(Prelims) IAS General Studies Solved Paper With Explanations – 2011 (Part- 9)

(Prelims) IAS General Studies – 2011 (Part 9)

81. Consider the following statements :

1. Biodiversity is normally greater in the lower latitudes as compared to the higher latitudes.

2. Along the mountain gradients, biodiversity is normally greater in the lower altitudes as compared to the higher altitudes.

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: c

  • Generally, there is an increase in biodiversity from the poles to the tropics. Thus localities at lower latitudes have more species than localities at higher latitudes. This is often referred to as the latitudinal gradient in species diversity. Several ecological mechanisms may contribute to the gradient, but the ultimate factor behind many of them is the greater mean temperature at the equator compared to that of the polesGenerally, there is an increase in biodiversity from the poles to the tropics. Thus localities at lower latitudes have more species than localities at higher latitudes. This is often referred to as the latitudinal gradient in species diversity. Several ecological mechanisms may contribute to the gradient, but the ultimate factor behind many of them is the greater mean temperature at the equator compared to that of the poles
  • There is a similar decrease in species diversity from lower to higher altitudes on a mountain. Drop in temperature and greater seasonal variability at higher altitudes are a major factor that reduces diversity.
  • Terrestrial biodiversity is up to 25 times greater than ocean biodiversity

82. The Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy and Mekong rivers originate in Tibet narrow and parallel mountain ranges in their upper reaches. Of these rivers, Brahmaputra makes a “U” turn in its course to flow into India. This “U” turn is due to ?

(a) Uplift of folded Himalayan series.’

(b) Syntaxial bending of geologically young Himalayas.

(c) Geo-tectonic disturbance in the tertiary folded mountain chains.

(d) Both (a) and (b) above.

Answer: b

  • About 70 million years ago, there was a sea called Tethys sea where Himalayas stand today. The sea started to recede during the early Eocene which was marked by the coming together of Indian and Asian plates. This trend of marine regression continued till the final emergence of the Himalayan Mountains by the end of the Tertiary Period. The collision of the Indian Plate with the Asian Plate retarded the pace of northerly drift of the Indian Plate. The drift direction slightly changed. The Indian Plate began its rotational movement, giving rise to the formation of the syntaxial bends at the northeastern and northwestern extremities of the Himalayan Mountains.

83. A state in India has the following characteristics :

1. Its northern part is arid and semi-arid.

2. Its central part produces cotton.

3. Cultivation of cash crops is predominant over food crops.

Which one of the following states has all of the above characteristics ?

(a) Andhra Pradesh.

(b) Gujarat.

(c) Karnataka.

(d) Tamil Nadu.

Answer: b

84. What is “virtual private network” ?

(a) It is a private computer network of an organization where the remote users can transmit encrypted information through the server of the organization.

(b) It is a computer network across a public internet the provides users access to their organizations network while maintaining the security of the information transmitted.

(c) It is a computer network in which users can access a shared pool of computing resources through a service provider.

(d) None of the statements (a), (b) and (c) given above is correct description of virtual private network.

Answer: b

  • A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables a computer or network-enabled device to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if it were directly connected to the private network, while benefiting from the functionality, security and management policies of the public network.
  • A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocols, or traffic encryption.
  • VPNs allow employees to securely access their company’s intranet while traveling outside the office. Similarly, VPNs securely connect geographically separated offices of an organization, creating one cohesive network. VPN technology is also used by individual Internet users to secure their wireless transactions, to circumvent geo restrictions and censorship, and to connect to proxy servers for the purpose of protecting personal identity and location

85. The “dharma” and “Rita” depict a central Idea of ancient vedic civilization of India. In this context, consider the following statements :

1. Dharma was a conception of obligations and of the discharge of one’s duties to oneself and to others.

2. Rita was the fundamental moral law governing the functioning of the universe and all it contained.

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: c

  • Rita refers to regulation order by nature and was related to the conduct of the Vedic Gods and Humans, somewhere related to the moral and physical law.
  • Rita was later replaced by Dharma and was a more sophisticated form of principles of law.

86. In the context of global oil prices, “Brent crude oil” is frequently referred to in the news. What does this term imply ?

1. It is a major classification of crude oil.

2. It is sourced from north sea.

3. It does not contain sulphur.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 2 only.

(b) 1 and 2 only.

(c) 1 and 3 only.

(d) 1,2, and 3.

Answer: b

  • Brent Crude is a major trading classification of sweet light crude oil that serves as a major benchmark price for purchases of oil worldwide. This grade is described as light because of its relatively low density, and sweet because of its low sulfur content.
  • Brent Crude is extracted from the North Sea and comprises Brent Blend, Forties Blend, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes.
  • The Brent Crude oil marker is also known as Brent Blend, London Brent and Brent petroleum.
Location of the Brent oil platform in the North Sea

87. The function of heavy water in a nuclear reactor is to ?

(a) Slow down the speed of neutrons.

(b) Increase the speed of neutrons.

(c) Cool down the reactor.

(d) Stop the nuclear reaction.

Answer: a

Nuclear reactor moderator:

  • Heavy water is used in certain types of nuclear reactors, where it acts as a neutron moderator to slow down neutrons so that they are more likely to react with the fissile uranium-235 than with uranium-238, which captures neutrons without fissioning. Light water also acts as a moderator but because light water absorbs more neutrons than heavy water, reactors using light water for a reactor moderator must use enriched uranium rather than natural uranium, otherwise criticality is impossible.
  • Because they do not require uranium enrichment, heavy water reactors are more of a concern in regards to nuclear proliferation. The breeding and extraction of plutonium can be a relatively rapid and cheap route to building a nuclear weapon, as chemical separation of plutonium from fuel is easier than isotopic separation of U-235 from natural uranium. Among current and past nuclear weapons states, Israel, India, and North Korea first used plutonium from heavy water moderated reactors burning natural uranium, while China, South Africa and Pakistan first built weapons using highly enriched uranium. Due to its potential for use in nuclear weapons programs, the possession or import/export of large industrial quantities of heavy water are subject to government control in several countries. Suppliers of heavy water and heavy water production technology typically apply IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) administered safeguards.
  • Pure heavy water is not radioactive. Commercial-grade heavy water is slightly radioactive due to the presence of minute traces of natural tritium, but the same is true of ordinary water. Heavy water that has been used as a coolant in nuclear power plants contains substantially more tritium as a result of neutron bombardment of the deuterium in the heavy water

Nuclear reactor coolant:

  • A nuclear reactor coolant is a coolant in a nuclear reactor used to remove heat from the nuclear reactor core and transfer it to electrical generators and the environment.
  • Almost all currently operating nuclear power plants are light water reactors using ordinary water under high pressure as coolant and neutron moderator. About 1/3 are boiling water reactors where the primary coolant undergoes phase transition to steam inside the reactor. About 2/3 are pressurized water reactors at even higher pressure.
  • A pressurized heavy-water reactor (PHWR) using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel, that uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and moderator.
  • Fast reactors have a high power density and do not need neutron moderation. Most have been liquid metal cooled reactors using molten sodium. Lead, lead-bismuth eutectic, and other metals. Mercury was used in the first fast reactor.
  • Molten salts share with metals the advantage of low vapor pressure even at high temperatures, and are less chemically reactive than sodium. Salts containing light elements can also provide moderation. In the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment it even served as a solvent carrying the nuclear fuel.
  • Gases have also been used as coolant. Helium is extremely inert both chemically and with respect to nuclear reactions but has a low heat capacity, necessitating rapid circulation. Carbon dioxide has also been used. Gases, however, need to be under pressure for sufficient density at high temperatures.

88. In India, if a religious sect/community is given the status of a national minority, what special advantages it is entitled to ?

1. It can establish and administer exclusive educational institutions.

2. The president of India automatically nominates a representative of the community to Lok Sabha.

3. It can derive benefits from the prime minister’s 15-point programme.

Which of the statements give above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only.

(b) 2 and 3 only.

(c) 1 and 3 only.

(d) 1,2 and 3.

Answer: c

  • Recently Jains were added to minority (apart from Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Budhist, Parsi)
  • Benefits and advantages of religious minority status are listed below.
  1. Religious Minority status for Jains will ensure protection of one of the oldest live religions of the world —Jainism as well as the unique Jain way of life.  Jain community will be eligible to conserve its religion, languages, culture etc as per provisions of article 25 to 30 of Indian constitution.
  2. Government cannot take over Jain religious places such as temples, dadabadi, samadhi,      pilgrimage centers, trusts etc. Moreover, government has to take initiative for safety and security and development of such centers.
  3. Properties owned by Jain religious trusts will be exempted from rent control act.
  4. Jain educational Institutes will have the right to teach Jainism and its philosophy.
  5. Government will provide various benefits in opening and running school, college, hostel, research institutes, hospitals etc.  Government land will be obtained at subsidized rate.
  6. Government interference will be minimized in opening and running educational and other institutes.
  7. Jain institutions will be able to reserve 50% seats for Jain students.
  8. Meritorious and BPL students will get full exemption in tuition fees in schools.
  9. Jain students will be eligible of free or subsidize coaching in coaching colleges run by universities.
  10. Jain students will be eligible of grants for training in business and administrative courses.
  11. Jains will have access to cheaper and subsidized loan for technical and other education and also for business.
  12. Government will pay grant and scholarship to promote cultural and games and sports activities to Jain students and youth.
  13.  There will be wealth tax exemption for donations for charitable and religious causes.
Some of the schemes for minorities
  • Multi-Sectoral Development Programme
  • Scholarship scheme
  • Post-matric scholarship scheme
  • Merit-cum-means based scholarship
  • Free coaching and allied scheme
  • Maulana Azad National Fellowship

89. India is home to lakhs of person with disabilities, what are the benefits available to them under the law ?

1. Free schooling till the age of 18 years in government- run schools.

2. Preferential allotment of land for setting up business.

3. Ramps in public buildings.

Which of the 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

  • In 1992, India adopted the Proclamation on the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities in the Asian and Pacific Region. As a signatory of this proclamation, India’s Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs proposed an act to safe guard the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWD). On the 1st of January 1996 the Government of India passed the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995. The following is an outline of the provisions in this law that pertains to children below the age of 18.
  1. In this act disability is defined as blindness, low vision, leprosy-cured, hearing impairment, loco-motor disability, mental retardation and mental illness. The act calls for the forming of two central committees and two state committees: The central coordination committee and the central executive committee; the state coordination committee and the state executive committee.
  2. Children with disabilities should be provided free education by the appropriate government. The government must take steps to integrate children with disabilities into regular schools, but also make space for special schools that cater expressly to the needs of these children. In addition to the basic education schools, government are also required to make non-formal education programmes for children with disabilities that help attain literacy, rejoin school, impart vocational training, and provide them with free books and educational material. Teachers need to be specially trained to educate and see to the needs of children with disabilities.
  3. The government must also set up schemes that provide children with disabilities grant and scholarships and also provide funds for making buildings disabled friendly. Educational institutions are also required to provide visually challenged students with aids who will write for them
  4. The government is also responsible for making the general environment non-discriminatory towards PWD by adapting and adding to railways, buses, road signals pavement slopes, warning signals, building ramps, Braille signs and auditory signals, etc. The act also provides for non-discrimination of PWD in employment that can be taken up by them, in government and non-government offices
  5. Governments and local authorities shall by notification frame schemes in favour of persons with disabilities, for the preferential allotment of land at concessional rates.

90. With what purpose is the government of India promoting the concept of “ Mega food parks” ?

1. To provide good infrastructure facilities for the food processing industry.

2. To increase the processing of perishable items and reduce wastage.

3. To provide emerging and eco-friendly food processing technologies to entrepreneurs.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

(a) 1 only.

(b) 1 and 2 only.

(c) 2 and 3 only.

(d) 1,2 and 3.

Answer: d

  • Mega Food Park Scheme is the flagship program of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India. Mega Food Park Scheme proposes a demand driven/pre-marketed model with strong backward/forward linkages and sustainable supply chain.
  • The scheme was originally launched as the 2008 Food Parks Scheme (FPS). The objective of this scheme was to raise the processing of perishables in the country from the existing 6% to 20% and increase value addition from 20% to 35%. Further, its objective was to increase the share of India in the global food trade from 1.5% to 3% by the year 2015.
  • The primary objective of the proposed scheme is to facilitate establishment of integrated value chain, with processing at the core and supported by requisite forward and backward linkage.
  • The scheme provides for creating infrastructure for farm level primary processing centre-cum- cold chain in identified clusters, processing of intermediate products, collection centre cum cold chains, centralized infrastructure to take care of processing activities, which require cutting edge technologies and testing facilities, besides the basic infrastructure for water supply, power, environmental protection systems, communication etc.
  • The supply chain will establish on-Farm Primary Processing Centre cum cold chain facilities for aggregation of the produce at village level, which will be linked to the retail outlets/processing parks through appropriate produce aggregation facility and collection centre cum cold chain and Refer van transportation net works. The scheme is proposed to be entrepreneur driven to be implemented on a PPP basis.
  • Assistance from Ministry
    • Limited to non-land component of the project
    • 50% of project cost limited to Rs 50 crore in general areas
    • 75% of project cost limited to Rs 50 crore in difficult & hilly areas and ITDP notified areas.

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