IAS Prelims GS Questions and Answers - Jan 11, 2017

1)   Which of the following parts or secretions of animals are used in Ayurvedic medicines?

1) Feathers
2) Excretions
3) Flesh

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

ANSWER: All of the above


  • Horns, antlers, teeth, nail, quill, feathers, hair, flesh, skin, beak, blood, and a number of soft parts of animals are used in Ayurveda.
  • Secretion of animals, which include milk, civetine, musk, bile, honey, lac, and excretions also find a place in Ayurvedic treatment.
  • Most of these substances are used in various formulations and applications ranging from thailam, ghrutham, lehyam, gulika, and bhasmam.
  • The non-availability of animal products due to scarcity and legal hassles involved was a matter of concern for both the practitioners and the beneficiaries.
  • Practitioners had recommended that the Chief Wildlife Warden of State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) of Kerala should invoke Section 64 of the Wildlife Protection Act to frame rules for permitting the use of antlers, quills, horns, and feathers and also the rearing of small Indian civet for secretions.
  • The demand is in focus with the State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) considering a request from Oushadhi, the government Ayurveda medicinal company, for antlers of spotted deer and sambar.
  • The production of Yakrithari Vatika, which had the pelt of deer, Kasthuriadi Gulika, made out of glandular secretion of a deer, and Mahabhootharava Ghritham, made using urine of camel, horse, donkey, and elephant, has been stopped.
  • Antler of deer was used in Shringabhasmam.
  • Ivory is used in Hasthidantha Mashi, which is prescribed for hair loss.
  • Horns of five animals, including rhino, deer, goat, buffalo, and cow, are used in Kombanchadi tablets.
  • The ash of peacock feathers is used in Mayoorapicha bhasmam.
  • Bile and gall bladder stones of cattle are used in Gorochanam.
  • It was also recommended that the Ayurveda manufacturers could be permitted to rear small Indian civet for secretion.
  • Vana samrakshana samithis may be empowered to rear the animal for supplying civet secretions, especially to practitioners of traditional Indian systems of medicine.
  • It also proposed that the pharmaceutical industry should adopt modern techniques of synthetic biology as a substitute for the traditionally used medicines.

2)   Which of the following is true?

a. Minimum wages amounts for labourers are only advisory in nature
b. Minimum wages amounts for labourers are statutory and constitutional in nature
c. Minimum wages for labourers currently are only statutory in nature
d. Minimum wages amounts for labourers are only constitutional in nature
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Minimum wages amounts for labourers are only advisory in nature


  • Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment has said that the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 will be amended to make minimum wages statutory and binding.
  • Minimum wages for unskilled, semiskilled and skilled labourers currently remain only advisory in nature.
  • The Payment of Bonus Amendment Act 2015 has been passed by the Parliament, providing for better coverage of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees State Insurance Corporation(ESIC) facilities.
  • At present there are 43 central laws related to employees’ welfare, some dating back to the year 1925.
  • All 43 laws will be simplified into four different codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and safe working conditions.
  • The Centre is contemplating on amending Plantations Labour Act, 1951 to enable local bodies and State and Central governments to undertake development works inside private plantations to ensure the welfare of workers.

3)   India signed its first strategic partnership with

a. Russia
b. France
c. USA
d. Germany
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: France


  • India signed its first strategic partnership with France.
  • After that India has signed such partnerships with many countries.
  • The main criterion for choosing strategic partners should be a complementarity of interests in vital areas like security, defence and investments, on a long-term basis.
  • Strategic partnerships are commonly associated with defense or security related issues, but a survey of formal strategic partnerships around the world reveal they can also be covering a wide range in bilateral relations, from defense to education, health and agriculture, and quite commonly, economic relations, including trade, investment and banking.
  • However, the ministry had no “official list” of its strategic partners nor had it “formalised any criterion” for which a country qualifies for the term.
  • Many times India has been criticized for signing such partnerships with countries not fulfilling even basic requirements of fulfilling basic commitments.
  • Also many argue that partnerships are placed at the same level for all countries. That means that strategic partnership with China is kept at same level as strategic partnership with Rwanda.
  • However, it is said that it is misconception about India’s strategic partnerships is that they all entail the same level of engagement.
  • In reality, there is a hierarchy that is well appreciated by the foreign policy community in India.
  • “Strategic partnership” for Indian allows a nation that has not entirely shed its non-aligned roots to experiment with comprehensive diplomatic engagement like never before.
  • If things go well, India may be likely to take things more seriously and ultimately begin using the much more concrete word - Alliance.

4)   Which of the following is/are true regarding the Gaur?

1) It is nocturnal.
2) It is known as the Nilgiri tahr.

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

ANSWER: Only 1


  • The gaur, also called Indian bison, is the largest extant bovine, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.
  • The species has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986.
  • Where gaur have not been disturbed, they are basically diurnal.
  • In other areas, they have become largely nocturnal due to forest molestation caused by humans.
  • In central India, they are most active at night, and are rarely seen in the open after 8 o'clock in the morning.
  • The gaur is the tallest species of wild cattle.
  • Domesticated form of gaur is mithum or gayal.
  • Nilgiri tahr is not gaur.
  • The Nilgiri tahr known locally as the Nilgiri ibex or simply ibex, is an ungulate that is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern India.
  • Niligiri tahr is the state animal of Tamil Nadu. Despite its local name, it is more closely related to the sheep of the Ovis genus than the ibex and wild goats of the Capra genus.

5)   Colombo Declaration is related to?

a. Anti-drug trafficking
b. Economic interests
c. Infrastructure development
d. Marine security
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Anti-drug trafficking


  • The High Level Meeting of Interior Ministers of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to Counter Drug Trafficking was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • It had adopted Colombo declaration.
  • It was resolved to work towards making the region a “Drug Free Zone”.

  • Features of the declaration are -

  • Narcotic drug trafficking has links possibly to organized crime and funding of terrorism.
  • It stresses on need for stricter enforcement of maritime laws and cooperation by the coastal statesm
  • They must provide mutual legal assistance and share information in narcotic drug trafficking.
  • It calls for the expansion and development of communication through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC’s) Indian Ocean Prosecutors Network.
  • It called on the littoral states of the IOR to meet on an annual basis within the framework of the Southern Route Partnership (SRP) of Indian Ocean Forum on Maritime Crime (IOFMC).
  • These states must assess and report on the drug trafficking threat in the IOR and develop a coordinated approach to counter such threats.