IAS Prelims GS Questions & Answers - Feb 13, 2016

1)   The Seabuck thorn is also called

a. Dalchini
b. Amesh Plant
c. Amla
d. Sanuf
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Amesh Plant


  • Amesh plant, which grows on the icy slopes of the state between 1,800 metre and 3,300 metre in sub-alpine climatic conditions during March and April, is famous for its medicinal values.
  • Rich in vitamins, the bushy plant, also called seabuck-thorn.
  • The ‘Amesh’ or ‘Tur’ found in valleys in the high reaches of Himalayas is full of nutrients and is traditionally used in treating many ailments. The botanical name of the plant is Hippophae salicifilia and commonly known in English as ‘Seabuckthorn’. In India, it is widely found in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The plant, also found in the higher parts of Uttarakhand, is now seen by agro-experts here as useful in developing fallow lands and for afforestation. They also say that the fruit plant can play an important role in development of the hill economy if produced for commercial exploitation.
  • Amesh is a magical plant of the dry Himalayan region. Its fruits are orange and small and all its parts from roots, leaves, stems to fruits are useful.
  • The fruit berry, which ripens in December, has 190 active bio-components, six soluble vitamins, 22 fatty acids and proteins among other nutrients.
  • Its juice does not get frozen at zero degrees Celsius and it is a popular drink for soldiers posted in the snow-bound regions. In Uttarakhand, the Seabuckthorn is found in Garhwal’s Gangotri, Harsil, Sukkhi, Yamunotri, Har Ki Doon, Badrinath, Mana, Jhelum, Valley of Flowers, and in Kumaon Division’s Kali Ghati, Buddhi, Vyas among others.
  • The annual flower festival of Uttarakhand “Vasantotsav 2016” will be held at the Raj Bhavan lawns will feature Amesh plant.

2)   Which of the following statements is/are true?

1) As per the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015, the arbitral tribunal needs to pass the award within one year.
2) There can be no extension in this beyond one year in any case.

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

ANSWER: Only 1


  • The amended Act also provides for a time-frame to pass an award. A new section has been added to ensure that an award is passed within a year. This means that the arbitrators will not be able to grant much time to the parties, and are under an obligation to pass awards within a year.
  • Nevertheless, the Act allows for a six-month extension. This will act as a deterrent against borrowers/guarantors who drag on the proceedings.

3)   Which of the following statements is/are true?

1) In all the cases the arbitrary tribunal as per the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015, has to have oral hearing.
2) The award of the tribunal is final and no court measures can be sought for interim relief in any case once the award is given.

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

ANSWER: Neither 1 nor 2


  • The arbitral tribunal is empowered to fast-track the procedure in certain cases and decide the dispute based on documents and submission without oral hearings within six months.
  • Sec. 17 of the original Act has been strengthened. The amended Act now allows, rather empowers, an arbitral tribunal to pass interim orders. And, it has made it clear that the arbitral tribunal will have the same power for making orders, as the court has for the purpose of, and in relations to, any proceedings before it. Such orders should, however, reflect the orders of the court. This new provision will avoid costs, namely court fee and other expenses. Besides, it will also save undue delay.
  • The courts are still empowered to grant interim relief either before the commencement of arbitration or even after the commencement if it is shown that an order from the arbitral tribunal was efficacious.

4)   What is Thang Ta?

a. Martial Arts
b. Tribe
c. Folk Dance
d. Medicinal herb
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Martial Arts


  • Thang Ta is a martial art form of Manipur.
  • Huyen Langlon is an Indian martial art from Manipur. In the Manipuri language, Huyen means war while langlon or langlong can mean net, knowledge or art.
  • Huyen langlon consists of two main components, namely thang-ta or armed combat and sarit sarak or unarmed fighting.
  • The primary weapons of huyen langlon are the thang (sword) and ta (spear).
  • It would be showcased in Make in India week in Mumbai.
  • There will also be Bazigar (acrobats from Punjab), Mallakhamb (gymnastic performed on a vertical wooden pole or rope of Maharashtra) and Kalaripayattu (martial art of Kerala)

5)   What is Singhi Cham?

a. Dance
b. Martial Arts
c. Tribe
d. Religious sect
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques



  • Singhi Cham is The Snow Lion Dance of Sikkim.
  • It would be showcased in Make in India week in Mumbai.
  • There will also be Rauf Dance (J&K), Been Jogi (Haryana); Mayur Dance (Uttar Pradesh), Thapetta Gullu (Andhra Pradesh), Panchavadyam (traditional orchestra of five instruments from Kerala), Rathwa Tribal Dance (Gujarat), Bahurupiya (mimicry artists from Rajasthan), Manganiar (folk singers of Rajasthan), Cheraw ( ‘Bamboo dance’ of Mizoram), Pungcholom (Manipur), Badhai Dance (Bundelkhand), Panthi Dance (Chhattisgarh), Dollu Kunitha Dance (Karnataka), Pandavani (Chhattisgarh), Gotipua Dance (Odisha), and Purulia Chhau (West Bengal)

6)   India launched a new brand for its handloom products. It is

a. India Handloom
b. Indian Handloom
c. Bharat Handlooms
d. Bharat
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: India Handloom


  • The integrated website of ‘India Handloom’ Brand www.indiahandloombrand.gov.in was launched.
  • The website is a one stop platform for all services to consumers, bulk buyers and handloom producers.
  • The website will also provide information about the retail stores and e-commerce platform from where India Handloom branded products can be purchased. It will also contain brief description of every product category and tips to identify genuine products.
  • ‘India Handloom’ Brand was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 7th August, 2015, the first National Handloom Day, to endorse the quality of handloom products in terms of raw material, processing, embellishment, weaving, design and other parameters besides social and environment compliance. The main objective is to promote the production of quality products with new designs for winning the trust and confidence of customers by giving particular attention to defect free, hand woven, authentic niche products with zero defect and zero impact on environment.

7)   CSIR – Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB) has established TRUE. What is TRUE?

a. Translational Research Unit of Excellence
b. Transnational Research Unit of Excellence
c. Technological Unit of Research Excellence
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Translational Research Unit of Excellence


  • CSIR – Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Kolkata is engaged in research on diseases and certain biological problems of global interest. To spin out these R&D outcomes and with a view to contribute country’s startup movement, CSIR-IICB established a Translational Research Unit of Excellence (TRUE).
  • This ‘TRUE’ is conceived as a productive platform for successful industry-institute liaison for translating previously achieved and ongoing biomedical discoveries by IICB scientists into biomedical deliverables.
  • The major dimensions and the roadmap set for the new unit are:1) Research facilitation by establishing advanced technological platforms, 2) establishing a Biomedical Incubation Center for MSME start-up companies and 3) translating discoveries made by IICB scientists into deliverable biomedical technologies.

8)   What is the use of Lignocellulose?

a. Biofuel
b. Medicine
c. Preservatives
d. In food stuffs for taste
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Biofuel


  • Lignocellulose refers to plant dry matter (biomass), so called lignocellulosic biomass. It is the most abundantly available raw material on the Earth for the production of bio-fuels, mainly bio-ethanol. It is composed of carbohydrate polymers (cellulose, hemicellulose), and an aromatic polymer (lignin).
  • Benefits of using Ethanol blended petrol are that it will not only help in value addition for the farmer’s produce but will also reduce foreign exchange expenditure.
  • Added benefits of blended petrol would be in the form of employment generation, entrepreneurship promotion and environment protection.
  • Molasses to Ethanol conversion is already going on and the Government has taken up second generation of lignocelluloses to Ethanol production to utilize agricultural residues/wastes, and achieve the target of 10% Ethanol blending.
  • There is need to accelerate the Ethanol Blending Program (EBP) programme in the country and to draw up a roadmap for establishing ethanol industry from lignocellulose route thus reducing the foreign exchange outflow, generate rural employment and protect environment.