Prelims 2020

Prelims Booster 2020 Flash Cards Set-16 [Static]

This is Prelims Booster 2020 Flash Cards Set-16 [Static].
By IASToppers
September 26, 2020




Which is the largest wildlife sanctuary of India?

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  • The Wild Ass Sanctuary in Gujarat is the largest wildlife sanctuary of India

Enrich Your Learning:

Wild Ass Sanctuary

  • Established in 1972, Wild Ass Sanctuary is also known as Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located in the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.

  • It is the largest wildlife sanctuary in India, spread over 4954 km².
  • The sanctuary receives protection through the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.


  • The area is a saline desert. Due to flooding in monsoon season, 74 elevated plateaus or islands, locally called bets are formed. These bets are covered with grass and feed the population of around 2100 animals.


  • The endangered Indian Wild Ass, crocodiles, birds and among others.


  • Illegal salt panning, Noise and air pollution caused by transportation due to salt panning and release of chemical substances.




What would be the maximum representation of Rajya Sabha in Public Accounts Committee (PAC)?

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Representation to Public Accounts Committee (PAC) from the Rajya Sabha cannot exceed 7 members.

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Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

  • PAC is constituted every year.
  • Its main duty is to ascertain how the money granted (budget) by Parliament has been spent by the government.
  • The PAC scrutinises the accounts of the government on the basis of CAG reports.
  • The composition and functions of the committee are governed by parliamentary procedures.
  • The PAC examines cases involving losses and financial irregularities.
  • Its examination is usually limited to the scrutiny of CAG reports and issues raised by the reports.


  • The PAC can consist of 15 to 22 members.
  • Not more than 15 members can be from the Lok Sabha, and the representation from the Rajya Sabha cannot exceed 7 members.
  • A minister cannot be a member of the PAC.




Why the Chemicals are used in the food?

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Chemicals are added to food for (i) their preservation, (ii) enhancing their appeal, and (iii) adding nutritive value in them.

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Chemicals in the food:

Main categories of food additives are as follows:

  • Food colours
  • Flavours and sweeteners
  • Fat emulsifiers and stabilising agents
  • Flour improvers – antistaling agents and bleaches
  • Antioxidants
  • Preservatives
  • Nutritional supplements such as minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Except for chemicals of category

These are added either to increase the shelf life of stored food or for cosmetic purposes.

Artificial Sweetening Agents:

  • Natural sweeteners, e.g., sucrose add to calorie intake and therefore many people prefer to use artificial sweeteners.
  • Ortho-sulphobenzimide, also called saccharin, is the first popular artificial sweetening agent.
  • It has been used as a sweetening agent ever since it was discovered in 1879.
  • It is about 550 times as sweet as cane sugar.
  • It is excreted from the body in urine unchanged.
  • It appears to be entirely inert and harmless when taken.
  • Its use is of great value to diabetic persons and people who need to control intake of calories.
  • Aspartame is the most successful and widely used artificial sweetener.
  • It is roughly 100 times as sweet as cane sugar.
  • It is methyl ester of dipeptide formed from aspartic acid and phenylalanine.
  • Use of aspartame is limited to cold foods and soft drinks because it is unstable at cooking temperature.
  • Alitame is high potency sweetener, although it is more stable than aspartame, the control of sweetness of food is difficult while using it.
  • Sucralose is trichloro derivative of sucrose. Its appearance and taste are like sugar. It is stable at cooking temperature. It does not provide calories.

Food preservatives:

  • Food preservatives prevent spoilage of food due to microbial growth.
  • The most commonly used preservatives include table salt, sugar, vegetable oils and sodium benzoate, C6H5COONa.
  • Sodium benzoate is used in limited quantities and is metabolised in the body.
  • Salts of sorbic acid and propanoic acid are also used as preservatives.




The root system of mangroves is divided in three main groups. What are these group?

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The flat root system, Heart root system and Top root system.

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Mangrove roots

  • Mangroves have three basic organs like any other ordinary plant, the stem, the leaf and the root.
  • The root system of mangroves is divided as in other plants in three main groups, flat root system, heart root system and top root system.

Flat Root

  • The flat root system’s primary root is hardly or not at all developed, therefore the lateral roots are strongly developed.
  • Flat root systems are found especially in solid, dense and impermeable soils.
  • Concerning mangroves especially Avicennia species develop flat root systems and therefore have an advantage compared to other mangrove species as they can easily establish in sandy, stony and rocky coastlines.

Heart Root

  • The heart root systems develops many, differently strong main roots simultaneously which grow vertically into the ground.
  • Especially mangroves like Avicennia, Ceriops, Rhizophora and Sonneratia species as well as Nypa fruticans and Pelliciera rhizophorae, mangroves that often grow directly in the tides and need to protect their location, depend on the successful heart root system which develops roots like anchors in all directions.
  • This characteristic increases the chances for these mangrove species to survive and grow in different areas like muddy, sandy, rocky or coral-like soils and coasts.

Tap Root

  • The tap root system develops one single, strong and dominant main root that grows vertically into the ground.
  • This main root has the ability to reach groundwater.
  • This ability is not really necessary for mangroves growing in the tides but for mangroves growing a little bit more inland like Barringtonia asiatica for example.
  • Dry and well drained soil is a typical feature of plants developing tap root systems.

Aerial Roots

  • Mangroves differ visually especially by their famous and typical aerial roots and biologically through the ability to grow in saline areas.
  • Not only mangroves develop aerial roots also plants in every household like orchids, philodendron, ficus and many others develop aerial roots but not as impressive as mangroves do.
  • The mangroves diversity concerning aerial roots is simply amazing.
  • Aerial roots are roots with various abilities and functions, primary gas exchange in oxygen-poor soils.
  • The aerial roots are divided into groups as follows:
    • Stilt roots
    • Knee roots
    • Pencil roots
    • Peg roots
    • Buttress roots
    • Spreading roots
    • no aerial roots


  • Stilt roots also called prop roots are developed by Rhizophora species and Pandanus species.
  • Stilt roots outgrow the trunk of the mangrove, branches or already existing stilt roots.
  • As soon as stilt roots reach the ground the tip of the stilt root develops an underground root system with which it connects the stilt root into the ground and then develops one or more further stilt roots which grow acutely into the air to again run into the ground to develop an underground root system, this process repeats several times.
  • Its significance
    • To uphold the mangrove and ensure its growing space
    • To allow the exchange of gas in oxygen-poor sediments.
    • Fish, seahorses, shells and crustaceans find shelter in the root system of mangrove stilt roots, they provide protection from predators and a perfect nursery.
    • Bind sediments and ensure sustainable coastal protection by sediment accumulation and counteract coastal erosion.
    • Prevent the tree from being uprooted. This happens often when the tree is outwashed by rising sea level, tides, human influences or the like.

KNEE Roots

  • Knee roots are developed by Bruguiera species.
  • Knee roots emerge as a root loop from the underground root system and allow the exchange of gases in oxygen-poor sediments. Each underground horizontally growing root develops several knee roots at regular intervals.
  • The knee roots of the different Bruguiera species differ in size, shape and frequency.
  • Most knee roots have numerous lenticels with the ability to exchange gas.


  • Only Avicennia species develop pencil roots.
  • Pencil roots belong to pneumatophores.
  • Pneumatophores are roots that grow vertically up from the underground root system.
  • Avicennia species grow in oxygen-poor sediments. The underground root system needs and demands oxygen, the soil is not able to support the underground root system with enough oxygen, therefore the underground root system outgrows aerial roots that grow vertically up to the air above the soil.
  • The pencil roots have numerous lenticels that enable gas exchange directly above the surface.
  • The pencil roots provide the additional needed oxygen which can’t be taken from the soil.
  • Avicennia mangroves develop a flat root system, the underground, horizontally growing roots grow away the trunk and develop pencil roots in regular intervals which grow up to 30cm in height.
  • Pencil roots do not have the abiltiy to develop branches.
  • The outer layers of pencil roots contain chlorophyll, pencil roots do have the ability to go through the process of photosynthesis.

CONE Roots

  • Cone roots belong to pneumatophores and are developed by Sonneratia species.
  • Sonneratia species grow in oxygen-poor sediments.
  • The underground root system needs and demands oxygen, the soil is not able to support the underground root system with enough oxygen, therefore the underground root system outgrows aerial roots that grow vertically up to the air above the soil.
  • The cone roots have numerous lenticels.
  • Sonneratia mangroves develop a flat root system.
  • The cone roots can reach up to 3 meters in height.
  • The ability to develop branches.


  • Buttress roots are developed by many trees, concerning mangroves especially Heritiera littoralis and Pelliciera rhizophorae are famous for their buttress roots.
  • Buttress roots provide huge trees stability, especially in tropical areas, and the buttress roots can grow up to 10 meters in height.
  • Buttress roots do not continue their growth underground as they do above.


  • Spreading roots are developed by Ceriops species.

    Spreading roots do also provide stability and normally do not exceed 1 meter in height. Spreading roots grow similar as buttress roots do with numerous small roots underground.


  • Generally we can say that aerial roots belong to true mangroves and false mangroves do not develop any aerial roots at all.
  • Mangroves that do not develop any aerial roots as Barringtonia species for example normally grow more inland where the soil is richer in oxygen and spared by the tides.
  • The growing conditions do not require the mangrove to develop aerial roots.




Kushinagar serves as the presenting site for Buddhist circuit pilgrimage spanning across India and Nepal. True OR False.

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Answer: True

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Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh):

  • Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Gautama Buddha attained 
  • It is regarded as a very sacred Buddhist pilgrimagecentre with visits from Buddhists pilgrims from all over the world.
  • Kushinagar is dotted with several other Buddhist sites in the nearby surroundings like Sravasti (238 km), Kapilvastu(190 km) and Lumbini (195 km) that makes it an attraction for both followers and visitors alike.


  • The Buddhist Circuitis a key pilgrimage destination for 530 million practising Buddhists across the globe.
  • Hence the declaration of Kushinagar Airport as an ‘International Airport’ will offer improved connectivity, a wider choice of services at competitive coststo the air-travellers resulting in boosting of domestic/international tourism and economic development of the region.
  • Direct international connectivity to Kushinagarwould substantially increase the number of foreigners and domestic tourists visiting Kushinagar, which will also provide impetus to the economic development of the region.




Kuroshio Current is a ________ocean current originates from the Pacific North Equatorial Current. a) Warm OR b) Cold.

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Answer: Warm

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Kuroshio Current (Black Tide):

  • It is a warm ocean current flowing in north easterly direction up to 30 ° N latitude
  • It carries warm water off the Formosa coast.
  • It flows towards north and meets Oyashio cold current off the Kuril Islands.
  • It is also called as Japan Current.
  • The Kuroshio Current – named for the deep blue of its waters – is the western boundary current of the North Pacific subtropical gyre.
  • Like the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic, the Kuroshio is a powerful western boundary current and forms the western limb of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.
  • The Kuroshio Current is the Pacific analogue of the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean.





What do you know about the Transpiration and Respiration process of Fruits and Vegetables?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Transpiration and Respiration of Fruits and Vegetables

  • Transpiration is the process by which fresh fruits and vegetables lose moisture. This process includes the transport of moisture through the skin of the commodity, the evaporation of this moisture from the commodity surface and the convective mass transport of the moisture to the surroundings
  • Respiration is the chemical process by which fruits and vegetables convert sugars and oxygen into carbon dioxide, water, and heat.
  • The effect of respiration upon the transpiration rate of commodities is discussed and correlations are developed to estimate the respiratory heat generation of various commodities.
  • During postharvest handling and storage, fresh fruits and vegetables lose moisture through their skins via the transpiration process.
  • Commodity deterioration, such as shriveling or impaired flavor, may result if moisture loss is high.
  • Metabolic activity in fresh fruits and vegetables continues for a short period after harvest. The energy required to sustain this activity comes from the respiration process.
  • The storage life of a commodity is influenced by its respiratory activity. By storing a commodity at low temperature, respiration is reduced and senescence is delayed, thus extending storage life.
  • Proper control of the oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations surrounding a commodity is also effective in reducing the rate of respiration.




Ballast water is a major medium through which invasive species can be introduced to a new area. True or False?

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  • An invasive species can be introduced to a new area via the ballast water of ocean-going ships, intentional and accidental releases of aquaculture species, aquarium specimens or bait, and other means.

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Exotic species

  • An invasive species is an organism that causesecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.
  • An invasive species can be introduced to a new area via the ballast water of ocean-going ships, intentional and accidental releases of aquaculture species, aquarium specimens or bait, and other means.


  • Competing with native organisms for limited resources
  • Altering habitats.
  • Invasive species that are closely related to rare native species have the potential to hybridize with the native species.
  • Lakes and islands are particularly vulnerable to extinction threats from introduced species.




Erra Matti Dibbalu is located in which Indian state?

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Answer: Andhra Pradesh

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Erra Matti Dibbalu

  • Erra Matti Dibbalu is dissected and stabilized coastal red sediment mounds located between Vishakhapatnam and Bhimunipatnam.
  • Erra Matti Dibbalu also called as Red Sand Hills, a notified National Geo-heritage Monument.
  • It is located very near to the Bay of Bengal and is one of Visakhapatnam’s many heritage sites.
  • The Geological Survey of India is helping to make these sites attain geo-heritage site status.




Name the only country which is crossed by both the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn

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Answer: Brazil.

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Which is the only country crossed by both the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn?

Tropic of Capricorn pass through:

  • South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile Paraguay
  • Africa: Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar
  • Australia
  • Water Bodies: Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean

Equator pass through:

  • South America: Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil
  • Africa: Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia
  • Asia: Maldives, Indonesia and Kiribati (Oceania)
  • Water Bodies: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Ocean




The Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA (SARAL) is a joint ISRO and __________ satellite mission for oceanographic studies. a) Space Agency of France OR b) NASA

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Answer: Space Agency of France

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  • Resourcesat is launched in 2003. It is intended to continue the remote sensing data services to global users provided by it two predecessors.
  • Resourcesat weighs 1,235 kg and is placed into an 817 km polar sun synchronous orbit (i.e. orbiting pole-to-pole).
  • The mission life of Resourcesat is five years.
  • It carries three payloads viz. high resolution Linear Imaging Self Scanner (LISS-4) camera, medium resolution LISS-3 camera, and coarse resolution Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) camera.
  • It also carries two Solid State Recorders with a capacity of 200 Giga Bits. Each of it can store the images taken by its cameras which can be read out later to ground stations.

Significance of Resourcesat:

  • The data sent by RESOURCESAT will be useful for agricultural applications like crop area and crop production estimation, drought monitoring, soil mapping, cropping system analysis and farm advisories generation.
  • The cameras installed on RESOURCESAT will give regular micro and macro information on land and water bodies below, forests, farm lands and crop extent, coastal information, mineral deposits, rural and urban spreads besides helping in disaster management.


  • The Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA (SARAL) is a joint Indo-French satellite mission for oceanographic studies.
  • SARAL performs altimetric measurements designed to study ocean circulation and sea surface elevation.
  • Varieties of instruments have been flown on board these satellites to provide necessary data in a diversified spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions to cater to different user requirements in the country and for global usage.
  • The data from these satellites are used for several applications covering agriculture, water resources, urban planning, rural development, mineral prospecting, environment, forestry, ocean resources and disaster management.




Why do Natural wetlands emit 30% of the global methane emissions?

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The major reasons why natural wetlands emit 30% of the global methane emissions are:


  • High level of water saturation.
  • Presence of warm and anaerobic environment
  • Soil rich in organic matter
  • Presence of Methanogenic bacteria.

Enrich Your Learning:

Wetlands Methane Emissions:

  • Wetlands are characterized by water-logged soils and distinctive communities of plant and animal species that have evolved and adapted to the constant presence of water.
  • Many different kinds of wetlands exist like marshes, swamps, bogs, fens, peatlands, muskegs, prairie pothole (landform) etc.
  • Wetlands are the largest natural source of atmospheric methane in the world. Contributing approximately 167 Tg of methane to the atmosphere per year. Natural wetlands emit approximately 30% of global methane (CH4) emissions.


  • High level of water saturation.
  • Presence of warm and anaerobic environment
  • Soil rich in organic matter
  • Presence of Methanogenic bacteria.




Which is the highest body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)?

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World Climate Conference

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World Climate Conference

  • The World Climate Conference is the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) and the highest body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • All Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP, where they review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instruments adopted by the COP.
  • Jointly they take the necessary decisions to promote the effective implementation of the Convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements.
  • In 2015, at COP 21 in Paris, the first Climate Change Agreement was agreed upon, committing all 195 Member States to the UNFCCC.
  • Of great relevance are the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in which the parties to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change formulate their mitigation targets and present their agreements in the context of their own national circumstances, capabilities and priorities.
  • The common goal is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to a level that keeps global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.




Central Information Commission was set up under which Act?

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Central Information Commission was set up under the Right to Information Act.

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Central Information Commission

  • Established in 2005, the Central Information Commission (CIC) is the authorised body under the Government of India.
  • The jurisdiction of the Commission extends over all Central Public Authorities.
  • It was set up to act upon complaints from those individuals who have not been able to submit information requests to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer due to either the officer not having been appointed, or because the respective Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer refused to receive the application for information under the RTI Act.


  • 1 Chief Information Commissioner (CIC)
  • Not more than 10 Information Commissioners (IC)

Appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:

  • The Prime Minister, Chairperson of the committee.
  • The Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
  • A Union Cabinet Minister, nominated by the Prime Minister.
  • Decisions of the Commission are final and binding.

Powers and Functions

  • It is the duty of the Commission to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person
  • Adjudicate on in second appeal for giving information;
  • Direction for record keeping,
  • The Commission can order inquiry into any matter if there are reasonable Grounds (Suo moto),
  • Disclosures receiving and enquiring into a complaint on inability to file RTI etc;
  • Imposition of penalties,
  • While inquiring, the Commission has the powers of a civil court,
  • Monitoring,
  • Reporting
  • Examine any record which is under the control of the public authority and no such
  • record may be withheld from it on any grounds,
  • The Commission has the power to secure compliance of its decisions from the public authority.
  • Preparation of an Annual Report, which is placed by the central government before each House of Parliament.
  • When a public authority does not conform to the provisions of this Act, the Commission may recommend (to the authority) steps which ought to be taken for promoting such conformity.




Tropical Marine Climate is beneficial for habitation but it is prone to severe tropical cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons. True OR False.

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Answer: True.

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Tropical marine climate:

  • A tropical marine climate is a tropical climate that is primarily influenced by the ocean.
  • It is usually experienced by islands and coastal areas 10° to 20° north and south of the equator.
  • There are two main seasons in a tropical marine climate: the wet season and the dry season.
  • The annual rainfall is 1000 to over 1500 mm (39 to 59 inches).
  • The temperature ranges from 20 °C to 35 °C (68 ° to 95 °F).
  • The trade winds blow all year round and are moist, as they pass over warm seas.
  • These climatic conditions are found across the Caribbean; the eastern coasts of Brazil, Madagascar and Queensland; and many islands in tropical waters.


The east coasts of continents within the tropics have much heavier rainfall than the interiors or the west coasts. Why?​

  • Reason: Presence of Trade winds which flow from East to West.
  • Planetary winds blow from the cooler sub-tropical latitudes to the warmer tropics, they have great capacity for holding moisture.
  • These trade winds upon crossing open oceans, gather moisture and cause heavy rainfall to the east coasts of continents within the tropics.
  • In the east sides evaporation take place fast that’s why there is heavy




Which Act is also known as the Mountbatten Plan?

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Indian Independence Act, 1947

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Indian Independence Act, 1947

  • The 1947 Indian Independence Act (1947) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that partitioned British India into the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan.
  • The Act received the Royal Assent on 18 July 1947 and thus India and Pakistan, comprising West (modern day Pakistan) and East (modern day Bangladesh) regions, came into being on 15 August.
  • The legislature representatives of the Indian National Congress, the Muslim League, and the Sikh community came to an agreement with Lord Mountbatten on what has come to be known as the 3 June Plan or Mountbatten Plan.
  • This plan was the last plan for independence.




The ‘Countervailing duties’ makes the domestic goods prices attractive for the customers. Is this statements True?

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Yes, Countervailing duties are levied on imported goods and therefore, automatically, the domestic goods becomes attractive for the customers.

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Countervailing duty

  • Duties that are imposed in order to counter the negative impact of import subsidies to protect domestic producers are called countervailing duties.
  • The foreign producers attempt to subsidize the goods being exported by them so that it causes domestic production to suffer because of a shift in domestic demand towards cheaper imported goods,
  • The government makes mandatory the payment of a countervailing duty on the import of such goods to the domestic economy.
  • This raises the price of these goods leading to domestic goods again being equally competitive and attractive. Thus, domestic businesses are cushioned.
  • These duties can be imposed under the specifications given by the WTO (World Trade Organization) after the investigation finds that exporters are engaged in dumping.
  • These are also known as anti-dumping duties.




Can President’s rule be imposed if a state government is unable to control a pandemic?

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  • The phrase “the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution” has been couched in general and wide terms under Article 356.
  • It expressly provides that “where any State has failed to comply with, or give effect to, any directions given in the exercise of the executive power of the Union under any of the provisions of this Constitution, it shall be lawful for the President to hold that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”.
  • In the given circumstances, considering the material on record re, if the Governor so reports, and if the President is satisfied that a situation has arisen which calls for invocation of powers under Article 356, President’s rule may be imposed in the State.

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President’s rule

  • Article 356 of the Constitution of India gives the President of India the power to impose this rule on a state on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers.

Conditions that the President has to consider before imposing the rule:

  • If the President is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
  • The state government is unable to elect a leader as chief minister within a time prescribed by the Governor of that state.
  • There’s a breakdown of a coalition leading to the chief minister having a minority support in the House, and the CM fails to prove majority in the given period of time.
  • Loss of majority in the Assembly due to a vote of no-confidence in the House.
  • Elections postponed on account of situations like natural disasters, war or epidemic.

Duration of the President’s rule

  • Proclamation of President’s Rule under Article 356 of the Constitution stands for six months.
  • This timeframe can be extended up to three years, in phases.
  • President’s Rule can be revoked at any time by the President and this does not require Parliament’s approval.

When can President’s Rule be imposed on a state?

  • State Legislature is unable to elect a leader as Chief Minister
  • Collapse of a Coalition due to disagreements, parting ways within the members
  • Serious breakdown law and order
  • Elections postponed due to ineludible reasons
  • Loss of majority in the state assembly
  • Shoot up of insurgency or rebellion




The winds over the Bay of Bengal are said to be a less sluggish compared to the Arabian Sea. True OR False.

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Answer: False.

Correct statement: The winds over the Bay of Bengal are said to be a lot more sluggish compared to the Arabian Sea.

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Why cyclones hit eastern coast of India?

  • Although cyclones affect the entire coast of India, the eastern coast is significantly more prone to cyclones as compared to the western coast. 
  • Surface sea temperatures and humidity are directly related to the formation of cyclones. Since, the Bay of Bengal receives high average rainfall, the possibility of cyclone formation is also high.
  • The winds over the Bay of Bengal are said to be a lot more sluggish compared to the Arabian Sea and therefore, the winds fail to reduce the surface temperature of the sea.
  • Tropical depressions are the primary reason for the monsoon rains that the Indo-Gangetic plains and most of northern India receive.
  • It is also the primary reason for the formation of cyclones that create havoc and disaster on a yearly basis on the eastern coast of the country.
  • The average temperature in the Bay of Bengal around the year is high – about 28 degrees. Warm air-currents intensify this.
  • When the bay receives fresh water from the Brahmaputra and other rivers, the surface temperature is replenished, resulting in the formation of a tropical depression.
  • The Bay of Bengal also serves as a medium for transferring cyclonic winds from other water bodies.
  • Cyclones usually weaken when encountering a landmass, and the lack of a landmass in the basin propels the cyclone to move towards the Indian coastline.

How are cyclones named in India?

  • Cyclones are strong spiraling winds characterized by low pressure and numerous thunderstorms.
  • Giving the tropical cyclones a name is a recent phenomenon, which involves the contribution of 8 countries.
  • Cyclones are named under the aegis of the World Meteorological Organization and not just the Indian Meteorological Department.


  • Thunderstorms develop in hot, humid tropical areas like India very frequently. The rising temperatures produce strong upward rising winds.
  • These winds carry water droplets upwards, where they freeze, and fall down again. The swift movement of the falling water droplets along with the rising air create lightning and sound. This event is called a thunderstorm.

Structure of a cyclone:

  • The centre of a cyclone is a calm area. It is called the eye of the storm. A large cyclone is a violently rotating mass of air in the atmosphere, 10 to 15 km high.
  • The diameter of the eye varies from 10 to 30 km. It is a region free of clouds and has light winds.
  • Around this calm and clear eye, there is a cloud region of about 150 km in size. In this region there are high-speed winds (150–250 km/h) and thick clouds with heavy rain.
  • Away from this region the wind speed gradually decreases. The formation of a cyclone is a very complex process.

How a thunderstorm becomes a cyclone?

  • Before cloud formation, water takes up heat from the atmosphere to change into vapour.
  • When water vapour changes back to liquid form as raindrops, this heat is released to the atmosphere.
  • The heat released to the atmosphere warms the air around. The air tends to rise and causes a drop in pressure. More air rushes to the centre of the storm. This cycle is repeated.
  • The chain of events ends with the formation of a very low-pressure system with very high-speed winds revolving around it. It is this weather condition call a cyclone.
  • Factors like wind speed, wind direction, temperature and humidity contribute to the development of cyclones.

Key fact:

  • India is exposed to nearly 10 per cent of the world’s tropical cyclones.
  • Among the cyclones that are formed in the Bay of Bengal, over 58 percent approach and cross the eastern coast.
  • Only 25 per cent of the cyclones that develop over the Arabian Sea approach the western coast.
  • The Bay of Bengal witnesscyclones both pre-monsoon as well as post-monsoon.
  • The cyclones that occur between Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are known as Tropical Cyclones.
  • There are 13 coastal states/Union Territories encompassing 84 coastal districts which are affected by cyclones. Four states – Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal and one Union Territory – Pondicherry on the East Coast are most vulnerable to cyclone disasters.
  • A cyclone is known by different names in different parts of the world. It is called a ‘hurricane’ in the American continent. In Philippines and Japan it is called a ‘typhoon’.




Patola and Bandhini sarees belongs to which Indian states?

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Patola – Gujarat

Bandhini – Rajasthan and Gujarat

Enrich Your Learning:


  • Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘bandha’, this is a form of tie and dye, which is mainly found in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • It involves tying and dyeing of pieces of cotton or silk cloth.
  • Yellow, red, green and black are the main colours that are used.
  • The resulting patterns on the fabric are a variety of symbols including, dots, squares, waves and strips that are sometimes used to create a deliberate pattern or are just randomly placed to create a distinct all-over appearance.
  • Bandhej saris that are created with elaborate zari checks are also known as “garchola” saris and are the traditional wedding saris for many North and West Indian communities.


  • Patola is a centuries old double Ikat weave, with its origins in Patan, northern
  • Involves a very intricate and complex process of tie-dyeing on the warp and weft before weaving.
  • Patola weaving requires a lot of precise mental calculations, vivid imagination, patience, undivided attention, and dexterity of the hand.
  • One of the main designs found is the Nari Kunjar, the elephant and gopinis.
  • The Ratan Chowk Bhat has floral motifs in geometrical arrangements. Akhrot Bhat is walnut motifs, Popat Kunjar is parrot motifs and Mahras Bhat has motifs of dancing women.
  • Animal motifs are considered particularly auspicious.
  • Currently, there are only three families practicing the Patola weave. One of these is the Salvi family, which is now in its 16th generation.

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