1. Economy
  2. History / Culture
  3. Polity
  4. Science
  5. Environment and Agriculture
  6. Defense


Q. If the rate of inflation increases from low level to moderate level in USA, which of the following consequence(s) are likely to occur?

  1. Higher policy rate by US Federal Reserve
  2. Inflow of funds to the financial markets of USA
  3. Lower rate of unemployment in USA
  4. Higher rate of employment in India
  5. Inflow of funds from USA to Indian financial markets

Answer codes:

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

HINT: Philips curve: inverse relation between rate of inflation and rate of unemployment. Higher inflation is countered by Higher policy rates = inflow of foreign investors to get better returns. Topic is in news because of Steel import duty hike by President Trump and its possible consequences on USA and Indian economy.

Q. The Economic Survey 2017-18’s cover page is designed in _ _ _ color, for highlighting the need to_ _ _ .

  1. Green: Promote sustainable development in India by
  2. Pink: Prevent neglect of girl child in India.
  3. Pink: End violence against women across continents.
  4. Green: focus on agriculture and doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

HINT: The latest economic survey observed that (1) Per capita income or development levels wise NE < Punjab & Haryana, yet NE better on Gender indices. So, development is not an ‘antidote’ to gender inequality. (2) Sex selective abortion and neglect of girl child= results in 63 million missing women (3) Son meta preference i.e couples will not stop breeding till a son is born = 21 Million “unwanted girls”- They’re neglected in food & education. So, by reading all this, you maybe tempted to tick #2 but the preface of latest survey specifically mentions that “The color of this year’s survey cover was chosen as a symbol of support for the growing movement to end violence against women, which spans continents.”

Exam Warrior
Q. Which of the following is most suitable system(s) for sending payment orders between a domestic Indian bank and an overseas bank who don’t have direct account relationship with each other?

  1. IFSC: Indian Financial System Code
  2. SFMS: Structured Financial Messaging System
  3. SWIFT: Society for worldwide interbank financial telecommunications
  4. NEFT / RTGS

Answer codes:

  1. 1 combined with 4
  2. only 2
  3. only 3
  4. None of the given

HINT: SFMS is an Indian payment messaging similar to SWIFT. Just like BHARAT stage emission standard (BS-III, IV etc.) is Indian standard similar to Euro fuel standard. To send money via NEFT / RTGS, both banks need to have installed SFMS messaging system. However in this particular question, SWIFT is a more suitable and globally accepted system. Topic is in news because PNB didnot integrate its SWIFT system with Core Banking solution (CBS) system, hence Nirav Modi could do the scam.

Q. Find correct pairs:

  1. Letter of Undertaking (LoU): Domestic bank’s guarantee for its customer to raise short term loans in foreign currency from a different bank located in a foreign country.
  2. Letter of Comfort (LoC): Domestic bank’s guarantee for its customer to raise short term loans in foreign currency from its subsidiary bank or overseas branch located in a foreign country.
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

HINT: This too is in news because of PNB scam. Both statements are right. Even if you know LoU, you couldn’t tick the right answer without knowing the absolute definition of LoC. So, the lesson here is not to push the luck unnecessarily through ‘guessmaster-giri’.

Q. What is / are the primary objective(s) behind drafting Economic Offenders Bill, 2018?

  1. Economic offenders who scam poor rural families through chit-funds, ponzy schemes and frauds in cooperative banks.
  2. Economic offenders who scam gullible urban investors through penny stocks, dabba-trading, cryptocurrency and other financial instruments.
  3. Economic offenders who flee from Indian jurisdiction.
  4. Both 1 and 2

HINT: This bill aims to deter economic offenders from fleeing India, otherwise their properties will be confiscated by special court. It covers economic offences where amount involved is 100 crore rupees or more. The amount is kept high to prevent unnecessary workload on the special courts.

Q. Which of the following country is the first to launch a sovereign cryptocurrency (in 2018, March)?

  1. Venezuela (Petro)
  2. Micronesia (Micro)
  3. Kiribati (Kiro)
  4. Marshall Islands (Sov)

HINT: It’s a Pacific Island nation, whose capital is Majuro. To learn more about Bitcoins & Cryptocurrency, watch my lecture.

Q. Which of the following Committee(s) are associated with digital payments?

  1. Sudarshan Sen (RBI Executive Director)
  2. Ratan Watal Committee (Ex-Finance Secretary)
  3. Chandrababu Naidu Committee to PM

Answer codes:

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

HINT: Ratan Watal Committee (2016): Medium term recommendations to strengthen digital payment ecosystem. C.Babu Naidu chief ministers’ Committee to PM to promote digital payment (2017). Sudrashan Sen Committee was setup by RBI to study regulatory issues relating to FinTech and Digital Banking in India (Report published in 2018, February). It’s a GK-ish question, no need to loose sleep if you can’t solve- particularly if it’s your first attempt in UPSC. To learn more about Digital Payment systems, watch my lecture.

History / Culture

Q. Find incorrect pair(s) of notable personalities from North East India.

  1. Bir Bikram Kishore Bahadur: Last king of Tripura State before its merger with India.
  2. Rani Gaidinliu: Last queen of Manipur state before its merger with India.
  3. Kanaklata Barua: Assamese girl who was shot dead while hoisting flag during Quit India Movement.
  4. None of the above.

HINT: Topic in news because the newly elected BJP government of the Tripura state wishes to install statue of Bir Bikram. Gaidinliu was not a queen, it was a title given to her by Jawaharlal Nehru for her courage despite life imprisonment by the British. So, it’s not a trivial-GK question, you’re supposed to know her as a prominent freedom fighter of North-East India, under the history portion- even if you don’t know about Bir Bikram or Kanaklata.

Q. Which of the following concepts / terms are associated with Shankaracharya’s “Advaita Vedanta”?

  1. Monoism
  2. Non-dualism
  3. God without attributes
  4. All of the above

HINT: Topic in news because Kanchi Mutt (Kerala)’s 69th Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi passed away in March 2018. All terms correctly associated, read my article for more.

Q. Which of the following has / have banned the movie “Padmavat” over concerns regarding ‘sensitivities of Islam’.

  1. Pakistan
  2. Malaysia
  3. Iran
  4. All of the above

HINT: This country organizes Sultan Azlan Shah Cup for hockey. Curiously, Pakistan censor board has approved the movie.


Q. Recently, BJP made history by unseating five-term incumbent CPM in Tripura. Find correct statement(s) related to the geography and polity of this state:

  1. Tripura’s tribal areas fall under the fifth schedule of our Constitution.
  2. Tripura shares international boundary with both Bangladesh and Myanmar.
  3. Tripura falls under the territorial jurisdiction of Guwahati High court.
  4. None of the above

HINT: This is not a trivial GK question. Itni Polity and Geography maalum honi chaahiye.

Q. Which of the following countries doesn’t / don’t have term limits on their Presidents?: (1) Russia (2) China (3) India (4) France (5) USA.

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

HINT: It’s a simple question but often candidate make silly mistakes in simple questions. Read carefully – whether you’re asked to identify “term-limit-walle” nations or infinite-terms-walle nations! Topic in news because 11th Jingping’s term limit is removed.

Q. In the “NGO Common Cause vs Union of India” judgement on Euthansia, Hon’ble Supreme Court has _ _ _ :

  1. Permitted Passive euthanasia of terminally-ill patient, IF he/she had prepared “Advanced directive” (Living will).
  2. Permitted Active euthanasia of terminally-ill patient, IF medical board certifies that patient is in incurable pain, and relatives are unable to bear treatment expenses.
  3. Permitted Active euthanasia of terminally-ill unconscious patient, in the absence of a “Living will”, IF relatives obtain permission from High court.

Answer codes:

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

HINT: Passive euthanasia means: switching off life-support machines, disconnecting a feeding tube, not carry out a life-extending operation, not giving life-extending drugs. Whereas, Active euthanasia means doctor giving lethal injection to kill the patient. Now ‘guess’ what would SC allow?


Q. Government has constituted N. Chandrashekar (Tatasons) taskforce to study the applications of Artificial intelligence (AI) in:

  1. Governance and administration
  2. Diplomacy and international relations
  3. Banking and Financial sector
  4. Defense

HINT: Department of Defence Production setup this taskforce in 2018, February. तो सोचो, कौन से विषय पे बनाया होगा?

Q. DoT (Department of Telecommunication) has issued directives for “13 digit mobile numbers”. These numbers are meant for:

  1. Inter-embassy communication
  2. Defense communication
  3. Inter-bank communication
  4. M2M (Machine to Machine) communication

HINT: M2M is a cellular network-driven remote communication between two machines for automation needs e.g. swipe machines, cars, electricity meters etc. Presently M2M communication is done via ordinary 10 digits mobiles, but DoT has ordered that M2M systems must shift to 13 digits SIM cards before July 1, 2018.

Q. “Starlink” is a project by _ _ _ to provide low-cost internet access on a global scale using constellation of 4000 satellites:

  1. Google
  2. Facebook
  3. Space-X
  4. NASA

HINT: It’s a private space company which uses FALCON-9 rockets and PAZ Satellites.

Q. What is the objective of “RISE” scheme announced in Budget-2018?

  1. Scholarship for girls pursuing higher education or vocational training courses.
  2. Subsidized loans for women-only SHGs.
  3. Grants for improving the infrastructure of centrally funded institutes for higher education.
  4. Loans for improving the infrastructure of centrally funded institutes for higher education.

HINT: Budget-2016 provided for Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) to give loans to government educational institutes for improving infrastructure. Budget-2018 provided for Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) with total target of 1 lakh crore for next four years (2022). This scheme will be implemented by HEFA, and IITs will receive the largest chunk of loans.

Environment and Agriculture

Q. Find correct statement(s) about International Solar Alliance (ISA):

  1. It’s the brainchild of India and France, launched during the sidelines of Paris Summit 2015.
  2. The first ISA-summit was held in Mahatma Mandir at Gandhinagar, Gujarat in 2018.
  3. ISA membership is open to only the countries whose entire area is between Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
  4. All of the above.

HINT: First summit held at Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi (2018). Even countries that lie partially at Cancer / Capricorn can become member- otherwise Northern part of India is outside the tropic of Cancer, toh hum khud kaise founding-member ho sakte hai!?

Q. Both at the Paris Summit 2015 and at the ISA-summit 2018, India has pledged to generate 175 gigawatts GW of electricity from renewable energy sources. What is the internal-composition of this target?

  1. 120GW Solar + 40GW Wind + 10GW Biomass + 5GW Small Hydro = 175GW
  2. 100GW Solar + 50GW Wind + 20GW Biomass + 5GW Small Hydro = 175GW
  3. 100GW Solar + 60GW Wind + 10GW Biomass + 5GW Small Hydro = 175GW
  4. 100GW Solar + 60GW Wind + 10GW Small Hydro + 5GW Biomass = 175GW

HINT: It’s beyond our ‘aukaat’ to generate more than 5GW from small hydro and more than 10 GW from Biomass.

Q. Burning of crop residues is one of the reasons for the high level of air pollution in Delhi. What did Budget-2018 provide in this regard?

  1. Funds for Haryana, Punjab, Uttarpradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and NCT of Delhi.
  2. Subsidies for purchase of machinery for in-situ and ex-situ management of crop residue.
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

HINT: Hill-states are not in purview of this scheme. Subsidy only for the ‘in-situ’ machinery. i.e. machines which can be used on the farm to manage the crop residue such as Zero Till Seed Drill, Happy Seeder, Straw Baler, Rotavator, Paddy Straw Chopper/ Mulcher, Gyro Rake, Straw Reaper, Shredder, etc.

Q. Find correct statement(s) about the cart-racing sport “Kambala”:

  1. It’s associated with the state of Kerala.
  2. Kambala cart-racing is done only with Bullocks.
  3. This animal sport is exempted from the purview of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act.
  4. All of the above.

HINT: Jallikattu (bull-taming) sport is Tamilnadu, Kambala (buffalo cart racing) is Karnataka and Anayottam race (elephants) is Kerala. President of India has given assent to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017 to exempt folk sports like Kambala buffalo cart racing from the ambit of the PCA Act, 1960. (Topic in news during 2018, February when presidential assent was given.)

Q. What is “Trait-fee” in context of Bt-Cotton in India?

  1. It’s a type of royalty that seed companies pay to the patent holder for using his technology / invention.
  2. It’s a type of ‘add-on’ fee that farmer has to pay, IF he wants seeds customized with special-properties as per his requirement.
  3. It’s the fee that GM-seed companies have to pay in government’s “environment protection fund”.
  4. It’s a fake news, there is no such thing called “Trait fee” (in other words”none of the above”)

HINT: 2002: India allowed commercial cultivation of Bt-Cotton. Monsanto has given production rights to DESHI companies for its patented Bollgard II cotton seed technology (which uses ‘cry1Ac’ and ‘cry2Ab’ Bt genes). But to use this technology, the DESHI companies have to pay royalty fee or “trait fee” to Monsanto. 2016: Government setup a 9-member Committee for deciding maximum sale price (MSP) of Bt-cotton seeds. 2018: This Committee recommended cut in the trait-fee and overall BT-cotton seed prices because: 1) to bring seed price-uniformity across states 2) Bt Cotton’s ability to resist pink bollworm pest attacks had weakened, so now it doesn’t merit a very high royalty fee or trait fee.


Q. Find correct statement(s) about Exercise “Milan-2018” which was held in 2018, March?

  1. It’s a biennial naval exercise held in Andaman & Nicobar islands.
  2. Australia, Malaysia and Maldives were among the participating countries.
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

HINT: Maldives rejected invitation this exercise. First statement is correct.

Q. Find correct pairs about the sport-persons in news during Q1-2018:

  1. Aruna Budda Reddy: First Indian to win medal (bronze) at Gymnastics World Cup-2018, Melbourne. She hails from Hyderabad.
  2. Manu Bhaker: Youngest Indian to win medal (gold) at 10m women air pistol at International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup-2018, Mexico. She hails from Haryana.
  3. Jhulan Goswami: first woman cricketer to claim 200 wickets in one-day internationals.
  4. Prakash Padukone: first person to win Lifetime Achievement Award of Badminton Association of India (BAI).
  5. Roger Federer: second oldest player to win Australian Open Grand Slam.
  6. All correct.

HINT: For faster revision, all correct. Ken Rosewall, won 1972 Australian Open at 37 years 63 days while Federer was 36 years old.

Q. Find correct pairs of books authored by national leaders

  1. The Governance of China Vol.2: Xi-Jinping
  2. Exam Warrior: Narendra Modi
  3. The Art of Deal: Donald Trump
  4. All of the above

HINT: First book published in 2017-November, Second book in 2018-February. In Exam warrior, Modi gives “25 Mantras” to students for reducing exam stress. Hence in news.

25 MCQs done, so i don’t have to prepare any RC passage to pad this article to reach the fabled target of [T25]!