UPSC ONLINE ACADEMY

Q.1 Excessive accumulation of nitrates in water body can result in :

1. Proliferation of biodiversity

2. Algae blooms

3. Acidification

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

A) Only 1

B) 2 & 3

C) Only 2

D) 1,2,3

Ans. B

Q.2 Which of the following is not true of the Western Ghats?

A) UNESCO declared 39 places in the Western Ghats as ‘World Heritage Sites’ in 2012

B) It is one of the eight hottest hotspots of biological diversity in the world

C) It has two reserves and thirteen national parks

D) ONGC surveys have recently found huge oil reserves

Ans. D

The range runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain, called Konkan, along the Arabian Sea. A total of thirty-nine properties including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests were designated as world heritage sites – twenty in Kerala, ten in Karnataka, five in Tamil Nadu and four in Maharashtra.
The range starts near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra, south of the Tapti river, and runs approximately 1,600 km (990 mi) through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu ending at Swamithoppe, near Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of India.
The Western Ghats block southwest monsoon winds from reaching the Deccan Plateau.The average elevation is around 1,200 m (3,900 ft).
The area is one of the world’s ten “Hottest biodiversity hotspots” and has over 7,402 species of flowering plants, 1,814 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species, 6,000 insects species and 290 freshwater fish species; it is likely that many undiscovered species live in the Western Ghats. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats.
The Western Ghats are the mountainous faulted and eroded edge of the Deccan Plateau.
Basalt is the predominant rock found in the hills reaching a thickness of 3 km (2 mi). Other rock types found are charnockites, granite gneiss, khondalites, leptynites, metamorphic gneisses with detached occurrences of crystalline limestone, iron ore, dolerites and anorthosites. Residual laterite and bauxite ores are also found in the southern hills.
The Western Ghats extend from the Satpura Range in the north, stretching from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu. It traverses south past the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. Major gaps in the range are the Goa Gap, between the Maharashtra and Karnataka sections, and the Palghat Gap on the Tamil Nadu and Kerala border between the Nilgiri Hills and the Anaimalai Hills.
The northern portion of the narrow coastal plain between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea is known as the Konkan, the central portion is called Kanara and the southern portion is called Malabar. The foothill region east of the Ghats in Maharashtra is known as Desh, while the eastern foothills of the central Karnataka state is known as Malenadu.[13] The range is known as Sahyadri in Maharashtra and Karnataka. The Western Ghats meets the Eastern Ghats at Nilgiris in northwestern Tamil Nadu. Nilgiris connects Biligiriranga Hills in southeastern Karnataka with the Shevaroys and Tirumala hills. South of the Palghat Gap are the Anamala Hills, located in western Tamil Nadu and Kerala with smaller ranges further south, including the Cardamom Hills, then Aryankavu pass, Aralvaimozhi pass near Kanyakumari. In the southern part of the range is Anamudi (2,695 metres (8,842 ft)), the highest peak in Western Ghats.
The Western Ghats form one of the four watersheds of India, feeding the perennial rivers of India. The major river systems originating in the Western Ghats include Godavari, Kaveri, Krishna, Thamiraparani and Tungabhadra. Majority of streams draining the Western Ghats join these rivers and carry large volume of water during the monsoon months. These rivers flow to the east due to the gradient of the land and drain out into the Bay of Bengal. Major tributaries include Kali, Bhadra, Bhavani, Bhima, Malaprabha, Ghataprabha, Hemavathi and Kabini. Periyar, Bharathappuzha, Netravati, Sharavathi, Mandovi and Zuari rivers flow westwards towards the Western Ghats, draining into the Arabian Sea and are fast-moving, owing to the steeper gradient.
Most notable of these projects are the Koyna in Maharashtra, Linganmakki and Sivasamudram in Karnataka, Mettur and Pykara in Tamil Nadu, Parambikulam and Idukki in Kerala
Talakaveri is the source of the river Kaveri and the Kuduremukha range is the source of the Tungabhadra. Western Ghats have several man-made lakes and reservoirs with major lakes at Ooty (34 hectares (84 acres)) in Nilgiris, Kodaikanal (26 hectares (64 acres)) and Berijam in Palani Hills, Pookode lake, Devikulam (6 hectares (15 acres)) and Letchmi (2 hectares (4.9 acres)) in Kerala.
The eastern region of the Western Ghats which lie in the rain shadow, receive far less rainfall of about 100 centimetres (39 in) resulting in an average rainfall of 250 centimetres (98 in) across regions.
The Western Ghats are home to four tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregions – the North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests, North Western Ghats montane rain forests, South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests, and South Western Ghats montane rain forests.
Above 1,000 meters are the South Western Ghats montane rain forests, also cooler and wetter than the surrounding lowland forests, and dominated by evergreen trees, although some montane grasslands and stunted forests can be found at the highest elevations. The South Western Ghats montane rain forests are the most species-rich ecologic region in peninsular India; eighty percent of the flowering plant species of the entire Western Ghats range are found in this ecologic region.
The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve comprising 5,500 square kilometres (2,100 sq mi) of the evergreen forests of Nagarahole and deciduous forests of Bandipur in Karnataka, adjoining regions of Wayanad-Mukurthi in Kerala and Mudumalai National Park-Sathyamangalam in Tamil Nadu forms the largest contiguous protected area in the Western Ghats.[20] Silent Valley in Kerala is among the last tracts of virgin tropical evergreen forest in India
There are at least 139 mammal species. Of the 16 endemic mammals, 13 are threatened and amongst the 32 threatened species include the critically endangered Malabar large-spotted civet, the endangered lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri tahr, Bengal tiger and Indian elephants, the vulnerable Indian leopard, Nilgiri langur and gaur
There are at least 16 species of birds endemic to the Western Ghats including the endangered rufous-breasted laughingthrush, the vulnerable Nilgiri wood-pigeon, white-bellied shortwing and broad-tailed grassbird, the near threatenedgrey-breasted laughingthrush, black-and-rufous flycatcher, Nilgiri flycatcher, and Nilgiri pipit, and the least concern Malabar (blue-winged) parakeet, Malabar grey hornbill, white-bellied treepie, grey-headed bulbul, rufous babbler, Wynaad laughingthrush, white-bellied blue-flycatcher and the crimson-backed sunbird.
There are at least 139 mammal species. Of the 16 endemic mammals, 13 are threatened and amongst the 32 threatened species include the critically endangered Malabar large-spotted civet, the endangered lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri tahr, Bengal tiger and Indian elephants, the vulnerable Indian leopard, Nilgiri langur and gaur.
Of the 7,402 species of flowering plants occurring in the Western Ghats, 5,588 species are native or indigenous and 376 are exotics naturalised and 1,438 species are cultivated or planted as ornamentals. Among the indigenous species, 2,253 species are endemic to India and of them, 1,273 species are exclusively confined to the Western Ghats. Apart from 593 confirmed subspecies and varieties; 66 species, 5 subspecies and 14 varieties of doubtful occurrence are also reported and therefore amounting 8,080 taxa of flowering plants

Q.3 Which among the following creeks is not associated with the state of Gujarat ?

A) Kori creek

B) Godai creek

C) Kajhar creek

D) Sir creek

Ans. B

Creek (tidal), an inlet of the sea, narrower than a cove

Sir creek :  is a 96 km (60 mi) tidal estuary on the border of India and Pakistan. The creek, which opens up into the Arabian Sea, divides the Gujarat state of Indiafrom the Sindh province of Pakistan.

The Kori Creek : is a tidal creek in the Rann of Kachchh region of the Indian state of Gujarat. This region belonging to India is not in dispute as the international border runs north of it. The Sir Creek, lying to the northwest of Kori, is disputed between India and Pakistan.

Q.4 Which among the following is/are the tributaries of the Periyar river ?

1. Edamala

2. Gharni

3. Mullayar

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

A) Only 2

B) 2 & 3

C) 1 & 3

D) 1,2,3

Ans. C

-Left: Cheruthoni

 – right       Mullayar,Perinjankutti,Muthirapuzha,Edamala

 Periyar river is the longest river and the river with the largest discharge potential in the Indian state of Kerala.It is one of the few perennial rivers in the region and provides drinking water for several major towns.

The source of the Periyar lies high in the Western Ghats

FRAMED FROM PEARSON CSAT MANUAL

Q.5 Consider the following :

1. Phawngpui Tlang National park      : Tripura

2. Dzukou Valley                       : Manipur

3. Balphakram National Park           : Meghalaya

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

A) 2 & 3

B) Only 2

C) 1 & 2

D) 1 & 2

Ans. A

Phawngpui Tlang National park : Mizoram
Mizoram :
The general geology of western Mizoram consists of repetitive succession of Neogene sedimentary rocks of Surma Group and Tipam Formation viz. sandstone, siltstone, mudstone and rare pockets of shell limestone. The eastern part is Barail Group.Mizoram, lies in seismic zone V, according to the India Meteorological Department; as with other northeastern states of India, this means the state has the highest risk of earthquakes relative to other parts of India. > The Palak lake is the biggest in Mizoram and covers 30 hectares (74 acres). > Mizoram is also called as peninsula state as it has 3 sides covered with international land and one side covered with domestic land. > Bamboo is common in the state, typically intermixed with other forest vegetation; about 9,245 km2 (44%) of state’s area is bamboo bearing. > The state has two national parks and six wildlife sanctuaries – Blue Mountain (Phawngpui) National Park, Dampa Tiger Reserve (largest), Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Murlen National Park, Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary, Tawi Wildlife Sanctuary, Khawnglung Wildlife Sanctuary, and Thorangtlang Wildlife Sanctuary.
Manipur :
It is bounded by Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; Burma (Myanmar) lies to its east. has a population of almost 3 million, including the Meitei, who are the majority group in the state; the [Zo/Zomi] people such as Paite, Mizo, Lushai, Hmar, Vaiphei, Simte, Zou, Gangte, Teddim, Kuki, Naga, and Pangalpeoples, who speak a variety of Sino-Tibetan languages. The Barak River, the largest of Manipur, originates in the Manipur Hills and is joined by tributaries, such as the Irang, Maku, and Tuivai. > The rivers draining the Manipur Hills are comparatively young, due to the hilly terrain through which they flow. These rivers are corrosive and assume turbulent form in the rainy season. Important rivers draining the western area include the Maku, Barak, Jiri, Irang and Leimatak. >Rivers draining the eastern part of the state, the Yu River Basin, include the Chamu, Khunou and other short streams. > The Loktak lake is an important feature of the central plain
Meghalaya :
The state is bounded to the south by the Bangladeshi divisions of Mymensingh and Sylhet, to the west by the Bangladeshi division of Rangpur, and to the north and east by India’s State of Assam. > Meghalaya has historically followed a matrilineal system where the lineage and inheritance are traced through women; the youngest daughter inherits all wealth and she also takes care of her parents > Rock formations contain rich deposits of valuable minerals like coal, limestone, uranium and sillimanite. > Meghalaya has many rivers. Most of these are rainfed and seasonal. The important rivers in the Garo Hills region are Daring, Sanda, Bandra, Bhogai, Dareng, Simsang, Nitai and the Bhupai. In the central and eastern sections of the plateau, the important rivers are Khri, Digaru, Umiam, Kynshi (Jadukata), Mawpa, Umiam or Barapani, Umngot and Myntdu. In the southern Khasi Hills region, these rivers have created deep gorges and several beautiful waterfalls. > The central part of the plateau comprising the Khasi Hills has the highest elevations, followed by the eastern section comprising the Jaintia Hills region. The highest point in Meghalaya is Shillong Peak, > The great Indian hornbill is the largest bird in Meghalaya. > The hoolock gibbon is found in all districts of Meghalaya > The Nokrek Biosphere Reserve in the West Garo Hills and the Balphakram National Park in the South Garo Hills are considered to be the most biodiversity-rich sites in Meghalaya. > In addition, Meghalaya has three wildlife sanctuaries. These are the Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary, the Siju Sanctuary and the Bhagmara Sanctuary, which is also the home of the insect eating pitcher plant Nepenthes khasiana.

FRAMED FROM NCERT GEOGRAPHY

Q.6 Which among the following is/are correctly matched ?

1. COP 3       :       Kyoto protocol on climate change

2. COP 11      :       Paris treaty

3. COP1        :       Minimata convention on mercury

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

A) Only 2

B) 1 & 3

C) Only 1

D) 2 & 3

Ans. B

COP 11 : Montreal , It took place between 28 November and 9 December 2005, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was the first Meeting of the Parties (CMP 1) to the Kyoto Protocol since their initial meeting in Kyoto in 1997. It was one of the largest intergovernmental conferences on climate change ever.

Q.7 Which of the following determines the amount of phytoplanktons in the ocean water ?

1. Ocean Currents

2. Temperature & Salinity

3. Depth of ocean water

4. Length of day & time

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

A) 1,2,3

B) 1 & 3

C) 2 & 4

D) 1,2,3,4

Ans. D

These are the autotrophic (self-feeding) components of the plankton community and a key part of oceans, seas and freshwater basin ecosystems. when present in high enough numbers, some varieties may be noticeable as colored patches on the water surface due to the presence of chlorophyll within their cells and accessory pigments (such as phycobiliproteins or xanthophylls) in some species. Phytoplankton are photosynthesizing microscopic organisms that inhabit the upper sunlit layer of almost all oceans and bodies of fresh water on Earth. They are agents for “primary production,” the creation of organic compounds from carbon dioxide dissolved in the water, a process that sustains the aquatic food web In terms of numbers, the most important groups of phytoplankton include the diatoms, cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates, although many other groups of algae are represented. In oligotrophicoceanic regions such as the Sargasso Sea or the South Pacific Gyre, phytoplankton is dominated by the small sized cells, called picoplankton and nanoplankton (also referred to as picoflagellates and nanoflagellates), mostly composed of cyanobacteria(Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus) and picoeucaryotes such as Micromonas. Phytoplankton are crucially dependent on minerals. These are primarily macronutrients such as nitrate, phosphate or silicic acid, whose availability is governed by the balance between the so-called biological pump and upwelling of deep, nutrient-rich waters. However, across large regions of the World Ocean such as the Southern Ocean, phytoplankton are also limited by the lack of the micronutrient iron. Phytoplankton depend on Vitamin B for survival. Areas in the ocean have been identified as having a major lack of Vitamin B, and correspondingly, phytoplankton Phytoplankton absorb energy from the Sun and nutrients from the water to produce their own food. In the process of photosynthesis, phytoplankton release molecular oxygen (O 2) into the water. Phytoplankton is used as a foodstock for the production of rotifers,[49] which are in turn used to feed other organisms. Phytoplankton is also used to feed many varieties of aquacultured molluscs, including pearl oysters and giant clams.

Q.8 Which among the following components is/are not the component(s) of the Polymetallic nodules ?

1. Iron

2. Mercury

3. Molybdenum

4. Uranium

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

A) Only 1

B) Only 2 & 4

C) 1 & 4

D) Only 3 & 4

Ans. B

Polymetallic nodules (also known as manganese nodules) are potato-shaped, largely porous nodules found in abundance carpeting the sea floor of world oceans in deep sea. The Union Cabinet has approved the extension of contract between Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India and the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for exploration of Polymetallic Nodules for a further period of 5 years (2017-22). The earlier contract is expiring on 24th March 2017. Composition: Besides manganese and iron, they contain nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, molybdenum, cadmium, vanadium, titanium, of which nickel, cobalt and copper are considered to be of economic and strategic importance.

Q.9 Which among the following is/are true with respect to the Seagrass ?

1. Seagrass beds are productive ecosystems & used as fertilizer for sandy soil

2. Excessive input of nutrients are toxic to seagrasses

3. It is used in furniture, and woven like rattan

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

A) Only 3

B) 2 & 3

C) Only 1

D) 1,2,3

Ans. D

Seagrass beds are productive ecosystems & historically it was collected as fertilizer for sandy soil Seagrasses are in global decline, with some 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi) lost during recent decades. The main cause is human disturbance, most notably eutrophication, mechanical destruction of habitat, and overfishing. Excessive input of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus) is directly toxic to seagrasses, but most importantly, it stimulates the growth of epiphytic and free-floating macro- and micro-algae. This weakens the sunlight, reducing the photosynthesis that nourishes the seagrass and the primary production results. Historically, seagrasses were collected as fertilizer for sandy soil. This was an important use in the Ria de Aveiro, Portugal, where the plants collected were known as moliço. In the early 20th century, in France and, to a lesser extent, the Channel Islands, dried seagrasses were used as a mattress (paillasse) filling – such mattresses were in high demand by French forces during World War I. It was also used for bandages and other purposes. Currently, seagrass is used in furniture, and woven like rattan.

Q.10 Which among the following is/are correctly matched ?

1. Kavaratti   :       Tamil Nadu

2. Nilgiris    :       Western ghats

3. Karaikal    :       Andhra Pradesh

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

A) Only 3

B) 2 & 3

C) Only 2

D) 1 & 2

Ans. C

Kavaratti      :       Kerala

Karaikal       :       Tamil Nadu

Nilgiris       :       Western Ghats