UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 18 (Sept 23, 2021)

100 Questions MCQ Test UPSC CSE Prelims 2021 Mock Test Series | UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 18 (Sept 23, 2021)

This mock test of UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 18 (Sept 23, 2021) for UPSC helps you for every UPSC entrance exam. This contains 100 Multiple Choice Questions for UPSC UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 18 (Sept 23, 2021) (mcq) to study with solutions a complete question bank. The solved questions answers in this UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 18 (Sept 23, 2021) quiz give you a good mix of easy questions and tough questions. UPSC students definitely take this UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 18 (Sept 23, 2021) exercise for a better result in the exam. You can find other UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 18 (Sept 23, 2021) extra questions, long questions & short questions for UPSC on EduRev as well by searching above.

Consider the following countries:
1. Kazakhstan
2. Russian
3. China
4. India
5. Belarus
Which of the countries given above are members of Eurasian Economic Union?

  • Recent Context: Russia is looking forward to India concluding a new Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
  • About Eurasian Economic Union: The Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization for regional economic integration that came into existence on 1st January 2015.
  • The EAEU provides for free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor within its borders.
  • It pursues, coordinates, & harmonizes the policies in the sectors determined by the Treaty and international agreements within the Union.
  • The member states of the Eurasian Economic Union are:
    (i) The Republic of Armenia,
    (ii) The Republic of Belarus,
    (iii) The Republic of Kazakhstan,
    (iv) The Kyrgyz Republic, and
    (v) The Russian Federation
  • Hence option (a) is the correct answer.

In the context of modem Indian history, consider the following statements regarding the Chittagong armoury raid:
1. The raid was carried out in the name of Indian Republican Army, Chittagong.
2. It was planned and organised by Rash Behari Bose.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Surya Sen had participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement and had become a teacher in the national school in Chittagong. He was imprisoned from 1926 to 1928 for revolutionary activity and afterwards continued working in the Congress. He was the secretary of the Chittagong District Congress Committee. He used to say “Humanism is a special virtue of a revolutionary.” He was a lover of poetry and an admirer of Tagore and Qazi Nazrul Islam.
  • Surya Sen decided to organise an armed rebellion along with his associates—Anant Singh, Ganesh Ghosh and Lokenath Baul—to show that it was possible to challenge the armed might of the mighty British Empire. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
  • They had planned to occupy two main armouries in Chittagong to seize and supply arms to the revolutionaries to destroy telephone and telegraph lines and to dislocate the railway link of Chittagong with the rest of Bengal.
  • The raid was conducted in April 1930 and involved 65 activists under the banner of Indian Republican Army—Chittagong Branch. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • The raid was quite successful; Sen hoisted the national flag, took salute and proclaimed a provisional revolutionary government.
  • Later, they dispersed into neighbouring villages and raided government targets. Surya Sen was arrested in February 1933 and hanged in January 1934, but the Chittagong raid fired the imagination of the revolutionary-minded youth and recruits poured into the revolutionary groups in a steady stream.

Consider the following statements with reference to Project Monitoring Group:
1. It is an institutional mechanism of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
2. Its main aim is to expedite resolution of issues and removal of regulatory bottlenecks in projects, with investments upward of 500 crores in India.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The Project Monitoring Group (PMG) is an institutional mechanism for the expedited resolution of issues and regulatory bottlenecks in projects with investments upward Rs. 500 Crores in India. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Currently, PMG is situated at Invest India, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • It was set up as a special cell in the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India in 2013 and was subsequently brought under the administrative control of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in 2015.
  • The relocation was enabled in order to create a one-stop facilitation destination for investors at all stages of the investment process, including issue resolution. The PMG seeks to enlist the unresolved project issues in respect of all mid and large-sized Public, Private and ‘Public-Private Partnership’ (PPP) Projects
  • DPIIT is mandated as the nodal body for the review of public and private projects facing challenges and facilitates their resolution through PMG. The issues taken up by PMG are both at Union and State- Level.
  • Related information: Invest India:
    (i) Invest India is the official Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India and acts as the first point of reference for investors in India.
    (ii) It is set up as a non-profit venture under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

Which of the following statements is not correct with reference to bhakti saint Ramanuja?

  • Ramanuja, born in Tamil Nadu in the eleventh century, was deeply influenced by the Alvars. Ramanuja tried to assimilate bhakti to the tradition of the Vedas. Hence, option (b) is not correct.
  • He propounded the doctrine of Vishishtadvaita or qualified oneness in that the soul, even when united with the Supreme God, remained distinct.
  • According to him the best means of attaining salvation was through intense devotion to Vishnu. Vishnu in His grace helps the devotee to attain the bliss of union with Him. He argued that in order to attain salvation, the grace of God was more important than knowledge about Him.
  • Ramanuja emphasized that the path of prapatti or total reliance on, or surrender to God was open to all, including the Shudras and the Dalits. Thus, Ramanuja tried to build a bridge between the popular movement based on bhakti, and the upper caste movement based on the Vedas.
  • Ramanuja established the Emar Math (Embar Mutt) in Puri and suggested King Choda Ganga Deva to build a big temple for the deity of Puri-Jagannath, who had been in worship there for several years. Ramanuja’s influence on the temple is seen in the practice of giving rice as prasada to devotees.

The Second Schedule of the Constitution contains the administrative provisions pertaining to:
1. Comptroller and Auditor General
2. Judges of High Courts
3. Chief Election Commissioner
4. Members of Parliament
5. Members of Union Public Service Commission
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Schedules are lists in the Constitution of India that categorize and tabulate bureaucratic activities and policy of the Government.
  • Second Schedule contains the provisions relating to the emoluments, allowances, privileges etc. of the following:
    (i) The President of India o The Governors of States
    (ii) The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha
    (iii) The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
    (iv) The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the states
    (v) The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council in the states
    (vi) The Judges of the Supreme Court
    (vii) The Judges of the High Courts
    (viii) The Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
  • The provisions in the Second Schedule can be amended by a simple majority of the two Houses of Parliament outside the scope of Article 368.

India has signed non-legally binding Memorandums of Understanding with Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) on the conservation and management of which of the following species?
1. Siberian Cranes
2. Dugongs
3. Marine Turtles
4. Raptors
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Recent Context: The 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals (CMS), an environmental treaty under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme, was hosted by India during 15th to 22nd February, 2020 at Gandhinagar. As a
  • host, India has been designated the President for the next three years. Ten new species were added to CMS Appendices at COP13. Seven species were added to Appendix I: the Asian Elephant, Jaguar, Great Indian Bustard, Bengal Florican, Little Bustard, Antipodean Albatross and the Oceanic White-tip Shark.
  • The Government of India is Signatory to the Convention on Conservation of Migratory wild Animals (CMS) since 1983. India has signed non-legally binding MOU with CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016). like Dugong, under the Conservation and Recovery Action Plan.
  • The theme of CMS COP13 in India is, “Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home. “The CMS COP 13 logo is inspired by ‘Kolam’, a traditional artform from southern I ndia. In the logo of CMS COP-13, Kolam art form is used to depict key migratory species in India like Amur falcon, humpback whale and marine turtles.
  • The mascot for CMS COP13, “Gibi - The Great Indian Bustard” is a critically endangered species which has been accorded the highest protection status under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • Related Information on CMS:
  • CMS has two Appendices. These appendices list migratory species to which the Convention applies.
    (i) Appendix I comprises migratory species that have been assessed as being in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range.
    (ii) Appendix II covers migratory species that have an unfavourable conservation status and that require international agreements for their conservation and management, as well as those that have a conservation status which would significantly benefit from the international cooperation that could be achieved by an international agreement.
  • Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

WASP 76b sometimes seen in news is related to:

  • Recent context: Astronomers of Spain- Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) has discovered an exo-planet WASP-76b where it rains iron. Hence option (c) is the correct answer.
  • The conditions of the exo-planet were discovered by Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exo-planets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations (ESPRESSO).
  • The high-resolution instrument is installed on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.
  • Exoplanet WASP-76b: Exoplanet WASP-76b is located 360 million light-years away, toward the constellation Pisces. It has days when its temperatures exceed 2,400 degrees Celsius (4,352 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature is hot enough to evaporate metals. At nights, the strong winds, cool down the iron vapor so that it condenses into drops of Iron. The planet always keeps the same face towards its star as it rotates around it.

A barrage is a structure built across a river to provide water for farming, produce electricity, or allow boats to travel more easily. In this context, consider the following pairs:
Barrage in the news Built across
1. Farakka Barrage : Ganga
2. Prakasham Barrage : Yamuna
3. Dowleswaram Barrage : Godavari
Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

  • Pair 1 is correctly matched: The Farakka Barrage is built across the River Ganges in the state of West Bengal. Farakka Barrage is 2.2 km long and carries a rail-cum-road bridge across the river to establishes direct road and rail communication links to the North-Eastern States. Canals from the Farakka Barrage provides a route for the Inland National Waterways 1, from Allahabad to Haldia using the Ganges, Bhagirathi, and Hooghly river system.
  • Pair 2 is not correctly matched: The Prakasam Barrage is located in the Vijayawada in the Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh. Prakasam Barrage is built across the River Krishna connecting Guntur and Krishna districts via a 1.2km long river road bridge. Prakasham Barrage also serves the three major canals run through the entire city and become a tourist attraction of Vijayawada.
  • Pair 3 is correctly matched: The Dowleswaram Barrage is built across the River Godavari near Rajahmundry in the Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. Dowleswaram Barrage is the last stretch of Godavari River before it empties into the Bay of Bengal. The 3.4Km long Barrage is located 8km from Rajamundry city where the Godavari divided into two streams.
  • Other Barrages:
    (i) The Jobra Barrage is built across the River Mahanadi near Cuttack in the Indian state of Orissa. Jobra Barrage also known as Mahanadi Barrage carries a 2.0 km long road bridge connecting Cuttack and Jagatpur. The barrage is situated near to the longest river bridge of Orissa and one of the longest in India, the Mahanadi road bridge.
    (ii) The Asan Barrage is located in the famous Doon Valley of Dehradun District near the border of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Asan Barrage built across at the confluence of River Asan and Eastern Yamuna Canal near Dakpathar.
    (iii) The Kota Barrage is built across the River Chambal at Kota City in Rajasthan,
    (iv) The Dakpathar Barrage is built across the River Yamuna near to Dakpathar in Uttarakhand state,
    (v) Talwara Barrage is built across the Beas River with big 52 Gates. It is known for world-famous Pong Dam, Goddess Chintapumi Temple, and Maharana Pratap Sagar lake.

Which of the following is/are the advantages of the recently introduced Wi-Fi 6 routers/ devices?
1. They provide higher throughput per user in dense and congested environments.
2. They allow for more number of devices to be connected to the WiFi.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • The latest generation of Wi-Fi, known as Wi-Fi 6, brings with it some significant performance improvements that aim to address limitations in older generations. Wi-Fi 6 is also known as "high- efficiency wireless”. Technically, Wi-Fi 6 has a single-user data rate that is 37% faster than 802.11ac, but what’s more significant is that the updated specification offer four times the throughput per user in crowded environments, as well as better power efficiency which should translate to a boost in device battery life.
  • To achieve those improvements, Wi-Fi 6 implements a variety of changes including several multi-user technologies which have been borrowed from the cellular industry - namely MU-MIMO and

OFDMA - techniques that greatly improve capacity and performance by enabling more simultaneous  connections and a more thorough use of spectrum. It will ultimately aid in laying a foundation for the number of nodes expected on upcoming smart infrastructure (e.g. Internet of Things devices). .Hence both the statements are correct.


Which of the following are the sources of data on unemployment in India?
1. Reports of Census of India
2. Employment-Unemployment Survey of Labour Bureau
3. Annual Reports of Periodic Labour Force Survey
4. Employment Exchanges’ data
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Unemployment data in India is primarily collected by agencies such as the National Statistical Office (NSO) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI). The government has last year decided to merge the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) with the Central Statistics Office (CSO) leading to the formation of an overarching body - National Statistical Office (NSO). Employment-Unemployment Survey (EUS): Employment-Unemployment Survey by erstwhile NSSO is a comprehensive household survey providing labour force statistics in India. It was first conducted in 1955 and since 1972-73, is conducted every five years. It is the prime source of statistical indicators and estimates of various parameters of the labour force and activity participation of the population. The main problem with this survey is its very low frequency and the time lag between the collection and availability of results. Now, Labour Bureau, an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment releases the Employment & Unemployment Survey. The survey has been conducted in all the States/UTs by covering all the districts.
Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS): Considering the importance of the availability of labour force data at more frequent time intervals, National Statistical Office (NSO) launched Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) on April 2017. The objective of PLFS is primarily two-fold, one to estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the Current Weekly Status (CWS) and to estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both usual status and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.
Employment Exchange: Employment Exchange refers to an office of the central or state government, which collects and furnishes information on the prospective employers, available vacancies and job seekers, thereby facilitating job seekers to find a suitable job and for the industry to find the suitable manpower. Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGET), Ministry of Labour, operates a National Employment Service (NES) which is entrusted with the matters of Employment Exchanges. As part of their administrative functioning, Employment Exchanges collect data on various aspects of employment and unemployment. Data on job seekers registered with the Employment Exchanges have been analyzed to evaluate the incidence of unemployment in the country.
Population Census: The census provides information on size, distribution and socio-economic, demographic and other characteristics of the country's population. Data on main, marginal and non­workers is collected in Census. According to Census 2011 numbers of the 116 million Indians who were either seeking or available for work, 32 million were illiterate and 84 million literate. Among literates, unemployment rates were higher among the better qualified. The ‘unemployed’ included those who were not currently working but were seeking or available for work, as well as those in marginal employment —
meaning that they worked for fewer than six months in the year preceding the Census — who were seeking or available for work. Overall, India’s unemployment rate grew from 6.8 p.c. in 2001 to 9.6 p.c. in 2011, based on official Census data. The main problem with this survey is its very low frequency since census data comes every 10 years.
Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.


Consider the following statements with reference to Nidhi companies:
1. They take up deposits from and lending to its member only.
2. They are regulated by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
3. They are registered under the company Act, 2013.
Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?

  • Recent Context: In order to make regulatory regime for Nidhi Companies more effective and also to accomplish the objectives of transparency & investor friendliness in corporate environment of the country, the Central Government has recently amended the provisions related to NIDHI under the Companies Act and the Rules (effective from 15.08.2019). The amended provisions of the Companies Act (Section 406) and Nidhi rules (as amended w.e.f. 15.08.2019) require that the Nidhi companies have to apply to the Central government for updation of their status/ declaration as Nidhi Company in Form NDH-4.
  • Nidhi companies: Under Nidhi Rules, 2014, Nidhi is a company which has been incorporated as a Nidhi with the object of cultivating the habit of thrift and saving amongst its members, receiving deposits from, and lending to, its members only, for their mutual benefit. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Nidhi Company is a class of Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has powers to issue directives for them related to their deposit acceptance activities.
  • Their core business is borrowing and lending money between their members.
  • They are regulated by Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • They have to comply with two set of norms, one of Public limited company as per Companies Act, 2013 and another is for Nidhi rules, 2014.
  • They are registered under the Companies Act, 2013. Hence statement 3 is correct.

Consider the following statements with respect to Right to Life and Personal Liberty as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India:
1. It is available to Indian citizens only.
2. It includes the right to travel abroad.
3. It cannot be suspended during the National Emergency.
Which of the statements given above are correct?

  • Article 21 declares that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. This right is available to both citizens and non-citizens. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • In the Gopalan case (1950), the Supreme Court held that the protection under Article 21 is available only against arbitrary executive action and not from arbitrary legislative action. But, in Menaka case (1978), the Supreme Court overruled its judgement in the Gopalan case and ruled that the right to life and personal liberty of a person can be deprived by a law provided the procedure prescribed by that law is reasonable, fair and just.
  • The court held that the Tight to life’ as embodied in Article 21 is not merely confined to animal existence or survival but it includes within its ambit the right to live with human dignity and all those aspects of life which go to make a man’s life meaningful, complete and worth living.
  • Under the Constitution, the freedom of movement has two dimensions, viz, internal (right to move inside the country) and external (right to move out of the country and right to come back to the country). Article 19 protects only the first dimension. The second dimension is dealt by Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty). Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Article 359 authorises the president to suspend the right to move any court for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights during a National Emergency. The 44th Amendment Act of 1978 restricted the scope of Article 359. Under the Act, during the National Emergency, the President cannot suspend the right to move the Court for the enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 20 to 21. So the right to life remains enforceable even during emergency. Hence statement 3 is correct.

’Located in the heart of the Vindhya range, this wildlife sanctuary is found to be the most suitable site for the relocation of Asiatic Lions. The sanctuary is made up of thick deciduous forest, interspersed with meadows, and comprises species of trees such as kardhai, gurjan, khair and kahua’. Which of the following wildlife sanctuaries is described in the above passage?

  • Kuno-Palpur is situated in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh. This protected region has a core area of 345 sq km and an outer buffer area of 890 sq km. Together, they constitute the wildlife division, created in the year 2002 to provide an alternative home to the endangered Asiatic Lion. The undulating terrain of the Vindhya Range in which the reserve is situated is actually a river valley, created by the River Kuno, which divides the sanctuary from north to south.
    (i) Three sites, namely Darrah Wildlife Sanctuary, Jawahar Sagar Sanctuary, and Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan and Kuno-Palpur Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh were identified for lion introduction. Out of these four, Kuno-Palpur Sanctuary was found to be the most suitable site on account of its area, shape and vegetation by the Wildlife Institute of India.
    (ii) The sanctuary is made up of thick deciduous forest, interspersed with meadows, and comprises species of trees such as kardhai, gurjan, khair and kahua. Herbivores such as nilgai, sambar, spotted deer, blackbuck and chinkara, which move in herds, are easily spotted here; while the carnivores, including panthers, jackals, foxes, hyenas, and bears, can be a little more elusive. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
  • Bori Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1977 is located on the foothills of the Satpura range in Madhya Pradesh. Along with Satpura National Park and Pachmarhi Sanctuary, makes up the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve.
  • Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary established in the year 1975, it spreads across a total expanse of 1197 square kilometres in the heart of Madhya Pradesh and is shared by four districts, namely Sagar, Damoh, Narsinghpur and Raisen. The sanctuary’s flora and fauna are sustained by the two rivers basins, Narmada and Ganga. The sanctuary is thriving in wildlife and is home to exotic canine species including the Indian Wolf, Striped Hyena and Bengal Fox.
  • National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Vindhayan ranges is famous for the rare Gangetic dolphin. The sanctuary was founded in 1979 and is part of a large area co-administered by Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Apart from the Gangetic dolphin, the other inhabitants of the sanctuary include Magar (crocodile) and gharial (alligator), chinkara, sambar, nilgai, wolf and wild boar. It is the last bastion for some of the country’s most endangered wildlife like the Gharial, Muggar, Turtles, Otter and the fresh water Dolphin, the Chambal region also boasts of a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial bird. Chambal was chosen as one of the main areas for reintroduction the species back into the wild. The Government of India launched a Crocodile Breeding and Management Project in partnership with the UNDP/FAO, in 1975. The presence of Gharial prompted the government to establish a protected area to secure the future of the species. Thus the National Chambal Sanctuary (NCS) was established covering nearly 610km across the three states.

Consider the following statements with reference to trade and commerce during Mughal rule in India:
1. An increase in imported luxury items by nobles led to huge outgo of silver bullion from India.
2. Waterways and coastal trade along the seashore played a key role in the transportation of goods.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Trade and commerce expanded in India during the Mughal rule in the seventeenth century. The Indian trading classes were large in numbers, spread out all over thecountry, well organized and highly professional. Some specialized in long-distance, inter-regional trade, and some in local, retail trade. The former were called seths, bohra or modi, while the latter was called beoparis or banik.
  • The banjaras used to move over long distances, sometimes with thousands of oxen carrying food grains, pulses, ghee, salt, etc. The more expensive goods, such as textiles, silks, etc., were laden on camels and mules, or in carts. But it was cheaper to move bulk goods through the rivers on boats. Boat traffic on waterways and coastal trade along the seashore was more highly developed than now. The trade-in foodstuffs and a wide range of textile products were the most important components of inter-regional trade. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • Merchants in India were not without influence in political quarters where their own interests were concerned. Thus, each community of merchants had its leader who could intercede with the local officials on their behalf. We do have instances of strikes (hartal) by merchants in Ahmedabad and elsewhere to stress their points of view. We have also noted the involvement of members of the Mughal royal family, and prominent nobles, such as Mir Jumla, in trade. Thus, the Mughal ruling class was not unconcerned with business and protection of the commercial interests of the country and the trading classes, though it was not as actively involved in pushing its business interests as some European states such as Britain, France and Holland were.
  • The political stability achieved by the Mughal empire helped create vibrant networks of overland trade from China to the Mediterranean Sea. Voyages of discovery and the opening up of the New World resulted in a massive expansion of Asia’s (particularly India’s) trade with Europe. This resulted in a greater geographical diversity of India’s overseas trade as well as an expansion in the commodity composition of this trade. An expanding trade brought in huge amounts of silver bullion into Asia to pay for goods procured from India, and a large part of that bullion gravitated towards India. This was good for India as it did not have natural resources of silver. As a result, the period between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries was also marked by remarkable stability in the availability of metal currency, particularly the silver rupya in India. This facilitated an unprecedented expansion of minting of coins and the circulation of money in the economy as well as the ability of the Mughal state to extract taxes and revenue in cash. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.

The British Parliament kept an eye on the East India Company's operations from the very beginning and regulated its activities through Acts and Charters. In this context, the famous Fifth Report demanded which of the following?

  • At the end of the 18th century, the East India Company consolidated its position in most parts of India, and its activities were closely watched and debated in England. A series of reports were submitted to the British Parliament on the administration and activities of the East India Company, among these one such report was the Fifth Report (from the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the East India Company, released on 28th July 1812).
  • This report presented the voice of great opposition from other traders in England and demanded revocation of the Royal Charter that granted a monopoly to the East India Company of having trade with India and China.
  • Hence option (b) is the correct answer.

Fra Mauro often seen in news is related to:

  • Recent context: Apollo 13 (50th anniversary) was supposed to make a more challenging landing near the Fra Mauro.
  • About Fra Mauro: The Fra Mauro formation (or Fra Mauro Highlands) is a formation on the near side of Earth’s Moon that served as the landing site for the American Apollo 14 mission in 1971. Hence option (c) is the correct answer.
    (i) It is named after the 80-kilometer-diameter crater Fra Mauro, located within it. The formation, as well as Fra Mauro crater, take their names from a 15th-century Italian monk and mapmaker of the same name.
    (ii) Apollo 13 was originally scheduled to land in the Fra Mauro highlands, but was unable due to an in­flight technical failure.
    (iii) Fra Mauro is thought to have been formed from ejecta, or debris, from the impact which formed Mare Imbrium.
    (iv) Conducting experiments at the Fra Mauro formation would have provided greater insights about the Moon and the Earth’s early geological history.
  • About Apollo 13 Mission:
    (i) Apollo 13 was the seventh crewed mission in the Apollo space program and the third meant to land on the Moon.
    (ii) The craft was launched from Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 1970, aboard the Saturn V SA- 508 rocket. But the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank in the service module (SM) failed two days into the mission.
    (iii) The crew instead looped around the Moon, and returned safely to Earth on April 17. While Apollo 13 did not land on the lunar surface, it was able to return photographs that it took when it looped around the Moon.

Which of the following is/are correct with reference to Pulakesin II?
1. His rule extended in and around the Deccan region.
2. He defeated Harshavardhana when he tried to invade his territory.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Pulakesin II, the son of Kirtivarman, was one of the greatest rulers of the Chalukya dynasty. He ruled for almost 34 years. In this long reign, he consolidated his authority in Maharashtra and conquered large parts of the Deccan. His greatest achievement was his victory in the defensive war against Harshavardhana.
  • In 620 A.D. Harshavardhana invaded the Chalukya kingdom in the Deccan, which was then ruled by Pulakesin II. But the Chalukyas’ resistance proved tough for Harshavardhana and he was defeated. Hence both the statements are correct.
  • Pulakesin II was defeated and killed by the Pallava king Narasimhavarman in 642 A.D. His son Vikramaditya, who was also as great a ruler as his father, succeeded him. He renewed the struggle against his southern enemies. He recovered the former glory of the Chalukyas to a great extent.

Consider the following statements with respect to the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC):
1. It was set up in 2016 to bring together all neighbouring countries of India to promote regional prosperity by improving cross border connectivity.
2. Asian Development Bank serves as the secretariat for SASEC.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) set up in 2001, brings together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives (not a neighbouring country), Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in a project-based partnership that aims to promote regional prosperity, improve economic opportunities, and build a better quality of life for the people of the subregion. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • SASEC countries share a common vision of boosting intraregional trade and cooperation in South Asia, while also developing connectivity and trade with Southeast Asia through Myanmar, to the People’s Republic of China, and the global market.
  • SASEC members gather regularly to discuss and address shared interests, creating support and ownership for the program at the policy level as well as practical collaboration at the technical working level. Over a decade of successful cooperation has built confidence and mutual trust through various discussion platforms that decide on coordinated actions for the benefit of all.
  • In 2016, the SASEC countries approved the SASEC Operational Plan 2016-2025, a 10-year strategic roadmap, which introduced Economic Corridor Development as a fourth sectoral area of focus, to promote synergies and linkages between economic corridors across SASEC countries.
  • ADB serves as the SASEC Secretariat. As of September 2019, SASEC countries have implemented 55 regional projects worth over $12.5 billion in the energy, economic corridor development, transport, trade facilitation, and information and communications technology sectors. Hence statement 2 is correct.

Recently the government has launched the ’National Transit Pass System’ to:

  • Recently the Environment Minister virtually launched piloting of the National Transit Pass System. The National Pass System enhances seamless movement of forest produce. Hence option (c) is the correct answer.
  • It is an online system for issuing transit permits for timber, bamboo and other forest produce. NTPS will bring ease of business and expedite the issuance of transit permits for timber, bamboo and other minor forest produce without physically going to forest offices. Through mobile application, e-pass will be issued for the transit of forest produce. The pilot project will be functional in Madhya Pradesh and Telangana for now.
  • People can apply for Passes from their mobile phones as well as receive e passes in their mobile phones This will enhance the seamless movement of forest produce.

Which of the following committees are related to electoral reforms?
1. Indraj it Gupta Committee
2. Abhijit Sen Committee
3. Tarkunde Committee
4. Dinesh Goswami Committee
5. Narasimhan Committee
Select the correct answer using code given below.

  • The various committees and commissions which have examined our electoral system, election machinery as well as election process are
  • Indrajit Gupta Committee on State Funding of Elections (1998):
    (i) Only Election Commission recognized political parties should be given the state support in terms of printing material and facilities; electronic media time; vehicles and fuel etc.
    (ii) Complete account of the election expenditure should be filled by the parties to the ECI.
    (iii) Political parties should compulsorily submit their annual accounts to the income tax department
  • Dinesh Goswami Committee
    (i) Time limit for bye-elections,
    (ii) Increase in deposits from independents.
    (iii) The committee also called for amendment of the anti-defection law to restrict disqualification.
  • Tarkunde Committee (1975):
    (i) The election commission should be a three member body,
    (ii) The minimum age of voting should be 18 years.
    (iii) The TV and radio should be placed under the control of autonomous statutory corporation,
    (iv) A voter’s council should be formed in as many constituencies as possible which can help in free and fair election.
  • Also various reports of Law Commission, National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution proposed several electoral reforms.
  • Both Abhijit Sen Committee and Narasimhan Committee are related to reforms in financial sector.
  • Hence option (c) is the correct answer.

In the context of India's cultural history, Thevaram refers to

  • Tamil has a literary tradition that goes back to the period of the Sangams (c. 300 BC - c. 300 CE). The most well-known surviving works from this period are the Tolkappiyam (a book of grammar attributed to Tolkappiyar), Ettu Togai (Eight Anthologies), Pattu Pattu (Ten Idylls), epics like Silappadikaram and Manimekalai (authored by Ilango Adigal and Sattanar respectively), Thiru Kural (a Tamil treatise par excellence by Thiruvalluvar) and Perungadai (another work of epic proportion by Kongu Velir).
  • This period was succeeded by the age of devotional poetry of both the Shaiva and the Vaishnava variety in Tamil literature. These works are referred to as the Thevaram and the Nalayira Divya Prebandham respectively. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.

With reference to 'sweating' in human beings, consider the following statements:
1. It helps in regulating the temperature of the body.
2. It can be used as a tool for the diagnosis of certain diseases.
3. The pH value of sweat ranges from moderately acidic to neutral levels.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Statement 1 is correct: Sweat comes out of three types of glands distributed across all over our skin, secreting water and substances that help keep our body at the optimum temperature of 37 degrees C (or 98.4 degrees F). It is 99% water containing sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and chloride ions, ammonium ions, urea, lactic acid, glucose and other minor components. Our brain has temperature-sensitive nerve cells (neurons) which control the sweat glands in releasing the fluid depending on the temperature and physical and metabolic activity of the body. Sweat is thus our body’s thermo-regulator.
  • Statement 2 is correct: An analysis of the sweat fluid in a patient and how it compares with that of a ‘normal’ individual will thus be of diagnostic value (just as much as other body fluids do). For example, in the illness called cystic fibrosis, the ratio of the sodium to chloride ions in the sweat is different from that of a normal individual. Likewise, the amount of glucose in the sweat of a diabetic is higher than normal. But the problem is the amount of sweat available from the skin. Recently, e-skin patches have been developed for real-time measurements of some chosen component in the sweat
  • Statement 3 is correct: In humans, sweat is hypoosmotic relative to plasma (i.e. less concentrated). Sweat is found at moderately acidic to neutral pH levels, typically between 4.5 and 7.0.

Motihari-Amlekhgunj Pipeline recently seen in news is a cross-border pipeline between India and

  • Recent context: Prime Ministers of India and Nepal have jointly inaugurated the Motihari- Amlekhganj petroleum product pipeline, the first of its kind in South Asia.
  • About the Pipeline:
    (i) The 69 km-long pipeline from Motihari in Bihar to Amlekhganj in Nepal is the first-ever cross­border petroleum product pipeline in the South Asia region. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
  • Significance of the pipeline: As of now, tankers carry petroleum products from India to Nepal as part of an arrangement which is in place since 1973. Every year, the pipeline will carry two million metric tonne of clean petroleum products at an affordable price to Nepal. It will help to enhance the energy security of the region and substantially cut down on transit costs.

Recently a major explosion in Beirut took place because of mass storage of Ammonium Nitrate. In this context, consider the following statements regarding Ammonium Nitrate:
1. It is a white crystalline compound which is highly hygroscopic in nature.
2. It is used in agriculture as a high- nitrogen fertilizer.
3. In India, there is no statute to regulate the import and storage of Ammonium Nitrate.
Which of the statements given above are correct?

  • Statements 1 and 2 are correct: Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound with the chemical formula NH4N03. It is a white crystalline solid consisting of ions of ammonium and nitrate. It is highly soluble in water and hygroscopic as a solid, although it does not form hydrates. It is predominantly used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Its other major use is as a component of explosive mixtures used in mining, quarrying, and civil construction. Mining companies led by Coal India Ltd are the biggest consumers of ammonium nitrate, the chemical compound in India. Ammonium nitrate is imported in bulk and in large quantities through Central government-run Visakhapatnam Port Trust by some 15 explosive manufacturers located in the eastern states including the mineral belts of Orissa and Bihar. The chemical is used to manufacture explosives that are in turn sold to miners who use it for blasting during mining operations.
  • Statement 3 is not correct: Miners source explosives from manufacturers holding permits from Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), to import the chemical. PESO is a regulatory agency attached to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, to administer Explosives Act 1884, Petroleum Act 1934, Inflammable Substances Act 1952, Ammonium Nitrate Rules 2012 and Environment Protection Act 1986, among others, for controlling import, export, transport, storage and usage of explosive materials, flammable materials, pressure vessels, cryogenic vessels, design and installation of all necessary and relevant infrastructure. The Central government has tightened the import, storage, transport and manufacture of explosives using the chemical by notifying the Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012.

Consider the following statements:
1. The snow leopard is listed as “Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
2. India’s first Snow Leopard Conservation Centre will be established in Uttarakhand.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Snow leopard (Panthera uncial) is large cat native to mountain ranges of Central and South Asia- including the Himalayas, and Russia’s remote Altai mountains. The snow leopard inhabits the higher Himalayan and trans-Himalayan landscape in the five states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. This area contributes to about 5% of the global snow leopard range.
  • Snow leopards are categorized as ‘Vulnerable’ by IUCN and in the Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. They are listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). The IUCN in 2017 has down-listed the snow leopard on the Red List of Threatened Species from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Vulnerable’. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • India’s first Snow Leopard Conservation Centre will be opened in Uttarkashi fores t division in Uttarakhand. The conservation centre will be built by the Uttarakhand forest department along with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of its six-year-long project, SECURE Himalayas. The project aims at securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

Consider the following statements with respect to superconductivity:
1. It refers to the complete disappearance of electrical resistance in various solids when they are heated above a critical temperature.
2. The superconductivity phenomenon is used during the operation of maglev trains.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Superconductivity refers to complete disappearance of electrical resistance in various solids when they are cooled below a characteristic temperature. This temperature, called the transition temperature, varies for different materials but generally is below 20 K (-253 °C). Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • The superconducting material shows some extraordinary properties which make them very important for modern technology.
    (i) In Superconducting state, the superconducting material shows the zero electric resistance (infinite conductivity).
    (ii) A Superconductor, when it is cooled below the critical temperature Tc), expel the magnetic field and doesn’t allow the magnetic field to penetrate inside it. This phenomenon in superconductors is called Meissner effect.
  • Superconductors are used in the following applications:
    (i) Maglev (magnetic levitation) trains: These work because a superconductor repels a magnetic field so a magnet will float above a superconductor - this virtually eliminates the friction between the train and the track. Hence statement 2 is correct.
    (ii) Superconductors are used in Large hadron collider or particle accelerator, to make extremely powerful electromagnets to accelerate charged particles very fast (to near the speed of light),
    (iii) SQUIDs (Superconducting QUantum Interference Devices) are used to detect even the weakest magnetic field. They are used in mine detection equipment to help in the removal of land mines.

Time Capsules', a term sometimes seen in the news, refers to:

  • Time Capsule is a container of any size or shape, which accommodates documents, photos and artefacts typical of the current era and is buried underground, for future generations to unearth. The time capsule requires special engineering so that the contents don’t decay, even if pulled out after a century. Material such as aluminium and stainless steel are used for the encasing, and documents are often reproduced on acid-free paper. Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.
  • While the term “time capsule” was coined in the 20th century, among the earliest examples of one dates back to 1777, found by historians inside the statue of Jesus Christ in a church in Spain during restoration work in December 2017. Are there any time capsules in India?
  • There have been a number of prominent examples. One time capsule, outside the Red Fort and placed underground in 1972 by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was dug out by the subsequent government. Other time capsules are at a school in Mumbai, IIT-Kanpur, Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, and Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.

The Working Committee of the Congress in 1929 constituted Foreign Cloth Boycott Committee. It was chaired by:

  • Gandhi travelled incessantly during 1929 preparing people for direct political action - telling the youth to prepare for the fiery ordeal, helping to organise constructive work in villages and redressing specific grievances.
  • The Working Committee of the Congress in 1929 appointed the following persons with power to co­opt, to constitute the Foreign Cloth Boycott Committee:
    (i) Mahatma Gandhi (Chairman),
    (ii) Motilal Nehru
    (iii) Madan Mohan Malaviya
    (iv) Moulana Abul Kalam Azad
    (v) M.A. Ansari
    (vi) Jawaharlal Nehru
  • The Committee was required to formulate a plan to bring about boycott of foreign cloth by advocating and stimulating production and adoption of handspun and handwoven Khaddar. Gandhi initiated the campaign in March 1929 in Calcutta and was arrested. This was followed by bonfires of foreign cloth all over the country.

Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)?
1. TDSAT was constituted under the TRAI Act's provisions, 1997.
2. The Chairperson of TDSAT should be a Judge of High court.
3. The Tribunal exercises appellate jurisdiction in regard to Telecom, Cyber matters, Broadcasting, and Airport tariff matters.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) was set up under the provision of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act (TRAI) to adjudicate disputes and dispose of appeals with a view to protect the interests of service providers and consumers of the telecom sector and to promote and ensure orderly growth of the telecom sector. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • Composition and Qualification of Members: The Tribunal consists of a Chairperson and two Members appointed by the Central Government. The Chairperson should be or should have been a Judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court. A Member should have held the post of Secretary to the Government of India or any equivalent post in the Central Government or the State Government for a period of not less than two years or a person who is well versed in the field of technology, telecommunication, industry, commerce or administration. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
  • Powers and Jurisdiction:
    (i) The Tribunal exercises jurisdiction over Telecom, Broadcasting, IT and Airport tariff matters under the TRAI Act, 1997 (as amended), the Information Technology Act, 2008 and the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008.
    (ii) The Tribunal exercises original as well as appellate jurisdiction in regard to Telecom, Broadcasting, and Airport tariff matters. In regard toCyber matters the Tribunal exercises only the appellate jurisdiction. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
  • In respect of Telecom, Broadcasting, and Airport tariff matters, the Tribunal’s orders can be appealed to the Supreme Court but only on substantial questions of law. However, no appeal lies against an interlocutory order or against any decision or order made by the Tribunal with the consent of the parties. In regard to Cyber matters, the Tribunal’s order can be appealed before the High Court.

Consider the following pairs:
Folk Dance Region
1. Koli : Maharashtra
2. Dumhal : Punjab
3. Wangala : Meghalaya
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

  • Koli is performed in Maharashtra. Since the dance is performed by fishermen, it involves elements of fishing and sea. Both men and women are involved in this interesting dance form which is a treat to watch. Hence pair 1 is correctly matched.
  • Dumhal, the age-old dance, is still kept alive by the Rauf tribe of Jammu & Kashmir and is performed by men who wear long and colorful robes, accompanied by tall conical caps. The performers place a banner into the ground at a fixed location, and the dance is performed around this banner. Hence pair 2 is not correctly matched.
  • Wangala or Wangla is the most popular festival among the Garos tribe residing mainly in (Meghalaya as well as in Nagaland and Assam). This is celebrated after harvest to thank Misi Saljong, the 4Sun God’ and Mini-ma Kiri Rokime, the ‘Goddess of Grains’. This festival is usually celebrated in the month of October or November accompanied by customary rituals, merry making, and dancing for seven consecutive days and nights or till food and drinks last. Dressed in the best of their traditional attires and ornaments, both the young and old males and females in the Garo villages heartily take part in this festival. Hence pair 3 is correctly matched.

Huxley's Line, Lydekker’s Line and Wallace Line are

  • The Wallace Line or Wallace's Line is a faunal boundary line drawn in 1859 by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and named by English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley that separates the Biogeographical realms of Asia and Wallacea, a transitional zone between Asia and Australia.
  • West of the line are found organisms related to Asiatic species; to the east, a mixture of species of Asian and Australian origin is present.
  • The northern part of the line was altered by T.H. Huxley to fall to the west of the Philippines (excluding Palawan). Huxley’s line is considered a more appropriate delineation by some zoogeographers because the Philippines has a highly idiosyncratic fauna.
  • Lydekker's Line is a biogeographical boundary through Indonesia that separates Wallacea on the west from Australia-New Guinea on the east. It follows the edge of the Sahul Shelf, an area from New Guinea to Australia of shallow water with the Aru Islands on its edge.
  • Along with Wallace’s Line and Huxley’s Line, it indicates the definite effect of geology on the biogeography of the region, something not seen so clearly in other parts of the world.
  • Hence option (c) is the correct answer.

With reference to the administrative and revenue terms used in British India, consider the following pairs.
Term Meaning
1. Jotedar : The village headman
2. Mandal : A rich ryot
3. Amlah : A court official
4. Adhiyar : A sharecropper
Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

  • The British in India, included the definitions of everyday Indian administrative terms in every rule and law, for the understanding of the British Officials and governance. Some of these terms were -Jotedar - They were rich ryots. Ryots in Bengal did not cultivate the land directly but leased it out to the under-ryots. At the end of the 18th century when most of the zamindars were facing crisis the jotedars consolidated their position in villages and became identical with the mandals. They controlled local trade as well as money lending.
  • Mandals - They were village headmen. They had effectual influence and authority over the officers in their village.
  • Amlah - An officer of the zamindar, appointed by the court, who visited villages at the time of rent collection to resolve and settle any dispute in the assessment and collection of rent.
  • Adhiyars - A large part of the land of jotedars was cultivated through sharecroppers (adhiyars or bargadars) who brought their own ploughs, laboured in the field, and handed over half the produce to the jotedars after the harvest.
  • Hence only options 3 and 4 are correctly matched.

Consider the following pairs:
Constitutional Provision Amendments
1. 104th : Removal of the Amendment reserved seats for the Act, 2020 Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
2. 101st : Constitutional status to Amendment National Commission Act, 2017 for Backward Classes
3. 103rd : Reservation for Amendment Economically Weaker Act, 2019 Sections (EWS)
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

  • The 101st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2017 to the Constitution introduced GST in India. It amended the Constitution to give concurrent powers to Parliament and state legislatures to levy a Goods and Services Tax (GST). Hence pair 2 is not correctly matched.
  • 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2018 provides constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). It has the authority to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes. Previously NCBC was a statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • The 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019 provides reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) amends Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution to provide for reservation benefit in economically weaker sections. Part III of the Indian Constitution deals with fundamental rights. While the 103rd Constitutional amendment act does include the word ‘reservation’ in Part III of the Indian Constitution, it is not the first one to do so. The word ‘reservation’ under Part III of the Indian Constitution has already been included under Article 16 (Article 16(4), Article 16(4A) and Article 16(4B)).
  • The 103rd Constitutional amendment sets an upper limit of 10 percent for reservation to economically weaker sections in the Constitution itself. This amendment provides reservation over and above 50%. Hence pair 3 is correctly matched.
  • 104th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2020 extended the reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the Lok Sabha and states assemblies from seventy years to eighty. It removed the reserved seats for the Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. Hence pair 1 is correctly matched.

Consider the following statements with reference to Decarbonising Transport in India (DTI) project:
1. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to develop a pathway towards a low-carbon transport system for India.
2. The project includes designing a tailor- made transport emissions assessment framework for India.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • NITI Aayog in collaboration with International Transport Forum (ITF) has launched the “Decarbonising Transport in India” project on 24 June, with the intention to develop a pathway towards a low-carbon transport system for India. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • The ITF is an intergovernmental organisation for transport policy of which India has been a member since 2008
  • The “Decarbonising Transport in India” project will design a tailor-made transport emissions assessment framework for India. It will provide the government with a detailed understanding of current and future transport activity and the related C02 emissions as a basis for their decision-making. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • The India project is a part of the ITF’s wider initiative of decarbonising transport and is a part of DTEE (Decarbonising Transport in Emerging Economies) series of projects that are aimed at lowering carbon emissions across different regions in the world.

The Galwan river recently seen in the news, is a tributary of which of the following river?

  • The Galwan River flows from the Chinese occupied Aksai Chin region administered by China to the Ladakh union territory of India. It originates to the east of the area of Samzungling on the eastern side of the Karakoram range and flows west to join the Shyok River. Hence the correct option is (c).
  • The recent clashes between the Indian army and the Chinese PL A occurred in this Galwan Valley due to intrusions by the Chinese soldiers. And Chinese opposition to Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi Road that runs along the Shyok River and almost parallel to Line of Actual Control but well within the Indian territory.
  • The river is named after Ghulam Rasool Galwan, a Ladakhi explorer of Kashmiri descent, who first explored the course of the river. In 1899, he was part of a British expedition team that was exploring the areas to the north of the Chang Chenmo valley, when he ran into this previously unknown river valley.
  • Nubra River is another tributary of Shyok River and the Nubra Valley is also of strategic importance as it leads to Siachen Glacier.
  • River Shyok and Sutlej are tributaries of River Indus.

Which of the following fundamental rights has been described by B.R. Ambedkar as 'the heart and soul of the Constitution'?

  • Article 32 provides the right to Constitutional remedies which means that a person has right to move to Supreme Court (and high courts also) for getting his fundamental rights protected. While Supreme Court has power to issue writs under article 32, High Courts have been given same powers under article 226.
  • It contains the following four provisions:
    (i) The right to move the Supreme Court for the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights. o The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs for the enforcement of any of the fundamental rights.
  • (ii) Parliament can empower any other court to issue directions, orders and writs of all kinds. o The right to move the Supreme Court shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by the Constitution. Thus the Constitution provides that the President can suspend the right to move any court for the enforcement of the fundamental rights during a national emergency (Article 359).
  • The right to get the Fundamental Rights protected is in itself a fundamental right under Article 32. This makes the fundamental rights real. That is why Dr. Ambedkar called Article 32 as the most important article of the Constitution-‘an Article without which this constitution would be a nullity. It is the very soul of the Constitution and the very heart of it’.
  • Hence option (d) is the correct answer.

Consider the following statements:
1. The enactment of the Finance Bill legalises the income side of the Government.
2. No amendments can be moved in the finance bill but can be moved in appropriation bill.
Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?


Passing of the Appropriation and Finance Bill:

  • The constitution (Article 114) states that no money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of India except under appropriation made by law.
  • Accordingly an appropriation bill is introduced to provide for the appropriation , out of Consolidated Fund of India;
    (i) the grants voted by the Lok Sabha
    (ii) The expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • The Finance Bill is introduced to give effect to financial proposals of the Government of India for the following year . It is subjected to all the conditions applicable to the money bill.
  • No amendments can be proposed to the appropriation bill in either house of the parliament that will have the effect of varying the amount or altering the destination of any grant voted, or of varying the amount of any expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India. Unlike the appropriation bill the amendments ( seeking to reject or reduce a tax) can be moved in the case of finance bill. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
  • The appropriation bill becomes appropriate Act after it is assented to by the president . This act authorise( or legalise ) the payments from the the Consolidated fund of India. The Finance Act legalise the income side of the budget and complete the process of the enactment of the budget. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • According to the provisional Collection of Taxes Act of 1931, the Finance Bill must be enacted ( i.e. passed by the Parliament and assented to by the President) within 75 days.

Which of the following is not correct regarding Sher Shah Suri?

  • Sher Shah Suri (1540-1545) was an Afghan leader who took over the Mughal Empire after defeating Humayun in 1540.
  • Sher Shah occupied the throne of Delhi for not more than five years, but his reign proved to be a landmark in the Sub-continent. As a king, he has several achievements in his credit.
    (i) He established an efficient public administration.
    (ii) He set up a revenue collection system based on the measurement of land.
    (iii) Justice was provided to the common man.
    (iv) Numerous civil works were carried out during his short reign; planting of trees, wells and building of Sarai (inns) for travellers was done.
    (v) Roads were laid; it was under his rule that the Grand Trunk road was built.
  • However, Sher Shah did not survive long after his accession on the throne and died in 1545 after a short reign of five years. After his death, Humayun was able to defeat his successor, Sikandar Suri and regain the crown of the Hindustan.

Which of the following are the uses of atmospheric nitrogen?
1. It regulates the rate of burning.
2. plants can directly use it to form macromolecules like proteins.
3. It is a major component of chlorophyll in plants.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the atmosphere. It plays an important role in slowing the rate of burning and controlling the combustion, in respiration and other biological and physical processes. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Nitrogen is largely used as nitrogen fertilisers in agriculture. Nitrogen fertilizers are manufactured on a large scale from the nitrogen contained in the atmosphere.
  • Atmospheric nitrogen cannot be used directly by plants without undergoing a transformation. To be used by plants, the Nitrogen must be transformed through a process called nitrogen fixation. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
  • Nitrogen is so vital because it is a major component of chlorophyll, the compound by which plants use sunlight energy to produce sugars from water and carbon dioxide (i.e., photosynthesis). Hence statement 3 is correct.

Consider the following pairs:
Ocean deposits Origin
1. Ooze : Pelagic deposit
2. Muds : Terrigenous deposit
3. Red Clay : Volcanic dust deposit
Which of pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

  • Ocean deposits usually consist of unconsolidated sediments, which can come from various sources, and are deposited at the ocean floor. Thickness of these deposits vary greatly from one ocean to another. They can be differentiated into following categories.
  • The Muds: These are terrigenous deposits because they are derived from land and mainly deposited on the continental shelves. The muds are referred to as blue, red and green muds; their colouring depends on their chemical content. Hence pair 2 is correctly matched.
  • The Oozes: These are pelagic deposits because they are derived from the ocean. They are made of shelly and skeletal remains of marine microorganisms with calcareous and siliceous parts. Oozes have a very fine and flour like texture and either occur as accumulated deposits or float about in suspension. Hence pair 1 is correctly matched.
  • The Clays: These occur mainly as red clays in deeper parts of the ocean. Red clay is an accumulation of volcanic dust blown out from volcanoes during a volcanic eruption. Hence pair 3 is correctly matched.

Consider the following statements with respect to District Council in Autonomous Districts constituted under Sixth Schedule:
1. The Parliament is empowered to increase or decrease any autonomous district area.
2. All the members of district councils are elected on the basis of adult franchise.
3. The district councils are empowered to collect land revenue and make regulations for the control of money lending by non-tribals.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Article 244 in Part X of the Constitution envisages a special system of administration for certain areas designated as ‘scheduled areas’ and ‘tribal areas’. The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • The features of administration contained in the Sixth Schedule are as follows:
    (i) The Governor is empowered to organise and re-organise the autonomous districts. Thus, he can increase or decrease their areas or change their names or define their boundaries. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
    (ii) Each autonomous district has a district council consisting of 30 members, of whom four are nominated by the governor and the remaining 26 are elected on the basis of adult franchise. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
    (iii) The district and regional councils administer the areas under their jurisdiction.
    (iv) The district and regional councils within their territorial jurisdictions can constitute village councils or courts for trial of suits and cases between the tribes.
    (v) The Council can also make regulations for the control of money lending and trading by nontribals.

But, such regulations require the assent of the governor,  The district and regional councils are empowered to assess and collect land revenue and to impose certain specified taxes. Hence statement 3 is correct,  The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.


Consider the following statements with respect to Tebhaga movement:
1. The movement started in the Telangana region.
2. The Sharecroppers started the movement to demand a two-third share of the crop grown in the fields.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • In September 1946, the Bengal Provincial Kisan Sabha gave a call to demand - Tebhaga - two-thirds’ share - to the bargardars, the share croppers instead of the one-half share. The storm centre of the movement was north Bengal. The central slogan was “nij khamare dhan tolo”- i.e., sharecroppers taking the paddy to their own threshing floor and not to the jotedar’s house, as before, so as to enforce tebhaga. Hence statement 1 is not correct and statement 2 is correct.
  • The share croppers were encouraged by the fact that the Bengal Land Revenue Commission, popularly known as the Floud Commission, had already made this recommendation.
  • The movement received a great boost in late January 1947 when the Muslim League Ministry led by Suhrawardy published the Bengal Bargadars Temporary Regulation Bill. The Muslim League Ministry failed to pursue the bill in the Assembly and it was only in 1950 that the Congress Ministry passed a Bargadars Bill which incorporated, in substance, the demands of the movement.

Which of the following statements is/are correct with reference to the Real Exchange rate?
1. If a country's real exchange rate is rising, it means that foreign goods are relatively cheap and domestic goods are relatively expensive.
2. An increase in the real exchange rate will tend to increase net imports.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • The real exchange rate (RER) measures the value of currencies, taking into account changes in the price level. The real exchange rate shows what you can actually buy.
  • While two currencies may have a certain exchange rate on the foreign exchange market, this does not mean that goods and services purchased with one currency cost the equivalent amounts in another currency. This is due to different inflation rates with different currencies. Real exchange rates are thus calculated as a nominal exchange rate adjusted for the different rates of inflation between the two currencies.
  • A high RER implies that foreign goods are relatively cheap and domestic goods are relatively expensive. Whereas a low RER implies that foreign goods are relatively expensive and domestic goods are relatively cheap. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • The RER is just a relative price. This means that the relative demand for domestic and foreign goods is affected by the relative price of two sets of goods. If initially, RER is low, domestic residents will buy few imported goods. For exactly the same reason, foreigners will want to buy more domestic. Therefore, net exports will be high.
  • If RER is high, domestic residents (say Indians) will want to buy many imported goods and foreigners will want to buy a few Indian goods. So the number of net exports demanded will be very much on the low side and imports rise due to cheaper prices. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

In 1940, an Anti-Compromise Conference was convened to oppose the world war. The Conference was convened by:

  • In March 1940, Subhas Chandra Bose convened an Anti-Compromise Conference at Ramgarh. It was a joint effort of the Forward Bloc and the Kisan Sabha.
  • It was resolved at the conference that a world-wide struggle should be launched on April 6, the first day of the National Week, with a call to the people not to help the Imperialist War (2nd World War) with any resource—men, money or materials.
  • He called for resistance to be offered to all forms of exploitation of Indian resources for the imperial cause. There was enthusiastic participation by the people in the struggle launched on April 6.

Which of the following is not correct with reference to Joint Liability Groups (JLG)?

  • A Joint Liability Group (JLG) is an informal group comprising of 4-10 individuals coming together for the purpose of availing bank loan on individual basis or through group mechanism against the mutual guarantee.
  • Generally, the members of a JLG would engage in a similar type of economic activity. In certain groups, members may prefer to undertake a different type of economic activities as well. The members would offer a joint undertaking to the bank to enable them to avail loans. JLG members are expected to provide support to each other in carrying out occupational and social activities.
  • They are typically credit groups of small or marginal tenant farmers who do not have a proper title of their farmland. Through these JLGs, banks plan to extend assistance to the financially excluded sections of the society, especially landless farmers.
  • Objectives of Joint Liability Groups (JLGs):
    (i) To augment the flow of credit to landless farmers cultivating land as tenant farmers, oral lessees or sharecroppers and small/marginal farmers as well as other poor individuals taking up farm activities, off-farm activities and non-farm activities, (ii) To serve as a collateral substitute for loans to be provided to the target group,
    (iii) To build mutual trust and confidence between the bank and the target group.
    (iv) To minimize the risks in the loan portfolio for the banks through group approach, cluster approach, peer education and credit discipline.
    (v) To provide food security to vulnerable section through enhanced agriculture production, productivity and livelihood promotion through joint farming and cluster approach.
  • Features of JLG and criteria for membership:
    (i) A JLG is an Informal group in which 4-10 individuals come together and form a group o All the members agree and avail the loan in the group through a formal agreement
    (ii) Members should belong to similar socio-economic status, background and environment carrying out farming and Allied activities and who agree to function as a joint liability group. This way the groups would be homogeneous and organized by like-minded farmers/ Individuals and develop mutual trust and respect.
    (iii) The members should be residing in the same village/ area/ neighbourhood and should know and trust each other well enough to take up joint liability for group/individual Loans. Members who have defaulted to any other formal financial institution, in the past, are debarred from the Group Membership.
  • Loans to individual farmers [including Self Help Groups (SHGs) or Joint Liability Groups (JLGs)], directly engaged in Agriculture and Allied Activities, viz., dairy, fishery, animal husbandry, poultry, bee­keeping and sericulture are treated as eligible for classification under priority sector target. Hence, option (d) is not correct.

Which of the following is/are usually associated with the Mesolithic Age?
1. Emergence of village communities based on sedentary life.
2. People wearing clothes made of cotton and wool.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age falls roughly from 10000 B.C. to 6000 B.C. It was the transitional phase between the Paleolithic Age and Neolithic Age.
  • Mesolithic remains in India are found in Langhnaj in Gujarat, Adamgarh in Madhya Pradesh and also in some places of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The paintings and engravings found at the rock shelters give an idea about the social life and economic activities of Mesolithic people.
  • In the sites of Mesolithic Age, a different type of stone tools is found. These are tiny stone artifacts, often not more than five centimeters in size, and therefore called microliths.
  • People did not use to build permanent settlements, but only short-period seasonal settlements. They fed themselves on hunting, picking up herbs, and lived in smaller movable groups, wandering after food or raw material at long distances. Hence, statements 1 is not correct.
  • However, there seems to have been a shift from big animal hunting to small animal hunting and fishing. The use of bow and arrow also began during this period.
  • Mesolithic people used to wear clothes made up of bark and leaves in the summers and in the winters they used to wear animal skins. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
  • Also, there began a tendency to settle for longer periods in an area. Therefore, domestication of animals, horticulture and primitive cultivation started. Animal bones are found in these sites and these include dog, deer, boar and ostrich. Occasionally, burials of the dead along with some microliths and shells seem to have been practiced.
  • The chief characteristic features of the Neolithic culture are the practice of agriculture, domestication of animals, polishing of stone tools and the manufacture of pottery. In fact, the cultivation of plants and domestication of animals led to the emergence of village communities based on sedentary life. The people of Neolithic Age used clothes made of cotton and wool.

Which of the following correctly describes the phenomenon of ’Arctic amplification’?

  • Since the mid-20th Century, average global temperatures have warmed about 0.6°C (1.1 °F), but the warming has not occurred equally everywhere.
  • Temperatures have increased about twice as fast in the Arctic as in the mid-latitudes, a phenomenon is known as “Arctic amplification. Hence option (c) is the correct answer.
  • Why are temperatures warming faster in the Arctic than the rest of the world?
    (i) The loss of sea ice is one of the most cited reasons.
    (ii) When bright and reflective ice melts, it gives way to a darker ocean; this amplifies the warming trend because the ocean surface absorbs more heat from the Sun than the surface of snow and ice. In more technical terms, losing sea ice reduces Earth’s albedo: the lower the albedo, the more a surface absorbs heat from sunlight rather than reflecting it back to space.
  • However, other factors contribute as well. Thunderstorms, for instance, are much more likely to occur in the tropics than the higher latitudes. The storms transport heat from the surface to higher levels of the atmosphere, where global wind patterns sweep it toward higher latitudes. The abundance of thunderstorms creates a near-constant flow of heat away from the tropics, a process that dampens warming near the equator and contributes to Arctic amplification.

In the context of the medieval Indian history, consider the following statements with reference to the Pratiharas:
1. The city of Bhopal was built by the Pratihara king.
2. The empire faced attack by the Muhammad Ghori and subsequently declined.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The greatest ruler of the Pratihara dynasty was Mihir Bhoja. He recovered Kannauj (Kanyakubja) by 836, and it remained the capital of the Pratiharas for almost a century. He built the city Bhojpal (Bhopal). Raja Bhoja and other valiant Gujara kings faced and defeated many attacks of the Arabs from west. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Between 915-918 A.D, Kannauj was attacked by a Rashtrakuta king, who devastated the city leading to the weakening of the Pratihara Empire. In 1018, Kannauj then ruled by Rajyapala Pratihara was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni. The empire broke into independent Rajput states. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
  • Muhammad Ghori, the Sultan of the Ghurid Empire, between the duration of 1173-1206AD, reigned over the region of modern-day Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Northern India. In 1191, passing through the Kyber Pass, Ghori set out to invade Indian subcontinent by first capturing a fort in Bhatinda that belonged to Prithvi Raj Chauhan.

With reference to the pre-Mauryan period, consider the following pairs:
Kingdom Capital
1. Vatsa : Raj agriha
2. Avanti : Ujjain
3. Kosala : Ayodhya
4. Magadha : Kausambi
Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

  • In the beginning of the 6th century B.C., the northern India consisted of a large number of independent kingdoms. Some of them had monarchical forms of government, while some others were republics. In course of time, the small and weak kingdoms either submitted to the stronger rulers or gradually got eliminated. Finally in the mid-6th century B.C., only four kingdoms - Vatsa, Avanti, Kosala and Magadha survived.
  • The Vatsa kingdom was situated on the banks of the river Yamuna. Its capital was Kausambi near modern Allahabad. Its most popular ruler was Udayana. He strengthened his position by entering into matrimonial alliances with Avanti, Anga and Magadha. After his death, Vatsa was annexed to the Avanti kingdom. Hence, pair 1 is not correctly matched.
  • The capital of Avanti was Ujjain. The most important ruler of this kingdom was Pradyota. He became powerful by marrying Vasavadatta, the daughter of Udayana. He patronized Buddhism. The successors of Pradyota were weak and later this kingdom was taken over by the rulers of Magadha. Hence, pair 2 is correctly matched.
  • Ayodhya was the capital of Kosala. King Prasenajit was its famous ruler. He was highly educated. His position was further strengthened by the matrimonial alliance with Magadha. His sister was married to Bimbisara and Kashi was given to her as dowry. Subsequently there was a dispute with Ajatashatru. After the end of the conflict, Prasenjit married the daughter of Bimbisara. After the death of this powerful king, Kosala became part of the Magadha. Hence, pair 3 is correctly matched.
  • Of all the kingdoms of north India, Magadha emerged powerful and prosperous. It became the nerve centre of political activity in north India. Magadha was endowed by nature with certain geographical and strategic advantages. These made her to rise to imperial greatness. Her strategic position between the upper and lower part of the Gangetic valley was a great advantage. It had a fertile soil. The iron ores in the hills near Rajgir and copper and iron deposits near Gaya added to its natural assets. Her location at the centre of the highways of trade of those days contributed to her wealth. Raj agriha was the capital of Magadha. During the reign of Bimbisara and Ajatashatru, the prosperity of Magadha reached its zenith. Hence, pair 4 is not correctly matched.

Consider the following statements:
1. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) can be done through capital instruments in an unlisted Indian company.
2. Recently, government approved NRIs to hold up to 100 percent stake in Air India.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is the investment through capital instruments by a person resident outside India (other than an individual who is a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or an entity that is registered/ incorporated in Pakistan or Bangladesh).
    (i) in an unlisted Indian company (hence, statement 1 is correct) or;
    (ii)  in 10 percent or more of the post, issue paid-up equity capital on a fully diluted basis of a listed Indian company.
  • In a move that is likely to have an impact on the sale of the national carrier, the government has notified amendments to Foreign Exchange Management Rules,2020, and allowed NRIs 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in Air India.
  • The amendment removes the exception which permitted Overseas Citizens of India 100% FDI in air transport, but not Air India. This category of citizens has been replaced with NRIs, now allowed to commit 100% FDI in air transport, including Air India, through automatic route. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

'Black Rain', a term sometimes seen in the news, refers to:

  • Recently around the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima being struck by the first atomic bomb to be used in war, a district court in Japan recognised survivors of the post-explosion “black rain”, who were outside a government-defined zone at the time of the event, as atomic bomb survivors.
  • What is black rain? An estimated 69 per cent of the buildings in Hiroshima were destroyed by the atomic bomb. The debris and soot from this, mixed with the radioactive fallout from the bomb, rose high into the atmosphere in the form of a mushroom cloud. This material combined with the vapor in the atmosphere and came down as dark drops of liquid that has been called black rain.
  • Black rain is full of highly radioactive material, and studies have show that exposure to it can result in serious illnesses. The rain contaminated everything it came in contact with, and dead fish were reported floating in water bodies and severely ill cattle were seen lying in the fields. Black rain has caused acute radiation symptoms (ARS) in many who were exposed to it, with reports of people suffering from nausea and diarrhoea for weeks.
  • The bomb dropped on Nagasaki was more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima, but it killed fewer people and its effects were confined to a smaller area due to its geographical position between hills. The blast in Nagasaki also did not produce firestorms due to the damaged area not producing enough fuel to trigger one. This meant that the material that make up black rain was less in Nagasaki when compared to Hiroshima, and consequently, the rain was confined to a smaller area.

Consider the following statements with reference to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF):
1. It is created as a temporary crisis resolution mechanism by the euro area member states to counter the debilitating effects of COVID-19 on the region’s economies.
2. It provides financial assistance to euro countries through the issuance of bonds and other capital market instruments.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) was created in 2010 as a temporary crisis resolution measure in the wake of the financial and sovereign debt crisis in the euro area. The mission of the EFSF is to safeguard financial stability in Europe by providing financial assistance to countries of the euro area. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • The EFSF offered financial assistance to euro area countries in need in this context, provided they committed to undertaking certain reforms (aimed at preventing the recurrence of similar crises). This assistance was financed through the issuance of EFSF bonds and other capital market instruments. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • The EFSF does not provide any further financial assistance, as this task is now performed solely by the ESM. Nevertheless, the EFSF continues to operate in order to:
    (i) receive loan repayments from beneficiary countries; o make interest and principal payments to holders of EFSF bonds;
    (ii) roll over outstanding EFSF bonds, as the maturity of loans provided to Ireland, Portugal and Greece is longer than the maturity of bonds issued by the EFSF
  • Recently, the 27-member European Union has announced EU recovery deal to counter the debilitating effects of coronavirus on the region’s economies. Instead of individual countries raising funds, this time around, the EU as a whole will borrow money from the markets.

Who among the following has the authority to extend Part IX provisions relating to the Panchayats to the Fifth Schedule areas of a State?

  • Article 243M of the Indian Constitution, while exempting the Fifth Schedule areas from Part IX of the Constitution, provides that Parliament may by law extend its provisions to the Scheduled and Tribal Areas subject to such exceptions and modifications as may be specified in such law and no such law shall be deemed to be an amendment to the Constitution.
  • On the basis of the report of the Bhuria Committee submitted in 1995, the Parliament enacted the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA) to extend Part IX of the Constitution with certain modifications and exceptions to the Scheduled V areas.
  • At present Scheduled V areas exist in 10 States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj is the nodal Ministry for implementation of the provisions of PESA in the States.

Consider the following countries:
1. Bangladesh
2. Papua New Guinea
3. USA
4. Canada
5. China
6. India
Which of the countries given above are members of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)?

  • The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), is an economic group of 21 members, formed in 1989, with the primary goal of promoting free trade and sustainable development in the Pacific Rim economies.
  • The creation of APCE was primarily in response to the increasing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies. Also, the proliferation of regional economic blocs, such as the European Union (EU) and the, now defunct, North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), encouraged its formation.
  • The founding members of APEC were Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the U.S. Since its launch, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, Russia, and Vietnam have joined its ranks. Hence option (c) is the correct answer.
  • APEC refers to its members as economies rather than as states due to the disputed status of Taiwan and Hong Kong.
    Functions of APEC:
  • APEC engages in multiple micro causes, like intellectual property rights and emergency preparedness, and has many sub-groups that aim to advance policy and awareness.
  • APEC has been fundamental in reducing tariffs, improving customs efficiency, and closing the gap between developing and developed economies.

In the context of international affairs, 'Dual­use Technology', often seen in the news, is related to:

  • In politics, diplomacy and export control, "dual-use” refers to technology that can be used for both peaceful and military aims. Hence option (c) is the correct answer
  • The expensive technologies which would otherwise only benefit civilian commercial interests can also be used to serve military purposes when not otherwise engaged such as the Global Positioning System.
  • Dual-use nuclear technology refers to the possibility of military use of civilian nuclear power technology.
  • Rocket technology and intercontinental ballistic missiles
  • Artificial intelligence for medical as well as military purposes examples Hololens.
  • The HoloLens 2, smart glasses that allow consumers to experience augmented reality within the real world.
  • The Integrated Visual Augmented System (IVAS)
  • The IVAS would be used to train soldiers, as well as field medics with battlefield experience within a virtual environment.
  • Chlorine is a chemical agent found within several household items such as Bleach and provides various benefits with its wide array of applications. However, it can also be used as a chemical weapon.
  • The image intensifiers used in night-vision goggles and the focal plane arrays found in surveillance satellites and thermal cameras have numerous civil applications which include nature photography, medical imaging, firefighting, and population control of predator species.

A developed and robust corporate bond market becomes all the more important to support India's economic development. Which of the following are the advantages of a well developed Corporate Bond Market?
1. It provides an alternative source of finance to meet the requirements of funds for long-term infrastructure projects.
2. It can decrease external sector vulnerability.
3. It enables firms to manage their asset and liability profiles to reduce the risk of maturity.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


A corporate bond is a debt issued by a company in order for it to raise capital. An investor who buys a corporate bond is effectively lending money to the company in return for a series of interest payments, but these bonds may also actively trade on the secondary market.
Corporate bonds are typically seen as somewhat riskier than government bonds, so they usually have higher interest rates to compensate for this additional risk.
A well developed corporate bond market supports economic development. It provides an alternative source of finance and supplements the banking system to meet the requirements of the corporate sector to raise funds for long-term investment for infrastructure.
It is believed that this segment acts as a stable source of finance when the equity market is volatile, and also enables firms to tailor their asset and liability profiles to reduce the risk of maturity.
It also helps in the diversification of risks in the system. In view of the huge investment required for the infrastructure sector, the presence of a well developed corporate bond market assumes significance in India. With the declining role of development finance institutions (DFIs), a developed and robust corporate bond market becomes all the more important.
The corporate bond market is likely to be more beneficial for business having longer-term cash flows, where investors may be wary of risks associated with equity and long-term financing from banks may not be easily available.
In India, while the banks still command a sizable presence in the economy, the corporate sector is taking recourse to the overseas markets for raising equity, debt and loans. An underdeveloped corporate bond market can encourage this trend, thereby increasing the external sector vulnerability. Therefore a well developed corporate bond would reduce external sector vulnerability.
Hence, all the statements are correct.


Consider the following pairs with reference to various mechanisms adopted by animals to survive in harsh climatic conditions:

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



  • It is the type of winter sleep, performed by the warm and cold-blooded animals. It is for the whole winter.
  • The animals' lookout for the warmer place, their metabolic activities slow down, and it is the dormant stage.
  • Hibernation helps in maintaining the body temperature and thus avoids from any internal body damage due to low temperatures\
  • Examples - Bats, birds, mammals, insects, etc. Hence pair 1 is correctly matched.


  • It is the type of summer sleep, performed by cold-blooded animals
  • It is of shorter duration than hibernation.
  • Animals search for the moist, shady and cool place to sleep.
  • Aestivation helps in maintaining the body temperature by avoiding the excessive water loss and any internal body damaged due to high temperatures.
  • Examples - Bees, snails, earthworms, salamanders, frogs, earthworms, crocodiles, tortoise, etc. Hence pair 2 is correctly matched.


  • It refers to the delay in development in response to regularly and recurring periods of adverse environmental conditions.
  • Diapause is most often observed in all the life stages of arthropods, especially insects. Hence pair 3 is correctly matched.

With reference to India's pharmaceutical sector, consider the following statements:
1. In terms of volume, India is the largest provider of generic medicines in the world.
2. 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed under the automatic route for greenfield pharmaceutical projects.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The department of pharmaceuticals (DoP) has recently notified the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to encourage domestic production of 41 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), key starting materials (KSMs) and drug intermediaries (DIs).
  • Statement 1 is correct: India is a prominent and rapidly growing presence in global pharmaceuticals. It is the largest provider of generic medicines globally, occupying a 20% share in global supply by volume, and also supplies 62% of global demand for vaccines. India ranks 3rd worldwide for production by volume and 10th by value.
  • Statement 2 is correct: 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed under the automatic route for greenfield pharma. 100% FDI is allowed in brownfield pharma; wherein 74% is allowed under the automatic route and thereafter through government approval route
  • The Report of the Hathi Committee (1975) is an important landmark in the development of the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry. The Hathi Committee emphasized the achievement of self-sufficiency in medicines and of abundant availability at reasonable prices of essential medicines.
  • India was self-reliant on APIs until the mid-1990s when liberalisation in import restrictions led to a gradual influx of APIs from China. A cost-based price control system that existed until 2013 regulated the prices of both APIs and formulations. Even though India now has a less stringent drug price control policy, the dependence on Chinese imports has been growing. The share of China in India’s total import of APIs has increased from 61% in 2011 to 69% in 2019.
  • Drug Pricing Policy in India: The approach to price control shifted from a cost-based to a market-based one since 2013. Now, prices of formulations are fixed based on the price of top-selling brands. The new price control policy does not regulate the price of APIs; it regulates the prices of formulations of those APIs, which figure in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).

Consider the following statements on Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA):
1. It is an initiative of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
2. It aims  to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) was originally developed by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and officially presented and at the Hague Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in 2010. CSA is an approach to developing the technical, policy, and investment conditions to achieve sustainable agricultural development for food security under climate change. The magnitude, immediacy, and broad scope of the effects of climate change on agricultural systems create a compelling need to ensure comprehensive integration of these effects into national agricultural planning, investments, and programs.
  • The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) an initiative of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a voluntary alliance of partners, dedicated to addressing the challenges facing food security and agriculture by tapping the wealth and diversity of resources, knowledge, information and expertise, from and between its members, in order to stimulate concrete initiatives at all levels. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The Alliance is open to membership from all sectors, including governments, inter-governmental organizations, farmer organizations, NGOs, civil society groups, research institutes and, private sector, whose objectives and activities are consistent with the vision and mission of GACSA, and who fulfill the criteria for membership. Individuals cannot become members of GACSA
  • GACSA works towards three aspirational outcomes to:
    (i) Improve farmers’ agricultural productivity and incomes in a sustainable way; o Build farmers’ resilience to extreme weather and changing climate;
    (ii) Reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture, when possible. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • GACSA is supported by a Facilitation Unit, hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and financed through contributions made by donors into a multi-donor trust fund. The Facilitation Unit provides support to GACSA members to undertake their implementation activities as well and providing key services such as communication, information and knowledge management and exchange processes.
  • The Government of India, Government of Maharashtra, and the World Bank recently signed a US$ 420 million project to help small and marginal farmers in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra, increase climate resilient practices in agriculture and ensure that farming continues to remain a financially viable activity for them. The Maharashtra Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture will be implemented in rural areas largely dependent upon rainfed agriculture. The project will take up a series of activities at the farm and watershed level. It will scale up climate-resilient technologies such as micro-irrigation systems, expand surface water storage, and facilitate aquifer recharge, which is expected to directly contribute to more efficient use of scarce water resources. By adopting climate-resilient seed varieties which have short maturity, are drought and heat resistant, and salt tolerant, the project will help reduce risks of climate-related crop failure and help enhance farmer’s income.

Consider the following statements with reference to Consumer Protection (E- Commerce) Rules, 2020:
1. These are applicable to electronic retailers registered in India and abroad offering goods and services to Indian consumers.
2. The rules require the mandatory display of 'country of origin' on products sold by e-commerce companies.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 ('Rules') complement the Consumer Protection Act 2019 with regards to the protection of consumers from unfair trade practices and other practices of e- commerce platforms.
  • The new rules will be applicable to all electronic retailers (e-tailers) registered in India or abroad but offering goods and services to Indian consumers.
  • According to the new rules, the e-commerce players will have to display the total price of goods and services offered for sale along with a break-up of other charges. They are also required to mention the ’expiry date’ of goods offered for sale and the ’country of origin’ of goods and services that are necessary for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage.
  • Companies are also not allowed to “manipulate the price" of goods and serv ices offered on their platforms to make “unreasonable profit", discriminate between consumers or make any arbitrary classification of consumers affecting their rights under the Act.
  • The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has come into force from 20th July 2020. As provided in section 10 of the Act, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has been established w.e.f. 24th July 2020. CCPA will not only protect the rights of consumers purchasing goods and services both online and offline but also have the power to initiate class-action against companies including enforcing recalls, refunds and returns. The violation of the rules will attract penal action under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  • Hence both the statements are correct.

The terms ‘Kurinji’, ‘Mullai’ and ‘Marudam’ during the Sangam period referred to      

  • Tolkappiyam refers to the five-fold division of lands - Kurinji (hilly tracks), Mullai (pastoral), Marudam (agricultural), Neydal (coastal) and Palai (desert). The people living in these five divisions had their respective chief occupations as well as gods for worship.
    (i) Kurinji - chief deity was Murugan - chief occupation, hunting and honey collection,
    (ii) Mullai- chief deity Mayon (Vishnu) - chief occupation, cattle-rearing and dealing with dairy products.
    (iii) Marudam - chief deity Indira - chief occupation, agriculture,
    (iv) Neydal - chief deity Varunan - chief occupation fishing and salt manufacturing,
    (v) Palai - chief deity Korravai - chief occupation robbery.
  • Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.

With reference to the recently released ’State of India’s Birds 2020’ report, consider the following statements:
1. It aims to measure abundance as well as the range of various bird species of India.
2. It is released by Birdlife International.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The ‘State of India’s Birds 2020’ report, the first comprehensive assessment of range, abundance and conservation status of birds in India, has underlined concerns about some bird species and good news about a few others. Released during CMS COP13, the international conference held recently in Gandhinagar, the report was prepared as a partnership among 10 organisations including the World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Institute of India and Nature Biodiversity Authority-India. Much of its data is based on citizen science — information provided by birdwatchers through various platforms.
  • The number of bird species whose status was assessed. This assessment is based on three indices: long­term trend in abundance (over 25+ years); the current annual trend in abundance (last 5 years); and distribution range size. Hence statement 1 is correct and statement 2 is not correct.
  • The national bird since 1963, the species finds itself under the highest level of legal protection, placed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and further amendments. Peafowl is spread across plains and hills of India, except in extremely dry or wet regions. The report finds that the abundance trend is that of a general increase, both long term and currently.

Women writers made a tremendous contribution to religious movements in the medieval period. In this context, which of the following pairs are correctly matched?
Poetess Associated language
1. LalDed : Gujarati
2. Meera Bai : Hindi
3. Akkamahadevi : Kannada
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Women poet-saints played a significant role in the bhakti movement at large. Many of these women had to struggle for acceptance within the largely male-dominated movement. Only through demonstrations of their utter devotion to the Divine, their outstanding poetry, and stubborn insistence of their spiritual equality with their contemporaries were these women reluctantly acknowledged and accepted within their ranks. Their struggle attests to the strength of patriarchal values within both societies and within religious and social movements attempting to pave the way for more egalitarian access to the Divine.
  • Women bhaktas wrote of the obstacles of home, family tensions, the absent husband, meaningless household chores, and restrictions of married life, including their status as married women. In many cases, they rejected traditional women’s roles and societal norms by leaving husbands and homes altogether, choosing to become wandering bhaktas; in some instances, they formed communities with other poet- saints. Their new focus was utter devotion and worship of their Divine Husbands.
  • The Alvar women poets (Tamil poet-saints), like Andal and others, gave expression to their love for the divine. Lal Ded (1320-1384), the Muslim poetess from Kashmir, represented the Sant tradition of bhakti and wrote Vakhs (maxims), which are peerless gems of spiritual experience. Meera Bai, in Gujarati, Rajasthani and Hindi (she wrote in three languages), Avvayyar, in Tamil, and Akkamahadevi in Kannada, are well known for their sheer lyrical intensity and concentrated emotional appeal. Their writings speak to us about the social conditions prevailing at that time, and the position of woman at home and in society. They all wrote small lyrics or poems of devotional fervour, metaphysical depth, and with a spirit of dedication and utmost sincerity. Behind their mysticism and metaphysics is a divine madness. They turned every wound inflicted by life into a poem. Hence pairs 2 and 3 are correctly matched and 1 is not correctly matched.

The terms ‘Bumble’, ‘Honey’ and ‘Queen’ seen in news are:      

  • Recent context: On June 14, 2019 a robot named Bumble became the first Astrobee robot to fly under its own power in space.
  • Bumble and a second Astrobee, ’Honey,’ launched to the space station in April. A third robot named ’Queen’ launched in July. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
  • All about Astrobee robots:
  • Astrobee is a free-flying robot system that will help researchers test new technologies in zero gravity and perform routine work alongside astronauts aboard the International Space Station ,
  • It will help astronauts reduce the time they spend on routine duties, leaving them to focus more on the things that only humans can do.
  • Working autonomously or via remote control by astronauts, flight controllers or researchers on the ground, the robots are designed to complete tasks such as taking inventory, documenting experiments conducted by astronauts with their built-in cameras or working together to move cargo throughout the station.
  • In addition, the system serves as a research platform that can be outfitted and programmed to carry out experiments in microgravity - helping us to learn more about how robotics can benefit astronauts in space.
  • The Astrobee system consists of three cubed-shaped robots, software and a docking station used for recharging.
  • Astrobee's navigation system uses a camera to observe the robot's surroundings and compares what the camera sees to a map of the space station's interior.
  • Astrobee robots can move in any direction and turn on any axis in space.
  • The robots can fly solo, going about their business independently or they can be managed by astronauts or flight controllers.
  • Equipped with cameras, a microphone, and other sensors, they provide flying eyes and ears that will allow flight controllers to remotely monitor conditions and remotely perform work on the station from the ground.

In the context of modern Indian history, consider the following statements with reference to Plan Balkan:
1. Mountbatten proposed it after the failure of the Cabinet Mission Plan.
2. It envisaged the transfer of power to separate Indian provinces or to a  confederation.
3. Under it, the Princely states could join any of the British provinces but could not remain separate.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Between March and May of 1947, Mountbatten decided that the Cabinet Mission Plan had become untenable and formulated an alternative plan - referred to as the Plan Balkan.
  • This plan envisaged the transfer of power to separate provinces (or to a confederation, if formed before the transfer), with Punjab and Bengal given the option to vote for partition of their provinces.
  • The various units thus formed along with the princely states (rendered independent by lapse of paramountcy) would have the option of joining India or Pakistan or remaining separate.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru strongly objected to it. He made it clear that Congress would not accept the break-up of the Indian Union and the transfer of sovereignty to the provinces. Any plan should start with the Union and opting out of certain areas rather than a number of sovereign units coming together if the so desired. To jettison the basic conception of India and denude the Constituent Assembly of its significance was to yield to the League and ignore the views of all other sections of opinion in India. The inevitable consequences would be to invite the Balkanization of India, provoke civil conflict, and add to violence and disorder, ensure a further breakdown of the central authority and demoralize the army, the police and the civil service.
  • Mount batten consequently abandoned the 'Plan Balkan' and started on a fresh plan by asking his advisors to recast the whole plan to meet Nehru's main objection.
  • Hence only statements 1 and 2 are correct.

Which of the following is/are correct regarding Diwan Velu Thampi’s revolt in the early 19th century?
1. Velu Thampi called for taking up arms against the British to oust them from the native soil.
2. The Maharaja of Travancore supported the rebellion against the British until the end.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • The East India Company’s harsh conditions imposed on the state of Travancore, after both of them agreed to a subsidiary alliance arrangement under Wellesley in 1805, caused deep resentment in the region. The ruler was not able to pay the subsidy and fell in arrears. The British resident of Travancore was meddling in the internal affairs of the state. The highhanded attitude of the Company compelled Prime Minister (or Dalawa) Velu Thampi to rise against the Company, assisted by the Nair troops.
  • Velu Thampi addressed a gathering in Kundara, openly calling for taking up arms against the British to oust them from the native soil. This was later known as the Kundara Proclamation. There was a large scale rebellion against the British as a result. A large military operation had to be undertaken to restore peace. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • The Maharaja of Travancore had not wholly supported the rebellion and defected to the side of the Company. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
  • Velu Thampi killed himself to avoid capture. The rebellion petered out.

Which of the following is/are correct with reference to the Special Liquidity Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Housing Finance Companies (HFCs), recently launched by the government?
1. RBI will provide funds for the Scheme by subscribing to government- guaranteed special securities.
2. All NBFCs registered as Core Investment Companies are eligible to raise funds under the scheme.
3. The financing can be used by the NFBCs/HFCs only to repay existing liabilities and not to expand assets.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • With a view to improving the liquidity position of Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) as well as Housing Finance Companies (HFCs), the government launched a Special Liquidity Scheme of Rs. 30,000 crore. The Scheme was launched on July 1, 2020, through a Special Purpose Vehicle in the form of SLS Trust set up by SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAP).
  • RBI will provide funds for the Scheme by subscribing to government-guaranteed special securities issued by the Trust. The total amount of such securities issued outstanding shall not exceed Rs. 30,000 crores at any point in time. The government of India will provide an unconditional and irrevocable guarantee to the special securities issued by the Trust. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • Statement 2 is not correct: Any NBFC including Microfinance Institutions registered with RBI under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (excluding those registered as Core Investment Companies) and any HFC registered with the National Housing Bank (NHB) under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987 which is complying with the following broad conditions will be eligible to raise funding from the said facility:
    (i) Compliance with RBI regulations on Capital adequacy
    (ii) Net NPA is less than 6% as on 31.03.2019
    (iii) Net profit in at least one of the two preceding financial years
    (iv) Rated as investment grade by a rating agency
    (v) Is not reported under SMA-1 or SMA-2 category by any bank for their borrowing during the period one year prior to 01.08.2018
  • The Scheme will remain open for 3 months for making subscriptions by the Trust. The period of lending (CPs/NCDs of NBFCs/HFCs for short duration of upto 90 days) by the Trust shall be for a period of up to 90 days. The financing would be used by the NFBCs/HFCs only to repay existing liabilities and not to expand assets. Hence, statement 3 is correct.

Consider the following:
1. Unrefined petroleum waste
2. Slaughterhouse waste
3. Lead
4. Styrofoam products
Which of the types of wastes given above are non-biodegradable wastes?


Non - biodegradable waste:

  • Waste which cannot be degraded or broken down through microbial activities is called non-biodegradable waste.
  • Slaughterhouse residues are the result of abattoir operation in which solid and liquid wastes, as well as wastewater, are generated in larger amounts. The principal components of the organic matter presented in abattoir effluents are faeces, gut contents, fat, and blood. They are considered as the renewable natural resources which can be utilized for producing biogas, fertilizer, animal feed etc.
  • Such waste includes crude petroleum, plastic, styrofoam products, cans, glasses, polymers, synthetic pesticides, radioactive fallout, some industrial effluents and metals like Lead.
  • Biodegradable waste can be commonly found in municipal solid waste as green waste, food waste, paper waste, and biodegradable plastics. Other biodegradable wastes include human waste, manure, sewage, and slaughterhouse waste.
  • Hence option (a) is correct.

Concerning Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN), consider the following statements:
1. It aims to provide real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows across all cold chain points in the country.
2. It is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM).
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Recent Context: To support the Government of India’s efforts to combat COVID-19, eVIN India is helping the State/UT governments monitor the supply chain of COVID response material.
  • Both statements 1 and 2 are correct: The Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) is an innovative technological solution aimed at strengthening immunization supply chain systems across the country. This is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. eVIN aims to provide real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in the country. This robust system has been used with the requisite customization during the COVID pandemic for ensuring the continuation of the essential immunization services and protecting our children and pregnant mothers against vaccine- preventable diseases.
  • The Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network has helped create a big data architecture that generates actionable analytics encouraging data-driven decision-making and consumption-based planning that helps in maintaining optimum stocks of vaccines leading to cost savings. Vaccine availability at all times has increased to 99% in most health centres.

Which of the following are the advantages for funds transfer through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT)?
1. No charges to savings bank account customers for online NEFT transactions
2. Round the clock availability on all days of the year
3. Penal interest provision for the delay in credit or return of transactions
4. Outbound remittance transfer to an individual in any country.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) is a nation-wide centralised payment system owned and operated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • NEFT offers the following advantages for funds transfer or receipt:
    (i) Round the clock availability on all days of the year.
    (ii) Near-real-time funds transfer to the beneficiary account and settlement in a secure manner.  Pan-India coverage through a large network of branches of all types of banks. Positive confirmation to the remitter by SMS / e-mail on credit to the beneficiary account.
    (iii) Penal interest provision for the delay in credit or return of transactions.
    (iv) No levy of charges by RBI from banks.
    (v) No charges to savings bank account customers for online NEFT transactions.
    (vi) Besides funds transfer, NEFT system can be used for a variety of transactions including the payment of credit card dues to the card-issuing banks, payment of loan EMI, inward foreign exchange remittances, etc.
    (vii) Available for one-way funds transfers from India to Nepal. The outbound remittances through NEFT system are permitted only to Nepal under Indo-Nepal Remittance. Hence, option (a) is correct.

She was the first female graduate of Bengal and the first woman to address the Indian National Congress session.Which of the following female leaders of the nationalist movement is being referred to in the passage given above?

  • In 1890, Kadambini Ganguly, the first woman graduate of Calcutta University, addressed the Congress session. This was symbolic of the fact that India's struggle for freedom would raise Indian women from the degraded position to which they had been reduced for the past centuries. Hence option (c) is the
  • correct answer.
  • Anandibai Joshi: was the first Indian female physician, alongside Kadambini Ganguly. She was the first woman from the erstwhile Bombay presidency of India to study and graduate with a two-year degree in western medicine in the United States.
  • Sarojini Naidu: political activist and poet. Naidu's work as a poet earned her the sobriquet Nightingale of India by Mahatma Gandhi. She was called Bharat Kokila by Rabindranath Tagore. She was appointed the President of the Indian National Congress in 1925 (First Indian Woman to be appointed as President) and later became the Governor of the United Provinces in 1947, becoming the first woman to hold the office of Governor in the Dominion of India.
  • Bina Das: was an Indian revolutionary and nationalist from West Bengal. She was a member of Chhatri Sangha, a semi-revolutionary organisation for women in Kolkata. On 6 February 1932, she attempted to assassinate the Bengal Governor Stanley Jackson, in the Convocation Hall of the University of Calcutta. After her early release in 1939, Das joined the Congress party. In 1942, she participated in the Quit India movement and was imprisoned again from 1942-45. From 1946-47, she was a member of the Bengal Provincial Fegislative Assembly and, from 1947-51, of the West Bengal Fegislative Assembly.

Which of the following is/are correct with reference to the 'policy of masterly inactivity' by John Lawrence?
1. It was a reaction to the British setback after the First Afghan War.
2. It insisted on non-interference by the British in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • In the First Afghan War (1839-42), the British intention was to establish a permanent barrier against schemes of aggression from the north-west (Russia). An English army entered triumphantly into Kabul (August 1839) after a successful attack. Most of the tribes had already been won over by bribes. Dost Mohammed surrendered (1840) and Shah Shuja was made the Amir of Afghanistan. But Shah Shuja was unacceptable to the Afghans. As soon as the British withdrew, the Afghans rose in rebellion, killing the garrison commander in Kabul. The British were compelled to sign a treaty (1841) with the Afghan chiefs by which they agreed to evacuate Afghanistan and restore Dost Mohammed.
  • Under a new expedition, the British re-occupied Kabul in September 1842, but having learned their lesson well, they arrived at a settlement with Dost Mohammed by which the British evacuated from Kabul and recognised him as the independent ruler of Afghanistan.
  • John Fawrence (1864-1869) started a policy of masterly inactivity which was a reaction to the disasters of the First Afghan War and an outcome of practical common sense and intimate knowledge of the frontier problem and of Afghan passion for independence.
  • Even when Dost Mohammed died in 1863, there was no interference in the war of succession. Lawrence’s policy rested on the fulfilment of two conditions:
    (i) that the peace at the frontier was not disturbed, and
    (ii) that no candidate in civil war sought foreign help. And as Sher Ali established himself on the throne, Lawrence tried to cultivate friendship with him.
  • Hence both the statements are correct.

’Loya Jirga’, a term recently seen in the news, is:

  • A Loya Jirga, or "grand council" in Pashto, is a mass national gathering that brings together representatives from the various ethnic, religious, and tribal communities in Afghanistan. Hence option (a) is the correct answer. The Loya Jirga is a centuries-old institution that has been convened at times of national crisis or to settle national issues. Historically, it has been used to approve a new constitution, declare war, choose a new king, or to make sweeping social or political reforms.
  • According to the Afghan Constitution, a Loya Jirga is considered the "highest expression” of the Afghan people. But it is not an official decision-making body. Its decisions are not legally binding and any verdict it hands out must be approved by the two houses of the Afghan parliament and the president in order for it to be made official. Unofficially, however, the Loya Jirga’s decision is seen as final, with the president and parliament expected to respect the ruling.
  • The most famous gathering took place in 1747 when Pashtun tribal leaders met in the city of Kandahar to elect a king. After nine days of debate, they chose Ahmad Shah Durrani, the man who founded Afghanistan.
  • In 2002, an Emergency Loya Jirga was held after the overthrow of the Taliban. It elected Karzai as head of the transitional administration. It was the first time women took part in a Loya Jirga.

Digital Economy Report has been recently released by which of the following organisations?

  • UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released its first-ever “Digital Economy Report 2019” that analyses the world’s digital economy. Hence option (c) is the correct answer.
  • The 3 main components of the digital economy as stated in the DER 2019 include:
    (i) Core aspects: Core aspects or foundational aspects of the digital economy comprises of fundamental innovations (semiconductors, processors), core technologies (computers, telecommunication devices) and enabling infrastructures (Internet and telecoms networks),
    (ii) Digital and IT sectors: It includes key products or services that rely on core digital technologies, including digital platforms, mobile applications and payment services,
    (iii) Digitalizing sectors: It includes those products where digital products and services are being increasingly used e.g. for e-commerce.

Key highlights of the Report:

  • US and China are the top wealth creators in the digital economy, whereas Africa and Latin American countries are lagging far behind.
  • US and China account for 90% of the market capitalization value of the world’s 70 largest digital platform companies, 75% of all blockchain technologies patents, 50% of global spending on IoT, and more than 75% of the cloud computing.
  • Global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic has grown from about 100 gigabytes (GB) per day in 1992 to more than 45,000 GB per second in 2017.
  • By 2022, global IP traffic is projected to reach 150,700 GB per second.
  • Estimates of the size of the digital economy range from 4.5% to 15.5% of the world’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
  • Regarding value-added in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, the United States and China together account for almost 40% of the world’s total.
  • The ICT sector is the largest in Taiwan Province of China, Ireland, and Malaysia.
  • The global computer services industry is dominated by the United States.
  • India has the largest share among developing countries in the computer services industry.
  • Also, India ranked fourth in terms of growth in the share of the ICT sector’s value-added in GDP between 2010 and 2017.
  • In “Share of ICT services in total exports of services: Top 20 countries, 2017”, India ranked 2nd which is topped by Ireland. India is the largest developing-country exporter of such services.
  • Seven “super platforms” - Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tencent and Alibaba - account for 2/3rd of the total market value of the top 70 platforms.

Consider the following statements with reference to Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF):
1. National Investment and Infrastructure Fund launched it in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID), Government of UK.
2. Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the fund manager of the GGEF.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF) is a joint UK-India Fund, specifically designed to promote sustainable energy projects. The fund, established in 2018, is focused on identifying, investing and supporting growth in zero carbon and low carbon energy solutions in the country.
  • Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF) established with anchor investment from India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and the Department for International Development (DFID), Government of UK. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The Fund is based in Mumbai (India) and shall invest in scalable operating companies and platforms across renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, e-mobility, resource conservation and associated value chains.
  • GGEF aims to raise GBP 500 million from international institutional investors to invest into areas such as renewable energy, clean transportation, water, sanitation, waste management, emerging technologies and similar industries in India which offer significant investment opportunities and potential for attractive returns.
  • EverSource Capital, an equal joint venture between Everstone Group and Lightsource BP was selected as the fund manager for GGEF. Hence statement 2 is not correct.

Which of the following is/are correct with reference to the Pattachitra paintings?
1. It is one of the oldest and most popular art forms of Odisha.
2. The painting is done on a cloth coated with soft clay.
3. It involves rich use of artificial colour with great flexibility in use of colours and patterns.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Pattachitra style of painting is one of the oldest and most popular art forms of Odisha. The name Pattachitra has evolved from the Sanskrit words patta, meaning canvas, and Chitra, meaning picture. Pattachitra is thus a painting done on canvas and is manifested by rich colourful application, creative motifs and designs, and portrayal of simple themes, mostly mythological in depiction. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Making the patta is the first thing that comes in the agenda, and the painters, also called chitrakars, go about their work in preparing a tamarind paste, which is made by soaking tamarind seeds in water for three days. The seeds are later pounded with a crusher, mixed with water, and heated in an earthen pot to turn it to a paste, which is called niryas kalpa. The paste is then used to hold two pieces of cloth together with it, and coated with a powder of soft clay stone a couple of times till it becomes firm. Soon as the cloth becomes dry, the final touch of polishing it with a rough stone and then a smooth stone or wood is given, until the surface becomes smooth and leathery, and is all ready as a canvas to be painted on. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Preparing the paints is perhaps the most important part of the creation of Pattachitra, engaging the craftsmanship of the chitrakars in using naturally available raw materials to bring about indigenous paints. The gum of the kaitha tree is the chief ingredient, and is used as a base for making different pigments, on which diverse raw materials are mixed for diverse colours. Powdered conch shells, for instance, are used for making a white pigment, while lamp soot is used for a black pigment. The root of the keya plant is usually used for making the common brush, while mouse hair is used on the requirement of finer brushes, to be attached to wooden handles.
  • The creation of the Pattachitra paintings is a disciplined art form, and the chitrakars maintain rigidity in their use of colours and patterns, restricting the colours to a single tone. Hence statement 3 is not correct.

The term DEEP-CEE seen recently in news is related to:

  • Recent context: Researchers have developed an Artificial Intelligence-powered tool that has been trained to “look” at color images and identify galaxy clusters quickly. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
  • About DEEP-CEE (Deep Learning for Galaxy Cluster Extraction and Evaluation.)
  • Deep-CEE builds on Abell’s approach for identifying galaxy clusters.
  • It replaces the astronomer with an Artificial Intelligence model.
  • Deep-CEE model is based on neural networks.
  • These neural networks are designed to mimic the way a human brain learns to recognize objects by activating specific neurons when visualizing distinctive patterns and colors.
  • Artificial Intelligence models are repeatedly trained until the algorithm is able to learn to associate objects on its own.
  • Galaxy clusters:
  • They are some of the most massive structures in the cosmos, consisting of hundreds of galaxies spread in not so vast area, usually it is limited to a few million light-years across.
  • At their core, these clusters have big population of elliptical yet massive galaxies.
  • These clusters are believed to be formed stars a long time ago but not making stars anymore.

Consider the following statements:
1. The stratosphere has a higher concentration of greenhouse gases than the troposphere.
2. Unlike the troposphere, the stratosphere experiences higher temperatures with increasing altitude.
Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

  • Temperatures at the earth’s surface have increased by between 0.2 and 0.4 degrees C in the past 30 years.
  • This warming trend is attributed to higher concentrations of greenhouse gases - CO2, methane, CFCs, and others - which warm both the earth’s surface and lower atmosphere by holding heat in. Most of the atmospheric greenhouse gases are concentrated in the upper troposphere. The lower stratosphere, approximately between six and 30 miles above the Earth’s surface, is mostly above the layer of greenhouse gases that trap heat. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • Temperatures decrease with altitude in the troposphere at a rate of about 6.5 degrees Celsius per kilometer, depending on the weather. While in stratosphere, temperature increase with altitude. It is because the ozone layer absorbs the greater part of the solar ultraviolet radiation. The ozone layer is an absorbing agent that protects life on Earth. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

Which of the following techniques can be applied to recharge the groundwater?
1. Check dams
2. Percolation tanks
3. Sub-strata Dykes
4. Gully Plugs
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Getting back the required level of groundwater is called recharging of groundwater. For this, the water accumulated on the earth-surface is facilitated to enter into the earth and to raise the level of groundwater.
  • Some technologies applied for the recharging of groundwater are:

Construction of check dams:

  • A permanent or temporary wall constructed against the flow of water current in order to check it against going away and also in order to raise the existing water level is called as a check dam. Temporary check dams are constructed by using different types of locally available materials like wood, pebbles, rock pieces, or wire nets.
  • Construction of Irrigation Ponds:
  • These are artificially constructed ponds in the area of watersheds for the collection of water for irrigation. This practice is very much popular in South India. Construction of Percolation Ponds or Percolation Pits:
  • These are artificially constructed ponds in low lying areas to collect the rainwater. Invertedtube wells and dug wells are constructed in the bottoms of ponds so as to allow easy percolation of water inside the ground and to recharge the groundwater level.

Construction of Tunnels:

  • These are deep structures in the ground, dug in order to collect the rainwater in them. The rainwater so collected, in tunnels, recharges the groundwater table. Sub strata-Dykes or Subsurface dams:
  • These are long thick walls built undergrounds in the bed of some streams to stop flooding on to a low area of land or checking the sub-surface flow of water.

Inverted Tube wells:

  • These are deep bore wells through which the rainwater is allowed to enter into the earth to recharge the groundwater. Tube wells are used to extract the groundwater.

Gully Plugs:

  • The deep incision that cuts into the bedrock due to surface runoff of water is called a gully. Gullies are formed in steep areas due to the erosion of soil by rainwater. Gully plugs are stones, sandbags or wood logs that are used as obstructions against the flow of water through gullies.
  • Hence option (d) is the correct answer.

With reference to the privatization of Indian Railways, consider the following statements:
1. The FDI Policy permits 100% FDI in the railway's infrastructure sector.
2. Recently, Tejas Express became the first passenger train to be run by an entity other than Indian Railways.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Recently the Indian Railways has initiated the process to allow private firms to operate passenger trains on its network by inviting entities to participate on 109 origin-destination routes through 151 new trains. In return, private operators will have to pay fixed haulage charges, energy charges on the basis of actual consumption, and a share of their gross revenue to the Railways.
  • The FDI Policy permits 100% FDI in railways infrastructure sector. FDI is permitted in the construction, operation and maintenance of the railway transport sector: Suburban corridor projects through PPP model, High-speed train projects, Dedicated freight lines, Rolling stock including train sets, and locomotives/coaches manufacturing and maintenance facilities, Railway electrification, Signalling systems, Freight terminals and Passenger terminals. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp. Ltd (IRCTC), a subsidiary of Indian Railways has launched brand new Tejas Express (passenger) trains, an initiative that will help the state-run company generate additional revenue and plan for more such offerings. This is the first time that IRCTC, which manages the bookings and catering services on Indian Railways’ 120,000 km network, will be managing train services on its own. IRCTC will have the rights to advertise on these trains to earn non-fare revenues. The new Tejas trains will be the first to be run by an entity other than the national transporter. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The Railway Board had constituted a Committee for mobilization of resources for major railway projects and restructuring of Railway Ministry and Railway Board under the Chair of Mr. Bibek Debroy. The committee submitted its report in June 2015. The Committee recommended large scale private participation.

Consider the following statements:
1. The subject 'Regulation and development of Inter-state rivers' is included in the Concurrent list under Schedule VII of the Constitution.
2. Parliament by law can bar the Supreme Court from exercising jurisdiction in respect of disputes arising from inter­state river water sharing.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Specific Constitutional provisions related to water:
    (i) Union List: Regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
    (ii) State List: Water that is to say, water supplies, irrigation and canals, drainage and embankments, water storage and water power subject to the provisions of Union List.
  • Article 262 of the Constitution deals with adjudication of water disputes. The provisions in this regard are:
    (ii) Article 262 (1): Parliament may, by law, provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-State river or river valley,
    (ii) Article 262 (2): Parliament may, by law, provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Under Article 262, the “Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956” was enacted by the Parliament. Till date, Nine Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunals were constituted.
  • Recently The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in Lok Sabha. Some of the important provisions:
    (i) Disputes Resolution Committee: Under the Bill, when a state puts in a request regarding any water dispute, the central government will set up a Disputes Resolution Committee (DRC), to resolve the dispute amicably.
    (ii) Tribunal: The central government will set up an Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal, for the adjudication of water disputes.
    (iii) Time frames: Under the Act, the Tribunal must give its decision within three years, which may be extended by two years.
    (iv) The Decision of the Tribunal has the same force as that of an order of the Supreme Court,
    (v) Data bank: Under the Act, the central government maintains a data bank and information system at the national level for each river basin.

'SATHI, a recent initiative of the Government of India, aims to

  • In order to address the need for building professionally managed and shared science and technology infrastructure in the country, the Department of Science & Technology has launched a unique scheme called 6Sophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institutes’ (SATHI). It aims to build infrastructure which is readily accessible to academia, start-ups, manufacturing, industry and R&D labs. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
  • These Centres are expected to house major analytical instruments to provide common services of high-end analytical testing, thus avoiding duplication and reduced dependency on foreign sources. These would be operated with a transparent open-access policy. DST has already set up three such centres in the country, one each at IIT Kharagpur, IIT Delhi and Banaras Hindu University at the cost of Rs 125 crore each.

Recently India has agreed to participate in Kavkaz 2020, a strategic command-post exercise. It is hosted by:


In a resumption of bilateral and multilateral military exercises which were deferred due to coronavirus (COVID-19), India will take part in the Russian Kavkaz 2020 strategic command-post exercise. Hence option (a) is the correct answer. The invitees for the exercise also include China and Pakistan apart from other member-states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
•        The invitation for participation to Kavkaz 2020, also referred to as Caucasus-2020, has been extended to at least 18 countries including China, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey apart from other Central Asian Republics part of the SCO. In June 2020, India and Chinese military contingents marched at the Victory Day Parade at Red Square in Moscow to mark the 75th anniversary of World War II.


With reference to the 'National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research Institution', consider the following statements:
1. It is an autonomous Research and Development institution under the Ministry of Science and Technology
2. It is responsible for maintenance of the Indian stations in Antarctica and Arctic
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, (NCPOR) formerly known as the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) is an Indian research and development institution, situated in Vasco da Gama, Goa.
  • NCPOR was established as an autonomous Research and Development Institution of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (formerly Department of Ocean Development), Government of India on the 25th May 1998. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • It is responsible for administering the Indian Antarctic Programme and maintains the Indian government’s Antarctic research stations, Bharati and Maitri and also operating the Himadri and IndARC Arctic research stations in Svalbard, Norway. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The NCPOR operates in different fields or tasks:

(i) storing ice core samples, from Antarctica and the Himalayas.
(ii) managing the oceanic research vessel OR
Sagar Kanya, the flagship of India’s fleet of oceanographic study vessels. This ship has contributed significantly to India’s study of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean.


The temple was built in Narasimhavarman II's reign, who reigned from 700 to 728 CE. It houses three shrines, two dedicated to Shiva and one to Vishnu who is shown as Anantashayana.Which of the following temples is described in the above passage?

  • The shore temple at Mahabalipuram was built in the reign of Narasimhavarman II, also known as Rajasimha who reigned from 700 to 728 CE. It houses three shrines, two to Shiva, one facing east and the other west, and a middle one to Vishnu who is shown as Anantashayana. This is unusual, because temples generally have a single main shrine and not three areas of worship. This shows that it was probably not originally conceived like this and different shrines may have been added at different times, modified perhaps with the change of patrons. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
  • In the compound there is evidence of a water tank, an early example of a gopuram, and several other images. Sculptures of the bull, Nandi, Shiva’s mount, line the temple walls, and these, along with the carvings on the temple’s lower walls have suffered severe disfiguration due to erosion by salt-water laden air over the centuries.
  • Brihadishvara Temple, also called Rajarajesvaram is a temple dedicated to Shiva located in South bank of Kaveri river in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, Built by Tamil king Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD, the temple is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the ’’Great Living Chola Temples”, along with the Chola dynasty era Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple and Airavatesvara temple
  • The Kailashanatha temple is the largest of the rock-cut Hindu temples at the Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, Most of the excavation of the temple is generally attributed to the eighth century Rashtrakuta king Krishna 1 with some elements completed later.
  • Virupaksha Temple is located in Hampi in the Ballari district of Karnataka, India. It is part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, a form of Shiva. The temple was built by Lakkan Dandesha, a nay aka (chieftain) under the ruler Deva Raya II of Viajaynagar Empire.

The External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) proceeds cannot be utilized for which of the following purposes?
1. Investment in the capital market
2. Repayment of Rupee loans
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  • External Commercial Borrowings are commercial loans raised by eligible resident entities from recognised non-resident entities and should conform to parameters such as minimum maturity, permitted and non-permitted end-uses, maximum all-in-cost ceiling, etc.
  • All entities eligible to receive FDI are also eligible to raise ECBs. Further, the following entities are also eligible to raise ECB:
    (i) Port Trusts;
    (ii) Units in SEZ;
    (iii) SIDBI;
    (iv) EXIM Bank; and
    (v) Registered entities engaged in micro-finance activities, viz., registered Not for Profit companies, registered societies/trusts/cooperatives.
  • The negative list, for which the ECB proceeds cannot be utilised, would include the following:
    (i) Real estate activities (However, this would not include construction/development of industrial parks/integrated township/SEZ, purchase/long term leasing of industrial land as part of new project/modernisation of expansion of existing units or any activity under ‘infrastructure sector’ definition).
    (ii) Investment in the capital market.
    (iii) Equity investment.
    (iv) Working capital purposes except from foreign equity holder.
    (v) General corporate purposes except from foreign equity holder.
    (vi) Repayment of Rupee loans except from foreign equity holder.
    (vii) On-lending to entities for the above activities.
  • Hence, option (c) is correct answer.

With reference to recently observed Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, consider the following statements:
1. It is unique in the sense that it is visible from every part of the world.
2. It occurs only once a year.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Like any other opaque objects illuminated by a light source, the Moon and the Earth cast shadows into space as they block the sunlight that hits them. Each shadow has 3 different areas: the umbra, the penumbra, and the antumbra.
    (i) The penumbra is the lighter outer part of a shadow. The Moon’s penumbra causes partial solar eclipses, and the Earth’s penumbra is involved in penumbral lunar eclipses.
    (ii) Umbra is the shadow’s dark center portion.
    (iii) Antumbra is the lighter part of the shadow that begins where the umbra ends.
  • When the Earth enters the Moon’s shadow, we see a solar eclipse; when the Moon travels through the Earth’s shadow, a lunar eclipse occurs. The type of eclipse depends on the type of shadow that is involved
  • A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when Earth’s outer shadow falls on the Moon’s face. It is easy to miss because most of the Moon is illuminated by sunlight.
  • During a penumbral lunar eclipse, the Moon does not disappear partially or fully, it just becomes a bit faint, which means that humans might not be able to differentiate between the full Moon and the eclipsed Moon.
  • It recently occurred on July 5. The eclipse was only visible from South/West Europe, much of Africa, much of North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Antarctica. It was not visible from India this time as it will be day time during the celestial event in the country. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • It can occur more than once in a year. The next penumbral lunar eclipse will take place between November 29 to November 30. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.

Consider the following statements with respect to Super-Earth planet:
1. Super-Earth planets are located in Goldilocks zones only.
2. Our solar system does not have any known Super-Earths.
Which of the statements given above are correct?

  • A super-Earth is an extrasolar planet with a mass higher than Earth’s, but substantially below those of the Solar System’s ice giants, Uranus and Neptune, which are 14.5 and 17 times Earth’s, respectively. These planets can be up to 10 times more massive than Earth. If the super-Earth is in the habitable zone of its star and has a life-friendly atmosphere, it could host life, but that is not a guarantee.
  • Also called the habitable zone or life zone, the Goldilocks region is an area of space in which a planet is just the right distance from its home star so that its surface is neither too hot nor too cold. The term ’’Super-Earth” refers only to the mass of the planet, and so does not imply anything about the surface conditions or habitability. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • There are no known super-Earths in our solar system; they are all in extrasolar planetary systems. With telescope technology of today, most super-Earths have been found near M-class red dwarf stars (smaller than the sun) or G-class stars (similar to our sun). Stars that are bigger and shine brighter than the sun would simply wash super-Earths out, and make their tiny gravitational tugs hard to detect and the transit signals too small. Hence statement 2 is correct.

In the context of plea bargaining in India, consider the following statements:
1. Under it, a person charged with a criminal offense negotiates for a lesser punishment than what is provided in law by pleading guilty to a less serious offense.
2. Under Indian law, the process of plea bargaining can be initiated only by the prosecutor.
3. Only someone who has been charge- sheeted for an offense involving a prison term above seven years can make use of the provisions of plea bargaining.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Plea bargaining refers to a person charged with a criminal offence negotiating with the prosecution for a lesser punishment than what is provided in law by pleading guilty to a less serious offence. It is
  • common in the United States, and has been a successful method of avoiding protracted and complicated trials. As a result, conviction rates are significantly high there. It primarily involves pre-trial negotiations between the accused and the prosecutor. It may involve bargaining on the charge or in the quantum of sentence. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Plea bargaining was introduced in 2006 as part of a set of amendments to the CrPC as Chapter XXI-A, containing Sections 265A to 265L.
  • The Indian code makes plea bargaining a process that can be initiated only by the accused; further, the accused will have to apply to the court for invoking the benefit of bargaining. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
  • Cases for which the practice is allowed are limited. Only someone who has been charge sheeted for an offence that does not attract the death sentence, life sentence or a prison term above seven years can make use of the scheme under Chapter XXI-A. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
  • It is also applicable to private complaints of which a criminal court has taken cognisance. Other categories of cases that cannot be disposed of through plea bargaining are those that involve offences affecting the “socio-economic conditions” of the country, or committed against a woman or a child below the age of 14.

Which of the following are benefits/ implications of granting Infrastructure status to a sector/industry?
1. Facilitate the availability of debt on easier terms
2. Access to longer tenor funds from pension funds
3. Simplify the approval process
4. Access to external commercial borrowings.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Once an industry is accorded infrastructure status, the sector is entitled to a number of benefits and concessions.
This grant of status enables the industry to raise money from insurance companies, pension funds, and international lenders with longer tenure and on easier terms.
Infrastructure status gives industries access to cheaper foreign currency funding through the external commercial borrowing route.
Falling under the infrastructure category helps the sector get credit at competitive rates and on a long­term basis with enhanced limits. Furthermore, the logistics sector will also be eligible to borrow from the India Infrastructure Financing Company (IIFCL).
According to infrastructure status will further simplify the approval process for affordable projects, create clear guidelines, and increase transparency in the segment.
For example, Logistics has been accorded “infrastructure” status in 2017, facilitating the availability of debt on easier terms and access to external commercial borrowings, longer tenor funds from insurance companies, and pension funds, as well as investment support. Hence, all the options are correct.


Which of the following indicators are included in the Global Gender Gap Index?
1. Social empowerment
2. Educational Attainment
3. Health and Survival
4. Political Empowerment
Select the correct answer code using the given below.

  • Recent context: India has been ranked 112th among 153 countries in the annual Global Gender Gap Index for 2020, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

About Gender Gap Report:

  • The WEF published its first gender gap index in 2006.
  • The Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks 153 countries on their progress towards gender parity in four dimensions:
    (i) Economic Participation and
    (ii) Opportunity, Educational Attainment,
    (iii) Health and Survival and
    (iv) Political Empowerment. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
  • The Report aims to serve as a compass to track progress on relative gaps between women and men on health, education, economy and politics.
  • It measures women’s disadvantage compared to men, and is not a measure of equality of the gender gap.
  • Iceland, Norway, and Finland occupy the top three spots in the Report.
  • India’s position in the Index:
    (i) India has slipped four places in the report to 112, behind neighbours China, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
    (ii) It is due to due to rising disparity in terms of women’s health and participation in the economy.
    (ii) The country ranked 98th in WEF’s first report in 2006. Since then, it has fallen due to poor performance in three out of four indicators.
    (iii) India is also ranked in the bottom-five in terms of women’s health and survival and economic participation.
    (iv) The report showed that economic opportunities for women are extremely limited in India (35.4 per cent).
    (v) India also ranked among countries with very low women representation on company boards. The report highlighted abnormally low sex ratios at birth in India (91 girls for every 100 boys).
    (vi) On health and survival, four large countries like Pakistan, India, Vietnam and China fare badly with millions of women not getting the same access to health as men.
    (vii) India is the only country among the 153 countries studied where the economic gender gap is larger than the political one.
    (viii) On a positive note, India has closed two-thirds of its overall gender gap.

Generation Unlimited programme recently in news is related to:

  • Recent context: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the ‘YuWaah’ also known as Generation Unlimited Programme in India on November 1, 2019.
  • According to UNICEF, Generation Unlimited Programmer, called YuWaah in India, is a multi­stakeholder alliance which aims to facilitate youth to gain relevant skills for productive lives and the future of work. It aims to ensure that every young person age 10-24 is in some form of learning, school, self-employment, training, or age-appropriate employment by 2030. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
  • The target age group of YuWaah includes adolescent girls and boys.
  • Its key mission is to promote access to foundational, transferable and 21st century skills for youth inside and outside formal education systems, which includes defining foundational skills, life skills and flexible learning and identifying and scaling impactful delivery models.
  • YuWaah intends to create platforms to guide youth to market opportunities (career guidance, mentorship, internships, apprenticeships) and facilitate integration of career guidance in school education.

Consider the following statements:
1. Emissions from thermal power plants and industries are the single largest source of Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions in India.
2. Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) system is used to reduce SO2 emissions from thermal power plants.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • India is the largest emitter of sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the world, contributing more than 15 per cent of global anthropogenic emissions, according to a new report by Greenpeace.
  • The primary reason for India’s high emission output is the expansion of coal-based electricity generation over the past decade, the report added. Five of the top 10 SO2 emission hotspots from coal/power generation industry across the world are in India.
  • SO2 emissions are a significant contributor to air pollution. Its direct exposure and exposure to particulate matter PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) produced when SO2 reacts with other air pollutants to form sulphate particles both affect human health.
  • The greatest source of SO2 in the atmosphere is the burning of fossil fuels in power plants and other industrial facilities. Other sources include industrial processes such as extracting metal from ore, natural sources such as volcanoes, and locomotives, ships and other vehicles and heavy equipment that burn fuel with high sulphur content. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) is a set of technologies used to remove sulfur dioxide (S02) from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants, as well as from the emissions of other sulfur oxide emitting processes. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had, for the first time, introduced S02 emission limits for coal-fired power plants in December 2015. But a Supreme Court order changed the deadline for installation of FGD technology in power plants from 2017 to December 2019 in Delhi-NCR and till 2022 for other parts of the country.
  • Recently, the Supreme Court rejected the request of the Association of Power Producers (APP) to extend the 2022 deadline for meeting pollution norms by two years.

Consider the following statements regarding the Ecomark Scheme:
1. It is a voluntary scheme for the labelling of environment-friendly products.
2. It is administered by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The Government of India has instituted a voluntary scheme for labelling of environment-friendly products to be known as ECO Mark in 1991. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • The scheme is being administered by the Bureau of Indian Standards. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • So far the following product categories have been identified for coverage under this scheme: a) Soaps and Detergents; b) Paints c) Paper d) Plastics e) Cosmetics f) Textiles g) Batteries h) Wood Substitutes j) Propellants and Aerosols k) Food Items (edible oils - including Vanaspati, Tea and Coffee) m) Electrical and Electronics Goods n) Packing/Packaging Materials p) Lubricating/Speciality Oils q) Drugs r) Foods Preservatives and Additives s) Pesticides t) Leather
  • The Scheme is being operated on a national basis and provides certification and labeling for household and other consumer products which meet certain environmental criteria along with quality requirements prescribed in relevant Indian Standards for the product.

Which of the following important Multilateral Environmental Agreements and India has ratified global environmental conventions?
1. Convention on Biological Diversity
2. Minamata Convention on Mercury
3. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
4. The International Treaty on Plant
Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • Multilateral environmental agreements guide global, regional and national action on environmental issues and are a result of multilateral processes, which make them key elements of environmental, legal and governance regimes.
  • Scholars and practitioners also refer to them as “soft laws” to indicate the nature of the instruments and compliance issues related to them. Some of the important Multilateral Environmental Agreements ratified by India are:
    (i) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): It is the international legal instrument for “the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources”. CBD has been ratified by 196 nations. India ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity in February 1994.
    (ii) United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD): United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found. India ratified the UNCCD Convention on 17th December 1996.
  • The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: Also known as Seed Treaty as it is a comprehensive international agreement for ensuring food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. India is a signatory to the treaty.
  • Other important Environmental Agreements and global environmental conventions ratified by India include:
    (i) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
    (ii) The Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC)
    (iii) Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
    (iv) Convention on Wetlands (popularly known as the Ramsar Convention)
    (v) Minamata Convention on Mercury
    (vi) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
    (vii) Montreal Protocol (on Ozone Depleting Substances)
    (viii) Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
    (ix) Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) for certain Hazardous Chemical and Pesticides in International Trade.
    (x) Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and Their Disposal.

Consider the following statements with respect to the Committee of Parliament on Official Language:
1. The Official Language Committee derives its authority from an Act of Parliament.
2. The Chairman of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language is nominated by the Speaker of Lok Sabha.
3. The Committee is required to submit its report to the President on the progress made in the use of Hindi for the Official purposes of the Union.
Which of the statements given above are correct?

  • Article 351 of the Constitution speaks of the development of Hindi as the Official Language of the Union.
  • In 1963, the Official Languages Act was enacted. It provided for the setting up of a Committee on Official Language to review the progress made in the use of Hindi for the official purpose of the Union. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The Committee consists of thirty members, of whom twenty shall be members of the House of the people and ten shall be members of the Council of States to be elected respectively by the members of the House of the People and the members of the Council of States in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
  • The Chairman of the Committee is elected by the members of the Committee. As a convention, the Union Home Minister has been elected as Chairman of the Committee from time to time. Hence statements 2 is not correct.
  • It is the duty of the Committee to review the progress made in the use of Hindi for the Official purposes of the Union and submit a report to the President making recommendations thereon and the President shall cause the report to be laid before each House of Parliament and sent it to all the State Governments. Hence statement 3 is correct.

‘AWaRe tool’ an initiative of World Health Organization, sometimes seen in news, is related to:

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has undertaken various initiatives to address Anti-Microbial Resistance:
  • Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS): supports a standardized approach to the collection, analysis and sharing of data related to antimicrobial resistance at a global level.
  • AWaRE tool: aimed at guiding policy-makers and health workers to use antibiotics safely and more effectively. It classifies antibiotics into three groups:
    (i) Access — antibiotics used to treat the most common and serious infections o Watch — antibiotics available at all times in the healthcare system
    (ii) Reserve — antibiotics to be used sparingly or preserved and used only as a last resort. Hence the correct option is (c).
  • Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP): encourages research and development through public-private partnerships.
  • Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (IACG): established by United Nations Secretary-General to improve coordination between international organizations and to ensure effective global action.
  • Global Action Plan aims to ensure prevention and treatment of infectious diseases with safe and effective medicines.

Which of the following statements regarding the World Climate Research Programme is/are correct?
1. It aims to determine the predictability of climate change.
2. Its secretariat is hosted by the World Meteorological Organization
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) mission is to facilitate the analysis and prediction of Earth system variability and change for use in an increasing range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefit and value to society. The two overarching objectives of the WCRP are:
    (i) to determine the predictability of climate; Hence statement 1 is correct. o to determine the effect of human activities on climate
  • WCRP has three co-sponsors:
    (i) World Meteorological Organization: WMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations, which is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources. WMO also hosts the WCRP Secretariat. Hence statement 2 is correct.
    (ii) Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission of UNESCO: IOC-UNESCO is the United Nations marine science organization. The purpose of the Commission is to promote international cooperation and to coordinate programmes in research, services and capacity-building, in order to learn more about the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas and to apply that knowledge for the improvement of management, sustainable development, the protection of the marine environment, and the decision-making processes of its Member States.
    (iii) International Science Council: ISC was created in 2018 as the result of a merger between the International Council for Science (ICSU) (previously a sponsor of WCRP) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC). It is the only international non-governmental organization bringing together the natural and social sciences and the largest global science organization of its type with a vision to advance science as a global public good.

With reference to 'Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’, consider the following statements:
1. It is global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.
2. It is an inter-governmental organization established by G7 countries.
3. India is member of Financial Action Task Force.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The FATF is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog. The inter-governmental body sets international standards that aim to prevent these illegal activities and the harm they cause to society. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • It was established in July 1989 by a Group of Seven (G-7) Summit in Paris, initially to examine and develop measures to combat money laundering. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • It currently comprises 37 member countries (including India) and 2 regional organizations- European Commission and Gulf Co-operation Council. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  • Role of FATF in combating terrorist financing:
  • Setting global standards to combat terrorist financing.
  • Evaluating countries’ ability to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute the financing of terrorism: FATF issues two lists namely-
  • Black list (officially known as High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to a Call for Action)
    (i) It sets out the countries that are considered deficient in their anti-money laundering and counter­financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulatory regimes,
    (ii) These blacklisted countries are subjected to economic sanctions and other prohibitive measures by FATF member states and other international organizations,
    (iii) The current FATF blacklist includes two countries: North Korea and Iran.
  • Grey list (officially referred to as Jurisdictions Under Increased Monitoring)
    (i) Countries on the FATF grey list represent a much higher risk of money laundering and terrorism financing but have formally committed to working with the FATF to develop action plans that will address their AMF/CFT deficiencies,
    (ii) These countries are subjected to increased monitoring by the FATF.
    (ii) While grey-list classification is not as negative as the blacklist, countries on the list may still face economic sanctions from institutions like the IMF and the World Bank and experience adverse effects on trade.
  • Assisting jurisdictions in implementing financial provisions of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on terrorism

Which of the following changes are introduced by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019?
1. Appointment of arbitrators by the Ministry of Commerce.
2. Providing time-limit for the arbitration of domestic and international disputes.
3. Establishment of an independent body called the Arbitration Council of India.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • With an aim to make India a commercial arbitration hub and reduce the intervention of courts, the Government introduced amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 stems from the recommendations made by a high-level committee under the chairmanship of Justice BN Srikrishna.
  • Important Changes brought about by the Amendment:
    (i) Establishment of ACI: It will establish an independent body, namely the Arbitration Council of India (‘ACI’) that will frame policies, provide grading of arbitral institutions, and oversee the timely and cost-effective disposal of arbitration cases. The statutory body is to be chaired by a judge of the Supreme Court, or the Chief Justice of a High Court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct of the arbitration.
    (ii) The Council will make grading of arbitral institutions on the basis of criteria relating to infrastructure, quality and caliber of arbitrators, performance and compliance of time limits for disposal arbitrations. Hence statement 3 is correct.
    (iii) Time frame: Section 29 A of the Act which requires completion of all the arbitral proceedings within one year of the arbitral tribunal being constituted. However, it excludes International Commercial Arbitration from the ambit of the section. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
    (iv) The Amendment Act empowers the Supreme Court (in the case of international commercial arbitration) and the High Court (in cases other than international commercial arbitration) to designate arbitral institutions for the purpose of appointment of arbitrators. It also provided for the qualifications and experience of Arbitrators. Hence statement 1 is not correct.