IAS Prelims GS Questions and Answers - Jan 20, 2017

1)   Professor C.V. Vishveshwara worked on

a. Hunger and malnutrition
b. Black Holes
c. Poverty in India
d. Tropical Diseases
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Black Holes


  • Professor C.V. Vishveshwara (77), who did pioneering work on black holes, passed away in Bengaluru.
  • In the 1970s, while at the University of Maryland, he was among the first to study “black holes” even before they had been so named.
  • His calculations gave a graphic form to the signal that would be emitted by two merging black holes – this was the waveform detected in 2015 by the LIGO collaboration, and contained the so-called “quasi normal modes” - a ringdown stage that sounds like a bell’s ringing sound that is fading out.
  • In 2015, at a conference to commemorate the detection of gravitational waves, he jokingly said that he should now probably be known as Quasimodo (after having first discovered the quasi normal modes).
  • Prof. Vishveshwara also drew cartoons, many of which have been published in physics conference proceedings.
  • Prof. Vishveshwara was the founding director of the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bengaluru.
  • He has written several books including Einstein’s Enigma, or Black Holes in My Bubble Bath.

2)   Which of the following is/are true?

1) India has given freedom to its citizens for following personal law of their own religion.
2) Divorce granted by ecclesiastical tribunal under Christian personal law is valid as it can override the law of the land like Muslim Personal Laws.

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

ANSWER: Only 1


  • Articles 25 to 28 provide freedom of religion to citizens of India.
  • Supreme Court has said that divorce granted by ecclesiastical tribunal under Christian personal law are not valid as it cannot override the law of the land.
  • The apex Court also rejected a PIL that sought according legal sanction to such separations granted by the Church Court.
  • A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud dismissed the plea saying the issue has been settled by it in its 1996 verdict delivered in the case of Molly Joseph versus George Sebastian.
  • The apex court had then ruled that Canon Law (personal law of Christians) can have theological or ecclesiastical implications to the parties.
  • But after the Divorce Act came into force, a dissolution or annulment granted under such personal law cannot have any legal impact as statute has provided a different procedure and a different code for divorce or annulment.
  • However, when it comes to personal issues (marriage, divorce, inheritance, custody of children, etc.), Muslims in India are governed by the Muslim Personal Law.

3)   Which of the following is/are true regarding National Small Savings Fund (NSSF)?

1) MoU between ISRO and JAXA for cooperation in the field of outer space has been signed for the first time.
2) JAXA is space agency of Israel.

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

ANSWER: Neither 1 nor 2


  • India and Japan pursued space cooperation for more than 5 decades and carried out studies in the field of atmospheric study, observation of universe and scientific investigation in remote sensing.
  • With the formation of Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2003, an "arrangement concerning the considerations of potential future cooperation in the field of outer space" was signed in October 2005 between ISRO/ Department of Space (DOS) and JAXA.
  • Subsequently both agencies have signed cooperative documents addressing lunar exploration, satellite navigation, X-ray astronomy and Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF).
  • During the ISRO-JAXA bilateral meeting held at New Delhi in 2016, both sides stressed the need for updating the contents of '2005 Arrangement' with enhanced scope of cooperation.
  • The purpose of this MoU is to pursue future cooperative activities in the exploration and use of outer space exclusively for peaceful purposes in accordance with the laws and regulations applicable in each country and their international obligations.
  • This MoU provides scope for pursuing cooperation in various areas of space science technology and applications including: earth observation, satellite communication and navigation; exploration and space sciences; Research and development (space systems and space technology); and Space industry promotion.
  • ISRO and JAXA will bear the costs of their respective activities under this Memorandum, unless they decide otherwise in writing.

4)   Andhra Pradesh is seeking collaboration with which company for initiatives in e-governance and cybersecurity?

a. Google
b. Microsoft
c. Intel
d. Apple
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Microsoft


  • Microsoft has offered to collaborate with Andhra Pradesh in the areas of e-governance and cyber security.
  • Microsoft suggested that Andhra Pradesh should nurture hybrid cloud technology and that it will be a great leap in technology for India and Andhra Pradesh in particular.
  • Microsoft has recently acquired LinkedIn and it is working closely with the Singapore government.
  • Skill profile of the population, professionals etc. are also being digitized and the same may be replicated in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The technology provided by the Microsoft would be utilised, among others to, check school dropouts, improve agricultural productivity and providing better citizen services.
  • It will seek to improve the use of Information and Communications Technology, drive digital inclusion, etc.
  • According to the MoU, Microsoft India will provide technical knowledge to the A.P. government and support in building three proof-of-concept (PoC) solutions by applying Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Advanced Visualization method in the fields of education, agriculture and eCitizen services.
  • Continuing its commitment to support the government’s initiatives for Cloud adoption and improve citizen services, Microsoft India will continue to engage and train the State government’s key IT executives on Microsoft technologies such as Cloud, Mobility and appropriate Microsoft Technology stack.
  • The company will also deliver an exclusive workshop to the government’s key administrative officers on improving productivity by using Microsoft technologies.

5)   A Negotiation Committee has been constituted for river Mahanadi for claims of which of the following states?

1) Chhattisgarh
2) Jharkhand
3) Maharashtra

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

ANSWER: All of the above


  • Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has constituted a negotiations committee to assess availability and utilisation of waters of Mahanadi and its tributaries.
  • The committee will also examine existing water sharing agreements on river Mahanadi.
  • It will consider claims of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand regarding availability and utilisation of waters of these rivers.
  • The committee has been set up with reference to complaint of State of Odisha under section 3 of the ISRWD Act, 1956 regarding utilisation of waters of Mahanadi Basin.
  • The committee will be chaired by Member (WP&P), Central Water Commission.
  • It will have 11 other members comprising representatives from the States of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand, Union Ministries of Agriculture, Environment Forest and Climate Change, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, India Meteorological Department and Central Water Commission.
  • The committee has been asked to submit its report within three months.