Earth

Earth is the only planet in our Solar System where life exists. Approximately 4.5 billion years ago, Earth formed from the particles left over from the creation of our Sun. Gravity pulled swirling gas and dust in together to form the Earth. It is the third planet in our Solar System.


29% surface on Earth is land ( i.e continents and islands ) and the rest 71% is water mostly oceans but also lakes, rivers and other fresh water bodies. Out of this 71% water, 97% is saline water(water in oceans) and the availability of freshwater is only 3%. Earth’s polar region is covered with ice.

Earth’s atmosphere contains 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% other gases such as carbon dioxide, argon and neon. The atmosphere acts as a shield and protect us from the harmful radiation coming from the Sun. It also protects us from meteoroids which burn up in the atmosphere before they can hit the surface.

Earth is the only planet that was not named after a Greek or Roman god. Its alternative names are Gaia, Gaea, Terra, Tellus, The World, The Globe.

The journey of life on Earth started in oceans. The earliest forms of life were microscopic organisms (microbes) that left signals of their presence in rocks about 3.7 billion years old. These microbes are known as Prokaryotes that fed on carbon compounds that were accumulating in Earth’s early oceans. Slowly, many other organisms evolved that used the Sun’s energy, along with compounds such as sulfides, to generate their own energy.


Earth is composed of four main layers.
The inner core is a solid sphere made of iron and nickel metals about 759 miles (1,221 kilometers) in radius. The temperature there is as high as 9,800 degrees Fahrenheit (5,400 degrees Celsius). Surrounding the inner core is the outer core. This layer is about 1,400 miles (2,300 kilometers) thick, made of iron and nickel fluids.In between the outer core and crust is the mantle, the thickest layer. This hot, viscous mixture of molten rock is about 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) thick and has the consistency of caramel. The outermost layer, Earth’s crust, goes about 19 miles (30 kilometers) deep on average on land. At the bottom of the ocean, the crust is thinner and extends about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the sea floor to the top of the mantle.

Earth doesn’t take 24 hours to rotate on its axis
It actually takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds to completely rotate around it’s axis. Also known as sidereal day. Earth’s rotation is slowing slightly with time. Thus, a day was shorter in the past. This is due to the tidal effects the Moon has on Earth’s rotation. Analysis of historical astronomical records shows a slowing trend that the length of a day increased about 2.3 milliseconds per century since the 8th century BCE.

Earth has only one moon. Without the moon, a day on earth would only last six to twelve hours. There could be more than a thousand days in one year. That’s because the Earth’s rotation slows down over time thanks to the gravitational force or pull of the moon and without it days would go by in a blink.

Eco Friendly Tourism

It is often seen that tourist spots are very dirty, plastic bags and packets are thrown everywhere. In short, tourism is polluting the environment. We can stop this by promoting eco-friendly tourism. Here are three such types of tourism.

Eco Tourism

Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” (TIES, 2015). Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel.

This means that those who implement, participate in and market ecotourism activities should adopt the following ecotourism principles:

  • Minimize physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts.
  • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
  • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
  • Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
  • Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry.
  • Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climates.
  • Design, construct and operate low-impact facilities.
  • Recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment.

Some Eco tourism places in India are –

  1. Coorg, Karnataka
  2. Munnar, Kerala
  3. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
  4. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
  5. Kaziranga National Park, Assam

Sustainable Tourism

The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism in the following manner: “Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems.”

According to The World Tourism Organization (WTO), sustainable tourism should:

  •  Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
  •  Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
  • Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.

Some companies that promotes sustainable tourism in India are – 

  1. Kipepeo
  2. Evolve Back
  3. Spiti Ecosphere
  4. India Untravelled
  5. Green People

Geo Tourism

Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place – its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the well-being of its residents.

Principles of geo tourism are – 

  • Integrity of place: Enhance geographical character by developing and improving it in ways distinctive to the local, reflective of its natural and cultural heritage.
  • Market diversity: Encourage a full range of appropriate food and lodging facilities
  • Community involvement: Base tourism on community resources to the extent possible, encouraging local small businesses and civic groups 
  • Protection and enhancement of destination appeal: Encourage businesses to sustain natural habitats, heritage sites, aesthetic appeal, and local culture. 
  • Land use: Anticipate development pressures and apply techniques to prevent undesired overdevelopment and degradation. 
  • Conservation of resources: Encourage businesses to minimize water pollution, solid waste, energy consumption, water usage, landscaping chemicals, and overly bright nighttime lighting. Advertise these measures in a way that attracts

Some geo tourism places in India are –

  1. Akal Fossil Wood Park, Jaisalmer
  2. Saketi, Sirmur District, Himachal Pradesh
  3. Peninsular Gneiss National Monument at Lalbagh, Bengaluru
  4. Columnar Basaltic Lava, Coconut Island (St. Mary’s Islands), Udupi District, Karnataka
  5. Ramgarh Crater, Baran district, Rajasthan.

Social protection : Challenges and Solution

There are hundreds of social security schemes in India, from housing to food, from maternity benefit and child welfare to old age support. Many of them are funded at very low level that limits their effectiveness. While their performance vary across the states it is broadly believe many of these schemes are infected with problems that limit their impact.

Problems with Social Security Schemes.

First, there is a problem of eligibility. Often one should not be getting a benefit gets it (inclusion error) while who should be getting did not get (exclusion error)

Second, there is a problems of leakage, wastage, corruption in the delievey process.

third, even if the implement process is faultless that is free from above given problems it would consume a lot administrative resources and manpower for other duties to be performed by the administration.

Fourth, some of the schemes involve subsidies which distort the allocation of resource. For example subsidies for water and electricity arguably causes environmental damage ( falling of underground water tables, power blackout). Moreover they benefit relative better off people than they benefit poor since poor consume less of the relevant good and services. For example power subsidies benefit those who have electricity connection and among those who consume very high electricity.

Steps to improve the social security schemes.

Reduce the number of schemes drastically to a manageable number, all of which are aimed at most important risk. However removing any schemes no matter how inefficientive it is will hurt some vulnerable groups so there should be a proper plan for compensation for people while caring out social reform .

The should focus on ensuring that citizen choice is at the center of social protection schemes. For example families should be given an option whether they want food ration or cash or direct benefit transfer.

In general, thrust should be given on moving to uniform and universal transfer as much as possible. Cash transfer reduces administrative cost, corruption and other various distortion which there in case of in kind transfer.

Any new basic income schemes whether targeted at a specific group like farmer or more generally to poor people must provide sufficient income and the entitlement should be linked to inflation so that it goes up as price increases.

Conclusion

Social protection should improve from current state and it increase huge administrative cost, facilitate huge corruption and have not significantly improve the standard of living of poor and vulnerable society. It is important because huge percentage of Indian depend upon some sort of social protection schemes.

Rare White Tiger Born In Zoo Is Being Raised by Humans After Mother Rejects It

Tigers are majestic creatures — whether it’s their stripes or just the way their face appears, it’s both adorable and menacing. And it is no secret that tigers around the world are striving hard to keep up with the world, with their population so low, they’ve been categorized as endangered and are listed on the Red List of Threatened Species published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

However, what’s rarer are white tigers. They’re not found in the wild and a few dozens that do exist globally are in captivity. And recently, another white tiger has joined this list. 

The little one was born around a week ago, weighing just a kilogram at birth, according to director Eduardo Sacasa in a conversation with AFP.

Upon birth, Nieve’s mother rejected it and now it is being raised by the zoo staff. The cub is being kept away from the mother now and is being bottle fed by Sacasa’s wife, Mariana Arguello, who helps him manage the zoo which as of now consists of 700 animals as well as a rescue centre. 

While feeding Nieve, Arguello said in a statement to AFP, “She has not lost her appetite; every three hours she gets the bottle. If not, she screams… also if the milk gets too cold.” 

Existence of white tigers

In case you didn’t know, white tigers are essentially forms of the Royal Bengal tigers that originate in India, however, what makes them white is a rare recessive gene. They are different from albino tigers or categorised as a different species. 

In Nieve’s case, she came from a couple of coloured mother and father. However, the mother, who was saved after being abandoned by a circus crew had inherited the gene from her grandfather, who was white.  As of now, no white tigers exist in wild habitat, all of them are raised and nurtured in captivity.