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General Knowledge for Competitive Exams

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Human Migration

The movement of people from region to region for the purpose of permanent or semi-permanent residence, usually across a political boundary is called Migration. For example:  "semi-permanent residence" would be the seasonal movements of migrant farm labourers. People can either choose to move ("voluntary migration") or be forced to move ("involuntary migration"). Birth and death is another reason for the population size changes. It may be interpreted as a spontaneous effort to achieve a better balance between population and resources.

Mass Communication System

A process in which a person, group of people, or an organization sends a message through a channel of communication to a large group of anonymous and heterogeneous people and organizations is called Mass Communication System. All India Radio broadcasts a variety of programmes related to information, education and entertainment. Television broadcasting has emerged as the most effective audio-visual medium for disseminating information and educating masses. Satellites are mode of communication in themselves as well as they regulate the use of other means of communication.

Personal Communication System

Human beings have evolved different methods of communication over time. In earlier times, the messages were delivered by beating the drum or hollow tree trunks, giving indications through smoke or fire or with the help of fast runners. Horses, camels, dogs, birds and other animals were also used to send messages. Initially, the means of communication were also the means of transportation. Invention of post office, telegraph, printing press, telephone, satellite, etc has made the communication much faster and easier.

Oil and Gas Pipelines

Oil and Gas Pipelines are the most convenient and efficient mode of transporting liquids and gases over long distances. Even solids can also be transported by pipelines after converting them into slurry. Oil India Limited (OIL) under the administrative set up of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is engaged in the exploration, production and transportation of crude oil and natural gas. Asia’s first cross country pipeline covering a distance of 1,157 km was constructed by OIL from Naharkatiya oilfield in Assam to Barauni refinery in Bihar.

Air Transportation

Air transport is the fastest means of movement from one place to the other. It has reduced distances by minimising the travel time. Air transport in India made a beginning in 1911 when airmail operation commenced over a little distance of 10 km between Allahabad and Naini. But its real development took place in post-Independent period. The Airport Authority of India is responsible for providing safe, efficient air traffic and aeronautical communication services in the Indian Air Space.

Water Transport

Waterways are an important mode of transport for both passenger and cargo traffic in India. It is the cheapest means of transport and is most suitable for carrying heavy and bulky material. It is a fuel-efficient and eco-friendly mode of transport. The water transport is of two types– (a) inland waterways, and (b) oceanic waterways. Inland waterways are s the chief mode of transport before the advent of railways. Oceanic routes play an important role in the transport sector of India’s economy.

Rail Transport

Rail Transport network in India is one of the longest in the world. The first railway on Indian sub-continent ran over a stretch of 21 miles from Bombay to Thane. Indian Railways, the premier transport organization of the country is the largest rail network in Asia and the world's second largest under one management. Indian Railway is controlled by the Railway Ministry and the Railway Board and for better services and control, the rail transportation is divided into 16 zones or division with headquarter.

Road Transport

India has one of the largest road networks in the world. For the purpose of construction and maintenance, roads are classified as National Highways (NH), State Highways (SH), Major District Roads and Rural Roads. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is the apex body to improve the quality of the National Highways. State highways are constructed and maintained by state governments. The Border Road Organisation (BRO) was established in May 1960 for accelerating economic development and strengthening defence preparedness.

Transport and Communication

If the amount of export and import roughly equals or export is more than import, the country is supposed to have a balanced trade or favourable trade. In a way, it indicates towards the good condition of a country’s economy. The use of transport and communication depends upon our need to move things from place of their availability to the place of their use. Human-beings use various methods to move goods, commodities, ideas from one place to another.

Forest-based Industry

India is one of fast growing forest-based industries in the world. The growing knowledge base coupled with synergistic contribution from the flagship schemes of the government. Forest-based Industry includes- the paper industry, match industry, silk industry, lac industry, sports goods industry and handicraft. India is a leading country in lac production. 60% of lac in the world is produced here. India is also the largest exporter of lac in the world.

Agro-Based Industry

The agro-based industry includes Textiles, sugar, paper and vegetable oil industry. These industries use agricultural products as their raw materials. Textile industry is the largest industry in the organized sector. It comprises of (i) cotton textiles, (ii) woollen textiles, (iii) silk textiles (iv) synthetic fibres and (v) jute textile industries. Textiles have been a major component of the industrial sector. It accounts for nearly a fifth of the industrial output and a third of the export earnings.

Pharmaceutical Industry

India's Pharmaceutical Industry is leading manufacturers and is becoming global players, utilizing both organic growths, through the gradual development of their business. Currently, it represents just U.S. $6 billion of the $550 billion global pharmaceutical industry but its share is increasing at 10 percent a year, compared to 7 percent annual growth for the world market overall. The “organized” sector of India's pharmaceutical industry consists of 250 to 300 companies, which account for 70 percent of products on the market, with the top 10 firms representing 30 percent.

Engineering Industry

The Engineering Industry is the largest among all industrial sectors in India. It incorporates diverse segments of industry which can be broadly divided into two segments, namely, heavy engineering and light engineering. It is relatively less fragmented at the top, as the competencies required are high, while it is highly fragmented at the lower end (e.g. unbranded transformers for the retail segment) and is dominated by smaller players. The engineering industry in India manufactures a wide range of products, with heavy engineering goods accounting for bulk of the production.

Petro-Chemical Industry

Petro-Chemical group of industries has been growing very fast in India. A variety of products come under this category of industries. In 1960s, demand for organic chemicals increased so fast that it became difficult to meet this demand. At that time, petroleum refining industry expanded rapidly. Many items are derived from crude petroleum, which provide raw materials for many new industries; these are collectively known as petrochemical industries. This group of industries is divided into four sub-groups: Polymers, Synthetic fibres, Elastomers and Surfactant intermediate.

Chemical fertilizer Industry

Chemical fertilizers played vital role in the success of Green Revolution in India and consequent self-reliance in food-grain production, the Government of India has been consistently pursuing policies conducive to increased availability and consumption of fertilizers in the country. The country has achieved near self-sufficiency in production capacity of urea with the result that India could substantially manage its requirement of nitrogenous fertilizers through the indigenous industry.

Cement Industry

Cement is essential for construction activity such as building houses, factories, bridges, roads, airports, dams and for other commercial establishments. This industry requires bulky and heavy raw materials like limestone, silica, alumina and gypsum. Coal and electric power are needed apart from rail transportation. The industry has strategically located plants in Gujarat that have suitable access to the market in the Gulf countries. The first cement plant was set up in Chennai in 1904.

Aluminium Industry

Aluminium Industry is the second most important metallurgical industry in India. It is light, resistant to corrosion, a good conductor of heat, malleable and becomes strong when it is mixed with other metals. It is used to manufacture aircraft, utensils and wires. It has gained popularity as a substitute of steel, copper, zinc and lead in a number of industries. There are 8 aluminium smelting plants in the country located in Orissa (Nalco and Balco), West Bengal, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Shipping Industry

India has 12 major and 187 non-major ports. The Indian ports and shipping industry plays a vital role in sustaining growth in the country’s trade and commerce. It is the sixteenth largest maritime country in the world, with a coastline of about 7,517 km. The first plant in India for construction of technologically well- developed ships was set up in 1941 in Vishakhapatnam by the Scindia Steam Navigation Company. 'Jal-Usha' was the first ship built here. It was nationalised in 1952 and was named the 'Hindustan Shipyard Limited’ (Vishakhapatnam).

Iron and Steel Industry

The iron and steel Industry is the basic industry since all the other industries — heavy, medium and light, depend on it for their machinery. Steel is needed to manufacture a variety of engineering goods, construction material, defence, medical, telephonic, scientific equipment and a variety of consumer goods.
Production and consumption of steel is often regarded as the index of a country’s development. Iron and steel is a heavy industry because all the raw materials as well as finished goods are heavy and bulky entailing heavy transportation costs.

Industrial Development in India

Before independence, there was no proper development of Indian industry in India. The Britishers were anti-Indian. India could not develop a sound industrial base under the colonial rule. . The intention was, first, to reduce India to the status of a mere exporter of important raw materials for the upcoming modern industries in Britain and, second, to turn India into a sprawling market for the finished products of those industries so that their continued expansion could be ensured to the maximum advantage of their home country — Britain.

Industries in India

All the products, which are obtained from nature directly, are called primary products. Forestry, farming, mining, animal rearing and fishing are concerned with production of raw materials for food and industrial uses. Hence, they are called primary activities. Primary products after being processed and transformed into utilities are called secondary products. The activities related to the transformation of primary products into secondary products are called secondary activities. These two groups of activities are linked by the tertiary activities.

Non-Conventional Sources of Energy

India is blessed with an abundance of sunlight, water, wind and biomass. It has the largest programmes for the development of these renewable energy resources. The growing consumption of energy has resulted in the country becoming increasingly dependent on fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. Rising prices of oil and gas and their potential shortages have raised uncertainties about the security of energy supply in future, which in turn has serious repercussions on the growth of the National Economy.

Atomic Energy

India’s first atomic power station was established in Tarapur (Maharashtra) in 1969 with the assistance of the USA. The second atomic 1972 with the assistance of Canada. It has been established near the Rana Pratap Sagar dam because of the facility of water. The third atomic power station has been established on the eastern coast of India in Kalpakkam (80 Km South to Chennai, Tamil Nadu) in 1984. It is based on indigenous technology.

Means of electric Energy

India is presently one of the least energy efficient countries in the world. We have to adopt a cautious approach for the judicious use of our limited energy resources. For example, as concerned citizens we can do our bit by using public transport systems instead of individual vehicles; switching off electricity when not in use, using power-saving devices and using non-conventional sources of energy. After all, “energy saved is energy produced”. Electricity has such a wide range of applications in today’s world.

Atomic Minerals

Atomic minerals are the most important among non-fossil energy resources. They are found in the slate rocks of the pre-Cambrian (Archean Schist) and Dharwar periods in India. Uranium and Thorium are major minerals for the production of atomic energy. Uranium is mined directly whereas for thorium is obtained mainly from monazite and limonite. Thorium is also obtained from beryllium, zircon, antimony and graphite.

Petroleum and Natural Gas

Petroleum and Natural gas are the important source of energy which is much in demand to accelerate the economic development. It provides lubricants and raw materials for a number of chemical industries such as kerosene, diesel, petrol, aviation-fuel, synthetic rubber, synthetic-fibre, thermoplastic resins, benzene-methanol, polystyrene, acrylates, detergents, aromatics, gasoline,  carbon-black, dyes, colours, food-colours, pigments, explosives, printing ink, film-photography,  greases, cosmetics, paints, lubricant oils, paraffin, and wax. Crude oil is obtained mainly from the sedimentary rocks of marine origin.

Coal Resources

Coal is the foremost power resources in India and is the most abundantly available fossil fuel. It provides a substantial part of the nation’s energy needs. It is used for power generation, to supply energy to industry as well as for domestic needs. India is highly dependent on coal for meeting its commercial energy requirements. 67% of total commercial coal energy produced in India and is often called “Black Gold”.

Power Resources

Energy is a basic requirement for economic development. Every sector of the national economy – agriculture, industry, transport, commercial and domestic – needs inputs of energy. The economic development plans implemented since Independence necessarily required increasing amounts of energy to remain operational. The energy resources can be divided into two types- Renewable energy resources:  It includes Biomass, Wind, Hydro-power, Geothermal and Solar sources. It can be used again and again. Non- renewable energy resources: It is energy from fossil fuels (coal, crude oil, natural gas) and uranium.

Mineral belts in India

India is one of the richest countries in minerals resources in the world. Since India’s internal structure of earth is the product of ancient hard rock’s therefore almost all kinds of minerals are found in Gondwana rocks. Most of the metallic minerals in India occur in the peninsular plateau region in the old crystalline rocks. There are three minerals belts in India- The North-Eastern Plateau Region; The South-Western Plateau Region; The North-Western Region

Population Policies of India

Population Policies formulated to address the unmet needs for contraception, health care infrastructure, and health personnel, and to provide integrated service delivery for basic reproductive and child health care. The main objective is to achieve a stable population at a level consistent with the requirements of sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental protection. Several policies have been formulated in different Five-Year Plans by the Government of India for population control.

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