Author Archives: INSIGHTS

Insights Secure Prelims-2014: MCQs On Current Events

This is a new initiative. Every day (except Sunday) until UPSC Preliminary exam, 5-6 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) will be framed from PIB, The Hindu,  any one business newspaper and Science website sources.

It’s observed that UPSC is fond of framing questions from current events which are just 3-4 months old from the date of preliminary exam.

These questions will be mostly on Environment, Science and Technology, Biodiversity, Economy and Business related news. These questions will be concept based rather than fact based (but not always).

These questions won’t be part of our test series, nor we won’t repeat questions from there in this initiative.

Solutions will be posted next day along with that day’s questions. Meanwhile, you can try to find answers yourself on the web and post them in the comment box with your own explanations.

I would like to stress that it would run only till the date of coming Preliminary exam (so that you shouldn’t say that it’s ‘suddenly stopped’)

Every day questions will be posted in the afternoon.

Thank you.

Today’s Questions

 

1. The “the bio-duck” noise observed in the Southern Ocean is associated with which of the following?

  1. Trans-Antarctic Ocean current
  2. Roaring Sixties which cause huge splashes in the ocean
  3. Sound of cracking ices in Antarctic region
  4. Sound of a species of a whale living in the region

Choose the correct answer using the codes below

a. 3 and 4 Only

b. 3 Only

c. 1 Only

d. 4 Only

2. With reference to Gotipua dance, consider the following statements

  1. It’s an old form of Manipuri dance form
  2. It has been performed in Manipur for centuries by young boys, who dress as women to praise lord  Krishna
  3. Raghurajpur is famous for this dance in the country

Which of the statements given above is/are incorrect?

a. 1 Only

b. 2 Only

c. 1 and 2 Only

d. All

 

3. Which of the following pairs is/are incorrectly matched?

Disease                                                  Causative Agent

  1. Dengue Fever                                                Virus
  2. Chikungunya                                                Protozoa
  3. Yellow Fever                                                Virus
  4. Japanese Encephalitis                              Bacteria

Choose the correct answer using the codes below

a. 1 and 2 Only

b. 1 and 3 Only

c. 2 and 3 Only

d. 2 and 4 Only

 

4. Consider the following statements

  1. Integrity Pact is a tool developed by the Transparency International to check corruption in public procurement
  2. Integrity Pact is signed between a civil servant and the government
  3. Integrity Pact helps citizens easily monitor public decision-making and their government’s activities

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 and 3 Only

b. 2 and 3 Only

c. 2 Only

d. All

 

5. Consider the following statements

  1. Sentinel – 1A is a radar imaging satellite launched by the European Space Agency
  2. It’s part of the Copernicus programme which aims to provide the comprehensive picture of the health of the earth
  3. Main users of Copernicus will be for example farmers, rescue workers and scientists

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

a.   1 Only

b.  2 Only

c. 3 Only

d. None

Sources: PIB, BBC (from last two days’ news)

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General Studies – Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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24 April 2014

Topic: World History – World Wars

Question:

  1. It has been said that the Soviet Union became the first totalitarian state in the twentieth
    century. Do you agree with this statement? If so, when and how did it develop its totalitarian
    institutions? (200 Words)

Reference

Topic: Science and Technology

Question

  1. What are Quarks? Explain its importance in Particle Physics. (200 Words)

Reference

 

2 Comments

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

From today, Secure Prelims 2014 begins. Click here for more information

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24 April 2014

Answer ALL the questions in about 200 words

1. Write a short note on EU Blue Card.

Business Standard

2. Immigration issue, especially in the case of highly skilled professionals, is a thorny issue between India and the European Union. What steps has EU taken to address India’s concerns in this regard? Examine.

Business Standard

3. Critically comment on US’ pivot to Asia strategy.

Business Standard

4. How does El Nino affect monsoon rains? Explain the mechanism.

Business Standard

5. Explain why Coastal Regulation Zone Notifications were issued in India. Critically comment on the proposals of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 2011.

The Hindu

Business Standard – Reference

6. What is the Kuznets Curve? Write a note on Environmental Kuznets Curve. 

The Indian Express

7. What is BASE jump? How is it different from Skydiving? Explain.

The Hindu

8. Researchers say that jackfruit could help provide the solution to the climate change problem which would affect food crop production in future. Why? Explain.

The Hindu

9. How does immunisation work? Is it completely safe? Examine.

The Hindu

10. Why was the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in news recently? Explain with reference to India.

The Hindu

116 Comments

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General Studies – Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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22 April 2014

Topic: World History – World Wars

Question:

  1. According to the Sykes Picot Agreement, the Husein-McMahon letters, and the Balfour
    Declaration, how did the powers plan to dispose of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East?
    What did they promise the Arabs and the Jews? (200 Words)

Reference

Topic: Science and Technology

Question

  1. What is paediatric TB? Why it is one of the major issues in India’s TB control program?  (200 Words)

Reference

5 Comments

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

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23 April 2014

Answer ALL the questions in about 200 words

1. It’s said that India needs a friendly labour policy to improve its economic growth. Examine the issues involved and explain what reforms are needed in its labour policy.

Business Standard

The Economic Times 

2. What is corruption? Do you agree with the view that corruption is a non -issue for voters while casting their votes in elections? Substantiate.

Business Standard

3. What is minimum support price? How is it determined? Examine the problems associated with food grains procurement and their storage by the government in India.

Business Standard

4. What is ‘black money’? What measures has government taken to bring back black money that is deposited illegally in foreign countries? Also examine if government has taken any measures to check its proliferation within the country.

Business Standard

5. What are ‘drones’? Write a note on their non-military applications.

The Hindu

6. Explain the motivations and nature of the 1960s civil rights movement in United States of America. What was its outcome? Comment.

The Hindu

7.What is  the First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) type of election system? Explain the merits and demerits of this system, especially in the Indian context.

The Hindu

8. What is the Proportional Representation (PR) system of elections? Does it suit India? Why has not India adopted this system? Explain its merits and demerits.

The Hindu

 

 

231 Comments

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General Studies – Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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22 April 2014

Topic: World History: World Wars

Question:

  1. World War I has been called the first total war. In what ways was it total? How did it affect the states and societies of the belligerents? (200 Words)

Reference

Topic: Science and Technology

Question

  1. What is the importance of GSLV Mark III for India?  (200 Words)

Reference

14 Comments

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

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22 April 2014

Answer ALL the questions in about 200 words

1. Should CAG be allowed to audit accounts of private companies? Comment on the concerns expressed on Supreme Court’s recent  judgement allowing CAG to audit accounts of private telecommunications companies.

Business Standard

The Hindu

2. With examples examine various factors that affect institutional procedures and conventions while appointing a person to top posts in India. Also comment what effect these factors can have on these institutions and on democracy as a whole.

Business Standard

3. Examine and comment on various contentious issues concerning clinical trials in India.

Business Standard

4. Discuss the evolution of India’s patent laws since independence. Are they compliant with international agreements? Examine.

Business Standard

5. What judicial reforms are needed in India? Towards this what measures have been taken by the governments at the centre? Examine.

The Hindu

6. Write a note on the significance of the Constitution (One Hundred And Twentieth Amendment) Bill 2013.

The Hindu

 

186 Comments

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General Studies – Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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21 April 2014

Topic: World History: World Wars

Question:

  1. What was the Schlieffen Plan and why was it unsuccessful during World War I? (200 Words)

Reference

Topic: Science and Technology

Question

  1. “Breast cancer continues to remain a taboo issue in the country and has become a major impediment in early detection of the disease and subsequent treatment to women”. Comment (200 Words)

Reference

 

10 Comments

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

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21 April 2014

Answer ALL the questions in about 200 words

1. Do you think establishing a separate fund such as National Investment Fund would help the infrastructure sector grow? If yes, examine how it should be governed and from where funds can be mobilized.

Business Standard

2. What were ‘s recommendations related to fuel prices? Are they too radical to implement? Comment.

Business Standard (passing mention)

Reference – ET

3. What is a floodplain? How floods are caused? Examine the sociological impacts of floods.

The Hindu

4. Do you support the idea of making voting in elections compulsory? Substantiate.

The Hindu

5. What do you understand by state and non-state actors with reference to terrorism? Give examples and critically comment on who poses greater threat to India – state or non-state actors?

The Hindu

6. Discuss the importance of opposition party in a parliamentary democracy.

The Hindu

7. Why is  the Supreme Court’s judgement in S.R. Bommai vs. Union of India case significant? Comment with suitable examples.

The Hindu

8. What are the important sources of biofuels? Examine why biofuel production in India is still lagging behind.

The Hindu

 

175 Comments

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Secure-2014: Update

 

Today’s Secure + GS Questions will be posted at around 2 pm. Thank you.

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Weekly Essay Writing Challenge-2014 Week Three

Write an essay on the following topic in about 2500 Words

 

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

- Mahatma Gandhi

11 Comments

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

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19 April 2014

Answer ALL the questions in about 200 words

1. Recent IIP data show that in recent years there has been  zero industrial growth. In your opinion, despite many policies, why is this trend observed? Examine.

Business Standard

2. “The most common form of democracy to be found particularly in the Third World is ‘illiberal democracy’, which fulfils the representational aspect of democracy through periodic elections but encroaches on personal liberties and the rule of law.” Do you agree with this view? Comment.

Business Standard

3. Critically comment on the significance of the recent judgement by the Supreme Court on transgenders.

The Hindu

4. Comment on the most important factors that helped the British to firmly establish their control over India in 18th century.

The Hindu

5. Critically comment on the recent political developments in Egypt.  In your opinion, what these developments indicate about the nature of governance and institutions in Egypt?

The Indian Express

207 Comments

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General Studies – Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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April 18, 2014

Topic: World History: Communism

Question:

  1. Critically examine the growth of communism in Eastern Europe and explain its effect on their economic growth. (200 Words)

Reference

Topic: Science and Technology

Question

  1. “Breast cancer continues to remain a taboo issue in the country and has become a major impediment in early detection of the disease and subsequent treatment to women”. Comment (200 Words)

Reference

40 Comments

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Insights Secure-2014: Questions On Current Events

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18 April 2014

Answer ALL the following questions in about 200 words

1. Examine the structure, mandate and importance of International Finance Corporation (IFC). What is the criteria being followed by IFC when it lends money? Critically examine.

Business Standard

2. Explain how technology can be harnessed to bring sanitation to Indian villages and cities.

Business Standard

3. Do you think the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) can audit accounts of private firms? Critically comment oh his duties and responsibilities.

Business Standard

The Hindu

4. Critically examine the problems being faced by the state and central governments in properly implementing welfare schemes.

The Hindu

5. “To improve overall health, the public health sector will have to coordinate and collaborate with other sectors, nationally and regionally, and with several stakeholders.” In the light of the statement, critically comment on the role of the governments, political parties in reforming this sector.

The Indian Express

6. Discuss the problems associated with the present structure of internet governance.

The Indian Express

7. “Currently, high levels of consumption with respect to energy-related commodities are paralysing operations in the country because of non-performing policy initiatives. The demand-supply imbalance is evident across all commodities, requiring serious efforts by the new government to augment energy supplies to avoid a severe energy supply crunch.” With reference the given statement, critically analyse the problems in the energy sector and measures needed to be taken by the government to address the issues.

The Hindu

 

180 Comments

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General Studies – Daily Answer Writing Challenge

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17 April 2014

Topic: World History: Industrial Revolution

Questions

  1. Why did countries in southern, central, and eastern Europe remain primarily agricultural and untouched by industrialization?
  2. Comment on the factors that have contributed to industrial revolution in Asia in recent times.

Reference

Topic: Science and Technology

Question

  1. “Alcoholism and drug abuse is a psycho-social-medical problem requiring a holistic approach”. In the light of the statement comment on the efforts of government and other institutions in combating this menace and what according to you can be done to eliminate this problem?

Reference

27 Comments

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