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UPSC Prelims Exam GS Paper 2018: Answer and Explanation


UPSC- Prelims Exam General Studies

Paper-I (2018): Set B

Source: honjkhobor.in

1. Consider the following statements:

  1. In the first Lok Sabha, the single largest party in the opposition was the Swatantra Party.
  2. In the Lok Sabha, a “Leader of the Opposition” was recognised for the first time in 1969.
  3. In the Lok Sabha, if a party does not have a minimum of 75 members, its leader cannot be recognised as the Leader of Opposition.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c) 2 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: b

Explanation: The Indian National Congress (INC) won a landslide victory, winning 364 of the 489 seats and 45% of the total votes polled. This was over four times as many votes as the second-largest party. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the country. In the first Lok Sabha polls held in 1951, India had around 173 million voters, out of an overall population of about 360 million. There was no Opposition Party as such because no single party had managed to cross the mark of even 20 seats in the Lok Sabha other than Congress.

First Lok Sabha of independent India did not had a recognised “Leader of Opposition” due to lack of any opposition party having 10% seats. First time Lok Sabha got recognised “Leader of Opposition” in 1969 in the form of Ram Subhag Singh from INC (O). In order to get formal recognition, the concerned party must have at least 10% of the total strength of the House (55 seats in the Lok Sabha). If any party fails to get 10% seats in opposition, the House will not have recognised leader of the opposition.

The Swatantra Party was an Indian liberal-conservative political party that existed from 1959 to 1974. It was founded by C. Rajagopalachari.

In the 1962 general election, the first after its formation, Swatantra received 6.8 percent of the total votes and won 18 seats in the third Lok Sabha (1962–67). It emerged as the main opposition to the dominant Congress in four states—Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Orissa. By the next general election in 1967, Swatantra had become a significant force in some parts of India; it won 8.7 percent of the votes and became the single-largest opposition party in the fourth Lok Sabha (1967–71) with 44 seats.

2. Which of the following leaf modifications occur(s) in the desert areas to inhabit water loss?

  1. Hard and waxy leaves
  2. Tiny leaves
  3. Thorns instead of leaves

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a) 2 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c) 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: d

Explanation: Leaf modifications of Desert Plant to inhibit water loss for adaptations and survival of Desert Plant-

1. Wax coatings on leaves prevent water loss through evaporation.

2. Leaves of Deciduous plants in desert ecosystems are typically smaller and coated with wax to prevent evaporation.

3. Plants such as aloes are equipped with fleshy leaves that contain much of their water supply. Because of their moist inner bodies, these plants are called succulents. They typically feel spongy and when cut open are filled with a pulpy flesh, protected by a waxy outer layer.

4. Many plants in the desert conserve water by not having any leaves at all. Cacti are the most prolific of this plant type. Many cacti have spines in place of leaves, which conduct photosynthesis and catch dew when the climate is right. These small structures also reflect light, further reducing water loss. During heavy rains, cacti will grow temporary root systems and absorb water. They will then shed the roots when the ground has dried.

3. As per the NSSO 70th Round “Situation Assessment Survey of Agriculture Households”, consider the following statements:

  1. Rajasthan has the highest percentage share of agriculture households among its rural households.
  2. Out of the total households in the country, a little over 60 percent being to OBCs.
  3. In Kerala, a little over 60 percent of agriculture households reported to have received maximum income from sources other than agriculture activities.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 2 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: d

Explanation: The Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households in NSS 70th Round was conducted in January, 2013- December, 2013 as a repeat survey of Situation Assessment Survey, 2003 (59th round). The prime objective of the survey was to capturing the condition of agricultural households in the country in the context of policies and programmes of Government of India.

During the agricultural year July, 2012- June, 2013, rural India had an estimated total of 90.2 million agricultural households. These agricultural households were about 57.8 percent of the total estimated rural households of the country during the same period.

Uttar Pradesh, with an estimate of 18.05 million agricultural households, accounted for about 20 percent of all agricultural households in the country. Among the major States, Rajasthan had highest percentage of agricultural households (78.4 percent) among its rural households followed by Uttar Pradesh (74.8 percent) and Madhya Pradesh (70.8 percent). Kerala had the least percentage share of agricultural households (27.3 percent) in its rural households preceded by other southern States like Tamil Nadu (34.7 percent) and Andhra Pradesh (41.5 percent).

Agricultural activity (cultivation, livestock and other agricultural activities) was reported to be the principal source of income for majority of the households in all the major States, except Kerala where about 61 percent of the agricultural households reported to have earned maximum income from sources other than agricultural activities

About 45 percent out of the total agricultural households in the country belonged to Other Backward Classes (OBC). About 16 percent of agricultural households were from Scheduled Castes (SC) and 13 percent were from Scheduled Tribes (ST).

4. How is the National Green Tribunal (NGT) different from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)?

  1. The NGT has been established by an Act whereas the CPCB has been created by an executive order of the Government.
  2. The NGT provides environmental justice and helps reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts whereas the CPCB promotes cleanliness of streams and wells, and aims to improve the quality of air in the country.

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

Ans: b

Explanation: The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18.10.2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India is a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoE,FCC). It was established in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. A function of CPCB comes under both national level and as State Boards for the Union Territories. CPCB, under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, aims to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.

5. Consider the following statements:

  1. The Parliament of India can place a particular law in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
  2. The validity of a law placed in the Ninth Schedule cannot be examined by any court and no judgement can be made on it.

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

Ans: a

Explanation: The Ninth Schedule (Article 31-B) was introduced by the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to keep certain laws particularly those on land reforms beyond the scope of judicial review. Over the years 284 laws were included in it and about 30 of them are under challenge.

In its unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court Bench, while recognising the supremacy of the court to examine the validity of inclusion of a law in the Ninth Schedule, did not accept the argument that introduction of Article 31-B was just a one-time measure to protect agrarian laws after the abolition of the zamindari system and that it outlived its purpose. The Bench did not go into the question of validity of Article 31-B as it was not under challenge.

“The power to grant absolute immunity at will is not compatible with the basic structure doctrine and, therefore, after April 24, 1973 the laws included in the Ninth Schedule would not have absolute immunity. The validity of such laws can be challenged on the touchstone of basic structure such as reflected in Article 21 read with Article 14 and Article 19, Article 15 and the principles underlying these Articles.”

6. Which one of the following best describes the term “Merchant Discount Rate” sometimes seen in news?

(a) The incentive given by a bank to a merchant for accepting payments through debit cards pertaining to that bank.

(b) The amount paid back by banks to their customers when they use debit cards for financial transactions for purchasing goods or services.

(c) The charge to a merchant by a bank for accepting payments from his customers through the bank’s debit cards.

(d) The incentive given by the Government to merchants for promoting digital payments by their customers through Point of Sale (PoS) machines and debit cards.

Ans: c

Explanation: The merchant discount rate refer to the rate charged to a merchant for payment processing services on debit and credit card transactions. The merchant must setup this service and agree to the rate prior to accepting debit and credit cards as payment.

7. What is/are the consequence/consequences of a country becoming the member of the ‘Nuclear Suppliers Group’?

  1. It will have access to the latest and most efficient nuclear technologies.
  2. It automatically becomes a member of “The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)”.

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

Ans: a

Explanation: The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a multilateral export control regime and a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons. The only grouping India is now left out of is the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

8. With reference to India’s decision to levy an equalization tax of 6% on online advertisement services offered by non-resident entities, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It is introduced as a part of the Income Tax Act that offers advertisement services in India.
  2. Non-resident entities that offer advertisement services in Indian can claim a tax credit in their home country under the “Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements”.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: d

Explanation: The government of India levy an equalisation tax of 6 per cent on online advertisement services offered in the country by non-resident entities will impact users, especially start-ups that rely almost entirely on the online world to popularise their services. Further, as the levy is not introduced as part of the Income Tax Act but as a separate legislation under the Finance Bill, global firms that offer such services in India cannot claim a tax credit in their home country under the double taxation avoidance agreements.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during Budget speech said that, “In order to tap tax on income accruing to foreign e-commerce companies from India it is proposed that a person making a payment to a non-resident (global advertising platform), who does not have a permanent establishment, exceeding in aggregate Rs.1 lakh in a year, as consideration for online advertisement, will withhold tax at 6 per cent of gross amount paid, as equalisation levy,”.

9. Consider the following statements:

  1. The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Review Committee Report has recommended a debt to GDP ratio of 60% for the general (combined) government by 2023, comprising 40% for the Central Government and 20% for the State Governments.
  2. The Central Government has domestic liabilities of 21% of GDP as compared to that of 49% of GDP of the State Governments.
  3. As per the Constitution of India, it is mandatory for a State to take the Central Government’s consent for raising any loan if the former owes any outstanding liabilities to the latter.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: c

Explanation:  The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Review Committee under the Mr. N.K. Singh submitted its report on January 2017. The Report was made public in April 2017. The Committee proposed a draft Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Bill, 2017 to replace the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 (FRBM Act).

Recommendations of the Committee and features of the draft Bill 

1. Debt to GDP ratio: The Committee suggested using debt as the primary target for fiscal policy. A debt to GDP ratio of 60% should be targeted with a 40% limit for the centre and 20% limit for the states. It noted that majority of the countries that have adopted fiscal rules have targeted a debt to GDP ratio of 60%. The targeted debt to GDP ratio should be achieved by 2023. This ratio is expected to be around 70% in 2017.

2. Fiscal Council: The Committee proposed to create an autonomous Fiscal Council with a Chairperson and two members appointed by the centre. To maintain its independence, it proposed a non-renewable four-year term for the Chairperson and members. Further, these people should not be employees in the central or state governments at the time of appointment.

3. Role of the Council: The role of the Council would include: (i) preparing multi-year fiscal forecasts, (ii) recommending changes to the fiscal strategy, (iii) improving quality of fiscal data, (iv) advising the government if conditions exist to deviate from the fiscal target, and (v) advising the government to take corrective action for non-compliance with the Bill.

4. Deviations: The Committee noted that under the FRBM Act, the government can deviate from the targets in case of a national calamity, national security or other exceptional circumstances notified by it. Allowing the government to notify these grounds diluted the 2003 Act. The Committee suggested that grounds in which the government can deviate from the targets should be clearly specified, and the government should not be allowed to notify other circumstances.

5. Further, the government may be allowed to deviate from the specified targets upon the advice of the Fiscal Council in the following circumstances: (i) considerations of national security, war, national calamities and collapse of agriculture affecting output and incomes, (ii) structural reforms in the economy resulting in fiscal implications, or (iii) decline in real output growth of at least 3% below the average of the previous four quarters. These deviations cannot be more than 0.5% of GDP in a year.

6. Borrowings from the RBI: The draft Bill restricts the government from borrowing from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) except when: (i) the centre has to meet a temporary shortfall in receipts, (ii) RBI subscribes to government securities to finance any deviations from the specified targets, or (iii) RBI purchases government securities from the secondary market.

Central Government liability

Central Government liability at 46.1% of GDP at end-March 2017 has seen a decline from 47.7 % at end March 2016, in continuation with long term trend of decline being seen from 61.4% in 2001-02.

10. Consider the following statements:

  1. The quantity of imported edible oils is more than the domestic production of edible oils in the last five years.
  2. The Government does not impose any customs duty on all the imported edible oils as a special case.

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

Ans: a

Explanation: As per Solvent Extractors Association of India, India’s Vegetable Oil imports for the year 2016-17 (November 2016 to October 2017) is reported at 15.44 million tons compared to 14.74 million tons last year (2015-16) and 10.68 million tons in 2012-13 .

The Vegetable Oil import, which includes edible oil and non-edible oil, has jumped by 45% in last 5 years.
Import of edible oil has sharply increased in last few years due to stagnant Oilseed production and rising demand in the country. India’s dependence on imported Oil has increased to 70% of its requirements.

Customs duty on edible oils

India’s edible oil imports surge during the past six months, depressing prices of domestically produced mustard, soyabean and other soft oils and in turn cutting returns of farmers and processors, the industry has demanded substantial increase in import duty to curtail imports.

The duty on two major edible oils, namely crude sunflower seed oil and crude canola/rapeseed/mustard is only 25 per cent, while crude soyabean oil attracts 30 per cent duty.

11. He wrote biographies of Mazzini, Garibaldi, Shivaji and Shrikrishna; stayed in America for some time; and was also elected to the Central Assembly. He was…..

a) Aurobindo Ghosh

b) Bipin Chandra Pal

c) Lala Lajpat Rai

d) Motilal Nehru

Ans: c

Explanation: Lala Lajpat Rai was the most prolific writer who wrote the biographies of Mazzini, Garibaldi, Shivaji, Dayanand and Shri Krishna, besides other important works in English, Hindi and Urdu.
He visited USA and Japan where he kept in touch with the Indian revolutionaries. In England, he also became a member of the British Labour party. In recognition of his outstanding role in the freedom movement, he was elected President of the Indian National Congress at the Calcutta session (1920).

12. Consider the following statements:

  1. Aadhaar card can be used as a proof of citizenship or domicile.
  2. Once issued, Aadhaar number cannot be deactivated or omitted by the Issuing Authority.

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

Ans: d

Explanation:  Aadhar Card is a 12-digit unique number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) by taking a person’s biometric details such as iris scan and fingerprints, and demographic information like date of birth and address.

The Aadhaar Act regulations, which are currently in Parliament, state that an individual’s Aadhaar number may be “omitted” permanently or deactivated temporarily by the Unique Identification Authority of India, the agency responsible for issuing the numbers and managing the database. The regulations give the Authority the power to deactivate Aadhaar numbers even in the absence of an effective grievance redressal procedure for those whose numbers have been suspended.

As per Calcutta High Court, Aadhaar Card is not a proof of citizenship and stated that “Aadhaar Card by itself shall not confer any right of or be proof of citizenship or domicile in respect of the holder thereto” while rejecting a claim of citizenship of the accused who was issued the card in view of his long residence in the country.

13. Which of the following has/have shrunk immensely/dried up in the recent past due to human activities?

  1. Aral Sea
  2. Black Sea
  3. Lake Baikal

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a) 1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 2 only

d) 1 and 3

Ans: d

Explanation: The Aral Sea, once the fourth largest lake in the world, has been shrinking steadily since the 1960s. According to the local natural resources ministry, Lake Baikal, the biggest and oldest lake in the world, is home to approximately 2,500 species of plants and animals. It is drying up as the lake’s water levels continue to drop

14. “Rule of Law Index” is released by which of the following ?

a) Amnesty International

b) International Court of Justice

c) The Office of UN Commissioner for Human Rights

d) World Justice Project

Ans: d

Explanation: The World Justice Project (WJP) is an American independent, multidisciplinary organisation with the stated mission of “working to advance the rule of law around the world”. It works through three programs — Research and Scholarship, the WJP Rule of Law Index, and Engagement. WJP seeks to increase public awareness about the foundational importance of the rule of law, stimulate government reforms, and develop practical programs at the community level.

15. Which one of the following links all the ATMs in India ?

a) Indian Banks’ Association

b) National Securities Depository Limited

c) National Payments Corporation of India

d) Reserve Bank of India

Ans: c

Explanation:  National Financial Switch (NFS) is the largest network of shared automated teller machines (ATMs) in India. It was designed, developed and deployed by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) in 2004, with the goal of inter-connecting the ATMs in the country and facilitating convenience banking.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is an umbrella organisation for all retail payments in India. It was set up with the guidance and support of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks Association (IBA).

16. Consider the following statements:

  1. Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) is the amount that banks have to maintain in the form of their own funds to offset any loss that banks incur if any account-holders fail to repay dues.
  2. CAR is decided by each individual bank.

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

Ans: a

Explanation: The Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) is a measure of a bank’s available capital expressed as a percentage of a bank’s risk-weighted credit exposures. The Capital Adequacy Ratio, also known as capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio (CRAR), is used to protect depositors and promote the stability and efficiency of financial systems around the world. Two types of capital are measured: tier one capital, which can absorb losses without a bank being required to cease trading, and tier two capital, which can absorb losses in the event of a winding-up and so provides a lesser degree of protection to depositors.

17. The identity platform ‘Aadhaar‘ provides open “Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)”. What does it imply?

  1. It can be integrated into any electronic device.
  2. Online authentication using iris is possible.

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

Ans: c

Explanation: The Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) authenticates Indian residents wishing to get services from Indian government agencies. Responses and calls for Aadhaar API are in XML format.

The API released by Aadhaar contains individual’s protocol, specifications about security and data in for of API format.

The open source programming offered by Aadhaar API in its project of unique identification in India helps developers of the software to build and manage data applications. With the API system the Aadhaar team handling the identification process is able to enjoy a smooth flow of activities without undue interferences. With the open source program available, developers will be able to create apps using standards that are open which will eventually enhance interoperability.

The connection of Aadhaar API with open source programming is also aimed at enhancing performance metrics and prudency that will ensure transparency through public portals. The open source program supports java, NET, windows and Linux and developers of Aadhaar API can easily create an ecosystem that allows him to play libraries stored in the standard API.

For complete authentication of individuals, the authentication API would require 12 digits together with the various biometric identifications such as iris scans and fingerprints. The API system gives responses in binary forms of either no or yes which guarantees privacy.

18. Very recently, in which of the following countries have lakhs of people either suffered from severe famine/acute malnutrition or died due to starvation caused by war/ethnic conflict?

a) Angola and Zambia

b) Morocco  Tunisia

c) Venezuela and Colombia

d) Yemen and South Sudan

Ans: d

Explanation:  According to 2017 Global Hunger Index scores, the level of hunger in the world has decreased by 27 percent from the 2000 level. India ranked 100th position among 119 countries on Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2017.

2017 GHI scores still raise significant concern, including Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria. Even the United Nations declared that more than 20 million people are at risk of famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

Yemen was the sole country on the 2017 Global Hunger Index suffering from “alarming” or “extremely alarming” levels of hunger that’s not located in Africa. Yemen ranked 114th out of the 119 countries assessed, and its hunger level, falling in the “alarming” category, has dropped 7 percent in the past 17 years.

South Sudan lacked sufficient data for calculating this year’s Global Hunger Index score. But in February, the United Nations declared famine in parts of the country, the first to be announced anywhere in the world since 2011. The formal declaration meant South Sudanese were already dying of hunger.

19. Regarding Wood’s Dispatch, which of the following statements are true?

  1. Grants-in-Aid system was introduced.
  2. Establishment of universities was recommended.
  3. English as a medium of instruction at all levels of education was recommended.

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

Ans: a

Explanation: Wood’s Dispatch (1854) is considered as the “Magna Carta of English Education in India” and contained comprehensive plan for spreading education in India.

Recommendations of the Wood’s Dispatch

Department of Education: The Wood‘s Dispatch, for the first time, recommended the  creation of a Department of Public Instruction (D.P.I.) in each of the five provinces of Bengal, Bombay, Madras, the Punjab and the North Western provinces. The head of the Department would be called the Director and he was to be assisted by a number of inspectors. The D.P.I. had to submit an annual report to the government about the educational progress in his province.

Expansion of Mass Education: : The Dispatch admitted that mass education has been totally neglected. Therefore, the Dispatch directed that useful and practical knowledge should be conveyed to masses. To achieve this purpose, the Dispatch recommended the establishment of increased number of High Schools, Middle Schools and Primary Schools. The indigenous primary schools were regarded as the foundation upon which the superstructure of education could be constructed.. The downward filtration Theory as proposed earlier was discarded and in its place importance to primary education was given. Elementary education was considered to be the foundation of the education system

Establishment of Universities: – – The Dispatch recommended the establishment of universities in the three Presidency towns of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. The universities were to be modeled after the London University and these were to have a senate comprising of a Chancellor, a Vice-Chancellor, and fellows who were nominated by the Government. The Universities would confer degrees to the successful candidates after passing the examinations, (of Science or Arts Streams) conducted by the Senate. The universities were to organize departments not only of English but also of Arabic, Sanskrit and Persian, as well as law and civil engineering.

Training of Teachers: Wood‘s Dispatch recommended the establishment of teacher training schools in each of the provinces. There should be training schools for teachers of engineering, medicine and law. The qualified teachers should be given better pay scales. The Dispatch further emphasized on the provision of scholarships to the teachers during their training period.

Professional Education: Wood‘s Dispatch encouraged professional education. It recommended the establishment of medical, engineering law and other institutes of professional education. The Dispatch  stated that in order to develop vocational efficiency of people and to make people realize that the British rule was progressive. Another reason for the encouragement of vocational education was to control the problem of unemployment.

Introduction of network of Graded Schools all over India: –

The Dispatch recommended that there should be graded schools all over the country as follows:

Universities

Colleges

High Schools

Middle Schools

Primary Schools

Wood‘s Dispatch recommended the establishment of a network of graded schools all over the country. At one end were the universities and the colleges, then the high schools followed by the middle schools and the bottom of the middle schools and at the bottom of the network were the primary schools, both government and indigenous. Both the Anglo-vernacular and vernacular schools were to be included in the same class. This system was recommended in order to enable an individual to receive higher education after completing the different levels of schools education

Grant  in-aid system: The Wood’s Dispatch recommended the sanction of a grant-in-aid system in the Indian educational system. To educate the large number of people of India was a difficult task and so the grant-in-aid system was adopted by the government. Grants were given to those schools and colleges which satisfied the conditions given below :-

a) The schools must provide secular education.

b) The school management should run the school well.

c) The school should agree to state inspection from time to time.

d) The schools should follow any rule prescribed by the government for the regulation of the grant.

e) The school must charge fees from the students.

Grants were given to the schools for increasing the salaries teachers, construction of school buildings, granting scholarships to students, improving conditions of literates, opening of science department etc.

Teaching of Language:  The Dispatch emphasised the importance of Oriental languages. Mr. Wood had recognised the usefulness of Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian and recommended them as subjects of study in regular institutions. Like Macaulay, he also recognised the usefulness of western knowledge for Indians. The Wood’s Dispatch gave importance to teaching of English, but at the same time, it also stressed on the teaching of Indian languages. The Dispatch realised that any acquaintance of European knowledge could be communicated to the common people and that could be conveyed to them only through learning their own mother tongue. Therefore the Dispatch clearly stated that Indian languages as well as English should be used as media of instruction.

Education of Women: In Wood’s Dispatch, much emphasis was given upon women education. The Dispatch recommended that the education ladder would be incomplete without women education. It appreciated the work of enlightened Indians engaged in this sacred job The Dispatch recommended that the government should always support education for women. The wood’s Dispatch stated, “The importance of female education in India cannot be over rated; and we have observed with pleasure the evidence which is now afforded of an increased desire on the part of many of the natives of India to give a good education to their daughters. By this means a far greater proportional impulse is imparted to the educational and moral tone of the people than by the education of men”. The Despatch also encouraged the private enterprises to promote women education. The schools for girls were to be included among those to which grants-in-aid would be given.

Medium of instruction: The Dispatch recommended that owing to the shortage of books in Indian languages, the medium of instruction should be English. But English should be needed for those people who have proper knowledge and taste for English and are able to understand European knowledge through this language. For other Indian languages should be used.

Muslim Education: Concerning Muslim Education, Mr. Wood found that Muslims in this country were educationally backward and hence they should be encouraged to gain more education and efforts should be made in this direction.

Vocational Education: The Dispatch pointed out the need of starting vocational schools and colleges for imparting instructions in different vocations. Vocational education may be considered as a necessity in order to prepare children for future life.

Education for Employment: The Dispatch recommended that academically and highly qualified person should be preferred more than the others for Government services.

Policy of religious neutrality: The Dispatch directed the company to follow a policy of religious neutrality. No man’s religion was to stand in the way of securing an appointment under the Government. Moreover no religious instruction should be imparted in educational institutions. They were to be exclusively secular.

20. With reference to the Parliament of India, which of the following Parliamentary Committees scrutinizes and reports to the House whether the powers to make regulations, rules, sub-rules, by-laws etc. conferred by the constitution of delegated by the Parliament are being properly exercised by the Executive within the scope of such delegation ?

a) Committee on Government Assurances

b) Committee on Subordinate Legislation

c) Rules Committee

d) Business Advisory Committee

Ans: b

Explanation: The Committee on Subordinate Legislation scrutinize and ensure whether powers to make rules, regulations, bye-laws, schemes or other statutory instruments conferred by the Constitution or delegated by Parliament have been properly exercised within such conferment or delegation. The Committee shall consist of fifteen members each in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

21. Consider the following statements:

  1. As per the Right to Education (RTE) Act, to be eligible for appointment as a teacher in a State, a person would be required to possess the minimum qualification laid down by the concerned State Council of Teacher Education.
  2. As per the RTE Act, for teaching primary classes, a candidate is required to pass a Teacher Eligibility Test conducted in accordance with the National Council of Teacher Education guidelines.
  3. In India, more than 90% of teacher education institutions are directly under the State Governments.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2

b) 2 only

c) 1 and 3

d) 3 only

Ans: b

Explanation: The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE), is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4 August 2009, which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution.

22. Consider the following pairs:

           Tradition State                         State

  1. Chapchar Kut festival                Mizoram
  2. Khonom Parba ballad                Manipur
  3. Thang-Ta dance                         Sikkim

Which of the pairs given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 1 and 2

c) 3 only

d) 2 and 3

Ans: b

Explanation: The Chapchar Kut is a festival of Mizoram, India.It is celebrated during March after completion of their most arduous task of Jhum operation i.e., jungle-clearing (clearing of the remnants of burning). It is a spring festival celebrated with great fervour and gaiety.

The ‘Khongjom Parba‘ is a narrative on the heroic deeds of Manipuri warriors who fought the imperialistic British forces in 1891 A.D. in safeguarding the freedom of the then Manipur kingdom.

Thang Ta – is an ancient Manipuri Martial Art developed from the war environment of Manipur & created by the Meitei. Thang Ta was also known as Huyen Lallong which means ‘The art of sword and the spear’.

23. Consider the following statements:

  1. The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 replaced the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
  2. The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) is under the charge of Director General of Health Services in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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

Ans: a

Explanation: The Food Safety and Standards Act became an umbrella act for following older acts

  1. Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
  2. Fruit Products Order, 1955
  3. Meat Food Products Order, 1973
  4. Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 194
  5. Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order 1988
  6. Solvent Extracted Oil, De- Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967
  7. Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. It has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India. FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.

24. The term “two-state solution” is sometimes mentioned in the news in the context of the affairs of……..

a) China

b) Israel

c) Iraq

d) Yemen

Ans: b

Explanation: The “two-state solution” is the preferred solution adopted for the Arab-Israel conflict by the creation of an independent state of Israel and Palestine and is the mainstream approach to resolve the conflict. The idea is that Israelis and Palestinians want to run their countries differently; Israelis want a Jewish state and Palestinians want a Palestinian one. Because neither side can get what it wants in a joined state, the only possible solution that satisfies everyone involves separating Palestinians and Israelis.

25. With reference to the provisions made under the National Food Security Act, 2013, consider the following statements:

  1. The families coming under the category of ‘below poverty line (BPL)’ only are eligible to receive subsidised food grains.
  2. The eldest woman in a household, of age 18 years or above, shall be the head of the household for the purpose of issuance of a ration card.
  3. Pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to a ‘take-home ration’ of 1600 calories per day during pregnancy and for six months thereafter.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2

b) 2 only

c) 1 and 3

d) 3 only

Ans: b

Explanation: The Salient Features of National Food Security Act, 2013 are:

  • Coverage and entitlement under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) : Upto 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population will be covered under TPDS, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month. However, since Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households constitute poorest of the poor, and are presently entitled to 35 kg per household per month, entitlement of existing AAY households will be protected at 35 kg per household per month.
  • State-wise coverage : Corresponding to the all India coverage of 75% and 50% in the rural and urban areas, State-wise coverage will be determined by the Central Government. The then Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog) has determined the State-wise coverage by using the NSS Household Consumption Survey data for 2011-12.
  • Subsidised prices under TPDS and their revision : Foodgrains under TPDS will be made available at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains for a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act. Thereafter prices will be as fixed by the Central Government from time to time, not exceeding MSP. It has been decided by the Government to continue the above mentioned subsidized prices upto June, 2018.
  • In case, any State’s allocation under the Act is lower than their current allocation, it will be protected upto the level of average offtake under normal TPDS during last three years, at prices to be determined by the Central Government. Existing prices for APL households i.e. Rs. 6.10 per kg for wheat and Rs 8.30 per kg for rice has been determined as issue prices for the additional allocation to protect the average offtake during last three years.
  • Identification of Households : Within the coverage under TPDS determined for each State, the work of identification of eligible households is to be done by States/UTs.
  • Nutritional Support to women and children : Pregnant women and lactating mothers and children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) schemes. Higher nutritional norms have been prescribed for malnourished children upto 6 years of age.
  • Maternity Benefit : Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.
  • Women Empowerment : Eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards.
  • Grievance Redressal Mechanism : Grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State levels. States will have the flexibility to use the existing machinery or set up separate mechanism.
  • Cost of intra-State transportation & handling of foodgrains and FPS Dealers’ margin : Central Government will provide assistance to States in meeting the expenditure incurred by them on transportation of foodgrains within the State, its handling and FPS dealers’ margin as per norms to be devised for this purpose.
  • Transparency and Accountability : Provisions have been made for disclosure of records relating to PDS, social audits and setting up of Vigilance Committees in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
  • Food Security Allowance : Provision for food security allowance to entitled beneficiaries in case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains or meals.
  • Penalty : Provision for penalty on public servant or authority, to be imposed by the State Food Commission, in case of failure to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer.

26. India enacted The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 in order to comply with the obligations to………

a) ILO

b) IMF

c) UNCTAD

d) WTO

Ans: d

Explanation: Geographical Indications of Goods are defined as that aspect of industrial property which refer to the geographical indication referring to a country or to a place situated therein as being the country or place of origin of that product.

International Level: It is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Under Articles 1 (2) and 10 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, geographical indications are covered as an element of IPRs. They are also covered under Articles 22 to 24 of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, which was part of the Agreements concluding the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations.

In India: Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999 is a governing body that administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also Registrar of Geographical Indications. It enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15th September 2003.

27. Consider the following statements:

  1. In India, State Governments do not have the power to auction non-coal mines.
  2. Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand do not have gold mines.
  3. Rajasthan has iron ore mines.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2

b) 2 only

c) 1 and 3

d) 3 only

Ans: d

Explanation: Rajasthan has deposits of 79 different types of major and minor minerals. Out of these, 57 minerals are being currently. Rajasthan is leading producer of:

Zinc

Feldspar

Wollastonite

Silver

Rock Phosphate

Gypsum

Red Ochre

28. With reference to digital payments, consider the following statements:

  1. BHIM app allows the user to transfer money to anyone with a UPI-enabled bank account.
  2. While a chip-pin debit card has four factors authentication, BHIM app has only two factors of authentication.

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

Ans: a

Explanation: Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is a payment app that lets you make simple, easy and quick transactions using Unified Payments Interface (UPI). You can make direct bank payments to anyone on UPI using their UPI ID or scanning their QR with the BHIM app. You can also request money through the app from a UPI ID.

29. Among the following cities, which one lies on a longitude closest to that of Delhi?

a) Bengaluru

b) Hyderabad

c) Nagpur

d) Pune

Ans: a

Explanation: 

Source: www.mapsofworld.com/lat_long/india-lat-long.html

30. International Labour Organization’s Conventions 138 and 182 are related to……

a) Child labour

b) Adaptation of agriculture practices to global climate change

c) Regulation of food prices and food security

d) Gender parity at the workplace

Ans:

Explanation:

31. Regarding Money Bill, which of the following statements is not correct?

(a) A bill shall be deemed to be a Money Bill if it contains only provisions relating to imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax.

(b) A Money Bill has provisions for the custody of the Consolidated Fund of India or the Contingency Fund of India.

(c) A Money Bill is concerned with the appropriation of money out of the Contingency Fund of India.

(d) A Money Bill deals with the regulation of borrowing of money or giving of any guarantee by the Government of India.

Ans: a

Explanation: Money Bills- Only those financial bills which contain provisions exclusively on matters listed in article 110 of the constitution are called Money Bills. On this basis, a bill is money bill if:

It results in imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax at union or state level but NOT at local level. Thus, money bills exist in Parliament and State legislature only. If a financial bill results in imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation at local level by a local body, it is not considered to be a money bill.

1. It results in regulation of borrowing of money or results in any guarantee by Government of India.

2. Results in withdrawal of money from Consolidated or Contingency fund

3. Receipt of money in consolidated fund and public account.

32. With reference to the election of the President of India, consider the following statements:

  1. The value of the vote of each MLA varies from State to State.
  2. The value of the vote of MPs of the Loksabha is more than the value of the vote of MPs of the Rajyasabha

Which of the following statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: c

Explanation: The presidential electoral college is consist of:

1. elected members of the Rajya Sabha
2. elected members of the Lok Sabha
3. elected members of each state Vidhan Sabha
4. elected members of union territory Delhi and Puducherry)

The value of votes cast by elected members of the state legislative assemblies and both houses of parliament are determined by the provisions of article 55(2) of the Constitution of India.

The value of the vote of each MLA of each state is different. It is determined by the average constituency size and 1971 census. The value of an MLA of uttar pradesh is highest i.e.208.

The value of the vote of each MP of lok sabha and rajya sabha is equal i.e.708. The total value of current strength of loksabha MPs is 384,444 and Rajya sabha’s (233)total value is 164,964.

33.  In the Indian context, what is the implication of ratifying the ‘Additional Protocol’ with the ‘International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’?

(a) The civilian nuclear reactors come under IAEA safeguards.

(b)The military nuclear installations come under the inspection of IAEA

(c)The country will have the privilege to buy uranium from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

(d) The country automatically becomes a member of the NSG.

Ans: a

Explanation: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was created in 1957 in response to the deep fears and expectations generated by the discoveries and diverse uses of nuclear technology. The Agency’s genesis was U.S. President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” address to the General Assembly of the United Nations on 8 December 1953.

India’s Additional Protocol for nuclear safeguards has been brought into force after the country handed over the instrument of ratification to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The protocol supports the sharing of more information between India and the IAEA about nuclear power plants and work with nuclear fuel materials. It covers a list of nuclear facilities that was agreed in 2008 under then-prime minister Manmohan Singh, but its implementation stalled in the last few years of his premiership.

Having taken power in late May, new prime minister Narendra Modi ratified the protocol on 24 June, and India’s ambassador to the IAEA, Rajiva Misra, handed the document to IAEA director general Yukiya Amano on 25 July. From that day the additional protocol was in force.

34. Consider the following countries :

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. China
  4. India
  5. Japan
  6. USA

Which of the above are among the ‘free-trade partners’ of ASEAN ?

(a) 1, 2, 4 and 5

(b) 3, 4, 5 and 6

(c) 1, 3, 4 and 5

(d) 2, 3, 4 and 6

Ans: c

Explanation: ASEAN, in full Association of Southeast Asian Nations, international organisation established by the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand in 1967 to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and cultural development and to promote peace and security in Southeast Asia. Brunei joined in 1984, followed by Vietnam in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999.

FTA partners – Australia, New Zealand, India, Korea, Japan, and China.

35. With reference to the ‘Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA)’, which of the following statements is/are correct ?

  1. GACSA is an outcome of the Climate Summit held in Paris in 2015.
  2. Membership of GACSA does not create any binding obligations.
  3. India was instrumental in the creation of GACSA.

Select the correct answer using the code given below :
(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: b

Explanation: The concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) was originally developed by FAO and officially presented and at the Hague Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in 2010,

GACSA is a voluntary platform open to governments, international and regional organizations, institutions, civil society, farmers’ organizations and businesses who agree with its vision and its Framework Document.

Being a member does not create any binding obligations and members determine their particular voluntary actions according to their needs and priorities.
India is not the member of this organisation.

36. Which of the following is/are the aim/aims of “Digital India” Plan of the Government of India ?

  1. Formation of India’s own Internet companies like China did.
  2. Establish a policy framework to encourage overseas multinational corporations that collect Big Data to build their large data centres within our national geographical boundaries.
  3. Connect many of our villages to the Internet and bring Wi-Fi to many of our schools, public places and major tourist centres.

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: b

Explanation: Digital India is a campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure the Government services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology. It consists of three core components:

(a) development of secure and stable digital infrastructure

(b) delivering government services digitally

(c) universal digital literacy

37. Consider the following pairs :

Towns sometimes mentioned in news                Country

  1. Aleppo                                                             Syria
  2. Kirkuk                                                              Yemen
  3. Mosul                                                               Palestine
  4. Mazar-i-sharif                                                 Afghanistan

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 1 and 4

(c) 2 and3

(d) 3 and 4

Ans: b

Explanation: Aleppo is a city in Syria. Kirkuk is a city in Iraq, serving as the capital of the Kirkuk Governorate, located 238 kilometres north of Baghdad. Mosul is a major city in northern Iraq situated on the west bank of the Tigris, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank. Mazar-e Sharif, city is in Afghanistan, 35 miles south of the border with Uzbekistan. 

38. In the Federation established by The Government of India Act of 1935, residuary powers were given to the…….

(a) Federal Legislature

(b) Governor General

(c) Provincial Legislature

(d) Provincial Governors

Ans: b

Explanation: According to the Government of India Act of 1935, the Governor General was authorised to act in his discretion and under certain other provisions; he could exercise his individual judgment. He was vested with the final political authority in the country; and was given widest discretionary powers and special responsibilities. These functions and powers were defined by the Act as his special responsibilities. In Government of India Act 1935 the discretionary powers and responsibilities of Governor General are as follows:

1. Under Govt. Act of India 1935, he was in charge of the Reserve Departments of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Ecclesiastical Affairs and Tribal Areas and he appoint three councillors to assist him in his work.

2. He could appoint and dismiss the Council of Ministers and also could preside over their meetings. They would hold office during his pleasure. Their consultation and advice was not binding upon him.

3. He could issue two kinds of ordinances. One type of ordinance he could issue at any time and that lasted for 6 months. The other kind of ordinance would be issued when the legislature was not in session.

4. The Governor General was also given the power to issue what were known as Governor General Act. But these had to be forwarded to the Secretary of State.

5. The previous of Governor General was required for the introduction of certain bills in the Federal Legislature and the Provincial Legislatures: He was authorized to stop discussion on any bill at any time by the legislature. He could withhold his assent to a bill passed by the Legislature or send the same back for the consideration of His Majesty.

6. He was given control over 80% of the Federal budget; the non-vote able items of the budget formed a major part of the budget.

7. The Governor General could in his discretion send any instructions to the Governors and it was the special responsibility of the later to carry them out.

8. Governor General could suspend the Constitution.

9. In Government of India Act 1935 Governor General was given the authority to summon, prorogue and dissolve the Federal Assembly lie could summon both the houses for joint sitting. He could address the Legislatures and could send messages regarding certain bills.

39. Consider the following statements :

  1. The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly shall vacate his/her office if he/she ceases to be a member of the Assembly.
  2. Whenever the Legislative Assembly is dissolved, the Speaker shall vacate his/her office immediately. 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

Ans: a

Explanation: The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly shall vacate his/her office if:

1. He/she ceases to be member of the assembly.

2. He/she resigns by writing to be deputy speaker.

3. He/she is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the present members of the assembly.

Such resolution can be brought only after giving 14 days advance notice.

The Speaker does not vacate his office on the dissolution of the Assembly. He continues holding office, until immediately before the first meeting of the Assembly after dissolution. The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are paid such salaries and allowances as may be fixed by the State Legislature by law. Their salaries are not votable as they are charged on the Consolidated Fund of the State.

40. Which one of the following reflects the most appropriate relationship between law and liberty ?

(a) If there are more laws, there is less liberty.

(b) If there are no laws, there is no liberty.

(c) If there is liberty laws have to be made by the people.

(d) If laws are changed too often, liberty is in danger.

Ans: b

Explanation: The term ‘Liberty’ is formally be describe as ‘absence of restrain’-Means in order to maintain liberty of the individual, the state should not impose any restraints on his activities in various sphere of life.
Liberty entails the responsible use of freedom under the rule of law without depriving anyone else of their freedom. Freedom is broader in that it represents a total lack of restraint or the unrestrained ability to fulfil one’s desires.

41. Consider the following statements :

  1. No criminal proceedings shall be instituted against the Governor of a State in any court during his term of office.
  2. The emoluments and allowances of the Governor of a State shall not be diminished during his term of office.

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

Ans: c

Explanation: The Governor is the head of a state just like the President is the head of the republic. The Governor is the nominal head of a state, while the Chief Minister is the executive head.  All executive actions of the state are taken in the name of the Governor. He/she is also entitled to certain benefits and allowances, which shall not be diminished during his office term of five years. Article 361 in the Constitution of India:
(2) No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President, or the Governor of a State, in any court during his term of office
(3) No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the President, or the Governor of a State, shall issue from any court during his term of office.

42. The well-known painting “Bani Thani” belongs to the…….

(a) Bundi school

(b) Jaipur school

(c) Kangra school

(d) Kishangarh school.

Ans: d

Explanation: Bani Thani is an Indian miniature painting painted by Nihal Chand from the Marwar school of Kishangarh. It portrays a woman who is elegant and graceful. The painting’s subject, Bani Thani, was a singer and poet in Kishangarh in the time of King Sawant Singh (1748–1764). She has been compared to the Mona Lisa.

43. What is “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)”, sometimes seen in the news ?

(a) An Israeli radar system

(b) India’s indigenous anti-missile programme

(c)An American anti-missile system

(d)  A defence collaboration between Japan and South Korea

Ans: c

Explanation: Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is an American anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to shoot down short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

44. With reference to cultural history of India, consider the following statements :

  1. Most of the Tyagaraja Kritis are devotional songs in praise of Lor Krishna.
  2. Tyagaraja created several new ragas.
  3. Annamacharya and Tyagaraja are contemporaries.
  4. Annamacharya kirtanas are devotional songs in praise of Lord Venkateshwara.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 4 only

(c) 1, 2 and 3

(d) 2, 3 and 4

Ans: b

Explanation: Saint Tyagaraja, also known as Tyagayya in Telugu, was one of the greatest composers of Carnatic music, a form of Indian classical music. He was a prolific composer and highly influential in the development of the classical music tradition. Tyagaraja and his contemporaries Syama Sastri and Muthuswami Dikshitar were regarded as the Trinity of modern Carnatic music.
His songs feature himself usually either in an appeal to his deity of worship (primarily the Avatar Rama), in musings, in narratives, or giving a message to the public. He has also composed krithis in praise of Krishna, Shiva, Shakti, Ganesha, Muruga, Saraswati and Hanuman.
Annamacharya was a 15th-century Hindu saint and is the earliest known Indian musician to compose songs called sankirtanas in praise of the god Venkateswara, a form of Vishnu.

45. Which of the following are regarded as the main features of the “Rule of Law” ?

  1. Limitation of powers
  2. Equality before law
  3. People’s responsibility to the Government
  4. Liberty and civil rights

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 4 only

(c) 1, 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: c

Explanation: The concept of rule of law is a very dynamic concept, capable of interpretations to enable the successful working of a democracy. It is the restriction on the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws.
Features of the Rule of Law
1. Certainty of the law
2. Supremacy of the law
3. Equality before the law
4. Right to personal freedom
5. Laws must not take retrospective effect
6. Independent judiciary
7. Protection of human rights

46. Which one of the following statements correctly describes the meaning of legal tender money ?

(a) The money which is tende ed in courts of law to defray the fee of legal cases

(b) The money which a creditor  is under compulsion to accept in settlement of his claims

(c) The bank money in the form of cheques drafts, bills of exchange, etc.

(d) The metallic money in circulation in a country

Ans: b

Explanation: Legal tender money is a type of payment that is protected by law.
Legal tender is also known as forced tender which is very secured and it is impossible to deny the legal tender while subsiding a debt which is assigned in the same medium of exchange. In other words we can say that the term legal tender does not represent the money itself, rather it is a kind of status which can be bestowed on certain types of money.

47.  If a commodity is provided free to the public 1, by the Government, then

(a) the opportunity cost is zero.

(b) the opportunity cost is ignored.

(c) the opportunity cost is transferred from the consumers of the product to the tax-paying public.

(d) the opportunity cost is transferred from the consumers of the. product to the Government.

Ans: d

Explanation: Opportunity cost is the cost which could have been earned from second best investment option. For free goods, the opportunity cost is zero for the person consuming it, however, it is not so for the provider of that good. The choice of spending on various alternatives is available with government and not tax payers. Thus, it is transferred to government.

48. Increase in absolute and per capita real GNP do not connote a higher level of economic development, if

(a) industrial output fails to keep pace with agricultural output.

(b) agricultural output fails to keep pace with industrial output.

(c) poverty and unemployme crease.

(d) imports grow faster than exports.

Ans: c

Explanation: Per capita GNP is the total value of all the goods and services produced by a country in a year including income from foreign investments, divided by the number of people living there. For countries which have a lot of foreign investments, GNP per capita is a more accurate economic indicator.
GNP = GDP + Net income inflow from abroad – Net income outflow to foreign countries.
Therefore, if gains of increase in per capita income are grabbed by a small section of society, then economic growth will not lead to economic development.

49. Consider the following statements :

Human capital formation as a concept is better explained in terms of a process which enables

  1. individuals of a country to accumulate more capital.
  2. increasing the knowledge, skill levels and capacities the people of the country.
  3. accumulation of tangible wealth.
  4. accumulation of intangible wealth.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 4

(d) 1, 3 and 4

Ans: b

Explanation: The term human capital formation implies the development of abilities and skills among the population of the country.
According to Harbison, the human capital formation indicates, “The process of acquiring and increasing the number of persons who have the skills, education and experience which are critical for the economic and the political development of the country. Human capital formation is thus associated with investment in man and his development as a creative and productive resource.”
Thus, human capital formation indicates investment for imparting education, improvement of health and training of workers in specialised skills. Although the accumulation of physical capital is quite important in the process of economic growth of a country but with the passage of time, it is being increasingly realised that the growth of tangible capital stock depends extensively on the human capital formation must get its due importance.

50. Despite being a high saving economy, capital formation may not result in significant increase in output due to……..

(a) weak administrative machinery

(b) illiteracy

(c) high population density

(d) high capital-outputs ratio

Ans: b

Explanation: The term human capital formation implies the development of abilities and skills among the population of the country.
According to Harbison, the human capital formation indicates, “The process of acquiring and increasing the number of persons who have the skills, education and experience which are critical for the economic and the political development of the country. Human capital formation is thus associated with investment in man and his development as a creative and productive resource.”
Thus, human capital formation indicates investment for imparting education, improvement of health and training of workers in specialised skills. Although the accumulation of physical capital is quite important in the process of economic growth of a country but with the passage of time, it is being increasingly realised that the growth of tangible capital stock depends extensively on the human capital formation must get its due importance.

51. After the Santhal Uprising subsided, what was/were the measure/measures taken by the colonial government?

  1. The territories called `Santhal Paraganas’ were created.
  2. It became illegal for a Santhal to transfer land to a non-Santhal.

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: c

Explanation: Santhal revolt was fought from 1855 to 1857 because of the exploitation by the local zamindars and the British. While the Santhals were defeated, this revolt did propel the British authorities to acknowledge their follies. The Santhal Paragana Tenacy Act came into effect which provided the tribes some relief from the colonial exploitation.

52. Economically, one of the results of the British rule in India in the 19th century was the

(a) increase in the export of Indian handicrafts

(b) growth in the number of Indian owned factories

(c) commercialization of Indian agriculture

(d) rapid increase in the urban population

Ans: c

Explanation: The Industrial revolution has helped the English merchants accumulate a lot of capital from the countries of Asia, Africa and America. They now wanted to invest this wealth in setting up industries and trade with India.

There was a massive import of machine made clothes from English factories to Indian markets. Indian handicrafts were taxed heavily when they were sent out of the country. This reversal made a huge impact on the Indian handloom weaving industry leading to its virtual collapse.

Another major economic impact of the British policies in India was the introduction of a large number of commercial crops such as tea, coffee, indigo, opium, cotton, jute, sugarcane and oilseed. Commercialisation of agriculture further enhanced the speed of transfer of ownership of land thereby increasing the number of landless labourers.

53. If the President of India exercises his power as provided under Article 356 of the Constitution in respect of a particular State, then

(a) the Assembly of the State is automatically dissolved.

(b) the powers of the Legislature of that State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of the Parliament.

(c) Article 19 is suspended in that State.

(d) the President can make laws relating to that State.

Ans: d

Explanation: According to the Constitution it is the duty of the Union Government to ensure that governance of a State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Under Article 356, the President may issue a proclamation to impose emergency in a state if he is satisfied on receipt of a report from the Governor of the concerned State, or otherwise, that a situation has arisen under which the administration of the State cannot be carried on according to the provisions of the constitution.

54. Consider the following pairs :

  Craft                                                    Heritage of

  1. Puthukkuli shawls                               Tamil Nadu
  2. Sujni embroidery                                 Maharashtra
  3. Uppada Jamdani saris                        Karnataka

Which of the pairs given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2

(c) 3 only

(d) 2 and 3

Ans: a

Explanation: The correct pairs are

Craft                                                      Heritage of

Puthukkuli shawls                             Tamil Nadu

Sujni embroidery                                Bihar

Uppada Jamdani saris                        Andhra Pradesh

55. In which of the following areas can GPS technology be used ?

  1. Mobile phone operations
  2. Banking operations
  3. Controlling the power grids

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: d

Explanation: Global positioning system has following applications:

  • Satellite images bring daily weather reports and provide farmers with information for precision agriculture.
  • Airborne infra-red scanners track our bushfires.
  • Ambulance dispatch services.
  • Global positioning systems monitor the location of thousands of trucks and taxis.
  • Real estate sales use geographic information systems.
  • All kinds of mapping.
  • Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), a Web Based School Geographical Information System (GIS) application has been initiated for seamless visualization of school locations across the country.
  • In this web application, base map services like street maps, and high resolution satellite images are available for better understanding of the topography/ terrain of the location.

56. Consider the following statements:

  1. The Reserve Bank of India manages and services Government of India Securities but not any State Government Securities.
  2. Treasury bills are issued by the Government of India and there are no treasury bills issued by the State Governments.
  3. Treasury bills offer are issued at a discount from the par value.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: c

Explanation: A Government Security (G-Sec) is a trade-able instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments. It acknowledges the Government’s debt obligation. Such securities are short term (usually called treasury bills, with original maturities of less than one year) or long term (usually called Government bonds or dated securities with original maturity of one year or more). In India, the Central Government issues both, treasury bills and bonds or dated securities while the State Governments issue only bonds or dated securities, which are called the State Development Loans (SDLs).

Treasury bills or T-bills, which are money market instruments, are short term debt instruments issued by the Government of India and are presently issued in three tenors, namely, 91 day, 182 day and 364 day. Treasury bills are zero coupon securities and pay no interest. They are issued at a discount and redeemed at the face value at maturity.

57. Consider the following statements :

  1. The Earth’s magnetic field has reversed every few hundred thousand years.
  2. When the Earth was created more than 4000 million years ago, there was 54% oxygen and no carbon dioxide.
  3. When living organisms originated, they modified the early atmosphere of the Earth.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: c

Explanation: There is reversal, in the main magnetic field of the earth known as ‘magnetic di-pole’ (magnetic field). The normal and reverse magnetic anomalies are found in alternate manner on either side of the Mid-Ocean Ridges. This reversal of magnetic field caused sea-flooring spreading.

When the Earth first formed (about 4,600,000,000 years ago), it was probably a ball of molten material with a thick poisonous atmosphere. By studying volcanoes today, scientists are able make some deductions about the gases released by those early eruptions. The main volcanic gases were probably carbon dioxide (CO2), steam (H2O), and nitrogen (N2), with small amounts of methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3).

The proportion of oxygen grew very slowly after the development of the first plant life on Earth.

Eventually, about 200 million years ago, we reached the proportions of oxygen (21%) and nitrogen (78%) that we have in our atmosphere now.

58. The terms WannaCry, Petya and EternalBlue’ sometimes mentioned in the news recently are related to

(a) Exoplanets

(b) Cryptocurrency

(c) Cyber attacks

(d) Mini satellites

Ans: c

Explanation: WannaCry, Petya and EternalBlue are the ransomware form of cyberattacks which shook the world economy in year 2017.

59) With reference to the circumstances in Indian agriculture, the concept of “Conservation Agriculture” assumes significance. Which of the following fall under the Conservation Agriculture ?

  1. Avoiding the monoculture practices
  2. Adopting minimum tillage
  3. Avoiding the cultivation of plantation crops
  4. Using crop residues to cover soil surface
  5. Adopting spatial and temporal rop sequencing/crop rotations.

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1, 3 and 4

(b) 2, 3, 4 and 5

(c) 2, 4 and 5

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 5

Ans: c

Explanation: Conservation Agriculture is a set of soil management practices that minimise the disruption of the soil’s structure, composition and natural biodiversity. Despite high variability in the types of crops grown and specific management regimes, all forms of conservation agriculture share three core principles. These include:

  • maintenance of permanent or semi-permanent soil cover (using either a previous crop residue or specifically growing a cover crop for this purpose)
  • minimum soil disturbance through tillage (just enough to get the seed into the ground)
  • regular crop rotations to help combat the various biotic constraints

CA also uses or promotes where possible or needed various management practices listed below:

  • utilization of green manures/cover crops (GMCC’s) to produce the residue cover
  • no burning of crop residues
  • integrated disease and pest management
  • controlled/limited human and mechanical traffic over agricultural soils

When these CA practices are used by farmers one of the major environmental benefits is reduction in fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But they also reduce the power/energy needs of farmers who use manual or animal powered systems.

60. The term “sixth mass extinction/sixth extinction” is often mentioned in the news in the context of the discussion of

(a) Widespread monoculture practices in agriculture and large-scale commercial farming with indiscriminate use of chemicals in many parts of the world that may result in the loss of good native ecosystems.

(b) Fears of a possible collision of a meteorite with the Earth in the near future in the manner it happened 65 million years ago that caused the mass extinction of many species including those of dinosaurs.

(c) Large scale cultivation of genetically modified crops in many parts of the world and promoting their cultivation in other parts of the world which may cause the disappearance of good native crop plants and the loss of food biodiversity.

(d) ankind’s over-exploitation/misuse of natural resources, fragmentation/loss of natural habitats, destruction of ecosystems, pollution and global climate change.

Ans: b

Explanation: The sixth mass extinction of life on Earth is unfolding more quickly than feared, scientists have warned. More than 30% of animals with a backbone — fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals — are declining in both range and population, according to the first comprehensive analysis of these trends.

“This is the case of a biological annihilation occurring globally,” said Stanford professor Rodolfo Dirzo, co-author of a study published on Monday in the peer-reviewed U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Around a decade ago, experts feared that a new planetary wipeout of species was looming.

61. With reference to the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), consider the following statements :

  1. IRNSS has three satellites in geostationary and four satellites in geosynchronous orbits.
  2. IRNSS covers entire India and about 5500 sq. km beyond its borders.
  3. India will have its own satellite navigation system with full global coverage by the middle of 2019.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) None

Ans: a

Explanation: IRNSS is an Independent regional navigation satellite system being developed by India. The NAVIC (Navigation in Indian Constellation) system consist of a constellation of 3 satellites in Geostationary orbit (GEO), 4 satellites in Geosynchronous orbit (GSO), approximately 36,000 kilometers (22,000 miles) altitude above earth surface, and two satellites on the ground as stand-by, in addition to ground stations. It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 Km from its boundary, which is its primary service area. IRNSS provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Service (SPS) which is provided to all the users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service provided only to the authorized users. The IRNSS System is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 metres in the primary service area.

62. Consider the following phenomena :

  1. Light is affected by gravity.
  2. The Universe is constantly expanding.
  3. Matter warps its surrounding space-time.

Which of the above is/are the prediction/predictions of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, often discussed in media?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: a

Explanation: Einstein’s general theory of relativity has revealed that the universe is an extreme place. We now know it was hot and dense and has been expanding for the past 13.7 billion years. The general theory of relativity also confirms that deflection of light from other stars is affected by the sun’s gravity.

63. With reference to the Genetically Modified mustard (GM mustard) developed in India, consider the following statements :

  1. GM mustard has the genes of a soil bacterium that give the plant the property of pest-resistance to a wide variety of pests.
  2. GM mustard has the genes that allow the plant cross-pollination and hybridization.
  3. GM mustard has been developed jointly by the IARI and Punjab Agric It al University.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3

(d)1, 2 and 3

Ans: b

Explanation: DMH-11 is a Genetically Modified (GM) mustard hybrid. Hybrids are normally obtained by crossing 2 genetically diverse plants from the same species. Delhi University’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP), led by researcher Prof Deepak Pental, had applied for the approval of environmental release of genetically engineered mustard (Brassica juncea) hybrid DMH-11 and use of parental events (Varuna bn 3.6 and EH-2 modbs 2.99) for the development of new generation hybrids to the GEAC.

64. Consider the following pairs :

Terms sometimes seen in news                    Context /Topic

  1. Belle II experiment                                Artificial Intelligence
  2. Blockchain technology                        Digital/ Cryptocurrency
  3. CRISPR — Cas9                                  Particle Physics

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

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: b

Explanation: The correct pairs are:

Terms sometimes seen in news                  Context /Topic

  1. Belle II experiment                             Particle Physics
  2. Blockchain technology                      Digital/ Cryptocurrency
  3. CRISPR — Cas9                                 Biotechnology

65. Which of the following statements best describes “carbon fertilization” ?

(a) Increased plant growth due to increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

(b) Increased temperature of Earth due to increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

(c) Increased acidity of oceans as a result of increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

(d) Adaptation of all living beings on Earth to the climate change brought about by the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Ans: a

Explanation: The carbon fertilization effect (CFE) is the presence of larger amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that has resulted from rising anthropogenic emissions should help the growth of plants, which use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. The effect ought to increase crop yields amid the overwhelmingly gloomy forecasts for other aspects of climate change.

66) When the alarm of your smartphone rings in the morning, you wake up and tap it to stop the alarm which causes your geyser to be switched on automatically. The smart mirror in your bathroom shows the day’s weather and also indicates the level of water in your overhead tank. After you take some groceries from your refrigerator for making breakfast, it recognises the shortage of stock in it and places an order for the supply of fresh grocery items. When you step’ out of your house and lock the door, all lights, fans, geysers and AC machines get switched off automatically. On your way to office, your car warns you about traffic congestion ahead and suggests an alternative route, and if you are late for a meeting, it sends a message to your office accordingly. In the context of emerging communication technologies, which one of the following terms best applies to the above scenario?

(a) Border Gateway Protocol

(b) Internet of Things

(c) Internet Protocol

(d) Virtual Private Network

Ans: b

Explanation: Internet of things is a seamless connected network system of embedded objects/ devices, with identifiers, in which communication without any human intervention is possible using standard and interoperable communication protocols. With this technology, each and every device that we use in daily life (including refrigerators, cars and even tooth brush) can be made intelligent and smart by using device specific operating systems and connectivity to the Internet.

67. With reference to solar power production in India, consider the following statements :

  1. India is the third largest in the world in the manufacture of silicon wafers used in photovoltaic units.
  2. The solar power tariffs are determined by the Solar Energy Corporation of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b)  2 only

(c)  Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: d

Explanation: Solar energy corporation of India’s works include Solar Thermal installations for water/air heating and industrial process, Solar Thermal Pilot Power Plants, Implementation of Grid Connected Solar Roof-Top scheme, Development and dissemination of low cost solar lanterns, Grid connected solar power plants, Solar Mini/Micro Grids, Research and Development including solar resource assessment.

68. The staple commodities of export by the English East India Company from Bengal in the middle of the 18th century were……

(a) Raw cotton, oil-seeds and opium

(b) Sugar, salt, zinc and lead

(c) Copper, silver, gold, spices and tea

(d) Cotton, silk, saltpetre and opium

Ans: d

Explanation: During the period 1780–1860 India changed from an exporter of processed goods paid for in bullion to an exporter of raw materials and a buyer of manufactured goods. In the 1750s fine cotton and silk was exported from India to markets in Europe, Asia, and Africa, while by the second quarter of the 19th century, raw materials, which chiefly consisted of raw cotton, opium, and indigo, accounted for most of India’s exports.

69. Which one of the following is a very significant aspect of the Champaran Satyagraha ?

(a) Active all-India participation of lawyers, students and women in the National Movement

(b) Active involvement of Dalit and Tribal communities of India in the National Movement

(c) Joining of peasant unrest to India’s National Movement

(d) Drastic decrease in the cultivation of plantation crops and commercial crops

Ans: c

Explanation: The Champaran Satyagraha of 1917, in the Champaran district of Bihar, India during the period of the British Raj, was the first Satyagraha movement inspired by Mohandas Gandhi and a major revolt in the Indian Independence Movement. Another important Satyagraha just after this revolt was Kheda Satyagraha.

The peasants (bhumihars) of the Champaran and other areas of North Bihar were growing the Indigo under the tinakathia system. Under the tinakathia system the peasants were bound to plant 3 out of 20 parts of his land with indigo for his landlord.

Gandhi and his associates toured the villages and held open discussions with the villagers. Having heard their grievances, he successfully demanded that tinkathia system should be abolished and farmers should be compensated for illegal dues. As a result, European planters left the area for good in the next few years.

70. Who among the following were the founders of the “Hind Mazdoor Sabha” established in 1948 ?

(a) B. Krishna Pillai, E.M.S. Namboodiripad and K.C. George

(b) Jayaprakash Narayan, De Dayal Upadhyay and M.N. Roy

(c) C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer, K. Kamaraj and Veeresalingam Pantulu

(d) Ashok Mehta, T.S. Ramanujam and G.G. Mehta

Ans: d

Explanation: The Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) is a National Trade Union Centre in India. It was founded in Hawrah on 24.12.1948. Its founders included Basawan Singh (Sinha), Ashok Mehta, R.S. Ruikar, Mani Benkara, Shibnath Benerajee, R.K. Khedgikar, T.S. Ramanujam, VS. Mathur, G.G. Mehta. Mr. R.S. Ruikar was elected president and Ashok Mehta as its General Secretary.

71. With reference to the religious practices in India, the “Sthanakvasi” sect belongs to

(a) Buddhism

(b) Jainism

(c) Vaishnavism

(d) Shaivism

Ans: b

Explanation: Sthanakvasi is a sect of svetambara Jainism founded by a merchant named Lavaji in 1653 AD. It believes that idol worship is not essential in the path of soul purification and attainment of Nirvana/Moksha. The sect is essentially a reformation of the one founded on teachings of Lonka, a fifteenth-century Jain reformer. Sthanakavasins accept thirty-two of the Jain Agamas, the Svetambara canon. Svetambarins who are not Sthanakavasins are mostly part of the Murtipujaka sect.

72. With reference to the cultural history of India, consider the following statements :

  1. White marble was used in making Buland Darwaza and Khankah at Fatehpur Sikri.
  2. Red sandstone and marble were used in making Bara Imambara and Rumi Darwaza at Lucknow.

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

Ans: a

Explanation: Buland Darwaza which in Urdu means “high” or “great gate” is made of red and buff sandstone and decorated by black and white marble and towers above the courtyard of the mosque. The Ibadat Khana (hall of worship) where the philosophical and religious discourses were held, was sober in quality and ornate in architectural style. The Jama Masjid is surrounded by pillared cloisters and has three domes. Inlaid marble and plastic relief in colour have been freely used in it. The tomb of Salim Chisti, made of white marble, is of exquisite beauty.

Asafi Imambara locally known as Bara Imambara is the largest building complex in Awadh style, which represents the Indo-Syraasenic school of architecture. Built by Nawab Asaf-ud-daula (1775-1797 A.D.) and designed by Kifayat-ullah, a famous architect of that period, it was constructed for holding majlises and observing rituals. The Imambara and the Rumi Gate were constructed as a famine measures in 1784 A.D. The entire structure is made with the help of Lakhauri bricks, line plastered and decorated with fine plaster moldings.

73. Which one of the following foreign travellers elaborately discussed about diamonds and diamond mines of India?

(a) Francois Bernier

(b) Jean-Baptiste Tavernier

(C) Jean de Thevenot

(d) Abbe Barthelemy Carre

Ans: b

Explanation: Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605-1689) was a French explorer and merchant. He was the first European to describe the diamond mines in India. In 1676, Tavernier published an account of his six journeys to India and Persia from 1631 to 1668 in Les Six Voyages de Jean-Baptiste Tavernier which was later on translated into English as The Six Voyages of John Baptista Tavernier.

74. With reference to Indian history, who among the following is a future Buddha, yet to come to save the world?

(a) Avalokiteshvara

(b) Lokesvara

(c) Maitreya

(d) Padmapani

Ans: c

Explanation: In the world of Buddhist eschatology, Maitreya literally means the future Buddha. Maitreya Buddha is considered as the 5th Buddha that is believed to appear in this Kalpa or era. Thus, Maitreya Buddha is considered as the Future Buddha that is yet to appear in this age. In various Buddhist sutra such as Amitabha Sutra, as well as Lotus Sutra, Maitreya Buddha is believed to be called as Ajita.

75. Which one of the following statements does not apply to the system of Subsidiary Alliance introduced by Lord Wellesley?

(a) To maintain a large standing army at other’s expense

(b) To keep India safe from Napoleonic danger

(c) To secure a fixed income for the Company

(d) To establish British paramountcy over the Indian States

Ans: b

Explanation: The Subsidiary Alliance System was “Non-Intervention Policy” used by Lord Wellesley who was the Governor-General (1798-1805) to establish British Empire in India. According to this system, every ruler in India had to accept to pay a subsidy to the British for the maintenance of British army. In return, British would protect them from their enemies which gave British enormous expansion.  Subsidiary Alliance introduced by Lord Wellesley was nothing to do with Napoleon danger. Hence option b does not apply.

76. Which of the following led to the introduction of English Education in India?

  1. Charter Act of 1813
  2. General Committee of Public Instruction, 1823
  3. Orientalist and Anglicist Controversy

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: a

Explanation: Clause 43 of the Charter Act of 1813 states that the Company had partly undertaken the responsibility of education in India and a sum of one lakh of rupees had been earmarked for the purpose. But the section of the Charter Act of 1813 remained inoperative till 1823.

In 1823 an official agency, General Committee of Public Instruction was created to deal with educational matters, particularly the expenditure of the sum of one lakh of rupees. Thus a state system of education was begun almost simultaneously in all the three Presidencies by about 1823 and continued to expand till 1833. The educational grant of India was also increased from one lakh to ten lakhs of rupees per annum.

77. Which one of the following is an ‘ artifficial lake‘?

(a) Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu)

(b) Kolleru (Andhra Pradesh)

(c) Nainital (Uttarakhand)

(d) Renuka (Himachal Pradesh)

Ans: a

Explanation: Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu is one of the most famous artificial lakes of India.

78. With reference to Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, consider the following statements :

  1. It is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
  2. It, among other things, will also impart training in soft skills, entrepreneurship, financial and digital literacy.
  3. It aims to align the competencies of the unregulated workforce of the country to the National Skill Qualification Framework.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: c

Explanation: Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE). The objective of this Skill Certification Scheme is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. Individuals with prior learning experience or skills will also be assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

The Recognition of Prior Learning aims to align the competencies of the unregulated workforce of the country to the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF).

79. In 1920, which of the following changed its name to “Swarajya Sabha” ?

(a) All India Home Rule League

(b)  Hindu Mahasabha

(c)  South Indian Liberal Federation

(d) The Servants of India Society

Ans: a

Explanation: The all India home rule league was a national political organisation founded in 1916. It was organised on the footsteps of irish home rule leagues and demanded the self-government, i.e. home rule and also to obtain the status of dominion within the British empire as enjoyed by Australia, Canada, south Africa, new Zealand and Newfoundland at that time. It represented the emergence of a new trend of aggressive politics. Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak were the pioneers of this trend. It later on changed its name to Swarajya Sabha in 1920.

80. Which among the following events happened earliest?

(a) Swami Dayanand established Arya Samaj.

(b) Dinabandhu Mitra wrote Neeldarpan

(c) Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote Anandmath.

(d) Satyendranath Tagore became the first Indian to succeed in the Indian Civil Services Examination.

Ans: b

Explanation: 

  • Dayanand Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj in Bombay in 1875.
  • Nil Darpan is a Bengali play written by Dinabandhu Mitra in 1858–1859.
  • Anandamath is a Bengali fiction, written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and published in 1882.
  • Satyendranath Tagore was selected for the Indian Civil Service in June, 1863. He completed his probationary training and returned to India in November 1864. Satyendranath was posted to Bombay presidency.

81. Which of the following is/are the possible consequence/s of heavy sand mining in riverbeds ?

  1. Decreased salinity in the river
  2. Pollution of groundwater
  3. Lowering of the water-table

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1 only

(b)  2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d)  1, 2 and 3

Ans: b

Explanation: Sand Mining is an activity referring to the process of the actual removal of sand from the foreshore including rivers, streams and lakes. Excessive in-stream sand-and-gravel mining lowers the stream bottom, which may lead to bank erosion. It may also lead to saline-water intrusion from the nearby sea. Any volume of sand exported from stream-beds and coastal areas is also a threat to bridges, river banks and nearby structures. Sand mining also affects the adjoining groundwater system and the uses that local people make of the river.

82. With reference to agricultural soils, consider the following statements :

  1. A high content of organic matter in soil drastically reduces its water holding capacity.
  2. Soil does not play any role in the sulphur cycle.
  3. Irrigation over a period of time can contribute to the salinization of some agricultural lands.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b)  3 only

(c)  1 and 3 only

(d)  1, 2 and 3

Ans: b

Explanation: Plants obtain nutrients from two natural sources: organic matter and minerals. Organic matter includes any plant or animal material that returns to the soil and goes through the decomposition process. In addition to providing nutrients and habitat to organisms living in the soil, organic matter also binds soil particles into aggregates and improves the water holding capacity of soil.
The sulfur cycle is the collection of processes by which sulfur moves to and from rock, waterways and living systems. The isotopic composition of sedimentary sulfides provides primary information on the evolution of the sulfur cycle.
Too much salt can reduce crop production and water infiltration on soils that have been irrigated for 20 years or more. Too little salt can also result in a chemically compacted soil. The level of sodium (Na) in a soil can result in soil particles or even layers of differing soil profiles forming a compacted layer that the roots do not penetrate.

83. The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), a UN mechanism to assist countries transition towards greener and more inclusive economies, emerged at

(a) The Earth Summit on Sustainable Development 2002, Johannesburg

(b) The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012, Rio de Janeiro

(c) The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2015, Paris

(d) The World Sustainable Development Summit 2016, New Delhi

Ans: b

Explanation: In 2012, Rio+20 (the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) was held in Brazil. The conference’s outcome document entitled The Future We Want was a call to action for governments, business and the UN alike to support countries interested in transition to a green economy.
The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) was created as the UN’s direct response to this call of action. Four UN organisations, including ILO, UN Environment, UNIDO and UNITAR initially joined forces to be able to provide countries with broad and tailored support.

84.“3D printing” has applications in which of the following?

  1. Preparation of confectionery items
  2. Manufacture of bionic ears
  3. Automotive industry
  4. Reconstructive surgeries
  5. Data processing technologies

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1, 3 and 4 only

(b) 2, 3 and 5 only

(c) 1 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Ans: d

Explanation: 3D Printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital design. There are different 3D printing technologies and materials you can print with, but all are based on the same principle: a digital model is turned into a solid three-dimensional physical object by adding material layer by layer. The applications of 3D printers are endless and it is widely used in almost every field.

85. Consider the following statements:

  1. The Barren Island volcano is an active volcano located in the Indian territory.
  2. Barren Island lies about 140 km east of Great Nicobar.
  3. The last time the Barren Island volcano erupted was in 1991 and it has remained inactive since then.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 3 only

(d) 1 and 3

Ans: a

Explanation: Barren Island, a possession of India in the Andaman Sea about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is the only historically active volcano along the N-S-trending volcanic arc extending between Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar). The 354-m-high island is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises from a depth of about 2250 m.

In 1991, it spewed so massively that smoke billowed out for about six months. Ever since, there have been eruptions every two-three years, the last in February 2016. All of these recorded eruptions lie on the lowest end of the Volcanic Explosively Index that ranks volcanoes from 1-8 based on the quantity of volcanic material spewed and the strength with which it does so.

86. Why is a plant called Prosopis juliflora often mentioned in news?

(a) Its extract is widely used in cosmetics.

(b) It tends to reduce the biodiversity in the area in which it grows.

(c) Its extract is used in the synthesis of pesticides.

(d) None of the above

Ans: b

Explanation: Prosopis juliflora has proved to be a promising species for the driest zones of the Northeast’s Semi-Arid Region, being one of the rare species which occur spontaneously in arid-tropical zones with annual rainfall below 100 mm. In the Northeast it is an outstanding plant, according to Correa (1926), for the arid, rocky and dry lands, in which its potential for reproduction and spreading is enormous, quickly occupying any area given over for it to spread on.

It is a nitrogen-fixing and very drought and salt-tolerant species, which can rapidly out-compete other vegetation. The thorniness and bushy habit of Prosopis juliflora enable it to quickly block paths and make whole areas impenetrable.

87. Consider the following statements :

  1. Most of the world’s coral reefs are in tropical waters.
  2. More than one—third of the world’s coral reefs are located in the territories of Australia, Indonesia and Philippines.
  3. Coral reefs host far more number of animal phyla than those hosted by tropical rainforests.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: d

Explanation: Coral reefs are found in more than 100 countries around the world. Most reefs are located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, in the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf. The largest coral reef is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They swarm with life, with perhaps one-quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs for food and shelter. This is a remarkable statistic when you consider that reefs cover just a tiny fraction (less than one percent) of the earth’s surface and less than two percent of the ocean bottom. Because they are so diverse, coral reefs are often called the rainforests of the sea.

88. “Momentum for Change: Climate Neutral Now” is an initiative launched by

(a) The Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change

(b) The UNEP Secretariat

(c) The UNFCCC Secretariat

(d) The World Meteorological Organization

Ans: c

Explanation:  The UNFCCC secretariat launched its Climate Neutral Now initiative in 2015. The following year, the secretariat launched a new pillar under its Momentum for Change initiative focused on Climate Neutral Now, as part of larger efforts to showcase successful climate action around the world.

89. With reference to educational institutions during colonial rule in India, consider the following pairs:

Institution                                                           Founder

  1. Sanskrit College at Benaras                William Jones
  2. Calcutta Madarsa                                 Warren Hastings
  3. Fort William Arthur College                 Wellesley

Which of the pairs given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 3 only

Ans: b

Explanation: The correct pairs are:

  1. Sanskrit College at Benaras               Jonathan Duncan
  2. Calcutta Madarsa                               Warren Hastings
  3. Fort William College                  Lord Wellesley

90. Consider the following pairs :

Regions sometimes mentioned in news                    Country

  1. Catalonia                                                                  Spain
  2. Crimea                                                                      Hungary
  3. Mindanao                                                                  Philippines
  4. Oromia                                                                      Nigeria

Which of the pairs given, above are correctly matched ?

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 3 and 4 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 2 and 4 only

Ans: c

Explanation: The correct pairs are:

  1. Catalonia                                                                    Spain
  2. Crimea                                                                        Ukrain
  3. Mindanao                                                                    Philippines
  4. Oromia                                                                        Ethiopia

91. Consider the following events :

  1. The first democratically elected communist party government formed in a State in India.
  2. India’s then largest bank, ‘Imperial Bank of India’, was renamed ‘State Bank of India’.
  3. Air India was nationalised and became the national carrier.
  4. Goa became a part of independent India.

Which of the following is the correct chronological sequence of the above events?

(a) 4-1-2-3

(b) 3-2-1-4

(c) 4-2-1-3

(d) 3-1-2-4

Ans:

Explanation:

92. Right to Privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty. Which of the following in the Constitution of India correctly and appropriately imply the above statement?

(a) Article 14 and the provisions under the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution

(b) Article 17 and the Directive Principles of State Policy in Part IV

(c) Article 21 and the freedoms guaranteed in Part III

(d) Article 24 and the provisions under the 44th Amendment to the Constitution

Ans:

Explanation:

93. Consider the following :

  1. Areca nut
  2. Barley
  3. Coffee
  4. Finger millet
  5. Groundnut
  6. Sesamum
  7. Turmeric

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has announced the Minimum Support Price for which of the above?

(a) 1, 2, 3 and 7 only

(b) 2, 4, 5 and 6 only

(c) 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Ans:

Explanation:

94. In which one of the following States is Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary located?

(a) Arunachal Pradesh

(b) Manipur

(c) Meghalaya

(d) Nagaland

Ans:

Explanation:

95. With reference to India’s satellite launch vehicles, consider the following statements :

  1. PSLVs launch the satellites useful for Earth resources monitoring whereas GSLVs are designed mainly to launch communication satellites.
  2. Satellites launched by PSLV appear to remain permanently fixed in the same position in the sky, as viewed from a particular location on Earth.
  3. GSLV Mk III is a four-stage launch vehicle with the first and third stages using solid rocket motors, and the second and fourth stages using liquid rocket engines.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 2

(d) 3 only

Ans: a

Explanation: PSLV is designed mainly to deliver the “earth-observation” or “remote-sensing” satellites with lift-off mass of up to about 1750 Kg to Sun-Synchronous circular polar orbits of 600–900 Km altitude.

The GSLV is designed mainly to deliver the communication-satellites to the highly elliptical (typically 250 × 36000 Km) Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). Due to their geo-synchronous nature, the satellites in these orbits appear to remain permanently fixed in the same position in the sky, as viewed from a particular location on Earth, thus avoiding the need of a tracking ground antenna and hence are useful for the communication applications.

GSLV Mk III is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by ISRO. The vehicle has two solid strap-ons, a core liquid booster and a cryogenic upper stage.

96. With reference to the governance of public sector banking in India, consider the following statements:

  1. Capital infusion into public sector banks by the Government of India has steadily increased in the last decade.
  2. To put the public sector banks order, the merger of associate banks with the parent State Bank of India has been affected.

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

Ans: *b or *c 

Explanation: The government of India formally kicked off banking reforms, linking Rs. 88,000 crore of capital infusion in ailing public sector banks with a set of performance metrics.

List of PSU banks and their capital infusion:

IDBI Bank Ltd: Rs. 10,610 crore

State Bank of India: Rs. 8,800 crore

Bank of India: Rs 9,232 crore

UCO Bank: Rs 6,507 crore

Punjab National Bank: Rs.5,473 crore

Bank of Baroda: Rs.5,375 crore

Central Bank of India: Rs.5,158 crore

Canara Bank: Rs.4,865 crore

Indian Overseas Bank: Rs.4,694 crore

Union Bank of India: Rs.4,524 crore

Oriental Bank of Commerce: Rs. 3,571 crore

Dena Bank: Rs.3,045 crore

Bank of Maharashtra: Rs. 3,173 crore

United Bank of India: Rs.2,634 crore

Corporation Bank: Rs.2,187 crore

Syndicate Bank: Rs.2,839 crore

Andhra Bank: Rs.1,890 crore

Allahabad Bank: Rs.1,500 crore

Punjab and Sind Bank: Rs.785 crore

The cabinet approved the proposed merger of State Bank of India (SBI) and five subsidiaries—a combination that will create the first Indian lender to rank among the world’s top 50.

State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Travancore (SBT) will merge with the country’s largest bank, widening the gap between SBI and the No. 2 lender, HDFC Bank Ltd.

97. Consider the following items:

  1. Cereal grains hulled
  2. Chicken eggs cooked
  3. Fish processed and canned
  4. Newspapers containing advertising material

Which of the above items is/are exempted under GST (Goods and Services Tax) ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1, 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: d

Explanation: Items are exempted under GST (Goods and Services Tax) are:

A number of food items have been exempted from any of the tax slabs. Fresh meat, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, butter milk, curd, natural honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, flour, besan, bread, all kinds of salt, jaggery and hulled cereal grains have been kept out of the taxation system.
Bindi, sindoor, kajal, palmyra, human hair and bangles also do not attract any tax under GST.

Drawing or colouring books alongside stamps, judicial papers, printed books, newspapers also fall under this category.
Other items in the exempted list include jute and handloom, Bones and horn cores, hoof meal, horn meal, bone grist, bone meal, etc.

98. Consider the following statements :

  1. The definition of “Critical Wildlife Habitat” is incorporated in the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
  2. For the first time in India, Baigas have been given Habitat Rights.
  3. Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change officially decides and declares Habitat Rights for Primitive and Vulnerable Tribal Groups in any part of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: a

Explanation: The Minister of State for Environment and Forests clarified  on 14-February-2011 that the issues regarding Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act in tiger reserves and in the critical wildlife habitats. The Minister states that:

  1. “Section 38V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (as amended in 2006) explains the core or critical tiger habitat as well as the buffer or peripheral area of a tiger reserve.
  2. A tiger reserve includes two parts:
  3. Core or critical tiger habitat (National Park or Sanctuary status).
  4. Buffer or peripheral area.
  5. The phrase ‘core or critical tiger habitat’ is mentioned only in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as a sequel to amendment made to the said Act in 2006.  It is NOT defined in the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
  6. The phrase ‘critical wildlife habitat’ is defined only in the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, and NOT in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  7. ‘Core or critical tiger habitat’ is different from the ‘critical wildlife habitat’.  Since tigers are territorial big cats, hence considering their social land tenure dynamics, the ‘core / critical tiger habitat’ has been viewed separately from the ‘critical wildlife habitat’, which is applicable to other wild animal species.
  8. Based on deliberations with experts and simulation results from scientific data, it has been found that a minimum inviolate area of 800-1200 sq.km. is required to sustain a viable population of tigers (20 breeding females).
  9. Establishing the core / critical tiger habitat as ‘inviolate’ involves two steps as per the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The Baiga are an ethnic group found in central India, primarily in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The largest number of Baigas is found in Baiga-chuk in Mandla district and Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh.

99. Consider the following :

  1. Birds
  2. Dust blowing
  3. Rain
  4. Wind blowing

Which of the above spread plant diseases?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 3 and 4 only

(c) 1, 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: d

Explanation: Blowing wind, dust, rain and birds all accounts for the transmission of diseases among plants.

100. With reference to organic farming in India, consider the following statements:

  1. ‘The National ‘Programme for Organic Production’ (NPOP) is operated under the guidelines and‘ directions of the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
  2. ‘The Agricultural and Processed Food Product Export Development Authority‘ (APEDA) functions as the Secretariat for the implementation of NPOP.
  3. Sikkim has become India’s first fully organic State.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(lb) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: b

Explanation: The National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) is operated under the guidelines and directions of Ministry of Commerce since 2001.  India Organic is a certification mark for organically farmed food products manufactured in India. The certification is issued by testing centres accredited by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

Sikkim has become India’s first fully organic state by converting around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land into sustainable cultivation. Bestowed with varied agro-climatic condition, some of the major crops in Sikkim include large cardamom, ginger, turmeric, off-season vegetables, flowers, Sikkim mandarin, kiwi, buck wheat, paddy maize and millets. As Sikkimese farmers were never dependent heavily on chemicals, the yield per hectare has not been affected by organic farming.

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