Insights Prelims Test Series – 2016: Discussions Test – 26

Insights Prelims Test Series – 2016: Discussions Test – 26

Hope you enjoyed solving the Twenty Sixth Test of our 2016 Test Series. On this page, please share your doubts to seek clarifications, or to point out any mistakes in the comment box regarding the First Test. We will do our best to address  all your doubts.

235 Replies to “Insights Prelims Test Series – 2016: Discussions Test – 26”

    1. Not explicitly. But, the constitution at several places mentions “weaker sections, including the SCs and STs”. Also, in the Directive Principles and some fundamental rights, it implicitly includes the old, disabled, women and children.

      1. Q3 – “Option (b) can’t be the answer because many constitutions provide for and aim at socio-economic justice”

        (For option b) Insights, What about abolition of Zamindari system? It was a conflict between constitutional rights and socio-economic rights;
        I couldn’t find the definition of “National rights” 🙂 (while writing the exam it did sound like a made up word! )

        For Option (c) – Imagine Pak before 1971; Bengalis didn’t have political rights, Although they were sovereign;
        (Some may argue the same about India’s Kashmir and NE, Pak’s Baluchistan, Russia’s Chechnya, Turkey’s Kurdish territories etc etc :), I chose a less controversial example. )

        BTW Exam was tough. Thanks for that and Congrats for successfully impersonating Unpredictable PSC! 😛

        1. “National Rights versus Minority Rights” was a terminology used by the UPSC itself in one of its CDS/CAPF papers. We used the same terminology to make you aware that it can/should be interpreted as Majority Rights.

          The Zamindari system is a good example of option (b), but you should understand that these are rare cases, and not the norm. It stems from the specific “Legal Right to Property” in India, but is not a general case of a democracy.

          With regards to Option (c), please understand that no nation can be formed without anyone having political rights. Political rights are not only about voting or running for public office, but start from citizenship itself. The Kurdish or Kashmiri movement is not one that is supported by the Sovereign State, as secessionism is not considered as a political or constitutional right in the national context. Therefore, there are hardly few cases of conflicts between political rights and sovereignty. One forms the basis of the other.

          It is majority versus minority rights that is often in stain and forms the basis for the deliberation of many welfare schemes, public spending, religious and cultural rights (e.g. Niyamgiri Tribal case). So, the most appropriate option among all is (a).

          1. Thanks Insights! I really appreciate time taken to explain. Very happy for that.

            Completely agree with you on Option B explanation;
            But I do disagree with you on the option C though – But hey, this is a democracy 🙂 Let us agree to disagree.
            (Sometimes we disagree with the UPSC also, not that it matters!)

            Thanks again for a well thought answer.

          2. Regarding Question 34 – could you please explain “highest/lowest replenishable ground water reserves”

            Do they refer to capacity or the existing groundwater level? Could you please elaborate a little ?

            Question 86: (Explanation) It reads as Lok Sabha’s term can be increased by six months at a time during the
            proclamation of emergency.
            It should be 1 year at a time

            Thanks team

            1. 34. Replenishable means renewable. If the groundwater reserves deplete by lets say withdrawal, rainfall and other sources can replenish (renew) the groundwater resources again, so that total availability does not reduce much.

              86. Yes, it can be extended 1 year at a time. The maximum extension period only is six months, however, when the emergency is over.

              Thank you

              1. IF A PLACE IS AFFECTED BY TIDE AT 6.00 AM MONDAY , NORMALLY AT WHAT TIME THE SAME PLACE WILL BE AFFECTED BY EBB? (A) 6:26 PM MONDAY (B) 6:52 AM TUESDAY (C) 12:13 PM MONDAY (D) 00:26 AM TUESDAY. Could you please say answer for this

                  1. How can it be 6.26 PM. I thought it’s 12:13 PM. But in some key they gave as 06:52am Tuesday . question s basically about time interval between high and low tide right ?

                    1. TIME DIFFERENCE IS 12HR 25 MIN…RIGHT?????? HALF OF CYCLE I.E. 24 HR 50 MIN
                      IF I M NOT CORRECT THEN PLZ EXPLAIN…..


  1. In 2014 Papers Test 5, Q79 on Warsaw Climate Conference, answer says ony REDD+ signed here. I think the Loss and Damage Compensation agreement is also a part of this conference. Plz Clarify

  2. @insightsprelimstestseries: Can you please help me understand what is ‘endemism’? What I gather from wikipedia is that it is a state of a specie being unique to a defined geographical location and that it is not found elsewhere. My confusion arose when I looked for endemic species of Sunderbans on wikipedia, where it claimed species like Olive Ridley turtle, Salt water crocodile, Gangetic Dolphins and some others as the endemic species of Sundarbans. But, these animals are found elsewhere too. So how are these endemic to Sunderbans?

    1. Endemism means they are found only in certain geographical areas, but there can be many geographical areas where they are declared to be endemic.

      For e.g. Olive ridley is endemic to the Pacific coasts of Mexico, Central America, and India. Even within India, 50% population of Olive Ridley sea turtles is endemic to Odisha and the rest can be found elsewhere. So, always look about all the areas where a species shows endemism. It can be more than one.

  3. Guys, I am new here. Can someone be kind enough to explain if this test series is free or paid one..?
    Because, in one of the posts, insight people have mentioned that it’s free and hence the doubt.
    Please help. Thanks much in advance!

                1. Its great that you are consistent.My score and rank usually varies considerably in every test from the start.Sometimes i get very high rank like 24 whereas in some it was out of 1000 ha ha.I am too inconsistent.

                  1. Even for me I used to score low in topic wise tests.. So i think from now onward consistency will help us gain confidence and maintain momentum. So lets be on top of it from now..whatever is gone is gone.. 🙂

  4. the explanation says ”Constitutional amendment bills require prior Presidential assent”…they dont require…pls correct..

    1. Yes Dear, constitution amendment bill do not require prior Presidential assent. We will correct it in the explanation. Thank you.

      1. Test 25
        Q. 18 , statement 2 , Does chief minister take oath under Lt. Governor only but don’t appoint CM ? As it was the case in Delhi where Kejriwal was taking oath under Najeeb jung. Please clarify.

        Test – 24
        Q. 52 , how does graphite reduce the accidental ignition by static electricity ? Graphite is conductor then how does it work here ? Please explain.

        Test 12

        The explantion says PM is member of NWRC but option 3 is incorrect. since PM is chariman of niti ayog “3” should be correct. Please clarify.

        Q. 72 the link given in explanation says ” Pedana fabric that includes those with Kalamkari designs has been recommended for the Indian Handloom Brand ” , it is just recommended , so answer should be B i.e Chettinad Cotton only. Please explain.

        Test 11

        Q.63 , explanation is saying answer is B i.e Investment expenditure but it is given D i.e Transfer Payment. Please clarify.

        Q 94, Please explain why statement 2 is incorrect ? In NCERT Macroeconomics , it is given that informal sector’s exchange are not counted in GDPs. Please explain.

        Test Series 2015
        Mock Test – 1
        Q.8 as per explanation , answer should be B . please clarify.

        Q.17 Voting is the way of accountability ? Didn’t get it. Please explain.

        Q. 78 how statement 1 is correct, Kazakhstan has world’s largest Uranium reservers not Australia. Please Clarify.

        Q.83 Answer should be C . please clarify.

        1. Test 25- Q18 – The LG only administers the oath to the LG, it is the President who appoints the CM.

          Test 24 – Q 52 – Graphite is a conductor but has lower static producing properties. To understand the mechanism of reduction of static, please see

          Test 12 – Q14. Chairman is distinct from the members of a body. It was a trap designed in the question. The given answer will be correct.

          Test 12 Q72. Yes, the point raised is correct, we had addressed it before too. We will update this in the corrigendum.

          Test 11 – Q63 – Yes, it is a typo. As clear from the explanation too, answer will be B, investment expenditure.

          94. Informal exchanges are different from the production made by informal economy. Informal economy means any firm that employs less than 10 workers and doesn’t have to abide by all labour laws of the land. All domestic produce is counted as part of GDP.

          2015 Test Series

          Test 1- Q8 – Answer will be B, instead of A, as also given in the explanation.This was mentioned in the 2015 corrigendum. We will get it uploaded soon.

          17. Voting keeps the political representatives accountable as they are answerable to the people for all their activities at the end of the 5 year period when it comes to re-election.


          83. Answer will be C, instead of B, as also given in the explanation (also given in the Corrigendum).

          Thank you 🙂

          1. Test 26
            Q. 68 Is there any one national protected area like National animal, national flower etc or all the national parks , wildlife sanctuary and biosphere come under national protected area ?

            Q.84 Can private sectors units also manufacture APIs in India ?

            1. 68. The term protected area covers all national parks, sanctuaries, biosphere reserves etc.

              84. Yes, the API is just the raw material you need to manufacture medicines. It can be manufactured by both public and private firms.

  5. Dear Team,

    I don’t know where to post my doubts as it goes unresolved. You have earlier cleared some but not all of them. I’m providing it all together for your ease, so that you can clear them.

    Mock Test 15, Q 13

    The Krishonnati Yojana is a new umbrella scheme submerging which of the following existing scheme(s)?

    1.Soil Health Card scheme
    2.Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana
    3.National Food Security Mission

    Select the correct answer using the codes below.

    A.1 and 2 only
    B.3 only
    C.2 and 3 only
    D.1, 2 and 3

    Answer Given: B

    Doubt: Krishonnati Yojana covers all three. As mentioned in India Year Book 2016 it is an umbrella scheme and it covers …. a) b) c)…. l) end in Page 90.

    So it covers all those in given in between.

    Another link as a source:

    Mock Test 11 Q 13

    Why do policymakers stress on high savings rate in the Indian economy?
    1.Investments are financed by savings.
    2.Saving discourages inflation causing consumption expenditure
    Which of the above is/are correct?
    A.1 only
    B.2 only
    C.Both 1 and 2

    Answer given : C

    Doubt: Statement 2 should be false, How does saving causes consumption expenditure. Savings results in investment expenditure.

    Mock Test 12 Q 62

    Which of the following was/were the objective(s) of the Theosophical Society?

    1.To investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man
    2.To encourage the study of comparative religion

    Answer given: Both 1 and 2

    Doubt: The justification given for Statement 1 doesn’t resonate with the answer given.

    Mock Test 13, Q 14

    The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 confers a right to the citizens to know how the taxpayer’s money is being spent by the Government. Consider the following about it.

    1.Right to Information has been given the status of a fundamental right under Article 19 of the Constitution.
    2.It applies to all States and Union Territories of India except Jammu & Kashmir.
    3.RTI includes NGOs which are substantially financed by the government.
    4.It does not cover the Judiciary.
    5.Information received in confidence from foreign Government is exempt from disclosure.

    Answer given: 1,2,3 and 5

    Doubt: As per Laxmikanth 4th Edition, Pg 7.12, Left Column: RTI comes under Article 21 of the Constituion. Please clarify

    Mock Test 9, Q 12

    With reference to Punjab Naujawan Bharat Sabha, consider the following statements:
    1.It was formed with the help of Bhagat SIngh
    2.It was anti-communalism
    3.It a left-wing association

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?

    First the options are not proper as it doesn’t include 3 option at all.

    Moreover Bhagat Singh founded it.

    Q 19 Mock Test 10

    Consider the following about crop yields in India.

    1.Crop yield of Jowar increases South of Vindhyachal as it becomes an irrigated crop there.
    2.Maize is not grown in southern states but its yield starts increasing towards central India.
    Which of the above is/are correct?

    Answer given: D (i.e. None)
    Doubt: The explanation is given about Bajra for statement 1. Whereas it is asked about Jowar in question. And thus, statement 1 should be right.

    Mock Test 1, Q 11

    Q11: South-Asia is considered a sub-continent for which of the following reasons?

    According to you, the answer includes the following option:
    “It is on a different tectonic plate from the rest of the Asian continent”

    Indian plate excludes Ladakh, Balochistan.

    So, it can’t be said that the entire South Asia lies on different plate. Please let me know if I’m wrong.

    Mock Test 1, Q12

    Q12. In 18th century India, what was the practice of ‘ijaradari’?

    Please check Bipin Chandra: History of Modern India, Page 3, Last paragraph, third last line.

    There it is mentioned ijarah is revenue-farming.
    Whereas, your answers says Auctioning of the right to collect taxes by the British to the highest bidders, which I believe is what happened in Permanent Settlement.

    Mock Test 4, Q 30
    Mica is one of the most important minerals used in electric and electronic industries due to its:

    1.Low power loss factor
    2.Breakdown at high voltage to protect circuits
    Which of the above is/are correct?

    A. 1 only
    B. 2 only
    C. Both 1 and 2
    D. None

    As per the justification, Mica has excellent di-electric strength.

    Thus, it will breakdown at high voltages and protect circuits. Hence, answer should be Both 1 and 2.

    But you’ve provided it as 1 only.

    Please help Insights!

    1. Mock Test 15, Q 13 – Yes, it includes all three, we had clarified this in some of the comments earlier too in the Test discussion page.

      Mock Test 11 Q 13 – Please read the statement as : Saving discourages “inflation-causing” consumption expenditure. If there was a comma in between inflation and causing, you should have read it the way you have done now. Do read such statements carefully.

      Mock Test 12 Q 62 – Both were the objectives. We just did not include statement 1 in the explanation. You can see here

      Mock Test 13, Q 14 – Laxmikanth interprets it wrongly. Right to seek Information should always be a part of the Freedom of Right to Speech and Expression, it cannot be linked to “Right to Life and Liberty”. You can see it here on the CIC website

      Mock Test 9, Q 12 – We could not find any such question in the Mock Test. Please let us know the exact Test number. However, it is clear that the Sabha was founded by Bhagat Singh, and it had a leftist ideology.

      Q 19 Mock Test 10 – In the explanation, it should be Jowar, instead of Bajra. Statement 1 is incorrect, now according to the explanation. Please also see the Q Source: Page 47, 12th NCERT: India, People and Economy.

      Mock Test 1, Q 11 – The Indian plate extends to Ladakh, Balochistan etc but does not include them. However, it does include parts of Southern China. But, we can still maintain that largely the Indian subcontinent is situated on a different plate. Some extensions into other geographical territories are obvious since geographical boundaries do not coincide with political boundaries, and the term Indian subcontinent is a term that is only loosely applied to South Asia. It does not exactly coincide with the political boundaries of South Asia. Statement 5 will still be maintainable.

      Mock Test 1, Q12 – The answer given by us is a general definition of Ijaradari. What NCERT and Bipoin Chandra mention was a specific form in which they were practiced for some time. In case the general definition is not in the options, choose the other one.

      Test 4, Q30: The explanation is very clear on this. Mica has excellent di-electric strength. It means that it can withstand high voltages, which is why it is used in electric circuits (i.e. it doesnot break down). So, statement 2 is wrong.

      Please try to post doubts related to previous tests in reply to any of our comments. This way we are notified by Disqus, and we will be able to attend comments soon. Thank you.

      1. Thanks a ton for the prompt reply. And also letting me know that Laxmikanth is wrong regarding RTI. Sorry for some silly doubts. Thanks for bearing it and patiently replying all of them. Really appreciate it!!

        And regarding Punjab Naujawan Sabha question, I’m searching in all the pdfs of the Mock Tests given. Surprisingly was not able to find the question. Will let you know once I find.

        1. Please let us know if any doubts are remaining. Thank you 🙂

        1. Its better to stick to the version given in CIC website which is an authoritative source. It will be Article 19. 🙂

      2. [DOUBT]

        Sorry for pointing out that the question is from Mock Test. It is actually from the Revision Plan for Prelims, Test 9 Q.12:

        With reference to Punjab Naujawan Bharat Sabha, consider the following statements:

        1.It was formed with the help of Bhagat SIngh
        2.It was anti-communalism
        3.It a left-wing association

        Which of the above statements is/are correct?

        Answer given: Neither 1 and 2

        Doubt:First the options are not proper as it doesn’t include 3 option at all.
        Moreover Bhagat Singh founded it.

      3. Dear Insights,
        Please provide corrections in pdf for remaining tests…..It is already too late…plz reply

    1. Well I had the same feeling.This looked too tough and i got only 88.67,whereas it was 121.33 and 108 in the previous tests but my ranking is also very low this time,which indicates most of them have managed to fare well and get high marks in this test too.ha ha my hopes for prelims were crashed when i finished this test.

      1. This was a tough one!!! The questions were designed in such a way that people would go ahead and take risks. Insights did a good job in churning out this one 😀 Hats off to the paper setters!

  6. How much you guyss scored in this test? To me it was more than “Moderately Difficult” level of a test. I was like, M solving some physics questions!! too much application of mind… Thanks Insights for this flavor in between down the line 😀

  7. Sir ,
    Top exports from India is gems and precious stones 2nd highest is textiles and allied sector
    And 3rd is petroleum
    Source Eco survey volume 2 page 68

    1. Dear, Economic survey clearly mentions (page 67, Vol II), ” Petroleum, crude and products occupy top position among the top eight export sectors with an 18.3 per cent”. Share of gems and jewellery exports is 13.3 per cent in 2014-15.

      The data for 2015-16 (Page 68, Vol II) shows greater exports for Gems and Jewellery Sector as it is only from April-December, and not the full financial year. 🙂

  8. In 2014 Test 6 Q16, its given “Inelasticity in household spending” will help stabilize the economy in periods of slump in growth. Kindly explain how exactly its working

    1. Inelastic demand for a product means the demand for the product doesn’t get affected much by a change in price (e.g. salt). A large part of the household spending is inelastic, i.e. doesn’t change much with the change in prices of goods. It is this spending that doesn’t reduce during growth slump periods and keeps the economy going.

    I have joined prelims online test series on Mar 19th’2016.

    Username: Sugirtha K
    Payment was made on 22nd Mar and I even attended 2 tests also.
    But now when i login, I am unable to view any tests and the following message is getting displayed.

    “Please complete the payment process to activate the account”

    Though my account is active and payment is also done, I am getting this message. only email id is provided, no contact number.



    1. Send a mail with your problem on “”…
      Don’t worry, they will solve this issue… I have also faced this issue before some days ago…

  10. Sir in Q81 you have provided explanation as nabard regulates mfi’s isn’t it rbi who regulates mfi’s?

    Q85 statement 1 also not clear why evaporation in ocean leads to subsidence on the continent

    1. 81. There is some confusion in official circles regarding the regulation of MFIs. We will clarify this in a comment / corrigendum above.

      85. Sea-land air movement occurs due to difference in their temperature (and hence pressure). In normal circumstances, moisture laden ocean breeze would travel from the ocean to land. But, due to global warming, temperatures rise and the moisture-laden winds instead move upwards (rather than going to land).

      Even the land gets heated and attracts ocean winds. But, this time the winds are dry (the movement of which is referred as subsidence) resulting in scarcity of rainfall over land.

      1. came across question 40 in test 5 during revision, how is diplomatic and military power shared between centre and states. I think Statement 4 and 5 is wrong .
        Thank you 🙂

        1. For e.g. Centre is in charge of military forces. Also, Article 355 gives Centre the responsibility to secure states from external aggression.

          On the other hand, states can make use of armed forces in case of riots, emergencies, disasters. The DM of a District has the power to request the armed forces for assistance.

          About diplomatic powers, both Centre and States can engage in agreements with foreign nations, companies, entities independently (e.g. Maharashtra calling on US representatives and investors). Where the Central diplomatic powers are binding on the states, states’s diplomacy is not binding on the Centre.

          1. hello sir,
            i did not understood the concept of equitorial westerlies? can you elaborate it please?

  11. Q3 In a multi-cultural democracy which of the following are generally in strain?
    Answer given is Option A- National rights vs Minority Rights

    In this context . Could you please explain National Rights .

    As I have understood it , National Rights is nothing but rights of the nation which is already present in the constitution which also takes care of the minority rights.

    I feel the correct option would have been Majoritarianism vs Minority Rights which was not provided.

    And among the options given , I felt the appropriate option is Option D – Populism versus Political Rights.

    1. “National Rights versus Minority Rights” was a terminology used by the UPSC itself in one of its CDS/CAPF papers. We used the same terminology to make you aware that it can/should be interpreted as Majority Rights.

      Please give your reasoning for the correctness of option (d), we will be able to clear the doubt. 🙂

      1. Thank you for the reply.

        With respect to Populism vs Political Rights

        Populism refers to political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the majority of the ordinary people in their struggle against the minority privileged elite .
        Recently many forms of Populism have been defined such a right wing populism which indicates to majoritarianism .
        For Eg : Right Wing populism in Europe is against immigration from the Middle East .

        Political Rights – Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations, and private individuals. They ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the society and state without discrimination or repression.
        Here the Political Rights of the Minority is being encroached upon by the majority. For Ex: Ban of Burqa in France.

        This was the reasoning for the option d – Populism vs Political Rights

        Could you please mention the question paper from which the term National Rights vs Minority Rights was taken from.

        I could not find the meaning of National Rights in the context of Majority Rights.

        Could please refer a source for it.

  12. Too low score 🙁
    Was enthusiastic after yest’s motivational article but now All hopes gone!!!

    1. The options were close and tricky …Don’t worry..It would be better in the real one (because hopefully we wont repeat the mistakes done here ) 🙂

    2. don’t loose hope..but take it as a challenge..and its always better to do all sort of mistakes in the mock test…i too felt that test was bit tougher than last two ones…

  13. Dear Insight
    Regarding Q 56
    The Ministry of Rural Development consists of two Departments
    (i) Department of Rural Development (ii) Dept. of Land Resources
    This link says Govt want to merge Ministry Of Panchayati Raj with MORD
    and The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, formerly under the Ministry of Rural Development as Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation
    Kindly Explain @insightsprelimstestseries:disqus

      1. Sir….. I want to get the soft copies of all the question papers of your test series 2016 along with answerr keys. Is it possible… If yes please guide how…. Mine email id is……. Please do reply

          1. Hello Insights

            Is Koeppen’s scheme of climactic classification important for prelims ?

            1. Yes, you should at least once skim through it. Please do not go into too much of detail. A basic understanding would do. 🙂

      2. The link may be there only because they were erstwhile departments in MoRD. But as of now they are independent ministries and not departments under MoRD.
        So none of these was the correct option sir.

  14. @Insights Prelims Test Series: what is the good score in this test based on the level of difficulty.

    1. 90-95+ is a good score in this test considering its difficulty. As we have commented before too, any score consistently above 80 -85 is decent and with hard work, proper revision of all Insights Mock tests and the syllabus will fetch success in UPSC Prelims. 🙂

  15. @insightsprelimstestseries:disqus

    Dear Insights,
    I have been taking all the tests but I am not happy with my performance. I have scored above 100 only once in test 24. In this test it was 98.67. Can you please tell me what is a decent score in this test so that I can assess my position? Thank you.

    1. 90-95+ is a good score in this test considering its difficulty. As we have commented before too, any score consistently above 80 -85 is decent and with hard work, proper revision of all Insights Mock tests and the syllabus will fetch success in UPSC Prelims. All the best! 🙂

    1. The question had two parts, “Central Asian countries that are land-locked” OR the ones that “do not have any coasts”. Only option (b) fits the criteria. Uzbekistan has a coast.

      1. Sir kindly provide the Clarification/Error for tests 11 onwards. Urgently required. thanks.

        1. Dear Insight,
          Qst.98 Test 26, how come large catchment area lead to floods .For floods heavy rainfall + Less catchment area will lead to floods ..?? also pls reply my query for qst 90 & 91 as posted above

          1. Large catchment area with high rainfall would mean — more accumulation of water — to be flown in a defined river basin — creating more pressure on the basin to hold the water — eventually leading to floods. Smaller/lesser catchment area with high rainfall would mean — lesser water accumulation — relatively lesser pressure on river to hold water — lesser chances of flooding in that river. In smaller catchment area case, the rainfall that falls on the area other than the catchment area (it’s on a mountain/hill) would flow in other direction or basin. So that extra water would be diverted to other areas rather than flooding the same river and area surrounding it.

      2. @insightsprelimstestseries:disqus : If Kyrgyzstan fits the criteria, Uzbekistan equally fits the criteria. Both the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan and Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan are lakes. Further, both the countries are land locked. So, both these countries equally fit the criteria. See:

        Further, Caspian sea too, being considered a closed sea or a lake, renders even Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan as landlocked countries. The fundamental argument is that if all these lakes (Caspian and Aral) provide a coast to these countries, then even Issyk Kul provides its coast to Kyrgyzstan OR, if even after having a lake like Issyk Kul, Karygyzstan is to be considered a land locked country, then all the others too can be considered land locked countries.

      3. Aral Sea is not regarded as a sea as such, but a lake. (so is the case with Caspian Sea, also, it has no natural connection with any of the major seas) So, technically it cannot be called as having a sea cost. In this context both Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are correct.
        Correct me please?

        1. Wikipedia list all the four options as land locked countries, as even Caspian sea is a lake. So, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan both surround Caspian Sea, a closed inland water body. Uzbekistan surrounds Aral sea. Kyrgyzstan has its own inland water body- Issyk Kul. All four of them surround inland water bodies and none surround sea/ocean.

  16. Can someone please clarify how inflation benefits borrowers and is bad for creditors?

    1. Inflation can benefit either the lender or the borrower, depending on the
      circumstances. If wages increase with inflation, and if the borrower
      already owed the money before the inflation occurred, the inflation
      benefits the borrower. This is because the borrower still owes the same
      amount of money, but now he or she has more money in his or her paycheck
      to pay off the debt This results in less interest for the lender if the
      borrower uses the extra money to pay his or her debt.

  17. @ insightsprelimstestseries :
    Dear Sir,
    Pls specify the page no of NCERTs if possible from where the question was framed.
    Sometimes it is difficult to understand the answer jst from answer sheet especially Geography questions.
    Thank you.

  18. Could someone kindly help me with a dilemma?

    I don’t know whether I should supplement Insights test series 2016 with their 2015 test series, or another test series from some other coaching centre? Is there a need to do the latter?

    Anybody who can help me take this decision?
    Thank you!

    1. 2015 Test Series is important and you should definitely do it, if time permits. But, if there is scarcity of time, 2016 Test Series will do. 🙂

    1. Nope , Thar desert lies on west side of Aravalli range. Hence rainshadow of bengal branch and parallel to arabian branch.. na ghar ka ghat ka… band baj gaya Thar ka !!!

  19. Insights

    Q 85 : For statement 1 you say that subsidence of dry air occurs on the subcontinent

    1) Can you please explain dry air from where? Need more elaborate explaination

    2) What happens to air which moves upwards?

    3) if temp increases there is also a possibility of developing cyclones which might affect the rainfall

    PLease explain. I hope you reply before Aug 7 :

    1. 1) and 2) – In normal circumstances, moisture laden ocean breeze would travel from the ocean to land. But, due to global warming, relative sea temperatures rise (and low pressure regions are created over the ocean). More and more moisture-laden winds then move upwards, form clouds (rather than going to land) and cause more rainfall over the ocean than at land.

      Although even the land gets heated and attracts ocean winds, but, the winds are relatively drier than before (the movement of which is referred as subsidence) resulting in scarcity of rainfall over land.

      3) Cyclones are already formed in the Indian ocean. Growing ocean temperatures, their impact on cyclones and rainfall are surely connected. But, the exact outcome will be dependent on many other factors and more fit to be studied by metrologists than generalists.

  20. Test Series 2015 :

    Test 31
    Q no 21 . All three statements are correct . Are’nt they ?
    Q no 86 .Time zone depends on latitude or longitude? I remember one test in Testseries 2016 saying longitude, here it says latitude …Pls help

    1. 21. Yes, all three are correct.

      86. Please see the corrigendum for 2016. It is longitude that affects time zones, which decides the relative position of a place as Sun apparently moves from East to West.

  21. Acc to the recommendations of the FFC , the center would now devolve 42% from its divisible pool to states ….What does this mean ?
    Does this mean that 42 % of the taxes accrued by the union would now be distributed among states ?

    1. I think 42% of the total share of tax of Union will go to states. You can also view this image to understand the meaning of divisible pool (source: 14th FFC report). I hope this will help 🙂

  22. Hi everyone, this is not related to the test.
    Has anyone seen the CAPF 2016 paper (held on 26th June) yet? If yes kindly post the relevant link. I am unable to find it on the upsc website.
    Insights, it would be great if you could help on this one.

  23. Dear Insights,
    In Q. 7, the question asked which of the following “countries” have conducted referrendums. Technically. Scotland is not a country. So shouldnt we exclude it in our answer?

    1. We should have made the language clearer by adding countries or regions. If, however, UPSC asks such a question with the specific keyword “nation”, Scotland would not be an answer.

  24. Q36. The solution says mayaram committee considered non repatriable NRI investments as fdi…
    Was tht accepted..i mean there r many consideration by various committees…only the one’s accepted has to be noted ryt??

      1. Dear Insights,
        I am a bit confused. The above link clearly says that non-repatriable investments by NRIs will be treated as domestic investments.(and not FDI). Can you pls clarify?

      2. B is wrong ……. NRI/OCI investment would be domestic investment not FDI.

        The decision that NRI includes OCI cardholders as well as PIO cardholders is meant to align the FDI policy with the stated policy of the Government to provide PIOs and OCIs parity with Non Resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of economic, financial and educational fields.

        Further the decision that NRIs investment under Schedule 4 of FEMA Regulations will be deemed to be domestic investment made by residents, is meant to provide clarity in the FDI policy as such investment is not included in the category of foreign investment.

        The measure is expected to result in increased investments across sectors and greater inflow of foreign exchange remittance leading to economic growth of the country.

        Also :

  25. Dear Sir

    Q16. About point 3. I think telecom tower could be replaced (for internet connectivity) as ‘data is transmitted using regular, visible light’ which is being transferred through electric cables installed with LEDs.

    Q33. How does “The soil also uptakes carbon dioxide and stores it” last line of explanation. though soil is a carbon sink but how does it directly take CO2 from atmosphere?

    Q56. Ministry of Panchayati Raj is still a separate ministry in central government. there is a proposal for making it a dept under MoRD, but yet not approved. though MoRD website shows it under the tab of ‘department’ but how can one ministry could contain another ministry.
    Latest news in the hindu:
    Even there is no news about Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation going under MoRD. As per India Year Book (IYB) – 2016, it says Department of Drinking Water Supply (DDWS) was uplifted to Ministry status in 2011.
    I think MoRD website is not updated, because both the links of above said ministry are directing to separate website of Ministries.
    Please check this site as well:
    it says the same.
    Please clarify

    Also adding some queries of Last test (Test 25)

    Q17. Point D: “Promote a protective environment for Girl Children by implementing of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012” could also be the answer as it is not monitorable.

    Q25. There are ‘Seven’ natural WHS in India. Newly added Great HImalayan National Park (2014)

    Q55. Statement 2: The Parliament can increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court by an ‘amendment of the constitution’ with a simple majority in the Parliament.
    It does not need amendment in constitution. hence statement must be wrong.

    Thank you

    1. 16. Li-Fi is a very short range technology, and light fluctuations that transfer data are highly subtle, fast and sensitive. There will be a lot of obstruction in using them practically in the telecom towers.

      33. One of the mechanisms is via plants and their roots. Plants intake CO2 and through roots it is transferred to the soil. Also, the remains of the dead are consumed by the soil and its microbes.

      56. Please do not rely on GoI web directory. It is not always updated. Moreover, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation both were separate Ministry before few years ago. If there was no merger, the MoRD would not have added them to the department list. It is the official site of the Ministry. Departmental change is a major issue, and will surely be updated on their website. A common Minister is heading all these Ministries, which may not tell if the Ministries are merged, but does given an indication in the present scheme of things. If UPSC frames a question on this, they would certainly rely on the MoRD website.

      Test 25

      17. It is a target that will be monitored under the scheme. Please see

      25. Yes, it will be seven. The MoEF official website (from where the explanation has been taken) doesn’t seem to have been updated for long.

      55. Actually Statement 2 clearly implies what you are saying, “by an amendment of the constitution with a simple majority in the Parliament”. However, these are not deemed as constitutional amendments for the “purpose of Article 368”.

      1. Thank you sir for replying…

        Q16. That means telecom tower towers could be replaced – as there will be lot of obstruction in using them practically in the telecom towers. hence Point 3 should be correct.

        Q56. Sir after recent changes in ministers, MoRD has updated its website in which it clearly states that “The Ministry now consist of two Departments Department of Rural Development and Department of Land Resources” along with changing the name of new Cabinet Minister which has been given portfolio under all the three ministries viz. Ministry of Rural Development; Ministry of Panchayati Raj; and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
        I think this says all.

      2. With regards to Question 56,I think your explanation is without logic and present factual situation.Pachayati raj ministry is still a ministry.ONLY debate and thinking is going on to merge it.If it would have been done,IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A BIG NEWS as it is significant issue.

  26. Can someone please help me here? What should be the answer? It is from Test 17 Q 51.

    The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act does NOT apply to the
    states of
    1. Jammu & Kashmir
    2. Nagaland
    3. Mizoram
    4. Assam
    5. Arunachal Pradesh
    Select the correct answer using the codes below.
    a) 1, 2 and 3 only
    b) 2, 3 and 5 only
    c) 1, 3, 4 and 5 only
    d) 1, 2, 4 and 5 only

    1. (a).The 73rd amdmt is not applicable to the states of J&K , Meghalaya , Nagaland an Mizoram for their special status and the presence of an existing tribal councils body

      1. Can you please tell me the chapter in which this information is given in polity Laxmikant. I could not find it.

  27. Please clarify the below doubt.

    “Laxmikant says that NCSC also looks into the matters of OBC and Anglo Indians. If there is a separate national commission for backward class then why NCSC deals with OBC????

    1. This is from the official website of the NCBC.

      “National Commission for Backward Classes receives a number of representations from the persons belonging to backward classes on various issues like discrimination faced by them, non implementation of reservation rules by authorities etc. It may be noted that National Commission for Backward Classes has not yet been empowered to look into the grievances of persons of Other Backward Classes. Under Article 338(5) read with Article 338(10) of the Constitution, National Commission for Scheduled Castes is the competent authority to look into all the grievances, rights and safeguards relating to Backward Classes.”

  28. What would be the IST when it is noon at the international Date Line , the condition being that the rotation of the earth is reversed i.e. from East to West ? (CSP 1997 )

    1. It will be 18:30 hrs same day.

      Let us deduce it logically.

      India is located to the West of IDL, considering the direction of rotation of earth. So, the time at IDL (eastern side) will be ahead of India. India is located +5:30 to prime meridian time, and IDL (east) is exactly +12:00 hrs ahead of prime meridian time.

      By subtracting (12-5.30), we know that Indian time is behind IDL by around +6:30 hrs.

      Now, even if the direction of earth’s rotation were to change, the quantum of difference would remain the same (6:30 hrs), but now India would move ahead in time of IDL (as Sun will apparently move from West to East). So, the time at India when it is noon at IDL would be evening 18:30 hrs. 🙂

  29. @@insightsprelimstestseries:disqus
    In question no. 19 : Explanation is given as Constitutional amendment bills require prior Presidential assent. But I have read that it do not require the prior assent…….????

    1. Yes, constitutional amendment bill does not require President’s assent for introduction. The text is misplaced in the question.Thank you.

  30. Dear Team,
    Test 26_question 19
    pls explain: from (Laxmikanth vol 4 page 22.20 )
    financial bill (1) can be rejected or amended by RS (except that an amendment OTHER THAN for reduction or abolition of a tax cannot be moved in either house without the recommendation of president)

    my understanding >>> amendment for reduction or abolition of tax CAN be introduced WITHOUT recommendation of president.
    So option C also will be correct along with option A

    Also Constitutional amendment bill DOES NOT require prior permission of President >> Laxmikanth Chp 10

    1. Yes, constitutional amendment bill does not require President’s assent for introduction. The text is misplaced in the question.

      About Option (c): The definition of a money bill includes, “The imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax”.

      Any bill that seeks mainly to reduce or abolish a tax automatically becomes a money bill and will require the prior consent of the President.

      The language used by Laxmikanth is a bit ambiguous.

      Also, a financial bill (II) contains provisions involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, but does not include any of the matters mentioned in Article 110. It is treated as an ordinary bill and it is this bill that does not require the prior consideration of the President.

      Please stick to the version in the solution.

      1. The answer for Q 19 should be B, right.. Boundaries can be altered by the Parliament by a simple majority.. there is no involvement of the president prior to the legislation… please clarify!

        1. When altering the boundaries also leads to loss or significant amount of territory, it can be done only by a Special majority. For e.g the India-Bangladesh Land Agreement.

          President’s prior consent is not required if it is a constitutional amendment bill.

          Otherwise, it can be done by a simple majority in the Parliament.

          1. Thank you!.. Hadn’t considered the Indo – Bangladesh LBA scenario.. Was thinking on the lines of the formation of Telangana when I initially read the question

  31. INSIGHTS please help.
    1 Are parliamentary privileges extend to vice president(Chairman of RS). He is not a member of either house of the parliament. Laxmikant only mentions about President(Dont enjoy) and Attorney general who without being member too enjoy these.

    2 Which is INDIA’s fastest supercomputer.

  32. There is a difference in “increases output per labour per unit land” AND “increase agricultural productivity per unit land in India”. To increase productivity per unit land mechanization is not required. And infact India’s per unit productivity is higher then that of US who is a user of more capital investor then India.
    TEST 8 Question 3

  33. Q57: This is the old theory related to the genesis of equatorial westerlies.
    According to your explanation,had this been the case,speed of equatorial westerlies would have to be equal to trade winds. But empirically found,these westerlies are feeble winds.
    Recent theory says that these westerlies are the pushed winds in the direction of earth rotation due to formation of low pressure pockets (because of convergence of NE and SE trade winds) within the ITCZ.

    Q72. Unclear statement 4.Does the criminal matter also dealt by this village council. Doesn’t court have any jurisdiction over them?

  34. q35 : Questoin on Groundwater :

    –If Maharashtra is self sufficient in GW , then why do experts advise to shift from water intensive crops like sugarcane ?
    –Alluvial cover is mainly dominated on the eastern coast of India and Laterite on the west.So how is the statement :

    “3. Coastal regions are usually rich in groundwater owing to the largely alluvial terrain.” valid ?

  35. Can someone please explain how increasing ocean temperature will decrease in phytoplankton activity ? The reason given is that warmer the water at surface lesser will be mixing with nutrient rich water?

    Isn’t it that since water at surface is more warm , it should mix more with the colder water at the bottom? I am referring to Q85.

  36. Wrong Result published for Test 26. Some people addition to the already present list of test 25 !! Not sure how serious you are! Check below. I am writing here because I had the worst experience in getting reply for email .

  37. dear insight,question 31 5th statement:gems are top exports of india in financial year 2015,according to the recent budget reports.please clarify it.

  38. Dear Insights :
    Could you explain or provide source for understanding ‘ EQUATORIAL WESTERLIES ‘. I couldn’t get how westerly winds develop within Equatorial trough

    1. Check goh chen long mediterranean climate. Itcz shifts and so do the wind belts but equator is static.

    1. I got 115.33 in this…in others i usually get around 140-50….so i guess this was a tough one and a score around 110-20 will be good

    1. It is in the downloads section.

      Please try clearing the cache, cookies or changing the browser/device. Others are able to download it.

      Thank you.

  39. Whats the source of this question?

    q. 77. The Rajataringini by Kalhan is a
    A. Sanskrit account of the various monarchies of Kashmir
    I am not able to find this term in the book Our Pasts I

  40. We will be addressing all the doubts by 16th July afternoon.

    Thank you.

  41. People r scoring 197.33.
    The greatest mystery is the missing 2.67 marks

  42. q- 61 regarding nalanda uni,
    in explanation itself it is given that students were not housed at teacher’s house . so statement 2 is correct
    clarify INSIGHTS

  43. q-81 RBI regulated MFIs registered as NBFIs (NON Banking FIs) with it . It’s being propoed to make NABARD its as regulator.

  44. q-61 explanation says students were not housed with teachers , so st-2 is correct , Clarify

    1. Please read the 2nd statement and solution carefully. Statement 2 is wrong. 🙂

    1. The NABARD Websites seems to suggest that it regulates all cooperative banks. But, Urban Cooperative Banks come under the regulatory domain of State governments and RBI. Thank you. We will update this.

      1. q 34- how the statement 3 is correct?coastal regions are usually rich in gw owing to alluvial come alluvial in coastal regions??

        1. Why not! River in its later stage has the depositional function, i.e., because of the plain areas before coasts, the river starts depositing its load in the form of alluvium. This then forms the deltas at the mouth of rivers. So, the delta are formed of alluvial soil that the river brings and deposits before meeting the sea.

          1. As per my understanding the structural topography is altogether very different for coastal areas i.e. basically peninsular India. Correct me if i am wrong.

            1. No, it’s like every river, when it flows through its basin, it does weather and erode the basin. The amount of erosion depends upon the type of basin. As you have rightly pointed out, the peninsular India is hilly and hard rock topography, but even then rivers do erode it. You know that on the eastern side, there is Eastern coastal plains, created by the east flowing rivers, like Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, etc. These plains and the subsequent deltas that are formed of these rivers are alluvial plains.

              Similarly, the west flowing rivers, like Narmada, Tapi too are erosional. However, the amount of erosion by west flowing rivers is lesser due to the topography, because of which these rivers form estuaries. Now, these estuaries are nothing but like submerged forms of alluvial delta, which are submerged due to the low sediment quantity these rivers bring to the sea. The sea takes the lesser alluvium before it can settle to form delta.

              So, even though the topography of the peninsular India affects the amount of alluvium the rivers bring, but they still form alluvial tracts, more prominently on the eastern side.

              1. B’ful explaination but is it that the coastal areas of KN ,KL TN are also dominated by allluvial tract ? Thanks for bearing with me 🙂

                  1. Oh yes. Thanks a lot. I didn’t come across this alluvial stuff before. All the very best for the exam buddy (y)

        2. Rivers deposit sediments forming large deltas only near coastal regions. Rich alluvial soils can be found near coastal areas.

      2. q68 statement 3?? national protected area is bhitarkanika? like how to approach this statement? It is a national park, a protected area.

        1. Protected Areas are a general category which subsumes National Parks, Biosphere Reserves, Sanctuaries etc.

          1. them statement 3 (q 68 ) should be correct isn’t? Answer given is only 2(b) but the answer should be c.

  45. 80. What is the difference between tropical Savannah and sub- tropical Sudan type of climate? Thanks

  46. First time i scored more than 100 marks in test no 24 my marks 106 , i think that test was very easy.

  47. In Q 13, Isn’t statement 3 correct??

    And in Q 14, Statement 1 talks about freely available oxygen, so how can we consider silicates and oxides as they are compounds? I think St 1 is correct as well.. please clarify

  48. Hello Friends,
    Scored 98 marks after attempting 93 questions. Around 33 questions were wrong.
    Is it ok to attempt so many questions ? I think my accuracy leaves much to be desired.
    I have been scoring around 98-110 in full length tests and attempted 90+ questions in all of them.
    Any suggestion for me ?

  49. Dear Insight’
    there in question no 19. both option A and B are beyond the scope of article 368..???
    Please reply why A is answer..!!!!!

    1. The question does not ask about constitutional amendment bills, but any ordinary bill that does not require the prior permission of the President for introduction. Please see carefully.

  50. Clarifications for Test 26

    16. Li-Fi is a very short range technology, and light fluctuations that transfer data are highly subtle, fast and sensitive. There will be a lot of obstruction in using them practically in the telecom towers.

    19. Constitutional amendment bills do not require the prior permission of the President for introduction. Also, Article 110 of the Constitution deals with the definition of money bills. It states that a bill is deemed to be a money bill if it contains ‘only’ provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters (inter alia) the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax. So, clearly option (c) requires prior Presidential assent as it becomes a money bill (please add the word ‘only’ to option (c) )

    36. We have revised the Statement 2 of the question to read “Non-repatriable NRI investment is now considered as domestic investment.” This is a correct statement and now as per the revised statement answer will be option (b).

    The Mayaram committee recommended treating non-repatriable (that which is not taken abroad) NRI investment as domestic investments. They were being treated as FDI earlier.

    The Union Cabinet recently approved the review of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy on investments by Non-Resident Indians
    (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs). Their non-repatriable investments will now be considered as domestic investments.

    56. There is a proposal that the Ministry of Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation (which are separate ministries now) to be merged under the MoRD. But, the MoRD (even now) displays them as departments under it (despite the change being made official). Moreover, a common Minister is heading these departments/ministries.

    Looking at this ambiguity we withdraw the two statements 1 and 2.

    75. Co-operative banks have a three tier structure — primary (agriculture or urban) credit societies, district central co-operative banks and at the apex level, state co-operative banks. Urban Cooperative Banks come under the regulatory domain of State governments and RBI. Others are regulated by NABARD.

    81. MFI regulation status is not very clear in India. See,

    Unless the proposed reforms are implemented, we should be taking the regulator as the RBI.

    1. Please include the correction in Question no. 83 too in the above clarification/corrigendum. The option D, though shown as correct, is incorrect. The explanation supports this correction. The correct option would be B.

    2. Which one are we supposed to refer to, the one on top or your solutions in the comments. Would be really helpful and less confusing if everything was mentioned in one doc and not changed again in comments, as I am not sure we all scroll down to check all comments. Thank you Insights! It is a good revision of your paid service.

      1. Yes, “Strategic partner”, “major partner” etc are diplomatic terminologies with very different connotations. A strategic partner is more deeply integrated with the host state than a major partner.

        1. Hello Insights,
          For Q22 – Shouldnt A,B,C be the answer?? because isn’t strip cropping practicised on plain vast lands???

    3. Q.30) Option D – Issue of advertisement at the cost of public exchequer in media to further the
      interest of a particular political party should be avoided during elections. – is part of MCC as per question and explanation.

      But, I found this on ECI website – seems contrasting –

      “Each National and State party shall be allotted time for telecasts over Doordarshan(DD) and broadcasts on All India Radio (AIR)”

      This clearly means the political parties are allowed to use Govt-owned media while election campaigning, which are run at the cost of public exchequer.

      Please explain !

      1. Yes, political parties are allowed advertisement at the cost of public money. But, this applies to all recognized political parties without discrimination.

        What the MCC prohibits is discriminatory advertising. Suppose the present NDA government starts using more and more public money to show its good work on TV (especially when state elections are nearing), it is allegedly misusing the public money.

        This is prohibited by MCC so that the party in “power” does not misuse public funds.

  51. Question No.43
    In key it is given b as right answer.
    But explanation is correct C is right answer.

  52. qst 90 of Test-26 is wrong it should be Fundamental rights instead of Constitutional right.Its provided under article 300A but not under F.R

    1. The question is correct. The explanation erroneously mentioned that right to property has been stripped off from its status of being a constitutional right. Else the question is correct.

  53. Dear Insight,
    Qst 91 of Test 26, says species richness lead to Biodiversity but i think it should be Species Evenness that lead to Biodiversity in a particular place Richness is just counting of species so one species can be any number without diversity….??

    1. Species evenness is a step further, but species richness is an important primary step to ensure biodiversity. The role of species richness in biodiversity cannot be discounted howsoever more preferable species evenness may be.

  54. Q3. Your explanation itself says option D is against each other. I think option D would be an equally good answer. Insights, any corrections here?

  55. Q43. Should this be a&c? “The rugged terrain and adverse climatic conditions make exploration of minerals difficult and costly, but it can’t be a reason for lack of mineral resources. So, (a) and (b) are wrong.”

  56. @@insightsprelimstestseries:disqus In Q.21 Nash Equilibrium, Why not the answer is option D : Rational decision-making in a competitive scenario.
    Also when are you publishing corrigendum for test 21 onward ? It is getting too late, I am afraid.

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