UPSC Prelims 2016 Full Analysis

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Detailed Analysis


Q. 1: Regarding ‘Atal pension Yojana’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It is a minimum guaranteed pension scheme mainly targeted at unorganized sector workers.
  2. Only one member of a family can join the scheme
  3. Same amount of pension is guaranteed for the spouse for life after subscriber’s death.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. C
Explanation:
The only condition is that the beneficiary should have a savings bank account.
Why the question Came:
It was in the news as the provisions regarding the payment of lump-sum on the death of the subscriber was amended in the month of march 2016 by the government. Also mentioned in Economic Survey.
Sources:
PIB, NPSCRA website
https://www.npscra.nsdl.co.in/scheme-details.php

Q. 2: The term ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership’ often appears in the news in the context of the affairs of a group of countries known as

  1. G20
  2. ASEAN
  3. SCO
  4. SAARC

Ans. B
Explanation:
RCEP is a FTA between ASEAN and sic other countries (Australia,China, India, Japan, S.Korea and NewZealand)
Why the question Came:
Recently it has been in the news for two reasons-Doctors without borders has asked India not to accept RCEP lest it wont be a medicine market of the world and recently the ASEAN members ave asked India to either reduce the tariffs or to quit the talks on FTA held by RCEP. Given great importance in Economic Survey with a chapter discussing in detail!
Sources:
The Economic Survey 2016-17, The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/mdecins-sans-frontires-on-indias-role-in-the-rcep-meet/article8728609.ece
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/trading-bloc-to-india-cut-tariffs-or-exit-fta-talks/article8495314.ece

Q.3: On which of the following can you find the Bureau of Energy Efficiency Star Label?

  1. Ceiling fans
  2. Electric geysers
  3. Tubular fluorescent lamps

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. D
Explanation:
The scheme was launched by the Hon’ble Minister of Power in May,2006 and is currently invoked for equipments/appliances Room Air Conditioner, Ceiling Fan, Colour Television, Computer, Direct Cool Refrigerator, Distribution Transformer, Domestic Gas Stove, Frost Free Refrigerator, General Purpose Industrial Motor, Monoset Pump, Openwell Submersible Pump Set, Stationary Type Water Heater, Submersible Pump Set, Tfl, Ballast, Solid State Inverter, Office Automation Products, Diesel Engine Driven Monosetpumps For Agricultural Purposes, Diesel Generator Set, Led Lamps, Inverter Ac
Why the question Came:
The central government has decided to distribute energy efficient fans and also distribute energy efficient pumpsets – energy efficiency has been a lot in the news and in Govt websites
Sources:
BEE website, The Hindu, The Hindu Business Line
https://www.beestarlabel.com/
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/rs-5000-cr-for-energy-efficient-pumpsets/article8122020.ece
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/energyefficient-fan-distribution-scheme-to-be-rolled-out-in-5-more-states/article8862158.ece

Q.4: India is an important member of the ‘International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor’. If this experiment succeeds, what is the immediate advantage for India?

  1. It can use thorium in place of uranium for power generation
  2. It can attain a global role in satellite navigation.
  3. It can drastically improve the efficiency of its fission reactors in power generation
  4. It can build fusion reactors for power generation.

Ans. D
Explanation:
ITER is R&D on Nuclear fusion, which is safer,cleaner and inexhaustible source of energy.These are of prime consideration for India.
Why the question Came:
The scientific innovations in the last one year such as god particle, India’s decision to set up telescope etc have been in the news. Nuclear too has been in focus a lot lately.
Sources:
The Hindu & Other Newspapers
http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/threads/nuclear-fusion-power-india-the-iter-project.3616/
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/how-some-of-the-most-ambitious-global-science-projects-are-opening-new-vistas-for-indian-scientists/articleshow/53132431.cms

Q.5: In the context of the history of India, consider the following pairs:
Term description

  1. Eripatti : land, revenue from which was set apart for the maintenance of the village tank.
  2. Taniyurs : Villages donated to a single Brahmin or a group of Brahmins
  3. Ghatikas : colleges generally attached to the temples.

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

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 1 and 3

Ans. B
Explanation:
Taniyur, is a large village under Chola administrative division and Eripatti, is name of a place in Tamilnadu. Ghatikas and Mathas were colleges/schools attached to temples.
Why the question Came:
Conventional history question. Medieval History focus here.
Sources:
NCERT – direct.

Q.6: Consider the following statements:

  1. The international solar alliance was launched at the United Nations climate change Conference in 2015
  2. The alliance includes all the countries of the United Nations

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. 1only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. A
Explanation:
International solar alliance includes an alliance of 121 countries located between tropic of cancer and tropic of capricorn.
Why the question Came:
The issue of International Solar Alliance has been in the news for sometime now. The International Solar Alliance was unveiled at the Paris climate summit.
Watch our video: IAS Preparation – Current Affairs: Paris Climate Summit 2015
Sources:
The Hindu & all major newspapers gave it major coverage
http://thewire.in/23783/the-international-solar-alliance-could-help-india-align-its-energy-ambitions/

Q.7: ‘European stability mechanism ‘, sometimes seen in the news, is an

  1. Agency created by EU to deal with the impact of millions of refugees arriving from middle east
  2. Agency of EU that provides financial assistances to euro zones countries
  3. Agencies of EU to deal with all the bilateral and multi-lateral agreements on trade
  4. Agency of EU to deal with the conflicts arising among the member countries

Ans. B
Explanation:
European stability mechanism has replaced European financial stability facility as a funding unit to eurozone countries.
Why the question Came:
This question has appeared due to the larger background of the Greek Debt Crisis which has been in the news for sometime now. The Brexit issue brought it back into major focus! Watch Our Video: IAS Preparation – Current Affairs: The Greek Debt Crisis
Sources:
The Hindu & Other Newspapers
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-19870747

Q.8: Which of the following is/are the advantage / advantages of practicing drip irrigation?

  1. reduction of weed
  2. reduction in soil salinity
  3. reduction in soil erosion

Select the correct answer using the code given below:-

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. None of the above is an advantage of practicing drip irrigation

Ans. C
Explanation:
Drip irrigation help control weed (due to localized application of water near the root of the plant) and soil erosion (due to slow but sustained release of water).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation:
Advantages of Drip Irrigation:
1. Maximum use of available water.
2. No water being available to weeds.
3. Maximum crop yield.
4. High efficiency in the use of fertilizers.
5. Less weed growth and restricts population of potential hosts.
6. Low labour and relatively low operation cost.
7. No soil erosion.
8. Improved infiltration in soil of low intake.
9. Ready adjustment to sophisticated automatic control.
10. No runoff of fertilizers into ground water.
11. Less evaporation losses of water as compared to surface irrigation.
12. Improves seed germination.
13. Decreased to tillage operations.
Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation:
In spite of the fact that drip irrigation has so many potential benefits , they’re a certain limitation also, there are as follow:
1. Sensitivity to clogging
2. Moisture distribution problem
3. Salinity hazards
4. High cost compared to furrow.
5. High skill is required for design, install and operation.
Why the question Came:
Pradhan Mantri Sinchai Yojana was recently launched to encourage drip irrigation. Also El-Nino and the drought brought water conservation into greater focus. Economic Survey also highlighted he scheme a lot. We had emphasized the importance of this in our Current Affairs Webinars. Go through our notes for details.
Sources:
Economic Survey 2016-17 & NCERT-Geography

Q.9: Regarding ‘Digi locker’, sometimes seen in the news, which of the following is / are correct?

  1. It is an digilocker system offered by the govt under digital India programme
  2. It allows you to access your e-documents irrespective of your physical location

Select the correct answer using the code given below “-

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. C
Explanation:
Digital Locker is one of the key initiatives under the Digital India Programme. It provides Anytime, anywhere access to the documents by the resident.
Why the question Came:
Digital Locker Scheme has been in the news for sometime now. Press Information Bureau has also released information on this scheme. Economic survey also highlighted it and the details were explained during our Current Affairs Webinars. Go through the notes for more details.
Sources:
The Economic Survey 2016-17 & The Hindu
https://india.gov.in/spotlight/digilocker-online-document-storage-facility

Q.10: Recently, linking of which of the following rivers was undertaken?

  1. Cauvery and Tungabhadra
  2. Godavari and Krishna
  3. Mahanadi and soni
  4. Nirmada and tapti

Ans. B
Explanation:
The Pattiseema project lifts flood water from the river Godavari and pumps it into the Polavaram right canal that empties into the river Krishna in Vijayawada.
Why the question Came:
In sept-2015 formal linking up of the two rivers was taken up by Andhra Pradesh. This has been discussed along with lectures on irrigation and transportation.
Sources:
The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/interlinking-godavari-krishna-my-most-satisfying-exercise/article8051320.ece

Q.11: In the cities of our country, which among the following atmospheric gases are normally considered in calculating the value of Air Quality Index?

  1. Carbon dioxide
  2. Carbon monoxide
  3. Sulfur dioxide
  4. Methane

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1, 2 and 3 only
  2. 2, 3 and 4 only
  3. 1, 4 and 5 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Ans. B
Explanation:
Air quality index takes into account Particulate matter-10 and 2.5, nitrogen dioxide,sulphur dioxide,carbon monoxide,ozone,Ammonia and Lead.
National Ambient Air Quality by Ministry of Environment categorises air pollution into 6 categories by considering 8 pollutants
These pollutants are
PM 10
PM2.5
NO2
SO2
CO
O3
NH3
and PB
Methane CH4 is not in list
These 8 pollutants are referred for measuring Air Quality Index in India
Why the question Came:
Air Quality Index has been in the news for sometime now. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), and other ministries have issued various releases on this topic.
The Delhi air pollution issue, the Odd-even rule etc also added a lot of masala and drama – finally this question comes in UPSC!
Watch our video: IAS Preparation – Current Affairs: Tackling Air Pollution: Is the Odd-Even Rule a solution?
Sources:
The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/blogs/blog-datadelve/article7083985.ece

Q.12: With reference to ‘Astrosat’, the astronomical observatory launched by India, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. Other than USA and Russia, India is the only country to have launched a similar observatory into space.
  2. Astrosat is a 2000kg satellite placed in an orbit at 1650km above the surface of the Earth.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. D
Explanation:
USA,Japan,Russia and Europe have already launched a similar satellite.It weighs 1650 KG.
Why the question Came:
The launch of Astrosat was in the news as apart from first such satellite being launched by India, for the first time we have also launched satellite for USA. India Year Book study is essential for such information.
Sources:
The Hindu, India Year Book
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/isro-launches-astrosat-first-space-observatory/article7697707.ece
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/astrosat-indias-unique-space-observatory/article7692305.ece

Q. 13: With reference to the economic history of medivial India, the term ‘Araghatta’ refers to

  1. Bonded labour
  2. Land grants made to military officers
  3. Waterwheel used in the irrigation of land
  4. Wasteland converted to cultivated land

Ans. C
Explanation:
In Sanskrit the word Araghatta has been used in the ancient texts to describe the Persian Wheel. The ‘ara-ghatta’ comes from the combination of the words ‘ara’ meaning spoke and ‘ghatta’ meaning pot.There is evidence to argue that this system of lifting water from open wells was probably invented in the India of the past. With its use also in Iran, the then Persia, and perhaps its discovery there, it came to be called the Persian wheel.
Why the question Came:
Conventional History question. Focus on Ancient History!
Sources:
NCERT – History

Q. 14: With reference to the cultural history of India, the memorizing of chronicles, dynasty histories and epic tales was the profession of who of the following?

  1. Sharamana
  2. Parivraajaka
  3. Agrahaarika
  4. Maagadha

Ans. D
Explanation:
Maagadha is supposed to be a courtier with these roles to perform. “The memorizing of chronicles, dynastic histories, or epic tales was the work of a different group of people, the sutas and magadhas.” – Romilla Thapar (Ancient Indian Social History)
Why the question Came:
Conventional History question. Focus on Medieval History!
Sources:
NCERT – History + Ancient Indian Social History – Romilla Thapar

Q. 15: Recently, for the first time in our country, which of the following States has declared a particular butterfly as ‘State Butterfly’?

  1. Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Himachal Pradesh
  3. Karnataka
  4. Maharashtra

Ans. D
Explanation:
“The Blue Mormon is a large, swallowtail butterfly found primarily in Sri Lanka and India, mainly restricted to the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, South India and coastal belts. Maharashtra has become the first State in the country to have a ‘State butterfly.’”
Why the question Came:
Was in news in June 2015. Also associated with the constant news about Western Ghats’ biodiversity.
Sources:
The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-gets-state-butterfly/article7342955.ece

Q. 16: Consider the following statements:
The Mangalyaan launched by ISRO

  1. Is also called the Mars Orbiter Mission
  2. Made India the second country to have a spacecraft orbit the Mars after USA
  3. Made India the only country to be successful in making its spacecraft orbit the Mars in its very first attempt

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Ans. C
Explanation:
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), is also called Mangalyaan. India is the only country to be successful in making its spacecraft orbit Mars in its very first attempt. India is the first Asian country and ISRO is the fourth space agency to send a satellite to the Red Planet.
Why the question Came:
MOM was launched 2013 and has been in the news for a while now. The Mission had sent back pics which were in news too.
Sources:
The Hindu, India Year Book
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/say-thanks-to-isro-on-mars-mission/article6441174.ece

Q. 17: What was the main reason for the split in the Indian National Congress at Surat in 1907?

  1. Introduction of communalism into Indian politics by Lord Minto
  2. Extremists’ lack of faith in the capacity of the moderates to negotiate with the British Government
  3. Foundation of Muslim League
  4. Aurobindo Ghosh’s inability to be elected as the president of the Indian National Congress

Ans. B
Explanation:
The Surat Split was a turning point in the history of Nationalist Movement in India. The main reason for the split in the Indian National Congress at Surat was the lack of faith which Extremists had in the capacity of the moderates to negotiate with the British Government.
Why the question Came:
Factual Questions on Modern Indian History are expected. Also anything related to communalism, political divides and extremism from history can be potential candidates for questions in today’s charged global and national political environment. That is just how UPSC operates!
Sources:
NCERT – History

Q. 18: The plan of Sir Stafford Cripps envisaged that after the Second World War

  1. India should be granted complete independence
  2. India should be partitioned into two before granting independence
  3. India should be made a republic with the condition that she will join the Commonwealth
  4. India should be given Dominion status

Ans. D
Explanation:
The main idea of the Cripps proposal was that India should be given Dominion Status.

Why the question Came:
Factual Questions on Modern Indian History are expected.
Sources:
NCERT – History

Q.19: Consider the following pairs:
             Famous place                   Region

  1. Bodhgaya            :               Baghelkhand
  2. Khajuraho           :               Bundelkhand
  3. Shirdi                   :               Vidarbha
  4. Nasik(Nashik)    :               Malwa
  5. Tirupati                :               Rayalascema

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

  1. 1, 2 and 4
  2. 2, 3, 4 and 5
  3. 2 and 5 only
  4. 1, 3, 4 and 5

Ans. C
Explanation:
Gaya is located in the Magadh Region. Shirdi is not in Vidarbha and Malwa doesnt extend to Nasik.

Why the question Came:
Factual Questions on Ancient Indian History and cultural landmarks are expected.
Sources:
NCERT – History

Q. 20: The Parliament of India acquires the power to legislate on any item in the State List in the national interest if a resolution to that effect is passed by the

  1. Lok Sabha by a simple majority of its total membership
  2. Lok Sabha by a majority of not less than two-thirds of its total membership
  3. Rajya Sabha by a Simple majority of its total membership
  4. Rajya Sabha by a majority of not less than two-thirds of its member present and voting

Ans. D
Explanation:

“There are five conditions under which parliament can make laws on state list.
1) If rajya sabha approves a resolution with special majority and declares that a subject is of national interest.
2) During times of national Emergency(under Article 250)
3) If two or more states request parliament to make law for an item in state list.
4) For implementation of international treaties .eg Micro irrigation, treaty on agriculture.
During president’s rule.”

Why the question Came:
Questions regarding Indian Parliament repeatedly occur in the Prelims Paper. This is a crucial chapter in the study of Indian Polity.  Also equations between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and the federal nature in relation to state list and central list have been recently very important. India’s federal nature and discussions on it can easily warrant a question like this.
Sources:
Any Std Text book and NCERT

Q. 21: Recently which of the following states has explored the possibility of constructing an artificial inland port to be connected to sea by a long navigational channel?

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Chhatisgarh
  3. Karnataka
  4. Rajasthan

Ans. D
Explanation:
An inland Shipping Port at Jalore would be connected to the Arabian Sea by developing a channel along the Kutch Creek. The correct answer is thus Rajasthan.
Why the question Came:
PIB had released an update regarding this.
Sources:
Press Information Bureau
http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=130196

Q. 22: With reference to the agreement at the UNFCCC Meeting in Paris in 2015,which of the following statements is / are correct?

  1. The agreement was signed by all the member countries of the UN and it will go into effect in    2017.
  2. The agreement aims to limit the greenhouse gas emissions so that the rise in average global temperature by the end of the century does not exceed 2 Celsius or even 1.5 celsius above pre-industrial levels.
  3. Developed countries acknowledged their historical responsibilities in global warming and committed to donate $ 1000 billion a year from 2020 to help developing countries to cope with climatic change.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Ans. B
Explanation:
Only statement 2 is correct. The agreement will enter into force when joined by at least 55 countries which together represent at least 55 percent of global greenhouse emissions. $1000 billion financial committment is false.
Why the question Came:
The Paris Climate Change Conference was held in November 2015. This was a major issue in the news. India had taken a very active part. Also Rio olympics to Rio Summit connection might have been through of by some bright mind inside UPSC! :) Watch our video: IAS Preparation – Current Affairs: Paris Climate Summit 2015
Sources:
The Hindu & Major Newspapers
http://unfccc.int/meetings/paris_nov_2015/meeting/8926.php

Q. 23: Consider the following statements :

  1. The sustainable development goals were first proposed in 1972 by a global think tank called the ‘Club of Rome’
  2. The sustainable Development Goals have to be achieved by 2030.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. B
Explanation:
At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. The history of the SDGs can be traced to 1972 when governments met under the auspices of the United Nations Human and Environment Conference. The ‘Club of Rome’ is a global think tank that deals with a range of international political issues.
Why the question Came:
The United Nations Sustainable Development Summit was held on 25 September 2015. This was an important development in the field of current affairs. There were many infographics on this in major newspapers. Also Rio olympics to Rio Summit connection might have been through of by some bright mind inside UPSC! :)
Sources:
UNDP & The Hindu
http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/…/post-2015-development-agenda.html

Q. 24: A recent movie titled The Man who knew infinity is based on the biography of

  1. Ramanujam
  2. Chandrashekhar
  3. N Bose
  4. V Raman

Ans. A
Explanation:
The movie is based on the life of the pioneer Indian mathematician, S. Ramanujan.
Why the question Came:
This movie was released in 2016 and became famous. There is a separate line in the syllabus on GS titled, “famous personalities”
Sources:
CA Persons in News

Q. 25: Consider the following statements:

  1. The minimum age prescribed for any person to be a member of Panchayat is 25 years.
  2. A Panchayat reconstituted after premature dissolution continues only for the remainder period

Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. B
Explanation:
A Panchayat reconstituted after premature dissolution (i.e., before the expiry of the full period of five years) shall continue only for the remainder of the period.
Why the question Came:
Questions regarding Local Government repeatedly occur in the Prelims Paper. This is a crucial chapter in the study of Indian Polity. Economic Survey also talks about need to focus on Panchayats in the wake of the Finance Commission.
Sources:
NCERT, Std Text Books
http://www.tn.gov.in/fsfc/Const%20Amend%2073.htm

Q. 26: Which of the following statements is/ are correct?

  1. A bill pending in the Lok Sabha lapses on its prorogation.
  2. A Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha, which has not been passed by the Lok Sabha, shall not lapse on dissolution of the Lok Sabha

Select the correct answer using the code below

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. B
Explanation:
Prorogation of a session does not affect the bills or any other business pending before the House. Statement 2 is correct.
Why the question Came:
Questions regarding Indian Parliament repeatedly occur in the Prelims Paper. This is a crucial chapter in the study of Indian Polity. Equations between Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha became very important with the GST bill and other developments.
Sources:
Std Textbooks
http://rajyasabha.nic.in/rsnew/legislation/introduction.asp

Q. 27: Which of the following is/ are the indicator/ indicators used by IFPRI to compute the Global Hunger Index Report?

  1. Undernourishment
  2. Child stunting
  3. Child Mortality

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1,2 and 3
  4. 1 and 3 only

Ans. C
Explanation:
The four component indicators are: Undernourishment, Child wasting, Child stunting, Child mortality
Why the question Came:
India was ranked 80th out of 104 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2015. This was highlighted by many newspapers and reports. Indexes are always important for UPSC exam anyway.
Sources:
IFPRI & The Hindu
http://ghi.ifpri.org/about/

Q. 28: There has been a persistent deficit budget year after year. Which action/actions of the following can be taken by the government to reduce the deficit?

  1. Reducing Revenue Expenditure
  2. Introducing new welfare scheme
  3. Rationalizing subsidies
  4. Reducing import duties

Select the correct answer using the code below

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2,3 and 4

Ans. C
Explanation:
From the given options, only reducing revenue expenditure and rationalizing subsidies would reduce the deficit.
Why the question Came:
Conceptual questions on Economy are expected. There have been many views expressed in the media on rationalization of subsidies. Economic Survey gives a lot of priority to both reduction of deficits and to rationalizing of subsidies with seperate chapters dedicated to both areas. Go through our Economic Survey notes for more details.
Sources:
The Economic Survey 2016-17

Q. 29: The establishment of ‘Payment Banks’ is being allowed in India to promote financial inclusion. Which of the following statements is/are correct in this context?

  1. Mobile telephone companies and supermarket chains that are owned and controlled by residents are eligible to be promoters of Payment Banks.
  2. Payment Banks can issue both credit cards and debit cards
  3. Payment banks cannot undertake lending activities.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. D
Explanation:
Unlike a regular bank, a payment bank can’t loan money to people, or issue credit cards. While the payment banks can’t issue credit cards, they can issue ATM and debit cards.
Why the question Came:
Issue of Payment Banks was discussed in Yojana Magazine August 2015 Edition. Payment banks have been consistent in the news. banking has been a hot sector for current affairs! Go through our Gist of Yojana section. See Aug 2015 coverage. Watch our Current Affairs June Session: IAS Preparation – Current Affairs: June 2016 Roundup
Sources:
Yojana Magazine (August 2015) Issue & The Hindu

Q. 30: With reference to ‘LiFi’, recently in the news which of the following statements is / are correct?

  1. It uses light as the medium for high speed data transmission
  2. it is a wireless technology and is several times faster than ‘WiFi’

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. C
Explanation:
Light-Fidelity is a new technology that uses light waves, instead of radio frequency waves, as a medium to carry data. An improvised LED bulb functions as a router. It can achieve about 1,000 times data density of Wi-Fi, since light can be contained in an area
Why the question Came:
This concept featured on The Hindu paper. Also, connectivity related tech is very relevant for India today!
Sources:
The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/led-bulb-could-connect-you-to-internet/article8253782.ece

Q. 31: The term ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ is sometimes seen in the news in the context of

  1. Pledges made by the European countries to rehabilitate refugees from the war-affected Middle East
  2. Plan of action outlined by the countries of the world to combat climate change
  3. Capital contributed by the member countries in the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
  4. Plan of action outlined by the countries of the world regarding Sustainable Development Goals

Ans. B
Explanation:
UNFCCC deals with climate change and indivisual countries will decide the amount of contribution they will make.INDCs are the post 2020 climate action commitments by parties and form the foundation of the Paris Agreement
Why the question Came:
COP 21 was held in Paris from November 30 to December 12, 2015. Negotiations resulted in the adoption of the Paris Agreement on 12 December. Economic Survey dedicated an entire chapter to discussing India’s INDCs! Question was expected as we discussed in our Economic Survey Webinar lectures. Go through the notes for more details.
Sources:
The Economic Survey 2016-17, UNFCCC
http://unfccc.int/focus/indc_portal/items/8766.php

Q. 32: Which one of the following is a purpose of ‘UDAY’, a scheme of the Government?

  1. Providing technical and financial assistance to the start-up entrepreneurs in the field of renewable sources of energy
  2. Providing electricity to every household in the country of 2018
  3. Replacing the coal-based power plants with natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind and tidal power plants over a period of time
  4. Providing for financial turnaround and revival of power distribution companies

Ans. D
Explanation:
Financial problems with power distribution companies is being overcome by this scheme
Why the question Came:
As on March 2015, the accumulated losses and the outstanding debt of discoms are approximately Rs. 3.8 lakh crore and Rs. 4.3 lakh crore, respectively. Became major news and Economic Survey dedicated a full chapter to this scheme. Then Budget also took major action. Go through the Economic Survey Webinar notes for details.
Sources:
The Economic Survey 2016-17, Power ministry webiste and PIB
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ujwal_DISCOM_Assurance_Yojana

Q. 33: With reference to ‘IFC Masala Bonds’, sometimes seen in the news, which of the statements given below is/are correct?

  1. The International Finance Corporation, which offers these bonds, is an arm of the World Bank.
  2. They are the rupee-denominated bonds and are a source of debt financing for the public and private sector

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. C
Explanation:
Rupee-denominated borrowings by Indian entities in overseas markets. Usually, while borrowing in overseas markets, the currency is a globally accepted one like dollar, euro or yen.The IFC green Masala bond is issued under IFC’s $3 billion offshore rupee Masala bond program.
Why the question Came:
IFC issued a 5-year Masala bond on the London Stock Exchange, the first green bond issued in the offshore rupee markets on August 2015. Made plenty of news in economy circles. Discussed by FM too.
Sources:
IFC. The Hindu
http://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/news_ext_content/ifc_external_corporate_site/news+and+events/news/ifc+issues+first+green+masala+bond+on+london+stock+exchange

Q. 34: Regarding the taxation systems of Krishna Deva, the ruler of Vijayanagar, consider the following statements:

  1. The tax rate of land was fixed depending on the quality of the land.
  2. Private owners of workshops paid an industries tax.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. C
Explanation:
Vijayanagara kingdom had a very modern and fully functional taxation system
Why the question Came:
Question from medieval India. Probably since taxation systems was discussed so much in Economic Survey and by Piketty, UPSC had the bright idea of talking about Medieval tax system!
Sources:
NCERT – History and Textbooks

Q. 35: Which one of the following books of ancient India has the love story of the son of the founder of Sunga dynasty?

  1. Swapnavasavadatta
  2. Malavikagnimitra
  3. Meghadoota
  4. Ratnavati

Ans. B
Explanation:
Kalidasa’s Malavikagnimitram is based on some events of the reign of Pushyamitra Shunga. The play tells the story of the love of Agnimitra, the Shunga Emperor at Vidisha
Why the question Came:
Question with Ancient Indian history and Culural focus!
Sources:
NCERT
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C4%81lavik%C4%81gnimitram

Q. 36: In the context of which of the following do you sometimes find the terms ‘amber box, blue box and green box’ in the news?

  1. WTO affairs
  2. SAARC affairs
  3. UNFCCC affairs
  4. India-EU negotiations on FTA

Ans. A
Explanation:
Green box subsidies are allowed and amber box subsidies not allowed.blue box requires approval under certain category. Also, developing countries have expressed discomfort with the developed countries being able to get their subsidies categorised as ‘green box’ and escape legal action
Why the question Came:
WTO Nairobi Conference catapulted this into the headlines! India procures foodgrain from farmers primarily to run its public distribution system (PDS) in accordance with the National Food Security Act and also maintain reserve stocks.This comes under green box subsidies. There was issue in WTO where India refused to sign TFA unless it is given exemption under greenbox for food security subsidies. Also discussed in Economic Survey in detail. Watch our WTO video for details: IAS Preparation – Current Affairs: WTO – Nairobi Conference
Sources:
The Economic Survey 2016-17, WTO, The Hindu
https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/agric_e/negs_bkgrnd13_boxes_e.htm

Q. 37: Which of the following is/are included in the capital budget of the Government of India?

  1. Expenditure on acquisitions of assets like roads, buildings, machinery, etc.
  2. Loans received from foreign governments
  3. Loans and advances granted to the States and Union Territories

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Ans. D
Explanation:
Capital receipts and expenditures of Govt of India budget. Even borrowings and loans given come under capital expenditure and receipts.
Why the question Came:
Classic question from Budgeting/Economic survey. Well discussed in every Economic Survey!
Sources:
The Economic Survey 2016-17, Budget 2015-16
http://www.indiabudget.nic.in/budget2015-2016/ub2015-16/rec/cr.pdf

Q. 38: What is/are the importance/importances of the ‘United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’?

  1. It aims to promote effective action through innovative national programmes and supportive international partnerships.
  2. It has a special/particular focus on South Asia and North Africa regions, and its Secretariat facilitates the allocation of major portion of financial resources to these regions.
  3. It is committed to bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating the desertification.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Ans. C
Explanation:
United nations program for overcoming desertification under the convention UNCCD.Africa has major focus under this.
Why the question Came:
With a third of the country facing the threat of desertification india needs to focus on combatting desertification. One of the major issues effecting indian agriculture today.
Sources:
UN, Agriculture related News.
http://www.unccd.int/en/Pages/default.aspx

Q. 39: Recently, which one of the following currencies has been proposed to be added to the basket of IMF’s SDR?

  1. Rouble
  2. Rand
  3. Indian Rupee
  4. Renminbi

Ans. D
Explanation:
Renminbi was decided to be included recently by IMF in SDR.In theory, SDR inclusion will support renminbi in the medium term. It would help promote use and acceptance of renminbi globally as China is playing a bigger role in the world economy.
Why the question Came:
The Chinese renminbi will be included in the Special Drawing Rights basket of currencies of the International Monetary Fund from Oct. 1. Chinese economy has been much analysed right from The Hindu to the Economic Survey. Focus on China is due to many aspects – Go through the notes and related boxes from Economic Survey lectures.
Sources:
The Hindu
https://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/sdrcb.htm
Q. 40. With reference to the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), consider the following statements:

  1. IMFC discusses matters of concern affecting the global economy, and advises the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the direction of its work.
  2. The World Bank participates as observer in IMFC’s meetings.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. C
Explanation:
The IMFC advises and reports to the IMF Board of Governors on the supervision and management of the international monetary and financial system
Why the question Came:
Increasing role of IMF in world economy and UPSC going in deeper into the structure and functioning rather than the usual details is interesting… The extra focus on external economies and global institutions was there in the Economic Survey too…
Sources:
The IMF
http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/groups.htm

Q. 41: ‘Rashtriya Garima Abhiyaan’ is a National campaign to

  1. Rehabilitate the homeless and destitute the persons and provide them with suitable sources of livelihood.
  2. Release the sex workers from their practice and provide them with alternative sources of livelihood.
  3. Eradicate the practice of manual scavenging and rehabilitate the manual scavengers
  4. Release the bonded laborers from their bondage and rehabilitate them

Ans. C
Explanation:
Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan is National Campaign for Dignity and Eradication of Manual Scavenging. The practice continues in the country in spite of efforts of several people, implementation of government schemes such as the National Scheme for Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers since 1992 and Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers since 2007, and regardless of it being banned in 1993 through Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (prohibition) Act.
Why the question Came:
Manual Scavenging is closely associated with exploitation of dalits as majority of them work in this despite it being banned. Issue of dalit atrocities in news in recent times. So UPSC comes up with a politically correct but related question!
Government had passed the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers
and their Rehabilitation Act in 2013.
Sources:
Govt Websites
http://www.indiawaterportal.org/author/rashtriya-garima-abhiyan-national-campaign-dignity-and-eradication-manual-scavenging

UPSC CSE IAS Prelims 2016 Question Paper Set A and D Download PDF

Q. 42: With reference to the cultural history of medieval India, consider the following statements:

  1. Siddhas (sittars) of Tamil region were monotheistic and condemned idolatry.
  2. Lingayats of Kannada region questioned the theory of rebirth and rejected the caste hierarchy.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. C
Explanation:
Siddas condemned idolatory and lingayats followed the teachings of basavanna questioning rebirth theory
Why the question Came:
Again surprising importance given to Medieval indian cultural and social scene. Also link to caste structure in this question
Sources:
NCERT and Palaksha (History of Karnataka)

Q. 43: Which of the following best describes the term ‘import cover’, sometimes seen in the news?

  1. It is the ratio of value of imports to the Gross Domestic Product of a country.
  2. It is the total value of imports of a country in a year.
  3. It is the ratio between the value of exports and that of imports between two countries.
  4. It is the number of months of imports that could be paid for by a country’s international reserves.

Ans. D
Explanation:
Foreign currency reserves (months of import coverage) The stock of foreign exchange reserves in terms of months of retained imports of goods as at end of year. It measures the number of months of money available in the national bank to cover the cost of imports.
Why the question Came:
India’s import cover improved to 10.9 months at the end of March 2016, from 9.8 months at end-September 2015, as the country’s reserves improved about $10 billion in the period, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in its half yearly report on foreign exchange reserves. The Economic Survey also talked in detail about India’s Forex Reserves and the Import cover was analyzed. FM too spoke about this. In the light of volatile world economic situation, this is important.
Sources:
The Economic Survey 2016-17, RBI Reports

Q. 44: Consider the following pair:
Community sometimes mentioned in the news  :   In the affairs of

  1. Kurd           :   Bangladesh
  2. Madhesi     :   Nepal
  3. Rohingya   :   Myanmar

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

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 3 only

Ans. C
Explanation:
Kurds are ethnic groups in middle east and not of bangladesh
Why the question Came:
The Madhesi blockade at the Nepal-India border point of Birgunj in 2015 and rohingya muslims in myanmar issues were in news. Watch our video here: IAS Preparation – Current Affairs: Nepal
Sources:
The Hindu

Q. 45: With reference to ‘Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)’, consider the following statements:

  1. It is an organization of European Union in working relation with NATO and WHO.
  2. It monitors chemical industry to prevent new weapons from emerging.
  3. It provides assistance and protection to States (Parties) against chemical weapons threats.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. D
Explanation:
OPCW is an independent,autonomous,international organisation in working relation with UN.
Why the question Came:
OPCW was in news regarding chemical weapons warfare in Syria recently. Thus Syria come into the UPSC QP!
Sources:
https://www.opcw.org/about-opcw/

Q. 46: With reference to ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’, consider the following statements:

  1. Under this scheme, farmers will have to pay a uniform premium of two percent for any crop they cultivate in any season of the year.
  2. This scheme covers post-harvest losses arising out of the cyclones and unseasonal rains.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 or 2

Ans. B
Explanation:
2 percent premium under PMFBY is applicable only for khariff crops. For rabi crops the premium is 1.5%.
Why the question Came:
In news recently- important scheme. Economic Survey gives importance to scheme.
Sources:
The Economic Survey 2016-17, The Hindu, Govt Websites

Q. 47: In which of the following regions of India are you most likely to come across the ‘Great Indian Hornbill’ in its nature habitat?

  1. Sand deserts of northwest India
  2. Higher Himalayas of Jammu and Kashmir
  3. Salt marshes of western Gujarat.
  4. Western Ghats

Ans. D
Explanation:
Threat to the great indian hornbills due to deforestationGreat hornbills are found in the forests of Nepal, India, Mainland Southeast Asia and Indonesian Island of Sumatra. The distribution of the species is fragmented over its range in South and Southeast Asia. In South Asia they are found in a few forest areas in the Western Ghats and in the forests along the Himalayas.
Great Hornbills are found in three separate areas in South Asia; in the Western Ghats, the Himalayan foothills in Uttaranchal to south Nepal and Bhutan, and north-east India. They also occur in Myanmar, islands in the Mergui archipelago, southern China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, peninsular Malaysia and in Sumatra, Indonesia.
They occur in primary evergreen and moist deciduous forest, mainly in lowland forest, but they can be found up to 2,000 meters in some areas. In north-east India, they are generally not recorded above 1000 m. They are also seen in selectively logged forests and plantations close to larger forests.

Great Hornbill In India

Great Hornbill In India

Why the question Came:
It was in the news for two reasons once in Hindu as many conservationists raised concern regarding reduction in the numbers due to deforestation and second time recently in news again as a part of discussion on a kerala hydel project
Sources:
The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/growing-threat-to-great-indian-hornbills/article7137163.ece
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/kerala-hydel-project-could-drown-iconic-waterfall-s-thunder/story-g2enWfAbphjD4wbEJNOq4N.html

Q. 48: Which of the following are the key features of ‘National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA)’?

  1. River basin is the unit of planning and management.
  2. It spearheads the river conservation efforts at the national level.
  3. One of the Chief Ministers of the States through which the Ganga flows becomes the Chairman of NGRBA on rotation basis.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. A
Explanation:
Prime minister chairs NGRBA-official website of NGRBA
Why the question Came:
Was in the news as in the october 2015, NGT directed central government not to issue the funds for ganga cleanup without approval and recently it was in the news as the central government set up a de-siltation plan. Ganga cleanup was also politically contentious – UPSC asks a neutral question about administrative details – that is typical!
Sources:
The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/by-2020-no-untreated-sewage-to-be-disposed-in-ganga-centre/article8883657.ece
http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/panel-formed-to-prepare-ganga-de-siltation-plan-116072200835_1.html
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-otherstates/dont-release-funds-for-cleaning-ganga-without-our-approval-ngt-to-centre/article8100526.ecem

Q. 49: Why does the Government of India promote the use of ‘Neem-coated Urea’ in agriculture?

  1. Release of Neem oil in the soil increases nitrogen fixation by the soil microorganisms.
  2. Neem coating slows down the rate of distribution of urea in the soil
  3. Nitrous oxide, which is a greenhouse gas, is not at all released into the atmosphere by crop fields.
  4. It is a combination of a weedicide and a fertilizer for particular crops.

Ans. D
Explanation:
Spraying urea with neem oil slows the release of nitrogen, by about 10 to 15 per cent, concomitantly reducing consumption of the fertiliser. According to recent research, the “sustained release” nature of neem-coated urea has seen rice yields jump 9.6 per cent and wheat by 6.9 per cent.
Why the question Came:
Directly from Economic Survey opening para in chapter on Fertilizers! Recently government has promised to double the farmers income and the access to subsidised fertilisers has been one of the biggest problems , last year the government has also announced the new urea policy. Please note that Prime Minister Narendra Modi included a mention of this policy in his Independence Day address.
Sources:
The Economic Survey 2016-17, The Hindu
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-01-09/news/57884022_1_neem-coated-urea-agriculture-minister-radha-mohan-balanced-use
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/neemcoated-urea-mandatory-for-75-of-domestic-production/article7049075.ece
http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/neem-coated-truth-urea-policy-isn-t-a-game-changer-116021601168_1.html

Q. 50: Consider the following statements:

  1. The Chief Secretary in a State is appointed by the Government of that State.
  2. The Chief Secretary in a State has a fixed tenure.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. D
Explanation:
Not appointed by the governor but by the CM. Chief secretary has no fixed tenure.
All transactions of business under the constitutional scheme takes place in the name of Governor and President of india. Under the constitutional scheme governor appoints the CM, advocate general and members and chairman of state psc. The decision to appoint the chief secretary is a power exercised by the CM but only executed in the name of the governor.
Why the question Came:
Direct Polity question. In news wrt Delhi. It is also an issue in Indian polity that the chief Secretary’s post is becoming political.
Sources:
Std Textbooks

Q. 51: With reference to ‘Stand Up India Scheme’ which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. Its purpose is to promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and women entrepreneurs.
  2. It provides for refinance through SIDBI.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. C
Explanation:
Official website-both statements are correct
Why the question Came:
It was much in news esp with India’s new Startup Culture. Launched by the PM in April 2016. Boxed item in Economic Survey too.
Sources:
Economic Survey 2016-17, The Hindu

Q. 52: The FAO accords the status of ‘Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS)’ to traditional agricultural systems. What is the overall goal of this initiative?

  1. To prove modern technology, training in modern farming methods and financial support to local communities of identified GIAHS so as to greatly enhance their agricultural productivity
  2. To identify and safeguard ecofriendly traditional farm practices and their associated landscapes, agricultural biodiversity and knowledge systems of the local communities.
  3. To provide Geographical Inclination status to all the varieties of agricultural produce in such identified GIAHS

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. B
Explanation:
The overall goal of the partnership is to identify and safeguard Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems and their associated landscapes, agricultural biodiversity and knowledge systems through catalyzing and establishing a long-term programme to support such systems and enhance global, national and local bene fits derived through their “dynamic conservation”, sustainable management and enhanced viability.
Why the question Came:
On 22-23 February 2016, the first meeting of the GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) was held at FAO.
Sources:
Official Govt and Scheme Websites
http://www.fao.org/giahs/giahs-news-events/en/

Q. 53: Which of the following is/are tributary/tributaries of Brahmaputra?

  1. Dibang
  2. Kameng
  3. Lohit

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. D
Explanation:
All 3 are tributaries of Brahmaputra. All are major tributaries of brahmaputra along with Subansiri.
Why the question Came:
Assam etc being news hotspots could be the reason. River based questions are common in UPSC. See our infographic on major rivers to remember easily: Major Rivers of India: Map
Sources:
Atlas
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmaputra_River

Q. 54: The Term ‘Core Banking Solutions’ is sometimes seen in the news. Which of the following statements best describes/ describe this term?

  1. It is networking of a bank’s branches which enable customers to operate their accounts from any branch of the bank on its network regardless of where they open their accounts.
  2. It is an effort to increase RBI’s control over commercial banks through computerization.
  3. It is a detailed procedure by which a bank with huge non-performing assets is taken over by another bank.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. A
Explanation:
Core banking is a banking service provided by a group of networked bank branches where customers may access their bank account and perform basictransactions from any of the member branch offices.The core banking services rely heavily on computer and network technology to allow a bank to centralise its record keeping and allow access from any location. It has been the development of banking software that has allowed core banking solutions to be developed.
Why the question Came:
Was in news in March. Department of Posts has decided to provide CBS to its customers. Banking as we told is a hot topic, so UPSC needs to find questions, but not from same old areas!
Sources:
The Hindu, RBI
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_banking

Q. 55: Consider the following pairs:
Terms sometimes seen in the news                            their origin

  1. Annex- I Countries:                                         Cartagena Protocol
  2. Certified Emissions Reductions:                   Nagoya Protocol
  3. Clean Development Mechanism:                   Kyoto Protocol

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

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. C
Explanation:
Annex-1 countries, Certified emission reductions are also part of Kyoto protocol and not Cartagena and Nagoya protocols.
Why the question Came:
Again lined to the Climate Summit! INDC linked. Paris summit moved to a new system of emission reduction targets – self-determined in nature… Hence a throw-back question to previous methods!
Sources:
The Hindu, UNFCC

Q. 56: In the context of the development in Bioinformatics, the term ‘Transcriptome’, sometimes seen in the news , refer to

  1. A range of enzymes used in genome editing
  2. The full range of mRNA molecules expressed by an organism
  3. The description of the mechanism of gene expression
  4. A mechanism of genetic mutations taking place in cells

Ans. B
Explanation:
Transcriptome is the set of all messenger rna(mRNA) molecules expressed by an organism
Why the question Came:
Was in news in Feb-2016. A new way of mapping transcriptome was devised. Also linked to various viral diseases etc.
Sources:
http://neurosciencenews.com/genetics-transcriptome-neurodegeneration-3615/

Q. 57: ‘Mission Indradhanush’ launched by the government of India pertains to

  1. Immunization of children and pregnant women
  2. Construction of smart cities across the country
  3. India’s own search for the Earth-like planets in outer space
  4. New Educational policy

Ans. A
Explanation:
Mission Indradhanush is a Govt of India intiative to ensure full immunisation with all available vaccines for children up to 2 yrs and pregnant women
Why the question Came:
Health related schemes are always UPSC favorites. Also there was anotehr scheme of similar name – so two times chances. We had discussed this in Economic Survey lectures on PSBs as well as in IYB lectures.
Sources:
Ministry and Scheme Websites
http://www.missionindradhanush.in/

Q. 58: Which of the following best describes/describe the aim of ‘Green India Mission’ of the Government of India?

  1. Incorporating environmental benefits and costs into the Union and State Budgets there by implementing the ‘green accounting’
  2. Launching the second green revolution to enhance agricultural output so as to ensure food security to one and all in the future
  3. Restoring and enhancing forest cover responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. C
Explanation:
The National Mission for Green India (GIM) is one of the eight Missions outlined under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). It aims at protecting; restoring and enhancing India’s diminishing forest cover and responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures. It envisages a holistic view of greening and focuses on multiple ecosystem services, especially, biodiversity, water, biomass, preserving mangroves, wetlands, critical habitats etc. along with carbon sequestration as a co-benefit. This mission has adopted an integrated cross-sectoral approach as it will be implemented on both public as well as private lands with a key role of the local communities in planning, decision making, implementation and monitoring.
Why the question Came:
It was in news in May 2015 and october 2015. Multiple env issues bring all env related schemes into UPSC limelight! National Action Plan on Climate Change was also covered in both Economic Survey and IYB!
National Mission for a Green India (GIM) falling under the Environment Ministry has approved annual plans for Kerala, Mizoram, Manipur and Jhakhand.
Sources:
Economic Survey, IYB, Govt Ministry Websites
http://www.envfor.nic.in/major-initiatives/national-mission-green-india-gim

Q. 59: With reference to pre-packaged items in India, It is mandatory to the manufacturer to put which of the following information on the main label, as per the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011?

  1. List of the ingredients including addictives
  2. Nutrition information
  3. Recommendations, if any, made by the medical profession about the possibility of any allergic reactions
  4. Vegetarian/ Non- Vegetarian

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 2, 4 and 4
  3. 1,2 and 4
  4. 1 and 4 only

Ans. C
Explanation:
List of additives,Nutritional info and vegetarian and non vegetarian info is clearly mentioned in the bill with a sub-heading. However, the fourth option is not available verbatim in the bill.
Why the question Came:
Was big time in news over the Maggi noodles issues. We had discussed in lectures that this is precisely how the questions from Maggi controversy would come.
Sources:
Govt Ministry Websites
http://www.ficcifwi.com/ppts/rs11.pdf

Q. 60: ‘Project Loon’ sometimes seen in the news is related to

  1. Waste management technology
  2. Wireless communication technology
  3. Solar power production technology
  4. Water conservation technology

Ans. B
Explanation:
Project Loon is a research and development project being developed by X (formerly Google X) with the mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas. The project uses high-altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 18 km (11 mi) to create an aerial wireless network with up to 4G-LTE speeds.
Why the question Came:
Was debated in the parliament and in March 2016 the project was launched in Brazil. Important for communication and future of India. Also linked to the Free basics and Net Neutrality debate! THis is how UPSC asks a question on the much debated topic! :)
Sources:
Govt Ministry Websites
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Loon

Q. 61: ‘Net metering’ is sometimes seen in the news in the context of promoting the

  1. Production and use of solar energy by the households/consumers
  2. Use of piped natural gas in the kitchens of households
  3. Installation of CNG kits in motor cars
  4. Installation of water meters in urban households

Ans. A
Explanation:
Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid.
Why the question Came:
Few states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttarakhand have implemented the Net Metering Policy in recent times. Linked to Solar Energy – so important for UPSC!
Sources:
Govt Ministry Websites & official Websites.
http://www.seia.org/policy/distributed-solar/net-metering

Q. 62: ‘India’s ranking in ease of doing Business Index’ is sometimes seen in the news. Which of the following have declared that ranking?

  1. Organization of Economic Cooperation and development (OECD)
  2. World Economic Forum
  3. World Bank
  4. World trade Organization (WTO)

Ans. C
Explanation:
The ease of doing business index is an index created by the World Bank Group. Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.
Why the question Came:
Promoting India as a investment destination by improving India’s Ease of Doing Business ranking in order to boost Make in India has been a priority for the present government. Well discussed in Economic Survey and in many editorials. Go to our Infographics Section to get easy to remember infographics on major reports and indexes.
Sources:
The Hindu, Economic Survey
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ease_of_doing_business_index

Q. 63: Banjaras during the medieval period of Indian history were

  1. Agriculture
  2. Warriors
  3. Weavers
  4. Traders

Ans. D
Explanation:
Banjaras played a role in Alaudin khilji ‘ s market reforms. They brought food grains from villages to towns. They were Traders. NCERT mentions Banjaras as who specialized in Caravan Trading. They are special nomadic traders who travel along with bullocks with them. Banjaras are also known for their textile embroidery. The Banjara embroidery and tattooing are especially prized and also form a significant aspect of the Banjara identity.
Why the question Came:
Again, focus on medieval history, society and culture…
Sources:
NCERT, NIOS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banjara

Q. 64: Who of the following had first deciphered the edicts of Emperor Ashoka

  1. George Buhler
  2. James Prinsep
  3. Max Muller
  4. William Jones

Ans. D
Explanation:
The rock-cut edicts of Ashoka in north-central India, dated to 250–232 BCE and the script was deciphered in 1837 by James Prinsep
Why the question Came:
In ancient history, Buddhism and Ashokan era are common UPSC areas. Pure Factual…
Sources:
NCERT History
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20100328/spectrum/main2.htm

Q. 65: With reference to the ‘Gram Nyayalaya Act’ which of the statements is/are correct?

  1. As per the act, Gram Nyayalayas can hear only civil cases not criminal cases
  2. The Act allows only social activists as medeators/reconcillators

Select the correct answers using the code given below

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. B
Explanation:
The Gram Nyayalayas have both civil and criminal jurisdiction. Social Workers at the village level having the integrity and necessary qualifications can be appointed as mediators.
Why the question Came:
Acts related to local governance are usually important.
Sources:
Govt websites
http://doj.gov.in/sites/default/files/gramnyayalayas_0.pdf

Q. 66: With reference to the ‘Trans pacific Partnership’ consider the following statements:

  1. It is an agreement among all the Pacific Rim countries except China and Russia
  2. It is a strategic alliance for the purpose of maritime security only

Which of the statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. D
Explanation:
TPP is a trade agreement amongst only twelve Pacific Rim countries.
Why the question Came:
TPP is a trending topic in International relations due to its evolving nature and its likely impact on global economy and geo-politics. Economic Survey was super concerned about this and dedicates a chapter to impacts and how India should react.
Sources:
The Economic Survey, The Hindu
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership#Potential_members

Q. 67: Consider the following statements:
The India – Africa summit

  1. Held in 2015 was the third such summit
  2. Was actually initiated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951

Which of the statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. A
Explanation:
The India–Africa Forum Summit was first held in 2008 at New Delhi at the initiative of then Prime Minister Dr.Mannohan Singh. The Third India-Africa Forum Summit was held in New Delhi in October 2015.
Why the question Came:
India-Africa relations are a high priority not just for Indian Diplomacy but from the perspective of UPSC examination as well. Africa is also the focus due to multiple reasons.
Sources:
The Hindu
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India%E2%80%93Africa_Forum_Summit

Q. 68: What is/are the purpose/purposes of ‘Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR)’announced by RBI

  1. These guidelines help improve the transparency in the methodology followed by the banks for determining the interest rates on advances
  2. these guidelines helps ensure the availability of bank credit the interest rate which are fare to the borrowers as well as the banks

Select the correct answers using the code given below

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. C
Explanation:
MCLR guidelines by the RBI is an attempt to make banks pass on policy rate cut benefits to borrowers. The objective is to ensure better transmission, transparency and fair treatment to new and existing borrowers.
Why the question Came:
The much-awaited RBI guidelines on calculating the benchmark lending rate was launched inn December 2015. Discussed in last two Economic Surveys and in multiple RBI reports and speeches. A nice technical question which every aspirant was expected to know if following economy and banking closely. See our Economic Survey notes for details.
Sources:
The Hindu, The Economic Survey, RBI Website
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/borrow/will-rbis-new-base-rate-guidelines-help-borrowers/articleshow/50330944.cms

Q. 69: What is/are the unique about the ‘Kharai Camel’ a breed found in India

  1. It is capable of swimming up three kilometers in seawater
  2. Its survives by grazing on mangroves
  3. It lives in the wild and cannot be domesticated

Select the correct answers using the code given below

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. A
Explanation:
Kharai camels found in the Kutch region are very unique. They can can swim through deep sea waters and it feeds on mangroves and other saline plants. The breeders have meticulously followed the traditional grazing pattern in the coastal districts. They do not provide special housing or shelter to the camels.
Given the breed’s ability to survive both on land and sea, the Kharai camel is one of the most preferred choices of graziers in the arid coastal region of Kachchh. People consume its milk, while male calves are sold for economic returns (females are not sold because they are considered sacred). A male calf fetches anywhere between Rs.6,000 and Rs.14,000, says Ramesh Bhatti of Sahjeevan, an NGO working on livelihood issues of graziers in Kachchh. It can be domesticated also – so its not wild.
Why the question Came:
A recent survey by Sahjeevan Trust had identified rising threat to the rare Kharai camel species due to industrialization, salinity ingress and reduction in mangrove cover in coastal Kutch. Biodiversity based question – expect a few bouncers like these from UPSC!
Sources:
DOWN TO EARTH (An important source for Env)
Rare Kharai camel species, found in Kutch district, is under threat due to the onslaught of industrialisation, post-2001 earthquake

Q. 70: Recently, our scientists have discovered a new and distinct spices of banana plant which attains a height of about 11 meters and has orange – colored form of pulp. In which part of India has been discovered?

  1. Andaman Islands
  2. Anaimalai Forests
  3. Maikala Hills
  4. Tropical rainforest of North east

Ans. A
Explanation:
Scientists at the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered a new species of banana from a remote tropical rain forest on the Little Andaman islands. The species, Musa indandamanensis, was located about 16 km inside the Krishna Nalah forest in the island.
Why the question Came:
Recently discovered in 2015. The new species is very rare and requires conservation efforts. Again, biodiversity related.
Sources:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/andamans-yield-a-sweet-banana-with-orange-pulp/article7750316.ece

Q. 71: Which one of the following is the best description of ‘INS astradharini’ that was in the news recently?

  1. amphibious warfare ship
  2. nuclear -powered submarine
  3. torpedo launch and recovery vessel
  4. nuclear – powered aircraft carrier

Ans. C
Explanation:
INS Astradharani is Indian Navy’s first totally indigenously-designed and built torpedo launch and recovery vessel.
Why the question Came:
INS Astradharani was commissioned recently in 2015. At least one defence based question on Missiles/Aircrafts/ships is expected. Be alert for such news.
Sources:
The Hindu, IYB
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ins-astradharani-commissioned/article7730364.ece

Q. 72: What is ‘Greased lightning-10 (Gl-10) recently in the news ?

  1. electric plane tested by NASA
  2. solar powered two seater aircraft designed by japan
  3. Space observatory launched by china
  4. reusable rocket designed by ISRO

Ans. A
Explanation:
Greased Lightning or GL-10 is a battery-powered plane that has 10 engines and can take off like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an aircraft. This is a concept being developed by NASA.
Why the question Came:
Its a futuristic drone/plane that runs on clean energy with applications ranging from small package delivery to long endurance surveillance for agriculture mapping to even carrying few passengers. Tech related to Agri -potential UPSC target!
Sources:
http://www.nasa.gov/langley/ten-engine-electric-plane-completes-successful-flight-test

Q. 73: With reference to ‘initiative for nutritional security through intensive millets promotions’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. This initiative aims to demonstrate the improved production and post-harvest technologies, and to demonstrate value addition techniques ,in an integrated manner with cluster approach
  2. Poor, small, marginal and tribal farmers have larger stake in this scheme
  3. an important objective of the scheme is to encourage farmers of commercial crops to shift to millet cultivation by offering them free kits of critical inputs of nutrients and micro irrigation equipment .

Select the correct answer using the above

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 2 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. A/C
Explanation:
The Ministry of Agriculture’s info on its website helps us deduce that statement 1 is definitely correct and statement 3 is wrong because the free kits includes only micronutrients, pesticides and fertilizers but it does not include micro irrigation. Statement 2 is quite ambiguous and makes it tough to come to a conclusion. So the answer could be either A or C
Why the question Came:
Promoting nutri-cereals in a malnourished country has been a focus area since the scheme was launched in 2011-12 to enhance India’s nutritional security.
Sources:
Minsitry Websites
http://agricoop.nic.in/Admin_Agricoop/Uploaded_File/INSIMP.pdf

Q. 74: The ‘Swadeshi’ and ‘Boycot’ were adopted as methods of struggle for the first time during the

  1. Agitation against the partition of Bengal
  2. Home Rule Movement
  3. Non Cooperation Movement
  4. Visit of Simon Commission to India

Ans. A
Explanation:
Pure Factual Question.
Why the question Came:
Std history question
Sources:
NCERT, India’s Struggle for Independence, Bipin Chandra.

Q. 75: With the reference to the Religious history of India, consider the following statement:

  1. The concept of Bodhisattva is central to Hinayana Sect of Buddhism
  2. Bodhisattva is the compassionate one on his way to enlightenment
  3. Bodhisattva delays achieving his own salvation to help all sentient beings on their path to it

Which of the statements given above is/are correct

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. 1, 2, and 3

Ans. B
Explanation:
In Mahayana Buddhism, bodhisattva is the Sanskrit term for anyone who, motivated by great compassion. Shepherd-like bodhisattva – one who aspires to delay buddhahood until all other sentient beings achieve buddhahood.
Why the question Came:
UPSC consistently focuses on Buddhism and its teachings in the Ancient India section. One question is must!
Sources:
NCERTs
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva

Q. 76: ‘Doctors without borders (medecins sans frontiers)’ often in the news is

  1. a division of world health organization
  2. a non governmental international organization
  3. an inter- government agency sponsored by European union
  4. a specialized agency of the united nations

Ans. D
Explanation:
Is an international NGO which works on humanitarian principles
Why the question Came:
It was from current affairs section. it is appearing in regularly related various outbreaks and humanitarian missions.
Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9decins_Sans_Fronti%C3%A8res

Q. 77: With reference to an initiative called ‘the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity (TEEB)’which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. it is an initiative hosted by UNEP IMF and world economic forum
  2. it is a global initiative that focuses on drawing attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity
  3. it presents an approach that can help decision-makers recognize demonstrate and capture the value of ecosystem and biodiversity

Select the correct and answer using the code given below

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. C
Explanation:
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is a global initiative focused on “making nature’s values visible”. Its principal objective is to mainstream the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision-making at all levels. It aims to achieve this goal by following a structured approach to valuation that helps decision-makers recognize the wide range of benefits provided by ecosystems and biodiversity, demonstrate their values in economic terms and, where appropriate, capture those values in decision-making
Why the question Came:
Env is always hot these days for UPSC. Beware :) Initiatives, schemes, indexes, etc can come.
Current Affairs – July 2015 (“Environment Ministry Launches Teeb-India Initiative to Highlight Economic Consequences of the Loss of Biological Diversity” – PIB)
Sources:
PIB
http://www.teebweb.org/
http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=123641

Q. 78: With reference to ‘red sanders ‘sometimes seen in the news consider the following statements:

  1. it is tree species found in a part of south India
  2. it is one of the most important trees in the tropical rain forest areas of south India

Which of the statements given above is/are correct

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. both 1 and 2
  4. neither 1 nor 2

Ans. A
Explanation:
Red sanders is a tree of south India, and found in deciduous forest of India
Why the question Came:
It is conventional type question on biodiversity + current affairs regular UPSC style. Red Sanders smuggling near Tirupati and encounter related to that were headlines
Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pterocarpus_santalinus

Q. 79: Which of the following statements is/are correct ?
Proper design and effective implementation of UN-REDD+ programme can significantly contribute

  1. protection of biodiversity
  2. resilience of forest ecosystem
  3. property reduction

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Ans. D
Explanation:
REDD+ is a collabarative program by FAO and UNDP. The overall development goal of the Programme is “to reduce forest emissions and enhance carbon stocks in forests while contributing to national sustainable development”
Why the question Came:
Redd and Redd+ are from current affairs section directly, and were very frequently in news. Std part of all env material.
Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_REDD_Programme

Q. 80: What is ‘greenhouse gas protocol ‘?

  1. it is and international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify and manage greenhouse gas emissions
  2. it is an initiative of the united nations to offer financial incentives to developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adopt eco-friendly technologics
  3. it is an inter-governmental agreement ratified by all the member countries of the united nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to specified levels by the year 2022
  4. it is one of the multilateral REDD+ initiatives hosted by the world bank

Ans. A
Explanation:
Standards and tools for companies and organizations to manage their GHG emissions and become more efficient, resilient, and prosperous.
Why the question Came:
Due to Paris Summit and Rio – things linked to climate change is very prominent for UPSC
This was in news during the 38th meeting of the Open Ended Working Group of Parties to the Montreal Protocol which had met to workout the process of moving away from high Global Warming Potential HFCs reducing global warming. India had raised certain issues during the meeting.
Sources:
http://www.wri.org/our-work/project/greenhouse-gas-protocol
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/montreal-protocol-india-cites-lack-of-verifiable-data-on-hydrofluorocarbons-greenhouse-gas-2931541/

Q. 81: With reference to ‘Financial Stability and Development Council’, consider the following statements:

  1. It is an organ of NITI Aayog.
  2. It is headed by the Union Finance Minister.
  3. It monitors macroprudential supervision of the economy.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. C
Explanation:
FSDC is headed by finance minister. monitoring macroprudential vision of economy is one among the objective of it
Why the question Came:
From current affairs section macro economic changes that are taking place in the present government and related administrative changes in governance over period of time after LPG reforms
Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_Stability_and_Development_Council

Q. 82: With reference to ‘Agenda 21’, sometimes seen in the news, consider the following statements :

  1. It is a global action plan for sustainable development.
  2. It originated in the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. A
Explanation:
It is a voluntary plan of UN on sustainable development. It is a product of earth summit 1992
Why the question Came:
Current affairs related topic. Sustainable development is key mantra in all environment related conventions. Again, a link to earlier voluntary/enforced plans.
Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

Q. 83: Satya Shodhak Samaj organized

  1. a movement for upliftment of tribals in Bihar
  2. a temple-entry movement in Gujarat
  3. an anti-caste movement in Maharashtra
  4. a peasant movement in Punjab

Ans. C
Explanation:
It is a anti caste movement led by Jyothiba Phule in Maharashtra
Why the question Came:
Socio religious movements of modern Indian history always appear in preliminary exam and this time UPSC moved out of Brahmo Samaj and Arya Samaj. Check our Infographics section for all important movements relevant for exam.
Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyashodhak_Samaj

Q. 84: Which of the following statements is/are correct?
Viruses can infect

  1. bacteria
  2. fungi
  3. Plants

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Ans. D
Explanation:
Viruses are can infect all living organisms plants animals and micro-organisms
Why the question Came:
From general science section. Micro organisms and their application in biotechnology are familiar topics in preliminary exam. Virus related news has been a lot.
Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus

Q. 86: The term ‘Base Erosion and Profit Shifting’ is sometimes seen in the news in the context of

  1. mining operation by multinational companies in resource-rich but backward areas
  2. curbing of the tax evasion by multinational companies
  3. exploitation of genetic resources of a country by multinational companies
  4. lack of consideration of environmental costs in the planning and implementation of developmental projects

Ans. B
Explanation:
BEPS- Tax payer action that reduces the taxable profit in a jurisdiction, either by recharacterising it or by shifting it to a jurisdiction where it will be taxed at a lower rate or not taxed at all. This is seen by tax authorities as potentially abusive, even if legal.
Why the question Came:
Straight out of Economic Survey and Economy news in RBI, etc. Black Money related news has been prominent, but controversial – so characteristically a technical question is asked by UPSC!
The topic gained importance due to continued discussion on ways to tackle tax avoidance and tax evasion since the bugdet was tabled this year.
Sources:
https://wiki.treasurers.org/wiki/Base_erosion_and_profit_shifting
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/whats-base-erosion-and-profit-shifting/article8404293.ece

Q. 86: Recently, India’s first ‘National Investment and Manufacturing Zone’ was proposed to be set up in

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Gujarat
  3. Maharashtra
  4. Uttar Pradesh

Ans. A
Explanation:
Andhra Pradesh became the first state to house India’s first national investment and manufacturing zone in September 2015. SImple Factual question.
Why the question Came:
Factual from news paper. manufacturing is the focus of many policies, as per last two budgets and Economic Surveys.
Sources:
The Hindu

Q. 87: What is/are the purpose/purposes of ‘District Mineral Foundations’ in India?

  1. Promoting mineral exploration activities in mineral-rich districts
  2. Protecting the interests of the persons affected by mining operations
  3. Authorizing State Governments to issue licenses for mineral exploration

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Ans. B
Explanation:
Objective of district mineral commities are to protect the interest of the people affected by mining
Why the question Came:
Current affairs section, related to rights issues of weaker section generally asked in preliminary exam
Sources:
Govt Websites for Schemes etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mines_and_Minerals_(Development_and_Regulation)_Amendment_Act,_2015

Q. 88: ‘SWAYAM’, an initiative of the Government of India, aims at

  1. Promoting the Self Help Groups in rural areas
  2. providing financial and technical assistance to young start-up entrepreneurs
  3. promoting the education and health of adolescent girls
  4. providing affordable and quality education to the citizens for free.

Ans. D
Explanation:
SWAYAM programme under ministry of HRD in which Professors of centrally funded institutions like IITs, IIMs, central universities will offer online courses to citizens of India. All courses would be offered free of cost under this programme however fees would be levied in case learner requires certificate.
Why the question Came:
Current affairs section, government schemes and programs – always important – and this is education, an important area.
Sources:
Govt Websites for Schemes etc
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWAYAM

Q. 89: The Montague-Chelmsford Proposals were related to

  1. social reforms
  2. education reforms
  3. reforms in public administration
  4. constitutional reforms

Ans. D
Explanation:
Govt of India act 1919 is known as montegue-chelmsford reforms which aimed at constitutional reforms
Why the question Came:
Conventional history question. UPSC always checks candidates knowledge on evolution of constitution
Sources:
NCERT and Std Textbooks

Q. 90: What is/are common to the two historical places known as Ajanta and Mahabalipuram?

  1. Both were built in the same period
  2. Both belong to the same religious denomination
  3. Both have rock-cut monuments

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. None of the statements given above is correct

Ans. B
Explanation:
Ajanta is known for Buddhist art and Mahabalipuram known for Hindu architecture. They both belonged to diffrent period
Why the question Came:
Art and culture related to Ancient India – again! Related to Buddhism also…
Sources:
NCERT and Std Textbooks

Q. 91: With reference to ‘Bitcoins’, sometimes seen in the news, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. Bitcoins are tracked by the Central Banks of the countries.
  2. Anyone with a Bitcoin address can send and receive Bitcoins from anyone else with a Bitcoins from anyone else with a Bitcoin address.
  3. Online payments can be sent without either side knowing the identity of the other.

Select the correct answering using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Ans. B
Explanation:
Bitcoins are not tracked by the central banks.
Why the question Came:
Fairly discussed news item from last few months. International fad almost.
Sources:
The Hindu

Q. 92: Consider the following statements:

  1. New Development Bank had been set up by APEC.
  2. The headquarters of New Development Bank is in Shanghai.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. B
Explanation:
New Development Bank was established by BRICS with capital at Shanghai
Why the question Came:
International focus again. BRICS, AIID, ADB etc got a lot of popularity. UPSC asks something slightly peripheral. APEC also discussed in Economic Survey – so that link too.
Sources:
The Hindu

Q. 93: ‘Gadgil Committee Report’ and ‘Kasturirangan Committee Report’, sometimes seen in the news, are related to

  1. Constitutional reforms
  2. Ganga Action Plan
  3. Linking of rivers
  4. Protection of Western Ghats

Ans. D
Explanation:
Direct and Factual
Why the question Came:
A Central government order on 5 September, 2015, had asked the six states that share the Western Ghats to ban all ‘destructive’ activities. This was as suggestion of the Gadgil Committee. Also, the report along with Rangarajan Committee Report gained much more importance due to the recent Kerala elections. UPSC loves the Western Ghats :)
Sources:
The Hindu  & Other Newspapers
http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/ESA-Status-to-Western-Ghats-Vindicates-Gadgil-Report/2015/09/15/article3028957.ece

Q. 94: Consider the following:

  1. Calcutta Unitarian Committee
  2. Tabernacle of New Dispensation
  3. Indian Reform Association

Keshab Chandra Sen is associated with the establishment of which of the above?

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Ans. B
Explanation:
Calcutta Unitarian Committee was establiished by Raja Ram Mohan Roy
Why the question Came:
Factual history question, focusing on personalities. Occasionally comes in UPSC.
Sources:
Std Textbooks

Q. 95: Which of the following is not a member of ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’?

  1. Iran
  2. Saudi Arabia
  3. Oman
  4. Kuwait

Ans. A
Explanation:
The members of the Gulf Cooperation Council are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Iran is not a member.
Why the question Came:
Prime Minister Modi visited Saudi Arabia in April 2016 and Qatar in June. Him visiting two of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries put GCC in news. Also, the oil prices keep these countries in the news.
Sources:
The Hindu

Q. 96: What is/are the purpose/purposes of Government’s ‘Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme’ and ‘Gold Monetization Scheme’?

  1. To bring the idle gold lying with Indian households into the economy
  2. To promote FDI in the gold and jewellery sector
  3. To reduce Indian’s dependence on gold imports

Select the Correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Ans. C
Explanation:
Announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his 2015-16 Budget speech, the Gold Monetization Scheme aims to bring gold lying idle with households and institutions into the market. In pursuance of the announcement in Union Budget 2015-16, Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) scheme was launched as an alternative to physical gold in Nov 2015. The aim of SGB is to reduce demand, including through imports, for physical gold, and in process reduce India’s Current Account Deficit (CAD).
Why the question Came:
Was in news after last year’s budget. One of the important schemes to be studied. Inflation and gold related stuff always makes headlines. We had discussed in detail in the webinar lectures. Economic Survey also highlights the gold schemes.
Sources:
The Hindu, The Economic Survey 2016-17

Q. 97: ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ is sometimes mentioned in the news in the context of the affairs of

  1. African Union
  2. Brazil
  3. European Union
  4. China

Ans. D
Explanation:
The Belt and Road Initiative is a development strategy and framework, proposed by China that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily between the People’s Republic of China and the rest of Eurasia.
Why the question Came:
Since its inception, this initiative is seen as a concern for India – one due to incresing Chinese presence in India and, two, for huge investments announced for Pakistan. With China Pakistan Economic Corridor coming into picture, the Belt and Road Initiative became an important area. China focus again, of course!
Sources:
The Hindu and Govt Websites
http://english.gov.cn/beltAndRoad/

Q. 98: Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana is aimed at

  1. Bringing the small entrepreneurs into formal financial system
  2. Providing loans to poor farmers for cultivating particular crops
  3. Providing pensions to old and destitute persons
  4. Funding the voluntary organizations involved in the promotion of skill development and employment generation.

Ans. A
Explanation:
Straight Factual Question. Mudra is for small entrepreneurs.
Why the question Came:
Current Affairs – important schemes. Highlighted in Economic Survey notes.
Sources:
The Hindu, The Economic Survey 2016-17
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pradhan_Mantri_Mudra_Yojana

Q. 99: In which of the following regions of India are shale gas resources found?

  1. Cambay Basin
  2. Cauvery Basin
  3. Krishna-Godavari Basin

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Ans. D
Explanation:
Identified shale-gas formations are spread over several sedimentary basins of the country, such as Cambay, Gondwana, Krishna Godavari Onland, and Cauvery.
Why the question Came:
Was in news – April 2016. Issue of oil prices also made shale gas very prominent.
Sources:
The Hindu and other newspapers
https://www.masterresource.org/india-international/shale-gas-india/

Q. 100: ‘Global Financial Stability Report’ is prepared by the

  1. European Central Bank
  2. International Monetary Fund
  3. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  4. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Ans. B
Explanation:
It is prepared by IMF
Why the question Came:
Was in news – April 2016 – partly on the issue of Non-performing Assets. Economic survey is also keen on discussing global financial stability. Report based questions are common in UPSC. Go to our Infographics Section to get easy to remember infographics on major reports and indexes.

Sources:
The Hindu, IMF, Economic Survey
https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/gfsr/

UPSC CSE IAS Prelims 2016 Question Paper Set A and D Download PDF


Source: xaam.in

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