Solved : UPSC CAPF 2015 General Studies Paper – part 2


16. Various landforms observed on the surface of the earth are due to the
1) differences in the type and structure of the crustal material
2) differences in the land forming processes
3) differential rates of the processes at different places on the Earth’s surface
A) 1 only
B) 1 and 2 only
C) 2 and 3 only
D) 1,2 and 3

 
D) 1,2 and 3

Landforms mean mountains, hills, plateaus, plains etc. Depending on the type and structure of the crustal materail, landform in that area will vary. Similarly, the differences in the land forming processes will give rise to different types of landforms. The third statement – differential rates of the processes at different places on the Earth’s surface is also correct. If erosion is taking at a higher rate in an area than the deposition or upliftment, then that area will tend to have plains. On the other hand if upliftment is high, then hills and mountains landforms will be found.

 

 

17. Under which of the following condition(s) the occluded fronts are created
1) When the front remains stationary
2) When cold air mass moves to warm air mass
3) When warm air mass moves to cold air mass
4) When an air mass is fully lifted above the land surface
A) 1 and 2
B) 2 and 3
C) 3 and 4
D) 4 only

 
D) 4 only

In an occluded front, cold air mass displaces warm air mass, and the warm air mass is fully lifted above the land surface. Statement 2  is the initial step towards formation of occluded front. However, its not necessary that when cold air mass moves to warm air mass, an occluded front will necessarily form. Moreover, there is no option containing both 2 and 4, so ans is D) 4 only.

Refer to the image given here to better understand it – 1.2.3 Occluded fronts

 

18.  The following item consists of two statements, Statement I and Statement II. Examine these two statements carefully and select the correct answer using the code given below
1) Catalytic hydrogenation is highest when the catalyst remains in the powdered form
2) When a catalyst is in the powdered form, its surface area becomes highest
A) Both the statements are individually true and Statement II is the correct explanation of Statement I
B) Both the statements are individually true but Statement II is not the correct explanation of Statement I
C) Statement I is true but Statement II is false
D) Statement I is false but Statement II is true

 

A) Both the statements are individually true and Statement II is the correct explanation of Statement I

Catalytic hydrogenation (to treat with hydrogen) – is a chemical reaction between molecular hydrogen (H2) and another compound or element, usually in the presence of a catalyst such as nickel, palladium or platinum.

Catalysts lower the activation energy required for a chemical reaction to occur.

When a substance is in powdered form, it tends to have the highest surface area. This is the reason that for catalytic hydrogenation, a catalyst is used in its powdered form. Powdered substances are more effective adsorbents than their crystalline forms because when a substance is powdered, its surface area increases and physisorption  is directly proportional to the surface area of the adsorbent.

 

19. Which one of the following statements regarding baking powder is NOT correct
A) It is a mixture
B) It forms bubbles in a wet mixture
C) It can be used instead of using yeast
D) It does not contain sodium bicarbonate

 
D) It does not contain sodium bicarbonate

Baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate, but it includes the acidifying agent already (cream of tartar), and also a drying agent (usually starch).

Reference – Know the Difference Between Baking Powder & Baking Soda

 

20. Which one of the following factors is NOT connected with planetary wind system
A) Latitudinal variation of the atmospheric heating
B) Emergence of the pressure belt
C) Earth’s revolution around the Sun
D) Migration of the pressure belts due to apparent path of the Sun

 
C) Earth’s revolution around the Sun

The general distribution of winds throughout the lower atmosphere is known as planetary winds. Confined within some latitudinal belts, these winds blow rather regularly throughout the year and are basically controlled by the latitudinal pressure belts. The main planetary winds are (i) the North-east and the South-east Trade winds (ii) the Temperate Westerlies and (iii) the Polar Easterlies, which blow from the polar high pressure area to the temperate low pre sure area.

Earth’s rotation and not its revolution is connected with planetary wind system. Earth’s rotation is responsible for generation of coriolis force, which impact the direction (and not speed) of planetary winds. This is the reason why we have south-west and north-east monsoon and not south and north monsoon.
Once air has been set in motion by the pressure gradient force, it undergoes an apparent deflection from its path, as seen by an observer on the earth. This apparent deflection is called the “Coriolis force” and is a result of the earth’s rotation.

As air moves from high to low pressure in the northern hemisphere, it is deflected to the right by the Coriolis force. In the southern hemisphere, air moving from high to low pressure is deflected to the left by the Coriolis force.

 

21. From which among the following pairs of species, a small quantity of fine quality wool is obtained in India
A) Pashmina goats and Angora rabbits
B) Pashmina rabbits and Angora goats
C) Pashmina rabbits and Angora sheep
D) Pashmina goats and Angora sheep

 
A) Pashmina goats and Angora rabbits

Angora wool is a speciality animal fibre produced by angora rabbits. Pashmina goats are well know for their wool.

Reference – Rabbit, Goat, Sheep, Poultry, Fish and Pig Farming with Feed Technology

 

22. The following item consists of two statements. Statement I and Statement II. Examine these two statements carefully and select the correct answer using the code given below
1) All the energy received by the earth is from the Sun through electro-magnetic radiation
2) The earth also radiates back all the received energy through various ways to maintain the heat budget of the planet
A) Both the statements are individually true and Statement II is the correct explanation of Statement I
B) Both the statements are individually true but Statement II is not the correct explanation of Statement I
C) Statement I is true but Statement II is false
D) Statement I is false but Statement II is true

 
B) Both the statements are individually true but Statement II is not the correct explanation of Statement I

Sun is ultimate source of energy on earth. All the energy received by the earth is from the Sun through electro-magnetic radiation. Essentially 100% of the energy that fuels the earth comes from the sun.  To maintain a constant global average temperature, all of the sun’s radiation that enters Earth’s atmosphere must eventually be sent back to space.  This is achieved through Earth’s energy balance.

The earth also radiates back all the received energy through various ways to maintain the heat budget of the planet. 2 does not explain 1, but both are tue.

Some of you may think that statement 2 should be incorrect because of the word”all”. But statement 2 is correct. Yes, the earth radiates back ALL the energy it receives.

Even though sun’s energy is absorbed by the earth’s surface, clouds, and atmosphere that causes warming, it is finally re-radiadted back.  Any object or gas that has a temperature emits radiation outward, and this is ultimately re-radiated back into space.  This occurs 24 hours a day, and the energy is emitted as longwave radiation due to the characteristic temperatures of the earth and atmosphere.

Reference – Earth’s Energy Balance

 

23. Which one among the following substances is NOT a ‘green house’ gas
A) Water vapour
B) Chlorofluorocarbon
C) Methane
D) Nitrogen

 
D) Nitrogen

An easy one – Nitrogen is not a greenhouse gas (GHG). Many greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and nitrous oxide, while others are synthetic. Those that are man-made include the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), as well as sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

 

24. Hemocyanin is an oxygen-transport metalloprotein present in some invertebrate animals. This protein contains
A) one copper atom
B) two copper atoms
C) one iron atom
D) one magnesium atom

 
B) two copper atoms

Hemocyanin is a protein found in mollusks that carries oxygen in much the same way as hemoglobin carries oxygen in human blood. Similarly to hemoglobin, a central metal atom binds oxygen differentially, however in hemocyanin, this central metal atom is copper. The structure and function of the hemocyanin molecule revolves around the two copper atoms embedded at its core.

Reference – Structural Biochemistry/Hemocyanin

 
25. Which of the following statements with regard to the continental shelf is NOT correct
A) Shelves are absent close to plate boundaries
B) They are highly sedimented
C) They have abrupt falls towards the continental slopes
D) They are rich fishing areas

 
A) Shelves are absent close to plate boundaries

A continental shelf is the edge of a continent that lies under the ocean. A continental shelf extends from the coastline of a continent to a drop-off point called the shelf break. From the break, the shelf descends toward the deep ocean floor in what is called the continental slope. They are highly sedimented.

People have depended on the continental shelf for thousands of years to provide 90% of the fisheries production in the world. – Seamounts and Continental Shelves – The Ocean’s Unprotected Treasure Vaults
The continental rise is an underwater feature found between the continental slope and the abyssal plain. Continental rise is absent or relatively small close to plate boundaries sediment gravity flows generally transport sediment into the trench instead of across it to the ocean floor.

Reference – EARTH 2

 

 

26. According to Granville Austin, which of the following was / were the most significant contributions of India to constitution-making
A) Majority rule and minority rights
B) Consensus and Accommodation
C) Social revolution and Political Freedom
D) Asymmetrical Federal structure

 
B) Consensus and Accommodation

Granville Austin in his book -‘The Indian Constitution: cornerstone of a nation’ wrote  that two of the original contribution of India to constitution making is – 1. decision making by consensus and 2. the principle of accommodation.

Here is a reference from a book by Rajni Kothari – Politics in India

Both Kothari and Austin dies recently and UPSC came up with this question.

 

27. Which one of the following statements is correct.
A) Iron sulphate and copper sulphate crystals have same number of water of crystallization
B) Iron sulphate and zinc sulphate crystals have same number of water of crystallization
C) Zinc sulphate and copper sulphate crystals have same number of water of crystallization
D) Iron sulphate, copper sulphate and zinc sulphate crystals each have same number of water of crystallization

 
B) Iron sulphate and zinc sulphate crystals have same number of water of crystallization

Water of crystallization or water of hydration is water that occurs inside crystals.
Iron suplhate (green vitroil)  – FeSO4. 7H20
Zinc Sulphate (white vitroil) – ZnSO4. 7H20
Copper suplhate (blue vitroil)  – CuSO4. 5H2)
So, iron and zinc sulphate has same number of water of crystallisation that is 7.

Reference – Discovering Chemistry

 

28. Which one among the following is NOT a minor plate
A) Nazca
B) Arabia
C) Philippines
D) Antarctica

 
D) Antarctica

The major plates are
1. African Plate covering Africa – Continental plate
2. Antarctic Plate covering Antarctica – Continental plate
3. Australian Plate covering Australia – Continental plate
4. Indian Plate covering Indian subcontinent and a part of Indian Ocean – Continental plate
5. Eurasian Plate covering Asia and Europe – Continental plate
6. North American Plate covering North America and north-east Siberia – Continental plate
7. South American Plate covering South America – Continental plate
8. Pacific Plate covering the Pacific Ocean – Oceanic plate

Notable minor plates include the Arabian Plate, the Caribbean Plate, the Juan de Fuca Plate, the Cocos Plate, the Nazca Plate, the Philippine Plate and the Scotia Plate.

Reference – Plate tectonics – New World Encyclopedia

 

29. The trees of tropical rainforest have buttress roots because
A) they help to provide aeration to soils
B) the organisms found in the buttresses have a symbiotic relationship
C) the trees belong to gramineae family
D) the buttresses have to bear the mechanical load of hardwoods

 
D) the buttresses have to bear the mechanical load of hardwoods

Buttresses are a feature of many trees in all tropical rainforests. They are woody flanged extensions that radiate outwards from the lower part of the tree trunk and often reach large proportions.
Most rainforest soil is very poor with all the nutrients available largely remaining at surface level. Because of this rainforest trees have very shallow roots.

Some very tall trees have developed ways of obtaining much needed additional support by forming buttressed roots, which grow out from the base of the trunk sometimes as high as 15 ft above the ground. These extended roots also increase the area over which nutrients can be absorbed from the soil.

The evolution and function of buttresses remain somewhat unknown, although to some extent they support the tree’s weight in shallow soils by taking up strains and stresses if conditions are windy. However, it has been demonstrated recently that the same number of trees with buttresses fell down in cyclones than without.

So, while option D may also be debatable, it is the most closest to the correct answer.
References – ! Buttressed Tree Roots ! Tropical Rainforest, Far North Queensland Australia
The Plants of the Rainforest

 

30.  It is reported that there is an ongoing decrease in the pH value of ocean water because of global warming. It happens due to
A) larger uptake of CO2 by ocean water
B) lesser uptake of C02 by ocean water
C) larger uptake of atmospheric nitrogen by ocean water
D) lesser uptake of atmospheric nitrogen by ocean water

 
A) larger uptake of CO2 by ocean water

The process is called ocean acidification. Increased uptake of carbon dioxide by oceans leads to formation of a weak acid called carbonic acid. If pH is low, it means the water is becoming more acidic or les alkaline. A detailed article about ocean acidification can be read here – Ocean Acidification and its effect on marine ecosystem

 

Please read these important articles about prelims preparation

1. How UPSC asks current affairs in GS Prelims

2. How to practice prelims MCQs for UPSC

3. Applying logic in UPSC General Studies Prelims

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