IAS Prelims GS Questions and Answers - Feb 23, 2016

1)   What is Swachh Paryatan?

a. Tourism Scheme
b. Mobile app
c. Scheme under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mobile app


  • “Swachh Parayatan Mobile App” was launched.
  • This project is being implemented by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India through DeGS and NIC. This Mobile App is available on Google Search Engine as ‘Swachh Paryatan’ and initially it is available on Android Phones and very soon it will be available on Apple and Microsoft also.
  • This mobile app shall be monitored by the Project Monitoring Unit of Swachh Bharat Mission in Ministry of Tourism.
  • Since the general public and the tourists are the largest stakeholders in keeping the monuments clean, the Ministry of Tourism has decided to facilitate the general public to communicate their complaints about any unclean area/garbage piles in and around tourist destinations. Hence as a part thereof, the Ministry of Tourism is launching this Mobile App.
  • Initially, 25 Adarsh Smarak Monuments such as Red Fort, Taj Mahal, Elephanta Caves, Qutub Minar Complex, among others, have been identified for inclusion in the app, but it would be scaled up to include more monuments as the campaign expands
  • A citizen can upload a photograph of garbage at the monument via the app which then sends an SMS to the ASI Nodal Officer concerned with the monument upon receipt of which the Nodal Officer gets the garbage cleared/removed. The Nodal Officer thereafter sends confirmation about the redressal of the complaint through an SMS to the complainant.

2)   The term microzonation is related to

a. Earthquakes
b. Floods
c. Cyclones
d. Droughts
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Earthquakes


  • The prediction of most of the natural events, particularly the earthquakes, is not possible, but the resulting damage due to them can be minimized by taking proper measures.
  • Microzonation is one such measure where the emphasis on the impact of earthquake on the habitat is given.
  • It was seen that due to an earthquake in 1985 there was severe damage in Mexico City, though the earthquake source was located about 350 km away from the city. It was realized that putting a large region into a single seismic hazard zone is not a good idea. This and several other examples led to a new concept, called Microzonation.
  • Seismic microzonation is a process of identifying such related geological, seismological, hydrological and geotechnical site characteristics in a specific region. These would help design of safe structures to reduce loss of human life.
  • Earlier a seismic zoning map for entire India was prepared and published by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), classifying the entire country into 4 major groups Zone-V (High intensity) to Zone-II (Low intensity). These zones encompass wider area for which specific design spectra is commonly used, despite geological and geo-morphological variability within the respective zones.
  • Under the microzonation process various investigations viz, ambient noise survey, Multi-Channel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) survey, in-situ geotechnical testing, in-situ seismic measurements etc. were carried out and after analysis of data sets different maps viz., Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA), spectral accelerations for different periods, liquefaction potential, predominant frequency, amplification factor, average shear wave velocity at 30 meters depth, geology & geomorphology and projected Hazard Scenarios at GIS platform etc. have now been prepared.

3)   ‘Moa’, ‘Sarpuria’, ‘Sitabhog’ and ‘Mihidana’ are what?

a. Mango types
b. Wheat varieties
c. Delicacies
d. Rice varieties
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Delicacies


  • The West Bengal government is planning to get Geographical Identification (GI) tag for four traditional sweetmeat delicacies of the State to help protect them from imitations.
  • The four sweetmeats are ‘Moa’ of Jainagar, ‘Sarpuria’ of Krishnagar, and ‘Sitabhog’ and ‘Mihidana’ of Burdwan.
  • A GI tag is given to products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. While ‘Jainagar-er moa’ is made of puffed rice and date palm jaggery at Jainagar in South 24 Parganas district, Krishnagar of Nadia district is famous for ‘Sarpuria’ which is made of milk cream. ‘Sitabhog’ and ‘Mihidana’ are rice-based sweets from Burdwan.
  • The GI tag is necessary for these items to protect them from cheap imitations. It will also help preserve quality.
  • The Centre also has plans to export sweets from the State and the GI tags would be of immense help in that endeavor.

4)   Insulin is

a. Produced in Pancreas by Beta Cells
b. Produced in Pancreas by Alpha Cells
c. Produced in Liver by Beta Cells
d. Produced in Liver by Alpha Cells
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Produced in Pancreas by Beta Cells


  • Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas.
  • Researchers have spent decades trying to replace the insulin-producing pancreatic cells, called beta cells that are lost in diabetes.
  • It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats by promoting the absorption of glucose from the blood to skeletal muscles and fat tissue and by causing fat to be stored rather than used for energy.
  • Insulin also inhibits the production of glucose by the liver.
  • When control of insulin levels fails, diabetes mellitus can result. As a consequence, insulin is used medically to treat some forms of diabetes mellitus. Patients with type 1 diabetes depend on external insulin (most commonly injected subcutaneously) for their survival because the hormone is no longer produced internally.
  • Patients with type 2 diabetes are often insulin resistant and, because of such resistance, may suffer from a "relative" insulin deficiency. Some patients with type 2 diabetes may eventually require insulin if dietary modifications or other medications fail to control blood glucose levels adequately. Over 40% of those with Type 2 diabetes require insulin as part of their diabetes management plan.

5)   What is true regarding the pylorus region in the human body?

a. It connects the small and large intestine
b. It connects the stomach to the small intestine
c. It connects pancreas to small intestine
d. It connects liver to large intestine.
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: It connects the stomach to the small intestine


  • The pylorus region connects the stomach to the small intestine. Cells in this area were the most responsive to high glucose levels, producing insulin.
  • Researchers have spent decades trying to replace the insulin-producing pancreatic cells, called beta cells that are lost in diabetes.
  • Scientists have discovered that tissue from the pylorus region has the greatest potential to be reprogrammed into a beta-cell state.
  • They took samples of this tissue from mice and grew them into “mini-organs” that produced insulin when transplanted back into the animals.
  • The mini-organs’ stem cells also continued to replenish the insulin-producing cell population, giving the tissue a sustainable regenerative boost.

6)   What are ‘Masala Bonds’?

a. Rupee-denominated bonds issued by RBI to offshore buyers
b. Rupee-denominated bonds issued by Indian companies to offshore buyers
c. Bonds issued as a payment for Indian spices
d. Indian spices (masalas) as a mode of payment for trade
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rupee-denominated bonds issued by Indian companies to offshore buyers


  • UK is trying to convince Indian companies to raise capital in the UK through so-called ‘masala’ bonds.
  • Masala bonds refer to rupee-denominated bonds issued by Indian companies to offshore buyers.
  • They want London to be the first point of call for Indian companies to expand and attract foreign sources of capital.
  • It is believed that Indian companies such as Bharti Airtel, HDFC, Yes Bank and Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) have agreed to raise money in the UK market.

7)   Green Bonds are issued to raise money for which of the following projects?

1) Climate change
2) Renewable energy
3) Waste management

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

ANSWER: All of the above


  • Green bonds, as the name suggests, refer to bonds issued to raise money for a ‘green’ project like climate change, renewable energy, sustainable water or waste management or clean transport.
  • In January 2016, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued the regulatory framework for issuance of such bonds by Indian companies.
  • UK is also encouraging Indian companies that may be looking at projects, such as those for renewable energy, to raise money in the UK through green bonds.

8)   Recently, there have been incidences involving students in few universities. Which of the colleges/universities were prominently highlighted in the news?

1) Jawaharlal Nehru University
2) University of Hyderabad
3) IIT-Madras
4) Jadavpur University

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

ANSWER: All of the above


  • IIT-Madras - In May 2015, an anonymous letter to the central government (Human Resource Development Ministry) alleged that a student body, the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, was involved in ‘creating hatred among students in the name of caste, against the honorable Prime Minister and Hindus’. Even as news of this letter was communicated to the IIT administration, the student body was derecognized and its activities curtailed. There was major outrage on Social Media sites. The government was criticized for banning a student body based on political criticism.
  • JNU – There were pro-Afzal Guru Slogans and alleged anti-national slogans too. The police charged in the campus and arrested the JNU students’ union leader Kanhaiyya.
  • Jadavpur University, Kolkata – After the JNU fiasco there were pro-Afzal Guru slogans in Jadavpur University too. Jadavpur University was on the boil as a group of people stormed into the campus on Wednesday, chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai and tearing posters, including those in support of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union leader Kanahaiya Kumar arrested on sedition charges. Majority of students said they did not support the slogans raised during the march. But the campus was filled with posters, some of which even seeking freedom for Kashmir and Manipur and critical of the Union government. The posters were attributed to a group of ‘radicals’.
  • University of Hyderabad – Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula committed suicide after he was expelled from his hostel along with four other researchers. It all started after he was part of a small protest against the disruption of a film screening on the Muzaffarnagar riots in Delhi University by a Hindu right-wing student organization In August 2015, Rohith and four friends clashed with the RSS student wing after the ASA members organised a protest against the hanging of Yakub Memon and were dubbed “goons” by the ABVP. The five were banned by the university from the hostel and almost all public spaces on campus. Vemula and four of his friends, all Dalits and associated with a campus political group called the Ambedkar Students Association, had moved out of their hostel rooms after being suspended by the university administration. The students say they were allowed to attend classes and other academic sessions, but were barred from entering the hostels and common areas in groups and participating in student union elections. Lacking the means to afford private housing, they pitched a camp in front of the university shopping center and started a hunger strike protesting against their "social boycott". They called their camp Velivada - Dalit Ghetto.