Distributed Cache is a facility provided by the Map/Reduce framework to cache files (text, archives, jars and so on) needed by applications during execution of the job. The framework will copy the necessary files to the slave node before any tasks for the job are executed on that node.
This is because distributed cache is much faster. It copies the file to all trackers at the start of the job. Now if the task tracker runs 10 or 100 mappers or reducer, it will use the same copy of distributed cache. On the other hand, if you put code in file to read it from HDFS in the MR job then every mapper will try to access it from HDFS hence if a task tracker run 100 map jobs then it will try to read this file 100 times from HDFS. Also HDFS is not very efficient when used like this.
This is a trick questions. There is no such mechanism. Distributed Cache by design is read only during the time of Job execution
Anybody who claims to have worked on a Hadoop project is expected to use counters
Yes, The input format class provides methods to add multiple directories as input to a Hadoop job