The ailing planet class 11 summary, notes, author, word meaning 

The ailing planet class 11 summary, notes, author, word meaning 

The ailing planet class 11 chapter focuses on the factors responsible for the earth’s declining health. The chapter was originally an article written by Nani Palkhivala, published in the newspaper The Indian Express on November 23, 1994.

The ailing planet class 11 summary:

Through her article, the writer stresses that human beings are continuously degrading the earth by its practices of fulfilling its lust and exploiting natural resources on a large scale. A zoo in Lusaka, Zambia, calls humans the most dangerous animal on earth.
In 1972 the Green Movement was launched to create new awareness to pave the way for ecological balance. The earth is working upon its metabolism activities. Still, it is continuously showing signs of ailment diagnosed earlier, but we didn’t heed it. He also straightforwardly describes Sustainable Development.

Sustainable Development- a development that meets the needs of the present but does not affect the conditions of posterity. There has been a shift in the attitude of humans from being materialistic to being environmentally friendly.

He also explains that we must consume according to our needs and leave them behind for the next generation. We must be partners in sharing and consuming the gifts of nature and not become the sole proprietors of these nature’s resources.

According to Mr Lester Brown, there are four biological levels; aquatic life, forests, grasslands, and croplands. They all form the foundation of all the ecological balance, and if they are affected in any way, the whole system will get poorly affected, damaging their productivity.

The writer also shows concern about the massive cutting of trees and the lessening of the green pastures. He told us to use cow dung as a natural fertilizer. Then the author grabs our attention towards article 48A of the constitution, which states that the state should guard, protect, and improve our forest and wildlife. The laws are not appropriately imposed, and there are many loopholes. The UN was aware that the environment had deteriorated so severely that it was in a critical stage due to our deeds.

With the increase in population, the two most common problems people face are Development and Growth. With this population explosion, Development looks very far away, and proper family planning is the need of the hour. The writer shows positive signs as people are slightly concerned about this factor.

He turns our attention toward the industries causing pollution and needs to take significant steps regarding controlling these affluents from reaching the air, water, and soil. Many industrialists and politicians have realized this issue and are cooperating with the rest of the nations to preserve our natural gifts.

The population explosion has also started degrading our future children as Development is impossible. Effect behaves as the best contraceptive in controlling fertility declines as income rises and health and education improve. Due to this rat race, we will soon be devoid of our beautiful nature, and these valuable gifts will vanish very quickly if steps are not taken.

The ailing planet class 11
The ailing planet class 11

The ailing planet class 11 notes:


This chapter focuses on the factors responsible for the earth’s declining health. The chapter was originally an article written by Nani Palkhivala, published in the newspaper The Indian Express on November 23, 1994.

The writer discusses the Green Movement, how a zoo in Zambia declared human beings the world’s most dangerous animals. The writer also focuses on overpopulation, deforestation and what should be our responsibility toward the environment.

Nanipalkhivala’s article on the declining health of the earth was written in 1994. The issues that he raised in the context are not improving but worsening. The situation is alarming. The thinkers are now creating breathing awareness to save the earth from going to dogs. Man himself can make or mar his destiny. He can save the human race or destroy all forms of life. The present indications are not encouraging any hope or improvements.

Day by day, the increasing pollution of the environment is creating problems, space problems and survival problems. Man is rightly said to be the world’s most dangerous animal. He talks freely and in large herds like savages in the past. His war weapons are a million times deadlier than swords and spears. The poisonous chemicals and gases, carbon dioxide and industrial waste, are the natural enemies of our race. The forests are disappearing, the deserts are expanding, and the earth is becoming inhabitable. Our planet is in trouble chiefly because of a population boom. The writer draws our attention to all these bunting issues of the day in this thought-provoking article.

The ailing planet class 11 word meaning:

1. recall – remember
2. movement – mass campaign
3. gripped – controlled
4. irrevocably – permanently
5. mechanistic – related to machines
6. holistic – complete and comprehensive
7. ecological – concerned with the relation of living creatures to the environment of a place
8. languish – remain
9. scorched – burnt
10. impoverished – deprived
11. ailing – sick
12. synthetics – chemical compounds
13. unsustainable – not possible to replace
14. impaired – harmed
15. depletion – reduction
16. designated – named
17. contraceptive – way to control population
18. beget – give birth to
19. tenancy – temporary
20. lease – temporary stay

The ailing planet class 11 writer, author:

This is an article written by Nani Palkhivala and published in The Indian Express on 24 November 1994. The issues that he raised regarding the declining health of the earth continue to have relevance.

Nani Palkhivala was born in 1920 in Bombay to middle-class Parsi parents. His family name derives from the profession of his forefathers, who had been manufacturers of palanquins. He was educated at Masters Tutorial High School and later at St. Xavier’s College in Bombay. He was a dedicated scholar. At college, he earned a master’s degree in English literature.

Upon graduating, Palkhivala applied for a position as a lecturer at Bombay University but was not awarded the post. Soon found himself trying to obtain admission to institutions of higher learning to further his academic career. It was late in the term, most courses were closed, and he enrolled at Government Law College, Bombay, where he discovered that he had a gift for unravelling the intricacies of jurisprudence. He was an excellent barrister at his time.

On December 7, 2002, Nani was critically ill and taken to Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai. He died on Wednesday, December 11, 2002.

The ailing planet class 11 extra questions:

1. What is the Green Movement? Why has it become popular all over the world?

Ans. The Green Movement was started in 1972 in New Zealand. It has informed the people that the earth is a living organism which needs to be cared for. It tells us to co-operate and co-exist with other species. The Green Movement takes a holistic view of the situation and seeks to preserve the environment and continuous development.

2. What is the holistic and ecological view of the world that has emerged in recent times?

Ans. The holistic and ecological view is that earth itself is an organism which needs to be cared for. It has its metabolic needs and vital processes which need to be respected and preserved. We need to save the earth for our future generations.

3. What do you mean by ‘sustainable development’?

Ans. ‘Sustainable development is the only way to save the planet earth. It means that development should not be at the cost of the environment. The resources of the planet should be used with restraint so that they are available for future generations too.

4. What was the significance of placing a mirror in the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia?

Ans. In the zoo at Lusaka in Zambia, a mirror has been placed in the cage under which a notice reads, ‘The world’s most dangerous animal’. This notice tries to lighten the fact that we humans are the most destructive creatures on earth. The zoo authorities have deliberately done this to make us realise that we are the real culprits. This step of the zoo authorities up brings some hope.

5. What are the earth’s principal biological systems? What is happening to them and what can be the results?

Ans. The four principal biological systems are fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. They are the. Foundation of the global economy as they supply us with food and raw materials required by the industries. At present, these biological systems are under threat and stress. Shortly, fisheries will deplete, grasslands will turn into wastelands, forests will disappear, and croplands will also deteriorate. We need to awake and arise before it’s too late. Sense and sensibility are required on the part of all human beings.

The ailing planet class 11 important questions:

1. Locate the lines in the text that support the title “The Ailing Planet”.

Ans. The following lines support the title “The Ailing Planet”.
1)“Are we to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and an ailing environment.
2)A three-year study using satellites and aerial photography conducted by the United Nations warns that the environment has deteriorated so severely that it is ‘critical’ in many of the eighty-eight countries investigated.

2.What does the notice “The world’s most dangerous animals” at a cage in the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia, signify?

Ans. The notice “The world’s most dangerous animals” at a cage in the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia signifies that man is solely responsible for all the deterioration in environment and depletion of natural resources. Thus man is the world’s most dangerous animal.

3. How are the earth’s principal biological systems being depleted?

Ans. The earth’s central biological systems are being depleted by excessive use. Fishing is quite common. Forests are being cut to obtain firewood for cooking. Grasslands are turning into barren wastelands, and croplands are deteriorating as their productivity has been impaired.

4. Why does the author agree that the growth of world population is one of the strongest factors distorting the future of human society?

Ans. The growth of the world population puts a severe strain on the earth’s central biological systems. Due to excessive human claims, these reach an unsustainable level where their productivity is damaged. Development is not possible if the world population continues to increase. The increasing population brings hunger, poverty and unemployment.

5. We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers; we have borrowed it from our children’.

Ans. This is a revolutionary statement by Mr Lester Brown. It focuses attention on the position of man in this universe. People take it for granted that the earth is theirs as they have inherited it from their forefathers. They forget the fact that the real owners of the land are our children. We are only custodians or trustees and must continue the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. We must not strip the natural world’ of the resources future generations would need. In our effort to feed the increasing millions, we are plundering our children’s heritage. We have open overusing natural resources for our present purposes. Destruction of natural resources will create an ailing environment. Our consumption of non-renewable resources should be checked. We must preserve natural resources and hand them over to children intact as they are the actual owners.