[Download] UPSC Mains-2018 GSM2 Topicwise All Papers (2013-2018). Paper-II relatively straight-forward than previous years

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  1. Instructions for UPSC Mains 2018 GS Paper-2
  2. GSM2-2018: Question paper including Hindi translation
    1. Answer Sources for UPSC Mains-2018 GS Paper2
    2. GSM-2018 easier or tougher than previous papers?
    3. Analysis / Observation about the Paper
  3. GS2 Mains-Topicwise Questions since Syllabus change
  4. [Block-1] Polity
    1. Polity: Basics of Constitution
    2. Polity: The Executive
    3. Polity: Legislature & Elections
    4. Polity: Separation of Powers
    5. Polity: Federalism & Local governance
    6. Polity: Bodies
  5. [Block-2] Policies for sectors, services
    1. Welfare: Policies & Schemes
    2. Welfare: Social Services: Health, Edu, HRD
    3. Welfare: Sectoral Policies (Economy related)
  6. [Block-3] Governance & groups
    1. Governance: Accountability & E-Gov
    2. Groups: Civil Services, NGO, SHG, Pressure Groups
    3. [Block-4] IR Diplomacy
    4. IR/Diplomacy: Neighbors
    5. IR/Diplomacy: Not-Neighbors but affecting interests
    6. IR/Diplomacy: Institutions, Groupings, Agreements

Instructions for UPSC Mains 2018 GS Paper-2

  • UPSC conducted general studies paper 2 of civil services mains examination on 30th September, 2018 – Sunday.
  • 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.

GSM2-2018: Question paper including Hindi translation

Answer Q.1 to 10 in 150 words and 10 marks each:

  1. In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? इलेक्ट्रॉनिक  वोटिंग मशीनों (ई. वी. एम. ) के इस्तेमाल सबंधी हाल के विवाद के आलोक में, चुनावो की विशवास्यता सुनिशचित करने के लिए भारत के निर्वाचन आयोग के समक्ष क्या – क्या चुनौतियाँ है ?
  2. Whether National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSCJ) can enforce the implementation of constitutional reservation for the Scheduled Castes in the religious minority institutions? Examine.    क्या राष्ट्रीय अनुसूचित  जाति आयोग (एन. सी. एस. सी. ) धार्मिक अल्पसंख्यक संस्थानों में अनुसूचित जातियों के लिए सवैंधानिक आरक्षण के क्रियान्वयन का प्रवर्तन करा सकता है ? परिक्षण कीजिये।
  3. Under what circumstances can the Financial Emergency be proclaimed by the President of India? What consequences follow when such a declaration remains in force?    किन परिस्थितियों में भारत के राष्ट्रपति के द्वारा वित्तीय आपातकाल की उद्धगोषणा की जा सकती है ? ऐसी उद्धगोषणा  के लागु रहने  तक, इसके अनुसरण के क्या-क्या परिणाम होते है ?
  4. Why do you think the committees are considered to be useful for parliamentary work?  Discuss, in this context, the role or the Estimates Committee.    आप यह क्यों सोचते है की समितिया संसदीय कार्यो के लिए उपयोगी मानी जाती है ? इस संदर्भ में प्राकलन  समिति की भूमिका की विवेचना कीजिए।
  5. “The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has a very vital role to play.” Explain how this is reflected in the method and terms of his appointment as well as the range of powers he can exercise.     ”नियंत्रक और  महालेखापरीक्षक (सी. ए. जी. ) को एक अत्यावश्यक भूमिका निभानी होती है।” व्याख्या कीजिये कि यह किसी प्रकार उसकी नियुक्ति की विधि और साथ ही साथ उन अधिकारों के विस्तार से परिलक्षित होती है, जिनका प्रयोग वह कर सकता है।
  6. “Policy contradictions among various competing sectors and stakeholders have resulted in inadequate ‘protection and prevention of degradation’ to environment.” ” Comment with relevant illustration.     ” विभिन्न प्रतियोगी क्षेत्रो और साझेदारो के मध्य नीतिगत विरोधाभासो के परिणामस्वरूप पर्यावरण के ‘संरक्षण तथा उसके निम्नकरण की रोकथाम’ अपर्याप्त रही है। ” सुसंगत उदाहरणों सहित टिपण्णी कीजिए।
  7. Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieve ‘Health for All ‘ in India. Explain.    भारत में ‘सभी के लिए स्वास्थ्य ‘ को प्राप्त करनेके लिए समुचित स्थानीय सामुदयिक स्तरीय स्वास्थ्य देखभाल का मध्यक्षेप एक पूर्वापेक्षा है।  व्याख्या कीजिए।
  8. E-Governance is not only about utilization of the power of new technology, but also much about critical importance of the ‘use value’ of information Explain.    इ-शासन केवल  नवीन प्रोद्योगिक की शक्ति के उपयोग के बारे में नहीं है, अपितु इससे अधिक सूचना के ‘उपयोग मूल्य ‘ के क्रांतिक महत्त्व के बारे में  है।  स्पष्ट कीजिए।
  9. ‘India’s relations with Israel have, of late, acquired a depth and diversity, which cannot be rolled back.” Discuss.    भारत्त के इजराइल के साथ सबंधो ने हल में एक ऐसी गहराई एव विविधता प्राप्त कर ली है, जिसकी पुनर्वापसी  नहीं की जा सकती है। ” विवेचना कीजिये।
  10. A number or outside powers have entrenched themselves in Central Asia, which is a zone to interest to India. Discuss the implications, in this context, of India’s joining the Ashgabat Agreement, 2018.    मध्य एशिया, जो भारत के लिए एक हित क्षेत्र है, में अनेक ब्राह्य शक्तियों ने अपने आप को संस्थापित कर लिया है।  इस सन्दर्भ में, भारत द्वारा अश्गाबात करार, २०१८ में शामिल होनेके निहितार्थो पर चर्चा कीजिए।

Answer Q.11 to 20 in 250 words and 15 marks each:

  1. Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can settle the political tussle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine.    क्या उच्चतम न्यालय का निर्णय (जुलाई २०१८) दिल्ली के उप राज्यपाल और निर्वाचित सरकार के बिच राजनैतिक कश्मकश को निपटा सकता है।  परिक्षण कीजिए।
  2. How far do you agree with the view that tribunals curtail the jurisdiction of ordinary courts? In view of the above, discuss the constitutional validity and competency of the tribunals in India.     आप इस मत से कहा तक सहमत है की अधिकरण सामान्य न्यायालयों की अधिकारिता को कम करते है ? उपयुक्त को दृष्टिगत रखते हुए भारत में अधिकरणों की सांविधानिक वैधता तथा सक्षमता की विवेचना कीजिए।
  3. India and USA are two large democracies. Examine the basic tenants on which the two political systems are based.    भारत  एव यू. एस. ए. दो विशाल लोकतंत्र है।  उन आधारभूत सिद्धांतो का परिक्षण कीजिए जिन पर ये दो राजनितिक तंत्र आधारित है।
  4. How is the Finance Commission of India constituted? What do you about the terms of reference of the recently constituted Finance Commission? Discuss.    भारत के वित्तीय आयोग का गठन किस प्रकार किया जाता है ? हल में गठित वित्तीय आयोग के विचारार्थ विषय (टर्म्स ऑफ़ रेफरेंस ) के बारे में आप क्या जानते है ? विवेचना किजीए।
  5. Assess the importance of Panchayat system in India as a part of local government. Apart from government grants, what sources the Panchayats can look out for financing developmental projects.    भारत में स्थानीय शासन के एक भाग के रूप में पंचायत प्रणाली के महत्त्व का आकलन कीजिये।  विकास परियोजना ओ के वित्तीयन के लिए पंचायते सरकारी अनुदानों के आलावा और किन स्रोतों को खोज सकती है ?
  6. Multiplicity of various commissions for the vulnerable sections or the society leads to problems or overlapping jurisdiction and duplication of functions. Is it better to merge all commissions into an umbrella Human Rights Commission? Argue your case.     समाज के कमजोर वर्गों के लिए विभिन्न आयोगों की बहुलता , अतिव्यापी अधिकारिता और प्रकार्यो के दोहरेपन की समस्याओ  की ओर ले जाती है।  क्या ये अच्छा होगा की सभी आयोगों को एक व्यापक मानव अधिकार आयोग के छत्र में विलय कर दिया जाय ? अपने उत्तर के पक्ष में तर्क दीजिए।
  7. How far do you agree with the view that the focus on lack or availability of food as the main cause of hunger takes the attention away from ineffective human development policies in India?    आप इस मत से कहा तक सहमत है की भूख के मुख्य कारण के रूप मे खाध्य की उपलब्ध्ता मे कमी पे फॉक्स, भारत मे अप्रभावी मानव विकास नीतियो से ध्यान हटा देता है.
  8. Citizens’ Charter is an ideal instrument of organizational transparency and accountability, but. it has its own limitations. Identify the limitations and suggest measures for greater effectiveness or the Citizens Charter.    नागरिक चार्टर संगठनात्मक पारदर्शिता व उत्तरदायीत्व का एक आदर्श उप्क्र्न है, परंतु इसकी अपनी परिसीमाए है। परिसीमाओ की पहचान कीजिए तथा नागरिक चार्टर की अधिक प्रभाविता के लिए उपायो का सुजाव दीजिए।
  9. What are the key areas of reform if the WTO has to survive in the present context of ‘Trade War’, especially keeping in mind the interest of India?    यदि ‘व्यापार युद्ध’ के वर्तमान परीद्र्शय मे विश्व व्यापार संगठन को जिंदा बने रहेना है, तो उसके सुधार के कौन-कौन से प्रमुख क्षेत्र है, विशेष रूप से भारत के हित को ध्यान मे रखते हुए?
  10. In what ways would the ongoing US-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy affect the national interest of India? How should India respond to this situation?    इस समय जारी अमरीका-ईरान नाभिकीय समजौता विवाद भारत के राष्ट्रीय हितो को किस प्रकार प्रभावित करेगा? भारत को इस स्थिति के प्रति क्या रवैया अपनाना चाहिए?

Answer Sources for UPSC Mains-2018 GS Paper2

UPSC Mains-2018: GS Paper2 Analysis (GSM2)

Question Answer Source
1. In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? Current Affairs from theHindu, Indianexpress, VisionIAS’s free PDF compilations.
2. Whether National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSCJ) can enforce the implementation of constitutional reservation for the Scheduled Castes in the religious minority institutions? Examine. It was in current Affairs during July-2018, due to tussle between NCSCJ vs AMU.
3. Under what circumstances can the Financial Emergency be proclaimed by the President of India? What consequences follow when such a declaration remains in force? Basic theory from Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth (McGraw-hill) Available in English | हिन्दी मे भी उपलब्ध!!
4. Why do you think the committees are considered to be useful for parliamentary work?  Discuss, in this context, the role or the Estimates Committee. Basic theory from Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth (McGraw-hill) Available in English | हिन्दी मे भी उपलब्ध!!
5. “The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has a very vital role to play.” Explain how this is reflected in the method and terms of his appointment as well as the range of powers he can exercise. Basic theory from Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth (McGraw-hill) Available in English | हिन्दी मे भी उपलब्ध!!
6. “Policy contradictions among various competing sectors and stakeholders have resulted in inadequate ‘protection and prevention of degradation’ to environment.” ” Comment with relevant illustration. Current Affairs item, I think most candidates would have quoted the Gadgil report’s neglect by union and state vs Kerala floods damage. Some senior players would have gone as far as SRI SRI’s religious program and subsequent damage to Yamuna, and how Kumbh mela result into shortage of water. It’s not difficult question but time consuming one- because you’ve to brainstorm a lot for ‘illustration examples’.
7. Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieve ‘Health for All ‘ in India. Explain.
  • Kurukshetra Magazine July 2017.
  • Newspaper columns in context of NHPM.
8. E-Governance is not only about utilization of the power of new technology, but also much about critical importance of the ‘use value’ of information. Explain.
  • Some pointer available in 2nd ARC Report Ch.11
  • Can be further sprinkled with how Economic Survey in last two years used the information from various sources such as railway booking, GSTN returns, property tax returns, GIS Mapping etc. for conducting bigdata analytics to suggest new policy prescriptions.
9. ‘India’s relations with Israel have, of late, acquired a depth and diversity, which cannot be rolled back.” Discuss.
  • Section-E Part-H Ch.3 Pavneet Singh’s IR Book (McGraw-hill) Available in English!
  • Spice it further with Hindu/IE columns.
10. A number or outside powers have entrenched themselves in Central Asia, which is a zone to interest to India. Discuss the implications, in this context, of India’s joining the Ashgabat Agreement, 2018.
  • Tricky question because some candidates would write about Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) membership, whereas Ashgabat is a different thing.
  • Anyways, fodder points available in Section-E Part-G Ch.4 India-Iran relationships Pavneet Singh’s IR Book (McGraw-hill) Available in English!
11. Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can settle the political tussle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine.
  • Verbatim Model Answer given by me just two week before the actual exam. Here’s the link.
12. How far do you agree with the view that tribunals curtail the jurisdiction of ordinary courts? In view of the above, discuss the constitutional validity and competency of the tribunals in India.
  • Constitutional Validity given in Laxmikanth
  • 2nd ARC 7th Report has case studies on Interstate Water Tribunals.
  • You could also quote in the enhanced powers of NCLT under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code that prevent the interference by ordinary courts, for faster resolution of NPA.
  • NGT’s environmental judgements
13. India and USA are two large democracies. Examine the basic tenants on which the two political systems are based.
  • Sufficient material in the Chapter 22 of Governance in India by Laxmikanth
14. How is the Finance Commission of India constituted? What do you about the terms of reference of the recently constituted Finance Commission? Discuss.
  • Verbatim Model Answer given by me just a  week before the actual exam. Here’s the link.
15. Assess the importance of Panchayat system in India as a part of local government. Apart from government grants, what sources the Panchayats can look out for financing developmental projects.
  • Economic Survey 2016-17 had devoted a chapter on the need for ULB bodies to enhance their taxation powers, particularly the property tax. Municipal bonds have also been in news. But this question is about PRI bodies so little difficult to connect.
16. Multiplicity of various commissions for the vulnerable sections or the society leads to problems or overlapping jurisdiction and duplication of functions. Is it better to merge all commissions into an umbrella Human Rights Commission? Argue your case.
  • Ch.1 on rights issues in Governance in India by Laxmikanth has the list of all individual commissions, so you’ve to logically connect it with some current affairs examples to demonstrate how they failed and hence umbrella org. necessary.
17. How far do you agree with the view that the focus on lack of availability of food as the main cause of hunger takes the attention away from ineffective human development policies in India?
  • Seems lifted from some research paper global report or EPW article. Ultimately, most candidates would have gone with guessmastergiri related to calories vs micro-nutrients/ anaemia, mid-day meal vs education outcomes and so forth, food for work vs. minimum wages.
18. Citizens’ Charter is an ideal instrument of organizational transparency and accountability, but. it has its own limitations. Identify the limitations and suggest measures for greater effectiveness or the Citizens Charter.
  • Page41 of Yojana Magazine February 2018
  • Alternatively, of 2nd ARC report#12 on Citizen centre administration: Chapter 4
19. What are the key areas of reform if the WTO has to survive in the present context of ‘Trade War’, especially keeping in mind the interest of India? But why does WTO has to ‘survive’ keeping in mind “India’s interests”- WTO will survive keeping in mind its own ‘interests’, especially when India had been the prime-accused for sabotaging the Buenos-Aires summit where no joint declaration could be issued! This is an example of poorly-framed question. The syllabus says “affecting Indian interests” so मार-पीट के इस शब्द को इधर डाल दिया है। Anyways answer available in fragmented sources ranging from Economic Survey’s 2014 and 2015 issues as well as newspaper columns.
20. In what ways would the ongoing US-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy affect the national interest of India? How should India respond to this situation?
  • Section-E Part-G Ch.4 India-Iran relationships Pavneet Singh’s IR Book (McGraw-hill) Available in English!
  • Have to sprinkle it with some of the latest current affairs from theHindu/IndianExpress columns.

GSM-2018 easier or tougher than previous papers?

  • Atleast there are no crazy questions like Athletes play for nation’s glory, why should we give them financial rewards, UNMcbride commission, Coelho case etc
  • Three questions directly solvable from Laxmikanth’s Polity book, two questions’ model answers were given by me just two weeks before this exam (LG vs CM and 15th FC TOR), and in all IR questions, a few lines can be written from Pavneet Singh’s IR Book (McGraw-hill).
  • But in the race to prepare obscure current affairs related to GSM2, candidates don’t go revise basics (and it’s not their fault UPSC has distorted the game like that) so, even if there are few easy questions, it doesn’t make the paper easy in itself.
  • A sincere candidate can attempt to write atleast 12 logically connected points in each question, even if he’s unaware of the exact matter like what the Ashgabat Agreement is. However, nature of the question is such that they’ll consume a lot of time in brainstorming for such logically connected points e.g. “why Umbrella human rights commission would be better?”
  • In terms of word length, it’s same as 2017 (total 4000 words)

Analysis / Observation about the Paper

Repeating the same topic Citizen Charters

  • GSM22013: juntaa’s satisfaction not improved even after citizen charters. Why?
  • GSM22018: what are the limitations of citizen charters?

LG vs CM

  • GSM22016: 69th Amendment and LG vs. CM conflict
  • GSM22018: What’s SC judgement on this matter?

Public Health?

  • GSM22015: What to do for Universal health care?
  • GSM22018: Community level healthcare intervention required for universal healthcare.
Pingponing between GSM2 and GSM1
  • GSM22014: Smaller states = better effective governance?
  • GSM12018: New (smaller) states= better for economic growth?
Repeating the ‘theme’
  • GSM22013: should we merge SEBI and IRDAI?
  • GSM22018: should we merge all individual bodies for vulnerable communities into umbrella human rights commission?
Pingpoing between Hot topics ask/ignore
  • 2017: The GST implementation was hot topic, and it was asked in GSM22017.
  • However, in 2018, AssamNational Register of Citizen (NRC), Triple Talaq judgement, LGBT, Membership to arms-control groups (MTCR, Wassenaar) etc. were hot topics yet, not asked. May be UPSC will ask it next year when their ‘hotness’ has deceased.
  • Regulatoryprem also continues, each year minimum 2 quests since 2013- and this year the affection doubled with total 4 Questions related to regulatory bodies: CAG, EC, Scheduled Caste commission, Umbrella Human rights commission)
  • EGovernance asked for the first time since the syllabus change in 2013.
  • Last year, 3 questions from IASNGO-Pressure Groups. This time nothing.
  • International Relation: Since the inception of new syllabus in 2013, UPSC had been continuously asking atleast one IR question from India’s immediate neighbours. But this time, nothing.
  • WTOprem emerges every second year. Asked about it in 2014, then 2016 and then in 2018.

GS2 Mains-Topicwise Questions since Syllabus change

In 2013, UPSC changed the syllabus-pattern of Mains examination and the number of general studies (GS) papers were increased from two to four. Out of them, GS Paper-2 deals with Polity, Governance, Welfare and International-Relations (IR).

Category GSM2 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Polity Basic Str. 10 12.5 37.5 12.5 15 10
Polity Comparing 0 0 0 0 0 15
Polity Executive 10 25 0 0 0 0
Polity Legislature & Elections 10 12.5 0 12.5 40 20
Polity Power Sep. 10 12.5 12.5 12.5 10 15
Polity Fed-Local 30 12.5 25 37.5 10 30
Polity Bodies 20 25 25 25 15 25
Welfare Welfare &
Protection
20 25 0 0 10 10
Welfare Poverty &
Hunger
10 0 12.5 0 25 30
Welfare Edu,Health,HDI 20 25 25 37.5 10 10
Welfare Eco.Reform 0 12.5 0 12.5 15 10
Governance Accountability & E-Gov 20 0 25 25 10 25
Governance NGO,Pressure,IAS 20 25 37.5 25 40 0
IR Neighbours 50 12.5 25 12.5 10 0
IR Non-Neighbours
& Diaspora
10 0 12.5 12.5 30 25
IR Inst., Group,
Agreements
10 50 12.5 25 10 25
Total 250 250 250 250 250 250

[Block-1] Polity

UPSC Mains-2018: GS Paper2 Constitution

Polity: Basics of Constitution

GS2 Syllabus Topic: Historical underpinnings & evolution; Features, amendments, significant provisions, basic structure; Comparison of Indian constitutional scheme with other countries’

(COMPARING Constitution) India and USA are two large democracies. Examine the basic tenants on which the two political systems are based. 2018
Under what circumstances can the Financial Emergency be proclaimed by the President of India? What consequences follow when such a declaration remains in force? 2018
Examine the scope of Fundamental Rights in the light of the latest judgement of the Supreme Court on Right to Privacy. 2017
Discuss each adjective attached to the word ‘Republic’ in the preamble. Are they defendable in the present circumstances stances? 2016
Discuss the possible factors that inhibit India from enacting for its citizens a uniform civil code as provided for in the Directive Principles of State Policy. 2015
Khap Panchayats have been in the news for functioning as extra-constitutional authorities, often delivering pronouncements amounting to human rights violations. Discuss critically the actions taken by the legislative, executive and the judiciary to set the things right in this regard. 2015
Does the right to clean environment entail legal regulations on burning crackers during Diwali? Discuss in the light of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and Judgement(s) of the Apex Court in this regard. 2015
What do you understand by the concept “freedom of speech and expression”? Does it cover hate speech also? Why do the films in India stand on a slightly different plane from other forms of expression? Discuss. 2014
Discuss Section 66A of IT Act, with reference to its alleged violation of Article 19 of the Constitution. 2013

Polity: The Executive

GS2 Syllabus Topic:

  • Executive (structure, organization, functioning);
  • Ministries and Departments (of Union and State govts.)
Instances of President’s delay in commuting death sentences has come under public debate as denial of justice. Should there be a time limit specified for the President to accept/reject such petitions? Analyse. 2014
The size of the cabinet should be as big as governmental work justifies and as big as the Prime Minister can manage as a team. How far the efficacy of a government then is inversely related to the size of the cabinet? Discuss. 2014

Polity: Legislature & Elections

GS2 Syllabus Topic:

  • Union and State Legislatures (structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges; issues therein);
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
Why do you think the committees are considered to be useful for parliamentary work?  Discuss, in this context, the role or the Estimates Committee. 2018
In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? 2018
‘Simultaneous election to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies will limit the amount of time and money spent in electioneering but it will reduce the government’s accountability to the people’ Discuss. 2017
To enhance the quality of democracy in India the Election Commission of India has proposed electoral reforms in 2016. What are the suggested reforms and how far are they significant to make democracy successful? 2017
The Indian Constitution has provisions for holding joint session of the two houses of the Parliament. Enumerate the occasions when this would normally happen and also the occasions when it cannot, with reasons thereof. 2017
The Indian party system is passing through a phase of transition which looks to be full of contradictions and paradoxes.” Discuss. 2016
The ‘Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and its Members’ as envisaged in Article 105 of the Constitution leave room for a large number of un-codified and un-enumerated privileges to continue. Assess the reasons for the absence of legal codification of the ‘parliamentary privileges’. How can this problem be addressed? 2014
The role of individual MPs (Members of Parliament) has diminished over the years and as a result healthy constructive debates on policy issues are not usually witnessed. How far can this be attributed to the anti-defection law, which was legislated but with a different intention? 2013

Polity: Separation of Powers

GS2 Syllabus Topic:

  • Separation of Powers (between different organs, dispute redressal mechanisms, institutions);
  • Judiciary (structure, organisation functioning)
Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can settle the political tussle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine. 2018
Critically examine the Supreme Court’s judgement on ‘National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014’ with reference to appointment of judges of higher judiciary in India. 2017
What was held in the Coelho case? In this context, can you say that judicial review is of key importance amongst the basic features of the Constitution? 2016
Resorting to ordinances has always raised concern on violation of the spirit of separation of powers doctrine. While noting the rationales justifying the power to promulgate ordinances, analyze whether the decisions of the Supreme Court on the issue have further facilitated resorting to this power. Should the power to promulgate ordinances be repealed? 2015
Starting from inventing the ‘basic structure’ doctrine, the judiciary has played a highly proactive role in ensuring that India develops into a thriving democracy. In light of the statement, evaluate the role played by judicial activism in achieving the ideals of democracy. 2014
The Supreme Court of India keeps a check on arbitrary power of the Parliament in amending the Constitution. Discuss critically. 2013

Polity: Federalism & Local governance

GS2 Syllabus Topic:

  • Functions & responsibilities of the Union and the States; issues and challenges of federal structure;
  • Devolution of powers and finances to local levels; challenges therein.
How is the Finance Commission of India constituted? What do you about the terms of reference of the recently constituted Finance Commission? Discuss. 2018
Assess the importance of Panchayat system in India as a part of local government. Apart from government grants, what sources the Panchayats can look out for financing developmental projects. 2018
“The local self-government system in India has not proved to be effective instrument of governance”. Critically examine the statement and give your views to improve the situation. 2017
Discuss the essentials of the 69th Constitutional Amendment Act and anomalies, if any that have led to recent reported conflicts between the elected representatives and the institution of the Lieutenant Governor in the administration of Delhi. Do you think that this will give rise to a new trend in the functioning of the Indian federal politics? 2016
To what extent is Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, bearing marginal note “Temporary provision with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir”, temporary? Discuss the future prospects of this provision in the context of Indian polity. 2016
Did the Government of India Act, 1935 lay down a federal constitution? Discuss. 2016
The concept of cooperative federalism has been increasingly emphasized in recent years. Highlight the drawbacks in the existing structure and the extent to which cooperative federalism would answer the shortcomings. 2015
In absence of a well-educated and organized local level government system, `Panchayats’ and ‘Samitis’ have remained mainly political institutions and not effective instruments of governance. Critically discuss. 2015
Though the federal principle is dominant in our Constitution and that principle is one of its basic features, but it is equally true that federalism under the Indian Constitution leans in favour of a strong Centre, a feature that militates against the concept of strong federalism. Discuss. 2014
Recent directives from Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas are perceived by the `Nagas’ as a threat to override the exceptional status enjoyed by the State. Discuss in light of Article 371A of the Indian Constitution. 2013
Many State Governments further bifurcate geographical administrative areas like Districts and Talukas for better governance. In light of the above, can it also be justified that more number of smaller States would bring in effective governance at State level? Discuss. 2013
Constitutional mechanisms to resolve the inter-state water disputes have failed to address and solve the problems. Is the failure due to structural or process inadequacy or both? Discuss. 2013

Polity: Bodies

GS2 Syllabus Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts; Constitutional Bodies (powers, functions and responsibilities); Statutory, Regulatory and Quasi-judicial bodies

“The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has a very vital role to play.” Explain how this is reflected in the method and terms of his appointment as well as the range of powers he can exercise. 2018
How far do you agree with the view that tribunals curtail the jurisdiction of ordinary courts? In view of the above, discuss the constitutional validity and competency of the tribunals in India. 2018
Is the National Commission for Women able to strategize and tackle the problems that women face at both public and private spheres? Give reasons in support of your answer. 2017
Exercise of CAC’s powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and the States is derived from Article 149 of the Indian Constitution. Discuss whether audit of the Government’s Policy implementation could amount to overstepping its own (CAG) jurisdiction. 2016
What is a quasi-judicial body? Explain with the help of concrete examples. 2016
What are the major changes brought in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 through the recent Ordinance promulgated by the President? How far will it improve India’s dispute resolution mechanism? Discuss. 2015
“For achieving the desired objectives, it is necessary to ensure that the regulatory institutions remain independent and autonomous.” Discuss in the light of the experiences in recent past. 2015
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in India can be most effective when its tasks are adequately supported by other mechanisms that ensure the accountability of a government. In light of the above observation assess the role of NHRC as an effective complement to the judiciary and other institutions in promoting and protecting human rights standards. 2014
The setting up of a Rail Tariff Authority to regulate fares will subject the cash strapped Indian Railways to demand subsidy for obligation to operate non-profitable routes and services. Taking into account the experience in the power sector, discuss if the proposed reform is expected to benefit the consumers, the Indian Railways or the private container operators. 2014
Discuss the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission which have been a departure from the previous commissions for strengthening the local government finances. 2013
The product diversification of financial institutions and insurance companies, resulting in overlapping of products and services strengthens the case for the merger of the two regulatory agencies, namely SEBI and IRDA. Justify. 2013

[Block-2] Policies for sectors, services

UPSC Mains-2018: GS Paper2 Governance

Welfare: Policies & Schemes

GS2 Syllabus Topic: Welfare Schemes (centre, states; performance, mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for protection of vulnerable sections);

Whether National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSCJ) can enforce the implementation of constitutional reservation for the Scheduled Castes in the religious minority institutions? Examine. 2018
Multiplicity of various commissions for the vulnerable sections or the society leads to problems or overlapping jurisdiction and duplication of functions. Is it better to merge all commissions into an umbrella Human Rights Commission? Argue your case. 2018
Does the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 ensure effective mechanism for empowerment and inclusion of the intended beneficiaries in the society? Discuss 2017
Two parallel run schemes of the Government viz. the Adhaar Card and NPR, one as voluntary and the other as compulsory, have led to debates at national levels and also litigations. On merits, discuss whether or not both schemes need run concurrently. Analyse the potential of the schemes to achieve developmental benefits and equitable growth. 2014
Do government’s schemes for up-lifting vulnerable and backward communities by protecting required social resources for them, lead to their exclusion in establishing businesses in urban economics? 2014
The basis of providing urban amenities in rural areas (PURA) is rooted in establishing connectivity. Comment. 2013
Electronic cash transfer system for the welfare schemes is an ambitious project to minimize corruption, eliminate wastage and facilitate reforms. Comment. 2013

GS2 Syllabus Topic: Poverty and hunger issues

How far do you agree with the view that the focus on lack or availability of food as the main cause of hunger takes the attention away from ineffective human development policies in India? 2018
Hunger and Poverty are the biggest challenges for good governance in India still today. Evaluate how far successive governments have progressed in dealing with these humongous problems. Suggest measures for improvement. 2017
‘Poverty Alleviation Programmes in India remain mere show pieces until and unless they are backed by political will’. Discuss with reference to the performance of the major poverty alleviation programmes in India. 2017
Though there have been several different estimates of poverty in India, all indicate reduction in poverty levels over time. Do you agree? Critically examine with reference to urban and rural poverty indicators. 2015
The Central Government frequently complains on the poor performance of the State Governments in eradicating suffering of the vulnerable sections of the society. Restructuring of Centrally sponsored schemes across the sectors for ameliorating the cause of vulnerable sections of population aims at providing flexibility to the States in better implementation. Critically evaluate. 2013

Welfare: Social Services: Health, Edu, HRD

GS2 Syllabus Topic: Social Sector & Social Services (health, education, human resources – issues in development, management);

Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieve ‘Health for All ‘ in India. Explain. 2018
‘To ensure effective implementation of policies addressing water, sanitation and hygiene needs, the identification of beneficiary segments is to be synchronized with the anticipated outcomes’ Examine the statement in the context of the WASH scheme. 2017
Examine the main provisions of the National Child Policy and throw light on the status of its implementation. 2016
“Demographic Dividend in India will remain only theoretical unless our manpower becomes more educated, aware, skilled and creative.” What measures have been taken by the government to enhance the capacity of our population to be more productive and employable? 2016
Professor Amartya Sen has advocated important reforms in the realms of primary education and primary health care. What are your suggestions to improve their status and performance? 2016
The quality of higher education in India requires major improvements to make it internationally competitive. Do you think that the entry of foreign educational institutions would help improve the quality of higher and technical education in the country? Discuss. 2015
Public health system has limitations in providing universal health coverage. Do you think that the private sector could help in bridging the gap? What other viable alternatives would you suggest? 2015
An athlete participates in Olympics for personal triumph and nation’s glory; victors are showered with cash incentives by various agencies, on their return. Discuss the merit of state sponsored talent hunt and its cultivation as against the rationale of a reward mechanism as encouragement. 2014
Should the premier institutes like IITs/IIMs be allowed to retain premier status, allowed more academic independence in designing courses and also decide mode/criteria of selection of students. Discuss in light of the growing challenges. 2014
The concept of Mid Day Meal (MDM) scheme is almost a century old in India with early beginnings in Madras Presidency in pre-independent India. The scheme has again been given impetus in most states in the last two decades. Critically examine its twin objectives, latest mandates and success. 2013
Identify the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that are related to health. Discuss the success of the actions taken by the Government for achieving the same. 2013

Welfare: Sectoral Policies (Economy related)

GS2 Syllabus Topic: Government Policies & Interventions for development of various sectors (issues in their design, implementation)

“Policy contradictions among various competing sectors and stakeholders have resulted in inadequate ‘protection and prevention of degradation’ to environment.” ” Comment with relevant illustration. 2018
Explain the salient features of the constitution(One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016. Do you think it is efficacious enough ‘to remove cascading effect of taxes and provide for common national market for goods and services’? 2017
Has the Indian governmental system responded adequately to the demands of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization started in 1991? What can the government do to be responsive to this important change? 2016
Though 100 percent FDI is already allowed in non-news media like a trade publication and general entertainment channel, the Government is mulling over the proposal for increased FDI in news media for quite some time. What difference would an increase in FDI make? Critically evaluate the pros and cons. 2014

[Block-3] Governance & groups

UPSC Mains-2018: GS Paper2 International Relation, Diplomacy

Governance: Accountability & E-Gov

  1. GS2 Syllabus Topic: Important aspects of governance; Transparency and accountability (institutional and other measures); Citizens Charter;
  2. GS2 Syllabus Topic: E-Governance (applications, models, successes, limitations, potential)
E-Governance is not only about utilization of the power of new technology, but also much about critical importance of the ‘use value’ of information Explain. 2018
Citizens’ Charter is an ideal instrument of organizational transparency and accountability, but. it has its own limitations. Identify the limitations and suggest measures for greater effectiveness or the Citizens Charter. 2018
Discuss the role of Public Accounts Committee in establishing accountability of the government to the people. 2017
“Effectiveness of the government system at various levels and people’s participation in the governance system are inter-dependent.” Discuss their relationship with each other in context of India. 2016
In the integrity index of Transparency International, India stands very low. Discuss briefly the legal, political, economic, social and cultural factors that have caused the decline of public morality in India. 2016
In the light of the Satyam Scandal (2009), discuss the changes brought in corporate governance to ensure transparency, accountability. 2015
“If amendment bill to the Whistleblowers Act, 2011 tabled in the Parliament is passed, there may be no one left to protect.” Critically evaluate. 2015
Though Citizen’s charters have been formulated by many public service delivery organizations, there is no corresponding improvement in the level of citizens’ satisfaction and quality of services being provided. Analyze. 2013
‘A national Lokpal, however strong it may be, cannot resolve the problems of immorality in public affairs’. Discuss. 2013

Groups: Civil Services, NGO, SHG, Pressure Groups

GS2 Syllabus Topic:

  1. Development Processes & Development industry (role of NGOs, SHGs, groups & associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders)
  2. Pressure Groups & Formal, Informal associations (and their role in the polity)
  3. Role of Civil Services in a democracy.
Nothing asked from this topic. 2018
Civil Services Initially Civil Services in India were designed to achieve the goals of neutrality and effectiveness, which seems to be lacking in the present context. Do you agree with the view that drastic reforms are required in Civil Services. Comment 2017
NGO-SHG ‘The emergence of Self Help Groups(SHGs) in contemporary times points to the slow but steady withdrawal of the state from developmental activities’. Examine the role of the SHGs in developmental activities and the measures taken by the Government of India to promote the SHGs. 2017
Pressure Group How do pressure groups influence Indian political process? Do you agree with this view that informal pressure groups have emerged as powerful than formal pressure groups in recent years? 2017
NGO-SHG Examine critically the recent changes in the rules governing foreign funding of NGOs under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1976. 2015
NGO-SHG The Self-Help Group (SHG) Bank Linkage Programme (SBLP), which is India’s own innovation, has proved to be one of the most effective poverty alleviation and women empowerment programmes. Elucidate. 2015
NGO-SHG How can the role of NGOs be strengthened in India for development works relating to protection of the environment? Discuss throwing light on the major constraints. 2015
NGO-SHG The penetration of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in rural areas in promoting participation in development programmes is facing socio-cultural hurdles. Examine. 2014
NGO-SHG The legitimacy and accountability of Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their patrons, the micro-finance outfits, need systematic assessment and scrutiny for the sustained success of the concept. Discuss. 2013
Pressure Group Pressure group politics is sometimes seen as the informal face of politics. With regards to the above, assess the structure and functioning of pressure groups in India. 2013
Pressure group “In the Indian governance system, the role of non-state actors has been only marginal.” Critically examine this statement. 2016
Civil Services Has the Cadre based Civil Services Organisation been the cause of slow change in India? Critically examine. 2014
Civil Services “Traditional bureaucratic structure and culture have hampered the process of socio-economic development in India.” Comment. 2016

[Block-4] IR Diplomacy

IR/Diplomacy: Neighbors

GS2 Syllabus Topic: India and its Neighbourhood (relations)

‘China is using its economic relations and positive trade surplus as tools to develop potential military power status in Asia’, In the light of this statement, discuss its impact on India as her neighbor. 2017
“Increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in India and growing interference in the internal affairs of several member-states by Pakistan are not conducive for the future of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).” Explain with suitable examples. 2016
Project `Mausam’ is considered a unique foreign policy initiative of the Indian Government to improve relationship with its neighbors. Does the project have a strategic dimension? Discuss. 2015
Terrorist activities and mutual distrust have clouded India-Pakistan relations. To what extent the use of soft power like sports and cultural exchanges could help generate goodwill between the two countries? Discuss with suitable examples. 2015
With respect to the South China sea, maritime territorial disputes and rising tension affirm the need for safeguarding maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region. In this context, discuss the bilateral issues between India and China. 2014
The proposed withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from Afghanistan in 2014 is fraught with major security implications for the countries of the region. Examine in light of the fact that India is faced with a plethora of challenges and needs to safeguard its own strategic interests. 2013
What do you understand by ‘The String of Pearls’? How does it impact India? Briefly outline the steps taken by India to counter this. 2013
The protests in Shahbag Square in Dhaka in Bangladesh reveal a fundamental split in society between the nationalists and Islamic forces. What is its significance for India? 2013
Discuss the political developments in Maldives in the last two years. Should they be of any cause of concern to India? 2013
In respect of India — Sri Lanka relations, discuss how domestic factors influence foreign policy. 2013
What is meant by Gujral doctrine? Does it have any relevance today? Discuss. 2013

IR/Diplomacy: Not-Neighbors but affecting interests

GS2 Syllabus Topic: Effect of Policies & Politics of Developed and Developing countries on India (India’s interests, diaspora)

In what ways would the ongoing US-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy affect the national interest of India? How should India respond to this situation? 2018
‘India’s relations with Israel have, of late, acquired a depth and diversity, which cannot be rolled back.” Discuss. 2018
The question of India’s Energy Security constitutes the most important part of India’s economic progress. Analyze India’s energy policy cooperation with West Asian Countries. 2017
Indian Diaspora has an important role to play in South-East Asian countries’ economy and society. Appraise the role of Indian Diaspora in South- East Asia in this context 2017
Evaluate the economic and strategic dimensions of India’s Look East Policy in the context of the post-Cold War international scenario. 2016
Increasing interest of India in Africa has its pros and cons. Critically examine. 2015
Economic ties between India and Japan while growing in the recent years are still far below their potential. Elucidate the policy constraints which are inhibiting this growth. 2013

IR/Diplomacy: Institutions, Groupings, Agreements

GS2 Syllabus Topic: Important International institutions, agencies, for a (structure, mandate); Bilateral, Regional, Global groupings & Agreements (involving and/or affecting India)

A number or outside powers have entrenched themselves in Central Asia, which is a zone to interest to India. Discuss the implications, in this context, of India’s joining the Ashgabat Agreement, 2018. 2018
What are the key areas of reform if the WTO has to survive in the present context of ‘Trade War’, especially keeping in mind the interest of India? 2018
What are the main functions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)? Explain different functional commissions attached to it. 2017
“The broader aims and objectives of WTO are to manage and promote international trade in the era of globalization. But the Doha round of negotiations seem doomed due to differences between the developed and the developing countries.” Discuss in the Indian perspective. 2016
What are the aims and objectives of the McBride Commission of the UNESCO? What is India’s position on these? 2016
Discuss the impediments India is facing in its pursuit of a permanent seat in UN Security Council. 2015
The aim of Information Technology Agreements (ITAs) is to lower all taxes and tariffs on information technology products by signatories to zero. What impact should such agreements have on India’s interests? 2014
Some of the International funding agencies have special terms for economic participation stipulating a substantial component of the aid to be used for sourcing equipment from the leading countries. Discuss on merits of such terms and if, there exists a strong case not to accept such conditions in the Indian context. 2014
India has recently signed to become founding a New Development Bank (NDB) and also the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) .How will the role of the two Banks be different? Discuss the significance of these two Banks for India. 2014
WTO is an important international institution where decisions taken affect countries in profound manner. What is the mandate of WTO and how binding are their decisions? Critically analyse India’s stand on the latest round of talks on Food security. 2014
The World Bank and the IMF, collectively known as the Bretton Woods Institutions, are the two inter-governmental pillars supporting the structure of the world’s economic and financial order. Superficially, the World Bank and the IMF exhibit many common characteristics, yet their role, functions and mandate are distinctly different. Elucidate. 2013

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5 Comments on “[Download] UPSC Mains-2018 GSM2 Topicwise All Papers (2013-2018). Paper-II relatively straight-forward than previous years”

  1. upsc is doing nothing but just confusing the aspirants whether they have to focus on static or on current……..really very confusing

  2. ARC report 6 local Governance (chapter 4) , There is a section of finance that provides recommendations for additiona revenue generation apart from grants.

  3. sir, how to download.. where is the link..please help

  4. SIR, HOW TO DOWNLOAD THE ANALYSIS.. WHERE IS THE LINK

  5. Sir I am thankful to you for this informative blog and blog posts..Thank you

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