Trend Analysis of GS Mains 2013 and Strategy for GS Mains 2014



Trend Analysis of GS Mains 2013 and Strategy for GS Mains 2014


In General studies mains, UPSC has new parameter : “1 mark=20 words.” ;

5 marks = 100 words; and
10 marks=200 words
i.e. 5000 words in 3 hours .

For Essay paper : “1 mark =10 words.” i.e. 250 marks’ essay, the word limit was 2500.

IAS Mains GS Paper I - 2013

(1) History of India and World : Total Questions – 14 Questions {out of 25} (56%)
(2) Geography of India and World : Total Questions – 07 Questions {out of 25} (28%)
(3) Indian Society : Total Questions – 04 Questions {out of 25} (16%)

History of India and World

Culture (20 marks)- Sangam literature, Tandava dance & Chola architecture

  1. Though not very useful from the point of view of a connected political history of South India, the Sangam literature portrays the social and economic conditions of its time with remarkable vividness. Comment. (10 Marks)
  2. Discuss the Tandava dance as recorded in the early Indian inscriptions. (5 Marks)
  3. Chola architecture represents a high watermark in the evolution of temple architecture. Discuss. (5 Marks)

World History (40 marks) - Industrial revolution, Africa, American Revolution & the great economic depression

  1. “Latecomer” Industrial revolution in Japan involved certain factors that were markedly different from what west had experience. (10 Marks)
  2. Africa was chopped into states artificially created by accident of European competition. Analyse. (10 Marks)
  3. American Revolution was an economic revolt against mercantilism. Substantiate. (10 Marks)
  4. What policy instruments were deployed to contain the great economic depression? (10 Marks)

Freedom Struggle (30 marks)- Indian women, foreigners & Lord Dalhousie

  1. Defying the barriers of age, gender and religion, the Indian women became the torch bearer during the struggle for freedom in India. Discuss. (10 Marks)
  2. Several foreigners made India their homeland and participated in various movements. Analyze their role in the Indian struggle for freedom. (10 Marks)
  3. In many ways, Lord Dalhousie was the founder of modern India. Elaborate. (10 Marks)

Post-Independence (50 marks)- Bhoodan and Gramdan movements, “Jai Jawana Jai Kisan”, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Tashkent Agreement & emergence of Bangladesh

  1. Critically discuss the objectives of Bhoodan and Gramdan movements initiated by Acharya Vinoba Bhave and their success. (10 Marks)
  2. Write a critical note on the evolution and significance of the slogan “Jai Jawana Jai Kisan” (10 Marks)
  3. Discuss the contribution of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to pre-and post-independent India. (10 Marks)
  4. Analyze the circumstances that led to Tashkent Agreement in 1966. Discuss the highlights of the agreement. (10 Marks)
  5. Critically examine the compulsions which prompted India to play a decisive roles in the emergence of Bangladesh. (10 Marks)

Geography of India and World
Geography (70 marks)- Physical Geography, Climate, Industrial Geography and Resource distribution

  1. What do you understand by the theory of continental drift? Discuss the prominent evidences in its support. (5 Marks)
  2. There is no formation of deltas by rivers of the Western Ghat. Why? (5 Marks)
  3. Major hot deserts in northern hemisphere are located between 20-30 degree north and on the western side of the continents. Why? (10 Marks)
  4. With growing scarcity of fossil fuels, the atomic energy is gaining more and more significance in India. Discuss the availability of raw material required for the generation of atomic energy in India and in the world. (10 marks)
  5. It is said the India has substantial reserves of shale oil and gas, which can feed the needs of country for quarter century. However, tapping of the resources doesn’t appear to be high on the agenda. Discuss critically the availability and issues involved. (10 Marks)
  6. Do you agree that there is a growing trend of opening new sugar mills in the Southern states of India? Discuss with justification (5 Marks)
  7. Analyze the factors for highly decentralized cotton textile industry in India (5 Marks)
  8. The recent cyclone on the east coast of India was called “Phailin”. How are the tropical cyclones named across the world? (5 Marks)
  9. Bring out the causes for the formation of heat islands in the urban habitat of the world. (5 Marks)
  10. What do you understand by the phenomenon of temperature inversion in meteorology? How does it affect the weather and the habitants of the place? (5 Marks)
  11. Bring out the causes for more frequent landslides in the Himalayas than in Western Ghats (5 Marks)

Indian Society
Indian Society (40 marks) - urbanization, Role of women, Effects of globalization & regionalism

  1. Discussion the various social problems which originated out of the speedy process of urbanization in India. (10 Marks)
  2. Male membership needs to be encouraged in order to make women’s organization free from gender bias. Comment. (10 Marks)
  3. Critically examine the effects of globalization on the aged population in India. (10 Marks)
  4. Growing feeling of regionalism is an important factor in the generation of demand for a separate state. Discuss. (10 Marks)

IAS Mains GS Paper II - 2013

(1) Polity, Governance and Constitution : Total Questions – 10 Questions {out of 25} (40%)
(2) Development and Social Justice : Total Questions – 07 Questions {out of 25} (28%)
(3) International Relations : Total Questions – 08 Questions {out of 32} (32%)

Polity, Constitution and Governance (100 marks)-

Indian Constitution (40 marks)

  1. The role of individual MPs (Members of Parliament) has diminished over the years and as a result healthy constructive debates on policy issues are not usually witnessed. How far can this be attributed to the anti-defection law, which was legislated but with a different intention? (10 marks)

  2. Discuss Section 66A of IT Act, with reference to its alleged violation of Article 19 of the Constitution. (10 marks)

  3. Recent directives from Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas are perceived by the `Nagas’ as a threat to override the exceptional status enjoyed by the State. Discuss in light of Article 371A of the Indian Constitution. (10 marks)

  4. The Supreme Court of India keeps a check on arbitrary power of the Parliament in amending the Constitution. Discuss critically. (10 marks)

Federalism (30 marks)

  1. Many State Governments further bifurcate geographical administrative areas like Districts and Talukas for better governance. In light of the above, can it also be justified that more number of smaller States would bring in effective governance at State level? Discuss. (10 marks)

  2. Constitutional mechanisms to resolve the inter-state water disputes have failed to address and solve the problems. Is the failure due to structural or process inadequacy or both? Discuss. (10 marks)

  3. Discuss the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission which have been a departure from the previous commissions for strengthening the local government finances. (10 marks)

Statutory Bodies (10 marks)

  1. The product diversification of financial institutions and insurance companies, resulting in overlapping of products and services strengthens the case for the merger of the two regulatory agencies, namely SEBI and IRDA. Justify. (10 marks)

Good Governance (20 marks)

  1. Though Citizen’s charters have been formulated by many public service delivery organizations, there is no corresponding improvement in the level of citizens’ satisfaction and quality of services being provided. Analyze. (10 marks)

  2. ‘A national Lokpal, however strong it may be, cannot resolve the problems of immorality in public affairs’. Discuss. (10 marks)

Development and Social Justice (70 marks)-

Welfare Schemes (50 marks)

  1. The concept of Mid Day Meal (MDM) scheme is almost a century old in India with early beginnings in Madras Presidency in pre-independent India. The scheme has again been given impetus in most states in the last two decades. Critically examine its twin objectives, latest mandates and success. (10 marks)

  2. The Central Government frequently complains on the poor performance of the State Governments in eradicating suffering of the vulnerable sections of the society. Restructuring of Centrally sponsored schemes across the sectors for ameliorating the cause of vulnerable sections of population aims at providing flexibility to the States in better implementation. Critically evaluate.(10 marks)

  3. Electronic cash transfer system for the welfare schemes is an ambitious project to minimize corruption, eliminate wastage and facilitate reforms. Comment.(10 marks)

  4. The basis of providing urban amenities in rural areas (PURA) is rooted in establishing connectivity. Comment.(10 marks)

  5. Identify the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that are related to health. Discuss the success of the actions taken by the Government for achieving the same.(10 marks)

NGOs and Development Groups (20 marks)

  1. Pressure group politics is sometimes seen as the informal face of politics. With regards to the above, assess the structure and functioning of pressure groups in India.(10 marks)
  2. The legitimacy and accountability of Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their patrons, the micro-finance outfits, need systematic assessment and scrutiny for the sustained success of the concept. Discuss(10 marks)

International Relations (80 marks)

Neighbouring Countries (70 marks)

  1. The proposed withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from Afghanistan in 2014 is fraught with major security implications for the countries of the region. Examine in light of the fact that India is faced with a plethora of challenges and needs to safeguard its own strategic interests.(10 marks)

  2. What do you understand by ‘The String of Pearls’? How does it impact India? Briefly outline the steps taken by India to counter this.(10 marks)

  3. The protests in Shahbag Square in Dhaka in Bangladesh reveal a fundamental split in society between the nationalists and Islamic forces. What is its significance for India?(10 marks)

  4. Discuss the political developments in Maldives in the last two years. Should they be of any cause of concern to India?(10 marks)

  5. In respect of India — Sri Lanka relations, discuss how domestic factors influence foreign policy.(10 marks)

  6. What is meant by Gujral doctrine? Does it have any relevance today? Discuss.(10 marks)

  7. Economic ties between India and Japan while growing in the recent years are still far below their potential. Elucidate the policy constraints which are inhibiting this growth.(10 marks)

International Organizations (10 marks)

  1. The World Bank and the IMF, collectively known as the Bretton Woods Institutions, are the two inter-governmental pillars supporting the structure of the world’s economic and financial order. Superficially, the World Bank and the IMF exhibit many common characteristics, yet their role, functions and mandate are distinctly different. Elucidate.(10 marks)

IAS Mains GS Paper III - 2013

(1) Economic Development : Total Questions – 12 Questions {out of 25} (48%)

1. With a consideration towards the strategy of inclusive growth, the new Companies Bill, 2013 has indirectly made CSR a mandatory obligation. Discuss the challenges expected in its implementation in right earnest. Also discuss other provisions in the Bill and their implications. (200 words)

2. What were the reasons for the introduction of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2013? Discuss critically its salient features and their effectiveness. (200 words)

3. What is the meaning of the term ‘tax expenditure’? Taking housing sector as an example, discuss how it influences the budgetary policies of the government. (200 words)

4. Food Security Bill is expected to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in India. Critically discuss various apprehensions in its effective implementation along with the concerns it has generated in WTO. (200 words)

5. What are the different types of agriculture subsidies given to farmers at the national and at state levels? Critically analyse the agricultural subsidy regime with reference to the distortions created by it. (200 words)

6. India needs to strengthen measures to promote the pink revolution in food industry for ensuring better nutrition and health. Critically elucidate the statement. (200 words)

7. Examine the impact of liberalization on companies owned by Indians. Are they competing with the MNCs satisfactorily? Discuss. (200 words)

8. Establish relationship between land reforms, agricultural productivity and elimination of poverty in the Indian economy. Discuss the difficulties in designing and implementation of agriculture – friendly land reforms in India. (200 words)

9. a) Discuss the impact of FDI entry into Multi-trade retail sector on supply chain management in commodity trade pattern of the economy. (100 words)
b) Though India allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in what is called multi-brand retail through the joint venture route in September 2012, the FDI, even after a year, has not picked up. Discuss the reasons. (100 words)

10. Discuss the rationale for introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India. Bring out critically the reasons for the delay in roll out for its regime. (200 words)

11. Adoption of PPP model for infrastructure development of the country has not been free of criticism. Critically discuss the pros and cons of the model. (200 words)

12. Bringing out the circumstances in 2005 which forced amendment to the section 3(d) in Indian Patent Law, 1970, discuss how it has been utilized by the Supreme Court in its judgement in rejecting Novartis’ patent application for ‘Glivec’. Discuss briefly the pros and cons of the decision. (200 words)

(2) Technology : Total Questions – 05 Questions {out of 25} (20%)

1. Write a note on India’s green energy corridor to alleviate the problem of conventional energy. (200 words)

2. What do you understand by Fixed Dose drug Combinations (FDCs)? Discuss their merits and demerits. (200 words)

3. What do you understand by Umpire Decision Review System in cricket? Discuss its various components. Explain how silicone tape on the edge of a bat may fool the system? (200 words)

4. a) What is a digital signature? What does its authentication mean? Give various salient built-in features of a digital signature. (100 words)
b) How does the 3D printing technology work? List out the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. (100 words)

5. a) What is an FRP composite material? How are they manufactured? Discuss their application in aviation and automobile industries. (100 words)
b) What do you understand by Run-of-river hydroelectricity project? How is it different from any other hydroelectricity project? (100 words)

(3) Environment and Biodiversity : Total Questions – 02 Questions {out of 25} (8%)

1. What are the consequences of Illegal mining? Discuss the Ministry of Environment and Forest’s concept of GO AND NO GO zones for coal mining sector. (200 words)

2. Enumerate the National Water Policy of India. Taking river Ganges as an example, discuss the strategies which may be adopted for river water pollution control and management. What are the legal provisions of management and handling of hazardous wastes in India? (200 words)

(4) Security and Disaster Management : Total Questions – 06 Questions {out of 25} (24%)

1. Money laundering poses a serious security threat to a country’s economic sovereignty. What is its significance for India and what steps are required to be taken to control this menace? (200 words)

2. How important are vulnerability and risk assessment for pre-disaster management? As an administrator, what are key areas that you would focus on in a Disaster Management System? (200 words)

3. What are social networking sites and what security implications do these sites present? (200 words)

4. Cyber warfare is considered by some defense analysts to be a larger threat than even Al Qaeda or terrorism. What do you understand by Cyber warfare? Outline the cyber threats which India is vulnerable to and bring out the state of the country’s preparedness to deal with the same. (200 words)

5. Article 244 of the Indian Constitution relates to administration of schedules area and tribal areas. Analyse the impact of non-implementation of the provisions of the Fifth schedule on the growth of Left Wing extremism. (200 words)

6. How far are India’s internal security challenges linked with border management particularly in view of the long porous borders with most countries of South Asia and Myanmar? (200 words)

IAS Mains GS Paper IV - 2013

Section A: Theory based[125m]

Definition based questions (35m)

1. What do you understand by ‘values’ and ‘ethics’? In what way is it important to be ethical along with being professionally competent? (10 marks | 150 words)

2. What do you understand by the following terms in the context of public service? (5 terms x 3 marks each=15 marks |250 words)

  1. Integrity
  2. Perseverance
  3. Spirit of service
  4. Commitment
  5. Courage of conviction

3. What is ‘emotional intelligence’ and how can it be developed in people? How does it help an individual in taking ethical decisions? (10 marks | 150 words)

Opinion based questions (40m)

  1. Indicate two more attributes which you consider important for public service. Justify your answer. (10 marks |100 words) .
  2. Some people feel that values keep changing with time and situation, while others strongly believe that there are certain universal and eternal human values. Give your perception in this regard with due justification. (10 marks | 150 words)
  3. What do you understand by the term ‘voice of conscience’? How do you prepare yourself to heed to the voice of conscience? (10 marks| 150 words)
  4. What is meant by ‘crisis of conscience’? Narrate one incident in your life when you were faced with such a crisis and how you resolved the same. (10 marks| 150 words)

Quotation based questions (50m)

1. Given below are three quotations of great moral thinkers/philosophers. For each of these quotations, bring out what it means to you in the present context: (each quote for 10 marks and 150 words=total 30 marks)

  1. “There is enough on this earth for every one’s need but for no one’s greed.” Mahatma Gandhi.
  2. “Nearly all men can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”—Abraham Lincoln
  3. “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies.”—Aristotle

2. “The good of an individual is contained in the good of all.” What do you understand by this statement? How can this principle be implemented in public life? (10 marks| 150 words)

3. It is often said that ‘politics’ and ‘ethics’ do not go together. What is your opinion in this regard? Justify your answer with illustrations. (10 marks| 150 words)

Section-B Case Studies [125m]

  • Case 1: Right to Information (20m|250w)
  • Case 2: Chief Engineer and Flyover (20m|250w)
  • Case 3: Child Labour in Sivakasi , Tamil Nadu (25m|300w)
  • Case 4: Favoritism in recruitment (20m|250w)
  • Case 5: Finance Ministry and confidential information (20m|250 words)
  • Case 6: Misconduct in office (20m|250w)

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