(Exam Paper) UPSC IAS Mains 2009: General Studies

(Exam Paper) UPSC IAS Mains 2009: General Studies

Paper - I

1. Critically analyse any two of the following statements with reference to the contexts in which they were made (in about 150 words each): 15 × 2 = 30

(a) “Many Englishmen honestly consider themselves the trustees for India and yet to what a condition they have reduced our country.”
(b) “The foreign power will be withdrawn but for me real freedom will come only when we free ourselves of the dominance of western education, western culture and the western way of living which have been ingrained in
(c) “Satan cannot enter till he finds a flaw, ….A great ocean separates us educated few from the millions in our country.”

2. Write about the following (not exceeding 20 words each): 2 × 10 = 20

(a) Kiang Nongbah
(b) Maski
(c) Govind Guru
(d) ‘Brahmadeya’
(e) ‘Egmore Faction’
(f) Haileybury College
(g) Ijara System
(h) Taji Mideren
(i) Gurudwara Reform Movement
(j) ‘Marumakkathayam’

3. Answer any four of the following (in about 150 words each): 15 × 4 = 60

(a) Assess the significance of coastal regions in the economic development in India.
(b) Discuss the wetlands and their role in ecological conservation in India.
(c) Elaborate the steps taken by the Government for regionally differentiated approach to increase crop production and diversification in the country.
(d) Bring out the significance of the various activities of the Indian Meteorological Department.
(e) Examine the status of urbanization among the states in India and bring out spatial inequalities.

4. Write about the following (not exceeding 30 words each): 3 × 10 = 30

(a) ‘bhuvan’ website
(b) National Waterways
(c) Ultra Mega Power Projects
(e) BSUP Scheme
(f) GAGAN Project
(g) Fruit Production in India
(h) Section 377 of IPC
(i) ‘Whereabouts’ clause of WADA
(j) Barren Island

5. Answer any two of the following (in about 100 words each): 10 × 2 = 20

(a) Analyse India’s achievement in the sports sector during 2008-09.
(b) List the salient features of the important folk dances of either Central India or North Eastern India.
(c) What are the important similarities and differences ‘ between the Hindustani and the Carnatic styles of classical music ?

6. Answer any two of the following (in about 150 words each): 15 × 2 = 30

(a) What are your views on the features and impact of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005?
(b) Are the traditional determinants of voting behaviour in India changing ? Examine in the context of the last General Elections.
(c) Examine corruption as a serious development challenge in Indian Polity.

7. Answer any two of the following (in about 150 words): 15 × 2 = 30

(a) Mushrooming of Higher Educational Institutions was a matter of grave concern for Yashpal Committee. With reference to the relevant portion of that report give your views how to harmonise private investment and
quality of education.

(b) In the changing context of governance in the country, what should be the role of the UPSC ?

(c) In the context of recent incidents, suggest measures on how security of passengers and property can be improved over Indian Railways.

8. Answer any one of the following (in about 250 words) : 30

(a) Comment on the salient features of the Integrated Energy Policy recently approved by the Government and its implications on the energy security needs of the country.
(b) How far has the impact of the global meltdown been reflected in the Economic Survey 2008 - 09 ? Identify some of the core areas given priority to neutralise the adverse effects of the global downturn.

9. Answer any two of the following (in about 150 words each): 15 × 2 = 30

(a) Trace the significant steps in the evolution of Television in the country.
(b) The last National Family Health Survey (NFHS) displayed a very dismal picture of nutrition as regards several indicators for average Indians. Highlight the salient aspects of this problem.
(c) ‘As we live in a plural society we need the greatest freedom to express our opinions even if others find it offensive’ - Do you agree? Discuss with reference to some recent incidents in the Indian context.

10. Write on the following (in about 20 words each): 2 × 10 = 20

(a) Significance of 26th November in the country’s polity
(b) Desert National Park
(c) Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra
(d) Deep Joshi’s recent achievement
(e) Girni Kamgar Union
(f) Ayush-64
(g) Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Nidhi (RGVN)
(h) Satya Vrat Shastri’s recent achievement
(i) Pocket Veto
(j) PESA, 1996


1. Write notes on any three of the following in about 150 words each: 3 × 15 = 45

(a) India’s strategic interests in South Asia
(b) China’s ‘peaceful rise’ doctrine
(c) India - Russia Defence Ties
(d) India’s ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ power strategy in Foreign Policy.

2. Write brief notes on any four of the following in about 50 words each : 4 × 5 = 20

(a) Nuclear Supply Group (NSG) and India
(b) Your views on the recent ‘Gilgit - Baltistan Empowerment and Self- Governance Order 2009’
(c) Wakhan Corridor
(d) Nuclear Submarine ‘Arihant’
(e) National Security Advisory Board (NSAB).\

3. Comment on any two of the following in about 100 words each: 2 × 10 = 20

(a) India - USA as strategic partners
(b) Ethnic conflicts in South Asia
(c) ‘NEPAD’ and its objectives.
4. Write on any Two of the following in about

50 words each: 2 × 5 = 10

(a) Indo - Bhutan trade relations
(b) Sino - Myanmar relations
(c) Geopolitics and Geostrategy.

5. Comment critically on any ONE of the following statements in not more than 200 words : 20

(a) “Foreign investment is far from being critical to India’s economic growth.”
(b) “The lesson of the current global financial crisis is that India should halt and may be even reverse financial liberalisation.”

6. Answer any One of the following in about 200 words : 20

(a) “In the WTO negotiations over the years of the DOHA Round, India appears to be diluting its stand on agriculture issues to pursue perceived gains in services.” Critically examine this statement.
(b) Discuss the Indo-US knowledge initiative in Agriculture. Answer any Two of the following (Each answer must not exceed 150 words) : 2 × 15 = 30


(a) Evaluate the prospects for greater economic cooperation between India and China.
(b) Does India need the World Bank ?
(c) Critically assess the recent Free Trade Agreement entered into by India with ASEAN .

8. Answer any Three of the following (in about 150 words each): 3 × 15 = 45

(a) What do you understand by ‘Biosignatures’? Discuss briefly.
(b) Write about Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) and its applications.
(c) Define ‘Bioinformatics: How does it work? What are its major branches and applications ? .
(d) What is the ‘Hubble Space Telescope’ ? How many Servicing Missions (SMs) have been conducted for it ?

9. Explain any Four of the following (in about 100 words each): 4 × 10 = 40

(a) DNA Finger Printing and its utility.
(b) What is ‘Nanotech’ ? Give a brief account of its basic concepts, materials used and applications.
(c) What is “Graphene” ? Mention at least three of its applications.
(d) Define ‘optical frequency comb’. Suggest at least three applications.
(e) Why is tele-medicine important for country like India ?

10. Write brief notes on any Five of the following (in about 30 words each) : 5 × 3 = 15

(a) Artificial Sun
(b) ‘Vegetable Gold’
(c) PFCs and ‘liquid breathing’
(d) The ‘P-8A Poseidon’
(e) Biometric ATMs
(f) Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA)


(a) The total areas of cultivation of high, medium and low sugar-content sugarcanes in four regions of a state are given below :

Draw suitable diagram that facilitates the comparison of areas of cultivation of different sugar-content varieties among the four regions.

(b) The following table gives the production of soda ash (in tons) by three companies (A, B and C) over seven years period

Draw a suitable diagram so as to compare the performance of these companies.

(c) The following data relate to the sales and net profit (in Rupees Crores) of a company :

(i) In which year the percentage of growth in sales, relative to the previous year is higher?
(ii) In which year the percentage of growth in net profit, relative to the previous year, is higher ?
(iii) Let the profitability be defined as the ratio of Net Profit to Sales. In which year the profitability is higher ? 4

(d) The total sales (in ‘000 rupees) of a particular item in a shop, on 10 consecutive days, is reported by a clerk as follows :

35.00, 29.60, 38.00, 30.00, 40.00, 41.00,
42.00, 45.00, 3.60, 3.80

Later, it was found that reports of the 4th and 8th days were 10.00 more than the true values and that in the last two days the clerk put a decimal wrongly one place to the left (for example, 3.60 was really 36.0). Calculate the true mean value of sale. 5


(a) In a factory, 1500 women are working. Eight hundred of them come from rural areas and 450 of the married women are skilled labourers. The number of skilled, rural and married labourers is 300. Of the 400 unmarried and skilled women labourers, 250 are from urban area. The number of married, semiskilled women labourers from urban areas is 200. One hundred married rural women are semi-skilled labourers. Tabulate the above information. 4

(b) The mean score of a class in an examination is 70. If the mean score of boys is 60 and that of girls is 75, obtain the percentage of girls in the class. 4
(c) In a city 20% people read newspaper A, 25% people read B and 10% read both A and B. What is the percentage of people who read at least one of the two newspapers? 2
(d) In order to study the effect of inoculation on TB, it was found that the number of inoculated and unaffected from TB is 28, and not inoculated and affected from TB is 13. If inoculation was performed over 40 persons out of 60 persons, complete the table and obtain the missing numbers. 2

(e) The percentage of literates in six villages of an area are noted as follows:

52, 46, 21, 30, 17, 24.

Can you compute the percentage of literates in the entire area from this information ? If yes, compute the percentage. If no, state what additional information you would need for the computation. 2




Buy Printed Study Kit for IAS Mains General Studies

Download E-Books for UPSC IAS Exams


»» Go Back to Main Page