Thursday, May 7, 2009

Grade X: Revised Portion for Board Exam-2010

On the basis of last year's revision 8 marks allocated to Disaster Management were reallocated to the other components of History, Geography, Political Science and Economics making the Unit totals as 22,22,18,18 marks respectively.
In continuation of these changes keeping in view the recommendations contained in NCF 2005 to give equal weight age to the four components of History, Geography, Political Science and Economics, the marks have been further revised as –
Unit 1: India and the Contemporary World II (History) 20 Marks
Unit 2: India – Resources and their Development (Geography) 20 Marks
Unit 3: Democratic Politics II (Political Science) 20 Marks
Unit 4: Understanding Economic Development (Economics) 20 Marks
Accordingly the syllabus for Social Science has been updated as follows which will be effective from the Board’s examination 2010 onwards.
In Unit 1: India and the Contemporary World II, the students will exercise their option of choice among the prescribed themes in the following manner:-
Sub-Unit 1.1 – Events and Processes
Theme 1: Nationalism in Europe
Theme 2: Nationalist Movement in Indo-China
Theme 3: Nationalism in India
(Any one theme out of themes 1 and 2. Theme 3 is compulsory)
Sub-Unit 1.2 – Economies and Livelihood
Theme 4: Industrialization 1850s – 1950s
Theme 5: Urbanization and Urban Lives
Theme 6: Trade and Globalization
(Any one theme out of themes 4,5 and 6)
Sub-Unit 1.3 – Culture, Identity and Society
Theme 7: Print culture and nationalism
Theme 8: History of the novel
(Any one theme out of themes 7 and 8)
Hence, the students will be required to study four themes in Unit 1 (History) India and the Contemporary World II.
In Unit 2 (Geography), India – Resources and their development, class X, the topic on ‘Forest and Wild life Resources’ has been included for the Board Examination, 2010 and onwards and the sub-topics given in Chapter 4 of the NCERT’s Geography text book - Contemporary India Part II, namely Food Security (Page 44) and Impact of Globalization on Agriculture (Page 46) will remain deleted. The syllabus in the remaining three components remains the same. Also disaster management continues to be evaluated through projects and assignments only. Sample question papers based on the revised pattern will be soon uploaded on the Board’s website


Understanding Stress: Common reactions

Common Physical reactions:

v Muscle tension
v Indigestion
v Sleep difficulties
v Rapid uneven or pounding heartbeat
v Frequent urge to pass urine
v Fast, shallow breathing
v Chest discomfort
v Change in appetite, constipation or diarrhea
v Change in appetite, constipation or diarrhea
v Backache/headache
v Cramps

Common Psychological reactions:

v Feeling under pressure, frustration and aggression
v Feeling tense and unable to relax
v Feeling mentally drained out
v Fussy, gloomy or suspicious, being constantly frightened or irritable
v Inability to concentrate or complete the task.

Stress Management: The Physical approach:

(A) Eating healthy:

v Balancing food choices over time is what counts.
v Breakfast provides the energy needed through an active morning.
v Children who skip breakfast may have trouble concentrating.
v Fast foods supply more fat, salt & calories than good nutrition.
v Fast foods in moderation won’t ruin a healthful diet, especially when consumed with green salads.
v Replace finger chips with an apple.
v Add roughage to your diet – Dalia, Corn etc. will help prevent stomach discomfort and you will feel lighter.
v The golden rule for food safety is to keep hot foods hot & cold foods cold.
v Parents should teach good habits by example.

(B) Good Sleep

v Insomnia (the inability to fall or stay asleep) can be caused by stress & anxiety of Exam.
v Disturbances of sleep wake cycle during exams.
v If sleep struggles continue, talk them over with your doctor.

(C) Physical activity and Yoga

v Exercise: planned & structured subset of leisure time physical activity undertaken for improving or maintaining physical fitness.

v Physical fitness: includes cardio-respiratory fitness, muscle strength, body composition and flexibility.

v Sport: any choice of outdoor game for a brief period. For example badminton, squash, tennis, etc.

The Psychological approach:

Stress can lead to both anxiety & depression. However, some amount of anxiety is imperative for good performance.
Increased disinterest in studies.
Seeing more TV, sleeping more
Irritable/ crying / cranky
Nervous and irritable
Feelings of frustration and aggression
Preoccupied, absent minded
Symptoms like headaches, fainting spells, vomiting
Wanting to be alone
Major changes in eating or sleeping habits
Lack of attention and concentration
Inability to complete tasks or make study plans
Staying out longer, stop communicating with their parents and have health problems.

Make realistic study plans
Assess priorities, assets and difficulties
Follow a normalized routine atmosphere at home should be recommended.
To take frequent breaks.
Not to strip off TV or entertainment and outings.
Feel comfortable about oneself.
That imagining extreme consequences and worst situations is of no use and needs to be discouraged.
It is helpful to make the student see what he can accomplish in the remaining time is not negligible.
Constant encouragement and reassurance is essential from all significant members in the school and family.
It is important that the student is clear about how to take the examination, how to tackle questions and how to manage time.
Students tend to magnify failures and try to talk to them out of it. They should not demean themselves, manage time.
Advise them to contact the teachers or counselors if they feel low or anxious or disinterested in studies.

2. Psychosomatic Symptoms

These refer to physical symptoms that the student shows but there is no biological basis for them and the root cause is in psychological factors. The counselor needs to first look for biological causes of any symptom, only when they are eliminated should the symptoms be considered as psychosomatic.
v Nagging headaches
v Backache
v Fainting spells.
v Diarrhea/gastric trouble
v Asthmatic attacks
v Breathlessness
v Vomiting
v Feeling tensed and unable to relax
v Writing camps bloomed or
v Absent vision

The counselor needs to help students to see the mind body connection and understand how the anxiety is manifesting in pain.
The counselor needs to help the student to develop alternative coping strategies and thus defocus from the pain.


Do not deny the symptoms with statement like “ you don’t have any physical problem” or “stop using this as an excuse”. Usually the student is genuinely in trouble and is not pretending pain.
Do not encourage symptoms by repeatedly enquiring about them or suggesting remedies for the pain.

3. High risk Behavior: Drug abuse, self harm, aggression
Basic Features

It is behavior that is potentially harmful to self or others.
Behavior relating to consumption and abuse of psychotropic drugs or commonly used medicines like cough syrups, sleeping pills, painkillers, without prescription.
Behavior related to smoking and consumption of alcohol. Self-harming behavior like Suicide, Wrist slashing, Hitting self, Starving deliberately etc.
Harm to others in the form of abusive and aggressive behavior like rash driving or violence to others in any form.
No medication for High performance.

Dos & Don’ts

v Discourage the behavior.
v Keep communication channels open
v Talk about the negative and long-term effects.
v Teach (quick) relaxation/breathing
v Teach anger management
v Teach to evaluation consequences.
v Talk about the need for sharing this information with parents/teachers.
v Make the child understand that monitoring by parents or counselors is essential for early recovery.

v Do no prescribe medication.
v Do not punish or reprimand harshly.
v Do not moralize or made person feel guilty. Help him to think of it as a problem needing help.
v Assertively say ‘No’ to student’s demands for taking drugs like cough syrup, pills etc. to relieve anxiety or improve concentration. Even short-term, temporary relief with the help of these drugs should be highly discouraged.

Handling Suicide

The student who is calling is seriously considering you as the last resort and hence it is important to be careful and helpful. A lot many suicides are impulsive while others are well planned. Impulsive students are likely to decide on the spur of the moment. Hence it is important to buy time.
Indicators for increased chance for suicide

Withdrawal behavior for few days
Mention of suicide repeatedly.
Suicide note
Disinterest in studies.
Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
A history of serious psychological problems.
A history of impulsive, poorly controlled and destructive behavior.
A history of continuing academic problems and learning difficulties.
Adjustment difficulties with family, school, peers etc.

Periodically, keeping in touch over the phone will reduce the intent of ending their lives. Counseling needs to be practical and useful.
Long lectures with a moralistic tone are not advised. These make the already depressed student guiltier and his intent stronger.
The student should be advised to contact a professional counselor as soon as possible. If not efforts should be made to encourage him to meet his teachers or school counselors or talk to his parents. The more he talks about his problems to various people, he is likely to feel much better.
A student who is severely depressed and expresses absolute helplessness about future is more at risk than a student who talks about casual things.
No medicines should be prescribed over the phone.

5. Must Dos for students: For improved concentration, motivation, work blocks

v Know your concentration span, study with breaks.
v Work out best time for concentration.
v Group study for difficult subjects.
v Do not let previous results discourage you – identify your weak areas from previous exams. And work on them.
v Time management plan must be made for all subjects.
v Choose a study place with minimum distractions and autosuggest to your self about your resolution.
v Try to coincide study time with the time, you would be giving an exam.
v In case of average achievers, master what you know and are comfortable with.
v For low achievers, master the essential information first.
v Prioritize the workload. Give your best concentration time to the toughest subject.
v Repeat your learnt work so the recall in exam is easy. Work not repeated or revised is easily forgotten.
v Try to plan your revision time by drawing up a timetable. Build in time for the things you enjoy – like watching you favorite TV programme, going out with your friends, or going to play football in the park.
v Give yourself a few treats – pamper yourself with a long hot bath, or listen to your favorite CD for an hour after you have finished your revision.
v Relax with what you know before entering the exam hall.
v Do not get anxious about the result – cross that bridge when you come to it…options await.

Must Dos for parents

v Student can fail to do well if they fail to cope with stress. Parents should guide their children in planning, organizing and setting a timetable.
v To avoid a stress situation for the child the parents must provide right kind of motivation and a conducive environment.
v Help the child to develop self-discipline self-direction, self-confidence and a sense of achievement.
v Just good schooling and tuition are not substitutes for emotional cushioning.
v Help the child in maintaining his confidence especially when he seems discouraged by his dropping marks or grades. Do not displace your anxiety on the child.
v The achievement goals should be realistically set according to the child’s capability.
v Do no mix academic issues with family conflicts.
v Praise your child when he does well. Encourage the child’s performance with positive statements like, “well done”, “you can do better”, rather than saying “that was not enough”.
v Work out your child’s schedule with him instead of nagging him. There could be learning problems.
v Do not harp on previous failures or results.
v Under achievement may be due to some children believing it is safer not to try than to try and fail.
v If achievement expectations are too high then some children would prefer to be criticized for being lazy than being considered not good enough.
v Humor relieves tension. Be light and humorous with the child.
v Try to gain your child’s confidence and discuss his problems with him. Help him to find a solution.
v Exams are not the end of the world.
v Accept that expectation for every one to do well is unrealistic, as many won’t pursue this for long.


n How do I deal with exam related stress?
Recognize your negative thoughts. Once you closely examine these thoughts you'll see how unrealistic they are. Challenge the thoughts that say you are a failure and that you can't succeed. Remind yourself that it was just another exam and with effort, you will do better in your next attempt.

n What if I do badly?
Replace self-criticism with self-correction. Judging yourself harshly now won't help you do better in the future. Take the position of an observer. What if a good friend told you he had failed? Would you call him a failure? Most probably you would emphasize his good points and help him put the situation in perspective.

n How do I deal with my family's disappointment if my results are not good?
Be open and honest with them. Share what you feel about the result and what you think went wrong. Reassure them of your concern and efforts. Above all, do not have a negative bias against your parents because sometimes they need more reassuring than you do.

n What if I don't get the marks I'm expecting?
Concentrate on your achievements and be realistic about your expectations as well. Usually we know when we have made a mistake, so take these into account while drawing up expected marks. If you are still dissatisfied with the results, the option of rechecking is always open.

n We have heard of irregularities in the assessment system. What if my marks are adversely affected?
Have faith in the system. There will always be rumours about unfair checking, but one cannot ignore the fact that results over all these years have more often than not, been fair.

n I think there is too much pressure and I can't cope with it.
Take professional help. If you feel that there is pressure and you are unable to handle it and your self-esteem is coming down and you are unable to cope, then you must consult a psychiatrist to help you tide over this phase.

n Everyone tells me to concentrate on my studies.
Don't stop enjoying life. One of the common mistakes an individual makes is to totally change his lifestyle. This is under the assumption that if he isolates himself from all leisure and fun times with friends and family and only study, then he will do better.

n How much sleep is required?
The human body requires an average of 8 hours of sleep per day. But there is no hard and fast rule. Each one of us has to understand our body rhythm and know by trial and error how many hours of sleep keeps us fit.

n What happens if we sleep less than what our body requires?
If you sleep less for a day or two your body copes up by taking more sleep over next two days. If continued for long then the body gets into what is known as sleep deprivation syndrome because it accumulates so many hours of Sleep Debt. Then you get symptoms of feeling tired and sleepy, headaches, body aches, poor digestion, inability to concentrate, irritability, short tempered ness etc

n Should I study in the morning or at night?
First understand whether you are an owl or a lark. IF you can get up early in the morning and feel fresh then you must sleep early and get up early and study. If on the other hand you can study late at night but cannot feel fresh when you get up early to study then you must sleep late after studying and get up later in the morning.

n How do you get a good night sleep?
Try to keep a fixed time every night for sleeping as far as possible. Avoid afternoon prolonged sleeping, a short nap may be helpful. One hour before bed-time avoid stimulating your sensory system by too much noise like loud music, too much TV, arguments or fights. Three hours before sleep time avoid taking any food or liquids, which contain caffeine, like aerated coal drinks, drinks containing chocolate.

n To keep awake for studying students drink lots of coffee. What is the harm?
Caffeine in small doses acts as a stimulant and keeps you awake, so a cup once a day may be Ok. Excessive coffee drinking gives side effects like tremors, fast pule rate, irritability, acidity and stomach pain. Coffee also causes addiction.

n Why exercise during exam time?
Most children will say they have no time for exercise during exam days. They are already stressed out with lack of time, how can they waste time in exercise? The fact is that exercise is all the more necessary during exam time because not only is it a “stress buster “ but also has many other health benefits needed to keep fit during exam.

n What does exercise do?
God has given us our body which is a perfect machine!. But as with any a machine to keep in good running condition, it requires maintenance or it will develop problems in various parts or rust due to disuse. Similarly if all our body parts are not moved effectively, as in exercise, the body parts will fail and then you will get physical problems like lack of stamina, excessive sleep, headache, muscle pains, fatigue etc. You will also get mental problems like feeling low or depressed, inability to concentrate, poor memory etc

n What are the various forms of exercise?
Aerobic exercise, running, jogging, swimming, specific aerobic exercises, strength training, lifting weights and working on machines are some examples. Resistance or strength training increases lean body-mass which includes muscles, these in turn burn more energy daily as compared to fat mass. More muscles mean more strength and also more calories burnt, so less fat on body. Strength training helps to tone muscles and improves endurance. It reduces risk of osteoporosis so makes our bones very strong. Exercise increases co-ordination and reduces risk of injuries resulting from weak muscles.

n How does exercise help?
Regular aerobic exercise (swimming, bicycling jogging) improves the function of our cardiovascular system. This makes the circulation better, the lungs process oxygen more effectively so you have less exertion. Heart pumps blood with fewer heart beats (the athletes pulse is always slow). It stimulates the growth of capillaries that increases blood supply hence better oxygenation to muscles. All this makes your body more efficient and gives you more endurance capacity giving you more stamina for working. You can sit longer hours without discomfort. This will make you study harder and better.

n How does exercise help you be better mentally?
Regular aerobic exercise releases some good chemicals in our body. These are called endorphins. These make you feel happy. They counter the effects of stress, depression and anxiety that all students suffer from during exam time. So after exercising you get a “Natural kick” which is longer lasting and safe unlike drugs or stimulants like caffeine. It also helps you in weight loss and that will make you feel good about your self.

n What are long-term benefits of exercise?
Regular exercise will not only help you during exam but later in life you will have longer life and less risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, cancer and mental depression.

n Why do adolescents feel hungry all the time?
The body demands more calories during adolescence. Boys require about 2800 calories and girls about 2200 per day. Teens who are big and tall and participate in lot of physical quire more.

DO NOT MISS BREAKFAST If you miss breakfast then by the time you have lunch nearly 10 -12 hours have gone by after your last meal. This means your blood sugar level has gone and you have nothing to provide your body with energy. This low blood sugar or hypoglycemia causes short-term memory problems, difficulty in concentration problem solving.

DO NOT HAVE A VERY HEAVY DINNER You will feel very heavy and sleepy and will not be able to study well.


Q.1: If a student fails in the pre Board examination conducted by the school, can he/she be detained from appearing in Class X or XII Board’s exam?

Ans. No, if he/she is otherwise eligible.

Q.2: Is it possible for a student who has failed in Science stream in Class XII to change subjects to pass at subsequent examination?

Ans. Yes, but with prior permission of the Board.

Q.3: What is the eligibility criteria for a student to appear as a private candidate in Board examination?

Ans. The Board prescribes following conditions under which a candidate can appear privately: -
I. Failed candidates
II. Teachers serving in educational institutions
III. Women candidates who are bonafide residents of NCT of Delhi and
IV. Physically handicapped students

Q.4: What is the procedure of appearing in additional subject?

Ans. An additional subject may be offered within 6 years of passing the examination of the Board. The subject should be provided in the scheme of studies prescribed by the Board.

Q.5: Is it compulsory for a student to repeat the practical examination also if he/she fails in theory?

Ans. The candidate has an option to appear for practical examination again or retain the previous year practical marks for two consecutive years.

Q.6: What are the exemptions provided in examinations to physically challenged and dyslexic candidates?

Ans. Dyslexic/spastic/physically handicapped students have the option of studying one compulsory language as against two and any four subjects from the following:
I. Mathematics, II. Science, III. Social Science, IV.2nd language
(Music, Painting, Home Science and Introductory Information Technology)
i. Additional one hour (60 minutes) for each paper is provided to the students
ii. Physiotherapy exercises are considered equivalent to Physical and Health
iii. Amanuensis is provided to such students.

Q.7: I wish to improve my performance in Chemistry and Maths. Is it possible and how?

Ans. A candidate who has passed Class X or XII examination of the Board may re-appear for improvement of performance in one or more subjects in the main examination in the succeeding year only. The candidate may appear privately; those re-appearing for whole examination can also appear as regular candidate if admitted by the school.
- For subjects involving practical work, if the candidate has passed the practical examination, he or she will be allowed to appear only in theory part.

Q.8: Does the Board provide any supplementary material for students preparing for X & XII examinations?

Ans. Yes, the Board publishes Sample Question Papers and marking Schemes in main subjects in Class X & XII which can be purchased from any of the Board’s offices.

Q.9: Are the questions of Sr. Sec. Exam. strictly based on NCERT books?

Ans.: NCERT books are recommended for studies as they cover the prescribed syllabus. It is, therefore, advisable to concentrate on these books.

Q.10: Is it compulsory to pass in theory and practical exams. separately?

Ans.: Yes, it is compulsory to pass separately in the subjects involving theory and practical in Class XII.

Q11: Is a student required to appear in all subjects in improvement examination?

Ans.: No, the student can appear in one or more than one subject(s) as per his/her choice. However, improvement exam. can be taken only in the successive year of passing Class X/XII exams.

Q.12: What are the kinds of questions asked in Physics, Chemistry and Biology and how should one attempt the questions?

Ans.: The Board publishes Sample Question papers in all the main subjects every year along with Marking Schemes. It is better to procure a copy of each publication. Board’s website can also be visited at

Q.13: Is there negative marking for exceeding word limit?

Ans.: No, the marks are not cut for exceeding the word limit. However, it is better to restrict to the specified word limit. This should be practiced at the time of revision, which will also help in completing the paper within the allotted time.

Q.14: How many sets of question papers are distributed in examination hall in Board’s examination?

Ans.: The Board prepares three sets of questions papers in all the main subjects having equal difficulty level.

Q.15: Is it possible to score 80% in Maths in Class X after studying from the NCERT books, latest CBSE Sample Question papers and other Sample Papers?

Ans.: Marks would entirely depend upon the preparation and performance during examination. It is, therefore, advisable to remain focused and do your best.

Q.16: Will a student lose marks if he/she opts for Hindi as a medium for writing +2 examination?

Ans.: Certainly not. The Board gives option of medium to the students to answer questions in Hindi or English and even in Urdu. The marks are deducted only in case of wrong answers.

Q.17: What are the changes in the pattern of Examination in Class XII this year?

Ans.: The changes in question paper design and weightages are mentioned in Sample Question Papers in each stream. A copy of Marking Scheme can also be bought from the Headquarter or Regional Office.

Q.18: If a student decides to drop one year, what will be the syllabus applicable for the next examination, the old or the new?

Ans.: The candidate will have to study the syllabus recommended for the year in which he/she plans to give the examination.

Q.19: What are the rules for condonation of attendance?

Ans. :I. A candidate must have 75% attendance as on 1st February of the year of examination. Shortage up to 15% may be condoned by the Chairman. Cases of candidates with attendance below 60% shall be considered for condonation of shortage of attendance only in exceptional circumstances like prolonged serious illness such as cancer, AIDS or T.B.
II Death of a parent
III. Authorized participation in sponsored tournaments and Sports meet of at least inter school level and NCC/NSS camps.

Q.20: Are marks deducted for missing steps in Maths?

Ans.: Yes, marks are deducted for missing steps. It will be better to get a copy of the Marking Scheme to know about the weightage and steps and practice accordingly.

Q.21: Is the candidate allowed to see the answer script in case the result is not as per the expectations?

Ans.: No. There is no provision of showing answer scripts. The candidate can apply for scrutiny, for reconfirmation of marks.

Q.22: If a candidate passes in the additional subject but fails in one of the main subjects, what will the result show?

Ans.: The candidate will be considered as having passed the examination in such a case. A language will replace a language only. For further details the scheme of examinations and bye-laws can be referred to.

Q.23: Is it compulsory to use ink pen for writing answers in Board exams?

Ans.: Always use blue or royal blue ink pen while writing the answers. Also try to write in neat and legible handwriting.

Q.24: How can one get good marks in Maths? Are there any guess papers published by the Board?

Ans.: The preparation in Maths essentially depends upon written practice and revising the entire syllabus. Try to solve each and every problem given in the exercises in NCERT textbook. The Board does not publish any guess papers. It will be better to practice from the Sample Question papers.

Q.25: Will the question paper of Maths be different than the two blue prints given in the Sample Question Paper for Class X?

Ans. Based on the same design any number of the question papers can be prepared. The paper setter may generate another blue print in addition to two blue prints included in the document.

Q.26: Will the examiner cut marks if the answers are not written in serial order?

Ans.: No marks are cut. However, it is advised that the answers should be written in correct serial order as far as possible.

Q. 27: What is the procedure followed in marking the answers?

Ans.: Each answer is divided into steps and marks are given in accordance to the weightage assigned for these steps. It is advised that a copy of Marking Scheme be procured to get a clear idea.

Q. 28: In Class X Board exam. can the answers to the questions written in random order?

Ans.: Answers to the questions can be written in random order as long answers are numbered correctly. However since the answer scripts of Science and Technology will be evaluated by two examiners, answer should be written section-wise. Within the section any order may follow.

Q. 29 Does poor handwriting affect performance in the Board exams? What is the correct speed rate to follow?

Ans.: Answers should be written in a hand which can be read easily by the examiner. Being neat and legible is important. There is no speed rate prescribed. It is better to divide time and plan answers while reading the question paper in the beginning.

Q. 30: If one gets good marks in the pre-boards what does it indicate? Will the marks in the Board also be good as well?

Answer: Getting good marks in the Pre-boards clearly indicates that one has prepared well. Being consistent in preparations will definitely fetch good marks in board exams as well.

Q. 31: Is it true that longer answers in Hindi fetch better marks, as opposed to English?

Ans.: The marks are not related to the length of the answers but to the relevant value points which must be covered both in Hindi as well as in English and even in other subjects.


India is the name given to the vast peninsula which the continent of Asia throws out to the south of the magnificent mountain ranges that stretch in a sword like curve across the southern border of Tibet. Shaped like an irregular quadrilateral, this large expanse of territory deserves the name of a subcontinent. Ancient Geographers referred to India as being "constituted with a four-fold conformation" (chatuh samasthana samsthitam), " on its South and West and East is the Great Ocean, and the Himavat range stretches along its north like the string of a bow". The name Himvat in the above passage refers not only to the snow capped ranges of the Himalayas but also to their less elevated offshoots -the Patkai, Lushai and Chittagong Hills in the east, and the Sulaiman and Kirthar ranges in the west. These go down to the Sea and separate India from the wooded valley of Irrawady, on the one hand, and the hilly tableland of Iran, on the other. The Himalayas standing tall in breathtaking splendor are radiant in myth and mystery. These, the youngest and tallest mountain ranges, feed the Ganga with never-ending streams of snow. The Himalayas are home to the people of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Mount Everest is the highest peak in the Himalayan ranges. And even as all Indian through the ages have considered the whole of the Himalayas as their property, with Shiva himself residing in those ranges, Mount Everest falls in Nepal's territory.
The Vindhya Mountains cut right across the country, from West to East, and form the boundary between North and South
India. India is also fortunate in possessing one of the world's most extensive and fertile lands, made up of the alluvial Soil brought down in the form of fine silt by the mighty rivers. Lying south of the Himalayas, these Great North Indian Plains consist of the Indus basin, Ganga-Brahmaputra basin, and the tributaries of these mighty river systems. To the south of the Great Plains of northern India lie the Great Plateau of Peninsular India, which is divided into two parts, viz., the Malwa Plateau and the Deccan Plateau.The Malwa plateau - bounded by the Aravalli hills in the northwest and the Vindhyas in the Vindhyas form the northern half of this peninsula. Chhota Nagpur region forms the northeastern part of this plateau and is the richest minerals producing region of India. The valley of the Narmada River forms the southern boundary of this plateau. The Deccan plateau extends from the Satpura hills in the north to Kanniyakumari, the southern most point in India, finally ending in the Indian Ocean.
Towards the west of this plateau lie the Western Ghats that comprise of the Sahyadri, the Nilgiri, the Annamalai and the Cardamom Hills. On the eastern side, this plateau merges into a layer of discontinuous low hills known as the Mahendra Giri hills, which comprise of the Eastern Ghats. Narrow coastal plains along the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal flank the Deccan Plateau, on its eastern and western sides, respectively. The Western coastal plains lie between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, further split into the northern Konkan Coast and the southern Malabar Coast. The eastern coastal plains, on the other hand lie between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal and like the western plains are divided into two parts - the Coromandel Coast as the southern part and the Northern Sircaras as the northern.
Towards the western half of
India lies a vast stretch of land that is divided, by the Aravalli mountains, into two separate units. The area west of the Aravalli comprises of the Thar Desert - made up of sand and interrupted by rocky hills and waterless valleys, this arid land, extend deep into Pakistan. The state of Gujarat lies to the east of this range and is one of the most prosperous regions in India. These mainland areas apart, India has two groups of islands - the Andaman and Nicobar in the Bay of Bengal and the Lakshadweep in the Arabian Sea. River System of IndiaThe Greeks applied the name 'India' to the country. It corresponds to the "Hi(n)du" of the old Persian epigraphs.Like "Sapta sindhavah" and "Hapta Hindu"- the appellations of the Aryan country in the Veda and the Vedinand - it is derived from Sindhu (Indus), the great river that constitutes the most imposing feature of that part of the sub-continent, which seems to have been the cradle of its earliest known civilizations.
Rising in southwestern Tibet, at an altitude of 16,000 feet, Indus enters the Indian Territory near Leh in Ladakh. The river has a total drainage area of about 4,50,000 square miles, of which 1,75,000 square miles lie in the Himalayan Mountains
and foothills.

Democracy Vs Dictatorship

Imagine the next time you step into the voting booth your ballot only lists one candidate to choose from. Or perhaps your ballot lists four candidates, but they are all from the Liberal party. Dictatorships are one party political systems that are ruled by one leader or an elite group of people under the principle of authoritarianism. Some feel that dictatorships are the most effective form of government because decisions are made quickly and extreme nationalism benefits the military and economy. These individuals value order, nationalism, and authority. However, these systems often result in violence, repression of the public, and few provisions for changes to the system. Democracies are multiparty political systems that rest on the principle of rule by the people. Most people that live in democracies have civil liberties1, and political rights2. Individuals who feel that multiparty systems are the best government value equality, accountability, and freedom. Nations that have multiparty political systems will meet the needs of the public better through the means of political equality, a higher standard of living3, and civil liberties. Dictatorships often occur when a nation is economically and politically unstable. An example of this is Napoleon’s coup d’ etat in 1799 France. In a system of authoritarian rule decisions are made efficiently because very few people are involved in the decision making process. The leader or elite group at the head of the government decides on new policies and economic measures, then makes sure that the public abides by them by using tactics of force and indoctrination. Dictatorial systems have helped nations recover from economic turmoil many times in the past. The extreme nationalism that is born from propaganda and government sponsored youth organizations encourages people to work harder for the benefit of their country. Newly motivated work forces easily meet their production goals. If the leader of a dictatorship is capable the country can rise to hold a great amount of international power. Building up the military is an important step to gain power. A strong military will discourage other countries from attacking and also discourage the citizens of the country from rebelling. The force of nationalism, and new laws that can be easily passed regarding education (such that every male of a certain age must serve time in the military) allow military strength of dictatorships to multiply. The Soviet Union experienced a dictatorial system from 1917 to 1985. Under the rule of Vladimir Lenin, and later Joseph Stalin, one political party attempted to control all aspects of political, economic, and social life. The people of the USSR endured rapid industrial development, victory in World War II, and improved literacy rates. They also experienced elements of force, indoctrination, controlled participation, limits on dissent, and a lack of the accountability of government. In 1917 Lenin initiated the Bolshevik seizure of power and became the first soviet government. Lenin established communist4 society in Russia before passing away shortly after (1924). Stalin, the general secretary for the communist party gradually gained power and by 1928 was in control of the government. Under Joseph Stalin’s leadership the USSR was transformed into a world power, and a totalitarian state. Lenin had introduced the New Economic Policy in 1921, which proposed the creation of a mixed economy. In this system the state controlled large industries but small scale enterprises and farming were run privately. By 1936 the NEP had helped The Soviet economy to recover to the levels it was at before WWI. Stalin introduced his famous 5 year plans, to develop industry further, and the NEP was abandoned for a communist economy. The first 5 year plan (1928-1932) expanded heavy industry such as steel making and mining. Private farming was eliminated, with much bloodshed, and collective farms were established. The second 5 year plan (1933-1937) began the development of natural resources in Siberia and the far east. It also further expanded heavy industry at the expense of consumer goods. Stalin’s third 5 year plan (1938-1941) directed funds to areas of defense. In WWII Nazi Germany invaded the USSR, creating an instant alliance between the USSR and two of the world’s greatest powers; Britain and the USA. The Soviet Union pushed the Germans out of its territory and Eastern Europe, thus accelerating the end of the war. Trade increased between USSR and the two other powers, and the Soviet has been recognized and commended for helping to end WWII. Another benefit of central planning was the massive educational effort that raised literacy rates in the USSR. The communist government wanted to develop a skilled and educated labor force. Millions of people learned to read and write, in an education system that centered on scientific training. In order to enforce communist policies the Soviet Union built a large militia5. The secret police (consisting of agents and informants) were used as an instrument of terror to ensure that the communist party stayed in power. The secret police kept foreigners and those who traveled abroad under close surveillance. They also censored the mail, and monitored telephone conversations. Indoctrination and censorship encouraged nationalism and spread the communist ideology. The government sponsored youth groups such as the “little octoberists”, and the communist ideology was taught in school. With only one newspaper and one radio station (both government owned) people had very little control over their own beliefs because they were constantly exposed to only one side of every issue. This excerpt is from the Soviet’s only newspaper, “Pravda6” . “Stalin is the architect of the tremendous creation called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. he is the source of all life in the he soviet union. His thoughts set the whole mechanism of Soviet life in motion.” Glorification of a leader is common technique used in dictatorships to ensure that citizens are faithful and committed to the government in power. In the early 1920’s and 30’s people of the USSR were expected to vote publicly by raising their hands. This caused a very low voter turnout so a secret ballot system was instilled. All candidates (if their was more than one) were selected by the communist party, so the voting was quite meaningless since it lacked the element of real choice. Officials manipulated counts to make voter turnout appear higher than it actually was, and if one were to disagree with the choices listed on the ballot they were to mark the ballot publicly and be subject to the wrath of the secret police. The lack of accountability in the USSR was so shocking that anyone who observed it and still lives will be emotionally scarred forever. The “great purge” from 1936 - 1939, began with few show trials that symbolized fair justice but never provided enough real evidence to base a conviction on. These trials were for members of the government who had supposedly plotted against Joseph Stalin. Following these trials, the secret police purged all institutions (education, media, government) of possible threats to the communist party, and sent millions of people to forced labour camps. When this horror came to an end in 1939 it was too late for the millions of people who died, completely innocent of any crime. It is true that Stalin’s reign enabled many people to learn to read and write, but at what cost? If they were not killed in a labour camp, the point of having employability skills seems faint when every adult after 1938 was required to have a “labour book.” Without a labour book one could not be employed, and once a person way employed their labor book was kept with the employer. This way employees could not easily change jobs. Developing employability skills if you are not able to pressure the employment that truly interests you is a wasted effort. In the USSR political rights and political equality were merely a facade. Although the show of voting made it appear that people had the right to elect the leader of their choice, the public was not given the option of free choice. Also in the USSR speaking out against the government and dissenting was strogly forbidden and could result in exile or execution. Civil liberties were virtually non existent. People did not have the freedom to develop their own views and ideas because they were constantly being indoctrinated with the ideas of the government. If one were to exercise the freedom of assembly or demonstration in a dictatorial system they would be killed or imprisoned (Tienneman square in China). It is difficult to find exact numbers that help us determine the standerd of living in the USSR during Stalin’s regime. However, from the stories of the forced concentration camps and black market for food and other consumer goods anyone can deduct that the standard of living was low. Russia’s standard of living today emphasizes the effect that a previous authoritarian government can have on a nation. In Russia the adult literacy rate is quite impressive, 98%. The GDP per capita is very low $3050 (in US dollars). The average life expectancy is also low at 66.9 years, and approximately 2.6% of the population owns computers. In democratic systems the public decides what economic and social policies work best for them. Democracy originated in ancient Athens. Besides the fact that only men could vote ancient Athens exhibited a model direct democracy. On every issue each voter was able to freely vote. The Athenians choose from two main political parties, and no one person had any more power than another person. Decision making and decision enforcing were the duties of every citizen. Democracy is a logical concept. Since the public has to abide by the policies made by the government, they should be able to help make those decisions. The United States of America has been a democracy since it became a country. The system of government ensures that no branch of government (executive, legislative, or judicial) has more power than another branch. Each American voter votes to elect a president from the political party that has a platform most similar to his or her views. They also elect the senators and members of the house of representatives (who make up the legislative branch). The supreme court judges are not elected, but appointed for life by the president and senate in order to keep their interests pure. Most laws that are made in democratic systems reflect the views of the public. In the Us, any member of the House can introduce a piece of legislation. This illustrates how all members are equal and are given the right to represent the people from their state. The bill is printed and prepared so that all members of the government can understand the details of it. The bill will then be refereed to the appropriate committee by the House or Senate parliamentarian. The committee ensures that the bill meets with the guidelines of the constitution, and makes revisions and amendments to it. Now the committee of a whole7 debates and amends the bill but cannot technically pass it. Debate is limited in the committee by certain rules and opposing side have a scheduled amount of time to speak. The bill is also debated in the senate, without any time limit on how long The debate can run. If the House of Representatives and the senate pass the same bill it is then sent to the president. If the House and the senate pass different bills they are sent to the conference committee. The president signs the bill, making it become law. The president does have the power to veto legislation, but it is rarely used. This is because the chamber that provided the legislation has a right to overthrow the veto if 2/3 of the members present feel that they should do so. Also the congress has the power to impeach8 the president if the public feels he is not performing his job adequately. In America, every person over the age of 18 (who has not been convicted of a felony or declared mentally incompetent by a court) has the right to vote through the practice of secret ballot. People also have the right to speak out against the government and dissent freely. Civil liberties are guaranteed to the people in the constitution, and no legislation will be passed that violates any citizens civil liberties. If people feel their civil liberties have been violated they can take the case to various courts, who will make a fair ruling based on the constitution. Today the USA has a high standard of living compared to other countries. It is a major world power with a democratic system and a market economy. In 1997 the adult literacy rate was 95%, the GDP9 per capita was $29, 181 US dollars, the average life expectancy was 76 years, and approximately 37% of people owned computers. The individuals who believe that dictatorial systems are more efficient and beneficial than democracies have never experienced life in such a system, or have never been a victim of the elite. Dictatorships do not meet the needs of the public adequately, result in a lower standard of living than democracies, and often result in violence. For a new policy to be implemented in a democracy thousands of people do not have to die. This is because for the most part in democracies the policies that exist are the will of the people. Democratic systems have been very successful in the US, Canada, Sweden, and other countries. The freedom of choice is ultimately important, and since the public makes the industry in nations, they will choose what is best for the nation.