UPSC Prelims 2024 General Studies (GS) Paper I – Answer Key & Detailed Solutions

This resource presents a provisional answer key and comprehensive solutions for the UPSC Prelims 2024 General Studies (GS) Paper I. Compiled by experienced educators and subject matter experts, the solutions reflect in-depth knowledge and analysis, yet full accuracy can only be assured after the release of the official key by UPSC.

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?
(a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
(b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
(c) Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
(d) Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Explanation

The correct answer is: (d) Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct.

  • Statement-I is incorrect: The atmosphere is not heated more by incoming solar radiation than by terrestrial radiation. Instead, it is mainly heated by long wave terrestrial radiation. The Earth’s surface absorbs shortwave solar radiation and re-radiates it as longwave infrared radiation, which is then absorbed by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, heating it from below.
  • Statement-II is correctCarbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are indeed good absorbers of long wave radiation. These gases absorb the infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface and re-radiate it, contributing to the warming of the atmosphere.

Learn more

  • Terrestrial Radiation:
    • The Earth receives solar energy in the form of shortwave radiation.
    • After absorbing this energy, the Earth re-radiates it as longwave infrared radiation.
    • This longwave radiation is absorbed by atmospheric gases, particularly carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
    • This process is known as terrestrial radiation and is the primary way the atmosphere is heated.
  • Greenhouse Effect:
    • Greenhouse gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and others absorb longwave infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface.
    • These gases then re-radiate the energy in all directions, including back towards the Earth’s surface, creating a warming effect known as the greenhouse effect.
    • This effect is crucial for maintaining the Earth’s temperature, making it habitable.
  • Insolation:
    • Insolation refers to the incoming solar radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface.
    • The atmosphere is largely transparent to this shortwave solar radiation, allowing it to pass through and be absorbed by the Earth’s surface.
    • However, the atmosphere absorbs only a small fraction of this shortwave radiation directly.
  • Energy Balance:
    • The Earth’s energy balance involves the absorption of solar radiation and the emission of terrestrial radiation.
    • Approximately 30% of incoming solar radiation is reflected back to space, while the remaining 70% is absorbed by the Earth’s surface and atmosphere.
    • The absorbed energy is eventually re-radiated as longwave infrared radiation, which is then absorbed by greenhouse gases, maintaining the Earth’s energy balance and temperature.
  • Role of Greenhouse Gases:
    • Water vapor and carbon dioxide are the most significant greenhouse gases in terms of their ability to absorb and re-radiate infrared radiation.
    • These gases trap heat within the atmosphere, preventing it from escaping into space, thus warming the planet.
    • Without the natural greenhouse effect, the Earth’s average temperature would be significantly lower, making it less hospitable for life.

By understanding these processes, it becomes clear that the atmosphere is primarily heated by terrestrial radiation rather than direct solar radiation, and greenhouse gases play a crucial role in this heating mechanism.

Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

From Geography Mind Map Notes >>Insolation and Temperature
Environment Mindmap Notes >> Climate Change

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Consider the following statements:

Statement-I: 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?

(a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II’ are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I

(b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I

(c) Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect

(d) Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

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Explanation

Correct Answer: (a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I

  • Statement-I: The thickness of the troposphere at the equator is much greater as compared to the poles.
    • This statement is correct. The troposphere is thicker at the equator due to higher temperatures, which cause thermal expansion and stronger convectional currents that push the troposphere to greater heights.
  • Statement-II: At the equatorheat is transported to great heights by strong convectional currents.
    • This statement is correct. The equator receives more solar radiation, leading to higher temperatures and stronger convectional currents that transport heat to higher altitudes.
  • Explanation: Statement-II explains Statement-I because the strong convectional currents at the equator, driven by higher temperatures, result in the expansion of the troposphere, making it thicker at the equator compared to the poles.

Learn more

  • Troposphere: The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, extending from the surface to an average height of about 8 km at the poles and 18 km at the equator.
  • Thermal Expansion: The equator is warmer, causing the air to expand and rise, leading to a thicker troposphere.
  • Convectional Currents: Strong convectional currents at the equator transport heat to great heights, contributing to the increased thickness of the troposphere.
  • Centrifugal Force: The Earth’s rotation causes a centrifugal force that is strongest at the equator, pushing the atmosphere to greater heights.
  • Seasonal Variation: The thickness of the troposphere varies with the seasons, being thicker in the summer and thinner in the winter.
  • Gravitational Pull: The gravitational pull is stronger at the poles, leading to a contraction of the atmosphere and a thinner troposphere.

These factors collectively explain why the troposphere is thicker at the equator than at the poles.

Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Geography Mindmap Notes >>Atmosphere

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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?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) Only three
(d) All four

Explanation

Correct Answer: (d) All four

  • Pyroclastic debris: These are fragments of rock ejected during explosive volcanic eruptions. They include various sizes of particles such as ashlapilliblocks, and bombs.
  • Ash and dust: Volcanic ash consists of fine particles of pulverized rock, minerals, and volcanic glass created during explosive eruptions. These particles can be carried by wind over large distances.
  • Nitrogen compounds: Volcanic lightning during eruptions can fix atmospheric nitrogen into bioavailable forms such as nitrate. This process involves the breaking of the dinitrogen bond and subsequent reactions with oxygen.
  • Sulphur compounds: Volcanic eruptions release gases such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). These gases can form sulfuric acid and other sulfur compounds in the atmosphere.

Learn more

  • Pyroclastic debris:
    • Definition: Fragments of rock ejected during explosive volcanic eruptions.
    • Types: Includes ash (particles <2 mm), lapilli (2-64 mm), blocks (angular fragments >64 mm), and bombs (rounded fragments >64 mm).
    • Formation: Created by the violent expansion of gas that shreds magma into small particles.
  • Ash and dust:
    • Definition: Fine particles of pulverized rock, minerals, and volcanic glass.
    • Dispersal: Can be carried by wind over large distances, affecting areas far from the eruption site.
    • Impact: Can cause respiratory issues, damage machinery, and disrupt transportation and communication systems.
  • Nitrogen compounds:
    • Formation: Created by volcanic lightning, which breaks the dinitrogen bond in the atmosphere.
    • Types: Includes nitrate and ammonia, which are essential for biological processes.
    • Role in prebiotic chemistry: Volcanic lightning may have contributed to the synthesis of nitrogen compounds necessary for the emergence of life.
  • Sulphur compounds:
    • Types: Includes sulfur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S).
    • Sources: Emitted from volcanic vents, fumaroles, and during eruptions.
    • Impact: Can form sulfuric acid in the atmosphere, contributing to acid rain and affecting climate.

All four options listed are indeed products of volcanic eruptions, confirming the correct answer is (d) All four.

Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

From Geography Mindmap Notes >> Vulcanicity, Earthquake and Tsunami

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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:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation

The correct answer is (a) 1 only.

  • Statement 1: The isotherms deviate to the north over the ocean and to the south over the continent. This is correct. In January, the isotherms bend northward over the oceans due to the warming effect of warm ocean currents like the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift, and they bend southward over the continents due to the cooling effect of the landmasses.
  • Statement 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. This is incorrect. The Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift are warm ocean currents, not cold. They warm the Northern Atlantic Ocean, causing the isotherms to bend northward, indicating warmer temperatures.

Learn more

  • Isotherms: Lines on a map connecting points with the same temperature at a given time or over a specified period. They are used in meteorology to depict temperature distribution.
  • January Temperature Distribution:
    • Northern Hemisphere: Isotherms deviate north over the ocean due to warm currents like the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift, and south over the continents due to the cooling effect of landmasses.
    • Southern Hemisphere: Isotherms are more parallel to latitudes due to the ocean’s moderating effect, leading to more gradual temperature variations.
  • Factors Influencing Isotherms:
    • Latitude: Temperature generally decreases from the equator to the poles.
    • Land and Water: Land heats and cools more rapidly than water, causing deviations in isotherms.
    • Ocean Currents: Warm currents (e.g., Gulf Stream) cause northward bends, while cold currents cause southward bends.
    • Topography: Mountains and valleys can affect local temperature distributions, causing deviations in isotherms.
  • Seasonal Variations:
    • January: More pronounced deviations in the northern hemisphere due to larger landmasses and significant temperature differences between land and sea.
    • July: Isotherms generally follow latitudes more closely, with less pronounced deviations compared to January.

Understanding these patterns helps in comprehending global temperature distributions and the climatic influences of various geographical features.

Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

From Geography Mindmap Notes >> Oceans- Relief & Circulation
From Geography Mindmap Notes >> Oceans- Relief & Circulation

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

(a) Algeria and Morocco

(b) Botswana and Namibia

(c) Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana

(d) Madagascar and Mozambique

Explanation

The two largest cocoa producers in the world are Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana (c).

  • (a) Algeria and Morocco: These countries are not known for significant cocoa production. Algeria and Morocco are not listed among the top cocoa-producing nations.
  • (b) Botswana and Namibia: These countries do not have a notable presence in the cocoa production industry. They are not recognized as major cocoa producers.
  • (c) Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana: These countries are the top two cocoa producers in the world, with Côte d’Ivoire leading and Ghana following closely.
  • (d) Madagascar and Mozambique: While Madagascar produces high-quality cocoa, it contributes less than 1% to the global cocoa supply. Mozambique is not a significant cocoa producer.

Learn More

  • Côte d’Ivoire:
    • Production: 2.2 million tonnes annually.
    • Global Share: 40.9% of the world’s cocoa.
    • Economic Impact: Cocoa contributes 15% to the country’s GDP and 40% to its export market.
    • Challenges: Significant deforestation due to cocoa farming.
  • Ghana:
    • Production: 1.1 million tonnes annually.
    • Global Share: 20% of the world’s cocoa.
    • Economic Impact: Cocoa contributes 3.5% to the nation’s GDP and 25% to its export market.
    • Challenges: Biodiversity degradation and deforestation.
  • Indonesia:
    • Production: Approximately 667,000 tonnes annually.
    • Global Share: 13% of the world’s cocoa.
    • Economic Impact: Cocoa contributes significantly to the nation’s GDP.
    • Challenges: Deforestation and soil degradation.
  • Ecuador:
    • Production: Around 337,000 tonnes annually.
    • Global Share: 5% of the world’s cocoa.
    • Economic Impact: Cocoa contributes 0.5% to the GDP and 8% to exports.
    • Specialty: Known for high-grade single-origin chocolate.
  • Brazil:
    • Production: Approximately 274,000 tonnes annually.
    • Global Share: 5% of the world’s cocoa.
    • Economic Impact: Cocoa farming is crucial for the economy but affects biodiversity.
  • Cameroon:
    • Production: Around 300,000 tonnes annually.
    • Global Share: 5% of the world’s cocoa.
    • Economic Impact: Cocoa contributes 1.2% to the national GDP and 70% to exports.
  • Nigeria:
    • Production: Approximately 280,000 tonnes annually.
    • Global Share: 5% of the world’s cocoa.
    • Economic Impact: Cocoa contributes 0.5% to the national GDP and 0.28% to exports.
  • Peru:
    • Production: Around 171,000 tonnes annually.
    • Global Share: 3% of the world’s cocoa.
    • Economic Impact: Significant source of income for farmers.
    • Initiatives: Efforts to produce deforestation-free cocoa.
  • Dominican Republic:
    • Production: Approximately 76,000 tonnes annually.
    • Global Share: Less than 2% of the world’s cocoa.
  • Madagascar:
    • Production: Less than 1% of the world’s cocoa.
    • Specialty: Known for high-quality, fruity-flavored cocoa.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Geography Mindmap Notes >> World Industries Location patterns and problems

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

(a) Ghaghara – Gomati – Gandak – Kosi

(b) Gomati Ghaghara – Gandak – Kosi

(c) Ghaghara Gomati – Kosi – Gandak

(d) Gomati Ghaghara – Kosi – Gandak

The correct sequence of the Himalayan rivers joining the Ganga downstream of Prayagraj from west to east is:(b) Gomati — Ghaghara — Gandak — Kosi

Learn more

  • Gomati River:
    • Originates from Gomat Taal near Madho Tanda, Pilibhit.
    • It flows through Uttar Pradesh and joins the Ganga near Saidpur, Kaithi, close to Varanasi.
  • Ghaghara River:
    • Originates from the northern slopes of the Himalayas in the Tibetan Plateau.
    • It is the largest tributary of the Ganges by volume and joins the Ganga at Chhapra, Bihar.
  • Gandak River:
    • Originates from the Great Himalaya Range in Nepal.
    • It flows through Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and joins the Ganga near Patna at Sonpur.
  • Kosi River:
    • Known as the Saptakoshi in Nepal due to its seven tributaries.
    • It flows through northern Bihar and joins the Ganga near Kursela in Katihar district.
    • Known for its shifting course and heavy flooding, earning the nickname “Sorrow of Bihar.”

These rivers are significant for their contributions to the Ganges’ flow and their impact on the regions they traverse, including their roles in agriculture, transportation, and cultural significance.

Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

From Prelims Sureshots >> Geography >> India – Minerals, Rivers, Lakes, Glaciers, Mountains, etc.

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Consider the following statements:

Statement-I: 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?
(a) Both Statement-II and Statement-III are correct and both of them explain Statement-I
(b) Both Statement-II and Statement-III are correct, but only one of them explains Statement-I
(c) Only one of the Statements II and III is correct and that explains Statement-I
(d) Neither Statement-II nor Statement-III is correct

Correct Answer: (a) Both Statement-II and Statement-III are correct and both of them explain Statement-I

  • Statement-I: Rainfall is one of the reasons for weathering of rocks.
    • This statement is true. Rainfall contributes to the weathering process through both physical and chemical means.
  • Statement-II: Rain water contains carbon dioxide in solution.
    • This statement is true. Rainwater absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, forming a weak carbonic acid solution, which can chemically weather rocks.
  • Statement-III: Rain water contains atmospheric oxygen.
    • This statement is true. Rainwater contains dissolved oxygen from the atmosphere, which can participate in oxidation processes that contribute to weathering.

Option Analysis:

  • Option (a): Both Statement-II and Statement-III are correct and both of them explain Statement-I.
    • This option is correct. Both carbon dioxide and atmospheric oxygen in rainwater contribute to the chemical weathering of rocks.
  • Option (b): Both Statement-II and Statement-III are correct, but only one of them explains Statement-I.
    • This option is incorrect. Both statements II and III are accurate and relevant to explaining weathering processes.
  • Option (c): Only one of the Statements II and III is correct and that explains Statement-I.
    • This option is incorrect. Both statements are correct and contribute to the weathering process.
  • Option (d): Neither Statement-II nor Statement-III is correct.
    • This option is incorrect. Both statements are accurate descriptions of the components of rainwater and their roles in weathering.

Learn More

  • Weathering: The breaking down or dissolution of rocks and minerals on the Earth’s surface.
    • Types of Weathering:
      • Physical (Mechanical) Weathering:
        • Involves the breakdown of rocks and minerals by physical forces such as temperature changes, freeze-thaw cycles, and biological activity.
        • Example: Freeze-thaw action where water seeps into cracks, freezes, expands, and breaks the rock apart.
      • Chemical Weathering:
        • Involves the breakdown of rocks and minerals through chemical reactions, often involving water, acids, and gases.
        • Carbonation: Rainwater containing dissolved CO2 forms carbonic acid, which reacts with minerals like calcite in limestone, leading to dissolution.
        • Oxidation: Oxygen in rainwater reacts with minerals, particularly iron-bearing ones, to form oxides or rust, leading to weakening and breakdown.
        • Hydrolysis: Water reacts with minerals to form new minerals and soluble salts, altering the rock structure.
    • Factors Influencing Weathering:
      • Climate: Temperature and precipitation are critical; warm, wet climates enhance chemical weathering, while cold climates promote physical weathering.
      • Rock Type: Different minerals weather at different rates; for example, feldspar weathers faster than quartz.
      • Topography: Slope steepness affects the exposure of rocks to weathering agents.
      • Biological Activity: Plants, microbes, and animals contribute to both physical and chemical weathering through root growth, organic acids, and physical disturbances.
    • Importance of Weathering:
      • Soil Formation: Weathering is essential for breaking down rocks into smaller particles that mix with organic material to form soil.
      • Nutrient Cycling: Releases essential minerals and nutrients into the soil, making them available for plant uptake.
      • Landscape Shaping: Influences the formation of various landforms and contributes to the geological cycle.

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?

(a) Only one

(b) Only two

(c) Only three

(d) All four

The correct answer is (b) Only two.

  • Finland: Does not have a border with the North Sea. Finland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, specifically the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland.
  • Germany: Has a border with the North Sea. Germany’s coastline includes the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
  • Norway: Has a border with the North Sea. Norway’s coastline extends along the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea.
  • Russia: Does not have a border with the North Sea. Russia’s borders include the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, and the Pacific Ocean, but not the North Sea.

Thus, only Germany and Norway have borders with the North Sea.

Learn more

North Sea

  • Location: The North Sea is a shallow northeastern arm of the Atlantic Ocean, located between the British Isles and the mainland of northwestern Europe.
  • Borders: It is bordered by Great Britain to the southwest and west, the Orkney and Shetland islands to the northwest, Norway to the northeast, Denmark to the east, Germany and the Netherlands to the southeast, and Belgium and France to the south.
  • Connections: It connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the English Channel in the south and the Norwegian Sea in the north. It also connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat straits.
  • Economic Importance: The North Sea is one of Europe’s most productive fisheries, a prominent shipping zone, and a source of petroleum and natural gas.
  • Geopolitical Significance: Historically, the North Sea has been crucial for maritime trade and military strategy, influencing the rise of the Vikings, the Hanseatic League, and the British Empire.
  • Environmental Issues: The North Sea faces environmental challenges such as overfishing, industrial and agricultural runoff, dredging, and dumping, leading to efforts to prevent degradation and safeguard economic benefits.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

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Consider the following information:

Waterfall – Region – River

1. Dhuandhar – Malwa – Narmada

2. Hundru – Chota Nagpur – Subarnarekha

3. Gersoppa – Western Ghats – Netravati

In how many of the above rows is the given information correctly matched?

(a) Only one

(b) Only two

(c) All three

(d) None

The correct answer is (b) Only two.

  • Dhuandhar Falls is located in the Malwa region and is formed by the Narmada River. This information is correctly matched.
  • Hundru Falls is located in the Chota Nagpur Plateau and is formed by the Subarnarekha River. This information is also correctly matched.
  • Gersoppa Falls (also known as Jog Falls) is located in the Western Ghats but is formed by the Sharavati River, not the Netravati River. This information is incorrectly matched.

Learn more

  • Dhuandhar Falls:
    • Located in the Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh, India.
    • Formed by the Narmada River as it flows through the Marble Rocks and plunges down, creating a misty appearance.
    • The falls are approximately 30 meters high and are a popular tourist destination.
    • Features a cable car service for tourists to view the falls from different angles.
  • Hundru Falls:
    • Located in the Ranchi district of Jharkhand, India.
    • Formed by the Subarnarekha River, falling from a height of 98 meters.
    • Known for its scenic beauty and rock formations created by erosion.
    • Popular as a picnic spot, especially during the dry season when the water flow is less intense.
  • Gersoppa (Jog) Falls:
    • Located in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India.
    • Formed by the Sharavati River, with a drop of 253 meters, making it one of the highest waterfalls in India.
    • The falls consist of four distinct cascades: Raja, Rani, Roarer, and Rocket.
    • A major tourist attraction, especially during the monsoon season when the water flow is at its peak.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Prelims Sureshots >> Geography >> Major Waterfalls

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Consider the following information:

RegionName of the mountain rangeType of mountain
1. Central AsiaVosgesFold mountain
2. EuropeAlpsBlock mountain
3. North AmericaAppalachiansFold mountain
4. South AmericaAndesFold mountain

In how many of the above rows is the given information correctly matched?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) Only three
(d) All four

Correct Answer: (b) Only two

Explanation:

  • Row 1: Central Asia – Vosges – Fold mountain
    • Incorrect: The Vosges are block mountains, not fold mountains. They were formed by the uplift of bedrock plates due to a graben at the beginning of the Paleogene period.
  • Row 2: Europe – Alps – Block mountain
    • Incorrect: The Alps are fold mountains, not block mountains. They were formed by the collision of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates, causing the folding and faulting of the Earth’s crust.
  • Row 3: North America – Appalachians – Fold mountain
    • Correct: The Appalachians are fold mountains. They were formed by the collision of tectonic plates, which caused the folding and faulting of the Earth’s crust over millions of years.
  • Row 4: South America – Andes – Fold mountain
    • Correct: The Andes are fold mountains. They were formed by the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American Plate, leading to the folding and faulting of the Earth’s crust.

Learn more:

Types of Mountains

  • Fold Mountains:
    • Formed by the collision of tectonic plates, causing the Earth’s crust to fold and create mountain ranges.
    • Examples include the HimalayasRockiesAndes, and Appalachians.
    • Characterized by long, linear ranges with high peaks and deep valleys.
  • Block Mountains:
    • Created when large areas of the Earth’s crust are broken and displaced vertically.
    • The uplifted blocks are called horsts, and the lowered blocks are called grabens.
    • Examples include the Vosges and the Black Forest in Europe.
    • Characterized by steep, flat-topped blocks separated by valleys or basins.
  • Volcanic Mountains:
    • Formed by volcanic activity, where magma from the Earth’s mantle reaches the surface and solidifies.
    • Examples include Mount Fuji in Japan, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, and Mount St. Helens in the USA.
    • Characterized by conical shapes with craters at the summit.
  • Dome Mountains:
    • Formed when magma pushes the crust upwards but does not erupt.
    • The overlying layers of rock are bent into a dome shape.
    • Examples include the Black Hills of South Dakota.
    • Characterized by rounded, dome-like shapes.
  • Plateau Mountains:
    • Formed by erosion of an uplifted plateau.
    • The plateau is worn down by weathering and erosion, leaving behind mountain-like features.
    • Examples include the Colorado Plateau.
    • Characterized by flat-topped elevations with steep sides.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Geography Mindmap Notes >> Landforms Evolution due to Internal Forces

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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?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

The correct answer is (a) 1 and 2 only.

  • Donyi Polo Airport: This airport has been constructed as a Greenfield project. It is a newly built airport in Arunachal Pradesh, India, aimed at improving connectivity in the northeastern region.
  • Kushinagar International Airport: This airport is also a Greenfield project. It was developed to boost tourism and facilitate international travel, particularly for Buddhist pilgrims visiting the historical site of Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • Vijayawada International Airport: This airport is not a Greenfield project. It was originally a domestic airport and later upgraded to an international airport, thus not fitting the criteria of a Greenfield project.

Learn more

Greenfield Projects

  • Definition: Greenfield projects refer to new developments on previously undeveloped land. These projects are built from scratch, without the need to remodel or demolish existing structures.
  • Purpose: They are often initiated to meet new demands, improve infrastructure, and stimulate economic growth in underdeveloped or strategically important areas.
  • Examples: Airports, industrial parks, and residential complexes are common types of Greenfield projects.
  • Advantages:
    • Customization: Allows for modern, state-of-the-art facilities tailored to current needs.
    • Efficiency: Can incorporate the latest technology and design standards.
    • Economic Growth: Stimulates local economies by creating jobs and improving connectivity.
  • Challenges:
    • Environmental Impact: Potential disruption to local ecosystems and communities.
    • High Costs: Significant investment required for land acquisition and construction.
    • Regulatory Hurdles: Often involves complex approval processes and compliance with various regulations.

Examples of Greenfield Airports in India

  • Donyi Polo Airport: Located in Arunachal Pradesh, it enhances connectivity in the northeastern region.
  • Kushinagar International Airport: Situated in Uttar Pradesh, it serves as a gateway for international tourists, especially Buddhist pilgrims.
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Current Affairs >> Newsbits

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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:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Correct Answer: (a) 1 only

  • Statement 1Water vapour is a gas, the amount of which decreases with altitude.
    • This statement is correct. The quantity of water vapour in the air depends on the rate of evaporation and the temperature of the air, which determines its holding capacity. Both temperature and evaporation decrease with altitude, resulting in a rapid decrease in water vapour with altitude.
  • Statement 2Its percentage is maximum at the poles.
    • This statement is incorrect. Water vapour is present in varying amounts in the atmosphere, but its concentration is generally lower in arid or very cold locations, such as polar regions. The amount of water vapour is higher in warmer regions and decreases from the equator towards the poles.

Learn more

  • Water Vapour:
    • Definition: Water vapour is the gaseous phase of water, produced from the evaporation or boiling of liquid water or from the sublimation of ice.
    • Properties: It is transparent and less dense than most other constituents of air. It plays a crucial role in the hydrologic cycle and atmospheric processes.
    • Role in Climate: Water vapour is a significant greenhouse gas, contributing more to the greenhouse effect than non-condensable gases like carbon dioxide and methane. It acts as a feedback mechanism, amplifying the effects of initial warming forces.
    • Distribution: The concentration of water vapour in the atmosphere varies, typically making up 2-3% of the atmosphere on average, but can be as high as 4% in some regions. It is lower in colder and arid regions.
    • Altitude Effect: The amount of water vapour decreases with altitude due to lower temperatures and reduced evaporation rates at higher altitudes.
    • Hydrologic Cycle: Water vapour is a key component of the hydrologic cycle, contributing to cloud formation, precipitation, and the overall distribution of water on Earth.
    • Climate Impact: As a greenhouse gas, water vapour creates a positive feedback loop for global warming. Increased temperatures lead to higher evaporation rates, which in turn increase the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere, further enhancing warming.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Geography Mindmap Notes >> Atmosphere

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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?

(a) Equatorial climate
(b) China type climate
(c) Humid subtropical climate
(d) Marine West coast climate

Correct Answer: (d) Marine West coast climate

  • Annual and daily range of temperatures is low: The Marine West Coast climate is characterized by minimal temperature extremes and a small annual temperature range of about 10-15 °C (50-59 °F).
  • Precipitation occurs throughout the year: This climate type experiences abundant precipitation year-round, with annual accumulations generally ranging from 50 to 250 cm (20 to 98 inches).
  • Precipitation varies between 50 cm – 250 cm: The Marine West Coast climate typically has precipitation totals within this range, although local totals can exceed 500 cm (197 inches) where onshore winds encounter mountain ranges.

Explanation of Options:

  • (a) Equatorial climate:
    • High temperatures year-round: Equatorial climates have consistently high temperatures, averaging around 26-28 °C (79-82 °F).
    • High annual rainfall: These regions receive significant rainfall, often exceeding 200 cm (79 inches) annually, with no dry season.
    • Small temperature range: The annual temperature range is very small, typically around 3 °C (5.4 °F).
  • (b) China type climate:
    • Hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters: This climate features significant temperature variations between summer and winter, with hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters.
    • Moderate to high rainfall: Rainfall ranges from 60 to 150 cm (24 to 59 inches) annually, with a distinct summer peak due to monsoonal influences.
    • Seasonal variations: The climate is influenced by monsoons, leading to distinct wet and dry seasons.
  • (c) Humid subtropical climate:
    • Hot, humid summers and mild winters: This climate is characterized by hot, humid summers and cool to mild winters.
    • Evenly distributed precipitation: Rainfall is generally well-distributed throughout the year, with annual totals ranging from 75 to over 200 cm (30 to 79 inches).
    • Summer peak in rainfall: Many regions experience a summer peak in rainfall due to convectional thunderstorms and tropical cyclones.
  • (d) Marine West coast climate:
    • Mild temperatures year-round: This climate has mild summers and winters, with a small annual temperature range.
    • Year-round precipitation: Precipitation occurs throughout the year, with annual totals ranging from 50 to 250 cm (20 to 98 inches).
    • High humidity and cloud cover: The climate is noted for its high humidity and frequent cloud cover.

Learn more

  • Geographical Distribution: The Marine West Coast climate is found on the western sides of continents between 35° and 60° N and S latitude. Notable regions include the Pacific Northwest in North America, western Europe, and parts of New Zealand and southeastern Australia.
  • Temperature Characteristics: This climate is characterized by mild temperatures with minimal extremes. Mean annual temperatures typically range from 7-13 °C (45-55 °F) in lowland areas.
  • Precipitation Patterns: Precipitation is abundant and evenly distributed throughout the year, with annual totals generally between 50 and 250 cm. Local variations can occur, especially where onshore winds encounter mountain ranges, leading to higher precipitation totals.
  • Climate Influences: The climate is influenced by mid-latitude westerlies and traveling frontal cyclones, which bring frequent and reliable precipitation. The orientation of mountain ranges can significantly affect the distribution and intensity of precipitation.
  • Vegetation and Ecosystems: The Marine West Coast climate supports lush vegetation, including temperate rainforests. The high humidity and frequent rainfall create ideal conditions for diverse plant and animal life.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Geography Notes >> World Climatic Regions

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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 the poles and is absent at the equator.

Select the answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Correct Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

  • Statement 1: It increases with increase in wind velocity.
    • The Coriolis force is directly proportional to the velocity of the moving object. As the wind speed increases, the deflection caused by the Coriolis force also increases. This means that higher wind speeds result in a greater Coriolis effect, leading to more significant deflection of the wind’s path.
  • Statement 2: It is maximum at the poles and is absent at the equator.
    • The Coriolis force is maximum at the poles and absent at the equator. This is because the Coriolis effect is directly proportional to the sine of the latitude. At the poles, the latitude is 90 degrees, making the sine value 1, thus maximizing the Coriolis force. At the equator, the latitude is 0 degrees, making the sine value 0, thus nullifying the Coriolis force.

Learn more

  • Definition: The Coriolis force is an inertial force that acts on objects in motion within a rotating frame of reference, such as the Earth. It causes moving objects to be deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Cause: The primary cause of the Coriolis effect is the rotation of the Earth. As the Earth spins, different latitudes rotate at different speeds, causing the deflection of moving objects.
  • Impact on Weather: The Coriolis effect significantly influences weather patterns. It affects the direction of trade windscyclones, and ocean currents. In the Northern Hemisphere, cyclones rotate counterclockwise, while in the Southern Hemisphere, they rotate clockwise.
  • Dependence on Latitude: The Coriolis force is zero at the equator and increases with latitude, reaching its maximum at the poles. This variation is due to the change in the tangential velocity of the Earth’s surface with latitude.
  • Impact on Human Activities: The Coriolis effect impacts aviation and ballistics. Pilots and snipers must account for the Coriolis force when charting flight paths or aiming over long distances.
  • Examples: A common example is the deflection of a projectile fired northward from the equator, which lands east of its intended path due to the higher eastward velocity at the equator compared to higher latitudes.
  • Mathematical Expression: The magnitude of the Coriolis force is given by the formula 2𝜈𝜔sin⁡𝜙, where 𝜈 is the velocity of the object, 𝜔 is the angular velocity of the Earth, and ϕ is the latitude.
  • Global Wind Patterns: The Coriolis effect contributes to the formation of Hadley cellsFerrel cells, and Polar cells, which are responsible for the prevailing wind patterns observed on Earth.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Geography Notes >> Pressure & Winds

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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:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 3 and 4
(d) 2 and 4

Correct Answer: (d) 2 and 4

  • Equator: On June 21, the equator experiences approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. This is because the equator is not significantly affected by the tilt of the Earth’s axis during the solstices, resulting in nearly equal day and night lengths throughout the year.
  • Tropic of Cancer: On June 21, the Tropic of Cancer (23.5° North latitude) experiences more than 12 hours of daylight. This is because the sun is directly overhead at noon, making it the longest day of the year for this latitude.
  • Tropic of Capricorn: On June 21, the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5° South latitude) experiences less than 12 hours of daylight. This is because it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and the sun is at its lowest point in the sky for this latitude.
  • Arctic Circle: On June 21, the Arctic Circle (66.5° North latitude) experiences 24 hours of daylight. This phenomenon is known as the “midnight sun,” where the sun does not set, resulting in continuous daylight.

Learn more

  • Summer Solstice: The summer solstice occurs when one of Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. In the Northern Hemisphere, this happens around June 21, marking the longest day of the year with the most daylight hours. The sun is directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer (23.5° North latitude) at noon.
  • Earth’s Tilt: The Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5° relative to its orbital plane around the Sun. This tilt is responsible for the changing seasons and varying lengths of daylight throughout the year.
  • Daylight Variation: The amount of daylight varies significantly with latitude. Near the equator, day and night lengths remain relatively constant throughout the year. As one moves towards the poles, the variation becomes more extreme, with polar regions experiencing continuous daylight or darkness during solstices.
  • Equinoxes: Equinoxes occur twice a year when the Earth’s axis is not tilted toward or away from the Sun, resulting in nearly equal day and night lengths globally. The vernal (spring) equinox occurs around March 20-21, and the autumnal (fall) equinox occurs around September 22-23.
  • Cultural Significance: The summer solstice has been celebrated in various cultures throughout history. In many European traditions, it is known as Midsummer and is associated with festivals and rituals celebrating fertility and the abundance of the growing season.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Geography Notes >> Motions of earth – rotation & revolution

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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?

(a) Amazon Basin
(b) Congo Basin
(c) Kikori Basin
(d) Rio de la Plata Basin

Correct Answer: (b) Congo Basin

  • The Congo Basin is home to the world’s largest tropical peatland, which holds about three years’ worth of global carbon emissions from fossil fuels. The peatlands in the central Congo Basin cover approximately 167,600 square kilometers and store between 26 and 32 billion tonnes of carbon, making them a critical carbon sink. Only 8% of this peat carbon lies within nationally protected areas, suggesting vulnerability to future land-use changes.

Explanation of Options:

  • Amazon Basin: While the Amazon Basin contains significant peatlands, they are not as extensive as those in the Congo Basin. The Amazon’s peatlands are important for regional carbon cycling and habitat diversity but do not match the Congo Basin in terms of carbon storage capacity.
  • Congo Basin: The Congo Basin peatlands are the largest tropical peatland complex in the world, covering 36% of the world’s tropical peatland area and storing 28% of the world’s tropical peat carbon. These peatlands are crucial in the fight against climate change due to their massive carbon storage capacity.
  • Kikori Basin: Located in Papua New Guinea, the Kikori Basin has significant peat swamp forests but does not compare to the Congo Basin in terms of size or carbon storage. The Kikori Basin is known for its biodiversity and ecological importance but is not the largest tropical peatland.
  • Rio de la Plata Basin: This basin, located in South America, is primarily known for its extensive river system and does not contain significant peatland areas. It is not relevant to the context of tropical peatlands and their carbon storage capabilities.

Learn More

  • Importance of Peatlands:
    • Carbon Storage: Peatlands store a significant amount of carbon, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. The Congo Basin peatlands alone store between 26 and 32 billion tonnes of carbon.
    • Climate Regulation: Peatlands help regulate the climate by acting as carbon sinks. They store carbon that plants have absorbed from the atmosphere, providing a net-cooling effect.
    • Biodiversity: Peatlands support diverse ecosystems, including many plant and animal species. The Congo Basin peatlands are home to endangered species such as the western lowland gorilla and the African forest elephant.
  • Threats to Peatlands:
    • Land-Use Changes: Activities such as logging, mining, and agriculture can lead to the drainage and degradation of peatlands, releasing stored carbon into the atmosphere and exacerbating climate change.
    • Oil Exploration: In the Congo Basin, oil exploration poses a significant threat to peatlands. The DRC government has auctioned large areas of peatland for oil development, which could lead to substantial carbon emissions if the peatlands are disturbed.
  • Conservation Efforts:
    • Protected Areas: Only a small percentage of peatlands are currently protected. Increasing the number of protected areas is crucial to preserving these vital ecosystems.
    • Sustainable Management: Engaging with governments, local communities, and industries to find a balance between development and conservation is essential for the long-term protection of peatlands.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Current Affairs >> Newsbits (July 2023)

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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 materials.
  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?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Correct Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Statement 1: PFAS are found to be widespread in drinking water, food, and food packaging materials.
    • Correct. PFAS are widely used in various consumer products, including food packaging materials, and have been detected in drinking water and food. Their widespread use and persistence in the environment lead to contamination of these sources.
  • Statement 2: PFAS are not easily degraded in the environment.
    • Correct. PFAS are known for their high persistence in the environment due to the strong carbon-fluorine bonds, making them resistant to degradation. This characteristic has earned them the nickname “forever chemicals”.
  • Statement 3: Persistent exposure to PFAS can lead to bioaccumulation in animal bodies.
    • Correct. PFAS can bioaccumulate in the bodies of animals and humans over time, leading to potential health risks. This bioaccumulation occurs because these substances are not easily broken down and can persist in the body for years.

Learn more

  • Definition and Uses:
    • PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a large group of synthetic chemicals used since the 1940s in various industrial and consumer products for their water, grease, and stain-resistant properties.
    • Common applications include non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics, firefighting foams, and food packaging materials.
  • Environmental Persistence:
    • PFAS are highly persistent in the environment due to the strong carbon-fluorine bonds, which do not break down easily. This persistence leads to long-term environmental contamination.
  • Routes of Exposure:
    • Humans can be exposed to PFAS through multiple routes, including drinking contaminated water, consuming food packaged in PFAS-containing materials, inhaling dust, and using consumer products that contain PFAS.
  • Health Risks:
    • Exposure to certain PFAS has been linked to various health issues, including cancer, hormone disruption, liver and kidney toxicity, immune system harm, and reproductive and developmental toxicity.
  • Bioaccumulation:
    • PFAS can accumulate in the bodies of humans and animals over time. This bioaccumulation is concerning because it can lead to higher concentrations of these chemicals in the body, potentially causing adverse health effects.
  • Regulatory Actions:
    • Various regulatory bodies and governments are taking steps to limit the use of PFAS. Some states and countries have banned or restricted the use of PFAS in certain products, and there are ongoing efforts to find safer alternatives.
  • Research and Monitoring:
    • Ongoing research aims to better understand the environmental and health impacts of PFAS, develop methods to detect and measure PFAS in various media, and find effective ways to remove PFAS from contaminated environments.
  • Alternatives:
    • Alternatives to PFAS-containing products are being developed and are available in the market. These alternatives aim to provide similar benefits without the associated environmental and health risks.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Current Affairs >> Indepth Articles >> Forever Chemicals (PFAS): How They’re Harming Your Health Without You Knowing
Current Affairs >> Indepth Articles >> Forever Chemicals (PFAS): How They’re Harming Your Health Without You Knowing

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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?

(a) Only two
(b) Only three
(c) Only four
(d) All five

The correct answer is: (b) Only three (1, 3 & 5)

  • Carabid beetles:
    • Carabid beetles, a diverse family of ground beetles, exhibit a range of behaviors, including predation and parasitism.
    • While most carabid beetles are known for their predatory habits, some species do exhibit parasitoid behavior.
  • Centipedes:
    • Centipedes are predatory arthropods that are primarily carnivorous.
    • They do not have any known parasitoid species.
  • Flies:
    • Many species of flies, especially those in the families Tachinidae and Sarcophagidae, have parasitoid species.
    • These flies lay their eggs in or on other insects, and the larvae develop inside the host, eventually killing it.
  • Termites:
    • Termites are primarily decomposers and are not typically associated with parasitoid behavior.
    • However, certain species of flies and wasps can act as parasitoids to termites.
  • Wasps:
    • Wasps, especially those in the families Ichneumonidae and Braconidae, are well-known for their parasitoid behavior.
    • They lay their eggs in or on a host insect, and the developing larvae consume the host from the inside.

Learn more

Parasitoid Species

  • Definition: A parasitoid is an organism that spends a significant portion of its life attached to or within a single host organism, ultimately leading to the host’s death. This is different from parasites, which usually do not kill their hosts.
  • Life Cycle:
    • The life cycle of parasitoids typically involves laying eggs on or inside a host.
    • The larvae hatch and feed on the host’s tissues, eventually leading to the host’s demise.
    • Adult parasitoids emerge from the host to continue the cycle.
  • Ecological Role:
    • Parasitoids play a crucial role in biological control by naturally regulating the populations of their hosts, many of which are agricultural pests.
    • They contribute to the balance of ecosystems by keeping pest populations in check.
  • Examples:
    • Tachinid flies: These flies are parasitoids of caterpillars, beetles, and other insects.
    • Braconid wasps: They parasitize caterpillars, aphids, and beetle larvae.
    • Ichneumon wasps: Known for their long ovipositors, they target caterpillars, beetles, and other insects.
  • Adaptations:
    • Parasitoids have evolved various adaptations to locate and exploit their hosts, including acute sensory organs to detect host cues, venoms to paralyze hosts, and behavioral strategies to avoid host defenses.
  • Importance in Agriculture:
    • By reducing pest populations, parasitoids help minimize the need for chemical pesticides, promoting sustainable agricultural practices.
    • They are often introduced as part of integrated pest management (IPM) programs to control invasive pest species.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Prelims Sureshots >> Environment >> Organisms Facts
Prelims Sureshots >> Environment >> Organisms Facts
Prelims Sureshots >> Environment >> Organisms Facts

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Consider the following plants:

  1. Groundnut
  2. Horse-gram
  3. Soybean

How many of the above belong to the pea family?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

Correct Answer: (c) All three

Explanation:

  • Groundnut (Peanut):
    • Scientific NameArachis hypogaea
    • Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
    • Details: Groundnut is a legume of the pea family, grown for its edible seeds and known for its nitrogen-fixing ability, which enriches the soil.
  • Horse-gram:
    • Scientific NameMacrotyloma uniflorum
    • Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
    • Details: Horse-gram is a legume native to tropical southern Asia, known for its nutritional and medicinal properties, and is part of the Fabaceae family.
  • Soybean:
    • Scientific NameGlycine max
    • Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
    • Details: Soybean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean and numerous uses, and belongs to the Fabaceae family.

Learn more:

Fabaceae Family

  • Overview:
    • Also known as Leguminosae or pea family.
    • Includes trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
    • Third-largest family of flowering plants with about 20,000 species.
  • Characteristics:
    • Leaves: Usually pinnately compound, sometimes trifoliate or palmate.
    • Flowers: Typically have five petals and sepals, often with vexillary aestivation.
    • Fruit: Typically a legume or pod that splits open to release seeds.
  • Economic Importance:
    • Nitrogen Fixation: Plants in this family have root nodules with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, enriching the soil.
    • Food Source: Includes important crops like peas, beans, lentils, peanuts, and soybeans, which are rich in protein.
    • Industrial Uses: Oils from soybeans and groundnuts are used in cooking and various industrial applications.
    • Medicinal Uses: Some plants have medicinal properties and are used in traditional medicine.
  • Ecological Role:
    • Soil Enrichment: Improves soil fertility through nitrogen fixation.
    • Biodiversity: Supports a wide range of insects and animals, contributing to ecosystem health.

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.

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

(a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
(b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
(c) Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
(d) Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Correct Answer: (c) Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect

  • Statement-I is correct: The Indian Flying Fox is indeed placed under the “vermin” category in the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. This classification is due to the damage they cause to fruit orchards and their potential role in spreading diseases like the Nipah virus.
  • Statement-II is incorrect: The Indian Flying Fox does not feed on the blood of other animals. Instead, it has a frugivorous diet, primarily consuming fruits, nectar, and occasionally insects.

Explanation:

  • Option (a): Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I.
    • This option is incorrect because Statement-II is incorrect. The Indian Flying Fox does not feed on blood.
  • Option (b): Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I.
    • This option is incorrect because Statement-II is incorrect. The Indian Flying Fox is not a blood-feeding species.
  • Option (c): Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect.
    • This option is correct. Statement-I is correct as the Indian Flying Fox is classified as vermin, and Statement-II is incorrect as it does not feed on blood.
  • Option (d): Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct.
    • This option is incorrect because Statement-I is correct and Statement-II is incorrect.

Learn more

  • Indian Flying Fox (Pteropus giganteus):
    • Classification: It is classified as vermin under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 due to its impact on fruit orchards and potential disease transmission.
    • Diet: The Indian Flying Fox is frugivorous, feeding on a variety of fruits, nectar, and occasionally insects. It plays a crucial role in pollination and seed dispersal, contributing to ecosystem health.
    • Habitat: Found in tropical regions of South Central Asia, including India, Pakistan, Nepal, and the Maldives. They roost in large colonies in trees near water bodies.
    • Behavior: These bats are nocturnal and highly social, forming large roosts. They exhibit vigilant behavior during the day to watch for dangers.
    • Conservation Status: Despite being considered pests, they are vital for maintaining biodiversity. Their conservation is essential for ecosystem balance.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Prelims Sureshots >> Environment >> Scheduled Animals of WPA 1972

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The organisms “Cicada, Froghopper and Pond skater” are:

(a) Birds
(b) Fish
(c) Insects
(d) Reptiles

Correct Answer: (c) Insects

Explanation:

  • Cicada:
    • Cicadas belong to the order Hemiptera and are part of the family Cicadidae.
    • They are known for their sound-producing abilities and have a life cycle that includes egg, nymph, and adult stages.
  • Froghopper:
    • Froghoppers are part of the superfamily Cercopoidea within the order Hemiptera.
    • They are known for their jumping abilities and the foam shelters produced by their nymphs, commonly called spittlebugs.
  • Pond Skater:
    • Pond skaters, also known as water striders, belong to the family Gerridae within the order Hemiptera.
    • They are recognized for their ability to walk on water due to their hydrophobic legs.

Other Options:

  • Birds:
    • Birds are endothermic animals with feathers, wings, and beaks.
    • They have pneumatic bones and a high metabolic rate to support flight.
    • Examples include penguins, hawks, and songbirds.
  • Fish:
    • Fish are cold-blooded vertebrates with gills, fins, and scales.
    • They have a swim bladder for buoyancy and a two-chambered heart.
    • Examples include salmon, trout, and sharks.
  • Reptiles:
    • Reptiles are cold-blooded animals with scales and internal fertilization.
    • They have a three-chambered heart (except crocodiles, which have four chambers) and lay eggs.
    • Examples include snakes, lizards, and turtles.

Learn More

  • Cicada:
    • Cicadas are known for their periodical emergence every 13 or 17 years in some species.
    • They have prominent compound eyes and membranous wings.
    • Their songs are produced by vibrating tymbals near the base of the abdomen.
  • Froghopper:
    • Froghoppers can jump up to 70 cm vertically, an impressive feat relative to their body size.
    • They produce foam nests to protect their nymphs, which are commonly seen in meadows during spring.
    • They have stout spines on their hind tibiae, distinguishing them from leafhoppers.
  • Pond Skater:
    • Pond skaters have hydrophobic legs that allow them to stand on water due to surface tension.
    • They have a slender body and three pairs of legs adapted for different functions: grabbing prey, paddling, and steering.
    • They are found in freshwater habitats worldwide and play a role in controlling insect populations.
Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

Prelims Sureshots >> Environment >> Organism Facts

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Consider the following statements:

Statement-I: Many chewing gums found in the market are considered a source of environmental pollution.

Statement-II: Many chewing gums contain plastic as gum base.

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

(a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
(b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
(c) Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
(d) Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Correct Answer: (a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I

Explanation:

  • Option (a): Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
    • Statement-I: Many chewing gums found in the market are considered a source of environmental pollution. This is correct because chewing gum contributes significantly to plastic pollution, with an estimated 100,000 tonnes of plastic pollution annually due to improper disposal of gum.
    • Statement-II: Many chewing gums contain plastic as gum base. This is also correct as most modern chewing gums are made from synthetic polymers, which are essentially plastics.
    • Explanation: Statement-II explains Statement-I because the presence of plastic in the gum base makes chewing gum non-biodegradable, leading to long-lasting environmental pollution when improperly disposed of.
  • Option (b): Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
    • This option is incorrect because Statement-II directly explains why chewing gums are a source of environmental pollution.
  • Option (c): Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
    • This option is incorrect because Statement-II is correct; many chewing gums do contain plastic as a gum base.
  • Option (d): Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct
    • This option is incorrect because Statement-I is correct; chewing gums are indeed a source of environmental pollution.

Learn More

  • Environmental Impact of Chewing Gum:
    • Plastic Pollution: Chewing gum contributes to plastic pollution as it is made from synthetic polymers that do not biodegrade. An estimated 100,000 tonnes of plastic pollution is generated annually from chewing gum.
    • Microplastics: As gum breaks down, it forms microplastics that persist in the environment, contaminating soil and waterways, and entering the food chain, causing ecological damage.
    • Economic Costs: The cleanup of gum litter is costly. For example, the UK spends millions annually to remove gum from streets.
  • Composition of Chewing Gum:
    • Gum Base: The gum base is a non-nutritive, non-digestible, water-insoluble substance that provides the chewiness of gum. It often contains synthetic polymers like polyethylene and polyvinyl acetate, which are types of plastic.
    • Ingredients: Besides the gum base, chewing gum contains sweeteners, flavors, and softeners. The exact composition is often a trade secret.
  • Health and Environmental Concerns:
    • Health Issues: Chewing gum can cause gastrointestinal issues, tooth decay, and muscle dysfunction if consumed excessively.
    • Wildlife Harm: Microplastics from gum can be ingested by wildlife, causing internal injuries and digestive problems, and potentially leading to death.
  • Solutions and Alternatives:
    • Biodegradable Gum: Researchers are working on developing biodegradable gum that retains the pleasure of chewing while being environmentally friendly.
    • Regulation and Awareness: Increased regulation and public awareness about the environmental impact of chewing gum can help reduce gum littering.

Consider the following pairs:

CountryAnimal found in its natural habitat
1. BrazilIndri
2. IndonesiaElk
3. MadagascarBonobo

How many of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

Correct Answer: (d) None

Explanation:

  • Pair 1: Brazil – Indri
    • The Indri is native to Madagascar, not Brazil. It is a diurnal tree-dweller and one of the largest living lemurs, found in the lowland and montane forests along the eastern coast of Madagascar.
  • Pair 2: Indonesia – Elk
    • The Elk is found in North America and Central and East Asia, not Indonesia. They inhabit diverse habitats such as coniferous rain forests, prairies, and mountainous areas.
  • Pair 3: Madagascar – Bonobo
    • The Bonobo is found only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, specifically in the lowland rainforests along the south bank of the Congo River, not Madagascar.

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  • Indri:
    • Habitat: Found in the lowland and montane forests along the eastern coast of Madagascar.
    • Diet: Herbivorous, primarily folivorous, feeding on leaves, seeds, fruits, and flowers.
    • Behavior: Monogamous, lives in small family groups, and communicates through vocalizations.
    • Conservation Status: Critically endangered due to habitat destruction and hunting.
  • Elk:
    • Habitat: Found in North America and Central and East Asia, thriving in diverse habitats such as coniferous rain forests, prairies, and mountainous areas.
    • Diet: Grazes on grasses and sedges, and browses on higher-growing plants, leaves, twigs, and bark.
    • Behavior: Males have large antlers and engage in ritualized mating behaviors; they migrate seasonally.
    • Conservation Status: Listed as least concern by the IUCN.
  • Bonobo:
    • Habitat: Found only in the lowland rainforests along the south bank of the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    • Diet: Primarily frugivorous, eating fruits, vegetation, and occasionally invertebrates.
    • Behavior: Known for their peaceful and egalitarian society, led by females, and use sexual behaviors to maintain social bonds.
    • Conservation Status: Endangered due to habitat destruction and poaching.

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 the initiatives of this organization, 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?

(a) 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 2
(d) 2 and 3

Correct Answer: (a) 2 only

Explanation:

  • Statement 1Incorrect. The World Toilet Organization (WTO) is not an agency of the United Nations. It is an independent global non-profit organization founded in 2001 to improve toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide.
  • Statement 2Correct. The WTO has several initiatives, including the World Toilet SummitWorld Toilet Day, and World Toilet College, aimed at inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.
  • Statement 3Incorrect. The main focus of the WTO is not to grant funds to the least developed and developing countries. Instead, it focuses on advocacy, education, and practical solutions to improve sanitation conditions globally.

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  • World Toilet Organization (WTO):
    • Founded: 19 November 2001 by Jack Sim in Singapore.
    • Mission: To improve toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide.
    • Vision: A world with a clean, safe toilet for everyone, everywhere at all times.
    • Key Initiatives:
      • World Toilet Day: Established to draw attention to the global sanitation crisis.
      • World Toilet Summit: An annual event to discuss sanitation issues and solutions.
      • World Toilet College: Provides training on best practices in toilet design, cleanliness, and sanitation technologies.
    • Projects:
      • Rainbow School Toilet Initiative: Launched in 2015 to improve sanitation in rural schools.
      • Floating Community Toilet Project: Provides sanitation systems to floating communities in Cambodia.
    • Impact: The WTO has trained over 5,000 people and installed sanitation systems benefiting thousands of students and community members.

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?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Correct Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

  • Statement 1: Lions do not have a particular breeding season.
    • This statement is correct. Lions do not mate at a specific time of year, and the females are polyestrous, meaning they can come into heat multiple times a year.
  • Statement 2: Unlike most other big cats, cheetahs do not roar.
    • This statement is correct. Cheetahs cannot roar because they have a one-piece hyoid bone, unlike lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars, which have a two-piece hyoid bone that allows them to roar.
  • Statement 3: Unlike male lions, male leopards do not proclaim their territory by scent marking.
    • This statement is incorrect. Male leopards do proclaim their territory by scent marking, using methods such as spraying urine, clawing trees, and rubbing their cheeks against objects.

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  • Lion Reproduction and Life Cycle:
    • Breeding Frequency: In the wild, lions typically breed once every two years, while in captivity, they may breed annually.
    • Mating Behavior: Females are receptive to mating for three to four days within a variable reproductive cycle. During this period, a pair may mate every 20-30 minutes, resulting in up to 50 copulations per 24 hours.
    • Gestation and Cubs: The gestation period is about 108-110 days, with litter sizes ranging from one to six cubs. Cubs are born blind and helpless, and they start following their mothers at about three months of age.
    • Maturity and Pride Dynamics: Lions reach sexual maturity at three to four years of age. Male cubs are expelled from the pride at about three years old and become nomads until they can take over another pride.
  • Cheetah Vocalization:
    • Inability to Roar: Cheetahs cannot roar due to their one-piece hyoid bone structure. Instead, they can purr, meow, chirp, and make other sounds.
    • Communication: Cheetahs use vocalizations and scent marking to communicate with each other and avoid predators. They often visit scent-marking sites at different times to minimize encounters with dominant predators like leopards.
  • Leopard Scent Marking:
    • Territorial Behavior: Leopards are solitary animals that use scent marking to communicate and establish their territory. They mark their territory by spraying urine, clawing trees, and rubbing their cheeks against objects.
    • Communication: Scent marking helps leopards avoid conflicts with other leopards and predators. They also use vocalizations like sawing, coughing, and rasping to communicate their presence and reproductive status.

Which one of the following is the correct description of “100 Million Farmers”?

(a) 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.

(b) It is an international alliance and a network of individuals and farming organizations interested in supporting and strengthening the development of the organic animal husbandry.

(c) 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.

(d) It is a platform with the mission of encouraging the farmers to form Farmer Product Organizations or Agribusiness Consortiums, thus facilitating the access to global open markets to sell their products.

Correct Answer:(a) 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.

Explanation:

  • Option (a) is correct. The “100 Million Farmers” initiative is a multistakeholder platform aimed at transitioning to net-zero, nature-positive food systems by 2030. It supports local solutions that incentivize farmers and empower consumers to place climate, nature, and resilience at the core of the food economy.
  • Option (b) is incorrect. This description matches the IFOAM International Animal Husbandry Alliance (IAHA), which is a network focused on organic animal husbandry.
  • Option (c) is incorrect. This description pertains to the Fertilizer Exchange platform, which is a blockchain-enabled trading platform for the fertilizer industry.
  • Option (d) is incorrect. This description aligns with the Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), which promotes the formation of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to facilitate access to markets.

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  • 100 Million Farmers Initiative:
    • Objective: To transition to net-zero, nature-positive food systems by 2030.
    • Stakeholders: Involves public and private leaders, farmers, and consumers.
    • Approach: Operates through regional and national coalitions that develop public-private projects to promote sustainable agriculture.
    • Goals:
      • Climate and Nature: Position food and farmers as central pillars in the global climate and nature agenda.
      • Resilience: Increase farmer resilience by adopting regenerative and climate-smart practices.
      • Collaboration: Facilitate pre-competitive collaboration among value chain companies to aggregate demand for environmental outcomes and improved farm resilience.
    • Implementation: Supports local solutions and incentivizes farmers to adopt sustainable practices, aiming to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production.
  • IFOAM International Animal Husbandry Alliance (IAHA):
    • Focus: Development of organic animal husbandry.
    • Activities: Organizes conferences, workshops, and provides policy recommendations.
  • Fertilizer Exchange:
    • Platform: A blockchain-enabled trading platform for the fertilizer industry.
    • Purpose: To facilitate secure and reliable trading of fertilizers.
  • Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC):
    • Mission: To increase incomes of small and marginal farmers through the formation of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).
    • Activities: Provides financial support, market linkages, and implements the National Agriculture Market Electronic Trading (e-Nam) platform.

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”?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) Only three
(d) All four

Correct Answer: (d) All four

Explanation:

  • Battery storage: Considered a Distributed Energy Resource (DER). Batteries store electrical energy and can be used to provide power during peak demand or when renewable sources are not generating electricity. They are often used in conjunction with other DERs like solar panels and wind turbines.
  • Biomass generators: Also considered a DER. Biomass generators use organic materials to produce electricity and can be located close to the point of use, making them a part of the distributed energy system.
  • Fuel cells: These are considered DERs as well. Fuel cells generate electricity through a chemical process and can be used in various applications, including residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
  • Rooftop solar photovoltaic units: These are a classic example of DERs. They generate electricity from sunlight and are typically installed on rooftops, providing power directly to the building on which they are installed.

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  • DefinitionDistributed Energy Resources (DERs) are small-scale units of power generation or storage that are located close to the point of use. They can operate independently or in conjunction with the larger power grid.
  • Types of DERs:
    • Solar Panels: Convert sunlight into electricity and are often installed on rooftops or in small solar farms.
    • Wind Turbines: Small wind turbines can generate electricity for local use, reducing reliance on centralized power plants.
    • Biomass Generators: Use organic materials to produce electricity, often from waste products like agricultural residues or wood chips.
    • Fuel Cells: Generate electricity through a chemical reaction, often using hydrogen as a fuel source. They are efficient and produce low emissions.
    • Battery Storage: Stores electricity for use during peak demand times or when renewable sources are not generating power.
  • Benefits:
    • Energy Independence: DERs allow consumers to generate their own electricity, reducing dependence on the centralized grid.
    • Grid Resilience: By distributing power generation, DERs can make the grid more resilient to outages and disruptions.
    • Environmental Impact: Many DERs use renewable energy sources, which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.
    • Cost Savings: Consumers can save on energy costs by generating their own electricity and potentially selling excess power back to the grid.
  • Challenges:
    • Integration: Incorporating DERs into the existing grid can be complex and requires advanced management systems.
    • Initial Costs: The upfront cost of installing DERs can be high, although this is often offset by long-term savings and incentives.
    • Regulatory Hurdles: Different regions have varying regulations and policies that can impact the deployment and operation of DERs.

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?

(a) Fig
(b) Mahua
(c) Sandalwood
(d) Silk cotton

The correct answer is (a) Fig.

  • Fig: The fig tree has a unique relationship with the fig wasp, which is the only insect that can pollinate it. This relationship is a classic example of coevolution, where both species have evolved together to become mutually dependent. The fig wasp lays its eggs inside the fig fruit, and in the process, it pollinates the fig flowers, ensuring the reproduction of both the fig tree and the wasp.
  • Mahua: The mahua tree is pollinated by various insects, including bees and moths, but it does not have a unique relationship with a single insect species for pollination.
  • Sandalwood: Sandalwood trees are primarily pollinated by wind and insects, but there is no specific insect that has a unique coevolved relationship with sandalwood for pollination.
  • Silk cotton: The silk cotton tree is pollinated by a variety of insects and birds, and it does not rely on a single insect species for its pollination.

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  • Coevolution: This is the process where two or more species influence each other’s evolutionary pathway. In the case of the fig tree and the fig wasp, both species have developed traits that benefit each other, leading to a highly specialized and interdependent relationship.
  • Mutualism: The relationship between the fig tree and the fig wasp is an example of mutualism, where both species benefit. The fig tree gets pollinated, and the fig wasp gets a place to lay its eggs and a food source for its larvae.
  • Pollination: This is the transfer of pollen from the male part of a flower to the female part, enabling fertilization. Insects, birds, wind, and water can all act as pollinators.
  • Specialized Pollination: Some plants have evolved to be pollinated by a single species of insect, which can lead to a highly efficient but risky pollination strategy. If the insect species declines, the plant’s reproduction can be severely affected.
  • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health: The coevolution of plants and their pollinators is crucial for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem health. The loss of a pollinator species can have cascading effects on the ecosystem.

Consider the following:

  1. Butterflies
  2. Fish
  3. Frogs

How many of the above have poisonous species among them?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

The correct answer is (c) All three.

Explanation:

  • Butterflies:
    • Many butterflies are poisonous. They ingest toxic chemicals from their host plants as caterpillars and retain these toxins into adulthood. For example, the monarch butterfly is known for its toxicity, which it acquires from milkweed plants.
  • Fish:
    • There are numerous poisonous fish species. For instance, species of puffer fish contain tetrodotoxin, a potent toxin that can be fatal if ingested. Other examples include the spotted trunkfish and certain moray eels.
  • Frogs:
    • Many frogs are poisonous, such as the poison dart frogs. These frogs secrete toxins through their skin, which can be harmful or even lethal if ingested. Additionally, some frogs like Bruno’s casque-headed frog and Greening’s frog are also venomous, meaning they can inject toxins through spines on their heads.

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  • Butterflies:
    • Butterflies often acquire their toxicity from the plants they consume as caterpillars.
    • Aposematism is a common defense mechanism where bright colors warn predators of their toxicity.
    • Some non-toxic butterflies mimic the appearance of toxic species to avoid predation.
  • Fish:
    • Poisonous fish contain toxins that are harmful when ingested. Examples include puffer fish and moray eels.
    • Venomous fish deliver toxins through bites, stings, or spines. Examples include the reef stonefish and lionfish.
    • Venomous fish are more numerous than venomous snakes and are found in various habitats, primarily tropical waters.
  • Frogs:
    • Poisonous frogs secrete toxins through their skin as a defense mechanism. Poison dart frogs are a well-known example.
    • Venomous frogs like Bruno’s casque-headed frog and Greening’s frog can inject toxins through spines on their heads.
    • The venom of these frogs can cause severe pain and other symptoms in predators and humans.

Consider the following:

  1. Cashew
  2. Papaya
  3. Red sanders

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

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

Correct Answer: (a) Only one

Explanation:

  • Cashew: The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is native to Brazil. It was introduced to India by Portuguese colonists in the late 16th century.
  • Papaya: The papaya tree (Carica papaya) is native to southern Mexico and Central America. It was later spread to other tropical regions, including India.
  • Red Sanders: The Red Sanders tree (Pterocarpus santalinus), also known as Red Sandalwood, is native to India, specifically the southern parts of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh.

Thus, only one of the trees listed is native to India.

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  • Cashew Tree:
    • Scientific NameAnacardium occidentale
    • Origin: Native to northeastern Brazil.
    • Introduction to India: Brought by Portuguese colonists in the late 16th century.
    • Uses: Cashew nuts are used in cooking and as snacks; cashew apples are used in beverages and jams. The tree also provides wood and resin for various industrial uses.
    • Cultivation: Grows in tropical climates with well-distributed rainfall. Major producers include India, Vietnam, and Brazil.
  • Papaya Tree:
    • Scientific NameCarica papaya
    • Origin: Native to southern Mexico and Central America.
    • Introduction to India: Spread to India through historical trade routes.
    • Uses: Papaya fruit is consumed fresh, in juices, and in various culinary dishes. It is rich in vitamins and enzymes beneficial for digestion.
    • Cultivation: Grows in tropical and subtropical climates. Major producers include India, Brazil, and Mexico.
  • Red Sanders Tree:
    • Scientific NamePterocarpus santalinus
    • Origin: Native to the southern Eastern Ghats of India.
    • Uses: The wood is highly valued for its rich red color and is used in furniture, musical instruments, and traditional medicine. The tree also produces a red dye.
    • Conservation Status: Listed as endangered due to over-exploitation and habitat loss. Protected under various national and international regulations.

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?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Correct Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

  • Statement 1: RTGs are miniature fission reactors.
    • This statement is incorrect. RTGs are not fission reactors. They generate power through the natural radioactive decay of isotopes like plutonium-238, not through a fission chain reaction.
  • Statement 2: RTGs are used for powering the onboard systems of spacecrafts.
    • This statement is correct. RTGs have been used extensively to power the onboard systems of various spacecraft, including missions like Cassini, Voyager, and New Horizons.
  • Statement 3: RTGs can use Plutonium-238, which is a by-product of weapons development.
    • This statement is correct. Plutonium-238 is produced by irradiating neptunium-237, which can be recovered from research reactor fuel or special targets, and has been used in RTGs for space missions.

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  • Definition and Functionality:
    • Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) are devices that convert heat released by the decay of radioactive materials into electricity using thermocouples. They are highly reliable and have no moving parts, making them ideal for long-duration missions in harsh environments.
  • Applications:
    • RTGs are primarily used in space missions where solar power is impractical. They have powered numerous missions, including the Apollo lunar landings, Viking Mars landers, Voyager probes, and the Cassini mission to Saturn.
  • Isotopes Used:
    • The most common isotope used in RTGs is plutonium-238 due to its high decay heat and relatively low gamma radiation, which requires minimal shielding. Americium-241 is another isotope used, particularly by the European Space Agency.
  • Safety and Design:
    • RTGs are designed with multiple safety features, including heat-resistant ceramic fuel forms, iridium capsules, and graphite blocks to contain the fuel and prevent its release in case of accidents. These features ensure that RTGs can withstand severe physical conditions.
  • Historical Context:
    • The first RTG was launched in 1961 aboard the Navy TRANSIT 4A Navigational Satellite. Since then, RTGs have been a crucial power source for many NASA missions, providing reliable power for decades.
  • Production Challenges:
    • The production of plutonium-238 is complex and was halted in the late 1980s. However, production resumed in 2015 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to meet the needs of future NASA missions.

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?

(a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
(b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
(c) Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
(d) Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Correct Answer: (d) Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Explanation:

  • Statement-I: Giant stars live much longer than dwarf stars.
    • This statement is incorrectGiant stars have shorter lifespans compared to dwarf stars. Giant stars, due to their massive size and higher core temperatures, burn through their nuclear fuel much faster, resulting in shorter lifetimes. For example, a star with 10 times the mass of the Sun may only live for about 20 million years, whereas a red dwarf, which is much smaller, can last for 80 to 100 billion years, far exceeding the current age of the universe.
  • Statement-II: Compared to dwarf stars, giant stars have a greater rate of nuclear reactions.
    • This statement is correctGiant stars have hotter and denser cores, leading to a greater rate of nuclear reactions. This increased rate of nuclear fusion causes them to burn through their fuel more quickly than dwarf stars. For instance, a giant star can be thousands of times more luminous than the Sun due to its rapid nuclear reactions.

Analysis of Options:

  • (a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
    • This option is incorrect because Statement-I is incorrect.
  • (b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
    • This option is incorrect because Statement-I is incorrect.
  • (c) Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
    • This option is incorrect because Statement-I is incorrect and Statement-II is correct.
  • (d) Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct
    • This option is correct because Statement-I is incorrect and Statement-II is correct.

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  • Lifespan of Stars:
    • Massive stars have shorter lifespans due to their rapid consumption of nuclear fuel. For example, stars with masses 10 times that of the Sun may only live for a few million years.
    • Dwarf stars, especially red dwarfs, have longer lifespans. They burn their fuel slowly and can last for tens to hundreds of billions of years, far exceeding the current age of the universe.
  • Nuclear Reactions in Stars:
    • Giant stars have higher core temperatures and greater rates of nuclear reactions. This results in higher luminosity and faster fuel consumption.
    • Dwarf stars have lower core temperatures and slower rates of nuclear reactions, leading to longer lifespans.
  • Types of Stars:
    • Giant stars include red giantsblue giants, and supergiants. They are characterized by their large radii and high luminosities.
    • Dwarf stars include red dwarfsyellow dwarfs (like the Sun), and white dwarfs. They are smaller and less luminous compared to giant stars.
  • Stellar Evolution:
    • Massive stars end their lives in supernova explosions, leaving behind neutron stars or black holes.
    • Smaller stars like the Sun will become red giants and eventually shed their outer layers, leaving behind a white dwarf.

Which one of the following is synthesized in the human body that dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow?

(a) Nitric oxide
(b) Nitrous oxide
(c) Nitrogen dioxide
(d) Nitrogen pentoxide

Correct Answer: (a) Nitric oxide

Explanation:

  • Nitric oxide (NO) is synthesized in the human body and acts as a potent vasodilator. It is produced by endothelial cells lining the blood vessels and plays a crucial role in regulating vascular tone and blood flow by relaxing the smooth muscle cells in the vessel walls, leading to vasodilation and increased blood flow.
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O), commonly known as laughing gas, is an anesthetic used in medical settings. It does not have a significant role in vasodilation or blood flow regulation in the human body.
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a toxic gas that can cause respiratory issues. It is not involved in the physiological process of vasodilation or blood flow regulation.
  • Nitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) is a chemical compound used in industrial processes and is not synthesized in the human body. It does not play any role in vasodilation or blood flow regulation.

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  • Vasodilation is the process of widening blood vessels due to the relaxation of smooth muscle cells in the vessel walls. This process increases blood flow and decreases blood pressure.
  • Mechanism of Action:
    • Nitric oxide (NO) is produced from the amino acid L-arginine by the enzyme endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS).
    • NO diffuses into the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels and activates soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC).
    • This activation increases the production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which leads to the relaxation of smooth muscle cells and vasodilation.
  • Sources of NO:
    • NO is produced endogenously by endothelial cells.
    • It can also be introduced into the body through certain foods and supplements, such as those high in nitrates (e.g., beetroot).
  • Physiological Roles:
    • Regulates blood pressure: By inducing vasodilation, NO helps maintain proper blood pressure levels.
    • Enhances blood flow: Increased blood flow ensures efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues and organs.
    • Supports cardiovascular health: Adequate NO levels are crucial for preventing hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Factors Influencing NO Production:
    • Exercise: Physical activity stimulates NO production, improving endothelial function and vascular health.
    • Diet: Consuming nitrate-rich vegetables can boost NO levels in the body.
    • Age and health conditions: Reduced NO production is associated with aging and certain health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Clinical Applications:
    • Medications: Drugs like nitroglycerin and sildenafil (Viagra) work by enhancing NO pathways to treat conditions like angina and erectile dysfunction.
    • Therapeutic interventions: NO donors and vasodilators are used to manage hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions.

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?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

Correct Answer: (b) Only two

  • Identification of narcotics on passengers at airports or in aircraft: Radars are not typically used for this purpose. Instead, specialized technologies such as X-ray scanners, chemical trace-detection techniques, and behavioral analysis are employed for identifying narcotics on passengers.
  • Monitoring of precipitation: Radars are extensively used for monitoring precipitation. Weather radars, including Doppler weather radars, are designed to locate precipitation, calculate its motion, and estimate its type (rain, snow, hail, etc.). These radars provide high spatial and temporal resolution data, which is crucial for hydrological and meteorological applications.
  • Tracking the migration of animals: Radars are used to track the migration of animals, including birds, bats, and insects. Advanced radar systems can distinguish between different biological targets and provide valuable data on the timing, spatial distribution, and behavioral patterns of migrating animals.

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  • Radar Technology: Radar stands for Radio Detection and Ranging. It works by emitting a pulse of radio waves that bounce off objects and return to the radar system, allowing it to detect and locate objects.
  • Weather Radars: These radars are used to monitor and predict weather conditions. They can detect precipitation, its intensity, and movement. Doppler weather radars can also measure the velocity of precipitation particles, providing insights into storm dynamics and potential severe weather events.
  • Animal Migration Tracking: Radars have been used since the 1940s to study the aerial movements of animals. Modern radar systems can track large-scale movements of birds, bats, and insects, providing data on migration patterns, altitude preferences, and responses to environmental conditions. This information is crucial for conservation efforts and understanding ecological dynamics.
  • Airport Surveillance Radars: These radars are used to detect and display the presence and position of aircraft in the airspace around airports. They ensure safe and orderly flow of air traffic by providing real-time data to air traffic controllers.
  • Limitations of Radar: While radars are versatile, they have limitations. For instance, primary radars cannot distinguish between different types of objects, and secondary radars require transponders on aircraft to provide additional information. Radars also face challenges in detecting small or low-reflectivity objects.

Consider the following aircraft:

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

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

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

Correct Answer: (d) None

  • Rafale: The Dassault Rafale is a 4.5-generation fighter aircraft. It incorporates advanced avionics, AESA radar, and multirole capabilities but lacks the full suite of fifth-generation features such as stealth and supercruise performance.
  • MiG-29: The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a fourth-generation fighter aircraft. It was designed in the 1970s and entered service in the 1980s. While it has been upgraded over the years, it does not meet the criteria for fifth-generation fighters.
  • Tejas MK-1: The HAL Tejas is classified as a 4.5-generation fighter aircraft. It features advanced avionics and multirole capabilities but does not possess the stealth and other advanced features of fifth-generation fighters.

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  • Fifth-generation fighter aircraft are the most advanced fighters in operation as of the 21st century. They typically include:
    • Stealth: Designed to be less visible to radar and other detection methods.
    • Low-probability-of-intercept radar (LPIR): Advanced radar systems that are difficult for enemies to detect.
    • Agile airframes with supercruise performance: Ability to cruise at supersonic speeds without afterburners.
    • Advanced avionics: Integrated systems for enhanced situational awareness and battlefield management.
    • Highly integrated computer systems: Capable of networking with other elements within the battlespace for command, control, and communications (C3) capabilities.
  • Examples of fifth-generation fighters include:
    • Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor: Entered service with the USAF in 2005, known for its stealth, speed, and agility.
    • Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II: Entered service with the USMC in 2015, featuring advanced stealth and sensor fusion capabilities.
    • Chengdu J-20: Entered service with the PLAAF in 2017, incorporating stealth and advanced avionics.
    • Sukhoi Su-57: Entered service with the Russian Air Force in 2020, known for its supermaneuverability and stealth features.
  • Fourth and 4.5-generation fighters:
    • Fourth-generation fighters: Designed in the 1970s and 1980s, focusing on maneuverability and multirole capabilities. Examples include the F-15 Eagle and MiG-29.
    • 4.5-generation fighters: Upgraded versions of fourth-generation fighters with advanced avionics, AESA radar, and some stealth features. Examples include the Dassault Rafale, HAL Tejas MK-1, and Eurofighter Typhoon.

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:

(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Correct Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Controlled drug delivery in patients:
    • Hydrogels are extensively used in controlled drug delivery systems due to their tunable properties, controllable degradation, and ability to protect labile drugs. They provide spatiotemporal control over drug release and are highly biocompatible, making them suitable for delivering a wide range of therapeutic agents, including small molecules, proteins, and nucleic acids.
  • Mobile air-conditioning systems:
    • Hydrogels have been proposed and investigated for use in passive thermal management systems. They can absorb moisture from the air and provide cooling through evaporative processes, similar to how human skin cools through sweating. This property makes them suitable for applications in cooling electronics and potentially in mobile air-conditioning systems.
  • Preparation of industrial lubricants:
    • Hydrogels are also used in the preparation of industrial lubricants. They can be fabricated with various organic and inorganic gelators to provide lubrication, reduce friction, and wear in mechanical systems. This makes them valuable in industrial applications where efficient lubrication is critical.

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  • Hydrogels are three-dimensional polymer networks capable of holding large amounts of water due to their hydrophilic structure. They can be synthesized from natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic polymers and can be cross-linked physically or chemically.
  • Controlled drug delivery:
    • Hydrogels offer spatial and temporal control over drug release, protecting drugs from degradation and allowing for precise delivery to target sites.
    • They are used in various medical applications, including cancer treatment, wound healing, and tissue engineering.
  • Thermal management:
    • Hydrogels can absorb and release moisture, providing a passive cooling mechanism. This property is utilized in cooling high-power electronics and potentially in air-conditioning systems to reduce energy consumption.
  • Industrial lubricants:
    • Hydrogels reduce friction and wear in mechanical systems, making them suitable for use in industrial lubricants. They can be tailored to provide specific lubrication properties, enhancing the efficiency and lifespan of mechanical components.

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

(a) Hydrogen peroxide
(b) Hydronium
(c) Oxygen
(d) Water vapour

Correct Answer: (d) Water vapour

Explanation

  • (a) Hydrogen peroxide: This is not the correct emission from Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs). Hydrogen peroxide is not produced in the electrochemical reaction within the fuel cell.
  • (b) Hydronium: This is also incorrect. Hydronium ions are not emitted from the exhaust of FCEVs.
  • (c) Oxygen: While oxygen is involved in the reaction within the fuel cell, it is not emitted from the exhaust. Instead, it combines with hydrogen to form water.
  • (d) Water vapour: This is the correct answer. The only exhaust emission from FCEVs is water vapor, which is produced as a byproduct of the electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen within the fuel cell.

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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs):

  • Power Source: FCEVs are powered by hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe. Hydrogen is stored in high-pressure tanks within the vehicle.
  • How They Work:
    • Fuel Cell Stack: Hydrogen gas is fed into the fuel cell stack, where it undergoes an electrochemical reaction with oxygen from the air.
    • Electrochemical Reaction: In the fuel cell, hydrogen molecules split into protons and electrons. The electrons travel through an external circuit, generating electricity to power the electric motor. The protons move through the electrolyte membrane and combine with oxygen and electrons at the cathode to form water.
  • Emissions: The only byproduct of this reaction is water vapor, making FCEVs zero-emission vehicles.
  • Efficiency and Performance:
    • Energy Efficiency: FCEVs are more efficient than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.
    • Refueling Time: They can be refueled in about 3-5 minutes, similar to conventional gasoline vehicles.
    • Driving Range: FCEVs typically have a driving range of over 300 miles on a full tank of hydrogen.
  • Environmental Impact: FCEVs produce no harmful tailpipe emissions, contributing to reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Challenges:
    • Infrastructure: The development of hydrogen refueling infrastructure is still in its early stages, limiting the widespread adoption of FCEVs.
    • Cost: Hydrogen production and storage are currently more expensive compared to other fuels, though costs are expected to decrease with technological advancements and increased production.

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

(a) Irrigation of terraced crop fields
(b) Lift irrigation of cereal crops
(c) Long duration energy storage
(d) Rainwater harvesting system

Correct Answer: (c) Long duration energy storage

Explanation:

  • Pumped-storage hydropower (PSH) is primarily discussed in the context of long duration energy storage. It stores energy by pumping water from a lower reservoir to a higher one when there is excess electricity, and releases it to generate power during high demand periods.

Analysis of other Options:

  • (a) Irrigation of terraced crop fields: PSH is not typically used for irrigation purposes. It is designed for energy storage and grid management, not for agricultural irrigation.
  • (b) Lift irrigation of cereal crops: Similar to the previous point, PSH is not used for lift irrigation. Its primary function is to store and generate electricity, not to pump water for crop irrigation.
  • (d) Rainwater harvesting system: While rainwater harvesting involves storing water, it is not the same as PSH. Rainwater harvesting is for water conservation and usage, whereas PSH is for energy storage and grid stability.

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  • DefinitionPumped-storage hydropower (PSH) is a type of hydroelectric energy storage that uses two water reservoirs at different elevations to store and generate electricity.
  • Working Principle:
    • Energy Storage: Water is pumped from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir using surplus electricity during low demand periods.
    • Energy Generation: During high demand, water is released back to the lower reservoir through turbines, generating electricity.
  • Efficiency: The round-trip energy efficiency of PSH ranges from 70% to 80%, with some sources claiming up to 87%.
  • Global Usage: PSH accounts for over 90% of grid-scale energy storage capacity worldwide, with significant installations in the United States, China, and Japan.
  • Types:
    • Open-Loop PSH: Connected to natural water bodies.
    • Closed-Loop PSH: Independent of natural water bodies, relying on man-made reservoirs.
  • Historical Context: The first PSH systems were developed in the 1890s in Italy and Switzerland. The technology has evolved significantly since then, with modern systems incorporating advanced reversible turbines.
  • Applications:
    • Grid Stability: Balances supply and demand, especially with the integration of intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
    • Peak Shaving: Provides electricity during peak demand periods, reducing the need for additional power plants.
  • Environmental Impact: While PSH is a clean energy technology, it can have ecological impacts, particularly on local water bodies and ecosystems. Careful site selection and management are crucial.
  • Future Prospects: As renewable energy sources become more prevalent, the role of PSH in providing long-duration energy storage and grid stability is expected to grow.

“Membrane Bioreactors” are often discussed in the context of:

(a) Assisted reproductive technologies
(b) Drug delivery nanotechnologies
(c) Vaccine production technologies
(d) Wastewater treatment technologies

Correct Answer: (d) Wastewater treatment technologies.

Explanation:

  • Membrane Bioreactors (MBRs) are primarily used in wastewater treatment technologies. They combine biological treatment and membrane filtration to treat municipal and industrial wastewater, providing high-quality effluent and reducing plant footprint.

Other Options:

  • (a) Assisted reproductive technologies: MBRs are not related to assisted reproductive technologies. These technologies typically involve medical procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and do not use membrane bioreactors.
  • (b) Drug delivery nanotechnologies: While nanotechnology is used in drug delivery systems, MBRs are not part of this field. Drug delivery systems focus on targeted delivery of pharmaceuticals using nanoparticles, which is unrelated to the wastewater treatment processes of MBRs.
  • (c) Vaccine production technologies: Although bioreactors are used in vaccine production, MBRs specifically refer to wastewater treatment processes. Vaccine production involves different types of bioreactors designed for cell culture and virus amplification, not the membrane filtration used in MBRs.

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  • DefinitionMembrane Bioreactors (MBRs) integrate biological degradation of waste with membrane filtration to treat wastewater efficiently.
  • Components:
    • Bioreactor: Supports a biologically active environment where microorganisms degrade pollutants.
    • Membrane Filtration Unit: Separates solids from liquids, typically using microfiltration (MF) or ultrafiltration (UF) membranes.
  • Configurations:
    • Submerged MBR: Membranes are submerged in the bioreactor.
    • Sidestream MBR: Membranes are located outside the bioreactor.
  • Advantages:
    • High-quality effluent: Produces clear, pathogen-free water.
    • Compact design: Requires less space compared to conventional systems.
    • Independent control: Allows separate control of solids retention time (SRT) and hydraulic retention time (HRT).
  • Challenges:
    • Membrane fouling: A significant issue that reduces performance and increases maintenance costs.
    • High energy costs: Due to the need for aeration and membrane cleaning.
  • Applications:
    • Municipal wastewater treatment: Commonly used in urban areas to treat sewage.
    • Industrial wastewater treatment: Effective for treating wastewater from various industries, including food processing and pharmaceuticals.
  • Innovations:
    • Nanomaterials: Incorporation of nanomaterials in membranes to enhance performance and reduce fouling.
    • Aerobic granulation: Combining aerobic granules with MBRs for improved filtration and nutrient removal.

With reference to the Indian economy, “Collateral Borrowing and Lending Obligations” are the instruments of:

(a) Bond market
(b) Forex market
(c) Money market
(d) Stock market

Correct Answer: (c) Money market

  • Collateral Borrowing and Lending Obligations (CBLO) are instruments of the money market. They are used for short-term borrowing and lending, typically ranging from one day to one year, and are operated by the Clearing Corporation of India Ltd (CCIL).

Analysis of Options:

  • Bond market: This market deals with debt securities, including government and corporate bonds, which are used to raise long-term capital. Bonds provide fixed returns and are considered safer investments compared to equities.
  • Forex market: The foreign exchange market is a global decentralized market for trading currencies. It involves the buying, selling, and exchanging of currencies at current or determined prices and is the largest financial market in the world.
  • Money market: This market deals with short-term borrowing and lending, typically for periods up to one year. Instruments in this market include Treasury bills, commercial paper, and CBLO. The money market provides liquidity to financial institutions and helps in managing short-term funding needs.
  • Stock market: This market involves the buying and selling of shares of publicly traded companies. It includes various financial instruments such as stocks, derivatives, bonds, and mutual funds. The stock market is known for its volatility and potential for high returns.

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  • DefinitionCollateral Borrowing and Lending Obligations (CBLO) are short-term money market instruments that allow financial entities to borrow and lend funds against the collateral of eligible securities, primarily government securities.
  • Participants: Entities that participate in the CBLO market include nationalized banks, private banks, foreign banks, cooperative banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, primary dealers, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), and corporate entities.
  • Functioning: The CBLO market operates through the Indian Financial Network (INFINET) and the Negotiated Dealing System (NDS). Borrowers provide collateral in the form of government securities, and the CCIL matches borrowing and lending orders submitted by members.
  • Regulation: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) promotes collateralized borrowing and lending operations. CBLO transactions are subject to certain regulatory requirements, including the maintenance of Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) by scheduled commercial banks.
  • Benefits: CBLO provides a secure and efficient mechanism for managing short-term liquidity needs. It offers flexibility in terms of borrowing and lending periods and helps in maintaining financial stability by providing a reliable source of short-term funding.

The total fertility rate in an economy is defined as:

(a) the number of children born per 1000 people in the population in a year.

(b) the number of children born to a couple in their lifetime in a given population.

(c) the birth rate minus death rate.

(d) the average number of live births a woman would have by the end of her child-bearing age.

The correct answer is: (d) the average number of live births a woman would have by the end of her child-bearing age.

Explanation

  • (a) the number of children born per 1000 people in the population in a year:
    • This describes the birth rate, not the total fertility rate. The birth rate is the number of live births per 1,000 people in a given period.
  • (b) the number of children born to a couple in their lifetime in a given population:
    • This is not the definition of the total fertility rate. It might refer to the mean number of children ever born per woman or average family size.
  • (c) the birth rate minus death rate:
    • This describes the rate of natural increase or population index, which is the difference between the birth rate and the death rate.
  • (d) the average number of live births a woman would have by the end of her child-bearing age:
    • This is the correct definition of the total fertility rate (TFR). It represents the average number of children a woman would have if she experienced the current age-specific fertility rates throughout her childbearing years.

Learn more:

  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR):
    • Definition: The TFR is the average number of children a woman would have if she lived through her childbearing years and experienced the current age-specific fertility rates.
    • Calculation: It is calculated by summing the age-specific fertility rates over five-year intervals.
    • Global Variations: As of 2023, TFR varies widely, from 0.72 in South Korea to 6.73 in Niger.
    • Economic Correlation: TFR tends to be inversely correlated with economic development. Developed countries generally have lower fertility rates due to factors like wealth, education, and urbanization, while least developed countries have higher rates due to labor needs, lack of contraceptives, and lower female education and employment.
    • Historical Trends: The global TFR has declined rapidly since the 1960s. Projections indicate a transition from long-term growth to decline between 2050 and 2070, with the UN predicting a global TFR of 1.8 by 2100.
    • Importance: TFR is a crucial demographic indicator for understanding population growth and its implications on economic and social development.

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?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3
(d) 2 and 3 only

Correct Answer: (d) 2 and 3 only

  • Statement 1Incorrect. In India, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) cannot directly access the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) window of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Unlike banks, NBFCs do not have large amounts of government securities to offer as collateral, which limits their ability to borrow from the LAF window.
  • Statement 2Correct. In India, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) are allowed to hold Government Securities (G-Secs). FIIs can invest in dated Government Securities and Commercial papers of Indian establishments.
  • Statement 3CorrectStock Exchanges in India can offer separate trading platforms for debts. For instance, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) has unveiled India’s first debt trading platform.

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  • Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs):
    • NBFCs are financial institutions that provide banking services without meeting the legal definition of a bank.
    • They cannot directly access the RBI’s LAF window due to limited government securities for collateral.
    • NBFCs are required to maintain a Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) of 15% of their outstanding public deposits.
  • Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs):
    • FIIs include entities like insurance companies, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds.
    • They can invest in various Indian securities, including government securities, corporate bonds, and commercial papers.
    • FIIs help diversify the investment pool and bring in foreign capital, which is crucial for funding projects like India’s green bonds.
  • Debt Trading Platforms:
    • Stock exchanges like the NSE and BSE offer separate trading platforms for debt instruments.
    • These platforms facilitate the trading of various debt securities, including government securities, corporate bonds, and other fixed-income instruments.
    • The introduction of these platforms aims to enhance liquidity and transparency in the debt market.

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:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Correct Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Insurance Companies: Insurance companies in India are active participants in the bond market. They invest in both corporate bonds and government securities to meet their investment requirements and regulatory obligations. They are significant players in the government bond market, often holding a substantial portion of government securities.
  • Pension Funds: Pension funds also invest in corporate bonds and government securities. They are allowed to invest in these instruments to ensure stable and long-term returns for their beneficiaries. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) provides guidelines for such investments.
  • Retail Investors: Retail investors can trade in government securities and corporate bonds. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made it easier for retail investors to participate in the bond market through platforms like RBI Retail Direct, which allows them to invest in government securities. They can also invest in corporate bonds through brokers and online platforms.

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  • Government Securities (G-Secs):
    • Definition: Tradeable instruments issued by the Central or State Governments to acknowledge their debt obligations.
    • Types: Include Treasury Bills (T-bills), which are short-term instruments, and Government Bonds, which are long-term instruments.
    • Risk: Considered risk-free due to the sovereign guarantee.
    • Investment: Institutional investors like banks, insurance companies, and pension funds are major holders, but retail investors can also participate through platforms like RBI Retail Direct.
  • Corporate Bonds:
    • Definition: Debt instruments issued by companies to raise funds for various purposes like expansion, project financing, and working capital.
    • Risk: Carry credit risk, which is the risk of default by the issuer. This risk is mitigated by investing in top-rated bonds.
    • Investment: Institutional investors like mutual funds, insurance companies, and pension funds are major players. Retail investors can also invest through brokers and online platforms.
  • Investment Guidelines:
    • Insurance Companies: Must invest a certain percentage of their assets in government securities and other approved investments as per regulatory requirements.
    • Pension Funds: Follow guidelines set by PFRDA, allowing investments in both government and corporate bonds to ensure stable returns.
    • Retail Investors: Can invest in government securities through RBI Retail Direct and in corporate bonds through brokers and online platforms. The minimum investment amount has been reduced to make it more accessible.

Consider the following:

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

Which of the above is/are considered financial instruments?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3
(d) 1 and 3 only

Correct Answer: (d) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

  • Option 1: Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF)
    • ETFs are considered financial instruments because they are investment funds that hold a collection of assets such as stocks, bonds, or commodities and are traded on stock exchanges. They provide diversification and can be bought and sold like stocks.
  • Option 2: Motor vehicles
    • Motor vehicles are not considered financial instruments. They are tangible assets that depreciate over time and do not represent a financial agreement or monetary value in the context of financial markets.
  • Option 3: Currency swap
    • Currency swaps are considered financial instruments. They are derivatives used by banks, multinational corporations, and institutional investors to exchange principal and interest payments in different currencies, helping to manage foreign exchange risk and borrowing costs.

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Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF)

  • Definition: An ETF is a type of investment fund that holds a collection of assets such as stocks, bonds, or commodities and is traded on stock exchanges.
  • Types: Equity ETFs, Bond ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Sectoral/Thematic ETFs, International ETFs.
  • Advantages: Diversification, lower fees, ease of trading, transparency.
  • Disadvantages: Market risk, trading costs, potential tracking errors.
  • Market Size: In the US, $5.4 trillion in equity ETFs and $1.4 trillion in fixed-income ETFs.

Motor Vehicles

  • Definition: Tangible assets that depreciate over time.
  • Accounting: Considered depreciating assets, not financial instruments.
  • Value: Depreciates due to factors like usage, design, repair costs, and market conditions.

Currency Swap

  • Definition: A financial instrument where two parties exchange principal and interest payments in different currencies.
  • Purpose: To manage foreign exchange risk and reduce borrowing costs.
  • Types: Floating vs. Floating, Fixed vs. Floating, Fixed vs. Fixed, Non-deliverable swaps.
  • Advantages: Lower borrowing costs, hedging against exchange rate fluctuations, customized terms.
  • Usage: Widely used by banks, multinational corporations, and institutional investors.

With reference to the sectors of the Indian economy, consider the following pairs:

Economic activitySector
1. Storage of agricultural produceSecondary
2. Dairy farmPrimary
3. Mineral explorationTertiary
4. Weaving clothSecondary

How many of the pairs given above are correctly matched?
(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) Only three
(d) All four

The correct answer is (b) Only two.

Explanation:

  • Pair 1: Storage of agricultural produce – Secondary
    • Incorrect. Storage of agricultural produce falls under the tertiary sector as it involves services related to the storage and preservation of goods, which support the primary and secondary sectors.
  • Pair 2: Dairy farm – Primary
    • Correct. Dairy farming is part of the primary sector as it involves the extraction and collection of natural resources, specifically milk from animals.
  • Pair 3: Mineral exploration – Tertiary
    • Incorrect. Mineral exploration is part of the primary sector as it involves the extraction of natural resources from the earth.
  • Pair 4: Weaving cloth – Secondary
    • Correct. Weaving cloth is part of the secondary sector as it involves the transformation of raw materials (yarn) into finished goods (cloth).

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  • Primary Sector:
    • Involves the extraction and harvesting of natural resources.
    • Examples include agriculture, mining, fishing, forestry, and dairy farming.
    • Contributes significantly to the GDP in many developing countries.
    • Faces issues like underemployment and disguised employment.
  • Secondary Sector:
    • Involves the transformation of raw materials into finished goods.
    • Includes manufacturing, construction, and industries like weaving cloth.
    • Adds value to products and is crucial for economic development.

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?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 2, 3 and 4
(d) 1, 3 and 4 only

The correct answer is (c) 1, 2, 3 and 4.

  • Agricultural residues: These include materials like straw and corn stover, which are recognized as viable feedstocks for producing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
  • Corn grain: Corn grain is a commonly used feedstock for SAF production, particularly through the alcohol-to-jet (AtJ) pathway.
  • Wastewater treatment sludge: This material can be used as a feedstock for SAF, as demonstrated by projects converting sewage sludge into biofuels.
  • Wood mill waste: Wood mill waste, including residues from wood processing, is also a recognized feedstock for SAF production.

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Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

  • Definition: SAF is a biofuel used to power aircraft, offering similar properties to conventional jet fuel but with a significantly smaller carbon footprint.
  • Environmental Impact: SAF can reduce life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 94% compared to conventional jet fuel, depending on the feedstock and production technology used.
  • Feedstocks: SAF can be produced from a variety of renewable and waste resources, including:
    • Agricultural residues: Such as straw and corn stover, which are by-products of crop production.
    • Corn grain: Used in the alcohol-to-jet (AtJ) pathway, converting sugary and starchy biomass into ethanol, which is then processed into jet fuel.
    • Wastewater treatment sludge: Sewage sludge can be converted into SAF through processes like anaerobic digestion and hydrothermal liquefaction.
    • Wood mill waste: Includes residues from wood processing, which can be converted into biofuels through methods like gasification and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.
  • Economic and Environmental Benefits:
    • Economic Opportunities: SAF production can create new revenue streams for farmers and support job creation in feedstock production, biorefinery construction, and aviation.
    • Environmental Services: Growing biomass crops for SAF can improve soil quality, reduce erosion, and enhance water quality. Using waste materials for SAF reduces pollution and methane emissions.
  • Challenges and Future Prospects:
    • Feedstock Availability: Ensuring a sustainable and sufficient supply of feedstocks is crucial for scaling up SAF production.
    • Technological Advancements: Continued research and development are needed to improve production pathways and reduce costs.
    • Policy Support: Government policies and incentives play a vital role in promoting SAF adoption and scaling up production.

With reference to physical capital in Indian economy, consider the following pairs:

ItemsCategory
1. Farmer’s ploughWorking capital
2. ComputerFixed capital
3. Yarn used by the weaverFixed capital
4. PetrolWorking capital

How many of the above pairs are correctly matched?

(a) Only one

(b) Only two

(c) Only three

(d) All four

Correct Answer: (b) Only two

Explanation:

  • Pair 1: Farmer’s plough – Working capital
    • Incorrect. A farmer’s plough is an example of fixed capital. It is a tool that can be used over many years in the production process and is not consumed in a single production cycle.
  • Pair 2: Computer – Fixed capital
    • Correct. A computer is considered fixed capital as it is a long-term asset used in the production process over multiple years.
  • Pair 3: Yarn used by the weaver – Fixed capital
    • Incorrect. Yarn used by a weaver is an example of working capital. It is a raw material that is consumed in the production process.
  • Pair 4: Petrol – Working capital
    • Correct. Petrol is considered working capital as it is consumed during the production process and needs to be replenished regularly.

Learn more:

Physical Capital in the Indian Economy

  • Definition: Physical capital refers to the variety of inputs required at every stage during production. It includes both fixed capital and working capital.
  • Fixed Capital:
    • Nature: Long-term assets used in production over many years.
    • Examples: Machinery, buildings, tools, computers, and vehicles.
    • Characteristics: Not easily converted to cash, used repeatedly in production, and depreciates over time.
    • Importance: Essential for establishing and maintaining the production capacity of a business.
  • Working Capital:
    • Nature: Short-term assets used in day-to-day operations.
    • Examples: Raw materials, cash, inventory, and fuel.
    • Characteristics: Highly liquid, consumed in the production process, and needs regular replenishment.
    • Importance: Crucial for maintaining the smooth operation of a business and meeting short-term financial obligations.
  • Role in Production:
    • Fixed Capital: Provides the necessary infrastructure and equipment for production.
    • Working Capital: Ensures the availability of necessary materials and liquidity to keep the production process running smoothly.
  • Economic Impact:
    • Fixed Capital: Investments in fixed capital can lead to increased production capacity and long-term growth.
    • Working Capital: Adequate working capital is essential for operational efficiency and financial stability.

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”?

(a) Big data analytics

(b) Cryptography

(c) Metaverse

(d) Virtual matrix

The correct answer is (c) Metaverse.

  • Metaverse: The term “metaverse” refers to an interoperable network of 3D virtual worlds that can be accessed simultaneously by millions of users, who can exert property rights over virtual items.

Explanation of other options

  • (a) Big data analytics:
    • Definition: Big data analytics involves methods, tools, and applications used to collect, process, and derive insights from varied, high-volume, high-velocity data sets.
    • Usage: It is primarily used for analyzing large data sets to uncover hidden patterns, correlations, and market trends, not for creating or managing virtual worlds.
  • (b) Cryptography:
    • Definition: Cryptography is the process of hiding or coding information so that only the intended recipient can read it.
    • Usage: It is used for securing communications and data, ensuring confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation, but not for creating virtual worlds.
  • (d) Virtual matrix:
    • Definition: This term is not commonly used in the context of 3D virtual worlds or networks and does not fit the description provided.
    • Usage: It is not a recognized term in the context of interoperable networks of 3D virtual worlds.

Learn more:

Metaverse:

  • Definition: The metaverse is a vast, interconnected network of 3D virtual worlds where users can interact, own virtual items, and experience a sense of presence.
  • Key Features:
    • Virtual Worlds: Computer-generated environments that users can explore and interact with.
    • Three-Dimensional: The metaverse is inherently 3D, providing a more immersive experience than the traditional internet.
    • Real-Time Rendered: Virtual worlds respond to user inputs in real-time.
    • Massively Scaled: Capable of supporting millions of users simultaneously.
    • Interoperable Network: Users can carry personal information and virtual items across different virtual worlds.
    • Persistence: The metaverse is always on and accessible.
    • Synchronous: Users can share experiences in real-time.
    • Unlimited Users and Individual Presence: Supports millions of users, each with their own avatars and perspectives.
  • Technologies Involved:
    • Virtual Reality (VR): Provides a fully immersive experience through VR headsets and haptic feedback devices.
    • Augmented Reality (AR): Overlays digital information on the real world, enhancing user interaction with their environment.
    • Blockchain and NFTs: Used for securing transactions and ownership of virtual items within the metaverse.
    • Cryptocurrencies: Often used as the medium of exchange within virtual economies.
  • Applications:
    • Gaming: Platforms like Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite are early examples of metaverse-like experiences.
    • Social Interaction: Users can meet, socialize, and collaborate in virtual spaces.
    • Commerce: Virtual stores and marketplaces allow users to buy and sell virtual goods.
    • Education and Training: Virtual classrooms and training environments provide immersive learning experiences.
    • Work and Collaboration: Virtual offices and meeting spaces enable remote work and collaboration.

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?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Correct Answer: (b) 2 only

  • Statement 1Incorrect. There is a minimum capital requirement for wholly owned banking subsidiaries (WOS) in India. The initial minimum paid-up voting equity capital for a WOS is ₹5 billion.
  • Statement 2Correct. For wholly owned banking subsidiaries in India, at least 50% of the board members should be Indian nationals.

Learn more

  • Minimum Capital Requirement:
    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mandates that the initial minimum paid-up voting equity capital for a wholly owned subsidiary (WOS) of a foreign bank in India is ₹5 billion.
    • This capital must be brought in upfront and funded by free foreign exchange remittance from the parent bank.
  • Board Member Nationality Requirements:
    • At least 50% of the directors of a WOS must be Indian nationals.
    • Additionally, not less than 50% of the directors should be non-executive directors, and a minimum of one-third of the directors should be independent of the management of the subsidiary in India, its parent, or associates.
  • Corporate Governance:
    • The WOS must comply with the corporate governance norms set by the RBI, which include having a majority of independent directors on the board.
    • The directors must conform to the ‘Fit and Proper’ criteria as laid down in RBI’s guidelines.
  • Regulatory Compliance:
    • The WOS will be subject to the licensing requirements and conditions consistent with those for new private sector banks.
    • It will be governed by the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, Banking Regulation Act, 1949, Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, and other relevant statutes and directives issued by the RBI.
  • Branch Expansion:
    • The branch expansion guidelines applicable to domestic scheduled commercial banks will generally apply to WOSs of foreign banks.
    • However, they will require the RBI’s prior approval for opening branches at certain locations sensitive from the perspective of national security.
  • Priority Sector Lending:
    • WOSs are required to meet the priority sector lending targets similar to those applicable to domestic scheduled commercial banks, with an adequate transition period for existing foreign bank branches converting into WOS.

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.

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: (a) 1 only

  • Statement 1: CSR rules specify that expenditures that benefit the company directly or its employees will not be considered as CSR activities. This is correct. According to the Companies (CSR Policy) Rules, 2014, any activity benefitting employees of the company is not considered as eligible CSR activity. The spirit behind CSR activities is to benefit the public at large and not to be discriminatory to any class of beneficiaries.
  • Statement 2: CSR rules do not specify minimum spending on CSR activities. This is incorrect. The Companies Act, 2013 mandates that companies meeting certain criteria must spend at least 2% of their average net profits made during the three immediately preceding financial years on CSR activities.

Learn more

  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): CSR refers to the responsibility of companies to contribute positively to society. It involves companies taking actions that further social good beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law.
  • Legal Framework: The Companies Act, 2013, particularly Section 135, and the Companies (CSR Policy) Rules, 2014, provide the legal framework for CSR in India. These rules mandate that companies meeting certain financial thresholds must spend a minimum of 2% of their average net profits from the last three years on CSR activities.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Companies with a net worth of ₹500 crore or more, turnover of ₹1,000 crore or more, or a net profit of ₹5 crore or more during any financial year are required to comply with CSR provisions.
  • Exclusions: CSR activities do not include:
    • Activities undertaken in the normal course of business.
    • Activities that benefit only the employees of the company.
    • Contributions to political parties.
    • Activities undertaken outside India, except for training of Indian sports personnel.
  • Implementation: Companies can undertake CSR activities through:
    • Themselves.
    • Registered trusts, societies, or Section 8 companies.
    • Collaborations with other companies.
  • Reporting and Compliance: Companies must report their CSR activities in their annual reports and on their websites. Non-compliance can result in penalties, including fines and imprisonment for responsible officers.
  • Impact Assessment: Companies with significant CSR expenditures must conduct impact assessments of their CSR projects to ensure effectiveness and transparency.

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-II :
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 ?
(a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
(b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
(c) Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
(d) Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Correct Answer: (b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I

Explanation:

  • Option (a): Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I
    • Incorrect: While both statements are correct, Statement-II does not explain Statement-I. Statement-I is about the inability of bondholders to exercise their claims in the event of a default, while Statement-II discusses the nature of the backing of US government debt.
  • Option (b): Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I
    • Correct: Statement-I is correct because if the USA defaults, holders of US Treasury Bonds will not be able to exercise their claims to receive payment. Statement-II is also correct as the US government debt is backed by the faith and credit of the government, not by hard assets. However, Statement-II does not explain Statement-I.
  • Option (c): Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect
    • Incorrect: Statement-II is correct as the US government debt is indeed backed by the faith of the government and not by hard assets.
  • Option (d): Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct
    • Incorrect: Statement-I is correct because in the event of a default, bondholders will not be able to exercise their claims.

Learn More

  • US Debt Default:
    • Definition: A debt default occurs when a country fails to meet its debt obligations on schedule, which for the US would mean not making payments to US Treasury bondholders.
    • Consequences: A default could lead to a significant downturn in financial markets, a surge in global interest rates, and a potential recession in the US.
    • Historical Context: The US has never defaulted in the traditional sense, but there have been close calls, such as in 1979 due to a technical error.
  • US Government Debt:
    • Nature: US government debt is backed by the full faith and credit of the government, not by hard assets.
    • Debt Instruments: The US issues Treasury bonds, bills, and notes to finance its spending, which are considered safe investments due to their perceived stability.
    • Debt-to-GDP Ratio: The US debt-to-GDP ratio is a key indicator of the country’s ability to repay its debt. As of recent data, it is around 100%, which is a cause for concern among economists.
  • Risks of Default:
    • Economic Impact: A default could shave around 4% from US GDP, cause stock prices to fall by a third, and result in significant job losses.
    • Legal and Financial Ramifications: The US government would face legal challenges and increased borrowing costs, and its credit rating could be downgraded.
  • Debt Ceiling:
    • Definition: The debt ceiling is the maximum amount the US government can borrow to meet its legal obligations.
    • Historical Adjustments: The debt ceiling has been raised or suspended numerous times to prevent default and ensure the government can meet its financial obligations.

Consider the following statements:

Statement-I:
Syndicated lending spreads the risk of borrower default across multiple lenders.

Statement-II:
The syndicated loan can be a 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?

(a) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct and Statement-II explains Statement-I

(b) Both Statement-I and Statement-II are correct, but Statement-II does not explain Statement-I

(c) Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect

(d) Statement-I is incorrect, but Statement-II is correct

Correct Answer: (c) Statement-I is correct, but Statement-II is incorrect