Saturday, November 18, 2017

Geographical Facts Everyone should know as a part of General Knowledge

Physical Geographical Facts

Geographical facts are derived from common general knowledge on planets, satellites, moon, eclipses, atmosphere, continents, oceans, rocks, etc. We will cover these elements of physical geography in brief here. In next post, we will cover an exclusive section on geographical facts of India. To explore more general knowledge resources click here.


The revolving bodies around the Sun are called planets. There are eight known planets. [caption id="attachment_418" align="aligncenter" width="2020"] Diameter of planets | Image Source [/caption] 1. Mercury Closest to the Sun and is the fastest planet to revolve around the Sun 2. Venus Brightest planet after the Sun and the Moon and is the hottest planet in all 3. Earth is only known planet to possess life 4. Mars Known as the red planet. Explored for life astronomers now, as it is having similarities with Earth. 5. Jupiter The largest planet of the solar system. 6. Saturn System of rings are the characteristics feature of this planet 7. Uranus 8. Neptune 9. Pluto – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) downgraded the status of Pluto to that of a dwarf planet because it did not meet the three criteria the IAU uses to define a full-sized planet. Essentially Pluto meets all the criteria except one i.e. it has not cleared its neighboring region of other objects.”


These are essential bodies that move around the Sun. Two famous comets known, are as follow [caption id="attachment_419" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Halley's Comet | Image Source [/caption] 1. Halley’s Comet: Discovered by British astronomer Edmond Halley, takes 76.1 years to encircle the Sun. It was last seen on February 9, 1986. 2. Smith-Tuttle Comet: It’s huge comet heading on a collision course with Earth on August 17, 2116.


These are the bodies which revolve around the planets. Mercury and Venus have no satellite. Earth has only one satellite (natural), i.e. Moon. Jupiter has the maximum number (63) of satellites. [caption id="attachment_420" align="aligncenter" width="1765"] Moon | Click Here For Interesting Facts [/caption] Moon: The first planet of our solar system visited by man. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin were the first to set foot on the Moon, and between them, Neil Armstrong is the first person to have set foot on the Moon.


Its shape is oblate spheroid called Geoid, like a ball which is flattened at the poles. Interesting Facts about Earth: 1. Mean distance from the Sun: 1,49,407,000 Km. 2. Time taken by Earth to revolve around the Sun: 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45.51 seconds. 3. Time taken by Earth for rotating on its own axis: 23 hours 56 minutes and 4.09 seconds. 4. Earth is covered 70% by water and 30% by land.

Movements of Earth

1. Revolution: The earth revolves around the Sun in an elliptical orbit. One complete revolution is called a year and this revolution of Earth causes the change of seasons. 2. Rotation: Earth rotates on its own imaginary axis, also simultaneously revolving around the Sun. It moves from west to east. This causes day and night. 3. Duration of days and night is equal at the equator.


Solar Eclipse

It occurs when the Moon comes between the Sun and the Earth, and this causes hindrance in Sun’s light when reviewed from the Earth. [caption id="attachment_424" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] A view of lunar eclipse from space[/caption]

Lunar Eclipse

When the Earth comes between the Moon and the Sun, the shadow cast by the Earth on the Moon causes the lunar eclipse.


The Earth is surrounded by a gaseous cover called the atmosphere. There are many gasses in the atmosphere like Oxygen, Nitrogen, Caron Dioxide, Helium, Argon, Xenon, etc. The maximum percentage of gas present in the atmosphere is Nitrogen and that comprises 77%. The atmosphere is divided mainly into four layers.

  1. Troposphere: It is the nearest layer to the Earth’s surface and is up to 15 km of height from the Earth’s surface. 2. Stratosphere: From the end of 15 km of the troposphere, the stratosphere is present till 50 km of the atmosphere. 3. Mesosphere: It lies between 50 km and 80 km above the surface of the Earth. 4. Ionosphere: It lies above the mesosphere and extends from 80 km to 400 km above the Earth’s surface. Radio communication takes place because of this layer.

Ozone Layer

The ozone layer is situated in the stratosphere belt of earth’s atmosphere. The basic Ozone gas structure consists of three oxygen atoms. Ozone gas is present in the stratosphere in the form of a layer, which extends from 12 km to 30 km above the earth’s surface. The main function of Ozone is that it protects mankind from harmful radiations which come from the outer space i.e. ultraviolet radiations (UV-radiations) from the Sun. Nowadays this ozone layer is getting depleted which can cause skin cancer and damage vegetation. The main reason behind the depletion of Ozone layer also called Ozone Hole is pollution and pollutants present in the atmosphere like Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s also known as Freons), which comes from refrigerated systems, aerosols, air conditioners and solvents. To minimize the Ozone layer depletion the governments of many countries are now replacing the CFC’s with simple hydrocarbons.


The surface of the Earth is made up of big land masses which are divided into seven continents. The seven continents of the world are as follows: 1. Asia – The largest continent (covers approximately 30% of the world land and hosts 59 percent of the world population. 2. Africa – The largest desert Sahara is there. 3. North America 4. South America 5. Antarctica – covered with ice 6. Europe 7. Oceania (Australia) – The smallest continent and the only continent with capital i.e., Canberra Antarctica and Oceania are islands continents.


There are five oceans on the Earth (1) Pacific Ocean (2) Atlantic Ocean (3) India Ocean (4) Arctic Ocean (5) Antarctic Ocean Pacific being the largest occupies 35.25% of the Earth’s surface. The South China Sea has the maximum area among all the seas of the world.


These form the crust of the Earth. Basically, rocks are mineral material. They are classified into three broad categories. 1. Igneous rocks – It constitutes 90% of the Earth’s crust. 2. Metamorphic rocks – Original igneous or sedimentary rocks when subject to change due to pressure or temperature, and metamorphose into metamorphic rocks, i.e. slate, marble, etc. 3. Sedimentary rocks - As the name suggests, these rocks are formed from the sedimentary deposits on the ocean beds, i.e. gypsum, limestone, etc.

Important Mountain Ranges and Mountain peaks of the World

(i) Mountain Ranges
[table id=8 /]
(ii) Mountain Peaks
[table id=9 /] Interesting Fact: Everest is the highest mountain peak of the world, situated in Nepal and extended to Tibet and K2 is India's highest mountain peak, but it is situated in POK. Therefore, Kanchenjunga is the highest peak within India.

Important Water Sources of the World

(i) natural Lakes
[table id=10 /]
(ii) Shipping Canals
  1. Panama Canal: It links the pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. It is located in Central America and is 58 km long.
  2. Suez Canal: It links the red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. It is in Egypt and is 169 km long.
  3. Kiel Canal: It lies between Baltic Sea and the North Sea ports. It is in Germany and is 98 km long.
Note: Angel Waterfall which is in Venezuela, is the highest waterfall in the world having a height of 979 meters.
(iii) Important Rivers of the world
[table id=11 /]

New names of certain cities and countries

[table id=12 /]

Important world cities on river banks

[table id=13 /] Hope you enjoyed reading this section. You can also read more General Knowledge resources and about the history of India here.

How much do you know about Constitution of India? Check your GK


The Constitution of India

Constitution of India was framed by the Drafting Committee which was appointed by the Constitution Assembly. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution was Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar. The Constitution Assembly adopted the Constitution of November 26, 1949. On January 26, 1950, India became a republic as the Constitution came into force. Originally, there were eight Schedules and 39 Articles. There are four major parts of the Constitution of India at present. 1. The Preamble 2. Parts I to XXII having over 400 articles. 3. Twelve Schedules 4. Appendix The Preamble: Through forty-second amendment, words secular and socialist are added into the Preamble.

Important features of the Indian constitution, borrowed from outside sources.

[table id=17 /]

Important Articles in Indian Constitution and their areas of focus

[table id=18 /]

Fundamental Rights

Initially, these were six in number, but now with the inclusion of the right to the education, they are seven in number. These are as follows 1. Right to Equality 2. Right to Freedom 3. Right against Exploitation 4. Cultural and Educational Rights 5. Right to Freedom of Religion 6. Right to Constitutional Remedies 7. Right to Education Note: It was the right to property which earlier used to be the fundamental right, and has now been converted into legal right by the forty-fourth-amendment in the constitution in 1978. Directive Principles of state policy: They come under the Part IV of the constitution. They are basically instructions to the government to carry out certain responsibilities. They cannot be enforced in any court of law.

Structure of the Union Government


He is the constitutional head of the parliamentary system of government and the Supreme Commander of the arm forces. He is also the first citizen of India. Election by an electoral college consisting of the elected member of state Legislatures and both the Houses of the Parliament for a period of five years. He can be removed from the office for violating the constitution by impeachment under Article 61. He is responsible for appointing the senior officials including the Prime Minister.

Vice President

Elected by members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both the Houses of the Parliament. He is elected for a tenure of five years. He is the Ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He is the person who works in place of President, in the case of death, resignation, or when is unable to discharge his functions due to any reason.

President of India

1. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first president of India and the longest serving President of India who served for 12 years. 2. At present Pranab Mukherjee is the President of India. He is the 13th President of India.

Vice President of India

1. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan was the first Vice President and also the longest serving Vice President, who served for 10 years. He was also a well- known philosopher. At present Mohammad Hamid Ansari is the Vice President of India.

Prime Minister

Appointed by President, he is head of the council of ministers and is the leader of the ruling party which is in majority in the Lok Sabha. He is appointed for 5 years. At present, Narendra Modi is Prime Minister of India.

The Parliament

It consists of two houses (a) Lok Sabha and (b) Rajya Sabha

Lok Sabha

Also known as the Lower House of the Parliament, consist of people directly elected by the constituencies in various States and Union Territories. It consists of 552 members, in which two from the Anglo-Indian Community, nominated by the President and 530 from the states and 20 from the Union Territories. The presiding officer of Lok Sabha is the speaker, who is elected by members of Lok sabha. At present, Sumitra Mahajan Is the speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Rajya Sabha

Known as the Upper House. It is chaired by the Vice President (Ex-officio). Rajya Sabha cannot be diluted, therefore, it is a permanent body. One-third of its members retire every two years. A total of 250 members is present in the Rajya Sabha, out of which 12 members are nominated by President and 238 members come through the elections from the states and the Union Territory. Both, the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, are the grounds for debating, passing the bills, constitutional amendments and other issues pertinent to the welfare of the nation.


Except for the money bills (ordinary) can be in traduced in either House of the Parliament. They are, if needed, amended and then passed by either House, before becoming an act. The money bill originates in the Lok Sabha only.

Supreme Court

This is the Apex Judicial body in India, based in Delhi, consists of 25 judges and the Chief Justice, who is appointed by the President. The Judges of the Supreme Court retire at the age of 65. The main functions include solving disputes between the States and Union Governments, hearing of appeals from various High Courts and any matter pertaining to the law for its opinion. The first Chief Justice of India was H. J. Kania. At present, Jagdish Singh Khehar is the chief Justice of India.

Other Important Officials

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)

Appointed by the President, he is responsible for keeping an eye over the finances of the States and the Union, and to make sure that the money allocated by the voting of the Legislature is spent in a fair and judicious manner. At present, Shashi Kant Sharma is the CAG of India.

The Attorney General of India

It is appointed by the President, can take part in the proceedings of the Parliament and its committees but do not have the right to vote. Mainly responsible for giving expert legal advice to the Government of India and other legal tasks assigned to him. At present, Mukul Rohatgi is the Attorney General of India.


He is the executive head of the state and is appointed by the President for five years and can hold the office with the President’s consent. The main functions of the Governor are as follows: a. Being the executive head of state he is responsible for appointing the council of ministers. b. He is responsible for causing the normal or supplementary budgets to be presented each year. He can sanction advances to the government out of the contingency fund of the state to meet unexpected expenses of the state. c. He is responsible for giving assent to the bills passed by the State Legislative, without which they cannot become an act.

Chief Minister

The real executive authority of the state administration, he is the leader of the party that commands a majority in the Legislative Assembly and is appointed by the Governor on this basis. He recommends the names of the ministers along with their portfolios to the Governor who then appoints them; He formulates the administrative and executive policies of the state and presides over the cabinet meetings.

Table of Schedules and Their Areas of Concern

[table id=14 /] Note: Originally there were eight schedules. Later, four more schedules were added to it, taking the total tally of schedules to twelve.

Table of Important Constitutional Amendments

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Few important cases and Supreme Court's judgment on them

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Why training so often fails and how to help employees get the best from a training program

Agenda of a Training Program

Before starting any training program the agenda should be clear why it is being conducted for. In general, management conduct a SKILL training program to impart following in employees 1. To increase effective communication 2. To make them emotionally strong and intelligent communicator 3. To grow them as a savvier negotiator 4. To handle and deliver bad news more compassionately and effectively 5. To build sophisticated cross-cultural communicators 6. To build better coaches The success and failure of a training program depend on how trainees have learned and performed during real conditions and challenges. A successful training should give an obvious solution to a real problem which should be fruitful and within a frame of time. But if it is not so, then a training seems to fail. And we find it so often fails. It is important that we should identify reasons that make a training program fail. Getting rid of short comes we can easily make a training program successful. How should star employees be recognized and rewarded?

This is why training so often fails

1. Low-quality training structure

In preparing the training structure and content the facilitator should consider the following: What they intend to do: -> goals and objectives How are they going to do it: -> content, methods and materials How will they know if they have succeeded: -> monitoring and evaluation

2. Poor implementation and run

Go for quality first and price second, not the other way around It is often seen that long-term benefits of quality are sacrificed for the short-term benefits of the price. It is vital to balance the long-term value of what you get versus the price you pay. Check if the return on training investment (ROI) is coming and continuously hunt for flaws and fix them The management team should always check if they are getting back ROI on training. They should also learn from previous mistakes and fix the flaws for a better and smooth run of a training program. Besides, other factors should be taken care of trainer's qualification, its caliber and productivity, budget allocation and role and responsibilities of facilitator, custodian, and trainer.

3. Psychological Safe Training Settings

Psychological safe training settings are conditions and circumstances where trainees can freely experiment with behavior, often without pressure and negative consequences of a mistake. They often receive immediate supportive feedback and are praised in their efforts to learn. In real practices, the atmosphere isn’t as easy and forgiving. Seniors don’t necessarily show same forgiveness nor have the same depth of patience in a real world as they do in a training environment. The stakes and consequences are typically higher.
In training it is all about learning and developing skills, whereas in real job it is all about performance and delivering results.
This is a reason that in situations such as these, employees find themselves uncomfortable and anxious. They make effort to release out their stress and tend to forget what they learned in training and fall back on their previously established habits in their comfort zone. They fail to adapt and react to new situation and challenges while applying the new skills they learned in training. It increases stress and tension between management and employees relationships.

Help Employees get the best from training

A low-quality training structure and its poor run are responsible for training failure. HR along with management should carefully watch out the entire training program, its every inventory including trainer background, schedule, training synopsis, and outline, test, and evaluation method, and criteria, etc. In many of training programs, there is often a significant gap between the rhetoric for what we hope to achieve and the reality of what we can possibly achieve given what we provide employees during the training. Having a high-quality training structure and better implementation and run of training can shorten this gap and improve employee-employer relationships and hence productivity. Now if we talk about psychological training settings and its management, it is more inclined to emotional rather practical or theoretical factors.

A gap between set expectation and real performance can be minimized if employees are given right feedback and suggestions during training. As it is about emotional management and the way how it is controlled during real exposure at work, especially by manager and supervisors determine the consequences and significance of the overall training program. In nutshell, having a clear, high-quality training structure and its perfect run is the key success point of any training while psychological and emotional factors are secondary but important factors of a training program.

According to you, what is the most important factor for the success of a training program? Share your opinion in the comment box.

Geographical facts of India to boost your general knowledge

Geography of India

This post on geographical facts of India is a part of basic geographical facts which can increase your general knowledge and help in competitive exams as well. With no further ado, here we go

India's Geographical Location

India lies in the Asian continent and Northern Hemisphere between parallels of latitude 80 4’ and 370 6’ North and between the meridians of longitude 6807’ and 97025’ East. In the west, India shares its boundary with Pakistan In the South, Sri Lanka is India’s neighboring country In the north, Nepal and China are the neighboring countries. In the east, Bangladesh and Myanmar are the two major countries which surround India. In south-east of India, there is the Bay of Bengal, in south-west, it is the Arabian Sea and in South, it is the Indian Ocean and in the north, it is surrounded by the Himalayan range of mountains.
Important dimensions of India
1. India covers 2.4 percent of the Earth’s surface. 2. Total land area of India is 32,87,263 3. Distance from east to west is 2,933 km 4. Distance from north to south is 3,214 km 5. The total length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshadweep islands and Andaman and Nicobar Islands is 7,516.6 km. The coastline of the only mainland is about 6300 km

The important Geographical Structures of India

Major rivers of India

The longest Indian river is Ganga, its length is 2,640 km. The other major rivers of India are Indus (has five major tributaries: Sutlej, Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi and Beas), Brahmaputra, Godavari, Krishna, Narmada, Tapti, Cauvery, Damodar, Mahanadi, and Periyar. The world’s largest delta is Sundarbans in West Bengal, is made by the Brahmaputra and the Ganga.


They are Himalayas (highest mountains in the world and one of the youngest mountain ranges), Vindhya, Satpura, Sahyadri, Aravallis (one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world). Patkai (Purvanchal or Eastern mountains), and the Eastern Ghats.


The following table shows various types soils and related information [table id=19 /]


Agriculture in India: More than 50 percent of the area of the country is under the cultivation and about 64% of the Indian population is engaged in agriculture. There are two major crop seasons in India, viz, Rabi and Kharif
It is sown in October or December and harvested in April or May. Major crops are barley, wheat, peas, gram, and mustard.
It is sown in June, or July and harvested in September or October. Major crops are baja, cotton, jowar, rice and jute. Some interesting facts about Indian agriculture 1. Green Revolution was launched in India in 1967-68 for improving agricultural productivity. 2. Operation Flood was initiated in 1970 and mainly aimed at improving the milk production in India. 3. Yellow Revolution for improving oil seed production. 4. Blue Revolution for fisheries.


India has about 2% of the world’s area under forest cover. About 21% India is covered by forest. The target as per the national forest policy is to cover 33% of the area by forests. Important National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries: [table id=20 /] How'd you like this post, please share your thoughts in comments.

Gratuity Act & Calculation everyone should know

Gratuity Act, Meaning, Rules, Eligibility, Calculation & Tax in India

Here in this post, we will discuss Gratuity Act, meaning, its eligibility and how to calculate gratuity and gratuity calculator that every employee should know and enjoy. But before going ahead, let me know you if you have completed 4.5 years in this same organization and are in notice period?
If yes, then I think this post means a lot to you. Please read it mindfully and then rethink your decision.
Very often you get calls from recruitment cell and direct emails to your inbox. Sometimes you ignore, sometimes you entertain them. And at few times, if you are interested, you have your interviews and get selected and finally, join a new company. This process continues, and you keep practicing job hoping and keep changing your employer year after year.
There would be hundreds of valid reasons when you change your job. One such dominating reason is money. But it is worth to give a check to your number of terms with the present organization before making a final move. Sometimes, you might not know and lose a good sum of money, if you could have stayed a few months more in your previous organization.
So the bitter truth, which I guess will shock you, is that switching jobs year after year is neither good for your reputation in industry nor for your pocket.
Yes, we are talking about gratuity. A time-bound, universal benefit given by every employer to its every employee in every organization governed by gratuity act, provided that employee fulfills the required terms and condition. And at the same time, it is very important for you that you should know about gratuity and how gratuity calculator works. It is your right to know what treasure gratuity has inside it.
Well, before we head to gratuity calculator and how to calculate gratuity, let’s first know in brief about gratuity and benefits it holds for you.

Gratuity Meaning

Gratuity (meaning in Hindi is उपहार) is the part of the salary that is received by an employee from his/her employer in gratitude for the services offered by the employee in the company. Gratuity is a defined benefit plan and is one of the many retirement benefits offered by the employer to the employee upon leaving his job for various reasons, such as – retirement/superannuation, for a better job elsewhere, on being retrenched or by way of voluntary retirement.

Gratuity Act & its applicability

Earlier, it was not compulsory for an employer to reward his employee at the time of his retirement or resignation. But in 1972 the government passed The Payment of Gratuity Act that made it mandatory for employers with more than 10 employees to pay gratuity.
A shop or establishment to which the Act has become application shall continue to be governed by the Act even if the number of person employed falls below 10 at any subsequent stage.
Trainees and interns are not eligible for this compensation.

Gratuity Eligibility

Gratuity shall be payable to employees:- On his resignation and retirement On his death On his superannuation After he has rendered continuous service for not less than five years Note: However, the condition of five years of continuous service is not necessary if service is terminated due to death or disablement. If an employee with more than five years of experience in a company is terminated due to misconduct followed by legal action on him then he is no more eligible for gratuity.

Calculation of Gratuity: Gratuity Calculator

[caption id="attachment_218" align="alignnone" width="1920"] Gratuity is one of the least understood components of salary[/caption] [caption id="attachment_219" align="alignnone" width="823"] Formula to calculate gratuity[/caption]
Gratuity=Last Basic+ DA*15/26*No. of years

Gratuity in India

After 5 years of completion, six months or less to be ignored and more than six months to be counted as a full year.
For 5 year 1 month to 5 months, takes 5 years
For 5 year 6 month to 11 months, takes 6 years
Below we have illustrated it further with an example:
Date of joining of X is 01. 12.2002 Date of Resignation of X is 31.12.2008 Total wages of X is Rs. 5000.00 (Basic Rs.2500.00, DA is Rs.1250.00, HR is Rs. 750.00, CA is Rs.500.00) The number of years Eligible for Gratuity: Date of Relieving: 31.02. 2008 Date of Joining: 01.12.2002 So a total number of working years is 5 year Hence, Eligible Gratuity Amount (Basic+DA/26) *15 days wages per year *No.of the year completed 2500+1250*15*5/26

Now Let's use the gratuity calculator below, and calculate the exact amount that employee will get. You can also use Microsoft Excel for handy calculation.

Hope, you got the calculation :)
More Information on Gratuity
Nomination from F needs to be filled by the employee at the time of joining.

Tax on Gratuity & Exemption as per IT Act

Any gratuity received by an employee of the Central Government, State Government or local authority, on death or retirement is fully exempt from tax.

The payable nontaxable amount of Gratuity is as per the calculation or Rs.20,00,000 whichever is less.

Looking for more information and facts? Refer to below links.
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