UPSC Prelims Past Year 2020: Paper 1 (GS)


100 Questions MCQ Test UPSC Previous Year Question Papers | UPSC Prelims Past Year 2020: Paper 1 (GS)


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

With reference to carbon nanotubes, consider the following statements:

1. They can be used as carriers of drugs and antigens in the human body.
2. They can be made into artificial blood capillaries for an injured part of the human body. 
3. They can be used in biochemical sensors.
4. Carbon nanotubes are biodegradable.

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

Solution:

► Recently, it has been demonstrated that functionalized carbon nanotubes can be degraded by oxidative enzymes . This finding is offering a new perspective for the development of carbon nanotubes in medicine.

► Enabling technology would facilitate the making of nanodevices using these blood-compatible nanomaterials as building blocks for biomedical applications such as artificial implants, including structural tissue replacements, that is, artificial blood vessels, or functional devices such as drug delivery matrices.

► Biochemical Sensors Using Carbon Nanotube Arrays

► NASA has successfully demonstrated a miniaturized electronics technology with extremely high sensitivity and simplified sample preparation for in-vitro detecting specific biomarker signatures, which is based on incorporating embedded vertically aligned carbon nanotubes as nanoelectrode arrays in diagnostics devices. 

QUESTION: 2

Consider the following activities

1. Spraying pesticides on a crop field 
2. Inspecting the craters of active volcanoes
3. Collecting breath samples from spouting whales for DNA analysis

At the present level of technology, which of the above activities can be successfully carried out by using drones?

Solution:

Drones are already well known to spread pesticides and inspecting volcanoes remotely. Hence statements 1 and 2 are true.

Since 2015 Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Cape Cod have begun using a helicopter-style drone to monitor humpback whales off the coast, collecting breath samples from their blowholes and taking aerial pictures. Getting a breath sample from a whale isn't the easiest task in the world. But with the help of a hexacopter, scientists are getting the job done.
Therefore, the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 3

The experiment will employ a trio of spacecraft flying in formation in the shape of an equilateral triangle that has sides one million kilometres long with lasers shining between the craft. The experient in question refers to 

Solution:

► The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a mission led by the European Space Agency to detect and accurately measure gravitational waves, tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time from astronomical sources.LISA would be the first dedicated space-based gravitational wave detector. It aims to measure gravitational waves directly by using laser interferometry.

► The LISA concept has a constellation of three spacecraft arranged in an equilateral triangle with sides 2.5 million km long, flying along an Earth-like heliocentric orbit. The distance between the satellites is precisely monitored to detect a passing gravitational wave

QUESTION: 4

Consider the following statements:
1. Genetic changes can be introduced in the cells that produce eggs or sperms of a prospective parent 
2. A person’s genome can be edited before birth at the early embryonic stage.
3. Human induced pluripotent stem cells can be injected into the embryo of a pig.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Generation of pig induced pluripotent stem cells using an extended pluripotent stem cell culture system.

Pigs have emerged as one of the most popular large animal models in biomedical research, which in many cases is considered as a superior choice over rodent models. In addition, transplantation studies using pig pluripotent stem (PS) cell derivatives may serve as a testbed for safety and efficacy prior to human trials. Recently, it has been shown that mouse and human PS cells cultured in LCDM (recombinant human LIF, CHIR 99021, (S)-(+)-dimethindene maleate, minocycline hydrochloride) medium exhibited extended developmental potential (designated as extended pluripotent stem cells, or EPS cells), which could generate both embryonic and extraembryonic tissues in chimeric mouse conceptus. 

QUESTION: 5

What is the importance of using Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines in India?

1. These vaccines are effective against pneumonia as well as meningitis and sepsis.
2. Dependence on antibiotics that are not effective against drug-resistant bacteria can be reduced.
3. These vaccines have no side effects and cause no allergic reactions.

Select the correct answers using the code given below:

Solution:

Statement 3 is not correct, each vaccine has some mild side effects , so 3rd option can be eliminated.

Statement 2 is correct, Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria  thus by using this vaccine dependence on antibiotics could be reduced 

Statement 1 is correct: The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is 97?effective in preventing bacteremia and meningitis. It can also help prevent ear infections and pneumonia.

QUESTION: 6

In India, the term “Public Key Infrastructure”

Solution:

A public key infrastructure is a set of roles, policies, hardware, software and procedures needed to create, manage, distribute, use, store and revoke digital certificates and manage public-key encryption.

QUESTION: 7

Which of the following statements are correct regarding the general difference between plant and animal cells?

1. Plant cells have cellulose cell walls whilst animal cells do not.
2. Plant cells do not have plasma membrane unlike animal cells which do.
3. Mature plant cell has one large vacuole whilst animal cell has many small vacuoles.

Select the correct answers using the code given below

Solution:

Both animal and plant cells have mitochondria, but only plant cells have chloroplasts. Plants don’t get their sugar from eating food, so they need to make sugar from sunlight. This process (photosynthesis) takes place in the chloroplast. Once the sugar is made, it is then broken down by the mitochondria to make energy for the cell. Because animals get sugar from the food they eat, they do not need chloroplasts: just mitochondria.

  • Both plant and animal cells have vacuoles. A plant cell contains a large, singular vacuole that is used for storage and maintaining the shape of the cell. In contrast, animal cells have many, smaller vacuoles. 3 is correct.
  • Plant cells have a cell wall, as well as a cell membrane. In plants, the cell wall surrounds the cell membrane. This gives the plant cell its unique rectangular shape. Animal cells simply have a cell membrane, but no cell wall. 1 is correct.
  • Plant cells have a cell wall, chloroplasts, plasmodesmata, and plastids used for storage, and a large central vacuole, whereas animal cells do not. 2 is incorrect.

QUESTION: 8

Which of the following are the reasons/factors for exposure to benzene pollution?

1. Automobile exhaust
2. Tobacco smoke
3. Wood burning
4. Using varnished wooden furniture
5. Using products made of polyurethane 

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

Solution:

Benzene (CAS Registry Number 71-43-2; C6H6; molecular weight 78.1 g/mol) is an aromatic compound with a single six-member unsaturated carbon ring. It is a clear, colourless, volatile, highly flammable liquid with a characteristic odour and a density of 874 kg/m3 at 25°C.

Where benzene is found and how it is used

  • Benzene is formed from both natural processes and human activities.
  • Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke.
  • Benzene is widely used in the United States. It ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume.
  • Some industries use benzene to make other chemicals that are used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers. Benzene is also used to make some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides.

How you could be exposed to benzene

  • Outdoor air contains low levels of benzene from tobacco smoke, gas stations, motor vehicle exhaust, and industrial emissions.
  • Indoor air generally contains levels of benzene higher than those in outdoor air. The benzene in indoor air comes from products that contain benzene such as glues, paints, furniture wax, and detergents.
  • The air around hazardous waste sites or gas stations can contain higher levels of benzene than in other areas.
  • Benzene leaks from underground storage tanks or from hazardous waste sites containing benzene can contaminate well water.
  • People working in industries that make or use benzene may be exposed to the highest levels of it.
  • A major source of benzene exposure is tobacco smoke.
  • Benzene in particular, one of the main organic compounds emitted by wood-burning, has the potential to cause cancer.

How benzene works

  • Benzene works by causing cells not to work correctly. For example, it can cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. Also, it can damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells.
  • The seriousness of poisoning caused by benzene depends on the amount, route, and length of time of exposure, as well as the age and preexisting medical condition of the exposed person.
QUESTION: 9

If another global financial crisis happens in the near future, which of the following actions/policies are most likely to give some immunity to India?

1. Not depending on the short term foreign borrowing.
2. Opening up to more foreign banks
3. Maintaining full capital account convertibility

Select the correct answer using the given code below-

Solution:

Being dependent on Short term borrowings means India will face cash crunch in times of global crisis as there will be global liquidity crunch. 1 is correct.

The International movement of capital is not always free; countries restrict flows of capital as and when needed to safeguard their markets from erratic flows of capital. In India, for example, there are restrictions on the movement of foreign capital and the rupee is not fully convertible on capital account. 2 is incorrect.

What does Capital Account Convertibility mean?

CAC means the freedom to convert rupee into any foreign currency (Euro, Dollar, Yen, Renminbi etc.) and foreign currency back into rupee for capital account transactions. In very simple terms it means, Indian’s having the freedom to convert their local financial assets into foreign ones at market determined exchange rate. CAC will lead to a free exchange of currency at a lower rate and an unrestricted movement of capital.

The consensus that emerges from the literature focussing on the implications of foreign bank lending during the global financial crisis (GFC) is that foreign banks seem to promote instability through rapid cut backs in their lending relative to domestic banks. Opening up to foreign banks will be riskier in times of crisis. The banks may move out the capital to their origin countries. 3 is incorrect.

QUESTION: 10

If you withdraw Rs. 1,00,000 in cash from you Demand Deposit Account at your bank, the immediate effect on aggregate money supply in the economy will be 

Solution:

If a person withdraws 1,00,000 in cash from his/her Demand Deposit Account at your bank Aggregate money supply in the economy will be unchanged 

M3 consists of both cash held by public and Demand Deposit. The money that has been withdrawn from Demand Deposit is just added to cash (both are components of M3), so aggregate money supply will not have any immediate effect.

QUESTION: 11

With reference to the cultural history of India, which one of the following is the correct description of the term ‘Paramitas’?

Solution:

Pāramitā (Sanskrit, Pali) or pāramī (Pāli), is a Buddhist term often translated as "perfection". It is described in Buddhist commentaries as noble character qualities generally associated with enlightened beings

QUESTION: 12

In the context of Indian history, the Rakhmabai case of 1884 revolved around

1. Women’s right to gain education
2. Age of consent
3. Restitution of conjugal rights
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

QUESTION: 13

Indigo cultivation in India declined by the beginning of the 20th century because of

Solution:

The indigo production collapsed in Bengal, after the revolt.. Discovery of synthetic dyes in the late nineteenth century severely affected the business

QUESTION: 14

Wellesley established the fort William College at Calcutta because

Solution:

The initial attempt to train the Civil Servants locally was done by Lord Wellesley. Within the campus of the Fort William, he founded Fort Williams College on 10 July 1800.

The idea was to teach the Britishers to understand the Oriental culture, tradition, law and administration to better coordinate in the “governance”.

QUESTION: 15

With reference to the history of India, ‘Ulgulan’ or the great Tumult is the description of which of the following events?

Solution:

Born in 1875 in the Munda tribe. He is often referred to as ‘Dharti Abba’ or the Earth Father.

He led the rebellion that came to be known as Ulgulan (revolt) or the Munda rebellion against the British government-imposed feudal state system.

QUESTION: 16

With reference to the scholars/litterateurs of ancient India, consider the following statements:

1. Panini is associated with Pushyamitra Shunga.
2. Amarasimha is associated with Harshvardhana
3. Kalidasa is associated with Chandra Gupta - II

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Pushyamitra’s Guru, Patanajali, one of the greatest geniuses in Indian history was a student of another very famous genius Panini, has written Mahabhashya, a commentary on Panini’s grammar and a very celebrated work on Sanskrit literary. 1 is incorrect.

Amarasimha was a Sanskrit grammarian and poet from ancient India, of whose personal history hardly anything is known. He is said to have been "one of the nine gems that adorned the throne of Vikramaditya," and according to the evidence of Xuanzang, this is the Chandragupta Vikramaditya who flourished about CE 375. 2 is incorrect.

Chandragupta II (also known as Chandragupta Vikramaditya) was one of the most powerful emperors of the Gupta Empire in India. His rule spanned c. 380 – c. 415 CE during which the Gupta Empire reached its peak. Kālidāsa was a Classical Sanskrit writer, widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the Sanskrit language of India. His plays and poetry are primarily based on the Vedas, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. 3 is correct.

QUESTION: 17

In the context of recent advances in human reproductive technology, “Pronuclear Transfer is used for 

Solution:

Pronuclear transfer involves the transfer of pronuclei from one zygote to another. This technique first requires fertilisation of healthy donated egg/s (provided by the mitochondrial donor) with the intending male parent sperm.

Simultaneously, the intending mother's affected oocytes are fertilised with the intending father's sperm. Both sets of fertilised oocytes are allowed to develop to the early zygote stage where the pronuclei are visible. 

Pronuclear transfer has the potential to 'treat' human mtDNA disease at a genetic level. D is correct.

Mutations in mtDNA are a cause of mitochondrial disease, a heterogeneous group of diseases that can lead to premature death, sometimes in infancy or childhood. Most mitochondrial diseases lack specific treatments, and women who carry the causative mutations are at high risk of transmitting the diseases to their offspring. Risk of transmission is greatest for women with high heteroplasmy—women whose total mtDNA content in affected cells or tissues is made up of between 60 and 90 percent mutated mtDNA

Both maternal spindle transfer and pronuclear transfer attempt to minimize heteroplasmy by replacing the mother’s mitochondria with healthy donor mitochondria.

QUESTION: 18

With the present state of development Artificial Intelligence can effectively do which of the following?

1. Bring down electricity consumption in industrial units
2. Create meaningful short stories and songs
3. Disease diagnosis 
4. Text-to-Speech Conversion
5. Wireless transmission of electrical energy 

Select the correct answers using the code given below:

Solution:

The correct option is Option C.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has the potential to cut energy waste, lower energy costs, and facilitate and accelerate the use of clean renewable energy sources in power grids worldwide. AI can also improve the planning, operation, and control of power systems.

AI can correctly diagnose disease in 87% of the cases, whereas detection by healthcare professionals yielded an 86% accuracy rate. The specificity for deep learning algorithms was 93%, compared with humans' at 91%.

Microsoft creates a text-to-speech Artificial Intelligence that can generate realistic speech. Tech giant Microsoft with the help of Chinese engineers might have a more efficient process as they've created a text-to-speech AI that can make a realistic speech by using only 200 voice samples.

QUESTION: 19

With reference to Visible Light Communication (VLC) technology, which of the following statements are correct?

1. VLC uses electromagnetic spectrum wavelengths 375 to 780 nm.
2. VLC is known as long-range optical wireless communication.
3. VLC can transmit large amounts of data faster than Bluetooth.
4. VLC has no electromagnetic interference.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

Visible light communication (VLC) is a data communications variant which usesvisible light between 400 and 800 THz (780–375 nm). VLC is a subset of optical wireless communications technologies. 1 is correct.

The technology uses fluorescent lamps (ordinary lamps, not special communications devices) to transmit signals at 10 kbit/s, or LEDs for up to 500 Mbit/s over short distances. 

Systems such as RONJA can transmit at full Ethernet speed (10 Mbit/s) over distances of 1–2 kilometres (0.6–1.2 mi). It is not long range. 2 is incorrect.

VLC has the characteristic, to resist electromagnetic interference. 4 is correct.

It carries more data than WiFi and bluetooth. 3 is correct. 

QUESTION: 20

With reference to “Blockchain Technology”, consider the following statements:

1. It is a public ledger that everyone can inspect. But which no single user controls.
2. The structure and design of blockchain is such that all the data in it are about cryptocurrency only.
3. Applications that depend on basic features of blockchain can be developed without anybody’s permission.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Blockchain Technology:
Blockchain technology is a structure that stores transactional records, also known as the block, of the public in several databases, known as the “chain,” in a network connected through peer-to-peer nodes. Typically, this storage is referred to as a ‘digital ledger.’

In simpler words, the digital ledger is like a Google spreadsheet shared among numerous computers in a network, in which, the transactional records are stored based on actual purchases. 

The fascinating angle is that anybody can see the data, but they can’t corrupt it. 1 is correct.

Blockchain can be used for many purposes like Secure sharing of medical data, Music royalties tracking. 2 is incorrect. It is an extreme statement also.

Applications that depend on basic features of the blockchain can thus be developed without asking anybody for permission or paying anyone. 3 is correct.

QUESTION: 21

A Parliamentary System of Government is on in which

Solution:

A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance of a state (or subordinate entity) where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislature, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament.

QUESTION: 22

Which part of the Constitution of India declares the Ideal of Welfare State?

Solution:
QUESTION: 23

Consider the following statements:

1. The Constitution of India defines its basic structure in terms of federalism, secularism, fundamental rights and democracy.
2. The Constitution of India provides for Judicial review to safeguard the citizens; liberties and to preserve the ideals on which the constitution is based.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Basic structure is not defined by Constitution so option 1 is incorrect 

QUESTION: 24

One common agreement between Gandhism and Marxism is 

Solution:

There is a great similarity between Mahatma Gandhi and Karl Marx. However, while the final aim of both of them was the establishments of a stateless and classless society, their means for achieving this aim are different. Mahatma Gandhi wanted to achieve this end through non-violent means but Marx wanted to achieve it through violent means.

QUESTION: 25

In the context of India, which one of the following is the characteristic appropriate for bureaucracy?

Solution:

Bureaucracy or the permanent executive is body of appointed officials which primarily responsible for two functions
1. Providing policy inputs to the elected representatives who form the popular executive
2. Implementation of the public policy approved by the popular executive
Therefore, option (d) is most appropriate answer as it represents one of the primary function of bureaucracy.
Bureaucracy has no direct role in the dynamics of parliamentary democracy as it works on principles of political neutrality and anonymity. Hence, it is apolitical. In context of India, bureaucracy is represented by All India Services like IAS which are unitary in characteristic and they are often criticised by state governments as going against the federal spirit. Though bureaucracy acts as catalyst for economic growth and provides stability to administration and policy to some extent, it has no direct role in political stability. Political stability in India’s parliamentary system is dependent on the confidence enjoyed by executive in Lok Sabha. 
Therefore, options (a), (b), (c) are not correct.
Therefore the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 26

The Preamble to the Constitution of India is 

Solution:
  • Kesavananda Bharati Case: In this case, for the first time, a bench of 13 judges was assembled to hear a writ petition. The Court held that:
    • The Preamble of the Constitution will now be considered as part of the Constitution.
    • The Preamble is not the supreme power or source of any restriction or prohibition but it plays an important role in the interpretation of statutes and provisions of the Constitution.
    • So, it can be concluded that preamble is part of the introductory part of the Constitution.
  • In the 1995 case of Union Government Vs LIC of India also, the Supreme Court has once again held that Preamble is the integral part of the Constitution but is not directly enforceable in a court of justice in India.
QUESTION: 27

“Gold Tranche” (Reserve Tranche) refers to 

Solution:

The IMF is funded through its members and their quota contributions. The reserve tranche is basically an emergency account that IMF members can access at any time without agreeing to conditions or paying a service fee. In other words, a portion of a member country’s quota can be withdrawn free of charge at its own discretion.
In short,

  • The reserve tranche is a segment of an International Monetary Fund member country’s quota that is accessible without fees or economic reform conditions.
  • Initially, member nations’ reserve tranches are 25% of their quota, but this position can change according to any lending that the IMF does with its holdings of the member’s currency.
  • The reserve tranches that countries hold with the IMF are considered their facilities of first resort, meaning they will tap into them before seeking a formal credit tranche that charges interest.

Therefore the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 28

With reference to the provision contained in Part IV of the Constitution of India, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. They shall be enforceable by courts.
2. They shall not be enforceable by any court.
3. The principles laid down in this part are to influence the making of laws by the State.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • The phrase ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ denotes the ideals that the State should keep in mind while formulating policies and enacting laws. These are the constitutional instructions or recommendations to the State in legislative, executive and administrative matters.
  • The Directive Principles resemble the ‘Instrument of Instructions’ enumerated in the Government of India Act of 1935. In the words of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, ‘the Directive Principles are like the instrument of instructions, which were issued to the GovernorGeneral and to the Governors of the colonies of India by the British Government under the Government of India Act of 1935. What is called Directive Principles is merely another name for the instrument of instructions. The only difference is that they are instructions to the legislature and the executive’. 
  • The Directive Principles constitute a very comprehensive economic, social and political programme for a modern democratic State. They aim at realizing the high ideals of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as outlined in the Preamble to the Constitution. They embody the concept of a ‘welfare state’ and not that of a ‘police state’, which existed during the colonial era. In brief, they seek to establish economic and social democracy in the country. 
  • The Directive Principles are non-justiciable in nature, that is, they are not legally enforceable by the courts for their violation. Therefore, the government (Central, state and local) cannot be compelled to implement them. Nevertheless, the Constitution (Article 37) itself says that these principles are fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws. Hence, statements 2 and 3 are correct.

Therefore the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 29

Consider the following statements:

1. According to the Constitution of India, a person who is eligible to vote can be made a minister in a State for six months even if he/she is not a member of the Legislature of that State.
2. According to the Representation of People Act, 1951, a person convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment for five years is permanently disqualified from contesting an election even after his release from prison.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Qualifications a person should possess to become eligible for appointment as a minister are:

  • He should be a citizen of India.
  • He should be above 25 years of age
  • He should not hold any office of profit under the government of India
  • If he is not a member of Parliament, then he should be elected to the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha within six months after his appointment as a minister.

Section 8 (3) of the RP Act states that if an MP or MLA is convicted for any other crime and is sent to jail for 2 years or more, he/ she will be disqualified for 6 years from the time of release. 2 is incorrect.

QUESTION: 30

Consider the following statements

1. The President of India can summon a session of the Parliament at such place as he/she thinks fit.
2. The Constitution of India provides for three sessions of the Parliament in a year, but it is not mandatory to conduct all three sessions.
3. There is no minimum number of days of that the Parliament is required to meet in a year.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Article 85(1) of the Constitution empowers the President to summon each House of Parliament to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one Session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next Session. 1 is correct.

By convention, Parliament meets for three sessions in a year. The longest, the Budget Session, is held towards the beginning of the year, a three-week Monsoon Session follows from July to August, and then there is the Winter Session, also three weeks long, in November-December. Constitution does not provide that. 2 is incorrect.

There is no minimum number of days that Parliament is required to meet in a year — in fact, the number of days that Parliament meets has reduced over the years. 3 is correct.

QUESTION: 31

Consider the following statements: 

1. Aadhaar metadata cannot be stored for more than three months.
2. State cannot enter into any contract with private corporations for sharing of Aadhaar data.
3. Aadhaar is mandatory for obtaining insurance products.
4. Aadhaar is mandatory for getting benefits funded out of the Consolidated Fund of India.

Which of the  statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Statement 1 is not correct: Aadhaar Metadata Cannot be Stored For More Than 6 Months.

Statement 2 is not correct 

Statement 3 is correct. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India tosaid that linkage of 12-digit Aadhaar number to insurance policies mandatory requirement under the prevention of money laundering rules for existing and new policies.

“The Authority clarifies that, linkage of Aadhaar number to Insurance Policies is mandatory under the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017,”

QUESTION: 32

Rajya Sabha has equal powers with Lok Sabha in

Solution:

Rajya Sabha has equal powers with Lok Sabha in the amendment of the constitutional bill. Unlike money bill, the constitutional amendment bill has to be approved by both the houses of Parliament with special majority. There is no provision of Joint Session in case of disagreement, so, Lok Sabha cannot override the decision of Rajya Sabha.
However, in the matters of formation and removal of government, the Rajya Sabha has unequal status with respect to Lok Sabha. Similarly, Rajya Sabha has less powers in the matters of finance like making cut motions, passing money bill, etc. vis-a-vis Lok Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha has been given some special powers which it enjoys exclusively. This includes power to authorise the Parliament to create new All-India Services common to both the Centre and states (Article 312) by passing a resolution.
Therefore the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 33

With reference to the funds under Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), which of the following statements are correct?

1. MPLADS funds must be used to create durable assets like physical infrastructure for health, education, etc.
2. A specified portion of each MP’s ‘fund must benefit SC/ST populations.
3. MPLADS funds are sanctioned on yearly basis and the unused funds cannot be carried forward to the next year.
4. The district authority must inspect at least 10% of all works under implementation every year.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

Following are the features of MPLAD scheme:
All works to meet locally felt infrastructure and development needs, with an emphasis on creation of durable assets in the constituency are permissible under MPLADS except those prohibited in Annexure-II of the guidelines of MPLAD. Therefore statement 1 is correct.
Development of Areas inhabited by Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe: M.Ps are to recommend every year, works costing at least 15 per cent of the MPLADS entitlement for the year for areas inhabited by Scheduled Caste population and 7.5 per cent for areas inhabited by S.T. population. In other words, out of an amount of Rs.5 crores, a M.P. shall recommend for areas inhabited by S.C. population, Rs.75 lacs and Rs.37.5 lacs for areas inhabited by S.T. population. In case there is insufficient tribal population in the area of Lok Sabha Member, they may recommend this amount for the creation of community assets in tribal areas outside of their constituency but within their State of election. In case a State does not have S.T. inhabited areas, this amount may be utilized in S.C. Therefore, statement 2 is correct.
MPLADS Funds are Non-lapsable: Funds released to the District Authority by the Government of India are non-lapsable. Funds left in the district can be carried forward for utilization in the subsequent years. Therefore, statement 3 is not correct.
Role of the District Authority: The District Authority’s role has been outlined in different paragraphs of the MPLAD Guidelines. The District Authority would be responsible for overall coordination and supervision of the works under the scheme at the district level and inspect at least 10% of the works under implementation every year. Therefore, statement 4 is correct.

QUESTION: 34

Which one of the following categories of 'Fundamental Rights' incorporates against untouchability as a form of discrimination?

Solution:

Untouchability as a form of discrimination goes against the notion of equality amongst citizens irrespective of caste. Therefore, it has been incorporated under Article 17 as one of the five rights under the spectrum of right to equality (Articles 14-18) Therefore the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 35

In India, separation of judiciary from the executive is enjoined by 

Solution:

Article 50 of the Indian Constitution recommends state to take efforts to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State. The Criminal Procedure Code (1973) has affected the separation of Judiciary from the Executive in pursuance of Article 50 under the Directive Principles of State Policy. Therefore the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 36

Along with the Budget, the Finance Minister also places other documents before the Parliament which include ‘The Macro Economic Framework Statement’. The aforesaid document is presented because this is mandated by

Solution:

Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) became an Act in 2003. The objective of the Act is to ensure inter-generational equity in fiscal management, long run macroeconomic stability, better coordination between fiscal and monetary policy, and transparency in fiscal operation of the Government. FRBM Act provides a legal institutional framework for fiscal consolidation. The Act also requires the government to lay before the parliament three policy statements in each financial year namely
a. Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement; 
b. Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement and
c. Macroeconomic Framework Policy Statement. 
Therefore the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 37

A constitutional government by definition is a 

Solution:

Constitutional government is defined by the existence of a constitution—which may be a legal instrument or merely a set of fixed norms or principles generally accepted as the fundamental Law of the polity—that effectively controls the exercise of political power. The essence of constitutionalism is the control of power by its distribution among several state organs or offices in such a way that they are each subjected to reciprocal controls and forced to cooperate in formulating the will of the state. Constitutional government in essence is about constitutionalism which is about limited government. In many cases, constitutional government is used interchangeably with “constitutionally limited government” or “limited government”.
Therefore the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 38

Other than the Fundamental Rights, which of the following parts of the Constitution of India reflect/reflects the principles and provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)?

1. Preamble
2. Directive Principles of State Policy
3. Fundamental Duties

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948 consists of the following: The preamble sets out the historical and social causes that led to the necessity of drafting the Declaration.

  • Articles 1–2 established the basic concepts of dignity, liberty, and equality.
  • Articles 3–5 established other individual rights, such as the right to life and the prohibition of slavery and torture.
  • Articles 6–11 refer to the fundamental legality of human rights with specific remedies cited for their defence when violated.
  • Articles 12–17 established the rights of the individual towards the community, including freedom of movement.
  • Articles 18–21 sanctioned the so-called "constitutional liberties" and spiritual, public, and political freedoms, such as freedom of thought, opinion, religion and conscience, word, and peaceful association of the individual.
  • Articles 22–27 sanctioned an individual's economic, social and cultural rights, including healthcare. It upholds an expansive right to a standard of living, provides for additional accommodations in case of physical debilitation or disability, and makes special mention of care given to those in motherhood or childhood.
  • Articles 28–30 established the general means of exercising these rights, the areas in which the rights of the individual cannot be applied, the duty of the individual to society, and the prohibition of the use of rights in contravention of the purposes of the United Nations Organization.

The Preamble of the constitution mentions about liberty, equality, fraternity, justice - social, economic, political and many such things which overlap with the 1948 declaration as seen in Articles 1-2, 18-21, etc. Similarly, the 1948 declaration thus talks of not just political rights but also of social and economic rights especially under Articles 22-27. In case of Indian constitution, these socio-economic rights are provided in the Directive Principles of state policy. Lastly, the declaration talks of not just rights but also duties of individual towards the society as seen in the Articles 28-30. Therefore, all the three parts reflect the spirit of the declaration.
Therefore the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 39

In India, Legal Services Authorities provide free legal services to which of the following type of citizens?

1. Person with an annual income of less than Rs 1,00,000
2. Transgender with an annual income of less than Rs 2,00,000
3. Member of Other Backward Classes (OBC) with an annual income of less than Rs. 3,00,000
4. All Senior Citizens

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

The persons eligible for getting free legal services include:

  • Women and children
  • Members of SC/ST
  • Industrial workmen
  • Victims of mass disaster, violence, flood, drought, earthquake industrial disaster
  • Disabled persons
  • Persons in custody
  • Persons whose annual income does not exceed Rs. 1 lakh
  • Victims of trafficking in human beings or begar.

Therefore statement 1 is correct. 
Senior citizens’ eligibility for free legal aid depends on the Rules framed by the respective State Governments in this regard. In Delhi for example, senior citizens are eligible for free legal aid subject to prescribed ceiling of annual income. Therefore, all senior citizens are not eligible for free aid. Therefore, statement 4 is not correct. 
There is free aid to members of SC and ST community but not for OBCs. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
There is provision for free legal aid to transgenders upto 2 lakhs in Delhi. (But it is yet to be implemented at an all India level) Hence, (a) seems to be the most appropriate option among the given list.​

QUESTION: 40

consider the following pairs:

Which pair is correctly matched.

Solution:

The Alma Ata declaration on “Health for All” in 1978 set out a broad set of principles called the Primary Health Care (PHC) approach. It focussed on multi-dimensional, intersectoral healthcare, which was to be made available “closest to home”. It required technology to be simple and low cost, while being effective and safe. Primary care, with secondary and tertiary levels also adopting PHC principles, was envisioned as the hub of this system. Hence pair 1 is matched correctly.
In 2016, the then Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had said that India will not ratify the the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in the interest of women fleeing bad marriage and had set up the panel headed by Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Rajesh Bindal for detailed report and the panel in its 2018 report has not recommended signing the treaty. Hence, pair 2 is not correct.
January 2018, will facilitate the parties to take stock of progress post-Paris. Hence pair 3 is correct.

The Under2 Coalition, a Memorandum of Understanding by subnational governments to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions towards net-zero by 2050, is generating a unique precedent for bold climate leadership, with its member states and regions surpassing 200 in number. Currently, Telangana and Chhattisgarh are signatories to this pact from India, as compared to representations from the other top emitters: 26 subnational governments in China and 24 in the U.S. Hence, pair 4 is not correct.
Therefore the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 41

With reference to the history of India, consider the following pairs:

1. Aurang - In-charge of treasury of the state
2. Banina - Indian agent of the East India Company
3. Mirasidar - Designated revenue payer to the State

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

Solution:

Aurang was a Persian term for a warehouse – a place where goods are collected before being sold; also refers to a workshop. Thus, pair (1) is not correct.
Banians (banias) were agents of the company. “A Banyan is a person…by whom the English gentlemen in general conduct all their business.  He is interpreter, head book-keeper, head secretary, head broker, the supplier of cash and cash-keeper, and in general also secretkeeper….They might appear to have become their masters’ servants, merely managing their trade for them; but the reality was often less that of master and servant than of trading partners.  The banian brought his skill and his capital to the partnership; the European contributed his privileges.” [ P.J.Marshall – East Indian Fortunes (1976) p.45]. Thus, pair (2) is correct. 
Mirasdar in Urdu means hereditary landowner, co-proprietor. In Persian, miras̱ is inheritance, estate. He was also a revenue payer to the state. Thus, pair (3) is correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 42

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

1. Sthaviravadins belong to Mahayana Buddhism.
2. Lokottaravadin sect was an offshoot of Mahasanghika sect of Buddhism.
3. The deification of Buddha by Mahasanghikas fostered the Mahayana Buddhism.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Buddhism is majorly divided into Mahayana and Hinayana Sects. Hinayana, also called as Theravadins, accept as authoritative the Pali canon of ancient Indian Buddhism and trace their sectarian lineage back to the Elders (Sanskrit: Sthaviras; Pali: Theras), who followed in the tradition of the senior monks of the first Buddhist sangha, or community. Thus, Theravada is also called Sthaviravada. They don’t belong to Mahayana Buddhism. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.

Lokottaravadins was one of the early Buddhist schools and was a branch of Mahasanghika sect. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

Mahasanghika was the early Buddhist school in India that, in its views of the nature of the Buddha, was a precursor of the Mahayana tradition. The Mahasanghikas believed in a plurality of buddhas who are supramundane (lokottara). The two main aspects of the Buddha can be seen in Mahasaṃghika teachings: the true Buddha who is omniscient and omnipotent, and the manifested forms through which he liberates sentient beings through his skillful means (upaya). For the Mahasaṃghikas, the historical Gautama Buddha was merely one of these transformation bodies (nirmanakaya), while the essential real Buddha was equated with the Dharmakaya. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 43

Which of the following statements correctly explains the impact of the Industrial Revolution on India during the first half of the nineteenth century?

Solution:

Deindustrialisation of Indian traditional cottage and handicraft industry was a direct consequence of industrial revolution in England along with colonization of India. Thus, statement (a) is correct.
Machines were not introduced in Indian textile industry in large number in the first half of the 19th century. Rather the modern textile mills with imported machinery started taking baby steps in 1850s in Bombay, Ahmedabad and Calcutta. Only after the first world war that Indian industrialization started taking fast steps. Thus, statement (b) is not correct.
The first railway line in India was laid between Bombay and Thane in 1853. Railway expansion was relatively slow even till mid-1860. Only in the latter half of the 19th century that Railway expansion gathered space in India. Thus, statement (c) is not correct.
India acted as a captive market for British industrial goods. Rather, the colonial economic policy was of one-way free trade in which British manufacture was dumped at a very cheap rate in India. Thus, statement (d) is not correct. 
Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 44

Consider the following events in the history of India:

1. Rise of Pratiharas under King Bhoja
2. Establishment of Pallava power under Mahendravarman – I 
3. Establishment of Chola power by Parantaka – I 
4. Pala dynasty founded by Gopala

What is the correct chronological order of the above events, starting from the earliest time?

Solution:

The Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty ruled much of Northern India from the mid-8th to the 11th century. They ruled first at Ujjain and later at Kannauj. Under Bhoja (836-885 CE) and his successor Mahendrapala I, the Pratihara Empire reached its peak of prosperity and power. 
The Pallava dynasty existed from 275 CE to 897 CE in South India. Mahendravarman I (r. 600–630 CE) contributed to the greatness of the Pallava dynasty. Some of the most ornate monuments at Mamallapuram.
Parantaka Chola I (c. 907–955 CE) ruled the Chola kingdom in Tamil Nadu for forty-eight years, annexing Pandya. 
Gopala (ruled c. 750s–770s CE) was the founder of the Pala Dynasty of Bengal region of the India.
Therefore, the correct answer is (c). 

QUESTION: 45

Which of the following phrases defines the nature of the 'Hundi' generally referred to in the sources of the post-Harsha period?

Solution:

Hundis refer to financial instruments evolved on the Indian sub-continent used in trade and credit transactions. They were used

  • As remittance instruments (to transfer funds from one place to another),
  • As credit instruments (to borrow money),
  • For trade transactions (as bills of exchange).

Technically, a Hundi is an unconditional order in writing made by a person directing another to pay a certain sum of money to a person named in the order.
Therefore, the correct answer is (c). 

QUESTION: 46

With reference to the book "Desher Katha” written by Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar during the freedom struggle, consider the following statements:

1. It warned against the Colonial State's hypnotic conquest of the mind.
2. It inspired the performance of swadeshi street plays and folk songs.
3. The use of 'desh' by Deuskar was in the specific context of the region of Bengal.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

Solution:

Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar (1869-1912) a close associate of Sri Aurobindo. He was a Marathi Brahmin who had settled in Bengal. He published a book entitled Desher Katha describing in exhaustive detail the British commercial and industrial exploitation of India. It summarized the work of M. G. Ranade and D. Naoroji in a popular idiom and warned in its concluding chapter against the colonial state's "hypnotic conquest of the mind."

In overwhelming details, he explained the sordid story of foreign exploration leading to India's economic servitude, and this book seems to have had an enormous influence on the young men of Bengal. This book had an immense repercussion in Bengal, captured the mind of young Bengal and assisted more than anything else in the preparation of the Swadeshi movement. It turned many of them into revolutionaries and prepared them for the Swadeshi movement.

Deuskar was the first to bring in the name of Swaraj, and Sri Aurobindo was the first to endow it with its English equivalent, 'Independence.' The Nationalists adopted this word, and Swaraj became the chief item of the fourfold Nationalist programme.

The colonial state proscribed the text in 1910, but by then it had sold over 15,000 copies, informed swadeshi street plays and folk songs, and had assumed the status of mandatory reading for an entire generation of swadeshi activists.
Therefore, the correct answer is (d). 

QUESTION: 47

The Gandhi-Irwin Pact included which of the following?

1. Invitation to Congress to participate in the Round Table Conference
2. Withdrawal of Ordinances promulgated in connection with the Civil Disobedience Movement
3. Acceptance of Gandhiji's suggestion for enquiry into police excesses
4. Release of only those prisoners who were not charged with violence

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

The 'Gandhi - Irwin Pact' was a political agreement signed by Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin, Viceroy of India, on 5 March 1931 before the second Round Table Conference in London.
Proposed conditions:

  • Discontinuation of Salt March by the Indian National Congress
  • Participation by the Indian National Congress in the Second Round Table Conference
  • Withdrawal of all ordinances issued by the Government of India imposing curbs on the activities of the Indian National Congress
  • Withdrawal of all prosecutions relating to several types of offenses except those involving violence
  • Release of prisoners arrested for participating in the Salt March.
  • Removal of the tax on salt, which allowed the Indians to produce, trade, and sell salt legally and for their own private use

Finally, the Government agreed to:

  • Withdraw all ordinances and end prosecutions
  • Release all political prisoners, except those guilty of violence
  • Permit peaceful picketing of liquor and foreign cloth shops
  • Restore confiscated properties of the satyagrahis
  • Permit free collection or manufacture of salt by persons near the sea-coast
  • Lift the ban over the Congress.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 48

The Vital-Vidhvansak, the first monthly journal to have the untouchable people as its target audience was published by

Solution:

Gopal Baba Walangkar, (ca. 1840-1900) is an early example of an activist working to release the untouchable people of India from their historic socio-economic oppression and is generally considered to be the pioneer of that movement. He developed a racial theory to explain the oppression and also published the first journal targeted at the untouchable people.

In 1888, Walangkar began publishing the monthly journal titled Vital-Vidhvansak (Destroyer of Brahmanical or Ceremonial Pollution), which was the first to have the untouchable people as its target audience. He also wrote articles for Marathi-language newspapers such as Sudharak and Deenbandhu, as well as composing couplets in Marathi that were intended to inspire the people.

In 1889, he published Vital Viduvansan (Annihilation of Ceremonial Pollution), which protested the position of untouchables in society and raised consciousness regarding what those people should expect. He addressed this pamphlet, which was crafted as a collection of 26 questions, to the elites of Maharashtrian society.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 49

With reference to the history of India, the terms ''kulyavapa" and "dronavapa" denote

Solution:

Texts and inscriptions during Gupta period mention various land measure terms 

  • The angula (probably 3/4 inch) was the smallest measure. 
  • The hasta (cubit) was the standardized distance between the tip of the elbow and the middle finger (18 inches).
  • Larger units of measure included the dhanu/danda and nala.

The land measures used in eastern India included the adhavapa (3/8–1/2 acre), dronavapa (1½–2 acres), and kulyavapa (12–16 acres). These were the areas required to sow one adhaka, drona, and kulya of grain respectively. Pataka was another land measure, and seems to have been equivalent to 60–80 acres. 

Other terms included pravartavapa (this was much smaller than a kulyavapa), padavarta (over 1 ft), and bhumi. The large number of land measure terms indicate that there was no single standard set of measurement and that different measures were current in different regions.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 50

Who among the following rulers advised his subjects through this inscription?

''Whosoever praises his religious sect or blames other sects out of excessive devotion to his own sect, with the view of glorifying his own sect, he rather injures his own sect very severely."

Solution:

The Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka refer to 14 separate major Edicts, which are significantly detailed and extensive. 

12th Rock Edict read:
Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, honors both ascetics and the householders of all religions, and he honors them with gifts and honors of various kinds. But Beloved-of-theGods, King Piyadasi, does not value gifts and honors as much as he values this -- that there should be growth in the essentials of all religions. Growth in essentials can be done in different ways, but all of them have as their root restraint in speech, that is, not praising one's own religion, or condemning the religion of others without good cause. And if there is cause for criticism, it should be done in a mild way. But it is better to honor other religions for this reason. By so doing, one's own religion benefits, and so do other religions, while doing otherwise harms one's own religion and the religions of others. Whoever praises his own religion, due to excessive devotion, and condemns others with the thought "Let me glorify my own religion," only harms his own religion. Therefore contact (between religions) is good. One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other religions.

Those who are content with their own religion should be told this: Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does not value gifts and honors as much as he values that there should be growth in the essentials of all religions. And to this end many are working -- Dhamma Mahamatras, Mahamatras in charge of the women's quarters, officers in charge of outlying areas, and other such officers. And the fruit of this is that one's own religion grows and the Dhamma is illuminated also.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 51

What are the advantages of fertigation in agriculture?

1. Controlling the alkalinity of irrigation water is possible.
2. Efficient application of Rock Phosphate and all other phosphatic fertilizers is possible.
3. Increased availability of nutrients to plants is possible.
4. Reduction in the leaching of chemical nutrients is possible.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

Fertigation is a process in which fertilizer is dissolved and distributed along with water in your drip or spray irrigation system. There is abundant research available that supports the superiority of fertigation as compared to traditional fertilizing techniques.

Advantageous of fertigation:

  • Improves efficiency of fertilizer use
  • Increases nutrient availability ((Hence, statement 3 is correct))
  • Saves 20-40% fertilizer without affecting growth and yield
  • Saves labour and energy in application of fertilizer
  • Reduce environmental contamination through fertilizer run-offs
  • Reduces leaching of nutrients (Hence, statement 4 is correct)
  • Allows to alter the pH of the irrigation water (Hence, statement 1 is correct)

Disadvantages of fertigation

  • Uneven nutrient distribution occurs when the irrigation system is faulty. It leads to over fertilization or leaching of nutrients when excess water is applied to crops.
  • Chemical reactions of fertilizer with calcium and magnesium, bicarbonates in water, which can lead to chemical clogging.
  • Suitable for readily soluble or liquid fertilizers. Phosphatic fertilizer and some micronutrients may precipitate in micro-irrigation system. Hence, statement 2 is not correct. (statement 2 can be eliminated from the given options)
  • Corrosion resistant fertigation equipments are needed.
  • Potential chemical backflow into the water supply source.
QUESTION: 52

Consider the following minerals:

1. Bentonite
2. Chromite
3. Kyanite
4. Sillimanite

In India, which of the above is/are officially designated as major minerals?

Solution:

Major minerals are those specified in the first schedule appended in the MMDR Act. There is no official definition for “major minerals” in the MMDR Act. Hence, whatever is not declared as a “minor mineral” may be treated as the major mineral.

The central government has the power to notify “minor minerals” under section 3 (e) of the MMDR Act, 1957. On the other hand, as per Section 15 of the MMDR Act, 1957 State Governments have complete powers for making Rules for grant of concessions in respect of extraction of minor minerals and levy and collection of royalty on minor minerals.

Thus, “Minor Minerals” are building stones, gravel, ordinary clay, ordinary sand other than sand used for prescribed purposes etc.  Therefore, Chromite, Kyanite and Sillimanite are major minerals, whereas Bentonite is a minor mineral. 
Therefore, the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 53

With reference to Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT), which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. OMT is measured up to a depth of 26°C isotherm which is 129 meters in the southwestern Indian Ocean during January — March.
2. OMT collected during January — March can be used in assessing whether the amount of rainfall in monsoon will be less or more than a certain long-term mean.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • Sea surface temperature (SST) is routinely used for predicting whether the total amount of rainfall that India receives during the monsoon season will be less or more than the long-term mean of 887.5 mm.
  • Now, scientists from Pune’s Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) find that Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT) has better ability to predict this than the Sea Surface Temperature. Compared with SST which has 60% success rate of predicting the Indian summer monsoon, OMT has 80% success rate. 
  • OMT is analysed by measuring the ocean thermal energy during the period from January to March. Using OMT data, scientists are able to predict with 80% probability the monsoon of any year. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • SST is restricted to a few millimetres of the top ocean layer, whereas OMT which is measured up to a depth of 26 degree C isotherm, is more stable and consistent, and the spatial spread is also less. The 26 degree C isotherm is seen at depths varying from 50– 100 metres. During January–March, the mean 26 degree C isotherm depth in the Southwestern Indian Ocean is 59 metres. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 54

With reference to chemical fertilizers in India, consider the following statements:

1. At present, the retail price of chemical fertilizers is market-driven and not administered by the Government.
2. Ammonia, which is an input of urea, is produced from natural gas.
3. Sulphur, which is a raw material for Phosphoric acid fertilizer, is a by-product of oil refineries.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:
  • The Government of India subsidizes fertilizers to ensure that fertilizers are easily available to farmers and the country remains self-sufficient in agriculture. The same has been achieved largely by controlling the price of fertilizer and the amount of production. The urea is being provided to the farmers at a statutorily notified Maximum Retail Price (MRP). Under the NBS Policy, the Government announces a fixed rate of subsidy (in Rs. per Kg basis), on each nutrient of subsidized fertilizers, namely Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), Potash (K) and Sulphur (S), on annual basis. Hence, statement 1 is not correct. 
  • Synthetic ammonia (NH3) refers to ammonia that has been synthesized (Standard Industrial Classification 2873) from natural gas. Natural gas molecules are reduced to carbon and hydrogen. The hydrogen is then purified and reacted with nitrogen to produce ammonia. Approximately 75 percent of the ammonia produced is used as fertilizer, either directly as ammonia or indirectly after synthesis as urea, ammonium nitrate, and mono-ammonium or diammonium phosphates. Hence, statement 2 is correct. 
  • Sulphur is a major by-product of oil refining and gas processing. Most crude oil grades contain some sulphur, most of which must be removed during the refining process to meet strict sulphur content limits in refined products. This is typically done through hydrotreating and results in production of H2S gas, which is converted into elemental sulphur in the sulphur recovery unit. The resultant elemental sulphur is in a molten state and can either be sold as a heated liquid or (more commonly) converted to solid form as blocks or pellets. Most of the sulphur produced by refineries is sold into the petrochemicals market where it is used to make sulfuric acid. Commercial phosphoric acid is produced by applying an excess of sulphuric acid to ground rock phosphate. This phosphoric acid is usually applied to an additional amount of phosphate rock to make concentrated superphosphate. Hence, statement 3 is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 55

With reference to India’s Desert National Park, which of the following statements are correct?

1. It is spread over two districts.
2. There is no human habitation inside the Park.
3. It is one of the natural habitats of Great Indian Bustard.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:
  • The Thar Desert or the Desert National Park (DNP) in north-western India is a unique and the only habitat of its type in the Indian subcontinent.
  • The Aravalli hills mark the eastern-most boundary limit of the Thar desert while the western limit is defined by the fertile plains of the Indus. The Great Rann of Kutch forms a sharp boundary in the south while its northern limits are formed by the riparian subHimalayan plains.
  • The Desert National Park (DNP) covers an area of 3162 km² of which 1900 km² is in Jaisalmer district and remaining 1262 km² is in Barmer district of Rajasthan State. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • The area falls in the extreme hot and arid region of very low rainfall zone (<100mm) of the country. DNP was gazetted in the year 1980. • DNP is a home to Great Indian Bustard (locally called Godawan) along with more than 100 species of birds. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
  • The Thar desert is the most thickly populated desert in the world with an average density of 83 persons/km² (compared to 7km² of other deserts). However, the human population within the DNP is low (4-5 persons per km²). There are 73 villages and also settlements or Dhanis existing within the Park. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 56

Siachen Glacier is situated to the

Solution:

Siachen Glacier is one of the world’s longest mountain glaciers, lying in the Karakoram Range system of Kashmir near the India– Pakistan border, extending for 70 km from north-northwest to south-southeast.

It is the source for the 50-mi-long Nubra River, a tributary of the Shyok, which is part of the Indus River system. Siachen Glacier lies to the north of the Nubra valley. Hence, option (d) is correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 57

With reference to the history of India, consider the following pairs:

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

Solution:

Vidisha (formerly known as Bhilsa) is a city in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is a an archaeologically important site known for inscriptions regarding the ancient history of India. As a general of Sultan Jalaluddin, Alauddin Khalji raided the Paramara city of Bhilsa in 1293 CE. Hence, pair 1 is correctly matched.

Halebidu (which used to be called Dwarasamudra) was the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. It is located in Hassan District of Karnataka. In late 1310, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji sent his general Malik Kafur on an expedition to the southernmost regions of India. In 1311, Malik Kafur besieged the Hoysala capital Dwarasamudra, and the defending ruler Veera Ballala III surrendered without much resistance. Hence, pair 2 is not correctly matched.

Girnar or Girinagar is a group of mountains in the Junagadh District of Gujarat. This place is sacred to the Jains because it is the place where Lord Niminatha (22nd Jain Tirtankar) went to attain salvation. It is also known for Ashoka's Major Rock Edicts XIV, dating to circa 250 BCE. Hence, pair 3 is correctly matched.

Sthanesvara site is located at modern-day Thanesar in Kurukshetra district of Haryana. It is a historic town and an important Hindu pilgrimage centre on the banks of the Saraswati River. It was also sacked and many of its temples were destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni. Hence, pair 4 is not correctly matched.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 58

Consider the following statements:

1. 36% of India’s districts are classified as “overexploited” or “critical” by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).
2. CGWA was’ formed under the Environment (Protection) Act.
3. India has the largest area under groundwater irrigation in the world.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has been constituted under Section 3 (3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to regulate and control development and management of ground water resources in the country. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

India's irrigation is mostly groundwater well based. At 39 million hectares (67% of its total irrigation), India has the world's largest groundwater well equipped irrigation system (China with 19 mha is second, USA with 17 mha is third). Hence, statement 3 is correct.

According to National Compilation of Groundwater Resource of India 2017, the average stage of ground water extraction for the country as a whole works out to be about 63 %. The extraction of ground water for various uses in different parts of the country is not uniform.

Out of the total 6881 assessment units (Blocks/ Mandals/ Talukas/Firkas) in the country, 1186 units in various States (17%) have been categorized as ‘Over-Exploited’ indicating ground water extraction exceeding the annually replenishable ground water recharge. In these areas the percentage of ground water extraction is more than 100 percent. 

In addition, 313 units (5%) are ‘Critical’, where the stage of ground water extraction is between 90-100 %. There are 972 semi-critical units (14%), where the stage of ground water extraction is between 70% and 90% and 4310 assessment units (63%) have been categorized as ‘Safe‘, where the stage of Ground water extraction is less than 70 %. Apart from this, there are 100 assessment units (1%), which have been categorized, as ‘Saline’ as major part of the ground water in phreatic aquifers is brackish or saline. 

In January 2020, NGT had ordered the Centre to put on hold its new norms on groundwater use. About 20,000 applications are pending before the CGWA. Around 800,000 companies fall in overexploited, critical and semi-critical blocks, representing 36% of 6,881 groundwater assessment units. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 59

Consider the following statements:

1. Jet streams occur in the Northern Hemisphere only.
2. Only some cyclones develop an eye.
3. The temperature inside the eye of a cyclone is nearly 10°C lesser than that of the surroundings. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Jet streams are relatively narrow bands of strong wind in the upper levels of the atmosphere. The winds blow from west to east in jet streams but the flow often shifts to the north and south. Jet streams follow the boundaries between hot and cold air.

Since these hot and cold air boundaries are most pronounced in winter, jet streams are the strongest for both the northern and southern hemisphere winters. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.

The “eye” of Tropical Cyclone is a roughly circular area of comparatively light winds and fair weather found at the center of a severe tropical cyclone. 

The eye is the region of lowest surface pressure and warmest temperatures aloft (in the upper levels) – the eye temperature may be 10°C warmer or more at an altitude of 12 km than the surrounding environment, but only 0-2°C warmer at the surface in the tropical cyclone (Hawkins and Rubsam 1968). Hence, statement 3 is not correct.

The formation of an eye is almost always an indicator of increasing tropical cyclone organisation and strength. Because of this, forecasters watch developing storms closely for signs of eye formation.

But in Extratropical Cyclones or Temperate Cyclones, there is not a single place where winds and rains are inactive (as in case of Tropical Cyclone). Hence, statement 2 is correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 60

Among the following Tiger Reserves, which one has the largest area under "Critical Tiger Habitat"?

Solution:

Manas, Assam - 840 sq km
Pakke, Arunachal Pradesh - 683 sq km
Nagarjunsagar, Andhra Pradesh - 2595 sq km
Periyar, Kerala - 881 sq km

Critical 'tiger' habitats (CTHs), also known as core areas of tiger reserves—are identified under the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA), 1972 based on scientific evidence that "such areas are required to be kept as inviolate for the purpose of tiger conservation, without affecting the rights of the Scheduled Tribes or such other forest dwellers". The notification of CTH is done by the state government in consultation with the expert committee constituted for the purpose.

QUESTION: 61

If a particular plant species is placed under Schedule VI of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, what is the implication?

Solution:

Schedule VI of WPA 1972 contains the plants, which are prohibited from cultivation and planting. . Cultivation of specified plants without licence is  prohibited.  These plants are as follows

  • Beddomes’ cycad (Cycas beddomei)
  • Blue Vanda (Vanda soerulec)
  • Kuth (Saussurea lappa)
  • Ladies slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum spp.)
  • Pitcher plant (Nepenthes khasiana)
  • Red Vanda (Rananthera inschootiana)]
QUESTION: 62

With reference to the period of Gupta dynasty in ancient India, the towns Ghantasala, Kadura and Chaul were well known as 

Solution:

Both the coasts of India have been studded with a string of ports since the ancient time and involved in foreign trade.

During the Gupta era, the ports of the east coast, Tamralipti, Ghantashala, and Kadura handled the north-Indian trade with south-east Asia, and those of the west coast, Broach, Chaul, Kalyan and Cambray, traded with the Mediterranean and west Asia but the more southerly of these ports were outside Gupta control. 

The export of spices, pepper, sandalwood, pearls, precious stones, perfumes, indigo, and herbs continued as before but the commodities that were imported differed from those of earlier times. Chinese silk came in greater quantity, as did ivory from Ethiopia. The import of horses, coming from Arabia, Iran, and Bactria, either overland to centres in the north-west or by sea to the west coast, increased during this period.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 63

What is/are the advantage/advantages of zero tillage in agriculture?

1. Sowing of wheat is possible without burning the residue of previous crop.
2. Without the need for nursery of rice saplings, direct planting of paddy seeds in the wet soil is possible.
3. Carbon sequestration in the soil is possible.

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

Solution:

Zero Tillage is the process of agriculture that promotes conservation agriculture. Here the soil is not tilled and left with at least 30% of cover over soil which may be previous crop. When wheat seeds are sown in soil using happy seeder, the rice stalks act as mulch. It not only prevents harmful gases that are released when stubbles are burnt but also provides enhanced nutrients and improves moisture holding capacity of the soil. The same is also true for rice when it is directly sown without transplantation. As the soil is not tilled the remains of previous crop hold carbon and prevent it from entering atmosphere as carbon di oxide. All statements are correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 64

According to India's National Policy on Biofuels, which of the following can be used as raw materials for the production of biofuels?

1. Cassava
2. Damaged wheat grains
3. Groundnut seeds
4. Horse gram
5. Rotten potatoes 
6. Sugar beet

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

The National Policy on Biofuels expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of Sugarcane Juice, Sugar containing materials like Sugar Beet, Sweet Sorghum, Starch containing materials like Corn, Cassava, Damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, Rotten Potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 65

Which one of the following statements best describes the term 'Social Cost of Carbon'? 

It is a measure, in monetary value of the 

Solution:

Scientists expect climate change to have increasingly negative consequences for society, from rising sea levels to more frequent heatwaves. There is broad agreement that initial, modest benefits – for instance, increased yields for some crops in some regions – will be outweighed by costs as temperatures rise. One way to get a handle on this question is through the social cost of carbon (SCC), which tries to add up all the quantifiable costs and benefits of emitting one additional tonne of CO2, in monetary terms. This value can then be used to weigh the benefits of reduced warming against the costs of cutting emissions.
Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 66

With reference to pulse production in India, consider the following statements:

1. Black gram can be cultivated as both kharif and rabi crop.
2. Green-gram alone accounts for nearly half of pulse production.3. In the last three decades, while the production of kharif pulses has increased, the production of rabi pulses has decreased.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Pulses are grown and consumed all over India.The major pulse crops in India include Bengal gram (chana), red gram (arhar/tur), green gram (moong), black gram (urad) and lentils (massar).Mothbean, Lathyrus, horsegram, peas and red kidney beans.

Black Gram can be cultivated as both kharif and rabi crop. 1 is correct.

According to Government 4th advance estimate, greengram production in 2018-19 is at 2.37 million tonnes. In 2016-17, the production of pulses was 23.13 MT, in 2017-18, it was 25.42 MT and in 2018-19 is around 23.22 MT. 2 is incorrect. 

In the last three decades, while the production of kharif pulse has increases, the production of rabi pulses has also increased. 3 is incorrect

QUESTION: 67

“The crop is subtropical in nature. A hard frost is injurious to it. It requires at least 210 frost-free days and 50 to 100 centimeters of rainfall for its growth. A light well-drained soil capable of retaining moisture is ideally suited for the cultivation of the crop.” Which one of the following is that crop?

Solution:

Ideal conditions for the cotton plant are:
Temperature: 
Cotton grows in tropical and sub-tropical warm humid climate. Annual temperature required is between to 20 to 28 Degree C. Equitable temperature distribution and bright sunshine is desirable.

Rainfall: Annual Rainfall of 55 to 100 cm is ideal for cotton. However, rainfall during harvest is harmful.

Frost Free days:​ 180 frost free days are the bottom line for cotton cultivation. Atleast 210 frost free days are desirable for cotton production.

Soil: Fertile saline soil with high water retention capacity is ideal. Loamy soil with high calcium carbonate is best suited for cotton cultivation. 
Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 68

With reference to solar water pumps, consider the following statements:

1. Solar power can be used for running surface pumps and not for submersible Pumps.
2. Solar power can be used for running centrifugal pumps and not the ones with piston.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Solar water pumps are specially designed to utilize DC electric power from photovoltaic modules. The pumps must work during low light conditions, when power is reduced, without stalling or overheating. Low volume pumps use positive displacement (volumetric) mechanisms which seal water in cavities and force it upward. Lift capacity is maintained even while pumping slowly. These mechanisms include diaphragm, vane and piston pumps. These differ from a conventional centrifugal pump that needs to spin fast to work efficiently. Centrifugal pumps are used where higher volumes are required. So statement 2 is not correct.
A surface pump is one that is mounted at ground level. Surface pumps work well when they draw water through suction less than 10 or 20 feet. A submersible pump is one that is lowered into the water. Most deep wells use submersible pumps. And both are compatible with the photovoltaic array (For Solar power). So statement 1 is not correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (d).​

QUESTION: 69

With reference to the current trends in the cultivation of sugarcane in India, consider the following statements:

1. A substantial saving in seed material is made when ‘bud chip settlings’ are raised in a nursery and transplanted in the main field.
2. When direct planting of setts is done, the germination percentage is better with singlebudded setts as compared to setts with many buds.
3. If bad weather conditions prevail when setts are directly planted, single-budded setts have better survival as compared to large setts.
4. Sugarcane can be cultivated using settlings prepared from tissue culture.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Sugarcane is normally propagated by stalk cuttings consisting of 2 to 3 bud sett. In conventional system, about 6–8 tons seed cane /ha is used as planting material. Establishing the sugarcane crop using bud chips in place of setts could save about 80% by weight of the stalk material, however this technology has not been scaled up at commercial levels due to poor survival of bud chips under field conditions. So, statement 1 is correct.

The researchers found that the setts having two buds are giving germination about 65 to 70 % with better yield. Large setts have better survival under bad weather but single budded setts also gives 70% germination if protected with chemical treatment. So, statement 2 and 3 are not correct.

Planting is the most important and labour intensive operation in sugarcane cultivation. Sugarcane germination as well as yield is affected by planting material, layout, plantpopulation, method of planting and placement of bud etc. Planting material for vegetative propagation such as whole cane, setts having of single bud to six buds, settling prepared from tissue culture or single buds in nursery are being used. So, statement 4 is correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 70

In the context of India, which of the following is/are considered to be of practice(s) of eco-friendly agriculture?

1. Crop diversification
2. Legume intensification
3. Tensiometer use
4. Vertical farming

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

Crop diversification refers to the addition of new crops or cropping systems to agricultural production on a particular farm taking into account the different returns from valueadded crops with complementary marketing opportunities. Introducing a greater range of varieties in a particular agro - ecosystem leads to diversification of agricultural production which can also increase natural biodiversity, strengthening the ability of the agro-ecosystem to respond to these stresses. So (1) is correct.

The discourse on Legume intensification is currently framed as ‘Sustainable Intensification’ (SI), and commonly encompasses three dimensions: (i) increased productivity; (ii) maintenance of ecosystem services; and (iii) increased resilience to shocks. So (2) is correct.

When the water pressure in the tensiometer is determined to be in equilibrium with the water pressure in the soil, the tensiometer gauge reading represents the matric potential of the soil. Such tensiometers are used in irrigation scheduling to help farmers and other irrigation managers to determine when to water. Its also considered as eco-friendly agriculture as it help control the excessive use of water distorting the quality of the soil. So (3) is correct.

Vertical farming is the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers. It often incorporates controlled-environment agriculture, which aims to optimize plant growth, and soilless farming techniques such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics. So (4) is correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 71

In India, which of the following can be considered as public investment in agriculture? 

1. Fixing Minimum Support Price for agricultural produce of all crops 
2. Computerization of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies
3. Social Capital development 
4. Free electricity supply to farmers
5. Waiver of agricultural loans by the banking system
6. Setting up of cold storage facilities by the governments

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

Public investment in Agriculture constitutes investments made by government to create capital or social assets to improve agricultural productivity. Fixing MSP gives farmers the remunerative price without creating any durable infrastructure. So, (1) is not correct.

Computerization Agri credit societies improves their productivity by digitising their functioning. Social capital development like agri education improves the knowledge base of farmers paving the way for improved productivity. So, (2) and (3) are correct.

While free electricity and waiver of agri loans creates government liabilities without creating any durable assets on ground.  So, (4) and (5) are not correct.

Cold chain infra also helps reduce post-harvest losses creating durable assets. So, (6) is correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 72

What is the importance of the term “Interest Coverage Ratio” of a firm in India?

1. It helps in understanding the present risk of a firm that a bank is going to give loan to.
2. It helps in evaluating the emerging risk of a firm that a bank is going to give loan to.
3. The higher a borrowing firm’s level of Interest Coverage Ratio, the worse is its ability to service its debt.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

One of the significant and most crucial liquidity ratios is the Interest Coverage Ratio, which indicates the level of a company's ability to afford the interest that is to be paid by the company for raising debt. It does not measure the ability to make principal payments on the debt; instead it depicts how much the company can afford to pay the interests on the debt promptly.

  • The interest coverage ratio is used to see how well a firm can pay the interest on outstanding debt. So, statement 1 is correct.
  • Also called the times-interest-earned ratio, this ratio is used by creditors and prospective lenders to assess the risk of lending capital to a firm. So, statement 2 is correct.
  • A higher coverage ratio is better, although the ideal ratio may vary by industry. So, statement 3 is not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 73

Which of the following factors/policies were affecting the price of rice in India in the recent past?

1. Minimum Support Price
2. Government’s trading
3. Government’s stockpiling 
4. Consumer subsidies

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

By the following ways the price of rice in India gets affected:

  • MSP increases the overall price of rice in market as the traders have to buy near MSP value otherwise farmers have the option to sell to government appointed agency at MSP.
  • Government also carries out auction of the excess stockpile or intervenes when market prices soar to stabilize them. 
  • Similarly stockpiling is done to offload the stock when market prices soar providing cheap rice to consumers and stocking when prices fall ensuring remunerative prices to farmers. 
  • Government also provides subsidised food to poor at Fair price Shops. This reduces the overall demand in the open market and prices are affected. 

Therefore, the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 74

Consider the following statements: 

1. The value of Indo-Sri Lanka trade has consistently increased in the last decade.
2. “Textile and textile articles” constitute an important item of trade between India and Bangladesh.
3. In the last five years, Nepal has been the largest trading partner of India in South Asia.

Which of the statements given above is/correct?

Solution:

The trade between India and Sri Lanka was valued at USD 4.5 billion during 2016-17 as compared to USD 6.05 billion during 2015-16, registering a sharp decline of 25.25%. The exports decreased by 26.14 % to USD 3.9 billion in 2016-17 from USD 5.31 billion in the previous year. The export value in 2016-17 is the lowest in last 5 years. The decline is entirely contributed by reduction in export of aircraft by USD 1.22 billion. The imports decreased by 19% to USD 602.21 million from USD 742.79 million in 2015-16. Hence statement one is also not correct.  So, statement 1 is not correct.

Textiles contributed 31.3% of Indian exports to Bangladesh in 2016-17. The other prominent products of export were engineering products (around 25% of exports), Chemical products (9% of exports) and vegetable products such as fresh vegetables (8% of exports). These top product categories accounted for 73% of total exports to Bangladesh. Textiles and textile products formed the largest component of imports from Bangladesh, and contributed to 60% of total imports. Within textiles, jute products were the biggest import item. Hence second statement is right. So, statement 2 is correct.

As per 2016-17 data, Bangladesh is the largest trading partner in South Asia, followed by Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Maldives. The level of Indian exports also follows the same order. So statement 3 is not correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 75

In which one of the following groups are all the four countries members of G20?

Solution:

The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier international forum for global economic cooperation. Its members are:

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union. 
Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 76

Under the Kisan Credit Card scheme, short-term credit support is given to farmers for which of the following purposes?

1. Working capital for maintenance of farm assets 
2. Purchase of combine harvesters, tractors and mini truck
3. Consumption requirements of farm households
4. Post-harvest expenses
5. Construction of family house and setting up of village cold storage facility

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

The scheme aims at providing adequate and timely cred it for the comprehensive credit requirements of farmers under single window for their cultivation and other needs as indicated below:

  • To meet the short term credit requirements for cultivation of crops
  • Post harvest expenses
  • Produce Marketing loan
  • Consumption requirements of farmer household
  • Working capital for maintenance of farm assets, activities allied to agriculture, like dairy animals, inland fishery and also working capital required for floriculture, horticulture etc.
  • Investment credit requirement for agriculture and allied activities like pump sets, sprayers, dairy animals, floriculture, horticulture etc
  • Short term credit requirements of rearing of animals, birds, fish, shrimp, other aquatic organisms, capture of fish.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 77

Consider the following statements:

1. The weightage of food in Consumer Price Index (CPI) is higher than that Wholesale Price Index (WPI).
2. The WPI does not capture changes in the prices of services, which CPI does.
3. Reserve Bank of India has now adopted WPI as its key measure of inflation and to decide on changing the key policy rates.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct:

Solution:

WPI is the price of representative basket of wholesale goods. While the CPI is a comprehensive measure, used for estimation of price changes in a basket of goods and services representative of consumption expenditure in an economy. Food weight in WPI is 18.8% which part of primary products, While CPI has 50% weight for food. So statement 1 is correct.


So statement 2 is correct. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor in 2014 adopted the new Consumer Price Index (CPI) (combined) as the key measure of inflation. Based on the recommendations of Urjit Patel Committee. So statement 3 is not correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 78

Consider the following pairs: 

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

Solution:
  • Mekong river flows into South China Sea after crossing Laos, (Also some parts of Myanmar) Thailand, Cambodia and lastly in Vietnam.
  • Thames flows into English channel. It passes through London which is on the Eastern part of U.K. Irish sea is on the Western side.
  • Zambezi river flows into Indian Ocean after crossing Mozambique. It is in the East Africa.
  • Volga flows into Caspian Sea after meandering through Russia

Therefore, the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 79

Consider the following statements: 

1. In the case of all cereals, pulses and oil-seeds, the procurement at Minimum Support Price (MSP) is unlimited in any State/UT of India.
2. In the case of cereals and pulses, the MSP is fixed in any State/UT at a level to which the market price will never rise.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Under the new PM-AASHA scheme, the existing Price Support Scheme (PSS) will continue for pulses and copra, with Central agencies — including the NAFED and the Food Corporation of India — physically procuring the produce whenever the market rates fall below MSP, up to a maximum limit of 25% of the total harvest. 1 is incorrect.

The Centre currently fixes MSPs for 23 farm commodities based on the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) recommendations. 2 is incorrect.

QUESTION: 80

With reference to the Indian economy, consider the following statements:

1. ‘Commercial Paper’ is a short-term unsecured promissory note.
2. ‘Certificate of Deposit’ is a long-term instrument issued by the Reserve Bank of India to a corporation. 
3. ‘Call Money’ is a short-term finance used for interbank transactions.
4. ‘Zero-Coupon Bonds’ are the interest bearing short-term bonds issued by the Scheduled Commercial Banks to corporations.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Commercial paper is a commonly used type of unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued by corporations, typically used for the financing of payroll, accounts payable and inventories, and meeting other short-term liabilities. Maturities on commercial paper typically last several days, and rarely range longer than 270 days. So statement 1 is correct.

The Certificate of Deposit (CD) is an agreement between the depositor and the bank where a predetermined amount of money is fixed for a specific time period. It is issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India, the CD is a promissory note, the interest on which is paid by the bank. CDs are short-term debt instruments issued by Banks. So statement 2 is not correct.

Call Money is short term finance used for inter-bank transactions. It has a maturity period of one day to fifteen days. Call money is a facility under which banks borrow money from each other to adjust short-term liquidity imbalances at rate of interest known as Call Rate. This rate keeps on changing from day to day and sometimes from hour to hour. So statement 3 is correct.

A zero-coupon bond is a debt security that does not pay interest but instead trades at a deep discount, rendering a profit at maturity, when the bond is redeemed for its full face value. These bonds have been traditionally issued by government, but banks are also allowed to issue them since last few years. But ZCBs are generally Long-Term Bonds. So statement 4 is not correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 81

With reference to Foreign Direct Investment in India, which one of the following is considered its major characteristic? 

Solution:

(a) FDI can happen in unlisted companies also. Infact as per Mayaram panel-2014, for unlisted companies, all foreign investment is taken as FDI.
(b)  A debt flow is a type of foreign capital where there is obligation for the residents to repay it. A non-debt flow is the one where there is no direct repayment obligation for the residents.
For example, in the case of FDI, there is not debt payment obligation. On the other hand, in the case of External Commercial Borrowings that is a loan taken by residents from abroad, the loan is to be repaid and this is a debt flow. When the capital inflow is a debt flow like External Commercial Borrowings or NRI deposits, it means debt payment obligation for the country.
FDI and Depository Receipts are non-debt flows. These inflows don’t create any repayment burden. On the other hand, ECBs, FCCBs, Rupee Denominated Bonds, NRI deposits and banking capital are debt creating flows. 
(c) It is non-debt creating. So, it doesn’t involve debt servicing.
(d) FDI is not restricted to government securities.
Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 82

With reference to the international trade of India at present, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. India’s merchandise exports are less than its merchandise imports. 
2. India’s imports of iron and steel, chemicals, fertilisers and machinery have decreased in recent years.
3. India’s exports of services are more than its imports of services. 
4. India suffers from an overall trade/current account deficit.

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

Solution:
QUESTION: 83

The term ‘West Texas Intermediate’ sometimes found in news, refers to a grade of

Solution:

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil is a specific grade of crude oil and one of the main three benchmarks in oil pricing, along with Brent and Dubai Crude. 

WTI is known as a light sweet oil because it contains 0.24% sulfur, making it "sweet," and has a low density, making it "light." It is the underlying commodity of the New York Mercantile Exchange's (NYMEX) oil futures contract and is considered a high-quality oil that is easily refined.
Therefore, the correct answer is (a). 

QUESTION: 84

In the context of the Indian economy, non-financial debt includes which of the following?

1. Housing loans owed by households.
2. Amounts outstanding on credit cards
3. Treasury bills

Select the correct answer using the code given below : 

Solution:

Non-financial debt consists of credit instruments issued by governmental entities, households and businesses that are not included in the financial sector. It shares most of the same characteristics with financial debt, except the issuers are non-financial. It includes industrial or commercial loans, Treasury bills and credit card balances. 
Therefore, the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 85

In India, why are some nuclear reactors kept “IAEA Safeguards” while others are not?

Solution:

There are at present 22 operational reactors, of which 14 are under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards as they use imported fuel. India currently imports uranium from Russia, Kazakhstan and Canada. Plans are also afoot to procure the fuel from Uzbekistan and Australia. The remaining "military" facilities remained off-limits to international inspectors.

By placing the reactors under the IAEA safeguards, India gives the international nuclear energy watchdog access to them. This step was taken by the country in 2014 to demonstrate that its nuclear energy programme was for peaceful purposes. This is a necessary step under the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 86

With reference to Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS), which of the following statements is/are correct? 

1. Quantitative restrictions on imports by foreign investors are prohibited. 
2. They apply to investment measures related to trade in both goods and services. 
3. They are not concerned with the regulation of foreign investment. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

Solution:

The Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) recognizes that certain investment measures can restrict and distort trade.  It states that WTO members may not apply any measure that discriminates against foreign products or that leads to quantitative restrictions, both of which violate basic WTO principles.  A list of prohibited TRIMS, such as local content requirements, is part of the Agreement.  The TRIMS Committee monitors the operation and implementation of the Agreement and allows members the opportunity to consult on any relevant matters. Therefore, statement 1 is correct.

The objectives of the Agreement, as defined in its preamble, include “the expansion and progressive liberalization of world trade and to facilitate investment across international frontiers so as to increase the economic growth of all trading partners, particularly developing country members, while ensuring free competition”.

The coverage of the Agreement is defined in Article 1, which states that the Agreement applies to investment measures related to trade in goods only. Thus, the TRIMs Agreement does not apply to services. Therefore, statement 2 is not correct.

As an agreement that is based on existing GATT disciplines on trade in goods, the Agreement is not concerned with the regulation of foreign investment. The disciplines of the TRIMs Agreement focus on investment measures that discriminate between imported and exported products and/or create import or export restrictions. Therefore, statement 3 is correct. 
Therefore, the correct answer is (c).

QUESTION: 87

If the RBI decides to adopt an expansionist monetary policy, which of the following would it not do? 

1. Cut and optimize the Statutory Liquidity Ratio 
2. Increase the Marginal Standing Facility Rate 
3. Cut the Bank Rate and Repo Rate 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

Solution:

Expansionary monetary policy involves cutting interest rates or increasing the money supply to boost economic activity. An increase in the SLR constricts the ability of the bank to inject money into the economy which affects growth. Thus, statement (1) is not correct.

The MSF or Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate is the rate at which RBI lends funds overnight to scheduled banks, against government securities. RBI has introduced this borrowing scheme to regulate short-term asset liability mismatch in a more effective manner. MSF basically provides a greater liquidity cushion. Higher the MSF rate, more expensive is borrowing for banks, as well as corporate borrowers and individuals. It is used by RBI to control the money supply in the country’s financial system. Thus, statement (2) is correct.

The repo rate is the rate at which the Reserve Bank of India lends money to commercial banks in order to help these lenders meet their short-term liquidity needs. If the repo rate is low, banks are required to pay lower interest amount towards loans. This impacts the loans taken by customers, who can also avail loans at lower interest rates. This boosts economic activity.

The rate of interest charged by the central bank on the loans they have extended to commercial banks and other financial institutions is called “Bank Rate”. When Bank Rate is increased by RBI, bank’s borrowing costs increases which in return, reduces the supply of money in the market. Thus, statement (3) is not correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 88

With reference to the Indian economy after the 1991 economic liberalization, consider the following statements: 

1. Worker productivity (Rupee per worker at 2004-05 prices) increased in urban areas while it decreased in rural areas.
2. The percentage share of rural areas in the workforce steadily increased.
3. In rural areas, the growth in non-farm economy increased.
4. The growth rate in rural employment decreased.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

In terms of levels, the Agriculture and Allied Activities, with over 56 percent of the workforce, has the lowest GVA per worker. 1 is incorrect.

There is a change in occupational structure with a decline in the percentage share of labour-force in the agricultural sector and a rise in the services sector. 2 is incorrect.

The Economic Census of India estimates that around 41.89 million rural people are employed in non-agricultural establishments which registered a growth rate of 4.56 % during 1998-2005. 3 is correct.

Steady transition to urbanization over the years is leading to the decline in the rural share in population, workforce and GDP of the country. 4 is correct.

QUESTION: 89

Consider the following statements: 

1. In terms of short-term credit delivery to the agriculture sector, District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) deliver more credit in comparison to Scheduled Commercial Banks and Regional Rural Banks. 
2. One of the most important functions of DCCBs is to provide funds to the Primary Agricultural Credit Societies.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

Solution:

In institutional sources, for the agricultural credit, it includes commercial banks, cooperative credit institutions, regional rural banks. Under institutional sources, commercial bank entered this field very recently. The cooperative institutions play an important role in providing credit to agricultural sector.

The district central co-operative bank occupies a key position in the co-operative credit structure. But the District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) does not provide quantitatively more credit in comparison to Scheduled Commercial Banks and Regional Rural Banks. So, statement 1 is not correct.

Although statement 1 is not correct, the above pie-chart demonstrates share of total agricultural credit and not short-term credit. In short-term credit, share of SCBs is around 60% and that of Cooperative Banks is around 30%.

The most significant functions of the district central co-operative bank is to provide financial support to the primary co-operative societies that are affiliated to it in the district . These societies belong to highly diverse categories like the primary agricultural credit societies, the producers’ cooperative societies, handloom and handicrafts co-operative societies, salary earners co-operative societies consumers co-operative societies, primary urban co-operative banks etc. However, one of the most significant roles of the district central co-operatives bank is to support and develop the primary agricultural credit societies. So, statement 2 is correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 90

In India, under cyber insurance for individuals, which of the following benefits are generally covered, in addition to payment for the loss of funds and other benefits?

1. Cost of restoration of the computer system in case of malware disrupting access to one’s computer
2. Cost of a new computer if some miscreant wilfully damages it, if proved so
3. Cost of hiring a specialized consultant to minimize the loss in case of cyber extortion
4. Cost of defence in the Court of Law if any third party files a suit

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

Solution:

Cyber insurance for individuals policies are designed to cover expenses related to post factor actions of a cyber-attack. Such as, the cost incurred during the prosecution process and defense costs are paid by the insurance company relating to the types of cyber risks mentioned in the documentation of the policy. Other costs such as financial losses, online loss of money suffered by the policyholder due to cyber-attacks are also covered in the policy up to the sum assured as mentioned in the policy. Expenses incurred for counseling treatments post a cyber-attack is also paid for including damages against third party liabilities and restoration costs. It also takes care of consultant fees, court expenses, and legal fees concerning the cyber-attack. So (1), (3), and (4) are covered.

What is not covered?
If the attack was intentionally and deliberately done, the policy will not pay any claim. Insurers do not cover any fraudulent, dishonest or malicious act. These policies do not provide any cover for any prior actions of the attack that the policyholder has faced before buying the policy; nor do they cover for personal data or lost pictures in the policy. The insurers also take measures to avoid any cyber-attack to their customers by prompting for backing up their data, updating anti-virus and having a proper set of passwords. If such measures are not taken properly, in case of a cyber-attack, your claim can be jeopardized.
Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 91

With reference to the cultural history of India, consider the following pairs:

1. Parivrajaka - Renunciant and Wanderer 
2. Sharmana  - Priest with a high status
3. Upasaka - Lay follower of Buddhism

Which of the pairs given above are correctly

Solution:

Parivrajaka literary means a wandering mendicant, vagrant, recluse, an ascetic. Shramana is also the same. These were the monks or ascetics of the heterodox sects during the early India who didn’t follow the Brahmanical varnashrama dharma. Thus, pair (1) is correct while pair (2) is not correct. 

Upasaka means a lay follower of Buddhism. He is the one who believes in the three oaths and follows the Buddha’s doctrine but doesn’t renunciate the material world altogether and doesn’t become a Bhikkhu in the Sangha. Thus, pair (3) is correct. 
Therefore, the correct answer is (b).

QUESTION: 92

With reference to Indian elephants, consider the following statements:

1. The leader of an elephant group is a female.
2. The maximum gestation period can be 22 months.
3. An elephant can normally go on calving till the age of 40 years only.
4. Among the States in India, the highest elephant population is in Kerala. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Elephants live in small family groups led by old females (cows) and Gestation is the longest of any mammal (18–22 months). So, statement 1 and 2 are correct.

According to the report, released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on August 12, Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054). So, statement 3 and 4 are not correct.

Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 93

Which of the following Protected Areas are located in Cauvery basin?

1. Nagarhole National Park
2. Papikonda National Park
3. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
4. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

Option 1 is correct: Nagarhole National Park, also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, is a wildlife reserve in the South Indian state of Karnataka. Nagarhole National Park is in the Cauvery Basin.

Option 2 is not correct: Papikonda National Park is located near Rajamahendravaram in the Papi Hills in East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh, and covers an area of 1,012.86 km2 (391.07 sq mi). It is an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area and home to some endangered species of flora and fauna. River Godavari flows through Papikonda National Park.

Option 3 is correct:Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve is a protected area and tiger reserve in the Eastern Ghats in the Erode District of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located at the confluence of two distinct geographical regions of bio diversity landscape; Western Ghat and Eastern Ghat. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve,the Gateway to Eastern Ghats, is a significant ecosystem and a wildlife corridor in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the rest of the Eastern Ghats and a genetic link between the five other protected areas which it adjoins, including the Billigiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Sigur Plateau, Mudumalai National Park, Bandipur National Park and the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.

Option 4 is correct: The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is an animal sanctuary in Wayanad, Kerala, India. Kabini river (a tributary of Cauvery river) flows through the sanctuary.

QUESTION: 94

With reference to India’s biodiversity, Ceylon frogmouth, Coppersmith barbet, Graychinned minivet and White-throated redstart are 

Solution:

The Sri Lanka frogmouth, Sri Lankan frogmouth or Ceylon frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger) is a small frogmouth found in the Western Ghats of south India and Sri Lanka. It is a bird that reaches 23 centimetres (9.1 in) in length.
Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 95

Which one of the following protected areas is the of the (Barasingha) that thrives well on hard ground well-known for conservation of a sub-species Indian swamp deer and is exclusively graminivorous?

Solution:

The revival of BaraSingha, an endangered and endemic cervid, belonging to the cervidae family, in the Kanha Tiger Reserve is hailed as one of the most successful and inspiring conservation projects in the world. While Kanha’s name may be synonymous with the tiger, it is actually the hard ground barasingha that has consistently challenged the professionalism, including foresightedness and managerial adaptability, of the Kanha management.
Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 96

Steel slang can be the material for which of the following?

1. Construction of base road
2. Improvement of agricultural soil
3. Production of cement

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

Steel slag, a by-product of steel making, is produced during the separation of the molten steel from impurities in steel-making furnaces. The slag occurs as a molten liquid melt and is a complex solution of silicates and oxides that solidifies upon cooling. It is used in various activities such as in road construction, these are the preferred aggregates as they harden well, enabling a thinner layer of pavement than what can be achieved with crushed stone aggregates. Slag is also very hardy, resistant to both weather and wear. So, statement 1 is correct.

Benefits of using steel slag for crops: Slag application favors the increase of pH and the availability of nutrients such as Ca, Mg, and Si in the soil, which leads to the increase in the absorption of these elements by the plant, favoring the growth and yield of the crops. So, statement 2 is correct.

Steel-slag can be used to produce energy-saving cement by co-grinding with OPC clinker and blast furnace slag. It can replace Portland cement in various applications and is especially suitable for projects where a low heat of hydration is required. So, statement 3 is correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 97

Which of the following are the most likely places to find the musk deer in its natural habitat?

1. Askot Wildlife Sanctuary 
2. Gangotri National Park
3. Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary
4. Manas National Park

Select the correct answer using 

Solution:

The white-bellied musk deer or Himalayan musk deer (Moschus leucogaster) is a musk deer species occurring in the Himalayas of Nepal, Bhutan, India, Pakistan and China. It is found in Askot Wildlife Sanctuary and Gangotri National Park located in the Himalayan regions. It is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List because of overexploitation resulting in a probable serious population decline. So, (1) and (2) are correct.

The Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of the Dudhwa Tiger reserve near Mailani in Uttar Pradesh, India and Musk deer is not found here. So (3) is not correct.

Manas National Park or Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is a national park, UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve in Assam, India. The park is known for its rare and endangered endemic wildlife such as the Assam roofed turtle, hispid hare, golden langur and pygmy hog. Manas is famous for its population of the wild water buffalo. So (4) is not correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (a).

QUESTION: 98

In rural construction, the use of which of the following is preferred for ensuring environmental sustainability or to reduce carbon footprint?

1. Copper slag
2. Cold mix asphalt technology
3. Geotextiles
4. Hot mix asphalt technology
5. Portland cement

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Solution:

The usage of Copper slag reduces the usage of primary materials as well as reduces the construction depth which in turn reduces energy demand in building. So, (1) is correct.

Cold asphalt mix is produced by mixing unheated mineral aggregate with either emulsified bitumen or foamed bitumen. Unlike hot mix asphalt (HMA), cold asphalt mix does not require any heating of aggregate which makes it economical and relatively pollution-free (no objectionable fumes or odours). So, (2) is correct and (4) is not correct.

Geotextiles reinforces the soil by adding tensile strength to i. It is used as a rapid de watering layer in the roadbed. So, (3) is correct.

Portland cement production needs energy and can impact the environment. So, (5) is not correct.

QUESTION: 99

Consider the following statements: 

1. Coal ash contains arsenic, lead and mercury.
2. Coal-fired power plants release sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen into the environment.
3. High ash content is observed in Indian coal.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Coal ash contains contaminants like mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Without proper management, these contaminants can pollute waterways, ground water, drinking water, and the air.

The burning of coal releases many pollutants - oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and sulfur (SOx) -and particulate matter. They also emit greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), which are known to contribute to global warming and climate change.
Coal India Limited announced that ash content of coal produced in the country is generally 25 to 45 % whereas average ash content of imported coal varies from 10 to 20 %. Indian Coal has comparatively higher ash content than imported coal due to drift theory of formation of coal deposits in India.

Therefore, all statements are correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (d).

QUESTION: 100

What is the use of biochar in farming?

1. ‘Biochar can be used as a part of the growing medium in vertical farming.
2. When biochar is a part of the growing medium, it promotes the growth of nitrogenfixing microorganisms.
3. When biochar is a part of the growing- medium, it enables the growing medium /to retain water for longer time.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Biochar has the potential to produce farm-based renewable energy in an eco-friendly way. Specifically, the quality of biochar depends on several factors, such as the type of soil, metal, and the raw material used for carbonization, the pyrolysis conditions, and the amount of biochar applied to the soil.

In addition, the biochar amendment to the soil proved to be beneficial to improve soil quality and retain nutrients, thereby enhancing plant growth. Since biochar contains organic matter and nutrients, its addition increased soil pH, electric conductivity (EC), organic carbon (C), total nitrogen (TN), available phosphorus (P), and the cation-exchange capacity (CEC). 
Earlier, reported that the biochar application affected the toxicity, transport, and fate of various heavy metals in the soil due to improved soil absorption capacity. The presence of plant nutrients and ash in the biochar and its large surface area, porous nature, and the ability to act as a medium for microorganisms have been identified as the main reasons for the improvement in soil properties and increase in the absorption of nutrients by plants in soils treated with biochar. 

Biochar application decreased the tensile strength of soil cores, indicating that the use of biochar can reduce the risk of soil compaction. A lot has already been discussed on the benefits of inoculation of rhizobacteria in soil, but the addition of biochar can also provide more nutrients to the soil, thus benefiting the agricultural crops. The mixing of the plant growth-promoting microorganisms with biochar was referred to as the best combination for growth and yield of French beans Therefore, all statements are correct.
Therefore, the correct answer is (d).