June 24, 2010


I. The Russian Revolution (1917)

The main cause of the Russian Revolution was the autocratic rule of the Czars. This revolution led
to the establishment of the rule of Lenin in Russia. In this way Russia became the first communist
state of the World.

II.French Revolution (1789 - 1793)

The autocratic rule of the king of France led the country to financial bankruptcy. The philosophers
and intellectuals inspired the people of France to change the face of the society. "Liberty, Equality
and Fraternity" became the slogan of the revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte emerged as a great
military general of France.


June 23, 2010

Important Battles of Modern India - for APPSC

i) Battle of Plassey (1757)
Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal was defeated by the East India Co., under the leadership
of Lord Clive, the first governor of Bengal. It is also known as the Black Hole Episode of the
Indian history.

ii) Battle of Wandiwash (1760)
It was the decisive battle fought between the English and the French. The French rule in India
came to an end.

iii) Battle of Buxar (1764)
The joint army of Mir Quasim, former Nawab of Bengal Suja-ud-Daulah, Nawab of
Awadh and Shah Alam II was defeated by the English army under the leadership of
Captain Hector Munro.


Mughal Dynasty (AD 1526-1857) - Medieval India for APPSC

1 Babar - He is credited with the foundation of the Mughal empire by defeating Ibrahim Lodhi
in the First Battle of Panipat on April 20, 1526. His tomb is built at Kabul, and his autobiography
Baburnama is written in Turkish.

2 Humayun - He was the next emperor of the Mughal empire after Babur. His tomb is in Delhi,
his biography Humayunama was written by Guladan Begum.

3 Akbar - He was the most successful Mughal emperor. An excellent leader, who separated
religion and politics, started a new religion called Din-e-Ilahi. He established Fatehpur Sikri and
Buland Darwaja near Agra. He abolished the Jazia Tax. Bairam Khan, Akbar's General, fought the
Second Battle of Panipat in 1556 & defeated Hemu. Two important books Akbarnama and
Ain-e-Akbari were written during Akbar's tenure by Abul Fazal. His tomb is built at Sikandara
near Agra.

4 Jehangir - The son of Akbar, who ascended the throne after Akbar's death, known for his
administration and strict sense of justice. He was the husband of Noor Jahan Begum and had
built Shalimar and Nishant Bagh. His autobiography is Tuzk-e-Jahangiri and his tomb is
built at Lahore.

 5 Shahjahan - Famous ruler and son of Jehangir, who built the Taj Mahal at Agra, in the
memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Jama Masjid and Red Fort are the other two famous
monuments that were built by him. He had transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi.

 6 Aurangzeb - A very cruel ruler and son of Shahjahan, who demolished several religious
structures of Hindus, and ruled for about 50 years. He constructed the 'Moti Masjid' in the Red
Fort at Delhi and 'Bibi ka Makbara' at Aurangabad.

7 Sher Shah Suri (1540-1555) - He was a brilliant administrator who issued the Rupiah and
Paisa coins and built the famous Grand Trunk Road from Peshawar to Calcutta. He constructed
the Old Fort of Delhi.

The Mughal empire started declining with the attack of Nadir Shah who took with him the famous
Kohinoor Diamond to Afghanistan. Then came the Marathas who became powerful under the
leadership of Shivaji.


MAgdha empire - Ancient India for APPSC

Magadh Empire (6th Century BC - 4th Century BC)
Major dynasties of the Magadh Empire were:
i) Haryanka Dynasty - Bimbisara and Ajata Shatru laid the foundation of this dynasty in 684 BC.
ii) Shishunaga Dynasty - This dynasty was founded by Shishunag in 413 BC after defeating the
last king of the Haryanka dynasty.
iii) Nanda Dynasty – This dynasty was founded in 382 BC by Mahapadma Nanda.


The Age of Mauryas (321-198 BC)- Ancient India for APPSC

• Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of Maurya Empire.
• Kautilya was in the court of Chandragupta Maurya and he had written the book titled
• Megasthenese was a Greek ambassador who came in the court of Chandragupta Maurya and
wrote the book titled 'INDICA'.
• Ashoka (273-232 B.C.) was the important king of this dynasty.
• He fought the Kalinga war (261 BC) and after that war he adopted Buddhism.
• He was the first Indian king to talk directly to the people throughout his empire.
• The last king of Maurya empire Brihadratha was killed by his commander in chief


Kushan Empire - Ancient India for APPSC

The Kushan empire was started by the Kushan tribe of the Yuezi Confederation around 1st century
The Kushan Empire introduced the largest number of gold coins in India.
• Kanishka was most the important king of the empire. He started the Saka Era in 78 AD.
• His capital was at Pursushpura ( now Peshawar).
• He was responsible for organizing the 4th Buddhist council in Kashmir.
• Both Gandhar and Mathura art forms developed during Kanishka's reign.


Gupta Empire - Ancient India for APPSC

It was founded by Chandragupta I (320-325 AD). He started the Gupta Era in 320 AD. Other
important kings of the Gupta empire were
i) Samudra Gupta (335-380 AD) He was known as the Napoleon of India. He was a great
exponent of Veena.

ii) Chandragupta II (380-412 AD) also known as Vikramaditya
• Chinese Pilgrim, Fa-hien came in his court.
• Aryabhatta and Kalidas were in the court of Chandragupta II. He was responsible for the start
of the Vikram Era.

iii) Kumaragupta I of this dynasty had constructed the Nalanda University (in present
day Bihar).

iv)Harshvardhana was the last important king of North India.
• His capital was at Kannauj.
• Hiuen-Tsang, the Chinese pilgrim came to his court.
• Harshcharita, a book on the life of Harshvardhana was written by Banabhata, who had also
written Kadambari.
• He was defeated by Pulshekin II of the Chalukya dynasty.


The Sathavanas - Ancient India for APPSC

• This dynasty was founded by Simuka. (65 BC)
• Satakarni was an important king.
• They constructed many buddhist worshipping sites- the important ones being at Amaravati and
Nagarjuna Konda.
• They issued the maximum number of lead coins.Sangam Literature relates primarily to Pandyan kingdom but also contains information about Cholas and Cheras.
• Tolkkapiyam is the oldest book of Tamil grammar.


The Rashtrakutas - Ancient India for APPSC

Founded by Dantedurga in Deccan, their capital was located at Manyakhet or Malkhed. Greatest
kings of the Rashtrakuta dynasty were:
i) Govind III (796 AD - 814 AD)
ii) Amoghavarha I (814 AD - 978 AD) - He had written the first Kannada book - 'Kabirajamarga.'
and Ratnamalika in Kannada.
iii) Kailash I built the Kailash Temple at Ellora (in 9th century).


The Pallavas (560 AD – 903 AD) - Ancient India for APPSC

• The Pallava dynasty was founded by Simhavishnu in 560 AD.
• Their Capital was at Kanch.
• Mahendranarman I was defeated by Pulkeshin II.
• Narasimhavarma I was the greatest king, and because he defeated Pulkeshin II and captured
Badan, he was known as Vatapi-Konda.
• Narshimhavarma II constructed the shore temple of Mahabalipuram and the Kailashnath Temple
of Kanchi.
• He was also a worshipper of Vishnu. He built the Vaikunthaperumal Temple at Kanchi.
• Aparajita Pallav was the last ruler and was defeated by Aditya Chola.


The Chalukyas (6th - 7th Century AD) - Ancient India for APPSC

• Pulkeshin I bounded the Chalukya dynasty and established its capital at Vatapi.
• Pulkeshin II (609 AD - 642 AD) was the most important king.
• According to the Aihole inscriptions, he defeated Harshvardhana on the banks of river Narmada
in 619 AD.
• Narasimharaman I defeated and killed Pulkeshin II and captured Vadani.
• Most of the Buddhist cover at Ajanta and Ellora was structured during the reign of the
• Aihole was the temple town of this period.


Alexander’s Invasion of India - Ancient India for APPSC

• Alexander, after establishing his Kingdom in present day Pakistan, crossed the river Indus and
invaded India.
• He defeated Porus, the then ruler of Punjab in the Battle of Hydaspes in 326 BC and extended
his kingdom till India.
• He founded the city of Alexandria in present day Afghanistan.


Stone age - ancient india for appsc

The Stone Age or the stages of early man can be classified into

Paleolithic Age – This period was essentially the stage of hunters and food gatherers. They
used crude tools made of flakes. They had no knowledge of cultivation and house building.
Goat, sheep & other cattle were used. They lived on roots & fruits. By the end of the Paleolithic
Age, the flint industry came up. The important development of this age was the emergence of

Mesolithic Age – This age was the transition between the Paleolithic & the Neolithic Ages.
Mesolithic people lived on hunting, fishing & food gathering. At a later stage, they domesticated
animals. They used microlith - a small raw-stone tool.

Neolithic Age - These people used tools & implements of polished stone. They particularly used stone
axes. Parashurama became an important axe-wielding hero. Dwelling pits, ceramics, a variety of stone
& bone tools & a complete absence of microliths marked this age. Cattle, sheep & goat were


Indus valley civilization - ancient india for APPSC

Indus Valley Civilization
The most important event of ancient Indian history was the development of Indus Valley Civilization.
This Civilization prospered on the Banks of river Indus. It extended from Jammu in the North to
Ahmednagar in the South, and covered various regions of Gujarat.
The main sites which have been found in the excavation are:
• Kalibangan in Rajasthan
• Lothal in Gujarat
• Banwali in Haryana and
• Ropar in Punjab.

The Indus Valley Civilization existed between 2350 BC and 1750 BC. The main cities associated
with the civilization were Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Lothal. The main feature of this
civilization was Town Planning. They had great buildings, well-planned roads, cities and drainage
systems. Trade and agriculture were the main sources of livelihood for the people. People of the
Indus Valley were the first to produce cotton. Mother Goddess was the most important deity of


Vedic Period a review - for APPSC

Vedic Period
This period is marked by the entry of the Aryans, who were originally inhabitants of Central Asia
around the Caspian Sea and probably came through the Hindukush Mountains. The period in
which they existed was between 1500-600 BC.
The Main Features of the Aryans were:
i) They were admirers of nature and worshipped the Sun, Fire and Water.
ii) Indra was an important deity for the Aryans.
iii)Metal iron was used for the first time during this period in 1000 BC.
The following religious books were written during this period
i) Vedas: These were their most sacred books.
(These are also the oldest known books of Indus Valley Civilization). They were four in
number, viz. :
a) Rig Veda – The oldest, and it contained prayers of God, Vayu, Varun, Indra and Agni.
b) Sam Veda – It dealt with music.
c) Yajur Veda – It dealt with formulae, sacrifices and rituals.
d) Atharva Veda – It dealt with medicines.
ii) The Upanishads: They are the foundation stones of Indian Philosophy and are 108 in number.


Rise of Religions - Ancient India for APPSC

Rise of Religions
The two major religions that came into prominence after the vedic period:
i) Buddhism - Initiated by a Kshatriya prince of the Shakya clan, Siddhartha, (who later came to
be known as Buddha) around 6th century BC. Siddhartha was born in 567 BC at Lumbini in
Kapilavastu (present day Nepal). He was the son of king Shuddhodhana. He went in search of
truth and attained enlightenment under a pipal tree at Bodh Gaya, and delivered his first sermons
at Sarnath in U.P. He died at Kushinagar in U.P.
The main Buddhist teachings of the eight–fold path of right faith, thought, action, livelihood, efforts,
speech, remembrance and concentration, belief in nirvana (freedom from the cycle of birth and death),
ahimsa and law of karma were recorded in Triptikas, the religious book of Buddhists.

ii) Jainism - Initiated by Rishabha (a Kshatriya prince), Jainism attained peak under Vardhamana
Mahavira (the 24th Tirthankara). Mahavira was born at Kundagrama in 540 BC at Bihar, and
attained perfect knowledge 'Kaivalya' after he became an ascetic at the age of 30. He became a
'Jina' (one who has conquered happiness and misery) and died at Pavapuri (present day Bihar).The major teachings of Jainism were based on the Tri-ratna concept and the Tri-ratna concept
was based on
a) Right knowledge,
b) Right faith and
c) Right conduct.


June 11, 2010

Vitamins a simple review - for APPSC UPSC

Vitamins serve crucial functions in almost all bodily processes (immune, hormonal and nervous systems) and must be obtained from food or supplements as our bodies are unable to make vitamins. There are thirteen vitamins classified as either water soluble (C and B complex) or fat soluble (A, D, E and K).

Fat Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed, together with fat from the intestine, into the circulation. Any disease or disorder that affects the absorption of fat, such as coeliac disease, could lead to a deficiency of these vitamins. Once absorbed into the circulation these vitamins are carried to the liver where they are stored.

Vitamins A, D, E and K make up the fat soluble vitamins. Vitamins A, D and K are stored in the liver and vitamin E is distributed throughout the body's fatty tissues.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin C and the B vitamins are stored in the body for only a brief period of time and are then excreted by the kidneys. The one exception to this is vitamin B12, which is stored in the liver. Water-soluble vitamins need to be taken daily.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and the B complex group make up the nine water soluble vitamins. The B complex group comprises of vitamins:

  • B6 (pyridoxine)
  • B1 (thiamine)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B12 (niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid and cobalamin)

Vitamin sources, uses and deficiency problems

Vitamin A (fat-soluble)

  • Sources: Dairy products, eggs, liver. Can be converted by the body from the beta-carotene found in green vegetables, carrots and liver.
  • Uses: Maintains the health of the epithelium and acts on the retina's dark adaptation mechanism.
  • Deficiency leads to: Keratinisation of the nasal and respiratory passage epithelium, night blindness

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) (water-soluble)

  • Sources: Yeast, egg yolk, liver, wheatgerm, nuts, red meat and cereals
  • Uses: Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Deficiency leads to: Fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite; severe deficiency can lead to beri-beri

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) (water-soluble)

  • Sources: Dairy products, liver, vegetables, eggs, cereals, fruit, yeast
  • Uses: Intracellular metabolism
  • Deficiency leads to: Painful tongue and fissures to the corners of the mouth, chapped lips

Vitamin B12 (water-soluble)

  • Sources: Liver, red meat, dairy products and fish
  • Uses: Essential for manufacturing of genetic material in cells. Involved in the production of erythrocytes
  • Deficiency leads to: pernicious anaemia

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) (water-soluble)

  • Sources: Green vegetables and fruit
  • Uses: Essential for the maintenance of bones, teeth and gums, ligaments and blood vessels. It is also necessary for ensuring a normal immune response to infection
  • Deficiency leads to: Scurvy

Vitamin D (fat-soluble)

  • Sources: Fish liver oils, dairy produce. Vitamin D is formed in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight
  • Uses: Has a role in the absorption of calcium, which is essential for the maintenance of healthy bones
  • Deficiency leads to: Rickets

Vitamin E (fat-soluble)

  • Sources: Pure vegetable oils; wheatgerm, wholemeal bread and cereals, egg yoke, nuts sunflower seeds
  • Uses: Protects tissues against damage; promotes normal growth and development; helps in normal red blood cell formation
  • Deficiency leads to: May cause muscular dystrophy

Vitamin K (fat-soluble)

  • Sources: Green vegetables
  • Uses: Used by the liver for the formation of prothrombin
  • Deficiency leads to: Bleeding due to delayed clotting times caused by lack of clotting factors. Patients may show signs of bruising easily and have nosebleeds.

Daily Requirements

Vitamins contain no useful energy for the body but they do link and regulate the sequence of metabolic reactions that release energy within the food we consume. Vitamins cannot be made in the body and must be obtained in our diet. A well balanced diet provides an adequate quantity of all vitamins regardless of age and level of physical activity.

The recommended daily requirements (RDR or RDA) for men, women are shown in the Table below. These requirements should be easily met if a balanced diet is adhered to; however, there are groups that may be at greater risk of developing vitamin deficiencies than others. These include those on restricted diets, patients who have digestive disorders that affect the absorption of fat, patients on lipid-lowering medication and those whose dietary choices are affected by financial or for conscientious reasons (Trounce and Gould, 1997). For these groups there may be advantages in taking a general or specific vitamin supplement following advice from a doctor or nutritionist. However, for those on a balanced diet there is little to be gained from taking additional vitamins (NHS Direct Online, 2003).

Vitamin Men Women
A 0.7mg 0.6mg
B1 1.0mg 0.8mg
B2 1.3mg 1.1mg
Nicin 19mg 15mg
B6 1.4mg 1.2mg
Pantothenic acid 5mg 5mg
Folic acid 0.2mg 0.2mg
Biotin 0.03mg 0.1mg
B12 0.002mg 0.002mg
C 40mg 40mg
D 0.01mg 0.01mg
E 10mg 8mg
K 0.8mg 0.06mg

Toxicity of Vitamins

Fat soluble vitamins should not be consumed in excess as they are stored in the body and an excess can result in side effects. An excess of vitamin A may result in irritability, weight loss, dry itchy skin in children and nausea, headache, diarrhea in adults.

An excess of water soluble vitamins should not result in any side effects as they will disperse in the body fluids and voided in the urine.

Free Radicals

Electron leakage in the electron transport system results in approximately 2 to 5% of oxygen containing free radicals like superoxide, hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl. The body's level of pentane can be used to monitor the amount of free radicals.

Exercise increases the production of free radicals and a build up of free radicals increases the potential for cellular damage to many biological substances. Research indicates that the body's natural defences of a well nourished athlete are adequate in response to increased amounts of free radicals.

Available research indicates that if supplements can be beneficial in combating free radicals then vitamin E may be the most effective.

Vitamin and mineral interactions

Many vitamins and minerals interact, working alongside each other in groups e.g. a good balance of vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, fluoride, chloride, manganese, copper and sulphur is required for healthy bones.

Many of them can enhance or impair another vitamin or mineral's absorption and functioning e.g. an excessive amount of iron can cause a deficiency in zinc.


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June 9, 2010

Types of Taxation in Economy

Progressive taxation

Progressive taxation structure progressively increases the percentage of a citizen's income (or wealth) which is paid in tax as income (or wealth) increases. In progressive taxation the consequence should be that the more well off are taxed at a higher rate than are the less well off.

Progressive taxation takes into account the ability to pay. Progressive taxes reduces the tax incidence of people with a lower ability-to-pay, as they shift the incidence increasingly to those with a higher ability-to-pay. In progressive taxation people with more disposable income pay a higher percentage of their income in tax than do those with less income.

Regressive tax is the opposite of a progressive tax. In regressive tax the tax rate decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases.

High levels progressive taxes could encourage emigration since taxes are not internationally harmonized. High earners relocate in order to pay less tax, or find tax havens for their income.

Regressive Taxation

Regressive Taxation structure requires the more well-off to pay a lower percentage of their income (or wealth) in tax than a less well-off citizen. Sales tax and the federal goods and services tax (GST) are of this type as these taxes remain constant regardless of one's income.

The opposite of regressive taxation is progressive taxation, where taxation structure progressively increases the percentage of a citizen's income (or wealth) which is paid in tax as income (or wealth) increases.

The consequence is that the more well-off citizen pays a smaller percentage of their income to cover the tax on a new refrigerator than does a less well-off person.

There is a widespread view that strong reliance on "regressive taxes" was conducive to building and maintaining large tax/welfare states? The argument is that of the alleged superiority of "regressive taxes" with respect to states' revenue-raising capacity.

An example of a regressive tax is sales tax while an example of a progressive tax is income tax.

Regressive taxation does raise political issues but is rooted in mathematics rather than political platforms. The basic difference between the two lies in the way in which the two types of taxation affect individuals in different income levels. The regressive tax places a heavier tax burden on the poor while the progressive tax places higher taxes on the rich. With progressive taxation, the more money an individual makes, the more taxes that individual incurs. With regressive taxation, the less money an individual makes the more taxes they incur.

Proportional Taxation

In between regressive taxation and progressive taxation is proportional taxation, where the tax rate is fixed as the amount subject to taxation increases. The opposite of proportional tax is fixed tax. Proportional taxation applies equally to the poor and to the wealthy.

An example of proportional taxation is ad valorem taxation on houses. Though, because the poor spend a disproportionately higher amount on housing, the ad valorem tax may seem regressive, placing a relatively heavier burden on the poor.

Flat Taxation

Flat tax or flat rate tax is a constant rate tax system. Flat tax refers to income being taxed at one marginal rate, in contrast with progressive taxes.

Flat tax structure has gained significant public support in North America. Flat tax structure in which all citizens would pay the same flat percentage of taxation on their income.

Flat tax would simplify tax law and the completion of a tax return but would make income tax regressive.




Important Direct Taxes levied in India

Important Direct Taxes
  • Corporation Tax - Tax on Companies and Tax Deducted at Source from Companies
  • Income Tax
  • Interest Tax and Expenditure Tax
  • Gift Tax
  • Wealth Tax
  • Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT)
  • Securities Transaction Tax (STT)
  • Banking Cash Transaction Tax (BCTT)
  • Other Tax Deducted or collected at source (TDS or TCS) on salaries of employees, income from Fixed Deposits, Vendor Payments, Rent, Income from Game Shows or Lottery, etc.