Prelims 2020

Prelims Booster 2020 Flash Cards Set-25 [Static]

This is Prelims Booster 2020 Flash Cards Set-25 [Static].
By IASToppers
September 27, 2020




Which Fluorinated gas is the longest-lasting type of greenhouse gases?

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  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are the longest-lasting type of greenhouse gases. They have a lifetime of PFCs: 2,600–50,000 years

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Fluorinated gases

  • Fluorinated gases have no natural sources and only come from human-related activities.
  • There are four main categories of fluorinated gases—hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).
  • In general, fluorinated gases are the most potent and longest-lasting type of greenhouse gases.

Lifetime in Atmosphere:

  • HFCs: up to 270 years
  • PFCs: 2,600–50,000 years
  • NF3: 740 years
  • SF6: 3,200 years

Global Warming Potential (100-year):

  • HFCs: up to 14,800
  • PFCs: up to 12,200
  • NF3: 17,200
  • SF6: 22,800


  • Hydrofluorocarbons are used as refrigerants, aerosol propellants, foam blowing agents, solvents, and fire retardants. The major emissions source of these compounds is their use as refrigerants—for example, in air conditioning systems in both vehicles and buildings.
  • Perfluorocarbons are produced as a byproduct of aluminium production and are used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. PFCs generally have long atmospheric lifetimes and GWPs near 10,000.
  • Sulfur hexafluoride is used as an insulating gas in electrical transmission equipment, including circuit breakers.

International Level initiatives:

  • The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion.




Strong current is favourable for the formation of Deltas. True or False

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  • There should be no strong current running at a right angle to the river mouth.

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Conditions favourable for the formation of the Deltas

  • Delta is a triangular landform that a river forms near its mouth (where it meets the ocean or sea). Since the river deposits most of its sediments near the mouth, these deposited sediments force the river to split into several distributaries and this region is collectively known as Delta.


  1. Active vertical and lateral erosion in the upper course of the river to provide extensive sediments to be eventually deposited as deltas.
  2. The coast should be preferably tideless.
  3. The sea adjoining the delta should be shallow or else the load will disappear in the deep waters.
  4. There should be no large lakes in the river course to filter-off the sediments.
  5. There should be no strong current running at a right angle to the river mouth, washing away the sediments.




Where is India’s Chang la seed vault?

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In Ladakh

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India’s seed vault

  • The Chang La seed vault in Ladakhhas been built to stand the test of time — and the challenge of global catastrophes.
  • Perchedat a height of 17,300 feet above sea level.
  • It is the ultimate insurance policy for the country’s food supply, offering options for future generations to overcome the challenges of climate change and population growth.
  • Built jointly by the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) and the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) in 2010 under the aegis of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • This permafrost seed bank is the second largest in the world.
  • It stores over 5,000 seed accessions (one accession consists of a set of seeds of a particular species collected from different geographical and demographic locations). 
  • These seeds — apricots, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, radish, tomatoes, barley, rice wheat, etc— have been prioritised for qualities such yield or resistance to temperature, pests or humidity.
  • The idea for a high altitude seed vault emerged after a mysterious locust invasion devastated the barley crop in the region.
  • The fact that its well above the sea level and tectonically stable ensures that its protected from ocean flooding, even in the worst case scenarios.
  • Also, Chang La’s natural permafrost conditions — 20% relative humidity and temperatures below -18 degrees Celsius (except in May and June)— offer an affordable and energy-efficient alternative to cryopreservation (the freezing of seeds to -196 degrees Celsius using liquid nitrogen).




What are the processes through which Self-Purification of Natural Streams or Rivers occur?

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  • Self-Purification of Natural Streams or Rivers occur through Dilution, Oxidation, Reduction, Sedimentation, Action of Sunlight.

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Self-Purification of Natural Streams or Rivers

  • Self-Purification of Natural Streams or Rivers is a phenomenon where natural streams or rivers, polluted by sewage, are purified in the natural course.
  • The rate of self-purification depends on various factors such as rate of re-aeration, type of organic matter present in sewage, temperature, the velocity of flow, presence of available oxygen in receiving waters, sedimentation,

Processes involved:


  • When sewage is discharged into a large volume of water flowing in a natural stream or river, it is dispersed, and dilution takes place.
  • Due to dilution the concentration of various constituents such as organic matter, BOD, suspended solids, etc., is reduced.


  • Sewage is discharged into a stream or river the organic matter present in the sewage is oxidized by aerobic bacteria utilizing dissolved oxygen of the water flowing in the stream or river.
  • Oxidation is the most important action responsible for effecting self-purification of stream or river.
  • The deficiency of oxygen so created is filled up by atmospheric oxygen. The process of oxidation continues until the organic matter gets completely oxidized.


  • The organic matter of sewage settled at the bottom is reduced to liquids and gases due to hydrolysis either chemically or biologically.
  • Anaerobic bacteria split the complex organic matter or sewage into liquids and gases, and thus pave way for their stabilization by oxidation.
  • Such reduction of complex organic matter assists the process of self-purification of stream or river polluted by sewage discharged into it.


  • The settleable solids contained in sewage drop down to the bottom of the stream or river and are thus easily separated.
  • Further, the settleable solids are deposited in the form of sludge in which anaerobic decomposition may take place.
  • The sedimentation in this way helps the process of self-purification of stream or river polluted by sewage discharged into it.

The action of Sunlight:

  • The sunlight has bleaching and stabilizing effects on bacteria. It also helps certain micro-organisms to derive energy from it, and through biological action convert themselves into food for other forms of life and absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen by a process known as photosynthesis.
  • Further sunlight acts as a disinfectant and stimulates the growth of algae which produce oxygen during daylight but utilize oxygen at night. Hence wherever there is algal growth water may be supersaturated with dissolved oxygen during daylight hours. However, during night anaerobic conditions exist.
  • All such effects of sunlight assist in self-purification of stream or river polluted by sewage discharge into it.




Which of the Chola ruler completed the construction of the Brihadeeswara temple at Tanjore? a) Rajaraja Chola I OR b) Rajadhiraja Chola

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Answer: Rajaraja Chola I

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THE Chola Empire:

  • THE Chola Empire arose in the ninth century brought under its control a large part of the peninsula.
  • The Cholas developed a powerful navy which enabled them to develop India’s sea trade in the Indian Ocean, and to conquer Sri Lanka and the Maldive Islands. Their influence was the countries of South-East Asia.

The Rise of the Chola Empire:

  • The founder of the Chola Empire was Vijayalaya, who was at first a feudatory of the Pallavas. He captured Tanjore in 550. By the end of the 9th century, Cholas had defeated both the Pallavas of Kanchi and weakened the Pandyans, bringing the southern Tamil country control.
  • But the Cholas were hard put to defend their position against the Rashtrakutas. Krishna III defeate king, and annexed the northern part of the Chola Empire.
  • This was a serious setback to the Cholas, but they rapidly recovered, particularly after the death of Krishna III in 965 and the downfall of the Rashtrakuta Empire.

Age of Rajaraja and Rajendra I:

  • The greatest Chola rulers were Rajaraja and his son Rajendra I (1014-1044). Rajaraja destroyed the Chera navy at Trivendrum and attacked Quilon. He then conquered Madurai and captured the Pandyan king. He also invaded Sri Lanka and annexed its northern part to These moves were partly motivated by his desire to bring the trade with the South-East Asian countries under his control.
  • The Coromandal coast and Malabar were the centres for India’s trade with the countries of South-East Asia. One of his naval exploits was the conquest of the Maldive islands.
  • In the north, Rajaraja annexed the north-western parts of the Ganga region in north-west Karnataka, and overran Vengi. Rajendra I carried annexationist policy of Raja raja by completely overrunning the Pandya and Chera countries and including them in his Empire. The conquest was also completed, with the crown and royal insignia of the king and the queen of Sri Lanka being captured in a battle.
  • Sri Lanka was not herself from the Chola control for another 50 years. Rajaraja and Rajendra I marked their victories by erecting a number of Shiva and Vishnu temples at various places. The most famous of the Rajarajeshwara temple at Tanjore which was completed in AD 1010.
  • The Chola rulers adopted the practice of having long inscriptions written of these temples, giving a historical narrative of their victories. That is why one knows a great deal more about the Cholas than their predecessor most remarkable exploits in the reign of Rajendra I was the march across Kalinga to Bengal in which the Chola armies crossed the Ganga, a two local kings.
  • This expedition, which was led by a Chola general, took place in 1022 and followed the same route which the grea Samudragupta had followed. To commemorate this occasion, Rajendra I assumed the title of Gangaikondachola.
  • He built the new capital near the mouth of the Kaveri and called it Gangaikondacholapuram. More remarkable exploit in the time of Rajendra I was the naval expedition against the revived Sri Vijaya Empire. The Sri Vijaya Empire, which revived in the 10th century, extended over the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java and the neighbouring islands and controlled the overseas the China.
  • The rulers of the Sailendra dynasty were Buddhists and had cordial relations with the Cholas. The Sailendra ruler had built a Buddhis at Nagapatam and, at his instance, Rajendra I had endowed a village for its upkeep. The cause of the breach between the two apparently eagerness to remove obstacles to Indian traders, and to expand Chola trade with China.
  • The expedition led to the conquest of Kadaram of other places in the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. The Chola navy was the strongest in the area for some time and the Bay of converted into a ‘Chola lake’.
  • The Chola rulers also sent a number of embassies to China. The Chola rulers fought with the Chalukyas who had succeeded the Rashtrakutas. These are called the later Chalukyas and their capital was at Kalyani. The Cholas a Chalukyas clashed for the over lordship of Vengi (Rayalseema), the Tungabhadra doab and the Ganga country in north-west Karnataka.
  • Neither able to gain a decisive victory in this contest and ultimately it exhausted both the Empires. It also appears that the wars were becoming harsh time.
  • The Chola rulers sacked and plundered Chalukyan cities including Kalyani, and massacred the people, including brahmanas.
  • They adopted a similar policy in the Pandya country settling military colonies to overawe the population. They destroyed Anuradhapur, the ancient rulers of Sri Lanka, and treated their king and queen harshly. These are blots in the history of the Chola Empire.
  • However, once they had country, the Cholas tried to set up a sound system of administration in it. One of the remarkable features of the Chola administratio encouragement to local self-government in the villages all over their Empire.
  • The Chola Empire continued in a flourishing condition during century. But it declined during the early part of thirteenth century. The later Chalukyan Empire in the Maharashtra area had also come to an end during the twelfth century.
  • The place of the Cholas was taken by the Pandyas and the Hoysalas in the south, and of the later Chalukyas by the Yada Kakatiyas. These states extended patronage to arts and architecture.

Chola Government:

  • The king was the most important person in the Chola administration. All authority rested in his hands, but he had a council of ministers to advice kings often went on tours in order to keep better touch with the administration.
  • The Cholas maintained a large army consisting of elephants, infantry which were called the three limbs of the army. The infantry was generally armed with spears. Most of the kings had bodyguards who to defend the kings even at the cost of their lives.
  • The Venetian traveller, Marco Polo, who visited Kerala in the thirteenth century, says that all in the body-guard burnt themselves in the funeral pyre of the monarch when he died – a statement which may well be an exaggeration.
  • The Chola strong navy which dominated the Malabar and Coromandal coast and for some time, the entire Bay of Bengal.
  • The Chola divided into mandalams or provinces and these, in turn, were divided into valanadu and nadu. Sometimes, princes of the royal family were governors of provinces. Officials were general1y pai1 by giving them assignments of revenue-bearing lands.
  • The Chola rulers built a network of which were useful for trade as well as for the movement of the army. Trade and commerce flourished in the Chola Empire, and there were so trade, guilds which traded with Java and Sumatra.
  • The Cholas also paid attention to irrigation. The river Kaveri and other rivers were purpose. Many tanks for irrigation were built. Some of the Chola rulers carried out an elaborate survey of land in order to fix the governme the land revenue.
  • In addition to land tax, the Chola rulers drew their income from tolls on trade, taxes on professions, and also from the plunder of the territories. The Chola rulers were wealthy and could afford to build a number of towns and magnificent monuments.
  • Two assemblies, called the ur and the sabha or mahasabha. The ur was a general assembly of the village. Working of the mahasabha was a gathering of the adult men in the brahmana villages which were called agraharas.
  • These were settled by the brahmanas in which most of the land was rent-free. These villages enjoyed a large measure of autonomy. The affairs of the managed by an executive committee to which educated persons owning property were elected either by drawing lots or by rotation. These mem retire every three years.

Cultural Life:

  • The extent and resources of the Chola Empire enabled the rulers to build great-capitals, such as Tanjore, Gangaikondacholapuram, Kanchi, etc maintained huge households and large palaces with banquet halls, spacious gardens and terraces.
  • The Chola capital Gangaikondacholapuram was now just a small Tanjore. However, descriptions of the magnificent palaces of the rulers and their ministers; and of equally magnificent houses in which merchants lived, are to be found in the literature of the period.
  • Temple architecture in the south attained its climax under the Cholas. Architecture which came into vogue during this -period is called Dravida, because it was confined largely to sooth India. The main feature of t the building of storey upon storey above the chief deity-room (garbhagriha).
  • The number of storeys varied from five to seven and they had typical style which came to be called the vA pillared hall called mandap, with elaborately carved pillars and a flat roof, was generally placed in sanctum. It acted as an audience hall and was a place for various other activities such as ceremonial dances which were performed by the dev women dedicate to the service of -the gods.
  • Sometimes, a passage used to be added around the sanctum so that the devotees could go round many other gods could be put in this passage. This entire structure was enclosed in a courtyard surrounded by high walls, which were pierced b called gopurams.
  • In course of time, the vimanas rose higher and higher, the number of courtyards were increased to two or three, and the go became more and more elaborate. Thus, temple became a miniature city or palace, living-rooms for priests and many others being provide temples generally enjoyed revenue-free grants of lands of their expenses. They also received grants and rich donations from the wealthy mercy of the temples became so rich that they entered business, lent money, and took part in business enterprises.
  • An early example of the Dravida style of temple architecture is the Eighth century temple of Kailasanatha at Kanchipuram. One of the fine elaborate examples of the style is, however, provided by the Brihadiswara temple at Tanjore built by Rajaraja I. This is also called the Raja because the Cholas were in the habit of installing images of kings and queens in the temples, in addition to the deity.
  • The Gangaikondacholapuram, though in a dilapidated condition, is another fine example of temple architecture under the Cholas. A large number were also built at other places in south India. However, it may be well to remember that the proceeds for some of these activities were obtain plunder of the population of the neighbouring areas by the Chola rulers.
  • After the fall of the Cholas, temple building activity continue Chalukyas of Kalyani and the Hoysalas. The district of Dharwara the Hoysala capital, Halebid; had a large number of temples. The most m these is the Hoysalesvara temple. It is the best example of what is called the Chalukyan style.
  • A part from the images of gods and their attend men and women (yaksha and yakshini), the temples contain finely sculptured panels which show a busy panorama of life, including dance Scenes of war and love. Thus, life was closely integrated with religion. For the common man, the temple was not merely a place for worship but the hub of social and cultural life as well.
  • The art of sculpture attained a high standard in south India during this period. One example of this was the statue of Gomateswar at Sravana Belgola. Another aspect was image making which reached its climax in the dancing figure of the Shiva called nataraja figures of this period, particularly those in bronze, are considered masterpieces. Many fine examples of this are to be found.
  • The rulers of the various dynasties also patronized arts and letters during this period. While Sanskrit was regarded as the language of high culture and a number of kings as well as scholars and court poets wrote in it, a remarkable feature of the period was the growth of liter language of the areas.
  • A number of popular saints called nayanars and alvars who were devotees of Shiva and Vishnu flourished in the Tamil area. They composed their works in Tamil and other languages of the area.
  • The writings of these saints, which into eleven volumes under the name Tirumurais in the early part of the twelfth century, are considered sacred and are looked upon as the fifth age of Kamban who is placed in the second half of the eleventh and the early part of the twelfth century is regarded as a golden age in Kamban’s Ramayana is considered a classic in Tamil literature.
  • Kamban is believed to have lived at the court of a Chola king. Many other themes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, thus bringing these classics nearer to the people. Though younger than Tamil, Kannada also became a literary language during this period.
  • The Rashtrakuta, the Chalukya and the Hoysala patronized Kannada as well as Telugu. The Rashtrakuta king, Amoghavarsha, wrote a book on poetics in Kannada. Many Jain scholars also co the growth of Kannada. Pampa, Ponna and Ranna are regarded as the three gems of Kannada poetry.
  • Although they were under the influence they also wrote on themes taken from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Nanniah, who lived at the court of a Chalukyan king began the Telugu version of the Mahabharata. The work begun by him was completed in the thirteenth century by Tikkanna.
  • Like the Tamil Ramayana, the Telugu Mahabharata is a classic which inspired many subsequent writers. Many folk or popular themes are also to be found in these literatures. Popular themes derived from Sanskrit and which reflect popular sentiments and emotions are called desi or rural in Telugu.
  • Eighth to the twelfth century was not only remarkable for political integration in south India but also for cultural development Trade and commerce flourished during this period, making it one of the great periods in the history of south India.




Name the ecosystems which lack primary producers.

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Snow fields, sand dunes and oceans below photic zones

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Systems Lacking Primary Producers

  • There are some ecosystems that depend on primary production from other ecosystems.
  • Many streams have few primary producers and are dependent on the leaves from surrounding forests as a source of food that supports the stream food chain.
  • Snow fields in the high mountains and sand dunes in the desert depend on food blown in from areas that support primary production.
  • The oceans below the photic zone are a vast space, largely dependent on food from photosynthetic primary producers living in the sunlit waters above.
  • Food sinks to the bottom in the form of dead organisms and bacteria.
  • It is as small as marine snow—tiny clumps of bacteria and decomposing microalgae—and as large as an occasional bonanza—a dead whale.


  • Ocean exploration has brought to light new ecosystems, dependent on chemosynthetic bacteria which produce food from CO2 (and sometimes water) using energy from the metabolism of inorganic materials found around them.
  • Chemosynthesis was already well known in terrestrial systems.
  • Nitrifying and anaerobic denitrifying bacteria as well as sulfur-fixing and anaerobic sulfur-reducing bacteria all use energy sources other than the sun.
  • These bacteria had been studied in terrestrial and shallow water systems, but finding entire large ecosystems in the deep sea dependent on chemosynthetic bacteria using sulfur and methane as substrates opened major new areas of research.
  • The discovery of hydrothermal vents and coldwater methane seeps has given us a new vision of primary production in the deep sea.




What is Swara?

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  • Svara or Swara is a Sanskrit word about the complete dimension of musical pitch.

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Musical note

  • The world of melodic music is based around combining and sequencing specific audio vibrations. These vibrations can be produced by any type of instrument—vocals, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and even non-traditional instruments like car horns and cooking pots.
  • These sounds are named, organized and sequenced. This is called a music note. Pitch and duration of a musical sound are the components of a music note.

What is Pitch?

  • The pitch describes how low or high a note sounds. Sound is made up of vibrations or waves. These waves have a speed or frequency that they vibrate at. The pitch of the note changes depending on the frequency of these vibrations.
  • The higher the frequency of the wave, the higher the pitch of the note will sound.

Indian Music:

  • Svaraor Swara is a Sanskrit word about the complete dimension of musical pitch.
  • shrutiis the smallest gradation of pitch that a human ear can detect, and a singer or instrument can produce.
  • Swarais the selected pitches from which the musician constructs the scales, melodies and ragas.
  • The ancient Sanskrit text Natya Shastraidentifies and discusses twenty-two shruti and seven Swara.
  • The seven notes of the musical scale in Indian classical music are shadja (षड्ज), rishabha (ऋषभ), gandhara (गान्धार), madhyama (मध्यम), panchama (पञ्चम), dhaivata (धैवत) and nishada (निषाद). Collectively these notes are known as the Sargam.




What is Electrosmog?

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  • Electrosmog is a form of pollution caused by invisible electromagnetic radiation resulting from the use of both wireless technology and mains electricity.

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  • Electrosmog is a form of pollution caused by invisible electromagnetic radiation resulting from the use of both wireless technology and mains electricity.
  • Mobile phones, antennae of mobile towers, Wi-Fi, cordless phones, tabs, and other such wireless equipment work on frequencies ranging from 700 Megahertz (MHz) to 2.8 Gigahertz (GHz) and the proposed new arrival of 5G is supposed to work on a frequency of 30 GHz to 300 GHz.
  • All these very high frequencies cause multiple resonances at a cellular level, causing disturbances in cell-to-cell communication.
  • Electrosmog is responsible for a condition known as electro sensitivity (ES) or electro hypersensitivity (EHS).
  • Children, the elderly, and anyone with a lowered immune system are most at risk from the health effects.
  • The International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization, declared microwave radiation as a Class 2B carcinogenic to humans.

Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Disruptive sleep patterns
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Hypersensitivity and erratic blood pressure
  • Skin complaints
  • Behavioral patterns in children




Metamorphic rocks are formed of molten rock. Is it true or false?

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False, it is formed of other rocks changed because of heat or pressure.

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Metamorphic rocks

  • Metamorphic rocks are formed from other rocks that are changed because of heat or pressure. They are not made from molten rock – rocks that do melt form igneous rocks instead.
  • Earth movements can cause rocks to be deeply buried or squeezed. As a result, the rocks are heated and put under great pressure. They do not melt, but the minerals they contain are changed chemically, forming metamorphic rocks.

Why some metamorphic rocks are in  layers ?

  • This is due to a process called
  • Foliated rock occurs after some types of rock have been subjected to very high pressures and temperatures.
  • Foliatedmetamorphic rocks are formed within the Earth’s interior under extremely high pressures that are unequal, occurring when the pressure is greater in one direction than in the others (directed pressure).
  • This causes the minerals in the original rock to reorient themselves with the long and flat minerals aligning perpendicular to the greatest pressure direction.
  • This reduces the overall pressure on the rock and gives it a striped look.




What is the Jātaka tales?

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They are a voluminous body of literature native to India concerning the previous births of Gautama Buddha in both human and animal form.

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  • Jataka is any of the extremely popular stories of former lives of the Buddha, which are preserved in all branches of Buddhism.
  • Some Jataka tales are scattered in various sections of the Pali canon of Buddhist writings, including a group of 35 that were collected for didactic purposes.
  • These 35 constitute the last book, the Cariya Pitaka of the Khuddaka Nikaya (Short Collection).
  • Beyond this, a Sinhalese commentary of the 5th century that is questionably attributed to a Buddhist scholar named Buddhagosa and called the Jatakatthavannana, or Jatakatthakatha, gathers together about 550 Jataka stories, some of which are quite brief while others are as long as novelettes.
  • Each tale begins by noting the occasion that prompted its telling and ends with the Buddha identifying the lives of the people in the introductory story with those of people from the
  • Many Jatakas have parallels in the Mahabharata, the Panca-tantra (animal fables), the Puranas (collections of legends), and elsewhere in non-Buddhist Indian literature.
  • Some turn up again in such places as Aesop’s fables. The Jataka stories have also been illustrated frequently in sculpture and painting throughout the Buddhist world.




Rancidity occurs in the presence of Oxygen. True or False?

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  • Rancidity refers to the spoilage of food. When the substance containing oils and fats are exposed to air, they get oxidised and become rancid due to which their smell, taste and colour change.

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  • Rancidity refers to the spoilage of food in such a way that it becomes undesirable (and usually unsafe) for consumption.
  • When the substance containing oils and fats are exposed to air, they get oxidised and become rancid due to which their smell, taste and colour change. This process is known as
  • Packaged Chips are flushed with an inert gas like nitrogen to prevent from




Mention some advantages of Forest fires

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Advantages of Forest Fires:

  • Fires by burning up dead branches and other litter accumulated on the ground give room to seeds to take root.
  • Fire kills diseases and insects that prey on trees.

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Benefits of Forest Fires:

  • The most common hazard in forests is forests fire. Forests fires are as old as the forests themselves. They pose a threat not only to the forest wealth but also to the entire regime to fauna and flora seriously disturbing the biodiversity and the ecology and environment of a region.

However, Forest fires also have certain advantages, they are:

  • Fires by burning up dead branches and other litter accumulated on the ground give room to seeds to take root.
  • Assist in seed germination as some plants require intense heat or smoke.
  • The trees that are charred and look dead may still be alive, sprouting new leaves in a few weeks or months.
  • The ash, burnt trunks, and other debris can hold soil and reduce problems of erosion after a fire.
  • Dead trees can provide habitat for birds and other animals. Their roots stabilise the soil.
  • Fire kills diseases and insects that prey on trees.




What is the biological half-life for uranium?

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  • It is about 15 days.
  • Half- life or uranium means the average time it takes for the human body to eliminate half the amount in the body.

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Uranium Contamination in Ground Water in India

  • There is prevalence of Uranium concentration above 30 micro-gram per litre (World Health Organization (WHO) provisional guidelines) in some of the localized pockets of few States/UTs in the country.
  • A report brought out by Duke University, USA in association with Central Ground Water Board and State Ground Water departments states that Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Jammu & Kashmir have localised occurrence of Uranium concentration.
  • As per information received from Department of Atomic Energy, elevated uranium level in drinking water may affect human health.
  • The elevated uranium level in drinking water may be associated with kidney toxicity.
  • The Indian Standard IS 10500: 2012 for Drinking Water specification has specified the maximum acceptable limits for radioactive residues as alpha and beta emitters, values in excess of which render the water not suitable.
  • These requirements take into account all radioactive elements including uranium. No individual radioactive elements have been specifically identified.
  • Bureau of Indian Standard is working to incorporate maximum permissible limit of Uranium as 0.03 mg/l (as per WHO provisional guidelines) in all drinking water standards after following due process.

Uranium in the environment

  • Uranium in the environmentrefers to the science of the sources, environmental behaviour, and effects of uranium on humans and other animals.
  • Uranium is weakly radioactiveand remains so because of its long physical half-life (4.468 billion years for uranium-238).
  • The biological half-life (the average time it takes for the human body to eliminate half the amount in the body) for uranium is about 15 days.
  • Normal functioning of the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems can be affected by uranium exposure, because uranium is a toxic metal.
  • The use of depleted uranium (DU) in munitionsis controversial because of questions about potential long-term health effects.




Members of NITI Aayog have the rank and status of ministers of state at the Centre. True or False

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  • Members of NITI Aayog have the rank and status of ministers of state at the Centre.

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Cabinet Rank:

  • Recently, Government gave the NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman a rank and pay of Cabinet minister. The rank also enabled Vice-Chairman to attend Cabinet meetings as a special invitee
  • Other members of the NITI Aayog have the rank and status of ministers of state at the Centre

Other Members who receive a rank and pay of Cabinet minister

  • The National Security Advisor
  • Leader of Opposition
  • Chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes
  • Chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
  • Principal Secretary to the PMO
  • Additional Principal Secretary to the PMO
  • The Chairman of Prime Minister`s Economic Advisory Council




Who among the following tribes were brought to India by Arabs, the Portuguese and the Dutch?a) The Todas b) The Siddis c) The Soligas d) The Hallaki Vokkals

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  • The Siddis were brought to India by Arabs, the Portuguese and the Dutch.

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Native tribal groups of western ghats

  • The hill tribes or Adivasis (original inhabitants) as they are called, account for barely 5% of the area population in the Western Ghats.

The Tribes of the Nilgiris

The Todas

  • The Todas are found in Nilgiris Range of Tamil Nadu.
  • Their traditional dress is Roman type toga, covered by a shawl.
  • Buffaloes are important animals for the Todas.
  • Their language is Dravidian in origin.
  • Their hamlets are called munds.
  • Todas practice polyandry.

The Soligas

  • Found in the hill ranges of Biligiri Rangaswamy and Malai Mahadeshwara in Karnataka.
  • Primarily semi-nomadic, in recent years are more or less live a sedentary existence in small forest villages called
  • The staple food of Soligas is ragi.
  • The crop cultivation practices are quite primitive, and their agriculture is known by the name kalakodu besaya.
  • The Soligas have their medicine system known as naru beru aushadhi (roots and tuber medicine).

Hallaki Vokkals

  • Hallaki Vokkals are confined to the coastal areas of Karnataka.
  • They are
  • Mud walls and floors of their thatched huts are elaborately decorated with Hali ( White rangoli against black or red background).
  • Women are extremely hardworking, and a bridegroom has to pay Tara (bride price) to his father-in-law before the wedding.

The Siddis

  • The Siddis are the descendants of African Negroes, who were brought to India mainly by Arabs, the Portuguese and the Dutch.
  • They live in small clusters constituting a distinct settlement of a village or independent settlement. Their occupation is agriculture and hunter-gatherers.
  • They speak Are-Marathi, a mixture of Marathi, Konkani and Kannada.

Tribals of Kerala:

The Paniya

  • The Paniya, a major tribal community in Kerala live in the hills of Wayanad.
  • The headman of Paniya settlement is called Kuttan, and the head of the family is Mudali
  • The Paniya priest Chemmi wields authority over a group of settlements.
  • They practice monogamy and widows are allowed to marry.

The Adiyas

  • This is another of the slave tribes and the community is divided into subgroups called the
  • The headman of the Mandu is called Peruman.
  • Polygamy is not a taboo among them.


  • This is a primitive tribe and the Kattunayakans live in jungles and are mainly engaged In collecting forest produce and honey.
  • The headman is called Muthan whose decisions are always final.
  • The Kattunayakans worship animals, birds, trees and other Hindu deities and firmly believe in black magic and sorcery.


  • The Kuruchiyans are an agricultural tribal community and they are excellent archers who joined Pazhassi Raja in the fight against British.
  • They live in small though clean houses and do not encourage drinking alcohol except on festive occasions.

Distribution of the Tribes of Northern and Central Western Ghats (Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa)


  • Bhils are considered to be amongst the oldest settlers in the country.
  • They derive their name from the Dravidian word Billu, which means bow.
  • They live in isolation, go for hunting, fishing, practice shifting cultivation.

Warli Tribe:

  • The Warlis are mainly residents of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
  • Their tribal paintings are different from other folk and tribal art.
  • They are painted on mud, charcoal, cow dung based surfaces using only white colour, and are decorated with series of dots in red and yellow.
  • Their paintings are influenced by the seasonal cycle as their life around them is directly reflected in the paintings.

Goa tribes include Gaude, Velip, Dhangar and Kunbi.




What was the intension of the 1929 Irwin Declaration?

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It was intended to placate leaders of the Indian nationalist movement who had become increasingly vocal in demanding dominion status for India.

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Irwin Declaration:

  • The Irwin Declaration was a statement made by Lord Irwin, then Viceroy of India, on 31 October 1929 regarding the status of India in the British Empire.
  • It attempted to clarify to its British and Indian audiences that the intention of the British government was to facilitate India attaining dominion status in the future. However, there was no mention of any timeline.
  • The Declaration triggered political developments both in Britain and India. In India, nationalist leaders welcomed the Declaration and radically changed their mode of engagement with the British governmen
  • Political developments that emerged from this point onwards ultimately led the Indian National Congress to pass the Purna Swaraj Declaration.




Who administers the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)?

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IUCN’s Global Programme on Protected Areas

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IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)

  • IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) is the world’s premier network of protected area expertise.
  • It is administered by IUCN’s Global Programme on Protected Areas and has over 2,500 members, spanning 140 countries.      
  • WCPA works by helping governments and others plan protected areas and integrate them into all sectors; by providing strategic advice to policy makers; by strengthening capacity and investment in protected areas; and by convening the diverse constituency of protected area stakeholders to address challenging issues.
  • For more than 50 years, IUCN and WCPA have been at the forefront of global action on protected areas.

Mission of WPCA:

  • To develop and provide scientific and technical advice and policy that promotes a representative, effectively managed and equitably governed global system of marine and terrestrial protected areas, includingespecially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

WCPA Objectives

The objectives of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas for 2017-2020, aligned with the Promise of Sydney, are to:

  1. Catalyze and support global efforts to expand and effectively manage systems of protected areas to achieve the Aichi Targets for halting biodiversity loss, in particular through meeting Aichi Target 11.
  2. Recognise and mainstream protected areas as natural solutions to global challenges, such as climate change, land degradation, food and water security, health and well-being;
  3. Make the case for investment in protected area systems, supported by public policy, incentives, capacity development and sustainable funding;
  4. Inspire all people, across generations, geography and cultures to experience and value the wonder of nature through protected areas and to promote more support for conservation of natural ecosystems;
  5. Use our acknowledged role as a key global knowledge-broker and standard setter for protected areas to support efforts to raise the standards and practices of protected area governance and management globally.




Who are D-voters?

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  • D- voter is the acronym used for ‘doubtful voter’. Those persons whose citizenship was doubtful or was under dispute were categorized as ‘D- Voters’ during the preparation of National Register of Citizens in Assam.

Enrich Your Learning:


  • D- voter is the acronym used for ‘doubtful voter’.
  • Those persons whose citizenship was doubtful or was under dispute were categorized as ‘D- Voters’ during the preparation of National Register of Citizens in Assam.
  • ‘Doubtful voter’ or ‘doubtful citizenship’ have not been defined in the Citizenship Act, 1955 or the Citizenship Rules of 2003.
  • Doubtful voters cannot cast their vote or contest in the elections.
  • The marking as a doubtful voter is a temporary measure and cannot be prolonged. A decision in a definite period of time must be taken.
  • D-voters are tried by special tribunals under the Foreigners’ Act and if they fail to defend their citizenship claim they are marked as declared foreigners and sent to any of six detention camps, which are within jails for criminals, for deportation.




What is the primary composition of Oceanic crust?

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Silica and Magnesium i.e. sima

Enrich Your Learning:

Oceanic crust

  • Oceanic crust is the uppermost layer of the oceanic portion of a tectonic plate.
  • It is composed of the upper oceanic crust, with pillow lavasand a dike complex, and the lower oceanic crust, composed of troctolite, gabbro and ultramafic cumulates.
  • The crust overlies the solidified and uppermost layer of the mantle.
  • The crust and the solid mantle layer together constitute oceanic lithosphere.
  • Oceanic crust is primarily composed of mafic rocks, or sima, which is rich in iron and magnesium.
  • It is thinner than continental crust, or sial, generally less than 10 kilometers thick; however, it is denser, having a mean density of about 3.0 grams per cubic centimeter as opposed to continental crust which has a density of about 2.7 grams per cubic centimeter.




What do you know about the Lothian Committee which was formed in 1931?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Lothian Committee:

  • The Communal Award which was announced by the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald (1932), based on the findings of the Indian Franchise Committee (Lothian Committee).
  • British Government appointed Lothian Committee in December 1931, to formulate a system 83 of franchise whereby all sections of the people would be represented in the legislature.
  • The Committee was specifically required to’ investigate the need, justification and methods to ensure adequate representation for the Depressed Classes.
  • The Indian Franchise Committee was constituted on the recommendations by the Franchise Sub-Committee of the Round Table Conference in December 1931.
  • The Committee consisted of 18 members including Dr. Ambedkar. The Marquess of Lothian was the Chairman of this Committee.
  • The Indian Franchise Committee has adopted two tests for the classification of untouchables, temple entry and pollution by touch.
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