1. GSM3-Topicwise Questions since Pattern change in 2013
  2. [Block #1] Economy, Investment Infrastructure
    1. Growth and Resource mobilization
    2. Economy: Budget
    3. Economy: Investment and Infrastructure
    4. Economy: Liberalization
  3. [Block#2] Agriculture
    1. Food: Cropping-irrigation
    2. Food: Tech. in aid of farmers
    3. Food: Food processing industry
    4. Food: Land reforms
    5. Food: MSP
  4. [Block #3] Disasters, Environment, Science Tech
    1. Disaster Management
    2. Environment and Pollution Control
    3. Science-Tech: Awareness
    4. Science-Tech: Indians
  5. [Block#4] Security
    1. Security: Terrorism, Extremists (LWE, NE)
    2. Security: Cross border
    3. Security: org. crime & money laundering
    4. Security: Cyber security and social media
    5. Security- Security forces

GSM3-Topicwise Questions since Pattern change in 2013

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-3 deals with Economy, Agriculture, Environment, Disaster management, science technology and security. Here are the topicwise sorted questions since the pattern change:

Category GSM3 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Economy Growth 10 25 37.5 25 35 15 25 20
Budget 30 0 12.5 12.5 15 10 25 15
Liberlization 20 25 0 12.5 15 15 0 0
Infra, Invest 10 37.5 12.5 25 10 25 0 15
Food Land Reform 10 0 0 12.5 0 0 0 0
Cropping 0 0 0 37.5 15 40 45 30
MSP-PDS 20 12.5 0 0 15 10 15 0
E-Tech in aid 0 0 12.5 0 10 0 0 0
Food Processing 10 12.5 37.5 0 10 10 15 20
Science Sci.Tech 40 12.5 25 0 10 15 0 35
Sci.Tech (Indian) 0 25 12.5 25 25 10 25 0
Environment 35 25 25 25 25 35 15 50
Disaster 10 12.5 12.5 25 15 15 35 15
Crime Develop vs Exterm. 10 0 12.5 12.5 40 10 25 15
Border 10 62.5 25 25 0 10 15 25
Cyber Security 25 0 25 12.5 10 15 10 10
Money Laundering 10 0 0 0 0 15 0 0

[Block #1] Economy, Investment Infrastructure

This block contains topics related to economy, infrastructure, investment

[Download] Topicwise UPSC Mains General Studies Paper with Mrunal's Analysis

  • ?‍?Watch my FREE Lecture video, I’ve given detailed analysis, model answers & common mistakes of the Economy section of GSM3-2019 Paper, & roadmap/strategy for Mains-2020. Overall scene is:
  • (?Free download) NCERT Class 11 Indian Economic Development.
  • Read Introductions and conclusions of each chapter of vol1 of all economic surveys from 2014 onwards from http://indiabudget.gov.in/ It will help you easily assemble the introductions and conclusions, and fodder material for economy related questions.
  • The topics and themes which are highlighted in the economic survey- are asked in the mains exam. For example,  Demographic dividend, Inclusive Growth, Make In India, Poverty Alleviation, DBT of subsidies etc. Although, usually they are asked with the lag of 1-2 years. तुरंत नही पूछते, एक-दो साल बाद पूछते है।
  • For example, Economic Survey 2018-19 was released on the 4th July 2019.  It highlighted topics e-vehicle, retirement age, behavioral economics to boost tax compliance, use public data etc.  But none of that was asked in the UPSC mains exam which was conducted in September 2019. However it doesn’t mean that those topics became defunct. You may expect questions from there, in the Mains 2020 or 2021
  • But, due to this WhatsApp, telegram, 24/7 media, daily answer writing “culture”= students find no interest in reading the topics/events that have occurred in the past. They only like to chase “latest current affairs”. This is a wrong way to prepare for UPSC. सभी के सभी प्रश्न लेटेस्ट करंट अफेयर्स से आएंगे. ऐसा नहीं है. वह दो-तीन साल पुरानी चीजें भी पूछते हैं.
  • Solve the previous years question papers, because the same topics keep getting repeated. E.g. GSM2/2017: Asked about GST. GSM3/2019: Again asked about GST.
  • Chartered accountant type questions are not asked from the taxation.  Only one rare exception GSM3/2019 asked about Long-term Capital Gains Tax (LCGT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) in the Union Budget for 2018-2019. लेकिन सिर्फ एक प्रश्न से trend नहीं बनता है. बेफिजूल में चार्टर्ड अकाउंटेंट जैसी तैयारी करने में समय व्यर्थ ना करें
  • Even investment model/ Public private partnership (PPP)- Very generic overview type of questions are asked e.g. “Discuss the challenges in Joint Venture PPP in the airport development”. So don’t waste time preparing technical Topics like “What is the difference between the DBFOT investment model vs OMT model?”
  • For Economy related theory, contemporary issues and current affairs are all summarised Mrunal economy handout. You can access them on my Unacademy course launching in mid-June 2020. Use coupon Code Mrunal.org for extra discount!
    • I do not make false marketing propaganda that no questions will be asked outside of that
    • But it covers All the important topics of economy in a reasonably decent fashion
    • So, parallely, you need not prepare the same topics from the economy books of Mishra Puri, Dutt Sundaram, Uma Kapila, Ramesh Singh and many other authors.

Growth and Resource mobilization

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Indian Economy (issues re: planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development, employment); Inclusive growth and issues therein

Explain intra-generational and inter-generational issues of equity from the perspective of inclusive growth and sustainable development. (समावेशी संवृद्धि एवं संपोषणीय विकास के परिप्रेक्ष्य में, आंतपीढ़ी एवं अंतपीढ़ी साम्या के विषयों की व्याख्या कीजिए l ) 2020
Define potential GDP and explain its determinants. What are the factors that have been inhibiting India from realizing its potential GDP? (संभाव्य स.घ.उ.(जी.डी.पी.) को परिभाषित कीजिए तथा उसके निर्धारकों की व्याख्या कीजिए l वे कौन-से करक हैं, जो भारत को अपने संभाव्य स.घ.उ.(जी.डी.पी.) को साकार करने से रोकते रहे हैं?) 2020
Do you agree with the view that steady GDP growth and low inflation have left the Indian economy in good shape? Give reasons in support of your arguments. (क्या आप इस मत से सहमत हैं की सकल घरेलू उत्पाद (जी. डी. पी) की स्थायी संवृद्धि तथा निम्न मुद्रास्फीति के कारण भारतीय अर्थव्यवस्था अच्छी स्थिति में है ? अपने तर्कों के समर्थन में कारण दीजिए |) 2019
It is argued that the strategy of inclusive growth is intended to meet the objectives of inclusiveness and sustainability together. Comment on this statement. (यह तर्क दिया जाता है की समावेशी संवृद्धि की रणनीति का आशय एकसाथ समावेशिता और धारणीयता के उदेश्यों को प्राप्त किया जाना है | इस कथन पर टिपण्णी कीजिए |) 2019
How are the principles followed by the NITI Aayog different from those followed by the erstwhile Planning Commission in India? 2018
Among several factors for India’s potential growth, savings rate is the most effective one. Do you agree? What are the other factors available for growth potential? 2017
Account for the failure of manufacturing sector in achieving the goal of labour-intensive exports rather than capital-intensive exports. Suggest measures for more labour-intensive rather than capital-intensive exports. 2017
What are the salient features of ‘inclusive growth’? Has India been experiencing such a growth process? Analyze and suggest measures for inclusive growth. 2017
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is necessary for bringing unbanked to the institutional finance fold. Do you agree with this for financial inclusion of the poorer section of the Indian society? Give arguments to justify your opinion. 2016
Comment on the challenges for inclusive growth which include careless and useless manpower in the Indian context. Suggest measures to be taken for facing these challenges. 2016
The nature of economic growth in India in described as jobless growth. Do you agree with this view? Give arguments in favour of your answer. 2015
Craze for gold in Indians have led to a surge in import of gold in recent years and put pressure on balance of payments and external value of rupee. In view of this, examine the merits of Gold Monetization Scheme. 2015
Capitalism has guided the world economy to unprecedented prosperity. However, it often encourages shortsightedness and contributes to wide disparities between the rich and the poor. In this light, would it be correct to believe and adopt capitalism driving inclusive growth in India? Discuss. 2014
With a consideration towards the strategy of inclusive growth, the new companies bill, 2013 has indirectly made CSR a mandatory obligation. Discuss the challenges expected in its implementation in right earnest. Also discuss other provisions in the bill and their implications. 2013
“Success of ‘Make in India’ programme depends on the success of ‘Skill India’ programme and radical labour reforms.” Discuss with logical arguments. 2015
While we found India’s demographic dividend, we ignore the dropping rates of employability. What are we missing while doing so? Where will the jobs that India desperately needs come from? Explain. 2014

Economy: Budget

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Government Budgeting

Explain the rationale behind the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act of 2017. How has COVID-19 impacted the GST compensation fund and created new federal tensions? (वास्तु एवं सेवा कर (राज्यों को क्षतिपूर्ति) अधिनियम, 2017 के तर्काधार की व्याख्या कीजिए l कोविद-19 ने कैसे वास्तु ाववम सेवा कर क्षतिपूर्ति निधि (जी.एस.टी.कॉम्पेन्सेशन फन्ड) को प्रभावित और नये संघीय तनावों को उत्पन्न किया है?) 2020
Enumerate the indirect taxes which have been subsumed in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India. Also, comment on the revenue implications of the GST introduced in India since July 2017. (उन अप्रत्यक्ष करों को गिनाइए जो भारत में वस्तु एवं सेवा कर में सम्मिलित किये गए हैं | भारत में जुलाई २०१७ से क्रियान्वित (जी. एस. टी) के राजस्व निहितार्थों पर भी टिपण्णी कीजिए |) 2019
The public expenditure management is a challenge to the government of India in the context of budget-making during the post-liberalization period. Clarify it. (उत्तर-उदारीकरण अवधि के दौरान, बजट निर्माण के संदर्भ में, लोक व्यय प्रबंधन भारत सरकार के समक्ष एक चुनौती है | इसको स्पष्ट कीजिए |) 2019
Comment on the important changes introduced in respect of the Long-term Capital Gains Tax (LCGT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) in the Union Budget for 2018-2019. 2018
One of the intended objectives of Union Budget 2017-18 is to ‘transform, energize and clean India’. Analyse the measures proposed in the Budget 2017-18 to achieve the objective. 2017
Women empowerment in India needs gender budgeting. What are the requirements and status of gender budgeting in the Indian context? 2016
In what way could replacement of price subsidy with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) change the scenario of subsidies in India? Discuss. 2015
What are the reasons for introduction of Fiscal responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) act, 2003? Discuss critically its salient features and their effectiveness. 2013
What is meaning of the term tax-expenditure? Taking housing sector as an example, discuss how it influences budgetary policies of the government. 2013
Discussion the rationale for introducing Good and services tax in India. Bring out critically the reasons for delay in roll out for its regime. 2013

Economy: Investment and Infrastructure

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Infrastructure (energy, ports, roads, airports, railways); Investment models

Explain the meaning of investment in an economy in terms of capital formation. Discuss the factors to be considered while designing a concession agreement between a public entity and a private entity. (एक अर्थव्यवस्था में पूँजी निर्माण के रूप में विनियोग के अर्थ की व्याख्या कीजिए l उन कारकों की विवेचना कीजिए, जिन पर एक सार्वजनिक एवं एक निजी निकाय के मध्य रिआयत (कॉनसेशन एग्रीमेन्ट) तैयार करते समय विचार किया जाना चाहिए l) 2020
With growing energy needs should India keep on expanding its nuclear energy programme? Discuss the facts and fears associated with nuclear energy. 2018
Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is the sine qua non to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Comment on the progress made in India in this regard. 2018
Examine the developments of Airports in India through Joint Ventures under Public-Private Partnership(PPP) model. What are the challenges faced by the authorities in this regard. 2017
What are ‘Smart Cities? Examine their relevance for urban development in India. Will it increase rural-urban differences? Give arguments for Smart Villages’ in the light of PURA and RURBAN Mission. 2016
Justify the need for FDI for the development of the Indian economy. Why there is gap between MOUs signed and actual FDIs? Suggest remedial steps to be taken for increasing actual FDIs in India. 2016
There is a clear acknowledgement that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are a tool of industrial development, manufacturing and exports. Recognizing this potential, the whole instrumentality of SEZs requires augmentation. Discuss the issues plaguing the success of SEZs with respect to taxation, governing laws and administration. 2015
The right to fair compensation and transparency land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement act, 2013 has come into effect from 1 January 2014. What implication would it have on industrialisation and agriculture in India? 2014
National urban transport policy emphasizes on moving people instead of moving vehicles. Discuss critically the success of various strategies of the government in this regard. 2014
Explain how private public partnership agreements, in longer gestation infrastructure projects, can transfer unsuitable liabilities to the future. What arrangements need to be put in place to ensure that successive generations’ capacities are not compromised? 2014
Adaptation of PPP model for infrastructure development of the country has not been free from criticism. Critically discuss the pros and cons of the model. 2013

Economy: Liberalization

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Effects of Liberalisation on the economy; Changes in Industrial policy & their effects on industrial growth

How would the recent phenomena of protectionism and currency manipulations in world trade affect macroeconomic stability of India? 2018
“Industrial growth rate has lagged behind in the overall growth of Gross-Domestic-Product(GDP) in the post-reform period” Give reasons. How far the recent changes in Industrial Policy are capable of increasing the industrial growth rate? 2017
How globalization has led to the reduction of employment in the formal sector of the Indian economy? Is increased informalization detrimental to the development of the country? 2016
Normally countries shift from agriculture to industry and then later to services, but India shifted directly from agriculture to services. What are the reasons for the huge growth of services vis-a-vis industry in the country? Can India become a developed country without a strong industrial base? 2014
Foreign direct investment in the defence sector is now said to be liberalised. What influence this is expected to have on Indian defence and economy in the short and long run? 2014
Examine the impact of liberalization on companies owned by Indian. Are the competing with the MNCs satisfactorily? 2013
Discuss the impact of FDI entry into multi-trade retail sector on supply chain management in commodity trade pattern of the economy. 2013
Though India allowed foreign direct investment (FDI) in what is called multi brand retail through joint venture route in September 2012, the FDI even after a year, has not picket up. Discuss the reasons. 2013

[Block#2] Agriculture

This block contains Topics related to farming, food processing and food security

[Download] Topicwise UPSC Mains General Studies Paper with Mrunal's Analysis Agriculture

  • ?‍?Watch my FREE Lecture video. I’ve given detailed analysis, model answers & common mistakes of the Agriculture and Food processing sector section of GSM3-2019 Paper, & roadmap/strategy for Mains-2020. Overall scene is:
  • (?Free download) NCERT class12 biology textbooks ch.12 “Application of biotechnology” Because verbatim question asked in 2019- “How can biotechnology help farmers?”
  • Questions are sometimes directly lifted from Yojana and Kurukshetra magazines questions have been asked e.g
    • GSM3/2019: Integrated farming system is given verbatim in Kurukshetra magazine’s February 2018 issue.
    • GSM3/2019” National watershed project. Answer given verbatim in Kurukshetra magazine’s November 2017 issue.
  • So, read Yojana & Kurukshetra magazines  → Chief Editor’s Desk (Preface) of last 2 years’ monthly issues. You may download them from http://yojana.gov.in/Recent_archive_2020.asp (change year number for previous Archives) This will tremendously help you assemble fodder points for variety of questions -not only in the agricultural sector, but also for rural development, poverty removal, even for the essay paper
  • For Agriculture’s conventional Schemes, issues, challenges, extension service, e-technology upto MSP-PDS issues, you may refer to Mrunal’s Economy Course→ Handouts: Pillar4A (agriculture) and 6 (HRD: hunger) lecture and handouts.
  • Food Processing: article series on https://Mrunal.org/economy Although, it was created in 2013 when the syllabus was just introduced, so nobody had any Idea on what type of questions would be asked. So, in retrospect those articles are giving more depth compared to the type of superficial questions UPSC has asked. So, you simply glance over those articles, to have a basic idea. उनको बहुत ज्यादा ध्यान से पढ़कर PHD करने की जरूरत नहीं है
  • Farming / cropping technology: Sadly, this topic is scattered across NCERT, Majid, ShankarIAS, Kurukshetra Magazine, And current affairs from newspapers (e.g. Zero budget farming or Sikkim as organic state of India). यानी कि आपने अलग अलग घाट से थोड़ा-थोड़ा पानी पीना होगा
  • In Agriculture: Only once there was a very obscure technical question: GSM3/2016: What is allelopathy? But there has not been a continuous pattern of this trend so don’t waste time preparing a research note on 50 other terms related to M.Sc. Agriculture and Biotechnology.

Food: Cropping-irrigation

What are the major factors responsible for making rice-wheat system a success? In spite of this success how has this system become bane in India? (धान-गेहूं प्रणाली को सफल बनाने के लिए कौन-से प्रमुख कारक उत्तरदायी हैं? इस सफलता के बावजूद यह प्रणाली भारत में अभिशाप कैसे बन गई है?) 2020
Suggest measures to improve water storage and irrigation system to make its judicious use under depleting scenario. (रिक्तीकरण परिदृश्य में विवेकी जल उपयोग के लिए जल भंडाराण और सिंचाई प्रणाली में सुधार के उपायों को सुजाइए l) 2020
How can biotechnology improve the living standards of farmers? (किसानों के जीवन मानकों को उन्नत करने के लिए जैव प्रौद्योगिकी किस प्रकार सहायता कर सकती है?) 2019
How far is the Integrated Farming System (IFS) helpful in sustaining agricultural production? (एकीकृत कृषि प्रणाली (आइ. एफ. एस) किस सीमा तक कृषि उत्पादन को संधारित करने में सहायक है ?) 2019
Elaborate on the impact of the National Watershed Project in increasing agricultural production from water-stressed areas. (जल-प्रतिबलित क्षेत्रों से कृषि उत्पादन में वृद्धि करने में जल-विभाजक परियोजना के प्रभाव को सविस्तार स्पष्ट कीजिए |) 2019
How was India benefited from the contributions of Sir M.Visvesvaraya and Dr. M. S. Swaminathan in the fields of water engineering and agricultural science respectively?(जल इंजीनियरी और कृषि-विज्ञान के क्षेत्रों में क्रमश: सर एम. विश्वेश्वरैया और डॉ. एम. एस. स्वामीनाथन के योगदानों से भारत को किस प्रकार लाभ पहुंचा था ?) 2019
Sikkim is the first ‘Organic State’ in India. What are the ecological and economical benefits of Organic State? 2018
Assess the role of National Horticulture Mission (NHM) in boosting the production, productivity and income of horticulture farms. How far has it succeeded in increasing the income of farmers? 2018
How has the emphasis on certain crops brought about changes in cropping patterns in recent past? Elaborate the emphasis on millets production and consumption. 2018
What are the major reasons for declining rice and wheat yield in the cropping system? How crop diversification is helpful to stabilize the yield of the crop in the system? 2017
What is water-use efficiency? Describe the role of micro-irrigation in increasing the water-use efficiency. 2016
What is allelopathy? Discuss its role in major cropping systems of irrigated agriculture. 2016
Given the vulnerability of Indian agriculture to vagaries of nature, discuss the need for crop insurance and bring out the salient features of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) 2016

Food: Tech. in aid of farmers

GS3 Syllabus Topic: e-technology to aid farmers, Technology missions;

Explain various types of revolutions, took place in Agriculture after Independence in India. How these revolutions have helped in poverty alleviation and food security in India? 2017
How can the ‘Digital India’ programme help farmers to improve farm productivity and income? What steps has the Government taken in this regards? 2015

Food: Food processing industry

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Food processing and related industries in India (scope & significance, location, upstream-downstream requirements, supply chain management); storage, transport & marketing of agro-produce and related issues & constraints; Economics of animal-rearing

What are the main constraints in transport and marketing of agricultural produce in India? (भारत में कृषि उत्पादों के परिवहन एवं विपणन में मुख्या बाधाएँ क्या हैं?) 2020
What are the challenges and opportunities of food processing sector in the country? How can income of the farmers be substantially increased by encouraging food processing? (देश में खाद्य प्रसंस्करण क्षेत्र की चुनौतियां एवं अवसर क्या है? खाद्य प्रसंस्करण को प्रोत्साहित कर कृषकों की आय में पर्याप्त वृद्धि कैसे की जा सकती है?) 2020
Elaborate on the policy taken by the government of India to meet the challenges of the food processing sector. (खाद्य प्रसंस्करण क्षेत्रक की चुनौतियों के समाधान हेतु भारत सरकार द्वारा अपनाई गई नीति को सविस्तार स्पष्ट कीजिए |) 2019
Examine the role of supermarkets in supply chain management of fruits, vegetables and food items. How do they eliminate number of intermediaries? 2018
What are the reasons for poor acceptance of cost effective small processing unit? How the food processing unit will be helpful to uplift the socio-economic status of poor farmers? 2017
Livestock rearing has a big potential for providing non-farm employment and income in rural areas. Discuss suggesting suitable measures to promote this sectors in India 2015
In view of the declining average size of land holdings in India which has made agriculture non-viable for a majority of farmers, should contract farming and land leasing be promoted in agriculture? Critically evaluate the pros and cons. 2015
What are the impediments in marketing and supply chain management in industry in India? Can e-commerce help in overcoming these bottlenecks? 2015
There is also a point of view that agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) set up under the state acts have not only impeded the development of agriculture but also have been the cause of food inflation in India. Critically examine. 2014
India needs to strengthen measures to promote the pink revolution in food industry for better nutrition and health. Critically elucidate the statement. 2013

Food: Land reforms

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Land Reforms in India

Discuss the role of land reforms in agricultural development. Identify the factors that were responsible for the success of land reforms in India. 2016
Establish the relationship between land reform, agriculture productivity and elimination of poverty in Indian Economy. Discussion the difficulty in designing and implementation of the agriculture friendly land reforms in India. 2013

Food: MSP

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Farm subsidies and MSP and issues therein (direct and indirect); PDS (objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping, issues of buffer stocks & food security)

What are the reformative steps taken by the government to make food grain distribution system more effective? (अनाज वितरण प्रणाली को अधिक प्रभावी बनाने हेतु सरकार द्वारा कौन-कौन से सुधारात्मक कदम उठाए गए हैं ?) 2019
What do you mean by Minimum Support Price (MSP)? How will MSP rescue the farmers from the low income trap? 2018
How do subsidies affect the cropping pattern, crop diversity and economy of farmers? What is the significance of crop insurance, minimum support price and food processing for small and marginal farmers? 2017
“In the villages itself no form of credit organisation will be suitable except the cooperative society.” – All Indian rural credit survey. Discuss this statement in the background of agriculture finance in India. What constrain and challenges do financial institutions supplying agricultural finances? How can technology be used to better reach and serve rural clients? 2014
Food security bill is expected to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in India. Critically discuss various apprehensions in its effective implementation along with the concerns it has generated in WTO 2013
What are the different types of agriculture subsidies given to farmers at the national and state levels? Critically analyze the agriculture subsidy regime with the reference to the distortions created by it. 2013

[Block #3] Disasters, Environment, Science Tech

This block contains topics related to environment, science-tech and disaster management

[Download] Topicwise UPSC Mains General Studies Paper with Mrunal's Analysis Disasters

  • ?‍?Watch my FREE Lecture video. I’ve given detailed analysis, model answers & common mistakes of the Environment, Science and Disaster  Management section of GSM3-2019 Paper, & roadmap/strategy for Mains-2020. Overall scene is:
  • Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), Pollution: ShankarIAS book followed by Monthly Current Affairs PDF (to cover upto last TWO years’ developments) and daily reading of TheHindu or Indian Express Newspapers.
  • Disaster Management: Selective Study of IGNOU PDF material on Disaster Management
  • Science Technology: NCERT Class12 Biotech Chapter. Ravi Agrahari’s book (हिन्दी मे भी उपलब्ध), followed by Monthly Current Affairs PDF (to cover up upto last TWO years’ developments) and daily reading of TheHindu or Indian Express Newspapers.
  • In 2013, when the Mains syllabus was newly introduced = UPSC asked some random science questions on i) FRP composite material and ii) Umpire decision review system
  • But afterwards that trend has stopped. Which indicates that the majority of the candidate may have skipped the answer/ wrote very poor answer so, afterwards, based on the feedback of evaluators, UPSC may have changed the quizmaster in the subsequent years. इसलिए उसके बाद वाले वर्षों में विज्ञान में ऐसे इतने अतरंगी प्रश्न नहीं पूछे गए

Disaster Management

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Disasters & Disaster Management

Discuss the recent measures initiated in disaster management by the Government of India departing from the earlier reactive approach. (आपदा प्रबन्धन में पूर्ववर्ती प्रतिक्रियात्मक उपागम से हटते हुए भारत सरकार द्वारा आरम्भ किए गए अभिनूतन उपायों की विवेचना कीजिए l) 2020
Disaster preparedness is the first step in any disaster management process. Explain how hazard zonation mapping will help in disaster mitigation in the case of landslides. (किसी भी आपदा प्रबंधन प्रक्रम में आपदा तैयारी पहला कदम होता है | भुस्खलनों के मामले में, स्पष्ट कीजिए की संकट अनुक्षेत्र मानचित्रण किस प्रकार आपदा अल्पीकरण में मदद करेगा |) 2019
Vulnerability is an essential element for defining disaster impacts and its threat to people. How and in what ways can vulnerability to disasters be characterized? Discuss different types of vulnerability with reference to disasters. (आपदा प्रभावों और लोगों के लिए उसके खतरे को परिभाषित करने के भेद्यता एक अत्यावश्यक तत्त्व है | आपदाओं के प्रति भेद्यता का किस प्रकार और किन-किन तरीकों के साथ चरित्र-चित्रण किया जा सकता है ? आपदाओं के संदर्भ में भेद्यता के विभिन्न प्रकारों पर चर्चा कीजिए |) 2019
Describe various measures taken in India for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) before and after signing ‘Sendai Framework for DRR (2015-2030)’. How is this framework different from ‘Hyogo Framework for Action, 2005? 2018
On December 2004, tsumani brought havoc on 14 countries including India. Discuss the factors responsible for occurrence of Tsunami and its effects on life and economy. In the light of guidelines of NDMA (2010) describe the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events. 2017
The frequency of urban floods due to high intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods. highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events. 2016
With reference to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines, discuss the measures to be adopted to mitigate the impact of the recent incidents of cloudbursts in many places of Uttarakhand. 2016
The frequency of earthquakes appears to have increased in the Indian subcontinent. However, India’s preparedness for mitigating their impact has significant gaps. Discuss various aspects. 2015
Drought has been recognised as a disaster in view of its party expense, temporal duration, slow onset and lasting effect on various vulnerable sections. With a focus on the September 2010 guidelines from the National disaster management authority, discuss the mechanism for preparedness to deal with the El Nino and La Nina fallouts in India. 2014
How important are vulnerability and risk assessment for pre-disaster management. As an administrator ,what are key areas that you would focus in a disaster management 2013

Environment and Pollution Control

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Environmental conservation; Environmental pollution and degradation; Environmental Impact Assessment

EIA How does the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 differ from the existing EIA Notification, 2006? (पर्यावरण प्रभाव आकलन (ई.आइ.ए.) अधिसूचना, 2020 प्रारूप मौजूदा ई.आइ.ए.अधिसूचना, 2006 से कैसे भिन्न हैं?) 2020
Water What are the salient features of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan launches by the Government of India for water conservation and water security? (जल संरक्षण एवं जल सुरक्षा हेतु भारत सर्कार द्वारा प्रवर्तित जल शक्ति अभियान की प्रमुख विशेषताएँ क्या हैं?) 2020
Energy Describe the benefits of deriving electric energy from sunlight in contrast to the conventional energy generation. What are the initiatives offered by our Government for this purpose? (पारम्परिक ऊर्जा उत्पादन के विपरीत सूर्य के प्रकाश से विद्युत ऊर्जा प्राप्त करने के लाभों का वर्णन कीजिए l इस प्रयोजनार्थ हमारी सरकार द्वारा प्रस्तुत पहल क्या हैं?) 2020
Pollution-Air What are the key features of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) initiated by the Government of India? (भारत सरकार द्वारा आरम्भ किए गए राष्ट्रीय स्वच्छ वायु कार्यक्रम (एन.सी.ए.पी.) की प्रमुख विशेषताएँ क्या हैं?) 2020
EIA Define the concept of carrying capacity of an ecosystem as relevant to an environment. Explain how understanding this concept is vital while planning for sustainable development of a region. (पर्यावरण से सम्बंधित पारिस्थितिक तंत्र की वहां क्षमता की संकल्पना की परिभाषा दीजिए | स्पष्ट कीजिए की किसी प्रदेश के दीर्घोपयोगी विकास (सस्टेनेबल डेवलपमेंट) की योजना बनाते समय इस संकल्पना को समझना किस प्रकार महत्वपूर्ण है |) 2019
EIA What are the impediments in disposing the huge quantities of discarded solid wastes which are continuously being generated? How do we remove safely the toxic wastes that have been accumulating in our habitable environment? 2018
EIA What is wetland? Explain the Ramsar concept of ‘wise use’ in the context of wetland conservation. Cite two examples of Ramsar sites from India. 2018
EIA How does biodiversity vary in India? How is the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 helpful in conservation of flora and fauna? 2018
EIA ‘Climate Change’ is a global problem. How India will be affected by climate change? How Himalayan and coastal states of India will be affected by climate change? 2017
EIA Rehabilitation of human settlements is one of the important environmental impacts which always attracts controversy while planning major projects. Discuss the measures suggested for mitigation of this impact while proposing major developmental projects. 2016
Energy-Thermal What are the consequences of illegal mining? Discuss the ministry of environment and forests’ concept of “GO AND NO GO” zones for coal mining. 2013
Energy- RNW Give an account of the current status and the targets to be achieved pertaining to renewable energy sources in the country. Discuss in brief the importance of National Programme on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). 2016
Energy- RNW To what factors can the recent dramatic fall in equipment costs and tariff of solar energy be attributed? What implications does the trend have for the thermal power producers and the related industry? 2015
Energy- RNW Should the pursuit of carbon credit and clean development mechanism set up under UNFCCC be maintained even through there has been a massive slide in the value of carbon credit? Discuss with respect to India’s energy needs for economic growth. 2014
Thermal energy Environmental impact assessment studies are increasingly undertaken before project is cleared by the government. Discuss the environmental impacts of coal-fired thermal plants located at Pitheads. 2014
Thermal energy Write a note on India’s green energy corridor to alleviate the problems of conventional energy. 2013
Water Coastal sand mining, whether legal or illegal, poses one of the biggest threats to our environment. Analyse the impact of sand mining along the Indian coasts, citing specific examples. (तटीय बालू खनन, चाहे वह वैध हो या अवैध हो, हमारे पर्यावरण के सामने सबसे बड़े खतरों में से एक है | भारतीय तटों पर हो रहे बालू खनन के प्रभाव का, विशिष्ट उदाहरणों का हवाला देते हुए, विश्लेषण कीजिए |) 2019
Water Not many years ago, river linking was a concept but it is becoming reality in the country. Discuss the advantages of river linking and its possible impact on the environment. 2017
Water What do you understand by run of the river hydroelectricity project? How is it different from any other hydroelectricity project? 2013
Water The Namami Gange and National mission for clean Ganga (NMCG) programmes and causes of mixed results from the previous schemes. What quantum leaps can help preserve the river Ganga better than incremental inputs? 2015
Water Enumerate the National Water Policy of India. Taking river Ganges as an example, discuss the strategies which may be adopted for river water pollution control and management. What are the legal provisions for management and handling of hazardous wastes in India? 2013

Science-Tech: Awareness

GS3 Syllabus Topic: S&T developments and everyday applications & effects; Awareness in fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nanotech, Biotech, IPR issues

What do you understand by nanotechnology and how is it helping in health sector? (नैनोटेक्नोलाजी से आप क्या समझते हैं और यह स्वास्थ्य क्षेत्र में कैसे मद्दद कर रहा है?) 2020
How is science interwoven deeply with our lives? What are the striking changes in agriculture triggered off by the science-based technologies? (विज्ञान हमारे जीवन में गहराई तक कैसे गुथा हुआ है? विज्ञान-आधारित प्रौद्योगिकियों द्वारा कृषि में उत्पन्न हुए महत्वपूर्ण परिवर्तन क्या हैं?) 2020
COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented devastation worldwide. However, technological advancements are being availed readily to win over the crisis. Give an account of how technology was sought to aid management to the pandemic. (कोविड-19 महामारी ने विश्वभर में अभूतपूर्व तबाही उत्पन्न की है l तथापि, इस संकट पर विजय पाने के लिए प्रौद्योगिकीय प्रगति का लाभ स्वेच्छा से लिया जा रहा है l इस महामारी के प्रबन्धन के सहायतार्थ प्रौद्योगिकी की खोज कैसे की गई, उसका एक विवरण दीजिए l) 2020
Why is there so much activity in the field of biotechnology in our country? How has this activity benefitted the field of biopharma? 2018
Stem cell therapy is gaining popularity in India to treat a wide variety of medical conditions including Leukaemia, Thalassemia, damaged cornea and several burns. Describe briefly what stem cell therapy is and what advantages it has over other treatments? 2017
India’s Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) which has a database containing formatted information on more than 2 million medicinal formulations is proving a powerful weapon in the country’s fight against erroneous patents. Discuss the pros and cons making this database publicly available under open-source licensing 2015
What are the areas of prohibitive labour that can be sustainably managed by robots? Discuss the initiatives that can propel research in premier research institutes for substantive and gainful innovation. 2015
In a globalised world, intellectual property rights assume significance and are a source of litigation. Broadly distinguish between the terms – copyrights, patents and trade secrets. 2014
What do you understand by Umpire decision review in cricket? Discuss its various components. Explain how silicon tape on the edge of a bat may fool the system? 2013
What is an FRP composite material? How are they manufactured? Discuss their applications in aviation and automobile industry 2013
Bring out the circumstances in 2005 which forced amendment to section 3(d) in the India n Patent Law, 1970. Discuss how it has been utilized by Supreme court in its judgment rejecting Novartis patent application for “Glivec”. Discuss briefly the pros and cons of the decision. 2013
How does the 3D printing technology work? List out the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. 2013
What do you understand by fixed dose drug combinations (FDCs)? Discuss their merits and demerits. 2013

Science-Tech: Indians

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Achievements of Indians in S&T; Indigenisation of technology & development of new technology

What is India’s plan to have its own space station and how will it benefit our space programme? (भारत की अपना स्वयं का अंतिरिक्ष केंद्र प्राप्त करने की योजना है और हमारे अंतिरिक्ष कार्यक्रम को यह किस प्रकार लाभ पहुंचाएगी ?) 2019
How is the government of India protecting traditional knowledge of medicine from patenting by pharmaceutical companies? (भैषजिक कंपनियों के द्वारा आयुविर्ज्ञान के पारंपरिक ज्ञान को पेटेंट कराने से भारत सरकार किस प्रकार रक्षा कर रही है ?) 2019
Discuss the work of ‘Bose-Einstein Statistics’ done by Prof. Satyendra Nath Bose and show how it revolutionized the field of Physics. 2018
India has achieved remarkable successes in unmanned space missions including the Chandrayaan and Mars Orbitter Mission, but has not ventured into manned space mission, both in terms of technology and logistics? Explain critically. 2017
Give an account of the growth and development of nuclear science and technology in India. What is the advantage of fast breeder reactor programme in India? 2017
Discuss India’s achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. How the application of this technology has helped India in its socio-economic development? 2016
Why is nanotechnology one of the key technologies of the 21st century? Describe the salient features of Indian Government’s Mission on Nanoscience and Technology and the scope of its application in the development process of the country. 2016
What do you understand by ‘Standard Positioning Systems’ and ‘Protection Positioning Systems’ in the GPS era? Discuss the advantages India perceives from its ambitious IRNSS programme employing just seven satellites. 2015
Scientific research in Indian universities is declining, because a career in science is not as attractive as our business operations, engineering or administration, and the universities are becoming consumer oriented. Critically comment. 2014
Can overuse and the availability of antibiotics without doctor’s prescription, the contributors to the emergence of drug-resistant diseases in India? What are the available mechanisms for monitoring and control? Critically discuss the various issues involved. 2014

[Block#4] Security

This block contains topics related to security, crime, extremism

[Download] Topicwise UPSC Mains General Studies Paper with Mrunal's Analysis Security

  • ?‍?Watch my FREE Lecture video, I’ve given Detailed Analysis, Model Answers & Common Mistakes of the Internal Security section of GSM3-2019 Paper, & roadmap/strategy for Mains-2020. Overall scene is:
  • Solve the previous years question papers, because the same themes keep getting repeated. E.g. Border Management in North East = Every 1-2 years interval it gets asked directly or implicitly
  • For Internal Security’s basic theory and contemporary affairs:
  • Here, all the intellectualism gathered from IDSA and Rajya Sabha TV is not greatly useful. Because 150-250 words limit and exam’s time limit = not enough opportunity to shower all that intellectualism & पंडिताई. If you’re finished with syllabus, and have left with spare time, you may read / see them
  • Occasionally, random tough questions are asked = does not mean it’s a ‘trend’. For example, GSM3/2019: Kerala cyberdome project was asked in 2019. It was a very obscure and low profile type of news item. Not easily available in the routine preparation sources. So, you shouldn’t drop all your studies and prepare a catalogue for all the security initiatives taken by individual state governments, just because one question was asked from Kerala. This is an exceptionally rare question. Not a general trend of UPSC paper

Security: Terrorism, Extremists (LWE, NE)

GS3 Syllabus Topic:

  1. Linkages between Development & spread of Extremism;
  2. Linkages of Organized crime and Terrorism
  3. Linkages of Pakistan and Terrorism
What are the sound determinants of left-wing extremism in Eastern part of India? What strategy should Government of India, civil administration and security forces adopt to counter the threat in the affected areas? (भारत के पूर्वी भाग में वामपंथी उग्रवाद के निर्धारक क्या हैं? प्रभावित क्षेत्रों में खतरों के प्रतिकारार्थ भारत सरकार, नागरिक प्रशासन एवं सुरक्षा बलों को किस सामरिकी को अपनाना चाहिए?) 2020
The banning of ‘Jamaat-e – islaami’ in Jammu and Kashmir brought into focus the role of over-ground workers (OGWs) in assisting terrorist organizations. Examine the role played by OGWs in assisting terrorist organizations in insurgency affected areas. Discuss measures to neutralize the influence of OGWs. (जम्मू और कश्मीर में ‘जमात-ए-इस्लामी’ पर पाबंदी लगाने से आतंकवादी संगठनों को सहायता पहुंचाने में भूमि-उपरि कार्यकर्ताओं (ओ. जी. डबल्यू) की भूमिका ध्यान का केंद्र बन गई है | उपप्लव (बगावत) प्रभावित क्षेत्रों में आतंकवादी संगठनो को सहायता पहुंचाने में भूमि-उपरि कार्यकर्ताओं द्वारा निभाई जा रही भूमिका का परिक्षण कीजिए | भूमि-उपरि कार्यकर्ताओं के प्रभाव को निष्प्रभावित करने के उपायों की चर्चा कीजिए |) 2019
The Indian government has recently strengthened the anti-terrorism laws by amending the unlawful activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 and the NIA Act. Analyze the changes in the context of prevailing security environment while discussing the scope and reasons for opposing the UAPA by human rights organizations. (भारत सरकार ने हाल ही में विधिविरुद्ध क्रियाकलाप (निवारण) अधिनियम (यू. ए. पी. ए), 1967 और एन. आइ. ए. अधिनियम के संशोधन के द्वारा आतंकवाद-रोधी कानूनों को मजबूत कर दिया है | मानवधिकार संगठनों द्वारा क्रियाकलाप (निवारण) अधिनियम का विरोध करने के विस्तार और कारणों पर चर्चा करते समय वर्तमान सुरक्षा परिवेश के संदर्भ में, परिवर्तनों का विश्लेषण कीजिए |) 2019
Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is showing a downward trend, but still affects many parts of the country. Briefly explain the Government of India’s approach to counter the challenges posed by LWE. 2018
Mob violence is emerging as a serious law and order problem in India. By giving suitable examples, analyze the causes and consequences of such violence. 2017
The scourge of terrorism is a grave challenge to national security. What solutions do you suggest to curb this growing menace? What are the major sources of terrorist funding? 2017
The north-eastern region of India has been infested with insurgency for a very long time. Analyze the major reasons for the survival of armed insurgency in this region. 2017
“Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.” Analyse the above statement. 2016
The persisting drives of the government for development of large industries in backward areas have resulted in isolating the tribal population and the farmers who face multiple displacements with Malkangiri and Naxalbari foci, discuss the corrective strategies needed to win the left wing extremism (LWE) doctrine affected citizens back into the mainstream of social and economic growth. 2015
Religious indoctrination via digital media has resulted in Indian youth joining the ISIS. What is ISIS and its mission? How can ISIS be dangerous for the internal security of our country? 2015
Article 244 of Indian Constitution relates to Administration of Scheduled areas and tribal areas. Analyze the impact of non-implementation of the provisions of fifth schedule on the growth of Left Wing Extremism. 2013

Security: Cross border

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Border Areas (security challenges and management thereof); Security forces & agencies (mandate); Role of External State & Non-State actors in creating internal security challenges

For effective border area management, discuss the steps required to be taken to deny local support to militants and also suggest ways to manage favourable perception among locals. (प्रभावी सीमावतीं क्षेत्र प्रबन्धन हेतु हिंसावादियों को स्थानीय समर्थन से वंचित करने के आवश्यक उपायों की विवेचना कीजिए और स्थानीय लोगों में अनुकूल धरना प्रबंधन के तरीके भी सुजाइए l) 2020
Analyze internal security threats and transborder crimes along Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan borders including Line of Control (LoC). Also discuss the role played by various security forces in this regard. (आन्तरिक सुरक्षा ख़तरों तथा नियन्त्रण रेखा सहित म्यांमार, बांग्लादेश और पाकिस्तान सीमाओं पर सिमा-पार अपराधों का विश्लेषण कीजिए l विभिन्न सुरक्षा बलों द्वारा इस सन्दर्भ में निभाई गई भूमिका की विवेचना भी कीजिए l) 2020
Cross-border movement of insurgents is only one of the several security challenges facing the policing of the border in North-East India. Examine the various challenges currently emanating across the India-Myanmar border. Also, discuss the steps to counter the challenges. (उत्तर-पूर्वी भारत में उपप्लवियों की सीमा के आरपार आवाजाही, सीमा की पुलिसिंग के सामने अनेक सुरक्षा चुनौतियों में से केवल एक है | भारत-म्यांमार सीमा के आरपार वर्तमान में आरंभ होने वाली विभिन्न चुनौतियों का परिक्षण कीजिए | साथ ही चुनौतियों को प्रतिरोध करने के कदमों पर चर्चा कीजिए |) 2019
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is viewed as a cardinal subset of China’s larger ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. Give a brief description of CPEC and enumerate the reasons why India has distanced itself from the same. 2018
The terms ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Surgical Strikes’ are often used in connection with armed action against terrorist attacks. Discuss the strategic impact of such actions. 2016
Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management. 2016
International civil aviation laws provide all countries complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above the territory. What do you understand by airspace? What are the implications of these laws on the space above this airspace? Discuss the challenges which this poses and suggests ways to contain the threat. 2014
The diverse nature of India as a multireligious and multi-ethnic society is not immune to the impact of radicalism which has been in her neighbourhood. Discuss along with the strategies to be adopted to counter this environment. 2014
How illegal transborder migration does pose a threat to India’s security? Discuss the strategies to curb this, bring out the factors which give impetus to such migration. 2014
In 2012, the longitudinal marking of the high-risk areas for piracy was moved from 65° East to 78° east in the Arabian Sea by International Maritime organisation. What impact does this have on India’s maritime security concerns? 2014
China and Pakistan have entered into an agreement for development of an economic corridor. What thread does it dispose for India’s security? Critically examine. 2014
How far are India’s internal security challenges linked with border management, particularly in view of the long porous borders with most countries of South Asia and Myanmar? 2013

Security: org. crime & money laundering

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Money laundering & Prevention

India’s proximity to two of the world’s biggest illicit opium-growing states has enhanced her internal security concerns. Explain the linkages between drug trafficking and other illicit activities such as gunrunning, money laundering and human trafficking. What counter-measures should be taken to prevent the same? 2018
Money laundering poses a serious threat to country’s economic sovereignty. What is its significance for India and what steps are required to be taken to control this menace? 2013

Security: Cyber security and social media

GS3 Syllabus Topic: Basics of Cyber Security; Role of media and social-networking sites in internal security challenges; Internal security challenges through communication networks

What is the CyberDome Project? Explain how it can be useful in controlling internet crimes in India. (साइबरडोम परियोजना क्या है ? स्पष्ट कीजिए की भारत में इंटरनेट अपराधों को नियंत्रित करने में यह किस प्रकार उपयोगी हो सकता है |) 2019
Discuss different types of cyber crimes and measures required to be taken to fight the menace. (साइबर अपराध के विभिन्न प्रकारों और इस ख़तरे से लड़ने के आवश्यक उपायों की विवेचना कीजिए l) 2020
Data security has assumed significant importance in the digitized world due to rising cyber crimes. The Justice B. N. Srikrishna Committee Report addresses issues related to data security. What, in your view, are the strengths and weakness sof the Report relating to protection of personal data in cyber space? 2018
Discuss the potential threats of Cyber attack and the security framework to prevent it. 2017
Use of Internet and social media by non-state actors for subversive activities is a major concern. How have these have misused in the recent past? Suggest effective guidelines to curb the above threat. 2016
Discuss the advantage and security implications of cloud hosting of server vis-a-vis in-house machine-based hosting for government businesses. 2015
Considering the threats cyberspace poses for the country, India needs a “Digital Armed Force” to prevent crimes. Critically evaluate the National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 outlining the challenges perceived in its effective implementation. 2015
What is digital signature? What does its authentication mean? Giver various salient built in features of a digital signature. 2013
What are social networking site and what security implications do these sites present? 2013
Cyber warfare is considered by some defense analysts to be a larger threat than even Al Qaeda or terrorism. What do you understand by Cyber warfare? Outline the cyber threats which India is vulnerable to and bring out the state of the country’s preparedness to deal with the same. 2013

Security- Security forces

Human rights activists constantly highlight the view that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) is a draconian act leading to cases of human rights abuses by the security forces. What sections of AFSPA are opposed by the activists? Critically evaluate the requirement with reference to the view held by the Apex Court. 2015

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