Errors in UPSC Prelims-2019 Answerkeys by Vajiram, VisionIAS, InsightsIndia, Mrunal & Others

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Mrunal's Economy Course
  1. Prologue: Errors in Private Institutes’ Prelims Answerkeys
  2. Polity
    1. CSP19-Error: Land Reforms
    2. CSP19-Error: Legislative Assembly
    3. CSP19-Error: Minor Minerals
    4. CSP19-Error: Crop Burning
  3. Environment
    1. CSP19-Error: Crop Burning
    2. CSP19-Error: Ramsar Sites
    3. CSP19-Error: H-CNG
    4. CSP19-Error: Environment Protection Act
    5. CSP19-Error: Indian Forest Act, 1927
  4. Science Tech
    1. CSP19-Error: Digital Signature
    2. CSP19-Error: DNA
    3. CSP19-Error: Drug Resistance
  5. Indian Economy
    1. CSP19-Error: Five-Year Plans

Prologue

Errors in UPSC AnswerKeys of Vajiram,Vision,Insight,Mrunal

  • UPSC Answerkey vs Private Answerkeys having error/discrepency is nothing new. It has happened in past as well- in 2018, 2017, 2016
  • 2029-June: UPSC Prelims exam conducted
  • But since UPSC doesn’t immediately release its answerkey, the private institutes release their answerkeys.
  • 2020-Aug: After declaration of final result of 2019’s exam cycle, finally UPSC declares its official Answerkey for Prelims-2019.
  • Mudit Gupta  (https://www.youtube.com/muditgupta) compared to Official answerkey with Private Answerkeys, and found following discrepancies.

Polity

CSP19-Error: Land Reforms

With reference to land reforms in independent India, which one of the following statements is correct?

  1. The ceiling laws were aimed at family holdings and not individual holdings.
  2. The major aim of land reforms was providing agricultural land to all the landless.
  3. It resulted in cultivation of cash crops as a predominant form of cultivation.
  4. Land reforms permitted no exemptions to the ceiling limits.

DISCREPANCY

UPSC Debatable Prelim Answerkey Land Reforms

  • Private Answer Keys à A
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à B

INTERPRETATION

  • Class 11th, Indian Economic Development (Page-23)
  • Verbatim question given in the NCERT
  • This question establishes the supremacy of the authentic sources and highlights how UPSC is more inclined towards authentic sources as compared to the books of the private publishers.

CSP19-Error: Legislative Assembly

With reference to the Legislative Assembly of a State in India, consider the following statement:

  1. The Governor makes a customary address to members of the House at the commencement of the first session of the year.
  2. When a State Legislature doesn’t have a rule on a particular matter, it follows the Lok Sabha rule on that matter.

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

UPSC Answerkey errors Polity

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à A
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à C

INTERPRETATION

  • Article 176 of the Indian Constitution à Governor mandated to address the first session of the Legislative Assembly every year.
  • Article 208 of the Indian Constitution à If there is no rule on a particular matter then the rules prevalent immediately before the commencement of the Constitution in the corresponding province shall be applicable to the State Legislature. However, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly can make modifications to such rules. The State Assembly ‘MAYfollow the rules of the Lok Sabha, if decided by the Speaker of the Assembly.
  • It is NOT mandatory for the State Assembly to follow the rules of the Lok Sabha.
  • Despite these provisions in Article 176 and Article 208, the OFFICIAL ANSWER KEY of the UPSC suggests that both the statements are correct and it State Assembly will follow the rules of the Lok Sabha, in the absence of its own rules.
  • UPSC has taken one of the probable conditions as the sole possibility in their answer key. Hence, the discrepancy.

CSP19-Error: Minor Minerals

Q. With reference to the management of minor minerals in India, consider the following statements:

  1. Sand is a ‘minor mineral’ according to the prevailing law in the country.
  2. State Governments have the power to grant mining leases of minor minerals, but the powers regarding the formation of rules related to the grant of minor minerals lie with the Central Government.
  3. State Governments have the power to frame rules to prevent illegal mining of minor minerals.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à C/D
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à A

INTERPRETATION

  • Statement 1 à India Year Book 2019 à Chapter 19 – Industry à Page 363. It is clearly mentioned that sand is a ‘minor mineral’.
  • The 2nd and the 3rd statement are given in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
  • However, in the private answer keys there seem to be some discrepancy regarding the interpretation of the Section 15 and section 23c of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.  

CSP19-Error: Crop Burning

In the context of polity, which one of the following would you accept as the most appropriate definition of liberty?

  1. Protection against the tyranny of the political rulers
  2. Absence of restraint
  3. Opportunity to do whatever one likes
  4. Opportunity to develop oneself fully

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à B
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à D

INTERPRETATION

  • Liberty is a concept related to the Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India. Before attempting and interpreting this question, we need to decipher the statements individually to arrive at a meaningful conclusion.
  • Option B à Absence of restraint: It essentially means that Fundamental Rights ensuring liberty are absolute in nature, devoid of any reasonable restrictions, which is, of course, not true. Hence, option B is incorrect.
  • Option C à basically this is a British concept where there is no written constitution and citizens can do whatever they want to do as long as they are not violating any law of the British Parliament or the Judgement of their Judiciary. Whereas, in India, we have a well-defined Bill of Rights along with certain negatively worded Fundamental Rights such as Prohibition of Discrimination, Abolition of Untouchability, etc. Hence, in the Indian context, option C is also incorrect.
  • Option A à Fundamental Rights enshrined in Part-3 of the Indian Constitution are given not only against the state, but some of them are also given to us against the private individuals. Hence, option A is incomplete.
  • Eliminating the 3 options we get answer as option D.

Environment

CSP19-Error: Crop Burning

Consider the following:

  1. Carbon monoxide
  2. Methane
  3. Ozone
  4. Sulphur dioxide

Which of the above are released into atmosphere due to the burning of crop/biomass residue?

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

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à C
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à D

INTERPRETATION

  • The question is too technical to be tackled and there is no authentic source on the internet to ascertain the answer.
  • None of the newspapers/standard books dealt with such a question in the past year.

CSP19-Error: Ramsar Sites

Consider the following statements:

  1. Under Ramsar Convention, it is mandatory on the part of the Government of India to protect and conserve all the wetlands in the territory of India.
  2. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 were framed by the Government of India based on the recommendations of Ramsar Convention.
  3. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 also encompass the drainage area or catchment regions of the wetlands as determined by the authority.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à B
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à C

INTERPRETATION

  • To solve such type of questions, one has to directly read the text of the ‘RAMSAR CONVENTION’ itself because such detailed PhD-Type statements are not available in newspapers/standard text books.
  • The discrepancy in the private and the official UPSC answer key is primarily because of the different interpretations of the text of the Convention.

CSP19-Error: H-CNG

In the context of proposals to the use of hydrogen-enriched CNG (H-CNG) as fuel for buses in public transport, consider the following statements:

  1. The main advantage of the use of H-CNG is the elimination of carbon monoxide emissions.
  2. H-CNG as fuel reduces carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon emissions.
  3. Hydrogen up to one-fifth by volume can be blended with CNG as fuel for buses.
  4. H-CNG makes the fuel less expensive than CNG.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à D
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à B

INTERPRETATION

  • Statement 2 is pretty obvious that HCNG reduces the carbon emission and hence, the 2nd statement is correct.
  • Since, the 2nd statement is correct, this eliminates option A and option C as the answer and now we are left with option B and option D only.
  • Consequently, it all comes down to the interpretation of UPSC whether they treat the HCNG as a cheaper version or the costlier version.
  • It is this difference of interpretation regarding the pricing of HCNG that led to the discrepancy in the answer key.

CSP19-Error: Environment Protection Act

Consider the following statements:

The Environment Protection Act, 1986 empowers the Government of India to

  1. State the requirement of public participation in the process of environmental protection, and the procedure and manner in which it is sought.
  2. Lay down the standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à C
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à B

INTERPRETATION

  • Newspaper or the standard textbooks do not mention directly anything about both the statements mentioned above.
  • It is through the reading of the bare act of the Environment Protection Act 1986 that one can get to know about the exact status of both the statements. (No need to do so much PhD on every single statement à cost:benefit à too poor)
  •  COMMON-SENSE  –  We have never seen, as citizens, any compulsion over us in the name of environment. Even the Fundamental Duties mentioned in Part IVA of the Indian Constitution are non-justiciable in nature.
  • Also, by common sense only, we can guess that as the name suggests, Environment Protection Act is related to emission of pollutants.

 

CSP19-Error: Indian Forest Act, 1927

Consider the following statements:

  1. As per recent amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927, forest dwellers have the right to fell the bamboos grown on forest areas.
  2. As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, bamboo is a minor forest produce.
  3. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, allows ownership of minor forest produce to forest dwellers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à D
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à B

INTERPRETATION

  • Indian Forest (Amendment) Act, 2017 à Allows the forest dwellers to fell the bamboos in ‘NON-FOREST AREAS’. This eliminates statement 1 because it mentions ‘FOREST AREAS’.
  • Because 1st Statement is incorrect, this wipes our option A and option D for us.
  • Now, we just have to analyze statement 2 to ascertain if the answer is option B or option C.
  • Factually, bamboo is considered a minor forest product under the provisions of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
  • Reason for misinterpretation by the private institutions à they might have misread the statement 1 and the provisions of the Indian Forest (Amendment) Act, 2017. Otherwise, there seems to be no difference of interpretation.

Science Tech

CSP19-Error: Digital Signature

Q. Consider the following statements about a digital signature:

  1. An electronic record that identifies the certifying authority issuing it.
  2. Used to serve as a proof of identity of an individual to access information of server on Internet.
  3. an electronic method of signing an electronic document and ensuring that the original content is unchanged.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à D
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à C

INTERPRETATION

  • Statement 3 is correct beyond any reasonable doubt because digital signatures are used to sign a document remotely, without changing the original content of the document. Hence, any option not containing statement-3 would be incorrect. This eliminate option a and option b for us.
  • The major reason for discrepancy in this question is the interpretation of the word ‘DIGITAL SIGNATURE’. There were 2 possible interpretations of this word.
  • Interpretation 1: Considering digital signature process as a whole, including the digital signature certificates as an integral part of the process. In that case, all the 3 statements would be correct because ‘DIGITAL SIGNATURE CERTIFICATES DO IDENTIFY THE CERTIFYING AUTHORITY’. Hence, statement 1 would be correct in that case leading to option D as the right answer.
  • Interpretation 2: Considering the narrow and specific meaning of the term ‘DIGITAL SIGNATURE’, it would NOT include the term ‘Digital Signature Certificate’. Hence, in that case, digital signature would only a way to sign the documents electronically, without changing its content. In such a scenario, answer would be C.
  • UPSC preferred the narrow interpretation in their official answer key. Hence, answer is C.

CSP19-Error: DNA

Q. With reference to the recent developments in science which one of the following statements is not correct?

  1. Functional chromosomes can be created by joining segments of DNA taken from cells of different species.
  2. Pieces of artificial functional DNA can be created in laboratories.
  3. A piece of DNA taken out from an animal cell can be made to replicate outside a living cell in a laboratory.
  4. Cells taken out from plants and animals can be made to undergo cell division in laboratory petri dishes.

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à They declared the question to be wrong
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à A

INTERPRETATION

  • The basic underlying concepts of this question can be found in 12th Class Biology NCERT in chapter-11 and chapter-12.
  • However, the exact (verbatim) statements are not available in NCERTs. Even, the accuracy of these statements is hard to ascertain because of the absence of any authentic source mentioning about these statements.
  • In such a scenario, different private institutes refer to different sources to develop an answer key of their own. Since, some of them were not able to find even a single authentic source to the statements, they declared the question as void.
  • CSP-19 had quite a few technical questions that were beyond the scope of the standard sources referred to by the aspirants. Lack of a single authentic source lead to the discrepancy in the answers of certain questions.

CSP19-Error: Drug Resistance

Q. Which of the following are the reasons for the occurrence of multi-drug resistance in microbial pathogens in India?

  1. Genetic predisposition of some people.
  2. Taking incorrect doses of antibiotics to cure diseases.
  3. Using antibiotics in livestock farming.
  4. Multiple chronic diseases in some people.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à A/D
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à B

INTERPRETATION

  • Common Sense: Excessive usage of anti-biotics has led to anti-microbial resistance. Hence, Statement 2 is correct. This eliminates option C for us.
  • To enhance the productivity of the livestock, they are administered high and frequent doses of anti-inflammable substances leading to high anti-microbial resistance. Hence, statement 3 is also correct. This eliminates option A from the race.
  • Now the entire debate comes to where the statement 4 is correct or not. If the statement 4 is correct, then the answer will be D or else the answer will be B.
  • Interpretation 1: Most of the private answer keys considered the example of TB and HIV that has led to an increased rate of Multi-Drug Resistant TB. Due to this, it was interpreted that statement 4 is correct and hence, answer is D.
  • Interpretation 2: HIV and TB in a single person is just one specific case of anti-microbial resistance and this trend cannot be generalized for other combination of diseases. UPSC sided with this broad interpretation of the statement 4 and hence, statement 4 is incorrect as per the official answer key.

Indian Economy

CSP19-Error: Five-Year Plans

With reference to India’s Five-Year Plans, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. From the Second Five-Year Plan, there was a determined thrust towards substitution of basic and capital goods industries.
  2. The Fourth Five-Year Plan adopted the objective of correcting the earlier trend of increased concentration of wealth and economic power.
  3. In the Fifth Five-Year Plan, for the first time, the financial sector was included as an integral part of the Plan.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

DISCREPANCY

  • Private Answer Keys à B
  • Official UPSC Answer Key à A

INTERPRETATION

  • Fifth Five Year Plan did not mention anything about the financial sector in particular. Hence, 3rd statement is incorrect. This eliminates option C and option D.
  • India Year Book 2019 à Chapter 23 Planning à The major objective of the Second Five Year Plan was to establish basic and heavy industries.
  • Statement 1 is slightly vaguely worded. It mentions about ‘SUBSTITUTION OF BASIC AND CAPITAL GOODS INDUSTRIES’.
  • Interpretation 1: Private institutes interpreted it as ‘REPLACING THE ALREADY EXISTING INDUSTRIES’ and setting up new industries. Hence, for them, statement 1 was incorrect and Answer boiled down to option B.
  • Interpretation 2: by substitution, UPSC meant ‘IMPORT SUBSTITUTION’ and develop home-grown industries to replace the imports. The word ‘Import’ was missing in the statement 1 that led to differing interpretations.
  • Even though the statement 1 was kind of incomplete but UPSC expected the aspirants to interpret the statement in the given manner. Hence, answer is A.

Watch the whole video at https://youtu.be/ugqbdxpeCiM

Visit Mrunal.org/Prelims for more topicwise UPSC answerkeys and prelims mock tests

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5 Comments on “Errors in UPSC Prelims-2019 Answerkeys by Vajiram, VisionIAS, InsightsIndia, Mrunal & Others”

  1. With respect to crop burning issue , methane is produced by burning vegetation has been given in the environmental chemistry chapter of class 11th chemistry ncert.

  2. I have found that in Official Answer key of Paper-II provided by the UPSC there are some wrong answer for example Question No. 48 Set-B answer is C. Question is A train 200 metres long is moving at the rate of 40kmph. In how any seconds will it cross a man standing near the railway line. Options-a)12 b)15 c)16 d)18.

    This is one case there are other questions also. Kindly guide how to get the solutions of the UPSC Paper-II from UPSC itself.

  3. sir, please you provide the answer key at the earliest.

    Thanking you.

  4. Wow! Thanks for pointing at others mistakes. By the way what do you want to say? Any solution that you can provide? Or only merely rant as always?

  5. Regarding that Wetlands rules 2017 question, Shankar ias has given that 2010 rules were framed by the Government of India based on the recommendations of Ramsar Convention, whereas 2017 rules do not follow this. They also listed out the many shortcomings of the 2017 rules.

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