This article deals with ‘Humidity, Condensation, Clouds and Precipitation’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you canclick here
Water vapour present in the
air is known as humidity.
It is expressed quantitatively
in different ways like
amount of the water vapour present in the atmosphere.
The ability of the air to
hold water vapour depends entirely on its temperature. The percentage of
moisture present in the atmosphere as compared to its full capacity at
a given temperature is known as the relative humidity .
weight of water vapour to weight of dry air.
barometric pressure that is caused by water vapour alone.
The air containing moisture to
its full capacity at a given temperature is said to be saturated. It means that the air at the given temperature is
incapable of holding any additional amount of moisture at that stage.
at which saturation occurs in a given sample of air is known as dew point.
Evaporation & Condensation
1 . Evaporation
Evaporation is a process by
which water is transformed from liquid
to gaseous state.
It can occur in three
Low Pressure conditions
Fast moving wind
Condensation is process of
conversion of water vapours present
in air into water droplets .
Condensation is caused by the
loss of heat. When moist air is
cooled, it may reach a level when its capacity to hold water vapour ceases. Then, the excess water
vapour condenses into liquid form.
Condensation takes place:
temperature of the air is reduced to dew point or When moisture is added to the air
Surface : Which may be natural like grass etc
(making dew) or Hygroscopic Surface/ Nuclei
If water vapour directly condenses into solid form, it is known as sublimation.
Dew, frost, fog and clouds
After condensation, the water vapour or the moisture in the atmosphere takes one of the following forms — dew, frost, fog and clouds.
1 . Dew
When the moisture is deposited
in the form of water droplets on cooler surfaces of solid objects such as
stones, grass blades and plant leaves, it is known as dew.
The ideal conditions for its
formation are calm air, high relative humidity, and cold and long nights.
For the formation of dew, it
is necessary that the dew point is above the freezing point (otherwise
frost will form) .
Frost forms on cold surfaces when condensation takes place below freezing point (0 C).
When temperature of an air mass containing
a large quantity of water vapour falls all of a sudden below dew point, condensation happens and subsequent
cloud is formed at ground level. This is known as
Fogs are mini clouds in which
condensation takes place around nuclei provided by the dust, smoke, and
the salt particles.
– Associated with temperature inversion & formed at cold night when temperature of air near ground falls below dew point . – Most common type in winter season.
– When cold air masses converge against warm humid air masses , cold air being heavy remains at bottom while warm air is pushed over leading to cooling & formation of fog – Famous fog of Newfoundland is formed like this.
In fog, visibility is less
than 1 km.
Fog + Smoke = Smog.
In urban and
industrial centres, smoke provides plenty of nuclei which help in the formation of
fog . Such a condition when fog is mixed with smoke, is described as smog.
It is associated with very low
visibility and health hazard.
There are two type of Smog
a . Sulphurous Smog
Aka London Smog
Results from high
concentration of Sulphur Oxides in the air caused by use of
Sulphur containing fossil fuels , particularly Coal .
Occur in cool humid climate
Chemically reducing hence
Characterised by blue coloured skies aka blue haze.
b. Photochemical Smog
Occurs in warm, dry &
Results from the action
of sunlight on unsaturated Hydrocarbons & oxides of
Nitrogen produced from factories and automobiles.
Chemically Oxidising and hence
called Oxidising Smog
Ozone, PAN (Peroxyacetyl Nitrate), Acrolein
& Formaldehyde are produced in it which can cause serious health problems .
The only difference between the mist and fog is that mist contains more moisture than the fog.
In mist, each nuclei contains a thicker layer of moisture.
Mists are frequent over mountains as the rising warm air up the slopes meets a cold surface.
Visibility is more than 1 Km but less than 2 km.
Visibility Comparison : Mist > Haze > Fog > Smog.
Cloud is a mass of minute water droplets formed by the condensation of
the water vapour in free air at considerable elevations.
As the clouds are formed at some height
over the surface of the earth, they take various shapes
Clouds are tiny water droplets
suspended in the air formed due to the condensation.
To understand the nomenclature
of Clouds, one must be aware of the meaning of some Latin words.
hair/ high .
pile of cotton.
Classification of Clouds
The clouds can be
classified based on their form, height and appearance as follows:
1 . High Clouds
Different types of
Cirrus clouds are present above height of 6Km
1.1 Cirrus Clouds
They look like curl of hair
It indicates fair weather and
gives brilliant sun set.
1.2 Cirro Cumulus
This appears as white globular
masses, forming a mackerel sky.
1.3 Cirro Stratus
This resembles a thin white
sheet. The sky looks milky and the sun and moon shines through this clouds
and form a ‘halo’
2. Middle Clouds
of Alto clouds are found between 2 km to 6 km above the
These are woolly, bumpy clouds arranged in layers appearing like waves in the blue sky.
They indicate fine weather.
These are denser and have
3. Low Clouds
Mainly Stratus or
sheet clouds below 2 km height.
This is rough and bumpy clouds with wavy structure.
This is very low cloud, uniformly grey and thick, appears like highland fog.
It brings dull weather and light drizzle. It reduces the visibility and is a hindrance to air transportation.
This is dark dull cloud, clearly layered,
as it brings gentle rain, snow and sleet and it is called as rainy cloud.
4. Clouds with vertical extend
These are mainly
cumulus clouds whose height extend from
2 km to 10 km approximately.
This is vertical cloud with rounded top
and horizontal base, associated with convectional process in the tropical
This is over grown cumulus
cloud with great vertical extent, with black and white globular mass.
This is formed due to heavy
convection in the tropical regions. It is accompanied by lightning,
thunder and heavy rainfall
Precipitation is the process by which all forms of water particles fall from the atmosphere and reach the ground.
Conditions necessary for
must be cooled below dew
Presence of condensation nuclei(i.e. minute hygroscopic particles serving as
nuclei for water particles) in the air . Eg salt, smoke & dust
particles=> if they aren’t present, precipitation will not occur even
if relative humidity is above 100% .
Condensation must occur rapidly & for
fairly long time
. If occur for small time , then it
may not reach to earth as it would be absorbed by unsaturated air present
in lower parts .
Forms of precipitation
1 . Rainfall
Most common type of precipitation in temperate & tropical regions.
When water droplets of more than 0.5 mm diameter falls from the atmosphere to the ground it is called as ‘Rainfall’.
If the diameter is less than 0.5mm, it is called as ‘Drizzle’.
When condensed moisture in
form of raindrops is carried to great heights by strong convection
currents & they get frozen due to low temp at greater heights=>
when they come down they gather more water around them & size of
pellets become large.
Ice pellets has size of 5 to
50 mm or some times more.
Precipitation occurs at below freezing point and falls as thin ice flakes or powdery ice, called ‘Snow’.
Precipitation in the form of mixture of raindrops & ice pellets less than 5 mm in diameter.
Types of Rainfall
Since rainfall is the major type of precipitation, we will look of type of rainfalls. It can be of various types depending upon process of rising up of air
1 . Convectional Rainfall
As a result of heating of the
surface air, the warm moist air expands and is forced to rise to a great
height. As the air rises, it cools, reaches dew point and condenses to
Cumulonimbus clouds are formed in this .
This type of rainfall occurs
year near the equator in the afternoon. It is called as 4 ‘O’ clock
In middle latitudes,
convectional rainfall occurs in early summer in the continental interiors
2. Orographic Rainfall
Air is forced to
move up by landform features like
mountain, plateau , escarpment etc and air thus rising may cool below dew point
Windward side gets heavy rain
whereas leeward side is rain shadow area.
of rain occurring in India and world
is orographic . In India, Western coast & North East India gets rainfall by
3. Cyclonic Rainfall
This type of precipitation is associated with a cyclonic activity (Tropical and Temperate cyclones)
Cyclonic rainfall is associated with Cumulo-Nimbus clouds. The rainfall is very heavy and accompanied with lightning and thunder and high speed winds which has the potential to cause damage.
4. Frontal Rainfall
‘Frontal rainfall’ is
associated with fronts which form due to collision of different air
It can be of two types
Warm Air Front Rainfall : In
this , warm air invades cold air leading to formation of Nimbostratus
clouds and gentle rainfall.
Cold Air Front Rainfall : In
this, cold air invades warm air leading to formation of Cumulonimbus
cloud and violent rainfall with lightening.
This article deals with ‘Wind Systems’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you canclick here
Wind is the horizontal
movement of air molecules from areas of high pressure to areas of low
pressure to maintain the atmospheric equilibrium.
Nomenclature of Winds
Winds are named easterly,
westerly, northerly etc on basis of direction
of their origin.
Easterly wind is that which
originate in east & blow from east to west.
Wind direction is identified
by an instrument called Wind Vane and wind speed is measured by
Factors affecting direction & velocity of wind
1 . Pressure Gradient
If pressure gradient is more, velocity will be
more in magnitude
because differences in atmospheric pressure produces a force.
The wind always moves
perpendicular to isobars.
2. Frictional Force
Lower is frictional force,
greater will be the speed .
Over the sea surface the
friction is minimal.
3. Coriolis Force
If the earth did not rotate,
the winds would blow in a straight path. Then the rotation of the earth
results in Coriolis effect and it deflects the direction of the wind.
Deflect towards Right or Clockwise (NCR)
Left or Anticlockwise.
Coriolis force is directly proportional to the angle of latitude. It is maximum at
the poles and is absent at the equator.
Type of Winds
1 . Primary / Global/ Permanent Winds
Pressure belts lead
to the formation of primary wind system resulting in Trade Winds,
Westerlies and Polar Easterlies
1.1 Trade Winds
The winds blow from the sub tropical high pressure belt towards the
equatorial low pressure belt.
Due to Coriolis Effect, these winds are deflected to the right in the northern
hemisphere and to
the left in the southern hemisphere.
As winds are named after the
direction from which they originate they are called as the North East and South east trade winds.
As the winds favoured trading
ships they are called as ‘Trade winds’.
Side Topic : Tropic Deserts & Trade Winds (aka Trade Wind Deserts or Trade Deserts)
Tropical easterlies/ Trade Winds flow from east to west . Hence, windx becomes dry when they
reaches the western coast of continent as all the moisture is already shed in form of rainfall on
eastern coast .As a result, in tropical region, deserts are found on
western coasts of continents .They are also known as Trade Deserts.
Apart from that, Cold Currents
near the western coasts of continents also provides desiccating imapct on
the surrounding lands leading to more dryness .
Westerlies flow towards the
Sub Polar High from Sub-Tropic Low
They turn towards right and
left in northern and southern hemisphere respectively due to Coriolis
As they flow from West to
East, they are called Westerlies
Ocean is dominant in the
southern hemisphere between the latitudes 40º and 60ºS. Hence the
westerlies are so powerful and persistent that the sailors used such
expressions as “Roaring Forties”,
“Furious Fifties” and “Screeching Sixties” for these high velocity winds in the latitudes
of 40º, 50º and 60º respectively.
1.3 Polar Easterlies
Polar Easterlies flow towards the Sub Polar High from
Polar High .
They turn towards right and
left in northern and southern hemisphere respectively due to Coriolis
As they flow from East to
West, they are called Easterlies
2 . Secondary / Regional / Seasonal Winds
Monsoon and Cyclones are considered to be Secondary or Seasonal Wind
Monsoons are seasonal winds
which reverse their direction due to various reasons .
These winds bring rainfall in
India and are the major climatic feature of climate of Indian
We will detail with these
winds in Indian Climate .
Wind blowing in circular manner around an area of low pressure
Due to Coriolis effect – blow
in anticlockwise direction in
& clockwise direction in southern hemisphere.
Cyclones are of two types.
over oceans in summers in tropical regions . Eg : in Bay of Bengal, China sea , Caribbean sea etc.
in middle latitudes in winter season
about cyclones in separate article
3. Tertiary / Local Winds
Tertiary winds are formed due to pressure gradients which may develop on a local scale because of differences in the heating and cooling of the earth’s surface.
3.1 Sea and Land Breezes
Sea Breeze : During daytime, land heats up much faster than water. The air over the
land warms and expands leading to formation of low pressure. At the same
time, the air over the ocean remains cool because of water’s slower rate
of heating and results in formation of high pressure. Air begins to blow from high pressure over
ocean to the low pressure over the land. This is called as ‘Sea breeze’.
Land Breeze : During night time, the wind blows from land to sea and
it is called as ‘Land breeze’
: Sea breeze and land breeze influence
the movement of boats near the coastal region and fisher men use these winds
for their daily fish catching. Fishermen go for fishing at early morning along
the land breeze and return to the shore in the evening with the sea breeze.
3.2 Mountain and Valley Breezes
Valley Breeze / Anabatic
Winds : During the day, mountain
hillslopes are heated intensely by the Sun, causing the air to expand and
rise. This draws in air from the valley below, creating a valley breeze.
Mountain Breeze / Katabatic
Winds : During the night the hillslopes get
cooled and the dense air descends into the valley as the mountain wind
3.3 Warm and Cold Local Winds
Cold Local Winds
High Pressure conditions are created in areas situated
in high latitudes due to cold weather. As a result, air starts to come down and diverge into
different directions (forming anti-cyclones) blowing as ‘Cold and Dry
Local Winds’ and reducing temperature of surrounding regions as well.
such anti cyclonic winds are created and diverge in different
directions . These winds are called
from central France and the Alps to
wind from eastern Europe to north eastern Italy
(USA & Canada)
Cold and dry snowy
winds blowing in USA and Canada
Cold and dry
wind blowing in Pampas of Argentina
Cold and dry
wind blowing in Australia
Warm Local Winds
Low pressure develops over Deserts and low latitudes in
summers due to excessive heating of land . The air starts to move upward
and diverges in different directions blowing as upper tropospheric wind. They carry sand
and dust with them and raises temperature of regions over which they flow.
These winds are known with different names in different regions like
Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Delhi etc)
Sahara desert to Italy and Spain after crossing
From Sahara desert
to Gulf of Guinea
Other type of warm and local winds like Chinook winds develop when warm, moist air blows from the adjoining ocean (
Pacific Ocean in this case) towards the Mountain range situated near the
coast (Rockies in this case). In such situation, dry and warm air over the
mountain will descend in the adjoining valley on the leeward side of wind
. Other such type of winds are Fohn
Upper Atmospheric / Meridional Circulations
equator being lighter move up & diverges toward poles & descends at
subtropical areas causing higher pressure there. That wind is again carried
by trade winds to equator.
Same thing between subtropical & subpolar
Between polar & subpolar pressure belts
Side Topic : Upper Tropospheric Winds and Geostrophic Winds
formation of Jetstreams, it is important to know what are Geostrophic winds.
Unlike air moving close to the
surface, an air parcel in the upper troposphere moves without a friction
force because it is so far from the source of friction—the surface. So,
there are only two forces on the air parcel, the pressure gradient force
and the Coriolis force.
A useful heuristic (i.e.
theoretical model) is to imagine that air parcel in the upper troposphere
is starting from rest under the influence of ‘Pressure Gradient Force
” moving from point of High
Pressure to Low Pressure .
Due to pressure
gradient force and absence of friction force , speed of wind will keep on increasing . Since, Coriolis
force increases with increase in speed and acts perpendicular to Pressure
Gradient Force, situation will be
reached when Pressure Gradient Force equals Coriolis Force & these winds will deflect 90° (clockwise) . At this point, the
flow is no longer from high to low
pressure, but parallel to the isobars. Such winds are called Geostrophic
These are also known as Upper
are an example of Geostrophic winds .
Direction of Geo Strophic winds
move from WEST TO EAST (hence called Westerlies)
– Geostrophic winds deflect clockwise . – Move from West to East.
– Geostrophic winds deflect Anti Clockwise. – Move from West to East.
streams are special type of Geostrophic winds .
These are strong and narrow bands of meandering wind
blowing at height of 6 to 14 km ( just below Tropopause) at very high
speed of upto 450 Km/hr. They occur at points where atmospheric pressure
gradients are strong and friction force acting on moving air is absent.
Jetstreams flow in
wavy fashion and create alternate High Pressure & Low Pressure zones .
Location of Jet Streams
They aren’t found
arbitrarily . They are situated
at typical positions like where two
Meridional Circulations meet. (Reason : Point where two air masses of different temperatures
meet, the resulting pressure difference is highest. Only in such condition, Pressure
Gradient Force can increase the speed of wind to such an extend that
Coriolis Force can balance the Pressure Gradient Force and rotate it by
90°) (I know it is hard to understand. To properly understand what is
happening, you can refer this useful video What is the jet
stream and how does it affect the weather?)
Hence , 4 permanent Jet
streams are always found .
2 Polar Jet
Polar cell & Ferrel cell.
Tropical Westerly Jet (STWJ)
Ferrel cell & Hadley cell.
Apart from that, there are some temporary Jet-streams like
Tropical Easterly Jetstream
Speed of Jetstreams
Cause of Jetstreams is the pressure difference (due to temperature
difference) in the upper atmosphere. Hence , higher the pressure gradient (or temperature
gradient) higher will be speed of Jetstream.
Temperature variations are
more in winters (lowest ~ -70 C & highest ~ 15 C) compared to summers
(lowest ~ 20 C & highest ~ 55 C) . Hence, Jetstreams are faster in
winters of the respective hemisphere.
Importance of Jetstreams
1 . Sub Tropical Westerly Jet Stream (STWJ) & Indian Weather
It is centred around 25° N & S at altitude of 12 km & is strong in winter season with velocity of 40
It greatly determines
the weather of Indian Sub continent .
During summer until it is
present over Indian subcontinent , High Pressure is maintained over there
& monsoon can’t start. Only when STWJ moves above Himalayas &
low pressure is created over Indian subcontinent , monsoon hits India.
Western Disturbances : STWJ comes to India
after passing over Mediterranean Sea where rainfall occurs during winter. STWJ bring those cyclonic disturbances to north India along
with it. This results in winter rain & hailstorms in North India & occasional high snowfall in hilly
2. Jetstreams and Frontal / Temperate Cyclones
Jetstreams play important role in formation of Temperate Cyclones which are important feature of the climate of temperate regions like Britain etc .
3. Tropical Easterly Jet and Somali Jetstream
These Jetstreams play
important role in the Indian Monsoon.
More about this can be read in
(chapter) Indian Climate .
4. Role in Aviation Industry
If aeroplanes moves in the direction of Jetstream, it can lead to large fuel savings and vice-versa
Impact of Climate Change on Jetstreams
Due to Climate change and Global warming, Earth’s Polar regions are warming more rapidly than other parts . This has resulted in weakening of Polar Jet Streams because temperature contrast that drives Jetstreams has decreased.
This article deals with ‘Pressure and Pressure Belts’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you canclick here
Atmospheric pressure is
defined as the force per unit
area exerted against a surface by the weight of the air molecules above
the earth surface.
Atmospheric pressure is
measured by an instrument called ‘Barometer’
The atmospheric pressure is
not distributed uniformly over the earth. The amount of pressure increases or
decreases, according to the amount of molecules, that exerts the force on
When temperature of air
increases, the air expands and reduces the number of molecules over unit
area leading to reduction in pressure.
Similarly, when the
temperature falls, the air contracts and the pressure increase.
Factors affecting Atmospheric Pressure of area
1 . Temperature
As the temperature increases,
air expands because of which its density decreases resulting in low
pressure over area.
On the other hand, cold
climate makes air denser resulting in high pressure over area.
Equatorial regions have low
pressure because of high temperatures. On the other hand Polar regions
have high pressure due to low temperature.
2. Height from Sea
The pressure at sea level is
highest and keeps on decreasing rapidly with increasing altitude because
of the progressive reduction of the mass above the point where it is
Water vapours are light in weight therefore pressure of humid air is less compared to dry air.
4. Gravitation of Earth
Atmosphere glues around the
Earth due to its gravitation
Due to shape of earth, Polar regions are nearer to core of the
Earth as compared to Equatorial regions and hence have higher air
5. Rotation of Earth
Rotation of Earth results in
centrifugal force. Centrifugal
force pushes things away from its core.
Centrifugal force is highest
over equator and zero over poles. Hence,
air pressure will decrease in Equatorial regions as compared to
that in polar regions.
Distribution of Atmospheric Pressure
Horizontal distribution of pressure is studied by drawing isobars . Isobars are lines connecting places having equal pressure. In order to eliminate the effect of altitude on pressure, it is measured at sea level. These distributions change with season as well.
Pressure Belts of Earth
belts envelope on the surface of the earth. They are equatorial low pressure
belt, sub tropical high pressure belts, sub polar low pressure belts and polar
high pressure belts
1 . Equatorial Low Pressure Belt
Region extending between 5° N
latitude to 5° S
Following are the reasons
creation of low pressure belt over this region :
Rays of sun fall vertically
=> High temperature creates low pressure.
Owing to high temperature,
evaporation process is also very fast => large amount of water vapours
decrease the weight and density of air resulting in reduction of air
Rotation of Earth and
resulting centrifugal force has its maximum magnitude on Equator
When air moves upward , it
leads to formation of clouds .
Hence, it rains heavily in these
clouds & Convectional rainfall) . There is single
season throughout the year ie high temperature & high rainfall
Advection is absent in this
region because gradient of pressure is low
. Hence known as Belt of
Calm / Doldrum .
2. Sub-Tropical High Pressure Belt
At about 30°N and 30°S
latitudes on both sides of equator
Air which rises in equatorial
region begins to cool when it reaches higher altitude over equatorial
region and flows towards the poles. This wind collides with the wind
coming from the polar region at higher altitude and subsides down over sub
tropical latitudes. This leads to formation of high pressure belt
It is said that to avoid the
slowing down of ship due to high pressure, the horses were thrown into the
sea. So this belt is called as ‘Horse latitude’.
3. Sub Polar Low Pressure Belt
These are low pressure belts
found at 60°N and 60°S latitudes on both sides of equator
The warm westerly wind from
sub tropical region moves towards the pole and collide with the cold polar
easterly wind from polar high pressure region and raises up to form sub
polar low pressure belt.
4. Polar High Pressure Belt
Region at poles on both sides
In this region, high pressure
is formed because temperature remains low for whole of the year.
Side Note : Basis of formation of pressure belts
Pressure belts can be created because of two reasons
1 . Temperature / Thermally formed
The Equatorial Low Pressure Belt and Polar High Pressure Belt are formed due to high and low temperature respectively. Hence, these are ‘thermally formed pressure belts’
2. Dynamically formed
The Sub Tropical High and Sub Polar Low pressure belts are formed due to movement and collision of wind systems. Hence, they are called ‘Dynamically formed pressure belts’.
This article deals with ‘Temperature and Heat Budget of Earth’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you canclick here
Air temperature of a
particular place denotes the degree of hotness or coldness of air at a
given place. It is generally measured in Celsius
Heating process of Atmosphere
There are different ways of heating & cooling of the atmosphere.
Conduction :The air in contact with the land gets heated by
conduction . Conduction is important in heating the lower layers of the
Convection : The air in contact with the earth rises vertically on heating in the form of
currents and further transmits the heat of the atmosphere. This process of
vertical heating of the atmosphere is known as convection. The convective
transfer of energy is confined only to the troposphere.
Advection : The transfer of heat through horizontal movement of air is called advection. (In northern India, during summer season local winds called
‘loo’ is the outcome of advection process).
Radiation (Green House effect) : The insolation received by the earth is in
short wave form and it heats up surface.
The earth after being heated itself becomes a radiating body and it
radiates energy to the atmosphere in long wave form. The
long wave radiation is absorbed by the atmospheric gases particularly by
carbon dioxide & other Green House Gases. Thus, the atmosphere is
indirectly heated by the earth’s radiation.
Heat Budget of Earth
The earth as a whole
does not accumulate or loose heat. It maintains its temperature. This can
happen only if the amount of heat received in the form of insolation equals the
amount lost by the earth through terrestrial radiation. This is known as Heat Budget
This is done in following way
Suppose 100 units are coming to earth
Factors affecting Horizontal temperature distribution
1 . Latitude of the place
by any place depend upon latitude because when we move from equator
towards pole, sun-rays become slanted . In slanted
sun-rays, same energy is diffused over large area
decreases from the equator to the poles.
2. Distribution of Land and Water
Compared to land, the sea gets heated slowly and loses heat slowly. Land heats up and cools down quickly.
So more land mass in northern hemisphere leads to higher average temperature than the southern hemisphere
3. Presence of warm & cold current
Places located on the coast where the warm ocean currents flow record higher temperature than the places located on the coast where the cold currents flow.
4. Air mass circulation
The passage of air masses also affects the temperature. The places, which come under the influence of warm air-masses experience higher temperature and the places that come under the influence of cold airmasses experience low temperature.
Cloudy sky obstructs the solar radiation from
the sun to reach earth. Hence, clear sky increases the temperature of
Due to this, Maximum insolation is received over
the subtropical deserts, where the cloudiness is the least. Equator receives
comparatively less insolation than the tropics because of clouds.
6. Nature of Surface
Albedo ie ability of surface
to reflect the sunrays also impact temperature of place.
Fresh snow has albedo of upto
90% and more reflection from the
snow surface leads to low temperature accumulation compared to bare land.
7. Local aspects
Depend on position to position.
Factors affecting vertical temperature distribution
The temperature decreases with increasing altitude from the surface of the
Reason : Atmosphere is
indirectly heated by terrestrial radiation
from below. Therefore, the places near the sea-level record higher
temperature than the places situated at higher elevations.
The vertical decrease in
temperature of troposphere is called as ‘Normal Lapse Rate’ which is 6.5 C
per 1000 meter of ascent.
Normally , within
Troposphere, temperature decreases with increase in height . But if reverse happens, it is called Temperature Inversion .
Since cold air is
denser/heavier than warm air , in case of temperature inversion, air will not be
able to move upward .
When Temperature Inversion can happen
At Tropopause : Temperature starts to increase from here
. As a result, air packets reach till Tropopause & then starts moving
downward . There is no vertical air
movement after that
A cool winter
night with no clouds and stable air : Air above cold surface gets cold but layer above cold air is still warmer &
hence it cant move upward . This phenomenon is prominent till 400 m above
Inversion/Air Drainage :
In winter, mountain top becomes cold quickly compared to valley . As a result, cold air comes down to occupy valley . This uplifts warm air of valley &
situation is created when lower layer is cold & upper layer is
Frontal inversion occurs when a cold air mass undercuts a warm air mass and lifts it
Implications of Temperature Inversion
1 . Formation of Fog
As we have seen in
currents , where ever warm &
cold current meet , fog is created
In same way , when
warm air & cold air meets , fog is created . This lowers the visibility in
2. Atmospheric Stability
Temperature Inversion prevents
upward & downward movement of air.
Hence, it discourages
3. Impact on Agriculture
Frost formed due to valley inversion damages
crops in foothills,
whereas trees and vegetation at top of hills and mountains are not
damaged. The valley floors in the
hills of Brazil are avoided for coffee cultivation because of frequent frosts.
(Beneficial Case :
Though generally fog (caused due to temperature inversion) is unfavourable
for many agricultural crops such as grams, peas, mustard plants, wheat
etc. but sometimes they are also favourable for some crops such as coffee plants in Yemen hills of
Arabia where fog
protect coffee plants from direct strong sun’s rays. )
4. Environmental problem
concentration of pollutants raises to very high levels in cities as due to
temperature inversion, air gets trapped . Eg : Delhi’s pollution levels are more
in winters than summers.
Urban Heat Island
An urban heat island
is an urban area or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its
surrounding rural area due to high concentration of high rise concrete buildings, metal
roads, sparse vegetation cover and less exposure of soil. These factors
cause urban regions to become warmer than their rural surroundings, forming an
“island” of higher temperatures.
This article deals with Composition and Structure of Atmosphere’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you canclick here
Atmosphere is combination of
two words ‘Atmo’ and ‘sphere’. It means that region of Earth which has ‘air’.
Atmosphere is present as life
saving layer between outer space and land surface. It is the source of
important gases which are important for the existence and continuity of
life. It also filters the harmful rays travelling towards Earth
Composition of Atmosphere
Earth’s atmosphere is composed of a mixture of various gases .
It is held to earth by gravitational forces
Atmosphere is denser at sea level & thins or gets rarefied rapidly upward . It should be noted that, 99% of the mass of atmosphere is confined to height of 32 km
Percentage of different gases (by volume) in atmosphere is as follows :-
Atmospheric gases don’t
interact with each other chemically & don’t lose their own property.
These gases can be divided
into two groups based on their distribution horizontally
– Nitrogen , Oxygen, Hydrogen & Argon. – Their quantity remain same on all places .
– Water Vapour , Carbon dioxide & Ozone – Their quantity vary from region to region. Eg : In coastal areas, there will be more water vapours and in cities, there will be more Carbon dioxide. – They can absorb heat & hence known as Green House Gases.
Based on vertical distribution, they can also be
grouped into two groups. Heavy gases like Nitrogen , Oxygen and Methane have high composition near
earths surface. While going up, composition of lighter gases keep on
increasing but since there is high turbulence, no effective separation
occurs in most of gases except for
surface of earth, they are upto 2% by volume but no trace present above
mainly between 10-50 km in stratosphere.
Side Note : Important gases in Atmosphere ( not on basis of percentage but function )
1 . Nitrogen
Present in atmosphere in
highest proportion (78%)
It is very important for
living organisms because it is an important element of Amino acids which
2 . Oxygen
Second most abundant gas in
All the living organisms use
it for breathing
important gas .
is transparent to incoming solar radiation but opaque to outgoing
terrestrial radiation . Hence, it is mainly responsible
for Green House effect.
Ozone gas is found between
It act as filter and absorb UV rays .
But scientists are very
concerned about the depletion of ozone layer due to action of chlorofloro
carbons on Ozone
5. Water Vapour
Can be upto 4% by volume in wet tropics
In dry & cold areas of desert & polar deserts it can be less than 1% of air .
It also absorbs parts of the insolation from the sun and preserves the earth’s radiated heat.
May originate from different
sources & include sea salts, fine soil, smoke-soot, ash, pollen, dust
& disintegrated particles of meteors.
It is concentrated
in lower parts , yet convectional air currents can take them to great heights .
They perform two very
It provides Hygroscopic nuclei
around which water vapour condenses to produce clouds .
They absorb and reflect small amount of radiation
rays of sun.
Structure of Atmosphere
Atmosphere can be divided into five distinct layers based on the thermal characteristics and temperature variations (note : these divisions are based on thermal characteristics)
1 . Troposphere
Troposphere is the lowest layer of atmosphere and it is
very important for all the living organisms
Name has been derived from
Greek word ‘Tropos’ which means mixing
and ‘sphere’ which means ‘region’. Hence, ‘troposphere’ means
‘region of mixing’
Troposphere is zone of air
turbulence because in this zone,
convectional air currents rise due to heating of earth surface
Thermal Characteristic of Troposphere
Temperature decreases with increase in height
(reaches – 60 degree Celsius at
In normal conditions, the rate of decrease of temperature is
(ie lapse rate) is 6.5 degree Celsius per kilometre . This happens
because of decrease in gases with increase in height
However, due to local
reasons, at some places this phenomena reverses also (called Temperature
Height of Troposphere
on Equator, it is 18 km
(gases are heated up and rises upward from strong convectional currents)
on poles, it is 8 km (gases
are cold and settles down)
At average its height is upto
12 kilometre from ground.
All weather phenomena occur in
this layer as it has dust particles and water vapour. This layer has
clouds which produce precipitation on the earth.
It is the region between
Troposphere and Stratosphere which is 1.5 kilometre high
The fall in temperature comes
to an end in this region
Turbulent mixing of gases,
winds, and radiation etc. none of the weather activities take place in
Stratosphere extends from end of Tropopause up to a height of 50
km from the earth’s surface.
The lower part of this layer is
highly concentrated with ozone gas which is called as
‘ozonosphere’. It prevents the harmful ultra-violet rays from the Sun to
enter into the lower part of the atmosphere
Thermal Characteristics of
Temperature increases with
height (ie from – 60 degree Celsius at start to 0 degree Celsius at
Temperature increases because
of absorption of ultra violent rays by ozone gas
It is turbulence free zone . Hence, it
is ideal for flying jet aircraft.(important prelims question)
Mesosphere lies above the
stratosphere, which extends up to a height of 80 km from earth’s surface .
Thermal characteristics of
In this layer, once again, temperature starts decreasing with the increase
From 0 degree Celsius at
start, it reaches up to minus 100°C at the height of 80 km.
Most of the shooting stars get burned in
Mesosphere .Luminous noctilucent clouds form here due to the presence of
cosmic dust. ( important prelims question)
It is the coldest layer of
4. Ionosphere /Thermosphere
It extends from 80 km to 400
km above Earths Surface ..
It is called
ionosphere due to presence of electrically charged ions that reflect radio waves back and thermosphere
because it is at very high temperature.
Thermal characteristics of
increases rapidly with height .
increases rapidly up to 1,000 degree Celsius. This is due to absorption
of high energy solar radiation and cosmic waves ( which break molecules
Ionosphere is formed ?
sun rays and cosmic rays break
atoms of gases in this region .
become ionised (positive charged ).
These are highly energised
particles & behave as free particle .
called auroras at higher latitudes
when Solar Winds are able to reach ionosphere and collide with ions
present in this layer (Aurora Borealis
(Arctic Zone ) & Aurora Australis(Antarctic Zone) )
of Ionosphere in radio communication : It is useful in radio
communication because ions can
reflect radio waves.
Outermost layer of
atmosphere and lies from 400 km to
1000 km from earth’s surface.
This is the highest layer but
very little is known about it.
It has rarefied contents. It
contains mainly oxygen and hydrogen atoms. These atoms can travel hundreds
of kilometres without colliding with one another. Hence, matter in
exosphere doesn’t behave like gases.
It gradually merges with outer
Magnetosphere/ Van Allen Radiation Belt
Magnetosphere lies above
Atmosphere and extends from 1000 km to 36000 km from earth’s surface
Although it isn’t part of atmosphere but plays important
part in shielding earth
from solar & other cosmic winds .
Magnetosphere is formed due to earth’s magnetic field and it prevents
most of solar
energised particles) from reaching earth .
Polar cusps: regions above geomagnetic poles where solar wind can enter relatively easy to earth’s atmosphere.
Magnetospheric storms are temporary disturbances in earths magnetic field caused by occurrence of magnetic flares & sunspot. In this process, material from solar coronal mass ejection hits earth
Major effect in such event is global disruption of radio & telegraphic communication.
Luminous phenomenon observed in high latitude
May appear as rolling lights
or coloured streaks .
by entry of charged
particles from sun into earth‘s
atmosphere & collision of these charged particles
with ionised particles in ionosphere . They emit energy on interaction leading
to formation of aurora.
these charged particles occur at Cusp . Hence, formed at particular places
on earth (& not everywhere)
Occur in Ionosphere.
Most frequent during intense period / solar minimum of sun spot cycle(sun spots have
cycle of 11yr).
Side Topic : Sunspot , Sunspot Cycle & Solar Minimum
Sun-spots are the regions on the sun
where the solar
magnetic field is very strong (and as a result, it doesn’t allow solar
streams to escape the sun)
Sun-spot cycle is the solar
magnetic activity cycle with the average time period of eleven years.
Solar minimum is the period
of least solar activity in the eleven year solar cycle. During this time, sunspot activity
diminishes. According to NASA and other agencies, a solar minimum is about to occur in 2020-21.
Impact of Solar Minimum
During the solar minimum, coronal holes can last for a longer time. Coronal holes are vast
regions in the sun’s atmosphere where the sun’s magnetic field opens up
and allows streams of solar particles to escape the sun.
It could enhance
events of geomagnetic storms & auroras, potentially
disrupting communications and navigation systems.
Sun’s magnetic field weakens
and provides less shielding from the cosmic rays. This can pose an
increased threat to astronauts travelling through space.
This article deals with ‘External Benchmark System .’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’ which is important pillar of GS-3 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
decreases Repo Rate, Banks don’t decrease their interest rates proportionately.
Why banks don’t transmit Repo Rate cuts to borrowers?
a. Banks don’t depend on RBI
In India(& all developing countries ) ,RBI is not the main source of money to banks . Common people are main supplier(mainly because people don’t have much option to invest money in alternate investment facilities eg mutual funds etc )
b. Small saving schemes rate not reduced
Transmission is limited by high small savings rates. Banks worry that if they cut their deposit rates, customers will flee to small savings instruments.
c. High Statutory Liquidity Ratio
Large money has to be kept idle as SLR which
banks cant lend
This reduces their ability to
pass the benefit to consumers .
d. Banks increasing their Spread
Due to losses incurred to
banks as a result of high NPAs
& lowering of Credit Demand , Banks are increasing
their Spread in order to maintain
their profits in absolute term.
This has reduced the capacity
of banks to decrease Lending Rates.
To deal with inadequate transfer of Repo Rate cuts by banks to borrowers , RBI Came up with MCLR and External Benchmark Rate System
How Banks decide their Interest Rate
began nationalization of private banks, and ‘administered interest rates’ on
suggested deregulation: Government should not dictate / administer
individual banks’ interest rates & RBI should only give methodology to
introduced Benchmark Prime Lending Rate
introduced BASE Rate + Spread system; update
frequency was on individual
RBI introduced Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) +Spread system.
RBI introduced External Benchmark Rate System.
Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR)
Banks to calculate lending rate on monthly basis.
Lending Rate to be calculated using CRR Cost, Operating Cost, Marginal cost of funds (calculated using Repo Rate) (don’t need to go into detail. Just remember, MCLR has Repo Rate as component)
Lending Rate = MCLR + Spread (to be decided by banks)
Better transmission of
accountability to borrowers.
RBI’s Janak Raj internal study group(2017) showed MCLR did not yield all benefits . Banks keep on increasing ‘Spread’ based on their discretion .
So new method was introduced
External Benchmark System
Applicable from April 2019 (on recommendations of Dr.
Janak Raj Committee)
NEW loans to be linked with
External Benchmark system.
In this system
Bank will be asked to choose any benchmark like
Repo rate or
91-day T-bill yield or
182-day T-bill yield or
any other benchmarks by Financial Benchmarks India Pvt. Ltd.
It has to be updated atleast
every 3 months.
Lending Rate of Bank will be External Benchmark +
Spread (eg if
Bank choose Repo Rate as External Benchmark, then Interest Rate will be
Repo Rate + Spread)
Bank cant lend it to anyone. Bank earns no interest or profit on this
RBI get these powers from RBI Act
Presently (July 2020) – 3% of Net Demand and Time Liabilities
Applicable on Scheduled Banks , Non-Scheduled Banks &
b. Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)
A bank has to set aside this much money in cash, gold & government securities or RBI approved very secure Securities like those of PSUs (liquid assets)
Some profit is earned
It is mandated under RBI Act.
Although not used as Monetary Policy Tool but if decreased, large amount of capital is infused in economy .
Presently(July 2020) – 18% of Net Demand and Time Liabilities
SLR is applicable on following Institutions all commercial banks
, Cooperative Banks and NBFC deposit
taking . RBI can prescribe
separate levels for each.
Trends of CRR and SLR
Note – Earlier , CRR & SLR used to be very high (53% combined) . As a result, banks had very less money to lend . This impacted Indian Economy because rate of loans were high and businesses were not expanding as a result. This was one of (the many) reasons of 1990 Balance of Payment Crisis. Narsimhan Committee & other experts asked government to reduce this. As a result it was gradually reduced
Use of CRR and SLR
CRR and SLR can be used to
fight Inflation and Deflation
They also act as security in case of bank run.
Side Topic : CRR Exemption
Feb 2020 :
RBI has announced that banks will not have to maintain CRR for all the
loans they have given to three sectors namely automobile sector,
residential sector and loans to MSME industries for next 5 years.
boost loans to these sectors.
Side Topic : What are G-Secs
Concepts like Repo, Reverse Repo and Open Market Operations involve the concept of G-Secs ( or Government Securities). Hence, we will first deal with the concept of G-Secs
When Government wants extra money for their schemes, they ask RBI to print that much Government Securities (G-Secs) and give equivalent cash in return. G-Secs are the promissory notes in which it is promised that Government will pay interest of x% to the holder for y years and pay principal at the end of tenure .
Now RBI can use these G-Secs for various operations . Eg : to absorb the excessive liquidity from market etc
RBI adjusts the liquidity of market using these tools
Repo & Reverse Repo operations can only be done at Mumbai & in securities as approved by RBI (T Bills , Central/state Govt securities)
a. Repo rate
Repo Rate is short form for Repurchase Rate
In this , Bank borrow immediate funds from the RBI for short term ( upto 14 days) with Government Securities as collateral and simultaneously agrees to repurchase the same Securities after a specified time at a specified price.
Amount that can be borrowed : minimum 5 crore to unlimited
All Banks , Central & State Governments and Non Banking Financial Institutions are eligible
When bank borrow, it will give its securities worth say ₹ 100 crore & agree to repurchase it back at rate of ₹ 104 crore ( if Repo rate is 4)
But during whole
operation, bank has to maintain its SLR ie Collateral
securities can,t be from SLR quota
Present Repo Rate is 4%
RBI is reducing the rates continuously to spur
economic activity by providing cheap money to the banks to lend it to public.
Long Term Repo Operations (LTRO)
RBI has introduced new
instrument called Long Term Repo Rate (LTRO).
It is for long tenure of 1 to
3 years .
All the concepts are same as
Repo Rate but interest is charged annually .
Total plan is to loan Rs 1
lakh crore to banks via LTRO which will increase the loanable funds with
banks to boost the demand in economy.
b. Marginal Standing Facility (MSF)
Marginal Standing Facility introduced
Suppose bank is in dire need of cash
but doesn’t have spare securities. Under such
conditions, bank can borrow under MSF by pledging SLR securities
But they will have to pay
0.25% higher than Repo Rate (as punishment say)
MSF= Repo + 0.25%
Only Scheduled Commercial Banks can avail this facility
within range of minimum 1 crore
& Maximum 1% of Net Time and Demand Liabilities.
It helps to solve short term
It is also
necessary because Repo operations are limited to specific period during
c. Reverse Repo Rate
In this RBI takes money from banks & give them securities (opposite of Repo Rate)
Until now, such facility was not available to Corporate
Houses where they could issue Corporate Bonds to lenders and agree to
repurchase these Bonds at later date at pre-determined rate . They also wanted
to use this route to raise funds .
But there is issue of trust in this case . Hence, there is need of
Intermediary who can assure lenders that Corporate House will surely buy back
these bonds at decided rate . In case, borrowers refuses to pay,
intermediary Custodian will pay that amount to Lender. Custodian will
charge fee for providing this service .
In ordinary repo, there are
two parties- borrower vs. lender (RBI).
In Tri-party Repo, there are 3 parties 1) borrowers 2)
lenders 3) Tri-Party Agent ( presently 2 – BSE and NSE)
who, acts as an intermediary between the two parties to facilitate
collateral custody, payment and guaranteed settlement.
RBI issued guidelines for this
This is not a tool of Monetary
Policy. It helps deepening Corporate Bond market.
d. Bank Rate
When banks borrow long term funds from RBI , they would pay this
interest to RBI
% (May 2020) ( although Bank Rate =
MSF but both are declared separately)
Collateral = Nothing(can
borrow without pledging securities)
don’t use this tool to control money supply , but if it does, same theory
apply here as well
It is not the main tool to control money supply these days but act as penal rate charged on banks for shortfalls in meeting their reserve requirements. How it is done?
If Bank is not maintaining its SLR or CRR, then bank is fined penalty on whatever amount is less from amount to be maintained . Rate Charged is determined as :-
First time : Bank rate +3%
Second Time : Bank Rate +5% and so on
1.3 Open Market Operations (OMO)
In Open Market Operations (OMO) , RBI starts buying/selling government securities to control money supply.
It is different than Repo and Reverse Repo Rate because here there is no promise by either party to repurchase it back. RBI will pay the interest rate to the holder of Security but there is no repurchase agreement.
How govt use this to control money supply
Case 1 : When there are inflatory trends in market , RBI issue these securities . Banks buy these securities & money supply decreases
Case 2 : When government wants to increase money supply , it starts buying these securities at high price
Why banks go for OMO although there
are no compulsions on this ??
Lot of money keep on lying
idle with banks .
Banks don’t earn any interest
on that . Hence, it is better to invest those in govt securities &
earn ~8% interest on it
liquidity in the market, RBI has come up with new tool.
-April 2019 : three-year currency swap scheme = RBI will
purchase $5 billion from banks in exchange for rupees.
Currently , in Repo and Reverse Repo, RBI uses G-Secs . But there is issue of higher Bond Yields . To address this issue , Dollar – Rupee Swap comes to scene
Increasing Liquidity = Buy $ from Banks and give them money
Decreasing Liquidity = Give $ to Banks and take ₹ from them
higher Bond Yields on G-Secs addressed.
can increase Forex Reserve via this.
Banks can earn some interest
out of the forex reserves lying idle in their kitty.
Dollar – ₹
exchange rate = ₹ will become strong and fall of ₹ against $ can be
Twist” was first used by the USA.
Jan 2020 : RBI also used this route . It
is officially called “Special Open Market Operation (OMO) wherein the
Central bank simultaneously buys and sells G-sec of varying maturities to
adjust their yields. This will help to
reduce interest rates on corporate bonds and they can raise money
for their expansion at favourable rates .
2. Qualitative / Selective / General tools
2.1 Marginal Requirements/LTV(Loan to Value)
If Spice Airlines wants to borrow money from SBI and
pledges ₹100 crore collateral but RBI prescribe margin (Loan to Value
ration) of say 65%, then SBI can give only 65crore loan.
It is obligatory for SBI to
obey directives of RBI in this context (unlike base rate)
Hence, it is Selective & direct tool.
2.2 Consumer Credit Regulation
In this, RBI can make various regulations on credit
Can increase down payment from say 10% to 30% (it will force some persons to delay their decision to buy vehicles financed through bank loans)
Can decrease least EMI for automobile sector say from ₹ 5,000 to 3,000
2.3 Selective Credit Control
In this , RBI can instruct
Banks to not extend loans to particular sector (Negative / Restrictive
Tools) or give minimum %age to particular sector (positive) .
Qualitative and Direct Tools.
2.3.1 Negative Restrictions
a. Ceiling to big loans
From 1965 to
all Commercial Banks had to obtain prior approval of RBI before giving
loans greater than ₹ 1 Crore to single borrower.
b. Ceiling on Non Food Loans
Started in 1973
To boost Green Revolution
So that more loans go towards agriculture sector
These tools were used before LPG Reforms, but they weren’t effective because these can be easily flouted using loopholes.
2.3.1 Positive Restrictions
a. Priority Sector Lending (PSL) / Rationing
Rationing is main
feature of Communist Economy. Eg In Soviet Union, they used to make provisions like they
will give particular amount of loan to particular sector. PSL is form of
Giving specific minimum amount of loans to some Priority Sectors. In
India, 40% loans are given to Priority Sector.
can increase supply of money to that sector by increasing its limit.
detail in Banking Sector .
2.4 Moral Suasion
“Persuasion” without applying punitive measures. RBI governor tries this tactic via conferences, informal meetings, letters, seminars, convocation, panel discussion, memorial lectures.
Please reduce giving automobile loans, instead invest your money in government securities.
I have reduced repo rate , now you also decrease your base rate.
It is not obligatory on part of bank to follow orders but generally they do follow.
2.5 Direct Action
RBI can take direct action
against any bank for going against the rules. RBI gets this power under
Banking Regulation Act, RBI Act, Foreign Exchange Management Act ,
Prevention of Money Laundering Act etc.
Eg : if bank is not
maintaining CRR or SLR , RBI can scrap its license
Money supply will decrease if there is higher taxation and sale of G-sec and vice-versa.
If people deposit higher portion of their income in banks ( instead of storing in their lockers) , then bank can expand loans . Money supply rises in such cases.
1. If RBI follows dear money policy = supply decreases 2. If RBI follows cheap money policy = supply rise
Why should we measure money supply?
Job of RBI is to control inflation through qualitative & quantitative tools (ie Repo Rate, Cash Reserve Ratio etc)
But for this, RBI must first know how much money supply is there in system . Only then RBI can make policy to control money supply.
Side Topic : Why people don’t simply store Value in Bonds, Gold ?
John Maynard Keynes( 1883-1946) answered this question in his book – The General Theory of Employment , Interest & Money.
He argued that although if
person will invest in Bonds or Gold, Value of his assets will surely
increase but even after that people don’t invest and keep cash because of three reasons
motive – Cash
acts as medium of exchange
motive – In case
of sudden expenditure, cash is required .
motive – waiting
for price of anything to fall ,
then using cash to buy that.
Types of Money
M0 : Reserve money or High Powered Money
Mo is base for creating Broad
Mo is sum of following things
held by Public
Bankers’ deposits with RBI plus
‘other’ deposits with RBI
it is Total Currency Printed by RBI . RBI prints money equivalent to Bonds it
get from Government.
M1 : Narrow Money
Currency and Coins with public
Demand deposit in banks
Basically , it denotes situation when person has money , he can do two things to maintain the liquidity of that. Either he can keep that money in its hard form or can deposit in Bank in Current or Saving Account (not Fixed Account) .
M2 : Narrow Money
M2= M1 + Demand Deposits in Post Office
Currency and Coins with public
Demand deposit in banks
Demand Deposits in Post Office
M3 : Broad Money or Money Aggregate
M3 = M1 + Time deposits with Banks
Currency and Coins with public
Demand deposit in banks
Time deposits with banks
M3 is most commonly used for measuring money and is regarded as main indicator of money supply in the economy.
M4 : Broad Money
M4 = M3 + Total Post office Deposits
Currency and Coins with public
Demand deposit in banks
Time deposits with banks
Demand deposit in post-offices
Time deposits with post-offices
Ranking of Liquidity
is the ease of converting an asset into cash .
Liquidity Ranking : M1 > M2 > M3 > M4
There are two approaches to look into this concept
a. 1st Approach
Money Multiplier is Ratio of Broad Money & Reserve money ie M3 / Mo
M3 = Mo X Money Multiplier
When Reserve Money
increase , Broad money will also increase
In 2018 , India’s Money Multiplier was ~ 6
b. 2nd Approach
Money Multiplier is 1/R (R= Cash Reserve Ratio)
Every ‘R’ Cash Reserve Ratio
generates ‘1/R’ new money.
Explanation of above formula?
Consider a situation in which Person deposited ₹ 100 hard currency in Bank. Let’s assume that , Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) fixed by RBI was 10%. First Bank will keep aside ₹10 & give ₹90 as loan to some person. Then person who got loan again paid some other person through bank by depositing money in person’s bank account . This Bank will keep ₹9 (10% of 90) aside and gave 81 as Loan to some other person. And this game keeps on going like this .
Hence , Money Multiplier is 1/R (where R is Cash Reserve Ratio).
Note : Presently , Money Multiplier is around 6 but if we consider 4% Cash Reserve Ratio, it should be 25.
Reason for low Money Multiplier than theory = for
practical purpose , we cant achieve above series upto end.
Inclusion is low, there might be case that either Banks have money but people are not available
to take loan or people will not be able to keep their money in banks .
Along with that,
Banks aren’t always willing to give loans
Large number of cash in India
is stored as Black Money and is never stored in Banking System.
From Economic Survey (2020) : India’s Money Multiplier has been decreasing since 2017
Velocity of Money Circulation
Average number of times, money passes from one
person to another during given time
Velocity of Money Circulation
Poor people immediately use
their money. Hence, money in the hands of poor has higher velocity.
Booming period = higher
If more people use EMI loans
for purchase, then higher velocity
Low financial inclusion means
less velocity, because banking penetration is low. People tend to save
more in physical assets . Hence, money doesn’t change hands much
This article deals with ‘Reformist Movements– UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘Modern History’ which is important pillar of GS-1 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
Main reason why Britain emerged as powerful nation was it
accepted modern civilization first among all nations . But in India , intentionally they followed the policy
to stall the change
in society . Changes did occur & Indian society did try to change but
not due to British policies but due to efforts by some progressive Indians
These efforts happened first in Bengal because it came under British control
first . First lot of Indians who studied in Western English knowledge were
also created in Bengal at the end
of 18th Century. New intellectual stirrings created reformed mentality . They didn’t reject Indian tradition but sought to change certain
unreasonable aspects of Hindu society which didn’t conform to their
Later , British officials also joined the race & this provided legitimacy to the reform
agenda of the Utilitarian reformers like Bentinck .
But problem was , this
mentality was confined to a
small circle of English Educated elite. Series
of reforms followed but they remained on paper . They faced problem
because they never attempted to develop modern social consciousness from
below . They should have followed ‘bottom up approach’ instead of
‘top down approach’
. Reform forced from above remained
Untouchability as an issue of social reform had to wait
until the beginning of the twentieth century and the arrival of Mahatma
Gandhi in Indian public life after World War One .
Lacking in a broad social
base, the reformers of the early nineteenth century thus exhibited an
intrinsic faith in the benevolent nature of colonial rule and relied more
on legislation for imposing reform from above. There was very little or no attempt to create a
consciousness at the grass-roots level, where religious
revivalism later found a fertile
The reform movement broadly fell under two categories
– Eg : Brahmo Samaj, Prarthana Samaj & Aligarh Movement – Relied on reason & conscience. They wanted to purge outdated elements from the religion which didn’t pass on the scale of reason .
– Eg : Arya Samaj, Ramakrishna Mission & Deoband Movement – Relied upon traditions & wanted to go back to their self made golden past
Side Topic : Why Britishers tried to reform Indian Society in 19th Century?
There were various reasons for this
Several ideological influences in Britain, such as Evangelicalism, Utilitarianism and free trade
For renewal of Charter of company
Pro socio-religious reform
thrust in contemporary England => because Progressive Whig Party came into power back in
Role of Christian missionaries was also noticeable.
But the Company’s government was still tentative about interfering
for fear of adverse Indian reaction unless a section of the Indian society was
prepared to support reform. Such a group was soon to emerge through the
introduction of English education
Status of Woman &Civilizational Critique
Status of woman
became the main focus of the reforming activities of colonial state as
well as educated Indians
At that time, way in which civilisations were ranked , position of
woman was one of the important criteria & here Indians
were increasingly under attack by western observers from missionaries to
civilians . Indian civilisation was
despised because it assigned such a low status to women .
Hence, Indian Intelligentsia
responded to this civilisation critique by advocating & supporting reforms to
improve status of woman in Indian society.
But such reforms remained very
restricted to only few women belonging to high class because women remained recipient of male patronage & never became involved in
these reformist projects as conscious
subjects of their own history .
Upper Class Women vs Peasant Women
were better compared to Upper caste woman during that time
They didn’t practice Purdah
System , Right to Remarry was there
& Sati was also not that widespread among Peasant class unlike
We have seen the reasons why Social Reform movements were started in India. Now we will look in detail into one strand of these movements known as Reformist Movements .
Features of reformist social movements
a. Confined only to narrow social group
Reformist spirit appealed only
to a small elite group who were primarily the economic & cultural
beneficiaries of the colonial rule
– Small number of western educated elite known as Bhadralok – Socially they were mostly Hindus & although caste wasn’t a major criteria for membership, they were mostly higher caste Brahmin, Kayastha & Baidya
– Members of Prarthna Samaj were mainly English educated Chitpavan & Saraswat Brahmins along with Merchants from Gujarat
Indeed the high caste character of the early 19th century
explains to a large extent the relative
silence on caste question & untouchability which had to wait till Gandhi
b. Faith in benevolent nature of colonial rule
They had great faith in the
benevolent nature of colonial rule & infact existence of these classes
depended on Colonial rule .
Because of faith , they relied more on legislation for imposing
reform from the above
c. Colonial Character of the reforms
assumption was religion
was the basis for Indian society &
this religion was encoded in the scriptures . Social evils
were thought to be result of the distortion
of scriptures by self seeking people , in this case the cunning Brahmins who
had the monopoly over this textual knowledge .
mission of the colonial state thus seen to lie in giving back the natives
the truth of their own little read & even less understood shastras .
Whole debate over
Sati was grounded in scriptures & its abolition was not based on fact
that it is morally & ethically
wrong but when government was convinced that custom was not enjoyed by the
As the colonial rulers gave supreme importance to scriptures, the Indian reformers too, as
well as their detractors, referred to ancient religious texts to argue
their respective cases. The brutality or the irrationality of the
custom, or the plight of women, whom the reform was intended for, were
lesser concerns in a debate
Note : The intellectuals did not however attacked the social system as a whole; their attack centred only on the perversions and distortions that had crept into it. They did not advocate a sharp rupture in the existing social structure of the country. They did not stand for structural transformation; changes were sought within the framework of the very structure. They were advocates of reform and not revolution.
Social problems and Reformist efforts to reform them
a. Female Infanticide
It was most common in Western & Northern India .
There landowning high caste families , practising hypergamy found it difficult to find suitable grooms for their daughters or pay high demands of dowry . Hence, they killed their female offsprings at birth .
British authorities tried to persuade them & after 1830 sought to coerce them to desist from practice but no tangible effect was observed.
In 1870, Female Infanticide Act was passed . But even after that, condition didn’t change because abject neglect of female children resulted in high mortality .
b. Sati Abolition
Sati Abolition was the
greatest achievement of Lord Bentinck .
Sati is self immolation of
wife on funeral pyre of dead husband.
According to social
reformers , it has always been there much the exception rather than a rule
in Hindu life & during Mughal period, it was practiced in Rajputs & Kingdom of Vijayanagara . But during British period, it revived on much larger scale
& experienced highest rate of development.
Reasons for practice of Sati
Earlier it was practiced by Upper Caste
Hindus but during
British rule, it started in peasant
families of lower & intermediate
caste who achieved social mobility & then sought to legitimize their new status by imitating their caste superiors.
Greed of the relatives – Child marriage was widespread at that
time & many a times bride who has not even lived with groom was forced
to perform Sati in order to get property of that man.
Sati was widespread in areas where Dayabhaga school of personal Hindu law was applicable . Areas where ] Mitakshara
applicable, it was less prevalent because Mitakshara
school gives lesser rights to wife to inherit property
Campaign against it
First started by Christian Missionaries
But very strong campaign under
Raja Rammohan Roy gave real momentum
Finally in 1829 , Governor
General Bentinck prohibited
Sati by Govt Regulation Act XVII. Pressure was also put by the Court of Directors because they wanted to present credible image of Company’s rule in India in the
before renewal of Charter
pending in 1833.
Although it reduced very much after that but
the idea & myth of Sati persisted in popular
culture & was continually reaffirmed through epics, ballads & folktales
of surfaced even in 1987 ( Roop Kanwar Case of village Deorala in Rajasthan).
c. Widow Remarriage
Main protagonist was Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar . But he too, like Raja
Rammohan Roy looked to colonial state for piece of legislation for
In 1856 , Hindu Remarriage Act was passed but
this couldn’t make the
practice socially acceptable . Along with that, Act was intrinsically
conservative in nature because on remarriage , widow
disinherited her deceased husband’s property .
Movement ended with its
unavoidable death . Vidyasagar failed to see widows remarried because this
needed social consent which could
not be generated by piece of legislation .
Practise of Widow Remarriage
remained rare & exceptional among the educated class &
within few years taboo universalised & penetrated to lower castes.
1860s : Movement to
promote widow remarriage spread among educated class & debate became sharp between reformers &
1866 : Vishnushastri Pandit started a Society for
Encouragement of Widow Remarriage while opponents started rival
Movement ended in whimper . By end of century only 38 such marriages happened & in that cases
too couples were subjected to enormous social pressure & ostracism .
In Telegu speaking
areas , movement was started by Veersalingum Pantulu . In 1878 , Society for
Social Reforms was founded by him for this.
1881 : first widow remarriage
officiated by him in 1881 in face of stiff opposition but till 1891 ,
support increased & he formed Widow Remarriage Association with
patronage of prominent citizens .
North India : Haryana
Here practice of widow remarriage was already
there& new act provided
such marriage with legitimacy & further social acceptance
d. Child Marriage
Vidyasagar continued his campaign against Polygamy & later
Child Marriage .
In 1860 , finally he was able
to secure an Age Of Consent
Act, 1860 that fixed age of
consent for consummation of marriage at 10 years which was raised to 12
years in 1891.
But census showed that it
continued to be practiced widely among all castes.
were stereotyped into the colonial construct called Thugs who were believed to have
been members of a fraternity traditionally involved in robbery & ritual killings in the name of religion
Campaign against thugee was
initiated in 1830s by Lord Bentinck
Thugee Act (XXX) , 1836 was passed & Thugee
Dept. was created
for prosecuting gangs seen as perpetrating a crime in the name of religion
but it’s elimination proved to be a difficult task.
In 1839 , Sir William Sleeman as head of Department claimed that
thugee had been exterminated but in reality he begun to realise difficulty
in doing this and it was just a face-saving measure.
Laws were even more
ineffective against less organised social customs that remained part of
everyday life from centuries .
Slavery was such an example .
Slavery was abolished in Britain in 1820 & in India too Charter of 1833 instructed government to abolish slavery & Parliamentary pressure
continued till it was abolished .
problem was, they tried to see slavery
in India through lens of their British idea of Slavery but in India where
agrarian relations were complex & marked by numerous structures of
labour dependencies it was almost impossible to stop it
Process was failure in India
Renaissance literally means ‘rebirth’. It refers to the revival of Graeco-Roman (classical) learning in 15th-16th century after long winter of dark ages. In Indian context , intellectual revolution that took place in the nineteenth century in the fields of philosophy, literature, science, politics and social reforms is often known as Indian Renaissance. An important part of this Renaissance was reforming Hinduism from within on the basis of Post Enlightenment Rationalism.
Very much like the Italian Renaissance, it was not a mass movement; but instead restricted to the upper classes.
Response of the educated Indian elite to civilisational critique was to reform Hinduism from within, in the boundary of post enlightenment rationalism . Such phenomenon is known as Bengal Renaissance
Movement was started in Bengal by Raja Rammohan Roy who is often described as Father of Modern India .
Raja Rammohan Roy(1772-1833)
He was Hindu Brahmin and was born in Hooghly ,Bengal
He fought against the stagnant
He was one of those upper caste
gentry whose power & position had been enhanced by Permanent
other opportunities opened by the Colonial rule.
He studied Persian and Arabic at a Madrasah in Patna . He was proficient in Arabic,
Persian, Sanskrit & European languages like English, French, Latin ,
Greek & Hebrew
At a time when Bengali youth
under the influence of western learning was drifting towards Christianity,
Roy proved to be the champion of Hinduism . Although, he defended Hinduism against the hostile criticism of the
missionaries , he sought to purge Hinduism of the abuses that had crept
Then he studied Vedantic monism & after his migration to Calcutta in 1815, he was exposed to the Christian
Unitarianism . Such intellectual influences motivated him to contest the
missionary claim of superiority of Christians . His answer to this was to reform Hinduism using reason by going back to its purest form
as enshrined in Vedanta
Raja Rammohan Roy accepted the
concept of ‘One God’ as propounded by Upanishads . For him God was shapeless , invisible & omnipresent but the
guiding shape of the universe . He declared his opposition to idol worship
& was of view that worship to be performed through prayers &
meditation & readings from Upanishads . He translated Upanishads into Bangla to demonstrate
that ancient Hindu scriptures themselves propagated monotheism
He published his first philosophical work, Tuhfat-ul-Muwahhiddin
in 1805 in which
he analysed the major religions of the
world wrt ‘reason’ and ‘social comfort’. He denied that religion was merely a matter of
faith outside reason and attempted to expose the myth of miracles associated with it.
Later, he started English Hindu college at Calcutta in 1816
He was great exponent of the
Bengali language .
newspaper MIRAT UL AKHBAR ( mirror of news) and Bengali newspaper Samvad Kaumudi.
He was given the title of Raja by
Mughal Emperor Akbar II , who sent him to England
in 1831 as Ambassador of the king to ensure that Bentinck’s Regulation of
banning the practice of Sati is not overturned and also to overturn
the decision to make Mughals
Princes & taking royal titles from them
He died there at Stapleton
,Bristol in 1833 (due to Meningitis)
Worked for the emancipation
of the women
Sati System was abolished on
account of his efforts . Government passed Anti Sati legislation in 1829
declaring sati as a criminal offence
He condemned polygamy, early marriage and opposed
the subjugation of women and their inferior status in society. He related their problems to
the root cause of absence of property
rights. To him, female
education was another effective method to free Indian Society from social
To propagate his message
against Sati he started a Bengali newspaper SAMVAD KAUMUDI (moon of
Worked against the rigidity of
the Caste System
maximum age of Civil services to be 22 years
Favoured Jury system
Founded Hindu College(1817) along with David Hare , Radhakant Deb,
Maharaja Tejchandra Ray of Burdwan , Prasan Kumar Tagore , Babu Budhinath
Mukherjee & Justice Sir Edward Hyde ( Hindu College later became Presidency College( in
1855) & Presidency
University (in 2010)
supported Macaulay in favouring English language
In 1825 , he started Vedanta College which offered both
Indian & western knowledge
He also compiled Bengali
He raised not only social issues but political and economic issues too
He stood for
Indianisation of services
Trial by jury
Separation of Powers between the executive and the judiciary
Freedom of the Press
Judicial equality between Indians and Europeans
Criticised the Zamindari System for its oppressive practices
He was progenitor of nationalist consciousness, and ideology in India. His every effort of social and religious reform was aimed at nation-building.
In particular, he attacked the rigidities of the caste system which, according to him, had been the source of disunity among Indians. He held that the monstrous caste system created inequality and division among the people on the one hand, and ‘deprived them of patriotic feeling‘ on the other.
Rammohan was an internationalist, libertarian and democrat in his orientation. He took active interest in international affairs and wanted amity among nations. His concern for the cause of liberty, democracy and nationalism led him to cancel all his social engagements when he came to know of the failure of the Revolution in Naples in 1821. By giving a public dinner, he celebrated the success of the Revolution in Spanish America in 1823.
Newspaper and Books
Roy started following newspapers and pamphlets
Kaumudi – Bengali Newspaper
Akhbar – Persian Newspaper
– An Exposition of Revenue &
Judicial System in India (urged government that administration & judiciary
should be separated among other things )
Along with that , he wrote following books
Gift to Monotheists (1809)
Percepts of Jesus (1820)
Tuhfat-ul-Muwahhiddin in 1805
Mahanirvana Tantra (1797)
Propagated MONOTHEISM and Vedantic Monism.
He opposed the idol worship
a. Atmiya Sabha – Calcutta
Started in 1815
It was a philosophical discussion circle
Discussed monotheism in Hindu Vedantism
It was also attended by Dwarkanath Tagore (Grandfather of Rabindranath)
Opposed worship of idols
Against rigidity of caste & meaning less religious rituals
He blamed the Brahman priests for perpetuating religious evils by keeping people ignorant about the true teachings of the scriptures.
b. Brahmo Samaj
Brahmo Sabha in 1828 (later became Brahmo Samaj)
Founded by Dwarkanath & Raja Rammohan Roy
Main Theme – rid Hinduism of its evils & preach
Purpose was to purify Hinduism of all evils which
had crept into it
It vehemently opposed Sati System.
Mohan Roy & Dwarkanath Tahore
Works done by Brahmo Samaj
It propagated Monotheism (discarded the faith in divine Avataras) .
It was against idolatry and idol worship
It attacked Casteism & Untouchability
Any scripture could enjoy the status of ultimate authority transcending reason & conscience .
It took no definite stand on the Doctrine of Karma & Transmigration of soul & left it to the individual Brahmos to believe either way.
Worked for respectable position of the women in the society and for this
Favoured abolition of Purdah System
Discouraged Child Marriages & Polygamy
Crusaded for widow remarriage etc
After Roy’s death in 1833, the leadership of the Brahmo movement was taken over by Debendranath Tagore who provided the movement with a better organisational structure and ideological consistency
But the movement was actually taken out of the limited elite circles of Calcutta literati into the district towns of east Bengal by Bijoy Krishna Goswami and Keshub Chandra Sen in the 1860s.
Goswami bridged the gap between Brahmoism and the popular religious tradition of Vaishnavism
Sen’s specific focus was to reach larger numbers of non-Westernised Bengalis in the eastern Gangetic plains and to take the movement outside Bengal to other provinces of India
Schisms & other Developments
First schism in the Samaj in 1866
Samaj for India
– Led by more radical Keshav Chandra Sen, Anandamohan Bose & Shiv Narayan Shastri . – Reverted away from the Hindu components and accepted the teachings of all religions
– Under Debendranath Tagore (Father of Rabindranath) – Remained in a more inclusive and Hindu sphere of influence
Basically, as Meredith Borthwick has shown, it was a schism between Keshav’s followers, for whom social progress and reform were more important than anything else, and the followers of Debendranath, who preferred to maintain their identification with Hindu society.This rift was, as it became clear soon, more about an identity crisis than about any fundamental difference of ideology: while some of the Brahmos wanted to define themselves as separate from the Hindus, others began to seek a position within the great tradition of Hinduism.
Second Schism in 1878
A band of Keshub Chandra Sen followers left him
On account of
Marriage of Sen’s minor daughter to Prince of Cooch Bihar
Also because he became devout follower of Ramakrishna and tried to bridge Brahmanism and Brahmo Samaj.
They Started Sadharan Brahmo Samaj and worked mainly for the social work & female education and famine relief . Consisted of Anand Mohan Bose & SN Shastri
Thus Brahmo samaj also contributed prominent nationalists who later formed the backbone of the moderate phase of congress
In 1881, Sen formed his Naba Bidhan (New Dispensation) and started moving towards a new universalist religion. But by this time , successive ideological rifts and organisational divisions had weakened the Brahmo movement, confining it to a small elite group.
Limited to urban areas only
Lot of internal rivalries
Achievements of Brahmo Samaj
Sati : Pressure
was put by the samajis & as a
result Anti Sati legislation was passed
by Lord William Bentinck in 1829
Abolition of the caste system and dowry system
Emancipation of the women
Improving educational system
Brahmo Samaj ultimately failed and emerged as sectarian religious order after continuous schisms but nevertheless , its achievements were huge
Rabindranath Tagore admitted the failure of Samaj but also recognised the very important role played by Samaj of providing a shock to static Indian society and made it to think on rationalist lines.
According to Bipin Chandra Pal , main impact of Samaj was on Political Culture . It was from Brahma Samaj that idea of free thinking individual emerged who would be able to absorb democratic & western ideals.
Henry Vivian Derozio & Young Bengal Movement
(Anglo-Indian Teacher at Hindu
College) started Young Bengal Movement
At age of 17, he started Young
He was much more modern than Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
He was a free thinker and a rationalist, helped promoting a radical & critical outlook among
his students who questioned authority, loved liberty and worshipped truth.
Most radical at that time
& was inspired by French Revolution
nationalist poet of Modern India
the followers of Derozio, were staunch rationalists; they measured everything
on the yardstick of reason. He organised debates where ideas and social
norms were freely debated. In 1828, he motivated them to form a literary
and debating club
called theAcademic Association.
In 1838, they formed ‘Society for the Acquisition of General Knowledge‘, where they discussed
various aspects of Western science, and stood for a number of social
reforms, such as the prohibition of caste taboos, child marriage, polygamy etc.
Young Bengal followed classical economics, and was composed of free traders who
took inspiration from Jeremy Bentham, Adam Smith, and David Ricardo.
They were passionate advocates of women’s rights and
demanded education for them.
He was dismissed from the Hindu College in
1831 because of his radical views, and shortly afterwards he died of
Cholera at the young age of 22.
carried forward Rammohan’s tradition of educating the people in social, economic
and political questions through newspapers, pamphlets and public
associations. They carried on public agitation on public questions such as
the revision of the Company’s Charter, the Freedom of the Press, better treatment for Indian
labour in British colonies abroad, Trial by Jury, Protection of the Ryots
from oppressive Zamindars, and Employment of Indians in the higher grades
of government services.
Why they didn’t succeed?
Social conditions were not yet ripe for their
ideas to flourish. The common
people , who were not acquainted with those ideologies, considered
those young as arrogant.
Their total faith in the British and in
their rationalism and scientism derived from the west, set
them apart from the masses of Indians and they never succeeded in
organising any social movement in support of their proposed reforms.
Book by Derozio (GK for prelims)
To India – My Native Land
In this , he wrote about pain given by British rule
He was son of Dwarkanath
Tagore , father of Rabindra Nath Tagore and a close friend of Raja Ram
Mohan Roy .
1839 , he started Tattvabodhini Sabha to disseminate the knowledge of the Upanishads
was the principal organ of the Sabha to propagate the ideas .
After death of Raja Rammohan
Roy, he became the main organiser of Brahmo Samaj.
1850 , he wrote book
Dharma where he
Emphasised on monotheism
Supported rationality and
reject scriptural infallibility
Rejected Caste distinctions
Inspired his sons into reform movement ,most
famous being Rabindranath Tagore
He was part of Landholders Society and played important role in formation of British India Association
His original name was
He was born on 26 September
1820 in the Paschim Midnapore District of West Bengal to impoverished Brahmin
During the period from 1829 to 1841, Ishwar Chandra
studied Vedanta, Vyakaran, Literature, Rhetorics, Smriti and Ethics in Sanskrit
College. And in 1839 the title ‘Vidyasagar’ was
conferred on him for his unusual talent.
1841, at the age of
twenty one years, Ishwar Chandra joined the Fort William College
as a head of the Sanskrit department. In 1851 , Vidyasagar became a professor and later on the
Principal of the Sanskrit College
Works toward Education
He firmly believed that the
regeneration of India was possible only through education.
His work was aimed at
extending the benefits of learning to common people. He stressed upon
instruction through vernacular language.
also opened the doors
of the colleges and other educational institutions to lower caste students,
which was earlier reserved only for the Brahmins. For his immense
generosity and kind-heartedness, people started addressing him as “Daya Sagar”
(ocean of kindness).
spent his early life in village Ishwar Chandra could realize the sorrowful
condition of the womenfolk. He rightly believed that the emancipation of women
was not possible as long as they remained ignorant. Ishwar Chandra,
upon himself the task of promoting the cause of female education.
Pioneer in the women upliftment
Started girls schools in Bombay and Calcutta
Encouraged women to study in
He also collaborated with Drinkwater Bethune in
establishing the Hindu Female School (at present known as Bethune School and College) in
initiative in pushing the Widow Remarriage Act ,1856
in passing the Special Marriages Act of 1872.
Wrote book for women
emancipation titled BAHUVIVAH
He initiated the concept of
widow remarriage and raised concern for the abolition of child-marriage
and polygamy. He demonstrated that the system of polygamy was not sanctioned by the ancient Hindu
He took the
initiative in proposing and pushing The
Hindu Widow Remarriage Act XV of 1856 in India during
Governor-Generalship Lord Canning.
He brought a revolution in the education system of Bengal. In his book, “Barno-Porichoy” (Introduction to the letter), Vidyasagar refined the Bengali language and made it accessible to the common strata of the society.
Vidyasagar invented Bengali prose through translation as well as own writings.
Social Reform Movements in western India
Main reform movements in western India were as follows :-
Paramhans Mandali / Samaj
It was started in 1849
Pandurang . Other
important leader was (Lokhitwadi)
Gopal Hari Deshmukh
It was first socio religious
movement of Maharashtra
Paramhansa Sabha’s principal
objective was the demolition of all
caste distinctions. Each new recruit to the Sabha had to undergo initiation ceremony, and take the pledge that he
would not observe any caste distinctions. He had to eat a slice of bread
baked by a Christian and drink water at the hands of a Muslim.
The Sabha was, however, a secret society; its meetings were conducted in the strictest
secrecy for fear of facing the wrath of the orthodox. The challenge to the
caste system and other social evils thus remained limited
to the participation of its few members only.
transformation into Prarthana Samaj was the direct consequence of two visits of
KC Sen to Bombay in 1864 & 1867
It was founded by Atmaram
Pandurang in 1867 inspired from the Brahmo Samaj & the main spirit
behind formation was MG Ranade who was ably assisted by KT. Telang
All leading members
were Western educated Maratha Chitpavan Brahmins .
was almost similar to
idolatry & priestly domination
Favoured Widow Remarriage
& raising age of marriage for both males & females .
connected themselves with Maharshtrian Bhakti Tradition .
Prarthana Samaj maintained
distinction from Brahmo Movement of Bengal & the most notable
distinction was they were moderate
& more accommodative. They didn’t signal a sharp break & this
gradualist approach made it more acceptable
It’s branches were opened in
Surat, Ahmedabad , Poona & reached even in South India where leader
was Veerasalingum Pantulu
It faced crisis in 1875 when
Swami Dayanand visited Gujarat & Maharashtra & offered
possibilities of a more radical & self assertive religious program
. A group of Samaj members under SP
& felt attracted to Arya Samaji ideology of Dayanand .
Side Topic : MG Ranade
was co-founder of Prarthana Samaj
He was a product of
the Elphinstone College, Bombay & was Judge of the Bombay High Court during 1891-
He held that the caste distinction was the main blot on Indian social system.
Under his guidance the
Paramhans Sabha was reorganised in 1867 under the name Prarthana
He was the founding
member of Indian National Congress , member of Bombay Legislative Council and
founding member of Indian
Social Conference (1887)
He was the editor of the Anglo
Marathi paper – Induprakash
Jyotirao Phule and Satyashodak Samaj
He was from Satara ,
In 1873, Phule established the Satyashodhak Samaj, an organization for challenging Brahmanic supremacy.
He promoted women education along with his wife
Savitribai Jyotirao Phule by
opening women schools.
He also worked for widow
remarriage and to prevent female infanticide, he opened homes for newborn
He wrote book titled GULAMGIRI
Ideology of Satyashodak Samaj
It was against untouchability & caste system
It opposed idolatry and Brahmin’s role as intermediary between person
Promotion of rational thinking
It also rejected Vedic
Servants of India Society
Started by Gopal Krishna Gokhale in 1905
band of dedicated workers for nation building
activities for the upliftment of Indians
Sri Narayan Guru & SNDP Yogam
Sri Narayan Guru was social
reformer born in 1854 in Kerala into
bhakti for spiritual freedom
Rejected divisiveness based on caste, religion etc
He was a pioneer reformer who rejected the caste system and stressed on the equality of man. He gave the universal message, “One caste, one religion, one God”
He was influenced by Vedanta.
He supported Temple entry movements.
Sri Narayana Guru condemned animal sacrifice
He urged the Ezhavas to leave the toddy tapping profession and even to stop drinking liquor.
Dr. Palpu, a devotee of Guru established the Sree
Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP Yogam) in 1903 to further Narayana Guru’s message
This article deals with ‘Money.’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
People have been trading with
each other even before the advent of money, coin, cash, currency, rupee,
dollar, euro or Yuan. They simply exchanged goods and services
with each other through barter system. Eg
1 kg rice for a 200 grams
1 kg tomatoes for 50 gm
almonds and so on
Problems with Barter System
It can happen only with Double Coincidence of wants
Search Cost / Cost of Transaction is high.
Don’t favour Division of Labour / Specialization : Due to above problems, all persons will try to become Jack of all trades but master of none.
Don’t favour Industrialisation : Industrialist will have to find large supply line with every person having double coincidence of demands
Don’t favour Concentration of wealth : Since all the wealth is perishable. Cant store tomatoes for long period of time
Problem of Divisibility of Value : In Barter System , you cannot always divide the value to buy whatever you want to.
Not always Fungible
(Fungible items = Division & Mutual substitution possible e.g. Gold bars, Currency Notes & Coins . Eg : if diamond is cut into smaller pieces , summation of all the smaller parts will not be equal to one bigger diamond . Hence, diamond isn’t fungible)
Benefits of Barter System
Promotes Joint Family
Food Inflation will be lower
in Barter Economy compared to Money Economy.
To answer above limitations of
Barter System, Money System was invented
Money serves following
a. Primary Functions
Measure of Value
Money serves as measure of value.
Eg : 1. Labour’s value in Money System is Wage 2. Land’s value in Money System is Rent etc
Medium of Exchange
– It is the medium of exchange. – Eg : Person earns money from his labour and that money is used to buy food
b. Secondary Functions
Due to above Primary Functions, it can be used for various Secondary Functions as well
Store of Value
– Value of labour paid in form of money => person can store the value for later use – Eg : Person can store value of his labour ie wage for later use.
Transfer of Value
– Value paid in form of money can be transferred to other place as well – Eg : Person earning in Bangalore can transfer it to his Parents in Punjab
– We can make deferred payments like paying in advance (like Paying Rent of Dish TV at once) or Paying later (eg taking car on loan) – This is possible because we can measure the time value of Money using Interest Rate
Benefits of Money Economy
Due to Money’s Primary and
Derivative Functions, it can be used for Social Empowerment, Dalit
Entrepreneurship etc. Labour and Service of each kind can be paid which wasn’t possible
in Barter Economy.
It also helps in Redistribution
of National Income (via System of Taxation)
Evolution of Money
1 . Commodity Money
This is the first stage in
Evolution of Money
In this, a particular
commodity is used to measure the value .
Eg : Cocoa Beans (used by
Aztecs) . Cowry Shells (in India) , Cigarettes (in Jails) etc
Note – Commodity Money has Intrinsic Value too.
Different Examples of Commodity Money
2. Metallic Money
In this, Traders and Kings used to stamp their marks on Coins to ensure that metal is of uniform quantity and quality.
It has Intrinsic Value
It is Non Perishable
It is divisible &
Even Foreign Trade possible
Full Bodied Coin vs Token Coin
Full Bodied Coin
– In this , Intrinsic Value of Coin is equal to or greater than face value – Eg : One Rupee Coin of British India (shown below) had face value of 1 ₹ but if somebody melted the Silver and sold that silver in the market, it was of greater than 1 ₹ .
– In this, Intrinsic Value of Coin is lower than its face value – Eg : Present 1 ₹ Coin
Issues with Full Bodied coin
Full Bodied coins result in
various problems . People start to melt metal from Coin and use it for
Same thing was seen in recent
past in Indian Coinage too. Indian ₹5 Coins were send to Bangladesh where
cost of metal was more . They used
to melt the coin and make blades out of that. To tackle this, Cupro-Nickel
coins were introduced so that such activities can be stopped .
Apart from that, in order to
adjust to inflation, government keep on reducing the metal content in the
coins to keep the intrinsic value of coin lesser than its face value. Along with
that, Melting Coins to use it for other purpose is punishable offence .
Issue of Debasement in Coins
In historical studies of
coinage system , issue of Debasement is important.
Eg: During the regime of Akbar , 1 Dam (copper coin) had 20
gram of metallic copper . But due to economic problems of empire during
the times of Aurangzeb, Dam consisted of
just 13 grams of metallic copper.
But debasement leads to other
problems. Since in those times, people had confidence in the Coinage
System because of the intrinsic value of the coin , reduction in Metallic
content reduces the confidence of
people in the coinage system and they start to move towards Barter System
of payment. As a result, state’s tax income decreases. Along with that,
state used to take commission for minting coin. Reduction in use of
coinage system further weakens the economy and vicious circle ultimately
leads to collapse of whole economy
3. Paper Currency
Genesis of paper
currency can be found in Hundis in which traders
used to pay metal at one place and take Hundi in order to avoid any theft
while carrying metal during large voyage. Later , State started to do the same work and
introduced Paper Currency.
Hence, it is called Fiduciary Money i.e. although paper has no intrinsic value of its own
but it is circulated because of trust in issuing authority.
Types of Fiduciary Money
a. Non-Legal Tender
Not issued by the Government
Eg : Bill of Exchange , Cheque , Bank Draft, Postal Orders
Also called Optional Money because its acceptance is optional
b. Legal Tender / Fiat Money
It is issued by the Government
Can be classified as Coin and Currency
It’s acceptance is not optional (have to accept) within the boundary of nation
Types of Legal Tender
b.a Limited Legal Tender (coin)
It can be used to settle
limited amount of Debt
According to Coinage Act ,
Using 50 paisa Coins ,
maximum debt of ₹10 ( can be settled)
Using ₹1 coin or above,
maximum debt of ₹1,000 can be settled.
All coins below 50
paisa are not legal tenders now (since 2011) (asked in UPSC – CDS)
b.b Unlimited Legal Tender (Currency)
Can be used to
settle unlimited amount of debt binding by the command of Government
Every Bank Note is legal tender in India.
Who Issues what ?
– All coins are issued by Government. Government can issue any amount of Coin (even 1,000 ₹ coin) – ₹ 1 Note is issued by Government with sign of Finance Secretary on it – ‘Anna system’ was changed to ‘Decimal system’ by amending Coinage Act in 1955
– Under RBI Act , all Notes except ₹1 can be issued by RBI with sign of RBI Governor on it
How Fiat Money is issued ?
a . Earlier Times
System : Earlier , Bank Notes were
backed by equivalent amount of gold . Notes amounting to equivalent
reserve of gold were issued. Eg
1 US dollar was issued
against 22 grain gold
1 British Pound was issued
against 113 grain gold
If this note was taken to
Central Bank, it paid equivalent amount of Gold in return.
But later due to various problems like printing more
cash during wars, cold war and depressions, this system was discarded.
b . Indian System
1935 to 56
RBI used to maintain 40% gold to value of currency issued .
1956 to 95
– India abandoned old system and moved to ‘Minimum Foreign Reserve System‘ – Under this, RBI was required to maintain 115 crore worth of gold and Rs. 400 Crore worth of Foreign Currency Security.
1995 to Present
– India is following ‘ Managed Paper Currency Standard‘ . – It means that, if any person with any bank note issued by RBI goes to RBI to exchange that note, RBI is bound to give him other notes and Token coins of equal face value.
Side Note : Mahatma Gandhi New Series Notes and portraits on them
Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha.
Humpi Chariot of Vittala Temple
Rani ki Vav on Saraswati river, Patan
Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh
Red Fort, Delhi
Mangal Yaan / Mars Orbiter Mission
(In Arts and Culture, prepare about these sites with care)
Other Information about Indian Currency
₹ sign designed by D.Udaya Kumar (Associate Professor @IIT Guwahati)
While 8th Schedule has 22 languages, but currency note has only 17
Wholesale withdrawal of currency from the
Every bank note is a
“legal tender” . But on
RBI Board’s recommendation, Government of India notifies that Specific Bank Notes
(SBN) are no longer legal tender (ie Demonetized)
8/Nov / 2016 : ₹500 &
₹1000 notes were demonetised
Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of
Liabilities) Act 2017: Government passed this Act to give legislative backing
to Demonetisation .RBI was not required to honour the promise written on old bank
notes. Limited number of Old notes can’t be kept except for research or
numismatics or museum
4. Bank Money
Backend of Bank Money too has Fiat Money .
Examples of Bank Money
Demand Draft : can’t be
dishonoured because amount is prepaid.
Overdraft : When
person’s bank account has insufficient
balance, still he is allowed to
draw more money than available in his bank (as a loan).
Debit and Credit Cards
Net Banking System
Unified Payment Interface
Advantages of Bank Money
Easy to transfer over long
Exact amount can be
Hard to counterfeit
Can freeze if stolen
Leave behind digital trail
Legally recognised for high
5. Crypto Currency
Genesis of Crypto Currency
During Sub-prime crisis,
Central Bank of US & other developed countries adopted Easy Money
Policy & as a
result purchasing power of $ decreased. Main cause of Subprime
Crisis was Banks who had given loans to Subprime Borrowers. Hence,
anarchists argued that Banks who were earning by charging fees , after
their failure made common people to suffer by reducing the purchasing
power of their hard earned money.
Cyber Anarchists decided to withdraw from Banking System and
start currency of their own which will not depend on Central Bank of any
2008 : Satoshi Nakamoto (name of online user but no body know who he is)
issued Online Paper .
2009 : Operation of Bitcoins
2016: Australian businessman
Craig Wright claimed he is Satoshi Nakamoto (but majority don’t believe
2020 : Price of Bitcoin
started to rise amidst Corona crisis due to fear that governments will
print money in excessive amounts to cover the fall in tax collections and
to cover unemployment benefits.
What is Crypto-Currency
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency created, stored and transacted
using blockchain technology.
Examples : Bitcoin, Digicoin,
Litecoin, Etherium, Laxmicoin etc.
Bitcoin invented by Satoshi Nakomoto (anonymous) is the most
How Bitcoins work ?
a. Technically Incorrect Example
Suppose there is gold mine and
person started to mine it with
tools. All the gold that is mined is converted to coin with serial
number on it by person sitting at exit of mine and registered in Ledger
The Coin that is produced can
be broken into smaller coins in order to pay for smaller transactions. But
each time bigger coin is broken to smaller coins, separate Registration
number is given to it and it is registered in Ledger again.
b. Working of Bitcoin
Instead of Gold Mine , Satoshi
Nakamoto has generated Cryptographic
‘Data Cube’ with algorithm . This Cube can be mined
using computer . When whole of ‘Data Cube’ will be mined, total of 21
million bitcoins will be generated .
Basic condition is same here
as well. Each and every coin that is generated has to be registered in
Bitcoin is divisible upto 10^8
Satoshi. But each time Bitcoin is divided, it has to be registered in
Public Ledger. Hence. every transaction is registered in Public Ledger.
For updating Ledger, Blockchain Technology is used (more on this later)
Bitcoin Wallet looks like
other Wallets (like PayTM Wallet)
One can send money to any
person using his Bitcoin-wallet’s Address and Password (Wallet address is random alpha-numeric)
But there is no requirement of
Name, Mobile Number and KYC Norms. One can send Bitcoins to other person
without knowing identity of other. Hence , it is very anonymous .
Benefits of Cryptocurrency
in International Use : Electronic transactions to other countries are expensive due to
currency conversion & processing fee levied by banks. Cryptocurrencies
solve this problem, as they have single valuation globally
use of pseudonyms conceals the identities, information and details of the
parties to the transaction
They are difficult to counterfeit compared to physical currency
because they use Blockchain Technology
Government’s Financial Retribution: For citizens in
repressive countries, where governments can easily freeze or seize the
bank accounts, cryptocurrencies are immune to any such seizure by the
Problem with Bitcoins
Used in carrying Illegal Activities because of Anonymity it offers
Various sites selling Drugs and other banned substances through Bitcoins like Silk Road came up
Bitcoins are used by criminals in case of cyber
attacks . Eg Wannacry episode
Bitcoins also started to be used for Tax Evasion and Terror Finance etc
Government is deprived of it’s taxes. Eg :On selling gold , government charges Capital Gains Tax but Bitcoin transactions are difficult to trace
Climate Change : Experts estimate that cryptocurrency mining related electricity consumption generates 20 megatonne CO2 annually.
Due to Bitcoin mining, demand of Graphic cards has increased and consequently price of graphic card has been doubled . Along with that, this is resulting of generation of tons of e-waste bad for ecology.
Uncertain Regulatory Environment
Uncertainty over Consumer Protection and Dispute Settlement Mechanisms: as Cryptocurrencies are decentralised
Highly Volatile : Explained Below
No intrinsic value : Explained below
Bitcoin Bubble / High Volatility ?
Whether this is Bubble or not ?
Enthusiasts argue that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are rapidly transforming into mainstream money that will offer serious competition to national currencies issued by central banks. Therefore they see bitcoin’s current price rise as merely a reflection of its bright future as a stateless currency.
Skeptics have pointed to the Tulip Bubble of the 17th century and Internet stocks of the late 1990s as cautionary examples. Bitcoins have no intrinsic value and their exponential rise is driven by emotion rather than value .
India and Bitcoin
Budget 2018 on
clarified that Crypto-currencies
are not legal tenders in India.
Government will eliminate the use of cryptocurrencies as
part of the payment systems.
BUT, India will use block-chain technology on which cryptocurrencies
are based for encouraging the digital economy.
2019 : Draft bill made by
Finance Ministry wrt Cryptocurrencies
Finance Ministry has made
Draft bill called ‘Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official
Digital Currency Bill, 2019’ which bans the use of all types of
cryptocurrencies issued by private operators and has provision of jail
upto 10 years.
permits RBI to launch Blockchain based digital currency
RBI has notified all the regulated entities (like Banks, Card Companies
etc) that they can’t help anyone to
buy/sell bitcoins or any other Virtual Currency
Monetary Policy update : Cryptocurrencies are dangerous wrt
consumer protection and can be used for money laundering.
Virtual Currencies & World
Different countries have different
countries have restricted and prohibited the use of Virtual Currencies (India,
China, Bolivia etc) while others allow
it’s use in regulated form (Japan, US, Australia, South Africa etc)
Virtual Currencies and Blockchain
Based things started by various countries
Bond issued by the World Bank in Australia which is based on Blockchain technology .
UNICEF and Bitcoins
In October of 2019 , UNICEF announced that they will accept donations through Bitcoins along will all the other sovereign currencies of the world .
October 2019 : People’s Bank of China announced that they will launch their own Crypto-currency
In 2018 – January, President Nicolas Maduro announced the following: 1. Government of Venezuela decided to issue 100 million Petro coins – a type of cryptocurrency. 2. Price of 1 Petro coin = market price of one oil barrel from Venezuela.
– Marshall Island’s legal tender is US Dollar. – In 2018-February, they launched a sovereign cryptocurrency, called “Digital Sovereign” or SOV. However, unlike BITCOINS, this SOV will not have any anonymity.
– Cryptocurrency announced by Facebook . – Unlike other Cryptocurrencies, Mark Zuckerberg has announced that it will be backed by assets in reserve. But countries like France have openly rejected Libra as it will set precedent of currencies of MNCs and challenge the sovereignty of nation states .
Side Topic : Stable Coins Cryptocurrencies backed by assets like Libra