(Prelims) IAS General Studies – 2009 (Part 3)

31. In the context of Indian defence, consider the following statement :

(1) The Shourya missile flies with a speed more than 8 Mach.
(2) The range of Shourya missile is more than 1600 km .

which of the statement given above is/ are correct ?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans : d

  • The Shaurya missile is a canister launched hypersonic surface-to-surface tactical missile developed by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for use by the Indian Armed Forces. It has a range of between 750 to 1,900 km and is capable of carrying a payload of one ton conventional or nuclear warhead. It gives the potential to strike in the short-intermediate range against any adversary.
  • Shaurya can reach a velocity of Mach 7.5

32. WiMAX is related to which one of the following ?
(a) Biotechnology
(b) space technology
(c) Missile technology
(d) Communication technology

Ans : d

  • WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a wireless communications standard designed to provide 30 to 40 megabit-per-second data rates, with the 2011 update providing up to 1 Gbit/s for fixed stations. The name “WiMAX” was created by the WiMAX Forum. The forum describes WiMAX as “a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL (Digital subscriber line).
  • WiMAX refers to interoperable implementations of the IEEE 802.16 family of wireless-networks standards ratified by the WiMAX Forum. (Similarly, Wi-Fi refers to interoperable implementations of the IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN standards certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance.)

33. For outstanding contribution to to which one of the following fields is Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize given ?
(a) Literature
(b) Performing Arts
(c) science
(d) social service

Ans : c

  • The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology is a science award in India given annually by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for notable and outstanding research, applied or fundamental, in biology, chemistry, environmental science, engineering, mathematics, medicine and Physics. The purpose of the prize is to recognize outstanding Indian work in science and technology. It is the most coveted award in multidisciplinary science in India. The award is named after the founder Director of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar. It was first awarded in 1958.
  • Any citizen of India engaged in research in any field of science and technology up to the age of 45 years is eligible for the prize.

34. In making the saffron spice which one of the following parts of  plant is used ?
(a) Leaf
(b) petal
(c) Sepal
(d) Stigma

Ans : d

  • Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of saffron crocus.Saffron, long among the world’s most costly spices by weight, is native to Greece or Southwest Asia and was first cultivated in Greece.
  • The styles and stigmas are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. (The stigma is the receptive tip of a carpel, in the gynoecium of a flower. The stigma receives pollen and it is on the stigma that the pollen grain germinates.)

    Saffron – valuable stigmas, or threads, are painstakingly plucked, piled, and dried.

35. In the year 2008, which one of the following conducted a complex scientific experiment in which sub- atomic particles were accelerated to nearly the speed of light ?
(a) European Space Agency
(b) European Organization for nuclear research
(c) International atomic energy Agency
(d) National Aeronautics and space administration

Ans : b

36. A very big refugee camp called Dadaab, recently in the news, is located in?
(a) Ethiopia
(b) Kenya
(c) Somalia
(d) Sudan

Ans : b

  • Dadaab hosts mostly-Somali refugees from Kenya’s northern neighbours. Most of Dadaab’s local population is made up of nomadic camel and goat herders.

37. Consider the following names  :
(1) Ike
(2) Kate
(3) Gustav

which of the above are the names of hurricanes that had occurred very recently ?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1 ,2 and 3

Ans : c

  • Ike and Gustav: 2008
  • Kate -2003 and 1985

38. In the context of alternative sources of energy Ethanol as a viable bio-fuel can be obtained from?
(a) Potato
(b) Rice
(c) Sugarcane
(d) Wheat

Ans : c

  • Ethanol fuel is ethanol (ethyl alcohol), the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. It is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline. Recently, cars able to run using 100% ethanol have been introduced in Brazil. Ethanol fuel is widely used in Brazil and in the United States, and together both countries were responsible for 87.1% of the world’s ethanol fuel production in 2011.
  • It can be made from Ethanol can be produced from a variety of feedstocks such as sugar cane, bagasse, miscanthus, sugar beet, sorghum, grain, switchgrass, barley, hemp, kenaf, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, sunflower, fruit, molasses, corn, stover, grain, wheat, straw, cotton, other biomass, as well as many types of cellulose waste and harvesting.
  • The production of ethanol from sugar cane (molasses which is a viscous by-product of the refining of sugarcane into sugar.) is more energy efficient than from corn or sugar beets or palm/vegetable oils, particularly if cane bagasse is used to produce heat and power for the process. Furthermore, if biofuels are used for crop production and transport, the fossil energy input needed for each ethanol energy unit can be very low. Ethanol is generally available as a byproduct of sugar production.
  • An alternative process to produce bio-ethanol from algae is being developed by the company Algenol. Rather than grow algae and then harvest and ferment it, the algae grow in sunlight and produce ethanol directly, which is removed without killing the algae.
  • Ethanol is a quasi-renewable energy source because while the energy is partially generated by using a resource, sunlight, which cannot be depleted, the harvesting process requires vast amounts of energy that typically comes from non-renewable sources. Creation of ethanol starts with photosynthesis causing a feedstock, such as sugar cane or a grain such as maize (corn), to grow. These feedstocks are processed into ethanol.
  • The basic steps for production of ethanol are:
  1. Microbial (yeast) fermentation of sugars: Fermentation is a metabolic process that converts sugar to acids, gases, and/or alcohol. It occurs in yeast and bacteria, but also in oxygen-starved muscle cells, as in the case of lactic acid fermentation.
  2. Distillation: Distillation is a process of separating the component substances from a liquid mixture by selective evaporation and condensation.
  3. Dehydration
  4. Denaturing (optional):  Denatured alcohol, also called methylated spirits or spiritus, is ethanol that has additives to make it poisonous, extremely bad tasting, foul smelling or nauseating, to discourage recreational consumption.
  • Prior to fermentation, some crops require saccharification or hydrolysis of carbohydrates such as cellulose and starch into sugars.

39. Consider the following names :
(1) Amrita Sher Gil
(b) Bikash Bhattacharjee
(c) N.S. Bendre
(d) Subodh Gupta

who of the above is / are will known as artist(s) ?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 4 only
(c) 2 , 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2 ,3 and 4 only

Ans : d

  • All are Indian painters

40. NAMA-11( Nama-11) group of countries frequently appears in the news in the context of the affairs of which one of the following ?
(a) Nuclear Suppliers group
(b) World Bank
(c) World Economic Forum
(d) World Trade Organization

Ans : d

  • The Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) negotiations of the World Trade Organization are based on the Doha Declaration of 2001 that calls for a reduction or elimination in tariffs, particularly on exportable goods of interest to developing countries. NAMA covers manufacturing products, fuels and mining products, fish and fish products, and forestry products. These products are not covered by the Agreement on Agriculture or the negotiations on services.
  • NAMA-11 is Coalition of developing countries seeking flexibilities to limit market opening in industrial goods trade (issues of NAMA). Members:Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Namibia, Philippines, South Africa, Tunisia, Venezuela, Bolivarian

41. In the latter half of the year 2008 which one of the following countries pulled out of commonwealth of Independent States ?
(a) Azerbaijan
(b) Belarus
(c) Georgia
(d) Kazakhstan

Ans : c

  • The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organisation whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union.
  • An international diplomatic crisis between Georgia and Russia began in 2008, when Russia announced that it would no longer participate in the Commonwealth of Independent States economic sanctions imposed on Abkhazia in 1996 and established direct relations with the separatist authorities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The crisis was linked to the push for Georgia to receive a NATO Membership Action Plan and, indirectly, the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo.

42. Match list I with list II and select the correct answer using the code given below the lists:
 List I                                                                      List II
(Persons in news )
                                               (Countries they belong to)

(A) Luisa Dias Diogo                                                (1) Kenya
(B)  Mwai kibaki                                                      (2) Mozambique
(C) Rupiah Banda                                                   (3) Zambia
                                                                               (4) Zimbabwe
      A           B              C
(a)   1            2               3
(b)   2            1               3
(c)   2            1               4
(d)   1            2               4

Ans : b

  • Old news, not important

43. Consider the following regions :
(1) Eastern Himalayas
(2) Eastern Mediterranean region
(3) North Western Australia

which of the above is / are Biodiversity Hotspot(s)?
(a) 1 and only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1 , 2 and 3

Ans : a

  • A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographic region with a significant reservoir of biodiversity that is under threat from humans. In India Western ghats are in danger and as considerd as the Hotspot. Norman Myers wrote about the concept in two articles in “The Environmentalist” (1988),& 1990
  • To qualify as a biodiversity hotspot on Myers 2000 edition of the hotspot-map, a region must meet two strict criteria: it must contain at least 0.5% or 1,500 species of vascular plants as endemics, and it has to have lost at least 70% of its primary vegetation. Around the world, 35 areas qualify under this definition
Biodiversity hotspots. Original proposal in green, and added regions in blue.

44. With reference to the evolution of living organisms, which one of the following sequences is correct ?
(a) Octopus – Dolphin – Shark
(b) Pangolin – Tortoise – Hawk
(c) Salamander – Python – Kangaroo
(d) Frog – Crab – Prawn

Ans :  c

45. The Panda belongs to the same family as that of ?
(a) Bear
(b) Cat
(c) Dog
(d) Rabbit

Ans : a

  • Panda bear or simply panda, is a bear native to south central China

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