Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Final Key with Detailed Solutions – UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam – 2020

 

Final Key with Detailed Solutions 

UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam – 2020 (Paper – 1)

 

UPSC Civil Services (Prelims) Examination – SET B – Answer Key

 

Q1. With reference to the carbon nanotubes, consider the following statements:

  1. They can be used as carriers of drugs and antigens in the human body.
  2. They can be made into artificial blood capillaries for an injured part of human body.
  3. They can be used in biochemical sensors.
  4. Carbon nanotubes are biodegradable

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 1, 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, and 4

Answer: D

S1: The nanotube’s structure allows it to be used as a container for transporting a drug in the body. A molecule of the drug can be placed inside the nanotube cage. This keeps the drug ‘wrapped up’ until it reaches the site where it is needed. In this way, a dose that might be damaging to other parts of the body can be delivered safely to, for example, a tumour.

See https://www.scielo.br/pdf/bjps/v49n4/v49n4a02.pdf

S2: This remains a bit under-examined, but there is potential, see – Blood Compatible Carbon Nanotubes – Nano-based Neoproteoglycans  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4114241/

Also, Nanofibrous technology can be used to create scaffolds that mimic the natural extracellular matrix of blood vessels. See “Artificial blood vessel: The Holy Grail of peripheral vascular surgery” at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0741521404016969 and https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2020/tb/c9tb01849b#!divAbstract

S3: This is correct. See https://technology.nasa.gov/patent/TOP2-104  

NASA has successfully demonstrated a miniaturized electronics technology for in-vitro detecting specific biomarker signatures, which is based on incorporating embedded vertically aligned carbon nanotubes…in diagnostics devices.

S4: Recently, it has been demonstrated that functionalized carbon nanotubes can be degraded by oxidative enzymes.

 

Q2. Consider the following activities :

  1. Spraying pesticides on a crop field
  2. Inspecting the craters of an active volcano
  3. Collecting breath samples from spouting whales for DNA analysis

At the present level of technology, which of the above activities can be successfully carried out using drones?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d)1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

S1: This is widely used in developed countries to save manpower.

S2:  Drones can go where volcanologists can’t, e.g. craters of volcanoes, giving researchers access to potentially life-saving data. See https://www.insightsonindia.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/UPSC-prelims-questions-paper-2020-GS-paper-1.pdf

S3: See recent article on this: https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/13/16468698/drone-humpback-whale-microbiome-health-conservation

Scientists flew a small drone over the blowhole of a few humpback whales in the US and Canada to collect the microbes living inside their breath. Sampling the community of microbes and bacteria living inside whales, called the microbiome, can help us better understand what makes a healthy whale, and what happens when a whale gets sick.

 

Q3. The experiment will employ a trio of spacecraft flying in formation in the shape of equilateral triangle that has sides one million km long, with lasers shining between the craft.” the experiment in the question refers to?

(a) Voyager-2

(b) New horizons

(c) LISA pathfinder

(d) Evolved LISA

Answer: D

LISA Pathfinder was a proof of concept mission with arm size reduced to 40 cm, as compared to the million km long arm in the actual LISA.

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a mission led by the European Space Agency to detect and accurately measure gravitational waves—tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time—from astronomical sources. LISA would be the first dedicated space-based gravitational wave detector. It aims to measure gravitational waves directly by using laser interferometry.

The LISA concept has a constellation of three spacecraft arranged in an equilateral triangle with sides 2.5 million km long, flying along an Earth-like heliocentric orbit. The distance between the satellites is precisely monitored to detect a passing gravitational wave.

 

Q4.  Consider the following statements:

  1. Genetic changes can be introduced in the cells that produce eggs or sperms of a prospective parent
  2. A person’s genome can be edited before birth at the early embryonic stage
  3. Human induced pluripotent stem cells can be injected into the embryo of a pig.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

S1: The DNA in any cell can be altered through environmental exposure to certain chemicals, ultraviolet radiation, other genetic insults, or even errors that occur during the process of replication. If a mutation occurs in a germ-line cell (one that will give rise to gametes, i.e., egg or sperm cells), then this mutation can be passed to an organism’s offspring. This means that every cell in the developing embryo will carry the mutation. As opposed to germ-line mutations, somatic mutations occur in cells found elsewhere in an organism’s body. Such mutations are passed to daughter cells during the process of mitosis, but they are not passed to offspring conceived via sexual reproduction.

S2: This is correct, see news at MIT review https://www.technologyreview.com/2018/11/25/138962/exclusive-chinese-scientists-are-creating-crispr-babies/ ). This was controversially achieved by a team at the Southern University of Science and Technology, in Shenzhen, which recruited couples in an effort to create the first gene-edited babies. They planned to eliminate a gene called CCR5 in hopes of rendering the offspring resistant to HIV, smallpox, and cholera. Also see this article https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00673-1 and this research piece https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6813942/

S3: This is correct as well, see https://europepmc.org/article/pmc/3883495

Domesticated animals such as dogs, pigs and cows are considered excellent models for long-term experiments in regenerative medicines, and biomedical research in general, because of their similarities in physiology with humans compared to the laboratory mouse or rat.

So, the techniques used to generate induced pluripotent stem cells from mouse and human were also suitable in pigs.

 

Q5 What is the importance of using pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in India?

  1. These vaccines are effective against pneumonia as well as meningitis and sepsis.
  2. Dependence on antibiotics that are not effective against drug-resistant bacteria can be reduced.
  3. These vaccines have no side effects and cause no allergic reactions

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B

S1: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) can prevent pneumococcal disease.

Pneumococcal disease refers to any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria, including Pneumonia and sepsis (which is a bloodstream infection disease in children), So 1 is correct.

See https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/pcv13.html

S2: This is also correct, see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6183139/

Vaccines as tools to reduce Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) have historically been under-recognized, yet the positive effect in reducing AMR has been well established. For example Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) as well as Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcal) conjugate vaccines have impressive track records in not only preventing life threatening diseases caused by these bacteria, but also reducing antibiotic use and AMR.

S3: Mild side effects of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV), the version of the pneumococcal vaccine given to adults and children over the age of 2, include:

  • mild soreness or hardness at the site of the injection lasting 1 to 3 days
  • a slightly raised temperature
  • More serious side effects of the PPV vaccine, such as allergic reactions, are rare.

 

Q6. In India, The term “Public Key Infrastructure” is used in the context of?

(a) Digital security infrastructure

(b) Food security infrastructure

(c) Health care and education infrastructure

(d) Telecommunication and transportation infrastructure

Answer: A

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a technology for authenticating users and devices in the digital world. The basic idea is to have one or more trusted parties digitally sign documents certifying that a particular cryptographic key belongs to a particular user or device.

 

Q7. Which of the following statements are correct regarding the general difference between plant cells and animal cells?

  1. Plant cells have cellulose cell walls whilst animal cells do not.
  2. Plant cells do not have plasma membrane unlike animals cells which do
  3. Mature plant cell has one large vacuole whilst animal cell has many small vacuoles

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C

S1 and S2: Cells are the basic unit of a living organism and where all life processes are carried out.

Animal cells and plant cells share the common components of a nucleus, cytoplasm, mitochondria and a cell membrane.

Plant cells have three extra components, a vacuole, chloroplast and a cell wall.

S3: Vacuoles are storage bubbles found in cells. They are found in both animal and plant cells but are much larger in plant cells. Vacuoles might store food or any variety of nutrients a cell might need to survive.

See https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/znyycdm/articles/zmrtng8

 

Q8. Which of the following are the reasons/factors for exposure to benzene pollution?

  1. Automobile exhaust
  2. Tobacco smoke
  3. Wood burning
  4. Using varnished wooden furniture
  5. Using products made of polyurethane

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 4 only

(c) 1, 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 only

Answer: D

S1: This is well known.

S2: Benzene is a by-product of the combustion of tobacco in cigarettes.

S3: Wood smoke was the biggest contributor of many organic compounds, including benzene, ethene and ethyne, all of which are known to be harmful to human health. Up to 70 per cent of benzene detected in the air in Northern Europe was from wood smoke. See https://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/4si4_en.pdf

S4: Benzene, ethylene glycol or formaldehyde could be released from varnished wooden furniture or new carpets.

S5: This is correct, see http://gpcpe.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Plastic-and-Health-The-Hidden-Costs-of-a-Plastic-Planet-February-2019.pdf Polyurethane (PUR and PU) is a polymer composed of organic units joined by carbamate (urethane) links. While most polyurethanes are thermosetting polymers that do not melt when heated, thermoplastic polyurethanes are also available.

 

Q9. If another global financial crisis happens in the near future , which of the following actions/policies are most likely to give some immunity to India?

  1. Not depending on the short term foreign borrowing.
  2. Opening up to more foreign banks
  3. Maintaining full capital account convertibility

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: A

S1: This makes sense because short-term FII money is volatile. So, 1 is correct.

S2: This will further increase India’s exposure to foreign money and may in fact aggravate financial crisis. So, 2 is wrong.

S3: Full CAC implies free movement of currency out of the country for both current and capital account transactions such as short-term and long-term debt. This will only make India more vulnerable to such a crisis. So, 3 is wrong.

 

Q10. If you withdraw 1,00,000 from your in cash from your Demand Deposit Account at your bank, the immediate effect on aggregate money supply in the economy will be

(a) To reduce it by 1,00,000

(b) To increase it by 1,00,000

(c) To increase it by more than 1,00,000

(d) To leave it unchanged

Answer: D

It will remain unchanged since the money supply includes both cash/currency with public at hand and demand deposits. Withdrawing cash from demand deposit only puts it with the public, hence no change in M.

 

Q11. With reference to the cultural history of India, which one of the following is the correct description of the term ‘paramitas’?

(a) The earliest dharmashastra texts written in aphoristic (Sutra) style

(b) Philosophical schools that did not accept the authority of Vedas.

(c) Perfections whose attainment led to the Bodhisattva path

(d) Powerful merchant guilds of early medieval south India.

Answer: C

These are 10 perfections, including generosity, compassion etc. on the completion of which one gets nearer the path of a Bodhisattva.

 

Q12. In the Indian history, The Rakhmabai case of 1884 revolved around

  1. Women’s rights to gain education
  2. Age of consent
  3. Restitution of conjugal rights

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B

Rakhmabai made her mark in history due to the legal case she was involved in, which contributed to the enactment of the Age of Consent Act, 1891.

In 1885, after 12 years of marriage, Bhikaji sought “restitution of conjugal rights”, where the hearing and judgement was presided by Justice Robert Hill Pinhey. Rukhmabai had refused to live with the man she was married to as a child, as she had no say in the marriage.

It was a case that got a lot of attention in Britain too, where women’s magazines covered it. The ripples that the case created led to the influence on the passage of the Age of Consent Act, 1891, which made child marriages illegal across the British Empire.

Education wasn’t an issue in this case, so 3 is wrong.

 

Q13. Indigo cultivation in India declined by the beginning of the 20th century because of

(a) Peasants resistance to the oppressive conduct of planters

(b) Its unprofitable in the world market because of new inventions

(c) National leaders’ opposition to the cultivation of Indigo

(d) Government control over the planters

Answer: B

Faced by high prices charged by the British traders for indigo dye, German chemists had already started their search for making synthetic indigo and Adolf Baeyer succeeded in synthesizing it in 1882. This was followed by research by other German chemists, namely, Johannes Pfleger and Karl Heumann in the first decade of 20th century. The synthetic dye was much cheaper and blew the final blow to the natural plant produced indigo dye and indigo crop became a part of history. Now most of the indigo dye used world-over is made synthetically.

See https://insa.nic.in/writereaddata/UpLoadedFiles/IJHS/Vol53_3_2018__Art05.pdf

 

Q14. Wellesley established the Fort William college at Calcutta because:

(a) He was asked by the board of directors at London to do so

(b) He wanted to revive interest in oriental learning in India

(c) He wanted to provide William Carey and his associates with employment

(d) He wanted to train British civilians for administrative purpose in India.

Answer: D

The purpose of establishing this college was to be to teach British officers of Indian Languages. For the purpose of education, here has been established a library and put the many historical books. The court of directors of the British East India Company was never in support of a training college in Kolkata (Calcutta). Then a separate College, East Indian Company College was established in 1807 at England but the Fort William College was the center for teach different languages.

 

Q15. With reference to the history of India, ‘ulgulan’ or the great tumult is the description of the which of the following?

(a) The revolt of 1857

(b) The Mappila rebellion of 1921

(c) The Indigo revolt of 1859-1860

(d) Birsa Munda’s revolt of 1899-1900

Answer: D

During the last decade of the nineteenth century, the Mundas rose under Birsa Munda in a religious movement or rebellion (“ulgulan”) with an agrarian and political content. They aimed to establish a Munda rule in the land by killing thikadars, jagirdars, rajas and halcims.

See https://www.epw.in/engage/article/setting-record-straight-birsa-munda-and-his-political-legacy

 

Q16. With reference to the Scholars/literatures of ancient India, consider the following statements:

  1. Panini is associated with Pushyamitra
  2. Amarsimha is associated with Harshavardhana
  3. Kalidasa is associated with chandragupta-II

Which of the above given statements is/are correct-

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C

S1: Pushyamitra Shunga ruled c. 185 – c. 149 BCE, but Panini is dated to about 4th BCE. So, 1 is wrong. Also, as you would see below, since 2 is correct,

S2: Amarasimha (IAST: Amara-siṃha, c. CE 375) was a Sanskrit grammarian and poet from ancient India, of whose personal history hardly anything is known. He is said to have been “one of the nine gems that adorned the throne of Vikramaditya, not Harshavardhana.

S3: The noted Sanskrit poet Kalidasa is said to be the court poet of Chandragupta II.

 

Q17. In the context of the recent advances in human reproductive technology, Pronuclear transfer technology is used for:

(a) Fertilization of egg into vitro by the donor sperm

(b) Genetic modification of sperm producing cells

(c) Development of stem cells into functional embryos

(d) Prevention of mitochondrial diseases in offspring

Answer: D

In pronuclear transfer, the mother’s egg is first fertilized with the father’s sperm, producing a zygote. The pronuclei of the egg and sperm are then removed from the zygote and inserted into a donor egg that has been fertilized and has had its own nucleus removed (a pronucleus is the nucleus of the egg or sperm at the stage of fertilization prior to nucleus fusion). The zygote derived from the donor egg is then implanted into the mother’s uterus. It is NOT fully in vitro.

Option D is correct, this is a new strategy to prevent transmission of mitochondrial diseases in offspring, see https://academic.oup.com/hmg/article/20/R2/R168/640414

 

Q18. With the present state of development Artificial Intelligence can effectively do which of the following?

  1. Bring down electricity consumption in industrial units
  2. Create meaningful short stories and songs
  3. Disease diagnosis
  4. Text to speech conversation
  5. Wireless transmission of electrical energy

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

(a) 1, 2, 3 and 5 only

(b) 1, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2, 4 and 5 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer: D

S1: In buildings and factories, AI can monitor and collect information about energy consumption in the form of numbers, text, images and videos. Evaluating what is observed, AI can manage energy usage, reducing it during peak hours, for example. Problems such as bottlenecks can be identified and equipment failures detected – even before they happen.

S2: Here is the evidence for AI creating meaningful short stories https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2019/03/29/artificial-intelligence-can-now-write-amazing-content-what-does-that-mean-for-humans/#1d84108450ab

S3 and S4: AI is widely used in text-to-speech conversion and disease diagnosis.

S5: You can couple two systems to recharge one of them via electromagnetic field. The area remains underdeveloped but it has been shown to be technically possible.

See https://www.theverge.com/ces/2017/1/6/14194922/dell-latitutde-7285-laptop-wireless-charging-battery-keyboard-ces-2017

 

Q19. With reference to the “Visible Light Communication” technology, Which of the following statements are correct?

  1. VLC uses electromagnetic spectrum wavelengths 375 to 780 nm
  2. VLC is known as long range optical wireless communication
  3. VLC can transmit large amounts of data faster than bluetooth
  4. VLC has no electromagnetic interference

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 1, 2 and 4 only

(c) 1, 3 and 4 only

(d) 2, 3 and 4 only

Answer: C

S1 and S2: Visible light communication (VLC) is a data communications variant which uses visible light between 400 and 800 THz (780–375 nm). VLC is a subset of optical wireless communications technologies. But, it is short-range communication. So, S2 is wrong.

S3: The technology uses fluorescent lamps to transmit signals at 10 kbit/s, or LEDs for up to 500 Mbit/s over short distances. But, types of VLC such as Li-Fi can transmit signals at several MBps, much faster than Bluetooth which can transfer only upto 25 Mbit/s, so 3 is correct.

Also, aside from the size of the visible light spectrum, light travels 186,000 miles per second, which is way faster than the 344 meters per second traveled by radio waves in air (used by Bluetooth). See this piece as well which claims VLC is a fast way of transmitting the internet https://www.ee.ucl.ac.uk/pilab/research-1/visible-light-communications

S4: Visible Light Communication (VLC) is a preferred communication technique because of its high bandwidth and immunity to interference from electromagnetic sources. So, 4 is correct. See https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352864816300335

 

Q20. With reference to the Blockchain Technology, consider the following statements:

  1. It is a public ledger that everyone can inspect, which no single user controls
  2. The structure and design of blockchain is such that all the data in it are about cryptocurrency only
  3. Applications that depend on the basic features of blockchain can be developed without anybody’s permission

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1 and 3 only

Answer: D

A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, and oftentimes public, digital ledger consisting of records called blocks that is used to record transactions across many computers so that any involved block cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks.

This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions independently and relatively inexpensively. A blockchain database is managed autonomously using a peer-to-peer network and a distributed timestamping server. They are authenticated by mass collaboration powered by collective self-interests. Such a design facilitates robust workflow where participants’ uncertainty regarding data security is marginal.

The great advantage to an open, permissionless, or public, blockchain network is that guarding against bad actors is not required and no access control is needed. This means that applications can be added to the network without the approval or trust of others, using the blockchain as a transport layer.

S2 is clearly wrong, Blockchain can be used for a variety of purposes of which cryptocurrency is only one of them.

 

Q21. A parliamentary system of government is one which

(a) All political parties in the parliament are represented in the government

(b) The government is responsible to the Parliament and can be removed by it

(c) The government is elected by the people and can be removed by them

(d) The government is chosen by the parliament but can not be removed by it before completion of a fixed term

Answer: B

This is obvious since people don’t remove the government (option C), it is the Parliament that can remove the government.

 

Q22. Which part of the constitution of India declares the ideals of welfare state?

(a) Directive Principles of State policy

(b) Fundamental Rights

(c) Preamble

(d) Seventh schedule

Answer: A

Straightforward.

 

Q23. Consider the following statements

  1. The constitution of India defines its basic structure in terms of federalism, secularism, fundamental rights and democracy
  2. The constitution of India provides for the ‘judicial review’ to safeguard the citizen’s liberties and to preserve the ideals on which the constitution is based.

Which of the above given statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B

S1: The Supreme Court has defined the Basic structure, not the Constitution, so S1 is wrong.

S2: Straightforward – Articles 13 of the Constitution, see here https://indiankanoon.org/doc/134715/

 

  1. One common agreement between Gandhism and Marxism is

(a) The final goal of a stateless society

(b) Class struggle

(c) Abolition of private property

(d) Economic determinism

Answer: A

Quoting from the source below, “When Marx spoke of the stateless communist society of the future, he did believe that it was a historical necessity and did not therefore depend on the ethical goodness of this individual or that, of this class or that. Somewhat similarly, when Gandhi speaks of Rama Rajya, a social order free from political bindings and consisting of self-governing individuals, he was really convinced that this is a destiny which mankind in its quest for perfection has been aiming at all the time.”

See https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/149663/7/07_chapter_04.pdf

 

Q25. In the context of India which one of the following is the characteristic appropriate for Bureaucracy?

(a) An agency for widening the scope for parliamentary democracy

(b) An agency for strengthening the structure of federalism

(c) An agency for facilitating the political stability and economic growth

(d) An agency for the implementation of public policy

Answer: D

Straightforward question.

 

Q26. The preamble to the constitution of India is

(a) A part of the constitution but has no legal effect

(b) Not a part of the constitution and has no legal effect either

(c) A part of the constitution and has the same legal effect as any other part

(d) A part of the constitution but has no legal effect independently of other part.

Answer: D 

It is a part of the Constitution as declared by the SC. It certaintly does not have a legal effect independently since it cannot be enforced in a court of law.

Although not enforceable in court on its own (option C is wrong), the Preamble states the objects of the Constitution, and acts as an aid during the interpretation of Articles when language is found ambiguous. Therefore, it begets some kind of legal effect when read alongwith the constitution, not independent from it. Option D is more appropriate.

 

Q27. Gold tranche(Reserve tranche) refers to

(a) A loan system of World bank

(b) One of the operations of a central bank

(c) A credit system of WTO granted to its members

(d) A credit system granted by IMF to its members

Answer: D

A reserve tranche is a portion of the required quota of currency each member country must provide to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that can be utilized for its own purposes—without a service fee or economic reform conditions.

 

Q28. With reference to the provisions contained in part IV of the Constitution of India, Which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. They shall be enforceable by the courts
  2. They shall not be enforceable by any courts
  3. The principles laid down in this part are to influence the making of laws by the state.

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 2 and 3 only

Answer: D

Straightforward

 

Q29. Consider the following statements

  1. According to Constitution of India, A person who eligible to vote can be made a minister in a state for six months even if he/she is not a member of the legislature of that state
  2. According to the representation of people act, 1951, a person convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment for at least five years is permanently disqualified from contesting an election even after his release from prison.

Which of the above given statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: A

(If one overthinks the answer could be ‘D’ – overthinking that Voter eligibility is not mentioned in the Constitution and Age 25 is not mentioned. As you know UPSC doesn’t reward overthinking. Here the question is related to checking the concept rather than fact)

S1: Not quite technically true, since one who is eligible to vote isn’t necessarily eligible to be a Minister (for e.g. on grounds of age). But, since UPSC has used the term a voter “can” and not “every voter”, S1 is correct since many voters who meet the eligibility to be a Member of Parliament can be made a Minister.

For e.g. here are few correct and incorrect statements:

CORRECT: A voter CAN become a minister for six months.

CORRECT: A voter eligible to become a Member of Parliament CAN become a minister for six months.

CORRECT: Every voter that is eligible to become a Member of Parliament CAN become a minister for six months.

First statement is only part of a larger correct statement, still true.

INOCRRECT: EVERY voter can become a minister for six months.

S2: Specifically, Section 8 of RPA, 1951 states the grounds for disqualification on conviction of certain offences pursuant to Section 8 of RPA, 1951, in case the candidate is convicted of certain offences specified under sub-section (1) (2) (3) of Sec. 8 and sentenced to indicated fine or imprisonment, then such a candidate is disqualified from being a member of either house of Parliament or State Legislature from the date of such conviction till the stated time. This is not permanent, so S2 is wrong.

 

Q30. Consider the following statements:

  1. The president of India can summon a session of parliament at such a place as he/she thinks fit.
  2. The constitution of India provides for three sessions of the parliament in a year but it is not mandatory to conduct all the sessions
  3. There is no minimum number of days that the parliament is required to meet in a year

Which of the above given statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 2 and 3 only

Answer: C

S1 and S2: Article 85(1) of the Constitution empowers the President to summon each House of Parliament to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one Session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next Session.

S3: This is correct, refer to the explanation above.

http://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/coi-4March2016.pdf

 

Q31. Consider the following statements

  1. Aadhar metadata can not be stored for more than three months
  2. State can not enter into any contract with private corporations for sharing of Aadhar data
  3. Aadhar is mandatory for obtaining insurance products
  4. Aadhar is mandatory for getting benefits funded out of the consolidated fund of India

Which of the above given statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 4 only

(b) 2 and 4 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3 only

Answer: B

S1: Aadhaar authentication data can’t be retained beyond 6 months, said Supreme Court, see https://www.financialexpress.com/aadhaar-card/aadhaar-authentication-data-cant-be-retained-beyond-6-months-says-supreme-court/1328066/

S2: This is correct, see the SC judgment here https://sflc.in/key-highlights-aadhaar-judgment This was done in order to protect a citizen’s right to privacy.

S3: IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) has clarified that Aadhaar is not required to buy an insurance policy.

S4: Correct, see https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/aadhaar-for-welfare-schemes-a-legitimate-exercise-says-supreme-court/story-rhb0kccKthpJRNnSvukzmO.html

 

Q32. Rajyasabha has equal power with Loksabha in

(a) The matter of creating new all India services

(b) Amending the constitution

(c) The removal of the government

(d) Making cut motions

Answer: B

Straightforward question.

 

Q33. With reference to the funds under Member of Parliament Local Area Development(MPLADS)Scheme, which of the following statements are correct?

  1. MPLADS funds must be used to create durable assets like physical infrastructure for health, education etc.
  2. A specified portion of each MP’s fund must benefit SC/ST populations
  3. MPLADS funds are sanctioned on an annual basis and the unused funds can not be carried forward to the next year.
  4. The district authority must inspect at least 10% of all works under implementation

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 and 4 only

(c) 1, 2  and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 4 only

Answer: D

S1 and S2: These are correct. See https://mplads.gov.in/MPLADS/UploadedFiles/MPLADSGuidelines2016English_638.pdf

S3: Funds can be carried forward. Funds released to the District Authority by the Government of India are therefore non-lapsable. Funds left in the district can be carried forward for utilization in the subsequent years. Further, the funds not released by the Government of India in a year will be carried forward for making releases in the subsequent years

S4: This is correct. The District Authority would be responsible for overall coordination and supervision of the works under the scheme at the district level and inspect at least 10% of the works under implementation every year. The District Authority should involve the MPs in the inspections of projects to the extent feasible.

 

Q34. Which of the following categories of Fundamental Rights Incorporates protection against untouchability as a form of discrimination?

(a) Right against exploitation

(b) Right to freedom

(c) Right to Constitutional remedies

(d) Right to equality

Answer: D

Straightforward question.

 

Q35. In India, separation of judiciary from executive is enjoined by

(a) The preamble of the constitution

(b) The directive principles of state policy

(c) The seventh schedule

(d) The conventional practice

Answer: B

Straightforward Q.

 

Q36. Along with the budget, the Finance Minister also places other documents before the parliament which include “The Macro Economic Framework Statement” The aforesaid document is presented because this mandated by

(a) Long standing parliamentary convention

(b) Article 112 and article 110(1) of the constitution of India

(c) Article 114 of the Constitution of India

(d) Provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management act, 2003

Answer: D

Straightforward Q.

 

Q37. A constitutional government by definition is a

(a) Government by legislature

(b) Popular government

(c) Multi party government

(d) Limited government

Answer: D

A constitutional government may not have legislature, could be a bi-party government and need not be a popular government and can instead be a monarchy. All except D are incorrect.

 

Q38. Other than the fundamental rights , Which of the following parts of the Constitution of India reflect/reflects the principles and provisions of the Universal declaration of human rights(1948)?

  1. Preamble
  2. Directive principles of state policy
  3. Fundamental duties

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

If you overread the question, you might exclude S3 from the answer, but this will be incorrect.

S1: e.g. from UDHR: Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

S2: eg. Article 22 UDHR: Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Or, Article 26:

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

S3: e.g. Article 27 of UDHR:

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

See https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

 

Q39. In India, legal service authorities provide free legal services to which of the following type of citizens?

  1. Person with an annual income of less than Rs 1,00,000
  2. Transgender with an annual income of less than Rs2,00,000
  3. Member of other backward classes(OBC) with an annual income of less than Rs 3,00,000
  4. All senior citizens

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1 and 4 only

Answer: A

S1 and S3: The sections of the society as enlisted under Section 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act are entitled for free legal services, they are :

(a) A member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;

(b) A victim of trafficking in human beings or begar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;

(c) A woman or a child;

(d) A mentally ill or otherwise disabled person;

(e) A person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster; or

(f) An industrial workman; or

(g) In custody, including custody in a protective home within the meaning of clause (g) of Section 2 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956(104 of 1956); or in a juvenile home within the meaning of clause(j) of Section 2 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 (53 of 1986); or in a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric nursing home within the meaning of clause (g) of Section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987(14 of 1987);or

(h) a person in receipt of annual income less than the amount mentioned in the following schedule (or any other higher amount as may be prescribed by the State Government), if the case is before a Court other than the Supreme Court, and less than Rs 5 Lakh, if the case is before the Supreme Court.

The Income Ceiling Limit prescribed u/S 12(h) of the Act for availing free legal services in different States has been stated here https://nalsa.gov.in/faqs

S2: Limit for Transgender – Rs. 2,00,000 see https://nalsa.gov.in/faqs

S4: Senior citizens’ eligibility for free legal aid depends on the Rules framed by the respective State Governments in this regard.

In Delhi for example, senior citizens are eligible for free legal aid subject to prescribed ceiling of annual income. Any individual above the age of 60 can apply for free legal aid/services.

 

Q40. Consider the following pairs

International agreement/setup                                      Subject

  1. Alma Ata declaration                                    Healthcare of the people
  2. Hague convention                                         Biological and Chemical Weapons
  3. Talanoa dialogue                                           Global Climate Change
  4. Under2 Coalition                                            Child Rights

Which of the pairs above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 4 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 2, 3 and 4 only

Answer: C

S1: It expressed the need for urgent action by all governments, all health and development workers, and the world community to protect and promote the health of all people. It was the first international declaration underlining the importance of primary health care.

S2: The Hague Convention protects children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad.

S3: The Talanoa Dialogue is a process designed to help countries implement and enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020. The Dialogue was mandated by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change to take stock of the collective global efforts to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

S4: The Under2 Coalition is a global community of state and regional governments committed to ambitious climate action in line with the Paris Agreement.

 

Q41. With reference to the history of India consider the following pairs:

  1. Aurang                in-charge Of treasury of the state
  2. Banian                Indian agent of the East India Company
  3. Mirasidar             designated revenue payer to the state

Which of the pairs above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3 only

Answer: B

S1: Aurang was a Persian term for a warehouse – a place where goods are collected before being sold. The term also refers to a workshop.

S2: The term banian is the Anglicised form of the Sanskrit and Bangla word banik (merchant). In Anglo-Indian society and among the natives too a banian was one who was engaged by an individual western merchant or a firm to work for them as a broker, interpreter and agent.

S3: Under the ryotwari settlement system, the government recognized mirasidars as the sole proprietors of land, dismissing tenants’ rights completely.

 

Q42. With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements:

  1. Sthaviravadins belong to mahayana Buddhism
  2. Lokottaravadin sect was an offshoot of Mahasanghika sect of Buddhism
  3. The deification of Buddha by Mahasanghikas fostered the mahayana Buddhism

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3 only

Answer: B

S1: They were Theravadins.

S2: The Mahāsāṃghikas school was first located in the area of Vaiśālī and spread also to southern India, with centres at Amarāvatī and Nāgārjunakoṇḍa. Its texts were written in Prākrit. It further divided into several subsects, of which the best known was the Lokottaravāda (so called because of its views on lokottara).

The Lokottaravāda was one of the early Buddhist schools according to Mahayana doxological sources compiled by Bhāviveka, Vinitadeva and others

S3: The Mahāsaṅghikas believed in a plurality of buddhas who are supramundane (lokottara) and held that what passed for Gautama Buddha in his earthly existence was only an apparition.

 

Q43. Which of the following statements correctly explains the impact of the Industrial revolution on India during the first half of the nineteenth century?

(a) Indian handicrafts were ruined

(b) Machines were introduced in the Indian textile industry in large numbers

(c) Railway lines were laid in many parts of the country

(d) Heavy duties were imposed on the imports of british manufacturers

Answer: A

Straightforward question.

 

Q44. Consider the following events in the history of India:

  1. Rise of Pratiharas under king Bhoja
  2. Establishment of pallava power under Mahendravarman-I
  3. Establishment of Chola power under Parantaka-I
  4. Pala dynasty founded by Gopala

What is the correct chronological order of the above events, Starting from the earliest time?

(a) 2-1-4-3

(b) 3-1-4-2

(c) 2-4-1-3

(d) 3-4-1-2

Answer: C

S1: This was about mid 8-9th CE.

S2: Mahendravarman I reigned in early 7th CE as a Pallava king over the present day Andhra region and Northern regions of what forms present-day Tamil Nadu.

S3: Parantaka I reigned 907– c. 953.

S4: Gopala ruled c. 750s–770s CE.

 

Q45. Which of the following phrases defines the nature of the ‘Hundi’ generally referred to in sources of the Post Harsha period?

(a) An advisory issued by the king to his subordinates

(b) A diary to be maintained for daily routine

(c) A bill of exchange

(d) An order from the feudal lord to his subordinates

Answer: C

Straightforward question.

Hundi is a financial instrument that developed in Medieval India for use in trade and credit transactions.

 

Q46. With reference to the book ‘desher Katha’ written by Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar during the freedom struggle, consider the following statements

  1. It warned against the colonial states’ hypnotic conquest of the mind
  2. It inspired the performance of swadeshi street plays and folk songs
  3. The use of ‘desh’ by Deuskar was in the specific context of the region of Bengal.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3 only

Answer: A or D

The question was lifted straight from a research paper. See From Swadeshi to Swaraj: Nation, Economy, Territory in Colonial South Asia, 1870 to 1907 at https://www.jstor.org/stable/179304

S1 and S2: Among the most popular and influential swadeshi texts was Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar’s (1869-1912) work, Desher Katha (Story of the Nation), written in 1904. It summarized the work of M. G. Ranade and D. Naoroji in a popular idiom and warned in its concluding chapter against the colonial state’s “hypnotic conquest of the mind.” The colonial state proscribed the text in 1910, but by then it had sold over 15,000 copies, informed swadeshi street plays and folk songs, and had assumed the status of mandatory reading for an entire generation of swadeshi activists

S3: This was clearly national in context. He was compatriot of Sri Aurobindo and was against overall colonial hegemony – clearly in the national context. However as there is no specific reference available to know for sure – one might go by literal interpretation of the word to mean Desh in the context of Bengal too. But we would like to go with A – as in the larger context Desh refers to nation at large.

 

Q47. The Gandhi-Irwin pact included which of the following?

  1. Invitation to Congress to participate in the round table conference
  2. Withdrawal of ordinances promulgated in connection with the Civil Disobedience Movement
  3. Acceptance of Gandhiji’s suggestion for enquiry into police excesses
  4. Release of those prisoners who were not charged with violence

Select the correct answer using the code given below

(a) 1 only

(b) 1,2 and 4 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 2, 3 and 4 only

Answer: B

Straightforward factual question.

 

Q48. The Vital Vidhvansak, the first monthly journal to have the untouchable people as its target audience was published by

(a) Gopal Babu Walangkar

(b) Jyotiba Phule

(c) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

(d) Bhimarao Ramji Ambedkar

Answer: A

In 1888, Walangkar began publishing the monthly journal titled Vital-Vidhvansak (Destroyer of Brahmanical or Ceremonial Pollution), which was the first to have the untouchable people as its target audience. He also wrote articles for Marathi-language newspapers such as Sudharak and Deenbandhu, as well as composing couplets in Marathi that were intended to inspire the people.

 

Q49. With reference to the history of India, the terms Kulyavapa and dronavapa denote

(a) Measurement of land

(b) Coins of different monetary value

(c) Classification of urban land

(d) Religious rituals

Answer: A

According to epigraphic evidence, we have references of measurement units such as – “Kulyavapa”, “dronavapa”, “adhavapa” and “Pataka” from Bengal, nivratana” and “bhumi” from Central India and “nivartana and “padavarta” from Western India.

 

Q50. Who among the following rulers advised his subjects through this inscription?

“Whosoever praises his religious sect or blames other sects out of excessive devotion to his own sect, with the view of glorifying his own sect, he rather injures his own sect very severely ”

(a) Ashoka

(b) Samudragupta

(c) Harshavardhana

(d) Krishnadevaraya

Answer: A

Factual, but not hard to eliminate given Ashoka’s closeness with the spreading of dhamma and religious tolerance, see https://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/ashoka.html

 

Q51. What are the advantages of fertigation in agriculture?

1.Controlling the alkalinity of irrigation water is possible.
2. Efficient application of Rock Phosphate and all other phosphatic fertilizers is possible.
3. Increased availability of nutrients to plants is possible.
4. Reduction in the leaching of chemical nutrients is possible.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 1,2 and 4 only

(c) 1,3 and 4 only

(d) 2, 3 and 4 only

Answer: C

Fertigation is a method of fertilizer application in which fertilizer is incorporated within the irrigation water by the drip system. In this system fertilizer solution is distributed evenly in irrigation.

S1: Drip irrigation also avoids water spillage on the field which could have promoted weed growth or increase soil alkalinity due to water logging. So, fertigation also helps control weed growth and cut down alkalinity.

S2: Urea, potash and highly water soluble fertilizers are available for applying through fertigation. In fact, Urea is well suited for injection in micro irrigation system. It is highly soluble and dissolves in non-ionic form, so that it does not react with other substances in the water. But, Rock phosphate is not soluble and thus not suitable.

S3: By this method, fertilizer use efficiency is increased from 80 to 90 per cent as they are delivered directly to roots via drip. As water and fertilizer are supplied evenly to all the crops through fertigation there is possibility for getting 25-50 per cent higher yield.

S4: This is correct since overapplication and soil water logging is avoided.

See http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/agriculture/agri_nutrientmgt_fertigation.html

(UPSC has consistently been making questions from this source, and we cover this every year in our test series – this year in Thematic test series on Agriculture)

In 2017, we have covered an exact question on the advantages of fertigation from the same source. We will cover this when we compile questions from Insights.

 

Q52. Consider the following minerals:

1. Bentonite

2. Chromite

3. Kyanite

4. Sillimanite

In India, which of the above is/are officially designated as major minerals?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 4 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 2, 3 and 4 only

Answer: D

See table below from http://www.mospi.gov.in/sites/default/files/reports_and_publication/statistical_manual/Chapter%2012.pdf

 

Q53. With reference to Ocean Mean Temperature(OMT),which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. OMT is measured upto a depth of 26 degree Celsius isotherm which is 129 meters in the south-western Indian Ocean during January-March.

2. OMT collected during January-MArch can be used in assessing whether the amount of rainfall in monsoon will be less or more than a certain long-term mean.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c)Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B

S1 and S2: The depth for the 26 degree isotherm is 50-100 metres, not 129 metres as the question suggests.

Ocean mean temperature is a better indicator of monsoon rainfall than sea surface temperatures. This is because OMT measures the ocean’s thermal energy, and on the other hand SST is influenced by surface winds, evaporation, thick clouds etc. OMT is a more stable indicator.

 

Q54. With reference to chemical fertilizers in India, consider the following statements:

  1. At present, the retail price of chemical fertilizers is market-driven and not administered by the Government.
  2. Ammonia, which is an input of urea, is produced from natural gas.
  3. Sulphur, which is a raw material for phosphoric acid fertilizer, is a by-product of all oil refineries.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: B

S1: The Union Government subsidies the urea manufacturing units for the cost of transportation to facilitate the availability of urea at the same maximum retail price all over the country. Also, the Government is subsidising fertilizers for their availability at reasonable prices for agricultural purposes. See https://fert.nic.in/faq

S2: Common knowledge.

S3: Sulphur is a by-product of processing natural gas and refining high-sulphur crude oils. Even if they use low sulphur crude oil, there is still sulphur emission, so S3 is correct.

The primary sources of sulfuric acid emissions are combustion of coal, and the industries that manufacture or use it in production, including metal smelters, phosphate fertilizer producers, oil refineries, the chemical industry, battery manufacturers, manufacturers of fabricated metal products, manufacturers of electronic components, and manufacturers of measuring and controlling devices. See https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/phosphate-fertilizer and https://ibm.gov.in/writereaddata/files/12152016105127IMYB2015_Sulphur_15122016_Adv.pdf

 

Q55. With reference to India’s Desert National Park, which of the following statements are correct?

1. It is spread over two districts.

2. There is no human habitation inside the Park.

3. It is one of the natural habitats of Great Indian Bustard.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: C

S1: Situated in Jaisalmer and Barmer districts of Indian state Rajasthan.

S2: This is clearly incorrect. A national park can have human habitation.

S3: This is common knowledge.

 

Q56. Siachen Glacier is situated to the

(a) East of Aksai Chin

(b) East of Leh

(c)North of Gilgit

(d) North of Nubra Valley

Answer: D

Straightforward.

 

Q57. With references to the history of India, consider the following pairs:

Famous Place                                       Present State
1. Bhilsa                                              -Madhya Pradesh
2. Dwarasamudra                         -Maharashtra
3. Girinagar                                       -Gujarat
4. Sthanesvara                                 -Uttar Pradesh

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 1 and 4 only

(c)2 and 3 only

(d) 2 and 4 only

Answer: A

S1: For e.g. Bhilsa topes about Bhilsa is a famous work on this site in MP.

S2: Dwarasamudra was in Karnataka, as a regal capital of the Hoysalas.

S3: This is straightforward.

S4: This is in Haryana. As of now, it is known to host a monastic cluster. Sthanesvara Mahadev Temple is also at Thanesar. It was here that the Pandavas prayed to Lord Shiva.

 

Q58. Consider the following statements:

1. 36% of India’s districts are classified as “overexploited” or “critical” by the Central Ground Water Authority(CGWA).

2. CGWA was formed under the Environment (Protection) Act.

3. India has the largest area under groundwater irrigation in the world.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1 and 3 only

Answer: B

S1: About 29% are such, not 26%. Out of the 5723 assessment units assessed jointly by State Ground Water Departments and CGWB in the country, 4078 are safe (71%), 550 are semi critical (10%), 226 are critical (4%) and 839 are over exploited (15%). See https://niti.gov.in/planningcommission.gov.in/docs/reports/genrep/rep_grndwat.pdf

S2: Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) constituted under Section 3(3) of ‘The Environment (Protection) Act, (1986)’ regulates extraction of ground water through guidelines which are updated regularly.

S3: At 39 million hectares (67% of its total irrigation), India has the world’s largest groundwater well equipped irrigation system (China with 19 mha is second, USA with 17 mha is third).

 

Q59. Consider the following statements:

1. Jet Streams occur in the Northern Hemisphere only.

2. Only some cyclones develop an eye.

3. The temperature inside the eye of a cyclone is nearly 10 degree Celsius lesser than that of the surroundings.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1 and 3 only

Answer: C

S1: This is obviously incorrect, they occur in upper atmospheres of both hemispheres.

S2: Correct. Extra-tropical cyclones may not always have an eye, whereas mostly mature storms have well developed eye. Rapidly intensifying storms may develop an extremely small, clear, and circular eye, sometimes referred to as a pinhole eye.

S3: It is warmer and not colder for a tropical cyclone. The warmer temperature is what drives the storm.

 

Q60. Among the following Tiger Reserves, which one has the largest area under “Critical Tiger Habitat” ?

(a) Corbett

(b) Ranthambore

(c) Nagarjunasagar- Srisailam

(d) Sunderbans

Answer: C

It is the largest tiger reserve forest in India and a critical tiger habitat. See https://etelangana.org/uploads/ebooks/Telangana_Article__2014-04-02_051708/2014-04-08_065702_Chenchu_Tiger_reserve.pdf

 

Q61. If a particular plant species is placed under Schedule VI of the Wildlife Protection Act,1972, what is the implication?

(a) A licence is required to cultivate that plant.

(b) Such a plant cannot be cultivated under any circumstances.

(c) It is a Genetically Modified crop plant.

(d) Such a plant is invasive and harmful to the ecosystem.

Answer: A

These are Endemic plants where Cultivation of specified plants without licence is prohibited.

From the Wildlife protection Act: (1) No person shall cultivate a specified plant except under and in accordance with a licence granted by the Chief Wild Life Warden or any other officer authorised by the State Government in this behalf: Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent a person, who immediately before the commencement of the Wild Life (Protection) (Amendment) Act, 1991 (44 of 1991), was cultivating a specified plant from carrying on such cultivation for a period of six months from such commencement or where he has made an application within that period for the grant of a licence to him, until the licence is granted to him or he is informed in writing that a licence cannot be granted to him.

See Chapter IIIA 17C http://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1972-53_0.pdf

 

Q62. With reference to the period of Gupta dynasty in ancient India, the towns Ghantasala, kadura and Chaul were well known as

(a) ports handling foreign trade.

(b) capitals of powerful kingdoms.

(c)places of exquisite stone art and architecture.

(d) important Buddhist pilgrimage centres.

Answer: A

See https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/archive/arc0001/9900162/2.2/data/0-data/jgofscd/htdocs/marinearc/ancientwreck.html

 

Q63. What is/are the advantage/advantages of zero tillage in agriculture ?

1. Sowing of wheat is possible without burning the residue of the previous crop.

2. Without the need for nursery of rice saplings, direct planting of paddy seeds in the wet soil is possible.

3. Carbon sequestration in the soil is possible.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3 only

Answer: D

Tillage is an agriculture land preparation through mechanical agitation which includes digging, stirring and overturning.

S1: Zero tillage is the process where the crop seed will be sown through drillers without prior land preparation and disturbing the soil where previous crop stubbles are present. Zero tillage not only reduce the cost of cultivation it also reduces the soil erosion, crop duration and irrigation requirement and weed effect which is better than tillage. Zero Tillage (ZT) also called No Tillage or Nil Tillage.

S2: Direct Seeded Rice Zero-Tillage DSR is an alternative crop establishment method for rice where seeds are sown directly without raising them in a nursery, and can be done in zero-tillage conditions.

S3: If crops are not burnt and land is prepared through mechanical agitation, carbon sequestration remains possible.

This question is also from agritech.tnau.ac.in and has been covered a few times pretty much in the same form in our test series.

 

Q64. According to India’s National Policy on Biofuels, which of the following can be used as raw materials for the production of biofuels?

1. Cassava

2. Damaged wheat grains

3. Groundnut seeds

4. Horse gram

5. Rotten potatoes

6. Sugar beet

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1,2,5 and 6 only

(b) 1,3,4 and 6 only

(c)2,3,4 and 5 only

(d) 1,2,3,4,5 and 6.

Answer: A

From the policy document: “The scope of the Policy encompasses following categories of fuels as “Biofuels” which can be used as transportation fuel or in stationery applications:—

  1. ‘bioethanol’: ethanol produced from biomass such as sugar containing materials, like sugar cane, sugar beet, sweet sorghum etc.; starch containing materials such as corn, cassava, rotten potatoes, algae etc.; and, cellulosic materials such as bagasse, wood waste, agricultural and forestry residues or other renewable resources like industrial waste;
  2. ‘biodiesel’: a methyl or ethyl ester of fatty acids produced from non-edible vegetable oils, acid oil, used cooking oil or animal fat and bio-oil;

See http://petroleum.nic.in/sites/default/files/biofuelpolicy2018_1.pdf

 

Q65. Which one of the following statements best describes the term ‘Social Cost of Carbon’?
It is a measure, in monetary value, of the

(a) long-term damage done by a tonne of COemissions in a given year.

(b) requirement of fossil fuels for a country to provide goods and services to its citizens, based on the burning of those fuels.

(c)efforts put in by a climate refugee to adapt to live in a new place.

(d) contribution of an individual person to the carbon footprint on the planet Earth.

Answer: A

The social cost of carbon (SCC) is the marginal cost of the impacts caused by emitting one extra tonne of greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide equivalent) at any point in time, inclusive of ‘non-market’ impacts on the environment and human health. The purpose of putting a price on a ton of emitted CO2 is to aid policymakers or other legislators in evaluating whether a policy designed to curb climate change is justified.

 

Q66. With reference to pulse production in India ,consider the following statements:

1. Black gram can be cultivated as both Kharif and rabi crop.

2. Green-gram alone accounts for nearly half of pulse production.

3. In the last three decades, while the production of kharif pulses has increased, the production of rabi pulses has decreased.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3 only

Answer: A

S1: This is correct, pulses are grown in all three seasons – kharif, rabi and zaid.

S2: Incorrect. Gram is the most dominant pulse but only with a share of around 40 per cent in the total production followed by Tur/Arhar at 15 to 20 per cent and Urad/Black Matpe and Moong at around 8-10 per cent each.

S3: Reverse is true, see Table 1.1 here http://dpd.gov.in/Reterospects%20and%20Prospects%202017.pdf

India is the largest producer (25% of global production), consumer (27% of world consumption) and importer (14%) of pulses in the world. Pulses account for around 20 per cent of the area under foodgrains and contribute around 7-10 per cent of the total foodgrains production in the country. Though pulses are grown in both Kharif and Rabi seasons, Rabi pulses contribute more than 60 per cent of the total production.

Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka are the top five pulses producing States. Productivity of pulses is 764 kg/ha. See https://vikaspedia.in/agriculture/crop-production/package-of-practices/pulses/pulses-in-india

http://dpd.gov.in/Technical%20Paper%20on%20Pulses%20JNKVV.pdf

 

Q67. “The crop is subtropical in nature. A hard frost is injurious to it. It requires at least 210 frost -free days and 50 to 100 centimeters of rainfall for its growth. A light well-drained soil capable of retaining moisture is ideally suited for the cultivation of the crop.” Which one of the following is that crop?

(a) Cotton

(b) Jute

(c)Sugarcane

(d) Tea

Answer: A

Straightforward

 

Q68. With reference to solar water pumps, consider the following statements:

1. Solar power can be used for running surface pumps and not for submersible pumps.
2. Solar power can be used for running centrifugal pumps and not the ones with piston.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: D

They can be used to run them all. The most common pump mechanics in Solar power pumps used are centrifugal pumps, multistage pumps, borehole pumps, and helical pumps.

 

Q69. With reference to the current trends in the cultivation of sugarcane in India, consider the following statements:

1. A substantial saving in seed material is made when ‘bud chip settlings are raised in a nursery and transplanted in the main field.

2. When direct planting of setts is done, the germination percentage is better with single-budded setts as compared to setts with many buds.

3. If bad weather conditions prevail when setts are directly planted, single-budded setts have better survival as compared to large setts.

4. Sugarcane can be cultivated using settlings prepared from tissue culture.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 4 only

(d) 2,3 and 4 only

Answer: C

Conventional method of sugarcane planting requires 7 to 8 tonnes of seed cane per hectare and this is the main reason for slow rate of seed and varietal replacement. Sugarcane being a long duration crop and heavy biomass producer requires about 1500 to 2500 mm water.

Keeping in mind the likely to be faced situations in future, the ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute (ICAR-SBI) has developed an integrated sugarcane cultivation model called Settling Transplanting Technology (STT). Components of the model are listed below:

  1. High yielding and better quality varieties
  2. Raising and transplanting of settlings derived from single bud setts/ bud chips
  3. Sub-surface drip irrigation and fertigation
  4. Wider row planting
  5. Intercropping
  6. Trash mulching
  7. Multiple ratooning
  8. Mechanization

S1: Transplanting sugarcane single-bud/ bud-chip settlings can save seed cane requirement up to 80 per cent besides providing healthy plants and good field establishment. It is less expensive and labour saving in comparison with conventional sett planting.

Other options are spaced transplanting (STP) and polybag / pro-tray nursery.

S2 and S3: Reverse is true. See here http://www.iisr.nic.in/download/publications/ijst-December-2011.pdf

S4: Yes, tissue culture or vegetative propagation (a subset of TC), can be used to germinate and grow these settlings which can be transplanted in the field later.

 

Q70. In the context of India, which of the following is/are considered to be practice(s) of eco-friendly agriculture?

1. Crop diversification

2. Legume intensification

3. Tensiometer use

4. Vertical farming

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1,2 and 3 only

(b) 3 only

(c)4 only

(d) 1,2,3 and 4

Answer: D

Straightforward question

 

Q71. In India, which of the following can be considered as public investment in agriculture?

1. Fixing Minimum Support Price for agricultural produce of all crops.

2. Computerization of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies.

3. Social Capital Development.

4. Free Electricity supply to farmers.

5. Waiver of agricultural loans by the banking system.

6. Setting up of cold storage facilities by the government.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1,2 and 5 only

(b) 1,3,4 and 5 only

(c)2,3 and 6 only

(d) 1,2,3,4,5 and 6

Answer: C

S1, S4 are subsidies where S5 is a concession or indirect support. They are not investments.

 

Q72. What is the importance of the term “Interest Coverage Ratio” of a firm in India?

1. It helps in understanding the present risk of a firm that a bank is going to give loan to.

2. It helps in evaluating the emerging risk of a firm that a bank is going to give loan to.

3. The higher a borrowing firm’s level of Interest Coverage Ratio, the worse is its ability to service its debt.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c)1 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: A

The interest coverage ratio is a debt ratio and profitability ratio used to determine how easily a company can pay interest on its outstanding debt. The interest coverage ratio may be calculated by dividing a company’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) during a given period by the company’s interest payments due within the same period.

A higher coverage ratio is better, although the ideal ratio may vary by industry.

 

Q73. Which of the following factors/policies were affecting the price of rice in India in the recent past?

1. Minimum Support Price

2. Government’s trading

3. Government’s stockpiling

4. Consumer subsidies

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1,2 and 4 only

(b) 1,3 and 4 only

(c)2 and 3 only

(d) 1,2,3 and 4

Answer: D

Straightforward

 

Q74. Consider the following statements:

1. The value of Indo-Sri Lanka trade has consistently increased in the last decade.

2. “Textile and Textile articles” constitute an important item of trade between India and Bangladesh.

3. In the last five years, Nepal has been the largest trading partner of India in South Asia.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c)3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: B

S1: Peaking in 2013-14 for the decade, it then reduced in the years to follow, see the chart here in https://diplomatist.com/2020/03/03/india-sri-lanka-trade-relations/

S2 is obvious given Bangladesh’s position in Jute textiles for instance.

S3: Bangladesh is India’s largest trading partner in South Asia, followed by Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan and the Maldives. All countries in the neighbourhood have a trade deficit with India, the highest being Bangladesh with a deficit of US$7.6 billion, followed by Nepal at US$6.8 billion (2018).

 

Q75. In which one of the following groups are all the four countries members of G20 ?

(a) Argentina, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey

(b) Australia, Canada, Malaysia and New Zealand

(c) Brazil, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam

(d) Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea

Answer: A

Straightforward

 

Q76. Under the Kisan Credit Card Scheme, short-term credit support is given to farmers for which of the following purposes ?

1. Working capital for maintenance of farm assets

2. Purchase of combine harvesters, tractors and mini trucks

3. Consumption requirements of farm households

4. Construction of family house and setting up of village cold storage facility

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1,2 and 5 only

(b) 1,3 and 4 only

(c) 2,3,4 and 5 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: B

S1, S3 and S4: KCC meets the short term credit requirements for cultivation of crops and

  • Post harvest expenses
  • Produce marketing loan
  • Consumption requirements of farmer household
  • Working capital for maintenance of farm assets and activities allied to agriculture, like dairy animals, inland fishery etc.
  • Investment credit requirement for agriculture and allied activities like pumpsets, sprayers, dairy animals etc.

S2 and S5: Investment credit requirement is covered by KCC, so it might seem that purchase of combine harvesters, tractors and mini trucks comes under it. But, we withhold a judgment on this since S5 is clearly wrong (house building is not covered under KCC). So, the only option available to mark is B.

 

Q77. Consider the following statements:

1. The weightage of food in Consumer Price Index(CPI) is higher than that in Wholesale Price Index(WPI).

2. The WPI does not capture changes in the prices of services, which CPI does.

3. Reserve Bank of India has now adopted WPI as its key measure of inflation and to decide on changing the key policy rates.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: A

Straightforward.

 

Q78. Consider the following pairs:

River                              Flows into

1. Mekong –                   Andaman Sea

2. Thames –                     Irish Sea

3. Volga –                     Caspian Sea

4. Zambezi –                  Indian Ocean

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 3 and 4 only

(d) 1,2 and 4 only

Answer: C

Straightforward

 

Q79. Consider the following statements:

1. In the case of all cereals, pulses and oil-seeds, the procurement at Minimum Support Prices(MSP) is unlimited in any State/UT of India.

2. In the case of cereals and pulses, the MSP is fixed in any State/UT at a level to which the market price will never rise.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: D

S1: While procurement is open-ended, it is not unlimited since our buffer stock is limited.

S2: This is absurd. MSP is only an indicative price, and Market price can rise way above or way below MSP given the situation.

 

Q80. With reference to the Indian Economy, consider the following statements:

1.’Commercial Paper’ is a short term unsecured promissory note.

2. ‘Certificate of Deposit’ is a long-term instrument issued by the Reserve Bank of India to a corporation.

3. ‘Call Money’ is a short term finance used for interbank transactions.

4. ‘Zero-Coupon Bonds’ are the interest bearing short term bonds issued by the Scheduled Commercial Banks to corporations.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 4 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 2,3 and 4 only

Answer: C

RBI does not issue CDs to corporations, so S2 is wrong.

S4 is incorrect too. Zero Coupon Bonds are G-secs that are issued at a discount and redeemed at par. No interest payment is made on such bonds at periodic intervals before maturity.

 

Q81. With reference to Foreign Direct Investment in India, which one of the following is considered its major characteristic ?

(a) It is the investment through capital instruments essentially in a listed company.

(b) It is largely non-debt creating capital flow.

(c) It is the investment which involves debt-servicing.

(d) It is the instrument made by foreign institutional investors in the Government securities.

Answer: B

Straightforward

 

Q82. With reference to the international trade of India at present, which of the following statements is/are correct ?

1. India’s merchandise exports are less than its merchandise imports.

2. India’s imports of iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizers and machinery have decreased in recent years.

3. India’s exports of services are more than its imports of services.

4. India suffers from an overall trade/current account deficit.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 4 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1,3 and 4

Answer: D

S1: Correct, see https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/india-a-small-net-exporter-after-18-yrs-even-as-merchandise-shipments-dip-120071501441_1.html

S2: Reverse is true, see https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/indias-trade-deficit-with-china-dips-to-4866-billion-in-fy20/article31973598.ece and https://commerce.gov.in/writereaddata/uploadedfile/MOC_637036322182074251_Annual%20Report%202018-19%20English.pdf

S3 and S4: This is well known.

 

Q83. The term ‘West Texas Intermediate’, sometimes found in news, refers to a grade of

(a) Crude oil

(b) Bullion

(c) Rare earth elements

(d) Uranium

Answer: A

Well known.

 

Q84. In the context of the Indian economy, non-financial debt includes which of the following?

1. Housing loans owned by household
2. Amounts outstanding on credit cards
3. Treasury Bills

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: D

Households, personal consumption, non-financial corporations, and credit to the government sector are a part of the non-financial debt.

 

Q85. In India, why are some nuclear reactors kept under “IAEA Safeguards” while others are not?

(a) Some use Uranium and others use thorium.

(b) Some use imported uranium and others use domestic supplies.

(c) Some are operated by foreign enterprises and others are operated by domestic enterprises.

(d) Some are State- owned and others are privately-owned.

Answer: B

IAEA Safeguards are meant to understand if imported/enriched uranium is not used for non-peaceful purposes. Straightforward.

 

Q86. With reference to Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS), which of the following statements is/are correct ?

1. Quantitative restrictions on imports by foreign investors are prohibited.

2. They apply to investment measures related to trade in both goods and services.

3. They are not concerned with the regulation of foreign investment.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: C

S1: The TRIMs Agreement prohibits certain measures that violate the national treatment and quantitative restrictions requirements of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

In other words, it prohibits the use of TRIMs that are inconsistent with:

∗ Article III of GATT 1994 (National Treatment), or

∗ Article XI of GATT 1994 (General Elimination of Quantitative Restrictions)

See https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/acc_e/19_02_07_trims_agreement_for_accession_seminar.pdf

S2: The coverage of the Agreement is defined in Article 1 of TRIMS, which states that the Agreement applies to investment measures related to trade in goods only. Thus, the TRIMs Agreement does not apply to services.

S3: The Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) are rules that are applicable to the domestic regulations a country applies to foreign investors, often as part of an industrial policy. TRIMs are rules that restrict preference of domestic firms and thereby enable international firms to operate more easily within foreign markets. They don’t regulate foreign investment as such, which is governed by FEMA and DIPP guidelines/regulations.

Also, since 2 is wrong, the only answer possible is C.

 

Q87. If the RBI decides to adopt an expansionist monetary policy, which of the following it would NOT do?

  1. Cut and optimize the statutory liquidity ratio
  2. Increase the Marginal Standing Facility Rate
  3. Cut the Bank Rate and Repo Rate

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B

A lower SLR gives banks more room to lend, so S1 can’t be the answer.

MSF rate which is slightly higher than the repo rate is a borrowing window for the banks. A higher MSF discourages borrowing, so S2 is incorrect. RBI won’t take this stance.

S3 is common knowledge.

 

Q88. With reference to the Indian Economy after the 1991 economic liberalization, consider the following statements:

1. Worker productivity ( rupees per worker at 2004-05 prices) increased in urban areas while it decreased in rural areas.

2. The percentage share of rural areas in the workforce steadily increased.

3. In rural areas, the growth in the non-farm economy increased.

4. The growth rate in rural employment decreased.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1and 2 only

(b) 3 and 4 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 4

Answer: B

S1 and S2: These are both incorrect.

The rural share in national NDP dropped slightly during 2004-05 to 2011-12 despite acceleration in growth rate. On the other hand, the rural share in total workforce declined steadily from 76.1 per cent in 1999-00 to 70.9 per cent in 2011-12. Due to faster reduction in the rural share in total employment than in national NDP, difference between the rural share in output and employment narrowed down to 24 per cent by the year 2011-12. This means an increased worker productivity. Similar story in urban areas, but the disparity remains high between the two, see https://niti.gov.in/writereaddata/files/document_publication/Rural_Economy_DP_final.pdf

The absolute level of income per worker has increased at modest rate over time. However, over the years, the disparity in worker productivity remained consistently high among different categories of workers with agricultural labour being at the bottom.

S3 and S4: As evident from the table below, share of non-farm economy increased in rural areas.

Also, the growth rate of rural employment decreased (becoming negative in 2005-12), see this table:

See https://niti.gov.in/writereaddata/files/document_publication/Rural_Economy_DP_final.pdf

 

Q89. Consider the following statements:

1. In terms of short term credit delivery to the agriculture sector, District Central Cooperative Banks(DCCBs) deliver more credit in comparison to Scheduled Commercial Banks and Regional Rural Banks.

2. One of the most important functions of DCCBs is to provide funds to the Primary Agricultural Credit Societies.

Which of the statements is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B

S1: It is incorrect. Scheduled commercial banks contributed the major share (78 – 80 per cent) in agricultural and allied credit. Co-operative institutions also play a significant role in extending agricultural credit and the share of all co-operative banks/institutions (i.e. StCBs, DCCBs and PACS put together) constituted 15-16 per cent. The RRBs contributed the remaining 5 per cent of the agricultural credit.

Refer to the pie chart below from https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/PublicationReportDetails.aspx?UrlPage=&ID=942#CP12

S2: It is correct. See http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/36583/12/12_chapter4.pdf

Details: The co-operative banking sector thrives either as three-tier or two-tier structure. The three-tier structure includes StCB, DCCB and PACS, whereas in two-tier structure only StCB and PACS are present. In the three-tier structure, the lower level tiers, i.e. DCCB and PACS extend credit to individual borrowers using their own funds/deposits and claim refinance from the upper tier, i.e. PACS from DCCB/StCB and DCCB from StCB. In the two-tier structure, PACS provide credit to individual borrowers and claim refinance from StCB. In some cases, the StCBs also extend credit to the individuals through its branches across the state.

https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/PublicationReportDetails.aspx?UrlPage=&ID=942#CP12

 

Q90. In India, under cyber insurances for individuals, which of the following benefits are generally covered, in addition to payment for the loss of funds and other benefits ?

1. Cost of restoration of the computer system in case of malware disrupting access to one’s computer.
2. Cost of a new computer if some miscreant wilfully damages it, if proved so.
3. Cost of hiring a specialized consultant to minimize the loss in case of cyber extortion.
4. Cost of defence in the court of law if any third party files a suit.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 4 only

(b) 1,3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1,2,3 and 4

Answer: B

All are covered except S2 which is absurd and should instead be covered in a separate hardware general insurance policy. Cyber insurance only covers E-vandalism.

For e.g. see this policy listed on IRDAI website

https://www.irdai.gov.in/ADMINCMS/cms/Uploadedfiles/30_Cyber%20Security%20Insurance%20-%20Policy%20Wording.pdf

 

Q91. With reference to the cultural history of India, consider the following pairs:
1. Parivrajaka  –   Renunciant and wanderer
2. Shramana   –    Priest with a high status
3. Upasaka     –      Lay follower of Buddhism

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1and 2 only

(b) 1 and 3only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: B

Straightforward

 

Q92. With reference to Indian Elephants, consider the following statements :

1. The leader of an elephant group is a female.
2. The maximum gestation period can be 22 months.
3. An elephant can normally go on calving till the age of 40 years only.
4. Among the States in India, the highest population is in Kerala.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1and 2 only

(b) 2 and 4 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1,3 and 4 only.

Answer: A

S1: The leader of a group is the oldest female. She guides the herd in their search of food and water sources. These matriarchal units can occasionally divide into smaller, temporary groups.

S2: A breeding pair remains together for about 3 weeks. Gestation period lasts for 22 months, yielding a single baby. During the birth, females of the herd surround the mother in order to protect her.

S3: Adulthood starts at about 18 years of age, and the elephant has an average life expectancy of 70 years. Although sexually mature in their early teens, elephants generally only start to mate at about 20 years and stop bearing calves at about 50

S4: South India had the highest number of wild elephants – 14,612. Among the south Indian states, Karnataka leads the table with 6,049 elephants followed by Kerala.

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2019/aug/05/survey-marginal-decline-seen–in-keralas-wild-elephant-population-2014187.html

 

Q93. Which of the following Protected areas are located in Cauvery basin?

1. Nagarhole National Park.
2. Papikonda National Park.
3. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
4. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1,2,3 and 4

Answer: C

All except 2 are a part of Cauvery basin. Papikonda remains entirely inside the East and West Godavari districts near Godavari basin after 2014 and after the construction of Polavaram Dam.

 

Q94. With reference to India’s Biodiversity, Ceylon frogmouth, Coppersmith barbet, Gray-chinned minivet and White-throated redstart are

(a) Birds

(b) Primates

(c) Reptiles

(d) Amphibians

Answer: A

Straightforward

 

Q95. Which one of the following protected areas is well known for the conservation of a sub-species of the Indian swamp deer (Barasingha) that thrives well on hard ground and is exclusively graminivorous?

(a) Kanha National Park

(b) Manas National Park

(c) Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

(d) Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary

Answer: A

Barasingha is the one of the rarest species of deer family spread across central and northern India only in small congregations. The deer is native to India and Nepal. Barasingha are also known as swamp deer due to their nature to survive close to river valleys or swampy regions. Kanha National Park is located in Madhya Pradesh and a renowned place for tigers. But the park’s major achievement is to save nearly extinct barasingha (swamps deers). It was a landmark achievement by preserve the highly endangered barasingha. Once it only 66 of these in Kanha, but careful BarahsIngha conservation and management raised their population to over 500.

 

Q96. Steel slag can be the material for which of the following?

  1. Construction of base road
  2. Improvement of agriculture soil
  3. Production of cement

Select the correct answer using the given code below

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

Straightforward from NCERT.

As for S2: Slag-based fertilizers applied in Si-deficient paddy soil has shown to improve rice growth, productivity, and brown spot resistance. The application of steel slag in the soil increases the concentration of Si in the rice straw and promotes a higher yield of grains.

 

Q97.  Which of the following are the most likely places to find the musk deer in its natural habitat?

  1. Askot Wildlife Sanctuary
  2. Gangotri national Park
  3. Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary
  4. Manas national Park

Select the correct answer using the given code below

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 and 4 only

(d) 1 and 4 only

Answer: A

S1: Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary is located 54 km from Pithoragarh near the town of Askot in Uttarakhand. As the name suggests, the sanctuary has been set up primarily for the conservation of musk deer and its natural habitat.

S2: Various rare and endangered species like bharal or blue sheep, black bear, brown bear, Himalayan Monal, Himalayan Snowcock, Himalayan Thar, musk deer and Snow leopard are found in the park.

S3 and S4: Musk deer are largely distributed in the Himalayan high altitude belts, so Manas and Kishanpur can be discounted.

 

Q98. In rural road construction, the use of which of the following is preferred for ensuring environmental sustainability or to reduce carbon footprint?

  1. Copper slag
  2. Cold mix asphalt technology
  3. Geotextiles
  4. Hot mix asphalt technology
  5. Portland cement

Select the correct answer using the given code below

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 4 and 5 only

(d) 1 and 5 only

Answer: A

S5 is wrong since Portland cement is a major CO2 emitter. Same goes for asphalt mix. Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) is a combination of approximately 95% stone, sand, or gravel bound together by asphalt cement, a product of crude oil. So, S4 is incorrect as well.

S1, S2 and S3 are correct.

 

Q99. Consider the following statements

  1. Coal ash contains arsenic, lead and mercury.
  2. Coal fired power plants release sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen into the environment.
  3. High ash content is observed in Indian Coal.

Which of the above given statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

Straightforward question and is often repeated in UPSC prelims in different styles.

 

Q100. What is the use of Biochar in farming?

  1. Biochar can be used as a part of the growing medium in the vertical farming
  2. When biochar is a part of the growing medium, it promotes the growth of nitrogen fixing microorganisms.
  3. When biochar is a part of the growing medium, it enables the medium to retain water for a longer time.

Which of the above given statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3 only

Answer: D

Biochar is a stable, carbon–rich form of charcoal that is applied to soil.

Some biochars can increase soil fertility, water holding capacity and crop productivity.

Use of biochar in vertical farming (see the article https://www.thehindu.com/business/agri-business/biochar-compost-tea-are-the-new-recipe/article7830057.ece ) can increase output significantly.

Adding biochar to soil increases its carbon content and could help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Biochar is shown to have increased abundance of mycorrhizal fungi, assisting nutrient uptake by plants.