National InsigniaNational Emblem – The National Emblem of India is an adaptation of the Buddhist Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, near Varanasi in the North Indian State of Uttar Pradesh.

National Animal – The Tiger is the National Animal of India. It is the symbol of India’s wildlife heritage. The magnificent tiger is a striped animal.

National Bird – The Peacock is the National Bird of India. It is a symbol of qualities like beauty and grace.

National Flag – The National Flag is a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom. There is a wheel (chakra) with 24 spikes in the middle.

National Fruit – The Mango is the National fruit. It has been cultivated in India since time immemorial.

National Tree – The National Tree of India is the Banyan tree. This huge tree towers over its neighbours and has the widest trunk.

National Game – Hockey in which India has an impressive record with eight Olympic medals, is considered as the National Sport.

National Anthem – Jana gana mana is our national anthem and was composed originally in Sanskritised Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore. Its Hindi Version was adopted on 24th January, 1950. It was first sung on 27th December, 1911.

National Song – The song Vande Mataram, composed in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterji is our National Song.

National Calendar – The National Calendar is based on the Saka Era with Chaitra as its first month and a normal year of 365 days was adopted from 22nd March, 1957.

National Flower – Lotus is the National Flower of India


Classical and Folk Dances of India


Dance                               State                              Dance                                        State


Kuchipudi                     Andhra Pradesh          Kathakali                        Kerala


Bihu                              Assam                          Garba                          Gujarat


Nat-Natin                       Bihar                            Nati                              Himachal Pradesh


Rauf                             Jammu and Kashmir   Kathak                            North India


Hattari                           Karnataka                    Yakshagan                    Karnataka


Bharatnatyam                Tamil Nadu                  Chhau                        Bihar


Bhangra                        Punjab                          Odissi                          Odisha


Pandvani                       Madhya Pradesh           Saang                             Haryana


Mohiniattam                  Kerala                          Ghoomar (Jhoomar)     Rajasthan


Giddha                           Panjab




Musical Instruments & Exponents


Instrument                 Exponent


Sarod                           Amjad Ali Khan


Sitar                             Pandit Ravi Shankar, Buddhaditya Mukherjee


Shehnai                        Ustad Bismillah Khan


Flute                             Hari Prasad Chaurasiya


Mandolin                       Mandolin Sreenivasan


Violin                            VK Jog


Santoor                        Shiv Kumar Sharma, Bhajan Sopori



Classical Dancers in India


Dance                        Dancer/s


Bharatnatyam                 Mrinalini Sarabhai, Sanyukta Panigrah, Sonal Mansingh, Yamini Krishamurthy


Kathak                          Birju Maharaj, Sitara Devi


Odissi                           Kelucharan Mohapatra


Mohiniattam                  Samyukta Panigrahi, Sonal Mansingh



Awards and Honours (International)

Nobel Prize

The most prestigious award in the world. It was started in 1900 under the will of Alfred Nobel. The Nobel prizes are presented annually on 10th December (The death anniversary of the founder). It is given in the fields of Peace, Literature, Physics, Chemistry, Physiology / Medicine (from 1901) and Economics (from 1969)

Nobel Winners From India


Winners                                                                             Field                                     Year


Venkatraman Ramakrishan                                 Chemistry                     2009


Amartya Sen                                                     Economics                   1998


Subramanyan Chandrasekhar                             Physics                                    1983


Mother Teresa                                                   Peace                           1979


Hargobind Khorana                                           Medicine                       1968


CV Raman                                                        Physics                                    1930


Rabindranath Tagore                                         Literature                       1913



Pulitzer Prize

Instituted in 1917 and named after US publisher Joseph Pulitzer. It is conferred annually in the United States for journalism, literature and music.

Magsaysay Awards

Instituted in 1957 and named after Ramon Magsaysay, the former President of Philippines. The award is given annually for contribution in Public Service, Community Leadership, Journalism, Literature and Creative Arts and International Understanding.

Man Booker Prize

Instituted in 1968, is the highest literary award in the world. Set up by the Booker Company and the British Publisher Association along the lines of the Pulitzer Prize in the USA.

Right Livelihood Award

The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980. It is also referred as “Alternative Nobel Prize”.

It is to honour those “working on practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent challenges facing the world today.”

Oscar Awards

Instituted in 1929, these awards are conferred annually by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, USA in recognition of outstanding cinematic work in various fields.


Indian Defence Training Institutions


Training Institution                                                   Place


Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC)               Dehradun


National Defence Academy (NDA)                      Khadakwasla, Pune


Indian Military Academy (IMA)                            Dehradun


Army Cadet College (ACC)                                 Dehradun


Officers Training Academy (OTA)                       Chennai


College of Combat/Army War College                Mhow (M.P.)


High Attitude Warfare School (HAWS)                Gulmarg


Counter Insurgency & Jungle Warfare School      Vairengte (Mizoram)


College of Defence Management                       Secunderabad (A.P.)


Army Air Defence College(AADC)                      Gopalpur (Odisha)


Army School of Physical Training (ASPT)           Pune


National Defence College                                  New Delhi



Ranks of Commissioned Officers


Army                                                   Air Force                                           Navy


General                                     Air Chief Marshal                       Admiral


Lt.General                                 Air Marshal                                Vice Admiral


Major General                            Air Vice Marshal                        Rear Admiral


Brigadier                                   Air Commodore                         Commodore


Colonel                                     Group Captain                           Captain


Lt.Colonel                                 Wing Commander                      Commander


Major                                        Squadron Leader                       Lt.Commander


Captain                                     Flight Lieutenant                        Lieutenant


Lieutenant                                 Flying Officer                            Sub-Lieutenant



Missiles and other Weapons


Name                                                   Class                                                     Range


Agni                                         Surface-to Surface Missile         850-10000 km


Dhanush                                   SRBM                                       350 km


Nirbhay                                      Subsonic Cruise Missile                        1000 km


Brahmos                                    Supersonic Cruise Missile        290 km


Brahmos 2                                 Hypersonic Cruise Missile         290 km


Prithvi                                       SRBM                                       150 km


Sagarika                                   SLBM                                      700 km-2200 km


Shaurya                                                                                           700 km – 2200 km


Astra                                        Air to Air Missile


Nag                                            Anti-Tank Missile                         25 km


The Superlatives


(The Largest, Biggest, Smallest, Longest, Highest)

Longest Airliner                                     Boeing 747-8


Largest Airport                                      King Abdul Khalid International Airport


Highest Airport                                      Bangda Airport,Tibet (818 m)


Tallest Animal (on land)                          Giraffe


Tallest Building                                      Burj Khalifa, Dubai (818 m)


Largest Mammal                                    Blue Whale


Largest Bay                                          Hudson Bay, Canada


Largest Bird                                          Ostrich


Smallest Bird                                        Humming Bird


Fastest Bird                                          Swift


Tallest office Building                            Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur


Longest Ship Canal                                Suez Canal


Busiest Canal                                        Baltic White Sea Canal


Longest Epic                                        The Mahabharata


Largest Island                                       Greenland


Largest Mosque                                                Jama Masjid


Longest Day                                         June 21


Largest Delta                                        Sundarbans


Largest Desert                                      Sahara, Africa


Highest Lake                                         Titicaca (Bolivia)


Largest Lake (Fresh water)                     Lake Superior,USA


Largest Coral Formation                                    The Great Barrier Reef (Australia)


Smallest Continent                                Australia


Highest Lake                                         Tibet (The Pamirs)


Largest Country (in population)              China


Largest Country (in area)                        Russia


Biggest Cinema House                          Roxy (New York)


Highest City                                         Wen Chuan (Tibet)


Largest Dam (Concrete)                         Grand Coulee Dam (USA)


Highest Straight Dam                            Bhakra Dam


Highest Capital City                               La Paz (Bolivia)


Largest Dam (Concrete)                         Grand Coulee Dam (USA)


Largest Democracy                               India


Wingless Bird                                        Kiwi


Most Intelligent Animal                           Chimpanzee


Longest wall                                        Great Wall of China


Highest Mountain Peak (World)              Mt.Everest (Nepal)


Highest Mountain Range                        Himalayas


Longest Mountain Range                       Andes (Central South America)


Highest Waterfall                                   Salto Angel Falls (Venezuela)


Tallest Minar                                          Qutub Minar, Delhi


Deepest and biggest Ocean                  The Pacific


Largest Archipelago                              Indonesia


Coldest Place                                       Verkhoyansk (Siberia, -89.20 Celsius)


Driest place                                         Death Valley (California)


Hottest Place                                        Al-Aziziyah (Libya, 136 Fahrenheit)


Largest Platform (Railway)                     Grand Central Terminal, New York


Longest Platform (Railway)                    Kharagpur (1.072 Km)


Largest River Basin                               Amazon Basin


World’s Rainiest Spot                            Mawsynram, Cherrapunji


Largest Gorge                                       Grand Canyon on The Colorado


Longest River                                        Nile (6690 km)


Longest River Dam                                Hirakud Dam (Odisha)


Largest Sea-Bird                                   Albatross


Tallest Statue                                        Statue of Liberty, New York


Hardest Substance                                Diamond


Largest Temple                                     Angkor Vat (Combodia)


The Superlatives In India


(Biggest, Highest, Largest, Longest, Smallest etc)


The longest River                                  The Ganga (2525 km)


The longest Canal                                  Indira Gandhi Canal (Rajasthan Canal, 649 km)


The longest Dam                                   Hirakud Dam (26 km)


The longest Sea Beach                          Marina Beach (Chennai)


The largest Saline Water Lake                Chilka Lake (Odisha)


The largest Fresh Water Lake                 Kolleru Lake (Andhra Pradesh)


The largest Lake                                    Wular Lake (J & K)


The highest Dam                                   Bhakhra Dam (740 ft) on Sutlej river (Punjab)


The highest Watrfall                               Jog or Garsoppa (Karnataka)


The longest River Bridge                        Mahatma Gandhi Setu, Patna (5.575 km)


The biggest cantilever Bridge                 Rabindra Setu or Howrah Bridge


The State with longest Coastline             Gujarat (1600 km)


The longest Sea Bridge                         Anna Indira Gandhi Bridge (T Nadu) or Pamban Bridge (2.3 km)


The largest Artificial Lake                       Gobind Sagar Lake


The longest River of Southern India        Godavari (1465 km)


The Longest Road                                 Grand Trunk Road (Kolkata – Delhi)


The longest Corridor                              Ramnathswami Temple Corridor at Rameshwaram (T Nadu)


The highest Road                                  Road at Khardungla (Leh-Manali Sector)


The highest Airport                                Leh Airport (Ladakh)


The largest Desert                                 Thar (Rajasthan)


The largest Delta                                   Sunderbans (Paschim Banga)


The State with maximum Forest Area      Madhya Pradesh (11.24 %)


The largest Zoo                                     Zoological Garden (Kolkata)


The biggest Stadium                             Yuva Bharti (Salt Lake) Stadium, Kolkata


The longest National Highway                NH-7 (Varanasi to Kanyakumari)


The largest Gurudwara                           Golden Temple


The largest Cave Temple                        Kailash Temple (Ellora)


The highest Peak                                   Godwin Austin, K 2 (8611 m)


The largest Mosque                               Jama Masjid (Delhi)


The longest Tunnel                                Jawahar Tunnel, Banihal Pass (J & K)


The largest Auditorium                           Sri Shanmukhanand Hall (Mumbai)


The largest Animal Fair                          Sonepur (Bihar)


The largest Cave                                   Amarnath (J & K)


The highest Gateway                             Buland Darwaza, Fatepur Sikri (UP)


The tallest Statue                                   Gomateswara (Karnataka)


The largest Public Sector Bank              State Bank of India


The biggest Church                               St. Cathedral, Old Goa


The highest Battlefield                           Siachen Glacier (5753 m)



The Firsts in India (Male)


The first Indian to win the Nobel Prize                             Rabindranath Tagore (1913)


The first Muslim President of India                                 Dr Zakir Hussain (1967)


The first Indian to join the ICS                                        Satyendra Nath Tagore


To go in space                                                              Rakesh Sharma (1984)


The first Indian Commander-in-chief of India                   General K.M. Cariappa


The first Chief Army Staff                                              General Maharaj Rajendra Singhji


The first Indian member of the Viceroy’s Executive         Satyendra Prasanno Sinha Council


The first Field Marshal of India                                       SHF Manekshaw


The first Indian to get Nobel Prize in Physics                  CV Raman (1983)


The first Indian to cross English Channel                                    Mihir Sen


The first Education Minister of India                               Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel


The first person to reach Mt Everest without Oxygen       Sherpa Anga Dorje


The first Person to receive Magsaysay Award                 Acharya Vinoba Bhave (1958)


The first Indian to receive Nobel Prize in Economics        Amartya Sen (1998)


The first Indian Pilot                                                       JRD Tata(1929)



The Firsts in India (Female)


The first to become Miss World                                            Reita Faria (1966)


The first Governor of a state in free India                                Mrs Sarojini Naidu


The first Chief Minister of a state in free India                           Mrs Sucheta Kripalani


The first Speaker of state Assembly                                       Shanno Devi


The first Prime Minister                                                       Mrs Indira Gandhi


The first Minister in a Government                                        Rajkumari Amrit Kaur (Health Minister)


The first to climb Mount Everest                                            Bachendri Pal


The first Pilot in India Air Force                                            Harita Kaur Deol


The first Airline Pilot                                                          Durga Banerjee


The first Olympic Medal Winner                                           Karnam Malleswari (2000 Sydney Olympics)


The first Asian Games Gold Medal winner                               Kamaljit Sandhu


The first president of United Nations General Assembly Mrs Vijay Laxmi Pandit


The first Director General of Police                                        Kanchan C Bhattachrya


The first Chief Justice of High Court                                      Mrs Leela Seth


The first Judge in Supreme Court                                          Justice M Fathima Beevi (1989)


The first IPS officer                                                            Mrs Kiran Bedi


The first to receive Ashoka Chakra                                        Neerja Bhanot


The first Judge                                                                 Anna Chandy (1937)



Countries, Capitals and Currencies


Country                               Capital                                 Currency


Afghanistan                     Kabul                             Afghani


Algeria                           Algiers                           Algerian Dinar


Angola                           Luanda                           Kwanza


Argentina                        Buenos Aires                   Peso


Australia                         Canberra                        Australian Dollar


Austria                           Vienna                           Euro


Bangladesh                     Dhaka                            Taka


Belgium                          Brussels                         Euro


Bhutan                           Thimpu                          Ngultrum


Brazil                             Brasilia                           Cruzeiro Real


Cambodia                       Phnom-Penh                   Riel


Canada                          Ottawa                           Canadian Dollar


Chile                             Santiago                         Peso


China                            Beijing                           Yuan


Columbia                        Bogota                           Peso


Denmark             Copenhagen                   Krone


East Timor                      Dili                                US Dollar


Egypt                             Cairo                             Pound


Ethiopia                         Adis Ababa                      Birr


Finland                          Helsinki                          Euro


France                           Paris                              France


Georgia                          Tbilisi                            Lari


Germany                        Berlin                             Euro


Greece                           Athens                           Euro


Hungary                         Budapest                        Forint


Iceland                           Reykjavik                        Krona


India                              New Delhi                       Rupee


Indonesia                       Jakarta                           Rupiah


Iran                               Tehran                           Riyal


Iraq                               Baghdad                                    Dinar


Israel                             Jerusalem                       Shekel


Italy                               Rome                             Euro


Japan                            Tokyo                            Yen


Kenya                            Astana                           Tenge


Kenya                            Nairobi                           Shilling


North Korea                     Pyongyang                     Won


Kuwait                            Kuwait City                      Kuwait Dinar


South Korea                    Seoul                             Won


Kyrgyzstan                      Bishkek                          Som


Latvia                             Riga                              Lats


Liberia                            Manrovia                        Liberian Dollar


Malaysia                         Kuala Lumpur                   Ringgit


Maldives                         Male                              Rufiyaa


Mauritius             Port Louis                       Rupee


Montenegro                    Podgorica                       Euro


Morocco                         Rabat                             Dirham


Mozambique                    Maputo                           Metical


Myanmar                        Naypyidaw                      Kyat


Namibia                          Windhoek                       Namibian Dollar


Nepal                             Kathmandu                      Rupaia


Netherlands                    Amsterdam                      Euro


New Zealand                   Wellington                      New Zealand Dollar


Nigeria                           Abuja                             Naira


Norway                          Oslo                              Krone


Pakistan                         Islamabad                       Rupee


Philippines                     Manila                            Peso


Poland                           Budapest                        Zloty


Portugal                         Lisbon                           Euro


Qatar                             Doha                             Riyal


Russia                           Moscow                         Ruble


Saudi Arabia                    Riyadh                           Riyal


Somalia                          Mogadishu                      Somali Shilling


Singapore                       Singapore                       Dollar


South Africa                     Pretoria                          Rand


Spain                             Madrid                           Euro


Sri Lanka                        Colombo                                    Rupee


Sudan                            Khartoum                        Dinar


Sweden                          Stockholm                      Krona


Switzerland                     Bern                              Swiss Franc


Taiwan                           Taipei                            New Taiwan Dollar


Tajikistan                        Dushanbe                       Somoni


Thailand                         Bangkok                         Baht


Turkey                           Istanbul                          Lira


Uganda                          Kampala                         Uganda Shilling


Ukraine                          Kiew                              Hryvnia


UK                                London                          Pound Sterling


US                                Washington DC               Dollar


Uruguay                         Montevideo                     Peso


Venezuela                       Caracas                          Bolivar


Zimbabwe                       Harare                            Dollar





Parliaments of the World


Country                             Parliament Name             Country                         Parliament Name


Bangladesh                   Jatiya Sansad                     Germany                Bundestag


Bhutan                          Tasongadu                           Israel                       Knesset


China                            National People Congress   Pakistan                 National Assembly


India                             Sansad                                 Spain                  Cortes


Japan                           Diet


Nepal                            Rashtriya Panchayat                                               Storting


Russia                          Duma                                   Sweden                Riksdag


USA                             Congress                             Switzerland                       Federal Assembly




National Emblems of Major Countries


Country                    Emblem                       Country                 Emblem


Australia                      Kangaroo                   Bangladesh                   Water Lily


Belgium                       Lion                             Canada                          White Lily


India                            Lioned Capital


UK                                Rose                           USA                              Golden Rod


Pakistan                       Crescent                     Spain                            Eagle




Geographical Nicknames


Blue Mountains                            Nilgiri Hills     City Beautiful                          Chandigarh


City of Magnificent Buildings           Washington   City of Palaces                       Kolkata


City of Seven Hills             Rome           City of Golden Gate                  San Francisco


Cockpit of Europe                         Belgium         Dark Continent                        Africa


Eternal City                                 Rome             Forbidden City                        Lhasa (Tibet)


Garden City                                 Chicago         Gift of the Nile                        Egypt


Hermit Kingdom                           Korea             Holy Land                              Palestine


Island Continent                           Australia         Manchester of the East           Kanpur


Isle of Pearls                                Bahrain            Island of Cloves                    Zanzibar


Key to the Mediterranean                Gibraltar           Land of Maple                      Canada


Land of Thousand Lakes                Finland             Land of White Elephant         Thailand


Pearl of the Pacific                        Guayaquil Port Roof of the World                 The Pamirs (Central Asia)


Spice Garden of India                    Kerala Sugar   Bowl of the World                  Cuba


White Man’s Grave                        Guinea Coast   Windy City                          Chicago




Seven Wonders of the World


Ancient World                                  Modern World                                   The ‘New’ Wonder


The Colossus                              Channel Tunnel                           Chichen itza, Maxico


The Great Pyramid of Giza              CN Tower                                   Christ Redeemer, Brazil


The Hanging Gardens of Babylonia  Empire State Building                     The Great Wall, china


The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus      Golden Gate Bridge                      Machu Picchu, Peru


The Statue of Zeus at Olympia          Itapúa Dam                                  Petra, Jordan


The Light House of Alexandria         Delta works                                 Colosseum, Italy


The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus    Panama Canal                              The Taj Mahal, India








Geographical Discoveries


Discovery                            Discoverer                          Discovery                            Discoverer


America                          Columbus                        Sea route to India               Vasco-da-Gama


Solar System                   Copernicus                     Circumnavigation of world  Magellan


Planets                           Kepler                            Mount Everest                  Edmund Hillary


South Pole                      Amundsen                      First person to set

foot on the moon        Neil Armstrong


North Pole                      Robert Peary                    Tasmania Island               Tasman


China                            Marco Polo                     Cape of Good Hope          Baunho Romelodeoes



Important Symbols


Pen                                                      Culture and Civilization


Lotus                                                    Culture and Civilization


Red Cross                                            Medical Aid and Hospital


Red Flag                                               Revolution, Sign of danger


Black Flag                                            Protest


Yellow Flag                                           Flown on ships/ vehicles carrying patients suffering

from infectious diseases


Flag flown upside down                         Distress


White Flag                                            Peace


Pigeon or Dove                                     Peace


A blindfolded woman with a balanced scale Justice


Black strip on face arm                          Mourning / Protest


Skull on two bones crossing diagonally   Danger


Wheel (Chakra)                                      Progress


Flag flown at half mast                          National Mourning


Olive Branch                                         Peace




Intelligence Agencies


Detective Agency                                  Country         Detective Agency                    Country


Central External Liaison Deptt             China             Mossad                             Israel


Central intelligence Agency (CIA)         USA               Naicho                               Japan

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)


Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)               Pakistan         Mukhabarat                      Egypt


Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)     India               Al Mukhabarat                   Iraq


MI (Military Intelligence)-5 and 6             UK









United Nations Organization (UNO)


  • The United Nations (UN) is a global organization formed on 24th October, 1945. It came into existence after World War II, when the leaders of the world including American President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill, decided to create an organization for global peace.


  • The original membership of 51 nations has grown to 193 members, the 193rd member being the newly created South Sudan.


  • The United Nations Headquarters is in New York City. The UN also has offices in Geneva (Switzerland), and Vienna (Austria)


  • Six official language are spoken and used in documents at the UN i.e.


Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish


  • The General Assembly: The General Assembly is the main place for discussions and policy making in the United Nations.


  • The Security Council: The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Security Council is made up of 15 members. There are five permanent member of the Security Council i.e. China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and USA and 10 non-permanent members elected for 2 years terms starting on 1st


  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ), located in The Hague, Netherlands, is the primary judicial organ of the UN. Established in 1945 by the United Nations Charter, the Court began work in 1946, as the successor to the permanent court of International Justice.


  • Trygve Lie of Norway (1946-52) was the first Secretary-General of the UN. Ban Ki-Moon of South Korea is the present Secretary General of the UN.





























Some Important UN Agencies


Name                                               Estd in        Headquarters                       Purpose


International Labour                     1919          Geneva        To improve work conditions and living

Organization (ILO)                                                            standards of workers.


World Health Organization            1948          Geneva        Attainment of highest possible

(WHO)                                                                            level of health by all people


United Nations Educational          1946          Paris            To promote collaboration

among nations through

education organisation (UNESCO)

science and culture.



International Atomic Energy          1957        Vienna          To promote peaceful uses of

Agency (IAEA)                                                                 atomic energy.


United National International          1946        New York      To promote children’s welfare

Children’s Emergency Fund                                            world over



International Monetary Fund          1945        Washington   Promotes international

DC             monetary cooperation


United Nations Environmental       1972          Nairobi         Promotes international co-

Programme (UNEP)                                                          operation in human environment


Food and Agriculture                   1945          Rome          To improve living condition of

Organization (FAO)                                                           rural population.


World Trade Organization              1995          Geneva        Setting rules for world trade




United Nations Development         1965          New York     Helps developing countries

Programme (UNDP)                                                          increase wealth-producing                                                                                                        capabilities of their natural and                                                                                                   human resources.


International Development             1960          Washington An affiliate of the World Bank

Association (IDA)                                                             Bank, aims to help under-developed                                                                                         countries raise living standards.


International                                 1947          Geneva       Sets international regulations for

Telecommunication (ITU)                                                   radio telephone and space                                                                                                         radio communications.







Other International Organizations and Groups



Name                                   Estd.                     HQ.                        Members            Objective


The Commonwealth       1926                 London             54                     Originally known as the                                                                                                              British Commonwealth of                                                                                                           Nations. An       association of                                                                                                  sovereign and independent                                                                                                        states which formally made up                                                                                                          the British empire.


Asia Pacific Economic  1989                 Singapore         21                     To promote trade and investment Cooperation (APEC)                                                             in the Pacific basin.


Asian Development       1966                 Manila               67                     To promote regional economic

Bank (ADB)                                                                                           cooperation


Association of South     1967                 Djakarta            10                     Regional, economic, social East Asian Nations                                                                           cultural cooperation among the (ASEAN)                                                                                                non-communist             countries of                                                                                                      South-East Asia.


Commonwealth of         1991                 Minsk               11                     To coordinate mutual Independent States                                   (Belarus)                                   relations and to

(CIS)                                                                                                             provide a mechanism for the

orderly dissolution of the

erstwhile USSR


Group of 8 (G-8)            1985                 —                     9                      To promote co-operation

among     major non-communist

economic powers.


Group of 15(G-15)         1989                 Geneva             18                     To promote economic

(Switzerland)                             co-operation among

developing nations


International Olympic     1894                 Lausanne          205                   To promote the Olympic ideas Committee (IOC)                          (Switzerland)                              and games.


Non-Aligned                  1961                 ——                  118                   Political co-operation and Movement (NAM)                                                                               separate itself from both USA

and USSR (in cold war era.)


European Union            1965                 Brussels           27                     To create a united Europe in (w.e.f.July1,1967)                           (Belgium)                                  which members would                                                                                                              have such strong economic                                                                                                       and political bonds that war

would cease to happen.

North Atlantic Treaty      1949                 Brussels           28                     Mutual defence and

Organization (NATO)                              (Belgium)                                     cooperation





Organization of             1959                 Vienna              12                     Attempts to set global prices by

Petroleum Exporting

Countries                                              (Austria)                                    controlling oil production and (OPEC)                                                                                                    also pursue members’

interests in trade and



Amnesty International    1961                 London (UK)                             To keep a watch over human

(AI)                                                                                                       rights violations worldwide.


World Wildlife Fund       1961                 Gland               All                    To preserve wildlife

For Nature (WWF)                                  (Switzerland)     Countries





Books and Authors


Book                                                                   Author


50 Years of India’s Independence                       DS Subramanian


As You Like It                                                   William Shakespeare


A Brief History of Time                                      Stephen Hawkings


A Divine Comedy                                              Dante


A Passage to India                                            EM Forster


A Prisoner’s Scrap                                            LK Advani


A Secular Agenda                                             Arun Shourie


A Suitable Boy                                                 Vikram Seth


Against The Day                                                Thomas Pynchon


Ajata Shatru                                                      Jai Shankar Prasad


All the Prime Minister’s Men                               Janardhan Thakur


An American Tragedy                                        Thedore Dreiser


An Area of Darkness                                         VS Naipaul


An Autobiography                                             Jawaharlal Nehru


An Equal Music                                                 Vikram Seth


Anand Math                                                      Bankim Chandra Chatterji


Anna Karenina                                                   Leo Tolstoy


Antony and Cleopatra                                        William Shakespeare


Arabian Nights                                                  Sir Richard Burton


As I See                                                            Kiran Bedi


Between Hope and History                                 Bill Clinton


Bhagwad Gita                                                   Ved Vyas


Budha Charitam                                     Aswaghosha


Business@ the Speed of Thought                      Bill Gates


Circle of Reason                                               Amitav Ghosh


City of joy                                                         Dominique Lapierre


Clear Light of the Day                                        Anita Desai


Comedy of Errors                                             William Shakespeare


Communist Manifesto                                        Karl Marx and Fredrik Engels


Comus                                                              John Milton


Crime and Punishment                                       Dostoevsky


Das Kapital                                                     Karl Marx


David Copperfield                                             Charles Dickens


Death of City                                                    Amrita Pritam


Descent of Man                                                            Charles Darwin


Devdas                                                             Sarat Chandra Chatterji


Development As Freedom                                 Amartya Sen


Discovery of India                                             Jawaharlal Nehru


Dreams of My Father                                         Barak Obama


Durgeshnandini                                                 Bankim Chandra Chatterji


Earth                                                                Emile Zola


Essays on Gita                                                 Sri Aurobindo Ghosh


Ethics for New Millennium                                  Dalai Lama


Fire on the Mountain                                          Anita Desai


Freedom from Fear                                           Aung San Suu Kyi


Free Rajpath to Lokpath                                                Vijaya Raje Scindia


Gita Govinda                                                     Jayadev


Gita Rahasya                                                    Bal Gangadhar Tilak


Gitanjali                                                            Rabindranath Tagore


Glass Palace                                                     Amitav Ghosh


Glimpses of World History                                 Jawaharlal Nehru


Golden Threshold                                              Sarojini Naidu


Gora                                                                 Rabindranath Tagore


Godan                                                              Premchand


Greater Common Good                                     Arundhati Roy


Gulliver’s Travels                                              Jonathan Swift


Half a Life                                                         V S Naipaul


I Dare                                                               Kiran Bedi


Impossible Allies                                               C Raja Mohan


India for Sale                                                    Chitra Subramaniam


India A Wounded Civilization                              V S Naipaul


Indian Economy: Essays on Money And Finance            Dr C Rangarajan


Inspite of the Gods                                           Edward Luce


Jail Diary                                                          Chandrasekhar


Kargi l: From Surprise to Victory                                    Gen V P Malik


Koraner Nari                                                     Taslima Nasreen


Law, Lawyers and Judges                                  H R Bhardwaj


Letters Between a Father and Son                      V S Naipaul


Living History                                                    Hillary Clinton


Love and Longing in Bombay                            Vikram Chandra


Magic Seeds                                                     V S Naipaul


My Truth                                                           Indira Gandhi


Ode to A Nightingale                                         John Keats


One Night at the Call Centre                               Chetan Bhagat


Pakistan: The Gathering Storm                           Benazir Bhutto


Politics                                                             Aristotle


Power Politics                                                   Arundhati Roy


Prison Days                                                      Vijayalakshmi Pandit


Prison Diary                                                      Jayaprakash Narayan


Robinson Crusoe                                              Daniel Deole


Revolution 2020                                                Chetan Bhagat


River of Smoke                                                 Amitav Ghose


Shape of Beast                                                 Arundhati Roy


Sea of Poppies                                                 Amitav Ghose


Snakes and Ladders                                          Gita Mehta


Sons and Lovers                                               D H Lawrence


The Algebra of Infinite Justice                            Arundhati Roy


The Inheritance of Loss                                      Kiran Desai


The Argumentative Indian                                   Amartya Sen


The Broken Wings                                             Sarojini Naidu


The Company of Women                                   Khushwant Singh


The Final Passage                                             Caryl Phillips


The Good Earth                                                 Pearl S Buck


The God of small Things                                    Arundhati Roy


The Guide                                                         R K Narayan


The Heart of India                                              Mark Tully


The Idiot                                                           Fyodor Dostoyevsky


The Line of Beauty                                            Alan Hillinghurst


The President                                                    Miguel Angel Asturias


My Experiments With Truth                                Mahatma Gandhi


The Three Musketeers                                        Alexander Dumas


The Tin Drum                                                     Gunter Gross


The Wealth of Nations                                       Adam Smith


The World id flat                                                Thomas Friedman


Time Machine                                                    Herbert George Wells


Train to Pakistan                                               Khushwant Singh


Untouchable                                                      Mulk Raj Anand




Important Days of the Year


Month                             Day




9                                  NRI Day


12                                 National Youth Day (Birthday of Swami Vivekanand)


25                                 National Tourism Day


26                                 Indian Republic Day


30                                 Martyr’s Day (Mahatma Gandhi’s Martyrdom)




28                                 National Science Day (Anniversary of Discovery of Raman Effect)




8                                  International Women’s Day


15                                 World Consumer Rights Day


22                                 World Water Day




7                                  World Health Day


22                                 World Earth Day


23                                   World Book Day




1                                  International Labour Day (May Day)


31                                   No Tobacco Day


8                                              World Red Cross Day




5                                     World Environment Day




4                                  American Independence Day


11                                 World Population Day




6                                  Hiroshima Day


9                                  August Kranti Divas


12                                 International Youth Day


15                                 India’s Independence Day




5                                  Teachers’ Day (Dr Radhakrishan’s Birthday)


8                                  International Literacy Day (UNESCO)


14                                 Hindi Day


27                                 World Tourism Day




2                                  International Non-Violence Day,

Lal Bahadur Shastri and Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday


24                                 United Nations Day




14                                 Children’s Day




1                                  World AIDS Day


10                                 Human Rights Day





India being a highly spiritual and multi-cultural society, festivals are at the heart of Indian life. The numerous festivals held throughout the year offer a unique way of seeing Indian culture at its best. The following provides you with a glimpse of some important festivals:


The “Festival of Lights” is known for fireworks, small clay lamps, and candles that are lit during the celebrations. These lights are said to represent the victory of good over evil, and brightness over darkness. The candlelight makes Diwali a very warm and bright festival, and it is observed with much joy and happiness.


The spectacular 11-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival honors the birth of the beloved Hindu elephant-headed god Lord Ganesha. The festival sees huge, elaborately crafted statutes of Ganesha installed in homes and podiums, especially constructed and beautifully decorated. At the end, the statutes are paraded through the streets, accompanied by much singing and dancing, and then submerged in the ocean. 


The “Festival of Colors”. Holi is a very carefree festival that’s great fun to participate in if you don’t mind getting wet and dirty. The Lathh Maar Holi of Mathura is famous the world over.


The first nine days of this festival are known as Navaratri, and are filled with dance in honor of the Mother Goddess. The tenth day, called Dussehra, is devoted to celebrating the defeat of the demon king Ravana by Lord Rama. It also coincides with the victory of the revered warrior Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.


Krishna Janmashtami commemorates the birthday of Lord Krishna. An extremely fun part of the festival involves people climbing on each other and forming a human pyramid to reach and break open clay pots filled with curd, which have been strung up high from buildings (dahi haandi).


The Kerala temples are renowned for their exotic temple festivals. The large processions of elephants, are the main attractions of these festivals. The processions are accompanied by colorful floats, drummers and other musicians.




Onam is a traditional ten-day harvest festival that marks the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali. It is a festival rich in culture and heritage. People decorate the ground in front of their houses with flowers arranged in beautiful patterns to welcome the King.



Thousands of camels converge on the desert town of Pushkar, Rajasthan for the Pushkar Camel Fair. The camels are dressed up, paraded, entered into beauty contests, raced, and of course traded. It’s a great opportunity to witness an old, traditional style Indian festival.



The harvest festival in Tamil Nadu, to commemorate the start of the harvesting season.



The harvest festival in Assam, to commemorate the start of the harvesting season.



The harvest festival in Panjab, to commemorate the start of the harvesting season.



A fair devoted to communal harmony, held annually in Meerut.



A festival of gardens in Delhi, started to promote communal harmony.







Father of the Nation       Mahatma Gandhi          Bapu                            Mahatma Gandhi


Grand Old Man of India             Dadabhai Naoroji         Iron Man of India           Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel


Man of Peace               Lal Bahadur Shastri      Punjab Kesari                Lala Lajpat Rai


Andhra Kesari               T. Prakasam                 Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah


Bangabandhu                Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Gurudev                       Rabindranath Tagore


Guruji                            M.S. Golvalkar                         Desh Ratna                   Dr. Rajendra Prasad


Ajatshatru                     Dr. Rajendra Prasad      Young Turk                   Chandra Shekhar


Tau                               Chaudhury Devi Lal      Sahid-e-Azam                Bhagat Singh


Nightingale of India       Sarojini Naidu                Udanpari                       P.T. Usha


Vishwa Kavi                  Rabindranath Tagore    Sardar                          Vallabhbhai Patel


Babuji                           Jagjeevan Ram            Napoleon of India          Samudra Gupta


Shakespeare of India     Mahakavi Kalidas         Machiavelli of India        Chanakya


Father of India Renaissance Ram Mohan Roy    First Scientific Man of India Raja Ram Mohan Roy


King Makers in History   Saiyad Bandhu             Haryana Hurricane         Kapil Dev


Little Master                  Sunil Gavaskar             Magician of Hockey      Dhyanchand


Kuvempu                      K.V. Puttappa               Little Corporal               Napoleon Bonaparte


Man of Destiny            Napoleon Bonaparte     Fuehrer                         Adolf Hitler


Swar Kokila                   Lata Mangeshkar         Flying Sikh                    Milkha Singh


Chacha                         Jawahar Lal Nehru         Netaji                            Subhash Chander Bose


Father of English Poetry Geoffery Chaucer        Maid of Orleans            Joan of Arc


Milkman of India            Dr. Verghese Kurien      Turbonator                    Harbhajan Singh


The Little Master            Sunil Gavaskar              Master Blaster               Sachin Tendulkar


The Wall                        Rahul Dravid                 Anna                             C.N. Annadurai


Grand Old Man of India Dada Bhai Noroji           Poet of the East                        Dr. Mohammed Iqbal


Qayad-i-Azam               Mohammed Ali Jinnah   Adi Kavi                        Valmeeki


Bard of Avon                William Shakespeare     Bard of Twickenham      Alexander Pope


Deenabandhu               C.F. Andrews                Deshbandhu                 C.R. Dass


Desert Fox                    Gen. Rommel                J.P, Loknayak               Jayaprakash Narayan

Kaviguru                       Rabindranath Tagore     Lady with the Lamp       Florence Nightingale


Lokamanya                   Bal Gangadhar Tilak      Mahamana                   Madan Mohan Malaviya

Mahatma                       M K Gandhi                   Maid of Orleans            Joan of Arc

Man of Blood and Iron   Bismarck                      Panditji                         Jawaharlal Nehru

Rajaji or ‘CR’                 C. Rajagopalachari        Saint of the Gutters       Mother Teresa

Qaid-e-Azam                 Mohammed Ali Jinnah   Father Teresa                Abdus Sattar Eidhi


Tooti-e-Hind                  Amir Khusro


Father of Indian Missile Programme                                                       Dr. A P J Abul Kalam


Father of Green Revolution in India                                                         Dr. M S Swaminatahn


Badshah Khan/Frontier Gandhi                                                               Abdul Ghaffar Khan


Grandfather of Indian Cinema                                                                 Dhundiraj Govind Phalke


Lal, Bal, Pal                                                                                          Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar

Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal

















A motion moved by a member in a legislative house (assembly/ parliament) to draw the attention of the government to a matter of urgent public importance or interest.


A general pardon, especially for political offences against the State. In India, such an amnesty is typically given on the eve of the Independence Day to political prisoners, who have displayed good conduct during their stay in the jail.


An African term which means complete segregation of the non-whites from the whites (racial discrimination). Practiced in South Africa in the past until it was dismantled by the FW de Clark government in the 1990s in response to Nelson Mandela’s historic struggle.


A policy of economic self-sufficiency of a nation. Secured at the cost of other nations; especially practiced by many nations during 1920.


A sudden extinction of all lights; a safeguard against air raids. Can also refer to a power outage during times of peace.


The form of legislature which has two Chambers or Houses as opposed to a unicameral system having only one House of legislature. For example, Indian Parliament, State Legislature in some states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.


A smaller state lying between potentially hostile larger States, reducing the risk of war between them. Poland was a buffer State between Germany and Russia; Belgium is a buffer State between France and Germany.
A form of government in which the Executive, a Council of Ministers, is responsible to the legislature. It is also called the parliamentary system.


A state of apparent peace between two powerful countries or blocs, but they exhibit mutual hostility through press, radio, etc. It is often used to describe the relationship that had existed between the Soviet Union and the Western Powers since 1947. The cold war has now almost abated with the frequent summits between President Bush and Mr. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader


An official in a diplomatic mission or an embassy who is an acting ambassador in his absence.


Commercial representatives abroad are styled as Consuls.


A joint rule of a territory by two or more nations, as Sudan was under the joint rule of England and Egypt till 1955.
The deciding vote of the presiding officer of the house / chamber in case of a tie on an issue.
A logical method of historical analysis associated with the name of Karl Marx and his collaborator, Engles. Marx had borrowed this method from Hegel, according to whom history was the product of the clash of opposing ideas. He viewed history as a conflict between two opposing forces, thesis and anti-thesis, which is resolved by the emergence of a new force, synthesis. Present conditions are due to a class struggle between the capitalists, who are motivated by private profit, and the workers, who resist exploitation. This conflict will inevitably lead to a revolution by which the workers will overthrow capitalism and capture power themselves. Marxian ideology has not stood the ravages of time. It is being discarded by most of the countries which had embraced it earlier.
Inciting people by lies, false promises, half-truths, appeal to passions as opposed to reason and logic.
Handing over an accused fugitive for justice by one country to the other.
It refers to the Press.
A term used to describe traitors, people who help the enemy in times of war.
An anti-Communist, dictatorial political system evolved by Mussolini and his followers in Italy after 1922. The Italian fascism was a model for similar movements in other countries including Germany where it evolved into Nazism.
A term which implies more openness in the society and freeing the media from overwhelming state control.
A direct telephone between two nations, especially which are hostile to each other, to prevent accidental war. Any line of speedy communication ready for an emergency.
A term first used by Winston Churchill for such countries which do not give other countries any information concerning their internal affairs. The term was applied to the erstwhile Soviet Russia and her satellites.
The policy of screening the U.S. officials to discover their communist tendencies, adopted by John McCarthy, a U.S. Senator. It evoked strong protests from all quarters thus resulting in the censuring of his policy.
The thought developed by Kari Marx, along with Engels. According to him, the State throughout history has been a tool for the exploitation of the masses by a dominant class; class struggle has been the main tool of historical change; the capitalist State contains the seeds of its own destruction; a revolution is inevitable; and after a transitional period known as the dictatorship of the proletariat, a stateless and classless society will come into being.
A process by which an alien is allowed to enjoy the privileges of a natural born citizen.
A government in which the supreme power is in a few privileged hands.


Five principles enunciated by the Prime Ministers of India and of People’s Republic of China in 1954 as the basis for international co-operation. They are:
1. Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
2. Non-aggression
3. Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
4. Equality and mutual benefits
5. Peaceful co-existence


As contrasted by the presidential system, parliamentary government is one in which the real executive (a cabinet headed by the Prime Minister) is responsible to the legislature. It is also called the cabinet form of government.


A term used to imply restructuring of the economic system to increase production and make available more consumer products to the people.


A referendum regarding self-determination of future political status. Many organizations have been demanding a plebiscite in Kashmir to decide its future political status, whether the Kashmiris want to live with India or Pakistan or independently.


A system of government in which the President is the real executive head and is independent of legislative control as in the U.S.A. The President is the Head of State as well as of the Government.


The bare minimum number of officers or members of a society or legislature who must be present to make the proceedings valid.


A process by which all important laws and amendments, after having been passed by the legislature, are put to the vote of the electorate. The people may ratify or reject them. This procedure is mostly followed in Switzerland.


A State, especially a democratic one, which has a non-hereditary head (the President) as distinguished from a State like Britain which has a hereditary head (King or Queen) with limited powers, of course.


The form of Government in which the executive is responsible to the elected legislature. It is also called parliamentary or cabinet form of government.


Means that all persons are equal in the eye of law without any distinction of status, colour, caste and sex, and that the government cannot exercise any arbitrary powers.


A vote or division taken unexpectedly and in which the respective strength of different parties may not be correctly indicated.


A political and economic theory according to which land, transport, chief industries, natural resources (e.g. coal, water-power), etc. should be owned and managed by the State, or by public bodies in the interests of the community as a whole.


The practice of giving offices as reward by a successful party leader to his partisans for their services. It prevails mostly in the U.S.A.


A system in which the State (or those in power) dominates every sphere of an individual’s life.


Refer to the belt of sea under a State’s territorial jurisdiction. For example, India’s territorial jurisdiction runs up to 12 nautical miles.


The constitutional or legal right of a person to reject or prohibit something.


Organizing secretary of a parliamentary party, with authority over its members to maintain discipline and ensure attendance at parliamentary debates and voting. Whip also means an order given by such a secretary to members of the party to attend a debate and vote.


Literally pertaining to the Jews. This movement was started towards the end of the 19th century to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine. The terms now implies the expanding frontiers of Israel.






The exclusive right enjoyed by an artist to the use of his artistic work. It could be regarding a book, music or any other work of art.


Evidence based on the circumstances prevailing in a particular case, and strong enough to establish the charges.


A legal proverb meaning ‘Let the buyer beware’ i.e. that the buyer purchases an item at his own risk.


Disobedience of a court order. Such an act is punishable by the Court concerned.


The decision given by a court or arbitrator.


A contract by which a lessor, usually for rent, allows the use of land or building to a lessee for a specified time.


Any publication or statement designed to harm someone’s public reputation or character.


An agreement transferring property to the creditor as a security for repayment of a debt.


Is the person who brings a suit in a court of law.


A person who acts for another one or the written authority for such action. For instance, a company allows a person to attend its Annual General Meeting as a proxy for someone else who cannot do so for some reason.







The sedimentary matter (pebbles, soil etc.) deposited by rivers. It makes the soil fertile. Alluvial cones are formed in the course of river flow.


A high-pressure wind which blows outwards from the centre. The direction is clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere. Associated with dry, sunny weather.


A lustrous, compact variety of coal containing around 90 % carbon. Known as the purest coal, it burns slowly without smoke.
A region on the opposite side of the earth.


The configuration when the moon or any other planet in its orbit, is at its greatest distance from the earth.


The position of the earth in its orbit when it is at its maximum distance from the sun.


A group of islands, such as the Indonesian archipelago.


Derived from Artois in France where the first such wells were constructed. Underground water is reached by sinking a shaft from the surface, and the water rises to the surface by hydrostatic pressure. Common in Australia, Punjab (Hoshiarpur) and Himachal Pradesh (Kangra District).


The gaseous envelope around the earth, which extends from 200-300 miles above the earth. Consists of several gases, nitrogen being the most prominent.


A coral reef shaped like a horse-shoe or ring with a lagoon in the centre e.g. Lakshadweep Islands.


An imaginary line joining the North and South Poles, passing through the centre of the earth. The earth rotates on this axis.


Relating to the wind. Aeolian deposits are transported and deposited on the earth’s surface by wind action.


Refers to the innermost shell of the earth.


A water reservoir for anchoring ships to high tide. Also an area of land drained by a river.


The forms of life on the earth, including plants, vegetables, animals, birds and men.


The black soil of Deccan, also known as Regur. Very fertile and ideal for growing cotton.


A tidal wave that breaks in the estuaries of some rivers, and being impelled by the narrowing channel, rises as tide, and moves along with great force.


A deep valley cut by a river running through a mountain. The most famous is the Colorado Canyon,   U.S.A., which is 217 miles long and 8 to 10 miles wide.


The warm, dry wind blowing along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains in Canada and the U.S.A.


Green colouring matter present in plant leaves. Plants make their own food with the help of chlorophyll.


An excessively heavy, sudden and destructive rainfall, usually associated with a thunderstorm. Pahalgam and Trivandrum have often been struck by cloudbursts.


The meeting place of two or more rivers as in Allahabad where the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati meet.


A cold current that flows between Greenland and America.


Evergreen cone-bearing trees, whose leaves are shaped like a needle.


The climate experienced in the interior of the great continents.


A part of land submerged under the sea, whose depth is not more than 600 ft. This area is the richest fishing ground.


The lines joining places of the same altitude above sea-level.


A rock formed by the skeletons of certain marine polyps. The most famous coral islands are the Great Barrier Reef, located near Australia.


Alternating crops (e.g. legumes followed by wheat) produced regularly one after the other so that the land retains its fertility.


Winds blowing a spiral form from the regions of outward high pressure to inward low pressure. These winds bring about rain and great changes in weather.


Situated 180 meridian from Greenwich. A ship while crossing the line eastwards goes forward by a day, while westwards it goes back by a day.


Broad-leaved trees in temperate regions. The leaves fall off in the autumn season regularly.


An alluvial, fertile deposit shaped like the Greek letter formed at the mouth of a river. The Nile Delta and the Sunderbans Delta are well known.


Wear and tear of rocks due to natural agents.


The name of the star Sirius, the nearest to the earth and the brightest of all.


A technique of farming without irrigation in an area with limited rainfall, the land being treated so as to conserve the moisture.


The region lying within 5oN and 5oS of the Equator where the air rises above the ground and the pressure is low. The doldrums belt is marked by thundery conditions. Convectional rainfall is a rule every afternoon. This is a region of high rainfall, high humidity and uncomfortable temperature.


A semi-transparent mineral of double carbonates of calcium and magnesium.


A mound of loose sand in a desert. Created by strong winds e.g. Thar, Sahara.


Caused due to revolution of the earth and the moon. The underlying principle is that light travels in a straight line. When the earth comes in between the sun and the moon, a lunar eclipse is created whereas we have a solar eclipse when the moon comes between the earth and the sun.


A phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean near the Chilean coast. Believed to create major climatic changes   worldwide. It is now believed that it has a major impact on the onset of monsoons in India. The opposite of La Nino.


The imaginary line around the earth which divides it equally, the northern and the southern hemispheres.


March 21 (Vernal Equinox) and September 23 (Autumn Equinox), when days and nights are of equal duration throughout the globe.


Gradual destruction or wearing away of the land by rain, river water, glacier and wind.


A broad channel such as the Thames Estuary, where the river waters and sea waters merge. Normally, an estuary is created when the flow of the river is fast due to its slope. In case of slow speed of the river, a delta is created.





A condition which makes a person susceptible to the effects of any drug / article. Hay fever, asthma and eczema are allergic in nature.


Deficit of Red Blood Corpuscles or of haemoglobin. The person turns pale and weak.


A drug which causes temporary numbness to touch and pain, with or without losing consciousness e.g. chloroform.
A drug which serves to relieve pain e.g. Aspirin.


A drug to counteract excess acidity in the stomach. It neutralizes the excess acid released during digestion by the stomach.


A series of drugs like penicillin and streptomycin, prepared from moulds or similar organisms. They destroy bacteria and prevent their growth. First used during the second world war, they have revolutionized the world of medicine.


A particular substance produced by the body in the blood as a reaction to an antigen.


A remedy to counteract a poison.


A drug which can kill germs e.g. dettol, carbolic acid.


An examination of the dead body to find the exact reason behind death.


A rod-shaped micro-organism e.g. Tubercle bacillus, which causes tuberculosis.


Taking tissues from a part of the living body for examination while investigating a disease.


Microscopic germs which are not visible to the naked eye. They are responsible for causing several diseases.


A deficiency disease due to lack of Vitamin B and marked by muscular atrophy. Its symptoms are numbness of arms, legs and swelling of the feet and arms.


The pressure exerted by the blood against the blood vessels (systolic and diastolic). Several variables like chronic anxiety and substance abuse can cause high blood pressure. Usually, low blood pressure results in fainting attacks.


Caused due to inflammation of the tubes leading from the windpipe to the lungs.


A delivery by surgically cutting open the abdomen and the womb, where the delivery is impossible in a natural way. Named after Julius Caesar, the Roman emperor, who was born in this way.


A malignant growth of tissue, not coordinated with normal body growth. It can affect any part of the body. Substance abuse like excessive smoking, drinking and exposure to certain chemicals and radiation may cause cancer. It is neither contagious nor communicable.


An instrument to record the movements of the heart.


The lens of the eye gets clouded, preventing clear vision. Mostly corrected surgically.


A highly infectious disease caused by a virus commonly found among children. One attack usually gives life-long immunity from the disease.


Acute bacterial infection marked by vomiting and frequent loose motions, drying of tissues and painful cramps. Consumption of infected food and water are responsible for it.


Loose stools; several causes are responsible.


Acute infectious disease caused by the growth of a throat membrane. It may be fatal, since it can stop breathing.


Infectious disease marked by passing of stools laced with blood and mucus.


A disease caused by inflammation of the skin.


A disease prevailing in a particular area due to surrounding conditions e.g. malaria and leprosy.


Organic substances which accelerate the chemical reactions in living organisms. For example, sugars undergo fermentation into alcohol in the presence of enzymes. Ptyalin present in human in saliva is another example.


A disease which often affects the residents in a locality and spreads quickly to other places too.


A disease caused by the excessive firing of neurons in the brain. The patient may experience fits and may become fall unconscious, often with spasm and forth in the mouth.


A highly contagious, viral disease preceded by headache, body pain, cough, and general fatigue. It results in watery nose, bad throat and hoarse voice.


A venereal disease among woman.


A disease marked by inflammation, especially of the great toe.
Allergic disease caused by abnormal sensitivity to certain grass pollens found in early summers.


A medical system discovered by Hahnemann, a German physician. It is based on two assumptions.
1. A disease may be cured by producing the symptoms of the same disease by giving drugs.
2. Drugs have more potent effects, when given in small doses.


HYPERMETROPIA (Long sightedness)
One can see the far-off objects clearly but not the nearer ones. Remedied by convex lenses.


The ability of a living organism to resist and overcome diseases.


The internal secretion of the pancreas which converts extra body sugar into reserve food. Insulin injections are used in the treatment of diabetes.


The skin and other body issues turn yellow due to excess of bile pigment in the blood and the lymph.


Mostly occurs in tropical countries and marked by the swelling of spleen and liver.


An endemic disorder caused by germs similar to that of tuberculosis. Leprosy affects the skin and the nerves. Organ deformities may arise in the body.


The presence of excessive white cells in the blood. The red corpuscles break down causing anemia, there is swelling of the spleen also.


An acute infectious human disease. Common among children; Causes high fever and red rashes all over the body.


A bacterial infection of the membranes of the brain. Also known as Japani Fever.


Infection usually occurring in childhood. Marked by the swelling of the glands in front of the ears. One attack can give life-long immunity.


MYOPIA (Short-sightedness)
When a person can see nearer objects distinctly but not the distant ones. It can be corrected by using concave lenses.


Heating a liquid to 72 degree Celsius followed by sudden cooling to kill all germs. Milk is treated in this manner by Pasteur’s method of sterilization.


The immediate cause of the disease is pressure on the veins in the rectum or around the anus. It is mainly due to constipation and pregnancy. Often the patient suffers from pain after the bowels have been emptied.
An inflammatory condition of the lung tissue, accompanied by chest pain.


A gum infection. Teeth become loose due to excessive bleeding and pus discharge.


Its symptoms are fever and joint pain, followed by disease of the heart valves.


Caused due to the deficiency of vitamin D. Common among children. The bones get softened, bent and become deformed.


Infectious, fungal disease. The hair wither and bluish patches are formed, accompanied by severe itching.


It is a bleeding disorder caused by the lack of vitamin C. Best cured by lime juice which contains vitamin C.


An acute infectious disease marked by fever, headache, joint pain and rashes. The best safeguard is the vaccine invented by Edward Jenner.


Overstretching of the ligaments due to a joint injury.


A group of new drugs for treating bacterial disease.


A group of new drugs used in the treatment of bacterial diseases. Employed to cure venereal diseases, dysentery and also as an antiseptic.
A contagious venereal disease due to a bacterial infection caused by sexual intercourse with an affected person.
A disease caused by Tetanus bacillus found in rich soil or horse dung. The disease affects the nervous system and can prove fatal. However, anti-tetanus vaccination can give immunity.
An infectious disease of the eye.
Marked by prolonged fever, enlargement of the spleen, profusely coloured rashes and perforation of the intestines.
A virus is a parasite which cannot be destroyed without damaging the cells on which it lives. No specific treatment has so far been developed for viral diseases. A common example is the common cold.
An infectious cough, generally found among children. In the first stage, one gets cold, followed by typical cough and finally, the patient starts recovering.
A dangerous disease marked by jaundice, weakness, black vomit and fever. Caused by a certain mosquito found in the tropical regions.




The starting point of the Absolute Temperature scale (Kelvin Scale), where all molecular motion stops.


The creation of centrifugal force by causing a craft-like object to slowly rotate. This is an attempt to simulate the natural environment.


One who travels on flights into the outer space. The word Cosmonaut is its equivalent in Russian language.


The splitting of a heavy nucleus into two smaller units, thus yielding a great amount of heat and light energy. For example, in an atomic reactor, a Uranium nucleus is bombarded with neutrons, which cause its nucleus to split into lighter nuclei. In this process, a certain amount of mass disappears, converting itself into energy according to Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence formula.


The fusing together of two lighter nuclei to create a bigger nucleus, thus creating a great amount of energy in the process. For example, on the surface of the Sun, two Hydrogen nuclei fuse together to create a Helium nucleus. In this process, a certain amount of mass disappears, converting itself into energy according to Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence formula.


A satellite equipped to act as a relay station for a Transmitter and Receiver Station pair thousands situated miles apart. Such satellites are put in an orbit positioned at 36000 kilometre away from the earth and they move with the earth’s rotational speed to enable the transmission of signals.


The joining together of two units, launched separately, in the outer space. It requires a very careful selection of the orbit and speed of the chasing vehicle to catch up with the vehicle being chased.


A speed of about 25,000 miles an hour or 11.2 kilometre per second. A rocket launched with this minimum speed breaks away from the gravitational pull and travels in a path that takes it right away from the earth.


A device to measure the level of radiation. Commonly used in nuclear reactors and scientific experiments involving nuclear reactions.


The heat generated by friction between the surface of the earth and the air molecules when a spacecraft re-enters the earth’s atmosphere after completing its journey.


A kind of motion which works on Newton’s Third Law. A jet of particles is released out of a nozzle, with the resultant reaction of the craft moving in the opposite direction.


Any object launched with the goal of striking a defined target.


A special suit worn by astronauts to protect themselves against a sudden loss of cabin pressure which may stop oxygen supply and create bubbles in his circulatory system and prove fatal.


Max Planck’s theory that all electromagnetic radiation is emitted in tiny packets of energy called quanta.


A device that can produce thrust by burning fuel to move itself as a result of the reaction.


A special suit to provide the necessary emergency environment for an astronaut in case of cabin pressure failure. If he wishes to move outside and around the ship as it travels through space, he wears the suit temporarily while in space.


The absence of weight due to other forces being applied to neutralize the force of weight. It is generally felt far away from a strong gravitational field in a region of weak fields. A routine phenomenon during space travel.





Scientists and geographers have believed for long that millions of years ago, the continents — Antarctica, India and Africa formed one single land mass called Pangaea. The theory, given by Wagner, has now been firmly proved with the discovery of fossils of hippopotamus in all these places.


Lysergic Acid Diethylamide is a drug producing many symptoms of schizophrenia. It causes strange, false sensations. A popular, highly addictive street drug.


PULSARS (Pulsating Stars)
The remnants of stellar explosions. They emit radio energy pulsating at regular intervals. Around 40 of them have been located so far out of an estimated 16,000 lying in the plane of our galaxy.


The site where the human foot was set for the first time by Neil Armstrong. Apollo-XI launched by the USA had landed there in July, 1969.


The term implies the steep growth in the output of farm produce, witnessed from the mid-sixties. The Green Revolution was initiated in India under the guidance of Dr. Norman Borlaug of the USA, who later got the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in reducing hunger globally.


The Green Revolution was made possible by
A. More and better use of fertilizers                                B. Intensive cultivation

C. Hybrid seed varieties                                                       D. Pesticides and insecticides and

E. Assured means of irrigation

It has boosted farm output significantly, leading to self-sufficiency food grain output. The Green Revolution in India has had two major drawbacks:


1. Confined to food grain only. There has been no such revolution in pulses or edible oils, which are being imported even now.

2. It has been confined to north India only.


The Gadgil Group, 1969 had recommended that the nationalized banks be asked to take charge of the complete development activity of backward areas. Each bank was to be attached with a certain backward region of a district and it was to be the bank’s responsibility to look after their development. The bank was to undertake a techno-economic survey to take over all the financial and developmental needs.


Radical elements in a political party who support sweeping reforms to bring about faster development. The term was applied first to the group led by Kamaal Ataturk of Turkey.


A duly constituted legal authority to redress public grievances in a defined arena e.g. banking, insurance, press.


The name given to rain or sleet contaminated with acid. Its acidity is greater than the normal limit of carbon dioxide dissolved in the rain to give carbonic acid. The acidity is caused by larger concentrations of several contaminants, especially strong acids, nitric and sulphuric which arise from effluents containing oxides of nitrogen and sulphur.


Using bacteria, viruses, fungi or other biological agents as a means of warfare. They spread distress, incapacity, disease and death in the affected region among its people or livestock. However, the Biological Weapons Convention ratified by Britain, the USA and the erstwhile USSR, has banned germs warfare. Iraq, it was feared, could have uses these weapons during the 1991 Gulf War.


The name given to the techniques which introduce human choice and design into the construction and combinations of genes. It involves biochemical alteration of the DNA present in cells. Many scientists regard this to be fraught with enormous consequences like nuclear power.