The Ailing Planets: the Green Movement’s Role Questions and Answers for Class 11 

Engage with critical environmental issues through NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 4, “The Ailing Planets: The Green Movement’s Role.” Explore the profound discourse on ecological concerns and the Green Movement’s significance. Thoughtfully curated questions and answers accompany the text, fostering a deep understanding of environmental responsibility. These solutions empower students to grasp the urgency of sustainability while preparing comprehensively for exams. Embrace the call for planetary healing with these enlightening NCERT Solutions.

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter – 4 The Ailing Planets: the Green Movement’s Role Questions and Answers 

Understanding the text

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

Answer: (a) The Earth’s crucial indicators expose a patient in deteriorating condition. 

(b) Approximately three to one hundred million other diverse species continue to remain unnamed, hidden in undignified obscurity.

(c) Should we bequeath to future generations a planet scorched by advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes, and a deteriorating environment?

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

Answer: Within the zoo located in Lusaka, Zambia, stands an enclosure bearing a sign that declares, ‘The planet’s most perilous creature.’ Yet, inside the enclosure, no creature resides—only a mirror that reflects your own image. Through the collaborative endeavors of numerous organizations across various nations, a fresh realization has emerged within the most hazardous creature on Earth. This entity has come to comprehend the sagacity of transitioning from a dominion-centered framework to one founded on cooperation.

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

Answer: The primary biological systems of the Earth are undergoing depletion as they reach an unsustainable threshold. Productivity is currently being compromised. The planet’s biological systems, encompassing fisheries, forests, grasslands, and croplands, are undergoing rapid depletion. Forests are being cleared for firewood, while valuable dung, a potent fertilizer, is being burned for illumination and cooking. We are nearing a juncture where the resources essential for existence are on the verge of exhaustion.

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

Answer: The author concurs that the expansion of the global population stands as one of the most potent factors distorting the trajectory of human society, as it obstructs progress. The rate of world population growth is exceedingly rapid, having now exceeded 6 billion individuals. This issue has cast a shadow over the prospects of human society. Should this population trend persist, it threatens the collapse of fisheries, the depletion of forests, the transformation of grasslands into barren wastelands, and the deterioration of croplands. Furthermore, this trajectory fosters a society where the affluent amass more wealth while the disadvantaged become increasingly impoverished—a situation that is morally objectionable.

The belief that an increase in the number of children directly equates to a larger labor force is not accurate. Unless effective measures to control the population are put in place to alter this course, the dreams and ambitions of individuals are destined to fade away.

Talking about the text

Discuss in groups of four,

1. Laws are never respected nor enforced in India.

Answer: To a certain extent, laws in India often go unheeded and inadequately enforced. The concept of sustainable development, which entails progress that addresses present needs while safeguarding the potential of forthcoming generations to meet their own requirements, gained prominence through the efforts of the World Commission on Environment and Development. However, this approach risks depleting the Earth’s resources that future generations will rely upon.

The notion of sustainable development was first popularized in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development. Regrettably, the Parliamentary Estimate Committee has underscored the alarming depletion of India’s forests over the past four decades. The country is losing its forests at a staggering rate of 3.7 million acres annually. Despite the existence of laws enshrined in the Constitution of India, their effectiveness has been limited. People in India resort to felling trees and hunting wildlife to meet their needs, often disregarding the legal framework. These actions are undertaken with little regard for the consequences and are often unimpeded by the lax enforcement of regulations.

This lack of strict adherence to laws is not confined to a specific domain; it permeates various facets of life. Many individuals tend to flout rules without due consideration for the potential consequences. The erosion of respect for laws is evident, indicating a broader negligence of civic responsibilities. Nonetheless, it is imperative that, for the betterment of the nation, we uphold and honor the laws that govern our society.

2. “Are we to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes and an ailing environment?”

Answer: Indeed, we seem to be on the path of bequeathing to future generations a planet afflicted by advancing deserts, a depleted landscape, and a fragile environment. The prevalence of underdevelopment and poverty stands as the primary catalyst behind such dire circumstances. The United Nations Conference on Human Resources has duly acknowledged the perils confronting the present ecological system. This acknowledgment draws its origins from the preceding international commissions, with the Brandt Commission, which included the esteemed Indian figure Mr. L.K. Jha, taking a noteworthy role in addressing ecological and environmental matters.

The inaugural Brandt Report posed a crucial query: “Are we willing to pass down to our successors a scorched planet characterized by advancing deserts, an impoverished landscape, and a deteriorating environment?” At the heart of the global economic system lie the four pivotal pillars of biological systems—fisheries, forests, grasslands, and croplands. The sustainability of these systems is paramount, for when they veer into an unsustainable realm, the very foundations of productivity are eroded.

Biologists advocate the staggering notion that a significant number, estimated between three and one hundred million, of unidentified and feeble species continue to exist in the shadows of obscurity. These species are a testament to the intricate tapestry of life, yet they languish unnoticed and overlooked.

3. “We have not inherited this earth from our forefathers; we have borrowed it from our children”.

Answer: The statement ‘we have not inherited this earth from our forefathers, we have borrowed it from our children’ is said by Mr. Laster Brown. Of all the statements made by Margaret Thatcher during the years of her Prime Ministership, none has passed so decisively into the current coin of English usage as her felicitous words: “No generation has a freehold on this earth. All we have is a life tenancy – with a full repairing lease.”

4. The problems of overpopulation that directly affect our everyday

Answer: The population of India is estimated to be 920 million today – more than the entire population of Africa and South America put together. Nobody is acquaintanced with the problematic conditions. As per estimation people in India would die of hunger in these cottages unless population control is not given topmost priority. We have begun to take a holistic view of every basis of our existence. The emerging new world vision has introduced the era of responsibility. It is our duty to protect our earth from being depleted, otherwise we shall have to give the answer to the future generation.

The present world population is estimated at 5.7 billion. Every four days the global population increases by one million. Illiterate people, especially those living in rural areas are ignorant and superstitious. The ignorant people create economic and social difficulties due their own actions in the matter of overpopulation. They believe that children will help in their old age. We are failing to find any alternative to control the overpopulation. So the problems of overpopulation that directly affect our everyday life.

Thinking about language

The phrase ‘inter alia’ meaning ‘among other things’ is one of the many Latin expressions commonly used in English. Find out what these Latin phrases mean.

1. prima facie

2. ad hoc

3. in camera

4. ad infinitum

5. mutatis mutandis

6. caveat

7. tabula rasa


1. Initially

2. Temporarily

3. Being monitored

4. Continuously and permanently

5. With appropriate modifications

6. Menacing

7. State of being impacted

Working with words

I. Locate the following phrases in the text and study their connotation. 

1. gripped the imagination of

2. dawned upon

3. ushered in

4. passed into current coin

5. passport of the future

II. The words ‘grip’, ‘dawn’, ‘usher’, ‘coin’, ‘passport’ have a literal as well as a figurative meaning. Write pairs of sentences using each word in the literal as well as the figurative sense.

 1. Grip  – Literal Meaning: The girls gripped her mother’s hand.

Figurative Meaning: Some players were griped by Dhoni’s sixes.

2. Dawn – Literal Meaning: get up during the dawn to meditate. 

Figurative Meaning: Knowingly it dawned on him that he had been made fun of.

3. Usher – Literal Meaning: The watchman ushered him inside the gate.

Figurative Meaning: History ushered him in the medieval period.

4. Coin – Literal Meaning: The beggar was demanding several coins from the shopkeeper.

Figurative Meaning: They have coined new words.

5. Passport  – Literal Meaning: Passports are the major requirements to go in foreign countries. 

Figurative Meaning: Your constant practice is your passport to find your goal.

Things to do

1. Make posters to highlight the importance of the Green Movement.

Answer: Attempt for yourself.

2. Maintain a record of the trees cut down and the parks demolished in your area, or any other act that violates the environment. Write to newspapers reporting on any such acts that disturb you. 

Answer: Attempt for yourself.


Understanding the text 

Environmental issues 

Social issues

Talking about the text 

Contemporary issues 

Envisioning the future

Thinking about language

Latin expressions commonly used

Working with words 


Finding literal and figurative meanings

Things to do

Making children aware of their responsibilities towards the environment

Leave a Reply