[Answerkey] UPSC Prelim-2019: Polity & IR solved with Explanations & Analysis.Slightly easier than last year, PolSci Abstract-Prem continued

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Mrunal Polity Lecture
  1. Observation / Analysis about Polity-IR in Prelims-19
  2. Strategy for Prelims-2020: Polity
  3. Polity: Theory- How to prepare
  4. Polity: Contemporary issues & Current Affairs
  5. UPSC IAS/IPS Prelims-2019 Answerkey: Polity & IR

Observation / Analysis about Polity-IR in Prelims-19

  • UPSC conducted civil services IAS/IPS preliminary exam on 2nd June 2019.
  • Total 16 out of 100 questions in General Studies Paper-1 were devoted to Polity and International Relations

UPSC Answerkey 2019 Polity

Polity-IR in Prelim 2018 and before Prelim-2019: Continuity and Change
2018: 13 MCQs on Polity, 8 on IR-Defense-Persons in news 13 MCQs on Polity just like last year but 0% questions on defense/PIN and 3 MCQs on IR only.
2018: 6 Easy + 5 Medium + 2 Tough questions on polity. Majority of the question focused on theory 7 Easy + 4 Medium + 2 tough so slightly easier than last year, and here too majority of the questions focused on theory portion.
UPSC didnot not usually ask questions from negative news. 2018 Congress tried to get the then CJI Dipak Misra impeached. 2019-Prelims UPSC asks about impeachment of Judges!
If a current affairs topic is ‘too hot’, UPSC will not ask about it. Atleast this rule is followed- no question from EC or General Election 2019.
In some years, examiner asked अतरंगी (crazy) questions from Lok Sabha rule book. Again that affection has resurfaced with a question about rule book of state legislature.
No question on Panchayati Raj institutes (PRI) after 2016. No question on PRI here either.
Abstract questions from Political science
-(2017) Democracy’s superior virtue lies in the fact that it calls into activity: Option A, B, C, D.
-(2017) One of the implications of equality in society is the absence of _ : Option A, B, C, D.
-(2018) Which one of the following reflects the nicest, appropriate relationship between law and liberty?
-(2018) Which of the following are regarded as the main features of the “Rule of Law” ?
-Prem continued: 2019- asked the meaning of liberty.
-Although, in all these years 2017, 2018, 2019 these question can be solved from NCERT-NIOS. So, it’s not like Political science Optional subject give send extra edge to those students. You should not opt for optional subject for 2020 with such short-sightedness or false-marketing.
2018: rights issue centred on child rights & right to privacy Shifted to Scheduled Tribes (2MCQs)
2018: one MCQ on ninth schedule Again asked about 9th Schedule
2018: Crazy question about first election and Swatantra Party. Atleast polity questions are not ‘crazy’ but in IR asked about UNCAC, UNTOC.
Once upon a time, Union Executive and Legislature occupied dominant position in the number of MCQs asked. Domination is over. This time not more than 1-2 MCQs from Union Executive and Legislature
2018: No Polity question could be solved by applying the rules of Guessmastergiri. 1 MCQ can be solved by Guessmaster-giri #Without-Studying-Anything. But, two questions are Anti-Guessmaster, so the net gain is 1(2)-2(0.67)= +0.66 Marks. UPSC examiner needs to improve the quality of question statements to curb this nuisance.

Strategy for Prelims-2020: Polity

Polity: Theory- How to prepare

  1. Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth | हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध But this is ‘minimum system requirement’, know that it doesn’t give you any edge over others because everyone is mugging up the same book. Do parallel study of chapters: President vs Governor, SC vs HC, PM vs CM. Do solve the past papers given at the end of his book.
  2. (When it’s published) India Yearbook 2020 by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Focus on chapter 2 (Symbols), 3 (Polity), 20 (Law and Justice), 28 (Welfare). Yearbook is important because in earlier prelims, some of the factoids were asked from here, and not given in Laxmikanth’s book. e.g. Civil service day celebrated on _ _ , Cabinet Secretary is the boss of _ _ _ Committee, Satyamev Jayate phrase is copied from _ _ _ Upanishad, NALSA’s function includes _ _ _. Don’t waste money in buying India Yearbook 2019 at this stage. Better to wait till 2020 comes out.
  3. IF time left, then selective study of NCERT Textbooks, even NIOS Political Science PDF | हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध | ગુજરાતીમાં પણ ઉપલબ્ધ. I’ve used the word “IF time left”, because these textbooks have lot of bolbachchan and overlapping with what you already prepared from Laxmikanth and IYB. The additional general / abstract / political science type of factoids to be gained- they’re spread few and far in between the chapters of these textbooks. And even after mastering them, the ‘edge’ you’ll get is 1-2 MCQs. So, you’ve to decide accordingly, how much time should be given.
  4. No need to waste time over DD Basu, MV Pylee or SC Kashyap’s Our Parliament because hardly anything additional to gain in Prelims. Laxmikanth’s book is basically a revision note prepared from above reference books. If you try to become Harry Potter’s Half Blood Prince i.e. “I’ll extract the factoids from above books, and whichever of them are not given in Laxmikanth, I’ll write down those spells on margins of Laxmikanth’s book”- again poor cost:benefit. And in mains, the GSM2 is mostly contemporary / current based polity, so these theoretical / academic textbooks have little utility, yes they provide foundation and fodder points, but for that you’ll be better served by IGNOU MPS-003, Yojana, ARC Report et al. Because the Constitutional issues / crisis that above authors had raised- have been replaced by new set of issues under Modi raj.

Polity: Contemporary issues & Current Affairs

UPSC IAS/IPS Prelims-2019 Answerkey: Polity & IR

Anyways, enough of strategy, let’s now solve the Polity & IR MCQs asked in Prelims-2019

Historic Background, FRFD, DPSP


(Pre18-SetA) Q56. Which Article of the Constitution of India safeguards one’s right to marry the person of one’s choice?
(a) Article 19
(b) Article 21
(c) Article 25
(d) Article 29
Difficulty: Tough. This is ‘right to vote’-walla nonsense all over again.
ANS:

  • 2018-April: “The right to marry a person of one’s choice is integral to Article 21 (right to life and liberty) of the Constitution”. SC Judgement on Hadiya Case. Then answer is “B”.

Counter-argument: Entire question is invalid

  • 2018-March: “When two adults consensually choose each other as life partners, it is a manifestation of their choice which is recognized under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution”. Says SC judgement on Khap Panchayat and honor killing, then answer could be either A or B.
  • 2019-March:, “Right to marry cannot be right to life under Article 21. There is no where written or proved that life of person would be miserable or unhealthy without marriage.” says Indian Army & Government of India’s affidavit in Delhi Highcourt!
  • If you feel like that, you may complaint online to UPSC via http://upsconline.nic.in/miscellaneous/QPRep/ (BUT MIND IT, this Complaint-window is valid only for seven day i.e. upto 9th June, 2019).

GuessmastergiriTM: Not Applicable.


(Pre18-SetA) Q2. With reference to land reforms in independent India, which one of the following statements is correct?
(a) The ceiling laws were aimed at family holdings and not individual holdings.
(b) The major aim of land reforms was providing agriculture land to all the landless.
(c) It resulted in cultivation of cash crops as a predominant form of cultivation.
(d) Land reforms permitted no exemptions to the ceiling limits.
Difficulty: Easy to Medium depending on whether you finish Mains-syllabus before Prelims.
ANS: Bipan Chandra’s India Since Independence, Ch.31 on Land Reforms (III)

  • In most states, initially, the ceilings were imposed on individual and not family holdings, enabling landowners to divide up their holdings ‘notionally’ in the names of relatives merely to avoid the ceiling. So, A is wrong.
  • A large number of exemptions to the ceiling limits were permitted by most states following the Second Plan recommendations that certain categories of land could be exempted from ceilings. These were tea, coffee and rubber plantations, orchards, specialized farms etc. So, D is wrong.
  • C is a ‘hyperbole’ wrong statement. Land reform is not responsible for cash crop cultivation becoming predominant in India. Besides, majority of India’s area under cultivation is foodgrains and cereals. (and not cash crops) as per Table3, page 101 of Economic Survey 2017-18.
  • Thus, B is the most suitable answer.

Counter-argument: A is the answer / Entire question is invalid

  • NCERT Sociology Class12 -Social Change and Development in India- page 61: “Third major category of land reform laws were the Land Ceiling Acts. These laws imposed an upper limit on the amount of land that can be owned by a particular family”. So, #A may be the answer and / or entire question is invalid because it has more than one correct answer. You may complaint online to UPSC via http://upsconline.nic.in/miscellaneous/QPRep/ (BUT MIND IT, this Complaint-window is valid only for seven day i.e. upto 9th June, 2019).

Antiguessmaster question because GuessmastergiriTM Rule#1:: extreme worded statements are wrong then B, C and D- contain extreme words, so all of them should be incorrect, but if you believe that, you can never arrive at the right answer.

Rights issues: Tribal related (2 MCQs)


(Pre18-SetA) Q50. Under which schedule of the Constitution of India can the transfer of tribal land to private parties for mining be declared null and void?
(a) Third Schedule
(b) Fifth Schedule
(c) Ninth Schedule
(d) Twelfth Schedule
Difficulty: Easy.
ANS:

GuessmastergiriTM: Not Applicable.


(Pre18-SetA) Q55. Consider the following statements:

  1. As per recent amendment to the India Forest Act, 1927, forest dwellers have the right to fell the bamboos grown on the forest areas.
  2. As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, bamboo is a minor forest produce.
  3. The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers ( Recognition of Forest Rights) Act , 2006 allows ownership of minor forest produce to forest dwellers.

Which of the following statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Difficulty: Tough. While most of the serious candidates would have prepared the bamboo amendment current affairs but still it boils down to technical knowledge about a section of Forest Rights Act, which is not given in routine books.
ANS:

  • PRSIndia Page on Indian Forest (Amendment): it was decided to amend … the said Act so as to omit the word “bamboos” from the definition of tree, in order to exempt bamboos grown on non-forest area from the requirement of permit for felling or transit under the said Act, and would encourage bamboo plantation by farmers resulting in the enhancement of their income from agricultural fields. So, #1 is wrong. (Besides if such right was given then on Bamboos will be left in Jungle!!). This eliminates A and D. we are at 50:50 stage between B or C.
  • In both B and C, statement #3 is common, so we’ve to accept it as true without
  • PrsIndia page on Forest rights Act: Section 2(i) Minor forest produce includes bamboo, brushwood, honey, wax….. So, #2 is right. Thus answer is B.

GuessmastergiriTM: Not Applicable.

Basic Structure, Amendments, Judicial Review


(Pre18-SetA) Q45. Consider the following statements :

  1. The 44th Amendment to the Constitution of India introduced an Article placing the election of the Prime Minister beyond judicial review.
  2. The Supreme Court of India struck down the 99th Amendment to the Constitution of India as being violative of the independence of judiciary.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(b) Neither 1 nor 2
Difficulty: Medium. While any serious player can eliminate the first statement but 2nd statement requires factual recollection of what exactly was 99th amendment!?
ANS:

  • “Keeping election of the Prime Minister beyond judicial review!” This is a stupendous. Even if such ‘Badmaashi’ (mischief) was done through a Constitutional amendment, it would have been Indira Gandhi’s 42nd amendment rather than Morarji’s 44th Amendment. So, #1 has to be wrong.
  • Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth | हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध Appending VI on Constitutional Amendment: 99th Amendment Replaced the collegium system of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and High Courts with a new body called the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC). 2015-IndianExpress SC Bench, led by Justice J S Khehar, held as “ultra vires” the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act and the NJAC Act. So, #2 is right. Answer B: only 2.

GuessmastergiriTM: Not Applicable.


(Pre18-SetA) Q47. The Ninth Schedule was introduced in the Constitution of India during the prime membership of
(a) Jawaharlal Nehru
(b) Lal Bahadur Shastri
(c) Indira Gandhi
(d) Morarji Desai
Difficulty: Easy to Medium depending on your revision. Since the amendment number is in single digit, it must have been an early PM so you could do 50:50 between Nehru and Shashtri.
ANS: Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth | हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध ch.27 on Judicial Review

  • “Article 31B along with the Ninth Schedule was added by the 1st Constitutional Amendment Act of 1951 to reduce the scope of Judicial review in the matters of land reforms and Zamindari-Abolition. Originally (in 1951), the Ninth Schedule contained only 13 acts and regulations but at present (in 2016) their number is 282.”
  • So, if it was made the 50s, then it must be the Prime minister who did grave injustice to Sardar Patel and is responsible for the Kashmir problem, as per the BJP-historians.

GuessmastergiriTM: Not Applicable.


(Pre18-SetA) Q81. With reference to the Constitution of India, consider the following statements :

  1. No High Court shall have the jurisdiction to declare any central law to be constitutionally invalid.
  2. An amendment to the Constitution of India cannot be called into question by the Supreme Court of India.

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
Difficulty: Easy.
ANS: Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth | हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध Ch.27 Judicial Review

  • The Constitution itself confers the power of judicial review on the judiciary (both the Supreme Court as well as High Courts). Judicial review is the power of the judiciary to examine the constitutionality of legislative enactments and executive orders of both the Central and State governments. On examination, if they are found to be violative of the Constitution (ultra vires), they can be declared as illegal, unconstitutional and invalid (null and void) by the judiciary. So #1 is wrong.
  • R. Coelho case (2007), the Supreme Court ruled that there could not be any blanket immunity from judicial review of laws included in the Ninth Schedule. Thus #2 is also wrong.
  • So, D: neither 1 nor 2 correct.

GuessmastergiriTM Rule#1:: Extreme worded statements are wrong, here both statements containing extreme words so, both ought to be wrong, and thus you can arrive at right answer #Without-Studying-Anything.

Judiciary (2 MCQs)


(Pre18-SetA) Q52.With reference to the constitution of India, prohibition or limitations or provisions contained in ordinary laws cannot act as prohibitions or limitations on the constitutional powers under Article 142. It could mean which one of the following?
(a) The decisions taken by the Election Commision of India while discharging its duties can not be challenged in any court of law.
(b) The Supreme Court of India is not constrained in the exercise of its powers by laws made by the parliament.
(c) In the event of grave financial crises in the country, the President of India can declare Financial Emergency without the counsel from the cabinet.
(d) State Legislatures can not make laws on certain matters without the concurrence of the Union legislature.
Difficulty: Medium to Tough, depending on your command over the factualGK related to Constitutional articles.
ANS:

GuessmastergiriTM: Not Applicable.


(Pre18-SetA) Q46. consider the following statements :

  1. The motion to impeach a judge of the supreme court of India cannot be rejected by the speaker of the Lok Sabha as per the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968.
  2. The constitution of India defines and gives details of what constitutes ‘incapacity and proved misbehaviour’ of the judges of the Supreme Court of India.
  3. The details of the process of the impeachment of the judges of the Supreme Court of India are given in the judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968.
  4. If the motion of the impeachment of a judge is taken up for voting, the law requires the motion to be backed by each house of the parliament and supported by a majority of total membership of that house and by not less than two-thirds of total members of that House present and voting.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 3 only
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) 1,3 and 4
Difficulty: Prima facie it may appear intimidating due to many lengthy sentences but it is easy by elimination. This MCQ is unique, because usually UPSC does not ask questions from negative news. 2018: Congress tried to get the then CJI Dipak Misra impeached. And lo and behold here’s a question on judges impeachment!
ANS: Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth | हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध ch.26 on Supreme Court.

  • The Speaker/Chairman may admit the motion or refuse to admit motion for impeachment of SC Judges. And accordingly, 2018-April: IndianExpress: When Congress tried to get CJI Dipak Misra impeached, Rajya Sabha Chairman (and Vice President) rejected the motion saying this is absence of credible information about CJI’s misbehaviour or incapacity. Therefore, #1 is wrong. Now we are 50:50 between B and C. in both the remaining options statement 3 is common, therefore we have to accept it as true, without checking its validity.
  • The address to remove SC Judge must be supported by a special majority of each House of Parliament (ie, a majority of the total membership of that House and a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting). So #4 is right, answer is C.

GuessmastergiriTM Rule#1: says extreme worded statements are wrong then first statement must be wrong and we are at 50:50 between B or C.

Executive (1 MCQ)


(Pre18-SetA) Q66. Which one of the following suggested that the Governor should be an eminent person from outside the State and should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in the recent past?
(a) First Administrative Reforms Commission (1966)
(b) Rajamannar Committee(1969)
(c) Sarkaria Commission (1983)
(d) National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution(2000)
Difficulty: Easy to Medium depending on revision.
ANS: Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth | हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध Ch.14 Centre-State relations:

  • While selecting Governors, the Central Government should adopt the following strict guidelines as recommended in the Sarkaria Commission report: He should be a detached figure and not too intimately connected with the local politics of the states.

GuessmastergiriTM: Not Applicable.

Legislature (2 MCQs)


(Pre18-SetA) Q49. Consider the following statements:

  1. The parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 exempts several posts from disqualification on the grounds of ‘Office of Profit’.
  2. The above-mentioned Act was amended five times.
  3. The term ‘Office of Profit’ is well-defined in the Constitution of India.

Which of the following statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1,2 and 3
Difficulty: Easy by elimination.
ANS:

  • If ‘Office of Profit’ was well defined in Constitution, then there wouldn’t have been controversies related to AAP-MLAs’ disqualification (2018-Jan), and Kejriwal & Co. wouldn’t have been running from pillar to post between EC and SC to prevent their disqualification. So, #3 is wrong, and by elimination we are left with Answer A:1 and 2 only.

Just to crosscheck,

  • IYB ch.3 on Polity: Joint Committee on Offices of Profit examines the composition and character of committees and other bodies appointed by the Central and state governments and union territories administrations and recommends what offices ought to or ought not to disqualify a person from being chosen as a member of either House of Parliament; So, again it shows term is not well defined in Constitution else you wouldn’t need a Joint committee to babysit and monitor it.
  • Random Google book#1, and book#2 also confirm that Constitution has not defined the term office of profit.

Anti-Guessmaster Question. Because Gm-rule#2 says dates, numbers and figures are always wrong. So then second statement should be wrong but if you believe that then you will never arrive at the correct answer.


(Pre18-SetA) Q53. With reference to the legislative Assembly of a state in India, consider the following Statements:

  1. The Governor makes a customary address to Members of the house at the commencement of the first session of the year.
  2. When a State Legislature does not have a rule on the particular matter, it follows the lok Sabha rule on that matter.

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Difficulty: Medium to Tough. While serious player knows the validity of the first statement but everything boils down to the how you interpret the second statement.
ANS:

  • Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth | हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध ch.30 on Governor: He can address the state legislature at the commencement of the first session after each general election and the first session of each year. So #1 is right.
  • Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth | हिंदी में भी उपलब्ध ch.33: “Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha is the final interpreter of the provisions of (a) the Constitution of India, (b) the rules of procedure and conduct of business of assembly.” So, Speaker can do whatever he pleases, and not required to follow Lok Sabha rules.
  • Article 208 of the Constitution: A House of the Legislature of a State may make rules for regulating subject to the provisions of this Constitution, its procedure and the conduct of its business.
  • Thus, it’s not mandated in the Constitution for the State legislature to (ALWAYS) follow / copy the rules of Lok Sabha. So, #2 is wrong. Thus, answer A: only 1.

GuessmastergiriTM: Not Applicable.

Political Science: Abstract Terms


(Pre18-SetA) Q85. In the context of polity, which one of the following would