To Geography And You
November - December 2012
I was delighted to see the Census issue of G’nY. It is my favourite subject and I keep reading about it. Did you know that the Census this year has many firsts to its credit? Foremost among them is the creation of a National Population Register (NPR), a database of all ‘residents’ (as opposed to citizens) above the age of 15 years - which of course you have talked about in your articles. The NPR will be a biometric database that will include photographs, fingerprints and iris prints apart from relevant demographic information. But this initiative yet to be undertaken anywhere else in the world, will incur an expenditure of Rs 3,539.24 crore.Abhijit Dasgupta’s article titled ‘Our Census: Our Future’ is unaware about this huge cost. The biometrics information will be fed into the UID which will generate unique IDs for all ‘usual’ residents (temporary/permanent and legal/ illegal living in the country for at least 6 months). At the final step, all this information will be compiled into a smart card that will become a basic identity document for all government residents. Critiques of the exercise have been in the similar vein to that of the UID initiative: the issue of citizens’ privacy; lack of a cost-benefit analysis; and ultimately its uncertain utility. In other firsts, citizens’ access to new technologies like mobiles, computers and internet will also be recorded as part of the Census. The 2011 Census has detailed questions on disability, an attempt to recognise multiple types of disorders, apart from simply recording overall numbers. The ‘other’ category will help register illnesses like cerebral palsy and autism, which don’t fall into any of the other sections. However, concerns remain about the accuracy of the information, given the social stigma that continues to impact the differently-abled in our society. Respondents or their families may conceal disability, especially of a mental nature, because of a fear of being ostracised. The caste based census, another first, will have a caste wise composition of the Indian population. Last but not the least the ‘other category’ has been introduced in the sex and work related sections, for the first time. The other category will pertain to transgenders and prostitutes, respectively. Many see this as a positive move; offering some recognition to two of the most marginalised groups in the Indian society instead of rendering them invisible as before.
- S Ranganathan, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
I got hold of the September-October 2012 issue of G’nY magazine at a friend’s place who has been subscribing for many years. I found the magazine, both in terms of presentation as well as content, to be really good. Particularly the historical facts about census in India is quite interesting. But I do not agree that a caste census should be undertaken, particularly when the nation is becoming more cosmopolitanism as we are all turning into world citizens. Why are we than moving in a backward direction? Why should our youth know about which caste he belongs to and why should one look for reservation benefits in the selection of one’s career. The politicians should understand that reservation will help someone get a government job, but not in creative fields. And a country develops because of its creative talents and not because of its government officials. I wish we as a nation could think of our development in a positive manner and not with negative discrimination.
- Rameshwar Singh, Patna, Bihar.
Bringing on Societal Change
The Delhi rape case has been an eye opener in many ways. Demands for capital punishment, stringent rape laws, speedy handling etc., are ‘cures’ after ‘the act’. What about prevention? It is not the question of either-or, several simultaneous steps are needed. More importantly, as long as women or girls are not treated as persons in their own right and not as a commodity to be consumed - under the garb of institutionalised endorsement or otherwise, they and their bodies would be violated one way or the other. Home is the place where initial socialisation takes place - discrimination in any one way between girls and boys will start the process! Our youth is our hope.
- Prof Saraswati Raju,Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
September - October 2012
I must thank the Editor of G’nY for taking up an important issue like soil degradation. We have polluted our rivers sufficiently, we have almost destroyed our coastal landscapes and now we are degrading our soils with a vengeance. Driving down our national highways one can easily spot the many official and unofficial landfills along the road, with plastic litter strewn miles away. Municipal solid wastes, hazardous wastes, biomedical wastes, e-wastes etc., are immediate and constant threats to soil degradation in the country. One of the articles published in the July-August issue of G’nY estimates that at the present rate of garbage creation, by 2047 we would require land equivalent to that covered by Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore together, for our landfills. Statistically, India is supporting 14 per cent of the world population in 7 per cent of its land area. Perhaps G’nY needs to be circulated amongst the highest echelons of this country to enable proactive thinking.
- Sunil Kumar Singh, Asst. Professor, Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
Soil rich issue of G’nY
I was extremely delighted to see the July-August issue of G’nY. The article on ‘land degradation, environmental concern and food security’ beautifully examines how poorly handled land induces poverty and migration. However, on the flip side it seems that land degradation has become remunerative as it in fact brings in more value with land sharks perpetuating malpractices to declare land unfit for agriculture. A case in point may be the agricultural land around National Capital Region falling in the states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh - which have been degraded first and then converted in the commercial land. Builders have then developed them for residential/official purposes. Perhaps the Union Government needs to take up the issue of soils upgradation seriously to put a check on poor land practices.
- Dr Rakesh Prasad, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Singapore model of waste management.
Instead of wasting our land as landfill, the government should opt for the Singapore model of waste management. Collection of waste from residential and trade premises in Singapore is done by designated agencies by the local administration. They are also required to provide recycling services under the National Recycling Programme (NRP). For commercial and industrial premises, the waste is collected separately by licensed general waste collectors. The waste collected are disposed off at the four incineration plants and the offshore Semakau landfill. Wastes that are incinerable are sent to the plants while non-incinerable waste and incineration ashes are sent to the landfill. About 90 per cent of wastes are incinerated and 10 per cent are landfilled. In 2011, about 6.9 million tonnes of waste was generated in Singapore (each person generated around 1,330 kg of waste in a year). The recycling rate in Singapore for 2011 is 59 per cent and has been increasing steadily over the years. This should inspire our policy makers.
- Dr Rekha Bhardwaj, Ranchi, Jharkhand.
I read G’nY the first time in Dr Kalyan Banerjee’s clinic in New Delhi. I then looked up the website and have been ever since reading every flip book that you have put up on the site. It is truly wonderful that you put up this praise-worthy product, free of cost, onto the website for the consumption of all. It seems that you are truly dedicated to the cause of knowledge dissemination amongst our people. I have read somewhere that your mission is to bring in quality reading habits and that I think is a commendable task. I have however, just one suggestion that if topic wise archival was enabled then it would be a lot easier for researchers like me to use the range of material available in G’nY. I understand that the magazine is being published from 2001 onwards - and its archival would really be a huge task - but it would be of enormous help for all.
- Dr R Ramaiah, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
I must congratulate you for the attractive cover and the title for the May-June 2012 issue of G’nY. I read almost all the articles and I would like to make special mention of Preserving the Perishing Paradises. This article of Rasik Ravindra brings out in unambiguous terms that ‘the Earth has physical and biological limits and it is of utmost importance that these limits are honoured.’ The problem today is that we do not know our limits or we do not know the limits of our greed. In the name of development more often than not we cross our limits. The policy formulation by the Government lacks basic information. The laws are made, rules and regulations are passed without taking into account the ground realities. Our policies are short term and short sighted. When the developed countries keep 50 to 100 years in mind while developing their infrastructure, we in India plan for 5 to 10 years. I think it is high time that we changed our perspective and plan for a green future. I hope to see more such issues of G’nY in the future.
- Dr R Ramaiah, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Mindless Urban Growth
Ironically, India will probably be the only country in the world which does not have an urban development policy. The way housing is done in this country, we can surely win an award for our haphazardness. There is absolutely no control on the size of plotting, the architectural style, quality of construction, etc. It is a free country as far as construction of a housing unit is concerned. You can construct your house any way you want, back to front. The best example of haphazard housing can be seen in the NCR area of Delhi, where the concept of green belt, space, road, sewerage etc. is the last priority. Why can’t our civic bodies control the mindless, unhealthy mushrooming of jungles of concrete?
-Sanjiv Chandra, New Delhi
IMD and weather prediction
We have been conditioned with many things since our childhood. One such conditioning is the vagaries of monsoons. We were taught that our agriculture is completely dependent on monsoons. And there are years of good monsoons and years of bad monsoons. Now our India Meteorological Department, lovingly known as IMD, having a huge infrastructure across the country, have been trying to predict the good and bad in monsoons for centuries now. With varied departments under its jurisdiction the IMD has been making a gamut of short and long term predictions. So far roughly 50,000 crore of tax payers money have been spent on predictions. The Government of India through Ministry of Earth Sciences is proposing to buy super computers worth thousands of crores more to achieve ‘accurate’ predictions. But alas, we are yet to be bestowed with that elusive ‘model’ that will magically transform our understanding of the monsoons. There are two ways to look at it. First - why do we really need the monsoon predictions? What if our farmers make alternative arrangements (as the large farmers are already doing) - not depending on free rain water at all - using it instead to recharge the aquifer, and various other uses which agro and water scientists may advice. However, this will make thousands of brilliant scientists working in the IMD ‘jobless’. Second - we can outsource the prediction to the countries that have been predicting weather successfully for many decades at say one per cent of the cost which the Government of India is paying as salary to our scientists. Then again that too would make our scientists ‘jobless’. Perhaps then a third alternative needs to be ferreted.
- Raj Kumar Kejriwal, Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan
I read an article titled ‘Inland Waterways: The Eco-friendly Network’ by Ravi Kant in the May- June 2012 issue of G’nY. It is quite surprising to know that this is one sector which has declined after we attained our Independence. This means that we have deliberately ignored a well developed green network of transportation, continuation of which could have not only saved massive investment in commercial vehicles, but also the huge amount of pollution. I think the government should bring out a legislation by which transportation of certain goods viz. bulky items, heavy items etc. should be made compulsory by the waterways.
- Dharmendra Kumar Rout, Kolkata, West Bengal
Emerging Science-Geopolitics interface in the Polar Realms
The International Conference held during 9-11 March, 2012 on Science and Geopolitics of Arctic and Antarctic (i-SaGAA 2012) in New Delhi saw an outstanding gathering of over hundred eminent scientists/professors/policy makers from around the world. The session on geopolitics and the session on biotechnology were most interesting. Thanks for all the hospitality in Delhi. The whole event was well organised and a great success.
-Dr Savita Kerkar, Goa University, Goa.
The first session on Science and Geopolitics was a totally new field for some of us and helped us learn new perspectives from geopolitical angle including strategies and difficulties in involving all in the global common. The other sessions helped realise situations when experiments do not yield results envisaged. Thank you for the good interactions we have had at the i-SaGAA.
-Dr P A Loka Bharthi, Chief Scientist, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa.
We compliment you and others at LIGHTS Research Foundation for the success of the
i- SaGAA. The publication of papers presented in the Conference in the form of a book is certainly a good idea and I will try my best to contribute.
-Rasik Ravindra, Director, National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa.
Thank you very much for giving me an opportunity for taking part in the Conference and meet many eminent people related to polar research.
-C N Ravishankar, Principal Scientist, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin.
Thanks for arranging such a great Conference. I am enclosing my paper to be published as proceeding of the i-SaGAA 2012 Conference.
-John Turner, British Antarctic Survey, UK.
Discussions on geopolitics were really very informative and worthwhile. Although there was a lot of discussion about keeping science away from politics but there were wonderful outcomes recommended by delegates regarding policies that will help to grow science in these remote regions.
-Dr Parmanand Sharma Scientist, National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa.
Thank you for inviting me to Chair the first session of i-SaGAA. It was a stimulating experience and I greatly enjoyed being among the panel of experts. The session was a grand success.
-Swashpawan Singh, Former Ambassador and permanent representative of India to the United Nations in Geneva.
i-SaGAA 2012 was very well organised by LIGHTS under the dynamic leadership of Dr D P S Seth and Ms Sulagna Chattopadhyay and their team. The topics chosen were in line with the global change and the Antarctic Treaty and Arctic Council. The experts/speakers have been chosen with utmost care, who have presented Polar
science and its implications on the planet earth with in-depth analysis.
-Dr V Sampath (Former Advisor, Ministry of Earth Sciences).
Thanks for a wonderful Conference. It was such a great experience, both professionally and mentally. The LIGHTS team has done outstanding work and I want to congratulate you all!.
-Dr Timo Koivurova, Director, Northern Institute of Environmental and Minority Law, University of Lapland, Finland.
Many thanks to the entire LIGHTS team for making the Conference a huge success.
-Dr T Meloth National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa.
I have pleasure in sending you my paper for the i-SaGAA book that is to be published in the aftermath of the i-Sagaa 2012. The Conference was a wonderful experience.
-Professor John M. Reynolds, Reynolds International Ltd, UK.
Polar Relevance I have been following your publication from 2009 onwards. I have read your Polar Realms (December 2011) issue too. While it all seems very informative and no doubt very important - I was wondering how relevant it is for the people of this country to know about such issues - or to be proactive about it. We have millions of problems that are crying out for attention and redressal. It would be perhaps a better usage of this medium if you highlight water, population, health and other concerns that are urgently in need of pressure groups/environmentalists. As the editor some retrospection is perhaps warranted.
-Naveen Bhanot, via email.
I found the school edition of Planet Earth in a College Street stall in Kolkata. I have been hugely benefitted and I thank the team for publishing such an excellent magazine. I have now been following all your magazines and have requisitioned old copies too.
-Ayan Bagchi, Salt Lake, Kolkata, via email.
I wanted to inform the G’nY team that we recently redecorated our living room with traditional Chhattisgarhi artefacts, from door handles to statuettes in dhokra art, and iron wall decorations in loha shilpa. I have been getting a lot of appreciation since then. I have ofcourse known about the crafts, but reading about them in your magazine fired my imagination. I love the Indian look and encourage others to visit ‘Tribes’ or ‘Shabari’ showrooms in Delhi..
-Kamalpreet, via email.
We subscribe your magazine in our school. Although I am a great fan of your work - however, I would like to bring to your notice that none of your articles pertain to planetary movements. I have observed that G’nY does not have any sections related to planetary movement. Perhaps you may consider setting up a column for the sake of avid sky-watchers - as we rely on G’nY for authentic information.
-Vivek Mohan, Asansol.
We have learnt that LIGHTS Research Foundation in collaboration with G’nY is undertaking survey projects. We want to participate as volunteers for a survey. It would be very helpful if you kindly write about the ongoing survey projects in your website or publish it in your magazine so that people like us may participate.
-Laura, Mini, Kanchan and Frederick, Allepey.
The monsoons herald new beginnings for India. I am a regular reader and find your magazine good - however, despite you calling yourself an environment magazine I don’t see any concerted effort to do any environment related activity. I propose this monsoon you start a tree planting expedition. A kind of planting trees yatra. You decide a route and get the common man to join you for the movement. I am sure everyone - from school children to elderly people will comply. Best of luck for a new beginning.
-Manishikha Paul, Karol Bagh, New Delhi.
I recently visited the Vivekananda Kendriya Vidyalaya at Dimapur where you provided material for the Earth Day Competition. I was very impressed with your posters and booklets. They were very well written and conceived. I even read the copy of the magazine - G’nY. The children thoroughly enjoyed the activities and 22nd April now will be part of their yearly events. What I was wondering about was, is it possible to arrange for such an event in all of the north east? I think the children of other cities, especially Kohima, where I reside, will truly benefit. Please do inform me if anything is being planned in the north east as I would like to volunteer for it.
-Nikhashe Bei-u Angami, Kohima, via email.
I have been following your online editions in the website and I think G’nY is fantastic. I have been always interested in the development and scientific perspectives of the sub-continent, especially India. Your free online service has enabled me to gather new information. I would be truly interested to know about your target group and the impact your magazine creates. Also I think it would be a great idea if you could cover research being undertaken in the adjoining areas in South Asia. Sri Lanka and Nepal have some interesting projects - that you could perhaps publish.
-Bruce Abbey, Buffalo, via email.
I have been a keen reader of G'nY
for several years now - but the idea
of a school edition is just great.
Most enriching is the Indian examples
of various phenomenon from isostasy
to avalanches. I have noted each example
meticulously and hope to enthrall
my students with new examples. I was
wondering if other issues could also
be covered in a similar trend and
one school edition created every year.
Looking forward to
-Vimal Pandey, PGT Geography, Lucknow,
I have found G'nY to be a very informative
and well-packaged magazine. However,
of late I receive the magazine very
late. Why is there such a time lag
from the date of e-publication and
hard copy arrival? Is there a way
to perhaps opt for courier services
instead of the Indian Postal Service?
Maybe this way the delay could be
avoided. I am ready to pay the additional
-Sunil Mahajan, Student, Delhi
University, via email.
I congratulate you for bringing out
the first school edition of your magazine.
I have a sincere request to please
incorporate agricultural issues with
emphasis on food deficit and food
surplus regions of India in the light
of the concept of food security in
India. I would also appreciate other
articles related to burning agricultural
issues in India.
-Rahul, via email.
I really liked the School Edition
of G'nY i.e. November-December 2011.
The presentation of the topics for
physical geography was unique and
befitting the standard of the magazine.
Other articles that I found extremely
useful were India's population profile
and migration. I read the former article
very carefully and surprisingly I
came across a few technical errors
e.g. only table in the article appearing
on page number 54 is numbered as Table
2. Secondly there are three graphs
printed but the ones appearing on
page number 55 are tiled Figure 2
and 4. It should have been Figure
2 and 3. Perhaps you can correct it
in the online copy.
-Kiriti Datta, Kolkata.
We have learnt that LIGHTS Research
Foundation in collaboration with G'nY
is holding GIS training workshops
all over the country. We are from
Mysore and were wondering if and when
the GIS training will be held in Mysore?
Also is it possible to get your training
material online? We would like to
procure it if possible. Our school
is ready to pay for the training modules.
-Geetha and Semlavi via email.
I am writing to specially thank the
editor for contributing to the intellectual
wealth of India. Very few products
of Indian origin match up to the standards
of G'nY. I was also wondering about
your business model and how you have
managed to keep the per unit price
so low, despite such a beautifully
designed and printed product and having
such eminent persons writing in your
magazine - which all must be fairly
expensive to maintain. I also do not
see a large number of advertisements
- in fact is a sense this is an advertisement
free magazine - a very rare breed.
You also have a free online copy I
believe - and you have been sustaining
this product for 11 years now - kudos!
You deserve an award for your service
to the nation.
-Meghnath Bardhan, via email.
Camps for children
I have subscribed to G'nY for my daughter
as she is really interested in all
kind of environmental issues. I have
seen that you have conducted research
on various issues with allied organisations.
I was hoping that you would also engage
in building up camp facilities in
different bio-geographic domains or
at least have an interface with ones
that exist in various localities to
provide relevant and contemporary
information for the young generation.
Seeing the quality of your work, we
know that information and camps undertaken
by you will be much more rewarding
than the trek-to- the-waterfall-and-bonfire
mandate of most camps that exist in
the country today. Another idea could
be organising camps in the rural surroundings
which will be used to introduce the
urban children to the rural life style.
- Shreyasi Madan, Ajmer.
up call for geographers
I read an article by Sulagna Chattopadhyay,
'Are Geographers Missing the Bus?'
in the September-October 2011 issue
of G'nY. The article accurately points
out problem areas - it is actually
a wake up call for not only geographers
but also for academicians and policy
makers working to ensure the popularity
of the subject among the masses. Any
new technology that does not hold
the imagination of the people and
is not in sync with the demands of
the changing times is bound to miss
the bus. I agree with the views of
the author and wish to add as an educationist
that it is time that we build a synergy
between arts and sciences so that
an interdisciplinary order is set
up in the promotion of GIS. The subject
bears a huge potential and can dramatically
alter the spatial dimension of our
-Dr R K Sharma, Chandigarh, via
Technical turns lucid
I congratulate the G'nY team for bringing
out the wonderful issue about geography
in geospatial technologies. I must
admit that the beauty of G'nY lies
in the fact that it converts technical
research papers into lucid and interesting
features that even a layman can easily
understand. The topics covered in
this issue are topical, relevant and
extremely useful to the readers and
young researchers. I hope I would
be able to see more such issues of
G'nY in future.
-Ramakant G Sharma, Nagpur, Maharshtra.
I am a regular reader of G'nY and
remain abreast with the changing times
with the updates that you publish.
GIS, I know, has become an indispensable
aspect of geography in recent times
and it is the need of the hour that
geographers are fully trained in GIS
in order to interpret and plot research
accurately. The articles published
in the September-October 2011 issue
of G'nY brings to the fore various
aspects in vogue today. I appreciate
the efforts of the team but I further
request you to at least include one
contemporary features on GIS in every
issue so that readers remain aware
of the latest application breakthroughs.
-Rekha Sanyal, Kolkata, West Bengal.
I came across your magazines for the
first time last month, in a public
sector unit office in Delhi. I was
suitably impressed with the quality
of G'nY. But above all the September-
October issue carried a photograph
of Palampur by Dr Srinivasan which
was truly beautiful. I have never
seen such a pretty view of the area.
- Mr C Matthew Kerala, via email.
I am a researcher working in the area
of community health and social medicine.
I was wondering why your journal does
not cover studies and surveys related
to the health sector. I have done
extensive work in this sector and
was thinking if it would be possible
to undertake some collaborative work
with G'nY research team so that awareness
about community medicine may rise
among the masses.
-Sujit Bhasin, via email.
We really enjoyed reading the issue
published by G'nY to celebrate earth
day. We are all familiar with environment
day, but earth day we feel, is more
important as it envelopes every aspect
of the earth and not only the environment.
We are hoping that you will celebrate
the earth day again in a similar way.
-Kirti, Manisha, Sukrant and Monalisa,
Vidyasagar College, Kolkata, via email.
I have been following all the conferences
that G'nY has been organising and
also have had the opportunity to attend
the Data Users' Workshop held at Dehradun.
The work carried out by G'nY is not
only of a high level, but also very
innovative and interesting. In the
recent magazines I have come across
an advertisement about the international
conference on science and geopolitics
of Arctic and Antarctic. I was wondering
if it would be possible to access
the proceedings of this and other
conferences as I
do not see them on your web site.
I think uploading them would be very
helpful for researches
-Siddharth Madan, New Delhi, via
- October 2011
After reading about the three methods
of measuring sea level rise - geological
and archeological observations, tide
gauge records, and satellite altimetry
- in the article, Contemporary Sea
Level Changes in your July-August
issue, I read about the 'coral dating'
method in another magazine. To quote,
"scientists say since coral reefs
grow near the surface, they are a
more accurate marker of sea levels
in the past than used methods".
I was wondering why then was this
method not covered in your article?
- Lakshmi Bhargava, Noida
We appreciate your interest in our
article. Oxygen dating (records) of
corals do give sea level information,
but on a much longer time scale -
going back a few hundred years. Hence,
they are not contemporary (current).
-VM Tiwari, Hyderabad (Author)
Kudos for Seas and Ocean Issue
I have been following your magazine
and the exemplary work of the scientists
and other academicians. The last issue
on Seas and Ocean was however fantastic.
The articles were excellent and the
issue is a great knowledge bank. Kudos
to the effort of the G'nY team.
-Ananya Roy, Head, Geography Department,
Mother's International School, New
Edition of G'nY
I am a geography teacher and a regular
reader of G'nY since 2001-02 and I
have almost all the issues of your
magazine. It has helped me greatly
to design my modules to teach my students
over the years. But of late I have
noticed the articles published in
G'nY are more of a technical nature
rather than orienting at least part
of it to the school syllabus. For
example in the July-August 2011 issue
of G'nY there were two articles titled
'Nitrogen and the North East Arabian
Sea' by Dr R Ramesh and 'Seasonal
Anoxia over Western Indian Continental
Shelf' by Dr S W A Naqvi among others
- intellectually stimulating; but
not very useful for students. In fact
every article was of journal category.
I can also see that there is a clear
trend that G'nY is ignoring basic
topics of geography in its issues
which is not a good sign as we do
not want the character of this only
magazine on geography to be diluted.
I strongly feel that this way the
magazine will definitely lose the
school readership. Though I have no
right to comment on your editorial
policy but as a regular reader I want
to suggest to the editorial board
to bring out 'School Editions' of
G'nY. This will not only help teachers
like us to benefit from it but also
keep the original character of G'nY
intact. -Raman Sharma, New Delhi,
It was pleasant reading the ocean
update in the July-August 2011 issue
of G'nY. It was extremely informative
and up-to-date on international oceanic
development. The sea bed mining story
and the inputs in the news section
about it was eye opening for me. Please
continue giving the updates on oceanic
issues and also include other topics
viz. world climate, world hazards,
world agriculture, world minerals,
-Sonia Verma, Research Student,
and Climate Change
Let me congratulate you for your continuous
efforts in publishing articles related
to climate change. I am an avid reader
of many national and international
magazines including the The Time,
Economist, India Today and other environment
related magazines, but I can tell
you with authority that you have published
the maximum research articles on climate
change. Your efforts should be appreciated
and if possible rewarded. Keep it
-Dr K Ramaswamy, Chennai
G'nY has been bringing out special
issues on various subjects like energy,
ocean, migration etc., but I am yet
to see a special issue on renewable
energy which has become extremely
important in the light of climate
change. It should become a mission
of every individual.
-Anil Singh, Rohtak
2011: Earth Day Special Issue
I was pleasantly surprised to see
the enriched G'nY of March April 2011
issue. This is best tribute to Earth
Day. The selection of articles, their
presentation, placement, layout etc.
are excellent . I would also like
to congratulate the Ministry of Earth
Sciences for taking the initiatives
in celebrating the Earth Day. It should
be celebrated in whole of the country
and not in some select patches. When
we can perceive the erratic behaviour
of weather owing mainly to climate
change, it is extremely important
to make our youngsters aware of the
importance of preserving nature. Hope
you bring out some more issues like
-Dr. P.Shashtry, Consultant, Ivory
House, New Delhi.
Faulty Census: exclusion of coconut,
rubber growers and fishermen, etc.,
in Census, 2011
The approach of the Census 2011 to
agriculture sector in Kerala is totally
against the interest of the farming
community. The coconut, rubber, areca
nut, tea and coffees have not been
categorised as agriculture but as
commercial cultivation. The enumeration
questionnaire virtually recognises
only paddy as agriculture in Kerala
and pepper and cardamom, have been
categorised as tuber crops. If we
go by the census definition of agriculture,
there would not be many agriculturists
left in Kerala. According to M S Swaminathan
Committee, even a fisherman is a farmer.
Census data are very
critical and that it would be on the
basis of these data that Central assistance
to the State's farming sector would
be determined. This would lead to
excluding millions of farmers and
farms labourers from the benefits
due to them under agricultural aid.
I have read the interview of Census
Commissioner of India published in
your magazine. I request you to take
the matter with him so that the injustice
can be stopped.
-P Rajeev, Kerala via email
along the Ganga
From 5th to 16th June 2011 we conducted
the GANGA-EK-ANTARYATRA - a journey
down the lifeline of India, the Ganga,
from Gomukh, the Glacial snout which
is the origin of the Ganges to Benaras,
one of the most visited holy destinations
of the world, which is the pinnacle
of faith driving India as a leading
nation of the world today. A group
of 37 enthusiastic students from Pathways
World School took it upon themselves
to know India a little more. This
is now a major showcased event of
Head of Department, Humanities, Pathways
World School, Gurgaon
I am a regular reader of G'nY for
the last 5 to 6 years. The latest
issue i.e. March-April 2011 caught
my attention for its coverage of Earth
Day Celebrations. It was fascinating
to see the geographical extent of
celebrations. Right from north-eastern
states to extreme north, west and
south has participated in the celebrations.
I really appreciate the cycle rallies
organised by the schools as an alternative
mode of transport to the fuel induced
transport. I think this kind of activities
must be encouraged on a regular basis
and the new generation should be taught
how to go for sustainable mode of
-Shabnam Rahi, Teacher, DAV Hyderabad,
I want to express gratitude and thanks
on behalf of students, teachers and
school authority for the opportunity
and support that Geography and You
and LIGHTS has given us to participate
in the Green Slogan and Green Poster
Competition held on April 22, to celebrate
the Earth Day. We are indeed encouraged
by the event.
-Laimayum David, Principal, Grace
The Earth Day issue is wonderful -
I liked it very much. I especially
enjoyed reading Dr M S Swaminathan's
and Dr S Raju's article. Keep up the
-Saheli Ghosh, New Delhi
I have just had a look at the online
issue of the GnY Earth Day special.
Very impressive indeed! I am looking
forward to sharing the link to the
magazine on my website.
-Dr Sian Sullivan, Lecturer, Birkbeck
November-December 2010: Information
on Polar region
I received November-December 2010
issue of G'nY on the Polar Realms
and was surprised to see such interesting
scientific and geopolitical facts
on a subject that one hardly finds
mention of in the mainstream media.
The presentation is fantastic and
world class. I hope you carry similar
issues on Andaman and Nicobar Islands
and Lakshadweep in the future. The
sheer distance of these islands from
the main land acts as a barrier for
information and we would like to know
more about them. -Ramesh Singh, Raipur,
Climate change impact
I think the impact of climate change
has become more discernible today
than ever before. The intense summer,
long winter, untimely rains all point
towards some kind of abnormality in
our weather systems. I request G'nY
to publish comparable data on varied
weather phenomena during the last
20-30 years. This would give a better
picture of the impact of climate change
which will help
the policy makers to formulate policies
and handle adverse impacts in the
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
insecticide 'Endosulfan' in India
Endosulfan, an insecticide, banned
the world over, is a controversial
agri-chemical due to its acute toxicity
and role as an endocrine disruptor.
However, it is still in extensive
use in India which has resulted in
various deformities and diseases.
The proposal to ban the use of Endosulfan
globally was not supported by India
at the Stockholm Convention of the
POPRC in Geneva. I request G'nY to
initiate an intensive campaign and
to persuade the government to take
urgent steps to ban it, to declare
rehabilitation and relief package
for the victims and to support the
move to ban its use globally.
-R Ramaswamy, Kochi, Kerala
While going through the November-December
2010 issue of G'nY, I came to know
about the National Conference on Science
and Geopolitics of Arctic and Antarctic.
The theme itself is interesting and
different. Can I get a copy of the
proceedings of SaGAA? Please let me
know if it is available on your website.
I would also like to know about the
procedure of participating in seminars
organised by you in the future.
-S B Rao, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
of basic amenities in rural areas
According to the National Sample Survey
Organisation's Report, 2008-09, three
basic necessities of life - tapped
drinking water, electricity connection
and sanitation, together, are not
available to 82 per cent of rural
Indian households and 20 per cent
don't have access to any of these
facilities. In urban India 67.5 per
cent enjoy all three. Just 30 per
cent of households in rural India
have access to tapped drinking water
as compared to 74 per cent in urban
areas. As a result, majority of village
households are dependent on tube wells
or unprotected wells for drinking
water. Only 15 per cent of urban population
is deprived of drainage as against
58 per cent rural population. Only
11 per cent
of urban households are without toilets
as against 65 per cent in rural areas.
As per above three elements, 46 per
cent of rural Indians are poor. In
view of above startling rural-urban
disparity, I urge the G'nY team to
highlight this issue so that active
effort to bridge the dividecan be
-Prashant Kapadia, Mumbai, Maharashtra
The November-December issue of G'nY
looks great. You might want to send
details of this publication to the
Critical Geography Forum. Best wishes
to you and to your venture.
-Prof Parvati Raghuram, The Open