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Mountains/Plains/Plateaus

Mountains Plains Plateaus
Geomorphic process, be it endogenic or exogenic create a variety of landforms, on the solid surface of the earth which includes Mountains, Plateaus and Plains.
The existing six Major plates, nine Minor plates and other plates on the earth are in constant movement causing three types of motion (i) Separation or Divergent, (ii) Closing together or Convergent and (iii) Frictional and Shearing resulting into the formation of various landforms.
Geosyncline: A mobile zone varied in space and time, usually elongated, basin like depression along the edge of a continent, in which a thick sequence of sediments and volcanic deposits has accumulated.
The various rocks which got deposited in sinking seas forming the elongated mountain like structures. All the mountains have come out of geosynclines.
There were 4 geosynclines in the past (E. Haug)
1) Rockies Geosynclines
2) Ural Geosynclines
3) Tethys Geosynclines
4) Circum-Pacific Geosynclines
The geosyncline theory of mountain formation states that the sediments were squeezed and folded into mountain ranges due to compressive forces from rigid masses.
Mountain:
• A portion of land rising considerably above the surrounding country either as a single eminence (Kilimanjaro) or in range (Himalayas, Rockies, Andes), is known as ‘mountain’.
• Some authorities regard elevations above 600m (2000 feet) as mountains, and those below being referred to as hills.
• The existing mountains are the result of folding and faulting (endogenic forces), and that of the agents of denudation.
• The processes which involve in the building of mountains are known as Orogensis-from Greek word Oros meaning mountain, and genesis for meaning to come into being’.

 • Orogeny (Orogenesis): A period of mountain building involving the process of intense upward displacement of the earth’s crust, usually associated with folding, thrust faulting and other compressional processes.
• An orogeny extends in time for some tens of millions of year. There appears to be an average interval of 200 to 300 million years between 2 orogenies.
• Some of the important theories about the mountains building are:
1) Radio-active Theory by J. Joly (1925)
2) The Geosynclinal Theory by Kober.
3) The Thermal Contraction Theory by Jeffreys.
4) Theory of Sliding Continents by R.A. Daly.
5) The Continental Drift Theory of Wegener.
6) The Theory of Sea-Floor Spreading by H.H. Hees.
7) The Theory of Plate Tectonics by W.J. Morgan.
• The first four theories attempt to explain the origin of folded mountains of Tertiary Period but they do not throw any light on the mountains older than Tertiary Period. Hereby, we are explaining the Theory of Plate Tectonics by W.J. Morgan of mountain building.

Plate Tectonics and Mountains Building:
• The theory of plate tectonics has a close relationship with mountain building which is based on the concept of ‘Sea Floor Spreading’ advocated by Harry H. Hess. It is an improvement over Wegener’s Theory of Continental Drift.
• The term ‘Plate Tectonics’ was coined by Tuzo Wilson (Univ. of Toronto) in 1965 and was propounded by W. J. Morgan (Princeton University) in 1967.

• The theory of Plate Tectonics is a comprehensive theory which explains
• Mountain Building,
• Folding and Faulting,
• Continental Drift,
• Vulcanicity,
• Seismic events (earthquakes) etc.
The process of plate tectonics:
• The Plates which are floating over the liquid Asthenosphere move in different directions due to the forces produced in them.
• In the opinion of Morgan – the propounder of Plate Tectonic Theory, the mountain building takes place because of compressive forces caused by the collision of two convergent or destructive plates.
• It is destructive plate boundaries which builds the mountain. In this process of collision of two plates, the plates having relatively denser material is subducted under the other plate boundary of relatively lighter materials. For example: The ‘Benioff Zone’ or the ‘Ring of Fire’ and the ‘Ocean Trenches’ which are the subduction zone.
The theory of Plate Tectonics identifies the three types of margins of the major and minor plates, i.e. (convergent, divergent and conservative margins).
The collision of convergent plates may be:
1) Collision of two oceanic plates: Both the plates have denser materials. They result in the formation of folded mountain ranges and islands arcs – e.g. Japanese Islands, Philippines.
2) Collision of two Continental Plates: Like the Eurasian Plate and the Indian Plate, the Alps and the Himalayas (Tethys Sea – 70-65 million years ago). The Himalayas and Alps came into existence about 30-20 million years ago.
3) Collision of one oceanic and one continental plate. These mountains were formed due to the subduction of Pacific Plate under the American Continental Plate-e.g. the Rockies and the Andes.
Geomorphologists and Geophysicists that the theory of Plate Tectonics has given a scientific explanation about the origin of continents, ocean basins and mountain building. It explains correctly the causes of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, folding, faulting and proved the Wegener’s Continental Drift. It also explains the cyclic pattern of orogeny process of Mountain Building.
Classification of Mountains:
On the basis of their orogeny and formation, Mountains are of:
• Fold Mountains: Formed due to the force of compression originating from the endogenic or internal forces resulting into synclines (trough) and anticlines (crest) which are the part of Fold Mountains.
For Example: The Himalayas, the Rockies in North America, Andes in South America and the Alps in Europe are the Fold Mountains.
Since these are formed in very recent periods hence, are also known as Young Fold Mountains.
• Block Mountains: Formed due to the force of tension originating inside the earth resulting into down-lifting or uplifting of land in between two parallel faults forming a block mountain.
The uplifted blocks are termed as horsts and the lowered blocks are called graben.
For Example: Black Forest Mountains in Germany, Sierra Nevada in North America. The Great African Rift Valley (valley floor is graben), The Rhine Valley and the Vosges Mountain in Europe are examples.

• Dome Mountains: (Mountains of Accumulations): Formed by the uplifting of land surface due to push factor of magma accumulation beneath the surface without the lava erupting out.
For example: Half Dome Mountain in the Sierra Nevada range in California, Dark Mountain in British Columbia, Canada.

• Volcanic Mountains or Accumulated Mountains: Formed when molten magma deep within the earth erupts and piles upon the surface, cooling and building a cone of rock one upon the other.
For example: Mount Mauna Loa in Hawaii Island, Mount Popa in Myanmar, Mount Fuji Yama in Japan.

• Residual Mountains or Relict Mountains: During the process of weathering (exogenic process) of an elevated area, when some hardened rocks escape from being worn away leaving behind the structure (made up of hard materials) known as Relict Mountain, while at the same time the surrounding area gets eroded
For Example: Hill like Satpura, Vindhya, Aravali, Parasnath, Rajmahal Hills, Nilgiri, Palkonda etc. are the examples of Relict Mountains.

Salient features/Sources of Constitution

Salient Features of Indian Constitution SOURCES OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION
Originally having 395 Articles divided into 22 parts and 8 schedules, a lengthiest constitution of the world with systematic elaboration on every topic. At present, it contains 448 Articles with 12 schedules as a result of various amendments (101 till so far, GST Amendment).
A. Longest written constitution: The constitution of India is said to be the longest written constitution in the world because, it contains:
• Separate provisions for states and centre and their inter-relationship.
• The borrowed provisions from several sources and several other constitutions of the world.
• The separate provisions for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, women, children, and backward regions.
• It contains the detailed list of individual rights, directive principles of state policy and details of administration procedures which were laid down to make the constitution an easy handy.
B. Unique blend of rigidity and flexibility: A Constitution may be called rigid or flexible on the basis of its amending procedure.
• Some parts can be amended by ordinary law making procedure while certain provisions can be amended only when a Bill for that purpose is passed in each house of Parliament by a majority of the total membership of that house and by a majority of not less than two-third of the members of that house present and voting.
• Some amendments are also required to be ratified by the legislatures of not less than one-half of the states before being presented to the President for assent.
C. India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic and republic: India is governed by its people through their representatives elected on the basis of universal adult franchise (Government of the people, by the people and for the people).
• India as a sovereign means it manages its internal and external affairs freely without any external forces. However, it continues to be a member of the commonwealth of Nation with the British Monarch as its head.
• The term socialist is added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, means achievement of socialist goals through democratic, evolutionary and non-violent means. However, India follows the mixed model of socialist and capitalist economy.
• By secular means it recognizes all religions equally without having any state religion which is a part of the basic structure.
• By republic means head of the state (President) is elected one and not the monarch.
D. Parliamentary System of Government: Theoretically, Parliament controls the functioning of the Council of Ministers; hence it is called Parliamentary system.
• Here executive is responsible to the legislature and remains in power as long as it enjoys the confidence of the legislature.
• The President of India, who remains in office for five years, is the nominal, titular or constitutional head (Executive).
• The Prime Minister is the real executive and head of the Council of Ministers who is collectively responsible to the lower house (Lok Sabha).
E. Single Citizenship: Unlike Federation, where citizen enjoys dual citizenship of both State and Union, India has a single citizenship provided by the union and recognized by all the states across India.
F. Universal Adult Franchise: The Indian Constitution establishes political equality in India through the method of universal adult franchise which functions on the basis of ‘one person one vote’. Every Indian who is 18 years of age or above is entitled to vote in the elections, irrespective of caste, sex, race, religion or status.
G. Independent and Integrated Judicial System: The judiciary system is kept free from the influence of the executive and the legislature. As an integrated system, India has the Supreme Court as the apex court below which High Courts come. The High Courts in turn supervise the lower courts.
H. Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles of State Policy: Fundamental Rights are not absolute but are subject to the limitations which are expressly defined by the constitution itself and are enforceable in the court of law.
• The DPSPs are the guidelines to be followed by the states regarding governance and are not enforceable in the court of law.
• The Fundamental Duties, added by the 42nd Amendment are moral conscience which ought to be followed by the Citizens.
I. A Federation with a strong centralizing tendency: India is an indestructible Union with destructible states means it acquires a unitary character during the time of emergency. Hence, some experts say it as a quasi federal in nature.
J. Balancing Parliamentary supremacy with Judicial Review: An independent judiciary with the power of judicial review is a prominent feature of our constitution. The harmonization which our Constitution has effected between Parliamentary Sovereignty and a written Constitution with a provision for Judicial Review is an important achievement of the framers of our Constitution.

UNESCO Global Geopark

• UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.
• UNESCO Global Geoparks empower local communities and give them the opportunity to develop cohesive partnerships with the common goal of promoting the area’s significant geological processes, features, periods of time, historical themes linked to geology, or outstanding geological beauty.
• A UNESCO Global Geopark enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society, such as using our earth’s resources sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing natural disasters-related risks.
• The creation of innovative local enterprises, new jobs and high quality training courses is stimulated as new sources of revenue are generated through geotourism, while the geological resources of the area are protected.
• A set of criteria as established by UNESCO must first be met for a geopark, as nominated by the corresponding government, to be included in the GGN:
a) the existence of a management plan designed to foster socio-economic development that is sustainable (most likely to be based on agritourism and geotourism);
b) demonstrate methods for conserving and enhancing geological heritage and provide means for teaching geoscientific disciplines and broader environmental issues;
c) joint-proposals submitted by public authorities, local communities and private interests acting together, which demonstrate the best practices with respect to Earth heritage conservation and its integration into sustainable development strategies.

No Detention Policy

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE) passed in the year 2009 makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 under Article 21A and specifies minimum norms in elementary schools. The Act requires all private schools (except the minority institutions) to reserve 25% seats for the poor and other categories of children (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan).
Concerning the higher dropout rate due to being unable to read, write and pass, the Act under section-16, prohibits schools from detaining or expelling any student up to Class VIII for reducing the higher dropout rate and to have a minimum educated citizenry.
The essence of the policy is that children should not be “failed” and detained up to Class 8. This also means there are no “examinations” in the narrow traditional sense of the word up to Class 8. Instead, the Act mandates a process of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) to assess and evaluate the student’s learning. CCE regularly assesses student progress in multiple ways and uses the feedback in the teaching-learning process. It gives a continuous progress record and specific inputs for improving learning. Unlike exams, it can also assess things such as social attitudes, creativity, emotional development and perseverance. Research evidence across the world suggests that such methods (called formative assessments) tend to improve student learning.
However, after few years of its implementation the policy has proved to be counter-productive and a wide range of criticism on the issue has been witnessed from various factions of the society. The policy has led to students developing a lackadaisical attitude towards their studies. Parents also didn’t bother as their children cannot be held back in the class. This has reduced the quality of education and has led to no difference between good and bad students.
The recently appointed T. S. R. Subramanian committee has recommended that the no detention policy must be continued for young children until completion of class V when the child will be 11 years old. At the upper primary stage, the system of detention shall be restored subject to the provision of remedial coaching and at least two extra chances being offered to prove his capability to move to a higher class.

Ganga Gram Yojana

Ganga is the Indian national river and it is also the longest river flowing in India. It originates from Himalayas from the state of Uttarakhand and has a stretch of 2525 km. It ends its journey at the Bay of Bengal.
The villages and cities located along river Ganga depend on it for their day to day livelihood. But according to international surveys, Ganga is the one of the most polluted rivers of the world.
A large number of villages, town and cities situated along the banks of Ganga dump their daily wastes in it. All household sewerages, industrial waste drains, etc. are linked to this river Ganga, thus polluting the holy river. There is a huge difference between the quality and color of water at the time it reaches the Bay of Bengal, from the time it gets originated.
Hence, as a major initiative towards fast track implementation of Namami Gange Programme, Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has launched Ganga Gram Yojana at Village Puth in Hapur district of U.P.
Salient features of Ganga Gram Yojana:
a) 1600 villages situated along the banks of river Ganga will be developed under this scheme.
b) In these villages open drains falling into river Ganga will be diverted and alternative arrangements for sewage treatment will be made.
c) The villages will have toilets in every household.
d) These villages will be developed under the Sichewal model. Sichewal is situated in Punjab, where cooperation of the villagers has been solicited for the water management and waste disposal in a meticulous way.

credits: iasscore

Sai Praveen

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