Ques 1. Which are the countries with which India shares land boundaries? Write a short note about India’s position among its neighbours.
Ans. India shares its land boundaries with Pakistan and Afghanistan in the northwest, China (Tibet), Nepal and Bhutan in the north, and Myanmar and Bangladesh in the east.
Fig: Neighbours of India
India stands apart from the rest of Asia with the Himalayas acting as a natural barrier to the north and northwest and the Purvanchals in the northeast.
Thus, the land boundary of India is protected by mountain ranges, giving India a safer location with respect to its neighbours. India occupies the most eminent position within the Indian subcontinent and has strong geographical and historical links with its neighbours.
India shares strong bilateral relationships with its neighbours socially, culturally, and economically. Social and cultural exchange with our neighbours has strengthened our position on account of our rich cultural heritage.
Economically, we have good trade relations with our neighbours. Politically also, we share good relations with most of our neighbours. The SAARC endeavours to maintain good relations among the neighbouring countries in South Asia.
Ques 2. Write a note on the location and size of India [Important]
Ans. India is a vast country. It is located in South Asia. From south to north India’s mainland extends between 8°4′N and 37°6′N latitudes.
It is located in the Northern Hemisphere. The Tropic of Cancer (23°30′N) passes roughly through the middle of the country. From west to east India extends between 68°7′E and 97°25′E longitudes. It is located in the Eastern Hemisphere.
To the southeast of India’s mainland lie the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and to the southwest lie the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea. The landmass of India covers an area of 3.28 million square km. From the point of view of size, it is the seventh-largest country in the world.
It accounts for 2.4 percent of the total geographical area of the world. It has an east-west extent of 2933 km from Arunachal Pradesh to Kachchh in Gujarat and a north-south extent of 3214 km from Kashmir to Kanniyakumari. India’s land boundary extends for about 15,200 km.
It has a long coastline of 7516.6 km including Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands. With a population of over 1000 million, India is the second-most populous country in the world after China.
The lofty ranges of the Himalayas and other mountains form a natural geographical boundary in the northwest, north, and northeast. The southern part of the country is in form of a peninsula, tapering towards the Indian Ocean in the south. It is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the southwest and the Bay of Bengal in the southeast.
Ques 3. Write a note on the Indian Standard Time? Why is there a time difference of almost 2 hours from Arunachal Pradesh to Gujarat? [Important]
Ans. On account of the vast longitudinal extent of India there is a time lag of two hours in local time between its western and eastern limits. Hence, for the sake of convenience, a standard time is adopted for the entire country.
Fig: Indian standard time The central meridian of the country, 82°30′E longitude, has been selected as the Standard Meridian of India. It passes through Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh. The local time along this meridian is taken as the standard time of India, which is 82°30′ × 4 min = 330 minutes or 5 hr 30 min ahead of G.M.T.
Because India is located to the east of Greenwich Meridian, the time is ahead of G.M.T. or Universal Time. India has a longitudinal extent of more than 29°, with the 68°7′E longitude bounding its western limit in Kachchh in Gujarat and 97°25′E bounding its eastern limit in Arunachal Pradesh (97°25′ – 68°7′ = 29°18′).
For each 1° longitude there is a time difference of 4 minutes. For 29° longitudes, there will be a time difference of 4 × 29° = 116 minutes or 1 hr 56 minutes, approximately 2 hours.
Hence, there is a time difference of almost two hours in the local time of Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat with the sun rising almost two hours earlier in Arunachal Pradesh compared to Gujarat.
Ques 4. How many states form the Union of India? Write a note on the smallest and the largest Indian states.
Ans. For administrative convenience, our vast country has been divided into political units – the states and the Union Territories. The administrative divisions have been made mainly on the basis of language.
At present India is a union of 28 states and 7 Union Territories including the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Delhi is the national capital of India. From the point of view of size, Rajasthan is the largest state while Goa is the smallest state. Rajasthan, the largest state, has an area of about 342 thousand km.
It lies to the west of India. It shares its boundary with our neighbouring country of Pakistan in the west. In its east lie the states of Uttar Pradesh and parts of Madhya Pradesh. To its north lie Punjab and Haryana. Gujarat and parts of Madhya Pradesh lie to its south.
The Thar Desert or the Indian Desert is located in Rajasthan. Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan. Goa, the smallest state of India, has an area of only 3,702km. (appr. 3.7 thousand km.).
The Arabian Sea lies to the west of Goa. To its north lies Maharashtra and to its east and south lies Karnataka. Panaji is the capital of Goa.
Ques 5. What are the two groups of Indian islands? Write a note on each, describing its geographic position with relation to India.
Ans. The two group of islands which are part of the Indian Union are the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep Islands. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands lie to the southeast of the Indian mainland in the Bay of Bengal.
Fig: Andaman & Nicobar island and Lakshadweep islandThe Lakshadweep Islands lie in the Arabian Sea to the southwest of India’s mainland, close to the Malabar coast of Kerala. The Andaman and Nicobars are formed of the Great Andamans and the Little Andamans in the north and Nicobar Islands in the south. They are groups of numerous big and small islands. The southernmost point of the Indian Union is located in one of these Islands.
These islands are of great strategic importance to India. They lie close to the equator and have an equatorial climate. They lie along the trans-Indian Ocean route and close to south and southeast Asia. Port Blair is the official headquarters of Andaman and Nicobar.
The Lakshadweep Islands are a group of small coral islands lying close to the southern section of the west coast of India.
In 1973 the Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindive Islands were renamed Lakshadweep. It covers a small area of 32 squares km. Kavaratti Island is the administrative headquarters of Lakshadweep. Both the group of islands are rich in flora and fauna and natural beauty, enhancing India’s geographical entity.
Ques 6. How has India’s geographic location aided the nation?
Ans. India is a southward extension of the Asian Continent. It has a central location between East and West Asia. To the north of India lie the lofty mountain ranges of the Himalayas which serve as a natural barrier separating the Indian subcontinent from the rest of Asia.
The land routes through the mountain passes had served as channels for the exchange of culture and commodities since ancient times. To its south, the landmass tapers, and the Deccan Peninsula protrudes into the Indian Ocean providing opportunities for flourishing maritime trade.
The trans-Indian Ocean routes which connect the countries of Europe in the west and the countries of East Asia provide a strategic central location to India. India is able to establish close contacts with oil-rich countries of West Asia and countries of Africa and Europe from its western coast via the Arabian Sea.
The Suez Canal sea route provides India the shortest route to industrial Europe and America. India has commercially favorable contacts with Southeast and East Asia and Australia from its eastern coast via the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.
Thickly populated countries of Southeast Asia and China lie close to India. This augments the development of trade and cultural relations. Thus, India’s geographical location has aided in the development and progress of the nation.
Ques 7. The Tropic of Cancer passes halfway through the country. What does this imply?
Ans. The mainland of India extends between latitudes 8°4′N and 37°6′N. The Tropic of Cancer, 23°30′N, passes halfway through the country. This has its implications for the climate of India as well as influences the duration of day and night.
Fig: Tropic of Cancer
Places on either side of the Tropic of Cancer experience tropical climate. The tropical monsoon type of climate that India experiences are extreme on account of the Tropic of Cancer.
Places further south of the Indian Union away from the Tropic of Cancer have a more equable climate being closer to the equator. Places further north of the Tropic of Cancer have a subtropical climates.
The sun shines directly on the Tropic of Cancer on 21st June or Summer Solstice. Countries in the Northern Hemisphere including India experience summer during this part of the year. It is also associated with maximum heating of the tropics during this period that influences the advance of monsoons or the rainy season.
Areas along the Tropic of Cancer have their longest day on 21st June. These areas have their shortest day on 22nd December or Winter Solstice when the sun rays are directly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn.