UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 19 (June 17, 2021)


100 Questions MCQ Test UPSC CSE Prelims 2021 Mock Test Series | UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 19 (June 17, 2021)


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This mock test of UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 19 (June 17, 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 - 19 (June 17, 2021) (mcq) to study with solutions a complete question bank. The solved questions answers in this UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 19 (June 17, 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 - 19 (June 17, 2021) exercise for a better result in the exam. You can find other UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 19 (June 17, 2021) extra questions, long questions & short questions for UPSC on EduRev as well by searching above.
QUESTION: 1

In ancient India, Taxila was a famous place of learning due to its teachers’ expertise. Which of the following famous scholars were said to have studied/researched at the Taxila University?
1. Panini
2. Kautilya
3. Aryabhatta

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Taxila became famous as a place of learning due to its teachers’ expertise. Students came to Taxila from Kashi, Kosala, Magadha and also from other countries in spite of the long and arduous journey they had to undertake.

  • Taxila’s famous researchers and students include:
    (i) Panini (the great grammarian of Sanskrit, to whom Prof. Noam Chomsky of MIT attributes the origin of linguistics);
    (ii) Kautilya, also known as Chanakya (king-maker, astute political advisor, and author of Arthashastra, c. 300 BCE, deemed by social and economic historian Max Weber as one of the greatest political state-craft books of the ancient world);
    (iii) Charaka (the distinguished physician, whose research on the region’s flora and fauna described in his Charaka Samhita strengthened the development of Ayurveda); and (iv) Jivaka (the great physician to Gautama Buddha and his followers).

  • Aryabhatta studied at the University of Nalanda.

  • Hence only options 1 and 2 are correct.

QUESTION: 2

In the context of medieval India, arrange the following events in the chronological order of their occurrences:
1. Shah Jahan's ascension to the Mughal throne.
2. Foundation of the first Dutch factory in Masulipatam.
3. The occurrence of the Battle of Bannihatti (or Talikota).
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Shah Jahan was considered the most competent of Emperor Jahangir's four sons. He put to death all of his rivals for the throne and crowned himself emperor in January 1628 in Agra under the regnal title "Shah Jahan" (which was originally given to him as a princely title)

  • In 1602, the United East India Company of the Netherlands was formed and given permission by the Dutch government to trade in the East Indies including India. The Dutch founded their first factory in Masaulipatam in Andhra Pradesh in 1605.

  • The Battle of Talikota or Bannihati (1565) was a decisive battle in the history of the Vijayanagara empire. The battle was fought in a range of 40 km. This battle was fought between the villages of Rakkasagi and Tangadagi, near Talikota. Hence it was called the battle of Talikota or Rakkasa-Tangadi. Some scholars believe that the decisive battle was fought at Krishna-Bannihatti. Hence it is also called the Battle of Bannihatti. Aliya Ramaraya was the leader of the Vijayanagara troops. On the opposite side was the coalition army of Shahi Sultans of Deccan. This grand army comprised of the troops Adil Shahis of Bijapur, Nizam Shahis of Ahmadnagar, Qutub Shahis of Golconda, and Barid Shahis of Bidar.

  • Hence option (b) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 3

Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the Liquidity trap?
1. It is a situation in which monetary policy becomes ineffective to spur demand for goods and services.
2. It often leads to a deflationary spiral where people delay spending options.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The concept of liquidity trap was first developed by economists J.M Keynes and J.H. Hicks in 1937, as an economic condition first observed after the Great Depression of the 1930s.

  • In a standard economy, a reduction in interest rates encourages both borrowing and spending levels on part of both producers and consumers and this leads to an improvement in the aggregate demand levels of an economy, thereby leading to a corresponding rise in the GDP of the country.

  • However, an expansionary monetary policy through lowering borrowing rates are ineffective when the interest rates are already close to zero, as any further reduction has no effect on the borrowing patterns of individuals. Due to prevailing depressed demand and production levels, individuals prefer to hoard capital rather than investing.

  • This situation is known as the liquidity trap and the expansionary monetary policy (increase in the money supply) of Central bank becomes ineffective to boost economic growth. The liquidity trap is the inability of a central bank to stimulate economic growth through interest rate cuts. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

  • If low-interest rates can’t stimulate people to spend enough to keep the workforce at full employment, the risk is that a liquidity trap will set off a deflationary spiral in which prices fall, causing people to delay spending, which makes prices fall even more, and so on down. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

  • Starting in the 1990s, Japan faced a liquidity trap. Interest rates continued to fall and yet there was a little incentive in buying investments. Japan faced deflation through the 1990s, and of 2019 still has a negative interest rate of -0.1%.

QUESTION: 4

Consider the following statements concerning the election of the members and chairpersons of the panchayat:
1. All the members of panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels are elected directly by the people.
2. The chairperson of a panchayat at the village level is elected directly by the people.
3. The chairperson of panchayats at the district level is elected indirectly by and from amongst its elected members.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Composition of Panchayats is provided under Article 243C of the Constitution.

  • All the members of panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels shall be elected directly by the people. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • The chairperson of a panchayat at the village level shall be elected in such manner as the state legislature determines. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.

  • Further, the chairperson of panchayats at the intermediate and district levels shall be elected indirectly— by and from amongst the elected members thereof. Hence statement 3 is correct.

QUESTION: 5

In the context of ecology, which of the following correctly describes the term 'Species' guilds'?

Solution:
  • A guild (or ecological guild) is any group of species that exploit the same resources, or that exploit different resources in related ways. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.

  • Guilds are defined according to the locations, attributes, or activities of their component species. For example, the mode of acquiring nutrients, the mobility, and the habitat zones that the species occupy or exploit can be used to define a guild. The number of guilds occupying an ecosystem is termed its disparity. It is not necessary that the species within a guild occupy the same, or even similar, ecological niches which is the role an organism plays in its community, i.e. decomposer, primary producer, etc.

  • Members of a guild within a given ecosystem could be competing for resources, such as space or light, while cooperating in resisting wind stresses, attracting pollinators, or detecting predators, such as happens among savannah-dwelling antelope and zebra.

  • A guild does not typically have strict, or even clearly defined boundaries, nor does it need to be taxonomically cohesive. A broadly defined guild will almost always have constituent guilds. For example, grazing guilds will have some species that concentrate on coarse, plentiful forage, while others concentrate on low-growing, finer plants. Each of those two sub-guilds may be regarded as guilds in appropriate contexts, and they might, in turn, have sub-guilds in more closely selective contexts.

QUESTION: 6

A person residing at a place located at 50°N will never witness which of the following?
1. Overhead midday sun
2. Darkness for six months
3. Marked changes in seasons
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Due to Earth's inclined axis, the Sun is vertically overhead at the equator on two days every year. These are usually March 21 or September 21. These two days are termed as equinoxes i.e. equal night and day.

  • On June 21st, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun. The rays of the sun fall directly on the Tropic of Cancer. Any latitude north of that does not experience overhead midday sun. Hence option 1 is correct.

  • Asa consequence, those areas receive extra heat. The areas near the poles get less heat (as the rays of the sun are slanting). The longest day of the year arrives when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer. To be more specific, right over the 23.5 degrees North latitude. It is the day when the Northern Hemisphere receives maximum sunlight. The Southern Hemisphere receives more sunlight on December 21,22, or 23.

  • The winter solstice, hiemal solstice, or hibernal solstice, also known as midwinter, occurs when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere. The places on Earth that have six months of daylight and 6 months of darkness are the places closer to the north pole and south pole. Countries near the poles and within the Arctic circle (66 1/2 °N) have 6 months of night, and six months of day, because the Earth tilts on its axis with the poles pointing toward and away from the sun. The Arctic Circle marks the southern extremity of the polar day (24-hour sunlit day, often referred to as the midnight sun) and polar night (24-hour sunless night). Therefore a place located at 50°N will not experience darkness for six months. However, it will experience marked change in the seasons owing to its high latitude. Hence option 2 is correct and option 3 is not correct.

QUESTION: 7

Which of the following famous items native to Kashmir has/have been granted Geographical Indication (GI) status?
1. Kashmir Saffron
2. Kashmir Walnut Wood Carving
3. Kashmir Tea
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Recently, the Kashmir saffron (Lachha Saffron, Mongra Saffron, and Guchhi Saffron) has been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) status. Saffron has been associated with traditional Kashmiri cuisine and represents the rich cultural heritage of the region. It is a very precious and costly product and is cultivated and harvested in the Karewa (highlands) of Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmiri saffrons have a strong aroma and are the only varieties of saffron grown at a high altitude. Hence option 1 is correct.

  • Other items from Kashmir which have been granted GI (Geographical Indication) status are:
    (i) Kani Shaw
    (ii) Kashmir Walnut Wood Carving. Hence option 2 is correct.
    (iii) Kashmir papier-mache
    (iv) Pashmina

  • Kashmir tea or Noon chai or pink tea although quite famous is yet to receive Geographic Indication status. Hence option 3 is not correct.

QUESTION: 8

Consider the following statements with respect to the Fifth State of Matter:
1. It was predicted by Einstein and Satyendra Nath Bose's combined works.
2. It is formed when a gas is warmed to extremely high temperatures.
3. In this state, the atoms' clusters begin functioning as a single quantum object with both wave and particle properties.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Recently scientists onboard International Space Station conducted Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) experiments and have observed the fifth state of matter in space for the first time.

  • In physics, a state of matter is one of the distinct forms in which matter can exist. Four states of matter are observable in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter (also called the fifth state of matter) exists under extreme conditions.

  • The existence of Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) was first predicted, generally, in 1924-1925 by Albert Einstein following and crediting a pioneering paper by Satyendra Nath Bose on the new field now known as quantum statistics. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • BECs are formed by cooling a gas of extremely low density, about one-hundred-thousandth (1/100,000) the density of normal air, to ultra-low temperatures (near aboslutte zero - 0 kelvin or -273.5 Celsius). Hence statement 2 is not correct.

  • At this point, the atoms become a single entity with quantum properties, wherein each particle also functions as a wave of matter. BECs straddle the line between the macroscopic world governed by forces such as gravity and the microscopic plane, ruled by quantum mechanics. Hence statement 3 is correct. Scientists believe BECs contain vital clues to mysterious phenomena such as dark energy—the unknown energy thought to be behind the Universe's accelerating expansion. But BECs are extremely fragile. The slightest interaction with the external world is enough to warm them past their condensation threshold.

QUESTION: 9

In the context of the Mauryan empire, which of the following observations were made by Megasthenes in his account ?Indica??
1. The king’s palace is made of wood and decorated with stone carvings.
2. The occasions on which the emperor appears in public are celebrated with grand royal processions.
3. The king is normally surrounded by armed women
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Megasthenes was an ambassador who was sent to the court of Chandragupta (the Mauryan emperor) by the Greek ruler of West Asia named Seleucus Nicator.

  • Megasthenes wrote an account about what he saw in India in his book Indica. Here is a part of his description:
    - “The occasions on which the emperor appears in public are celebrated with grand royal processions. He is carried in a golden palanquin. His guards ride elephants decorated with gold and silver. Some of the guards carry trees on which live birds, including a flock of trained parrots, circle about the head of the emperor. The king is normally surrounded by armed women. He is afraid that someone may try to kill him. He has special servants to taste the food before he eats. He never sleeps in the same bedroom for two nights.”

  • And about Pataliputra (modern Patna) he wrote:
    -  “This is a large and beautiful city. It is surrounded by a massive wall. It has 570 towers and 64 gates. The houses, of two and three storeys, are built of wood and mud brick. The king’s palace is also of wood, and decorated with stone carvings. It is surrounded with gardens and enclosures for keeping birds.

  • Hence all the statements are correct.

QUESTION: 10

Which of the following powers is/are conferred by the Indian Forest Act, 1927 on Government of India?
1. The power to impose a duty on timber and other forest produce.
2. To lay down standards for utilizing funds raised in lieu of diversion of forest land.
3. To lay down guidelines for establishing national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The Indian Forest Act, 1927: The Indian Forest Act, 1927 was largely based on previous Indian Forest Acts implemented under the British. The most famous one was the Indian Forest Act of 1878. Both the 1878 act and the 1927 one sought to consolidate and reserve the areas having forest cover, or significant wildlife, to regulate movement and transit of forest produce, and the duty leviable on timber and other forest produce.
    (i) It seeks to consolidate and reserve the areas having forest cover, or significant wildlife, to regulate movement and transit of forest produce, and duty leviable on timber and other forest produce. Hence option 1 is correct.
    (ii) It defines the procedure to be followed for declaring an area to be a Reserved Forest, a Protected Forest or a Village Forest.
    (iii) It defines what is a forest offence, what are the acts prohibited inside a Reserved Forest, and penalties leviable on violation of the provisions of the Act.

  • Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016 provide an appropriate institutional mechanism, both at the Centre and in each State and Union Territory, to ensure expeditious utilization in an efficient and transparent manner of amounts released in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose which would mitigate the impact of diversion of such forest land. Hence option 2 is not correct.

  • Guidelines for establishing national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are laid down under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. Hence option 3 is not correct.

QUESTION: 11

Consider the following statements regarding the Environmental Performance Index:
1. It is published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
2. It comes out every year indicating which countries are best addressing the environmental challenges.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Recent Context: India secured 168 rank in the 12th edition of the biennial Environment Performance Index (EPI Index 2020) — that measured the environmental performance of 180 countries — and was released by the Yale University in June, 2020. India’s rank was 177 (with a score of 30.57 out of 100) in 2018. The country scored 27.6 out of 100 in the 2020 index. The global index considered 32 indicators of environmental performance, giving a snapshot of the 10-year trends in environmental performance at the national and global levels. Overall EPI rankings indicate which countries are best addressing the environmental challenges that every nation faces.

  • This biennial index has been developed by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

QUESTION: 12

Which of the following is/are the likely impact(s) of falling global crude oil prices on the Indian economy?
1. Widening of the current account deficit
2. Fall in core inflation
3. Fall in sugar prices
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Historically, the condition of the Indian economy has been greatly influenced by oil prices. In the past, a rapid rise in oil prices has precipitated an economic crisis. India imports nearly 82 per cent of its oil, a fall in prices could give its flailing economy some breathing space.

  • A fall in crude price lowers both the trade deficit and, in turn, the current account deficit since India largely relies on imports for its oil demand. So, when the crude oil prices are falling the Current account deficit is most likely to reduce/shrink. Hence option 1 is not correct.

  • Consumer price inflation and wholesale price inflation see a direct impact on crude oil prices. Oil is a very important commodity and it is required to meet domestic fuel needs. An increase in the price of crude oil means that it would increase the cost of producing goods. This price rise would finally be passed on to consumers resulting in inflation. However, the core inflation rate is the price change of goods and services minus food and energy. So, therefore, the fall in global crude prices would not affect the core inflation rate. Hence option 2 is not correct.

  • When oil prices are high, sugar mills tend to divert cane for making ethanol (alcohol of 99%-plus purity) that is used for blending with petrol. But with oil prices tanking, mills will not find it attractive to divert cane for ethanol. Lower oil prices would lead to excess supply/ availability of sugar in the international market. With exports slowing down this could result in lower sugar prices in India. Hence option 3 is correct.

QUESTION: 13

Consider the following pairs:

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

Solution:
  • Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) is the northernmost corner of Indian territory in Ladakh, in the area better known in Army parlance as Sub-Sector North. It has the world’s highest airstrip. This airstrip was originally built during the 1962 war. It was abandoned until 2008, when the Indian Air Force (IAF) revived it as one of its many Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) along the LAC. Recently, the Chinese build-up along the Galwan River valley region overlooks, and hence poses a direct threat to the Darbuk- Shyokh-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) road. Hence pair 1 is correctly matched.

  • The Depsang Plains are located at the Line of Actual Control that separates the Indian and Chinese controlled regions. The Chinese Army occupied most of the plains in 1962. India controls the western portion of the plains as part of Ladakh, whereas the eastern portion is part of the Aksai Chin region, which is controlled by China and claimed by India. Hence pair 2 is not correctly matched.

  • Namti Maidan is placed 7 kms away from Walong in Arunachal Pradesh. The fierce battle of 1962 was fought here by the Indian forces against Chinese aggression into the valley. A sombre war memorial stands in honour of the sacrifices of brave Indian soldiers. Hence pair 3 is not correctly matched.

QUESTION: 14

In the context of the new religious movements during the second half of the first millennium, who among the following was not a Nayanar (saints devoted to Shiva)?
1. Andal
2. Appar
3. Manikkavasagar
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The seventh to ninth centuries saw the emergence of new religious movements, led by the Nayanars (saints devoted to Shiva) and Alvars (saints devoted to Vishnu) who came from all castes including those considered —untouchable” like the Pulaiyar and the Panars. They were sharply critical of the Buddhists and Jainas and preached ardent love of Shiva or Vishnu as the path to salvation. They drew upon the ideals of love and heroism as found in the Sangam literature (the earliest example of Tamil literature, composed during the early centuries of the Common Era), and blended them with the values of bhakti. The Nayanars and Alvars went from place to place composing exquisite poems in praise of the deities enshrined in the villages they visited and set them to music.

  • There were 63 Nayanars, who belonged to different caste backgrounds such as potters, —untouchable” workers, peasants, hunters, soldiers, Brahmanas, and chiefs. The best known among them were Appar, Sambandar, Sundarar, and Manikkavasagar. There are two sets of compilations of their songs - Tevaram and Tiruvacakam.

  • There were 12 Alvars, who came from equally divergent backgrounds, the best known being Periyalvar, his daughter Andal, Tondaradippodi Alvar, and Nammalvar. Their songs were compiled in the Divya Prabandham.

  • The importance of the traditions of the Alvars and Nayanars was sometimes indicated by the claim that their compositions were as important as the Vedas. For instance, one of the major anthologies of compositions by the Alvars, the Nalayira Divyaprabandham, was frequently described as the Tamil Veda, thus claiming that the text was as significant as the four Vedas in Sanskrit that was cherished by the Brahmanas.

  • Hence option (b) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 15

This semi-nomadic tribal community is found in Ladakh. They are known for rearing the goats that yield the rare Pashmina fibre or Cashmere wool. The recent tensions between India and China have left this community cut off from large parts of its summer pastures.

Which of the following communities is being described in the above passage?

Solution:
  • The total tribal population in Ladakh region is more than 97 percent. The region is inhabited by following Scheduled Tribes, namely: Balti, Beda, Bot, Boto, Brokpa, Drokpa, Dard, Shin, Changpa, etc. Recently, the Chinese Army’s intrusion in Chumur and Demchok since January has left Ladakh’s nomadic herding Changpa community cut off from large parts of summer pastures.

  • The People’s Liberation Army (China) has taken over 16 kanals (two acres) of cultivable land in Chumur and advanced around 15 km inside Demchok, taking over traditional grazing pastures and cultivable lowlands. This has destabilised the movement of over 2,000 members of the nomadic community. In a cascading effect, this has resulted in a sharp rise in deaths of young Pashmina goats this year in the Korzok-Chumur belt of Changthang plateau in Ladakh.

  • The Changpas rear the highly pedigreed and prized Changra goats (Capra Hircus) that yield the rare Pashmina fibre (Cashmere wool). The Cashmere goats (Changra goats) are not raised for their meat but for their fibre (pashm). The pashmina fibre (Pashm in Persian) is one of the finest fibre of all goat hair. Changthangi or Pashmina goat is a breed of goat inhabiting the plateaus in Tibet and neighbouring areas of Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir, India.

  • The wool comes from four distinct breeds of the Cashmere goat; namely the Changthangi or Kashmir Pashmina goat from the Changthang plateau in Kashmir region, the Malra from Kargil area in Kashmir region, the Chegu from Himachal Pradesh in northern India, and Chyangara or Nepalese Pashmina goat from Nepal.

QUESTION: 16

Consider the following statements concerning the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA):
1. It is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries' administrative control.
2. It is mandated to export agricultural and processed food products by providing financial assistance to the registered exporters.
3. It has been entrusted with the responsibility to monitor the import of sugar.
Which of the statements given above are correct?

Solution:
  • The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act, 1985. It is an autonomous body under the administrative control of the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.

  • According to the provisions of APEDA act, the following functions have been assigned to the Authority:
    (i) Development of industries relating to the scheduled products for export by way of providing financial assistance or otherwise for undertaking surveys and feasibility studies, participation in inquiry capital through joint ventures and other reliefs and subsidy schemes; Hence, statement 2 is correct.
    (ii) Registration of persons as exporters of the scheduled products on payment of such fees as may be prescribed;
    (iii) Fixing of standards and specifications for the scheduled products for the purpose of exports;
    (iv) Carrying out inspection of meat and meat products in slaughterhouses, processing plants, storage premises, conveyances or other places where such products are kept or handled for the purpose of ensuring the quality of such products;
    (v) Improving the packaging of the Scheduled products;
    (vi) Improving marketing of the Scheduled products outside India;
    (vii) Promotion of export-oriented production and development of the Scheduled products

  • APEDA has been entrusted with the responsibility of export promotion and development of 14 agricultural and processed food product groups listed in the Schedule to the APEDA Act.
    - The scheduled products include Fruits, Vegetables and their products, Meat and Meat Products; Poultry and Poultry Products; Dairy Products; Confectionery, Biscuits and Bakery Products; Honey, Jaggery and Sugar Products; Cocoa and its products, chocolates of all kinds; Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages; Cereal and Cereal Products; Groundnuts, Peanuts and Walnuts; Pickles, Papads and Chutneys; Guar Gum; Floriculture and Floriculture Products; Herbal and Medicinal Plants. In addition to this, APEDA has been entrusted with the responsibility to monitor the import of sugar as well. Hence, statement 3 is correct.

  • APEDA has been actively engaged in the development of markets besides the up-gradation of infrastructure and quality to promote the export of agro products. In its endeavour to promote agro exports, APEDA, under its Plan Scheme titled ‘Agriculture Export Promotion Scheme of APEDA’ provides financial assistance to the registered exporters under sub-components of the Scheme - Market Development, Infrastructure Development, Quality Development and Transport Assistance.

QUESTION: 17

Which of the following motions is/are allowed in Rajya Sabha?
1. Privilege motion
2. Adjournment motion
3. Motion to remove Supreme Court judge
4. Economy cut motion
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can —effectively discharge their functions”. When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament. Rules of Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha permit a member, with the consent of the Speaker or the Chairperson, can move privilege motion involving a breach of privilege either of a member or of the House or of a committee. The Speaker/Chair can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament.

  • A judge of the Supreme Court can be removed from his office by an order of the president. The President can issue the removal order only after an address by Parliament has been presented to him/her in the same session for the removal. The Judges Enquiry Act (1968) regulates the procedure relating to the removal of a judge of the Supreme Court by the process of impeachment. A removal motion can be moved either in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha.

  • Adjournment Motion is introduced in the Parliament to draw the attention of the House to a definite matter of urgent public importance and needs the support of 50 members to be admitted. As it interrupts the normal business of the House, it is regarded as an extraordinary device. It involves an element of censure against the government and hence Rajya Sabha is not permitted to make use of this device.

  • In the light of the reports of the departmental standing committees, the Lok Sabha takes up voting of demands for grants. Members of Lok Sabha can also move motions to reduce any demand for a grant. Such motions are called as ‘cut motion'.

  • Economy Cut Motion: It represents the economy that can be affected in the proposed expenditure. It states that the amount of the demand be reduced by a specified amount. The voting of demands for grants is the exclusive privilege of the Lok Sabha, that is, the Rajya Sabha has no power of voting the demands and hence cannot move Economy Cut motion. Hence option (d) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 18

The 15th Finance Commission recommended performance-based incentives to states for undertaking reforms in the following sectors?
1. Implementation of Agriculture Reforms
2. Power Sector Reforms
3. Incentives for Education
4. Enhancing Trade including Exports
5. Promotion of Domestic and International Tourism
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • 15th Finance Commission (FC) proposes performance-based incentives to states based on reforms undertaken in six different areas. These broad contours are given below:

  • Implementation of Agriculture Reforms: The States will be eligible for financial incentives if they enact and implement all features of:
    (i) Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion & Facilitation) Act issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare in 2017,
    (ii) Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in 2018, and
    (iii) “Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016” prepared by the NITI Aayog.

  • Development of Aspirational Districts and Aspirational Blocks: The Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP), piloted by NITI Aayog, is based on three principles of competition, convergence and collaboration. On the basis of the performance evaluation of the ADP, the finance commission recommends earmarking funds to incentivise the top-performing districts to sustain these results and broaden their impact over our award period.

  • Power Sector Reforms: The FC has recommended annual financial incentives for top-performing States which achieve the targets based on certain broad parameters such as:
    (i) achieving the reduction targets of AT&C losses,
    (ii) achieving the reduction targets of (ACSARR),
    (iii) open access to trade and industry to meet their power needs from sources other than the State utilities and o to implement direct cash transfers for all consumers eligible for subsidy in a State.

  • Enhancing Trade including Exports: Robust logistics, user-friendly institutions and regulatory framework and adequate finance are essential ingredients of a conducive eco-system for promoting trade, including exports. The World Bank has a Logistic Performance Index and an index for measuring Trading Across Borders. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is preparing an Index of Logistics Ease Across Different States as well as a Trade Preparedness Index together with the NITI Aayog. The FC recommends performance-based incentive related to exports, including its design. We would also like to support export-related employment generating initiatives given its significance in enhancing the growth potential of States in terms of GSDP.

  • Incentives for Education: In education low ratio of girls transitioning from upper-primary to the secondary level of education are areas of concern. Considering this the Fc recommended financial incentives for best performing States in terms of incremental change in a few focussed indicators like the difference between transition rate of boys and girls rate from upper primary to secondary level, Average mathematics score in Class 8 - Government and aided schools etc.

  • Promotion of Domestic and International Tourism: The FC recommends allocations of funds for rewarding the States with highest percentage increase in the aggregate number of nights spent by international tourists in that State as one of the criteria. Hence all the options are correct.

QUESTION: 19

Which of the following correctly describes the term ’eco-anxiety’?

Solution:
  • Eco-anxiety or Climate anxiety: It refers to the "chronic fear of environmental doom” or in other words, it is the feeling of being overwhelmed by the challenges of climate change and the fear about the state of the environment.
    It is not a medical condition in itself but in certain individuals, it can exacerbate pre-existing mental health problems.

  • Solastalgia: It describes a form of emotional or existential distress caused by environmental change. It is best described as the lived experience of negatively perceived environmental change

  • Ecological grief or Climate grief: It can be described as a psychological response to loss caused by environmental destruction or climate change.
    It is the grief reaction stemming from the environmental loss of ecosystems by natural and man-made events.”

QUESTION: 20

Concerning carbon offsetting, consider the following statements:
1. It refers to reducing carbon dioxide emissions to generate carbon credits.
2. It can help raise funds to protect forests and support the local communities with alternative livelihood opportunities.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • A carbon offset refers to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and results in the generation of carbon credit from a project with clear boundaries, title, project documents and a verification plan. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

  • A carbon credit is an instrument that represents ownership of one metric tonne of carbon dioxide. These credits can be traded, sold, retired etc.

  • Offsets are measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2-e). One tonne of carbon offset represents the reduction of one tonne of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases.

  • When anyone purchases carbon credits, they are funding the reduction, elimination, or total avoidance of 1 tonne of carbon. If anyone buy as many carbon credits equal to their carbon footprint, then they are considered to be “carbon neutral,” or balancing your emissions with an equal amount of emissions reduction.

  • When they are purchased, they generate revenue. This revenue could be used for projects and activities that protect or restore forests, often supporting local communities with alternative livelihood opportunities that keep trees standing, and it helps fund programs to do so in perpetuity. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

QUESTION: 21

With reference to the International Labour Organization, consider the following statements:
1. It was created as part of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I.
2. It is the UN's only organisation having tripartite governing structure, representing workers, employers, and government.
3. The World Employment and Social Outlook is one of its flagship reports.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) was created in 1919 (100 years of formation in 1919), as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it is based on social justice. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • It has a total of 187 member nations including India (founding member). In 1946, the ILO became a specialized agency of the newly formed United Nations.
  • It is the only organization of the UN having tripartite governing structure, representing workers, employers, and government. It sets labor standards, develops policies, and devises programs promoting decent work for all women and men. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • India has ratified two key ILO conventions on child labor: the Minimum Age Convention (No 138) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No 182). With the ratification of these two core ILO conventions, India has now ratified 6 out of 8 core ILO conventions. The other four core ILO conventions ratified by India are:
    (i) Forced labor convention (No 29)
    (ii) Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No 105) relating to the abolition of forced labor
    (iii) Equal Remuneration Convention (No 100
    (iv) Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) convention relating to removing discrimination between men and women in employment and occupation.
  • Two core ILO conventions which are yet to be ratified by India are: Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention (No 87) and Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention (No 98)
  • Flagship Reports:
    (i) The World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) is the ILO’s flagship report on the world of work issues, focusing on a different theme each year. It undertakes an evidence-based analysis of indicators and policies that achieve high employment and balanced incomes. It is published annually in January. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
    (ii) Global Wage Report analyses the latest wage statistics and provides insights on wage policies based on research projects carried out by the ILO
    (iii) The World Social Protection Report takes a comprehensive look at how countries are investing in social security, how they are financing it, and how effective their approaches are.
QUESTION: 22

 With reference to Indian traditional art, which is not a type of scroll painting?

Solution:
  • The popular types of scroll-paintings are:
    (i) ​Pattachitra or Patachitra is a general term for traditional, cloth-based scroll painting, based in the eastern Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal. Pattachitra art form is known for its intricate details as well as mythological narratives and folktales inscribed in it.
    (ii) Cheriyal Scroll Painting is a stylized version of Nakashi art, rich in the local motifs peculiar to the Telangana. They are at present made only in Hyderabad, Telangana, India,
    (iii) Prasasti Patra is a sophisticated scroll painting tradition that developed in the Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
  • Warli art is a beautiful folk art of Maharashtra, traditionally created by the tribal women. Tribals are the Warli and Malkhar Koli tribes found on the northern outskirts of Mumbai, in Western India. This art was first explored in the early seventies & from then it was named “Warli art”. Tribal people express themselves in vivid styles through paintings which they execute on the walls of their house. It is a type of wall painting. Hence option (d) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 23

Consider the following statements regarding the newly launched PM SVANidhi scheme:
1. It aims to facilitate working capital loan up to Rs. 100,000 at subsidized rate of interest to street vendors for resuming their livelihoods activities, after easing of lockdown.
2. Both the street vendors in urban and rural areas are covered.
3. Those who are repaying the loan on time or earlier are eligible for an incentive.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • PM Street Vendor's Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) is a special micro-credit facility for street vendors launched recently by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. It is a Central Sector Scheme to facilitate street vendors to access affordable working capital loan for resuming their livelihoods activities, after easing of lockdown.

  • Objectives of the Scheme:
    (i) To facilitate working capital loan upto Rs. 10,000 at a subsidized rate of interest. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
    (ii) To incentivize regular repayment of the loan; and o To reward digital transactions.

  • Salient Features of the scheme:
    (i) Interest subsidy on timely/ early repayment @7%. Hence statement 3 is correct.
    (ii) Monthly cash-back incentive on digital transactions o Higher loan eligibility on timely repayment of the first loan.
    (iii) It covers street vendors/hawkers vending in urban areas, as on or before March 24, 2020, including the vendors of surrounding peri-urban and rural areas. Hence statement 2 is correct.
    (iv) Lending institutions that will provide credit under it: Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks, Small Finance Banks, Cooperative Banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies, Micro-Finance Institutions and SHG Banks.
    (v) The Scheme shall be implemented up to March, 2022.
    (vi) KYC documents required (either of them): Aadhaar Card, Voter’s Identity Card, Driving Licence,

  • MNREGA Card, PAN Card.
    (i) No collateral security is required to avail this loan.
    (ii) If a loanee name is in the list of surveyed vendors, but he does not have either Identity Card or Certificate of Vending then also he is can avail this scheme. A Provisional Certificate of Vending would be issued to vendors through an IT based Platform. The Banking Correspondent/ Agent will help in filling up the application and upload the documents in a mobile App/ Portal.

QUESTION: 24

Consider the following pairs:

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

Solution:
  • The machinations of Chanakya against Chandragupta’s enemies are described in detail in the Mudrarakshasa, a play written by Vishakhadatta in the ninth century. In modern times, several plays have been based on it.

  • Varahamihira’s well-known work is called the Brihatsamhita, which belongs to the sixth century A.D. Varahamihira stated that the moon rotates around the earth and the earth rotates around the sun. He utilized several Greek works to explain the movement of the planets and some other astronomical problems. Although the Greek knowledge Influenced Indian astronomy, the Indians doubtless pursued the subject further and made use of it in their observations of the planets.

  • Panchatantra is perhaps the oldest collection of Indian Fables still surviving. It is written around 200BC by the great Hindu Scholar Pandit Vishnu Sharma. Panchatantra means "the five books”. It is a "Nitishastra" which means a book of wise conduct in life. The book is written in the form of simple stories and each story has a moral and philosophical theme which has stood the test of time in the modern age of atomic fear and madness. It guides us to attain success in life by understanding human nature.

QUESTION: 25

Which of the following statements is correct regarding the difference between' Background extinction' and' Mass Extinction'?
1. Mass extinctions are caused by human interventions only, while background extinctions are natural.
2. Mass extinctions have a greater impact on the ecosystem than background extinction.
​Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Extinction of an organism means that it no longer exists anywhere on the planet.

  • There are two different types of extinction:

Background extinction

  • It refers to the normal extinction rate. These are species that go extinct simply because not all life can be sustained on Earth and some species simply cannot survive.

Mass extinction

  • It is a widespread event that wipes out the majority (over 50%) of living plants and animals.

  • Mass extinction leads to permanent loss of a major group of organisms

  • Mass extinction account for all the extinct species on earth.

  • Mass extinctions can be caused by both natural and human interventions, while background extinctions are generally natural. Hence statement 1 is not correct.

  • Mass extinction has a greater impact on the ecosystem than background extinction. Hence statement 2 is correct.

  • Earth has experienced several mass extinctions. The most devastating, perhaps, was the Permian mass extinction 225 million years ago. About 90% of the species living at the time went extinct, including most of the dominant land vertebrates at the time.

  • Extinctions occur continually, generating a "turnover" of the species living on Earth. This normal process is called background extinction. Sometimes, however, extinction rates rise suddenly for a relatively short time — an event known as a mass extinction. Mass extinctions kill off many species, but the empty niches left behind may allow other lineages to radiate into new roles, shaping the diversification of life on Earth.

QUESTION: 26

Consider the following statements concerning Current account in India's Balance of Payments:
1. The primary income account includes all amounts payable and receivable to nonresident entities in return for providing temporary use of labor, financial resources, etc.
2. Secondary income account mainly represents cross-border transfers by expatriates sending a part of their income to support their families.
3. India has a persistent net surplus position in both primary and secondary income accounts.
Which of the statements given above are correct?

Solution:
  • The balance of payments (BOP) is a statement of all transactions made between entities in one country and the rest of the world over a defined period of time, such as a quarter or a year. The balance of payments includes both the current account and capital account.

  • The current account in the balance of payments covers all cross-border transactions relating to goods and services trade, receipt or payment of income from investments (primary income), and unilateral transfers (secondary income). Historically, India’s current account balance is largely driven by movements in the goods trade account.

  • The primary income forms an important part of the current account and includes all amount payable and receivable to non-resident entities in return for providing temporary use of labour, financial resources or non-produced non-financial assets. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

  • Given India’s net international financial liabilities to the rest of the world (i.e., negative net international investment position), there has been a persistent outgo from the primary income account of the balance of payments. Hence, statement 3 is not correct.

  • In the primary income account, 93 per cent of total outgo was attributable to investment income payments. Interest payments on debt liabilities (payment of interest of FDI enterprises to their parent company abroad, FII debt holdings, external commercial borrowings (ECBs), trade credits, bank overseas borrowings, non-resident deposits) and dividend payouts on non-debt liabilities (investment in equity and investment fund shares) accounted for around three-fourth of total investment income outgo in 2018-19.

  • In the case of India, secondary income mainly represents cross-border transfers (remittances) by expatriates sending a part of their income to support their families. With the world’s largest diaspora (UN Migration Report 2019), India retained its position as the top recipient of cross-border remittances in 2018. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

  • As India’s outbound remittance are comparatively minuscule relative to inbound remittances, there has been a persistent net surplus position in secondary income account.

QUESTION: 27

Consider the following organizations:
1. Indian League
2. Madras Mahajan Sabha
3. The British Indian Association
Which of the following is the correct chronological sequence of the above organisations' formation?

Solution:
  • The. British Indian Association was founded on October 29, 1851, at Calcutta with Raja Radhakanta Deb and Debendranath Tagore as its President and Secretary respectively. Other members of the Association included Ramgopal Ghosh, Peary Chand Mitra, and Krishnadas Pal. It was created after amalgamating the Landholders Society and the British India Society which mainly served the interests of the Zamindars (landowners)

  • The Indian League was started in 1875 by Sisir Kumar Ghosh with the object of —stimulating the sense of nationalism amongst the people” and of encouraging political education.

  • The Indian Association of Calcutta (also known as the Indian National Association) superseded the Indian League and was founded in 1876 by younger nationalists of Bengal led by Surendranath Banerjea and Ananda Mohan Bose, who were getting discontented with the conservative and pro-landlord policies of the British Indian Association. The Indian Association was the most important of preCongress associations and aimed to -promote by every legitimate means the political, intellectual, and material advancement of the people.”

  • The Madras Mahajan Sabha was founded in 1884 by M. Viraraghavachari, B. Subramaniya Aiyer, and P. Anandacharlu.

QUESTION: 28

Which of the following statements is not correct with respectto Constituent Assembly?  

Solution:
  • The Constituent Assembly was constituted in November 1946 under the scheme formulated by the Cabinet Mission Plan.

  • Seats allocated to each British province were to be divided among the three principal communities—Muslims, Sikhs and general (all except Muslims and Sikhs), in proportion to their population.

  • The elections to the Constituent Assembly were conducted under the system of the separate electorate based on the community.

  • The representatives of each community were to be elected by members of that community in the provincial legislative assembly and voting was to be by the method of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.

  • In the elections held to the Constituent Assembly, The Indian National Congress won 208 seats, the Muslim League 73 seats and the small groups and independents got the remaining 15 seats.

  • However, the 93 seats allotted to the princely states were not filled as they decided to stay away from the Constituent Assembly. The representatives of the princely states, who had stayed away from the Constituent Assembly, gradually thereafter. After the acceptance of the Mountbatten Plan of June 3, 1947, for the partition of the country, the representatives of most of the princely states took their seats in the Assembly. Hence option (b) is not correct.

  • The Indian Independence Act of 1947 made the following three changes in the position of the Assembly:
    - The Assembly was made a fully sovereign body
    - The Assembly also became a legislative body. Whenever the Assembly met as the Constituent body it was chaired by Dr. Rajendra Prasad and when it met as a legislative body, it was chaired by G.V. Mavlankar.

  • On January 24, 1950, the Constituent Assembly held its final session. It, however, did not end, and continued as the provisional parliament of India from January 26, 1950, till the formation of new Parliament after the first general elections in 1951-52.

 

QUESTION: 29

Consider the following statements regarding the World Bank's International Comparison Program (ICP) often seen in news:
1. Under it, the World Bank releases Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) that adjust for differences in the cost of living across economies of the World.
2. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is the national implementing agency for India for coordinating and implementing national ICP activities.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Recent Context: The World Bank has released new Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) for the reference year 2017, under the International Comparison Program (ICP), that adjusts for differences in the cost of living across economies of the World. Globally 176 economies participated in the 2017 cycle of ICP.

  • International Comparison Program (ICP) is the largest worldwide data-collection initiative, under the guidance of the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC). Its goal is of producing Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) which are vital for converting measures of economic activities to be comparable across economies. Along with the PPPs, the ICP also produces Price Level Indices (PLI) and other regionally comparable aggregates of GDP expenditure. The next ICP comparison will be conducted for the reference year 2021.

  • India and the ICP:
    (i) India has participated in almost all ICP rounds since its inception in 1970.
    (ii) The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is the National Implementing Agency (NIA) for India, which has the responsibility of the planning, coordinating, and implementing national ICP activities.
    (iii) India has also been a co-Chair of the ICP Governing Board along with Statistics Austria for the ICP 2017 cycle.

QUESTION: 30

Climate Adaptation and Resilience for South Asia (CARE) Project is an initiative of

Solution:
  • CARE Project was recently approved by The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a $39.5 million to bolster climate action in South Asia.

  • About Climate Adaptation and Resilience for South Asia (CARE) Project
    (i) The Project will build resilience to climate threats and disasters by sharing regional data and knowledge.
    (ii) It will help in developing regional standards and guidelines for infrastructure, and promoting climate resilient policies and investments.
    (iii) The project will help develop a public platform to inform climate planning and investments, and fund technology to support resilience in South Asia.
    (iv) It will fund a public domain platform known as Regional Resilience Data and Analytics Service, with information about weather hazards, climate variability, and sector-specific data to help policymakers assess climate risks.
    (v) It will also assess climate impacts in districts across Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan to support agriculture, livestock, water, and transport.
    (vi) The $39.5 million CARE project includes a $36 million grant from the International Development Association and $3.5 million from the Program for Asia Resilience to Climate Change.
    (vii) CARE will work with two regional organizations, the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC).

QUESTION: 31

In the context of the launch of satellites, consider the following statements about Air Breathing Propulsion System:
1. It utilizes the atmospheric oxygen during the launch vehicle's flight through the atmosphere.
2. It was used in GSLV MK-III which was used to launch Chandrayaan-II.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Launch vehicles use the combustion of propellants consisting of oxidizer and fuel for deriving the energy. Air-breathing propulsion systems (ABPS) use atmospheric oxygen, which is available up to about 50 km of earth’s surface to burn the fuel stored on-board thereby making the system much lighter, more efficient, and cost-effective. Air-breathing propulsion is a solution for a powered long return cruise flight necessary for reusable launch vehicles. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • Considering the strategic nature of air-breathing technology which has the potential to bring a significant shift in the launch vehicle design, worldwide efforts are on to develop the technology for airbreathing engines.

  • A ramjet is a form of air-breathing jet engine that uses the vehicle’s forward motion to compress incoming air for combustion without a rotating compressor. Ramjets efficiency decreases when the vehicle reaches hypersonic speeds. A Supersonic Combustion Ramjet or Scramjet is an improvement over the ramjet engine as it efficiently operates at hypersonic speeds and allows supersonic combustion. A dual-mode ramjet (DMRJ) is a type of jet engine where a ramjet transforms into a scramjet over Mach 4-8 range, which means it can efficiently operate both in subsonic and supersonic combustor modes.

  • The development of ABPS is still in the experimental stage. In 2016, success flight testing of Scramjet was conducted. GSLV MkIII, chosen to launch Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, is a three-stage heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by ISRO. ABPS was not used in the GSLV MkIII launch vehicle. Hence statement 2 is not correct.

QUESTION: 32

Consider the following statements with respect to communication through optical fibers:
1. It works using the principle of total internal reflection of light.
2. Electromagnetic interference does not occur while transmitting information over fiber optic cable.
3. It permits higher bandwidth and transmission over long distances compared to copper cables.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • A fiber-optic cable is made up of incredibly thin strands of glass or plastic known as optical fibers; one cable can have as few as two strands or as many as several hundred. Fiber-optic cables carry information between two places using entirely optical (light-based) technology.

  • How fiber-optics works:
    - Light travels down a fiber-optic cable by bouncing repeatedly off the walls. Each tiny photon (particle of light) bounces down the pipe like a bobsleigh going down an ice run. Now you might expect a beam of light, traveling in a clear glass pipe, simply to leak out of the edges. But if the light hits the glass at a really shallow angle (less than 42 degrees), it reflects back in again—as though the glass were really a mirror. This phenomenon is called total internal reflection. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • The optical fiber is electrically non-conductive, so it does not act as an antenna to pick up electromagnetic signals. Electromagnetic Interference does occur in coaxial cables since current does cut across the conductor. Fiber optics are immune to this interference since signals are transmitted as light instead of current. Hence statement 2 is correct.

  • The main advantage of optical fiber communication over electrical cable transmission is its high bandwidth capability (almost 10Gps) over long distances due to the extremely low loss at the same specific wavelengths. Lightweight copper cable, by contrast, has very high losses at high frequencies. Hence statement 3 is correct.

QUESTION: 33

Which of the following is/are the major agricultural export commodities (in value terms) from India during the last five years?
1. Rice -Basmati
2. Pulses
3. Vegetable Oils
4. Cocoa Products
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • India is among the 15 leading exporters of agricultural products in the world. The country has emerged as a significant exporter in certain agriculture items like rice, meat, spices, raw cotton, and sugar. India has developed export competitiveness in certain specialized agriculture products like basmati rice, guar gum, and castor oil.

  • Rice -basmati accounts for the highest value of agricultural exports in the last five years. Marine products constitute the largest share of exports in Agriculture and allied sectors. Other major exports include spices, rice(Other Than Basmati), Cotton, Sugar, Coffee, etc.

  • Among the agricultural commodities imported by India, Vegetable Oils accounts for the highest imports in terms of value in the last five years. Other major imports include pulses, fresh fruits, cashew nut, cocoa products, etc. Hence, option (a) is correct.

  • As per the present FDI Policy, 100% FDI is allowed in the following activities of agriculture through automatic route
    (i) Floriculture, Horticulture, Apiculture, and Cultivation of Vegetables & Mushrooms under controlled conditions
    (ii) Development and Production of seeds and planting material.
    (iii) Animal Husbandry (including breeding of dogs), Pisciculture, Aquaculture, under controlled conditions; and
    (iv) Services related to agro and allied sectors
    (v) 100% FDI is also permitted in the plantation sector namely tea plantations, Coffee plantations, Rubber plantations, Cardamom plantations, Palm Oil plantations and Olive oil tree plantations through automatic route.

QUESTION: 34

 In the run-up to the First Round Table Conference, which of the following was/were demanded in the Delhi Manifesto of 1929?
1. The formulation of a constitution for the implementation of the dominion status at the Round Table Conference
2. There should be a general amnesty for political prisoners and a policy of conciliation
3. Majority representation of the Congress at the Round Table Conference
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • On November 2, 1929, a conference of prominent national leaders issued a ‘Delhi Manifesto’ which put forward certain conditions for attending the Round Table Conference:
    (i) that the purpose of the Round Table Conference should be not to determine whether or when dominion status was to be reached but to formulate a constitution for implementation of the dominion status (thus acting as a constituent assembly) and the basic principle of dominion status should be immediately accepted
    (ii) that the Congress should have majority representation at the conference; and
    (iii) there should be a general amnesty for political prisoners and a policy of conciliation;

  • Gandhi along with Motilal Nehru and other political leaders met Lord Irwin in December 1929 (after the viceroy had narrowly escaped after a bomb was detonated meaning to hit the train he was traveling in). They asked the viceroy for assurance that the purpose of the round table conference was to draft a constitutional scheme for dominion status. That was not the purpose of the conference, said Irwin. Viceroy Irwin rejected the demands put forward in the Delhi Manifesto.

QUESTION: 35

Consider the following statements with respect to Global Partnership for Artificial Intelligence (GPAI):
1. It promotes public-private collaboration for the responsible evolution of Artificial Intelligence.
2. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) hosts the partnership's secretariat.
3. India is a founding member of the partnership.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) is an international and multi-stakeholder initiative to guide the responsible development and use of AI, grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth. GPA brings together experts from the industry, civil society, governments, and academia to collaborate to promote the responsible evolution of AI. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • India recently became the founding member of GPAI in June 2020 by launching GPAI along with the group of leading countries such as the USA, UK, Germany, etc. Hence statement 3 is correct.

  • The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will host the Secretariat of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI). Basing its Secretariat at the OECD will allow the GPAI to create a strong link between international policy development and technical discourse on AI, taking advantage of the OECD’s expertise on AI policy. Hence statement 2 is correct.

QUESTION: 36

Monoclonal antibodies play an important role in biochemistry. In this context, consider the following statements with respect to monoclonal antibodies:
1. These are antibodies produced artificially through genetic engineering.
2. They are used in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies produced artificially through genetic engineering and related techniques. Monoclonal antibodies are identical immunoglobulins, generated from a single B-cell clone. These antibodies recognize unique epitopes, or binding sites, on a single antigen. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • The antibody response to natural infection or an active immunization, however, is polyclonal. In other words, it involves many B cells, each of which recognizes a different antigenic determinant (epitope) of the immunizing antigen and secretes a different immunoglobulin. Derivation from a single B-cell clones and subsequent targeting of a single epitope is what differentiates monoclonal antibodies from polyclonal antibodies.

  • Given almost any substance, it is possible to produce monoclonal antibodies that specifically bind to that substance; they can then serve to detect or purify that substance. This has become an important tool in biochemistry, molecular biology, and medicine. Monoclonal antibodies are effective treatment for various cancers and autoimmune diseases. Immune checkpoint therapy in cancer has emerged as a potent therapeutic approach. Autoimmune disease control with monoclonal antibodies is highly successful. Hence statement 2 is correct.

QUESTION: 37

Consider the following statements with reference to Incremental capital-output ratio (ICOR):
1. A short-term rise in ICOR is necessarily an evidence of declining efficiency of investment.
2. To achieve equal growth rates, an economy with higher ICOR requires lesser savings than the economy with low ICOR.
Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

Solution:
  • Growth can come from an increase in investment. Or, it can come from ratcheting up productivity. The incremental capital-output ratio (ICOR) is a crude but useful measure that explains the relationship between fixed investment and growth over periods of time.

  • ICOR indicates the additional unit of capital or investment needed to produce an additional unit of output. This ratio is used to measure the efficiency of an industrial unit. The lesser the ICOR, the more efficient the organization.
    - Incremental capital-output ratio (ICOR) = Annual Investment / Annual Increase in GDP

  • In the context of the Indian economy, the efficiency of fixed capital investment as measured by ICOR saw a sustained improvement over the last decade. It declined to average 4.5 in fiscals 2015-2019 from 5.5 in fiscals 2010-2014, implying incremental growth exceeded the incremental investment. In short, capital productivity improved.

  • It is misleading to interpret a short-term rise in ICOR as evidence of the declining efficiency of investment. The measure (ICOR) is significantly influenced by the business cycle; when growth falls, the ratio rises. For example, the collapse of global demand in 2008 caused the ratio to rise in every country. ICOR is best estimated over long periods of time to eliminate business cycle influences; it is more informative then. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.

  • An economy with low ICOR is more efficient in converting savings (investments) into growth. Whereas the economy with high ICOR has less efficiency in converting savings (investments) into growth. Thus to achieve equal growth rates, an economy with higher ICOR requires a higher savings rate than the economy with low ICOR. For example, if we assume an Incremental Capital Output Ratio of 4, India needs a savings rate of at least 32% to grow at 8%. If you assume an ICOR of 5, the savings rate required for 8% growth will be 40%. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.

QUESTION: 38

In the context of political economy, Club goods refers to:

Solution:
  • In economics, goods can be categorized in many different ways. One of the most common distinctions is based on two characteristics: excludability and rivalrousness. That means we categorize goods depending on whether people can be prevented from consuming them (excludability) and whether individuals can consume them without affecting their availability to other individuals (rivalrousness).

  • Based on those two criteria, we can classify all physical products into four different types of goods: private goods, public goods, common resources, and club goods.

  • Private Goods are products that are excludable and rival. They have to be purchased before they can be consumed. Thus, anyone who cannot afford private goods is excluded from their consumption. Likewise, the consumption of private goods by an individual prevents other individuals from consuming the same goods. Therefore, private goods are also considered rival goods. Examples of private goods include chocolate, ice cream, cheese, houses, cars, etc.

  • Public goods describe products that are non-excludable and non-rival. That means, no one can be prevented from consuming them, and they can be used by individuals without reducing their availability to other individuals. Examples of public goods include fresh air, knowledge, national defense, street lighting, etc.

  • Common resources are defined as products or resources that are non-excludable but rival. That means they can be used by virtually anyone. However, if one individual consumes common resources, their availability to other individuals is reduced. Examples of common resources include freshwater, timber, pasture, etc.

  • Club goods are products that are excludable but non-rival. Thus, individuals can be prevented from consuming them, but their consumption does not reduce their availability to other individuals (at least until a point of overuse or congestion is reached). Club goods are sometimes also referred to as artificially scarce resources. Examples of club goods include cable television, private parks, wireless internet, roads, etc. Hence, option (b) is correct.

QUESTION: 39

Cairns Group often seen in news is a group of

Solution:
  • Recent Context: Recently Cairns Group Members launched a “COVID-19 Initiative: Protecting Global Food Security Through Open Trade” to support the global agricultural and food system during the COVID-19 pandemic, and limit the impact of emergency measures on global food security and fair trade.

  • The Cairns Group is a coalition of 19 agricultural exporting countries (members) which account for more than 25 percent of the world’s agricultural exports, and one observer (Ukraine).

  • Since the Group's establishment in Cairns, Australia, on 25-27 August 1986, its members have continued to push for liberalisation of global trade in agricultural exports. This objective unites the Group across language, cultural and geographic boundaries. Made up of developed and developing countries from six continents, the Group is committed to achieving free and fair trade in agriculture that provides real and sustainable benefits for the developing world.

  • Members of the Group are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam. Ukraine is an observer of the Group.

QUESTION: 40

Merchanting Trade Transaction recently seen in news refers to

Solution:
  • In the Indian context, a transaction is called Merchanting Trade Transaction when,
    (i) The supplier of goods will be resident in one foreign country

    (ii) The buyer of goods will be resident in another foreign country
    (iii) The merchant or the intermediary will be resident in India
     In simple terms, a Merchanting trade transaction is one that involves the shipment of goods from one foreign country to another foreign country involving an Indian Intermediary. Hence, it is also called Intermediary Trade. Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.

  • For a trade to be classified as merchanting trade following conditions should be satisfied ;(i) Goods acquired should not enter the Domestic Tariff Area of the Importing Country and o The state of the goods should not undergo any transformation and mean for transport from the country of the supplier to the country of the buyer.

  • Goods involved in the merchanting trade transactions would be the ones that are permitted for exports/imports under the prevailing Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) of India, as on the date of shipment and all the rules, regulations and directions applicable to exports (except Export Declaration Form) and imports (except Bill of Entry), are complied with for the export leg and import leg respectively.

  • Recently, the Gujarat-Bench of Authority for advance ruling (AAR) has ruled that GST is payable on goods sold to a customer located outside India, where goods are shipped directly from the vendor’s premises (located outside India) to the customer’s premises. The AAR verdict means that GST would be levied on MTT where the applicant will receive an order from the customer located outside India and as per their instruction, the vendor would directly ship the goods to a customer located outside India.

QUESTION: 41

Which of the following factors is/are responsible for river meandering?
1. Rotation of earth
2. Irregular alluvial deposits on bank
3. Gentle gradients
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • A meander is a winding curve or bend in a river. They are typical of the middle and lower course of a river. This is because vertical erosion is replaced by a sideways form of erosion called lateral erosion, plus deposition within the floodplain.

  • Meander is not a landform but is only a type of channel pattern. Meanders are formed because of:
    (i) the propensity of water flowing over very gentle gradients (not steep slopes) to work laterally on the banks
    (ii) unconsolidated nature of alluvial deposits making up the banks with many irregularities which can be used by water exerting pressure laterally
    (iii) Coriolis force (due to rotation of the earth) acting on the fluid water deflecting it like it deflects the wind.

  • When the gradient of the channel becomes extremely low, water flows leisurely and starts working laterally. Slight irregularities along the banks slowly get transformed into a small curvature in the banks; the curvature deepens due to deposition on the inside of the curve and erosion along the bank on the outside.

  • If there is no deposition and no erosion or undercutting, the tendency to meander is reduced.

  • Normally, in meanders of large rivers, there is active deposition along the concave bank and undercutting along the convex bank. The concave bank is known as cut-off bank which shows up as a steep scarp and the convex bank presents a long, gentle profile.

  • As meanders grow into deep loops, the same may get cut-off due to erosion at the inflection points and are left as ox-bow lakes. Hence all the options are correct.

QUESTION: 42

Which of the following is an appropriate reason for Mizoram being famously called as the Molasses basin of India?

Solution:
  • Mizoram is also known as the Molassis basin because it is made up of unconsolidated deposits.

  • Molasses Basin: In geology, the name “molasse basin” is used in a general sense for a synorogenic (formed contemporaneously with the orogen) foreland basin of the type north of the Alps.

  • The Molasse basin is a foreland basin north of the Alps which formed during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs.

  • The basin is the type locality of molasse, which is a sedimentary sequence of conglomerates and sandstones, material that was removed from the developing mountain chain by erosion and denudation.

  • Molasse: The term “molasse” refers to sandstones, shales, and conglomerates that form as terrestrial or shallow marine deposits in front of rising mountain chains.

  • The molasse can sometimes completely fill a foreland basin, creating a nearly flat depositional surface. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 43

With reference to the Customs. Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal which of the following statements are correct?
1. It is a quasi-judicial body constituted under Article 323(B) of the Constitution of India.
2. It has appellate jurisdiction on antidumping matters,
3. The appeal against the Tribunal orders lies only to the Supreme Court.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) formerly known as Customs, Excise & Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal was constituted on 11th October 1982. The Appellate Tribunal was constituted under Article 323(B) of the Constitution of India by making provisions in the Customs Act 1962. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

  • The Tribunal was constituted for expeditious disposal of appeals which were earlier handled by the Central Board of Excise and Customs and which came up to the Government in revision.

  • CESTAT was created to provide as an independent forum to hear the appeals against orders passed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise and Service Tax under the Customs Act, 1962, Central Excise Act, 1944, and Finance Act 1994.

  • The Tribunal is also empowered to hear the appeals against orders passed by the Designated Authority in Anti Dumping Duties under the Customs Tariff Act,1975. The Tribunal also hears appeals concerning Customs House Agent Licensing. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

  • Each Bench of the Tribunal consists of a Judicial Member and a Technical Member. Matters not relating to valuation/classification up to Rs. 50 Lakhs revenue is heard by Single Member Bench.

  • Except in the matters relating to classification and valuation of goods, the Tribunal is the final Appellate Authority as far as the question of facts is concerned. In classification and valuation matters, the appeal against orders of the Tribunal lies only to the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Hence, statement 3 is correct.

QUESTION: 44

Will the following hold their office dining the pleasure of the President?
1, Governor of a State
2. Prime Minister
3. Civil servants of Union
4. Chief Minister of Delhi
5. Chief Election Commissioner
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The doctrine of pleasure has its origins in English law. In England, the moral rule is that a civil servant of the Crown holds office during the pleasure of the Crown. This means his services can be terminated at any time by the Crown, without assigning any reason.

  • In Union of India v. Tulsiram Patel, the Supreme Court held that the “pleasure doctrine” was neither a relic of the feudal age nor was it based on any special prerogative of the British Crown but was based upon public policy.

  • The Governor of a state is appointed by the president. He holds office during the pleasure of the President. In addition to the Constitutional head of the state, the governor acts as an agent of the Centre in the state. Hence option 1 is correct.

  • The term of the Prime Minister is not fixed and he holds office during the pleasure of the president. However, this does not mean that the president can dismiss the Prime Minister at any time. So long as the Prime Minister enjoys the majority support in the Lok Sabha, he cannot be dismissed by the President. Hence option 2 is correct.

  • According to Article 310, members of the defence services, the civil services of the Centre and the all- India services or persons holding military posts or civil posts under the Centre, hold office during the pleasure of the president. Hence option 3 is correct.

  • The Chief Minister of Delhi is appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Chief Minister and the Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.

  • The Chief Election Commissioner cannot be removed from his office except in the same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court. Thus CEC does not hold office during the pleasure of the President. Hence option 5 is not correct.

QUESTION: 45

Consider the following statements with respect to Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC), 2011:
1. The responsibility of the overall coordination of conducting SECC was entrusted to India's Census Commissioner.
2. It was the first paperless census in India. 
3. Primitive Tribal Groups and Manual Scavenging households are automatically included in the poor category.
Which of the statements given above is are correct?

Solution:
  • SECC-2011 is a study of socio-economic status of rural and urban households and allows the ranking of households based on predefined parameters. Ministry of Rural Development commenced the SocioEconomic Caste Census-2011 on 29th June 2011 through a comprehensive door to door enumeration across the country.

  • SECC 2011 has three census components that were conducted by three separate authorities but under the overall coordination of the Department of Rural Development in the Government of India.
    (i) Census in Rural Area has been conducted by the Department of Rural Development (DoRD).
    (ii) Census in Urban areas is under the administrative jurisdiction of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA).
    (iii) Caste Census is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs: Registrar General of India (RGI) and Census Commissioner of India. Hence statement 1 is not correct.

  • SECC 2011 is the first paperless census in India conducted on hand-held electronic devices by the government in 640 districts. SECC 2011 data is useful to identify beneficiaries under MGNREGA, National Food Security Act etc. Hence statement 2 is correct.

  • SECC uses the parameters laid down by the SR Hashim committee appointed by the erstwhile Planning Commission of India i.e., automatic exclusion on the basis of 14 parameters, automatic inclusion on the basis of 5 parameters and grading of deprivation on the basis of seven criteria.

  • 5 parameters of Automatic inclusion:
    (i) Households without shelter.
    (ii) Destitute, living on alms.
    (iii) Manual scavenger families.
    (iv) Primitive tribal groups. Hence statement 3 is correct. Legally released bonded labour.

QUESTION: 46

Consider the following statements:
1. The agricultural subsidy by the central government far exceeds the total agricultural subsidy by states.
2. The expenditure towards price support constitutes the largest share of the central government's agricultural subsidy.
Which of the statements given above is1 are correct?

Solution:
  • Input subsidies are the most expensive aspect of India’s food and agriculture policy regime, requiring a steadily larger budget share. India subsidizes agricultural inputs in an attempt to keep farm costs low and production high. India’s expenditure on input subsidies has increased sharply in recent years driven mostly by large increases in the subsidies to fertilizer and electricity.

  • Drawing on the most recent estimates (not always for the same years), annual central government subsidies to farmers would be of the order of Rs. 120,500 crores as the sum of fertilizer subsidies (Rs. 70,000 crores), credit subsidies (Rs. 20,000 crores), crop insurance subsidies (Rs. 6500 crores, 2018/19), and expenditures towards price support (Rs. 24,000 crores).

  • Annual State government subsidies are almost an equal amount of Rs. 115,500 crores to as the sum of power subsidies (Rs. 90,000 crores), irrigation subsidies (Rs. 17,500 crores), and crop insurance subsidies (Rs, 6500 crores, 2018/19). Hence, statement 1 is not correct.

  • While the importance of subsidies to farmer livelihoods may vary by region, by crop, and by farm size, they form a substantial part (20%) of aggregate farm income.

  • The expenditure on fertilizer subsidy is the largest input subsidy. For the year 2017/18, it is estimated to be about Rs. 70,000 crores. Of this, Rs. 50,000 crores are spent as subsidy on urea while the remainder is the subsidy on potash and phosphorous (DAP). As a percentage of the cost of production, urea is subsidized to the extent of 75% while the subsidy on potash and phosphorous is about 35%. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.

  • Other subsidy expenditure includes credit subsidies (Rs. 20,000 crores, 2017/18), crop insurance subsidies (Rs. 6500 crores, 2018/19) and expenditures towards price support (Rs. 24,000 crores estimated for 2016/17).

QUESTION: 47

Consider the following statements regarding the Annual Survey of Industries:
1. It provides a comprehensive and reliable source of manufacturing sector data with industry-specific details of production, investment, employment and costs.
2. It covers both the organized and unorganized manufacturing sector enterprises.
3. It is conducted annually by the National Statistical Office.
Which of the statements given above are correct?

Solution:
  • Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) is the principal source of industrial statistics in India providing information on important characteristics of the registered manufacturing sector. ASI is considered as the most comprehensive and reliable source of organized manufacturing sector data providing disaggregated industry-specific details of production, investment, employment, and costs. It does not cover unorganized or unregistered or informal sector enterprises. Hence, statement 1 is correct and statement 2 is not correct.

  • The ASI extends to the entire country. It covers all factories registered under Sections 2m (i) and 2m (ii) of the Factories Act, 1948, where the manufacturing process is defined under Section 2 (k) of the said Act.

  • However, defense establishments, oil storage, and distribution depots, departmental units such as railway workshops, government mints, sanitary, water supply, gas storage, etc., are excluded from the purview of the survey.

  • Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) is conducted by the National Statistical Office. (The ministry of statistics and programme implementation (Mospi) passed an order on 23 May, 2019 to merge the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) into the National Statistical Office (NSO). National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). Hence, statement 3 is correct.

QUESTION: 48

Which of the following reports are published by the World Bant?
1. Global Economic Prospects Report
2. Fiscal Monitor Report
3. World Development Report
4. Global Sustainable Developments Reports Select the correct answer using the code given below

Solution:
  • Global Economic Prospects is a World Bank Group flagship report that examines global economic developments and prospects, with a special focus on emerging markets and developing economies. It is issued twice a year, in January and June. Recently June report has been released. The June 2020 Global Economic Prospects describes both the immediate and near-term outlook for the impact of the pandemic and the long-term damage it has dealt with prospects for growth. The baseline forecast envisions a 5.2 percent contraction in global GDP in 2020, using market exchange rate weights—the deepest global recession in decades, despite the extraordinary efforts of governments to counter the downturn with fiscal and monetary policy support. Hence option 1 is correct.

  • The World Development Report (WDR) is an annual report published since 1978 by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or World Bank. In the recent (May 2020) report titled “World Development Report 2020: Trading for Development in the Age of Global Value Chains(GVC’s) that was released, the bank argues that these reforms can help developing countries expand from commodity exports to basic manufacturing while ensuring that economic benefits are shared more widely across society. Hence option 3 is correct.

  • The Fiscal Monitor is prepared twice a year by the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Fiscal Affairs Department. With increasing fiscal challenges in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, multilateral surveillance of fiscal developments, a key part of the IMF’s surveillance responsibilities, had gained further importance. In response, the Fiscal Monitor was launched in 2009 to survey and analyze the latest public finance developments, update fiscal implications of the crisis and medium-term fiscal projections, and assess policies to put public finances on a sustainable footing. Its projections are based on the same database used for the World Economic Outlook (WEO) and the Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR). Recently its report came in April 2020. Hence option 2 is not correct.

  • The Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) originated in the Rio+ 20 outcome when the Member States were laying the groundwork for the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2016, Member States decided that the report should be produced once every four years, to inform the quadrennial SDG review deliberations at the General Assembly and that it should be written by an Independent Group of Scientists appointed by the UN Secretary-General. They mandated that the Group would consist of 15 experts representing a variety of backgrounds, scientific disciplines and institutions, ensuring geographical and gender balance. The Future is Now: Science for Achieving Sustainable Development, is the first Global Sustainable Development Report in 2019 prepared by the Independent Group of Scientists appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General. Hence option 4 is not correct.

QUESTION: 49

In the context of ancient Indian literature, Kalpasutra is associated with which of the following sects?

Solution:
  • The Kalpasutra is a canonical text of the Svetambara white-clad Jains written by Acharya Bhadrabahu in the 4th century BCE.

  • It is the biographical account of Mahavira and other Tirthankaras or spiritual teachers of the Jainas, generally read and recited by devotees during their ten days of fasting known in Rajasthan in the month of Bhadrapada (August and September).

QUESTION: 50

Which of the following can be used as a biosignature?
1. Atmospheric gases 
2. Surfaces features of planets 
3. Fossils
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Biosignature: A biosignature is a substance - such as an element, isotope, or molecule - or phenomenon that provides scientific evidence of past or present life.

  • It is sometimes called chemical fossil or molecular fossil.

  • Evidence of life can be found using the complex physical or chemical structures, energy interactions, biomass etc.

  • A biosignature can provide evidence for living organisms even outside the Earth and can be directly or indirectly detected by searching for their unique byproducts.

  • Among others, the following features can be used as a biosignature:
    (i) Cellular and extracellular morphologies,
    (ii) Biogenic minerals in rocks
    Bio-organic molecules in fossils
    (iii) Chirality (asymmetrical chemical structures)
    (iv) Biogenic minerals,
    (v) Atmospheric gases
    (vi) Remotely detectable features on planetary surfaces
    (vii) Temporal changes in global planetary properties.

  • These features help researchers and astronomers to trace the origin of life on earth as well as on other planets like Mars. Hence all the options are correct.

QUESTION: 51

NITI Aayog has launched ’SATH' programme with the objective of:

Solution:
  • Sustainable Action For Transforming Human Capital (SATH) Programme was Aayog with the objective of:
    (i) To initiate transformation in the education and health sectors. Hence option answer.
    (ii) Aims to identify and build future ‘role model’ states.

  • NITI Aayog will work in close collaboration with the state machinery to design a robust roadmap of intervention, develop a program governance structure, set up monitoring and tracking mechanisms, handhold state institutions through the execution stage and provide support on a range of institutional measures to achieve the end objectives.

  • For Health Sector, NITI Ayog has elected Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka while for education sectors (SATH-E) Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha.

  • It will be funded through a cost-sharing mechanism between NITI Aayog and the participating states.

QUESTION: 52

Consider the following statements:
1. Sound waves are transverse mechanical waves.
2. SONAR uses sound wave propagation to explore and map the ocean surface
3. In the medical field, Ultra sonography uses sound waves of ultra-low frequencies of less than 20Hz to create an image of a body's internal structure.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • A mechanical wave is a wave that is not capable of transmitting its energy through a vacuum. Mechanical waves require a medium in order to transport their energy from one location to another. A sound wave is an example of a mechanical wave. During the travel of sound waves, the motion of the particles is parallel (and anti-parallel) to the direction of the energy transport. This is what characterizes sound waves in air as longitudinal waves. Hence statement 1 is not correct.

  • The speed of sound depends on the elasticity and density of the medium through which it is traveling. In general, sound travels faster in liquids than in gases and faster in solids than in liquids. The greater the elasticity and the lower the density, the faster sound travels in a medium.

  • Sonar, short for Sound Navigation and Ranging, is helpful for exploring and mapping the ocean because sound waves travel farther in the water than do radar and light waves. Active Sonar transducers emit a pulse of sound into the water. If an object is in the path of the sound pulse, the sound bounces off the object and returns an “echo” to the sonar transducer. By determining the time between the emission of the sound pulse and its reception, the transducer can determine the range and orientation of the object. Hence statement 2 is correct.

  • Ultrasound imaging (sonography) uses high-frequency sound waves to view inside the body. The ultrasound image is produced based on the reflection of the waves off of the body structures. The strength (amplitude) of the sound signal and the time it takes for the wave to travel through the body provide the information necessary to produce an image. Hence statement 3 is not correct.

QUESTION: 53

Which of the following factors are likely responsible for recent Australian Bush Fires?
1. Negative Indian Ocean Dipole
2. Delay in the withdrawal of South West Monsoon from Indian Subcontinent
3. Natural Lightning
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Bushflres and grassflres are common throughout Australia.
    (i) Grassfires are fast-moving, passing in five to ten seconds and smoldering for minutes. They have a low to medium intensity and primarily damage crops, livestock and farming infrastructure, such as fences.
    (ii) Bushflres are generally slow-moving but have a higher heat output. This means they pass in two to five minutes, but they can smoulder for days. Fire in the crown of the tree canopy can move rapidly.

  • Apart from favourable factors for bushflres like optimal wind speed, adequate fuel load, natural lightning, there have been various meteorological factors which have been found contributing to the fire incidents.

  • Indian Ocean Dipole
    (i) A positive Indian Ocean dipole means that the Indian Ocean off Australia’s north-west was cooler than normal and the west of the ocean was warmer.
    (ii) Positive dipole events draw moisture away from Australia and tend to deliver less rainfall leading to dry conditions that support the bushflres and opposite happens during a negative IOD. Hence option 1 is not correct.

  • Timing of withdrawal of South West Monsoon
    (i) Normally monsoon withdraws by 1st September.
    (ii) Last year (June-September 2019), monsoon in India started its withdrawal on October 9.
    (ii) This delay in the transition of the monsoon trough from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere caused the delay in the onset of the Australian monsoon. Hence option 2 is correct.

  • Natural lightning
    - Bushfires can originate from both human activity and natural causes with lightning (during thunderstorms) the predominant natural source, accounting for about half of all ignitions in Australia. Hence option 3 is correct.

  • Southern Annular Mode (SAM) or Antarctic Oscillation (AAO)
    (i) It describes the north-south movement of the westerly wind belt that circles Antarctica, dominating the middle to higher latitudes of the southern hemisphere.
    (ii) There are evidence that the extra greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are impacting the southern annular mode (SAM).
    (iii) A negative phase of SAM is generated by a sudden warming event in the stratosphere above Antarctica.
    (iv) The southern annular mode was in a —negative phase” as the bushfires took hold in November and December.
    (v) This caused westerly winds to track further north, blowing hot air across the continent into fire-prone areas, further fanning flames.

QUESTION: 54

In India's cultural traditions, the terms ‘Suladi\ ‘Svarajatr and ‘Vamam’ are

Solution:
  • The ancient musical forms like Prabandhas, etc. gradually gave away to the different musicals forms that are in use in present-day music, though the basic elements of the ancient Prabandhas are still retained in the modern forms. The following musical forms offer an interesting study:
    (i) Gitam is the simplest type of composition. Taught to beginners of music, the gitam is very simple in construction, with an easy and melodious flow of music. The music of this form is a simple melodic extension of the raga in which it is composed. The tempo is uniform. It has no sections dividing one part of the song from the other. It is sung without repetition from the beginning to the end. There are no intricate variations in the music. The theme of the song is usually devotional, though there are a few gitas in praise of musical luminaries and Acharyas. o Very much like the gitam in musical structure and arrangement, the Suladis are of a higher standard than the gitam. The Suladi is a talamalika, the sections being in different talas. The Sahitya syllables are fewer than in the gitas and there is a profusion of vowel extensions. The theme is devotional. Suladis are composed in different tempos vilambita, madhya and druta. Purandaradasa has composed many Suladis.
    (ii) Svarajati is learned after a course in gitams. More complicated than the gitas, the Svarajati paves the way for the learning of the Varnams. It consists of three sections, called Pallavi, Anupallavi and Charanam. The theme is either devotional, heroic or amorous. It originated as a dance form with jatis (tala, solfa syllables like taka tari kita naka tatin gina tarn) tagged on. But later, Syama Sastri, one among the Musical Trinity, composed svarajatis without jatis, which are brilliant concert pieces, noted for their musical value.
    (iii) The Varnam is a musical form in Carnatic Music. Whereas musical forms like the Kirtana, Kriti, Javali, Tillana, etc. have their similar counterparts in Hindustani Music, the Varnam does not find a counterpart. The Varnam is a beautiful creation of musical craftsmanship of a high order, combining in itself all the characteristic features of the raga in which it is composed. This form is aptly called a Varnam, since many of the svara group patterns called ? Varnas? in ancient music, are dexterously interwoven in its texture. Practice in Varnam singing helps a musician to attain mastery in presentation and command over raga, tala and bhava. The vocalist gets a good training for the voice and the instrumentalist a good mastery over technique. Very few words and profusion of vowels mark the sahitya of this form. The theme of the piece is either bhakti (devotion) or sringara (love).

QUESTION: 55

Consider the following statements with respect to the conduct of business in the Lok Sabha:
1. The speaker of Lok Sabha acts as the exofficio Chairman of the Business Advisory Committee of Lok Sabha.
2. Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions exists only in Lok Sabha.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The Lok Sabha Business Advisory Committee has 15 members. It recommends allocation of time for items of Government and other business to be brought before the Houses. The Speak of the Lok Sabha acts as ex-officio chairman of the Committee. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions of the Lok Sabha classifies and allocates time to Bills introduced by private members, recommends allocation of time for discussion on private members’ resolutions and examines Constitution amendment bills before their introduction by private members in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha does not have such a committee. It is the Business Advisory Committee of that House which recommends allocation of time for discussion on stage or stages of private members’ bills and resolutions. Hence statement 2 is correct.

QUESTION: 56

Recent nationwide lockdown, in wake of COVID-19 breakout, was implemented under

Solution:
  • The government of India ordered the nationwide lockdown on 24 March 2020.

  • It was taken as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

  • Ministry of Home Affairs declared the spread of COVID-19 as a —notified disaster” under Section 2(d) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs published the official notification and invoked the lockdown under Section 6 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

  • The Home Secretary issued guidelines for this lockdown under his powers in Section 10 of the Disaster Management Act, as the Chairman of the National Executive Committee constituted under Section 8 of the Act.

  • Though the terms ‘lockdown’ and ‘curfew’ have not been defined under Indian law, Section 2 and 2A of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 give power to the State and Central governments to take necessary steps in the situation of an epidemic to control its outbreak, even if the steps are not mentioned in any law practice or theory in the country.

  • It was extended several times with some conditional relaxations after 20 April for the regions where the spread had been contained or was minimal.

QUESTION: 57

Consider the following statements with reference to Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PDF):
1. It aims to encourage deployment of Points of Sale (PoS) infrastructure (both physical and digital modes) in tier- 3 to tier-6 centres and northeastern states.
2. Half of the fund corpus is being provided by the Reserve Bank of India.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Over the years, the payments ecosystem in the country has evolved with a wide range of options such as bank accounts, mobile phones, cards, etc. To provide further fillip to the digitization of payment systems, it is necessary to give impetus to acceptance infrastructure across the country, more so in underserved areas.

  • Recently, Reserve Bank of India announced the creation of a Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) to encourage acquirers to deploy Points of Sale (PoS) infrastructure (both physical and digital modes) in tier-3 to tier-6 centers and northeastern states. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • The Reserve Bank will make an initial contribution of ?250 crores to the PIDF covering half the fund and the remaining contribution will be from card-issuing banks and card networks operating in the country. The PIDF will also receive recurring contributions to cover operational expenses from card-issuing banks and card networks. The Reserve Bank will also contribute to yearly shortfalls, if necessary. Hence statement 2 is correct.

  • The PIDF will be governed through an Advisory Council and managed and administered by Reserve Bank.

QUESTION: 58

Consider the following statements:
1. Only the central government can sign a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with a private entity.
2. PPP projects with a cost exceeding Rs.100 crore require Public-Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) approval.
3. PPPAC is under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Public-Private Partnership or PPP as an arrangement between a government entity and a private sector entity for the provision of public services or assets. PPP project is a project based on a long-term contract or a concession agreement.

  • Generally, the private sector entity makes investments or undertakes the management for a specified period of time. Further, the risk allocation between the two entities is well-defined and the private sector entity receives performance-linked payments. Additionally, these payments are benchmarked to specified and pre-determined performance standards that the public entity or its representative can measure.

  • At the national level, there is sectoral legislation in certain areas covered in the Union List, such as airports, national highways, major ports, power, and cable TV. These legislations provide the legal framework for infrastructure projects including private participation in the key infrastructure sectors.

  • At the State level, some key states of India like Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh have developed legal frameworks for private participation in infrastructure, specifically in areas in the jurisdiction of the State legislature and the State government. Therefore, both central and state governments can make PPP agreements with private entities. Hence statement 1 is not correct.

  • The government of India has streamlined the appraisal and approval mechanism for Central Sector PPP projects to ensure speedy appraisal of projects, eliminate delays, and have uniformity in appraisal mechanisms. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has 

  • approved the procedure for approval of the Central Sector Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects. Pursuant to this decision the Government of India (GOI) notified the appraisal mechanism by setting up the Public-Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPP AC) responsible for the appraisal of PPP projects in the Central Sector. PPP AC is under the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. It is chaired by Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs. Hence statement 3 is not correct.

  • PPP Projects in the Central Sector with a cost exceeding Rs.100 crore or where the value of underlying assets is more than Rs.100 crore (except Ports and NHDP projects) require Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) appraisal/approval. On recommendation by PPPAC and after CCEA approval, the projects can be bid out. Hence statement 2 is correct.

QUESTION: 59

With reference to anti-dumping duty, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. The anti-dumping duty is levied over and above the normal customs duty chargeable on the import of goods
2. The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) is responsible for carrying out investigations and recommending anti-dumping duty.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Dumping is said to occur when the goods are exported by a country to another country at a price lower than its normal value. This is an unfair trade practice that can have a distortive effect on international trade. Anti-dumping is a measure to rectify the situation arising out of the dumping of goods and its trade distortive effect. Thus, the purpose of anti-dumping duty is to rectify the trade distortive effect of dumping and re-establish fair trade.

  • The use of anti-dumping measures as an instrument of fair competition is permitted by the WTO. In fact, anti-dumping is an instrument for ensuring fair trade and is not a measure of protection per se for the domestic industry. It provides relief to the domestic industry against the injury caused by dumping.

  • The objective of anti-dumping and allied duties is to offset the injurious effect of international price discrimination while customs duties have implications for government revenue and for the overall development of the economy. The anti-dumping duty is levied over and above the normal customs duty chargeable on the import of goods in question. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

  • Under the WTO arrangement, the National Authorities can impose duties up to the margin of dumping i.e. the difference between the normal value and the export price. The Indian law also provides that the antidumping duty to be recommended/levied shall not exceed the dumping margin.

  • The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (earlier known as Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties) was named in May 2018 as an integrated single-window agency for providing comprehensive and swift trade defence mechanism in India.

  • DGTR now deals with Anti-dumping, counter-vailing duties (CVD), and Safeguard measures. It also provides trade defense support to our domestic industry and exporters in dealing with increasing instances of trade remedy investigations instituted against them by other countries. DGTR provides a level playing field to the domestic industry against the adverse impact of the unfair trade practices like dumping and actionable subsidies from any exporting country, by using Trade Remedial methods under the relevant framework of WTO arrangements, Customs Tariff Act & Rules, and other relevant laws and international agreements, in a transparent and time-bound manner. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

QUESTION: 60

Which of the following is/are correct about king Kharavela?
1. He was the ruler of Kalinga kingdom during the Mauryan period.
2. The Hathigumpha inscription provides information about his rule and conquests.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • In the early part of the 1st century B.C. Kalinga became independent under the Chedi Chief Mahameghavana. The third ruler of this dynasty was Kahravela who flourished during the second half of the 1 st century B.C. Mauryan empire lasted from about 321 to 185 BCE. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

  • The Hatigumpha inscription in Udayagiri near Bhubaneswar furnishes detailed accounts about the life and activities of Kharavela from his boyhood to his 13th regnal year. It is known from this record that Kharavela on the premature death of his father took up the administration first as a Yuvaraja and then on completion of 24 years of age ascended to the throne as Maharaja. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

  • In the second regnal year, he invaded the territory of the Satavahana king Satakami I and marching up to the river Krishna stormed the city of Asika.

  • The Hatigumpha inscription records the activities of Kharavela up to his thirteenth regnal year after which nothing is known about him. He was probably succeeded by his son Kudepasiri. The Mahameghavahana dynasty continued to rule over Kalinga and Mahishaka up to the 1 st century A.D. as known from some recently discovered inscriptions of Guntupalli and Velpuru in Andhra Pradesh.

QUESTION: 61

Mother and Father having AB and O blood group respectively
1. Can give birth to a child with an AB blood group.
2. Cannot give birth to a child with O blood group
3. Can give birth to a child with B blood group
4. Cannot give birth to a child with A blood group
Select the correct statements using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Within the ABO Blood Group system, the A and B genes are co-dominant, i.e. these will be expressed whenever the gene is present. The O gene is silent and only expressed when neither A nor B is present.

  • Each of us has two ABO blood type alleles because we each inherit one blood type allele from our biological mother and one from our biological father. A description of the pair of alleles in our DNA is called the genotype. Since there are three different alleles, there are a total of six different genotypes at the human ABO genetic locus. The different possible genotypes are AA, AO, BB, BO, AB, and OO.

  • If someone has blood type A, they must have at least one copy of the A allele, but they could have two copies. Their genotype is either AA or AO. Similarly, someone who is blood type B could have a genotype of either BB or BO. A blood test of either type AB or type O is more informative. Someone with blood type AB must have both the A and B alleles. The genotype must be AB. Someone with blood type O has neither the A nor the B allele. The genotype must be OO.

  • Each biological parent donates one of their two ABO alleles to their child. A father who is blood type O can only pass an O allele to her son or daughter. A mother who is blood type AB could pass either an A or a B allele to his son or daughter. This couple could have children of either blood type A (O from mother and A from father) or blood type B (O from mother and B from father).


 

  • From the above table it is clear that Mother and Father having AB and O blood group can only give birth to children with either A or B blood group. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 62

Which of the following correctly describes "Ecological opportunity”?

Solution:
  • Ecological opportunity is the availability of ecologically accessible resources that may be evolutionarily exploited

  • It includes the biotic and abiotic conditions that both permit the persistence of a lineage within a community, as well as generate divergent natural selection within that lineage.

  • The ecological opportunity arises from two fundamental elements
    (i) Niche availability: the ability of a population with a phenotype previously absent from a community to persist within that community
    (ii) Niche discordance: the diversifying selection generated by the adaptive mismatch between a population's niche-related traits and the newly encountered ecological conditions.

QUESTION: 63

This is the only wetland cat species in India. It is classified as vulnerable under the IUCN Red List. In India, it is largely restricted to the floodplains of the various rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Sundarbans Delta, etc. It is the state animal of West Bengal.
Which of the following cat species is being described in the above passage?

Solution:
  • The Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia.
    (i) It is a symbolic species of floodplains, deltas and coastal wetlands of South and Southeast Asia. They have a patchy distribution from Sind in Pakistan to Cambodia. The South Asian countries of India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka hold the core of the global Fishing Cat population. It is the only wetland cat found in India. In India, it is largely restricted to the floodplains of Ganga, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Sundarbans Delta and smaller coastal wetlands along the Bay of Bengal formed by Mahanadi, Godavari and Krishna rivers,
    (ii) Since 2016, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
    (iii) Fishing cat populations are threatened by the destruction of wetlands and have declined severely over the last decade.
    (iv) It is the state animal of West Bengal since 2012.

  • Leopard cat is a small wild cat native to continental South, Southeast and East Asia. Since 2002 it has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List as it is widely distributed although threatened by habitat loss and hunting in parts of its range.

  • Marbled cat is a small wild cat native from the eastern Himalayas to Southeast Asia, where it inhabits forests up to 2,500 m (8,200 ft) altitude. As it is present in a large range, it has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2015. The marbled cat was once considered to belong to the pantherine lineage of cats. It is closely related to the Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) and the bay cat (C. badia), all of which diverged from other felids about 9.4 million years ago

  • The Asian golden cat is a medium-sized wild cat native to the northeastern Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and southern China. It has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2008, and is threatened by hunting pressure and habitat loss, since Southeast Asian forests are undergoing the world’s fastest regional deforestation. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 64

 What of the following best describes the concept of 'Green GDP' (Gross Domestic Product)?

Solution:
  • Green GDP is a term used for expressing GDP after adjusting for environmental damage.

  • The process of environmental accounting involves three steps viz.
    (i) Physical accounting: Physical accounting determines the state of the resources, types, and extent (qualitative and quantitative) in spatial and temporal terms.
    (ii) Monetary valuation: Monetary valuation is done to determine its tangible and intangible components.
    (iii) Integration with National Income/wealth Accounts: The net change in natural resources in monetary terms is integrated into the Gross Domestic Product in order to reach the value of Green GDP

  • When information on the economy’s use of the natural environment is integrated into the system of national accounts, it becomes green national accounts or environmental accounting. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 65

In the context of India's medieval history, which of the following is/are correct with reference to Jahangir's reign?
1. The Hindu rulers were given high ranks in the Mughal aristocracy.
2. The painter Ustad Mansur worked during his reign.
3. The Sikh Guru Arjun Dev was executed at his orders.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Akbar was succeeded by his son, Salim, who took the title of Jehangir, meaning "Conqueror of the World”.

  • Relations with Sikhs were strained during his reign, and the fifth of the ten Sikh gurus, Arjun Dev, was executed at Jehangir’s orders for giving aid and comfort to Khusrau, Jehangir’s rebellious son.

  • Jahangir’s dealings with the Hindu rulers of Rajasthan were more successful, and he could settle the conflicts inherited from his father. Three military campaigns led to negotiations and were settled on generous terms. The Hindu rulers accepted Mughal supremacy but kept their territories and possessions and were given high ranks in the Mughal aristocracy.

  • Jahangir built on his father's foundations of excellent administration, and his reign was characterized by political stability, a strong economy, and impressive cultural achievements. Lahore, Delhi, Agra, and Ahmadabad became leading cities of the world.

  • Jahangir's interest in the painting also served his scientific interests in nature. The painter Ustad Mansur became one of the best artists to document animals and plants which Jahangir either encountered on his military exhibitions or received as donations from emissaries of other countries.

  • Hence all the statements are correct.

QUESTION: 66

Consider the following statements regarding the TRAFFIC network:
1. It is a non-governmental organization working in monitoring global wildlife trade of both fauna and flora.
2. It is under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
3. India is a member of TRAFFIC.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Recent Context: TRAFFIC report "Indian wildlife amidst the COVID-19 crisis: An analysis of poaching and illegal wildlife trade" in June indicated that despite consistent efforts by law enforcement agencies, wild animal populations in India are under additional threat during the lockdown period. It reported wildlife poaching in India more than doubles during COVID-19 lockdown.

  • Trade-Related Analysis of Fauna and Flora in Commerce (TRAFFIC) a wildlife trade monitoring network, is the leading non-governmental organization working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

  • TRAFFIC was established in 1976 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to respond to the growing threats posed by illegal wildlife trade and overexploitation. It is not a bureau under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

  • India became its member in 1991. Hence option (c) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 67

In the context of industrial disaster, the 'Principle of no-fault liability is provided under which of the following Acts?

Solution:
  • Generally, a person is liable for his own wrongful acts and one does not incur any liability for the acts done by others. If an individual commits a fault, he is liable for it. However, there is a principle that claims an individual liable without his being at fault. This is the 'no-fault liability principle'

  • Section 3 of the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 provides for ’no-fault liability principle’. It reads as
    (i) Where death or injury to any person (other than a workman) or damage to any property has resulted from an accident, the owner shall be liable to give such relief as is specified in the Schedule for such death, injury or damage.
    (ii) This act has the major aim of providing immediate relief to the persons affected by accident occurring while handling any hazardous substances for matters connected with the incident. It has the goal of providing public liability insurance.
    (iii) This act says that every owner who works with hazardous substances and hires employees to control those dangerous things, shall have policies and insurances where he will be insured against liability to give relief in case of death or injury to a person or damage to property arising from the accident caused while carrying on the hazardous activities.

  • National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 provides for the application of the principle of no-fault while determining the liability of the responsible person to provide relief or compensation to the affected persons.

  • Recently, NGT held that LG Polymers India has absolute liability for the loss of life caused by a gas leak at its factory in Visakhapatnam. Hence option (d) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 68

Regarding modem Indian history, which of the following is/are not correct regarding the Poona Pact?

Solution:
  • The Poona Pact refers to an agreement between Mahatma Gandhi and Babasaheb Ambedkar on behalf of depressed classes and upper-caste Hindu leaders on the reservation of electoral seats for the depressed classes in the legislature of British India government in 1930. It was made on 24 September 1932 at Yerwada Central Jail in Poona, India. Hence statement (a) is correct.

  • The Poona Pact abandoned the idea of separate electorates for the depressed classes. Hence statement (c) is correct.

  • But the seats reserved for the depressed classes were increased from 71 to 147 in provincial legislatures and to 18 percent of the total in the Central Legislature. Hence statement (b) is not correct.

  • The Poona Pact was accepted by the government as an amendment to the Communal Award. Hence statement (d) is correct.

QUESTION: 69

Which of the following are PM Van Dhan Yojana's aims and objectives?
1. To increase and preserve forest and tree cover in India.
2. To convert the traditional knowledge & skill sets of tribals into a viable economic activity by using technology.
3. To set-up tribal community owned Minor Forest Produce (MFP) Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in predominantly tribal districts.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY): PMVDY is an initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of forest i.e. Van Dhan. The programme aims to tap into traditional knowledge & skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT to upgrade it at each stage and to convert the tribal wisdom into a viable economic activity. The initiative shall provide enhanced livelihood to about 45 lakhs tribal gatherers in one year. It is implemented by TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Hence statement 1 is not correct and statement 2 is correct.

  • The Van Dhan initiative shall promote and leverage the collective strength of tribals to achieve a viable scale to take on the predatory market forces in the areas where these are still prevalent.

  • It aims to set-up tribal community owned Minor Forest Produce (MFP)-centric multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (the Kendra) in predominantly tribal districts. About 6000 Van Dhan Kendras are proposed to be set up in span of 2 years i.e. 3000 Kendras to be set-up in each year, which will be further continued based on evaluation of their performance and also expanded every year. Hence statement 3 is correct.

  • Essential Features of the PMVDY:
    (i) The State Nodal Department will have the flexibility to appoint any State Implementing Agency / District Implementing Unit for implementation of the PMVDY in the State and District levels,
    (ii) The Kendras would act as common facility centres for procurement cum value addition to locally available MFPs. Value addition of raw produce is expected to increase the share of tribals in the value chain to 70-75% (from the present share of 20-25%).
    (iii) A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra shall constitute of 15 tribal Van Dhan Self Help Groups (SHG), each comprising of up to 20 MFP gatherers i.e. about 300 beneficiaries per Kendra (subject to variability as per local conditions).

  • Additional Information about Van Dhan Kendras - Key features of Van Dhan Kendras:
    (i) The Van Dhan SHGs would belong to contiguous area, preferably in same or near-by villages
    (ii)  At least 50% beneficiaries of the SHG shall be tribal and the SHG shall be led by a tribal member
    (iii) Preference to be given to convergence with functional SHGs promoted under Aajeevika Mission/JFMCs/ LAMPS/ Other Tribal Collectives with majority tribal members

  • The endeavor would be to identify a cluster of 2-3 Aajeevika SHGs/ primary level societies/ collectives (as the case may be) operating preferably in the same or near-by villages as a Van Dhan SHG for the training and equipment supply.

  • Each Van Dhan SHG would be given a unique name although the Aajeevika SHGs within the Van Dhan SHG will continue to be identified by their respective Aajeevika SHG IDs.

  • The Aajeevika SHGs will also continue to use their Aajeevika bank accounts for working capital requirements for the purpose of Van Dhan operations. The Van Dhan SHG may also open a new bank account for this purpose in case the need is felt by the SHG members.
    (i) The technology component under the PMVDY will focus on optimization of human capital that will be the touchstone of the technology choice exercised.
    (ii) It shall also trigger setting-up of standards of quality and benchmarks for replication at each stage of value addition to MFPs.
    (iii) Pricing of value added products will be market driven and would be derived based on contextual factors.
    (iv) Setting up of Demo Processing Units that will act as showcasing center for all the other VDVKs in the region & across country.

QUESTION: 70

Regarding Albuquerque, consider the following statements:
1. He acquired Goa from the Marathas.
2. He was able to secure for Portugal the strategic control of the Indian Ocean.
3. In order to secure a permanent Portuguese population in India, he encouraged his men to take local wives.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Albuquerque, who succeeded Almeida as the Portuguese governor in India, was the real founder of the Portuguese power in the East, a task he completed before his death. He secured for Portugal the strategic control of the Indian Ocean by establishing bases overlooking all the entrances to the sea. There were Portuguese strongholds in East Africa, off the Red Sea, at Ormuz; in Malabar; and at Malacca. The Portuguese, under Albuquerque, bolstered their stranglehold by introducing a permit system for other ships and exercising control over the major ship-building centers in the region. Hence statement 2 is correct.

  • Albuquerque acquired Goa from the Sultan of Bijapur in 1510 with ease; the principal port of the Sultan of Bijapur became “the first bit of Indian territory to be under the Europeans since the time of Alexander the Great”. An interesting feature of his rule was the abolition of sati. Hence statement 1 is not correct.

  • The Portuguese men who had come on the voyages and stayed back in India were, from Albuquerque’s day, encouraged to take local wives in order to secure a permanent Portuguese population in India. Hence statement 3 is correct.

QUESTION: 71

The 5G network architecture's success highly depends on network slicing. What do you understand by the term '5G network slicing'?

Solution:
  • Network slicing is the separation of multiple virtual networks that operate on the same physical hardware for different applications, services or purposes. This form of virtual network architecture combines principles behind software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) on a fixed network to increase flexibility. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.

  • The reliance on network slicing is one of the most innovative aspects of the 5G architecture. In this virtualized network scenario, physical components are secondary and logical (software-based) partitions are paramount, devoting capacity to certain purposes dynamically, according to need. As needs change, so can the devoted resources. Using common resources such as storage and processors, network slicing permits the creation of slices devoted to logical, self-contained, and partitioned network functions.

QUESTION: 72

Which of the following best describes the term ’Climate change velocity?

Solution:
  • The current and future climate change impacts biodiversity across different spatial and temporal scales.

  • The ranges of plants and animals are gradually undergoing a change in the context of changing climatic factors.

  • Species survival depends on how much they keep pace with moving climates. The rate of climate displacement is calculated by the Climate change velocity.

  • It is a vector depiction of the used for assessing climate change impacts.
    - It is defined as the speed at which species will need to migrate in order to stay in the same enveloped climatic condition.

  • Various climatic factors play a different role in causing displacement. For example, if the displacement is due to temperature vagaries, then it is unclassified as temperature velocity, and if due to precipitation, then it is uncategorized as appreciation velocity.

  • Owing to topographic effects, the velocity of temperature change is lowest in mountainous biomes such as tropical and subtropical coniferous forests (0.08 km/yr), temperate coniferous forest, and montane grasslands. Velocities are highest in flooded grasslands (1.26 km/yr), mangroves and deserts

  • Also, various species depict different individualistic responses to recent climate change parameters.

QUESTION: 73

Consider the following statements regarding the Arms Trade Treaty:
1. It is a UN-based treaty to prevent the use of conventional weapons for war crimes and human rights abuses.
2. It places restrictions on the types or quantities of arms that may be bought, sold, or possessed by states.
3. India has signed this treaty.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Recent Context: China has shown interest in joining the Arms Trade Treaty.

  • The UN General Assembly adopted a historic Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on 2 April 2013. This is the first-ever global treaty to establish international norms aiming to prevent conventional weapons from being used for war crimes and human rights abuses, or being diverted for illegal use by criminals. In other words, it was the first legally binding treaty to regulate the international trade in conventional arms. It regulates the international trade in conventional arms - from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • The ATT does not place restrictions on the types or quantities of arms that may be bought, sold, or possessed by states. It also does not impact a state’s domestic gun control laws or other firearm ownership policies. Hence statement 2 is not correct.

  • Its objectives include:
    (i) Establish the highest possible common international standards for regulating or improving the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms
    (ii) Prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion.

  •  It has 102 states parties (Lebanon joined recently) and an additional 34 signatories, including the United States, which had signed but did not formally ratify the treaty. Countries that neither signed nor ratified included Russia, China, India, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Hence statement 3 is not correct.

QUESTION: 74

With reference to the Sanyasi revolt during the British rule, consider the following statements:
1. It took place in and around the Awadh region in Central India.
2. The immediate cause of the revolt was the restrictions imposed by the British upon pilgrims visiting holy places.
3. The novel Anandamath, by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, is based on it.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The disastrous famine of 1770 and the harsh economic order of the British compelled a group of sanyasis in Eastern India (in and around Bengal) to fight the British yoke. However, the immediate cause of the rebellion was the restrictions imposed by the British upon pilgrims visiting holy places among both Hindus and Muslims. Hence statement 1 is not correct and statement 2 is correct.

  • Originally peasants, even some evicted from land, these sanyasis were joined by a large number of dispossessed small zamindars, disbanded soldiers and rural poor.

  • They raided Company factories and the treasuries, and fought the Company’s forces. It was only after a prolonged action that Warren Hastings could subdue the sanyasis.

  • Equal participation of Hindus and Muslims characterised the uprisings, sometimes referred to as the Fakir Rebellion.

  • Majnum Shah (or Majnu Shah), Chirag Ali, Musa Shah, Bhawani Pathak and Debi Chaudhurani were important leaders. Debi Chaudhurani’s participation recognises the women’s role in early resistances against the British.

  • Anandamath, a semi-historical novel by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, is based on the Sanyasi Revolt. Bankim Chandra also wrote a novel, Devi Chaudhurani, as he saw the importance of women too taking up the struggle against an alien rule that posed a threat to traditional Indian values. Hence statement 3 is correct.

QUESTION: 75

 The Constitution of India provides Governors of which of the following states “shall have special responsibility for law and order”?
1. Assam
2. Mizoram
3. Nagaland
4. Arunachal Pradesh
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Article 371-A makes the following special provisions for Nagaland
    (i) The Acts of Parliament relating to the following matters would not apply to Nagaland unless the State Legislative Assembly so decides:
    - religious or social practices of the Nagas;
    - Naga customary law and procedure;
    - administration of civil and criminal justice according to Naga customary law; and
    - ownership and transfer of land and its resources.
    (ii) The Governor of Nagaland shall have special responsibility for law and order in the state so long as internal disturbances caused by the hostile Nagas continue. This special responsibility of the Governor shall cease when the President so directs.

  • Under Article 371-B, the President is empowered to provide for the creation of a committee of the Assam Legislative Assembly consisting of the members elected from the Tribal Areas of the state.

  • Article 371-G specifies the following special provisions for Mizoram:
    (i) The Acts of Parliament relating to the following matters would not apply to Mizoram unless the State Legislative Assembly so decides:
    (i) religious or social practices of the Mizos;
    (ii) Mizo customary law and procedure;
    (iii) administration of civil and criminal justice according to Mizo customary law; and
    (iv) ownership and transfer of land.
    (v) The Mizoram Legislative Assembly is to consist of not less than 40 members.

  • Under Article 371-H, the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh shall have special responsibility for law and order in the state. Hence option (c) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 76

 Which of the following are headed by Prime Minister?
1. National Board for Wildlife
2. National Disaster Management Authority
3. The Governing Council of NITI Aayog
4. The Civil Services Board
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The National Board for Wildlife is chaired by the Prime Minister according to the Wild life Protection Act (WLPA), 1972. The NBWL has 47 members including the chairperson. Among these, 19 members are ex-officio members. Under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA), the NBWL can constitute a Standing Committee and the board has to meet at least twice a year. The Standing Committee’s function is to regulate land diversion within Protected Areas and Eco Sensitive Zones, making it a purely project clearance body.

  • The National Disaster Management Authority has been constituted under the Disaster Management Act 2005, with the Prime Minister of India as its Chairman; a Vice Chairman with the status of Cabinet Minister, and eight members with the status of Ministers of State. NDMA, as the apex body, is mandated to lay down the policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure timely and effective response to disasters.

  • National Institution for Transforming India or NITI Aayog was constituted in January, 2015, to serve as the think tank of the Government of India with a Cabinet resolution. The Governing Council of NITI Aayog, comprises of following members
    (i) Prime Minister as the Chairperson,
    (ii) Ex-officio Members, Vice-Chairman and Full time Members of NIIT Aayog,
    (iii) Chief Ministers of All States/UTs,
    (iv) Lt. Governor of Andaman and Nicobar

  • The Cabinet Secretary is the top-most executive official and senior-most civil servant of the Government of India. The Cabinet Secretary is the ex-officio head of the Civil Services Board, the Cabinet Secretariat, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), and all civil services under the rules of business of the government. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.

QUESTION: 77

Consider the following statements with respect to the National Ganga Council:
1. It was constituted under the River Boards Act, 1956.
2. It has the power to co-opt Chief Ministers of States having major tributaries of River Ganga as members.
3. The Union of Jal Shakti's minister acts as the ex-officio chairman of the Council.
4. It is responsible for developing and controlling the entire Ganga River basin.
Which of the statements given above are correct?

Solution:
  • The Environment Protection Act, 1986 envisages 5 tier structure to take measures for prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in river Ganga.
    (i) National Ganga Council under chairmanship of Prime Minister of India.
    (ii) Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga under chairmanship of Union Minister of Jal Shakti
    (iii) National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG). o State Ganga Committees and
    (iv) District Ganga Committees in every specified district abutting river Ganga and its tributaries in the states.

  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act 1860. It acts as implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA), 1986. In 2016 the EPA Act was amended to replace NGRBA with National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (referred as National Ganga Council). Hence National Ganga Council was constituted under Environment Protection Act, 1986. Hence statement 1 is not correct.

  • The National Ganga Council consists of
    (i) Prime Minister as ex-officio Chairman,
    (ii) Union Minister for Jal Shakti as ex-officio Vice-Chairman,
    (iii) Other Ministers of Related Union Ministries as ex-officio members,
    (iv) Chief Ministers of Ganga River Basin states as ex-officio members,
    (v) In addition, The National Ganga Council may co-opt one or more Chief Ministers from the States not represented in the National Ganga Council having major tributaries of River Ganga, which are likely to affect the water quality in the River Ganga, as Members. Hence statement 2 is correct and statement 3 is not correct.

  • The National Ganga Council is responsible for the superintendence, direction, development and control of River Ganga and the entire River Basin (including financial and administrative matters) for the protection, prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in River Ganga and its rejuvenation to its natural and pristine condition and to ensure continuous adequate flow of water in the River Ganga and for matters connected therewith. Hence statement 4 is correct.

QUESTION: 78

Which of the following will increase the greenhouse effect?
1. Increase in the albedo of the upper atmosphere
2. Addition of water vapor to the atmosphere
3. Jhum cultivation
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The greenhouse effect is a process that occurs when gases in Earth's atmosphere trap the Sun's heat. This process makes Earth much warmer than it would be without an atmosphere.
    - An increase in the albedo of the upper atmosphere reduces the mean atmospheric temperature reducing the greenhouse effect. Hence option 1 is not correct.

  • Albedo is a measure of how much light that hits a surface is reflected without being absorbed,(i) Addition of water vapor in the atmosphere leads to more trapping of solar radiation because water vapor is also a greenhouse gas. Hence option 2 is correct.
    (ii) Cloud Formation: Clouds tend to increase the albedo or reflectivity of the atmosphere. It further reduces the amount of incident radiation on the Earth’s surface thus mitigating the greenhouse effect.
    (iii) Jhum cultivation, also known as the slash and burn agriculture, is the process of growing crops by first clearing the land of trees and vegetation and burning them thereafter. It leads to deforestation and a decrease in the overall carbon absorption by the trees. A higher concentration of greenhouse gases leads to the greenhouse effect. Hence option 3 is correct.

QUESTION: 79

Consider the following statements with respect to the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI):
1. It is a statutory body functioning under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
2. Only members of a minority community shall be qualified for appointment as a Chairperson.
3. The Commission is a quasi-judicial body and has been endowed with a civil court's powers.
Which of the statements given above are correct?

Solution:
  • The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) was established through the promulgation of an Ordinance which was replaced by NCMEI Act passed by the Parliament in December 2004. It functions under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • The Commission shall consist of a Chairperson and three members to be nominated by the Central Government. A person shall not be qualified for appointment as the Chairperson unless he is a member of a minority community; and has been a Judge of a High Court. A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Member unless he is a member of a minority community; and is a person of eminence, ability and integrity. Hence statement 2 is correct.

  • The Commission is mandated to look into specific complaints regarding deprivation or violation of rights of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice (Article 30).

  • This Commission is a quasi-judicial body and has been endowed with the powers of a civil court. Hence statement 3 is correct. The Commission has 3 roles namely adjudicatory function, advisory function and recommendatory powers:
    (i) So far as affiliation of a minority educational institution to a university is concerned, the decision of the Commission would be final.
    (ii) The Commission has powers to advise the Central Government or any State Government on any question relating to the education of minorities that may be referred to it.
    (iii) The Commission can make recommendations to the Central Government and the State Governments regarding any matter which directly or indirectly deprives the minority community of their educational rights enshrined in Article 30.

QUESTION: 80

Consider the following statements in the context of parallel government established in Tamluk during Quit India movement:
1. A parallel government set up in Tamluk was named as "Jathiya Sarkar”.
2. It had a trained volunteer corps called Baghinisena and a women’s volunteer corps called Bidyut Bahini.
3. Biplabi was its mouthpiece, used for propaganda.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • Among the “national govemments/parallel governments” which were formed in some areas during Quit India Movement was the "Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar" established at Tamluk in Bengal on 17 December 1942, under the leadership of Satish Chandra Samanta. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

  • It was also announced on that day of establishment of Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar that the National government would be established at the Thana level on 26 January 1943.

  • A separate volunteer force consisting of young men was set up in Tamluk, Mahishadal, Sutahata, and Nandigram. This force was imparted special training in military warfare, guerrilla tactics, sudden attack and self-defense. This militia was named as ‘Bidyut Bahini’. Subsequently, women volunteers were also recruited and they were given the name of “Bhagini Sena”. Hence statement 2 is not correct.

  • The mouthpiece of the parallel government was "Biplabi". Hence statement 3 is correct.

  • The famous freedom fighter, Sushil Kumar Dhara was the moulder, founder, and commander-in-chief of the ‘Bidyut Bahini’ and "Bhagini Sena”.

  • The national government which functioned within the limits laid down by the congress committee kept on functioning till 8 August 1944. It was dissolved at the instance of Gandhi.

QUESTION: 81

Consider the following statements with respect to genetic makeup in human beings:
1. Mitochondrial DNA in a child is inherited exclusively from the father whereas Nuclear DNA is inherited exclusively from the mother.
2. In a three-parent baby, child's DNA has an equal proportion of DNA from each parent.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • A chromosome is a DNA molecule with part or all of the genetic material of an organism. Passed from parents to offspring, DNA contains the specific instructions that make each type of living creature unique.

  • At conception, a person receives DNA from both the father and mother. We each have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Of each pair, one was received from the father and one was received from the mother.

  • These 23 pairs of chromosomes are known as nuclear DNA because, with the exception of red blood cells, they reside in the nucleus of every cell in our body.

  • Mitochondrial DNA is the DNA located in mitochondria, cellular organelles within eukaryotic cells that convert chemical energy from food into a form that cells can use. adenosine triphosphate (ATP), It is generally accepted that mitochondrial DNA is inherited from mother only in contrast with nuclear DNA which is inherited from both the parents. However recent studies suggests that it can be inherited from both the parents. Hence statement 1 is not correct.

  • Three-parent baby is a human offspring produced from the genetic material of one man and two women through the use of assisted reprodusive technologies. specifically mitochondrial manipulation (or replacement) technologies and three-person in virto fertization (IVF).

  • In three-parent procedure, a monther-to-be carrying faulty mitochondria can opt to have her nuclear DNA removed from her eggs and implanted into a donor egg carrying healthy mitochondria. The egg is then fertilised with sperm from the father before being implanted into the mother's uterus for pregnancy to continue as usual. The term 'three parent baby slightly misleading, as the child does not have an equal proportion of DNA from each parent . Rather, the majority of the child's DNA is from his parents, with only a small fraction coining from the mitochondria of the donor egg or third parent Hence statement 2 is not correct.

QUESTION: 82

Consider the following statements with reference to Micro Small & Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006:
1. Enterprises of the manufacturing sector are categorized into Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise based only on their plant and machinery investment.
2. It does not cover the micro and small enterprise in the service sector.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The Micro. Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act was notified in 2006 to address policy issues affecting MSMEs as well as the coverage and investment ceiling of the sector. The Act provides the first-ever legal framework for recognition of the concept of “enterprise” which comprises both manufacturing and service entities. It defines medium enteiprises for the first time and seeks to integrate the three tiers of these enterprises, namely, micro, small and medium. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.

  • Recently, the central government has revised the definition of micro, small and medium enterprises in accordance with the provision of Micro, Small & Medium Enteiprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006, Following is the criteria for the classification of micro, small and medium enterprises for both manufacturing and service enterprise:
    - a micro-enterprise, where the investment in Plant and Machinery or Eqtiipment does not exceed one crorc rupees and turnover does not exceed five crore rupees:
    - a small enterprise, where the investment in Plant and Machinery or Equipment does not exceed ten crore rupees and turnover does not exceed fifty crore rupees; o a medium enterprise, where the investment in Plant and Machinery or Equipment does not exceed fifty crore rupees and turnover does not exceed two hundred and fifty crore rupees.

  • Heace. under the new definition, the Manufacturing Enterprise is defined based on the criteria of investment in plant & machinery and annual turnover. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.

  • While calculating the investment in plant and machinery, the cost of pollution control, research and development, industrial safety devices and such other items as may be specified, by notification, shall be excluded.

QUESTION: 83

 Which of the following was/were the cause(s) of the Great Bengal Famine of 1943?
1. Scanty rainfall in the 1940s and a prolonged drought-like situation
2. Refugee influx from Burma.
3. Hoarding and speculation of grains.
4. Government's procurement policy for military requirements.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The 1943 famine in Bengal, which killed up to 3 million people, was different from the other famines of the time as it was highly the result of British government’s policy failures. Heace, it can be rightly stated as a man-made famine.

  • It is estimated to have caused over three million deaths.

  • Instead of scanty rainfall, the region suffered a devastating Midnapore cyclone, that destroyed the rice paddy stocks. Hence option 1 is not correct.

  • Various other factors that led to the roughest famine of the century are:
    (i) Breakdown of already vulnerable rice marketing system, leading to hoarding and speculation. Hence option 3 is correct.
    (ii) Government procurement policy that prioritized official and military requirements over the local needs. Hence opr ion 4 is correct.
    (iii) Refugee influx from Burma into Chittagong Hence option 2 is correct,
    (iv) The disappearance of imported rice from Burma.

  • Scorched earth policy is a military policy meant to deny access to anything that might be useful to the enemy. It was not used by British in India, But. with the advancement of Japan into south-east Asia and Burma, it was seen as a possible choice that the British would resort to.

QUESTION: 84

Recently launched 'Decarbonising Transport in India Project' is an initiative of

Solution:
  • NITI Aayog in collaboration with International Transport Forum has recently launched the ’Decarbonising Transport in India* project.

  • It intends to develop a pathway towards a low-carbon transport system for India.

  • It is a part of the Decarbonising Transport in Emerging Economies (DTEE) project.
    (i) It is a project of ITF under which apart from India, currently Argentina, Morocco, and Azerbaijan are the participants.
    (ii) It aims to create a common assessment framework for the decarbonizing transportation system for several modes of transport and its sub-sectors.
    (iii) This framework will be created based on the inputs from the participating countries and their specific model in decarbonizing transport,

  • International Transport Forum (ITF)
    (i) It is an intergovernmental orgamzation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED).
    (ii) It is a think tank for transport policy issues,
    (iii) It is headquartered in Paris, France,
    (iv) India has been a member of ITF since 2008.

QUESTION: 85

Which of the following is likely to happen if the reverse repo rate is increased?

Solution:
  • Reverse repo rate is the rate at which the Reserve Bank of India borrows money from commercial banks within the country. It is a monetary policy instrument which can be used to control the money supply in the country.

  • In other words, it is the rate at which commercial banks in India park their excess money with Reserve Bank of India usually for a short-term.

  • If there is excess liquidity in the banking system. RBI may decide to increase the reverse repo rate. When there is a hike in reverse repo rate, banks can earn higher interest on their excess funds deposited with the Reserve Bank of India. This is a safer investment option for banks so the overall flow of money into the markets will be decreased as more of the bank's surplus funds are deposited with RBI instead of being lent out. Therefore, an increase in the reverse repo rate will decrease the money supply in the economy. Hence, option (c) is correct.

  • When RBI increases the Reverse Repo Rate, banks may increase lending rates since it is more profitable to invest in low-risk government-backed securities as against lending money to people.

  • RBI increases the Reverse Repo Rate so as to incentivise the banks to deposit surplus funds with it to earn higher interest on them, It reduces the supply of money in the system, thus controlling inflation.

  • Higher Reverse Repo Rate reduces the money supply in the market as the banks park then’ surplus cash with the RBI to earn attractive returns as against lending to individuals and businesses. It reduces the supply of money in the system, thereby boosting the strength of the rupee.

QUESTION: 86

With reference to the National Geo-Heritage Sites, consider the following statements:
1. They are areas of national importance notified by the National Biodiversity Authority.
2. The Central Government is responsible to protect these sites.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The National Geo-Heritage Monument are areas of national importance for protection, maintenance, promotion and enhancement of geotourism.

  • They are notified by the Geological Survey of India (GSI). Hence, statement 1 is not correct.

  • There are 34 National Geo-Heritage Monuments in India.

  • The GSI or respective state governments are responsible to protect these sites. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.

  • Some of the prominent sites are Lonar lake, Shivalik Fossil Park, Peninsular Gneiss of Lalbagh, Ramgarh crater, Zawar lead-zinc mine etc.

  • Recently the Lonar lake at Buldhana district had turned pink which has raised various environmental concerns.

QUESTION: 87

Which of the statements is not correct with respect to Rajya Sabha's nominated members?
1. They are not entitled to vote in the election of President but can vote in the election of Vice-President.
2. The Anti-Defection law is not applicable to nominated members.
3. They are exempted from filing assets and liabilities under Representation of Peoples Act, 1951.
4. They can select any district from any State for implementation of works under MPLADS.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The president nominates 12 members to the Rajya Sabha from people who have special knowledge or practical experience in art, literature, science and social service.

  • The electoral college for Vice-President is different from the electoral college for the election of the President in the following two respects:
    (i) It consists of both elected and nominated members of the Parliament (in the case of president, only elected members). Hence statement 1 is correct,
    (ii) It does not include the members of the state legislative assemblies (in the case of President, the elected members of the state legislative assemblies are included.

  • A nominated member of Rajya Sabha has been exempted from filing his assets and liabilities under Section 75A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 which requires the elected member to do so within 90 days of his making or subscribing oath/affirmation. Hence statement 3 is correct.

  • The Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select any one or more Districts from any one State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme. Hence statement 4 is correct.

  • Under Anti-Defection law, a nominated member of a House becomes disqualified for being a member of the House if he joins any political party after the expiry of six months from the date on which he takes his seat in the House. This means that he may join any political party within six months of taking his seat in the House without inviting this disqualification. Hence statement 2 is not correct.

QUESTION: 88

With reference to medieval Indian history, consider the following statements regarding Balban:
1. The commencement of the construction of Qutab Minar which started earlier was completed during Balban’s reign.
2. Balban ordered his officials to observe ’sijda’ and ’paibos’ as the normal form of salutation for the king.
3. He discriminated against low-born people and reserved important offices only for people with a noble background.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct.

Solution:
  • Balban had realized that without the restoration of the crown’s prestige which had sunk low during the rule of weak successors of Iltutmish, no better and effective government could be possible. He also knew that this could be restored through the policy of absolute despotism. He believed that absolute despotism alone could exact obedience from his subjects and ensure the security of the country. Balban made a distinction between the high born and the low born and refused to come into contact with the low bom or to appoint them to any office in the administration, He dismissed low-bom people from all important offices.” Hence statement 3 is correct.

  • He ordered for Sijda (prostration) and paibos (feet- kissing) as the normal form of Salutation for the king. He prohibited drinking, jokes, laugh, and even smile among the courtiers and officers. He himself also gave up wine and merry-making. He also dismissed all low-bom persons from important offices of his administration. Thus Balban by displaying his power, authority and dignity struck terror in the hearts of the people and made them submissive. This was the right step at that time for the restoration of the crown’s prestige. Hence statement 2 is correct.

  • He ended the influence of the Corp of Forty. The Forty a select body of Turkish nobles was created by Iltutmish for better and effective administration. The members of this body were chosen on the basis of loyalty and meritorious service. But after Iltutmish, the members of the Forty enjoyed unlimited power due to his weak and incompetent successors. They considered the Sultan just a puppet in their hands. Balban clearly knew that in the path of his despotism, the Forty would be a great obstruction. And without its destruction, he could not achieve his goal. So he planned to bring them under control by destroying their organisation.

  • Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar in 1200 AD, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmish, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlaq constructed the fifth and the last storey. Hence statement 1 is not correct.

QUESTION: 89

With reference to the Indian National Movement, which of the following is/are correct with reference to the moderates?
1. They supported the idea of industrial development through the involvement of Indian capital and enterprise.
2. They campaigned for the Indianisation of government service.
3. They demanded better treatment for Indian labor abroad in other British colonies where they faced racial discrimination.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The Moderates were able to create an all-India public opinion that British rule in India was the major cause of India’s poverty and economic backwardness.

  • To mitigate the deprivation characterizing Indian life, the early nationalists demanded severance of India’s economic subservience to Britain and the development of an independent economy through the involvement of Indian capital and enterprise.

  • The Moderates campaigned on the following grounds for the Indianisation of government service:
    (i) on the economic grounds that British civil servants got very high emoluments while the inclusion of Indians would be more economical;
    (ii) on political grounds that, since salaries of British bureaucrats were remitted back home and pensions paid in England (all drawn from Indian revenue), this amounted to the economic drain of national resources; and on moral grounds that Indians were being discriminated against by being kept away from positions of trust and responsibility.

  • They campaigned to demand better treatment for Indian labor abroad in other British colonies, where they faced oppression and racial discrimination.

  • Other demands of the moderates were:
    (i) The plea for the extension of the legislative council that would lead to the popular control of the administration.
    (ii) Removal of restriction on freedom of the press and the speech,
    (ii) Abolition of arms act which breaches the freedom of people
    (iii) The separation of the judiciary from the executive
    (iv) Supported Democracy and Nationalism
    (v) Exploitative relation of the British could be exempted. Hence all the statements are correct.

QUESTION: 90

Which of the following is/are the negative climate feedback?
1. Increased cloud thickness
2. Ocean warming
3. Melting of glacial ice
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Feedback loops come in two flavors: positive and negative. A negative feedback loop reduces the effect of change and helps maintain balance. A positive feedback loop increases the effect of the change and produces instability. In this case, the positive and negative naming of the loops does not indicate whether the feedback is good or bad. In climate change, a feedback loop is something that speeds up or slows down a warming trend. Positive feedback accelerates a temperature rise, whereas negative feedback slows it down.

  • Climate feedbacks are the processes that can either amplify or diminish the effects of climate forcings.

  • Some of the feedbacks are as follows:
    Cloud cover: The increased cloud thickness or amount could reduce incoming solar radiation and limit warming. Thick low clouds would have a stronger ability to block sunlight than extensive high (cirrus) type clouds. It is negative feedback.
    Ocean warming: The oceans are an important sink for CO2 through the absorption of the gas into the water surface. As CO2 increases, it increases the warming potential of the atmosphere. If air temperatures warm, it should warm the oceans. The ability of the ocean to remove CO2 from the atmosphere decreases with increasing temperature. Because of this, increasing CO2 in the atmosphere could have effects that actually intensify the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. It is positive feedback.
    Melting of glacial ice: Because ice is light-colored and reflective, a large proportion of the sunlight that hits it is bounced back to space, which limits the amount of warming it causes. But as the world gets hotter, ice melts, revealing the darker-colored land or water below. The result is that more of the sun's energy is absorbed, leading to more warming, which in turn leads to more ice melting - and so on. Hence it is positive feedback.

QUESTION: 91

In the eighteenth century, Shah Allam II ascended the Mughal throne and ruled for more than forty years, the third Mughal Emperor to have reigned for more than four decades after Akbar and Aurangzeb. Which of the following events took place during his reign?
1. The decisive Battle of Plassey against the East India Company
2. Nadir Shah's invasion of India
3. Granting of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa's revenue-collecting rights to the East India Company.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • The reign of Shah Alam II (1759-1806) saw two decisive battles—the Third Battle of Panipat (1761) and the Battle of Buxar (1764). Battle of Plassey was fought in 1757. Alamgir II was the Mughal emperor at the time. Hence statement 1 is not correct.

  • In 1765, according to the terms of the Treaty of Allahabad (August 1765), he was taken under the East India Company’s protection and resided at Allahabad.

  • He also issued a firman granting to the Company in perpetuity the Diwani (the right to collect revenue) of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. Hence statement 3 is correct.

  • In 1772, the Marathas took him to Delhi where he lived till 1803. In 1803, he again accepted the protection of the English, after the defeat of Daulat Rao Scindia by the English.

  • Afterward, the Mughal emperors became the pensioners of the English.

  • Nadir Shah’s invaded India during 1738-40 during the reign of Muhammad Shah. Hence statement 2 is not correct.

QUESTION: 92

Consider the following pairs of Space Missions in news and their Objectives:

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

Solution:
  • Solar Orbiter (SolO) is a solar probe, developed by European Space Agency intended to brave the fierce heat and carry its telescopes to 42 million km to the sun, nearly one-quarter of the Earth’s distance from the Sun, where sunlight will be thirteen times more intense than satellites in the vicinity of the Earth feel it. The spacecraft must also endure powerful bursts of atomic particles from explosions in the solar atmosphere. Hence pair 1 is not correctly matched.

  • Spektr-RG is a Russian-German high-energy astrophysics space observatory launched recently. It was intended to replace the Spektr-R, known as the —' 'Russian Hubble”, which Roskosmos said it lost control of in January. Spektr-R was launched in 2011 to observe black holes, neutron stars and magnetic fields. Its successor will take up similar duties. Hence pair 2 is correctly matched.

  • Hayabusa 2 is a Japanese mission launched in December 2014 on a six-year mission to study the asteroid Ryugu and to collect samples to bring to Earth for analysis. The spacecraft deployed two rovers and a small lander onto the surface. Hayabusa 2 fired an impactor into the asteroid in February 2019 to create an artificial crater. This allowed the spacecraft to collect a sample from beneath the surface of the asteroid. Hayabusa 2 will bring the asteroid sample to Earth in 2020. Hence pair 3 is correctly matched.

QUESTION: 93

Ambarnaya river, recently seen in the news, in the context of a major oil spill, is located in:

Solution:
  • Recently, Diesel oil from a huge spill in Russia’s Arctic north has polluted a large freshwater lake and there is a risk it could spread into the Arctic Ocean. It is the worst accident of its kind in modern times in Russia's Arctic region. So far about 21,000 tonnes have contaminated the Ambarnaya river and surrounding subsoil. The Ambarnaya is a river in Siberia that flows in a northerly direction into Lake Pyasino.

  • Investigators believe the storage tank near Norilsk sank because of melting permafrost, which weakened its supports. The Arctic has had weeks of unusually warm weather, probably a symptom of global warming. Lake Pyasino serves as the basin for the Pyasina river, which flows to the Kara Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean. From October to June that river is usually ice-bound. Permafrost is composed of rock, soil, sediments, and varying amounts of ice that bind elements together. Some permafrost is frozen for tens, hundreds, or even thousands of years.

  • The most toxic components of diesel fuel are light aromatics (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene), which in significant quantities, will nevertheless dissolve in water and can in no way be collected.

QUESTION: 94

Which of the following are the benefits of coir, a natural fiber?
1. High durability.
2. Totally biodegradable.
3. Absorbs the excess solar radiation.
4. Reduces Soil erosion.
5. Natural resistance to moisture and microbial attacks.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:
  • Coir is a 100% natural fiber, obtained from a renewable source - the coconut husk.

  • Coir Geo Textile is naturally resistant to rot, molds and moisture, and free from any microbial attack hence it needs no chemical treatment.

  • It has a permeable, natural, and strong fabric with high durability.

  • It protects the land surface and promotes quick vegetation.

  • It is totally biodegradable and helps in soil stabilization.
    - It can dissipate the energy of flowing water, reducing soil erosion
    - It can absorb excess solar radiation.
    Hence all the statements are correct.

  • Recent Context: National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (NRIDA) has recently announced that coir geotextiles will be used for the construction of rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY-III).

  • Geo Textiles are permeable fabrics which, when used in association with soil, have the ability to separate, filter, reinforce, protect, or drain. These are typically made from polypropylene or polyester.

QUESTION: 95

 Consider the following pairs :

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

Solution:
  • Bab-el-Mandeb Strait: Joins Red Sea & Gulf of Aden and is located between Yemen and Djibouti. Hence pair 4 is correctly matched.

  • Strait of Magellan: is a channel linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, between the mainland tip of South America and Tierra del Fuego island. Hence pair 3 is correctly matched.

  • Formosa strait: also known as Taiwan strait, it is located between eastern mainland Asia and the island of Taiwan. The strait connects the East China Sea and the South China Sea and measures approximately 360 km in length. Hence pair 2 is not correctly matched.

  • Lombak strait: is a strait connecting the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean, and is located between the islands of Bali and Lombok in Indonesia. Hence pair 1 is not correctly matched.

QUESTION: 96

"It is an encrypted online content not indexed by conventional search engines. It requires specific software to access. It is sometimes used as online marketplaces for drugs, exchanges for stolen data, and other illegal activities."
Which of the following terms best applies to the above scenario?

Solution:
  • The dark web refers to encrypted online content that is not indexed by conventional search engines. Sometimes, the dark web is also called the dark net. The dark web is a component of the deep web that describes the wider breadth of content that does not appear through regular Internet browsing activities.

  • Specific softwares, such as Tor Browser, are required to reach the dark web. Using the dark web often provides considerably more privacy than just using Tor to access the web. Many dark web sites simply provide standard web services with more secrecy, which benefits political dissidents and people trying to keep medical conditions private. Unfortunately, online marketplaces for drugs, exchanges for stolen data, and other illegal activities get most of the attention.

  • The dark web is a subset of the deep web that is intentionally hidden, requiring a specific software-Tor-to access. The dark web is a layer deeper and technically part of the deep web (which makes it inaccessible unless you know exactly where to go), but focused on illegal activities and services.

  • The terms “deep web” and “dark web” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Deep web refers to anything on the internet that is not indexed by but can be accessible via a search engine like Google.

  • This means that in order to access one of these pages, one needs to either know their exact address (link) or to click on another link once you get in the deep side of the web. Also, the deep web can include significant parts of the legitimate, mainstream web (like Netflix or Amazon pages), simply because they are personalized for users and not all URLs are meant to be indexed.

  • A virtual private network, or VPN, is an encrypted connection over the Internet from a device to a network. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.

  • A blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography. It is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) is secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles.

QUESTION: 97

Consider the following pairs:

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

Solution:
  • Carnatic was the name given by the Etiropeans to the Coromandel coast and its hinterland. The First Carnatic War was an extension of the Anglo-French War in Europe which was caused by the Austrian War of Succession.

  • The First Carnatic War is remembered for the Battle of St, Thome (in Madias) fought between the French forces and the forces of Amvar-ud-din. the Nawab of Carnatic, to whom the English appealed for help. The war ended in 1748 when the Treaty of Aix-La Chapelle was signed bringing the Austrian War of Succession to a conclusion. Hence pair 1 is not correctly matched.

  • The background for the Second Carnatic War was provided by rivalry in India. Dupleix. the French governor who had successfully led the French forces in the First Carnatic War. sought to increase his power and French political influence in southern India by interfering in local dynastic disputes to defeat the English. The French supported the claims of Muzaffar Jang and Chanda Sahib in the Deccan and Carnatic, respectively, while the English sided with Nasir Jang and Amvar-ud-din. The combined armies of Muzaffar Jang, Chanda Salub. and the French defeated and killed Anwarud- din at the Battle of Am bur (near Vellore) in 1749 Muzaffar Jang became the subahdar of Deccan, and Dupleix was appointed governor of all the Mughal territories to the south of the River Krishna. Hence pair 2 is not correctly matched.

  • The third Carnatic war started in the background of the Seven Years War (1756-63) in Europe, which started when Austria wanted to recover Silesia in 1756. The decisive battle of the Third Carnatic War was won by the English on January 22, 1760, at Wandiwasb (or Yandavasi) in Tamil Nadu. General Eyre Coote of the English totally routed the French amiy under Count Thomas Arthur de Tally, Hence pair 3 is correctly matched.

QUESTION: 98

Consider the following statements
1. During the summer solstice, all latitudes in Northern Hemisphere experiences nearly the same length of the day.
2. During the equinox, all latitudes experience nearly the same length of day and night.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Summer solstice is the longest day of the year for the hemisphere in which it occurs when the poles directly face the Sun. Across the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs on June 21st. However, the length of daylight on this day varies with latitude. This day will be longer for higher latitudes, and shorter for lower latitudes. The longest daylight on the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is experienced above the Arctic Circle. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.

Equinox occurs when the center of the visible Sun is directly above the equator. This occurs twice each year, around 20 March and 23 September. On the day of an equinox, daytime and night time are of approximately equal duration all over the planet. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

QUESTION: 99

Which of the following is/are correct concerning the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund scheme, recently approved by the government?
1. It aims to provide a debt financing facility for investment in post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets.
2. It provides for interest subvention of 3% per annum to loans provided under the scheme.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Solution:

The Union Cabinet recently gave its approval to a new pan India Central Sector Scheme-Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. The scheme shall provide a medium - long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

Under the scheme, Rs. One Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), Self Help Group (SHG), Farmers, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Startups, Aggregation Infrastructure Providers and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public Private Partnership Project

All loans under this financing facility will have interest subvention of 3% per annum up to a limit of Rs. 2 crore. Hence, statement 2 is correct. This subvention will be available for a maximum period of seven years. Further, credit guarantee coverage will be available for eligible borrowers from this financing facility under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for a loan up to Rs. 2 crore. The fee for this coverage will be paid by the Government. In case of FPOs the credit guarantee may be availed from the facility created under FPO promotion scheme of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DACFW).

Moratorium for repayment under this financing facility may vary subject to minimum of 6 months and maximum of 2 years.

  • The Project by way of facilitating formal credit to farm and farm processing-based activities is expected to create numerous job opportunities in rural areas.

  • Agri Infra fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform. It will enable all the qualified entities to apply for loan under the fund. The online platform will also provide benefits such as transparency of interest rates offered by multiple banks, scheme details including interest subvention and credit guarantee offered, minimum documentation, faster approval process as also integration with other scheme benefits.

QUESTION: 100

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?

Solution:
  • 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.