IAS Mains General Studies 2016 Topic-wise Important Questions Part 2

Indigenization of Technology, Security Issues

  1. Critically examine how Indian government’s recently launched ‘Make In India’ policy bodes well for idegenization of defence technology in India. (200 Words)

  2. In the light of recent border skirmishes between China and India, discuss about the existing mechanism to resolve border disputes without escalating them into military confrontations. (200 Words)

Regionalism and Communalism

  1. Compare and contrast the nature of regionalism in Asia and Europe. (200 Words)

  2. Critically comment on the influence of globalization on religion and secularism in different parts of the world. (200 Words)

Important Geophysical Phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location

  1. Tropical cyclones are classified and named differently in different parts of the world. Examine how low pressure systems are classified by the Indian Meteorological Department and explain the criteria used to name tropical cyclones as accepted by the the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). (200 Words)

  2. Write a note on the importance of volcanic activity to climate and environment. (200 Words)

Changes in critical geographical features

  1. Until 1960, many rated the Aral Sea as the 4th largest inland sea, alongside the Caspian Sea, and Lakes Victoria and Superior. Today this sea is completely dried up and has turned up into a poisonous desert. Critically examine the reasons behind this and suggest solutions to revive this sea. (200 Words)

  2. Examine the impact of global warming on the wetlands and explain the importance of wetlands in the mitigation of climate change. (200 Words)

  3. Write a critical note on the impact of climate change on Arctic ecosystem. (200 Words)

  4. Examine the major threats faced by Amazon rainforests. Write a note on the consequences of reduced forest cover in Amazon rainforest region. (200 Words)

Post-Independence History

  1. Compare and contrast Narmada Bachao Andolan with Chipko Movement. (200 Words)

  2. Critically examine the various issue that were involved during the Silent Valley Movement. Also explain its significance to conservation of environment and people’s movements in India. (200 Words)

Indian Constitution

  1. Analyze the main features of the system introduced by the government of India act 1919. (300 Words)

  2. (a). The government of India Act 1935 went another step forward in perpetuating the communal cleavage between the Muslim and the non-Muslim communities. Comment. (200 Words)

    (b) What is diarchy? Examine its status under the Government of India act 1919 and 193 (200 Words)

  3. What purposes does the Preamble to the Indian Constitution serve? Examine. (300 Words)

  4. “An absolute balance of powers between the different organs of government is an impracticable thing.” Critically analyze (300 Words)

  5. The Indian Constitution is more flexible than rigid. Discuss.(300 Words)

Indian Economy- Planning, Resource Mobilization

I. Answer all the following questions in about 400 words each: 2 x 20 = 40

  1. Critically evaluate the process of economic planning in India.

  2. “The major objectives of planning in India are not only broad but open-ended.” Elaborate.

II. Answer all the following questions in about 200 words each: 6 x 10 = 60

  1. Highlight the importance of savings and investments in domestic resource mobilization.

  2. The Tenth Five year plan clearly accepted the ‘agriculture sector,’ hitherto neglected in previous plans, as the Prime Moving Force of the Indian economy. What were its key suggestions for this sector and how did it highlight the importance of agriculture? Explain.

  3. What do you understand by multi-level planning? Evaluate its performance.

  4. What is a resource? Throw light on the various resources available for financing the plans in India.

  5. What is deficit financing? What is its effect on the economy?

What are the sources of revenue for Panchayat Raj Institutions in India? How do they manage to mobilize resources to carry on developmental works?

Indian Economy

  1. It has been argued by the economists time and again that India is a typical example of market failure. Comment

  2. Planning in India is highly centralised. Critically Comment

  3. Independent India was declared to be a planned and mixed economy. Examine

  4. What do you understand by the term GDP and GNP? Which measure (GDP/GNP) would be more reflective of the progress of India? Explain why.

  5. Reform is not the aim of the economy but reforming the economy is the aim. Analyse the statement with respect to post-liberalisation era.

  6. What do you understand by democratic decentralised planning? What are the steps taken and the challenges faced by the government in this regard?

  7. The Constitution of India envisages the Finance Commission as the balancing wheel of fiscal federalism in India. Critically Analyse the statement with respect to the relationship between finance commission and the planning commission of India.

  8. The approach paper to 12th Five Year plan says that the Eleventh Plan gave a special impetus to several programmes aimed at building rural and urban infrastructure and providing basic services with the objective of increasing inclusiveness and reducing poverty. Throw light on such programmes and evaluate their role in bringing about inclusiveness.

Indian constitution Amendments & basic structure

  1. In India it appears that the Fundamental Rights have both created a new equality and have helped to preserve individual liberty. Comment.

  2. What was the necessity of including formation of cooperative society as a fundamental right? Substantiate.

  3. The Kesavananda Bharati case was the culmination of a serious conflict between the judiciary and the government. Elaborate.

  4. Essentially all that is contained in part IV-A of the Constitution is just a codification of tasks integral to the Indian way of life. Critically examine this statement.

  5. The core of the commitment to social revolution lies in Part-III and Part-IV of the Indian Constitution. Discuss.

  6. What do you understand by decriminalization of politics? Critically examine the steps taken by government in this regard.

  7. ”The 42nd Amendment Act was Practically a revision of the Constitution”. Comment (200 words)

  8. “The process of constitutional amendment should not be resorted to for the pupose of overriding unwelcome judicial verdicts so often as would generate in the minds of lay public an irreverence for the Judiciary”. Comment (200 words)

Resource mobilization

  1. What is non-plan expenditure? Highlight its importance in resource mobilization for planning. (200 Words)

  2. Write a note on the role of savings and investment in financing the development in India. (200 Words)

  3. “The rising current account deficit is a source of serious concern to the economy, and if left unchecked, could lead to a weaker rupee and adverse investor perceptions about the economy.” Elaborate and throw light on possible steps that government can take to reduce the fiscal deficit by mobilizing external resources. (300 Words)

  4. India wants to mobilize resources to the tune of one trillion dollars during the next five years for investment in the infrastructure sector. How it can be done? What are the sources of funding? Analyze. (300 Words)

  5. Examine the role of Infrastructure in Inclusive Development. (300 Words)

  6. What is PPP? Write a note on different models supported by the government under PPP. (300 Words)

Struggle for India’s Independence

  1. British conquered India in a fit of absent mindedness” – critically examine the statement (200 words).

  2. “Battle of plassey was not a great battle but a great betrayal”. comment (200 words).

  3. Examine the essential features of subsidiary alliance system, how far did it contribute in making British company a sovereign political authority in India. (200 words).

  4. How did the British established their control over Bengal till 1765, and why did the challenge of Nawabs collapsed automatically. (200 words)

  5. Absentee landlordism was a consequential feature of permanent settlement system. comment (200 words)

  6. Bring out the pattern of the commercialization of Indian agriculture during 19th century, was it a forced process for the majority of poor Indian peasants. (200 words).

  7. The intensions of regulating act of 1773 were good, but the system it established was far from perfect. (200 words).

Functions & responsibilities of the Union & the States

  1. Article 356 has become one of the most controversial and most criticised provisions of the Constitution. Comment. (200 words)

  2. All India Services violate the principle of federalism. Comment. (200 words)

  3. The constitution of India has deviated from the traditional federal system and incorporated a large number of unitary or non-federal features. Critically analyse. (200 words)

Growth, Development, Employment & Inclusive growth

  1. In the normal course of economic development of a country, the primary and the secondary sector provide a base for the services or tertiary sector to grow. However, in India, on the contrary, the services sector has ‘outperformed’ all other sectors of the economy. Do you agree with this statement? Critically examine the underlying causes and implications of this abnormal shift in the Indian economy. (400 words)

  2. “Despite a significant decline in the share of agriculture in India’s GDP over the decades, the number of people dependent on it has not reduced substantially.” How have the 1991 economic reforms affected the quantity and quality of employment generation in India? Critically examine. What would be your suggestions to revive micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by 1991 economic reforms? (400 words)

  3. In the light of ongoing speedy disinvestment in the PSUs, do you think selling a part of the properties of government companies is the best way to improve their efficiency and bridge the fiscal deficit? What are the alternatives available to achieve the same? Justify your answer by weighing these alternatives against each other. (400 words)

  4. “But an oft-heard complaint, as companies spread their tentacles around the world and compete on a global playing field, is that globalization is merely a new form of imperialism.” On the other hand, “It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.”

    Do you think that, at least for the Indian economy, Globalization is a necessary evil? Justify. (200 words)

  5. Though the government claims that higher rate of growth, increase in agricultural production, providing employment in rural areas and economic reform packages introduced in the 1990s have resulted in a decline in poverty levels, economists raise doubts about the government’s claim. Many say, “it would be much better if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them.” In your view, is it possible to objectively measure poverty? What are the issues involved in identifying the poor? (200 words)

  6. “The global economic and financial crisis which has persisted for the last five years has not only exposed the vulnerability of almost all the countries over the globe to external shocks, but also has lessons for development planning.”Comment in the light of the global wave of austerity and the prevailing development scenario in India (200 words).

  7. Why have some of our South Asian neighbours, despite similar levels of political development and even lower levels of per capita income, outperformed us in almost every social indicator? (200 words)

  8. Critically examine the major components of Fiscal Deficit (FD) in India. Why are International credit rating agencies and private investors, both domestic and foreign, wary of high fiscal deficit levels? (250 words)

World Physical Geography

  1. What do you understand by plate tectonics? With example explain any one natural phenomenon that you observe around the world that is related to the concept of plate tectonics . (200 words)

  2. Explain the origin and characteristics of an extra-tropical cyclone. Explain its significance to India. (200 words)

  3. Write a note on seismic waves and explain their use in studying the internal structure of the earth. (200 words)

  4. What is El Nino. Explain its significance to India. (200 words)

  5. How is Tusnami caused? Explain. (200 words)

  6. What are ‘ocean currents’? Briefly explain the reasons behind their formation and their importance to mankind. (400 words)

  7. Rocks are classified on the basis of their formation into different families. What are they? Explain their characteristics with examples. (400 words)

  8. What is precipitation and how is it caused? Discuss the salient features of the world distribution of precipitation. (400 words)

  9. Explain the climate of South America. (200 words)

  10. The economic development of the Mediterranean regions is heavily based on agriculture. Explain. (200 words)

  11. Briefly bring out the differences between the tropical and temperate grasslands in terms of climate and economic importance. (400 words)

  12. Explain the mechanism of monsoon. Show the areas which come under the impact of monsoon and describe kind of vegetation found in monsoon climate. (400 words)

  13. Explain important climatic features associated with china type of climate. Describe the broad pattern of agricultural activities associated with this type of climate. (400 words)

  14. Explain in about 100 words each how the aridity of the desert is related to

    1. Offshore trade winds

    2. The subtropical high pressure belts

    3. Cold ocean currents

    4. Human activities

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

  1. What would you do in such a situation – leave the children or send them to child care home? Justify. (200 words) – 10 marks

  2. It is said that “Honest is always the best policy”. In your view, did Latika do anything wrong here? Did she have an unfair advantage over her classmates? Would any of your answers change if it turns out she did not win a scholarship at all? (250 words) – 20 marks

  3. Examine the ethical issues involved here. Would you revise his score to 90% realizing his career prospects and given his academic background? OR Would you work as per the rules of the college maintaining their sanctity and denying any upwards revision in the score irrespective of his merit and needs? Justify. (250 words) – 20 marks.

  4. Comment on the relevance/importance of the following statements in the present context: (200 words)

    1. “A gift is pure when it is given from the heart……….at the right time………and when we expect nothing in return” (Bhagwat Gita)

    2. “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” – Nelson Mandela

    3. “Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now and so also is disaster in this one world that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.” – Pandit Nehru

  5. In India great leaders are often just restricted to worship and idolization, whereas their values are never put into practice. In your opinion why does this happen? (150 words)

  6. “Striving for ethical conduct in day to day administration is easier said than done.” Comment on the statement with a suitable example. (200 words)

Polity- Council of Ministers and Parliament

  1. In principle the Cabinet is the chief governing authority of the country. Comment (200 words)

  2. What type of electoral system is adopted in the election of members of the Parliament? Is it truly representing the democratic architecture of the country? Justify. (200 words)

Indian Economy

  1. Energy security is one of the major challenges for India in the 21st century. How is this energy economics shaping India’s foreign policy and its relations with other nations? (400 words)

  2. Examine the challenges and opportunities concerning infrastructural development in the North-eastern region of India? (200 words)

  3. Examine the most important issues relating to infrastructural projects under Public Private Partnership (PPP) in India? (200 words)

  4. Explore all the direct and indirect linkages between land reforms; and infrastructural/industrial development in rural India. (200 words)

Polity – President; Governor; State Assemblies; Judiciary; Dispute Redressal Mechanisms

  1. India although a federal country like the USA, has a unified judiciary and one system of fundamental law and justice. Elucidate. (200 words)

  2. Unlike Rajya Sabha, which enjoys almost equal powers to that of Lok Sabha, the Legislative Council is a mere subordinate to the Legislative Assembly. Discuss. (200 words)

  3. The role of the governor today is chiefly that of a representative or an agent of the Centre carrying out Centre’s bidding. How far do you agree with this point of view? Critically analyze. (400 words)

  4. It is true that the courts have wide powers of judicial review of Constitutional and statutory provisions. These powers, however, must be exercised with great caution and self-control. Critically examine.(400 words)

  5. In the recent times the pardoning power of the President has been used a mere political tool. Comment. (400 words)

  6. In a rapidly developing society human needs are bound to multiply resulting into conflict of interests. People become more conscious about their individual rights and litigation becomes an inevitable part of their life due to rising incidence of disputes among them. In the light of the statement examine the various redressal mechanisms available in India, its significance and challenges? Illustrate with at least two examples. (400 words)

Geography-Indian Geography

  1. What is physiography? Explain the physiography of the Northern Plains of India. (200 words)

  2. Write short notes on the following (100 Words each)

    1. Jet Streams

    2. River regimes of any two peninsular rivers

  3. What is a disaster? Explain the structure, origin and spatio-temporal distribution of tropical cyclone in India by highlighting its consequences as a natural hazard. (400 words)

  4. Why soil conservation is important? Explain the various methods used to conserve soil. (200 words)

  5. What are the reasons behind declining wildlife in India? What measures has government taken so far in conserving wildlife? Explain. (400 words)

  6. Briefly explain the mechanism of origin of Monsoon winds. Explain the significance of monsoon to economic life of India. (200 words)

Polity – Regulatory Bodies, Pressure groups, Ministries & departments

  1. What do you understand by ‘tenure system’? Examine the importance of the tenure system in increasing the administration efficiency. (200 words)

  2. “The Secretariat system of work has lent balance, consistency and continuity to the administration and serves as a nucleus for the total machinery of a ministry.” Comment (200 words)

  3. In the era of liberalization, privatization and globalization critically examine the role of regulatory bodies. How effective have they been in providing a level-playing field for both the public and private players? Illustrate. (400 words)

  4. Explain the organizational structure of a ministry in Government of India. What are the challenges faced by the ministry? Give suggestions for enhancing the capacity of this organization to meet these challenges. (400 words)

  5. The tendency of pressure group to resort to coercion to secure the solution of a socio-political problem in streets could be regarded as a serious threat to democratic set up. Comment (400 words)

  6. What are the functions of the executive agencies (or attached offices) and subordinate offices in the organizational setup of government of India? Should the distance between the Secretariat and the executive organization continue? Justify. (400 words)

India and Its Neighbors

  1. India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) held between the counterpart planning commissions of the two countries – the Planning Commission of India and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China – is gradually becoming a mechanism of import. Explain its functioning, important decisions and significance. (200 Words)

  2. Critically examine the implications of recent verdict by Chittagong tribunal in Bangladesh on it and its relation with its neighbors.

Science and Technology

  1. “Indigenous development of navigational system is essential for India’s security system”. In the light of the statement, discuss the recent developments and its importance and compare Indian system with global navigational system.

  2. What are vector borne diseases? What are the steps taken to by global and national institutions to tackle this?

  3. “Alcoholism and drug abuse is a psycho-social-medical problem requiring a holistic approach”. In the light of the statement comment on the efforts of government and other institutions in combating this menace and what according to you can be done to eliminate this problem?

  4. “Breast cancer continues to remain a taboo issue in the country and has become a major impediment in early detection of the disease and subsequent treatment to women”. Comment (200 Words)

  5. What is the importance of GSLV Mark III for India? (200 Words)

  6. What is paediatric TB? Why it is one of the major issues in India’s TB control program? (200 Words)

  7. What are Quarks? Explain its importance in Particle Physics. (200 Words)

  8. What do you mean by Green Bonds? What are the other measures of World Bank in combating with Climate Change? (200 Words)

World History (French Revolution)

  1. To what extent were Enlightenment ideas responsible for and apparent in the reforms of the French Revolution?

  2. Do you think the French Revolution confirmed or contradicted the main political trends of the eighteenth century?

World History: Communism

  1. Critically examine the growth of communism in Eastern Europe and explain its effect on their economic growth. (200 Words)

World History: World Wars

  1. What was the Schlieffen Plan and why was it unsuccessful during World War I? (200 Words)

  2. World War I has been called the first total war. In what ways was it total? How did it affect the states and societies of the belligerents? (200 Words)

  3. According to the Sykes Picot Agreement, the Husein-McMahon letters, and the Balfour Declaration, how did the powers plan to dispose of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East? What did they promise the Arabs and the Jews? (200 Words)

  4. It has been said that the Soviet Union became the first totalitarian state in the twentieth century. Do you agree with this statement? If so, when and how did it develop its totalitarian institutions? (200 Words)

  5. Briefly analyze Muslim and Hindu fundamentalist ideologies of the 1990’s and commentwhether or not they resemble ideologies of the 1920’s and 1930’s such as Nazism and Fascism? (200 Words)