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100 Questions MCQ Test Mock Test for UPSC Prelims 2025 - UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1

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UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 1

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

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 1
  • Permanent wilting point (PWP) or wilting point (WP) is defined as the minimum amount of water in the soil that the plant requires not to wilt. If the soil water content decreases to this or any lower point a plant wilts and can no longer recover its turgidity when placed in a saturated atmosphere for 12 hours. Turgidity is the state of being turgid or swollen, especially due to high fluid content. Turgidity is essential in plant cells to make them keep standing upright. Plant cells that lose much water have less turgor pressure and tend to become flaccid.
  • The matric potential at this soil moisture condition is commonly estimated at -15 bar. Most agricultural plants will generally show signs of wilting long before this moisture potential or water content is reached (more typically at around -2 to -5 bars) because the rate of water movement to the roots decreases and the stomata tend to lose their turgor pressure and begin to restrict transpiration.
  • This water is strongly retained and trapped in the smaller pores and does not readily flow. The volumetric soil moisture content at the wilting point will have dropped to around 5 to 10% for sandy soils, 10 to 15% in loam soils, and 15 to 20% in clay soils.
  • Hence option (c) is the correct answer
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 2

Consider the following statements regarding bases:

1. Bases often have a bitter taste.

2. Bases turn red litmus paper blue.

3. All bases are insouble in water.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 2

Bases are a class of chemical substances that exhibit certain characteristic properties.

  • Taste and Feel:
    • Bases often have a bitter taste. Hence statement 1 is correct.
    • Many bases have a slippery or soapy feel when touched.
    • This is especially noticeable with concentrated solutions.
  • pH:
    • Bases have pH values greater than 7 on the pH scale.
    • The pH scale is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution, with 7 being neutral, values below 7 indicating acidity, and values above 7 indicating alkalinity (basicity).
  • Turns Litmus Paper Blue:
    • Bases turn red litmus paper blue. Hence statement 2 is correct.
    • Litmus paper is a commonly used indicator that changes color depending on whether a substance is acidic or basic.
  • Electrolyte Properties:
    • Bases typically dissociate or ionize in water to produce hydroxide ions (OH⁻).
    • This makes them electrolytes, as they conduct electricity in solution. o Reaction with Acids:
    • Bases react with acids in a chemical reaction known as neutralization.
    • In this reaction, a base and an acid combine to form water and a salt.
  • Feeling of Coolness:
    • Some dilute bases give a cooling sensation when applied to the skin.
    • This property is commonly observed with substances like antacids.
  • Solubility:
    • Many bases are soluble in water, forming aqueous solutions. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
    • However, some bases, especially those containing heavy metal cations, may be less soluble.
  • Corrosive Properties:
    • Concentrated bases can be corrosive and may cause damage to living tissues.
    • Caution is necessary when handling strong bases.
  • Reaction with Metals:
    • Bases can react with certain metals to produce hydrogen gas.
    • This reaction is similar to the reaction of acids with metals but produces hydroxide ions instead of hydronium ions.
  • Amphoteric Nature:
    • Some substances can act as both acids and bases, depending on the conditions.
    • These substances are referred to as amphoteric. Water itself is an example of an amphoteric substance.
  • Common examples of bases include sodium hydroxide (NaOH), potassium hydroxide (KOH), and ammonia (NH₃)
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 3

What is the primary application of electrochemical machining (ECM) in industry?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 3
  • Electrochemical Machining (ECM) is a non-traditional machining process that involves the controlled removal of metal from a workpiece through the process of electrochemical dissolution. The primary application of ECM in the industry is removing metal from surfaces through controlled dissolution.
  • In ECM, a conductive workpiece (anode) and a tool (cathode) are immersed in an electrolyte solution. When a voltage is applied between the workpiece and the tool, metal ions from the workpiece are selectively dissolved into the electrolyte, leading to the removal of material from the workpiece surface.
  • ECM is particularly effective for machining complex shapes, intricate patterns, and areas that are difficult to reach with traditional machining methods.
  • It is a precise and efficient process that allows for the machining of high-strength and heat-resistant materials.
  • ECM is often used in the aerospace, medical, and automotive industries for applications such as turbine blade machining, the production of complex molds, and the creation of intricate components.
  • Hence option (c) is the correct answer.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 4

Arrange the melting points of the following metals in decreasing order:

1. Tungsten

2. Titanium

3. Gold

4. Zinc

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 4

The melting point of a metal is the temperature at which it changes from a solid to a liquid state. Here's a brief overview of the melting points of some common metals.

Hence option (a) is the correct answer

UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 5

Consider the following statements regarding a catalyst in chemical reactions:

1. A catalyst is a substance that gets completely consumed in a reaction and increases the rate of the reaction.

2. Platinum is commonly used as a catalyst in chemical reactions.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 5
  • A catalyst is a substance that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction by providing an alternative pathway with a lower activation energy, without itself undergoing any permanent change or being consumed in the reaction. o In other words, a catalyst increases the reaction rate by lowering the energy barrier (activation energy) for the reaction to occur, facilitating the conversion of reactants into products.
  • Key points about catalysts:
    • Speeding up Reactions: Catalysts accelerate the rate of chemical reactions by providing an alternative reaction pathway that requires less energy for the formation of products.
    • Remains Unchanged: A catalyst is not consumed in the reaction, and at the end of the reaction, it is regenerated and can be used again in subsequent reactions. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
    • Specific to Reactions: Catalysts are specific to particular reactions or types of reactions. They do not alter the equilibrium position of a reaction but influence the kinetics, making the reaction proceed faster.
    • Not a Reactant or Product: A catalyst is not a reactant, and it does not appear in the stoichiometry of the balanced chemical equation for the reaction. It is not a part of the final products formed.
    • Can be Homogeneous or Heterogeneous: Catalysts can be in the same phase as the reactants (homogeneous catalysis) or in a different phase (heterogeneous catalysis).
  • Examples: Common catalysts include transition metals (such as platinum, palladium, and nickel), enzymes in biological systems, acid or base catalysts, and various solid materials with catalytic properties.
  • Platinum is indeed a commonly used catalyst in various chemical reactions, particularly in heterogeneous catalysis where the catalyst is in a different phase from the reactants. Platinum's catalytic properties are utilized in reactions such as hydrogenation and dehydrogenation reactions in the chemical industry. Hence statement 2 is correct.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 6

In the context of astronomy, what is the phenomenon of gravitational lensing?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 6
  • Gravitational lensing is a phenomenon in which the gravitational field of a massive object, such as a galaxy or a black hole, bends the light coming from a more distant object behind it. This bending of light is a consequence of Einstein's theory of General Relativity.
  • When a massive object, like a galaxy or a black hole, is situated between a distant light source (e.g., another galaxy or a quasar) and an observer, its gravitational field acts as a lens.
  • The massive object's gravitational field warps the spacetime around it. As light travels through this curved spacetime, it bends, following the curvature caused by the massive object's gravity.
  • Depending on the alignment of the observer, the massive object, and the distant light source, gravitational lensing can result in multiple images of the background object. These images may appear as distorted arcs, rings, or even multiple copies of the same object.
  • Gravitational lensing has been observed and confirmed through various astronomical observations. One famous example is the gravitational lensing effect around massive galaxy clusters, where the lensing can magnify and distort background galaxies.
  • In some cases, individual stars within a galaxy can act as gravitational lenses. This phenomenon, known as microlensing, can be used to detect objects like exoplanets, which might otherwise be challenging to observe directly.
  • Gravitational lensing provides a powerful tool for astronomers to study the distribution of mass in the universe, including dark matter, and to investigate distant objects that might otherwise be too faint or distant to observe directly.
  • Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 7

Consider the following statements with respect to viruses:

1. A virus cannot reproduce by itself and needs to enter an organism for its reproduction.

2. The genetic material inside the virus consists of RNA only.

3. A virus which infects and replicates within a bacteria is called a viroid.

4. The diseases of Herpes and Hepatitis are caused by viruses.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 7
  • Viruses are non-living and made up of DNA or RNA surrounded by a protein coat. They can replicate. However, they cannot reproduce on their own. They reproduce when inside a living cell. Therefore viruses pose a special classification problem. Viruses are extremely small and can be seen only under the electron microscope. They are smaller than the smallest bacteria. They can pass through fiters which retain bacteria.
  • Virus has a simple structure consisting of a core and a cover. The core particle is the genetic material, either DNA or RNA. The cover is a protein coat called capsid. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
  • A virus cannot reproduce by itself. For its reproduction it needs to enter the cell of some organism. From the host cell, it uses the raw material and enzymes and energy generating machinery of the host cell to produce its own DNA. A number of virus particles are thus formed inside the host cell. The host cell bursts to release the new virus particles. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Viruses are known to attack bacteria, plants or animals. Viruses which invade bacteria are called bacteriophages. Viruses are highly specific in their relationship with the host and tissue.
    • Viroids are circular RNA molecules, consisting of several hundred nucleotides. They infect plants and even kill them. In plants, they use enzymes of the plant cells to replicate like the viruses do. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
  • Viruses are responsible for causing many diseases, including:
    • AIDS, Common cold, Ebola, Herpes, Influenza, Measles, Chickenpox and shingles, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Hepatits, Small Pox, Dengue etc. Antibiotics designed for bacteria have no effect on viruses. Hence statement 4 is correct.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 8

Which one of the following statements best describes the purpose of 'Site Directed Nuclease (SDN)'?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 8
  • SDN or sequence specific nuclease (SSN) refers to the practice of cleaving DNA strands to affect the subsequent genome editing. SDN technology takes advantage of targeted DNA break and host’s natural repair mechanisms to introduce specific small changes at the site of the DNA break.
  • The basis of current targeted genome editing applications is the capacity to induce a DNA double strand break (DSB) at a selected location in the genome where the modification is intended. Directed repair of the DSB allows for targeted genome editing. Such applications can be applied to generate mutations (targeted mutations or precise native gene editing) as well as precise insertion of genes (cisgenes, intragenes, or transgenes).
  • Different approaches can be used to achieve targeted DNA breaks, including Meganucleases (MN), Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs), Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs) and the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-associated proteins (CRISPR/Cas) etc. Collectively, these are often discussed under the acronym site directed nucleases (SDNs), pointing out to the general principle of the technology to use a DNA cutting enzyme (nuclease) for the generation of the targeted (or site directed) DNA break. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
  • Variants of SDN applications are often categorized as SDN-1, SDN-2 and SDN-3 depending on the outcome of the DNA double strand break repair.
    • SDN-1: When the SDN is used in the absence of a DNA repair template (see SDN-2/-3), the outcome is a targeted, non-specific genetic deletion mutation. In this case, the position of the DNA DSB is precisely selected, but the DNA repair by the host cell is random and results in small nucleotide deletions, additions or substitutions.
    • SDN-2: Is used to generate gene editing mutations. In this case, a SDN is used to generate a targeted DSB and a DNA repair template (a short DNA sequence identical to the targeted DSB DNA sequence except for one or a few nucleotide changes) is used to repair the DSB. The outcome is a targeted and predetermined point mutation in the desired gene of interest.
    • SDN-3: When the SDN is used along with a DNA repair template that contains new DNA sequence (e.g.gene), the outcome of the technology would be the integration of that DNA sequence into the plant genome. The most likely application illustrating the use of SDN-3 would be the insertion of cisgenic, intragenic, or transgenic expression cassettes at a selected genome location.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 9

Consider the following statements with respect to plant physiology:

1. C3 plants are twice as efficient as C4 plants in terms of fixing carbon.

2. The direction of movement in the xylem is always unidirectional.

3. Mycorrhizae represent a symbiotic association of rhizobacteria and plant roots.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 9
  • An actively photosynthesizing plant has an insatiable need for water. Photosynthesis is limited by available water which can be swiftly depleted by transpiration. The humidity of rainforests is largely due to this vast cycling of water from root to leaf to the atmosphere and back to the soil. The evolution of the C4 photosynthetic system is probably one of the strategies for maximizing the availability of CO2 while minimizing water loss. C4 plants are twice as efficient as C3 plants in terms of fixing carbon (making sugar). However, a C4 plant loses only half as much water as a C3 plant for the same amount of CO2 fixed. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • Food, primarily sucrose, is transported by the vascular tissue phloem from a source to a sink. Sugar stored in roots may be mobilized to become a source of food in the early spring when the buds of trees, act as a sink; they need energy for growth and development of the photosynthetic apparatus. Since the source-sink relationship is variable, the direction of movement in the phloem can be upwards or downwards, i.e., bi-directional. This contrasts with that of the xylem where the movement is always unidirectional, i.e., upwards. Hence, unlike the one-way flow of water in transpiration, food in phloem sap can be transported in any required direction so long as there is a source of sugar and a sink able to use, store, or remove the sugar. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Mycorrhizae are a symbiotic association between plant roots and fungi. The fungal filaments form a network around the young root or they penetrate the root cells. The hyphae have a very large surface area that absorbs mineral ions and water from the soil a much larger volume of soil that perhaps a root cannot do. The fungus provides minerals and water to the roots, in turn, the roots provide sugars and N containing compounds to the mycorrhizae. Some plants have an obligate association with the mycorrhizae. For example, Pinus seeds cannot germinate and establish without the presence of mycorrhizae. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 10

Consider the following statements with reference to Project Cheetah:

1. Project Cheetah has led to translocation of 20 cheetahs from the countries of Sahel Region of Africa in Kuno National Park.

2. It has been implemented by National Tiger conservation authority.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 10
  • Recent Context: A Namibian cheetah gave birth increasing the population amid deaths of Cheetahs at Kuno National Park.
  • Project Cheetah, India's ambitious attempt to introduce African cheetahs in the wild in the country was launched in September 2022.
    • The cheetah was declared extinct in India by 1952, the only large carnivore species that went extinct in Independent India. So, its objective was to establish viable cheetah metapopulation in India that allows cheetahs to perform its functional role as top predator.
  • Under Project Cheetah, a total of 20 animals were relocated from Namibia and South Africa to Kuno National Park (KNP) in two batches under the government's Project Cheetah. The first batch came in September 2022 and the second in February 2023. As of now, 13 of the original 20 are alive. 20 Cheetah were translocated from Namibia and South Africa. Whereas, Sahel region is defined as the North-Central African semi-arid region between the Sahara Desert and savanna regions. It includes the countries of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, The Gambia, Guinea Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • Out of 6 criteria for assessing short-term success, the project has already met four criteria namely:50% survival of introduced cheetahs, Establishment of home ranges, Birth of cubs in Kuno, and Revenue to local communities.
  • Implementing Agency of Project Cheetah is National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). Hence statement 2 is correct. Funding of project Cheetah is from Project Tiger as well as Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA).
  • Cheetah is protected under Appendix 1 of CITES. The IUCN status of African cheetah is Vulnerable and Asiatic cheetah is Critically endangered. Till now, there were 15 cheetahs at KNP and the tally now stands at 18.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 11

Which one of the following is not an early Harappan site? 

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 11

Sohagaura is an ancient village of Uttar Pradesh, located at the bank of the Sangam (meeting point) of two famous River Rapti and Aami. It is an Ashokan-era Copper Plate Inscription. The Sohgaura Copper Plate Inscription is an Indian Copper Plate Inscription written in Prakrit in the Brahmi script. Siswal is a village in Hisar district, Haryana. It is a site of Chalcolithic Age / Early Harappa Age. Damb Sadat is an archaeological mound and ancient settlement in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan. It is related to the early phases of the Indus Valley Civilization. Amri is an ancient settlement in modern day Sindh (Pakistan). The Indus Valley site is located south of Mohenjo Daro.

UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 12

With reference technologies Civilization, to of the consider the agricultural Indus the Valley following statements:

1. Most Harappan sites are located in the semi-arid lands, where irrigation was probably required for agriculture, so traces of canals have been found in Punjab and Sind.

2. Terracotta models of plough have been found at sites in Cholistan.

3. The evidence of a ploughed field found at Kalibangan had two sets of furrows at right angles to each other, suggesting that two different crops were grown together.

How many of the above statements is/are incorrect?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 12

Most Harappan sites are located in the semi-arid lands, where irrigation was probably required for agriculture. Traces of canals have been found at the Harappan site of Shortughai in Afghanistan, but not in Punjab or Sind. Terracotta models of plough have been found at sites in Cholistan and at Banawali (Haryana). The archaeologists have also found evidence of a ploughed field at Kalibangan (Rajasthan), associated with the early Harappan levels. The field had two sets of furrows at right angles to each other, suggesting that two different crops were grown together.

UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 13

With reference to craft production of the Indus Valley Civilization, consider the following statements:

1. Chanhudaro were devoted to craft production, including bead-making, shell-cutting.

2. Nageshwar and Balakot were the specialized centres for making shell objects – including bangles, ladles.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 13

Chanhudaro were devoted to craft production, including bead-making, shell-cutting, metal-working, seal making and weight-making. The variety of materials used to make beads is remarkable: Stones like carnelian (of a beautiful red colour), jasper, crystal and metals, like copper, bronze and gold; and shell, faience and terracotta or burnt clay. Some beads were made of two or more stones, cemented together, some of stone with gold caps. The shapes were numerous – disc-shaped, cylindrical, spherical, barrel-shaped, segmented. Some were decorated by incising or painting and some had designs etched onto them. Techniques for making beads differed according to the material. Nageshwar and Balakot were the specialized centres for making shell objects – including bangles, ladles and inlay – which were taken to other settlements. The finished products (such as beads) from Chanhudaro and Lothal were taken to the large urban centres, such as Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.

UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 14

With reference to the Mesopotamian texts, consider the following statements:

1. This text refers that copper coming to the Harappan region from a place called Dilmun.

2. This text also refers to Meluhha possibly the Harappan region as a land of the sea-farers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 14
  • Recent archaeological finds suggest that copper was also probably brought from Oman, on the south-eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Chemical analyses have shown that both the Omani copper and the Harappan artefacts have traces of nickel, suggesting a common origin. There are other traces of contact as well. A distinctive type of vessel, a large Harappan jar coated with a thick layer of black clay, has been found at Omani sites. Such thick coatings prevent the percolation of liquids. Mesopotamian texts, datable to the third millennium BCE, refer to copper coming from a region called Magan, perhaps a name for Oman, and interestingly enough copper was found at the Mesopotamian sites also contain traces of nickel.
  • The Mesopotamian texts mention contacts with the regions named Dilmun (probably the island of Bahrain), Magan and Meluhha, possibly the Harappan region. They mention the products from Meluhha: Carnelian, lapis lazuli, copper, gold and varieties of wood. This text also refers to Meluhha as a land of the sea-farers.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 15

With reference to the Rig Vedic period, consider the following statements:

1. The Rig Veda is the earliest text of the Indo-European languages and contains the collection of prayers offered to various gods.

2. Women were not allowed to participate in the assemblies during this period.

3. Naditama, another name of the Indus River, is mentioned in the Rig Veda.

How many of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 15
  • The Rig Veda is the earliest text of the Indo-European languages. It is written in Sanskrit, but also includes many Munda and Dravidian words. It is a collection of prayers offered to Agni, Indra, Mitra, Varuna and other gods by various families of poets or sages. Several tribal or kin-based assemblies, such as the Sabha, the Samiti, the Vidatha and the Gana, are mentioned in the Rig deliberative, Veda.
  • They exercised military and religious functions. Even women attended the Sabha and the Vidatha in the Rig Vedic times. The Sabha and the Samiti mattered a great deal in the early Vedic times, so much so that the chiefs or the kings showed an eagerness to win their support. Naditama, another name of the Sarasvati River, is mentioned in the Rig Veda.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 16

With reference to the ancient history of India, consider the following statements:

1. The Battle of Ten Kings was fought on river Parushni, and it established the supremacy of the Bharatas.

2. Tribal conflicts during the Rig Vedic period were mainly religious in nature, arising from disagreements over rituals and sacrifices to appease the gods.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 16

The Bharata ruling clan was opposed by a host of ten chiefs, five of whom were the heads of the Aryan tribes and the remaining five of the non-Aryan people. The battle that the Bharatas fought with the host of ten chiefs is known as the Battle of Ten Kings. It was fought on river Parushni, coterminous with river Ravi, and it gave victory to the Sudas and established the supremacy of the Bharatas. Tribal conflicts during the Rig Vedic period were mainly over the control of land and resources.

UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 17

Consider the following statements about the sculptures during the Indus Valley Civilization:

1. Bust of a bearded priest is a terracotta statue.

2. Dancing girl is a copper statue.

3. Mother Goddess is a stone statue.

How many of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 17

Mother Goddess: Mother Goddess is the most important terracotta statue found in the Indus Valley Civilization. Mother Goddess figures are usually crude standing female figures adorned with necklaces hanging over prominent breasts and wearing a loin cloth and a girdle. Fan shaped head-dress, with a cup-like projection on each side, is a distinct decorative feature of Mother Goddess figures of the Indus Valley. Dancing Girl: Dancing Girl is one of the best-known artefacts of the Indus Valley Civilization. It was found at Mohenjo-Daro. This four-inch statue of a dancing girl is made using copper. Bearded Priest: The bust of a bearded man has been interpreted to represent a priest. This statue is made in soapstone. The man in the statue is draped in shawl coming under the right arm and covering the left shoulder.

UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 18

Consider the following statements about beads during the Indus Valley Civilization:

1. Factories of bead making are found at Chanhudaro and Lothal.

2. Beads were made from metals like copper and bronze.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 18

Bead industry was well developed during the Indus Valley Civilization. Bead making factories are found at Chanhudaro and Lothal. Beads were made of carnelian, amethyst, jasper, crystal, quartz, steatite, turquoise, lapis lazuli, etc. Metals like copper, bronze and gold, and shell, faience and terracotta or burnt clay were also used for manufacturing beads. Beads are in varying shapes—disc shaped, cylindrical, spherical, barrel shaped and segmented. Some beads were made of two or more stones cemented together, some of stone with gold covers. Some were decorated by incising or painting and some had designs etched onto them. Great technical skill has been displayed in the manufacture of these beads.

UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 19

With reference to the ancient history of India, consider the following statements:

1. The worship of Yaksha became popular with the advent of Buddhism and Jainism in India.

2. In the 6th century BCE, the ‘Shraman’ tradition developed, which kept its faith in the Brahmanical Varna order.

3. Mauryan emperor Ashoka patronized Buddhism and established it as the state religion in the 3rd century BCE.

How many of the above statements is/are incorrect?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 19
  • The 6th century BCE marks the beginning of new religious and social movements in the Gangetic valley in the form of Buddhism and Jainism, which were part of the Shraman tradition. Both religions became popular, as they opposed the Varna and the Jati systems of the Hindu religion. Yaksha worship was very popular before and after the advent of Buddhism, and it was assimilated in Buddhism and Jainism. By the fourth century BCE, the Mauryas established their power, and by the third century BCE, a large part of India was under the Mauryan control. Ashoka emerged as the most powerful king of the Mauryan dynasty, who patronized the Buddhist Shraman tradition in the third century BCE.
  • Religious practices had many dimensions and were not confined to just one particular mode of worship. The lethal war with Kalinga transformed the vengeful emperor Ashoka into a stable and peaceful emperor, and he became a patron of Buddhism. According to the prominent Indologist, A. L. Basham, Ashoka’s personal religion became Buddhism, if not before, then certainly after the Kalinga war. However, according to Basham, the Dhamma officially propagated by Ashoka was not Buddhism at all. Nevertheless, his patronage led to the expansion of Buddhism in the Mauryan Empire and other kingdoms during his rule, and worldwide from about 250 BCE.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 20

With reference to the development of architecture during the Mauryan period, consider the following statements:

1. In the Mauryan and the Achaemenid pillars, the shafts are built of separate segments of stone, aggregated one above the other.

2. The Rampurva pillar in Bihar stands apart, as it lacks the capital figure typically seen in the Mauryan pillars.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 20
  • The tradition of constructing pillars is very old and it may be observed that the erection of the pillars was prevalent in the Achaemenid Empire as well. But, the Mauryan pillars are different from the Achaemenid pillars. The Mauryan pillars are rock-cut pillars, thus displaying the carver’s skills, whereas the Achaemenid pillars were constructed in pieces by a mason. The Achaemenid pillars were part of some larger architectural scheme, composed of much too many component parts looking complex and complicated.
  • While the Ashokan columns were intended to produce the effect of an independent free standing monument with simpler specimen, more harmonious in conception and execution, and give the feeling of greater stability, dignity and strength. Stone pillars were erected by Ashoka, which have been found in the north Indian part of the Mauryan empire with inscriptions engraved on them.
  • The top portion of the pillar was carved with capital figures, like the bull, the lion, the elephant, etc. All the capital figures are vigorous and carved standing on a square or circular abacus. Abacuses are decorated with stylised lotuses. Some of the existing pillars with capital figures were found at Basarah-Bakhira, Lauriya, Nandangarh and Rampurva in Bihar, and Sankisa and Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Rampurva Bull Capital holds significance as one of the seven surviving animal capitals from the pillars of Ashoka. It features a lotiform base adorned with floral designs, while the central focus is a life-like depiction of a Zebu bull. The intricate composition of the capital showcases its artistic and historical value.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 21

With reference to Ibn Battuta, consider the following statements:

1. He was a Persian traveller.

2. He was appointed as the Qazi or judge of Delhi by Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

3. He wrote Rihla, which provides extremely rich and interesting details about the social and cultural life in the sub-continent.

How many of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 21

Ibn Battuta was a Moroccan traveller. Travelling overland through Central Asia, Ibn Battuta reached Sind in 1333. He had heard about Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the Sultan of Delhi. The Sultan was impressed by his scholarship, and appointed him the Qazi or judge of Delhi. The Sultan ordered him in 1342 to proceed to China as the Sultan’s envoy to the Mongol ruler.

He travelled extensively in China, going as far as Beijing, but did not stay for long, deciding to return home in 1347. His account is often compared with that of Marco Polo, who visited China (and also India) from his home base in Venice in the late thirteenth century. Ibn Battuta’s book of travels, called Rihla (A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling), written in Arabic, provides extremely rich and interesting details about the social and cultural life in the sub-continent in the fourteenth century. He travelled more than any other explorer in pre-modern history, totalling around 1,17,000 km, surpassing Zheng He with about 50,000 km and Marco Polo with 24,000 km. Over a period of thirty years, Ibn Battuta visited most of southern Eurasia, including Central Asia, South Asia, South-east Asia, China and the Iberian Peninsula. Other visitors to India in the centuries between 1400 and 1800: Abdur Razzaq Samarqandi visited south India in the 1440s, Mahmud Wali Balkhi travelled very widely in the 1620s, and Shaikh Ali Hazin came to north India in the 1740s. Some of these authors were fascinated by India, and one of them – Mahmud Balkhi – even became a sort of Sanyasi for a time. Others, such as Hazin, were disappointed and even disgusted with India, where they expected to receive a red-carpet treatment. Most of them saw India as a land of wonders.

UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 22

Consider the following statements:

1. Depreciation is the regular wear and tear of the capital

2. Depreciation is accounted for even if no actual expenditure has occurred in an economy.

3. Depreciation also takes into account the sudden unexpected destruction of capital.

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

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 22
  • A significant part of the current output of capital goods goes into maintaining or replacing part of the existing stock of capital goods. This is because the already existing capital stock suffers wear and tear and needs maintenance and replacement. A part of the capital goods produced this year goes for the replacement of existing capital goods and is not an addition to the stock of capital goods already existing and its value needs to be subtracted from gross investment for arriving at the measure for net investment. This deletion, which is made from the value of a gross investment in order to accommodate the regular wear and tear of capital, is called depreciation. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • So new addition to the capital stock in an economy is measured by net investment or new capital formation, which is expressed as: o Net Investment = Gross investment – Depreciation
  • Depreciation is an accounting concept. No real expenditure may have actually been incurred each year yet depreciation is annually accounted for. In an economy with thousands of enterprises with widely varying periods of life of their equipment, in any particular year, some enterprises are actually making the bulk replacement spending. Thus, we can realistically assume that there will be a steady flow of actual replacement spending which will more or less match the amount of annual depreciation being accounted for in that economy. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • Depreciation does not take into account unexpected or sudden destruction or disuse of capital as can happen with accidents, natural calamities, or other such extraneous circumstances. Hence, statement 3 is not correct.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 23

Consider the following statements:

1. Production taxes and subsidies are independent of the volume of production.

2. Product taxes and subsidies are paid pair or received per unit product.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 23
  • GVA is the value of total output produced in the economy less the value of intermediate consumption (the output which is used in the production of output further, and not used in final consumption). It is important to understand the concepts such as basic prices, factor cost, and market price to understand GVA. The distinction between factor cost, basic prices, and market prices are based on the distinction between net production taxes (production taxes fewer production subsidies) and net product taxes (product taxes less product subsidies).
  • Production taxes and subsidies are paid or received in relation to production and are independent of the volume of production such as land revenues, stamp and registration fees. Product taxes and subsidies, on the other hand, are paid or received per unit or product, e.g., excise tax, service tax, export, and import duties, etc. Hence, statements 1 and 2 are correct.
  • Factor cost includes only the payment to factors of production, it does not include any tax. In order to arrive at the market prices, we have to add to the factor cost the total indirect taxes less total subsidies. The basic prices lie in between: they include production taxes (fewer production subsidies) but not product taxes (fewer product subsidies). Therefore in order to arrive at market prices we have to add product taxes (less product subsidies) to the basic prices.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 24

With reference to the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF), consider the following statements:

1. Its aim is to reduce volatility in the overnight lending rates in the interbank market.

2. Borrowing rate under this facility is always higher than the repo rate.

3. The facility was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India during the 2016 demonetization.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 24
  • Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) is a new scheme announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its Monetary Policy (2011-12) and refers to the penal rate at which banks can borrow money from the central bank over and above what is available to them through the LAF window. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
  • MSF, being a penal rate, is always fixed above the repo rate. The MSF would be the last resort for banks once they exhaust all borrowing options including the liquidity adjustment facility by pledging government securities, where the rates are lower in comparison with the MSF. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The MSF would be a penal rate for banks and the banks can borrow funds by pledging government securities within the limits of the statutory liquidity ratio. The scheme has been introduced by RBI with the main aim of reducing volatility in the overnight lending rates in the inter-bank market and enabling smooth monetary transmission in the financial system. Hence statement 1 is correct.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 25

In the context of capital markets, consider the following statements:

1. Capital markets provide direct funding from savers to users via the issuance of securities.

2. In this market, capital funds comprising both equity and debt are issued and but not traded.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 25
  • Financial markets comprise both capital and money markets. Capital markets refer to markets that trade financial instruments with maturities longer than one year. Money markets trade debt securities or instruments of maturities of a year or less.
  • In the simplest terms, capital markets can be defined as a marketplace where buyers and sellers can engage in the trade of long-term financial securities. Long-term here means for a period greater than one year.
  • Capital Markets vis-a-vis Commercial Banks
    • Intermediation between lenders (or savers) and borrowers (or users of funds) is a fundamental function of the financial system in an economy and is performed primarily by commercial banks and primary capital markets.
    • The key distinction is that capital markets provide direct funding from saver to user via the issuance of securities, while bank intermediation involves indirect funding with banks as the go-between connecting the saver and user. Hence, statement 1 is  correct.
  • The following characteristics are typical of Capital Markets:
    • The capital market is the market for securities, where companies and governments can raise long-term funds.
    • The market in which corporate equity and longer-term debt securities maturing in more than one year are issued and traded.
    • The capital market is the market for long-term debt equity shares. In this market, capital funds comprising both equity and debt are issued and traded. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
    • The market in which long-term securities such as stocks and bonds are bought and sold.
    • The capital market comprises financial securities, government securities, and semi-government securities. The capital market concerns two broad types of securities traded - debts and equity. Buying stock allows investors to gain an equity interest in the company and become an owner of the company.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 26

Which of the following currencies form a part of Special Drawing Rights (SDR)'s Basket of currencies:

1. US Dollar

2. Japanese Yen

3. Chinese Renminbi

4. Indian Rupee

5. Euro

6. British Pound sterling

select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 26
  • The SDR basket of currencies includes the US dollar, Euro, Japanese yen, pound sterling and the Chinese renminbi (included in 2016). 
  • The SDR currency value is calculated daily (except on IMF holidays or whenever the IMF is closed for business) and the valuation basket is reviewed and adjusted every five years. Quota (the amount contributed to the IMF) of a country is denominated in SDRs. Members’ voting power is related directly to their quotas. IMF makes the general SDR allocation to its members in proportion to their existing quotas in the IMF. Hence option (d) is the correct answer.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 27

Which of the following financial institutions in India are required to maintain the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) norms?

1. Regional Rural Banks

2. Local Area Banks

3. Co-operative Banks

4. Small Finance Banks

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 27
  • Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) refers to the minimum percentage of deposits that commercial banks are mandated to maintain as gold assets, cash, or government-approved securities, in their own vaults. These deposits have to be maintained by the banks themselves and not with the Reserve Bank of India. By definition, the SLR is the ratio of a bank’s liquid assets to their Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL). The SLR is an essential instrument in the RBI’s monetary policy that helps regulate the cash flow in the economy and ensures the bank’s stability.
  • As per the Reserve Bank of India SLR norms are applicable to all Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) (including Regional Rural Banks), Small Finance Banks (SFBs), Payments Banks, Local Area Banks (LABs), Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs), State Co-operative Banks (StCBs) and District Central Co-operative Banks (DCCBs). Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.
  • SLR is used by the RBI to control credit flow in the banks. In a way, SLR also makes commercial banks invest in government securities. Making banks invest a portion of their deposits in government securities also ensures the solvency of such banks.
  • SLR is decided by the RBI from time to time. The maximum limit of SLR is 40% and the minimum limit is Zero. If the bank fails to control the required level of the statutory liquidity ratio, then it becomes responsible to pay a penalty to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 28

The experiment consists of detectors that are blind to the light from the Universe, arranged at right angles to each other. The Union Cabinet recently approved a project to build such an advanced facility in Maharashtra. By doing so, “Indian science and technology is expected to leap-frog in quantum-sensing and metrology. Which of the following experiments has been described in the passage given above?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 28
  • The Union Cabinet recently approved a project to build an advanced gravitational-wave detector in Maharashtra at an estimated cost of Rs 2,600 crore. The facility’s construction is expected to be completed by 2030. By building it, “Indian S&T is expected to leap-frog in a number of cutting-edge frontiers of great national relevance, in particular quantum-sensing and metrology. It will come up in the Hingoli district, where land has been acquired to the tune of 174 acres. LIGO stands for "Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory". It is the world's largest gravitational wave observatory and a marvel of precision engineering. Comprising two enormous laser interferometers located 3000 kilometers apart, LIGO exploits the physical properties of light and of space itself to detect and understand the origins of gravitational waves (GW). Currently, there are three operational gravitational wave observatories around the world - two in the United States (Hanford and Livingston), one in Italy (Virgo), and one in Japan (Kagra). For accurate detection, four comparable detectors need to be operated simultaneously across the globe.
  • The LIGO detectors consist of two 4-km-long vacuum chambers, arranged at right angles to each other, with mirrors at the end. The experiment works by releasing light rays simultaneously in both chambers.
  • Normally, the light should return at the same time in both chambers. However, if a gravitational wave passes through, one chamber gets elongated while the other gets squished, resulting in a phase difference in the returning light rays. Detecting this phase difference confirms the presence of a gravitational wave.
  • Three things fundamentally distinguish LIGO from a stereotypical astronomical observatory:
    • LIGO is blind to the light from the Universe. Unlike optical or radio telescopes, LIGO does not see electromagnetic radiation (e.g., visible light, radio waves, microwaves). But it doesn't have to because gravitational waves are not part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
    • It doesn't need to focus on starlight or point at a particular part of the sky. o It is difficult for a single detector to make a discovery on its own.
    • The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is three things. First, it is large – so large that it’s the world’s largest science experiment. Second, it’s a collider. It accelerates two beams of particles in opposite directions and smashes them head-on. Third, these particles are hadrons. The LHC, built by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), is on the energy frontier of physics research, conducting experiments with highly energized particles.
    • Laser Interferometer Space Antenna(LISA) is a space-based gravitational wave observatory building on the success of LISA Pathfinder and LIGO. Led by ESA, the LISA mission is a collaboration of ESA, NASA, and an international consortium of scientists. Gravitational waves were first theorized by Albert Einstein. They are created during events such as supermassive black hole mergers, or collisions between two black holes that are billion times bigger than our Sun. These collisions are so powerful that they create distortions in spacetime, known as gravitational waves. Studying gravitational waves gives enormous potential for discovering the parts of the universe that are invisible by other means, such as black holes, the Big Bang, and other, as yet unknown, objects. Gravitational waves were first directly detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2015.
  • Three types of detectors have been designed to look for gravitational radiation, which is very weak. The changes of curvature of space-time would correspond to dilation in one direction and a contraction at right angles to that direction. One scheme, first tried out about 1960, employed a massive cylinder that might be set in mechanical oscillation by a gravitational signal. The authors of this apparatus argued that signals had been detected, but their claim was not substantiated.
  • In a second scheme, an optical interferometer is set up with freely suspended reflectors at the ends of long paths that are at right angles to each other. Shifts of interference fringes corresponding to an increase in the length of one arm and a decrease in the other would indicate the passage of gravitational waves. One such interferometer is the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), which consists of two interferometers with arm lengths of 4 km (2 miles), one in Hanford, Washington, and the other in Livingston, Louisiana.
  • A third scheme, the Evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (eLISA), is planned that uses three separate, but not independent, interferometers installed in three spacecraft located at the corners of a triangle with sides of some 5 million km (3 million miles). A mission to test the technology for eLISA, LISA Pathfinder, was launched in 2015.
  • LISA Pathfinder, formerly Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology-2, was an ESA spacecraft that was launched on 3 December 2015 onboard Vega flight VV06. The mission tested technologies needed for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, an ESA gravitational wave observatory planned to be launched in 2037. Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 29

Which of the following are the major sources of non-tax revenue?

1. Fees for Communication Services

2. License fee

3. Interests

4. Fines and penalties

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 29
  • Non-Tax Revenue: Non-Tax Revenue is the recurring income that is earned from sources other than taxes by the government. They are the revenue receipts that are not generated by taxing the public. Some of the major sources of non-tax revenue are mentioned below:
    • Interests that the government receives through the loans provided by it to the state governments, UTs, private enterprises, and the general public are an important source of non-tax revenue.
    • Power Supply Fees: This includes fees received by the central power authority of any nation. In the case of India, this includes fees received by the Central Electricity Authority.
    • Fees: These are the charges that cover the cost of recurring services that are provided and imposed by the government. It is a compulsory contribution like a tax.
    • License Fee: It is a form of tax charged by the government and its allied entities for conducting an activity that can be anything such as opening a restaurant or operating a heavy vehicle.
    • Fines and Penalties: Fines are mostly used in the context of criminal law wherein a court of law will punish a person convicted of a crime by imposing a fine. Penalty, meanwhile, is used in both civil as well as criminal law. It includes both monetary and physical forms of punishment.
    • Escheats: Escheats is the transfer of estate assets or property to the government if an individual passes away without leaving a legally biding bill or legal heirs
    • Several grants are received by the government from various International Organisations and foreign governments. Such grants are not a fixed source of revenue and are generally received during a national crisis such as war, flood, etc.
    • Forfeitures: Forfeiture is the loss of any property without compensation as a result of defaulting on the obligations of a contract or a penalty for illegal conduct. Under the terms of a contract, forfeiture refers to the requirement by the defaulting party to give up ownership of an asset or cash flows from an asset, as compensation for the resulting losses to the other party.
    • Interests: It comprises of interests of loans and insurance given to the government for non-plan schemes and planned schemes and also interest on loans that have been advanced to Public Sector Enterprises or other statutory bodies.
    • Fees for Communication Services: This mainly includes the license fees from telecom operators on account of spectrum usage charges that licensed Telecom Service Providers pay to the government ministry that handles telecommunications. Hence option (d) is the correct answer.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 30

Consider the followings receipts of the Union Government:

1. Recoveries of loans and advances given to state governments

2. Disinvestment proceeds of PSUs

3. Recoveries of loans from foreign governments

How many of the above receipts are non debt capital receipts?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 30
  • Usually, there are two main sources of the government’s income – revenue receipts and capital receipts. Revenue receipts comprise both tax and non-tax revenues while capital receipts consist of capital receipts and non-debt capital receipts.
  • Non-debt creating capital receipts refer to those receipts of the government which lead to a decrease in assets, and not an increase in liabilities. Non-debt capital receipts, also known as NDCR, account for just 3% of the central government’s total receipts.
  • Broadly, there are two kinds of non debt capital receipts:
    • Recoveries of loans and advances and
    • Miscellaneous capital receipts
  • Recoveries of loans and advances: This kind of non debt capital receipts includes:
    • Recovery of loans and advances from state governments and union territories with legislature
    • Recovery of loans given to foreign governments
    • Recovery of loans and advances from PSUs and other autonomous bodies
  • Miscellaneous Capital Receipt: This includes proceeds from disinvestment in public sector undertakings. The government further classifies disinvestment proceeds into:
    • Disinvestment receipts
    • Strategic disinvestment
    • Listing of PSUs in stock markets and
    • Issue of bonus shares
  • Hence option (c) is the correct answer.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 31

In context of the economy, what does 'autarky' mean?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 31
  • Types of Economies- Closed/Inward and Open/Outward:
    • Closed Economy: In a closed economy, no external trade takes place. This means that there are no imports or exports. It indicates a self-sufficient, self-reliant economy primarily growing via its domestic sectors. Another term for a closed economy is autarky.
    • It is said that India had a near-closed economy focusing more on self-development after the 1950s, running up to the 1980s, and finally opening its economy after the economic crisis of 1991.
    • Open Economy: An open economy is one that trades with other nations in goods and services and also in financial assets. 
  • Hence, option (c) is the correct answer.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 32

Consider the following statements:

1. India is expected to overtake China as the most populous nation in the world by the end of 2026.

2. India has more population in the age group 0-14 years compared to the age group above 65.

3. India has a better life expectancy compared to China.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 32
  • Recently, The demographic data from the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) “State of World Population Report, 2023” titled ‘8 Billion Lives, Infinite Possibilities: The Case for Rights and Choices’ was released.
  • The UNFPA’s ‘The State of World Population Report, 2023’, said India’s population is projected to be 1,428.6 million while that of China’s 1,425.7 million, a difference of 2.9 million by the mid of the year 2023. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • The UNFPA report said 25% of India’s population is in the age group of 0-14, 18% in 10-19, 26% in 10-24, 68% in 15-64, and 7% above 65. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • China is doing better than India in the context of life expectancy, which in the case of women is 82 and 76 that of men. The figures for India are 74 and 71, according to the report. Hence, statement 3 is not correct
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 33

With reference to the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, consider the following statements:

1. It has been approved by the European Union (EU) to bring largely unregulated cryptocurrency markets under government regulation.

2. It will also regulate central bank digital currencies issued by the European Central Bank.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 33
  • Recently, European Union Parliament approved Crypto Licensing, Funds Transfer Rules.
  • Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) forms part of the European Union’s (EU) broader digital financial package, which includes the Digital Operational Resilience Act and Pilot Regime on Distributed Ledger Technology. It aims to embrace innovation and new financial technologies while ensuring consumer protection and financial stability across the EU. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • The MiCA legislation will apply to crypto assets including traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and newer ones like stablecoins.
  • MiCA will not regulate central bank digital currencies issued by the European Central Bank, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and digital assets issued by national central banks of EU member countries. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 34

Which of the following items are reflected on the assets side of a balance sheet of a Scheduled Commercial bank in India?

1. Loan advances

2. Net Time Deposits held by a bank

3. Government Securities held by the bank

4. Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR)

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 34
  • Commercial banks are the other type of institutions that are a part of the money-creating system of the economy. Scheduled banks are banks that are listed in the 2nd schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. The Balance sheet is a record of the assets and liabilities of any firm/bank.
  • Assets are things a firm owns or what a firm can claim from others. In the case of a bank, apart from buildings, furniture, etc., its assets are loans given to the public. Hence option 1 is correct.
  • Another asset that a bank has is reserves (Cash Reserve Ratio). Reserves are deposits that commercial banks keep with the Central Bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and its cash. These reserves are kept partly as cash and partly in the form of financial instruments (bonds and treasury bills) issued by the RBI. Hence option 4 is correct.
  • Besides reserves with RBI, other classes of assets held by commercial banks are investments in Government Securities. Government securities are securities of both the central and state government including treasury bills, treasury deposit certificates, and postal obligations such as national plan certificates, and national savings certificates. Hence option 3 is correct.
  • Liabilities for any firm are its debts or what it owes to others. For a bank, the main liability is the deposits that people keep with it. Liabilities for a bank = Total Deposits of the public held by banks. Hence option 2 is not correct.
  • Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 35

Recently, which of the following rice variety of Bihar has been accorded ‘Geographical Indication’ status for its unique aroma and palatability?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 35
  • Recently, Mircha’ rice of Bihar’s West Champaran has been awarded the GI tag. The size and shape of the grain appear like that of black pepper, hence it is known as Mircha or Marcha Rice.
  • This rice is famous for its aroma, palatability and its aromatic chura (rice flakes) making qualities. The cooked rice is fluffy, non-sticky, sweet and easily digestible with a popcorn-like aroma.
  • Gobindobhog rice and Tulaipanji rice belong to West Bengal, whereas, Joha rice belongs to Assam.
  • Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 36

Consider the following statements:

1. Real GDP changes express changes in production output in the country.

2. A nominal GDP increase necessarily means that the production output has increased.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 36
  • While calculating GDP, if prices change, then there may be difficulties in comparing GDPs. If we measure the GDP of a country in two consecutive years and see that the figure for the GDP of the latter year is twice that of the previous year, we may conclude that the volume of production of the country has doubled. But it is possible that only prices of all goods and services have doubled between the two years whereas the production has remained constant.
  • Therefore, in order to compare the GDP figures (and other macroeconomic variables) of different countries or to compare the GDP figures of the same country at different points of time, we cannot rely on GDPs evaluated at current market prices. For comparison, we take the help of real GDP. Real GDP is calculated in a way such that the goods and services are evaluated at some constant set of prices (or constant prices). Since these prices remain fixed, if the Real GDP changes we can be sure that it is the volume of production that is undergoing changes. An increase in real GDP implies an increase in the production of goods and services. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • Nominal GDP, on the other hand, is simply the value of GDP at the current prevailing prices. Hence, it may happen that the numbers of nominal GDP have increased due to price rise and not necessarily due to production increase. Actually, production may have remained constant or decreased in an economy but due to price rise, the nominal GDP figures may have improved. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 37

Consider the following statements:

1. As compared to wildlife sanctuaries national parks are given a greater degree of protection, with human activity greatly restricted.

2. Wildlife sanctuaries do not have fixed boundaries whereas the boundaries of National Parks are well marked.

3. Unlike wildlife sanctuaries, national parks can be notified only by the Central Government.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 37
  • A National Park is an area protected and preserved by law to protect and preserve flora and fauna within its boundary. Grazing of cattle and removal of any wildlife from its habitat is strictly prohibited in a national park and all rights are reserved with the government.
  • A Sanctuary is a protected area where wild animals and birds are kept and encouraged to increase their population. In wildlife sanctuaries, rare and endangered species are encouraged to breed in human controlled environments with restricted settings.
  • Differences between a National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary:
    • A National Park is established by the government in view of the protection of all the flora and fauna of certain areas. But a Wildlife sanctuary is meant for the protection, breeding and propagation of individuals of an endangered species.
    • The boundaries of a National Park are usually well-marked and circumscribed whereas those of sanctuaries are often not well-defined and human activities are permitted to a specified limit. Hence statement 2 is correct.
    • A National Park is established under the provisions of Section 35, section 38(2), and Section 66(3) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972. On the other hand, a Wildlife Sanctuary is an area that is established under the provisions of Section 26-A, Section 38(1), and Section 66(3) of this Act.
    • An area can not be notified as a National Park if it is a reserve Forest. However, this is not the case with a Wildlife Sanctuary in which an area can directly be notified as a Wildlife Sanctuary even if it is a reserve forest.
    • National parks are given a greater degree of protection, with human activity greatly restricted. Sanctuaries have relatively less restrictions and are open to people, without the requirement of official permission. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • In spite of some differences, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries have basic similarities.
    • The Wildlife (Protection) Act (WPA) of 1972 provided for the declaration of National Parks by the State Government in addition to the declaration of wildlife sanctuaries. The Central Government may also declare, Wild Life Sanctuary and National Park under certain conditions. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
    • It can be said that both the National Park and the Wildlife Sanctuary are protected areas, and no biotic interference is allowed in both of these areas
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 38

Consider the following statements:

Statement-I: Termites are counted among natural sources of methane like wetlands, wild animals, livestock and geological features like volcanoes.

Statement-II: Methanogenic microorganisms that live in the gut of termites break down the cellulose entering the body and release methane. Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 38
  • Recent studies have been published stating that termites emit methane. But the extent of their risk to global warming is uncertain.
  • What are Termites?
    • These are small insects, who live in the mounds as colonies of 60,000-200,000, are not just skilled architects and engineers but also a surprising source of methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide.
    • Termites are known to wreak havoc on agriculture, forests and construction, due to their affinity for plants and wood. However, only 10-15 per cent of 3,000 termite species identified globally are categorised as pests.
  • Methane Emissions
    • Termites are counted among natural sources of methane like wetlands, wild animals, livestock and geological features like volcanoes, and are estimated to account for 1-3 per cent of emissions globally. Hence statement-I is correct. In 2008-17, the world emitted 576 Tg (1 Tg or teragram is equal to 1012 g) of methane per year, of which termites contributed 9 Tg, says the Global Carbon Project, in its “Global Methane Budget” published in 2020. Other estimates put the emissions at 2-15 Tg per year.
  • Reason for Methane Emissions o In natural ecosystems, they feed on and recycle the nutrients present in dead and decaying plant and animal matter. It is this cellulose-rich diet that causes their emissions.
    • Methanogenic microorganisms that live in the gut of termites break down the cellulose entering the body and release methane. Hence statement-II is correct and the correct explanation for Statement-I.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 39

Consider the following statements regarding ionizing radiations:

1. They include long  wavelength ultraviolet radiations (UV), X-rays, and gamma rays.

2. Electrically charged particles produced in nuclear processes can knock electrons out of atoms or molecules, producing ions.

3. Gamma rays passing through a cell can ionize water molecules near the DNA, potentially causing DNA to break and damage living tissues.

How many of the above statements are not correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 39
  • Ionizing radiations: Electromagnetic radiations such as short wavelength ultra violet radiations (UV), X-rays and gamma rays and energetic particles produced in nuclear processes, electrically charged particles like alpha and beta particles produced in radioactive decay and neutrons produced in nuclear fission, are highly damaging to living organisms. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • Electrically charged particles produced in the nuclear processes can have sufficient energy to knock electrons out of the atoms or molecules of the medium, thereby producing ions. The ionizing radiations cause damage to biological systems and are, therefore are pollutants. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • A gamma ray passing through a cell, can ionise the water molecules near the DNA. These ions might react with the DNA causing it to break. They can also cause chemical changes by breaking the chemical bonds, which can damage living tissues.Hence, statement 3 is correct.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 40

With reference to ecological succession,consider the following statements:

1. Ecological succession is defined as the process in which one generation of a species replaces another allowing other species to grow. without

2. Primary succession takes place in areas that are newly exposed and essentially lifeless.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 40
  • The gradual and fairly predictable change in the species composition of a given area is called ecological succession. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • During succession, some species colonize an area and their population becomes more numerous whereas populations of other species decline and even disappear. The entire sequence of communities that successively change in a given area is called sere(s). The individual transitional communities are termed seral stages or seral communities.
  • Ecological succession takes place in two kinds i.e. Primary Succession and Secondary succession.
  • Primary succession occurs in essentially lifeless areas and regions (created or exposed for the first time) in which the soil is incapable of sustaining life as a result of such factors as lava flows, newly formed sand dunes, or rocks left from a retreating glacier. The species that invade a bare area are called pioneer species. The pioneer species in secondary succession are plants such as grasses, birch trees, and fireweed. The first organisms to appear in areas of primary succession are often mosses or lichens. These organisms are known as pioneer species because they are the first species present. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Secondary succession occurs in areas where a community that previously existed has been removed; it is typified by smaller-scale disturbances that do not eliminate all life and nutrients from the environment.
  • All succession whether taking place in water or on land, proceeds to a similar climax community the mesic.
  • Hydrarch succession and xerarch succession are the successions of plants. Hydrarch succession takes place in wet areas and the successional series progress from hydric to the mesic conditions. As against this, xerarch succession takes place in dry areas, and the series progress from xeric to mesic conditions. Hence, both hydrarch and xerarch successions lead to medium water conditions (mesic) neither too dry (xeric) nor too wet (hydric). •
  • At any time during primary or secondary succession, natural or human-induced disturbances (fire, deforestation, etc.), can convert a particular seral stage of succession to an earlier stage. Also, such disturbances create new conditions that encourage some species and discourage or eliminate other species
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 41

Consider the following statements regarding First Loss Default Guarantee (FLDG), which is recently seen in the news:

1. It is contractual arrangement between banks, non-banking finance companies and lending service providers (LSP) whereby the LSPs guarantees to compensate the banks.

2. Losses only to a certain threshold are covered under this arrangement.

3. The LSP-providing default-loss guarantee must be incorporated as a company under the Companies Act, 2013.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 41
  • Recent Context: RBI has approved the First Loss Default Guarantee (FLDG) programme, which allows fintechs to partner with banks and NBFCs. 
    • It is a safety-net arrangement among banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and lending service providers (LSPs), whereby the LSP guarantees to compensate the regulated entities (banks, NBFCs etc) for loss due to default up to a certain threshold of the loan portfolio. Since losses only to a certain threshold are covered under this arrangement, it’s called as first loss default guarantee or FLDG.  Hence statements 1 and 2 are correct.
    • This move is expected to strengthen the digital lending ecosystem and is seen as positive for data-tech NBFCs and fintechs.
  • RBI Guidelines regarding FLDG
    • In guidelines issued in 2022, the RBI had indicated it was not in favour of such arrangements since they could encourage lenders to take on undue risk.
    • However, recently after extensive consultations with various stakeholders, the RBI allowed FLDG proposing regulatory framework with the objective of maintaining a balance between innovation and prudent risk management.
    • New guidelines:
      • The LSP-providing default-loss-guarantee must be incorporated as a company under the Companies Act, 2013. Hence statement 3 is correct.
      • Banks and NBFCs should ensure that the total amount of DLG cover on any outstanding portfolio does not exceed 5% of the amount of that loan portfolio.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 42

Consider the following statements:

1. Quantum physics is the study of matter and energy at the most fundamental level and it aims to uncover the properties and behaviors of the very building blocks of nature.

2. Quantum effects only manifest at very small length and mass scales, or when temperatures approach absolute zero.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 42
  • Recent Context: Quantum physics proposes a new way to study biology. The results of this quantum biology study could revolutionise our understanding of how life works.
  • Quantum physics is the study of matter and energy at the most fundamental level. It aims to uncover the properties and behaviors of the very building blocks of nature. While many quantum experiments examine very small objects, such as electrons and photons, quantum phenomena are all around us, acting on every scale. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Quantum effects only manifest at very small length and mass scales, or when temperatures approach absolute zero. This is because quantum objects like atoms and molecules lose their “quantumness” when they uncontrollably interact with each other and their environment. Hence statement 2 is correct.
    • Quantum physics describes matter and energy as quantum wavefunctions, which sometimes act like waves and sometimes act like particles, but are actually more complicated entities than just waves or particles. In reality, every object in the universe (from atoms to stars) operates according to quantum physics.
    • A "quantum effect" is an effect that is not properly predicted by classical physics, but is properly predicted by quantum theory. Classical physics describes matter as composed of little, solid particles. Therefore, anytime we get the pieces of matter to act like waves, we are demonstrating a quantum effect. (Classical waves such as sound and sea waves don't count as quantum because the motion is a wave, but the pieces are still little solid balls. In order to be a quantum effect, the particle itself must be acting like a wave.)
    • Quantum mechanics (or physics) differs from classical physics in that energy, momentum, angular momentum, and other quantities of a boundsystem are restricted to discrete values (quantization); objects have characteristics of both particles and waves (wave–particle duality); and there are limits to how accurately the value of a physical quantity can be predicted prior to its measurement, given a complete set of initial conditions (the uncertainty principle). 
    • A quantum phenomenon where particles can exist in multiple states simultaneously until measured or observed, in contrast to classical physics where objects have definite properties is called Superposition.
  • Below are some examples of macroscopic quantum effects.
    • Superconductivity: When a conducting material is cooled enough, its conduction electrons spread out into large-scale coherent wave states. These coherent wave states are able to flow past impurities and atoms without being perturbed, so that a material with zero electrical resistance results. Superconductivity leads to interesting macroscopic effects such as quantum levitation (the Meissner effect).
    • Superfluidity: When certain materials are cooled enough, their atoms can spread out into coherent wave states that resist surface tension, allowing the material to flow like a liquid with zero viscosity.
    • Bose Einstein Condensates: When certain materials are cooled enough, their atoms spread out completely into a single, giant, coherent wave state. A macroscopic chunk of matter that has condensed in this way acts like a wave and exhibits wave properties such as interference.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 43

Consider the following statements:

Statement-I: Most Herbicides are toxic to mammals.

Statement-II: Herbicides become concentrated in the food web.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 43
  • Most herbicides are toxic to mammals but are not as persistent as organo-chlorides. These chemicals decompose in a few months. Like organo-chlorides, these too become concentrated in the food web. Some herbicides cause birth defects. Studies show that cornfields sprayed with herbicides are more prone to insect attack and plant disease than fields that are weeded manually.
  • Pesticides and herbicides represent only a very small portion of widespread chemical pollution. A large number of other compounds that are used regularly in chemical and industrial processes for manufacturing activities are finally released in the atmosphere in one or other form. Hence, option (a) is the correct answer
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 44

Which of the following are the possible impacts of ozone layer depletion?

1. Delay in plant formation and timing of development

2. Increase in tropospheric ozone

3. Relative cooling of the troposphere

4. Increased incidence of cataracts in humans

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 44
  • A higher-than-normal concentration of Ozone molecules called the Ozone layer, is found in Stratosphere. It acts as a shield absorbing ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Depletion of the Ozone layer or Ozone hole leads to more UV rays reaching the lower atmosphere.
  • Since ozone prevents high-intensity ultraviolet radiation from reaching the surface of the Earth and causing stratospheric warming, it can be assumed that the formation of the ozone hole changes the total radiation budget of the Earth. This is, indeed, the case. However, ozone depletion and the formation of the polar ozone holes don’t lead to a further warming of the troposphere, but to a slight cooling.
  • The absorption of ultraviolet radiation by ozone molecules causes warming in the stratosphere. Some of this heat emitted in the stratosphere is transferred to the troposphere causing slight tropospheric warming as well. This warming gets lessened due to the formation of an ozone hole.
  • In the lower stratosphere, ozone can still act as a greenhouse gas and absorb infrared radiation coming from the Earth's surface. So absorption of both ultraviolet and infrared radiation by ozone leads to a warming of the upper troposphere. If ozone levels decrease, the upper troposphere will, therefore, get cooler.
  • The high levels of UV rays cause non-melanoma skin cancer. Additionally, it plays a major role in malignant melanoma development. UV is also linked to cataracts.
  • Plant growth as well as its physiological and developmental process are all affected negatively. These include the way plants form, the timing of development and growth, the distribution of plant nutrients and metabolism, etc. These changes can have important implications for plant competitive balance, animals feeding on these plants, plant diseases, and biogeochemical cycles.
  • Increased surface UV leads to increased tropospheric ozone. Ground-level ozone is generally recognized to be a health risk, as ozone is toxic due to its strong oxidant properties. The risks are particularly high for young children, the elderly, and those with asthma or other respiratory difficulties. Ozone at ground level is produced mainly by the action of UV radiation on combustion gases from vehicle exhausts.
  • Hence, option (d) is the correct answer
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 45

A zone of gradual but continuous change from one ecosystem to another when there is no sharp boundary between the two in terms of species composition, is best described as a/an

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 45
  • An ecotone is a zone of junction or a transition area between two biomes (diverse ecosystems). Ecotone is the zone where two communities meet and integrate. For e.g. the mangrove forests represent an ecotone between marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
  • The edge effect refers to the changes in population or community structures that occur at the boundary of two habitats (ecotone). Sometimes the number of species and the population density of some of the species in the ecotone is much greater than either community. This is called the edge effect. The organisms which occur primarily or most abundantly in this zone are known as edge species. Hence, statement option (a) is not correct.
  • Ecocline is a zone of gradual but continuous change from one ecosystem to another when there is no sharp boundary between the two in terms of species composition. Ecocline occurs across the environmental gradient (gradual change in abiotic factors such as altitude, temperature (thermocline), salinity (halocline), depth, etc.). Hence, option (c) is the correct answer.
  • A niche refers to the unique functional role and position of a species in its habitat or ecosystem. The functional characteristic of a species in its habitat is referred to as a “niche” in that common habitat. In nature, many species occupy the same habitat, but they perform different functions:  Habitat niche where it lives, food niche – what it eats or decomposes & what species it competes with, Reproductive niche – how and when it reproduces, Physical & chemical niche – temperature, land shape, land slope, humidity & another requirement. Hence, option (b) is not correct.
  • Biome is a large regional unit characterized by a major vegetation type and associated fauna found in a specific climate zone. The biome includes all associated developing and modified communities occurring within the same climatic region, e.g., forest biomes, grassland and savanna biomes, desert biome, etc. Hence, option (d) is not correct.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 46

Which of the following criteria are used to identify biodiversity hotspots?

1. Species richness

2. Presence of invasive species

3. High endemism

4. Threat perception

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 46
  • Conservation International was a pioneer in defining and promoting the concept of hotspots. In 1989, just one year after scientist Norman Myers wrote the paper that introduced the hotspots concept, Conservation International adopted the idea of protecting them as the guiding principle of their investments. Hot spots are regions with very high levels of species richness and a high degree of endemism (that is, species confined to that region and not found anywhere else) that are under constant threat.
  • To qualify as a biodiversity hotspot, a region must meet two strict criteria:
    • It must have at least 1,500 vascular plants as endemics — which is to say, it must have a high percentage of plant life found nowhere else on the planet. A hotspot, in other words, is irreplaceable.
    • It must have 30% or less of its original natural vegetation. In other words, it must be threatened.
  • The mere presence of invasive species is not a criteria to identify biodiversity hotspots. Hence option (c) is the correct answer.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 47

Consider the following statements about Ozone:

1. It can only be formed naturally in the atmosphere.

2. In the stratosphere, it forms a shield protecting us from the UV radiation of the sun.

3. Ozone is not found in the troposphere.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 47
  • Ozone is a gas composed of three atoms of oxygen. It occurs both in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and at ground level. Depending on its location in the atmosphere, it can be good or bad.
  • Stratospheric ozone is formed naturally through the interaction of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation with molecular oxygen (O2). Here, it forms the "ozone layer," which is approximately 6-30 miles above the Earth's surface. This layer shields us from the harmful UV radiation emanating from the sun. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • In the troposphere, ozone is formed when heat and sunlight cause chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), which are also known as Hydrocarbons. This reaction can occur both near the ground and high in the atmosphere. This ground Ozone is the “bad” ozone and is a secondary air pollutant. It damages crops, trees, and other vegetation and caused severe health problems. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
  • In both these processes, Ozone is formed naturally. However, it can also be artificially produced, so that it can be used for water treatment. Ozone generators can create ozone artificially by means of extremely high voltages or by means of UV light. Both methods involve the decomposition of the oxygen molecule. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 48

The Global Green House Gas Watch, which is recently seen in news is an initiative of

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 48
  • Recent Context: The World Meteorological Congress has approved a new greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring initiative in a landmark decision.
    • The initiative supports urgent action to reduce heat-trapping gases, which are fuelling temperature increases. 
  • Need for GHG Watch
    • Many of the existing international and national activities dealing with greenhouse gases are supported mainly by the research community.
    • At present, there is no comprehensive, timely international exchange of surface and space-based greenhouse gas observations or modelling products.
    • The new global GHG watch will fill critical information gaps and provide an integrated and operational framework.
    • The framework will bring all space-based and surface-based observing systems, as well as modelling and data assimilation capabilities, under one roof.
  • Features:
    • The GHG watch will consist of four main components:
      • A comprehensive, sustained, global set of surface-based and satellite-based observations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations.
      • Prior estimates of the GHG emissions based on activity data and process-based models;
      • A set of global high-resolution Earth System models representing GHG cycles;
      • Associated with the models, data assimilation systems that optimally combine the observations with model calculations to generate products of higher accuracy.
  • Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 49

Consider the following statements:

Statement I: Very small animals are rarely found in the polar regions.

Statement II: Small animals have a small surface area relative to their volume.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 49
  • Polar regions are characterized by the presence of sub-zero temperatures which makes it difficult for a range of animals to survive in such harsh conditions. An overwhelming majority (99 percent) of animals and nearly all plants cannot maintain a constant internal environment in adverse conditions.  Heat loss or heat gain is a function of surface area. Since small animals have a larger surface area relative to their volume, they tend to lose body heat very fast when it is cold outside; then they have to expend much energy to generate body heat through metabolism. This is the main reason why very small animals are rarely found in polar regions. Hence statement 1 is correct and statement 2 is not correct.
  • Mammals from colder climates generally have shorter ears and limbs to minimize heat loss. This is called Allen’s Rule. In the polar seas, aquatic mammals like seals have a thick layer of fat (blubber) below their skin that acts as an insulator and reduces the loss of body heat.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 50

The term ‘forum shopping’ recently seen in the news is the

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 50
  • Recent context: The Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud condemned ‘forum shopping’.
    • Forum shopping is the practice of choosing the court which is likely to provide the most favorable outcome. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
    • Litigants or lawyers attempt to deliberately move their case to a particular judge or Court where they think the judgment could be more favorable.
    • In 2017 ruling of ‘The Union of India & Ors. Vs. Cipla Ltd.’ case, the court condemned forum shopping.
    • It laid down a ‘functional test’ to be adopted to determine whether a litigant is indulging in forum shopping or not. 
    • Test: If there is any functional similarity in the proceedings between one court and another or there is some sort of subterfuge on the part of a litigant, then it is considered forum shopping.
    • Prevention: Most common law countries use the ‘forum non-conveniens’ principle to prevent forum shopping.
    • It is the discretionary power of a court to refuse to exercise its jurisdiction over a matter where another court, or forum, may more conveniently hear a case.
    • Using this power, the court can dismiss a case in the interests of justice and the parties while allocating it to the appropriate bench.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 51

Consider the following statements:

1. Species evenness describes the distribution of abundance across the species in a community.

2. Species richness is the number of species within a defined region.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 51
  • The two main factors taken into account when measuring diversity are richness and evenness. Species richness and species evenness are two components important in measuring the biological diversity of an ecosystem. Both measures describe the species living in a particular area.
    • Species richness: It is the number of species within a defined region. Generally, species richness counts the number of species in a particular ecosystem. However, it does not describe the abundance of the species in that particular ecosystem. It’s possible to measure the species richness through either sampling or a census. Hence statement 2 is correct.
    • In addition, species richness can be divided into three components:
      • α-Diversity- Alpha diversity refers to diversity within a particular area, community or ecosystem, and is measured by counting the number of taxa (usually species) within the ecosystem.
      • β-Diversity- Beta diversity is species diversity between ecosystems; this involves comparing the number of taxa that are unique to each of the ecosystems.
      • Y -Diversity- Gamma diversity is a measurement of the overall diversity for different ecosystems within a region.
    • Furthermore, species richness does not describe the distribution of the species within a particular geological area. It only describes the number of species in the above particular geological area.
    • Species Evenness:  It is the number of species and the relative abundance of species in a particular community. There are several indices to describe species evenness and the two most common measures of evenness are the Shannon index (H) and the Simpson index (D). Hence statement 1 is correct.
      • The Shannon index (H) is a measure of the information content of a community rather than that of a particular species. On the other hand, the Simpson index (D) measures the dominance of a multispecies community and can be thought of as the probability that two individuals selected from a community will be of the same species
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 52

Consider the following pairs:

 

How many pairs given above are correctly matched?

Detailed Solution for UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 52
  • Pair 1 is not correctly matched: Kaziranga National Park is located on the bank of the river Brahmaputra in Assam. It is famous for one Horned Rhinoceros. Besides rhinos, other animals protected in the park are swamp deer, bison, tiger, leopard, hoolock gibbon, wild buffaloes, pythons, monitor lizards, elephants, etc. Principal plants found in the park are tall elephant grass, Sal trees, and different types of bushes. This national park was notified in the year 1974, and its area is 42, 996 hectares. Pair 2 is correctly matched: Ranthambore National Park is located in the Rajasthan state of India. Constituted in 1980, this park is spread in an area of 39, 200 hectares. The principal wildlife protected in this park is crocodile, nilgai, gazelle, sambhar, etc.Pair 3 is correctly matched: Kanha National Park is a Tiger Reserve. It is located in Madhya Pradesh. Some important animals kept in this park are –leopards, langurs, mongooses, Cats, hyenas, porcupines, etc. Sal and bamboos are the principal trees in this park besides a wide variety of other plants. This national park was notified in the year 1955 and its area is 94, 000 hectares.Pair 4 is not correctly matched: Simlipal National Park is located in the Mayurbhanj district of Orissa state of India. This National Park comprises dense Sal forest due to which this park has been chosen for the Project Tiger. The fauna of this national park includes tigers, elephants, deer, pea foul, talking mainas, chital, sambhar, panther, gaur, hyenas, and sloth beer. Notified in the year 1978, this national park is spread over an area of 135,500 hectares.
UPSC CSE Complete Practice Test - 1 - Question 53

Which of the following features of the Indian Parliamentary model differentiates it from the Westminster Model?

1. Prime Minister can be from either house of the Parliament

2. Supremacy of the Parliament

3. No legal responsibility of the ministers

Select the correct answer using the code given below: