1.) Which of the following statements about Neelakurinji is incorrect?

a. It blossoms once in twelve years with a majority in blue color.
b. It is endemic to Shola forests and found only on the slopes of the Western Ghats in India.
c. Shorter varieties occur at higher altitudes and longer at lower altitudes.
d. None of the above

Answer: B

It is also found in the Eastern Ghats. Hence option b is incorrect. Neelakurinji is a unique plant. It blooms only at an altitude above 1000 meters. It can vary anywhere from 1000 m to 2300 m. But the greater the altitude, shorter is the shrub.
It blooms once in twelve years in blue to purple color. They usually occur in the Western Ghats but also found in the Shevroys in the Eastern Ghats, some parts of Idukki in Kerala and of course, the Sandur hills of Ballari district.

2.) Which of the following are commonly found pollutant in groundwater in the Western part of India?

1. Fluoride
2. Arsenic
3. Uranium

a. 1 only
b. 1 and 3 only
c. 2 and 3 only
d. 2 only

Answer: B

Arsenic is found in the eastern part of India. Hence it is incorrect.
Fluoride contamination happens due to overexploitation of the groundwater which is the case of the western states of Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan. A recent study by Duke University has found that Uranium contamination in more than 16 states in Western India. Arsenic contamination is more prevalent in the eastern part of India in West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh among others.

3.) Consider the following statements about World Environment Day:

1. It is conducted by the Worldwide Fund for Nature.
2. The theme of the 2018 edition was ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ which was hosted by India.

Which of the above statement is/are correct?

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B

It is conducted by UNEP. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.
World Environment Day is the UN’s most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. It is conducted by the UNEP.
In 2018 the celebrations are hosted by India with the theme of Beat Plastic Pollution.
It is the Earth hour that is conducted by the Worldwide Fund For Nature.

4.) Which of the following state is proposed to turn into the first Zero Budget Natural Farming state in India?

a. Karnataka
b. Kerala
c. Andhra Pradesh
d. Madhya Pradesh

Answer: C

The Government of Andhra Pradesh has launched a scale-out plan to transition 6 million farms/farmers cultivating 8 million hectares of land from conventional synthetic chemical agriculture to Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) by 2024, making Andhra Pradesh India’s first 100 percent natural farming state. Hence option C is correct.

5.) Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a financial mechanism for which of the following international environmental conventions?

1. Minamata Convention on Mercury
2. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
3. United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD)
4. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: D

All the given international environmental conventions are financed through GEF.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF), established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, is a catalyst for action on the environment — and much more.
The GEF is A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP of 18 agencies — including United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, national entities, and international NGOs — working with 183 countries to address the world’s most challenging environmental issues.
The GEF has a large network of civil society organizations, works closely with the private sector around the world, and receives continuous inputs from an independent evaluation office and a world-class scientific panel.
It is a FINANCIAL MECHANISM for five major international environmental conventions:
the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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