IAS Prelims GS Questions and Answers - Mar 20 & 21, 2016

1)   Which of the following is one of the most reliable directional cues in the ocean?

a. Sound
b. Light
c. Scent
d. Water Currents
Answer  Explanation 



  • Sound is one of the most reliable directional cues in the ocean because it can carry up to thousands of kilometres with little change
  • Whereas visual cues and scents are affected by light, water clarity and turbulence.

2)   To achieve the India Newborn Action Plan, some additional vaccines are being thought of as priority vaccines for introduction. Which of the following are they?

1) Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
2) Influenza vaccine
3) Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
4) TB Vaccine

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

ANSWER: 1, 2, 3


  • The India Newborn Action Plan (INAP) was launched in September 2014 with the aim of reducing preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths and the goal to attain single digit neonatal mortality and stillbirth rate by 2030. The current rate is 38/1,000 live births.
  • To reach this goal, four additional vaccines are being thought of as priority vaccines for introduction in India - Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Influenza vaccine, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and cholera vaccine.

3)   Codeine is famous as

a. Sleeping drug
b. Pain Killing drug
c. Performance enhancement drug used in sports
d. Cough Medicine
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Cough Medicine


  • India banned 300-odd fixed-dose combination drugs.
  • This brings in a ban on Codeine- once the world’s most lauded cough medicine.
  • Once ingested, codeine could be rapidly converted to morphine within the body and that could dangerously spike blood levels, especially in children, and reports also have started to emerge of its role in hypoxia — or decreased oxygen supply to the brain.
  • It is derived from opium.
  • Given its opioid ancestry there were always clinical observations that cough syrups in high doses caused hallucinations, dizziness and were extremely addictive and reports also began to emerge of its popularity as a street drug because of its easy availability in pharmacies.

4)   Why were many fixed-dose combination drugs banned by India?

1) They were costly.
2) They didn’t sufficiently improve medicine effectiveness
3) They could cause long term organ damage

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

ANSWER: 2, 3


  • Apart from above bad effects they also stoke antimicrobial drug resistance.
  • These combination drugs were combination of painkillers, anti-allergens, anti-diabetics, antibiotics, etc.
  • Few popular products affected by the bans are – Crocin Cold and Flu, DCold Total, Sumo, Kofnil, Gastrogyl, Decoff, O2, Dexorange, etc.

5)   Recently there has been a controversy on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal. Between which two areas is the controversy primarily going on?

a. Haryana - New Delhi
b. Punjab - Rajasthan
c. Punjab - New Delhi
d. Punjab - Haryana
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Punjab - Haryana


  • The controversy is between Punjab and Haryana.
  • The controversial canal was to link Sutlej and Yamuna rivers and its foundation was laid in 1982.
  • The canal was meant to channelize towards Haryana its duly allotted share of the waters of the Ravi and the Beas.
  • The origins of the crisis go back to 2004, when the State passed the Punjab Termination of Agreements legislation. With this, it reneged on its upper-riparian responsibility to share water with Haryana through the SYL Canal.
  • New Delhi too would have benefitted by this canal.

6)   What is purchasing power parity (PPP)?

a. Money needed to purchase same goods and services in two places
b. Spending capacity of two individuals
c. Spending capacity of two nations
d. Money needed to purchase two goods or services
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Money needed to purchase same goods and services in two places


  • The PPP model refers to a method used to work out the money that would be needed to purchase the same goods and services in two places.
  • Across countries, this is used to calculate an implicit foreign exchange rate, the PPP rate, at which a given amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries.
  • It is price of an identical good in two countries when the prices are expressed in the same currency. For example, a particular TV set that sells for 750 Canadian Dollars [CAD] in Vancouver should cost 500 US Dollars [USD] in Seattle when the exchange rate between Canada and the US is 1.50 CAD/USD. Thus the good costs the same in two places.

7)   Which of the following is/are true?

1) The OCI card holders need to have a Passport and a Visa to enter India.
2) The OCI cards and PIO cards are now merged and now there is just the PIO card.

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

ANSWER: Neither 1 nor 2


  • The categories Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) were merged and now there is just the OCI card.
  • An ordinance was promulgated on January 6, 2015 whereby the eligibility and additional benefits of the PIO card have been incorporated in the OCI card and certain other relaxation to OCI card holders have been given by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • Till now, every OCI card holder also had to get a visa affixed from the Indian High Commission whenever they planned a visit to India.
  • Now, only the OCI card will be needed and no visa is required.
  • The government is also planning to make arrangements to print OCI cards at a few big missions such as those in the U.K and the U.S., countries where many Indians reside.
  • The OCI card bears certain security features that cannot be tampered with and are made after several layers of checks.

8)   The Tetseo Sisters are popularly considered as the cultural ambassadors of which state?

a. Manipur
b. Nagaland
c. Meghalaya
d. Assam
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nagaland


  • The Tetseo Sisters are redefining folk music in India with their distinctively fresh, spirited sound. The musical act, comprising four sisters — Mütsevelü (Mercy), Azine (Azi), Kuvelü (Kuku) and Alüne (Lulu) — first performed as a group in 1994.
  • They steadily gained popularity via regular appearances at Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival, going on to become one of the State’s most popular cultural ambassadors.

9)   Chakhesang tribe is from

a. Meghalaya
b. Nagaland
c. Assam
d. Orissa
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nagaland


  • Chakhesang is a Naga tribe found in Nagaland, India.
  • They speak the Chokhri language.
  • They also play a one-string instrument called the tati (also calledthe heka libuh or mithun horn).

10)   Cabotage means

a. Transport of goods
b. Taxes for goods at customs
c. Maintenance of airports
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Transport of goods


  • Cabotage refers to transportation of goods or passengers between two places, usually along the coast.
  • The Union government announced that it has eased cabotage rules in a bid to encourage transhipment of goods at Indian ports.
  • Transhipment is the movement of goods when a container arrives at an intermediate point and re-loaded into another ship to be taken to some destination domestically or abroad.
  • The rule change will also allow foreign vessels to bring goods at any of the Indian ports meant to be shipped to other destinations.
  • At present, foreign vessels are restricted from transporting containers between domestic gateway ports.
  • The spare capacity of the foreign flag ships which could not be utilized earlier due to cabotage restrictions will now be gainfully utilized enabling them to offer competitive container slot rates to exporters and importers leading to competition led efficiency in container transportation and lower logistic costs for the shippers.