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Prelims Refresher Program 2020

Hot Topics 2020

Day 2

  • 21 Jul 2020
  • 13 min read

Welcome to the Prelims Refresher Programme 2020 - Article Page. On this page, we will provide you with 3 things:

  • A list of topics for revision.
  • A brief discussion of the topics if needed.
  • Links to various sources for preparing these topics.
In the comments, you can ask us to clear your doubts regarding any of the topics listed on the page. We will do our best to explain and clarify your doubts. Further, we may also share links to other web based learning sources like websites or videos, or may refer to you, books, documents etc. Please be cordial to your fellow aspirants and use these doubt-clearing conversations strictly to its stated purpose.

Indian Physiography

Every year several questions have been asked from different physiographic locations of India. The scope of questions that can be expected from this topic is very broad. However, by analysing the previous year questions it can be depicted that a lot of times questions are asked on those locations/phenomenon which have remained in news. Thus, we have picked some current affairs for this type of questions. 

Also, for map based questions, one can refer “Drishti Map Book”

Previous Year Questions Indian Physiography

Q. Consider the following statements: (2017)

  1. In India, the Himalayas are spread over five States only.
  2. Western Ghats are spread over five States only.
  3. Pulicat Lake is spread over two States only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1 and 3 only


Q. Consider the following pairs: (2013)

  1. Nokrek Biosphere Reserve : Garo Hills
  2. Logtak (Loktak) Lake : Barail Range
  3. Namdapha National Park : Dafla Hills

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1, 2 and 3

(d) None


Q. When you travel in the Himalayas, you will see the following: (2012)

  1. Deep gorges
  2. U-turn river courses
  3. Parallel mountain ranges
  4. Steep gradients causing landsliding

Which of the above can be said to be the evidence for Himalayas being young fold mountains?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 1, 2 and 4 only

(c) 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4


Q. If there were no Himalayan ranges, what would have been the most likely geographical impact on India? (2010)

  1. Much of the country would experience the cold waves from Siberia.
  2. The Indo-gangetic plain would be devoid of such extensive alluvial soils.
  3. The pattern of monsoon would be different from what it is at present.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Important Water Bodies

It has been a very interesting area from world geography where UPSC asks questions. A lot of questions have been asked over the years. Questions on important water bodies and the countries surrounding them have been repeatedly asked in successive years. So it is always a hot topic from this year’s prelims point. 

Read more about important water bodies in recent news:

Previous Year Questions on Important Water Bodies

Q. Consider the following pairs Wildlife Naturally found in (2019)

  1. Blue-finned Mahseer : Cauvery River
  2. Irrawaddy Dolphin : Chambal River
  3. Rusty-spotted Cat : Eastern Ghats

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3


Q. Consider the following pairs: Sea Bordering Country (2019)

  1. Adriatic Sea : Albania
  2. Black Sea : Croatia
  3. Caspian Sea : Kazakhstan
  4. Mediterranean Sea : Morocco
  5. Red Sea : Syria

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) 1, 2 and 4 only

(b) 1, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 5 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5


Q. The Narmada river flows to the west, while most other large peninsular rivers flow to the east. Why? (2013)

  1. It occupies a linear rift valley.
  2. It flows between the Vindhyas and the Satpuras.
  3. The land slopes to the west from Central India.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d) None

Important Global Convention

A lot of questions have been asked by UPSC on the important global conventions. One such global convention that remained in news is UNCCD COP-14 (took place in India, 2019). Therefore, this becomes important for this year from the prelims point of view. Also, the topic assumes relevance as northern India witnessed dust storms last year, which is a sign of faster rate of desertification around the world. To read more about the topic/convention refer below:

Previous Year Questions on Global Conventions

Q. Consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has a ‘Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air’.
  2. The UNCAC is the ever-first legally binding global anti-corruption instrument.
  3. A highlight of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) is the inclusion of a specific chapter aimed at returning assets to their rightful owners from whom they had been taken illicitly.
  4. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated by its member States to assist in the implementation of both UNCAC and UNTOC.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4


Q. Consider the following statements:(2019)

  1. Under Ramsar Convention, it is mandatory on the part of the Government of India to protect and conserve all the wetlands in the territory of India.
  2. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 were framed by the Government of India based on the recommendations of Ramsar Convention.
  3. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 also encompass the drainage area or catchment regions of the wetlands as determined by the authority.

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


Q. What is/are the importance/importances of the ‘United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification? (2016)

  1. It aims to promote effective action through innovative national programmes and supportive international partnerships.
  2. It has a special/particular focus on South Asia and North Africa regions, and its Secretariat facilitates the allocation of a major portion of financial resources to these regions.
  3. It is committed to a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating the desertification.

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

Important National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries And Biodiversity Hotspots

There has been a trend that quite often UPSC asks about the latest news related to Important National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries And Biodiversity Hotspots. This can be depicted from the previous year questions. Thus, in this context, knowing about the recent developments in biodiversity conservation become very important for this year's prelims.

Previous Year Questions on National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries etc.

Q. Which one of the following National Parks lies completely in the temperate alpine zone? (2019)

(a) Manas National Park

(b) Namdapha National Park

(c) Neora Valley National Park

(d) Valley of Flowers National Park


Q. Which of the following are in Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve? (2019)

(a) Neyyar, Peppara and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

(b) Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Silent Valley National Park

(c) Kaundinya, Gundla Brahmeswaram and Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Mukurthi National Park

(d) Kawal and Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve


Q. From the ecological point of view, which one of the following assumes importance in being a good link between the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats? (2017)

(a) Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve

(b) Nallamala Forest

(c) Nagarhole National Park

(d) Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve


Q. Which one of the following National Parks has a climate that varies from tropical to subtropical, temperate and arctic? (2015)

(a) Khangchendzonga National Park

(b) Nandadevi National Park

(c) Neora Valley National Park

(d) Namdapha National Park

Monsoon

Monsoon is the lifeline of Indian economy. Also, it impacts India in a way that no other physical phenomena does. Thus, it is always an important topic for the UPSC from both prelims and mains point of view. To know more about the Monsoon, its intricacies and impacts, go through below write ups/articles.

Previous Year Questions on Monsoon

Q. With reference to ‘Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)’ sometimes mentioned in the news while forecasting Indian monsoon, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2017)

  1. IOD phenomenon is characterised by a difference in sea surface temperature between tropical Western Indian Ocean and tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean.
  2. An IOD phenomenon can influence an El Nino’s impact on the monsoon.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2


Q. The seasonal reversal of winds is the typical characteristic of (2014)

(a) Equatorial climate

(b) Mediterranean climate

(c) Monsoon climate

(d) All of the above climates


Q. Consider the following statements: (2012)

  1. The duration of the monsoon decreases from southern India to northern India.
  2. The amount of annual rainfall in the northern plains of India decreases from east to west

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

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