Solution of the UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2012 – GS Paper 1

81. Which one of the following groups of animals belongs to the category of endangered species?
[A]Great Indian Bustard, Musk Deer, Red Panda and Asiatic Wild Ass
[B]Kashmir Stag, Cheetai, Blue Bull and Great Indian Bustard
[C]Snow Leopard, Swamp Deer, Rhesus Monkey and Saras (Crane)
[D]Lion-tailed Macaque, Blue Bull, Hanuman Langur and Cheetal

Great Indian Bustard, Musk Deer, Red Panda and Asiatic Wild Ass

82. Consider the following statements If there were no phenomenon of capillarity
1. it would be difficult to use a kerosene lamp
2. one would not be able to use a straw to consume a soft drink
3. the blotting paper would fail to function
4. the big trees that we see around would not have grown on the Earth
Which of the statements given above are correct?
[A]1, 2 and 3 only
[B]1, 3 and 4 only
[C]2 and 4 only
[D]1, 2, 3 & 4

1, 3 and 4 only

83. 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?
[A]Production of food and water
[B]Control of climate and disease
[C]Nutrient cycling and crop pollination
[D]Maintenance of diversity

Nutrient cycling and crop pollination
Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as flood and disease control; cultural services such as spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits; and supporting services, such as nutrient cycling, that maintain the conditions for life on Earth.

84. What is the difference between the antelopes Oryx and Chiru?
[A]Oryx is adapted to live in hot and arid areas whereas Chiru is adapted to live in steppes and semi-desert areas of cold high mountains
[B]Oryx is poached for its antlers whereas Chiru is poached for its musk
[C]Oryx exists in western India only whereas Chiru exists in north-cast India only
[D]None of the statements (a), (b) and © given above is correct

Oryx is adapted to live in hot and arid areas whereas Chiru is adapted to live in steppes and semi-desert areas of cold high mountains All oryx species prefer near-desert conditions and can survive without water for long periods. Chiru is Tibetan antelope lives in cold high mountains.

85. Which of the following can be threats to the biodiversity of a geographical area?
1. Global warming
2. Fragmentation of habitat
3 .Invasion of alien species
4. Promotion of vegetarianism
Choose the correct answer:
[A]1,2 & 3
[B]2 & 3
[C]1 & 4
[D]1, 2 , 3 and 4

1,2 & 3

86. Consider the following:
1. Black-necked crane
2. Cheetah
3 .Flying squirrel
4. Snow leopard
Which of the above are naturally found in India?
[A]1, 2 and 3 only
[B]1, 3 and 4 only
[C]2 and 4 only
[D]1, 2, 3 and 4

1, 3 and 4 only
I think that UPSC gave a thought to the fact that as of now there are no Cheetahs in India that are naturally found. They used to be here once upon a time and now Government thinks to import them and reintroduce them here. So, the correct answer stands 1,3,4

87. Consider the following agricultural practices:
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?
[A]1 & 2 Only
[B]3 Only
[C]1,2 & 3
[D]None of them

1,2 & 3
Any method which helps the soil to retain more organic matter , so that it may work as an effective Carbon sink would be helpful in Carbon sequestrian or storage. The question gives you three options which you need to analyze one by one:

Contour Bunding:
Contour bunding Contour bunding is one of the extensively used soil and water conservation technique in several rainfed areas. Contour bunding is a mechanical measure which minimizs the soil erosion. Contour bunding involves the construction of small bunds across the slope of the land along a contour so that the long slope is reduced to a series of small ones. The contour bund acts as a barrier to flow of water down a slope and thus the benefit is that it increases the time so that water concentrates in an area and this more water is absorbed. The question is; whether the contour bunding helps in carbon sequestrian or not . The answer is YES. Contour bunding increases the water holding capacity while minimizing the surface evaporation. Then soil erosion is minimized, and surface residues favour the nutrient recycling and result in higher carbon storage in the soil. This is a correct option.

Relay Cropping:
Relay cropping means that new a crop is planted or sown before the previous one is harvested. This can provide advantages for both crops as one of them may provide nitrogen, shade, support or may discourage pests. The obvious benefit of Relay cropping is soil conservation. Then, relay cropping helps in better yield and also helps in solid conservation. It does help in Carbon Sequestrian. This is also a correct answer.

Zero Tillage:
Zero tillage is also based upon the premise of soil conservation, basic premise is to minimize the disturbances to the soil leading to an increase in retention of water, nutrients and topsoil itself. No-till has carbon sequestration potential through storage of soil organic matter in the soil of crop fields.
Thus, we conclude that all options help in carbon storage and correct answer is C that is 1, 2 & 3
One more thing I would like to tell you. These practices are called C-Enhancement Practices (CEP). ƒ CEPs consist of a single technology or practice aimed at conserving or enhancing carbon stock in selected land categories. Potential CEPs are mulching, organic manure application, green manure application, reduced or zero tillage, contour bunding, farm ponds, tank silt application, intercropping or multiple cropping, and cover cropping. :)

88. What would happen if phytoplankton of an ocean is completely destroyed for some reason?
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:
[A]1 & 2 Only
[B]2 Only
[C]3 Only
[D]1, 2 & 3

1 & 2 Only

89. Vultures which used to be very common in Indian countryside some years ago are rarely seen nowadays. This is attributed to:
[A]the destruction of their nesting sites by new invasive species
[B]a drug used by cattle owners for treating their diseased cattle
[C]scarcity of food available to them
[D]a widespread, persistent and fatal disease among them

a drug used by cattle owners for treating their diseased cattle and you know which is that drug :)

90. In the areas covered under the Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996. What is the role/power of Gram Sabha?
1. Gram Sabha has the power to prevent alienation of land in the Scheduled Areas.
2 . Gram Sabha has the ownership of minor forest produce.
3. Recommendation of Gram Sabha is required for granting prospecting licence or mining lease for any mineral in the Scheduled Areas .
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[A]1 Only
[B]1 and 2 Only
[C]2 & 3 Only
[D]1,2, & 3

1 and 2 Only
In this question, plese note that there is a very big difference between minor mineral and ‘any’ mineral, and your examiner is expecting you to differentiate these two. The act says that the recommendations of the Gram Sabha or the Panchayats at the appropriate level shall be made mandatory prior to grant of prospecting licence or mining lease for minor minerals in the Scheduled Areas. This is why, the statement 3 need to be eliminated.

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  • jace

    sir, cut off- is it is combined or for Paper I only?

    • GKToday

      @ jace,

      Cut off is combined, there is no individual cut off.

  • prash

    sir, i am a great fan of gktoday.. thank u very much for ur efforts to make information transparent, free and authentic..
    i had a doubt regarding cut off.. 168-170 is a combined cut-off of paper I and II or GS alone..
    it cant b so less for combined or so much for GS alone.. ppl , including me, think that it might go somewhere between 200-210..
    plz clarify the same..
    thank u sir..

  • ravi

    for qn case of cnstinal amendmt bill both houses have equal authority

  • Sai Akhilesh

    Q.No. 64

    Single window policy is introduced prior to this policy. It is not anew initiative.

  • Avishek

    For Q13 – BT Brinjal one ..statement 1 is incorrect as the gene used is not that of soil fungus but of soil bacteria :) ….as there is no option containing 2 3 4 ….so ans has to be 3 and 4 only.

  • ravikvarma

    score ranging from 215 to 230…according to gktoday is 217…is it in a comfortable margin?

  • Avishek

    For Q71 – Seabuckthorn — its also used as biodiesel..though its use as of now is limited, but then it has great potential. Searching in google for Seabuckthorn as biodiesel……reveals many websites that says about it …so correct option should be D – all 1,2,3,4 . Seabuckthorn timber also has great value . Source : google :)

  • thiyam surjakumar singh

    im greatly delighted with your work sir
    thank you for your great work

  • Vikas

    Thank you Sir..most accurate

  • Kamal

    Thanks a ton for the keys.!!

    The cutoff 168-170 you are expecting is the combined marks of paper 1 & 2 right?

  • sukumaran

    in q 13 bt brinjal gene from bacterium

  • Tigin kalistus

    Is the ‘cutoff marks’as predicted here is for ‘Paper-1’ or combined? I presume it is for combined but then cannot fathom out the criteria adopted in arriving at such a low cuttoff, if it is so.

  • anwer

    the cutoff is for 1st paper only and for both paper combined.please clarify

  • Gayathri


    I would like to know if the cut off mentioned above(165-170) is the sum of both the papers. And also is there any separate cut off marks for each paper?

    Please do reply.

  • Johnny Prince

    Having doubt in the 86th Qn.. The Snow Leopard does exist naturally in the mountain ranges of Kashmir, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.. Kindly correct me if I’m wrong.

  • mynk.ngm

    sirji this cut off is for GS1 and 2 combined right.. else im afraid only the paper setters and few others will make it..

  • saurabh

    In question 13, gene from soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis is used and not soil fungus. Option A seems to be incorrect.

  • viswanadhas

    Hi , is 170 an individual cutoff or combined ? If combined is there are min cut off on each paper. Plz advice. Thx

  • killer

    in gram sabha question they substituted ‘minor minerals ‘ with ‘any minerals’….itna specific …

  • amit13226

    As per ministry report,
    Coastal wetland area is smaller than inland.please confirm which data is to be followed.

  • saurabh

    In Q.57, NBFCs provide microfinance which promotes inclusive growth. Statement 1 seems to be correct too.

  • saurabh

    Q. 28, 1 & 3 both are correct. Since air is more dense close to the earh it can hold more heat than upper altitudes where air is thinner.

  • Amit kumar

    qn:-95….I think DPSP also contain

    art 44:-uniform civil code for the citizens
    then what should be the answer of qn. 95.

  • Avishek

    There r many articles which have written about possible effects on biodiversity of Bt brinjal…and the langauge of statement 4 – there is SOME concern that bt brinjal MAY have adverse—– ….so statement 4 cannot be rules out . About the report of expert committee, yes they have said it, but there r numerous other reports, most recently buy greenpeace which says about adverse effects on biodiversity. Statement 2 ..about TERMINATOR SEEDS not fully correct ..check this link please –

  • hemant

    can u plz tell me, wht would be the cutt of list for ias pre and csat

  • Jitendra Gupta

    Hi Sir,

    Thanks for your excellent support to the aspirants.

    One favor I would like to ask. In the view of this year’s pattern of GS Paper-I, It needs a very good understanding of the topics for the best guess. If you could provide section-wise quiz like dividing Modern History in periods, or dividing Geography of India in Physical Geo, Human Geo, Climatology & atmospheric variations etc., it will help us in concentrating on the very topic and a better assessment of the preparation.


  • Adnan

    thank you very much sir. please make pdf available within a single link instead of 10

  • Nanda

    Kudoos gktoday for answering all then questions with explanations . & waiting for the pdf to d/w ..

  • dharmesh

    how can someone read so many standard UPSC csat exam questions at one go directly from internet, it can only be worth yo read if there be a pdf version provided of question with answer to read them later nor from internet directly and can be print if required. providing so many questions to read from net is not yet worthy when exams are still offline and internet not have that much reach you must provide pdf version of questions with answers

  • sundaravathanan

    checking your key was like discussing question paper with a friend :) thanks a lot!!

  • Sidharth

    Will there be individual cur-off for each paper? If yes, what will be the cut-off for paper 1 and also for Paper 2

  • neeraj

    sir i think i will get 149 marks in aptitude but in gk i think it is not more than 35
    what should i do
    pls help me

  • Anurag

    Will GKtoday upload the solutions for CSAT too…… Please do it as your answers are the most authentic ones…..Anxiously waiting fr the CSAT solutions, do post soon ….and many many thanks for the informative solutions of GS Section. Thank You..

  • nishant

    Dear Admin
    I am very much thankful for giving such a beautiful insights to clear our confusion..As for me now I see that I get 60 marks in paper-1 and I think I will get 150 in 2nd paper.which makes it 210..Do I have chance and should I start preparing? Is it true that UPSC has separate cut-off for both papers..PLZ let me know if any …

  • Mukesh kumar ray

    Sir, my series is (c) prelims 2012 plz send me solved question..

  • viptip

    BT seads are terminator

  • samm

    hey bro
    i think u will be selected
    as ur total is approx 184
    and i knew a person who got same marks in previous year and got selected
    and this would be happen same in this year
    so start prepare for mains
    wish u all the best

  • shobhit777

    Thanks for the great job…..are sure of the answers you provided for Sufi, Lead Poisoning and RBI question. Most of the other keys are showing different answers. Pls Reply….

  • Hgiue_980

    Question 57: Could you please clarify why permitting NBFC to do banking is not an Inclusive Governance? Thanks

  • Hgiue_980

    Question 65: The option 2 states, withdrawal of money ONLY after the Appropriation Bill is passed. What about the VOTE ON ACCOUNT, which allows to withdraw even before the Appropriation Bill is passed? Please clarify. Thanks

  • Hgiue_980

    Question 95: Why Article 44 is not included in the answer? Thanks

  • dileep


    (Reg: Question No: 28)

    Could you please elaborate why you rejected 3rd statement? Many articles on internet have given that 3rd statement is also correct. Would be grateful if you could provide further support to your answer.

  • sandy123

    A piece of info….. this year more than 5.50 lacs candidates registered for CSP….dunno how many actually appeared….talked to UPSC today…..last year this was 4.7 lacs….so wats the take on cutoff ?

  • vats

    why is banking by nbfc not included in inclusive governance?isnt the recent recommendations by the Y.H Malegam committee, a reference in this regard, as the NBFC -MFI is thought to provide financial inclusion?

  • kesari.meena00


    PAPER-1 46
    PAPER-2 125


  • samm

    how can we find our marks in this paper
    can we send rti for it…..


    Sir,i would like to get prelis 2nd paper questions.Is there any seat conservation for s/c?

  • aman

    why pdf download is not available?
    pls provide

  • sushma Pandey

    sir, i am preparing for panchayat secretary ,which will
    be held within next week.Kindly send some very
    important & detailed article under our constitution for
    panchayat & Rural development.Kindly send and guide me
    soon .

    with regards,

  • rashi

    sir did u provide notes for entire gs pre and mains both if yes how can i get it i am preparing for upsc 2014 give me ur num so tht if any query i can talk to u

  • sk

    Its very helpful to go through specially for me where I can continue even in my work free time. Thanks a lot.