh_27@yahoo.com.

These addresses can be compared to the addresses of the houses in a huge colony. Examples are Hotmail, Yahoo, Sify and AOL.The domains are in turn classified as sub-domains for the sake of clarity in large organisations. Some of the top-level domains (TLD’s) are

com, .edu, .net,.gov.

The ‘@’ symbol indicates that the user can be reached on the Internet by giving the email address(also called the User’s Uniform Resource Locator (URL)). Courtesy : The Hindu

How does the solar wind affect Earth?
Solar wind contains intense clouds of high energy particles which are produced by solar storms. These clouds of particles affect Earth. These clouds are called coronal mass ejections. They reach the earth in three to four days. The coronal mass ejections cause changes in the magnetic field of the earth when they collide with the field.

 

They cause more changes to the magnetic field at times even at lower altitudes close to the ground when they leak through the field especially near the north and south poles. These changes can produce many problems with electrical equipment.

Not much light has been thrown on the way in which solar wind ‘plasma’ invades the Earth’s magnetic field and seeps into the inner regions where the van Allen radiation belts are located.

Also, in the direction opposite the Sun, the Earth’s magnetic field is pulled way out into interplanetary space making it look like a comet. Many different electrical disturbances take place in this ‘geotail’ region.

These can accelerate particles to high speeds and energies. All of this is made much more violent by the solar wind, especially the storm clouds that the Sun launches our way very often Courtesy : The Hindu

How do touch screens work?
Touch screen monitors — where you can use your finger on the computer screen to navigate through the contents — have become more and more commonplace over the past decade, particularly at public information kiosks. A basic touch screen has three main components: a touch sensor, a controller, and a software driver. The touch screen is an input device, so it needs to be combined with a display and a PC to make a complete touch input system.

 

The Touch Sensor has a textured coating across the glass face. This coating is sensitive to pressure and registers the location of the user’s finger when it touches the screen. The controller is a small PC card that connects the touch sensor to the PC. It takes information from the touch sensor and translates it into information that PC can understand. The Software Driver is a software update for the PC system that allows the touchscreen and computer to work together. It tells the computer’s operating system how to interpret the touch event information that is sent from the controller.

There are three basic systems that are used to recognise a person’s touch — Resistive, Capacitive and Surface acoustic wave.

The resistive system consists of a normal glass panel that is covered with a conductive and a resistive metallic layer. These layers are held apart by spacers, and a scratch-resistant layer is placed on top of the whole set up. An electrical current runs through the two layers while the monitor is operational. When a user touches the screen, the two layers make contact in that spot. The change in electrical field is noted and coordinates of the point of contact are calculated. Once the coordinates are known, a special driver translates the touch into something that the operating system can understand, much as a computer mouse driver translates a mouse’s movements into a click or drag.

In the capacitive system, a layer that stores electrical charge is placed on the glass panel of the monitor. When a user touches the monitor with his or her finger, some of the charge is transferred to the user, so the charge on the capacitive layer decreases. This decrease is measured in circuits located at each corner of the monitor. The computer calculates, from the relative differences in charge at each corner, exactly where the touch event took place and then relays that information to the touch screen driver software. One advantage of the capacitive system is that it transmits almost 90 per cent of the light from the monitor, whereas the resistive system only transmits about 75 per cent. This gives the capacitive system a much clearer picture than the resistive system.

The surface acoustic wave system uses two transducers (one receiving and one sending) placed along the x and y axes of the monitor’s glass plate. Also placed on the glass are reflectors — they reflect an electrical signal sent from one transducer to the other. The receiving transducer is able to tell if the wave has been disturbed by a touch event at any instant, and can locate it accordingly. The wave setup has no metallic layers on the screen, allowing for 100-percent light throughput and perfect image clarity. This makes the surface acoustic wave system best for displaying detailed graphics (both other systems have significant degradation in clarity).

Another area in which the systems differ is which stimuli will register as a touch event. A resistive system registers a touch as long as the two layers make contact, which means that it doesn’t matter if you touch it with your finger or a rubber ball. A capacitive system, on the other hand, must have a conductive input, usually your finger, in order to register a touch. The surface acoustic wave system works much like the resistive system, allowing a touch with almost any object — except hard and small objects like a pen tip. (Source: www.howstuffworks.com and www.touchscreens.com ) Courtesy : The Hindu

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Encyclopædia Britannica: Information from Answers.com

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I don’t deserve the Nobel, but accept it: Obama

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Nobel winner likes masala dosas

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NASA to bomb the moon?

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Venkatraman Ramakrishnan:The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan: A profile

LONDON: He may have migrated to the US long back, but Indian-American Venkatraman Ramakrishnan on Wednesday made a billion people back home proud

by winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his pioneering work on ribosome, a cellular machine that makes proteins.

57-year-old Ramakrishnan, born in the temple town of Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, is the seventh Indian or of Indian origin to win the prestigious award.

Born in 1952, Ramakrishnan earned his B.Sc. in Physics (1971) from Baroda University in Gujarat and later migrated to the US to continue his studies where he later got settled and attained US citizenship.

He earned his Ph.D in Physics from Ohio University in the US and later worked as a graduate student at the University of California from 1976-78.

During his stint at the varsity, Ramakrishnan conducted a research with Dr Mauricio Montal, a membrane biochemist and later designed his own 2-year transition from physics to biology.

As a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University, he worked on a neutron-scattering map of the small ribosomal subunit of E Coli. He has been studying ribosome structure ever since.

Ramakrishnan, now a senior scientist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge has authored several important papers in academic journals.

In the August 26, 2000 issue of Nature, Ramakrishnan and his co-workers published the structure of the small ribosomal subunit of Thermus thermophilus, a heat-stable bacterium related to one found in the Yellowstone hot springs.

With this 5.5 Angstrom-resolution structure, Ramakrishnan’s group identified key portions of the RNA and, using previously determined structures, positioned seven of the subunit’s proteins.

In the September 21, 2000 issue of Nature, Ramakrishnan published two papers. In the first of these, he presented the 3 Angstrom structure of the 30S ribosomal subunit.

His second paper revealed the structures of the 30S subunit in complex with three antibiotics that target different regions of the subunit. In this paper, Ramakrishnan discussed the structural basis for the action of each of these drugs.

After his postdoctoral fellowship, Ramakrishnan joined the staff of Brookhaven National Laboratory in ther US. There, he began his collaboration with Stephen White to clone the genes for several ribosomal proteins and determine their three-dimensional structures.

He was also awarded a Guggenheim fellowship during his tenure there, and he used it to make the transition to X-ray crystallography.

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China vs India: Military might

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Man Booker for Hilary Mantel

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Current Affairs Sept 2009

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Gandhi Jayanti

Gandhi Jayanti

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of peace and the Father of the Nation was born on 2nd October 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat. Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on the very day every year as the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of India. In his autobiography My experiments with Truth Gandhi recalls that his childhood and teen age years were characterised by education in a local school, marriage to Kasturba at the age of 13 and an intrinsic love for ‘truth’ and ‘duty’.

HISTORY

At the age of the eighteen, he went to England to study law. In 1891, Gandhi returned to India and set up practice at Rajkot. In 1893, he received an offer from an Indian firm in South Africa.

With his two minor sons and Kasturba, he went to South Africa at the age of twenty-four. Colonial and racial discrimination showed its ugly colours in the famous train incident, when he was thrown off the compartment meant for the ‘Sahibs’. During his more than two decades of stay in South Africa, Gandhi protested against the discriminating treatment that was meted out to Indians. He protested against the Asiatic (Black) Act and the Transvaal Immigration Act and started his non-violent civil disobedience movement. A satyagrahis camp known as the Tolstoy Farm was established at Lawley, 21 miles from Johannesburg, on 30 May 1910, in order to shelter the satyagrahis and their families. The South African Government had to heed to the voice of reason and in 1914 repealed most of the obnoxious acts against the Indians. The weekly Indian Opinion (1903) became Gandhiji’s chief organ of education and propaganda.

Gandhiji returned to India in 1915. After an interrupted stay in Santiniketan in February-March, 1915, Gandhiji collected his companions of Phoenix and established the Satyagraha Ashram in Ahmedabad city. This was shifted in June 1917 to the banks of the Sabarmati. This Ashram became platform for carrying out his cherished social reforms prime among which were Harijan welfare rehabilitation of lepers and self-reliance through weaving Khadi.

Between 1917 and 1918 Gandhi participated in two peasant movements in Champaran (Bihar) and Kaira (Gujarat) and in the labour dispute in Ahmedabad itself. World War I ended on 11 November 1918; Gandhi protested against the Rowlatt Bills and founded the Satyagraha Sabha (28 February 1919). The end of the World war also saw the dismemberment of the Khilafat (Caliphate). This hurt the Indian Muslims deeply. Gandhi was approached for counsel; and in a meeting of the All India Khilafat Conference on 24 November 1919, he proposed that India should respond by non-violent non-cooperation.

For Gandhi ‘Non-violence’ and truth were two inalienable virtues. He summed up the entire philosophy of his life as: “The only virtue I want to claim is truth and non-violence. I lay no claim to super human powers: I want none”.

The year 1926 was declared by Gandhi to be his year of silence. His famous march to Dandi in March 1930 started a countrywide movement to violate the Salt-Law. Gandhi was arrested on 4 May 1930, and the Government struck hard to crush the movement, but failed. So Gandhi was set free on 26 January 1931; and following a pact between him and the British Viceroy, Lord Irwin (5 March 1931), he was prevailed upon to represent the Congress at the second Round Table Conference in London. Gandhi was completely disillusioned with the attitude of the British, which had renewed its policy of ruthless repression. As a result the Civil Disobedience Movement was resumed in January 1932.

Gandhi was in prison when the Communal Award was announced in August 1932, providing for the introduction of separate electorate for the Depressed Classes. He opposed this attempt to divide the Hindu community and threatened to fast unto death to prevent it. He started his fast on 20 September 1932. It created consternation in the country, but the situation was saved by the conclusion of the Poona Pact, which provided for special reservation of seats for the Depressed Classes in legislatures, but under joint electorate.

On 8 May 1933 he announced a fast for 21 days for the Harijan cause. After coming out of prison Gandhi devoted himself exclusively to the cause of the ‘Harijans’. The weekly Harijan now took the place of the Young India, which had served the national cause from 1919 to 1932. After 1934 Gandhi settled down in Sevagram near Wardha to form a new Centre for his enlarged Constructive Programme, which included Basic Education (1937), designed to bring about the universalisation of education.

In 1942, his ‘Quit India’ slogan was to serve as the final signal to British dominion in India. The partition of India and Pakistan came as a personal shock to Gandhi. When the nation was rejoicing independence (1947), Gandhi went to Naokhali to ameliorate the conditions of the communal riot victims. On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi.

The man of the century had the courage of heart and spirit of the unafraid. His life and teaching reflect the values of this country and the values of humanity. He had been a beacon light to an army of freedom fighters who practised non-violence in world and deed.

CELEBRATION

Mahatma Gandhi was a simple man, with simple tastes and high values. Respecting that, even though Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday, the festivities are minimal.

A prayer meeting is held at Rajghat, Gandhi’s samadhi in New Delhi. To mark the respect that Gandhi had for all the religions and communities, representatives from different religions take part in it. Verses and prayers are read out from the holy books of all the religions. Gandhi’s favourite song, Raghupati Raghava, is invariably sung at all the meetings associated with him. Prayer meetings are held in various state capitals as well. Gandhi Jayanti is observed all over the country, both in government and non-government forums.

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