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UPSC Prelims Quiz 2020 #25

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Questions & Answers

1. Consider the following statements regarding Goldschmidtite.

1)It is a new mineral from the Earth’s mantle, found inside a diamond.
2)While the mantle is dominated by elements such as magnesium and iron, goldschmidtite has high concentrations of potassium.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both
d) None

Solution: c)

  • Why in news? A new, curious mineral has been discovered inside a diamond unearthed from a mine in South Africa. The mineral has been named goldschmidtite, after Victor Moritz Goldschmidt, the Norwegian scientist acknowledged as the founder of modern geochemistry.
  • While the mantle is dominated by elements such as magnesium and iron, goldschmidtite has high concentrations of niobium, potassium and the rare earth elements lanthanum and cerium.
  • Diamonds hold clues as they are found up to 160 km beneath the surface, in the upper mantle.

2. Consider the following statements regarding Interim government of India, formed in 1946.

1)It was the only such cabinet in India’s history in which both Congress and the Muslim League shared power at the Centre.
2)The interim government functioned according to the Government of India Act of 1935.
3)The interim government functioned until India became a sovereign democratic republic.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1, 2
b) 1 only
c) 1, 3
d) 2, 3

Solution: b) 

  • On September 2, 1946, the interim government of India led by Jawaharlal Nehru was formed.
  • It was the only such cabinet in India’s history in which both Congress and the Muslim League shared power at the Centre.
  • The interim government functioned with a great degree of autonomy, and remained in power until the end of British rule, after which it was succeeded by the Dominions of India and Pakistan.
  • The interim government functioned according to the older Government of India Act of 1919.

3. Consider the following statements regarding Interpol.

1)It is a part of United Nations that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control.
2)India joined the organisation before independence, and is one of its oldest members.
3)Its mandate covers virtually every kind of crime, including crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking, political corruption, copyright infringement, and white-collar crime.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 and 3
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 3

Solution: c)

  • India has proposed to Interpol that the General Assembly of the organization be held in New Delhi in 2022 as part of the nation’s 75th Independence Day celebrations.
  • The International Criminal Police Organisation, or Interpol, is a 194 member
    • intergovernmental organisation.
    • headquartered in Lyon, France.
    • formed in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission, and started calling itself Interpol in 1956.
    • India joined the organisation in 1949, and is one of its oldest members.
  • Its broad mandate covers virtually every kind of crime, including crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking, political corruption, copyright infringement, and white-collar crime.

4. Consider the following statements regarding the recently released School Education Quality Index (SEQI).

1)School Education Quality Index (SEQI) is developed by Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) to evaluate the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector.
2)The index is developed through a collaborative process, including key stakeholders such as Ministry of Women and Child Development and World Bank.
3)SEQI provides a platform for states and UTs to identify their strengths and weaknesses and undertake requisite course corrections or policy interventions.
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

a) 1 only
b) 1, 2
c) 1, 3
d) 2, 3

Solution: b)

  • NITI Aayog releases the first edition of School Education Quality Index (SEQI).
  • About the School Education Quality Index (SEQI):
    • Developed by NITI Aayog to evaluate the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector.
    • Aim: To bring an ‘outcomes’ focus to education policy by providing States and UTs with a platform to identify their strengths and weaknesses and undertake requisite course corrections or policy interventions.
    • The index is developed through a collaborative process, including key stakeholders such as Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), the World Bank and sector experts.

5. Consider the following statements regarding Bio-Plastics.

1)Bioplastics can be made from agricultural by-products and also from used plastic bottles and other containers using microorganisms.
2)Some bioplastics are soil and marine-safe and they safely degrade in the environment within weeks or months, leaving no harmful residues.
3)Bioplastics save more non-renewable energy than conventional plastics and emit less GHG compared to conventional plastics.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1, 2
b) 1, 3
c) 2, 3
d) 1, 2, 3

Solution: d)

  • Bioplastics are plastic materials produced from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, straw, woodchips, sawdust, recycled food waste, etc.
  •   Bioplastic can be made from agricultural by-products and also from used plastic bottles and other containers using microorganisms.
  • Not all bioplastics are biodegradable nor biodegrade more readily than commodity fossil-fuel derived plastics.
  • Some bioplastics like PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) are soil- and marine-safe — that is, they safely degrade in the environment within weeks or months, leaving no harmful residues.
  • Although bioplastics save more nonrenewable energy than conventional plastics and emit less GHG compared to conventional plastics, bioplastics also have negative environmental impacts such as eutrophication and acidification.
  • Bioplastics also increase acidification. The high increase in eutrophication and acidification caused by bioplastics is also caused by using chemical fertilizer in the cultivation of renewable raw materials to produce bioplastics.
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