- GSM1-2015: Question Paper in Linear Format
- Observations: 2015 compared to previous years
- Relevance of Mrunal.org aka Bogus Marketing Propaganda
- GSM1-Topicwise since Pattern change
- Art & Culture
- History: India before Independence
- History: India After independence
- History: world
- Social Science: Caste, Religion, Region
- Social Science: Poverty, Population, Globalization
- Social Science: Women
- Geography: Physical
- Geography: Climate, Disaster related
- Geography: Resources Distribution
- Geography: factors affecting industrial locations
- Geography: Urbanization
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- How different would have been the achievement of Indian independence without Mahatma Gandhi? Discuss.
- Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate.
- 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.
- 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?
- To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically
- Describe any four cultural elements of diversity in India and rate their relative significance in building a national identity.
- Critically examine whether growing population is the cause of poverty OR poverty is the main cause of population increase in India.
- 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?
- Discuss the changes in the trends of labour migration within and outside India in the last four decades.
- Discuss the positive and negative effects of globalization on women in India.
- Debate the issue of whether and how contemporary movements for assertion of Dalit identity work towards annihilation of caste.
- Explain the factors responsible for the origin of ocean currents. How do they influence regional climates, fishing and navigation?
- 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?
- India is well endowed with fresh water resources. Critically examine why it still suffers from water scarcity.
- The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are reaching the limits of their ecological carrying capacity due to tourism. Critically evaluate.
- How far do you agree that the behavior of the Indian monsoon has been changing due to humanizing landscapes? Discuss.
- Smart cities in India cannot sustain without smart villages. Discuss this statement in the backdrop of rural urban integration.
- What are the economic significances of discovery of oil in Arctic Sea and its possible environmental consequences?
Observations: 2015 compared to previous years
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Unlike 2013 and 2014, nothing from pre-1857 mutiny topics such as Lord Dalhousie or Panipat battle.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- No question from post-independence India in both 2014 and 2015 papers.
- Continued emphasis on Women related questions in GS1 in both 2014 and 2015. (perhaps that’s why no essay on women).
- Population: asking statistical trend-analysis type questions (1) sex ratio ST>SC (2) labour migration trend in 40 years.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
|Question||Source on Mrunal.org||Credit claimed|
|Globalization impact on Indian women.||
||12.5/12.5. verbatim points available.|
|Origin of Ocean currents, their impact on climate, fishing etc.||
|Water scarcity in India, despite fresh water resources||12.5/12.5|
|Arctic sea oil and environment implications||
|Smart cities and smart villages||12.5/12.5|
|Why Industrial revolution started in England and compare it with India at present.||Old NCERT Chapter7 ; half of the answer available||0 because I did not write old NCERT.|
|Germany’s hand in WW2||Old NCERT Chapter 12||0 because I did not write old NCERT.|
|Total||62.5/250 = 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-1||2013||2014||2015|
|Religion, Region etc.||10||10||37.5|
|Poverty, Population, Development||10||20||25|
|Women related Qs.||10||20||25|
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|
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 critically||2015|
|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
- 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|
GS1 Syllabus Topic: Salient Features of World Physical Geography; Important Geophysical phenomena (earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, cyclones); Geographical features and location;
|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)
|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 Ghats||2013|
Geography: Resources Distribution
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 justification||2013|
|Analyze the factors for highly decentralized cotton textile industry in India||2013|
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|
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