Test: Science & Technology - 1 (July 9, 2021)

25 Questions MCQ Test UPSC CSE Prelims 2021 Mock Test Series | Test: Science & Technology - 1 (July 9, 2021)

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With reference to recently announced National Guidelines for Gene Therapy, consider the following statements:

  1. It seeks to regulate the gene therapy procedures in India.

  2. It mandates registration of all clinical trials with Clinical Trials Registry-India (CTRI).

  3. All entities producing gene therapy products must establish an Institutional Bio-safety Committee (IBSC).

Which of the statements given above are correct?


National Guidelines for Gene Therapy Product Development and Clinical Trials

  1. The apex health research body ICMR has released national guidelines regarding the procedures to be followed for developing and performing gene therapies to tackle inherited genetic or rare diseases in India. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

  2. The aim of the document is to ensure that gene therapies can be introduced in India and clinical trials for gene therapies can be performed in an ethical, scientific and safe manner.

  3. Cumulatively, approximately 70 million Indians suffer from some form of rare disease. These include hemophilia, thalassemia, sickle-cell anemia certain forms of muscular dystrophies, retinal dystrophies such as retinitis pigmentosa, corneal dystrophies, primary immunodeficiency (PID) in children, lysosomal storage disorders such as Pompe disease, Gaucher's disease, haemangioma, cystic fibrosis etc.

  4. These national guidelines provide the general principles for developing Gene Therapy Products (GTPs) for any human ailment and provides the framework for human clinical trials which must follow the established general principles of biomedical research for any human applications.

  5. The guidelines cover all areas of GTP production, pre-clinical testing and clinical administration, as well as long term, follow up.

  6. Mechanism for Review and Oversight:

    1. Proposed establishment of Gene Therapy Advisory and Evaluation Committee (GTAEC)- an independent body with experts from diverse areas of biomedical research, government agencies and other stakeholders.

    2. It is mandatory for all institutions and entities engaged in development of GTPs to establish an Institutional Bio-safety Committee (IBSC). Hence, statement 3 is correct.

    3. Research involving development of new Gene Therapy Product (GTPs) needs to obtain approvals from IBSC and Ethics Committee (EC). Biological material from humans can be procured only from clinics/hospitals that have an Ethics Committee.

    4. All clinical trials are mandated to be registered with Clinical Trials Registry-India (CTRI). It is an online public record system for registration of clinical trials being conducted in India. Hence, statement 2 is correct.


Consider the following statements about a photocell:

  1. A photocell is a technological application of the photoelectric effect.

  2. It is a device whose electrical properties are affected by light.

  3. Photocells are used in burglar alarms.

Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?

  • The photoelectric effect is the emission of electrons or other free carriers when light hits a material.

  • A photocell is a device whose electrical properties (and not chemical properties) are affected by light. A photocell converts a change in intensity of illumination into a change in photocurrent. Itis a technological application of the photoelectric effect. Hence statements 1 and 2 are correct.

  • The photocells, inserted in the door light electric circuit, are used as automatic door opener. A person approaching a doorway may interrupt a light beam which is incident on a photocell. The abrupt change in photocurrent may be used to start a motor that opens the door or rings an alarm (burglar alarm). Hence statement 3 is correct.

  • In burglar alarm, (invisible) ultraviolet light is continuously made to fall on a photocell installed at the doorway. A person entering the door interrupts the beam falling on the photocell. The abrupt change in photocurrent is used to start an electric bell ringing.

  • In fire alarm, a number of photocells are installed at suitable places in a building. In the event of breaking out of the fire, light radiations fall upon the photocell. This completes the electric circuit through an electric bell or a siren which starts operating as a warning signal.

  • Photocells are used in the reproduction of sound in motion pictures and in the television camera for scanning and telecasting scenes.

  • They are used in industries for detecting minor flaws or holes in metal sheets.


Which of the following pairs are correctly matched?

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Oxalic acid is used in the bleaching of leather, removal of ink, photography, clothing printing. Hence pair 1 is correctly matched.

  • Acetic Acid is used as a solvent, in preparation of vinegar, acetone, and processing of food. Hence pair 2 is correctly matched.

  • Citric Acid is used in washing metals, processing of food and drugs, in the cloth industry. Hence pair 3 is correctly matched.

  • Benzoic Acid is used for the preservation of medicine and food. Hence pair 4 is not correctly matched.

  • Sulphuric Acid is used in accumulation batteries.


Which of the following represents the correct order of abundance of elements by mass in the Earth?

  • The abundance of elements in the earth is different than that in the earth's crust. Oxygen is the most abundant element in earth's crust but when considered earth as a whole, iron is the most abundant, by mass.

  • Iron-32%, Oxygen-30%, Silicon-15%, Magnesium-14%.

  • Moreover, around 91 % of the earth's mass is constituted by these four elements. Next in line are Sulphur, Nickel, Calcium, and Aluminium.


Global Climate Risk Index is released by

  • Global Climate Risk Index is published annually by German watch, a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Bonn, Germany. Germanwatch seeks to influence public policy on trade, the environment, and relations between countries in the industrialized north and underdeveloped south. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.

  • Global Climate Risk Index assesses countries and quantify impacts of climate change through economic losses, losses to GDP (Gross domestic product) and fatalities to arrive at a ranking.

  • In the Climate Risk Index 2020, India’s rank has worsened from the 14th spot in 2017 to 5th in 2018 in the global vulnerability ladder. India has also recorded the highest number of fatalities due to climate change and the second highest monetary losses from its impact in 2018. India’s high rank is due to severe rainfalls, followed by heavy flooding and landslide that killed over 1000 people.


The lowest amount of water in the soil that a plant requires to maintain its turgidity is known as:

  • Permanent wilting point (PWP) or wilting point (WP) is defined as the minimum amount of water in the soil that the plant requires not to wilt. If the soil water content decreases to this or any lower point a plant wilts and can no longer recover its turgidity when placed in a saturated atmosphere for 12 hours. Turgidity is the state of being turgid or swollen, especially due to high fluid content. Turgidity is essential in plant cells to make them keep standing upright. Plant cells that lose much water have less turgor pressure and tend to become flaccid.

  • The matric potential at this soil moisture condition is commonly estimated at -15 bar. Most agricultural plants will generally show signs of wilting long before this moisture potential or water content is reached (more typically at around -2 to -5 bars) because the rate of water movement to the roots decreases and the stomata tend to lose their turgor pressure and begin to restrict transpiration.

  • This water is strongly retained and trapped in the smaller pores and does not readily flow. The volumetric soil moisture content at the wilting point will have dropped to around 5 to 10% for sandy soils, 10 to 15% in loam soils, and 15 to 20% in clay soils.

  • Hence option (c) is the correct answer.


Consider the following statements:

  1. Xylem can transport in both an upward and downward direction, while Phloem can transport only in upwards direction.

  2. Xylem transports water and minerals while Phloem transports food and nutrients.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Xylem consists of tracheids, vessels, xylem parenchyma, and xylem fibers. The cells have thick walls, and many of them are dead cells. Tracheids and vessels are tubular structures. This allows them to transport water and minerals vertically. The parenchyma stores food and helps in the sideways conduction of water. Fibres are mainly supportive in function. Xylem occupies the center of the vascular bundle. Water and minerals are transport from roots to aerial parts of the plant by Xylem. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.

  • Phloem is made up of four types of elements: sieve tubes, companion cells, phloem fibers, and the phloem parenchyma. Sieve tubes are tubular cells with perforated walls. Phloem is unlike xylem in that materials can move in both directions in it. Phloem transports food from leaves to other parts of the plant. Except for phloem fibers, phloem cells are living cells. Phloem occurs on the outer side of the vascular bundle. Transportation of food and nutrients such as sugar and amino acids from leaves to storage organs and growing parts of plants done by Phloem. This movement of substances is called translocation. Hence, statement 2 is correct.


The term parthenogenesis refers to

  • Parthenogenesis can be defined as the production of an embryo from a female gamete without any genetic contribution from a male gamete, with or without the eventual development into an adult. It is distinct from asexual reproduction since it involves the production of egg cells.

  • Parthenogenesis is a normal method of reproduction in many lower organisms, but does not lead to viable mammalian offspring. Parthenogenetic development can proceed by various routes depending on whether meiosis has occurred or has been suppressed, in which case the egg develops as result of mitotic divisions.

  • Whenever sex is determined by chromosome constitution, parthenogenetic offspring, in the absence of effective meiosis, all will be, mostly female.


Consider the following pairs:

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

  • Microbes are also used for commercial and industrial production of certain chemicals like organic acids, alcohols and enzymes. Examples of acid producers are Aspergillus niger (a fungus) of citric acid, Acetobacter aceti (a bacterium) of acetic acid; Clostridium butylicum (a bacterium) of butyric acid and Lactobacillus (a bacterium) of lactic acid.

  • Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is used for commercial production of ethanol. Microbes are also used for production of enzymes.

  • Lipases are used in detergent formulations and are helpful in removing oily stains from the laundry.

  • Streptokinase produced by the bacterium Streptococcus and modified by genetic engineering is used as a ‘clot buster’ for removing clots from the blood vessels of patients who have undergone myocardial infection leading to heart attack.

  • A bioactive molecule, cyclosporin A, that is used as an immunosuppressive agent in organ-transplant patients, is produced by the fungus Trichoderma polysporum.

  • Statins produced by the yeast Monascus purpureus have been commercialised as blood-cholesterol lowering agents. It acts by competitively inhibiting the enzyme responsible for synthesis of cholesterol.


With respect to viruses, consider the following statements:

1. Viruses are usually bigger than bacteria.

2. Viruses can replicate outside living cells and can be cultured outside specific host cells.

3. Viruses do not have a cellular structure.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

  • A virus is a small infectious agent that can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.

  • Viruses are usually smaller than bacteria. In fact, the largest virus is smaller than the smallest bacterium. Hence statement 1 is not correct.

  • Their presence can be determined only by observing the effect they have on their hosts, or by viewing them under an electronic microscope.

  • They replicate only inside living cells. Hence statement 2 is not correct.

  • It is impossible to culture outside the specific host cells.

  • Unlike other microorganisms, viruses do not have a cellular structure. Therefore, they lack most of the components of cells, such as organelles, ribosomes, and the plasma membrane. Hence statement 3 is correct.


A person stands on loose sand and then lies down on it. He goes deeper into the sand while standing than while lying down. Which one of the following is the reason?

  • The effects of forces of the same magnitude on different areas are different. When the person stands on loose sand, the force, that is, the weight of his body is acting on an area equal to the area of his feet. When he lies down, the same force acts on an area equal to the contact area of his whole body, which is larger than the area of his feet. In both cases, the force exerted on the sand is the weight of his body and the force is acting perpendicular to the surface of the sand. The force acting on an object perpendicular to the surface is called thrust. The effect of thrust on sand is larger while standing than while lying. The thrust on the unit area is called pressure.

  • Pressure = Thrust/Area

  • Thus, higher pressure is exerted by the body on the sand while standing and the person goes down deeper into it as compared to when he is lying down.


A cup with a hole in the bottom drains slower when filled with honey than when it is filled with water. This is because of

  1. If a cup with a hole in the bottom is taken and honey is poured into it, it is found that the cup drains very slowly. If the same cup is filled with water, the cup drains much more quickly. This is because honey's viscosity is large compared to water's viscosity.

  2. Viscosity is a measure of a fluid's resistance to flow. It describes the internal friction of a moving fluid. A fluid with large viscosity resists motion because its molecular makeup gives it a lot of internal friction. A fluid with low viscosity flows easily because its molecular makeup results in very little friction when it is in motion.

  3. Hence option (c) is the correct answer.


In the context of gravitational force and electromagnetic force, consider the following statements:

1. While gravitational force is always attractive, electromagnetic force can be both attractive and repulsive.

2. While gravitational force is only dependent on mass, the electromagnetic force is dependent on both mass and charge.

3. While gravitational force is dependent upon the distance between the two bodies, the electromagnetic force is independent of it.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The gravitational force between two bodies is directly proportionate to the product of masses of the two objects and inversely proportionate to the square of the distance between them.

  • The electromagnetic force between two bodies is directly proportionate to the product of charges of the two objects and inversely proportionate to the square of the distance between them. Hence statement 3 is not correct.

  • Gravitational force is always attractive while Electromagnetic force can be both attractive and repulsive. The same charges repel each other while opposite charges attract. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • The electromagnetic force is not dependent upon mass. Hence statement 2 is not correct.


Which of the following statements best explains the reason for airplane windows being rounded rather than square?

  • Square windows were hazardous for airplanes because the pressures inside and outside the cabin are so different, that the sharp edgy corners would not be able to handle the pressure difference and give in.

  • Sharp corners naturally concentrate more stress, which further gets weakened by the immense air pressure. Curved or round windows distribute the stress of the outside pressure of air, and thus are stronger and prone to deformation because of the pressure.

  • Hence option (b) is the correct answer.


With reference to Washing Soda, consider the following statements:

  1. Sodium chloride is used in the manufacturing of Washing Soda.

  2. It is used as a cleaning agent for domestic purposes.

  3. It is used for removing the permanent hardness of the water.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Washing soda (Na2CO3.10H2O) is obtained from sodium chloride (NaCl). Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • Uses of washing soda:

    • Sodium carbonate (washing soda) is used in glass, soap and paper industries.

    • It is used in the manufacture of sodium compounds such as borax.

    • Sodium carbonate can be used as a cleaning agent for domestic purposes. Hence statement 2 is correct.

    • It is used for removing the permanent hardness of the water. Hence statement 3 is correct.


'Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations' is an agreement between:


Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations

  • It is a bilateral agreement signed between India and Pakistan.

  • This is an annual exchange of conducted on 1st January between them to prevent them from attacking each other’s nuclear facilities. The exchange is part of an agreement between the two nuclear-armed neighbors meant to prevent attacks on nuclear facilities by each other.

  • It bars them from carrying out any surprise attack (or to assist foreign power to attack) on each other’s nuclear installations and facilities.

  • It was signed on 31st December 1988 and entered into force on 27 January 1991. It was signed by then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his Pakistani counterpart Benazir Bhutto. Under it, both countries inform each other about their nuclear installations and facilities that need to be covered under the Agreement on 1 January every year.

  • India and Pakistan have recently exchanged a list of their nuclear installations and facilities with each other under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations. This is the 27th consecutive exchange of such a list between two countries after the first list was exchanged on 1 January 1992.


A highly trained singer can hit a note that causes glass to shatter. Which of the following phenomenon exhibited by the sound waves is responsible for this?

  • Resonance is a phenomenon in which a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at a specific preferential frequency. Frequencies at which the response amplitude is a relative maximum are known as the system's resonant frequencies or resonance frequencies.

  • A highly trained singer can hit a note that causes glass to shatter due to the phenomenon of resonance. The natural, or resonant, frequency in the glass, as with all objects, is determined by its shape and composition. If the singer's voice (or a note from an instrument) hits the resonant frequency, there will be a transfer of energy. A full transfer of energy from the voice or musical instrument can overload the glass, causing it to shatter.

  • Interference of Sound: Two traveling waves that exist in the same medium will interfere with each other. If their amplitudes add, the interference is said to be constructive interference, and destructive interference if they are "out of phase" and subtract.

  • Reverberation is a result of multiple reflections. A sound wave in an enclosed or semi-enclosed environment will be broken up as it is bounced back and forth among the reflecting surfaces. Reverberation is, in effect, a multiplicity of ECHOes whose speed of repetition is too quick for them to be perceived as separate from one another.

  • The behavior of a wave (or pulse) upon reaching the end of a medium is referred to as boundary behavior. There are essentially four possible behaviors that a wave could exhibit at a boundary: reflection (the bouncing off of the boundary), diffraction (the bending around the obstacle without crossing over the boundary), transmission (the crossing of the boundary into the new material or obstacle), and refraction (occurs along with transmission and is characterized by the subsequent change in speed and direction).

  • Hence option (c) is the correct answer.


With reference to the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization, consider the following statements:

  1. It acts as a supreme institution for the settlement of international trade disputes whose decisions are binding on members.

  2. It is composed of seven members who are appointed by the WTO members by consensus.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. WTO Dispute Settlement System

    1. For proper enforcement of trade rules, a binding, two-stage dispute settlement system was established at the World Trade Organization in the 1990s. The Appellate Body is the scaffolding of the dispute settlement system, with seven standing members.

    2. In the first stage for adjudicating trade disputes, a panel would decide cases brought before it by the members. If one of the parties to the dispute does not accept the report of the panel, it can appeal to the legal findings of the panel before the Appellate Body. Each appeal is heard by a three-member chamber, which can uphold, modify, or reverse the panel's legal findings and conclusions.

    3. World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body acts as a supreme court for international trade.

    4. As part of the second-stage of adjudication, the Appellate Body can uphold, modify or reverse the legal findings and conclusions of a panel. Therefore, the Appellate Body’s decisions are final and adopted within 30 days by the dispute settlement body. Sanctions can be imposed on a member in case of its failure to comply with the Appellate Body’s rulings. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

  2. The Appellate Body

    1. The Appellate Body is composed of seven members who are appointed by consensus by the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) (composed of all WTO members) to serve for four-year terms i.e. a decision is taken if no member formally objects. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

    2. Each person may be reappointed for another four-year term. Terms are staggered, ensuring that not all Members begin and complete their terms at the same time.

    3. The US recently vetoed on the appointment of new Appellate Body members on the pretext that various dispute settlements were biased against the USA.


Which of the following are the constituents of nucleic acid?

  1. Sugar

  2. Phosphate

  3. Nitrogenous base

  4. Potassium base

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Nucleic acid, naturally occurring chemical compound that is capable of being broken down to yield phosphoric acid, sugars, and a mixture of organic bases (purines and pyrimidines). Nucleic acids are the main information-carrying molecules of the cell, and, by directing the process of protein synthesis, they determine the inherited characteristics of every living thing.

  • The two main classes of nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). DNA is the master blueprint for life and constitutes the genetic material in all free-living organisms and most viruses. RNA is the genetic material of certain viruses, but it is also found in all living cells, where it plays an important role in certain processes such as the making of proteins.

  • Each nucleotide has three components: a 5-carbon sugar, a phosphate group, and a nitrogenous base.

  • The DNA does not include a potassium base and hence only option 4 is not correct.


Which of the following is/are the part of the forensic analysis?

  1. Mitochondrial DNA Analysis

  2. Polygraph Test

  3. Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature (BEOS) Profiling

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • The term forensic investigation refers to the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence to be used in criminal justice or other proceedings.

  • The following are the part of forensic analysis done to assist civil and criminal investigations.

    • Mitochondrial DNA Analysis - Mitochondrial DNA typing is a method used by forensic scientists to match DNA from an unknown sample to a sample collected at a crime scene

    • Polygraph Test - A polygraph, popularly referred to as a lie detector test, is a device or procedure that measures and records several physiological indicators such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and skin conductivity while a person is asked and answers a series of questions.

    • Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature (BEOS) Profiling - BEOS test is applicable in the forensic field for the detection of a person as suspect, accused, witness or complainant. The BEOS test was designed and developed as an alternative method to the use of a polygraph based lie-detection test BEOS is a neurocognitive indicator of the presence of remembrance taking place in the brain, when the same is cued by probes referring to previous experiences.


The term ‘Founder effect’, in population genetics, is used to indicate

  • The term "founder effect" refers to the observation that when a small group of individuals breaks off from a larger population and establishes a new population, chance plays a large role in determining which alleles (a variant form of a gene) are represented in the new population. The particular alleles may not be representative of the larger population. As the new population grows, the allele frequencies will usually continue to reflect the original small group.

  • A founder effect occurs when a new colony is started by a few members of the original population. This small population size means that the colony may have:

    • reduced genetic variation from the original population.

    • a non-random sample of the genes in the original population.

  • Hence option (a) is the correct answer.


Which of the following correctly describes the ‘prebiotics’?

  • Prebiotics are a group of nutrients that are degraded by gut microbiota.

  • Prebiotics are non-digestible substances, found in fiber. They serve as food for probiotic bacteria and stimulate their growth in the large intestine.

  • They pass through the small intestine only partially digested, and so once they reach the colon, they are able to be fermented by the bacteria there.

  • Hence option (a) is the correct answer.


Which of the following technologies will be enabled by the 5G mobile communication networks?

  1. Internet of Things

  2. Edge Computing

  3. Network Slicing

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • 5G is the communications backbone that will enable revolutionary applications in other markets, including industrial, automotive, medical and even defense. For a world that is becoming increasingly connected with the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G’s significant improvements in speed (at least 10 times faster than 4G, up to 10 Gbps), latency (10 times lower than 4G, down to 1 ms) and density (supporting 1 million IoT devices per square kilometer) will make many innovative applications possible – especially those in which security, reliability, quality of service, efficiency and cost are equally important.

  • The Internet of Things is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

  • Edge Computing: Edge computing means taking real-time decisions close to the source of data. By locating computational intelligence close to the individual and different sources of the data, edge computing reduces latency in the implementation of a requested service. Instead of sending data through the entire core network to the cloud for processing, edge computing uses a distributed network architecture to ensure near-real-time processing with reduced delays, which would otherwise simply not be acceptable for the specific service.

  • Network Slicing: Network slicing allows operators to separate the packet traffic layer from the control layer, supporting multiple applications and services running in parallel for a range of users who require different levels of quality, latency, and bandwidth. This means that 5G systems will have many logical network slices, or “fast-track lanes,” to support specific applications and customers.


Double Fortified Salt is one of the most cost- effective opportunities to deliver critical micronutrients. Which among the following micronutrients are fortified to table salt?

  1. Iodine

  2. Iron

  3. Chromium

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Food fortification or enrichment is the process of adding micronutrients (essential trace elements and vitamins) to food. It can be carried out by food manufacturers, or by governments as a public health policy which aims to reduce the number of people with dietary deficiencies within a population.

  • Double Fortified Salt is formed by blending iron premix with iodized salt.

  • It is one of the most cost-effective opportunities to deliver two of the most critical micronutrients for mental capacity, maternal and infant survival and human productivity. Salt double-fortified with iron as well as iodine has created an exciting new opportunity to reach the world with supplemental iron easily and inexpensively.

  • Hence only options 1 and 2 are correct.


Operation Vanilla, pertains to:

  • Recently, India handed over relief material and stores to the authorities of Madagascar. As the first respondent, Indian Navy Ship Airavat, which was en-route to Seychelles was diverted to Madagascar for rendering assistance after the island nation was lashed with cyclone causing heavy flooding and landslides leading to massive loss of life and property. The operation was launched and was codenamed as Operation Vanilla. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.