[Download] UPSC Mains-2015: General Studies Paper-2 (GS2), incl. past papers topicwise sorted; observation, analysis

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UPSC Paperset
  1. Instructions for GS2 Papers
  2. GS2 Mains-2015: Question Paper in Linear Format
  3. Observations / Analysis of Mains-2015 GS2 Paper
    1. Current and Contemporary
    2. One year after expiry date
    3. Lame ducks
    4. Sectors, services and intervention
    5. Sacred cow called SHG
    6. finding fault of the Government
    7. When Bookie mentality backfires
    8. Exchange program with Pre-CSAT era Mains
    9. Student Exchange program between GS1 and GS2
    10. Diluted diplomacy
    11. Relevance of Mrunal.org aka Bogus marketing propaganda 
  4. GS2 Mains-Topicwise Compilation since Pattern change
    1. Polity: Basics of Constitution
    2. Polity: The Executive
    3. Polity: Legislature
    4. Polity: Separation of Powers
    5. Polity: Federalism & Local governance
    6. Polity: Bodies
    7. Welfare: Policies & Schemes
    8. Welfare: Sectors & Services
    9. Governance: Accountability & E-Gov
    10. Groups: Civil Services, NGO, SHG, Pressure Groups
    11. IR/Diplomacy: Neighbors
    12. IR/Diplomacy: Not-Neighbors but affecting interests
    13. IR/Diplomacy: Institutions, Groupings, Agreements

Instructions for GS2 Papers

  • UPSC conducted general studies paper 2 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.

GS2 Mains-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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Examine critically the recent changes in the rules governing foreign funding of NGOs under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1976.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. In the light of the Satyam Scandal (2009), discuss the changes brought in corporate governance to ensure transparency, accountability.
  15. “If amendment bill to the Whistleblowers Act, 2011 tabled in the Parliament is passed, there may be no one left to protect.” Critically evaluate.
  16. “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.
  17. Increasing interest of India in Africa has its pros and cons. Critically examine.
  18. Discuss the impediments India is facing in its pursuit of a permanent seat in UN Security Council.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.

Observations / Analysis of GS Paper-II in Mains-2015

  • Analysis of Polity section UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-2 (GS2) in 2015
  • Analysis of Social justice & welfare section UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-2 (GS2) in 2015
  • Analysis of international relation & diplomacy section UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-2 (GS2) in 2015
  • Just like 2014- each question worth 12.5 marks and 200-word limit.
  • In Polity => Basic structure related topic, each year UPSC’s obsession “concern” for fundamental rights’ protection has continuously increased.
    • 2013: Freedom of speech vs. IT Act
    • 2014: Freedom of Speech vs. films and hate speech.
    • 2015: Life and liberty protection (Khap Panchayat and Diwali crackers); Religious freedom (uniform civil code)
  • Each year, UPSC is equally concerned about “separation of powers” – from SC vs. Parliament (2013) to Judicial activism (2014) to SC vs. executive Ordinances (2015)
  • Earlier specific regulatory bodies asked- Rail Tariff authority, NHRC but this time broad question about importance of independent regulatory bodies.

Current and Contemporary

Questions can be classified in two parts:
current
  • 23rd October 2015: The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 was introduced
  • 28th October 2015: SC refuses to ban diwali crackers.
  • So question paper is fairly recent, probably it was set in November first week.
contemporary
  • You can benefit from selective reading of IGNOU’s BA/MA booklets of Public Administration and political science here, because they provide direct points and answer.
  • For example- Uniform civil code, ordinance abuse, illiterate PRI representatives (although current news as well, because of Rajasthan and Haryana states’ initiatives to bar illiterates from contesting. )

We can also see this year the number and span of contemporary based question have increased.Consider this question- Discuss the importance of independent regulatory institutions based on recent past:

  • SEBI-Sahara: How a politically well-connected billionaire bites dust against independent SEBI. (2010 onwards), while Saradha chit-fund scamsters can run for long time thanks to inept registrar in W.Bengal and Odisha (till 2013)
  • RBI: How “Bhai” (appointment in 2013) manages to contain inflation over the time with his calibrated monetary policy, despite pressure from government and corporates to reduce the rates frequently; how he finetunes priority sector lending (PSL) norms; takes measures for customer protections and so on.
  • FMC: how it clamped commodity market scam of NSEL (2013)
  • NGT: how it takes bitter but necessary measures to protect the environment and well-being of the citizens.

Other example questions with broad span of contemporary topics- Satyam scam (2009) and subsequent enactment of companies act 2013 to ensure better corporate governance; Khap Panchayat (2011).

One year after expiry date

One of UPSC’s classic BackBreaking MoveTM is to ask about a topic one year after it occurred. This year, two such question appeared from 2014

  • Cooperative federalism- the buzz started in 2014 when Modi became PM. but it was not asked in Mains-2014.
  • Project Mausam- launched around mid-2014.

Lame ducks

  • Since inception of new GS2 syllabus in 2013- so far no questions from Comparing Constitution, RPA, E-Governance, Ministry-Department and Indian diaspora.
  • Unlike previous years, Nothing from legislature and executive portion of the Indian Constitution.

Sectors, services and intervention

Two patterns visible

  • How FDI in “x” sector can help? 2014- media; 2015-higher education.
  • Both in health and education sector your job is to critically find faults/examination. see the questions from 2013,14,15 given below in this article under topic wise questions.

Sacred cow called SHG

  • Under the new syllabus of GS2, you’ve to prepare the Role of civil services, NGO-SHG and pressure groups.
  • For the last two years, pattern was (SHG) AND (Civil Service OR Pressure group)
  • This year it is (SHG) AND (NGO AND NGO)
  • This main’s question on SHG-Bank linkage program: it’s quite old topic, it appeared in 2011 because of Kaliya Committee and economy survey 2012. May be sporadic mention here and there afterwards, But itnaa detail mein kaun prepare kartaa hai.

finding fault of the Government

From the new Mains-syllabus, Only once UPSC asked question which required you to write “Salient feature” i.e. PURA in 2013. Otherwise, each year they just ask you to find, highlight and fix the “fault” of Government e.g.

  • 2015: are poverty indicators accurate?
  • 2014: (1) exclusion of the backward in urban economies thanks to Government schemes (2) should we run two things parallel- Adhaar vs. NPR?
  • 2013: how DBT can reduce corruption

So, one should finetune his notes-making strategy accordingly.

When Bookie mentality backfires

  • Modi made so many schemes and foreign visits, atleast something should have come out of it, but it did not (except Project Mausam).
  • SHG topic has been asked to death in last two exam, so it should not have come, yet it continues to appear.
  • 2014: UPSC asks why strong center bad for strong federalism. So then no question should have come from federalism in 2015- but they’ve asked about how cooperative federalism can cure current shortcoming i.e. strong centre.
  •  So, again like the PPP topic (Mains-2013,2014), here too continuation of focusing on one topic with further magnification on a sub-topic.

PS: Bookie mentality did not misfire in following question: India Africa and UNSC permanent seat for India. Both were in news for quite some time.

Exchange program with Pre-CSAT era Mains

Further observation of the above stated “Magnification of subtopic”:
Higher education

  • Mains-2006: “Discuss impact of globalization on higher education in India”.
  • Mains-2009: Mushrooming of Higher Educational Institutions was a matter of grave concern for Yaspal Committee.  With reference to the relevant portion of that report give your views how to harmonise private investment and quality of education.
  • Finally, 2015: Entry of international universities.

Diplomacy with Pakistan

  • 2003: Nature of Track-II diplomacy with Pakistan (i.e. non-governmental, informal and unofficial contacts and activities between private citizens or groups)
  • 2015: Sport and cultural exchange to reduce Pak-terrorism.

Similar pattern we can see with

  • Uniform civil code (Mains-1995);
  • differing estimates of poverty figures (Mains-2010)
  • ordinance making power (Mains-2001);
  • Bogusness of PRIs (Mains-2005);

Ofcourse these topics were in current-contemporary news platform for their own reasons. But a student can benefit by (1) referring to the old papers of Mains exam (2) watchful eye on magazines and newspapers.

Student Exchange program between GS1 and GS2

Africa jumps from GS1 to GS2
GS1, 2013Africa’s natural resources and India
GS2, 2015India-Africa ties pros and cons

 

Smart village jumps from GS2 to GS1
GS2, 2013PURA in improving connectivity in rural areas
GS1, 2015Importance of smart villages

Infact, same answer points can be recycled without any penalty because Modi’s smart village/RURBAN is parallel to UPA’s erstwhile PURA scheme.

Diluted diplomacy

  • Like each year, the international relations (IR) section continues to occupy 50-70 marks.
  • Slight dilution in the level of difficulty. Earlier you had to know the specific technical details to attempt a question e.g. how ITA affects India, Shahbag square of Bangladesh.
  • But this year, except Mausam- all IR questions are such that anyone can write a few generic points whether India-Africa, India-Pak soft ties, India as UNSC permanent member.

Anyways, more “Armchair General” analysis can be made, if more time and attention is spent on reading the questions again and again. But overall, GS2 continues to remain a tough cookie because of its broad contemporary nature.
You’re most welcome to put your observations in the comment section.

Relevance of Mrunal.org aka Bogus marketing propaganda

GS2 has mostly “haat aayaa par munh naa lagaa” (it came in the hands but not inside the mouth) i.e. though topic was mentioned on Mrunal.org but the specific thing that UPSC asked, was not covered.

QuestionCovered inCredit claimed
Accuracy of Poverty estimation12.5/12.5
Public health- involving private sector and “alternative” measures (AYUNASH)!
  • Fully covered in the draft health policy ML2/P3
12.5/12.5
Corporate governance measures after SatyamMrunal Prelims L5/P412.5/12.5
Lecture covered both SEBI norms by Adi Godrej and Companies Act 2013 have sufficient points to show how transparency- accountability strengthened through via independent directors, AGM & BoG-quorum norms, whistleblower protection, class-action suit, separate tribunals etc.
India-Africa
  • Pratik Nayak IR1/P5
12.5/12.5
  • FCRA new updates in rules
  • Strengthen NGO role in environment
0//25 because for both topics only overview was given, but no specific coverage of those aspects.
Project Mausam
  • Pratik Nayak IR2/P1 slide number 18
  • April 2015 current Excel file
0/12.5 because Just single line mention. Did not cover the strategic aspects.
WhistleblowerExcel file of current topiclist- under Polity section second last entry in May Week1.0/12.5 because only one liner fodder (OLF) was given
SHG-Bank LinkageMrunal Eco.Survey 2012 Ch5.0.12.5 although it does have mention of the ‘salient feature’ to fill atleast 70-80 words but no one can be expected to read and remember something that old. Salaa itnaa detail mein kaun preparae kartaa hai.
Total50/250 = 20% of the paper covered through various articles, videos and powerpoints of Mrunal.org

GS2 Mains-Topicwise since Pattern change

In 2013, UPSC changed the syllabus-pattern of Mains examination and the number of general studies (GS) papers were increased from two to four. Out of them, GS Paper-2 deals with Polity, Governance, Welfare and International-Relations (IR)

Polity: Basics of Constitution

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Historical underpinnings & evolution; Features, amendments, significant provisions, basic structure; Comparison of Indian constitutional scheme with other countries’

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.2015
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.2015
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.2015
What do you understand by the concept “freedom of speech and expression”? Does it cover hate speech also? Why do the films in India stand on a slightly different plane from other forms of expression? Discuss.2014
Discuss Section 66A of IT Act, with reference to its alleged violation of Article 19 of the Constitution.2013

Polity: The Executive

GS1 Syllabus Topic:

  •  Executive (structure, organisation, functioning);
  • Ministries and Departments (of Union and State govts.)
Instances of President’s delay in commuting death sentences has come under public debate as denial of justice. Should there be a time limit specified for the President to accept/reject such petitions? Analyse.2014
The size of the cabinet should be as big as governmental work justifies and as big as the Prime Minister can manage as a team. How far the efficacy of a government then is inversely related to the size of the cabinet? Discuss.2014

Polity: Legislature

GS1 Syllabus Topic:

  • Union and State Legislatures (structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges; issues therein);
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
The ‘Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and its Members’ as envisaged in Article 105 of the Constitution leave room for a large number of un-codified and un-enumerated privileges to continue. Assess the reasons for the absence of legal codification of the ‘parliamentary privileges’. How can this problem be addressed?2014
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?2013

Polity: Separation of Powers

GS1 Syllabus Topic:

  • Separation of Powers (between different organs, dispute redressal mechanisms, institutions);
  • Judiciary (structure, organisation functioning)
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?2015
Starting from inventing the ‘basic structure’ doctrine, the judiciary has played a highly proactive role in ensuring that India develops into a thriving democracy. In light of the statement, evaluate the role played by judicial activism in achieving the ideals of democracy.2014
The Supreme Court of India keeps a check on arbitrary power of the Parliament in amending the Constitution. Discuss critically.2013

Polity: Federalism & Local governance

GS1 Syllabus Topic:

  • Functions & responsibilities of the Union and the States; issues and challenges of federal structure;
  • Devolution of powers and finances to local levels; challenges therein.
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.2015
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.2015
Though the federal principle is dominant in our Constitution and that principle is one of its basic features, but it is equally true that federalism under the Indian Constitution leans in favour of a strong Centre, a feature that militates against the concept of strong federalism. Discuss.2014
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.2013
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.2013
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.2013

Polity: Bodies

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts; Constitutional Bodies (powers, functions and responsibilities); Statutory, Regulatory and Quasi-judicial bodies

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.2015
“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.2015
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in India can be most effective when its tasks are adequately supported by other mechanisms that ensure the accountability of a government. In light of the above observation assess the role of NHRC as an effective complement to the judiciary and other institutions in promoting and protecting human rights standards.2014
The setting up of a Rail Tariff Authority to regulate fares will subject the cash strapped Indian Railways to demand subsidy for obligation to operate non-profitable routes and services. Taking into account the experience in the power sector, discuss if the proposed reform is expected to benefit the consumers, the Indian Railways or the private container operators.2014
Discuss the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission which have been a departure from the previous commissions for strengthening the local government finances.2013
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.2013

Welfare: Policies & Schemes

GS1 Syllabus Topic:

  • Welfare Schemes (centre, states; performance, mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for protection of vulnerable sections);
  • Poverty and hunger issues
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.2015
Do government’s schemes for up-lifting vulnerable and backward communities by protecting required social resources for them, lead to their exclusion in establishing businesses in urban economics?2014
Two parallel run schemes of the Government viz. the Adhaar Card and NPR, one as voluntary and the other as compulsory, have led to debates at national levels and also litigations. On merits, discuss whether or not both schemes need run concurrently. Analyse the potential of the schemes to achieve developmental benefits and equitable growth.2014
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.2013
Electronic cash transfer system for the welfare schemes is an ambitious project to minimize corruption, eliminate wastage and facilitate reforms. Comment.2013
The basis of providing urban amenities in rural areas (PURA) is rooted in establishing connectivity. Comment.2013

Welfare: Sectors & Services

bmp-gs1-15-1

  • GS1 Syllabus Topic: Social Sector & Social Services (health, education, human resources – issues in development, management);
  • GS1 Syllabus Topic: Government Policies & Interventions for development of various sectors (issues in their design, implementation)
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.2015
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?2015
Though 100 percent FDI is already allowed in non-news media like a trade publication and general entertainment channel, the Government is mulling over the proposal for increased FDI in news media for quite some time. What difference would an increase in FDI make? Critically evaluate the pros and cons.2014
An athlete participates in Olympics for personal triumph and nation’s glory; victors are showered with cash incentives by various agencies, on their return. Discuss the merit of state sponsored talent hunt and its cultivation as against the rationale of a reward mechanism as encouragement.2014
Should the premier institutes like IITs/IIMs be allowed to retain premier status, allowed more academic independence in designing courses and also decide mode/criteria of selection of students. Discuss in light of the growing challenges.2014
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.2013
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.2013

Governance: Accountability & E-Gov

  1. GS1 Syllabus Topic: Important aspects of governance; Transaparency and accountability (institutional and other measures); Citizens Charter;
  2. GS1 Syllabus Topic: E-Governance (applications, models, successes, limitations, potential)

General Studies (GS2) Corporate Governance

In the light of the Satyam Scandal (2009), discuss the changes brought in corporate governance to ensure transparency, accountability.2015
“If amendment bill to the Whistleblowers Act, 2011 tabled in the Parliament is passed, there may be no one left to protect.” Critically evaluate.2015
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.2013
‘A national Lokpal, however strong it may be, cannot resolve the problems of immorality in public affairs’. Discuss.2013

Groups: Civil Services, NGO, SHG, Pressure Groups

GS1 Syllabus Topic:

  1. Development Processes & Development industry (role of NGOs, SHGs, groups & associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders)
  2. Pressure Groups & Formal, Informal associations (and their role in the polity)
  3. Role of Civil Services in a democracy.
NGO-SHGExamine critically the recent changes in the rules governing foreign funding of NGOs under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1976.2015
NGO-SHGThe 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.2015
NGO-SHGHow 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.2015
NGO-SHGThe penetration of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in rural areas in promoting participation in development programmes is facing socio-cultural hurdles. Examine.2014
NGO-SHGThe 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.2013
Pressure GroupPressure 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.2013
Civil ServicesHas the Cadre based Civil Services Organisation been the cause of slow change in India? Critically examine.2014

IR/Diplomacy: Neighbors

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Effect of Policies & Politics of Developed and Developing countries on India (India’s interests, diaspora)

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.2015
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.2015
With respect to the South China sea, maritime territorial disputes and rising tension affirm the need for safeguarding maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region. In this context, discuss the bilateral issues between India and China.2014
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.2013
What do you understand by ‘The String of Pearls’? How does it impact India? Briefly outline the steps taken by India to counter this.2013
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?2013
Discuss the political developments in Maldives in the last two years. Should they be of any cause of concern to India?2013
In respect of India — Sri Lanka relations, discuss how domestic factors influence foreign policy.2013
What is meant by Gujral doctrine? Does it have any relevance today? Discuss.2013

IR/Diplomacy: Not-Neighbors but affecting interests

GS1 Syllabus Topic: India and its Neighbourhood (relations)
bmp-gs1-15-3

Increasing interest of India in Africa has its pros and cons. Critically examine.2015
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.2013

IR/Diplomacy: Institutions, Groupings, Agreements

GS1 Syllabus Topic: Important International institutions, agencies, for a (structure, mandate); Bilateral, Regional, Global groupings & Agreements (involving and/or affecting India)

Discuss the impediments India is facing in its pursuit of a permanent seat in UN Security Council.2015
The aim of Information Technology Agreements (ITAs) is to lower all taxes and tariffs on information technology products by signatories to zero. What impact should such agreements have on India’s interests?2014
Some of the International funding agencies have special terms for economic participation stipulating a substantial component of the aid to be used for sourcing equipment from the leading countries. Discuss on merits of such terms and if, there exists a strong case not to accept such conditions in the Indian context.2014
India has recently signed to become founding a New Development Bank (NDB) and also the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) .How will the role of the two Banks be different? Discuss the significance of these two Banks for India.2014
WTO is an important international institution where decisions taken affect countries in profound manner. What is the mandate of WTO and how binding are their decisions? Critically analyse India’s stand on the latest round of talks on Food security.2014
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.2013

visit Mrunal.org/download for more papers.

Mrunal recommends

  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

50 Comments on “[Download] UPSC Mains-2015: General Studies Paper-2 (GS2), incl. past papers topicwise sorted; observation, analysis”

  1. Itna detail m koi analysis bhi nhi karta😀..
    Waise much questions can be answered through magazines and rstv + major newspaper articles (including world)

    1. jeevan & Kksingh : You both seems to be very SMART.. why you guys are wasting your time here…..
      Mrunal sir’s analysis will help others aspirants to pick correct contents from available resources.

  2. Hi can someone help me pick up an optional from any of these three ..political science and international relation..sociology. .geography. .I’m from commerce background but I have no interest in commerce as optional subject. So I would be glad if someone could suggest me . I’m planning for 2016 chat. Thanks

    1. well i don’t have any idea about sociology but between Geography and PSIR i would choose the latter and reason being
      A. one can cover most of it through newspaper which you’ll read anyway doesn’t matter what optional you choose so it saves time
      B. It is relatively easier to Geography and syllabus is also not as vast as Geo
      Rest depend on your interest,i have chosen Economics though i don’t have economics background and i’m going fine with it. Hope it helps :)

  3. good observation

  4. Anyone have idea about Botany as optional subject?

  5. mrunal sir, you are marvellous. helping us a lot n lot in our preparation

  6. Except one or two question ,whole paper 3 of GS was from your lectures sir……salute…

  7. true rightly said.. thank you for the analysis sir!!

  8. ainy : You both seems to be very SMART.. why you guys are wasting your time here…..
    Mrunal sir’s analysis will help others aspirants to pick correct contents from available resources.

  9. Thank You sir once again for helping us and providing with such a valuable analysis….!!!

  10. Bab please choose, geography subject as a optional, because you belong to commerce background, scientific subject, save time, no competition when you also choose it as a career, with technology you can transform our country with innovation

  11. Thanks sir ,
    plz upload gs mains 2015 paper 3&4 and previous analysis papers

  12. Thanks Mrunal…
    Waiting for your analysis on GS3, and how much part of paper is covered by your economy lectures.

  13. how to prepare and check for mains answer.

  14. @ lav
    Botany has a very length syllabus plus it doesn’t overlap with any of the GS topics so it will become difficult to revise in the final stages……. But if you still want to persist with it then go ahead (just sharing the problems)……. I too have the same optional.. All the best

  15. Superb interpretation Sir.. From sacred cow to UPSC’s back breaking…. lol.. After GS exams I eagerly waited for your analysis.. your are doing a great job.. Thank you Sir

  16. Good analysis! Most of the questions were asked from recent happenings over 1-1.5 years and special focus was given on application of concepts with contemporary issues, one can crack it with the help of op-ed page of The Hindu, coverage given by EPW ( for questions on SHG, NGO, Co operative federalism), one should give importance to PRS.org for latest legislations and ordinances, you will get deep & thorough analysis of these points there. Paper was neither easy nor difficult, it was challenging. Thanx mrunal ji for good anslysis!

  17. V can say that rstv again so that how it helpful for gs.2

  18. Sir,
    Please dont give the notes in audio form.Please continue doing it in written notes.They were better to understand and could be assessed in 2g net also.We are unable to view the videos.

  19. Thanks Sir for the analysis…

  20. Please upload GS3 analysis also sir.. we r waiting…

  21. By giving so much of classification and mix and match..it is only confusing people more and more..

    the crux of the matter is to prepare all the topics..thoda thoda..as u have mentioned in one of your lectures..

    and give importance to current more..and if they ask something like..it should be answered on common sense..kyonki “itna kaun padta hai”

  22. @HRITI
    dear u will take time to understand need of this classfictn.
    Please sir ignore these comments and keep on providing this clasifctn.
    Thanks mrunal sir for ur help. …..

  23. sir waiting for your paper 3 and paper 4 analysis… please upload… plzzzzzzzzzz

  24. Thank you soooo much.

  25. mains model question paper analisis one,s again and prelim model paper analisis.

  26. Can we write abt cbse …its also independent body and its exams are more strict than bihar exams

  27. Those who dont appreciate mrunal sir above analysis are just a beginner…need vigorous introspection…

  28. HEY GUYS IF YOU ARE PREPARING WITH SELF STUDY STRATEGY THEN KINDLY CONTACT ME 7031535978.we will try to make it simple with our team effort.

  29. ANY ONE HAVE IDEA ABOUT PHYSICVS AS A OPTIONAL

  30. mrunal sir,please upload law paper 2015.we can not download notes given by last law topper,sakhshi sahani.if anyone from law background please add me,and suggest me how to prepare,i am highly regard at this.

  31. hey i am preparing by self study prelims all okk need help in preparing for mains please need guidance. I can not afford coaching. Need help please if u can..

    1. u shouldnot worry as many have cracked it with their hard work nd without coachng..if u have time i thnk read ncerts to clear the basics nd go through recent previous yrs mains que paper ..u urself will get the idea about pattern nd then u could plan further..thank u nd all the best

  32. Thank you sir , waiting for your paper 4 analysis thank you….

  33. Mrunal sir …..awesome analysis…

  34. Botany as optional subject would be correct as in this subject has specific and to the point thing are only needed most scoring subject lal Singh k I m from same optional subject

  35. please continue all notes in text format sir. because lakhs of students doesnt have access to high speed broadband to watch your videos.

  36. continue giving such analyses they r quite helpful nd are a nyc source of guidance nd planning..thank u sir

  37. very nice toppic

  38. sir articles mein ap chapters btate gain vo chapters kaise padhe ja sakte hai..

  39. Thank you sir

  40. sir plz upload 2016 paper too…

  41. TQ SO MUCH SIR,….ITS REALLY HELPFULL TO PREPARE ..

  42. As i m a new comer to upsc.Can any one send me a book list for general studies 1,2,3,4. Plz

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