[Download] UPSC Mains-2015: General Studies Paper-1 (GS1), incl. all papers topicwise sorted

Question-Papers61 Comments

Laxmikanth (English)Laxmikanth Hindi
  1. Instructions
  2. GSM1-2015: Question Paper in Linear Format
  3. Observations: 2015 compared to previous years
  4. Relevance of Mrunal.org aka Bogus Marketing Propaganda
  5. GSM1-Topicwise since Pattern change
    1. Art & Culture
    2. History: India before Independence
    3. History: India After independence
    4. History: world
    5. Social Science: Caste, Religion, Region
    6. Social Science: Poverty, Population, Globalization
    7. Social Science: Women
    8. Geography: Physical
    9. Geography: Climate, Disaster related
    10. Geography: Resources Distribution
    11. Geography: factors affecting industrial locations
    12. Geography: Urbanization

Instructions

  • UPSC conducted general studies paper 1 of civil services mains examination on 19th December 2015
  • Duration: 3 hours; Maximum Marks: 250
  • Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting questions:
  • There are TWENTY questions printed both in HINDI and in ENGLISH. Each Question carries 12.5 marks.
  • All the questions too compulsory.
  • Answers must be written in the medium authorized in the Admission Certificate which must be stated clearly on the cover of this Question-cum-Answer (QC4) Booklet in the space provided.
  • No marks will be given for answers written in a medium other than the authorized one.
  • Word limit in questions, wherever specified should be adhered to.
  • Any page or portion of the page left blank in the Question-cum-Answer Booklet must be clearly struck off.

GSM1-2015: Question Paper in Linear Format

Each Question is worth 12.5 marks and maximum word limit is 200. But content of the answer is more important than its length.

  1. The ancient civilization in Indian sub-continent differed from those of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece in that its culture and traditions have been preserved without a breakdown to the present day. Comment.
  2. Mesolithic rock cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a fine aesthetic sense comparable to modem painting. Critically evaluate this comment.
  3. How different would have been the achievement of Indian independence without Mahatma Gandhi? Discuss.
  4. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate.
  5. 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.
  6. Why did the industrial revolution first occur in England? Discuss the quality of life of the people there during the industrialization. How does it compare with that in India at present?
  7. To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically
  8. Describe any four cultural elements of diversity in India and rate their relative significance in building a national identity.
  9. Critically examine whether growing population is the cause of poverty OR poverty is the main cause of population increase in India.
  10. 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?
  11. Discuss the changes in the trends of labour migration within and outside India in the last four decades.
  12. Discuss the positive and negative effects of globalization on women in India.
  13. Debate the issue of whether and how contemporary movements for assertion of Dalit identity work towards annihilation of caste.
  14. Explain the factors responsible for the origin of ocean currents. How do they influence regional climates, fishing and navigation?
  15. 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?
  16. India is well endowed with fresh water resources. Critically examine why it still suffers from water scarcity.
  17. The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are reaching the limits of their ecological carrying capacity due to tourism. Critically evaluate.
  18. How far do you agree that the behavior of the Indian monsoon has been changing due to humanizing landscapes? Discuss.
  19. Smart cities in India cannot sustain without smart villages. Discuss this statement in the backdrop of rural urban integration.
  20. What are the economic significances of discovery of oil in Arctic Sea and its possible environmental consequences?

Observations: 2015 compared to previous years

  • Ana-GSM1-Geography-2015
  • Ana-GSM1-History-2015
  • Ana-GSM1-Social-2015
  1. Both in GS1 and GS2, we see an emergence of questions from topics that were *hot*  3 to 5 years back e.g. ST sex ratio > SC (2013, TheHindu); Khap Panchayat (2011, TheHindu); Satyam Scam and corporate reforms (2009-13); Of course these topics sporadically re-emerge every once in a while, but as such quite stale in terms of origin.
  2. No. of questions vs word limit:
    • 2014 had 25 questions with 150 words each = 250 marks.
    • 2015 had 20 questions with 200-word limit each = 250 marks.
  3. Gradual shift from factual freedom struggle (e.g. 2013: foreigner freedom fighters in India; Lord Dalhousie’s contribution) to analytical freedom struggle (e.g. 2015-independence without Gandhi).
  4. Unlike 2013 and 2014, nothing from pre-1857 mutiny topics such as Lord Dalhousie or Panipat battle.
  5. World History: gradual dilution of difficultly level- from Japan’s industrialization (2013) to Suez crisis (2014) to England’s industrial revolution (2015)- relatively easier to find through old NCERT and other books and web-resources.
  6. Questions where history is linked to present: (1) ancient culture to present day (2) England’s industrial revolution to present industrialization of India- quality of life in both places.
  7. Gradual decline in weight and difficultly level of art and culture section. Ancient civilization to present day-quote from A.L.Basham’s book “Wonder that was India”, although one can attempt to invent the answers from assembling points from here and there.
  8. No question from post-independence India in both 2014 and 2015 papers.
  9. Continued emphasis on Women related questions in GS1 in both 2014 and 2015. (perhaps that’s why no essay on women).
  10. Population: asking statistical trend-analysis type questions (1) sex ratio ST>SC (2) labour migration trend in 40 years.
  11. Geography: shift from physical and industrial location related question towards environment – climate change related questions. Gradual dilution of difficulty as well- in the sense that even a non-geography optional candidate can hope to write a few points.
  12. Just like in Essay-2015 paper, we can see same question can be classified under multiple syllabus topics here. E.g. Gandhi-Ambedkar and downtrodden is both a question from syllabus topic (1) India before independence and (2) Social empowerment.
  13. Similarly, why Delhi more bogus than Mumbai in air-pollution- is both (1) climatology (2) urbanization topic.

More analysis points can be made, the more time and brain we apply in analyzing this paper, you’re most welcome to put yours in the comments section below.

Relevance of Mrunal.org aka Bogus Marketing Propaganda

Good number of questions could be solved directly from the Mains-revision series; verbatim answers and points were available.

QuestionSource on Mrunal.orgCredit claimed
Globalization impact on Indian women.
  • Pratik Nayak’s IR2-P3 slide number 19 onwards.
12.5/12.5. verbatim points available.
Origin of Ocean currents, their impact on climate, fishing etc.12.5/12.5
Water scarcity in India, despite fresh water resources
  • Rajtanil: G7/P7– water resources
  • Sunep: MRG1/P4 (Himalayan Glacier); G2/P1 (dying rivers)
12.5/12.5
Arctic sea oil and environment implications
  • Rajtanil: G5/P1-Ocean resources
  • Sunep: MRG1/P2: slide number 22 onwards.
12.5/12.5
Smart cities and smart villages12.5/12.5
Why Industrial revolution started in England and compare it with India at present.Old NCERT Chapter7 ; half of the answer available0 because I did not write old NCERT.
Germany’s hand in WW2Old NCERT Chapter 120 because I did not write old NCERT.
Total62.5/250 = 25% = 1/4th of the Paper.

GSM1-Topicwise since Pattern change

In 2013, UPSC changed the syllabus-pattern of Mains examination and the number of general studies papers were increased from two to four. Out of them, GS Paper-I deals with History, Culture, Society and Geography.

GS Mains Paper-1201320142015
Culture204025
Freedom struggle303025
World History403025
Post independence5000
Religion, Region etc.101037.5
Poverty, Population, Development102025
Women related Qs.102025
Physical Geography20200
Geo-Climate, Disasters203050
Natural
Resources
202012.5
Urbanization10025
Industrial Location10300
Total250250250

Art & Culture

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Salient aspects of Art, Architecture, literature from Ancient to Modern Times

The ancient civilization in Indian sub-continent differed from those of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece in that its culture and traditions have been preserved without a breakdown to the present day. Comment.2015
Mesolithic rock cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a tine aesthetic sense comparable to modem painting. Critically evaluate this comment.2015
To what extent has the urban planning and culture of the Indus Valley Civilization provided inputs to the present day urbanization? Discuss.2014
Gandhara sculpture owed as much to the Romans as to the Greeks. Explain.2014
Taxila university was one of the oldest universities of the world with which were associated a number of renowned learned personalities of different disciplines. Its strategic location caused its fame to flourish, but unlike Nalanda, it is not considered as a university in the modern sense. Discuss.2014
Sufis and medieval mystic saints failed to modify either the religious ideas and practices or the outward structure of Hindu / Muslim societies to any appreciable extent. Comment.2014
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.2013
Discuss the Tandava dance as recorded in the early Indian inscriptions.2013
Chola architecture represents a high watermark in the evolution of temple architecture. Discuss.2013

History: India before Independence

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Mid-18th century – Present (significant events, personalities, issues); Freedom Struggle (various stages, important contributors from different parts of the country)

How different would have been the achievement of Indian independence without Mahatma Gandhi? Discuss.2015
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.2015
The third battle of Panipat was fought in 1761. Why were so many empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat?2014
Examine critically the various facets of economic policies of the British in India from mid-eighteenth century till independence.2014
In what ways did the naval mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India?2014
Defying the barriers of age, gender and religion, the Indian women became the torch bearer during the struggle for freedom in India. Discuss.2013
Several foreigners made India their homeland and participated in various movements. Analyze their role in the Indian struggle for freedom.2013
In many ways, Lord Dalhousie was the founder of modern India. Elaborate.2013

History: India After independence

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Post-Independence (consolidation and reorganisation within country)

Critically discuss the objectives of Bhoodan and Gramdan movements initiated by Acharya Vinoba Bhave and their success.2013
Write a critical note on the evolution and significance of the slogan “Jai Jawana Jai Kisan”.2013
Discuss the contribution of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to pre-and post-independent India.2013
Analyze the circumstances that led to Tashkent Agreement in 1966. Discuss the highlights of the agreement.2013
Critically examine the compulsions which prompted India to play a decisive roles in the emergence of Bangladesh.2013

History: world

GS1 Syllabus Topic: 18th century events (e.g. Industrial revolution, WWs, redrawn boundaries, colonisation, decolonisation); Political philosophies (e.g. communism, capitalism, socialism) and their effect on society

Why did the industrial revolution first occur in England? Discuss the quality of life of the people there during the industrialization. How does it compare with that in India at present?2015
To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically2015
What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India?2014
What were the events that led to the Suez Crisis in 1956? How did it deal a final blow to Britain’s self-image as a world power?2014
The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin had influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate.2014
“Latecomer” Industrial revolution in Japan involved certain factors that were markedly different from what west had experience.2013
Africa was chopped into states artificially created by accident of European competition. Analyse.2013
American Revolution was an economic revolt against mercantilism. Substantiate.2013
What policy instruments were deployed to contain the great economic depression?2013

Social Science: Caste, Religion, Region

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Communalism, Regionalism, Secularism; Social Empowerment

Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate.2015
Describe any four cultural elements of diversity in India and rate their relative significance in building a national identity.2015
Debate the issue of whether and how contemporary movements for assertion of Dalit identity work towards annihilation of caste.2015
How do the Indian debates on secularism differ from the debates in the West?2014
Growing feeling of regionalism is an important factor in the generation of demand for a separate state. Discuss.2013

Social Science: Poverty, Population, Globalization

  • GS1 Syllabus Topic: Salient features of Indian Society; Diversity of India; Globalisation (effects on Indian society)
  • GS1 Syllabus Topic: Poverty, Population; Development and associated issues
Critically examine whether growing population is the cause of poverty OR poverty is the main cause of population increase in India.2015
Discuss the changes in the trends of labour migration within and outside India in the last four decades.2015
The life cycle of a joint family depends on economic factors rather than social values. Discuss.2014
Critically examine the effects of globalization on the aged population in India.2013

Social Science: Women

BMP-GS1-globalization

  • GS1 Syllabus Topic: Role of women and women’s organisation;
  • Although some of the following questions fall under population-globalization categories, but if a person cultivates habit of noting down women related topics under one head, it’ll benefit in both GS1, GS2 and Essay.
Discuss the positive and negative effects of globalization on women in India. (2013, Asked about Globalization effect on Elderly)2015
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?2015
How does patriarchy impact the position of a middle class working woman in India?2014
Discuss the various economic and socio-cultural forces that are driving increasing feminization of agriculture in India.2014
Why do some of the most prosperous regions of India have an adverse sex ratio for women? Give your arguments.2014
Male membership needs to be encouraged in order to make women’s organization free from gender bias. Comment.2013

Geography: Physical

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Salient Features of World Physical Geography; Important Geophysical phenomena (earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, cyclones); Geographical features and location;
BMP-GS1-water-scarcity

Explain the formation of thousands of islands in Indonesian and Philippines archipelagos.2014
Why are the world’s fold mountain systems located along the margins of continents? Bring out the association between the global distribution of Fold Mountains and the earthquakes and volcanoes.2014
What do you understand by the theory of continental drift? Discuss the prominent evidences in its support.2013
There is no formation of deltas by rivers of the Western Ghat. Why?2013
Major hot deserts in northern hemisphere are located between 20-30 degree north and on the western side of the continents. Why?2013

Geography: Climate, Disaster related

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Critical geographical features, flora, fauna (changes and effects thereof)
BMP-GS1-ocean-current

Explain the factors responsible for the origin of ocean currents. How do they influence regional climates, fishing and navigation?2015
India is well endowed with fresh water resources. Critically examine why it still suffers from water scarcity.2015
The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand arc reaching the limits of their ecological carrying capacity due to tourism. Critically evaluate.2015
How far do you agree that the behavior of the Indian monsoon has been changing due to humanizing landscapes? Discuss.2015
Tropical cyclones are largely confined to South China Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico. Why?2014
Most of the unusual climatic happenings are explained as an outcome of the El-Nino effect. Do you agree?2014
Bring out the relationship between the shrinking Himalayan glaciers and the symptoms of climate change in the Indian sub-continent.2014
The recent cyclone on the east coast of India was called “Phailin”. How are the tropical cyclones named across the world?2013
Bring out the causes for the formation of heat islands in the urban habitat of the world.2013
What do you understand by the phenomenon of temperature inversion in meteorology? How does it affect the weather and the habitants of the place?2013
Bring out the causes for more frequent landslides in the Himalayas than in Western Ghats2013

Geography: Resources Distribution

BMP-GS1-Arctic-ocean
GS1 Syllabus Topic: Distribution of key Natural Resources (world, S. Asia, Indian subcontinent)

What are the economic significances of discovery of oil in Arctic Sea and its possible environmental consequences?2015
Critically evaluate the various resources of the oceans which can be harnessed to meet the resource crisis in the world.2014
How does India see its place in the economic space of rising natural resource rich Africa?2014
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.2013
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.2013

Geography: factors affecting industrial locations

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Factors responsible for location of Industries (primary, secondary, tertiary; India, world)

Whereas the British planters had developed tea gardens all along the Shivaliks and Lesser Himalayas from Assam to Himachal Pradesh, in effect they did not succeed beyond the Darjeeling area. Explain.2014
Account for the change in the spatial pattern of the Iron and Steel industry in the world.2014
Why did the Green Revolution in India virtually by-pass the eastern region despite fertile soil and good availability of water?2014
Do you agree that there is a growing trend of opening new sugar mills in the Southern states of India? Discuss with justification2013
Analyze the factors for highly decentralized cotton textile industry in India2013

Geography: Urbanization

BMP-GS1-smart-city

So that means All my sins are washed for the current year.

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Urbanization: problems and remedies.

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?2015
Smart cities in India cannot sustain without smart villages. Discuss this statement in the backdrop of rural urban integration.2015
Discussion the various social problems which originated out of the speedy process of urbanization in India.2013

visit Mrunal.org/download for more papers.

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books
  2. Environment by ShankarIAS
  3. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  4. Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania (Hindi | English)
  5. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  6. Bipin Chandra: Post Independence
  7. Fast-track to Arithmetic Rajesh Verma
  8. MK Pandey’s Analytical Reasoning
  9. Disha’s Topicwise Paperset (Hindi | English)
  10. School Atlas
  11. Mains: Language papers
  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha


So far 61 Comments posted

  1. Anwar ali

    Sir kia me gs paper or easy k liye urdu language me answer likh sakta hoin

  2. Nicky

    Thanks sir for your analysis of GS-I.

  3. doongararam

    sir ias k lia kya yogita honi chayia.

  4. Abhimanyu Arun Jagadale

    Sir,please update the analysis of 2015 and 2016 mains,soon.
    First time When I saw your videos I had this Clear vision that,,,,,,
    What i want to do?,,,,how much time?,,,,,and with what resources?
    You are the one ,who I really think ,, consider aspirants as students..
    Phenomenal job sir.
    Also consider uploading
    Daily THE HINDU ANALYSIS..Please sir,please.
    Waiting for your email.thank u.

  5. siddeswara.L.

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