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Anthropology Civil Services Paper 1 Section- B, Questions 5,6_ Solutions



5. (a) Balanced and transient genetic polymorphism.

Genetic polymorphism refers to the presence of multiple forms or variations of a gene or DNA sequence in a population. Balanced genetic polymorphism occurs when the different variants of a gene are maintained at relatively stable frequencies over time. On the other hand, transient genetic polymorphism occurs when the frequencies of different gene variants fluctuate over time, and eventually, one variant becomes fixed in the population while others are lost.

Balanced polymorphism can arise through different mechanisms, including heterozygote advantage and frequency-dependent selection. Heterozygote advantage occurs when individuals who carry two different variants of a gene have higher fitness than those who carry two copies of the same variant. For example, in sickle cell anemia, individuals who are heterozygous for the sickle cell gene have some resistance to malaria, while individuals who are homozygous for the sickle cell gene may have severe anemia. Therefore, both sickle cell and normal hemoglobin genes are maintained in populations where malaria is prevalent.

Frequency-dependent selection occurs when the fitness of a particular gene variant depends on its frequency in the population. For example, in some species of fish, the frequency of different color morphs is maintained at a stable level because the fitness of a particular morph depends on the frequency of other morphs. If one morph becomes too common, it may become more vulnerable to predators, leading to a decrease in fitness.

Transient polymorphism can occur when a new mutation arises in a population, or when a population undergoes a bottleneck or founder effect. Bottleneck and founder effects reduce genetic diversity in a population, which can lead to the loss of some gene variants and the increase in the frequency of others.

In summary, balanced genetic polymorphism is when different gene variants are maintained at relatively stable frequencies over time, while transient genetic polymorphism is when the frequencies of different gene variants fluctuate over time, and eventually, one variant becomes fixed in the population while others are lost. The maintenance of balanced polymorphism can be explained by mechanisms such as heterozygote advantage and frequency-dependent selection, while transient polymorphism can arise through mutation, bottleneck, or founder effects. 5. (b) Genetic imprinting in human diseases.

Answer- Genetic imprinting refers to a phenomenon where certain genes are expressed in a parent-of-origin-specific manner. In other words, the expression of these genes depends on whether they are inherited from the mother or the father. This occurs due to epigenetic modifications that occur during gametogenesis, where certain regions of DNA are marked with chemical modifications that can alter gene expression. Genetic imprinting has been implicated in a variety of human diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders. Some examples of diseases that are associated with genetic imprinting include:

  1. Prader-Willi syndrome: This is a rare genetic disorder that is caused by the loss of genetic material on the paternal chromosome 15. It is characterized by obesity, intellectual disability, and hypogonadism.

  2. Angelman syndrome: This is another rare genetic disorder that is caused by the loss of genetic material on the maternal chromosome 15. It is characterized by intellectual disability, seizures, and a happy demeanor.

  3. Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome: This is a rare overgrowth disorder that is caused by the overexpression of genes on the paternal chromosome 11. It is characterized by large birth weight, enlarged organs, and an increased risk of cancer.

  4. Silver-Russell syndrome: This is a rare growth disorder that is caused by the underexpression of genes on the maternal chromosome 11. It is characterized by low birth weight, short stature, and feeding difficulties.

  5. Retinoblastoma: This is rare cancer that can be caused by mutations in the RB1 gene. The inheritance pattern of retinoblastoma is dependent on whether the mutation is inherited from the mother or father, and this is thought to be due to genetic imprinting.

In conclusion, genetic imprinting is a complex phenomenon that plays a critical role in human development and disease. Its association with various disorders highlights the importance of understanding its underlying mechanisms and its potential implications for personalized medicine. 5. c Stages of human prenatal development.

Answer- Human prenatal development is the process of growth and development that occurs from fertilization to birth. It can be divided into three main stages:

  1. Germinal Stage: This is the first stage of prenatal development that lasts from fertilization to two weeks after conception. During this stage, the fertilized egg, or zygote, undergoes rapid cell division and travels through the fallopian tube toward the uterus. Once it reaches the uterus, it attaches to the uterine wall in a process called implantation.

  2. Embryonic Stage: This stage begins at week 3 and lasts until week 8 after conception. During this stage, the zygote develops into an embryo, which begins to form various organs and body systems, such as the nervous system, heart, and lungs. The embryo is also susceptible to teratogens, which are substances that can cause birth defects, so it is important for the mother to avoid exposure to harmful substances during this stage.

  3. Fetal Stage: This stage begins at week 9 and lasts until birth. During this stage, the embryo becomes a fetus and continues to develop and grow. The organs and body systems become more complex and functional, and the fetus begins to move and respond to external stimuli. At around 20 weeks, the mother can usually feel the fetus moving, and the fetus can hear sounds outside of the womb. The fetus continues to grow and mature until it is ready for birth.

5. d Shaman, sorcerer and medicine man

Answer- Shaman, sorcerer, and medicine man are terms used to describe individuals who are believed to have special powers or abilities related to spiritual and/or healing practices. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are some distinctions between them.

A shaman is a spiritual practitioner who is believed to have the ability to communicate with the spirit world and to intervene on behalf of individuals or communities. Shamans often use ritual and trance to enter into altered states of consciousness in order to connect with spiritual entities and gain insight into the root causes of physical and mental illness. They may also perform healing ceremonies, offer divination services, or perform other rituals to promote balance and harmony in their communities.

A sorcerer, on the other hand, is generally associated with using magic or spells to achieve a particular outcome. In some cultures, sorcerers may be seen as malevolent or dangerous, while in others they are viewed as powerful individuals with unique abilities. Sorcery may involve the use of herbs, incantations, or other materials to manipulate energy or alter reality.

A medicine man or woman is a healer who uses natural remedies and traditional healing methods to treat physical and mental illnesses. In some cultures, medicine men and women may also have spiritual or ceremonial roles, and may use rituals or prayers to aid in healing. They may work with plants, animals, and other elements of the natural world to promote health and well-being.

It's important to note that these terms are not universal and may have different meanings and connotations in different cultures and contexts. Additionally, these roles are not limited to men and can be fulfilled by women as well. 5. (e) Household and domestic group. Answer- A household refers to a group of people who live together in the same dwelling unit and share common living arrangements such as cooking, eating, and sleeping. A household can consist of one person, a family, or a group of unrelated individuals who live together and share living expenses.

A domestic group, on the other hand, refers to a broader concept that encompasses households but includes other arrangements as well. A domestic group can be defined as a group of people who share a common residence, interact on a regular basis, and engage in cooperative activities, such as sharing meals and resources, and caring for each other's well-being.

Domestic groups can include households, but they can also include other arrangements such as extended families, co-housing communities, and communal living arrangements. The defining characteristic of a domestic group is the shared sense of community and cooperation among its members.


6. (a)Discuss the mechanism of social control in different kinds of political systems.


Social control refers to the ways in which societies regulate behavior and enforce social norms. This can be achieved through a variety of mechanisms, including legal systems, social institutions, and cultural practices. The mechanisms of social control can vary depending on the political system in place. Here are some examples:

  1. Democratic political systems: In democratic political systems, social control is often achieved through the legal system, which is designed to protect individual rights and enforce laws that regulate behavior. This includes the police, courts, and other legal institutions. In addition, social control can also be achieved through cultural practices, such as social norms that encourage people to behave in certain ways.

  2. Authoritarian political systems: In authoritarian political systems, social control is often achieved through the use of force or coercion. This includes the use of military or police forces to suppress dissent and maintain order. In addition, authoritarian regimes often use propaganda and censorship to control information and shape public opinion.

  3. Totalitarian political systems: Totalitarian political systems seek to control all aspects of society, including individual behavior and thought. Social control in these systems is achieved through a combination of coercion, propaganda, and surveillance. This includes the use of secret police, re-education programs, and other forms of state-sponsored control.

  4. Tribal or traditional political systems: In tribal or traditional political systems, social control is often achieved through informal social institutions such as family, religion, and community. These systems rely on cultural practices, customs, and traditions to regulate behavior and enforce social norms.

In conclusion, the mechanisms of social control can vary widely depending on the political system in place. While some systems rely on formal legal institutions to enforce laws and regulations, others rely on informal social institutions and cultural practices. The effectiveness of these mechanisms can also vary, depending on factors such as the degree of state power, social cohesion, and the level of social trust within a given society.


6. b What is meant by health? Is the burden of lifestyle diseases on the rise? Justify your answer with suitable examples.


Answer- Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is a dynamic concept that encompasses multiple dimensions, including physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects of life.


There is no doubt that the burden of lifestyle diseases is on the rise worldwide. Lifestyle diseases, also known as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), are chronic diseases caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption.


Some of the most common lifestyle diseases include cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases. These diseases are responsible for a significant portion of premature deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) globally.


For instance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019, NCDs accounted for approximately 74% of all deaths worldwide, with cardiovascular diseases being the leading cause. Furthermore, in low- and middle-income countries, the burden of NCDs is even higher due to the lack of resources for prevention and management.




In conclusion, health is a multi-dimensional concept that encompasses physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. The burden of lifestyle diseases is on the rise globally, which underscores the need for effective prevention and management strategies to reduce their impact on individuals and society as a whole.

6 c. Critically evaluate the reasons for the reduction in age at menarche in human females over successive generations.


Answer- The age of menarche, or the onset of menstruation, has been declining in human females over successive generations. While there are likely to be multiple factors that contribute to this trend, here are some of the most commonly cited reasons for the reduction in age at menarche:

  1. Improved nutrition: One of the primary factors thought to be responsible for the decline in age at menarche is improved nutrition. Adequate nutrition is essential for the growth and development of the body, including the reproductive system. With better access to food and nutrients, girls are able to reach puberty earlier and start menstruating at a younger age.

  2. Higher body fat: Another related factor is the increase in body fat levels among girls. This is again linked to improved nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle. Higher levels of body fat increase the production of estrogen, which triggers the onset of puberty and menstruation.

  3. Environmental pollutants: Exposure to certain environmental pollutants, such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, has also been linked to early puberty and the decline in age at menarche. These chemicals can interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system, which regulates hormones that control puberty and menstruation.

  4. Stress: Chronic stress has also been identified as a possible factor that contributes to early puberty and the decline in age at menarche. Stress can disrupt the normal functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, which is responsible for regulating puberty and the menstrual cycle.

While these factors are often cited as potential reasons for the reduction in age at menarche, it is important to note that this trend is complex and multifactorial. Other factors, such as genetic factors and social factors, may also play a role in determining the age of menarche. Moreover, it is worth noting that there may be both positive and negative implications of early menarche, including increased risk for certain health conditions such as breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. Overall, further research is needed to fully understand the factors that contribute to the decline in age at menarche and its implications for women's health.



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