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Biological Science: Bio-Chemistry and Current Events

 Focus

  • Cause for ripening of fruits and how can it be delayed
  • Transplanting of seeds and advantages/disadvantages.
  • Natural Processes of animals and plants- Cell biology
  • Photosynthesis in Plants
  • Carbohydrates and Proteins- Any important aspect in news
  • Trans fats, Omega Fatty Acids etc- Focus on Properties
  • Properties of Oil and Water at different temperature and Pressure.

Note: Make sure you prepare relevant concepts without going deep. Otherwise the deeper you go the weirder life gets. Remember this Funda

Let us see previous year’s questions

Fruits stored in a cold chamber exhibit longer storage life because (2013)

(a) exposure to sunlight is prevented
(b) concentration dioxide in the is increased of carbon environment
(c) rate of respiration is decreased
(d) there is an increase in humidity

Solution: C

 

 

Many transplanted seedlings do not grow because (2013)

(a) the new soil does not contain favorable minerals
(b) most of the root hairs grip the new soil too hard
(c) most of the root hairs are lost during transplantation
(d) leaves get damaged during transplantation        

Solution: C

 

 

Note: Current affair is never ending. But it has enough content to assure that UPSC will not frame questions from sky. See these questions from recent current affairs.

 

 Recently a ban on burning of tires was making news. Consider the statement with reference to it.

1.       It cannot cause cancer.

2.       It releases SO2, CO2 and oxides of nitrogen

3.       It can result in mutation

4.       It can emit toxic aromatic hydrocarbons

Correct code/s

(a)    1 and 4

(b)   2,3 and 4

(c)    2 and 4

(d)   1,2,3 and 4

Answer: 1,2,3 and 4

 

Which among the following are ‘Nocturnal’ in nature?

1. Bat

2. Catfish

3. Kiwi

4.  Koala

 Correct Codes

(a)    1,2 and 3

(b)   1,3 and 4

(c)    1,2,3and 4

(d)   Only 1

 Answer: C

 

Consider the following plants:

1. Rhodendron

2. Rose

3.  Mulberry

4. Curry leaf Plant

Which of these plants are propagated by stem cuttings?

(a)    1 and 2

(b)   2 and 3

(c)    1, 2 and 4

(d)  1,2,3 and 4

Answer: 1,2,3 and 4

 

With reference to ‘Phyto-chemicals’, consider the following

1. These are chemical compounds, naturally occurring in plants and animals.

2. They posses antioxidant and hormone like activity.

3. They can be found in apples, tea and carrot

4. They have potential to treat cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes etc

Correct codes     

(a) 1,2 and 3

(b) 1,2 and 4

(c) 2,3 and 4

(d) 1,2,3 and 4

Answer: 2,3 and 4 

 

Biology

Focus

  • Blood group, DNA sequence, DNA related concepts like chromosome, DNA Fingerprinting, Causes for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Swine flu (H1N1)
  • Diseases in news like TB, Cholera, Foot and Mouth and Ebola etc
  • Focus on recent outbreaks of such diseases like Ebola and MERS in Guinea, Liberia & MERs in South Korea
  • Stem Cells – issues and its application.
  • Viruses and bacteria: Basics and definition, enzymes and catalysts.
  • Minerals and Vitamins etc

Note: NCERT texts and newspapers are more than enough for this.

 

A married couple adopted a male child, A few years later; twin boys were born to them. The blood group of the couple is AB positive and O negative. The blood group of the three sons is A positive, B positive, and O positive. The blood group of the adopted son is (2011)

(a) O positive
(b) A positive
(c) B positive
(d) Cannot be determined on the basis of the given data

Solution. A

Which of the following statements is / are correct? (2013)

1. Viruses lack enzymes necessary for the generation of energy.
2. Viruses can be cultured in any synthetic medium.
3. Viruses are transmitted from one organism to another by biological vectors only.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution: C 

 

 

Now check some questions from current affairs 

 

Consider the statements with reference to ‘Ebola Virus’

1. Fruit bats and animals like monkeys are natural hosts.

2. It spreads through direct contact with the blood, secretions, body fluids and aerosol transmission.

3. It can be diagnosed through electron microscopy and ELISA test only.

Correct statement is/are

(a) Only 1

(b) 1 and 2

(c) 2 and 3

(d) None

Answer: None, Monkeys are not natural host. It is Fruit bat. It does not spread through Aerosol Transmission. And, it can be diagnosed through more methods also.

 

Which of the following can be as a result of ‘Malnutrition’?

1.  Obesity

2.  Marasmus

3.  Kwashiorkar

4.  Anorexia

Correct Codes

(a)  2 and 3

(b)  2,3 and 4

(c)   1,2 and 3

(d)   1,2,3 and 4

Answer: (d)

 

‘Globally, Preterm Birth (PTB) is the single largest cause of neonatal deaths’. Consider the following statements with respect to PTB

(1)  A birth that takes place before the mother has been pregnant for 7 months construes a preterm birth.

(2)  India has the highest number of PTB worldwide.

(3)  Major reason of PTB is the lack of healthcare facilities in the country.

Identify the incorrect statement/s

(a)  Only 3

(b)  1, 2 and 3

(c)  1 and 3

(d)  1 and 2

Answer: (c )                                    

 

 

Technology: Bio-technology, IT and Communication, Space Technology and Current Events

Focus

  • Technologies in news by Indian agencies like DRDO & CSIR- Example Bio toilets are very much in news developedby DRDO and to be deployed in various parts of the country.
  • Application of these technologies- Example Bio toilets- Focus on its working and applications- Environment friendly, will assist in handling open defecation etc. Work on Bacterial decomposition, maintenance is easy & water and biogas release etc. Same way for ISRO- example GAGAN, Supercomputers etc
  • Differences between the related technologies. Difference between Near Field Communication, Wi-fi, Wi-Max and Blue-tooth – their range of frequencies
  • Latest trends in technology like CFL and LED, Blu-Ray Discs and DVD, HD , Plasma TV, Wi-fi, Wi-Max, GSM, CDMA etc.

Illustration (2011 Prelims Questions Paper)

 

What is the difference between a CFL and an LED lamp?

1. To produce light, a CFL uses mercury vapour and phosphor while an LED lamp uses semiconductor material.
2. The average life span of a CFL is much longer than that of an LED lamp.
3. A CFL is less energy-efficient as compared to an LED lamp.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution: C

 

 

Bio-Technology

Focus

  • Genetic Engineering- DNA Fingerprinting and DNA profiling etc.
  • Genetically Modified(GM) crops – Bt-Brinjal, Bt-Cotton, Golden Rice, etc –
  • Focus:
  • issues, advantages and disadvantages.
  • Regulatory Boards and Commissions set-up with regard to GM crops
  • Examples: Brinjal- What are the reasons for resistance of farmers for Bt-crops? Field trails- their advantages.

 

Few Examples from Previous Year Question Paper’s

A genetically engineered form of brinjal, known as the Bt-brinjal, has been developed. The objective of this is (2011)

(a) To make it pest-resistant
(b) To improve its taste and nutritive qualities
(c) To make it drought-resistant
(d) To make its shelf-life longer

Solution. A 

 

Recombinant DNA technology (Genetic Engineering) allows genes to be transferred (2013)

1. Across different species of plants.

2. From animals to plants.

3. From microorganisms to higher organisms.

Select the correct solution using the codes given below.

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution: A

 

 

Space and Communication Systems

Focus

  • Satellites and Orbits- Indian Remote Sensing & its applications- In Agriculture, mineral explorations, ground water measurement, sea ice, coastal monitoring and flood monitoring etc. Others like recent IRNSS systems to be used in Telecommunications. You should focus on how they differ in their approach. 
  • Recent missions like MOM, ROVER and ROSSETTA Missions.
  • Types of satellites and their functions
  • Applications and range of frequencies of bands like Ku, Ka etc

 

Few Examples from Previous Year Question Paper’s

 

Satellites used for telecommunication relay are kept in a geostationary orbit. A satellite is said to be in such an orbit when: (2011)

1. The orbit is geosynchronous.
2. The orbit is circular,
3. The orbit lies in the plane of the Earth’s equator.
4. The orbit is at an altitude of 22,236 km.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 1, 3 and 4 only
(c) 2 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2,3 and 4

Solution: A

 

 

IT and Communication Systems

Focus

  • Mobile, Telephony, Optic Fiber Communications and related concepts- Difference between 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G.
  • Programmes like National telecom Policy-2012, specific features etc
  • Technologies in news- NFC, Long Term Evolution, Internet.org
  • Issues- Net Neutrality, Internet of things, Semantic web etc

 

Networks

Focus

  • Physical and Virtual Network and related concepts like VPN, WAN, LAN, router and hub, NFC, Wi-fi, Wi-Max, Bluetooth etc.

 

 Example (2011 Prelims Questions Paper):

 

What is “Virtual Private Network”?

(a) It is a private computer network of an organization where the remote users can transmit encrypted information through the server of the organization

(b) It is a computer network across a public internet that provides users access to their organization’s network while maintaining the security of the information transmitted

(c) It is a computer network in which users can access a shared pool of computing resources through a service provider.

(d) None of the statements (a), (b) and (c) given above is a correct description of Virtual Private Network

Solution: B 

 

Note: This section can be answered if you are reading newspaper daily and would have searched internet for its basics when the word/article had appeared in the Newspaper.

Hence please don’t skip the Science & Technology article of ‘The Hindu’ every Thursday for recent developments.

 

Now, lets see how questions can be framed from Current Affairs (newspaper)

 

The term ‘Polymorphism’ is associated with

1.  Genetics

2.  Material science

3.  Computer science

Correct Codes

(a) 2 and 3

(b) Only 2

(c) 1 and 2

(d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: 1, 2 and 3

 

 

 Sources to Prepare and points to remember

  • What have you learnt from this article?
  • Do you still feel Science & Technol0gy questions are difficult to solve?
  • IASbaba does not claim to give the best strategy. The only purpose is ‘to aware you’ about time and learning process.
  • We will be updating you on everyday basis on all the aspects of UPSC Civil Services Exam.
  • In our Prelims Plan, you will get questions based on this strategy for whole Paper 1 on daily basis.
  • NCERT– Class 6th to 10th and Biology- class 12th
  • Read NCERT’S carefully and relate the concepts while reading newspapers
  • The Hindu-Thursday Edition
  • Share your thoughts about this strategy in the comment box and let us know the feedback so that we improve and learn from you. Since we believe ‘learning should Always be Two-Way’ 🙂

                                                                                                  Previous Year Questions

 

 

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