History – Ancient Civilizations

Indus Valley Civilization

According to the carbon-dating process, the Indus Valley Civilization appears to have flourished between 2500 to 1700 BC, though at some places it may have lasted till later. This period is known as pre-historic period. It belongs to the Chalcolithic Age. Archaeological excavations for the remains of the Indus Valley Civilization have been carried out at many places. Two big cities discovered in the beginning were Harappa in the Montgomery district of what is now West Punjab in 1921, situated on the bank of river Ravi, and Mohenjodaro in the Larkana District of Sind in 1922. In India, important sites connected with the Indus Valley Civilization are Ropar in Punjab and Kalibangan in Rajasthan. Yet another site of this civilization discovered in India is Lothal in Gujarat State on the sea-plain of former Saurashtra, 720 km south-east of Mohenjodaro. It was an ancient port city of the Indus Vallley people. The excavations made here represent the Harappan culture. The discovery of a dockyard here measuring 710 feet by 125 feet (found blocked) proves maritime trade with Mesopotamia and other countries. It is the best example of maritime activity during the Harappan period.

Mohenjodaro, on the bank of river Indus, is the largest known Indus Valley period city.

Recent excavations at Dholavira in Kachchar (Gujarat) have further illuminated Indian history with revelations of an extensive Harappan city in the Rann of Kutch.

Dholavira, an ancient city, was most conspicuous for its aesthetic architecture, a unique water harnessing system and its storm-water drainage system. A large well and a bath were also excavated.

From archaeological excavations at Indus Valley sites it appears the people belonging to that era cultivated barley, wheat, peas, melons, sesame etc. The large number of earthen spindles found in the remains go to show that the people knew how to spin both cotton and woollen threads.

From the statues and carvings, we can make out that women put on skirts, and the men wore a band of cloth round their loins, and sometimes put on wrappers covering their left shoulder and passing below the right shoulder. They also sported beards and whiskers. Both men and women wore ornaments like finger-rings, necklaces, armlets etc. made of gold, silver, ivory, shell, bone, copper or terracotta. Women also used anklets, girdles, earstuds, nose-studs etc. The ornaments of the poor people were made of copper, shells and bones. People had domesticated the humped bull (zebu), buffalo, pig, elephant, horses and dogs. Available evidence suggests that among wild animals the Indus Valley people were familiar with tigers, bears, rhinoceros etc. The Harappans were the earliest people to produce cotton.

According to eminent archaeologists, the supreme god of the Indus Valley people was the Pipal God. A form similar to that of the Great God Siva of the Hindus has also been repeatedly found.

The people worshipped trees. The large number of steatite seals and other carvings discovered in the excavations show that art had made great progress. This is also borne out by the excellent finish of some stone-images found among the ruins.

The area in which the Indus Valley Civilization flourished had at least two big cities and more than 100 towns and villages. The big cities were Harappa and Mohenjodaro. These cities appear to have been well planned with broad streets up to 33 ft. in breadth. The roads cut each other at right angles. The people used burnt bricks with gypsum and mud-plaster. Most of the houses had bathrooms and the cities had a well laid out drainage system. In every house, big jars were fixed in the floor for storage of grains. In Mohenjodaro, there was a great communal bath with a 30’ x 23’ x 8’ tank in the middle. The town had a good system of water supply built round a large number of wells.

The area occupied by the Aryans was then called Sapt Sindhu (Frontier Province and Punjab as before partition).

The Indus Valley civilization was primarily urban. The system of governing was probably kingship.

A very interesting feature of this civilisation is that Iron was not known to the people.

The Rigveda speaks of a battle at a place named Hariyumpiya which has been identified with Harappa.

Language: Malati J. Shendge in his book “The Language of Harappans” says that the language of the Indus Valley Civilization was “Akkadian”, and not proto-Dravidian, as is generally believed. The earliest script was noticed in 1853 and complete script discovered by 1923.

The Indus script has not been deciphered so far.

Similarity with the Sumerian and Mesopotamian Civilizations: According to the historians, there were close commercial and cultural contacts between the Indus Valley and the Sumerian civilization. The Valley of the Indus has been referred to in Sumerian myths as Dilbun. The similarities between the Indus Valley Civilization and the civilizations which developed in Sumeria and Mesopotamia were the use of burnt bricks, copper and bronze vessels, the potter’s wheel, pictorial seals etc. They had a flourishing trade with each other and each one of them had a fairly well developed pattern of urban life. Mesopotaminans called the Indus region Meluha.

Difference with the Vedic Civilization: The Indus Valley people had not learnt to domesticate horses but those who lived in the Vedic age did make use of the horse. The use of armour was likewise a Vedic practice unknown to the Indus people. Whereas the latter lived mostly in towns and cities, the Vedic people were for the most part pastoral. They lived mostly in the countryside. They knew the use of iron which was not known to the inhabitants of the Indus Valley. The two civilizations worshipped different gods.

The Indus Empire—Latest Discoveries: In 1921, when the archaeological discoveries of Harappa and Mohenjodaro were made, it was thought that the Indus Valley Civilization was confined to Punjab and Sind only. Later, archaeological discoveries, however, traced it as far east as Alamgirpur in Uttar Pradesh, and as far north as the foothills of the Himalayas. Excavations at Lothal, further proved that the civilization extended to the shores of Gujarat. Lothal was an outpost for sea trade with the contemporary West Asian civilizations.

Recent excavations at many sites on or near the banks of the Krishna river show that this civilization percolated as far south as the Krishna valley. A scholar suggests that the civilization influenced culture in this region even in the post-Harappan period. It may have extended even further south.

The latest excavations show that the extent of the Harappan empire may have been widely spread throughout the country. As such, many theories as to its race and language are likely to become obsolete. With so many claims about deciphering of the mysterious Harappan script, the geography of the Indus people may have yet to be finally drawn!

Earliest evidence of agricultural communities: Earliest evidence before the emergence of Harappan civilisation comes from a place called Mehrgarh, near the Bolan Pass. Radiocarbon dates indicate that people here were growing wheat and barley and tending sheep and goats in 5000 BC. The Harappans were the earliest people to produce Cotton.

Vedic or Aryan Civilization

The location of the original home of the Aryans still remains a controversial point. Some scholars believe that the Aryans were native to the soil of India and were living in the Punjab or in the Ganga-Jamuna valley.

According to popular belief, the Aryans are supposed to have migrated from Central Asia in the course of a great nomadic movement that spread from the Mongolian Steppes in the east to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean in the West. It is not definitely known when the Aryans first came to India.

The group that came to India first settled in the present Frontier Province and the Punjab—then called Sapta Sindhu. They lived here for many centuries and gradually pushed into the interior to settle in the valleys of the Ganges and the Yamuna.

While according to Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Aryans came from Arctic region, according to Max Muller they came from Central Asia. Ganganath Jha claims they are original inhabitants of India or Brahamrishi Dish. According to D.S. Kala, Aryans came from Himalayan region or Kashmir.

It is presumed that the Rig Veda was composed while the Aryans were still in the Punjab.

The Aryans were skilful farmers. They knew the art of domesticating animals. They were engaged in trade and knew maritime navigation.

The religious books of the Aryans show their culture at the highest perfection. The most important of these books are the Vedas—four in number: (i) the Rig Veda (collection of lyrics), the oldest, it contains 1028 hymns, divided into 10 mandals. The hymns were recited by Hotri. (ii) the Yajur Veda (book of sacrificial prayers). Its hymns were recited by Adveryu. (iii) the Sama Veda (book of chants). All verses (excluding 75) were taken from Rig Veda and recited by Udgatri and (iv) the Atharva Veda (book of magical formula). It contains charms and spells to ward off evils and diseases; the Upanishads—Philosophical treatises; the Epics— the Ramayana and the Mahabharata; the Puranas—18 in number; the Shastras or the Darshanas—six in number and the Manu Simriti.

Rig Veda contains tribal assemblies such as the Sabha, Samiti, Vidath and Gana, Sabha was committee of few privileged and important individuals.

The Aryans or the Hindus were divided into four groups called castes: (i) Brahmanas, (ii) Kshatriyas, (iii) Vaishyas and (iv) Sudras.

To lead an ideal life they had divided human life into four stages (Ashrams): (i) Brahamcharya Ashram, (ii) Grahastha Ashram, (iii) Banprastha and (iv) Sanyas Ashram.

Gradually, changes of far-reaching importance occurred in the social system of Aryans. The caste system became more rigid and the sacrificial side of religion was greatly developed by the Brahmanas. The privileges of the Brahmanas and growing complexities of their rituals, however, did not last long and the struggle against Brahmanism found expression in two new faiths—Jainism and Buddhism.

Aryans in the Rigvedic Period: The Aryans in the Rig vedic period were a highly organised patriarchal society. Marriage was a recognised institution and it was looked upon as a sacrament which could not be broken by any means. Women occupied a place of honour in society and had freedom to choose their marriage-partners. As a rule people were monogamous though those in the higher strata of society sometimes practised polygamy also. Widows were allowed to remarry, particularly when they had no male progeny. The father was the head of the family, which was the basic unit of the social structure. It has not been conclusively established whether the Aryans in the Rig vedic age believed in or observed the caste-system, but they did look down upon the non-Aryans or the original inhabitants of the land whom they described as dasyus or asuras. As compared to the Aryans, the latter were short-statured and dark-skinned. They spoke a different language and worshipped other gods. The Aryans deified natural phenomenon like fire, wind, water etc. and worshipped them. They had an elaborate code of rituals and sacrifices. They performed several types of Yajnas to propitiate the elemental forces.

It is believed that the Aryans of the Rig vedic period were settled in what are now known as the Shivalik Hills. As has been said earlier, the basic social unit was the family. Families were further organised into Kulas or clans, Janapads or cantons and then into the Rashtra or the nation. The system of government prevailing in the age was monarchic. The king was the protector of his people and also led them in the battlefield. He had ministers to help him in running the administration. He was also advised in the task of government by sabhas and samitis—assemblies of representatives elected by the people.

The king did not maintain any army. In times of war he mustered a militia whose military functions were performed by different tribal groups called Vrata, Gana, Grama and Sardha.

The later Vedic people were acquainted with 4 types of pottery: (i) black and red ware, (ii) black slipped ware, (iii) painted grey ware and (iv) red ware.

The Red ware was the most popular type of pottery in later vedic period. It has been found almost all over western Uttar Pradesh. However, the most distinctive pottery of the period is known as Painted Grey Ware. It consisted of bowls and dishes, which were used either for rituals or for eating or for both, but by the upper orders.

The Vedic people continued to produce Yava (barley) but during later vedic period, rice (vrihi) and wheat became their Chief crops. For the first time, the vedic people came to be acquainted with rice in doab and its remains recovered from Hastinapur belong to the 8th century BC.

During later Vedic period, popular assemblies i.e. Sabha and Samiti continued to hold the ground but their character changed. They came to be dominated by princes and rich nobles. Women were no longer permitted to sit on the Sabha and it was now dominated by nobles and brahmanas. The Vidath was completely disappeared during this period.

The institution of gotra appeared in later Vedic period.

The later vedic texts mention only three asramas (stages of life)— brahmacharya, grihastha and vanaprastha. The last and the 4th stage (samyasa) had not been well established in later vedic times.

History – Battles & Wars


Battle of Hydaspes (Vitasta, modern Jhelum) 326 BC—Alexander the Great, defeated Porus, the Paurava king.

Battle of Kalinga 261 BC—Ashoka defeated the king of Kalinga. This battle killed the ‘soldier’ in Ashoka and he embraced and preached Buddhism during the rest of his life.

First Battle of Tarain or Thaneswar AD 1191—Prithvi Raj Chohan defeated Mohammed Ghori.

Second Battle of Tarain AD 1192—Mohammed Ghori defeated Prithvi Raj Chohan. This battle gave an irreparable blow to Rajput power.

First Battle of Panipat 1526—Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodhi. This laid the foundation of the Mughal rule in India.

Battle of Kanwah 1527—Babar defeated Rana Sanga of Mewar. This battle resulted in the defeat of the powerful Rajput confederacy.

Second Battle of Panipat 1556—Bairam Khan (Akbar’s General) defeated Hemu (the Hindu General and right-hand man of Mohd. Adil Shah). The defeat of Hemu frustrated all hopes of the Hindus to establish their own Rule in India. It also ended the Afghan Rule and Mughal Rule began instead.

Battle of Talikota 1564-65—United alliance between Bijapur, Bidar, Ahmednagar and Golkonda under Hussain Nizam Shah defeated Ram Raja of Vijayanagar. It destroyed the Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar.

Battle of Haldighat 1576—Akbar’s forces headed by Raja Man Singh and Asaf Khan II defeated Rana Pratap, the brave Rajput king who had refused to acknowledge Akbar’s suzerainty. Rana Pratap took refuge in remote fortresses.

Battle of Plassey 1757—The English under Lord Clive defeated Sirajud-Daulah supported by the French forces. It brought Muslim Rule in Bengal to an end and laid foundations of the British Rule in India.

Importance of the Battle of Plassey in the modern history of India:

(1) The Battle of Plassey paved the way for the conquest of Northern India; (2) Mir Jaffar, who became Nawab of Bengal, assigned to the East India Company, a tract of country near Calcutta (24 Parganas) in addition to paying a crore of rupees; (3) With the Bengal gold and silver which the Battle of Plassey had placed at their disposal, the English could defeat the French in the south; (4) The British merchants fully utilized the newly acquired power in Bengal for their own interest and they reduced the reigning Nawabs like Mir Jaffar and Mir Kasim to impotence and removed them from power whenever it suited them.

Battle of Wandiawash 1760—The English defeated the French. The battle sealed the fate of the French in India.

Third Battle of Panipat 1761—Ahmed Shah Abdali defeated Marhattas. It gave a terrible blow to the Marhatta power. This battle also sealed the destiny of the Mughal Empire. It made the field clear for the English.

Causes of the defeat of the Marhattas at the hands of Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1761: The Marhattas suffered a defeat at the hands of Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1761 for the following reasons: (1) The Marhatta General Sadasheo Rao committed the fatal blunder of giving up the guerilla methods of warfare and of engaging his army in a pitched battle against Ahmed Shah Abdali; (2) The desertion of Holkar at the critical moment hastened the defeat of the Marhattas; (3) The Rajputs and the Sikhs remained neutral; (4) Fearing the growth of Marhatta power, all the Mohammedan powers made common cause with Abdali in ousting the Marhattas from the Punjab; (5) The Marhatta army had by this time become denationalised; (6) The Forward Policy of the Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao was not wisely carried out; the idea of a Hindu sovereignty with all the Hindu chiefs under one flag was neglected; (7) The Peshwa tried to further his own interests at the cost of Marhatta Confederacy.

Battle of Buxar 1764—Fought in 1764 between the forces of the English under Major Munro and the combined forces of Mir Kasim, Shuja-ud-Daulah (Nawab of Oudh) and the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam; the battle of Buxar is described as the biggest battle yet fought by the Company in India. The English victory at Buxar finally riveted the shackles of the Company’s rule upon Bengal. It not only completed the work of Plassey but also did something more. Besides Bengal, it made Oudh completely prostrate at the feet of the English.

First Mysore War (1767-68)—By his skilful diplomacy, Haider Ali broke alliance against him between the English and the Nizam, later joined by the Marathas. He detached the Marathas by a bribe of 35 lakhs and then won the Nizam to his side. His forces with those of the Nizam attacked the English under Col Smith in 1767. But in 1768, he was defeated by the English relinquishing all his rights over Mysore in favour of the English.

Second Mysore War (1780)—A grand alliance between Haider Ali, the Nizam and the Marathas was formed and Haider Ali swooped down on the plains of Carnatic in July 1780, causing death and destruction and in October 1780, he defeated the English and took possession of Arcot and became the undisputed master of the Carnatic.

Third Mysore War 1790-92—Fought between the English and Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan had to submit and was compelled to sign the Treaty of Seringapattam which crippled his resources and stripped him of half his territory.

Fourth Mysore War 1799—The British forces under Arthur Wellesley and General Harris, defeated Tipu Sultan. The decisive battle was fought at Malavali and this brought the short Mohammedan dynasty of Mysore to a violent end.

Marhatta War 1803-05—It brought under English protection the States of Hyderabad and Oudh; weakened the Marhatta power and destroyed the French influence. The English annexed Tanjore, Surat and Carnatic.

Fourth Marhatta War 1817-18—The British forces under East India Company defeated Marhattas and this campaign finally extinguished the Marhatta Empire. It also placed the East India Company on the Mughal throne with a more absolute authority than Akbar or Aurangzeb had ever enjoyed.

Battle of Cheelianwala 1849—Forces of the East India Company under Lord Hugh Gough defeated the Sikhs under Sher Singh.

Burmese War 1885—As a result of this War, the whole of Burma was occupied by the English and made a part of India.

Afghan War III 1919—As a result of this War, Treaty of Rawalpindi was signed by which Afghanistan was recognised as an independent State.

India-China War 1962—The cause of the war was a dispute over the sovereignty of the widely separated Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh border regions. Aksai Chin, claimed by India to belong to Kashmir and by China to be part of Xinjiang, contains an important road link that connects the Chinese regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. China’s construction of this road was one of the triggers of the conflict. The Chinese launched simultaneous offensives in Ladakh and across the McMahon Line on 20 October 1962. Chinese troops advanced over Indian forces in both theatres, capturing Rezang la in Chushul in the western theatre, as well as Tawang in the eastern theatre. The war ended when the Chinese declared a ceasefire on 20 November 1962, and simultaneously announced its withdrawal from the disputed area.

Indo-Pak War 1965—This was Pakistan’s third attack on India. While India had the upper hand, the fighting was brought to a stop by a call for cease-fire issued by the Security Council. Two battles in the conflict, fought at Phillora near Sialkot and Asal Uttar near Khem Karan, were described as the heaviest tank battles since World War II.

Indo-Pak War December 1971—Pakistan started the war attacking India on December 3 with surprise air-raids on a number of Indian airfields. India defeated Pakistan on all fronts. Pakistani occupation forces, numbering about one lakh, in East Bengal (Bangladesh) surrendered. The outstanding achievement was complete liberation of Bangladesh. India emerged victorious, stronger and a united nation.

Kargil War: May-July 1999—It was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan in the Kargil district of Jammu & Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LOC). The conflict is also referred to as Operation Vijay (Victory in Hindi) which was the name of the Indian operation to clear the Kargil sector. The cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into positions on the Indian side of the LOC, which serves as the de facto border between the two States. The Indian Army, supported by the Indian Air Force, recaptured a majority of the positions on the Indian side of the LOC infiltrated by the Pakistani troops and militants. With international diplomatic opposition, the Pakistani forces withdrew from the remaining Indian positions along the LOC.


Battle of Marathon 490 BC—The Greeks defeated the Persians at Athens.

Battle of Salamis 480 BC—The Greek fleet defeated the Persians.

Battle of Thermopylae 480 BC—Spartans under Leonidas wiped out by Persians.

Battle of Zama 202 BC—Scipio defeated Hannibal.

Battle of Pharasalus AD 48—Caesar defeated Pompey.

Battle of Hastings AD 1066—William, the Duke of Normandy defeated Harold, the king of England. England came under the control of Normans.

Hundred Year’s War 1338-1453—Fought between France and England. The cause of the war was the succession question to the throne of France which was claimed by Edward III of England. The war was resumed by Henry V and was brought to an end by the heroism of Joan of Arc—“A country girl who overthrew the power of England.” Joan of Arc was burnt alive at the stakes in 1431.

Battle of Leopanto 1571—The Christians League defeated the Turks.

Battle of England or the defeat of the Spanish Armada 1588—The British fleet under Lord Howard defeated the Spanish Armada. A heavy storm scattered the Spanish fleet. This victory of the British established their supremacy over the seas.

Battle of Gibraltar Bay 1606-07—The Dutch defeated the Spaniards and the Portuguese.

Battle of Preston 1641—Cromwell defeated Charles I and succeeded in establishing the Protectorate.

Battle of Naseby 1645 – Royalists in England defeated.

Battle of Blenheim 1704—England and Austria headed by Marlborough defeated the French and Bavarians.

Seven Years War or Anglo-French War III 1756-63—England and Germany defeated France and Russia.

American War of Independence 1776-83—George Washington defeated the British forces. America became independent.

Battle of the Nile 1798—The British fleet under Lord Nelson defeated the French fleet and established their supremacy over the Mediterranean Sea.

Battle of Trafalgar 1805—The British fleet under Lord Nelson defeated the combined French and Spanish fleet. By this defeat, Napoleon’s scheme of invading England was foiled.

Battle of Austerlitz 1805—Napoleon defeated Austria and Russia.

Battle of Leipzig 1813—The English and the Allies (Russia and Prussia) defeated Napoleon and called this battle as “the Battle of the Nations”.

Battle of Waterloo 1815—the British under Duke of Willington (Sir Arthur Wellesley) defeated the French under Napoleon. Napoleon was captured and exiled to St Helena where he died.

Crimean War 1854-56—The combined forces of the British, French and Turks defeated Russia.

American Civil War 1861-1865—Northern States of America under Abraham Lincoln defeated the Southern States and established a Federal State.

Sino-Japanese War 1894-95—Japan defeated China and occupied Formosa and Korea.

Battle of the Omdurman 1898—The British and Egyptian forces defeated the forces of Khalifa (Mehdists).

Battle of the Sea of Japan (1905) – (i) Battle of Port Authur and (ii) Battle of Yalu—Japanese fleet defeated the Russian fleet. It led the wave of the idea of Asian Resurgence.

Battle of Jutland 1916—Naval battle between England and Germany during World War I; England defeated Germany.

Battle of Verdun 1916—famous battle of World War I fought between France and Germany.

Second Battle of Marne 1918—was fought on 15 July 1918 between the Germans and French in World War I. The Germans were defeated.

World War I 1914-18—Britain and her allies (France, U.S.A. and Belgium) defeated Germany and her associate powers.

World War II (1st September 1939 to 14th August 1945)—The Allies (England, France, USA and USSR) defeated the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy and Japan).

Battle of El Alamein 1942—The Allies victory during the Second World War and retreat of General Rommel’s forces.

Suez Crisis 1956—Britain, France and Israel attacked Egypt. All the three countries had to withdraw their invasion forces under pressure of the UN.

Arab-Israel War (5-9 June 1967)—Fought between Israel on one side and the UAR, Syria and Jordan on the other. Israel achieved victory within 80 hours before all hostilities ceased on June 10 in response to repeated ceasefire calls by the UN Security Council. Israel, after virtually destroying the air forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, (1) overran the entire Sinai Peninsula; (2) advanced up to the Eastern bank of the Suez Canal, and captured the Gaza strip; (3) gained whole of Jerusalem; (4) captured high ground on Syrian border; (5) overran the whole of Jordan west of the Jordan river.

Vietnam War: The Vietnam War occurred in present-day Vietnam, Southeast Asia. It represented a successful attempt on the part of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam, DRV) and the National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam (Viet Cong) to unite and impose a communist system over the entire nation. Opposing the DRV was the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam, RVN), backed by the United States. The war in Vietnam occurred during the Cold War, and is generally viewed as an indirect conflict between the United States and Soviet Union, with each nation and its allies supporting one side. On 27 January 1974, a peace accord was signed in Paris ending the conflict. By March of that year, American combat troops left the country. After a brief period of peace, North Vietnam recommenced hostilities in late 1974. Pushing through ARVN forces with ease, they captured Saigon on 30 April 1975, forcing South Vietnam’s surrender and reuniting the country.

Falkland War: The world witnessed a unique war as a result of the surprise invasion of the British-owned Falkland (in South Atlantic) by Argentina on 2 April 1982. The British claimed sovereignty over the islands on the basis of certain agreements reached over 150 years ago. But Argentina has laid claims to at least three dependencies of Falklands and still describes the territory as disputed. To regain control 10,000 strong armada was sent by Britain. Argentina damaged several ships, shot down several planes and thwarted the British forces plan for a quick victory for several days. However, on 16 June, 1985, Argentinian forces surrendered. It cost Britain over 2 billion dollars and loss of several lives to regain its hold on the disputed islands.

Iran-Iraq War: The war between the Gulf countries started when Iraq suddenly invaded Iran on 22 September 1980. Though Iraq gained some initial advantages, but lost them with Iran mobilising its forces effectively. The Iranian-Iraqi frontier has been a trouble-spot for decades, with periodic skirmishes erupting over Iraqi efforts to control Shatt-al-Arab waterway at the head of the Gulf, the key oil gateway to both the nations. On 20 August 1988, the eight-year-old war ended. Iran and Iraq implemented a UN-brokered ceasefire. A de facto truce had come into effect on 8 August 1988, when the UN Secretary-General, Mr Javier Perez de Cuellar, announced a ceasefire.

Gulf War: The foundation stone of the Gulf War was laid when Kuwait was invaded and captured by Iraq on 2 August 1990. On 30 November 1990, the UN Security Council gave an ultimatum to Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait by 15 January 1991. The deadline was not observed and on 16 January 1991, the Gulf War began. The massive military might of 28 countries seeked to smash Iraq’s impressive array of weapons and bases through almost non-stop bombing raids—about 2000 bombardments daily.

The war ended on 28 February 1991, when President George Bush announced a halt to six-week old war. The cease-fire followed within hours of Mr Saddam Hussein’s acceptance of all UN resolutions on the war.

The war left both Iraq and Kuwait in ruins. 90 per cent of the oil wells in Kuwait caught fire—in allied bombings or were put on fire by retreating Iraqi soldiers.

Gulf War II: After months of threats and a long military build-up, the United States attacked Iraq on 20 March 2003, in an operation codenamed Operation Iraqi Freedom. The attack by coalition forces of USA and Britain came in complete defiance of United Nations which wanted to give Iraq some more time to destroy its weapons of mass destruction.

In the first week of May 2003, following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Baghdad, the Gulf War-II ended and Iraq came under direct control of the occupation forces. On 14 December 2003, the coalition forces captured Saddam Hussein.

Afghan War: The War in Afghanistan began on 7 October 2001, as the armed forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and the Afghan United Front (Northern Alliance) launched Operation Enduring Freedom. Following the September 11 attacks, the US administration organized an allied invasion to dismantle the terrorist organization and end its use of Afghanistan as a base. The US also intended to remove the fundamentalist Taliban regime from power and create a viable democratic State.

NATO forces continued to battle the widespread Taliban insurgency, and by 2011 the war expanded into the tribal areas of neighbouring Pakistan. The War in Afghanistan had become the United States’ second-longest war. On 2 May 2011, US forces raided the urban compound of Osama bin Laden and killed him in Abbotabad, Pakistan. On 21 May 2012, the leaders of the NATO-member countries endorsed an exit strategy during the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago.


World War I (1914-18)

Background: After the dismissal of Bismarck, the young Kaiser, William II, of Germany sought to build a supreme Navy to dominate the Atlantic and to push towards the East. This was known as his policy of Drang nach Osten.

Germany’s rival was the Triple Etente, formed between Britain, France and Russia during the period of Armed Peace (1905-13) in Europe.

It was Germany’s ambition to be a world power but she found herself thwarted in every direction. She was determined to have her ‘place in the sun’ and for this purpose, she acquired a dominating influence over Turkey and committed herself to support the Balkan policy of Austria. She looked upon England as her greatest enemy.

Immediate Cause of the War: Archduke Ferdinand, the Austrian heirapparent to the throne, was murdered in a street of Serajevo, the capital of Bosnia, an annexed territory of Austria, by a Serb national. Austria held Serbia responsible for this act and denounced Serbians as the ‘nation of assassins’. After one month of the incident, Austria delivered an ultimatum and moved for war. This brought Russia into the field as she felt a kinship with Slavic People. Russia’s entry brought Germany to the side of Austria. One by one France and England, both signatories of the Triple Etente, entered the war.

Main Contestants of World War I: There were two camps. One was the Central Powers comprising Germany, Austria, Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria and the other was the Allied Powers—England, France, Belgium, Serbia, Russia and Japan. Italy and the U.S.A. joined the Allies in 1915 and 1917 respectively.

Results of the War: The Central Powers were completely defeated by the Allied Powers and an Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918, followed by a Peace Conference at Paris and the Treaty of Versailles in 1919—the principal treaty, curbing the power of the German Empire.

The Treaty of Versailles: It was signed in June 1919. According to this treaty, boundaries of European countries were re-arranged and many new States viz., Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, etc., were formed.

At the instance of Woodrow Wilson, the American President, the League of Nations was established on 10 January 1920, “to prevent all future wars”.

Wilson’s Fourteen Points: In an address to the Congress in January 1918, American President Wilson outlined the basis of a peace settlement— his famous Fourteen Points—for lasting peace in the world: (1) There was to be no more secret diplomacy; (2) freedom of the seas; (3) removal of economic barriers of international trade; (4) reduction of armaments; (5) impartial adjustment of all colonial claims on the basis of the interests of the subject population; (6) national self-determination; (7) establishment of a League of Nations for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity of great and small States alike.

The remaining points dealt with the formation of new boundaries and new States on the basis of nationality and demanded that Germany must evacuate all lands she had forcibly occupied.

World War II (1939-45)

Background: The Treaty of Versailles itself sowed the seeds of another world conflagration. It was such an unjust Treaty that the Allied Powers sought territorial and economic benefits brushing aside the idealistic war axims. The discontented Germany, during the great slump period of the world economy, when she had been suffering from a terrible economic crisis, brought onto its political stage a person who promised to build a new Germany and free the country of the shackles of the Versailles Treaty.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany and in the following year he became the President of the German Republic after the death of Von Hindenburg. To tear away the Treaty of Versailles, he joined hands with Mussolini, the Fascist leader of Italy, and both began their verbal crusade against the Big Powers who had monopolised whole colonies of the world.

One by one, Hitler broke the terms of the Versailles Treaty by occupying Sarr, Alsace-Loraine, Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia. This onward march of Hitler also alarmed Britain and France. Mussolini attacked Abyssinia and Japan attacked China. This aggressive mood of the Fascist Powers got its fullest expression when they formed an Axis providing for mutual aid in the international sphere.

Immediate Causes of World War II: Encouraged by his threats and blistering, which had brought success in the past, Hitler, demanded from Poland a corridor to establish a direct link with East Prussia. Britain and France guaranteed aid to Poland in the event of any aggression against her and started friendly negotiations with Russia.

Britain’s negotiations with Russia, however, failed and Hitler, taking advantage of this failure, succeeded in signing a Non-Aggression Pact with Russia. Being convinced that Britain would not now fight for Poland, he attacked Poland on 1 September 1939, and this started World War II. Britain and France, who were under treaty obligations to side with Poland in case of aggression against her, declared war against Germany on 3 September 1939.

Main Contestants of World War II: Germany, Italy and Japan, called the Axis Powers, were on one side and Britain, France, Russia, U.S.A., Poland and others, called Allies, were on the other side. The war ended on 14 August 1945.

Result of World War II: The ravages of the war were so complex and widespread that no formal Peace Conference could be held immediately after the surrender of Germany and Japan. The meetings of the Big Three (Russia, U.K. and U.S.A.) at Cairo, Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam formulated general principles, which ultimately led to disagreements betwen the victorious Powers. Germany was divided into four zones, one under occupation of each great power. The country was ultimately divided into two States— East Germany under the Soviet Union and West Germany under the Allies. Another noteworthy sequel to this war was emergence of the U.S.S.R. as one of the biggest powers of the world, while the United Kingdom and France lost much of their past glory.

Nearly all the East European countries embraced Communism and communist rule was established in the Chinese mainland also.

Tourism In India

Tourism is India’s third largest export industry after gems and jewellery and readymade garments. However, even though India has got world’s highest potential, its share is only 0.4% of the total world tourist traffic. The major stumbling blocks are poor infrastructure facilities for the tourists and shortage of hotel rooms.

Some major tourist attractions of India are: India Gate, New Delhi; Red Fort, Delhi; Meenakshi Temple, Madurai; Golden Temple, Amritsar; Taj Mahal, Agra; Gateway of India, Mumbai, Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur, Karnataka; Victoria Memorial, Calcutta; Hawa Mahal and various forts of Rajasthan; the Himalayan beauty of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, as also Darjeeling in West Bengal; Khajuraho temples, Madhya Pradesh, Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, the beautiful sea beaches of Goa and Andamans.

The religious diversity of the country as also the festivals are also a major attraction. Some famous fairs are: Pushkar fair in Rajasthan; Sonepur fair in Bihar; Bhavnath fair in Gujarat; and the Ladakh festival in Leh.



The Indian print media consists of 41 centenarians. The Gujarati daily Bombay Samachar, published from Mumbai, is the oldest existing newspaper. It was established in 1822. Hindi dailies dominate in terms of numbers. The first newspaper to be published in India was Bengal Gazette (also called Hickey’s Gazette). It was first published in 1780 from Calcutta in English. Dig Darshan (Bengali) was the first language paper, also from Calcutta (1818).

Newspapers are published from all the States and Union Territories except from Arunachal Pradesh and Lakshadweep. Newspapers are brought out in 92 languages.


TV was introduced in India in September 1959 with the establishment of a centre at Delhi as a pilot project. Over the years it acquired its Indian name Doordarshan and expanded its reach and area of activities in the spheres of information, education and entertainment.

On 15 August 1984, a daily national programme of 90 minutes for a simultaneous telecast throughout the country was introduced. The INSAT-IB satellite could make this possible.

The Commercial service of Doordarshan was started in January 1986. The service has now been extended to almost all the Kendras.

Today, there are a host of private channels. Prominent among them are: Star TV, Zee TV, &TV, Sony TV, NDTV, IBN, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Aaj Tak, Sun TV, ESPN, HBO, AXN and Cartoon Network.


Broadcasting in India started in 1927 with two privately owned transmitters in Bombay and Calcutta. The government took them over in 1930 to establish the Indian Broadcasting Service. The name was changed to All India Radio in 1936 and since 1957 it is known as Akashvani.

A national radio channel commenced broadcasting programmes on 18 May 1988. The transmission originating from Delhi is being beamed all over the country through a 1000 KW transmitter at Nagpur.

In 1983 the government allowed private FM operators to “buy” blocks on All India Radio, prepare programming content, book advertisements and broadcast the whole lot. Times FM in Delhi and Radio Mid-Day in Mumbai took the initiative and revolutionised Radio broadcasting.

In 1998 the government, through its regulatory authority Prasar Bharti, decided not to renew contracts of private FM operators.

On 6 July 1999 the government announced that 150 new FM channels would be licensed in 40 cities. And, in 2000, the government auctioned licences for private FM channels and in 2001 the following radio stations were launched:

  1. Radio Mirchi in Ahmedabad, Indore and Pune.
  2. Radio City in Lucknow and Bangalore.
  3. AIR FM2 in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi.

Prasar Bharati: The government of India had exclusive rights on broadcasting for 65 years. On 29 February 1995, a Supreme Court judgement paved the way for the establishment of private broadcasting in India. On July 27, 1997 the Prasar Bharati Act was notified. AIR and Doordarshan were given autonomy on 15 September 1997. The Cable Television Networks (Regulations) Act, 1995 came into effect from 25 March 1995.


Principal Indian Daily Newspapers

The Hindu (English), The Statesman (English), The Amrita Bazar Patrika (English), The Hindustan Times (English), The Tribune, (English, Hindi & Punjabi), The Times of India (English), The Assam Tribune (English), The Indian Express (English), The Indian Nation (English), The Hitavada (English), The Pioneer (English), The National Herald (English), Deccan Herald (English), The Telegraph (English), Daily News & Analysis (DNA) (English), The Economic Times (Business-English), Mint (Business-English), Business Standard (Business-English) Amar Ujala (Hindi), Dainik Bhaskar (Hindi), Dainik Jagran (Hindi), Nav Bharat Times (Hindi), Gujarat Samachar (Gujarati), Rajasthan Patrika (Hindi), Malayalam Manorma (Malayalam), Mathrubhumi (Malayalam), Dinakaran (Tamil), Daily Thanti (Tamil), Loksatta (Marathi), Lokmat (Marathi), Eenadu (Telugu), Andhra Bhoomi (Telugu), Punjab Kesari (Hindi & Punjabi), Daily Ajit (Punjabi), Ananda Bazar Patrika (Bengali)

Indian News Agencies

There are four News Agencies in India viz., Press Trust of India (PTI), United News of India (UNI), Hindustan Samachar and Samachar Bharati.

Well-known Foreign Newspapers

Al Ahram Cairo (Egypt)
Daily News New York (USA)
Dawn Karachi (Pakistan)
Guardian (Weekly) London (UK.
Izvestia Moscow (Russia)
Le-Monde Paris (France)
Merdeka Djakarta (Indonesia)
New York Times New York (USA)
Pravada Moscow (Russia)
People’s Daily Beijing (China)
The Times London (UK)

Foreign News Agencies

(1) Reuters of the United Kingdom. (2) Agence France Presse (AFP) of France. (3) Associated Press. (4) United Press of America. (5) International News Service of the United States (6) Interfax of Russia. (7) Globe (near and Far East) News Agency. (8) Arab News Agency. (9) Xinhua (China). (10) NAM News Agency. (11) IRNA (Iran).

Press Council of India

It owes its origin to the recommendations of the first Press Commission. The Press Council of India Act was established in 1965 and the first Press Council was constituted in 1966. The present Council, however, was set up under Act 37 of 1978. The Press Council is meant to safeguard the freedom of Press, maintain and improve the standard of newspapers and news agencies.

Oil & Natural Gas

The oil industry in India is divided into three broad segments: (i) oil exploration and production; (ii) refinery and marketing; and (iii) petrochemical and downstream units.

Exploration and Production

Oil exploration and production started in India in an extensive and systematic way after the setting up of Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) in 1956. With the acquisition of shares of Burma Oil Company by the Government, in 1981, Oil India Limited (OIL) become the second public sector undertaking engaged in oil exploration and production.

In India, oil and gas are excavated from both on-shore and off-shore wells. On-shore wells are mainly located at Gujarat, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Tamil Nadu. Bombay High is the main off-shore well. Off-shore exploration is continuing in the Mahanadi and Cauvery basins.


At present there are nineteen refineries in the country in the public sector and private sector.

  • Indian Oil Corporation operates refineries at Guwahati, Barauni, Koyali, Haldia, Mathura, Digboi and Panipat.
  • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd has refineries at Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam.
  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) has a refinery in Mumbai.
  • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) has refineries at Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam.
  • Chennai Petrochemicals Limited (CPCL) has a refinery at Chennai.
  • Besides, there is one refinery at Kochi, one at Bongaigaon (Assam), one at Numahgarh (Assam), one at Mangalore and one at Nagippattinam (Tamil Nadu).

Reliance Industries has set-up the first private sector refinery at Jamnagar, Gujarat.

Indian Oil Corporation: The Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) was set up in September 1964 by amalgamating the Indian Refineries Ltd (estd in 1958) with the Indian Oil Company Ltd (estd in 1959).

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd: Following the acquisition of the two Burmah Shell Companies, by the government, in January 1976, the name of Burmah Shell Refineries Ltd was changed to Bharat Refineries from 12 February 1976. Being an integrated refining and marketing company, the name was changed to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd with effect from 1 August 1977.

A new oil refinery is being set up by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited at Bina in Madhya Pradesh.

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation: HPCL was set up on 15 July 1974 by acquiring the assets in India of ESSO Eastern Inc, USA. On 31 December 1976 government acquired Caltex Oil Refining (India) Ltd and merged it with HPCL.

IBP Company Ltd and Lubrizol India Ltd: are the two Corporations which, besides refining and marketing oil, are involved with Engineering and Chemical production related to oil exploration.


Natural gas is emerging as an important source in India’s commercial energy scene. Large reserves of gas have been established particularly in South Bassein off West Coast of India. As on 1 January 1987 India had gas reserves of 541 billion cubic metres.

Gas Authority of India Ltd: In view of growing importance of natural gas in the country Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) was established on 16 August 1984. It is a wholly owned Government of India undertaking. The main objectives of the company are: processing, marketing, transportation and distribution of natural gas. The HBJ gas pipeline project has been implemented by GAIL.


Indian Railways

The Indian Railway System is the country’s biggest nationalized undertaking. It is the largest in Asia and the fourth largest in the world. It is also the second largest system in the world under a single management.

The first railway line in India was opened on 16 April 1853, when Lord Dalhousie was the Governor-General of India (1848-56). The first train ran between Bombay and Thane.

Railway Zones (with headquarters and date of creation)

  1. Southern Railway, Chennai (14 April 1951).
  2. Central Railway, Mumbai (5 November 1951).
  3. Western Railway, Mumbai (5 November 1951).
  4. Northern Railway, Delhi (4 April 1952).
  5. North Eastern Railway, Gorakhpur (14 April 1952).
  6. Eastern Railway, Kolkata (1 August 1955).
  7. South Eastern Railway, Kolkata (1 August 1955).
  8. North Eastern Frontier Railway, Maligaon (Guwahati) (15 January 1958).
  9. South Central Railway, Secunderabad (2 October 1966).
  10. East Coast railway, Bhubaneshwar (August 2002).
  11. North-Central, Allahabad (August 2002).
  12. South-Western, Hubli (August 2002).
  13. West-Central, Jabalpur (August 2002).
  14. South East Central Railways, Bilaspur, Madhya Pradesh, (August 2002).

Headquarters of the Railway Service Commission: Allahabad.

Railway Staff College: Baroda.

Railway Gauges: Broad Gauge—1.67 metre; Metre Gauge—1 metre; Narrow Gauge— 0.762 and 0.7610 metre.

Production Units: (1) Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, Chittaranjan (2) Integral Coach Factory, Perambur (Chennai) (3) Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi (4) Wheel and Axles Plant, Bengaluru (5) Research Designs and Standards Organisations, Lucknow.

Konkan railway project: The 760-km long Konkan railway project is India’s first ever public funded railway project. It helped to reduce travelling time to the south, from northern and western parts. Travel between Mumbai and Mangalore, that used to take 41 hours, is now covered in 18 hours. The Konkan project is a major engineering feat. More than 10 per cent of the rail lines are laid inside tunnels, the longest tunnel being 6.5 km. Besides, there are 145 major bridges and the highest viaduct is 65 metre above the ground level.

India’s first private cargo train: Indian Railways tied up with the Hyderabad-based multi-model logistics company Gati to launch India’s first private cargo train Millennium Parcel Express. The train caters to companies that manufacture high value goods and want to sell them in eastern and north-eastern States.

Longest railway route: The Dibrugarh-Kanyakumari Vivek Express covers the longest railway route in India, connecting the north-eastern State of Assam to Kanyakumari, the southern-most city in the country.  It is now the eighth longest train route in the world. Covering a distance of 4,286 km, it goes through seven States—Assam, Nagaland, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

India’s Fastest Train: Gatimaan Express is now India’s fastest train. It runs between Delhi and Agra at a maximum speed of 160 km/h.


In 1992 the new open sky policy ended the monopoly of Indian Airlines over the Indian skies. In 1994 six private air taxi operators were recognised as full-fledged airlines. These were: East West Airlines, Jet Airways, Damania Airways, Modiluft, NEPC and Archana Airways. The air taxis began to operate when the restrictions over the Indian skies were withdrawn in 1992. Through a notification the government of India converted Indian Airlines and Air India, India’s major domestic and international carriers, respectively, into two public limited companies with effect from 1 March 1994. Indian Airlines and Air India had been established under the Air Corporation Act, which was passed in May 1953.

Pawan Hans Limited: The Pawan Hans Ltd was incorporated on 15 October 1985 as a Government company to provide helicopter based air transport services to meet the requirement of the petroleum sector, to operate services in inaccessible areas and hilly terrains, to operate tourist charters and to provide intra-city transport service. The headquarters are located at Delhi.

Hansa takes to the skies: A new landmark was set in the Indian aviation history when, on 23 November 1993, Hansa, the new light aircraft developed by the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), undertook its inaugural flight. The aircraft is the first to be developed by a government laboratory with the help of private funding. It is also the first Indian aircraft to be made from composites and the first to be entirely conceptualised, designed and manufactured within the country.

National Airports Authority: The NAA was formed under the National Airports Authority Act, 1985 and started functioning with effect from 1 June 1986. The main functions and responsibilities of NAA are:

  • management of civil aerodromes, civil enclaves and aeronautical communication stations;
  • planning, development, construction and maintenance of runways, associated aircraft movement areas and passenger-handling buildings;
  • planning, procurement, installation and maintenance of radio navigational aids, communication system, safety services etc; and (iv) provision of air traffic control and radar services.

The headquarters of NAA are at Delhi.

International Airports Authority: The International Airports Authority of India was set up with effect from 1 February 1972 under the provisions of International Airports Authority Act, 1971. The Authority is responsible for the management of International airports of India and for providing various services and facilities at these airports except those pertaining to air traffic control, aeronautical communication and navigational facilities, which are provided by the Civil Aviation Department.

In August 1994, however, the Parliament approved a bill for the merger of NAA and IAAI.

Civil aircraft marking on Indian planes: VT—

International Air Ports of India:

  • Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi,
  • Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata,
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai,
  • Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur,
  • Coimbatore Airport,
  • Chennai International Airport,
  • Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport, Amritsar,
  • Jaipur International Airport,
  • Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad,
  • Goa International Airport,
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad,
  • Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati,
  • Bengaluru International Airport,
  • Mangalore International Airport,
  • Kannur International Airport,
  • Aranmula International Airport,
  • Cochin International Airport,
  • Calicut International Airport,
  • Trivandrum International Airport,
  • Raja Bhoj Airport, Bhopal,
  • Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, Lucknow,
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi,
  • Srinagar Airport and
  • Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair.
  • Chandigarh Airport.

No-frills airports: Union government has decided to build five no-frills airports at Tezu (Arunachal Pradesh), Kishangarh (Rajasthan), Jharsuguda (Odisha), Hubli and Belgaum (Karnataka). A draft policy on remote and regional connectivity has also been evolved, which will aim at granting various concessions and incentives to airlines to fly to such areas.

Important World Airlines: Singapore Airlines; Lufthansa (Germany); Cathay-Pacific (Hong Kong based); British Airways; Delta Airlines (USA); Malaysian Airlines; KLM (Dutch Airlines); Air France; Quantas (Australia); Emirates (Dubai); Qatar Airways; Gulf Air (UAE); Air China; Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot (Russia); Virgin Atlantic (USA); Swiss Air; Air Canada,

Major Airlines of India: Jet Airways, Indigo, Air India, Spicejet, GoAir, Air Asia, Vistara.


Road transport plays an important role in the economy of the country. It is particularly suitable for short and medium distances. It offers flexibility, reliability, speed and door to door service. Over the years the share of overall traffic has been continuously increasing. There has been a substantial shift from rail to road.

The private sector runs almost the entire trucking industry and 60 per cent of passenger services.

Solatium Fund Authority: In 1982 the Motor Vehicles Act 1939 was amended and a Solatium Fund was established for giving Solatium (Compensation) to the victims of hit and run motor vehicle accidents. The compensation payable is ` 5000 in case of death and ` 1000 in case of grievous hurt.

The Fund is being implemented through the State Governments. The claims have to be submitted to the Tehsildar/Sub Divisional Officer.

National Highways: The Indian road network is one of the largest in the world. National Highways are the main arteries running through the length and breadth of the country connecting State capitals, ports and important towns. Roads of strategic importance are also included in national highways. The total length of National Highways in 1988-89 was 33,612 km. There are about 61 roads classified as National Highways.

Highways Authority: The main task of the authority is to takeover, in a phased manner, the construction, maintenance and operation of the national highways. Before the constitution of the authority the maintenance of the roads was done by the State PWDs.

Twelve of the principal highways are:

  • Delhi-Amritsar
  • Delhi-Calcutta
  • Agra-Mumbai
  • Jalandhar-Srinagar-Uri
  • Delhi-Ahmedabad-Mumbai
  • Chandigarh-Manali
  • Ambala-Shimla-Tibet
  • Jorhat-Shillong-Bangladesh
  • Manali-Leh
  • Pathankot-Mandi
  • Cochin-Madurai
  • Beawar-Sirohi-Kandla

Project to link all villages: On 15 August 2000, Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee announced an ambitious road project— The Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sarak Pariyojna.—to connect all villages of India.


India has the largest merchant shipping fleet among the developing countries and ranks 15th in the world in shipping tonnage. There are 84 shipping companies of which 48 are engaged exclusively in coastal trade, 21 in overseas trade and remaining in both. The only government shipping company—Shipping Corporation of India—carries on both. The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) is one of the biggest shipping lines in the world.

Shipyards: There are four major and three medium size shipyards in India in the public sector. Of the major ones Hindustan Shipyard Ltd., Vishakhapatnam and Cochin Shipyard Ltd and Goa Shipyard are under the control of the Ministry of Surface Transport.

Mazagon Dock Ltd., Mumbai and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Calcutta are under the Ministry of Defence.

There are 35 small shipyards in the private sector.

Besides, there are 17 dry docks out of which 13 are available for commercial ship repair activity.

Major Ports: There are twelve major ports in India. These are: West Coast: Kandla, Mumbai, Mormugao, Mangalore, Cochin, and Nhava Sheva (off Mumbai). East Coast: Tuticorin, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Paradip, Calcutta-Haldia and Ennore.

Waterways Authority of India: The Union government has constituted an inland Waterways Authority of India to facilitate development of inland water transport in the country. The authority, as the apex body, will be responsible for the planned development, maintenance and regulation of the national waterways for inland water transport.

India has got 14,500 km of navigable waterways comprising of rivers, canals, creeks, etc. Presently only 2000 km of navigable rivers are being used out of 3700 km available. There are three natural waterways systems functional. These are: Allahabad-Haldia (National Waterway No. 1), SadiyaDhubri (Bangladesh border) (Waterway No. 2) and Kollam-KottapuramChampakara Canal-Udyog Mandal Canal (Waterway No. 3). Three more systems are being developed. These are: Sunderbans, from Sagar to Roimandal; between Chirla and Rajahmundry; and on Mondovi river in Goa.


There are 11 major ports in India, apart from 139 minor working ports along the coastline of 5,560 km.

Alleppey: is the chief port of Kerala, situated about 48 km from Cochin.

Bedi: is situated a few miles from the city of Jamnagar.

Bhatkal: is a prominent port to meet the needs of Karnataka.

Bhavnagar: is situated on the creek several miles from the open waters of Gulf of Cambay.

Kolkata: situated on the Hooghly river—144 km from the Bay of Bengal is the largest port of India and a terminal station in south Asia. It is the capital of West Bengal and biggest trading centre of India. It is also called the city of Palaces.

Calicut: (Kerala) is situated about 64 km from Tellicherry and 144 km from Cochin. Now named as Kozhikode. It has small timber trade.

Chennai: is the third largest port of India. The harbour is artificial. It is centre of cotton manufacture, leather and cigarette industries.

Cochin: (Kerala) is the finest natural harbour on the west coast situated 928 km south of Mumbai.

Coconada: is an important port of Andhra Pradesh. It has a small but rich hinterland. It is situated north of Godavari River on the Coconada Bay.

Cuddalore: is a port of Tamil Nadu famous for pearl fisheries.

Dhamra—first private port: India’s first private port is located at Dhamra, 170 km from Bhubaneshwar (Odisha). The project is a joint venture of Larsen & Tubro, India, SSA International of USA and Precious Shipping of Bangkok, Thailand.

Dhanushkodi: is situated on the south-east extermity of the Rameshwaram Island and is the terminus of the Southern Railway.

Ennore: India’s brand new man-made port, 24 km North of Chennai. It has been built with the help of Dutch expertise.

Kandla: in Gujarat; new port developed in the Gulf of Kutch meant principally for handling all the traffic formerly passing through Karachi.

Karaikal: Previously a French settlement and now an important Indian port situated on the Coromandel Coast, 166 km south of Chennai.

Malpi: situated midway between the ports of Goa and Cochin. It has a natural harbour and is a fishing centre.

Mangalore: (Karnataka) is a tidal port served by back-waters communication with hinterland. It is the north-west terminus of the Southern Railway.

Marmagoa: It is one of the recognised major ports of India and one of the finest ports in Asia.

Mumbai: called the Gateway of India is the capital of Maharashtra State and the best natural harbour in India for trade with the West. It has a vast rich hinterland and is centre of cotton industry.

Mundra: On the western coast of India, it is an all-weather, round-theyear port. It has a state-of-the-art fully mechanised, efficient cargo handling system.

Nagapatam: is the chief port of Tanjore district and is situated about 21 km south of Karaikal.

Nhava Sheva: The first major investment by the Port Authority of India on the West coast, this port is one of the major and modern ports of India on the western coast.

Okha: is situated in a detached portion of Baroda on the West Coast.

Pudducherry: previously French settlement and now a Union Territory, an important Indian port situated on the Coromandel coast.

Paradeep: is in Odisha, about 96 km from Cuttack. It is India’s deepest all-weather seaport. It was declared open on 12 March 1966. It is specially designed for export of iron ore. Iron ore from the Bailadilla mines is exported through this port.

Quilon: (Kerala) is connected by backwaters with Alleppey. The chief industries are cotton spinning and tile manufacture.

Surat: one of the earliest and the most important of the factories of East India Company was established here. Its trade has since declined due to rise of the port of Mumbai.

Tuticorin: is situated at the extreme southern point of Chennai peninsula. The harbour is shallow and the steamers anchor about 8 km from the shore. It has been developed as a Major Port, renamed as New Tuticorin. It is being developed as a “hub port” with a total investment of ` 4,000 crore entirely from private sector.

Vishakhapatnam: in Andhra Pradesh, is situated midway between Kolkata and Chennai; it is the only land-locked and protected port in India. It is a natural harbour and centre of ship-building industry. An oil refinery has also been set up here by Caltex Oil Company.

Major private ports of India: (1) Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal; (2) Mundra; (3) Pipavav; (4) Tuticorin; (5) Visakha Container Terminal, Vishakhapatnam; (6) Kochi; (7) Kandla.

What is a major port: Technically speaking, a major port is one which is capable of taking oceangoing steamers with a registered tonnage of 4,000 or more and berth them along harbour and further that such steamers carry a minimum of the requisite trade of 5,000,000 tons per annum. The sheltered nature of the port, well laid-out approach channels, provision of docks, jetties and moorings, well laid-out transit sheds, effective rail connections, the ability to serve a very large portion of the hinterland (lying behind the port), facilities for meeting the requirements of defence and strategy, comparatively large volume of traffic and the possibilities of work for shipping all the year round are some of the qualifications of a major port.

Art & Music


Lalit Kala Akademi: was set up in October 1954. It is devoted to the promotion of the study and research in painting, sculpture, architecture and the applied arts.

The Akademi (i) co-ordinates the activities of the regional or State Academies, (ii) encourages exchange of ideas among various schools of arts, (iii) publishes literature and fosters inter-regional and international contacts through exhibitions, exchange of personnel and of art objects.

Sangeet Natak Akademi: was inaugurated in January 1953. Its main task is the survey of and research in different art forms of India. It records and films the art forms. It organises and sponsors seminars and festivals to develop art. It also establishes new art institutions.

Sahitya Akademi: was inaugurated in March 1954. It seeks to achieve improved standards in the field of literature. It aims at fostering and coordinating literary activities in all the Indian languages to create among the people the consciousness of the basic unity of the literature in various Indian languages and thus to promote through them the cultural unity of the country.

National Book Trust of India: was set up in 1957. It seeks to (i) encourage the production of good literature and make available such literature at moderate prices to all institutions and o the public, (ii) the Trust aims at publishing standard works on education, science and culture, (iii) it also aims at publishing classical Indian literature, translation of foreign classics and of Indian classics from one regional language to another. The publication of all such works of the Trust is undertaken by the Publications Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


There are two classical Schools of Indian Music: (1) Hindustani School of the North and (2) Karnatic School of the South.

Classical Schools of Dancing: Bharatnatyam, a dance style of classical dancing in Tamil Nadu. Manipuri, a dance style of Manipur. Kathak, a dance style which has its origin in northern India (Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh). Kathakali and Mohiniuttam are classical dance styles of Kerala. Odissi, a dance style of Orissa. Kuchipudi, a dance style of Andhra Pradesh.

Trinity of Carnatic Music: Thiagaraja, Muthuswami Deekshithar and Syam Sastri.

Mathura School of Art: was influenced by Gandhara School of Art.

Gopuram: was the main feature of South Indian temple architecture.


Projects – World

Three Gorges Dam: The $ 25 billion dam has been built on Yangtze river in China. It has created a 600 km long reservoir. The 2,309 m long and 181 m high dam is designed to generate 18,200 MW electricity.

Chunnel tunnel project: Britain was united with the rest of the Europe, 130 feet under the sea-bed of the English Channel on December 1, 1990. Man was able to walk from Britain to Europe for the first time since the ice age.

World’s longest tunnel: A giant drilling machine punched its way through a final section of Alpine rock on October 15, 2010 to complete the world’s longest tunnel, after 15 years of construction. The 57 km high-speed rail link forms the lynch-pin of a new rail network between northern and south-eastern Europe. It is the third tunnel to be built through the snowbound St Gotthard area and is 3 km longer than a rail link between two Japanese islands, earlier record holder at 53.8 km.

Longest optical cable system laid: SEA-ME-WE-2 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-2) is the world’s longest optical fibre submarine cable system ever laid. Stretching 18,190 km from Singapore to Marseille in France, SEA-ME-WE-2 links 13 countries in three continents. The countries are: Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Italy and France.

Human Genome Project: Hundreds of scientists from USA, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and China are working in 16 centres around the world in this project to decipher the human genetic code. The initiative is led by National Institute of Health, USA. On 26 June 2000, it was announced that a working draft of the human genome is ready. The research is expected to help find solutions to diseases like cancer and genetically triggered diseases.

World’s highest railway: China has built the world’s highest railway network through Tibet to Lhasa. Much of the tracks of the project are located at heights over 12,000 ft.

Segway: Vehicle of tomorrow: This is the world’s first self-balancing human transport. It has been developed by Dean Kamen at a cost of over $ 100 million. The deceptively simple contraption is a revolutionary scooter that has no engine, brakes, throttle, gearshift or a steering wheel.

Aerogel, earth’s lightest solid: Aerogel is pure silicon dioxide or sand like glass, but 1000 times less dense. It is the lightest solid substance ever created. If flattened out, a cubic inch would yield a surface bigger than a football field. The material is an excellent insulator and is already being used in space exploration projects.

World’s Largest Tidal Turbine: The world’s largest tidal turbine, weighing 1000 tonnes, has been installed in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough. The tidal turbine is rated at 1.2 megawatts, which is enough to power a thousand local homes. It was built by Marine Current Turbines, and it will be the first commercial tidal turbine to produce energy, when it begins operation later in 2008.

Large Hadron Collider: The Large Hadron Collider is the world’s biggest and most powerful particle accelerator, a 27-km looped pipe that sits in a tunnel 100 metres underground on the Swiss/French border. It cost 3 billion euros to build.

Solar plane: On 7 July 2010, giant glider-like aircraft completed the first night flight propelled only by solar energy. Solar Impulse, whose wingspan is the same as an Airbus A340, flew 26 hours and 9 minutes, powered only by solar energy stored during the day. It was also the longest and highest flight in the history of solar aviation.

World’s fastest train launched by China: On 26 December 2009, China launched what it described as the world’s fastest train, one that can travel at an average speed of 350 kmph. On its inaugural run, the train covered the 1,068 km between Wuhan in central China and Guangzhou in the south in two hours 45 minutes. By comparison, the average for high-speed trains in Japan is 243 kmph, while in France it is 277 kmph.

World’s Largest Building: Though Dubai boasts the tallest building in the world, Chengdu in southwest China is now home to what Chinese officials are calling “the largest building in the world.” Situated in the capital city of Sichuan province, the New Century Global Centre is a colossus of glass and steel. Opened on 28 June 2013 and developed by the Exhibition and Travel Group, the standalone building is large enough to hold 20 Sydney Opera Houses and, with about 5.5 million square feet of floor space, has three times the square footage of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

London Array—World’s largest offshore wind farm: The London Array wind power project in the United Kingdom has become the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Previously, the world’s largest offshore wind farm was the 500 MW Greater Gabbard wind power facility off the coast of East Anglia.

Human Connectome Project: The National Institutes of Health, USA’s Human Connectome Project is an ambitious effort to map the neural pathways that underlie human brain function. It will greatly advance the capabilities for imaging and analysing brain connections, resulting in improved sensitivity, resolution, and utility, thereby accelerating progress in the emerging field of human connectomics. Altogether, the project will lead to major advances in our understanding of what makes us uniquely human and will set the stage for future studies of abnormal brain circuits in many neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Projects – India

River Projects

Alamatti Dam: is on the river Krishna.

Baspa Hydro-electric Project: 300 MW project, located in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, is the largest private hydro-electric. It is located on Baspa river, a tributary of Satluj.

Beas Project: Consists of two units: (i) Beas-Sutlej Link and (ii) Beas Dam at Pong. The project links the Beas and the Sutlej rivers at Slapper in Himachal.

Bhadra Reservoir Project: across the river Bhadra is in Karnataka.

Bhakra-Nangal Project (Himachal Pradesh): It is the largest multipurpose project in India and the highest straight-gravity dam in the world (225.5 m high) on the river Sutlej.

Chambal Project: is a joint undertaking by the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments. The project comprises construction of two dams: Gandhi Sagar Dam in Madhya Pradesh and Jawahar Sagar (Kotah) Dam in Rajasthan.

Chamera Hydro-electric Project: 540 MW hydro-electric project on the Ravi river in Himachal Pradesh.

Chukha Project: The 336 MW project is the most prestigious and largest in Bhutan. It has been completely built by India on Wang Chu river.

Chutak hydropower project: Located about 14-km upstream near Sarzhe village in Kargil. The project, a run-of-the-river scheme on the Suru river with installed capacity of 44 MW.

Damodar Valley Project (West Bengal and Bihar): principal object of this multipurpose scheme is to control the flowing of the Damodar which is notorious for its vagaries and destructiveness.

Dul-Hasti Hydro-electric Project: Built on river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir.

Dhauliganga Project: 280 MW project, located on Dhauliganga river in Uttarakhand.

Farakka Barrage: The basic aim of the Farakka Barrage is to preserve and maintain Kolkata port and to improve the navigability of the Hooghly river. It consists of a barrage across the Ganga at Farakka, another barrage at Jangipur across the Bhagirthi, a 39-km long feeder canal taking off from the right bank of the Ganga at Farakka and tailing into the Bhagirthi below the Jangipur barrage, and a road-cum-rail bridge.

Gandak Project (Bihar and Uttar Pradesh): This is a joint venture of India and Nepal as per agreement signed between the two governments. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the participating Indian States. Nepal also derives irrigation and power benefits from this project.

Hirakud Project: (Odisha): is a chain of dams for harnessing the Mahanadi.

Idukki Hydro-electric Project: 1170 MW hydro-electric project of Kerala, the project has three major dams—the 169m high Idukki arch dam across Periyar river, 138m high Cheruthoni Dam across the tributary of Cheruthoni river and 99.9m high Kulamavu Dam.

Jayakwadi Dam (Maharashtra): The 10-km-long Jayakwadi dam on the Godavari is Maharashtra’s largest irrigation project.

Kalpong hydro-electric project: This is the first hydel power plant of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Kakrapara Project: on the Tapti near Kakrapara, Gujarat.

Kishau multipurpose project: The 660 MW project is a joint venture between Himachal and Uttarakhand governments. It will be located on Tons river and envisages construction of a 680-m long and 236-m high concrete gravity dam, 45 km upstream of Dak Pathar at the fringe of the Ichari reservoir.

Koel Karo Project: Earthen dam across river south Koel at Basia in Bihar and another dam over north Karo at Lohajimi. The capacity is 710 MW.

Kol Project: 600 MW hydro-power project, located on the Satluj, 6 km upstream of the Dehar Power House on the Beas-Satluj link project in Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh. The dam also serves as a check dam for the 1,050-MW Bhakra Dam.

Kosi Project (Bihar): This project serves Bihar and Nepal and helps to check floods in Terrai region of Nepal and upper Bihar.

Nagarjunasagar Project: For utilizing waters of the Krishna river.

Nathpa-Jhakri hydro-electric project: India’s largest hydro-electric project, located at Nathpa Jhakri in Himachal Pradesh. It is built on Satluj river.

Nimoo Bazgo hydro-power project: 45 MW hydro-power project is a ‘run-of-the-river’ scheme to harness the potential of the Indus river in Leh.

Parambikulam Aliyar Project: joint venture of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, it involved construction of seven inter-connected reservoirs by harnessing rivers including two major rivers viz., Parambikulam on the western slopes of Annamalai Hills and Aliyar on the eastern slopes.

Parvati Valley Project: It is the first inter-State hydel power project of India. Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi joined hands with Himachal Pradesh to set up the project. The 2050 MW project is built near Kullu, on Parvati river, a tributary of Beas.

Periyar Valley Scheme (Kerala): The scheme envisaged the construction of a masonry barrage 210.92 metres long across the river Periyar near Alwaye, in Ernakulam district.

Pong Dam: also called the Beas Dam on the river Beas, near Talwara in Himachal Pradesh, is the highest (132 m high) rock-fill dam in the country. The project is a joint venture of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. The dam has been designed to store 6.6 million acre feet of water.

Rajasthan Canal Project: uses water from the Pong dam to irrigate desert regions of Rajasthan. It consists of 215 km long Rajasthan feeder canal (with the first 178 km in Punjab and Haryana and the remaining 37 km in Rajasthan) and the 467 km long Rajasthan main canal lying entirely in Rajasthan.

Ramganga River Project: in Uttarakhand is built across river Ramganga, one of the major tributaries of the Ganga at 3.2 km upstream of Kalagarh in Garhwal district.

Ranjit Sagar dam Project: Formerly known as Thein dam, it is built on Ravi river near Thein village in Punjab. Total installed capacity is 600 MW.

Rihand Project: (Mirzapur District—Uttar Pradesh): This project comprises construction of a concrete gravity dam across the Rihand river in Mirzapur District and a Power House at Pipri and necessary transmission lines. Gobind Ballabh Pant Sagar is a part of this project.

Rongtong—World’s Highest Hydro Power Project: The Rongtong project is situated in Kaza in the Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh.

Salal Project: It has been built on River Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir and marked the beginning of the harnessing of hydro power potential of river Chenab.

Sankosh hydel-power Project: Indo-Bhutan joint venture, constructed near Kerabari in Gaylegphug district of Bhutan on Sankosh river.

Sanjay Vidyut (Hydel) Project: Asia’s first fully underground Hydel Project. The 120 MW project is located near Bhaba Nagar in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.

Sardar Sarovar Project: This is one of the largest river valley schemes in the country. The project involved construction of 163-metre-high cement concrete dam at Navagam in Gujarat to create irrigation potential of 1.79 million hectares and generate 1450 MW of power.

Sawalkote Hydro Project: 600 MW project in Jammu & Kashmir.

Sharavati Power Project (Karnataka): Located about 400 km from Bengaluru near the Gersoppa falls, it is one of the world’s major power projects to be built by Indian engineers with American collaboration.

Srisailarn Project: located 110 km away from Nagarjunasagar in the upper reaches of the river Krishna.

Subarnarekha Project: It is a multipurpose project which provides assured irrigation to 7,06,000 acres to the chronically drought-prone areas of Odisha and Bihar.

Tehri Dam Project: World’s fifth and Asia’s largest 1,000 MW hydroelectric project has been constructed on river Bhagirithi, a tributary of Ganga in Tehri district of Uttarakhand.

Tungabhadra Project (Andhra and Karnataka): The project comprises a dam across the Tungabhadra river near Mallapuram.


Sankhya Vahini Project: Sankhya Vahini (Sanskrit for data carrier) project links 100 universities, financial and corporate hubs, schools, hospitals etc to become India’s high-speed Internet backbone.

Korba Super Thermal Power Station: located on the west bank of the Hardeo river near Korba in Bilaspur district of Madhya Pradesh. The capacity is 2,100 MW. The plant has been set up by NTPC.

ONGC’s Gas-based power plant in Tripura: `3,429-crore gas-based power project of State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in Tripura. The project was also a hallmark of cooperation between India and Bangladesh, which ensured smooth passage of heavy project equipment and turbines to Palatana through its territory by road and waterways, from Haldia port in West Bengal.

Rohtang tunnel project: The foundation stone of the ` 1,500 crore project under the 3,962 m high Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh was laid on 26 May 2002. Once completed, the tunnel will open up an alternative round-the-year road between Manali and Keylong.

Talcher Urea Plant (Odisha): is the world’s second largest coal-based fertiliser plant, located in Talcher. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has set up a 62-tonne heavy water plant within the plant complex.

Talcher Power Plant: The Talcher Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) is the first of its kind in Odisha.

Rosa Power plant: Located in Uttar Pradesh, it is northern India’s first thermal power plant in the private sector to start operation.

IB-Valley Project: The 210 MW thermal power project is located at Banharpalli in Odisha.

India’s longest oil jetty: The potential for building marine structures has been acquired by India with the construction of the longest oil jetty in the country at Butcher Island, about 10 km east of Mumbai docks. The National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), has built the 1.4 km long jetty, capable of handling super-tankers of 150,000 dwt, for the Mumbai Port Trust.

Ore sorter plant at Khetri: India’s first ore sorter plant has been commissioned at the Khetri Copper Complex in Rajasthan, ushering in the computerised ore sorting technology in the country.

First Indian gold refinery: It has been set up at Shirpur (near Nashik) by Autoriders Industries. India now has its own hallmarked Ten Tola (TT) bars.

First Windfarm of India: India has successfully installed Asia’s first commercial windfarm on the Southern Coast of Kutch in Gujarat. It consists of 21 wind turbine generators which generate 1.1 MW power.

Asia’s largest Solar Farm: Moser Baer Energy Limited (MBCEL) has successfully commissioned the 30 MW solar farm at Gunthawada, District Banaskantha, Gujarat. It is the largest solar energy farm of Asia, built on 305 acres of land, using 2,36,000 thin film modules.

Param, India’s first super-computer: India’s first indigenous supercomputer, the Param, was unveiled to the world in September 1991. The supercomputer was developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). A new, more powerfull Param-1000 computer was unveiled on 28 March 1998.

ISRO builds India’s fastest super-computer: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has built India’s fastest supercomputer, named “SAGA-220”, with a peak performance of 220 teraflops (220 trillion floating-point operations per second). Earlier, the fastest supercomputer in India, at 132.8 teraflops, was Eka, located at the Computational Research Laboratories Limited (CRL), a subsidiary of Tata Sons Limited, at Pune.

HBJ Pipeline Project: This pipeline is 1,750 km long and is supplying gas to six gas based fertilizer plants being constructed in Hazira (Gujarat), Bijaipur (Madhya Pradesh), Sawai Madhopur (Rajasthan), and Jagdishpur, Shahjahanpur and Babria in Uttar Pradesh.

Telugu Ganga Project: Inaugurated in May 1983 this project consists of 400 km long canal named ‘Telugu Ganga” which starts from the Sri Sailam reservoir on Krishna river in Kurnool district. The canal joins four more reservoirs on way before joining the Poondi reservoir in Tamil Nadu. The Poondi reservoir is to meet the drinking water needs of Chennai. The project also provides irrigation water specifically to Rayalaseema district in Andhra Pradesh.

Project Elephant: This is a multi-crore rupee country-wide programme for protection and conservation of the elephants.

MST Radar Project: Mesosphere, Stratosphere and Troposphere (MST) Radar, second of its kind in the world (the first being in Peru) has been built at Mittagadanki village near Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh). The radar is capable of probing different regions of the atmosphere.

First power from vegetable wastes: India’s first power plant to generate power exclusively from vegetable waste is located in Chennai.

India’s first bio-diesel plant: On 12 October 2007, India’s first bio-diesel plant went on stream. Hyderabad-based Natural Bioenergy started production of the “green” fuel at its factory in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.

Gagan—GPS-aided navigation system: Flights over the country and the Indian Ocean, from East Africa to Australia, have become safer, more economical and environment friendly with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) installing a GPS-aided geo-augmented navigation system (GAGAN) for commercial aircraft. The project, taken up by AAI, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Raytheon, has taken India into an exclusive club whose members possess the advanced system.

India’s third research station in Antarctica: Nearly 28 years after it set up the first permanent research station in the South Polar region, India commissioned its third station, “Bharti”, in Antarctica in March 2012.The new station is located almost 3,000 km away from “Maitri” station, which is serving the nation since its inception in 1988-89.

Power Grid launches India’s first 1,200-Kv station: India’s power sector witnessed a new era in the transmission segment with the launch a 1,200-Kv ultra-high voltage (UHV) test station along with experimental lines in Bina, Madhya Pradesh, by State-run Power Grid Corp. As of now, the power is being transmitted on 765Kv/800Kv lines. The existing 400Kv line can transfer about 600 Mw power, 800Kv line can do between 1,200 Mw and 2,400 Mw and 1,200-Kv transfer 6,000-8,000 Mw.

Project Saraswati—ONGC digs water in Thar: After successfully having drilled ‘black gold’ in several locations around the world, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has now dug out water in the parched desert area of Rajasthan, using its expertise in geological studies and drilling capabilities under its ‘ONGC Project Saraswati’. Initiated in 2007 as part of its corporate social responsibility, the pilot project led the ONGC drillers and geologists to find underground water aquifer that has now started providing 76,000 litres of water per hour. The site, ‘Saraswati-1’, is located around seven km away from Jaisalmer (on the Dabla road) and the bore had to be dug 554 metres deep.

Bhuvan—ISRO’s answer to Google earth: Bhuvan is a local variant of Google Earth, the iconic service from internet search company Google Inc., that allows ordinary people to take a close look at most parts of the world on their computer screens, using satellite images and maps. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched a similar Web-based service that will allow users to check everything from the exact location of the new restaurant where they have booked a table for the evening to the state of flood-ravaged villages in Bihar. ISRO will use images taken by its seven remote-sensing satellites in orbit around the earth, including Cartosat-1 and Cartosat-2.

India’s longest rail tunnel: A 11-km railway tunnel across the Pir Panjal mountain range in J&K is the longest such in India. A three-metre-wide road has also been provided inside the tunnel for maintenance and relief and rescue operations in the event of any eventuality. Built at a cost of ₹1,300 crores, the tunnel has reduced the surface distance between the Qazigund town in Srinagar Valley and Banihal town in the Jammu region by 18 km, besides providing an all-weather surface link between the two regions.

E-kranti project: The `113,000-crore project is the world’s most ambitious broadband project that seeks to provide digital access to all citizens, from the rural and elderly to the poor. The blueprint revolves round ‘nine pillars’—broadband highway, e-governance, electronics manufacturing leading to ‘zero import’, universal phone access, electronic delivery of services, jobs, rural internet, information for all and ‘early harvest’ programmes.

Project Mausam: India will launch its own “Project Mausam”, a transnational initiative meant to revive its ancient maritime routes and cultural linkages with countries in the region. Titled “Project Mausam: Maritime Routes and Cultural Landscapes Across the Indian Ocean”, the project will focus on the natural wind phenomenon, especially monsoon winds used by Indian sailors in ancient times for maritime trade, that has shaped interactions between countries and communities connected by the Indian Ocean. It aims to explore the multifaceted Indian Ocean “world”—extending from East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka to the Southeast Asian archipelago.

Setu Bharatam project: It aims to make all national highways free from railway level crossing by 2019. Under the project, 208 rail-over bridges and rail-under bridges will be built at the cost of ₹20,800 crore, and 1,500 decade-old bridges will be reconstructed and revamped at cost of ₹30,000 crore.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin): The Union government has approved $1.5 billion (approximately ₹9,000 crore) World Bank support for the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) in rural areas. Under the project, ₹8850 crore is to provide incentives to the State, and ₹150 crore is for the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is aimed at improving cleanliness and eliminating open defecation.

National Laboratories, Institutions Etc.

Functions of National Laboratories: The National Laboratories undertake basic and applied research with special reference to the problems of industries falling within their spheres. These laboratories are actively associated with the work of industrial development and standardisation, each having its own detailed programme of work drawn up by expert committees.

  • Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Ballistic Research Center, Gandhinagar
  • Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee (Uttarakhand).
  • Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
  • Central Electro-Chemical Research Institute, Karaikudi (Tamil Nadu).
  • Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute, Pilani (Rajasthan).
  • Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore (Karnataka).
  • Central Fuel Research Institute, Dhanbad (Jharkhand).
  • Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
  • Central Institute for Mushroom Research, Solan (Himachal Pradesh).
  • Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
  • Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur (West Bengal).
  • Central Mining Research Station, Dhanbad (Jharkhand).
  • Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi (Delhi).
  • Central Salt and Marine Chemical Research Institute, Bhavnagar (Gujarat).
  • Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Chandigarh.
  • Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehra Dun (Uttarakhand).
  • Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
  • National Aeronautical Laboratory, Bengaluru (Karnataka).
  • National Biological Laboratory (in Planning), Palampur, Kangra Dist. (Himachal Pradesh).
  • National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
  • National Chemical Laboratory, Pune (Maharashtra).
  • National Environment Engineering Institute, Nagpur (Maharashtra).
  • National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad (Telengana).
  • National Institute of Oceanography, Panaji (Goa).
  • National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur (Jharkhand).
  • National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi (Delhi).
  • Pulsars Research Laboratory, Pachmarhi (Madhya Pradesh).
  • Regional Research Laboratory, Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Jorhat (Assam), Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) and Hyderabad (Telengana).
  • Structural Engineering Research Centre, Roorkee (Uttarakhand) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
  • Visveswarayya Industrial and Technological Museum, Bengaluru (Karnataka).


  • Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (formerly the Atomic Energy Establishment), Trombay near Mumbai (Maharashtra).
  • Centre for Advance Technology (CAT), Indore.
  • High Altitude Research Laboratory, Gulmarg (Jammu & Kashmir).
  • Indian Cancer Research Centre, Mumbai (Maharashtra).
  • Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam (Chennai, Tamil Nadu).
  • Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
  • Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Seismic Research Centre, Gaurividanur near Bengaluru (Karnataka).
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai (Maharashtra).


  • Bharat Opthalmic Glass Limited, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
  • Bose Research Institute, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur (Rajasthan).
  • Central Cocoanut Research Station, Kasergod (Kerala).
  • Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, New Delhi.
  • Central Inland Fisheries Research Station, Barrackpore (West Bengal).
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Ernakulam (Kerala).
  • Central Jute Technological Research Institute, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Central Marine Research Station, Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
  • Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur (West Bengal).
  • Central Mining Research Station, Dhanbad (Jharkhand).
  • Central Mushroom Research Institute, Solan (Himachal Pradesh).
  • Central Research Laboratory, Chepauk, Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
  • Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack (Odisha).
  • Central State Farm, Suratgarh (Rajasthan).
  • Central Tobacco Research Station, Rajahmundry (Andhra Pradesh).
  • Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad (Telengana).
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
  • Fluid Control Research Institute, Kanjikod West (Kerala).
  • Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun (Uttarakhand).
  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.
  • Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad (Telengana)
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (Karnataka).
  • Indian Institute of Sugar Technology, Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh).
  • Indian Lac Research Institute, Ranchi (Jharkhand).
  • Indian Space Research Organisation, Bengaluru (Karnataka).
  • Institute of Microbial Technology, Hyderabad (Telengana).
  • National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal (Haryana).
  • National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur (Maharashtra).
  • National Remote Sensing Station, Shadnagar, near Hyderabad (Telengana).
  • National Sugar Research Institute, Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh).


  • All-India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi
  • All-India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Patna (Bihar), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Bhubaneshwar (Odisha), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Raipur (Chattisgarh) and Rishikesh (Uttarkhand).
  • All-India Malaria Institute, Delhi.
  • Central Research Institute, Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh).
  • Haffkine Institute, Mumbai (Maharashtra).
  • Indian Institute of Experimental Medicine, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Mukteswar (Uttarakhand) and Izatnagar (Uttar Pradesh).
  • Institute of Ayurvedic Studies and Research, Jamnagar (Gujarat).
  • National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi.
  • Nutrition Research Laboratory, Coonoor (Tamil Nadu).
  • Tuberculosis Institute, Delhi.


Atomic Power Projects: (1) Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, Rawatbhata, near Chittorgarh (Rajasthan), (2) Tarapur Near Mumbai (Maharashtra), (3) Madras Atomic Power Station, Kalpakkam (Tamil Nadu), (4) Narora Atomic Power Station near Bulandshahr, (Uttar Pradesh), (5) Kakrapar Atomic Power Station near Surat (Gujarat), (6) Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant near Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu) and (7) Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant near Uttara Kannada (Karnataka).

  • Bharat Electronics Ltd., Jalahalli, Bengaluru (Karnataka).
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., (1) Ranipur, Hardwar (Uttarakhand), (2) Ramchandrapuram, Hyderabad (Telengana), (3) Tiruverumbur, Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu).
  • Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels Ltd., Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).
  • Bokaro Steel Ltd., Bokaro, District Hazaribagh (Jharkhand).
  • Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, Chittaranjan, District Burdwan (West Bengal).
  • Cochin Refineries Ltd., Cochin (Kerala).
  • Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).
  • Engineers India Ltd., New Delhi.
  • The Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd., Alwaye (Kerala).
  • Garden Reach Workshops Ltd., Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Heavy Electricals (India) Ltd., Piplani, Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh).
  • Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd., P.O. Dhurwa, Ranchi (Jharkhand).
  • Heavy Machine Building Plant, Ranchi (Jharkhand).
  • Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi, Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., Bengaluru (Karnataka).
  • Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd., (1) Pimpri, Pune (Maharashtra) and (2) Rishikesh (Uttarakhand).
  • Hindustan Aircraft Factory, Bengaluru (Karnataka).
  • Hindustan Cables Ltd., Rupnarainpur, Distt. Burdwan (West Bengal).
  • Hindustan Housing Factory Ltd., New Delhi.
  • Hindustan Insecticides Ltd., (1) New Delhi (2) Alwaye (Kerala). (D.D.T. factories are at New Delhi and Alwaye).
  • Hindustan Latex Ltd., Peroorkada, Trivandrum (Kerala).
  • Hindustan Machine Tools Ltd., (1) Bengaluru (Karnataka), (2) Pinjore (Haryana), (3) Kalamassery (Kerala), (4) Hyderabad (Telengana), (5) Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir).
  • Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd., Rasayani, Distt. Kolaba (Maharashtra).
  • Hindustan Photo Films Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Ootacamund (Tamil Nadu).
  • Hindustan Salts Ltd., Jaipur (Rajasthan).
  • Hindustan Shipyards Ltd., (1) Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and (2) Cochin (Kerala).
  • Hindustan Steel Ltd., Ranchi (Jharkhand).
  • Hindustan Teleprinters Ltd., Chennai (Tamil Nadu). Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Udaipur (Rajasthan).
  • India Government Silver Refinery, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd., New Delhi.
  • Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Mumbai (Maharashtra).
  • India Rare Earths Ltd., Alwaye (Kerala).
  • Indian Telephone Industries Ltd., Bengaluru (Karnataka).
  • Instrumentation Ltd., Kota (Rajasthan).
  • Integral Coach Factory, Perambur, Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
  • Kolar Gold Mining Undertakings, Oorgaum, (Karnataka).
  • Machine-Tool Prototype Factory, Ambernath (Maharashtra).
  • Mazagon Dock Ltd., Mumbai (Maharashtra).
  • National Instruments Ltd., Jadavpur, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd., Neyveli (Tamil Nadu).
  • Optical Glass (Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute), Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Pyrites and Chemicals Development Co., Ltd., Dehri-on-Sone, District Shahabad (Bihar).


  • Administrative Staff College, Hyderabad (Telengana).
  • Air Defence and Guided Missiles School, Gopalpur (Odisha).
  • Air Force Administrative Staff College, Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu).
  • Air Force Flying College, Jodhpur (Rajasthan).
  • Armoured Corps Centre and School, Ahmednagar.
  • Armed Forces Medical College, Pune (Maharashtra). Central Institute of Languages, Mysore (Karnataka).
  • Central Sanskrit Institute, Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh).
  • College of Military Engineering, Kirkee, Pune (Maharashtra).
  • College of Satellite Communication Technology, Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
  • Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Nilgiri Hills (Tamil Nadu).
  • Film and Television Institute of India, Pune (Maharashtra).
  • Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling (West Bengal).
  • Indian Forest Academy, Dehra Dun (Uttarakhand).
  • Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla (Himachal Pradesh).
  • Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi.
  • Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi.
  • Indian Institutes of Technology, (1) Kharagpur, (2) Kanpur, (3) Chennai,
  • (4) Mumbai and (5) Delhi.
  • Indian Military Academy, Dehradun (Uttarakhand). Indian Naval Academy, Cochin (Kerala).
  • Indian School of Mines and Applied Geology, Dhanbad (Jharkhand).
  • Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademic, Rai Bareli (Uttar Pradesh).
  • Institute of Airport Management, New Delhi.
  • Institute of Social Studies, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
  • Internal Security Academy (CRPF), Mt. Abu (Rajasthan).
  • International Flight Training School, Kancharpura, near Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh).
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh).
  • National Defence College, New Delhi.
  • National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla near Pune (Maharashtra).
  • National Industrial Academy, Hyderabad (Telengana).
  • National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad (Telengana).
  • National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi.
  • National Open University, New Delhi.
  • National Police Academy, Abu Road (Rajasthan).
  • National School of Drama and Asian Theatre, New Delhi.
  • Nehru University, New Delhi.
  • Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala (Punjab).
  • Numismatology Institute, Nasik (Maharashtra)
  • Paratroopers Training College, Agra (Uttar Pradesh).
  • Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun (Uttarakhand).
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi.
  • School of Foreign Languages, New Delhi.
  • School of Tropical Medicines, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Water Management Engineering Laboratory, New Delhi.
  • Wildlife Institute of India, Chandravani (Uttarakhand).


  • Aarey Milk Colony, Mumbai (Maharashtra).
  • Agro Industries Corporation, Chandigarh.
  • Archaeological Survey of India, India Museum, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Artificial Limb Centre, Pune (Maharashtra).
  • Bhabha Auditorium, Mumbai (Maharashtra).
  • Birla Planetarium, Kolkata (West Bengal) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
  • Central Board of Film Censors, Mumbai (Maharashtra).
  • Central Board of Geophysics, Hyderabad (Telengana).
  • Central Tractor Organisation, New Delhi.
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi.
  • Credit Rating and Information Services of India Ltd., Mumbai (Maharashtra)
  • Currency Printing Press (or India Security Press), Nasik Road (Maharashtra).
  • Directorate of Research Co-ordination and Industrial Liaison, New Delhi.
  • Directorate of Scientific and Technological Personnel, New Delhi.
  • High Altitude Cosmic Ray Laboratory, Gulmarg (Jammu & Kashmir).
  • Hindustan Aluminium Corporation, Renukoot (Uttar Pradesh).
  • Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre, New Delhi.
  • India Security Press, Nasik Road (Maharashtra).
  • Indo-Australian Sheep Farm, Hissar (Haryana).
  • Inter-University Centre on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Poona University, Pune (Maharashtra).
  • Mafatlal Scientific and Technical Museum, Mumbai (Maharashtra).
  • Meteorological Observatory, Pune (Maharashtra) and Delhi.
  • National Archives of India, New Delhi.
  • National Atlas Organisation, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • National Coal Development Corporation, Ranchi (Jharkhand).
  • National Dairy Development Board, Anand (Gujarat).
  • National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.
  • National Library, Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • National Museum, New Delhi.
  • Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi, Mumbai and Ludhiana.
  • Nuclear Science Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
  • Publication and Information Directorate (including Indian Languages Unit), New Delhi.
  • Rabindra Rangshala (Open-air Theatre), New Delhi.
  • Rangapur Observatory, Rangapur near Hyderabad (Telengana).
  • Research Survey and Planning Organisation, New Delhi.
  • Rocket Launching Station, (1) Thumba near Trivandrum (Kerala) and (2) Sriharikota Island (Andhra Pradesh).
  • Security Paper Mill, Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh).
  • Seismological Observatory, Shillong (Assam).
  • Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
  • Space Weather Reading Centre, at Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • Solar Physics Observatory, Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu).