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Q 1 Delimitation Commissions (Polity)

1.How many Delimitation Commissions have been constituted by the Government of India till December 2023 ?

  1. One
  2. Two 
  3. Three
  4. Four

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Based on the information provided, the Government of India has constituted Delimitation Commissions four times - in 1952, 1963, 1973, and 2002. 
  • Each time, a Delimitation Commission was formed under different Acts - Delimitation Commission Act, 1952, Delimitation Commission Act, 1962, Delimitation Act, 1972, and Delimitation Act, 2002. 
  • Therefore, the correct answer is (d) Four.

Delimitation Commission:

  • The Delimitation Commission of India, established by the Government of India under the Delimitation Commission Act, is responsible for redrawing the boundaries of legislative assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies based on the most recent census data. The current delimitation was carried out using 2001 census data as per the Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • The Commission is an autonomous entity and its decisions cannot be contested in any court of law. The orders are presented to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies, with no room for modifications. The next delimitation process is not scheduled to take place before 2026.

Q.2 Eight Schedule (Polity)

2. The Constitution (71st Amendment) Act, 1992 amends the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution to include which of the following languages?

  1. Konkani
  2. Manipuri
  3. Nepali
  4. Maithili

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • The 71st Amendment Act, 1992, added Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali to the Eighth Schedule.
  • Maithili was added later by the 92nd Amendment Act, 2003.
  • Therefore, the correct combination of languages added by the 71st Amendment Act is Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali.

Constitution (71st amendment) act, 1992:

  • The Seventy-first Amendment of the Constitution of India, also known as The Constitution (Seventy-first Amendment) Act, 1992, added Konkani, Meitei (Manipuri), and Nepali languages to the Eighth Schedule.
  • This raised the total number of languages listed in the schedule to eighteen, as the Government of India has the responsibility to develop these languages.
  • The original Eighth Schedule included 14 languages, with Sindhi being added in 1967 through the 21st Amendment.
  • Bodo, Dogri, Santhali, and Maithili were included in the Eighth Schedule in 2004 by the 92nd Amendment, bringing the total number of languages to 22.

Eighth schedule:

  • The Constitution of India outlines provisions related to languages in the eight schedule in articles 344(1) and 351.
  • Article 351 focuses on promoting the use of Hindi by the Government of India as an official language.
  • English was declared as an additional official language for a period not exceeding 15 years.
  • Article 344(1) identified 14 regional languages represented in the Official Languages Commission.
  • The Official Languages Act, 1963 allowed for the continuation of English as an official language alongside Hindi.
  • The official language resolution passed in 1968 required the Government of India to take steps for the development of languages in the eighth schedule.

Q.3 Party and Leaders (Polity)

3. Consider the following pairs :
Party Its Leader
Bharatiya Jana Sangh Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee
Socialist Party C. Rajagopalachari
Congress for Democracy Jagjivan Ram
Swatantra Party Acharya Narendra Dev
 
How many of the above are correctly matched ?
  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. All four
Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was the leader of Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: C. Rajagopalachari was not the leader of the Socialist Party; he led the Swatantra Party.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Jagjivan Ram was associated with the Congress for Democracy.
  • Statement 4 is incorrect: Acharya Narendra Dev was not the leader of the Swatantra Party; he was associated with the Socialist Party.
  • Therefore, only pairs 1 and 3 are correctly matched.

Bharatiya Jana Sangh:

  • The Akhil Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) was an Indian nationalist political party.
  • Founded in 1951 in Delhi by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Balraj Madhok, and Deendayal Upadhyaya.
  • It was the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
  • In 1977, it merged with other parties to form the Janata Party.
  • After the defeat in the 1980 general elections, former members of the Jan Sangh formed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee:

  • Syama Prasad Mookerjee was an Indian politician, barrister, and academician who served as India's first Minister for Industry and Supply in Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet.
  • He resigned from Nehru's cabinet due to his disagreement with the Liaquat-Nehru Pact.
  • With the help of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, he founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951, which later became the Bharatiya Janata Party.
  • Mookerjee was also the president of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha from 1943 to 1946.
  • He was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in 1953 and died a day later after being provisionally diagnosed with a heart attack.
  • Mookerjee considered Swami Pranavananda, founder of Bharat Sevashram Sangha, as his guru.

Socialist Party:

  • Late emergence of socialism in Indian politics.
  • Preoccupation with independence movement led to delay in socialist movement.
  • Differences in class, political perspectives, and economic objectives were set aside for freedom from British rule.
  • Socialist doctrines seen as a liability due to theme of class conflict.
  • Indian socialism rejects orthodox Marxist dogma.
  • Indian model believes socialism cannot be achieved through State apparatus.
  • Indian socialism aligned with Gandhian principle of right means for right outcomes.
  • Clear links to traditional Indian thought and philosophical traditions.

C. Rajagopalachari:

  • Chakravarti Rajagopalachari BR, also known as Rajaji or C.R., was an Indian statesman, writer, lawyer, and independence activist.
  • He was the last Governor-General of India and the only Indian-born holder of the post.
  • Rajagopalachari founded the Swatantra Party and received the Bharat Ratna award.
  • He was a proponent of world peace, disarmament, and opposed the use of nuclear weapons.
  • Rajagopalachari was born in Tamil Nadu, educated in Bangalore and Madras, and started his legal practice in Salem.
  • He was a key figure in the Indian National Congress and participated in various movements led by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Rajagopalachari held various political positions including Prime Minister of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, and Chief Minister of Madras state.
  • He resigned from the Indian National Congress in 1959 and founded the Swatantra Party.
  • Rajagopalachari was a prolific writer, composer of songs, and advocate for temperance, temple entry, and Dalit upliftment.
  • He faced criticism for policies like compulsory Hindi study and the Madras Scheme of Elementary Education.
  • Rajagopalachari was highly regarded by both Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, with Gandhi calling him the "keeper of my conscience".

Congress for Democracy:

  • Establishment of the Congress for Democracy (CFD) in 1977.
  • Founders: Jagjivan Ram, Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, and Nandini Satpathy.
  • Formation in response to dissatisfaction with Indira Gandhi's rule during the Indian Emergency.
  • Participation in the 1977 Indian general election as part of the Janata alliance.
  • Subsequent merger with the Janata alliance after the election.

Jagjivan Ram:

  • Jagjivan Ram, also known as Babuji, was an Indian independence activist and politician from Bihar.
  • He played a key role in founding the All India Depressed Classes League in 1935 and was elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1937.
  • Ram was the youngest minister in Jawaharlal Nehru's interim government in 1946, serving as the Labour Minister.
  • He was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India and ensured that social justice was included in the Constitution.
  • Ram served as a minister with various portfolios for 30 years as a member of the Indian National Congress.
  • He was the Defence Minister of India during the Indo-Pak war of 1971, leading to the creation of Bangladesh.
  • Ram's contributions to the Green Revolution and modernizing Indian agriculture are still remembered.
  • He supported Indira Gandhi during the Emergency but later left Congress in 1977 to join the Janata Party alliance.
  • Ram served as the Deputy Prime Minister of India from 1977 to 1979 and formed Congress (J) in 1981.
  • At the time of his death, he was the last surviving minister of the Interim Government and the last surviving original member of the first cabinet of independent India.

Swatantra Party:

  • Founded in 1959 by C. Rajagopalachari in response to the socialist and statist outlook of the Indian National Congress.
  • Comprised of distinguished leaders, many of whom were former Congressmen.
  • Advocated for a market-based economy and the dismantling of the "Licence Raj."
  • Opposed laissez-faire policies but supported free market principles.
  • Not a religion-based party, unlike the Hindu nationalism of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
  • In 1960, Rajagopalachari and colleagues drafted a 21-point manifesto outlining the reasons for forming Swatantra.
  • Despite being former Congressmen and associates of Nehru, they felt the need for a new party due to the left turn taken by the Congress at Avadi and the Nagpur Resolutions.
  • Prime Minister Nehru was highly critical of Swatantra, labeling it as belonging to "the middle ages of lords, castles, and zamindars."

Acharya Narendra Dev:

  • Acharya Narendra Deva was a prominent theorist of the Congress Socialist Party in India, advocating for democratic socialism and non-violent means of revolution.
  • He was initially influenced by nationalism in the early 1900s and later became interested in Marxism and Buddhism.
  • Dev was a key leader of the Congress Socialist Party from its establishment in 1934 and was imprisoned multiple times during the freedom struggle.
  • He served as Vice Chancellor of University of Lucknow from 1947-1951 and later as Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University.
  • Dev believed in the abolition of poverty and exploitation on moral and humanistic grounds, emphasizing the importance of social democracy for political democracy.
  • He was actively involved in the peasant movement and served as president of the All-India Kisan Congress.
  • Dev remained associated with the Socialist Party and Praja Socialist Party until his death in 1956.

Q.4 Parts of the Constitution (Polity)

4. Which of the following statements are correct about the Constitution of India?

  1. Powers of the Municipalities are given in Part IX A of the Constitution.
  2. Emergency provisions are given in Part XVIII of the Constitution.
  3. Provisions related to the amendment of the Constitution are given in Part XX of the Constitution

Select the 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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: Part IXA of the Constitution of India deals with municipalities.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Part XVIII deals with emergency provisions.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Part XX deals with the amendment of the Constitution.
  • Therefore, all three statements are correct about the Constitution of India.

Part IX a of the constitution:

  • Article IXA of the Constitution was added through the Seventy-fourth Amendment Act in 1992.
  • It pertains to local self government at the urban level.
  • Article 243S outlines the constitution and composition of Wards Committees.
  • Article 243U discusses the duration of Municipalities.

Part XVIII of the constitution:

  • Part XVIII of the Indian constitution contains laws related to Emergency Provisions.
  • The three types of emergencies outlined in this part are General Emergency, Break-down of constitutional machinery in the states, and Financial Emergency.

Part XX of the constitution:

  • Article 368 of the Constitution grants constituent power for formal amendments.
  • Parliament can amend the Constitution by addition, variation, or repeal of any provision.
  • Different procedure from ordinary legislation.
  • Amended by the 24th and 42nd Amendments in 1971 and 1976.
  • Full text of Article 368 governs constitutional amendments.
  • New clauses added by the 24th Amendment in 1971.
  • Provisions in italics inserted by the 42nd Amendment, later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Q.5 Union List and State List (Polity)

5. Which one of the following statements is correct as per the Constitution of India?

  1. Inter-State trade and commerce is a State subject under the State/List.
  2. Inter-State migration is a State subject under the State List.
  3. Inter-State quarantine is a Union subject under the Union List. 
  4. Corporation tax is a State subject under the State List.

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement a is incorrect: Inter-State trade and commerce is a Union subject under the Union List.
  • Statement b is incorrect: Inter-State migration is a Union subject under the Union List.
  • Statement c is correct: Inter-State quarantine is a Union subject under the Union List.
  • Statement d is incorrect: Corporation tax is a Union subject under the Union List.
  • As per the Constitution of India, Inter-State quarantine falls under the Union List, which means it is a subject on which the central government can legislate. This ensures uniformity and coordination in dealing with public health emergencies that may affect multiple states.

Union list and state list:

  • The Union List, also known as List-I, consists of 97 items in the Constitution of India.
  • Parliament has exclusive power to legislate on items in the Union List.
  • The State List, or List-II, contains 61 items in the Constitution of India.
  • Residual powers in India remain with the Central Government.
  • India's government structure is similar to Canada's federal government, but different from the US, Switzerland, and Australia.

Q.6 Right to Privacy (Polity)

6. Under which of the following Articles of the Constitution of India, has the Supreme Court of India placed the Right to Privacy?

  1. Article 15
  2. Article 16
  3. Article 19
  4. Article 21

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Statement a is incorrect: Article 15 prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.
  • Statement b is incorrect: Article 16 deals with equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
  • Statement c is incorrect: Article 19 guarantees the six freedoms.
  • Statement d is correct: The Supreme Court has placed the Right to Privacy under Article 21, which deals with the protection of life and personal liberty.
  • In the landmark case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) vs. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India recognized the Right to Privacy as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Right to privacy:

  • Importance of the right to privacy in legal traditions.
  • Mention of the right to privacy in over 185 national constitutions.
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights and interpretation of privacy rights through Article 12.
  • International debate on the right to privacy post-2013 global surveillance disclosures.
  • Involvement of government agencies in mass surveillance.
  • Current debates on privacy co-existing with intelligence agency capabilities, social contract, and terrorism threats.
  • Threats to privacy from private sector technology companies like Amazon, Apple, Meta, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

Q.7 Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) (Security)

7. What are the duties of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as Head of the Department of Military Affairs?

  1. Permanent Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee
  2. Exercise military command over the three Service Chiefs
  3. Principal Military Advisor to Defence Minister on all tri-service matters

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The CDS does not exercise military command over the three Service Chiefs.
  • Statement 3 is correct: The CDS is the principal military advisor to the Defence Minister on all tri-service matters.
  • Therefore, the duties of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as Head of the Department of Military Affairs include being the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and serving as the principal military advisor to the Defence Minister on all tri-service matters.

Chief of defence staff (CDS):

  • The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is the highest-ranking military officer in the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Responsible for overseeing inter-service jointness across the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force.
  • Operates on a status of primus inter pares with the chiefs of the three services.
  • Functions as the Permanent-Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).
  • Presiding secretary of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA).
  • Principal military advisor to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
  • Advisor-cum-adjudicator position with no operational command control.

Q.8 Army Operations (Security)

8. Operations undertaken by the Army towards upliftment of the local population in remote areas to include addressing of their basic needs is called :

  1. Operation Sankalp
  2. Operation Maitri
  3. Operation Sadbhavana
  4. Operation Madad

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement a is incorrect: Operation Sankalp is an Indian Navy mission for maritime security in the Gulf region.
  • Statement b is incorrect: Operation Maitri was the relief operation by India for the earthquake in Nepal.
  • Statement c is correct: Operation Sadbhavana is an initiative by the Indian Army for the upliftment of the local population in remote areas.
  • Statement d is incorrect: Operation Madad was a rescue operation during the Kerala floods.
  • Operation Sadbhavana focuses on winning the hearts and minds of the local population in conflict-prone areas through welfare activities such as education, health care, and infrastructure development. It aims to address the basic needs of the local population and improve their quality of life.

Operation Sankalp:

  • Operation Sankalp: Indian Navy's initiative for regional maritime security.
  • Meaning of Sankalp: "Commitment" in Sanskrit.
  • Objective: Safeguarding India's shipping interests and trade routes.
  • Launch date: 19 June 2019.
  • Focus: Ensuring safe transit of Indian-flagged vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.
  • Goal: Protecting India's commercial fleet and maritime commerce.
  • Execution: In the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) with coordination with various Indian ministries.

Operation Maitri:

  • Operation Maitri was a rescue and relief operation in Nepal by the Indian government and armed forces after the April 2015 Nepal earthquake.
  • It started on 26 April 2015 and involved Nepali ex-servicemen from India's Gurkha Regiments for guidance and relief efforts.

Operation Sadbhavana:

  • Operation Sadbhavana, also known as Operation Goodwill, was initiated by the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Aimed at "Winning the Hearts and Minds" of the people in the region.
  • Sadbhavna means 'harmony', hence the operation can also be translated as Operation Harmony.
  • Catchphrase: "Jawan aur Awam, Aman Hai Muqaam" (peace is the destination for both people and soldiers).
  • Students from Jammu and Kashmir supported by 'Kashmir Super 30' Project interacted with General Bipin Rawat.
  • Students of Super-40 from Kashmir also interacted with General Rawat in New Delhi.
  • Welfare initiatives under Operation Sadbhavana include infrastructure development, medical care, women and youth empowerment, educational tours, and sports tournaments.
  • Over 450 crore rupees (70 million US$) directly spent on the programme with additional funding from donors.
  • Projects planned based on local needs and desires, handed over to state government after successful initiation.
  • Aim of Operation Sadbhavana is to build mutual faith and trust between the Indian Army and the population in Jammu and Kashmir.

Operation Madad:

  • Indian Navy conducts rescue operations in India under the name Operation Madad.
  • "Madad" means "help" in Hindi.
  • Operation Madad is the name given to Indian Navy's rescue missions in India.
  • The Indian Navy conducts rescue operations under the name Operation Madad, which means "help" in Hindi.

Q.9 Border between countries (Maps / Geography)

9. The longest border between any two countries in the world is between :

  1. Canada and the United States of America
  2. Chile and Argentina
  3. China and India
  4. Kazakhstan and Russian Federation

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement a is correct: The Canada-United States border is the world's longest international border, stretching approximately 8,891 kilometers (5,525 miles).
  • Statement b is incorrect: The border between Chile and Argentina is long but not the longest.
  • Statement c is incorrect: The border between China and India is not the longest.
  • Statement d is incorrect: The border between Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation is long but not the longest.
  • The Canada-United States border is the longest international border in the world, both in terms of land and maritime boundaries. It is a significant border that has been peacefully maintained between the two countries for many years.

Canada and the United states of America:

  • Canada and the United States have a close relationship with significant impact on history, economy, and culture.
  • Considered among the closest allies with the longest border between any two nations.
  • Significant military interoperability between the two countries.
  • Americans and Canadians rank each other as favorite nations.
  • Canadian peacekeeping is a distinguishing feature of their foreign policy.
  • Canadian anti-Americanism is evident in political and cultural aspects.

Chile and Argentina: 

  • Long-standing international relations between Chile and Argentina.
  • Border between the two countries is the world's third-longest international border.
  • Tensions in the past over border disputes in Patagonia.
  • Despite tensions, no war has occurred between Chile and Argentina.
  • Recent improvements in relations between the two countries.
  • Different economic policies: Chile has signed free trade agreements with various countries, while Argentina belongs to Mercosur.
  • Both countries suspended their membership from UNASUR in April 2018.

China and India:

  • Long history of peaceful relations between China and India.
  • Relationship has varied in modern times.
  • Economic cooperation but frequent border disputes and economic nationalism are points of contention.
  • Cultural and economic relations date back to ancient times.
  • Silk Road facilitated trade and spread of Buddhism.
  • Involvement in opium trade during 19th century.
  • Both countries played crucial roles in halting Imperial Japan during World War II.
  • Modern diplomatic relationship began in 1950.
  • China and India are major regional powers in Asia and among the fastest growing economies in the world.

Kazakhstan and Russian Federation:

  • Kazakhstan and Russia are both founding members of several international organizations.
  • Kazakhstan and Russia founded the Eurasian Economic Union with Belarus.
  • Nuclear weapons were a central issue in diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Russia after the collapse of the USSR.
  • Kazakhstan has tried to balance ties between Russia and the West by selling petroleum and natural gas to Russia at low prices, allowing Russian investment, and cooperating with the West in the War on Terror.

Q.10 Ethics Committee in the Lok Sabha (Polity)

10. Which of the following statements about the Ethics Committee in the Lok Sabha are correct?

  1. Initially it was an ad-hoc Committee.
  2. Only a Member of the Lok Sabha can make a complaint relating to unethical conduct of a member of the Lok Sabha.
  3. This Committee cannot take up any matter which is sub-judice.

Select the 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

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: The Ethics Committee in the Lok Sabha was initially an ad-hoc Committee.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Only a Member of the Lok Sabha can make a complaint relating to unethical conduct of a member of the Lok Sabha. In fact, complaints can be made by any member of the public or other members.
  • Statement 3 is correct: The Committee cannot take up any matter which is sub-judice.

Ethics Committee in the lok sabha:

  • Lok Sabha Ethics Committee meeting on July 27, 2021.
  • Panel established as ad hoc entity over two decades ago.
  • Committee hears complaints for light offences.
  • Members appointed by Speaker for one year.
  • Current Committee headed by BJP's Vinod Kumar Sonkar.
  • Includes members from various political parties.

Q.11 Provisional President of the Constituent Assembly (Polity)

11. Who was the Provisional President of the Constituent Assembly before Dr. Rajendra Prasad took over ?

  1. C. Rajagopalachari 
  2. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
  3. T.T. Krishnamachari
  4. Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha was the first provincial president of the Constituent Assembly before Dr. Rajendra Prasad took over as the permanent chairman.
  • Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the permanent chairman of the country’s Constituent Assembly on December 11, 1946.
  • The other options, C. Rajagopalachari, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, and T.T. Krishnamachari, were not the provisional president of the Constituent Assembly before Dr. Rajendra Prasad.

Constituent Assembly:

  • Purpose of the Constituent Assembly of India.
  • Formation and role of the Constituent Assembly.
  • Influence of V. K. Krishna Menon in creating the Constituent Assembly.
  • Demand for Constituent Assembly by Indian National Congress.
  • Rejection of Government of India Act, 1935.
  • Acceptance of the demand for Constituent Assembly by the British.

Q.12 Government of India Act, 1935, (Polity)

12. With reference to the Government of India Act, 1935, consider the following statements:

  1. It provided for the establishment of an All India Federation based on the union of the British Indian Provinces and Princely States.
  2. Defence and Foreign Affairs were kept under the control of the federal legislature.

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • The Government of India Act, 1935 did provide for the establishment of an All India Federation based on the union of the British Indian Provinces and Princely States. This statement is correct.
  • Defence and Foreign Affairs were not kept under the control of the federal legislature. In fact, these subjects were kept under the control of the Governor General and the Executive, not the legislature. Therefore, this statement is incorrect.
  • Therefore, only statement 1 is correct.

Government of India Act 1935:

  • The Government of India Act 1935 was a lengthy act passed by the British Parliament in August 1935.
  • It was split into two separate acts: Government of India Act 1935 and Government of Burma Act 1935.
  • The act led to the separation of Burma from British India in 1937.
  • It also established the Reserve Bank of India and the Federal Public Service Commission.
  • The act created the Federal Court in 1937 and introduced bicameralism in six out of 11 provinces.

Q.13 Bhasa (Ancient History)

13. Which one of the following is a work attributed to playwright Bhasa ?

  1. Kavyalankara
  2. Natyashastra 
  3. Madhyama vyayoga
  4. Mahabhashya

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • The statement provided in the question mentions that Madhyama-vyayoga is a Sanskrit play attributed to Bhasa.
  • Kavyalankara is a work on poetics attributed to Anandavardhana, not Bhasa.
  • Natyashastra is a treatise on performing arts attributed to Bharata Muni, not Bhasa.
  • Mahabhashya is a commentary on Panini's Ashtadhyayi attributed to Patanjali, not Bhasa.

Playwright Bhasa:

  • Bhāsa is an early Indian playwright in Sanskrit.
  • His works date back to the 4th century BCE or 4th century CE.
  • Thirteen plays are attributed to him, commonly dated to the first or second century CE.
  • His plays were lost for centuries until rediscovered in 1913 by Ganapati Shastri.
  • Bhāsa was previously only known from mentions in other works.
  • Kālidāsa mentioned Bhāsa in the introduction to his play Mālavikāgnimitram, highlighting his importance as an illustrious author.

Kavyalankara:

  • Kavyalankara translates to "The ornaments of poetry" in Sanskrit.
  • There are two works with the title Kavyalankara in Sanskrit poetics.
  • The first work was written by Bhamaha around the 7th century, around the same time as Daṇḍin.
  • The second work was written by Rudrata, a poet from Kashmir, around the 9th century.

Natyashastra:

  • The Nāṭya Shāstra is a Sanskrit treatise on performing arts attributed to sage Bharata.
  • Estimated to be compiled between 200 BCE and 200 CE, but estimates vary.
  • Consists of 36 chapters with 6000 poetic verses describing various aspects of performance arts.
  • Covers dramatic composition, stage construction, acting genres, body movements, make up, costumes, music, and more.
  • Influential in Indian dance, music, and literary traditions.
  • Introduces the aesthetic "Rasa" theory, emphasizing the goal of transporting the audience into a parallel reality.
  • Inspired secondary literature like the 10th-century commentary Abhinavabharati by Abhinavagupta.

Madhyamavyayoga:

  • Madhyamavyayoga is a Sanskrit play attributed to the famous poet Bhāsa.
  • The exact date of when the play was written is uncertain, with estimates ranging from 475 BCE to the 11th century CE.
  • Some scholars believe Bhasa lived around 350 CE, while others place him in the 7th to 8th centuries CE.
  • The play focuses on the confusion between the priest Keshav Das's middle son and the middle Pandava prince.

Bhima:

  • It also depicts the reunion of Bhima and Ghatotkacha as father and son.
  • The characters in the play are from the Mahabharata, but this particular incident is unique to Bhasa.
  • Madhyamavyayoga is classified as a Vyayoga, a type of Sanskrit drama.

Mahabhashya:

  • Mahabhashya is a commentary on Sanskrit grammar rules.
  • Attributed to Patañjali.
  • Based on Pāṇini's Aṣṭādhyāyī and Kātyāyana's Vārttika-sūtra.
  • Dated to the 2nd century BCE.
  • Records from Yijing, a Chinese traveller who studied in Nalanda University.

Q.14 Sanghabhuti: Buddhist monk (Ancient History)

14. Sanghabhuti, an Indian Buddhist monk, who travelled to China at the end of the fourth century AD, was the author of a commentary on :

  1. Prajnaparamita Sutra 
  2. Visuddhimagga
  3. Sarvastivada Vinaya Sain 
  4. Lalitavistara

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • The passage mentions that Sanghabhuti was the author of a commentary on the Sarvastivada Vinaya.
  • The Prajnaparamita Sutra, Visuddhimagga, and Lalitavistara are not mentioned in the passage as works authored by Sanghabhuti.
  • Therefore, the correct answer is the Sarvastivada Vinaya.

Prajnaparamita sutra:

  • Prajñāpāramitā means the "Perfection of Wisdom" in Buddhism.
  • It leads to discerning pristine cognition and seeing the nature of reality.
  • There are Mahayana sutras dedicated to this wisdom, such as the Heart Sutra.
  • The Transcendent Wisdom of Prajñāpāramitā transcends any single vehicle of Buddhist philosophy.
  • It is associated with ideas such as emptiness, the illusory nature of things, and non-arising.
  • Prajñāpāramitā is considered essential for those following the Bodhisattva path in Mahayana Buddhism.
  • The Prajñāpāramitā Sūtras were composed between 100 BC and AD 600 on the Indian subcontinent.

Visuddhimagga:

  • The Visuddhimagga is a significant text in Theravada Buddhism written by Buddhaghosa in the 5th century in Sri Lanka.
  • It is a manual that condenses and systematizes the understanding of the Buddhist path as maintained by the elders of the Mahavihara Monastery.
  • Considered the most important Theravada text outside the Tipitaka canon of scriptures.
  • Described as the hub of a complete and coherent method of exegesis of the Tipitaka.

Sarvāstivāda:

  • The Sarvāstivāda was an early Buddhist school that emerged around the reign of Ashoka in the third century BCE.
  • Known for their Abhidharma tradition, they had a unique set of seven canonical Abhidharma texts.
  • The Sarvāstivādins were influential in North India, especially in Kashmir and Central Asia, until the 7th century CE.
  • The orthodox Kashmiri branch of the school composed the Abhidharma Mahāvibhāṣa Śāstra during the reign of Kanishka.
  • Sarvāstivādins who upheld the doctrines in the Mahāvibhāṣa were called Vaibhāṣikas.
  • There are differing accounts of the relationship between the Sarvāstivādins and other Buddhist schools like the Mahīśāsaka, Mūlasarvāstivāda, and Sautrāntika.

Lalitavistara Sūtra:

  • The Lalitavistara Sūtra is a Mahayana Buddhist sutra in Sanskrit.
  • It tells the story of Gautama Buddha from his descent from Tushita to his first sermon in Deer Park.
  • Lalitavistara translates to "The Play in Full" or "Extensive Play".
  • It reflects the Mahayana belief that Buddha's last incarnation was a performance for the benefit of beings in this world.

Q.15 World Heritage List by UNESCO (Art & Culture)

15. Consider the following properties included in the World Heritage List released by UNESCO :

  1. Shantiniketan
  2. Rani-ki-Vav
  3. Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas
  4. Mahabodhi Temple Complex  at Bodhgaya

How many of the above properties were included in 2023 ?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. All four

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Shantiniketan was included in the World Heritage List in 2010.
  • Rani-ki-Vav was included in the World Heritage List in 2014.
  • Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas was included in the World Heritage List in 2014.
  • Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodhgaya was included in the World Heritage List in 2002.
  • Therefore, only two properties out of the four mentioned were included in the World Heritage List in 2023.

Shantiniketan:

  • Shantiniketan is a neighborhood in Bolpur, West Bengal, India, located about 152 km north of Kolkata.
  • It was founded by Maharshi Devendranath Tagore and further developed by his son, Rabindranath Tagore, who established Visva-Bharati University.
  • Shantiniketan is known for its cultural and educational significance, attracting visitors from around the world.
  • In 2023, Shantiniketan was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, highlighting its historical and cultural importance.

Rani ki Vav:

  • Rani Ki Vav is a stepwell in Patan, Gujarat, India.
  • Constructed by Udayamati, spouse of Chaulukya king Bhima I.
  • Rediscovered in the 1940s and restored in the 1980s.
  • Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India since 2014.
  • Designed as an inverted temple emphasizing the importance of water.
  • Divided into seven levels with sculptural panels.
  • Panels feature over 500 principal sculptures and 1000 minor ones with religious, secular, and symbolic imagery.

Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas:

  • The Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas are a group of three Hoysala-style temples in South India recognized as a World Heritage Site.
  • The temples at Somanathapura, Belur, and Halebidu were built between the 12th and 13th centuries under the Hoysala Empire.
  • Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2023 for their outstanding architecture, hyper-realistic sculptures, and stone carvings.
  • The architectural style of the temples was developed by early Hoysala rulers as distinctive and innovative sacred architecture.
  • The temples included in the Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas are the Chennakeshava Temple in Belur, Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu, and Keshav Temple in Somanathapura.

Mahabodhi temple complex at bodhgaya:

  • Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India is a UNESCO World Heritage Site marking where Buddha attained enlightenment.
  • Contains descendant of Bodhi Tree where Buddha gained enlightenment.
  • Major pilgrimage destination for Buddhists for over two thousand years.
  • Elements of the site date back to Ashoka's period (c. 232 BCE).
  • Visible structures date back to 6th century CE, with possible earlier origins.
  • Several restorations have taken place since the 19th century.
  • Archaeological finds indicate site was venerated by Buddhists since Mauryan period.
  • Vajrasana within the temple dated back to third century BCE.

Q.16 Article 368 (Polity)

16. As per Article 368 of the Constitution of India, the Parliament may amend any provision of the Constitution by way of :

  1. Addition
  2. Variation 
  3. Repeal 

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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • As per Article 368 of the Constitution of India, the Parliament may amend any provision of the constitution by way of addition, variation, or repeal. This means that Parliament has the power to make changes to the Constitution by adding new provisions, modifying existing provisions, or removing provisions altogether. 
  • Therefore, all three options - addition, variation, and repeal - are correct as per Article 368.

Article 368 of the Constitution:

  • Amending the Constitution of India involves making changes to the nation's fundamental law.
  • Procedure for amending the constitution is outlined in Part XX (Article 368) of the Constitution.
  • This procedure ensures the sanctity of the Constitution and limits the power of Parliament.
  • Conflict between Supreme Court and Parliament has led to limitations on amending power.
  • Various doctrines and rules have been developed to check the validity of amendments.
  • Basic structure doctrine, established in Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala, is the most famous rule in this regard.

Q.17 Low birth rates, or ageing population or declining population (Geography)

17. Consider the following countries:

  1. Italy
  2. Japan
  3. Nigeria
  4. South Korea
  5. South Africa

Which of the above countries are frequently mentioned in the media for their low birth rates, or ageing population or declining population?

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Italy: As mentioned in the passage, Italy has an aging population due to declining birth rates.
  • Japan: Japan is also known for its low birth rates and aging population.
  • South Korea: South Korea has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, contributing to an aging population.
  • Therefore, Italy, Japan, and South Korea are frequently mentioned in the media for their low birth rates, aging population, or declining population.

Declining population pyramid:

  • Population pyramid is a graphical representation of the distribution of a population by age groups and sex.
  • Typically takes the shape of a pyramid when the population is growing.
  • Males are shown on the left and females on the right.
  • Can be measured in absolute numbers or as a percentage of the total population.
  • Used to visualize the age of a particular population.
  • Also used in ecology to determine the overall age distribution of a population.
  • Helps indicate reproductive capabilities and likelihood of species continuation.
  • Population density refers to the number of people per unit area of land.

Q.18 Monet Bill (Polity)

18. Which of the following statements are correct in respect of a Money Bill in the Parliament ?

  1. Article 109 mentions special procedure in respect of Money Bills.
  2. A Money Bill shall not be introduced in the Council of States.
  3. The Rajya Sabha can either approve the Bill or suggest changes but cannot reject it.
  4. Amendments to a Money Bill suggested by the Rajya Sabha have to be accepted by the Lok Sabha. 

Select the answer using the code given below :

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1,2 and 3
  4. 1,3 and4

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • St-1 is correct as the special procedure for Money Bills is mentioned under Article 109 of the Indian Constitution.
  • St-2 is correct as a Money Bill shall not be introduced in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha).
  • St-3 is correct as the Rajya Sabha can either approve the Money Bill or suggest changes, but it cannot reject it.

Money Bills:

  • Money bill or supply bill solely concerns taxation or government spending.
  • Conventions in the Westminster system regarding money bills.
  • Upper house may not block a money bill.
  • Non-money bill-type clauses may not be attached to a money bill.
  • Rationale behind the convention.
  • Money bills are an exception to the general rule for bill enactment.
  • Loss of supply in the lower house as an expression of loss of confidence in the government.

Q.19 Equivalent rank in the Indian forces (Security)

19. Which of the following is/are correctly matched in terms of equivalent rank in the three services of Indian Defence forces?

Army Air Force Navy
Brigadier Air Commodore Commander
Major General Air Vice Marshal Vice Admiral
Major Squadron Leader Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Colonel Group Captain Captain

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Brigadier (Army) is equivalent to Air Commodore (Airforce) but not to Commander (Navy). The correct Navy equivalent is Commodore.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Major General (Army) is equivalent to Air Vice Marshal (Airforce) but not to Vice Admiral (Navy). The correct Navy equivalent is Rear Admiral.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Major (Army) is equivalent to Squadron Leader (Airforce) and Lieutenant Commander (Navy).
  • Statement 4 is incorrect: Lieutenant Colonel (Army) is equivalent to Wing Commander (Airforce) but not to Captain (Navy). The correct Navy equivalent is Commander.

Q.20 North Eastern Council (NEC) (Polity)

20. The North Eastern Council (NEC) was established by the North Eastern Council Act, 1971. Subsequent to the amendment of NEC Act in 2002, the Council comprises which of the following members?

  1. Governor of the Constituent State
  2. Chief Minister of the Constituent State 
  3. Three Members to be nominated by the President of India
  4. The Home Minister of India 

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: The Governor of the constituent state is a member of the NEC.
  • Statement 2 is correct: The Chief Minister of the constituent state is a member of the NEC.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Three members are nominated by the President of India.
  • Statement 4 is correct: The Home Minister of India is a member of the NEC.
  • Therefore, all the statements are correct and the correct answer is option (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4.

North Eastern Council (NEC):

  • North Eastern Council (NEC) was established in 1972 under the North Eastern Council Act 1971.
  • Members of the council include the eight states of Northeast India.
  • Sikkim joined the council in 2002.
  • The council is headquartered in Shillong and operates under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) of the Government of India.

Q.21 ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ (Polity & Governance)

21. Consider the following statements regarding 'Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam' :

  1. Provisions will come into effect from the 18th Lok Sabha.
  2. This will be in force for 15 years after becoming an Act.
  3. There are provisions for the reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes Women within the quota reserved for the Scheduled Castes.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The provisions of Nari Sakti Vandan Adhiniyam will come into effect from the time of official notification after delimitation.
  • Statement 2 is correct: The duration of the Act is mentioned to be for 15 years.
  • Statement 3 is correct: There are provisions for the reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes Women within the quota reserved for the Scheduled Castes.

Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam:

  • Significant progress made with the passing of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, 2023.
  • Aims to reserve one-third of seats for women in Lok Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, and Delhi Assembly.

Q.22 ‘Exercise Mitra Shakti – 2023’ (Security)

22. Which of the following statements about Exercise Mitra Shakti-2023' are correct ?

  1. This was a joint military exercise between India and Bangladesh
  2. It commenced in Aundh (Pune).
  3. Joint response during counter-terrorism operations was a goal of this operation.
  4. Indian Air Force was a part of this exercise.

Select the answer using the code given below :

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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Exercise Mitra Shakti-2023 was between India and Sri Lanka, not Bangladesh.
  • Statement 2 is correct: the exercise did commence in Aundh, Pune.
  • Statement 3 is correct: one of the goals of the exercise was joint response during counter-terrorism operations.
  • Statement 4 is correct: the Indian Air Force was indeed a part of Exercise Mitra Shakti-2023.

Mitra Shakti Exercise:

  • Mitra Shakti Exercise is a 12-day bilateral military exercise between India and Sri Lanka.
  • The exercise is conducted annually, with the 8th edition taking place in Sri Lanka from 4th to 16th October 2021.
  • The agreement for conducting this exercise was signed on 12 November 2004 in New Delhi.
  • Previous agreements for military exercises were signed in 1998 and 2003.
  • The main goal of the exercise is to strengthen military ties and enhance interoperability between the two armies.

Q.23 Writ (Polity)

23. A Writ of Prohibition is an order issued by the Supreme Court or High Courts to :

  1. a government officer prohibiting him from taking a particular action. 
  2. the Parliament/Legislative Assembly to pass a law on Prohibition. 
  3. the lower court prohibiting continuation of proceedings in a case.
  4. the Government prohibiting it from following an unconstitutional policy.

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement (a) is incorrect: A writ of prohibition is not issued to a government officer.
  • Statement (b) is incorrect: A writ of prohibition is not issued to the Parliament or Legislative Assembly.
  • Statement (c) is correct: A writ of prohibition is an order issued by the Supreme Court or High Courts to a lower court prohibiting the continuation of proceedings in a case that is beyond its jurisdiction.
  • Statement (d) is incorrect: A writ of prohibition is not issued to the government.
  • A writ of prohibition is a judicial order restraining a lower court from exceeding its jurisdiction or from acting contrary to the rules of natural justice. It is a preventive measure to ensure legal proceedings remain within the bounds of the law.

A writ of prohibition:

  • A writ of prohibition is a legal order that tells a lower court or official body to stop doing something that is against the law.
  • It is often issued by a higher court to a lower court to prevent it from proceeding with a case that is not within its jurisdiction.
  • There are two types of writs of prohibition: alternative writs and peremptory writs.
  • An alternative writ requires the recipient to show cause why the order should not be made permanent, while a peremptory writ requires immediate compliance and certification of that compliance.
  • The writ can be directed towards any official body, not just courts, within the jurisdiction of the issuing court.

Q.24 A Scheduled Tribe Status)

24. Consider the following statements :

  1. It is the Governor of the State who recognizes and declares any community of that State as a Scheduled Tribe.
  2. A community declared as a Scheduled Tribe in a State need not be so in another State.

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

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: It is the Governor of the State who recognizes and declares any community of that State as a Scheduled Tribe.
  • Statement 2 is also correct: A community declared as a Scheduled Tribe in a State need not be so in another State.
  • Both statements are accurate in describing the process of recognizing and declaring communities as Scheduled Tribes within a particular state.

Q.25 Union Budget (Polity & Economy)

25. With reference to Union Budget, consider the following statements:

  1. The Union Finance Minister on behalf of the Prime Minister lays the Annual Financial Statement before both the Houses of Parliament.
  2. At the Union level, no demand for a grant can be except on the recommendation of the President of 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

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The Union Finance Minister presents the Annual Financial Statement, not on behalf of the Prime Minister but on their own behalf.
  • Statement 2 is correct: At the Union level, no demand for a grant can be made except on the recommendation of the President of India.
  • Therefore, only statement 2 is correct.

Annual financial statement:

  • Financial statements are formal records of the financial activities and position of a business, person, or entity.
  • They present relevant financial information in a structured and easy-to-understand manner.
  • The four basic financial statements include:
    • Balance sheet: reports on assets, liabilities, and owners equity at a specific point in time.
    • Income statement: reports on income, expenses, and profits over a stated period.
    • Statement of changes in equity: reports on changes in equity over a stated period.
  • Cash flow statement: reports on cash flow activities over a stated period, including operating, investing, and financing activities.

Q.26 “The India Way” and “Why Bharat Matters” (International Relations)

26. Who of the following is the author of the book "The India Way" and "Why Bharat Matters"

  1. Bhupender Yadav
  2. Nalin Mehta
  3. Shashi Tharoor
  4. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is an Indian diplomat and politician who currently serves as the Minister of External Affairs of the Government of India.
  • He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha.
  • The books "The India Way" and "Why Bharat Matters" were written by him, showcasing his insights and perspectives on India's foreign policy and the importance of India on the global stage.

Q.27 Countries in News (International Relations)

27. Consider the following pairs :
 
Country Reason for being in the news
Argentina Worst economic crisis
Sudan War between the country's regular army and paramilitary forces
Turkey Rescinded its membership of NATO
        
How many of the pairs given above are correctly matched ?
  1. Only one pair
  2. Only two pairs
  3. All three pairs
  4.  None of the pairs

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct. Argentina is facing its worst economic crisis.
  • Statement 2 is correct. Sudan is in the midst of a Civil War due to battles between country's army and paramilitary forces.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect. No country has been rescinded from NATO's membership.
  • Therefore, only two pairs are correctly matched.

Q.28 Summed pipeline (International Relations)

28. Consider the following statements:

Statement I Summed pipeline is a strategic route for Persian Gulf oil and natural gas shipments to Europe.
Statement- II Summed pipeline connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea. 

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement – II explains Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-Il does not explain Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement-I is correct: The Sumed Pipeline is a strategic route for Persian Gulf oil and natural gas shipments to Europe.
  • Statement-II is also correct: The Sumed Pipeline connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea.
  • However, Statement-II does not explain Statement-I, as the connection between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea is a geographical fact, while the strategic importance of the Sumed Pipeline lies in its role in transporting energy commodities from the Persian Gulf to Europe.

Sumed Pipeline:

  • The Sumed Pipeline, also called the Suez-Mediterranean Pipeline, is located in Egypt.
  • It runs from Ain Sokhna terminal in the Gulf of Suez to Sidi Kerir port in Alexandria.
  • The pipeline serves as an alternative route for transporting oil from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea.
  • It offers a way to bypass the Suez Canal for oil transportation.

Q.29 Red Sea (International Relations & Maps)

29. Consider the following statements:

  1. The Red Sea receives very little precipitation in any form.
  2. No water enters the Red Sea from rivers.

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

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: The Red Sea receives very little precipitation in any form.
  • Statement 2 is also correct: No significant river or stream enters the Red Sea.
  • The Red Sea is a body of water that connects the Indian Ocean to the north with the Bab-el-Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. It is located between Africa and Asia, bordered by the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez.

Red sea:

  • The Red Sea is a sea inlet located between Africa and Asia, connecting to the Indian Ocean through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden.
  • It is bordered by the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez, which leads to the Suez Canal.
  • The Red Sea Rift, part of the Great Rift Valley, underlies the sea.
  • The Red Sea covers an area of approximately 438,000 km2, with a length of about 2,250 km and a width of 355 km at its widest point.
  • It has an average depth of 490 m, reaching a maximum depth of 3,040 m in the central Suakin Trough.
  • About 40% of the Red Sea is shallow (less than 100 m deep) and 25% is less than 50 m deep, with extensive shallow shelves known for their marine life and coral reefs.
  • The Red Sea is home to over 1,000 invertebrate species and 200 types of coral, making it a diverse and important marine ecosystem.
  • It is the world's northernmost tropical sea and has been recognized as a Global 200 ecoregion.

Q.30 Sulphur dioxide emissions (Environment)

30. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which one of the following is the largest source of sulphur dioxide emissions?

  1. Locomotives using fossil fuels
  2. Ships using fossil fuels 
  3. Extraction of metals from ores
  4. Power plants using fossil fuels

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • The largest source of sulphur dioxide emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is power plants using fossil fuels. This is because when fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas are burned in power plants, they release sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere. This is a major contributor to air pollution and can have harmful effects on human health and the environment. 
  • The other options, locomotives using fossil fuels, ships using fossil fuels, and extraction of metals from ores, may also release sulphur dioxide emissions, but power plants are identified as the largest source by the EPA.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a US government agency focused on environmental protection.
  • Established in 1970 by President Richard Nixon.
  • Led by an administrator appointed by the president and approved by the Senate.
  • Current administrator is Michael S. Regan.
  • EPA is not a Cabinet department but the administrator is given cabinet rank.
  • Headquarters in Washington, D.C. with regional offices and laboratories across the country.
  • Responsibilities include environmental assessment, research, education, and enforcement of national standards.
  • Works with state, tribal, and local governments to enforce environmental laws.
  • EPA enforcement powers include fines, sanctions, and other measures.

Sulphur Dioxide Emissions:

  • Sulfur dioxide, also known as sulphur dioxide, is a chemical compound with the formula SO2.
  • It is a colorless gas with a pungent smell that is responsible for the odor of burnt matches.
  • Released naturally by volcanic activity and produced as a by-product of copper extraction and burning sulfur-bearing fossil fuels.
  • Somewhat toxic to humans when inhaled in large quantities for several minutes.
  • Known to medieval alchemists as "volatile spirit of sulfur".

Q.31 USA Government debt (Economy)

31. Consider the following statements :

Statement-I: If the United States of America (USA) were to default on its debt, holders of US Treasury Bonds will not be able to exercise their claims to receive payment.

Statement-Il: The USA Government debt is not backed by any hard assets, but only by the faith of the Government.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements ?

  1. Both Statement-1 and Statement - II are correct and Statement - II explains Statement - I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect. If the United States defaults on its debt, the repercussions would be severe. Investors holding U.S. debt, including pension funds and banks, could face failure. Investors can exercise their claim but not be able to receive the payment.
    Statement 2 is
  • correct. U.S. government debt, often referred to as Treasury bonds or Treasuries, is not backed by specific hard assets. Unlike corporate bonds, which may be secured by collateral such as real estate or equipment, U.S. Treasuries rely on the government’s ability to generate revenue through taxation and other means.

U.S. treasury bonds:

  • U.S. Treasury savings bonds are loans from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to individual investors.
  • They are low-risk, interest-bearing securities.
  • Investors can purchase them directly from the government on TreasuryDirect.

Q.32 Syndicated loan (Economy)

32. Consider the following statements:

Statement-I : Syndicated lending spreads the risk of borrower default across multiple lenders.
Statement-Il : The syndicated loan can be fixed amount/lump sum of funds, but cannot be a credit line. 

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-Il are correct, but Statement-Il does not explain Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement-I is correct: Syndicated lending spreads the risk of borrower default across multiple lenders.
  • Statement-II is correct: A syndicated loan can involve a fixed amount of funds, a credit line, or a combination of the two. It is not limited to just a fixed amount/lump sum of funds. 
  • Therefore, both statements are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I.

Syndicated Lending:

  • A syndicated loan is a type of loan provided by a group of lenders and managed by one or more commercial banks or investment banks known as lead arrangers.
  • The syndicated loan market is the primary way for large corporations in the U.S. and Europe to obtain loans from banks and other institutional financial providers.
  • Arrangers play the role of raising investor funding for an issuer in need of capital, with the issuer paying a fee for this service.
  • The most profitable loans are typically those to leveraged borrowers with speculative credit ratings, as they pay higher spreads to attract non-bank term loan investors.
  • In the U.S., both corporate borrowers and private equity sponsors drive debt issuance, while in Europe, private equity sponsors dominate the market and influence loan syndication practices.

Q.33 Digital rupee (Economy)

33. Consider the following statements in respect of the digital rupee :

  1. It is a sovereign currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in alignment with its monetary policy.
  2. It appears as a liability on the RBI's balance sheet.
  3. It is insured against inflation by its very design.
  4. It is freely convertible against commercial bank money and cash.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct. The digital rupee is a sovereign currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in alignment with its monetary policy.
  • Statement 2 is correct. The digital rupee appears as a liability on the RBI’s balance sheet.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect. The design of the digital rupee does not provide any insurance against inflation.
  • Statement 4 is correct. The digital rupee is freely convertible against commercial bank money and cash.

Digital Rupee:

  • The Digital Rupee (e₹) is a digital version of the Indian Rupee issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
  • It was proposed in January 2017 and officially launched on 1 December 2022, utilizing blockchain distributed-ledger technology.
  • The Digital Rupee is uniquely identifiable and regulated by the RBI, with liability resting with the central bank.
  • There are plans for both online and offline accessibility for the Digital Rupee.
  • Two versions of the Digital Rupee have been launched: e₹-W for wholesale interbank settlements and e₹-R for consumer and business transactions.
  • The implementation of the Digital Rupee aims to eliminate the security printing costs associated with physical currency, which amounted to approximately ₹49.8 billion.

Convertibility of Rupee:

  • Currency convertibility refers to the ability to freely exchange a country's currency for foreign exchange at a market-determined rate.
  • This means that individuals can convert foreign currencies like US dollars or Pound Sterlings into the local currency, and vice versa, at the prevailing exchange rate.
  • For example, the convertibility of the Indian rupee allows individuals to exchange foreign currencies for rupees and vice versa at market rates.
  • The Indian rupee is convertible on both the capital account and the current account, allowing for flexibility in exchanging currencies for various purposes.

Q.34 Gautama Buddha epithets (Ancient History)

34. With reference to ancient India, Gautama Buddha was generally known by which of the following epithets?

  1. Nayaputta
  2. Shakyamuni
  3. Tathagata 

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. None of the above are epithets of Gautama Buddha

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Shakyamuni is an epithet commonly used to refer to Gautama Buddha, as he was a member of the Shakya clan.
  • Tathagata is another epithet used to refer to Gautama Buddha, meaning "the perfect one" or "the one who has thus gone" or "thus come".

Gautama Buddha:

  • Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, was a religious teacher who founded Buddhism in South Asia during the 6th or 5th century BCE.
  • He was born in Lumbini, Nepal to royal parents but renounced his home life to live as a wandering ascetic.
  • After attaining nirvana at Bodh Gaya, he wandered through the lower Indo-Gangetic Plain teaching and building a monastic order.
  • The Buddha taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and severe asceticism, leading to freedom from ignorance, craving, rebirth, and suffering.
  • His core teachings are summarized in the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, emphasizing ethical training, kindness toward others, and meditative practices.

Epithets:

  • Epithet is a descriptive term used in place of a person's name.
  • It can be literal or allusive, such as Alfred the Great or Edward the Confessor.
  • It can also be abusive or derogatory.
  • Some linguistic experts criticize the use of epithet in a negative context.
  • H.W. Fowler noted in 1926 that the term epithet was becoming associated with abusive connotations.

Q.35 Archaeological Site (Ancient History)

35. Consider the following information:

Archaeological Site State Description
Chandraketugarh Odisha Trading Port town
Inamgaon Maharashtra Chalcolithic site
Mangadu Kerala Megalithic site
Salihundam Andhra Pradesh Rock-cut cave shrines

In which of the above rows is the given information correctly matched ?

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

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Chandraketurgarh is not in Odisha but in Chhattisgarh.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Inamgaon is indeed a Chalcolithic site in Maharashtra.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Mangadu is indeed a megalithic site in Kerala.
  • Statement 4 is incorrect: Salihundam is not famous for rock-cut cave shrines but for an ancient Buddhist settlement.

Chandraketugarh:

  • Chandraketugarh is a cluster of villages in West Bengal, located in the Ganges Delta, about 35 kilometers northeast of Kolkata.
  • The name Chandraketugarh comes from a local legend of a medieval king, and it may be associated with the Gangaridai civilization mentioned in Graeco-Roman accounts.
  • In early historic times, Chandraketugarh was a significant center of trade and possibly politics, connected to the Ganga by the Bidyadhari River.
  • Excavations conducted by the Asutosh Museum of Indian Art between 1957 and 1968 revealed relics from various historical periods, although the chronological classification remains incomplete.
  • Many of the artifacts and terracottas from Chandraketugarh are now in museums in India and abroad, as well as in private collections.
  • Chandraketu's Fort is listed as a monument of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Inamgaon:

  • Inamgaon is an ancient village and archaeological site in Maharashtra, India, dating back to the post-Harappan period.
  • It is located on the Ghod River and is seen as a significant hub in the Bhima Valley region.
  • The site has been extensively excavated and reconstructed, making it one of the most well-studied Chalcolithic sites in the Deccan plateau.

Mangadu:

  • Mangadu is a residential area located in the western part of Chennai, India.
  • The name Mangadu translates to a mango forest in English.
  • The municipality of Mangadu is situated approximately 18 km away from Chennai Central railway station, 14 km from Chennai International Airport, and 13 km from CMBT (Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus).

Salihundam:

  • Salihundam is a village and panchayat located in Gara Mandal of Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is a significant Buddhist monument in ancient Kalinga and a popular tourist destination.
  • The village is situated on a hill on the south bank of the Vamsadhara River.
  • It is located 5 KM west of Kalingapatnam, 10 KM from Singupuram, and 18 KM from Srikakulam town.
  • Previously known as Salipetaka, which means rice emporium in Telugu.

Q.36 Rules of medieval India gave permission to build a fort at Bharkal (Medieval History)

36. Who of the following rulers of medieval India gave permission to the Portuguese to build a fort at Bhatkal?

  1. Krishnadevaraya
  2. Narasimha Saluva
  3. Muhammad Shah III
  4. Yusuf Adil Shah

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Krishnadevaraya was from the Tuluva dynasty of the Vijaynagar Empire and became ruler from 1509-1530. He is considered to be the greatest ruler of the Vijaynagar Empire.
  • He gave permission to the Portuguese to erect a fort at Bhatkal.
  • Therefore, based on the information provided, Krishnadevaraya is the ruler of medieval India who gave permission to the Portuguese to build a fort at Bhatkal.

Krishnadevaraya:

  • Krishnadevaraya was an emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1509 to 1529.
  • He was the third monarch of the Tuluva dynasty and is considered one of the greatest rulers in Indian history.
  • He ruled the largest empire in India after the fall of the Islamic Delhi Sultanate.
  • Krishnadevaraya earned several titles during his reign.
  • He defeated various sultans and rulers to expand and consolidate his empire.
  • His rule was characterized by expansion and consolidation, including acquiring land and defeating rulers like the Sultan of Bijapur.

Saluva Narasimha:

  • Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya was an emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire from the Saluva Dynasty.
  • He was a patron of the Madhwa saint Sripadaraya and authored the Sanskrit work Rama Bhyudayam.
  • He also supported the Kannada poet Kavi Linga.
  • Conferred the title Maha Mandaleshwara of Chandragiri in 1452 during the reign of emperor Mallikarjuna Raya.
  • After the death of Virupaksha Raya II, Narasimha saw the empire plunge into neglect and anarchy.
  • Sent Tuluva Narasa Nayaka to the imperial capital of Vijayanagara to overthrow the incumbent emperor .

Praudha Raya:

  • Narasa Nayaka found Vijayanagara completely unguarded, even up to the harem.
  • Praudha Raya fell, leading to the rule of Saluva Narasimha I.
  • The writings of Nuniz provide a detailed account of the events leading to Narasimha's rise to power.

Sultan Muhammad Shah III:

  • Sultan Muhammad Shah III Lashkari ruled the Bahmani Sultanate from 1463 to 1482.
  • Successfully invaded Orissa during his reign.
  • Forced Gajapati Purushottam Deva to surrender.
  • Made his brother Hamvira Deva surrender by besieging Kondavidu fort.

Yusuf Adil Shah:

  • Yusuf Adil Shah, also known as Adil Khan or Hidalcão by the Portuguese, founded the Adil Shahi dynasty.
  • He ruled the Sultanate of Bijapur for almost two centuries.
  • Yusuf Adil Shah is credited with developing and elevating the town of Bijapur to significant status.

Q.37 Ryotwari Settlement Permanent Settlement (Medieval History)

37. With reference to revenue collection by Cornwallis, consider the following statements :

  1. Under the Ryotwari Settlement of revenue collection, the peasants were exempted from revenue payment in case of bad harvests or natural calamities.
  2. Under the Permanent Settlement in Bengal, if the Zamindar failed to pay his revenues to the state, on or before the fixed date, he would be removed from his Zamindari.

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

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: There was no provision for exemption from revenue payment in case of bad harvests or natural calamities under the Ryotwari Settlement. Peasants were still required to pay revenue even during difficult times.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Under the permanent Settlement in Bengal, if the Zamindar failed to pay his revenues to the state on time, he would risk losing his Zamindari possession of land.

Cornwallis:

  • British General Charles Cornwallis appointed as Commander-in-Chief of British India and Governor of Bengal Presidency in 1786.
  • Oversaw consolidation of British control in India, laying foundation for British Raj.
  • Implemented administrative and legal reforms that changed civil administration and land management practices.
  • Raised to Marquess Cornwallis in 1792 for performance in Third Anglo-Mysore War.
  • Served in administrative and diplomatic roles in England until 1798, then posted to Ireland.
  • Returned to India in 1801, died in Ghazipur in 1805.

Ryotwari settlement:

  • Introduction of the ryotwari system in British India by Thomas Munro.
  • System allowed government to collect revenue directly from cultivators ('ryots').
  • Gave peasants freedom to acquire or cede land for cultivation.

Permanent Settlement:

  • The Permanent Settlement, also known as the Permanent Settlement of Bengal, was an agreement between the East India Company and landlords of Bengal in 1793.
  • It was part of the Cornwallis Code, which divided the Company's service personnel into revenue, judicial, and commercial branches.
  • Revenues were collected by zamindars, creating an Indian landed class that supported British authority.
  • The Permanent Settlement was first introduced in Bengal and Bihar, later spreading to Varanasi, Madras, and eventually all of northern India.
  • It remained in place until the Charter Act of 1833.
  • Other systems in India included the Ryotwari System and the Mahalwari System.

Q.38 Upanishads (Ancient History)

38. Consider the following statements :

  1. There are no parables in Upanishads. 
  2. Upanishads were composed earlier than the Puranas. 

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

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: There are parables in Upanishads, as mentioned in the explanation above.
  • Statement 2 is correct: The Upanishads were composed earlier than the Puranas, as mentioned in the explanation above.

Parable:

  • A parable is a short, instructive story that teaches a lesson or principle.
  • It differs from a fable in that it uses human characters instead of animals or objects.
  • Parables are a type of metaphorical analogy.
  • Some scholars only apply the term "parable" to the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.
  • Parables, like the parable of the Prodigal Son, are important in Jesus's teaching method.

Upanishads:

  • The Upanishads are late Vedic and post-Vedic Sanskrit texts that mark the transition from Vedic ritualism to new religious ideas in Hinduism.
  • They are the most recent addition to the Vedas and focus on meditation, philosophy, consciousness, and ontological knowledge.
  • The Upanishads depart from Vedic ritualism and explore diverse ideas about the relations between ritual, cosmic realities, and the human body.
  • They postulate Ātman and Brahman as central concepts, but interpretations vary in later traditions of Hinduism.

Puranas:

  • Puranas are a type of Hindu literature that covers a wide range of topics and traditional lore.
  • Known for their symbolism and intricate storytelling.
  • Originally composed in Sanskrit and other Indian languages.
  • Named after major Hindu gods like Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma, and Adi Shakti.
  • Found in both Hinduism and Jainism.
  • Includes diverse topics such as cosmogony, genealogies, folk tales, pilgrimages, medicine, astronomy, and more.
  • Content varies across different Puranas and each has inconsistencies.
  • Hindu Maha Puranas are traditionally attributed to "Vyasa" but likely have multiple authors over the centuries.
  • Jaina Puranas can be dated and authors assigned.

Q.39 International Grains Council (International Relations)

39. Consider the following statements :

  1. India is a member of the International Grains Council. 
  2. A country needs to be a member of the International Grains Council for exporting or importing rice and wheat.

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: India is indeed a member of the International Grains Council.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: A country does not need to be a member of the International Grains Council in order to export or import rice and wheat. Membership in the council is based on average trade in grains, rice, and oilseeds, but it is not a requirement for trade in these commodities.

International Grains Council (IGC):

  • The International Grains Council (IGC) oversees the Grains Trade Convention and promotes cooperation in the global grain trade.
  • Established in 1949 as the International Wheat Council, renamed in 1995.
  • Tasked with enhancing market stability and world food security through analysis and reporting on supply and demand fundamentals in grains and oilseed sectors.
  • Provides impartial analysis and improves transparency through regular reporting on market and policy developments.
  • Data, analysis, and reporting used by member governments, private organizations, and other international bodies.
  • IGC's benchmark Grains and Oilseeds Index tracks international grain and oilseed prices and is publicly available on the organization's website.
  • IGC Secretariat administers the Food Assistance Convention, provides administrative services to the Food Assistance Committee, and is part of the secretariat of Agricultural Market Information System.

Q.40 Intangible Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO (Art & Culture)

40. Which one of the following was the latest inclusion in the Intangible Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO ?

  1. Chhau dance
  2. Durga puja 
  3. Garba dance 
  4. Kumbh mela

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Based on the provided statement, Garba dance was included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO on 8th December 2023, making it the latest inclusion. Chhau dance, Durga Puja, and Kumbh Mela have not been mentioned in the statement, so they are not the latest inclusions.

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists:

  • UNESCO established Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage to protect and raise awareness of important cultural heritages worldwide.
  • The lists are published by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • The programme aims to highlight the importance of safeguarding intangible heritage as a repository of cultural diversity and creative expression.
  • The lists were established in 2008 under the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • As of 2010, the programme includes three lists: Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, and Register of Good Safeguarding Practices.

Chhau dance:

  • Chhau is a semi classical Indian dance with martial and folk traditions.
  • Three styles of Chhau are Purulia Chhau, Seraikella Chhau, and Mayurbhanj Chhau.
  • The dance includes martial arts, acrobatics, and athletics, as well as religious themes from Hindu epics.
  • Costumes vary between styles, with Purulia and Seraikella using masks.
  • Traditionally an all male troupe, Chhau is celebrated during spring and may have emerged from a fusion of classical Hindu dances and regional tribal traditions.
  • The dance brings together people from diverse backgrounds in a festive and religious spirit.

Durga Puja:

  • Durga Puja is an annual festival in the Indian subcontinent.
  • It honors the Hindu goddess Durga and celebrates her victory over Mahishasura.
  • The festival is particularly celebrated in Eastern Indian states and by Hindus in Bangladesh.
  • Durga Puja is observed in the month of Ashvin in the Indian calendar, corresponding to September-October in the Gregorian calendar.
  • It is a ten-day festival, with the last five days being the most significant.
  • The puja is performed in homes and public spaces, with temporary stages and decorations called pandals.
  • The festival includes scripture recitations, performance arts, revelry, gift-giving, family visits, feasting, and public processions.
  • Durga Puja is an important festival in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism.
  • Durga Puja in Kolkata has been recognized by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage in December 2021.

Garba dance:

  • Garba is a form of Gujarati dance originating from Gujarat, India.
  • Name derived from Sanskrit term Garbha.
  • Typically performed around a centrally lit lamp or image of Hindu goddess Durga.
  • Often performed during the nine-day Hindu festival Navaratri.
  • Lamp or image of Goddess Durga placed in middle of concentric rings for veneration.

Kumbh Mela:

  • Kumbh Mela is a significant pilgrimage and festival in Hinduism.
  • Largest public gathering on February 4, 2019.
  • Celebrated every 12 years at four river-bank pilgrimage sites.
  • Ritual dip in the waters is a key part of the festival.
  • Also includes community commerce, fairs, education, religious discourses, mass gatherings of monks, and entertainment.
  • Believers see bathing in the rivers as a way to atone for past mistakes and cleanse themselves of sins.

Q.41 Instability in the Sahel region (International Relations)

41. Consider the following statements :

Statement-I : There in instability and worsening security situation in the Sahel region.
Statement-II : There have been military takeovers/coups d’etat in several countries of the Sahel region in the recent past.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements? 

  1. Both Statement – I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement I is correct: There is instability and worsening security situation in the Sahel region.
  • Statement II is incorrect: While there have been military takeovers/coups in some countries in the Sahel region, it is not accurate to say that there have been military takeovers/coups in several countries in the recent past.

Sahel region:

  • Sahel is an administrative region in Burkina Faso.
  • Created on July 2, 2001.
  • Capital is Dori.
  • Four provinces in the region: Oudalan, Séno, Soum, and Yagha.
  • Located in the northernmost part of the country, bordering Mali and Niger.
  • Population of the region was 1,094,907 as of 2019, making up 5.34% of the total population of Burkina Faso.

Q.42 Import of Genetically Modified food (Economy & Agriculture)

42. Consider the following statements :

Statement-I : India does not import apples from the United States of America. 
Statement-II : In India, the law prohibits the import of Genetically Modified food without the approval of the competent authority.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements ?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-1 and Statement-Il are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Statement I is incorrect: India does import apples from the United States, particularly from states like Washington.
  • Statement II is correct: In India, the import of Genetically Modified (GM) food is regulated, and such imports require approval from the competent authority.
  • Therefore, Statement I is incorrect, but Statement II is correct.

Genetically modified food:

  • Genetically modified foods (GM foods) are produced from organisms with changes in their DNA.
  • Genetic engineering techniques allow for the introduction of new traits and greater control over traits.
  • DNA discovery and genetic technology advancements in the 20th century led to transgenic technology development.
  • Genetically modified microbial enzymes were first approved for food use in 1988.
  • Commercial sale of GM foods began in 1994 with the Flavr Savr delayed-ripening tomato.
  • Most modifications have focused on cash crops like soybean, maize, canola, and cotton.
  • GM crops have been engineered for resistance to pathogens, herbicides, and better nutrient profiles.
  • Golden rice in 2000 improved the nutritional value of GM food.
  • GM livestock have been developed but none were on the market as of 2015.
  • AquAdvantage salmon was the only GM animal approved for commercial production and consumption by the FDA as of 2015.

Q.43 Removal of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha (Polity)

43. With reference to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, consider the following statements :
While any resolution for the removal of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha is under consideration

  1. He/She shall not preside.
  2. He/She shall not have the right to speak*
  3. He/She shall not be entitled to vote on the resolution in the first instance.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: If a resolution for the removal of the Speaker is under consideration, the Speaker shall not preside.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The Speaker retains the right to speak.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: The Speaker can vote in the first instance if they are a member of the House.
  • Therefore, only statement 1 is correct.

Removal of Speaker by Lok Sabha:

  • The Lok Sabha can remove the Speaker through a resolution passed by an effective majority of the house, as stated in the Constitution of India.
  • The Speaker can also be removed if they are disqualified as a Lok Sabha member under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
  • Disqualification may occur if the Speaker wrongly certifies a bill as a money bill, which goes against the constitution.
  • If the courts find the Speaker's actions unconstitutional, they may face conviction under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
  • The procedure followed by the Speaker in the Lok Sabha cannot be challenged in a court of law, according to Article 122 of the Constitution.

Q.44 Passing of a Bill (Polity)

44. With reference to the Indian Parliament, consider the following statements :

  1. A bill pending in the Lok Sabha lapses on its dissolution.
  2. A bill passed by the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha lapses on the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
  3. A bill in regard to which the President of India notified his/her intention to summon the Houses to a joint sitting lapses on the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

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

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: A bill pending in the Lok Sabha lapses upon its dissolution.
  • Statement 2 is correct: A bill passed by the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha lapses on the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: A bill for which the President has notified a joint sitting does not lapse on the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
  • Therefore, only statements 1 and 2 are correct.

Passing of a bill:

  • If there is not enough members present in a house meeting, the chairman or speaker must either adjourn the meeting or suspend it until a quorum is met.
  • Bills passed under the legislative power of Parliament are considered approved if the majority of members present at the time vote in favor, either by voting or voice vote.
  • Members have the right to request a voting process instead of a voice vote.
  • For a constitutional amendment bill to pass, two-thirds of the total members present and voting must approve the bill, with more than half of the total membership of the house present and voting.

Q.45 Prorogation and Dissolution (Polity)

45. With reference to the Parliament of India, consider the following statements :

  1. Prorogation of a House by the President of India does not require the advice of the Council of Ministers. 
  2. Prorogation of a House is generally done after the House is adjourned sine die but there is no bar to the President of India prorogation the House which is in session.
  3. Dissolution of the Lok Sabha is done by the President of India who, save in exceptional circumstances, does so on the advice of the Council of Ministers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Prorogation is done by the President and not by the advice of the Council of Ministers.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Prorogation can occur even if the House is not adjourned sine die.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Dissolution of the Lok Sabha is done by the President, usually on the advice of the Council of Ministers.

Prorogation:

  • Prorogation in the Westminster system refers to the interruption of parliament meetings without dissolving parliament.
  • It is the discontinuance of meetings for a specific period of time.
  • The term also refers to the period between two legislative sessions of a legislative body.

Dissolution:

  • Legal events that terminate a legal entity or agreement.
  • Last stage of liquidation process for a company.
  • Termination of a contract or legal relationship.
  • Reversal of an adoption.
  • Breakup of a state into several entities in international law.

Q.46 Net – Zero Industry Act (International Relations & Environment)

46. Consider the following statements :

Statement-I : The European Parliament approved The Net-Zero Industry Act recently.
Statement-II : The European Union intends to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and therefore aims to develop all of its own clean technology by that time.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement - I and Statement-II are correct and  Statement-II explains Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement I is correct: The European Parliament approved The Net-Zero Industry Act recently.
  • Statement II is incorrect: The European Union aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, not 2040, and is working towards developing its own clean technology.

Net-Zero Industry Act:

  • Net-Zero Industry Act promotes investments in production capacity for key products.
  • Aims to increase competitiveness and resilience of EU's net-zero technology industrial base.
  • Goal is to accelerate development and production of net-zero technologies.
  • Regulation covers products, components, and equipment for net-zero technologies.
  • Differentiates between net-zero technologies and strategic net-zero technologies.
  • Strategic net-zero technologies receive additional benefits.
  • Criteria for selecting Net-Zero strategic projects include resilience, contribution to decarbonisation, and commercial availability.

Carbon Neutrality:

  • Carbon neutrality aims to reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions to combat global warming.
  • This can be achieved by balancing emissions with removal or by eliminating emissions altogether.
  • It is important in industries such as transportation, energy production, agriculture, and industry.
  • Comoros, Gabon, Guyana, Madagascar, and Niue are carbon neutral countries.
  • Bhutan, Panama, and Suriname are carbon-negative countries, going beyond neutrality to remove more carbon dioxide than they emit.

Q.47 Venezuela economic crises (International Relations)

47. Consider the following statements :

Statement-1: Recently, Venezuela has achieved a rapid recovery from its economic crisis succeeded in preventing its people from fleeing/emigrating to other countries.
Statement-Il : Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements ?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-Il are correct, but Statement-Il does not explain Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Statement I is incorrect: Venezuela continues to face significant economic challenges and has not fully recovered from its crisis. Many people are still emigrating to other countries.
  • Statement II is correct: Venezuela has the world's largest proven oil reserves.
  • Therefore, Statement I is incorrect, but Statement II is correct.

Venezuela:

  • Venezuela is officially known as the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
  • Located on the northern coast of South America.
  • Consists of a continental landmass and many islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea.
  • Covers an area of 916,445 km2 with a population of 29 million in 2022.
  • Capital and largest urban agglomeration is Caracas.
  • Bordered by the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Colombia, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.
  • Presidential republic with 23 states, the Capital District, and federal dependencies.
  • One of the most urbanized countries in Latin America.
  • Majority of Venezuelans live in the cities of the north and in the capital.

Q.48 Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme (Agriculture & Governance)

48. With reference to the Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme,

Consider the following statements: 

  1. To implement the scheme, the Central Government provides 100% funding. 
  2. Under the Scheme, Cadastral Maps are digitised.
  3. An initiative has been undertaken to transliterate the Records of Rights from local language to any of the languages recognized by the Constitution of India.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The Central Government does not provide 100% funding for the Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme; funding is shared with the states.
  • Statement 2 is correct: The scheme includes digitization of cadastral maps.
  • Statement 3 is correct: The initiative includes transliteration of Records of Rights into recognized Indian languages.
  • Therefore, statements 2 and 3 are correct, making option (c) 1 and 3 only the correct answer.

Digital India Land Record Modernization Programme:

  • Digital India Land Record Modernization Programme (DILRMP) launched in 2008 to digitize and modernize land records.
  • Aim is to develop a centralized land record management system.
  • Official land records will provide access to basic facilities and rights to land owners.
  • DILRMP combines Computerisation of Land Records (CLR) and Strengthening of Revenue Administration and Updating of Land Records (SRA & ULR).
  • Reports from IGIDR, NIPFP, and NCAER highlight significant shortcomings in the implementation of DILRMP across states.

Q.49 ‘Pradhan Martri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan’ (Governance)

49. With reference to the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan', consider the following statements :

  1. This scheme guarantees a minimum package of antenatal care services to women in their second and third trimesters of pregnancy and six months post-delivery health care service in any government health facility.
  2. Under this scheme, private sector health care providers of certain specialities can volunteer to provide services at nearby government health facilities.

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

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan does not provide six months of post-delivery healthcare services.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The scheme involves the participation of private sector healthcare providers, but this is not a primary feature.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan focuses on providing assured, comprehensive, and quality antenatal care to pregnant women, especially in their second and third trimesters. The scheme aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates by ensuring timely medical check-ups and necessary interventions.

Pradhan mantri surakshit matritva abhiyan:

  • Importance of special care for pregnant women.
  • Timely detection of risk factors during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Preventing deaths due to 5 preventable causes.
  • Government of India's initiative: Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA).
  • Fixed day ANCs given every month across the country.
  • Additional ANC in addition to routine ANC at health facilities.

Q.50 Pradhan Mantri Sjram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) Yoyana (Governance)

50. With reference to the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) Yojana, consider the following statements :

  1. The entry age group for enrolment in the scheme is 21 to 40 years. 
  2. Age specific contribution shall be made by the beneficiary.
  3. Each subscriber under the scheme shall receive a minimum pension of  ₹ 3,000 per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
  4. Family pension is applicable to the spouse and unmarried daughters.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

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

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The entry age group for enrolment in the scheme is 18 to 40 years.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Beneficiaries make age-specific contributions to the scheme.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Each subscriber receives a minimum pension of Rs. 3,000 per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
  • Statement 4 is incorrect: Family pension is not applicable to the spouse and unmarried daughters.
  • Therefore, only statements 2 and 3 are correct.

Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan:

  • Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan is a social welfare scheme introduced by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in India in February 2019.
  • The scheme is aimed at providing benefits to poor laborers in the unorganized sector aged between 18 to 40 years.
  • Approximately 42 crore individuals in India are part of the unorganized sector and are eligible to benefit from this scheme.

Q.51 Heat Budget of Atmosphere (Geography)

51. Consider the following statements:

Statement-1: The atmosphere is heated more by incoming solar radiation than by terrestrial radiation
Statement-II: Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are good absorbers of long wave radiation.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The atmosphere is actually heated more by incoming solar radiation than by terrestrial radiation.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are good absorbers of long wave radiation.

Heat Budget of Atmosphere:

  • Incoming Solar Radiation: The Earth receives energy from the sun in the form of solar radiation.
  • Absorption: Some of the incoming solar radiation is absorbed by the Earth's surface, while some is reflected back into space.
  • Greenhouse Effect: The Earth's atmosphere traps some of the absorbed solar radiation, leading to warming of the atmosphere.
  • Convection: The warm air near the Earth's surface rises, creating convection currents that distribute heat throughout the atmosphere.
  • Radiation: The Earth also emits heat in the form of infrared radiation back into space.
  • Balance: The heat budget of the atmosphere is maintained by a balance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared radiation.

Terrestrial radiation:

  • Terrestrial radiation refers to the natural radiation that comes from the Earth itself.
  • It includes radiation from radioactive elements in the Earth's crust, such as uranium and thorium.
  • Terrestrial radiation also includes radiation from cosmic rays that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and reach the surface.
  • This type of radiation is typically low in intensity and is not considered harmful to humans in normal levels of exposure.
  • However, in areas with high concentrations of radioactive elements in the soil, terrestrial radiation levels may be higher and could pose a health risk to individuals living in those areas.

Wave radiation:

  • EMR consists of waves of the electromagnetic field that carry momentum and energy.
  • Consists of synchronized oscillations of electric and magnetic fields.
  • Travels at the speed of light in a vacuum.
  • Different frequencies produce different wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays.
  • Emitted by electrically charged particles undergoing acceleration.
  • Can interact with other charged particles, exerting force on them.
  • Far field refers to EM waves that can propagate without the influence of moving charges.
  • Near field refers to EM fields near the charges and current that produced them.

Q.52 Thickness of the troposphere (Geography)

52. Consider the following statements:

Statement-1: Thickness of the troposphere at the equator is much greater as compared to poles.
Statement-II: At the equator, heat is transported to great heights by strong convectional currents.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: Thickness of the troposphere at the equator is much greater as compared to poles. This is due to the fact that at the equator, the surface is heated more intensely, leading to stronger convection currents and a thicker troposphere.
  • Statement 2 is correct: At the equator, heat is transported to great heights by strong convectional currents. This is because the intense heating at the equator causes warm air to rise rapidly, creating strong convection currents that transport heat to higher altitudes. This process is known as convection.
  • Therefore, both statements are correct and Statement-II explains why the troposphere is thicker at the equator compared to the poles.

Thickness of the Troposphere:

  • The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere, containing 80% of the total mass of the atmosphere and 99% of water vapor and aerosols.
  • Most weather phenomena occur in the troposphere, making it a crucial layer for understanding Earth's climate.
  • The height of the troposphere varies depending on location, with an average height of 13 km.
  • The term "troposphere" comes from Greek words meaning "rotating sphere," reflecting the rotational turbulence that mixes air within this layer.
  • The troposphere interacts with the planetary surface to form the planetary boundary layer, which varies in height.
  • The tropopause is the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere, marked by an inversion layer where air temperature increases with altitude.
  • The tropopause has the largest concentration of nitrogen in the atmosphere.

Q.53 Products of volcanic eruptions (Geography)

53. Consider the following:

  1. Pyroclastic debris
  2. Ash and dust
  3. Nitrogen compounds
  4. Sulphur compounds

How many of the above are products of volcanic eruptions?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. All four

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Pyroclastic debris: Pyroclastic flows are a product of volcanic eruptions and are composed of hot ash, rock fragments, and gases.
  • Ash and dust: Ash and dust are also products of volcanic eruptions, formed from the eruption of volcanic particles and gases.
  • Nitrogen compounds: Nitrogen compounds, such as nitrogen gas, can be released during volcanic eruptions as part of the gases emitted.
  • Sulphur compounds: Sulphur compounds, such as sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, are common volcanic gases that are released during eruptions.

Products of Volcanic eruptions:

  • Volcanic eruptions produce various types of materials that are ejected and transported from vents to deposition sites.
  • These materials include ash, falls, pyroclastic flows, lava flows, and gas emissions.
  • Hazardous phenomena associated with eruptions include ground fractures, ground subsidence, debris avalanches, lahars, glacier bursts, volcanic earthquakes, and tsunamis.
  • These phenomena can pose significant risks to surrounding areas and populations.

Q.54 Isothermal maps in January (Geography)

54. Which of the following is/are correct inference/inferences from  isothermal maps in the month of January?

  1. The isotherms deviate to the north over the ocean and to the south over the continent.
  2. The presence of cold ocean currents, Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift  make the North Atlantic Ocean colder and the isotherms bend towards the north.

Select the answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: The isotherms deviate to the north over the ocean and to the south over the continent.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The presence of cold ocean currents, Gulf Stream, and North Atlantic Drift does not make the North Atlantic Ocean colder; instead, these warm currents make the North Atlantic Ocean warmer. Therefore, the isotherms do not bend towards the north due to these warm currents. 

Q.55 Largest cocoa producers (Agriculture & Geography)

55. Which of the following countries are well known as the two largest cocoa producers in the world?

  1. Algeria and Morocco
  2. Botswana and Namibia
  3. Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana
  4. Madagascar and  Mozambique

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • The passage states that the Ivory Coast and Ghana are by far the two largest producers of cocoa, accounting for more than 50 percent of the world´s cocoa.
  • This statement clearly identifies Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Ghana as the two largest cocoa producers in the world.
  • Therefore, option (c) Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana is the correct answer based on the information provided in the passage.

Cocoa Producers:

  • Cocoa beans, also known as cacao, are the seeds of the cacao tree and are used to produce cocoa solids and cocoa butter for chocolate production.
  • The cacao tree was first domesticated over 5,000 years ago in South America and later introduced to Mesoamerica.
  • Today, West Africa is the leading producer of cocoa beans, with Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Indonesia being the top producers.
  • Various initiatives, such as SWISSCO, GISCO, and Beyond Chocolate, aim to promote sustainable cocoa production.
  • Concerns about deforestation due to cocoa production exist, but sustainable agricultural practices like agroforestry can help conserve biodiversity.
  • Cocoa contributes significantly to economies like Nigeria's, with demand for cocoa products steadily increasing.
  • The process of making chocolate involves roasting, cracking, and grinding cocoa beans into a paste, which is then processed with cocoa butter, sugar, and other ingredients to create chocolate products.
  • Cocoa contains phytochemicals like flavanols, procyanidins, and other flavonoids, which may have health benefits such as lowering blood pressure.
  • The cacao tree takes five years to grow and has a lifespan of around 100 years.

Q.56 Himalayan rivers (Maps & Geography)

56. With reference to the Himalayan rivers joining the Ganga downstream of Prayagraj from West to East, which one of the following sequences is correct?

  1. Ghaghara – Gomati – Gandak – Kosi 
  2. Gomati  – Ghaghara  – Gandak – Kosi 
  3. Ghaghara – Gomati  – Kosi – Gandak 
  4. Gomati  – Ghaghara –  Kosi – Gandak

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • The Gomati river joins the Ganga downstream of Prayagraj from the west.
  • The Ghaghara river joins the Ganga downstream of Prayagraj from the west, after the Gomati river.
  • The Gandak river joins the Ganga downstream of Prayagraj from the west, after the Ghaghara river.
  • The Kosi river joins the Ganga downstream of Prayagraj from the west, after the Gandak river.
  • Therefore, the correct sequence of Himalayan rivers joining the Ganga downstream of Prayagraj from west to east is Gomati - Ghaghara - Gandak - Kosi.

Himalayan Rivers System:

  • Indian rivers are divided into two major groups: Himalayan rivers and Peninsular rivers.
  • Himalayan rivers are mostly perennial and receive water from rain and melted snow.
  • Major Himalayan rivers include the Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra.
  • These rivers have many tributaries, making their length very long.
  • The Indus and Brahmaputra rivers originate from the north of the mountain ranges.
  • They create ravines and have long courses to the ocean.
  • These rivers erode in their upper courses and carry large amounts of sand and silt.
  • In the middle and lower courses, they form meanders, oxbow lakes, and depositional features.
  • They also have well-developed deltas.

Ghagara River:

  • The Ghaghara River is a trans-boundary river that originates in the Himalayas and flows through Nepal, Tibet, and India.
  • It is known by different names in different regions, such as Karnali River in Nepal and Mapcha Tsangpo in Tibet.
  • The river joins the Sharda River in India to form the Ghaghara River, which is a major tributary of the Ganges.
  • The Ghaghara River is the longest river in Nepal, with a length of 507 km, and has a total length of 1,080 km up to its confluence with the Ganges.
  • It is the largest tributary of the Ganges in terms of volume and the second largest in terms of length after the Yamuna River.

Gomati River:

  • The Gomti River is a tributary of the Ganges and is considered sacred in Hindu belief.
  • The river is believed to be the daughter of Rishi Vashishtha and bathing in it on Ekadashi can wash away sins.
  • According to the Bhagavata Purana, Gomti is one of the five transcendental rivers of India.
  • The Gomti meets the Gaihaaee river 20 kilometers from its origin and is joined by various tributaries along its course.
  • The river passes through Lucknow, where untreated sewage from city drains pollutes its waters.
  • The Gomti River basin includes towns like Gola Gokaran Nath, Misrikh, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sultanpur Kerakat, and Jaunpur.
  • The river widens in cities like Sultanpur and Jaunpur, with the Markandey Mahadeo temple located at the confluence of the Gomti and the Ganges.

Gandak River:

  • The Gandaki River is a major river in Nepal and a left-bank tributary of the Ganges in India.
  • Total catchment area of 46,300 km2, with most of it in Nepal.
  • Known for its deep canyon in the Nepal Himalayas.
  • Basin contains three mountains over 8,000 m: Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna Massif.
  • Dhaulagiri is the highest point of the Gandaki basin.

Kosi River:

  • The Kosi River is a transboundary river flowing through China, Nepal, and India.
  • The river is known as Saptakoshi for its seven upper tributaries.
  • It is the third-largest tributary of the Ganges by water discharge.
  • The river has shifted its course slightly eastward over the last 200 years.
  • The river basin is surrounded by ridges separating it from other rivers.
  • The river has built up a megafan with shifting channels due to flooding.
  • Major tributaries in India include Kamalā and Bāgmati.
  • The river's unstable nature is attributed to passing through the steep Chatra Gorge.
  • Flooding during the monsoon season causes the river to change its channel.
  • Fishing is important on the river, but resources are depleting and youth are leaving for other work opportunities.

Q.57 Weathering of rocks (Geography)

57. Consider the following statements:

Statement-1: Rainfall is one of the reasons for weathering of rocks.
Statement-II: Rain water contains carbon dioxide in solution.
Statement-III: Rain water contains atmospheric oxygen.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. (Both Statement-II and Statement-III are correct and both of them explain Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-II and Statement-III are correct, but only one of them explains Statement-I
  3. Only one of the Statements II and III is correct and that explains Statement-I
  4. Neither Statement-II nor Statement-III is correct

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement-I: Rainfall is one of the reasons for weathering of rocks. This is true because rainwater, which is slightly acidic due to the presence of dissolved gases like carbon dioxide, can react with minerals in rocks and cause them to break down over time.
  • Statement-II: Rain water contains carbon dioxide in solution. This is true as mentioned in the given information that rainwater contains dissolved gases like oxides of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur, resulting in a slightly acidic pH.
  • Statement-III: Rain water contains atmospheric oxygen. This is also true as rainwater can absorb oxygen from the atmosphere as it falls through the air.
  • Therefore, both Statement-II and Statement-III are correct and they both explain how rainfall can contribute to the weathering of rocks (Statement-I).

Weathering of Rocks:

  • Weathering is the process of deterioration of rocks, soils, and minerals due to various factors like water, atmospheric gases, sunlight, and biological organisms.
  • It occurs in place and is different from erosion, which involves the movement of rocks and minerals by agents like water, ice, wind, and gravity.
  • Weathering can be physical (mechanical breakdown) or chemical (reactions with water, gases, and biological chemicals).
  • Water is the main agent of weathering, but atmospheric gases and biological activities also play a role.
  • Weathering is essential for the formation of soil and contributes to the creation of Earth's landforms and landscapes.
  • It is a crucial part of the rock cycle, with sedimentary rock covering a significant portion of the Earth's surface.

Physical Weathering:

  • Physical weathering is caused by temperature changes and water, leading to rocks breaking apart.
  • Two main types of physical weathering are freeze-thaw and exfoliation.
  • Freeze-thaw happens when water freezes in cracks, expanding and breaking the rock.
  • Exfoliation occurs when cracks form parallel to the land surface due to pressure changes during uplift and erosion.

Chemical Weathering:

  • Chemical weathering is the result of rainwater interacting with minerals in rocks to create new minerals and soluble salts.
  • This process is more likely to occur when the water has a slightly acidic pH.
  • Rainwater causes the minerals in rocks to break down and form clays and soluble salts through chemical reactions.

Q.58 Countries border with the North Sea (Maps & Geography)

58. Consider the following countries:

  1. Finland
  2. Germany
  3. Norway
  4. Russia

How many of the above countries have a border with the North Sea?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. All four

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Norway borders the North Sea to the northeast.
  • Germany borders the North Sea to the southeast.
  • Therefore, only Norway and Germany have a border with the North Sea. Finland and Russia do not have a border with the North Sea.


Q.59 Waterfall , Region and River (Maps & Geography)

59. Consider the following information:
 
Waterfall Region River
Dhuandhar Malwa Narmada
Hundru Chota Nagpur Subarnarekha
Gersoppa Western Ghats Netravati
 
In how many of the above rows is the given information correctly matched ?
  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement 1: Dhuandhar waterfall is located in the Malwa region, not Kaimur. So, this pair is incorrect.
  • Statement 2: Hundru waterfall is located in the Chota Nagpur region and is associated with the Subarnarekha river. This pair is correct.
  • Statement 3: Gersoppa waterfall is located in the Western Ghats region, but it is associated with the Sharavati river, not the Netravati. So, this pair is incorrect.
  • Therefore, only Statement 2 is correctly matched, making the answer (a) Only one.

Dhuandhar:

  • The Dhuandhar Falls is located in Jabalpur district in Madhya Pradesh, India.
  • It is considered the largest waterfall in India.
  • The name "Dhuandhar" translates to "smoke cascade" in English, referring to the mist created by the powerful flow of water.
  • The falls are a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the country to witness its beauty and power.

Malwa:

  • Malwa is a historical region in west-central India known for its volcanic plateau.
  • It was a separate political unit with its own kingdoms and dynasties throughout history.
  • The region has a distinct culture influenced by Rajasthani, Marathi, and Gujarati cultures.
  • Many prominent figures in Indian history, such as poets, mathematicians, and kings, have come from Malwa.
  • Agriculture is the main occupation in Malwa, with opium, wheat, soybeans, and textiles being important industries.
  • People from Malwa are referred to as Malwi.

Narmada:

  • The Narmada River is the fifth longest river in India and the longest west-flowing river in the country, flowing through the states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
  • It is known as the "Lifeline of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat" due to its significant contributions to the two states.
  • The river originates from the Amarkantak Plateau in Madhya Pradesh and flows westwards for 1,312 km before draining into the Arabian Sea.
  • The Narmada River is one of only two major rivers in peninsular India that flows from east to west, along with the Tapti River.
  • It flows through a rift valley, bordered by the Satpura and Vindhya ranges, and does not form a delta like other rivers.
  • The river has been referred to by different names throughout history, including Namnadius, Namadus, and Nerbudda, with "Narmada" meaning "The Giver of Pleasure" in Sanskrit.

Hundru:

  • The Hundru Falls is a waterfall found in Ranchi district in Jharkhand, India.
  • It ranks as the 34th highest waterfall in the country.
  • The waterfall is a popular tourist destination in the area.

Chota Nagpur:

  • The Chota Nagpur Plateau is a plateau located in eastern India, spanning across Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, and Bihar.
  • It is bordered by the Indo-Gangetic plain to the north and east, and the Mahanadi river basin to the south.
  • The plateau covers an area of around 65,000 square kilometres (25,000 sq mi).

Subarnarekha:

  • The Subarnarekha River is known by two names, Swarnarekha River and ସୁବର୍ଣ୍ଣରେଖା ନଦୀ in Odia.
  • It passes through the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha.

Gersoppa:

  • Gerusoppa is a village located in Honnavar Taluk in Uttara Kannada District in Karnataka, India.
  • The village is also referred to as Nagarbastikeri and is governed by Nagarbastikeri Panchayat.
  • It served as the capital of the Salva dynasty during the 14th and 15th centuries AD, under the rule of Queen Rani Chennabhairadevi.

Western Ghats:

  • The Western Ghats, also known as the Sahyadris, is a mountain range that runs along the western coast of the Indian peninsula for 1,600 km.
  • It covers an area of 160,000 km2 and spans across the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
  • The mountains were formed during the break-up of the supercontinent of Gondwana in the late Jurassic and early Cretaceous period.
  • The Western Ghats have three main sections with varying elevations, with peaks rising above 2,000 m.
  • The region plays a crucial role in India's water systems, feeding many rivers that drain almost 40% of the country's land area.
  • The Western Ghats influence the climate and seasons in India by blocking monsoon winds and creating a rain shadow region.
  • The Western Ghats is a biodiversity hotspot with a large number of endemic species, leading to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012.

Netravati:

  • The Netravati River originates in the Bangrabalige valley in Kudremukh, Karnataka, India.
  • It flows through Dharmasthala and merges with the Kumaradhara River before reaching the Arabian Sea.
  • The river is considered holy and is a major water source for Bantwal and Mangalore.
  • The Netravati railway bridge is a well-known structure that connects to Mangalore.
  • In the past, the river was known as the Bantwal River and was described as unfordable during the monsoon season.
  • The river has a rocky bed and is navigable by small boats.
  • The town of Bantwal has experienced flooding in the past due to the overflowing Netravati River, leading some residents to relocate.
  • Major floods in Bantwal occurred in 1928 and 1974.

Q.60 Type of mountain and its region  (Geography & Maps)

60. Consider the following information
 
Region Name of the Mountain Type of Mountain
Central Asia Vosges Fold mountain
Europe Alps Block mountain
North America Appalachians Fold mountain
South America Andes Fold mountain
 
In how many of the above rows is the given information correctly matched?
  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. All four

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Pair 1 is incorrect: Central Asia does not have the Vosges mountain range, which is actually located in France. Vosges are block mountains, not fold mountains.
  • Pair 2 is incorrect: The Alps mountain range is located in Europe, not Central Asia. The Alps are fold mountains, not block mountains.
  • Pair 3 is correct: The Appalachians are located in North America and are fold mountains.
  • Pair 4 is correct: The Andes are located in South America and are fold mountains.
    Therefore, only two of the pairs have correctly matched information.

Vosges:

  • The Vosges are a range of medium mountains located in Eastern France near the border with Germany.
  • Together with the Palatine Forest on the German side, they form a single geomorphological unit and low mountain range.
  • The Vosges cover an area of around 8,000 km2.
  • The range runs in a north-northeast direction from the Burgundian Gate to the Börrstadt Basin.
  • The Grand Ballon is the highest peak in the Vosges at 1,424 m.
  • Other notable peaks in the range include the Storkenkopf and the Hohneck.

Fold Mountain:

  • Fold mountains are created by the folding of layers in the Earth's crust.
  • The term was commonly used to describe mountain belts before plate tectonics theory.
  • It is no longer widely used due to advancements in understanding thrust belts and plate tectonics.

Alps:

  • The Alps are a mountain range in Europe that spans across eight countries.
  • The mountains were formed over millions of years due to tectonic plate collisions.
  • Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps at 4,809 meters.
  • The climate in the Alps varies due to the altitude and size of the range.
  • The region is home to a diverse range of wildlife and plant species.
  • Human habitation in the Alps dates back to the Palaeolithic era.
  • The Alps have a rich cultural history, with influences from Celtic, Roman, and Napoleonic eras.
  • The region is known for traditional practices such as farming and cheesemaking.
  • The tourist industry in the Alps has grown significantly since the 20th century.
  • The Alps have hosted the Winter Olympic Games and attract millions of visitors annually.

Block Mountain:

  • Block Mountain is situated in the Sawback Range in Alberta and was given its name in 1958.
  • The mountain got its name due to the vertical fractures that resemble giant blocks, which are also known as block mountains.

Appalachians:

  • The Appalachian Mountains are a mountain range in eastern North America, stretching from Canada to Alabama.
  • The range is older than the Rocky Mountains and was formed over 1.1 billion years ago through the collision of continents.
  • The highest peak in the range is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina.
  • The mountains are a barrier to east-west travel and played a significant role in shaping the expansion of the United States.
  • The Appalachian Trail is a popular hiking trail that runs through the range, spanning from Maine to Georgia.

Andes:

  • The Andes are the longest continental mountain range in the world, stretching 8,900 km along the western edge of South America.
  • The range is 200 to 700 km wide and has an average height of 4,000 m.
  • The Andes pass through seven South American countries: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela.
  • The Andes are divided into several ranges separated by depressions and are home to high plateaus where major cities are located.
  • The Andes are grouped into three major divisions based on climate: the Tropical Andes, the Dry Andes, and the Wet Andes.
  • The Andes are the highest mountain range outside of Asia, with the highest peak being Aconcagua in Argentina at 6,961 m.
  • The Andes are part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges that form the western backbone of the Americas and Antarctica.

Q. 61 “Cicada, Froghopper and Pond skater” (Environment)

61. The organisms "Cicada, Froghopper and Pond skater" are:

  1. Birds
  2. Fish
  3. Insects
  4. Reptiles

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Cicadas are known for their distinctive sound produced by males.
  • Froghoppers, also called spittlebugs, are noted for their ability to jump large distances.
  • Pond skaters, or water striders, are insects that can walk on water due to surface tension and their specialized legs.
  • Therefore, all three organisms - Cicada, Froghopper, and Pond skater - are insects.

Cicada:

  • Cicadas are insects in the order Hemiptera, known for their loud song produced by the rapid buckling and unbuckling of drum-like tymbals.
  • They have prominent eyes, short antennae, and membranous front wings, and are typically found in trees feeding on watery sap from xylem tissue.
  • There are over 3,000 species of cicadas worldwide, with most being annual cicadas except for a few North American species that emerge every 13 or 17 years.
  • The periodical cicadas spend most of their lives underground as nymphs and emerge in synchronized intervals to reduce predation.
  • Cicadas have been featured in literature and art since ancient times, symbolizing carefree living and immortality.
  • They are also eaten by humans in various parts of the world, including China, Myanmar, Malaysia, and central Africa.

Froghopper:

  • Froghoppers, also known as the superfamily Cercopoidea, are a type of hemipteran insects found in the suborder Auchenorrhyncha.
  • These insects are able to jump impressive distances, earning them the nickname "froghoppers".
  • The nymphs of froghoppers are known as spittlebugs, as they create foam shelters while feeding on plants.
  • Froghoppers are best known for their plant-sucking habits and the unique foam shelters created by their nymphs.

Pond Skater:

  • The Gerridae, also known as water striders, are insects that can walk on water due to their unique anatomy and weight distribution.
  • They are classified as true bugs and have mouthparts for piercing and sucking.
  • There are over 1,700 species of Gerridae, with 10% of them being found in marine environments.
  • While most Gerridae are freshwater bugs, the Halobates genus is found in the ocean.
  • The Gerridae have been studied for their ability to walk on water and their social characteristics.

Q.62 Chewing gums (Environment)

62. Consider the following statements:

Statement-1: Many chewing gums found in the market are considered pollution. a source of environmental
Statement-II: Many chewing gums contain plastic as gum base.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
  3. Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement I: Many chewing gums found in the market are considered a source of environmental pollution. This is true because chewing gums are often not biodegradable and contribute to litter and pollution.
  • Statement II: Many chewing gums contain plastic as gum base. This is also true as many chewing gums use synthetic rubber or plastic as a base, which is non-biodegradable and adds to environmental pollution.
  • Statement II explains Statement I because the fact that many chewing gums contain plastic as a gum base is one of the reasons why they are considered a source of environmental pollution.

Q.63 Animal in its natural habitat (Environment)

63. Consider the following pairs:
 
Country Animal found in its natural habitat
Brazil Indri
Indonesia Elk
Madagascar Bonobo
 
How many of the pairs given above are correctly matched ?
  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • All three pairs given in the question are incorrectly matched. Indri is found in Madagascar, Elk is found in North America and parts of Asia, and Bonobo is found in the Congo Basin, not in the countries mentioned in the pairs.

Indri:

  • The indri, also known as the babakoto, is a large lemur species found in Madagascar.
  • It has a black and white coat, upright posture, and is herbivorous, mainly feeding on leaves, seeds, fruits, and flowers.
  • Indris are monogamous and live in small family groups, communicating through vocalizations like singing and roaring.
  • They are diurnal tree-dwellers related to sifakas and are revered in Malagasy culture.
  • The main threats to the indri are habitat destruction, hunting, and fragmentation of their habitat.
  • The species is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN.

Elk:

  • The elk, also known as wapiti, is a large species within the deer family found in North America and Central and East Asia.
  • The name "wapiti" comes from a Shawnee and Cree word meaning "white rump", referring to the light fur around the tail region.
  • Elk graze on grasses and browse on plants, leaves, twigs, and bark in open forest habitats.
  • Male elk have large antlers that they shed annually and engage in mating behaviors like bugling and sparring for dominance.
  • Genetic studies have shown that elk are a distinct species from the European red deer, with key morphological differences.
  • Elk once had a wider distribution across Eurasia and Western Europe, with some subspecies now extinct.
  • Elk have been successfully introduced to countries outside their natural range, posing a threat to endemic ecosystems and species.
  • Elk are susceptible to infectious diseases that can be transmitted to and from domesticated livestock, with efforts to eliminate diseases having mixed success.
  • Elk are revered in some cultures for their spiritual significance and their antlers and velvet are used in traditional medicines.
  • Elk are hunted as a game species for their lean, high-protein meat.

Bonobo:

  • The bonobo is an endangered great ape and one of two species in the genus Pan, along with the common chimpanzee.
  • Initially thought to be a subspecies of the common chimpanzee, bonobos are now recognized as a distinct species with physical differences such as longer limbs, pinker lips, and darker faces.
  • Bonobos are found in the Congo Basin of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and primarily eat fruit, unlike common chimpanzees which have a more varied diet including hunting.
  • The ancestors of bonobos split from the common chimpanzee lineage about 2 million years ago and both species are the closest living relatives to humans.
  • The formation of the Congo River led to the isolation and speciation of bonobos, who live south of the river, while common chimpanzees live north of it.
  • The bonobo population is estimated to be between 29,500 and 50,000 individuals and they are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List due to threats such as habitat destruction, poaching, and human population growth.
  • Bonobos typically live 40 years in captivity, but their lifespan in the wild is unknown and likely shorter.

Q.64 World Toilet Organization (International Relations)

64. Consider the following statements regarding World Toilet Organization:

  1. It is one of the agencies of the United Nations.
  2. World Toilet Summit, World Toilet Day and World Toilet College are initiatives of this organization, the to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.
  3. The main focus of its function is to grant funds to the least developed countries and developing countries to achieve the end of open defecation.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The World Toilet Organization is not an agency of the United Nations.
  • Statement 2 is correct: The World Toilet Organization hosts initiatives like the World Toilet Summit, World Toilet Day, and World Toilet College to address global sanitation issues.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: The organization primarily focuses on advocacy and education rather than directly granting funds to countries.

World Toilet Organization:

  • The World Toilet Organization (WTO) is an international non-profit group dedicated to enhancing global toilet and sanitation standards.
  • Established in 2001 with 15 members, the WTO now boasts 151 member organizations across 53 countries.
  • The WTO is responsible for organizing events like the World Toilet Summit and the Urgent Run, as well as playing a key role in the creation of United Nations World Toilet Day.

Q.65 Lions (Environment)

65. Consider the following statements:

  1. Lions do not have a particular breeding season.
  2. Unlike most other big cats, cheetahs do not roar.
  3. Unlike male lions, male leopards do not proclaim their territory by scent marking. 

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: Lions do not have a specific breeding season and can breed throughout the year.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Unlike most other big cats, cheetahs cannot roar but can purr, chirp, and make other sounds.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: Male leopards mark their territory by scent marking.

Lions:

  • The lion is a large cat found in Africa and India, known for its muscular body, short head, round ears, and mane on males.
  • Lions live in social groups called prides, consisting of adult males, related females, and cubs.
  • Female lions in a pride usually hunt together, primarily targeting large ungulates for food.
  • Lions are apex predators but may scavenge for food and have been known to hunt humans, although it is not their typical behavior.
  • Lions inhabit grasslands, savannahs, and shrublands, and are more active during the day but can adapt to being active at night if needed.
  • Lion populations have declined significantly in recent decades due to habitat loss and conflicts with humans, leading to their classification as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
  • Lions are a widely recognized symbol in human culture, depicted in art, literature, and national flags, and have been kept in captivity for centuries for exhibition in zoos.

Cheetahs:

  • The cheetah is a large cat known for being the fastest land animal, reaching speeds of up to 65 mph.
  • It has a tawny fur with black spots and tear-like facial streaks.
  • Cheetahs are found in Africa and central Iran, with a subspecies introduced to India in 2022.
  • They live in small, fragmented populations in various habitats like savannahs and deserts.
  • Cheetahs live in social groups of females and cubs, male coalitions, and solitary males.
  • They are active during the day and feed on small to medium-sized prey like impala and gazelles.
  • Cheetahs breed throughout the year, with females giving birth to litters of three or four cubs.
  • The cheetah population is threatened by habitat loss, human conflict, poaching, and diseases, leading to their Vulnerable status on the IUCN Red List.

Leopards:

  • The leopard is a species in the Panthera genus with a yellowish to golden fur and dark spots in rosettes.
  • It has a slender, muscular body with a length of 92–183 cm and a tail length of 66–102 cm.
  • Males weigh 30.9–72 kg and females weigh 20.5–43 kg.
  • The leopard evolved in Africa during the Early Pleistocene and later migrated to Eurasia.
  • There are eight recognized subspecies of leopards in Africa and Asia.
  • Leopards are adaptable to various habitats and are opportunistic predators, hunting mostly ungulates and primates.
  • They rely on their spotted pattern for camouflage while stalking and ambushing prey.
  • Leopards are solitary animals except during mating and raising cubs.
  • Females give birth to 2–4 cubs once every 15–24 months.
  • Leopard populations are declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation, leading to their Vulnerable status on the IUCN Red List.

Q.66 “100 Million Farmers” (International Relations)

66. Which one of the following is the correct description of "100 Million Farmers"?

  1. It is a platform for accelerating the transition towards food and water systems that are net-zero (carbon), nature-positive and that aims to increase farmer resilience.
  2. It is an international alliance and a network of individuals and farming organisations interested in supporting and strengthening the development of the organic animal husbandry.
  3. It is a digital platform fully integrated with service providers and built on blockchain that lets buyers, sellers and third parties trade fertilizers quickly and securely. 
  4. It is a platform with the mission of encouraging the farmers to form Farmer Product Organisations or Agribusiness Consortiums, thus facilitating the access to global open markets to sell their products.

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement (a) is correct: Description of "100 Million Farmers." This platform is aimed at accelerating the transition towards food and water systems that are net-zero in carbon, nature-positive, and increasing farmer resilience. This aligns with the explanation provided in the previous context. 
  • Statement (b) is incorrect: It describes an international alliance focused on organic animal husbandry, which is not the main focus of "100 Million Farmers."
  • Statement (c) is incorrect: It describes a digital platform for trading fertilizers, which is not the main purpose of "100 Million Farmers."
  • Statement (d) is incorrect: It describes a platform focused on forming Farmer Product Organizations or Agribusiness Consortiums to access global markets, which is not the main goal of "100 Million Farmers."

100 million farmers:

  • 100 Million Farmers is a platform that helps private and public leaders prioritize food and farmers in the global climate and nature agenda.
  • The platform aims to speed up the adoption of climate- and nature-friendly agricultural practices.
  • It supports collective action to scale up these practices.
  • The focus is on positioning farmers and food as key components in addressing climate and nature challenges.

Q.67 “Distributed Energy Resources” (Science & Technology)

67. Consider the following:

  1. Battery storage
  2. Biomass generators
  3. Fuel cells
  4. Rooftop solar photovoltaic units

How many of the above are considered "Distributed Energy Resources"?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. All four

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • All four options - Battery storage, Biomass generators, Fuel cells, and Rooftop solar photovoltaic units are considered Distributed Energy Resources (DERs). DERs are decentralized, modular, and flexible technologies that generate electricity from renewable sources and are located close to the point of use.
  • These resources provide an alternative or enhancement to the traditional electric power system.

Battery storage:

  • Battery storage power stations use a group of batteries to store electrical energy and are the fastest responding source of power on electric grids.
  • They are designed to output at their full rated power for several hours and can be used for peak power and ancillary services to stabilize grids and prevent power outages.
  • Battery storage plants can be installed quickly and in urban areas due to their compact size and lack of fuel deliveries or large cooling systems.
  • While the largest battery storage power plants have less capacity than pumped-storage power plants, smaller batteries can be widely deployed for greater redundancy and overall capacity.
  • Battery power storage is becoming cheaper than open cycle gas turbine power for short-term use, with rapid growth in deployment worldwide.
  • The levelized cost of storage has decreased significantly in recent years, making battery storage more cost-effective, with further reductions expected in the future.

Biomass generators:

  • Biomass generators use organic materials such as wood, agricultural residues, and animal waste to produce electricity.
  • These generators burn biomass to heat water and produce steam, which drives a turbine to generate electricity.
  • Biomass generators are considered a renewable energy source because the organic materials used can be replenished through natural processes.
  • They can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuel-based power plants.
  • Biomass generators can provide a reliable source of electricity, especially in rural areas where access to traditional power grids may be limited.
  • The byproducts of biomass generation, such as ash and biogas, can be used for other purposes, such as fertilizer or heating.

Fuel cells:

  • A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy of a fuel and an oxidizing agent into electricity through redox reactions.
  • Fuel cells require a continuous source of fuel and oxygen to sustain the chemical reaction, unlike batteries which use substances already present in them.
  • Fuel cells have been used in various applications, including powering vehicles, buildings, and space programs.
  • Fuel cells consist of an anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte that allows ions to move between the two sides of the cell.
  • Different types of fuel cells exist, classified by the type of electrolyte they use and their start-up time.
  • Fuel cells produce electricity, water vapor, heat, and small amounts of emissions depending on the fuel source.
  • The energy efficiency of a fuel cell is generally between 40-60%, but can reach up to 85% with waste heat capture in a cogeneration scheme.

Rooftop solar photovoltaic units:

  • A rooftop solar power system, also known as a rooftop PV system, is a setup where solar panels are installed on the roof of a building to generate electricity.
  • Components of a rooftop solar system include solar panels, mounting systems, cables, inverters, and other electrical accessories.
  • These systems are smaller in scale compared to large solar power stations and are considered a form of distributed generation.
  • Most rooftop solar systems are connected to the grid, allowing excess electricity to be fed back into the grid.
  • Residential rooftop systems typically range from 5-20 kW, while commercial systems can reach up to 1 MW in capacity.
  • Some industrial buildings can accommodate even larger rooftop solar systems, ranging from 1-10 MW.
  • Around 25 million households worldwide use rooftop solar power, with Australia having the highest per capita rooftop solar capacity.

Q.68. Relationship with an insect (Environment)

68. Which one of the following shows a unique relationship with an insect that has coevolved with it and that is the only insect that can pollinate this tree?

  1. Fig 
  2. Mahua
  3. Sandalwood
  4. Silk cotton

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement (a) is correct: The fig tree has a unique relationship with the fig wasp, an insect that has co-evolved with it and is the only insect that can pollinate it.
  • Statement (b) is incorrect: Mahua does not have such a unique pollination relationship.
  • Statement (c) is incorrect: Sandalwood does not have such a unique pollination relationship.
  • Statement (d) is incorrect: Silk cotton does not have such a unique pollination relationship.
  • The fig tree and fig wasp have a mutualistic relationship where the wasp pollinates the fig, and in return, the fig provides a place for the wasp to lay its eggs. This specialized pollination mechanism is vital for the reproduction of both species.

Fig:

  • The fig is a fruit from the Ficus carica tree, native to the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia.
  • The tree can grow up to 7-10 meters tall and has smooth white bark with large leaves.
  • The fruit is tear-shaped, with a green skin that ripens to purple or brown, containing sweet reddish flesh and crunchy seeds.
  • Figs can be eaten fresh, dried, or processed into various desserts like jam and biscuits.
  • Most commercial production is in dried and processed forms due to the fruit not transporting well.
  • Figs are a moderate source of dietary fiber, containing mostly water and carbohydrates with low protein and fat content.
  • Turkey and North African countries are the largest producers of figs, accounting for 64% of world production in 2018.

Mahua:

  • Madhuca longifolia is a tropical tree native to India, Nepal, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.
  • It is also known as madhūka, madkam, mahuwa, Butter Tree, mahua, mahwa, mohulo, Iluppai, Mee, or vippa chettu.
  • The tree can grow up to 20 meters in height and has evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage.
  • It belongs to the Sapotaceae family and is commonly found in tropical mixed deciduous forests in various Indian states.
  • Madhuca longifolia is adaptable to arid environments and is a fast-growing tree.

Sandalwood:

  • Sandalwood is a type of wood from trees in the Santalum genus, known for its heaviness, yellow color, and fine grain.
  • The wood retains its fragrance for a long time, unlike other aromatic woods.
  • Sandalwood oil is extracted from the wood and is highly valued for its distinctive fragrance.
  • Sandalwood is considered one of the most expensive woods in the world.
  • Due to over-harvesting in the past, some species of sandalwood trees have suffered.

Silk cotton:

  • Silk/cotton fabric is a combination of silk and cotton fibers, offering the benefits of both materials in one textile.
  • This fabric is lightweight, silky, and comfortable, with a soft and sturdy drape.
  • It is typically made with a higher percentage of cotton in the blend.
  • Some silk/cotton blends can be machine washed, but it is important to use a delicate cycle and cold water to preserve the fabric.

Q.69 Poisonous species (Environment)

69. Consider the following:

  1. Butterflies
  2. Fish
  3. Frogs

How many of the above have poisonous species among them?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • As per the given information, all three statements are correct:
    • Some species of butterflies are poisonous.
    • Some fish species are poisonous.
    • Some frog species are poisonous.
  • Therefore, all three categories - butterflies, fish, and frogs - have species that are poisonous. Hence, the correct answer is (c) All three.

Butterflies:

  • Butterflies are insects with large, colorful wings that fold together at rest and have a fluttering flight.
  • They have a four-stage life cycle, including egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult stages.
  • Butterflies lay eggs on food plants for their caterpillars to feed on, then pupate in a chrysalis before emerging as adults.
  • Some butterflies have multiple generations in a year, while others have only one or take several years to complete their life cycle.
  • Butterflies use camouflage, mimicry, and aposematism to evade predators.
  • Some species, like the monarch butterfly, migrate long distances.
  • Butterflies can be attacked by parasites or parasitoids and are preyed upon by other organisms.
  • Some butterflies are pests that damage crops, while others help with pollination.
  • Certain butterfly species eat harmful insects or live in mutualistic relationships with ants.
  • Butterflies are a popular motif in art and literature.

Fish:

  • Fish are aquatic vertebrate animals with gills and fins, but no limbs with digits.
  • They can be divided into jawless fish and jawed fish, with the latter including cartilaginous and bony fish.
  • Fish are cold-blooded, with their body temperature varying with the surrounding water.
  • They communicate acoustically with each other, especially during courtship displays.
  • Fish evolved from small filter feeders in the Cambrian period, diversifying into various forms over time.
  • Bony fish emerged as the dominant group after the end-Devonian extinction, with swim bladders and ossified endoskeletons.
  • Tetrapods, which evolved from lobe-finned fish, are not considered fish despite their lineage.
  • Fish have been an important resource for humans as food, for recreation, and as ornamental pets.
  • They have also played a role in human culture as deities, symbols, and subjects of art and literature.

Frogs:

  • Frogs are a diverse group of carnivorous amphibians that belong to the order Anura.
  • They have been around for millions of years, with the oldest known fossil dating back to the Early Triassic period.
  • Frogs are found in a wide range of habitats, with the highest diversity in tropical rainforests.
  • They make up a large percentage of amphibian species and are one of the most diverse vertebrate orders.
  • While some frog species are called toads, the distinction between frogs and toads is not based on taxonomy.
  • Adult frogs have a unique body structure, with glandular skin that can secrete toxic substances for defense.
  • Frogs lay their eggs in water, which hatch into tadpoles that eventually metamorphose into adults.
  • Frogs have a carnivorous diet, but some species are omnivorous or feed on plant matter.
  • They play important roles in ecosystems as both predators and prey.
  • Frogs are facing threats such as habitat loss, pollution, and disease, leading to declines in populations and extinctions.

Q.70 Trees native to India (Environment)

70. Consider the following:

  1. Cashew
  2. Papaya
  3. Red sanders

How many of the above trees are actually native  to India?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement 1: Cashew (Anacardium occidentale) is not native to India; it originates from Brazil.
  • Statement 2: Papaya (Carica papaya) is not native to India; it originates from Central America.
  • Statement 3: Red sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus) is native to India.
  • Therefore, only one of the trees mentioned (Red sanders) is actually native to India.

Cashew:

  • Cashew is a tropical evergreen tree that produces cashew nuts and cashew apples.
  • The tree can grow up to 14 meters tall, but dwarf cultivars are more profitable due to earlier maturity and higher yields.
  • Cashew nuts are edible and can be eaten as a snack, used in recipes, or processed into products like cashew cheese or cashew butter.
  • Cashew nuts can cause allergies due to proteins found in the nuts.
  • In 2019, global production of cashew nuts reached four million tonnes, with Ivory Coast and India being the top producers.
  • The cashew plant has various uses, with derivatives from the cashew seed shell being used in applications like lubricants, waterproofing, and paints.
  • The cashew apple can be processed into a fruit drink or distilled into liquor.

Papaya:

  • The papaya is a fruit that comes from the plant species Carica papaya.
  • It was first cultivated in Mesoamerica, specifically in modern-day southern Mexico and Central America.
  • The papaya is grown in tropical regions around the world.
  • India is a major producer of papayas, accounting for 38% of the global supply in 2022.

Red sanders:

  • Pterocarpus santalinus, also known as red sanders, is a tree species native to the southern Eastern Ghats mountain range in South India.
  • The wood of this tree is highly valued for its rich red color.
  • In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of red sandalwood in incense, particularly in Western countries.
  • It is important to note that red sanders should not be confused with the aromatic Santalum sandalwood trees that grow naturally in Southern India.

Q.71 Greenfield projects (Airports) (Economy)

71. Consider the following airports:

  1. Donyi Polo Airport
  2. Kushinagar International Airport
  3. Vijayawada International Airport

In the recent past, which of the above have been constructed as Greenfield projects?

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Donyi Polo Airport (Itanagar) has been constructed as a Greenfield project and has been operationalized.
  • Kushinagar International Airport has also been constructed as a Greenfield project and has been operationalized.
  • Vijayawada International Airport is not mentioned in the list of Greenfield airports that have been constructed in the recent past.

Donyi Polo Airport:

  • Donyi Polo Airport, also known as Hollongi Airport, is a domestic airport serving Itanagar, the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh, India.
  • It is located in Hollongi, 14 km south of the city center, in the Papum Pare district.
  • The airport was built by the Airports Authority of India on a 320-hectare area.
  • It is the 16th airport in Northeast India.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the airport in February 2019.
  • Construction of the airport began in December 2020 and it was inaugurated in November 2022.
  • Flight services by IndiGo to Kolkata and Mumbai started from November 2022.

Kushinagar International Airport:

  • Kushinagar International Airport is located in Uttar Pradesh, India and serves the city of Kushinagar.
  • In August 2021, the airport received a license to operate as a customs notified airport, allowing it to handle international passengers and Buddhist pilgrims.
  • This designation will facilitate the movement of travelers to and from Kushinagar, particularly those visiting for religious purposes.
  • The airport's new status as a customs notified airport is expected to boost tourism and economic development in the region.

Vijayawada International Airport:

  • Vijayawada Airport, also known as Vijayawada International Airport, is an international airport in Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • It is located in Gannavaram, along National Highway 16 which connects Chennai to Kolkata.
  • The airport was granted international status by the Government of India in May 2017.
  • Vijayawada Airport has international flights to countries in the Middle East such as the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Kuwait.

Greenfield projects Airport:

  • A greenfield airport is a new aviation facility built on undeveloped land, without any existing infrastructure or constraints.
  • Greenfield airports are highly sought after by engineers as they do not require demolition of existing buildings or infrastructure.
  • Examples of modern greenfield airports include those being built in Beijing, Istanbul, Sydney, and Chennai.
  • The number of airports worldwide is expected to increase from 133 to 500 over the next two decades, with 367 of them being greenfield airports.

Q.72 “Water vapour” (Science & Technology)

72. With reference to "water vapour", which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It is a gas, the amount of which decreases with altitude.
  2. Its percentage is maximum at the poles. 

Select the answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: Water vapour is a gas, the amount of which decreases with altitude.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Its percentage is maximum at the poles.

Q.73 Type of climate (Geography)

73. Consider the following description:

  1. Annual and daily range of temperatures is low.
  2. Precipitation occurs throughout the year.
  3. Precipitation varies between 50 cm 250 cm.

What is this type of climate?

  1. Equatorial climate 3
  2. China type climate X 2
  3. Humid subtropical climate
  4. Marine West coast climate

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • The statement "Annual and daily range of temperatures is low" matches with the characteristics of the Marine West coast climate, where annual temperature ranges are rather small and winters are mild.
  • The statement "Precipitation occurs throughout the year" is also consistent with the Marine West coast climate, as precipitation totals vary somewhat throughout the year in response to storm systems.
  • The statement "Precipitation varies between 50cm – 250 cm" is in line with the average annual precipitation range of 50 to 250 cm in the Marine West coast climate.

Equatorial climate 3:

  • The equator is an imaginary line that divides a spheroid, like Earth, into the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
  • It is located at 0 degrees latitude and is approximately 40,075 km in circumference.
  • The equator is halfway between the North and South poles.
  • It is the parallel at which latitude is defined to be 0° on a rotating spheroid.
  • On and near the Equator, sunlight appears almost directly overhead every day, resulting in stable daytime temperatures throughout the year.
  • During the equinoxes, the subsolar point crosses Earth's equator at a shallow angle, leading to nearly equal day and night lengths at all latitudes.

China type climate X 2:

  • The China type of climate is found on the eastern edges of continents in warm temperate latitudes beyond the tropics.
  • This climate has very hot summers and extremely cold winters.
  • It is the dominant climate in most of China.
  • Southern Japan experiences a climate with dry seasons and wet monsoons, leading to large temperature variations between winter and summer.
  • Understanding this topic is crucial for geography students.

Humid subtropical climate:

  • A humid subtropical climate is a type of temperate climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters.
  • These climates are typically found on the southeast side of continents between latitudes 25° and 40°.
  • They are located poleward from tropical climates and equatorward from humid continental or oceanic climates.
  • Under the Köppen climate classification, humid subtropical climates are labeled as Cfa and Cwa climates.
  • The mean temperature in the coldest month ranges from 0 °C to 18 °C, while the mean temperature in the warmest month is 22 °C or higher.
  • Some subtropical climates extend inland, showing more pronounced seasonal variations and contrasts between summer and winter.
  • The climate can exhibit different features depending on whether it is found inland or in a maritime position.

Marine West coast climate:

  • Temperate oceanic climates, also known as marine mild winter climates, are found at middle latitudes on or near the west coast of continents.
  • These climates have moderate temperatures year-round and no dry season, making them ideal for vegetation to thrive.
  • Western sea breezes help moderate temperatures and bring constant precipitation, especially in colder months.
  • Deciduous trees are common in this climate region, along with conifers like spruce, pine, and cedar, and fruits such as apples, pears, and grapes can be cultivated.
  • The average temperature in the hottest month is below 22 °C, with at least four months having average temperatures above 10 °C.
  • The average temperature in the coldest month must not be colder than −3–0 °C to be classified as a temperate oceanic climate.
  • Rainfall can vary from 50–500 cm, depending on factors like mountains causing orographic precipitation.
  • Frontal cyclones can be common in marine west coast regions, leading to more than 150 rainy days annually, but strong storms are rare.

Q.74 “Coriolis force” (Geography)

74. With reference to "Coriolis force", which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It increases with increase in wind velocity.
  2. It is maximum at at the the poles and is absent at the equator.

Select the answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: Coriolis force increases with an increase in wind velocity.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Coriolis force is maximum at the poles and is absent at the equator. In reality, Coriolis force is zero at the equator and increases towards the poles.

Coriolis force:

  • The Coriolis force is a fictitious force that acts on objects in motion in a rotating frame of reference.
  • It was first described by French scientist Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis in 1835 in relation to water wheels.
  • When Newton's laws of motion are applied to a rotating frame, the Coriolis and centrifugal accelerations appear as correction factors.
  • The Coriolis force acts perpendicular to the angular velocity of the rotating frame and the velocity of the object.
  • In everyday usage, the Coriolis effect is often associated with the Earth's rotation, causing objects to be deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The Coriolis effect is more noticeable in large-scale movements of air and water, as well as in high-precision situations like artillery trajectories.

Q.75 June 21 (Geography)

75. On June 21 every year, which of the following latitude(s) experience(s) a sunlight of more than 12 hours?

  1. Equator
  2. Tropic of Cancer
  3. Tropic of Capricorn
  4. Arctic Circle 

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • On June 21 every year, the summer solstice occurs in the Northern Hemisphere, which means that the North Pole is tilted towards the Sun. This results in the Arctic Circle (Statement 4) experiencing sunlight for more than 12 hours. The Tropic of Cancer (Statement 2) also experiences sunlight for more than 12 hours on this day. 
  • The Equator (Statement 1) always receives roughly 12 hours of sunlight throughout the year, so it does not experience more than 12 hours of sunlight specifically on June 21. The Tropic of Capricorn (Statement 3) is in the Southern Hemisphere and does not experience more than 12 hours of sunlight on June 21. 
  • Therefore, the correct answer is option (d) 2 and 4.

Q.76 Largest tropical peatland (Geography & Environment)

76. One of the following regions has the world's largest tropical peatland, which holds about three years worth of global carbon emissions from fossil fuels; and the possible destruction of which can exert detrimental effect on the global climate. Which one of the following denotes that region?

  1. Amazon Basin
  2. Congo Basin
  3. Kikori Basin
  4. Rio de la Plata Basin

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • The statement mentions that the peat swamp forest of the Congo Basin stores around 29 billion tons of carbon, which is approximately equivalent to three years' worth of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It also states that the Basin as a whole absorbs nearly 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year.
  • These facts highlight the importance of the Congo Basin in terms of carbon storage and absorption, making it a crucial region for global climate regulation.
  • Destruction of the peat swamp forest in the Congo Basin could have detrimental effects on the global climate due to the massive amount of carbon stored there.

Tropical Peatland:

  • Tropical peat is a type of soil found in tropical regions, consisting mainly of dead organic matter from trees.
  • These peatlands are primarily located in South America, Africa, and parts of Asia, covering about 0.25% of the Earth's land surface.
  • Tropical peatlands store a significant amount of carbon, with estimates ranging from 50,000 to 70,000 million tonnes, making up about 3% of global soil carbon.
  • Destruction of tropical peatlands through deforestation, drainage, and fires can release stored carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The ecosystem of tropical peatlands is complex and fragile, with the removal of forests and drainage leading to rapid loss of stored carbon and potential impacts on global climate change.

Q.77 Perfluoroalkyl polufluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) (Science & Technology)

77. With reference to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that are used in making many consumer products. consider the following statements:

  1. PFAS are found to be widespread in drinking water food and food packaging material
  2. PFAS are not easily degraded in the environment.
  3. Persistent exposure to PFAS can lead to bioaccumulation in animal bodies.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • All three statements are correct:
    • PFAS are found to be widespread in drinking water, food, and food packaging materials.
    • PFAS are not easily degraded in the environment.
    • Persistent exposure to PFAS can lead to bioaccumulation in animal bodies.
  • Therefore, the correct answer is option (d) 1, 2, and 3.

Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS):

  • PFAS are synthetic chemicals with multiple fluorine atoms attached to an alkyl chain, commonly used in products like waterproof clothing, non-stick cookware, and food packaging.
  • These chemicals are known as "forever chemicals" because they do not break down easily in the environment and can accumulate in wildlife and humans.
  • Studies have shown that exposure to PFAS may have harmful health effects, including increased risk of dyslipidemia, reduced infant growth, and higher rates of kidney cancer.
  • PFAS producers like 3M, DuPont, and Chemours have faced legal action and settlements due to health concerns related to their products.
  • Regulations are being put in place in various parts of the world to restrict or phase out the use of PFAS in products.

Q.78 Parasitoid species (Environment)

78. Consider the following:

  1. Carabid beetles
  2. Centipedes
  3. Flies
  4. Termites
  5. Wasps

Parasitoid species are found in how many of the above kind of organisms?

  1. Only two
  2. Only three
  3. Qaly four
  4. All five

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • From the given options, the parasitoid species are found in the following organisms:
    • Carabid beetles.
    • Flies.
    • Wasps.
  • Therefore, parasitoid species are found in only three of the above kind of organisms.

Carabid beetles:

  • Ground beetles are a diverse family of beetles known as Carabidae, with over 40,000 species worldwide.
  • Around 2,000 species of ground beetles can be found in North America, while Europe is home to approximately 2,700 species.
  • The Carabidae family is one of the most species-rich animal families, ranking in the top 10 as of 2015.
  • Ground beetles are primarily carnivorous, but some species within the family are herbivorous or omnivorous.

Centipedes:

  • Centipedes are predatory arthropods with one pair of legs per body segment.
  • They are venomous and can deliver painful stings through modified legs called forcipules.
  • Despite their name, centipedes do not have exactly 100 pairs of legs; the number ranges from 15 to 191 pairs.
  • They are generalist carnivores that hunt a variety of prey in terrestrial habitats.
  • Centipedes require a moist microhabitat to prevent water loss due to their lack of a waxy cuticle.
  • They are found in a wide range of habitats, from tropical rainforests to deserts, and are active at night to avoid direct sunlight.

Flies:

  • Flies are insects with two wings that evolved from hindwings into halteres for advanced aerobatics.
  • The order Diptera contains around 1,000,000 species, with only about 125,000 species described.
  • Flies have compound eyes, mouthparts for piercing or lapping, and claws for clinging to surfaces.
  • Flies undergo complete metamorphosis, with larvae developing in a protected environment.
  • Flies are important pollinators, with fruit flies used as model organisms in research.
  • Some flies, like mosquitoes, are vectors for diseases, while others, like houseflies, spread foodborne illnesses.
  • Flies can be annoyances, especially in areas with large populations, and some species cause economic harm to cattle.
  • Fly larvae, such as maggots, are used as fishing bait, animal food, and in medicine for wound cleaning.

Termites:

  • Termites are eusocial insects that feed on decaying plant material, particularly wood, leaf litter, and soil humus.
  • They are often mistaken for ants due to their appearance, but they are actually more closely related to cockroaches.
  • Termites have a caste system similar to ants, with workers and soldiers serving specific roles within the colony.
  • Termite colonies are considered superorganisms, with millions of individuals working together as a self-governing entity.
  • Termites are important decomposers in tropical regions, where they make up a significant portion of the animal biomass.
  • Some cultures consume termites as a delicacy and use them in traditional medicine for various ailments.
  • While most termite species are harmless, some are considered structural pests and can cause significant damage to buildings.
  • Climate change and urbanization are expected to increase the distribution of pest termites in the future.

Wasps:

  • Wasps are insects in the suborder Apocrita of the order Hymenoptera, distinct from bees and ants.
  • They do not form a single clade, as bees and ants have evolved from wasp ancestors.
  • Some wasps, like yellowjackets and hornets, are eusocial, living in nests with a queen and workers.
  • Most wasp species are solitary, with females laying eggs independently.
  • Wasps play various ecological roles, such as predators, pollinators, and parasitoids.
  • They first appeared in the Jurassic period and have diversified into many species.
  • The largest social wasp is the Asian giant hornet, while the smallest are parasitoid wasps in the family Mymaridae.
  • Wasps have been featured in literature and science fiction, and the name 'Wasp' has been used for military equipment.

Parasitoid species:

  • Parasitoids are organisms that live off their host, eventually causing the host's death.
  • There are different strategies of parasitoidism, such as living inside the host or paralyzing it from the outside.
  • Parasitoids can also target other parasitoids, leading to hyperparasitism.
  • They are commonly found in insects, particularly in the Hymenoptera order.
  • Some parasitoids can influence their host's behavior to benefit their own propagation.
  • Parasitoids have been studied by artists and scientists, influencing Charles Darwin's beliefs and inspiring science fiction stories.

Q.79 Pea family (Agriculture)

79. Consider the following plants:

  1. Groundnut
  2. Horse-gram
  3. Soybean

How many of the above belong to the pea family?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) belongs to the Fabaceae family.
  • Horse-gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum) belongs to the Fabaceae family.
  • Soybean (Glycine max) also belongs to the Fabaceae family.
  • Therefore, only two out of the three plants mentioned (Groundnut and Horse-gram) belong to the pea family (Fabaceae family).

Groundnut:

  • The peanut, also known as the groundnut, is a legume crop grown for its edible seeds in tropical and subtropical regions.
  • The peanut plant produces pods underground, leading to its scientific name, Arachis hypogaea, which means "under the earth."
  • Peanuts belong to the legume family and have nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their roots, which improve soil fertility.
  • Despite not being a true nut botanically, peanuts are often categorized as nuts for culinary purposes.
  • Peanuts are similar in taste and nutrition to tree nuts like walnuts and almonds and are commonly used in Western cuisines.
  • China is the leading producer of shelled peanuts, accounting for 34% of global production in 2020.

Horse-gram:

  • Macrotyloma uniflorum, also known as horsegram, is a legume native to tropical southern Asia with a unique taste and texture.
  • It is widely used in various cuisines and is known for its rich nutrients and medicinal properties.
  • Horse gram is commonly grown for horse feed, which is why it is called "horse gram."
  • It is consumed whole, sprouted, or ground in many parts of India and other countries like Nepal, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.
  • Horse gram is considered a superfood and is allowed to be eaten on some Hindu fasting days.
  • The medical uses of horse gram have been discussed in Ayurveda, highlighting its potential health benefits.

Soybean:

  • The soybean is a legume native to East Asia, known for its edible bean with various uses.
  • Traditional uses of soybeans include making soy milk, tofu, and tofu skin, while fermented soy foods include soy sauce, bean paste, nattō, and tempeh.
  • Soybean meal is a cheap source of protein for animal feeds and packaged meals, and soy products like TVP are used in meat and dairy substitutes.
  • Soybeans are rich in phytic acid, dietary minerals, and B vitamins.
  • Soy vegetable oil is produced from soybeans and used in food and industrial applications.
  • Soybean is a crucial protein source for farm animals, which in turn provides animal protein for human consumption.

Pea family:

  • The Fabaceae, also known as the legume, pea, or bean family, is a large and important family of flowering plants.
  • They are easily recognized by their fruit (legume) and compound, stipulate leaves.
  • The family is widely distributed and is the third-largest land plant family in terms of species.
  • The five largest genera in the family are Astragalus, Acacia, Indigofera, Crotalaria, and Mimosa.
  • Fabaceae is the most common family found in tropical rainforests and dry forests of the Americas and Africa.
  • Recent evidence supports the fact that Fabaceae is a single monophyletic family closely related to other plant families.
  • Phylogenetic studies based on DNA sequences confirm that Fabaceae is a monophyletic group closely related to other plant families in the order Fabales.

Q.80 Indian Flying Fox (Environment)

80. Consider the following statements:

Statement-I: The Indian Flying Fox is placed under the "vermin" category in the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. 
Statement-II: The Indian Flying Fox feeds on the blood of other animals. Grls x 100%.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement-1 and Statement-II are correct and Statement-1 Statement-11 explains
  2. Both Statement-1 and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does explain Statement-1 not
  3. Statement-1 is correct, but Statement-I1 is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Statement I is correct: The Indian Flying Fox (Pteropus giganteus) was not listed under the vermin category in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • Statement II is incorrect: The Indian Flying Fox is a frugivore, meaning it primarily feeds on fruits, nectar, and flowers, not on the blood of other animals.
  • The Indian Flying Fox is one of the largest bat species in the world. It plays a crucial role in the ecosystem by pollinating plants and dispersing seeds. Misconceptions about its diet can lead to unnecessary fear and persecution.

Indian Flying Fox:

  • The Indian flying fox, also known as the greater Indian fruit bat, is a large bat species found in the Indian subcontinent.
  • It is known for its ability to transmit viruses to humans, making it a potential disease vector.
  • The bat is nocturnal and primarily feeds on ripe fruits and nectar.
  • While considered vermin due to its destructive impact on fruit farms, its role in pollination and seed propagation is beneficial.

Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972:

  • The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 is a law in India that aims to protect plants and animal species.
  • Before this Act was enacted, India only had five national parks designated for protection.
  • The Act prohibits hunting certain animal species and harvesting protected plants.
  • It covers the protection of wild animals, birds, and plants across the entire country.
  • The Act has six schedules that provide varying degrees of protection for different species.
  • Offences under Schedule I and part II of Schedule II carry the highest penalties, while Schedule III and IV have lower penalties.
  • Animals listed in Schedule V, such as common crows and fruit bats, are considered vermin and can be hunted freely.
  • Endemic plants listed in Schedule VI are prohibited from cultivation and planting.
  • Enforcement authorities have the power to impose fines on offenders for violating the Act.
  • As of April 2010, there have been 16 convictions under this Act related to the illegal killing of tigers.

Q.81 Total fertility rate (Economy)

81. The total fertility rate in an economy is defined as:

  1. the number of children born per 1000 people in the population in a year. +
  2. the number of children born to a couple in their lifetime in a given population.
  3. the birth rate minus death rate.
  4. the average number of live births a woman would have by the end of her child-bearing age.

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • The total fertility rate is a measure of the average number of live births a woman would have by the end of her child-bearing age if she were subject to the fertility rates of a given period and not subject to mortality. It is expressed as children per woman. This definition aligns with option (d) as it accurately describes the concept of total fertility rate. 
  • Option (a) is incorrect as it refers to the crude birth rate, which is the number of live births per 1,000 people in a population in a given year. Option (b) is incorrect as it refers to the total number of children born to a couple in their lifetime, which is not the same as the total fertility rate. Option (c) is incorrect as it refers to the natural increase in population, which is calculated as the birth rate minus the death rate.

Total fertility rate:

  • The total fertility rate (TFR) is the average number of children a woman would have in her lifetime based on current age-specific fertility rates.
  • Fertility rates vary widely across the world, with developed countries generally having lower rates and less developed countries having higher rates.
  • Factors influencing fertility rates include economic development, access to contraceptives, female education, and female employment.
  • The global TFR has been declining since the 1960s and is projected to continue to decrease, potentially falling below the replacement rate in the 2020s.
  • The United Nations predicts that global fertility will continue to decline, reaching below-replacement levels by 2100, and that world population will peak in the late 21st century.

Q.82 Banking / Stock Marker (Economy)

82. Consider the following statements:

  1. In India, Non-Banking Financial Companies can access the Liquidity Adjustment Facility window of the Reserve Bank of India.
  2. In India, Foreign Institutional Investors can hold the Government Securities (G-Secs).
  3. In India, Stock Exchanges can offer separate trading platforms for debts.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect. Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) cannot access the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) window of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The LAF window is primarily used by scheduled commercial banks (excluding RRBs) and Primary Dealers (PDs) to avail liquidity or park excess funds with the RBI.
  • Statement 2 is correct. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) can hold Government Securities (G-Secs) in India. Recently, the RBI has allowed investments in India’s Sovereign Green Bonds (SGrBs) by FIIs.
  • Statement 3 is correct. Stock exchanges in India can offer separate trading platforms for debts. An example of this is the NSE's Electronic Debt Bidding platform (NSE-EBP).

Non-Banking Financial Companies:

  • Non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) or non-bank financial companies (NBFCs) are financial institutions that do not have a full banking license or are not supervised by a banking regulatory agency.
  • NBFIs provide services such as investment, risk pooling, contractual savings, and market brokering.
  • Examples of NBFIs include hedge funds, insurance firms, pawn shops, check cashing locations, payday lending, currency exchanges, and microloan organizations.
  • Alan Greenspan has highlighted the importance of NBFIs in strengthening an economy by providing alternative ways to transform savings into capital investment.
  • The term "non-bank" may have originated from the concept of non-deposit taking banking institutions, but in non-English speaking countries, it is often used to differentiate financial institutions from traditional banks.
  • NBFIs operate outside of traditional banking regulations in many countries.

Foreign Institutional Investors:

  • A foreign institutional investor (FII) is an investor or investment fund that invests in a country other than where it is based.
  • The term is commonly used in India and China to refer to outside entities investing in their financial markets.
  • FIIs play a significant role in the global economy by bringing in foreign capital and contributing to the growth of financial markets in different countries.

Q.83 Corporate Bonds and Government Securities (Economy)

83. In India, which of the following can trade in Corporate Bonds and Government Securities?

  1. Insurance Companies
  2. Pension Funds
  3. Retail Investors

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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Insurance Companies: Insurance companies have the flexibility to invest in both corporate bonds and government securities.
  • Pension Funds: Pension funds also invest in both corporate bonds and government securities for diversification and steady income.
  • Retail Investors: Retail investors can trade in both corporate bonds and government securities in India. 
  • Therefore, all three entities - Insurance Companies, Pension Funds, and Retail Investors - can trade in Corporate Bonds and Government Securities in India.

Corporate Bonds:

  • A corporate bond is a type of debt issued by a company to raise funds for different purposes.
  • It is a long-term financial instrument that signifies a corporation has borrowed money and will repay it in the future.
  • Companies issue bonds for reasons like ongoing operations, mergers & acquisitions, or business expansion.
  • Short-term corporate debt instruments are known as commercial paper.

Government Securities:

  • Government bonds are issued by governments to fund public spending and involve paying periodic interest and repaying the face value on the maturity date.
  • An example would be investing $20,000 in a 10-year government bond with a 10% annual coupon, receiving $2000 in interest each year and getting the $20,000 back at maturity.
  • Government bonds can be in foreign or domestic currency, with countries with unstable economies often denominating their bonds in a more stable currency.
  • All bonds carry default risk, with bonds from riskier countries having higher yields to compensate for the increased risk.
  • International credit rating agencies provide ratings for each country's bonds, with higher risk bonds having lower ratings.
  • Countries close to default are considered to be in a sovereign debt crisis.

Q.84 Financial instruments (Economy)

84. Consider the following

  1. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF)
  2. Motor vehicles
  3. Currency swap 

Which of the above is/are considered financial instruments?

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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) - This is a financial instrument as it represents a legal agreement involving monetary value.
  • Motor vehicles - Motor vehicles are not considered financial instruments as they are physical assets and not documents representing legal agreements involving monetary value.
  • Currency swap - Currency swaps are considered financial instruments as they involve an agreement to exchange one currency for another at a specified future date.

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF):

  • An ETF is a type of investment fund that is traded on stock exchanges and owns financial assets such as stocks, bonds, and commodities.
  • ETFs provide diversification compared to owning individual stocks.
  • ETFs divide ownership into shares held by shareholders, who are entitled to profits and residual value if the fund is liquidated.
  • ETFs operate with an arbitrage mechanism to keep trading close to its net asset value.
  • The largest ETFs have low annual expense ratios, but specialty ETFs can have higher fees.
  • In the US, there is a significant amount of money invested in equity and fixed-income ETFs.
  • ETF trading accounts for a significant portion of stock market trading volume in the US, Europe, and Asia.
  • The largest ETF issuers in the US are BlackRock iShares, Vanguard, State Street Global Advisors, Invesco, and Charles Schwab.
  • ETFs are regulated by governmental bodies and subject to securities laws.
  • Closed-end funds and exchange-traded notes are not considered to be ETFs.

Currency swap:

  • Currency swap, also known as cross-currency swap (XCS), is a type of interest rate derivative in finance.
  • It is a popular and highly liquid benchmark product that involves multiple currencies at the same time.
  • Currency swaps are closely related to interest rate swaps (IRSs), foreign exchange (FX) rates, and FX swaps (FXSs).
  • This financial instrument allows parties to exchange interest payments and principal amounts in different currencies, helping manage currency risk and interest rate exposure.

Q.85 Sectors of Indian economy (Economy)

85. With reference to the sectors of the Indian economy, consider the following pairs:
 
Economic activity Sector
Storage agricultural produce Secondary
Dairy farm Primary
Mineral exploration Tertiary
Weaving cloth Secondary
 
How many of the pairs given above are correctly matched?
  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. All four

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • From the given pairs:
    • Storage of agricultural produce - Secondary (Incorrect): As per the explanation provided earlier, storage of agricultural produce falls under the tertiary sector, not the secondary sector.
    • Dairy farm - Primary (Correct): Dairy farming is a primary economic activity.
    • Mineral exploration - Tertiary (Correct): Mineral exploration is part of the tertiary sector.
    • Weaving cloth - Secondary (Correct): Weaving cloth is part of the secondary sector, specifically the textile industry.
  • Therefore, only two pairs are correctly matched, which are 2 and 3.

Sectors of Indian economy:

  • The Indian economy is divided into three sectors: primary, secondary, and tertiary.
  • The primary sector relies on natural resources for manufacturing goods, with agriculture being the largest example.
  • The secondary sector adds value to products and services through transportation and manufacturing, contributing significantly to GDP.
  • The tertiary sector, the largest contributor to GDP, includes service industries like IT and consulting, but faces challenges with lower-paying jobs.

Q.86 Feedstock for producing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (Science & Technology)

86. Consider the following materials:

  1. Agricultural residues
  2. Corn grain
  3. Wastewater treatment sludge 
  4. Wood mill waste

Which of the above can be used as feedstock for producing Sustainable Aviation Fuel?

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

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Agricultural residues - These can be used as feedstock for producing Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
  • Corn grain - This can be used as feedstock for producing Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
  • Wastewater treatment sludge - This can be used as feedstock for producing Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
  • Wood mill waste - This can be used as feedstock for producing Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
  • Therefore, all the materials listed (1, 2, 3, and 4) can be used as feedstock for producing Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel:

  • Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is a type of alternative fuel made from non-petroleum sources that helps reduce emissions from air transportation.
  • SAF can be blended with traditional jet fuel at different levels, typically between 10% and 50%, depending on the feedstock and production method.
  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reports that over 360,000 commercial flights have used SAF at 46 airports, mainly in the United States and Europe.
  • Aviation contributes 2% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and 12% of transportation-related CO2 emissions.
  • ICAO's Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) aims to cap net CO2 aviation emissions at 2020 levels until 2035.
  • The international aviation industry aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with SAF being a key solution to help reach this goal.
  • The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge, launched in 2021, aims to increase domestic SAF consumption to 3 billion gallons by 2030 and 35 billion gallons by 2050, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%.

Q.87 Physical capital in Indian economy (Economy)

87. With reference to physical capital in Indian economy, consider the following pairs
 
Items Category
Farmer’s plough Working capital
Computer Fixed capital
Yarn used by the weaver Fixed capital
Petrol Working capital
 
How many of the above pairs are correctly matched?
  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. All four

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Farmer's Plough: This would fall under fixed capital as it is a long-term asset used in agricultural operations.
  • Computer: This would also fall under fixed capital as it is a long-term asset used in various sectors.
  • Yarn used by the weaver: This would fall under working capital as it is used for day-to-day operations in the textile industry.
  • Petrol: This would also fall under working capital as it is used for day-to-day operations in transportation and other sectors.
  • Therefore, only the pair "Farmer's Plough" and "Computer" are correctly matched with their respective categories.

Working capital:

  • Working capital is a measure of a company's operating liquidity.
  • It is calculated by subtracting current liabilities from current assets.
  • If current assets are less than current liabilities, it results in a working capital deficiency.
  • Positive working capital is essential for a company to meet its short-term obligations and operational expenses.
  • Managing working capital involves handling inventories, accounts receivable and payable, and cash effectively.

Fixed capital:

  • Fixed capital refers to physical assets used repeatedly in production.
  • It was first analyzed by Adam Smith and David Ricardo in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Fixed capital includes assets like buildings, machinery, and equipment that are used for more than one accounting period.
  • Karl Marx emphasized that the distinction between fixed and circulating capital is relative based on turnover time.
  • In national accounts, fixed capital is defined as tangible, durable assets owned or used by businesses for more than one year.
  • The European system of national accounts includes produced intangible assets in the definition of fixed capital.
  • Land is not included in the statistical concept of fixed capital, but the value of land improvements is included.

Q.88 Metaverse (Science & Technology)

88. Which one of the following words/phrases is most appropriately used to denote "an interoperable network of 3D virtual worlds that can be accessed simultaneously by millions of users, who can exert property rights over virtual items"?

  1. Big data analytics
  2. Cryptography
  3. Metaverse
  4. Virtual matrix

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Big data analytics (option a) refers to the process of examining large and varied data sets to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences, and other useful information.
  • Cryptography (option b) is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties.
  • Virtual matrix (option d) does not accurately describe the concept of an interoperable network of 3D virtual worlds where users can exert property rights over virtual items.
  • Metawise (option c) is the most appropriate term to denote "an interoperable network of 3D virtual worlds that can be accessed simultaneously by millions of users, who can exert property rights over virtual items."
  • This term captures the idea of a network or system that connects multiple virtual worlds and allows users to have ownership and control over virtual items within those worlds.

Big data analytics:

  • Big data analytics involves analyzing large and complex data sets to extract valuable insights.
  • It helps organizations uncover trends, patterns, and correlations in raw data to make data-informed decisions.
  • Organizations can leverage data from various sources like IoT sensors, social media, and smart devices to derive actionable intelligence.
  • Big data frameworks and tools are used for distributed storage and processing of large data sets across a network of computers.
  • These frameworks enable predictive modeling, statistical analysis, what-if analysis, and processing of diverse data sets.
  • Four main data analysis methods (descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, prescriptive) are used to uncover insights and patterns within an organization's data.

Cryptography:

  • Cryptography is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of adversaries.
  • It involves constructing and analyzing protocols to prevent third parties from reading private messages.
  • Modern cryptography combines mathematics, computer science, information security, and other disciplines.
  • Core concepts include data confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation.
  • Practical applications include electronic commerce, digital currencies, and military communications.
  • Cryptography historically focused on encryption, converting readable information to unintelligible text.
  • Modern cryptography is based on mathematical theory and computational hardness assumptions.
  • Cryptographic algorithms are designed to be computationally secure, making them difficult to break in practice.
  • Legal issues surrounding cryptography include its classification as a weapon and restrictions on its use and export.
  • Cryptography also plays a role in digital rights management and copyright infringement disputes.

Metaverse:

  • The metaverse is a virtual world where users interact through avatars in 3D, focusing on social and economic connections.
  • The term originated from the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, combining "meta" and "universe".
  • It is often associated with virtual reality technology and has become a buzzword in the early 2020s with Web3.
  • Companies use the term to hype up their development progress in related technologies for PR purposes.
  • Concerns about information privacy, user addiction, and user safety exist in the metaverse, similar to challenges faced by social media and video game industries.

Virtual matrix:

  • Virtual Matrix Architecture (VMA) is a hybrid architecture in Alteon that utilizes distributed processing efficiently.
  • VMA allows Alteon to distribute workloads to multiple processors, maximizing system resources.
  • This distribution of workload improves performance and boosts session capacity in Alteon.

Q 89 Banking subsidiaries (Economy)

89. With reference to the rule/rules imposed by the Reserve Bank of India while treating foreign banks, consider the following statements:

  1. There is no minimum capital requirement for wholly owned banking subsidiaries in India. 
  2. For wholly owned banking subsidiaries in India, at least 50% of the board members should be Indian nationals.

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

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect as there is a minimum capital requirement for wholly owned banking subsidiaries in India, which is ` 5 billion for new entrants.
  • Statement 2 is correct as per the information provided in the previous explanation. At least fifty per cent of the directors should be Indian nationals/NRIs/PIOs for wholly owned banking subsidiaries in India.

Banking Subsidiaries:

  • Definition of a subsidiary bank: A subsidiary bank is a foreign entity that is incorporated in a different country and is either fully or partially owned by a parent corporation in another nation.
  • Purpose of subsidiary banks: Subsidiary banks help parent companies avoid unfavorable regulations in their home country by operating under the laws and regulations of the host country.
  • Regulatory environment: Subsidiary banks do not have to adhere to the regulations of the home country or the country where the parent company is incorporated. Instead, they follow the regulations of the host country.

Q 90 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (Economy)

90. With reference to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) rules in India, consider the following statements:

  1. CSR rules specify that expenditures that benefit the company directly or its employees will not be considered as CSR activities.
  2. CSR rules do not specify minimum spending on CSR activities. 24. 

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

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct. As per the CSR rules in India, expenditures that benefit the company directly or its employees will not be considered as CSR. The CSR activities should be for the benefit of society at large and not for the direct benefit of the company or its employees.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect. The CSR rules in India do specify a minimum spending requirement on CSR activities. Companies meeting certain criteria are required to spend at least 2% of their average net profits on CSR activities.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):

  • CSR involves businesses engaging in activities such as pro bono programs, community development, monetary grants to non-profit organizations, and ethically oriented business practices.
  • It has evolved from being a voluntary internal policy to mandatory schemes at regional, national, and international levels.
  • CSR is seen as a strategic initiative that can enhance a brand's reputation and align with its business model.
  • Businesses may engage in CSR for strategic reasons, such as increasing profits and reducing risks, or for ethical reasons, such as promoting positive environmental and social impacts.
  • Proponents argue that CSR can lead to long-term profits, while critics believe it distracts from businesses' economic role.
  • Studies have shown mixed results on the financial impact of CSR, with some suggesting a neutral effect.
  • Critics have raised concerns about the expectations and effectiveness of CSR, viewing it as window-dressing or a way to avoid government regulation.

Q 91 Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) (Science & Technology)

91. With reference to radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), consider the following statements:

  1. RTGs are miniature fission reactors.
  2. RTGs are used for powering the onboard systems of spacecrafts.
  3. RTGs can use Plutonium-238, which is a by-product of weapons development.

Which of the statements given above are correct? 

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

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect as RTGs are not miniature fission reactors; they use the decay of radioactive isotopes to generate electricity.
  • Statement 2 is correct as RTGs are used for powering the onboard systems of spacecraft.
  • Statement 3 is correct as RTGs can use Plutonium-238, which is a by-product of weapons development.

Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs):

  • Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) are nuclear batteries that convert heat from radioactive decay into electricity using thermocouples.
  • RTGs are ideal for remote and harsh environments where maintenance is difficult and moving parts are not practical.
  • They are commonly used in situations requiring a few hundred watts of power for extended periods, where other power sources are not feasible.
  • RTGs have been used in satellites, space probes, and remote facilities in extreme environments.
  • Safe use of RTGs requires proper containment of the radioactive material after the unit's productive life.
  • The cost of RTGs limits their use to niche applications in rare or special situations.

Q 92 Giant stars  dwarf stars(Science & Technology / Geography)

92. Consider the following statements:

Statement-I: Giant stars live much longer than dwarf stars.
Statement-II: Compared to dwarf stars, giant stars have a greater rate of nuclear reactions.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

  1. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and  Statement-II explains Statement-I
  2. Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-1
  3. Statement-1 is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
  4. Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Answer: D

Explanation:

Giant stars:

  • Giant stars have a larger radius and luminosity compared to main-sequence stars of the same surface temperature.
  • They are located above the main sequence on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram and are classified as luminosity classes II and III.
  • The terms giant and dwarf were introduced by Ejnar Hertzsprung in 1905 to differentiate stars of different luminosities despite similar temperatures.
  • Giant stars can have radii up to a few hundred times that of the Sun and luminosities ranging from 10 to a few thousand times that of the Sun.
  • Stars with even higher luminosities than giants are known as supergiants and hypergiants.
  • A hot, luminous main-sequence star may also be called a giant, but any main-sequence star is technically classified as a dwarf, regardless of its size and luminosity.

Dwarf stars:

  • A dwarf star is a small-sized and dim star.
  • Most main sequence stars fall into the category of dwarf stars.
  • The term "dwarf" has been used to describe objects that are not stars but are star-sized, as well as compact remnants of stars that are no longer active.

Q 93 Dilates blood vessels and  increases blood flow (Science & Technology)

93. Which one of the following is synthesised in human body that dilates blood vessels and increase blood flow?

  1. Nitric oxide
  2. Nitrous oxide
  3. Nitrogen dioxide
  4. Nitrogen pentoxide

Answer: A

Explanation:

  • Nitric oxide is synthesized in the human body and acts as a vasodilator, increasing blood flow. It plays a crucial role in the cardiovascular system by relaxing the smooth muscles of blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow and reducing blood pressure.
  • Option (b) Nitrous oxide is a gas used for anesthesia and pain relief, not involved in vasodilation.
  • Option (c) Nitrogen dioxide is a toxic gas, not involved in vasodilation.
  • Option (d) Nitrogen pentoxide is a chemical compound, not involved in vasodilation.

Q 94 Radars (Science & Technology)

94. Consider the following activities:

  1. Identification of narcotics on passengers at airports or in aircraft
  2. Monitoring of precipitation
  3. Tracking the migration of animals

In how many of the above activities can  the radars be used?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Answer: B

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Radars are not used for identifying narcotics on passengers at airports or in aircraft.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Radars can be used for monitoring precipitation.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Radars can be used for tracking the migration of animals.
  • Therefore, radars can be used in activities 2 and 3, making the correct option (b) Only two.

Radars:

  • Radar is a system that uses radio waves to detect and track objects such as aircraft, ships, and vehicles.
  • It consists of a transmitter, antennas, and a receiver to determine the location and speed of objects.
  • Radar was developed for military use during World War II, with key advancements like the cavity magnetron.
  • The term "RADAR" stands for "radio detection and ranging" and has become a common noun in English.
  • Modern uses of radar include traffic control, weather monitoring, and self-driving cars.
  • Radar systems use digital signal processing and machine learning to extract information from noisy environments.
  • Other systems, like lidar, use different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum for similar purposes.
  • Radar is expected to play a crucial role in assisting automated vehicles in monitoring their surroundings and preventing accidents.

Q 95 Fifth generation fighter aircraft (Science & Technology / Security)

95. Consider the following aircraft:

  1. Rafael
  2. MiG-29
  3. Tejas MK-1 

How many of the above are considered fifth generation fighter aircraft?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • None of the listed aircraft (Rafael, MiG-29, Tejas MK-1) are considered fifth-generation fighter aircraft. Fifth-generation fighter aircraft are characterized by advanced stealth, supercruise capabilities, highly integrated avionics, and enhanced maneuverability. Examples of fifth-generation fighter aircraft include the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II.

Rafael:

  • Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. is an Israeli defense technology company that was originally established as Israel's National R&D Defense Laboratory within the Ministry of Defense.
  • In 2002, it became a limited company, separate from the government, focusing on the development of weapons and military technology.
  • The company is known for its advanced defense systems and innovative technologies in the field of defense.

MiG-29:

  • The Mikoyan MiG-29, also known as the Fulcrum, is a twin-engine fighter aircraft developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s.
  • It was designed as an air superiority fighter to counter new U.S. fighters like the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon.
  • The MiG-29 entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1983 and has since been used by various countries.
  • Many MiG-29s have been adapted for multirole capabilities, including air-to-surface operations and precision munitions.
  • Different variants of the MiG-29 have been developed, with improvements in engines, avionics, sensors, and fuel capacity.
  • The Russian Aerospace Forces have sought to upgrade their MiG-29 fleet to the modernised MiG-29SMT configuration, but financial constraints have limited deliveries.
  • The MiG-29 has been widely exported, with over 30 nations operating or having operated the aircraft.
  • As of 2024, there are an estimated 809 MiG-29s in service with air forces worldwide, making it the 5th most common active fighter.

Tejas MK-1:

  • The HAL Tejas is a delta wing multirole combat aircraft designed and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy.
  • It is a 4.5 generation supersonic combat aircraft that made its first flight in 2001 and entered service with the IAF in 2015.
  • The Tejas is the second supersonic combat aircraft developed by HAL after the HF-24 Marut.
  • It has three production variants: Tejas Mark 1, Mark 1A, and Tejas trainer/light attack aircraft.
  • The first Tejas squadron became operational in 2016, with the No. 45 Squadron IAF - Flying Daggers being the first to replace their MiG-21 Bisons with the Tejas.
  • The IAF has placed an order for 123 Tejas aircraft and plans to procure 97 more.
  • The IAF aims to acquire at least 324 Tejas aircraft in all variants, including the heavier Tejas Mark 2 currently under development.
  • As of 2022, the indigenous content in the Tejas Mark 1 is 59.7% by value and 75.5% by the number of line replaceable units.
  • The indigenous content of the Tejas Mk 1A is expected to exceed 70% in the next four years.

Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft:

  • Advanced Technologies: Fifth-generation fighters incorporate major technologies developed in the 21st century.
  • Stealth Capabilities: These fighters are designed with stealth features to reduce radar detection.
  • Low-Probability-of-Intercept Radar (LPIR): They are equipped with radar systems that are difficult to detect.
  • Supercruise Performance: Fifth-generation fighters have agile airframes that can achieve supercruise speeds.
  • Advanced Avionics: These aircraft feature advanced avionics systems for enhanced performance.
  • Integrated Computer Systems: They have highly integrated computer systems for networking and situational awareness.
  • Current Combat-Ready Fifth-Generation Fighters: The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, Chengdu J-20, and Sukhoi Su-57 are currently in service.
  • Ongoing Development: Other national and international projects are in various stages of development to create more fifth-generation fighters.

Q 96  Hydrogels (Science & Technology)

96. In which of the following are hydrogels used

  1. Controlled drug delivery in patients
  2. Mobile air-conditioning systems
  3. Preparation of industrial lubricants

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Hydrogels are used in all three of the mentioned applications:
    • Controlled drug delivery in patients
    • Mobile air-conditioning systems
    • Preparation of industrial lubricants
  • Therefore, the correct answer is (d) 1, 2, and 3.

Hydrogels:

  • Definition of Hydrogel: A hydrogel is a material made up of a porous, permeable solid mixed with at least 10% water or interstitial fluid.
  • Composition of Hydrogels: Hydrogels consist of a three-dimensional network of natural or synthetic polymers that have absorbed a large amount of water or biological fluids.
  • Applications of Hydrogels: Hydrogels are commonly used in the biomedical field due to their unique properties.
  • Types of Hydrogels: Hydrogels can be either synthetic or derived from natural sources.
  • Origin of the Term: The term 'hydrogel' was first used in 1894.

Q 97  Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, powered by hydrogen  (Science & Technology)

97. Which one of the following is the exhaust pipe emission from Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, powered by hydrogen?

  1. Hydrogen peroxide
  2. Hydronium
  3. Oxygen
  4. Water vapour

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) powered by hydrogen produce no harmful tailpipe emissions. Instead, they only emit water vapor and warm air. This means that the exhaust pipe emission from FCEVs is water vapor, not hydrogen peroxide, hydronium, or oxygen. This is one of the key advantages of FCEVs over conventional internal combustion engine vehicles, as they do not contribute to air pollution.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles: 

  • FCVs generate electricity using oxygen and compressed hydrogen, resulting in zero emissions.
  • Hydrogen vehicles centralize pollutants at the site of production, typically derived from natural gas.
  • Fuel cells have been used in various vehicles, including forklifts, trucks, buses, boats, and motorcycles.
  • The Chevrolet Electrovan was the first road vehicle powered by a fuel cell in 1966.
  • The Toyota FCHV and Honda FCX were the first government-certified commercial fuel cell vehicles.
  • The Hyundai ix35 FCEV was claimed to be the world's first mass-produced fuel cell electric vehicle.
  • The Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo are currently the only fuel cell cars available in select markets.
  • There are limited hydrogen fueling stations for automobiles, with critics questioning the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of hydrogen for vehicles.

Powered by hydrogen:

  • Hydrogen is a clean alternative to natural gas and is the most abundant chemical element in the universe.
  • While hydrogen is present in many molecules in living things, it is scarce as a gas on Earth.
  • Hydrogen can be produced from various resources, including natural gas, nuclear power, biogas, and renewable sources like solar and wind.
  • The challenge is to harness hydrogen on a large scale for use in fueling vehicles, generating electricity, powering industry, and heating homes and businesses.
  • Hydrogen has the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions and play a critical role in achieving net zero goals.

Q 98 "Pumped-storage hydropower" (Science & Technology)

98. Recently, the term "pumped-storage hydropower is actually and appropriately discussed in the context of which one of the following?

  1. Irrigation of terraced crop fields
  2. Lift irrigation of cereal crops
  3. Long duration energy storage
  4. Rainwater harvesting system

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • The term "pumped-storage hydropower" is appropriately discussed in the context of long duration energy storage. Pumped storage hydropower technology absorbs surplus energy at times of low demand and releases it when demand is high, making it ideal for electricity grids reliant on solar and wind power. This technology facilitates long duration energy storage, which is crucial for balancing the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources. 
  • Options (a), (b), and (d) are not directly related to the concept of pumped-storage hydropower and do not accurately reflect its purpose and function.

Pumped-Storage Hydropower:

  • Pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PSH) is a method of hydroelectric energy storage used for load balancing in electric power systems.
  • It involves storing energy as gravitational potential energy of water, pumped from a lower reservoir to a higher one.
  • Surplus off-peak electric power is used to run the pumps, and during high demand periods, the stored water is released through turbines to generate electricity.
  • While the pumping process consumes energy, the system can increase revenue by selling electricity during peak demand times.
  • PSH allows for the storage of energy from intermittent or excess sources for use during periods of higher demand.
    PSH is the largest-capacity form of grid energy storage, with a high round-trip energy efficiency ranging from 70% to 87%.

Q 99 "Membrane Bioreactors" (Science & Technology)

99. "Membrane Bioreactors are often discussed in the context of:

  1. Assisted reproductive technologies
  2. Drug delivery nanotechnologies
  3. Vaccine production technologies
  4. Wastewater treatment technologies

Answer: D

Explanation:

  • The passage mentions that Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology is a wastewater treatment technology.
  • It contrasts MBR technology with the activated sludge process (ASP), which is also a wastewater treatment technology.
  • Therefore, it is clear that Membrane Bioreactors are often discussed in the context of wastewater treatment technologies.

Membrane Bioreactor:

  • Membrane bioreactors combine membrane processes with biological wastewater treatment.
  • They are commonly used for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment.
  • There are two main configurations: submerged and side stream membrane bioreactors.
  • In submerged configuration, the membrane is inside the biological reactor.
  • In side stream configuration, the membrane is outside the reactor after biological treatment.

Q 100 "Collateral Borrowing and Lending Obligations" (Economy)

100. With reference to the Indian economy, "Collateral Borrowing and Lending Obligations" are the instruments of:

  1. Bond market
  2. Forex market
  3. Money market
  4. Stock market

Answer: C

Explanation:

  • Collateral Borrowing and Lending Obligations (CBLO) are instruments of the money market in the Indian economy.
  • CBLO represents an obligation between a borrower and a lender in the money market.
  • It works like a bond where the lender buys the CBLO and a borrower sells the money market instrument with interest.
  • Therefore, CBLO is a part of the money market in the Indian economy.

Collateral Borrowing:

  • Collateral in lending agreements is when a borrower pledges specific property to a lender to secure repayment of a loan.
  • Collateral serves as protection for lenders against borrower default and can be used to offset the loan if the borrower fails to pay.
  • Collateral allows lenders to offer lower interest rates on loans, with reductions of several percentage points depending on the type and value of the collateral.
  • If a borrower defaults on a loan, they lose the property pledged as collateral, with the lender becoming the owner.
  • Examples of collateral include real estate in mortgage transactions and a wide range of items accepted by pawnbrokers.
  • The type of collateral may be restricted based on the loan type, but can also be flexible in collateral-based personal loans.

Lending Obligations:

  • A loan is the transfer of money from one party to another with an agreement to repay it.
  • The borrower incurs a debt and is required to pay interest.
  • The loan document specifies the principal amount, interest rate, and repayment date.
  • Reallocation of assets between lender and borrower for a period of time.
  • Interest serves as an incentive for the lender.
  • Legal loan obligations and restrictions enforced by contract.
  • Financial institutions like banks and credit card companies provide loans.
  • Issuing debt contracts like bonds is another common source of funding for institutions.