IAS Prelims GS Questions and Answers - Jan 30 & 31, 2016

1)   A condition called microcephaly in humans is caused by

a. A virus
b. DNA mutation
c. Fungal Infection of lungs
d. By prions
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: A virus

Aedes mosquito which transmits dengue also transmits Zika virus. Alarm over thousands of birth defects blamed on the mosquito-borne Zika virus spread on Friday, as the United States expanded a travel warning for pregnant women. With the sting of a mosquito bite and a fever, many pregnant women may not know that they caught the Zika virus — until it strikes their unborn child. Now authorities in some Latin American countries are warning women to avoid getting pregnant for fear of the virus. Babies across the region, and at least one in the United States, have been born with abnormally smaller heads — a condition doctors call microcephaly, which can cause brain damage. The scare has struck hardest in Brazil, which hosts the summer Olympic Games in August. But the World Health Organisation and others have stressed that any link between Zika and the defect remains circumstantial and is not yet proven scientifically. Health officials have also reported Zika patients developing Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological disorder that can cause paralysis or even death.

2)   Recently genetics was used to study evolution of caste system. According to it, which period lead to the start of rigid caste system?

a. During times of Buddha
b. Ashoka period
c. Delhi Sultanate Period
d. Gupta Period
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gupta Period

Religious diktat enforced more than a millennium ago can have repercussions in genetic make-up of modern-day Indians. Religious diktat enforced more than a millennium ago can have repercussions in genetic make-up of modern-day Indians. This is the result of a study of numerous communities undertaken by researchers from the National Institute of BioMedical Genomics in West Bengal. However, in the complexities of genes lie the secret of one of the country’s most persistent practices: the caste system. By looking at “ancient” genes within modern genomes, the scientists have been able to figure out when the “mixing” of genes ended — that is, when the caste system closed its grasp. The results point to the Gupta period, nearly 1,500 years ago, when many historians believe prohibition of marriage between castes was enshrined in the Dharmasastra. Similarly, other communities can trace their caste consolidation to kingdoms such as Rashtrakutas or the Pala dynasty, shows the study.

3)   Denmark in a bid to dissuade migrants is following which of the following way?

a. Confiscate valuables of migrants
b. Jail the migrants
c. Confiscate all money of the migrants
d. Do not provide them any amenities
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Confiscate valuables of migrants

Denmark’s Parliament adopted reforms aimed at dissuading migrants from seeking asylum by delaying family reunifications and allowing authorities to seize their valuables, under legislation that has sparked widespread condemnation. The government insists the law is needed to stem the flow of refugees even though Denmark and Sweden recently tightened their borders, a move that prompted Germany and Austria to turn back new arrivals heading for Scandinavia. International outrage has focused on plans to allow police to seize cash and valuables from refugees to help pay for their stay in asylum centres, while rights activists have blasted a proposed three-year delay for family reunifications which they say breaches international conventions. Denmark’s minority government backtracked on parts of the plan to confiscate migrants’ valuables in order to secure backing for the bill from two small right-wing parties and the opposition Social Democrats. Asylum seekers will now have to hand over cash exceeding 10,000 kroner ( $1,450) and any individual items valued at more than that amount, up from the initial 3,000 kroner proposed. Home to 5.6 million people, Denmark registered 21,000 asylum applications in 2015, making it one of the top EU destinations per capita.

4)   International Data Privacy Day is on?

a. 31 March
b. 28 January
c. 18 February
d. 12 December
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 28 January

On 28 January 1981, the European Council signed the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, popularly known as Convention 108. It is the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. The day has since been celebrated as Data Protection Day in Europe and as International Data Privacy Day around the world. The Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data is the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.

5)   Marine fisheries census is held every

a. 2 years
b. Every year
c. Every 5 years
d. Every 6 months
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Every 5 years

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), a research body under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR-CMFRI), will conduct the census. The Union government conducts the marine fisheries census once in every five years. The last census was conducted in 2010. The census exercises will include collecting information about marine fishermen families, fishing craft and gears, social and educational profile and demographic features of marine fishing villages. The island regions of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep will be enumerated under the supervision of Fishery Survey of India. The data would be analysed by the scientists of the institute to develop a comprehensive census database, which will be helpful in facilitating formulation of fisheries-related plans and policies in the marine sector.

6)   India’s voting share in IMF is

a. 2.69%
b. 3.10%
c. 2.10%
d. 1.75%
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 2.69%

In long-pending reforms that came into effect, emerging and developing economies gained more influence in the governance architecture of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). India’s voting rights increase to 2.6 per cent from the current 2.3 per cent, and China’s, to 6 per cent from 3.8, as per the new division. Russia and Brazil are the other two countries that gain from the reforms.

7)   Artemisia annua is used to produce which drug?

a. Anti-malarial
b. Anti-TB
c. Drug for chicken pox
d. Drug for typhoid
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Anti-malarial

Anti-malarial drug-producing artemisinin-rich improved varieties of Artemisia annua are developed by CSIR-Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CSIR-CIMAP).

8)   CSIR-Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants recently developed improved varieties of lemongrass. What is major product obtained from lemongrass?

a. Bio-diesel
b. Oil
c. Fodder
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Lemon grass is used for oil extraction. It is ranked among the top ten oil bearing crops in the world and India leads in the world export market. Lemon grass oil is mainly used in perfumery industry and in pharmaceutical industry. It is also used in production of detergents, disinfections and deodorizing compounds. In some countries lemongrass oil is reported to have been used as a flavoring agent in ice creams, cakes, beverages, confectionaries, puddings and chewing gums. In India dried lemon grass, mixed with other ingredients, is used in making writing and printing papers.