प्रदूषण 2

 

मुक्त ज्ञानकोष विकिपीडिया से

प्रदूषण का अर्थ है वातावरण में दूशकों का घुलना, चाहे उनका जो भी पूर्वा-निर्धारित या परस्पर सहमत अनुपात या सन्दर्भ के प्रारूप रहे हो (frame of reference); ये प्रदूषक भौतिक प्रणाली या उनमें रहने वाले जीव-जन्तुओ में अस्थिरता , नुकसान ओर परेशानी उत्पन्न करते हैं|[1] प्रदूषणरासायनिकपदार्थ या उर्जाजैसे शोर, गर्मी या प्रकाश का रूप हो सकता है.प्रदूषक, प्रदूषण के तत्त्व, विदेशी तत्त्व या उर्जा से अथवा प्राकृतिक रूप से हो सकते हैं जब वे प्राकृतिक रूप से पैदा होते हैं और प्राकृत स्तर को पार कर लेते हैं तब उन्हें प्रदूषक माना जाता है.प्रदूषण को प्रायः बिंदु स्रोत (point source)या अबिंदु स्रोत प्रदुषण (nonpoint source pollution) के रूप में वर्गित किया जाता हैं.

कभी कभी प्रदुषण शब्द के विस्तारित अभिप्राय में व्यवस्था की स्थिरता के लिए खतरनाक व्यवस्था के अंतर्गत वैसे अप्राकृतिक उच्च प्रदूषकों के उत्पन्न तत्व शामिल है. उदाहरण के लिए, पानी अहानिकर है और जीवन के लिए आवश्यक है, परन्तु बहुत अधिक सांद्रता पर यह एक प्रदूषक माना जा सकता है: यदि कोई व्यक्ति अत्यधिक मात्रा में पानी पीये, भौतिक प्रणाली पर अत्यधिक बोझ हो सकता है और यहाँ तक कि बीमार होने और मृत्यु का परिणाम हो सकता है .एक अन्य उदाहरण है अत्यधिक शोर से एक व्यक्ति का मानसिक संतुलन बिगड़ सकता है जिसका नतीजा शारीरिक क्रिया में गडबडी और(psychosis)साइकोसिस है ;इसे हथियार के रूप में युद्ध में प्रयोग किया गया है.

प्रदूषण नियंत्रण

प्रदूषण नियंत्रण शब्द का प्रयोग पर्यावरण प्रबंधन (environmental management) में किया जाता है, इसका अर्थ है हवा, पानी या मिट्टी में मिलने बाले उत्सर्जन (emissions) और बहिर्स्राब (गंदा पानी) (effluents) का नियंत्रण। यदि प्रदूषण नियंत्रण न किया जाए तो कृषि, खनन, विनिर्माण, परिवहन, ताप-विद्युत उत्पादन, उपभोग और अन्य मानवीय गतिविधियों से उत्पन्न हुए व्यर्थ पदार्थ, चाहे वे एक स्थान पर संचित हो जाए या फ़ैल जायें, पर्यावरण (environment) को हानि पहुंचाते हैं। प्रदूषण के सोपानक्रम में प्रदूषण की रोकथाम (pollution prevention)और अपशिष्ट न्यूनीकरण (waste minimization); प्रदूषण नियंत्रण से अधिक वांछनीय है।

[संपादित करें]प्रदूषण नियंत्रण उपकरण

§ धूल संग्रह प्रणाली (Dust collection system)

§ चक्रवात (Cyclones)

§ विद्युत् अपघट्य अवाछेपक (Electrostatic precipitator)

§ Baghouses (Baghouses)

§ घर्षक (Scrubber)

§ चकरा स्प्रे घर्षक (Baffle spray scrubber)

§ चक्रवात स्प्रे घर्षक (Cyclonic spray scrubber)

§ निष्कशन वेनट्युरी घर्षक (Ejector venturi scrubber)

§ मशीनीय सहायता प्राप्त घर्शक (Mechanically aided scrubber)

§ स्प्रे टॉवर (Spray tower)

§ गिला घर्शक (Wet scrubber)

§ मलजल उपचार (Sewage treatment) और अपशिष्ट जल उपचार (Wastewater treatment)

§ API तेल जल विभाजक (API oil-water separator)s[2][3]

§ अवसादन ( जल उपचार ) (Sedimentation (water treatment))

§ भंग हवाई प्लावन (Dissolved air flotation) ( DAF )

§ कीचड़ सक्रिय जैव शोधक (Activated sludge biotreater)

§ जैव शोधक (Biofilter)

§ पाउडर सक्रिय कार्बन उपचार (Powdered activated carbon treatment)

§ वाष्प पुन: प्राप्ति (Vapor recovery systems)

[संपादित करें]मुख्य प्रकार के प्रदूषण और मुख्य प्रदूषित क्षेत्र

एक दूसरे से संबद्ध विशिष्ट प्रदूषकों के साथ प्रदूषण के वृहद प्रकार नीचे सूचीबद्ध हैं

§ वायु प्रदुषण (Air pollution),रसायनों और कण का पर्यावरण में जारी होना .उद्योग और (carbon monoxide)मोटर वाहनों से कार्बन मोनोऑक्साइड, सल्फर डाइऑक्साइड (chlorofluorocarbon), क्लोरो फ्लोरो कार्बन (nitrogen oxide) (CFCs ) और नाइट्रोजन आक्साइड (industry) सामान्य वायु प्रदूषक हैं. फ़ोटोरासायनिक ओज़ोन और धुँध (smog) नाइट्रोजन ऑक्साइड और हाइड्रोकार्बन की सूर्य के प्रकाश की प्रतिक्रिया से बनता है.

§ सतह में नदी (Water pollution) निकास व्यवस्था में (runoff) कचरा उत्पाद (groundwater) और प्रदूषक भूमि (wastewater)गत जल में निक्षालन तरल गोलिया अपशिष्ट जल और कचरा द्वारा निर्गत जल (eutrophication) प्रदूषण

§ मिट्टी संदूषण (Soil contamination) तब होती है जब छलकाव या भूमिगत रिसाव द्वारा रसायन निर्गत होते हैं इनमें सबसे महत्वपूर्ण मिट्टी संदूषक (soil contaminant) हाइड्रोकार्बन , भारी धातुओं (heavy metals), MTBE (MTBE)[4], herbicides (herbicides), कीटनाशकों औरहाइड्रोकार्बन क्लोरीनयुक्त है (chlorinated hydrocarbons).

§ रेडियोधर्मी संदूषण (Radioactive contamination), जिसकी वजह से 20 वीं सदी की गतिविधियों में परमाणु भौतिकी (atomic physics), जैसे कि परमाणु हथियारों और परमाणु बिजली उत्पादन अनुसंधान , निर्माण और तैनाती है .अल्फा emitterऔर एक्टीनाइड्स को पर्यावरण में देखें(actinides in the environment))

§ ध्वनि प्रदूषण (Noise pollution), जिसमें सड़क का शोर (roadway noise), वायुयान का शोर (aircraft noise), उद्योगों का शोर (industrial noise) और उच्च तीव्रता का सोनार (sonar) शामिल है.

§ हल्की प्रदूषण (Light pollution),में प्रकाश अतिचार, अति प्रदीप्ति (over-illumination) और खगोलीय हस्तक्षेप शामिल हैं.

§ दृश्य प्रदूषण (Visual pollution) का तात्पर्य बिजली की लाइन (power line), मोटर वे बिलबोर्ड (billboard), स्केयर्ड लैण्डफॉर्म (landform),(पट्टी खनन (strip mining)से) , खुली रद्दी के भण्डारण,या नगरपालिका ठोस अपशिष्ट (municipal solid waste) से हो सकता है.

§ थर्मल प्रदूषण (Thermal pollution)प्राकृतिक जल निकायों के तापमान में होने वाला परिवर्तन है, जो मानवीय क्रियाओं के कारण होता है, जैसे जल का परमाणु भट्टी में शीतलक के रूप में उपयोग.

यह लोहार संस्थान (Blacksmith Institute) सालाना दुनिया की सर्वाधिक प्रदूषित स्थानों की सूचि जारी करता है .२००७ के मुद्दे पर शीर्ष दस नोमिनीस अजरबेजान, चीन, भारत, पेरू, रूस, युक्रेन और जाम्बिया में स्थित हैंI

[संपादित करें]सूत्र और कारण

मोटर वाहन उत्सर्जन वायु प्रदूषण का प्रमुख कारण हैं.[5][6][7]चीन, संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिका, रूस, मेक्सिको, और जापान वायु प्रदूषा उत्सर्जन के विश्व नेता हैं , लेकिन कनाडाप्रति व्यक्ति के क्रम में दूसरी संख्या पर है , . प्रधान स्थिर प्रदूषण के स्रोतों में शामिल हैं रासायनिक संयंत्र (chemical plant) , कोयले की आग से युक्त विद्युत परियोजनायें (power plants), तेल की रिफाइनरियां (oil refineries),[3]पेट्रो रसायन (petrochemical) संयंत्र , परमाणु कचरे (nuclear waste)का निपटारा, incinerators , बड़े पशु फार्म( डेयरी गाय , सूअर , मुर्गीपालन , आदि )PVC (PVC) कारखाने, धातु उत्पादक उद्योग, प्लास्टिक उद्योग, और अन्य भारी उद्योग.

अन्य साधारण मिटटी (soil) प्रदुशक हैं,क्लोरिन युक्त हाइड्रो कार्बन (chlorinated hydrocarbon)(CFH)भारी तत्त्व (heavy metals) (जैसे क्रोमियम,कैडमियम–जो पाया जाता है पुनर निवेश बेट्रीयों (batteries), और लीड (lead)–लीड में पाया जाता हैं रंग (paint), विमान इंधन (aviation fuel)और भी कुछ देशों में,गेसोलीन (gasoline), MTBE (MTBE),जिंक,आर्सेनिक और बेंजीन (benzene)2001 में प्रेस रिपोर्टों की एक श्रृंखला को एक पुस्तक भाग्य शाली खेती (Fateful Harvest) में छापा गया,इसमें विभिन्न धातुओं के द्वारा मिटटी प्रदूषण के परिणाम स्वरुप पुनर चक्रित उद्योग के सह उत्पादों को प्रकट किया साधारण नगरपालिका भूमि (landfill)s के स्रोत हैं कई रासायनिक तत्वों की मिट्टी के वातावरण में प्रवेश कर ( और अक्सर भूमिगत ) , उत्पन्न से इनकार अनेक स्वीकार किए जाते हैं , विशेष रूप से मादक द्रव्यों के त्याग वहां अवैध तरीके से , या पूर्व – 1970 landfills से हो सकता है कि बहुत कम नियंत्रण के अधीन किए गए हैं अमेरिका या एउरोपिया संघ में .सामान्यः सामान्यता के लिए टी सी डी डी जैसे कहे जाने वाले वाले पोली क्लोरीनेटेड (polychlorinated dibenzodioxins)दी बेन्जो डी ओक्सिन के कुछ असामान्य निष्पादन हैं (TCDD).[8]

प्रदूषण प्राकृतिक आपदा का भी पारिणाम हो सकता है .उदाहरण के लिए , तूफ़ान (hurricane)प्रायः गन्दा पानी और टूटे नाव (petrochemical)या वाहन के छाल्काव से पेट्रो रसायन (boat)से जल प्रदूषण को शामिल करता है (automobile). बड़े पैमाने पर और पर्यावरण को नुकसान नहीं है जब असामान्य तटीय तेल रिसाव (oil rigs) या रिफाइनरियों (refineries) शामिल हैं .कुछ सूत्रों के प्रदूषण , जैसे परमाणु शक्ति (nuclear power) या पौधे तेल टैंकर (oil tanker)s , बड़े पैमाने पर उत्पादन कर सकता है और संभावित दुर्घटनाओं जब रिलीज होने के खतरनाक है .

ध्वनि प्रदूषण (noise pollution) के मामले में इस वर्ग के प्रमुख स्रोत है मोटर यान (motor vehicle), जो दुनिया में ९० प्रतिशत अवांछित ध्वनि प्रदूषण को पैदा करता है

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DRIP IRRIGATION

 

Disadvantages of drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation costs are always higher the initial margin and subscribing fees. Maintaining fees is more than actual rates of parts and installation.
In the summer season and during the hot days drip irrigation lateral pipes will be shortening their lives, but one must should use water in the sun shore so it can 

History of Drip Irrigation

Micro Irrigation known as Drip Irrigation or Trickle Irrigation which help save water, fertilizers and allows drip slowly to the surface of the soil’ or at the plant. One can customize the speed water Drip for feeding the plant using this method. There are several components to use this drip system

Go Green with Drip Irrigation Zone

Drip irrigation, also known as microirrigation or trickle irrigation, is a method of irrigation which facilitates saving your water and fertilizer by letting water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either directly onto the root zone or onto the soil surface, through a system of tubing, valves, pipes, and emitters. Whether you prefer drip irrigation for home garden or for anything else, it is the most efficient and cost-effective way of irrigation which offers numerous benefits.

Drip Irrigation Zone aims at providing you with up-to-date information and tips about drip irrigation. We assist you through taking decision and planning out process for installing drip irrigation. For the newbie, we offer excellent guide about several benefits of drip irrigation system, just like maintaining moisture level in the soil, making healthier plants in the garden, and savings water and your water bill.

Why Drip Irrigation?

Compared to sprinklers or surface irrigation, drip irrigation is a much more efficient way of watering shrubs and newly planted trees because:

· Water is applied directly to the root zone.

· Water is applied at a slow rate which is absorbed by the root ball.

· No water wastage on the surrounding area.

· Maintain the moisture level in the soil.

· Foliage remains dry.

So, when it comes to establishing new plants, consider drip watering system. Depending upon the amount of water you provide that will determine success and failure of your new planting. And therefore, we’re committed to offering you a basic rundown of drip irrigation systems and some useful tips for successful installations.

Explore the huge line of drip irrigation products consisting of drip line, accessories, varieties of valves and controllers for efficient irrigation solutions. Get to know about useful information and product listing about drip watering for residential installation. We will assist you through planning and designing drip irrigation kits or parts into an efficient system. Our drip irrigation tutorials on the installation of a drip watering system along with product information and specifications can make your task easier. clip_image002clip_image004

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Leonardo da Vinci

“Da Vinci” redirects here. For other uses, see Da Vinci (disambiguation).

Leonardo da Vinci


Self-portrait in red chalk, circa 1512 to 1515[nb 1]

Royal Library of Turin

Birth name
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci

Born
April 15, 1452
Vinci, Italy, near Florence

Died
May 2, 1519 (aged 67)
Amboise, France

Nationality
Italian

Field
Many and diverse fields of artsand sciences

Movement
High Renaissance

Works
Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, The Vitruvian Man

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519, Old Style) was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist,mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”.[1] He is widely considered to be one of thegreatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.[2] According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and “his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote”.[1] Marco Rosci points out, however, that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time.[3]

Born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter,Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice and spent his last years in France, at the home awarded him by Francis I.

Leonardo was and is renowned[2] primarily as a painter. Among his works, the Mona Lisa is the most famous and most parodied portrait and The Last Supper the most reproduced religious painting of all time, with their fame approached only by Michelangelo‘s Creation of Adam.[1] Leonardo’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon,[4] being reproduced on items as varied as the euro, textbooks, and T-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number due to his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination.[nb 2] Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists only rivalled by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo.

Leonardo is revered[2] for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator,[5] the double hull and outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime,[nb 3] but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded.[nb 4] He made important discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had no direct influence on later science.[6]

 

Life

See also: Leonardo da Vinci’s personal life

Childhood, 1452–1466

Photo of a building of rough stone with small windows, surrounded by olive trees.

Leonardo’s childhood home in Anchiano

 Pen drawing of a landscape with mountains, a river in a deep valley, and a small castle.

Leonardo’s earliest known drawing, the Arno Valley (1473), Uffizi

Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452 (Old Style), “at the third hour of the night”[nb 5] in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci, in the lower valley of the Arno River in the territory of the Medici-ruled Republic of Florence.[8] He was the out-of-wedlock son of the wealthy Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine legal notary, and Caterina, a peasant.[7][9][nb 6] Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense, “da Vinci” simply meaning “of Vinci”: his full birth name was “Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci”, meaning “Leonardo, (son) of (Mes)ser Piero from Vinci”.[8] The inclusion of the title “ser” indicated that Leonardo’s father was a gentleman.

Little is known about Leonardo’s early life. He spent his first five years in the hamlet of Anchiano in the home of his mother, then from 1457 lived in the household of his father, grandparents and uncle, Francesco, in the small town of Vinci. His father had married a sixteen-year-old girl named Albiera, who loved Leonardo but died young.[10] When Leonardo was sixteen his father married again, to twenty-year-old Francesca Lanfredini. It was not until his third and fourth marriages that Ser Piero produced legitimate heirs.[11]

Leonardo received an informal education in Latin, geometry and mathematics. In later life, Leonardo only recorded two childhood incidents. One, which he regarded as an omen, was when a kitedropped from the sky and hovered over his cradle, its tail feathers brushing his face.[12] The second occurred while exploring in the mountains. He discovered a cave and was both terrified that some great monster might lurk there, and driven by curiosity to find out what was inside.[10]

Leonardo’s early life has been the subject of historical conjecture.[13] Vasari, the 16th-century biographer of Renaissance painters tells of how a local peasant made himself a round shield and requested that Ser Piero have it painted for him. Leonardo responded with a painting of a monster spitting fire which was so terrifying that Ser Piero sold it to a Florentine art dealer, who sold it to the Duke of Milan. Meanwhile, having made a profit, Ser Piero bought a shield decorated with a heart pierced by an arrow, which he gave to the peasant.[14]

Painting showing Jesus, naked except for a loin-cloth, standing in a shallow stream in a rocky landscape, while to the right, John the Baptist, identifiable by the cross that he carries, tips water over Jesus' head. Two angels kneel at the left. Above Jesus are the hands of God, and a dove descending.

The Baptism of Christ (1472–1475)—Uffizi, by Verrocchio and Leonardo

Verrocchio’s workshop, 1466–1476

In 1466, at the age of fourteen, Leonardo was apprenticed to the artist Andrea di Cione, known as Verrocchio, whose workshop was “one of the finest in Florence”.[15] Other famous painters apprenticed or associated with the workshop include Domenico Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Botticelli, and Lorenzo di Credi.[10][16] Leonardo would have been exposed to both theoretical training and a vast range of technical skills[17] including drafting, chemistry, metallurgy, metal working, plaster casting, leather working, mechanics and carpentry as well as the artistic skills of drawing, painting, sculpting and modelling.[18][nb 7]

Much of the painted production of Verrocchio’s workshop was done by his employees. According to Vasari, Leonardo collaborated with Verrocchio on hisBaptism of Christ, painting the young angel holding Jesus‘ robe in a manner that was so far superior to his master’s that Verrocchio put down his brush and never painted again.[19] On close examination, the painting reveals much that has been painted or touched up over the tempera using the new technique of oil paint, with the landscape, the rocks that can be seen through the brown mountain stream and much of the figure of Jesus bearing witness to the hand of Leonardo.[20] Leonardo himself may have been the model for two existent works by Verrocchio: the bronze statue ofDavid in the Bargello, and the Archangel Raphael in Tobias and the Angel.[9]

By 1472, at the age of twenty, Leonardo qualified as a master in the Guild of St Luke, the guild of artists and doctors of medicine,[nb 8] but even after his father set him up in his own workshop, his attachment to Verrocchio was such that he continued to collaborate with him.[10] Leonardo’s earliest known dated work is a drawing in pen and ink of the Arno valley, drawn on August 5, 1473.[nb 9][16]

Professional life, 1476–1513

An unfinished painting showing the Virgin Mary and Christ Child surrounded by many figures who are all crowding to look at the baby. Behind the figures is a distant landscape and a large ruined building. More people are coming, in the distance.

The Adoration of the Magi, (1481)—Uffizi

Florentine court records of 1476 show that Leonardo and three other young men were charged with sodomy, and acquitted.[9][nb 10] From that date until 1478 there is no record of his work or even of his whereabouts.[21] In 1478 he left Verrocchio’s studio and was no longer resident at his father’s house. One writer, the “Anonimo” Gaddiano claims that in 1480 he was living with the Medici and working in the Garden of the Piazza San Marco in Florence, a Neo-Platonic academy of artists, poets and philosophers that the Medici had established.[9] In January 1478, he received his first of two independent commissions: to paint an altarpiece for the Chapel of St. Bernard in the Palazzo Vecchio and, in March 1481, The Adoration of the Magi for the Monks of San Donato a Scopeto.[22] Neither important commission was completed, the second being interrupted when Leonardo went to Milan.

In 1482 Leonardo, who according to Vasari was a most talented musician,[23] created a silver lyre in the shape of a horse’s head. Lorenzo de’ Medici sent Leonardo, bearing the lyre as a gift, to Milan, to secure peace with Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan.[24] At this time Leonardo wrote an often-quoted letter to Ludovico, describing the many marvellous and diverse things that he could achieve in the field of engineering and informing the Lord that he could also paint.[16][25]

Leonardo worked in Milan from 1482 until 1499. He was commissioned to paint the Virgin of the Rocks for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception, and The Last Supper for the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie.[26] Between 1493 and 1495 Leonardo listed a woman called Caterina among his dependents in his taxation documents. When she died in 1495, the list of funeral expenditures suggests that she was his mother.[27]

Leonardo was employed on many different projects for Ludovico, including the preparation of floats and pageants for special occasions, designs for a dome for Milan Cathedral and a model for a huge equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza, Ludovico’s predecessor. Seventy tons of bronze were set aside for casting it. The monument remained unfinished for several years, which was not unusual for Leonardo. In 1492 the clay model of the horse was completed. It surpassed in size the only two large equestrian statues of the Renaissance, Donatello’s statue of Gattemelata inPadua and Verrocchio’s Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice, and became known as the “Gran Cavallo”.[16][nb 11]

A page with two drawings of a war-horse, one from the side, and the other showing the chest and right leg.

Study of horse from Leonardo’s journals – Royal Library, Windsor Castle

Leonardo began making detailed plans for its casting,[16] however, Michelangelo rudely implied that Leonardo was unable to cast it.[10] In November 1494 Ludovico gave the bronze to be used for cannons to defend the city from invasion by Charles VIII.[16]

At the start of the Second Italian War in 1499, the invading French troops used the life-size clay model for the “Gran Cavallo” for target practice. With Ludovico Sforza overthrown, Leonardo, with his assistant Salai and friend, the mathematician Luca Pacioli, fled Milan for Venice,[28] where he was employed as a military architect and engineer, devising methods to defend the city from naval attack.[10] On his return to Florence in 1500, he and his household were guests of the Servite monks at the monastery of Santissima Annunziata and were provided with a workshop where, according to Vasari, Leonardo created the cartoon of The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist, a work that won such admiration that “men and women, young and old” flocked to see it “as if they were attending a great festival”.[29][nb 12]

In Cesena, in 1502 Leonardo entered the service of Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI, acting as a military architect and engineer and travelling throughout Italy with his patron.[28] Leonardo created a map of Cesare Borgia’s stronghold, a town plan of Imola in order to win his patronage. Maps were extremely rare at the time and it would have seemed like a new concept; upon seeing it, Cesare hired Leonardo as his chief military engineer and architect. Later in the year, Leonardo produced another map for his patron, one of Chiana Valley, Tuscany so as to give his patron a better overlay of the land and greater strategic position. He created this map in conjunction with his other project of constructing a dam from the sea to Florence in order to allow a supply of water to sustain the canal during all seasons.

Leonardo da Vinci’s very accurate map of Imola, created for Cesare Borgia

Leonardo returned to Florence where he rejoined the Guild of St Luke on October 18, 1503, and spent two years designing and painting a great mural of The Battle of Anghiari for the Signoria,[28] with Michelangelo designing its companion piece, The Battle of Cascina.[nb 13] In Florence in 1504, he was part of a committee formed to relocate, against the artist’s will, Michelangelo’s statue of David.[33]

In 1506 Leonardo returned to Milan. Many of his most prominent pupils or followers in painting either knew or worked with him in Milan,[10] including Bernardino Luini, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio and Marco D’Oggione.[nb 14] However, he did not stay in Milan for long because his father had died in 1504, and in 1507 he was back in Florence trying to sort out problems with his brothers over his father’s estate. By 1508 Leonardo was back in Milan, living in his own house in Porta Orientale in the parish of Santa Babila.[34]

Old age, 1513–1519

From September 1513 to 1516, Leonardo spent much of his time living in the Belvedere in the Vatican in Rome, where Raphael and Michelangelo were both active at the time.[34] In October 1515,Francis I of France recaptured Milan.[22] On December 19, Leonardo was present at the meeting of Francis I and Pope Leo X, which took place in Bologna.[10][35][36] Leonardo was commissioned to make for Francis a mechanical lion which could walk forward, then open its chest to reveal a cluster of lilies.[37][nb 15] In 1516, he entered François’ service, being given the use of the manor houseClos Lucé[nb 16] near the king’s residence at the royal Château d’Amboise. It was here that he spent the last three years of his life, accompanied by his friend and apprentice, Count Francesco Melzi, and supported by a pension totalling 10,000 scudi.[34]

Photo of a large medieval house, built of brick with many windows and gables and a circular tower with a conical roof.

Clos Lucé in France, where Leonardo died in 1519

Leonardo died at Clos Lucé, on May 2, 1519. Francis I had become a close friend. Vasari records that the King held Leonardo’s head in his arms as he died, although this story, beloved by the French and portrayed in romantic paintings by Ingres, Ménageot and other French artists, as well as by Angelica Kauffmann, may be legend rather than fact.[nb 17][39] Vasari also tells us that in his last days, Leonardo sent for a priest to make his confession and to receive the Holy Sacrament.[40] In accordance to his will, sixty beggars followed his casket.[nb 18] He was buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert in Château d’Amboise. Melzi was the principal heir and executor, receiving as well as money, Leonardo’s paintings, tools, library and personal effects. Leonardo also remembered his other long-time pupil and companion, Salai and his servant Battista di Vilussis, who each received half of Leonardo’s vineyards, his brothers who received land, and his serving woman who received a black cloak “of good stuff” with a fur edge.[nb 19][41]

Some twenty years after Leonardo’s death, Francis was reported by the goldsmith and sculptor Benevenuto Cellini as saying: “There had never been another man born in the world who knew as much as Leonardo, not so much about painting, sculpture and architecture, as that he was a very great philosopher.”[42]

Relationships and influences

Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise, (1425–1452) were a source of communal pride. Many artists assisted in their creation.

Florence — Leonardo’s artistic and social background

Florence, at the time of Leonardo’s youth, was the centre of Christian Humanist thought and culture.[43] Leonardo commenced his apprenticeship with Verrocchio in 1466, the year that Verrocchio’s master, the great sculptor Donatello, died. The painter Uccello whose early experiments with perspective were to influence the development of landscape painting, was a very old man. The painters Piero della Francesca and Fra Filippo Lippi, sculptor Luca della Robbia, and architect and writer Leon Battista Alberti were in their sixties. The successful artists of the next generation were Leonardo’s teacher Verrocchio, Antonio Pollaiuolo and the portrait sculptor, Mino da Fiesole whose lifelike busts give the most reliable likenesses of Lorenzo Medici’s father Piero and uncle Giovanni.[44][45][46][47]

Leonardo’s youth was spent in a Florence that was ornamented by the works of these artists and by Donatello’s contemporaries, Masaccio whose figurative frescoes were imbued with realism and emotion and Ghiberti whose Gates of Paradise, gleaming with gold leaf, displayed the art of combining complex figure compositions with detailed architectural backgrounds. Piero della Francesca had made a detailed study of perspective,[48] and was the first painter to make a scientific study of light. These studies and Alberti’s Treatise[49] were to have a profound effect on younger artists and in particular on Leonardo’s own observations and artworks.[44][46][47]

Massaccio’s depiction of the naked and distraught Adam and Eve leaving the Garden of Eden created a powerfully expressive image of the human form, cast into three dimensions by the use of light and shade which was to be developed in the works of Leonardo in a way that was to be influential in the course of painting. The Humanist influence of Donatello’s David can be seen in Leonardo’s late paintings, particularly John the Baptist.[44][45]

Small devotional picture by Verrocchio, c. 1470

A prevalent tradition in Florence was the small altarpiece of the Virgin and Child. Many of these were created in tempera or glazed terracotta by the workshops of Filippo Lippi, Verrocchio and the prolific della Robbia family.[44] Leonardo’s early Madonnas such as The Madonna with a carnation and The Benois Madonna followed this tradition while showing idiosyncratic departures, particularly in the case of the Benois Madonna in which the Virgin is set at an oblique angle to the picture space with the Christ Child at the opposite angle. This compositional theme was to emerge in Leonardo’s later paintings such as The Virgin and Child with St. Anne.[10]

Leonardo was a contemporary of Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Perugino, who were all slightly older than he was.[45] He would have met them at the workshop of Verrocchio, with whom they had associations, and at the Academy of the Medici.[10] Botticelli was a particular favourite of the Medici family and thus his success as a painter was assured. Ghirlandaio and Perugino were both prolific and ran large workshops. They competently delivered commissions to well-satisfied patrons who appreciated Ghirlandaio’s ability to portray the wealthy citizens of Florence within large religious frescoes, and Perugino’s ability to deliver a multitude of saints and angels of unfailing sweetness and innocence.[44]

The Portinari Altarpiece, by Hugo van der Goes for a Florentine family

These three were among those commissioned to paint the walls of the Sistine Chapel, the work commencing with Perugino’s employment in 1479. Leonardo was not part of this prestigious commission. His first significant commission, The Adoration of the Magi for the Monks of Scopeto, was never completed.[10]

In 1476, during the time of Leonardo’s association with Verrocchio’s workshop, the Portinari Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes arrived in Florence, bringing new painterly techniques from Northern Europe which were to profoundly effect Leonardo, Ghirlandaio, Perugino and others.[45] In 1479, the Sicilian painter Antonello da Messina, who worked exclusively in oils, traveled north on his way to Venice, where the leading painter, Giovanni Bellini adopted the technique of oil painting, quickly making it the preferred method in Venice. Leonardo was also later to visit Venice.[45][47]

Like the two contemporary architects, Bramante and Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, Leonardo experimented with designs for centrally planned churches, a number of which appear in his journals, as both plans and views, although none was ever realised.[45][50]

Lorenzo de’ Medici between Antonio Pucci and Francesco Sassetti, with Giulio de’ Medici, fresco by Ghirlandaio

Leonardo’s political contemporaries were Lorenzo Medici (il Magnifico), who was three years older, and his popular younger brother Giuliano who was slain in thePazzi Conspiracy in 1478. Ludovico il Moro who ruled Milan between 1479–1499 and to whom Leonardo was sent as ambassador from the Medici court, was also of Leonardo’s age.[45]

With Alberti, Leonardo visited the home of the Medici and through them came to know the older Humanist philosophers of whom Marsiglio Ficino, proponent of Neo Platonism, Cristoforo Landino, writer of commentaries on Classical writings, and John Argyropoulos, teacher of Greek and translator of Aristotle were foremost. Also associated with the Academy of the Medici was Leonardo’s contemporary, the brilliant young poet and philosopher Pico della Mirandola.[45][47][51] Leonardo later wrote in the margin of a journal “The Medici made me and the Medici destroyed me.” While it was through the action of Lorenzo that Leonardo was to receive his important Milanese commissions, it is not known exactly what Leonardo meant by this cryptic comment.[10]

Although usually named together as the three giants of the High Renaissance, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael were not of the same generation. Leonardo was twenty-three when Michelangelo was born and thirty-one when Raphael was born.[45] Raphael only lived until the age of 37 and died in 1520, the year after Leonardo, but Michelangelo went on creating for another 45 years.[46][47]

Study for a portrait of Isabella d’Este (1500) Louvre

Personal life

Main article: Leonardo da Vinci’s personal life

Within Leonardo’s lifetime, his extraordinary powers of invention, his “outstanding physical beauty”, “infinite grace”, “great strength and generosity”, “regal spirit and tremendous breadth of mind” as described by Vasari,[52] as well as all other aspects of his life, attracted the curiosity of others. One such aspect is his respect for life evidenced by his vegetarianism and his habit, described by Vasari, of purchasing caged birds and releasing them.[53][54]

Leonardo had many friends who are now renowned either in their fields or for their historical significance. They included the mathematician Luca Pacioli,[55] with whom he collaborated on a book in the 1490s, as well as Franchinus Gaffurius and Isabella d’Este.[citation needed] Leonardo appears to have had no close relationships with women except for his friendship with the two Este sisters, Beatrice and Isabella.[56] He drew a portrait of her while on a journey which took him through Mantua, and which appears to have been used to create a painted portrait now lost.[10]

Beyond friendship, Leonardo kept his private life secret. His sexuality has been the subject of satire, analysis, and speculation. This trend began in the mid-16th century and was revived in the 19th and 20th centuries, most notably by Sigmund Freud.[57] Leonardo’s most intimate relationships were perhaps with his pupils Salai and Melzi. Melzi, writing to inform Leonardo’s brothers of his death, described Leonardo’s feelings for his pupils as both loving and passionate.

It has been claimed since the 16th century that these relationships were of a sexual or erotic nature. Court records of 1476, when he was aged twenty-four, show that Leonardo and three other young men were charged with sodomy in an incident involving a well-known male prostitute. The charges were dismissed for lack of evidence, and there is speculation that since one of the accused, Lionardo de Tornabuoni, was related to Lorenzo de’ Medici, the family exerted its influence to secure the dismissal.[58] Since that date much has been written about his presumed homosexuality and its role in his art, particularly in the androgyny and eroticism manifested in John the Baptist and Bacchus and more explicitly in a number of erotic drawings.[59]

John the Baptist. Salai is thought to have been the model.[60] (c. 1514)—Louvre.

Assistants and pupils

Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno, nicknamed Salai or Il Salaino (“The Little Unclean One” i.e., the devil), entered Leonardo’s household in 1490. After only a year, Leonardo made a list of his misdemeanours, calling him “a thief, a liar, stubborn, and a glutton”, after he had made off with money and valuables on at least five occasions, and spent a fortune on clothes.[61] Nevertheless, Leonardo treated him with great indulgence and he remained in Leonardo’s household for the next thirty years.[62] Salai executed a number of paintings under the name of Andrea Salai, but although Vasari claims that Leonardo “taught him a great deal about painting”,[37] his work is generally considered to be of less artistic merit than others among Leonardo’s pupils, such as Marco d’Oggione and Boltraffio. In 1515, he painted a nude version of the Mona Lisa, known as Monna Vanna.[63] Salai owned the Mona Lisa at the time of his death in 1525, and in his will it was assessed at 505 lire, an exceptionally high valuation for a small panel portrait.[64]

In 1506, Leonardo took on another pupil, Count Francesco Melzi, the son of a Lombard aristocrat, who is considered to have been his favourite student. He travelled to France with Leonardo, and remained with him until the latter’s death.[10] Upon Leonardo’s death, Melzi inherited the artistic and scientific works, manuscripts, and collections of Leonardo, and faithfully administered the estate.

Painting

Annunciation (1475–1480)—Uffizi, is thought to be Leonardo’s earliest complete work.

See also: List of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci

Despite the recent awareness and admiration of Leonardo as a scientist and inventor, for the better part of four hundred years his enormous fame rested on his achievements as a painter and on a handful of works, either authenticated or attributed to him that have been regarded as among the supreme masterpieces.[65]

These paintings are famous for a variety of qualities which have been much imitated by students and discussed at great length by connoisseurs and critics. Among the qualities that make Leonardo’s work unique are the innovative techniques that he used in laying on the paint, his detailed knowledge of anatomy, light, botany and geology, his interest in physiognomy and the way in which humans register emotion in expression and gesture, his innovative use of the human form in figurative composition and his use of the subtle gradation of tone. All these qualities come together in his most famous painted works, the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper and the Virgin of the Rocks.[66]

Unfinished painting of St. Jerome in the Wilderness, (c. 1480), Vatican.

Early works

Leonardo’s early works begin with the Baptism of Christ painted in conjunction with Verrocchio. Two other paintings appear to date from his time at the workshop, both of which are Annunciations. One is small, 59 centimetres (23 in) long and 14 centimetres (5.5 in)high. It is a “predella” to go at the base of a larger composition, in this case a painting by Lorenzo di Credi from which it has become separated. The other is a much larger work, 217 centimetres (85 in) long.[67] In both these Annunciations, Leonardo has used a formal arrangement, such as in Fra Angelico’s two well known pictures of the same subject, of the Virgin Mary sitting or kneeling to the right of the picture, approached from the left by an angel in profile, with rich flowing garment, raised wings and bearing a lily. Although previously attributed to Ghirlandaio, the larger work is now almost universally attributed to Leonardo.[68]

In the smaller picture Mary averts her eyes and folds her hands in a gesture that symbolised submission to God’s will. In the larger picture, however, Mary is not in the least submissive. The beautiful girl, interrupted in her reading by this unexpected messenger, puts a finger in her bible to mark the place and raises her hand in a formal gesture of greeting or surprise.[44] This calm young woman appears to accept her role as the Mother of God not with resignation but with confidence. In this painting the young Leonardo presents theHumanist face of the Virgin Mary, recognising humanity’s role in God’s incarnation.[nb 20]

Paintings of the 1480s

Virgin of the Rocks, Louvre, demonstrates Leonardo’s interest in nature.

In the 1480s Leonardo received two very important commissions, and commenced another work which was also of ground-breaking importance in terms of composition. Unfortunately, two of the three were never finished, and the third took so long that it was subject to lengthy negotiations over completion and payment. One of these paintings is that ofSt. Jerome in the Wilderness. Bortolon associates this picture with a difficult period of Leonardo’s life, and the signs of melancholy in his diary: “I thought I was learning to live; I was only learning to die.”[10]

Although the painting is barely begun the composition can be seen and it is very unusual.[nb 21] Jerome, as a penitent, occupies the middle of the picture, set on a slight diagonal and viewed somewhat from above. His kneeling form takes on a trapezoid shape, with one arm stretched to the outer edge of the painting and his gaze looking in the opposite direction. J. Wasserman points out the link between this painting and Leonardo’s anatomical studies.[70] Across the foreground sprawls his symbol, a great lion whose body and tail make a double spiral across the base of the picture space. The other remarkable feature is the sketchy landscape of craggy rocks against which the figure is silhouetted.

The daring display of figure composition, the landscape elements and personal drama also appear in the great unfinished masterpiece, the Adoration of the Magi, a commission from the Monks of San Donato a Scopeto. It is a very complex composition, of about 250 x 250 centimetres. Leonardo did numerous drawings and preparatory studies, including a detailed one in linear perspective of the ruined classical architecture which makes part of the backdrop to the scene. But in 1482 Leonardo went off to Milan at the behest of Lorenzo de’ Medici in order to win favour with Ludovico il Moroand the painting was abandoned.[9][68]

The third important work of this period is the Virgin of the Rocks which was commissioned in Milan for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception. The painting, to be done with the assistance of the de Predis brothers, was to fill a large complex altarpiece, already constructed.[71] Leonardo chose to paint an apocryphal moment of the infancy of Christ when the Infant John the Baptist, in protection of an angel, met the Holy Family on the road to Egypt. In this scene, as painted by Leonardo, John recognizes and worships Jesus as the Christ. The painting demonstrates an eerie beauty as the graceful figures kneel in adoration around the infant Christ in a wild landscape of tumbling rock and whirling water.[72] While the painting is quite large, about 200 × 120 centimetres, it is not nearly as complex as the painting ordered by the monks of St Donato, having only four figures rather than about fifty and a rocky landscape rather than architectural details. The painting was eventually finished; in fact, two versions of the painting were finished, one which remained at the chapel of the Confraternity and the other which Leonardo carried away to France. But the Brothers did not get their painting, or the de Predis their payment, until the next century.[16][28]

The Last Supper (1498)—Convent of Sta. Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy

Paintings of the 1490s

Leonardo’s most famous painting of the 1490s is The Last Supper, also painted in Milan. The painting represents the last meal shared by Jesus with his disciples before his capture and death. It shows specifically the moment when Jesus has said “one of you will betray me”. Leonardo tells the story of the consternation that this statement caused to the twelve followers of Jesus.[16]

The novelist Matteo Bandello observed Leonardo at work and wrote that some days he would paint from dawn till dusk without stopping to eat, and then not paint for three or four days at a time.[73] This, according to Vasari, was beyond the comprehension of the prior, who hounded him until Leonardo asked Ludovico to intervene. Vasari describes how Leonardo, troubled over his ability to adequately depict the faces of Christ and the traitor Judas, told the Duke that he might be obliged to use the prior as his model.[74]

When finished, the painting was acclaimed as a masterpiece of design and characterisation,[75] but it deteriorated rapidly, so that within a hundred years it was described by one viewer as “completely ruined”.[76] Leonardo, instead of using the reliable technique of fresco, had used tempera over a ground that was mainly gesso, resulting in a surface which was subject to mold and to flaking.[77] Despite this, the painting has remained one of the most reproduced works of art, countless copies being made in every medium from carpets to cameos.

Paintings of the 1500s

Mona Lisa or La Gioconda (1503–1505/1507)—Louvre, Paris, France

Among the works created by Leonardo in the 16th century is the small portrait known as the Mona Lisa or “la Gioconda”, the laughing one. In the present era it is arguably the most famous painting in the world. Its fame rests, in particular, on the elusive smile on the woman’s face, its mysterious quality brought about perhaps by the fact that the artist has subtly shadowed the corners of the mouth and eyes so that the exact nature of the smile cannot be determined. The shadowy quality for which the work is renowned came to be called “sfumato” or Leonardo’s smoke. Vasari, who is generally thought to have known the painting only by repute, said that “the smile was so pleasing that it seemed divine rather than human; and those who saw it were amazed to find that it was as alive as the original”.[78][nb 22]

Other characteristics found in this work are the unadorned dress, in which the eyes and hands have no competition from other details, the dramatic landscape background in which the world seems to be in a state of flux, the subdued colouring and the extremely smooth nature of the painterly technique, employing oils, but laid on much like tempera and blended on the surface so that the brushstrokes are indistinguishable.[nb 23] Vasari expressed the opinion that the manner of painting would make even “the most confident master … despair and lose heart.”[81] The perfect state of preservation and the fact that there is no sign of repair or overpainting is extremely rare in a panel painting of this date.[82]

In the painting Virgin and Child with St. Anne the composition again picks up the theme of figures in a landscape which Wasserman describes as “breathtakingly beautiful”[83] and harks back to the St Jerome picture with the figure set at an oblique angle. What makes this painting unusual is that there are two obliquely set figures superimposed. Mary is seated on the knee of her mother, St Anne. She leans forward to restrain the Christ Child as he plays roughly with a lamb, the sign of his own impending sacrifice.[16] This painting, which was copied many times, was to influenceMichelangelo, Raphael, and Andrea del Sarto,[84] and through them Pontormo and Correggio. The trends in composition were adopted in particular by the Venetian painters Tintoretto and Veronese.

The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, (c. 1510)-Louvre Museum

The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist (c. 1499–1500)—National Gallery, London

Drawings

Leonardo was not a prolific painter, but he was a most prolific draftsman, keeping journals full of small sketches and detailed drawings recording all manner of things that took his attention. As well as the journals there exist many studies for paintings, some of which can be identified as preparatory to particular works such as The Adoration of the Magi, The Virgin of the Rocksand The Last Supper.[85] His earliest dated drawing is a Landscape of the Arno Valley, 1473, which shows the river, the mountains, Montelupo Castle and the farmlands beyond it in great detail.[10][85]

Among his famous drawings are the Vitruvian Man, a study of the proportions of the human body, the Head of an Angel, for The Virgin of the Rocks in the Louvre, a botanical study of Star of Bethlehem and a large drawing (160×100 cm) in black chalk on coloured paper of The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist in the National Gallery, London.[85] This drawing employs the subtle sfumato technique of shading, in the manner of the Mona Lisa. It is thought that Leonardo never made a painting from it, the closest similarity being to The Virgin and Child with St. Anne in the Louvre.[86]

Other drawings of interest include numerous studies generally referred to as “caricatures” because, although exaggerated, they appear to be based upon observation of live models. Vasari relates that if Leonardo saw a person with an interesting face he would follow them around all day observing them.[87] There are numerous studies of beautiful young men, often associated with Salai, with the rare and much admired facial feature, the so-called “Grecian profile”.[nb 24] These faces are often contrasted with that of a warrior.[85] Salai is often depicted in fancy-dress costume. Leonardo is known to have designed sets for pageants with which these may be associated. Other, often meticulous, drawings show studies of drapery. A marked development in Leonardo’s ability to draw drapery occurred in his early works. Another often-reproduced drawing is a macabre sketch that was done by Leonardo in Florence in 1479 showing the body of Bernardo Baroncelli, hanged in connection with the murder of Giuliano, brother of Lorenzo de’Medici, in the Pazzi Conspiracy.[85] With dispassionate integrity Leonardo has registered in neat mirror writing the colours of the robes that Baroncelli was wearing when he died.

Leonardo as observer, scientist and inventor

Main article: Science and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci

The Vitruvian Man (c. 1485) Accademia, Venice

Journals and notes

Renaissance humanism saw no mutually exclusive polarities between the sciences and the arts, and Leonardo’s studies in science and engineering are as impressive and innovative as his artistic work.[16] These studies were recorded in 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, which fuse art and natural philosophy (the forerunner of modern science), made and maintained daily throughout Leonardo’s life and travels, as he made continual observations of the world around him.[16]

Leonardo’s writings are mostly in mirror-image cursive. The reason may have been more a practical expediency than for reasons of secrecy as is often suggested. Since Leonardo wrote with his left hand, it is probable that it was easier for him to write from right to left.[nb 25]

A page showing Leonardo’s study of a foetus in the womb (c. 1510) Royal Library,Windsor Castle

His notes and drawings display an enormous range of interests and preoccupations, some as mundane as lists of groceries and people who owed him money and some as intriguing as designs for wings and shoes for walking on water. There are compositions for paintings, studies of details and drapery, studies of faces and emotions, of animals, babies, dissections, plant studies, rock formations, whirl pools, war machines, helicopters and architecture.[16]

These notebooks—originally loose papers of different types and sizes, distributed by friends after his death—have found their way into major collections such as the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, the Louvre, the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana inMilan which holds the twelve-volume Codex Atlanticus, and British Library in London which has put a selection from its notebook BL Arundel MS 263online.[88] The Codex Leicester is the only major scientific work of Leonardo’s in private hands. It is owned by Bill Gates, and is displayed once a year in different cities around the world.

Leonardo’s notes appear to have been intended for publication because many of the sheets have a form and order that would facilitate this. In many cases a single topic, for example, the heart or the human foetus, is covered in detail in both words and pictures, on a single sheet.[89][nb 26] Why they were not published within Leonardo’s lifetime is unknown.[16]

Scientific studies

Rhombicuboctahedron as published in Pacioli’s De Divina Proportione

Leonardo’s approach to science was an observational one: he tried to understand a phenomenon by describing and depicting it in utmost detail, and did not emphasize experiments or theoretical explanation. Since he lacked formal education in Latin and mathematics, contemporary scholars mostly ignored Leonardo the scientist, although he did teach himself Latin. In the 1490s he studied mathematics under Luca Pacioli and prepared a series of drawings of regular solids in a skeletal form to be engraved as plates for Pacioli’s book De Divina Proportione, published in 1509.[16]

It appears that from the content of his journals he was planning a series of treatises to be published on a variety of subjects. A coherent treatise on anatomy was said to have been observed during a visit by Cardinal Louis ‘D’ Aragon’s secretary in 1517.[90] Aspects of his work on the studies of anatomy, light and the landscape were assembled for publication by his pupil Francesco Melzi and eventually published as Treatise on Painting by Leonardo da Vinci in France and Italy in 1651, and Germany in 1724,[91] with engravings based upon drawings by the Classical painter Nicholas Poussin.[citation needed] According to Arasse, the treatise, which in France went into sixty two editions in fifty years, caused Leonardo to be seen as “the precursor of French academic thought on art”.[16]

A recent and exhaustive analysis of Leonardo as Scientist by Frtijof Capra[92] argues that Leonardo was a fundamentally different kind of scientist from Galileo, Newton and other scientists who followed him. Leonardo’s experimentation followed clear scientific method approaches, and his theorising and hypothesising integrated the arts and particularly painting; these, and Leonardo’s unique integrated, holistic views of science make him a forerunner of modern systems theory and complexity schools of thought.

Anatomical study of the arm, (c. 1510)

Anatomy

Leonardo’s formal training in the anatomy of the human body began with his apprenticeship to Andrea del Verrocchio, his teacher insisting that all his pupils learn anatomy. As an artist, he quickly became master of topographic anatomy, drawing many studies of muscles, tendons and other visible anatomical features.

As a successful artist, he was given permission to dissect human corpses at the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence and later at hospitals in Milan and Rome. From 1510 to 1511 he collaborated in his studies with the doctor Marcantonio della Torre. Leonardo made over 200 pages of drawings and many pages of notes towards a treatise on anatomy. These papers were left to his heir, Francesco Melzi, for publication, a task of overwhelming difficulty because of its scope, and Leonardo’s highly idiosyncratic writing.[93] It was left incomplete at the time of Melzi’s death more than fifty years later, with only a small amount of the material on anatomy included in Leonardo’s Treatise on painting, published in France in 1632.[16][93] During the time that Melzi was ordering the material into chapters for publication, they were examined by a number of anatomists and artists, including Vasari, Cellini and Albrecht Dürer who made a number of drawings from them.[93]

Leonardo drew many studies of the human skeleton and its parts, as well as muscles and sinews. He studied the mechanical functions of the skeleton and the muscular forces that are applied to it in a manner that prefigured the modern science of biomechanics.[94] He drew the heart and vascular system, the sex organs and other internal organs, making one of the first scientific drawings of afetus in utero.[85] As an artist, Leonardo closely observed and recorded the effects of age and of human emotion on the physiology, studying in particular the effects of rage. He also drew many figures who had significant facial deformities or signs of illness.[16][85]

Leonardo also studied and drew the anatomy of many other animals as well, dissecting cows, birds, monkeys, bears, and frogs, and comparing in his drawings their anatomical structure with that of humans. He also made a number of studies of horses.

Engineering and inventions

A design for a flying machine, (c. 1488) Institut de France, Paris

During his lifetime Leonardo was valued as an engineer. In a letter to Ludovico il Moro he claimed to be able to create all sorts of machines both for the protection of a city and for siege. When he fled to Venice in 1499 he found employment as an engineer and devised a system of moveable barricades to protect the city from attack. He also had a scheme for diverting the flow of the Arno River, a project on which Niccolò Machiavelli also worked.[95][96] Leonardo’s journals include a vast number of inventions, both practical and impractical. They include musical instruments, hydraulic pumps, reversible crank mechanisms, finned mortar shells, and a steam cannon.[10][16]

In 1502, Leonardo produced a drawing of a single span 720-foot (220 m) bridge as part of a civil engineering project for Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II of Constantinople. The bridge was intended to span an inlet at the mouth of the Bosporus known as the Golden Horn. Beyazid did not pursue the project, because he believed that such a construction was impossible. Leonardo’s vision was resurrected in 2001 when a smaller bridge based on his design was constructed in Norway.[97] On May 17, 2006, the Turkish government decided to construct Leonardo’s bridge to span the Golden Horn.[98]

For much of his life, Leonardo was fascinated by the phenomenon of flight, producing many studies of the flight of birds, including his c. 1505 Codex on the Flight of Birds, as well as plans for several flying machines, including a light hang glider and a machine resembling a helicopter.[16] The British television station Channel Four commissioned a documentary Leonardo’s Dream Machines, for broadcast in 2003. Leonardo’s machines were built and tested according to his original designs.[99] Some of those designs proved a success, whilst others fared less well when practically tested.

Leonardo the legend

Main article: Cultural depictions of Leonardo da Vinci

Francis I of France receiving the last breath of Leonardo da Vinci, by Ingres, 1818

Within Leonardo’s own lifetime his fame was such that the King of France carried him away like a trophy, and was claimed to have supported him in his old age and held him in his arms as he died.[100] Interest in Leonardo has never diminished. The crowds still queue to see his most famous artworks, T-shirts bear his most famous drawing and writers, like Vasari, continue to marvel at his genius and speculate about his private life and, particularly, about what one so intelligent actually believed in.[16]

Giorgio Vasari, in the enlarged edition of Lives of the Artists, 1568,[101] introduced his chapter on Leonardo da Vinci with the following words:

In the normal course of events many men and women are born with remarkable talents; but occasionally, in a way that transcends nature, a single person is marvellously endowed by Heaven with beauty, grace and talent in such abundance that he leaves other men far behind, all his actions seem inspired and indeed everything he does clearly comes from God rather than from human skill. Everyone acknowledged that this was true of Leonardo da Vinci, an artist of outstanding physical beauty, who displayed infinite grace in everything that he did and who cultivated his genius so brilliantly that all problems he studied he solved with ease.

Giorgio Vasari

The continued admiration that Leonardo commanded from painters, critics and historians is reflected in many other written tributes. Baldassare Castiglione, author of Il Cortegiano (“The Courtier”), wrote in 1528: “… Another of the greatest painters in this world looks down on this art in which he is unequalled …”[102] while the biographer known as “Anonimo Gaddiano” wrote, c. 1540: “His genius was so rare and universal that it can be said that nature worked a miracle on his behalf …”.[103]

The 19th century brought a particular admiration for Leonardo’s genius, causing Henry Fuseli to write in 1801: “Such was the dawn of modern art, when Leonardo da Vinci broke forth with a splendour that distanced former excellence: made up of all the elements that constitute the essence of genius …”[104] This is echoed by A. E. Rio who wrote in 1861: “He towered above all other artists through the strength and the nobility of his talents.”[105]

Statue of Leonardo in Amboise

By the 19th century, the scope of Leonardo’s notebooks was known, as well as his paintings. Hippolyte Taine wrote in 1866: “There may not be in the world an example of another genius so universal, so incapable of fulfilment, so full of yearning for the infinite, so naturally refined, so far ahead of his own century and the following centuries.”[106] The famous art historian Bernard Berensonwrote in 1896: “Leonardo is the one artist of whom it may be said with perfect literalness: Nothing that he touched but turned into a thing of eternal beauty. Whether it be the cross section of a skull, the structure of a weed, or a study of muscles, he, with his feeling for line and for light and shade, forever transmuted it into life-communicating values.”[107]

The interest in Leonardo’s genius has continued unabated; experts study and translate his writings, analyse his paintings using scientific techniques, argue over attributions and search for works which have been recorded but never found.[108] Liana Bortolon, writing in 1967, said: “Because of the multiplicity of interests that spurred him to pursue every field of knowledge … Leonardo can be considered, quite rightly, to have been the universal genius par excellence, and with all the disquieting overtones inherent in that term. Man is as uncomfortable today, faced with a genius, as he was in the 16th century. Five centuries have passed, yet we still view Leonardo with awe.”[10]

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Robotics

TOPIO, a humanoid robot, played ping pong at Tokyo International Robot Exhibition(IREX) 2009.[1][2]

The Shadow robot hand system

An industrial robot operating in a foundry

TALON Military robots used by the United States Army

Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots.[3] Robotics is related to the sciences ofelectronics, engineering, mechanics mechatronics, and software.[4]

The concept and creation of machines that could operate autonomously dates back to classical times, but research into the functionality and potential uses of robots did not grow substantially until the 20th century. Today, robotics is a rapidly growing field, as we continue to research, design, and build new robots that serve various practical purposes, whether domestically, commercially, ormilitarily.

 

[edit]Etymology

The word robotics was derived from the word robot, which was introduced to the public by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which premiered in 1921.[5]

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word robotics was first used in print by Isaac Asimov, in his science fiction short story “Liar!“, published in May 1941 in Astounding Science Fiction. Asimov was unaware that he was coining the term; since the science and technology of electrical devices is electronics, he assumed robotics already referred to the science and technology of robots. In some of Asimov’s other works, he states that the first use of the word robotics was in his short story Runaround (Astounding Science Fiction, March 1942).[6][7] However, the word roboticsappears in “Liar!”

[edit]History

Main article: History of robots

See also: Robot

A scene from Karel Čapek‘s 1920 playR.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), showing three robots

Stories of artificial helpers and companions and attempts to create them have a long history.

The word robot was introduced to the public by the Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), published in 1920.[5] The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people called robots creatures who can be mistaken for humans – though they are closer to the modern ideas of androids. Karel Čapek himself did not coin the word. He wrote a short letter in reference to an etymology in the Oxford English Dictionary in which he named his brother Josef Čapek as its actual originator.[5]

In 1927 the Maschinenmensch (“machine-human”) gynoid humanoid robot (also called “Parody”, “Futura”, “Robotrix”, or the “Maria impersonator”) was the first and perhaps the most memorable depiction of a robot ever to appear on film was played by German actress Brigitte Helm) in Fritz Lang‘s filmMetropolis.

In 1942 the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov formulated his Three Laws of Robotics and, in the process of doing so, coined the word “robotics” (see details in “Etymology” section below).

In 1948 Norbert Wiener formulated the principles of cybernetics, the basis of practical robotics.

Fully autonomous robots only appeared in the second half of the 20th century. The first digitally operated and programmable robot, the Unimate, was installed in 1961 to lift hot pieces of metal from a die casting machine and stack them. Commercial and industrial robots are widespread today and used to perform jobs more cheaply, or more accurately and reliably, than humans. They are also employed in jobs which are too dirty, dangerous, or dull to be suitable for humans. Robots are widely used in manufacturing, assembly, packing and packaging, transport, earth and space exploration, surgery, weaponry, laboratory research, safety, and the mass production of consumer and industrial goods.[8]

Date
Significance
Robot Name
Inventor

Third century B.C. and earlier
One of the earliest descriptions of automata appears in the Lie Zi text, on a much earlier encounter between King Mu of Zhou (1023-957 BC) and a mechanical engineer known as Yan Shi, an ‘artificer’. The latter allegedly presented the king with a life-size, human-shaped figure of his mechanical handiwork.[9]
Yan Shi

First century A.D. and earlier
Descriptions of more than 100 machines and automata, including a fire engine, a wind organ, a coin-operated machine, and a steam-powered engine, inPneumatica and Automata by Heron of Alexandria
Ctesibius, Philo of Byzantium, Heron of Alexandria, and others

1206
Created early humanoid automata, programmable automaton band[10]
Robot band, hand-washing automaton,[11] automated moving peacocks[12]
Al-Jazari

1495
Designs for a humanoid robot
Mechanical knight
Leonardo da Vinci

1738
Mechanical duck that was able to eat, flap its wings, and excrete
Digesting Duck
Jacques de Vaucanson

1898
Nikola Tesla demonstrates first radio-controlled vessel.
Teleautomaton
Nikola Tesla

1921
First fictional automatons called “robots” appear in the play R.U.R.
Rossum’s Universal Robots
Karel Čapek

1930s
Humanoid robot exhibited at the 1939 and 1940 World’s Fairs
Elektro
Westinghouse Electric Corporation

1948
Simple robots exhibiting biological behaviors[13]
Elsie and Elmer
William Grey Walter

1956
First commercial robot, from the Unimation company founded by George Devol and Joseph Engelberger, based on Devol’s patents[14]
Unimate
George Devol

1961
First installed industrial robot.
Unimate
George Devol

1963
First palletizing robot[15]
Palletizer
Fuji Yusoki Kogyo

1973
First industrial robot with six electromechanically driven axes[16]
Famulus
KUKA Robot Group

1975
Programmable universal manipulation arm, a Unimation product
PUMA
Victor Scheinman

[edit]Components

[edit]Power source

Further information: Power supply and Energy storage

At present; mostly (lead-acid) batteries are used, but potential power sources could be:

  • pneumatic (compressed gases)
  • hydraulics (liquids)
  • flywheel energy storage
  • organic garbage (through anaerobic digestion)
  • faeces (human, animal); may be interesting in a military context as faeces of small combat groups may be reused for the energy requirements of the robot assistant (see DEKA’s project Slingshot Stirling engine on how the system would operate)
  • still unproven energy sources: for example Nuclear fusion, as yet not used in nuclear reactors whereas Nuclear fission is proven (although there are not many robots using it as a power source apart from the Chinese rover tests.[17]).
  • radioactive source (such as with the proposed Ford car of the ’50s); to those proposed in movies such as Red Planet
[edit]Actuation

A robotic leg powered by Air Muscles

Actuators are like the “muscles” of a robot, the parts which convert stored energy into movement. By far the most popular actuators are electric motors that spin a wheel or gear, and linear actuators that control industrial robots in factories. But there are some recent advances in alternative types of actuators, powered by electricity, chemicals, or compressed air:

[edit]Electric motors

Main article: Electric motor

The vast majority of robots use electric motors, often brushed and brushless DC motors in portable robots or AC motors in industrial robots and CNC machines.

[edit]Linear actuators

Main article: Linear actuator

Various types of linear actuators move in and out instead of by spinning, particularly when very large forces are needed such as with industrial robotics. They are typically powered by compressed air (pneumatic actuator) or an oil (hydraulic actuator).

[edit]Series elastic actuators

A spring can be designed as part of the motor actuator, to allow improved force control. It has been used in various robots, particularly walking humanoid robots.[18]

[edit]Air muscles

Main article: Pneumatic artificial muscles

Pneumatic artificial muscles, also known as air muscles, are special tubes that contract (typically up to 40%) when air is forced inside it. They have been used for some robot applications.[19][20]

[edit]Muscle wire

Main article: Shape memory alloy

Muscle wire, also known as Shape Memory Alloy, Nitinol or Flexinol Wire, is a material that contracts slightly (typically under 5%) when electricity runs through it. They have been used for some small robot applications.[21][22]

[edit]Electroactive polymers

Main article: Electroactive polymers

EAPs or EPAMs are a new plastic material that can contract substantially (up to 400%) from electricity, and have been used in facial muscles and arms of humanoid robots,[23] and to allow new robots to float,[24] fly, swim or walk.[25]

[edit]Piezo motors

Main article: Piezoelectric motor

Recent alternatives to DC motors are piezo motors or ultrasonic motors. These work on a fundamentally different principle, whereby tiny piezoceramic elements, vibrating many thousands of times per second, cause linear or rotary motion. There are different mechanisms of operation; one type uses the vibration of the piezo elements to walk the motor in a circle or a straight line.[26] Another type uses the piezo elements to cause a nut to vibrate and drive a screw. The advantages of these motors are nanometer resolution, speed, and available force for their size.[27] These motors are already available commercially, and being used on some robots.[28][29]

[edit]Elastic nanotubes

Further information: Nanotube

Elastic nanotubes are a promising artificial muscle technology in early-stage experimental development. The absence of defects in carbon nanotubes enables these filaments to deform elastically by several percent, with energy storage levels of perhaps 10 J/cm3 for metal nanotubes. Human biceps could be replaced with an 8 mm diameter wire of this material. Such compact “muscle” might allow future robots to outrun and outjump humans.[30]

[edit]Sensing
[edit]Touch

Current robotic and prosthetic hands receive far less tactile information than the human hand. Recent research has developed a tactile sensor array that mimics the mechanical properties and touch receptors of human fingertips.[31][32] The sensor array is constructed as a rigid core surrounded by conductive fluid contained by an elastomeric skin. Electrodes are mounted on the surface of the rigid core and are connected to an impedance-measuring device within the core. When the artificial skin touches an object the fluid path around the electrodes is deformed, producing impedance changes that map the forces received from the object. The researchers expect that an important function of such artificial fingertips will be adjusting robotic grip on held objects.

Scientists from several European countries and Israel developed a prosthetic hand in 2009, called SmartHand, which functions like a real one—allowing patients to write with it, type on a keyboard, play piano and perform other fine movements. The prosthesis has sensors which enable the patient to sense real feeling in its fingertips.[33]

[edit]Vision

Main article: Computer vision

Computer vision is the science and technology of machines that see. As a scientific discipline, computer vision is concerned with the theory behind artificial systems that extract information from images. The image data can take many forms, such as video sequences and views from cameras.

In most practical computer vision applications, the computers are pre-programmed to solve a particular task, but methods based on learning are now becoming increasingly common.

Computer vision systems rely on image sensors which detect electromagnetic radiation which is typically in the form of either visible light or infra-red light. The sensors are designed using solid-state physics. The process by which light propagates and reflects off surfaces is explained using optics. Sophisticated image sensors even require quantum mechanics to provide a complete understanding of the image formation process.

There is a subfield within computer vision where artificial systems are designed to mimic the processing and behavior of biological systems, at different levels of complexity. Also, some of the learning-based methods developed within computer vision have their background in biology.

[edit]Manipulation

Further information: Mobile manipulator

Robots need to manipulate objects; pick up, modify, destroy, or otherwise have an effect. Thus the “hands” of a robot are often referred to as end effectors,[34] while the “arm” is referred to as a manipulator.[35] Most robot arms have replaceable effectors, each allowing them to perform some small range of tasks. Some have a fixed manipulator which cannot be replaced, while a few have one very general purpose manipulator, for example a humanoid hand.

For the definitive guide to all forms of robot end-effectors, their design, and usage consult the book “Robot Grippers”.[36]

[edit]Mechanical Grippers

One of the most common effectors is the gripper. In its simplest manifestation it consists of just two fingers which can open and close to pick up and let go of a range of small objects. Fingers can for example be made of a chain with a metal wire run through it.[37] Hands that resemble and work more like a human hand include the Shadow Hand, the Robonaut hand[38], … Hands that are of a mid-level complexity include ie the Delft hand, …[39][40]

[edit]Vacuum Grippers

Vacuum grippers are very simple astrictive[41] devices, but can hold very large loads provided the prehension surface is smooth enough to ensure suction.

Pick and place robots for electronic components and for large objects like car windscreens, often use very simple vacuum grippers.

[edit]General purpose effectors

Some advanced robots are beginning to use fully humanoid hands, like the Shadow Hand, MANUS,[42] and the Schunk hand.[43] These highly dexterous manipulators, with as many as 20 degrees of freedom and hundreds of tactile sensors.[44]

[edit]Locomotion

Main articles: Robot locomotion and Mobile robot

[edit]Rolling robots

Segway in the Robot museum in Nagoya.

For simplicity most mobile robots have four wheels or a number of continuous tracks. Some researchers have tried to create more complex wheeled robots with only one or two wheels. These can have certain advantages such as greater efficiency and reduced parts, as well as allowing a robot to navigate in confined places that a four wheeled robot would not be able to.

[edit]Two-wheeled balancing robots

Balancing robots generally use a gyroscope to detect how much a robot is falling and then drive the wheels proportionally in the opposite direction, to counter-balance the fall at hundreds of times per second, based on the dynamics of an inverted pendulum.[45] Many different balancing robots have been designed.[46] While the Segway is not commonly thought of as a robot, it can be thought of as a component of a robot, such as NASA‘s Robonaut that has been mounted on a Segway.[47]

[edit]One-wheeled balancing robots

Main article: Self-balancing unicycle

A one-wheeled balancing robot is an extension of a two-wheeled balancing robot so that it can move in any 2D direction using a round ball as its only wheel. Several one-wheeled balancing robots have been designed recently, such as Carnegie Mellon University‘s “Ballbot” that is the approximate height and width of a person, and Tohoku Gakuin University’s “BallIP”.[48] Because of the long, thin shape and ability to maneuver in tight spaces, they have the potential to function better than other robots in environments with people.[49]

[edit]Spherical orb robots

Several attempts have been made in robots that are completely inside a spherical ball, either by spinning a weight inside the ball,[50][51] or by rotating the outer shells of the sphere.[52][53] These have also been referred to as an orb bot [54] or a ball bot[55][56]

[edit]Six-wheeled robots

Using six wheels instead of four wheels can give better traction or grip in outdoor terrain such as on rocky dirt or grass.

[edit]Tracked robots

Tank tracks provide even more traction than a six-wheeled robot. Tracked wheels behave as if they were made of hundreds of wheels, therefore are very common for outdoor and military robots, where the robot must drive on very rough terrain. However, they are difficult to use indoors such as on carpets and smooth floors. Examples include NASA’s Urban Robot “Urbie”.[57]

[edit]Walking applied to robots

iCub robot, designed by the RobotCub Consortium

Walking is a difficult and dynamic problem to solve. Several robots have been made which can walk reliably on two legs, however none have yet been made which are as robust as a human. Many other robots have been built that walk on more than two legs, due to these robots being significantly easier to construct.[58][59] Hybrids too have been proposed in movies such as I, Robot, where they walk on 2 legs and switch to 4 (arms+legs) when going to a sprint. Typically, robots on 2 legs can walk well on flat floors and can occasionally walk up stairs. None can walk over rocky, uneven terrain. Some of the methods which have been tried are:

[edit]ZMP Technique

Main article: Zero Moment Point

The Zero Moment Point (ZMP) is the algorithm used by robots such as Honda‘s ASIMO. The robot’s onboard computer tries to keep the total inertial forces (the combination of earth’s gravity and the acceleration and deceleration of walking), exactly opposed by the floor reaction force (the force of the floor pushing back on the robot’s foot). In this way, the two forces cancel out, leaving no moment (force causing the robot to rotate and fall over).[60] However, this is not exactly how a human walks, and the difference is obvious to human observers, some of whom have pointed out that ASIMO walks as if it needs the lavatory.[61][62][63] ASIMO’s walking algorithm is not static, and some dynamic balancing is used (see below). However, it still requires a smooth surface to walk on.

[edit]Hopping

Several robots, built in the 1980s by Marc Raibert at the MIT Leg Laboratory, successfully demonstrated very dynamic walking. Initially, a robot with only one leg, and a very small foot, could stay upright simply byhopping. The movement is the same as that of a person on a pogo stick. As the robot falls to one side, it would jump slightly in that direction, in order to catch itself.[64] Soon, the algorithm was generalised to two and four legs. A bipedal robot was demonstrated running and even performing somersaults.[65] A quadruped was also demonstrated which could trot, run, pace, and bound.[66] For a full list of these robots, see theMIT Leg Lab Robots page.

[edit]Dynamic Balancing (controlled falling)

A more advanced way for a robot to walk is by using a dynamic balancing algorithm, which is potentially more robust than the Zero Moment Point technique, as it constantly monitors the robot’s motion, and places the feet in order to maintain stability.[67] This technique was recently demonstrated by Anybots’ Dexter Robot,[68] which is so stable, it can even jump.[69] Another example is the TU Delft Flame.

[edit]Passive Dynamics

Perhaps the most promising approach utilizes passive dynamics where the momentum of swinging limbs is used for greater efficiency. It has been shown that totally unpowered humanoid mechanisms can walk down a gentle slope, using only gravity to propel themselves. Using this technique, a robot need only supply a small amount of motor power to walk along a flat surface or a little more to walk up a hill. This technique promises to make walking robots at least ten times more efficient than ZMP walkers, like ASIMO.[70][71]

[edit]Other methods of locomotion

RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle

[edit]Flying

A modern passenger airliner is essentially a flying robot, with two humans to manage it. The autopilot can control the plane for each stage of the journey, including takeoff, normal flight, and even landing.[72] Other flying robots are uninhabited, and are known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They can be smaller and lighter without a human pilot onboard, and fly into dangerous territory for military surveillance missions. Some can even fire on targets under command. UAVs are also being developed which can fire on targets automatically, without the need for a command from a human. Other flying robots include cruise missiles, the Entomopter, and the Epson micro helicopter robot. Robots such as the Air Penguin, Air Ray, and Air Jelly have lighter-than-air bodies, propelled by paddles, and guided by sonar.

Two robot snakes. Left one has 64 motors (with 2 degrees of freedom per segment), the right one 10.

[edit]Snaking

Several snake robots have been successfully developed. Mimicking the way real snakes move, these robots can navigate very confined spaces, meaning they may one day be used to search for people trapped in collapsed buildings.[73] The Japanese ACM-R5 snake robot[74] can even navigate both on land and in water.[75]

[edit]Skating

A small number of skating robots have been developed, one of which is a multi-mode walking and skating device. It has four legs, with unpowered wheels, which can either step or roll.[76] Another robot, Plen, can use a miniature skateboard or rollerskates, and skate across a desktop.[77]

[edit]Climbing

Several different approaches have been used to develop robots that have the ability to climb vertical surfaces. One approach mimicks the movements of a human climber on a wall with protrusions; adjusting the center of mass and moving each limb in turn to gain leverage. An example of this is Capuchin,[78] built by Stanford University, California. Another approach uses the specialised toe pad method of wall-climbing geckoes, which can run on smooth surfaces such as vertical glass. Examples of this approach include Wallbot [79] and Stickybot.[80] China’s “Technology Daily” November 15, 2008 reported New Concept Aircraft (ZHUHAI) Co., Ltd. Dr. Li Hiu Yeung and his research group have recently successfully developed the bionic gecko robot “Speedy Freelander”.According to Dr. Li introduction, this gecko robot can rapidly climbing up and down in a variety of building walls, ground and vertical wall fissure or walking upside down on the ceiling, it is able to adapt on smooth glass, rough or sticky dust walls as well as the various surface of metallic materials and also can automatically identify obstacles, circumvent the bypass and flexible and realistic movements. Its flexibility and speed are comparable to the natural gecko. A third approach is to mimick the motion of a snake climbing a pole[citation needed].

[edit]Swimming (like a fish)

It is calculated that when swimming some fish can achieve a propulsive efficiency greater than 90%.[81] Furthermore, they can accelerate and maneuver far better than any man-made boat orsubmarine, and produce less noise and water disturbance. Therefore, many researchers studying underwater robots would like to copy this type of locomotion.[82] Notable examples are the Essex University Computer Science Robotic Fish,[83] and the Robot Tuna built by the Institute of Field Robotics, to analyze and mathematically model thunniform motion.[84] The Aqua Penguin, designed and built by Festo of Germany, copies the streamlined shape and propulsion by front “flippers” of penguins. Festo have also built the Aqua Ray and Aqua Jelly, which emulate the locomotion of manta ray, and jellyfish, respectively.

[edit]Environmental interaction and navigation

RADAR, GPS, LIDAR, … are all combined to provide proper navigation and obstacle avoidance

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Though a significant percentage of robots in commission today are either human controlled, or operate in a static environment, there is an increasing interest in robots that can operate autonomously in a dynamic environment. These robots require some combination of navigation hardware and software in order to traverse their environment. In particular unforeseen events (e.g. people and other obstacles that are not stationary) can cause problems or collisions. Some highly advanced robots as ASIMO, EveR-1, Meinü robot have particularly good robot navigation hardware and software. Also, self-controlled cars, Ernst Dickmannsdriverless car, and the entries in the DARPA Grand Challenge, are capable of sensing the environment well and subsequently making navigational decisions based on this information. Most of these robots employ a GPS navigation device with waypoints, along with radar, sometimes combined with other sensory data such as LIDAR, video cameras, and inertial guidance systems for better navigation between waypoints.

[edit]Human-robot interaction

Main article: Human-robot interaction

Kismet can produce a range of facial expressions.

If robots are to work effectively in homes and other non-industrial environments, the way they are instructed to perform their jobs, and especially how they will be told to stop will be of critical importance. The people who interact with them may have little or no training in robotics, and so any interface will need to be extremely intuitive. Science fiction authors also typically assume that robots will eventually be capable of communicating with humans through speech, gestures, and facial expressions, rather than a command-line interface. Although speech would be the most natural way for the human to communicate, it is unnatural for the robot. It will probably be a long time before robots interact as naturally as the fictional C-3PO.

[edit]Speech recognition

Main article: Speech recognition

Interpreting the continuous flow of sounds coming from a human, in real time, is a difficult task for a computer, mostly because of the great variability of speech.[85] The same word, spoken by the same person may sound different depending on local acoustics, volume, the previous word, whether or not the speaker has a cold, etc.. It becomes even harder when the speaker has a different accent.[86] Nevertheless, great strides have been made in the field since Davis, Biddulph, and Balashek designed the first “voice input system” which recognized “ten digits spoken by a single user with 100% accuracy” in 1952.[87] Currently, the best systems can recognize continuous, natural speech, up to 160 words per minute, with an accuracy of 95%.[88]

[edit]Robotic voice

Other hurdles exist when allowing the robot to use voice for interacting with humans. For social reasons, synthetic voice proves suboptimal as a communication medium,[89] making it necessary to develop the emotional component of robotic voice through various techniques.[90] [91]

[edit]Gestures

One can imagine, in the future, explaining to a robot chef how to make a pastry, or asking directions from a robot police officer. In both of these cases, making hand gestures would aid the verbal descriptions. In the first case, the robot would be recognizing gestures made by the human, and perhaps repeating them for confirmation. In the second case, the robot police officer would gesture to indicate “down the road, then turn right”. It is likely that gestures will make up a part of the interaction between humans and robots.[92] A great many systems have been developed to recognize human hand gestures.[93]

[edit]Facial expression

Further information: Facial expression

Facial expressions can provide rapid feedback on the progress of a dialog between two humans, and soon it may be able to do the same for humans and robots. Robotic faces have been constructed by Hanson Robotics using their elastic polymer called Frubber, allowing a great amount of facial expressions due to the elasticity of the rubber facial coating and imbedded subsurface motors (servos) to produce the facial expressions.[94] The coating and servos are built on a metalskull. A robot should know how to approach a human, judging by their facial expression and body language. Whether the person is happy, frightened, or crazy-looking affects the type of interaction expected of the robot. Likewise, robots likeKismet and the more recent addition, Nexi[95] can produce a range of facial expressions, allowing it to have meaningful social exchanges with humans.[96]

[edit]Artificial emotions

Artificial emotions can also be imbedded and are composed of a sequence of facial expressions and/or gestures. As can be seen from the movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the programming of these artificial emotions is complex and requires a great amount of human observation. To simplify this programming in the movie, presets were created together with a special software program. This decreased the amount of time needed to make the film. These presets could possibly be transferred for use in real-life robots.

[edit]Personality

Many of the robots of science fiction have a personality, something which may or may not be desirable in the commercial robots of the future.[97] Nevertheless, researchers are trying to create robots which appear to have a personality:[98][99]i.e. they use sounds, facial expressions, and body language to try to convey an internal state, which may be joy, sadness, or fear. One commercial example is Pleo, a toy robot dinosaur, which can exhibit several apparent emotions.[100]

[edit]Control

A robot-manipulated marionette, with complex control systems

Further information: Control system

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The mechanical structure of a robot must be controlled to perform tasks. The control of a robot involves three distinct phases – perception, processing, and action (robotic paradigms). Sensors give information about the environment or the robot itself (e.g. the position of its joints or its end effector). This information is then processed to calculate the appropriate signals to the actuators (motors) which move the mechanical.

The processing phase can range in complexity. At a reactive level, it may translate raw sensor information directly into actuator commands. Sensor fusion may first be used to estimate parameters of interest (e.g. the position of the robot’s gripper) from noisy sensor data. An immediate task (such as moving the gripper in a certain direction) is inferred from these estimates. Techniques from control theory convert the task into commands that drive the actuators.

At longer time scales or with more sophisticated tasks, the robot may need to build and reason with a “cognitive” model. Cognitive models try to represent the robot, the world, and how they interact. Pattern recognition and computer vision can be used to track objects. Mapping techniques can be used to build maps of the world. Finally, motion planning and other artificial intelligence techniques may be used to figure out how to act. For example, a planner may figure out how to achieve a task without hitting obstacles, falling over, etc.

[edit]Autonomy levels

Control systems may also have varying levels of autonomy.

  1. Direct interaction is used for haptic or tele-operated devices, and the human has nearly complete control over the robot’s motion.
  2. Operator-assist modes have the operator commanding medium-to-high-level tasks, with the robot automatically figuring out how to achieve them.
  3. An autonomous robot may go for extended periods of time without human interaction. Higher levels of autonomy do not necessarily require more complex cognitive capabilities. For example, robots in assembly plants are completely autonomous, but operate in a fixed pattern.

Another classification takes into account the interaction between human control and the machine motions.

  1. Teleoperation. A human controls each movement, each machine actuator change is specified by the operator.
  2. Supervisory. A human specifies general moves or position changes and the machine decides specific movements of its actuators.
  3. Task-level autonomy. The operator specifies only the task and the robot manages itself to complete it.
  4. Full autonomy. The machine will create and complete all its tasks without human interaction.

[edit]Robotics research

Further information: Open-source robotics, Evolutionary robotics, Areas of robotics, and Robotics simulator

Much of the research in robotics focuses not on specific industrial tasks, but on investigations into new types of robots, alternative ways to think about or design robots, and new ways to manufacture them but other investigations, such as MIT’s cyberflora project, are almost wholly academic.

A first particular new innovation in robot design is the opensourcing of robot-projects. To describe the level of advancement of a robot, the term “Generation Robots” can be used. This term is coined by Professor Hans Moravec, Principal Research Scientist at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute in describing the near future evolution of robot technology. First generation robots, Moravec predicted in 1997, should have an intellectual capacity comparable to perhaps a lizard and should become available by 2010. Because the first generation robot would be incapable of learning, however, Moravec predicts that the second generation robot would be an improvement over the first and become available by 2020, with the intelligence maybe comparable to that of a mouse. The third generation robot should have the intelligence comparable to that of a monkey. Though fourth generation robots, robots with human intelligence, professor Moravec predicts, would become possible, he does not predict this happening before around 2040 or 2050.[101]

The second is Evolutionary Robots. This is a methodology that uses evolutionary computation to help design robots, especially the body form, or motion and behavior controllers. In a similar way to natural evolution, a large population of robots is allowed to compete in some way, or their ability to perform a task is measured using a fitness function. Those that perform worst are removed from the population, and replaced by a new set, which have new behaviors based on those of the winners. Over time the population improves, and eventually a satisfactory robot may appear. This happens without any direct programming of the robots by the researchers. Researchers use this method both to create better robots,[102] and to explore the nature of evolution.[103] Because the process often requires many generations of robots to be simulated,[104] this technique may be run entirely or mostly in simulation, then tested on real robots once the evolved algorithms are good enough.[105] Currently, there are about 1 million industrial robots toiling around the world, and Japan is the top country having high density of utilizing robots in its manufacturing industry.

[edit]Dynamics and kinematics

Further information: Kinematics and Dynamics (mechanics)

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The study of motion can be divided into kinematics and dynamics. Direct kinematics refers to the calculation of end effector position, orientation, velocity, and acceleration when the corresponding joint values are known. Inverse kinematicsrefers to the opposite case in which required joint values are calculated for given end effector values, as done in path planning. Some special aspects of kinematics include handling of redundancy (different possibilities of performing the same movement), collision avoidance, and singularity avoidance. Once all relevant positions, velocities, and accelerations have been calculated using kinematics, methods from the field of dynamics are used to study the effect of forces upon these movements. Direct dynamics refers to the calculation of accelerations in the robot once the applied forces are known. Direct dynamics is used in computer simulations of the robot. Inverse dynamics refers to the calculation of the actuator forces necessary to create a prescribed end effector acceleration. This information can be used to improve the control algorithms of a robot.

In each area mentioned above, researchers strive to develop new concepts and strategies, improve existing ones, and improve the interaction between these areas. To do this, criteria for “optimal” performance and ways to optimize design, structure, and control of robots must be developed and implemented.

[edit]Education and training

The SCORBOT-ER 4u – educational robot.

Robots have become a popular educational tool in some middle and high schools, raising interests in computing among students. First-year computer science courses at several universities now include programming of a robot in addition to traditional software engineering-based coursework.

[edit]Career training

Universities offer Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees in the field of robotics. Some Private Career Colleges and vocational schools offer robotics training aimed at careers in robotics.

[edit]Certification

The Robotics Certification Standards Alliance (RCSA) is an international robotics certification authority that confers various industry- and educational-related robotics certifications.

[edit]Employment

A robot technician builds small all-terrain robots. (Courtesy: MobileRobots Inc)

Robotics is an essential component in many modern manufacturing environments. As factories increase their use of robots, the number of robotics–related jobs grow and have been observed to be steadily rising.

[edit]Effects on unemployment

Main article: Relationship of automation to unemployment

Some analysts, such as Martin Ford, author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future,[106] argue that robots and other forms of automation will ultimately result in significant unemployment unless the economy is engineered to absorb them without displacing humans, as machines begin to match and exceed the capability of workers to perform most jobs. At present the negative impact is only on menial and repetitive jobs, and there is actually a positive impact on the number of jobs for highly skilled technicians, engineers, and specialists. However, these highly skilled jobs are not sufficient in number to offset the greater decrease in employment among the general population, causing structural unemployment in which overall (net) unemployment rises.

As robotics and artificial intelligence develop further, some worry that even many skilled jobs may be threatened. According to conventional economic theory, this should merely cause an increase in the productivity of the involved industries; resulting in higher demand for other goods, and hence higher labour demand in these sectors and off-setting whatever negatives are caused. Conventional theory describes the past well, but may not describe future scenarios due to shifts in the parameter values that shape the context (see Automation and its effects on unemployment).

[edit]See also

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Robotics portal

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Economy of India

Economy of The Republic of India

Indian rupees.png
Modern Indian currency notes

Rank
9th (nominal) / 4th (PPP)

Currency
1 Indian Rupee (INR) (INR) = 100 Paise

Fiscal year
1 April – 31 March

Trade organizations
WTO, SAFTA, G-20 and others

Statistics

GDP

$1.632 trillion (nominal: 9th; 2010)[1]

$4.057 trillion (PPP: 4th; 2010)[1]

GDP growth
8.5% (2010–11)

GDP per capita

$1,371 (nominal: 138th; 2010)[1]

$3,608 (PPP: 129th; 2010)[1]

GDP by sector
services (55.2%), industry (26.3%), agriculture (18.5%) (2010 est.)

Inflation (CPI)
9.72% (September 2011)[2]

Population
below poverty line
37% (2010)[3]

Gini index
36.8 (List of countries)

Labour force
478 million (2nd; 2010)

Labour force
by occupation
agriculture (52%), industry (14%), services (34%) (2009 est.)

Unemployment
9.4% (2009–10)[4]

Main industries
telecommunications, textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software, pharmaceuticals

Ease of Doing Business Rank
132nd[5] (2011)

External

Exports
$225.6 billion (2010 est.)

Export goods
petroleum products, precious stones, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, vehicles, apparel

Main export partners
US 12.6%, UAE 12.2%, China 8.1%, Hong Kong 4.1% (2010)

Imports
$357.7 billion (2010 est.)

Import goods
crude oil, precious stones, machinery, fertilizer, iron and steel, chemicals

Main import partners
China 12.4%, UAE 6.5%, Saudi Arabia 5.8%, US 5.7%, Australia 4.5% (2010)

FDI stock
$35.6 billion (2009–10)

Gross external debt
$238 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Public finances

Public debt
71.84% of GDP (2010 est.)[6]

Revenues
$185.4 billion (2010 est.)

Expenses
$269.8 billion (2010 est.)

Economic aid
$2.107 billion (2008)[7]

Credit rating
BBB- (Domestic)
BBB- (Foreign)
BBB+ (T&C Assessment)
Outlook: Stable
(Standard & Poor’s)[8]

Foreign reserves
$319 billion (July 2011)[9]

Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars

“Dollar” and “$” refer throughout to the US dollar.

The Economy of India is the ninth largest in the world by nominal GDP and the fourth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).[1] The country is a part of the G-20 major economies and the BRICS, in addition to being partners of the ASEAN. India has a per capita GDP (PPP) of $3,586 (IMF, 129th) as per 2010 figures, making it a low-middle income country[10]. The independence-era Indian economy was inspired by the economy of the Soviet Union with socialist practices, large public sectors, high import duties and lesser private participation characterizing it, leading to massive inefficiencies and widespread corruption. However, in 1991, India adopted free market principles and liberalized its economy to international trade under the guidance of current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who then was the Finance Minister of India under the leadership of P.V.Narasimha Rao the then Prime Minister. Following these strong economic reforms, the country’s economic growth progressed at a rapid pace with very high rates of growth and large increases in the incomes of people.[11] India recorded the highest growth rates in the mid-2000s, and is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The growth was led primarily due to a huge increase in the size of the middle class consumer population, a large workforce comprising skilled and non-skilled workers, improvement in education standards and considerable foreign investments. India is the seventeenth largest exporter and eleventh largest importer in the world. Economic growth rates are projected at around 7.5%-8% for the financial year 2011-2012.

 

[edit]Overview

Social democratic policies governed India’s economy from 1947 to 1991. The economy was characterised by extensive regulation, protectionism, public ownership, pervasive corruption and slow growth.[12][13] Since 1991, continuing economic liberalisation has moved the country towards a market-based economy.[12][13] A revival of economic reforms and better economic policy in first decade of the 21st century accelerated India’s economic growth rate. In recent years, Indian cities have continued to liberalise business regulations.[5] By 2008, India had established itself as the world’s second-fastest growing major economy.[14]

However, as a result of the financial crisis of 2007–2010, coupled with a poor monsoon, India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate significantly slowed to 6.7% in 2008–09, but subsequently recovered to 7.4% in 2009–10, while the fiscal deficit rose from 5.9% to a high 6.5% during the same period.[15] India’s current account deficit surged to 4.1% of GDP during Q2 FY11 against 3.2% the previous quarter. The unemployment rate for 2009–2010, according to the state Labour Bureau, was 9.4% nationwide, rising to 10.1% in rural areas, where two-thirds of the 1.2 billion population live.[4] As of 2010, India’s public debt stood at 71.84% of GDP which is highest among BRIC nations.[6]

India’s large service industry accounts for 57.2% of the country’s GDP while the industrial and agricultural sectors contribute 28.6% and 14.6% respectively.[16] Agriculture is the predominant occupation in India, accounting for about 52% of employment. The service sector makes up a further 34%, and industrial sector around 14%.[17] However, statistics from a 2009–10 government survey, which used a smaller sample size than earlier surveys, suggested that the share of agriculture in employment had dropped to 45.5%.[4]

Major industries include telecommunications, textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, information technology-enabled services and pharmaceuticals.[18] The labour force totals 500 million workers. Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes, cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry and fish.[18] In 2009–2010, India’s top five trading partners are United Arab Emirates, China, United States, Saudi Arabia and Germany.

Previously a closed economy, India’s trade and business sector has grown fast.[12] India currently accounts for 1.5% of world trade as of 2007 according to the World Trade Statistics of the WTO in 2006, which valued India’s total merchandise trade (counting exports and imports) at $294 billion and India’s services trade at $143 billion. Thus, India’s global economic engagement in 2006 covering both merchandise and services trade was of the order of $437 billion, up by a record 72% from a level of $253 billion in 2004. India’s total trade in goods and services has reached a share of 43% of GDP in 2005–06, up from 16% in 1990–91.[19] India’s total merchandisee trade (counting exports and imports) stands at $ 606.7 billion[20] and is currently the 9th largest in the world.

[edit]History

Main articles: Economic history of India and Timeline of the economy of India

[edit]Pre-colonial period (up to 1773)

The citizens of the Indus Valley civilisation, a permanent settlement that flourished between 2800 BC and 1800 BC, practiced agriculture, domesticated animals, used uniform weights and measures, made tools and weapons, and traded with other cities. Evidence of well-planned streets, a drainage system and water supply reveals their knowledge of urban planning, which included the world’s first urban sanitation systems and the existence of a form of municipal government.[21]

The spice trade between India and Europe was the main catalyst for the Age of Discovery.[22]

Maritime trade was carried out extensively between South India and southeast and West Asia from early times until around the fourteenth century AD. Both the Malabar and Coromandel Coasts were the sites of important trading centres from as early as the first century BC, used for import and export as well as transit points between the Mediterranean region and southeast Asia.[23] Over time, traders organised themselves into associations which received state patronage. However, state patronage for overseas trade came to an end by the thirteenth century AD, when it was largely taken over by the local Parsi, Jewish and Muslim communities, initially on the Malabar and subsequently on the Coromandel coast.[24] Further north, the Saurashtraand Bengal coasts played an important role in maritime trade, and the Gangetic plains and the Indus valley housed several centres of river-borne commerce. Most overland trade was carried out via the Khyber Pass connecting the Punjab region with Afghanistan and onward to the Middle East and Central Asia.[25] Although many kingdoms and rulers issued coins, barter was prevalent. Villages paid a portion of their agricultural produce as revenue to the rulers, while their craftsmen received a part of the crops at harvest time for their services.[26]

Silver punch mark coin of the Maurya Empire, with symbols of wheel and elephant. 3rd century BC.

Assessment of India’s pre-colonial economy is mostly qualitative, owing to the lack of quantitative information. The Mughal economy functioned on an elaborate system of coined currency, land revenue and trade. Gold, silver and copper coins were issued by the royal mints which functioned on the basis of free coinage.[27] The political stability and uniform revenue policy resulting from a centralised administration under the Mughals, coupled with a well-developed internal trade network, ensured that India, before the arrival of the British, was to a large extent economically unified, despite having a traditional agrarian economy characterised by a predominance of subsistence agriculture dependent on primitive technology.[28] After the decline of the Mughals, western, central and parts of south and north India were integrated and administered by the Maratha Empire. After the loss at the Third Battle of Panipat, the Maratha Empire disintegrated into several confederate states, and the resulting political instability and armed conflict severely affected economic life in several parts of the country, although this was compensated for to some extent by localised prosperity in the new provincial kingdoms.[29] By the end of the eighteenth century, the British East India Company entered the Indian political theatre and established its dominance over other European powers. This marked a determinative shift in India’s trade, and a less powerful impact on the rest of the economy.[30]

[edit]Colonial period (1773–1947)

An aerial view of Calcutta Port taken in 1945. Calcutta, which was the economic hub of British India, saw increased industrial activity during World War II.

There is no doubt that our grievances against the British Empire had a sound basis. As the painstaking statistical work of the Cambridge historian Angus Maddison has shown, India’s share of world income collapsed from 22.6% in 1700, almost equal to Europe’s share of 23.3% at that time, to as low as 3.8% in 1952. Indeed, at the beginning of the 20th century, “the brightest jewel in the British Crown” was the poorest country in the world in terms of per capita income.

Manmohan Singh[31]

Company rule in India brought a major change in the taxation and agricultural policies, which tended to promote commercialisation of agriculture with a focus on trade, resulting in decreased production of food crops, mass impoverishment and destitution of farmers, and in the short term, led to numerous famines.[32] The economic policies of the British Raj caused a severe decline in thehandicrafts and handloom sectors, due to reduced demand and dipping employment.[33] After the removal of international restrictions by the Charter of 1813, Indian trade expanded substantially and over the long term showed an upward trend.[34] The result was a significant transfer of capital from India to England, which, due to the colonial policies of the British, led to a massive drain of revenue rather than any systematic effort at modernisation of the domestic economy.[35]

Estimates of the per capita income of India (1857–1900) as per 1948–49 prices.[36]

India’s colonisation by the British created an institutional environment that, on paper, guaranteed property rights among the colonisers, encouraged free trade, and created a single currency with fixed exchange rates, standardised weights and measures and capital markets. It also established a well-developed system of railways and telegraphs, a civil service that aimed to be free from political interference, a common-law and an adversarial legal system.[37] This coincided with major changes in the world economy – industrialisation, and significant growth in production and trade. However, at the end of colonial rule, India inherited an economy that was one of the poorest in the developing world,[38] with industrial development stalled, agriculture unable to feed a rapidly growing population, a largely illiterate and unskilled labour force, and extremely inadequate infrastructure.[39]

The 1872 census revealed that 91.3% of the population of the region constituting present-day India resided in villages,[40] and urbanisation generally remained sluggish until the 1920s, due to the lack of industrialisation and absence of adequate transportation. Subsequently, the policy of discriminating protection (where certain important industries were given financial protection by the state), coupled with the Second World War, saw the development and dispersal of industries, encouraging rural-urban migration, and in particular the large port cities of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras grew rapidly. Despite this, only one-sixth of India’s population lived in cities by 1951.[41]

The impact of the British rule on India’s economy is a controversial topic. Leaders of the Indian independence movement and left-wing people who opposed India’s independence movementeconomic historians have blamed colonial rule for the dismal state of India’s economy in its aftermath and argued that financial strength required for industrial development in Europe was derived from the wealth taken from colonies in Asia and Africa. At the same time, right-wing historians have countered that India’s low economic performance was due to various sectors being in a state of growth and decline due to changes brought in by colonialism and a world that was moving towards industrialisation and economic integration.[42]

[edit]Pre-liberalisation period (1947–1991)

Compare India (orange) with South Korea (yellow). Both started from about the same income level in 1950. The graph shows GDP per capita of South Asian economies and South Korea as a percentage of the American GDP per capita.

Indian economic policy after independence was influenced by the colonial experience, which was seen by Indian leaders as exploitative, and by those leaders’ exposure to democratic socialism as well as the progress achieved by the economy of the Soviet Union.[39] Domestic policy tended towards protectionism, with a strong emphasis on import substitution industrialisation, economic interventionism, a large public sector, business regulation, and central planning,[43] while trade and foreign investment policies were relatively liberal.[44] Five-Year Plans of India resembled central planning in the Soviet Union. Steel, mining, machine tools, telecommunications, insurance, and power plants, among other industries, were effectively nationalised in the mid-1950s.[45]

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, along with the statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, formulated and oversaw economic policy during the initial years of the country’s existence. They expected favorable outcomes from their strategy, involving the rapid development of heavy industry by both public and private sectors, and based on direct and indirect state intervention, rather than the more extreme Soviet-style central command system.[46][47] The policy of concentrating simultaneously on capital- and technology-intensive heavy industry and subsidising manual, low-skill cottage industries was criticised by economist Milton Friedman, who thought it would waste capital and labour, and retard the development of small manufacturers.[48] The rate of growth of the Indian economy in the first three decades after independence was derisively referred to as the Hindu rate of growth by economists, because of the unfavourable comparison with growth rates in other Asian countries.[49][50]

Since 1965, the use of high-yielding varieties of seeds, increased fertilisers and improved irrigation facilities collectively contributed to the Green Revolution in India, which improved the condition of agriculture by increasing crop productivity, improving crop patterns and strengthening forward and backward linkages between agriculture and industry.[51] However, it has also been criticised as an unsustainable effort, resulting in the growth of capitalistic farming, ignoring institutional reforms and widening income disparities.[52]

[edit]Post-liberalisation period (since 1991)

Main articles: Economic liberalisation in India and Economic development in India

GDP of India has risen rapidly since 1991

.

In the late 1970s, the government led by Morarji Desai eased restrictions on capacity expansion for incumbent companies, removed price controls, reduced corporate taxes and promoted the creation of small scale industries in large numbers. He also raised the income tax levels at one point to a maximum of 97.5%, a record in the world for non-communist economies. However, the subsequent government policy of Fabian socialism hampered the benefits of the economy, leading to high fiscal deficits and a worsening current account. The collapse of the Soviet Union, which was India’s major trading partner, and the Gulf War, which caused a spike in oil prices, resulted in a major balance-of-payments crisis for India, which found itself facing the prospect of defaulting on its loans.[53] India asked for a $1.8 billion bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which in return demanded reforms.[54]

In response, Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, along with his finance minister Manmohan Singh, initiated the economic liberalisation of 1991. The reforms did away with the Licence Raj, reduced tariffs and interest rates and ended many public monopolies, allowing automatic approval of foreign direct investment in many sectors.[55] Since then, the overall thrust of liberalisation has remained the same, although no government has tried to take on powerful lobbies such as trade unions and farmers, on contentious issues such as reforming labour laws and reducing agricultural subsidies.[56] By the turn of the 20th century, India had progressed towards a free-market economy, with a substantial reduction in state control of the economy and increased financial liberalisation.[57] This has been accompanied by increases in life expectancy, literacy rates and food security, although the beneficiaries have largely been urban residents.[58]

While the credit rating of India was hit by its nuclear weapons tests in 1998, it has since been raised to investment level in 2003 by S&P and Moody’s.[59] In 2003, Goldman Sachs predicted that India’s GDP in current prices would overtake France and Italy by 2020, Germany, UK and Russia by 2025 and Japan by 2035, making it the third largest economy of the world, behind the US and China. India is often seen by most economists as a rising economic superpower and is believed to play a major role in the global economy in the 21st century.[60][61]

[edit]Sectors

[edit]Industry and services

See also: Information technology in India, Business process outsourcing in India, and Retailing in India

India has one of the world’s fastest growing automobile industries.[62] Shown here is the Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car.[63]

Industry accounts for 28% of the GDP and employ 14% of the total workforce.[17] In absolute terms, India is 12th in the world in terms of nominal factory output.[64] The Indian industrial sector underwent significant changes as a result of the economic reforms of 1991, which removed import restrictions, brought in foreign competition, led to privatisation of certain public sector industries, liberalised the FDI regime, improved infrastructure and led to an expansion in the production of fast moving consumer goods.[65] Post-liberalisation, the Indian private sector was faced with increasing domestic as well as foreign competition, including the threat of cheaper Chinese imports. It has since handled the change by squeezing costs, revamping management, and relying on cheap labour and new technology. However, this has also reduced employment generation even by smaller manufacturers who earlier relied on relatively labour-intensive processes.[66]

Textile manufacturing is the second largest source of employment after agriculture and accounts for 20% of manufacturing output, providing employment to over 20 million people.[67] As stated in late January, by the then Minister of Textiles, India, Shri Shankersinh Vaghela, the transformation of the textile industry from a degrading to rapidly developing industry, has become the biggest achievement of the central government. After freeing the industry in 2004–2005 from a number of limitations, primarily financial, the government gave the green light to the flow of massive investment – both domestic and foreign. During the period from 2004 to 2008, total investment amounted to 27 billion dollars. By 2012, still convinced of the government, this figure will reach 38 billion as expected; these investments in 2012 will create an additional sector of more than 17 million jobs. But demand for Indian textiles in world markets continues to fall. According to Union Minister for Commerce and Industries Kamal Nath, only during 2008–2009 fiscal year (which ends 31 March) textile and clothing industry will be forced to cut about 800 thousand new jobs – nearly half of the rate of two million, which will have to go all the export-oriented sectors of Indian economy to soften the impact of the global crisis.[68] Ludhiana produces 90% of woollens in India and is known as the Manchester of India. Tirupur has gained universal recognition as the leading source of hosiery, knitted garments, casual wear and sportswear.[69]

India is 13th in services output. The services sector provides employment to 23% of the work force and is growing quickly, with a growth rate of 7.5% in 1991–2000, up from 4.5% in 1951–80. It has the largest share in the GDP, accounting for 55% in 2007, up from 15% in 1950.[17] Information technology and business process outsourcing are among the fastest growing sectors, having a cumulative growth rate of revenue 33.6% between 1997–98 and 2002–03 and contributing to 25% of the country’s total exports in 2007–08.[70] The growth in the IT sector is attributed to increased specialisation, and an availability of a large pool of low cost, highly skilled, educated and fluent English-speaking workers, on the supply side, matched on the demand side by increased demand from foreign consumers interested in India’s service exports, or those looking to outsourcetheir operations. The share of the Indian IT industry in the country’s GDP increased from 4.8 % in 2005–06 to 7% in 2008.[71] In 2009, seven Indian firms were listed among the top 15 technology outsourcing companies in the world.[72]

Mining forms an important segment of the Indian economy, with the country producing 79 different minerals (excluding fuel and atomic resources) in 2009–10, including iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, chromite, limestone, asbestos,fluorite, gypsum, ochre, phosphorite and silica sand.[73] Organised retail supermarkets accounts for 24% of the market as of 2008.[74] Regulations prevent most foreign investment in retailing. Moreover, over thirty regulations such as “signboard licences” and “anti-hoarding measures” may have to be complied before a store can open doors. There are taxes for moving goods from state to state, and even within states.[74] Tourism in India is relatively undeveloped, but growing at double digits. Some hospitals woo medical tourism.[75]

[edit]Agriculture

Farmers work outside a rice field inAndhra Pradesh. India is the second largest producer of rice in the world after China,[76]and Andhra Pradesh is the second largest rice producing state in India with Uttar Pradesh being the largest.[77]

Main articles: Agriculture in India, Forestry in India, Animal husbandry in India, and Fishing in India

See also: Natural resources in India

India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging and fishing accounted for 15.7% of the GDP in 2009–10, employed 52.1% of the total workforce, and despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP, is still the largest economic sector and a significant piece of the overall socio-economic development of India.[78] Yields per unit area of all crops have grown since 1950, due to the special emphasis placed on agriculture in the five-year plans and steady improvements in irrigation, technology, application of modern agricultural practices and provision of agricultural credit and subsidies since the Green Revolution in India. However, international comparisons reveal the average yield in India is generally 30% to 50% of the highest average yield in the world.[79] Indian states Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra are key agricultural contributing states of India.

India receives an average annual rainfall of 1,208 millimetres (47.6 in) and a total annual precipitation of 4000 billion cubic metres, with the total utilisable water resources, including surface andgroundwater, amounting to 1123 billion cubic metres.[80] 546,820 square kilometres (211,130 sq mi) of the land area, or about 39% of the total cultivated area, is irrigated.[81] India’s inland water resources including rivers, canals, ponds and lakes and marine resources comprising the east and west coasts of the Indian ocean and other gulfs and bays provide employment to nearly six million people in the fisheries sector. In 2008, India had the world’s third largest fishing industry.[82]

India is the largest producer in the world of milk, jute and pulses, and also has the world’s second largest cattle population with 175 million animals in 2008.[76] It is the second largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, cotton and groundnuts, as well as the second largest fruit and vegetable producer, accounting for 10.9% and 8.6% of the world fruit and vegetable production respectively.[76]India is also the second largest producer and the largest consumer of silk in the world, producing 77,000 million tons in 2005.[83]

[edit]Banking and finance

Main article: Finance in India

See also: Banking in India and Insurance in India

The Indian money market is classified into the organised sector, comprising private, public and foreign owned commercial banks and cooperative banks, together known as scheduled banks, and the unorganised sector, which includes individual or family owned indigenous bankers or money lenders and non-banking financial companies.[84] The unorganised sector and microcredit are still preferred over traditional banks in rural and sub-urban areas, especially for non-productive purposes, like ceremonies and short duration loans.[85]

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi nationalised 14 banks in 1969, followed by six others in 1980, and made it mandatory for banks to provide 40% of their net credit to priority sectors like agriculture, small-scale industry, retail trade, small businesses, etc. to ensure that the banks fulfill their social and developmental goals. Since then, the number of bank branches has increased from 8,260 in 1969 to 72,170 in 2007 and the population covered by a branch decreased from 63,800 to 15,000 during the same period. The total bank deposits increased from INR5,910 crore (US$1.2 billion) in 1970–71 to INR3,830,922 crore (US$776.91 billion) in 2008–09. Despite an increase of rural branches, from 1,860 or 22% of the total number of branches in 1969 to 30,590 or 42% in 2007, only 32,270 out of 500,000 villages are covered by a scheduled bank.[86][87]

India’s gross domestic saving in 2006–07 as a percentage of GDP stood at a high 32.7%.[88] More than half of personal savings are invested in physical assets such as land, houses, cattle, and gold.[89] The public sector banks hold over 75% of total assets of the banking industry, with the private and foreign banks holding 18.2% and 6.5% respectively.[90] Since liberalisation, the government has approved significant banking reforms. While some of these relate to nationalised banks, like encouraging mergers, reducing government interference and increasing profitability and competitiveness, other reforms have opened up the banking and insurance sectors to private and foreign players.[17][91]

[edit]Energy and power

Main article: Energy policy of India

As of 2010, India imported about 70% of its crude oil requirements.[92] Shown here is an ONGC platform at Mumbai High in theArabian Sea, one of the few sites of domestic production.

India’s oil reserves meet 25% of the country’s domestic oil demand.[17][93] As of 2009, India’s total proven oil reserves stood at 775 million metric tonnes while gas reserves stood at 1074 billion cubic metres.[94] Oil and natural gas fields are located offshore at Mumbai High, Krishna Godavari Basin and the Cauvery Delta, and onshore mainly in the states of Assam, Gujarat and Rajasthan.[94] India is the fourth largest consumer of oil in the world and imported $82.1 billion worth of oil in the first three quarters of 2010, which had an adverse effect on its current account deficit.[92] The petroleum industry in India mostly consists of public sector companies such as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL). There are some major private Indian companies in the oil sector such as Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) which operates the world’s largest oil refining complex.[95]

As of 2010, India had an installed power generation capacity of 164,835 megawatts (MW), of which thermal power contributed 64.6%, hydroelectricity 24.7%, other sources of renewable energy 7.7%, and nuclear power 2.9%.[96] India meets most of its domestic energy demand through its 106 billion tonnes of coal reserves.[97] India is also rich in certain renewable sources of energy with significant future potential such as solar, wind and biofuels (jatropha, sugarcane). India’s huge thorium reserves – about 25% of world’s reserves – are expected to fuel the country’s ambitious nuclear energy program in the long-run. India’s dwindling uranium reserves stagnated the growth of nuclear energy in the country for many years.[98] However, the Indo-US nuclear deal has paved the way for India to import uranium from other countries.[99]

[edit]External trade and investment

Further information: Globalisation in India and List of the largest trading partners of India

[edit]Global trade relations

A map showing the global distribution of Indian exports in 2006 as a percentage of the top market (USA – $20,902,500,000).

Until the liberalisation of 1991, India was largely and intentionally isolated from the world markets, to protect its economy and to achieve self-reliance. Foreign trade was subject to import tariffs, export taxes and quantitative restrictions, while foreign direct investment (FDI) was restricted by upper-limit equity participation, restrictions on technology transfer, export obligations and government approvals; these approvals were needed for nearly 60% of new FDI in the industrial sector. The restrictions ensured that FDI averaged only around $200 million annually between 1985 and 1991; a large percentage of the capital flows consisted of foreign aid, commercial borrowing and deposits of non-resident Indians.[100] India’s exports were stagnant for the first 15 years after independence, due to general neglect of trade policy by the government of that period. Imports in the same period, due to industrialisation being nascent, consisted predominantly of machinery, raw materials and consumer goods.[101]

Since liberalisation, the value of India’s international trade has increased sharply,[102] with the contribution of total trade in goods and services to the GDP rising from 16% in 1990–91 to 43% in 2005–06.[19] India’s major trading partners are the European Union, China, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.[103] In 2006–07, major export commodities included engineering goods, petroleum products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery, textiles and garments, agricultural products, iron ore and other minerals. Major import commodities included crude oil and related products, machinery, electronic goods, gold and silver.[104] In November 2010, exports increased 22.3% year-on-year to INR85,063 crore (US$17.25 billion), while imports were up 7.5% at INR125,133 crore (US$25.38 billion). Trade deficit for the same month dropped from INR46,865 crore (US$9.5 billion) in 2009 to INR40,070 crore (US$8.13 billion) in 2010.[105]

India is a founding-member of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) since 1947 and its successor, the WTO. While participating actively in its general council meetings, India has been crucial in voicing the concerns of thedeveloping world. For instance, India has continued its opposition to the inclusion of such matters as labour and environment issues and other non-tariff barriers to trade into the WTO policies.[106]

[edit]Balance of payments

Cumulative Current Account Balance 1980–2008 based on IMF data

Since independence, India’s balance of payments on its current account has been negative. Since economic liberalisation in the 1990s, precipitated by a balance of payment crisis, India’s exports rose consistently, covering 80.3% of its imports in 2002–03, up from 66.2% in 1990–91.[107] However, the global economic slump followed by a general deceleration in world trade saw the exports as a percentage of imports drop to 61.4% in 2008–09.[108] India’s growing oil import bill is seen as the main driver behind the large current account deficit,[92] which rose to $118.7 billion, or 9.7% of GDP, in 2008–09.[109] Between January and October 2010, India imported $82.1 billion worth of crude oil.[92]

Due to the global late-2000s recession, both Indian exports and imports declined by 29.2% and 39.2% respectively in June 2009.[110] The steep decline was because countries hit hardest by the global recession, such as United States and members of the European Union, account for more than 60% of Indian exports.[111] However, since the decline in imports was much sharper compared to the decline in exports, India’s trade deficit reduced to INR25,250 crore (US$5.12 billion).[110] As of June 2011, exports and imports have both registered impressive growth with monthly exports reaching $25.9 billion for the month of May 2011 and monthly imports reaching $40.9 billion for the same month. This represents a year on year growth of 56.9% for exports and 54.1% for imports.[20]

India’s reliance on external assistance and concessional debt has decreased since liberalisation of the economy, and the debt service ratio decreased from 35.3% in 1990–91 to 4.4% in 2008–09.[112] In India, External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs), or commercial loans from non-resident lenders, are being permitted by the Government for providing an additional source of funds to Indian corporates. The Ministry of Financemonitors and regulates them through ECB policy guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999.[113] India’s foreign exchange reserves have steadily risen from $5.8 billion in March 1991 to $283.5 billion in December 2009. [114]

[edit]Foreign direct investment

Share of top five investing countries in FDI inflows. (2000–2010)[115]

Rank
Country
Inflows
(million USD)
Inflows (%)

1
Mauritius
50,164
42.00

2
Singapore
11,275
9.00

3
USA
8,914
7.00

4
UK
6,158
5.00

5
Netherlands
4,968
4.00

As the fourth-largest economy in the world in PPP terms, India is a preferred destination for FDI;[116] India has strengths in telecommunication, information technology and other significant areas such as auto components, chemicals, apparels, pharmaceuticals, and jewellery. Despite a surge in foreign investments, rigid FDI policies were a significant hindrance. However, due to positive economic reforms aimed at deregulating the economy and stimulating foreign investment, India has positioned itself as one of the front-runners of the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region.[116] India has a large pool of skilled managerial and technical expertise. The size of the middle-class population stands at 300 million and represents a growing consumer market.[117]

During 2000–10, the country attracted $178 billion as FDI.[118] The inordinately high investment from Mauritius is due to routing of international funds through the country given significant tax advantages; double taxation is avoided due to a tax treaty between India and Mauritius, and Mauritius is a capital gains tax haven, effectively creating a zero-taxation FDI channel.[119]

India’s recently liberalised FDI policy (2005) allows up to a 100% FDI stake in ventures. Industrial policy reforms have substantially reduced industrial licensing requirements, removed restrictions on expansion and facilitated easy access to foreign technology and foreign direct investment FDI. The upward moving growth curve of the real-estate sector owes some credit to a booming economy and liberalised FDI regime. In March 2005, the government amended the rules to allow 100% FDI in the construction sector, including built-up infrastructure and construction development projects comprising housing, commercial premises, hospitals, educational institutions, recreational facilities, and city- and regional-level infrastructure.[120] Despite a number of changes in the FDI policy to remove caps in most sectors, there still remains an unfinished agenda of permitting greater FDI in politically sensitive areas such as insurance and retailing. The total FDI equity inflow into India in 2008–09 stood at INR122,919 crore (US$24.93 billion), a growth of 25% in rupee terms over the previous period.[121].

[edit]Currency

The RBI’s new headquarters in Mumbai

Main articles: Indian rupee and Reserve Bank of India

The Indian rupee is the only legal tender in India, and is also accepted as legal tender in the neighbouring Nepal and Bhutan, both of which peg their currency to that of the Indian rupee. The rupee is divided into 100 paise. The highest-denomination banknote is the 1,000 rupee note; the lowest-denomination coin in circulation is the 10 paise coin.[122] However, with effect from 30 June 2011, 50 paise is the minimum coin accepted in the markets as all denominations below have ceased to be legal currency.[123][124] India’s monetary system is managed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank.[125]Established on 1 April 1935 and nationalised in 1949, the RBI serves as the nation’s monetary authority, regulator and supervisor of the monetary system, banker to the government, custodian of foreign exchange reserves, and as an issuer of currency. It is governed by a central board of directors, headed by a governor who is appointed by the Government of India.[126]

The rupee was linked to the British pound from 1927–1946 and then the U.S. dollar till 1975 through a fixed exchange rate. It was devalued in September 1975 and the system of fixed par rate was replaced with a basket of four major international currencies – the British pound, the U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen and the Deutsche mark.[127] Since 2003, the rupee has been steadily appreciating against the U.S. dollar.[128]In 2009, a rising rupee prompted the Government of India to purchase 200 tons of gold for $6.7 billion from the IMF.[129]

[edit]Income and consumption

Main article: Income in India

See also: Poverty in India

World map showing the Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality. India has a Gini coefficient of 0.368.

India’s gross national income per capita had experienced astonishing growth rates since 2002.India’s Per Capita Income has tripled from $ 423 in 2002–03 to $ 1219 in 2010–11, averaging 14.4% growth over these eight years.[130] It will further go up to $ 1440 during 2011–12 fiscal. Indian official estimates of the extent of poverty have been subject to debate, with concerns being raised about the methodology for the determination of the poverty line.[131][132] As of 2005, according to World Bank statistics, 75.6% of the population lived on less than $2 a day (PPP), while 41.6% of the population was living below the new international poverty line of $1.25 (PPP) per day.[133][134][135] However, data released in 2009 by the Government of India estimated that 37% of the population lived below the poverty line.[3]

Housing is modest. According to The Times of India, a majority of Indians had a per capita space equivalent to or less than a 100 square feet (9.3 m2) room for their basic living needs, and one-third of urban Indians lived in “homes too cramped to exceed even the minimum requirements of a prison cell in the US.”[136] The average is 103 sq ft (9.6 m2) per person in rural areas and 117 sq ft (10.9 m2) per person in urban areas.[136]

GNI per capita:

India (1,170 $)

Higher GNI per capita compared to India

Lower GNI per capita compared to India

Around half of Indian children are malnourished. The proportion of underweight children is nearly double that of Sub-Saharan Africa.[137][138] However, India has not had any major famines since Independence.[139]

Since the early 1950s, successive governments have implemented various schemes to alleviate poverty, under central planning, that have met with partial success. All these programmes have relied upon the strategies of the Food for work programme and National Rural Employment Programme of the 1980s, which attempted to use the unemployed to generate productive assets and build rural infrastructure.[140] In August 2005, the Parliament of India, in response to the perceived failure of economic growth to generate employment for the rural poor, passed the Rural Employment Guarantee Bill into law, guaranteeing 100 days of minimum wage employment to every rural household in all the districts of India.[141] The Parliament of India also refused to accept Union Government’s argument that it had taken adequate measures to reduce incidence of poverty in India.The question of whether economic reforms have reduced poverty has fuelled debates without generating clear-cut answers and has also increased political pressure against further economic reforms, especially those involving the downsizing of labour and cutting agricultural subsidies.[142] Recent statistics in 2010 point out that the number of high income households has crossed lower income households.[143]

[edit]Employment

See also: Labour in India and Indian labour law

India’s labor regulations – among the most restrictive and complex in the world – have constrained the growth of the formal manufacturing sector where these laws have their widest application. Better designed labor regulations can attract more labor- intensive investment and create jobs for India’s unemployed millions and those trapped in poor quality jobs. Given the country’s momentum of growth, the window of opportunity must not be lost for improving the job prospects for the 80 million new entrants who are expected to join the work force over the next decade.

World Bank: India Country Overview 2008.[144]

Agricultural and allied sectors accounted for about 52.1% of the total workforce in 2009–10.[78] While agriculture has faced stagnation in growth, services have seen a steady growth. Of the total workforce, 7% is in the organised sector, two-thirds of which are in the public sector.[145] The NSSO survey estimated that in 2004–05, 8.3% of the population was unemployed, an increase of 2.2% over 1993 levels, with unemployment uniformly higher in urban areas and among women.[146][147] Growth of labour stagnated at around 2% for the decade between 1994–2005, about the same as that for the preceding decade.[141] Avenues for employment generation have been identified in the IT and travel and tourism sectors, which have been experiencing high annual growth rates of above 9%.[148]

Unemployment in India is characterised by chronic (disguised) unemployment. Government schemes that target eradication of both poverty and unemployment (which in recent decades has sent millions of poor and unskilled people into urban areas in search of livelihoods) attempt to solve the problem, by providing financial assistance for setting up businesses, skill honing, setting up public sector enterprises, reservations in governments, etc. The decline in organised employment due to the decreased role of the public sector after liberalisation has further underlined the need for focusing on better education and has also put political pressure on further reforms.[149][150] India’s labour regulations are heavy even by developing country standards and analysts have urged the government to abolish or modify them in order to make the environment more conducive for employment generation.[151][152] The 11th five-year plan has also identified the need for a congenial environment to be created for employment generation, by reducing the number of permissions and other bureaucratic clearances required.[153] Further, inequalities and inadequacies in the education system have been identified as an obstacle preventing the benefits of increased employment opportunities from reaching all sectors of society.[154]

Child labour in India is a complex problem that is basically rooted in poverty, coupled with a failure of governmental policy, which has focused on subsidising higher rather than elementary education, as a result benefiting the privileged rather than the poorer sections of society.[155] The Indian government is implementing the world’s largest child labour elimination program, with primary education targeted for ~250 million. Numerous non-governmental and voluntary organisations are also involved. Special investigation cells have been set up in states to enforce existing laws banning the employment of children under 14 in hazardous industries. The allocation of the Government of India for the eradication of child labour was $21 million in 2007.[156] Public campaigns, provision of meals in school and other incentives have proven successful in increasing attendance rates in schools in some states.[157]

In 2009–10, remittances from Indian migrants overseas stood at INR250,000 crore (US$50.7 billion), the highest in the world, but their share in FDI remained low at around 1%.[158] India ranked 133rd on the Ease of Doing Business Index 2010, behind countries such as China (89th), Pakistan (85th), and Nigeria (125th).[159]

[edit]Economic trends and issues

Commercial office buildings in Gurgaon.

In the revised 2007 figures, based on increased and sustaining growth, more inflows into foreign direct investment, Goldman Sachs predicts that “from 2007 to 2020, India’s GDP per capita in US$ terms will quadruple”, and that the Indian economy will surpass the United States (in US$) by 2043.[160] In spite of the high growth rate, the report stated that India would continue to remain a low-income country for decades to come but could be a “motor for the world economy” if it fulfills its growth potential.[160]

[edit]Agriculture

Main article: Agriculture in India

Slow agricultural growth is a concern for policymakers as some two-thirds of India’s people depend on rural employment for a living. Current agricultural practices are neither economically nor environmentally sustainable and India’s yields for many agricultural commodities are low. Poorly maintained irrigation systems and almost universal lack of good extension services are among the factors responsible. Farmers’ access to markets is hampered by poor roads, rudimentary market infrastructure, and excessive regulation.

World Bank: “India Country Overview 2008”[144]

India’s population is growing faster than its ability to produce rice and wheat.[161] The low productivity in India is a result of several factors. According to the World Bank, India’s large agricultural subsidies are hampering productivity-enhancing investment. While overregulation of agriculture has increased costs, price risks and uncertainty, governmental intervention in labour, land, and credit markets are hurting the market. Infrastructure and services are inadequate.[162] Further, the average size of land holdings is very small, with 70% of holdings being less than one hectare in size.[163] The partial failure of land reforms in many states, exacerbated by poorly maintained or non-existent land records, has resulted insharecropping with cultivators lacking ownership rights, and consequently low productivity of labour.[164] Adoption of modern agricultural practices and use of technology is inadequate, hampered by ignorance of such practices, high costs, illiteracy, slow progress in implementing land reforms, inadequate or inefficient finance and marketing services for farm produce and impracticality in the case of small land holdings. The allocation of water is inefficient, unsustainable and inequitable. The irrigation infrastructure is deteriorating.[162] Irrigation facilities are inadequate, as revealed by the fact that only 39% of the total cultivable land was irrigated as of 2010,[81] resulting in farmers still being dependent on rainfall, specifically the monsoon season, which is often inconsistent and unevenly distributed across the country.[165]

[edit]Corruption

Overview of the index of perception of corruption, 2010

Main article: Corruption in India

Corruption has been one of the pervasive problems affecting India. The economic reforms of 1991 reduced the red tape, bureaucracy and the Licence Raj that were largely blamed for the institutionalised corruption and inefficiency.[166] Yet, a 2005 study by Transparency International (TI) found that more than half of those surveyed had firsthand experience of paying bribe or peddling influence to get a job done in a public office.[167]

The Right to Information Act (2005) which requires government officials to furnish information requested by citizens or face punitive action, computerisation of services, and various central and state government acts that established vigilance commissions, have considerably reduced corruption and opened up avenues to redress grievances.[167] The 2010 report by TI ranks India at 87th place and states that significant setbacks were made by India in reducing corruption.[168]

The number of people employed in non-agricultural occupations in the public and private sectors. Totals are rounded. Private sector data relates to non-agriculture establishments with 10 or more employees.[140]

The current government has concluded that most spending fails to reach its intended recipients. A large, cumbersome and overworked bureaucracy also contributes to administrative inefficiency.[169]India’s absence rates are one of the worst in the world; one study found that 25% of public sector teachers and 40% of public sector medical workers could not be found at the workplace.[170][171]

The Indian economy continues to face the problem of an underground economy with a 2006 estimate by the Swiss Banking Association suggesting that India topped the worldwide list for black money with almost $1,456 billion stashed in Swiss banks. This amounts to 13 times the country’s total external debt.[172][173]

[edit]Education

Main article: Education in India

India has made huge progress in terms of increasing primary education attendance rate and expanding literacy to approximately three-fourth of the population.[174] India’s literacy rate had grown from 52.2% in 1991 to 74.04% in 2011. The right to education at elementary level has been made one of the fundamental rights under the eighty-sixth Amendment of 2002, and legislation has been enacted to further the objective of providing free education to all children.[175] However, the literacy rate of 74% is still lower than the worldwide average and the country suffers from a high dropout rate.[176] Further, there exists a severe disparity in literacy rates and educational opportunities between males and females, urban and rural areas, and among different social groups.[177]

[edit]Infrastructure

Shown here is the Chennai Port.

Shown here is the Mumbai-Pune expressway in Maharashtra.

See also: Transport in India, Indian Road Network, Ports in India, Electricity sector in India, States of India by installed power capacity, Water supply and sanitation in India, and Communications in India

In the past, development of infrastructure was completely in the hands of the public sector and was plagued by slow progress, poor quality and inefficiency.[178] India’s low spending on power, construction, transportation, telecommunications and real estate, at $31 billion or 6% of GDP in 2002 had prevented India from sustaining higher growth rates. This has prompted the government to partially open up infrastructure to the private sector allowing foreign investment,[140][179] and most public infrastructure, barring railways, is today constructed and maintained by private contractors, in exchange for tax and other concessions from the government.[180]

Some 600 million Indians have no electricity at all.[181] While 80% of Indian villages have at least an electricity line, just 44% of rural households have access to electricity. Some half of the electricity is stolen, compared with 3% in China. The stolen electricity amounts to 1.5% of GDP.[182][183] Transmission and distribution losses amount to around 20%, as a result of an inefficient distribution system, handled mostly by cash-strapped state-run enterprises.[184] Almost all of the electricity in India is produced by the public sector. Power outages are common, and many buy their own power generators to ensure electricity supply.[181] As of 2006–07 the electricity production was at 652.2 billion kWh, with an installed capacity of 128400 MW.[185] In 2007, electricity demand exceeded supply by 15%.[181] However, reforms brought about by the Electricity Act of 2003 caused far-reaching policy changes, including mandating the separation of generation, transmission and distribution aspects of electricity, abolishing licencing requirements in generation and opening up the sector to private players, thereby paving the way for creating a competitive market-based electricity sector.[186] Substantial improvements in water supply infrastructure, both in urban and rural areas, have taken place over the past decade, with the proportion of the population having access to safe drinking water rising from 66% in 1991 to 92% in 2001 in rural areas, and from 82% to 98% in urban areas. however, quality and availability of water supply remains a major problem even in urban India, with most cities getting water for only a few hours during the day.[187]

India has the world’s third largest road network,[188] covering about 3.3 million kilometers and carrying 65% of freight and 80% of passenger traffic.[189] Container traffic is growing at 15% a year.[190]India has a national teledensity rate of 67.67% with 806.1 million telephone subscribers, two-thirds of them in urban areas,[191] but Internet use is rare—there were only 10.29 million broadband lines in India in September 2010. However, this is growing and is expected to boom following the expansion of 3G and wimax services.[192]

[edit]Economic disparities

Main articles: Economic disparities in India and Poverty in India

India continues to grow at a rapid pace, although the government recently reduced its annual GDP growth projection from 9% to 8% for the current fiscal year ending March 2012. The slowdown is marked by a sharp drop in investment growth resulting from political uncertainties, a tightening of macroeconomic policies aimed at addressing a high fiscal deficit and high inflation (going well beyond food and fuel prices), and from renewed concerns about the European and US economies. Although the Government was quite successful in cushioning the impact of the global financial crisis on India, it is now clear that a number of MDG targets will only be met under the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17)..

World Bank: India Country Overview 2011[144]

Illegal Slums next to high-rise commercial buildings in Kochi. millions of people, mostly comprising rural residents who migrate to cities seeking jobs, live in squalid conditions like these.[193]

A critical problem facing India’s economy is the sharp and growing regional variations among India’s different states and territories in terms of poverty, availability of infrastructure and socio-economic development.[194] Six low-income states – Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh – are home to more than one third of India’s population.[195] Severe disparities exist among states in terms of income, literacy rates, life expectancy and living conditions.[196]

The five-year plans, especially in the pre-liberalisation era, attempted to reduce regional disparities by encouraging industrial development in the interior regions and distributing industries across states, but the results have not been very encouraging since these measures in fact increased inefficiency and hampered effective industrial growth.[197] After liberalisation, the more advanced states have been better placed to benefit from them, with well-developed infrastructure and an educated and skilled workforce, which attract the manufacturing and service sectors. The governments of backward regions are trying to reduce disparities by offering tax holidays and cheap land, and focusing more on sectors like tourism which, although being geographically and historically determined, can become a source of growth and develops faster than other sectors.[198][199]

[edit]See also

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Education

“Educate” redirects here. For the journal published by the Institute of Education, see Educate~.

For the stained-glass window at Yale University, see Education (Chittenden Memorial Window).

Children in a kindergarten classroom inFrance

Children at an elementary school inXinjiang, China

Girls at a secondary school in Iraq

Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next.[1] Generally, it occurs through any experiencethat has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts. In its narrow, technical sense, education is the formal process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge,skills, customs and values from one generation to another, e.g., instruction in schools.

A right to education has been created and recognized by some jurisdictions: Since 1952, Article 2 of the first Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights obliges all signatory parties to guarantee the right to education. At the global level, the United NationsInternational Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966 guarantees this right under its Article 13.

 

[edit]Etymology

Etymologically, the word education is derived from the Latin ēducātiō (“a breeding, a bringing up, a rearing) from ēdūcō (“I educate, I train”) which is related to the homonym ēdūcō (“I lead forth, I take out; I raise up, I erect”) from ē- (“from, out of”) and dūcō (“I lead, I conduct”).[2]

[edit]Systems of schooling

School children line, in Kerala, India

Systems of schooling involve institutionalized teaching and learning in relation to a curriculum, which itself is established according to a predetermined purpose of the schools in the system.

[edit]Purpose of schools

Main article: Education_theory#Normative_theories_of_education

Examples of the purpose of schools include:[3] develop reasoning about perennial questions, master the methods of scientific inquiry, cultivate the intellect, create change agents, develop spirituality, and model a democratic society.

[edit]Curriculum

School children in Cape Town, South Africa.

Main articles: Curriculum, Curriculum_theory, and List of academic disciplines

In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults. A curriculum is prescriptive, and is based on a more general syllabus which merely specifies what topics must be understood and to what level to achieve a particular grade or standard.

An academic discipline is a branch of knowledge which is formally taught, either at the university, or via some other such method. Each discipline usually has several sub-disciplines or branches, and distinguishing lines are often both arbitrary and ambiguous. Examples of broad areas of academic disciplines include the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, social sciences,humanities and applied sciences.[4]

[edit]Preschools

Main article: Preschool education

[edit]Primary schools

Main article: Primary education

Primary school in open air. Teacher (priest) with class from the outskirts ofBucharest, around 1842.

Primary (or elementary) education consists of the first 5–7 years of formal, structured education. In general, primary education consists of six or eight years of schooling starting at the age of five or six, although this varies between, and sometimes within, countries. Globally, around 89% of primary-age children are enrolled in primary education, and this proportion is rising.[5] Under the Education For All programs driven by UNESCO, most countries have committed to achieving universal enrollment in primary education by 2015, and in many countries, it is compulsory for children to receive primary education. The division between primary and secondary education is somewhat arbitrary, but it generally occurs at about eleven or twelve years of age. Some education systems have separate middle schools, with the transition to the final stage of secondary education taking place at around the age of fourteen. Schools that provide primary education, are mostly referred to asprimary schools. Primary schools in these countries are often subdivided into infant schools and junior school.

[edit]Secondary schools

Main article: Secondary education

Students in a classroom at Samdach Euv High School, Cambodia

In most contemporary educational systems of the world, secondary education comprises the formal education that occurs during adolescence. It is characterized by transition from the typically compulsory, comprehensive primary education for minors, to the optional, selective tertiary, “post-secondary”, or “higher” education (e.g., university, vocational school for adults. Depending on the system, schools for this period, or a part of it, may be called secondary or high schools, gymnasiums, lyceums, middle schools, colleges, or vocational schools. The exact meaning of any of these terms varies from one system to another. The exact boundary between primary and secondary education also varies from country to country and even within them, but is generally around the seventh to the tenth year of schooling. Secondary education occurs mainly during the teenage years. In the United States, Canada and Australia primary and secondary education together are sometimes referred to as K-12 education, and in New Zealand Year 1–13 is used. The purpose of secondary education can be to give common knowledge, to prepare for higher education or to train directly in aprofession.

The emergence of secondary education in the United States did not happen until 1910, caused by the rise in big businesses and technological advances in factories (for instance, the emergence of electrification), that required skilled workers. In order to meet this new job demand, high schools were created and the curriculum focused on practical job skills that would better prepare students forwhite collar or skilled blue collar work. This proved to be beneficial for both the employer and the employee, because this improvement in human capital caused employees to become more efficient, which lowered costs for the employer, and skilled employees received a higher wage than employees with just primary educational attainment.

In Europe, the grammar school or academy existed from as early as the 16th century; public schools or fee-paying schools, or charitable educational foundations have an even longer history.

[edit]Indigenous education

Main article: Indigenous education

Indigenous education refers to the inclusion of indigenous knowledge, models, methods and content within formal and non-formal educational systems. Often in a post-colonial context, the growing recognition and use of indigenous education methods can be a response to the erosion and loss of indigenous knowledge and language through the processes of colonialism. Furthermore, it can enable indigenous communities to “reclaim and revalue their languages and cultures, and in so doing, improve the educational success of indigenous students.”[6]

[edit]Alternative education

Main article: Alternative education

Alternative education, also known as non-traditional education or educational alternative, is a broad term that may be used to refer to all forms of education outside of traditional education (for all age groups and levels of education). This may include not only forms of education designed for students with special needs (ranging from teenage pregnancy to intellectual disability), but also forms of education designed for a general audience and employing alternative educational philosophies and methods.

Alternatives of the latter type are often the result of education reform and are rooted in various philosophies that are commonly fundamentally different from those of traditional compulsory education. While some have strong political, scholarly, or philosophical orientations, others are more informal associations of teachers and students dissatisfied with certain aspects of traditional education. These alternatives, which include charter schools, alternative schools, independent schools, homeschooling and autodidacticism vary widely, but often emphasize the value of small class size, close relationships between students and teachers, and a sense of community.

[edit]Systems of higher education

Main article: Higher education

The University of Cambridge is an institute of higher learning.

Higher education, also called tertiary, third stage, or post secondary education, is the non-compulsory educational level that follows the completion of a school providing a secondary education, such as a high school or secondary school. Tertiary education is normally taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, as well as vocational education and training. Colleges and universities are the main institutions that provide tertiary education. Collectively, these are sometimes known as tertiary institutions. Tertiary education generally results in the receipt of certificates,diplomas, or academic degrees.

Higher education generally involves work towards a degree-level or foundation degree qualification. In most developed countries a high proportion of the population (up to 50%) now enter higher education at some time in their lives. Higher education is therefore very important to national economies, both as a significant industry in its own right, and as a source of trained and educated personnel for the rest of the economy.

[edit]University systems

University education includes teaching, research and social services activities, and it includes both the undergraduate level (sometimes referred to as tertiary education) and the graduate (orpostgraduate) level (sometimes referred to as graduate school). Universities are generally composed of several colleges. In the United States, universities can be private and independent, like Yale University, they can be public and State governed, like the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, or they can be independent but State funded, like the University of Virginia.

[edit]Liberal arts colleges

A “liberal arts” institution can be defined as a “college or university curriculum aimed at imparting broad general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities, in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum.”[7]Although what is known today as the liberal arts college began in Europe,[8] the term is commonly associated with the United States[citation needed]. Examples include Reed College, Carleton College, and Smith College.

[edit]Community colleges

Main article: community colleges

[edit]Adult education

Main article: Adult education

Adult education has become common in many countries. It takes on many forms, ranging from formal class-based learning to self-directed learning and e-learning. A number of career specific courses such as veterinary assisting, medical billing and coding, real estate license, bookkeeping and many more are now available to students through the Internet.

[edit]Learning modalities

There has been work on learning styles over the last two decades. Dunn and Dunn[9] focused on identifying relevant stimuli that may influence learning and manipulating the school environment, at about the same time as Joseph Renzulli[10]recommended varying teaching strategies. Howard Gardner[11] identified individual talents or aptitudes in his Multiple Intelligences theories. Based on the works of Jung, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter[12]focused on understanding how people’s personality affects the way they interact personally, and how this affects the way individuals respond to each other within the learning environment. The work of David Kolb and Anthony Gregorc‘s Type Delineator[13] follows a similar but more simplified approach.

School girls in Afghanistan

It is currently fashionable to divide education into different learning “modes”. The learning modalities[14] are probably the most common:

  • Visual: learning based on observation and seeing what is being learned.
  • Auditory: learning based on listening to instructions/information.
  • Kinesthetic: learning based on hands-on work and engaging in activities.

Although it is claimed that, depending on their preferred learning modality, different teaching techniques have different levels of effectiveness,[15] recent research has argued “there is no adequate evidence base to justify incorporating learning styles assessments into general educational practice.”[16]

A consequence of this theory is that effective teaching should present a variety of teaching methods which cover all three learning modalities so that different students have equal opportunities to learn in a way that is effective for them.[17] Guy Claxton has questioned the extent that learning styles such as VAK are helpful, particularly as they can have a tendency to label children and therefore restrict learning.[18]

[edit]Instruction

Teacher in a classroom in Madagascar

Instruction is the facilitation of another’s learning. Instructors in primary and secondary institutions are often called teachers, and they direct the education of students and might draw on manysubjects like reading, writing, mathematics, science and history. Instructors in post-secondary institutions might be called teachers, instructors, or professors, depending on the type of institution; and they primarily teach only their specific discipline. Studies from the United States suggest that the quality of teachers is the single most important factor affecting student performance, and that countries which score highly on international tests have multiple policies in place to ensure that the teachers they employ are as effective as possible.[19] With the passing of NCLB in the United States (No Child Left Behind), teachers must be highly qualified.

[edit]Technology

Main article: Educational technology

One of the most substantial uses in education is the use of technology. Also technology is an increasingly influential factor in education. Computers and mobile phones are used in developed countries both to complement established education practices and develop new ways of learning such as online education (a type of distance education). This gives students the opportunity to choose what they are interested in learning. The proliferation of computers also means the increase of programming and blogging. Technology offers powerful learning tools that demand new skills and understandings of students, including Multimedia, and provides new ways to engage students, such as Virtual learning environments. One such tool are virtual manipulatives, which are an “interactive, Web-based visual representation of a dynamic object that presents opportunities for constructing mathematical knowledge” (Moyer, Bolyard, & Spikell, 2002). In short, virtual manipulatives are dynamic visual/pictorial replicas of physical mathematical manipulatives, which have long been used to demonstrate and teach various mathematical concepts. Virtual manipulatives can be easily accessed on the Internet as stand-alone applets, allowing for easy access and use in a variety of educational settings. Emerging research into the effectiveness of virtual manipulatives as a teaching tool have yielded promising results, suggesting comparable, and in many cases superior overall concept-teaching effectiveness compared to standard teaching methods.[citation needed] Technology is being used more not only in administrative duties in education but also in the instruction of students. The use of technologies such as PowerPoint andinteractive whiteboard is capturing the attention of students in the classroom. Technology is also being used in the assessment of students. One example is the Audience Response System (ARS), which allows immediate feedback tests and classroom discussions.[20]

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are a “diverse set of tools and resources used to communicate, create, disseminate, store, and manage information.”[21] These technologies include computers, the Internet, broadcasting technologies (radio and television), and telephony. There is increasing interest in how computers and the Internet can improve education at all levels, in both formal and non-formal settings.[22] Older ICT technologies, such as radio and television, have for over forty years been used for open and distance learning, although print remains the cheapest, most accessible and therefore most dominant delivery mechanism in both developed and developing countries.[23] In addition to classroom application and growth of e-learning opportunities for knowledge attainment, educators involved in student affairs programming have recognized the increasing importance of computer usage with data generation for and about students. Motivation and retention counselors, along with faculty and administrators, can impact the potential academic success of students by provision of technology based experiences in the University setting.[24]

The use of computers and the Internet is in its infancy in developing countries, if these are used at all, due to limited infrastructure and the attendant high costs of access. Usually, various technologies are used in combination rather than as the sole delivery mechanism. For example, the Kothmale Community Radio Internet uses both radio broadcasts and computer and Internet technologies to facilitate the sharing of information and provide educational opportunities in a rural community in Sri Lanka.[25] The Open University of the United Kingdom (UKOU), established in 1969 as the first educational institution in the world wholly dedicated to open and distance learning, still relies heavily on print-based materials supplemented by radio, television and, in recent years, online programming.[26] Similarly, the Indira Gandhi National Open University in India combines the use of print, recorded audio and video, broadcast radio and television, and audio conferencing technologies.[27]

The term “computer-assisted learning” (CAL) has been increasingly used to describe the use of technology in teaching. Classrooms of the 21st century contain interactive white boards, tablets, mp3 players, laptops, etc. Teachers are encouraged to embed these technological devices in the curriculum in order to enhance students learning and meet the needs of various types of learners.

[edit]Education theory

Main article: Education theory

Education theory can refer to either a normative or a descriptive theory of education. In the first case, a theory means a postulation about what ought to be. It provides the “goals, norms, and standards for conducting the process of education.”[28] In the second case, it means “an hypothesis or set of hypotheses that have been verified by observation and experiment.”[29] A descriptive theory of education can be thought of as a conceptual scheme that ties together various “otherwise discrete particulars. . .For example, a cultural theory of education shows how the concept of culture can be used to organize and unify the variety of facts about how and what people learn.”[30] Likewise, for example, there is the behaviorist theory of education that comes from educational psychology and the functionalist theory of education that comes from sociology of education.[31]

[edit]Economics and education

Main article: Economics of education

Students on their way to school, Hakha,Chin State, Myanmar

It has been argued that high rates of education are essential for countries to be able to achieve high levels of economic growth.[32] Empirical analyses tend to support the theoretical prediction that poor countries should grow faster than rich countries because they can adopt cutting edge technologies already tried and tested by rich countries. However, technology transfer requires knowledgeable managers and engineers who are able to operate new machines or production practices borrowed from the leader in order to close the gap through imitation. Therefore, a country’s ability to learn from the leader is a function of its stock of “human capital“. Recent study of the determinants of aggregate economic growth have stressed the importance of fundamental economic institutions[33] and the role of cognitive skills.[34]

At the individual level, there is a large literature, generally related back to the work of Jacob Mincer,[35] on how earnings are related to the schooling and other human capital of the individual. This work has motivated a large number of studies, but is also controversial. The chief controversies revolve around how to interpret the impact of schooling.[36][37]

Economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis famously argued in 1976 that there was a fundamental conflict in American schooling between the egalitarian goal of democratic participation and the inequalities implied by the continued profitability of capitalist production on the other.[38]

[edit]History

 

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2010)

Main article: History of education

A depiction of the University of Bologna, Italy

The history of education according to Dieter Lenzen, president of the Freie Universität Berlin 1994, “began either millions of years ago or at the end of 1770”. Education as a science cannot be separated from the educational traditions that existed before. Adults trained the young of their society in the knowledge and skills they would need to master and eventually pass on. The evolution of culture, and human beings as a species depended on this practice of transmitting knowledge. In pre-literate societies this was achieved orally and through imitation. Story-telling continued from one generation to the next. Oral language developed into written symbols and letters. The depth and breadth of knowledge that could be preserved and passed soon increased exponentially. When cultures began to extend their knowledge beyond the basic skills of communicating, trading, gathering food, religious practices, etc., formal education, and schooling, eventually followed. Schooling in this sense was already in place in Egypt between 3000 and 500BC.The history of education is the history of man as since its the main occupation of man to pass knowledge, skills and attitude from one generation to the other so is education.

Nowadays some kind of education is compulsory to all people in most countries. Due to population growth and the proliferation of compulsory education, UNESCO has calculated that in the next 30 years more people will receive formal education than in all of human history thus far.[39]

[edit]Philosophy

Main article: Philosophy of education

John Locke‘s work Some Thoughts Concerning Education was written in 1693 and still reflects traditional education priorities in the Western world.

As an academic field, philosophy of education is a “the philosophical study of education and its problems…its central subject matter is education, and its methods are those of philosophy“.[40] “The philosophy of education may be either the philosophy of the process of education or the philosophy of the discipline of education. That is, it may be part of the discipline in the sense of being concerned with the aims, forms, methods, or results of the process of educating or being educated; or it may be metadisciplinary in the sense of being concerned with the concepts, aims, and methods of the discipline.”[41] As such, it is both part of the field of education and a field of applied philosophy, drawing from fields of metaphysics, epistemology, axiology and the philosophical approaches (speculative, prescriptive, and/or analytic) to address questions in and about pedagogy, education policy, and curriculum, as well as the process of learning, to name a few.[42] For example, it might study what constitutes upbringing and education, the values and norms revealed through upbringing and educational practices, the limits and legitimization of education as an academic discipline, and the relation between education theory and practice.

[edit]Psychology

Main article: Educational psychology

A class size experiment in the United States found that attending small classes for 3 or more years in the early grades increased high school graduation rates of students from low income families.[43]

Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as organizations. Although the terms “educational psychology” and “school psychology” are often used interchangeably, researchers and theorists are likely to be identified as educational psychologists, whereas practitioners in schools or school-related settings are identified as school psychologists. Educational psychology is concerned with the processes of educational attainment in the general population and in sub-populations such as gifted children and those with specific disabilities.

Educational psychology can in part be understood through its relationship with other disciplines. It is informed primarily by psychology, bearing a relationship to that discipline analogous to the relationship between medicine and biology. Educational psychology in turn informs a wide range of specialities within educational studies, including instructional design, educational technology, curriculum development, organizational learning, special education andclassroom management. Educational psychology both draws from and contributes to cognitive science and the learning sciences. In universities, departments of educational psychology are usually housed within faculties of education, possibly accounting for the lack of representation of educational psychology content in introductory psychology textbooks (Lucas, Blazek, & Raley, 2006).

[edit]Sociology

Main article: Sociology of education

School children in Laos

The sociology of education is the study of how social institutions and forces affect educational processes and outcomes, and vice versa. By many, education is understood to be a means of overcoming handicaps, achieving greater equality and acquiring wealth and status for all (Sargent 1994). Learners may be motivated by aspirations for progress and betterment. Education is perceived as a place where children can develop according to their unique needs and potentialities.[44] The purpose of education can be to develop every individual to their full potential. The understanding of the goals and means of educational socialization processes differs according to the sociological paradigmused.

[edit]Education in the developing world

World map indicating Education Index (according to 2007/2008 Human Development Report)

Universal Primary Education is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals and great improvements have been achieved in the past decade, yet a great deal remains to be done.[45] Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute indicate the main obstacles to greater funding from donors include: donor priorities, aid architecture, and the lack of evidence and advocacy.[45] Additionally, Transparency International has identified corruption in the education sector as a major stumbling block to achieving Universal Primary Education in Africa.[46] Furthermore, demand in the developing world for improved educational access is not as high as one would expect as governments avoid the recurrent costs involved and there is economic pressure on those parents who prefer their children making money in the short term over any long-term benefits of education. Recent studies on child labor and poverty have suggested that when poor families reach a certain economic threshold where families are able to provide for their basic needs, parents return their children to school. This has been found to be true, once the threshold has been breached, even if the potential economic value of the children’s work has increased since their return to school.

But without capacity, there is no development. A study conducted by the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning indicates that stronger capacities in educational planning and management may have an important spill-over effect on the system as a whole.[47] Sustainable capacity development requires complex interventions at the institutional, organizational and individual levels that could be based on some foundational principles:

  • national leadership and ownership should be the touchstone of any intervention;
  • strategies must be context relevant and context specific;
  • they should embrace an integrated set of complementary interventions, though implementation may need to proceed in steps;
  • partners should commit to a long-term investment in capacity development, while working towards some short-term achievements;
  • outside intervention should be conditional on an impact assessment of national capacities at various levels.

Russia has more academic graduates than any other country in Europe. (Note, chart does not include population statistics.)

[when?]

A lack of good universities, and a low acceptance rate for good universities, is evident in countries with a high population density. In some countries, there are uniform, over structured, inflexible centralized programs from a central agency that regulates all aspects of education.

  • Due to globalization, increased pressure on students in curricular activities
  • Removal of a certain percentage of students for improvisation of academics (usually practised in schools, after 10th grade)

India is now developing technologies that will skip land based telephone and internet lines. Instead, India launched EDUSAT, an education satellite that can reach more of the country at a greatly reduced cost. There is also an initiative started by the OLPC foundation, a group out of MIT Media Lab and supported by several major corporations to develop a $100 laptop to deliver educational software. The laptops are widely available as of 2008. The laptops are sold at cost or given away based on donations. These will enable developing countries to give their children a digital education, and help close the digital divide across the world.

In Africa, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has launched an “e-school program” to provide all 600,000 primary and high schools with computer equipment, learning materials andinternet access within 10 years. Private groups, like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are working to give more individuals opportunities to receive education in developing countries through such programs as the Perpetual Education Fund. An International Development Agency project called nabuur.com, started with the support of former American President Bill Clinton, uses the Internet to allow co-operation by individuals on issues of social development.

In Brazil, education is improving (slowly). With the Education Minister Fernando Haddad, certain situations have changed, as the implementation of the New Enem, PROUNI, Fies, ENADE, SISU among other government programs important to the growth of education.[48]

[edit]Internationalization

Education is becoming increasingly international. Not only are the materials becoming more influenced by the rich international environment, but exchanges among students at all levels are also playing an increasingly important role. In Europe, for example, the Socrates-Erasmus Program[49] stimulates exchanges across European universities. Also, the Soros Foundation [50] provides many opportunities for students from central Asia and eastern Europe. Programs such as the International Baccalaureate have contributed to the internationalisation of education. Some scholars argue that, regardless of whether one system is considered better or worse than another, experiencing a different way of education can often be considered to be the most important, enriching element of an international learning experience.[51]

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Irrigation

For its use in viticulture, see Irrigation in viticulture.

For its use in medicine, see Therapeutic irrigation.

“LEPA” redirects here. For the airport serving Palma de Mallorca, Spain, assigned the ICAO code LEPA, see Palma de Mallorca Airport.

Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall. Additionally, irrigation also has a few other uses in crop production, which include protecting plants against frost,[1] suppressing weed growing in grain fields[2] and helping in preventing soil consolidation.[3] In contrast,agriculture that relies only on direct rainfall is referred to as rain-fed or dryland farming. Irrigation systems are also used for dust suppression, disposal of sewage, and in mining. Irrigation is often studied together with drainage, which is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from a given area.

Irrigation is also a term used in medical/dental fields to refer to flushing and washing out anything with water or another liquid.

Irrigation in a field in New Jersey, United States

An Irrigation sprinkler watering a lawn

 

History

Animal-powered irrigation, Upper Egypt, ca. 1840

An example of irrigation system common in Indian subcontinent. Artistic impression on the banks of Dal Lake, Kashmir, India.

Inside a karez tunnel at Turpan, Uyghurstan.

Archaeological investigation has identified evidence of irrigation where the natural rainfall was insufficient to support crops.

Perennial irrigation was practised in the Mesopotamian plain whereby crops were regularly watered throughout the growing season by coaxing water through a matrix of small channels formed in the field.[4]

Ancient Egyptians practiced Basin irrigation using the flooding of the Nile to inundate land plots which had been surrounded by dykes. The flood water was held until the fertile sediment had settled before the surplus was returned to the watercourse.[5] There is evidence of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhet III in the twelfth dynasty (about 1800BCE) using the natural lake of the Faiyum Oasis as a reservoir to store surpluses of water for use during the dry seasons, the lake swelled annually from flooding of the Nile.[6]

The Ancient Nubians developed a form of irrigation by using a waterwheel-like device called a sakia. Irrigation began in Nubia some time between the third and second millennium BCE.[7] It largegly depended upon the flood waters that would flow through the Nile River and other rivers in what is now the Sudan.[8]

In “sub-Saharan Africa” irrigation reached the Niger River region cultures and civilizations by the first or second millennium BCE and was based on wet season flooding and water harvesting.[9][10]

Terrace irrigation is evidenced in pre-Columbian America, early Syria India and China.[5] In the Zana Valley of the Andes Mountains in Peru, archaeologists found remains of three irrigation canalsradiocarbon dated from the 4th millennium BCE, the 3rd millennium BCE and the 9th century CE. These canals are the earliest record of irrigation in the New World. Traces of a canal possibly dating from the 5th millennium BCE were found under the 4th millennium canal.[11] Sophisticated irrigation and storage systems were developed by the Indus Valley Civilization in present-day Pakistan andNorth India, including the reservoirs at Girnar in 3000 BCE and an early canal irrigation system from circa 2600 BCE.[12][13] Large scale agriculture was practiced and an extensive network of canals was used for the purpose of irrigation.

Ancient Persia (modern day Iran) as far back as the 6th millennium BCE, where barley was grown in areas where the natural rainfall was insufficient to support such a crop.[14] The Qanats, developed in ancient Persia in about 800 BCE, are among the oldest known irrigation methods still in use today. They are now found in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The system comprises a network of vertical wells and gently sloping tunnels driven into the sides of cliffs and steep hills to tap groundwater.[15] The noria, a water wheel with clay pots around the rim powered by the flow of the stream (or by animals where the water source was still), was first brought into use at about this time, by Roman settlers in North Africa. By 150 BCE the pots were fitted with valves to allow smoother filling as they were forced into the water.[16]

The irrigation works of ancient Sri Lanka, the earliest dating from about 300 BCE, in the reign of King Pandukabhaya and under continuous development for the next thousand years, were one of the most complex irrigation systems of the ancient world. In addition to underground canals, the Sinhalese were the first to build completely artificial reservoirs to store water. Due to their engineering superiority in this sector, they were often called ‘masters of irrigation’. Most of these irrigation systems still exist undamaged up to now, in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, because of the advanced and precise engineering. The system was extensively restored and further extended during the reign of King Parakrama Bahu (1153–1186 CE).[17]

The oldest known hydraulic engineers of China were Sunshu Ao (6th century BCE) of the Spring and Autumn Period and Ximen Bao (5th century BCE) of the Warring States period, both of whom worked on large irrigation projects. In the Szechwan region belonging to the State of Qin of ancient China, the Dujiangyan Irrigation System was built in 256 BCE to irrigate an enormous area of farmland that today still supplies water.[18] By the 2nd century AD, during the Han Dynasty, the Chinese also used chain pumps that lifted water from lower elevation to higher elevation.[19] These were powered by manual foot pedal, hydraulic waterwheels, or rotating mechanical wheels pulled by oxen.[20] The water was used for public works of providing water for urban residential quarters and palace gardens, but mostly for irrigation of farmland canals and channels in the fields.[21]

In 15th century Korea, the world’s first water gauge, uryanggye (Korean:우량계), was invented in 1441. The inventor was Jang Yeong-sil, a Korean engineer of the Joseon Dynasty, under the active direction of the king, Sejong the Great. It was installed in irrigation tanks as part of a nationwide system to measure and collect rainfall for agricultural applications. With this instrument, planners and farmers could make better use of the information gathered in the survey.[22]

In the Americas, extensive irrigation systems were created by numerous groups in prehistoric times. One example is seen in the recent archaeological excavations near the Santa Cruz River inTucson, Arizona. They have located a village site dating from 4,000 years ago. The floodplain of the Santa Cruz River was extensively farmed during the Early Agricultural period, circa 1200 BC to AD 150. These people constructed irrigation canals and grew corn, beans, and other crops while gathering wild plants and hunting animals.

[edit]Present extent

In the middle of the 20th century, the advent of diesel and electric motors led for the first time to systems that could pump groundwater out of major aquifers faster than it was recharged. This can lead to permanent loss of aquifer capacity, decreased water quality, ground subsidence, and other problems. The future of food production in such areas as the North China Plain, the Punjab, and theGreat Plains of the US is threatened.

At the global scale, 2,788,000 km² (689 million acres) of agricultural land was equipped with irrigation infrastructure around the year 2000. About 68% of the area equipped for irrigation is located in Asia, 17% in America, 9% in Europe, 5% in Africa and 1% in Oceania. The largest contiguous areas of high irrigation density are found in North India and Pakistan along the rivers Ganges and Indus, in the Hai He, Huang He and Yangtze basins in China, along the Nile river in Egypt and Sudan, in the Mississippi-Missouri river basin and in parts of California. Smaller irrigation areas are spread across almost all populated parts of the world.[23] Only 8 years later in 2008, the scale of irrigated land increased to an estimated total of 3,245,566 km², what is nearly the size of India.[24]

[edit]Types

Basin flood irrigation of wheat.

Irrigation of land in Punjab, Pakistan.

Various types of irrigation techniques differ in how the water obtained from the source is distributed within the field. In general, the goal is to supply the entire field uniformly with water, so that each plant has the amount of water it needs, neither too much nor too little.The modern methods are efficient enough to achieve this goal.

 

Main article: Surface irrigation

In surface irrigation systems, water moves over and across the land by simple gravity flow in order to wet it and to infiltrate into the soil. Surface irrigation can be subdivided into furrow, borderstrip or basin irrigation. It is often called flood irrigation when the irrigation results in flooding or near flooding of the cultivated land. Historically, this has been the most common method of irrigating agricultural land.

Where water levels from the irrigation source permit, the levels are controlled by dikes, usually plugged by soil. This is often seen in terraced rice fields (rice paddies), where the method is used to flood or control the level of water in each distinct field. In some cases, the water is pumped, or lifted by human or animal power to the level of the land.

 

Brass Impact type sprinkler head

Localized irrigation is a system where water is distributed under low pressure through a piped network, in a pre-determined pattern, and applied as a small discharge to each plant or adjacent to it. Drip irrigation, spray or micro-sprinkler irrigation and bubbler irrigation belong to this category of irrigation methods.[25]

 

Main article: Drip Irrigation

Drip Irrigation – A dripper in action

Grapes in Petrolina, just possible in this semi arid area due to drip irrigation.

Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation, functions as its name suggests.in this system water falls drop by drop just at the position of roots. Water is delivered at or near the root zone of plants, drop by drop. This method can be the most water-efficient method of irrigation[26], if managed properly, since evaporation and runoff are minimized.

In modern agriculture, drip irrigation is often combined with plastic mulch, further reducing evaporation, and is also the means of delivery of fertilizer. The process is known as fertigation.

Drip Irrigation Layout and its parts

Deep percolation, where water moves below the root zone, can occur if a drip system is operated for too long or if the delivery rate is too high. Drip irrigation methods range from very high-tech and computerized to low-tech and labor-intensive. Lower water pressures are usually needed than for most other types of systems, with the exception of low energy center pivot systems and surface irrigation systems, and the system can be designed for uniformity throughout a field or for precise water delivery to individual plants in a landscape containing a mix of plant species. Although it is difficult to regulate pressure on steep slopes, pressure compensating emitters are available, so the field does not have to be level. High-tech solutions involve precisely calibrated emitters located along lines of tubing that extend from a computerized set of valves.

[edit]Sprinkler

Sprinkler irrigation of blueberries inPlainville, New York, United States.

In sprinkler or overhead irrigation, water is piped to one or more central locations within the field and distributed by overhead high-pressure sprinklers or guns. A system utilizing sprinklers, sprays, or guns mounted overhead on permanently installed risers is often referred to as a solid-set irrigation system. Higher pressure sprinklers that rotate are called rotors and are driven by a ball drive, gear drive, or impact mechanism. Rotors can be designed to rotate in a full or partial circle. Guns are similar to rotors, except that they generally operate at very high pressures of 40 to 130 lbf/in² (275 to 900 kPa) and flows of 50 to 1200 US gal/min (3 to 76 L/s), usually with nozzle diameters in the range of 0.5 to 1.9 inches (10 to 50 mm). Guns are used not only for irrigation, but also for industrial applications such as dust suppression and logging.

A traveling sprinkler at Millets Farm Centre, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom.

Sprinklers can also be mounted on moving platforms connected to the water source by a hose. Automatically moving wheeled systems known astraveling sprinklers may irrigate areas such as small farms, sports fields, parks, pastures, and cemeteries unattended. Most of these utilize a length of polyethylene tubing wound on a steel drum. As the tubing is wound on the drum powered by the irrigation water or a small gas engine, the sprinkler is pulled across the field. When the sprinkler arrives back at the reel the system shuts off. This type of system is known to most people as a “waterreel” traveling irrigation sprinkler and they are used extensively for dust suppression, irrigation, and land application of waste water. Other travelers use a flat rubber hose that is dragged along behind while the sprinkler platform is pulled by a cable. These cable-type travelers are definitely old technology and their use is limited in today’s modern irrigation projects.

[edit]Center pivot

Main article: Center pivot irrigation

A small center pivot system from beginning to end

The hub of a center-pivot irrigation system.

Rotator style pivot applicator sprinkler.

Center pivot irrigation is a form of sprinkler irrigation consisting of several segments of pipe (usually galvanized steel or aluminum) joined together and supported by trusses, mounted on wheeled towers with sprinklers positioned along its length. The system moves in a circular pattern and is fed with water from the pivot point at the center of the arc. These systems are found and used in all parts of the world and allow irrigation of all types of terrain. Newer systems have drop sprinkler heads as shown in the image that follows.

Center pivot with drop sprinklers. Photo by Gene Alexander, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Most center pivot systems now have drops hanging from a u-shaped pipe attached at the top of the pipe with sprinkler heads that are positioned a few feet (at most) above the crop, thus limiting evaporative losses. Drops can also be used with drag hoses or bubblers that deposit the water directly on the ground between crops. Crops are often planted in a circle to conform to the center pivot. This type of system is known as LEPA (Low Energy Precision Application). Originally, most center pivots were water powered. These were replaced by hydraulic systems (T-L Irrigation) and electric motor driven systems (Reinke, Valley, Zimmatic). Many modern sprinklers features GPS devices.[citation needed]

Wheel line irrigation system in Idaho. 2001. Photo by Joel McNee, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

[edit]Lateral move (side roll, wheel line)

A series of pipes, each with a wheel of about 1.5 m diameter permanently affixed to its midpoint and sprinklers along its length, are coupled together at one edge of a field. Water is supplied at one end using a large hose. After sufficient water has been applied, the hose is removed and the remaining assembly rotated either by hand or with a purpose-built mechanism, so that the sprinklers move 10 m across the field. The hose is reconnected. The process is repeated until the opposite edge of the field is reached. This system is less expensive to install than a center pivot, but much more labor intensive to operate, and it is limited in the amount of water it can carry. Most systems utilize 4 or 5-inch (130 mm) diameter aluminum pipe. One feature of a lateral move system is that it consists of sections that can be easily disconnected. They are most often used for small or oddly shaped fields, such as those found in hilly or mountainous regions, or in regions where labor is inexpensive.

[edit]Sub-irrigation

Subirrigation also sometimes called seepage irrigation has been used for many years in field crops in areas with high water tables. It is a method of artificially raising the water table to allow the soil to bemoistened from below the plants’ root zone. Often those systems are located on permanent grasslands in lowlands or river valleys and combined with drainage infrastructure. A system of pumping stations, canals, weirs and gates allows it to increase or decrease the water level in a network of ditches and thereby control the water table.

Sub-irrigation is also used in commercial greenhouse production, usually for potted plants. Water is delivered from below, absorbed upwards, and the excess collected for recycling. Typically, a solution of water and nutrients floods a container or flows through a trough for a short period of time, 10–20 minutes, and is then pumped back into a holding tank for reuse. Sub-irrigation in greenhouses requires fairly sophisticated, expensive equipment and management. Advantages are water and nutrient conservation, and labor-saving through lowered system maintenance andautomation. It is similar in principle and action to subsurface drip irrigation.

[edit]Manual using buckets or watering cans

These systems have low requirements for infrastructure and technical equipment but need high labor inputs. Irrigation using watering cans is to be found for example in peri-urban agriculture around large cities in some African countries.

[edit]Automatic, non-electric using buckets and ropes

Besides the common manual watering by bucket, an automated, natural version of this also exist. Using plain polyester ropes combined with a prepared ground mixture can be used to water plants from a vessel filled with water.[27][28][29]

The ground mixture would need to be made depending on the plant itself, yet would mostly consist of black potting soil, vermiculite and perlite. This system would (with certain crops) allow to save expenses as it does not consume any electricity and only little water (unlike sprinklers, water timers, …). However, it may only be used with certain crops (probably mostly larger crops that do not need a humid environment; perhaps e.g. paprikas).[citation needed]

[edit]Using water condensed from humid air

In countries where at night, humid air sweeps the countryside, water can be obtained from the humid air by condensation onto cold surfaces. This is for example practiced in the vineyards at Lanzarote using stones to condense water or with various fog collectors based on canvas or foil sheets.

[edit]Sources of irrigation water

Sources of irrigation water can be groundwater extracted from springs or by using wells, surface water withdrawn from rivers, lakes or reservoirs or non-conventional sources like treated wastewater, desalinated water or drainage water. A special form of irrigation using surface water is spate irrigation, also called floodwater harvesting. In case of a flood (spate) water is diverted to normally dry river beds (wadis) using a network of dams, gates and channels and spread over large areas. The moisture stored in the soil will be used thereafter to grow crops. Spate irrigation areas are in particular located in semi-arid or arid, mountainous regions. While floodwater harvesting belongs to the accepted irrigation methods, rainwater harvesting is usually not considered as a form of irrigation. Rainwater harvesting is the collection of runoff water from roofs or unused land and the concentration of this. Some of Ancient India’s water systems were pulled by oxen.

Around 90% of wastewater produced globally remains untreated, causing widespread water pollution, especially in low-income countries. Increasingly, agriculture is using untreated wastewater as a source of irrigation water. Cities provide lucrative markets for fresh produce, so are attractive to farmers. However, because agriculture has to compete for increasingly scarce water resources with industry and municipal users (see Water scarcity below), there is often no alternative for farmers but to use water polluted with urban waste, including sewage, directly to water their crops. There can be significant health hazards related to using water loaded with pathogens in this way, especially if people eat raw vegetables that have been irrigated with the polluted water. The International Water Management Institute has worked in India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mexico and other countries on various projects aimed at assessing and reducing risks of wastewater irrigation. They advocate a ‘multiple-barrier’ approach to wastewater use, where farmers are encouraged to adopt various risk-reducing behaviours. These include ceasing irrigation a few days before harvesting to allow pathogens to die off in the sunlight, applying water carefully so it does not contaminate leaves likely to be eaten raw, cleaning vegetables with disinfectant or allowing fecal sludge used in farming to dry before being used as a human manure.[30]The World Health Organization has developed guidelines for safe water use.

[edit]Water scarcity

Fifty years ago, the common perception was that water was an infinite resource. At that time, there were fewer than half the current number of people on the planet. People were not as wealthy as today, consumed fewer calories and ate less meat, so less water was needed to produce their food. They required a third of the volume of water we presently take from rivers. Today, the competition for water resources is much more intense. This is because there are now more than seven billion people on the planet, their consumption of water-thirsty meat and vegetables is rising, and there is increasing competition for water from industry, urbanisation and biofuel crops. To avoid a global water crisis, farmers will have to strive to increase productivity to meet growing demands for food, while industry and cities find ways to use water more efficiently.[31]

Successful agriculture is dependent upon farmers having sufficient access to water. However, water scarcity is already a critical constraint to farming in many parts of the world. With regards to agriculture, the World Bank targets food production and water management as an increasingly global issue that is fostering a growing debate.[32] Physical water scarcity is where there is not enough water to meet all demands, including that needed for ecosystems to function effectively. Arid regions frequently suffer from physical water scarcity. It also occurs where water seems abundant but where resources are over-committed. This can happen where there is overdevelopment of hydraulic infrastructure, usually for irrigation. Symptoms of physical water scarcity include environmental degradation and declining groundwater. Economic scarcity, meanwhile, is caused by a lack of investment in water or insufficient human capacity to satisfy the demand for water. Symptoms of economic water scarcity include a lack of infrastructure, with people often having to fetch water from rivers for domestic and agricultural uses. Some 2.8 billion people currently live in water-scarce areas.[33]

[edit]How an in-ground irrigation system works

Most commercial and residential irrigation systems are “in ground” systems, which means that everything is buried in the ground. With the pipes, sprinklers, emitters (drippers), and irrigation valves being hidden, it makes for a cleaner, more presentable landscape without garden hoses or other items having to be moved around manually. This does, however, create some drawbacks in the maintenance of a completely buried system.

[edit]Controllers, zones, and valves

Most irrigation systems are divided into zones. A zone is a single irrigation valve and one or a group of drippers or sprinklers that are connected by pipes or tubes. Irrigation systems are divided into zones because there is usually not enough pressure and available flow to run sprinklers for an entire yard or sports field at once. Each zone has a solenoid valve on it that is controlled via wire by an irrigation controller. The irrigation controller is either a mechanical (now the “dinosaur” type) or electrical device that signals a zone to turn on at a specific time and keeps it on for a specified amount of time. “Smart Controller” is a recent term used to describe a controller that is capable of adjusting the watering time by itself in response to current environmental conditions. The smart controller determines current conditions by means of historic weather data for the local area, a soil moisture sensors (water potential or water content), rain sensor, or in more sophisticated systems satellite feed weather station, or a combination of these.

[edit]Emitters and sprinklers

When a zone comes on, the water flows through the lateral lines and ultimately ends up at the irrigation emitter (drip) or sprinkler heads. Many sprinklers have pipe thread inlets on the bottom of them which allows a fitting and the pipe to be attached to them. The sprinklers are usually installed with the top of the head flush with the ground surface. When the water is pressurized, the head will pop up out of the ground and water the desired area until the valve closes and shuts off that zone. Once there is no more water pressure in the lateral line, the sprinkler head will retract back into the ground. Emitters are generally laid on the soil surface or buried a few inches to reduce evaporation losses.

[edit]Problems in irrigation

Main article: Environmental impacts of irrigation

Irrigation can lead to a number of problems:[34]

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Satellites

 

(Sorted initially by launch date.)

Satellite
Launch Date
Launch Vehicle
Remarks
ISRO Link

Aryabhata
19 April 1975
Intercosmos
Provided technological experience in building and operating a satellite system.
[1]

Bhaskara-I
07 June 1979
Intercosmos
First experimental remote sensing satellite. Carried TV and microwave cameras.
[2]

Rohini Technology Payload
10 August 1979
Satellite Launch Vehicle(SLV)
Intended for measuring in-flight performance of first experimental flight of SLV-3, the first Indian launch vehicle. Did not achieve orbit.
[3]

Rohini RS-1
18 July 1980
SLV-3
Used for measuring in-flight performance of second experimental launch of SLV-3.
[4]

Rohini RS-D1
31 May 1981
SLV-3
Used for conducting some remote sensing technology studies using a landmark sensor payload.Launched by the first developmental launch of SLV-3.
[5]

Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment
19 June 1981
Ariane
First experimental communication satellite. Provided experience in building and operating a payload experiment three-axis stabilised communication satellite.
[6]

Bhaskara-II
20 November 1981
Intercosmos
Second experimental remote sensing satellite; similar to Bhaskara-1. Provided experience in building and operating a remote sensing satellite system on an end-to-end basis.
[7]

INSAT-1A
10 April 1982
Delta launch vehicle
First operational multipurpose communication and meteorology satellite. Procured from USA. Worked for only six months.
[8]

Rohini RS-D2
17 April 1983
SLV-3
Identical to RS-D1. Launched by the second developmental launch of SLV-3.
[9]

INSAT-1B
30 August 1983
Space Shuttle Challenger
Identical to INSAT-1A. Served for more than design life of seven years.
[10]

Stretched Rohini Satellite Series(SROSS-1)
24 March 1987
ASLV
Carried payload for launch vehicle performance monitoring and for gamma ray astronomy. Did not achieve orbit.
[11]

IRS-1A
17 March 1988
Vostok
Earth observation satellite. First operational remote sensing satellite.
[12]

Stretched Rohini Satellite Series(SROSS-2)
13 July 1988
ASLV
Carried remote sensing payload of German space agency in addition to Gamma Ray astronomy payload. Did not achieve orbit.
[13]

INSAT-1C
21 July 1988
Ariane
Same as INSAT-1A. Served for only one-and-a-half years.
[14]

INSAT-1D
12 June 1990
Delta launch vehicle
Identical to INSAT-1A. Still in service.
[15]

IRS-1B
29 August 1991
Vostok
Earth observation satellite. Improved version of IRS-1A.
[16]

Stretched Rohini Satellite Series(SROSS-C)
20 May 1992
ASLV
Carried gamma ray astronomy and aeronomy payload.
[17]

INSAT-2DT
26 February 1992
Ariane
Launched as Arabsat 1C. Procured in orbit from Arabsat in 1998.
[18]

INSAT-2A
10 July 1992
Ariane
First satellite in the second-generation Indian-built INSAT-2 series. Has enhanced capability over INSAT-1 series. Still in service.
[19]

INSAT-2B
23 July 1993
Ariane
Second satellite in INSAT-2 series. Identical to INSAT-2A. Still in service.
[20]

IRS-1E
20 September 1993
PSLV-D1
Earth observation satellite. Did not achieve orbit.
[21]

Stretched Rohini Satellite Series(SROSS-C2)
04 May 1994
ASLV
Identical to SROSS-C. Still in service.
[22]

IRS-P2
15 October 1994
PSLV-D2
Earth observation satellite. Launched by second developmental flight of PSLV.
[23]

INSAT-2C
07 December 1995
Ariane
Has additional capabilities such as mobile satellite service, business communication and television outreach beyond Indian boundaries. Still in service.
[24]

IRS-1C
29 December 1995
Molniya
Earth observation satellite. Launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome.
[25]

IRS-P3
21 March 1996
PSLV-D3
Earth observation satellite. Carries remote sensing payload and an X-ray astronomy payload. Launched by third developmental flight of PSLV.
[26]

INSAT-2D
04 June 1997
Ariane
Same as INSAT-2C. Inoperable since 1997-10-04 due to power bus anomaly.
[27]

IRS-1D
29 September 1997
PSLV-C1
Earth observation satellite. Same as IRS-1C.
[28]

INSAT-2E
03 April 1999
Ariane
Multipurpose communication and meteorological satellite.
[29]

IRS-P4OCEANSAT
26 May 1999
PSLV-C2
Earth observation satellite. Carries an Ocean Colour Monitor (OCM) and a Multifrequency Scanning Microwave Radiometer (MSMR).
[30]

INSAT-3B
22 March 2000
Ariane
Multipurpose communication: business communication, developmental communication, and mobile communication.
[31]

GSAT-1
18 April 2001
GSLV-D1
Experimental satellite for the first developmental flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV-D1.
[32]

Technology Experiment Satellite (TES)
22 October 2001
PSLV-C3
Experimental satellite to test technologies such as attitude and orbit control system, high-torque reaction wheels, new reaction control system, etc.
[33]

INSAT-3C
24 January 2002
Ariane
Designed to augment the existing INSAT capacity for communication and broadcasting and provide continuity of the services of INSAT-2C.
[34]

Kalpana-1
12 September 2002
PSLV
First meteorological satellite built by ISRO. Originally named METSAT. Renamed after Kalpana Chawla who perished in the Space Shuttle Columbia.
[35]

INSAT-3A
10 April 2003
Ariane-5
Multipurpose satellite for communication, broadcasting, and meteorological services along with INSAT-2E and Kalpana-1.
[36]

GSAT-2
08 May 2003
GSLV
Experimental satellite for the second developmental test flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)
[37]

INSAT-3E
28 September 2003
Ariane-5
Communication satellite to augment the existing INSAT System.
[38]

RESOURCESAT-1 (IRS-P6)
17 October 2003
PSLV-C5
Earth observation/remote sensing satellite. Intended to supplement and replace IRS-1C and IRS-1D.
[39]

EDUSAT
20 October 2004
GSLV
Also designated GSAT-3. India’s first exclusive educational satellite.
[40]

HAMSAT
05 May 2005
PSLV
Microsatellite (42.5 kilograms) for providing satellite-based amateur radio services to the national as well as the international community.
[41]

CARTOSAT-1
05 May 2005
PSLV-C6
Earth observation satellite. Provides stereographic in-orbit images with a 2.5-meter resolution.
[42]

INSAT-4A
22 December 2005
Ariane
Advanced satellite for direct-to-home television broadcasting services.
[43]

INSAT-4C
10 July 2006
GSLV
Geosynchronous communications satellite. Did not achieve orbit.
[44]

CARTOSAT-2
10 January 2007
PSLV-C7
Advanced remote sensing satellite carrying a panchromatic camera capable of providing scene-specific spot images.
[45]

Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1)
10 January 2007
PSLV-C7
Experimental satellite intended to demonstrate the technology of an orbiting platform for performing experiments in microgravity conditions. Launched as a co-passenger with CARTOSAT-2. SRE-1 was de-orbited and recovered successfully after 12 days over Bay of Bengal.
[46]

INSAT-4B
12 March 2007
Ariane
Identical to INSAT-4A. Further augments the INSAT capacity for direct-to-home (DTH) television services and other communications.
[47]

INSAT-4CR
02 September 2007
GSLV-F04
Identical to INSAT-4C. Provides direct-to-home (DTH) television services, video picture transmission (VPT), and digital satellite news gathering (DSNG).
[48]

CARTOSAT-2A
28 April 2008
PSLV-C9
Earth observation/remote sensing satellite. Identical to CARTOSAT-2.
[49]

IMS-1 (Third World Satellite – TWsat)
28 April 2008
PSLV-C9
Low-cost microsatellite imaging mission. Launched as co-passenger with CARTOSAT-2A.
[50]

Chandrayaan-1
22 October 2008
PSLV-C11
Unmanned lunar probe. Carries 11 scientific instruments built in India, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria.
[51]

RISAT-2
20 April 2009
PSLV-C12
Radar imaging satellite used to monitor India’s borders and as part of anti-infiltration and anti-terrorist operations. Launched as a co-passenger with ANUSAT.
[52]

ANUSAT
20 April 2009
PSLV-C12
Research microsatellite designed at Anna University. Carries an amateur radio and technology demonstration experiments.
[53]

Oceansat-2 (IRS-P4)
23 September 2009
PSLV-C14
Gathers data for oceanographic, coastal and atmospheric applications. Continues mission of Oceansat-1.
[54]

GSAT-4
15 April 2010
GSLV-D3
Communications satellite technology demonstrator. Failed to reach orbit due to GSLV-D3 failure.
[55]

CARTOSAT-2B
12 July 2010
PSLV-C15
Earth observation/remote sensing satellite. Identical to CARTOSAT-2A
[56]

GSAT-5P /INSAT-4D
25 December 2010
GSLV-F06
C-band communication satellite, failed to reach orbit due to GSLV-F06 failure.
[57]

RESOURCESAT-2
20 April 2011
PSLV-C16
PSLV-C16 placed three satellites with a total payload mass of 1404 kg – RESOURCESAT-2 weighing 1206 kg, the Indo-Russian YOUTHSAT weighing 92 kg and Singapore’s X-SAT weighing 106 kg – into an 822 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
.

[58]

GSAT-8 / INSAT-4G
21 May 2011
Ariane
Communications satellite carries 24 Ku-band transponders and 2 channel GAGAN payload operating in L1 and L5 band.
[59]

GSAT-12
15 July 2011
PSLV-C17
GSAT-12 communication satellite built by ISRO, weighs about 1410 kg at lift-off. GSAT-12 is configured to carry 12 Extended C-band transponders to meet the country’s growing demand for transponders in a short turn-around-time.The 12 Extended C-band transponders of GSAT-12 will augment the capacity in the INSAT system for various communication services like Tele-education, Telemedicine and for Village Resource Centres (VRC).Mission life About 8 Years.
[60]

Megha-Tropiques
12 October 2011
PSLV-C18
Megha-Tropiques weighs about 1000kg Lift-off Mass, developed jointly by ISRO and the French Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES). PSLV-C18 is configured to carry four satellites in which, one satellite, developed by India and France, will track the weather, two were developed by educational institutions, and the fourth is from Luxembourg.
[61]

[edit]Planned satellites

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Ra.One

Ra.One

 

Ra.One


Theatrical release poster

Directed by
Anubhav Sinha

Produced by
Gauri Khan

Written by
Anubhav Sinha

Screenplay by

Story by
Anubhav Sinha

Starring

Music by
Vishal-Shekhar

Cinematography

Editing by

Distributed by

Release date(s)
October 24, 2011
(Dubai premiere)
October 25, 2011
(London premiere)
October 26, 2011
(Toronto premiere and worldwide release)

Running time
154 minutes

Country
India

Language
Hindi

Budget
INR135 crore[1]
(US$27.38 million)

Box office
INR192 crore
(US$44.82 million)[2]

Ra.One (Hindi: रा.वन; full: Random Access–Version 1.0) is a 2011 Indian science fiction superhero film written and directed by Anubhav Sinha. The film features Shahrukh Khan in dual roles, and also stars Kareena Kapoor, Armaan Verma and Arjun Rampal in the lead. Shahana Goswami, Dalip Tahil and Chinese-American actor Tom Wu appear in supporting roles, along with Rajinikanth,Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra making guest appearances. The film follows Shekhar (Khan), a goofy game designer living and based in London along with his wife (Kapoor) and son (Verma), who designs a motion-sensor based game in which the villain is far more powerful than the hero. In the process, the villain escapes from the video game and begins to track down the only person ever to defeat him, Lucifer (Verma). Ra.One was jointly produced by Eros International and Khan’s production company, Red Chillies Entertainment.[3] Initially expected to hit theatres on June 3, 2011, the release of the film was pushed back to the Diwali weekend of October 26, 2011 due to extensive post-production work involving special effects and 3D conversion. The film faced uncertainty regarding the preparedness of the film for release, with several rumours and media stories that the film would not be completed on time.

Development of the project commenced in 2004 when Sinha wrote a three-page short story based on a commercial he had seen. Upon finalizing the story, pre-production work began after the release of Khan’s Om Shanti Om in 2007,[4] with principal photography commencing in March 2009.[5] In July 2011, it was announced that the entire film would be converted into 3D.[6] The visual effects of the film were carried out by Red Chillies VFX, under the supervision of Hollywood effects technician Jeffrey Kleiser. With an estimated budget of INR135 crore (US$27.38 million),[1] Ra.Oneis the most expensive film ever produced in Indian cinema, and is marginally ahead of Enthiran.[7] In addition, an estimated INR55 crore (US$11.15 million) was spent on marketing, which set the record for largest marketing budget in India. The film faced multiple problems prior to it’s release, including censorship, soundtrack “leaks” and copyrights, the latter of which cost the producers INR1 crore (US$202,800). The film witnessed a level of publicity campaigning previously unseen in India films, with marketing taking place over a period of nine months and involving major brand tie-ups, merchandise, theme-based video games and extensive viral marketing.

Prior to its worldwide release, Ra.One had multiple premieres in Dubai, London and Toronto during the period of October 24 – 26.[8] The film released across 3,100 screens in India and 904 prints overseas in both 2D and 3D,[9] and was also dubbed in Tamil and Telugu,[10] making it the largest Indian cinematic release in the world. Upon release, while the Indian critics gave mixed reviews, the overseas film critics received the film warmly. The film went on to break multiple box-office records, including highest Diwali day collections, highest single-day collections, highest three-day collections and biggest overseas collections of 2011. Within a week of its theatrical run, Box Office India declared the film a hit in India,[11] and a week later, a super hit overseas, however was termed “average” by trade pundits.[12] The film has been widely praised for it’s visual effects and action, though criticism has been generated regarding its script and direction. Subsequently, the success of the effects and the 3D version of the film prompted multiple other Bollywood filmmakers to consider technology as a part of film-making, especially in view of the success of Ra.One and the inordinately higher returns generated from 3D ticket sales.[13]

 

Plot

Jenny Nayar (Goswami), an employee of UK based Barron Industries, introduces a new technology in which objects from the digital world can be brought into the real world, using the wireless transmissions from multiple wireless devices. Shekhar Subramanium (Khan), an employee of the same company, faces his last chance to come up with a video game with a difference. In order to impress his son Prateek (Verma), and upon the request of his wife Sonia (Kapoor), Shekhar takes his son’s idea that the antagonist should be more powerful than the protagonist.

Akashi (Wu) provides the moves, Jenny the programming, and Shekhar gives his face to the protagonist G.One, whilst the main antagonist Ra.One is faceless, substantially overstepping the powers granted to G.One. The game has three levels, and either of the players can only be killed in the third level with his H.A.R.T. on their chests with a special gun that has only one bullet. While designing the game, Akashi notices some malfunctions, but ignores them. When the game is finally launched, it receives a standing ovation and Prateek loves it so much that he insists on playing it instantly. He logs in under the alias ‘Lucifer’ and gets down to the second level easily, but is eventually interrupted by Akashi as it is time to go home. Ra.One, never been beaten before and being unable to end his turn with Lucifer, swears that Lucifer shall die.

After the mainframe doesn’t shut down, Akashi calls Shekhar who notices something seriously wrong. Ra.One (Rampal) uses the initially introduced technology to come to life, kills Akashi, and goes after Shekhar to find out who is Lucifer. Shekhar rushes home but is also blocked by Ra.One on the way. In an attempt to save his son, Shekhar claims that he is Lucifer. However, Ra.One scans his I.D., and kills him for trying to hide Prateek. Upon noticing the strange case of his father’s death, Prateek realizes that Ra.One has come to life, and is after him. Along with Jenny, he tries to bring G.One to life. Sonia arrives and asks Prateek to leave with her for India. Ra.One, having taken the form of Akashi, chases them, but Sonia and Prateek are saved by G.One, who has entered the real world through Jenny’s computer. G.One initiates a gas explosion which destroys Ra.One into constituent cubes, and takes his H.A.R.T. Finding it impossible to leave him, Sonia takes G.One to India with her through Shekhar’s passport. They go to their ancestral house and G.One promises her that he will save Prateek from any harm. Meanwhile, Ra.One returns to life and takes his humanized form of a model on a billboard and goes after G.One.

During Prateek’s birthday party, Ra.One hypnotizes Sonia, assumes her form and kidnaps Prateek. He instructs G.One to give him his H.A.R.T. back and sends the real Sonia in an uncontrollable local train in Mumbai. G.One saves Sonia just at the nick of the time, and then goes back to save Prateek. The game begins with Prateek controlling G.One’s moves. Following a lengthy fight, both of the characters finally reach the third level. With little powers left, the pair trick Ra.One into shooting G.One without his H.A.R.T. attached to him. Furious, Ra.One creates ten alternatives. Prateek is unable to differentiate the real one, until he asks G.One to quote one of Shekhar’s saying stored in his folder: “बुराई संग जो मेल रचाया, फिर कभी न छूटे उसका साया” (“If you join the forces of evil, you will always haunt it’s shadows“). The pair then realizes that only one of the ten Ra.Ones has a shadow. G.One shoots him and transports himself back to the digital world after absorbing Ra.One’s remains. Several months later, Prateek and Sonia return back to the UK, where the former finally manages to restore G.One back to the real world.

Cast

Production

Origins and development

According to director Anubhav Sinha, the idea of making Ra.One originated while he was watching a commercial on television six years ago. Sinha said, “The commercial dealt with two kids controlling a human with a remote. It was fascinating, and the visual stayed with me for some time.” Sinha wrote a three-page short story based on the commercial, which he felt was good enough to be made into a film.[5] Upon finalizing the story, he approached Shahrukh Khan with the film in August 2005, and Khan instantly agreed to produce and star in it.[5] Red Chillies Entertainment‘s Keitan Yadav revealed that during the release of Main Hoon Na (2004), Khan was keen on making a VFX-loaded film that was larger than life.[15] His production company continued working on other projects and seeking for the right film until they finally decided on Ra.One.[15] Prior to starting the film, Khan approached several directors to helm the project but they all refused due to various concerns.[16]

Ra.One is the modern, new age technology version of our mythological “Raavan”, who was a mixture of ten different evil characters. I am essaying the role of G.One or better say “Jeevan”, a superhero who saves the mankind from Ra.One’s torment. Through this film, I want to prove that Indian superheroes can also be as cool as the international ones.”[17]

—Shahrukh Khan on Ra.One

Pre-production work for the film began in November 2007 after the release of Khan’s Om Shanti Om (2007). Sinha spent several months going through video clips, digital art portals and comic books; he later explained that this process helped him in creating a novel character.[4] Khan stated that “When we started this film, the idea was can we make a simple film, about a husband, wife and child and then suddenly blow everyone’s mind when they start fighting […] So there were two films in one: the people who like the action…and those who like a family film.”[18] To prepare for the film’s premises and characterization, Sinha and Khan watched as many as 200 superhero films in multiple languages from all over the world, including Spider-Man (2002), Batman (1989) and Krrish (2006).[19]

Since the start of principal photography, Ra.One has faced multiple allegations of plagiarism and similarities with other film projects, including the 2010 Tamil science fiction film Enthiran. When asked about this, Khan noted: “I got inspired from a lot of superhero movies but the movie is original. In fact, Ra.One will be the first superhero-based movie in the world in which the superhero lives in a family.”[20] Commenting on Enthiran, he remarked, “they [both] are different films. I will not like to talk about anyone else’s film but Rajni sir is respectable to all of us.”[21]

Casting and filming

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, along with Yash Chopra, Shahrukh Khanand Kareena Kapoor (l-r) on the sets of the film.

Principal photography for the film began in March 2009, one-and-a-half year after pre-production work began.[5] As a way to make his character more believable, Khan decided that he would perform his own stunts in the film.[22] Sinha approached his friend Arjun Rampal to take up the title role of a villain in the film, to which he readily agreed, and Kareena Kapoor was later signed on to play the female lead.[5] Child actor Armaan Verma was required to go through several audition processes until he was finally selected to play the role of Prateek.[23] During an appearance on the chat showFriday Night with Jonathan Ross, Khan stated that Jackie Chan was “approached for a role in the film”. Khan had reportedly sent Chan the detailed script of the film, along with the action sequences and a brief synopsis of his character;[24] it was later confirmed that Chan would not be part of the project.[25] In July 2010, it was announced that Chinese-American actor Tom Wu would be part of the film.[26]

Actors Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra were confirmed to make guest appearances whilst actor Rajinikanth was slated to perform in a special scene where he would be reprising his role of Chittifrom Enthiran (2010), the background score for which[a single scene involving Khan and Rajinikanth] was scored by A. R. Rahman.[27][14] The actor shot for the film on 2 October 2011 at Subhash Ghai‘s Whistling Woods Studios in Mumbai with his daughter Soundarya despite some health problems. To minimize strain on the actor, the shoot was finished in a few hours and the scenes were digitally transferred into the necessary backgrouds later on.[28] Several days later, it was announced that Amitabh Bachchan would be doing a voice-over for an important scene in the film.[14]

Ra.One’s shooting was originally supposed to begin in Miami, USA, but due to budget concerns this was scrapped.[29] The first phase of filming began in India in March 2010 and continued until May in Mumbai’s Film City and Goa.[30] While filming, Khan admitted to finding difficulties with the rubber-made costume that was specially designed for his character, later commenting: “The costume was designed in a way that I had to take the help of girls to get into it and vice-versa. I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink much in between the shoots […] By the time, the shooting of the film was wrapped up; I ended up losing ten kilos.”[17] Verma, who plays Khan’s son in the film, had to learn the Brazilian martial arts dance Capoeira in preparation for his role.[23] A chase scene along a Mumbai suburban train, in which Khan jumped from one compartment to another while Kapoor operated the train, received objections from the city government as they feared that the scene would entice teenagers to emulate the stunts. Subsequently, a disclaimer was added to the movie warning youngsters to refrain from performing any dangerous stunts shown in the film.[31]

Production of the film’s second and third phase occurred with the entire cast in London, which included a song sequence being shot in a restaurant from where the London Bridge was visible[32] and a heavy duty action scene involving Khan and Kapoor.[33] During this period, a picture of Kapoor’s character was also revealed to the media.[34] The film’s final phase commenced at Filmistan Studio in December 2010 and was shot over seven days.[35] The remaining portions were shot in Mumbai and completed in July 2011. While shooting for the film in Mumbai, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Yash Raj Studios, to watch Khan at work.[36] In order to celebrate the film’s completion, a wrap-up party was held at the end of the month in Mumbai.[37] A music video for the song “Raftaarein”, choreographed by Feroz Khan and picturised on Khan, was shot one week before release. Talking about the decision to make the last minute addition to the film, Sinha said: “”Raftaarein” was initially just a melody playing in a background sequence. But [the song] has got unanimously great reviews and has amazing energy. I thought why not shoot a music video and put it in the film.”[38]

Post-production

The film’s crew consisted of more than 5,000 members from India, Italy and the US, and was pieced together by more than 1,000 people, working in shifts, in around 15 studios across the world.[4] Nicola Pecorini was roped in as the director of photography, with V. Manikandan providing extra assistance, and Martin Walsh was responsible to edit the film.[4] Sound designer Resul Pookutty was assigned the duty of enhancing the sound effects with the use of the Dolby Surround 7.1 system. In an interview, he explained, “Ra.One is not just a movie experience […] It requires a very unconventional sound and visual quality for which we are installing the required equipment.”[4] In October 2011, post-production work onRa.One faced a minor setback when Pookutty’s studio-space in Andheri, Mumbai got flooded, and eventually damaged some of the film’s footage.[39]

Due to the revived interest in 3D technology in India, the makers of the film announced that they were contemplating on turning portions of the movie into 3D. Khan revealed that parts of the film may be converted to 3D, provided tests and screen-shots of some scenes of the film were deemed satisfactory by the technical crew. However, there was a good deal of skepticism regarding such conversions, especially since 3D shooting required completely different types of cameras.[6] In July 2011, it was announced that the entire film would be converted into 3D, a process that required the collaboration of around 1,000 individuals.[40] Prime Focus, which had gained considerable experience from performing 3D conversions of major Hollywood productions The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), were tasked with the 3D conversion of Ra.One.[6] A separate conversion facility was created solely for the purpose of the 3D conversion of the film.[6]

Initially, the prints of Ra.One were expected to be ready a month prior to its release.[41] However, the post-production work took up a considerably longer time to complete than was initially expected, triggering fears that the film may not be able to reach its Diwali deadline. Three studios worked around-the-clock to get the film ready before its scheduled release date. Pookutty stated in a report: “[The crew] working on the post-production of Ra.One are in a high-energy zone. We are racing against time [and over] the next two weeks there are going to be number of sleepless nights to make sure [the film] gets into theatres on time.”[39] Ten days before the film’s release, Khan reportedly became upset over the post-production crew for severe delays in the process of digital inter-mediation in the film. Sinha however commented that “there are a lot of things happening in the post-production activities. We all are working hard towards it. But everything is fine.”[42] As the film approached its release, Khan personally verified the progress on a day-to-day basis, with complete reports regarding the status of completion. Increased workload was also attributed to “multiplied work” due to the various versions (3D, Tamil, Telugu, etc.) of the film. It was also confirmed that all studios working on the film’s visual effects had been released, as “not much of the work on visual effects is left […] There are very few details left that are being worked upon. Once that is done, we will go to print.”[41] On October 21, Sinha tweeted that the film had been completed.

Visual effects

March 2010 saw the inclusion of several visual effects techniques being incorporated in the production of Ra.One.[43] In an interview, Harry Hingorani (production director of Red Chillies VFX) stated that “[the company] was set up in 2006 […] Khan wanted to make something big involving VFX and that was the intension behind starting [it].”[43] Extensive research was carried out by the crew, and no other films were accepted by the studio post My Name Is Khan (2010), with special focus on setting up proper software and creating “the right team” during pre-production itself.[43] To minimize the risk of future delays, the task of adding special effects was outsourced to multiple specialty studios around the globe, including in the United States, London, Paris and Bangkok.[44] In addition, Prime Focus also provided digital and visual effects services to Red Chillies VFX for the film.[6]

Impressed by the work he had seen in the 1994 Hollywood release Stargate, Jeff Kleiser was hired by Khan as the supervisor of visual effects in May 2010.[45] A team of 750 technicians under Kleiser carried out the addition of special effects into the film.[46] Special effects creator Robert Kurtzman was assigned to design the suits of Khan and Rampal’s characters. The suits were made by a team of specialists based in Los Angeles, California.[47] While both the actors shot the film wearing a simple suit, a good deal of sparkle and polishing was later added to enhance its look.[15]

The film is reported to have close to 3,500 VFX shots (occupying about 135 minutes of footage), with 800 of them being solely dedicated to G.One’s suit alone, thus exceeding the total amount of shots that was used in the 2009 Hollywood film Avatar.[15] Khan later singled out one process, explaining that it took nearly six days (137 hours) to create a single frame shot of glass flying on his character.[48] Keitan Yadav notes: “There is no software or technique in the industry that we have not used for this film. For 3D, we have used software like Maya, Houdini and Macs. For composites, we have used Nuke and Shake. We have even written our own programmes. We programmed certain things rather than doing them manually.”[15]

The film’s visual effects have generated massive curiosity among moviegoers, film distributors and critics, and have been labelled as “the best India has ever seen [and] on par with Hollywood“.[7][49] Hingorani stated that “60% of the film is visual effects. There are 37 sequences in all, and they were considerably difficult and time-consuming.”[43] Jeff Kleiser commented that the most challenging part of Ra.One was creating the cubic transformations for the lead characters.[43] It was later found out that the incorporation of visual effects was the main reason behind the increased time for post-production.[39] The final batch of visual effects were delivered a week before the scheduled release. As a result, the crew had only two days to complete the film and send it for printing, further increasing anxiety regarding the film’s release.[50]

Soundtrack

Main article: Ra.One (soundtrack)

The soundtrack of Ra.One, release by T-Series on 12 September 2011, was composed by Vishal-Shekhar with lyrics penned by Atahar Panchi, Vishal Dadlani and Kumaar.[51] Director Anubhav Sinha announced that R&B singer Akon would be recording two songs for the film whilst the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra would also be making a contribution.[51] The makers of the film have complied with international copyright laws and have obtained the license to use Ben E. King‘s “Stand By Me“, on which they have based the song “Dildaara”.[51] The album features fifteen tracks, including seven original songs, four remixes, three instrumentals and an international version of “Chammak Challo“.[51] Subsequently, the Tamil and Telugu versions of the film’s soundtrack were released on 10 October 2011 featuring six tracks each.[52]

Marketing

Pre-release revenue

In March 2011, it was announced that the television broadcasting rights for Ra.One had been sold to Star India for a then-record sum of INR40 crore (US$8.11 million), surpassing the previous record set by 3 Idiots (2009) for INR33 crore (US$6.69 million).[10] The film’s music rights were bought by T-Series for INR15 crore (US$3.04 million) whilst the distribution rights were acquired by Eros Entertainment for INR77 crore (US$15.62 million).[4] The distribution rights for the film in Tamil Nadu and Kerala were bagged by Abirami Ramanathan for a reportedly record, but undisclosed price.[53] Ra.One set a new record for total pre-release revenue earned, netting INR132 crore (US$26.77 million) and surpassed the previous record held by 3 Idiots, which had netted INR85 crore (US$17.24 million).[54]

Promotions

Khan promoting the Ra.OneHappy Meal from McDonald’s.

The producers of Ra.One set a record marketing budget of around INR52 crore (US$10.55 million), of which INR15 crore (US$3.04 million) was used for online promotion, making it the highest ever for a Bollywood film.[55][56] Often described as the “longest promotion in Bollywood history”, as well as “the most comprehensive and all-pervasive among people’s lives”,[49] the term “promotional blitzkrieg” has often been used in connotation with the project’s extensive marketing campaign.[57]

Promotion of the film officially began as early as December 2010 when the first poster was published in all leading news papers across the country.[18] The film’s first look was later unveiled by Khan on hisTwitter page on January 1, 2011.[49] Several months later, director Anubhav Sinha announced that he would be launching two teaser trailers of the film during the 2011 Cricket World Cup, a prior nine months before the film’s actual release date.[58] Asked about why he was launching the film’s trailer so early, Sinha commented, “Ra.One is not a Bollywood film that [the audiences] have seen before. The kind of size and magnitude that the film has requires it to be slowly introduced to the audience and that is the very purpose why we are starting the whole communication so early.”[58] The film’s first theatrical trailer was released three months later to the public. As a way to promote the theatrical trailer, Khan was accompanied by the director on a five city tour, which included such places like Delhi, Chandigarh,Indore and Ahmedabad.[49] During the same event, a 3600 ft long fan mail collecting audience wishes and messages for the film was also launched.[49]

On 3 June 2011, the official website of the film was hacked by suspected Pakistani cyber criminals who stated that the act was a form of revenge to a similar attack on a Karachi press club website, three days after the launch of the page. They also left a note threatening the Indian Press Club, defacing the homepage.[59] In early September, Red Chillies Entertainment (RCE) launched a sizeable viral marketing campaign for promoting the film more effectively in the online arena.[60] The company launched the official customized Ra.One channel of the film on YouTube (a first for an Indian film) where several song and theatrical promos were released to the public, along with videos of the film’s making, events and uncut footage.[49] The channel also hosts games, including the first social game from India, and contests where participants can create promos from clips, music and dialogues of the film.[61]

“My last strategy was that I do not want any one to know what the bad guy looks like. You see it in the film. The film is called Ra.One but no one knows what [he] looks like. Last week before the film releases, we will let everyone know what he looks like. It is not going to shake the earth, but all the facets are being revealed as a picture puzzle being peeled off.”[18]

—Khan talking about the promotional strategy regarding the look of the villain, “Ra.One”

In addition to YouTube, Khan announced that the film would also subsidize through major brand ties-up worth over INR52 crore (US$10.55 million),[56][49] some of which included the Formula One races, Nokia, Godrej Consumer Products, Coca-Cola,HCL,[62] Horlicks, HomeShop18[63] and multiple live chats conducted on Google Plus for which Khan became the first Indian film personality to utilize.[64] Three weeks before the film’s release, a mass media campaign was launched by Western Union for international promotions. Encompassing platforms such as the radio, television, print media and outdoor advertising, it was launched in the U.S., Canada, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific as a way to connect with the millions of non-resident Indians across the world.[49] Co-producers and distributors of the film, Eros International, released an official statement stating that along with RCE, they have recovered a major portion of their investments through in-film branding, media endorsements, and other music and satellite rights.[56]

Ra.One’s default look in the film

The look of the film’s titular character, Ra.One, portrayed by Rampal, was heavily guarded and kept under strict wraps, with the entire filming unit required to keep mobile phones away from shooting locations, and signing non-disclosure agreements.[65] The first look of the character was initially scheduled to be revealed on the eve of Dussehra. According to the producers, the time was chosen to show the symbolism between Ra.One and the mythological villain Ravana (of the Ramayana), both of whom are supposedly “equally bad”.[66] Due to certain technical glitches, it was later revealed in the film’s final theatrical trailer to a positive response.[67] Commenting on the response to his look in the film, Rampal noted: “The response has been phenomenal. People have liked my look. I am glad I have not disappointed anyone as there was so much anticipation for the film. I was petrified initially, wondering if my look would be appreciated and accepted. But it has been worth the wait.”[68]

Video games

Shahrukh Khan launches ‘G.One’ – Nvidia GEFORCE GTX 560Ti graphic card.

In July, Red Chillies Entertainment declared a tie-up with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) to build a full cycle game of the film on PlayStation.[69] Released on October 5 at an event in Mumbai, “Ra.One – The Game” offers more than 20 game environments, features original voice-overs from the actors and is available on PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3; the former being available for the Indian market and the latter for the international market. Khan volunteered to write the game script, dub for the game, and even oversaw the entire technical development. The project boasts of a series of firsts: a first full cycle PlayStation 3 blu-ray disc game developed with an Indian developer; first console game to be dubbed by a leading Bollywood actor and also the first Bollywood title to appear in a full cycle video game.[70]

SCEE has invested around INR4.5 crore (US$0.91 million) to license the Ra.One IP and an additional INR3 crore (US$608,400) in the marketing and promotions of the game, which includes offline promotions and television advertisements of nearly 250 ad spots.[71] At the time of its launch, 21,000 game consoles were sold and 100,000 units are expected to be sold across India alone.[71] On October 14, a gaming tournament titled “The Ra.One Nvidia GeForce lan” was held in Mumbai. The event, which hosted over 1000 gamers competing against each other, featured several popular games such as FIFA, Counter-Strike and Call of Duty, and was telecast live on YouTube, showcasing digital innovation by means of live interactive contests, puzzles etc.[72]

In addition to launching the video game, Red Chillies also collaborated with UTV Indiagames to design a social game based on the film named the Ra.One Genesis.[73] The game reached the No. 1 position on the iTunes store within 24 hours of its launch, becoming the first ever Bollywood movie app to be top-featured on iPhone and iPad.[74] It also became the most downloaded game in India,Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia within 24 hours of being launched.[75] An investment of around INR4.5 crore (US$0.91 million), the storyline of the game is not borrowed from or similar to that of the movie though it is based on the character ofG.One. The game was launched across platforms like mobiles, tablet PCs, the direct-to-home platform and social networking sites like Facebook.[73] According to the company’s digital and new media head Shailja Gupta, the idea behind the digital marketing is to create a franchisee for Ra.One. She explained, “Social gaming is just one part of the digit marketing strategy. The unique part of the social game is the integration of merchandise and gaming.”[73]

Merchandise and comics

As a way to promote the film and increase its franchising business, Shahrukh Khan tied up with Seventymm to market a variety of merchandises related to the film.[76] Products included original G.One tee shirts, coffee mugs, wrist bands, watches, mobile pouches, video cameras, as well as many other things. Similar products were also available for purchase on the official G.One online store, which was launched alongside the film’s official website.[77] 90% of the 400,000 stationery items and toys were sold in 15 days and an additional 100,000 were ordered. The makers spent INR1.5 crore (US$304,200) on the mold for the G.One action figure.[75] In addition to this, a jewelery line inspired by the symbol of “Ra.One”,[55] as well as a series of HCL laptops with customized integrated Ra.One skin[62] were also made available to the public. Moreover, Red Chillies Entertainment collaborated with UTV Indiagames to develop digital comics based on the film’s characters. Written by Khan, the comic featured weekly episodes and served as a prequel to the events happening in the movie.[7]

Release

Khan, Kapoor and Rampal (l-r) during the film premiere in London

During the period of October 24 – 26, Ra.One had its international premieres in three cities: Dubai, London and Toronto, all of which were chosen keeping in mind their large international significance, as well as the presence of large South Asian populations.[78]

The film’s first international premiere was held in Dubai on 24 October 2011 at the Grand Cinemas, Wafi, along with co-stars Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal, followed by a high-profile dinner and charity auction, where Khan had raised K.D 30,000 for building a workshop for children with special needs.[8][79] The premiere is notably first Indian film to sell tickets for its shows, as well as to have three simultaneous screenings for the event. The London premiere of the film took place at the O2 Cineworld the following day, while the Toronto premiere took place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on 26 October.[80] Due to a conflict with Kapoor’s scheduled appearance at Madame Tussauds, it was later announced that the actress would not be attending the film’s premiere in Toronto.[81]

Following up to its release, Ra.One surpassed several records among Indian films for the volume of theatrical release in India and worldwide. Nationally, the film released in 3,500 screens, breaking the record of Bodyguard (2011), which released in 2,700 screens.[82] Overseas, it is currently expected to release in around 1,500 screens in 904 prints, with 600 screens in Germany, 300 screens inSouth Korea, 25 prints in Taiwan and New Zealand, 75 prints in Russia,[82][83] 79 prints in the Middle East,[8] 344 prints in USA, 51 prints in Australia, 202 prints in the UK and 49 prints inCanada.[84] In case the partnership deal is successful, the film will also release in China with 1,000 prints.[85] Moreover, Ra.One 3D version released in 550 selected screens around the world.[82] The dubbed versions have released in 250 screens across south India.[86] The film’s release has also been noted for its wide use of digital prints, as an effort to bring down distribution costs, release the film to a wider audience and also reduce piracy.[85] A week prior to its release, multiplex owners across India decided to allot the project with 95% of the total available screen space.[87] The film also faced some uncertainty concerning the release of 3D version on time. However, Khan clarified that 3D version will be released on the set date, in the microblogging site Twitter.[88]

Censorship ratings

On 14 October, Ra.One was submitted to the Central Board of Film Certification to receive an official rating. Upon submitting the script, the Board showed strong objections to the film’s action scenes as they felt that it would influence young children into emulating them. After much deliberation, the film was passed with a ‘U’ certificate without any cuts, but only under the condition that it would display prominent disclaimers stating that the stunts should not be imitated and were computer-generated.[89]

Controversy

Days before its release, Ra.One attracted media attention when script-writer Yash Patnaik claimed that the film resembled a concept that he had developed several years back. Patnaik subsequently moved his appeal to the Bombay High Court, pleading for a stay in the film’s release until he was given due credit or 10% of the film’s overall profit.[90] The court, observing the prima facie evidence that there had been copyright violations, asked the filmmakers to deposit INR1 crore (US$202,800) on 21 October with the court before releasing the film.[91] However, challenging the court decision, Patnaik lately had demanded the producers to give him credit and not cash.[91] Sinha, on the other hand, claimed that he had developed the film’s story.[92]

Reception

Critical reception

Upon release, Ra.One received mixed reviews from critics in India.[93] Film reviewers were clearly separated into two factions,[94] with one feeling that the film had brought the level of Indian films at par with Hollywood films, while the other complained about the flawed script.[95][96] According to review aggregator Review Gang, professional critics have given the film an average rating of 5.0 out of 10.[97]

Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film a score of 4.5 out of 5 and said, “Ra.One is the most ambitious, most expensive and the most technologically complex Hindi film ever made. It pushes the envelope further … It is a film that will rewrite the textbook of computer graphics in Hindi cinema. At the same time, it is very Indian at heart.”[98] Khalid Mohamed from Deccan Chronicle gave it 4 out of 5 stars, concluding, “Here’s a technical accomplishment with as much heart as hardware”.[99] Manjari Saxena of Gulf News also gave the film a positive review, awarding it 4 stars out of 5 and writing that it is “a fun movie to catch and will definitely run full house during the Diwali weekend.”[100] Nikhat Kazmi fromThe Times of India rated the film 3.5 stars out of 5, mentioning that the film is “Ra.One is sure to usher in a crackling Diwali at the box office and give the audience paisa vasool entertainment, with fine performances by both Shah Rukh and Kareena. Even young Armaan is efficient. Go have a blast.”[101] Rachit Gupta of Filmfare gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, saying “Ra.One is an enjoyable sci-fi and CGI fiesta that will transport you to a world of kooky fantasy and video game heroes.”[102] Subhash K Jha gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars, commenting “Ra.One is a saucy, sassy, scintillating super-hero film which knows exactly when to let the narrative flow in a furious frenzy of hyper-activity, and when to brake the goings-on just before the hysterical happenings topple into the realm of irretrievable absurdity.”[103] K.K. Rai of Stardust gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars as well, commenting that, “Ra.One is a visual treat with top notch computer graphics and other use of high-tech gadgetry. It is certainly better than anything Bollywood has offered so far, and is more in consonance with standards of Hollywood. Anubhav’s execution of the screenplay is perfect, and pacing most suitable to the genre of the flick.”[104] Komal Nahta of Koimoi.com also gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars, praising the performances by the lead actors but adding that the story (based on gaming and technology) would be difficult for the older generation to comprehend.[105] The Indo-Asian News Network also gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars stating that “Ra.One is still probably one of the classiest movies seen in the Hindi film industry and a feather in Anubhav’s hat.”[106] Kaveri Bamzai of India Today gave the film 3.5 stars out of 5, noting, “Welcome to a movie as a gigantic open house. This is film-making not so much as noble passion but as grand indulgence, not so much as a marathon magic show but as an event to be managed.”[107] Soumyadipta Banerjee of DNA India gave the film 3.5 stars, saying “The real story is the way the film is carried forward and the special effects. It’s worth a worth. It might be not be a good idea to watch it for the second time around though.”[108] Aniruddha Guha of DNA India gave it 3 stars and said “Ra.One is beautiful in appearance, but empty within. Which is a pity. Anubhav could have really made a mark with this one.”[109] Daily Bhaskar gave it 3 out of 5 stars, pointing out that “Ra.One is surely crafted as a kids’ entertainer, The movie is a joyful cinematic experience for game enthusiasts.”[110] Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV awarded the film 3 out of 5 stars, saying “Ra.One packs in just about everything under the sun and the moon so that the paying public goes home feeling they haven’t been shortchanged. It trundles along all right but never quite hits the high roads.”[111] Gaurav Malani from The Economic Times gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, remarking “Though the sci-fi concept seems too far-fetched, the director is able to pull it off with visual dazzlery and fast-paced storytelling that the genre demands. The action sequences are thrillingly and credibly choreographed.”[112] Oneindia.in gave the film a positive review as well, saying “The movie surely goes beyond everyone’s imagination. Besides raising the bar for Hindi films, the flick also appeals to the universal audience […] Shahrukh Khan’s stellar performance is the major attraction of the film”.[113] Saniya Tabani from Divanee Magazine praised the film adding “Ra.One lifts Bollywood into a new era. The best part? Refreshingly, you can take the whole family out to enjoy it.”[114]

The film did receive some negative reviews as well. Mayank Shekhar from Hindustan Times gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, wrote, “Neither here nor there, everything appears so visibly constructed and all over the place that you can look through the wires, rather than blend in with the experience.”[115] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, praising Khan’s performance but arguing that, “while this superhero film has plenty sound and fury, it’s sorely lacking slickness.”[116] Sonia Chopra from Sify gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, stating “Ra.One is a visual extravaganza and fun enough. The only reason one stops short of recommending Ra.One is the sporadic adult content that has no business being in a film for kids. Too bad, really.”[117] Aseem Chhabra of Rediff.com criticised the film for its “muddled script” and gave it 2 out of 5 stars, stating “There are video games that kids play, but then they shut them off, after they win or lose. Finally, Ra.One has a similar forgettable quality.”[118] Rediff reviewers Raja Sen and Abhishek Mande gave the film 1.5 and 2 stars out of 5 respectively, while Sukanya Verma argued that “The 3D version of Ra.One has nothing extra to offer.”[119][120] Shilpa Jamkhandikar of Reuters gave the film a negative review for being “less of a movie and more of a product that is tailor-made to audiences looking for a Diwali movie.”[121] Kunal Guha of Yahoo! Movies panned the film, saying that “Ra.One does what no other sci-fi movie has done before: it mocks itself. It’s convenient to say that if you have no expectations from the film, you wouldn’t be disappointed.”[122] Shubha Shetty-Shah of Mid-Day gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, saying “Ra.One manages to stumble and falter, in spite of all the crutches that it has been provided with. [Its] a revolting khichdi of sorts. The extra half star is for the visual effects and for that intention to make it king size.”[123] Zee News said that “The film has its moments but they are far and few in between. Some of the scenes are surely entertaining but when one goes to watch a SRK film, one hopes to be entertained throughout, and sadly Ra.One fails to do so.”[124]Sanjukta Sharma of Mint argued that the film is a “haphazard medley of Iron Man, The Matrix, Superman, Terminator 2 and age-old disappearing and levitating acts we’ve seen over and over again in no-brainer Rajnikanth blockbusters … Anubhav Sinha’s Ra.One is a spectacular disappointment.”[125] The Mumbai Mirror rated the film 2 out of a 5 stars, appraising the action sequences but criticizing the writing.[126] Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express gave the film 2 stars and said that “Ra.One is a superstarry slurry sludge, with just the occasional consolatory sparkle.”[127]

Overseas reception

Overseas, the film received generally positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes rates the film at 75% “Fresh” (83% for top critics), and Metacritic, gave the film a 60% rating.[128][129]

Kirk Honeycutt from The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a favorable review, adding: “India’s first attempt at a superhero movie is both vigorous and emotionally fulfilling within the context of Bollywood traditions.” [130] Rubina A. Khan from The First Post praised the film as a whole, stating that “Anubhav Sinha, the director of the film, has done a marvelous job in the action sequences […] The emotional scenes, too are very engaging — despite all the digital wizardry going on in the film.”[131] J. Hurtado of Twitch gave the film a positive review, saying “Ra.One is a stunning action film, with stunts that would hold up with the best of any Hollywood action film. […] All of the emotion that the film delivers serves the story both in terms of plot development and theme, and it is very seldom gratuitous. [It is] a supremely entertaining action adventure that should be able to cross language lines and find fans in any community.”[132] Rachel Saltz of The New York Timesgave the film a positive review, highlighting “Ra.One is a kind of entertainment machine set to dazzle, Hindi cinema with a crush on high-tech.”[133] Kevin Thomas of Los Angeles Times said, “Ra.One is Bollywood at its best. It has energy, spectacle and humor, song and dance, but razzle-dazzle special effects and action stunts never overwhelm its story of enduring love that unfolds amid an intricate and inspired sci-fi odyssey”.[134] Joe Neumaier from New York Daily Newsgave the film 4 stars, describing it as “widely entertaining”.[135] Andrew O’Hehir from Salon wrote, “From dazzling dance numbers to post-Matrix action, RA. One showcases Bollywood’s confidence.”[136] John Anderson of Variety gave the film an average review, stating “Along with Khan’s presence, it’s the effects that sell Ra.One, and they arrive more or less nonstop. Rather than incorporate the technology into the story, Sinha’s CG acrobatics become the equivalent of a wide receiver doing backflips in the endzone – amusing, but beside the point.”[137] International Business Times particularly praised the performance of Shahrukh Khan and stated that the chemistry between him and his son, played by Armaan Verma, dazzles throughout the film: “He [Khan] is wonderful as always. He fits into the role superbly …. His chemistry with his son Prateek in the film is wonderful … Ra.One is an excellent superhero film; a complete entertainer.”[138]

Tamara Baluja of The Globe and Mail gave the film one out of four stars. Although she called the special effects “fantastic”, she panned the movie as a whole.[139] Simon Abrams of Slant also gave it one out of four stars and wrote: “Ra.One’s indifferently demeaning scenario proves just how meaningless its creators’ supposedly good intentions really are.”[140] Bloomberg too rated the film with one out of four stars, saying “While no one was expecting The Dark Knight from this film’s makers, they could potentially have matched the entertaining and goofy Hellboy. Sadly, Khan and director Anubhav Sinha fail to understand the idiom of superhero cinema.”[141] Avash Karmacharya of MyRepublica too panned the film’s plot and added, “the biggest problem of the movie, however, is the lack of a solid storyline.”[142]

Box office

As of November 4, 2011, Ra.One has grossed INR192 crore (US$38.94 million) worldwide.[2] Box Office India declared the film a “hit” in India,[143] and a “super hit” in the overseas market.[144]

India

Ra.One saw a record 70-100% occupancy levels all over India, with full houses in many multiplexes. The lesser-than-expected occupancy level was mainly due to the effect of Diwali festivities, which took a toll on the evening shows. The morning opening was described “historic” by several trade analysts.[145][146] Generally, the 3D version of the film saw better occupancy levels than the 2D version.[147] Families and children comprised the major demographics of Ra.One’s audience.

On the first day, Ra.One collected INR14.63 crore (US$2.97 million) from the Hindi version[148] and an estimated INR2 crore (US$405,600) from the Tamil and Telugu versions,[149] taking its all-India total to INR16.63 crore (US$3.37 million). It set records for the biggest Diwali opening day ever by beating Golmaal 3 (INR8.72 crore),[150] The lesser total was attributed to a fall in evening collections, caused due to festive celebrations and pujas. However, on the second day, Ra.One set records throughout the nation by collecting INR22.8 crore (US$4.62 million) in the Hindi version and hence surpassing the biggest single-day record in India held by Bodyguard.[151] The third day collection of the film Hindi version netted at INR15.50 crore (US$3.14 million), and has again set a record three day collection of INR53 crore (US$10.75 million) nett, by surpassing previous record by Bodyguard (INR52.6 crores). The Tamil and Telugu versions of the film also collected around INR4 crore (US$811,200) nett over three days, giving it a total of INR57 crore (US$11.56 million) nett for all three languages.[152] The film’s Hindi version collected INR14.25 crore (US$2.89 million) nett on it’s fourth day, with four days collection totaling around INR71.50 crore (US$14.5 million) nett.[153] As of five days extended first weekend, the film had collected about INR85.50 crore (US$17.34 million) from all it’s versions.[154] At the end of seven days, the Hindi Ra.One netted INR91.75 crore (US$18.61 million) in India with best collections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu/Kerala and Mysore.[155] Ra.One (Hindi) was ranked second in the top ten first seven day domestic collection, next to Bodyguard.[156] As of nine days extended first week, the film’s Hindi version collection netted INR97.47 crore (US$19.77 million), while Tamil and Telugu versions collection totaled at INR6 crore (US$1.22 million).[157]

Ra.One (Hindi) netted INR9.65 crore (US$1.96 million) in it’s second week, declining 80% from its previous three-day opening weekend. The film’s net total grew to INR107.12 crore (US$21.72 million) in 12 days.[158] The film saw a good second Monday owing to “Eid” by collecting INR2.5 crore (US$507,000) nett taking the four day second weekend to around INR12 crore (US$2.43 million).[159] In two weeks, the film’s Hindi version had grossed INR113 crore (US$22.92 million) nett, with collection dropping by 84% compared to extended first week collection.[160]

Overseas

Note: $ and US$ imply United States dollar

The overseas release of the film took place in two phases, with most major markets covered in the first phase. In it’s first phase, Ra.One debuted to a huge $6.75 million (approx.) overseas. The five-day opening (three day in certain territories) is the fourth biggest ever for a Bollywood film. The film collected US$1,654,023 in USA, £908,768 in UK, $250,000 in Pakistan, $349,899 in Australia, $1,509,624 in UAE, $91,135 in New Zealand and $40,658 in Fiji, in addition to very strong openings in Singapore and other East Asian countries.[161] As of second week, Ra.One had crossed the $8 million mark with business of around $8.25 million, and thus became the highest-grossing Bollywood film overseas in 2011.[144]

Commercial analysis

Ra.One had generated curiosity among the public and distributors ever since the announcement of Akon’s participation as a part of the film’s soundtrack. The film also received a lot of media attention due to the early launch of the film’s publicity campaign which was unprecedented in addition to being untested. However, since the release of the first trailer of the film, many analysts predicted that Ra.One would not succeed at the box office. Reasons cited included it’s unique use of technology and action, a supposedly different type of script and the urban feel suggesting that Ra.One would be a “class” phenomenon, and would not percolate down to the “masses”.[162] The high budget of the film was another area of concern for the film, as this meant high prices for distributor rights and lesser chances of profits. As time went by, the film was hit by multiple accusations of plagiarism involving posters, script, stunts and visuals, further putting down the film.[90][163] A major problem for the film was that the superhero genre was untested by Khan, and the genre itself was not popular in India. Khan’s earlier success was predominantly based on romantic roles with notable exceptions such asChak De! India and Swades.[164]

Some trade analysts were, however, quite positive about the film.[165] As noted by Ormax Media, a specialist consumer research company for films, Ra.One set records for Buzz and Reach among films even six weeks before release. Such high figures maintained right till the release date.[166] Moreover, Ra.One’s unique and vast marketing campaign, which utilized concepts previously unheard of in Indian films, was cited as a smart business move that would make the film reach as big an audience as possible.[162] It was also widely noted that in spite of the high cost of the movie and the seemingly risky venture, Khan managed to recover most of the film’s production costs well before the release time through various film rights and sponsor tie-ups.[162] As time progressed, the layered marketing campaign coupled with extensive brand tie-ups and new concepts built up to a very high expectation level among the audiences.[167] The public were comparing it to previous Indian sci-fi/superhero films such as Mr. India, Enthiran, Krrish and Drona,[168] the latter being a major box office failure,[169] as well as Hollywood superhero blockbusters like Batman and more frequently Tron.

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Agricultural Technology

 

The era of modernization is viewed in the entire sectors especially in the agriculture sector. Gone are the days when farmers meant a poor man laboring hard to meet his needs. In the modern times, farmers are equipped with agriculture technology that is latest and trouble free. With the entry and increasing influence of the science in the traditional farming, the agriculture industry of the nation is celebrating green revolution each moment. The new technologies have helped in utilizing even the small land into loads of profit making source. Farmers whether small or big are getting more and more aware of the fact that technology is very beneficial to them and the future of the agriculture industry.
The technology has resulted into the many innovative equipments that have reduced time and energy invested in to the farming. The newest tractors are capable of plowing big piece of land at the swiftest speed and less consumption of the fuel. Also, for harvesting there are several new equipments that have reduced man power and burden. Also, agriculture technology has revolutionized the irrigating methodology. Now water is easily distributed to the remotest parts with the tunnels especially in dry and hilly areas. The booming agriculture technology serves with the latest ploughs that are light in weight and superior in quality level. Apart from cropping machines and tools, technology has made farmers to use the weather and conditions in intelligent manner. The witty style of farming reduces the losses in the farming and eliminates dependency over weather for farming. Agriculture technology is based on the scientific researches of experts and botanist who have guided the path to the modernization. Also it is all due to new technologies that are awaking farmers to cultivate new crops like bio diesel apart from the traditional horticulture and crops ultimately making farmers rich. The tardiest pesticides including chemical and organic are result of the upgrading agriculture technology. The agriculture technological enhancements have also compelled the retail sector to join the agriculture sector. In the recent developments, like western countries, in developing nations like India, several MNC and retail tycoons have intruded the trade. They all have been emphasizing on the most advance technologies for agricultural that does well to farmers.
Govt. of all countries has realized the potential of the agriculture sector and that is why several policies are being implanted that is favorable for agriculture. If the agriculture technology keeps on advancing at same momentum the day is near when, agriculture will retain the old glory and triumph of past in no matter of time.

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