[Answerkey] UPSC Prelim-2016: Polity, Science-Tech MCQs Solved with explanations for all CSAT Sets A, B, C and D

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  1. Science-Tech: Compared to Last year
    1. Road-ahead for Science-Tech preparation
    2. Sci-Tech: ICT related
    3. Sci-Tech: Space Mission
    4. Sci-Tech: Medicine Related
  2. Polity: Compared to last year
    1. Road ahead for Polity
    2. Polity: The Union & Parliament
    3. Polity: State and Local Administration 
    4. Polity: Yearbook and Misc. Type

Science-Tech: Compared to Last year

Polity Answerkey

Pattern mostly continued from last year
2015 (total 9 MCQs) 2016 (total 10 MCQs)
Medicine: three MCQs

  • Two MCQs on Virus: 1) H1N1 virus associated with ? (Ans. Swine Flu) 2) Ebola affected countries
  • 3) Nanotech in medicine
Medicine, Public Health: four MCQs

  • Virus-prem continues, this time asked: Virus can infect  (Ans. bacteria, fungi, plants)
  • What is transcriptome?
  • Two yearbook type MCQ: 1) Mission Indradhanush 2) Food safety- labelling
Space-Nuke-Physics tech:

  • 1 ISRO MCQ asked: Use of IRS satellites
  • 1 Non-ISRO type Space MCQ: Goldilock zones
  • 1 intl. collaboration research:  Ice-cube detector
Space-Nuke-Physics tech: focused towers factual / low-profile news items hence bit difficult.

  • 2 ISRO MCQs asked: Astrosat features, MARS Missions
  • 1 Non-ISRO type Space MCQ: Nasa’s GL-10
  • 1 intl. collaboration research MCQ:  Thermo-nuke experimental Reactor

  • What is near field comm. (NFC)
ICT prem-continues, albeit easy and straight forward questions:

  • Project loon (although “two mains old” topic)
  • Li-fi technology.

Not much point in comparing with CSAT-2014, because that year, mostly direct theory type questions from NCERTs and GS Manuals. So, in history culture, CSAT-2016 follows 2014 patterns but in science tech it follows 2015 pattern.

Road-ahead for Science-Tech preparation

  • From above table, we can see that weight and pattern wise, there is not much change between 2015 and 2016 papers. But the science tech portion looks tedious because 1) more time was spent in preparation of polity and geography 2) some of the questions are from low-profile/factual type news.
  • Although nothing asked from NCERT science-textbooks (except Virus Question). You should begin preparation from there- even for worst case it’ll come handy for SSC-CGL and state services exams.
  • TheHindu should form the ‘core’ for Science-Tech current preparation. Although beyond a point cost: benefit declines e.g. this time UPSC asked weigh of Astrosat; but not possible to memorize weight other dozen satellites for next year’s prelims!
  • Yojana and Kurukshetra should also come handy- but you’ve to read them ‘issue wise’. For example, this year May-2016 Kurukshetra had really good material on clean energy technology- for both prelims and mains. Similarly there is coverage of IPR, grassroot innovation, Ayush-Public healthcare etc. in either of the magazines at regular interval.

Sci-Tech: ICT related

10. ‘Project Loon’, sometimes seen in the news, is related to
(a) waste management technology
(b) wireless communication technology
(c) solar power production technology
(d) water conservation technology

Mrunal’s GS3 Mains-2014 revision article  – as you can see, this is two mains old topic. Not just in science-tech, practically in every topic they’ve done this- asking stuff that occurred one or two mains ago.

80. With reference to ‘Li-Fi’, recently in the news, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. It uses light as the medium for high-speed data transmission.
2. It is a wireless technology and is several times faster than ‘WiFi’.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

  • Li-fi gives data transfer rate of 10 gigabytes per second. So 1st statement is right.
  • Li-Fi device circulates data via LEDs that emit an intermittent flicker at a speed imperceptible to the human eye. So, 2nd statement also right.

Ref: theHindu  OR Indianexpress , Feb 2016.

Sci-Tech: Space Mission

22. What is ‘Greased Lightning-10 (GL-10)’, recently in the news?
(a) Electric plane tested by NASA
(b) Solar-powered two-seater aircraft designed by Japan
(c) Space observatory launched by China
(d) Reusable rocket designed by ISRO

May 2015: NASA has developed and successfully flight tested a battery-powered plane with 10 engines that can take off and land like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an aircraft, says theHindu. Tough question because It’s difficult to even memorize ISRO affairs for 6 months!

62. With reference to `Astrosat’, the astronomical observatory launched by India, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. Other than USA and Russia, India is the only country to have launched a similar observatory into space.
2. Astrosat is a 2000 kg satellite placed in an orbit at 1650 km above the surface of the Earth.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Its color photo is given in the backside of the last page of India Yearbook 2016, but description doesn’t contain the information we seek. Let’s check September 2015 TheHindu

  1. USA, Russia, Japan and Europe have such space observatories. Hence 1st statement wrong.
  2. Astosat weighs 1513 kgs. Hence 2nd statement also wrong.

Tough question due to factual orientation and since 2-TF (Two statement true false) hence even by elimination, difficult to arrive at correct answer.

54. India is an important member of the  ‘International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor’. If this experiment succeeds, what is the immediate advantage for India?
(a) It can use thorium in place of uranium for power generation
(b) It can attain a global role in satellite navigation
(c) It can drastically improve the efficiency of its fission reactors in power generation
(d) It can build fusion reactors for power generation

This was in news during June 2016, in context whether BREXIT would impact the funding of this project.
As such project started in 2006, to find whether Nuclear fusion can be a source of energy and electricity in future. Ref: Indianexpress, June 2016. Tough question, because as such it was a low profile news item.

66. Consider the following statements:
The Mangalyaan launched by ISRO
1. is also called the Mars Orbiter Mission
2. made India the second country to have a spacecraft orbit the Mars after USA
3. made India the only country to be successful in making its spacecraft orbit the Mars in its very first attempt
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

Statement 1 and 3 are right. As per Mrunal’s summary note on this topic
Second statement- whether only India and USA have spacecrafts orbiting mars? Answer is no. European Space Agency’s Mars Express (2003) has two components 1) Mars Orbiter 2) Beagle 2 Lander. Hence 2nd statement is wrong. Tough question because Mars Mission had peaked its utility by Mains-2014. After two years, if some actual information is asked- difficult to arrive at correct answer.

Sci-Tech: Medicine Related

6. In the context of the developments in Bioinformatics, the term ‘transcriptome’, sometimes seen in the news, refers to
(a) a range of enzymes used in genome editing
(b) the full range of mRNA molecules expressed by an organism
(c) the description of the mechanism of gene expression
(d) a mechanism of genetic mutations taking place in cells

As such most of us know that word transcription has something to do with “DNA/gene” but through gut-feeling it’s difficult to solve because answers given in options “B” and “C” are very close. Verbatim definition given in Textbook of Veterinary internal medicine– so option “B” is correct.
7. ‘Mission Indradhanush’ launched by the Government of India pertains to
(a) immunization of children and pregnant women
(b) construction of smart cities across the country
(c) India’s  own search for the Earth-like planets in outer space
(d) New Educational Policy
Science Answerkey UPSC
Mrunal’s Lecture BES166/P3: HRD-healthcare.
India Yearbook 2016, chapter 31 Diary of National Events- December 2014 section confirms.

9. With reference to pre-packaged items in India, it is mandatory to the manufacturer to put which of the following information on the main label, as per the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011?
1. List of ingredients including additives
2. Nutrition information
3. Recommendations, if any, made by the medical profession about the possibility of any allergic reactions
4. Vegetarian/non-vegetarian
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1, 2 and 4
(d) 1 and 4 only

According to official notification , Labels have to contains 1, 2 and 4- that much is confirmed. And since UPSC has not given any option on “All correct”. Hence answer C

34. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
Viruses can infect
1. bacteria
2. fungi
3. plants
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

  • NCERT Class 12 Biology Ch.6 page 101:  Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase (1952) worked with viruses that infect bacteria called bacteriophages. This eliminates “B”.
  • NCERT Class 8 Science Ch.2 Table 2.2 gives examples of Plant diseases caused by Virus. Therefore, Answer could be either “C” or “D”.
  • By gut-feeling, if virus can infect bacteria and plants, then fungi has no ‘aukaat’ to remain immune. Hence answer should be “D”.

Alternate approach: Tamilnadu stateboard class 11 Science textbook directly confirms:
According to the type of the host they infect, viruses are classified mainly into
the following four types.
1. Plant viruses including algal viruses-RNA/DNA
2.Animal viruses including human viruses-DNA/RNA
3.Fungal viruses(Mycoviruses)-ds RNA
4.Bacterial viruses (Bacteriophages) including cyanophages-DN
Hence answer “D”

Polity: Compared to last year

2015 (total 12 MCQs) 2016 (total 6 MCQs)
Questions from preamble, DPSP, fundamental rights. Nothing direct. Except Garima Abhiyaan (if you count that as sub-topic of Art.21)
Questions from Parliament- Bill passing
  • Continued. 1) prorogation and bill lapse 2) state list laws
State and local administration- 2 MCQs
  • Three MCQs- 1) Gram Nyayalaya 2) min. age for PRI, 3)Chief Secretary

Not much to analyze further because no. of MCQs are decreased. “XYZ topic in Polity” was in news but they did not ask…if I make a list like, may be it’ll run 5 pages long.

Road ahead for Polity

  • Although weightage is halved from 12 MCQs to just six MCQs, nonetheless Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth still should be used as ‘foundation’ for preparation of Constitution and polity – for all three stages of civil services exam.
  • Every once in a while, UPSC examiners get an ‘itch’ to ask things that are 2-5 mains old. 2016 is such example, They’ve asked random laws, NGO-movement type MCQs outside Laxmikanth but not much point in pursuing them, since cost: benefit is not that great (in terms of having synergy with CDS, CAPF, SSC-CGL, StatePSC- where polity – theory still continues to have good number of direct questions.)
  • For Mains-2016 Polity, Conventional wisdom suggest – put focuson Minority/Dalit Rights issue, referendum- BREXIT etc. topic which are in news.
  • Nowadays, Indianexpress runs “Explained / Simplified” type of articles – pertaining to Polity, IR and Science issues. While it may not possible to daily follow both theHindu and IE. But in IE, every once in a while, you can go through the “explained” section to see if any good maal has come esp. for mains. (Link: http://indianexpress.com/section/explained/)
  • Apart from that, PRSIndia.org because Mains-2015 direct question from one of the low-profile new item ordinance came- and that new had occurred hardly one month before exam.

Polity: The Union & Parliament

76. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. A Bill pending in the Lok Sabha lapses on its prorogation.
2. A Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha, which has not been passed by the Lok Sabha, shall not lapse on dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer- B

  • Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth Table 22.1: Statement 1 is wrong- prorogation doesn’t affect the bills of any other business pending before the house.
  • Same book, page 22.12 A bill pending in the Rajya Sabha but not passed by the Lok Sabha does not lapse. So, statement 2 is right.

70. The Parliament of India acquires the power to legislate on any item in the State List in the national interest if a resolution to that effect is passed by the
(a) Lok Sabha by a simple majority of its total membership
(b) Lok Sabha by a majority of not less than two-thirds of its total membership
(c) Rajya Sabha by a simple majority of its total membership
(d) Rajya Sabha by a majority of not less than two-thirds of its members present and voting

Answer- D

  • Reference- Page 14.3 Indian Polity by Laxmikanth- When Rajya Sabha Passes a Resolution If the Rajya Sabha declares that it is necessary in the national interest that Parliament should make laws on a matter in the State List, then the Parliament becomes competent to make laws on that matter. Such a resolution must be supported by two-thirds of the members present and voting.

Polity: State and Local Administration

75. Consider the following statements:
1. The minimum age prescribed for any person to be a member of Panchayat is 25 years.
2. A Panchayat reconstituted after premature dissolution continues only for the remainder period.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

  • Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth Page 34.10- Compulsory provision no. 5: minimum age is 21 years, to contest election in Panchayat. Therefore statement 1) is wrong.
  • 2nd statement is not clarified in Laxmikanth but Disha Publication’s Polity compendium page P-121 confirms. (Its ebook was available for free during offer period @Mrunal.org)
  • Another source: As such question has been directly picked up from the practice set paper of Governance in India – M.Laxmikanth- Practice test 10; page no. P10.3 and question no. 16.

100. Consider the following statements :
1. The Chief Secretary in a State is appointed by the Governor of that State.
2. The Chief Secretary in a State has a fixed tenure.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer- D

  • Chief secretary is chosen by CM, but has no fixed tenure. Ref: Reference- Page 6.10, Governance in India – M.Laxmikanth: fourth para stated or Public administration by Laxmikanth Page 513, chapter 11 state and district administration.
  • Therefore, Statement 2 is wrong- no fixed tenure.
  • As such, chief secretary is ‘chosen’ by CM. But he is ‘appointed’ by Governor. Because all the executive actions of the state are taken ‘by and in the name of the Governor.’ Therefore, Answer, (A) only 1.

Polity: Yearbook and Misc. Type

15. With reference to the ‘Gram Nyayalaya Act’, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. As per the Act, Gram Nyayalayas can hear only civil cases and not criminal cases.
2. The Act allows local social activists as mediators/reconciliators.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer- B

  • India Yearbook 2016 page 601, under heading Judiciary it says- Panchayat Courts also function in some states under various names like Nyaya Panchayat, Panchayat Adalat,  Gram Kachehri ,etc.,to decide civil and criminal disputes of  petty and local nature. That means first statement is wrong. (Original Act Section 11 also confirms)
  • 2nd statement is not given in Yearbook. Upon checking the text of the original Act- page 7, Point no.3: District court with consultation of DM, prepares panel of social workers to act as councilors. Hence 2nd statement is right.

Tough MCQ. Because difficult to proceed by elimination and minute detail asked from a low-profile act.

91. ‘Rashtriya Garima Abhiyaan’ is a national campaign to
(a) rehabilitate the homeless and destitute persons and provide them with suitable sources of livelihood
(b) release the sex workers from their practice and provide them with alternative sources of livelihood
(c) eradicate the practice of manual scavenging and rehabilitate the manual scavengers
(d) release the bonded labourers from their bondage and rehabilitate them

Answer- C
Rashtriya Garima Abhiyaan is an NGO-led movement for manual scavengers that was in news during 2012-13.   Tough question because factual info about an old-topic.
Now only last part remains in the GS1 Answerkey ie. Geography-Environment-Agriculture

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46 Comments on “[Answerkey] UPSC Prelim-2016: Polity, Science-Tech MCQs Solved with explanations for all CSAT Sets A, B, C and D”

  1. please suggest me best book for geography nd economic for IAS

    1. for geography ncerts from 6-12 are sufficient and mrunal videos and there is no point to refer any book for any economics,mrunal lectures are sufficient

  2. Regarding Q66.
    “Second statement- whether only India and USA have spacecrafts orbiting mars? Answer is no. European Space Agency’s Mars Express (2003) has two components 1) Mars Orbiter 2) Beagle 2 Lander. Hence 2nd statement is wrong.”

    Well ESA doesn’t belong to A COUNTRY. Europe is not A COUNTRY.
    Mrunal sir did u zoom in there?

    1. Sir
      Forget ESA, even if ESA is not considered, NASA and Soviet union have already achieved success in sending space probes in an orbit around Mars. Now some may say Sovet Union wasn’t a country too, as it was a union…… :)

  3. Sir, I think you need to see appointment order of chairman of any SPSC and any chief secretary, then you will understand diffrence between APPOINTMENT and IN THE NAME AND ORDER OF GOVERNOR.

  4. great .. thanks a tonne sir .. feels really good \,,/

  5. Kuldeep singh:
    esides the above administrativeofficers, the States have one more officerviz. Chief Secretary. The Chief Secretaryis the administrative head of the Stateadministration. He

    is, in many ways,the counter part, at the State level, of the Cabinet Secretary in the UnionGovernment. He is appointed by theChief Minister of the State fromamongst the senior Secretaries. Threefactors viz. seniority, service-record andconfidence of the Chief Minister, are themain considerations while selectinghim. Out of these three factors,ultimately the confidence of the Chief
    ###copy from old ncert on polity

  6. Sir, o strongly feel that the answer to Chief Secretary question will be D.

  7. Sir, I strongly feel that the answer to Chief Secretary question will be D.

  8. chief seceratrary appointed by cabinet , (appointed commitee by cabinet) . example in pib senior officers appointed by caninet.

    as per all services all officers has fixed tenures

    1. Manish refer Himachal pradesh appointment order of chief secretary (by governor) . Its available on wikipedia

    2. @Manish- for all practical purposes, appointment decisions are taken by the cabibet, it is they who recommend who are to be appointed. however, the official instrument of appointment has the signature of the Governor (i.e. the appointment letter of a Gazetted state government officer), since all executive decisions are taken in his name.

      1. 100% and 1 % right

      2. but you must pib about appointment of senior officers as home seceratrary . assent of president/governor only needed when mandate in constitution or statute. every decision taken on name governor does not means that he-she appointed the person.

        if needed then call me 8960818277

        1. @manish
          There is a difference between SELECTION and APPOINTEMNT
          The selection of any officer to the post of Chief Secretary (CS) is done by the state cabinet headed by the CM of a state..they recommend the appointment of CS to the governor of the state..their recommendation/advice is binding on the governor.. So the Appointment of any officer in the state is done by the governor of the state..the appointment letter of a Chief Secretary has the signature of the governor at the end and not that of the CM..thats why the governor in case of state (or president in case of centre) are known as mere RUBBER STAMP or DE JURE authority..hope this clarifies the doubt

  9. Sir,
    In Mars Orbiter question since European Space agency does not belong to any particular country India becomes second NATION right

  10. Chief secretary is selected by c.m but appointed by Governor….know the difference between selection and appointment dude…he has no fixed tenure..clearly given in indian governance by Laxmi kanth book…

  11. As per wikipedia, chief secretary is appointed by the AG of india.

    1. I think that you should be immediately conferred with Phd (Public Administration) and M Phil ( Public Administration).

  12. Best books for geo:
    Savindra Singh


  14. Qu 100 answer is wrongly written as “D” though the explanation says it as ” A”

  15. Supreme court judges are appointed by President, but in real time they are done on recommendation of SC Collegium. Similarly for UPSC members and other appointments also Govt recommends yet name of appointing authority is President. So please explain me how is it different for Chief Secretary. All executive functions are to be carried out in name of Governor. Rest UPSC will decide.

  16. The chief secretary is picked up by the chief minister of the state who consults the Union government regarding the appointment but this consultation is not binding. Likewise, the CM may consult the cabinet or his ministerial colleagues but the decision is his or her. It is a selection post, which means seniority cum merit criterion is applied in short listing and selecting the politically acceptable senior candidate.

    1. @khisal
      the question finally comes down to only 1 fact
      Who signs the appointment letter of a chief secretary?

      The answer to the above question is the right answer bcoz the person who signs the appointment letter becomes the appointing authority

  17. Now after seeing your explanation to chief secretary question i consider my option as correct with this i will get 114 and I hope that I will clear prelims….Thnx a lot mrunal bhai….😀😀

    1. Even i marked same. But in Rajasthan Board text book it is given that secretary is appointed by CM.

  18. Panchayat so constituted remains only for the remaining period…..

  19. Any one with political science optional
    plz suggest me books for psir optional

  20. What about Soviet Union? Thier missions did orbit MARS

  21. @Kunal Krishna

  22. The mangalyan question Looks easy but not easy because the word country changed the meaning of sentence ,I have checked the Wikipedia of Mars mission for orbit only two country USA and INDIA got success to reached the orbit of Mars and a European space agency which is not a country rather a agency of Europe although Russian agency tried many times for orbit but it’s not succeed.mrunal Bhai put some light on it

  23. Q75:
    1. The minimum age prescribed for any person to be a member of Panchayat is 25 years.
    2. A Panchayat reconstituted after premature dissolution continues only for the remainder period.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
    (a) 1 only
    (b) 2 only
    (c) Both 1 and 2
    (d) Neither 1 nor 2
    both statements are wrong so Ans: D (not B)

  24. No one can predict the exact answer until UPSC releases the key….no need to panic…just continue your mains preparation…

  25. Indian Public
    d edition)
    Ramesh k Arora
    and Rajni Goyal
    Chapter 18(The
    Chief Secretary and
    State Secretariat)
    Page no.-335-336
    Supreme Court of
    E. P. Royappa vs
    State Of Tamil
    Nadu & Anr on 23
    November, 1973
    RR The incumbent to the post of
    Chief Secretary is chosen by
    and appointed by the Chief
    Minister and the Ministers of
    the State. The trend is that the
    Chief Minister consults the
    Union Government regarding
    the appointment of the Chief
    Secretary but, this consultation
    is not obligatory.
    There is no fixed tenure for the
    post of Chief Secretary.
    Administrative reform
    commission in 1969 had
    recommended that a Chief
    secretary should have a
    minimum te

    1. It has been held that ministers are officers subordinate to the governor – Constitution (BK SHARMA)

      So even if CM with CoM Appoints, It is still the Guv appoints as all executive actions are taken by him

      The CM has vast patronage in appointing important posts in a state. Although such appointments are made by Governor but in actual practice they are nominees of CM- Indian Administration (H.Singh-Pearson)

      Ultimately statement 1 is right,

      All the CS appointment orders have “By the order of governor” written

  26. please let me know the possibilities of 110 – 112., OBC category.. For carious answer keys., checked mrunal bhai key too,,,,

  27. Bhai tum mains ki tyaari ache se karo aur tum cutoff paar kar chuke ho . Fikar Na kar…Cutoff will be a surprise my friend..

  28. Chief Secretaries are chosen by the state’s Chief Minister and appointed by the state’s Governor.

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