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UPSC Prelims 2020 Solution Set A

Set A

Q1. Consider the following statements:

1. Aadhaar metadata cannot be stored for more than three months.

2. State cannot enter into any contract with private corporations for sharing of Aadhaar data.

3. Aadhaar is mandatory for obtaining insurance products.

4. Aadhaar is mandatory for getting benefits funded out of the Consolidated Fund of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 4 only

(b) 2 and 4 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and3 only            

Answer: b

S1: Metadata is the data that is used to access the required data. According to the SC, storing the Metadata for more than 6 months is not allowed. Hence, S1 is incorrect.

S2: Can a private corporation access your Aadhaar data from UIDAI?

No, it can’t. Only government agencies are allowed to have access to it. This makes S2 correct.

S3: Aadhaar is mandatory only for getting benefits of the scheme directly funded by the consolidated fund of India. Even a bank account can be opened without Aadhaar.  Hence, S3 is incorrect.

S4: Correct (already explained).

Note: Note the word three months in S1. This is a statement with facts and figures. The Statements with facts and figures are usually incorrect (Not guaranteed).

Q2. Rajya Sabha has equal powers with Lok Sabha in

(a) the matter of creating new All India Services

(b) amending the Constitution

(c) the removal of the government

(d) making cut motions       

Answer: b

S1: Rajya Sabha has the discretion to create new All India Services.

S2: Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has to pass the ‘Constitution Amendment Bill’ with Special Majority. Hence, both has equal power with respect to the amendment of the constitution.

There is no provision of Joint Session in case of disagreement, so, Lok Sabha cannot override the decision of Rajya Sabha.

S3: Rajya Sabha has no role in the removal of the government.

S4: Rajya Sabha cannot move the cut motions.

Q3. With reference to the funds under Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), which of the following statements are correct?

1. MPLADS funds must be used to create durable assets like physical infrastructure for health, education, etc.

2. A specified portion of each MP’s fund must benefit SC/ST populations.

3. MPLADS funds are sanctioned on yearly basis and the unused funds cannot be carried forward to the next year.

4. The district authority must inspect at least 10% of all works under implementation every year.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 and 4 only

(c) 1, 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 4 only           

Answer: (d)

S1: This is the basic mandate behind the creation of the fund. Hence, S1 is correct.

S2: A common statement, usually a portion of the fund is reserved for the vulnerable community to ensure inclusive development. S2 is correct.

S3: MPLADS funds are sanctioned on yearly basis and the unused funds do not lapse. S3 is wrong.

4. The work is executed by the district administration and the district authority must inspect at least 10% of all works under implementation every year. Hence, S4 is correct.

Q4. Which one of the following categories of Fundamental Rights incorporates against untouchability as a form of discrimination?

(a) Right against Exploitation

(b) Right to Freedom

(c) Right to Constitutional Remedies

(d) Right to Equality              

Answer: (d)

Solution: Untouchability as a form of discrimination and it is against the idea of right to equality. Therefore, it has been incorporated under Article 17 as one of the five rights under the spectrum of right to equality (Articles 14-18)

Q5. In India, separation of judiciary from the executive is enjoined by

(a) the Preamble of the Constitution

(b) Directive Principle of State Policy

(c) the Seventh Schedule

(d) the conventional practice            

Ans: (b)

Article 50 of the Indian Constitution recommends state to take efforts to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.

Q6. Along with the Budget, the Finance Minister also places other documents before the Parliament which include ‘The Macro Economic Framework Statement’. The aforesaid document is presented because this is mandated by

(a) Long standing parliamentary convention

(b) Article 112 and Article 110(1) of the Constitution of India

(c) Article 113 of the Constitution of India

(d) Provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003       

Ans: (d)

The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 (FRBMA) is an Act of the Parliament of India to institutionalize financial discipline and  reduce India’s fiscal deficit.

It aims to achieve a balanced budget and strengthen fiscal prudence. The main purpose was to eliminate revenue deficit (bring down the fiscal deficit to a manageable 3% of the GDP by March 2008). Yet a distant dream to achieve. We are in 2021 and fiscal deficit is still on the rise.

Q7. A constitutional government by definition is a

(a) government by legislature

(b) popular government

(c) multi-party government

(d) limited government

Ans: (d)

Constitution, the source of power for the authority on the soil, also puts restrain on the government so that the ruler cannot exceed the boundary of good governance.

Q8. Other than the Fundamental Rights, which of the following parts of the Constitution of India reflect/reflects the principles and provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)?

1. Preamble

2. Directive Principles of State Policy

3. Fundamental Duties

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (d)

Solution: Here you need not remember the clauses of provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

Just imagine, what human right is all about. It is about dignity, liberty, and equality etc.

Now, correlate these ideas with the Preamble, DPSP, Fundamental duties, you will find that in one way or the other, these concepts are mentioned over there.

For Example: Preamble talks about equality, freedom. DPSP guides the state to ensure education for children, Fundamental duty mandates to abjure violence.

Hence, all these sections contains either principle or provisions of the FR.

Q9. In India, Legal Services Authorities provide free legal services to which of the following type of citizens?

1. Person with an annual income of less than Rs. 1,00,000

2. Transgender with an annual income of less than Rs. 2,00,000

3. Member of Other Backward Classes (OBC) with an annual income of less than Rs. 3,00,000

4. All Senior Citizens

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1 and 4 only

Ans: (a)

Solution: Here, you need not remember the list of beneficiary of NALSA, just think “Can a retired IAS officer enjoy free legal service”?

No, he can’t enjoy it as he has is getting handsome pension. Hence, S4 is incorrect.  You have eliminated two options.

NALSA is meant to ensure the free legal service to the poor. Hence, S1 is logically follows.

There is no special mention of OBC, hence, S3 is incorrect.

List of People eligible for getting free legal services include:

1. Women and children

2. Members of SC/ST

3. Industrial workmen

4. Victims of mass disaster, violence, flood, drought, earthquake industrial disaster

5. Disabled persons

6. Persons in custody

7. Persons whose annual income does not exceed Rs. 1 lakh

8. Victims of trafficking in human beings or begar.

Q.10 Consider the following pairs:

International Agreement / Set-up Subject
Alma-Ata Declaration Healthcare of the people
Hague Convention Biological and chemical weapons
Talanoa Dialogue Global climate change
Under2 Coalition Child rights

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 4 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 2, 3 and 4 only

Ans: (c)

S1: The Alma Ata declaration on “Health for All” in 1978 set out a broad set of principles called the Primary Health Care (PHC) approach.

It required technology to be simple and low cost, while being effective and safe. Hence, S1 is correct.

S2: Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) that provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one-member country to another. Hence, S2 is incorrect.

S3: The Talanoa Dialogue is a process designed to help countries to implement and enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020. The Dialogue was mandated by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change to help the member countries to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Hence, S3 is correct.

S4: The Under2 Coalition, a Memorandum of Understanding by subnational governments to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions towards net-zero by 2050. Hence, S4 is incorrect.

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Q11. A Parliamentary System of Government is one in which

(a) all political parties in the Parliament are represented in the Government

(b) the Government is responsible to the Parliament and can be removed by it

(c) the Government is elected by the people and can be removed by them

(d) the Government is chosen by the Parliament but cannot be removed by it before completion of a fixed term               

Answer (b)

Solution: Option b: In parliamentary system of government, executive is responsible to the legislature. This responsibility means that executive stays in power as long as it enjoys the confidence of the house.  If the government loses the confidence of the parliament, it cannot remain in power. Hence option b is correct.

Option a: we have parliamentary form of government in India, but all the parties sitting in Parliament are not the part of government, hence option a is incorrect.  

Option c: Government is not directly elected by the people but indirectly through their representatives in Parliament. So, the instrument to remove government through public vote is not available in parliamentary system and this is a feature found in direct democracies.

Option d: The executive remains responsible to the parliament and can be removed by the it. Option d is incorrect.

Q12. Which part of the Constitution of India declares the ideal of Welfare State?

(a) Directive Principles of State Policy

(b) Fundamental Rights

(c) Preamble

(d) Seventh Schedule    

Answer: (a)

Solution: The Directive Principles aims at realising the high ideals of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as outlined in the Preamble to the Constitution.

They embody the concept of a ‘welfare state’ through the socialistic principles and not that of a ‘police state’, which existed during the colonial era.

Q13. Consider the following statements:

1. The Constitution of India defines its ‘basic structure’ in terms of federalism, secularism, fundamental rights and democracy.

2. The Constitution of India provides for ‘judicial review’ to safeguard the citizens’ liberties and to preserve the ideals on which the Constitution is based.

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 

Answer: (b)

S1: Basic Structure doctrine has been coined by the SC in the famous Kehsvnand Bharti case and is neither defined nor mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. S1 is incorrect.

S2: The Constitution confers the power of judicial review to the Supreme Court and High Courts.

Laws inconsistent with the deals of the constitution are declared void (Article 13).

Q14. One common agreement between Gandhism and Marxism is

(a) the final goal of a stateless society

(b) class struggle

(c) abolition of private property

(d) economic determinism

Answer: (a)

Solution: According to Gandhi, “In the ideal state, there is no political power because there is no State.” He supported the self-regulated and decentralized social life.

State acts to suppress the interest of lower classes in the interest of ruling class. Hence, there is a need to replace the state, if there is no state, there will be a socialist society.

Q15. In the context of India, which one of the following is the characteristic appropriate for bureaucracy?

(a) An agency for widening the scope of parliamentary democracy

(b) An agency for strengthening the structure of federalism

(c) An agency for facilitating political stability and economic growth

(d) An agency for the implementation of public policy

Answer: (d)

Explanation: Option (d) is most appropriate answer as it represents one of the primary function of bureaucracy.

Bureaucracy has no direct role in widening the parliamentary democracy. In India, bureaucracy is represented by All India Services like IAS, IPS, IFoS, they are recruited by the central government and ensures checks against the excessive decentralisation of power and they are often criticised by state governments as going against the federal spirit.

Though bureaucracy acts as catalyst for economic growth and provides stability to administration and policy to some extent, it has no direct role in political stability.

Q16. The Preamble to the Constitution of India is

(a) a part of the Constitution but has no legal effect

(b) not a part of the Constitution and has no legal effect either

(c) part of the Constitution and has the same legal effect as any other part

(d) a part of the Constitution but has no legal effect independently of other parts

Answer: (d)

The question, whether the ‘Preamble of the constitution’ is a part of constitution or not, was put forward in front of SC by the famous Kesavananda Bharati case (1973).

The Supreme Court held that Preamble is a part of the Constitution.

It observed that the Preamble is of extreme importance and the Constitution should be read and interpreted in the light of the grand and noble vision expressed in the Preamble.

So, the correct answer is (d).

Again, the question is, are you smart enough to solve this question without being aware about the Keshavnanda Bharati case.

Tell me any of the ideals of the Preamble of the constitution, like “Liberty of thought, expression, belief”.

Have you heard someone going to SC, knocking its door for the violation of fundamental right enshrined in the Preamble?

No, Petitioners cite some article like Article 21, Article 19 etc. while pleading for the justice because detailed provision has been mentioned under different articles only.

So although noble ideals have been mentioned in the Preamble, the interpretation is possible only with the help of specific articles.

Q17. “Gold Tranche” (Reserve Tranche) refers to

(a) a loan system of the World Bank

(b) one of the operations of a Central Bank

(c) a credit system granted by WTO to its members

(d) credit system granted by IMF to its members

Answer: (d)

Solution: The reserve tranche is a segment of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) member country’s quota that is accessible without fees or economic reform conditions.

In the news, you would frequently encounter the term, Foreign Exchange Reserve (Forex Reserve).

Do you know what are its components?

The reserve tranche is basically an emergency account that IMF members can access at any time.

If India do not have Dollar, Gold, SDR, it can use Reserve Tranche Position for Oil Import. 

Q18. With reference to the provisions contained in Part IV of the Constitution of India, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. They shall be enforceable by courts.

2. They shall not be enforceable by any court.

3. The principles laid down in this part are to influence the making of laws by the State.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 2 and 3 only

Answer: (d)

Solution: The Directive Principles of State Policy are guidelines for the framing of laws by the government. These provisions are not enforceable by the courts, but the principles on which they are based are fundamental guidelines for governance that the State is expected to apply in framing policies and passing laws.

Directive Principles, they are not enforceable by courts unless otherwise made enforceable by parliamentary law.

The phrase ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ denotes the ideals that the State should keep in mind while formulating policies and enacting laws.

Q19. Consider the following statements:

1. According to the Constitution of India, a person who is eligible to vote can be made a minister in a State for six months’ even if he/she is not a member of the Legislature of that State.

2. According to the Representation of People Act, 1951, a person convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment for five years is permanently disqualified from contesting an election even after his release from prison.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a)

Q20. Consider the following statements:

1. The President of India can summon a session of the Parliament at such place as he/she thinks fit.

2. The Constitution of India provides for three sessions of the Parliament in a year, but it is not mandatory to conduct all three sessions.

3. There is no minimum number of days of that the Parliament is required to meet in a year.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 2 and 3 only

Answer: (c)

Solution: Article 85 of the Constitution lays following provisions:

“The President shall from time to time summon each House of Parliament to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months (this makes S2 incorrect) shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session. Hence S1 is correct.

The Parliament should meet at least twice a year. Therefore, the constitution prescribes a maximum gap but there is no minimum gap.

So, statement 3 is correct.


Q.21 With reference to the history of India, consider the following pairs:

1.Anurag- In-charge of treasury of the State

2. Banian- Indian agent of the East India Company

3. Mirasidar- Designated revenue payer to the State

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b)

Solution: Aurang, a Persian term used for warehouse (Storage Place), S1 is NOT correct.

Banians or banias refers to the agents of the company to conduct their business. “A Banyan is a person by whom the English gentlemen in general conduct all their business. S2 is correct.

Mirasdar is the term from Persian language meaning hereditary landowner, co-proprietor. S3 is correct.

22. With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements:
(1) Sthaviravadins belong to Mahayana Buddhism.
(2) Lokottaravadin sect was an offshoot of Mahasanghika sect of Buddhism.
(3) The deification of Buddha by Mahasanghikas fostered the Mahayana Buddhism.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)


Statement (1) is incorrect. Sthaviravadins belong to Theravada Buddhism, which is one of the two major schools of Buddhism, the other being Mahayana.

  • Statement (2) is correct. Lokottaravadin sect was an offshoot of Mahasanghika sect of Buddhism. The Mahasanghika was an early Buddhist school in ancient India that originated around the 3rd century BCE.
  • Statement (3) is correct. The deification of Buddha by Mahasanghikas fostered the development of Mahayana Buddhism, which emerged as a distinct school of Buddhism in the 1st century CE. The Mahasanghikas were the first to deify the Buddha and regard him as a divine being who could intervene in the affairs of the world.

23. Which of the following statements correctly explains the impact of Industrial Revolution on India during the first half of the nineteenth century?

(a) Indian handicrafts were ruined.
(b) Machines were introduced in the Indian textile industry in large numbers.
(c) Railway lines were laid in many parts of the country.
(d) Heavy duties were imposed on the imports of British manufactures.

Ans: (a)

Solution: The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on India during the first half of the nineteenth century. The introduction of British manufactured goods, which were cheaper and of superior quality, led to the decline of the Indian handicraft industry. The British goods flooded the Indian markets, leading to a sharp decline in demand for Indian handicrafts, which were largely based on manual labor.

Moreover, the British colonial policies were heavily tilted towards promoting the British manufacturing industry at the expense of Indian industries. The imposition of high tariffs on Indian goods and the promotion of British goods led to the decline of Indian industries and the dependence of India on the British for manufactured goods.

24. Consider the following events in the history of India:
(1) Rise of Pratiharas under King Bhoja
(2) Establishment of Pallava power under Mahendravarman – I
(3) Establishment of Chola power by Parantaka – I
(4) Pala dynasty founded by Gopala
What is the correct chronological order of the above events, starting from the earliest time?
(a) 2 – 1 – 4 – 3
(b) 3 – 1 – 4 – 2
(c) 2 – 4 – 1 – 3
(d) 3 – 4 – 1 – 2

Ans: (c)

25. Which of the following phrases defines the nature of the ‘Hundi’ generally referred to in the sources of the post-Harsha period?
(a) An advisory issued by the king to his subordinates
(b) A diary to be maintained for daily accounts
(c) A bill of exchange                                                                                                                                                (d) An order from the feudal lord to his subordinates

Ans: (c)

Solution: The Hundi was a type of financial instrument commonly used in medieval India during the post-Harsha period. It was a bill of exchange, a negotiable instrument used for the transfer of funds from one place to another. The Hundi allowed merchants and traders to conduct business without the need for physical transfer of cash.

The Hundi was an important instrument of trade and commerce during the medieval period in India. It facilitated the movement of goods and money across long distances and helped in the growth of trade and commerce. The use of Hundi was prevalent in various parts of India, and it was used by merchants, traders, and bankers.


UPSC Prelims 2020 Answer Key
UPSC Prelims 2020 Answer Key


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