The Ailing Planet – Nani Palkhiwala

We study hard so that we get a good, ground-breaking degree. We secure a job with a degree certificate and earn $10,000 per month. We marry the best models in the locality and have children - one, two, three, four, or whatever. And then? We send them to the best schools, train them to get a better degree, say robotics or Space Engineering. What next? Sure that they will have enough oxygen to breathe and water to drink and fire to cook?



More than ever the planet earth is losing its vitality and freshness. Due to human development activities throughout the globe the earth has become highly polluted, highly irreparable and highly damaged. We have taken out petroleum, coal and a lot of natural resources from the earth. We have removed more than half of world’s vegetation and emitted large quantity of carbon and a lot of other chemicals. We have destroyed marine life and made rivers dry. Moreover our greed for more and more wealth resulted in depleting the protective ozone layer and invited all harmful rays to the earth’s surface. Besides, we have brought out a great imbalance between humans and the other species of the earth.


  • The earth is an ailing, dying planet.
  • Human development process brought the planet to the verge of dying.
  • We have been exploiting this planet recklessly by building cities, by clearing forests and by a number of other activities including mining.
  • We have caused the depletion of the four major resources – forests, grasslands, croplands and fisheries.
  • For long we hadn’t been aware of our responsibilities to the planet’s health but the Green Movement marked the beginning.
  • The Green Movement corrected some of our incorrect judgment in connection with our understanding of the planet.
  • We are not the owners of this planet. We are not the bosses but partners in survival.
  • We should understand that it is our duty to leave the earth serene. We don’t own the planet, not an acre land; we live in a rented planet and therefore have no rights to construction or destruction.
  • Population control is the foremost remedy.
  • It is time for the most populated countries in the world – India the “worst example,” are we giving birth to more people or more burden?


  1. Why is the earth said to be an ailing planet?
    Due to the insensitive exploitation by humans for his survival and development, the earth has lost almost all its vital resources. With drying rivers, depleted and polluted environment and deteriorated forests and greenery, the earth is now breathing hard for its survival and thus it is an ailing planet.
  2. What is the significance of Green Movement in the modern world?
    The Green Movement that was found in New Zealand in the year 1972 brought a great awareness to the humanity. It taught us that we are just partners on the earth having equal rights to inhabit this planet as any other living organism has. Having learnt this, human beings worldwide stopped large amount of destruction that it used cause upon the earth. People realized that the earth’s existence was threatened and began to do whatever was possible by each individual and each nation.
  3. What did the most dangerous animal on the earth learn in the recent time?
    The most dangerous animal, man, has learnt in the recent years a new lesson – that he is not the master of the planet but just one among the rest of the animals and trees, plants and insects, who should live like a partner in survival, the safeguard, trustee of the earth.
  4. What was the question raised by the First Brandt Commission? What does it suggest? What is the significance of this question?
    The first Brandt Report raised the question, “Are we going to leave behind for our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and ailing planet?” This question finds an answer in our minds but we quite conveniently forgets this answer. It has been proved in the recent years that the earth is becoming hotter planet every year and another ice-age is under way. This question is still significant and will remain significant until the only schooled animal of the earth stops his war against the planet.
  5. “What goes under the pot now costs more than what goes inside it.” Explain. 
    With a growing population and the pace of the global developments taking wings, the cost of food touched a new height, all time high. Amazingly, the cost of cooking-gas overtook that of food-grains, fish, meat and vegetables, thus the fuel to cook – gas, firewood and electricity – now costs more than the raw-food.
  6. Why is it said that forest precedes mankind?
    No animal on the planet earth ever caused damage to it but humans have been causing serious destruction upon the earth ever since he had evolved. By cutting down trees for his survival and development humans have established their monopoly over the other species. Thus, with the coming of humans, the existence of forest was threatened.
  7. What did Lester Brown mean when he said that we have not inherited this earth from our forefathers, we have borrowed it from our children?
    Lester Brown believes that the present population of the earth has no right to think that the earth is its property. Each one has to believe that he is having full responsibility to keep the earth protected from all kinds of misuse. He has to feel that the earth is place that he has to return to the generations to come. Brown further furnishes that human beings have no right to misuse the earth because we are accountable to the new generations after us.
  8. How is human population explosion the biggest threat to the existence of the ailing earth?
    Human population is the biggest threat to the existence of the earth. Though it reached a billion in a million years, another billion was added to the world population in just another hundred years. Every four or five days the world population increases by one million. The effects of this dangerous increase in world population are endless yet the most catastrophic one is our present struggle for existence.
  9. What does the empty cage and the board in the zoo in Luzaka mean?
    In a zoo in Luzaka there is a mirror kept in one of the cages that is said to be the cage of the most dangerous animal in the world. The visitor sees his own face in the mirror and realizes that he is that most dangerous animal. The message is that human beings have won the infamous other than that of a zoo animal. The board message conveyed is a warning to the most dangerous animal to come in terms with the earth.
  10. What was the question raised by first Brandt Commission?
    The first Brandt Commission raised a very serious question to the humanity regarding its obligations to the ailing planet. It asked if we are to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and ailing environment.

For more questions, click on the ANALYSIS TABS above!!

Longer Questions

  1. What are the four principal biological systems? How are they the foundation of the global economic system?
    The four principal biological systems of the earth are fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. In addition to supplying our food, these four systems provide virtually all the raw materials for industry except minerals and petroleum-derived synthetics.
  2. Why is tropical forest called the powerhouse of evolution?
    It is in the heart of the tropical forests where newer plants and animals evolve to more adaptable forms.
  3. How is population responsible for the environment degradation?
    With rising population, space that nature assigned for forests and animals. More population means less forests and animals. Unfortunately man’s first choice is nature and it is sadly vulnerable and an easy prey. When cities and megacities occupy the major portion of the earth, the ecological balance is said to be lost.
  4. What does more children mean to the poor section of people of India?
    Poverty is directly caused by illiteracy and lack of education. The illiterate and uninformed poor people of India believe that more children is more income. In fact more children means more responsibility and more poverty and an unhealthy family and individual.
  5. What does Mr. Edgar S Woolard mean by assuming the post of his company’s Chief Environment Officer?
    Mr. Edgar S Woolard, chairman of DuPont, an international manufacturer, by co-assuming the post of the company’s Chief Environmental Officer (CEO), stands a model for the owners and chairpersons of all the industries worldwide. He implies that the chief motive of an industry is to preserve the stability and life of the earth and profit comes next.
  6. Margaret Thatcher says, “No generation has a freehold on this earth. All we have is a life tenancy – with full repairing lease.” How is this statement significant today?
    Everyone says, “it is my land” and “that is your land.” People fight for other territories and encroach the neighbor’s land. It is here what British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher’s observation gains importance. We are not supposed to occupy the earth considering that the planet belongs to us and that we can exploit the planet any way we like. We, on the contrary, have to extract the resources so careful that the generation that comes after us will have a better land and sea, a less dense forest, cleaner water and clearer sky.
  7. What are our ethical obligation to the ailing planet?
    Human beings have the greatest obligation to the earth to safeguard this planet from all advancing deterioration and keeping it safe so that it can be handed over to the coming generations to inhabit here peacefully and in the midst of abundance.
  8. How do you explain the concept of sustainable development?
    Sustainable development is the kind development activities that meet the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This kind of development is expected to be undertaken without stripping the natural world of resources that the future generations would need.
  9. How do fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands form the foundation of global economic system?
    A majority of the world population depends on sea food for their survival while forests provide firewood, raw materials for production and timber for construction. Grasslands are the destination of cattle and herds of animals and without them, domestic and wild animals, the global economic system cannot survive. Each one is depending on the other while it help the other to survive. There are nations, except the gulf countries that depend on petroleum, that solely depend on forests and fisheries and croplands for trade and sustenance.
  10. Is Indian constitution capable of safeguarding its forests?
    So far, with all the measures adopted, the government has not been able to safeguard its forests effectively. India’s constitution is ostentatiously rich and effective but when it comes to enforcement, it miserably fails or it is not entirely successful.
  11. Discuss a way how students can partake in saving the ailing planet. 
    Online learning is a widely accepted concept in the twenty first century among students and teachers. By learning from credible and authentic websites, students say goodbye to papers and save large number of trees. Roughly 20 Million trees are cut every year for making paper pulp therefore Online learning to a great extend saves trees. In the last ten years, so many web based Learning Management Systems (LMS) have made their presence felt and they have considerably replaced traditional paper guides. For example, Kiddingtown, a US based firm initiated total e-learning for students and teachers worldwide. It aims to bring down the use of paper and trees by encouraging students who formerly learnt bulk loads of guides and printed materials. Students need to actively embark to similar forms of resources and encourage their friends to make use of the virtual schools.

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21Aug 2014

CBSE Class IX English

Total Marks : 100

  • Reading : 20 Marks
  • Writing & Grammar : 25 Marks
    • Article/Letter to Editor (5)
    • Story (10)
    • Gap Filling (3)
    • Editing/Omission (4)
    • Sentence Reordering/Sentence Transformation (3)
  • Literature : 25 Marks
  • ASL : 20 Marks
  • FAs : 10 Marks

CBSE Class XI English

  • Reading : 20 Marks
  • Writing & Grammar : 25 Marks
    • Article
    • Letter to Editor
    • Business Letters
      • Inquiry
      • Placing Order
      • Complaint
      • Job Application Letter
    • Speech
    • Advertisements
    • Notice Writing
    • Poster
    • Gap Filling
    • Editing/Omission
    • Sentence Reordering/Sentence Transformation
  • Literature : 25 Marks
    • Summer of the Beautiful White Horse
    • The address
    • Ranga’s Marriage
    • Portrait of a lady
    • A Photograph
    • We are not afraid if we can all be together
    • Discovering Tut
    • The Laburnum Top
    • Voice of the rainChildhood
    • The Ailing Planet
  • ASL : 20 Marks
  • FAs : 10 Marks

Marks Weightage

A weightage of 20 marks has been added for assessing Speaking and Listening Skills (ASL) in Std IX and X in the following courses of English in the Summative Assessment – I and Summative Assessment – II, as per the curriculum 2015 guidelines.

The written paper will be of 70 marks and the assessment of Speaking and Listening carries 20 marks i.e. 70+20 = 90 marks in SA I and SA II respectively.

As per the Curriculum document 2014 guidelines, only 10 marks had been added in a written paper of 80 marks in Std IX and X. The modified syllabus under Section D of both English Language & Literature (Annexure-I) and Communicative Course (Annexure-II) for class X (2013-14) with Value Based Questions is attached with this notification.

The CBSE has asked schools that the Assessment of Speaking and Listening (ASL) has to be conducted by every school in class X (2013-14) also. The weightage of 10 marks will be added in the written paper of 80 marks to make it 90 marks for each Summative Assessment respectively. As part of evidence of Assessment schools are expected to maintain the files of audio recording of the Speaking Assessment of students to be sent to the CBSE along with the Award list of Speaking and Listening for SA II Examination.

The modified guidelines of the Speaking and Listening assessment are being uploaded on the CBSE Academic website very shortly. All the head of schools may schedule the conduct of the school-based assessment for Std X for SA-II from November 15 till December 15 each year, to avoid any inconvenience. The monitoring of the school based assessment of speaking and listening skills will be done by the CBSE with the help of trained Monitors and Oral Examiners.

20Aug 2014

Mobile phones are used for a variety of purposes, including keeping in touch with family members, conducting business, and having access to a telephone in the event of an emergency. Some people carry more than one cell phone for different purposes, such as for business and personal use. Multiple SIM cards may also be used to take advantage of the benefits of different calling plans—a particular plan might provide cheaper local calls, long-distance calls, international calls, or roaming. The mobile phone has also been used in a variety of diverse contexts in society, for example:

A study by Motorola found that one in ten cell phone subscribers have a second phone that often is kept secret from other family members. These phones may be used to engage in activities including extramarital affairs or clandestine business dealings. Some organizations assist victims of domestic violence by providing mobile phones for use in emergencies. They are often refurbished phones.

The advent of widespread text messaging has resulted in the cell phone novel; the first literary genre to emerge from the cellular age via text messaging to a website that collects the novels as a whole. Mobile telephony also facilitates activism and public journalism being explored by Reuters and Yahoo! and small independent news companies such as Jasmine News in Sri Lanka.

The United Nations reported that mobile phones have spread faster than any other technology and can improve the livelihood of the poorest people in developing countries by providing access to information in places where landlines or the Internet are not available, especially in the least developed countries. Use of mobile phones also spawns a wealth of micro-enterprises, by providing work, such as selling airtime on the streets and repairing or refurbishing handsets.

In Mali and other African countries, people used to travel from village to village to let friends and relatives know about weddings, births and other events, which are now avoided within mobile phone coverage areas, which is usually greater than land line penetration.
The TV industry has recently started using mobile phones to drive live TV viewing through mobile apps, advertising, social tv, and mobile TV. 86% of Americans use their mobile phone while watching TV.

In parts of the world, mobile phone sharing is common. It is prevalent in urban India, as families and groups of friends often share one or more mobiles among their members. There are obvious economic benefits, but often familial customs and traditional gender roles play a part. It is common for a village to have access to only one mobile phone, perhaps owned by a teacher or missionary, but available to all members of the village for necessary calls.

Prior to 2010, Nokia was the market leader. However, since then competition emerged in the Asia Pacific region with brands such as Micromax, Nexian, and i-Mobile and chipped away at Nokia’s market share. Android powered smartphones also gained momentum across the region at the expense of Nokia. In India, their market share also dropped significantly to around 31 percent from 56 percent in the same period. Their share was displaced by Chinese and Indian vendors of low-end mobile phones.

In Q1 2012, based on Strategy Analytics, Samsung surpassed Nokia, selling 93.5 million units and 82.7 million units, respectively. Standard & Poor’s has also downgraded Nokia to ‘junk’ status at BB+/B with negative outlook due to high loss and still declined with growth of Lumia smartphones was not sufficient to offset a rapid decline in revenue from Symbian-based smartphones over the next few quarters.

Quantity Market Shares by Gartner (New Sales)

  • Samsung 2012  22.0%
  • Samsung 2013 24.6%
  • Nokia 2012 19.1% Nokia 2013 13.9%
  • Apple 2012 7.5% Apple 2013 8.3%
  • LG Electronics 2012 3.3%
  • LG Electronics 2013 3.8%
  • ZTE 2012 3.9%
  • ZTE 2013 3.3%
  • Others 2012 34.9%
  • Others 2013 34.0%

Note: Others-1 consist of Sony Ericsson, Motorola, ZTE, HTC and Huawei.(2009-2010)

Courtesy – Wikipedia

09Aug 2014

The Magic of Six

Six and You! You will love to know why 6 is such a very important number for you. Take your writing a letter, an article, speech, debate, report writing or even a letter to editor. If you understand what 6 can do to help with regards to them, you are pretty lucky. Almost all the above mentioned compositions have the element of 6 - introduction, facts, causes, consequences, solutions/blames and closing. Again, in standardizing your answer quality, follow 6 in a different way: introduction, content, grammar, structure, handwriting and finally appearance! See!!

Now look at a notice or advertisement or poster or an invitation. There is the same 6 again. A notice has the Organization’s name first, NOTICE second, Program name third, Date next, Content then and finally the closing section as the sixth element. Look at a classified advertisement, again 6 elements to make the content - What is for sale, how old/new it is, qualifications/qualities, location, expected price/salary/rest and finally contact person and phone number. Take a report and check – What happened, when happened, where happened, how happened, measures taken and finally blames/solutions.

What about note making? You will be surprised because it is again six! Look at the structure – Title first, sub-heading one, sub-heading two, sub-heading three, keys to abbreviations fifth and summary at the end. What about the max/min number of abbreviations? 6 is the finest. Words per line? Maximum 6. Summary? 60 words or 6 lines.

The magic of 6 is endless if you have the patience to read further. Take any chapter; Last Lesson has 6 elements - M. Hamel, Franz, Watcher, Old Houser, the Prussians and the sixth, children. Lost Spring 6 – Saheb, Mukesh, Savita, Mukesh’s father, his grandmother and the middlemen. Deep Water mentions some bodies of water where William Douglas learnt swimming – take them for six. Tiger King, the king of Pratibandapuram (the city of Obstacles) faced just 6 obstacles in life – the astrologer’s prediction, the new astrologer’s challenging him, the British officer’s arrival, the extinction of tiger population in his forest, the dilemma for the 100th tiger and the sixth, his falling ill!

Coming Soon - Sure to 97

03Jul 2014

I am inspired to write this article after listening to a mother who said, “I fear my son will have a hard time through this year!” She was just disclosing her son’s character and traits and I thought some tips would help so many parents for the years to come.

At first, believe me, I am just a tutor – someone who gets access to the students’ rooms as well as into his/her minds. Having taught over some 500 students in the last 12 years, I believe that I have acquired as much experience as to advise some of you or many of you.

You will never let your child hear you say, “He is not confident.” There is nothing worse than that!

6 Myths about Board Exams

  1. One cannot score 100% in English.
  2. Board papers are checked by inexperienced teachers.
  3. All that matters is how much you write.
  4. Appearance is not very important. Keep on writing.
  5. Teachers do not cut/reduce marks for grammar errors.
  6. Student can impress the teacher with complicated, difficult, unusual vocabulary

Best Practices

  • Learn stories from the character-plot point of view. Bit/Bits on this site will help you.
  • Learn poems from the vocabulary point of view. Each word is to be learnt.
  • Learn drama by repeated reading. You should know who said, who heard and what was meant.
  • Learn writing sections from two points of view:
    • Format. You lose a mark for a format error!
    • language. Each composition has a unique style of language – mostly formal.
  • Do not mug-up from guides. You can, if you have no other choice.


  1. Master all the lessons and formats before September-October
  2. Read answers from guides but do not learn them by heart.
  3. After having made a study of how to write answers, start writing answers yourselves.
  4. Get your answers checked by your tutors or other experts.

How to Answer

  1. Do not correct/over-write/cut any words. If you committed just one or two errors, ignore them.
  2. If the error is very serious, strike it with a single line.
  3. Each answer should have relevant value points. No irrelevant info.
  4. Leave one line between two answers.
  5. Follow ABC or ABCD pattern.

5 Star Answer

We have a very special way to prepare you write 5-Star answers. If you can score all the five stars, you can score a minimum of 95% marks in your exams. The following constitute the 5 stars.

  1. The HEAD and TAIL : The circumstance, format and ending.
    Example Question – Why did M Hamel blame himself in the last class?
    Example Answer – M. Hamel had been an elementary school teacher in Alsace for forty years. Although he was a disciplinarian, he shrieked from his duty by declaring a day off for the school whenever he thought of going for fishing. Besides, he made his students water his plants.
  2. Content : Rich with textual ideas
    Example Question – Why did M Hamel blame himself in the last class?
    Example Answer - M. Hamel had been an elementary school teacher in Alsace for forty years. Although he was a disciplinarian, he shrieked from his duty by declaring a day off for the school whenever he thought of going for fishing. Besides, he made his students water his plants.
  3. Grammar : Tense Mix, “didn’t went,” etc
    Example Question – Why did M Hamel blame himself in the last class?
    Example Answer - M. Hamel had been an elementary school teacher in Alsace for forty years. Although he is a disciplinarian, he shriek from his duty by declaring a day off for the school whenever he think of going for fishing. Besides, he made his students watered his plants.
  4. Order : First thing first
    Example Question – Why did M Hamel blame himself in the last class?
    Example Answer - Although he was a disciplinarian, he shrieked from his duty by declaring a day off for the school whenever he thought of going for fishing. M. Hamel had been an elementary school teacher in Alsace for forty years. Besides, he made his students water his plants.
  5. Appearance : Handwriting, cutting, spacing, etc.

Simplicity Scores High

  • Never believe that ‘out-of-the-box’ vocabulary can impress the teacher. It is nothing but myth. Teachers love simple answers with words that best describe.


  • Do not write as if your answer cannot end. Why to waste time?
  • Note well, you should know the word-limits. Never write a 200-word answer for a 150-word answer.
  • Stop before you knew that!

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