UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 5 (July 15, 2021)

100 Questions MCQ Test UPSC CSE Prelims 2021 Mock Test Series | UPSC CSE Prelims Paper 1 (GS) Mock Test - 5 (July 15, 2021)

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Consider the following statements regarding the appropriation bill in parliament:
1. No money can be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of India without the passage of this bill.
2. It contains the non-votable expenditure charged from the Consolidated Fund of India.
3. Amendments could be made to the votable component of the bill, relating to the demand for grants.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


The Constitution states that no money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of India except under appropriation made by law‘. Accordingly, an appropriation bill is introduced to provide for the appropriation, out of the Consolidated Fund of India, all money required to meet:
(a) The grants voted by the Lok Sabha.
(b) The expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.

  • Statement 3 is not correct: No such amendment can be proposed to the appropriation bill in either house of the Parliament that will have the effect of varying the amount or altering the destination of anygrant voted, or of varying the amount of any expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • The budget consists of two types of expenditure the expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India and the expenditure made‘ from the Consolidated Fund of India. The charged expenditure is non-votable by the Parliament, that is, it can only be discussed by the Parliament, while the other type has to be voted by the Parliament.

In the context of economics, what is a Tobin tax?


The Tobin Tax, named after Nobel Prize-winning US economist James Tobin, was proposed in 1971 for the first time with the intention to levy it on short term capital currency transactions, whenever currencycrises have erupted, the proposal for a levy on international currency transactions has been debated.

• Tobin tax as a tool to discourage speculative currency trading and reduce exchange rate volatility. The Tobin tax is often referred to as the Robin Hood tax, as many see it as a way for governments to takesmall amounts of money from the people making large, short-term currency exchanges.

• The Securities Transaction Tax applicable on stock market transactions in India is a similar tax intended to discourage short-term investments.

• According to International Monetary Fund (IMF), a Tobin tax might reduce market liquidity and effectively increase volatility clearly contrary to its suggested purpose. The legislators should thus consider a Tobin tax proposal only in the event there is a similar imposition at international level a sunilateral measures can prove more damaging than the exchange-rate instability they are designed to cure. Rigid controls can cut India off from economic reality, and make the country uncompetitive.


Recently RBI Governor has warned that Indian economy might be facing Cobra effect. What do you understand by Cobra effect?


The 'Cobra Effect,‘ was a phenomenon observed in India during the British colonial rule, which is often reckoned as a classic example of perverse incentives. The British were over whelmed by a rising number of poisonous cobras and had to devise a policy to check this problem.

Correspondingly, the government decided to reward any individual who was able to slay a cobra. Although this measure was an outright success, it gradually augmented the breeding and rearing of serpents with the sole motive of killing them for getting a reward.

• A major implication of this effect is the unsolicited outcome of a scheme that was initially proposed with the objective of dealing with a problem plaguing the society. Thus, any policy which is premeditated with a desirable outcome to contend with a difficulty may make things even worse.

• From a macroeconomic perspective this can be explained by using tax amnesty scheme. A tax amnesty scheme involves comprehensive guiding principles concerning the immunity enjoyed by past tax evadersupon truthful reporting of incomes in the present period. Tax amnesty is likely to discourage the public from paying taxes in the present period in anticipation of the next amnesty, which is a moral hazard.


Consider the following statements with respect to inflation:
1. An increase in the money supply without increase in output will lead to inflation.
2. It acts as a regressive tax in an economy.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Monetary inflation is a form of demand-pull inflation. In this case, excess demand is created by the excessive growth of the money supply. A group of economists, appropriately called monetarists, believe that the only cause of inflation is the money supply increases faster than output. They argue that if the money supply increases, people will spend more and this will lead to an increase in prices. Hence statement 1 is correct. 

• A regressive tax is a tax applied uniformly, taking a larger percentage of income from low-income earners than from high-income earners. A regressive tax affects people with low incomes more severely than people with high incomes because it is applied uniformly to all situations, regardless of the taxpayer.

• Inflation operates like a regressive consumption tax because the extent to which individuals are affected by the inflation tax depends on their level of consumption. An increase in inflation raises the cost of transacting for individuals at the bottom of the income distribution to a greater extent than for those at the top. For example, consider person A with low income and person B with High income both buying a product whose price has increased due to inflation. Now both A and B have to spend extra money to purchase the product. But the extra spending forms a higher percentage share in the income of A compared to high income of B. Therefore, Inflation is a regressive tax. Hence statement 2 is correct.


Arrange the following organizations/ associations chronologically as per their year of formation:
1. Hind Mazdoor Sabha
2. All India Trade Union Congress
3. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


• All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) - 1920  It was founded in 1920 with Lala Lajpat Rai as its first president. Upto 1945 Congressmen, Socialists, Communists worked in the AITUC which was the central trade union organisation of workers of India. Subsequently the trade union movement got split on political lines. The unions affiliated to AITUC are from textile, engineering, coal, steel, road transport, electricity board and of unorganized sector such as beedi, construction and head-load workers, anganwadi, local bodies and handloom. Recently a number of agriculture workers‘ unions have affiliated themselves to AITUC.

• Since the early 1920s, efforts were being made by various capitalists like G.D. Birla and Purshottamdas Thakurdas to establish a national level organization of Indian commercial, industrial and financial interests to be able to effectively lobby with the colonial government. This effort culminated in the formation of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in 1927, with a large and rapidly increasing representation from all parts of India. The FICCI was soon recognized by the British government as well as the Indian public in general, as representing the dominant opinion as well asthe overall consensus within the Indian capitalist class. The FICCI was, however, not to remain merely a sort of trade union organization of the capitalist class fighting for its own economic demands and those of the nation. The leaders of the capitalist class clearly saw the necessity of, and felt strong enough for, thec lass to effectively intervene in politics.

Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) - 1948 It is a National Trade Union Centre in India. It was founded in Howrah in 1948 by Socialist, Forward Bloc follower and independent unionists. Its founders included Basawan Singh (Sinha), Ashok Mehta, R. S. Ruikar and Mani Benkara. Mr. R.S. Ruikar was elected president and Ashok Mehta as itsGeneral Secretary. The HMS absorbed the Royists Indian Federation of Labour and the Socialist Hind Mazdoor Panchayat.

Hence, option (d) is the correct answer. 


In the context of the economy, what do you understand by the Cobweb theory?


Cobweb theory is the idea that price fluctuations can lead to fluctuations in supply which causes acycle of rising and falling prices. The farmers are caught in the cobweb phenomenon when they base their sowing decisions on prices witnessed in the previous marketing period.

• So, if the farmer observes a higher price for a specific crop in period ‘t-1’, he would opt to produce more of it in period ‘t’. However, if the production of the crop exceeds market demand, prices fall in period ‘t’, signaling farmers to produce less of the commodity in period ‘t+1’.

• Economic Survey 2019-20 highlights the trend of inflation rate of pulses. Inflation rate of pulses peaked during the years of 2012-13, 2015-16 and 2018-19. And the inflation rates slipped into negatives during 2013-14 and 2017-18. The presence of peaks might indicate towards the presence of cobweb phenomenon in pulses.

• To prevent the occurrence of the cobweb phenomenon, it is essential that apart from existing measures in place to safeguard pulses, farmers, from crop failure/price shocks like market intervention under Price Stabilization Fund (PSF), coverage under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, PM-AASHA, providing ware houses, improving transportation, price discovery through e-NAM, etc., free export of pulses also needs to be encouraged for India to become self-sufficient in pulses production.


Which of the following bodies are quasi-judicial in nature and constitutional bodies?
1. Election Commission of India
2. Central Information Commission
3. National Human Rights Commission
4. Finance Commission
Select the correct answer using the code below.


Quasi-judicial bodies have powers analogous to that of the law imposing bodies but these are not courts. They have all the powers of a civil court. They primarily oversee the administrative zones. The courts have the power to supervise over all types of disputes but the quasi-judicial bodies are the ones with the powers of imposing laws on administrative agencies. These organizations generally have authorities of settlement in matters like the breach of discipline, conduct rules, and trust in the matters of money or otherwise. Their powers are usually limited to a particular area of expertise, such as financial markets, employment laws, public standards, immigration, or regulation.

Awards and judgments of quasi-judicial bodies often depend on a predetermined set of rules or punishment depending on the nature and gravity of the offense committed. Such punishment may be legally enforceable under the law of a country, it can be challenged in a court of law which is the finalvital authority.

Some important non-constitutional quasi-judicial bodies are:
• National Human Rights Commission
• State Human Rights Commission
• Central Information Commission
• State Information Commission
• National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
• State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
• District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum
• Competition Commission of India

All of the bodies given above are statutory bodies
Election Commission of India and the Finance Commission are both Constitutional bodies and quasi judicial in nature.

Hence only options 1 and 4 are correct.


With reference to the Constitutional (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019, consider the following statements:
1. It seeks to provide constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).
2. It seeks to give effect to Article 46 to protect the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of society.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • The One Hundred and Second Amendment of the Constitution of India granted constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • The Constitutional (103rd Amendment) Act got the assent of President in 2018. It provides reservation of jobs in central government jobs as well as government educational institutions. It is also applicable on admissions to private higher educational institutions. It applies to citizens belonging to the economically weaker sections from the upper castes.
  • This reservation is "in addition to the existing reservations and subject to a maximum of ten percent of the total seats in each category". The bill states that it is drafted with a will to man date Article 46 of the Constitution of India, a Directive Principle that urges the government to protect the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of society. While socially disadvantaged sections have enjoyed participation in the employment in the services of the state, no such benefit was provided to the economically weaker sections. Hence statement 2 is correct.

With reference to State Election Commissioner, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. He is appointed by the Chief Minister after passing a resolution in the respective state legislature.
2. He can only be removed in a manner and on grounds as a Judge of a High Court.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Recently, the Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi over ruled the appointment of former bureaucrat T. M Balakrishnan as the State Election Commissioner (SEC). The government had appointed former bureaucrat T. M Balakrishnan, last year, as SEC after Speaker V. P Si vakolundhu gave a ruling bestowing power to appoint the election officer with the elected government. The Speaker, while giving his ruling, had also canceled a similar advertisement floated allegedly at the behest of Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi for the SEC post.

• Statement 1 is not correct: According to Article 243K of the Constitution Of India, the superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to the Panchayats shall be vested in a State Election Commission consisting of a StateElection Commissioner to be appointed by the Governor. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Legislature of a State may, by law, make provision with respect to all matters relating to, or in connection with, elections to the Panchayats.

• Statement 2 is correct: The appointment of State Election Commissioner of Puducherry is anexecutive action but his removal can only be through legislative action as referred in Article 243 K,243 L & 243-ZB of the Constitution of India. The constitution states that 'provided that the State Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in the like manner and on the likeground as a Judge of a High Court and the conditions of service of the State Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.


Which of the following is/are the consequences of the proclamation of a Financial Emergency?
1. The President can issue directions for the reduction of salaries and allowances of all class of persons serving the Union or those serving in the state.
2. The Centre can issue directions requiring the reservation of all bills except money bills for the consideration of the President after they are passed by the legislature of the state.
3. The President can issue directions for the reduction of salaries and allowances of the judges of the Supreme Court and the high court.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Correct Answer :- c

Explanation : All money bills or other financial bills that come up for the President's consideration after being passed by the state legislature, can be reserved.

Under article 360 of the Constitution, the President can proclaim a financial emergency when the financial stability or credit of the nation or of any part of its territory is threatened.


Which of the following statements are correct regarding in-vitro fertilisation?
(1) It refers to the artificial method of fertilisation outside the human body.
(2) Babies born through this method are called test-tube babies.
(3) It decreases the risk of multiple births as there is only one embryo inserted.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  • In-vitro fertilization refers to the artificial method of fertilization between female egg and male sperm outside a human body. Hence, statement (1) is correct.
  • The process of in-vitro fertilisation is: The doctor takes the eggs out of the body and mixes them with sperm cells in a lab, to help the sperm fertilize the eggs. Then the doctor inserts one or more fertilized eggs (embryos) directly into the desired uterus. Pregnancy happens if any of the embryos implants in the lining of the uterus. Thus it is a surgical method of fertilisation. "Test tube baby" is a term sometimes used to refer to children conceived with in vitro fertilization (IVF). Hence, statement (2) is correct.
  • Some of the disadvantages associated with the same are :Multiple Births risk increases due to multiple embryos being placed in the uterus. Hence, statement (3) is not correct.
  • Premature delivery, low birth weight and babies have a higher relative risk of birth defects than normal ones Miscarriage – the chances of miscarriage in -vitro fertilization increases with the age of the person.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).


Which of the following statements is/are correct with respect to the PM Kusum Yojana (Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan)?
(1) It will enable farmers to earn extra income by selling the solar power generated in their fields to the National Grid.
(2) It will help farmers achieve irrigation needs and provide water security.
(3) It will add 100 GW solar capacity by 2022 through Grid-connected Solar-Powered Agriculture Pumps and Grid Connected Solar Power Plants.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  • Under the PM Kusum Yojana decentralized power plants will be set up by individual farmers/ cooperatives/ panchayats /farmer producer organizations (FPO) on their barren or cultivable lands. The power generated will be sold to the National Grid to earn extra income to farmers. So, statement (1) is correct.
  • The farmer will be able to use the generated energy under the scheme (Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps) to meet the irrigation needs, thus ensuring financial and water security to farmers. So, statement (2) is correct.
  • The proposed PM Kusum Yojan a consists of three components:
  1. ​Component-A: 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants.
  2. Component-B: Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.
  3. Component-C: Solarization of 10 lakh Grid connected Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.

All three components combined; the scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. So, statement (3) is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (d)


Consider the following statements regarding Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS):
(1) It is a zoonotic virus that spreads from animals to humans.
(2) Mother-to-infant transmission has not yet been observed in it.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Correct Answer :- c

Explanation : a) Direct contact with animals is the easiest way for diseases to spread from animals to humans, such as through petting, handling or getting bitten or scratched by an animal. People who work in the livestock industry or in animal care industries (zoos or aquariums, for instance) are more susceptible to exposure to zoonotic diseases because they're often in direct contact with animals.

b) Infants born to mothers with suspected, probable or confirmed Zika virus infection, or who reside in or have travelled to areas of ongoing Zika virus transmission, should be fed according to normal infant feeding guidelines. They should start breastfeeding within one hour of birth, be exclusively breastfed for six months and have timely introduction of adequate, safe and properly fed complementary foods, while continuing breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond.


Which of the following statements correctly describe the iron dome system, often in the news?

  • The Iron Dome is a mobile all-weather air defence system developed by Israel to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from short distances.
  • Iron Dome will operate day and night, under adverse weather conditions, and can respond to multiple threats simultaneously.
  • The Dome has three central components -detection and tracking radar, the weapon control system and missile firing unit.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).


Consider the following statements regarding the Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS), recently in the news:
(1) It helps study the Earth’s surface in visible, near-infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
(2) It uses a chip called optical imaging detector array which has been developed by NASA.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Hyperspectral imaging or hyspex imaging combines the power of digital imaging and spectroscopy. It collects and processes information from across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

India’s first Hypersp ectral Imaging Satellite or HysISis a fullfledged niche Earth observation (EO) satellite recently launched by ISRO. It has an onboard optical imaging detector chip which was developed by Space Applications Centre, Ahmadabad which will enable it the direct identification of objects on earth by reading the spectrum for each pixel of a scene from space. Hence statement (2) is not correct.

With this chip, a satellite can identify 55 spectral or colour bands from 630 km above the ground. The primary goal of HySIS is to study the Earth‟s surface in visible, near-infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Data from the satellite will be used for a wide range of applications including agriculture, forestry, soil/geological environments, coastal zones and inland waters, etc. Hyperspectral imaging is better than multispectral because multispectral imaging consists of just a few measurements, while hyperspectral imaging consists of hundreds to thousands of measurements for every pixel in the scene. Hence statement (1) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).


The term ‘Demographic Dividend’, in news, is in relation to the stage of development of a country. Which of the following statements best describes the term Demographic Dividend?


The demographic dividend is the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population (15 to 64) is larger than the non-working-age share of the population (14 and younger, and 65 and older). Therefore, the correct answer is (b).


Consider the following statements regarding 'Coccolithophores', sometimes in the news:
(1) These are phytoplanktons, found mostly in the photic zone of the water column.
(2) They are used as biomarkers for determination of age and past climatic condition.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Coccolithophores are recently in the news in the context of Indian scientists expedition across the southern ocean.
  • Coccolithophores are one of the main types of phytoplankton in the ocean and their production of calcium carbonate significantly diminishes the effectiveness of the biological pump for sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2) in the deep ocean.
  • Like any other phytoplankton, coccolithophores live in large numbers throughout the upper surface layers of the ocean. So, statement (1) is correct.
  • In recent years calcareous nannofossils have become the preferred tool for stratigraphic age det ermination in post - Palaeozoi ccalcareous sequences. Coccolithophores are used to determine past climates. So, statement (2) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (c).


Indo-Pacific warm pool, recently in the news,is related to:


The Indo Pacific Warm Pool holds a unique place on the globe. It is a large area [>30×106km2] that is characterized by permanent surface temperature> 28°. Waters from the western Pacific Ocean are transferred into the eastern Indian Ocean via the many passage ways across the Indonesian Archipelago. Alarge portion of those seas are shallow and saddle thee quator. As are sult, sea surface temperatures remain hot (>28°C) the whole year, but water salinities vary significantly are sultofsea son almonsoonal activity and fluxes from large rivers. Because of the shall ownes soft heseas, especially around a large part of Indonesia and north of Australia,and the yare associated with hot temperatures, this are ahas been coined the Indo Pacific Warm Pool(IPWP). This regionis quite extensive asitcovers a surface are aequivalent to that of the entire USA.Therefore,the correct answer is(c).


Consider the following pairs:

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


Recently, Solar orbiter was in the news. It is a mission that is a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency. With Solar Orbiter, scientists will for the first time get a good view of the top and bottom of the sun. However, different missions are keeping an eye on the Sun right now. Advanced Composition Explorer, or ACE — A NASA space craft that monitors the solar wind from a vantage point between Earth and the sun. So, pair (1) is correctly matched.

  • Cluster — Four European Space Agency Earth-orbiting space craft investigating the interactions of the solar wind with Earth’s magnetic field. So, pair (2) is not correctly matched.
  • Hinode— A Japanese spacecraft measuring the sun's magnetic fields. So, pair (3) is not correctly matched.
  • Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS — A small NASA ultraviolet telescope in orbit around Earth that studies the movement of heat and energy in the lower parts of the sun's atmosphere.
  • Proba-2 — Two instruments on this low-cost European Space Agency satellite observe the sun.
  • Solar Terrestri al Relations Observatory, or Stereo — A NASA mission of two nearly identical spacecraft travelling around the sun in the same orbit as Earth, with one ahead of Earth and one trailing. Solar Dynamics Obser vatory, or S.D.O. — A NASA space craft  in geosynchronous orbit that studies the influence of the sun and solar weather on Earth.
  • Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO — An earlier European - NASA collaboration that has been taking pictures of the sun since 1995.
  • Wind — A NASA spacecraft observing heated gas of charged particles coming from the sun.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).


Recently the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has asked the United Kingdom to return an island in the Indian Ocean to Mauritius. Which of the following islands is the UNGA talking about?

  • Recently UNGA has passed a non-binding resolution demanding that the United Kingdom unconditionally with draw its colonial administration from the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean within six months and return it to Mauritius.
  • Reunion Island: is an island under the administrative control of the French republic. It is located to the east of Madagascar. Silhouette Island: is the third largest granitic island in Seychelles.
  • VypinIsland: is one of the groups of islands that form part of the city of Kochi in the Indian state of Kerala. It is connected to the mainland Kochi by a series of bridges known as Goshree bridges.
    Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

“Many Englishmen honestly consider themselves the trustees for India, and yet to what a condition they have reduced our country!” was the view held by ‘X’ which made him reject the trusteeship thesis of Gandhiji. He (‘X’) was

  • Gandhiji had strongly disapproved of Jawaharlal's snap Independence resolution passed in his absence at the Madras Congress (1927).
  • At Calcutta next year he was able to push through a compromise formula which accepted the Nehru Report's dominion status objective provided the British granted it by the end of 1929, failing which the Congress would be free to go in for Civil Disobedience and Purna Swaraj.
  • Gandhi tried to confine Congress activities during 1929 to constructive work in villages, prohibition, and boycott of British goods, plus redress, along Bardoli lines, of 'specificgrievances'. He encouraged public bonfires of foreign cloth (for which he was arrested in Calcutta inMarch, and awarded a token fine), and toured the country collecting funds for khadi, butrepeatedly rejected pressures for any all-out struggle.
  • Jawaharlal graced the Lahore Congress (December 1929) with the first of his stirring Presidential addresses, boldly sketching out a new internationalist and socially-radical perspective for the freedom movement—a perspective so far confined to small Leftist sects. He said - 'I must frankly confess that I am a socialist and a republican, and am no believer inkings and princes, or in the order which produces the modern kings of industry”….. He attacked Gandhi's pet 'trusteeship' solution for zamindar-peasant and capital-labour conflicts: “Many Englishmen honestly consider themselves the trustees for India, and yet towhat a condition they have reduced our country!” was the view Nehru held whichmade him reject the trusteeship thesis of Gandhiji.

Consider the following statements.
Assertion (A): The location of the thermal equator is not identical to that of the geographic Equator.
Reason (R): The Northern and the Southern hemisphere receive vastly different levels and intensity of solar insolation

In the context of the above, which of these is correct?


The location of the thermal equator is not identical to that of the geographic Equator. This is not due to the Level of insolation received in both hemispheres. They are virtually equal. What creates the difference is the distribution of land and water that causes changes in the wayheat is distributed and transported across the planets. Land dominated areas will tend to have a large variation in temperature and a higher average temperature under the same conditions (as compared to a water dominated area). Thus, the thermal equator lies a bit north of the geographical equator.


Kaipeng and Malsom tribals clans, recently seen in news, belong to the state/UT of


The Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) has passed resolutions to codify the customary laws of three tribal clans- Mizo, Kaipeng and Malsom. As per the Sixth Schedule, the four states viz. Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram contain theTribal Areas which are technically different from the Scheduled Areas. Though these areas fall with in the executive authority of the state, provision has been made for the creation of the District Councils and regional councils for the exercise of the certain legislative and judicial powers.


Consider the following statements.
1. During the Neolithic phase, the cultivation of plants and domestication of animals led to the emergence of village communities based on sedentary life.
2. The people of Neolithic Age used clothes made of cotton and wool.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

  • During the Neolithic phase, the cultivation of plants and domestication of animals led to the emergence of village communities based on sedentary life.
  • There was a great improvement in technology of making tools and other equipments used by man. Stone tools were now polished. Mud brick houses were built instead of grass huts. Large urns were used as coffins for the burial of the dead.
  • Wheat, barely, rice, millet were cultivated in different areas at different points of time. Rice cultivation was extensive in eastern India.
  • The people of Neolithic Age used clothes made of cotton and wool.
  • Domestication of animals, horticulture and primitive cultivation started during Mesolithic period itself. However, during Neolithic period, domestication of sheep, goats and cattle was widely prevalent.Cattle were used for cultivation and for transport.
  • During Neolithic age, wheels were used to make pottery. Pottery was used for cooking as well asstorage of food grains.

With reference to Chalukyan architecture, consider the following statements.
1. They built cave temples depicting both religious and secular themes.
2. No Chalukyan age mural paintings can be found.
3. The temples under the Chalukyas are an example of the Vesara style of architecture.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.


Chalukyas ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the12th centuries. They built cave temples depicting both religious and secular themes. The temples had beautiful mural paintings also.

The temples under the Chalukyas are a good example of the Vesara style of architecture. This is also called the Deccan style or Karnataka Dravida or Chalukyan style. It is a combination of Dravidaand Nagara styles.

Learning: During this period, they ruled as three related yet individual dynasties:

1. The earliest dynasty, known as the "Badami Chalukyas", ruled from Vatapi (modern Badami) from the middle of the 6th century.

2. After the death of Pulakeshin II, the Eastern Chalukyas became an independent kingdom in theeastern Deccan. They ruled from Vengi until about the 11th century 

3. The Western Chalukyas, of 10th century ruled from Kalyani (modern Basavakalyan) until the end of the 12th century.


With respect to Guru Ravidas, consider the following statements.
1. He was a poet and saint associated with the Bhakti movement.
2. His devotional songs were included in the Sikh scriptures.
3. Mirabai was a disciple of Guru Ravidas.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.


Facts about Guru Ravidas
1. He was a poet and saint of the Bhakti movement.
2. Born in Varanasi to the ‘untouchable’ leather tanners caste.
3. He is believed to be a disciple of the bhakti saint-poet Ramananda and a contemporary of the bhakti saint-poet Kabir.
4. One of his famous disciples was the saint, Mirabai.
5.The Panch Vani text of the Dadupanthi tradition within Hinduism also includes numerous poemsof Ravidas.
6. Ravidas' devotional songs were included in the Sikh scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib.
7. Ravidas taught removal of social divisions of caste and gender, and promoted unity in the pursuitof personal spiritual freedoms.
8. Among Ravidas’s moral and intellectual achievements were the conception of “Begampura”, acity that knows no sorrow; and a society where caste and class have ceased to matter.


Consider the following statements. BASIC group countries put together account for about
1. One-third of the World’s geographical area (land based)
2. Two-third of World’s human population

Select the correct answer using the codes below.


The BASIC group was formed as the result of an agreement signed bythe four countries on November 28, 2009. They are a block of four large newly industrialized countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China. Significance of the grouping:Objectives: The signatory nations have a broadly common position on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and raising the massive funds that are needed to fight climate change. The BASIC countries constituted one of the parties in the Copenhagen Accord reached with the USledgrouping; the Accord, was, however, not legally binding.

The BASIC group wields considerable heft purely because of the size of the economies andpopulations of the member countries. Brazil, South Africa, India and China put together has one-third of the world’s geographical areaand nearly 40% of the world’s population, and when they unitedly speak in one voice this showstheir determination. BASIC is one of several groups of nations working together to fight climate change and carry outnegotiations within the UNFCCC.


Geotail would not be formed if there was no
1. Solar wind
2. Magnetic field produced by Earth

Select the correct answer using the codes below.


An instrument on Chandrayaan-2, CLASS, designed to detect signatures of elements in the Moon’s soil, had detected charged particles during the mission. This happened in September,during the orbiter’s passage through the “geotail”. A Geotail is a region in space that allows the best observations. The region exists as a result of the interactions between the Sun and Earth.

How is it formed?

  • The Sun emits the solar wind, which is a continuous stream of charged particles.
  • These particles are embedded in the extended magnetic field of the Sun. Since the Earth has amagnetic field, it obstructs the solar wind plasma.
  • This interaction results in the formation of a magnetic envelope around Earth.
  • On the Earth side facing the Sun, the envelope is compressed into a region that is approximatelythree to four times the Earth radius.
  • On the opposite side, the envelope is stretched into a long tail, which extends beyond the orbit ofthe Moon.
  • It is this tail that is called the geotail.
  • Once every 29 days, the Moon traverses the geotail for about six days.

Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana in


Statement 1: Piprahwa is a village near Birdpur in Siddharthnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. Piprahwa and its surroundings are of great significance to the Buddhist religion. It is oneof the sites that is linked directly to the early life of the Buddha as it is thought to be the location ofthe ancient city of Kapilavastu. According to Pali texts and ancient Buddhist traditions Piprahwa is also the site of one of eightstupas constructed over the remains of Lord Buddha. Piprahwa is to be found about nine kilometres north of Birdpur close to the border that separates India from Nepal.

Statement 2: Known as Kushavati in the ancient times, Kushinagar is where Gautama Buddhaattained Parinirvana, which occurs upon death of a body of someone who has attained nirvanaduring their lifetime. 
Many of the ruins of stupas here are dated as early as 3rd and 5th century B.C.
Statement 4: The ancient city of Vaisali, which is now an archeological site, is where Gautama Buddha preached his last sermon before his death in 483 B.C. The second Buddhist council was alsoheld here in 383 B.C. and the city contains one of the best preserved Pillars of Ashoka, topped by asingle Asiatic lion.


The saint “Birbhan” is associated with which of these movements/cults of Medieval India?


Satnamis originally were a militant sect of Hindu Worshippers. Founded by a saint named “Birbhan” in 1657 in Narnaul in Haryana. The major religious activity of this sect is to chant and meditate the true names (Sat-Nam) of God, specially Rama and Krishna.This sect is thought to be an off shoot of Ravidasi sect and comprised of lower strata of the Hindu society, particularly, leather workers, sweepers, carpenters, Goldsmiths etc. The followers of this sect kept their heads shaven (thus called Mundiyas) and abstained from liquor and meat. The religious granth of the Satnamis is called Pothi.


'Doctrine of Eminent Domain' is related towhich of the following rights?


Doctrine of Eminent Domain and Right to Property: Doctrine of Eminent Domain is a concept in the American Constitution. It is the acquisition of private property by the state for a public purpose with paying certain amount of compensation. Initially when India got Independence, the legislature to abolish the Zamindari System, enacted various laws through which it took the property from various landholders and used it for public purpose. Many a times mala-fide intention can be seen achieved through thisdoctrine.

  • There are two essentials of the Doctrine of Eminent Domain:
  • Property is taken for public useo Compensation is paid for the property taken.
  • In Indian Constitution, Entry 42 of List III speaks about ‘acquisitioning and requisitioning of property’. In the case of State of Bihar Kameshwar Singh, Supreme Court defined eminent Domain as “the power of a sovereign to take property for public use without the owner’s consentupon making just compensation.”
  • Article 31A, 31B and 31C as well as Art. 300A are the existing constitutional provisions concerning private property.

Hence option (c) is the correct answer.


Consider the following statements regarding Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha:
1. S/he is a subordinate officer to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
2. S/he can attend any session of any house of Parliament.
3. His/her salary and allowances are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


The Deputy Chairman is elected by the Rajya Sabha itself from amongst its members. S/he is like any other ordinary member of the house. S/he can speak in the House, participate in its proceedings andvote on any question before the Rajya Sabha. Therefore, s/he cannot attend any session of the House of Parliament. Hence statement 2 is not correct.

  • The Deputy Chairman performs the duties of the Chairman's office when it is vacant or when the Vice-President acts as President or discharges the functions of the President or when the Chairman is absentfrom the sitting of the House. In all the cases, he has all the powers of the Chairman. Therefore, s/he isnot sub-ordinate to the Chairman and is directly responsible to the Rajya Sabha. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • Like the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman is also entitle to regular salary and allowance. They are fixed byParliament and are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  • Like the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman, while presiding over the House, cannot vote in the firstinstance; s/he can only exercise a casting vote in the case of a tie. Further, when a resolution for theremoval of the him/her is under consideration of the house, s/he cannot preside over a sitting of the House,though he may be present.

In which of the following entities Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is prohibited in India?
1. Real Estate Investment Trusts
2. NIDHI company
3. Chit Funds
4. Manufacturing of equipment for nuclear power plants

Select the correct answer using the code given below.


A foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a businessin one country by an entity based in another country. It is thus distinguished from a foreign portfolioinvestment by a notion of direct control.

  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India is a major monetary source for economic development inIndia. Economic liberalisation started in India in wake of the 1991 economic crisis and since then FDI has steadily increased in India.
  • Following are the sectors where Foreign Direct Investment is prohibited in India:
    (a) Lottery including Government or private lotteries, online lotteries, etc.
    (b) Gambling, betting including casinos etc. Foreign technology collaboration, including licensing for franchise, trademarks or brand name, is also prohibited for lottery, gambling and betting activities.
    (c) Chit funds Nidhi company Real estate business or construction of farm houses. This shall not include the construction of townships, residential or commercial premises, roads, bridges and Real Estate Investment Trusts(REITs) registered with SEBI.
    (d) Cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarette manufacture Sectors not open to private investment such as Atomic Energy
    (e) Railway operations (other than permitted activities).
    (f) Trading in Transferable Development Rights (TDRs). TDRs means certificates issued in respect of category of land acquired for public purposes, either by the Central or State Government inconsideration of surrender of land by the owner without monetary compensation, which are transferable in part or whole.
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India's nuclear programme is not allowed. However, there is norestriction on FDI in the nuclear industries for manufacturing of equipment and providing other supplies for nuclear power plants and other related facilities.

Consider the following statements with respect to Price-elasticity of demand:
1. It is the measure of the responsiveness of the demand for a good to changes in its price.
2. The demand for luxury items is generally inelastic.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Price-elasticity of demand is a measure of the responsiveness of the demand for a good to changes in itsprice. Demands for some goods are very responsive to price changes while demands for certain others arenot so responsive to price changes. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

  • Price-elasticity of demand for a good is defined as the percentage change in demand for the good divided by the percentage change in its price. Price elasticity of demand for a good.
  • Higher price elasticity of demand suggests that consumers are more responsive to a product's pricechange. If the price elasticity of demand is greater than 1, it is elastic. That is, demand for the product issensitive to an increase in price.
  • Price elasticity of demand that is less than 1 is inelastic. Demand for the product does not change significantly after a price increase.
  • If at some price, the percentage change in demand for a good is equal to the percentage change in theprice, |eD|= 1, and demand for the good is said to be unitary elastic at that price.
  • The price elasticity of demand for a good depends on the nature of the good and the availability of closesubstitutes of the good. Consider, for example, necessities like food. Such goods are essential for life andthe demands for such goods do not change much in response to changes in their prices. Demand for food does not change much even if food prices go up. On the other hand, the demand for luxuries can be veryresponsive to price changes. In general, demand for necessity is likely to be price inelastic while demand for a luxury good is likely to be price elastic. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
  • Though the demand for food is inelastic, the demands for specific food items are likely to be more elastic. For example, think of a particular variety of pulses. If the price of this variety of pulses goes up, peoplecan shift to some other variety of pulses which is a close substitute. The demand for a good is likely to beelastic if close substitutes are easily available. On the other hand, if close substitutes are not availableeasily, the demand for a good is likely to be inelastic.

Consider the following statements:
1. A three-tier Panchayati Raj system was first recommended by Balwant Rai Mehta committee.
2. Panchayats in all the states of India have been established by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Government of India appointed a committee in 1957 to examine the working of the Community Development Programme (1952) and the National Extension Service (1953) and to suggest measures for their better working.

  • The chairman of this committee was Balwant Rai G Mehta.
  • The committee submitted its report in November 1957 and recommended the establishment of the schemeof ‘democratic decentralization’, which ultimately came to be known as Panchayati Raj.
  • It recommended the establishment of a three-tier Panchayati Raj system—gram panchayat at the villagelevel, panchayat samiti at the block level and Zila Parishad at the district level. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Panchayati Raj in India signifies the system of rural local self-government.
  • It has been established in all the states of India by the Acts of the state legislatures (not by the 73rd amendment act) to build democracy at the grass root level.
    Hence statement 2 is not correct.

Consider the following statements regarding NRI deposits:
1. Only foreign currency deposits are allowed for NRI accounts.
2. Repatriation of funds is not allowed in any of the NRI accounts in India.
3. The NRI accounts are included in India’s external debt outstanding.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Foreign Exchange Management (Deposit) Regulations, 2000 permits Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to have deposit accounts with banks authorized by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The major accounts that can be opened in India by a non-resident includes:o Foreign Currency (Non-Resident) Account (Banks) Scheme (FCNR(B) account) Non-Resident (External) Rupee Account Scheme (NRE account) Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee Account Scheme (NRO account)

  • Deposits in NRE account and NRO account can be made in Indian currency. Whereas, deposits in FCNR(B) account can be made in any permitted currency i.e. a foreign currency which is freelyconvertible. Hence, statement 1 is incorrect.
  • Foreign Currency (Non-Resident) Account (Banks) Scheme: FCNR(B) accounts can be opened by NRIs, PIOs (Person of Indian Origin), and Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCBs). The accounts can beopened in the form of term deposits only and for a period not less than 1 year and not more than 5 years. The rate of interest applicable to these accounts is in accordance with the directives issued by RBI fromtime to time. Repatriation of funds in FCNR(B) accounts is permitted.
  • Non-Resident (External) Rupee Account Scheme (NRE account): NRE accounts can be opened byNRIs, PIOs, and OCBs with banks authorized by RBI. These can be in the form of savings, current,recurring or fixed deposit accounts. The rate of interest applicable to these accounts is in accordance withthe directives issued by RBI from time to time. Repatriation of funds in NRE accounts is permitted. Hence, statement 2 is incorrect.
  • Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee Account Scheme: NRO accounts can be opened by any person residentoutside India (Individuals/ entities of Pakistan nationality/ origin and entities of Bangladesh origin requirethe prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India) with an authorized bank for collecting their funds from local bonafide transactions in Indian Rupees. When a resident becomes an NRI, his existing Rupee accounts are designated as NRO. These accounts can be in the form of current, savings, recurring or fixed deposit accounts. While the principal of NRO deposits is non-repatriable, current income and interestearningsare repatriable. Balances in an NRO account of NRIs/ PIOs are remittable up to USD 1 (one)million per financial year (April-March) along with their other eligible assets.
  • Repatriation of funds in FCNR(B) and NRE accounts is permitted. Hence, deposits in these accounts are included in India’s external debt outstanding. While the principal of NRO deposits is non-repatriable, current income and interest-earnings are repatriable. Therefore, deposits in NRO accounts are alsoincluded in India’s external debt outstanding. Hence, statement 3 is correct.

India has experienced high food inflation inrecent past. In this context, which of the following actions can decrease food inflation in the near future?
1. Decreasing Minimum Export Price
2. Decreasing Customs duty on import of food items
3. Open Market sale of food grains by FCI
4. Delisting food items under Essential Commodities Act

Select the correct answer using code given below.


In December 2019, consumer food price inflation hit 14.12%, the highest in six years. The inflation has also been alarmingly rapid, rising from 2.99% in August to 5.11% in September and 7.89% in October. In November, food inflation rose to 10.01%, entering double digits for the first time since December 2013.

  • Soaring food prices bring down the real income of people thus affecting the poor and middle class. Measures to contain prices of food commodities include selective ban on exports and futures trading in food grains, zero import duty on select food items, permitting import of pulses and sugarby ‘PSUs, distribution of imported pulses and edible oil through PDS, and release of higher quota ofnon-levy sugar. These are explained below.
  • Listing food items as essential commodities under Essential Commodities Act, 1955: The ECA was enacted way back in 1955. It has since been used by the Government to regulate the production, supply and distribution of a whole host of commodities it declares 'essential' in order to make them available to consumers at fair prices. If the Centre finds that a certain commodity is in short supply and its price is spiking, it can notify stock-holding limits on it for a specified period. Anybody trading or dealing in acommodity, be it wholesalers, retailers or even importers are prevented from stockpiling it beyond a certain quantity. The list of items under the Act include drugs, fertilisers, pulses and edible oils, and petroleum and petroleum products. The Centre can include new commodities as and when the need arises,and take them off the list once the situation improves.
  • Increasing Minimum Export Price: Minimum Export Price (MEP) is the price below which an exporter is not allowed to export the commodity from India. MEP is a kind of quantitative restriction to trade. Government fixes MEP for the selected commodities with a view to arrest domestic price rise and augment domestic supply. This is intended to be imposed for short durations and is removed when situations change. However removal of MEP helps farmers / exporters in realising better and remunerative prices and would also help in earning valuable foreign exchange for the country.
  • Decreasing custom duties on import of food items increases the supply of food items in the market. It helps in reducing supply demand mismatch thus reduce food inflation.
  • FCI's sale of food items like Wheat and Rice at predetermined prices in the open market enhance their supply. Thus it helps in containing inflation in food items especially in rice and wheat.

The India Knowledge Hub (IKH), a dynamic web portal, functioning as a repository to disseminate best practices in various sectors from across the country was launched by


NITI Aayog has created the India Knowledge Hub (IKH), a dynamic web portal, functioning as a repository to store and disseminate best practices from across the country.

  • Reflecting the spirit of cooperative federalism, the NITI Aayog launched the India Knowledge Hub so that districts, States, Central ministries and other government institutions can exchange knowledge on real-time basis and replicate practices that have worked in other areas.
  • The portal serves as a dynamic sharing platform in which the key functionaries can directly upload best practices for replication in other regions.
  • While, mostly the best practices are directly uploaded by the district collectors from any State/UT, Departments of State governments and Central Ministry can also upload the best practices in the portal.
  • In its first phase, the portal is also being extended to certain non-government institutions which have requested access to upload best practices.

With reference to the Legislative Councils, consider the following statements:
1. It is the indirectly elected upper house in the state legislature present in 6 states only.
2. The creation of the legislative council of states needs a constitutional amendment.
3. It is a permanent body which cannot be dissolved.
4. It enjoys equal powers as the legislative assembly for ordinary bills.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


India has a bicameral system i.e., two Houses of Parliament. At the state level, the equivalent of the Lok Sabha is the Vidhan Sabha or Legislative Assembly; that of the Rajya Sabha is the Vidhan Parishad or Legislative Council. A second House of the legislature is considered important for two reasons: one, to act as a check on hasty actions by the popularly elected House and, two, to ensure that individuals who might not be cut out for the rough-and-tumble of direct elections too are able to contribute to the legislative process.

  • Statement 1 is correct: Most of the members of the legislative council are indirectly elected. 5/6th of the members are indirectly elected and the Governor also nominates 1/6th of the members.
  • The maximum strength of the council is fixed at one-third of the total strength of the assembly and the minimum strength is fixed at 40.
  • Currently, 6 Indian states have it Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Recently the legislative council of Jammu and Kashmir was abolished.
  • Statement 2 is not correct: the Parliament can abolish a legislative council or create it if the legislative assembly of the concerned state passes a resolution to that effect. Such a specific resolution must be passed by the state assembly by a special majority. This Act of Parliament is not to be deemed as anamendment of the Constitution for the purposes of Article 368 and is passed as an ordinary piece of legislation by a simple majority.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Like the Rajya Sabha, the legislative council is a continuing chamber, that is, it is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution. But, one-third of its members retire on the expiration of every second year.
  • Statement 4 is not correct: An ordinary bill can originate in either House of the state legislature. If the assembly rejects the amendments suggested by the council or the council rejects the bill altogether or does not take any action for three months, then the assembly may pass the bill again and transmit the same to the council. If the council rejects the bill again or passes the bill with amendments not acceptable to the assembly or does not pass the bill within one month, then the bill is deemed to have been passed by both the Houses in the form in which it was passed by the assembly for the second time.
  • Therefore, the ultimate power of passing an ordinary bill is vested in the assembly. At most, the council can detain or delay the bill for a period of four months three months in the first instance and one month in the second instance. The Constitution does not provide for the mechanism of a joint sitting of both the Houses.

Consider the following statements regarding the usual status approach to unemployment measurement in India:
1. It is an approach to measure unemployment that uses seven days preceding the date of the survey as the reference period.
2. It is widely used to capture the short term fluctuations in unemployment caused due to seasonality in labour markets.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


The National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), since its inception in 1950, does the measurement of employment/unemployment in India.

  • The National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) provides three different estimates of employment and unemployment based on different approaches used to classify an individual’s activity status. These are :
  • Usual status approach with a reference period of 365 days preceding the date of the survey. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
    (a) Current weekly status approach with a reference period of seven days preceding the date of the survey.
    (b) Current daily status approach with each day of the seven days preceding the date of the survey as the reference period.
  • The Usual Status approach to measuring unemployment uses a reference period of 365 days i.e. one year preceding the date of the survey of NSSO for measuring unemployment. This approach records only thosepersons as unemployed who had no gainful work for a major time during the 365 days preceding the date of the survey and are seeking or are available for work. Thus, the estimates of unemployment obtained on the basis of the usual status approach are expected to capture long-term unemployment. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
  • The Current Weekly Status (CWS) approach to measuring unemployment uses seven days preceding the date of the survey as the reference period. A person is considered to be employed if he or she pursues anyone or more of the gainful activities for at least one hour on any day of the reference week. On the otherhand, if a person does not pursue any gainful activity, but has been seeking or available for work, the person is considered as unemployed. The usual status approach to measuring unemployment fails tocapture the short term fluctuations in employment and unemployment caused due to seasonality in labour markets. However, CWS measures these short term fluctuations very well owing to its shorter reference period of a week.
  • The current daily status approach to measuring unemployment seeks to ascertain the activity status of an individual for each day of the reference week. It considers the activity status of a person for each day ofthe preceding seven days. The reference period here is a day. If a person did not find work on a day or some days during the survey week, he/she is regarded as unemployed. Normally if a person works for four hours or more during a day, he or she is considered as employed for the whole day. The daily status unemployment is considered to be a comprehensive measure of unemployment.

Consider the following statements with reference to Immunity: 
(1) Innate Immunity provides a specific immune response, whereas Adaptive Immunity is not specific to a particular pathogen. 
(2) Innate Immunity has limited and lower potency, whereas Adaptive Immunity has a higher potency. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • Innate Immunity provides the first line of defence against infection. It is a rapid response (minutes); it is not specific to a particular pathogen.
  • Adaptive Immunity provides a specific immune response directed at an invading pathogen. So, statement (1) is not correct.
  • Adaptive Immunity takes longer, but it targets the pathogen more accurately. It has more potency as compared to Innate Immunity. So, statement (2) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).


Which of the following statements, best describes 'Phenotype', sometimes in the news? 

  • A gene is a sequence of nucleotides along a DNA strand - with 'start' and 'stop' codons and other regulatory elements. So, statement (a) is not correct.
  • The genome represents the complete set of genes or genetic material present in cells of an organism. So, statement (b) is not correct.
  • The phenotype represents the observable physical properties of an organism. "Pheno" simply means "observe" and comes from the same root as the word "phenomenon". And so it's an observable type of an organism, and it can refer to anything from a common trait, such as height or hair colour, to presence or absence of disease. So, statement (c) is correct.
  • Stem Cells are special cells that have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. So, statement (d) is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (c).


Which of the following statements regarding wheat production in India are correct? 
(1) 2018-19 saw the highest ever production of wheat in India. 
(2) India is the world’s second-largest producer of wheat. 
(3) Yellow rust is a fungal disease that affects wheat. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

  • India registered record food grain production in 2018-19 clocking 285.17 million tonnes, which is slightly higher than foodgrain output of 285.01 million tonnes in 2017-18. As per the final estimate for 2018-19 released by the agriculture ministry, the country achieved record production of rice and wheat at 116.48 million tonnes and 103.60 million tonnes respectively. The production of coarse grains and pulses, however, are slightly down from 2017-18 at 43.06 million tonnes and 22.04 million tonnes. So, statement (1) is correct.
  • China is the largest wheat producing country in terms of global wheat production by country with an estimated annual output of around 130 million tons at the end of 2017. Wheat is cultivated in 30 provinces in China. India is the second-largest producer of wheat. So, statement (2) is correct.
  • Yellow rust is a fungal disease which turns the crop's leaves into a yellowish colour and stops photosynthesis activity, which eventually could result in a drop of wheat crop productivity. In January 2020, yellow rust disease in the wheat crop has been detected in sub-mountainous parts of Punjab and Haryana. The recent rains in the region coupled with a slight increase in the temperature and humid conditions are favourable for yellow rust. So, statement (3) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (d).


In terms of the atmospheric lifetime of the following greenhouse gases, arrange them in the correct ascending order: 
(1) Nitrous oxide 
(2) Carbon dioxide 
(3) Methane 
(4) Sulfur hexafluoride 

Select the correct answer using the code given below:


Atmospheric lifetime means that each of these gases can remain in the atmosphere for different amounts of time, ranging from a few years to thousands of years. All of these gases remain in the atmosphere long enough to become well mixed, meaning that the amount that is measured in the atmosphere is roughly the same all over the world, regardless of the source of the emissions.


Which of the following statements is correct with respect to the term 'Data Exclusivity'? 


Data Exclusivity has recently been in the news due to proposed US-India trade deal. Data exclusivity protects data generated in the course of clinical trials of a drug. The USA insists on having Data Exclusivity in its trade deals. It offers much better protection of data to the manufacturer of drugs. So, statement (c) is correct. Therefore, the correct answer is (c).


With reference to ‘MOSAiC Expedition’, recently in the news, which of the following statements is correct? 


The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition is a one-year-long expedition into the Central Arctic, planned to take place from 2019 to 2020. For the first time, a modern research icebreaker will operate in the direct vicinity of the North Pole year-round, including the nearly half year-long polar night during winter. In terms of the logistical challenges involved, the total number of participants, the number of participating countries, and the available budget, MOSAiC represents the largest Arctic expedition in history. Therefore, the correct answer is (d)


In the context of ‘Blue Carbon Ecosystem’, consider the following aspects: 
(1) Climate change adaptation 
(2) Food security 
(3) Water quality regulation 
(4) Prevention of shoreline erosion

Which of the aspects given above are correct regarding the beneficial services provided by it? 


Blue Carbon ecosystems are the coastal ecosystems of mangroves, tidal marshes, and seagrass meadows. They provide numerous benefits and services that are essential for climate change adaptation along the coasts globally, including protection from storms and sea-level rise, prevention of shoreline erosion, regulation of coastal water quality, provision of habitat for commercially important fisheries and endangered marine species, and food security for many coastal communities. Additionally, these ecosystems sequester and store significant amounts of coastal blue carbon from the atmosphere and ocean and hence are now recognized for their role in mitigating climate change. So, all the options are correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (d).


Consider the following statements regarding 'Sandbox Technology’, often in the news: 
(1) It enables testing of programs and execution of files without affecting the application, system or platform on which they run. 
(2) It does not provide any protection against previously unseen new security threats - malware. 
(3) It detects malware proactively unlike traditional security measures which act reactively to malware. 

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

  • Sandboxing is a technique in which one creates an isolated test environment, a “sandbox,” in which to execute or “detonate” a suspicious file or URL that is attached to an email or otherwise reaches your network and then observe what happens. So, statement (1) is correct.
  • Sandboxes provide another layer of protection against new security threats also called zero-day threats. So, statement (2) is not correct.
  • Sandboxes detect malware proactively and also against unseen threats. While traditional security measures act reactively. So, statement (3) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (c)


Arrange the following greenhouse gases in order of decreasing Global Warming Potential in a time horizon of 100 years: 
(1) Nitrous Oxide 
(2) Carbon Dioxide 
(3) Sulfur hexafluoride 
(4) Methane 

Select the correct answer using the code below: 


Greenhouse gases (GHGs) warm the Earth by trapping the outgoing infrared radiation and slowing the rate at which the energy escapes to space. They act like a blanket insulating the Earth, thereby causing the greenhouse effect. Different GHGs have different effects on the Earth's warming. The two key ways in which these gases differ from each other are:

  1. In their ability to absorb energy (their "radiative efficiency"), and
  2. How long they stay in the atmosphere (also known as their "lifetime").
  • The Global Warming Potential (GWP) compares the global warming impacts of different gases. Specifically, it is a measure of how much energy the emissions of 1 ton of a gas will absorb over a given period, relative to the emissions of 1 ton of carbon dioxide (CO2). The larger the GWP, the more that a given gas warms the earth compared to CO2 over that period. The period usually used for GWPs is 100 years. GWPs allow policymakers to compare emissions reduction opportunities across sectors and gases. CO2, by definition, has a GWP of 1 regardless of the period used, because it is the gas being used as the reference. CO2 remains in the atmospheric system for a very long time, and an increase in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 may last thousands of years.
  • Methane (CH4) is estimated to have a GWP of 21 over 100 years. CH4 emitted today lasts about a decade, which is much less time than CO2. But CH4 also absorbs much more energy than CO2. The net effect of the shorter lifetime and higher energy absorption is reflected in the GWP. The CH4 GWP also accounts for some indirect effects, such as the fact that CH4 is a precursor to ozone, and ozone is itself a GHG.
  • Nitrous Oxide (N2O) has a GWP 310 times that of CO2 for a 100-year timescale. N2O emitted today remains in the atmosphere for around more than 100 years.
  • Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) sometimes called high-GWP gas because, for a given amount of mass, they trap substantially more heat than CO2. (The SF6 gas has a GWP 23900 times than that of CO2 for a 100-year timescale.)

Therefore, the correct answer is (d).


The Red Data Book published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) contains a list of: 
(1) Endemic plant and animal species present in biodiversity hotspots. 
(2) Threatened plant and animal species.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  • The IUCN Red List was established in 1964. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species.
  • The IUCN Red List shows us where and what actions need to be taken to save the building blocks of nature from extinction. The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. It provides a list of species and their status and it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation and policy change, critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive.
  • It provides information about the range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.
  • It divides species into nine categories:
  • Not Evaluated, Data Deficient, Least Concern, Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered, Extinct in the Wild and Extinct.
  • At present, more than 112,400 species have been assessed for the IUCN Red List. The IUCN Red List is used as a guide to revising the annexes of some important international agreements, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).
  • The IUCN Red List also provides data for the indicators needed to measure progress towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 15. So, Statement (2) is correct.
  • No data as such is provided by IUCN about endemic plant and animal species present in biodiversity hotspots. So, Statement (1) is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).


Consider the following statements.
1. The Sarayu river originates from Lake Baikal in the Himalayas.
2. Sarayu finds mentions in the Vedas.
3. Ayodhya is situated on the banks of Sarayu river.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.


Sarayu flows through Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. This river is of ancient significance, finding mentions in the Vedas and the Ramayana. The Sarayu originates from Lake Mansarovar in the Himalayas and is also known as the Ghaghra and the Manas Nandini. It merges with the Ganga in Bihar’s Saran district. It forms at the confluence of the Karnali and Mahakali in Bahraich District. Ayodhya is situated on the banks of this river. It flows through the Kumaon himalayas. 5.50 lakh earthen lamps on the banks of Saryu River has helped Uttar Pradesh enter into the Guinness Books of World Records for lightening of record number of diyas on any occasion. 


The vast majority of the highest mountain peaks in the World are located near


There are at least 109 mountains on Earth with elevations greater than 7,200 metres (23,622 ft) above sea level. The vast majority of these mountains are located on the edge of the Nepal and Tibet, with some peaks in Central Asia. Almost all mountains in the list are located in the Himalaya and Karakoram ranges to the south and west of the Tibetan plateau. In fact, all 7,000 m (23,000 ft) peaks in the world are located in the centre of Asia (East Asia, Central Asia and South Asia).

The highest mountain outside of Asia is Aconcagua (6,962 m or 22,841 ft), which one list has ranking 189th in the world amongst mountains with a 500 m or 1,640 ft prominence cutoff. 


Match the following tribes with the states they are found in.
1. Maldhari: Gujarat
2. Dhuruba: Odisha
3. Kolha: Nagaland

Select the correct answer using the codes below.


Statement 1: The Maldhari community is a tribe of herdsmen in the border state of Gujarat. The name Maldhari means owner of goods - in this case, goods referring to cattle. The Maldharis have lived in the Gir National Park, in the Banni Grasslands Reserve area, for the past thousand years.

Statement 2 and 3: Dhuruba is a tribe of Odisha. Kolha is numerically the most important tribe of Keonjhar District, in Odisha. Most of them reside in the Bhuyan Hills and the adjoining areas of Nayagarh. Kolhas have a separate language of their own, but most of them use Oriya and Hindi as a subsidiary language.


Which of these movements was also known as the “Vande Matram movement”?


L. M. Bhole identifies five phases of the Swadeshi movement.

  1. 1850 to 1904: developed by leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, Gokhale, Ranade, Tilak, G.V. Joshi and Bhaswat.K.Nigoni. This was also known as First Swadeshi Movement.
  2. 1905 to 1917: Began with and because of the partition of Bengal in 1905 by Lord Curzon.
  3. 1918 to 1947: Swadeshi thought shaped by Gandhi, accompanied by the rise of Indian industrialists.
  4. 1948 to 1991: Widespread curbs on international and inter-state trade. India became a bastion of obsolete technology during the licence-permit raj.
  5. 1991 onwards: Liberalization and globalization. Foreign capital, foreign technology, and many foreign goods are not excluded and doctrine of export-led growth resulted in modern industrialism.

The second Swadeshi movement started with the partition of Bengal by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon in 1905 and continued up to 1911. It was the most successful of the pre-Gandhian movement. 


Which of these acts provided for the establishment of an All India Federation (which never came into being) to be based on a Union of the provinces of British India and the Princely States?


The proposed all India federation included 11 provinces of British India, 6 Chief Commissioners Provinces and those princely states who might accede to the federation. The term on which a state joined the Federation were to be laid down in the Instrument of Accession. Joining the federation was compulsory for the British Provinces and chief commissioner’s provinces. For princely states, the accession to the Federation was voluntary. The federation could not be established until a number of states, the rulers whereof were entitled to choose not less than half of the 104 seats of the council of state, and the aggregate population whereof amounted to be at least one half of the total population of all the Indian stales had acceded to the federation. Princely states never joined, and thus the federation never came into being. So, (a) is correct. 


Which of these states recently passed a bill declaring a river delta as a Protected Special Agricultural Zone (PSAZ)?


The new act was passed by Tamil Nadu assembly in February, 2020, declaring Kaveri delta region as a Protected Special Agriculture Zone (PSAZ).

  • The protected zone of cauvery delta will include Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam districts and certain other delta regions.
  • It is meant to offer farmers of the delta region relief from further hydrocarbon exploration.
  • PSAZ is aimed at protecting the Cauvery delta region for the future, fulfilling TN’s food requirements and ensuring the welfare of delta farmers.
  • It has recognised farmer concerns about hydrocarbon exploration and accorded primacy to food security.

Need for: The delta, which produces 33 lakh tonnes of grains in 28 lakh acres, has seen multiple protests for a decade over methane, hydrocarbon, oil and natural gas projects, which required acquisition of fertile lands and well drilling — proposals which triggered fears of groundwater contamination. 


Who among the following renounced the title of ‘Knighthood’ due to the Jalianwala Bagh incidents of 1919?


Rabindranath Tagore discarded this Title of Knighthood for the inhuman act of British Government in Jallianwala Bagh in 1919


Theenperayam or the great assembly (perayam), as mentioned in Sangam texts, consisted of


The administrative machinery of the age was described by the Sangam texts. The policies of the king were controlled by a system of checks and balances in the councils. Silappadikaram refers to the two types of councils —Aimperunkulu and Enperayam.

  1. The Aimperunkulu or the council of five members was the council of the ministers.
  2. Theenperayam or the great assembly (perayam) consisted of 8 members (government officers). This worked as an administrative machinery of the state.

These two assemblies that of the Five and that of the Eight functioned as administrative bodies, though their function was generally advisory in character. However, their advice was rarely rejected by the king.

Their important function was judicial though the aimperunkulu seems to have been solely in charige of it as described by Maduraikkanji. It is important to note that in spite of all the glory attached to the ancient king, the ethos of Indian administration has been in the direction of limited or popular monarchy. This can be observed in South India from very early times even more than in the north and each followed its own model of administration. Every local unit, however small and in whatever corner it was situated, was administered by a local assembly.

The avai and the manram are the terms used for this unit in Sangam works. Such assembly is commonly referred to as arankuravaiyam, which were known for its just decision. These can be taken to be the forerunner of our modern panchayat. 


Consider the following statements.
1. Russia borders both Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea.
2. Georgia borders both Caspian Sea and Black Sea.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.


The correct option is Option D.

The Black Sea ultimately drains into the Mediterranean Sea, via the Turkish Straits and the Aegean Sea. The Bosporus Strait connects it to the small Sea of Marmara which in turn is connected to the Aegean Sea via the Strait of the Dardanelles.

The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world and accounts for 40 to 44% of the total lacustrine waters of the world. The coastlines of the Caspian are shared by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan.


They introduced the art of excavating temples from the rock, and the Dravidian style of temple architecture began with their rule. They were?


Pallava age was a great age of temple building. It was a gradual evolution starting from the cave temples to monolithic rathas and culminated in structural temples. The development of temple architecture under the Pallavas can be seen in several stages, which started with Mahendravarman I introducing rock-cut temples. This style of Pallava temples are seen at places like Mandagapattu, Mahendravadi, Mamandur, Dalavanur, Tiruchirappalli, Vallam, Siyamangalam and Tirukalukundram.


Consider the following statements regarding the resolutions in the Parliament:
1. All the resolutions do not require to be voted upon.
2. Statutory Resolution can be moved only by a minister.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


The members can move resolutions to draw the attention of the House or the government to matters of general public interest.

Resolutions are classified into three categories:

  1. Private Member’s Resolution: It is one that is moved by a private member (other than a minister). It is discussed only on alternate Fridays and in the afternoon sitting.
  2. Government Resolution: It is one that is moved by a minister. It can be taken up any day from Monday to Thursday.
  3. Statutory Resolution: It can be moved either by a private member or a minister. It is so-called because it is always tabled in pursuance of a provision in the Constitution or an Act of Parliament. Hence statement 2 is not correct.

Resolutions are different from motions in the following respects:

  • “All resolutions come in the category of substantive motions, that is, every resolution is a particular type of motion.
  • All motions need not necessarily be substantive.
  • Further, all motions are not necessarily put to vote of the House, whereas all the resolutions are required to be voted upon.” Hence statement 1 is not correct. 

With reference to the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. It considers the proposals to prorogue both the Houses of the Parliament.
2. It considers the attitude of the Government on non-official bills and resolutions to be presented to Parliament

Select the correct answer using the code given below.


With the creation of a bicameral Parliament consisting of several representatives of the people, it was deemed desirable that the Cabinet should delegate the overall responsibility regarding detailed parliamentary matters to a small standing committee of the Cabinet, specializing in this task. A Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Committee was accordingly constituted in 1949. This committee was subsequently named as the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs. The then Department of Parliamentary Affairs and now Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has been providing secretarial assistance to the committee since 1954. Prior to 1954, the Ministry of Law had been providing secretarial assistance to the committee though secretarial assistance in regard to the planning of Government Business in both Houses of Parliament was even then provided by the then Department of Parliamentary Affairs.

  • As per the First Schedule to the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961, the following functions have been assigned to the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs:

(a) to watch the progress of Government Business in Parliament and to give such directions as may benecessary from time to time, in order to secure smooth and efficient conduct of such business;

(b) to scrutinize, and to consider the attitude of the Government on non-official bills and resolutionsto be presented to Parliament; Hence statement 2 is correct.

(c) to maintain a review from an all-India point of view of legislations undertaken by State legislatures;and

(d) to consider proposals to summon or prorogue the Houses of Parliament. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • Under Rule 6 of the above Rules, the Prime Minister may, from time to time, modify the functions assigned to the committee. The composition of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs was recently modified.

    Now the committee has the following members:Shri Raj Nath Singh, Minister of Defence.
    (a) Shri Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs.o Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance; Minister of Corporate Affairs
    (b) Shri RamvilasPaswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
    (c) Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture &Farmer Welfare, Minister of Rural Development: and Minister of Panchayati Raj.
    (d) Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology; and Minister of Law and Justico Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment
    (e) Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change; Minister of Informationand Broad casting
    (f) Shri Prahlad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of Coal and Mines.
  • Special Invitees: Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of State inthe Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
  • Shri V Muraleedharan, Minister of State Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs

The RBI recently introduced the Supervisory Action Framework for the better management of:


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to impose restrictions on urban cooperative banks(UCBs) with the revised Supervisory Action Framework (SAF) for deterioration of financial position. SAF is in line with the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework that is imposed oncommercial banks.

  • Under this revised Supervisory Action Framework (SAF), UCBs will face restrictions for worsening ofthree parameters:o When net non-performing assets exceed 6% of net advances, When they incur losses for two consecutive financial years or have accumulated losses on theirbalance sheets,o If capital adequacy ratio falls below 9%.
  • Some of the actions under SAF include
    ​(a) Advising the UCB to submit a Board-approved Action Plan for reducing its Net NPAs below 6%.o Restriction on fresh loans and advances carrying risk-weights more than 100%.
    (b) Prohibition on declaration/payment of dividend/donation.
    (c) Measures for reduction in interest and operating/administrative expenses.
    (d) Seeking a Board-approved proposal for merging the UCB with another bank or converting itself into acredit society.
    (e) Restriction on fresh borrowings, except for meeting temporary liquidity mismatches.
  •  Actions such as imposition of all-inclusive directions under section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act,1949 (as applicable to co-operative societies) and issue of show cause notice for cancellation of bankinglicense may be considered by the Reserve bank when continued normal functioning of the UCB is nolonger considered to be in the interest of its depositors/public.

“To protect monuments, places, and objects of artistic or historic interest” is a provision made under:


Article 49 [Part IV-DPSP ]of the Indian Constitution directs the State “to protect monuments,places and objects of artistic or historic interest which are declared to be of national importance”.  At this juncture, it is also pertinent to recollect that “to value and preserve the rich heritage of the country’s composite culture” is a prescribed duty of every citizen of India as per Article 51A(f). Sometimes, students may get confused between these two.


Consider the following statements:
1. In case of a conflict, Parliamentary privileges supersede the fundamental rights of a citizen.
2. Reasonable restrictions on free speech provided under Article 19 also apply to the floor of the house.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Constitution envisaged two types of privileges under Article 105 of the Indian constitution. One is freedom of speech in Parliament and the right of publication of its proceedings.

  • With reference to Parliamentary privileges, the following points are worth noting:
    The Supreme Court held that if there was any conflict between the existing privileges of Parliament and the fundamental rights of a citizen, the former shall prevail. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The provisions in Arts. 105(3) and 194(3) of the Constitution, which confer upon the Houses of our Legislatures the same British privileges as those of the House of Commons, are independent provisions and are not to be construed as subject to Part III of the Constitution, guaranteeing the Fundamental Rights.
  • Freedom of speech and immunity from court proceeding so Members have freedom of speech in the House and enjoy immunity from proceedings in any court inrespect of anything said or any vote given by them in Parliament or in any committee thereof.
    The immunity granted to members under article 105(2), covers anything said in Parliament eventhough it does not strictly pertain to the business before the House. Hence statement 2 is correct.

Which of the following correctly describes NI-KSHAY?


NI-KSHAY-(Ni=End, Kshay=TB)

  • It is the web enabled patient management system for TB control under the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP).
  • It is developed and maintained by the Central TB Division (CTD), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, in collaboration with the National Informatics Centre (NIC), and the World Health Organization Country office for India.
  • Nikshay is used by health functionaries at various levels across the country both in the public and privatesector, to register cases under their care, order various types of tests from Labs across the country, record treatment details, monitor treatment adherence and to transfer cases between care providers.
  • It also functions as the National TB Surveillance System and enables reporting of various surveillance data to the Government of India.

Global Innovation Index is published annually by


The Global Innovation Index 2019 provides detailed metrics about the innovation performance of 129 countries and economies around the world. The GII rankings are published annually by Cornell University, INSEAD and the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and GII Knowledge Partner.

  • Its 80 indicators explore a broad vision of innovation, including political environment, education, infrastructure, and business sophistication. The GII 2019 analyzes the medical innovation landscape of the next decade, looking at how technological and non-technological medical innovation will transform the delivery of healthcare worldwide.
  • India improved its ranking in the global innovation index by five places to 52nd in 2019 from 57th position last year.
  • The GII ranks 129 economies based on 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications. India has climbed to third position globally in the number of peer-reviewed science and engineering publications.
  • Switzerland retained its number-one spot on the index. Other economies in the top 10 are: Sweden, the US, the Netherlands, the UK, Finland, Denmark, Singapore, Germany and Israel.

Hence option (c) is the correct answer.


Consider the following statements regarding the Market Stabilization Scheme (MSS):
1. MSS bonds are floated by RBI on behalf of the government.
2. MSS bonds earn a return and can be tradable in the secondary market.
3. MSS bonds were first introduced in 2016 to absorb the excess liquidity post demonetization.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


These are special bonds floated on behalf of the government by the RBI for the specific purpose of absorbing the excess liquidity in the system when regular government bonds prove inadequate. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

  • These are mostly shorter-tenure bonds, of less than six months maturity. But the tenure differs depending on the requirement. The primary aim of this scheme includes aiding the sterilization operations of the RBI.
  • Whenever there is a situation of capital inflows and excess liquidity in the economy, RBI stabilize the effects of significant capital inflows by offloading parts of the stock of Government Securities held by it and this absorbs the excess liquidity in the market. But the securities held by RBI may not be sufficient to conduct sterilization when the liquidity in the economy is too high (in the case of demonetization). Thus MSS was devised since continuous resort to sterilization by the RBI depleted its limited stock of Government Securities and impaired the scope for similar interventions in the future.
  • Under this scheme, the GoI borrows from the RBI (such borrowing being additional to its normal borrowing requirements) and issues Treasury-Bills/Dated Securities that are utilized for absorbing excess liquidity from the market. Therefore, the MSS constitutes an arrangement aiding in liquidity absorption, in keeping with the overall monetary policy stance of the RBI, alongside tools like the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) and Open Market Operations (OMO).
  • The securities issued under MSS termed as Market Stabilization Scheme (MSS) Securities/Bonds, areissued by way of auctions conducted by the RBI and are done according to a specified ceiling mutually agreed upon by the GoI and the RBI. They possess all the attributes of existing Treasury-Bills/DatedSecurities and are included as a part of the country’s ‘internal Central Government debt.
  • MSS bonds earn a return and qualify for statutory liquidity ratio, or SLR, that banks need to maintain inthe form of short-tenured treasury bills and government bonds. MSS bonds, too, are raised through an auction and are tradable in the secondary market. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • The Reserve Bank first introduced MSS bonds in February 2004 when the country was flushed with dollar inflows, which needs to be converted into the rupee. This created huge surplus liquidity in the system and the RBI decided to impound it by issuing MSS bonds as the central bank was running out of stock of regular government bonds. Hence, statement 3 is not correct.

The terms 'Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures', ‘Prohibited Subsidies' and ‘Special and Differential Treatment’ are related to 


Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) Agreement under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) prohibits subsidies that are contingent upon export performance. 

  • According to the Special and Differential Treatment (S&DT) provisions in the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, when a member’s per capita gross national income (GNI) exceeds $1,000 per annum (at the 1990 exchange rate) for a third straight year, it has to withdraw its export subsidies.
  • Infact, World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement panel recently ruled against India in a trade dispute over its subsidies to exporters under various schemes, stating that the subsidies given are not compliant with the WTO’s norms due to complaint filed by United States.
  • US challenged export subsidies provided by India under, Export subsidies.  Prohibited Subsidies are foreign trade policies undertaken by the governments to encourage the export of goods and discourage the sale of goods on the domestic market.

It is a protectionist measure that is seen to promote inefficiencies and leads to high costs to consumers in the subsidizing country: 

1. WTO prohibits most of the export subsidies directly linked to the volume of exports, except for the least developing countries (LDCs),

2. WTO panel recommended that India withdraw certain “prohibited subsidies” under the DFIS scheme within 90 days; under the EOU/EHTP/BTP, EPCG and MEIS schemes within 120 days and under the SEZ scheme within 180 days from the adoption of its report. 

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).  


Consider the following steps: 
(1) Passing of the Bill by the Houses of Parliament through a simple majority. 
(2) Fresh reference to the State Legislature in case amendments are moved to the Bill in either House of the Parliament. 
(3) Recommendation of the President for the Bill to be introduced in the Parliament. 
(4) Referring a Bill to the State Legislature concerned for expressing its views within a specified period. 
(5) Passing of the Bill in the State Legislature concerned.

Which of the steps given above are compulsory to alter the name of a State under Article 3 of the Indian Constitution? 

  • Article 3 of the Constitution allows to form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State, increase the area of any State, diminish the area of any State, alter the boundaries of any State, alter the name of any State.
  • But for these actions Article 3 lays down two conditions: 

(1) a Bill contemplating the above changes can be introduced in the Parliament only with the prior recommendation of the President. Hence Statement (3) is correct.  

(2) before recommending the Bill, the President has to refer the same to the State Legislature concerned for expressing its views within a specified period. Hence Statement (4) is correct.   

  • As per Article 4 this Bill needs to be passed by a simple majority in order to become an Act. Hence Statement (1) is correct.  
  • In doing any of these actions the President (or Parliament) is not bound by the views of the State Legislature and may either accept or reject them, even if the views are received in time. Hence statement (5) is not correct.  
  • Further, it is not necessary to make a fresh reference to the State Legislature every time an amendment to the Bill is moved and accepted in Parliament. Hence Statement (2) is not correct.
  • In case of a union territory, no reference need be made to the Legislature concerned to ascertain its views and the Parliament can itself take any action as it deems fit.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b). 


Which of the following functions in precision-farming are aided through GPS based applications? 
(1) Farm planning 
(2) Field mapping 
(3) Soil sampling 
(4) Fertilizers application 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 


GPS-based applications in precision farming are being used for farm planning, field mapping, soil sampling, tractor guidance, crop scouting, variable rate applications, and yield mapping. By using GPS on the tractors, the entire process from levelling the field to planting the seed to irrigating the crop has been much more efficient. So, statements (1), (2) and (3) are correct.  

GPS also allows farmers to work during low visibility field conditions such as rain, dust, fog, and darkness. Many of the new innovations rely on the integration of on-board computers, data collection sensors, and GPS time and position reference systems. Through the use of GPS, geographic information systems (GIS), and remote sensing, the information needed for improving land and water use can also be collected.  Farmers can achieve additional benefits by combining better utilization of fertilizers; pesticides etc with the GPS aided technology. So, statement (4) is correct.  

Therefore, the correct answer is (d). 


Which of the following environmental factors are responsible for coral bleaching? 
(1) Increase in seawater temperature due to ultraviolet radiation. 
(2) Shallow tides. 
(3) Change in ocean salinity. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 


The change in water temperature as little as 2 degrees Fahrenheit can cause coral to drive out its algae. Coral bleaching happens when corals lose their vibrant colours and turn white. Coral is bright and colourful because of microscopic algae called zooxanthellae. The zooxanthellae live within the coral in a symbiotic relationship, each helping the other to survive.  When the ocean environment changes, if it gets too hot for instance, the coral stresses out and expels the algae. The leading cause of coral bleaching is climate change. As the algae leaves, the coral fades until it looks like it has been bleached. If the temperature stays high, the coral won’t let the algae back, and the coral will die. When the temperature is high, high solar radiations contribute to bleaching shallow-water corals. So, Statement (1) is correct.  

Long periods of exceptionally low tides leave shallow-water coral heads exposed, damaging the reefs. The amount of damage depends on the time of day and the weather conditions. Corals exposed during daylight hours are subjected to the most ultraviolet radiation, which can overheat and dry out the coral's tissues. So, Statement (2) is correct.  

Salinity affects calcification, restricting tropical coral reefs to waters between 23– 29°C and in a salinity range of 32–40%. Bleaching can also occur (mainly on inshore reefs) after particularly heavy rainfall (for example during a cyclone) when a sharp drop in salinity causes stress in the algae. And other animals, like anemones and clams, nudibranchs and jellyfish, some of which also have a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, can also bleach.

Corals are sensitive organisms, known only to tolerate slight changes in their environment. The extreme and sudden changes in salinity, or the ocean salt concentration, causes a biochemical response in corals that is similar to marine heatwaves and also leads to more damage to their cells’ ability to function. So, Statement (3) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (d).


The recent Supreme Court decision related to the telecom sector ruled on the definition of which of the following terms? 

  • Leading telecom companies reported record losses for the quarter ended September 2019 after making provisions toward the Supreme Court’s ruling on the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR).
  • The judgment requires private telecom service providers to pay out higher sums towards license fee and spectrum usage fee, which are dependent on the value of AGR.
  • The telecom operators’ liabilities towards the said charges, including interest and penalties, is estimated to be a whopping ₹1.3 lakh crore. 
  • The telecom sector was liberalised under the National Telecom Policy, 1994 after which licenses were issued to companies in return for a fixed license fee.
  • To provide relief from the steep fixed license fee, the government in 1999 gave an option to the licensees to migrate to the revenue sharing fee model.
  • Under this, mobile telephone operators were required to share a percentage of their AGR with the government as annual license fee (LF) and spectrum usage charges (SUC). License agreements between the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the telecom companies define the gross revenues of the latter.
  • The dispute between DoT and the mobile operators was mainly on the definition of AGR. The DoT argued that AGR includes all revenues (before discounts) from both telecom and non-telecom services. The companies claimed that AGR should comprise just the revenue accrued from core services and not dividend, interest income or profit on the sale of any investment or fixed assets. SC has upheld the definition of AGR as stipulated by the DoT.

So, option (a) is correct and options (b), (c) and (d) are not correct.  Therefore, the correct answer is (a). 


With which of the following countries is the Bagge Award, the Nehru-Noon Agreement and Kar-Creed Maps associated? 


Disputes arising out of some provisions in the Radcliffe Award in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), were sought to be resolved through the Bagge Award of 1950.

Another effort was made to settle these disputes by the Nehru-Noon Agreement of 1958. However, the issue relating to the division of Berubari Union was challenged before the Supreme Court and the Court gave its opinion that in order to cede a part of the territory (transfer of territory) the Constitution had to be amended by a special majority thus not bringing to fruition any of these agreements. 

Therefore, the correct answer is (b). 


The effectiveness of any Greenhouse Gas (GHG) molecules will depend upon which of the following factors? 
(1) A lifetime in the atmosphere. 
(2) The wavelength of the radiation it absorbs. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 


The effectiveness of any greenhouse gas molecules depends upon the magnitude of the increase in its concentration, its lifetime in the atmosphere, and the wavelength of radiation that it absorbs. The more time the GHG molecule remains in the atmosphere, the longer it takes for the earth’s atmosphere to correct the changes brought about by the GHG molecules. 

Each GHG’s effect on climate change depends on a few factors: 
How long does it stay in the atmosphere(i.e., the lifetime of GHG):   Each of the GHG gases can remain in the atmosphere for different amounts of time, ranging from a few years to thousands of years. All of these gases remain in the atmosphere long enough to become well mixed, meaning that the amount that is measured in the atmosphere is roughly the same all over the world, regardless of the source of the emissions. So, Statement (1) is correct.  

The effectiveness of any greenhouse gas is also measured by the Global Warming Potential (GWP) that is the wavelength of the radiation it absorbs. Some gases are more effective than others at making the planet warmer and thickening the Earth's blanket. For each greenhouse gas, a Global Warming Potential (GWP) has been calculated to reflect how long it remains in the atmosphere, on average, and how strongly it absorbs energy. Gases with a higher GWP absorb more energy per pound, than gases with a lower GWP, and thus contribute more to warming the Earth. So, Statement (2) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (c).


Consider the following statements with regard to Photoperiodism: 
(1) It is used by algae to regulate their seasonal activities. 
(2) It impacts migration and the annual cycle of birds and the breeding time of mammals. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 


Photoperiodism refers to the functional or behavioural response of an organism to changes of duration in daily, seasonal, or yearly cycles of light and darkness.

Photoperiodic reactions can be reasonably predicted, but temperature, nutrition, and other environmental factors also modify an organism’s response. It causes programming of life cycles, coordination of opening of buds and flowers in plants and migration in animals. 

Photoperiod constitutes the most reliable environmental sign for predicting future seasonal change through evolutionary time. The plants from algae to angiosperms and animals from rotifers to rodents use photoperiodism to regulate their seasonal activities.

In plants and algae, photoperiod regulates a number of processes including photomorphogenesis, growth, flowering, stress tolerance and circadian rhythms. So, Statement (1) is correct.

When stimulated by light, an animal’s pituitary gland releases hormones which affect reproduction. Thus, the mating season of a species can be made to occur at an unusual time by manipulating daylight. Long periods of light followed by short periods will induce mating behaviour in species that normally breed in autumn (e.g., goats and sheep), while spring breeders (e.g., mink) will start the reproductive process when daylight is increased.

Photoperiodism is common in the poultry industry, as daylight affects egg-laying, mating, and the bodyweight of the fowl. So, Statement (2) is correct.  

Therefore, the correct answer is (c). 


‘Delhi Declaration', recently in the news, is 


At Conference of Parties (COP) 14 of UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), over 190 countries adopted the “New Delhi Declaration: Investing in Land and Unlocking Opportunities” which focuses on issues ranging from management and restoration of degraded land (Land degradation neutrality) to drought and climate change. So Option (a) is correct.

Delhi Declaration on Renewable Energy: It calls for collaboration among IORA member states in meeting the growing demand for renewable energy in Indian Ocean littorals, development of shared renewable energy agenda for Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and promotes regional capacity building. However, the option talks about BRICS member states. So, Option (b) is not correct.

Recently during Defence Expo 2020, at first India Africa Defence Minister Conclave, Lucknow declaration was adopted to deepen cooperation to combat the growing threat of terrorism and preserve maritime security by sharing information, intelligence and surveillance. So, Option (c) is not correct.

The sixth edition of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) - 2016 as adopted New Delhi declaration to adopt Urban Plus approach. It strongly advocated planning for urban and adjoining rural areas in an integrated manner instead of looking at them as independent entities.

It also called for a thorough review of existing policies and formulation of new policies to promote New Urban Agenda adopted at UN-Habitat III Conference. So, Option (d) is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).


Regarding the World Health Organisation, consider the following statements: 
(1) Its membership constitutes all of the United Nations member states. 
(2) It is financed by its respective member states as well as by private donors

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  • World Health Organisation was established in 1948, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. WHO is a specialised agency of the United Nations and member of the United Nations Development Group.
  • WHO has 194 member states: all of the Member States of the United Nations except for the Cook Islands and Niue. So Statement (1) is not correct.
  • WHO is financed by contributions from member states and outside donors. The World Health Assembly (WHA) is its legislative and supreme body. It meets annually and reviews various works of WHO. It also appoints the Director- General every five years. Publications of WHO are the World Health Report, World Health Statistics, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, etc. So, Statement (2) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).


Which of the following statements best describes ‘Allogenic Succession’?


In ecology, allogenic succession is driven by the abiotic components of an ecosystem. Whereas, an autogenic succession is driven by the biotic components of the ecosystem. The succession in which external environmental factors cause a change in the environment during succession is called allogenic succession. 

An allogenic succession can be brought about in a number of ways which can include: volcanic eruptions, meteor or comet strike, flooding, drought, earthquakes, non-anthropogenic climate change.

Allogenic succession can happen on a time scale that is proportionate with the disturbance. Soil erosion, leaching or the deposition of silt can change the soil. Similarly, clays can alter the nutrient content and water relationships in the ecosystems.

Animals also play an important role in allogenic changes. They act as pollinators, seed dispersers, and herbivores. They can also increase the nutrient content of the soil in certain areas. So, statement (b) is correct.  

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).


International Migrant Stock 2019 is published by the: 

  • International Migrant Stock 2019 is released by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).
  • India has emerged as the leading country of origin for immigrants across the world, with 17.5 million international migrants in 2019 coming from India, up from 15.9 million in 2015, according to a dataset released by the Union Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).
  • While India remained the top source of international migrants, the number of migrants living in India saw a slight decline.
  • Bangladesh was the leading country of origin for migrants in India, the report stated.
  • After India, Mexico ranked second as the country of origin. The European region hosted the highest number of immigrants followed by North America. 

Therefore, the correct answer is (c)


Once the capital of the Pallava dynasty, it was also the home of the famous 6th century CE poet Bharavi and the famous 11th to 12th century CE philosopher Ramanuja. The city was


Once a capital of the Pallava dynasty, Kanchipuram was also a noted centre of learning for Tamil and Sanskrit scholars. Dinganaga, a Buddhist writer came to study at Kanchi. It hosts many temples dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. Kanchi was also the home of the famous 6th century CE poet Bharavi who wrote the Kiratarjuniya and the famous 11th to 12th century CE Hindu philosopher Ramanuja. Still today an important religious centre, the site has over hundred temples and is also noted for its production of fine silk saris. 


Hiuen Tsang portray the social life in the times of Harsha. Consider the following with reference to it.
1. He mentions that certain privileged sections of society received land grants from kings.
2. He mentions that the Sudras practiced agriculture.
3. He notes that women enjoyed high status in literary societies and remarriage of widows was permitted.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.


The fourfold division of the society – Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vysya and Sudra – was prevalent. The Brahmins were the privileged section of the society and they were given land grants by the kings.

Hiuen Tsang mentions that the Sudras practiced agriculture. Learning: Hiuen Tsang mentions three ways of disposal of the dead – cremation, water burial and exposure in the woods.

The position of women was not satisfactory.

  • The institution of Swyamvara (the choice of choosing her husband) had declined.
  • Remarriage of widows was not permitted, particularly among the higher castes.
  • The system of dowry had also become common.
  • The practice of sati was also prevalent.

Trade and commerce had declined during Harsha’s period, which is evident from the decline of trade centres, less number of coins, and slow activities of merchant guilds.

The decline of trade in turn affected the handicrafts industry and agriculture. Since there was no large-scale demand for goods, the farmers began to produce only in a limited way. This led to the rise of self-sufficient village economy. 


Biosphere reserves are demarcated into 3 inter-related zones: Core, buffer and transition. Consider the following statements.
1. The transition area is the outermost part of a biosphere reserve.
2. Transition area can accommodate settlements, crop lands, managed forests and area for intensive recreation.
3. Only research activities are allowed in the buffer zone.
4. A core zone being National Park or Sanctuary is protected/regulated mostly under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.


Biosphere reserves are demarcated into following 3 inter-related zones:

  1. Core Zone : Core zone must contain suitable habitat for numerous plant and animal species, including higher order predators and may contain centres of endemism. Core areas often conserve the wild relatives of economic species and also represent important genetic reservoirs having exceptional scientific interest. A core zone being National Park or Sanctuary/protected/regulated mostly under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Whilst realizing that perturbation is an ingredient of ecosystem functioning, the core zone is to be kept free from human pressures external to the system.
  2. Buffer Zone : The buffer zone, adjoins or surrounds core zone, uses and activities are managed in this area in the ways that help in protection of core zone in its natural condition. These uses and activities include restoration, demonstration sites for enhancing value addition to the resources, limited recreation, tourism, fishing, grazing, etc; which are permitted to reduce its effect on core zone. Research and educational activities are to be encouraged. Human activities, if natural within BR, are likely to continue if these do not adversely affect the ecological diversity.
  3. Transition Zone : The transition area is the outermost part of a biosphere reserve. This is usually not delimited one and is a zone of cooperation where conservation knowledge and management skills are applied and uses are managed in harmony with the purpose of the biosphere reserve. This includes settlements, crop lands, managed forests and area for intensive recreation and other economic uses characteristics of the region. 

Nations that border the Persian Gulf are
1. Saudi Arabia
2. United Arab Emirates
3. Iran
4. Kuwait
5. Jordan

Select the correct answer using the codes below.


Map based question


In what type of soil is Magnesium deficiency most likely to occur due to leaching?

  • In strongly acidic, light, sandy soils magnesium can be easily leached away. In all other soils, where adhesion, denseness or less leaching occurs, magnesium may not be leached.
  • Magnesium is an essential macro nutrient found from 0.2-0.4% dry matter and is necessary for normal plant growth.
  • Magnesium has an important role in photosynthesis because it forms the central atom of chlorophyll. Therefore, without sufficient amounts of magnesium, plants begin to degrade the chlorophyll in the old leaves Low amounts of Mg lead to a decrease in photosynthetic and enzymatic activity within the plants.
  • Plants deficient in magnesium also produce smaller, woodier fruits. Excess potassium, generally due to fertilizers, further aggravates the stress from the magnesium deficiency, as does aluminium toxicity.
  • Applying home-made compost mulch can prevent leaching during excessive rainfall and provide plants with sufficient amounts of nutrients, including magnesium 

Eleven of the India’s eighteen biosphere reserves are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list. The latest addition is

  • Khangchendzonga National Park also Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is a National Park and a Biosphere reserve located in Sikkim, India.
  • It was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in July 2016, becoming the first "Mixed Heritage" site of India. It was included in the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme in 2018.
  • The park gets its name from the mountain Kangchenjunga (alternative spelling Khangchendzonga) which is 8,586 metres tall, the third-highest peak in the world. The total area of this park is 849.5 km2.
  • The park contains many mammal species including musk deer, snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, wild dog, sloth bear, civet, Himalayan black bear, red panda, Tibetan wild ass, Himalayan blue sheep, serow, goral and takin, as well as reptiles including rat snake and Russell's viper. 

The proposal of the Cripps mission included
1. After the end of the First World War, a constituent assembly would be convened to frame a new constitution.
2. Any province not willing to join the Indian Union could have a separate constitution and form a separate Union.

Which of the above is/are correct?


The main proposals of the mission were as follows:

• An Indian Union with a dominion status; would be set up; it would be free to decide its relations with the Commonwealth and free to participate in the United Nations and other international bodies.

• After the end of the Second World war (not first), a constituent assembly would be convened to frame a new constitution. Members of this assembly would be partly elected by the provincial assemblies through proportional representation and partly nominated by the princes.

The British Government would accept the new constitution subject to two conditions: 

  1. Any province not willing to join the Union could have a separate constitution and form a separate Union, and 
  2. The new constitution- making body and the British Government would negotiate a treaty to effect the transfer of power and to safeguard racial and religious minorities.

• In the meantime, defence of India would remain in British hands and the governor-general’s powers would remain intact.


In India, majority of growing stock of Bamboo is in the


28% of area and 66% of growing stock of bamboo in NE region. 20% of area and 12% of growing stock in MP &Chattisgarh.It is widely seen as a wood substitute in India given that we import a lot of wood. Largest use is in scaffolding, second largest in paper, third largest handicrafts


Consider the following statements with reference to the parallel government set up in Maharashtra during the Quit India Movement:
1. It took upon social reforms by inviting untouchables to marriages.
2. It set up local courts for dispensation of justice.
3. The government was brutally dismissed by the British and lasted only for six months.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


A significant feature of the Quit India Movement was the emergence of what came to be known as parallel government in some parts of the country.

  • The first one was proclaimed in Ballia, in East U P, in August 1942 under the leadership of Chittu Pande, who called himself a Gandhian. Though it succeeded in getting the Collector to hand over power and release all the arrested Congress leaders, it could not survive for long and when the soldiers marchedin, a week after the parallel government was formed, they found that the leaders had fled.
  • In Tamluk, in the Midnapur district of Bengal, the Jatiya Sarkar came into existence on 17 December 1942 and lasted till September 1944. Tamluk was an area where Gandhian constructive work has made considerable headway and it was also the scene of earlier mass struggles. The Jatiya Sarkar Undertook cyclone relief work, gave grants to schools. It also organized an armed Vidyut Vahini.
  • It also set up arbitration courts and distributed the surplus paddy of the well-to-do to the poor. Being Located in a relatively remote area, it could continue its activities with comparative ease.
  • Satara, in Maharashtra, emerged as the base of the longest-lasting and effective parallel government (1942-45). From the very beginning of the Quit India Movement, the region played an activerole. The Prati Sarkar continued to function till 1945. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
  • In the first phase from August 1942, there were marches on local government headquarters, sabotage,attacks on post offices, the looting of banks and the cutting of telegraph wires. Y.B. Chavan was themost important leader during the first phase. But by the end of 1942, this phase came to an end with the arrest of about two thousand people.
  • From the very beginning of 1943, the underground activists began to regroup, and by the middle of theyear, succeeded in consolidating the organization. A parallel government or Prati Sarkar was set upand Nani Patil was its most important leader. This phase was marked by attacks on Government collaborators. Nyayadan Mandals or people’s courts were set up and justice dispensed. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Prohibition was enforced, and ‘Gandhi marriages’ celebrated to whichun touchables were invited and no ostentation was allowed. Hence statement 1 is correct.

Consider the following statements regarding Indian Home Rule league/movement:
1. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru began his political career through Annie Besant's home rule league.
2. It demanded total independence from the British rule.
3. It was later renamed to the Commonwealth of India League.
4. The Congress session in 1915 approved the resolution regarding the setting up of Home Rule Leagues.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


The nationalist politics was in a low key since the Indian National Congress had split into moderates and extremists, while the Muslim league supported British interests in war. In 1916 “the extremists” led by Tilak had gained control of Congress. The Congress Session of 1915 did not approve the resolution regarding the scheme of Home Rule Leagues. Due to this, Tilak and Besant set up their separate leagues in Western and Southern India respectively. Hence statement 4 is not correct.

Besant herself inaugurated the Home Rule League at Madras in September 1916. Its branches were established at Kanpur, Allahabad, Benaras, Mathura, Calicut, and Ahmednagar. She made an extensive tour and spread the idea of Home Rule. Moderate congressmen who were dissatisfied with the inactivity of the Congress joined the Home Rule League. The popularity of the League can be gauged from the fact that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru began his political career as one of the Joint Secretaries of the Home Rule League in Uttar Pradesh with his father Motilal Nehru as President.

Other leaders who joined it were: Muhammad Ali Jinnah, B. Chakravarti, and Jitendralal Banerji, Satyamurti and Khaliquzzaman. Hence statement 1 is correct.

  • As Besant’s Home Rule Movement became very popular in Madras, the Government of Madras decidedto suppress it. Students were barred from attending their meetings.
  • In June 1917 Besant and her associates, B.P. Wadia and George Arundale were interred in Ootacamund. The government’s repression strengthened the supporters, and with renewed determination, they began to resist. To support Besant, Sir S. Subramaniam renounced his knighthood. Many leaders like Madan Mohan Malviya and Surendranath Banerjea who had earlier stayed away from the movement enlisted themselves.
  • The objective of home rule league/home rule movement was self-rule and dominion status for India Within the British empire. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
  • The Indian Home Rule League was renamed the Commonwealth of India League and used to lobby British MPs in support of self-government for India within the empire, or dominion status along thelines of Canada and Australia. It was transformed by V.K. Krishna Menon into the India League in1929. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
  • Lokmanya Tilak and Annie Besant presented a flag during the Home Rule movement in 1917 which has 7 stars in the Saptarishi configuration and Union Jack, as a symbol of autonomous rule under the British Empire.

'Strategic Economic Dialogue’, sometimes in the news, is in context of negotiations held between India and 


India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue: It is a bilateral dialogue platform between the planning bodies of India and China-the Planning Commission of India (now Niti Aayog) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China. It was set up during the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to India in December 2010 to focus on collaboration between two countries on areas of infrastructure, energy, high-tech, resource conservation, pharmaceuticals and policy coordination.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).


The Panchayati Raj Institutions in India strengthen 


Procedural democracy is a democracy that emphasizes the minimal standards of democracy. It is the opposite of substantive democracy and gives a narrow perspective to democracy. Ensuring freedom of the press, competitive party system, independent judiciary etc can be procedural democracy. Hence option (a) is not correct.

In an indirect democracy, the representatives elected by the people exercise the supreme power and thus carry on the government and make the laws. This type of democracy is also known as representative democracy. The 73rd Constitution Amendment Act is a significant landmark in the evolution of grass root democratic institutions in the country. It transforms the representative democracy into participatory democracy. The objective of the Act is to have village governance with participatory democracy as is visible through the gram sabha. Hence option (b) is not correct and option (c) is correct.

Consensus democracy is one in which decision making occurs through consensus thus taking into full consideration the opinion of the minorities, it is quite the opposite of majoritarian democracy. Hence option (d) is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (c).


Which of the following are reasons that make a moderate level of inflation good for the economy? 
(1) It increases consumption levels. 
(2) It keeps businesses profitable. 
(3) It makes already contracted loans cheaper. 
(4) It induces people to save more. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 


Correct Answer :- d

Explanation : Inflation is a sustained rise in overall price levels. Moderate inflation is associated with economic growth, while high inflation can signal an overheated economy.

As an economy grows, businesses and consumers spend more money on goods and services. In the growth stage of an economic cycle, demand typically outstrips the supply of goods, and producers can raise their prices. As a result, the rate of inflation increases. If economic growth accelerates very rapidly, demand grows even faster and producers raise prices continually. An upward price spiral, sometimes called “runaway inflation” or “hyperinflation,” can result. 

Inflation also makes it easier on debtors, who repay their loans with money that is less valuable than the money they borrowed. This encourages borrowing and lending, which again increases spending on all levels.


Consider the following statements with reference to Office of Profit: 
(1) It is neither defined in the Constitution of India nor Representation of the People Act, 1951. 
(2) The power of disqualification for holding it is conferred upon the President of India. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 


• The word ‘office’ has not been defined in the Constitution or the Representation of the People Act of 1951. But, the courts (ex- Pradyut Bordoloi vs Swapan Roy) have outlined broad principles for determining whether an office attracts the constitutional disqualification. So, Statement (1) is correct.

• The President, in consultation with the Election Commission, disqualify a member who is holding an office of profit. For instance, the President disqualified 20 MLAs of the Delhi Legislative Assembly for being appointed as parliamentary secretaries on the recommendation of the Election Commission of India. So, Statement (2) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (c).


Which of the following statements are true regarding the Wavell Plan?
(1) The Plan proposed Caste Hindus and Muslims to have equal representation. 
(2) The League wanted all minority members to be League nominees. 
(3) Wavell announced a breakdown of talks, thus giving the Congress a virtual veto. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 


The main proposals of the Wavell Plan were

  • Except for the Governor-General and the Commander-in-chief, all members of the Executive Council were to be Indians.
  • Caste Hindus and Muslims were to have equal representation.
  • The reconstructed council was to function as an interim government within the framework of the 1935 Act.
  • The Governor-General was to exercise his veto on the advice of ministers.
  • Possibilities were to be kept open for negotiations on a new Constitution once the war was finally won. So Statement (1) is correct.
  • The League wanted all Muslim members to be League nominees because it feared that since the aims of other minorities— depressed classes, Sikhs, Christians, etc.—were the same as those of the Congress, this arrangement would reduce the League to a one-third minority. So Statement (2) is not correct.
  • Wavell announced a breakdown of talks, thus giving the League a virtual veto. This strengthened the League’s position, as was evident from the elections in 1945-46, and boosted Jinnah’s position; and exposed the real character of the Conservative government of Churchill. So, statement (3) is not correct.

Therefore the correct answer is (a).


Consider the following statements regarding fiscal deficit: 
(1) It is good for the economy if it is used for the creation of productive assets. 
(2) Tax rate cuts always increase the fiscal deficit of a country. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 


• Fiscal Deficit is the difference between the total income of the government (total taxes and non-debt capital receipts) and its total expenditure.

• A fiscal deficit situation occurs when the government’s expenditure exceeds its income. This difference is calculated both in absolute terms and also as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

• A recurring high fiscal deficit means that the government has been spending beyond its means. A high fiscal deficit can also be good for the economy if the money spent goes into the creation of productive assets like highways, roads, ports and airports that boost economic growth and result in job creation. So, Statement (1) is correct.

• Tax rate cuts may decrease the tax revenue of the government resulting in a higher fiscal deficit. However, it has been observed over the medium and long term, a lower tax rate increases the compliance on the part of the taxpayers (Laffer curve). They are induced to declare more taxable income. Moreover, tax cuts lead to more consumption and investment in the economy, resulting in a higher growth rate in the economy, which in turn leads to more people coming in the tax net. So, Statement (2) is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).


Which of the following statements, with reference to provisions introduced by the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act, is correct? 


91st Constitutional Amendment Act introduced the following provisions:

  • It limited the size of the Council of Ministers at the Central and the State level to 15% of the total strength of the Parliament and State Legislatures. But the State Council of Ministers shall not consist of less than 12 members. So Option (a) is correct.
  • Any member disqualified on the ground of defection shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a Minister or to hold it any remunerative political post, ie, any office where salary for remuneration is paid out of public revenue. This does not include official positions in the private sector. So Option (b) is not correct.
  • It deleted exceptions from disqualification on the grounds of split a political party. However, it allows a party to merge with or into another party provided that at least two-thirds of its legislators are in favour of the merger. In such a scenario, neither the members who decide to merge nor the ones who stay with the original party will face disqualification.
    However, it still does not set a time limit within which the Presiding Officer has to decide. Given that courts can intervene only after the Presiding Officer has decided on the matter, the petitioner seeking disqualification has no option but to wait for this decision to be made. There have been several cases where the Courts have expressed concern about the unnecessary delay in deciding such petitions, example, Mayawati Vs Markandeya Chand &Ors., 1998. So Option (c) is not correct.
  • Report of the National Commission to review the working of the Constitution, 2002 recommend law should be valid only for those votes that determine the stability of the government (passage of the annual budget or no-confidence motions). So, Option (d) is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).


 Consider the following statements with respect to Indian Culture Portal

1. It showcases both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of India through manuscripts, museum artefacts, paintings, etc.

2. It is a part of the National Virtual Library of India project, funded by the Ministry of Culture.

3. The portal has been created and developed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Which of the statements given above are correct?  


Indian Culture Portal

  • It is a part of the National Virtual Library of India project, funded by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
  • The portal has been created and developed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
  • Data has been provided by organisations of the Ministry of Culture and curated by Indira Gandhi National Open University.
  • The Indian Culture Portal promotes and showcases both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of India through various categories mentioned above which include  manuscripts, museum artefacts, paintings, archival photographs, food and culture, musical instruments of India, archival documents, social practices, rituals, and festivals, Oral traditions and expressions and rare books, etc.
  • These details are provided for every region of India and from Indus Valley Civilisation to the present.

Which of the following aspects can lead to appreciation in the exchange rate of the Rupee? 
(1) Increase in foreign tourists coming to India. 
(2) Indian citizens investing abroad. 
(3) A decrease in crude oil prices. 
(4) Increase in exports by Indian pharmaceutical companies. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 


• Aside from factors such as interest rates and inflation, the currency exchange rate is one of the most important determinants of a country's relative level of economic health. Exchange rates play a vital role in a country's level of trade, which is critical to most every free market economy in the world. For this reason, exchange rates are among the most-watched, analyzed and governmentally manipulated economic measures.

• The value of a currency depends on factors that affect the economy such as imports and exports, inflation, employment, interest rates, growth rate, trade deficit, the performance of equity markets, foreign exchange reserves, macroeconomic policies, foreign investment inflows, banking capital, commodity prices and geopolitical conditions. Increase in foreign tourists coming to India would increase the demand for Rupee. This would lead to an appreciation in the rupee value. So, Statement (1) is correct.

• Indian citizens investing abroad would demand foreign currency in exchange for Rupee. This would lead to the price of the foreign currency increasing relative to the rupee, leading to a depreciation in the value of the rupee. So, Statement (2) is not correct.

• A decrease in crude oil prices would reduce the import bill of India as India imports about 70 per cent of its crude requirements. This would reduce the demand for foreign currency, which in turn would lead to an increase in the value of the rupee. So, Statement (3) is correct.

• Increase in exports by Indian pharmaceutical companies would bring foreign exchange in India. The price of foreign currency would reduce in terms of the rupee. This would lead to a depreciation in the value of the foreign currency and an appreciation in the value of the rupee. So, Statement (4) is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).


In the context of imposition of martial law under the Constitution of India, consider the following statements: 
(1) It affects Fundamental Rights. 
(2) There are specific and detailed provisions in the Constitution regarding martial law. 
(3) It suspends both the Government and ordinary law courts.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 


The imposition of martial law under Article 34 of the Constitution of India affects only the Fundamental Rights and not the Legislative powers between Centre and States. So, Statement (1) is correct.

No specific or express provision in the Constitution authorises the executive to declare martial law. However, it is implicit in Article 34 under which martial law can be declared in any area within the territory of India. Martial law is imposed under extraordinary situations. So, Statement (2) is not correct.

• The imposition of martial law suspends the government and ordinary law courts. So, Statement (3) is correct.