UPSC GS Paper 1 – Set 1 2017 (Part - 1) (Download PDF)


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Q. How do you justify the view that the level of excellence of the Gupta numismatic art is not at all noticeable in later times? (150 words): Gupta Age – Golden Age of coins in India, Known for gold coins (abundance led to “rain of gold” phrase).

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IAS Mains 2017 GS Paper 1 Discussion (Part 1)

Dr. Manishika Jain explains IAS Mains 2017 GS Paper 1 Discussion (Part 1)

  • Also known for silver coins
  • Others were bronze, alloy coins
  • Coins depicted martial arts and valor of rulers
  • ‘Asvamedha’ or horse-sacrifice coins issued by Samudragupta and Kumaragupta I
  • Coins with figures of goddess and inscriptions in Sanskrit
  • Samudragupta issued as many as 8 different types of coins for himself - known today as Standard, Archer, Battle Axe, Chandragupta-I, Kacha, Tiger, Lyrist and Asvamedha type.
Image of Gupta numismatic art

Image of Gupta Numismatic Art

Image of Gupta numismatic art

Q. Clarify how mid-eighteenth century India was beset with the spectre of a fragmented polity. (150 words)

  • Numerous small kingdoms

Refer: (NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 10: 18th Century Political Formations)

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NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 10: 18th Century Political Formations

Dr. Manishika Jain explains NCERT Class 7 History Chapter 10: 18th Century Political Formations

  • Bengal
  • Jats
  • Awadh
  • Hyderabad
  • Rajputs
  • Marathas
  • Sikhs

Q. Why did the ‘Moderates’ failed to carry conviction with the nation about their proclaimed ideology and political goals by the end of the nineteenth century? (150 words)

  • Moderates (1885 to 1905) had faith in British era – wanted only limited self-government
  • What burnt the issue further?
  • Vernacular press act
  • New direct taxes imposed by British Govt.
  • Indian Council Act provided for non-official Indian members but with overriding veto powers available to the Governor General.
  • Upper Age limit of civil service exam was reduced from 21 to 19.
  • Political awareness (including about drain theory) had been on rise in people
  • Bengal was divided against the will and wish of people.
  • Vandemataram Movement
  • Defeat of Italy by Ethiopia in 1896 and Russia by Japan in 1905 had shattered the myth of European supremacy.
  • People like Savarkar brothers and Chapekar brothers started advocating extremism.
  • Curzon’s reactionary policies prompted extremist (1906 - 1919) philosophy to be necessary
  • Lal Bal Pal (Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipinchandra Pal), Aurobindo Ghosh were great orators and prolific writers in vernacular newspapers.

Q. What problems are germane to the decolonization process in the Malay Peninsula? (150 words)

  • It was under British
  • Later all of SE Asia under Japan which changed scenario
  • Malayan Communist Party (MCP) led mainly by Chinese cadres, launched a revolt in 1948 to prevent the restoration of British rule after the Japanese surrender. This revolt and emergency lasted for 12 years.
  • Compelled British to grant independence earlier than expected
  • Elite compelled to adopt multiracial political strategies to confront the communal threat of the MCP
  • Establishment of the federation of Malaya states and the colonies of Penang and Melaka in 1948 with privileges entrenched for the indigenous Malaya and citizenship was extended to other immigrant races. The federation of Malaya subsequently attained in 1957.

Q. How does the Juno Mission of NASA help to understand the origin and evolution of the Earth? (150 words)

Refer: GC Leong Chapter 1 -

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Goh Cheng Leong Chapter 1: The Earth & Universe (Physical & Human Geography) Time Zone Calculation

Dr. Manishika Jain explains the Goh Cheng Leong Chapter 1: The Earth and the Universe (Physical and Human Geography).

  • Explore Jupiter (part of GS – I and not science and tech) – relate to geography
  • Know about temperature, clouds, water composition, gravitational and magnetic fields; and other properties
  • Jovian planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) are gas giants- made up of hydrogen, helium, ammonia and methane.
  • Giant planets also play a big role in planet formation because their huge masses allow them to shape the orbits of other objects in their planetary systems, such as other planets, asteroids, and comets.
  • Because Jupiter formed at the same time as the sun, their chemical compositions should be similar. However, Jupiter has more heavy elements like carbon and nitrogen than the Sun.
  • Composition and role of icy planetesimals, or small proto-planets, in planetary formation hangs in the balance and with them, the origin of Earth and other terrestrial planets. Icy planetesimals likely were the carriers of materials like water and carbon compounds that are the fundamental building blocks of life.
  • Jupiter’s magnetic field (magnetosphere) is single largest object on our solar system
  • Earth’s hydrogen and helium were stripped off because of the solar winds. But cooling of the Earth released the gases and water vapor from inside its solid mass. This process is known as ‘Degassing’. Subsequent condensation of water vapor resulted into formation of oceans over the Earth. Later, life originated in these oceans as complex organic molecules and unicellular bacteria.

- Published/Last Modified on: October 2, 2018

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