NCERT summary for UPSC CSE - GS (Class IV - Environmental studies - Looking Around)


Environmental Studies – Looking Around ( Class IV )

Going to School:

Let’s see how some children reach their school

Assam – Bamboo and rope bridge (To avoid knee -high water which is filled up by rain water)

Ladakh – The Trolley (To cross wide and deep river, students use a trolley which is an open box made of wood attached with the rope)

Some places – Cement bridge (The bridge which is made up of cement, bricks and iron rods which have steps also)

Kerala – Vallam (small wooden boat)

Rajasthan – Camel Cart (It will be helpful in the places of desert)

Some villages in the plains – Bullock cart

Some places – Bicycle ride

Gujarat – Jugad (The front looks like a motorcycle but the carriage at the back is made out of planks of wood)

Some places – Children needs to cross the jungle to reach the school

Some places – Children needs to walk through miles of snow to reach the school

Uttarakhand – Rocky Paths (children needs to walk on rocky and uneven paths to reach the school)


A Day with Nandu (About elephants):

An adult elephant can eat more than 100 kilograms of leaves and twigs in one day. Elephants do not rest very much. They sleep for only two to four hours in a day. Elephants love to play with mud and water. The mud keeps their skin cool. Their big ears also work like fans. The elephants’ flap these to keep themselves cool.

An Elephant herds (animal groups which live together are called herds) has mainly females and baby elephants. The oldest female is the leader of the herd. A herd may have 10 to 12 female elephants and young ones. Male elephants live in the herd till they are 14-15 years old. Then they leave their herd and move around alone. (we have a previous year prelims question on this).


The story of Amrita (Bishnois movement):

This is a true story from 300 years ago, In a village called Khejadli, lived Amrita. Khejadli village is near jodhpur in rajasthan. The village got its name because of many Khejadi trees that grew there.

The khejadi tree is found mainly in desert areas. It can grow without much water. Its bark is used for making medicines. People cook and eat its fruits (beans). Its wood is such that it will not be affected by insects. Animals in this area eat the leaves of the Khejadi.

The concept of tree huggers and tree hugging have roots in the Bishnoi history. The famous “ chipko movement “ was inspired by a true story of a brave lady called Amrita devi bishnoi who refused to let the kingsmen cut the trees. All of the village people hugged the trees to stop kingsmen from cutting trees. More than 300 people were killed for trying to protect the trees.

When the king came to known this, he was ashamed of his mistake. He apologized to the bishnoi community, ordered to stop felling the trees and hunting of wild animals in bishnoi areas.

This sacrifice not only inspired the “ chipco andolan “ by sundarlal Bahuguna but also the Government of india in the form of “ Amrita devi bishnoi smriti Paryavarana award “ for contributing to environment conservation.

Bishnoism is said to have started in 1485 AD by saint Guru jambheshwar in the Thar desert of rajasthan , India. Guru jambheshwar advised 29 principles to become a bishnoi. The word Bishnoi stands for BHISH (which means 20) and NOI (means 9) derived from these 29 principles out of which 6 principles are dedicated to environmental protection and compassion for all living beings. (Bishnois movement is important in both prelims and mains point of view)


“ Plants and animals can survive without us, but we can not survive without them”


Anita and the honeybee :

Every beehive has one queen bee that lays eggs (honey bees lay their eggs from October to December). They are only few males in the hive. Most of the bees in the hive are worker-bees. These bees work all day. They make the hive and also look after the baby bees.

Worker bees fly around flowers in search of nectar. They collect nectar from flowers for honey. When one bee finds flowers with nectar, it does a special kind of dance by which the other bees can know where the nectar is.

The worker bees are very important for the hive. Without worker bees there would be neither hive nor any nectar collection. All bees in the hive would go hungry. The male bees have no special role as workers.

Ants live and work together like honeybees. The queen ant lays the eggs, the soldier ants look after and guard the ants’ nest, worker ants are always busy looking for food and bringing it to the nest. Termites and wasps also live like this.


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