UPSC Prelims Past Year Paper 2014: Paper 1 (GS)

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In medieval India, the designations 'Mahattara' and 'Pattakila' were used for__:


Mahattaras or Mahattam & Pattakila or Patel were the village headmen.


Lichens, which are capable of initiating ecological succession even on a bare rock, are actually a symbioticassociation of __:


Lichens represent an intimate mutualistic relationship between a fungus and photosynthesising algae or cyanobacteria.


If you travel through the Himalayas, you are likely to see which of the following plants naturally growing there?
1. Oak
2. Rhododendron
3. Sandalwood
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Which of the following are some important pollutants released by steel industry in India?
1. Oxides of sulphur
2. Oxides of nitrogen
3. Carbon monoxide
4. Carbon dioxide
Select the correct answer using the code given below


In steel furnace, coke reacts with iron ore, releasing iron and generating CO and CO2 gases. Due to use of coal, pollutants such as SOx and NOx are released, thus all are correct options.


Which of the following Kingdoms were associated with the life of the Buddha?
1. Avanti
2. Gandhara
3. Kosala
4. Magadha
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Avanti was not directly related to life of Buddha, so this needs to be opted out. We have read that Pasenadi (Prasenajit), king of Kosala, was the Buddha’s contemporary and is frequently mentioned in Pali texts. Kosala and Magadha were linked through matrimonial ties. Buddha wandered through the towns and villages in the kingdoms of Kosala and Magadha teaching his philosophy. Gandhara is not directly associated with the life of Buddha. It was expansion of Maurya empire that Gandhara received much Buddhist influence, notably during the reign of Asoka.


Every year, a month long ecologically important campaign/festival is held during which certain communities/tribes plant saplings of fruit-bearing trees. Which of the following are such communities/ tribes?


This question is based upon recent trends in Gond and Korku tribes in Madhya Pradesh of planting fruit tree saplings coinciding with
Hari jiroti festival.


The sales tax you pay while purchasing toothpaste is a __:


The power to impose taxes on 'sale of purchase of goods other than newspaper' belongs to State (Entry list 54, State II) 


What does venture capital mean?


⇒ Venture capital is financing that investors provide to startupcompanies and small businesses that are believed to have long-term growth

Venture capital generally comes from well-off investors, investment banks and any other financial institutions. However, it does not always take just a monetary form; it can be provided in the form of technical or managerial expertise.


The main objective of the 12th Five-Year Plan is __:


12th Five Year Plan 2012-17 as per the draft document released by the Planning Commission aims at a growth rate of 8%. This is the revised rate when compared to the initial approach paper. Other targets of the Twelfth Five Year Plan in different sectors are listed below.

Vision of 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17)

Twelfth Five Year Plan focuses on Growth – Growth which is

1. Faster
2. Inclusive
3. Sustainable


With reference to Balance of Payments, which of the following constitutes/constitute the Current Account?

1. Balance of trade
2. Foreign assets
3. Balance of invisibles
4. Special Drawing Rights

Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Current account includes balance of trade (exports-imports), net remittances, Trade in services. SDRs count as foreign assets 


The terms 'Marginal Standing Facility Rate' and 'Net Demand and Time Liabilities', sometimes appearing in news,are used in relation to __:


MSF came into effect from 9th May 2011. MSF scheme is provided by RBI by which the banks can borrow overnight upto 1 per cent of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) i.e. 1 per cent of the aggregate deposits and other liabilities of the banks. 


What is/are the facility/facilities the beneficiaries can get from the services of Business Correspondent (Bank Saathi) in branchless areas?
1. It enables the beneficiaries to draw their subsidies and social security benefits in their villages.
2. It enables the beneficiaries in the rural areas to make deposits and withdrawals.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


BCs are being used under the Swabhimaan scheme for both the purposes 


In the context of Indian e conomy; which of the f ollowing is/are the p urpose/purposes o f 'Statutory Reserve Requirements'?
1. To enable the Central Bank to control the amount of advances the banks can create
2. To make the people's deposits with banks safe and liquid
3. To prevent the commercial banks from making excessive profits
4. To force the banks to have sufficient vault cash to meet their day-to-day requirements
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


The correct option is Option A.

Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) are maintained by the banks in 'non-cash' form which are used by then to raise cash against it (from the money market) in times of cash mismatch (and 'vault cash' means liquid cash). Profit management is not the aim behind SLR.


Recently, a series of uprisings of people referred to as 'Arab Spring' originally started from:


Arab Spring began with the overthrow of ruler Tunisia, Ben Ali who fled to Saudi Arabia


Consider the following countries:
1. Denmark
2. Japan
3. Russian Federation
4. United Kingdom
5. United States of America
Which of the above are the members of the 'Arctic Council?


The members of Arctic Council are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.


Consider the following pairs :
Region often in news :  Country
1. Chechnya : Russian Federation
2. Darfur : Mali
3. Swat Valley : Iraq
Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?


All regions are affected by some conflict, DARFUR is in Sudan, Swat Valley is in Pakistan


With reference to Agni-IV Missile, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. It is a surface-to-surface missile
2. It is fuelled by liquid propellant only.
3. It can deliver one-tonne nuclear warheads about 7500 km away
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


AGNI IV has a range of about 4000 km with 1 tonne nuclear head. Has two stages of Solid Propulsion 


With reference to two non-conventional energy sources called 'coalbed methane' and 'shale gas', consider the following statements:
1. Coalbed methane is the pure methane gas extracted from coal seams, while shale gas is a mixture of propane and
butane only that can be extracted from fine-grained sedimentary rocks.
2. In India, abundant Coalbed methane sources exist, but so far no shale gas sources have been found.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Shale gas deposits in India have been in news. Shale gas is a mixture of Methane, Propane and many other gases 


With reference to 'Changpa' community of India, consider the following statements :
1. They live mainly in the State of Uttarakhand.
2. They rear the Pashmina goats that yield a fine wool.
3. They are kept inthe category of Scheduled Tribes.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Changpa Tribe belong to Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir


In India, cluster bean (Guar) is traditionally used as a vegetable or animal feed, but recently the cultivation of thishas assumed significance. Which one of the following statements is correct in this context?


Guargum is used in the "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing process used for the extraction of the shale oil gas. The fracking process involves injecting a fracturing fluid, almost always water, at high pressure, to create channels in rock formations, which allow the oil or gas to move into larger pools, from which they can be extracted.


The Partition of Bengal made by Lord Curzon in 1905 lasted until:


The 1929 Session of Indian National Congress is of significance in the history of the Freedom Movement because the :


The Lahore session of the Indian National Congress was held in 1929 under the Presidentship of Jawaharlal Nehru. It was in this session that the Congress for the first time raised the demand for complete independence. Such demand was not raised from the Congress platform earlier.


With reference to the famous Sattriya dance, consider the following statements :
1. Sattriya is a combination of music, dance and drama.
2. It is a centuries-old living tradition of Vaishnaites of Assam.
3. It is based on classical Ragas and Talas of devotional songs composed by Tulsidas, Kabir and Mirabai
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


The Sattriya dance form was introduced in the 15th century A.D by the great Vaishnava saint and reformer of Assam, Mahapurusha Sankaradeva as a powerful medium for propagation of the Vaishnava faith. Sankaradeva introduced this dance form by incorporating different elements from various treatises,then prevalent dance forms and local folk dances combined with his own rare outlook. Sattriya dance is a clear indication of the influence of the former on the latter. Other visible influences on Sattriya dance are those from Assamese folk dances namely Bihu, Bodos etc Many hand gestures and rhythmic syllables are strikingly similar in these dance forms.


Chaitra 1 of the national calendar based on the Saka Era corresponds to which one of the following dates of the Gregorian calendar in a normal year of 365 days?


The Saka Calender is based on luni-solar reckoning of time. The calendar consists of 365 days and 12 months like the normal Gregorian calendar. Chaitra is the first month of the year beginning on March 22 which is the day after the Spring Equinox. During leap years, the starting day of Chaitra corresponds with March 21.


With reference to the Indian history of art and culture, consider the following pairs:
Famous work of sculpture Site
1. A grand image of Buddha's Mahaparinirvana with numerous celestial musicians above and the sorrowful figures of
his followers below : Ajanta
2. A huge image of Varaha Avatar (boar incarnation) of Vishnu, as he rescues Goddess Earth from the deep and
chaotic waters, sculpted on rock : Mount Abu
3. "Arjuna's Penance" /"Descent of Ganga" sculpted on the surface of huge boulders : Mamallapuram
Which of the pairs given above is/ are correctly matched?


In Cave 26, Ajanta of 5th century AD there is a grand image of Buddha's Mahaparinirvana with numerous celestial musicians above and the sorrowful figures of his followers below.
Mamallapuram hosts India’s largest and most dramatic relief-sculpture. It represents the celebrated myth of the descent of the river Ganga from heaven to earth. The Great Penance, is carved on a giant granite rock wall 27 meters wide and 9 meters tall, and was believed to be initiated during the reign of the Pallava King Mahendra Varman, ca 7th century ce.
The most famous carving at Udayagiri ( near Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh) is a five-foot (or so) tall statue of Vishnu's Boar Avatar (here show rescuing the Earth, who is hanging on his tusk), with the worshipful masses standing in homage by the sides.  This image was in the personal temple of King Chandra Gupta II (ruled 376-415 C.E.).


The Ghadr (Ghadar) was a __?


The Ghadar- a Punjabi word for revolution was a revolutionary movement organised by Punjabi immigrant workers in California with its headquarters at 5 Wood Street, San Francisco.


With reference to India's culture and tradition, what is 'Kalaripayattu'?


Kalaripayattu is an Indian martial art from Kerala. It is one of the most ancient fighting systems that are even practiced today. It was
originally practised in Kerala and some parts of Karnataka. Today it is practiced in Kerala, Tamil Nadu as well as Karnataka and some
parts of Shri Lanka.


Consider the following pairs:
1. Garba : Gujarat
2. Mohiniattam : Odisha
3. Yakshagana : Karnataka
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?


The second pair is incorrect. Mohiniattam:
1. is based on the legend of the Hindu mythological seductress Mohini, who tempted Shiva.
2. is patterned on bharatanatyam with elements of kathakali.
3. uses Malayalam songs with Carnatak music
4. It is not a common dance in Odisha.


With reference to Buddhist history, tradition and culture in India, consider the following pairs :
Famous shrine                                        Location
1. Tabo monastery and temple complex : Spiti Valley
2. Lhotsava Lhakhang temple, Nako : Zanskar Valley
3. Alchi temple complex : Ladakh
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?


Lhotsava Lakhang, or the temple of the great translator Rinchen Zangpo. Enclosed between the Greater Himalaya and the Zaskar, Nako is located at the east end of Kinnaur Valley.

Alchi Monastery or Alchi Gompa is a Buddhist monastery, known more as a monastic complex(chos-'khor) of temples in Alchi village in the Leh District, Ladakh

Tabo Monastery is located in the Tabo village of Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh.


Consider the followingstatements:
1. 'Bijak' is a composition of the teachings of Saint Dadu Dayal.
2. The Philosophy of Pushti Marg was propounded by Madhvacharya.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


Vallabhacharya’s philosophy came to be known as Pushtimarga (the path of grace). Kabir’s ideas were later collected and preserved in Bijak. 


A community of people called Manganiyars is well-known for their __:


The word 'Manganiyar' means those who ask for alms. These people are singers and instrumentalists of Rajasthan


What was/were the object/objects of Queen Victoria's Proclamation (1858)?
1. To disclaim any intention to annex Indian States
2. To place the Indian administration under the British Crown
3. To regulate East India Company's trade with India
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


The British govt. was regulating East India Company’s trade with India since Pitt’s India Act of 1784. Queen Victoria’s Proclamation of 1858 withdrew the policy of Doctrine of Lapse implemented by Lord Dalhousie for annexing Indian states and it took away the administration of India from the East India Company and placed it under the British govt.


Ibadat Khana at Fatehpur Sikri was__:


It was a place to gather spiritual leaders of different religions so as to conduct a discussion on the teachings of the respective respective religions Difference between option (c) and (d) is in accuracy. Option (d) talks of a room as opposed to a hall and nobles instead of religious scholars.


In the context of food and nutritional security of India, enhancing the 'Seed Replacement Rates' of various crops helps in achieving the food production targets of the future. But what is/are the constraint/ constraints in its wider / greater implementation?
1. There is no National Seeds Policy in place.
2. There is no participation of private sector seed companies in the supply of quality seeds of vegetables and planting materials of horticultural crops.
3. There is a demand-supply gap regarding quality seeds in case of low value and high volume crops.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


India has a national seeds policy 2002, also many private companies are operating in supplying seeds 


With reference to 'Eco-Sensitive Zones', which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. Eco-Sensitive Zones are the areas that are declared under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
2. The purpose of the declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zones is to prohibit all kinds of human activities, in those zones except agriculture
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


The ESZ does not come under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Even Environment Protection Act, 1986 does not mention the word "Ecosensitive Zones". The section 3(2)(v) of the Act, says that Central Government can restrict areas in which any industries, operations or processes or class of industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards
Besides the section 5 (1) of this act says that central government can prohibit or restrict the location of industries and carrying on
certain operations or processes on the basis of considerations like the biological diversity of an area, maximum allowable limits of concentration of pollutants for an area, environmentally compatible land use, and proximity to protected areas. Thus, all kinds of human activities are not restricted.


Consider the following statements:
1. Animal Welfare Board of India is established under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
2. National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body.
3. National Ganga River Basin Authority is chaired by the Prime Minister.
Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?


Animal Welfare Board has been established under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Acts 1960


Consider the following pairs:

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


Vitamin A causes Night Blindness


There is some concern regarding the nanoparticles of some chemical elements that are used by the industry in the manufacture of various products. Why?
1. They can accumulate in the environment, and contaminate water and soil.
2. They can enter the food chains.
3. They can trigger the production of free radicals.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Many of the nano particles are very stable and hence have a tendency for accumuation. They can easily enter food chains because of their very small size and stay in it because of their stable nature. They have the ability to generate free radicals and cause oxidative stress in cells 


Which of the following organizations brings out the publication known as 'World Economic Outlook'?


With reference to Union Budget, which of the following, is/are covered under Non-Plan Expenditure?
1. Defence -expenditure
2. Interest payments
3. Salaries and pensions
4. Subsidies
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Non-plan revenue expenditure is accounted for by interest payments, subsidies (mainly on food and fertilisers), wage and salary payments to government employees, grants to States and Union Territories governments, pensions, police, economic services in various sectors, other general services such as tax collection, social services, and grants to foreign governments.


Which of the following have coral reefs?
1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
2. Gulf of Kachchh
3. Gulf of Mannar
4. Sunderbans
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


⇒ Coral reefs don’t form in areas where there is significant intrusion of fresh water and cold water.
⇒ Most of the mighty Indian Rivers flow into Bay of Bengal and hence coral reefs are absent on the east coast of India.
⇒ Coral reefs are also absent on west coast of Africa (Benguela Current), South America (Peruvian or Humboldt Current), Europe (Canaries Current) and other continents due to cold currents.
⇒ Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Mannar are regions where there is not significant freshwater intrusion. But Sunderbans are the mouth of Ganga-Brahmaputra river system and hence there is no coral reef formation there.


In India, the problem of soil erosion is associated with which of the following?
1. Terrace cultivation
2. Deforestation
3. Tropical climate
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


Terrace cultivation is for preventing soil erosion on hill slopes while tropical climate has nothing to do with soil erosion


The seasonal reversal of winds is the typical characteristic of__:


⇒ Equatorial climate has no seasonal reversal of wind.
⇒ Thus, option A and D are eliminated
⇒ Monsoon denotes the climate associated with seasonal reversal in the direction of winds.


With reference to the cultural history of India, the term 'Panchayatan' refers to __:


In Panchayatan architecture, main shrine is built on a rectangular plinth with four smaller subsidiary shrines at the four corners (hence
the name, panchayatana).


Consider the following rivers:
1. Barak
2. Lohit
3. Subansiri
Which of the above flows / flow through Arunachal Pradesh?


⇒ The Barak is an important river in Manipur and Mizoram. The barak river, the head stream of Meghna rises in the hills in Manipur.
⇒  Lohit River is a river in Arunachal Pradesh in India. It is a tributary to the Brahmaputra River. The Subansiri River is a tributary of the Brahmaputra River in the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.


Consider the following pairs :

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?


The wetland ecosystem of Harike lies on the confluence of the Beas and Sutlej and the main water body (reservoir) came into existence when a barrage was constructed across the confluence of the two rivers in 1952.. 


Which one of the following pairs does not form part of the six systems of Indian Philosophy?


Consider the following pairs :

Which of the above pairs are correctly matched?


⇒ The Cardamom Hills are southern hills of India and part of the southern Western Ghats located in southeast Kerala and southwest Tamil Nadu. They are not in coromandel coast.
⇒ Kaimur Range is the eastern portion of the Vindhya Range extending from Madhya Pradesh to Bihar. They are not in konkan coast.
⇒ The Mahadeo Hills are in Madhya Pradesh, state of central India.Mikir hills are in assam i.e. in North East India. option c is correct.


Which one of the following Schedules of the Constitution of India contains provisions regarding anti-defection?


Disqualification of the members of Parliament and state legislatures on the ground of defection. This schedule was added by the 52nd Amendment Act, also known as Anti-defection Act (1985).


The most important strategy for the conservation of biodiversity together with traditional human life is theestablishment of __?


1. B is wrong because People don’t live in botanical gardens with plants.
2. C is wrong because in national park, human activity is totally prohibited.
3. D: wildlife sanctuaries- human activity is partially allowed.
4. But “A” is better choice, because,

 (i) as per Forest ministry guideline:  “Biosphere Reserves are special entities (sites) for …how human beings and nature can co-exist while respecting each other’s needs”
(ii) India yearbook page 287: Biosphere reserve- goal is to foster economic Development which is ecologically sustainable.
(iii) the outermost part of the Biosphere Reserve, is an area of active cooperation between the management and the local people, wherein activities like settlements, cropping, forestry , recreation and other economic that are in harmony with the conservation goals


Turkey is located between__:


The correct option is B.
Southwestern Asia (that part west of the Bosporus is included with Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria.


What is the correct sequence of occurrence of the following cities in South-East Asia a one proceeds from south to north ?
1. Bangkok
2. Hanoi
3. Jakarta
4. Singapore
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


The correct option is C.
The correct sequence of occurrence of the following cities in South-East Asia as one proceeds from south to north is Jakarta-Singapore-Bangkok and Hanoi.


The scientific view is that the increase in global temperature should not exceed 2 °C above pre-industrial level. If the global temperature increases beyond 3°C above the pre-industrial level, what can be its possible impact/impacts on the world?
1. Terrestrial biosphere tends toward a net carbon source
2. Widespread coral mortality will occur.
3. All the global wetlands will permanently disappear.
4. Cultivation of cereals will not be possible anywhere in the world.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


3 and 4 are too extreme. There will be effects on wetlands and cereal cultivation. But not total disappearance or no cultivation at all. 


The national motto of India, 'Satyameva Jayate' inscribed below the Emblem of India is taken from__:


The phrase Satyameva Jayate is from a verse of the Mundaka Upanishad that is embedded in the Atharva Veda, one of the four primary Hindu scriptures. The motto is taken from the well-known mantra 3.1.6 which is as follows

⇒ Satyameva jayate nanrtam
⇒ Satyena pantha vitato devayanah
⇒ yenakramantyrsayo hyaptakama
⇒ yatra tat satyasya paramam nidhanam


In the Constitution of India, promotion of international peace and security is included in the__:


Directive principles of the state policy include

Promotion of international peace and security.—The State shall endeavour to—
(a) promote international peace and security;
(b) maintain just and honorable relations between nations;
(c) foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another; and
(d) encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.


What are the benefits of implementing the 'Integrated Watershed Development Programme'?
1. Prevention of soil runoff
2. Linking the country's perennial rivers with seasonal rivers
3. Rainwater harvesting and recharge of groundwater table
4. Regeneration of natural vegetation
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Integrated watershed development programme no where mentions interlinking of rivers


Which of the following are associated with 'Planning' in India?
1. The Finance Commission
2. The National Development Council
3. The Union Ministry of Rural Development
4. The Union Ministry of Urban Development
5. The Parliament
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


The Parliament and NDC are two bodies which are directly related to the formulation of plan in India


Which of the following is / are the function/functions of the Cabinet Secretariat?
1. Preparation of agenda for Cabinet Meetings
2. Secretarial assistance to Cabinet Committees
3. Allocation of financial resources to the Ministries
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


statement 3 is incorrect - allocation  of financial resources is done by the finance ministry in consonance with the priorities presented in the budget


Consider the following statements:
A Constitutional Government is one which
1. places effective restrictions on individual liberty in the interest of State Authority
2. places effective restrictions on the Authority of the State in the interest of individual liberty
Which of the statements given above is / are correct?


The first statement is not correct. To be very precise, Constitutional Government is one which places effective restrictions on individual
liberty in the interest of liberty of other individuals. Effective restrictions on individual liberty in the interest of State Authority would lead to Authoritarianism.


Which of the following are the discretionary powers given to the Governor of a State?
1. Sending a report to the President of India for imposing the President's rule
2. Appointing the Ministers
3. Reserving certain bills passed by the State Legislature for consideration of the President of India
4. Making the rules to conduct the business of the State Government
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Article 166(3) - The Governor shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of the State, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business in so far as it is not business with respect to which the Governor is by or under this Constitution required to act in his discretion - statement 4 does not
comes under the discretionary powers of the Governor . Ministers are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the CM and hence not a discretionary power. 


If the interest rate is decreased in an economy, it will __:


Decreased interest rates would ensure availabilty of capital for investment expenditure 


Consider the following statements :
1. The President shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of India, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business.
2. All executive actions of the Government of India shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the Prime Minister.
Which of the statements given above is / are correct?


Article 77(c) - Verbatim, second statement being wrong, since all decision are taken in the name of President 


Consider the following statements regarding a No-Confidence Motion in India:
1. There is no mention of a No-Confidence Motion in the Constitution of India.
2. A Motion of No-Confidence can be introduced in the Lok Sabha only.
Which of the statements given above is / are correct?


The first statement is correct because No Confidence Motion is governed by Rule 198 of Lok Sabha. The article 75 in constitution mentions that the Council of Ministers has to be collectively responsible to Lok Sabha. Second statement is also correct.


With reference to Neem tree, consider the following statements:
1. Neem oil can be used as a pesticide to control the proliferation of some species of insects and mites.
2. Neem seeds are used in the manufacture of biofuels and hospital detergents.
3. Neem oil has applications in pharmaceutical industry.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


⇒ Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree and has  insecticidal and medicinal properties due to which it has been used for thousands of years in pest control, cosmetics, medicines, etc.

Neem seed cake (residue of neem seeds after oil extraction) when used for soil amendment or added to soil,  not only enriches the soil with organic matter but also lowers nitrogen losses by inhibiting nitrification. It also works as a nematicide.

⇒ Neem leaves are used to treat chickenpox and warts by directly applying to the skin in a paste form or by bathing in water with neem leaves. In order to increase immunity of the body, neem leaves are also taken internally in the form of neem capsules or made into a tea. The tea is traditionally taken internally to reduce fever caused by malaria. This tea is extremely bitter. It is also used to soak feet for treating various foot fungi.  It has also been reported to work against termites. In Ayurveda, neem leaves are used in curing neuromuscular pains. Neem leaves are also used in storage of grains.

⇒ Twigs of neem are also used in India and Africa as toothbrushes. Nowadays toothpastes with neem extracts are also available commercially.

⇒  Neem (leaf and seed) extracts have been found to be spermicidal and thus research is being conducted to use neem extracts for making contraceptives. Neem produces pain relieving, anti-inflammatory and fever reducing compounds that can aid in the healing of cuts, burns, earaches, sprains and headaches, as well as fevers.

⇒ Neem bark and roots also have medicinal properties. Bark & roots in powdered form are also used to control fleas & ticks on pets.

Neem has anti-bacterial properties that help in fighting against skin infections such as acne, psoriasis, scabies, eczema, etc. Neem extracts also help in treating diabetes, AIDS, cancer, heart disease, herpes, allergies, ulcers, hepatitis and several other diseases.


Which one of the following is the process involved in photosynthesis?


  • For plants to perform photosynthesis they require light energy from the sun, water and carbon dioxide.
  • Water is absorbed from the soil into the cells of roots. The water passes from the root system to the xylem vessels in the stem until it reaches the leaves.
  • Carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere through pores in the leaves called stomata. The leaves also contain chloroplasts which hold chlorophyll. The sun’s energy is captured by the chlorophyll.

In addition to fingerprint scanning, which of the following can be used in the biometric identification of a person?
1. Iris scanning
2. Retinal scanning
3. Voice recognition
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • A device can also use a person’s eyes for biometric identification. This is called a retinal scan. A retinal scan uses the unique patterns caused by blood vessels in the eye to run a match.
  • Another method that uses the eye for a biometric match is iris scanning. In iris scanning, it is a picture of the eye that is taken, which can then be quickly compared to a previous picture taken and stored in the database.
  • In addition to physiological data, biometric identification can also be done via behavioral methods. When enrolled, a behavioral characteristic, such as a voice, is captured and stored in the device. The voice can then be matched when the person speaks into the device again.

Which of the following statements is / are correct regarding vegetative propagation of plants?
1. Vegetative propagation produces clonal population.
2. Vegetative propagation helps in eliminating the virus.
3. Vegetative propagation can be practiced most of the year.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


Second option is wrong because if the parent plant has a virus, then it will not be eliminated but further propagated. 


Which of the following pair is/are correctly matched?
Spacecraft                       Purpose
1. Cassini-Huygens : Orbiting the Venus and transmitting data to the Earth
2. Messenger : Mapping and investigating the Mercury
3. Voyager 1 and 2 : Exploring the outer solar system
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


Cassini Huygens was sent to planet Saturn, all the other options can then be worked out easily


Region                                                    Well-known for the production of

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?


Arecanut is grown mainly in southern region, mango in central and south india and soyabean predominantly in central india


Which of the following is/are the example/examples of chemical change?
1. Crystallization of sodium chloride
2. Melting of ice
3. Souring of milk
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


Crystallisation of sodium chloride and ice melting are physical changes as they involve a change of state 


Consider the following statements :
1. Maize can be used for the production of starch.
2. Oil extracted from maize can be a feedstock for biodiesel.
3. Alcoholic beverages can be produced by using maize.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


The correct option is D.
Maize meal is also used as a replacement for wheat flour, to make cornbread and other baked products. ... Cornstarch is made from maize kernels, which are high in starch, and used as a thickening agent in soups.
That is the case of ethanol, whose primary feedstock is corn. ... Therefore, corn oil can be extracted as a by-product by using new technology that will make ethanol production more efficient. This corn oil can be converted into a biofuel, such as biodiesel.
Corn beer is a beer style made from corn (maize). The drink is a traditional beverage in various cuisines. Chicha, the best-known corn beer, is widespread in the Andes and local varieties of corn beer exist elsewhere.


Among the following organisms, which one does not belong to the class of other three?


Ticks and mites are in Phylum Arhtropoda but their class is not insecta but A rachnida. Thus, Ticks and mites are actually Arachnids.
Scorpiones also fall within the class Arachnida. Spider make the largest order of arachnids. Crab is a crustacean.


The power to increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court of India is vested in__:


Parliament by Law

The parliament of India has power to make laws, organizing jurisdiction and powers of supreme court. The number of judges can be increased or decreased by the parliament by legislation. There was a Provision in our constitution originally that there will be a CJ and 7 other judges. This number was raised to 10 in 1956, 13 in 1960, 17 in 1977, 25 in 1985. Later number of judges in the supreme court was raised from 26 (25+1) to 31 (30+1) . Current sanctioned strength of the Supreme Court is thus 31.


Consider the following towns of India :
1. Bhadrachalam
2. Chanderi
3. Kancheepuram
4. Karnal
Which of the above are famous for the production of traditional sarees / fabric?


'Ikat Cotton Saree Manufacturers in Bhadrachalam. The traditional weaving of Chanderi fabric is mainly done for making sarees and suit materials. A Kanchipuram sari (also known as a Kanjivaram sari) is a type of sari traditionally made by weavers from Kanchipuram located in Tamil Nadu, India


Consider the following pairs :

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?


NH4 connects Bengaluru-Chennai,
NH6 Connects Surat-Kolkata 


Consider the following international agreements:
1. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
2. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
3. The World Heritage Convention
Which of the above has / have a bearing on the biodiversity?


As per United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) website - "dynamics of land, climate and biodiversity are intimately connected, the UNCCD collaborates closely with the other two Rio Conventions; the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to meet these complex challenges with an integrated approach and the best possible use of natural resources." Rest of the two are also associated with biodiveresity. 


Consider the following statements regarding 'Earth Hour' :
1. It is an initiative of UNEP and UNESCO.
2. It is a movement in which the participants switch off the lights for one hour on a certain day every year.
3. It is a movement to raise the awareness about the climate change and the need to save the planet.
Which of the statements given above is / are correct?


It is an initiative of WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature)


Which one of the following is the correct sequence of a food chain?


1) Food chain starts with a producer and ends with a top consumer.
2) Phytoplanktonare the primary producers in the oceans. They include:

(a) diatoms (unicellular algae),
(b) coccolithophores 
(unicellulr, eukaryotic protist),
(c) cyanobacteria (Bluegreen algae)– synechococcus, prochlorococcus, nostoc, spirogyra etc..
(d) dinoflagellates (flagellated protists).

3) Crustaceans form a very large group of arthropods which includes crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles.


What are the significances of a practical approach to sugarcane production known as 'Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative'?
1. Seed cost is very low in this compared to the conventional method of cultivation.
2. Drip irrigation can be practiced very effectively in this.
3. There is no application of chemical/ inorganic fertilizers at all in this.
4. The scope for intercropping is more in this compared to the conventional method of cultivation.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


The SSI method encourages application of organic manure as it enhances the macro and micro nutrient content in the soil in an eco friendly way and helps in
optimum utilization of some of the chemical fertilizers


If a wetland of international importance is brought under the 'Montreux Record', what does it imply?


The Montreux Record is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference. It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.


Which one of the following pairs of islands is separated from each other by the 'Ten Degree Channel'?


(NCERT) The entire group of island is divided into two broad categories the Andaman in the north and the Nicobar in the south. They are separated by a water body which is called the Ten degree channel. 


Consider the following pairs :

Which of the above pairs:


National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas falls under Ministry of Agriculture


With reference to Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), consider the following statements :
1. It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
2. It strives to conserve nature through action-based research, education and public awareness.
3. It organizes and conducts nature trails and camps for the general public.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?


BNHS does not come under MoEF.


With reference to 'Global Environment Facility', which of the following statements is/are correct?


GEF is an independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.


With reference to technologies for solar power production, consider the following statements:
1.'Photovoltaics' is a technology that generates electricity by direct conversion of light into electricity, while 'Solar Thermal' is a technology that utilizes the Sun's rays to generate heat which is further used in electricity generation process.
2. Photovoltaics generates Alternating Current (AC), while Solar Thermal generates Direct Current (DC).
3. India has manufacturing base for Solar Thermal technology, but not for Photovoltaics.
Which of the statements given above is / are correct?


Photovoltaic technique produces Direct Current (DC) and India has a manufacturing base for photovoltaics 


Consider the following languages :
1. Gujarati
2. Kannada
3. Telugu
Which of the above has/have been declared as 'Classical Language / Languages' by the Government?


Tamil was the first Classical Language of India. The government declared Tamil (in 2004), Sanskrit (in 2005). These two languages are undoubtedly parental sources for many languages belonging to the Indo-European family and the Dravidian family of linguistic groups. Later the government declared Kannada and Telugu (in 2008) as classical languages of India.In 2013, Malayalam was also given status of classical language. In 2014, Odiya was also given the status of Classical language.
With this the following six languages are included in the list of Classical Languages:

  1. Tamil (since 2004)
  2. Sanskrit (since 2005)
  3. Telugu (since 2008)
  4. Kannada (Since 2008)
  5. Malayalam (since 2013)
  6. Odiya (since 2014)

Consider the following pairs
1. Dampa Tiger Reserve : Mizoram
2. Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary : Sikkim
3. Saramati Peak : Nagaland
Which of the above pairs is /are correctly matched?


Gumti wildlife sanctuary is in Tripura. 


With reference to a conservation organization called "Wetlands International', which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. It is an intergovernmental organization formed by the countries which are signatories to Ramsar Convention.
2. It works at the field level to develop and mobilize knowledge, and use the practical experience to advocate for better policies.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


Wetlands International is the only global non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to wetlands.


With reference to a grouping of countries known as BRICS, consider the following statements:
1. The First Summit of BRICS was held in Rio De Janeiro in 2009.
2. South Africa was the last to join the BRICS grouping.
Which of the statements given above is / are correct?


First summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Second statement is correct.


Consider the following diseases
1. Diphtheria
2. Chickenpox
3. Smallpox
Which of the above diseases has/have been eradicated in India?


Small pox was eradicated in 1979


Which of the following phenomena might have influenced the evolution of organisms?
1. Continental drift
2. Glacial cycles
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


The effects of continental drift

  • Continental Drift has affected the world in so many different kinds of ways. Its hard to imagine. Continental Drift has affected the evolution of animals, the worlds geographical positions and the world's climates.
  • Hence statement one is true.

Glacial cycle:
The paleontological evidence consists of changes in the geographical distribution of fossils. During a glacial period cold-adapted organisms spread into lower latitudes, and organisms that prefer warmer conditions become extinct or are squeezed into lower latitudes. This evidence is also difficult to interpret because it requires
(1) sequences of sediments covering a long period of time, over a wide range of latitudes and which are easily correlated;
(2) ancient organisms which survive for several million years without change and whose temperature preferences are easily diagnosed; and
(3) the finding of the relevant fossils.


Other than poaching, what are the possible reasons for the decline in the population of Ganges River Dolphins?
1. Construction of dams and barrages on rivers
2. Increase in the population of crocodiles in rivers
3. Getting trapped in fishing nets accidentally
4. Use of synthetic fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals in crop-fields in the vicinity of rivers
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


Crocodile population has nothing to do with the decline in population of dolphins. It is human activities that are mainly responsible.


The Radcliffe Committee was appointed to:


The Radcliffe Line was published as a boundary demarcation line between India and Pakistan upon the Partition of India.


Brominated flame retardants are used in many household products like mattresses and upholstery. Why is there some concern about their use?
1. They are highly resistant to degradation in the environment.
2. They are able to accumulate in humans and animals.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:


(1) Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used as flame retardants

(2) They’re persistent, bio-accumulative, and toxic to both humans and the environment.


Consider the following :
1. Bats
2. Bears
3. Rodents
The phenomenon of hibernation can be observed in which of the above kinds of animals?


1,2,3 because as per national geographic

(1) Bats hibernate
(2) Bears hibernate
(3) Rodent hibernate.


Which one of the following is the largest Committee of the Parliament?


The correct option is B.
The Estimates Committee is the largest Community of the Parliament having 30 members and all are from the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha gets no representation in this committee.


Which of the following adds/add carbon dioxide to the carbon cycle on the planet Earth?
1. Volcanic action
2. Respiration
3. Photosynthesis
4. Decay of organic matter
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


(1) The process of respiration adds carbon to the atmosphere.
(2) Decay and burning fossil fuels also release carbon into the atmosphere,
(3) According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the world’s volcanoes, both on land and undersea, generate about 200 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually,


 If you walk through countryside, you are likely to see some birds stalking alongside the cattle to seize the insects, disturbed by their movement through grasses. Which of the following is/are such bird/birds? 
1. Painted Stork
2. Common Myna
3. Black-necked Crane
Select the correct answer using the code given below.


(1) Painted Stork: is a fish eating bird. So 1 is eliminated.
(2) Common Myna: It is an opportunistic feeder on inspects, disturbed by grazing cattle.
(3) Black-necked crane:
(a) Found in Trans-himalayan region
(b) Only found in Arunanchal Pradesh and Ladakh (WWF).
(c) So we are unlikely to find it while walking through  “country side” in all states and places.I did not find any specific link that specifically says black crane eats “insects disturbed by cattle”.


With reference to the Constitution of India, prohibitions or limitations or provisions contained in ordinary laws cannot act as prohibitions or limitations on the constitutional powers under Article 142. It could mean which one of the following?


Consider the following statements:
1. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has a 'Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air'.
2. The UNCAC is the ever-first legally binding global anti-corruption instrument.
3. A highlight of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) is the inclusion of a specific chapter aimed at returning assets to their rightful owners from whom they had been taken illicitly.
4. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated by its member States to assist in the implementation of both UNCAC and UNTOC.

Q. Which of the statements given above are correct?