International News – June-August 2016

Current Affairs – International News General Awareness – June-August 2016 – for general awareness paper of various competitive exams

ARMS RACE

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) has officially declared India’s membership, stating that as a new member India will be entitled to “full participation” in organisational activities. India had firmed up its claim to MTCR by joining The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC). MTCR membership will enable India to buy high-end missile technology and also enhance its joint ventures with Russia. MTCR aims at restricting the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload for at least 300 kilometres, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

ENVIRONMENT

A two-day meeting of BRICS Parliamentarians on disaster management was held in Udaipur, India, in August 2016. The meeting laid bare the common thread of challenges on disaster issues faced by all the BRICS nations. The member nations agreed to move away from relief-centric to a holistic approach to disasters with a greater emphasis on prevention, mitigation and preparedness. The roadmap for implementation of three-year joint action plan (JAP) for BRICS emergency services (2016-18) was also finalized. The JAP had been agreed upon at the first meeting of BRICS ministers for disaster management at St. Petersburg in Russia.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

EU-BRITAIN: on 23 June 2016, Britain voted to end its 43-year old association with the European Union in a landmark referendum. The country voted 52%-48% in favour of ‘Leave’ to become the first member State to exit the 28-nation European Union. Nigel Farage, leader of the euro-sceptic UK Independence Party called for June 23 “to go down in history as independence day.”

TURKEY-ISRAEL: On 27 June 2016, Turkey announced the restoration of diplomatic ties with Israel after a six-year rupture and expressed regret to Russia over the downing of a warplane, seeking to mend strained alliances and ease a sense of isolation on the world stage. The deal with Israel after years of negotiation was a rare rapprochement in the divided Middle East, driven by the prospect of lucrative Mediterranean gas deals as well as mutual fears over growing security risks. Relations between Israel and what was once its principle Muslim ally had crumbled after Israeli marines stormed an activist ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and killed 10 Turks on board.

WORLD ECONOMY

India has surpassed Japan to become the world’s third-largest oil consumer, with its oil demand galloping 8.1% in 2015, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy. With demand of 4.1 million barrels per day, India is the third-largest consumer behind US (19.39 million bpd) and China (11.96 million bpd). India accounted for 4.5% of world oil consumption in 2015.

COUNTRY SPECIFIC

BRAZIL: On 31 August 2016, President Dilma Rousseff was stripped of her office in the culmination of a political crisis that has left Latin America’s largest nation adrift. Rousseff was impeached on arcane charges having to do with violating budget laws. The 61-to-20 Senate vote closed out an extraordinary 13-year rule by the leftist Workers’ Party, which boasted of lifting tens of millions of Brazilians out of poverty before the economy began to nose-dive and its political fortunes soured. Rousseff was replaced by her former Vice-President and coalition partner, Michel Temer, who had been running Brazil as interim president since she was suspended to face the impeachment trial. He belongs to the more conservative Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, or PMDB, and is trying to introduce austerity measures to right the economy. Brazil has now impeached two of the four presidents it has elected since returning to democracy in 1985 after two decades of military dictatorship.

RUSSIA: The Russian Parliament has passed the “Yarovaya law”, which are anti-terrorism laws that critics allege compromise on privacy and personal freedoms. The new legislations state that telephone and internet companies must keep all communication records for six months and must also help intelligence agencies to decode encrypted messages. The laws also restrict missionary work to designated areas.

Current General Knowledge – Days & Years

World Oceans Day is observed on June 8. The 2016 theme was “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” to encourage individuals and organizations across the planet to take action for prevention of plastic pollution in our oceans.

15 June is observed as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

World Refugee Day, a day dedicated by the United Nations to increase awareness about the situation of refugees, is celebrated worldwide on June 20 every year.

World Public Service Day, a day dedicated by the United Nations to “celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community”, is observed on 23 June.

International Widows’ Day, a day dedicated by the United Nations “to give special recognition to the situation of widows of all ages and across regions and cultures”, is observed on 23 June.

August 7 has been declared as National Handloom Day to mark the Swadeshi movement, which was launched on this day in 1905. The movement involved revival of domestic products and production processes.

World Photo Day is observed annually on 19 August to acknowledge passion for photography.  World’s first photograph made in a camera was taken by French scientist Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1820s.

Gains and Pains of Digital Transformation

Descriptive Questions & Essay Topic Gains and Pains of Digital Transformation

Essay Topic Gains and Pains of Digital Transformation – A big challenge is the change in the IT customer who is now behaving like a consumer.

Social, cloud, analytics and mobility are rapidly changing the way companies operate. Their synergy has resulted in easy-to-use products and services for customers on the one hand, and richer dividends for companies on the other. Seeing a positive correlation between business performance and the emerging technologies, companies are fast-forwarding to digital transformation.

Customer expectations are changing faster than what IT teams can anticipate. “With multiple conversation platforms, it doesn’t matter where it starts: may be with a chat, then goes on to a social platform. Digital transformation is about integrating platforms and departments to get a unified experience,” says Suman Reddy, Managing Director, Pegasystems.

CLICK HERE  to read further

Via: The Hindu

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Computers & Information Technology Quick Revision Notes

revision notes IT, computer, internet for bank PO
Revision Notes on Computers & IT: Bank PO Exams

Useful Quick Revision Notes on Computers & IT: Bank PO Exams, IBPS Exam, Bank Clerk Grade exam

  • Early computing machines, like the ENIAC, were actually meant to assist the armed forces.
  • The printers in pre-1950s were punch cards.
  • An improvement on the ENIAC, which pioneered ‘stored program’, was made possible with the help of the mathe-matician John von Neumann.
  • Before the 1950s, computers were mostly owned by universities and research labs.
  • The B-programming language was developed by Ken Thompson.
  • Famous people, associated with the ENIAC, EDVAC, UNIVAC computers are Eckert & Mauchly.
  • The 1st commercially produced and sold computer (1951) was UNIVAC.
  • IBM was provided software for PCs by Microsoft.
  • Time-sharing, teletyping, were associated with mainframe computers.
  • The transformation from heavy computers to PCs was made possible using microprocessors.
  • The first microprocessor was developed in 1971 by Intel.
  • The term ‘micro’ (extremely small) denotes 10–6 m.
  • The Harvard student, who chose to write computer programs and dropped studies was Bill Gates.
  • A pentium 4 (P-4) employs roughly 40 million transistors.
  • Mark-1, Apple-1, and collossus were initial desktop computers.
  • Binary digits are briefed as bit.
  • A collection of bits is called byte.
  • C++, is a computer language.
  • The process of eliminating pro-gramming faults is called debugging.
  • Starting up on operating system is called booting.
  • A program used to browse the web is called browser.
  • An error in software designing which can even cause a computer to crash is called bug.
  • Click and double-click are achieved using the mouse.
  • Java, C, ForTran, Pascal and BASIC are computer programming languages.
  • The device which sends computer data using a phone line is called MODEM.
  • ‘Worm’ and ‘virus’ are actually programs.
  • A ‘file’ is a unit of information.
  • A megabyte has 106 (million) bytes.
  • A small, single-site network is called LAN.
  • A processor that collects several data and sends them over a single line is called bridge.
  • ‘Nano’ stands for one billionth part.
  • The number of bit patterns using an n-bit code is 2n.
  • The part of a computer that works with the data/programs is called CPU.
  • To convert a binary number to a decimal, we have to express it in power of 2.
  • www stands for world wide web.
  • Mathematics employed in computers is called Boolean algebra.
  • A collection of 8 bits is called byte.
  • The first home computer (1977), which was sold in millions of units was Apple II.
  • ‘PARAM’ is a supercomputer.
  • A website containing periodic posts is called blog.
  • While cutting and pasting, the cut item is temporarily stored in the clipboard.
  • http stands for hypertext transfer protocol.
  • The unwanted or non-requested e-mails are called “spam”.
  • A computer framed to give various network services is called server.
  • SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer. SSL provides a secure connection, allowing you to transmit private data online. Sites secured with SSL display a padlock in the browsers URL and possibly a green address bar if secured by an EV SSL certificate.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) is an area of website development that seeks to improve the way content is ranked by search engines in organic search results.
  • Kubernetes is Google’s orchestration system for managing containerized applications.
  • Augmented reality (AR) is the integration of digital information with live video or the user’s environment in real time.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is an environment in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
  • Software-defined networking (SDN) is an umbrella term encompassing several kinds of network technology aimed at making the network as agile and flexible as the virtualized server and storage infrastructure of the modern data center. The goal of SDN is to allow network engineers and administrators to respond quickly to changing business requirements.
  • Bluetooth is a telecommunications industry specification that describes how mobile phones, computers, and personal digital assistants (PDAs) can be easily interconnected using a short-range wireless connection.
  • The Centre for Development for Advanced Computing (CDAC) is the main research and development group for the Department of Information Technology (DIT) and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in India.
  • The Data Security Council of India (DSCI) is a not-for-profit organization created to promote the country as a secure destination for information technology (IT) outsourcing. DSCI was founded by NASSCOM, an Indian IT-BPO (business process outsourcing) consortium.
  • CERT-In (the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) is a government-mandated information technology (IT) security organization. The purpose of CERT-In is to respond to computer security incidents, report on vulnerabilities and promote effective IT security practices throughout the country.
  • The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is a nonprofit organization that promotes research into best practices for securing cloud computing and the ability of cloud technologies to secure other forms of computing.
  • Cloud computing is a general term for the delivery of hosted services over the Internet. Cloud computing enables companies to consume compute resources as a utility — just like electricity — rather than having to build and maintain computing infrastructures in-house.
  • Coordinated Universal Time (abbreviated as UTC, and therefore often spelled out as Universal Time Coordinated and sometimes as Universal Coordinated Time) is the standard time common to every place in the world. Formerly and still widely called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and also World Time, UTC nominally reflects the mean solar time along the Earth’s prime meridian.
  • E-voting is an election system that allows a voter to record his or her secure and secret ballot electronically.
  • GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and is one of the two most common file formats for graphic images on the World Wide Web. The other is the JPEG.
  • HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is an industry standard for creating audio and video connections between high-definition electronic devices. HDMI supports two-way digital communication between the video source and the video display with one cable.
  • ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the private (non-government) non-profit corporation with responsibility for IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions, the services previously performed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).
  • Megabytes per second (MBps) describes a unit of data transfer to and from a computer storage device. A megabyte is 2 to the 20th power bytes, or 1,048,576 bytes in decimal notation.
  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks; originally redundant array of inexpensive disks) provides a way of storing the same data in different places (thus, redundantly) on multiple hard disks (though not all RAID levels provide redundancy).SWIFT (Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) was founded in Brussels in 1973. It is a co-operative organization dedicated to the promotion and development of standardized global interactivity for financial transactions. The Society operates a messaging service for financial messages, such as letters of credit, payments, and securities transactions, between member banks worldwide. SWIFT’s essential function is to deliver these messages quickly and securely — both of which are prime considerations for financial matters.
  • Unicode is an entirely new idea in setting up binary codes for text or script characters. Officially called the Unicode Worldwide Character Standard, it is a system for “the interchange, processing, and display of the written texts of the diverse languages of the modern world.” It also supports many classical and historical texts in a number of languages. Currently, the Unicode standard contains 34,168 distinct coded characters derived from 24 supported language scripts. These characters cover the principal written languages of the world.
  • USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a plug-and-play interface between a computer and add-on devices, such as media players, keyboards, telephones, digital cameras, scanners, flash drives, joysticks and printers. USB supports hot-swapping, which means that a new device can be added to your computer without having to add an adapter card or even having to turn the computer off. The USB peripheral bus standard was developed by Compaq, IBM, DEC, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, and Northern Telecom.
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML) is used to describe data. The XML standard is a flexible way to create information formats and electronically share structured data via the public Internet, as well as via corporate networks.
  • BOOTP (Bootstrap Protocol) is a protocol that lets a network user be automatically configured (receive an IP address) and have an operating system booted (initiated) without user involvement.
  • CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) refers to any of several protocols used in second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) wireless communications. As the term implies, CDMA is a form of multiplexing, which allows numerous signals to occupy a single transmission channel, optimizing the use of available bandwidth. The technology is used in ultra-high-frequency (UHF) cellular telephone systems in the 800-MHz and 1.9-GHz bands.
  • DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a communications protocol that network administrators use to centrally manage and automate the network configuration of devices attaching to an Internet Protocol (IP) network.
  • Ethernet/IP (Ethernet Industrial Protocol) is a network communication standard capable of handling large amounts of data at speeds of 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps, and at up to 1500 bytes per packet. The specification uses an open protocol at the application layer. It is especially popular for control applications.
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard Internet protocol for transmitting files between computers on the Internet over TCP/IP connections.
  • HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the set of rules for transferring files (text, graphic images, sound, video, and other multimedia files) on the World Wide Web. As soon as a Web user opens their Web browser, the user is indirectly making use of HTTP. HTTP is an application protocol that runs on top of the TCP/IP suite of protocols (the foundation protocols for the Internet).
  • The Internet Protocol (IP) is the method or protocol by which data is sent from one computer to another on the Internet. Each computer (known as a host) on the Internet has at least one IP address that uniquely identifies it from all other computers on the Internet.
  • An IPPP (Internet presence provider and promoter) is a company that helps an enterprise create a Web site, arrange for hosting (housing, maintaining, and providing Internet access) for the Web site, and promote an audience for it. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) are also IPPPs, but some ISPs simply offer users access to the Internet.
  • IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is a set of specifications from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that’s essentially an upgrade of IP version 4 (IPv4). The basics of IPv6 are similar to those of IPv4 — devices can use IPv6 as source and destination addresses to pass packets over a network, and tools like ping work for network testing as they do in IPv4, with some slight variations.
  • POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) is a standard protocol for receiving e-mail.
  • TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is the basic communication language or protocol of the Internet. It can also be used as a communications protocol in a private network.
  • The 404 error indicates that the server where the page should reside has been contacted but that the page is does not exist at that address, at that time. 404 errors can result when sites cease to exist, when pages or files are moved or deleted or when URLS are mistyped.
  • Above the fold, as it applies to Web design, is the portion of a Web page that is visible in a browser window when the page first loads. The portion of the page that requires scrolling in order to see content is called “below the fold.”
  • Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is a protocol for mapping an Internet Protocol address (IP address) to a physical machine address that is recognized in the local network.
  • B2C is short for business-to-consumer, or the retailing part of e-commerce on the Internet. It is often contrasted to B2B or business-to-business.
  • Black hat is used to describe a hacker (or, if you prefer, cracker) who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent. Unlike a white hat hacker, the black hat hacker takes advantage of the break-in, perhaps destroying files or stealing data for some future purpose.
  • A blog (short for weblog) is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs are defined by their format: a series of entries posted to a single page in reverse-chronological order. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or reflect the purpose of the Web site that hosts the blog.
  • On a Web site, a breadcrumb trail is a navigation tool that allows a user to see where the current page is in relation to the Web site’s hierarchy. The term breadcrumb trail comes from the story of Hansel and Gretel, who left a trail of breadcrumbs as they walked through the forest so they could trace their way back home.
  • In Web advertising, the click rate is the number of clicks on an ad on an HTML page as a percentage of the number of times that the ad was downloaded with a page. Thus, the click rate on a particular page with an ad would be 10% if one in ten people who downloaded the page clicked on the ad.
  • Crowdfunding is a financing method that involves funding a project with relatively modest contributions from a large group of individuals, rather than seeking substantial sums from a small number of investors. The funding campaign and transactions are typically conducted online through dedicated crowdfunding sites, often in conjunction with social networking sites.
  • In information technology, a dashboard is a user interface that, somewhat resembling an automobile’s dashboard, organizes and presents information in a way that is easy to read.
  • A favicon (for “favorite icon”) is a customized image that browsers uses, if it is available, as an icon to go with a user-specified bookmarked site on the Links bar at the top of a Web browser window.
  • A hashtag is a tag used to categorize posts on Twitter (tweets) according to topics. To add a hashtag to a tweet, you just preface the relevant term with the hash symbol (#). That will allow people who follow that topic to find your tweet and perhaps follow you as well.
  • Malware (for “malicious software”) is any program or file that is harmful to a computer user. Thus, malware includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and also spyware, programming that gathers information about a computer user without permission.
  • Ping is a basic Internet program that allows a user to verify that a particular IP address exists and can accept requests.
  • WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is a specification for a set of communication protocols to standardize the way that wireless devices, such as cellular telephones and radio transceivers, can be used for Internet access, including e-mail, the World Wide Web, newsgroups, and instant messaging.
  • Web 2.0 is the current state of online technology as it compares to the early days of the Web, characterized by greater user interactivity and collaboration, more pervasive network connectivity and enhanced communication channels. One of the most significant differences between Web 2.0 and the traditional World Wide Web (WWW, retroactively referred to as Web 1.0) is greater collaboration among Internet users, content providers and enterprises. Originally, data was posted on Web sites, and users simply viewed or downloaded the content. Increasingly, users have more input into the nature and scope of Web content and in some cases exert real-time control over it.

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History: Maghad and Beyond Quick Revision Notes

IAS Prelims History of India

The following revision notes of Indian history, of Maghad era and beyond, are helpful while preparing for General Awareness preparation of IAS Prelims History of India and for other competitive exams held in India

Magadh kingdom’s most remarkable king was Srenika or Bimbisara, who was anointed king by his father at the young age of 15.

The capital of Bimbi­sara’s kingdom was Giriv­raja. It was girded with stone walls which are among the oldest extant stone struc­tures in India.

The most notable achievement of Bimbisara was the annexation of neigh­bouring kingdom of Anga or East Bihar. He also entered into matrimonial alliances with ruling families of Kosala and Vaishali. The Vaishali marriage paved the way for expansion of Maga­dha north-ward to the bor­ders of Nepal.

Gautama Buddha and Vardhaman Mahavira prea­ched their doctrines during the reign of Bimbisara.

The modern town of Rajgir in the Patna district was built by Bimbisara. He had named it Rajagriha or the king’s house.

Bimbisara was suc­ceeded by his son Ajatsha­tru. Tradition affirms that Bim­bisara was murdered by Ajat­shatru.

To repel the attacks of the Vrijis of Vaishali, Ajat­shatru fortified the village of Pataligrama, which stood at the confluence of Ganga and Sona rivers. This fortress, within a generation, devel­oped into the stately city of Pataliputra (modern day Patna).

According to the Puranas, the immediate suc­cessor of Ajatshatru was Darsaka, after whom came his son Udayi.

The name of Darsaka also occurs in a play named Svapna-Vasavadatta, attri­buted to Bhasa, which repre­sents him as a brother-in-law and contemporary of Uday­ana, king of Kausambi. However, Jain and Buddhist writers assert that Udayi was son of Ajatshatru.

Bimbisara’s dynastic lineage ended with the Nan­da dynasty taking over the reigns of Magadha. The first king of Nanda dynasty was Mahapadma or Mahapamapati Nanda. He was succeeded by his eight sons, of whom the last was named Dhana-Nanda.

Dhana-Nanda was overthrown by Chan­dragupta Maurya, the founder of a new and more illustrious dynasty.

Among the State functionaries, the Purohit was of special importance in Kasi-Kosala, as we learn from Ramayan and several Jatakas. In Kuru-Panchal and Matsya countries it was the Senapati who held the spe­cial place.

The armies of the period usually consisted of infantry, cavalry, chariots and elephants. While rulers of delta regions were known to maintain small naval fleets, a big naval department came into being only during the reign of Chan­dragupta Maurya.

The Indian infantry usually carried long bows and iron-tipped arrows made of cane. They used to wear cotton garments. The chariots of the cavalry were drawn by horses or wild asses and carried six soldiers apiece—two bowmen, two shield bearers and two charioteers.

Greek writers bear testimony to the fact that in the art of war Indians were far superior to other peoples of Asia. Their failure against foreign invaders was often due to inferiority in cavalry. Indian commanders pinned their faith more in elephants than horses.

The oldest source of revenues was the bali. Bha­ga, the king’s share of reaped corn, became the most important source of State revenue in course of time. Among the most important revenue officials was the Grama-bhojaka or village head-man.

The early Buddhist texts refer to six big cities that flourished during the days of the Buddha. These were: Champa (near Bha­galpur), Rajagriha (in Patna district), Sravasti (Saheth-Maheth), Saketa (Oudh), Kausambi (near Allahabad) and Benaras (Varanasi).

The usual recrea­tions of women during the Magadhan era were singing, dancing and music. Little princesses used to play with dolls called panchalikas.

The chief pastimes of knights were gambling, hunting, listening to tales of war and tournaments in amphitheaters. Buddhist texts refer to acrobatic feats, combats of animals and a kind of primitive chess play.

The principal sea­ports of the period were: Bhrigukachcha (Broach), Surparaka (Sopara, north of Mumbai), and Tamralipti (Tamluk in West Bengal).

The chief articles of trade during the Magadhan era were: silk, muslin, embroidery, ivory, jewellery and gold. The standard unit of value was the copper Karshapana, weighing a lit­tle more than 146 grains. Sil­ver coins, called Purana or Dharana, were also in circu­lation. The weight of a silver coin was a little more than 58 grains, which is one-tenth of that of the Nishka known to the Vedic texts.

The first undoubted historical reference to image-worship by an Aryan tribe occurs in passage of Curtis, who states that an image of Herakles was car­ried in front of Paurava army as it advanced against Alexander.

The early Magad­han period saw develop­ment of variant languages from Sanskrit. In the towns and the villages a popular form of Sanskrit, Prakrit, was spoken. This had local variations; the chief west­ern variety was called Shauraseni and the eastern variety Magadhi. Pali was another local language. The Buddha, wishing to reach wider audience, taught in Magadhi.

Persian and Macedonian Invasions
Cyrus, the founder of the Achaemenian empire of Persia, destroyed the famous city of Kapisa near the junction of the Ghorband and Panjshir rivers north­east of Kabul.

The successor of Cyrus, Darius sent a naval expedition to the Indus under the command of Sky-lax. This expedition paved the way for the annexation of the Indus valley as far as the deserts of Rajputana. The area became the most populous satrapy of the Persian empire and paid a tribute pro­portionately larger than all the rest—360 Eubic talents of gold dust, equivalent to more than a million sterling.

Once the Persian hold over Indian possessions became weak, the old territo­ry of Gandhara was divided into two parts. To the west of Indus river lay the kingdom of Pushkalavati in the mod­ern district of Peshawar; to the east was Takshasila in present district of Rawalpin­di. Tradition affirms that Mahabharata was first recited in Takshasila.

In 331 B.C., Alexan­der inflicted heavy blows on the king of Persia and occupied his realm. In 327 B.C. Alexander crossed the Hindukush and resolved to recover the Indian sat­rapies that had once been under his Persian prede­cessors.

To secure his com­munications, Alexander gar­risoned a number of strong­holds near modern Kabul and passed the winter of 327-326 B.C. in warfare with fierce tribes of Kunar and Swat valleys.

Alexander finally crossed Indus river in 326 B.C. using a bridge of boats. Ambhi, the king of Taxila gave him valuable help in this. Alexander’s march faced a major hurdle when it reached the banks of Hydaspes (modern Jhelum) river, near the town of Jhelum. Here he faced stiff resistance from Paurava king (Porus).

After crossing the Akesines (Chenab) and the Hydraotes (Ravi), Alexander stormed Sangala, the strong­hold of the Kathaioi, and moved on to the Hyphasis (Beas). He wished to press forward to the Ganga valley, but his war-worn troops refused. Alexander erected 12 towering altars to mark the utmost limit of his march, and then retraced his steps to Jhelum.

During the return journey, Alexander received a dangerous wound while storming a citadel of the powerful tribe of the Malawas. He returned to Babylon after a long and treacherous journey and died soon after in 323 B.C.

The Persian con­quest unveiled India for the first time to the Western world and established con­tact between the people of both regions.

The introduction of new scripts—Aramaic, Kharoshti and the alphabet style Yavanani by Panini— can be traced to Greek source.

The Macedonian garrisons were swept away by Chandragupta Maurya. However, these were not wiped out completely. Colonies like Yavana contin­ued to serve the king of Magadha just as they served the Macedonians, and carved out an independent kingdom only after the sun set of Magadha.

One positive out­come of Alexander’s inva­sion was that Greeks of later ages got to learn lessons in philosophy and religion from Indian Buddhists and Bhagavatas and Indians learned use of coins, hon­oured Greek astronomers and learned to appreciate Hellenistic art.

One of the most remarkable things in the foreign policy of Alexander was his encour­agement of inter-racial marriages. He was the first ruler known to history who contemplated the brother­hood of man and the unity of mankind. The White Kafirs of Kafiristan, classed in Ashoka’s edicts as definitely Greeks, are said to be descended from Alexander’s men. Of the ruling Frontier families, eight claim direct lineage from the son born to Alexander by Cleophis queen of the Assakenoi.

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Geography Quick Revision Notes

Civil Services Exam Geography Notes

The Civil Services Exam geography notes are also useful in preparing for general awareness paper of other competitive exams.

Acid precipitation (Acid Rainfall): is now regarded as a serious problem in some European and Asian countries, the main cause and source of which is emissions of sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides from thermal power plants and burn­ing of fossil fuels. These oxides dissolve in atmospheric water vapour and fall back on earth as acid rainfall. Acid rainfall can cause destruction of crops and trees; destruction of fish; and damage to buildings.
Agronomy: Soil manage­ment and production of field crops is known as Agronomy.
Aleurone layer: is that part of the grain in cereals where much of the protein lies.
Alluvial soil: is the richest and most fertile soil of India spread over large areas in north­ern plains of India.
Arakan Yoma: is the exten­sion of the Himalayas located in Myanmar.
Asthamudi Lake: is locat­ed in Kerala State.
Bailadila: in Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh, is known for its wealth of Manganese.
Barhara (Tribes): The Barhara tribes mentioned in the Mahabharata who had settled in the north-western regions of India, are associated with—(1) Ambashthas (a mixed Mongolian Aryan race); (2) Gandharas (Afghans); (3) Pavas.
Bhabhar region: in south of the Shivaliks, is an example of Piedmont situation i.e., belong­ing to or related to the foot of a mountain.
Bushmen (Tribes): They live in the Kalahari desert. They are probably the descendants of the earliest inhabitants of Africa. They rank among the most uncivilized and backward peo­ples in the world. Their food consists almost entirely of meat, often raw or decomposed, and in times of scarcity they will eat insects, snakes etc.
Cardamom: Karnataka is the largest producer of car­damom. India is the largest exporter of cardamom in the world.
Chinook: Warm, dry wind experienced along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains in Canada and the USA.
Climograph: is a graphical representation of the differentia­tion between various types of climate. It reveals the type of cli­mate at a glance—a climograph showing wet bulb temperatures and relative humidities which are high, for instance, depicts a constantly hot damp climate.
Coastline of India, Length of: The length of India’s coast­line is 7,516 km and its territory includes 1,256 islands. Gujarat (1600 km) has the longest coastline in India.
Cosmic year: One cosmic year is equal to the time taken by the sun to complete one orbit around the galactic centre.
Cotopaxi: is the highest volcano in the world. It is situat­ed in Ecuador.
Date Line, International: International Date Line is an internationally agreed line drawn parallel to the 180° meridian. It divides the Pacific Ocean into two equal parts. A crossing of the International Date Line entails repeating one day when travelling westwards.
Detroit of India: Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh, where a large number of auto­mobile industries have been set up, is called the “Detroit of India”.
Doldrums Belt: is a zone of the tropics where the calm last­ing for some weeks prevails, broken at times by erratic squalls and baffling winds. It is an area of low pressure. The wind system in the Equatorial areas is known as doldrums.
Dust Devil: is a dusty whirlwind normally a few feet in diameter and about 100 feet tall, sometimes also wider and higher.
Earth mass: The mass of the earth is about 81 times that of the moon.
Earth’s core: is mainly composed of iron and nickel. Lithosphere is the outer-most layer of the earth.
El Nino: is the weather phenomenon brewing in the tropical Pacific Ocean. It is the largest climate event of the 20th century setting off more global disasters than ever before. El Nino is warming of the waters off Equatorial South America which causes climate abnor­malities around the world. The impact can be flooding drought in California, Brazil, Africa and Australia, severe storms in the Central Pacific and a decline in hurricanes hitting the south-eastern United States.
Exfoliation: This type of weathering is common both in the cold as well as in the hot cli­mate regions.
Fertilizer plant, First: The first fertilizer plant in India was set up at Sindri (Bihar).
Garo (Tribes): Garos are the tribe of Garo Hills in Meghalaya.
Glacial lake—example in India: Dal Lake in Srinagar.
Great Circle: A circle on the earth’s surface whose plane passes through its centre, and bisects it into two hemispheres. Two opposing meridians together form a Great Circle. The shortest distance between any two points on the earth’s surface is the arc of the Great Circle which passes through them. 0° latitude forms a Great Circle. (The latitude or longi­tude 75°W should be combined with 75°E to obtain the Great Circle).
Horse Latitudes: Sub-trop­ical belts of high atmospheric pressure over the oceans situat­ed in both hemispheres. These are called Belts of Calm between regions of the Trade Winds and Westerlies of higher latitudes.
Hydroponics: means culti­vation of the plants without use of soil.
Hyetology: is the study of rainfall.
Indira Point: in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the southern-most tip of India.
Irrigated area, Indian State having largest: The Indian State with the largest irrigated area is Uttar Pradesh.
Jhum: It is a slash and burn method of shifting cultivation (called jhum) practised on rain­fall-bed slopes of forest hills and dales in Arunachal Pradesh.
Kandla: is a sea port situat­ed at the head of the Gulf of Kuch in Gujarat State. It was the first port to be developed after independence. It has a free trade zone.
Khonds (Tribes): were primitive tribes living in Orissa.
Kikuyu (Tribes): are a race of Bantu negroes who live to the north of Mount Kenya. These people combine agriculture with pastoralism.
Kirghiz (Tribes): of Central Asia are an example of people adapted to a grassland environment. The Kirghiz are pastoral nomads who move from pasture to pasture with the flocks and herds of horses, camels, oxen, sheep and goats. Meat forms only a small portion of their food. The Kirghiz are fearless horsemen, and even their children are expert riders
Lambadies (Tribes): are concentrated in Karnataka.
Lapse Rate: is the rate of change in temperature with increase of altitude.
Laterite soils: Laterite soils are formed by the weathering of laterite rocks. These can be dis­tinguished from other soils by their acidity. Laterite soils are generally poor on the higher levels and cannot retain mois­ture. In the plains, however, they consist of heavy loams and clay and can retain moisture. Laterite soils occur in Madhya Pradesh, Assam and along the eastern and western Ghats. Tea plantation require acidity which is there in the laterite soil. It is, therefore, common in these areas.
Loams (loamy soil): Amix­ture of sand, clay and silt is known as loamy soil. Loams are formed where the soils have equal proportion of sand, silt and clay.
Local winds and their areas: Khamsin—Egypt; Zonda—Argentina; Santa Ana—California; Simoon—Iran.
Lushais (Tribes): are tribes of Mizoram.
Mansarover Lake: is in Tibet. Near it, the rivers having their source are the Brahamputra, the Sutlej and the Indus.
Maoris (Tribes): are the original inhabitants of New Zealand.
Masai (Tribes): of the East African plateau are the example of pastoral peoples. They are a tall, strong, warlike race, partly negroid in type. They treat their cattle with great respect and affection and do not kill them for food or for sale as meat.
Monsoon in India: is relat­ed to differential heating and cooling of the huge landmass of Asia and the Indian Ocean and the origin of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal. The term Monsoon was introduced by the Arabs.
Munda (Tribes): are most­ly located in Madhya Pradesh.
Negritos (Tribes): are the ancient tribes of Andamans.
Nutrification: is the process of conversion by action of bacteria, of nitrates in the soil.
Onges: are tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Oraon (Tribes): are aborig­inal people of the Chhota Nagpur region in the State of Bihar. They call themselves Kurukh and speak a Dravidian language.
Pangong Tso: is one of the world’s highest and brackish lakes in Jammu & Kashmir.
Pressure zones on earth: are created due to differential heating of the earth’s surface by the sun.
Proxima Centauri: is a star nearest to the earth.
Rare earths (Or Lignite and Monazite): are found on the beaches of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Monazite is an ore of tho­rium.
Roaring Forties: are west­erly winds.
Saddle peak: is the highest peak of Andaman and Nicobar islands, located in Great Nicobar.
Savannas: are found between latitudes 5° and 20° North and South of Equator. These are tropical grasslands bordering the equatorial forests in each hemisphere. The Llanos and Pampas of South America are chief examples of Savannas but extensive Savannas are in Africa. Savanna grasslands are also found in Australia. The three-tier growth of vegetation is found in these regions. The natural vegetation of Savannas consists of tall grass.
Selvas: The rain forest of Amazon basin is called Selvas. These are rainy tropical forests..
Semangs (Tribes): are trib­al people living in Malaysia.
Spring Tides: are caused when the sun and the moon are in a straight line. The tide on its maximum height is known as Spring Tide.
Taiga Belt: lies between the Tibet-type climate and the Tundras.
Telegu Ganga Project: in Tamil Nadu envisages optimal use of surplus water of the Krishna river. It is a joint ven­ture of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Time Zone: A zone on the terrestrial globe that is 15° longi­tude wide and extends from pole to pole and within which a uniform clock time is used. Time zones are the functional basis of standard time. The world is divided into 24 time zones.
Tsunamis: are huge sea waves caused by earthquakes.
Willy Willy: is a tropical cyclone of the north-west Australia.
Other Revision Notes