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QUESTION ID: IS01

ANSWER: D

Justification: Statement 1: It is introduced by any member who is not a Minister. A bill introduced by a Minister is called as a public bill.

Statement 2: Around 14 private member’s bills have been passed since independence.

QUESTION ID: IS02

ANSWER: A

Justification: Statement 2: The Indus valley people knew the use of copper, bronze, silver, gold but not iron. So, 2 is wrong.

Statement 1: The Ramayana mentions chariots covered with leather. The Rig Vedic charioteers used Varma (coats of mail) and sipra/sironastra (helmets).

Equipped with asi (swords), hanas (arrows) and ilhianus (bows), the Kshatriyas on the chariots went to combat.

Since statement 2 is wrong, given the options 1 must be correct.

Statement 3:  This is a disputed Statement.

The Rig Veda mentions horse-drawn chariots with spoked wheels.

But there is very little archaeological evidence of horses during the Harappan era and none at all earlier. The existence of the Harappan horse is a hotly disputed topic among archaeologists.

Arguments:

  • Some claim that horse was NOT
  • Among the numerous seals found in Harappa, there is none which represent a horse, while other animals like the bull, buffalo, and goat are represented.
  • Moreover, the cavalry (of horses) as an organized force can be traced only to the post-Vedic period, but not earlier.

Arguments against:

On the other hand, some scholars claim that the horse was widely domesticated and used in India in the area covered by the Indus-Sarasvati (or Harappan) Civilisation, but this evidence remains unsubstantiated.

FINAL VIEW: But, based on the above, to say that “there is no evidence of Indus Valley people having been aware of this animal” is WRONG because there is no conclusive evidence that tells us whether they knew about horses, or whether they were aware of horses. We have insufficient evidence to claim anything about the connection between horses and Indus valley.

Statement 3 is thus incorrect.

QUESTION ID: IS03

ANSWER: A

Why: Aspirants cover core schemes and programmes but often miss covering ancillary and peripheral aspects. This was picked from ‘between the lines’ on the official website of PMKVY. Such ancillary questions can be expected even in the coming years.

Justification: Option A: The ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ scheme — underway across construction sites in five states — to certify skills acquired by workers through traditional learning channels.

  • The project may be of particular relevance to a country where just 2 per cent of the workforce is certified as skilled.
  • Most deemed to be outside the skilled category in India are those who have typically picked up a skill while on the job, without any formal degree to back this up.

Option D is incorrect since it talks about trainees who are not fully skilled to get recognition of any prior learning.

Individuals with prior learning experience or skills will also be assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), but this isn’t applicable to trainees. So, D is incorrect.

QUESTION ID: IS04

ANSWER: A

Why: UPSC has the habit of picking up options from questions of its past year papers and asking new questions after improvising them. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve can be found occasionally mentioned in CSP and CAPF papers; hence the question.

Justification: Sathyamangalam forest range is a significant wildlife corridor in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the rest of the Eastern Ghats and a genetic link between the four other protected areas which it adjoins, including the Billigiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Sigur Plateau, Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park.

QUESTION ID: IS05

ANSWER: A

Justification: Article 18 of the constitution justifies this. Under Right to equality, A18 abolishes titular privileges (except military or academic) granted to citizens of India.

QUESTION ID: IS06

ANSWER: B

Why: WWF and related agencies/schemes/initiatives are a hot favourite of UPSC, one example being Earth hour. Try to cover WWF website comprehensively to answer such questions.

Justification:  Statement 1: It is an NGO, not a bureau under UNEP. So, 1 is wrong.

TRAFFIC is governed by the Traffic Committee, a steering group composed of members of TRAFFIC’s partner organizations, WWF and IUCN.

Statement 2: It is working globally on Wildlife trade monitoring network.

It specializes in investigating and analyzing wildlife trade trends, patterns, impacts and drivers to provide the leading knowledge base on trade in wild animals and plants.

QUESTION ID: IS07

ANSWER: B

Justification: The 42nd Amendment added new Directive Principles, viz Article 39A, Article 43A and Article 48A.

Article 43A deals with ‘Participation of workers in management of industries’.

QUESTION ID: IS08

ANSWER: C

Justification: Option C: The philosophy of rights is grounded in preventing the exploitation of the citizen by the state. So, essentially it is the claim of an individual against the state.

Option B: This is wrong because rights are not privileges, they are the bare minimum for the formation of a democratic state. Also, the constitution abolishes the concept of special privileges.

QUESTION ID: IS09

ANSWER: A

Why: India was ranked at a lowly 87th position in the gender gap index that created headlines. It is an important report brought out by WEF.

QUESTION ID: IS10

ANSWER: B

Why: It is a part of Digital India programme of the government. Expect related questions from official events and schemes.

Justification: Statement 1 and 3: There are no such provisions.

Statement 2: It was a digital product development competition during which teams of thousands of technology students built innovative digital solutions for the problems posed by different central govt. ministries/ departments.

QUESTION ID: IS11

ANSWER: A

Why: It was a major news break, and perhaps the most significant reform in India’s monetary policy framework in past few decades.

Justification: Statement 1: It decides the repo rates, CRR, SLR etc. It replaced the earlier system of policy rate veto by the RBI governor.

Statement 2:  It consists of six members (RBI Governor, Deputy Gov RBI, One RBI officer and three members nominated by the government), and they hold office for a period of four years.

Statement 3:  The Governor of the RBI is the ex-officio Chairperson of MPC.

QUESTION ID: IS12

ANSWER: B

Why: Sankirtana is one of the few important Indian heritages inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Justification: Statement 1  and 3:  Sankirtana performers narrate the lives and deeds of Krishna through ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur. So, both 1 and 3 are correct.

Statement 2:  Since drums are also used, statement 2 is incorrect.

QUESTION ID: IS13

ANSWER: C

Justification: Statement 1 and 3: The Ryotwari system was devised by Capt. Alexander Read and Thomas Munro at the end of the 18th century. It was later introduced by Thomas Munro when he was governor (1820–27) of Madras.

Statement 2: He is associated with the Cornwallis Code 1793 and could not have been the answer since his tenure preceded the ryotwari settlement regime.

The principle behind Ryotwari was the direct collection of the land revenue from each individual cultivator by government agents.

QUESTION ID: IS14

ANSWER: C

Why: Expect around 6-8 standard conceptual questions on Eco-engineering every year. Bioremediation, biofuels, genetic engineering are some such standard concepts.

Justification: Statement 1: Bioremediation uses naturally occurring organisms to break down hazardous substances into less toxic or non-toxic substances.

Statement 2:  Always be cautious of extreme statements and words as we have repeatedly pointed out in our 2017 Prelims Test Series. Completely and readily (quickly) are such words here.

Bio-remediation is a slow process, so. Heavy metals such as cadmium and lead are NOT readily absorbed or captured by microorganisms. UPSC had lifted this straight from Wikipedia.

Statement 3:  This will be a standard practice in the industry in coming years. For e.g.  Alcanivorax, a bacteria with oil-eating abilities, can be used to create species that are much more capable of cleaning oil spills.

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