Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-50] Static Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas; Van Allen belts; Salt Industry in India; Iron Ore; Garhjat Hills; Sivalik Hills; National Highway 1A; Gaddi Tribes; Rainfall in Western Ghats compared to Eastern Ghats; Drainage systems of Peninsular India; Montane Forests;
By IASToppers
April 28, 2020

Why do southern slopes of the Himalayas carry a thicker vegetation cover?

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Answer:

  • The southern slopes of the Himalayas carry a thicker vegetation cover because of relatively higher precipitation than the drier north-facing slopes.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Montane Forests:

  • The Himalayan ranges show a succession of vegetation from the tropical to the tundra, which change in with the altitude. Deciduous forests are found in the foothills of the Himalayas.
  • It is succeeded by the wet temperate type of forests between an altitudes of 1,000-2,000 m.
  • In the higher hill ranges of northeastern India, hilly areas of West Bengal and Uttaranchal, evergreen broad leaf trees such as oak and chestnut are predominant.
  • Between 1,500-1,750 m, pine forests are also well-developed in this zone, with Chir Pine as a very useful commercial tree.
  • Deodar, a highly valued endemic species grows mainly in the western part of the Himalayan range. Deodar is a durable wood mainly used in construction activity.
  • Similarly, the chinar and the walnut, which sustain the famous Kashmir handicrafts, belong to this zone.
  • Blue pine and spruce appear at altitudes of 2,225-3,048 m. At many places in this zone, temperate grasslands are also found.
  • But in the higher reaches there is a transition to Alpine forests and pastures. Silver firs, junipers, pines, birch and rhododendrons, etc. occur between 3,000- 4,000 m. However, these pastures are used extensively for transhumance by tribes like the Gujjars, the Bakarwals, the Bhotiyas and the Gaddis.

Which geological events are responsible for the present shape of Indian Peninsular drainage?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Three major geological events in the distant past have shaped the present drainage systems of Peninsular India:

  • Subsidence of the western flank of the Peninsula leading to its submergence below the sea during the early tertiary period. Generally, it has disturbed the symmetrical plan of the river on either side of the original watershed.
  • Upheaval of the Himalayas when the northern flank of the peninsular block was subjected to subsidence and the consequent trough faulting. The Narmada and The Tapi flow in trough faults and fill the original cracks with their detritus materials. Hence, there is a lack of alluvial and deltaic deposits in these rivers.
  • Slight tilting of the Peninsular block from northwest to the south-eastern direction gave orientation to the entire drainage system towards the Bay of Bengal.

Why does the Western Ghats receive more rainfall compered to Eastern Ghats?

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Answer:

  • Western Ghats as compared to the Eastern Ghats are continuous hills, which provide a better barrier to monsoon winds. This causes the monsoon winds to ascend and cause heavy rainfall in the windward side.
  • Also, the Arabian Sea branch hits the Western Ghats in perpendicular direction. On the other hand, Bay of Bengal branch remains parallel to Eastern Ghats in Tamil Nadu which does not receive much rainfall from south west monsoon.

Enrich Your Learning:

About More Rainfall in Western Ghats compared to Eastern Ghats:

There are several reasons for this.

  • First, the mountain topography in Karnataka is broader than the narrow topography of the Ghats in Maharashtra. Due to the greater width of the mountains, the rain bearing winds have to necessarily travel a longer distance and have more time for the drops to coalesce and precipitate as rainfall, resulting in higher rainfall. In contrast, the narrow width of the Ghats in Maharashtra allows the rain-bearing wind to cross over to the leeward side rapidly before precipitation can occur. As for Kerala, the Ghats there are in the form of isolated mountains, where the rain-bearing winds can easily cross over to the leeward side through the gaps in between without precipitation occurring.
  • Second, the slope of the mountain has a direct bearing on the possibility of precipitation. This is borne out by the Ghats of Karnataka where the mountains are gently sloping, compared to the steep slopes of the Ghats in Maharashtra and Kerala. The air parcel will retain its energy and speed for a longer time when the slope is gradual. This will provide sufficient vertical motion to cloud droplets to grow by collision–coalescence process and hence form precipitation.
  • Third, the gentle slope provides a greater area for sunlight absorption and heating leading to greater convection when compared with an abrupt slope i.e. less Ghat area such as that of the Maharashtra and Kerala Ghats.
  • Fourth, the continuous mountain range presents a greater barrier to rain-bearing winds than a range comprising isolated mountains with gaps in between where the winds can easily pass to the leeward side. Unlike in the case of Kerala, the Ghats in Maharashtra and Karnataka are continuous.

In which State of India would you find the Gaddi Tribes?

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Answer:

  • Gaddi Tribes are found in the Himachal Pradesh.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Gaddi Tribes

  • Gaddi Tribes constitute a sizeable population of tribes habitating in Himachal Pradesh.
  • These tribes mainly dwell around Dhauladhar mountain range, Chamba, Bharmaur and the areas near to Dharamshala.
  • It is believed that these people migrated to the foothills of Himalayas from Central Asia, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • It is also believed that some castes of Gaddi tribes ran away and took shelter in hills because of the threat of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb in 17th century.
  • The main occupation of Gaddi tribes is shepherding and they make their livelihood by rearing and selling sheeps, goats, mules and horses.
  • Though these tribes were more nomadic in older days but now they have made their settlements in the villages and make seasonal movements with their livestock to pastures in upper hills during summer season and to the foothills in chilly winters.
  • In fact, the Gaddis are believers of both Hinduism and Islam.

The famous Jawahar Tunnel that connects Jammu with the Kashmir Valley across the Pir Panjal Range is located on which national highway?

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Answer:

  • The famous Jawahar Tunnel that connects Jammu with the Kashmir Valley across the Pir Panjal Range is located on National Highway 1A (NH 1A).

Enrich Your Learning:

About National Highway 1A:

  • National Highway 1A (NH 1A) was a National Highway in North India that connected the Kashmir valley to Jammu and the rest of India. The northern terminal was in Uri in Jammu & Kashmir and the southern terminal was in Jalandhar.
  • Stretches of old NH 1A ran through some extremely treacherous terrain and shut-offs because of avalanches or landslides common in Winter months.
  • The famous Jawahar Tunnel that connects Jammu with the Kashmir Valley across the Pir Panjal Range falls en route. The total length of NH 1A was 663 km.

Which region of Himalayas is known for fast-flowing river Tista and high mountain peaks like Kanchenjunga and deep valleys?

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Answer:

  • Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas is known for fast-flowing river Tista and High Mountain peaks like Kanchenjunga and deep valleys.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas:

  • They are flanked by Nepal Himalayas in the west and Bhutan Himalayas in the east.
  • It is relatively small but is a most significant part of the Himalayas.
  • Known for its fast-flowing rivers such as Tista, it is a region of high mountain peaks like Kanchenjunga (Kanchengiri), and deep valleys.
  • The higher reaches of this region are inhabited by Lepcha tribes while the southern part, particularly the Darjiling Himalayas, has a mixed population of Nepalis, Bengalis and tribals from Central India.
  • The British, taking advantage of the physical conditions such as moderate slope, thick soil cover with high organic content, well distributed rainfall throughout the year and mild winters, introduced tea plantations in this region.
  • As compared to the other sections of the Himalayas, these along with the Arunachal Himalayas are conspicuous by the absence of the Shiwalik formations.
  • In place of the Shiwaliks here, the ‘duar formations’ are important, which have also been used for the development of tea gardens. Sikkim and Darjiling Himalayas are also known for their scenic beauty and rich flora and fauna, particularly various types of orchids.
  • The regions economy is dependent on three `T`s; Tea, Tourism and Timber. With greater concern for the environment, trade in Timber has fallen sharply over the years. Apart from these, the region produces large amount of oranges, cardamom, flowers etc.

Find the Location of (i) Garhjat hills and (ii) Shiwalik hills

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Garhjat Hills:

  • The Garhjat Hills is a mountain range formed by a series low lying hills, plateaux, ridges and meadows that stretch into Odisha from the Utkal Plains in the Chotanagpur region of Jharkhand and the Chhattisgarh Plains.
  • Rajmahal hills and Garhjat hills lie at edge of Chhotanagpur plateau in West Bengal and Odisha respectively.

Sivalik Hills:

  • The Sivalik Hills is a mountain range of the outer Himalayas. It is about 2,400 km long enclosing an area that starts almost from the Indus and ends close to the Brahmaputra. Dafla, Abor, Miri and Mishmi hills which lie in Arunachal Pradesh are part of Shivaliks.

Which state in India is the largest producer of iron-ore in India?

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Answer:

  • Karnataka is the largest producer and accounts for nearly one-fourth of the total iron ore produced in India.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Iron Ore:

  • Iron is the world’s most commonly used metal, as a key ingredient of steel it represents almost 95% of all metal used each year. It is used primarily in structural engineering applications and in marine products, automobiles, and general industrial machinery.
  • Mining iron ore is a high volume low margin business, as the value of iron is significantly lower than base metals. It is highly capital intensive and requires significant investment in infrastructure such as rail in order to transport the ore from the mine to a freight ship.
  • India is endowed with fairly abundant resources of iron ore. India is rich in good quality iron ores. India is ranked 4th in the production of iron ore.
  • At present, over 99 per cent of India’s iron ore is produced by just five states of Karnataka, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Goa and Jharkhand.
  • Magnetite is the finest iron ore with a very high content of iron up to 70 per cent. It has excellent magnetic qualities, especially valuable in the electrical industry.
  • Hematite ore is the most important industrial iron ore in terms of the quantity used, but has a slightly lower iron content than magnetite. (50-60 per cent).
  • In India we get four types of iron ores, viz. hematite (Fe203), magnetite, limonite (2Fe203.3H20), and siderite (Fe2C03).

Which is/are the main sources of salt in India? Lake brine OR Sub-soil brine OR Both?

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Answer:

  • Both Lake brine and Sub-soil brine are the main sources of salt in India.

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About Salt Industry in India:

  • India is the third largest Salt producing Country in the World after China and USA with Global annual production being about 230 million tones.
  • When India attained Independence in 1947, salt was being imported from the United Kingdom & Adens to meet its domestic requirement. But today it has not only achieved self-sufficiency in production of salt to meet its domestic requirement but also in a position of exporting surplus salt to foreign countries.  

Sources of Salt:

The main sources of salt in India are

  1. Sea brine
  2. Lake brine
  3. Sub-soil brine and
  4. Rock salt deposits

Major Salt Producing Centers:

  • Sea water is an inexhaustible source of salt.  Salt production along the coast is limited by weather and soil conditions.  The major salt producing centres are
  • Marine Salt works along the coast of Gujarat (Jamnagar, Mithapur,Jhakhar, Chira, Bhavnagar, Rajula, Dahej, Gandhidham, Kandla, Maliya, Lavanpur), Tamil Nadu (Tuticorin, Vedaranyam, Covelong), Andhra Pradesh (Chinnaganjam, Iskapalli, Krishnapatnam, Kakinada & Naupada), Maharashtra(Bhandup, Bhayandar, Palghar), Orissa (Ganjam, Sumadi) and West Bengal (Contai)
  • Inland Salt Works in Rajasthan using lake brine and sub-soil brine viz. Sambhar Lake, Nawa, Rajas, Kuchhaman, Sujangarh and Phalodi
  • Salt works in Rann of Kutch  using sub-soil brine viz: Kharaghoda, Dhrangadhra; Santalpur
  • Rock Salt Deposits at Mandi in the State of Himachal Pradesh

They are a collection of charged particles, gathered in place by Earth’s magnetic field. They can wax and wane in response to incoming energy from the sun, sometimes swelling up enough to expose satellites in low-Earth orbit to damaging radiation. What are they known as?

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Answer:

  • Van Allen belts.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Van Allen belts:

  • The Earth has Van Allen belts and sometimes others may be temporarily created.
  • Earth’s two main belts extend from an altitude of about 500 to 58,000 kilometers above the surface in which region radiation levels vary.
  • Most of the particles that form the belts are thought to come from solar wind and other particles by cosmic rays. By trapping the solar wind, the magnetic field deflects those energetic particles and protects the Earth’s atmosphere from destruction.
  • The Van Allen belts were the first discovery of the space age, measured with the launch of a US satellite, Explorer 1, in 1958.
  • In the decades since, scientists have learned that the size of the two belts can change – or merge, or even separate into three belts occasionally. But generally the inner belt stretches from 400 to 6,000 miles above Earth’s surface and the outer belt stretches from 8,400 to 36,000 miles above Earth’s surface.
  • The magnetic field of the Earth is generated by a dynamo effect that involves its rotation. If the Earth stopped rotating, it’s magnetic field would no longer be regenerated and it would decay away to some low, residual value due to the very small component which is ‘fossilized’ in its iron-rich rocks.
  • There would be no more ‘northern lights’ and the Van Allen radiation belts would probably vanish, as would our protection from cosmic rays and other high-energy particles. This is a significant biohazard.

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Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020 LAKSHYA-75
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