(Prelims) IAS General Studies – 2011 (Part 3)

21. In terms of economy, the visit by foreign nationals to witness the XIX common wealth games in India amounted to ?

(a) Export.

(b) Import.

(c) Production.

(d) Consumption.

Answer: a

  • The income was from “tourism” and that is an invisible export.

22. Microbial fuel cells are considered a source of sustainable energy. Why ?

1. They use living organisms as catalysts to generate electricity from certain substrates.

2. They use a variety of inorganic materials as substrates.

3. They can be installed in waste water treatment plants to cleanse water and produce electricity.

Which of the following statements given above is/ are correct ?

(a) 1 only.

(b) 2 and 3 only.

(c) 1 and 3 only.

(d) 1,2,and 3

Answer: d

  • A microbial fuel cell (MFC) or biological fuel cell is a bio-electrochemical system that drives a current by using bacteria and mimicking bacterial interactions found in nature. Microbial fuel cell is a device that converts chemical energy to electrical energy by the catalytic reaction of microorganisms. M. Potter was the first to perform work on the subject in 1911.
  • A typical microbial fuel cell consists of anode and cathode compartments separated by a cation (positively charged ion) specific membrane. In the anode compartment, fuel is oxidized by microorganisms, generating CO2, electrons and protons. Electrons are transferred to the cathode (negatively charged electrode) compartment through an external electric circuit, while protons are transferred to the cathode compartment through the membrane. Electrons and protons are consumed in the cathode compartment, combining with oxygen to form water.
  • When micro-organisms consume a substance such as sugar in aerobic conditions, they produce carbon dioxide and water. However, when oxygen is not present, they produce carbon dioxide, protons, and electrons, as described below:C12H22O11 + 13H2O → 12CO2 + 48H+ + 48e

    Microbial fuel cells use inorganic mediators to tap into the electron transport chain of cells and channel electrons produced.

  • MFCs can be grouped into two general categories, those that use a mediator and those that are mediator-less. The first MFCs, demonstrated in the early 20th century, used a mediator: a chemical that transfers electrons from the bacteria in the cell to the anode. Mediator-less MFCs are a more recent development dating to the 1970s; in this type of MFC the bacteria typically have electrochemically active redox proteins such as cytochromes on their outer membrane that can transfer electrons directly to the anode.
  • Since the turn of the 21st century MFCs have started to find a commercial use in the treatment of wastewater

23. Which one of the following statements appropriately describes the “fiscal stimulus” ?

(a) It is a massive investment by the government in manufacturing sector to ensure the supply of goods to meet the demand surge caused by rapid economic growth.

(b) It is an intense affirmative action of the government to boost economic activity in the country.

(c) It is government’s intensive action on financial institutions to ensure disbursement of loans to agriculture and allied sectors to promote greater food production and contain food inflation.

(d) It is an extreme affirmative action by the government to pursue its policy of financial inclusion

Answer: b

24. The formation of ozone hole in the Antarctic region has been a cause of concern. What could be the reason for the formation of this hole ?

(a) Presence of prominent tropospheric turbulence; and inflow of chlorofluorocarbons.

(b) Presence of prominent polar front and stratospheric clouds; and inflow of chlorofluorocarbons.

(c) Absence of polar front and stratospheric clouds; and inflow of methane and chlorofluorocarbons.

(d) Increased temperature at polar region due to global warming.

Answer: b

  • The nitric acid in polar stratospheric clouds reacts with CFCs to form chlorine, which causes the photochemical destruction of ozone.

25. Consider the following actions which the government can take :

1. Devaluing the domestic currency.

2. Reduction in the export subsidy.

3. Adopting suitable policies which attract greater FDI and more funds from FIIs.

Which of the above action/actions can help in reducing the current account deficit ?

(a) 1 and 2 .

(b) 2 and 3 .

(c) 3 only.

(d) 1 and 3.

Answer: a

  • Balance of Payment at current account=  (Exports- Imports) + ( Invisible Payments – Invisible Receipt). The option (a) and (b) affect the exports and imports.
  • Under capital account, capital inflows can be classified by instrument (debt or equity) and maturity (short or long-term). The main components of capital account include foreign investment, loans and banking capital. Foreign investment comprising FDI and portfolio investment consisting of foreign institutional investors (FIIs) investment, American Depository Receipts / Global Depository Receipts (ADRs/GDRs) represents non-debt liabilities, while loans (external assistance, external commercial borrowings and trade credit) and banking capital including NRI deposits are debt liabilities.

26. The constitution (seventy-third amendment) act, 1992, which aims at promoting the panchayati raj institutions in the country, provides for which of the following ?

1. Constitution of district planning committees.

2. State election commissions to conduct all panchayat elections.

3. Establishment of state finance commission.

State the correct answer using the codes given below :

(a) 1 only.

(b) 2 and 3 only.

(c) 2 and 3 only.

(d) 1,2,and 3.

Answer: c

  • District planning committee has been provided by Article 243 ZD under Constitution of India, which was inserted by 74th Constitution Amendment Act and not by 73rd amendment act.

27. Two important rivers- one with its source in Jharkhand (and known by a different name in odisha), and another, with its source in odisha- merge at a place only a short distance from the coast of bay of Bengal before flowing into the sea. This is an important site of wildlife and biodiversity and a protected area. Which one of the following could be this ?

(a) Bhitarkanika

(b) Chandipur-on-sea.

(c) Gopalpur-on-sea.

(d) Simlipal.

Answer: a

  • The rivers are Brahmani and Baitarani rivers
  • The Brahmani is a major seasonal river in the Odisha state of Eastern India. The Brahmani is formed by the confluence of the Sankh and South Koel rivers, near the major industrial town of Rourkela. The Sankh has its origins near the Jharkhand-Chhatisgarh border, not far from the Netarhat Plateau. The South Koel too arises in Jharkhand, near Lohardaga, on the other side of a watershed that also gives rise to the Damodar River. Both of these sources are in the Chota Nagpur Plateau. The river receives the Kharsuan, on its left bank before merging with the Baitarani, a major river, to form the Dhamra estuary.
  • The Brahmani delta is the site of the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary, famous for its estuarine crocodiles
  • The Baitarani River is one of six major rivers of Odisha. The Baitarani originates from the Guptaganga hills.

28. A rapid increase in the rate of inflation is sometimes attributed to the “ base effect”. What is “base effect” ?

(a) It is the impact of drastic deficiency in supply due to failure of crops.

(b) It is the impact of the surge in demand due to rapid economic growth.

(c) It is the impact of the price levels of previous year on the calculation of inflation rate.

(d) None of the statements (a), (b) and (c) given above is correct in this context.

Answer: c

  • Base effect says that the previous data affects the calculation of the current data.

29. India is regarded as a country with “Demographic Dividend’’. This is due to ?

(a) Its high population in the age group below 15 years.

(b) Its high population in the age group of 15-64 years.

(c) Its high population in the age group above 65 years.

(d) Its high total population.

Answer: b

  • Working age population (15-64 years)

30. Regarding “carbon credits’’ , which one of the following statements is not correct ?

(a) The carbon credit system was ratified in conjunction with the Kyoto protocol.

(b) Carbon credits are awarded to countries or groups that have reduced greenhouse gases below their emission quota.

(c) The goal of the carbon credit system is to limit the increase of carbon dioxide emission.

(d) Carbon credits are traded at a price fixed from time to time by the united nations environment programs. 

Answer: d

What are Carbon Credits?

  • A carbon credit (often called a carbon offset) is a financial instrument that represents a tonne of CO2 (carbon dioxide) or CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent gases) removed or reduced from the atmosphere from an emission reduction project, which can be used, by governments, industry or private individuals to offset damaging carbon emissions that they are generating.

How are Carbon Credits used?

  • Carbon credits are associated with either removing existing CO2 or CO2e emissions from the atmosphere in the case of carbon sequestration from forests and planting of trees or the reduction of future CO2 or CO2e emissions from renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that displace fossil fuel power generation production or industrial processes.

Where do Carbon Credits come from?

    • Afforestation and reforestation activities are a key means by which existing emissions can be removed from the atmosphere and carbon credits created while construction of a wind farm rather than a coal-fired power station may create carbon credits through reducing future emissions.
    • Carbon credits originated through these emission reduction activities can be created under a variety of voluntary and compliance market mechanisms, schemes and standards. Some of these instruments have been established so countries can comply with their mandatory Kyoto targets and others provide avenues for voluntary offsetting purposes.
  • Under the Kyoto Protocol of 2005, the ‘caps’ or quotas for Greenhouse gases for the developed Annex 1 countries are known as Assigned Amounts.
  • For trading purposes, one allowance or CER is considered equivalent to one metric ton of CO2 emissions. These allowances can be sold privately or in the international market at the prevailing market price. These trade and settle internationally and hence allow allowances to be transferred between countries. Each international transfer is validated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Compliance v Voluntary markets

  • The compliance market comprises several legally-binding mandatory emission-trading schemes largely established under the Kyoto Protocol linked to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), but also includes some regional compliance markets in the USA and Australia.
  • The Voluntary Carbon Offset Market functions outside of the compliance market and enables companies and individuals to purchase carbon credits on a voluntary basis to satisfy personal or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) objectives.

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