Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-4] Static Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Conservation Measures against soil degradation; Distribution of Minerals in India; Shifting cultivation & Nomadic herding; Iron and Steel Industry; Population pyramid; East India Company begins trade in Bengal; Birsa Munda; Khurda Uprising; Indigo cultivation during colonial period; Shifting capital to Delhi
By IASToppers
March 09, 2020



Why did Britishers choose Delhi as capital of India?

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  • After the Revolt of 1857, British were fully aware of the symbolic importance of Delhi. Moreover, the British had realised that the Mughal emperor was still important to the people and they saw him as their leader.

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Planning a new capital

  • After the Revolt of 1857, British were fully aware of the symbolic importance of Delhi.
  • The British had realised that the Mughal emperor was still important to the people and they saw him as their leader.
  • In 1877, Viceroy Lytton organised a Durbar to acknowledge Queen Victoria as the Empress of India to celebrate British power with pomp and show in the city the Mughal emperors had earlier ruled.
  • In 1911, when King George V was crowned in England, a Durbar was held in Delhi to celebrate the occasion. The decision to shift the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi was announced at this Durbar.
  • New Delhi was constructed as a city on Raisina Hill, south of the existing city.
  • Two architects, Edward Lutyens and Herbert Baker, were called on to design New Delhi and its buildings.
  • The government complex in New Delhi consisted of a two-mile avenue.
  • The features of the government buildings were borrowed from different periods of India’s imperial history, but the overall look was Classical Greece (fifth century BCE).
  • The central dome of the Viceroy’s Palace was copied from the Buddhist stupa at Sanchi.
  • The red sandstone and carved screens or jalis were borrowed from Mughal architecture.
  • The Viceroy’s Palace was kept higher than Shah Jahan’s Jama Masjid to assert British importance.



What were the main cultivation methods of Indigo during colonial period in India?

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There were two main systems of indigo cultivation– Nij system of cultivation and Ryoti system of cultivation.

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  • By the end of the eighteenth century, the existing supplies of indigo from the West Indies and America collapsed for a variety of reasons. So, the demand for Indian indigo increased in the markets of west.
  • Cloth dyers in Britain now desperately looked for new sources of indigo supply. The British realised that the countryside could also grow the crops that Europe required.
  • By the late eighteenth century the Company was trying its best to expand the cultivation of opium and indigo.
  • The British persuaded or forced cultivators in various parts of India to produce other crops: jute in Bengal, tea in Assam, sugarcane in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh), wheat in Punjab, cotton in Maharashtra and Punjab, rice in Madras.
  • The indigo plant grows primarily in the tropics. By the thirteenth century Indian indigo was being used by cloth manufacturers in Italy, France and Britain to dye cloth.

Cultivation methods of Indigo during colonial period in India

  • There were two main systems of indigo cultivation – nij and ryoti.

Nij system of cultivation

  • Within the system of nij cultivation, the planter produced indigo in lands that he directly controlled.
  • He either bought the land or rented it from other zamindars and produced indigo by directly employing hired labourers.
  • Till the late nineteenth century, planters were reluctant to expand the area under nij cultivation because of various reasons.
  • Less than 25 per cent of the land producing indigo was under this system.

Ryoti system of cultivation

  • Under the ryoti system, the planters forced the ryots to sign a contract, an agreement (satta).
  • At times they pressurized the village headmen to sign the contract on behalf of the ryots.
  • The planter provided the seed and the drill, while the cultivators prepared the soil, sowed the seed and looked after the crop.
  • Those who signed the contract got cash advances from the planters at low rates of interest to produce indigo.
  • But the loan committed the ryot to cultivating indigo on at least 25 per cent of the area under his holding.



Khurda uprising was the anti-British armed uprising in Punjab. True OR Flase.

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Correct Statement:

  • The Khurda uprising was the first popular anti-British armed uprising in Odisha.

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The Khurda Uprising

  • Much before the event of 1857, there had taken place another event of a similar nature at a place called Khurda in 1817.
  • It was the first popular anti-British armed uprising in Odisha, which had far reaching effect on the future of British administration in that part of the country.
  • The uprising was set off on 29 March 1817 as the Paiks attacked the police station and other government establishments at Banpur killing more than a hundred men and took away a large amount of government money.
  • Soon its ripples spread in different directions with Khurda becoming its epicenter.
  • The zamindars and ryots alike joined the Paiks with enthusiasm.
  • A ‘no-rent campaign’ was also started. The British tried to dislodge the Paiks from their entrenched position but failed.
  • In April 1817, Buxi Jagabandhu with thousands Paiks and men of the Kandh tribe seized Puri and declared the hesitant king, Mukunda Dev II as their ruler.
  • Seeing the situation going out of hand, the British Clamped Martial Law. The King was quickly captured and sent to prison in Cuttack with his son.
  • The British henceforth adopted a policy of ‘leniency, indulgence and forbearance’ towards the people of Khurda.
  • The price of salt was reduced and necessary reforms were made in the police and the justice systems.
  • Revenue officials found to be corrupt were dismissed from service and former land-holders were restored to their lands.
  • The son of the king of Khurda, Ram Chandra Dev III was allowed to move to Puri and take charge of the affairs of the Jagannath Temple with a grant of rupees twenty-four thousand.


  • Khurda was a small kingdom built up in the late 16th century in the south-eastern part of Odisha.
  • Raja Birakishore Dev of Khurda had to earlier give up the possession of four parganas, the superintendence of the Jagannath Temple and the administration of fourteen garjats (Princely States) to the Marathas under compulsion.
  • His son, Mukunda Dev II was greatly disturbed with this loss of fortune. Therefore, sensing an opportunity in the Anglo-Maratha conflict, he had entered into negotiations with the British to get back his lost territories and the rights over the Jagannath Temple. But, the British showed no inclination to oblige him on either score after the occupation of Odisha in 1803.
  • Consequently, in alliance with other feudatory chiefs of Odisha and secret support of the Marathas, he tried to assert his rights by force but failed.
  • As a matter of consolation, he was only given the rights of management of the Jagannath Temple with a grant amounting and his residence was fixed at Puri.
  • This unfair settlement commenced an era of oppressive foreign rule in Odisha, which paved the way for a serious armed uprising in 1817.
  • The severity of the measure was compounded on account of an unreasonable increase in the demand of revenue and also the oppressive ways of its collection.
  • Consequently, there was large scale desertion of people from Khurda between 1805 and 1817.



In context of colonial era, what were the implications of Birsa Movement?

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The Birsa movement was significant in two ways.

  • First – it forced the colonial government to introduce laws so that the land of the tribals could not be easily taken over by dikus.
  • Second – it showed once again that the tribal people had the capacity to protest against injustice and express their anger against colonial rule.

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Birsa Munda

  • Birsa, born in the mid-1870s, grew up around the forests of Bohonda.
  • As an adolescent, Birsa heard tales of the Munda uprisings of the past and saw the sirdars (leaders) of the community urging the people to revolt.
  • The stories were of Mundas had been free of the oppression of dikus and right of the community would be restored. They saw themselves as the descendants of the original settlers of the region, fighting for their land (mulk ki larai), reminding people of the need to win back their kingdom.
  • Birsa went to the local missionary school, and heard that it was possible for the Mundas to attain the Kingdom of Heaven, and regain their lost rights if they became good Christians and gave up their “bad practices”.
  • Birsa also spent some time in the company of a prominent Vaishnav preacher. He wore the sacred thread, and began to value the importance of purity and piety.
  • Birsa was deeply influenced by many of the ideas he came in touch with in his growing-up years. His movement was aimed at reforming tribal society.
  • He urged the Mundas to give up drinking liquor, clean their village, and stop believing in witchcraft and sorcery.
  • But Birsa also turned against missionaries and Hindu landlords. He saw them as outside forces that were ruining the Munda way of life.
  • In 1895, Birsa urged his followers to recover their glorious past. He talked of a golden age in the past – a satyug (the age of truth) – when Mundas lived a good life, constructed embankments, tapped natural springs, planted trees and orchards, practiced cultivation to earn their living.
  • They did not kill their brethren and relatives. They lived honestly. Birsa also wanted people to once again work on their land, settle down and cultivate their fields.

Birsa movement

  • The political aim of the Birsa movement, worried British officials, for it wanted to drive out missionaries, moneylenders, Hindu landlords, and the government and set up a Munda Raj with Birsa at its head.

Causes of Birsa Movement:

  • The land policies of the British were destroying their traditional land system, Hindu landlords and moneylenders were taking over their land, and missionaries were criticizing their traditional culture.
  • As the movement spread, the British officials arrested Birsa in 1895, convicted him on charges of rioting and jailed him for two years.
  • When Birsa was released in 1897 he began touring the villages to gather support. He used traditional symbols and language to rouse people, urging them to destroy “Ravana” (dikus and the Europeans) and establish a kingdom under his leadership.
  • Birsa’s followers began targeting the symbols of diku and European power. They attacked police stations and churches, and raided the property of moneylenders and zamindars.
  • They raised the white flag as a symbol of Birsa Raj.
  • In 1900, Birsa died of cholera and the movement faded out. They did this in their own specific way, inventing their own rituals and symbols of struggle.



By which year, East India Company began to build a fort around British settlements in Bengal?

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By 1696, East India Company began to build a fort around British settlements in Bengal.

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East India Company begins trade in Bengal

  • The first English factory was set up in 1651 on the banks of the river Hugli. This was the base from which the Company’s traders, known at that time as “factors”, operated.
  • The factory had a warehouse where goods for export were stored, and it had offices where Company officials sat.
  • As trade expanded, the Company persuaded merchants and traders to come and settle near the factory.
  • By 1696, it began building a fort around the settlement. Two years later, it bribed Mughal officials into giving the Company zamindari rights over three villages. One of these was Kalikata, which later grew into the city of Calcutta or Kolkata as it is known today.
  • It also persuaded the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb to issue a farman granting the Company the right to trade duty free.
  • The Company tried continuously to press for more concessions and manipulate existing privileges.
  • Aurangzeb’s farman, for instance, only had granted the Company the right to trade duty free.
  • But officials of the Company, who were carrying on private trade on the side, were expected to pay duty. This they refused to pay, causing an enormous loss of revenue for Bengal.



What type of population pyramid does India show at the current population situation?

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India contain a relatively large number of young people, where death rates are decreasing. Hence, the pyramid is broad in the younger age groups.

Below is the representation of India’s population pyramid.

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Population Pyramid

  • Population pyramids are graphical representations of the age and sex of a population. For this reason, population pyramids are also referred to as age-sex pyramids.
  • The age-sex structure of a population refers to the number of females and males in different age groups.
  • The left side shows the percentage of males while the right side shows the percentage of women in each age group.
  • A population pyramid shows
    • The total population divided into various age groups, e.g., 5 to 9 years, 10 to 14 years.
    • The percentage of the total population subdivided into males and females, in each of those groups.

Description of pyramid:

  • The shape of the population pyramid reflects the characteristics of the population of that particular country.
  • The numbers of children (below 15 years) are shown at the bottom and reflect the level of births.
  • The size of the top shows the numbers of aged people (above 65 years) and reflects the number of deaths.
  • It also tells us how many dependents; young dependents (aged below 15 years) and elderly dependents (aged over 65 years) are there in a country. Those of the working age are the economically active.
  • The population pyramid of a country in which birth and death rates both are high is broad at the base and rapidly narrows towards the top. This is because although, many children are born, a large percentage of them die in their infancy, relatively few become adults and there are very few old people.
  • This situation is typified by the pyramid shown for Kenya.

  • In countries where death rates (especially amongst the very young) are decreasing, the pyramid is broad in the younger age groups, because more infants survive to adulthood, for example India.
  • Such populations contain a relatively large number of young people and which means a strong and expanding labour force.
  • The low birth rates make the pyramid narrow at the base and decreased death rates allow numbers of people to reach old age.
  • Countries like Japan show this type of pyramid structure.



Give the location of India’s major Iron and Steel Industry centers.

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All the important steel producing centers such as Bhilai, Durgapur, Burnpur, Jamshedpur, Rourkela, Bokaro are situated in a region that spreads over four states — West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

Bhadravati and Vijay Nagar in Karnataka, Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Salem in Tamil Nadu are other important steel centers.

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Iron and Steel Industry

  • In India, iron and steel industry has developed taking advantage of raw materials, cheap labour, transport and market.


  • Before 1947, there was only one iron and steel plant in the country – Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited (TISCO). It was privately owned.
  • After Independence, the government set up several iron and steel plants.
  • TISCO was started in 1907 at Sakchi, near the confluence of the rivers Subarnarekha and Kharkai in Jharkhand.
  • Later on, Sakchi was renamed as Jamshedpur.

Location advantage:

  • Geographically, Jamshedpur is the most conveniently situated iron and steel center in the country.
  • Sakchi was only 32 km away from Kalimati station on the Bengal-Nagpur railway line.
  • It was close to the iron ore, coal and manganese deposits as well as to Kolkata, which provided a large market.
  • TISCO, gets coal from Jharia coalfields, and iron ore, limestone, dolomite and manganese from Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
  • The Kharkai and Subarnarekha rivers ensured sufficient water supply.


  • It is an important steel city of the United States of America.
  • The steel industry at Pittsburgh enjoys locational advantages. Some of the raw material such as coal is available locally, while the iron ore comes from the iron mines at Minnesota, about 1500 km from Pittsburgh.
  • Pittsburgh is one of the world’s best routes for shipping ore cheaply – the famous Great Lakes waterway.
  • The Ohio, the Monogahela and Allegheny rivers provide adequate water supply.



Shifting cultivation and Nomadic herding are found in which parts of India?

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Shifting cultivation is practiced in Northeast India while Nomadic herding is practiced in parts of India like Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.

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Shifting cultivation

  • Shifting cultivation is practiced in the thickly forested areas of Amazon basin, tropical Africa, parts of southeast Asia and Northeast India.
  • These are the areas of heavy rainfall and quick regeneration of vegetation.
  • A plot of land is cleared by felling the trees and burning The ashes are then mixed with the soil and crops like maize, yam, potatoes and cassava are grown.
  • After the soil loses its fertility, the land is abandoned and the cultivator moves to a new plot.
  • Shifting cultivation is also known as ‘slash and burn’ agriculture.

Nomadic herding

  • Nomadic herding is practiced in the semi-arid and arid regions of Sahara, Central Asia and some parts of India, like Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • In this type of farming, herdsmen move from place to place with their animals for fodder and water, along defined routes.
  • This type of movement arises in response to climatic constraints and terrain.
  • Sheep, camel, yak and goats are most commonly reared. They provide milk, meat, wool, hides and other products to the herders and their families.



India is the largest producer and exporter of mica in the world. Mica deposits are found in which states of India?

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Mica deposits mainly occur in Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.

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Distribution of Minerals in India


  • India has deposits of high grade iron ore.
  • The mineral is found mainly in Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka.


  • Major bauxite producing areas are Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.


  • Mica deposits mainly occur in Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. India is the largest producer and exporter of mica in the world.


  • It is mainly produced in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.


  • India’s manganese deposits lie in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.


  • Major limestone producing states in India are Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.


  • Kolar in Karnataka has deposits of gold in India. These mines are among the deepest in the world which makes mining of this ore a very expensive process.


  • It is obtained from seas, lakes and rocks. India is world’s third largest producer of salt. It also exporters the salt.



Enlist the conservation measures against degradation of soil.

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Mulching, Contour barriers, Rock dam, Terrace farming, Intercropping, Contour ploughing and Shelter belts.

Enrich Your Learning:

  • Soil degradation includes decline in soil fertility, adverse changes in alkalinity, acidity or salinity, extreme floodin, erosion, and deterioration of the soil’s structural condition.

Degradation of Soil

  • Soil erosion and depletion are the major threats to soil as a resource.
  • Both human and natural factors can lead to degradation of soils.
  • Factors which lead to soil degradation are deforestation, overgrazing, overuse of chemical feritilisers or pesticides, rain wash, landslides and floods.

Conservation Measures


  • The bare ground between plants is covered with a layer of organic matter like straw. It helps to retain soil moisture.

Contour barriers:

  • Stones, grass, soil are used to build barriers along contours. Trenches are made in front of the barriers to collect water.

Rock dam:

  • Rocks are piled up to slow down the flow of water. This prevents gullies and further soil loss.

Terrace farming:

  • Broad flat steps or terraces are made on the steep slopes so that flat surfaces are available to grow crops. They reduce surface runoff and soil erosion.


  • Different crops are grown in alternate rows and are sown at different times to protect the soil from rain wash.

Contour ploughing:

  • Ploughing parallel to the contours of a hill slope to form a natural barrier for water to flow down the slope.

Shelter belts:

  • In the coastal and dry regions, rows of trees are planted to check the wind movement to protect soil cover.
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