1. Prologue
  2. Mock Questions for GSM1
  3. Model Answerkey


  1. Earlier, I had uploaded a full length mock paper for UPSC GS4 Ethics
  2. Here is a full length (250 marks) mock test paper for UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-I: History, Geography and Indian Society.
  3. I’ve lifted some of the questions from earlier optional subject papers into this Model GS Mains paper1, because even UPSC is doing that.
  4. To gain maximum mileage of this paper, first finish your syllabus at least once, and then approach.
  5. Then give this mock test within the prescribed time limit of three hours.
  6. For answer writing use unruled A4 sized papers with 1-inch margin on all sides.
  7. Use blue or black pen only.

Questions for UPSC Mains GS1

Answer Following questions in 200 words each. (12.5 x 20 = 250 marks)
Full Length Mock Paper for GS1

  1. “Ashoka’s “Dhamma-vijaya” strengthened Indian society but weakened the Mauryan empire.” Do you agree?
  2. Discuss the significance of Sufi & Bhakti movement in bringing about new forms of religious expression amongst Muslims & Hindus in India.
  3. Write a short note on Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts for communal harmony during India’s struggle for Independence, with event specific examples.
  4. “Quit India movement was not a mere ‘spontaneous revolution’ (स्वयमस्फूर्त क्रान्ति) but a culmination of the Gandhian Satyagraha movements.” Elaborate
  5. “The First world war was fought essentially for the preservation of the balance of power.”  Critically evaluate.
  6. “The impact of Non-alignment movement in the world affairs was subdued due to the internal conflicts among the third world countries who had spearheaded it.” Elucidate.
  7. In the post independent India: (i) why couldn’t the socialist model of development bring about equitable distribution of income? (ii) why did the country remain on a slow growth of trajectory of 3-3.5% for a long time?
  8. After independence, how did the social structure of India impact the course & direction of its foreign policy? Has this factor has lost its primacy (अग्रता) after the economic crisis of 1991?
  9. Discuss the impact of globalization on India’s: (i) tribal economy (ii) village economy.
  10. What are the demographic projections (जनसांख्यिकीय अनुमान) of the ageing population of India for the next decade? Accordingly, suggest suitable amendments in various public policies.
  11. Has identity politics (पहचान की राजनीति) trumped over development politics in India? Discuss in context of the rising demands for reservation.
  12. Discuss the impact of following on the status & problems of Indian women: (i) Rising Urbanization (ii) Rising use of ICT Technology.
  13. What are the possible underlying causes behind the spurt of substance abuse (नशीले द्रव्यों का सेवन) in the young generation of India? Suggest remedies.
  14. Discuss the distribution, evolution & economic significance of sedimentary basins (अवसादी / तलछट प्रदेश) of India.
  15. Though India is blessed with over 14,000 kms of navigable waterways, why is the share of trade via inland waterways (अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग) in India is much less than that in China & Bangladesh? Suggest remedies.
  16. Explain how eco-tourism (पर्यावरणीय पर्यटन) activities could become an important livelihood options in the Himalayan & North Eastern regions of the India.
  17. Give an account of the geographical distribution (भौगोलिक वितरण) of cement & fertilizer (उर्वरक) industries across India along with the factors responsible for such distribution.
  18. Write brief notes about the causes & remedies for the following: (i) Intrusion of saline water in coastal aquifers (जलभृत); (ii) Hardness in ground water (भूजल में कठोरता).
  19. Enumerate the major dryland farming areas (शुष्कभूमि कृषिप्रदेश) of our countries & give an account for geographical & climatic factors behind farmers’ suicides in these areas.
  20. Examine critically the threat of climate change on the economics of island territories of India. What can be done to reduce it?

Model Answerkey

  • Although I wish to, but It’s not humanly possible for me to create model answerkey for twenty questions given my own prior engagement in other projects incl. Economic Survey Vol-2.
  • So you’re welcome to post model answers in the comment section itself. This is not a rocket science, if you’ve been following my article series “Art of Answer Writing”. If you’ve 3-5-7 decent points, then easily 200 words can be filled up.
  • Still, Here are some pointers about where to look for the answers:
Mock Questions Possible source(s) for answer:
  1. Ashoka’s Dhamma weakened Mauryan Empire
Old NCERT (also known as) India’s Ancient Past by RS Sharma: Page 175 to 177, you’ll get verbatim answer.
  1. Sufi-Bhakti expressions
NIOS Culture PDF: Chapter 9. (Free Download)
  1. Gandhi containing communalism during freedom struggle.
  1. Quit India is culmination of Satyagraha
  1. WW1 was fought for balance of power.
Pratik Nayak’s World History Lecture Series on Youtube
  1. NAM failure was because of internal wars
IGNOU MA Political Science Module MPSE-001 (Free Download)
  1. Post Independent India’s socialist model
  1. Impact of Social structure on foreign policy
  • IGNOU MA Political Science Module MPSE-001 (Free Download)
  • Rookie mistake in this answer would be to focus too much on Pakistan, Israel while neglecting SriLanka/ Tamil issue.
  1. Globalization impact on tribal and village economy
  • Random net surfing keywords: Minor forest produce, eco-tourism, MNC led mining & industrialization; land acquisition etc.
  1. Demographic transition to older population, and policy updates for that.
Verbatim answer in NITI Ayog 3 Year Action Agenda: page 163 onwards
  1. Identity politics
  • Theoretical perspectives: IGNOU Political Science BA Module EPS11 and MA module MPSE-008 (Free download)
  • Current perspectives: Editorials in Hindu, IE, EPW
  1. Women & urbanization  / ICT
  • Women issues related theory: IGNOU Sociology BA Module ESO12 (Free Download)
  • Current perspectives: Hindu, IE, EPW editorials.
  1. Drug abuse
  1. Sedimentary basins
  1. Waterways
  1. Eco tourism in North East
  • Random Netsurfing of Editorials in Hindu, Frontline or EPW
  • Alternatively, This research paper has good fodder points
  1. Cement, fertilizer industry
  1. Water hardness
Hindu science tech or random net surfing. Some pointers may be in NCERT class 11 or 12 chemistry
  1. Dryland farming
Rajtanil’s Geography Lecture series on Youtube combined with Last Year’s Eco. Survey lecture on Agriculture
  1. Climate change vs. Island territories economics
This UNFCCC handout PDF Link

Stay tuned for more full length mock papers.