Posted: Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Deadline for completion: Noon, Sunday, 6 September 2020

Submit your essay to:

Topic: Birth of a New Country

Posted by: Dr Chandra Shekhar Balachandran, Founder & Director, The Institute of Geographical Studies.


A person named Swami Nithyananda has announced the formation of a separate country called Kailasa. He has been very controversial. He is accused of several criminal acts and has fled India.

There are diverse opinions about the person. Set those aside for a bit.

A recent news report said that he has announced a Central Bank, and a currency (Kailasian $).

Kailasa, the country, is rumored to be off the Pacific coast of Central America — an island allegedly purchased from some country in the region.

This is a good ‘hook’ with which to explore how a country is established and made functional.

Read the above story and explore other resources online to assemble a document that clearly explains the process by which a new country arises.

  1. Where is Kailasa actually located? If possible, locate it in Google Maps or Google Earth.
  2. What are its geographical characteristics? Include:
    • Site features (what is in the country)
      • Natural site features (soils, climate, hydrography, topography, etc.)
      • Cultural site features (human-made features such as school, places of worship, gardens, etc.)
    • Situation features (how is Kailasa connected to other places; for example: travel connections, trade connections, cultural connections, etc.)
  3. How should Swami Nithyananda and his organization go about it? What are the challenges they may face?
  4. What are the requirements they have to fulfill?
  5. What will be the nature of the population of Kailasa?
  6. What will the people of Kailasa be called? (This is called demonym).
  7. Who are eligible to become citizens of Kailasa?
  8. Ask any other questions that come to your mind and try to answer them. Asking geography questions is a very important skill!

Submitting your assignment

  1. Write your assignment in a Word document, with due attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting.
  2. This exercise will help you integrate many diverse disciplines. Since this is a geography exercise, I want you to focus on geography concepts and applications.
  3. Be sure to include the following information in your document:
    • Your full name
    • Your location (city and state)
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Your email address
    • Grade or standard you are in (if you attend formal school)
    • Name of your school or mention ‘Homeschooling’ as appropriate.
  4. Email the document to reach me by the deadline.
  5. I will schedule a group discussion session online (Zoom) with those who submit good quality assignments. Date and time will be announced later.



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