Prelims 2020

Prelims Booster 2020 Flash Cards Set-20 [Static]

This is Prelims Booster 2020 Flash Cards Set-20 [Static].
By IASToppers
September 27, 2020




When a much larger number of people in the population lack pre-existing immunity to the new virus, it can result in an influenza pandemic. True or False?

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In an influenza pandemic, a much larger number of people in the population lack pre-existing immunity to the new virus.

Enrich Your Learning:

Influenza pandemic

  • An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges and spreads around the world, and most people do not have immunity.
  • Viruses that have caused past pandemics typically originated from animal influenza viruses.
  • Some aspects of influenza pandemics can appear similar to seasonal influenza while other characteristics may be quite different.
  • For example, both seasonal and pandemic influenza can cause infections in all age groups, and most cases will result in self-limited illness in which the person recovers fully without treatment.
  • However, typical seasonal influenza causes most of its deaths among the elderly while other severe cases occur most commonly in people with a variety of medical conditions.
  • The impact or severity tends to be higher in influenza pandemics compared to seasonal influenza in part because of the much larger number of people in the population who lack pre-existing immunity to the new virus.
  • When a large portion of the population is infected, even if the proportion of those infected that go on to develop severe disease is small, the total number of severe cases can be quite large.




What is the aim of World Bank Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR)?

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World Bank Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) is a fund aimed to support capacity building to scale up climate change mitigation.

Enrich Your Learning:

World Bank Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR)

  • The PMR is a partnership of developed and developing countries administered by the World Bank, established to use market instruments to scale up mitigation efforts in middle income countries.
  • It is a forum for collective innovation and action and a fund to support capacity building to scale up climate change mitigation.
  • Although initially geared towards promoting market readiness for the anticipated emergence of international carbon markets, this approach has become more flexible, providing grants and technical support for proposals for implementation of market tools that contribute to mitigation efforts.
  • The PMR brings together more than 30 countries, various international organizations, and technical experts to facilitate country-to-country exchange and knowledge sharing and enables enhanced cooperation and innovation.
  • The PMR is committed to helping countries design and implement carbon pricing instruments, including emissions trading systems, carbon taxes, and crediting and offset mechanisms.
  • It supports countries’ efforts to establish post-2020 mitigation scenarios and identify packages of effective and cost-efficient policies—including carbon pricing instruments—to achieve climate change mitigation.


  • Providing grants for countries to build market readiness components
  • Piloting, testing, and sequencing new concepts for market instruments
  • Creating a platform for sharing experiences and information about market readiness, promote south-south cooperation and innovation
  • Creating and disseminating a body of knowledge on market instruments that could be tapped for country-specific applications
  • Sharing lessons learned, including with the UNFCCC




Who is responsible for the designing and minting of coins in various denominations in India?

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The Government of India

Enrich Your Learning:

What is the role of the Reserve Bank of India in currency management?

  • In terms of Section 22 of the Act, Reserve Bank has the sole right to issue banknotes in India.
  • Section 25 states that the design, form and material of bank notes shall be such as may be approved by the Central Government after consideration of the recommendations made by the Central Board of RBI.
  • The Reserve Bank, in consultation with the Central Government and other stake holders, estimates the quantity of banknotes that are likely to be needed denomination-wise in a year and places indents with the various currency printing presses for supply of banknotes.
  • The Reserve Bank in terms of its clean note policy, provides good quality banknotes to the members of public.
  • With this objective in view the banknotes received back from circulation are examined and those fit for circulation are reissued while the others (soiled and mutilated) are destroyed so as to maintain the quality of banknotes in circulation.
  • In respect of coins, the role of RBI is limited to distribution of coins that are supplied by Government of India.
  • The Government of India is responsible for the designing and minting of coins in various denominations as per the Coinage Act, 2011.

What is a currency chest?

  • To facilitate the distribution of banknotes and rupee coins, the Reserve Bank has authorised select scheduled banks to establish currency chests.
  • These are storehouses where banknotes and rupee coins are stocked on behalf of the Reserve Bank for distribution to bank branches in their area of operation.
  • As on March 31, 2020, there were 3367 currency chests.
  • The currency chests are expected to distribute banknotes and rupee coins to other bank branches in their area of operation.




What is the major disadvantage of Dark fermentation?

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Major disadvantage of Dark fermentation is that the actual hydrogen yield is 50% less than the theoretical hydrogen yield.

Other disadvantages are the pH and product inhibition along with the formation of side products.

Enrich Your Learning:

Dark fermentation

  • Dark fermentation is the fermentative conversion of organic substrate to bio-hydrogen.
  • It uses anaerobic bacteria to degrade the organic material in the absence of light.
  • It is a complex process manifested by diverse groups of bacteria, involving a series of biochemical reactions using three steps similar to anaerobic conversion.
  • Dark fermentative Biohydrogen production is a carbon neutral process for production of H2 and CO2 from biomass by facultative and obligate anaerobic microorganisms.
  • Dark fermentation results in the breakdown of cellulosic feedstock which results in the production of hydrogen, organic acids, and alcohols.

Hydrogen Producing bacteria

  • Clostridia – e.g. C. thermocellum, C. acetobutylicum
  • Bacilli- e.g. B. thuringiensis, Enterobacter faecium
  • Bacteriode- e.g. Bacteriodes capillosus
  • Mollicutes- e.g. Acholeplasma laidlawi
  • Gammaproteobacteria – e.g. Escherichia coli
  • Actinobacteria – e.g. Slackla heliotrinireducens


  • Reactor design is not affected by light supply.
  • Dark bioreactors exploit volume more efficiently, and oxygen removal is no more a problem when the anaerobic conditions are chosen.




The power to make laws to give effect to certain specified fundamental rights is vested on whom?

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The power to make laws to give effect to certain specified fundamental rights is vested vested only on the Parliament and not on the state legislatures.

Enrich Your Learning:

Effecting Certain Fundamental Rights

  • The power to make laws to give effect to certain specified fundamental rights is vested only on the Parliament and not on the state legislatures by Article 35 of the constitution.
  • Article 35, thus ensures uniformity throughout India with regard to the nature of those fundamental rights and punishment for their infringement.
  • According to Article 35, the Parliament shall have (and the legislature of a state shall not have) power to make laws with respect to the following matters:
    • Prescribing residence as a condition for certain employments or appointments in a state or union territory or local authority or other authority (Article 16).
    • Empowering courts other than the Supreme Court and the high courts to issue directions, orders and writs of all kinds for the enforcement of fundamental rights (Article 32).
    • Restricting or abrogating the application of Fundamental Rights to members of armed forces, police forces, etc. (Article 33).
    • Indemnifying any government servant or any other person for any act done during the operation of martial law in any area (Article 34).




What is the goal of Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP)?

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Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) is aimed to avoid up to 0.4° C of global warming by the end of the century, and up to 0.5° C if the phasedown is accelerated.

Enrich Your Learning:

Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP)

  • The Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) is a philanthropic collaborative that works in tandem with the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol by helping developing countries transition to energy-efficient, climate-friendly, and affordable cooling solutions.
  • It was launched in 2017 to support the Kigali Amendment.
  • Under the Kigali Amendment, 197 countries committed to cut the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by more than 80 percent over the next 30 years.
  • This effort has the potential to avoid up to 0.4° C of global warming by the end of the century, and up to 0.5° C if the phasedown is accelerated.
  • K-CEP focuses on the energy efficiency of cooling in order to double the climate benefits and significantly increase the development benefits of the Kigali Amendment to phase down HFCs.
  • The IEA is a key partner organisation in K-CEP, providing analytical insights and hosting the programme’s “one-stop shop” for cooling-related policy and technology data and information, known as the Kigali Tracker.

Cooling and Sustainable Development Goals

  • Poverty (1), zero hunger (2), good health and well-being (3), affordable and clean energy (7), decent work (8), industry (9), sustainable communities (11), responsible consumption and production (12), and climate action (13)




What concentration of Sodium Hypochlorite solution is recommended by World Health Organization to clean hard surfaces to clear them of any presence of the novel coronavirus?

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About 2-10% concentration solution of Sodium Hypochlorite solution is recommended by World Health Organization to clean hard surfaces to clear them of any presence of the novel coronavirus

Enrich Your Learning:

Sodium Hypochlorite

  • Sodium Hypochlorite is a chlorine compound often used as a disinfectant or a bleaching agent.
  • Sodium hypochlorite in 0.5% w/v solution is called Dakin’s solution, and is used as an antiseptic to clean infected topical wounds.
  • Sodium hypochlorite appears as colorless or slightly yellow watery liquid with an odor of household bleach.

Is the chemical safe?

  • As a common bleaching agent, sodium hypochlorite is used for a variety of cleaning and disinfecting purposes.
  • It releases chlorine, which is a disinfectant.
  • The concentration of the chemical in the solution varies according to the purpose it is meant for.
  • Large quantities of chlorine can be harmful.
  • A normal household bleach usually is a 2-10% sodium hypochlorite solution.
  • At a much lower 25-0.5%, it is used to treat skin wounds like cuts or scrapes.
  • An even weaker solution (0.05%) is sometimes used as a handwash.
  • A 1% solution can cause damage to the skin of anyone who comes in contact with it. If it gets inside the body, it can cause serious harm to lungs.
  • Sodium hypochlorite is corrosive, and is meant largely to clean hard surfaces.
  • It is not recommended to be used on human beings, certainly not as a spray or shower.
  • Even a 0.05% solution could be very harmful for the eyes.

For novel coronavirus

  • The World Health Organization, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommend homemade bleach solutions of about 2-10% concentration to clean hard surfaces to clear them of any presence of the novel coronavirus.
  • This solution can also help to prevent flu, food borne illnesses, and more.




Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is aimed to support the achievement of which goal of “World Summit on Sustainable Development”? 

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Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is aimed to support the achievement of “2020 goal” of “World Summit on Sustainable Development”.

Enrich Your Learning:

Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)

  • The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world.
  • It is an international policy framework to foster sound management of chemicals.
  • Adopted by the First International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM1) on 6 February 2006 in Dubai by over 190 countries including India.
  • SAICM was developed by a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral Preparatory Committee and supports the achievement of the “2020 goal” agreed at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development.
  • Initial activities under SAICM included development or updating of national chemicals profiles, strengthening of institutions, and mainstreaming sound management of chemicals in national strategies.


  • Achievement of the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle so that by the year 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on the environment and human health.
  • They are grouped under five themes:
  1. Risk reduction
  2. Knowledge and Information
  3. Governance
  4. Capacity-building and technical cooperation; and
  5. Illegal international traffic.


  • Dubai Declaration on International Chemicals Management– expressing high-level political commitment to SAICM
  • An Overarching Policy Strategy– sets out its scope, needs, objectives, financial considerations underlying principles and approaches, and implementation and review arrangements.

India’s efforts

  • India initiated the preparation of the National Chemicals Management Profile to assess India’s infrastructure and capacity for management of chemicals.
  • Initiated studies of inventorisation of lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic in paints, distemper and pigments in the country.
  • Initiated discussions with leading national laboratories.
  • Notified the E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2012 for the management of electronic waste.
  • Finalized the draft Dangerous Goods (Classification, Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2013 in the line of Globally Harmonized Systems.

Key Fact

  • WSSD 2020 Goal: aiming to achieve, by 2020, that chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.




___________ was the first Indian to publish a book in English. a) Sake Dean Mahomed OR b) Antonio Montserrate

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Answer: Sake Dean Mahomed

Enrich Your Learning:

Antonio Montserrate:

  • The first known Himalayan sketch map of some accuracy was drawn up in 1590 by Antonio Monserrate.
  • He was a Spanish missionary to the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar.

Sake Dean Mahomed:

  • He was an Indian traveller, surgeon and entrepreneur. He was one of the most notable early non-European immigrants to the Western World.
  • He introduced Indian cuisine and shampoo baths to Europe where he offered therapeutic massage. He was also the first Indian to publish a book in English. In 1794, Mahomed published his travel book, titled The Travels of Dean Mahomet; the book begins with the praise of Genghis Khan, Timur and particularly the first Mughal Emperor Babur.
  • In 1810, after moving to London, Sake Dean Mahomed opened the first Indian restaurant in England.

Jean Baptiste Tavernier:

  • In 1733 a French geographer, Jean-Baptiste, compiled the first map of Tibet and the Himalayan range based on systematic exploration.
  • He visited the court of the Great Mogul—Emperor Shah Jahan—and made his first trip to the diamond mines.

Ralph Fitch:

  • Ralph Fitch (1550 – 1611) was an English merchant and traveller of London and one of the earliest English travellers and traders to visit Mesopotamia, the Persian Gulf, the Indian Subcontinent and Bengal.
  • He wrote descriptions of the south-east Asia he saw in 1583–1591, and upon his return to England, in 1591, became a valuable consultant for the British East India Company.




What is a “star series” banknote?

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The “STAR series” of notes used for replacement of defectively printed banknote having a character, a *(star) in the number panel of notes.

Enrich Your Learning:

Which denomination banknotes are currently in circulation?

  • Banknotes in India are currently being issued in the denomination of ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100 ₹200, ₹500, and ₹2000.
  • These notes are called banknotes as they are issued by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The printing of notes in the denominations of ₹2 and ₹5 has been discontinued and these denominations have been coinised as the cost of printing and servicing these banknotes was not commensurate with their life.
  • However, such banknotes issued earlier can still be found in circulation and these banknotes continue to be legal tender.
  • 1 notes are issued by the Government of India from time to time and such notes including those issued in the past also continue to be legal tender for transactions.

Can banknotes be issued only in these denominations?

  • Not necessarily.
  • In terms of Section 24 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, bank notes shall be of the denominational values of two rupees, five rupees, ten rupees, twenty rupees, fifty rupees, one hundred rupees, five hundred rupees, one thousand rupees, five thousand rupees and ten thousand rupees or of such other denominational values, not exceeding ten thousand rupees, as the Central Government may, on the recommendation of the Central Board, specify in this behalf.

What was the highest denomination note ever printed?

  • The highest denomination note ever printed by the Reserve Bank of India was the ₹10000 note in 1938 which was demonetized in January
  • The ₹10000 was again introduced in 1954. These notes were demonetized in 1978.

What is a “star series” banknote?

  • Fresh banknotes issued by Reserve Bank of India till August 2006 were serially numbered.
  • Each of these banknote bears a distinctive serial number along with a prefix consisting of numerals and letter/s.
  • The banknotes are issued in packets containing 100 pieces.
  • The Bank adopted the “STAR series” numbering system for replacement of defectively printed banknote in a packet of 100 pieces of serially numbered banknotes.
  • The Star series banknotes are exactly similar to the other banknotes, but have an additional character viz., a *(star) in the number panel in the space between the prefix.

What are the Security Features of banknotes in circulation?

The security features in MG Series 2005 and MG (New) Series banknotes are as under:

  1. Security Thread:The silver coloured machine-readable security thread in ₹10, ₹20 and ₹50 denomination banknotes is windowed on front side and fully embedded on reverse side. The thread fluoresces in yellow on both sides under ultraviolet light. The thread appears as a continuous line from behind when held up against light. ₹100 and above denomination banknotes have machine-readable windowed security thread with colour shift from green to blue when viewed from different angles. It fluoresces in yellow on the reverse and the text will fluoresce on the obverse under ultraviolet light.
  2. Intaglio Printing:The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, Reserve Bank seal, Guarantee and promise clause, Ashoka Pillar emblem, RBI’s Governor’s signature and the identification mark for the visually impaired persons are printed in intaglio in denominations ₹100 and above.
  3. See through register:On the left side of the note, a part of the numeral of each denomination is printed on the obverse (front) and the other part on the reverse. The accurate back to back registration makes the numeral appear as one when viewed against light.
  4. Water Mark and electrotype watermark:The banknotes contain the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in the watermark window with a light and shade effect and multi-directional lines. An electrotype mark showing the denominational numeral in each denomination banknote also appears in the watermark widow and these can be viewed better when the banknote is held against light.
  5. Colour Shifting Ink:The numeral 200, 500 & 2000 on the ₹200, ₹500 and ₹2000 banknotes are printed in a colour-shifting ink. The colour of these numerals appears green when the banknotes are held flat but would change to blue when the banknotes are held at an angle.
  6. Fluorescence:The number panels of the banknotes are printed in fluorescent ink. The banknotes also have dual coloured optical fibres. Both can be seen when the banknotes are exposed to ultra-violet lamp.
  7. Latent Image:In the banknotes of ₹20 and above in the MG-2005 Series, the vertical band next to the (right side) Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait contains a latent image, showing the denominational value as the case may be. The value can be seen only when the banknote is held horizontally and light allowed to fall on it; otherwise this feature appears only as a vertical band. In the MG (New) Series banknotes, the latent image exists in denominations ₹100 and above.
  8. Micro letterings:This feature appears at different places on the banknotes and can be seen better under a magnifying glass.

Additional Features introduced since 2015

  • New Numbering Pattern

The numerals in both the number panels of the banknotes are in ascending size from left to right while the first three alpha-numeric characters (prefix) will remain constant in size.

  • Angular Bleed Lines and Increase in the size of Identification Marks

Angular Bleed Lines have been introduced in banknotes – 4 lines in 2 blocks in ₹100, 4 angular bleed lines with two circles in between in ₹200, 5 lines in 3 blocks in ₹500, 7 in ₹2000. In addition, the size of the identification marks in denominations ₹100 and above have been increased by 50 percent.

What is Mobile Aided Note Identifier (MANI)?

  • Mobile Aided Note Identifier (MANI) is a mobile application launched by the Reserve Bank for aiding visually impaired persons to identify the denomination of Indian Banknotes.
  • The free of cost application, once installed, does not require internet and is capable of identifying the denominations of Mahatma Gandhi Series and Mahatma Gandhi (New) series banknote by checking front or reverse side/part of the note including half folded notes at various holding angles and in a broad range of light conditions (normal light/day light/low light etc).




Hydrogen fuel cells need to be periodically recharged like batteries. True OR False.

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Answer: False.

Correct statement: Hydrogen fuel cells do not need to be periodically recharged like batteries.

Enrich Your Learning:

Hydrogen fuel cell:

  • A fuel cell is a device that generates electricity through an electrochemical reaction, not combustion. In a fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen are combined to generate electricity, heat, and water.
  • Fuel cells are used today in a range of applications, from providing power to homes and businesses, keeping critical facilities like hospitals, grocery stores, and data centers up and running, and moving a variety of vehicles including cars, buses, trucks, forklifts, trains, and more.
  • Fuel cell systems are a clean, efficient, reliable, and quiet source of power. Fuel cells do not need to be periodically recharged like batteries, but instead continue to produce electricity as long as a fuel source is provided.
  • A fuel cell is composed of an anode, cathode, and an electrolyte membrane. A typical fuel cell works by passing hydrogen through the anode of a fuel cell and oxygen through the cathode.
  • Fuel cells that use pure hydrogen fuel are completely carbon-free, with their only by-products being electricity, heat, and water.

    Key facts:

    • Hydrogen, H, is a highly flammable gas (H2) and the most common component of the universe. It is the lightest element ever and is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.
    • It’s also in most organic compounds. Hydrogen is the lightest of all the elements. It exists as a diatomic gas (H2).
    • Hydrogen makes up about 75 percent of the universe’s elemental mass. H2, its diatomic gas, is used to upgrade fossil fuels and make ammonia.
    • Stars in the main sequence are mainly composed of hydrogen in its plasma state although elemental hydrogen is quite rare on Earth.
    • Hydrogen is used in bikes, cycles, scooters, trucks, aeroplanes and most other forms of transportation.




All three species of crocodilian species found in India are categorised under which schedule of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972?

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  • All three species of crocodilian species found in India are categorised under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Enrich Your Learning:

India is home to three crocodilian species, namely:

  • The mugger or marsh crocodile
  • The estuarine or saltwater crocodile
  • The gharial.

Three species of crocodilians:

Saltwater Crocodile

  • Saltwater Crocodile is the largest of all living reptiles.
  • It is found throughout the east coast of India inhabiting coastal brackish mangrove swamps and river deltas. In India, it is found in Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Saltwater crocodiles use ocean currents to travel long distances.
  • The saltwater crocodile is a large and opportunistic hyper carnivorous apex predator.


  • Habitat loss.

Conservation Status:

  • Listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • IUCN Status: Least Concerned


  • The mugger crocodile also called the Indian crocodile, or marsh crocodile is found throughout the Indian subcontinent.
  • The mugger is mainly a freshwater species and found in lakes, rivers and marshes.
  • It preys on fish, reptiles, birds and mammals.
  • Sex of hatchlings depends on temperature during incubation.


  • Destruction of natural habitat
  • Overfishing and entanglement with fishing equipment.

Conservation Status:

  • Listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • It is listed as vulnerable by IUCN.


  • Gharials are found only in India and Nepal.
  • It is a river-dwelling fish-eater, usually harmless to humans.
  • The gharial is found mostly in Himalayan rivers.

  • Inhabitation range: Ganga, Mahanadi, Girwa, Son River, Chambal, Ken, Ramganga River.
  • Protected areas: National Chambal Sanctuary and Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.


  • Destruction of natural habitat
  • Overfishing and entanglement with fishing equipment.
  • Egg harvesting for subsistence food use by riparian residents 
  • Construction of dams and reservoirs

Conservation Status:

  • Listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • IUCN status: Critically Endangered

Key Facts:

  • All three species of crocodiles are found in Odisha.




Which three countries accounts for more than 85% of global shipbuilding production?

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Korea, China and Japan

Enrich Your Learning:

Shipbuilding industry


  • Shipbuilding construction is highly concentrated geographically, with Korea, China and Japan accounting for more than 85% of global production.
  • These three countries have cornered 85 percent of worldshipbuilding from a mere 8 percent in 1975.
  • This high percentage has remained relatively stable over the last years.
  • China is the largest shipbuilding economy, followed by Korea, Japan and the European Union (EU).
  • Rank five has been taken over by the Philippines from Indonesia in 2014.
  • When regarding company shares within each segment, however, most sectors cannot be classified as concentrated. Only the market for cruise ships, which is dominated by EU yards, shows some higher degree of concentration.
  • The global shipbuilding industry is majorly dominated by three companies: HHI; DSME; and SHI.
  • In terms of new orders, HHI leads the industry followed by DSME.
  • Soon a merger is expected between these two shipbuilders. All three of them are Korean companies and leading the Korean shipbuilding industry as well.

India shipbuilding

  • India, though ranked 13th, has a share below 5 percent despite being a predominantly peninsular country with a coastline of about 7500 km. and having 1197 island territories.
  • Indian shipbuilding is mainly concentrated in 27 shipyards.  
  • Of these, eight are in the Public Sector, six yards being under the Central Government and two under State Government with a capacity of 2.54 lakh DWT.
  • In addition, there are 19 Private Sector yards with an established capacity of about 27000 DWT.
  • The major share of the present capacity is held by eight public sector yards, with Cochin Shipyard Limited and Hindustan Shipyard Limited having capacity and infrastructure to built vessels of 1.1 lakh DWT and 80,000 DWT respectively.
  • Barring two notable exceptions, the majority of private sector shipyards are limited in respect of capacity and size of the vessels they can presently build.
  • Our capabilities in respect of technologically advanced ships, notably LNG carriers are non existent which is a strategic shortcoming.
  • Our shipbuilding industry has been characterized by low capacity, poor productivity and obsolescent infrastructure.
  • Despite these constraints, the industry has shown that it is capable of increasing its market share in commercial shipbuilding.
  • In the IXth plan the target of 0.3 million DWT was achieved.
  • India’s share of the world market rose from 1 percent at the beginning of the Xth plan to about 1.5 percent.
  • The Xth plan also witnessed an increase in investments in shipyard infrastructure, though investment in technology, R & D, design etc. remained low.

In the international context, India owns around 1.2 percent of the world fleet and is ranked 20th in terms of fleet size.




The chief election commissioner and the two other election commissioners have not equal powers and receive equal salary. True OR False.

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Answer: False.

Correct statement:

The chief election commissioner and the two other election commissioners have equal powers and receive equal salary

Enrich Your Learning:

Chief Election Commissioner:

Article 324 of the Constitution has made the following provisions with regard to the composition of election commission:

  • The Election Commission shall consist of the chief election commissioner and such number of other election commissioners, if any, as the president may from time to time fix.
  • The appointment of the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners shall be made by the president.
  • When any other election commissioner is so appointed, the chief election commissioner shall act as the chairman of the election commission.
  • The president may also appoint after consultation with the election commission such regional commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the election commission.
  • The conditions of service and tenure of office of the election commissioners and the regional commissioners shall be determined by the president.

Key facts:

  • The chief election commissioner and the two other election commissioners have equal powers and receive equal salary, allowances and other perquisites, which are similar to those of a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • In case of difference of opinion amongst the Chief election commissioner and/or two other election commissioners, the matter is decided by the Commission by majority.
  • They hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. They can resign at any time or can also be removed before the expiry of their term.




Which of the chronological order is correct in terms of the size of the tectonic plates? a) Pacific Plate > North American Plate > Eurasian Plate OR b) a) Pacific Plate > Eurasian Plate > North American Plate

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Answer: Pacific Plate > North American Plate > Eurasian Plate

Enrich Your Learning:

7 Major Tectonic Plates:

  • Earth’s tectonic plate boundaries are unusual because they can consist of continent and ocean crust.
  • Pacific Plate:

    • Pacific major plate is the largest which underlies the Pacific Ocean.
    • Specifically, it stretches all the way along the west coast of North America to the east coast of Japan and Indonesia.
    • This plate forms most of the Pacific Ring of Fire which has some of the most violent and catastrophic earthquakes and volcanoes on the planet.
    • And smack dab in the middle are the islands that make up Hawaii. The interior hot spot within the Pacific Plate is responsible for the volcanic activity that occurs at the Hawaiian Islands.


  • North American Plate:

  • Eurasian Plate:

    • The Eurasian major plate consists of most of Europe, Russia and parts of Asia. This plate is sandwiched between the North American and African Plate on the north and west sides.
    • The west side has a divergent boundary with the North American plate. The south side of the Eurasian plate neighbors the Arabian, Indian and Sunda plates.
    • It straddles along Iceland where it tears the country in two separate pieces at a rate of 2.5 cm per year. On average, the Eurasian plate moves about one-quarter to half an inch per year.
  • African Plate:

    • The African plate contains the whole continent of Africa as well as the surrounding oceanic crust of the Atlantic Ocean.
    • Oddly, it looks like a larger boundary of the African continent, itself.
    • The Somali Plate is positioned along the East African Rift zone. This developing rift zone is gradually separating the east part of the continent.
    • The west side of the African major plate diverge with the North American plate. These divergent plate boundaries forms the mid-oceanic ridges or rift valley.
  • Antarctic Plate:

    • The Antarctic plate holds the entire continent of Antarctica including its surround oceanic crust. This plate is surrounded by parts of the African, Australian, Pacific and South American plates.
    • Antarctica was once grouped as part of the supercontinent Gondwana with Australia and India. But about 100 million years ago, Antarctica broke apart to its current location at the South Pole.
    • It’s estimated that the Antarctica major plate moves about 1 cm per year.

Indo-Australia Plate:

  • The Indo-Australia plate is a major plate combining the Australian and Indian Plate. But they are widely considered to be two separate plates.
  • The Indo-Australia plate stretches from Australia to India. It also includes the oceanic crust from the Indian Ocean. The north-east side of the Australian plate converges with the Pacific Plate.
  • Australia, India and Antarctica were once connected as the supercontinent Gondwana. As part of the supercontinental cycle, India drifted apart moving northwards.

South American Plate:

  • The South American plate is a major plate that includes the continent of South America and a large portion of ocean from the Atlantic Ocean.
  • At the west side of South America, it experiences devastating earthquakes due to the convergent plate tectonic boundaries.
  • But the eastern edge lies in the Atlantic Ocean at a divergent plate boundary. Alongside the African Plate, these two plate boundaries pull apart from each other creating some of the youngest oceanic crust on the planet.





Who was the president of the Indian national Congress’s 1917 session when the Anti-Untouchability resolution was passed?

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Answer: Annie Besant

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Anti-Untouchability resolution 1917:

  • Under the president of Mrs. Annie Besant in the year 1917 resolution was passed regarding the untouchability.
  • In the year 1917 Annual session of Congress was held at Calcutta where Mrs. Annie Besant was the President of that session.
  • In that session Congress has passed the resolution regarding the untouchability.
  • It was presented by the G. A. Natesan, member of Madras Congress.
  • Here congress has taking care of the Hindu religion and tradition of the Hindu religion. She want change in society, without change in religious tradition.
  • Therefore Dr. Ambedkar concluded that congress have not done any constructive work for removing the untouchability from the society




The value of custom duty is calculated on which basis?

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The value of Custom Duties is computed on ad valorem or specific basis.

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Customs Duty

  • Customs Duty is levied when goods are transported across borders between countries.
  • It is the tax that governments impose on export and import of goods.
  • Customs Duty is beneficial for many reasons. For instance, it ensures a country’s economic stability, jobs, environment, among others.
  • It regulates the movement of goods in and out of the country.
  • It keeps a check on restricted items.
  • The rates of customs duties are either specific or on ad valorem basis, that is, it is based on the value of goods.
  • Rule3(i) of the Customs Valuation (Determination of Value of Imported Goods) Rules, 2007 states that the value of imported goods shall be the transaction value adjusted in accordance with the provisions of its Rule 10.

Categories of Custom Duties

  • Basic Customs Duty (BCD)
  • Additional Customs Duty or Special CVD
  • Protective Duty
  • Countervailing Duty (CVD)
  • Anti-dumping Duty
  • Education Cess on Custom Duty

How is Customs Duty calculated?

  • The value of Custom Duties is computed on ad valorem or specific basis.
  • Or we can say that the value of Custom Duties depend on the value of goods. These goods are valued in accordance with the Customs Valuation (Determination of Value of Imported Goods) Rules, 2007.

If there is still some difficulty in arriving at an accurate value of goods, such items are valued by the following method:

  • Comparative value method:Given in Rule 4 and 5, in this method, the comparison is done with the transaction value of an identical or a similar item
  • Deductive value method:As given in Rule 7, this method uses goods’ sale price in the country which it is importing from.
  • Computed value method:Described in Rule 8, under this method, costs related to fabrication, materials, and profit in the country of production are calculated
  • The Fallback method:Governed by Rule 9, this method has an element of higher flexibility because it is based on previous methods of computing Custom duties




‘Smiling Buddha’ was the assigned code for which thing in India?

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‘Smiling Buddha’ was the assigned code name of India’s first successful nuclear bomb test.

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India’s first nuclear bomb test:

  • On May 18 in the year 1974, the Indian government conducted its first nuclear test in the deserts of Pokhran, Rajasthan making it a peaceful nuclear explosion.
  • ‘Smiling Buddha’ (MEA designation: Pokhran-I) was the assigned code name of India’s first successful nuclear bomb test.
  • With the Smiling Buddha, India became the world’s sixth nuclear power after the United States, Soviet Union, Britain, France and China to successfully test out a nuclear bomb.


  • India started its own nuclear program in 1944
  • Physicist Raja Ramanna expanded and supervised scientific research on nuclear weapons.
  • A team of 75 scientists and engineers, led by Raja Ramanna, PK Iyengar, Rajagopala Chidambaram and others had worked on it from 1967 to 1974.

Aftermath of the nuclear test:

  • The test became the center of attention as there was widespread outrage and concern over the move since this nuclear bomb was tested by the country, which was outside the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and the experiments took place without any warning to the international community.
  • As a result, the US took offense to India barging into the nuclear society without any warning and then, blocked aid to India and imposed numerous sanctions
  • The device tested was a fission device and there had been no release of radioactivity in the atmosphere
  • Although, India has still not joined the 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty, claiming that the nuclear tests were for peaceful reasons.




Panikheti system of rice cultivation on terraces is developed by which tribes?

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Panikheti system of rice cultivation on terraces developed by the Angami and Chakesang tribes of Nagaland.

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Traditional water harvesting systems in India

  • In respect of availability and non-availability of water, India can be divided into 15 Ecological regions, ranging from dry, cold desert of Ladakh to the dry hot desert of Rajasthan, from the sub-temperate mountain of the Himalayas to the tropical high mountain of Nilgiri.


  • Zings, found in Ladakh, are small tanks that collect melting glacier water.
  • A trickle in the morning, the melting waters of the glacier turn into a flowing stream by the afternoon. The water, collected by evening, is used in the fields on the following day.

Aptani System

  • This system is practiced in Arunachal Pradesh by Aptani tribes. Stream water is blocked by constructing a wall 2 to 4 m high and 1 m thick near forested hill slopes.
  • The valleys are terraced into plots separated by 0.6 m high earthen darns with Inlet and outlet channels that help to flood or drain the plots.


  • The Zabo (meaning ‘impounding run-off’) system combines water conservation with forestry, agriculture and animal care.
  • Practised in Nagaland, Zabo is also known as the Ruza system.
  • Rainwater that falls on forested hilltops is collected by channels that deposit the run-off water in pond-like structures created on the terraced hillsides.
  • Ponds created in the paddy field are then used to rear fish and foster the growth of medicinal plants.

Bamboo Drip Irrigation

  • Ingenious system of efficient water management that has been practised for over two centuries in northeast India.
  • The system ensures that small drops of water are delivered directly to the roots of the plants.
  • This ancient system is used by the farmers of Khasi and Jaintia hills to drip-irrigate their black pepper cultivation.

Ahar Pynes

  • Traditional floodwater harvesting systems indigenous to South Bihar.
  • Ahars are reservoirs with embankments on three sides that are built at the end of diversion channels like pynes.
  • Pynes are artificial rivulets led off from rivers to collect water in the ahars.
  • Paddy cultivation in this relatively low rainfall area depends mostly on ahar pynes.


  • A traditional rainwater harvesting technique indigenous to the Thar desert region of Rajasthan.
  • A Tanka is a cylindrical paved underground pit into which rainwater from rooftops, courtyards or artificially prepared catchments flows.
  • An important element of water security in these arid regions, tankas can save families from the everyday drudgery of fetching water from distant sources.


  • Johads are small earthen check dams that capture and store rainwater.
  • Sometimes, several johads are interconnected through deep channels.
  • This prevents structural damage to the water pits that are also called madakas in Karnataka and pemghara in Odisha.

Khadin/ dhora

  • Indigenous constructions designed to harvest surface runoff water for agriculture.
  • First designed by the Paliwal Brahmins of Jaisalmer in the 15th century.
  • This system is very similar to the irrigation methods of the people of ancient Ur (present Iraq).

Kund/ Kundi

  • A saucer-shaped catchment area that gently slope towards the central circular underground well.
  • Kunds dot the sandier tracts of western Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • Traditionally, these well-pits were covered in disinfectant lime and ash.
  • Raja Sur Singh is said to have built the earliest known kunds in the village of Vadi Ka Melan in the year 1607 AD.


  • The system of rice cultivation on terraces developed by the Angami and Chakesang tribes of Nagaland.
  • Panikheli is the term applied to the beautiful rice terraces in the North-eastern Hill Region of India.
  • In this system of farming on terraces, water is supplied to plants by channels that carry water from streams. About 10 to 15 cm of water level is maintained in the fields and rest of the water is allowed to flow down to the lower terraces.
  • Ensures no wastage of water.




Lippan art is a clay art form belongs to which Indian State?

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Answer: Gujarat

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Lippan art:

  • Lippan art is a clay art form from the state of Gujarat.
  • It is mostly done by the village ladies from Kutch to decorate their homes.
  • Traditionally lippan is made by adding mud and cow dung and done on the walls.


  • Kolam is a form of drawing that is drawn by using rice flour, chalk, chalk powder or rock powder, often using naturally or synthetically colored powders.
  • It belongs to Sri Lanka, the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and some parts of Goa, Maharashtra as well as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand.
  • A Kolam is a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots.
  • In South India and Sri Lanka, it is widely practised by female Hindu family members in front of their houses.
  • Kolams are regionally known by different names in India:
  • Raangolee in Maharashtra,
  • Aripan in Mithila,
  • Hase and Rangoli in Kannada in Karnataka,
  • Muggulu in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
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