IAS Prelims GS Questions and Answers - Jan 21, 2016

1)   India launched Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) recently. How many satellites are planned to be there in its constellation?

a. 3
b. 7
c. 9
d. 5
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


PSLV-C31 carried IRNSS-1E, India’s fifth navigation satellite of the seven satellites constituting the India Regional Navigation Satellite System. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or IRNSS is an indigenously developed Navigation Satellite System that is used to provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services over India and region extending to 1500 km around India. The fully deployed IRNSS system consists of 3 satellites in GEO orbit and 4 satellites in GSO orbit, approximately 36,000 km altitude above earth surface. Though the full system comprises of nine satellites, including two on the ground as stand-by. IRNSS would provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS) - provided to all users - and Restricted Services (RS), provided to authorised users.

2)   Which of the following is/are the function/s of the IRNSS?

1) It will be useful for navigation.
2) It will be India’s very own GPS.
3) It will help in telecommunication
4) It will be useful for educational purposes.

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

ANSWER: 1 and 2

With the launch of the IRNSS-1E satellite On Wednesday morning, India moved a step closer to completing its network of satellites that will form a space-based regional navigation system providing location services over India and neighboring areas. In other words, our very own kind of GPS. Once the system is complete and comes into use, it will provide an alternative to the US-developed GPS, or global positioning system that is so commonly used in a variety of applications. The IRNSS is ‘regional’ and will cover the area over India and 1,500 km from India’s political boundaries, unlike the GPS which is ‘global’. However, because it is specific to the Indian region, it is expected to be even more accurate than the GPS. The GPS system uses 24 satellites at present though it can support a constellation of 30 satellites. The actual number of satellites in use at a given time varies. The IRNSS constellation had already started working after the launch of the fourth satellite in March last year, the minimum number required to make the system operational. ISRO and some educational institutions already receive the data and use it for developing some location solutions. The fifth and the subsequent two satellites will make the system stronger and more reliable. The development of IRNSS has happened alongside that of GAGAN (GPS-Aided Geo Augmentation Navigation) which is meant for navigation services for civil aircraft over the Indian region. GAGAN, which was authorised for use by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in April 2015, can also provide services to other sectors like highways, railways, maritime transport, survey, telecom, etc.

3)   What is Bhuvan?

a. Mapping tool
b. Autonomous robot designed for the Indian Army to reach inaccessible areas.
c. Unmanned aerial vehicle
d. GPS system of India
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Mapping tool

The plan is to integrate Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) and GAGAN (GPS-Aided Geo Augmentation Navigation) with Bhuvan, a satellite-based mapping service for the Indian mainland developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) a few years ago. A geoportal of Indian Space Research Organization showcasing Indian Imaging capabilities in Multi-sensor, Multi-platform and Multi-temporal domain. This Earth browser gives a gateway to explore and discover virtual earth in 3D space with specific emphasis on Indian Region. Bhuvan, (lit: Earth), is a software application which allows users to explore a 2D/3D representation of the surface of the Earth. The browser is specifically tailored to view India, offering the highest resolution in this region and providing content in four local languages. Apart from visualization Bhuvan provides timely disaster support services (domestic and international), free satellite data and a products download facility, and rich thematic datasets. Bhuvan is using a crowdsourcing approach to enrich its maps and collect point of interest data. It also acts as a platform for hosting government data (example - Karnataka Forest Department datasets). The tool “Bhuvan Ganga” now available on public domain for people to participate in providing vital information for Clean Ganga project.

4)   A MoU has been signed between ISRO and which country on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes?

a. China
b. Iran
c. Australia
d. Kuwait
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Kuwait

MoU has been signed between ISRO and Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR) on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. The MoU will enable pursuing potential interest areas in both cooperative and commercial mode, namely: (1) Use of data from Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites by KISR for initiating a few research and application projects; (2) Training; and (3) Building and launching of remote sensing and communication satellites on commercial terms. Cooperation with KISR through this MoU will lead to developing a joint activity in the field of application of space technology for the benefit of humanity. Thus all sections and regions of the country will get benefited. The MoU will provide impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication; satellite navigation; space science and exploration of outer space.

5)   India has signed MoU’s with which of the following countries in the field of Public Administration and Governance Reforms?

1) UK
2) USA
3) China
4) Singapore

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

ANSWER: 1, 3, 4

Provision of Citizen-Centric Online Services is the foundation of an efficient public administration system. It leads to transparency and accountability in the governance and fosters equitable growth. As part of its efforts in seeking international collaboration for initiatives in Good Governance and Administrative reforms, DARPG has so far entered into bilateral MoU with China, Malaysia, and Singapore and with Brazil and South Africa (trilateral). The recent MoU with United Kingdom is a step in that direction as UK also ranks high in the UN E-Government Survey. The form of co-operation under the recent MoU with UK will be in areas like sharing good governance practices in public administration, User led service design, Reducing bureaucracy in service delivery, Government Process Re-engineering, Building and developing staff capability, Public Grievance Redress Mechanism, Local Government Reforms, Reforms towards strengthening of social security, Collaboration in strategies for promotion of ethics in Government, Collaboration between Government and Industry on staff management, Mechanisms for public engagement, Crisis and Disaster Management and Digital transformation of Government. The MoU will help in understanding the system of customer oriented public service delivery in UK with reference to rapidly changing environments in the area of public service management and enable in replicating, adapting and innovating some of the best practices and processes in the Indian Public Service Delivery System, leading to improved public service delivery in India.

6)   Which is the first flower to bloom in space?

a. Zinnia
b. Orchid
c. Jasmine
d. Magnolia
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Zinnia

A blooming zinnia following a successful lettuce harvest at the ISS (International Space Station) heralds a giant leap for zero-gravity gardening. The orange zinnia looks like a daisy and has a reputation for being one of the easiest flowers to grow on Earth. In space, though, it was a challenge getting it to sprout. The flower is part of a wider attempt to grow food in orbit, using Nasa’s plant growth system Veggie, which was delivered to the ISS in April 2014. The Veggie team has already enjoyed a successful lettuce harvest and plan to have tomatoes too by 2017. Ultimately, the hope is to make possible “a sustainable food supplement” for a future manned mission to Mars. But space gardening is plagued with problems, including high radiation levels and temperature extremes. Fortunately, with the ISS in a low orbit, the Earth’s magnetic field shields plants from the worst radiation effects. Inside the station, the atmosphere can be tightly controlled.

7)   Which state grows the most cardamom in India?

a. Sikkim
b. Arunachal Pradesh
c. Tamil Nadu
d. Karnataka
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sikkim

Sikkim, which grows 90 per cent of the country’s cardamom, is moving towards e-auction of the high-value aromatic spice whose export market is set to grow following the launch of the Sikkim Organic logo in the State. Sikkim is the first completely organic state of India.

8)   Which country leads in stillbirths according to the journal Lancet?

a. Nigeria
b. India
c. Pakistan
d. China
Answer  Explanation 


A stillbirth is a baby born dead after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy. If the baby dies before 24 completed weeks, it's known as a miscarriage or late foetal loss. An estimated 2.6 million third trimester stillbirths occurred in 2015 across the world. Most stillbirths (98 per cent) occur in low and middle income countries, The Lancet paper shows. India continues to be at the top of the table in the rank for numbers of stillbirth in 2015, recording 5,92,100, followed by Nigeria, Pakistan, China and Ethiopia. Cultural taboos and superstitions often take the blame in the case of stillbirth — in a recent study, 36 per cent of respondents blamed the mother for her lifestyle or diet, 29 per cent said the baby was never supposed to live and 25 per cent blamed it on witchcraft or evil spirits. The key causes are – Poor nutrition, lifestyle, maternal age, cases of prolonged pregnancies.

9)   What is the project by Ministry of Shipping to make major ports of India cleaner?

a. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
b. Project Clean and Green Port
c. Project Clean Port
d. Project Green Port
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Project Green Port

Weighing in the environmental perspective for sustained growth, the Ministry of Shipping has started ‘Project Green Ports’ which will help in making the Major Ports across India cleaner and greener. ‘Project Green Ports’ will have two verticals - one is ‘Green Ports Initiatives’ related to environmental issues and second is ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’. The Green Port Initiatives include twelve initiatives which will be implemented under strict time bound fashion in order to achieve the targets. Some of these initiatives are preparation and monitoring plan , acquiring equipments required for monitoring environmental pollution, acquiring dust suppression system, setting up of sewage/waste water treatment plants/ garbage disposal plant, setting up projects for energy generation from renewable energy sources, completion of shortfalls of Oil Spill Response (OSR) facilities (Tier-1), prohibition of disposal of almost all kind of garbage at sea, improving the quality of harbour wastes etc. Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, the Ministry has identified 20 activities with certain time-line to promote cleanliness at the port premises. Some of the activities include cleaning the wharf, cleaning and repairing of sheds, cleaning and repairing of port roads, painting road signs, zebra crossing, pavement edges, modernizing and cleanliness of all the toilet complexes in the operational area, placement of dustbins at regular intervals, beautification and cleaning of parks, boards indicating cleanliness messages, cleaning and repairing of all drainages and storm water systems and tree plantation.

10)   Which of the following is/are true regarding the Promotion of City Compost policy?

1) It will generate employment.
2) EcoMark standard will not be provided.

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. All of the above
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only 1

Under the policy, a provision has been made for Market development assistance of Rs. 1500 per tonne of city compost for scaling up production and consumption of the product. Market development assistance would lower MRP of city compost for farmers. Compost from city garbage would not only provide carbon and primary/secondary nutrients to soil but also help in keeping the city clean. Eco-Mark standard for City Compost would ensure that environment friendly quality product reaches the farmers. Composting can reduce the volume of waste to landfill/dumpsite by converting the waste into useful by-products. This also prevents production of harmful greenhouse gases (especially methane) and toxic material that pollutes groundwater apart from polluting the environment. City Waste composting would also generate employment in urban areas. Fertilizer companies and marketing entities will also co-market City Compost with chemical fertilizers through their dealers' network. The companies will also adopt villages for promoting the use of compost. Government Departments and Public Sector undertakings will also use City Compost for their horticulture and related uses.