UPSC Prelims 2019 – Answer Key, Sources, Sample Solutions and Controversial Questions

Students,

1. We will be updating this post with subject-wise graphs and analysis.

2. There will be a separate post highlighting the repeated question which we will be releasing shortly. The paper was by a small margin easier than the last year. Tikdams could be applied in a few questions which was not the case last year. With more number of seats, cut-offs are expected to cross 100 for sure. We will release the cut-off within the range of 3 digits.

3. We believe only 2 questions are worthy of falling in the doubtful category. They have been marked with a ‘*’We will suggest you do not engage in random discussions where controversy is made around every question.

4. Institutes that bring out the keys on the same day are the most unreliable. Please go through the analysis we have presented and match your scores. A typo might have crept in while uploading the questions but there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the analysis we present.

Feel free to leave your thoughts and expected scores in the comment.


1. With reference to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), consider the following statements :
1. AIIB has more than 80 member nations.
2. India is the largest shareholder in AIIB.
3. AIIB does not have any members from outside Asia.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer – a

Explanation – 

AIIB currently has 93 member’s countries and Beijing acts as AIIB headquarter.
Statement 2 is Incorrect- India is second largest shareholder in AIIB after China. It is headquartered in Beijing, China.
Statement 3 is Incorrect- AIIB has members from outside Asia also, like Algeria, Ghana, Libya, Morocco, Serbia and Togo.

Tikdam – Banks’s membership is rarely limited to a specified continent. with this information, only option valid is a.

Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Infrastructure_Investment_Bank


2. What was the purpose of Inter-Creditor Agreement signed by Indian banks and financial institutions recently?

(a) To lessen the Government of India’s perennial burden of fiscal deficit nd current account deficit

(b) To support the infrastructure projects of Central and State Governments

(c) To act as independent regulator in case of applications for loans of Rs. 50 crore or more

(d) To aim at faster resolution of stressed assets of Rs. 50 crore or more which are-under consortium lending

Answer: d

Explanation: Project Sashakt was proposed by a panel led by PNB chairman sunil Mehta. bad loans of up to Rs. 50 crore will be managed at the bank level with a deadline of 90 days. for bad loans of Rs. 50-500 crore, banks will enter an inter-credit agreement, authorizing the lead bank to implement a resolution plan in 180 days, or refer the asset to NCLT. For loans above Rs. 500 crore, the panel recommended an independent AMC, supported by institutional funding through the AIF. The idea is to help consolidate stressed assets.

Tikdam – Focus on intercreditor term. It denotes towards agreement amongst creditors who lend. Thus d is the most suitable option

Source -https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/cosmetic-repair/article24506004.ece


3. The Chairmen of public sector banks are selected by the

(a) Banks Board Bureau

(b) Reserve Bank of India

(c) Union Ministry of Finance

(d) Management of concerned bank

Answer: a

Explanation: The Centre has appointed a new Banks Board Bureau (BBB), under the Chairmanship of Bhanu Pratap Sharma, to select top management in public sector banks.

Source – http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=136968


4. Consider the following statements:

1. Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is the first regulatory body set up by the Government of India.

2. One of the tasks of PNGRB is to, ensure competitive markets for gas.

3. Appeals against the decisions of PNGRB go before the Appellate Tribunals for Electricity.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Explanation:  Statement 1 is incorrect: The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) was constituted under The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006 notified via Gazette Notification dated 31st March, 2006.

Statement 2 is correct: The Act provides for the establishment of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board to protect the interests of consumers and entities engaged in specified activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas and to promote competitive markets and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Further as enshrined in the act, the board has also been mandated to regulate the refining, processing, storage, transportation, distribution, marketing and sale of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas excluding production of crude oil and natural gas so as and to ensure uninterrupted and adequate supply of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas in all parts of the country.

Statement 3 is correct: Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Appellate Tribunal established under section 110 of the Electricity Act, 2003 (36 of 2003) shall be the Appellate Tribunal for the purposes of this Act and the said Appellate Tribunal shall exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on it by or under this Act : Provided that the Technical Member of the Appellate Tribunal for the purposes of this Act shall be called the Technical Member (Petroleum and Natural Gas) and shall have the qualifications specified in subsection (2) of section 31.

TIKDAM – Now closely observe statement 1. This looks like extreme statement.Many regulatories bodies were set up befpre PNGRB. Usually extreme statements are incorrect Thus b is the only option.

Source – http://www.pngrb.gov.in/the-act.html


5. With reference to communication technologies, what is/are the difference/differences between LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution)?

1. LTE ‘is commonly marketed as 3G and VoLTE is commonly marketed as advanced 3G.

2. LTE is data-only technology and VoLTE is voice-only technology.

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

Answer: d

Explanation: Statement 1 is incorrect: VoLTE stands for voice over LTE. It’s voice calls over a 4G LTE network, Rather than the 2G or 3G connections which are usually used.

Statement 2 is incorrect: In LTE, the network will switch off the data connection while making voice calls, while you don’t need to turn your data connection off while making a voice call in VoLTE. While LTE is targeted for increasing data rates on the 4G bandwidth, VoLTE is targeted towards both voice calling and internet data without affecting each other.


6. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the Maternity Benefit ‘ (Amendment) Act, 2017?

1. Pregnant women are entitled for three months pre-delivery and three months post-delivery paid leave.

2. Enterprises with creches must allow the mother minimum six creche visits daily.

3. Women with two children get reduced entitlements.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: c

Explanation: Statement 1 is incorrect: The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act has increased the duration of paid maternity leave available for women employees from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks. Under the Act, this benefit could be availed by women for a period extending up to 8 weeks before the expected delivery date and remaining 18 weeks can be availed post childbirth.

Statement 2 is incorrect: The Act makes crèche facility mandatory for every establishment employing 50 or more employees. Women employees would be permitted to visit the crèche 4 times during the day. The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act makes it mandatory for employers to educate women about the maternity benefits available to them at the time of their appointment. Statement 3 is correct: For women who are expecting after having 2 children, the duration of paid maternity leave shall be 12 weeks (i.e., 6 weeks pre and 6 weeks post expected date.

Source – http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=159039


7. Which one of the following is not a sub-index of the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’?

(a) Maintenance of law and order

(b) Paying taxes

(c) Registering property

(d) Dealing with construction permits

Answer: a

Explanation: The Ease of doing business index ranks countries against each other based on how the regulatory environment is conducive to business operation. Of the options given, the option (a), i.e. ‘Maintenance of law and order’ is not a subindex of the ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’ and hence, is the correct answer.

Source – http://www.doingbusiness.org/en/rankings


8. In India, ‘extended producer responsibility’ was introduced as an important feature in which of the following?

(a) The Bio-medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998

(b) The Recycled plastic (Manufacturing and Usage) Rules, 1999

(c) The e-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011

(d) The Food Safety and Standard Regulations, 2011

Answer: c

Explanation: The E-Waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2011introduced the concept of EPR for the first time in India. All producers of electronics like Phones, Computers, Washing Machines were responsible for setting up reverse logistics for collection of E-Waste and channelizing it to State Pollution Control Board authorized recyclers.

Source – https://www.civilsdaily.com/burning-issue-e-waste-problem-in-india/


9. The economic cost of food grains to the Food Corporation of India is Minimum Support Price and bonus (if any) paid to the farmers plus

(a) transportation cost only

(b) interest cost only

(c) procurement incidentals and distribution cost

(d) procurement incidentals and charges for godowns

Answer: c

Explanation: FCI defines economic cost as the sum of acquisition cost and distribution cost. So the most correct answer is c.

Source – https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Components-of-economic-cost-of-foodgrains-incurred-by-the-Food-Corporation-of-India_fig1_279189313


10. In the context of any country, which one of the following would be considered as part of its social capital?

(a) The proportion of literates in the population

(b) The stock of its buildings, other infrastructure and machines

(c) The size of the population in the working age group

(d) The level of mutual trust and harmony in society

Answer: d

Explanation:  Social capital is defined by the OECD as “networks together with shared norms, values, and understandings that facilitate co-operation within or among groups”.

Source – https://stats.oecd.org/glossary/detail.asp?ID=3560


11. The Service Area Approach was implemented under the purview of

(a) Integrated Rural Programme

(b) Lead Bank Scheme

(c) Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

(d) National Skill Development Mission

Answer: b

Explanation: Lead bank scheme Service Area Approach under which villages are identified and assigned to bank branches based on their proximity and contiguity. Sub Service Area is a cluster of more than one village wherein up to 1000 to 1500 households are brought under such cluster for providing banking services.

Nationalisation of Banks


12. With reference to the management of minor minerals in India, consider the following statements:

1. Sand is a ‘minor mineral’ according to the prevailing law in the country.

2. State Governments have the power to grant mining leases of minor minerals, but the powers regarding the formation of rules related to the grant of minor minerals lie with the Central Government.

3. State Governments have the power to frame rules to prevent illegal mining of minor minerals.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(e) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: a

Explanation: According to section 3(e) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 “Minor Minerals” means building stones, gravel, ordinary clay, ordinary sand other than sand used for prescribed purposes[1], and any other mineral which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be a minor mineral. (For the purposes of this Act, the word “minerals” includes all minerals except mineral oils- natural gas and petroleum)

Statement 2 is incorrect: The central government has the power to notify “minor minerals” under section 3 (e) of the MMDR Act, 1957. On the other hand, as per Section 15 of the MMDR Act, 1957 State Governments have complete powers for making Rules for grant of concessions in respect of extraction of minor minerals and levy and collection of royalty on minor minerals.

http://www.arthapedia.in/index.php?title=Minor_Minerals


13. Consider the following statements:

1. Most of India’s external debt is owed by governmental entities.

2. All of India’s external debt is denominated in US dollars.

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

Answer: d

Explanation: 78.8% of the total external debt ($404.5 billion) was owned by nongovernmental entities like private companies. As of December 2017, about 48% of India’s total external debt was denominated in dollars and 37.3% in rupees.

Tikdam: Again statement 2 looks very reasonable

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/External_debt_of_India


14. Which of the following is not included in the assets of a commercial bank in India?

(a) Advances

(b) Deposits

(e) Investments

(d). Money at call and short notice

Answer: b

Explanation: Deposits is a liability as this has to be returned back to the public. While all other are assets as it will generate income to the banks.

http://www.economicsdiscussion.net/money-supply/commercial-banks/financial-assets-of-acommercial- bank/26097

15. In the context of India, which of the following factors is/are contributor/ contributors to reducing the risk of a currency crisis?

1. The foreign currency earnings of India’s IT sector

2. Increasing the government expenditure

3. Remittances from Indians abroad

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Explanation: Currency crisis risk is reduced by an increase in foreign exchange inflow in the current account of BoP. In this question 1 and 3 are inflows in the current account and hence reduce the risk, whereas 2 are not related to currency risk directly. Thus, a more correct answer is 1 and 3 only.


16. Which one of the following suggested that the Governor should be an eminent person from outside the State and should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in the recent past?

(a) First Administrative Reforms Commission (1966)

(b) Rajamannar Committee (1969)

(c) Sarkaria Commission (1983)

(d) National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2000)

Answer: c

Explanation: Sarkaria Commission provides for these. (Laxmikanth: Center-State Relations) While selecting Governors, the Central Government should adopt the following strict guidelines as recommended in the Sarkaria Commission report and follow its mandate in letter and spirit: -He should be eminent in some walk of life -He should be a person from outside the state -He should be a detached figure and not too intimately connected with the local politics of the states -He should be a person who has not taken too great a part in politics generally and particularly in the recent past.


17. Which of the following is issued by registered foreign portfolio investors to overseas investors who want to be part of the Indian stock market without registering themselves directly?

(a) Certificate of Deposit

(b) Commercial Paper

(c) Promissory Note

(d) Participatory Note

Answer: d


18. Consider the following statements

1. As per law, the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority exists at both National and State levels.

2. People’s participation is mandatory in the compensatory afforestation programmes carried out under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016.

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

Answer: a

Explanation: Statement one is correct: Compensatory afforestation fund Act 2016, chapter III Section 8 states about the national authority and section 9 States about state authority.

Statement 2 is incorrect: There is no mention of the ‘mandatory’ participation of people in the program carried out under it. keyword was mandatory.


19. In India, which of the following review the independent regulators in sectors like telecommunications, insurance, electricity, etc.?

1. Ad Hoc Committees set up by the Parliament

2. Parliamentary Department Related Standing Committees

3. Finance Commission

4. Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission

5. NITI Aayog

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 1, 3 and 4

(c) 3, 4 and 5

(d) 2 and 5

Answer: a

Explanation: Finance Commission, FSLRC and NITI Aayog don’t review the independent regulators in the field of insurance, telecommunications, insurance, electricity, etc.


20. With reference to India’s Five-Year Plans, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. From the Second Five-Year Plan, there was a determined thrust towards substitution of basic and capital goods industries.

2. The Fourth Five-Year Plan adopted the objective of correcting the earlier trend of increased concentration of wealth and economic power.

3. In the Fifth Five-Year Plan, for the first time, the financial sector was included as an integral part of the Plan.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: a

Explanation: Second plan was conceived in an atmosphere of economic stability. It was felt agriculture could be accorded lower priority. Industries got more importance in the 2nd five year plan. The focus was mainly on heavy industries. The Indian government boosted manufacturing of industrial goods in the country. This was done primarily to develop the public sector. The Plan Focussed on rapid industrialization- heavy & basic industries

There were two principal objectives of this plan – ‘Growth with Stability’ and ‘Progressive Achievement of Self-Reliance’. It aimed at a 5.5 percent average growth rate of the national income and also the provision of the national minimum for the weaker sections of the society (called ‘Garibi Hatao’ or ‘Growth with Justice’.

The Fifth Five-Year Plan laid stress on employment, poverty alleviation (Garibi Hatao), The Minimum Needs Programme (MNP) was introduced in the first year of the Fifth Five-Year Plan (1974–78). The objective of the program is to provide certain basic minimum needs and thereby improve the living standards of the people.


21. With reference to the Constitution of India, consider the following statements:

1. No High Court shall have the jurisdiction to declare any central law to be constitutionally invalid.

2. An amendment to the Constitution of India cannot be called into question by the Supreme Court of India.

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

Answer: d

Explanation: Statement 1 is incorrect: High courts can strike down central laws also.

Statement 2 is incorrect: The Supreme Court in Kesavananda Bharati case (1973) held that Constitutional amendment can be challenged on the ground that it violates a fundamental right that forms a part of the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution and hence, can be declared as void.


22. Consider the following statements

1. Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) exchange rates are calculated by comparing the prices of the same basket of goods and services in different countries.

2. In terms of PPP dollars, India is the sixth largest economy in the world.

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

Answer: a

Explanation: Statement 2 is wrong as India is the 3rd largest economy on PPP.


23. With reference to the cultivation of Kharif crops in India in the last five years, consider the following statements:

1. Area under rice cultivation is the highest.

2. Area under the cultivation of jowar is more than that of oilseeds.

3. Area of cotton cultivation is more than that of sugarcane.

4. Area under sugarcane cultivation has steadily decreased.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: a

Explanation: Statement 1 is correct : Major Kharif crops are rice, maize, cotton of which rice cultivable area is around 435 Million Hectare ,Cotton Is around 120 Million hectare and maize is even lesser than this.

Statement 2 is incorrect. Statement 3 is Correct: Cotton cultivation is around 120 Million hectare and sugarcane is around 50 million hectare. Statement 4 is Incorrect : Sugarcane cultivation has not declined Steadily but has fluctuated in last 5 years .

Tikdam: Sugarcane prices have crashed in recent years because of overproduction thanks to lucerative FRP and SAP.It was very much in news. Therefore no way statement 4 is correct. Once we eliminate statement 4 ,we will automatically arrive at the correct answer without knowing the other 3 statements.


24. Among the agricultural commodities imported by India, which one of the following accounts for the highest imports in terms of value in the last five years?

(a) Spices

(b) Fresh fruits

(c) Pulses

(d) Vegetable oils

Answer: d


*25. In the context of polity, which one of the following would you accept as the most appropriate definition of liberty?

(a) Protection against the tyranny of political rulers

(b) Absence of restraint

(c) Opportunity to do whatever one likes

(d) Opportunity to develop oneself fully.

Answer: d

Explanation: Liberty is narrow sense is absence of restraints. But wider interpretation of liberty is positive. It is facilitating overall development of an individual. Provision of reservation, protection of minority rights etc. provide for creating an enabling atmosphere where the individual can develop themselves fully. Provision of reservation, protection of minority rights etc. provide for creating an enabling atmosphere where individual can develop themselves fully.

Civilsdaily is going with D. Will verify with actual key.


26. Which one of the following is not the most likely measure the Government/RBI takes to stop the slide of Indian rupee?

(a) Curbing imports of non-essential goods-and promoting exports

(b) Encouraging Indian borrowers to issue rupee denominated Masala Bonds

(c) Easing conditions relating to external commercial borrowing

(d) Following an expansionary monetary policy

Answer: d

Explanation: Following an expansionary monetary policy will lead to the money supply in an economy. This, in turn, will lead to more outflow of dollars and thus, the rupee arrest cannot be stopped.


27. Consider the following statements:

The Reserve Bank of India’s recent directives relating to ‘Storage of Payment System Data’, popularly known as data diktat, command the payment system providers that

1. they shall ensure that entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India

2. they shall ensure that the systems are owned and operated by public sector enterprises

3. they shall submit the consolidated system audit report to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India by the end of the calendar year

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: a

Explanation: Storage of Payment System Data All system providers shall ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India. This data should include the full end-to-end transaction details/information collected/carried/ processed as part of the message/payment instruction. For the foreign leg of the transaction, if any, the data can also be stored in a foreign country, if required. System providers shall ensure compliance of (i) above within a period of six months and report compliance of the same to the Reserve Bank latest by October 15, 2018. System providers shall submit the System Audit Report (SAR) on completion of the requirement at (i) above. The audit should be conducted by CERT-IN empaneled auditors certifying completion of activity at (i) above. The SAR duly approved by the Board of the system providers should be submitted to the Reserve Bank not later than December 31, 2018.

Source – https://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=11244


28. Which of the following adopted a law on data protection and privacy for its citizens known as ‘General Data Protection Regulation’ in April 2016 and started the implementation of it from 25th May, 2018?

(a) Australia

(b) Canada

(c) The European Union

(d) The United States of America

Answer: c

Explanation: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), agreed upon by the European Parliament and Council in April 2016, will replace the Data Protection Directive in Spring 2018 as the primary law regulating how companies protect EU citizens’ personal data. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation


29. Recently, India signed a deal known as ‘Action Plan for Prioritization and Implementation of Cooperation Areas in the Nuclear Field’ with which of the following countries?

(a) Japan

(b) Russia

(c) The United Kingdom

(d) The United States of America

Answer: b

Explanation: The Action Plan for Prioritization and Implementation of Cooperation Areas in the Nuclear Field identified jointly by Russia and India. Source – http://www.pib.nic.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1548726


30. The money multiplier in an economy increases with which one of the following?

(a) Increase in the cash reserve ratio

(b) Increase in the banking habit of the population

(c) Increase in the statutory liquidity ratio

(d) Increase in the population of the country

Answer: b

Explanation: The Money Multiplier refers to how an initial deposit can lead to a bigger final increase in the total money supply. Increase in banking habit of the population will lead to more deposits in the banking system and thus, banks have more money to lend out money which leads to an increase in the money multiplier.


31. Consider the following statements about Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India:

1. PVTGs reside in 18 States and one Union Territory.

2. A stagnant or declining population is one of the criteria for determining PVTG status.

3. There are 95 PVTGs officially notified in the country so far.

4. Irular and Konda Reddi tribes are included in the list of PVTGs.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 2, 3 and 4

(c) 1, 2 and 4

(d) 1, 3 and 4

Answer: c

Explanation: Statement 1 is correct: 5 tribal groups have been categorized by Ministry of Home Affairs as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)s. PVTGs reside in 18 States and UT of A&N Islands.

Statement 2 is correct: The criteria followed for determination of PVTGs are as under: 1. A pre-agriculture level of technology; 2. A stagnant or declining population; 3. Extremely low literacy; and 4. A subsistence level of economy. Statement 3 is incorrect :75 tribal groups have been categorized by Ministry of Home Affairs asParticularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)s for them . Statement 4 is correct : Kondareddis in AP and irulas in Tamil nadu are classified as PVTG.

Tikdam: If you know statement 3, you can easily solve the question using elimination method. Once you eliminate statement 3,you will automatically arrive at the correct answer.

https://tribal.nic.in/pvtg.aspx There are only 75 PVTG https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particularly_vulnerable_tribal_group


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

(a) The decisions taken by the Election Commission of India while discharging its duties cannot be challenged in any court of law.

(b) The Supreme Court of India is not constrained in the exercise of its powers by laws made by the Parliament.

(c) In the event of grave financial crisis in the country, the President of India can declare Financial Emergency without the counsel from the Cabinet.

(d) State Legislatures cannot make laws on certain matters without the concurrence of Union Legislature.

Answer: b

Explanation: Enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court: The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or orders so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe. Subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament, the Supreme Court shall, as respects the whole of the territory of India, have all and every power to make any order for the purpose of securing the attendance of any person, the discovery or production of any documents, or the investigation or punishment of any contempt of itself. Laxmikant


33. With reference to the Legislative Assembly of a State in India, consider the following statements:

1. The Governor makes a customary address to Members of the House at the commencement of the first session of the year.

2. When a State Legislature does’ not have a rule on a particular matter, it follows the Lok Sabha rule on that matter.

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

Answer: a

Explanation: The Constitution gives the Governor the right to address the House or Houses of the state Legislature separately or jointly. At the beginning of each new session and immediately after a general election to the Assembly, he has to deliver an address to the Legislature in which he lays down the policy.

Statement 2 is incorrect: Article 208. Rules of procedure.—(1) A House of the Legislature of a State may make rules for regulating, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, its procedure and the conduct of its business. (2) Until rules are made under clause (1), the rules of procedure and standing orders in force immediately before the commencement of this Constitution with respect to the Legislature for the corresponding Province shall have effect in relation to the Legislature of the State subject to such modifications and adaptations as may be made therein by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, or the Chairman of the Legislative Council, as the case may be. (3) In a State having a Legislative Council the Governor, after consultation with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the Chairman of the Legislative Council, may make rules as to the procedure with respect to communications between the two Houses.

https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1093471/ nowhere its mentioned that Lok sabha rules are used by default, so statement two in likely wrong https://indiankanoon.org/doc/695063/ (pre-constitutional rules be adopted instead of Lok sabha rules as per Art 208(2)


34. Consider the following statements:

1. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has a ‘Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air’.

2. The UNCAC is the ever-first legally binding global anti-corruption instrument.

3. A highlight of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) is the inclusion of a specific chapter aimed at returning assets to their rightful owners from whom they had been taken illicitly.

4. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated by its member States to assist in the implementation of both UNCAC and UNTOC.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: c

Explanation: Statement 1 is incorrect- Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, comes under the aegis of United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime(UNTOC).

Statement 2 is correct- The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which entered into force in December 2005, is the ever-first binding global anti-corruption instrument. It obliges the States to prevent and criminalize different corrupt practices, promote international cooperation, cooperate for the recovery of stolen assets and enhance technical assistance and information exchange.

Statement 3 is incorrect- A highlight of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)is the inclusion of a specific chapter on asset recovery, aimed at returning assets to their rightful owners, including countries from which they had been taken illicitly.

Statement 4 is correct- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated by its Member States to assist in the implementation of both the Conventions (UNCAC and UNTOC), which along with the UN Drug Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988 underpin all the operational work of UNODC.

https://www.unodc.org/southasia/en/frontpage/2011/may/indian-govt-ratifies-two-un-conventions. Statement 1 is incorrect as UNTOC has that protocol Statement 3 is incorrect as UNCAC has that provision


35. Consider the following statements:

1. As per recent amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927, forest dwellers have the right to fell the bamboos grown on forest areas.

2. As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, bamboo is a minor forest produce.

3. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 allows ownership of minor forest produce to forest dwellers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Explanation:

Statement 1 is incorrect: After amending Section 2(7) of Indian Forest Act, 1927, bamboo is no longer a tree and felled bamboo too is not timber. Consequent to the amendment, felling or transportation of bamboos growing in NONFOREST AREA will not require any permits. So any bamboo grown in private or homestead land by millions of farmers does not require a felling permission or transit permission from any state forest department. Statement 2 is Correct: As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 it recognises bambooas a Minor Forest Produce. Statement 3 is correct: The rights which are included in section 3(1) of theScheduled Tribes and Other traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006vests the “right of ownership, access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce” with scheduled tribes and traditional forest dwellers.

https://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/indian-forest-amendment-bill-2017 and https://indiacode.nic. in/bitstream/123456789/2070/1/A2007-02.pdf

1 is wrong as amendment is for bamboos outside forest areas 2 and 3 are correct as stated in the SC&ST FRA act


36. Which Article of the Constitution of India safeguards one’s right to marry the person of one’s choice?

(a) Article 19

(b) Article 21

(c) Article 25

(d) Article 29

Answer: b

Explanation: The right to marry a person of one’s choice is integral to Article 21 (right to life and liberty) of The Constitution”, the Supreme Court said Monday and set aside a 2017 order of the Kerala High Court which annulled the marriage of Kerala Muslim convert girl Hadiya and Shefin Jahan.


37. Consider the following statements:

1. According to the Indian Patents Act, a biological process to create a seed can be patented in India.

2. In India, there is no Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

3. Plant varieties are not eligible to be patented in India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: c

Explanation: A patent is an exclusive right granted to an inventor to prevent others from making, using, producing, selling and distributing the patented invention. A patent on seeds would prevent farmers from saving and exchanging seed.

Statement 1 is incorrect and statement 3 is correct: In our Patent Law we introduced a clause Article 3j which clearly states that the following are not inventions, hence not patentable: “plants and animals in whole or in any part thereof other than microorganisms; but including seeds, varieties, and species, and essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants and animals”.

Statement 2 is incorrect: The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) was constituted on September 15, 2003, by the Indian Government to hear and resolve the appeals against the decisions of the registrar under the Indian Trademarks Act, 1999 and the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

Tikdam: Again statement 2 is very extreme. You must have heard the name of IPAB many times in news. No way statement 2 can be correct.


38. Consider the following statements:

The Environment Protection Act, 1986 empowers the Government of India to

1. state the requirement of public participation in the process of environmental protection, and the procedure and manner in which it is sought

2. lay down The standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources

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

Answer: b

Explanation: Environment Protection Act, 1986: Statement 1 is incorrect: It is not mentioned anywhere in the EPA,1986. The Act empowers the Central Government to take all appropriate measures to prevent and control pollution and to establish effective machinery for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, abating and controlling environmental pollution. 1. The Act empowers the center to “take all such measures as it deems necessary”. 2. By virtue of this Act, Central Government has armed itself with considerable powers which include, o coordination of action by the state, o planning and execution of nationwide programs,

Statement 2 is correct: laying down environmental quality standards, especially those governing emission


39. As per the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 in India, which one of the following statements is correct?

(a) Waste generator has to segregate waste into five categories.

(b) The Rules are applicable to riotified urban local bodies, notified towns and all industrial townships only.

(c) The Rules provide for exact and elaborate criteria for the identification of sites for landfills and waste processing facilities.

(d) It is mandatory on the part of waste generator that the waste generated in one district cannot be moved to another district.

Answer: c

Explanation: The new rules have mandated the source segregation of waste in order to channelize the waste to wealth by recovery, reuse and recycle. Statement (a) is incorrect: Waste generators would now have to now segregate waste into three streams (not five) – Biodegradables, Dry (Plastic, Paper, metal, Wood, etc.) and Domestic Hazardous waste (diapers, napkins, mosquito repellants, cleaning agents etc.) before handing it over to the collector. Statement (b) is incorrect: The Rules are applicable beyond municipal areas and will extend to urban agglomerations, census towns, notified industrial townships, areas under the control of Indian Railways, airports, airbase, port and harbour, defence establishments, special economic zones, State and Central government organizations, places of pilgrims, religious & historical importance. Statement (c) is correct: Waste processing facilities will have to be set up by all local bodies having a population of 1 million or more within two years. The landfill site shall be 100 meters away from a river, 200 meters from a pond, 500 meters away from highways, habitations, public parks and water supply wells and 20 km away from airports/airbase. The construction of landfills on hills shall be avoided. Land for construction of sanitary landfills in hilly areas will be identified in the plain areas, within 25 kilometers. Statement (d) is incorrect: The bio-degradable waste should be processed, treated and disposed of through composting or biomethanation within the premises as far as possible. The residual waste shall be given to the waste collectors or agency as directed by the local authority.

http://bch.cbd.int/database/attachment/?id=19052


40. Consider the following statements:

As per the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central (Amendment) Rules, 2018

1. if rules for fixed-term employment are implemented, it becomes easier for the firms/companies to layoff workers.

2. no notice of termination of employment shall be necessary in the case of temporary workman.

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

Answer: c

Explanation: The government has notified fixed term employment for all sectors through an amendment to the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central Rules, 1946. Fixed term employment for all sectors will make it easier for companies to hire-and-fire workers along with reducing the role of middlemen. No workman employed on fixed term employment basis as a result of non-renewal of contract or employment or on its expiry shall be entitled to any notice or pay in lieu thereof, if his services are terminated. No notice of termination of employment shall be necessary in the case of temporary workman whether monthly rated, weekly rated or piece rated and probationers or badli workmen. https://labour.gov.in/sites/default/files/FTE%20Final%20Notification.pdf


41. In the context of digital technologies for entertainment, consider the following statements:

1. In Augmented Reality (AR) , a simulated environment is created and the physical world is completely shut out.

2. In Virtual Reality (VR), images generated from a computer are projected onto real-life objects or surroundings.

3. AR allows individuals to be present in the world and improves the experience using the camera of smart-phone or PC.

4. VR closes the world, and transposes an individual, providing complete immersion experience.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 and 4

(c) 1, 2 and 3

(d) 4 only

Answer: b

Explanation: Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory. The overlaid sensory information can be constructive (i.e. additive to the natural environment), or destructive (i.e. masking of the natural environment). This experience is seamlessly interwoven with the physical world such that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment. In this way, augmented reality alters one’s ongoing perception of a real-world environment.

 Virtual reality completely replaces the user’s real-world environment with a simulated one.

https://www.fi.edu/difference-between-ar-vr-and-mr


42. The word ‘Denisovan’ is sometimes mentioned in media in reference to

(a) fossils of a kind of dinosaurs

(b) an early human species

(c) a cave system found in North-East India.

(d) a geological period in the history of Indian subcontinent

Answer: b

Explanation: Scientists have uncovered the most complete remains yet from the mysterious ancient hominin group known as the Denisovans. The jawbone discovered high on the Tibetan Plateau and dated to more than 160,000 years ago, is also the first Denisovan specimen found outside the Siberian cave in which the hominin was uncovered a decade ago — confirming suspicions that Denisovans were more widespread than the fossil record currently suggests. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/hominins-weve-been-calling-denisovans-are-more-diverse-previously-thought-180971952/


43. With reference to the recent developments in science, which one of the following statements is not correct?

(a) Functional chromosomes can be created by joining segments of DNA taken from cells of different species.

(b) Pieces of artificial functional DNA can be created in Iaboratories.

(c) A piece of DNA taken out from an animal cell can be made to replicate outside a living cell in a laboratory.

(d) Cells taken out from plants and animals can be made to undergo cell division in laboratory petri dishes.

Answer: a

Explanation: Option(b) Pieces of artificial functional DNA can be created in laboratories. In 2007 Scientists in Japan reported the development of the world’s first DNA molecule made almost entirely of artificial parts. The finding opened up huge possibilities in gene therapy.

Option(c) A piece of DNA taken out from an animal cell can be made to replicate outside a living cell in a laboratory. It is exactly what is done through Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. PCR mimics what happens in cells when DNA is copied (replicated) prior to cell division, but it is carried out in controlled conditions in a laboratory. The machine that is used is simply called a PCR machine or a thermocycler.

Option:(d) Cells taken out from plants and animals can be made to undergo cell division in laboratory Petri dishes Plants cells are totipotent and a single cell has the potential to divide through mitosis in sterile conditions in a culture Petri dish to grow into a mature plant. Similarly, animal cells can undergo mitotic cell division up to multicelled stages in cultured Petri dish examples: Somatic cell nuclear transfer technology(reproductive cloning) and Zygote created through Invitro fertilization.

Option (a) Functional chromosomes can be created by joining segments of DNA taken from cells of different species is incorrect as it is functional DNA which can be created through recombinant DNA technology by joining DNA taken from different species.


*44. Consider the following statements:

A digital signature is

1. an electronic record that identifies the certifying authority issuing it

2. used to serve as a proof of identity of an individual to access information or server on Internet.

3. an electronic method of signing an electronic document and ensuring that the original content is unchanged

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Explanation: A digital signature is an electronic form of signature that can be used to authenticate the Identity of the sender of a message or a signer of a document and also ensure that original content of the message on document that has been sent is unchanged. Digital signatures are easily transportable and cannot be imitated by someone else. The ability to ensure that the Original Signed message arrived means that the sender cannot easily disclaim it later.

So statement 2 and 3 are correct.

But digital signatures are different from digital signature certificates. DSC is the electronic format of physical or paper certificate like a driving license, passport, etc. The digital signature is an electronic method of sending an electronic document whereas a digital signature certificate is a Computer Based record that identifies the certifying authority issuing it.

Hence statement 1 is wrong. so, the correct answer is option B.

https://www.e-mudhra.com/faq.html

If UPSC didnt want to check this level of depth, then it will be d)1,2 & 3. 


45. In the context of wearable technology, which of the following tasks is/are accomplished by wearable devices?

1. Location identification of a person

2. Sleep monitoring of a person

3. Assisting the hearing impaired person

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Explanation: Wearables are electronic technology or devices incorporated into items that can be comfortably worn on a body. These wearable devices are used for tracking information on real-time basis. They have motion sensors that take the snapshot of your day to day activity and sync them with mobile devices or laptop computers. After the invention of smartphones, wearable electronics are the next big innovation in the world of technology

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/w/wearable-technology.asp


46. ‘RNA interference (RNAi)’ technology has gained popularity in the last few years. Why?

1. It is used in developing gene silencing therapies.

2. It can be used in developing therapies for-the treatment of cancer.

3. It can be used to develop hormone replacement therapies.

4. It can be used to produce crop plants that are resistant to viral pathogens.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1, 2 and 4

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 1 and 4 only

Answer: a

Explanation: RNA interference (RNAi) is a biological process in which RNA molecules inhibit gene expression or translation, by neutralizing targeted mRNA molecules. RNAi is also known as posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS) and quelling. The RNA interference (RNAi) is a promising gene regulatory approach in functional genomics that has a significant impact on crop improvement. RNAi has also been exploited in plants for resistance against pathogens, insect/pest, nematodes, and virus that cause significant economic losses. This novel approach opens new avenues for crop improvement by developing disease resistant, abiotic or biotic stress tolerant, and high yielding elite varieties. RNA interference (RNAi) is a mechanism for gene silencing. Such mechanism possesses an unusual ability in targeting cancer-related genes

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/probe/docs/techrnai/


47. Recently, scientists observed the merger of giant ‘blackholes’ billions of light-years away from the Earth. What is the significance of this observation?

(a) ‘Higgs boson particles’ were detected.

(b) ‘Gravitational waves’ were detected.

(e) Possibility of inter-galactic space travel through ‘wormhole’ was confirmed.

(d) It enabled the scientists to understand ‘singularity’.

Answer: b

Explanation: Billions of light years away, two black holes have collided to create a larger one – the biggest black hole merger yet detected. It has a mass more than 80 times that of the sun. The resulting energy injected into the fabric of space time was also record breaking, with five sun’s worth of mass released in the form gravitational waves as the two holes spiralled in towards each other. Such titanic amounts of energy meant that the signal was still detectable by the time it reached gravitational wave detectors on Earth. It produced a record-breaking result – the most distant collision detected so far, nine billion light years away.“This event also had black holes spinning the fastest of all mergers observed so far,” says the Australian National University’s Susan Scott, a chief investigator with the Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav). “It is also by far the most distant merger observed.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01377-2


48. Which of the following are the reasons for the occurrence of multi-drug resistance in microbial pathogens in India?

1. Genetic predisposition of some people

2. Taking incorrect doses of antibiotics to cure diseases

3. Using antibiotics in livestock farming

4. Multiple chronic diseases in some people

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 and 3 only

(e) 1, 3 and 4

(d) 2, 3 and 4

Answer: a

Explanation: The developing world where antibiotics can be bought for human or animal use without a prescription, the emergence and spread of resistance among bacteria has been made worse. Thus in countries without standard treatment guidelines, antibiotics are often overprescribed by health workers and veterinarians and over-used by the public. Without urgent action, the world is heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries will once again lead to deaths like in the pre-antibiotic era. Genetic predisposition of people can make people more vulnerable to infections but it has nothing to do with increase in resistance to antibiotics in the micro-organisms. Multiple chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cancer can increase the sufferersvulnerability to infections but it can not be the cause of multi-drug resistance. Alternative view – Option 4 :: is also correct becuase people with chronic diseases have often immunity and also they are prescribed more antimicrobial medication to cure their diseases. Both these both opportunity for development of MDR evolution.

https://www.niaid.nih.gov/research/antimicrobial-resistance-causes


49. What is Cas9 protein that is often mentioned in news?

(a) A molecular scissors used in targeted gene editing

(b) A biosensor used in the accurate detection of pathogens in patients

(c) A gene that makes plants pest-resistant

(d) A herbicidal substance synthesized in genetically modified crops

Answer: a

Explanation: CRISPR-Cas9 is a unique technology that enables geneticists and medical researchers to edit parts of the genome by removing, adding or altering sections of the DNA sequence.

https://www.yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-crispr-cas9


50. Which one of the following statements is not correct?

(a) Hepatitis B virus is transmitted much like HIV.

(b) Hepatitis B, unlike Hepatitis C, does not have a vaccine.

(c) Globally, the number of people infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses are several times more than those infected with HIV.

(d) Some of those infected with Hepatitis Band C viruses do not show the symptoms for many years.

Answer: b

Explanation:

Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV are transmitted in a similar fashion through contaminated syringes, infected blood, transfusions, unprotected sexual intercourse. The number of people affected by Hepatitis B and C are much more than HIV infected people. People infected by Hepatitis B and C may remain symptom less for many years or with mild symptoms but the infection may manifest as chronic liver illness followed by Cirrhosis of liver and hepatic carcinoma. People can be effectively protected against Hepatitis B through vaccination. India is the largest producer of recombinant hepatitis B vaccine. There is no effective Hepatitis c vaccine to date. Efforts to develop a hepatitis C vaccine started more than 25 years ago, when the hepatitis C virus was identified. Since then, researchers have studied more than 20 potential vaccines in animals. A few of these vaccines, developed mainly in the past decade, have undergone limited testing in people.

Tikdam: While the option 1,3 and 4 looks tough for a non-science student but Those following newspaper must aware of the fact that vaccine for Hepatitis B virus has been developed

https://www.yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-crispr-cas9

 

Next 50 questions in part 2 – Click Below

UPSC Prelims 2019 – Answer Key, Sources, Sample Solutions and Controversial Questions – Part II

 

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Shubham Mishra
4 Jun, 2019

Sir in Q.38 Environmental protection act 1986 empowers the govt to conduct EIA which is required for environmental clearance…this fact is mentioned in Ministry of Environment Website…so EIA requires public
participation in protection of environment…so both statements has to be correct…

http://moef.gov.in/rules-and-regulations/environment-protection/