1.Consider the following statements

1) India has a bi-annual cyclone season that occurs between March to May and October to December.

2) Cyclones are less common during the June to September monsoon season

Which of the statements given above 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: Why Cyclone Gulab could give rise to another cyclone

·      Cyclone Gulab developed in September, when the monsoon is still lingering on. The cyclone brought heavy spells of rain over coastal Andhra Pradesh, and its remnants are now set to continue causing showers along its track covering Telangana, Maharashtra and Gujarat

Did India’s cyclone season start early this year?

·      India has a bi-annual cyclone season that occurs between March to May and October to December. But on rare occasions, cyclones do occur in June and September months.Hence statement 1 is correct

·      Cyclones are less common during the June to September monsoon season, as there are limited or almost no favourable conditions for cyclogenesis due to strong monsoon currents. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      This is also the period when the wind shear — that is, the difference between wind speeds at lower and upper atmospheric levels — is very high.

·      As a result, clouds do not grow vertically and monsoon depressions often fail to intensify into cyclones.

What favoured formation of Cyclone Gulab?

·      Three factors — the in-sync phase of Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), warm sea surface temperatures over the Bay of Bengal, and the formation of a low pressure system on September 24 along lower latitudes — aided cyclogenesis,

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-cyclone-gulab-could-give-rise-to-another-cyclone-7537987/

2. Which of the following option(s) is/ are the key component(s)of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission?

1) Health ID

2) Healthcare Professionals Registry

3) Healthcare Facilities Registries

Select the correct option from the given below codes

a)  2 and 3 only

b) 1 only

c)   1 and 2 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3


In NEWS:PM Narendra Modi launches health ID, digital record for citizens

·      Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the digital Ayushman Bharat Mission and said the initiative would bring about a revolutionary change in India’s health facilities, improve ease of living, and digitally protect the health records of people.

·      Ayushman Bharat–Digital Mission would connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country with each other and simplify hospital processes.

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

·         The pilot project of the National Digital Health Mission was announced by PM Modi during his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort on August 15, 2020.

·         The mission will enable access and exchange of longitudinal health records of citizens with their consent.

·         This will ensure ease of doing business for doctors and hospitals and healthcare service providers.

The key components of the project include: Hence option (d) is correct

·         Health ID for every citizen that will also work as their health account, to which personal health records can be linked and viewed with the help of a mobile application,

·         Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR)

·         Healthcare Facilities Registries (HFR) that will act as a repository of all healthcare providers across both modern and traditional systems of medicine

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/pm-narendra-modi-launches-health-id-digital-record-for-citizens-121092800016_1.html

3. With respect to Economic census in India, Consider the following statements

1) It is conducted once in 2 years.

2) It provides valuable insight into geographical spread and clusters of economic activities, ownership pattern, persons engaged in all economic establishments of the country.

Which of the statements given above 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: Employment across 9 sectors sees 29% rise in June qtr: Govt

·      The results of the first round of a redesigned quarterly employment survey (QES) showed an estimated total employment of 3.08 crore compared to 2.3 crore jobs reported in the 2013-14 sixth economic census.

·      Nine organised sectors of the economy appear to have weathered the Covid second wave well, employing 3.08 crore in the April-June quarter, which is 29 per cent higher than the 2.37 crore people they had on their rolls in 2013-14 (according to the sixth Economic Census).

·      Union Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav released here the first Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) of 2021- 22 on employment and related variables in nine non-farm sectors of manufacturing, construction, trade, transport, education, health, accommodation & restaurant, IT/BPO and financial services.

About Economic census in India

·      Indian economic census is the census of the Indian economy through counting all entrepreneurial units in the country which were involved in any economic activities of either agricultural or non-agricultural sector, which engaged in production and/or distribution of goods and/or services.Hence statement 2 is correct

·      MoSPI has partnered with Common Service Centres, CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle under the MEITY as the implementing agency.

·      It is conducted every five years and very crucial for framing of policies and planning for the government and other organisations.Hence statement 1 is incorrect

·      It was held in 1978 for the first time and this is the 7th Census which will provide disaggregated information on various operational and structural aspects of all establishments in the country.

·      The census will provide valuable insights into geographical spread/clusters of economic activities, ownership pattern; persons engaged etc. of the establishments engaged in economic activity.

·      This information used for micro level/ decentralized planning and to assess contribution of various sectors of the economy in the gross domestic product (GDP).

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/business/employment-across-9-sectors-sees-29-rise-in-june-qtr-govt-101632772393762.html

4.Consider the following statements

1) Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord

2) Meningitis is predominantly caused by bacterial and viral infection.

Which of the statements given above 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: WHO releases new roadmap to defeat meningitis

·      WHO’s new meningitis strategy aims to save more than 200,000 lives annually

·      The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners launched the first-ever global strategy to defeat meningitis, a debilitating disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year.

·      It also aims to eliminate epidemics of bacterial meningitis — the deadliest form of the disease — and to reduce deaths by 70 per cent and halve the number of cases.

·      The strategy could save more than 200,000 lives annually and significantly reduce disability caused by the disease, the WHO and its partners estimate.

·      The strategy was launched at a virtual event, hosted by the WHO in Geneva.

About Meningitis

·      Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. It is predominantly caused by bacterial and viral infection. Hence statement 1 is correct and statement 2 is correct

·      Meningitis caused by bacterial infection causes around 250,000 deaths a year and can lead to fast-spreading epidemics

·      Meningococcal meningitis can affect anyone of any age, but mainly affects babies, preschool children and young people. The disease can occur in a range of situations from sporadic cases, small clusters to large epidemics throughout the world, with seasonal variations.

·      The bacteria that cause meningitis are transmitted from person-to-person through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions from carriers.

·      Close and prolonged contact – such as kissing, sneezing or coughing on someone, or living in close quarters with an infected person, facilitates the spread of the disease. The average incubation period is 4 days but can range between 2 and 10 days.

·      Neisseria meningitidis only infects humans. The bacteria can be carried in the throat and can sometimes overwhelm the body’s defences allowing infection to spread through the bloodstream to the brain.

·      The most common symptoms of meningitis are a stiff neck, high fever, sensitivity to light, confusion, headaches and vomiting. Even with early diagnosis and adequate treatment, 5% to 10% of patients die, typically within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of symptoms. 

·      Meningitis epidemics have occurred in the last decade in all regions of the world. But it is most common in the ‘Meningitis Belt,’ which spans 26 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/who-releases-new-roadmap-to-defeat-meningitis-79420

5.Consider the following statements regarding Outer Space Treaty 1967

1) Astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind

2) States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects

3) States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner

Select the correct option from the given below codes

a)  2 and 3 only

b) 1 only

c)   1 and 2 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3


In NEWS:The growing strategic importance of outer space

·      In opening new pathways for outer space cooperation with the US and Quad partners—Australia and Japan — in Washington last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has positioned India to engage more productively with a rapidly evolving domain that is seeing more commerce and contestation.

·      Delhi’s new strategic interest in outer space is based on a recognition of two important trends. One is the centrality of emerging technologies in shaping the 21st-century global order.

About Outer Space Treaty 1967

·      According to this treaty, outer space shall be used only for peaceful purposes.

·      It prohibits countries from placing into orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction.

·      It requires that celestial bodies shall be used by all parties exclusively for peaceful purposes and no weapon can be stationed on them.

·      However Outer Space Treaty by itself does not prevent arms race in space.

·      India is a party to Outer Space Treaty by ratifying the agreement in 1982.

Outer Space Treaty, 1967 includes the following principles:

·      The exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;

·      Outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;

·      Outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;

·      States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;Hence statement 3 is correct

·      The Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;

·      Astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;Hence statement 1 is correct

·      States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental activities;

·      States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; Hence statement 2 is correct andStates shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/quad-partners-outer-space-cooperation-ssa-space-situational-awareness-india-7538272/

6. Consider the following statements regarding Zojila tunnel

1) It will be Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel.

2) It will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.

Which of the statements given above 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: Nitin Gadkari reviews Zojila tunnel work

·      Road works totalling ₹1.5 lakh crore are being undertaken in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari

·      The 13.5-km tunnel will be Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel and will allow all-weather connectivity between Ladakh and Srinagar, which is disrupted during the winter months.

·      It is located at 11,578 feet above sea level. Hence statement 1 is correct and statement 2 is correct

·      It takes 3.5 hours to travel between Srinagar and Ladakh.

·      The tunnel will reduce the travel time to 15 minutes. I urge the concessionaires to complete the construction work by 2023, before the general elections in 2024

·      The project also includes a 17-km approach road. The tunnel and the approach road together cost ₹4,500 crore. The project has seen long delays after multiple failed bids since 2013

About Z-Morh tunnel

·      The Z-Morh tunnel — being developed at Sonmarg — will provide it all-weather connectivity with Srinagar allowing it to remain open to tourists all year round.

·      It is likely to be ready by December 2023 and is being developed at a cost of ₹2,378 crore.

·      The Minister also said Jammu and Kashmir will get 20 tunnels of 32 km in length and Ladakh 11 tunnels of 20 km.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nitin-gadkari-reviews-zojila-tunnel-work/article36717076.ece

7.Consider the following statements regardingProject Aapda Mitra

1) It is a centrally-sponsored scheme by the National Disaster Management Authority

2) It is aiming to imparting training to citizens as first responders to any disaster.

Which of the statements given above 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: India fought pandemic well: Amit Shah

·      Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said that despite limited resources and with a huge population of 130 crore, India fought the COVID-19 pandemic in the best possible manner among all countries in the world.

·      Mr. Shah was addressing the 17th formation day of the National Disaster Management Authority

‘Aapda Mitra’ project

·      The Central government was planning to roll out an ‘Aapda Mitra’ (Friends in Disaster) project in 350 districts by imparting training to citizens as first responders to any disaster.

·      Referring to the cyclone that hit some parts of the country during the second wave of the pandemic. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      It is a centrally-sponsored scheme by the NDMA. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      It was due to the excellent planning and preparations that not a single oxygen plant was damaged and there was no power cut to oxygen plants and hospitals in the cyclone-affected areas.

The objectives of the scheme:

·      Development and Standardization of training modules at National Level;

·      Development of Information Knowledge Management System at National level linked to States/UTs;

·      Training institutions to be empanelled by respective States/UTs at the State/UT level;

·      To train 6000 community volunteers in life saving skills of disaster response (flood relief and rescue), coordination, assistance, and provide personal protective equipment and emergency responder kits;

·      To create a Community Emergency Stockpile/Reserve at the district/block level containing essential light search and rescue equipment, medical first aid kits, etc;

·      To disseminate training and education tools developed under the project to more number of flood prone districts in subsequent phases of the scheme.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-fought-pandemic-well-amit-shah/article36715534.ece

8. Consider the following statements regarding Indian Energy Exchange

1) It is India’s premier energy marketplace, providing a nationwide automated trading platform for the physical delivery of electricity, renewables, and certificates. 

2) It is approved and regulated by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC)

Which of the statements given above 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:Lockdowns slowed green energy push: Report

·      The lockdowns slowed renewable energy installations in the country and the pace of such installation is lagging India’s 2022 target, according to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

·      As part of its comittment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, India has said that it would install 175 gigawatts (GW) of green energy by 2022 and 450GW by 2030 but only 7 GW of such capacity was added in FY 2020/21, said Vibhuti Garg, report author and energy economist.

·      In its analysis of monthly volumes and prices at the largest power exchange in India, Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), the IEEFA study found that the amount of power traded increased by 20% over 2020, by 37% compared to 2019 and by 30% over 2018. This led to prices on average increasing by 38% compared to 2020, by 8% compared to 2019 and by 11% over 2018.

·      Imported coal prices have been rising in the past few months because of resurgent demand after the pandemic — especially in emerging Asian markets such as China and India, but also in Japan, South Korea, Europe and the U.S.

·      IEEFA notes that the challenge of India’s growing daily peak demand does not require investment in excess baseload thermal capacity. Instead, the electricity system needed “flexible and dynamic generation solutions” such as battery storage, pumped hydro storage, peaking gas-fired capacity and flexible operation of its existing coal fleet

·      Government should accelerate deployment of such sources to help meet peak demand and also balance the grid at a lower cost

About Indian Energy Exchange

·      It is the first and largest energy exchange in India providing a nationwide, automated trading platform for physical delivery of electricity, Renewable Energy Certificates and Energy Saving Certificates.Hence statement 1 is correct

·      The exchange platform enables efficient price discovery and increases the accessibility and transparency of the power market in India while also enhancing the speed and efficiency of trade execution.

·      It is a publicly listed company with National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

·      It is approved and regulated by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and has been operating since 2008.Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lockdowns-slowed-green-energy-push/article36720776.ece

9.Consider the following statementsregarding International Criminal Court

1) It is the court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

2) India is not a member of the ICC.

3) It is a part of United Nation organization

Select the correct option from the given below codes

a)  2 and 3 only

b) 1 only

c)   1 and 2 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 2 only


·         The international criminal court’s new prosecutor has asked the court to relaunch an inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity committed by the Taliban and supporters of the Islamic State in Afghanistan since 2003.

·         ICC has notified the Taliban via Afghanistan’s embassy in the Netherlands that it intends to resume an investigation.

·         A previous ICC inquiry was deferred in April 2020 following a request by the then Afghan government of Ashraf Ghani to be given time to gather evidence in cooperation with ICC lawyers.

About International Criminal Court

·      The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an intergovernmental organisation and international tribunal headquartered in The Hague. It investigates and tries people charged with serious and grave crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. It is the first permanent international criminal court in the world.Hence statement 1 is correct

·         The ICC aims to end impunity and hold those individuals responsible for heinous crimes against humanity to face justice.

·         It also aims to prevent crimes from happening through the proper dispensation of justice.

·         It is governed by an international statute known as the Rome Statute. The Statute entered into force in July 2002.

·         The Court has about 900 staff members from about one hundred nations.

·         It has two working languages namely English and French. There are 6 official languages namely, English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and Russian.

·         The ICC has heard 28 cases until now.

·      India is not a member of the ICC. Hence statement 2 is correct

·         Each member party has one vote and voting is resorted to only when decisions cannot be taken by consensus.

·      It must also be noted that it is not a United Nations Organisation but had a cooperation agreement with the UN. Hence statement 3 is incorrect

Source: TH

10. Which of the following are the reasons/factors for exposure to benzene pollution?

1)  Automobile exhaust

2)  Tobacco smoke

3)  Wood burning

4)  Using varnished wooden furniture

5)  Using products made of polyurethane

Select the correct answer using the given code below – [UPSC 2020]

a)  1, 2 and 3 only

b) 2 and 4 only

c)   1, 3 and 4 only

d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

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


·      Benzene is an organic chemical compound (C₆H₆). Benzene is formed from both natural processes and human activities.

·      Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires.

Following are the reasons/factors for exposure to benzene pollution:

·          Automobile exhaust

·          Tobacco smoke

·          Wood burning

·          Using varnished wooden furniture

·          Using products made of polyurethane