Test: UPSC Prelims (Past Year Questions) Geography 2015-20 - 2

30 Questions MCQ Test | Test: UPSC Prelims (Past Year Questions) Geography 2015-20 - 2

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In which one of the following States is Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary located?


Solution: Spread over an area of 862 sq. km. at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh, Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary and more popularly as Pakke Tiger Reserve. Earlier a game sanctuary, it became a wildlife sanctuary in 2001 and a part of Project Tiger in 2002. The sanctuary is well-known for being home to tigers and many amazing species of hornbill.


Consider the following pairs

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?



(i) Aleppo – Syria

(ii) Kirkuk – Iraq

(iii) Mosul – Iraq

(iv) Mazar-i-sharif – Afghanistan


From the ecological point of view, which one of the following assumes importance in being a good link between the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats?


Solution: Sathyamangalam forest range is a significant wildlife corridor in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the rest of the Eastern Ghats and a genetic link between the four other protected areas which it adjoins, including the Billigiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Sigur Plateau, Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park.


At one of the places in India, if you stand on the seashore and watch the sea, you will find that the sea water recedes from the shore line a few kilometres and comes back to the shore, twice a day, and you can actually walk on the sea floor when the water recedes. This unique phenomenon is seen at


Solution: Chandipur-on-sea (Odisha) beach is unique in that the water recedes up to 5 kilometers during the ebb tide.


With reference to river Teesta, consider the following statements:

1. The source of river Teesta is the same as that of Brahmaputra but it flows through Sikkim.

2. River Rangeet originates in Sikkim and it is a tributary of river Teesta.

3. River Teesta flows into Bay of Bengal on the border of India and Bangladesh.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Solution: Statement 1 and 3: Teesta River originates from the Pahunri glacier. Brahmaputra originates in Angsi glacier. Teesta is a tributary of Brahmaputra. So, 1 is wrong. But, Teesta flows through West Bengal and Sikkim, before going to Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh. Statement 3 is incorrect.


The terms ‘Event Horizon’, ‘Singularity’, `String Theory’ and ‘Standard Model’ are sometimes seen in the news in the context of


Solution: Singularity and event horizons are related to Black Holes. Standard model of physics tries to explain universal phenomena. String theory is used in the context of quantum physics that is used to understand quantum phenomena


If you travel by road from Kohima to Kottayam, what is the minimum number of States within India through which you can travel, including the origin and the destination?


Solution: You need to cross Nagaland (origin), Assam, WB, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and then through either Tamilnadu to Kerala (Kottayam), or through AP to Karnataka to Kerala: 7 states either way.


Mediterranean Sea is a border of which of the following countries?

1. Jordan

2. Iraq

3. Lebanon

4. Syria

Select the correct answer using the code given below:




Consider the following statements:

1. In India, the Himalayas are spread over five States only.

2. Western Ghats are spread over five States only.

3. Pulicat Lake is spread over two States only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Solution: Statement 1: Himalayas are spread over almost all the Northern and north-eastern Indian states. Statement 1 is wrong.

Statement 2: Western Ghats traverse the States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat (6 states).

Statement 3: Pulicat Lake (second largest brackish water lake in India)straddles the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states (2 states).


With reference to ‘Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)’ sometimes mentioned in the news while forecasting Indian monsoon, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. IOD phenomenon is characterised by a difference in sea surface temperature between tropical Western Indian Ocean and tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean.

2. An IOD phenomenon can influence an El Nino’s impact on the monsoon.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:


Solution: Statement 1: The IOD, also known as the Indian Niño, is an irregular oscillation of sea-surface temperatures in which the western Indian Ocean becomes alternately warmer and then colder than the eastern part of the Indian ocean (not tropical eastern pacific ocean.

Statement 2: IOD has a much more significant effect on the rainfall patterns in south-east Australia than the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the Pacific Ocean as shown in several recent studies.


Which of the following practices can help in water conservation in agriculture? ‎ ‎

1. Reduced or zero tillage of the land ‎ ‎

2. Applying gypsum before irrigating the field ‎ ‎

3. Allowing crop residue to remain in the field ‎

Select the correct answer using the code given below : ‎


Solution: Statement 1: Tillage is the agricultural preparation of soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning. No-till farming (also called zero tillage or direct drilling) is a way of growing crops or pasture from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage. Zero tillage helps in soil moisture conservation.

Statement 2: An infiltration problem often occurs in farms if the irrigation water does not enter the soil rapidly enough during a normal irrigation cycle. Gypsum helps in dissolution of the salt clay pan found in soils that hinder the percolation of water. This increases the efficiency of irrigation as less water is needed to irrigate the same soil. Adding gypsum to irrigation water further increases its infiltration rate.

Statement 3: This reduces evaporation of farm soil water


Which of the following is geographically closest to Great Nicobar?


Solution: Distance from Great Nicobar to Sri Lanka is 1,437 km. Distance from Great Nicobar to Sumatra is 1,192 km.


In which of the following regions of India are shale gas resources found?

1. Cambay Basin

2. Cauvery Basin

3. Krishna-Godavari Basin

Select the correct answer using the code given below:


Solution: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) has identified six basins as potentially shale gas bearing. These are Cambay, Assam-Arakan, Gondwana, Krishna-Godavari, Kaveri, and the Indo-Gangetic plain.


Which of the following is/are tributary/tributaries of Brahmaputra?

1. Dibang

2. Kameng

3. Lohit

Select the correct answer using the code given below:



Recently, linking of which of the following rivers was undertaken?



Why does the Government of India promote the use of “Neem-coated Urea” in agriculture?


Solution: Down-to-earth explains the role of Neem-coated Urea very well.

(i) “Urea is an important supplier of nitrogen, which is necessary for the development of plants. But only 30-40 per cent of nitrogen present in the urea is utilised by crops. The rest gets degraded in various stages.

(ii) When ordinary urea is applied, it gets converted to ammonium carbamate. Some of this gets converted to ammonia gas in what is called ammonia volatilisation. About 8-10 per cent nitrogen is lost during volatilisation.

(iii) The rest of the ammonium carbamate undergoes chemical transfor-mation and nitrates are formed. Some of these are absorbed by the plants.

(iv) The rest are either leached into the underground water or are denitrified to gaseous nitrogen and nitrous oxide under anaerobic conditions (absence of oxygen).

(v) Neem has properties that check nitrogen loss at each stage. It slows down the process of nitrate formation and hence excess nitrate is not available for denitrification.

(vi) So, clearly B is the most appropriate option. Neem coating also prevents Urea from being diverted to non-agricultural purposes.


Which of the following is/are the advantage/advantages of practicing drop irrigation?

1. Reduction in weed

2. Reduction in soil salinity

3. Reduction in soil erosion

Select the correct answer using the code given below:


Solution: Statement 1: Weeds usually grow in between the plant rows due to availability of moisture on that strip of land. In drip irrigation, water is applied directly to the roots, and not the entire field (thus excluding the land space between plants where weeds usually grow). So, weed growth is inhibited.

Statement 2: There may be some confusion in this statement. Generally excessive logging and flooded fields suffer from higher salinity. So, replacing conventional irrigation may help in curbing water-logged soil salinity.

(i) But, generally speaking, as a rule, we cannot claim that if drip irrigation system is installed on a farm land, it would always reduce soil salinity. Seen in isolation from instances of water logging (or other such cases), drip irrigation and soil salinity do not have much co-relation. The system simply delivers water to the roots of the plant.

(ii) Also, if we use elimination, as 1 and 3 must be correct, there is no option “1, 2 and 3” which automatically tells us that statement 2 is wrong.

Statement 3: Surface irrigation is a significant contributor to top soil erosion. Drip irrigation reduces soil erosion as water is delivered directly to plant roots at a very slow rate (unlike surface irrigation where water velocity can be fast).


With reference to “Red Sanders” sometimes seen in the news, consider the following statements:

1. It is a tree species found in a part of South India.

2. It is one of the most important trees in the tropical rain forest areas of South India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Solution: Statement 1: Red Sanders (a tree) has a highly restrictive distribution in the South Eastern portion of Indian peninsula (Eastern Ghats of South India) to which it is endemic. So, clearly 1 is correct.

Statement 2: It occurs in the forest formation which is classified as “Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests”. So, clearly 2 is wrong. It is generally found at altitudes of 150 – 900 m. It grows on dry, hilly, often rocky ground, and occasionally found on precipitous hill sides also. It prefers lateritic and gravelly soil and cannot tolerate water logging.


Consider the following pairs:

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?


Solution: Baghelkhand is in Central India, whereas Bodhgaya is in Bihar. So, if 1 is wrong, we have options (b) and (c) remaining. Malwa doesn’t extend to Nasik and Shirdi is in Ahmadnagar (far from Vidarbha). So, 3 and 4 are wrong. The only answer can be C.


Consider the following pairs:

Community sometimes In the affairs of mentioned in the news

1. Kurd : Bangladesh

2. Madhesi : Nepal

3. Rohingya : Myanmar

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


Solution: Kurds are an ethnic group in the Middle East. So, 1 is incorrect. Madhesis were recently in news due to Nepal’s constitutional debates about their representation in the polity. So, 2 is correct. Rohingyas muslims and Buddhist rakhines have been indulging into fights and riots in Myanmar, which has frequently been in news. So, 3 is correct.


Tides occur in the oceans and seas due to which among the following?

1. Gravitational force of the Sun

2. Gravitational force of the Moon

3. Centrifugal force of the Earth

Select the correct answer using the code given below:


Solution: Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of gravitational forces exerted by the Moon, Sun, and rotation of the Earth. The times and amplitude of tides at a locale are influenced by the alignment of the Sun and Moon, by the pattern of tides in the deep ocean, by the amphidromic systems of the oceans, and the shape of the coastline and near-shore bathymetry.


In the South Atlantic and South-Eastern Pacific regions in tropical latitudes, cyclones do not originate. What is the reason?


Solution: Option C is wrong. Coriolis force is weak only in the region around 0-5 degrees North or South latitudes. Option B is also wrong. ITCZ formation is not essential to the formation of cyclones. Cyclones are formed in regions where ITCZ does not form, for e.g. in North Atlantic. Option D is absurd as absence of land boosts cyclones. Presence of land cuts off moisture from the cyclone. So, the most appropriate answer should be A. For cyclone formation, a sea temperature of at least 26 degree Celsius is needed. In the South-eastern pacific and South Atlantic region cold currents are found. This leads to lower sea temperatures. Hence, cyclones don’t form there.


What explains the eastward flow of the equatorial counter-current ?


Solution: The equatorial countercurrents are driven by a distinct surface wind pattern in the tropics. Strong westward trade winds result in westward surface flow in most of the tropical Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. However, several hundred mi. (km.) north of the equator the winds are much weaker, in comparison. The stronger winds to the south pile up water where the winds are weak. As a result, the surface of the ocean can be up to 6 in. (15 cm.) higher and the thermocline (region of strongest decrease of temperature with increasing depth) as much as 328 ft. (100 m.) deeper than it is directly to the north. The excess water flows eastward under the influence of the Earth’s rotation, giving rise to the equatorial countercurrents.


Consider the following statements:

1. The winds which blow between 300N and 600S latitudes throughout the year are known as Westerlies.

2. The moist air masses that cause winter rains in North-Western region of India are part of Westerlies.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Solution: Westerlies flow between latitudes 30-60 degrees North and 30-60 degrees South. The statement mentions 30N-60S. So it is wrong. The western cyclonic disturbances are weather phenomena of the winter months brought in by the westerly flow from the Mediterranean region. They usually influence the weather of the north and north-western regions of India. They are a non-monsoonal precipitation pattern driven by the Westerlies.


“Each day is more or less the same, the morning is clear and bright with a sea breeze; as the Sun climbs high in the sky, heat mounts up, dark clouds form, then rain comes with thunder and lightning. But rain is soon over.”

Which of the following regions is described in the above passage?


Solution: Equatorial climate is characterized by consistently high temperatures (around 30 °C), with plentiful precipitation (150–1,000 cm), heavy cloud cover, and high humidity, with very little annual temperature variation. Wet equatorial regions lie within about 12° latitude of the Equator.


Which one of the following pairs of State of India indicates the Easternmost and the Westernmost State?



Which one of the following regions of India has a combination of mangrove forest, evergreen forest and deciduous forest?


Solution: The South Andaman forests have a profuse growth of epiphytic vegetation, mostly ferns and orchids. The Middle Andamans harbours mostly moist deciduous forests. North Andamans is characterized by the wet evergreen type, with plenty of woody climbers. The North Nicobar Islands (including Car Nicobar and Battimalv) are marked by the complete absence of evergreen forests, while such forests form the dominant vegetation in the central and southern islands of the Nicobar group. Grasslands occur only in the Nicobars, and while deciduous forests are common in the Andamans, they are almost absent in the Nicobars. The present forest coverage is claimed to be 86.2% of the total land area.


Consider the following States:

1. Arunachal Pradesh

2. Himachal Pradesh

3. Mizoram

In which of the above States do “Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests” occur?


Solution: These are typical rain forests which grow in those areas where the annual rainfall exceeds 250 cm, the annual temperature is about 25°-27°C the average annual humidity exceeds 77 per cent and the dry season is distinctly short. The true evergreen forests are found along the western side of the Western Ghats (between 500 to 1370 metres above sea level) south of Mumbai, in a strip running from northeast to south-west direction across Arunachal Pradesh, Upper Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura upto a height of 1070 metres and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


In India, in which one of the following types of forests is teak a dominant tree species?


Solution: Tropical moist deciduous forests exist mostly in the eastern part of the country – northeastern states, along the foothills of the Himalayas, Jharkhand, West Orissa and Chhattisgarh, and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. Teak is the most dominant species of this forest. Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair, kusum, arjun, mulberry are other commercially important species.


In India, the steel production industry requires the import of:


Solution: Saltpetre (Potassium nitrate) is not used in the production of steel. It is instead used in fertilizers, tree stump removal, rocket propellants and fireworks. It is one of the major constituents of gunpowder (blackpowder) and has been used since the Middle Ages as a food preservative. India definitely imports coking coal. So, the answer has to be C. It requires 0.8 tonnes coking coal to produce one tonne of steel. The government had recently imposed a 2.5 per cent duty on coking coal import.