1. Polity Answerkey for UPSC Prelims 2017
    1. Pol.Sci Bolbachchan (2 MCQs)
    2. Preamble to DPSP (8 MCQs)
      1. Preamble (2 MCQs)
      2. Fundamental rights (2 MCQs)
      3. Fundamental Duties (2 MCQs)
      4. DPSP (2 MCQs)
    3. Federalism (3 MCQs)
    4. Executive (2 MCQs)
    5. Legislature (2 MCQs)
    6. Judiciary (1 MCQ)
    7. Election related (4 MCQs)
  2. IR-International Relations & Defense (3 MCQs)

Polity Answerkey for UPSC Prelims 2017

UPSC Prelim 2017 Polity Answerkey & Analysis: right to Vote

2016 and before 2017’s Prelim GS Paper
  • Polity reaches unprecedented height: 22 MCQ i.e more than 1/5th of the paper! And all from ‘theory’.
  • 16 out of 22 MCQs could be solved from M.Laxmikanth.
Random MCQs like

  1. who appoints Chief Secretary?
  2. What does the NGO ‘Rashtriya Garima Abhiyaan’ do?
  • Thankfully no such random questions. Everything is at least hinted either in M.Laxmikanth or in NCERT.
  • But that doesn’t mean, Polity by default was easy, because even though they are covered in books, eight of them in medium to tough category, because requiring ‘interpretation’ of the known provisions or some factual information.

Pol.Sci Bolbachchan (2 MCQs)

67. Democracy’s superior virtue lies in the fact that it calls into activity
(a) the intelligence and character of ordinary men and women.
(b) the methods for strengthening executive leadership.
(c) a superior individual with dynamism and vision.
(d) a band of dedicated party workers.

These days, people will dispute every Answerkey (Even if reference is given, but still)

NEW NCERT Class 8 Civics, Chapter 3, page 32

The take-off point for a democracy is the idea of consent, i.e. the desire, approval and participation of people. It is the decision of people that creates a democratic government and decides about its functioning.
So, since democracy requires voters’ decision making- hence intelligence and character are called in.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy, even if you’ve not read NCERT, this can be attempted.

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant. While it’s possible to eliminate B, C and D, through common knowledge and understanding of polity and Constitution, but that’s knowledged elimination and not guessing.

80. One of the implications of equality in society is the absence of
(a) Privileges
(b) Restraints
(c) Competition
(d) Ideology

NEW NCERT Class 11, Political Science, page 45

  • First step towards bringing about equality is of course ending the formal system of inequality and privileges. The caste system in India prevented people from the ‘lower’ castes from doing anything except manual labour. In many countries only people from some families could occupy high positions. Attainment of equality requires that all such restrictions or privileges should be brought to an end.

M.Laxmikanth page 7.8, Right to equality: subtopic: abolition of untouchability

  • No one can be denied entry to place of public worship, shop, hotel, public entertainment, hospital etc.
  • So this means absence of ‘privileges’ earlier enjoyed by rulers, elites and upper caste.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy.

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant. This is the minimum level of understanding every serious aspirant must have, about Indian Polity and Constitution.

Preamble to DPSP (8 MCQs)

This segment evenly spread among four topics: (Preamble, FD, FOR, DPSP) x 2 MCQs from each = Total 8 MCQs.

Preamble (2 MCQs)

63. Which one of the following objectives is not embodied in the Preamble to the Constitution of India?
(a) Liberty of thought
(b) Economic liberty
(c) Liberty of expression
(d) Liberty of belief

Read the preamble given on Page 4.1 of M.LaxmikanthWe, the people of India,….LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship…”

So, “B” is the answer.
Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy because given directly in the book.

Guessmaster-giri: Possible without any knowledge. Because by “word association”, A, C and D are similar and “B” is dissimilar so it should be the correct answer.

73. The mind of the makers of the Constitution of India is reflected in which of the following?
(a) The Preamble
(b) The Fundamental Rights
(c) The Directive Principles of State Policy
(d) The Fundamental Duties

M.Laxmikanth Chapter 4, Preamble page 4.4

Preamble embodies the basic philosophy and fundamental values—political, moral and religious —on which the Constitution is based. It contains the grand and noble vision of the Constituent Assembly, and reflects the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers of the Constitution. In the words of Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Iyer, a member of the Constituent Assembly, ‘The Preamble to our Constitution expresses what we had thought or dreamt so long.”

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy because given directly in the book.
Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant. Because if you’ve vague idea, then even “C” will also look a suitable option!

Fundamental rights (2 MCQs)

47. Which of the following are envisaged by the Right against Exploitation in the Constitution of India?
1. Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour
2. Abolition of untouchability
3. Protection of the interests of minorities
4. Prohibition of employment of children in factories and mines
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

M.Laxmikanth chapter 7 on fundamental right, page 7.3. Observe the table containing classification of fundamental rights

Right to equality Abolition of untouchability. So “2” is wrong in the classification. This eliminates A and D.
Right against exploitation
  • Prohibition of human trafficking and forced Labour.
  • Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc.
  • So 1 and 4 are fitting.
Cultural and educational rights
  • Minorities rights.
  • So 3 is wrong in classification.

So by elimination, we are left with answer 1 and 4 only.

Difficulty: ★★☆ Easy to Medium depending on revision, because while it’s given in the book, during the actual exam, you may feel abolition of untouchability is also ‘against exploitation’.

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant, because factual information asked. In fact by guessmaster-giri you may even feel all four are correct answers. So it should be “D”.

83. Which one of the following statements is correct?
(a) Rights are claims of the State against the citizens.
(b) Rights are privileges which are incorporated in the Constitution of a State.
(c) Rights are claims of the citizens against the State.
(d) Rights are privileges of a few citizens against the many.

New NCERT,Std. 11, Political Theory Chapter 5: Rights , Page 72

  • Through these rights, people make demands upon the state. So, “C” is most fitting answer.

Alternatively, you can refer to M.Laxmikanth page

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy because even by elimination from your understanding of M.Laxmikanth Chapter on Fundamental duties, you can arrive at right answer. e.g. “C”

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant.

Fundamental Duties (2 MCQs)

61. Which of the following statements is/are true of the Fundamental Duties of an Indian citizen?
1. A legislative process has been provided to enforce these duties.
2. They are correlative to legal duties.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Statement#1: Legislative process for fundamental duties?

M.Laxmikanth Page 9.1: Swaran Singh Committee’s following three recommendations were not incorporated in the Constitution:

  1. Parliament may provide for the imposition of such penalty or punishment as may be considered appropriate for any non-compliance with or refusal to observe any of the duties.
  2. No law imposing such penalty or punishment shall be called in question in any court on the ground of infringement of any of Fundamental Rights or on the ground of repugnancy to any other provision of the Constitution.

Since there were not incorporated so first statement is wrong. There is no “A legislative process” (in the Constitution) for enforcing these duties.

Counter argument M.Laxmikanth Page 9.3:
Verma Committee on Fundamental Duties of the Citizens (1999) identified the existence of legal provisions for the implementation of some of the Fundamental Duties. Such as The Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act (1971) prevents disrespect to the Constitution of India, the National Flag and the National Anthem.
Hence statement 1 is right.
Counter of counter argument Verma Committee used the word ‘some’, here statement says “A legislative process” to enforce “(all of) THESE” duties. For example, there is no law to enforce:

  • The duty to develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
  • The duty to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor! [otherwise, Rajesh Khanna would have to go to jail for promoting mediocrity in film making! Same would be the fate of those चंचल तत्वs who’re encouraging the candidates to do guessmaster-giri instead of actual studies. Counter argument- चंचल तत्वs were doing their fundamental duty of promoting spirit of enquiry (into the art of guessmaster-giri) and reform (in the loophole of UPSC’s MCQ designing method). But let’s not digress further.]

Conclusion: statement #1 is wrong. There is no “a single” or multiple legislative processes provided for enforcement of (all) of these duties.

Statement #2 are they correlative to legal duties?
M.Laxmikanth Page 9.2: The list of duties is not exhaustive as it does not cover other important duties like casting vote, paying taxes, family planning and so on. In fact, duty to pay taxes was recommended by the Swaran Singh Committee [That means it remains only a legal duty.]

Wordweb free dictionary software defines

Correlative as “Mutually related, having a correlation; varying or happening in a related or dependent manner”.
Legal duty as “acts which the law requires be done or forborne

So let’s check the correlation in two directions:
Are fundamental duties correlative to legal duties?
No, there is none for Rajesh Khanna’s case. He had no legal duty to promote excellence in film-making, though fundamental duty required him to do so!
Are legal duties correlative to fundamental duties?

  • if any fundamental duty said “citizens should participate in nation building or citizens should strengthen the consolidated fund of India” then we can say this fundamental duty shows correlation with tax payment-walli legal duty. But there is none. [infact cherishing noble ideals that inspired freedom struggle, then “no taxation without representation”, a tax evader will use it as justification if his caste / religion is not well represented in parliament!]
  • Similarly, many of the legal duties imposed upon Doctors, Chemists, Chartered Accounts, Company directors are of such technical nature that we can’t find their correlation with any fundamental duties.
  • Example, Companies Act 2013, Schedule IV requires Independent Director to pay sufficient attention and ensure that adequate deliberations are held before approving related party transactions (RTPs); There is no correlation of this legal duty of independent directors, with any fundamental duty, unless there was a fundamental duty requiring everyone to stop scams, frauds and unethical behavior in economic sphere/ corporate governance. [Counter- fundamental duty to respect ideal of Constitution – one of them is protection of minorities, and independent director has to protect the interests of minority shareholders- but that’s an overstretched correlation.]

Conclusion: statement #2 is wrong.

I hate typing so long explanations, but it is my fundamental legal moral duty to either give detailed explanation to justify my answer, ELSE I should simply give up saying, “wait for UPSC’s official Answerkey”.

Difficulty: ★★☆ Easy to medium, depending on your understanding of the topic.

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant. Infact, if you’ve ‘vague’ idea of the topic, then you’ll feel more confused about first statement’s correctness.

72. In the context of India, which one of the following is the correct relationship between Rights and Duties?
(a) Rights are correlative with Duties.
(b) Rights are personal and hence independent of society and Duties.
(c) Rights, not Duties, are important for the advancement of the personality of the citizen.
(d) Duties, not Rights, are important for the stability of the State.

M.Laxmikanth, Chapter 9, Fundamental Duties, Page 9.1
Rights and duties are correlative and inseparable.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy because given directly in the book.
Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant.


82. Which principle among the ‘following was added to the Directive Principles of State Policy by the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution?
(a) Equal pay for equal work for both men and women
(b) Participation of workers in the management of industries
(c) Right to work, education and public assistance
(d) Securing living wage and human conditions of work to workers

M.Laxmikanth, Chapter 8, DPSP
The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 added four new Directive Principles to the original list. They
require the State:
1. To secure opportunities for healthy development of children (Article 39).
2. To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor (Article 39 A).
3. To take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Article 43 A).
4. To protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wild life (Article 48 A).

Difficulty: ★★☆ Medium because requires good memory and recollection power.
Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant because factual information asked, and if you can vaguely that remember it has something to do with workers, still you’ll be 50:50 between “B” and “D”

92. Consider the following statements:
With reference to the Constitution of India, the Directive Principles of State Policy constitute limitations upon
1. legislative function.
2. executive function.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ref: M.Laxmikanth

  • Page 7.1: Fundamental rights operate as limitations on the tyranny of the executive and arbitrary laws of the legislature.
  • Page 8.1: The phrase ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ denotes the ideals that the State should keep in mind while formulating policies and enacting laws. These are the constitutional instructions or recommendations to the State in legislative, executive and administrative matters.

DD Basu, Page 162: Granville Austin considers DPSP as “positive obligations” of the state.
So, all of above points that answer “D” neither 1 nor 2.

Difficulty: ★★☆ Easy to medium depending on how much hairsplitteryTM you do in the exam. e.g. if Government allowed MNC company to do mining project in tiger reserve, or start charging Rs. 1,000 for legal aid to poor then some DPSP will be violated and even though it’s non-justiciable, still the courts may entertain some PIL and put stop to it. Then you’ll be stuck whether answer is “C” or “D”.

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant.

Federalism (3 MCQs)

46. Which of the following are not necessarily the consequences of the proclamation of the President’s rule in a State?
1. Dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly
2. Removal of the Council of Ministers in the State
3. Dissolution of the local bodies
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

MIND IT: you’ve to find the wrong statements here- they’re the right answers.
M.Laxmikanth Chapter 16, Emergency Provisions

  • Page 16.6: when the President’s Rule is imposed in a state, the President dismisses the state council of ministers headed by the chief minister. The state governor, on behalf of the President, carries on the state administration with the help of the chief secretary of the state or the advisors appointed by the President. Meaning “2” is definitely the consequence of proclamation. Hence all options involving “2” are wrong. Hence by elimination we are left with answer “B”: 1 and 3 only.
  • Just for reference Page 16.7: During president’s rule is in operation, the state executive is dismissed and the state legislature is either suspended or dissolved. So dissolution is not ‘necessarily’ the consequence.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy by elimination of known fact from the routine book.
Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant, because factual information asked.

50. Which one of the following is not a feature of Indian federalism?
(a) There is an independent judiciary in India.
(b) Powers have been clearly divided between the Centre and the States.
(c) The federating units have been given unequal representation in the Rajya Sabha.
(d) It is the result of an agreement among the federating units.

M.Laxmikanth Page 13.1: the Indian federation is not the result of an agreement among the states unlike the American federation. So, “D” is not the feature of Indian federalism.

MIND IT- here you’ve to find the ‘wrong’ statement which is not a feature of Indian federalism.

M.Laxmikanth Chapter 13: Federal System Interpretation for MCQ statements
States are given representation in the Rajya Sabha on the basis of population. Hence, the membership varies from 1 to 31. C is right (feature of Indian federalism) therefore wrong option for the given MCQ.
Federal Features of Constitution: establishes a dual polity consisting the Union at the Centre and the states at the periphery. Each is endowed with sovereign powers in the field assigned to them respectively by the Constitution. B is right therefore wrong.
The Constitution establishes an independent judiciary headed by the Supreme Court …to settle the disputes between the Centre and the states or between the states. A is right therefore wrong.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy because answer available verbatim the routine book. Had they asked true false type combination with “A) only 1 and 4 B) only 4..”, then it’d have been tougher MCQ because some candidates will get confused thinking even unitary nations’ constitutions also have independent judiciary.

Guessmaster-giri: irrelevant, because at maximum you can eliminate statement “B” because it has extreme word “clearly defined” (but mind it, here you’ve to find wrong feature and this one is right feature!)

91. Local self-government can be best explained as an exercise in
(a) Federalism
(b) Democratic decentralization
(c) Administrative delegation
(d) Direct democracy

M.Laxmikanth Chapter 38, Panchayati Raj

Balwant Rai G Mehta committee submitted its report in November 1957 and recommended the establishment of the scheme of ‘democratic decentralisation’, which ultimately came to be known as Panchayati Raj

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy because directly given in the routine book.

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant. Because then even “D” would seem right!

Executive (2 MCQs)

71. The main advantage of the parliamentary form of government is that
(a) the executive and legislature work independently.
(b) it provides continuity of policy and is more efficient.
(c) the executive remains responsible to the legislature.
(d) the head of the government cannot be changed without election.

M.Laxmikanth Chapter 3, Salient features of the Constitution.

  • Parliamentary system is also known as Cabinet Government. It provides for collective responsibility of the executive to the legislature.

Another source: New NCERT, Std. 11, Introduction to Indian Constitution Chapter 4: Executive , Page 91
Hence answer “C”.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ [Easy, given in the routine books]

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant, because at max., you can eliminate “D” because it has extreme word “CANNOT”. But you’re still left with three options. Besides this is the minimum level of knowledge every serious aspirant must have!

49. Out of the following statements, choose the one that brings out the principle underlying the Cabinet form of Government:
(a) An arrangement for minimizing the criticism against the Government whose responsibilities are complex and hard to carry out to the satisfaction of all.
(b) A mechanism for speeding up the activities of the Government whose responsibilities are increasing day by day.
(c) A mechanism of parliamentary democracy for ensuring collective responsibility of the Government to the people.
(d) A device for strengthening the hands of the head of the Government whose hold over the people is in a state of decline.

Answer is “C” Counter opinion: Answer is “B”
M.Laxmikanth Chapter 3, Salient features of the Constitution.

  • Parliamentary system is also known as Cabinet Government. It provides for collective responsibility of the executive to the legislature.
  • Since Council of Minister is collectively responsible specifically to the house of people, so indirectly they’re responsible to all people of India (who elected Loksabha MPs).

Rajyasabha official website article on accountability URL

  • It is through these powers (over budget, motions etc.) that Parliament enforces the responsibility of the Executive to itself and to the people in the ultimate analysis.
  • No, the term “Collective responsibility” is an entirely different thing about ministers swim and sink together. Yes, Cabinet form of Government collectively responsible to parliament but not to people per se.
  • NCERT Class 9: Democratic Politics: Chapter 5: Working of the institutions, page 87Since it is not practical for all ministers to meet regularly and discuss everything, (hence) the decisions are taken in Cabinet meetings. That is why parliamentary democracy in most countries is often known as the Cabinet form of government.
DD Basu- an Introduction to Constitution of India, page 44

  • Page 44: Though the British model of parliamentary or Cabinet form of Government was adopted, a hereditary monarch was not installed because India had declared itself a republic. [and in republic the political sovereignty is vested in the people]
It says “form” of Government rather than Cabinet Government.
Then why DD Basu used the word ‘cabinet form‘, when in 1947-50 the responsibilities were not increasing day by day (as they’re increasing today)? Cabinet “form” of Government ensures speedier decision making because of Division of Labour. So basic principle is “B”.

Update: Official UPSC Answer – C: parliamentary democracy & collective responsibility.

Difficulty: ★★★ [Tough due to problem of interpretation and because who reads class 9 NCERT for civics?].

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant, because even if you eliminate A and D by part logic, part guesswork, still 50:50 between “C” and “B”.

Legislature (2 MCQs)

75. The Parliament of India exercises control over the functions of the Council of Ministers through
1. Adjournment motion
2. Question hour
3. Supplementary questions
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth:

  • Page 12.2: The Parliament exercises control over the ministers through various devices like question hour, discussions, adjournment motion, no confidence motion, etc
  • Page 22.14: Supplementary questions can be asked during the question hour.

Therefore, all three are correct.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy, because directly given in the book.

Guessmaster-giri: Possible without any knowledge of the subject. Because one of the more ‘refined’ rule of guessmaster giri is: if it’s a 3 statement true/false question involving one word or two word statements, and if by common sense you feel that all should be right then it’ll be right. Consider following MCQs from 2016’s Prelim

From science From economy
34. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
Viruses can infect
1. bacteria
2. fungi
3. plants
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3All correct as per Tamilandu Class 11 science text book.
77. Which of the following is/are the indicator/indicators used by IFPRI to compute the Global Hunger Index Report?
1. Undernourishment
2. Child stunting
3. Child mortality
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 , 2 and 3
(d) 1 and 3 onlyall three right as per IFRPI official website.

So as per that rule, 1,2 and 3 should be the answer without any knowledge of the subject. And it turns out to be the correct answer.

76. With reference to the Parliament of India, consider the following statements:
1. A private member’s bill is a bill presented by a Member of Parliament who is not elected but only nominated by the President of India.
2. Recently, a private member’s bill has been passed in the Parliament of India for the first time in its history.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

  • M.Laxmikanth Page 17.9: while discussing the vote power of president, it means Private member’s bill as a bill introduced by any member of the parliament who’s not a minister. Hence first statement is wrong.
  • PRSIndia.org and Indian express 2016 : only 14 private members bill have been passed since 1952. So statement #2 also wrong. Alternatively, same facts also, given in the book, Our Parliament by Subhash Kashyap.

Difficulty: ★★☆ Easy to Medium, if you’re not keeping tab on the current affairs. Because in 2016, Shashi Tharoor was very active in introducing private member’s bills. So English newspapers were running ‘explained’ series for the history.

Guessmaster-giri: Possible to tick correct answer without any knowledge of the subject. Because first and foremost rule is “any statement with extreme words” is wrong. So accordingly, both statements ought to be wrong.

Judiciary (1 MCQ)

42. In India, Judicial Review implies
(a) the power of the Judiciary to pronounce upon the constitutionality of laws and executive orders.
(b) the power of the Judiciary to question the wisdom of the laws enacted by the Legislatures.
(c) the power of the Judiciary to review all the legislative enactments before they are assented to by the President.
(d) the power of the Judiciary to review its own judgements given earlier in similar or different cases.

M.Laxmikanth Chapter 26 supreme court, Page 26.8.

  • Judicial review is the power of SC to examine the Constitutionality of legislative enactments and executive orders of both union and state Government. Hence Statement “A” is the answer.

New NCERT, Std. 11, Constitution at Work, Chapter-6 Judiciary, Page 139

  • Judicial review means the power of SC or HC to examine the constitutionality of any law. So again, “A” is the most fitting option.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ [Easy because given in the book and this is the minimum level of understanding, every serious aspirant must have.]

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant because factual definition asked, and at maximum you could eliminate “C” option because it has extreme word “All”, still you’re left with three choices.

Election related (4 MCQs)

7. For election to the Lok Sabha, a nomination paper can be filed by
(a) anyone residing in India.
(b) a resident of the constituency from which the election is to be contested.
(c) any citizen of India whose name appears in the electoral roll of a constituency.
(d) any citizen of India.

Let’s go by elimination.

  • To contest any election, person has to be CITIZEN of India. This eliminates A and B.
  • Any citizen of India: it could be a minor (below 18 years also) then he can’t contents election. So, “D” also wrong. Hence we are left with answer “C”.

M.Laxmikanth confirms: Chapter 22 Parliament, Page 22.4:

  • He must be a citizen of India.
  • He must be registered as an elector for a parliamentary constituency. This is same in the case of both, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy by elimination.

Guessmaster-giri: If you go by guessmaster-giri rule’s first and foremost rule that extreme worded statements are wrong, then A, C and D ought to be wrong statements because they’ve extreme word “ANY“. Then you’ll arrive at wrong answer “B”. Hence, it’s an ANTI-GUESSMASTERTM MCQ!

26. Consider the following statements:
1. In the election for Lok Sabha or State Assembly, the winning candidate must get at least 50 percent of the votes polled, to be declared elected.
2. According to the provisions laid down in the Constitution of India, in Lok Sabha, the Speaker’s post goes to the majority party and the Deputy Speaker’s to the Opposition.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

New NCERT, Std. 11, Introduction to Indian Constitution Chapter 3: Election and Representation, Page 57

  • India has first past the post system wherein a candidate who wins the election may not (need to) get majority (50%+1) votes. Statement #1 is wrong.

M.Laxmikanth, Chapter 22: Parliament, Page 22.9:

  • Upto the 10th Lok Sabha, both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were usually from the ruling party. Since the 11th Lok Sabha, there has been a consensus that the Speaker comes from the ruling party (or ruling alliance) and the post of Deputy Speaker goes to the main opposition party.
  • Meaning it’s an ‘informal consensus’ among political parties, and not Constitutional provision. Hence #2 also wrong.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy.

Guessmaster-giri: irrelevant. This is the minimum knowledge a serious aspirant must have. True, that first statement contains the word “MUST” so it ought to be wrong as per the first and foremost rule of Guessmaster-giri. Still you’re left with 50:50 between “B” or “D”.

36. Right to vote and to be elected in India is a
(a) Fundamental Right
(b) Natural Right
(c) Constitutional Right
(d) Legal Right

Option C is right by NCERT & Pearson GS Manual Option D right by SC judgements
New NCERT Class 9: Democratic Politics: Chapter 6 Page 109

  • …For example the right to property is not a Fundamental Right but it is a constitutional right. Right to vote in elections is an important constitutional right.

New NCERT,Std. 11, Introduction to Indian Constitution Chapter 3: Election and Representation, Page 66 and 67

  • Page 66: one of the important decisions of the framers of India Constitution was to guarantee every adult citizen in India, the right to vote. [Article 326]
  • Page 67: what is true of the right to vote, is also true of right to contest election. All citizens have the right to stand for election and become the representative of the people.

So option “C” is most fitting. Because of the above statements from NCERT class 9 and 11.
Pearson GS Manual 2014

  • UPSC examiner does have a habit of occasionally lifting MCQs from General Studies Manuals. (Esp. for CAPF)
  • This specific MCQ is given verbatim in Pearson General Studies Manual 2014. Page 3.87, Question no. 99

And in that book, they’ve given “C” as the answer (Constitutional right, and may be author Thorpe framed it from NCERT itself.)

Ref: SC Judgement on NOTA (2013)

  • Page 43: No doubt, the right to vote is a statutory right but it is equally vital to recollect that this statutory right is the essence of democracy.

Ref: Oxford Handbook on Indian Constitution,

  • In NOTA judgement, SC drew distinction between ‘right to vote’ as mere statutory right, and right to ‘freedom of voting’ being part of Constitutional right to free speech.

2015: SC Judgement on Rajbala Case

Ref: SC Judgement on Rajbala Case for Haryana PRI elections (2015)
Matter: Regarding validity of Haryana State law that prescribed “minimum” educational qualifications will be eligible to contest panchayat elections in the State.

Justice Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manhoar Sapre Page 26: The right to vote and right to contest at an election to a PANCHAYAT are constitutional rights subsequent to the introduction 26 of Part IX of the Constitution of India. [UPSC aspirants’ counter argument- about MCQ is about not confined to mere PRI bodies’ election.]
Justice Abhay Sapre Page 60: gave separate but concurring judgement that we are of the considered opinion that both the rights namely ” Right to Vote ” and ” Right to Contest ” are constitutional rights of the citizen.

So much information overload! But, considering the peculiar description givens in the NCERT Class 9 and 11, I take “B” as the answer. [because, I’ve used to same rationale in the cabinet form of Government MCQ. So even if I am making a mistake, it should be a consistent mistake. Besides, the ultimate judge is UPSC’s own official Answerkey.]

Update: UPSC official Answerkey said C : it’s a Constitutional right.

Difficulty: ★★★ Tough because

  • Most candidates don’t read civics from class 9 NCERT, at max they go for political science class 11 and 12.
  • M.Laxmikanth doesn’t help because page 7.25: it gives category “Constitutional rights or legal rights” and put “the election to Lok Sabha and State shall be on the basis of adult suffrage” in that category. So, it’s either “C” or “D”.
  • Difficult to interpret the examiner’s intention? Is he asking from current / contemporary news or basic NCERT?

Current Affairs Span: 2013-15 because of those cases.
Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant.

40. Consider the following statements:
1. The Election Commission of India is a five-member body.
2. Union Ministry of Home Affairs decides the election schedule for the conduct of both general elections and by-elections.
3. Election Commission resolves the disputes relating to splits/mergers of recognized political parties.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 3 only

Let’s Check:

  • M.Laxmikanth chapter 42 on Elections: Page 42.3: Election commission has three election commissioners. So first statement is wrong.
  • India Yearbook 2017, Chapter 3-Polity: Subtopic Election Commission.
    • Election commission decides the election schedule for the conduct of both general elections and bye-elections. So second statement is wrong.
    • It also decides the disputes relating to splits/mergers of recognized political parties. So third statement right.

Hence answer “D” only 3. I give the credit of this question to India Yearbook, because verbatim statements are lifted from there.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ Easy to Medium, depending on how regularly you follow current affairs from newspaper such as “EC declares by-election dates for __”, and election symbol controversy during in SP and AIADMK’s internal splits in 2017.

Guessmaster-giri: irrelevant. This is the minimum knowledge a serious aspirant must have. True, that first statement contains the word “MUST” so it ought to be wrong as per the first and foremost rule of Guessmaster-giri. Still you’re left with 50:50 between “B” or “D”.

IR-International Relations & Defense (3 MCQs)

2016 and before 2017’s Prelim GS Paper
Origin and 2015’s summit location asked for India Africa summit
  • Same for Indian ocean naval symposium. As if simply copied a ‘leftover’ MCQ from their draft question bank for prelims-2016!
  • No other MCQ on defense, unlike previous years- when they were asking about missiles, submarines etc.
Easy question about belt road initiative boss? Easy question on Chabahar port.
OPCW- chemical weapon org. asked Nuclear organizations asked.
Movie in news: The Man Who Knew Infinity Nothing from that area.
7 MCQs from IR/Defense in 2016.
  • Total 3 MCQs, out of them, only one easy.
  • All based on current / contemporary issues of last one decade.

18. Consider the following in respect of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS):
1. Inaugural IONS was held in India in 2015 under the chairmanship of the Indian Navy.
2. IONS is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

From Bangladesh’s navy website:

  • URL#1: 2016: hosted by Bangladesh; 2015: by S.Africa and co-chair Tanzania. So first statement is wrong.
  • URL#2: 2008: IONS was initiated taking all the littoral countries of the Indian Ocean (IO) onboard to promote friendly relationship and…bear upon issues of regional maritime security and cooperation in the maritime domain. Second statement is right.

Difficulty: ★★★ Not covered in high profile headline type news in theHindu or Indianexpress during 2016-17 hence tough. And even if it was, still difficult to recollect whether India hosted 2015’s event or not? It’s just like that stupid MCQ on APMCHUD event: whether it was hosted in India in 2006 or not?

34. What is the importance of developing Chabahar Port by India?
(a) India’s trade with African countries will enormously increase.
(b) India’s relations with oil-producing Arab countries will be strengthened.
(c) India will not depend on Pakistan for access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
(d) Pakistan will facilitate and protect the installation of a gas pipeline between Iraq and India.

Chabahar Port UPSC Prelim Answerkey
Mrunal’s article on Chabahar port:

  • India wishes to access both Afghanistan and other central Asian nations (like Turkmenistan), through this Chabahar port. So third statement is right.

But that article was written 5 years ago, so I’ll not claim it for marketing propaganda. I give credit goes to May 2016, Indianexpress:

  • India and Iran signed the “historic” Chabahar port agreement, which has the potential of becoming India’s gateway to Afghanistan, Central Asia and Europe.

Toughness: ★☆☆. Easy. Because major highlighted item in most English newspapers and current magazines / materials.

Current Affairs Span: May 2016, when Modi visited Iran.

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant. Because at max, you can eliminate “A” statement for its extreme word “enormously”. It’s possible to even eliminate A, B and D depending on your reading and grasp of geography and diplomacy but then it’ll be knowledged elimination and not guessmaster-giri.

53. Consider the following statements:
1. The Nuclear Security Summits are periodically held under the aegis of the United Nations.
2. The International Panel on Fissile Materials is an organ of International Atomic Energy Agency.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

  • Indian express March-2016: President Obama had initiated NSS in 2010. so, first statement is wrong.
  • TheHindu April-2016:The International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM), an independent group of arms-control and non-proliferation experts from 17 countries, has been keeping track of HEU and plutonium around the world. So second statement also wrong.

Toughness: ★★★ Tough because while NSS is high profile new item but unless you’re sure of second statement, difficult to arrive at the right answer. So, in a way this is ‘about us’ page type tough MCQ.

Current Affairs Span: India Yearbook 2017 Ch.18, PM led Indian delegation at Washington DC in March 2016, for the 5th Nuclear security summit.

Guessmaster-giri: Irrelevant.

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