IAS Prelims GS Questions and Answers - Mar 11, 2016

1)   Bonn Convention is for

a. Conservation of Migratory Species
b. Movement of hazardous material across international borders
c. Dumping of hazardous material in Oceans
d. Conservation and protection of exotic Reptiles
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Conservation of Migratory Species


  • The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals or the Bonn Convention-aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range.
  • It is an intergovernmental treaty, concluded under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme, concerned with the conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale.
  • India had become a party to it since November 1, 1983.

2)   What are the functions of incubators?

1) Mentoring organizations
2) Tax benefits provider
3) Skilled labor provider
4) Funding

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

ANSWER: 1, 4


  • Incubators are an organization, platform or team of experienced professionals that helps startups settle during its early stages and often provides mentoring, guidance, co-working space and also at times some funding.
  • Incubators can provide technical expertise but does not deal with provision of skilled labor. They may help or guide in recruitment but themselves do not provide skilled professionals. In fact, the skilled professionals within an incubator guide the startups.
  • They also do not provide tax incentives.
  • Incubators also help in providing idea validation and shared resource pools including technology which helps startup in faster realization of their idea.

3)   Which of the following is/are true regarding exploration and production of oil and gas?

1) The old policy regime for exploration and production of oil and gas is known as Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP).
2) It provides a unified license for all hydrocarbons.

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


  • The present policy regime for exploration and production of oil and gas, known as New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) has been in existence for 18 years.
  • Presently, there are separate policies and licenses for different hydrocarbons. There are separate policy regimes for conventional oil and gas, coal-bed methane, shale oil and gas and gas hydrates.
  • In practice, there is overlapping of resources between different contracts. Unconventional hydrocarbons (shale gas and shale oil) were unknown when NELP was framed.
  • This fragmented policy framework leads to inefficiencies in exploiting natural resources. For example, while exploring for one type of hydrocarbon, if a different one is found, it will need separate licensing, adding to cost.
  • The Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) under NELP are based on the principle of “profit sharing”. When a contractor discovers oil or gas, he is expected to share with the Government the profit from his venture, as per the percentage given in his bid. Until a profit is made, no share is given to Government, other than royalties and cesses.
  • Since the contract requires the profit to be measured, it becomes necessary for the cost to be accounted for and checked by the Government. To prevent loss of Government revenue, there are requirements for Government approval at various stages to prevent the contractor from exaggerating the cost. Thus, leading to delays and disputes.
  • Another feature of the current system is that exploration is confined to blocks which have been put on tender by the Government. There are situations where exploration companies may themselves have information or interest regarding other areas where they may like to pursue exploration. Currently these opportunities remain untapped, until and unless Government brings them to bidding at some stage.

4)   Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is related to

a. Providing LPG Gas
b. Women empowerment
c. Women healthcare
d. Providing light/electricity
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Providing LPG Gas


  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana - Scheme for Providing Free LPG connections to Women from BPL Households.
  • The Scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households. The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories. This Scheme would be implemented over three years, namely, the FY 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
  • This is the first time in the history of the country that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas would implement a welfare scheme benefitting crores of women belonging to the poorest households.
  • Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country. This measure will empower women and protect their health. It will reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking. It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.
  • There are serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuels. According to WHO estimates, about 5 lakh deaths in India alone due to unclean cooking fuels. Most of these premature deaths were due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Indoor air pollution is also responsible for a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses in young children.

5)   Which of the following is/are true regarding HELP?

1) The new policy regime for exploration and production of oil and gas is known as Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP).
2) A bidder may apply to the Government seeking exploration of any block not already covered by exploration.

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

ANSWER: Both 1 and 2


  • There will be a uniform licensing system which will cover all hydrocarbons, i.e. oil, gas, coal bed methane etc. under a single license and policy framework.
  • Contracts will be based on “biddable revenue sharing”. Bidders will be required to quote revenue share in their bids and this will be a key parameter for selecting the winning bid. They will quote a different share at two levels of revenue called “lower revenue point” and “higher revenue point”. Revenue share for intermediate points will be calculated by linear interpolation. The bidder giving the highest net present value of revenue share to the Government, as per transparent methodology, will get the maximum marks under this parameter.
  • An Open Acreage Licensing Policy will be implemented whereby a bidder may apply to the Government seeking exploration of any block not already covered by exploration. This will enable a faster coverage of the available geographical area.
  • A concessional royalty regime will be implemented for deep water and ultra-deep water areas. These areas shall not have any royalty for the first seven years, and thereafter shall have a concessional royalty of 5% (in deep water areas) and 2% (in ultra-deep water areas).
  • In shallow water areas, the royalty rates shall be reduced from 10% to 7.5%.
  • The contractor will have freedom for pricing and marketing of gas produced in the domestic market on arm’s length basis. To safeguard the Government revenue, the Government’s share of profit will be calculated based on the higher of prevailing international crude price or actual price.
  • The introduction of the concept of revenue sharing is a major step in the direction of “minimum government maximum governance”, as it will not be necessary for the Government to verify the costs incurred by the contractor.

6)   Which of the following is/are true regarding the nuclear plants and programmes?

1) Jaitapur nuclear plant is being made with help of French.
2) Kudankulam Units – 5 and 6 are being started with help of the Japanese.
3) Japan's advancements in the civil nuclear domain are set to be tapped by India.

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

ANSWER: 1, 3


  • Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and the French nuclear power company AREVA NP signed a Pre-Engineering Agreement (PEA) for Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP-1&2) based on the Evolutionary Pressurised Reactor (EPR) technology.
  • Kudankulam Units – 5 and 6 are being started with help of the Russians - Integrity Pact for the project for Kudankulam Units - 5&6 was signed between NPCIL and the Russian reactor supplier Atomstroyexport.
  • India has signed Inter-Governmental Agreements with a number of international partners for cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The scope of cooperation inter alia covers the supply of nuclear material, non-nuclear material, equipment, components or technology, training of personnel and transfer of technology, for peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

7)   Which of the following is/are true?

1) There shall be no necessity of obtaining the ‘Consent to Operate’ for White category of industries as per new classification of industries given by the environment ministry.
2) Solar power generation through photovoltaic cell falls under green category of industry.

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

ANSWER: Only 1


  • Newly-introduced White category contains 36 industrial sectors which are practically non-polluting.
  • There shall be no necessity of obtaining the Consent to Operate’’ for White category of industries. Intimation to concerned SPCB / PCC shall suffice.
  • No Red category of industries shall normally be permitted in the ecologically fragile area / protected area.
  • The newly introduced White category of industries pertains to those industrial sectors which are practically non-polluting, such as Biscuit trays etc. from rolled PVC sheet (using automatic vacuum forming machines), Cotton and woolen hosiers making (Dry process only without any dying/washing operation), Electric lamp (bulb) and CFL manufacturing by assembling only, Scientific and mathematical instrument manufacturing, Solar power generation through photovoltaic cell, wind power and mini hydel power (less than 25 MW).