(Prelims) IAS General Studies Solved Paper With Explanations: 1998 (Part 1)

(Prelims) IAS General Studies – 1998 (Part 1)

1. The water pollution in river is measured by the dissolved amount of

(a) Chlorine 

 (b) Ozone  

(c) Nitrogen  

(d) Oxygen

Ans: (d)


All about Dissolved Oxygen:

  • Dissolved oxygen refers to the level of free, non-compound oxygen present in water or other liquids. It is an important parameter in assessing water quality because of its influence on the organisms living within a body of water. In limnology (the study of lakes), dissolved oxygen is an essential factor second only to water itself.  A dissolved oxygen level that is too high or too low can harm aquatic life and affect water quality.

  • The oxygen dissolves by diffusion from the surrounding air; aeration of water that has tumbled over falls and rapids; and as a waste product of photosynthesis.
  • Fish and aquatic animals cannot split oxygen from water (H2O) or other oxygen-containing compounds. Only green plants and some bacteria can do that through photosynthesis and similar processes. Virtually all the oxygen we breath is manufactured by green plants. A total of three-fourths of the earth’s oxygen supply is produced by phytoplankton in the oceans.
  • If water is too warm, there may not be enough oxygen in it. When there are too many bacteria or aquatic animal in the area, they may overpopulate, using DO in great amounts.
  • Oxygen levels also can be reduced through overfertilization of water plants by run-off from farm fields containing phosphates and nitrates (the ingredients in fertilizers). Under these conditions, the numbers and size of water plants increase. Then, if the weather becomes cloudy for several days, respiring plants will use much of the available DO. When these plants die, they become food for bacteria, which in turn multiply and use large amounts of oxygen. And this depleting all the oxygen.
  • How much DO an aquatic organism needs depends upon its species, its physical state, water temperature, pollutants present, and more. Consequently, it’s impossible to accurately predict minimum DO levels for specific fish and aquatic animals. For example, at 5 oC (41 oF), trout use about 50-60 milligrams (mg) of oxygen per hour; at 25 oC (77 oF), they may need five or six times that amount. Fish are cold-blooded animals. They use more oxygen at higher temperatures because their metabolic rates increase.
  • Total dissolved gas concentrations in water should not exceed 110 percent. Concentrations above this level can be harmful to aquatic life. Fish in waters containing excessive dissolved gases may suffer from “gas bubble disease”; however, this is a very rare occurrence.
  • Adequate dissolved oxygen is necessary for good water quality. Oxygen is a necessary element to all forms of life. Natural stream purification processes require adequate oxygen levels in order to provide for aerobic life forms. As dissolved oxygen levels in water drop below 5.0 mg/l, aquatic life is put under stress. The lower the concentration, the greater the stress. Oxygen levels that remain below 1-2 mg/l for a few hours can result in large fish kills.
  • Dissolved oxygen is absolutely essential for the survival of all aquatic organisms ( not only fish but also invertebrates suach as crabs, clams, zooplankton, etc). Moreover, oxygen affects a vast number of other water indicators, not only biochemical but esthetic ones like the odor, clarity and taste. Consequently, oxygen is perhaps the most well-established indicator of water quality.
  • A high DO level in a community water supply is good because it makes drinking water taste better. However, high DO levels speed up corrosion in water pipes. For this reason, industries use water with the least possible amount of dissolved oxygen. Water used in very low pressure boilers have no more than 2.0 ppm of DO, but most boiler plant operators try to keep oxygen levels to 0.007 ppm or less.

2. Some time back, the Government of India, decided to delicense `white goods’ industry. `White goods’ include
(a) stainless steel and alumunium utensils
(b) milk and milk products
(c) items purchased for conspicuous consumption
(d) soaps, detergents and other mass consumption goods

Ans: (c)


  • The Indian Consumer Durables segment can be segmented into three groups:

1. White goods

  • Air conditioners, Refrigerators, Washing Machines, Sewing Machines, Watches and clocks, Cleaning equipment, Other domestic appliances

2. Brown goods

  • Microwave Ovens, Cooking Range, Chimneys, Mixers, Grinders, Electronic fans, Irons

3. Consumer electronics

  • TVs, Audio and video systems, Electronic accessories, PCs, Mobile phones, Digital cameras, DVDs, Camcorders

General Basic Definitions:

  • White Goods: (1) Heavy consumer durables such as air conditioners, refrigerators, stoves, etc., which used to be painted only in white enamel finish. Despite their availability in varied colors now, they are still called white goods. (2) Also household goods, as bed sheets, tablecloths, and towels, formerly bleached and finished in white but now often patterned and colored. (3)Also alcoholic liquors that are manufactured without color, as vodka, gin, and tequila.
  • Brown Goods: Relatively light electronic consumer durables such as TVs, radios, digital media players, and computers, as distinct from heavy consumer durables such as air conditioners, refrigerators, stoves.

3. Examine the following three statements
1. Processed meat is a perishable food.
2. All perishable foods are packed in sealed tins.
3. Sealed tins sometimes do not contain processed meat.
Which one of the following inferences can be drawn from the above statements ?

(a) Sealed tins always contain perishable food

(b) Processed meat is sometimes not packed in sealed tins.

(c) Processed meat is always packed in sealed tins.

(d) Non-perishable foods are never packed in sealed tins.

Ans: (c)

4. What is the correct sequence of the following Indian states in descending order of their length of surface roads per 100 km2 of their area?
1. Haryana    2. Maharashtra    3. Punjab   4. Tamil Nadu

(a) 4, 3, 2, 1

(b) 4, 3, 1, 2   

(c) 3, 4, 1, 2  

(d) 3, 4, 2, 1

5. Match List I with List II and select the correct answer
List I                          List II
A. Potassium bromide          1. Fertiliser

B. Potassium nitrate             2. Photography
C. Potassium sulphate          3. Bakery
D. Monopotassium tartarate 4. Gunpowder
A  B   C   D        A   B   C   D
(a) 2   4    1    3   (b) 2   4     3   1
(c) 4   2    3    1   (d) 4   2     1   3

Ans: (a)


  • Potassium bromide is used as a veterinary drug, as an antiepileptic medication for dogs. Under standard conditions, potassium bromide is a white crystalline powder. It is freely soluble in water. It is used widely as infrared optical windows and components for general spectroscopy because of its wide spectral range. In addition to manufacture of silver bromide, potassium bromide is used in photography.
  • Potassium nitrate is one of several nitrogen-containing compounds collectively referred to as saltpeter or saltpetre. Major uses of potassium nitrate are in fertilizers, Tree stump removal, rocket propellants and fireworks. It is one of the major constituents of gunpowder (blackpowder) and has been used since the Middle Ages as a food preservative.
  • Potassium sulfate, also called sulphate of potash, arcanite, or archaically known as potash of sulfur) is a non-flammable white crystalline salt which is soluble in water. The chemical is commonly used in fertilizers, providing both potassium and sulfur.
  • Potassium bitartrate, also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate or Monopotassium tartarate, with formula KC4H5O6, is a byproduct of winemaking. In cooking it is known as cream of tartar. It is used in food for (1) stabilizing egg whites, increasing their heat tolerance and volume (2) Preventing sugar syrups from crystallizing (3)Anti-caking and thickening (4) Stabilizing whipped cream, maintaining its texture and volume. (5) Reducing discoloration of boiled vegetables
  • Potassium tartrate, dipotas sium tartrate or argol has formula K2C4H4O6. It is the potassium salt of tartaric acid. It is used as a food additive.

6. The four railway junctions shown by numerals 1, 2, 3, 4 on the rough outline map of Gujarat are respectively
(a) Patanpur, Mahesana, Ahmedabad and Vadodara
(b) Mahesana, Surendranagar, Rajkot and Junagarh
(c) Palanpur, Kanda, Bhuj and Okla
(d) Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bhavnagar and Broach

7. The damage to the Spektr Module of the Russian Space Station Mir was due to
(a) collision with a Soyuz cargo ship
(b) faulty material design of the Spektr Module
(c) explosion inside the space station
(d) collision with an asteroid

Ans: (a)

  • On June 25, 1997, the Progress M-34 spacecraft crashed into Spektr while doing an experimental docking maneuver with the Kvant-1 module. The collision damaged one of Spektr’s solar arrays and punctured the hull, causing a relatively slow leak.

8. The misery index is the sum of a country’s unemployment and inflation rate. The higher the index, the more miserable a is the country to live in. The Misery Index for various countries in Europe:

Which of the following conclusions can be drawn from the misery index given above?
1. Britain is the most miserable country to live in.
2. The inflation rate in Spain is less than than in Belgium and Britain.
3. Italy and France seem to have almost identical unemployment rate.
4. The higher the misery index the higher the inflation rate.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below
(a) 1 alone             (b) 2 and 3
(c) 1, 2, 3 and 4      (d) None

Ans: (d)


  • The misery index is an economic indicator, created by economist Arthur Okun, and found by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. It is assumed that both a higher rate of unemployment and a worsening of inflation create economic and social costs for a country.

9. The meeting of G-15 countries held in Malayasia in 1997 was attended by
(a) 14 member countries

(b) 15 member countries
(c) 16 member countries
(d) 17 member countries

  • Old News, Not Required!!
  • The Group of 15 (G-15) is an informal forum set up to foster cooperation and provide input for other international groups, such as the World Trade Organization and the Group of Eight. It was established at the Ninth Non-Aligned Movement Summit Meeting in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in September 1989, and is composed of countries from Latin America, Africa, and Asia with a common goal of enhanced growth and prosperity. The G-15 focuses on cooperation among developing countries in the areas of investment, trade, and technology. Membership has since expanded to 18 countries, but the name has remained unchanged. Peru, a founding member-state, decided to leave the G-15 in 2011.

10. Olympics 2004 is to be held in

(a) Johannesberg  (b) Capetown    (c) Rome (d) Athens

Ans: (d)

  • The Olympic Games are considered to be the world’s foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart. Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894.
  • Sochi, Russia, was selected as the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics. On 6 July 2011, the IOC selected the city of Pyeongchang, South Korea to host the 2018 Winter Olympics
  • 2016 summer Olympics will be in Rio de Janeiro Brazil and 2020 in Tokyo.

11. Which one of the following elements is essential for the construction of nuclear reactors?

(a) Cobalt    

(b) Nickel  

(c) Zirconium

(d) Tungsten

Ans: c

  • Zirconium is mainly used as a refractory and opacifier, although it is used in small amounts as an alloying agent for its strong resistance to corrosion. A refractory material is one that retains its strength at high temperatures. An opacifier is a substance added to a material in order to make the ensuing system opaque.
  • Cladding for nuclear reactor fuels consumes about 1% of the zirconium supply. For this purpose, it is mainly used in the form of zircaloys. The benefits of Zr alloys is their low neutron-capture cross-section and good resistance to corrosion under normal service conditions.
  • The main uses of zirconium alloys is in nuclear technology, as cladding of fuel rods in nuclear reactors, especially water reactors.

12. The educated middle class in India

(a) opposed the revolt of 1857
(b) supported the revolt of 1857
(c) remained neutral to the revolt of 1857
(d) fought against native rulers

Ans: (a)

  • As they though that only British rule can bring reforms in India.

13. Which one of the following regions of the world supplies the maximum of our imported commodities (in terms of rupee value)?
(a) Africa   (b) America   (c) Asia and Oceania   (d) Europe

Ans: (c)

  • India’s top import source is China followed by the UAE, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia. Crude petroleum is India’s biggest import
  • Asia is a key destination of India’s exports – in 2001-02 Asia’s share stood at 40.2% but in 2011-12 it grew to to 51.6%. Europe, however has seen a decline in its share, down to 19% in 2011-12 from 24.8% in 2001-02. India’s key exports is petroleum products, followed by gems and jewellery. Pharma products, transport equipment, machinery and readymade garments are also big exports for India.
Top ten exporters to India, by value of trade in US$m and share of total
Country 2012-2013 (Apr- Sep) %Share (2012-2013 (Apr- Sep)
CHINA 28025.57 11.92
UAE 19622.81 8.35
SAUDI ARABIA 16094.83 6.85
USA 12208.05 5.19
SWITZERLAND 10779.45 4.59
IRAQ 9803.79 4.17
QATAR 8144.45 3.47
KUWAIT 8134.73 3.46
GERMANY 7154.41 3.04
INDONESIA 6944.86 2.95
Top ten importers from India, by value of trade in US$m and share of total
Country 2012-2013 (Apr- Sep) %Share (2012-2013 (Apr- Sep)
USA 19704.05 13.87
UAE 18601.71 13.09
SINGAPORE 6652.77 4.68
CHINA 6417.32 4.52
HONG KONG 6137.9 4.32
SAUDI ARAB 4636.29 3.26
NETHERLANDS 4458.24 3.14
U K 4112.26 2.89
GERMANY 3491.77 2.46
BRAZIL 3042.64 2.14

14. The currency of the proposed European Monetary Union will be
(a) Dollar    (b) Euro    (c) Guilder   (d) Mark

(b) Euro  

15. Which one of the following was the venue for the preliminary talks between the Sri Lankan Government and representatives of Tamil United Liberation Front and other militant groups ?
(a) New Delhi    (b) Colombo   (c) Thimpu   (d) Madras

  • Old News, Not Required

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