[Answerkey] CSAT 2013 GS: Science: Physics, Biology Questions solved with explanation, reference, all four sets (A,B,C,D)

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  1. Prologue
  2. Internal breakup
  3. Biology Health related
    1. Tattoo
    2. Muscle contractions
    3. Virus
    4. Genetic Engineering
  4. Biology: Botany/Agro related
    1. Aflatoxin
    2. Fruits, Cold storage
    3. Seedlings
    4. Desert Leaf
  5. Physics
    1. Ball bearings
    2. Optical illusions
    3. Rainbow
    4. Forces of Nature
    5. Higgs Boson


  • In UPSC CSAT 2013, General studies (GS) paper, 13 out of 100 questions were from Science.
Majority from physicsMajority from biology.
  • Current affairs based question: only one =from Higgs boson.
  • Few of them can be directly solved from NCERT Science, General Studies manual.
  • Anyways, UPSC did ask plenty of “direct from the routine books” type questions in Economy, polity and Modern History: so can’t expect picnic everywhere hahaha.

Internal breakup

chart CSAT 2013 GS science

Biology: Health related4
Biology: botany related4

*bio fertilizer, sea-horse etc Questions classified under EnB.

Biology Health related


1. Which of the following diseases can be transmitted from one person to another through tattooing?

  1. Chikungunya
  2. Hepatitis B

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

  1. 1 only

  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Hepatitis B and HIV are spread via Tattoing hence Indian Army had made rule that disqualified youngsters with tattoos on medical ground.

Chikungunya is not spread via tattooing.

Hence answer (B) 2 and 3 only.

Muscle contractions

2. Consider the following minerals

  1. Calcium
  2. Iron
  3. Sodium

Which of the minerals given above is/are required by human body for the contraction of muscles?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Calcium=necessary for muscle contraction (NIOS Science Lesson 25, Page9)

Sodium helps nerve cells send electrical signals to muscles for contraction. (Britannica)

Hence answer (D) 1 and 3 only. Or (A) only 1 (depending on the interpretation of UPSC examiner.)


3. Which of the following statements is / are correct?

  1. Viruses lack enzymes necessary for the generation of energy.
  2. Viruses can be cultured in any synthetic medium.
  3. Viruses are transmitted from one organism to another by biological vectors only.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Statement#2 is wrong because

As per page 109-110 of Analytic techniques in Biotechnology TMH

…Since Viruses lack organelles and are totally dependent on the host cells metabolic machinery for replication, (hence) they cannot be grown in synthetic media. In laboratory, animal viruses are grown in Animals…plant viruses are grown in plants or plant cell culture.

Statement #3 is wrong because

As per page26 Studies in Viral Ecology: Animal Host Systems by Christon J. Hurst

  • There are two categories of Vectors: biological and mechanical. As was stated earlier, if virus increases its number while in association with a vector, then that vector is termed as being biological.
  • Conversely, the vector is termed to be mechanical, if virus doesn’t increase its number while in association with that vector…
  • Arthropods such as wasps, which repeatedly can sting multiple animals, could serve as mechanical vectors by transporting viruses on the surface of their stingers.

Thus, #2 and #3 are wrong, eliminate choices accordingly

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

and we are left with answer (A) only 1.

Genetic Engineering

4. Recombinant DNA technology (Genetic Engineering) allows genes to be transferred

  1. across different species of plants
  2. from animals to plants
  3. from microorganisms to higher organisms

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

#1 is correct

as per BBC article on Genetic Engineering

Golden rice is developed by transferring carrot genes to rice. the new variety of rice contains Vitamin “A”. Hence Statement #1 correct (across different species of plants)

#2 is correct

as per http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=4812

In 1953, scientists discovered the structure of DNA, and in 1972, researchers developed a method for cutting and splicing DNA. That method became known as recombinant DNA, or rDNA. Since then, researchers have learned how to move genetic material in the form of DNA from one plant or animal to another. They can also take DNA from an animal and place it in a plant, and vice versa.

#3 is correct

TMH General studies manual, General science, Page 129, Topic #14.14

…..e.g. transfer of gene/s from bacteria to man or vice versa or from bacteria to a flowering plant.=>Statement #3 correct (from microorganism to higher organism)

Hence answer (D) 1,2 and 3 correct.

Biology: Botany/Agro related


1. Improper handling and storage of cereal grains and oilseeds result in the production of toxins known as aflatoxins which are not generally destroyed by normal cooking process. Aflatoxins are produced by

  1. bacteria
  2. protozoa
  3. moulds
  4. viruses

Aflatoxin is a mould produced by fungus that are toxic and carcinogenic. (IndianExpress)


Fruits, Cold storage

2.Fruits stored in a cold chamber exhibit longer storage life because

  1. exposure to sunlight is prevented
  2. concentration dioxide in the is increased of carbon environment
  3. rate of respiration is decreased
  4. there is an increase in humidity

Fruits and vegetables continue their metabolic activity after harvest…Metabolic Activity is manifested by respiration….Reduction of temperature is an effective means of reducing the rate of respiration. (Fundamentals of food process engineering, Page 402)

Hence Answer (C)


3. Many transplanted seedlings do not grow because

  1. the new soil does not contain favorable minerals
  2. most of the root hairs grip the new soil too hard
  3. most of the root hairs are lost during transplantation
  4. leaves get damaged during transplantation

Root hairs are extremely delicate, whether on a tree or a seedling. When transplanting young trees from a nursery to a woodland, damage to the roots and root hairs often leads to death of a tree. (Advanced Biology, Michael Kent, Page 279)

Hence Answer (C) (or debatable)

Desert Leaf

4. Which of the following leaf modifications occurs/occur in desert areas to inhibit water loss?

  1. Hard and waxy leaves
  2. Tiny leaves or no leaves
  3. Thorns instead of leaves

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3
  • Page 530 of Physical Geography by Savindra Singh – “The vegetation of hot desert climate is xerophytic type which has special characteristics to withstand very high rate of evaporation. They have long roots, thick barks, waxy leaves, thorns and little leaves.”
  • Also in Ch. 5 of NCERT 9th Std. Geo book (Page 46)

Hence Ans (D) all of above.


Ball bearings

1. Ball bearings are used in bicycles, cars, etc., because

  1. The actual area of contact between the wheel and axle is increased
  2. The effective area of contact between the wheel and axle is increased
  3. The effective area of contact between the wheel and axle is reduced
  4. None of the statements is correct
  • Friction is independent of surface area of contact. (Pearson Objective Physics For AIEEE page 77)
  • Rolling friction is smaller than the sliding friction, (therefore) sliding is replaced in most machines by rolling by the use of ball bearings. (NCERT Science, Class 8, Chapter 12, Page 153)
  • Therefore, answer (D) none of the statements is correct (or may be the debatable.)

Optical illusions

2. Consider the following phenomena:

  1. Size of the sun at dusk
  2. Colour of the sun at dawn
  3. Moon being visible at dawn
  4. Twinkle of stars in the sky
  5. Polestar being visible in the sky

Which of the above are optical illusions?

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 3, 4 and 5
  3. 1, 2 and 4
  4. 2, 3 and 5

TMH General Studies Manual, General Science > Physics, Page 25. Following things happen due to Atmospheric refraction

  1. When the sun or moon is near horizon, it appears elliptical i.e. with vertical diameter less than the horizontal diameter =>Statement #1 is correct.
  2. Twinkling of stars =>statement #4 is correct.

Hence answer must contain both #1 and #4. Eliminate the choices accordingly

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 3, 4 and 5
  3. 1, 2 and 4
  4. 2, 3 and 5

Thus we are left with answer C.


3. Rainbow is produced when sunlight falls on drops of rain.

Which of the following physical phenomena are responsible for this?

  1. Dispersion
  2. Refraction
  3. Internal reflection

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

NCERT Science Class 10, Chapter 11, Page 194

A rainbow is always formed in a direction opposite to that of the Sun. The water droplets act like small prisms. They refract and disperse the incident sunlight, then reflect it internally, and finally refract it again when it comes out of the raindrop Due to the dispersion of light and internal reflection, different colours reach the observer’s eye
Hence all 3 correct=>Answer (D)

Forces of Nature

4. The known forces of nature can be divided into four classes, viz, gravity, electromagnetism, weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force. with reference to them, which one of the following statements is not correct?

  1. Gravity is the strongest of the four
  2. Electromagnetism act only on particles with an electric charge
  3. Weak nuclear force causes radioactivity
  4. Strong nuclear force holds protons and nutrons inside the nuclear of an atom.

Refer to the table given on NCERT Physics Class11, Chapter1, Page 10

NameRelative strength
Gravitational force10-39
Weak nuclear force10-13
Electromagnetic force10-2
Strong nuclear force1
  • As you can see, Gravity is the weakest of them all. Hence statement #A is definitely incorrect
  • And the question wants us to identify the wrong statement, hence Answer = (A)

Higgs Boson

5. The efforts to detect the existence of Higgs boson particle have become frequent news in the recent past. What is /are the importance/importance of discovering this particle?

  1. It will enable us to understand as to why elementary particles have mass.
  2. It will enables us in the near future to develop the technology to transferring matter from one point to another without traversing the physical space between them.
  3. It will enable us to create better fuels for nuclear fission.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

The Higgs Boson gives idea on how each particle has mass. It doesn’t give better fuels for nuclear fission or for inter-space travel. (or atleast I did not find it on the internet.)

Ans: (A) (or perhaps C or D hahaha)

Only one topic remains: EnB answerkeys. They’ll be uploaded soon + thanks Mr. Shiva Ram and Mr. Siriyal Patel for inputs.

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books
  2. Environment by ShankarIAS
  3. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  4. Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania (Hindi | English)
  5. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  6. Bipin Chandra: Post Independence
  7. Fast-track to Arithmetic Rajesh Verma
  8. MK Pandey’s Analytical Reasoning
  9. Disha’s Topicwise Paperset (Hindi | English)
  10. School Atlas
  11. Mains: Language papers
  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha

So far 152 Comments posted

    1. Arjun

      Bro, isnt it one and the same thing….. 😛 😛

    2. pradeep km

      total internal reflection is associated with double rainbows

  1. ANU RAO

    friction is independent of surface is wrong bcoz friction is classifed lyk static, kinetic, rolling… static and kinetic friction are independent of surface area… but in this question the friction is rolling friction which is dependent on the surface area …. ALSO consider below statement
    “Ball bearings tend to have lower load capacity for their size than other kinds of rolling-element bearings due to the smaller contact area between the balls and races”

    PLEASE DONT GIVE WRONG ANSWERS AND CONFUSE ASPIRANTS …first get the difference between friction and rolling friction.

    1. Bhanu

      Its ok…rather than criticism look at the other ans…if u still dnt lyk ignore my comment….

    2. ram

      mrunal should consider blocking people like you.MORON,

  2. abhishek kumar srivastava

    hepatit B is not transmittedfrom one person to another.

    1. ram

      eliminate the wrong options and you would get the same answer.there is no other way

  3. Kinshuk

    Friction is indeed independent of the area of contact. In case of ball bearings, the contact with the surface is over a point and thus ideally, no friction develops. Answer to this is C.

    Friction develops when two surfaces come in contact. I hope you get it.

  4. prabhat upadhyay

    dear all..(specially engineers n mrunal)
    plz tell us if this concept of ball bearing n related frictions are applicable to
    “..CARS & ETC. ” too , in addition to bicycles (as given in the question)…!

    1. sachin

      yes cars also have ball bearing but with slight modification ,however they do the same job as in bicycles.
      The question aside , there is nothing as ‘rolling friction’. friction is of two types :either static or kinetic depending on whether the surfaces in contact are static or moving relative to each other.and they depend on the nature of surfaces and the load not on the contact surface area( at least not at the level of upsc). In fact in pure rolling the friction in play is static which is actually assisting in rolling . similarly if rolling with sliding takes place we have kinetic friction. If there was no friction rolling would not take place . for example : on wet roads the tyres skid as there is less friction . skidding is nothing but rolling with sliding.
      So why is the deflated tyre hard to roll than inflated? Nothing to do with increase or decrease in friction . The contact area in deflated tyres has increased so there is an opposing torque due to normal force (due to load) that has started to act. For example try to topple a cuboid instead of sliding it . It is difficult as there is a normal force acting at one of the edge (about which you r trying to topple) is greater than the normal force acting on the toppling edge . hence there is a kind of opposing toppling action that neutralizes your effort. Now try to topple a static top with a pointed end . you dont even need to topple it as it falls due to its own weight itself. the reason is as there is a point contact it is unable to counter the toppling efforts.
      So if you have a point contact it is easier to roll (which is like continuous toppling).
      The key idea is that friction Helps in rolling but opposes sliding! Increase in contact surface area makes it difficult to roll and does not do anything in case of sliding (if of course the load is constant) and the reason is Not friction.
      Just an interesting aside: why do we oil ball bearing if friction helps in rolling? The answer is that even though the ball need friction to roll between the two surface but they are also sliding along each other by being in contact. so oiling decrease friction between the balls but hardly affects the friction between the two surface of the axle and the one connected to wheel as the load is high enough to sufficiently increase the static friction required for rolling.
      If you have any doubts regarding this you can post it in the forum.
      All the best.



  6. Amit Singh

    2. Consider the following minerals

    Which of the minerals given above is/are required by human body for the contraction of muscles?

    1 only
    2 and 3 only
    1 and 3 only
    1, 2 and 3

    Answer- Only “Calcium” is required for muscle contraction, thus it is option “1 only”.

  7. rathod

    recombinant dna technology allows genes to be transferred from plants to animals and not from animals to plants.

    1. mandeep

      absolutely correct ……….. infact transfer of DNA from animal to plant is possible not by Recombinant DNA or rDNA but it is through cDNA technology

  8. ashish

    ball bearning ans is must B

  9. mathews

    moon visible at dawn is larger than its usual size..its an optical illusion..so, isnt “moon being visible at dawn” also an optical illusion?

    1. ram

      no buddy. visibilty cant be called as optical illusion.optical illusion is the phenomenon where due to refraction or reflction or through other ways of light interference the object appears to look different to our eyes.but it is actually same.i am just expaining it to you.its not the correct definition

  10. pranav

    Please post link for complete NIOS Science material.
    Plz do so for other subjects also.


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