UPSC Prelims Answer Key 2017 – Know the Official Answers to the Controversial Questions in Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2017

UPSC Prelims 2017 Answer KeyThe official UPSC Prelims Answer Key 2017 is now available. UPSC released the official key almost 11 months after Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2017. Prelims 2017 was conducted on June 18th, 2017.

Download UPSC Prelims Answer Key 2017

Controversy regarding UPSC CSE Prelims 2017

UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2017 had turned controversial, as many aspirants found some of the questions ambiguous and incoherent. In fact, a batch of civil services aspirants from across the country had moved the Supreme Court last year, against the questions of the Civil Services preliminary examination of 2017.

However, UPSC took the opposite stand, and no questions were dropped in General Studies Paper 1 and Paper 2. The only positive result of the Supreme Court was that UPSC has come up with “QPRep”, an Online Question Paper Representation Portal. This website link allows UPSC aspirants to file grievances against the discrepancies in UPSC question paper, within a time frame.

Know the UPSC’s Official Answers to Some of the Controversial or Ambiguous Questions in Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2017

Qn 1) With reference to the difference between the culture of Rigvedic Aryans and Indus Valley people, which of the following statements is/are correct?

ClearIAS Prelims Online Test Series
  1. Rigvedic Aryans used the coat of mail and helmet in warfare whereas the people of Indus Valley Civilization did not leave any evidence of using them.
  2. Rigvedic Aryans knew gold, silver, and copper whereas Indus Valley people knew only copper and iron.
  3. Rigvedic Aryans had domesticated the horse whereas there is no evidence of Indus Valley people having been aware of this animal.

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

Correct Answer: C. 1 and 3 only

Why did UPSC choose this answer choice (probably)?

Learning Zone: The third statement mentions that “there is no evidence of Indus Valley people having been aware of this animal.” UPSC considers this statement as correct, despite other views.

To the people of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, the horse seems to have been unknown. But many references have been made regarding Surkotada site containing horse remains dated to ca. 2000 BCE, which is considered a significant observation with respect to Indus Valley Civilisation. Sándor Bökönyi (1997), on examining the bone samples found at Surkotada, opined that at least six samples probably belonged to the true horse.

But this is not a conclusive evidence, and this does not mean that Indus Valley people were aware of Horses. On the contrary, In the lives of the Vedic-Aryans, the horse played an important part, as it did in the lives of many nations from the northern grasslands.

Those who took ClearIAS Test Series could have easily answered this question, as we had a similar question on the same topic in Mock Test Number: 115PStatement 1 is correct. For offensive weapons, the Vedic-Aryans have the bow and arrow, spear, dagger, and axe, and for defensive armour the helmet and coat of mail. The Indus people also have the bow and arrow, spear, dagger and axe, but, like the Mesopotamians and Egyptians, they have the mace as well, sometimes of stone, sometimes of metal; while on the other hand, defensive armour is quite unknown to them – a fact which must have told against them in any contest with mailed and helmeted foes.

Statement 2 is incorrect. The metals which the Indo-Aryans used in the time of the Rigveda are gold and copper or bronze; but a little late, at the time of the Yajurveda and Atharvaveda, these metals are supplemented by silver and iron. Among the Indus people, silver is commoner than gold, and utensils and vessels are sometimes made of stone – a relic of the Neolithic Age – as well as of copper and bronze. Of iron, there is no vestige.

Qn) Due to some reasons, if there is a huge fall in the population of species of butterflies, what could be its likely consequence/consequences?

  1. Pollination of some plants could be adversely affected.
  2. There could be a drastic increase in the fungal infections of some cultivated plants.
  3. It could lead to a fall in the population of some species of wasps, spiders and birds.

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

Correct Answer: C. 1 and 3 only

Why did UPSC choose this answer choice (probably)?

Learning Zone: Statement 1 is correct. Butterflies pollinate plants, but in ways different from all others. Bees are the best-known pollinators because they carry pollen over their entire bodies as they fly from flower to flower. But butterflies do their fair share of pollinating.

Statement 2 is incorrect. Fungi is just one of the foods which butterfly prefer. Similarly, butterfly is one of the agents which helps in the distribution of fungi spores. If there is a huge fall in the population of species of butterflies (which is not a specific statement), there cannot be a drastic increase in the fungal infections of some cultivated plants (“drastic increase” and “some cultivated plants” are words which are vague and extreme).

Statement 3 is correct. Since wasps, spiders and birds are predators of butterfly at some stage of its lifetime, the fall in number could also reduce others’ number.

Qn). Which of the following statements is/are true of the Fundamental Duties of an Indian citizen?

  1. A legislative process has been provided to enforce these duties.
  2. They are correlative to legal duties.

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

Correct Answer: D. Neither 1 nor 2

Why did UPSC choose this answer choice (probably)?

Learning Zone: There is no legislative “process” to enforce these duties. Fundamental duties are correlative to Fundamental Rights and not legal duties.

Qn). Consider the following in respect of ‘National Career Service’:

  1. National Career Service is an initiative of the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.
  2. National Career Service has been launched in a Mission Mode to improve the employment opportunities to uneducated youth of the country.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Correct Answer: D. Neither 1 nor 2

Why did UPSC choose this answer choice (probably)?

Learning Zone:  National Career Service (NCS) project is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Labour and Employment (India) Government of India as a Mission Mode Project for establishing quick and efficient career related services. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20 July 2015 as part of government’s focus on providing right skills and generating employment.

To state that the National Career Service was launched in a Mission Mode to improve the employment opportunities to uneducated youth of the country would not be accurate. It has wider score and meaning.

The main stakeholders for the NCS would include:

  • Unemployed candidates seeking jobs or career counselling
  • Candidates seeking vocational/occupational guidance
  • Illiterate, under-privileged sections of society, blue-collar workers seeking placements and guidance
  • Person with different abilities (PWDs), ex-servicemen, veterans / senior citizens, etc.
  • Employers seeking suitable candidates

The key success factors of NCS initiative revolve around strengthening the existing employment exchange ecosystem with an ICT enabled platform and reaching out to masses through multiple delivery channels and partnerships with existing job market players.

Qn). Which of the following practices can help in water conservation in agriculture?

  1. Reduced or zero tillage of the land
  2. Applying gypsum before irrigating the field
  3. Allowing crop residue to remain in the field

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Correct Answer: C. 1 and 3 only

Why did UPSC choose this answer choice (probably)?

Learning Zone:  Reduced tillage is any farming practice which involves fewercultivations than used in conventional fallowing.Reduced tillage systems are important for soil erosioncontrol because they:

  • reduce the effect of raindrop impact on the soil surface
  • reduce surface sealing of soils
  • increase infiltration of water into the soil

So statement 1 is correct.

Why UPSC marked the Gypsum option are wrong is still not clear to us. However, UPSC experts think that Gypsum is not known to enhance the water infiltration and water-holding capacity.
So statement 2 is wrong.

Crop residues also prevent soil compaction, allowing greater water infiltration into the soil. So statement 3 is also correct.

Qn) Right to vote and to be elected in India is a

A. Fundamental Right
B. Natural Right
C. Constitutional Right
D. Legal Right

Correct Answer: C. Constitutional Right

Why did UPSC choose this answer choice (probably)?

Learning Zone: There were wide disputes regarding this even among scholars. A retired Chief Election Commissioner had said right to vote and to be elected in India is a legal right. But UPSC in the key maintained that the answer is a Constitutional Right. Also, a recent Supreme Court bench opined that the Right to vote and to be elected in India is a constitutional right, contradicting their previous judgements.

Qn) Consider the following statements:

  1. Tax revenue as a percent of GDP of India has steadily increased in the last decade.
  2. Fiscal deficit as a percent of GDP of India has steadily increased in the last decade.

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

Correct Answer: D. Neither 1 nor 2

Why did UPSC choose this answer choice (probably)?

Learning Zone: Tax Revenue or Fiscal Deficit as a percent of GDP has not steadily increased in the last decade – there were always ups and downs. Hence the correct answer is D.

However in 1950-51, India’s tax-GDP Ratio was around 6% only. It rose to around 10% in 2010-11. In last few years, the tax-GDP Ratio has increased substantially but still India is very far from being a full tax-paying democracy. It’s worth note that only 5.5% of earning people in India pay tax while only 15.5% of the Net National Income is reported to the tax authorities. Further, at present, India has 7 taxpayers for every 100 voters ranking us 13th amongst 18 of our democratic G-20 peers. Ideally, this number should be close to 23%.

How did ClearIAS Answer Key Fared?

Well, reasonably well in a controversial year. Also our cut-off predictor graphs were close 🙂

But our keys were not 100% perfect as in 2016. In 2016, our Prelims Answer Key released soon after the exam has matched in full with the UPSC key. There were no differences then.

If questions are ambiguous or incoherent, they could be interpreted in different ways leading to different answers based on different sources (online or offline). This has resulted in answer keys of most coaching institutes differ with official UPSC key.

We will be updating ClearIAS key for the UPSC CSE Previous Year Re-Take Exam 2017 with Official UPSC key. Those aspirants who will be taking the re-take exam from now onwards will get updated solutions based on the official UPSC key. Those who attempted before, please refer this page for those few questions which differ in answer:-)

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