1. Prologue
  2. GS2 Mains-Topicwise Questions since Syllabus change
  3. [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
  4. [Block-2] Policies for sectors, services
    1. Welfare: Policies & Schemes
    2. Welfare: Social Services: Health, Edu, HRD
    3. Welfare: Sectoral Policies (Economy related)
  5. [Block-3] Governance & groups
    1. Governance: Accountability & E-Gov
    2. Groups: Civil Services, NGO, SHG, Pressure Groups
  6. [Block-4] IR Diplomacy
    1. IR/Diplomacy: Neighbors
    2. IR/Diplomacy: Not-Neighbors but affecting interests
    3. IR/Diplomacy: Institutions, Groupings, Agreements


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).

[Block-1] Polity

UPSC General Studies Mains Paper2: Polity

  • ?‍?Watch my FREE Lecture video, I’ve given detailed analysis, model answers & common mistakes of the Polity section of GSM2-2019 Paper, & roadmap/strategy for Mains-2020. Please go through it. Overall scene is:
  • Keep habit of solving the previous years questions e.g. Secularism debate & France; Role of individual parliamentarians on decline.
  • (?Free download) NCERT 11-12 Sociology and Political Science textbooks. Do not worry about its complex theories and thinkers just read it as story book, 
  • ? M. Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity book. (हिन्दी मे भी उपलब्ध)
  • ? M.Karthikeyan’s Governance in India by Pearson Publication.
  • (?Free download) Yojana and  Kurukshetra magazines for Local Bodies, related topics
  • PRSIndia.org website for bills and amendments. National Newspaper columns for current affairs development.
  • If you observe topic wise mains question papers of Political Science and law optional subjects =While you may gain some important questions for GSM2,  but watch your cost:benefit in terms of time and mental effort.
  • Similarly, selective reading of IGNOU Political Science and Public Administration  modules may help but cost:benefit needs to be kept in mind.

Model Answer writing lecture for UPSC General Studies Mains Paper2: Polity

Polity: Basics of Constitution

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

“Parliament’s power to amend the Constitution is a limited power and it cannot be enlarged into absolute power.” In the light of this statement explain whether Parliament under Article 368 of the Constitution can destroy the Basic Structure of the Constitution by expanding its amending power? (“संविधान का संशोधन करने की संसद की शक्ति एक परिसीमित शक्ति है और इसे आत्यंतिक शक्ति के रूप में विस्तृत नहीं किया जा सकता है |” इस कथन के आलोक में व्याख्या कीजिए की क्या संसद संविधान के अनुछेद 368 के अंतर्गत अपनी संशोधन की शक्ति का विशदीकरण करके संविधान के मूल ढांचे को नष्ट कर सकती है ?) (15m 250 words) 2019
(COMPARING Constitution) What can France learn from the Indian Constitution’s approach to secularism?(धर्मनिरपेक्षता को भारत के संविधान के उपागम से फ्रांस क्या सिख सकता है ? )(10m 150 words) 2019
(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.
Individual Parliamentarian’s role as the national lawmaker is on a decline, which in turn, has adversely impacted the quality of debates and their outcome. Discuss. (राष्ट्रीय विधि निर्माता के रूप में अकेले एक संसद-सदस्य की भूमिका अवनति की और है, जिसके फलस्वरूप वादविवादों की गुणता और उनके परिणामों पर प्रतिकूल प्रभाव पड़ भी चूका है | चर्चा कीजिए | ) (15m 250 words) 2019
On what grounds a people’s representative can be disqualified under the Representation of People Act, 1951? Also mention the remedies available to such person against his disqualification. (किन आधारों पर किसी लोक प्रतिनिधि को, लोक प्रतिनिधित्व अधिनियम, 1951 के अधीन निरर्हित किया जा सकता है ? उन उपचारों का भी उल्लेख कीजिए जो ऐसे निरर्हित व्यक्ति को अपनी निरर्हिता के विरुद्ध उपलब्ध हैं | ) (15m 250 words) 2019
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)
Do you think that constitution of India does not accept principle of strict separation of powers rather it is based on the principle of ‘checks and balance’? Explain. (क्या आपके विचार में भारत का संविधान शक्तियों के कठोर पृथक्करण के सिध्दान्त को स्वीकार नहीं करता है, बल्कि यह ‘नियंत्रण एवं संतुलन’ के सिध्दान्त पर आधारित है ? व्याख्या कीजिए | ) (10m 150 words) 2019
From the resolution of contentious issues regarding distribution of legislative powers by the courts, ‘Principle of Federal Supremacy’ and ‘Harmonious Construction’ have emerged. Explain. (न्यायालयों के द्वारा विधायी शक्तियों के वितरण से सम्बंधित मुद्दों को सुलझाने से, ‘परिसंघीय सर्वोच्चता का सिध्दान्त’ और ‘समरस अर्थान्वयन’ उभर कर आए हैं | स्पष्ट कीजिए | ) (10m 150 words) 2019
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.
“The reservation of seats for women in the institutions of local self- government has had a limited impact on the patriarchal character of the Indian Political Process.” Comment. (“स्थानीय स्वशासन की संस्थाओं में महिलाओं के लिए सीटों के आरक्षण का भारत के राजनितिक पराक्रम के पितृतंत्रात्मक अभिलक्षण पर एक सिमित प्रभाव पड़ा है |” टिपण्णी कीजिए | ) (15m 250 words) 2019
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 Central Administration Tribunal which was established for redressal of grievances and complaints by or against central government employees, nowadays is exercising its powers as an independent judicial authority.” Explain. (केन्द्रीय प्रशासनिक अधिकरण जिसकी स्थापना केन्द्रीय सरकार के कर्मचारियों द्वारा या उनके विरुद्ध शिकायतों एवं परिवादों के निवारण हेतु की गई थी, आजकल एक स्वतंत्र न्यायिक प्राधिकरण के रूप में अपनी शक्तियों का प्रयोग कर रहा है |” व्याख्या कीजिए | ) (10m 150 words) 2019
“The Attorney-General is the chief legal adviser and lawyer of the Government of India.” Discuss. (“महान्यायवादी भारत की सरकार का मुख्या विधि सलहाकार और वकील होता है |” चर्चा कीजिए | ) (15m 250 words) 2019
“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] Welfare Schemes & Policies for sectors, services

UPSC General Studies Mains Paper2: Welfare Schemes & Policies for sectors

  • ?‍?Watch my FREE Lecture video, I’ve given detailed analysis, model answers & common mistakes of the Welfare and Social Justice section of GSM2-2019 Paper, & roadmap/strategy for Mains-2020. Overall scene is:
  • In 2019’s exam, all 5 Qs either in medium to tough category. None directly from a single source (except IGNOU MA Multi level planning).
  • So, you’ve to build the content by yourself from Newspaper columns, Past economic surveys, Yojana- Kurukshetra magazines.
  • If time left, IGNOU MA Public Administration selective study of following modules:
  • ? MPA-016: Local Governance; 
  • ? MPA-011 State, Society and Public Administration.

Model Answer writing lecture for UPSC General Studies Mains Paper2: Welfare Schemes & Policies for sectors

Welfare: Policies & Schemes

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

There is a growing divergence in the relationship between poverty and hunger in India. The shrinking of social expenditure by the government is forcing the poor to spend more on Non- Food essential items squeezing their food – budget.- Elucidate. (भारत में निर्धनता और भूख के बीच संबंध में एक बढ़ता हुआ अंतर है | सरकार द्वारा सामाजिक व्यय को संकुचित किए जाना, निर्धनों को अपने खाद्य बजट को निचोड़ते हुए खाद्येतर अत्यावश्यक मुद्दों पर अधिक व्यय करने के लिए मजबूर कर रहा है | स्पष्ट कीजिए | ) (10m 150 words) 2019
‘In the context of neo-liberal paradigm of development planning, multi-level planning is expected to make operations cost effective and remove many implementation blockages.’-Discuss. (‘विकास योजना के नव-उदारी प्रतिमान के संदर्भ में, आशा की जाती है की बहु-स्तरी योजनाकरण संक्रियाओं को लागत प्रभावी बना देगा और अनेक क्रियान्वयन रुकावटों को हटा देगा |’ चर्चा कीजिए | ) (15m 250 words) 2019
The need for cooperation among various service sector has been an inherent component of development discourse. Partnership bridges bring the gap among the sectors. It also sets in motion a culture of ‘Collaboration’ and ‘team spirit’. In the light of statements above examine India’s Development process. (विभिन्न सेवा क्षेत्रकों के बीच सहयोग की आवश्यकता विकास प्रवचन का एक अन्तर्निहिति घटक रहा है | साझेदारी क्षेत्रकों के बीच पल बनती है | यह ‘सहयोग’ और ‘टीम भावना’ की संस्कृति को भी गति प्रदान कर देती है | उपरोक्त कथनों के प्रकाश में भारत के विकास प्रक्रम का परिक्षण कीजिए | ) (15m 250 words) 2019
Performance of welfare schemes that are implemented for vulnerable sections is not so effective due to absence of their awareness and active involvement at all stages of policy process – Discuss. (सुभेद्य वर्गों के लिए क्रियान्वित की जाने वाली कल्याण योजनाओं का निष्पादन उनके बारे में जागरूकता के न होने और निति प्रक्रम की सभी अवस्थाओं पर उनके सक्रिय तौर पर सम्मिलित न होने के कारन प्रभावी नहीं होता है | – चर्चा कीजिए | ) (15m 250 words) 2019
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);

Despite Consistent experience of High growth, India still goes with the lowest indicators of human development. Examine the issues that make balanced and inclusive development elusive. (उच्च संवृद्धि के लगातार अनुभव के बावजूद, भारत के मानव विकास के निम्नतम संकेतक चल रहे हैं | उन मुद्दों का परिक्षण कीजिए, जो संतुलित और समावेशी विकास को पकड़ में आने नहीं दे रहे हैं | )(10m 150 words) 2019
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 General Studies Mains Paper2: Governance & pressure groups

Model Answer writing lecture for UPSC General Studies Mains Paper2: Governance & pressure groups

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)
Implementation of information and Communication Technology (ICT) based Projects / Programmes usually suffers in terms of certain vital factors. Identify these factors, and suggest measures for their effective implementation. (सुचना और संप्रेषण प्रौद्योगिकी (आई.सी.टी.) आधारित परियोजनाओं / कार्यक्रमों का कार्यान्वयन आम तौर पर विशेष महत्वपूर्ण कारकों की दृष्टी से ठीक नहीं रहता है | इन कारकों की पहचान कीजिए और उनके प्रभावी कार्यान्वयन के उपाय सुझाइए | ) (10m 150 words) 2019
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.
Pressure Group What are the methods used by the Farmers organizations to influence the policy- makers in India and how effective are these methods? (भारत में निति निर्माताओं को प्रभावित करने के लिए किसान संगठनों द्वारा क्या-क्या तरीके अपनाए जाते हैं और वे तरीके कितने प्रभावी हैं ? ) (10m 150 words) 2019
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

UPSC General Studies Mains Paper2: International Relations (IR)

  • ?‍?Watch my FREE Lecture video, I’ve given detailed analysis, model answers & common mistakes of the International Relations (IR) section of GSM2-2019 Paper, & roadmap/strategy for Mains-2020. Overall scene is:
  • Keep the habit of solving the previous years question papers since 2013. Because the same questions and themes keep getting repeated e.g. 2013: India Japan, 2019:  again India Japan on the similar theme.
  • (?Free download) NCERT Class 12: Political Science – Contemporary World Politics
  • ? Pavneet Singh’s book on IR (McGraw-Hill Publication) for the theory and contemporary affairs. Although all chapters are not equally important. First priority to India’s neighbours > UNSC’s 5 Members > Important allies like Japan, Australia etc. 
  • ? Current affairs: Newspapers, Magazines.
  • ? idsa.in/ and Rajyasabha TV debates’ utility is overrated. Because if you understand all the nuances of India’s foreign policy you will not be given sufficient time or space to elaborate all of that within 150-250 words.
  • Each year, IR is about 40-50 marks out of total 250 marks. That means 20% of the GS Mains paper 2. You should not be spending 80% of the time chasing that thing.
  • Even if you are planning to keep Indian Foreign Service (IFS) as your first preference → still, the UPSC interview panel is not going to grill you continuously for 30-45 minutes on only the questions related to Foreign Affairs. They’ll also ask you about DAF form, hobbies, graduation, Home state ke local issues etc. So, DONOT try to become a Foreign policy researcher/scholar at this stage. 

Model Answer writing lecture for UPSC General Studies Mains Paper2: International Relations (IR)

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)

‘The time has come for India and Japan to build a strong contemporary relationship, one involving global and strategic partnership that will have a great significance for Asia and the world as a whole.’ Comment. (‘भारत और जापान के लिए समय आ गया है की एक ऐसे मजबूत समसामयिक संबंध का निर्माण करें, जिसका वैश्विक एवं रणनीतिक साझेदारी को आवेष्टित करते हुए एशिया एवं सम्पूर्ण विश्व के लिए बड़ा महत्व होगा |’ टिपण्णी कीजिए | ) (10m 150 words) 2019
“The long-sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalised Nations has disappeared on account of its new found role in the emerging global order”. Elaborate. (‘उभरती हुई वैश्विक व्यवस्था में, भारत द्वारा प्राप्त नव-भूमिका कारण, उत्पीड़ित एवं उपेक्षित राष्ट्रों के मुखिया के रूप में दीर्घ काल से संपोषित भारत की पहचान लुप्त हो गई है |’ विस्तार से समझाइये | ) (15m 250 words) 2019
“What introduces friction into the ties between India and the United States is that Washington is still unable to find for India a position in its global strategy, which would satisfy India’s National self- esteem and ambitions” Explain with suitable examples. (‘भारत और यूनाइटेड स्टेट्स के बीच संबंधो में खटास के प्रवेश का कारण वाशिंगटन का अपनी वैश्विक रणनीति में अभी तक भी भारत के लिए किसी ऐसे स्थान की खोज करने में विफलता है, जो भारत के आत्म-समादर और महत्वाकांक्षा को संतुष्ट कर सके |’ उपयुक्त उदाहरणों के साथ स्पष्ट कीजिए | ) (15m 250 words) 2019
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)

‘Too little cash, too much politics, leaves UNESCO fighting for life.’ Discuss the statement in the light of US’ withdrawal and its accusation of the cultural body as being ‘anti-Israel bias’. (‘आवश्यकता से कम नगदी, अत्यधिक राजनीति ने यूनेस्को को जीवन-रक्षण की स्थिति में पहुंचा दिया है |’ अमेरिका द्वारा सदस्यता परित्याग करने और सांस्कृतिक संस्था पर ‘इजराइल विरोधी पूर्वाग्रह’ होने का दोषारोपण करने के प्रकाश में इस कथन की विवेचना कीजिए | ) (10m 150 words) 2019
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

Visit Mrunal.org/Mains for more on UPSC Mains Answer-writing for General Studies Paper-2 (GSM2).