English CBSE Class 11 NCERT Hornbill Chapter 5 The Ailing Planet Free Solution of Textbook Questions and Answers


(Textbook Questions)

Understanding the text

Answer: Following lines support the title ‘The Ailing Planet’ –

The earth’s vital signs reveal a patient in declining health.

The First Brandt Report raised the question — “Are we to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and ailing environment?”

In large areas of the world, human claims on these systems are reaching an unsustainable level, a point where their productivity is being impaired.

When this happens, fisheries collapse, forests disappear, grasslands are converted into barren wastelands, and croplands deteriorate.

In a protein-conscious and protein hungry world, over-fishing is common every day.

Since the tropical forest is, in the words of Dr Myers, “the powerhouse of evolution”, several species of life face extinction as a result of its destruction.

The World Bank estimates that a five-fold increase in the rate of forest planting is needed to cope with the expected fuelwood demand in the year 2000.




Answer: In that cage no animal is placed but a mirror is placed. So visitor can see his / her own image. The notice thus signifies that destruction of environment and ecology caused by human being is the largest.



Answer: Fisheries, forests, grassland and croplands are the four principal of earth’s biological system. In large part of the world man has exploited these to an unsustainable level.

Thus the whole ecological system is getting depleted with no sign of restoration to sustainable levels.




Answer: Rate of increase in population has been growing. More people are being added at rapid pace. Between year 1800 and 1900 population increased by 1 billion. During 20th century this increase was 3.7 billion.

Such rapid increase has put strain on natural resources. Addition of more people means larger number of people without work.

Hence growth of world population is distorting future of human society.


Talking about the text

Answer: As per article 48 A of Constitution of India, government must protect and improve environment. It should safeguard forests and wildlife. The constitution provides that practice of casteisn, untouchability and bonded labour shall be abolished.

Laws pertaining to none of the above aspects have been enforced by government even after so many years of independence. People do not even follow simple rules of traffic.

Thus it is said that laws are never respected nor enforced in India.


Answer: It is our duty to take care of environment and ecology of earth. This planet is not our inheritance. Rather we have borrowed to from our children. Thus it is our duty to hand it over to next generation in a better condition that we are currently facing.

Cutting of forests has resulted into global warming and denuded landscape. Quality of air and water has deteriorated a lot. It is under this background that the author has asked the question to human beings.


Answer: It is one of the famous quote of Lester Brown.

Humans has been so selfish to its own interest that they has been called the most dangerous animal on the planet. In the blind pursuit of their needs, man has eroded forests, disturbed ecological balance and polluted environment. It is feared that the level of damage has attained critical proportion.

Thus in order to remind human being about the difficulty new generation might be facing, the statements was made. We all surely need to protect environment.


Answer: The space on the earth is limited. Its resources are limited. In order to maintain the ecological balance the development needs to be sustainable. We should be able to give to Mother Nature as much as we take from it.

When more number of people start chasing limited number of resources, depletion of resources starts. Forest are destroyed. Deserts start spreading. Many species become extinct. Quality of air, soil and water gets deteriorated.

More number of people does not mean more workers. Generally growth in population results into more people without work.

Thus the problem of overpopulation directly affects our daily life.


Thinking about Language

S No. Latin phrase Meaning
1 Prima facie Based on first impression
2 Ad hoc Unplanned, Makeshift, Temporary
3 In camera In private
4 Ad infinitum Again and again, Forever
5 Mutatis mutandis In comparison to
6 caveat Condition, Clause
7 Tabula rasa Absence of idea or goal, Blank state of mind


Working with words


Literal – hold

The boy gripped his mother’s finger tightly

Figurative – Affected, Taken over

A great fear of uncertainty gripped her.



Literal – Sunrise

Birds come out of their next at dawn.

Figurative – Realise, Understand

Suddenly it dawned upon Ramesh that he could move sideways to save his life.



Literal – To guide

The waiter ushered me to the best table of the hotel

Figurative – begin something new, Gerald

Invention of electricity ushered in a new era for humanity.



Literal – A metal piece of small denomination used as money

Please give me five coins of one rupee each.

Figurative – To start something new, Invent, Create

Rohan coined a term for late coming.

Sohan coined a new procedure for making sauce.



Literal – An official document required for travelling abroad.

I have submitted my application to obtain passport.

Figurative – Method, Way, Key

Working hard is a sure passport to achievement.



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