Sunday, 22 June 2014

Urband Heat Island

Urban heat Islands

The temperature in urban area is higher than the surrounding lesser urbanised area. This leads to formation of an island of heat (urban area) in sea of cooler region (surrounding lesser urbanised area).
source: EPA 2008, www.urbanheatislands.com

Why is heat island formed?
When an area gets urbanised the normal cover of vegetation is replaced by human built constructions. The human built constructions absorb and retain greater heat than the normal vegetation which earlier covered that area. This leads to rise in temperature. The human constructions/buildings cool off slowly, as a result the night temperature of urban area remains very much higher than surroundings.

Other causes:
  • The vehicles emitting heat trapping gases.
  • Increased release of body heat due to higher population. (minor)
  • Disappearance of water bodies as they get covered during urbanisation.


Impact of Urban Island

Geographical:
The incoming air may rise up rapidly and can lead to higher precipitation.
The heat island may lead to formation of outgoing air waves which repeal incoming moisture laden air leading to lower precipitation.
 In short, the precipitation pattern is affected and it becomes irregular.
source: www.citelighter.com

Energy:
The high heat in urban area increases cooling needs leading to higher consumption of energy as more air conditioners, fans will be operated. The increased energy needs will in turn cause pollution as more fossil fuels will be utilized in power plants for meeting the energy needs.
Human:
Human health and well being is adversely affected. The higher night temperature causes discomfort leading to reduction of sleep. The high temperature in most cities leads to irritation and dissatisfaction.





Friday, 20 June 2014

UPSC Topper Gaurav Aggarwal's Notes

The superman returns

The topper Gaurav Aggarwal has been generous to upload tonnes of meticulously prepared notes in his personal blog. He has uploaded his marks, study methodology and his email id in his blog “The Superman Returns”.




Mural Painting in India

Mural paintings in India

Murals are large art work paintings typically done in walls. It showcases some of the earliest efforts of painting in India. The earliest mural works can be seen in ancient and early medieval times eg: Ajanta and Ellora cave paintings.

Nature of art work

The religious themes can be seen in many mural works. The temple murals in Brihadeshwara temple, ekambareshwar temple etc showcases the religious murals. The mural works in eastern india has both Buddhist and non buddist themes eg:mural paintings in arunachal Pradesh. The murals in many places also covers courtlife, family life, scenes from tales, animals etc.

Colors used

Murals are drawn using natural matierials like chalk, terracotta, volcanic rocks etc. The animal, vegetable gum was used as glue.

Significance


They showcase the richness of Indian art. It established that art was very developed in India at very early stage in India. The pan-Indian presence of such paintings is another curious phenomenon. Murals are can be seen in Himachal (north), Kerala(south),Arunachal(East). The large paintings reflect the life and times, beliefs, tales of the ancient and medieval period. Innovative methods were used to illustrate ideas in mural paintings. 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Goods Services Tax India

GST – It is a type of value added tax, which will replace the indirect taxes levied on goods and services.

Value added tax is a multi-stage tax, here tax is levied at each stage of value addition. Eg: - When wood is converted to paper, there is value addition. Similarly when this paper is converted to a greeting card, there is value addition. In VAT, the tax will be levied only to the value added at each stage.

source:www.kinibiz.com


Why GST?

India presently has multitude of indirect taxes. This creates confusion, tax evasion and inefficiency. To reform the present system to create a unified tax collection, GST is being introduced.

GST will :
  • ·         Simplify the tax structure (the multitude of the indirect taxes will be abolished after GST)
  • ·         Broaden tax base and rationalise tax collection.
  • ·         To create a common tax base across states. (States and centre will implement GST)
  • ·         Increase growth by increasing export and import


What is objection regarding GST?

States fear loss of revenue and fiscal autonomy.

Solution: Compensation formula after consultation with states.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Gravitational Waves

What are gravitational waves?

They are ripples that carry energy across the universe (ripples in the curvature of space-time continuum). The existence of the gravitational waves was made by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity. Till now there was no direct evidence as these waves are hard to be detected.
source:scienetechdaily.com
 How proved?
By BICEP2 (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) - a telescope at South Pole

Why important?
In proving big bang theory and cosmic inflation.

What is cosmic inflation?
A theory by Alan Ruth that universe expanded very rapidly during its initial formation time. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

PAPER V - ETHICS, INTEGRITY AND APTITUDE

The upsc has published sample questions for PAPER V - ETHICS, INTEGRITY AND APTITUDE.

SAMPLE QUESTION NO. 1 
What do you understand by ‘ Ethical Human Conduct’? In what way is 
it important to be ethical along with being professionally competent?

SAMPLE QUESTION NO. 2 
What do you understand by the following terms ? Point out their 
specific relevance in public service; 
(i) Intellectual integrity 
(ii) Empathy 
(iii) Perseverance 
(iv) Spirit of service 
(v) Commitment 
Indicate two more attributes which you consider very important for 
public servants. Justify your answer......

Download all(Click here)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Book review: Geography of India by Majid Hussain

There are some prolific writers in geography – majid hussain, d s lal, savindra singh. The learning style of students differs and so do their favourite authors. Of the books written by Majid hussain, i feel this is a great work. The ncert geography along with the “Geography of India by Majid Hussain” can make the learning of “Indian Geography”easier. Before this book was written, it was Khuller’s Indian geography which was popular among students. I felt that book to be bit big and full of stats.


Majid hussain is able to bring clarity on many topics which were not dealt beautifully in other books. He had used the beauty of maps to its maximum. Geography is a subject where diagrams, graphs etc can do wonders; the representations communicate the idea vivaciously. The correlation between the upsc geography syllabus and the book is high. This helps aspirants gain maximum especially when it comes to recent topics. 

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