[Answerkey] CSAT-2014: Environment & Biodiversity, Common Myna, Crabs, Montreux Record, Brominated Retardants

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India Yearbook
  1. .vs CSAT 2013
  2. .vs other exams
  3. Difficulty level
  4. How to prepare Environment for CSAT-2015?
  5. [Act 1] Environment Theory (3MCQ)
    1. Q1: Photosynthesis
    2. Q2: Carbon cycle
    3. Q3: Soil Erosion
    4. Q4: Lichen succession
  6. [Act 2] Protected areas: Theory & Maps
    1. Q1: Conserving Biodiversity
    2. Q2: Eco-Sensitive Zones
    3. Q3: Sanctuary & Reserves
    4. Q4: Wetland locations
    5. Q5: Coral reefs in India
  7. [Act 3] Flora, Fauna, Zoology (6MCQ)
    1. Q1: Hibernation
    2. Q2: Crabs and Mites
    3. Q3: Marine Food chain
    4. Q4: Walk in Himalayas
    5. Q5: Common Myna
    6. Q6: Ganga Dolphins 
  8. [Act 4] Energy
    1. Q1: CBM & Shale Gas
    2. Q2: Guar Gum
    3. Q3: Solar cells
  9. [Act 5] Pollution
    1. Q1: Nanoparticles
    2. Q2: Steel Pollutants
    3. Q3: Brominated flame retardants
  10. [Act 6] Intl. treaties & org.
    1. Q1: Arctic council
    2. Q2: GEF
    3. Q3: Montreux Record
    4. Q4: Wetland organization
    5. Q5: Agreements for biodiversity
    6. Q6: 3-Degree temperature rise 
  11. [Act 7] Desi Liquor & bodies (2MCQ)
    1. Q1: Animal welfare board
    2. Q2: Bombay natural
  12. [Act 8] Annual events
    1. Q1: Earth Hour
    2. Q2: Tribal festival

.vs CSAT 2013

chart CSAT 2014 answerkey environment

Even the Joker is gone “Crazier than Usual” because nearly 1/3rd of the paper is just environment!

Some continuity but lot of change
CSAT 2013CSAT 2014
parks vs hills; parks vs riverswetlands vs rivers, sanctuaries vs states
endangered speciesThankfully that lunacy was not repeated. Hard to prepare, memorize and recall such large list.
find who’re mammalsfind who hibernates?
nitrogen cyclecarbon cycle
soil conversationtopic re-appeared
pollution: smogsteel industry + tough question on nanoparticles
food chain theorytopic re-appeared but with more difficult question
flora-fauna mostly about locationlocation + behavior (e.g. cattle-insect)
energy: bagasseshalegas, guargum
shale gas had become a hot topic but wasn’t asked.finally asked in both mains-2013 as well as CSAT-2014.
nopesignificant number of questions on international treaties and organization

.vs other exams

Some continuity but lot of change
CDS, CAPFCSAT 2014
CDS2014: nitrous oxide pollutionsteel and nanoparticle pollution
CDS2014: Difficult question on food chain/web about voles and lice.similar on diatom
CDS2014: Spider, scorpion, mite and bugsSpider, scorpion, mite and crabs
CAPF-2014: location of coral reefsimilar
CAPF-2014: wildlife sanctuary vs statesimilar
Nope.significant number of questions on international treaties and organization

Difficulty level

 

Environment Theory
1.PhotosynthesisEasy through elimination
2.Carbon cycleSame as above
3.LichenEasy because verbatim answer in NCERT class7.
4.Soil erosionEasy through elimination. Answer in NCERT

Protected areas: theory and maps

1.Conserving biodiversityEasy through elimination
2.Coral reefsEasy, answer in NIOS and India Yearbook.
3.Eco sensitive zoneMedium to Difficult. You needed to recall exact features.
4.Sanctuaries locationsHard to memorize and recall such lesser known / rarely in news places
5.Wetland locationHard to memorize and recall so many locations and rivers.

 

Flora, fauna, zoology
1.HibernationTough. NCERT class11 only talks about hibernation in frogs. Given the tendency of UPSC to frame trap MCQs, serious player would think twice before ticking.
2.CrabsSame as above.
3.Food chainDifficult because NIOS provides partial information- that diatoms are autotrophs and crustaceans are heterotrophs. But can’t tick without firmly knowing that herrings eat crustaceans.
4.Walk in HimalayaDebatable, because NCERT even mentions sandlewood in Himalayan foothills.
5.Myna birdHard to memorize behavior of all birds and animals like this.
6.Ganga dolphinEasy / Medium depending on “Crocodile” elimination

 

Energy
CMB and shalegasDifficult if you don’t know that shale gas has methane.
Guar gumEasy if you’ve read economic survey summary.
Solar cellEasy, available in NIOS.

 

Pollution related
1.Steel pollutantsEasy-medium using common-knowledge.
2.Flame retardantHard to locate source. Difficult to solve through “common knowledge” because it can turn wrong also.
3.NanoparticleSame as above

 

International treaties and org.
1.Arctic councilEasy if you’re good at memorizing the member lists.
2.GEFMedium to difficult.
3.MontreuxDifficult to recall such provisions. Bit easier through elimination.
4.Wetland org.Difficult to memorize all such chillar org.
5.Biodiversity agreement
  • Easy by “tukkebaazi” or gut-feeling that all three should be right.
  • Difficult, because real players avoid pushing luck like that. Because such tukkebaazi will work right in one question and fall wrong in three others!
6.3degree temp.
  • Easy by elimination of “Extreme” words
  • Difficult, because real players avoid pushing luck like that.

 

Desi bodies
1.Animal welfare
  • Easy verbatim given in India yearbook.
  • But Difficult- for those who don’t mugup such factoids
2.Bombay naturalTough to mugup all such chillar organizations.

 

Annual events
1.Tribal festivalHard to memorize such random facts and festivals.
2.Earth hourEasy because recurring topic in TheHindu and TV news.

How to prepare Environment for CSAT-2015?

  • In CSAT-2014, the number and difficulty level of environment questions increased, but they should be seen as “Back-strengthening moveTM” similar to agriculture section.
  • So, the normal “only-CSE-no-IFoS” type candidates will get diminishing rate of return, if they begin too much Ph.D on environment.
  • Besides the mains environment and disaster management segment moves in a different direction, rather than the flora-fauna-zoology and GK-type international treaties/organizations that were asked here.
  • Anyways, at least 6 of the questions could be solved directly from NCERT, NIOS and India yearbook chapter on environment.
  • So, Preparation must begin with NIOS material on environment. free download available at Mrunal.org/download
  • following NCERT chapters should be read
CLASSSUBJECTCHAPTERS
6geo8
7geo.1 to 6
science7, 16 to 18
8geo.8
sci.7 & 18
9geo5
science14
10Geo.2
sci.14 to 16
11geo(Physical)15 & 16
geo (India)4 & 5
economy9 (Sustainable Dvlp)
12Biology13 to 16
chemistry14
  • Above NCERTs’ Topic wise zip file also available in the download section. Additional Zoology/biology/science NCERT chapters also available there.
  • India Yearbook  (don’t buy now, wait for 2015’s edition to come, after December ‘14)
    • Chapter 1- land and people (geography)
    • Chapter 11- Energy
    • Chapter 12- Environment.
  • Economy Survey topics related to energy and sustainable development.
  • Notes-making from Hindu, Frontline, PIB etc. news sources in similar fashion.
  • official site for Environment ministry: envfor.nic.in
  • Mrunal.org environment section- Mainly for treaty summaries and other static topics.
  • Erach Bharucha’s textbook on environmental studies: good read but there is lot of overlapping with NIOS and coverage is rather shallow for the given level of questions asked. So, lot double “majoori”.

Anyways, let’s begin with the answerkey:

[Act 1] Environment Theory (3MCQ)

Q1: Photosynthesis

Which one of the following is the process involved in photosynthesis?

  1. Potential energy is released to form free energy
  2. Free energy is converted into potential energy and stored
  3. Food is oxidized to release carbon dioxide and water
  4. Oxygen is taken, and carbon dioxide and water vapour are given out

Ans: Just by elimination we get the option (B).

However for the sake of reference: googlebook1: During photosynthesis, solar energy converted to chemical energy and stored in sugar molecule bonds. This chemical bond energy is potential (stored) energy.

Q2: Carbon cycle

Which of the following adds/add carbon dioxide to the carbon cycle on the planet Earth?

  1. Volcanic action
  2. Respiration
  3. Photosynthesis
  4. Decay of organic matter

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Ans: Again elimination does most of the work.

  • Photosynthesis does not add, instead it ‘sucks’ out the carbon dioxide. This eliminates option A and D. Volcanic action releases CO2 in the atmosphere. So including 1.
  • We have the final answer as (c ) 1, 2 and 4 only.
  • And Just for the sake of proof: google book1: fig.2.5 “global carbon cycle involves a complex interplay of geological processes such as volcanic activity.”

Q3: Soil Erosion

1. In India, the problem of soil erosion is associated with which of the following?

  1. Terrace cultivation
  2. Deforestation
  3. Tropical climate

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

NCERT Geography class10, chapter 1 page 11: Terrace Cultivation helps reduce soil erosion. So, problem of soil erosion is not associated with terrace cultivation. #1 is wrong, option A, C and D automatically eliminated and we are left with answer (B) only 2.

Counter view: but still, the “term” is still associated with soil-erosion.

final answer: my take is still B. baaki UPSC maalik hai.

Q4: Lichen succession

Lichens, which are capable of initiating ecological succession even on a bare rock, are actually a symbiotic association of

  1. algae and bacteria
  2. algae and fungi
  3. bacteria and fungi
  4. fungi and mosses

Ans: (b) because NCERT 7th Std, chapter 1, Page 7

In organisms called lichens, a chlorophyll-containing partner, which is an alga, and a fungus live together fungus provides shelter, water and minerals to the alga and, in return, the alga provides food which it prepares by photosynthesis.

[Act 2] Protected areas: Theory & Maps

Q1: Conserving Biodiversity

The most important strategy for the conservation of biodiversity together with traditional human life is the establishment of

  1. biosphere reserves
  2. botanical gardens
  3. national parks
  4. wildlife sanctuaries

Ans:

  • B is wrong because People don’t live in botanical gardens with plants.
  • C is wrong because in national park, human activity is totally prohibited.
  • D: wildlife sanctuaries- human activity is partially allowed.
  • But “A” is better choice, because,
    • as per Forest ministry guideline:  “Biosphere Reserves are special entities (sites) for …how human beings and nature can co-exist while respecting each other’s needs”
    • India yearbook page 287: Biosphere reserve- goal is to foster economic Development which is ecologically sustainable.
    • NIOS material: module-5,page 15:  transition zone, the outermost part of the Biosphere Reserve, is an area of active cooperation between the management and the local people, wherein activities like settlements, cropping, forestry , recreation and other economic that are in harmony with the conservation goals

Q2: Eco-Sensitive Zones

With reference to ‘Eco-Sensitive Zones’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. Eco-Sensitive Zones are the areas that are declared under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  2. The purpose of the declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zones is to prohibit all kinds of human activities, in those zones except agriculture.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: D both wrong as per Environment ministry webpage

  • 1 is wrong. It is declared under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • 2 is wrong. Tourism and other activities allowed. observe this gazette notification page 17, it permits cottage industries, erection of telecom and electricity wires, tourism, hot-air balloons and so on.

Q3: Sanctuary & Reserves

 Consider the following pairs

  1. Dampa Tiger Reserve : Mizoram
  2. Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary : Sikkim
  3. Saramati Peak : Nagaland

Which of the above pairs is /are correctly matched?

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

Ans: (c) 1 and 3 only because:

  • 1 is correct. Spectrum Geography Page 636 Table Tiger reserve states.
  • 2 is wrong. It is in Tripura. Ref1
  • 3 is correct. India Yearbook 2014, Page 1003. Mt. Saramati is the highest peak in Nagaland

Q4: Wetland locations

Consider the following pairs
WetlandsConfluence of rivers
1. Harike WetlandsBeas and Satluj/Sutlej
2. Keoladeo Ghana National ParkBanas and Chambal
3. Kolleru LakeConfluence of Musi and Krishna

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

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

Ans: (a) 1 only because

  • 1 is correct. (ref1)
  • 2 is wrong. It is formed by inundation of Gambira and Banganga rivers. (Ref2)
  • 3 is wrong. It is confluence of Godavari and Krishna (Ref3)

Q5: Coral reefs in India

Which of the following have coral reefs?

  1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  2. Gulf of Kutch
  3. Gulf of Mannar
  4. Sunderbans

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Answer is (a) 1,2,3 only, because

  • NIOS Chapter 15, page 10: Major reef formations in Indian seas occur in the Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay , Gulf of Kutch, the  Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep.
  • India Yearbook 2014. Pg 287 says the same thing.

[Act 3] Flora, Fauna, Zoology (6MCQ)

Q1: Hibernation

1. Consider the following:

  1. Bats
  2. Bears
  3. Rodents

The phenomenon of hibernation can be observed in which of the above kinds of animals?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. Hibernation cannot be observed in any of the above

Ans: ( c ) 1,2,3 because as per national geographic

  1. Bats hibernate
  2. Bears hibernate
  3. Rodent hibernate.

Q2: Crabs and Mites

Among the following organisms, which one does not belong to the class of other three?

  1. Crab
  2. Mite
  3. Scorpion
  4. Spider

Ans:

Mite, Scorpion and mite are Arachnids, while Crab is a Crustacean, Therefore, Crab doesn’t belong hence answer (A)

Q3: Marine Food chain

Which one of the following is the correct sequence of a food chain?

  1. Diatoms-Crustaceans-Herrings
  2. Crustaceans-Diatoms-Herrings
  3. Diatoms-Herrings-Crustaceans
  4. Crustaceans-Herrings-Diatoms

NIOS chapter 5, page 80

  • It lists Diatoms under primary producers / autotrophs.
  • Same page, lists Crustaceans as consumers / heterotrophs.
  • therefore, answer has to be either
    • A: Diatom, Crustaceans, herrings OR
    • C: Diatoms, herrings, crustaceans.
  • So, everything boils down to whether herrings eat crustaceans or not?
  • As per this American Government website, Herrings feed on Crustaceans.
  • Therefore correct sequence is (A): Diatoms-Crustaceans-Herrings.
  • Interestingly, same question asked in IES 2009 paper.

Q4: Walk in Himalayas

If you travel through the Himalayas, you are Likely to see which of the following plants naturally growing there?

  1. Oak
  2. Rhododendron
  3. Sandalwood

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

NCERT Class 11 India Physical, ch5, page60

  • Oak and Rhododendron given under “Himalayan region”. So 1 and 2 are correct
  • we are  left with two choices A or D
now begins the debate war
Ans. D all correct becauseAns.A only 1 and 2 because
  • Same NCERT chapter: Sandalwood is found in Moist Decidous forests found in the northeastern states along the foothills of Himalayas.
  • So 3 also correct.
but the presence is ‘negligible’ and / or confined only to Northeastern states. The question says “likely” to see….so it should be a species that is easily seen in all regions of Himalayas from western to eastern stretch.

Final answer: I’m leaned towards A but ultimately UPSC’s official answer key.

Q5: Common Myna

If you walk through countryside, you are likely to see some birds stalking alongside the cattle to seize the insects, disturbed by their movement through grasses, Which of the following is/are such bird/birds?

  1. Painted Stork
  2. Common Myna
  3. Black-necked Crane

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 3 only
Painted Storkis a fish eating bird. So 1 is eliminated. (Google book)
Common MynaIt is an opportunistic feeder on inspects, disturbed by grazing cattle. Ref:Zoology jounrla, Prof. Yash Pal Sharma 2014.
Black-necked crane
  • Found in Trans-himalayan region (NIOS ch.15 page 10)
  • Only found in Arunanchal Pradesh and Ladakh (WWF).
  • So we are unlikely to find it while walking through “country side” in all states and places.
  • I did not find any specific link that specifically says black crane eats “insects disturbed by cattle”.

Therefore, answer (b) 2 only

Q6: Ganga Dolphins

Other than poaching, what are the possible reasons for the decline in the population of Ganges River Dolphins?

  1. Construction of dams and barrages on rivers
  2. Increase in the population of crocodiles in rivers
  3. Getting trapped in fishing nets accidentally
  4. Use of synthetic fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals in crop-fields in the vicinity of rivers

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

1,3,4 are correct as per wwf and Environment ministry press note.

Could not locate a source that says Crocodiles/ghariyal killing Ganges dolphins or giving competition for their food in Ganga. Therefore, answer (c).

[Act 4] Energy

Q1: CBM & Shale Gas

With reference to two non-conventional energy sources called ‘coal bed methane’ and ‘shale gas’, consider the following ‘statements:

  1. Coal bed methane is the pure methane gas extracted from coal seams, while shale gas is a mixture of propane and butane only that can be extracted from fine-grained sedimentary rocks.
  2. In India abundant coal bed methane sources exist, but so far no shale gas sources have been found.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (d) neither 1 nor 2 because

Q2: Guar Gum

In India, cluster bean (Guar) is traditionally used as a vegetable or animal feed, but recently the cultivation of this has assumed significance. Which one of the following statements is correct in this context?

  1. The oil extracted from seeds is used in the manufacture of biodegradable plastics
  2. The gum made from its seeds is used in the extraction of shale gas
  3. The leaf extract of this plant has the properties of anti-histamines
  4. It is a source of high quality biodiesel

Ans: (b) For extraction of Shale gas. Mrunal’s summary of Economic survey chapter11

Q3: Solar cells

With reference to technologies for solar power production, consider the following statemenrs:

  1. ‘Photovoltaics’ is a technology that generates electricity by direct conversion of light into electricity, while ‘Solar Thermal’ is a technology that utilizes the Sun’s rays to generate heat which is further used in electricity generation process.
  2. Photovoltaics generates Alternating Current (AC), while Solar Thermal generates Direct Current (DC).
  3. India has manufacturing base for Solar Thermal technology, but not for Photovoltaics.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. None
Checking statement 1
Photovoltaic
  • NIOS Chapter 29B, page 117: Sunlight energizes and causes electrons in the photovoltaic semiconductor to flow , creating an electrical current.
  • NCERT class12, chapter 14 semiconductors, page 486: Photovoltaic devices convert optional radiation into electricity.
Solar thermal
  • NIOS chapter 29B, page 116: Several solar thermal systems can collect and transform radiant energy received from the sun into high temperature thermal (heat) energy , which can be used directly or converted into electricity.
  • So, statement 1 is right. That means answer can be A or C.
  • Statement 2 is wrong. NIOS ch.29B, page 117. Solar energy can be converted directly into electrical energy (direct current, DC) by photovoltaic (PV) cells commonly called solar cells. This eliminates C. Therefore, answer is A
  • and yes, Statement 3 is wrong. NIOS ch18, page73. Currently many companies in India are engaged in manufacturing PVs.

Final answer: A only 1.

[Act 5] Pollution

Q1: Nanoparticles

There is some concern regarding the nanoparticles of some chemical elements that are used by the industry in the manufacture of various products. Why?

  1. They can accumulate in the environment, and contaminate water and soil.
  2. They can enter the food chains.
  3. They can trigger the production of free radicals.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Ans. D: 1, 2 and 3 correct because:

  • Statement 1 right, as per page 69 Google book1
  • Statement 2 right, as per the diagram and footnote given on page70 of the same google book 1
  • 3 correct per Googlebook2: Page 74 and 75.

Q2: Steel Pollutants

Which of the following are some important pollutants released by steel industry in India?

  1. Oxides of sulphur
  2. Oxides of nitrogen
  3. Carbon monoxide
  4. Carbon dioxide

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Ans: (d) 1,2,3,4 because this international labour organization webpage lists all of them

Q3: Brominated flame retardants

Brominated flame retardants are used in many household products like mattresses and upholstery. Why is there some concern about their use?

  1. They are highly resistant to degradation in the environment.
  2. They are able to accumulate in humans and animals.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (c ) Both 1 and 2 because As per USA’s Environmental protection agency webpage

  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used as flame retardants
  • They’re persistent, bio-accumulative, and toxic to both humans and the environment.

[Act 6] Intl. treaties & org.

Q1: Arctic council

Consider the following countries:

  1. Denmark
  2. Japan
  3. Russian Federation
  4. United Kingdom
  5. United States of America

Which of the above are the members of the ‘Arctic Council ‘?

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

As per official webpage The Arctic Council consists of the eight Arctic States: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. So, Japan and UK not members, eliminate options accordingly. Ans: (d) 1,3,5. By the way, last year, India got observer status a year back.

Q2: GEF

With reference to ‘Global Environment Facility’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It serves as financial mechanism for ‘Convention on Biological Diversity’ and ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’.
  2. It undertakes scientific research on environmental issues at global level
  3. It is an agency under OECD to facilitate the transfer of technology and funds to underdeveloped countries with specific aim to protect their environment.
  4. Both (a) and (b)

Answer is A because

  • As per this official webpage, statement 1 is right
  • While B is tempting, but it’s not “direct scientific research” per se. Their task is mainly to finance the projects and publication of reports.
  • I couldn’t find locate a source that specifically says GEF =scientific research at global level. Therefore, B and D is eliminated.
  • It is a program under World Bank, therefore, C is wrong.

Therefore, answer A (or the debatable D)

Q3: Montreux Record

If a wetland of international importance is brought under the ‘Montreux Record’, what does it imply?

  1. Changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur in the wetland as a result of human interference.
  2. The country in which the wetland is located should enact a law to prohibit any human activity within five kilo meters from the edge of the wetland
  3. The survival of the wetland depends on the cultural practices and traditions of certain communities living in its vicinity and therefore the cultural diversity therein should not be destroyed
  4. It is given the status of ‘World Heritage Site’

Ans: As per the 11th slide in this powerpoint uploaded on the official site of Convention on biodiversity

  • Under Ramsar sites=> Montreux record is the record of Ramsar siets where Changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur in the wetland as a result of human interference.
  • Therefore, answer is (A)

Alternatively, we can use elimination method too:

  • B is not correct as we have sites in Montreux accord and there is no legislation to prohibit any human activity.
  • C is not correct as Cultural diversity is not related to environment directly. It has links here and there, but it is not a direct objective of any treaty.
  • D is not correct as World Heritage site comes under UNESCO.
  • Therefore, we are  left with answer A

Q4: Wetland organization

With reference to a conservation organization called Wetlands International’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It is an intergovernmental organization formed by the countries which are signatories to Ramsar Convention.
  2. It works at the field level to develop and mobilize knowledge, and use the practical experience to advocate for better policies.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Statement 1 is wrong because:

  • This organization is in partnership but not formed by Ramsar convention. The organization was formed in 1954 and Ramsar convention was signed in 1971.  ref1 and ref 2.
  • Statement 2 is right because it provides advice to governments. ref3

Therefore, answer (B) only 2 is correct.

Q5: Agreements for biodiversity

Consider the following international agreements:

  1. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
  2. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
  3. The World Heritage Convention

Which of the above has / have a bearing on the biodiversity?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only,
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2. and 3
1 is trueArticle 6 of the treaty on Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources has this clause “pursuing fair agricultural policies that promote… use of agricultural biological diversity”
2 is trueUNCCD collaborates closely with Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) . So, UNCCD has a bearing on Biodiversity. ref2
3According to this googlebook: there are five conventions in biodiversity and natural heritage- and World Heritage Convention (1972) is one of them

Therefore, answer (D) all three correct.

Q6: 3-Degree temperature rise

The scientific view is that the increase in global temperature should not exceed 2 °C above pre-industrial level. If the global temperature increases beyond 3°C above the pre-industrial level, what can be its possible impact/impacts on the world?

  1. Terrestrial biosphere tends toward a net carbon source
  2. Widespread coral mortality will occur.
  3. All the global wetlands will permanently disappear.
  4. Cultivation of cereals will not be possible anywhere in the world.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

This seems to be from some old IPCC report. Unable to locate exact repot but indirect references are available, as following:

  • 4 is wrong because, as per this UK sarkaari website, beyond 3 degree rise in global temperature, the cereal crop yield will decrease by 20% in low-altitudes. So, 4 is wrong because it says “cultivation no where possible”. This eliminates C and D. thus we are left with A or B
  • 2 is correct, ref googlebook1.
  • Therefore, answer is B. 1 and 2 only.
  • By the way, 1 is correct, ref googlebook2.

Alternatively you can go by elimination- statement 3 and 4 have to be wrong because they use extreme possibilities like “All will disappear” and “cultivation no where possible”. Thus we are left with answer (B) 1 and 2 only.

[Act 7] Desi Liquor & bodies (2MCQ)

Q1: Animal welfare board

Consider the following statements:

  1. Animal Welfare Board of India is established under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  2. National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body.
  3. National Ganga River Basin Authority is chaired by the Prime Minister.

Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?

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

Ans: (b) 2 and 3 only because

  • India Yearbook 2014 Pg:29A- Animal Welfare Board was established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960  So, 1 is wrong, A and D eliminated. Answer could be B or C.
  • India Yearbook 2014 Pg:682- NGRBA chaired by PM is correct. Thus we are left with answer B.
  • Btw, yes Tiger Authority is a statutory body under Wildlife protection Act ref: this PIB page

Q2: Bombay natural

With reference to Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), consider the following statements :

  1. It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
  2. It strives to conserve nature through action-based research, education and public awareness.
  3. It organizes and conducts nature trails and camps for the general public.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

As per their official webpage

  • BNHS is designated as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO) by Department of Science & Technology. So 1 is wrong
  • 2 and 3 are correct as per the same webpage
  • Therefore, answer C: 2 and 3 only

[Act 8] Annual events

Q1: Earth Hour

Consider the following statements regarding ‘Earth Hour’

  1. It is an initiative of UNEP and UNESCO.
  2. It is a movement in which the participants switch off the lights for one hour on a certain day every year.
  3. It is a movement to raise the awareness about the climate change and the need to save the planet.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

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

As per May 2014 Hindu report 

  • It’s a symbolic global initiative by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). So 1 is wrong, A and D eliminated.
  • Other two are correct as per the same report.

Therefore, answer (C) 2 and 3 are correct.

Q2: Tribal festival

Every year, a month long ecologically important campaign/festival is held during which certain communities/ tribes plant saplings of fruit-bearing trees. Which of the following are such communities/tribes?

  1. Bhutia and Lepcha
  2. Gond and Korku
  3. lrula and Toda
  4. Sahariya and Agariya

Ans: (b) Gond and Korku as per Hindu 2012 news item.

For more answerkeys, visit Mrunal.org/answerkeys.

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 266 Comments posted

  1. bheemanna

    Happy teachers day

  2. siddhartha

    Sir,

    Happy Teachers Day!!!!
    You are the real teacher who in real sense is selflessly serving most needy students of this nation..
    we are lucky to have u as our teacher..
    May God bless you Sir

  3. Indian@87

    gurubrahma, guruvishnu, guruddevo,maheswaraha,gurusakshaat, parabrahma, tasmein,Sree Gurubhyonamaha

  4. rohit

    happy teachers day mrunal sir ….I and many others cant thank u enough ……..but thank you

  5. Anurag Pundir

    Hi Mrunal Sir,
    First of all Happy Teacher’s Day.!!

    Sir, please solve the problem. Few days back I got whole bunch of old NCERT books from Delhi. I have been reading one by one. Now I have to start Political science. Here what I notice is there are two books of political science in my package.

    1. Political Science- An Introduction for class 11
    2. Political Science- Key concepts and theories for class 12.

    But my internet research says there are 4 books of NCERT for class 11 and 12.

    1. Indian Constitution at work for class 11
    2. Political Theory for class 11
    2. Contemporary world politics for class 12
    4. Politics in India since independence for class 12

    Please resolve the query, what should I read.

    I request anyone who is reading the comment please help me and suggest.

    Thanks,
    Anurag Pundir

    1. Yuvraj

      eliminate your former two options and just stick with the last 4 options or your internet research material.

      Thank You

  6. GIRISH SHARMA

    Sir,
    Regarding GEF,please search STAP initiative,you will find environmental research work done by GEF.

    1. deepali

      nopes.stap,only gives advice.it dsnt do research itself.

      1. Girish Sharma

        To all those who are saying that GEF does not undertake scientific research: Please type on google Global Environment facility environment research,you will find number of sites showing institutes working under GEF for doing research. Though GEF is a financial institute for financing conventions support,it establishes institute in nations for capacity building and undertake research activities. You can even find by typing GEF research initiatives in India.

  7. SAM

    Happy Teachers Day Sir.. and Wish You a Long and Lovely Life.

  8. anurodhan

    dearest mrunal sir…ist of ol we are realy lucky and proud to have a mentor..a guide like you…d odr thing is that today many of student communities along wid odrs were watchin n listening to pm modi address …but we were very eager to have sum comments or evn one fm ur side sir…but u might b bsy….but we r n we vl b waitin to see sum stuf posted for us fm ua side…..
    with high hopes we are leavn dis cmnt with whole hearted wish A HAPPY TEACHR DAY….WE OL LOVE U MRUNAL SIR…..:-*
    hearted

  9. anur

    dearest mrunal sir…ist of ol we are realy lucky and proud to have a mentor..a guide like you…d odr thing is that today many of student communities along wid odrs were watchin n listening to pm modi address …but we were very eager to have sum comments or evn one fm ur side sir…but u might b bsy….but we r n we vl b waitin to see sum stuf posted for us fm ua side…..
    with high hopes we are leavn dis cmnt with whole hearted wish A HAPPY TEACHR DAY….WE OL LOVE U MRUNAL SIR…..:-* d

  10. Anurag Pundir

    Hi All,

    please solve the problem. Few days back I got whole bunch of old NCERT books from Delhi. I have been reading one by one. Now I have to start Political science. Here what I notice is there are two books of political science in my package.

    1. Political Science- An Introduction for class 11
    2. Political Science- Key concepts and theories for class 12.

    But my internet research says there are 4 books of NCERT for class 11 and 12.

    1. Indian Constitution at work for class 11
    2. Political Theory for class 11
    2. Contemporary world politics for class 12
    4. Politics in India since independence for class 12

    Please resolve the query, what should I read.

    I request anyone who is reading the comment please help me and suggest.

    Thanks,
    Anurag Pundir

    1. sudhanshu

      concentrate mainly on INDIAN CONSTITUTION AT WORK …..FOR prelims

    2. raj

      u can always download ncert text books from the official website.check it over there.gdluck.

  11. Satya

    Q3-marine food chain
    Sir i am preparing for ESE(ies)
    U gave a link-
    IES 2009 paper
    &
    Link is

    http://www.upsc.gov.in/questionpaper/engg2009/GAT.pdf
    Sir this link is showing paper
    But main upsc site only shows papers from 2011
    HELP ME
    so that i can get other years papers & answer keys if possible
    Really needed
    Provide other links or process PLEASE

  12. krishna kumar chaurasia

    Sir, please help , hum hindi walo ka. Hamera kya ho ga takure.please tell me about material.

  13. SK

    Sir which software you use to make diagrams like this.

  14. IAS aspirant

    To all those who are saying that GEF does not undertake scientific research: Please type on google Global Environment facility environment research,you will find number of sites showing institutes working under GEF for doing research. Though GEF is a financial institute for financing conventions support,it establishes institute in nations for capacity building and undertake research activities. You can even find by typing GEF research initiatives in India.

  15. ashok

    bombay natural history society was asked because Dr verad giri who found dwarf gecko species is associated with this organization..

  16. Praveensingh Jaitawat

    What is expected date for result of pre 2014 civil service exam?

  17. KISHOR

    SIR I HAVE DONE BSc(COMP SCIENCE) AND STUDIED STATISTICS IN FIRST YEAR
    ALSO I HAVE STUDIED MATHS IN 12(SCIENCE 64 MARKS IM MATHS)
    AM I ELIGIBLE FOR STATICAL INVESTIGATOR POST OF SSC CGL 2014.

  18. Rannsa

    hi…………. please tell me name of books for mains exam (botany subject)……..like.. genetics and biotechnology topics…..

  19. rannsa

    hi………… koi IFoS ki cutoff k itna jaa sakta h…… koi idea h…… saathiyo

  20. akash singh

    sir when will resume the article series

  21. jack

    undertake=to commit oneself to a resposibility=in hindi….bira uthana……….question says gef undertakes research…now see
    statement=govt of india undertakes modernisation of airports in india
    1) govt of india contracted out the job to a private company say from australia….modernisation took place..
    now govt of india undertakes the task of skill development……govt can hire some private org, to impart skill…along with its own agencies…
    2) above cases—–govt. accomplished the task …without necessarily involving its own agencies.
    3)can we say that a)govt did’nt undertake modernisation of airport b)govt did’nt undertake task of skill development—-BCOZ………its own agencies are not involved……..

  22. Manal

    Hello Sir,

    I have gone through your entire site, its awsome, great collection and analysis by you.
    Its like blessing to students.

  23. anonymous

    lichens represent symbiotic relationship between
    algae and fungi
    bacteria and fungi
    algae and higher plants
    bacteria and higher plants

    a question of IES 2013 exam

  24. lal

    Wanted to share a minor observation, though it provides an effective way to arrive at a suitable answer based on your common knowledge.

    This is regarding the ‘common mayna’ question. The option c can be easily eliminated even if one knows the fact that it is included in the list of endangered species (which a serious player must know). And if it so, it is NOT possible to see such birds ‘commonly’ along the country side. (the question indicates its a common sight)

    Ref: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=68417

  25. Anirudh

    sir .. can you please guide..

    Is the whole material of NIOS for envt. is important or some specific chapters we need to focus on ..for CSAT …

    1. Amar

      Sir, same question as @Anirudh. Are there any specific areas that can be concentrated on as part of Environment & Bio-Div prep. Please suggsest.

      Thank you,
      Amar

  26. lohith bathina

    sir..is it better to finish geography first and den go for environment or v can directly start environment n ecology??…i am asking from understanding perspective..

  27. naveen B T

    Started reading NCERT 12th Biology. chapter 13th has some reference to “hibernation” question asked in CSAT-14. It cleary mentions bears do hibernate.

  28. Revathi

    @MRUNAL.. my day feels so good when my prep starts with u.. 🙂 Thank you sir for all your effort. Really appreciate your passion! 🙂

  29. DR。SUBHASH

    Provide question in hindi

  30. manisha rawal

    sir i am reading your guidelines about ncert related to environment topics…there is 12 chemistry mentioned but chapter no. 14…niether found in chem part 1 nor in chem part 2….
    sir plz elaborate some more about chemistry book

  31. Vishnu Shiva

    Sir,
    One thing i want to tell you.Clearing of IAS or CDS is not my concern now.The effort you made for such wonderful break up and break down these portions with great utmost dedication and sincerity is the most hats off respect i can give you sir. Thankyou once again for the wonderful effort..

    For you Ill clear my exam…Ill Sir…Its my word..my first attempt..preparation started 2 months back… bUt ill

  32. sandy

    act1,,,,q3,,,,,,no logic of counter question as Terrace Cultivation helps reduce soil erosion and in question it is asked problem of soil erosion is associated with ,,,,here’ problem’ is the key word as the thing which reduces soil erosion cannot be a problem ,,,,kindly rectify it mrunal

  33. vivek yadav

    if anybody have environment by shankar ias academy in pdf format. please send link.

  34. S

    @ Vivek yadav
    Not PDF
    But someone sent me the photos of book…
    It may create issues…
    Otherwise I would have post the link.
    Ask someone you know, you’ll surely get. 😉

    1. vivek yadav

      @s thanks ,but no one around me here accept this incredible mrunal n people like u.god bless u n best of luck for upsc.

  35. S

    @ Vivek yadav
    Hint : ask any one who is from p*pu… you know anyone’s email I’d?
    Otherwise I’ll try. But generally when we post such links it shows ” your comment… moderating”…
    So!

    Hope you’ll get it…
    Or use nios material it’s good but vast.

    Good luck. 🙂

  36. ram

    pls mail it to jevliya.ram (gmail)

  37. S

    @vivek
    How are you bro…… Let me ask you….
    ….
    Story Padh ni hai?
    Yeh vali padh

    “Adhoori lv story- shahrukh saifi.”

    Google it. Plz

    1. vivek yadav

      @s downloaded file bro,thaks for yr suggetion,indo ki zindagi me ab kaun si story baaki hai,love marriage,sucessfull carrier,kids everything,inka mukabala hum diljao se kaha….

  38. S

    @vivek
    So you got it?
    Tukde-tukde jod liye na?
    Download it. And study well… 🙂

    1. vivek yadav

      @s yup dost,if u have any strategy for preliams,plz share .m highly obliged.

  39. s

    Go to the same site.. You’ll get it in “recent comments” part.. I’ve wriiten there.. ………..
    … I was used to visit that site when I was in fy/sy and had nothing to do…. If you can’t get there Then google… Parents or lv kartik story. .. You plz reply there. OK. Bye.

    1. vivek yadav

      thanks bro.check there.

  40. arunkumar

    Mrunal Sir has added 8th chapter of 8th standard geography, in the NCERT to be read list. But that NCERT has only 6 chapters. Was that a mistake? Please help. Preparing 4 prelims.

  41. Harpreet

    Hello i am perparing upsc civil service exam from last year by self study . I did not gain any success . i feel very lonely because i can n’t share my feeling with anyone in my village be coz they cann’t understand this .so its my humble request to u my friends please help me by sharing study material and tips for preparation with me ….

  42. p.singh

    Sir mai do attempt me fail ho chuke hu and now samjhme ni ata Kaise kya karu,sir mai gav belong karte hu ,kaise work karu ki success ho jau,sir mere sadi bhi fix ho chuke h,sir mai apne dream ko Kaiser b pura karna change hu Kaiser kya karu,plz plz plz… Help me.

  43. p.singh

    Plz sir help me.

  44. Harsh Gupta

    Sir…can u suggest me that I have recently done my B.pharmacy and I also don’t ve strong financial background…but I want to go for prep. Of UPSC…so how can I prepare for upsc…

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