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UPSC question paper – 2011-2015 – Issues on Environment, Ecology, Biodiversity & Climate Change

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PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTION PAPERS

UPSC previous year question paper of subject Issues on Environment, Ecology, Biodiversity & Climate Change from the year 2011-2015 with answers.

Contents

Results

#1. With reference to bio-toilets used by the Indian Railways, consider the following statements: [2015-I] 1. The decomposition of human waste in the bio-toilets is initiated by a fungal inoculum. 2. Ammonia and water vapour are the only end products in this decomposition which are released into the atmosphere. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

#2. Which of the following statements regarding 'Green Climate Fund' is/are correct? [2015] 1. It is intended to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change. 2. It is founded under the aegis of UNEP, OECD, Asian Development Bank and World Bank. Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#3. What is Rio+20 Conference, often mentioned in the news? [2015]

#4. Which one of the following is associated with the issue of control and phasing out of the use of ozone-depleting substances? [2015]

#5. Which one of the following is the national aquatic animal of India? [2015]

#6. With reference to 'dugong', a mammal found in India, which of the following statements is/are correct? [2015] 1. It is a herbivorous marine animal. 2. It is found along the entire coast of India. 3. It is given legal protection under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#7. With reference to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which of the following statements is/are correct? [2015-I] 1. IUCN is an organ of the United Nations and CITES is an international agreement between governments. 2. IUCN runs thousands of field projects around the world to better manage natural environments. 3. CITES is legally binding on the States that have joined it, but this Convention does not take the place of national laws. Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#8. Which of the following National Parks is unique in being a swamp with floating vegetation that supports a rich biodiversity? [2015]

#9. Which one of the following is the best description of the term 'ecosystem'? [2015]

#10. In India, in which one of the following types of forests is teak a dominant tree species? [2015]

#11. With reference to an organization known as 'Birdlife International', which of the following statements is/are correct? [2015-I] 1. It is a Global Partnership of Conservation Organizations. 2. The concept of 'biodiversity hotspots' originated from this organization. 3. It identifies the sites known/referred to as 'Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas'. Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#12. With reference to 'Forest Carbon Partnership Facility', which of the following statements is/ are correct? [2015-I] 1. It is a global partnership of governments, businesses, civil society and indigenous peoples. 2. It provides financial aid to universities, individual scientists and institutions involved in scientific forestry research to develop eco-friendly and climate adaptation technologies for sustainable forest management. 3. It assists the countries in their 'REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation+)' efforts by providing them with financial and technical assistance. Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#13. 'BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes' is managed by the [2015]

#14. Which one of the following National Parks has a climate that varies from tropical to subtropical, temperate and arctic? [2015]

#15. If you travel through the Himalayas, you are likely to see which of the following plants naturally growing there? [2014] 1. Oak 2. Rhododendron 3. Sandalwood Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#16. In India, cluster bean (Guar) is traditionally used as a vegetable or animal feed, but recently the cultivation of this has assumed significance. Which one of the following statements is correct in this context? [2014]

#17. Every year, a monthlong ecologically important campaign/ festival is held during which certain communities/ tribes plant saplings of fruit-bearing trees. Which of the following are such communities/tribes? [2014 ]

#18. Which of the following are some important pollutants released by steel industry in India? [2014] 1. Oxides of sulphur 2. Oxides of nitrogen 3. Carbon monoxide 4. Carbon dioxide Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#19. Lichens, which are capable of initiating ecological succession even on a bare rock, are actually a symbiotic association of [2014]

#20. The scientific view is that the increase in global temperature should not exceed 2 °C above pre-industrial level. If the global temperature increases beyond 3 °C above the pre- industrial level, what can be its possible impact/impacts on the world? [2014 - I] 1. Terrestrial biosphere tends toward a net carbon source. 2. Widespread coral mortality will occur. 3. All the global wetlands will permanently disappear. 4. Cultivation of cereals will not be possible anywhere in the world. Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#21. The most important strategy for the conservation of biodiversity together with traditional human life is the establishment of [2014]

#22. In India, the problem of soil erosion is associated with which of the following? [2014] 1. Terrace cultivation 2. Deforestation 3. Tropical climate Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#23. Which of the following have coral reefs? [2014] 1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands 2. Gulf of Kachchh 3. Gulf of Mannar 4. Sunderbans Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#24. Consider the following statements : [2014] 1. Animal Welfare Board of India is established under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. 2. National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body. 3. National Ganga River Basin Authority is chaired by the Prime Minister. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

#25. With reference to ‘Eco-Sensitive Zones’, which of the following statements is/are correct? [2014] 1. Eco-Sensitive Zones are the areas that are declared under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. 2. The purpose of the declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zones is to prohibit all kinds of human activities in those zones except agriculture. Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#26. If you walk through countryside, you are likely to see some birds stalking alongside the cattle to seize the insects disturbed by their movement through grasses. [2014 - I] Which of the following is/are such bird/birds? 1. Painted Stork 2. Common Myna 3. Black-necked Crane Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#27. Which of the following adds/add carbon dioxide to the carbon cycle on the planet Earth? [2014] 1. Volcanic action 2. Respiration 3. Photosynthesis 4. Decay of organic matter Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#28. Other than poaching, what are the possible reasons for the decline in the population of Ganges River Dolphins? [2014 - I] 1. Construction of dams and barrages on rivers 2. Increase in the population of crocodiles in rivers 3. Getting trapped in fishing nets accidentally 4. Use of synthetic fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals in crop-fields in the vicinity of rivers Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#29. With reference to a conservation organization called “Wetlands International’, which of the following statements is/ are correct? [2014] 1. It is an intergovernmental organization formed by the countries which are signatories to Ramsar Convention. 2. It works at the field level to develop and mobilize knowledge, and use the practical experience to advocate for better policies. Select the correct answer using the code given below.

#30. Consider the following pairs : [2014 ] 1. Dampa Tiger Reserve : Mizoram 2. Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary : Sikkim 3. Saramati Peak : Nagaland Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

#31. With reference to ‘Global Environment Facility'’, which of the following statements is/are correct? [2014]

#32. With reference to Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), consider the following statements : [2014] 1. It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Environment and Forests. 2. It strives to conserve nature through action-based research, education and public awareness. 3. It organizes and conducts nature trails and camps for the general public. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

#33. If a wetland of international importance is brought under the ‘Montreux Record’, what does it imply? [2014]

#34. Which one of the following is the correct sequence of a food chain? [2014]

#35. Consider the following statements regarding ‘Earth Hour’: [2014] 1. It is an initiative of UNEP and UNESCO. 2. It is a movement in which the participants switch off the lights for one hour on a certain day every year. 3. It is a movement to raise the awareness about the climate change and the need to save the planet. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

#36. Consider the following international agreements : [2014] 1. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture 2. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification 3. The World Heritage Convention Which of the above has/have a bearing on the biodiversity?

#37. With reference to the food chains in ecosystems, which of the following kinds of organism is/are known as decomposer organism/organisms? [2013] 1. Virus 2. Fungi 3. Bacteria Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

#38. Consider the following fauna of India: [2013 ] 1. Gharial 2. Leatherback turtle 3. Swamp deer Which of the above is/are endangered?

#39. Which one of the following is the correct sequence of ecosystems in the order of decreasing productivity? [2013]

#40. In the grasslands, trees do not replace the grasses as a part of an ecological succession because of [2013]

#41. Consider the following pairs: [2013 ] 1. Nokrek Bio-sphere Reserve : Garo Hills 2. Logtak (Loktak) Lake : Barail Range 3. Namdapha National Park : Dafla Hills Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

#42. the following can be found as pollutants in the drinking water in some parts of India? [2013 ] 1. Arsenic 2. Sorbitol 3. Fluoride 4. Formaldehyde 5. Uranium Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

#43. Consider the following: [2013 ] 1. Star tortoise 2. Monitor lizard 3. Pygmy hog 4. Spider monkey Which of the above are naturally found in India?

#44. Which one of the following terms describes not only the physical space occupied by an organism, but also its functional role in the community of organisms? [2013 ]

#45. In which of the following States is lion-tailed macaque found in its natural habitat? [2013 ] 1. Tamil Nadu 2. Kerala 3. Karnataka 4. Andhra Pradesh Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

#46. With reference to food chains in ecosystems, consider the following statements: [2013 ] 1. A food chain illustrates the order in which a chain of organisms feed upon each other. 2. Food chains are found within the populations of a species. 3. A food chain illustrates the numbers of each organism which are eaten by others. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

#47. Due to improper/ indiscriminate disposal of old and used computers or their parts, which of the following are released into the environment as e-waste? [2013 ] 1. Beryllium 2. Cadmium 3. Chromium 4. Heptachlor 5. Mercury 6. Lead 7. Plutonium Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

#48. Vultures which used to be very common in Indian countryside some years ago are rarely seen nowadays. This is attributed to [2012]

#49. What would happen if phytoplankton of an ocean is completely destroyed for some reason? [2012 ] 1. The ocean as a carbon sink would be adversely affected. 2. The food chains in the ocean would be adversely affected. 3. The density of ocean water would drastically decrease. Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

#50. Consider the following agricultural practices : [2012 ] 1. Contour bunding 2. Relay cropping 3. Zero tillage In the context of global climate change, which of the above helps/help in carbon sequestration/storage in the soil?

#51. Which of the following can be threats to the biodiversity of a geographical area? [2012 ] 1. Global warming 2. Fragmentation of habitat 3. Invasion of alien species 4. Promotion of vegetarianism Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

#52. What is the difference between the antelopes Oryx and Chiru? [2012 ]

#53. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment describes the following major categories of ecosystem services provisioning, supporting, regulating, preserving and cultural. Which one of the following is supporting service? [2012]

#54. Which one of the following groups of animals belongs to the category of endangered species? [2012]

#55. In which one among the following categories of protected areas in India are local people not allowed to collect and use the biomass? [2012 ]

#56. Consider the following protected areas: [2012 ] 1. Bandipur 2. Bhitarkanika 3. Manas 4. Sunderbans Which of the above are declared Tiger Reserves?

#57. The increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the air is slowly raising the temperature of the atmosphere, because it absorbs (a) the water vapour of the air and retains its heat [2012 ]

#58. The acidification of oceans is increasing. Why is this phenomenon a cause of concern? [2012 ] 1. The growth and survival of calcareous phytoplankton will be adversely affected. 2. The growth and survival of coral reefs will be adversely affected. 3. The survival of some animals that have phytoplanktonic larvae will be adversely affected. 4. The cloud seeding and formation of clouds will be adversely affected. Which of the statements given above is /are correct?

#59. Biomass gasification is considered to be one of the sustainable solutions to the power crisis in India. In this context, which of the following statements is/are correct? [2012 ]1. Coconut shells, groundnut shells and rice husk can be used in biomass gasification. 2. The combustible gases generated from biomass gasification consist of hydrogen and carbon dioxide only. 3. The combustible gases generated from biomass gasification can be used for direct heat generation but not in internal combustion engines. Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

#60. If National Water Mission is properly and completely implemented, how will it impact the country? [2012 ] 1. Part of the water needs of urban areas will be met through recycling of wastewater. 2. The water requirements of coastal cities with inadequate alternative sources of water will be met by adopting appropriate technologies that allow for the use of ocean water. 3. All the rivers of Himalayan origin will be linked to the rivers of peninsular India, 4. The expenses incurred by farmers for digging bore- wells and for installing motors and pump-sets to draw groundwater will be completely reimbursed by the Government. Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

#61. The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 was enacted in consonance with which of the following provisions of the Constitution of India? [2012 ] 1. Right to healthy environment, construed as a part of Right to life under Article 21 2. Provision of grants for raising the level of administration in the Scheduled Areas for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes under Article 275(1) 3. Powers and functions of Gram Sabha as mentioned under Article 243 (A) Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

#62. How does National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) help in protecting the Indian agriculture? [2012 ] 1. NBA checks the biopiracy and protects the indigenous and traditional genetic resources. 2. NBA directly monitors and supervises the scientific research on genetic modification of crop plants. 3. Application for Intellectual Property Rights related to genetic/biological resources cannot be made without the approval of NBA. Which of the statements given above is /are correct?

#63. Consider the following: 1. Carbon dioxide 2. Oxides of Nitrogen 3. Oxides of Sulphur Which of the above is/are the emission/emissions from coal combustion at thermal power plants? [2011]

#64. Consider the following: 1. Carbon dioxide 2. Oxides of Nitrogen 3. Oxides of Sulphur Which of the above is/are the emission/emissions from coal combustion at thermal power plants? [2011

#65. Consider the following statements : 1. Biodiversity is normally greater in the lower latitudes as compared to the higher latitudes. 2. Along the mountain gradients, biodiversity is normally greater in the lower altitudes as compared to the higher altitudes. [2011] Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

#66. The “Red Data Books’’ published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural resources (IUCN) contain lists of ? [2011 - I] 1. Endemic plant and animal species present in the biodiversity hotspots. 2. Threatened plant and animal species. 3. Protected sites for conservation of nature and natural resources in various countries. Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

#67. The 2004 Tsunami made people realize that mangroves can serve as a reliable safety hedge against coastal calamities. How do mangroves function as a safety hedge?[2011

#68. Which one of the following is not a site for in-situ method of conservation of flora ? [2011]

#69. Biodiversity forms the basis for human existence in the following ways : [2011] 1. Soil formation 2. Prevention of soil erosion 3. Recycling of waste 4. Pollination of crops Select the correct answer using the codes given below

#70. A sandy and saline area is the natural habitat of an Indian animal species. The animal has no predators in that area but its existence is threatened due to the destruction of its habitat. Which one of the following could be that animal ? [2011]

#71. Consider the following : [2011] 1. Photosynthesis 2. Respiration. 3. Decay of organic matter 4. Volcanic action. Which of the above add carbon dioxide to the carbon cycle on earth ?

#72. Consider the following : [2011 - I] 1. Photosynthesis 2. Respiration. 3. Decay of organic matter 4. Volcanic action. Which of the above add carbon dioxide to the carbon cycle on earth

#73. There is a concern over the increase in harmful algal blooms in the seawaters of India. What could be the causative factors for this phenomenon? [2011] 1. Discharge of nutrients from the estuaries. 2. Run-off from the land during the monsoon. 3. Upwelling in the seas. Select the correct answer from the codes given below:

#74. The Himalayan range is very rich in species diversity. Which one among the following is the most appropriate reason for this phenomenon ? [2011]

#75. Three of the following criteria have contributed to the recognition of Western Ghats, Sri Lanka and Indo Burma regions as hotspots of biodiversity : [2011] 1. Species richness 2. Vegetation density 3. Endemism 4. Ethno-botanical importance 5. Threat perception 6. Adaption of flora and fauna to warm and humid conditions Which three of the above are correct criteria in this context?

#76. Two important rivers–one with its source in Jharkhand (and known by a different name in Odisha), and another, with its source in Odisha–merge at a place only a short distance from the coast of Bay of Bengal before flowing into the sea. This is an important site of wildlife and biodiversity and a protected area. Which one of the following could be this ? [2011]

#77. The formation of ozone hole in the Antarctic region has been a cause of concern. What could be the reason for the formation of this hole ? [2011]

#78. In the context of ecosystem productivity, marine upwelling zones are important as they increase the marine productivity by bringing the [2011 - I] 1. decomposer microorganisms to the surface. 2. nutrients to the surface. 3. bottom-dwelling organisms to the surface. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

#79. Human activities in the recent past have caused the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but a lot of it does not remain in the lower atmosphere because of [2011 - I] 1. its escape into the outer stratosphere. 2. the photosynthesis by phytoplankton in the oceans. 3. the trapping of air in the polar ice caps. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

#80. Regarding “carbon credits’’, which one of the following statements is not correct ? [2011]

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