IAS Prelims GS Questions and Answers - Jan 22 & 23, 2017

1)   Pakke-Paga Festival is celebrated in

a. Sikkim
b. Arunachal Pradesh
c. Manipur
d. Meghalaya
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Arunachal Pradesh


  • Paga means hornbill in Nyishi language and the aim of the three-day Pakke-Paga Festival at Seijosa in East Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh is to popularise the role played by the community in conserving the endangered species.
  • The festival is being celebrated at Pakke wildlife sanctuary and tiger reserve where visitors can witness the great Indian hornbill, wreathed hornbill, oriental pied hornbill and rufous-necked hornbill, and more than 300 other bird species.
  • The festival will allow visitors to adopt a hornbill nest with a minimum annual contribution of Rs 5,000.
  • A monthly report of the adopted nest will be provided to the person concerned.
  • 16 wildlife conservation NGOs are supporting the event, which is organised by the state department of environment and forests and residents of Seijosa.
  • Visitors can enjoy local sports and cuisine, jeep safari, elephant safari, bird-watching, butterfly walk, family rafting and other activities during the fest where over 11 communities from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh will perform.

2)   What is interglaciation?

a. Period between ice ages
b. Cooler times of earth
c. The cycle of ice age and warmer periods of earth
d. The process of formation of coloured icebergs and glaciers
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Period between ice ages


  • Interglaciation is the term used by geologists to refer to the alternating periods of warming and cooling in the earth’s past.
  • The cooler times are called the “glacial period” during which ice shelves from the Arctic slowly creep southward and spread across the earth.
  • Times when the earth is covered in these large ice sheets are known as glacial periods (or ice ages).
  • When the ice sheets are not spread, it is called an interglacial period.
  • The most recent glacial period occurred between about 120,000 and 11,500 years ago.
  • Since then, the earth has been in an interglacial period called the Holocene.

3)   Scalp Cooler is being used for

a. Skin diseases
b. Chemotherapy
c. Bone regeneration
d. Muscle regeneration
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Chemotherapy


  • The Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Parel has started a clinical trial using technology to minimise hair loss due to chemotherapy.
  • The initiative, the first such in India, is expected to address the loss of self-esteem and confidence that many cancer patients, especially women, face and reduce cancer-related trauma.
  • The process uses a scalp cooling technique to restrict chemotherapy medication from reaching the scalp, thus reducing hair fall.
  • The machine has two scalp coolers, which are essentially specialised inner silicon caps containing coolants at temperatures of up to minus 4 degrees centigrade.
  • The technique is widely used in the U.K.
  • The machine circulates the coolant in the caps, reducing its temperature and consequently blood supply to the scalp.
  • As chemotherapy medication is given intravenously and circulated through the blood, the scalp gets less blood and thus less of the medication.
  • This reduces damage to hair follicles and preserves hair. But, experts say reduction in hair loss may vary from person to person.
  • Chemotherapy medication works best on fast-dividing cells.
  • Since cancer cells divide rapidly, the medicines attack those cells, but other cells like those in the blood, mucosal lining and hair follicles also come under attack.
  • This is why patients suffer from reduced blood count, mouth ulcers and hair loss during chemotherapy. But of all the side-effects, hair loss has the worst impact on women.
  • The most common side-effects of using scalp coolers are headache and cold.

4)   What is recently launched GeM related to?

a. Defence
b. Jewellery industry
c. Scholarship program
d. Government procurement
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Government procurement


  • Government e-Marketplace (GeM) (gem.gov.in) is a very bold step of the Government with the aim to transform the way in which procurement of goods and services is done by the Government Ministries/Departments, PSUs, autonomous bodies etc.
  • DGS&D with technical support of NeGD (MeitY) has developed GeM portal for procurement of both Products & Services.
  • GeM is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.
  • Benefits of GeM to the Government, Sellers and the Indian industry and economy -
  • Transparency -
1. GeM eliminates human interface in vendor registration, order placement and payment processing, to a great extent.
2. At every step, SMS and e-Mail notifications are sent to both buyer, his/her head of organization, paying authorities as well as sellers. Online, cashless and time bound payment on GeM is facilitated.
  • Efficiency -
    1. Direct purchase on GeM can be done in a matter of minutes and the entire process in online, end to end integrated and with online tools for assessing price reasonability.

    2. For procurements of higher value, the bidding/RA facility on GeM is among the most transparent and efficient, in comparison to e-procurement systems in vogue within the Government sector.

    3. For creating a bid/RA, the buyer does not need to create his/her own technical specifications as they have been standardized on GeM. These would make GeM an extremely powerful tool in the hands of Government organizations to plan and procure.

  • Secure and safe -

    1. GeM is a completely secure platform and all the documents on GeM are e-Signed at various stages by the buyers and sellers.

    2. The antecedents of the suppliers are verified online and automatically through MCA21, Aadhar and PAN databases.

    3. For high value bids/RA on GeM, an e-Bank Guarantee is also being introduced.

    4. GeM is a far better system than the existing one which relies more on financial instruments (EMD in case of tenders for large procurements only) to guarantee good conduct by the suppliers.

    5. In the existing system, there is zero check on the antecedents of the suppliers for small value procurements (upto Rs 1 lakh) whose cumulative value is huge across the Government organizations.

    6. GeM does a 100% online verification of all vendors irrespective of the value of procurement.

  • Potential to support Make in India -

    1. On GeM, the filters for selecting goods which are Preferential Market Access (PMA) compliant and those manufactured by Small Scale Industries(SSI), enables the Government buyers to procure Make in India and SSI goods very easily.

    2. Easily accessible MIS also enables the administrators and policy makers to easily and effectively enforce the Government regulations on PMA and SSI sourcing.

  • Savings to the Government -

    1. The transparency, efficiency and ease of use of the GeM portal has resulted in a substantial reduction in prices on GeM, in comparison to the tender, Rate Contract and direct purchase rates.

    2. The average prices on GeM are lower by atleast 15-20%, and in some cases even upto 56%.

    3. GeM is also doing Demand Aggregation for items that are to be procured by various Central/State Government Departments.

    4. Demand Aggregation is expected to further drive the prices south, by way of standardization of specifications and economy of scale.

    5. If pursued to its logical conclusion, GeM would eventually emerge as the National Public Procurement Portal, keeping in tune with the Global best practices.

    6. Most of the OECD countries, like USA, South Korea, UK, Singapore etc., have a single NPPP and as a result annual savings of billions of dollars are made in public procurement, besides giving a fillip to the domestic industry.

5)   Which of the following is/are true?

1) The Armed Forces Tribunal came into being in 2001.
2) Each Bench comprises of two Administrative Members.

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

ANSWER: Neither 1 nor 2


  • Armed Forces Tribunal or AFT is a military tribunal in India.
  • In 1999, the Law Commission's 169th report stated that disciplinary and service matters required quick resolutions and proposed a special tribunal for the military and paramilitary forces.
  • Armed forces tribunal bill was steered through Parliament only by the Defence Ministry, leaving paramilitary forces, even the Assam Rifles and Coast Guard, outside the tribunal's purview.
  • The Armed Forces Tribunal Act 2007, was passed by the Parliament and led to the formation of AFT.
  • It has power provided for the adjudication or trial by Armed Forces Tribunal of disputes and complaints with respect to commission, appointments, enrolments and conditions of service in respect of persons subject to the Army Act, 1950, The Navy Act, 1957 and the Air Force Act, 1950.
  • It can further provide for appeals arising out of orders, findings or sentences of courts- martial held under the said Acts and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • Besides the Principal Bench in New Delhi, AFT has Regional Benches at Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai and Jaipur.
  • With the exception of the Chandigarh and Lucknow Regional Benches, which have three benches each, all other locations have a single bench.
  • Each Bench comprises of a Judicial Member and an Administrative Member.
  • The Judicial Members are retired High Court Judges and Administrative Members are retired Members of the Armed Forces who have held rank of Major General/ equivalent or above for a period of three years or more.
  • Judge Advocate General (JAG), who have held the appointment for at least one year are also entitled to be appointed as the Administrative Member.
  • The Tribunal shall transact their proceedings as per the Armed Forces Tribunal (Procedure) rules, 2008.
  • All proceedings in the Tribunal will be in English.
  • The Tribunal will normally follow the procedure as is practiced in the High Courts of India.
  • The dress as mandated for the officials of the Tribunal including bar will be white shirt, collar band and a black coat/ jacket.