UPSC QUESTIONS
UPSC Previous Years (Prelims & Mains) Questions
1 .
With reference to 'IFC Masala Bonds', sometimes seen in the news, which of the statements given below is/ are correct? (2016)
 
1. The International Finance Corporation, which offers these bonds, is an arm of the World Bank.
2. They are rupee-denominated bonds and are a source of debt financing for the public and private sector.
 
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
A)
1 only
B)
2 only
C)
Both 1 and 2
D)
Neither 1 nor 2

Correct Answer : Option (C) - Both 1 and 2

Note :

* The World Bank Group, which is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries, consists of five distinct yet complementary organizations, viz.,

* International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD),

* International Development Association (IDA),

* International Finance Corporation (IFC), hence, statement 1 is correct.

* Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA),

* International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

* Masala Bonds are rupee-denominated borrowings issued by Indian entities in overseas markets. Masala means ‘spices’ and the term was used by International Finance Corporation (IFC) to popularise the culture and cuisine of India on foreign platforms. The objective of Masala Bonds is to fund infrastructure projects in India, fuel internal growth via borrowings and internationalize the Indian currency. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

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Year : 2022
Category : General Studies
2 .
Consider the following statements: 
 
1. The Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme was launched during 1996-97 to provide loan assistance to poor farmers.
2. The Command Area Development Programme was launched in 1974-75 for the development of water-use efficiency,
 
Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?
A)
1 only
B)
2 only
C)
Both 1 and 2
D)
Neither 1 nor 2

Correct Answer : Option (B) - 2 only

Note :

The Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) was launched in 1996 as a central assistance programme, with the aim to accelerate creation of irrigation potential.
 
The Command Area Development (CAD) programme was initiated in 1974-75 with a view to bridging the gap between the potential created and its utilisation and optimising agricultural productivity through better management of land and water use in the command areas served by selected major and medium irrigation projects.

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Year : 2015
Category : General Studies
3 .
Which of the following are envisaged by the Right against Exploitation in the Constitution of India?
 
1. Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour
2. Abolition of untouchability
3. Protection of the interests of minorities
4. Prohibition of employment of children in factories and mines
 
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
A)
1, 2 and 4 only
B)
2, 3 and 4 only
C)
1 and 4 only
D)
1, 2, 3 and 4

Correct Answer : Option (C) - 1 and 4 only

Note :

* Articles 23 and 24 under Part III (Fundamental Rights) of the Constitution deal with the Right against exploitation.

* Article 23 provides for the prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour. It states that traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law. Hence, 1 is correct.

* Article 24 provides for the prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc. It states that no child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment. Hence, 4 is correct.

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Year : 2017
Category : General Studies
4 .
With reference to ‘Quality Council of India (QCI)’, consider the following statements:
 
1. QCI was set up jointly by the Government of India and the Indian Industry.
2. Chairman of QCI is appointed by the Prime Minister on the recommendations of the industry to the Government.
 
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A)
1 only
B)
2 only
C)
Both 1 and 2
D)
Neither 1 nor 2

Correct Answer : Option (C) - Both 1 and 2

Note :

The Quality Council of India was set up jointly by the Government of India and the Indian Industry represented by the three premier industry associations, i.e., Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, Confederation of Indian Industry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Hence, statement 1 is correct.

It was set up to establish and operate national accreditation structure and promote quality through National Quality Campaign.

The Council plays a pivotal role at the national level in propagating, adoption and adherence to quality standards in all important spheres of activities including education, health care, environment protection, governance, social sectors, infrastructure sector and such other areas of organized activities that have significant bearing on improving the quality of life and wellbeing of the citizens of India.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (Ministry of Commerce and Industry), is the nodal ministry for QCI.

It is governed by a Council of 38 members with equal representations of government, industry and consumers.

Chairman of QCI is appointed by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the industry to the government. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer.

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Year : 2017
Category : General Studies
5 .
Consider the following
 
1. Carbon monoxide
2. Nitrogen oxide
3. Ozone
4. Sulphur dioxide
 
Excess of which of the above in the environment is/are cause(s) of acid rain?
A)
1, 2 and 3
B)
2 and 4 only
C)
4 only
D)
1, 3 and 4

Correct Answer : Option (B) - 2 and 4 only

Note :

* Acid rain results when sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) are emitted into the atmosphere and transported by wind and air currents. The SO2 and NOX react with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form sulfuric and nitric acids.  These then mix with water and other materials before falling to the ground.

* While a small portion of the SO2 and NOX that cause acid rain is from natural sources such as volcanoes, most of it comes from the burning of fossil fuels.  The major sources of SO2 and NOX in the atmosphere are:

* Burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity.  Two thirds of SO2 and one fourth of NOX in the atmosphere come from electric power generators.

* Vehicles and heavy equipment.

* Manufacturing, oil refineries and other industries.

* Winds can blow SO2 and NOX over long distances and across borders making acid rain a problem for everyone and not just those who live close to these sources. 

Source : Epa

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Year : 2022
Category : General Studies
6 .
Consider the following statements:
 
DNA Barcoding can be a tool to :
 
1. assess the age of a plant or animal.
2. distinguish among species that look alike.
3. identify undesirable animal or plant materials in processed foods.
 
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
A)
1 only
B)
3 only
C)
1 and 2
D)
2 and 3

Correct Answer : Option (D) - 2 and 3

Note :

Statement 1 is incorrect: To measure the age of plant and animal remains from the more recent past, scientists use a radioactive isotope of carbon, called carbon-14, as their clock. As carbon-14 decays, with a half-life of about 5,730 years, it becomes nitrogen-14. Using this clock, they have dated bones, campfires and other objects as old as 60,000 years, and in some cases even older.
 
Statement 2 and 3 is correct: DNA barcoding uses specific regions of DNA in order to identify species. Initiatives are taking place around the world to generate DNA barcodes for all groups of living organisms and to make these data publically available in order to help understand, conserve, and utilize the world's biodiversity. For land plants the core DNA barcode markers are two sections of coding regions within the chloroplast, part of the genes, rbcL and matK. In order to create high quality databases, each plant that is DNA barcoded needs to have a herbarium voucher that accompanies the rbcL and matK DNA sequences. The quality of the DNA sequences, the primers used, and trace files should also be accessible to users of the data. Multiple individuals should be DNA barcoded for each species in order to check for errors and allow for intraspecific variation. The world's herbaria provide a rich resource of already preserved and identified material and these can be used for DNA barcoding as well as by collecting fresh samples from the wild. These protocols describe the whole DNA barcoding process, from the collection of plant material from the wild or from the herbarium, how to extract and amplify the DNA, and how to check the quality of the data after sequencing.

Source : NIST, Researchgate

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Year : 2022
Category : General Studies
7 .
Consider the following statements:
 
1. Other than those made by humans, nanoparticles do not exist in nature.
2. Nanoparticles of some metallic oxides are used in the manufacture of some cosmetics.
3. Nanoparticles of some commercial products which enter the environment are unsafe for humans.
 
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
A)
1 only
B)
3 only
C)
1 and 2
D)
2 and 3

Correct Answer : Option (D) - 2 and 3

Note :

Statement 1 is incorrect: Natural nanoparticles are formed from magma spewing volcanoes;others are formed by forces such as of oceanic breakers, tides, river currents, etc.

Statement 2 and 3 are correct: Among the metal oxide NPs present in cosmetic products, amorphous silica (SiO2), zinc oxide (ZnO) and particularly titanium dioxide (TiO2) are the most frequent. The thing that makes nanoparticles so interesting for applications is that materials in nanosize have properties (optical, chemical, magnetic, biological, electrical, and mechanical) that are completely different from the properties of the same material in bulk. These new properties may cause a problem if nanoparticles are unintentionally released – very few of these particles exist in nature and we as humans have not been exposed to them throughout evolution. Therefore, we cannot be sure that our body have developed defense mechanisms to deal with them. 
 
 An important consideration in the deposition of particles in the respiratory system is the lung-lining fluid (a complex mixture of lipids and surfactant proteins) since any depositing material quickly becomes coated in these surfactant proteins and lipids. Such a coating gives the deposited particle its ‘biological identity’ This so-called protein corona, which is likely to play a role in the way particles interact with lung cells such as alveolar macrophages. 

Several studies on workers exposed to carbon nanotubes have shown a significant increase of biomarkers of fibrosis. The organization for cancer research (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) have classified one type of carbon nanotubes (Mitzui 7) as potentially carcinogenic in humans [IARC 111]. 

Source : Researchgate, Sciencedirect, Nano

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Year : 2022
Category : General Studies
A)
They protect the body from environmental allergens.
B)
They alleviate the body’s pain and inflammation.
C)
They act as immunosuppressants in the body.
D)
They protect the body from the diseases caused by pathogens.

Correct Answer : Option (D) - They protect the body from the diseases caused by pathogens.

Note :

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cells. They play a critical role in keeping us healthy. Without them, we can’t survive.
 
* T cells protect us from infection. In our daily lives, we’re constantly exposed to pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Without T lymphocytes, also called T cells, every exposure could be life-threatening. T cells can wipe out infected or cancerous cells. They also direct the immune response by helping B lymphocytes to eliminate invading pathogens.

* B cells create antibodies. B lymphocytes, also called B cells, create a type of protein called an antibody. These antibodies bind to pathogens or to foreign substances, such as toxins, to neutralize them. For example, an antibody can bind to a virus, which prevents it from entering a normal cell and causing infection. B cells can also recruit other cells to help destroy an infected cell.

Source : Mdanderson

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Year : 2022
Category : General Studies
9 .
The Prime Minister recently inaugurated the new Circuit House near Somnath Temple at Veraval. Which of the following statements are correct regarding Somnath Temple ?
 
1. Somnath Temple is one of the Jyotirlinga shrines.
2. A description of Somnath Temple was given by Al-Biruni.
3. Pran Pratishtha of Somnath Temple (installation of the present day temple) was done by President S. Radhakrishnan.
 
Select the correct answer using the code given below :
A)
1 and 2 only
B)
2 and 3 only
C)
1 and 3 only
D)
1, 2 and 3

Correct Answer : Option (A) - 1 and 2 only

Note :

* Somnath Temple at Somnath, Gujrat is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus and is believed to be first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. 

* Ancient Indian traditions maintain a close relationship of Somnath with release of Chandra (Moon God) from the curse of his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati. Moon was married to Twenty-Seven daughters of Daksha. However, he favoured Rohini and neglected other queens. The aggrieved Daksha cursed Moon and the Moon lost power of light. With the advice of Prajapita Brahma, Moon arrived at the Prabhas Teerth and worshipped Bhagvan Shiva. Pleased with the great penance and devotion of Moon, Bhagvan Shiva blessed him and relieved him from the curse of darkness. Pauranic traditions maintain that Moon had built a golden temple, followed by a silver temple by Ravana, Bhagvan Shree Krishna is believed to have built Somnath temple with Sandalwood.

* The later sources of history account for several desecrations by Muslims invaders during eleventh to eighteen century A.D. The temple was rebuilt every time with the reconstructive spirit of the people. The modern temple was reconstructed with the resolve of Sardar Patel who visited the ruins of Somnath temple on November 13 1947. Then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, did the Pran-Pratistha at the existing temple on 11 May 1951.

So statement 3 is incorrect.

Source : Somnath

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Year : 2022
Category : General Studies
A)
The best means of salvation was devotion.
B)
Vedas are eternal, self-existent and wholly authoritative.
C)
Logical arguments were essential means for the highest bliss.
D)
Salvation was to be obtained through meditation.

Correct Answer : Option (A) - The best means of salvation was devotion.

Note :

* He was born in Tamil Nadu in the eleventh century. He was deeply influenced by the Alvars. He firmly believed that intense devotion to Vishnu was the best means to attain salvation. He propounded the doctrine of Vishishtadvaita.

* Vishishtadvaita is formed by the two words: vishisht meaning qualified and advaita meaning oneness of the individual soul and the Supreme God. In other words it means qualified oneness wherein the soul, even when united with the Supreme God, remained distinct.

* The new strand of bhakti that developed in north India subsequently was greatly inspired by Ramanujam's doctrine.

Souce : Excellup

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Year : 2022
Category : General Studies