IAS Prelims GS Questions and Answers - Feb 21 & 22, 2016

1)   Sovaldi drug is for

a. Hepatitis C
b. TB
c. Cancer
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Hepatitis C


  • Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi (salt name sofosbuvir) is made by Gilead Science.
  • As part of the Voluntary Licence (VL), the Indian companies pay a royalty to the innovator company (Gilead, in this case) and are allowed make copy-cat versions of blockbuster drug.
  • Under the Voluntary Licence (VL) agreement on Sovaldi, Indian made generic versions of the drug could not be exported to 50 middle-income, high burden countries, or any high income nations including much of Western Europe, and the U.S. According to a technical analysis by MSF, over 49 million Hepatitis C patients live in middle income countries excluded under the VL’s anti-diversion programme.
  • VL pacts are handy to avoid litigation and ensure fair competition between licensees. The government will be concerned if the VL arrangement hampers the growth of generics or prevents access to medicines or artificially jacks up the prices.

2)   Which of the following are considered reasons of hypertension or high stress levels in rural areas?

1) Income
2) High cost of healthcare
3) Condition of Agriculture
4) Lack of potassium-rich food

a. 1, 2, 4
b. 2, 4
c. 1, 2, 3
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above


  • High stress levels in rural areas are rooted in income, agriculture and high cost of healthcare.
  • Also on the food front, there is lack of potassium-rich food like fruits and vegetables.
  • Rising hypertension in rural India was indicative of the faulty diet of people and also of the stress levels of women in rural India.

3)   Which of the following is/are true?

1) Fatal familial insomnia (FFI) is a hereditary disease.
2) It degrades the nerves, causing a relentless insomnia and eventually death.Fatal familial insomnia, hereditary, nerve degrading, insomnia

a. Only 1
b. Only 1
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both 1 and 2


  • Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) is a one-in-a-million hereditary disease that results from a malfunctioning protein that degrades the nerves, causing a relentless insomnia and eventually death.
  • It is almost always caused by a mutation to the protein PrPC, but can also develop spontaneously in patients with a non-inherited mutation variant called sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI).
  • FFI has no known cure and involves progressively worsening insomnia, which leads to hallucinations, delirium, and confusional states like that of dementia. The average survival span for patients diagnosed with FFI after the onset of symptoms is 18 months.

4)   Fatal familial insomnia (FFI) is caused by

a. Prions
b. Virus
c. Bacteria
d. Fungus
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Prions


  • Fatal familial insomnia (FFI) is an extremely rare autosomal dominant inherited prion disease of the brain.
  • Prion diseases are a class of ailments that afflict humans as well as animals. ‘Mad cow disease’, for example, is a prion disease that can affect bovines and can be contracted from eating infected meat.
  • Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), also known as prion diseases, are a group of progressive conditions that affect the brain (encephalopathies) and nervous system of many animals, including humans.
  • Prion is composed entirely of protein material, called PrP (short for prion protein)

5)   ‘Gadis’ is name for which of the following?

a. Fortresses
b. Elders in a village
c. Ponds and Lakes
d. Barracks
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Fortresses


  • The palatial houses popularly known ‘Gadis’ in Telangana region have huge doors, courtyards, tall boundary walls built of clay and many other unique features.
  • Telangana State is to identify some of the ‘gadis’ under ‘Vernacular Heritage’.
  • It is decided to declare gadis as protected monuments since their architecture reflected the culture, raw material availability in the area, traditions and climate. For instance, Chettinad houses in Tamil Nadu were built in tune with the climate.

6)   Which is considered as the potential future space crop?

a. Potato
b. Corn / Maize
c. Carrot
d. Barley
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Potato


  • NASA, the U.S. space agency, is conducting the pioneering experiment together with Lima’s International Potato Center (CIP) to see whether potatoes from Peru are fit to grow on Mars.
  • The scientists hope the experiment will also help address the earthly scourges of hunger and malnutrition by identifying varieties suited to growing in harsh conditions.
  • Scientists are claiming to respond to desertification, rising temperature and high salt content in the soil.
  • In future years, NASA plans to build a Mars research centre in the Peruvian desert.
  • It would create a perfect replica of the Martian landscape and atmosphere for future research into space farming that could serve manned missions to Mars and other planets in the solar system.

7)   Aeroponics is

a. A way to grow crops
b. New technology in aeronautics
c. Using air in health and acupuncture
d. Using air in cooking
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: A way to grow crops


  • Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium (known as geoponics).
  • It would expose roots inside a sphere or cube that is sprayed with nutrients and contains a system for removing toxins.
  • Aeroponic culture differs from conventional hydroponics, aquaponics, and in-vitro (plant tissue culture) growing. Unlike hydroponics, which uses a liquid nutrient solution as growing medium and essential minerals to sustain plant growth; or aquaponics which uses water and fish waste, aeroponics is conducted without a growing medium.
  • The basic principle of aeroponic growing is to grow plants suspended in a closed or semi-closed environment by spraying the plant's dangling roots and lower stem with an atomized or sprayed, nutrient-rich water solution.
  • Because water is used in aeroponics to transmit nutrients, it is sometimes considered a type of hydroponics.

8)   Chandernagore was a trading post of

a. Dutch
b. French
c. British
d. Portuguese
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: French


  • West Bengal’s Chandernagore town — the first trading post on the eastern bank of the Hooghly, set up by the French in 1696.
  • A unique project to restore forgotten heritage of Chandernagore town which involves not only restoration of the old buildings but also promoting the rich heritage of the erstwhile French settlement among people is going on.
  • Chandernagore was designed as a trading town and not a military establishment. It grew to a prosperous trading town under the governance of Joseph Francois Dupleix.
  • Chandernagore also reflects the confluence of the French and Bengali cultures as a number of Bengali merchants played an important role in development of the town.
  • While there is a significant amount of information about the French town of Pondicherry, there is a relatively little material on the heritage of Chandernagore.
  • All the work done on restoring the heritage of the town has been digitised and memories documented online. A website, heritagechandernagore.com was inaugurated early this month to mark the 65th anniversary of the Treaty of Cession on February 2, 1951. The treaty officially gave control of Chandernagore to the Indian government from the French.
  • The project, which received support from the Embassy of France in India and Foundation Vieilles Maisons Francaise (VMF), is executed by Aishwarya Tipnis Architects.