IAS Mains General Studies 2016 Topic-wise Important Questions Part 1

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Security Issues

  1. What is the purpose of proposed ‘Technology Development Fund’ in the defence sector? Also analyse important recommendations of the Kelkar Committee set up by the Government to examine and recommend changes in the acquisition procedures and enabling a greater participation of private sector in defence production. (200 Words)

  2. Critically comment on the structure and composition of India’s national security decision making apparatus and mechanism. (200 Words)

  3. “Bangladesh and Myanmar have had a not-too-stable a relationship on the border – both land and maritime.” Critically comment and examine implications on India and its role in resolving border dispute between Bangladesh and Myanmar. (200 Words)

  4. The recent award by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Attribution (PCA) awarding Bangladesh an area in the disputed maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal with India on July 7 has huge economic significance for a small state like Bangladesh. Critically examine and also explain what’s India’s gain and loss. (200 Words)

  5. Recently there were violent clashes between Naga tribes and few groups from Assam in the border region between these two states. Examine the genesis of this border dispute and clashes between different communities there? Suggest solutions to the problem. (200 Words)

  6. Write a critical note on the Operation Zarb-e-Azb (200 Words)

  7. Critically analyse the establishment of proposed Maritime Silk Route (MSR) by China and its ramifications on India. (200 Words)

  8. Write a critical note on the revised defence FDI policy and its significance. (200 Words)

  9. “The issue of illegal migration from Bangladesh to India has been the most vexing issue in the bilateral relations of the two countries.” Critically analyse the issue and its effect on both the countries. (200 Words)

  10. Write a note on India’s border disputes with Nepal and Bangladesh. Examine how India is trying to resolve the issue. (200 Words)

  11. Critically comment on the situation of Kurds in the Middle East. (200 Words)

  12. Critically assess some of recent decisions taken at the Hague Nuclear Security Summit with a special note on India and its nuclear security.

  13. Do you agree that armed forces in India require greater delegation of financial powers? Critically discuss why.

World History

  1. “Six hundred thousand men had died. The Union was preserved, the slaves freed. A nation ‘conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal’ had survived its most terrible ordeal.”

  2. “Colonialism not only deprives a society of its freedom and its wealth, but of its very character, leaving its people intellectually and morally disoriented.”

  3. “If the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (that resulted in the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or Soviet Union) inaugurated an international competition for the hearts and minds of people all over the globe, the Chinese Revolution raised the stakes of that struggle.”

  4. “Decolonization has finished. It definitely belongs to the past. Yet somehow it has refused to become history.”

  5. “In spite of the careful framing of the Charter, the role of UNO as peacekeeper and international mediator has been somewhat lacklustre and muted and that continues to be so even after the end of Cold War.” Elucidate.

  6. “Change in Britain came comparatively peacefully through democratic process in the first half of the nineteenth century and a model of a functioning democracy through ballot box was successfully put in place.” Elaborate.

  7. “New imperialism was a nationalistic, not an economic phenomena.” Critically examine.

  8. “By the 1980s, the Communist system of the Soviet Union was incapable of maintaining the country’s role as a Superpower.” Elucidate.

  9. “The European Union is the new sick man of Europe.” Critically evaluate.

  10. “There must be an end to white monopoly on political power, and a fundamental restructuring of our political and economic systems to ensure that the inequalities of apartheid are addressed and our society thoroughly democratized.” Discuss.

  11. Was German unification achieved more by ‘coal and iron’ than by ‘blood and iron’? Examine. (200 Words)

  12. Any single explanation for the outbreak of the First World War likely to be too simple. An amalgam of factors intellectual,social, economic as well as political and diplomatic contributed to this horrifying conflict of monumental propositions. Examine (200 Words)

  13. “The impact of the French Revolution (1789) was initially confined the Europe, but, that of the Russia Revolution (1917) was global.” – Critically review. (200 Words)

  14. Explain how American imperialism in Philippines differed with European imperialism in Indonesia and Indo-China. (200 Words)

  15. How did the policy of appeasement escalate the problem of Nazi aggrandizement? Explain. (200 Words)

  16. “By 1914, the sick man of Europe was no longer just Turkey : it was Europe itself.” Explain. (200 Words)

  17. What do you understand by imperialism? State briefly its unique features in the case of Africa. (200 Words)

  18. Why did Vietnam go through thirty years of war after the second world war? Discuss. (200 Words)

  19. Discuss the emergence of neo-imperialism in the late nineteenth century. (200 Words)

  20. The capitalism which gave the European empires their apparent solidarity and permanence also hastened their downfall. Comment. (200 Words)

  21. In the long run, the Locarno Treaty (December 1925) was descriptive both of the Treaty of Versailles and of the Covenant. Examine. (200 Words)

  22. Most of the European Revolutions of 1848 were nationalist as well as popular insurrection against foreign rule and repressive policy of Metternich. Comment (200 Words)

  23. France was more fertile than Britain in producing new Socialist theories and movements, though they bore less concrete resultsin France than in Britain. Examine (200 Words)

  24. New imperialism was a nationalistic, not an economic phenomena. Examine. (200 Words)

  25. Discuss the main characteristics of Fascism. (200 Words)

  26. Critically analysis the cause and the results of the Chinese revolution of 1949 and analyse its significance. (200 Words)

  27. ‘The Russian Revolution (1917) was an economic explosion hastened by the stupidities of the autocratic Government’. Comment. (200 Words)

  28. Why did countries in southern, central, and eastern Europe remain primarily agricultural and untouched by industrialization?

  29. Comment on the factors that have contributed to industrial revolution in Asia in recent times.

Development and Extremism

  1. Critically comment on the dynamics of Maoist insurgency and the government of India’s approach to it. (200 Words)

  2. Do you agree with the view that underdevelopment is the primary reason behind the growth and spread of extremism in India? Critically comment.

Terrorism and Strategic Issues

  1. What do you understand by Nuclear Terrorism? Critically discuss its possible origins and threats to India. (200 Words)

  2. It is said that USA is inching towards energy independence. Discuss it geopolitical implications, especially on India. (200 Words)

Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country

  1. Critically evaluate the main objectives, nature and outcome of the Bhoodan and Gramdan movements. (200 Words)

  2. Critically comment on the contribution of Jayaprakash Narayan to post-Independent India. Also critically examine the influence of Gandhian principles on his ideology.

  3. The States Reorganisation Act, 1956 was a major reform of the boundaries of India’s states and territories, organising them along linguistic lines. Critically examine the highlight of this act and how the reorganisation was carried out. (250 Words)

  4. What were the objectives of the First Five Year plan? Critically evaluate its contribution to nation building. (200 Words)

  5. Critically analyse the basis of demand for and against creation of new states through constitution of Second States Reorganisation committee. (200 Words)

  6. Critically comment on the role played by then superpowers in India’s 1971 War with Pakistan. (200 Words)

Salient features of world’s physical geography

  1. What do you understand by mid-latitude cyclones? How are they formed? What is their features? Explain. (250 Words)

  2. Write a short note on the following (150 Words)

  • Arctic and Alpine Tundra

  • Tropical Savannah Biome

Effect of Globalization on Indian Society

  1. Critically comment on the effect of globalisation on working women in India. (200 Words)

  2. People with disabilities are one of the most disenfranchised groups in India. Critically examine how economic globalisation has affected them. (200 Words)

Regionalism & Secularism

  1. What do you understand by regionalism and nationalism? What are their differences and similarities? Explain with examples. (200 Words)

  2. Critically examine the nature of secularism practiced in India. (200 Words)

Social Empowerment

  1. Critically examine the socio-economic status of Scheduled Caste population in India. Do you think government’s SC Sub Plan is a right approach to development of SC community? Evaluate. (200 Words)

  2. Critically analyse the provisions of The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 (200 Words)

Urbanization, their problems and their remedies

  1. Recently released World Urbanization Prospects-2014 report by the UN has revealed new trends in urbanization across the world. Comment on some of its important findings. (200 Words)

  2. “What India needs is not a whole lot of very costly, brand new cities but a revamping of urban institutional structures and policies to improve the obvious squalor and inefficiencies of the country’s existing 8,000 cities and towns.” Examine.

  1. “The ever increasing world population is a huge challenge, but is also an opportunity.” Critically comment. (200 Words)

  2. “Population growth has a staggering effect on gender inequality, which in turn affects economies and national development.” Critically examine. (200 Words)

Role of women and women’s organization

  1. “A start was made in this period (1970s) toward the formation of women’s organizations along lines completely different from pre-independence ones.” Critically examine the nature, purpose and impact of these organisations.

  2. “The ‘first wave’ of feminism in India was the period between the years 1880–1940. At this time several organisations formed women’s wings which not only took up the cause of women but gave women space and opportunity to secure the desired changes.” Examine.

Art Forms

  1. Thitambu Nritham

  2. Perini Shivatandavam

  3. Nangiarkoothu

  4. Tanjore Paintings

  5. “Traditional theatre forms incorporate not only the common man’s interests but there is also a classical element in them.” In the context of India, illustrate with examples. (200 Words)

  6. Write a note on the nature and important role played by Pali and Prakrit literature in ancient India. (200 Words)

  7. What is culture and what are its general characteristics? Discuss any four important characteristics of Indian culture. (200 Words)

  8. “The period between B.C. 600 and B.C. 200 is important not only for political unity of the country but also for cultural unity.” Comment. (200 Words)

  9. The Alvars and Nayanars of Tamil Nadu led an inclusive Bhakti movement where they accommodated the women and the lower caste communities at the same time opposing the traditional religions of the time. Comment. (200 Words)

  10. Write a short note on the following in about 100 Words: 4 x 5 = 20

    • The Sattriya dance form

    • Gombeyaata

    • Purandaradasa

    • Lai Haraoba

  11. What are the architectural traditions that inspired the architects of Vijayanagara? How did they transform these traditions? (200 Words)

  12. Describe with examples the distinctive features of Indo-Islamic architecture in India. (200 Words)

  13. Discuss the nature, form, and purpose of the literature produced by the Bhakti saints during Bhakti movement in medieval India.

  14. How did the British influence Indian literature? Analyze. (200 Words)

  15. Write short notes on the following topics in not more than 100 words each:

    • Mithila Painting

    • Kalamkari Painting

    • Warli Painting

  16. Write a note on the rock cut architecture in India. (200 Words)

  17. Discuss about the Buddhist architecture. (200 Words)

  18. Write a short note on women poets of Bhakti movement. (150 Words)

India and its Neighbors – Strategic Issues

  1. Critically comment on the nature of India – Bhutan relationship in the light of India’s recent coercive commerce diplomacy and Bhutan’s geographical imperatives and its evolving relationship with China. (200 Words)

  2. “Whatever the outcome of the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the western interlocutors, India needs to keep its long-term energy security interests in mind and engage with Iran before it becomes too late.” Critically comment. (200 Words)

  3. With the full enforcement of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), China–India relations may witness new dynamics and power politics in East Asia or in the broader Asia-Pacific region. It may also open a new window of opportunity for India’s greater integration with the East Asia region. Critically comment how?

  4. Discuss about the nature and causes of recent anti-government protests that took place in some of South East Asian countries. What are the consequences of such protests on the regional security and economy? Comment.

  5. Critically analyse the nature of economic relationship between India and Bhutan.

  6. Critically analyze the changing nature of relationship between India and Nepal in various areas.

  7. Critically examine the nature of economic, political and defence relationship between India and Myanmar. (400 Words)