[Question Paper] Political Science Mains 2012 UPSC Civil Service IAS IPS exam

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  1. Political Science: Paper 1 (2012)
    1. SECTION – A
    2. SECTION – B
  2. Political Science Paper 2 (2012)
    1. SECTION – A
    2. SECTION – B

Political Science Mains 2012: Paper 1


  1. Sub questions (150 words each)
    1. Difference between normative and empirical theories of politics.
    2. Difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.
    3. Difference between Liberal and Radical forms of Feminism.
    4. Hannah Arendt’s conception of the ‘political.
    5. Issues of debate in contemporary democratic theory.
  2. Sub questions
    1. What is meant bu ‘relative autonomy’ of State in Marxist analysis?
    2. Comment on the Marxist and Radical Humanist phases of M.N. Roy’s thought.
    3. Examine the multi-cultural perspectives on rights.
  3. Sub questions
    1. ‘Locke is an individualist out and out’. Substantiate this statement.
    2. Distinguish between the concepts of legitimacy and hegemony.
    3. Why is ‘affirmative action’ important in provision of equal opportunity?
  4. Sub questions
    1. Examine the Gandhian idea of village community as an ideal unit of self-governance.
    2. Draw parallels between Arthashastra tradition and the ‘Realist’ tradition represented by Machiavelli.
    3. Write a note on the Buddhist tradition in Indian political thought.


  1. Sub Questions: 150 words each:
  1. Efficacy of Satygraha as moral resistance colonial rule.
  2. Judicial activism and social change.
  3. Role of National Commission for Women in India
  4. Demands for the creation of new States in India
  5. Doctrine of Basic Structure of the Indian Constitution.

7. sub questions

  1. Discuss the extent to which the Indian Constitution reflects successful reconciliation of alternative perspectives.
  2. Examine the relevance of Directive Principles in the era of liberalisation and globalization.

8. sub questions

  1. Examine the impact of coalition-politics on Indian political system.
  2. Critically examine Green Revolution as a strategy for sustainable agriculture development.

9. sub questions

  1. Examine the efficacy of available mechanisms for resolving inter-State dispute in India.
  2. Discuss the impact of environmentalist movement on government policies in recent years.

Political Science Paper 2 (2012)


  1. 150 words each:
    1. Examining political phenomena through a process of cross-global investigation has become the fundamental function of Comparative Politics.” Discuss.
    2. How did the struggle for representation increase the level and quality of democracy in the industrial societies?
    3. Do you agree that liberal international theories are essentially ‘Eurocentric’ and not necessarily imperialist?
    4. Review the increasing role of Multi National Corporations in the policy making process of developing countries.
    5. Why is the ‘polarity of power’ thesis less relevant and meaningful in the present architecture of ‘balance of power’?
  2. Sub questions
    1. What are the great debates between ‘classical’ and ‘modern’ realists ? Is there any thin line of continuity between these two traditions?
    2. Does the perspective of Dependencies Theory offer a robust critique on the nature of mainstream development process taking place in Africa and Latin America?
    3. Is ‘terrorism’ an essentially ‘contested’ concept ? What are the different manifestations of ‘terrorism’ as a concept, and as practice?
  3. 200 worlds each:
    1. What have been the main challenges to India’s foreign policy in the last two decades? Are these essentially ‘concerns’ with domestic politics or ‘strategic’ issues?
    2. What constitutes ‘national security discourses’ ? How far have the IR Feminists questioned how ‘security’ has been problematised ?
    3. Evaluate the nature and distinctions of anomic and associational interest groups in the pressure politics of developing countries.
    4. Elucidate the transdisciplinary nature of modern comparative politics and identify the modern comparative politics and identify the contributions of political sociologists towards this goal.
  4. 250 worlds each:
    1. How far have the UN reform efforts of 2004-05, transformed the concept of ‘Sovereignty’ as a fundamental principle of International Law ?  Do you think that UN reform discourse represents a ‘biopolitical reprogramming’ of contemporary sovereignty and global governance?
    2. How would you explain the future of ‘Nuclear Deterrence’ ? Do you think that ‘preventive war’ is a good substitute for Nuclear Deterrence ?
    3. examine the significance of ideological and policy aspects in the structural growth of modern political parties.


  1. 150 worlds each:
    1. Illustrate the issue of illegal cross-border migration in South Asia and its impact on regional alliances and bilateral relations.
    2. “Human Rights constitute the Third Generation of Rights.” Analyse the range and complex dimension of Human Rights in the globalised era.
    3. Is there any linkage between a shift in China’s relations with Japan to a perceived shift in her relations with India? Examine in the light of China’s so-called ‘anti-encirclement struggle’.
    4. Comment on the essential elements of India’s foreign policy that are required to secure energy and security in the Indian Ocean region.
    5. is it correct to conclude that the ‘Arab Street’ revolutions have radically altered the political power scenario of the West Asian countries?
  1. 250 worlds each:
    1. How would you describe the contemporary words beyond the language of ‘North/South’ and ‘Developed/Developing’? Is the present transformation driven by domestic compulsion, or external overall crisis of the global economy?
    2. Is power a zero-sum or variable game in international relations? Can zero-sum game explain the mixture of conflict and cooperation of the present dynamics of international relations?
    3. Assess the scope and importance of setting up the Public Diplomacy Division in the Ministry of External Affairs in strengthening India’s Foreign Policy.
  2. 200 worlds each:
    1. The effort in restricting illegal migration from Mexico to U.S.A. and Canada has been one major gain for the United States through NAFTA. Comment.
    2. Bring out linkage between environmental degradation and neo-corporatism in the globalised era.
    3. “Nations and States have become virtually synonymous.” Elucidate.
    4. “Despite the potentialities, India’s ‘Look East Policy’ requires a major course correction”. Discuss.
  3. 250 worlds each:
    1. Do you think that Iran’s ‘victory’ in the NAM on the nuclear issue has brought in a new debate on the relevance of the Non-Aligned Movement.?
    2. What are the political and environmental contexts of the Siachen Glacier conflict? Comment on the possibility of environmental peace-keeping and collaborative arrangements being worked out with Pakistan on this aspects.
    3. Examine the idea of a ‘balance’ between ‘security’ and ‘liberty’ in modern international politics. Do you think that the liberal international order is more ‘security-friendly’?
Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

39 Comments on “[Question Paper] Political Science Mains 2012 UPSC Civil Service IAS IPS exam”

  1. Thanks Mrunal. I am contemplating on taking political science and geography as optional s, it will be great if you could share which paper should I finish before next year prelims.

    1. both are big optionals…..going by the present trend…geography is tending more towards GS….so you can take Geo after prelims…anyways u cover a lot of geo in prelims as well….its better to get books such as spectrum, majid husain(indian geo and models alone), savindra singh(for paper 1) and go thru(cursory glance shud do) them along with prelims(ncert)….this is my own opinion…as i was repenting not doing my geo optionals before prelims(my optionals geo and PA)

      1. Hi! which books should I refer for General studies, political science and geography. I have already started reading political theory by O P Gauba. Can u suggest any method to prepare. I am planning to do Political Science till december and then start with general studies. after prelims will it be difficult to start my second optional or should i start it before prelims or should i do political science and geography together in december. i have heard of test series. how should i register for that. Do i have to go to any institute to answer or can it be done through postal service. Any other suggestion will highly be appreciated.

  2. Hello friends…I just now started to prepare for UPSC…Can anyone analyse the Political Science Paper please???

  3. can somebody pls tell me what should begood choice betweeb pub ad & pol sc as aoptional ,in light of the previous few years quest as some say that pub ad paper is becoming tough.

  4. political science is big optional but it covers a lot of gs like constitution,international relations,{taht is 50% of pol sci]

  5. Hi Mrunal,

    Could you please post 2012 question papers for Management and Economics optionals.

    It is available nowhere online.


    1. hi,
      did anyone came across commerce and accountancy paper? do upload it guys it would be a great help. thank you :)

    1. hey,
      did anyone get the commerce and accountancy paper? if anyone does then kindly upload the paper. it would be a great help. thank you all in advance

  6. Dear sir,
    i have started my civil preparation with political science and sociology as my optional …could u help me for better information about tricky materials,good books on political science and sosiology…..thank you sir

    1. i have start my civil preparation with political science and public administration as my optional…could me help for better information about materials,important books on political science & public administration….
      that will be ur most kindness.
      tawheed ah

  7. Dear sir,
    i have started civil preparation with political science and geography as my optional sub.could you help sum materiol and good books.

  8. hi.could u pls post solution for this yrs polsc and history mains papers or suggest other way to get it

  9. Sir,Looking at the present pattern of GS mains ie lots of emphasis is being given on indian polity and bilateral relations , How advantageous would to take Political science and international relation as one of the optionals..?
    P.S- i am a student of engineering background, geography in my another optional.
    thanks alot..!


  10. In my opinion, paper 1 of pol.science is mostly static,but regarding paper 2, it is a confluence of both static and dynamic trends in the realm of polity with prevailing political outbursts around the world.

  11. sir(and friends), iwould like to have ur suggestions over pol.sci. as an optional.
    especially in view of the revised cse patten for mains.(common notion that pol science covers a big portion of gs)
    how much difference is there in the depth of questions regarding internatinal relations in gs and polscience(ir portion)?

  12. Hi Everyone,

    If Anyone could tell me as which is better, political science or geography as optional. Please, I am of engineering background.


    1. Dear Vicky , both geography and political options are good . political science portions is huge but even geography is vast ?… Political science u need to refer lot of magazines especially for international relations cause it is contemporary oriented , geography be covered with few standard Books . but pol science covers a large part of your gs syllabus and requires good writing skills , geography is more scientific and can be managed with a decent writing skill , polscience u need to keep updating urself about Indian foreign policy and international relations where as geography is comparitevly static … Weigh all these parameters Awnd decide for yourself based on. Your strength and weakness . all the best

  13. Hi m rajiv, I am a constable in itbp… Recently I have completed my graduation from distance from art… Would you help me to prepare for any compitative exam… M pol-his student…

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