1. Consider the following statements

1) The total number of beaches in India with the Blue Flag certification has now reached 10.

2) The Blue Flag Certification is awarded by the UNESCO

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: (a) 1 only


In NEWS: Tamil Nadu’s Kovalam beach, Puducherry’s Eden get Blue Flag certification

·      Ten beaches in India have been awarded the coveted ‘Blue Flag’ certification by an eminent international jury

·      The Kovalam beach in Chennai and Eden beach in Puducherry have now been awarded the prestigious ‘’Blue Flag’’ certification, an international eco-level tag taking the number of such beaches in the country to 10. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      Eight nominated beaches namely Shivrajpur- Gujarat, Ghoghla- Diu, Kaskarkod and Padubidri – Karnataka, Kappad –Kerala, Rushikonda – Andhra Pradesh, Golden – Odisha, and Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar were also recertified.

·      These eight beaches had got the Blue Flag certification in 2020.

About Blue Flag certification

·      The ‘Blue Flag’ is a certification that can be obtained by a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator, and serves as an eco-label.

·      The certification is awarded by the Denmark-based non-profit Foundation for Environmental Education, which sets stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria that applicants must meet and maintain.

·      It is awarded annually to beaches and marinas in FEE member countries. Hence statement 2 is incorrect

·      The Blue Flag Programme originally started in France in 1985. It was presented to the FEE in 1987. It then became the European Blue Flag.

·      In 2001, when South Africa became the first country outside of Europe to join the programme, the initiative changed its name to International Blue Flag.

About the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)

·      The FEE is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.

·      It was founded in 1981 as the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE).

·      Currently, it has 77 member countries.

·      Its other programmes include: Green Key, Eco Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment, Learning about Forests and Global Forest Fund

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/tamil-nadus-kovalam-beach-puducherrys-eden-get-blue-flag-certification-7526629/

2. Which of the following option(s) is/are correct about the objective of BEAMS program?

1) To abate pollution in coastal waters

2) To promote sustainable development of beach facilities

3) To Protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources

4) To strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene and safety

Select the correct options from the given below codes

a)  2 and 4 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c)   1,3 and 4 only

d) 1,2,3 and 4

Answer: (d) 1,2,3 and 4


In NEWS: Two more beaches in India awarded prestigious ‘Blue Flag’ tag, details here

·      Blue Flag certification is a globally recognised eco-label accorded on the basis of 33 stringent criteria in four major heads which are environmental education and information, bathing water quality, environmental management, and conservation and safety and services in the beaches.

·      A waving Blue Flag is an indication of 100 per cent compliance to the 33 stringent criteria and sound health of the beach

About Beach Environment & Aesthetic Management Services (BEAMS)

·      SICOM in its pursuit of “Sustainable Development” of the coastal regions of India embarked upon a highly acclaimed & flagship program “BEAMS” (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services). This was aimed at striving for the coveted International eco-label “Blue flag”, accorded by The Foundation of Environment Education, FEE Denmark.

·      The globally recognized and the coveted International eco-label “Blue Flag”, has accorded the Blue Flag Certification for 2 new beaches this year –Kovalam in Tamil Nadu and Eden in Puducherry beaches.

·      The Ministry of Environment embarked upon a highly acclaimed & flagship program Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS).

·      BEAMS is one of the initiatives under ICZM approach that the MoEF&CC has undertaken for the sustainable development of coastal regions of India, with a prime objective to protect and conserve the pristine coastal and marine ecosystems through holistic management of the resources.

·      This was aimed for achieving the globally recognized and the coveted International eco-label “Blue Flag, accorded by International Jury comprising of members from IUCN, UNWTO ,UNEP, UNESCO etc.

·      The objective of the BEAMS program is to abate pollution in coastal waters & beaches, promote sustainable development of beach amenities/ facilities, protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources and encourage local authorities & stakeholders to strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene, safety and security for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment norms & regulations. Hence option (d) is correct

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/two-more-beaches-in-india-awarded-prestigious-blue-flag-tag-details-here-101632270649443.html

3. Consider the following statements regarding State Food Safety Index (SFSI).

1) It is developed by NITI Aayog to measure the performance of states on five significant parameters of Food Safety.

2) Gujarat topped the ranking among the large states followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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: (b) 2 only


In NEWS: Manipur ranks third in food safety index among small states

·      Gujarat topped the ranking among the large states with 72 points followed by Kerala (70) and Tamil Nadu (64) in the second and third place respectively. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      Among the smaller states, Goa, Meghalaya and Manipur grabbed top three positions.

·      Among UTs, Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and New Delhi secured top ranks.

·      Criteria for ranking are Infrastructure and Surveillance, Training and Capacity Building, Consumer Empowerment.

About State Food Safety Index

·      The first State Food Safety Index for the year 2018-19 was announced on the first-ever World Food Safety Day on 7th June, 2019

·      The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare released FSSAI’s 3rd State Food Safety Index (SFSI) for 2020-21 to measure the performance of States across five parameters of food safety. Hence statement 1 is incorrect

·      The State Food Safety Index or SFSI ranking is an effort to measure food safety standards across the nation and it is prepared for three categories – large states, small states and Union Territories

·      The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.

The index is based on performance of State/ UT on five significant parameters, namely;

·      Human Resources and Institutional Data(with 20% weightage).

·      Compliance(with 30% weightage).

·      Food Testing-Infrastructure and Surveillance(with 20% weightage).

·      Training & Capacity Building(with 10% weightage).

·      Consumer Empowerment(with 20% weightage).

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/manipur-ranks-third-in-food-safety-index-among-small-states-101632289354550.html

4. Consider the following statements regarding Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation

1) It is a wholly-owned arm of the Reserve Bank of India

2) It insures deposit accounts and fixed deposits up to a limit of Rs 5 lakh per account holder of a bank.

3) At present all co-operative banks are covered by the DICGC.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c)   3 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3


In NEWS: DICGC to pay up to ₹5 lakh to account holders of 21 insured banks

·      Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) will pay the depositors/account holders of the 21 insured banks placed under the all-inclusive directions (AID) an amount equivalent to the deposits outstanding or up to a maximum of ₹5 lakh in 90 days.

·      A total of 21 insured banks have been placed under AID and the depositors of these banks will be getting funds under the deposit insurance scheme, DICGC

About Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation

·      It came into existence in 1978 after the merger of Deposit Insurance Corporation (DIC) and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd. (CGCI) after passing of the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961 by the Parliament.

·      It serves as a deposit insurance and credit guarantee for banks in India.

·      It is a fully owned subsidiary of and is governed by the RBI. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      Banks, including regional rural banks, local area banks, foreign banks with branches in India, and cooperative banks, are mandated to take deposit insurance cover with the DICGC.

·      It insures deposit accounts, such as savings, current, recurring, and fixed deposits up to a limit of Rs 5 lakh per account holder of a bank. If a customer’s deposit amount crosses Rs 5 lakh in a single bank, only up to Rs 5 lakh, including the principal and interest, will be paid by the DICGC if the bank turns bankrupt. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      At present all co-operative banks are covered by the DICGC. Primary cooperative societies are not insured by the DICGC. Hence statement 3 is correct

DICGC insures all bank deposits, such as saving, fixed, current, recurring, etc. except the following types of deposits:

·      Deposits of foreign Governments.

·      Deposits of Central/State Governments.

·      Inter-bank deposits.

·      Deposits of the State Land Development Banks with the State co-operative banks.

·      Any amount due on account of any deposit received outside India.

·      Any amount which has been specifically exempted by the corporation with the previous approval of the RBI.

Source: https://www.livemint.com/industry/banking/dicgc-to-pay-up-to-rs-5-lakh-to-account-holders-of-21-insured-banks-11632294759267.html

5. Consider the following statements regarding ‘Indra Sabha’ Cave

1) It is considered as the largest and finest of the Jain caves at the Ellora site.

2) It is a two-storey architectural marvel excavated in the ninth century.

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: Maharashtra: Rain water mars painting in prominent cave at Ellora

·      The downpour during September has resulted in rain water seeping into cave number 32 at the world-renowned Ellora Caves here for the first time ever, causing some damage to a painting.

·      The science branch of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has stepped in to control the damage.

About ‘Indra Sabha’ Cave

·      Cave no 32 is also known as ‘Indra Sabha’ Cave. It is a two-storey architectural marvel excavated in the ninth century. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      It is considered as the largest and finest of the Jain caves at the Ellora siteHence statement 1 is correct

About Ellora Caves

·      Ellora Caves is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.

·      The cave consists of 34 monasteries and temples devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. This illustrates the spirit of tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India.

·      Among the 34 monasteries and temples, 17 belong to Hinduism, 12 to Buddhism and 5 to Jainism.

·      The prominent caves of the Brahmanical group are Cave 15 (Dasavatara, or Cave of Ten Incarnations), Cave 16 (Kailasa, the largest monolithic temple), Cave 21 (Ramesvara), and Cave 29 (Dumar Lena).

·      Amongst the caves of the Buddhist group, Cave 10 (Visvakarma or Sutar-ki-jhopdi, the Carpenter’s cave) and Cave 12 (Teen Tal, or three-storied monastery) are particularly important. These caves mark the development of the Vajrayana form of Buddhism and represent a host of Buddhist deities.

·      ​​The Jaina group of caves (caves 30 – 34) is exquisitely carved with fine, delicate sculptures, and includes fine paintings dedicated to the Digambara sect.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/aurangabad/rain-water-seeps-into-prominent-jain-cave-at-ellora-damages-painting/articleshow/86403941.cms#:~:text=AURANGABAD%3A%20The%20downpour%20during%20September,in%20to%20control%20the%20damage.

6. Which of the following pollutant(s) is/ are the part of Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) 2021?

1) Particulate matter (PM) 2.5

2) Particulate matter (PM) 10

3) Ozone (O3)

4) Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

5) Sulphur dioxide (SO2)

6) Carbon monoxide

Select the correct options from the given below codes

a)  3, 4, 5 and 6 only

b) 2, 3, 4 and 6 only

c)   1,2, 5 and 6 only

d) 1, 2,3,4,5 and 6

Answer: (d) 1,2,3,4,5 and 6


In NEWS: New WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines aim to save millions of lives from air pollution

·      Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats to human health, alongside climate change.

·      New World Health Organization (WHO) Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) provide clear evidence of the damage air pollution inflicts on human health, at even lower concentrations than previously understood.

·      WHO announces limits for six pollutant categories —particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and 10, ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon monoxide (CO). Hence option (d) is correct

·      The guidelines also highlight good practices for the management of certain types of particulate matter (for example, black carbon/elemental carbon, ultrafine particles, particles originating from sand and dust storms) for which there is currently insufficient quantitative evidence to set air quality guideline levels.

·      They are applicable to both outdoor and indoor environments globally, and cover all settings.

·      The current challenge in India is to meet its national ambient air quality standards in all the regions.

·      The hard lockdown phases during the pandemic have demonstrated the dramatic reduction that is possible when local pollution and regional influences can be minimised.

·      This has shown that if local action is strengthened and scaled up at speed across the region, significant reduction to meet a much tighter target is possible.

·      The influence of geo-climatic attributes is quite pronounced in all regions of India, which further aggravates the local build-up of pollution.

Source: https://www.who.int/news/item/22-09-2021-new-who-global-air-quality-guidelines-aim-to-save-millions-of-lives-from-air-pollution

7. Call to Action initiative is a related to which one of the following international organisation?

a)  UNEP

b) WTO

c)   IMF


Answer: (b) WTO


In NEWS: Top global companies aims to reduce greenhouse gas emission from ships by 2050

·      More than 150 leading companies and organisations including oil majors and port authorities on Wednesday called for the global shipping industry to be fully decarbonised by 2050, urging governments to step up action warning time was limited.

·      With about 90% of world trade transported by sea, global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions and the sector is under growing pressure to get cleaner.

·      UN shipping agency the International Maritime Organization (IMO), has said it aims to reduce overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050, but industry groups are calling for accelarated action from governments.

·      In the latest initiative companies and groups – from shipping, chartering, finance, ports, and fuel production – say stronger measures are needed to ensure the sector will meet the climate goals set by the Paris accord, which seeks to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

About Call to Action initiative

·      Call to Action initiative was developed by the World Economic Forum, non-profit Global Maritime Forum and other partners. Hence option (b) is correct

·      This action initiative calls for decarbonization of the shipping which could only happen with the urgency, if governments and regulators establish proper policy frameworks.

Source: https://www.livemint.com/news/world/top-global-companies-aims-to-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions-from-ships-by-2050-11632267956231.html

8. Copernicus is the Earth Observation Programme managed by the:

a)  European Space Agency

b) National Aeronautics and Space Administration

c)   Indian Space Research Organisation

d) Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Answer: (a) European Space Agency


In NEWS: Global CO2 emissions from wildfires in July, August highest since 2003: Copernicus

·      The Mediterranean basin emerged as the wildfire hotspot that contributed to intense smoke pollution

·      Carbon dioxide emissions from wildfires in the past two months touched a new high since 2003, from when records have been maintained.

·      The cumulative CO2 emissions from violent forest fires in the two months was 2643.4 megatonnes, Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) announced September 21, 2021.

About Copernicus Programme

·      Copernicus Programme is the Earth Observation Programme managed by the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with the European Union (EU). Hence option (d) is correct

·      The Copernicus Programme was established in 2014, previously it was known as Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES). GMES programme started in 1998.

·      This programme enables high quality and continuous observation of earth. This is done with the objective of assisting the international organisations and public authorities of Europe to improve the quality of life of European citizens.

·      It is estimated that the benefits of this programme to the economy of the European Union stand at approximately 30 Billion Euros, through 2030. Under this programme, the EU monitors the delivery of data from more than 30 satellites.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/natural-disasters/global-co2-emissions-from-wildfires-in-july-august-highest-since-2003-copernicus-79145

9. Consider the following statements regarding Shankhalipi script:

1) It is an ornate spiral character assumed to be brahmi derivatives that look like conch shells.

2) They are found in inscriptions across north-central India.

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: Explained: How a Gupta era temple in Etah has put focus back on shankhalipi script

●        Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) discovered remains of an ancient temple dating back to the Gupta period (5th century) in a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Etah district.

●        The stairs of the temple had ‘shankhalipi’ inscriptions, which were deciphered by the archaeologists as saying, ‘Sri Mahendraditya’, the title of Kumaragupta I of the Gupta dynasty.

About Shankhalipi script

●    Shankhalipi or “shell-script” is a term used by scholars to describe ornate spiral characters assumed to be Brahmi derivatives that look like conch shells or shankhasHence statement (1) is correct.

●    They are found in inscriptions across north-central India and date to between the 4th and 8th centuries. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●        Both Shankhalipi and Brahmi are stylised scripts used primarily for names and signatures.

●        The inscriptions consist of a small number of characters, suggesting that the shell inscriptions are names or auspicious symbols or a combination of the two.

●        The script was discovered in 1836 on a brass trident in Uttarakhand’s Barahat by English scholar James Prinsep, who was the founding editor of the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

●        A year later, he came across two more similar scripts at Nagarjuna group of caves in the Barabar Hills near Gaya.

●        Prominent sites with shell inscriptions include the Mundeshwari Temple in Bihar, the Udayagiri Caves in Madhya Pradesh, Mansar in Maharashtra and some of the cave sites of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

●        In fact, shell inscriptions are also reported in Indonesia’s Java and Borneo.

●        Scholars have tried to decipher shell script but have not been successful.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/gupta-dynasty-temple-etah-shankhalipi-inscriptions-explained-7512236/

10. Consider the following statements:

With reference to the Constitution of India, the Directive Principles of State Policy constitute limitations upon

1) legislative function.

2) executive function.

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


Directive Principles of state policy cannot act as constraints/limitations on the government because they are not enforceable and they are fundamental to the governance of a country. Fundamental Rights operate as limitations on the tyranny of the executive and arbitrary laws of the legislatureHence option (d) is correct