upsc-cse-prelims-2019-held-on-2nd-june-2019-official-question-paper-set-d

Q1. With the reference to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), consider the following statements: (Economy)

  1. AIIB has more than 80 member nations.
  2. India is the largest shareholder in AIIB.
  3. AIIB does not have any members from outside the area.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: A

Statement 1 is correct. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), started in 2016, is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia. In a short span of time, it has now grown to 100 approved members worldwide.

Statement 2 is incorrect. India current share in AIIB is just 7.6399% it is the 2nd largest  following China which has 26.06%.

The Bank is the brainchild of China and is headquartered in Beijing.

Statement 3 is incorrect. Although originally conceived as an Asian institution, AIIB has expanded its mandate to involve non-Asian countries as well. New Zealand, Australia, Qatar, Canada etc. are some of the non regional members.

 

Q2. What was the purpose of the Intercreditor Agreement signed by Indian banks and financial institutions recently? (Economy, CA)

(a) To lessen the Government of India’s perennial burden of fiscal deficit and current account deficit.

(b) To support the infrastructure projects of Central and State Governments.

(c) To act as an independent regulator in case of applications for loans of Rs. 50 crore or more

(d) To aim at faster resolution of stressed assets of Rs. 50 crore or more which are under consortium lending

Answer: D

Project Sashakt was proposed by a panel led by PNB chairman Sunil Mehta. Bad loans of up to Rs. 50 crore will be managed at the bank level, with a deadline of 90 days.

For bad loans of Rs. 50-500 crore, banks will enter an inter-creditor agreement, authorizing the lead bank to implement a resolution plan in 180 days, or refer the asset to NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal).

The Intercreditor Agreement signed by Indian banks and financial institutions aimed to tackle the menace of non-performing assets (NPA).

It aims to speed up the resolution of stressed assets in the range of Rs 500 million-Rs 5 billion under consortium lending.

Consortium lending refers to several lending institutions that group together to jointly finance a single borrower.

 

Q3. The Chairman of public sector banks are selected by the-

(a) Banks Board Bureau

(b) Reserve Bank of India

(c) Union Ministry of Finance

(d) Management of concerned bank

Answer: A

The Banks Board Bureau started functioning from April 01, 2016 as an autonomous recommendatory body. It is tasked to improve the governance of Public Sector Banks, recommend the selection of chiefs of government-owned banks and financial institutions.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister takes the final decision after recommendation of candidates by BBB.

The BBB works as a step towards governance reforms in Public Sector Banks (PSBs) as recommended by P.J. Nayak Committee.

 

Q4. Consider the following statements:

  1. Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is the first regulatory body set up by the Government of India.
  2. One of the tasks of PNGRB is to ensure competitive markets for gas.
  3. Appeals against the decisions of PNGRB go before the appellate Tribunals for Electricity.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B

Statement 1 is incorrect. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) was constituted under The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006. So, it cannot be the first regulatory body set up by GoI.  RBI is the oldest government regulator which was setup under RBI Act ,1934.

Statement 2 is correct. PNGRB protects the interests of consumers and entities engaged in specified activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas and promotes competitive markets and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Statement 3 is correct. The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity has the jurisdiction to adjudicate upon and decide any dispute or matter arising amongst entities or between an entity and any other person on issues relating to refining, processing, storage, transportation, distribution, marketing and sale of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas.

CAUTION: Petroleum And Explosives Safety Organisation is a department formed by Government of India under Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under Ministry of Commerce and Industry

 

Q5. With reference to communication technologies, what is/are the difference/differences between LTE (Long Term Evolution) and VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution)?

  1. LTE is commonly marketed as 3G and VoLTE is commonly marketed as advanced 3G
  2. LTE is data-only technology and VoLTE is voice-only technology.

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: D

LTE is a mobile Internet technology standard. Currently, it is the fastest data transfer technology (Until 5G gets introduced) . VoLTE (voice over LTE) is a technology wherein one can simultaneously send voice and data over the network without diminishing quality of voice. 

Statement 1 is incorrect. Both LTE  and VoLTE are 4G technologies. The latter is a technology update to the LTE protocol used by mobile phone networks.

Statement 2 is also incorrect.  Under LTE, the infrastructure of telecom players only allows transmission of data while voice calls are routed to their older 2G or 3G networks. Therefore, under LTE, you cannot access your 4G data services while on a call.  This leads to problems such as slow internet speeds and poor voice clarity. VoLTE allows voice calls to be ‘packaged’ and carried through LTE networks. This would mean 4G data accessibility even during calls.

Suggestion: Be prepared for a question comparing 5G with 4G.

 

Q6. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017? (Economic, Planning)

  1. Pregnant women are entitled for three months pre-delivery and three months post-delivery paid leave.
  2. Enterprises with creches must allow the mother minimum six creche visits daily.
  3. Women with two children get reduced entitlements.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C

Statement 1 is incorrect. The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017 has increased the duration of paid maternity leave available for women employees to 26 weeks, earlier it was 12 weeks as per 1961 act. The paid maternity leave can be availed 8 weeks before the expected date of delivery. So it is not like 3 months pre delivery and 3 months post delivery.

Statement 2 is also incorrect. The Act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more women . Further creche facilities are mandatory in organisations with more than 50 employees. The employer must allow four (not 6) visits a day to the creche by the woman, which shall also include the interval for rest allowed to her.

Statement 3 is correct. Women having two or more than two surviving children get 12 weeks of maternity leave (instead of 26 weeks) i.e  Reduced Entitlements.

 

Q7. Which one of the following is not a sub-index of the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index? (Economy)

(a) Maintenance of law and order

(b) Paying taxes

(c) Registering property

(d) Dealing with construction permits

Answer: A

The Doing Business Index, launched in 2012, provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level. Sub- indexes of Ease of Doing business includes:

  • Starting a Business
  • Dealing with Construction Permits
  • Getting Electricity
  • Registering Property
  • Getting Credit
  • Protecting Minority Investors
  • Paying Taxes
  • Trading across Borders
  • Enforcing Contracts
  • Resolving Insolvency

Maintenance of law and order is not a sub-index of the index.

Suggestion: World Bank, IMF and WEF are key organisations whose reports have been asked since the last few years. So prepare them thoroughly.

 

Q8. In India, ‘extended producer responsibility’ was introduced as an important feature in which of the following?

(a) The Bio-medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998

(b) The Recycled Plastic (manufacturing and Usage) Rules, 1999

(c) The e-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011

(d) The Food Safety and Standard Regulations, 2011

Answer: C

The e-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 gave the concept of ‘extended producer responsibility’ (EPR) in India. The EPR is a policy approach under which producers are given significant responsibility, financial or physical, for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products.

Suggestion: Extended Producer responsibility is a new concept due to which one can easily eliminate a and b as they correspond to 1990s.

 

Q9. The economic cost of food grains to the Food Corporation of India is Minimum Support Price and bonus (if any) paid to farmers Plus (Economy)

(a) Transportation cost only

(b) Interest cost only

(c) Procurement incidentals and distribution cost

(d) Procurement incidentals and charges for godowns

Answer: C

The economic cost of food grains to the FCI comprises the procurement price of foodgrains, costs related to procurement (such as statutory taxes, labour costs, mandi fees, and so on) and costs of distribution (including freight, storage and administration).  Economic Cost includes the incidental cost and distribution cost.

 

Q10. In the context of any country, which one of the following would be considered as part of its social capital? (Economy)

(a) The proportion of literates in the population

(b) The stock of its buildings, other infrastructure and machines

(c) The size of population in the working age group

(d) The level of mutual trust and harmony in the society.

Answer: D

Social capital basically comprises the value of social relationships, mutual trust, harmony in the society and networks that complement the economic capital for the economic growth of an organization. 

Option a indicates human capital.

Option b indicates physical capital

Option c indicates working capital/ Labour Capital.

Suggestion: If you don’t know the concept which has been asked, then try to eliminate options by relating other options with known concepts.

 

Q11. The Service Area Approach was implemented under the purview of? (Economy)

(a) Integrated Rural Development Programme

(b) Lead Bank Scheme

(c) Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

(d) National Skill Development Mission

Answer: B

Service area approach (SAA) is an improved version of the area approach of Lead Bank Scheme. It is related to the formulation of credit plans, and the review systems. Under this approach, Annual Credit Plans (ACPs) are prepared at the grass-root level, i.e., at the level of Service Area Branch of Commercial Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs). 

Under SAA plan each commercial bank / RRB branch in rural and semi-urban areas is designated to serve 15 to 25 villages for planned and orderly development of rural and semi-urban areas.

The designated branch of a bank has to meet the banking needs of its service area vis-à-vis forge effective linkages between bank credit, production, productivity and increase in income levels of the villages.

 

Q12. With reference to the management of minor minerals in India consider the following statements:

  1. Sand is a ‘minor mineral’ according to the prevailing law in the country.
  2. State Governments have the power to grant mining leases of minor minerals, but the powers regarding the formation of rules related to the grant of minor minerals lie with the central Government.
  3. State Governments have the power to frame rules to prevent illegal mining of minor minerals.

Which of the statements given above is /are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: A

Statement 1 is correct. Sand is a minor mineral, as defined under section 3(e) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

Statement 2 is incorrect. Section 15 of the MMDR Act empowers state governments to make rules for regulating the grant of mineral concessions in respect of minor minerals.

Statement 3 is correct:   Section 23C of the MMDR Act, 1957 empowers state governments to frame rules to prevent illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals and for purposes connected therewith.

 

Q13. Consider the following statements: (Economy)

1.  Most of India’s external debt is owed by governmental entities.

2. All of India’s external debt is denominated in US dollars.

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

Statement 1 is incorrect. As per the Government report on External debt by December 2018-Commercial borrowings are the largest component of external debt with a share of 37.1 percent, followed by NRI deposits (23.9 percent) and short term trade credit (19.9 percent).

Statement 2 is incorrect: US dollar denominated debt continued to be the largest component of India’s external debt with a share of 49.6 percent at end December 2018, followed by the Indian rupee (36.3 percent), SDR (5.1 percent), yen (4.9 percent) and euro (3.1 percent).

CAUTION: Whenever the word “ALL” appears in the statement, think more carefully over it as generally the statement is wrong owing to the extreme nature of the statement.

 

Q14. Which of the following is not included in the assets of a commercial bank in India? (Economy)

(a) Advances

(b) Deposits

(c) Investments

(d) Money at call and short notice

Answer: B

The assets of commercial banks include cash-in-hand, cash at the central bank, special deposits at the central bank, money at call and short notice, bills discounted, government securities (within 1 year of maturity), certificates of deposits etc.

Deposits are liabilities of commercial banks as they need to be repaid to the depositor either on demand or on a particular date.

 

Q15. In the context of India, which of the following factors is/are contributor/contributors to reducing the risk of a currency crises?

1. The foreign currency earning of India’s IT sector

2. Increasing the government expenditure

3.  Remittances from Indians abroad

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B 

Currency crises are caused by a decline in the value of a country's currency.

Statement 1 is correct. Foreign currency earnings of India’s IT sector enhances the foreign exchange reserve, thereby reducing the currency crisis risk.

Statement 2 is incorrect. Expenditure will have no effect on the value of currency.

Statement 3 is also correct. Remittances directly enhance the foreign exchange reserve of India, thereby reducing the currency crisis risk.

Suggestion : For these types of questions conceptual understanding is very important , if one knows augmenting forex reserves can help strengthen currency, then question can be solved easily.

 

Q16 Which one of the following suggested that the Governor should be an eminent person from outside the site State and should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in the recent past?

(a) First Administrative Reforms Commission (1966)

(b) Rajamannar Committee (1969)

(c) Sarkaria Commission (1983)

(d) National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2000)

Answer: C

The Sarkaria Commission was set up in 1983 to examine the relationship and balance of power between state and central governments in the country and suggest changes. It submitted its report in 1998. On the issue of appointment of Governor, the Commission made the following recommendations:

  1. He should be eminent in some walk of life.
  2. He should be a person from outside the State.
  3. He should be a detached figure and not too intimately connected with the local politics of   the State; and
  4. He should be a person who has not taken great part in politics generally and particularly in the recent past.

Suggestion: With Respect to Centre-State relations , always remember key recommendations of two commissions - Sarkaria and Punchhi.

 

Q17 Which of the following is issued by registered foreign portfolio investors to overseas investors who want to be part of Indian stock market without registering themselves directly?

(a) Certificate of Deposit

(b) Commercial Paper

(c) Promissory Note

(d) Participatory Note

Answer: D

Participatory Note are financial instruments required by investors or hedge funds to invest in Indian securities without having to register with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Promissory Note is a financial instrument that contains a written promise by one party (the note's issuer or maker) to pay another party (the note's payee) a definite sum of money, either on-demand or at a specified future date.

Commercial Paper is an unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued by a corporation, typically for the financing of accounts payable and inventories and meeting short-term liabilities. 

Certificate of Deposit (CD) is a savings certificate with a fixed maturity date and specified fixed interest rate that can be issued in any denomination aside from minimum investment requirements. A CD restricts access to the funds until the maturity date of the investment. It is a financial product commonly sold by banks, thrift institutions, and credit unions.

 

Q18 Consider the following statements:

  1. As per law, the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority exists at both National and State levels.
  2. People’s participation is mandatory in the compensatory afforestation programmes carried out under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016. 

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: A

Statement 1 is correct. The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016 has established the National and State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authorities at both the national and state level.

Statement 2 is incorrect. People’s participation is not mandatory. The forest bureaucracy/officers can unilaterally decide how to spend  the CAMPA funds.

CAUTION: Be extra careful on witnessing an extreme word like ‘MANDATORY’.

Suggestion: Be prepared for a question on Coastal Regulation Zone , 2018.

 

Q19. In India, which of the following review the independent regulators in sectors like telecommunications, insurance, Electricity, etc.?

1. Ad Hoc Committees set up by the Parliament

2. Parliamentary Department Related Standing Committees

3.  Finance Commission

4. Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission

5. NITI Aayog

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 1, 3 and 4

(c) 3, 4 and 5

(d) 2 and 5

Answer: A

The economic liberalization increased the participation of the private sector in the economy.

This shift necessitated the regulation of the private sector by Parliament.

Ad hoc Parliamentary committees and Parliamentary department-related parliamentary committees are empowered to review the independent regulators in electricity, telecommunications etc.

Finance Commission, Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission and NITI Aayog have no role in reviewing the independent regulators.

Suggestion: Suppose you don’t know the exact answer but if you are a serious aspirant , then you must be aware about powers and functioning of F.C and NITI Aayog. Eliminating both the bodies can help you reach the desired answer i.e A.

 

Q20 With reference to Indian’s Five-Year Plans, which of the following statements is/are correct? (Economy)

  1. From the Second Five-Year Plan, there was a determined thrust towards substitution of basic and capital good industries.
  2. The Fourth Five-Year Plan adopted the objective of correcting the earlier trend of increased concentration of wealth and economic power.
  3. In the Fifth Five-Year Plan, for the first time, the financial sector was included as an integral part of the plan.

Select the correct answers using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: A

Statement 1 is correct. India adopted the strategy of Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) in the fifties. The chief objective was to build a self-reliant economy.  From the Second Five Year Plan, there was determined thrust towards substitution of basic and capital goods industries. The ISI strategy was based on the model of growth as propounded by PC Mahalanobis.

Statement 2 is correct. The Fourth Five Year Plan (1967-1974) was aimed at growth with stability and progressive achievement of self-reliance. It focused on correcting the earlier trend of increased concentration of wealth and economic power.

Statement 3 is incorrect. The Fifth FYP (1974 to 1979) aimed at removing poverty and achieving self-reliance. Financial sector reforms were brought in Eight FYP (1992 to 1997). Moreover even the initial plans focused on the financial sector.

Suggestion: Five Year Plans are a recurrent theme for upsc prelims  , hence significant emphasis needs to be given on them.

 

Q21. With reference to the Constitution of India, consider the following statements: (Polity)

  1. No High Court shall have the jurisdiction to declare any central law to be constitutionally invalid.
  2. An amendment to the constitution of India cannot be called into question by the Supreme Court India.

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

Statement 1 is incorrect. 42nd Constitutional

Amendment Act Inserted new article 228A.

It was related to Special provisions as to disposal of questions relating to constitutional validity of State laws.

- (1) No High Court shall have jurisdiction to declare any Central law to be constitutionally invalid.

However, the 43rd Amendment Act of 1977 restored the original position.

 Statement 2 is incorrect. An amendment to the Constitution can be questioned by the Supreme Court. In Kesavananda Bharati V. state of Kerala 1973 case, the court ruled that Judicial Review is part of Basic Structure and Parliament's Amending Power can’t surpass it.

 

Q22. Consider the following statements: (Economy)

  1. Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) exchange rates are calculated by comparing the prices of the same basket of goods and services in different countries.
  2. In terms of PPP dollars, India is the sixth-largest economy in the world.

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: A 

Statement 1 is correct. Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) compares economic productivity and standards of living between countries. It is a better parameter than the nominal exchange rate for checking the strength of currencies.

Eg - If a Basket of goods ( Pizza,Pen, Fruits etc..) is sold for Rs. 2500 in India and for $50 in U.S. Then we can say the exchange rate between the U.S and India in PPP terms is 50.

Statement 2 is incorrect. India ranked 3rd in PPP terms following Chins on rank 1 and USA on the 2nd.   

 

Q23. With reference of the cultivation of Kharif crops in India in the last five years consider the following statements: (Economy, Agriculture)

1. Area under rice cultivation is the highest.

2. Area under the cultivation of jowar is more than that of oilseeds.

3. Area of cotton cultivation is more than that of sugarcane.

4. Area under sugarcane cultivation has steadily decreased.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: A

Statement 1 is correct. Area under rice cultivation is the highest in India.

Statement 2 is incorrect. The area under Jowar cultivation is 5.14 million hectares (2016-17), whereas, area under oilseed is 26.21 million hectares (2016-17).

Statement 3 is correct. The area under cotton cultivation is 10.85 million hectares in India, which is more than sugarcane.

Statement 4 is incorrect. Sugarcane cultivation has not steadily decreased in the last 5 years

Suggestion: Agriculture and Crops are amongst the most important topics from which questions are asked every year. Their weightage has enhanced further after integration of Civil Services and forest Examinations.

 

Q24. Among the agricultural commodities imported by India, which one of the following accounts for the highest imports in terms of value in the last five years? (Economy, Agriculture)

(a) Spices

(b) Fresh fruits

(c) Pulses

(d) Vegetable oils

Answer: D 

Among food commodities, the value of vegetable oil import is the largest with a foreign exchange outgo of a humongous $11 Billion (Rs 77,000 crore), followed by Pulses (Rs 20,000 crore), fresh fruits (Rs 10,000 crore) and spices (Rs 5,000 crore). 

 

Q25. In the context of polity, which one of the following would you accept as the most appropriate definition of liberty?

(a) Protection against the tyranny of political rulers

(b) Absence of restraint

(c) Opportunity to do whatever one likes

(d) Opportunity to develop oneself fully

Answer: D

Liberty has two dimensions- positive and negative. Positive liberty is the possession of the capacity to act upon one's free will, as opposed to negative liberty, which is freedom from external restraint on one's actions. Moreover Preamble of the Constitution provides liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.

Liberty does not mean ‘license’ to do what one likes and has to be enjoyed within the limitations mentioned in the Constitution itself.

Hence a broader and positive definition is given in option D.

 

Q26.Which one of the following is not the most likely measure the government/RBI takes to stop the slide of Indian rupee?

(a) Curbing imports of non- essential good and promoting exports

(b) Encouraging Indian borrowers to issue rupee-denominated Masala Bonds

(c) Easing conditions relating to external commercial borrowing

(d) Following an expansionary monetary policy

Answer: D

Expansionary monetary policy is implemented by reducing statutory bank reserves or lowering key interest rates and improving market liquidity to encourage economic activity. It results in more liquidity (pumping of rupees) (into the market, thus increased supply results into fall in the value of Rupee.  Curbing imports of non-essential goods will decrease the demand for dollars, thus helping in increasing the flow of dollars into the country, thereby controlling rupee depreciation.

If more rupee denominated Masala bonds are issued by Indian borrowers, it would result in increased liquidity in the market or increase in the rupee stock against few currencies in the market and thus supporting the rupee.  Easing ECB helps in receiving more loans in foreign currencies that would in turn result in increase of forex inflow- leading to rupee appreciation.

Suggestion: Key Monetary Policy instruments like Repo rate, Bank rate, CRR,SLR etc.  must be thoroughly understood along with their impact on Money supply, Exchange rate and inflation.

Almost every year since 2013 one can find 1-2 questions on them in the paper.

 

Q27.Consider the following statements:

The Reserve Bank of India’s recent directives relating to ‘Storage of Payment System Data,’ popularly known as data diktat, command the payment system providers that-

  1. They shall ensure that entire data relating to payment systems operated by them  are stored in a system only in India
  2. They shall ensure that the systems are owned and operated by public sector enterprises
  3. They shall submit the consolidated system audit report to the comptroller and auditor general of India by the end of the calendar year

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: A

Statement 1 is correct. As per rules, all system providers shall ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India.

Statement 2 is incorrect. There is no mention of this provision in the directive.

Statement 3 is also incorrect. The audit should be conducted by CERT-IN empaneled auditors certifying completion of activity System providers shall submit the System Audit Report (SAR) on completion of the requirement

Suggestion: Two options could easily be eliminated if one is aware about CAG role.

Then in the second statement a monopoly of Public sector enterprises is deemed to be established which should make you extra cautious before marking it right.

 

Q28.Which of the following adopted a law on data protection and privacy for its citizens known as ‘General Data Protection Regulation’ in April 2016 and started implementation of it from 25th May, 2018

(a) Australia

(b) Canada

(c) The European Union

(d) The United States of America

Answer: C

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016/679 is a regulation in the European Union (EU) law on data protection and privacy for all citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area. The GDPR replaced the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, and went into force on May 25, 2018.

Suggestion: Keep a tap of key initiatives of Bodies in News like EU, BRICS, AIIB etc..

Be prepared for a question on RATS ( Regional Anti Terrorist Structure) of Shanghai Cooperation organisation.

 

Q29.Recent, India signed a deal known as ‘Action Plan for Prioritization and Implementation of Cooperation Areas in the Nuclear Field’ with which of the following countries?

(a) Japan

(b) Russia

(c) The United Kingdom

(d) The United State of America

Answer: B

In 2018, India and Russia inked the Action Plan for Prioritization and Implementation of Cooperation Areas in the Nuclear Field. The two countries intend to develop a project of six nuclear power units of Russian design at a new site in India, with the objective to further enhance cooperation in other countries and bring in new perspective nuclear technologies together with joint construction of nuclear power plants.

Suggestion: Nuclear and Solar are two favourite domains of upsc and developments related to them are often asked.

 

Q30. The money multiplier in an economy increases with which one of the following?

(a) Increase in the cash reserve ratio

(b) Increase in the banking habit of the population

(c) Increase in the statutory liquidity ratio

(d) Increase in the population of the country

Answer: B

The money multiplier measures the effect that a change in banks’ required reserves has on the overall money supply of an economy.

Increasing banking habits results in more deposits coming into banks and increasing lending power of the bank. Thus, it increases the money multiplier in an economy.

An increase in CRR and SLR reduces the lending power of the banks, as banks need to keep more money as reserves, thereby reducing the quantum of money available for lending , which decreases the money multiplier.  

An increase in population gives no assurity that more money will be deposited in the banks which is necessary for increasing money multiplier.

Suggestion: Same as question 26 CSE, 2019.

 

Q31 Consider the following statements about particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India: (Public Policy)

  1. PVTGs reside in 18 states and one Union Territory.
  2. A stagnant or declining population is one of the criteria for determining PVTG status.
  3. There are 95 PVTGs officially notified in the country so far.
  4. Irular and Konda Reddi tribes are included in the list of PVTGs.

Which of the statements given above are correct?
a) 1,2 and 3
b) 2,3 and 4
c) 1,2 and 4
d) 1,3 and 4

Answer: C

Explanation:

Statement 1 is correct. PVTG resides in 18 states and 1 union territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Statement 2 is also correct. The criteria followed for determination of PVTGs includes a pre-agriculture level of technology, a stagnant or declining population, extremely low literacy and a subsistence level of the economy.

Statement 3 is incorrect. There are 75 groups that have been categorized by the Ministry of Home Affairs as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)

Statement 4 is correct. Irular (Tamil Nadu) and Konda Reddi (Andhra Pradesh) are in the list of PVTG.

Suggestion: Try to solve multi statement questions using elimination method.

This means you don't know about all the statements but are certain about the possibility or impossibility of some statements.

A serious aspirant must know about the number of PVTG i.e 75 and using this 3 options can easily be eliminated.

UPSC often gives 2-3 difficult statements just to create panic and anxiety in an aspirant.


Q32 With reference to the constitution of India, prohibitions or limitations or provisions contained in ordinary laws cannot act as prohibitions or limitations on the constitutional powers under Article 142. It could mean which one of the following?

(Constitution)

(a) The decisions taken by the Election Commission of India while discharging its duties cannot be challenged in any court of law.

(b) The supreme court of India is not constrained in the exercise of its powers by-laws made by the Parliament.

(c) In the event of the grave financial crisis in the country, the President of India can declare Financial Emergency without the counsel from the Cabinet.

(d) State Legislatures cannot make laws on certain matters without the concurrence of Union Legislature.

Answer: B

Article 142 provides that “the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it…” It means that the apex court is not constrained in the exercise of its powers by-laws made by the Parliament.

Suggestion: Although remembering every article of the constitution is not advisable but key ones like Fundamental Rights, DPSPs etc.. should be focussed upon.

After this question a candidate must at least be familiar with broad contours of the constitution like FR (A-12-35), Union Executive(A- 52-78) , Judiciary ( A-124 - 147). Then these type of questions can easily be answered.

 

Q33 With reference to the Legislative Assembly of a state in India, consider the following statements: (Polity)

  1. The Governor makes a customary address to the Members of the House at the commencement of the first session of the year.
  2. When a State Legislature does not have a rule on a particular matter, it follows the Lok Sabha rule on that matter.

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: A

Statement 1 is correct. Article 176(1) enjoins that the Governor shall Address both the Houses assembled together at the commencement of the first session after each general election to the Assembly and at the commencement of the first session of each year and inform the Legislature of the causes of its Summons. 

Statement 2 is incorrect. As per Article 208, a House of the Legislature of a State may make rules for regulating its procedure and the conduct of its business.  Until rules are made under clause ( 1 ), the rules of procedure and standing orders in force immediately before the commencement of this Constitution with respect to the Legislature for the corresponding  Province shall have effect in relation to the Legislature of the State, subject to such modifications and adaptations as may be made therein by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, or the Chairman of the Legislative Council, as the case may be. Therefore there is no mention of Lok Sabha.

Suggestion: Whenever answering Polity questions, keep in mind the spirit of Centre- State Relations which is federalism (slightly in favour of centre).

Now the question is saying the State legislature needs to follow Lok Sabha rule, if this would have been the provision then it might be against the spirit of federalism , hence statement 2 could be eliminated. 

 

Q34 Consider the following statements:

  1. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has a ‘Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air’.
  2. The UNCAC is the ever –first legally binding global anti-corruption instrument
  3. A highlight of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) is the inclusion of a specific chapter aimed at returning assets to their rightful owners from whom they had been taken illicitly.
  4. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated by its member States to assist in the Implementation of both UNCAC and UNTOC.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 4 only

(d) 1,2,3 and 4

Answer: C
Statement 1 is incorrect. As the only United Nations entity focusing on the criminal justice element of these crimes, the work that UNODC does to combat human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.  The United Nations Convention on Corruption is not involved in it.

Statement 2 is correct. The UNCAC is the first-ever legally binding international anti-corruption multilateral treaty.  

Statement 3 is incorrect. The UNCAC includes a specific chapter on asset recovery, aimed at returning assets to their rightful owners, including countries from which they had been taken illicitly.

Statement 4 is correct: UNODC is mandated to assist the Member States in their struggle against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. In the Millennium Declaration, Member States also resolved to intensify efforts to fight transnational crime in all its dimensions, to redouble the efforts to implement the commitment to counter the world drug problem and to take concerted action against international terrorism.

CAUTION: While attempting, keep a check on reversibility of options as in this question, organisations are interchanged in statement 1 and 3.      

 

Q35 Consider the following statements:

  1. As per recent amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927, forest dwellers have the right to fell the bamboos grown on forest areas.
  2. As per the scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, bamboo is a minor forest produce.
  3. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Acts, 2006 allows ownership of minor forest produce to forest dwellers.

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

Answer: B

Statement 1 is incorrect. After the amendment of the Indian Forest Act, 1927, bamboo is no longer a tree and felled bamboo too is not timber. The Bill permits felling and transit of bamboo grown in non-forest areas. However, bamboo grown on forest lands would continue to be classified as a tree and would be guided by the existing legal restrictions.

Statement 2 is correct. Section 2(i) of ‘Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006,’ defines a Minor Forest Produce (MFP) as all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, Tusser, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu/kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tuber and the like.

Statement 3 is also correct. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, recognizes and vests individual forest-dwellers with forest rights to live in and cultivate forest land that was occupied before 13 December 2005 and grants community forest rights to manage, protect and regenerate the forest under section 3(1)(i), and to own and dispose of minor forest products from forests where they had traditional access.

Suggestion: Keep a tab on most important tribal and forest issues. This question was expected in the 2018 paper as The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was all over the news. However the question was asked in 2019.

This shows important issues from the last 2-3 years should also be focussed upon.


Q36. Which Article of the Constitution of India safeguards one’s right to marry the person of one’s choice.

(a) Article 19

(b) Article 21

(c) Article 25

(d) Article 29

Answer: B

The right to marry a person of one’s choice is integral to Article 21 (right to life and liberty) of the Constitution. This was upheld by the Supreme Court in two cases - Shakti Vahini vs Union of India and Hadiya Case which were in news.

Earlier Kerala High Court had annulled the marriage of Kerala Muslim convert girl Hadiya and Shefin Jahan.

Suggestion: The trend of recent UPSC papers shows the importance of SC judgements in news as in 2018 question from K.S Puttaswamy Judgement ( Right to Privacy) was framed. Now be prepared for a question on Ruppa Hurra V. Ashok Hurra Case (owing to the Curative petition issue arising with reference to Nirbhaya Rape Case)

 

Q37. Consider the following statements:

  1. According to the Indian Patents Act, a biological process to create a seed can be patented in India
  2. In India, there is no Intellectual Property Appellate Board
  3. Plant varieties are not eligible to be patented in India

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C

Statement 1 is incorrect. Article 3(j) of the Indian Patent law excludes from patentability “plants and animals in whole or in any part thereof other than microorganisms but including seeds, varieties, and species, and essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants and animals”.

Statement 2 is also incorrect. In India, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board ("IPAB") was constituted in 2003 to hear and adjudicate appeals against the decisions of the Registrar under the Indian Trade Marks Act, 1999 and the Indian Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

Statement 3 is correct. A plant variety is not patentable under 3(j) of the Indian Patent Law.

Suggestion: Patents, Copyrights and Geographical Indication Tags are intellectual property  often seen in the news, thus upsc often asks questions on them.

Be ready for a question on the Special 301 report of the U.S Trade Representative that has criticised India on its patent laws.

 

Q38. Consider the following statements:

The Environment Protection Act, 1986 empowers the Government of India to

  1. state the requirement of public participation in the process of environmental protection, and the procedure, and the manner in which it is sought
  2. lay down the standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources

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: C

Statement 1 is correct. The Environment Impact Assessment Notification was made by the GOI in pursuance of the powers conferred on it by the Environment Protection Act [sub -section (1) and clause (v) of sub -section (2) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act , 1986].  One of the most significant determinants of EIA is the procedure of Public Hearing (PH) and Public Participation (PP) on any developmental project.

Statement 2 is correct. The Act empowers the central government to lay down standards for the quality of environment and standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources.

Suggestion: Be acquainted with key provisions of -

  • The Indian Forest Act, 1927
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
  • Forest Conservation Act ,1980 
  • Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  • Environment Protection Act , 1986
  • Biodiversity Act , 2002
  • Forest Rights Act ,2006

Every Year at least 2-3 questions are asked about or around these acts.

 

Q39. As per the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 in India, which one of the following statements is correct?

(a) Waste generator has to segregate the waste into five categories

(b) The rules are applicable to notified urban local bodies, notified towns and all industrial townships only

(c) The rules provide for exact and elaborate criteria for the identification of sites and landfills and waste processing facilities

(d) It is mandatory on the part of waste generator that the waste generated in one district cannot be moved to another district

Answer: C

Option A is incorrect. Waste generators have to segregate waste into three streams- Biodegradables, Dry (Plastic, Paper, Metal, Wood, etc.) and Domestic Hazardous waste (diapers, napkins, mosquito repellants, cleaning agents etc.) before handing it over to the collector.

Option B is also incorrect. The new rules are applicable beyond municipal areas and now includes urban agglomerations, census towns, notified industrial townships, areas under the control of Indian Railways, airports, special economic zones, places of pilgrimage, religious and historical importance, and State and Central Government organizations in their ambit.

Option C is correct. The rules provide that the landfill site shall be 100 metres away from a river, 200 metres from a pond, 500, 200 metres away from highways, habitations, public parks and water supply wells and 20 km away from airports/airbase. As per the new rules, construction of landfills on hills shall be avoided. Land for construction of sanitary landfills in hilly areas will be identified in the plain areas, within 25 kilometres.

Option d is incorrect. There is no such mention in Solid waste management rules, 2016.

 

 Q40.  Consider the following statements

As per the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central (Amendment) Rules, 2018

  1. If rules for fixed-term employment are implemented, it becomes easier for the firms/companies to lay-off workers
  2. No notice of termination of employment shall be necessary in the case of temporary workman

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: C

Statement 1 is correct. The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central (Amendment) Rules, 2018 defines a fixed-term employment workman as one who has been “engaged on the basis of a written contract of employment for a fixed period”. The move towards fixed-term employment will make it easier for companies to lay off workers, thus impacting job creation.

Statement 2 is also correct. No notice of termination of employment shall be necessary in the case of temporary workmen whether monthly rated, weekly rated or piece rated.

Suggestion: Questions related to enhancement of flexibility in work/ situation of workers are often asked. This question is related to the concept of GIG Economy which is often in the news.

It is a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.

 

Q41. In the context of digital technology for entertainment, consider the following statements:

  1. In Augmented Reality (AR), a simulated environment is created and the physical world is completely shut out.
  2. In Virtual Reality (VR), images generated from a computer are projected onto real-life objects or surrounding.
  3. AR allows individuals to be present in the world and improves the experience using the camera of smart-phone or PC.
  4. VR closes the world, and transposes an individual, providing complete immersion experience.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 and 4

(c) 1,2 and 3

(d) 4 only

Answer: B

Statement 1 is incorrect and 3 is correct. Augmented reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone. AR improves the experience of users.

Statement 2 is incorrect and 4 is correct. In Virtual Reality (VR), images are not projected onto real-life objects or surrounding. VR shuts down the outer world and the users can be transposed into a number of real-world and imagined environments.

CAUTION: In this question also terms are reversed in Statement 1 and 2 just like in Question 34, CSE 2019.

Suggestion: Be prepared for a question on DeepFake Technology and Blockchain Technology.

 

Q42. The word ‘Denisovan’ is something mentioned in media in reference to

(a) fossils of a kind of dinosaurs

(b) an early human species

(c) a cave system found in North-East India

(d) a geological period in the history of Indian subcontinent

Answer: B

Denisovans are the mysterious ancient-hominin group kisovans. They have been recently discovered on the Tibetan Plateau.

Suggestion: To attempt these type of questions one must have a good command over current affairs as

Option b, c and d appeared in the news.

Option C indirectly refers to the Krem Puri Sandstone system which is now world’s longest sandstone cave, located in meghalaya.

Option D indirectly refers to the Meghalayan Age (This is the latest age or uppermost stage of the Quaternary. It is also the upper, or latest, of three subdivisions of the Holocene epoch or series. )

Therefore UPSC might now ask a question on Krem puri Caves or Meghalayan Age.

 

Q43. With reference to the recent developments in science, which one of the following statements is not correct?

(a) Functional chromosomes can be created by joining segments of DNA taken from cells of different species.

(b) Pieces of artificial functional DNA can be created in laboratories.

(c) A piece of DNA taken out from an animal cell can be made to replicate outside a living cell in a laboratory.

(d) Cells taken out from plants and animals can be made to undergo cell division in laboratory petri dishes.

Answer: A

Option A is incorrect since it is difficult to envisage how this can be achieved because it is one thing to create an artificial chromosome and quite another to make it functional.

Option B is correct as US researchers have developed a living organism that incorporates both natural and artificial DNA and is capable of creating entirely new synthetic proteins. The process is called Artificial Gene Synthesis 

Option C is correct as a wide variety of double stranded DNA templates are replicated extensively in an in vitro DNA replication system containing the purified proteins specified by seven T4 bacteriophage DNA replication genes. This process is called Cloning.

Option D is also correct as cell division of Chlamydomonas is usually achieved in the laboratory by alternation of light and dark periods. The process is called Tissue Culture Technology.

Suggestion: Try to eliminate the options using other concepts like in option b,c and d definition/usage of Artificial Gene Synthesis, Cloning  and Tissue Culture Technology is shown.

 

Q44. Consider the following statements:

A digital signature is 

  1. An electronic record that identifies the certifying authority issuing it
  2. Used to serve as a proof of identity of an individual to access information of server on the Internet
  3. An electronic method of signing an electronic document and ensuring that the original content is unchanged

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3, only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: C

A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital document. As the digital equivalent of a handwritten signature or stamped seal, a digital signature offers far more inherent security, and it is intended to solve the problem of tampering and impersonation in digital communications.

However if Digital Signature and Digital Signature Certificate are considered the same , then all the options would be correct.

A Digital Certificate is a computer based record which -

  • Identifies the Certifying Authority issuing it.
  • Has the name or the identity of its subscriber.
  • Contains the subscriber’s public key.
  • Is digitally signed by the Certifying Authority issuing it.

Suggestion: You are required to focus significantly on things related to the digital world as the last 5 years have witnessed a spur in these types of questions like E- Payments, E-Commerce, Data Privacy , Equalisation levy etc..

 

Q45. In the context of wearable technology, which of the following tasks is/are accomplished by wearable devices?

1. Location identification of a person

2. Sleep monitoring of a person

3. Assisting the hearing-impaired person

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: D

Wearing technologies such as fitness tracking bands can identify the location of a person, help in monitoring sleep, can measure heart rate, distance covered while walking/running, calories burnt during exercise, the oxygen level in the bloodstream and can also assist the hearing-impaired person. Thus, all the options are correct.

 

Q46. ‘RNA interference (RNAi)’ technology has gained popularity in the last few years. Why?

  1. It is used in developing gene silencing therapies.
  2. It can be used in developing therapies for the treatment of cancer.
  3. It can be used to develop hormone replacement therapies.
  4. It can be used to produce crop plants that are resistant to viral pathogens.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 4

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 1 and 4 only

Answer: A

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes.

RNA and DNA are nucleic acids, and, along with lipids, proteins and carbohydrates, constitute the four major macromolecules essential for all known forms of life.

RNAi is a gene silencing technology that inhibits protein synthesis in target cells using double-stranded RNA.

RNAi is used in functional genomics (systematic analysis of loss-of-function phenotypes induced by RNAi triggers) and developing therapies for the treatment of viral infection, dominant disorders, neurological disorders, and many types of cancers.

Only statement 3 is incorrect. Currently, there is no such application for hormone replacement therapy.  

 

Q47. Recently, scientists observed the merger of giant ‘blackholes’ billions of light-years away from the Earth. What is the significance of this observation?

(a) ‘Higgs boson Particles’ were detected

(b) ‘Gravitational waves’ were detected.

(c) Possibility of inter-galactic space travel through ‘wormhole’ was confirmed.

(d) It enabled the scientists to understand ‘singularity’.

Answer: B

The recent observation of a black hole merger would produce tremendous energy and send massive ripples through the space-time fabric of the Universe. These ripples are called gravitational waves. 

Detecting gravitational waves would provide deep understanding regarding gravity. It would also provide important new insights into the physics of black holes.

The US-based LIGO and Europe based VIRGO gravitational wave detectors have detected gravitational waves from a total of 10 black hole mergers and one merger of neutron stars. 

Suggestion: Previous year questions are a sine qua non for clearing UPSC. A project related to gravitational waves was asked 1-2 years back and now a question related to its application is asked. Now be prepared for a question on neutrinos or quantum physics and their related applications .

 

Q48. Which of the following are the reasons for the occurrence of multi-drug resistance in microbial pathogens in India?

1. Genetic predisposition of some people

2. Taking incorrect doses of antibiotics to cure diseases

3. Using antibiotics in livestock farming

4. Multiple chronic diseases in some people

Select the correct answer using the code below:

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1,3 and 4

(d) 2, 3 and 4

Answer: D

Explanation:

Statement 1 is incorrect. There is no direct correlation between genetic predisposition and multidrug resistance.

Statement 2 is correct. Incorrect doses or incomplete courses help some microbes to survive and develop a resistance to the drug.

Statement 3 is correct. Using antibiotics in farm animals can promote drug resistance.

Statement 4 is also correct. People with multiple chronic diseases often receive high doses of antimicrobials. This encourages the spread of AMR microbes.

Suggestion: UPSC has a tendency of asking questions on diseases or problems which are in news, therefore this year apart from COVID 19, be prepared for other diseases as well like Nipah Virus, Japanese Encephalitis etc.. 

 

Q49. What is Cas9 protein that is often mentioned in the news?

(a) A molecular scissors used in targeted gene editing

(b) A biosensor used in the accurate detection of pathogens in patients

(c) A gene that makes plants pest-resistant

(d)A herbicidal substance synthesized in genetically modified crops

Answer: A

CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a family of DNA sequences found in the genomes of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria and archaea.

These sequences are derived from DNA fragments of bacteriophages that had previously infected the prokaryote.

They are used to detect and destroy DNA from similar bacteriophages during subsequent infections.

Hence these sequences play a key role in the antiviral (i.e. anti-phage) defense system of prokaryotes.

Cas9 (or "CRISPR-associated protein 9") is an enzyme that uses CRISPR sequences as a guide to recognize and cleave specific strands of DNA that are complementary to the CRISPR sequence.  Cas9 enzymes together with CRISPR sequences form the basis of a technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 that can be used to edit genes within organisms.

This editing process has a wide variety of applications including basic biological research, development of biotechnology products, and treatment of disease

Suggestion: Another question drafted from previous year as Genetic Engineering was asked in 2018 only.

 

Q50. Which one of the following statements is not correct?

(a) Hepatitis B virus is transmitted much like HIV.

(b) Hepatitis B, unlike Hepatitis C, does not have a vaccine.

(c) Globally, the number of people infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses are several times more than those infected with HIV.

(d) Some of those infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses do not show the symptoms for many years.

Answer: B

Hepatitis is a viral infection that affects the liver. Both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are viral infections that attack the liver.

Hepatitis B is a global public health threat and the world’s most common serious liver infection. It is up to 100 times more infectious than the HIV/AIDS virus and its cases are way higher than HIV.

Hence option C is correct.

There are effective vaccines available for hepatitis A and B (but not for types C, D, or E). Hepatitis B has a vaccine that is recommended for all infants at birth and for children up to 18 years. It is also recommended that adults in high-risk groups be vaccinated.

Thus option B is incorrect.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are bloodborne viruses transmitted primarily through sexual contact and injection drug use. Thus option A is correct.

Chronic liver disease in people with hepatitis C usually happens slowly, without any signs or symptoms, over several decades. Hence option d is correct.

Suggestion: Be cautious of recent developments pertaining to key diseases. For instance till date no vaccine has been developed for Zika Virus.

 

Q51. With reference to  Mughal India, what is/are the difference between jagirdar and zamindar?

  1. jagirdars were holders of land assignments in lieu of judicial and police duties, whereas zamindars were holders of revenue  rights without obligation to perform any duty other than revenue collection
  2. land assignments to jagirdars were hereditary and revenue rights of zamindars were not hereditary.

Select the correct answer  using the cord given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1nor 2

Answer: D

Statement 1 is incorrect. Apart from revenue collecting duties, zamindars had to render military duties and also perform Khidmat such as rendering soldiers to fill the ranks of the royal army at times of need and offer gifts at the royal court. Jagirdars were those mansabdars who were given salary in lieu of military service in terms of jagirs(land).

Statement 2 is incorrect. Jagirdars were allotted non-inheritable land area while the zamindars had hereditary rights of collecting land revenue from a number of villages.

An important feature of the jagir system was shifting of jagir -holders from one jagir to another for administrative reasons. This system of transfers checked the jagirdars from developing local roots. Thus jagirs were transferable and could be seized too.

Suggestion: Even if you don’t know about Jagirdari system , then also this question can easily be tackled.

The term Zamindar ( Big Landlord) is not new to you and your parents or Grandparents might have told you about them.  The most peculiar feature about them is the hereditary nature of zamindari due to which the government brought in Abolition of Zamindari Acts post independence.

Therefore the Second Statement can be held wrong. Now for  the first statement the extreme word ‘ANY’ should make you  cautious that does the zamindar performed only Revenue function ? Therefore this can also be held wrong.

Hence Answer is D.

 

Q52.  With reference to land reforms in independent India, which one of the following statements is correct?

(a) The ceiling laws were aimed at family holding and not individual holdings.

(b) The major aim of land reforms was providing agricultural land to all the landless.

(c) It resulted in the cultivation of cash crops as a predominant form of cultivation.

(d) Land reforms permitted no exemptions to the ceiling limits.

Answer: B

After independence, the condition of agriculture was not good. Considering this, land reforms were brought with the objective to improve the economic condition of the agricultural tenants by providing agricultural landholding. Thus option B is the right answer.

Option A & D are incorrect as in some states the ceiling criteria was based on individual holding while in some it was based on family holding.

Further there were exemptions on these ceiling limits which became a major reason for diminished success of these reforms in India.

Option C is incorrect as After Independence, the immediate goal of was to increase foodgrains production by (i) switching over from cash crops to food crops; (ii) intensification of cropping over already cultivated land; and (iii) increasing cultivated area by bringing cultivable and fallow land under plough. 

Therefore Land Reforms too didn’t aimed at increasing cultivation of cash crops.

Suggestion: UPSC has a habit of asking questions on key reforms as in the last 2-3 years LPG Reforms and Land reforms have been asked.

Now be prepared for a question on the Green , White or Blue Revolution.

 

Q53. The global competitiveness report is published by the

(a) International monetary fund

(b) United nations conference on trade and development

(c) World economic forum

(d) World bank

Answer: C

The Global Competitiveness Index is released by the World Economic Forum, it is a composite indicator that assesses the set of factors that determine an economy’s level of productivity.

Suggestion: Observing the trend of the last 5 years, it is very easy to figure out that every year 1-2 reports of an International Organisation are asked.

Focus on key reports of the UN, World Bank, WEF, IMF etc..

Now the UN's World Population Prospects might be asked in the exam.

 

Q54. Consider the following statement about the Charter Act of 1813:

  1. It ended the trade monopoly of the East India Company in India except for trade in tea trade with China.
  2. It asserted the sovereignty of the British crown over the Indian territories held by the company.
  3. The revenue of India was now controlled by the British parliament.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: A

Statement 1 is correct. The Charter Act of 1813 ended the trade monopoly of the East India Company in India except for trade in tea trade with China.

Statement 2 is also correct. It asserted the Crown’s sovereignty over British possessions in India.

Statement 3 is incorrect. The revenues of India were controlled by the British Parliament from 1853 (NOT by 1813).

Suggestion: It is observed from past few years that minimum 1 question from British Era Acts is asked in UPSC. Therefore prepare this chapter thoroughly and secure a minimum of 2 marks in the exam.

 

Q55. With reference to Swadeshi movement consider the following statements:

  1. It contributed to the revival of the indigenous artisan crafts and industries.
  2. The national council of education was established as a part of the Swadeshi  movement 

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: C

The Swadeshi Movement (1905) had its genesis in the anti -partition movement which was started to oppose the British decision to partition Bengal.

Statement 1 is correct. It involved boycotting British products and using domestic products, which contributed to the revival of the indigenous artisan crafts and industries.

Statement 2 is also correct. As part of the movement, the National Council of Education, Bengal was constituted in 1906. The council aimed to organize a system of Education - Literary; Scientific and Technical — on National lines and under National control from the primary to the university level

Suggestion: The key movements which helped in the Independence struggle are often asked by UPSC like Swadeshi, Khilafat, Non cooperation, Civil Disobedience , Quit India etc..

Now be ready for a question on Congress Khilafat Movement and related issues.

 

Q56. Consider the following pairs:

  1. All India Anti-untouchability league: Mahatma Gandhi
  2. All India Kisan Sabha: Swami Sahajanand Saraswati
  3. Self- Respect Movement: E. V. Ramaswami Naicker

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

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

All the pairs are correctly matched.

Gandhi while in Jail, set up the All India anti-Untouchability League in September 1932, which later transformed into Harijan Sevak Sangh.

All India Kisan Sabha was founded in Lucknow in april 1936 with Swami sahajanand Saraswati as the President.

Self- Respect Movement started by E. V. Ramaswami Naicker in 1925 against untouchability.

Suggestion: Minimum 1-2 questions are asked every year from Social Reform Movement, Tribal, Peasant and Civil revolts.

 

Q57. Which one of the following is not a Harappan site?

(a) Chanhudaro

(b) Kot Diji

(c) Sohgaura

(d) Desalpur

Answer: C

The Harappan Civilisation was widespread: it covered parts of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Kot Diji (Pakistan) is an early harappan site. Chanhudaro (Pakistan) and Desalpur (Gujarat) are mature Harappan sites.

The Sohgaura copper plate inscription is an Indian copper plate inscription written in Prakrit in the Brahmi script. It was discovered in Sohgaura, a village on the banks of the Rapti River, about 20km south-east of Gorakhpur, in the Gorakhpur District, Uttar Pradesh.

Hence not a Harappan site.

Suggestion: For ancient history after Buddhism and Jainism ; Indus Valley civilisation is the most recurrent theme.

    

Q58. In which of the following relief sculpture inscriptions is ‘Ranyo Ashoka’ (King Ashoka) mentioned along with the stone portrait of Ashoka?

(a) Kanganahalli

(b) Sanchi

(c) Shahbazgarhi

(d) Sohgaura

Answer: A

Kanaganahalli is situated on the left bank of the Bhima river, 2km east of Chandralamba temple at sannati, Karnataka.

From the site, an Inscription in Brahmi reading “Ranyo Ashoka” (King Ashoka) has been discovered along with a stone portrait of Ashoka.

Suggestion: These sort of questions must be attempted only when you are 100% sure , else it's better to leave them.

 

Q59. Consider the following:

  1. Deification of the Buddha
  2. Treading the path of Bodhisattvas
  3. Image worship and rituals

Which of the above is/are the feature/ features of Mahayana Buddhism?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

All of the features are of Mahayana Buddhism. Mahayana refers to the path of Bodhisattva to attain the Enlightenment to help all sentient beings from all sufferings and pain. 

Buddhas and bodhisattvas are central elements of Mahāyāna. Mahāyāna’s vastly expanded cosmology, with various Buddhas and bodhisattvas residing in different worlds and buddha-fields.

This is shown through the depiction of buddhas and bodhisattvas through image worship and rituals in monasteries and viharas.

Suggestion: Buddhism is the most recurrent theme of ancient history in the last few years. If you need to revise Ancient history just a day before the exam , then this topic should be at number one.

Further question on Parsis/ Zoroastrians is expected from quite some time especially after launch of Jiyo Parsi Scheme, so prepare for it.

 

Q60. With reference to forced labour (Vishti) in India during the Gupta period, which one of the following statements is correct?

(a) It was considered a source of income for the state, a sort of tax paid by the people.

(b) It was totally absent in the Madhya Pradesh and Kathiawar regions of the Gupta Empire.

(c) The forced labourer was entitled to weekly wages.

(d) The eldest son of the labourer was sent as the forced labourer.

Answer: A

Prior to the Gupta period, Vishti was forced labour. During the Gupta period, it became a source of income for the State, a sort of tax by the people. Most of the inscriptions referring to Vishti come from Madhya Pradesh and Kathiyawar regions.

 

Q61. Which one of the following groups of plants were domesticated in the ‘New World’ and introduced into the ‘Old World’?

(a) Tobacco, cocoa, and rubber

(b) Tobacco, cotton and rubber

(c) Cotton, coffee and sugarcane

(d) Rubber, coffee and wheat

Answer: A

The Old World (Africa, Asia, and Europe) crops included oats, rye, wheat, lentils, and barley. These crops did not exist in the Americas until their introduction in the 1490s by post-Columbian contact.

The New World (North America, Central America, and South America) crops included cocoa, cashew, tobacco, sunflower, and rubber. Similarly, these crops were introduced into the Old World through trade.

Suggestion: Question was easy for people who could decode the meaning of old and new world, else it should have been left. Focus on major crops produced, Exported and imported into India in every century since the 15th century. Last year also a question was asked about the major commodities exported by East India company from India in 18th Century.

 

Q62. Consider the following statements:

  1. Asiatic lion is naturally found in India only.
  2. Double-humped camel is naturally found in India only.
  3. One-horned rhinoceros is naturally found in India only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: A

Statement 1 is correct. Asiatic lion is naturally found in India only.

At present Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is the only abode of the Asiatic lion.

Statement 2 is incorrect. The double-hump camel is a native of Gobi desert and is found on a vast expanse of cold-desert areas across Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and parts of Afghanistan.

Statement 3 is also incorrect. One-Horned Rhinoceros is found in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and in Assam, India.

Suggestion: Every year minimum 1 question is asked of animals. Please keep a tab on Animals/Plants in the news.  Generally the question is framed w.r.t its Location , IUCN Status or a peculiar feature like egg laying mammal, Herbivores Marine animal etc.

CAUTION: Here the extreme word - ONLY appears in the question. Generally this makes a statement incorrect but in rare situations this can be true as well, like in statement 1 .

 

Q63. Consider the following pairs:

     Famous Place                        River

1. Pandharpur:             Chandrabhaga

2.Tiruchirappalli:         Cauvery

3.Hampi:                      Malaprabha

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: A

Pair 1 is Correctly matched: Pandharpur is a well known pilgrimage town on the banks of Chandrabhaga River in Solapur district, Maharashtra, India.

Pair 2 is correctly matched: Tiruchirapalli District is located along the Kaveri River in Tamil Nadu, India.

Pair 3 is incorrectly matched. Hampi is situated on the banks of Tungabhadra River

Suggestion:  In this question interlinking of subjects ( History with Geography) could be done to reach the right answer.

Amongst the 3 - Hampi is the most likely place which an aspirant might have heard due to medieval history vijayanagara empire.

Here the city was situated on Tungabhadra river, hence using this - 3 options can easily be eliminated and we are left with A only.

 

Q64. In a given year in India, official poverty lines are higher in some states than in others because

(a) Poverty rates vary from State to State

(b) Price levels vary from State to State

(c) Gross State Product varies from State to State

(d) Quality of public distribution varies from State to State

Answer: B

In India, the official poverty lines vary from State to State due to inter-state price differentials.

As these prices differentials impact the amount an individual needs to spend for getting a minimum calorie intake as per the poverty line.

Suggestion: Prepare well on analytical questions relating to GDP, Employment, Inflation , Poverty etc.

 

Q65. In the context of which of the following do some scientists suggest the use of cirrus cloud thinning technique and the injection of sulphate aerosol into the stratosphere?

(a) Creating the artificial rains in some regions

(b) Reducing the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones

(c) Reducing the adverse effects of solar wind on the Earth

(d) Reducing the global warming

Answer: D

Scientists claim that the geo-engineering technique known as a stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) could limit rising temperatures that are causing climate change. The intentional reduction of the coverage and optical thickness of high-level cirrus cloud could potentially reduce global warming by modifying the long wave radiative effect of the cirrus cloud.

Suggestions: Here an aspirant needs to have  a good command over the concepts  in options.  For instance the question is calling for cloud thinning , here Option A and C can easily be eliminated as Thick clouds are needed for rain and for protecting the earth from Solar winds.  Now Tropical cyclones have less relation with clouds and more with water for its formation and dissipation , so this can also be eliminated. Global Warming can be reduced if more heat is passed from earth into space, which can be done in a better way using thin clouds.

 

Q66. In the context of which one of the following are terms ‘pyrolysis and plasma gasification’ mentioned?

(a) Extraction of rare earth elements

(b) Natural gas extraction technologies

(c) Hydrogen-fuel based automobiles

(d) Waste to energy technologies

Answer: D

Pyrolysis is the process of heating organic material at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. Plasma gasification is an extreme thermal process using plasma which converts organic matter into a syngas (synthesis gas) which is primarily made up of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.  Both use high temperatures to break down waste to create gas, solid and liquid residues. The gases can then be combusted in a secondary process.

Suggestion: UPSC has a habit of asking novel technologies which helps in sustainable development. For next year be prepared for a question on Catalytic Converters or Electric Vehicles.

 

Q67. Which of the following are in Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve?

(a) Neyyar, Pappara and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

(b) Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Silent Valley National Park

(c) Kaundinya, Gundla Brahmeswaram and Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Mukurthi National Park

(d) Kawal and Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve

Answer: A  

Located in the Western Ghats, the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve consists mostly of tropical forest. There are three wildlife sanctuaries, Shendurney, Peppara and Neyyar, located in Kerala, as well as the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu.

Suggestion: In Geography Ramsar sites, Biosphere reserves, National Parks and Tiger reserves etc.. which are in News are asked every year. Now be prepared for a question on Ramsar sites as 10 new sites are recently added.

 

Q68. Consider the following statements:

  1. Some species of turtles are herbivores
  2. Some species of fish are herbivores
  3. Some species of marine mammals are herbivores
  4. Some species of snakes are viviparous

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4

Answer: D

Statement 1 is correct. Some turtles are carnivores, while some follow a strict vegetarian diet. Green Sea Turtles eat seagrasses and algae, though the younger ones feed on crabs, sponges and jellyfish.

Statement 2 is correct. Fish are predominantly carnivorous and there are very few herbivores. Parrotfish are algae eaters. They obtain algae by ripping small chunks of coral from a reef.

Statement 3 is correct. Some marine mammals are herbivores, they are found within four groups of species in the animal kingdom: invertebrates, fish, reptiles and mammals. Manatees, commonly known as the ‘sea cows’ are large mammals that live in warm sea waters. They live in shallow coastal areas and feed on the sea vegetation.

Statement 4 is also correct. Some snakes are viviparous, they nourish their developing young through a placenta and yolk sac.

Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent, eventually leading to live birth. This is opposed to oviparity which is a reproductive mode in which females lay developing eggs that complete their development and hatch externally from the mother.

Suggestion: Treat the word ‘SOME’ like an opposite of ‘ALL’.

This means majority statements with word all are generally incorrect while with word some are generally correct.

You will be requiring a very strong reason to mark a statement, containing the word ‘some’ ,as an incorrect statement.

 

Q69. Consider the following pairs  

            Wildlife            Naturally found in

  1. Blue-finned Mahseer:   Cauvery River
  2. Irrawaddy Dolphin:      Chambal River
  3. Rusty-spotted Cat:                    Eastern Ghats

Which of the above pairs are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2, and 3

Answer: C

Pair 1 is correctly matched: Blue-finned Mahseer is found naturally in the Cauvery river.

Pair 2 is incorrectly matched: Irrawaddy Dolphin is naturally found in Chilika, Gahirmatha and Balasore area of Orissa.

Irrawaddy dolphins are found in coastal areas in South and Southeast Asia, and in three rivers: the Ayeyarwady/ Irrawaddy (Myanmar), the Mahakam (Indonesian Borneo) and the Mekong.

In the Chambal river one can find Gangetic Dolphin.

Pair 3 is correctly matched: The rusty spotted cat, one of the few wild cats that inhabit the forests of Andhra Pradesh, is among the animals in the Eastern Ghats.

Suggestion: UPSC sometimes asks multiple animals but ensures answer can be reached using the popular ones.  In this question a serious aspirant needs to know  only about Irrawaddy dolphins and would be able to easily eliminate 3 options.

 

Q70. Why is there a great concern about the ‘microbeads’ that are released into the environment?

(a) They are considered harmful to marine ecosystems

(b) They are considered to cause skin cancer in children

(c) They are small enough to be absorbed by crop plants in irrigated fields

(d) They are often found to be used as food adulterants

Answer: A

Microbeads are manufactured solid plastic particles of less than one millimeter in their largest dimension.

They are most frequently made of polyethylene but can be of other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene.

They are used in exfoliating personal care products, toothpastes and in biomedical and health-science research.

Microbeads can cause plastic particle water pollution and pose an environmental hazard for aquatic animals in freshwater and ocean water.

 

Q71. Building ‘Kalyaana Mandapas’ was a notable feature in the temple construction in the Kingdom of:

(a) Chalukya

(b) Chandela

(c) Rashtrakuta

(d) Vijayanagara

Answer: D

The Kalyana Mandapa was found in the temple of the kingdom of Vijayanagara. These mandapas were an open pavilion, used for ceremonies involving the symbolic marriage of the temple's divinity to his consort. 

Suggestion: In medieval history Mughals, Vijayanagara and Bhakti-Sufi are the most important topics.  Major chunk of medieval India questions since the last few years are derived from them. Another notable feature is emphasis on Boxes and Tables of NCERTs for history questions. Kalyana Mandapa is shown as an image in 12th class NCERT Theme 2.  

 

Q72. Consider the following statements:

  1. In the revenue administration of Delhi Sultanate, the in-charge of revenue collection was known as ‘Amil’.
  2. The Iqta system of Sultans of Delhi was an ancient indigenous institution.
  3. The office of ‘Mir Bakshi’ came into existence during the reign of Khalji Sultans of Delhi.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: A

Statement 1 is correct. Amil was in-charge of revenue collection in Delhi Sultanate.

Statement 2 is incorrect. Iqta was the land revenue system of the early Turkish Sultans. Under the system, the land was divided into several large and small tracts (Iqta) and they were assigned to the Sultan’s soldiers, office officers and nobles.  It was not an ancient indigenous institution.

Statement 3 is also incorrect. Mir Bakshi was the officer in Akbar’s reign. He was in charge of the military pay and accounts office.

Suggestion:  Owing to the release of Movie Padmavat and Tanaji , a question on Khiljis or marathas could be expected. Earlier also a question on Ramanujan was asked when a movie related to him was released.

 

Q73. Consider the following statements:

  1. Saint Nimbarka was a contemporary of Akbar.
  2. Saint Kabir was greatly influenced by Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 only

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: D

Statement 1 is incorrect. Saint Nimbarka was a saint of the 13th or 14th century. He propagated the Vaishnava theology of Dvaitadvaita which means duality in unity.  He spent most of his time in Vrindavan near Mathura in North India.  He believed in total devotion to Krishna and Rama. While Akbar was born in the 16th Century (1542-1605).

Statement 2 is also incorrect. Saint Kabir passed in 1519, whereas Sirhindi was born in 1564.  Kabir is the most important Nirguna Bhakti saint. The nirguna bhaktas were devotees of a formless God.

Suggestion: This question focuses on the most important theme of history i.e Chronology.  Reading only the concept without linking it to a timeline might be futile for an aspirant in these types of questions .  

Further be prepared for a question on Gurunanak due to its 550th Birth Anniversary and Kartarpur corridor.

 

Q74. With reference to the British Colonial rule in India, consider the following statements:

  1. Mahatma Gandhi was instrumental in the abolition of the system of ‘indentured labour’.
  2. In Lord Chelmsford’s ‘War conference’, Mahatma Gandhi did not support the resolution on recruiting Indians for World War.
  3. Consequent upon the breaking of Salt Law by Indian people, the Indian National Congress was declared illegal by the colonial rulers.

Which of the statements given are correct:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: B

Statement 1 is correct: Mahatma Gandhi was instrumental in the abolition of the system of ‘indentured labour’ in South Africa.

Statement 2 is incorrect: Mahatma Gandhi supported the resolution on recruiting Indians for World War in Lord Chelmsford’s ‘War conference’ in Delhi.

Statement 3 is correct: Congress was declared illegal by British government after the breaking of the Salt Law by Indian people.

Suggestion: Remember a brief timeline of Governor General and Viceroys , else in the question you might get confused as to which war the examiner is referring to. (Lord Chelmsford - 1916-21, hence WW1) Further keep a tab of important anniversaries like 2019 was the 150th year celebration of the birth anniversary of Gandhiji.  Therefore UPSC asked information related to him in two questions.

 

Q75. With reference to Indian National Movement, consider the following pairs:

                               Person                   :                       Position held

  1.      Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru:                      President All India Liberal Federation
  2.      K.C. Neogy:                                         Member, The Constituent Assembly
  3.      P.C. Joshi:                                            General Secretary, Communist Party of India

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

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: D

All of the pairs are correctly matched.

Tej Bahadur Sapru was a prominent Indian freedom fighter, lawyer and politician.

After escalating differences between moderates and extremists over the path of national struggle, the moderates leaders decided to form Indian National Liberal federation in 1919. 

It was founded by Surendra Nath Banarjea and some of its prominent leaders were Tej Bahadur Sapru, V. S. Srinivasa Sastri and M. R. Jayakar.

KC Neogy, was an Indian politician from West Bengal.

He was -

  • a member of the Constituent Assembly of India,
  • member of the first Cabinet of independent India and
  • the chairman of the first Finance Commission of India.

Puran Chand Joshi was one of the early leaders of the communist movement in India. He was the first general secretary of the Communist Party of India from 1935–47.

Suggestion: Personalities along with the associated organisation are often asked in UPSC but it is humanly impossible to cover every personality.  In this question people might have little idea about Pair 2 and Pair 3 , in such a situation it is advisable not to do guesswork. Focus only on Key personalities and personalities in news.

 

Q76. With reference to Mian Tansen, which one of the following statements is not correct?

(a) Tansen was the title given to him by Emperor Akbar.

(b) Tansen composed Dhrupads on Hindu gods and goddesses.

(c) Tansen composed songs on his patrons.

(d) Tansen invented many Ragas.

Answer: A

Mian Tansen, the father of Indian classical music, was born as Ramatanu and later came to be known as Tansen. It was the title given to him by Raja Vikramjit of Gwalior.  He was a court musician in the darbar of Raja Ramchandra of Bandavagarh (Rewa). When Akbar heard of his prodigious talent, he sent a ‘firman’ to the king asking for Tansen and made him one of the Navaratnas in his court. He gave him the title of ‘Mian’

Tansen was the most important musician during the reign of Akbar & is credited with composing many ragas.  He was one of the best known dhrupad singers and one of the nine jewels of Emperor Akbar's court. He composed songs on his patrons.

Suggestion: Keep a tab on important personalities reoccurring in News. 2-3 articles on Tansen were published in the Hindu, Hence a question from that article was framed.

 

Q77. Who among the following Mughal Emperors shifted emphasis from illustrated manuscripts to album and individual portrait?

(a) Humayun

(b) Akbar

(c) Jahangir

(d) Shah Jahan 

Answer: C

With the establishment of the Mughal empire, the Mughal School of painting originated in the reign of Akbar in 1560 A.D.

Emperor Akbar was keenly interested in the art of painting and architecture. During his reign, an illustrated manuscript of the Tuti-nama appears to be the first work of the Mughal School.

The style of painting in this manuscript shows the Mughal style in its formative stage. Shortly after that, between 1564-69 A.D. was completed a very ambitious project in the form of Hamzanama illustrations on cloth, originally consisting of 1400 leaves in seventeen volumes.

Jahangir was the least militarily inclined of the great Mughals. He had an artistic inclination and during his reign Mughal painting developed further.  He preferred paintings representing contemporary events, experiences to those illustrating the classics and fables of India and Persia.

He also encouraged paintings depicting events of his own life and individual portraits.

Hence option c is correct.

 

Q78. Which one of the following National parks lies completely in the temperate alpine zone?

(a) Manas National Park

(b) Namdapha National Park

(c) Neora Valley National park

(d) Valley of Flowers National park

Answer: D

The Valley of the Flowers National Park, located in West Himalayas in Uttarakhand is identified as the location at the latitude and longitude of 30.73 degrees north and 79.63 degrees east at an elevation of 11,000 feet (3,500 meters). 

The alpine zone is usually defined as the area between the upper limit of trees (the timberline or the treeline) and the lower limit of permanent snow.

The alpine zone extends from the upper limit of the temperate zone ranging between 2,900 to 3,500 m or even up to 3800 m above sea level. The valley has three zones- sub-alpine between 3200 and 3500m which is the limit of trees, lower alpine between 3500 and 3700m and higher alpine above 3700m.

Manas National Park - Assam

Neora Valley Park -West Bengal

Namdapha National Park - Arunachal Pradesh

Suggestion : Whenever studying about a national park or wildlife sanctuary always focus on its peculiar features .

In 2015 a question was framed on Floating National park - Keibul Lamjao (Manipur)

In 2017 - a question was framed about park linking western and eastern ghats - Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu)

 

Q79. Atal Innovation Mission is set up under the

(a) Department of Science and Technology

(b) Ministry of Labour and Employment

(c) NITI Aayog

(d) Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

Answer: C

Atal Innovation Mission is a flagship initiative set up by the NITI Aayog to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of the country, based on a detailed study and deliberations on innovation and entrepreneurial needs of India in the years ahead.

Suggestion: UPSC also gives you low hanging fruits which must be grabbed at any cost, like this one.

Further Focusing on key government schemes and initiatives is very important as 2015-17 saw a significant number of questions being framed from this domain.

Although the number of questions declined in 2018 and 2019 but still the number is quite high.

 

Q80. On 21st June, the Sun-

(a) does not set below the horizon at the Arctic Circle

(b) does not set below the horizon at Antarctic Circle

(c) shines vertically overhead at noon on the Equator

(d) shines vertically overhead at Tropic of Capricorn  

Answer: A

The summer solstice (21st June) occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer, or 23.5 degrees north latitude. 

During the solstice, the sun never really sets at the Arctic Circle. The Summer solstice occurs exactly when the earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23 degrees and 26 minutes. During the Summer Solstice the Northern Hemisphere witnesses its longest day of the year while the Southern Hemisphere sees the shortest day.

Around the Arctic Circle, the location of sunrise and sunset start to converge in the northern sky, until eventually the sun never sinks below the horizon. Hence the appearance of the Midnight sun.

Option b and d occurs on winter solstice (21st December) in the northern hemisphere i.e Sun does not set below the horizon at Antarctic Circle and shines vertically overhead at Tropic of Capricorn .

Option C occurs during Equinox 

An equinox is commonly regarded as the instant of time when the plane of Earth's equator passes through the center of the Sun. The Sun is directly overhead at "high-noon" on the equator twice per year, at the two equinoxes. Spring (or Vernal) Equinox is usually March 20, and Fall (or Autumnal) equinox is usually September 22.

Suggestion: Every year 1-2 questions from conceptual understanding of Geographical phenomenon are asked.

Mere rote learning will not help you solve these types of questions. 

 

Q81. Consider the following statements:

  1. Agricultural soils release nitrogen oxides into environment.
  2. Cattle release ammonia into environment.
  3. Poultry industry releases reactive nitrogen compounds into environment.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

All of the statements are correct.

Agricultural soils are the primary source of nitrous oxide (N2O) and a minor source of methane (CH4), two important biogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) contributing to global climate change.

Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3. Ammonia is a common by - product of animal waste due to the often inefficient conversion of feed nitrogen into animal product. Emissions of ammonia from livestock farming are responsible for the acidification and eutrophication of deposited ammonia in the environment.

Reactive nitrogen (Nr) species include oxides of nitrogen [nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and nitrous oxide (NO)], anions (nitrate and nitrite), and amine derivatives [ammonia (NH), ammonium salts and urea]. Of the different Nr species, air emissions from swine and poultry facilities are predominantly NH followed by NO. 

Suggestion: Every 3-4 questions are asked from Agriculture ( Crops, Their science , impact,Concerns, Export - Import and other related issues). So prepare this topic thoroughly .

 

Q82. What is common to the places known as Aliyar, Isapur and Kangsabati?

(a) Recently discovered uranium deposits

(b) Tropical rain forests

(c) Underground cave systems

(d) Water reservoirs

Answer: D

All three are water reservoirs. Aliyar reservoir in Tamil Nadu, Isapur reservoir is in Maharashtra and Kangsabati reservoir is in West Bengal.

Suggestion: Please don’t try to do guess work in these types of questions. Attempt only when 100% sure. UPSC asked this question as the sites were in the news.

 

Q83. In the context of proposals to the use of hydrogen-enriched CNG (H-CNG) as fuel for buses in public transport, consider the following statements:

  1. The main advantages of the use of H-CNG is the elimination of carbon monoxide emission.
  2. H-CNG as fuel reduces carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon emissions. 
  3. Hydrogen up to one-fifth by volume can be blended with CNG as fuel for buses.
  4. H-CNG makes the fuel less expensive than CNG.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4 

Answer: B

Statement 1 is incorrect. H-CNG can reduce the emission of carbon monoxide up to 70%, but cannot eliminate it.

Statement 2 is correct. It is also helpful in reducing carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon emissions.

Statement 3 is correct. H-CNG is a blend of hydrogen and CNG, the ideal hydrogen concentration being 18% to 20%.

Statement 4 is incorrect. It does not reduce prices.

Suggestion: Technologies which are in the news are often asked. The Delhi Government is working on a proposal to use H CNG in Delhi government buses.

For next year a question on FAST Tag or BS 6 norms can be expected.

CAUTION: The word ELIMINATE in the first statement is an extreme word like ONLY,ANY,NEVER etc.. hence could be considered wrong.

And in the second statement a general reduction is talked about which is very difficult to be assumed wrong.

Hence eliminating 1st and keeping second . we can reach the desired answer i.e B.

 

Q84. Why are dewdrops not formed on a cloudy night?

(a) Clouds absorb the radiation released from the Earth’s surface.

(b) Clouds reflect back the Earth’s radiation.

(c) The Earth’s surface would have low temperature on cloudy nights.

(d) Clouds deflect the blowing wind to ground level.

Answer: B

Dew are tiny drops of water that form on cool surfaces at night, when atmospheric vapour condenses.

On a cloudy night, the clouds reflect back the Earth’s radiation. Due to this, the ground never gets cold enough for the dew to be formed.

Suggestion: Application of Concept is the demand of question , a candidate knowing that it is the higher ground temperature on a cloudy night which impedes the development of dew , can easily solve the question.

As in the other 3 situations temperature will not fall.

 

Q85. Consider the following statements:

  1. The 44th Amendment to the Constitution of India introduced an Article placing the election of the Prime Minister beyond judicial review.
  2. The Supreme Court of India struck down the 99th Amendment to the Constitution of India as being violative of the independence of the judiciary.

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: B

Statement 1 is incorrect. The 39th Amendment Act (NOT 44th) kept the election of the Prime Minister, President, the Vice President and the Speaker of the Lok Sabha beyond the scrutiny of the Indian courts.

Statement 2 is correct: The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was a body tasked with appointing judges to the higher judiciary in India.

Article 124 of the Constitution was amended through the 99th Amendment to reflect the change in the system of appointments from the collegium system, in which a body of judges would be consulted by the President to appoint the judges, with the judiciary’s opinion being final.

The composition of the NJAC includes as the Chief Justice of India, the two senior most judges of the Supreme Court, the Law Minister and two eminent persons.

The method and process of appointing eminent persons along with the role of executive made the judiciary fear the abuse of power by the executive, resulting in political appointments to the Supreme Court and the High Courts.

Petitions were filed before the Supreme Court to strike down the 99th Amendment as being unconstitutional.

The Court reasoned that the 99th Amendment was unconstitutional. As it was against the separation of powers and was curtailing the independence of the judiciary.

Suggestion: Questions around amendment are asked frequently in a direct or indirect sense.

An aspirant must focus on important ( 7th, 39,42,44,52nd etc.) and new amendments (99-104).

 

Q86. Consider the following statements:

  1. The motion to impeach a Judge of the Supreme Court of India cannot be rejected by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha as per the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968
  2. The Constitution of India defines and gives details of what constitutes ‘incapacity and proved misbehaviour’ of the Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
  3. The details of the process of impeachment of the Judges  of the Supreme Court of India are given in the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968.
  4. If the motion for the impeachment of a Judge is taken up for voting, law requires the motion to be backed by each House of the Parliament and supported by a majority of total members of that House and by not less than two-thirds of total members of that House present and voting.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 3 only

(c) 3 and 4 only

(d) 1,3 and 4

Answer: C

Statement 1 is incorrect but 3 is correct: The Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968 regulates the procedure relating to the removal of a Judge of the Supreme Court by the process of impeachment. According to the Act, the Speaker has the option to admit or refuse to admit the motion.

Statement 2 is Incorrect but 4 is correct:  A judge may be removed from office through a motion adopted by Parliament on grounds of ‘proved misbehaviour or incapacity’ as per A-124 (For SC judge) and Article 218 (For HC judge).  However the Constitution doesn’t define them. Further as per constitution Article 124(4) (for SC judge) and Article 218 (For HC Judge) If the motion for the impeachment of a Judge is taken up for voting, law requires the motion to be backed by each House of the Parliament and  supported by a majority of total members of that House and by not less than two-thirds of total members of that House present and voting.

Suggestion: These sort of questions must be read very cautiously as they appear to be lengthy but in reality are quite easy. The rationale behind such types of questions is to test alertness and patience of candidates.

 

Q87. The Ninth Schedule was introduced in the Constitution of India during the Prime ministership of

(a) Jawaharlal Nehru

(b) Lal Bahadur Shastri

(c) Indira Gandhi

(d) Morarji Desai

Answer: A

The first amendment to the Indian Constitution was introduced by the Nehru Government in 1951. It added the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution. The Amendment was intended to protect land reform laws from being challenged in courts on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights. 

Suggestion: It is another question to show the importance of previous year questions as in 2018 also, a standalone question on the Ninth schedule was asked. Further schedules are also a recurrent theme in upsc.

Q88. Consider the following Statements:

  1. Coal sector was nationalized by the Government of India under Indira Gandhi.
  2. Now, coal blocks are allocated on lottery basis.
  3. Till recently, India imported coal to meet the shortages of domestic supply, but now India is self-sufficient in coal production.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: A

Statement 1 is correct. In 1972, the coal sector was nationalized under Indira Gandhi Government.

Statement 2 is incorrect. Under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, auction of coal mines is conducted in an electronic platform and through a transparent mechanism.

Statement 3 is incorrect. India is still one of the largest importers of Coal. Domestic coal has been able to meet only 75% of our annual coal demand. India's coal imports increased by 8.8 percent to 233.56 million tonnes in 2018-19. The government has set a target of 1 billion tonnes of coal production by 2019-20 for the mining major.

Suggestion: A serious candidate definitely reads current affairs of the last one year.  Now people who have read the C.A well know that the 3rd statement is definitely wrong.  Therefore 3 options could be easily eliminated and only option A is left.

 

Q89. Consider the following statements:

  1. The Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 exempts several posts from disqualification on the grounds of ‘Office of Profit’.
  2. The above-mentioned Act was amended five times.
  3. The term ‘Office of Profit’ is well- defined in the Constitution of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: A

Statement 1 is correct. The Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 exempts several posts from disqualification including- Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries, Deputy Chief Whips in Parliament, Vice-Chancellors of Universities, Officers in the National Cadet Corps, and the Territorial Army, and the Chairman and members of Advisory Committees set up by the Government.  

Statement 2 is correct. The Act has been amended five times (1960, 19992, 1993, 2006 and 2013)

Statement 3 is incorrect. The expression 'office of profit' has not been defined in the Constitution or in the Representation of the People Act, 1951. They have been mentioned in the Article 102 and 191 of the Constitution.

According to Article 102 (1) (a), a person shall be disqualified as a member of Parliament for holding any office of profit under the government of India or the government of any state, 'other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder'.  Article 191 (1) (a) has a similar provision for the members of state assemblies.

Suggestion: This question again shows that important issues of the last 2-3 years can also be asked as the issue was in news owing to the contention that appointment of Delhi MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries amounted to an office of profit Further UPSC plays mainly on important things as in the question if you know only the 3rd is incorrect, then also 3 options can be eliminated and you can reach the right answer .

 

Q90. Under which Schedule of the Constitution of India can the transfer of tribal land to private parties for mining be declared null and void?

(a) Third Schedule

(b) Fifth Schedule

(c) Ninth Schedule

(d) Twelfth Schedule

Answer: B

The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration and control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes. Under this schedule, the transfer of tribal land to private parties for mining be declared null and void.

In the Samatha v. State of Andhra Pradesh & Ors (1997) judgment the Supreme Court declared that the transfer of tribal land to private parties for mining was null and void under the Fifth Schedule.

Suggestion: Please remember the objective behind all 12 schedules of the constitution.

Also remember the Amendment number of last 4 schedules -

Ninth Schedule - 1st Amendment

Tenth Schedule - 52nd Amendment

Eleventh Schedule - 73rd Amendment

Twelfth Schedule - 74th Amendment

 

Q91. Recently, there was a growing awareness in our country about the importance of Himalayan nettle (Girardinia diversifolia) because it is found to be a sustainable source of

(a) anti-malarial drug

(b) biodiesel

(c) pulp for paper industry

(d) textile fibre

Answer: D

Girardinia diversifolia or Himalayan Nettle is a naturally available wild shrub found abundantly in the foothills of Himalayas. It is a fibre which is considered finer, stronger, and more elastic than linen. There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle

Suggestion: These are frivolous questions which are left by majority people unless they are 100% sure about it.

 

Q92. For the measurement/estimation of which of the following are satellite images/remote sensing data used?

  1. Chlorophyll content in the vegetation of a specific location
  2. Greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddies of a specific location
  3. Land surface temperatures of a specific location

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

All of the statements are correct.

The Thematic Mapper (TM) is an advanced, multispectral scanning, Earth resources sensor.

Thematic mappers take images in multiple wavelengths of electro-magnetic radiation (multi-spectral) and based on this survey – maps of land cover and land use from thematic mapping can be used to prospect for minerals, detect or monitor land usage, detect invasive vegetation, deforestation, and examine the health of indigenous plants and crops, including entire farming regions or forests. In this way Chlorophyll content can be estimated.

Radiometers and photometers are the most common instrument in use, collecting reflected and emitted radiation in a wide range of frequencies. They may also be used to detect the emission spectra of various chemicals, providing data on chemical concentrations in the atmosphere. In this way Greenhouse Gas emissions can be estimated.

With the development of remote sensing from space, satellite data offers the possibility for measuring land surface temperature over the entire globe with sufficiently high temporal resolution and with complete spatially averaged rather than point values.

Suggestion: Questions on applications of technology are often asked by UPSC .

In 2018 - Question on Application of 3d printing was asked

In 2015 - Question on use of Remote sensing satellite was asked.

 

Q93. Consider the following states

1. Chhattisgarh

2. Madhya Pradesh

3. Maharashtra

4. Odisha

With reference to the states mentioned above, in terms of percentage of forest cover to the total area of the state, which one of the following is the correct ascending order?

(a) 2-3-1-4

(b) 2-3-4-1

(c) 3-2-4-1

(d) 3-2-1-4

Answer: C

Maharashtra (16%)

Madhya Pradesh (25.11 %)

Odisha (32.98 %) 

Chattisgarh (41.09 %)

Suggestion: The question was based on Indian State of Forest report, 2017 (Released in 2018).

It would be no surprise to expect another question from the 2019 Indian State of forest report.

CAUTION: A candidate needs to be cautious while reading the question as the percentage of total area is asked and not total area. Here, omitting the word ‘percentage’ can change your answer.

 

Q94. Which of the following statements are correct about the deposits of ‘methane hydrate’?

  1. Global warming might trigger the release of methane gas from these deposits
  2. Large deposits of ‘methane hydrate’ are found in Arctic Tundra and under the seafloor
  3. Methane in atmosphere oxidizes to carbon dioxide after a decade or two

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: D

Methane hydrate is a crystalline solid that consists of a methane molecule surrounded by a cage of interlocking water molecules. 

Methane hydrate is an "ice" that only occurs naturally in subsurface deposits where temperature and pressure conditions are favorable for its formation.

Statement 1 is correct. Increase in temperature and pressure might trigger the release of methane gas from these deposits as the ice melts.

Statement 2 is correct. Enormous amounts of methane hydrate have been found beneath Arctic permafrost, beneath Antarctic ice, and in sedimentary deposits along continental margins worldwide. In some parts of the world, they are much closer to high-population areas than any natural gas field. 

Statement 3 is also correct. After an average residence time of about a decade, methane is oxidized into carbon dioxide and water vapour through chemical reactions with hydroxyl radicals (OH).

 

Q95. Consider the following:

  1. Carbon Monoxide
  2. Methane
  3. Ozone
  4. Sulphur Dioxide

Which of the above are released into the atmosphere due to the burning of crop/biomass residue?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 1 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4

Answer: D

Burning of crop residues emits CO2, CH4 (Methane), CO (Carbon Monoxide), N2O (Nitrous Oxide), SO2 (Sulphur Dioxide), O3 (Ozone) and particulate matter.

Suggestion: The question was asked as the issue of stubble burning was all over the news.  Farmers often burn leftover crop residues in order to clear the land for next season, this saves them a lot of time and money but damages the environment. For next year expect a question on the Happy Seeder machine which was given to farmers for clearing the residues.

 

Q96. Consider the following pairs :

           Sea                             Bordering Country

  1. Adriatic Sea:                       Albania
  2. Black Sea:                          Croatia
  3. Caspian Sea:                       Kazakhstan
  4. Mediterranean Sea:            Morocco
  5. Red Sea :                            Syria

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) 1, 2 and 4 only

(b) 1, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 5 only

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

Answer: B

Pair 2 is incorrectly matched. The Black Sea is bordered by Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, and Russia. (Croatia doesn’t border it.)

Pair 5 is incorrectly matched. The Red Sea is bordered by Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti.  (Syria doesn’t border it)

Pair 1 is correctly matched. The Adraitic sea is bordered by Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia.

Pair 3 is correctly matched. The Caspian Sea is a landlocked body of water between Europe and Asia. Five countries — Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Azerbaijan — border the inland sea

Pair 4 is correctly matched. The countries surrounding the Mediterranean in clockwise order are Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco; Malta and Cyprus are island countries in the sea.

Suggestion: Every year 2-3 map based questions are asked from places in the news, so prepare them well. Further questions around West Asian and Middle Eastern Region often recur frequently. For next year be prepared for a question on Indian Ocean Islands - Chagos Archipelago (U.K has control but Mauritius claiming historical rights), Assumption Island (Seychelles), Agalega Island (Mauritius)

 

Q97. Among the following, which one is the largest exporter of rice in the world for the last five years?

(a) China

(b) India

(c) Myanmar

(d) Vietnam

Answer: B

India emerged the world’s largest rice exporter in 2011-12, displacing Thailand from its leadership position. Two factors played a role in this. The first was the government’s decision in February 2011 to lift a four-year ban on exports of non-basmati varieties of rice, paving the way for a rise in exports of those varieties.

The second was a decision of the then Thai government under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, taken in the same year, to favour farmers by strengthening a Rice Pledging Scheme under which it promised to procure unlimited stocks at an enhanced price that reflected a 50 per cent increase over 2010. This discouraged them to export.

India’s share in world exports of rice in recent years (2014 - 18) has stayed at 25 -26 per cent, Thailand’s has fluctuated between 22 and 25 per cent, and Vietnam’s between 13 and 16 per cent.

 

Q98.  Consider the following pairs:

               Glacier:                       River

  1. Bandarpunch:                  Yamuna
  2. Bara Shigri:                     Chenab
  3. Milam:                            Mandakini
  4. Siachen:                          Nubra
  5. Zemu:                              Manas

Which of the following pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) 1, 2 and 4

(b) 1, 3 and 4

(c) 2 and 5

(d) 3 and 5

Answer: A

Pair 1 is correctly matched: The majestic Bandarpunch Glacier, perched in the Garhwal division of the Himalayas is an important glacier of Yamuna basin.

Pair 2 is correctly matched: Bara Shigri is the largest glacier located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is the second longest glacier in Himalaya after Gangotri, both are around 30 km long. The glacier is located in the Chandra Valley of Lahaul. The glacier feeds the Chenab River.

Pair 4 is correctly matched:  Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas. The glacier's melting waters are the main source of the Nubra River in the Indian region of Ladakh, which drains into the Shyok River

Pair 3 is incorrectly matched: Milam Glacier is a major glacier of the Kumaon Himalaya. It is located in the tehsil of Munsiyari, part of the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, India, about 15 kilometres northeast of Nanda Devi. The Glacier is the source of Goriganga river ( not mandakini).

Mandakini is a tributary of the Alaknanda River which originates from the Chorabari Glacier near Kedarnath in Uttarakhand, India.

Pair 5 is incorrectly matched: Zemu Glacier is the largest glacier in the Eastern Himalaya.

It is about 26 kilometres (16 mi) in length and is located at the base of Kanchenjunga in the Himalayan region of Sikkim, India.

The glacier is the source of water for numerous rivers including Teesta.

The Manas River is a transboundary river in the Himalayan foothills between southern Bhutan and India. It is named after Manasa, the serpent god in Hindu mythology.

 

Q99.  In India, the use of carbofuran, methyl parathion, phorate and triazophos is viewed with apprehension. These chemicals are used as

(a) pesticides in agriculture

(b) preservatives in processed foods

(c) fruit-ripening agents

(d) moisturizing agents in cosmetics

Answer: A

The carbofuran, methyl parathion, phorate and triazophos are pesticides used in agriculture. Currently, they are banned.

Suggestion: UPSC has a habit of asking things which pose a threat to mankind or environment. In 2018  a question on Prosopis juliflora ( an invasive plant species ) was asked.

 

Q100. Consider the following statements:

  1. Under Ramsar Convention, it is mandatory on the part of the Government of India to protect and conserve all the wetlands in the territory of India
  2. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 were framed by the Government of India based on the recommendations of Ramsar Convention
  3. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 also encompass the drainage area or catchment regions of the wetlands as determined by the authority

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B

Statement 1 is incorrect. Ramsar Convention  is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. It is not mandatory in nature.

Statement 2 is correct. India notified the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010, which for the first time lay down legally enforceable provisions for the conservation and management of Wetlands.  Clause 3 of 2010 rules: “Protected wetlands – Based on the significance of the functions performed by the wetlands for overall well being of the people and for determining the extent and level of regulation, the following wetlands shall be regulated under these rules, namely:-

(i) wetlands categorised as Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention as specified in the Schedule ( This shows influence)

Statement 3 is correct.  As per the definitions stated under the rules, “wetland” means an area or of marsh, fen, peatland or water…..includes all inland waters such as lakes, reservoir, tanks, backwaters, lagoon, creeks, estuaries and man made wetland and the zone of direct influence on wetlands that is to say the drainage area or catchment region of the wetlands as determined by the authority but does not include main river channels, paddy fields and the coastal wetland.

Suggestion: For next year a question on Specific Ramsar sites might be asked as 10 news sites are added to Ramsar list from India in 2019.