I shall complete my yearly ritual of doing [analysis] of the papers. But in the meantime, those who are eager to see the papers.

  1. General Studies I 
  2. General Studies II

General Studies Mains 2012 Question Paper 1

1. Answer any five of the following in about 250 words each: 25X5 = 125

  1. What do you understand by the term “Innovation”? Discuss the need for launching a national innovation policy in India.
  2. Keeping in view the informal sector’s share in the total workforce of the country, critically examine the relevant inclusive measures initiated by the Government of India and their effectiveness.
  3. Examine the causes and the extent of ‘desertification’ in India and suggest remedial measures.
  4. In the context of the growing demands for the ban of Endosulfan in the country, critically examine the issues involved. What, in your view, should be done in the matter?
  5. “The Indian independence movement was a mass—based movement that encompassed various sections of society. It also underwent the process of constant ideological evolution? Critically examine.
  6. The issue of tourism in core areas of tiger reserve forests in the country is a subject matter of debate. Critically examine various aspects of this issue, keeping in view relevant recent judicial pronouncements.

2. Answer any seven of the following in about 150 words each: 15X7=105

  1. “There is an urgent need for the Planning Commission to revise the chapter on health in the 12th Plan document.” Comment.
  2. The Union Cabinet recently cleared the proposal to rename and amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986. What are the salient features of the proposed amendments?
  3. “Domestic resource mobilization, though central tothe process of Indian economic growth, is characterized by several constraints? Explain.
  4. The ‘flute-playing Krishna’ theme is very popular in Indian art. Discuss.
  5. What are the salient features of the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2011 introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011?
  6. What do you understand by the term “Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis” {MDR-TB)? What measures would you advocate for its containment and what are the implications of its spread in the community?
  7. Given the accelerated pace of development and demand for energy, would you consider renewable energy as a viable option for India’s future?
  8. Many food items contain “trans fats”. What do you understand by this term? Which Indian food items contain trans fats? What are the implications of trans fats on human health?

3. Answer the following in about 50 words each:5X11=55

  1. What is the ‘Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat’?
  2. List the main objectives of the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), 2011.
  3. Comment on the significance of Rasarnava in studying the history of Indian Chemistry.
  4. What are the Rights within the ambit of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution?
  5. Comment on the significance of the Preamble contained in the Right to Information Act.
  6. To implement one key recommendation of the Mohini Giri Committee, the Government has recently announced the constitution of a National Council. Highlight the composition and the mandate of this National Council.
  7. Comment on the recent launching of the National Mission on Libraries (NML).
  8. What are the groups into which musical instruments in India have traditionally been classified?
  9. Comment on the significance of fire in Zoroastrianism.
  10.  Why is Laurie Baker called ‘the conscience keeper of Indian architecture’?
  11. You are stationed in a small district town in the plains of Northern India, The summer has been severe. Suddenly, a colleague, who had been out since morning, returns to the office complaining of headache, restlessness and confusion. Shortly, he becomes unconscious. His body temperature is 40°C. What first aid steps would you take to revive him?

4. Comment on each of the following in about 20 words each: 2X5=10

  1. The significance of Patharughat in the Indian freedom struggle
  2. Bagurumba folk dance
  3. Determining the ‘value’ assigned to the vote of a Member of a State Legislative Assembly and of a Member of Parliament in the Indian Presidential elections.
  4. Significance of the SPOT-6 rocket launch for ISRO
  5. Issues highlighted through the work of Palagumrni Sainath

5. Why have the following been in the news recently?. (Answer to be in one sentence only). 1X5=5

  1. P.V. Sindhu
  2. Aditya Kumar Mandi
  3. Cyrus Mistry
  4. Ashoke Sen
  5. Mario de Miranda

General Studies Mains Paper 2 II -2012

1. Answer any four of the following in about 250 words each: (25×4=100)

  1. Do you think that China’s emergence as one of the largest trading partners of India had adversely affected the settlement of the outstanding border problem?
  2. Discuss the globalization of R&D and its impact on India’s development. Provide an illustration from at least one sector such as Information Technology or Health.
  3. Discuss the contentious issues that have caused the prolonged constitutional logjam in Nepal.
  4. The human population is slated to grow to 9 billion by 2050. In this context, many scientists predict that plant genomics would play a critical rule in keeping out hunger and preserving the environment. Explain.
  5. “ The situation today is far different to that prevalent fifty years back when the Indus Water Treaty was signed.” Highlight the complexity of the current challenges on both sides of the border in this regard. Do you think that a review of the Treaty is in India’s best interests?

2. Answer any five of the following in about 150 words each: (15×5=75)

  1. Write a short analytical note on Indian Diaspora. How is the “New Diaspora” different from the “Old Diaspora”?
  2. Why have the resource rich African and South Asian countries remained poor for decades? Explain.
  3. Does Putin’s return as President of Russia mark a shift to a confrontationist stance in international diplomacy towards the West?
  4. Analyse critically the interlinkages between the Convention on Biological Diversity and FAO Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
  5. Critically review the international concern in achieving the targets set for the Millennium Development Goals.
  6. Discuss the likely negative impact of the protectionist measures proposed by the US on India’s software industry.

3. Answer any six of the following in not more than 100 words each: (10×6=60)

  1. In the context of Assisted Reproductive Technologies, India has emerged as a hub of commercial surrogacy. What key biological, legal and ethical issues merit consideration while framing the regulation to govern surrogacy in India?
  2. Why is international trade perceived to have failed to act as an “engine of growth” in many developing countries including India?
  3. Despite strict prohibitory regulations, “doping” has become increasingly common amongst athletes. Name five commonly used performance- enhancing drugs. What are the risks associated with their use?
  4. Compare the significance of IBSA and BRICS in the context of India’s multilateral diplomacy.
  5. The safe landing of the “Curiosity” Rover under NASA’s space programme has sparked many possibilities. What are those and how could humankind benefit from them?
  6. How have the US sanctions against Iran affected India’s bilateral relations with Iran?
  7. What is Permaculture? Give at least three common examples where permaculture concepts are being put to use.

4. Answer the following in not more than 50 words each: (5×6=30)

  1. The Sequoia supercomputer was launched this year. What are its specific features and what is its purpose?
  2. What is meant by the G8+5 group?
  3. The Human Papilloma Virus vaccine has been making the headlines in the recent months. Who make the ideal candidates for receiving this vaccine and what are its benefits?
  4. What are India’s stakes in the South China Sea?
  5. Explain the concepts “Environmental Sustainabilty” and “Sustainable Development of People”.
  6. Explain briefly the “Clean Development Mechanism” as provided under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

5. (a) The following table gives the number of mistakes made by 16 data entry clerks who enter medical data from case report forms. The column Enteredindicates the number of values entered, and the column Errors gives the number of coding errors that were detected among these.

Entered Errors
4434 35
4841 42
6280 15
1958 28
7749 36
2829 42
4239 18
3303 54
5706 34
3770 40
3363 36
1740 23
3404 27
1640 26
3803 56
1529 20
  1. Make a scatter-plot of these data. Which do you choose for the response and which for the explanatory variables? Describe any patterns.
  2. Does the scatter-plot indicate any relation between the two variables?
  3. One analyst concluded,”The clerks who enter more values make more mistakes. Evidently they become tired as they enter more values.” Is this an appropriate conclusion? (9 marks)

5 (b) The following table provides the Rural and Urban population of West Bengal according to the Censuses of 1921-1951. (Population in Lakhs) :

Census-year Rural Urban
1921 139.94 24.32
1931 147.92 28.97
1941 171.97 46.79
1951 200.25 62,82

(i) Construct a suitable diagram to compare the population figures.

(ii) Comment on the changes in populations. (6 marks)

(c) Suppose milk is being sold at the rates of 18, 20, 22 and 25 rupees per litre in four different months. Assuming that equal amounts of money are spent on milk by a family in the four months, using a suitable measure, determine the average price in rupees per litre. (2 marks)

6. (a) (i) Determine the median and mode for the following distribution of monthly income for 580 middle-class people of a country:

Monthly income in Rs. Thousands Frequency
25-30 53
30-35 81
35-40 114
40-45 195
45-50 63
50-55 32
55-60 20
60-65 11
65-70 8
70-75 3

(ii) Also obtain an approximate value of the mean income from the values of median and mode.

(iii) Comment on the nature of the income distribution. (8 marks)

6 (b) From the frequency distribution of height for 177 Indian adults given below, draw the ‘more than type’ ogive. Also locate the position of the median. (3 marks)

Height (cm) Class Interval Frequency
144.55-149.55 1
149.55-154.55 3
154.55-159.55 24
159.55-164.55 58
164.55-169.55 60
169.55-174.55 27
174.55-179.55 2
179.55-184.55 2

(c) A survey of 1000 large U.S. companies conducted by a Research Organisation asked their

level white collar jobs to countries outside the U.S. The following table shows the percentage that indicated a certain action. The data for 2003 are real, the data for 2008 are speculative. (7 marks)

plan to 2003(%) 2008(%)
Do virtually no white-collar offshoring 63 46
Offshore white-collar work to some extent 33 44
offshore any white-collar work possible 4 10

The following Bar chart with side-by-side columns summarizes the data:
Download GS Mains Papers UPSC

  1. Does the Bar chart compare the impression of any anticipated in outsourcing of the white collar jobs?
  2. Does the mode differ from the median for the distribution of percentages in 2003 and 2008?