Monday, 28 December 2015

UPSC Mains 2015 -General Studies Paper 3 Analysis

Hi friends ,

Here is the analysis of General Studies Paper 3.

No.of questions
Total marks
Economic development
Science and technology
Biodiversity and Environment
Disaster Management

General Observations about the Question Paper
  1. One question from Disaster Management since 2013.
  2. Importance of economic development (Indian economy and Agriculture) remains around 50% since 2013.
  3. Most of the questions triggered from Current Affairs.

Here is how -

1.Economic Survey since 2013 has been terming India's growth as "jobless growth ". And this has been cited as one of the reasons for need of growth in manufacturing sector.
  1. The nature of economic growth in India in described as jobless growth. Do you agree with this view? Give arguments in favour of your answer.
2.NABARD launched an initiative to improve livestock rearing.
  1. Livestock rearing has a big potential for providing non-farm employment and income in rural areas. Discuss suggesting suitable measures to promote this sector in India.
3. Contract farming and Land leasing have been advocated by the policy makers in the last two to three years,i.e 2013 and 2014 .(Model APMC Act ,LARR Act,etc
  1. In view of the declining average size of land holdings in India which has made agriculture non-viable for a majority of farmers, should contract farming and land leasing be promoted in agriculture? Critically evaluate the pros and cons.
4.Celebration of Digital India week and launch of a National Agricultural market online .
  1. How can the ‘Digital India’ programme help farmers to improve farm productivity and income? What steps has the Government taken in this regards?
5.DBT has been in news since 2013.
  1. In what way could replacement of price subsidy with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) change the scenario of subsidies in India? Discuss.
6.Growth of ecommerce companies like flipkart and amazon in India. A report estimated the potential of Indian ecommerce market to be $300billion by 2030.
  1. What are the impediments in marketing and supply chain management in industry in India? Can e-commerce help in overcoming these bottlenecks?
7.Gold Monetization Scheme launched.
  1. Craze for gold in Indians have led to a surge in import of gold in recent years and put pressure on balance of payments and external value of rupee. In view of this, examine the merits of Gold Monetization Scheme.
8.Make in India ,Skill India and labour reforms have been continuously emphasized in the media.
  1. “Success of ‘Make in India’ programme depends on the success of ‘Skill India’ programme and radical labour reforms.” Discuss with logical arguments.
  1. To what factors can the recent dramatic fall in equipment costs and tariff of solar energy be attributed? What implications does the trend have for the thermal power producers and the related industry?
10. Special Economic Zones are set to lose tax incentives ,in the new approach of government.
  1. There is a clear acknowledgement that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are a tool of industrial development, manufacturing and exports. Recognizing this potential, the whole instrumentality of SEZs requires augmentation. Discuss the issues plaguing the success of SEZs with respect to taxation, governing laws and administration.

11.IRNSS 1-D launched in March 2015
  1. What do you understand by ‘Standard Positioning Systems’ and ‘Protection Positioning Systems’ in the GPS era? Discuss the advantages India perceives from its ambitious IRNSS programme employing just seven satellites.

12.What are the areas of prohibitive labour that can be sustainably managed by robots? Discuss the initiatives that can propel research in premier research institutes for substantive and gainful innovation.

13.Major announcements by Microsoft,Google and IBM to use cloud computing services.

  1. Discuss the advantage and security implications of cloud hosting of servers vis-a-vis in-house machine-based hosting for government businesses.

14.India’s Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) which has a database containing formatted information on more than 2 million medicinal formulations is proving a powerful weapon in the country’s fight against erroneous patents. Discuss the pros and cons making this database publicly available under open-source licensing.

15.Efforts to preserve Ganga in news
  1. The Namami Gange and National mission for clean Ganga (NMCG) programmes and causes of mixed results from the previous schemes. What quantum leaps can help preserve the river Ganga better than incremental inputs?
16.Nepal earthquake in April 2015, Earthquake in Hindukush in October 2015.
  1. The frequency of earthquakes appears to have increased in the Indian subcontinent. However, India’s preparedness for mitigating their impact has significant gaps. Discuss various aspects.
17.Tripura withdraws AFSPA.
Amnesty International slams India on AFSPA in June 2015.
  1. Human rights activists constantly highlight the view that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) is a draconian act leading to cases of human rights abuses by the security forces. What sections of AFSPA are opposed by the activists? Critically evaluate the requirement with reference to the view held by the Apex Court.
18.Paris attacks -November 2015
News reports on ISIS trying to woo youth through online sites.
  1. Religious indoctrination via digital media has resulted in Indian youth joining the ISIS. What is ISIS and its mission? How can ISIS be dangerous for the internal security of our country?
19.Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra kalyan Yojana launched by Government of India.
  1. The persisting drives of the government for development of large industries in backward areas have resulted in isolating the tribal population and the farmers who face multiple displacements with Malkangiri and naxalbari foci, discuss the corrective strategies needed to win the left wing extremism (LWE) doctrine affected citizens back into the mainstream of social and economic growth.

  1. Considering the threats cyberspace poses for the country, India needs a “Digital Armed Force” to prevent crimes. Critically evaluate the National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 outlining the challenges perceived in its effective implementation.
To check the analysis of General Studies Paper 2-Mains 2015 ,click here.
To check the analysis of General Studies Paper 1-Mains 2015 ,click here

All the best !

PS -This is a part of series of blogs on IAS preparation.

Here is the list of blogs in this series so far -

Here is the list of blogs ,on my experience as an IAS officer:

We are now active on every social media platform .

Sunday, 27 December 2015

UPSC Mains 2015 -General Studies Paper 1 Analysis

Hi friends  ,

Here is an analysis of UPSC Mains 2015 - General Studies paper 1 .

Total questions
Total marks
World History
Indian History

General Observations about the Question Paper
  1. 2014 has 25 questions.2015 paper had 20 questions.
  2. Increase in the number of questions from Indian Soiety.
  3. Decline in the number of questions from culture and World History.
  4. Continued emphasis on women -1 question like last two years.
Although General Studies paper 1 contains conventional subjects ,around 50% of the paper was triggered by Current Affairs /The Hindu.

Here is an understanding of how -

1. 2015 - Celebration of 125th Birth Anniversary of BR Ambedkar and a resolution was passed in Parliament on the Constitution.

  1. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate.
  2. It would have been difficult for the Constituent Assembly to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India in just three years but for the experience gained with the Government of India Act, 1935. Discuss.
2. 8500 letters received by Mahatma Gandhi

  1. How different would have been the achievement of Indian independence without Mahatma Gandhi? Discuss.
3.100 years of World War 1 ,1914-2014

  1. To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically
4.Higher sex ratio among tribal groups compared to SCs,revealed by Census.

  1. How do you explain the statistics that show that the sex ratio in Tribes in India is more favourable to women than the sex ratio among Scheduled Castes?
5.Union Cabinet approves Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission to drive smart villages.

  1. Discuss the changes in the trends of labour migration within and outside India in the last four decades.
  2. Smart cities in India cannot sustain without smart villages. Discuss this statement in the backdrop of rural urban integration
6.Air pollution in Delhi ,highly mentioned in news.
  1. Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata are the three mega cities of the country but the air pollution is much more serious problem in Delhi as compared to the other two. Why is this so?
7.Ocean warming and Monsoons

  1. How far do you agree that the behavior of the Indian monsoon has been changing due to humanizing landscapes? Discuss.
8.2015-Year of ElNino -leading to heavy rainfall in South india.

  1. Explain the factors responsible for the origin of ocean currents. How do they influence regional climates, fishing and navigation?
9.A report published in May 2015,that India will become water scarce by 2025.

  1. India is well endowed with fresh water resources. Critically examine why it still suffers from water scarcity.
10.Discovery of Oil in arctic

  1. What are the economic significances of discovery of oil in Arctic Sea and its possible environmental consequences?
11.125th Birth Anniversary of Ambedkar(Championed the cause of dalits)
Murder of two dalit children in Faridabad and controversy over General VK Singh's comment.
  1. Debate the issue of whether and how contemporary movements for assertion of Dalit identity work towards annihilation of caste.

To check the analysis of General Studies Paper 2-Mains 2015 ,click here.

All the best !

PS -This is a part of series of blogs on IAS preparation.

Here is the list of blogs in this series so far -

Here is the list of blogs ,on my experience as an IAS officer:

We are now active on every social media platform .

Friday, 25 December 2015

UPSC Mains 2015 General Studies Paper 2 -Analysis

Hi friends ,

Here is the analysis of General Studies Paper 2 of Mains .This will help both the students who have written the exam and students who are preparing for the next attempt ,to understand how questions are being asked in UPSC.

To view the General Studies Paper 2 ,click here.

Most of the questions in this paper are triggered by current affairs .Hence ,in this post, I will write down the reason for every question and its link to current affairs.

Current Affairs
  1. Discuss the possible factors that inhibit India from enacting for its citizens a uniform civil code as provided for in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
A supreme court bench questioned  the government about its mandate on framing the uniform civil code so that all religions are regulated by the same law.

  1. The concept of cooperative federalism has been increasingly emphasized in recent years. Highlight the drawbacks in the existing structure and the extent to which cooperative federalism would answer the shortcomings.
Continuous emphasis of PM on cooperative federalism

  1. In absence of a well-educated and organized local level government system, `Panchayats’ and ‘Samitis’ have remained mainly political institutions and not effective instruments of governance. Critically discuss.

  1. Khap Panchayats have been in the news for functioning as extra-constitutional authorities, often delivering pronouncements amounting to human rights violations. Discuss critically the actions taken by the legislative, executive and the judiciary to set the things right in this regard.
A Khap panchayat in UP ordered rape of 2 sisters and it led to protests abroad and by Amnesty International.

  1. The quality of higher education in India requires major improvements to make it internationally competitive. Do you think that the entry of foreign educational institutions would help improve the quality of higher and technical education in the country? Discuss.
The focus of the government in Budget 2015-2016 has shifted from primary education to higher education.

National Institutional ranking Framework was launched to improve the quality of higher educational institutions.

The Foreign Education Providers Bill and the Prohibition of Unfair Practices Bill has been  on the priority list of the HRD Minister Smriti Irani.

  1. How can the role of NGOs be strengthened in India for development works relating to protection of the environment? Discuss throwing light on the major constraints.
NGOs oppose report of High Level Committee on Environmental laws.

  1. Though there have been several different estimates of poverty in India, all indicate reduction in poverty levels over time. Do you agree? Critically examine with reference to urban and rural poverty indicators.
World bank estimates shows fall in India’s poverty rate .
  1. In the light of the Satyam Scandal (2009), discuss the changes brought in corporate governance to ensure transparency, accountability.
Satyam Case -The court found all the accused guilty in April 2015.

  1. “For achieving the desired objectives, it is necessary to ensure that the regulatory institutions remain independent and autonomous.” Discuss in the light of the experiences in recent past.
Call for independent nuclear regulatory authority in India.

Merger of FMC and SEBI

SC calling CBI as a ‘caged parrot’

  1. The Self-Help Group (SHG) Bank Linkage Programme (SBLP), which is India’s own innovation, has proved to be one of the most effective poverty alleviation and women empowerment programmes. Elucidate.

  1. “If amendment bill to the Whistleblowers Act, 2011 tabled in the Parliament is passed, there may be no one left to protect.” Critically evaluate.
Whistleblowers Act amended in May 2015

  1. Public health system has limitations in providing universal health coverage. Do you think that the private sector could help in bridging the gap? What other viable alternatives would you suggest?
Need to increase health expenditure has been in news.

National health Profle 2015 was released.

  1. Resorting to ordinances has always raised concern on violation of the spirit of separation of powers doctrine. While noting the rationales justifying the power to promulgate ordinances, analyze whether the decisions of the Supreme Court on the issue have further facilitated resorting to this power. Should the power to promulgate ordinances be repealed?
President had questioned the government about the urgency of ordinance.

  1. What are the major changes brought in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 through the recent Ordinance promulgated by the President? How far will it improve India’s dispute resolution mechanism? Discuss.
An Ordinance to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 was passed in december 2014,
  1. Does the right to clean environment entail legal regulations on burning crackers during Diwali? Discuss in the light of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and Judgement(s) of the Apex Court in this regard.
SC says no to firecracker ban in New Delhi .
  1. Examine critically the recent changes in the rules governing foreign funding of NGOs under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1976.
Foreign funding of NGOs had attracted attention after a few NGOS were charged of anti-national activities.
  1. Project `Mausam’ is considered a unique foreign policy initiative of the Indian Government to improve relationship with its neighbors. Does the project have a strategic dimension? Discuss.
Project Mausam in response to China’s Silk road Economic Belt(SREB) and Maritime Silk Route (MRS)

  1. Discuss the impediments India is facing in its pursuit of a permanent seat in UN Security Council.
For the first time UN General Assembly adopted a unanimous resolution on Security Council reforms.
And G4 issued a joint statement on Security Council reforms ,

India has been asking for a permanent membership of UN SC.

  1. Increasing interest of India in Africa has its pros and cons. Critically examine.
Third India Africa Forum Summit was held in New Delhi in October 2015.

  1. Terrorist activities and mutual distrust have clouded India-Pakistan relations. To what extent the use of soft power like sports and cultural exchanges could help generate goodwill between the two countries? Discuss with suitable examples
India -Pakistan relations have been disturbed for the last one year .

Hope you find the article helpful,
Please feel free to leave comments and feedbacks.

All the best ,
Stay tuned !

The following blogs will have an analysis of other General Studies Papers.

PS -This is a part of series of blogs on IAS preparation.

Here is the list of blogs in this series so far -

Here is the list of blogs ,on my experience as an IAS officer:

We are now active on every social media platform .