UPSC 2024 Expert Guide: 5 Tricky Questions Answered for Prelims GS

UPSC 2024 Expert Guide is an initiative by Times of India where we share expert advice for IAS aspirants and get important mock practice questions answered and explained by Civil Services Exam (CSE) specialists for the upcoming Prelims and Mains exams. Today, our expert Shubham Aggarwal, Director and Chief Mentor at Vidyapeeth IAS Academy, is sharing answers (with explanations) for 5 questions from the General Studies (GS) paper of UPSC Prelims 2024.Read on to ace this highly competitive exam.
Q.1 Recent Presidential elections in Maldives are significant for India’s Geopolitical landscape. Identify the incorrect statement in this regard.
A. The Government of Maldives traditionally pursues an “India First” policy.
B. The 2023 President Elect seeks to reverse the above policy replacing it with “India Out” Policy
C. Current Maldivian Government is supposed to have a Pro-China stance as evident from their electoral campaigns.
D. Maldives is a significant Indian ocean island state due to its proximity with the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
– Incumbent Maldives President has won the elections with his electoral “India out” campaign.
– He has consistently maintained a pro-China stance and has serious implications on India’s Foreign policy strategies like SAARC, Neighbour First Policy, Indo-Pacific policy, India’s China policy, etc.
– Maldives is strategically located near the Kerala Coast/Lakshadweep islands, and since it is under Chinese influence, it also becomes a significant part of Chinese String of Pearls strategy.
Q.2 Choose the correct statement regarding “Capacity Building Commission”
A. It has been formed to build the capacity of and modernise our Armed Forces.
B. It is a part of Mission Karmayogi
C. It comprises of a Chairman and 5 members
D. It will collaborate with the Ministry of Defence in tightening India’s security.
– CBC was notified in the official Gazette document of India as an autonomous body in 2021 as a component of Mission Karmayogi under the Department of Personnel and Training.
– It consists of a chairperson and 2 members.
– It will take a stock of Government’s HR wealth, audit the health and robustness of Bureaucracy in India, and report on the target achievements.
– It will build the capacity of various government departments and ministries by helping them in coordination, sharing resources and wisdom to better achieve the Good Governance outcomes.
– It will also contribute in eliminating policy paralysis in governance.
Q.3 The eminent scientist MS Swaminathan has been an important figure in transforming the lives of many vulnerable rural communities. Choose the correct alternative in this regard.
A. He received Padma Vibhushan, Ramon Magsaysay awards for his work.
B. He worked for the conservation of many species of fish and turtles in the coastal areas of india
C. He developed “Alaska Frostless”, a technique to store harvested fish without cold storage facilities.
D. He was against the modernisation and scientific acumen of the West.
– Recently the eminent agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan passed away. He was the architect of India’s Green – Revolution which made India self-sufficient in grains. Today the country is a net exporter of grains, all due to efforts of this “Farmer’s Scientist”.
– He was inspired by the western Mexican wheat varieties (Norman Borlaug) and worked to enhance India’s agricultural productivity.
– He evolved a hybrid potato variety called ‘Alaska Frostless’ which is resistant to frost in winters.
Q.4 Recently the Supreme Court disapproved a plea of a 26 plus weeks pregnant lady who wanted to abort her third pregnancy. Choose the correct statement regarding abortion in India.
A. Abortion as a women’s right is limited or qualified in India, as it is not absolutely available to women as per their will.
B. There is a cap of 24 weeks before women can abort.
C. The MTP act regulates abortion in India.
D. All of the above.
– MTP Act, 2021 regulates the abortion rights of women in India. These rights have been extended to single/unmarried women by the judiciary.
– The act allows abortion beyond 24 weeks in only special circumstances on a case by case basis. Else there is a cap of 24 weeks to terminate a pregnancy.
– Due to this law, regulating illegal abortions in India, there is a debate regarding a woman’s right over her body and the rights of an unborn child. This debate is also significant because the gender ratios and girl infanticide figures in India are dismal.
Q.5 Arrange the countries of the South China Sea region in Clockwise direction
A. Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Philippines
B. Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Philippines, Brunei
C. Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia
D. Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines
The map of South China Sea
(The expert can be reached at His specialisations include General Studies, Political Science and International Relations Optional)

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