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  • 2nd December 2023

    Paper II (General Studies I):
    Subject (At & Culture) – Topic – Language and Literature

    Q2. What role does the Himalayan mountains range play in establishing India

    as a subcontinent? (10 Marks, 150 Words)

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    Dr Rajkumar Academy for Civil Services

    Ø Introduce by defining India as subcontinent.

    Ø Highlight the role played by the Himalayas in establishing India as a subcontinent.

    Ø Summarize the aspects that contribute to Indian subcontinent identity.

    India is considered a subcontinent due to its unique geographical and cultural traits.

    Geographically, it is separated from the rest of Asia by the imposing Himalayan mountains range. Culturally, India showcases remarkable diversity with its multitude of languages, religions, traditions, and ethnicities. These elements combine to establish

    India as a distinct and prominent landmass within the broader continent of Asia. The Himalayan mountains range plays a crucial role in defining India as a subcontinent due to its significant geographical characteristics and impacts.

    They are:
    · Physical Barrier: The Himalayas form an immense natural barrier that spans approximately 2,400 kilometers along India’s northern border. This towering range acts as a physical boundary, separating India from the rest of Asia and establishing it as a distinct geographical entity.

    · Geographical Extent: The
    Himalayas cover an extensive territory, stretching across multiple Indian states, including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh,
    Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and parts of Assam and West Bengal. The vast geographical expanse of the Himalayan range further emphasizes India’s status as a subcontinent.

    · Biodiversity Hotspot:
    Renowned for their rich biodiversity, the Himalayas support diverse ecosystems ranging from alpine meadows to dense forests,
    providing habitats for numerous plant and animal species. The presence of biodiversity hotspots within the Himalayas, such as the Western Ghats and the Eastern Himalayas, enhances India’s ecological significance as a subcontinent.

    · Water Resources: The Himalayas serve as the source of major rivers in the Indian subcontinent, including the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Yamuna, and their tributaries. Originating from the melting glaciers and snowfields of the Himalayan region, these rivers are vital for irrigation, hydroelectric power generation, and sustaining the livelihoods of millions of people. The critical role of the Himalayas in shaping India’s water resources further solidifies its classification as a subcontinent.

    · Geological Activity: The Himalayas are the product of ongoing tectonic processes resulting from the collision between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates. This dynamic mountain range is characterized by geological activity, including earthquakes and mountain-building processes, adding to India’s distinctiveness as a subcontinent.

    Overall, the physical presence, geographical extent, biodiversity, water resources, and geological significance of the Himalayan mountains rangecollectively contribute to India’s classification as a subcontinent. They shape the country’s unique identity and differentiate it from the surrounding regions.