1. Economy
  2. History and Polity
  3. International Relation
  4. Environment
  5. Science-Tech and ICT
  6. Sports and Defense
  7. Comprehension For CSAT-2: Chittal (4 MCQ)


Q. SEBI appointed Narayan Murthy panel has made recommendations on Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) in 2018-January. Which of the following are example(s) of AIF in India?

  1. National Investment and Infrastructure Fund
  2. Angel Funds
  3. Social Venture Funds

Answer Codes:

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

HINT: All of them are correct examples. I thought of framing more technical MCQ like What is Murthy’s recommendation about tax-pass through effect or application of securities transaction tax, or even the classification of three types of AIF. But as explained in my financial market lecture : SEBI/sharemarket related MCQs are not regularly asked in UPSC, and even there technical MCQs are rare and the strike rate is poor (i.e. you having heard of a given topic and correctly remembering its answer.) Hence no point in dwelling deeper.

Q. RBI is soon to launch a new Rs 10 notes in the Mahatma Gandhi series with Chocolate brown color. Find correct statement(s) about its features:

  1. It’ll have Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait on the obverse side and Sun Temple of Modhera-Gujarat on its reverse side.
  2. It’s made up of plastic.
  3. It’ll have a Swachh Bharat logo on the reverse side.

Answer Codes:

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. Only 3

HINT: It’s tempting to think that since both PM Modi and RBI Governor Urjit Patel have roots in Gujarat so it’d be Modhera’s Sun temple, but this paper currency note is going to have Chariot wheel of Odisha’s Konark Sun temple. Only third statement is right. The existing 10 rupee note features images of the country’s fauna – rhinoceros, elephant and tiger. For more GK related to currency notes for Banking exams, Watch my Lecture.

History and Polity

Q. Find correct statement(s) about Mahamastakabhisheka of Lord Gomateshwara Bahubali at Shravanabelagola, Karnataka in February-2018:

  1. Lord Gomateshwara Bahubali was the son of the first Jain Tirthankar Rishabhnatha.
  2. Like Allahabad Kumbh Mela, it is organized once every 12 years.
  3. Like Like Allahabad Kumbh Mela, it is recognized as Intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO.

Answer Codes:

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

HINT: In Prelim-2017, UPSC asked about Manipuri Sankirtan which is in the UNESCO list. (Read full list here– for any possible questions in future!) Both Kumbh and Mahamastakabhisheka are held at the interval of twelve years.

Q. Find incorrect pairs:

  1. Sumitra Mahajan: First female speaker of Lok Sabha
  2. Indu Malhotra: First female judge in the Supreme court of India
  3. Nirmala Sitharaman: First female to hold Defence portfolio in Union cabinet.

Answer Codes:

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

HINT: Meira Kumar (Kripya Baith Jayiye) was the first female speaker of LS (2009). Indira Gandhi held defense portfolio for sometime, while she was PM. Justice M. Fathima Beevi was the first female judge of SC (1989). But if it’s asked Who is the first female to become SC judge directly from lawyer (and not through promotion from HC judge)? then Indu Malhotra is right.

Q. From July 2018 onwards, an Aadhar card can be authenticated using:

  1. Fingerprint or Iris scan
  2. Facial recognition in exceptional cases.
  3. One Time password (OTP) on registered mobile number.
  4. All of the above.

HINT: Traditionally, Aadhar card can be authenticated using 1,2 and 4. but sometimes there is difficulty on using fingerprint or iris scan on account of old age, hardwork or medical condition (amputee or blind etc.) Hence facial recognition permitted, but it has to be combined with any of the 1, 2 or 4.

Q. UIDAI has introduced a new concept of ‘Virtual ID’ W.E.F. 1st June 2018. Find correct statement(s)

  1. It’s meant for those who don’t want to give their original Aadhar number to protect their privacy.
  2. Like Aadhar number, this virtual ID too will be a 12 digit number.
  3. If person is giving Virtual ID to an agency (say mobile company), he/she will not have to authenticate it with fingerprint, iris, or OTP.
  4. All of the above.

HINT: Virtual ID will be a random 16-digit number. Authentication of an aadhar / its virtual ID will still require fingerprint, iris or OTP.

Q. What is the primary motive(s) behind the concept of “Office of Profit”?

  1. To prevent horse-trading during “no confidence motion”.
  2. To prevent corruption by the members of legislature.
  3. Ensuring independence of legislature from executive.

Answer Codes:

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

HINT: To prevent horse-trading, there is Anti-defection law. To prevent corruption, there is Prevention of corruption act. The concept of office of profit evolved from England where king would try to influence the MPs by offering them posts in the royal factories and estates. But this type of temptation harms the independence of legislature from the executive. Yes, ban on office of profit also deters 1 and 2, but the primary and ‘grand’ motive is only 3.

Q. Find correct statement(s) about Office of Profit and Parliamentary Secretaries.

  1. In UK, Parliamentary Secretaries are appointed to represent ministers in a house where minister is not a member.
  2. In India, Parliamentary Secretaries’ are selected and appointed by the PM/CM and their oath is administered by the respective President or Governor.
  3. Chief Election commissioner’s has the powers to recommend disqualification of MP/MLAs enjoying office of profit, but President of India is not bound to accept it everytime.
  4. All of the above.

HINT: Parliamentary Secretary’s oath is also administered by respective PM/CM. CEC’s advisory binding to the President on office of profit. Article 103(1) of Constitution says that if any question arises as to whether a member of either House of Parliament has become subject to any of the disqualifications, the question shall be referred for the decision of the President and his decision shall be final. Article 103(2): (But) Before giving any decision on any such question, the President shall obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and shall act according to such opinion. “SHALL” = President is bound by EC’s advise. This topic is in news because Election Commission of India recommended to President disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs who enjoyed “Office of Profit” because of their position as “Parliamentary Secretaries” of Delhi government.

International Relation

Q. Find correct statement(s) about Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD):

  1. It’s organized by Ministry of overseas Indians’ affairs (MOIA).
  2. It’s organized on 9th January, to commemorate Gandhi’s return from S.Africa to Bombay in 1915.
  3. 2018’s Main-PBD was held at Bengaluru, Karnataka while Regional-PBD was held at Singapore.
  4. All of the above

2016: MOIA dissolved with Ministry of external affairs (MEA), hence 3 is wrong. 2015 onwards: PM Modi converted PBD into “biennial” event i.e. grand festival every second year, and every intervening year only a small affair in India, and regional PBD in foreign country. 2017: Main-PBD at Bengaluru. 2018: Regional PBD at Singapore to celebrate 25 years of ASEAN partnership.

Q. Government of India has decided to give passports with orange colored covers. These specially colored passports are meant for:

  1. Diplomats
  2. Officials representation government of India on official business.
  3. All the ordinary citizens of India.
  4. Low educated Indian workers emigrating to certain foreign countries

HINT: first have Maroon colored passport, second have white colored passport. Indian citizens by default have navy-blue colored. But, When an India with low education and poor socio-economic background is emigrating to Afghanistan, Thailand or Middle East for work, he has to obtain an ‘Emigration Clearance’ from the office of the Protector of Emigrants (POE). This is to ensure he doesn’t get exploited by unscrupulous job-agents or employers. Earlier the default “navy colored passport” used to have this information : emigration clearance required or not required. But now, orange colored passport will be given to this workers, for faster processing. Though experts believe this will lead to further exploitation as foreign employer will know that worker is coming from poor socio-economic background. Hence controversy. You can read more in IndianExpress’s Explained series on this link.


Q. The government of Australia has announced culling of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) in 2018-January. Why?

  1. They’re poisonous, get washed down to the shore & discourse beach tourists.
  2. These starfishes prey upon certain fishes which are important for Australian marine-food industry.
  3. These star-fishes eat coral reefs. Their population has proliferated due to pollution and agricultural run-off.
  4. None of the above

HINT: Coral-eating starfish are naturally occurring but have proliferated due to pollution and agricultural run-off at the struggling reef. According to researchers, these starfishes account for 50% of the damage occurred to Great Barrier reef in last 27 years. Hence Government announced culling.

Q. Find correct statement(s) about Mahadayi river which originates from Western Ghats in Karnataka:

  1. This river is known as Mandovi in Karnataka and Mahadayi in Goa.
  2. It’s the longest river of both Goa and Karnataka.
  3. It forms Dudhsagar falls in Goa.
  4. All of the above

HINT: Mandovi in Goa, Mahadayi in Karnataka. Longest River of Goa is Zuari. Dudhsagar is right. Topic in news because of the water-sharing dispute between Goa and Karnataka.

Starfish Culling

Q. Find incorrect statement(s) about Myristica swamps:

  1. Myristica trees are the most primitive flowering plants on earth.
  2. Like Mangrove swamps, they’re saltwater swamps.
  3. In India, Myristica swamps are found only in Goa and Kerala.

Answer Codes:

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

HINT: Topic in news because if Karnataka constructs dam / diverts the Mahadayi river then salt-water may intrude in the Myristica swamps of Goa, thus harming biodiversity. These are fresh water swamps found in Karnataka, Goa and Kerala. Myristicaceae is a primitive family of flowering plants. Don’t loose sleep if you can’t solve such MCQ, because UPSC is expected to frame a few such ‘crazy / technical’ questions on environment and forestry to test the IFoS questions. The civil service aspirants are not expected to know all these answers.

Q. “Conflict of Interest: My journey through India’s green movement” (2017) is a book written by noted Indian environmentalist:

  1. Rajendra K. Pachauri, former chief of IPCC and recipient of Nobel Peace Prize with Al-Gore.
  2. Sunita Narain, chief of Centre for Science and Environment and editor of the magazine Down to Earth.
  3. Rajendra Singh, “the waterman of India” who won also Stockholm Water Prize, an award known as “the Nobel Prize for water”, in 2015.
  4. Sunderlal Bahuguna, the leader of Chipko movement.

HINT: Author is a female.

Q. In India, some states are supplying power to farmers free of cost, but only for a few hours; and some states are giving 24-hour power supply but for a price. Which of the following has become India’s only state which begun supplying power to farmers round the clock free of cost WEF 1/1/2018?

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Tamilnadu
  3. Karnataka
  4. Telengana

HINT: Geographically the smallest of above states. This development has irked environmentalists because they fear some reckless farmers will overexploit groundwater, thereby increasing fluoride contamination.

Q. In December-2017, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) released a concept note called “SRISTI”, it pertains to:

  1. Promoting Biomass gasifiers for electricity generation, soil rejuvenation and rural transformation for sustainable development.
  2. Skill and training programs for Engineers / ITI diploma-wallas to make them employable in the renewable sector.
  3. Corporate social responsibility funding to solar projects and sustainable development.
  4. Grid connected rooftop solar power centres.

HINT: SRISTI: Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India. No point in dwelling in the salient features of the ‘concept note’, because it’s still a concept note. Let the scheme be finalized after stakeholders’ inputs. [कुछ उम्मीदवार बेफिजूल में ही PHD करने लग जाते है.]

Science-Tech and ICT

Q. Find correct pairs:

  1. Brahmagupta: The mathematician who found zero and negative numbers.
  2. Aryabhatta: Area of triangle
  3. Varahamihira: moon rotates around the earth and the earth rotates around the sun
  4. All of the above

HINT: All correctly matched as per NIOS Culture book page 215, and NCERT Class6 Mathematics. Topic in news after Rajasthan’s Education minister said Brahmgupta had discovered gravity long before Newton. Brahmagupta was a 7th century Indian mathematician and astronomer who wrote Brahmasphutasiddhanta and lived in Ujjain. For Rajasthan’s PSC exam and lower clerical exams one should memorize all GK facts about him, including his discoveries- both real and imaginary.

Q. In January 2018, Google’s Project Zero team researchers identified two security flaws in the computer systems known as “Meltdown” and “Spectre”. Find correct statements in this regard.

  1. Meltdown: this vulnerability ‘melts’ the hardware barrier between computer’s core memory and various user applications, thereby allowing hackers to steal data.
  2. Spectre: this vulnerability tricks applications into giving up secret information to hacker.
  3. Intel CPUs are vulnerable to them, but AMD CPUs are not.
  4. Windows Operating system is vulnerable to them but UNIX and Linux operating systems are not.

Answer choices

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

HINT: Intel, AMD, Qualcomm and ARM CPU’s are vulnerable, and therefore all types of operating systems are vulnerable. Because OS doesn’t run without CPU. The computer graduates appearing in UPSC CSE-2017 round of interviews, should prepare this in additional detail.

Q. What is TRAI’s stand regarding the usage of Wi-Fi and mobile in the aero planes (as of 2018-January)?

  1. Airlines should provide in-flight Wi-Fi facility to passengers.
  2. Airlines should allow passengers to use make mobile phone calls once the airplane has reached sufficient altitude.
  3. Mobile devices and Wi-Fi-signals can interfere with the electronic gadgets and communication system in the cockpit, hence they must be banned.
  4. To ensure price-competition, Both Indian and International telecom service provides should be allowed to provide in-flight communication facilities in the airplanes flying over Indian airspace.

Answer choices

  1. Only 3
  2. Only 1, 2 and 4
  3. Only 2 and 4
  4. Only 1 and 2

HINT: TRAI gave its opinion to the Department of Telecom: Allow passengers to make phone-calls once an aircraft reaches an altitude of 3,000 meters. But only Indian telecom companies should be allowed- to facilitate interception of calls for strategic / security reasons. inflight Wi-Fi is not a novelty or luxury, it is now considered a necessity. International airlines allow it so Indian airlines should also allow Wi-Fi. But On-board internet traffic must be routed to a satellite gateway on Indian soil for strategic / security reasons.

Sports and Defense

More relevant for Non-IAS exams.

Q. Find correct statement(s) about “Vajra-Prahar”:

    1. Indo-US Special Forces joint training exercise conducted alternately in India and the US.
    2. 2017: it was held in Jodhpur, India.
    3. 2018: it’ll be held in Settle, USA.
    4. All of above.

HINT: All correct.

Q. Find correct statement(s) regarding important days related to Indian armed forces:

  1. Army Day: 15th January to commemorate the day when General (later Field Marshal) K.M Carriappa became the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army post Independence.
  2. Armed Forces Flag Day: 7th December to collect funds from people for welfare of the defense personnel and their families.
  3. Vijay Diwas: 16th December to reminisce Indian victory over Pakistan in 1971, when Pakistani Army chief A.A.K Niazi surrendered along with 93,000 Pakistani soldiers.
  4. Kargil Vijay Diwas: 26th July to commemorate our Kargil victory in1999.
  5. All of the above

HINT: all correct for faster revision. Apart from these, Indian Airforce day celebrated on 8th October to mark 1932 when Royal Indian Airforce was setup. Indian Navy Day on 4th December to mark 1971 attack on Karachi Naval base. Indian Coast Guard Day on 1st February to mark foundation of this organization in 1977.

So far we reached 21 MCQs. so now I’ll frame a comprehension set with 4 MCQs to reach the magical (and stupid) target of 25 MCQs.

Comprehension for CSAT-2: Chital and its predators (4 MCQ)

Chital or spotted deer are the most delicious of the deer species—tigers, lions, leopards, wolves, hyenas, dhole, jackals- This makes them live their lives in a state of perpetual red alert! But, they’re well equipped to deal with this. At the faintest sight of danger, they’ll stamp their feet, reaching a maximum speed of 65 kmph. A tiger needs to be fairly close in order to launch a successful ambush, though wild dogs will simply run them down to exhaustion in relays.
Spotted deer need to drink at least once or twice every day – and this is probably one of the tensest moments in their day, because not only might the deer be attacked from behind by a big cat, but a submarine crocodile might suddenly lunge at them. But, they have figured out areas where the danger is greater (like around waterholes) or less (in open grasslands) and are appropriately vigilant.
And, yes, deer have their own early warning system in place: langurs perched high up in the trees scan the forests around and grunt out staccato warnings when they spot a big cats or wild dogs sneaking up. There’s a bonus, too, because langurs are wastrel feeders and discard a lot of fruit and drop a lot of what they eat, which the chital gratefully pick up. In turn, the chital will bark out their warnings if they smell danger that the langurs haven’t been able to spot from above. Other creatures that provide this security service include peafowl and lapwings, both of which give tongue at the first signs of danger. (260 words Ref: IndianExpress )

Q. Suppose langurs and deer stopped warning each other about the predators, and rest of their behavioral characteristics remained same as given in the passage, then their relationship will be best described by which of the following term?

  1. Mutualism
  2. Amenalism
  3. Neutralism
  4. Commensalism

HINT: Mutualism: both benefit. Neutralism: neither party affects each other. Amenalism: one species is inhibited while other is unaffected. Commensalism: One species benefits, while the other species is neither harmed nor inhibited. Now even both animals stopped warning each other about the predators, still Langur is wastrel feeder so deer will get to eat the discarded fruits. So, think which term fits into this relationship? For more on the types of interactions between species, refer to page 69 of the NIOS material.

Q. From the passage, what can be inferred about Peafowl and lapwings?

  1. Both are wastrel feeders.
  2. Chital enjoys ‘mutualism’ type of symbiotic relation with both of them.
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

HINT: Langur is a wastrel feeder, we don’t know eating habits of peafowl and lapwing. If Chital smells danger, it’ll bark to warn others. Languar, peafowl, lapwings and other tree borne / ground borne animals and birds will also benefit…they can run away from whichever predator is approaching to kill them or their offspring. So, ‘mutualism’ type of symbiotic relation is inferred.

Q. From the passage, Who among the following has better chance to kill a spotter dear?

  1. Tiger
  2. Leopard
  3. Wild dogs
  4. Crocodile

HINT: Read the passage carefully again: A tiger needs to be fairly close to kill them (before deer runs away). Langur and other birds might warn them before leopard (or any other predator) approaches. Deer have learned to remain vigilant near waterholes. But, wild dogs will simply run them down to exhaustion in relay-running. So, among the given predators, wild dogs seem to have better change.

Q. (SSC-CGL) Antonym for ‘Wastrel’ is _ _ _ _ .

  1. Profligate
  2. Spendthrift
  3. Prodigal
  4. Niggard

HINT: Profligate, Spendthrift and Prodigal sons spend their father’s money recklessly. Homework: find synonym and antonym for ‘Staccato’.