Displaying 4 of 4 records

Title: Charting a clear course in the Indo-pacific

Issue: Indo-pacific region

Syllabus: General Studies-II - International Relations - India's Strategic Choices - Defence diplomacy

Context: Indo-pacific region has gained lot of significance for India’s both strategic and economic interests in recent times.


  1. What constitutes Indo-pacific region? According to India, Indo-Pacific region stretches from the eastern coast of Africa to Oceania (from the shores of Africa to that of the Americas) which also includes in its fold the Pacific Island countries.
  2. India’s engagement in the region:
  • Act East policy is the basic principle guiding India’s interest in the region
  • An active participant in mechanisms like the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), in ASEAN-led frameworks like the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, the ASEAN Regional Forum as well as the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation and the Mekong-Ganga Economic Corridor.
  • Regularly convening Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, in which the navies of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) participate.
  • India is stepping up its interactions with the Pacific Island countries through forums such as India-Pacific Islands Cooperation
  • Further India has been engaging with African countries both bilaterally and also multilaterally. Example: India-Africa Forum Summits.
  1. Values driving India’s engagement in the region: Inclusiveness, openness, and ASEAN centrality and unity, common rules-based order, freedom of navigation, unimpeded commerce and settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, territorial integrity, consultation, good governance, transparency, viability and sustainability
  2. Significance of Indo-pacific region: India is passing through a phase of rapid economic transformation and is poised to play a significant role at the Indo-Pacific stage in the coming years. These two regions are equally important for India's future growth, development, security and prosperity.
  3. Furthermore, various countries prominently among them- USA, Japan and Australia etc have articulated what their objectives are in this region. Example: The renaming of the U.S. Pacific Command to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command as well as the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act. Formation of Quad (US, India, Japan and Australia)
  4. India has recently setup a division under the Ministry of External Affairs to actualize its vision under Indo-pacific strategy
  5. Challenges ahead:
  • Our policy needs to find out how it will integrate the Quadrilateral initiative which got revived in 2017 with its larger Indo-Pacific approach
  • The present policy needs to move beyond security and political issues and articulate a more comprehensive policy towards the region.
  • Commerce and connectivity should be given priorities
  • As of now, there are many differences between counties on India-pacific policy. Such differences need to be managed properly (example: on how to handle South China Sea issue)

Takeaway point: Strategic coherence in the Indo-pacific region should incorporate India’s long-term political and economic interests in the region.

Keywords: 'Indo-pacific region' 'South China Sea' 'Quad' 'Indian ocean region' 'Economic interests' 'Strategic interests'

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: A referendum on the Prime Minister?

Issue: Rise of Hindutva

Syllabus: General Studies-II - Indian Polity and Constitution - Indian Constitution - Salient Features, Preamble, Fundamental Rights, DPSP, Duties

Context: Indian elections are being fought on narrow issues rather than on any substantive policies of the incumbent government.


  1. In Indian democracy, collective responsibility is a core value. This core value is invested in the working of the cabinet. They are held collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
  2. However, in recent times, the cabinet form of government is being undermined by a rising tide of one centre of power vested exclusively in the Prime Minister. Such kind of a scenario leads to low accountability in our country
  3. Furthermore, it has been observed that if power is concentrated in one person, it leads to denigration of institutions in some cases. Example: In India with respect to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Election Commission of India (ECI)
  4. Unfortunately, in a scenario where a person is seen to be bigger than the institutions in the country, there will be a rise in hyper-nationalism. Substantive policies which matter to the general public are rarely debated or talked about. (Example: USA, India, Turkey)

Takeaway point: The narrative in Indian elections is moving from collective responsibility to individualist accountability, such a scenario is not good for the long-term growth of Indian democracy

Keywords: 'hindutva' 'Collective responsibility' 'Individual responsibility' 'institutions'

# Previous UPSC Question Marks Year
1 Indian and USA are two large democracies. Examine the basic tenets on which the two political systems are based. 2018
2 Discuss each adjective attached to the word ‘Republic’ in the preamble. Are they defendable in the present circumstances stances? 2016
3 Did the Government of India Act, 1935 lay down a federal constitution? Discuss. 2016
4 Though the federal principal is dominant in our constitution and that principle is one of its basic features, but it is equally true that federalism under the Indian Constitution leans in favour of a strong Center, a feature that militates against the concept of strong federalism. Discuss. (200 words) 10 marks 2014
5 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. (250 words) 15 marks. 20 2011
6 Discuss the major extra-constitutional factors influencing the federal polity in India. (250 words) 15 marks 2008
7 What is a Constitution? What are the main sources of the Indian Constitution? (250 words) 2007
8 What is the significance of a preamble to a constitution? Bring out the philosophy of the Indian polity as enshrined in the preamble of the Indian Constitution. (250 words) 2004
9 . What is Article 356 in the Indian Constitution? Comment 150 words 1997
10 Distinguish between Parliamentary and Presidential forms of Government. Do you think that changing over to Presidential form will be a solution for better governance? Substantiate your answer (About 250 words). 1995
11 India is not a federation but it has definite federal features. Elucidate 1982
12 Bring out the significance of the Fundamental Rights provided in the Constitution of India. The right to acquire, hold and dispose of property has ceased to be a fundamental right. Examine the purpose of the change 1981

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: Holding the centre: on European parliamentary elections

Issue: European parliamentay elections

Syllabus: General Studies-II - International Relations - Important events around the World

Context: There has been a rise in political parties across Europe who are using the rising euro-skepticism, general backlash against the immigrants to garner votes in the region


  1. Anti-European sentiment, tougher immigration rules will emerge as the centerpieces on which elections are to be fought in the region
  2. It has been observed that mainstream parties are being forced to react to these fear psychosis by adopting a knee-jerk reaction, which would not be helpful in the long-term. Example: Mainstream parties which reacted to Brexit feelings in the beginning
  3. What needs to be done then? Instead of catering to the populist demands, discourse should be directed towards fighting the stagnating wages and living standards in the society. Example: Green parties in Europe who are fighting climate change.

Takeaway point: Mainstream political parties in Europe should not resort to populism but rather should adopt imaginatively new ways for finding solutions

Keywords: 'Euro-skepticism' 'Immigration laws' 'European parliament'

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Currently there are no previous questions available.

Title: External woes: on India’s foreign trade

Issue: India's foreign trade

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

Context: India’s trade deficit has been increasing in the past few months in India.


  1. What is Trade deficit? A trade deficit is an economic measure of international trade in which a country's imports exceed its exports. A trade deficit represents an outflow of domestic currency to foreign markets.
  2. Reasons for increase in trade deficit:
  • Fall in exports
  • Rise in imports
  1. Traditionally strong export sectors — gem and jewellery, leather and leather products, textiles and garments and drugs and pharmaceuticals have all weakened in recent times.
  2. Consequences of the observed trend: Slowing export growth will lead to a contraction in jobs, wages and consumption demand in the domestic market. There will also be a rise in current account deficit of the country
  3. Reasons for rise in imports:
  • rise in international crude prices
  • rise in import of gold
  1. Factors which might challenge India’s trade growth in coming months: trade war between the U.S. and China and its impact on global growth. Rising military tensions in West Asia which could cause an increase a rise in oil prices.
  2. What could be done?
  • Scouting for new oil markets
  • Working with other countries to limit or reduce the impact of US unilateral sanctions on global growth
  • Engaging diplomatically to prevent any escalation between USA and China trade war
  • Raise duties on Gold to discourage people from buying the precious commodity
  • A new industrial policy which is directed towards increasing export growth in India

Takeaway point: The trade and current account deficit scenario in India should not be allowed to get out of control; proper actions in this regard should be taken accordingly.

Keywords: 'Trade deficit' 'Exports' 'Imports' 'Gold' 'Rising crude oil'

# 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.