(Prelims) IAS General Studies Solved Paper With Explanations – 2011 (Part- 5)

(Prelims) IAS General Studies – 2011 (Part 5)

41. India maintained its early cultural contacts and trade links with southeast Asia across the bay of Bengal. For this preeminence of early maritime history of bay of Bengal , which of the following could be the most convincing explanation/explanations ?

(a) As compared to other countries, India had a better ship-building technology in ancient and medieval times.

(b) The rulers of southern India always partronized traders , Brahmin priests and Buddhist monks in this context.

(c) Monsoon winds across the bay of Bengal facilitated sea voyages.

(d) Both (a) and (b) are convincing explanations in this context.

Answer: d

  • Encouragement of trade due to monsoon was much correct about the Africa and Arabia, rather than South East Asia.
  • Indians had better ship building technology. India exported boats and ships on regular basis, and shipping was a major industry. Arab sailors also purchased the boats from Indians. There is a document named “Yuktikalpataru” which gives evidence that Shipbuilding in India was highly advanced.

42. What is the difference between blue-tooth and Wi-Fi devices ?

(a) Bluetooth uses 2.4 GHz radio frequency band, whereas Wi-Fi can use 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency band.

(b) Bluetooth is used for wireless local area networks (WLAN) only, whereas Wi-Fi is used for wireless wide area networks (WWAN) only.

(c) When information is transmitted between two devices using blue-tooth technology , the devices have to be in the line of sight of each other, but when Wi-Fi technology is used the devices need not be in the line of sight of each other.

(d) The statements (a) and (b) given above are correct in this context.

Answer: a




Frequency 2.4 GHz 2.4, 3.6, 5 GHz
Cost Low High
Bandwidth Low ( 800 Kbps ) High (11 Mbps )
Specifications authority Bluetooth SIG IEEE, WECA
Security It is less secure Security issues are already being debated.
Year of development 1994 1991
Primary Devices Mobile phones, mouse, keyboards, office and industrial automation devices. Activity trackers, such as Fitbit and Jawbone. Notebook computers, desktop computers, servers, TV, Latest mobiles.
Hardware requirement Bluetooth adaptor on all the devices connecting with each other Wireless adaptors on all the devices of the network, a wireless router and/or wireless access points
Range 5-30 meters With 802.11b/g the typical range is 32 meters indoors and 95 meters (300 ft) outdoors. 802.11n has greater range. 2.5GHz Wi-Fi communication has greater range than 5GHz. Antennas can also increase range.
Power Consumption Low High
Ease of Use Fairly simple to use. Can be used to connect upto seven devices at a time. It is easy to switch between devices or find and connect to any device. It is more complex and requires configuration of hardware and software.
Latency 200ms 150ms
Bit-rate 2.1Mbps 600 Mbps
  • Bluetooth doesn’t require line of sight between communicating devices
  • Bluetooth uses the microwave radio frequency spectrum in the 2.402 GHz to 2.480 GHz range. Wifi is based upon IEEE 802.11 standards, that uses 2.4 UHF , 3.6  and 5 GHz SHF frequency bands.(UHF: Ultra High frequency, SHF: Super High Frequency)
  • IEEE 802.11 is for implementation of the wireless local area network (WLAN) using the above frequencies and makes the basis Wi-Fi wireless networks.
  • LAN = Local Area Network (computers in your house networked together)
    WLAN = Wireless Local Area Network (computers in your house networked together without a cable)
    WAN = Wide Area Network (eg. connection to your ISP)

wireless vs. WLAN vs. Wi-Fi Venn diagram

  • While wireless LANs refer to any local area network (LAN) that a mobile user can connect to through a wireless (radio) connection; Wi-Fi (short for “wireless fidelity”) is a term for certain types of WLANs that use specifications in the 802.11 wireless protocol family.

43. With reference to micro-irrigation, which of the following statements is/are correct ?

1. Fertilizer/nutrient loss can be reduced.

2. It is the only means of irrigation in dry land farming.

3. In some areas of farming, receding of ground water table can be checked.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

(a) 1 only .

(b) 2 and 3 only .

(c) 1 and 3 only.

(d) 1,2 and 3 .

Answer: c

  • Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or micro irrigation or localized irrigation, is an irrigation method that saves water and fertilizer (and reduced leaching) by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. It is done through narrow tubes that deliver water directly to the base of the plant.
  • Though it is mainly used in dry land farming, it can be used in other farming also

Advantage of Drip Irrigation:

  1. Fertilizer and nutrient loss is minimized due to localized application and reduced leaching.
  2. Water application efficiency is high if managed correctly
  3. Field levelling is not necessary.
  4. Fields with irregular shapes are easily accommodated.
  5. Recycled non-potable water can be safely used.
  6. Moisture within the root zone can be maintained at field capacity.
  7. Soil type plays less important role in frequency of irrigation.
  8. Soil erosion is lessened.
  9. Weed growth is lessened.
  10. Water distribution is highly uniform, controlled by output of each nozzle.
  11. Labour cost is less than other irrigation methods.
  12. Variation in supply can be regulated by regulating the valves and drippers.
  13. Fertigation can easily be included with minimal waste of fertilizers.
  14. Foliage remains dry, reducing the risk of disease.
  15. Usually operated at lower pressure than other types of pressurised irrigation, reducing energy costs.

Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation:

  1. Initial cost can be more than overhead systems.
  2. the sun can affect the tubes used for drip irrigation, shortening their usable life.
  3. if the water is not properly filtered and the equipment not properly maintained, it can result in clogging.
  4. For subsurface drip the irrigator cannot see the water that is applied. This may lead to the farmer either applying too much water (low efficiency) or an insufficient amount of water
  5. Drip tape causes extra cleanup costs after harvest.
  6. Waste of water, time and harvest, if not installed properly. These systems require careful study of all the relevant factors like land topography, soil, water, crop and agro-climatic conditions, and suitability of drip irrigation system and its components.
  7. In lighter soils subsurface drip may be unable to wet the soil surface for germination. Requires careful consideration of the installation depth.
  8. The main purpose of drip irrigation is to reduce the water consumption by reducing the leaching factor. However when the available water is of high salinity or alkalinity, the field soil becomes gradually unsuitable for cultivation due to high salinity or poor infiltration of the soil. Thus drip irrigation converts fields in to fallow lands when natural leaching by rain water is not adequate in semi arid and arid regions.
  9. most drip systems are designed for high efficiency, meaning little or no leaching fraction. Without sufficient leaching, salts applied with the irrigation water may build up in the root zone, usually at the edge of the wetting pattern. On the other hand, drip irrigation avoids the high capillary potential of traditional surface-applied irrigation, which can draw salt deposits up from deposits below.
  10. Drip irrigation systems cannot be used for damage control by night frosts (like in the case of sprinkler irrigation systems)

44. With reference to the period of colonial rule in India, “Home Charges “ formed an important part of drain of wealth from India. Which of the following funds constituted “Home Charges’’ ?

1. Funds used to support the India office in London.

2. Funds used to pay salaries and pensions of British personnel engaged in India.

3. Funds used for waging wars outside India by the British.

(a) 1 only.

(b) 1 and 2 only.

(c) 2 and 3 only.

(d) 1,2,and 3.

Answer: d

According to The Economic History of India by RC Datt: “

“The Indian Tribute whether weighted in the scales of justice or viewed in the light of our interest, will be found to be at variance with humanity, with the commonsense and with the received maxims of economical science. It would be true wisdom then to provide for the future payment of such of the Home Charges of the Indian Government as really from the tribute out of Indian Exchequer. These charges would be probably found to be the dividends on East India Stock, interest in Home debt, the salaries of the officers, establishments of the and building connected with the Home Department of Indian Government, furlough and retired pay to members of the Indian Military and Civil Services when at Home, Charges of all descriptions paid in this country connected with the British troops serving in India and portion of the cost of transporting the British troops to and from India“.

45. What was the reason for mahatma Gandhi to organize a satyagraha on behalf of the peasants off Kheda ?

1. The administration did not suspend the land revenue collection in spite of a drought.

2. The administration proposed to introduce permanent settlement in Gujarat.

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.

Answer: a

  • The Kheda peasant struggle in Gujarat is also known as no-tax peasant struggle. It was a satyagraha launched in March 1919 under the leadership of Gandhiji, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Indulal Yajnik, N.M. Joshi, Shankerlal Pareekh and several others.
  • The peasants had suffered a famine and this had resulted in a large-scale failure of crops. The government, however, did not accept the failure of crops and insisted on the full realisation of land tax. The peasantry, on the other hand, made its own inquires and emphasised persistently that the government was not justified in demanding the full land tax.

46. The 2004 Tsunami made people realize that mangroves can serve as a reliable safety hedge against coastal calamities. How do mangroves function as a safety hedge ?

(a) The mangrove swamps separate the human settlements from the sea by a wide zone in which people neither live nor venture out.

(b) The mangroves provide both food and medicines which people are in need of after any natural disaster.

(c) The mangrove trees are tall with dense canopies and serve as an excellent shelter during a cyclone or Tsunami.

(d) The mangrove trees do not get uprooted by storms and tides because of their extensive roots.

Answer: d

Benefits of mangroves:

    1. Coastal protection: The dense root systems of mangrove forests trap sediments flowing down rivers and off the land. This helps stabilizes the coastline and prevents erosion from waves and storms. In areas where mangroves have been cleared, coastal damage from hurricanes and typhoons is much more severe. By filtering out sediments, the forests also protect coral reefs and seagrass meadows from being smothered in sediment.
    2. Fisheries: Mangrove forests are home to a large variety of fish, crab, shrimp, and mollusk species. These fisheries form an essential source of food for thousands of coastal communities around the world. The forests also serve as nurseries for many fish species, including coral reef fish. This makes mangrove forests vitally important to coral reef and commercial fisheries as well.
    3. Timber and plant products: Mangrove wood is resistant to rot and insects, making it extremely valuable. Many coastal and indigenous communities rely on this wood for construction material as well as for fuel. These communities also collect medicinal plants from mangrove ecosystems and use mangrove leaves as animal fodder. Recently, the forests have also been commercially harvested for pulp, wood chip, and charcoal production.
    4. Tourism: Given the diversity of life inhabiting mangrove systems, and their proximity in many cases to other tourist attractions such as coral reefs and sandy beaches, it is perhaps surprising that only a few countries have started to tap into the tourism potential of their mangrove forests.

47. The Jain philosophy holds that the world is created and maintained by ?

(a) Universal law.

(b) Universal truth.

(c) Universal faith.

(d) Universal soul.

Answer: a

Jain scriptures reject God as the creator of universe.

48. Salinization occurs when the irrigation water accumulated in the soil evaporates, leaving behind salts and minerals. What are the effects of Salinization on the irrigated land ?

(a) It greatly increases the crop production.

(b) It makes some soils impermeable .

(c) It raises the water table.

(d) It fills the air spaces in the soil with water.

Answer: b

  • Salinisation is the process that leads to an excessive increase of water-soluble salts in the soil. The accumulated salts include sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, chloride, sulphate, carbonate and bicarbonate (mainly sodium chloride and sodium sulphate). A distinction can be made between primary and secondary salinisation processes. Primary salinisation involves salt accumulation through natural processes due to a high salt content of the parent material or in groundwater. Secondary salinisation is caused by human interventions such as inappropriate irrigation practices, e.g. with salt-rich irrigation water and/or insufficient drainage.

Salinity can affect plant growth in several ways, directly and indirectly:

Direct soil salinity damages 

  1. Decreased water uptake:
    High salts concentration results in high osmotic potential of the soil solution, so the plant has to use more energy to absorb water. Under extreme salinity conditions, plants may be unable to absorb water and will wilt, even when the surrounding soil is saturated.
  2. Ion-specific toxicity:
    When a plant absorbs water containing ions of harmful salts (e.g. Sodium, Chloride, excess of Boron etc.), visual symptoms might appear, such as stunted plant growth, small leaves or fruit distortions.

Indirect soil salinity damages 

  1. Interference with uptake of essential nutrients:
    An imbalance in the salts content may result in a competition between elements. This condition is called “antagonism”, i.e. an excess of one ion limits the uptake of another ion. For example, excess of chloride reduces the uptake of nitrate, excess of phosphorus reduces the uptake of manganese, and excess of potassium limits the uptake of calcium.
  2. Sodium effect on soil structure:
    In saline soils, sodium replaces calcium and magnesium, which are adsorbed to the surface of clay particles in the soil. Thus, aggregation of soil particles is reduced, and the soil will tend to disperse. When wet, a sodic soil tends to seal, its permeability is dramatically reduced, and thus water infiltration capacity is reduced as well. When dry, a sodic soil becomes hard has the tendency to crack. This may result in damages to roots.

    It should be noted that salinity by itself actually improves soil structure and eliminates to some degree the negative effect of sodium ions, but of course, salinity cannot be increased without affecting plants growth.

Factors affecting soil salinity

  1. Irrigation water quality – The total amount of dissolved salts in the irrigation water, and their composition, influence the soil salinity.
  2. Fertilizers applied – The type and amount of fertilizers applied to soil, affect its salinity. Some fertilizers contain high levels of potentially harmful salts, such as potassium chloride or ammonium sulphate. Overuse and misuse of fertilizers leads to salinity buildup, and should be avoided.
  3. Irrigation regimen and type of irrigation system – The higher the water quantity applied, the closer soil salinity is to irrigation water salts concentration. When the soil dries, the concentration of salts in the soil solution is increased.
  4. Since salts move with the wetting front, the salts accumulate in specific profiles according to the irrigation regimen and the type of irrigation used. For instance, when irrigating using sprinklers, water and salts move deeper, according to the soil’s infiltration capacity and the water quantity, until they stop at a certain depth. When using drip irrigation – there is also a lateral movement of water and salts.
  5. Field’s characteristics and agricultural history – A poorly drained soil might reach salinity level that is harmful to the plants and to the whole crop. A soil that was not flushed after a previous growing cycle might contain high level of accumulated salts.

Reversing soil salinity:

  1. Drainage carries the salts down through the soil profile and out of the rooting zone. Without drainage, salts will accumulate
  2. Saline soils cannot be reclaimed by any chemicals, conditioner, or fertilizer. Reclamation of these soils consists of simply applying enough high-quality water to leach the soil thoroughly. The water applied should be low in sodium but can be fairly saline (1,500 to 2,000 ppm total salt), as this helps to keep the soil permeable during the leaching process.
  3. Sodic soil can be treated by replacing the absorbed sodium with a soluble source of cation i.e. calcium. Calcium may be made available through manipulation with native gypsum already in the soil, calcium in irrigation water (Calcium chloride), or commercial amendments. They may be useful where soil permeability is low due to low salinity, excess sodium, or high carbonate/bicarbonate in the water.
  4. If sodic soils contain no source of calcium (gypsum or free carbonates), then gypsum or a soluble calcium source needs to be applied.
  5. Soil salinity can be reduced by using Magnetized Water Technology

49. The “Red Books’’ published by the international union for conservation of nature and natural resources (IUCN) contain lists of ?

(a) Endemic plant and animal species present in the biodiversity hotspots.

(b) Threatened plant and animal species.

(c) Protected sites for conservation of nature and natural resources in various countries.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

(a) 1 and 3.

(b) 2 only.

(c) 2 and 3.

(d) 3 only. 

Answer: b

  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data List), founded in 1964, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world’s main authority on the conservation status of species. A series of Regional Red Lists are produced by countries or organizations, which assess the risk of extinction to species
  • Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups, set through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation.
  1. Extinct (EX) – No known individuals remaining.
  2. Extinct in the wild (EW) – Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range.
  3. Critically endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
  4. Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild.
  5. Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild.
  6. Near threatened (NT) – Likely to become endangered in the near future.
  7. Least concern (LC) – Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.
  8. Data deficient (DD) – Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction.
  9. Not evaluated (NE) – Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria.
  • When discussing the IUCN Red List, the official term “threatened” is a grouping of three categories: Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.

50. Why is the offering of “teaser loans’’ by commercial banks a cause of economic concern ?

1. The teaser loans are considered to be an aspect of sub-prime lending and banks may be exposed to the risk of defaulters in future.

2. In India, the teaser loans are mostly given to inexperienced entrepreneurs to set up manufacturing or export units.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

(a) Only 1

(b) 2 only.

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 and 2

Answer: a

  • Teaser loanss An adjustable-rate mortgage loan in which the borrower pays a very low initial interest rate, which increases after a few years.
  • Teaser loans try to entice borrowers by offering an artificially low rate and small down payments, claiming that borrowers should be able to refinance before the increases occur.
  • Teaser loans are considered an aspect of subprime lending, as they are usually offered to low-income home buyers. Unfortunately, when these borrowers try to refinance the loan before the rate increases, most will not qualify for standard mortgages. This leaves borrowers with increased monthly payments, which many cannot afford. This method of loaning is considered risky, as default rates are high.
  • It has nothing to do with the experience of the entrepreneurs; they are available for home loans as well.

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