Reasons Why There Were Very Few Developments In Science In British India

The British made investments only in Botanical, Geological and Geographical surveys from which they hoped to get direct and substantial economic and military advantages. Medical sciences and Zoology were neglected. Research in Physics and Chemistry were completely ignored as they were related to industrial development which British did not want to encourage. India was considered only as a source of raw materials and as a market for selling finished goods from Britain.

Pre-British India had a weak scientific base, therefore neither scientific institutions existed nor were there any journals to spread scientific information. There was excessive administrative control over colonial scientists preventing them from doing new things. Science was not given a high priority in education in India. The colonial education was not directed towards opening up the minds of students or developing a questioning attitude. Rather it encouraged passive acceptance of what was written in the books.

Books were printed in Britain and represented their culture. The educational system ensured that Indians obeyed orders from above. Teachers looked at the British educational model as ideal and they tried to copy it even though they were in a very different social and economic situation.

Compare State Of Science And Technology During Renaissance With That of Post-Renaissance Period In Europe

Q) State the developments that helped the advances of science and technology during renaissance?

1. Science And Technology During Renaissance

This was the phase of description and criticism. First came the exploration of knowledge especially of Greeks and then challenge to old authority.

a) Art

Visual arts such as painting and sculpture had an important place in the society. Art had a huge influence in development of science. The painters, besides being good in art, also needs to have a thorough knowledge in geometry to represent 3D figures on papers. Lifelike paintings needed close observation of nature and natural history. The professions of artists, architects and engineers were not separated in the renaissance. An artist was also a civil or military engineer.

b) Medicine And Technology

Teachers of medicine in universities of Italy were the first one to break the shackles. Doctors mingled freely with artists, mathematicians, astronomers and engineers. These associations gave European medicine its characteristic descriptive, anatomical and mechanical bent. Human body was dissected and explored. New anatomy, physiology and pathology were founded on direct observation and experiment. The greatest advances in the field of technology was in mining, metallurgy and chemistry. With growing capitalist production, mining became a large scale operation. As the mines went deeper, mechanical and hydraulic principles got interest. Smelting of metals led to general theory of chemistry involving oxidation and reduction, distillation and amalgamation. For the first time, metallic compounds were introduced into medicine. Alum and clay were studied to improve cloth and leather industries. Chemical laboratories of today's scale was developed.

c) Navigation And Astronomy

Turks' monopoly on land trade routes led to the exploration of sea. Thus Vasco Da Gama reached India in 1497 and Columbus discovered America in 1492. The great profitability of these voyages created interest for building new ships and instruments for navigation.

d) The Copernican Revolution

The work of Copernicus was a major break from the whole system of ancient thought. He gave a detailed explanation for the rotation earth and other planets on their axis and their motion around a fixed sun which was at the centre. This mode simplified astronomical calculations and made them more precise. By rejecting old ideas, the men of Renaissance had cleared the ground for new ideas of the succeeding century.

2. Science In The Post-Renaissance Period

Scientific revolution started during this period. The new observational and experimental approach tasted much success. Increasing demand for iron led to development of new blast furnaces. Shortage of wood led to use of coal and coal fields started growing. Depleting limited resources led to search for new resources and techniques. The first institute for teaching science, the Gresham college was opened in England in 1579. Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler observed planetary motion. Kepler then came up with the laws of planetary motion in which the orbits were taken as eclipses as opposed to the old Greek thought of perfect circular motion. The invention of telescope was the greatest of the period. Galileo observed that moon was not a perfect round and smooth body, but it had ridges and valleys. He also observed earth and planets revolved around the sun which was a blow to the 2000 year old model of heavenly bodies going around the earth. It led to conflict with the church which resulted in Galileo's trial.

Then came Newton who provided complete scientific theory of motion of all objects. By Newton's time interference from church in science had more or less stopped. Magnetism was studied. William Harvey discovered the circulation of blood in the human body. A new kind of experimental anatomy and physiology emerged. Emergence of stable governments in France and England accelerated scientific activity. Merchants and landlords financed science out of their pockets. Well established scientific societies such as the Royal Society of London and the French Royal Academy came into being. Innovation was more concentrated in expanding trade and manufacture. Astronomy got tremendous interest as it was needed for ocean navigation. Newtonian mechanics explained the motion of all bodies in this universe. Newton's theory of gravitation applied to all particles possessing mass. There were developments in optics. Robert Boyle worked out gas laws. His assistant Robert Hook studied elasticity of materials. Biology saw great advances with the coming of microscope. In chemistry, new substances such as phosphorus were accidentally produced and new metals such as bismuth and platinum were discovered.

How To Submit IGNOU BTS Project

IGNOU BTS students need to submit a total of 3 projects in their course. PTS-4 and PTS-5 in second year and PTS-6 in the third year. You need to score above 40 marks in order to pass the project. Otherwise you will have to do the project again, starting from scratch.

Important Dates

BTS students can send their project proposals and full project reports throughout the year, unlike other programmes which have their own specific time frames. However, for your results to be published in the right time, you need to adhere to the below said time frames.

If you are a July session student, your project proposal should reach IGNOU, New Delhi before November 30th. For eg: Suppose you are appearing for June 2016 Term End Exam, then if you want your project results to reflect on June TEE 2016 results, you will have to submit the project proposal before November 30 2015. The full and final project report should reach IGNOU, New Delhi before March 31st 2015. 

So For July Session Students, the time frames are

November 30 for Project Proposal

March 31 for Final Project Report

How To Make A Project?

The first step in making a project is to find a topic. Your IGNOU counselor at the study centre will help you find a topic. Do not copy a topic which is already used by a senior student or others. Because, if IGNOU authorities detect duplicate topic, your project will be rejected and you will have to find a new topic. Moreover, you will have to wait another year or at least 6 months to know whether your project topic is accepted or rejected. Copying projects is a waste of time, you are running the risk of losing valuable time. You can copy the pattern of the report though.

Submitting A Project Proposal

The first step in project submission, is to send a project proposal to IGNOU. This has to be done with the help of your IGNOU counselor. A project proposal must have a brief information about your topic and how you are going to do the project. You counselor will have soft copies of proposals done by previous students, which you can use as a guide. Don't be shy to ask him for that. Remember, your project proposal should reach IGNOU, New Delhi before Nov 30. The address to which the proposal needs to be send is provided on the project guide. 

Print the report in an A4 sheet and use spiral binding. Put the report in a mesh postal cover (which you can get from stationary stores for Rs.10) and send it via Registered Post. Do not send it via Speed Post, it is not allowed. Once you send the project proposal, make sure that it reaches IGNOU before November 30. You can track your post through India Post Tracking facility on their website. It will take around 10-15 average days to make a project proposal and allow another 4-5days for the proposal to reach by post. Make sure that you have enough time for everything.

Submitting Final Project Report

During the previous years, IGNOU used to send a project acknowledgement stating that your project proposal is accepted or rejected. IGNOU is not sending that now, so all you can do is to go ahead with your final project report. IGNOU says that the decision of your counselor is final. So if your counselor approves your project proposal, it is almost assured that your project will be accepted by IGNOU (unless you do something crazy).  

Now you have time until March 31st. Consult with your counselor and prepare the final project report. It will take about 30 days to complete a project report. The report must have 30-40 A4 sheets. You can refer some of the old project reports sent by your seniors. You counselor will also have some copies with him. The final project report must be made in hard binding and it should be sent to the address said in the project guide. 

Final Things

Once you send your final project report, wait until May for the administration and evaluation process to complete. During May, you can send a mail to projects@ignou.ac.in asking about the status of your project. Remember to include your enrollment number, name and programme codes in the email. You will get a reply that your project is accepted and the results will come along with the TEE results.

Another important thing is that, keep the receipts you get from the post office, just in case any issue arises. It will also be better to keep an extra copy of your reports with you as IGNOU won't send your reports back to you.

Match The Following - Answers

Tycho Brahe - Made observations on planetary motion

Johannes Kepler - Discovered laws of planetary motion

Galileo Galilei - Established sun-centered model of solar system; gave mathematical description of motion of bodies.

Isacc Newton - Gave the theory of universal gravitation

John Napier - Developed the table of logarithms

William Harvey - Discovered blood circulation

Robert Boyle - Formulated gas laws

Robert Hooke - Discovered the law of elastic properties of matter

P.C Ray - Chemistry

P.C Mahalanobis - Statistics

J.C Bose - Physics and Botany

Birbal Sahini - Paleobotany

S Ramanujan - Mathematics

Achievements Of Indian Science During Medieval Period

1. Astronomy & Physical Sciences

Astronomy was not only used for working out the calendar, the dates of eclipses but also for horoscopes. Astronomy was needed for fixing the direction of Mecca, to align mosques. Ferozeshah Tughlaq established an observatory where a special type of astrolabe and water-clock were set up. During the beginning of 18th century Raja Jai Singh established observatories at a number of places such as Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Banaras and Mathura. Special attention was given to the instruments of observation. A noticeable feature was the construction of large sized observational instrument for fixing time and determining latitudes. 

Raja Jai Singh succeeded in compiling fairly accurate astronomical tables, rectifying the calendar and in making more accurate predictions of eclipses. Abu'l Fazl was familiar with specific gravity and laws of motion. His book provided a clear understanding of Archimedes principle. Akbar applied specific gravity of timber to determine the quality. Abu'l Fazl's book had a table of specific gravity of 72 types of wood.

2. Chemistry

There were remarkable developments in metallurgy. Indians were able to isolate zinc about the first century after Christ, much earlier than Arabs, Europeans and Chinese. Manufacture of brass from copper and zinc was another achievement. Abu'l Fazl gave 3 proportions of zinc and copper for obtaining brass of different varieties. Tin-coating of copper and brass led to wide spread use of copper vessels. Soldering, especially of gold in agates, crystals and other brittle materials were appreciated by European travelers. India discovered freezing mixture before Europe. It was Akbar who discovered it.

3. Medicine

The Greek (Unani) system of medicine brought by Muslims and Ayurveda co-existed without much interaction. In surgery, blood letting and in ortho, setting right the dislocated bones were known practices. Surgeons of Kangra were able to treat those whose noses had been cut. They could create an artificial nose by a partial skin transplant. Small pox inoculation was practiced by popular practitioners.

Impediments To The Growth Of Science In Medieval India

Q) Till the mid-sixteenth century, science in India was more or less par with that in Europe. State in detail the reasons which retarded the growth of science in India thereafter?

Inspite of periodic wars, there was a very considerable stability in Indian society. Indian peasants were able to feed and clothe themselves even with small land holdings. Poverty didn't exist like today. The influence of religion and caste system led to the acceptance of social hierarchy as fate. There was an acceptance that the whole universe was a cycle of death and rebirths and nothing fundamentally new could happen. There was a peculiar kind of satisfaction among people which prevented enhancement of production through innovation or to change the society. 

Those who earned knowledge didn't write them down and those who had out-dated knowledge didn't test it for more innovation. The rich had no need for change, the poor had no power to bring about the change. When Islam came to India, there was co-existence in harmony. Both groups stayed clear of any confrontation. There was mutual acceptance. There was no active controversies and no strong movements of reform. 

The absence of printing was the main reason for retardation of science in India. Whereas in Europe, the availability of printed word helped in spread of knowledge and had great impact in bringing social change. In India, education was limited to religious teaching and the intellectual atmosphere was not in favour of challenging the established ways of thinking or propose new theories. The prevailing theories were supposed to be established by God and remained untouched. Free thinking was not allowed.

In Europe, books of Arabs on science were translated and studied in 17th century. Scientific advances made in Europe, such as works of Galileo and Newton did not attract Indian scholars. A traditional, hierarchical society with a low level of discontent and conservationism promoted by both religions prevented the growth of science in India.

Features Of Indian Society That Led To The Decline Of Science In Post-Gupta Period

The governors appointed by the Gupta kings tended to become independent. They started issuing land grants in their own right. Economy broke down and the empire could not provide the social and intellectual background for the growth of science. The collapse of the Roman empire was a serious setback to trade and commerce. This led to the rise of small feudal states of independent existence. These groups of villages became self-sufficient, thus discouraging trade.

The caste system became more in favour of the Brahmins and emphasising the social and religious disabilities of the Sudras. Potters, weavers, goldsmiths etc were considered low castes. The intellectual effort was directed towards justifying and maintaining the rigid caste system. The position of women was also very low in the society. Women were not allowed to study Vedas. The marriageable age was set to 6-8 years, denying the opportunity of personal development.

Developments In Science And Technology In India, From 4th Century B.C to 7th Century A.D

1. Developments In The Mauryan Empire

In Arthasastra, there are detailed descriptions of military machines which use the principle of centrifugal forces. There was considerable development in civil engineering. Different forms of irrigation, excellent roads and wood building were made during the period. Ashoka introduced stones to construct buildings. Small industries near 'Sita' lands for husking of grains, pressing of oil seeds, shaping of timbers etc came. The greatest contribution was in metallurgy and metal working. There are descriptions in Arthasastra for reducing and smelting ores. Alloys were also made. Swords made of alloys were exported including to Greece.

2. Developments In South India

The rule of Satavahanas, Kshatrapas and Vakatakas were the flourishing period of crafts and commerce in South India. Iron tools, coins of lead, copper, bronze etc were found. They were proficient in metallurgy of iron, brass, zinc etc. Weaving, dyeing etc flourished during the period. Knowledge of monsoon immensely helped sea trade and export.

3. The Gupta Period

a) Agriculture

In agriculture, there were proper manuals which gave information on the type and quantity of soil required for each plant, distance between plants as well as sowing techniques. Weights and designs of ploughshares for different types of soil were fixed and the use of iron for making agricultural implements became wide spread.

b) Crafts

Rust-proof copper and alloys were found. High quality crafts were exported to far away countries including Africa. Weaving techniques were perfected for making cotton and silk materials. Manufacture of dyes for textiles came into pracitce. 

c) Trade

Specially designed seaworthy ships improved trade. Foreign exposure increased demand for products which further demanded new techniques of production, construction, communication and navigation.

d) Mathematics In India

Jaina mathematicians made great contributions between 500BC and 500AD. A mutual influence was between Greek and Indian mathematicians. 

i) Mathematics of Jainas

Jainas attached mathematical proficiency in their religious teachings. Works such as Sthananga Sutra, Surya Prajnapati etc deals with mensuration, surds, fractions, geometry etc. Jainas worked out relations between diameter, circumference, arc and chord of a circle. They had solutions to find approximate value of a surd. They used large and complicated arithmetical factors.

ii) Algebra

Algebra appeared during the time of Brahmagupta. They used abbreviations of names of colours or gems as symbols of unknown quantities and operations. They classified equations into 3 groups.
  • Equations in one unknown
  • Equations in several unknowns
  • Equations with products of unknowns
Solutions of linear quadratic and indeterminate equations were known to them. 

iii) Numerals

Invention of numerals was another great contribution. Numerals were required in astronomy and precision instruments of precious metals. Kharosthi and Brahmi systems were used then. The decimal or zero system was also in use.

e) Astronomy

Aryabhatta was the greatest astronomer of Gupta period. He believed that the earth was rotating and the heavens resting. He gave a scientific explanation for the occurrence of eclipses as opposed to the prevailing ideas that Rahu and Ketu caused eclipses. He constructed trigonometric tables and formulas for the sum of arithmetic and geometric series.

Mathematics In Ancient India - Shortnote

Jaina mathematicians made great contributions between 500BC and 500AD. A mutual influence was between Greek and Indian mathematicians. 

1. Mathematics of Jainas

Jainas attached mathematical proficiency in their religious teachings. Works such as Sthananga Sutra, Surya Prajnapati etc deals with mensuration, surds, fractions, geometry etc. Jainas worked out relations between diameter, circumference, arc and chord of a circle. They had solutions to find approximate value of a surd. They used large and complicated arithmetical factors.

2. Algebra

Algebra appeared during the time of Brahmagupta. They used abbreviations of names of colours or gems as symbols of unknown quantities and operations. They classified equations into 3 groups.
  • Equations in one unknown
  • Equations in several unknowns
  • Equations with products of unknowns
Solutions of linear quadratic and indeterminate equations were known to them. 

3. Numerals

Invention of numerals was another great contribution. Numerals were required in astronomy and precision instruments of precious metals. Kharosthi and Brahmi systems were used then. The decimal or zero system was also in use.

Advances In Science In India During Iron Age

1. Astronomy & Mathematics

The era just saw the expansion of astronomical knowledge already found in Rig Veda, which was the division of universe into Prithvi, Anthariksh and Dyaus (heaven). Sulvasutras had good knowledge of geometry. Arithmetic was equally well developed. Numbers in multiple of 10 and going up to powers of 12 were used. All arithmetic operations were known. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squaring of fractions, quadratic equations, indeterminate equations, permutations and combinations also appear in sulvasutras.

2. Chemistry

Chemical knowledge reflected in pottery, iron tools and glass objects. They had a fair knowledge of iron smelting. During 5th or 4th century BC Indian workers were perfect in techniques of producing iron and steel. Production of glass came towards the end. Fermentation, dyeing techniques and use of colour pigments were well known. 

3. Botany

Agriculture is the main form of production. Thus botany and physiology developed with the advances made in agriculture. Development in medicine and medicinal plants helped botany. Scattered references in Rigvedic hymns on different parts, classification and physiology of plants were found. In Atharvaveda, Taittiriya Samhita etc references were made to the following
  • Different parts of plants such as mula, tula, kanda, valsa
  • Classification of plants such as Ousadhi, Valli, Guecha etc according to their morphology and use
  • Physiology of plants in terms of what nourishes a plant through addition to the soil as cow dung, manure etc
The Vrikshayurveda by Parasara formalised a lot of earlier botanical and medicinal knowledge.

4. Zoology

Need of horses and elephants for war necessitated the study of their anatomy and physiology. A survey of vedic literature revealed that more than 260 animals were known at that time. Classification of animals and study of their dietary value had been attempted. Human physiology was also studied. Post-vedic literature also contains the names of animals and a vast storehouse of observation on their natural history.

Why Roman Phase Of Iron Age Marked By Stagnation Of Science?

During the roman phase, the mainstay of the economy was loot from the empire with the help of military and agriculture by slaves. There was very little demand to increase production and to improve the economy through application of new techniques. There was very little contribution to science during the era. The land was owned by slave owners and wealthy merchants. The army was used by emperors to collect taxes. Only existing knowledge was applied for constructing buildings.

Accumulation of power and wealth in the hands of a few rich men and suppression of slaves, lowered the demand for commodities. This affected the condition of merchants and craftsmen. There was no incentive for science to develop new techniques. Thus, science lost its essential quality of inquiring into nature.

Achievements Of Bronze Age In Quantitative Science

Surplus in agriculture and production of non-agricultural goods by craftsmen led to trade and exchange. Exchange of more commodities in higher quantities made things difficult to memorize. Thus some standards such as numbers, measure of grains, weights etc became necessary for proper exchange and trade. Symbols were introduced to cover actions as well as objects and so writing emerged. Standardization of exchange in the form of weight led to the use of balance.

Simple calculations like addition and subtraction of exchange led to the development of arithmetic. Use of bricks for building houses gave the idea of right angle and straight line and led to the birth of geometry. Ability to count and calculate led to making of calendars and development of astronomy. Practical astronomy was really helpful in agriculture (weather forecast). 

Sumerians developed solar and lunar calendars. They invented 360 degrees of a circle, 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute. Medicine also developed and they were able to successfully diagnose diseases. Orally passed information through generations led to the development of anatomy and physiology. Plants and herbs grown for medicinal purpose led to the development of botany. Chemistry was known by jewelers, metal workers and potters. Smelting ores and purifying metals were well known at the time.

Foundation Course In Science And Technology - FST1 Notes List

FST1 Short Answers

Achievements Of Bronze Age In Quantitative Science

Why Roman Phase Of Iron Age Marked By Stagnation Of Science?  

Advances In Science In India During Iron Age

Mathematics In Ancient India - Shortnote  

Developments In Science And Technology In India, From 4th Century B.C to 7th Century A.D

Features Of Indian Society That Led To The Decline Of Science In Post-Gupta Period  

Impediments To The Growth Of Science In Medieval India

Achievements Of Indian Science During Medieval Period  

Match The Following - Answers

Compare State Of Science And Technology During Renaissance With That of Post-Renaissance Period  

Reasons Why There Were Very Few Developments In Science In British India

Short Note On Scientific Method, Inductive And Deductive Logic  

Features Of Scientific Knowledge

Kepler's Laws Of Planetary Motion  

Big Bang Theory & Evidences

Life Story Of A Star  

Solar Wind

Short Note On Comets  

Why Is Mars Called Red Planet And In What Ways Is It Similar To Earth?

Observations Led To The Discovery Of Neptune & Pluto : Search For Planet X  

Pasteur's Experiment That Disproved Theory Of Spontaneous Generation

Impacts Of Miller's Experiment On Classical Theories Of Origin Of Life  

Chemical Evolution And Biological Evolution

Feedback Mechanism And Water Loss From Kidneys  

Darwin's Theory Of Natural Selection

Stages Of Human Evolution  

Carbon Dating

Food Web  

Carbon Cycle

Water Cycle  

Producers, Consumers, Decomposers And Their Relationship

Oceans Are The Largest And Thickest Ecosystems Justify  

Photochemical Smog

Water Pollution  

Persistent Pollutants

Impact of Increasing Population on Environment  

How Did Ozone Layer Get Depleted?

Non-Conventional Renewable Resources of Energy  

Resource Mapping

Recycling 

Ways To Manage Water Resources

How Can Saline Alkaline Soils Be Reclaimed?  

Basic Resources For Agriculture In India

Importance Of Livestock  

Biotechnology

Balanced Diet  

Vitamins

Protein Calorie Malnutrition  

Vaccination

Infectious Diseases  

Central Nervous System - Structural Components

Hormones  

Ivan Pavlov's Experiment

Reward And Punishment In Learning  

Role of Memory, Reasoning, Analysis And Synthesis In Learning Process

Aggression  

Psychological Stability Of An Astronaut

Role of Communication In Education  

Scientific Discovery Lead Time

Cost of Steel Production

Importance Of Research And Development In Creating Wealth Continuously  

Technology Transfer

Nuclear Fission  

Laser

Semiconductors  

Artificial Intelligence

FST1 Short Answers

Q) Method of science is based on the speculations prevalent in the society.

Ans) False

Q) Galileo Galilei

Ans) Ridges and Valleys on moon

Q) What is stone age?

Ans) Stone age is a broad pre-historic period during which stones were used to make tools.

Q) The first evidence of Indus Valley Civilization came from the discover of two great cities _______and __________?

Ans) Harappa and Mohenjo-daro

Q) The technique of making rust-proof iron and copper alloys belongs to _______ period?

Ans) Iron Age

Q) In Iron Age, Indians knew how to make steel?

Ans) True

Q) _________discovered circulation of blood in the human body?

Ans) William Harvey

Q) Cosmic distances are measured in?

Ans) Lightyears

Q) What is a galaxy?

Ans) A galaxy is a system of millions or billions of stars together with gas and dust, held together by gravitational attraction.

Q) The innermost layer of atmosphere is ___________?

Ans) Troposphere

Q) ________ are producers?

Ans) Plants

Q) Man can occupy second or third trophic level in a food chain?

Ans) True

Q) Define food chain?

Ans) A series of organisms each dependent on the next as a source of food.

Q) The entry point of solar energy in an Ecosystem is ______?

Ans) Plants or Producers

Q) _________ is the branch of science that deals with the interaction of organisms with their environment?

Ans) Ecology

Q) Define Ecosystem?

Ans) Ecosystem is a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.

Q) What are persistent pollutants. Give an example?

Ans) Pollutants that remain in an unchanged form for a long time are known as persistent pollutants. Eg: Pesticides, nuclear wastes, plastics etc. Many of these are toxic.

Q) What is meant by essential amino acids?

Ans) 10 amino acids which cannot be manufactured by the body and have to be supplied through diet are called essential amino acids.

Q) Name one disease each spread by air, water, food and contact?

Ans) Air - cough and cold
Water - Cholera, typhoid, diarrhea, dysentery
Food - Typhoid, stomach infection
Contact - Conjunctivitis

Q) Susruta Samhita?

Ans) Classical sanskrit text on medicine or ayurveda. It has a detailed study of medicine and surgery. It was written by Susruta.

Q) Museum of Alexandria?

Ans) Institution founded by Ptolemy I. It has the famous library of Alexandria with a storehouse of texts.

Q) Totem Poles?

Ans) Monumental sculptures carved on poles or pillars with figures made from large trees by indigenous people of North Western United States and British Columbia.

Q) Ergonomics?

Ans) Study of people's efficiency in their working environment.

Q) What is an artificial satellite?

Ans) Artificial satellites are human built objects orbiting earth and other planets in the solar system.

Post-Rio Progress In Meeting Environmental Challenges

The heads of governments who attended Rio summit proclaimed that "there shall be sustainable development and the environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens at relevant levels". Rio summit has failed to achieve its objectives largely because of unsupportive developed nations like USA and Australia. There were huge conflicts of interests between rich industrial countries of North and natural resources rich countries of the South. Global warming was the most important concern. To combat this, a UN framework convention on climate change was signed by 154 countries at Rio Summit. After repeated negotiations, industrialised countries agreed to reduce their emissions in the period 2008-2012 by 5.2% compared to 1990 levels. This is called Kyoto Protocol. It was not signed by USA and Australia.

Similar was the fate of Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). CBD recognises the rights of countries on their genetic resources and insists fair and equitable return for the use of these resources mostly by the pharmaceutical companies of North. It has been rectified by 175 countries, USA is an exception. 80% of total biological resources belong to South and the North wants unrestricted access to these resources to support their drug industry. Forests of the South are preying ground for multinational timber trade companies of the North. UN convention to combat desertification was also rejected by Northern countries stating that, it was nothing more than a local problem caused by population pressures. However,it is not the case with environmental issues affecting the Northern Hemisphere. Be it the hole in the ozone layer or the problem of persistent organic pollutants travelling to Artic. The Montreal Protocol has been well implemented.
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