1. Polity and History
  2. Economy & Yearbook (Schemes)
  3. Geography
  4. Science Tech
  5. Sports & Misc. GK
  6. RCPassage: Bride Prices in China (3 MCQ)

Polity and History

Q. The Bhima-Koregaon battle was fought between _ _ _ ?

  1. East India company vs Peshwa Nana Saheb
  2. East India company vs Raja Gangadharrao Newalkar of Jhansi
  3. Peshwa Baji Rao-II vs the alliance of Holkar, Scindias and Bhonsles
  4. East India company vs Peshwa Baji Rao-II

HINT: Koregaon village on the banks of Bhima river near Pune. On January 1, 1818 East India company including soldiers of the Mahar community fought against the army of Peshwa Bajirao II. Topic is in news because 2018 marks 200 years of this event, and Maratha and Dalit communities have clashed over celebration of this event in Maharashtra. Speaking of notable Maratha wars for competitive exams:

  • 1761: Ahmad Shah Abdali defeated Marathas in the Third Battle of Panipat.
  • 1775-82: Warren Hastings defeated Marathas in First Anglo-Maratha War, leading to Treaty of Salbai
  • 1803-1805: Wellesley defeated Marathas in Second Anglo-Maratha War leading to Treaty of Deogaon.
  • 1817-1819: Marquee of Hastings defeated Marathas in Third Anglo-Maratha War, which was the final blow to their empire.

The sanitized “New NCERTs” tend to ignore most of the battles and violence in history. But for Non-IAS exams, such GK is sometimes asked. For this purpose, You may refer to Tamilnadu’s Class 11 and 12 History textbooks (available in English). Click me for Free Download.

Q. Wilkinson’s rule (1837) is associated with?

  1. Revenue waivers given to certain castes loyal to the British in the Bombay province.
  2. Preference to certain ‘martial castes’ in the recruitment and promotions in British Indian army.
  3. Set of guidelines to district magistrates in while assessing vernacular press articles for sedition.
  4. Various administrative and judicial rights conferred to certain tribes in Singhbhum region.

HINT: Topic is in news because demands of separate statehood for Kolhan. Sir Thomas Wilkinson was the British agent responsible for Kolhan region in Wester Singhbhum / Jharkhand.

Q. On 31/12/2017, a draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published in India. Find correct statement(s) about it:

  1. While Census falls under the purview of Registrar General of India, NRC falls under the purview of UIDAI.
  2. If a person has Aadhar card, his name is automatically included in the NRC database of the given state.
  3. Assam is the only state in India to have such an NRC register.
  4. All of above.

HINT: The overall superintendence, direction and control of the updation of National Register of Citizens are vested with the Registrar General of India. Assam was the only state to prepare an NRC way back in 1951 during post-Partition migration problem. 2005: SC ordered government to update NRC and publish atleast first draft by 31/12/2017. To get your name in NRC of Assam, you’ve link yourself to a family member whose name had appeared either in the NRC of 1951, or to any of the Assam’s electoral rolls prepared till 1971. So, having Aadhar card give your no automatic privilege in NRC.

Q. What was the objective of “Assam Accord” which was signed during the era of PM Rajiv Gandhi?

  1. Declaration of temporary ceasefire with ULFA and other insurgent groups in Assam.
  2. Devolution of administrative and financial powers to the district tribal councils in Assam.
  3. Settlement of border dispute between W.Bengal and Assam.
  4. Action against illegal immigrants.

HINT: Topic in news due to release of draft National Register of Citizens (NRC). In 1985, Assam Accord was signed between Government of India and the representatives of Assam Movement, with following provisions:

  • Foreigners who had entered Assam between 1951 and 1961 were to be given full citizenship including the right to vote.
  • Those who entered between 1961 and 1971 were to be denied voting rights for ten years but would enjoy remaining rights of citizenship.
  • Foreigners who came to Assam after 1971 were to be deported.

Q. Government of India has permitted Muslim women to go on Haj-pilgrimage without “Mehram”. What is the meaning of this word?

  1. It’s name of the lottery process system for selecting Haj-subsidy beneficiary.
  2. A patriarchal purification process for women before undertaking Haj.
  3. A special type of tax to be paid to the King of Saudi Arabia for the administration of Mecca and Madina.
  4. Father, brother, son or similar male member of the family.

HINT: Under this reform, Indian Muslim women pilgrims over the age of 45 can undertake the Haj pilgrimage in groups of at least four. They don’t need to be accompanied by their husband or first blood male relative or male guardian.

Q. Under the Child and adolescent labour (prohibition and regulation) act 1986:

  1. Children below the age of 14 years can’t be employed in any industry.
  2. Adolescent of 14-18 years can be employed but not in hazardous industries.
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2.

HINT: For faster revision, both statements are correct. Topic in news because Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has urged UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to summon a high-level meeting of the various UN bodies to achieve the global commitment of eradication of child labour by 2025.

Q. In 2018-January, Government of India issued guidelines for electoral bonds. Find correct statements:

  1. Under Budget-2017: A political party can receive maximum Rs. 2,000 in cash donation from a one person. Any higher amount has to be paid via cash-less methods such as cheque, NEFT/RTGS, Electoral Bonds etc.
  2. Only Indian citizens and companies incorporated in India can buy Electoral Bonds.
  3. To purchase Electoral bonds, buyer must fulfill KYC norms and make payment via bank account only. But Electoral bonds don’t carry name of the buyer.
  4. Electoral Bonds can be purchased only from SBI, and in the multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore.
  5. Buyer has to donate Electoral bond to a political party within 15 days of purchase, else their validity will expire.
  6. Buyer can donate Electoral bond only to a registered political party which has secured at least 1 per cent vote in last Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha election.
  7. Recipient political party can encash bonds only via authorized banks.
  8. Electoral bonds are short-term promissory notes. They don’t carry not interest rate, they can’t be traded in secondary market.
  9. All of the above

HINT: Electoral bonds were announced in Budget-2017- Watch my video. All statements are correct for faster revision. I could split above factoids into 10 MCQs to drag the [T25] series and to milk daily pageviews, like Director Asit Modi is doing in the TV Show Tarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashma. But then it’ll be a disservice to the aspirants.

Q. Find correct pair(s) of interlocutors appointed by the Government of India

  1. ULFA: A.B.Mathur, Retd IPS, formerly worked in R&AW
  2. J&K: Dineshwar Sharma, Retd IPS, formerly worked in Intelligence Bureau (IB)
  3. Naga peace talks: R.N.Ravi, Retd. IPS
  4. All of the above.

HINT: Topic is in news because ULFA interlocutor announced in 208-January. All pairs are correctly matched for faster revision, although these type of MCQs are more relevant for CAPF and ACIO exams, than for IAS exam. However, those giving IPS as ‘first preference’ in their DAF can have few more points to justify in interview. Although, don’t fall in the trap question that IPS is automatically the best candidate for NSA job. Read my interview tips for more on this!

Economy & Yearbook (Schemes)

Q. Who among the following decides the interest rates on small savings schemes in India?

  1. Reserve Bank of India
  2. Indian Post
  3. Department of Economic Affairs
  4. Department of Financial Services.

HINT: Topic in news because government has reduced the interest rates by 0.2% on Small savings schemes for Jan-March 2018. To understand the basics of small savings schemes, and to find the correct answer, Watch my lecture.

Q. Which among the following has become the first gulf-country to introduce Value Added Tax (VAT) from 1/1/2018?

  1. Bahrain
  2. Oman
  3. Qatar
  4. Saudi Arabia

HINT: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar have delayed the plans to introduce VAT till 2019. But, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have introduced VAT from 1/1/2018. Saudi Arabia had been a “tax-free” country which financed its budget and welfare programs mostly using oil exports. But given the fall in crude oil prices viz a viz rising public debt, they decided to introduced VAT.

Q. Find correct statements about “Pencil” webportal (pencil.gov.in) of the Union government:

  1. It’s run by Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  2. It provides e-learning material to improve the maths and reading skills of primary school children.
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2.

HINT: Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour (PENCIL: pencil.gov.in) Portal was launched in September 2017 by Ministry of labour ministry and employment. Complaints about child-labour can be filled on this portal. In the name of faster revision, I can’t put correct statements all the time!

Q. Match the following projects meant for bringing down the digital divide in India

  1. Bharatnet project: Union government’s project to connect all Gram Sabha with broadband.
  2. PMG-DISHA project: Union government’s project to impart digital literacy to rural Indians.
  3. Fibergrid project: Andhra Pradesh government’s project to provide triple play services – [television channels, rent-free telephone and 15mbps internet] to every household a nominal price.
  4. All of the above.

HINT: For faster revision, I’ve kept all pairs correctly matched. Topic in news because Andhra Pradesh project inaugurated in 2017-December by the President of India. From the earlier rounds of [T25], you should also remember that Project DARPAN = Rural post offices, UMANG app is for various government services.

Q. Find correct pairs: Name of scheme vs State vs feature

  1. Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana: Madhya Pradesh. Govt partially reimburses the farmer for the loss he occurred on selling produce to the private trader. (2017, October)
  2. Kisan Pathshala: Uttar Pradesh. Agriculture education camps for farmers, mainly to prevent overuse of chemical inputs and to improve farm productivity. (2017, December)
  3. Bal Doctor (Kid Doctor): Gujarat. Primary School students will equipped with stethoscope, apron and ayurvedic medicines to be given to their classmates. (2018, January)

Answer Codes:

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. All of them

HINT: All pairs are correctly matched. Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana is in news because after loss of seats in Gujarat Vidhan Sabha election due to farmers’ discontent, Modi thinking of launching this type of scheme at all India level in Budget-2018. Even NITI Ayog’s 3 year document proposed similar concept called Price Deficiency Payment (PDP)- Read my summary for more. While State schemes are usually not asked in UPSC prelims but for Mains-GSM2 and interview, you need to keep abreast with a few state schemes to illustrate cooperative federalism / competitive federalism and how states are coming with their unique schemes thanks to greater devolution under 14th Finance Commission.

Geography and Environment

Q. Find the correct Pair(s)

  1. Chenani-Nashri tunnel: At present, India’s longest road tunnel connecting Jammu to Srinagar (9.2 kms)
  2. Zojila Pass tunnel: Once finished this will become India’s longest road tunnel, connecting Srinagar to Leh. (14.2kms)
  3. Pir Punjal tunnel: India’s longest rail tunnel, connects Qazigund (Kashmir) with Banihal (Jammu)
  4. All of the above.

HINT: Topic in news because Union Cabinet approved Zojila Pass tunnel project in 2018-January. All pairs correctly matched for faster revision.

Q. Dhola-Sadiya bridge is India’s longest road bridge (9.15 kms) connecting _ _ state to _ _ state over the _ _ river.

  1. Goa, Maharashtra, Mahadayi river
  2. Assam, Nagaland, Barak Obama river
  3. Assam, Arunanchal Pradesh, Lohit river
  4. Assam, Arunanchal Pradesh, Dibang river

HINT: For Prelim-2018, one should be prepared with current affairs atleast upto last one calendar year i.e. January 2017 onwards. This topic was in news during 2017-May. Lohit river is a tributary of the Brahmaputra. The said bridge connects Assam (Dhola village & Sadia town) to eastern Arunachal Pradesh. Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai (3.55 kms) is now India’s second largest river bridge.

Q. Ghogha-Dahej RO-RO ferry service is first of its kind project in entire South Asia to transport men and vehicles using ferry boats. Which two places does it connect?

  1. It connects Kutch region with Saurashtra region over the Gulf of Kutch.
  2. It connects Saurashtra region with Southern Gujarat over the Gulf of Cambay.
  3. It connects Pirotan Island with Peninsular Saurashtra via the Gulf of Kutch.
  4. It connects West Bengal to Mizoram using sea route through Bay of Bengal and then inland Kalandan river route through Myanmar.

HINT: It connects Ghogha (Bhavnagar district in Saurashtra region) to Dahej in (Bharuch district in Southern Gujarat) over the gulf of Cambay / Khambhat. PM Modi Inaugurated in 2017-October. Another associated project with this same region is “Kalpsar project” which aims to build dam and road connecting these two places.

Science Tech

Q. 1st January 2018 marks the 125th birth anniversary of Prof. Satyendra Nath Bose. Find correct statement(s) about him:

  1. He was a contemporary of Albert Einstein.
  2. His primary area of research was Quantum physics.
  3. For the discovery of BOSON particles, he was awarded Nobel prize for Physics.

Answer Codes:

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. All of them

HINT: The highest award Prof. Bose got was Padma Vibhushan. On a related note: Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan: 22 / 12 / 2012 marked 125th birth anniversary, “The man who knew infinity” is a movie based on Ramanujan’s life, who was born in Tamilnadu, and was contemporary of English mathematician GH Hardy. “The Imitation Game” is the biographic movie on the life of British mathematician Alan Turing who decrypted Nazi Enigma codes using a prototype of modern computer, hence Turing is called Father of Computers. Every BE/MCA should memorize these 3-4 scientists, associated movies and theories for the graduation based questions during interviews. Read this compilation for more.

Q. Which of the following is known as the “Fifth State” of matter?

  1. Plasma
  2. Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)
  3. BOSON
  4. Higgs-BOSON

HINT: State of the matter: 1) Solid 2) Liquid 3) Gas 4) Plasma 5) BEC.

Q. Find correct statements about Human papillomavirus (HPV)

  1. It causes cervical cancer in female, but no cancer in male.
  2. HPV vaccines can be administered only on females above the age of 18.
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

HINT: HPV Cervical cancer is growing menace in rural India due to low sanitation and hygiene. HPV viruses cause penile cancer in men, and cervical cancer in women. HPV vaccine is given to girls aged 9-13 years, before they become sexually active. While Punjab and Delhi Government already begun this exercise, but one Swadesh Jagran Manch group has recommended PM Modi not to launch it at all India level, because the said vaccines made by foreign companies are ineffective against preventing HPV cancer.

Q. Find correct abbreviation pairs:

  1. CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access
  2. GSM: Global System for Mobiles
  3. VoLTE: Voice over Long-Term Evolution
  4. all of the above.

HINT: Unlimited free calls in jio4G works on VoLTE technology wherein voice is carried through data network. Topic in news because Vodafone will also launch this service from 2018-January. I’ve kept all abbreviation correct- for faster revision. This type of Computer abbreviation MCQs are more important for non-UPSC exams, particularly UGC-NET compulsory Paper-1 which explicitly mentions Computer-awareness ICT as a syllabus topic.
Bhima-Koregaon battle

Sports & Misc. GK

More relevant for Non-IAS exams.

Q. Who among the following has won the World rapid chess championship held at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 2017- December?

  1. Magnus Carlsen, Norway
  2. Vidit Gujrathi, Maharashtra
  3. P.Harikrishna, Andhra Pradesh
  4. Viswanathan Anand, Tamilnadu.

HINT: ‘Sultan’ is a movie about an aged wrestler returning to the ring to redeem himself wearing a tiny black-chaddi which will be worn again by his younger brother in a TV serial on Gama Pehlwan to save production costs. If they were to make a similar biopic on V.Anand, this Riyadh tournament could be used as the climax. Premature to comment whether V.Gujarathi or P.Harikrishna have the capacity to fill in Anand’s shoes, or trousers.

Q. Find correct matches:

  1. National Children Science Congress – 2017: Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  2. Indian Science Congress – 2018: Imphal, Manipur
  3. National Youth Festival 2018: Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
  4. All of above

HINT: Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) organizes the ISC. Originally they had planned 2018’s event at Osmania University, Hyderabad. But due to the fear of student-unrest, they decided to shift it to Manipur. Department of Science Technology organizes Children congress- and it was done in A’bad in Dec-2017. Youth festival is organized annually by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS)-original plan was to do it in Jaipur but then shifted to Noida.

RC Comprehension Passage: Bride Prices in China (3 MCQ)

So far we’ve done 22 MCQs. Now to reach the magical number of 25, I’ll just frame an RC passage with 3 MCQs for UPSC Prelim IAS/IPS CSAT Paper-2.

Whereas India has dowries, China has bride prices. The groom’s parents, not the bride’s, are expected to pay for the wedding and give money and property to the couple. In Shandong province, the bride prices have shot up by 100 times in last decade. Driven partly by China’s now-abandoned one-child policy and ultrasound scans, there were 119 boys under five years old for every 100 girls in 2007. Although, boys and men are slightly more likely to die, so by the time they reach reproductive age the number of men and women should be roughly equal, but that has not happened.

Moreover, not all Shandong girls hang around awaiting marriage proposals from local boys- many of them leave for the great metropolises in search of work and boyfriends. Besides, as China becomes more mobile, patrilocal customs are breaking down- Married couples often live far from their aged parents. Still, China has a sky-high household saving rate: 38% of disposable income. Parents add another storey to their houses, not because they need the space to impress the bride. They start saving early, and still go into debt before marriage to their sons to buy gold jewellery and pay for extravagant wedding photo shoots. (~200 words)

Q. According to the passage, the imbalance in the sex ratio of adults in the Shandong province is a result of:

  1. Migration to metropolitans
  2. Sex selective abortion due to high bride prices
  3. Low mortality rate of adolescent boys.

Answer codes

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. All of them

HINT: Abortion is happening yes, but it is NOT due to bride price, because unlike Indian dowry- this is paid by groom’s family- and it has been constantly rising, so infact a poor family should have more motivation to produce girls! Eliminate accordingly.

Q.According to the passage, the relationship between rising bride price and rising household savings rate is:

  1. Coincidental
  2. Confounding / Confusing.
  3. Negatively Correlated
  4. Causal

HINT: Negative correlation is when “A” is rising, then “B” is falling (and vice versa). Causal relation is when the change in “A” is causing change in “B”. So, read the passage carefully- it’s a causal relation.

Q. From the passage, it can be inferred that:

  1. Low sex ratio could result into epidemic of prostitution, rape, abduction and human trafficking in the Shandong province.
  2. The families of Shandong province could begin ‘import’ of brides from poor families of Vietnam and Thailand.
  3. For rural Chinese families, sons are becoming more of an economic burdens than an old age security.
  4. All of the above.

HINT: While 1 and 2 sound logically valid from the news stories of certain Indian states, but we’ve to infer from the content given the passage itself, but passage gives no indication of crime rate or immigration. Read the statement” “…begin saving early, and still go into debt before marriage.” Combine this with last line ‘married couples live far from aged parents’. So, it shows that sons are proving to be economic burden.