Displaying 3 of 3 records

Title: Seeking the next frontier

Issue: ASAT missile

Syllabus: General Studies-III - Science and Technology - Space Technologies

Context: India recently tested Anti satellite Missile ASAT. 

Highlights : 

  1. There is no international treaty prohibiting the testing or the development of ASATs.
  2. It is a technological trademark for India as these manoeuvres need high precision. 
  3. As like other countries, India also developed ASAT as part of Ballistic missile defence shield. 
  4. USA, Russia included their kinetic kill interceptor techniques and developed co orbital anti satellite systems and directed energy laser systems. These can neutralise a satellite with out fragmenting it. So, there will be no space Debris. 
  5. Space debris form dead satellites is growing. Debris from anti satellite missiles is adding up to it. China’s anti satellite missile released close to 3000 pieces of debris. They are a threat to orbiting satellites. On the other side, India tested ASAT missile on a satellite in low earth orbit to keep the debris minimum. 
  6. The U.S., Russia and China — have set up ‘Space Commands’. This has given rise to demands to prevent the militarisation of space. 
  7. The 1967 outer space treaty and moon treaty of 1979 laid foundations for legal regime for space. 
  8. Rule of law, refraining from appropriating territory, non placement of any weapons of mass destruction in space, prohibition of military activities on the moon and other celestial bodies are the various provisions of this. 
  9. USA is not interested to negotiate any legally binding space treaty for prevention of militarisation of space. It wants to maintain its hegemony. 
  10. UN also called for political commitment by all countries that they shall not be the first to place weapons in space. No action moved forward. 

Evidence : nil 

Take home points 

India’s ASAT test has not violated any norm, but it is a reminder of the need for a global regulatory regime

Keywords: ASAT weapons outer space treaty - 1967 moon treaty 1979

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 India has achieved remarkable successes in unmanned space missions including the Chandrayaan and Mars Orbitter Mission, but has not ventured into manned space mission, both in terms of technology and logistics? Explain critically 10 2017
2 India has achieved remarkable successes in unmanned space missions including the Chandrayaan and Mars Orbitter Mission, but has not ventured into manned space mission, both in terms of technology and logistics? Explain critically. 13 2016
3 What do you understand by ‘Standard Positioning Systems’ and ‘Protection Positioning Systems’ in the GPS era? Discuss the advantages India perceives from its ambitious IRNSS programme employing just seven satellites. (200 words) 13 2015
4 The safe landing of the “Curiosity” Rover under NASA’s space programme has sparked many possibilities. What are those and how could humankind benefit from them? 30 2012
5 What do you know about Indian Regional National Satellite Systems? Describe its important features. (150 words) 10 marks 30 2008
6 What is the significance of the geostationary orbit? What would happen if it becomes too crowded? (250 words) 2000
7 Describe how India's space programme has helped in its socio-economic development (About 250 words). 1996
8 What is PSLV? Describe its significance for India's space programme (150 words) 1995
9 Trace the progress of India's Space Research Programmes? What are its significant achievements? (150 words) 1991

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: Kartarpur focus

Issue: kartarpur corridor

Syllabus: General Studies-II - International Relations - India and its neighborhood

Kartapur focus 

Context : Negotiations did not move forward between India and Pakistan as scheduled due to minor irritants. 


  1. Kartarpur corridor spreads from der baba Nanak in Punjab to Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan’s Punjab. 
  2. There are many issues between the countries to take the project to a logical conclusion. India do not want to have any cap on number of pilgrims and it has serious reservations on having anti India elements in gurudwara committee. 
  3. Pakistan wants to see kartarpur as part of whole gamut of bilateral relations. India clearly stated that corridor will have no connection with furthering bilateral talks on other issues.

Take Home points : Security concerns are high-priority, but blocking work on the corridor is not right. 

Keywords: Kartarpur corridor Dera baba nanak gurudwara Kartarpur sahib gurudwara

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 ‘China is using its economic relations and positive trade surplus as tools to develop potential military power status in Asia’, In the light of this statement, discuss its impact on India as her neighbor. (150 words) 2017
2 “Increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in India and growing interference in the internal affairs of several member-states by Pakistan are not conducive for the future of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).” Explain with suitable examples 2016
3 Project `Mausam’ is considered a unique foreign policy initiative of the Indian Government to improve relationship with its neighbors. Does the project have a strategic dimension? Discuss. (200 words) 15 marks 2015
4 Terrorist activities and mutual distrust have clouded India-Pakistan relations. To what extent the use of soft power like sports and cultural exchanges could help generate goodwill between the two countries? Discuss with suitable examples. (200 words) 15 marks. 2015
5 With respect to the South China sea, maritime territorial disputes and rising tension affirm the need for safeguarding maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region. In this context, discuss the bilateral issues between India and China. (200 words) 10 marks 2014
6 The proposed withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from Afghanistan in 2014 is fraught with major security implications for the countries of the region. Examine in light of the fact that India is faced with a plethora of challenges and needs to safeguard its own strategic interests. (200 words) 10 marks 2013
7 What do you understand by ‘The String of Pearls’? How does it impact India? Briefly outline the steps taken by India to counter this. (200 words) 10 marks 2013
8 Discuss the political developments in Maldives in the last two years. Should they be of any cause of concern to India? (200 words) 10 marks 2013
9 In respect of India-Sri Lanka relations, discuss how domestic factors influence foreign policy. (200 words) 10 marks 2013
10 Do you think that China’s emergence as one of the largest trading partners of India had adversely affected the settlement of the outstanding border problem? 20 2012
11 Discuss the contentious issues that have caused the prolonged constitutional logjam in Nepal. 20 2012
12 Why have the resource rich African and South Asian countries remained poor for decades? Explain. 20 2012
13 Discuss the likely negative impact of the protectionist measures proposed by the US on India’s software industry. 20 2012
14 How have the US sanctions against Iran affected India’s bilateral relations with Iran? 20 2012
15 ‘The situation today is far different to that prevalent fifty years back when the Indus Water treaty was seined.’ Highlight the complexity of the current challenges on both sides of the border in this regard. Do you think that a review of the Treaty is in India’s best interests? (250 words) 15 marks. 20 2012
16 List the Central Asian Republics and identify those of particular strategic and economic importance to India. Examine the opportunities and bottlenecks in enhancing relations with these countries. (250 words) 15 marks. 20 2011
17 Critically examine the security and strategic implications of the so-called 'string of pearls' theory for India. (250 words) 15 marks. 20 2011
18 As regards the increasing rates of melting of Arctic Sea ice, the interests of the Arctic Council Nations may not coincide with those of the wider world. Explain. (150 words) 10 marks. 20 2011
19 Bring out the FDI and employment implications of China being a manufacturing hub and India a services hub. (150 words) 15 marks. 20 2010
20 Terrorism: Source in Pakistan and Afghanistan (150 words) 2006
21 Examine the developments in Afghanistan in the post-Taliban period. (150 words) 2005
22 What is meant by Gujral Doctrine? Write its specific principles 150 words 1997
23 Mention the advantages which India enjoys being at the head of the Indian Ocean. (150 words) 1996
24 What geopolitical and economic advantages are enjoyed by India due to its location in the southern part of the Continent of Asia? (150 words) 1989
25 What are the differences in the approaches of India and Nepal to the transit-trade question? How is this question complicated by other issues (About 250 words)? 1989
26 Has the IPKF been able to achieve the goal set before it by the terms of the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement? What are the options available to India (About 150 words)? (20) 1987
27 Why did USSR send troops to Afganistan? What are the broad issues involved? What has been India's response to the Afgan situation (Not more than 150 words)? 25 1980

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: The arrogance of the ignorant

Issue: Forest Rights Act - SC Judgement

Syllabus: General Studies-II - Social Justice and Development - Vulnerable Sections of population


Supreme Court recently adjudged that people whose claims are rejected under forest rights act 2006, need to be evicted by the state governments. Author argues it as ignorance of ground realties. 


  1. Forest rights act provides for recognition of rights. There is no provision for eviction of people whose claims are rejected. 
  2. There is no clarity on individual claims and community claims among the claims that are rejected. Many of those, whose clams rejected are Other forest dwellers. 
  3. Proposed amendments to Indian forest act, 1927 further strengthens the stranglehold of forest officials. 



Take home points

It is tragic that ‘New India’ chooses to attack Adivasis and forest-dwellers instead of those destroying its ecology 

Keywords: Forest Rights Act FRA

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 Multiplicity of various commissions for the vulnerable sections of the society leads to problems of overlapping jurisdiction and duplication of functions. Is it better to merge all commissions into an umbrella Human Rights Commission? Argue your case. (15) 15 2018
2 ‘To ensure effective implementation of policies addressing water, sanitation and hygiene needs, the identification of beneficiary segments is to be synchronized with the anticipated outcomes’ Examine the statement in the context of the WASH scheme. (150 words) 10 2017
3 Does the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 ensure effective mechanism for empowerment and inclusion of the intended beneficiaries in the society? Discuss (150 words) 10 2017
4 The concept of Mid Day Meal (MDM) scheme is almost a century old in India with early beginnings in Madras Presidency in pre-independent India. The scheme has again been given impetus in most states in the last two decades. Critically examine its twin objectives, latest mandates and success: (200 words) 10 marks 10 2013
5 The Central Government frequently complains on the poor performance of the State Governments in eradicating suffering of the vulnerable sections of the society. Restructuring of Centrally sponsored schemes across the sectors for ameliorating the cause of vulnerable sections of population aims at providing flexibility to the States in better implementation. Critically evaluate. (200 words) 10 marks 10 2013
6 The Union Cabinet recently cleared the proposal to rename and amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986. What are the salient features of the proposed amendments? 20 2012
7 Bring out the salient features of the PCPNDT Act 1994, and the implications of its amendment in 2003. (250 words) 15 marks. 20 2011
8 What are your views on the features and impact of the POCSO Act 2012? (150 words) 10 marks. 20 2009
9 Discuss the steps to get rid of child labour in India. (250 words) 2007
10 Integrated Child Services (lCDS) Development. (125 words) 2007
11 What are the problems related to the rehabilitation of the mentally challenged persons in India? (125 words) 2006
12 Discuss the steps taken by Government to check child labour and promote child welfare. (250 words) 2003
13 Write briefly about the Programmes for ‘Welfare of the Disabled’. (150 words) 2002
14 Discuss the propositions laid down by the Supreme Court of India in the context of Torture in Prisons and Human Dignity. (250 words) 2000
15 What is Social Justice? How can reservation of seats for women in Parliament contribute to the establishment of a socially just society in India (About 250 words) 1997
16 Give your assessment on land reforms in India (About 250 words) 1997
17 What specific provisions exists in the Constitution of India about child labour? 150 words 1997
18 What are the major recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee's Draft National Population Policy, relating to gender issues? (150 words) 1994
19 What are the major recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee's Draft National Population Policy, relating to gender issues? (150 Words) 1994
20 Why has the question of child labour become more important recently? How is it going to affect India? (150 Words ) 1993
21 What is meant by population explosion? Has it occurred in India. (150 words) 1989
22 What are the main causes of anti-reservation stir in India ? what are the provisions in our constitution regarding reservation ? Do you consider the policy on reservation is bad ? 1985
23 Analyse the situation in the Northeastern States what steps are being taken and could be taken to restore it to normally having regard to the strategic these States, the intersts and aspirations of the different communities and classes of people living there and the paramount importance of national integration (About 500 words). 65 1982
24 Why has there been reservation of seats for Scheduled Caste and Tribes in the legislatures and in public services? How the purpose been achieved? Indicate recent developments. 1981
25 Situation of law and order has become unstable increasingly in many parts of India. What are the main reasons for the deterioration in law and order position? How are the State Governments trying to control crimes’ What further steps would you suggest with a view to provide a greater sense of security in the minds of the people specially those, who belong to the vulnerable sections of the society and live in remote areas (Not more than 150 words). 25 1980

Currently there are no previous questions available.