Displaying 4 of 4 records

Title: The irrelevance of secularism secularism

Issue: secularism

Syllabus: General Studies-I - Society - Secularism

Context : Author argues that, Indian model of secularism is becoming unworkable. 



  1. In India secularism is based on the philosophy of equi distance from all religions. In the west, secularism is a strict separation of religion from state. The reason for this is Indian society is deeply religious and it believes religion as a spiritual inspiration and guide. 
  2. Today, this model is getting unworkable for the following reasons - 
  1. Demographically song majority of one religion over others. 
  2. Religion is being used by all parties for their electoral gains. 



Initially, the towering leadership of Nehru kept congress politics away from religion . Indira Gandhi in 1980 election used religion to get to power. Rajiv Gandhi followed policy of dual appeasement. He overturned the supreme court Judgement in Shahbano case and allowed Hindu’s to pray in Babri Masjid Premises. Later Babri masjid demolition, Godhra riots and state response all show an intricate connect. Today, to counter religious stance of BJP, congress resorted to soft Hindutva. It all shows religion became firm ground for electoral gains in India. 


Take Home points: 

Indian version of secularism need a serious debate. 

Keywords: secularism - Indian variant shahbano case Babri masjid

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 How the Indian concept of secularism different from the western model of secularism? Discuss. (10) 10 2018

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: Pathways to income Guarntee

Issue: NYAY - Basic income for poor

Syllabus: General Studies-III - Indian Economy - Economic Development - Growth, Development, Poverty, Employment and Unemployment

Context : Congress party proposed for NYAY- an income guarantee scheme for 20% of poor population in the country. 


  1. In india, landless labourers, agricultural workers, marginal farmers suffer from multi dimensions poverty. Benefits of high economic growth didi not percolate to the bottom. 
  2. Financial access is absent or minimum to most of the poor sections of the population. Financial inclusion objectives failed now and than. so, basic income to the poor can change the lives of poor. It can increase their access to health and education. It can also spur demand in the economy. 

On the other side, 

  1. Fiscal space need to be created for an extra expenditure burden of 3.6 lakh crore rupees. 
  2. The scheme shall not come at the cost of Basic services like education and health provided to poor. 
  3. Excessive liquidity flow can lead to inflation. 
  4. Assured incomes can drive the people away from labour markets. 

so, the way forward is 

  1. Proper identification of beneficiaries with out leakages. Government shall use socio economic caste census, agricultural census and other data banks to arrive at the list of beneficiaries. 
  2. Tax collections need to be raised. 
  3. Program can be implemented in a step wise manner to learn from the outcomes. 


Take home points : There is a compelling case for universal basic income, but it must be done carefully. 

Keywords: NYAY Basic income for poor. Multi dimensional poverty

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 “Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is the sine qua non to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.Comment on the progress made in India in this regard. (150 Words, 10 Marks) 10 2018
2 How would the recent phenomena of protectionism and currency manipulations in world trade affect macroeconomic stability of India? (250 Words, 15 Marks) 15 2018
3 Among several factors for India’s potential growth, savings rate is the most effective one. Do you agree? What are the other factors available for growth potential? (Answer in 150 words) 10 2017
4 One of the intended objectives of Union Budget 2017-18 is to ‘transform, energize and clean India’. Analyse the measures proposed in the Budget 2017-18 to achieve the objective. 15 2017
5 What are the salient features of ‘inclusive growth’? Has India been experiencing such a growth process? Analyze and suggest measures for inclusive growth. 15 2017
6 Among several factors for India’s potential growth, savings rate is the most effective one. Do you agree? What are the other factors available for growth potential? 13 2016
7 What are the salient features of ‘inclusive growth’? Has India been experiencing such a growth process? Analyze and suggest measures for inclusive growth. 13 2016
8 The nature of economic growth in India in described as jobless growth. Do you agree with this view? Give arguments in favour of your answer. (200 words) 13 2015
9 Craze for gold in Indians have led to a surge in import of gold in recent years and put pressure on balance of payments and external value of rupee. In view of this, examine the merits of Gold Monetization Scheme. (200 words) 13 2015
10 “While we flaunt India’s demographic dividend, we ignore the dropping rates of employability.” What are we missing while doing so? Where will the jobs that India desperately needs come from? Explain. (200 words) 13 2014
11 Capitalism has guided the world economy to unprecedented prosperity. However, it often encourages short-sightedness and contributes to wide disparities between the rich and the poor. In this light, would it be correct to believe and adopt capitalism for bringing inclusive growth in India? Discuss. (200 words) 13 2014
12 With a consideration towards the strategy of inclusive growth, the new Companies Bill, 2013 has indirectly made CSR a mandatory obligation. Discuss the challenges expected in its implementation in right earnest. Also discuss other provisions in the Bill and their implications. (200 words) 10 marks 10 2013
13 Keeping in view the informal sector’s share in the total workforce in the country, critically examine the relevant inclusive measures initiated by the Government of India and their effectiveness. (250 words) 15 marks 30 2012
14 Critically review the international concern in achieving the targets set for the Millennium Development Goals. 30 2012
15 Why is international trade perceived to have failed to act as an “engine of growth” in many developing countries including India? 30 2012
16 Assess the significance of coastal regions in the economic development of India. (150 words) 15 marks. 30 2009
17 Examine the status of urbanization among the states in India and bring out spatial inequalities. (150 words) 15 marks. 30 2009
18 Describe the main sources of Industrial finance in India. How could India be benefitted from recent developments in International finance? (250 words) 2006
19 How has the Indian State tackled the trade-off between environment and development? (150 words) 2005
20 What is PURA? Discuss the major objectives. (150 words) 2004
21 What is the incidence of poverty in India? How should poverty alleviation programmes to constructed (250 words) 2001
22 Control over growth of population in India is an essential condition for the country's rapid economic development. Discuss. (250 words) 2000
23 Name the mega cities of India and mention their specific problems. (150 words) 30 1999
24 What are the geo-economic causes of underdevelopment of various regions in India? (150 words) 1998
25 How is absolute poverty line measured? What are the important measures taken by the Government to eradicate rural poverty in India (About 250 words)? 1998
26 Infrastructure bottlenecks continue to stifle the economic growth in India. Comment. (150 words) 1998
27 Comment on the view that Monetary Policy in India is used more as a stabilisation device rather than as a development tool. (150 words) 1998
28 What has been the role of NRIs in the economic development of India in the recent past? (150 words) 1998
29 What are the geo-economic causes of underdevelopment of various regions in India? (150 words) 1998
30 Describe the changes that have taken place in the direction of international trade of India since independence. (150 words) 1998
31 What measures has the Government of India taken for the development of Tribal areas in India? (150 words) 1997
32 Discuss the steps taken by the government in recent years to control inflation. (150 words) 1997
33 What measures has the government taken to make women economically independent and self-reliant during the last decade? (150 words) 1997
34 What measures has the Government of India taken for the development of Tribal areas in India? (150 words) 1997
35 Briefly comment on the purpose and type of changes made in our tax structure in the context of liberalisation and structural reforms during the first half of the 1990s. (150 words) 1996
36 How is poverty-line defined in India? Briefly enumerate the measures undertaken by the Government in recent years to alleviate poverty (150 words) 1996
37 What have been the recent recommendations of the World Bank on India's Family Welfare programme? How do these recommendations compare with those which emerged from the Cairo Conference on Population and Development in 1994? (About 250 words) 1995
38 Do you agree with the view that, in a country like India, a tax on wealth would be a useful supplement to the income tax? Argue the case in the light of Raja Chelliah Tax Reform Committee Report (About 250 words) 1995
39 Does reduction in fiscal deficit necessarily assure reduction in inflation? (150 words) 1995
40 Do you think that income tax reduces economic incentives? Give your reasons. (150 words) 1995
41 It is being suggested that the commercial banks in India should reduce their holdings of nonperforming assets. Does it mean that the former should abandon social priorities (About 250 words)? 1994
42 What was the rationale of the Mahalanobis Strategy of economic growth? (150 words) 1994
43 Indicate briefly the tax reforms that have been introduced in India after the coming in of the New Economic Policy (150 words) 1994
44 What is exclusive economic zone of a country. Discuss its relevance to India. (150 words) 1994
45 . It is claimed that the price situation in India improved considerably in 1992 − 93 with a gradual decline in the annual rate of inflation in the course of the year. What are the factors that moderated the inflationary pressures? (150 words) 1993
46 In a developing country like ours what according to you, should be the basis of taxationincome or consumption? Spell out your arguments clearly. (150 words) 1993
47 Explain the term Integrated Rural Development Bringing out its strategic importance. (150 words) 1992
48 Analyze the main defects of Indian Trade Union Movement. (150 words) 1991
49 Bring out the main features of India's Trade Policy (150 words) 1991
50 What, according to you, are the remedies to the problem of rural indebtedness in India? (150 words) 1991
51 What usually is meant by the expression an underdeveloped economy? What, according to you, are the basic causes of underdevelopment in India (About 250 words)? 1991
52 Discuss the measures taken in the Five-Year Plans to mitigate rural poverty (About 250 words). (40) 1991
53 What is the economic rationale behind the establishment of growth centers? Explain briefly the criteria for selecting three growth centers. (150 words) 1990
54 State and explain briefly the economic implications of the Right to Work. (150 words) 1990
55 Discuss the factors that have led to the recent increase in the general price level and the measures taken by the Government to Combat it. (150 words) 1990
56 What measures have been taken under the Five Year Plans increase employment opportunities in rural areas? (150 words) 1990
57 Despite having high saving and investment rates. India is experiencing a low growth rate. Why is it so? (150 words) 1989
58 What is the economic rationale for undertaking the Backward Area Development Programme? Discuss the specific measures taken by the Government in this direction. (150 words) 1989
59 What is meant by a high cost economy? Has India developed into a high cost economy and if so, how? (150 words) 1989
60 What are the salient features of the hill economy of Northern India, and how do these account for its relative backwardness? (150 words) 1989
61 Discuss the problem of rural unemployment in India. What specific schemes have been launched by the Government to generate employment opportunities in rural areas (About 250 words)? 1987
62 In course of planned economic development India’s actual growth has mostly been lower than the projected growth. How would you explain this shortfall? 1986
63 What are the principle components of economic infrastructure? Inadequacy of infrastructure as well as the poor utilization have been the principle bottleneck in economic development. comment 1984
64 Inflation has been one of the major and persistent cause of poverty and inequality in India’ Analyse. 1983
65 In their emphasis policy planners on the primacy of the rate of economic growth, some attention has been paid to structural and ideological objective of planning in India. critically examine the satement. (About in 150 words ) 1982
66 Describe the various types of unemployment in India What are the measures devised in the Sixth Plan to deal with the unemployment? 1982
67 The phenomenon of rising prices has been largely responsible for Indian economy and planning cut of welfare; it also causes hardship to the people. What are the basic reasons for continuous inflation in India and what has been the government strategy to control it? What specific measure have been taken by the Government of India for controlling inflation (Not more than 200 words)? 30 1981
68 Unemployment in India is of many types and therefore a complex issue. describe the nature if the problem and the measures adopted to deal with it particularly in rural areas (about 150 words) 1981

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: A reality check

Issue: UNSC 1267 sanctions committee

Syllabus: General Studies-III - Internal Security - Terrorism, external state, non-state actors

Context:  USA proposed in UNSC for listing Masood Azhar as an intentional terrorist at UNSC 1267 sanctions committee.


Highlights : 

  1. China opposed at UNSC for listing Masood Azhar as an international Terrorist. 
  2. AT the same time, China did not oppose for grey listing Pakistan at financial action task force for terror financing. It also have a serious terror challenge in Xinjiang province. It allowed terrorists and groups based in Pakistan to be listed. This adamant nature of china in the issue of Masood Azhar is unexplainable.  
  3. USA wants to shame china by bringing Masood Azhar issue again at UNSC. 
  4. India need to be cautious and continue with its policy of patience and persistence on this issue. It shall not compromise bilateral relationship over this issue. 

Evidence - Nil


Take home points : The Move on Masood Azhar in the UNSC is welcome, but India must continue to engage with China. 

Keywords: Masood Azhar 1267 sanctions committee China

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: A stop sign

Issue: IEA report on carbon emissions

Syllabus: General Studies-III - Environment - Environmental Pollution

A stop sign 

Context : international energy agency in its recent report stated that India’s carbon emissions are up by 5%. 

Highlights : 

  1. India has a target to reduce its emission intensity by 33-35% by 2030 over its 2005 levels. 
  2. Though Indian emissions are grown , its per capita emissions are less than 40% of global average. Equity among nations is essential and foundations of  climate change negotiations are bad on common but differentiated responsibilities. 
  3. India shall rise its share of clean energy through intensive measures in key sectors - green transport. Solar power installations, updation of building codes and by rising energy efficiency. 
  4. Another priority is to clean coal power plants. 
  5. Electric mobility shall be an important part of greening transport. 
  6. Developed world shall transfer best technologies and necessary finances. $100bn green climate fund need to be well spent. 


Evidence : IEA found that Indian emissions went up by 4.8% during 2018. 


Take Hime points : India must raise its ambition on reduction in cabin emissions. 

Keywords: IEA report indian carbon emissions Green energy Green Transport

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 What are the impediments in disposing the huge quantities of discarded solid wastes which are continuously being generated? How do we remove safely the toxic wastes that have been accumulating in our habitable environment? (150 Words, 10 Marks) 10 2018
2 The Namami Gange and National mission for clean Ganga (NMCG) programmes and causes of mixed results from the previous schemes. What quantum leaps can help preserve the river Ganga better than incremental inputs? (200 words) 13 2015
3 Should the pursuit of carbon credits and clean development mechanisms set up under UNFCCC be maintained even though there has been a massive slide in the value of a carbon credit? Discuss with respect to India’s energy needs for economic growth. (200 words) 13 2014
4 Enumerate the National Water Policy of India. Taking river Ganges as an example, discuss the strategies which may be adopted for river water pollution control and management. What are the legal provisions of management and handling of hazardous wastes in India? (200 words) 10 marks 10 2013
5 Why do environmentalists regard asbestos and polythene as pollutants? (150 words) 2005
6 Global Warming''-Discuss. (250 words) 2004
7 What are greenhouse gases? What impact do they have on the Earth's climate and with what consequences? Elaborate. (150 words) 2000
8 What do you understand by Environmental Pollution? Mention the various kinds of pollution and their effect on human health in India. (150 words) 1992
9 State the types of environmental pollution and some of the places where it has occurred due to the progress of industrialization in India. Which parts of India were mainly affected by the severe drought of 1987 − 88? What were its main consequences? 1988
10 Objectives of Ganga Action Plan. Explain in brief the benefits of the plan 1985
11 Indicate the sources of atmospheric pollution in the major urban centers in India and the steps to be taken to minimise the problem. 1979
12 Indicate the sources of atmospheric pollution in the major urban centers in India and the steps to be taken to minimise the problem. 1979

Currently there are no previous questions available.