UPSC Previous Year Papers 2018

With reference to the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), consider the following statements :

1. IRNSS has three satellites in geostationary and four satellites in geosynchronous orbits.
2. IRNSS covers entire India and about 5500 sq. km beyond its borders.
3. India will have its own satellite navigation system with full global coverage by the middle of 2019.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) None

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Answer. a

Explanation: The IRNSS is being developed parallel to the GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO Augmented Satellite Navigation) program, the ISRO SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation System) version of an overlay system for GNSS signal corrections.

The IRNSS system consists of a constellation of seven satellites and a supporting ground segment. Three of the satellites in the constellation will be placed in a geostationary orbit and the remaining four in a geosynchronous inclined orbit of 29º relative to the equatorial plane. Such an arrangement would mean all seven satellites would have continuous radio visibility with Indian control stations. It will cover the entire country and an area extending about 1,500 sq. km beyond its border, with a position accuracy better than 20m in all weather conditions.

Consider the following phenomena :

1.Light is affected by gravity.
2. The Universe is constantly expanding.
3. Matter warps its surrounding space-time.

Which of the above is/are the prediction/predictions of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, often discussed in media ?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

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Answer. c


General relativity’s light-bending effect proved valuable for much more than affirming Einstein’s theory. By bending light, masses act like a lens; such “gravitational lensing” alters the apparent position of a distant object, creating multiple images of it, or (if the images overlap) appearing to brighten it.

Einstein succeeded in showing that matter and spacetime mutually interact to mimic Newton’s naïve idea that masses attract each other. Gravity, said Einstein, actually moved matter along the curving pathways embodied in spacetime — paths imprinted by mass and energy themselves.

With reference to the Genetically Modified mustard (GM mustard) developed in India, consider the following statements :

1.GM mustard has the genes of a soil bacterium that give the plant the property of pest-resistance to a wide variety of pests.
2. GM mustard has the genes that allow the plant cross-pollination and hybridization.
3. GM mustard has been developed jointly by the IARI and Punjab Agricultural University.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a)1 and 3 only
(b)2 only
(c)2 and 3 only
(d)1, 2 and 3

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Answer. b

Explanation: GM mustard has been developed by a team of scientists at Delhi University’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants led by former vice-chancellor Deepak Pental under a government-funded project.

Consider the following pairs :

Terms sometimes seen in news                             Context /Topic

1.Belle II experiment                              –      Artificial Intelligence
2. Blockchain technology                         –      Digital/Cryptocurrency
3. CRISPR — Cas9                                  –      Particle Physics

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched ?

(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

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Answer. b

Explanation: The blockchain is an undeniably ingenious invention which created the backbone of a new type of internet originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin.

Which of the following statements best describes “carbon fertilization”?

(a) Increased plant growth due to increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
(b) Increased temperature of Earth due to increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
(c) Increased acidity of oceans as a result of increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
(d) Adaptation of all living beings on Earth to the climate change brought about hr the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

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Answer. a

Explanation: Carbon fertilization results in larger amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that has resulted from rising anthropogenic emissions should help the growth of plants, which use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. The effect ought to increase crop yields – and that is some good news for farmers, amid the overwhelmingly gloomy forecasts for other aspects of climate change.

In the context of emerging communication technologies, which one of the following term” best applies to the above scenario?

(a) Border Gateway Protocol
(b) Internet of Things
(c) Internet Protocol
(d) Virtual Private Network

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Explanation: Internet of things is a seamless connected network system of embedded objects/ devices, with identifiers, in which communication without any human intervention is possible using standard and interoperable communication protocols.With this technology, each and every device that we use in daily life (including refrigerators, cars and even tooth brush) can be made intelligent and smart by using device specific operating systems and connectivity to the Internet.

With reference to solar power production in India, consider the following statements:

1.India is the third largest in the world in the manufacture of silicon wafers used in photovoltaic units.
2. The solar power tariffs are determined by the Solar Energy Corporation of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

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Explanation: Solar energy corporation of india’s works include Solar Thermal installations for water/air heating and industrial process, Solar Thermal Pilot Power Plants, Implementation of  Grid Connected Solar Roof-Top scheme, Development and dissemination of low cost solar lanterns, Grid connected solar power plants, Solar Mini/Micro Grids, Research and Development including solar resource assessment.

The staple commodities of export by the English East India Company from Bengal in the middle of the 18th century were

(a) Raw cotton, oil-seeds and opium
(b) Sugar, salt, zinc and lead
(c) Copper, silver, gold, spices and tea
(d) Cotton, silk, saltpetre and opium

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Explanation: During the period 1780–1860 India changed from an exporter of processed goods paid for in bullion to an exporter of raw materials and a buyer of manufactured goods. In the 1750s fine cotton and silk was exported from India to markets in Europe, Asia, and Africa, while by the second quarter of the 19th century, raw materials, which chiefly consisted of raw cotton, opium, and indigo, accounted for most of India’s exports.

Which one of the following is a very significant aspect of the Champaran Satyagraha?

(a) Active all-India participation of lawyers, students and women in the National Movement
(b) Active involvement of Dalit and Tribal communities of India in the National Movement
(c) Joining of peasant unrest to India’s National Movement
(d) Drastic decrease in the cultivation of plantation crops and commercial crops

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Explanation: The Champaran peasant movement was launched in 1917-18. Its objective was to create awakening among the peasants against the European planters. These planters resorted to illegal and inhuman methods of indigo cultivation at a cost which by no canons of justice could be called an adequate remuneration for the labour done by the peasants.

Who among the following were the founders of the “Hind Mazdoor Sabha” established in 1948 ?

(a) B. Krishna Pillai, E.M.S. Namboodiripad and K.C. George
(b) Jayaprakash Narayan, Deen Day al Upadhyay and M.N. Roy
(c) C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer, K. Kamaraj and Veeresalingam Pantulu
(d) Ashok Mehta, T.S. Ramanujam and G.G. Mehta

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Explanation : The Hind Mazdoor sabha was founded in Howrah in west bengal on 29 December 1948, by socialists, Forward Bloc followers and independent unionists. It was founded by Basawon Singh, Ashok Mehta, R.S. Ruikar, Maniben Kara, Shibnath Banerjee, R.A. Khedgikar, T.S. Ramanujam, V.S. Mathur, G.G. Mehta. R.S. Ruikar was elected president and Ashok Mehta general secretary. HMS absorbed the Royist Indian Federation of Labour and the Hind Mazdoor Panchayat, which was formed in 1948 by socialists leaving the increasingly communist dominated AITUC.

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