Solved : UPSC CSE Prelims 2015 General Studies Paper – Part 2


26. With reference to an organization known as ‘BirdLife International’, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. It is a Global Partnership of Conservation Organizations.
2. The concept of biodiversity hotspots’ originated from this organization.
3. It identifies the sites known/ referred to as ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas’.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) I only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3 only

 

BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation Partnership. Together they are 120 BirdLife Partners worldwide. BirdLife’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) Programme aims to identify, monitor and protect a global network of IBAs for the conservation of the world’s birds and other wildlife.
The concept of ‘biodiversity hotspots’ did not originated from this organization. It was propounded by Norman Meyers.

Reference – Official website of BirdLife

 

 

27. Which one of the following countries of South-West Asia does not open out to the Mediterranean Sea?
(a) Syria
(b) Jordan
(c) Lebanon
(d) Israel

(b) Jordan

 

Jordan does not open out in the Mediterranean sea, as it is bounded by Syria and Israel towards the side of Mediterranean sea. A typical map based question.

 

 

28. In India, in which one of the following types of forests is teak a dominant tree species?
(a) Tropical moist deciduous forest
(b) Tropical rain forest
(c) Tropical thorn scrub forest
(d) Temperate forest with grasslands

(a) Tropical moist deciduous forest

 

Tropical moist decidous forests are found in areas of moderate rainfall of 100 to 200 cm per annum, mean annual temperature of about 27°C and the average annual relative humidity of 60 to 75 per cent. The trees of these forests drop their leaves for about 6-8 weeks during the spring and early summer when sufficient moisture for the leaves is not available.

Teak trees are the most dominant species of trees found in these forests.Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair, kusum, arjun, mulberry are some of the other commercially important species found here

 

 

29. ‘Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action’, often seen in the news, is
(a) a strategy to tackle the regional terrorism, an outcome of a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(b) a plan of action for sustainable economic growth in the Asia-Pacific Region, an outcome of the deliberations of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum
(c) an agenda for women’s empowerment, an outcome of a World Conference convened by the United Nations
(d) a strategy to combat wildlife trafficking, a declaration of the East Asia Summit

(c) an agenda for women’s empowerment, an outcome of a World Conference convened by the United Nations

 

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) is an international declaration of women’s rights set up at the UN’s landmark Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. The BPfA covers 12 key critical matters of concern and areas for action including women and poverty, violence against women and access to power and decision-making.

It completed its 20 years in 2015 and hence was in news.

The 20th anniversary of Beijing opens new opportunities to reconnect, regenerate commitment, charge up political will and mobilize the public. The Beijing Platform for Action, still forward-looking at 20, offers important focus in rallying people around gender equality and women’s empowerment. Its promises are necessarily ambitious. But over time, and with the accumulating energy of new generations, they are within reach.

Reference – Beijing 20

 

 

30. “Each day is more or less the same, the morning is clear and bright with a sea breeze; as the Sun climbs high in the sky, heat mounts up, dark clouds form, then rain comes with thunder and lightning. But rain is soon over.” Which of the following regions is described in the above passage?
(a) Savannah
(b) Equatorial
(c) Monsoon
(d) Mediterranean

(b) Equatorial

 

In Equatorial climate while the morning is clear, by noon dark clouds surround and bring heavy but short duration rainfall. This is a typical feature of Equatorial climate.

 

 

31. With reference to Indian economy,consider the following statements :
1. The rate of growth of Real Gross Domestic Product has steadily increased in the last decade.
2. The Gross Domestic Product at market prices (in rupees) has steadily increased in the last decade.
Which of the statements given above
is/arc correct?
(a) I only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither I nor 2

(b) 2 only

 

Due to the 2008 financial crisis, the rate of growth of real GDP decreased. So, statement 1 is false. Statement 1 is true. Even though the rate of growth real GDP decreased, the actual GDP at market prices kept increasing. Please note carefully that statement 1 is about rate of growth (of real GDP), while statement 2 is about actual GDP (at market prices).

Trends based question on economics is common in UPSC exams.

 

 

32. Consider the following statements :
1. The Legislative Council of a State in India can be larger in size than half of the Legislative Assembly of that particular State.
2. The Governor of a State nominates the Chairman of Legislative Council of that particular State.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) I only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both I and 2
(d) Neither I nor 2

(d) Neither I nor 2

 

The constitution has fixed the maximum strength of Legislative council at one-third that of legislative Assembly. Therefore 1 is false. The Chairman of the Legislative Council is elected by the council itself from amongst its members and is not nominated by Governor. So, 2 is false.

 

 

33. “To uphold and protect the Sovereignty,Unity and Integrity of India” is a provision made in the
(a) Preamble of the Constitution
(b) Directive Principles of State Policy
(c) Fundamental Rights
(d) Fundamental Duties

(d) Fundamental Duties

 

Article 51 A (c) says – It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India. This is a part of 4A of the consitution consisting of Fundamental Duties.

 

 

34. Which one of the following is the best description of the term ‘ecosystem?
(a) A community of organisms interacting with one another
(b) That part of the Earth which is inhabited by living organisms
(c) A community of organisms together with the environment in which they live
(d) The flora and fauna of a geographical area

(c) A community of organisms together with the environment in which they live

 

An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system. So, A community of organisms together with the environment in which they live is the best description of the term ecosystem.

 

 

35. The fundamental object of Panchayati Raj system is to ensure which among the following?

I. People’s participation in development
2. Political accountability
3. Democratic decentralization
4. Financial mobilization
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) I, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2 and 4 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

(c) I and 3 only

 

We can eliminate financial mobilization as that is not the “fundamental” objective of PRIs. Even though panchayats have powers to collect revenue, it is a mechanism to ensure they fulfill their fundamental objectives.

Peopl’s participation in development and Democratic decentralization are definitely the fundamental objectives of PRIs. PRIs brings the administration closer to people (decentralization) and provides a mechanism for people’s participation in development.

Now, the confusion is over whether, Political Accountability is an fundamental objective of PRIs or not.
Political accountability refers to the responsibility or obligation of government officials (both politicians and civil servants) to act in the best interests of society or face consequences. Public officials should be held responsible for their actions. In this sense, PRIs, which brings the administration closer to people will definitely help in political accountability. PRIs provides a mechanism through which local needs and requirements of people can be addressed. So, answer seems to be a) 1, 2 and 3 only.

However, it seems UPSC has directly lifted the question from this Objective GK book, and modified the options. The answer given in the book says that Political Accountability is not the fundamental objective of PRIs.

Now, what UPSC will take as correct will be known next year. So, ans can be either a) 1, 2 and 3 only or c) 1 and 3 only. Selecting from either of these, we are taking a) 1, 2 and 3 as the correct ans.

Edit – UPSC has taken c) 1 and 3 as the correct ans. So political accountability is not a fundamental objective of PRI. 

 

 

36. With reference to Indian economy,consider the following :
1. Bank rate
2. Open market operations
3. Public debt
4. Public revenue
Which of the above is/are component/components of Monetary Policy?
(a) I only
(b) 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1 and 2
(d) I, 3 and 4

(c) 1 and 2

 

Monetary policy refers to the credit control measures adopted by the central bank of a country. The instruments of monetary policy are of two types: first, quantitative, general or indirect; and second, qualitative, selective or direct. They affect the level of aggregate demand through the supply of money, cost of money and availability of credit. Of the two types of instruments, the first category includes bank rate variations, open market operations and changing reserve requirements.

Public debt and revenue comes under Fiscal policy and not Monetary policy.

 

 

37. With reference to inflation in India, which of the following statements is correct?
(a) Controlling the inflation in India is the responsibility of the Government of India only
(b) The Reserve Bank of India has no role in controlling the inflation
(c) Decreased money circulation helps in controlling the inflation
(d) Increased money circulation helps in controlling the inflation

(c) Decreased money circulation helps in controlling the inflation

 

Decreasing the money circulation decreases the demand which helps in controlling the inflation. It is mainly effective for demand pull inflation.

 

 

38. Consider the following countries :
I. China
2. France
3. India
4. Israel
5. Pakistan
Which among the above are Nuclear Weapons States as recognized by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NET)?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1, 3, 4 and 5 only
(c) 2, 4 and 5 only
(d)1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

(a)1 and 2

 

Only 5 states are considered Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) as recognized by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NET). They are – USA, Russia, France, UK, and China. So, ans is a) 1 and 2 only.

There are few other states that have nuclear weapons, like India, Pakistan and North Korea. Further, it is also believed that Israel possess nuclear weapons. However, they are not recognized as NWS under NPT. This discrimination is one of the causes why India has not yet signed the NPT.

 

 

39. The ideal of ‘Welfare State’ in the Indian Constitution is enshrined in its
(a) Preamble
(b) Directive Principles of State Policy
(c) Fundamental Rights
(d) Seventh Schedule

(b) Directive Principles of State Policy

 

A welfare state is a concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. The Directive Principles of State Policy is guidelines to the central and state governments of India, to be kept in mind while framing laws and policies.
The concept behind DPSP is to establish a ‘Welfare State’ rather than a ‘Police State’ such as of colonial era. In other words, motive behind inclusion of DPSP is to establish social and economic democracy rather than Political democracy.

 

 

40. The substitution of steel for wooden ploughs in agricultural production is an example of
(a) labour-augmenting progress technological
(b) capital-augmenting progress technological
(c) capital-reducing progress technological
(d) None of the above

(b) capital-augmenting progress technological

 

This is direct textbook question, which has been covered in many economy books. For example – Google Books – Economy

Capital augmenting technological progress results in more productive use of existing capital goods – for example – substitution of steel for wooden ploughs in agricultural production.

 

 

41. There is a Parliamentary System of Government in India because the
(a) Lok Sabha is elected directly by the people
(6) Parliament can amend the Constitution
(c) Rajya Sabha cannot be dissolved
(d) Council of Ministers is responsible to the Lok Sabha

(d) Council of Ministers is responsible to the Lok Sabha

 

A parliamentary system of government is a system of democratic governance of a state in which the executive branch derives its democratic legitimacy from, and is held accountable to, the legislature (parliament). So, the executive (council of ministers) being responsible to Lok Sabha (part of Parliament) is why we have a Parliamentary system of Government.

 

 

42. HIN1 virus is sometimes mentioned in the news with reference to which one of the following diseases?
(a) AIDS
(b) Bird flu
(c) Dengue
(d) Swine flu

(d) Swine flu

 

H1N1 flu is also known as swine flu. It’s called swine flu because in the past, the people who caught it had direct contact with pigs. That changed several years ago, when a new virus emerged that spread among people who hadn’t been near pigs.

 

 

43. With reference to bio-toilets used by the Indian Railways, consider the following statements :
1. The decomposition of human waste in the bio-toilets is initiated by a fungal inoculum.
2. Ammonia and water vapour are the only end products in this decomposition which are released into the atmosphere.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) I only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

The decomposition of human waste in the bio-toilets is initiated by a bacterial inoculum (and not fungal).
Carbon dioxide and Methane are the end products released into the atmosphere.

When human excreta comes in contact with bacteria, it gets converted into methane and water through a series of steps of anaerobic digestion—hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis and methanogenesis.

You can refer to this pdf document which has explained the whole process elaborately.

 

 

44. The problem of international liquidity is related to the non-availability of
(a) goods and services
(b) gold and silver
(c) dollars and other hard currencies
(d) exportable surplus

(c) dollars and other hard currencies

 

International Liquidity is the sum total of international reserves of all the nations participating in the world monetary and trading system. The term ‘International Liquidity’ comprises all those financial resources and facilities which are available to monetary authorities of member nations for financing the deficits in their international balance of payments. The problem of international liquidity is concerned with the imbalances in the demand for and supply of international liquidity.

As dollar is the dominating component in the forex, the problem of international liquidity is related to the non-availability of dollar and other hard currencies.

 

 

45. With reference to ‘fuel cells’ in which hydrogen-rich fuel and oxygen are used to generate electricity, consider the following statements :
1 If pure hydrogen is used as a fuel, the fuel cell emits heat and water as by-products.
2. Fuel cells can be used for powering buildings and not for small devices like laptop computers.
3. Fuel cells produce electricity in the form of Alternating Current (AC).
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

(a) 1 only

 

We know that Alternating Current is produced with the help of magnetic fields, so fuel cell cannot produce that. This eliminates all the option except a, which has to be tha answer. If pure hydrogen is used as a fuel, the fuel cell emits heat and water as by-products. Fuel cells can be used for powering small devices like laptop computers.

 

 

46. Kalamkari painting refers to
(a) a hand-painted cotton textile in South India
(b) a handmade drawing on bamboo handicrafts in North-East India
(c) a block-painted woollen cloth in Western Himalayan region of India
(d) a hand-painted decorative silk cloth in North-Western India

(a) a hand-painted cotton textile in South India

 

Kalamkari is an ancient Indian art that originated about 3000 years ago. It derives its name from Kalam meaning Pen, and Kari meaning work, literally Pen-work. The Kalamkari artist uses a bamboo or date palm stick pointed at one end with a bundle of fine hair attached to this pointed end to serve as the brush or pen.

The Machilipatnam Kalamkari craft made at Pedana near by Machilipatnam in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, evolved with patronage of the Mughals and the Golconda sultanate. There are two distinctive styles of kalamkari art in India – one, the Srikalahasti style and the other, the Machilipatnam style of art. So, option a) a hand-painted cotton textile in South India is the correct answer.

 

 

47. Which one of the following best describes the main objective of ‘Seed Village Concept’?
(a) Encouraging the farmers to use their own farm seeds and discouraging them to buy the seeds from others
(b) Involving the farmers for training in quality seed production and thereby to make available quality seeds to others at appropriate time and affordable cost
(c) Earmarking some villages exclusively for the production of certified seeds
(d) Identifying the entrepreneurs in villages and providing them technology and finance to set up seed companies

(b) Involving the farmers for training in quality seed production and thereby to make available quality seeds to others at appropriate time and affordable cost

 

A village, wherein trained group of farmers are involved in production ‘of seeds of various crops and cater to the needs of themselves, fellow farmers of the village and farmers of neighboring villages in appropriate time and at affordable cost is called “a seed village”.

Reference – Seed Village

 

 

48. There has been a persistent deficit budget year after year. Which of the following actions can be taken by the government to reduce the deficit?
1. Reducing revenue expenditure
2. Introducing new welfare schemes
3. Rationalizing subsidies
4. Expanding industries
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a)1 and 3 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) I only
Id) 1, 2, 3 and 4

(a)1 and 3 only

 

Introducing new welfare schemes will increase expenditure and thus will increase the budget deficit. Reducing revenue expenditure and rationalizing subsidies will cut down on the budget deficit. Expanding industries will also need investments which will increase expenditure. So, a) 1 and 3 only is the correct answer.

 

 

49. Which of the following has/have been accorded ‘Geographical Indication’ status
1. Banaras Brocades and Sarees
2. Rajasthani Daal-Bati-Churma
3. Tirupathi Laddu
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) I only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3 only

 

At present, Rajasthani Daal-Bati-Churma does not have the Geographical Indigation tag. Banaras Brocades and Sarees and Tirupathi Laddu both have the GI tag.

 

 

50. With reference to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA), which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. It is a Public Limited Government Company.
2. It is a Non-Banking Financial Company.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) I only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

 

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) was established on 11th March, 1987 as a Public limited Government Company under the Companies Act, 1956 and it promotes, develops and extends financial assistance for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency/Conservation Projects.
IREDA has been notified as a “Public Financial Institution” under section 4 ‘A’ of the Companies Act, 1956 and registered as Non-Banking Financial Company (NFBC) with Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

 

Self Study IAS’s 1000 Prelims MCQs with answer & detailed explanation @ Rs 350. Click here for more information.

Solved UPSC Prelims 2015 GS paper (question 1-25) part 1

Solved UPSC Prelims 2015 GS paper (question 26-50) part 2

Solved UPSC Prelims 2015 GS paper (question 51-75) part 3

Solved UPSC Prelims 2015 GS paper (question 76-100) part 4

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