UPSC Prelims 2020 Mock Test -1


100 Questions MCQ Test UPSC Civil Services Revision & Mock Tests | UPSC Prelims 2020 Mock Test -1


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This mock test of UPSC Prelims 2020 Mock Test -1 for UPSC helps you for every UPSC entrance exam. This contains 100 Multiple Choice Questions for UPSC UPSC Prelims 2020 Mock Test -1 (mcq) to study with solutions a complete question bank. The solved questions answers in this UPSC Prelims 2020 Mock Test -1 quiz give you a good mix of easy questions and tough questions. UPSC students definitely take this UPSC Prelims 2020 Mock Test -1 exercise for a better result in the exam. You can find other UPSC Prelims 2020 Mock Test -1 extra questions, long questions & short questions for UPSC on EduRev as well by searching above.
QUESTION: 1

Which of the following best defines "edge effect"?

Solution:
  • Ecotones often have a larger number of species and larger population densities than the communities on either side. This tendency for increased biodiversity within the ecotone is referred to as the "edge effect." Those species which occur primarily or most abundantly in the ecotones are called "edge" species.
  • Although ecotones support an increase in density for some species, other species need interior habitat blocks to survive and show avoidance or poor survival on edges. An increase in anthropogenic fragmentation of landscapes creates more ecotones, which may result in an increased occurrence of edge species while simultaneously resulting in increased negative effects for interior species.
QUESTION: 2

Which of the following modifications can be seen in Mangroves that help them survive to waterlogged conditions?
1. Aerial roots
2. Viviparity mode of reproduction
3. Salt glands in leaves
4. Lenticellated bark

Select the correct answer using code given below.

Solution:

The correct option is Option D.

In contrast to most plants, mangroves have poorly developed, shallow below-ground root systems while having well-developed aerial roots. These aerial roots allow for the transport of atmospheric gases to the underground roots.

The mangrove root system takes up oxygen from the atmosphere. To overcome this, mangrove species have a unique way of reproduction, which is generally known as vivipary. In this method of reproduction, seeds germinate and develop into seedlings while the seeds are still attached to the parent tree.

Many mangrove species survive by filtering out as much as 90 percent of the salt found in seawater as it enters their roots. Some species excrete salt through glands in their leaves. These leaves, which are covered with dried salt crystals, taste salty if you lick them.

They require high solar radiation and can absorb fresh water from saline brackish water. They produce pneumatophores to overcome the respiration problem in anaerobic soil condition. Most mangrove vegetation has lenticellated bark which facilitates more water loss and produces coppices.

QUESTION: 3

In the context of cultural history of India, Saptamatrikas refers to a group of seven:

Solution:
  • Saptamatrika refers to a group of seven mother-goddesses, each of whom is the shakti, or female counterpart, of a god.

  • They are Brahmani (wife of Brahma), Maheshvari (wife of Shiva), Kaumari (wife of Kumara), Vaishnavi (wife of Vishnu), Varahi (wife of Varaha, or the boar, an avatar [incarnation] of Vishnu), Indrani (wife of Indra), and Chamunda, or Yami (wife of Yama). One text, the Varaha-purana, states that they number eight, including Yogeshvari, created out of the flame from Shiva’s mouth.

  • Recently, the Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) has discovered earliest epigraphic evidence of the Saptamatrika cult. It is the earliest Sanskrit inscription discovered in South India as on date and was discovered in Chebrolu village in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.

QUESTION: 4

With respect to the Ajivika Sect, consider the following statements:
1. Its central idea was that human effortsplay an important role in determining his own karma and ultimately his own destiny.
2. It was founded by the Makkhali Gosala.
3. Barabar caves that belonged to Ajivika sects are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Statement 1 is not correct: A central Ajivika idea was that of niyati (fate), the principle that ultimately determined and controlled everything. The human effort was of no consequence in this strictly deterministic doctrine. Ajivikas were described as fatalists, they believed that there was no free will and everything that has happened, is happening and will happen is entirely preordained and nothing could change it. Karma and transmigration existed, but human effort played no role in it, as the paths for souls over thousands of years had already been mapped out.

  • Statement 2 is correct: Ajivika was a religious order or a heterodox sect in the time of Buddha founded by the Makkhali Gosala, a senior contemporary of Buddha and Mahavira. Ajivikas were one of the Nastika Darsana or Heterodox Philosophies as they did not believe in the Vedas.

  • Statement 3 is not correct: The rock-cut cave carved at Barabar hills near Gaya in Bihar is known as the Lomas Rishi cave. Barabar caves are a set of 7 rock-cut-caves dating back to the third century BC. The facade of the cave is decorated with the semicircular chaitya arch as the entrance. The elephant frieze carved in high relief on the chaitya arch shows considerable movement. The interior hall of this cave is rectangular with a circular chamber at the back. The entrance is located on the sidewall of the hall.

  • Mauryan king Ashoka and his grandson Dashratha donated the Barabar caves to Ajivika sect monks. The inscription in the Sudama cave informs that the four caves on Barabar hill were assigned by King Ashoka to Ajivika monks in 261 BC. Another inscription on the Nagarjuni hill is of the grandson of King Ashoka, Dasaratha Maurya, which tells that the Ajivikas continued to enjoy imperial Mauryan patronage for long. The caves are not a world heritage site.

QUESTION: 5

Consider the following statements about Kisan Rail Yojana:
(1) The scheme aims to build a seamless supply chain for all agricultural commodities.
(2) The Kisan Rail is to be set up through PPP arrangements.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The Kisan Rail Scheme was recently announced in Budget 2020-21.

  • It aims to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of milk, meat and fish. There shall be refrigerated coaches in Express and Freight trains as well. So, statement (1) is not correct.

  • The Indian Railways will set-up a “Kisan Rail” through PPP arrangements. So, statement (2) is correct.

  • Additional Information: Also, a Krishi Udaan scheme will be launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on international and national routes. This will immensely help improve value realisation especially in North-East and tribal districts.

QUESTION: 6

Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer using the code given below:

Codes:

    A B C D
(a) 1 2 3 4
(b) 1 3 2 4
(c) 4 3 2 1
(d) 2 3 1 4

Solution:
  • Under Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) Annuity Model, a developer builds a highway, operates it for a specified duration and transfers it back to the government. The government starts payment to the developer after the launch of the commercial operation of the project. Payment will be made on a six-month basis. Therefore, the initial investment is made by the private sector. So, pair A-1 is the correct match.

  • Under the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Model, the cost is completely borne by the government. Government invites bids for engineering knowledge from the private players. The government meets the procurement of raw material and construction costs. The private sector’s participation is minimum and is limited to the provision of engineering expertise. Therefore, all investment is made by the government. So, B-3 is the correct match.

  • Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM): In financial terminology, a hybrid annuity means that the government makes payment in a fixed amount for a considerable period and then in a variable amount in the remaining period. This hybrid type of payment method is called HAM in the technical parlance. Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) has been introduced by the Government to revive PPP (Public-Private Partnership) in highway construction in India. So, C-2 is the correct match.

  • TOT was introduced in 2016 to monetise publicly funded highways. Under the model, investors make a one-time lump sum payment in return for long-term toll collection rights. Therefore, it involves leasing out of assets (Highway). So, D-4 is the correct match.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 7

Which of the following is NOT amongst the objectives of the NITI Aayog?

Solution:

The NITI Aayog is a policy think tank of the Government of India, established to achieve sustainable development goals with cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach. Some of the objectives of NITI Aayog are:

  • To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of States. So, statement (a) is correct.
  • To offer a platform for resolution of inter-sectoral and inter departmental issues in order to accelerate the implementation of the development agenda. So, statement (b) is correct.
  • To develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government (and not the other way round). So, statement (c) is NOT correct.
  • To actively monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes and initiatives, including the identification of the needed resources to strengthen the probability of success and scope of delivery. So, statement (d) is correct. 

Therefore, the answer is (c) as it is the only incorrect option

QUESTION: 8

Which of the following statements is NOT correct regarding the demography of India?

Solution:
  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR) indicates the average number of children expected to be born to a woman during her reproductive span of 15-49 years.

  • The government’s Sample Registration System in 22 states shows that TFR for India declined to 2.2 in 2017 after being stable at 2.3 between 2013 and 2016. The 2017 figure is just 10 basis points more than the replacement level of 2.1%. So, India has not yet reached the replacement level of TFR. The replacement level is the number of children needed to replace the parents, after accounting for fatalities, skewed sex ratio, infant mortality, etc. The population starts falling below this level. So, option (a) is correct.

  • The dependency ratio is a measure of the number of dependents aged zero to 14 and over the age of 65, compared with the total population aged 15 to 64. This indicator gives insight into the number of people of nonworking age, compared with the number of those of working age. Though initially, a lower TFR would decrease the dependency ratio, it would eventually lead to a rise in the number of older people in proportion to the working population, increasing the dependency ratio. So, option (b) is correct.

  • In 1950, children (aged 0-14 years) were 37.5% of India’s population and the elderly (over 60 years) were 8.9%. The proportions now are 9.4% elderly over 60 and 27.8% children below 14. By 2050, the elderly (360 million persons, 19.1% of the population) will exceed children (18.9%). So, option (c) is NOT correct.

  • Scheduled tribes make up only 8.2% of the total population. So, option (d) is correct.

Therefore, the answer is (c) as it is the only incorrect option.

QUESTION: 9

With respect to Sustainable mining in India, consider the following statements.
1. Mines and Mineral Development Act (MMDR), 1957, empowers the State Government to make rules for preventing illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals.
2. The Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change at the Centre formulated the Sustainable Sand Management Guidelines, 2016, which not only aims at improving regulation of sand & gravel mining but also identifying resource use.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:

Statement 1: Section 23 C of MMDR, Act 1957 empowered the State Government to make rules for preventing illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals. But in the recent past, it has been observed that there was large number of illegal mining cases in the Country and in some cases, many of the officers lost their lives while executing their duties for curbing illegal mining incidence. The illegal and uncontrolled illegal mining leads to loss of revenue to the State and degradation of the environment. This led to the promulgation of the 2016 guidelines.

Statement 2: Objective of 2016 Guidelines:

  • Identification and Quantification of Mineral Resource and its optimal utilization.
  • To regulate the Sand & Gravel Mining in the Country since its identification to its final endues by the consumers and the general public.
  • Use of IT-enabled services & latest technologies for surveillance of the sand mining at each step.
  • Reduction in demand & supply gaps.
  • Setting up the procedure for replenishment study of Sand.
  • Post Environmental Clearance Monitoring.
  • Procedure for Environmental Audit.
  • To control the instance of illegal mining.
QUESTION: 10

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change is the nodal Ministry for notifying the EIA Notification under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Based on the Environmental Clearance Process notified by the Ministry, consider the following statements.
1. Public consultation stage is a mandatory part of the clearance process.
2. Recommendations of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), which is roped in the process of clearance, are binding on the Ministry.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:

Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 (EPA) gives power to the Central Government to take all measures that it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing and controlling abating environmental pollution. To meet this objective, the Central Government can restrict areas in which any industries, operations or processes or class of industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards.

  • Statement 1: The environmental clearance process comprises of four stages, namely, Stage (1) Screening; Stage (2) Scoping; Stage (3) Public Consultation and Stage (4) Appraisal. Public Consultation refers to the process by which the concerns of local affected persons and others who have plausible stake in the environmental impacts of the project or activity are ascertained.
  • Statement 2: Appraisal means the detailed scrutiny by the Expert Appraisal Committee or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee of the application and other documents submitted by the applicant for grant of environmental clearance. Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) is a multi disciplinary sectoral appraisal committee comprising of various subject matter experts for appraisal of sector specific projects. The EAC is the recommendatory body. Based on the recommendations of the Expert Appraisal Committee, environmental clearance is accorded or rejected to the project by MoEF&CC.
QUESTION: 11

Activities covered under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ include deciding on crucial ‘inviolate spaces’. What are ‘inviolate spaces’ and why are they used?

Solution:
  • With the number of tigers in India doubling between 2006 and 2018 to 2,967, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has asked that core and critical tiger habitats be declared inviolate spaces where no infrastructure development or mining can be allowed, and that tiger corridors be carefully interlinked. These are areas that are devoid of any human habitation and use so that potential human-animal conflict can be minimized.

  • Inviolate spaces have served as a cornerstone for species conservation and can serve to separate wildlife populations from human-induced threats. On the other hand, multiple-use areas where wildlife and humans can co-exist––or at least co-occur––are conceived as a strategy, which can serve both conservation and human livelihood needs.

QUESTION: 12

The annual Frontiers Report 2019 published by the United Nations (UN) mentions that pollution caused by the reactive forms of nitrogen is now being recognised as a grave environmental concern on a global level. Which of the following sectors have been identified as responsible for nitrogen pollution?
1. Livestock
2. Transport
3. Energy

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:

The annual Frontiers Report 2019 published by the United Nations (UN), has included a chapter on nitrogen pollution in its latest edition. The report was released by the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi.
Highlights of the Frontiers Report 2019:

  • Pollution caused by the reactive forms of nitrogen is now being recognised as a grave environmental concern on a global level.
  • It highlights that growing demand on the livestock, agriculture, transport, industry and energy sector has led to a sharp growth of the levels of reactive nitrogen — ammonia, nitrate, nitric oxide (NO), nitrous oxide (N2O) — in our ecosystems.
  • Nitrogen compounds running off farmland have led to water pollution problems around the world, while nitrogen emissions from industry, agriculture and vehicles make a big contribution to air pollution.
QUESTION: 13

The Kilkanakku texts in Sangam literature deals with:

Solution:
  • Sangam literature is an important source of the early history of South India. This literature is believed to have been composed between 300 BC and 300 AD in the assemblies of poets held at that time. Traditionally, three Sangams or assemblies of Tamil poets are believed to have been convened one after the other. All the three Sangams took place at different places under the patronage of the Pandya kings of Madurai.

  • The Sangam literature can be roughly divided into two groups- narrative and didactic.

  • The narrative texts are called Melkanakku or Eighteen Major Works consisting of eight anthologies and ten idylls (short poems) the narrative texts are considered the works of heroic poetry in which heroes are glorified and perpetual wars and cattle raids frequently mentioned. They show that early Tamil people were primarily pastoral. Traces of early megalithic life also appear in the texts.

  • The narrative Sangam texts also give some idea of the State formation in which the army consisted of groups of warriors, and the taxation system and judiciary appeared in the rudimentary state.

  • The Didactic works are called Kilkannakku or eighteen Minor Works. Didactic texts were works of the brahmana Prakrit-Sanskrit scholars. These texts prescribe a code of conduct not only for the king and his court but also for various social groups and occupations. Hence option (a) is correct.

QUESTION: 14

 In the context of mountains, the term nappe is associated with:

Solution:
  • Fold mountains are formed by large-scale earth movements when stresses are set up in the earth's crust. When such stresses are initiated, the rocks are subjected to compressive forces that produce wrinkling or folding along the line of weakness. The up-folded waves are called anticlines and the troughs or downfolds are synclines.

  • When the crest of a fold is pushed too far, an overfold is formed. If it is pushed still further, it becomes a recumbent fold. In extreme cases, fractures may occur in the crust, so that the upper part of the recumbent fold slides forward over the lower part along a thrust plane, forming an overthrust fold. The over-riding portion of the thrust fold is termed as Nappe.
    Hence option (d) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 15

Which of the following conditions is/are necessary for the formation of dew?
1. Cloudy sky
2. Strong winds
3. High relative humidity

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Dew is the moisture that forms as a result of condensation. Condensation is the process a material undergoes as it changes from a gas to a liquid. Dew is the result of water changing from a vapor to a liquid.

  • Dew forms as temperatures drop and objects cool down. If the object becomes cool enough, the air around the object will also cool. Colder air is less able to hold water vapor than warm air. This forces water vapor in the air around cooling objects to condense. When condensation happens, small water droplets form—dew.

  • The temperature at which dew forms is called the dew point. The dew point varies widely, depending on location, weather, and time of day.

  • The ideal conditions for its formation are the clear sky, calm air, high relative humidity, and cold and long nights. For the formation of dew, it is necessary that the dew point is above the freezing point.

  • Strong winds, for instance, mix different layers of air, containing different amounts of water vapor. This reduces the atmosphere's ability to form dew.

QUESTION: 16

Consider the following statements regarding Guru Tegh Bahadur:
1. He was a contemporary of Aurangzeb.
2. He is only Sikh Guru whose teachings/hymns are not part of Guru Granth Sahib.
3. He established the Khalsa Panth in order to teach the followers about the supremacy of the almighty.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Statement 1 is correct: Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth of ten Gurus of the Sikh religion. He was a contemporary of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. In the late 17th century, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb imposed the Sharia law across his empire and an additional jizya tax on non-Muslims. It is also believed that he forcibly converted many people to Islam. According to Sikh tradition, some Kashmiri Pandits fled these forced conversions and sought refuge with Guru Tegh Bahadur. On the insistence of his son, the ninth guru traveled to Delhi to dissuade Aurangzeb from this religious imposition. Aurangzeb beheaded Guru Tegh Bahadur in 1675, in front of a massive crowd.

  • Statement 2 is not correct: The Guru Granth Sahib comprises of 974 hymns by Guru Nanak, 62 hymns by Guru Angad Dev, 907 hymns by Guru Amar Das, 679 hymns by Guru Ram Das and 116 hymns by Guru Tegh Bahadur.

  • Statement 3 is not correct: Guru Gobind Singh started the Khalsa tradition after his father Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded during the Islamic sharia rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Guru Gobind Singh created and initiated the Khalsa as a warrior with a duty to protect the innocent from any form of religious persecution.

QUESTION: 17

Consider the following statements with respect to unemployment in India:
(1) The unemployment rate among “30-40” age group is more than the “20-30” age group.
(2) Tripura is the state with the highest unemployment level.

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

Solution:
  • Official data from 6th Economic Census shows that the unemployment rate among those aged 35 or more is low. The unemployment rate among “20-30” age group is around 34.3% (Long term unemployment) which is way higher than the 4.7% in “30-40” age group. This is true in rural and urban areas and among men and women. The reason is that in the absence of any social security remaining unemployed is not an option. Data from the Economic Census shows that 71.7% of all establishments in India have not hired labour. This is where the bulk of the self-employed who are not engaged in agriculture are absorbed – such as tea stall owners, pakoda sellers and roadside mechanics. In effect, self-employment for the bulk of these people is disguised employment at worst, and underemployment and meagre earnings at best. So, statement (1) is not correct.

  • India's unemployment rate increased to 7.7 per cent in December 2019, according to data released by think-tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). Tripura, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh witnessed highest unemployment levels of more than 20 per cent, while Karnataka and Assam reported the lowest unemployment rate of 0.9 per cent each. Tripura remained the state with the highest unemployment rate of 28.6 per cent, followed by Haryana with 27.6 per cent. So, statement (2) is correct.

Therefore, the answer is (a) which is NOT correct.

QUESTION: 18

What is the likely impact of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code on the macroeconomic environment of India?
(1) Encourage entrepreneurship
(2) Wealth creation
(3) Discourage risk-taking
(4) Increase in Merger and Acquisition Deals
(5) Reduction of crony capitalism in India
(6) Development of credit market in India

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • The enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code was one of the success stories of Indian economic reforms, and it had played a critical role in reshaping the behaviour of borrowers. Without a bankruptcy law, if organisation defaults on loan, each claimant races to grab its share of the organisation's assets. This battle among the claimants can push the organisation into liquidation regardless of whether it has a generally stable business model. The essence of the insolvency process is to aid against such challenges and encourage entrepreneurship business, and more risk-taking. So, statement (1) is correct and statement (3) is not correct.

  • Efficient insolvency law is vital to stability in financial systems and fundamental to economic growth and wealth creation. Entrepreneurship, by nature, involves risktaking. Some business ideas will inevitably turn out badly. This may be due to several reasons. A sound insolvency and bankruptcy process enable rapid resolutions of such problems. So, statement (2) is correct.

  • IBC has driven massive M&A momentum in the country, led by deals involving Bhushan Steels ($7.4 billion), Reliance Communications($3.7 billion), Fortis Healthcare ($1.2 billion), India’s Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) has accelerated activity in distressed merger and acquisitions (M&As) in India with the transaction involving Indian companies reaching $104.5 billion in 2018. So, statement (4) is correct.

  • In the words of Amitabh Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog - IBC ensures that the world of crony capitalism comes to an end. Earlier, one could borrow and not repay. Now if one does not pay, they lose their business. So, statement (5) is correct.

  • The code established Information Utilities (IUs). It is a Centralized repository of financial and credit information of borrowers; would validate the information and claims of creditor’s vis-à-vis borrowers, as needed. Moreover, early resolution restores the faith of the financial creditors. Because of the above, credit market of India would develop and work more effectively. So, statement (6) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 19

Which of the following statements is correct regarding the debt position of Central Government?

Solution:
  • Public debt is the total amount borrowed by the government of a country. In the Indian context, public debt includes the total liabilities of the Union government that have to be paid from the Consolidated Fund of India. Public debt is further classified into internal & external debt.

  • Internal debt is categorised into marketable and non-marketable securities. Marketable government securities include G-secs and T-Bills issued through auction. Non-marketable securities include intermediate treasury bills issued to state government's special securities issued to national Small Savings Fund among others.

  • As per provisional data for 2018-19, out of 75.79 lakh crores of central government public debt, 5.13 lakh crores are external, which is more than 6% of the public debt. So, statement (a) is not correct.

  • Marketable securities form more than 80% of the total internal debt of central government i.e. for 2018-19(P) – nearly 55 lakh crores of 64 lakh crores of internal debt are marketable securities. So, statement (b) is correct.

  • Central Government debt is characterised by low currency and interest rate risks. This is owing to the low share of external debt in the debt portfolio and almost the entire external borrowings being from official sources. Further, most of the public debt has been contracted at a fixed interest rate making India’s debt stock virtually insulated from the interest rate volatility. This lends certainty and stability to the budget in terms of interest payments. So, statement (c) is not correct.

  • The weighted average maturity of the outstanding stock of dated securities of the Government of India has increased from 9.7 years at end-March 2010 to 10.4 years at end-March 2019. So, statement (d) is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 20

Consider the following statements with respect to India’s bilateral trade over the last decade:
(1) Merchandise export to GDP ratio has declined for India.
(2) Merchandise import to GDP ratio has increased for India.
(3) Net service surplus has declined as a percentage of GDP.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • An increase in merchandise exports to GDP ratio has a net positive impact on BoP (Balance of Payment) position. Over the years, the merchandise exports to GDP ratio has been declining, entailing a negative impact on the BoP position.
    Merchandise Exports as per cent of GDP
    2009-14 (15.7%)
    2014-19 (12.7%)
    2018-19 (12.1%)
    2019-20 (11.3%)
    So, statement (1) is correct.

  • An increase in the merchandise imports to GDP ratio has a net negative impact on the BoP position. Over the years the ratio has been declining for India entailing a net positive impact on the BoP position.
    India’s Merchandise Imports as per cent of GDP
    2009-14 (24.3%)
    2014-19 (18.75)
    2018-19 (18.9%)
    2019-20 (17.6%)
    So, statement (2) is not correct.

  • Net services as a proportion of GDP reflects the net impact of service exports and imports on BoP. India’s net services surplus has been steadily declining in relation to GDP:
    Net services as per cent of GDP
    2009-14 (3.3%)
    2014-19 (3.2%)
    2018-19 (3.1%)
    2019-20 (2.9%)
    So, statement (3) is correct.
    Therefore, the correct answer is (c)

QUESTION: 21

Consider the following statements regarding family farming, recently in the news:
(1) It relies predominantly on family labour.
(2) Years 2019-2028 have been declared the UN’s Decade of Family Farming.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • As per Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), “family farming is a means of organising agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production, which is managed and operated by a family and predominantly reliant on family labour”. So, statement (1) is correct.

  • 2019-28 was designated the UN’s Decade of Family Farming by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The UN Decade of Family Farming 2019-2028 aims to shed new light on what it means to be a family farmer in a rapidly changing world and highlights more than ever before the important role they play in eradicating hunger and shaping our future of food. So, statement (2) is correct.

  • Family farming offers a unique opportunity to ensure food security, improve livelihoods, better manage natural resources, protect the environment and achieve sustainable development, particularly in rural areas.

QUESTION: 22

Project BOLD-QIT and CIBMS, sometimes seen in news, are related to

Solution:
  • Project BOLD-QIT (Border Electronically Dominated QRT Interception Technique) under CIBMS (Comprehensive Integrated Border Management system) has been inaugurated on India-Bangladesh border in Dhubri District of Assam.

  • BOLD-QIT is the project to install technical systems under the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS), which enables BSF to equip Indo-Bangla borders with different kind of sensors in unfenced riverine area of Brahmaputra and its tributaries.

  • The concept of CIBMS is the integration of manpower, sensors and command and control to improve situational awareness and facilitate quick response to emerging situations. Among major components of CIBMS is the ‘virtual fence’. The second component is the command and control, which will help in optimum use of resources for border management. Another component is power management to keep CIBMS running.

QUESTION: 23

The union environment ministry has notified Island Protection Zone (IPZ) 2019 for Andaman and Nicobar. Consider the following about it.
1. The notification bans all construction works in eco-sensitive zones and inter-tidal zones in the islands.
2. Eco-tourism projects are allowed with certain caveats in coastal regulation zones.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:

The legal changes in the IPZ are aligned with the Niti Ayog’s proposal for holistic development in the Islands which is being taken forward under the guidance of the Island Development Agency.
Key highlights:

  • It allows Eco-tourism projects 20 metres from the high tide line (HTL) in smaller islands like Baratang, Havelock and Car Nicobar, and at 50 metres in larger ones.
  • It allows for eco-tourism activities like mangrove walks, tree huts and nature trails in island coastal regulation zone IA (classified as the most eco-sensitive region of the islands which includes turtle nesting grounds, marshes, coral reefs etc).
  • The notification also allows for construction of roads, roads on stilts by reclaiming land in exceptional cases for defence installations, public utilities or strategic purposes in ecosensitive zones.
  • It states that in case construction of such roads pass through mangroves, a minimum three times the mangrove area destroyed during the construction process shall be taken up for compensatory plantation of mangroves elsewhere.
  • It also allows a number of new activities in the inter-tidal zone between low tide line and HTL. This includes land reclamation and bunding for foreshore facilities like ports, harbours, jetties, wharves, quays, sea links etc, transfer of hazardous substances from ships to ports, manual mining of atomic minerals, and mining of sand for construction purposes with permission from local authorities in non-eco-sensitive sites.

The notification relaxes development norms in the islands compared to the IPZ notification of 2011, which stipulated a no-development zone (NDZ) of 200 metres from the HTL for all islands. This brings the norms for Andaman and Nicobar at par with coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms for other islands close to the mainland and backwater islands where an NDZ only 20 metres from HTL has been stipulated.

QUESTION: 24

PARIVESH portal developed by the government concerns

Solution:
  • PARIVESH is a web based, role based workflow application which has been developed for online submission and monitoring of the proposals submitted by the proponents for seeking Environment, Forest, Wildlife and CRZ Clearances from Central, State and district level authorities. It automates the entire tracking of proposals which includes online submission of a new proposal, editing/updating the details of proposals and displays status of the proposals at each stage of the workflow.

  • This innovative initiative will drastically improve the entire process of appraisal and environmental clearance in the Ministry. It will ensure transparency and expedite the process of granting clearance.

  • The important features are that the Project Proponent gets a confirmation on mail about acceptance of his application or can receive objections raised on the application online and can file his reply to such objections online. The Project Proponent can also track the movement of their application at different stages and can see the findings of the Expert Appraisal Committee on their project proposal.

  • This online system has also provided access to previous Environment Impact Assessment Reports, which is a valuable reservoir of information.

QUESTION: 25

Consider the following pairs with respect to Indian classical dance forms:

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

Solution:

The correct option is Option A.

Yakshagana from Karnataka though known as a folk dance art form is equipped with many ingredients from Natyashastra . Kuchipudi from Andhra Pradesh is a dance-drama tradition which comes close to Karnataka Yakshagana. Yakshagana in Karnataka is a very popular art form primarily due to its strong religious background.

Bharatnatyam dance is known to be ekaharya, where one dancer takes on many roles in a single performance. In the early 19th century, the famous Tanjore Quartette, under the patronage of Raja Serfoji are said to have been responsible for the repertoire of Bharatanatyam dance as we see it today.

Gotipua is a traditional dance form in the state of Odisha, India, and the precursor of Odissi classical dance. It has been performed in Orissa for centuries by young boys, who dress as women to praise Jagannath and Krishna. Raghurajpur, Odisha (near Puri) is a historic village known for its Gotipua dance troupes.

QUESTION: 26

Consider the following statements:
1. The main objective of the Ghadar movement was to establish the Independent Republic of India.
2. A weekly paper the 'Ghadar' was published in commemoration of the mutiny of 1857.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Ghadar movement was spearheaded by the revolutionary group of people, largely from Punjab. They emerged into the Ghadar party which was built around the weekly paper 'The Ghadar'. It was published the weekly paper the Ghadar in commemoration of the mutiny of 1857. Hence statement 2 is correct.

  • The Komagata Maru incident and the outbreak of the First World War during 1914 were encouraged the Ghadrites to launch a movement against the British Rule in India.

  • Ghadarites started their movement from Punjab. But later on, they shifted their base to San Francisco, United States.

  • Indian revolutionaries in the United States of America and Canada had established the Ghadar Party in 1913. Along with Lala Hardyal and Ram Chandra, Mohammed Barkatullah, Bhagwan Singh and Sohan Singh Bakhna were some of the prominent leaders of the Ghadar Party.

  • A marked feature of Ghadar ideology was its democratic and egalitarian content. It was clearly stated by the Ghadarites that their objective was the establishment of the Independent Republic of India.
    Hence statement 1 is correct.

QUESTION: 27

With reference to Khadar and Bhangar type of alluvial soils, consider the following statements:
1. Khadar is found in the flood plains and deltas, while Bhangar is found on the higher side of river valleys.
2. Khadar is a younger type of alluvial soils compared to Bhangar soils.
3. Khadar is clayey and dark in color while Bhangar is sandy and light in color.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • In the Upper and Middle Ganga plain, two different types of alluvial soils have developed, viz. Khadar and Bhangar.

  • Khadar is the new alluvium and is deposited by floods annually, which enriches the soil by depositing fine silts. The new alluvium is deposited in the flood plains and deltas.

  • Bhangar represents a system of older alluvium, deposited away from the flood plains. The old alluvium is found on the higher side of the river valleys, i.e. about 25 metres above the flood level. Hence statements 1 and 2 are correct.

  • The Khadar soil is sandy and light in colour, while the Bhangar soil is clayey and dark. Hence statement 3 is not correct.

  • Both the Khadar and Bhangar soils contain calcareous concretions (Kankars).

  • These soils are more loamy and clayey in the lower and middle Ganga plain and the Brahmaputra valley.

  • The sand content decreases from the west to the east.

QUESTION: 28

Which of the following statements about Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve is NOT correct?

Solution:
  • Sundarbans is the largest contiguous mangrove area in the world and one of the World Heritage Sites of India designated by the World Heritage Convention.

  • This biosphere reserve is located in the vast Delta of the Ganges, south of Calcutta. It is the largest and only mangrove reserve in the world inhabited by tigers (Panthera tigris tigris). This reserve includes the Royal Bengal Tiger Reserve, Sundarban National Park and three wildlife sanctuaries, viz Sajnekhali wildlife sanctuary, Lothian Island wildlife sanctuary and Holiday Island wildlife sanctuary.

  • The site supports exceptional biodiversity in its terrestrial, aquatic and marine habitats; ranging from micro to macro flora and fauna. The Sundarbans is of universal importance for globally endangered species including the Royal Bengal Tiger, Ganges and Irawadi dolphins, estuarine crocodiles and the critically endangered endemic river terrapin (Batagur baska).

  • The forest tracts of Neyyar, Peppara, Shendumey wildlife Sancturias are located in Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.
    Hence option d is NOT the correct statement.

QUESTION: 29

Consider the following statements with reference to the Monetary Policy Transmission in India:
(1) Operation Twist is an instrument used to ensure better monetary policy transmission.
(2) Higher the credit spread, lesser is the monetary transmission.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Monetary transmission is the pass-through of the RBI's rate cuts to the economy at large. Transmission of monetary transmission has been weak in 2019.

  • Operation Twist, initially, is the name given to a US Federal Reserve monetary policy operation, which involves the purchase and sale of government securities to boost the economy by bringing down long-term interest rates. Recently, the Reserve Bank of India decided to conduct its own ‘Operation Twist’ through simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities under Open Market Operations (OMOs). The intent is to moderate high long-term interest rates in the market and bring them closer to the repo rate. So, statement (1) is correct.

  • The credit spread (the difference between repo rate and WALR (Weighted Average Lending Rate)) is at the highest level in this decade. WALR on outstanding loans of SCBs is 525 bps higher than the repo rate, suggesting that there has been no transmission of the cut in repo rate to lending rates of the banks in 2019, So, statement (2) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 30

What does the phrase “India is an indestructible union of destructible states” imply?
(1) The Union Government can destroy the States whereas the State Governments cannot destroy the Union.
(2) The Constitution does not guarantee the territorial integrity or continued existence of any State.
(3) The Central Government cannot form new States or alter the borders of existing States without the consent of the States concerned.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • As per Article 3 of the Constitution, the Parliament can form new States or alter the areas, boundaries or names of the existing States without their consent. In other words, the Parliament can redraw the political map of India according to its will. Hence, the territorial integrity or continued existence of any state is not guaranteed by the Constitution. Hence statement (1) is correct.

  • Therefore, India is rightly described as ‘an indestructible union of destructible states’. The Union Government can destroy the States whereas the State Governments cannot destroy the Union. The States lose their external sovereignty. Hence statement (2) is correct.

  • In the USA, on the other hand, the territorial integrity or continued existence of a State is guaranteed by the Constitution. The American Federal Government cannot form new States or alter the borders of existing States without the consent of the States concerned. That is why the USA is described as ‘an indestructible union of indestructible states. Hence statement (3) is not correct.

  • While the example of the destructible union of indestructible states can be supranational organisations like the European Union, where States do not lose their external sovereignty.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 31

With reference to the liberal tradition, which of the following terms best describe ‘equality’?
(1) Equality of all before the law
(2) Equality of outcomes
(3) Equality of opportunities
(4) Absence of privileges by birth

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • The liberal tradition expounded by various thinkers such as John Locke, J S Mill, Jeremy Bentham etc supports ideas such as equality of persons, expressed in statements such as ‘all are equal in the eyes of God’. This is concerned with the equality of men as men - something called ‘human nature’, ‘human dignity’ by which they must be treated as fundamentally equal. Hence statement (1) is correct and statement (4) is correct.

  • Another criterion of libertarian equality is ‘equality of opportunity’. This means that the access to critical social institutions should be open to all on universalistic grounds, especially by achievement and talent. Hence statement (3) is correct. 

  • While Marxists believe in the equality of outcomes, according to Marxists, equality, as suggested by liberals is merely procedural and not complete, they believe that inequalities are not natural and are a product of capitalism. Hence statement (2) is not correct.
    Therefore the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 32

‘Lucknow Declaration', recently in the news, is an outcome of

Solution:
  • Recently during Defence Expo 2020 Lucknow, at first India - Africa Defence Minister Conclave a Declaration was adopted to deepen cooperation to combat the growing threat of terrorism and preserve maritime security by sharing information, intelligence and surveillance. The Lucknow Declaration emphasised on the need for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism, including through sharing of intelligence. It also called for strengthening the UN Counter-Terrorism mechanisms and to ensure strict compliance with the UN Security Council sanctions regime on terrorism. So, option (c) is correct.

  • It is Cape Town Agreement, adopted by international Maritime organisation which provides for minimum safety measures for fishing vessels. So, option (d) is not correct.

  • Beirut Declaration was issued after the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit calling for the international community to support Arab countries hosting Syrian refugees and take steps to stop the economic repercussion of the refugee crisis. So option (a) is not correct.
    Therefore the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 33

Why is the plant called 'Senna spectabilis' often mentioned in news?

Solution:
  • Senna spectabilis is a plant species of the legume family native to South and Central America. The trees preferred to grow in moist deciduous forests. Their habitats include rain forest, semi-deciduous and dry forest, montane forest, and dry valleys. The plant requires full sunlight and well-drained soil to grow.

  • The Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) is facing the threat of invasive species of Senna spectabilis which is making incursions into the reserve from neighbouring Kerala and Bandipur. The trees are seen in both the core and buffer areas of MTR, with parts of Nilakottai, Kargudi, Singara and Masinagudi ranges being affected. The spread of invasive plants, especially Senna spectabilis, poses major threat to forest areas of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI), who conducted a study on invasive plants has developed some physical and chemical measures to tackle the threat of the plant.

  • Spectabilis are often grown as an ornamental in front yards, parks, gardens, buildings, etc. due to their bright yellow flowers that bloom during the summer months. It also has a few medicinal properties. The plant can be used as a treatment for ringworm and skin diseases. After extracting a leaf on alcohol there was significant antifungal activity, which suggests it can be used against fungal infections caused by Candida albicans. The plant is effective against food borne pathogens

  • Senna spectabilis also produces several substances that we deem necessary for metabolism, in which they are also used as a medicine or pharmaceutical drug.

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classified Senna spectabilis as ‘near threatened.'

QUESTION: 34

Which of the following statement best describes Phreatophytes?

Solution:
  • A phreatophyte is a deep-rooted plant that obtains a significant portion of the water that it needs from the phreatic zone (zone of saturation) or the capillary fringe above the phreatic zone. Phreatophytes are plants that are supplied with surface water and often have their roots constantly in touch with moisture. A phreatophyte is one that absorbs its water from a constant source on the ground. They can usually be found along streams where there is a steady flow of surface or groundwater in areas where the water table is near the surface. Hence, option (b) is correct.

  • Phreatophytes live in areas with standing or running water, in arid areas and along the riverbeds and areas, apparently dry, where the water table is very shallow and near the surface. These plants have very deep roots that are able to reach the water table. Phreatophytes are not only characteristic of arid or desert zones, but also of wetlands, floodplains, depressions that hold water and estuaries.

  • In the wetlands, ecological classification does not provide a special classification, since in this case, most of the plants in the regions of high rainfall can deepen their roots to the top of the capillary fringe immediately above the water table, and function well as a phreatophyte. In this case, they receive the label of mesophytic. Phreatophytic artificial extensions, manmade, are used as a method to purify greywater.

  • Phreatophytes are indicators of potable groundwater. Some phreatophytes have a low tolerance for salt, indicating freshwater. This can be a valuable guide to the location of drinking and agricultural water in arid and semiarid areas.

  • Epiphyte plant: plant that grows harmlessly upon another plant (such as a tree) and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and sometimes from debris accumulating around it. Hence, option (c) is not correct.

  • Halophyte Plants: Salt-tolerant plants that grow in swamps and marshes. Hence, option (a) is not correct.

  • Insectivorous plants (Carnivorous plants): are those plants that derive some or most of their nutrients from trapping and consuming animals or protozoans, typically insects and other arthropods. Hence, option (d) is not correct.

QUESTION: 35

Consider the following statements.
1. Endemism among Birds is higher than that of Amphibians in India.
2. Endemism among mammals is the highest among all fauna in India.

Which of the above is/are correct?

Solution:

Highest levels of endemism in India is found in Amphibians. Endemism among mammals and birds is relatively low. Only few species of Indian mammal have a range that is confined entirely to within Indian territorial limits. Moreover, more species of birds (than all the above categories) are the ones that are threatened as per IUCN. In contrast, endemism in the Indian reptilian and amphibian fauna is high and the level of threat is also lower.

QUESTION: 36

Consider the following statements.
1. Mangroves for the Future (MFF) initiative aims to address threats to all coastal and marine ecosystems and communities across Asia.
2. As part of the South Asia Vulture initiative, the Governments of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan, have signed a Regional Declaration for the conservation of endangered Gyps species.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:
  • Statement 1: MFF in India currently focuses on building socioecological resilience of local coastal communities. Key outputs include strengthening of livelihoods and income security, science based policy recommendations, knowledge and awareness products and capacity building of stakeholders for enhanced governance.

  • Statement 2: This initiative was steered by India culminating in the signing of a Delhi Declaration in 2012. India chaired this initiative until 2014 and Bangladesh is the current chair. The initiative has demonstrated how species having its distribution beyond national boundaries could be conserved through cooperation and knowledge sharing between range countries.

QUESTION: 37

Consider the following pairs:

Which of the pairs given above are NOT correctly matched?

Solution:

The correct option is Option A.

Bugyals are alpine pasture lands, or meadows, in higher elevation range between 3,300 metres and 4,000 metres of the Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, where they are called "nature’s own gardens". The topography of the terrain is either flat or sloped.

A barchan or barkhan dune is a crescent-shaped dune. The term was introduced in 1881 by Russian naturalist Alexander von Middendorf, for crescent-shaped sand dunes in Turkestan and other inland desert regions. Barchans face the wind, appearing convex and are produced by wind action predominantly from one direction.

Kayamkulam Kayal, Kayamkulam Lake or Kayamkulam Estuary is a shallow brackish water lagoon streaching between Panmana and Karthikapally. It has an outlet to the Arabian sea at Kayamkulam barrage.

Karewas are the thick deposits of glacial clay and other materials embedded with moraines. Some of the important passes of the region are Zoji La on the Great Himalayas, Banihal on the Pir Panjal, Photu La on the Zaskar and Khardung La on the Ladakh range.

QUESTION: 38

In the context of geographical landforms, consider the following statements with respect to Wind gap:
1. Wind gaps are abandoned sections of the valley after river capture.
2. The wind gaps are suitable sites for rail and road bridge construction.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • River capture is a natural process which is more active in the youthful stage of the valley development because the streams are actively engaged in headward erosion and valley lengthening. The stronger and more powerful streams capture the upper courses of weak and sluggish streams. Sections of valley abandoned after such captures are known as wind gaps. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • Wind gaps contrast with the water gaps that still contain transverse streams. The stream capture usually occurs in hilly areas where the river's erosion power is maximum. So they are majorly formed in mountainous regions.

  • Water gaps and wind gaps often provide routes which, due to their gently inclined profile, are suitable for trails, roads, and railroads through mountainous terrain. Hence statement 2 is correct.

QUESTION: 39

In the history of Indian freedom struggle the day 7th August 1905 is well-known for?

Solution:
  • Partition of Bengal was announced by Lord Curzon in July 1905. Hence option (c) is not correct. Partition came into effect on 16th October 1905. The partition proposals had come onto the public domain as early as 1903. Therefore, since 1903, there was prepared the ground for the launch of the Swadeshi Movement.

  • The formal proclamation of the Swadeshi Movement was made on August 7, 1905, in a massive meeting in the Calcutta Townhall. The movement involved the revival of domestic products and production processes. Apart from this at the meeting Boycott Resolution was also passed. With this formal proclamation of the Swadeshi Movement was made on this day. Hence option (d) is correct.

  • With an idea to bring the Universities under control, which he felt had become hotbeds of revolutionary activities. Lord Curzon appointed Raleigh Commission under Sir Thomas Raleigh. This commission submitted its report in 1902 and this followed the introduction of a Bill called Raleigh Bill. The Raleigh Bill when became an act, it was called the Indian Universities Act 1904.
    (i) The Act increased the Government's control over the universities.
    (ii) It could veto the regulations passed by the Senate of the University.
    (iii) It allowed the Government to appoint a majority of the fellows in a university.
    (iv) The Governor-General was now empowered to decide a University's territorial limits.
    (v) Also, it increased University control over private colleges by laying down stricter conditions for affiliation and periodical inspection. Here also, the government approval was necessary for grant of affiliation and disaffiliation of colleges.
    Hence option (a) is not correct.

  • The Extremists wanted the 1907 session to be held in Nagpur (Central Provinces) with Tilak or Lajpat Rai as the president and reiteration of the swadeshi, boycott, and national education resolutions. The Moderates wanted the session at Surat in order to exclude Tilak from the presidency since a leader from the host province could not be session president (Surat being in Tilak's home province of Bombay).

  • Instead, they wanted Rashbehari Ghosh as the president and sought to drop the resolutions on the swadeshi, boycott and national education. Both sides adopted rigid positions, leaving no room for compromise. The split became inevitable in 1907, and the Congress was now dominated by the Moderates who lost no time in reiterating Congress' commitment to the goal of self- government within the British Empire and to constitutional methods only to achieve this goal. Hence option (b) is not correct.

QUESTION: 40

Consider the following passage:
"It was a suburban township near Vijayanagara. It was founded by Krishnadeva Raya who named it after his mother."

Which of the following is being referred to in the above passage?

Solution:
  • Krishnadeva Raya’s rule was characterised by expansion and consolidation. This was the time when the land between the Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers (the Raichur doab) was acquired (1512), the rulers of Orissa were subdued (1514) and severe defeats were inflicted on the Sultan of Bijapur (1520).

  • Although the kingdom remained in a constant state of military preparedness, it flourished under conditions of unparalleled peace and prosperity. Krishnadeva Raya is credited with building some fine temples and adding impressive gopurams to many important south Indian temples.

  • He also founded a suburban township near Vijayanagara called Nagalapuram after his mother, Nagala Devi. This town is home to Vedanarayana Temple, where the presiding deity Vishnu is in the form of Matsya, the first incarnation of Dasavatara. Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 41

India is a member of which of the following groups/agreement?
(1) Nuclear Suppliers Group
(2) Wassenaar Agreement
(3) Australia Group
(4) Missile Technology Control Regime

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

Multilateral Export Control Regimes are the informal groups of like-minded supplier countries aiming to ensure non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and its delivery systems through implementation of strict adherence to guideline and controlling the list for exports. Some of the groups are:

  • Nuclear Suppliers Group: It was created following India's Smiling Buddha nuclear explosion in 1974. NSG is a group of 48 member countries established in 1992 and focussed on stemming the proliferation of nuclear weapons. India is trying to achieve its membership. So statement (1) is not correct.
  • Wassenaar Arrangement: It was formed for Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies. India joined it in 2017. So statement (2) is correct.
  • Australia Group is a voluntary, informal, export-control arrangement to coordinate national export controls to limit the supply of chemicals and biological agents and related equipment, technologies, and knowledge-to countries and non-state entities suspected of pursuing chemical or biological weapons (CBW) capabilities. India is a member. So statement (3) is correct
  • MTCR: It is a multilateral, consensus-based grouping of 35 member countries who are voluntarily committed to the non-proliferation of missiles capable of carrying chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). India is a member. So statement (4) is correct

Therefore the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 42

Human Rights Watch is

Solution:

Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organisation to conduct research & advocacy on human right. It was founded in 1978 as “Helsinki Watch,” to investigate rights abuses in countries that signed the Helsinki Accords, most notably those behind the Iron Curtain. It’s work includes investigated massacres, government take-overs of media and the baseless arrests of activists and political opposition figures. Now its mandate also includes persons likely to face discrimination such as women, LGBT people, divyangs etc. Therefore the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 43

Regarding the Cape Town Agreement of International Maritime Organisation (IMO), consider the following statements:
(1) It helps to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
(2) It is aimed at facilitating better control of all fishing vessels' safety by flag, port and coastal States.
(3) India is the first Asian country to ratify the Agreement.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The 2012 Cape Town Agreement (CTA), adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), outlines fishing vessel standards and includes other regulations designed to protect the safety of crews and observers and provide a level playing field for industry. It seeks to introduce mandatory safety measures for a particular class of fishing vessels of 24 metres and over in length. It seeks to help combat illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing. So statement (2) is not correct and statement (1) is correct.

  • The Treaty will enter into force 12 months after at least 22 nations, with an aggregate 3,600 fishing vessels of 24 metres and over in length operating on the high seas, have expressed their consent to be bound by it. Thus far, 13 countries have ratified the Cape Town Agreement: Belgium, Congo, Cook Islands, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa and Spain. Although India ranks at third place, yet it has not ratified the treaty. So statement (3) is not correct.
    Therefore the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 44

The ‘State of the World’s Children’ Report is published by which of the following organisations?

Solution:

State of the World’s Children’ Report was launched by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). It is one of the most comprehensive reports of UNICEF on children, food and nutrition in 20 years, as it talks about the triple burden of malnutrition- (undernutrition, hidden hunger and overweight).
India Specific Findings:

  • Every second child in this age group is affected by malnutrition in South Asia.
  • The report informed that 35 per cent of children are suffering from stunting, 17 per cent suffer from wasting and about 33 per cent of children are suffering from underweight. However, only 2 per cent of the total children in India are overweight.
  • Only 42 per cent of the children (in the age group of 6to 23 months) are given food at adequate intervals, and 21 per cent of the children get a sufficiently varied diet.
  • The report says that only 53 per cent of infants between the age group of 6-8 months begin to be fed on time. Therefore the correct answer is (b).
QUESTION: 45

'Boson' has been quite frequent in news due to important scientific research. In this context, which of the following statements is/are correct about bosons?
1. They are elementary particles that make up the matter.
2. Electrons and Protons are included in the category of bosons.
3. Every boson has a negligible, but non zero mass.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • An elementary particle is a particle that is not made up of any smaller particles. Elementary particles are the building blocks of the universe. There are two main categories of elementary particles: fermions and bosons.

  • Fermions are the matter particles. All matter is made up of fermions. Fermions are divided into two types of particles: quarks and leptons. Quarks are the basic building blocks for protons and neutrons. Electrons and Neutrinos are included in the category of Leptons. Bosons are force-carrying particles. This means that they are made up of tiny bundles of energy. Photons, Gluons, Higgs Boson are examples of bosons. Hence statements 1 and 2 are not correct.

  • The name boson was coined to commemorate the contribution of Satyendra Nath Bose, and Albert Einstein in formulating Bose-Einstein statistics which theorizes the characteristics of elementary particles.

  • Bosons follow Bose-Einstein statistics. Bosons have, by definition, integer spin. For instance, the spin of a photon is either +1 or -1 and the spin of a 4He atom is always zero. Many bosons can occupy a single quantum state. This allows them to behave collectively and is responsible for the behavior of lasers and superfluid helium. Only one fermion can exist in a given quantum state. This is known as the Pauli exclusion principle.

  • In particle physics, a massless particle is an elementary particle whose invariant mass (total mass of an object independent of the motion of the system) is zero. The two known massless particles are – the photon (carrier of electromagnetism) and the gluon (carrier of the strong force). While Higgs Boson has a very tiny weight of around 220x10−27 kg. Hence statement 3 is not correct.

QUESTION: 46

The term 'YuWaah', sometimes in the news, is

Solution:
  • UNICEF, Generation Unlimited, called YuWaah in India, is a multistakeholder alliance which aims to facilitate youth to gain relevant skills for productive lives and the future of work. The target age group of YuWaah includes adolescent girls and boys and its key mission is to promote access to foundational, transferable and 21st century skills for youth inside and outside formal education systems, which includes defining foundational skills, life skills and flexible learning and identifying and scaling impactful delivery models. So option (a) is correct.

  • YuvaSahakar’- Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme 2019 has been formulated by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) in line with Government’s focus on programmes such as Start-up India and Stand-up India which is aimed at young entrepreneurs with new and innovative ideas. The scheme is aimed at Cooperatives in North Eastern Region, Cooperatives registered and operating in Aspirational Districts as identified by NITI Aayog, Cooperatives with 100% SC/ST/ women/Persons with Disability members. So, option (d) is not correct.

  • In 2009 then Railway minister launched series of trains ‘The Yuva Express’ together with the Duronto Express. They were intended to provide an air-conditioned low-cost travel option for the youth of the country. So, option (b) is not correct.

  • PMYuva Yojna under Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is a scheme for entrepreneurship education and training to over 7 lakh students in 5 years through 3,050 institutes. It will provide easy access to information and mentor network, incubator, credit and accelerator and advocacy to create a pathway for the youth. So, statement (c) is not correct. 
    Therefore the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 47

Consider the following statements.
1. Saturated fatty acids are found in foods from animal sources only.
2. Natural Trans-fatty acids are present in meats and dairy products.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:
  • Statement 1: Saturated fatty acids are found in foods from animal sources such as butter, milk, meat, salmon, and egg yolks, and some plant-derived products such as chocolate and cocoa butter, coconut, palm and palm kernel oils.

  • Statement 2: Artificial TFAs are formed when hydrogen is made to react with the oil to produce fats resembling pure ghee/butter.

  • In our diet the major sources of artificial TFAs are the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVO)/vanaspati/ margarine while the natural TFAs are present in meats and dairy products, though in small amounts.

QUESTION: 48

Consider the following statements.
1. Any non-forestry activity inside a Sanctuary or National Park requires clearance from Standing Committee of National Board of Wildlife (NBWL).
2. A proposal involving any area under a notified Tiger Reserve need to be referred to the Standing Committee of NBWL for wildlife clearance.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:
  • Statement 1: As per the provisions of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and Orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 9th May 2002, any non forestry activity inside a Sanctuary or National Park requires clearance from Standing Committee of NBWL. The application for this needs to be submitted online. If the proposed activity is located within 10 km zone of National Park or Sanctuary and requires environment clearance, such proposal would need to be placed before the Standing Committee of NBWL where ESZ is not notified.

  • Statement 2: Any proposal involving any area under the notified Tiger Reserve need to be referred to the Standing Committee of NBWL for wildlife clearance. Power transmission lines within 10 km zone outside the National Parks / Sanctuaries do not require environment clearance. Consequently these would not need wildlife clearance.

QUESTION: 49

Consider the following statements about Bhagat Singh:
1. He was the founder of Naujawan Bharat Sabha.
2. He was associated with the Lahore conspiracy case.
3. He believed that popular broad-based movement could lead to a successful revolution.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Statement 1 is correct: Naujawan Bharat Sabha was founded by Bhagat Singh in March 1926 with the support of his comrades Sukhdev, Bhagwati Charan Vohra, Yashpal and others in Lahore as the open wing of the revolutionaries. It was formulated on the socialist principles which were the call of the times. The Sabha was to carry out open political work among the youth, peasants, and workers. It was to open branches in the villages.

The Sabha had two-fold objectives social and political.

  1. The social objectives comprised the popularization of swadeshi goods, simple living, physical fitness, the inculcation of the sense of brotherhood and the stimulation of interest in Indian languages and civilization.
  2. The political program of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha included the following:
  • To establish a completely independent republic of the laborers and peasants of the whole of India;
  • To infuse a spirit of patriotism into the hearts of the youth of the country in order to establish a united Indian nation;
  • To express sympathy with and to assist the economic, industrial and social movements which, while being free from communal sentiment are intended to take us nearer to our ideal;
  • To organize the laborers and peasants.

Under its auspices, Bhagat Singh used to deliver political lectures with the help of magic lantern slides.

Statement 2 is correct: Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru were tried in Lahore Conspiracy Case and sentenced to death. The case of the murder of British police officer John P Saunders and head constable Chanan Singh was known as the Lahore Conspiracy case.

Statement 3 is correct: Initially, Bhagat Singh himself was involved in some individual heroic actions but he was not a firm believer in individual heroic action to overthrow the British government. As before his arrest in 1929 Bhagat Singh had moved away from belief in terrorism and individual heroic action to Marxism and the belief that a popular broad-based movement alone could lead to a successful revolution.

  • According to Bhagat Singh 'Revolution' should no longer be equated with mere militancy or violence. Its first objective was national liberation — the overthrow of imperialism. But it must go beyond and work for a new socialist social order, it must bend exploitation of man by man.’
  • To him, “Revolution,” does not necessarily involve sanguinary strife, nor is there any place in it for individual vendetta. It is not the cult of the bomb and the pistol. By “Revolution” he meant that the present order of things, which is based on manifest injustice, must change.
  • Bhagat Singh was fully and consciously secular, he understood, more clearly than many of his contemporaries, the danger that communalism posed to the nation and the national movement. He often told his audience that communalism was as big an enemy as colonialism. Bhagat Singh revered Lajpat Rai as a leader. But he would not spare even Lajpat Rai, when, during the last years of his life, Lajpat Rai turned to communal politics. He then launched a political-ideological campaign against him.
QUESTION: 50

Consider the following Indian states:
1. Haryana
2. Madhya Pradesh
3. Rajasthan
4. Chhattisgarh

Which of the states given above are part of the Ganga River Basin?

Solution:

States that are part of the Ganga River Basin are:

  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Uttarakhand
  • Delhi
  • Haryana
  • Rajasthan
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Bihar
  • Jharkhand
  • West Bengal
QUESTION: 51

Which of the following peasant(s) uprising led the colonial government to introduce a law that restricted the transfer of tribal land to non-tribals?
1. Munda uprising

2. Santhal revolt

3. Faraizis revolt

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:

In 1899-1900, the Mundas in the region south of Ranchi rose under Birsa Munda. The rebellion which began as a religious movement gathered a political force to fight against the introduction of feudal, zamindari tenures, and exploitation by money-lenders and forest contractors. Birsa was captured and imprisoned.

  • When Birsa was released in 1897 he began touring the villages to gather support. He used traditional symbols and language to rouse people, urging them to destroy “Ravana” (dikus and the Europeans) and establish a kingdom under his leadership. The Mundas claimed Chhotanagpur as their area in 1879. However, the movement was significant as it forced the colonial government to introduce laws so that the land of the tribals could not be easily taken over by dikus. Chotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act, 1908, was passed after the Birsa Munda uprising.
  • The continued oppression of the Santhals, an agricultural people, who had fled to settle in the plains of the Rajmahal hills (Bihar) led to the Santhal rebellion against the zamindars. The money-lenders who had the support of the police among others had joined the zamindars to subject the peasants to oppressive exactions and dispossession of lands. The rebellion turned into an anti-British movement.
  • Under Sidhu and Kanhu, two brothers, the Santhals proclaimed an end to Company rule. It was after the Santhal Revolt (1855-56) that the Santhal Pargana was created, carving out 5,500 square miles from the districts of Bhagalpur and Birbhum. The colonial state hoped that by creating a new territory for the Santhals and imposing some special laws within it, the Santhals could be conciliated. Hence, Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act, 1876 enacted.
  • Both the Chotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act, 1908, and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act, 1876, granted special protection and land rights to the tribals and prohibited the transfer of tribal land to non-tribals. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
  • The Faraizis were the followers of a Muslim sect founded by Haji Shariat-Allah of Faridpur in Eastern Bengal. They advocated radical religious, social and political changes. Shariat-Allah son of Dadu Mian (1819-60) organised his followers with an aim to expel the English intruders from Bengal. The sect also supported the cause of the tenants against the zamindars. The Faraizi disturbances continued from 1838 to 1857. Most of the Faraizis joined the Wahabi ranks.
QUESTION: 52

Consider the following statements in the context of the Asian Water Bird Census:
1. The census aims to collect periodic information about the water bird populations, monitor wetlands and also promote public awareness.
2. It is conducted by the Bombay Natural history Society (BNHS) and Wetlands International.
3. It is a biennial exercise.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Asian Water bird Census, the largest such census in Asia, is organized by Wetlands International, is an international programme that focuses on monitoring the status of water birds and wetlands. It also aims to increase public awareness on issues related to wetland and water bird conservation. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • The AWC was started in 1987, and many birders were initiated into bird counting and monitoring through this project. To take part one simply has to visit a wetland and count the birds he/she see there. The census is carried out each January as a voluntary activity at the national and local levels. The AWC is coordinated by Wetlands International as part of the global programme, the “International Water bird Census”.
  • In India, the AWC is annually coordinated by the Bombay Natural history Society (BNHS) and Wetlands International. BNHS is a non-government Organisation (NGO) founded in the year 1883. It engages itself in the conservation of nature and natural resources and also in the research and conservation of endangered species. Hence, statement 2 is correct and statement 3 is not correct.
QUESTION: 53

With which of the following country India has signed Military Logistics Support Agreements (MLSA)?

Solution:

What is MLSA?

  • The agreement will facilitate reciprocal access to military logistics facilities, allow more complex joint military exercise and improve interoperability between the security forces of the two nations.
  • It allows reciprocal access to military facilities in terms of logistics support which generally include food, water, petroleum (fuel), spare parts and other components.
  • The agreement will be useful during joint military exercises, peacekeeping operations, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations, scheduled deployments of military platforms, and any other exigent situations that may arise.
  • It will help in improving interoperability between the involved parties.

India and Australia have signed a historic agreement, called ‘Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA)’, to allow access to military bases for logistics support.

This was agreed upon at the first-ever virtual bilateral summit between India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.


 

QUESTION: 54

Which of the following statements regarding Pressure Groups is NOT correct?

Solution:
  • The term ‘Pressure Group’ originated in the USA. A pressure group is a group of people who are organised actively for promoting and defending their common interest. It is so called as it attempts to bring a change in the public policy by exerting pressure on the government. So, Option (a) is correct.
  • Pressure Groups act as a liaison between the government and its members. The pressure groups are also called interest groups or vested groups. They are different from the political parties in that they neither contest elections nor try to capture political power.
  • They are concerned with specific programs and issues, and their activities are confined to the protection and promotion of the interests of their members by influencing the government. So Options (b) and (d) are correct.
  • The pressure groups influence the policy-making and policy implementation in the government through legal and legitimate methods. However, sometimes they resort to illegitimate and illegal methods like strikes, violent activities and corruption which damages public interest and administrative integrity. So Option (c) is not correct. 
    Therefore the answer is (c) as it is only option which is NOT correct.
QUESTION: 55

Which of the following statements regarding a State Legislative Council is NOT correct?

Solution:
  • The power of abolition and creation of the State Legislative Council in a State is vested in the Parliament of India as per article 169. However, again, to create or to abolish a State Legislative Council in a State, the State Legislative Assembly of the State concerned must pass a resolution, which must be supported by a majority of the strength of the House and (2/3rd) majority of those present and voting (Absolute + Special Majority). So option (a) is correct.
  • According to Article 171, members of the State Legislative Councils are indirectly elected by the system of proportional representation using a single transferable vote. Also, like the Rajya Sabha, a State Legislative Council in a State is a continuing chamber, ie, not subject to dissolution. However, one third (and not two-third) of its members retire on the expiration of every second year. So Option (b) is not correct.
  • According to Article 169 and Article 171, the Constitution has fixed the maximum strength of the number of members of a State Legislative Council at one-third of the total strength of the State Legislative Assembly of the State concerned and minimum strength is fixed at 40. Although the Constitution has fixed maximum and minimum limits to the number of members of a State Legislative Council in a State but the Parliament fixes the actual strength of a State Legislative Council. The present scheme of the composition of the State Legislative Councils as laid down in the Constitutional Article 171, is only tentative and not final. Therefore, the Parliament is authorised to modify or replace the same. However, it has not enacted any such law so far. So, Options (c) and (d) are correct.

Therefore the answer is (b) as it is the only Incorrect option.

 

QUESTION: 56

Consider the following statements:
(1) As per the Constitution, civil servants are conferred personal immunity from legal liability for official contracts.
(2) Civil Servants have immunity for the sovereign functions of the Government.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Under the Constitution, the civil servants are conferred personal immunity from legal liability for official contracts. This means the civil servants who make the contract in their official capacity are not personally liable in respect of the contract but it is the government that is liable for the contract. So statement (1) is correct.
  • Civil Servants are immune for their tortuous acts in respect of the sovereign functions of the government. Sovereign functions are those actions of the State for which it is not answerable before the Court of Law. Matters such as the defense of the country, raising and maintaining armed forces, making peace in retaining territory, are functions which are indicative of external sovereignty and are not amenable to the jurisdiction of ordinary civil Court. So statement (2) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 57

With reference to DNA damage, consider the following statements:
1. DNA damage is also called mutation.
2. DNA damage results in physical abnormalities in the DNA.
3. CRISPR technology can be used to repair damaged DNA.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Any damage to DNA can result in outcomes that can range from mild changes that cannot be perceived like a sudden appearance of a harmless mole to catastrophic diseases like cancer. The retention of DNA integrity is therefore essential for proper function and survival of all organisms.

  • In human cells, both normal metabolic activities and environmental factors such as radiation can cause DNA damage, resulting in as many as 1 million individual molecular lesions per cell per day. The rate of DNA repair is dependent on many factors, including the cell type, the age of the cell, and the extracellular environment. A cell that has accumulated a large amount of DNA damage, or one that no longer effectively repairs damage incurred to its DNA, can enter one of three possible states:
  1. an irreversible state of dormancy, known as senescence
  2. cell suicide, also known as apoptosis or programmed cell death
  3. unregulated cell division, which can lead to the formation of a tumor that is cancerous
  • Statement 1 is not correct: It is important to distinguish between DNA damage and mutation, the two major types of error in DNA. DNA damage and mutation are fundamentally different.
    • Damage results in physical abnormalities in the DNA, such as single- and double-strand breaks etc. DNA damage can be recognized by enzymes, and thus can be correctly repaired if redundant information, such as the undamaged sequence in the complementary DNA strand or in a homologous chromosome, is available for copying. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
    • Mutation: In contrast to DNA damage, a mutation is a change in the base sequence of the DNA. A mutation cannot be recognized by enzymes once the base change is present in both DNA strands, and thus a mutation cannot be repaired. DNA damage often causes errors of DNA synthesis during replication or repair; these errors are a major source of mutation.
  • Statement 3 is correct: CRISPR is often recognized as a tool that scientists can use to make changes to DNA—like swapping out a disease-causing gene for a healthy one. But what some may not realize is that the CRISPR tool only does part of the work. While CRISPR components cut the DNA at the desired location, the cell’s repair mechanisms play an important role in enabling changes to the genetic code. CRISPR works by targeting a precise location in the genome and then cutting both strands of DNA, generating a double-strand break (DSB) at that particular spot. As cells cannot survive for long with cut DNA, their alarm bells go off whenever a break occurs. Steps to repair the break are quickly set in motion.
  • The Indian Institute of Technology - Hyderabad (IIT-H) researchers have unravelled the working of a protein that repairs damaged DNA. In humans, one such repair mechanism involves activation of a special class of proteins called “DNA repair proteins”.
QUESTION: 58

Methane is a strong greenhouse gas with a global warming potential. Which of the following are the sources of methane emission?
1. Paddy rice fields
2. Livestock production systems
3. Soil with high concentration of Methanotrophic bacteria

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:

Methane (CH4) is the second most important greenhouse gas. Methane is more potent than CO2 because the radiative forcing produced per molecule is greater. However, CH4 exists in far lower concentrations than CO2 in the atmosphere.

Natural sources of methane include

  • Tropical and northern wetlands,
  • Methane oxidizing bacteria that feed on organic material consumed by termites, volcanoes,
  • Seepage vents of the seafloor in regions rich with organic sediment
  • Methane hydrates trapped along the continental shelves of the oceans.
  • Paddy rice fields
  • Emission from livestock production systems (including intrinsic fermentation and animal waste)
  • Biomass burning (including forest fires, charcoal combustion, and firewood burning)
  • The primary natural sink for methane is the atmosphere itself, as methane reacts readily with the hydroxyl radical (OH) within the troposphere to form CO2 and water vapour (H2O). When CH4 reaches the stratosphere, it is destroyed. Another natural sink is soil, where methane is oxidized by methanotrophic bacteria. Hence soil with high concentration of Methanotrophic bacteria act as a sink of methane. Hence option a is the correct answer.
QUESTION: 59

It is a common resident breeder in the tropical southern Asia from southwest Iran through India and Sri Lanka east to southern China and Indonesia. They attack foxes and jackals which has earned them the popular name 'Kotwal' (a police officer in Hindi). All this aggressive behavior towards birds of prey encourages gentle species like doves, orioles, and bulbuls to nest in the vicinity.

Which of the following birds is being referred to in the above passage?

Solution:

The black drongo is a small Asian passerine bird of the drongo family Dicruridae. It is a common resident breeder in much of tropical southern Asia from southwest Iran through India and Sri Lanka east to southern China and Indonesia and accidental visitors of Japan. It eats termites, bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and ants, making it primarily an insectivore, but they have been known to explore the possibility of preying on smaller birds, reptiles and even bats, making it quite the opportunist.

  • The habit of being pugnacious in defense of its nest and territory by attacking all predaceous enemies is quite similar to that of crows. It is a common sight to see these birds chase after crows in the air, swooping at them with agility in flight only attained by falcons. Their aggressive behavior often sees them land on larger birds of prey, like falcons and eagles, and peck at them repeatedly to drive them away.
  • In areas outside Delhi-NCR where foxes and jackals exist, they’ll attack them too, with the same courage, earning themselves the name Kotwal (a police officer in Hindi). All this aggressive behavior towards birds of prey and general marauders encourages gentle species like doves, orioles, and bulbuls to nest in the vicinity. These birds find protection in the territory of drongos and thus prefer nesting in drongo territory. They also try and mimic other bigger birds like the Indian Grey Hornbill, in order to ensure their safety.
  • The breeding season extends from April to August. Their nest is a broad, shallow cup of twigs and grass, lined neatly with cobwebs or fine grass, suspended in a horizontal fork of a tree, at a considerable height from the ground.
QUESTION: 60

With respect to the role of the National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (NAEB), consider the following statements.
1. Sponsor research and extension of research findings to disseminate new and proper technologies for the regeneration and development of degraded forest areas
2. Restore fuelwood, fodder, timber and other forest produce on the degraded forest and adjoining lands in order to meet the demands for these items

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:

The National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (NAEB), set up in August 1992,is responsible for promoting afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and ecodevelopment activities in the country, with special attention to the degraded forest areas and lands adjoining the forest areas, national parks, sanctuaries and other protected areas as well as the ecologically fragile areas like the Western Himalayas, Aravallis, Western Ghats, etc. The detailed role and functions of the NAEB are given below.

  • Evolve mechanisms for ecological restoration of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands through systematic planning and implementation, in a cost effective manner;

  • Restore through natural regeneration or appropriate intervention the forest cover in the country for ecological security and to meet the fuelwood, fodder and other needs of the rural communities;

  • Restore fuelwood, fodder, timber and other forest produce on the degraded forest and adjoining lands in order to meet the demands for these items;

  • Sponsor research and extension of research findings to disseminate new and proper technologies for the regeneration and development of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands;

  • Create general awareness and help foster people’s movement for promoting afforestation and eco-development with the assistance of voluntary agencies, non-government organisations,

  • Panchayati Raj institutions and others and promote participatory and sustainable management of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands;

  • Coordinate and monitor the Action Plans for afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development;

  • Undertake all other measures necessary for promoting afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country.

QUESTION: 61

 In the context of British rule in India, Sterling balances refer to:

Solution:

Sterling balances were India’s earnings in foreign currency on its exports for the war, deposited in the Bank of England in the form of sterling to the credit of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) account in England. The balance had grown with import controls limiting forex outflows. The corresponding increase in rupee circulation stoked war inflation in India. Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

  • After the war ended, the transfer of the sterling balances was negotiated between India and Britain. (After Partition, Pakistan joined the talks.) Under this interim agreement, India could spend from the balances in dollars, as Britain had agreed to make the pound convertible under the terms of a loan from the U.S. But Britain soon repudiated the convertibility clause, in turn altering the character of the agreement entered into with India. Pound convertibility was ruled out by the sorry state of British production after the war years. Pent-up demand for consumer goods could only be met with imports from the U.S. Pound convertibility would have exhausted British forex reserves.
  • A delegation was sent back to London to renegotiate the convertible portion of the sterling balances. It returned empty-handed. The negotiations were concluded in the summer of 1949, after the completion of the bitter separation of Indian and Pakistani finances. The Indian side, led by Finance Minister John Mathai, agreed to two types of deductions from the sterling balances. First, towards the pensions of former British members of the ICS. Second, the value of military equipment, regardless of the condition and worth, the British forces had left behind. The subtractions added to £100 million. Limits were placed on how much could be drawn in a given period from the balances.
QUESTION: 62

Land surface becomes warm and cold more quickly than the water surface at the same latitude due to which of the following reasons?
1. Specific heat of water is much less than that of the land surface.
2. Redistribution of heat by conduction is slower in land surface than water.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:

The contrasting nature of the land and water surfaces in relation to incoming shortwave solar radiation largely affects the spatial and temporal distribution of temperature.

  • It may be pointed out that land becomes warm and cold more quickly than the water body. This is why even after receiving an equal amount of insolation the temperature of land becomes more than the temperature of the water body.

The following reasons explains the differential rate of heating and cooling of land and water:

  • Compared to air or land, water is a slow conductor of heat. That means it needs to gain more energy than a comparable amount of air or land to increase its temperature
  • The sun's rays penetrate to a depth of only 3 feet in land because it is opaque but they penetrate to a greater depth of several meters in water because it is transparent to solar radiation. The thin layer of soils and rocks of land, thus, gets heated quickly because of the greater concentration of insolation in a much smaller mass of material of the ground surface. Similarly, the thin layer of ground emits heat quickly and becomes colder.
  • On the other hand, the same amount of insolation falling on the water surface has to heat larger volume of water because of the penetration of solar rays to greater depth and thus the temperature of ground surface becomes higher than that of the water surface through the amount of insolation received by both the surfaces may be equal.
  • The heat is concentrated at the place where insolation is received and there is a very slow process of redistribution of heat by conduction because the land surface is static. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • It may be noted that the downward distribution of temperature in the land surface within a day is effective upto depth of only 10 cm. Thus, the land surface becomes warm during the day and cold during the night very rapidly.
  • On the other hand, water is mobile, the upper surface of the water becomes lighter when heated by insolation and thus moves away horizontally to other places and the solar rays have to heat fresh layer of cold water.
  • Secondly, heat is redistributed in water bodies by sea waves, ocean currents and tidal waves. All these extend the period of warming the surface of water. 

More evaporation from the sea.

  • There is more evaporation from the seas and the oceans and hence more heat is spent in this process with the results oceans get less insolation than the land surface. On the other hand, there is less evaporation from the land surface because of very limited amount of water. 

Specific heat

  • The specific heat capacity (the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of the substance by 1 degree) of water is much greater than the land because the relative density of water is much lower than that of the land surface. It means more heat is required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by 1 degree than one gram of land. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • Oceanic areas are generally clouded and hence they absorb less insolation than land surface. But clouds absorb outgoing terrestrial radiation and counter- radiate heat back to the earth's surface.
  • This process retards the loss of heat from the oceanic surfaces and hence slows down the mechanism of cooling of the air lying over the oceans. On the other hand, land surfaces receive more insolation at a faster rate because of less cloudiness and simultaneously lose more heat through outgoing terrestrial radiation very quickly.
QUESTION: 63

Consider the following pairs:

Which of the pairs given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Kalam (Kalamezhuthu) is a unique form of this art found in Kerala. It is essentially a ritualistic art practiced in temples and sacred groves of Kerala where the representation of deities like Kali and Lord Ayyappa, are made on the floor. Kalamezhuthu is practiced using natural pigments and powders, usually in five colours. The drawing is done with bare hands without the use of tools. The pictures are developed from the centre, growing outwards, patch by patch. Kalamezhuthu artists are generally members of communities like the Kurups, Theyyampadi Nambiars, Theeyadi Nambiars and Theeyadi Unnis. The 'Kalams' drawn by these people vary in certain characteristics. Hence pair 1 is correctly matched.
  • Sohrai and Khavar paintings are popular in Hazaribagh region of Jharkhand. The folk art draws heavily from the forest life. Khovar refers to the decoration of the marriage chambers and Sohrai is the harvest painting on the mud houses, repairing it after the rains and offering a thanksgiving to the forces of nature. Brush or broken comb is used to paint. Natural ochre colours make up the palette — dhudhi mitti (white in colour), lal mitti or red oxide from the local mines, kaali mitti or manganese black and peeli mitti or yellow ochre. These colours are collected in the form of lumps and powdered. They are then mixed with water and glue and applied on the canvas or handmade paper. It is an art form practised by women at home, usually the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law combine. Hence, pair 2 is correctly matched.
  • Paitkar painting is a folk painting found in East India in the form of scrolls. The Paitkar painting occurs in the bordering areas of Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa and considered as the old age tribal painting of India. The painting is prepared by the painters known as ‘Chitrakar’ in much a traditional way. Paitkar painting reflects many realities of day-to-day human life, legends and mythologies of their society. The tribal artists in Jharkhand who have fostered this art of scroll painting that has long been used in story telling performance and also in socio-religious custom. Hence pair 3 is correctly matched.
QUESTION: 64

Consider the following statements regarding the Indo-Islamic architecture during the medieval India:
1. Human and animal figures were frequently represented for the decoration of the walls of the mosques.
2. The arch and dome method, which was used on a wide scale, was a Turkish invention.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The Turks deliberately avoided the representation of Human and animal figures for the decoration of the walls because it was considered un-Islamic. Rather they used geometric and floral designs along with Quran verses. It was called Arabesque. The Hindu motifs like a bell, lotus, swastik, etc were also frequently used. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • In the buildings, The arch and dome method was used on a wide scale. However, it was not a Turkish invention. The Arabs borrowed them from Rome through the Byzantine empire; developed them and used them as per their own requirements. The dome provided a pleasing skyline and with the passage of time, the domes got more loftier. Further, the use of fine quality light mortar became popular with the arrival of the Turks. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
QUESTION: 65

With reference to National Emergency, consider the following statements:
(1) Once declared, the polity becomes unitary without any formal amendment.
(2) State Governments in States continue to function without being dismissed.
(3) The President can issue an Ordinance on the State subjects.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

Solution:
  • When the national emergency is in force, the natural fabric of centre-state relation undergoes a fundamental change. State governments are brought under the control of Centre but they are not suspended. Thus they behave as a unitary polity in place of federal polity without any formal amendment of the Constitution. So, statement (1) is correct.
  • Since the Constitution becomes unitary rather than federal, the normal distribution of the legislative powers between the Centre and the States is suspended though State Legislatures are not suspended. The President can issue an Ordinance on the State lists if the Parliament is not in session. Hence statement (2) and (3) are correct.

Hence the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 66

Consider the following statements with reference to special provisions related to specific classes:
1. The Constitution has not defined the Backward Classes of citizens in India.
2. The Constitution has defined the persons who belong to the Anglo Indian community.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The Constitution has neither specified the Backward Classes of citizens in India nor used a single uniform expression to characterise the Backward Classes. The Central  Government of India classifies some of its citizens based on their social and economic conditions as Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and Other Backward Classes (OBC). The OBC list presented by the National Commission for Backward Classes is dynamic (castes and communities can be added or removed) and is subject to change from time to time depending on social, educational and economic factors. So statement (1) is correct.
  • The Constitution has defined the persons who belong to the Anglo Indian community as any person whose father or any of the male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent but who domiciled within such territory of parents habitually resident therein and not established there for a temporary purpose only. So statement (2) is correct.

Hence the correct option is (c).

QUESTION: 67

In which of the following bodies are seats reserved for representatives from the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes?
(1) Lok Sabha
(2) Rajya Sabha
(3) State Legislative Assemblies
(4) State Legislative Councils

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

According to the Article 334 of the Indian Constitution:

1) the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People and the Legislative Assemblies of the States.

2) the representation of the Anglo Indian community in the House of the People and the Legislative Assemblies of the States by nomination. So statements (1) and (3) are correct.

Therefore the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 68

With reference to the Government of India Act 1858, consider the following statements:
(1) It had no principle of separation of powers as the entire authority for governance of India, was vested in the Governor-General only.
(2) The principle of absolute imperial control dominated it without any popular participation in the administration.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

The Government of India Act 1858 was dominated by the principle of absolute imperial control without any popular participation in the administration of the country. It provided that India henceforth was to be governed by, and in the name of, Her Majesty. It changed the designation of the Governor-General of India to that of Viceroy of India. He (viceroy) was the direct representative of the British Crown in India. The subsequent history up to the making of the Constitution is one of gradual relaxation of imperial control and the evolution of a responsible popular government. Hence, statement (1) is correct.

QUESTION: 69

Which of the following are a part of NASA's Great Observatories Programme?
1. Hubble Space Telescope
2. Compton Gamma Ray Observatory
3. Chandra X-ray Observatory

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:

NASA proposed the concept of Great Observatories, a series of four space-borne observatories designed to conduct astronomical studies over many different wavelengths (visible, gamma rays, Xrays, and infrared) between 1990 and 2003.

• The first element of the program is the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Hubble views the universe in both ultraviolet visual, and near-infrared wavelengths.

• The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) was the second of NASA's Great Observatories. Launched on April 5, 1991, Compton observed objects that emitted Gamma Rays as opposed to any of the other light types, such as Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs). Compton was safely deorbited and re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on June 4, 2000.

• The third member of the Great Observatory family, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO), was deployed from a Space Shuttle and boosted into a high-Earth orbit in July 1999. This observatory is observing such objects as black holes, quasars, and high-temperature gases throughout the x-ray portion of the EM spectrum.

• Launched in 2003, the Spitzer Space Telescope represented the fourth and final element in NASA's Great Observatory program. It was a space telescope that used infrared light as its primary means of observing distant objects. By detecting infrared light, with wavelengths ranging from about 700 nanometres -- too small to see with the naked eye -- to about a millimetre, Spitzer could help astronomers unveil the presence of cosmic entities which are too cold to emit much visible light, including planets outside our solar system. Spitzer also found a previously undetected ring around Saturn, composed of sparse dust particles that visible-light observatories cannot see. Recently NASA has decommissioned the Spitzer mission in anticipation of the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in 2021.

QUESTION: 70

Single Cell protein refers to an edible microorganism. Which of the following is/are used in the production of single-cell proteins?
1. Bacteria
2. Algae
3. Fungi
4. Yeast

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:

The term single-cell protein (SCP) is used to describe protein derived from cells or protein extracted from various microorganisms such as yeast, fungi, algae, and bacteria, which are grown for mass production from various inexpensive carbon sources such as agricultural wastes for the synthesis of food for humans or animals.

  • The dried cells of microorganisms or the whole organism is harvested and consumed. This is a rich protein source that can be used as a human food supplement and in animal feeds.
  • SCP production may have great potential for feeding the ever-increasing world population. Massive quantities of SCP can be produced in a single day. As a source of protein, it is very promising, with potential to satisfy the world shortage of food as the population increases.
  • SCP may be enriched with a high content of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and vitamins. Microbes like Spirulina can be grown easily on materials like waste water from potato processing plants (containing starch), straw, molasses, animal manure and even sewage, to produce large quantities and can serve as food rich in protein, minerals, fats, carbohydrate and vitamins.
  • Incidentally such utilisation also reduces environmental pollution. However, the disadvantage of SCP as a human food source is the high content of nucleic acids, which may cause serious problem in the human digestive track due to the limited capacity for the complete digestion of nucleic acids.
QUESTION: 71

Wildlife Division of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) provides technical and financial support to the State/ UT Governments for wildlife conservation of certain critically endangered species. Which of the following species is/are critically endangered?
1. Hangul
2. Asian Wild Buffalo
3. Manipur Brow-antlered Deer

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:

The Government of India provides financial and technical assistance to the State/UT Governments for activities aimed at wildlife conservation through the Centrally Sponsored Scheme viz. ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’. The scheme has following three components:

  • Support to Protected Areas (National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves)
  • Protection of Wildlife Outside Protected Areas and mitigation of Human Wildlife conflict.
  • Recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats. Component III is for affecting the recovery of critically endangered species in the country. Initially 17 species have been identified under this component. These are Snow Leopard, Bustard (including Floricans), Dolphin, Hangul, Nilgiri Tahr, Marine Turtles, Dugongs, Edible Nest Swiftlet, Asian Wild Buffalo, Nicobar Megapode, Manipur Browantlered Deer, Vultures, Malabar Civet, Indian Rhinoceros, Asiatic Lion, Swamp Deer and Jerdon’s Courser.

The Director, Wildlife Preservation, Government of India, in consultation with the Wildlife Institute of India or the relevant scientific institute and with the approval of the Standing Committee of the NBWL can initiate other recovery programmes or wind up an ongoing programme.

QUESTION: 72

Consider the following statements with reference to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
1. It provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
2. It provides background air quality data needed for industrial siting and towns planning.
3. One of the mandates of CPCB is to collect, collate and disseminate technical and statistical data relating to water pollution.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:

Statement 1: Central Pollution Control Board statutory organisation, was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Principal Functions of the CPCB, as spelt out in the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981,

(i) to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and

(ii) to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.

Statement 2: Air Quality Monitoring is an important part of the air quality management. The National Air Monitoring Programme (NAMP) has been established with objectives

(i) to determine the present air quality status and trends and to control and regulate pollution from industries and other source to meet the air quality standards.

(ii) It also provides background air quality data needed for industrial siting and towns planning.

Statement 3: The parliament of India in its wisdom enacted the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 with a view to maintaining and restoring wholesomeness of our water bodies.
One of the mandates of CPCB is to collect, collate and disseminate technical and statistical data relating to water pollution. Hence, Water Quality Monitoring (WQM) and Surveillance are of utmost importance.

QUESTION: 73

With reference to Key Biodiversity Areas, consider the following statements:
1. They are the areas of international importance in terms of biodiversity conservation in line with global standards.
2. They are established under the Biological Diversity Act (2002).

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) is an umbrella term commonly used to include areas that contribute to the global persistence of biodiversity, including vital habitat for threatened plant and animal species in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.

  • Sites qualify as global KBAs if they meet one or more of 11 criteria, clustered into five categories: threatened biodiversity; geographically restricted biodiversity; ecological integrity; biological processes; and, irreplaceability. The KBA criteria can be applied to species and ecosystems in terrestrial, inland water and marine environments. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • The criteria for designating a site as KBA have been described in the document "The Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas (2016)" by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). IUCN identifies 531 KBA sites in India but these have no legal basis. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
QUESTION: 74

Which of the following can lead to eutrophication in a water body?
1. Run off from agricultural fields
2. Acid rain
3. Septic tank leachate

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:

Eutrophication is the gradual increase in the concentration of phosphorus, nitrogen, and other plant nutrients in an aging aquatic ecosystem such as a lake. The productivity or fertility of such an ecosystem naturally increases as the amount of organic material that can be broken down into nutrients increases. This material enters the ecosystem primarily by runoff from land that carries debris and products of the reproduction and death of terrestrial organisms.

  • Water blooms, or great concentrations of algae and microscopic organisms, often develop on the surface, preventing the light penetration and oxygen absorption necessary for underwater life. Eutrophic waters are often murky and may support fewer large animals, such as fish and birds, than non-eutrophic waters.

Point Sources:

  • Wastewater effluent (municipal and industrial)
  • Runoff and leachate from waste disposal systems
  • Runoff and infiltration from animal feedlots
  • Runoff from mines, oil fields, unsewered industrial sites
  • Overflows of combined storm and sanitary sewers
  • Untreated sewage

​Nonpoint sources:

  • Runoff from agriculture due to fertilizers and pesticides /irrigation
  • Runoff from pasture and range
  • Urban runoff from unsewered areas
  • Septic tank leachate
  • Runoff from abandoned mines

Acid rain and Eutrophication: Acid deposition of nitrogen derived from NOx emissions creates additional environmental problems. For example, many lake, estuarine, and coastal marine systems receive too much nitrogen from atmospheric deposition and terrestrial runoff. This eutrophication (or over-enrichment) causes the overgrowth of plants and algae. When these organisms die and decompose, they deplete the dissolved oxygen supply necessary for most aquatic life in water bodies. Hence option d is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 75

Arrange the following Wildlife Sanctuaries (WLS) of India from North to South.
1. Kamlang
2. Trishna
3. Bor
4. Coringa

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the South-Eastern part of Lohit District of Arunachal Pradesh. The name comes from the River Kamlang, which flows through the Sanctuary and joins Brahmaputra. The Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary lies in between Lang River on the North side and famous Namdapha National Park on its south. This Wildlife Sanctuary contains all four big cats (Tiger, Leopard, Clouded Leopard and Snow Leopard). It also has the population of endangered spp. like Hollock gibbon, Slow lories, Leopard cat, Himalayan palm civets etc.
  • Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary is a Wildlife Sanctuary in Tripura. This sanctuary has a number of perennial water rivulets, water bodies, and grass land. In this sanctuary, there are patches of virgin forests which are rich in rare vegetation. Indian Gaur (Bison) is an attraction of this sanctuary. Apart from it, there are varieties of Birds, Deers, Hollock Gibbon, Golden Langur, Capped Langur, Pheasant and many other animals and reptiles.
  • Bor Tiger Reserve is a wildlife sanctuary which was declared as a tiger reserve in 2014. It is located in Wardha District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Bor Tiger Reserve is centrally located among several other Bengal tiger habitats including: Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra to the northeast; Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve to the east and northeast; Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary to the east and southeast; Tadoba - Andhari Tiger Reserve to the southeast; Melghat Tiger Reserve to the west and northwest and Satpura National Park to the northwest. Mammal species such as the Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, Indian bison, blue bull, chital live here.
  • Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Andhra Pradesh, nestling on the deltaic branches Godavari and Gouthami rivers. It is home to critically endangered white backed vulture and long billed vulture. It has extensive mangrove and dry deciduous tropical forests. 

Hence the correct order is 1-2-3-4.

QUESTION: 76

Arrange the following events in chronological order from the earliest to the latest:
(1) The rule of Farrukhsiyar
(2) Nadir Shah's plunder of Delhi
(3) Burhan-ul-Mulk Sa‘adat Khan's appointment as subadar of Awadh

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Statement 1 - Farrukh Siyar was the successor of Jahandar Shah (1712-1713) to the Mughal throne. He owed his victory in the battle of succession to Sayyid Brothers, and he ruled from 1713 to 1719. His rule was marked by constant strife with the Sayyid brothers, who wanted to use him as a puppet to rule over the Mughal empire indirectly. This was vehemently resisted by Farrukh Siyar, who was eventually killed by the two brothers in 1719.
  • Statement 2 - During the economic and political crisis in the mid-18th Century, the ruler of Iran, Nadir Shah, sacked and plundered the city of Delhi in 1739 and took away immense amounts of wealth. This invasion was followed by a series of plundering raids by the Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali, who invaded north India five times between 1748 and 1761.
  • Statement 3 - Burhan-ul-Mulk Sa‘adat Khan was appointed subadar of Awadh in 1722 and founded a state which was one of the most important to emerge out of the break-up of the Mughal Empire. Awadh was a prosperous region, controlling the fertile alluvial Ganga plain and the main trade route between North India and Bengal.

Therefore the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 77

What was/were the results of the passing of the Indian Independence Act of 1947?
(1) Abolition of the Sovereignty and Responsibility of the British Parliament.
(2) The Governor-General and Provincial Governors were designated constitutional heads.
(3) The sovereignty of the Dominion Legislature.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • With the enactment of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, It was declared that with effect from the 15th August 1947 India ceased to be a dependency, and the suzerainty of the British Crown over the Indian States and the treaty relations with Tribal Areas also lapsed. Even the office of the Secretary of State was thus abolished. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • The Governors-General of the two Dominions became the constitutional heads of the two new Dominions as in the case of the other British Dominions. Under the Act, there were to be no more any executive council or counsellors. The Governor-General had to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers having the confidence of the dominion legislature. The same was applicable to the provincial governors in respect to their provinces. Hence, statement (2) is correct.
  • The Central Legislature of India, composed of the Legislative Assembly and the Council of States, ceased to exist on August 14, 1947. From then onwards and until the Constituent Assemblies of the two Dominions were able to frame their new Constitutions and new Legislatures were constituted thereunder, it was the Constituent Assembly itself, which was to function also as the Central Legislature of the Dominion. Thus the Constituent Assembly had a dual function, constituent as well as legislative. Hence, statement (3) is correct.

Therefore the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 78

Which of the following parameters have been used by the 15th Finance Commission for the vertical devolution of taxes?
(1) 1971 Population Census
(2) Demographic Performance
(3) The geographical area of a State
(4) Forest Cover
(5) Tax Effort
(6) Income Distance

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:


The forest cover and population census of 1971 were used in the devolution done by  the 14th Finance Commission while the 15th Finance commission has relied on income distance, the population of census 2011, area of the state, forest and ecology, demographic performance and tax effort. Therefore, the correct answer is (c).
Additional information:

  • The share of states in the centre’s taxes is recommended to be decreased from 42% during the 2015- 20 period to 41% for 2020-21.

  • The following grants will be provided to States:

(i) revenue deficit grants 

(ii) grants to local bodies, and

(iii) disaster management grants.

  • The Commission has also proposed a framework for sector-specific and performance-based grants.

QUESTION: 79

Consider the following statements regarding the Election Commission of India:
(1) The Chief Election Commissioner is appointed by the President and holds the office till his pleasure.
(2) Retiring Election Commissioners are not debarred from any further appointment by the government.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Article 324 of the Constitution has made the following provisions to safeguard and ensure the independent and impartial functioning of the Election Commission. The appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners shall be made by the President. The Chief Election Commissioner is provided with the security of tenure. He cannot be removed from his office except in the same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court. Thus, he does not hold his office until the pleasure of the President, though he appoints him. So, statement (1) is not correct.
  • The Constitution has not debarred the retiring election commissioners from any further appointment by the government. Further, the Constitution has also not prescribed qualifications and term for the members of the Election Commission. So, statement (2) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 80

Which of the following statements are correct with respect to Fundamental Duties under the Constitution?
(1) The duties are addressed to the citizens without any legal sanction.
(2) They provide a guide to the interpretation of constitutional and legal issues.
(3) The laws of Parliament can enforce them.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • The legal utility of the Fundamental Duties is similar to the Directive Principles. While the later was addressed to the State without any sanction, the duties are addressed to the citizens without any legal sanction for their violation. So, statement (1) is correct.
  • In AIIMS Students Union v. AIIMS (1983), the Supreme Court has held that Fundamental Duties though not enforceable by writ of the court, yet provide a valuable guide and aid to interpretation of constitutional and legal issues. So, statement (2) is correct.
  • While determining the constitutionality of any law, if the court finds that it seeks to give effect to any of the duties, it may consider such law to be ‘reasonable’, and thereby, save such law from unconstitutionality. The Supreme Court has held in many judgments that in determining the constitutionality of any law if a court finds that the law in question seeks to give effect to a fundamental duty, it may consider such law to be reasonable and thus save such law from unconstitutionality. So, statement (3) is also correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 81

Which of the following statements is/are correct with reference to Blockchain technology?
1. The immutability of the blockchain is critical for the preservation of the integrity of the data.
2. Bitcoin developed using blockchain technology has been accepted as legal tender in India from the financial year 2018-19.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:

A blockchain is a decentralized and distributed digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks. This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions inexpensively.

  • A blockchain is an immutable ledger of information. Any change purported to be made in one block will also lead to change in the preceding blocks and therefore, destroy the integrity of the data. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by a group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto.
  • While the government of India has eliminated the possibility of considering cryptocurrencies as legal tender, it has endorsed the idea of exploring the use of blockchain technology for ushering in India’s digital economy. Also, RBI in 2018 RBI directed all banks and other financial entities to stop relations with any cryptocurrency company. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
QUESTION: 82

Which of the following are the possible impacts of acid rain?
1. Increased neurological diseases in humans
2. Leaching of nutrients from the soil
3. Increased rate of photosynthesis in plants

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:

Harmful effects of acid rain:

  • Effects on humans: Bad smells, reduced visibility; irritation of the skin, eyes and the respiratory tract. Some direct effects include chronic bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema, cancer and increased neurological diseases in humans. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • Effects on soil: The exchange between hydrogen ions and the nutrient cations like potassium and magnesium in the soil cause leaching of the nutrients, making the soil infertile. An increase in ammonia in the soil due to a decrease in other nutrients decrease the rate of decomposition. The nitrate level of the soil is also found to decrease. However the impact of acid rain on soil is less in India; because Indian soils are mostly alkaline, with good buffering ability. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • Effects on microorganisms: pH determines the proliferation of any microbial species. The optimum pH of most bacteria and protozoa is near neutrality. Most fungi prefer an acidic environment. Most blue-green bacteria prefer an alkaline environment. So, microbial species in the soil and water shift from bacteriabound to fungi-bound. This causes a delay in the decomposition of soil organic material.
  • Effects on aquatic life : Eggs or sperms of fish, frogs and other aquatic organisms are sensitive to pH changes. Acid rain kills their gametes affecting the life cycles and productivity (ecosystem imbalances).
  • Acidic lake waters may kill microbes and turn them unproductive. Acid rain can make metals bound on soils to be released into the aquatic environment.
  • Effect on terrestrial life: Acid rain damage cuticle of plant leaves and reduces photosynthesis. Acidic medium promotes leaching of heavy metals like aluminium, lead and mercury. Such metals when percolate into ground water affect soil micro flora/fauna. Other indirect effects of acid rain on wildlife are loss or alteration of food and habitat resources. Hence, statement 3 is not correct.
QUESTION: 83

‘Blue dot network’ recently seen in news concerns

Solution:
  • The U.S., Australia and Japan announced the network during the November 4, 2019, Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Bangkok. The initiative aligns with the G20’s Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment, particularly on governance, environmental standards and transparency. It will act as a globally recognized seal of approval for major infrastructure projects, letting people know the projects are sustainable and not exploitative. Here’s how the network will work:
    • Any country or company can participate in the network, as long as it agrees to adhere to the network’s high standards of promoting quality, private sector-led investment. Projects that seek to be certified by the Blue Dot Network will complete an online application.
    • Countries, companies and local communities will all benefit from the Blue Dot Network. When projects are certified by the Blue Dot Network, communities and investors can be confident about the high standards and sustainability of the infrastructure.
QUESTION: 84

Which of these is/are NOT included in the Eight Core Sector Industries?
1. Cement
2. Iron Ore
3. Fertilizers

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:

Eight Core Industries are Electricity, steel, refinery products, crude oil, coal, cement, natural gas and fertilizers.

The Index of Eight Core Industries is a monthly production index, which is also considered as a lead indicator of the monthly industrial performance. The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
Statement 2: It is steel that is included, not iron ore production.
Steel production (weight: 17.92 per cent) increased by 4.7 per cent in March, 2018 over March, 2017.

QUESTION: 85

Consider the following statements.
1. Dudhwa and Valmiki Tiger Reserves are situated close to the India-Nepal international borders.
2. Buxa Tiger Reserve serves as international corridor for Asian elephant migration between India and Bhutan.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:
  • The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is a protected area in Uttar Pradesh that stretches mainly across the Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich districts and comprises the Dudhwa National Park, Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Valmiki National Park, Tiger Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary is located at the India-Nepal border in the West Champaran district of Bihar, India on the bank of river Gandak. It is the only National park in Bihar.
  • S2: Notified as a tiger reserve in 1983, Buxa consists of moist, deciduous and evergreen forests. Northern boundary of Buxa Tiger Reserve runs along the international border with Bhutan. The Sinchula hill range lies all along the northern side of BTR and the eastern boundary touches that of the Assam state. The Phipsu Wildlife Sanctuary of Bhutan is contiguous to the north of BTR. Manas National Park lies on east of BTR. BTR, thus, serves as international corridor for Asian elephant migration between India and Bhutan.
QUESTION: 86

“Pole fleeing force” is caused due to

Solution:

It is a geophysical concept invoked in 1915 by Alfred Wegener to explain his ideas of Continental drift. He suggested that a differential gravitational force (horizontal component of centrifugal force) and the Earth's flattening would cause continental masses to drift slowly towards the equator. This force is caused due to the spinning of earth. The hypothesis was expanded in 1920 but the force is now known to be far too weak to cause plate tectonics. The toughness of the sublayers of the Earth's crust is much stronger than assumed by Wegener.

QUESTION: 87

Match the following regions and their traditional water harvesting systems.
1. Korambu: Eastern Ghats
2. Phad: Deccan Plateau
3. Zing: Kutch region

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:

In respect of availability and non-availability of water, India can be divided into 15 Ecological regions, ranging from dry, cold desert or Ladakh to the dry hot desert of Rajasthan, from the subtemperate mountain of the Himalayas to the tropical high mountain of Nilgiri.

QUESTION: 88

The oldest Indian-owned English daily, started during British India, was

Solution:
  • Amrita Bazaar Patrika played a major role in the evolution and growth of Indian journalism and and nurturing the Indian freedom struggle.
  • It was launched in Bengali and later continue in English.
  • It used to be a nationalist newspaper during the British rule, discontinued its publication from 1986.
  • It was the first Indian-owned English daily to go into investigative journalism. The Patrika had many brushes with Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India at the time of the Partition of Bengal (1905). It referred to him as 'Young and a little foppish, and without previous training but invested with unlimited powers.'
  • Because of such editorials, the Press Act of 1910 was passed and Motilal Ghosh was also charged with sedition.
QUESTION: 89

With respect to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), consider the following statements:
(1) The Parliament is constitutionally authorised to determine the conditions of service of the Chairman of the Commission.
(2) Its jurisdiction can be extended by an Act made by the Parliament of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Articles 315 to 323 in Part XIV of the Constitution contain elaborate provisions regarding the composition, appointment and removal of members along with the independence, powers and functions of the UPSC. Under the Constitution, no qualifications are prescribed for the Commission’s membership except that one-half of the members of the Commission should be such persons who have held office for at least ten years either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State. The Constitution authorises the President (not the Parliament) to determine the conditions of service of the Chairman and other members of the Commission. So, statement (1) is not correct.
  • The additional functions relating to the services of the Union can be conferred on UPSC by the Parliament. Hence the jurisdiction of UPSC can be extended by an act made by the Parliament. So, statement (2) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 90

Which of the following provisions can be amended by a ‘Special Majority of Parliament and with the consent of State Legislatures’?
(1) Election of the President
(2) Second Schedule
(3) Representation of the States in the Parliament
(4) Fundamental Rights
(5) Seventh Schedule

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

Article 368 in Part XX of the Constitution deals with the powers of Parliament to amend the Constitution and its procedure. The Constitution can be amended in three ways:

  • By a simple majority of the Parliament,

  • By a special majority of the Parliament, and

  • By a special majority of the Parliament and ratification by half of the State Legislatures.

Amendments by Special Majority of Parliament and Consent of States:

  • Election of the President and its manner (statement (1) is correct).

  • The Supreme Court and High Courts.

  • Distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States.

  • Any of the lists in the Seventh Schedule (statement (5) is correct).

  • Representation of States in the Parliament (statement (3) is correct).

  • Power of the Parliament to amend the Constitution and its procedure (Article 368 itself).

The Second Schedule (emoluments, allowances, privileges and so on of the President, Speaker, Governor, Judges, etc. can be amended by the simple majority of the Parliament. So, statement (2) is not correct.

The Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy can be amended by a special majority of the Parliament. So, statement (4) is not correct. 

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 91

Which of the following provisions of the Constitution of India have a bearing on the Cooperative Societies?
(1) Fundamental Rights
(2) Fundamental Duties
(3) Directive Principles of State Policy

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

The 97th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2011 gave a constitutional status and protection to co-operative societies. In this context, it made the following three changes in the Constitution:

  1. It made the right to form co-operative societies a Fundamental Right (Article 19).

  2. It included a new Directive Principle of State Policy on the promotion of cooperative societies (Article 43-B)

  3. It added a new Part IX-B in the Constitution which is entitled ‘The Cooperative Societies’ (Articles 243-ZH to 243-ZT).

Therefore, the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 92

With reference to the Comprehensive Online Modified Modules on Induction Training (COMMIT) program, consider the following statements:
(1) It is a collaboration of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions with the United Nations Development Programme.
(2) It is aimed at improving the public service delivery mechanism through the training of public servants.
(3) It is being implemented in all of the States and Union Territories in India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a new training programme Comprehensive Online Modified Modules on Induction Training (COMMIT) for State Government officials. So, statement (1) is correct.
  • The objective of this training programme is to improve the public service delivery mechanism and provide citizen-centric administration. So, statement (2) is correct.
  • COMMIT will be launched in 6 States of Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal initially on a pilot basis. So, statement (3) is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 93

Consider the following statements.
1. National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) was established by the Central Government to implement Environmental Protection Act, 1974.
2. The State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) advise State Governments, subject to any guidelines issued by the Central Government, on matters relating to equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of biological resources.
3. The SSBs regulate commercial utilization or bio-survey and bio-utilization of any biological resource.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:
  • Statement 1: National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) was established by the Central Government in 2003 to implement India’s Biological Diversity Act (2002). The NBA is a Statutory Body and it performs facilitative, regulatory and advisory functions for the Government of India on issues of conservation, sustainable use of biological resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources.
  • The Biological Diversity Act (2002) mandates implementation of the provisions of the Act through decentralized system with the NBA focusing on advising the Central Government on matters relating to the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of biological resources; and advising the State Governments in the selection of areas of biodiversity importance to be notified under Sub-Section (1) of Section 37 as heritage sites and measures for the management of such heritage sites. The NBA considers requests by granting approval or otherwise for undertaking any activity referred to in Sections 3,4 and 6 of the Act.
  • Statement 2: The State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) focus on advising the State Governments, subject to any guidelines issued by the Central Government, on matters relating to the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of its components and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of biological resources;
  • The SSBs also regulate, by granting of approvals or otherwise upon requests for commercial utilization or bio-survey and bio-utilization of any biological resource by the Indians. The local level Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) are responsible for promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity including preservation of habitats, conservation of land races, folk varieties and cultivars, domesticated stocks and breeds of animals and microorganisms and chronicling of knowledge relating to biological diversity. The NBA with its headquarters in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India delivers its mandate through a structure that comprises of the Authority, Secretariat, SBBs, BMCs and Expert Committees. Since its establishment, NBA has supported creation of SBBs in 29 States and facilitated establishment of around 72,304 BMCs.
QUESTION: 94

Consider the following about FEDOR, recently seen in news.
1. It is the first humanoid robot to go in space.
2. It served as an assistant to the crew on the International Space Station.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution:

Russia has launched an unmanned rocket into space.

Key facts:

  • It is carrying a life-size humanoid robot that will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station.
  • Known as FEDOR, which stands for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, the Skybot F-850 is the first humanoid robot to be sent to space by Russia.
  • The robot’s main purpose is to be used in operations that are especially dangerous for humans onboard spacecraft and in outer space. FEDOR, who is the size an adult and can emulate movements of the human body, has apparently embraced his mission, describing himself as “an assistant to the ISS crew”.

Fedor is not the first robot to go into space.

  • In 2011, NASA sent up Robonaut 2, a humanoid robot developed with General Motors that had a similar aim of working in high-risk environments.
  • In 2013, Japan sent up a small robot called Kirobo along with the ISS’s first Japanese space commander.
QUESTION: 95

Which of these environmental/survey related organizations was established after India’s Independence?

Solution:
  • GSI (geology) as well as ASI (archaeology), BSI (botany), FiSI (fisheries), FSI (forests), IIEE (ecology), NIO (oceanography), RGCCI (population survey) and language survey), SI (cartography), and ZSI (zoology) are key national survey organisations of India.
  • Option A: Forest Survey of India (FSI), is a premier national organization under the union Ministry of Environment and Forests, responsible for assessment and monitoring of the forest resources of the country regularly. In addition, it is also engaged in providing the services of training, research and extension. Established on June 1, 1981, the Forest Survey of India succeeded the "Preinvestment Survey of Forest Resources" (PISFR), a project initiated in 1965 by Government of India with the sponsorship of FAO and UNDP.
  • Option B: ZSI was established in 1916 to promote survey, exploration and research leading to the advancement in our knowledge of various aspects of exceptionally rich life of the erstwhile ´ British Indian Empire´. The survey has its genesis in the establishment of the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum at Calcutta in 1875.
  • It functions as the guardian of the National Zoological Collections, containing over a million identified specimens from all animal groups ranging from Protozoa to Mammals.
  • Option C: Botanical Survey of India (BSI), founded 13 February 1890, is Government of India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change's organization for survey, research and conservation of plant resources, flora and endangered species of India, including by collecting and maintaining germplasm and gene bank of endangered, patent and vulnerable plant species.
  • Option D: The Geological Survey of India (GSI), founded in 1851, is a Government of India Ministry of Mines organisation, one of the oldest of such organisations in the world and the second oldest survey in India after Survey of India (founded in 1767), for conducting geological surveys and studies of India, and also as the prime provider of basic earth science information to government, industry and general public, as well as the official participant in steel, coal, metals, cement, power industries and international geoscientific forums.
QUESTION: 96

The Code on Wages 2019’, recently in the news, aims at achieving the goals envisaged under:
(1) The Directive Principles of State Policy
(2) The Preamble
(3) The Fundamental Rights

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The foundation of National Code on Wages, 2019 lies in the Directive Principles of the Constitution of India, which endeavour to secure to “all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life, and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities”. So, statement (1) is correct.
  • The Code prohibits gender discrimination in matters related to wages and recruitment of employees for the same work or work of similar nature. It is in line with Article 14 (Right to Equality) and the goal of achieving social, economic and political justice enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution. The implementation of a 'National Minimum Wage' may help reduce these differences and provide a basic standard of living for all employees across the country. So, statements (2) and (3) are also correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 97

With reference to communication technologies, what is/are the differences between 4G and 5G technologies?
(1) 5G has higher throughput and lower latency as compared to 4G technology.
(2) 5G, generally, will use a lower-frequency spectrum in sub-1GHz, while 4G technology uses higher frequencies.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Throughput is the determination of the amount of data transmitted during a specified time period via a network, interface or channel. 5G technology due to higher bandwidth will have higher speeds, higher throughput and lower latency. So, statement (1) is correct.
  • 4G technologies use lower-frequency spectrum in sub 1GHz range while 5G will use higher frequencies generally known as 'millimetre’ wave frequencies. So, statement (2) is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 98

Consider the following statements regarding the writ of Certiorari:
1. It is issued by a higher court to a lower court to transfer a case pending with the latter to itself or to quash the order of the latter in a case.
2. It can be issued against judicial as well as administrative authorities affecting the rights of individuals.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Certiorari: In the literal sense, it means ‘to be certified’ or ‘to be informed’. It is issued by a higher court to a lower court or tribunal either to transfer a case pending with the latter to itself or to quash the order of the latter in a case. It is issued on the grounds of the excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction or error of law. Thus, unlike prohibition, which is only preventive, certiorari is both preventive as well as curative. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Previously, the writ of certiorari could be issued only against judicial and quasi-judicial authorities and not against administrative authorities. However, in 1991, the Supreme Court ruled that the certiorari can be issued even against administrative authorities affecting the rights of individuals. Like prohibition, certiorari is also not available against legislative bodies and private individuals or bodies. Hence statement 2 is correct.
QUESTION: 99

Consider the following statements regarding specific and ad valorem tax:
1. While a specific tax is levied on the value of the imported item, ad valorem is computed on the physical quantity of the goods being imported.
2. Specific taxes are more progressive than ad-valorem taxes.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

A tariff is any tax or fee collected by a government. An import tariff is a tax imposed on goods to be imported. Though tariff is used in a non-trade context, it is commonly applied to a tax on imported goods.

  • Statement 1 is not correct: There are two broad ways in which tariffs are normally levied namely, specific tax and ad valorem tax. A specific tax is levied as a fixed charge per unit of imports. Where ad valorem is charged on the assessed value of the asset.
  • Statement 2 is not correct: A progressive tax is a tax in which the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases. Ad valorem means - according to value. Thus, it is a tax that is flexible and depends on the value of the asset or the price of the good. In this regard, it is a progressive tax. Specific tax, the tax remains fixed and depends on the quantity, so it is not progressive as compared to ad-valorem.
QUESTION: 100

In the context of the Indian Economy, what are Ways and Means advances?

Solution:
  • The Reserve Bank of India gives temporary loan facilities to the center and state governments as a banker to the government. This temporary loan facility is called Ways and Means Advances (WMA). Hence option c is the correct answer.
  • This facility is provided to help them tide over temporary mismatches in the cash flow of their receipts and payments. This is guided under Section 17(5) of the RBI Act, 1934.
  • The WMA scheme for the Central Government was introduced on April 1, 1997. The WMA scheme was designed to meet temporary mismatches in the receipts and payments of the government. This facility can be availed by the government if it needs immediate cash from the RBI. The WMA is a loan facility form the RBI for 90 days which implies that the government has to vacate the facility after 90 days. The limits for WMA are mutually decided by the RBI and the Government of India.
  • The RBI provides an overdraft facility when the WMA limit is breached. The overdraft is not allowed beyond 10 consecutive working days. The interest rate on overdrafts would be 2 percent more than the repo rate.
  • There are two types of WMA – normal and special. While Normal WMA is clean advances, Special WMA is secured advances provided against the pledge of the government of India–dated securities.
  • For the states, there are two types of WMA – normal and special. Special WMA has secured advances provided against the pledge of the government of India–dated securities. After the exhaustion of the special WMA limit, the State Government are provided with a normal WMA.

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