Home » Exam preparation » UPSC IAS Main Exam 2015 : General Studies Paper I Model Questions

UPSC IAS Main Exam 2015 : General Studies Paper I Model Questions

Q1. a) Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day has been introduced recently to commemorate Patel’s birth anniversary. Examine the role played by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in post Independence India in the building a new nation.

A1.a) Patel: For the integration of India after independence

• Arduous task of swiftly uniting all the princely states by convincing and negotiations

o The power hungry princes posed great hurdles to Patel who took hold of the situation and reinforced his title of being ‘The Iron Man of India’.

o While encouraging the rulers to act with patriotism, Patel did not rule out force and had set a deadline of 15 August, 1947 for them to sign the instrument of accession document. All the states except J&K, Junagadh, and Hyderabad willingly merged into the Union of India

o Under Patel’s orders, Indian Army and police units marched into Junagarh. A plebiscite was then organized which produced a 99.5% vote for merger with India. He made the condition of pre-signing ‘the instrument of accession’ by the King of J&K in return to the military help in Kashmir to counter the Pakistani troops.

o Under Operation Polo (in his capacity as Acting PM) Patel ordered the Indian Army to integrate Hyderabad. Thousands in Razakar forces were killed, but Hyderabad was comfortably secured into the Indian Union

Criticism of Patel:

Patel was criticized for alleged bias against Muslims during partition.

o He was considered to be ready too early for partition

o He was also criticized for friendly relations with the industrialists and more forgiving of Hindu extremism and harsher on Pakistan.

Q1.b) Critically examine the role played by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in pre and post-independence India.

A1.b) Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: Propounded Hindu-Muslim unity before and after the partition of India.

o After partition, Azad gave speeches encouraging peace and calm in the border areas and encouraging Muslims across the country to remain in India and not to fear for their security and safety

o Azad organized security and relief efforts focusing on bringing the capital of Delhi back to peace

o He remained a close confidante, supporter and advisor to PM Nehru and played an important role in framing national policies

o As the Education Minister, he incorporated lessons and teachings on Hindu-Muslim unity in school books and tried to promote secularism among the Muslims
Criticism of Maulana Azad

o Maulana Azad has been criticized that he didn’t do enough efforts to prevent the partition of India.

o He was condemned by the advocates of Pakistan, especially Muslim League.

o However their efforts in building new India cannot be undermined just in the light of any such baseless, insignificant criticism.

Q2. The population of India is growing rapidly, and so are its growing needs. This has caused that per capita availability of fresh water has declined sharply over the past 50 years in India. Examine critically:

a) Magnitude of water crisis in India

b) Causes for the grim situation

c) Remedies to cope up from such woes

A2. a) India

o Endowed with some of the greatest rivers

o Most of the cultivated land still rain dependent with no suitable means of alternative irrigation. This is a crucial factor in determining nations monetary policy

o Lack of access to potable water is responsible for numerous preventable deaths. eg children affected with diarrhea

o Inter-state and intra-state water related conflicts and impending litigations

o Receding levels of ground-water due to unabated extraction. In last 7 years, ground water has receded by more than 50%

o Polluted rivers seemingly un-revivable after huge investments and commitments by various governments. Algal blooms are common. Lakes have become unpotable.

A2.b) Reasons:

o Lack of proper irrigation facilities like canals and simultaneous subsidizing of water pumps which extract ground water indiscriminately

o Prevalence of water intensive crops even in water deficit areas

o Little action taken to detoxify rivers and lakes which are sources of freshwater. The water usability index of Indian rivers is below than expected and acceptable levels

o Erratic monsoon, population explosion and lack of timely steps taken to check the problem

o Lack of adequate treatment facilities for supplying water and pricing issues

o Industries like coal based power plants are huge consumers of water cooling and rotating turbines

A2.c) Remedies

o aquifer mapping, groundwater extraction and rainwater harvesting in a community based manner, as propagated by waterman Rajendra Singh

o Treatment of industrial effluents before it mixes with rivers and strict implementation and monitoring of river water pollution

o to enhance soil moisture check-dams can be built

o Building canal networks to supply water from surplus zone to deficit zone

o Increased participation of NGOs and subsidizing water/sewage treatment facilities having UV treatment or chlorination

o Shift towards renewable energy sources like solar, etc. to cut down usage of water by coal fire plants

o Sensitization and awareness amongst people for judicious use of water and to avoid wastage

o National Water Policy 2012 aims to establish a regulator, prioritize water allocation as per nature of needs, treat water as an economic good for conservation and encourage water management techniques

Q3. At 53%, India has one of the worst gender gaps (disproportionate difference between the sexes) in the world when it comes to labour force participation. Elaborate the concern and what could addressing these concerns bring in for India.

A3. If the number of female workers were to increase to the same level as the number of men, GDP in US would expand by 5%, in Japan by 9% and by 27% in India (roughly 217 million women would join)

As per McKinsey Global Institute’s (MGI) The Power of Parity report:

o In India, the share of regional GDP generated by women is only 17%

o In a full-potential scenario, in which women play an identical role in labour markets as men, India is likely to witness the highest potential boost at 60% by 2025

As per NSSO data, between 2004-05 and 2011-12, India’s female labour force participation rate fell nearly 7% to 22.5%.

The sixth economic census reiterates these findings. While women make up nearly half of the population, they account for only a quarter of the total workers employed.

Social mores play a major role: Women’s economic participation is highest in the northeastern states, where women traditionally enjoy a higher status in society. The economic census data shows ‘gender gap’ to be higher in urban areas.

Equal access can increase farm outputs by 4%.

The lack of safety and supporting infrastructure plays a role in deterring many educated, urban women from pursuing careers. The IMF head, Christine Lagarde, cited the example of rural South Africa, where electrification led to an increase in participation of women by 9% in the labour force.

India’s rank in the UN’s Gender Inequality Index, 2012 is lower than the likes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

We do have a principle of equal pay for equal work in the DPSPs. The solution lies in the more stringent implementation of the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.

Q4. “If there are no mangrove forests, then the sea will have no meaning. It is like having a tree with no roots, for the mangroves are the roots of the sea.” Elaborate the significance of Mangroves in India along with the importance of Sundarbans.

A4. Mangroves in India:

Mangroves in India account for about 3% of the world’s mangrove vegetation. Mangrove cover in India is 4,662 sq. km (which is 0.14% of the country’s total geographical area).

Sundarbans in W. Bengal accounts for almost half of the total area under mangroves in India. Mangrove in India is famous for its rich variety of fauna and flora.

Composition of Mangroves in India: The very dense mangrove comprises 1,403 sq. km (30.10% of the total mangrove cover), moderately dense mangrove is 1,658.12 sq. km (35.57 %) while open mangroves cover an area of 1,600.44 sq. km (33%).


  • The Sundarbans is a natural region in West Bengal and Bangladesh. It is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world.
  • The Sundarbans covers approximately 10,000 square kilometres (3,900 sq mi) of which 60% is in Bangladesh with the remainder in India.
  • It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Q5. Discuss the importance of dance with reference to culture of India.

A5. India – a land of diversities, climatic variations have also contributed. This has made the Indian culture unique.

Dances are a form of coherent expression of human feelings. Dance forms are also varied and different:

  • Some are deeply religious in content while some are related to martial forms

Can be classified broadly into Classical and Folk dance forms

  • Classical are usually spiritual in content
  • Though the folk dances are also spiritual and religious in content their main focus is the celebratory mood

Like Indian culture, Indian classical dances are equally diverse in nature.  There are eight classical dance forms recognized by Sangeet Natak Akademi.

There are numerous classical dance forms in India and innumerable folk dances.

Each dance form can be traced to different parts of the country. Each form represents the culture and ethos of a particular region or a group of people

Q6. The data of 2011 census paints a grim picture of child sex ratio which has worsened to 914, the lowest since 1947. In this regard, write short notes on:

a) causes for the low child sex ratio and

b) its effects on the Indian society

A6. a) The child sex ratio of a society indicates the gender parity and the overall gender based discrimination. The declining sex ratio in India indicates the deep-rooted bias against women and clearly indicates that economic growth is not translating into gender parity for women.

The causes for this include dowry system, superstitions of families due to religious dogmas. Other factors

  • Patriarchal mindset of the society
  • Misuse of technology for foetal sex determination
  • Preference for male child due to various social and religious misconceptions
  • Inadequate implementation of the PCPNDT and MTP act
  • Failure of the bureaucracy in implementation of various girl-child related schemes at grassroots level
  • Less education causes failure to stand for themselves
  • In the male-dominated families, females have almost no say in decisions of sex based abortions

A6.b) Impacts:

o The most basic impact is that half of India‘s population, cutting across castes, religions and social statuses are discriminated with many social, educational and cultural restrictions.

o Failure to harness the potential of half of the population – Amartya Sen’s concept of “missing women”

o Leads to increased poverty among women –  concept of feminization of poverty

o It acts as a vicious circle: Low female literacy and social restrictions on females, causes social and economic dependency. They have no say in family planning or decisions of the family. This leads to improper implementation of laws as what should be done can be decided by govt. but what actually is done is decided by the family. This further restricts female empowerment.

Q7. Describe are the various classical dance forms of India.

A7.  8 classical dance forms:

1. Bharatnatyam

  • known as ‘ekaharya’ (one dancer takes many forms)
  • solo dance
  • lasya

2. Kathak

  • derived from Katha (story)
  • special stress on expressional part
  • saw golden age under Nawab Wajid Ali Shah who estd.the Lucknow gharana
  • Other important gharans- Jaipur, Benaras, Raigarh
  • performed by both male and female
  • Jugalbandi is a part of Kathak

3. Odissi

  • Based on themes of Love and Divine (especially adoption of play ‘Gita Govind’ by Jayadeva)
  • Based on temple structures
  • Two basic postures: Chowk(masculine stance) & Tribhanga(feminine stance)

4. Kathakali

  • a dance-drama form of Kerala
  • evolved from: Kodiyattam- Sanskrit theatre performed in Kerala.
  • Officially declared by UNESCO as masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity.
  • Other sources: Krishnattam (Dance-drama) and Ramanattam
  • Indebted to early martial art of Kerala like Kalaripayattu
  • Lead singer: Ponnani
  • Dance is done in front of lamp

5. Kuchipudi

  • name of a village in krishna district of AP
  • originally performed by Brahmin boy but even solo girls perform it now
  • Tarangam

6. Mohiniattam

  • Second famous dance form of Kerala
  • Format very similar to Bharathanatiyam
  • Mostly solo female dance in White Saree with golden barcode known as ‘kasavu’
  • Lyrics are in Manipravalam: Sanskrit + Malayalam
  • Based on theme of love to Vishnu and Krishna

7. Manipuri

  • Based on bhakti of Lord Krishna
  • Made popular by Rabindranath Tagore
  • Foot should not hit ground too hard to ground. Dancers do not wear ankle bells
  • Pung(drum) Cholam is part of Manipuri dance
  • Dancers beat drums & dance with leaps and turns to a fast rhythm
  • Based on theme of Rasleela
  • Important text- Hastha Lakshanadeepika

8. Sattriya

  • Purely devotional
  • Introduced in 15th CAD by great Vaishnava saint of Assam Sankaradeva
  • Sattras means Vaishnava Mathas
  • Musical compositions known as Bargeets. Drums known as khols.
  • Strict Hastmudras, foot works, aharyas(jewellery/make up), music, etc.

Mohiniattam – Kerala

Kathakali – Kerala

Sattriya – Assam

Kuchipudi – AP(Andhra)

Bharatnatyam – TN

Kathak – UP & Rajasthan

Odissi- Odisha

Manipuri – Manipur

Q8. According to a new World Bank report “Leveraging Urbanization in South Asia: Managing Spatial Transformation for Prosperity and Livability”- difficulty in dealing with the pressures urban populations put on infrastructure, basic services, land, housing and the environment lie at the heart of the relative lack of livability of the region’s cities. Discuss the initiatives taken by Indian government in this regard.

A8. New Flagship urban initiatives:

  • states and urban bodies will provide matching funds
  • Swachh Bharat Ranking given by Urban development ministry to 476 Class-1 cities of the country

1. Swachh Bharat Mission

  • Estimated cost:  66,000 crore
  • Centre will provide:
  • Household toilets – 4000 each for construction of household toilets (Target 1.04 crore toilets)
  • Community toilets – 4% of cost as Viability Gap Funding (Over 5 lakh toilets)
  • Solid Waste Mgmt – 20%of cost as VGF (serving 30 crore urban people)
  • 100% door-to-door collection, transportation and disposal of solid waste by 2019

2. Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)

  • Estimated cost – 50,000 crore till 2019
  • Centre will provide 50% of project cost for Universal coverage of water-supply and sewerage network

3. Heritage city Development and Augmentation Yojana (HriDAY)

  • Estimated cost- 500 crore during 2015-17
  • includes 12 cities

4.    Smart City

  • Estimated cost – 100 crore to 100 selected cities per year
  • Are those cities which have smart/intelligent physical, social, institutional and economic infrastructure while ensuring centrality of citizens in a sustainable manner.
  • It focuses on : solid waste management, water management, public transport, green energy, e-health, e-literacy, traffic lights, electricity supply etc controlled through IT.

Q9. Agriculture employs around half of country’s population but contributes only less than 15% to India’s GDP. Despite such criticality, its huge dependence on monsoon makes a huge population potentially vulnerable and affects the entire economy. The objective of monsoon-proof economy gains criticality in this regard. Examine the implications of linkages between rainfall and economic outcomes for India. Also suggest measures to monsoon-proof the economy.

A9. Small and marginal farmers living in hand to mouth condition.

Impact in economy:

Inflation – More than 60% area is rain fed. This leads to inflation due to reduction in food production

Reduced industrial growth – agri raw materials are used in industries like textiles, sugar, etc. Low agri-production reduces growth of these industries. It not just provides employment to millions but also earns forex through export
Distress Migration – Loss of crops leads to distress migration to already crowded cities adding more slums and more pollution and more congestion

Slow down of rural economy

To monsoon-proof economy

Appropriate and timely liquidation of grains from FCI

Crop insurance

Diversification of agriculture – sericulture, animal rearing which are less dependent on rain.

Better irrigation infrastructure

Alternate employment avenues. eg. NREGA. Special policies to check farm unemployment can be brought up.

Better farming methods and developing crop varieties which can grow in water scarce conditions i.e., climate resilient agriculture.

Q10. After achieving independence, what were the core challenges which the founding fathers of Independent India faced? How far have we reached to make these goals see the light of the day?

A10. Goals:

To build an egalitarian society, removal of social biases against minorities, women, etc/

Consolidation of nation- marred by partition and the brutalities of the consequent riots

Economic prosperity- enrolling masses in nation building

To enable economic and social transformation of the nation by building up industrial and agriculture sector

To take an independent stand in International polity and establish friendly International relations. eg Panchsheel, NAM, etc

To build a progressive society through democratic and liberal polity

Progress: partial success

Inequality still looms large. Gender disparity


Communal riots

Concentration of wealth and power in limited hands

Usual curbs on freedom of speech

Q11. The ocean in general and the continental shelf in particular is a vast untapped and an uncharted field of resources. In the light of this, examine how the vast continental shelf of Indian ocean is economically significant for India.

A11. Economic benefits:

  • Oil and Natural gas
  • Fisheries
  • Marine Agriculture
  • Placer deposits – provide thorium and heavy metals
  • Sand
  • Tourism potential
  • Provide natural harbours
  • Fossils
  • Cyclone mitigation

Q12. Can Germany solely be held responsible for the First World War?

A12. Germany played a major role in the 1st World War.

Pan-Germanism and German militarism intensified the tensions in Europe.

It was Germany which supported Austria-Hungry, that created a big crisis in Balkan region

On this basis it can be said that Germany contributed a lot to the outbreak of the 1st world war.

But still the total responsibility for this war cannot be given only to Germany.

Contributions of the other European powers:

Russia gave unconditional support to Serbia and intensified the crisis

France, on similar lines, contributed by giving unconditional support to Russia

During this critical juncture Britain could have done something concrete to avert the war, but it didn’t do so

Thus other powers’ commission and Britain’s omission contributed to the war


[Source:- Jagranjosh]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *