1. With respect to Bridgmanite, consider the following statements:

1) It is the most volumetrically abundant mineral of the Earth’s interior.

2) It consists of magnesium, iron, calcium aluminum oxide and has a perovskite structure.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2


In NEWS: Scientists find a mineral seen in the depths of the Earth in a meteorite

●    The key findings of a study led by IIT Kharagpur researchers could help us understand the formation and evolution of the Earth.

●    Reporting for the first time, presence of veins of the mineral bridgmanite, which is the most abundant mineral in the interior of the Earth, within the Katol L6 Chondrite meteorite. This finding adds evidence to the Moon-forming giant impact hypothesis.

●    Bridgmanite is the most volumetrically abundant mineral of the Earth’s interior. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    It is present in the lower mantle (from 660 to 2700 km), and it is important to understand its formation mechanism to better comprehend the origin and evolution of planetary interiors.

●    The Moon-forming giant impact hypothesis is that long ago, nearly 4.5 billion years ago, the Earth collided with a planet the size of Mars named Thela, and the force of this impact was so huge as to melt the Earth down from the surface to a depth of 750 km to 1,100 km.

●    The hypothesis goes that this caused the Earth to be bathed in a magma ocean, and the ejecta from the collision led to the formation of the Moon.

●    Earth was an ocean of magma in the past. The heavier iron and nickel went to the core while the lighter silicates stayed in the mantle.

●    By studying the meteorite, we can understand more details about the formation of the Earth and other planets

●    Bridgmanite consists of magnesium, iron, calcium aluminum oxide and has a perovskite structure. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/scientists-find-a-mineral-seen-in-the-depths-of-the-earth-in-a-meteorite/article37256589.ece

2. With respect to Relay cropping, consider the following statements:

1) It is a system in which a second crop is planted when an existing crop has just flowered.

2) The planting of rice, cauliflower, onion and summer gourd in the same season is an example of relay cropping.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2


In NEWS: Indian farming practices: Learning from elsewhere in the world

●    A paper has appeared recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS) titled: Integrated farming with intercropping increases food production while reducing environmental footprint

●    This work found that (1) “relay planting” enhances yield, (2) within-field rotation or “strip rotation”, allowing strips for planting other plants (such as grass, fruits) besides the major crop was more fruitful, (3) “soil munching,” that is, available means such as crop straw, in addition to the major crop such as wheat or rice, and (4) “no-till” or a reduced tillage, which increases the annual crop yield up by 15.6% to 49.9%, and decreasing the environmental footprint by 17.3%, compared with traditional monoculture cropping.

Relay planting:

●    Relay planting means the planting of different crops in the same plot, one right after another, in the same seasonHence statement (1) is correct.

●    Examples of such relay cropping would be planting rice (or wheat), cauliflower, onion, and summer gourd (or potato onion, lady’s fingers and maize), in the same season. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    It also means better distribution of labour, insects spread less, and any legumes actually add nitrogen to the soil

●    Point out the difficulties involved in such relay cropping, namely mechanisation here can be difficult, plus the management requirements are somewhat higher. It is here that women come in handy.

●    Women plant materials for home food, such as greens, leafy vegetables and pulses such as green grams, Finger millet (ragi in Hindi, kezhvaragu in Tamil) horse gram (chane ki dal in Hindi, kudure gram in Kannada, and kollu in Tamil), cowpeas, and also grass (all of which add to the nitrogen to the soil).

●    Small farmers in Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra are actually doing this and earning money out of such relay farming.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/indian-farming-practices-learning-from-elsewhere-in-the-world/article37256781.ece

3. Consider the following statements:

1) The Lima Work Programme on Gender adopted at the United Nations Framework conference on Climate Change.

2) This Programme aims to advance gender balance and to promote gender sensitivity in developing and implementing climate policy.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2


In NEWS: CoP 26: ‘Every third child is severely exposed to water scarcity’

●    The need for women’s equal participation and representation in bodies established under the UNFCCC or Kyoto Protocol was first established in CoP7 in 2001.

●    CoP16 in 2010 recognised the importance of gender equality and the effective participation of women for effective action on all aspects of climate change.

●    But it wasn’t until 2014, at CoP20, when parties were formally invited to enhance efforts to improve the participation of women in the Convention process and promote gender-sensitivity in developing and implementing climate policies.

●    They established the first Lima Work Programme on Gender (LWPG).

Lima Work Programme on Gender:

●    Across societies the impacts of climate change affect women and men differently. Women are often responsible for gathering and producing food, collecting water and sourcing fuel for heating and cooking.

●    With climate change, these tasks are becoming more difficult. Extreme weather events such as droughts and floods have a greater impact on the poor and most vulnerable – 70% of the world’s poor are women.

●    United Nations climate change negotiations, void of gender-related texts and discussions until 2008, have more recently reflected an increased understanding of the links between gender equality and responding to climate change.

●    The Lima Work Programme on Gender adopted at COP20 in 2014, for example, promotes gender balance and achieving gender-responsive climate policy. A gender-responsive outcome at COP21 in Paris would set the standard for implementation. Hence statement (1) is correct and statement (2) is correct.

Strengthening climate action by promoting gender equality

●        Women and men are experiencing climate change differently, as gender inequalities persist around the world, affecting the ability of individuals and communities to adapt.

●        Recognising the important contributions of women as decision makers, stakeholders, educators, carers and experts across sectors and at all levels can lead to successful, long-term solutions to climate change.

●        Women have proven to be leading the way towards more equitable and sustainable solutions to climate change. Across sectors, women’s innovations and expertise have transformed lives and livelihoods, and increased climate resilience and overall well-being.

●        Global negotiations have increasingly reflected the growing understanding of gender considerations in climate decision making over the last eight years. Continued progress towards gender equality at COP21 can help achieve successful climate action.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/cop26-women-need-more-space-at-the-climate-table-79971

4. Which of the following option(s) is/are eligibility criteria for receiving the benefits under MGNREGA scheme?

1) The applicant should be a Citizen of India.

2) Applicant has completed 18 years of age at the time of application.

3) The applicant must be part of a local household.

4) Applicants must volunteer for both skilled and unskilled labour.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  2 and 3 only

b) 1 and 4 only

c)  1, 2, 3 and 4

d) 1, 2 and 3 only

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3 only


In NEWS: No money left in MGNREGA coffers; 21 States in the red

●    The Centre’s flagship rural employment scheme has run out of funds halfway through the financial year, and supplementary budgetary allocations will not come to the rescue for at least another month when the next Parliamentary session begins.

●    According to its own financial statement, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme shows a negative net balance of 8,686 crore.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act:

●    The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), also known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) is Indian legislation enacted on August 25, 2005.

●    The MGNREGA provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage.

●    The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Govt of India is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments

●    This act was introduced with an aim of improving the purchasing power of the rural people, primarily semi or unskilled work to people living below poverty line in rural India.

●    Right to get unemployment allowance in case employment is not provided within fifteen days of submitting the application or from the date when work is sought.

●    Receipt of wages within fifteen days of work done.

●    Variety of permissible works which can be taken up by the Gram Panchayats.

Eligibility criteria for receiving the benefits under MGNREGA scheme:

●    Must be Citizen of India to seek MGNREGA benefits.

●    Job seeker has completed 18 years of age at the time of application.

●    The applicant must be part of a local household (i.e. application must be made with local Gram Panchayat).

●    Applicants must volunteer for unskilled labourHence option (c) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-money-left-in-mgnrega-coffers-21-states-in-the-red/article37241358.ece

5. With reference to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Consider the following statements:

1) It is headquartered in Beijing.

2) It began operations in 2016 with 103 founding Members.

3) It is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3


In NEWS: India seeks vaccine loans from ADB, AIIB

●    The Government of India has applied for loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to procure as many as 667 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

●    The Manila-based ADB, in which the U.S. and Japan are the biggest shareholders, and the Beijing-based AIIB, where China and India are the biggest shareholders, are in the process of considering the loans.

●    The ADB is expected to lend $1.5 billion and the AIIB around $500 million for the vaccine purchase by the Government of India, which has been made under the ADB’s Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (APVAX) initiative.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank:

●    It is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in AsiaHence statement (3) is correct.

●    It meets clients’ needs by unlocking new capital and investing in infrastructure that is green, technology-enabled and promotes regional connectivity.

●    AIIB began operations in 2016 with 57 founding Members (37 regional and 20 non-regional). By the end of 2020, we had 103 approved Members representing approximately 79 percent of the global population and 65 percent of global GDP. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    Since 2017, AIIB has received AAA ratings with a stable outlook from the top credit rating agencies— Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch.

●    It is headquartered in Beijing and began its operations in January 2016. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    AIIB has created an effective environment for its Board of Directors to take a strategic approach to direct and oversee the work of an accountable management.

●    The Bank’s Accountability Framework is an innovative governance model that positions AIIB to embed a culture of accountability throughout the organization.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-applies-for-adb-aiib-loans-to-procure-667-million-doses-of-covid-19-vaccines/article37196769.ece

6. Consider the following statements regarding Dairy Sahakar scheme:

1) It will be implemented by the National Cooperative Development Corporation.

2) It will supplement the existing efforts of strengthening the dairy sector in the country, doubling the farmer’s income as well as realizing the vision of ‘from cooperation to prosperity’.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2


In NEWS: Union Minister of Home Affairs and Cooperation launches the “Dairy Sahakar” scheme

●    Union Minister of Home Affairs   and Cooperation   launched the “Dairy Sahakar” scheme at Anand, Gujarat today, during the function organised by Amul for celebration of 75th Foundation Year of Amul

●    The Dairy Sahakar with a total investment of Rs 5000 crore will be   implemented by NCDC under the Ministry of Cooperation, Government of India to realize the vision from cooperation to prosperity. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    Under Dairy Sahakar, financial support will be extended by NCDC to eligible cooperatives for activities such as bovine development, milk procurement, processing, quality assurance, value addition, branding, packaging, marketing, transportation and storage of milk and milk products, exports of dairy products within the overall objectives of “Doubling the farmers income” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1768230

7. Consider the following statements:

1) Pneumococcal disease is caused by a virus.

2) Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine can protect only children from pneumococcal disease.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (d) Neither 1 nor 2


In NEWS: Nationwide Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine drive launched

●    Union Health Minister launched a nationwide expansion of Pneumococcal 13-valent Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) as a part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’

●    Pneumonia caused by pneumococcus is the most common cause of severe pneumonia in children. Around 16% of deaths in children occur due to pneumonia in India.

●    The nationwide roll-out of PCV will reduce child mortality by around 60%

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine:

●        Pneumococcal disease is a name for any infection caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus. Hence, statement (1) is incorrect.

●        It can protect both children and adults from pneumococcal disease. The vaccine is a mix of several bacteria of the pneumococci family, which are known to cause pneumonia—hence ‘conjugate’ is included in the name of the vaccine. Hence, statement (2) is incorrect.

●        Most people carry pneumococcus in their nose and throat, where the bacteria do not cause any symptoms. However, sometimes the bacteria grow and spread to other parts of the body and that’s when people become sick.

●        Besides pneumonia, pneumococcal bacteria can also cause: 

●        Ear infections.

●        Sinus infections.

●        Meningitis (infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord).

●        Bacteremia (infection of the blood).

●        Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but children under 2 years old, people with certain medical conditions, adults 65 years or older, and cigarette smokers are at the highest risk.

●        Most pneumococcal infections are mild. However, some can result in long-term problems, such as brain damage or hearing loss. Meningitis, bacteremia, and pneumonia caused by pneumococcal disease can be fatal.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nationwide-pneumococcal-conjugate-vaccine-drive-launched/article37232412.ece

8. Consider the following statements regarding Project 15B:

1) It is a class of stealth guided missile destroyers.

2) These ships are propelled by four gas turbines in Combined Gas and Gas configuration

3) Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal and Porbandar are the names of these ships.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3


In NEWS: Navy takes delivery of guided missile destroyer Visakhapatnam

●        The first ship of the four Project-15B state-of-the-art stealth guided missile destroyers, Visakhapatnam, being built at the Mazgaon Docks Limited. Hence, statement (1) is correct.

●        The 163-metre-long warship has a full load displacement of 7,400 tonnes and a maximum speed of 30 knots. The overall indigenous content of the project is approximately 75%

●        The design of the ships has been developed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design and are a follow-on of the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers.

●        The four ships are christened after major cities from all four corners of the country — Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal and SuratHence, statement (3) is correct.

●        These ships are equipped with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and long-range Surface-to-Air missiles

●        The ship has several indigenous weapons systems like medium range SAMs, indigenous torpedo tube launchers, anti-submarine indigenous rocket launchers and 76-mm super rapid gun mount

●        The design of Project 15B has largely maintained the hull form, propulsion machinery, many platform equipment and major weapons and sensors as the Kolkata class to benefit from series production

●        These ships are propelled by four gas turbines in Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) configuration and have maximum endurance of 4000 nm at economical speed of 14 knots. Hence, statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/navy-takes-delivery-of-guided-missile-destroyer-visakhapatnam/article37270547.ece

9. Consider the following statements:

1) The Indus river dolphin is classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

2) They are found in Pakistan and India.

3) The Indus river dolphin was declared the State aquatic animal of Punjab.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3


In NEWS: Punjab bats for conservation of Indus river dolphin

●        The census of one of the world’s most threatened cetaceans, the Indus river dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) — a freshwater dolphin

●        The Indus river dolphin is classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and, until recently, it was believed that these dolphins were endemic to Pakistan. Hence, statement (1) is correct

●        But in 2007, a remnant but viable population of Indus dolphins was discovered in Punjab’s Harike wildlife sanctuary and in the lower Beas river. Hence, statement (2) is correct.

●        The Indus river dolphin was declared the State aquatic animal of Punjab in 2019Hence, statement (3) is correct.

●        At the State level, the Punjab Government has taken the initiative for conservation of dolphins and its habitat.

●        Extension programmes will be held to develop a group of dedicated individuals, called ‘Beas-Dolphin Mitras’ [friends and protectors] of the river Beas. The project also will embark on dolphin eco-tourism

●        The Beas river supports a viable population of several key aquatic species and the 185 km stretch of the river starting from 52 Headworks, Talwara to Harike Headworks was declared as the Beas Conservation Reserve in 2018

●        Direct count surveys of Indus river dolphins in Punjab have been conducted since 2008 and they indicate that their population is critically small, numbering less than 10. The numbers have been approximately stable over time and there is no suggestion of a decline, and calves are sighted annually

●        The dolphins are found principally between the Harike barrage and Beas town and they are only very rarely reported further upstream or downstream of that range.

●        The field surveys conducted jointly by the Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation and WWF-India clearly indicate two hotspots of dolphin occurrence.

●        The first area is in the vicinity of Verowal and Gagrewal in the Tarn Taran district of Punjab and the second further downstream near Karmowala and Mundapind in the Tarn Taran district of Punjab

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/punjab-bats-for-conservation-of-indus-river-dolphin/article37275721.ece

10. Consider the following statements:

The effect of devaluation of a currency is that it necessarily

1) Improves the competitiveness of domestic exports in the foreign markets.

2) Increases the foreign value of domestic currency.

3) Improves the trade balance.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 1 and 2 only

c)  3 only

d) 2 and 3 only

Answer: (a) 1 only


●        Devaluation means official lowering of the value of a country’s currency within a fixed exchange rate system. Devaluation of a currency happens in countries with a fixed exchange rate (or also where it is managed floating rate). Hence, statement (2) is incorrect.

●        Balance of Trade (BOT) is the difference between the value of exports and value of imports of goods of a country in a given period of time. Regarding the third statement, with the devaluation of currency competitiveness of the export improves, but trade balance depends upon both export as well as imports and it is not necessarily true that devaluation of currency improves trade balance. (Let us take a possibility in Indian economy, our economy is heavily dependent upon the import of crude oil, and at the time of devaluation of currency, export increases but for the same period, demand for crude oil also increases due to increased growth in the economy, and the value of this increase in import is more than the value of increase in export. So, in this scenario again we have deficit trade balance). Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

●        In that case, all foreign customers would buy shirts from India. So devaluation of currency improves the competitiveness of domestic exports (India) in the foreign markets. Hence, statement (1) is correct.