Facts For Prelims

Direct From Newspaper

Kalimpong is Bengal’s 21st district:

  • The Kalimpong subdivision of the Darjeeling hills is now the 21st district of West Bengal.
  • Kalimpong has the historical significance, as the Silk Route passed through the region, connecting Nepal and Bhutan with the city.
Chanakya IAS Academy

TAMRA portal for transparent mining clearance:

  • TAMRA portal was recently simultaneously launched across 12 mineral rich states.
  • The portal is developed by the ministry of Mines.
  • TAMRA is a step to fast track mining activity in India and facilitate tracking status of the statutory clearances associated with blocks by all the stakeholders.
  • It will be an interactive platform for all the stakeholders which will help shorten the timeline for statutory and other clearances as it is expected to help reduce the gestation period for starting production.
  • TAMRA covers
    • block-, state- and mineral-wise information of the blocks which are to be auctioned,
    • monitors various statutory clearances and
    • highlights the additional resources generated through e-auction.
  • In case of delay, TAMRA will inform the authority concerned so that the remedial steps can be taken immediately.
  • The mines ministry will also receive triggers generated by TAMRA, which will facilitate expediting clearances in case the timelines set against each of the statutory clearances are not met.

INSV Tarini:

  • It is the Indian Navy’s 2nd ocean going sailboat.
  • INSV Tarini is built by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd.
  • It will be used for First Indian All Women Circumnavigation of the Globe expedition of the Indian Navy.
  • The boat is named after the famous Tara-Tarini temple of Orissa’s Ganjam district.
  • Tara-Tarini is a patron deity for sailors and merchants and is worshipped for safety and success at sea.

Archives of Confucius’ scions to be published:

  • Copies of archived records of Confucius’s direct descendants, Chinese philosopher, will be published.
  • The archives contain content covering politics, economics, culture and thought.
  • Confucius (551-479 BC) has influenced generations of Chinese society. He was the first Chinese person to set up private schools enrolling students from all walks of life.
  • Confucius is reported to have Six lakh descendants in China.

India’s only volcano active again:

  • India’s only live volcano in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has become active again.
  • Dormant since 150 years, Barren Island volcano erupted in 1991 and has been showing activity since then.
  • The Andaman basin is an active back-arc spreading basin. The basin has strong seismicity, submarine volcanoes and hydrothermal activity.
  • Scientists from CSIR-NIO have been surveying the basin and have identified several small submerged volcanoes in a linear chain called a volcanic arc.

Kashmir to observe 2017 as the ‘Year of Apple’:

  • 2017 has been declared as ‘Year of Apple’ to promote the famed Kashmiri apples in domestic and overseas markets.
  • J&K CM launched the High Density Apple Plantation Scheme.
  • Jammu and Kashmir is the largest apple producing State in India accounting for 71% of national production.

Mexican caves, a home to life dating back 50,000 years:

  • Microbes trapped in crystals that survived on minerals under extreme conditions in Mexican caves were unearthed Biologists.
  • Life trapped in crystals is believed to be 50,000 years old.
  • These bizarre microbes were found dormant in caves in Naica, Mexico.

Four new tiny frog species found in Western Ghats:

  • Four new species of tiny frogs were discovered by scientists exploring the Western Ghats.
  • These new species are: Athirappilly Night Frog, Sabarimala Night Frog, Radcliffe’s Night frog and the Kadalar Night Frog.
  • There are now total seven new ‘Night Frogs’ discovered by the researchers.
  • Night Frogs belong to the Nyctibatrachus genus endemic to the Western Ghats
  • Night Frogs belong to the ancient group of frogs that diversified on the Indian landmass approximately 70 to 80 million years ago.

Mumbai richest Indian city with wealth of $820 billion:

  • Mumbai, according to one survey, is the richest city in the country with Delhi and Bengaluru in the second and third place, according to survey by New World Wealth.
  • Mumbai is home to 46,000 millionaires and 28 billionaires, with a total wealth of $820 billion.
  • As of December 2016, the country is home to 264,000 millionaires and 95 billionaires with total wealth of USD 6.2 trillion

First robot table tennis tutor sets Guinness record:

  • The world’s first robot as table tennis tutor from Japan has set new Guinness World Record for its ability to play better than most humans.
  • The robot is named FORPHEUS which stands for Future Omron Robotics Technology for Exploring Possibility of Harmonised Automation with Sinic Theoretics.
  • FORPHEUS features an multiple cameras that are situated above the ping pong table to monitor the position of the ball.
  • FORPHEUS encourages players to try their best by showing supportive messages.

Country’s first Antyodaya Express:

  • Country’s first Antyodaya Express running between Ernakulam – Howrah was flagged off by Railway Minister.
  • It features long-distance, fully unreserved, super-fast train service for the common man.

India’s WTO ambassador:

  • S. Deepak has been appointed new permanent representative to World Trade Organization (WTO) from India.
  • Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister is responsible for the appointment.

Regional conference on enhancing steel consumption in India:

  • 1st Regional Conference of Eastern States will be held in Gangtok, Sikkim.
  • The theme is ‘Enhancing steel consumption in India’.
  • This will be 1st of four regional conferences being planned throughout India.
  • Deliberations will be held on steps to increase steel demand, advantages of steel intensive construction & steel in high-rises, rural sector, bridges and other fields


  • It is a social media campaign by Ministry of Women and Child Development on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017.
  • It is targeted at raising awareness about gender discrimination.
  • The campaign will end with the prestigious Nari Shakti Award ceremony, in which the Hon’ble President will honour individuals and institutions for their exemplary contribution to women’s empowerment.

India to train Myanmar Navy:

  • Indian Navy will set up Meteorological facilities and impart training to Myanmar Navy.
  • It will support India’s Act East’ policy and hence boost strategic cooperation in this region ‘.
  • It will also help in offsetting increasing Chinese presence in neighbourhood.

IISc among world’s best 10 varsities

  • In Times Higher Education’s (THE) Best Small Universities-2017 global rankings, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) has been ranked in the top 10
  • IISc., ranked 8th, is the only Indian university in the list of 20, and is also the second-highest ranked Asian University.
  • In the world university ranking, however, it sits in the range of 201-250 when compared with larger universities also.
  • The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, and Savitribai Phule Pune University, which were ranked 14 and 18 respectively in the 2016 edition, failed to retain their spots.

PAU develops country’s first Bt cotton varieties:

  • Country’s first Bt cotton varieties were successfully developed by Punjab Agricultural University.
  • Three varieties, namely PAU Bt 1, F1861 and RS 2013have been identified by ICAR for cultivation in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan.
  • This is cheaper alternative to Bt cotton hybrid seed.

Surya Kiran – XI:

  • It is an Indo – Nepal Joint Military Exercise that commenced at Pithoragarh.
  • DURGA BAKSH Battalion is representing Nepal Army whereas EKTA SHAKTI battalion is participating on behalf of the Indian Army.
  • The exercise is aimed at training troops in counter insurgency operations in mountainous terrain.
  • It also covers humanitarian assistance and disaster management (HADR) and will help enhance defence co-operation and military relations between the two countries.

Al Nagah-Ii 2017:

  • It is the joint exercise between the Indian and Oman Armies held at Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh.
  • It aims to acquaint both forces with each other’s operating procedures, improve the interoperability in conducting joint operations in the backdrop of counter insurgency/ counter terrorism environment.
  • It also aims to enhance military relationship between both the armies.

FOIN 2017

  • 3rd edition of Festival of Innovation (FOIN) was held in Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • It is a unique initiative of the President’s office to recognize, respect and reward grassroots innovations.
  • FOIN has turned into a national celebration of creativity and innovation hosted every March at The President’s House.
  • FOIN is in sync with the Union government’s policies of creative and innovative solutions for social development through grassroots innovations.

Tirupati temple

is a Lord Venkatateshwara Temple, an incarnation of Vishnu. Lord Venkateshwara is believed to have appeared here to save mankind from trials and troubles of Kali Yuga


The book is recently in news due to introduction of Sanskrit in institutions of Higher education by MHRD

  • Believed to be earliest book on mathematics- written by Baudhyan
  • Discussesuse of pi and the Pythagoras theorem
  • Depicts the design and construction of fire altars
  • Explains concept of obtuse, acute and right angles


Community from Tamil Naduhas been recently inducted into ST list after cabinet approval.

  • Main occupation of the people who originally belong to the indigenous tribes, is hunting. But they were prohibited entering into the forests to pursue this livelihood, and forced to take up other alternatives such as selling beaded ornaments to survive. Hence, they migrate from place to place to find a market for their beads.
  • During British rule in India they were placed under Criminal Tribes Act 1871, hence stigmatized for a long time, after Independence. However, they were denotified in 1952, though the stigma continues.
  • Practice Silamban or stick fighting.

Great curry crisis

It refers to closing of Indian restaurants in Britain due to incidents of deaths of consumers after consuming the food and allergic reactions. Even the employment minister of Britain cited EU’s uncontrolled immigration laws as a reason for this and used the argument for a Brexit.


Recently, gene called mcr-1 has been discovered in E.Coli bacteria leading to resistance to even Colistin, last stage anti-biotic. This drug resistance can be traced to livestock where the use of Colistin is indiscriminate.

KaBom is a khasi drum

Recently, PM tried his hand at playing this drum while on a visit to Meghalaya

Sacred grooves

are areas in forests that are managed by local communities. These forests usually have a religious connotation attached to them. Hunting and logging are strictly prohibited here. For instance,Sacred forest of Mawphlang where PM Modi was to visit.

Military Madhavaram

is a small village in West Godavari district, AP. It is famed with sending men for armed services for centuries. It has been named after King Madhava Brahma Varma.

  • Today about 250 soldiers are from this village. The villagers have also built a memorial on the lines of Amar JavanJyoti.
  • Recently, the army has decided to build an Army Training Centre in this village.

E-waste problem in India

Source- MoEF, International Journal of Environmental Sciences, UN, The Hindu


Name of NASA Probes and planets they have been sent to

Messenger Mercury
Mariner 2 , Venera Venus
Giotto, Galileo, Hayabusa 2, Procyon, Shi’en 2 Earth Flyby
Phenix, MAVEN, Mars orbitter mission Mars
Voyager, New Horizons Jupiter
Voyager Saturn
New Horizons Pluto
Pioneer and Helios Solar Probes
Aditya (ISRO, planning phase) Solar Probe
New Horizons Flyby of Pluto and study of other Kuipper Belt objects
Voyager 2 To study outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto)


Nine Cities of Delhi

  1. Indraprastha- built by Pandavas
  2. Surajkund - built by Tomars
  3. Lalkot- built by Tomarand extended by PrithvirajChauhan. Since then it is called QilaRaiPithora. Present Mehrauli used to be the seat of the Slave Dynasty
  4. Siri – Founded by AllauddinKhilji
  5. Tughlaqabad – built by GST
  6. Jahanpanah- built by MBT; fortification of the suburbs between Qilaraipithora and Siri
  7. Ferozabad- built by FST
  8. Dinapanah- built by Humayun; Shergarhbuilt by Sher Shah Suri
  9. Shahjahanabad- built by Shah Jahan; containing LalQila and ChandniChowk

Lutyen’s Delhi

Is situated in New Delhi and named after the British architect Edwin Lutyens who did much of the architectural design and building when India was part of the British Umpire.

Pottery and period

Red and black painted ware Harappan
Painted Grey Ware Mahajanapadas
Northern Black polished ware Mauryan and post-Mauryan
Smiley face Is situated in New Delhi and named after the British architect Edwin Lutyens who did much of the architectural design and building when India was part of the British Umpire.

The UPSC IAS Prelims General Studies Question Paper of 2015 is as follows:

1. With reference to the Cabinet Mission, which of the following statements is/are correct?
  • 1. It recommended government. a federal government.
  • 2. It enlarged the powers of the Indian courts.
  • 3. It provided for more Indians ill the ICS.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • (a) 1 only
  • (b) 2 and 3
  • (c) and 3
  • (d) None
2. Which one of the following National Parks has a climate that varies from tropical to subtropical, temperate and arctic?
  • (a) Khangchendzonga National Park
  • (b) Nandadevi National Park
  • (c) Neora Valley National Park
  • (d) Namdapha National Park
3. Amnesty International is
  • (a) an agency of the United Nations to help refugees of civil wars
  • (b) a global Human Rights Movement
  • (c) a non-governmental organization to help people voluntary very poor people
  • (d) an inter-governmental agency to cater to medical emergencies in war-ravaged regions
4. With reference to the art and archaeo- logical history of India, which one among the following was made earliest?
  • (a) Lingaraja Temple at Bhubneshwar
  • (b) Rock-cut Elephant at Dhauli
  • (c) Rock-cut Monuments at Mahabalipuram
  • (d) varaha Image at Udayagiri
5. With reference to Indian history, which of the following is/are the essential elementy elements of the feudal system?
  • 1. A very strong centralized political authority and a very weak provincial or local political authority
  • 2. Emergence of administrative structure based on control and possession of land
  • 3. Creation of lord-vassal relationship between the feudal lord and. his overlord

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • (a) 1 and 2 only
  • (b) and 3 only
  • (c) 3 only
  • (d) 1, 2 and 3
6. 'BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustain- able Forest Landscapes' is managed by the
  • (a) Asian Development Bank
  • (b) International Monetary Fund
  • (c) United Nations Environment Programme
  • (d) World Bank
7. India is a member of which among the following?
  • 1. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • 2. Association of South-East Asian Nations
  • 3. East Asia Summit

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • (a) 1 and 2 only
  • (b) 3 only
  • (c) 1, 2 and 3
  • (d) India is a member of none of them
8. In India, the steel production industry requires the import of
  • (a) saltpetre
  • (b) rock phosphate
  • (c) coking coal
  • (d) All of the above
9. The provisions in Fifth Schedule and Sixth Schedule in the Constitution of India are made in order to
  • (a) protect the interests of Scheduled Tribes
  • (b) determine the boundaries between States
  • (c) determine the powers, authority and responsibilities of Panchayats
  • (d) protect the interests of all the border States
10. With reference to the Union Government, consider the following statements :
  • 1. The Department of Revenue is responsible for the preparation of Union Budget that is presented to the Parliament.
  • 2. No amount can be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of India without the authorization from the Parliament of India.
  • 3. All the disbursements made from Public Account also need the authorization from the Parliament of India.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

  • (a) 1 and 2 only
  • (b) 2 and 3 only
  • (c) 2 only
  • (d) 1, 2 and 3
11. Who /Which of the following is the custodian of the Constitution of India?
  • (a) The President of India
  • (b) The Prime Minister of India
  • (c) The Lok Sabha Secretariat
  • (d) The Supreme court of India
12. Consider the following statements:
  • 1. The Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme was launched during 1996-97 to provide loan assistance to poor fanners.
  • 2. The Command Area Development Programme was launched in 1974-75 for the development of water-use efficiency.

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
13. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee is constituted under the
  • (a) Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006
  • (b) Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
  • (c) Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  • (d) Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
14. In the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, an initiative of six countries, which of the following is/are not a participant/ participants?
  • 1. Bangladesh
  • 2. Cambodia
  • 3. China
  • 4. Myanmar
  • 5. Thailand

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • (a) 1 only
  • (b) 2, 3 and 4
  • (c) 1 and 3
  • (d) 1, 2 and 5
15. 'Basel III Accord' or simply 'Basel III', often seen in the news, seeks to
  • (a) develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity
  • (b) improve banking sector's ability to deal with financial and economic stress and improve risk management
  • (c) reduce the greenhouse gas emissions but places a heavier burden on developed countries
  • (d) transfer technology from developed Countries to poor countries to enable them to replace the use of chlorofluorocarbons in refrigeration with harmless chemicals
16. Consider the following statements
  • 1. The winds which blow between 30o N and 60o S latitudes throughout the year are known as westerlies.
  • 2. The moist air masses that cause winter rams in North-Western region of India are part of westerlies.

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
17. With reference to 'Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC)', consider the following statements:
  • 1. It was established very recently in response to incidents of piracy and accidents of oil spills.
  • 2. It is an alliance meant for maritime security only.

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
18. Which one of the following movements has contributed to a split in the Indian National Congress resulting in the emergence of 'moderates' and 'extremists'?
  • (a) Swadeshi Movement
  • (b) Quit India Movement
  • (c) Non-Cooperation Movement
  • (d) Civil Disobedience Movement
19. In a particular region in India, the local people train the roots of living trees into robust bridges across the streams. As the time passes, these bridges become stronger. These unique 'living root bridges' are found in
  • (a) Meghalaya
  • (b) Himachal Pradesh
  • (c) Jharkhand
  • (d) Tamil Nadu
20. Tides occur in the oceans and seas due to which among the following?
  • 1. Gravitational force of the Sun
  • 2. Gravitational force of the Moon
  • 3. Centrifugal force of the Earth

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • (a) 1 only
  • (b) 2 and 3 only
  • (c) 1 and 3 only
  • (d) 1, 2 and 3
21.B.N. Srikrishna Committee?

A new high level committee led by SC judge B.N.Srikrishna will build a roadmap to make India a “global arbitration hub.”

The Committee’s Terms of reference include:

  • Analyzing the effectiveness of arbitration mechanisms
  • Identification of amendments in other laws to encourage International Commercial Arbitration
  • An action plan for implementation of the law to ensure speedier arbitrations.
22. Scorpene Khanderi ready for sea trials
  • As a result of bilateral cooperation between India and France in areas of technology transfer and assistance in development of world-class submarines, six Scorpene submarines are being built at Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.
  • This deal was signed in 2005 for 3.75 billion US dollars.
  • Already, INS Kalavari has completed its sea trials and will soon be inducted into the Indian navy, INS Khanderi will follow it soon. Other submarines will be delivered at 9 months’ interval.
  • Earlier, these submarines were part of a data leak security breach in an Australian newspaper. However, the Indian navy assures that the leak was not significant enough to completely compromise the stealth capabilities of these submarines. A joint investigation with the French authorities is planned to probe into this unfortunate matter.
23. New Drugs for Tb treatment
  • Bedaquiline (BDQ) and Delaminid are the two new drugs being advised to be inducted into the regular Tb drug regimen for patients suffering from drug resistant Tb such as MDR Tb and XDR Tb (Multi-Drug resistant and Extensively Drug Resistant respectively).
  • judicial hearing is already being considered over the matter with NITRD (National Institute for Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases) which claims that it cannot be done till all the efficacy and effects tests are completed.
24. New Organ Found in human body
  • Mesentery is the newest organ discovered in the human digestive system showing that much more needs to be discovered in Anatomical Sciences.
  • The function of this organ is not yet clear but will hopefully be found soon. It’ll probably help in understanding abnormal conditions like abdominal disorders that us humans suffer from. Now there are 79 organs in the human body, including the mesentery.
25. Agriculture Minister`s Conference – Berlin., Germany
  • As per the international norms – Country- water Stressed and water scarce, if per capital/year water availability goes below 1700 M3 and 1000 m3, respectively.
  • India is already water – stressed country and Moving towards turning water scarce.
  • India –Highest production and productivity of caster, mainly because of Hybrid technologies and water use efficiency
  • India top Producer of milk
26. Statehood Day –Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur

Under the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971, Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya attained statehood on January 21, 1972.

27. India’s largest bank teams up with the nation’s largest Warship
  • INS Vikramaditya, the largest warship and latest aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy
  • The facilities offered by the State Bank of India to the ship include cash withdrawals, generation of mini-statements, access to bank balance details and change of PIN numbers.
28. Health Ministry to launch population based prevention, screening and control programme for five non-communicable diseases
  • Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs) which are Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) such as heart attacks and stroke, Diabetes, Chronic Respiratory Diseases (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases and Asthma) and Cancer inter alia account for over 60% of all mortality in India.
  • As part of the National Health Mission, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is launching population based prevention, screening and control programme for five common non-communicable diseases, namely Hypertension, Diabetes, and Cancers of oral cavity, breast and cervix
29. Digi Dhan Mela organized in Jaipur - to spread awareness on cashless transactions
  • As part of the awareness campaign on cashless transactions, a Digi-Dhan Mela was organized.
  • The public and private sector banks put up their stalls, where people were given information about the digital transactions. Answered to the queries of the people.
  • The participants were also informed about various platforms of digital transactions and the procedure to use it. The officials said that digital transactions are safe and there is no risk involved
30. Environment : A New Balance economic Vs Environment

Environmental governances has taken a back seat in India with the talk of Environment v/s economic growth gaining more ground than ` Environment and economic growth.

Context- ENV Min has asked non –official experts of appraisal committees to expedite clearances of pending projects over next three months.

Inputs of scientist and non official experts are critical to ensure sustainability of natural resources and still maintain eco growth

  • Run the risk of diluting Environment safeguards
  • See Environment and economic growth in confrontational terms
  • GOI likes to have rubber stamps and not independent experts
  • ENV Min likes to be Judged on the Number Of projects cleared
  • Data on Projects is already very less or dubious
  • Min should `t turns into a clearing house.

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