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Instructions for UPSC Mains 2018 GS Paper-2

 UPSC conducted general studies paper 2 of civil services mains examination on


30th September, 2018 – Sunday.
 Duration: 3 hours; Maximum Marks: 250
 Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting
questions:
 There are TWENTY questions printed both in HINDI and in ENGLISH. Each Question
carries 12.5 marks.
 All the questions too compulsory.
 Answers must be written in the medium authorized in the Admission Certificate
which must be stated clearly on the cover of this Question-cum-Answer (QC4)
Booklet in the space provided.
 No marks will be given for answers written in a medium other than the authorized
one.
 Word limit in questions, wherever specified should be adhered to.
 Any page or portion of the page left blank in the Question-cum-Answer Booklet
must be clearly struck off.

GSM2-2018: Question paper including Hindi translation


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

1. In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines
(EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure
the trustworthiness of elections in India? इले ॉिनक वोिटं ग मशीनों (ई. वी. एम. ) के इ ेमाल
सबंधी हाल के िववाद के आलोक म, चुनावो की िवशवा ता सु िनशिचत करने के िलए भारत के िनवाचन
आयोग के सम ा – ा चु नौितयाँ है ?
2. Whether National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSCJ) can enforce the
implementation of constitutional reservation for the Scheduled Castes in the
religious minority institutions? Examine. ा रा ीय अनु सूिचत जाित आयोग (एन. सी. एस. सी. )
धािमक अ सं क सं थानों म अनु सूिचत जाितयों के िलए सवधािनक आर ण के ि या यन का वतन
करा सकता है ? प र ण कीिजये ।
3. Under what circumstances can the Financial Emergency be proclaimed by the
President of India? What consequences follow when such a declaration remains in
force? िकन प र थितयों म भारत के रा पित के ारा िव ीय आपातकाल की उ गोषणा की जा सकती
है ? ऐसी उ गोषणा के लागु रहने तक, इसके अनु सरण के ा- ा प रणाम होते है ?
4. Why do you think the committees are considered to be useful for parliamentary
work? Discuss, in this context, the role or the Estimates Committee. आप यह ों
सोचते है की सिमितया सं सदीय काय के िलए उपयोगी मानी जाती है ? इस संदर् भ म ाकलन सिमित की
भूिमका की िववेचना कीिजए।
5. “The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has a very vital role to play.” Explain
how this is reflected in the method and terms of his appointment as well as the
range of powers he can exercise. ”िनयंत्रक और महालेखापरी क (सी. ए. जी. ) को एक
अ ाव क भूिमका िनभानी होती है ।” ा ा कीिजये िक यह िकसी कार उसकी िनयु की िविध और
साथ ही साथ उन अिधकारों के िव ार से प रलि त होती है , िजनका योग वह कर सकता है ।
6. “Policy contradictions among various competing sectors and stakeholders have
resulted in inadequate ‘protection and prevention of degradation’ to
environment.” ” Comment with relevant illustration. ” िविभ ितयोगी े ो और साझे दारो
के म नीितगत िवरोधाभासो के प रणाम प पयावरण के ‘सं र ण तथा उसके िन करण की रोकथाम’
अपया रही है । ” सुसंगत उदाहरणों सिहत िटप ी कीिजए।
7. Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to
achieve ‘Health for All ‘ in India. Explain. भारत म ‘सभी के िलए ा ‘ को ा करनेके
िलए समुिचत थानीय सामुदियक रीय ा दे खभाल का म ेप एक पूवापे ा है। ा ा कीिजए।
8. E-Governance is not only about utilization of the power of new technology, but also
much about critical importance of the ‘use value’ of information Explain. इ-शासन
केवल नवीन ो ोिगक की श के उपयोग के बारे म नही ं है , अिपतु इससे अिधक सूचना के ‘उपयोग मू
‘ के ां ितक मह के बारे म है । कीिजए।
9. ‘India’s relations with Israel have, of late, acquired a depth and diversity, which
cannot be rolled back.” Discuss. भार के इजराइल के साथ सबंधो ने हल म एक ऐसी गहराई एव
िविवधता ा कर ली है, िजसकी पु नवापसी नही ं की जा सकती है । ” िववेचना कीिजये।
10. A number or outside powers have entrenched themselves in Central Asia, which is a
zone to interest to India. Discuss the implications, in this context, of India’s joining the
Ashgabat Agreement, 2018. म एिशया, जो भारत के िलए एक िहत े है, म अनेक ा
श यों ने अपने आप को सं थािपत कर िलया है । इस स भ म, भारत ारा अ गाबात करार, २०१८ म
शािमल होनेके िनिहताथ पर चचा कीिजए।

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

11. Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can settle the political tussle
between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine. ा उ तम
ालय का िनणय (जुलाई २०१८) िद ी के उप रा पाल और िनवािचत सरकार के िबच राजनै ितक
क कश को िनपटा सकता है । प र ण कीिजए।
12. How far do you agree with the view that tribunals curtail the jurisdiction of ordinary
courts? In view of the above, discuss the constitutional validity and competency of
the tribunals in India. आप इस मत से कहा तक सहमत है की अिधकरण सामा ायालयों की
अिधका रता को कम करते है ? उपयु को ि गत रखते ए भारत म अिधकरणों की सांिवधािनक वैधता
तथा स मता की िववेचना कीिजए।
13. India and USA are two large democracies. Examine the basic tenants on which the
two political systems are based. भारत एव यू. एस. ए. दो िवशाल लोकतं है । उन आधारभूत
िस ां तो का प र ण कीिजए िजन पर ये दो राजिनितक तं आधा रत है ।
14. How is the Finance Commission of India constituted? What do you about the terms
of reference of the recently constituted Finance Commission? Discuss. भारत के
िव ीय आयोग का गठन िकस कार िकया जाता है ? हल म गिठत िव ीय आयोग के िवचाराथ िवषय (टम्स
ऑफ़ रे फरस ) के बारे म आप ा जानते है ? िववेचना िकजीए।
15. Assess the importance of Panchayat system in India as a part of local government.
Apart from government grants, what sources the Panchayats can look out for
financing developmental projects. भारत म थानीय शासन के एक भाग के प म पंचायत
णाली के मह का आकलन कीिजये । िवकास प रयोजना ओ के िव ीयन के िलए पंचायते सरकारी
अनुदानों के आलावा और िकन ोतों को खोज सकती है ?
16. Multiplicity of various commissions for the vulnerable sections or the society leads to
problems or overlapping jurisdiction and duplication of functions. Is it better to
merge all commissions into an umbrella Human Rights Commission? Argue your
case. समाज के कमजोर वग के िलए िविभ आयोगों की ब लता , अित ापी अिधका रता और काय
के दोहरे पन की सम ाओ की ओर ले जाती है । ा ये अ ा होगा की सभी आयोगों को एक ापक मानव
अिधकार आयोग के छ म िवलय कर िदया जाय ? अपने उ र के प म तक दीिजए।
17. How far do you agree with the view that the focus on lack or availability of food as
the main cause of hunger takes the attention away from ineffective human
development policies in India? आप इस मत से कहा तक सहमत है की भूख के मु कारण के
प मे खा की उपल ता मे कमी पे फॉ , भारत मे अ भावी मानव िवकास नीितयो से ान हटा दे ता है.
18. Citizens’ Charter is an ideal instrument of organizational transparency and
accountability, but. it has its own limitations. Identify the limitations and suggest
measures for greater effectiveness or the Citizens Charter. नाग रक चाटर संगठना क
पारदिशता व उ रदायी का एक आदश उ ् न है , परं तु इसकी अपनी प रसीमाए है । प रसीमाओ की
पहचान कीिजए तथा नाग रक चाटर की अिधक भािवता के िलए उपायो का सुजाव दीिजए।
19. What are the key areas of reform if the WTO has to survive in the present context of
‘Trade War’, especially keeping in mind the interest of India? यिद ‘ ापार यु ’ के
वतमान परी ् शय मे िव ापार संगठन को िजंदा बने रहे ना है , तो उसके सुधार के कौन-कौन से मुख े
है, िवशेष प से भारत के िहत को ान मे रखते ए?
20. In what ways would the ongoing US-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy affect the
national interest of India? How should India respond to this situation? इस समय जारी
अमरीका-ईरान नािभकीय समजौता िववाद भारत के रा ीय िहतो को िकस कार भािवत करे गा? भारत को
इस थित के ित ा रवैया अपनाना चािहए?

Answer Sources for UPSC Mains-2018 GS Paper2

Question Answer Source


1. In the light of recent controversy
regarding the use of Electronic Voting
Machines (EVM), what are the Current Affairs from theHindu, Indianexpress,
challenges before the Election VisionIAS’s free PDF compilations.
Commission of India to ensure the
trustworthiness of elections in India?
2. Whether National Commission for
Scheduled Castes (NCSCJ) can
enforce the implementation of It was in current Affairs during July-2018, due to
constitutional reservation for the tussle between NCSCJ vs AMU.
Scheduled Castes in the religious
minority institutions? Examine.
3. Under what circumstances can the Basic theory from Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth
Financial Emergency be proclaimed (McGraw-hill) Available in English | िह ी मे भी
by the President of India? What उपल !!
consequences follow when such a
declaration remains in force?
4. Why do you think the committees
are considered to be useful for Basic theory from Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth
parliamentary work? Discuss, in this (McGraw-hill) Available in English | िह ी मे भी
context, the role or the Estimates उपल !!
Committee.
5. “The Comptroller and Auditor
General (CAG) has a very vital role to Basic theory from Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth
play.” Explain how this is reflected in
(McGraw-hill) Available in English | िह ी मे भी
the method and terms of his
उपल !!
appointment as well as the range of
powers he can exercise.
Current Affairs item, I think most candidates would
6. “Policy contradictions among have quoted the Gadgil report’s neglect by union
various competing sectors and and state vs Kerala floods damage. Some senior
stakeholders have resulted in players would have gone as far as SRI SRI’s
inadequate ‘protection and religious program and subsequent damage to
prevention of degradation’ to Yamuna, and how Kumbh mela result into
environment.” ” Comment with shortage of water. It’s not difficult question but
relevant illustration. time consuming one- because you’ve to
brainstorm a lot for ‘illustration examples’.
7. Appropriate local community-level
 Kurukshetra Magazine July 2017.
healthcare intervention is a
 Newspaper columns in context of NHPM.
prerequisite to achieve ‘Health for All ‘
in India. Explain.
 Some pointer available in 2nd ARC Report
Ch.11
 Can be further sprinkled with how Economic
8. E-Governance is not only about
Survey in last two years used the information
utilization of the power of new
from various sources such as railway
technology, but also much about
booking, GSTN returns, property tax returns,
critical importance of the ‘use value’
GIS Mapping etc. for conducting bigdata
of information. Explain.
analytics to suggest new policy
prescriptions.

 Section-E Part-H Ch.3 Pavneet Singh’s IR


9. ‘India’s relations with Israel have, of
Book (McGraw-hill) Available in English!
late, acquired a depth and diversity,
 Spice it further with Hindu/IE columns.
which cannot be rolled back.” Discuss.

 Tricky question because some candidates


10. A number or outside powers have
would write about Shanghai Cooperation
entrenched themselves in Central
Organization (SCO) membership, whereas
Asia, which is a zone to interest to
Ashgabat is a different thing.
India. Discuss the implications, in this
 Anyways, fodder points available in Section-
context, of India’s joining the
E Part-G Ch.4 India-Iran relationships
Ashgabat Agreement, 2018.
Pavneet Singh’s IR Book (McGraw-hill)
Available in English!

11. Whether the Supreme Court


 Verbatim Model Answer given by me just
Judgement (July 2018) can settle the
two week before the actual exam. Here’s
political tussle between the Lt.
the link.
Governor and elected government of
Delhi? Examine.
 Constitutional Validity given in Laxmikanth
 2nd ARC 7th Report has case studies on
12. How far do you agree with the Interstate Water Tribunals.
view that tribunals curtail the  You could also quote in the enhanced
jurisdiction of ordinary courts? In view powers of NCLT under the Insolvency and
of the above, discuss the constitutional Bankruptcy code that prevent the
validity and competency of the interference by ordinary courts, for faster
tribunals in India. resolution of NPA.
 NGT’s environmental judgements

13. India and USA are two large


 Sufficient material in the Chapter 22 of
democracies. Examine the basic
Governance in India by Laxmikanth
tenants on which the two political
systems are based.
14. How is the Finance Commission of
 Verbatim Model Answer given by me just
India constituted? What do you about
a week before the actual exam. Here’s the
the terms of reference of the recently
link.
constituted Finance Commission?
Discuss.
 Economic Survey 2016-17 had devoted a
15. Assess the importance of
chapter on the need for ULB bodies to
Panchayat system in India as a part of
enhance their taxation powers, particularly
local government. Apart from
the property tax. Municipal bonds have also
government grants, what sources the
been in news. But this question is about PRI
Panchayats can look out for financing
bodies so little difficult to connect.
developmental projects.

16. Multiplicity of various commissions


 Ch.1 on rights issues in Governance in India
for the vulnerable sections or the
by Laxmikanth has the list of all individual
society leads to problems or
commissions, so you’ve to logically connect
overlapping jurisdiction and
it with some current affairs examples to
duplication of functions. Is it better to
demonstrate how they failed and hence
merge all commissions into an
umbrella org. necessary.
umbrella Human Rights Commission?
Argue your case.
 Seems lifted from some research paper
17. How far do you agree with the global report or EPW article. Ultimately, most
view that the focus on lack of candidates would have gone with
availability of food as the main cause guessmastergiri related to calories vs micro-
of hunger takes the attention away nutrients/ anaemia, mid-day meal vs
from ineffective human development education outcomes and so forth, food for
policies in India? work vs. minimum wages.

18. Citizens’ Charter is an ideal  Page41 of Yojana Magazine February 2018


instrument of organizational  Alternatively, of 2nd ARC report#12 on
transparency and accountability, but. Citizen centre administration: Chapter 4
it has its own limitations. Identify the
limitations and suggest measures for
greater effectiveness or the Citizens
Charter.
But why does WTO has to ‘survive’ keeping in mind
“India’s interests”- WTO will survive keeping in mind
its own ‘interests’, especially when India had been
the prime-accused for sabotaging the Buenos-
19. What are the key areas of reform if
Aires summit where no joint declaration could be
the WTO has to survive in the present
issued! This is an example of poorly-framed
context of ‘Trade War’, especially
question. The syllabus says “affecting Indian
keeping in mind the interest of India?
interests” so मार-पीट के इस श को इधर डाल िदया है ।
Anyways answer available in fragmented sources
ranging from Economic Survey’s 2014 and 2015
issues as well as newspaper columns.
 Section-E Part-G Ch.4 India-Iran relationships
20. In what ways would the ongoing Pavneet Singh’s IR Book (McGraw-hill)
US-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy Available in English!
affect the national interest of India?  Have to sprinkle it with some of the latest
How should India respond to this current affairs from theHindu/IndianExpress
situation? columns.

GSM-2018 easier or tougher than previous papers?


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

Analysis / Observation about the Paper


Citizen Charters
Repeating the
same topic  GSM22013: juntaa’s satisfaction not improved even after citizen
charters. Why?
 GSM22018: what are the limitations of citizen charters?

LG vs CM

 GSM22016: 69th Amendment and LG vs. CM conflict


 GSM22018: What’s SC judgement on this matter?

Public Health?

 GSM22015: What to do for Universal health care?


 GSM22018: Community level healthcare intervention required for
universal healthcare.

Pingponing  GSM22014: Smaller states = better effective governance?


between GSM2  GSM12018: New (smaller) states= better for economic growth?
and GSM1
 GSM22013: should we merge SEBI and IRDAI?
Repeating the  GSM22018: should we merge all individual bodies for vulnerable
‘theme’ communities into umbrella human rights commission?

 2017: The GST implementation was hot topic, and it was asked in
GSM22017.
Pingpoing  However, in 2018, AssamNational Register of Citizen (NRC), Triple
between Hot Talaq judgement, LGBT, Membership to arms-control groups
topics ask/ignore (MTCR, Wassenaar) etc. were hot topics yet, not asked. May be
UPSC will ask it next year when their ‘hotness’ has deceased.

 Regulatoryprem also continues, each year minimum 2 quests since 2013- and this
year the affection doubled with total 4 Questions related to regulatory bodies:
CAG, EC, Scheduled Caste commission, Umbrella Human rights commission)
 EGovernance asked for the first time since the syllabus change in 2013.
 Last year, 3 questions from IASNGO-Pressure Groups. This time nothing.
 International Relation: Since the inception of new syllabus in 2013, UPSC had been
continuously asking atleast one IR question from India’s immediate neighbours. But
this time, nothing.
 WTOprem emerges every second year. Asked about it in 2014, then 2016 and then
in 2018.

GS2 Mains-Topicwise Questions since Syllabus change


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

Category GSM2 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018


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

[Block-1] 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’

(COMPARING Constitution) India and USA are two large democracies. Examine the
2018
basic tenants on which the two political systems are based.
Under what circumstances can the Financial Emergency be proclaimed by the
President of India? What consequences follow when such a declaration remains in 2018
force?
Examine the scope of Fundamental Rights in the light of the latest judgement of the
2017
Supreme Court on Right to Privacy.
Discuss each adjective attached to the word ‘Republic’ in the preamble. Are they
2016
defendable in the present circumstances stances?
Discuss the possible factors that inhibit India from enacting for its citizens a uniform
2015
civil code as provided for in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
Khap Panchayats have been in the news for functioning as extra-constitutional
2015
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.
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 2015
Judgement(s) of the Apex Court in this regard.
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 2014
plane from other forms of expression? Discuss.
Discuss Section 66A of IT Act, with reference to its alleged violation of Article 19 of the
2013
Constitution.

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 2014
President to accept/reject such petitions? Analyse.
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 2014
then is inversely related to the size of the cabinet? Discuss.

Polity: Legislature & Elections

GS2 Syllabus Topic:

 Union and State Legislatures (structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers &
privileges; issues therein);
 Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Why do you think the committees are considered to be useful for parliamentary
2018
work? Discuss, in this context, the role or the Estimates Committee.
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 2018
the trustworthiness of elections in India?
‘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 2017
government’s accountability to the people’ Discuss.
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 2017
they significant to make democracy successful?
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 2017
occasions when it cannot, with reasons thereof.
The Indian party system is passing through a phase of transition which looks to be full
2016
of contradictions and paradoxes.” Discuss.
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
2014
un-enumerated privileges to continue. Assess the reasons for the absence of legal
codification of the ‘parliamentary privileges’. How can this problem be addressed?
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
2013
witnessed. How far can this be attributed to the anti-defection law, which was
legislated but with a different intention?

Polity: Separation of Powers

GS2 Syllabus Topic:

 Separation of Powers (between different organs, dispute redressal mechanisms,


institutions);
 Judiciary (structure, organisation functioning)

Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can settle the political tussle
2018
between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine.
Critically examine the Supreme Court’s judgement on ‘National Judicial
Appointments Commission Act, 2014’ with reference to appointment of judges of 2017
higher judiciary in India.
What was held in the Coelho case? In this context, can you say that judicial review is
2016
of key importance amongst the basic features of the Constitution?
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 2015
issue have further facilitated resorting to this power. Should the power to promulgate
ordinances be repealed?
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
2014
light of the statement, evaluate the role played by judicial activism in achieving the
ideals of democracy.
The Supreme Court of India keeps a check on arbitrary power of the Parliament in
2013
amending the Constitution. Discuss critically.

Polity: Federalism & Local governance

GS2 Syllabus Topic:

 Functions & responsibilities of the Union and the States; issues and challenges of
federal structure;
 Devolution of powers and finances to local levels; challenges therein.

How is the Finance Commission of India constituted? What do you about the terms
2018
of reference of the recently constituted Finance Commission? Discuss.
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 2018
financing developmental projects.
“The local self-government system in India has not proved to be effective instrument 2017
of governance”. Critically examine the statement and give your views to improve
the situation.
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 2016
think that this will give rise to a new trend in the functioning of the Indian federal
politics?
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? 2016
Discuss the future prospects of this provision in the context of Indian polity.
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 2015
cooperative federalism would answer the shortcomings.
In absence of a well-educated and organized local level government system,
`Panchayats’ and ‘Samitis’ have remained mainly political institutions and not 2015
effective instruments of governance. Critically discuss.
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
2014
leans in favour of a strong Centre, a feature that militates against the concept of
strong federalism. Discuss.
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 2013
in light of Article 371A of the Indian Constitution.
Many State Governments further bifurcate geographical administrative areas like
Districts and Talukas for better governance. In light of the above, can it also be
2013
justified that more number of smaller States would bring in effective governance at
State level? Discuss.
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 2013
inadequacy or both? Discuss.

Polity: Bodies

GS2 Syllabus Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts; Constitutional Bodies


(powers, functions and responsibilities); Statutory, Regulatory and Quasi-judicial bodies

“The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has a very vital role to play.” Explain
how this is reflected in the method and terms of his appointment as well as the range 2018
of powers he can exercise.
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 2018
the tribunals in India.
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 2017
your answer.
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 2016
Government’s Policy implementation could amount to overstepping its own (CAG)
jurisdiction.
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 2015
India’s dispute resolution mechanism? Discuss.
“For achieving the desired objectives, it is necessary to ensure that the regulatory
institutions remain independent and autonomous.” Discuss in the light of the 2015
experiences in recent past.
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 2014
effective complement to the judiciary and other institutions in promoting and
protecting human rights standards.
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 2014
proposed reform is expected to benefit the consumers, the Indian Railways or the
private container operators.
Discuss the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission which have been a
departure from the previous commissions for strengthening the local government 2013
finances.
The product diversification of financial institutions and insurance companies, resulting
in overlapping of products and services strengthens the case for the merger of the 2013
two regulatory agencies, namely SEBI and IRDA. Justify.

[Block-2] Policies for sectors, services

Welfare: Policies & Schemes

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

Whether National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSCJ) can enforce the
implementation of constitutional reservation for the Scheduled Castes in the religious 2018
minority institutions? Examine.
Multiplicity of various commissions for the vulnerable sections or the society leads to 2018
problems or overlapping jurisdiction and duplication of functions. Is it better to merge
all commissions into an umbrella Human Rights Commission? Argue your case.
Does the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 ensure effective mechanism for
2017
empowerment and inclusion of the intended beneficiaries in the society? Discuss
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 2014
concurrently. Analyse the potential of the schemes to achieve developmental
benefits and equitable growth.
Do government’s schemes for up-lifting vulnerable and backward communities by
protecting required social resources for them, lead to their exclusion in establishing 2014
businesses in urban economics?
The basis of providing urban amenities in rural areas (PURA) is rooted in establishing
2013
connectivity. Comment.
Electronic cash transfer system for the welfare schemes is an ambitious project to
2013
minimize corruption, eliminate wastage and facilitate reforms. Comment.

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 2018
development policies in India?
Hunger and Poverty are the biggest challenges for good governance in India still
today. Evaluate how far successive governments have progressed in dealing with 2017
these humongous problems. Suggest measures for improvement.
‘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 2017
major poverty alleviation programmes in India.
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 2015
reference to urban and rural poverty indicators.
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 2013
cause of vulnerable sections of population aims at providing flexibility to the States in
better implementation. Critically evaluate.

Welfare: Social Services: Health, Edu, HRD

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

Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to


2018
achieve ‘Health for All ‘ in India. Explain.
‘To ensure effective implementation of policies addressing water, sanitation and
hygiene needs, the identification of beneficiary segments is to be synchronized with
2017
the anticipated outcomes’ Examine the statement in the context of the WASH
scheme.
Examine the main provisions of the National Child Policy and throw light on the status 2016
of its implementation.
“Demographic Dividend in India will remain only theoretical unless our manpower
becomes more educated, aware, skilled and creative.” What measures have been
2016
taken by the government to enhance the capacity of our population to be more
productive and employable?
Professor Amartya Sen has advocated important reforms in the realms of primary
education and primary health care. What are your suggestions to improve their 2016
status and performance?
The quality of higher education in India requires major improvements to make it
internationally competitive. Do you think that the entry of foreign educational
2015
institutions would help improve the quality of higher and technical education in the
country? Discuss.
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 2015
alternatives would you suggest?
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
2014
merit of state sponsored talent hunt and its cultivation as against the rationale of a
reward mechanism as encouragement.
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 2014
of selection of students. Discuss in light of the growing challenges.
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
2013
again been given impetus in most states in the last two decades. Critically examine
its twin objectives, latest mandates and success.
Identify the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that are related to health.
2013
Discuss the success of the actions taken by the Government for achieving the same.

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.” 2018
” Comment with relevant illustration.
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 2017
and provide for common national market for goods and services’?
Has the Indian governmental system responded adequately to the demands of
Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization started in 1991? What can the 2016
government do to be responsive to this important change?
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
2014
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.

[Block-3] Governance & 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)

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

Groups: Civil Services, NGO, SHG, Pressure Groups

GS2 Syllabus Topic:

1. Development Processes & Development industry (role of NGOs, SHGs, groups &
associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders)
2. Pressure Groups & Formal, Informal associations (and their role in the polity)
3. Role of Civil Services in a democracy.

Nothing asked from this topic. 2018


Initially Civil Services in India were designed to achieve the goals of
Civil neutrality and effectiveness, which seems to be lacking in the present
2017
Services context. Do you agree with the view that drastic reforms are required in
Civil Services. Comment
‘The emergence of Self Help Groups(SHGs) in contemporary times points
NGO- to the slow but steady withdrawal of the state from developmental
2017
SHG activities’. Examine the role of the SHGs in developmental activities and
the measures taken by the Government of India to promote the SHGs.
How do pressure groups influence Indian political process? Do you agree
Pressure
with this view that informal pressure groups have emerged as powerful 2017
Group
than formal pressure groups in recent years?
Examine critically the recent changes in the rules governing foreign
NGO-
funding of NGOs under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2015
SHG
1976.
The Self-Help Group (SHG) Bank Linkage Programme (SBLP), which is
NGO-
India’s own innovation, has proved to be one of the most effective 2015
SHG
poverty alleviation and women empowerment programmes. Elucidate.
How can the role of NGOs be strengthened in India for development
NGO-
works relating to protection of the environment? Discuss throwing light on 2015
SHG
the major constraints.
The penetration of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in rural areas in promoting
NGO-
participation in development programmes is facing socio-cultural hurdles. 2014
SHG
Examine.
The legitimacy and accountability of Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their
NGO-
patrons, the micro-finance outfits, need systematic assessment and 2013
SHG
scrutiny for the sustained success of the concept. Discuss.
Pressure group politics is sometimes seen as the informal face of politics.
Pressure
With regards to the above, assess the structure and functioning of pressure 2013
Group
groups in India.
Pressure “In the Indian governance system, the role of non-state actors has been
2016
group only marginal.” Critically examine this statement.
Civil Has the Cadre based Civil Services Organisation been the cause of slow
2014
Services change in India? Critically examine.
Civil “Traditional bureaucratic structure and culture have hampered the
2016
Services process of socio-economic development in India.” Comment.

[Block-4] IR Diplomacy
IR/Diplomacy: Neighbors

GS2 Syllabus Topic: India and its Neighbourhood (relations)

‘China is using its economic relations and positive trade surplus as tools to develop
potential military power status in Asia’, In the light of this statement, discuss its impact 2017
on India as her neighbor.
“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
2016
of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).” Explain with suitable
examples.
Project `Mausam’ is considered a unique foreign policy initiative of the Indian
Government to improve relationship with its neighbors. Does the project have a 2015
strategic dimension? Discuss.
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 2015
goodwill between the two countries? Discuss with suitable examples.
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
2014
and over flight throughout the region. In this context, discuss the bilateral issues
between India and China.
The proposed withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from
Afghanistan in 2014 is fraught with major security implications for the countries of the
2013
region. Examine in light of the fact that India is faced with a plethora of challenges
and needs to safeguard its own strategic interests.
What do you understand by ‘The String of Pearls’? How does it impact India? Briefly
2013
outline the steps taken by India to counter this.
The protests in Shahbag Square in Dhaka in Bangladesh reveal a fundamental split in
2013
society between the nationalists and Islamic forces. What is its significance for India?
Discuss the political developments in Maldives in the last two years. Should they be of
2013
any cause of concern to India?
In respect of India — Sri Lanka relations, discuss how domestic factors influence
2013
foreign policy.
What is meant by Gujral doctrine? Does it have any relevance today? Discuss. 2013

IR/Diplomacy: Not-Neighbors but affecting interests

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

In what ways would the ongoing US-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy affect the
2018
national interest of India? How should India respond to this situation?
‘India’s relations with Israel have, of late, acquired a depth and diversity, which
2018
cannot be rolled back.” Discuss.
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 2017
Countries.
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 2017
context
Evaluate the economic and strategic dimensions of India’s Look East Policy in the
2016
context of the post-Cold War international scenario.
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
2013
below their potential. Elucidate the policy constraints which are inhibiting this growth.
IR/Diplomacy: Institutions, Groupings, Agreements

GS2 Syllabus Topic: Important International institutions, agencies, for a (structure,


mandate); Bilateral, Regional, Global groupings & Agreements (involving and/or affecting
India)

A number or outside powers have entrenched themselves in Central Asia, which is a


zone to interest to India. Discuss the implications, in this context, of India’s joining the 2018
Ashgabat Agreement, 2018.
What are the key areas of reform if the WTO has to survive in the present context of
2018
‘Trade War’, especially keeping in mind the interest of India?
What are the main functions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council
2017
(ECOSOC)? Explain different functional commissions attached to it.
“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
2016
due to differences between the developed and the developing countries.” Discuss
in the Indian perspective.
What are the aims and objectives of the McBride Commission of the UNESCO? What
2016
is India’s position on these?
Discuss the impediments India is facing in its pursuit of a permanent seat in UN
2015
Security Council.
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 2014
agreements have on India’s interests?
Some of the International funding agencies have special terms for economic
participation stipulating a substantial component of the aid to be used for sourcing
2014
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.
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 2014
be different? Discuss the significance of these two Banks for India.
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
2014
decisions? Critically analyse India’s stand on the latest round of talks on Food
security.
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 2013
characteristics, yet their role, functions and mandate are distinctly different.
Elucidate.