Previous year questions (PYQ) Mains GS 2  ( 2022- 2018)

Polity,  Governance,  welfare schemes and policies for various sectors 

  1. The most significant achievement of modern law in India is the constitutionalization of environmental problems by the Supreme Court. Discuss this statement with the help of relevant case laws.
  2. Right of movement and residence throughout the territory of India are freely available to Indian citizens, but these rights are not absolute. Comment (Answer in  150 words) 10 mark
  3. Discuss the role of the Election Commission of India in light of the evolution of the Model Code of Conduct. (Answer in  250 words) 15 mark
  4. Critically examine the procedures through which the presidents of India and France are elected. (Answer in  250 words) 15 mark
  5. “While the national political parties in India favour centralisation, the regional parties are in favour of state autonomy.” Comment. (Answer in  250 words) 15 mark
  6. Discuss the essential conditions for the exercise of the legislative powers by the Governor. Discuss the legality of re- promulgation of ordinances by the Governor without placing them before the Legislature.
  7. Discuss the procedures to decide the disputes arising out of the election of a Member of the Parliament or a State Legislature under the Representation of People Act 1951. What are the grounds on which the election of any returned candidate may be declared void? What remedy is available to the aggrieved party against the decision? Refer to the case laws (Answer in  250 words) 15 mark
  8. Discuss the role of the National Commission for Backward Classes in the wake of its transformation from a statutory body to a constitutional body. (Answer in  150 words) 10 mark
  9. Discuss the role of the Vice President of India as the chairman of Rajya Sabha. (Answer in  150 words) 10 mark
  10. Initially Civil Services in India were designed to achieve the goals of neutrality and effectiveness, which seems to be lacking in the present context. Do you agree with the view that drastic reforms are required in Civil Services. Comment.
  11. Reforming the government delivery system through the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme is a progressive step, but it has limitations too. Comment. (Answer in  150 words) 10 mark
  12. The rights of persons with disabilities Act, 2016 remains only a legal document without intense sensitisation of Government functionaries and citizens regarding disability. Comment. (Answer in  150 words) 10 mark
  13. The Gati-Shakti Yojana needs meticulous coordination between the government and the private sector to achieve the goal of connectivity. Discuss. (Answer in  150 words) 10 mark

2021

  1. How have the recommendations of the 14th France Commission of India enabled the States to improve their fiscal position?
  2. “Besides being a moral imperative of a Welfare State, primary health structure is a necessary precondition for sustainable development.”
  3. “‘Earn while you learn’ scheme needs to be strengthened to make vocational education and skill training meaningful”
  4. Though the Human Rights Commissions have contributed immensely to the protection of human rights in India, yet they have failed to assert themselves against the mighty and powerful. Analysing their structural and practical limitations, suggest remedial measures.
  5. Has digital literacy, particularly in rural areas, coupled with lack of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility hindered socio-economic development? Examine with justification.
  6. ‘Constitutional Morality’ is rooted in the Constitution itself and is founded on its essential facets. Explain the doctrine of ‘Constitutional Morality’ with the help of relevant judicial decisions.
  7. Analyse the distinguishing features of the notion of the Right to Equality in the Constitutions of the USA and India.
  8. Explain the constitutional provisions under which Legislative Councils are established. Review the working and current status of Legislative Councils with suitable illustrations.
  9. To what extent, in your view, the Parliament is able to ensure accountability of the executive in India?
  10. “Pressure groups play a vital role in influencing public policy in making in India.” Explain how the business associations contribute to public policies.
  11. The jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding lodging an FIR and conducting a probe within a particular state is being questioned by various States. However, the power of the States to withhold consent to the CBI is not absolute. Explain with special reference to the federal character of India.
  12. Do Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees keep the administration on its toes and inspire reverence for parliamentary control? Evaluate the working of such committees with suitable examples.
  13. Can civil society and Non-Government Organisations present an alternative model of public service delivery to benefit the common citizen? Discuss the challenges of this alternative method.

2020

  1. “There is a need for simplification of procedure for disqualification of persons found guilty of corrupt practices under the Representation of peoples Act” Comment
  2. “Recent amendments to the Right to information Act will have profound impact on the autonomy and independence of the Information Commission”. Discuss
  3. How far do you think cooperation, competition and confrontation have shaped the nature of federation in India? Cite some recent examples to validate your answer
  4. “Once a speaker, Always a speaker’! Do you think the practice should be adopted to impart objectivity to the office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha? What could be its implications for the robust functioning of parliamentary business in India.
  5. Rajya Sabha has been transformed from a ‘useless stepney tyre’ to the most useful supporting organ in past few decades. Highlight the factors as well as the areas in which this transformation could be visible. 
  6.  The judicial systems in India and UK seem to be converging as well as diverging in recent times. Highlight the key points of convergence and divergence between the two nations in terms of their judicial practices. (Answer in 150 words) 
  7. Indian constitution exhibits centralising tendencies to maintain unity and integrity of the nation. Elucidate in the perspective of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897; The Disaster Management Act, 2005 and recently passed Farm Acts.
  8. Judicial Legislation is antithetical to the doctrine of separation of powers as envisaged in the Indian Constitution. In this context justify the filing of large number of public interest petitions praying for issuing guidelines to executive authorities.
  9. Which steps are required for the constitutionalization of a commission? Do you think imparting constitutionality to the National Commission for Women would ensure greater gender justice and empowerment in India? Give reasons.
  10. “Institutional quality is a crucial driver of economic performance.". In this context suggest reforms in Civil Service for strengthening democracy.
  11. “The emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Digital Revolution) has initiated e-Governance as an integral part of the government”. Discuss.
  12. The strength and sustenance of local institutions in India has shifted from their formative phase of Functions, Functionaries and Funds to the contemporary stage of 'Functionality'. Highlight the critical challenges faced by local institutions in terms of their functionality in recent times. (Answer in 250 words)

2019

  1. “The Central Administrative Tribunal which was established for redressal of grievances and complaints by or against central government employees nowadays is exercising its powers as an independent judicial authority.” Explain.
  2. From the resolution of contentious issues regarding distribution of legislative powers by the courts, ‘Principle of Federal Supremacy’ and ‘Harmonious Construction’ have emerged. Explain.
  3. “Parliament’s power to amend the constitution is limited power and it cannot be enlarged into absolute power”. In light of this statement, explain whether parliament under article 368 of the constitution can destroy the basic structure of the constitution by expanding its amending power? (15 marks)
  4. “The reservation of seats for women in the institution of local self-government has had a limited impact on the patriarchal character of the Indian political process”. Comment.
  5. “The Attorney-General is the chief legal adviser and lawyer of the Government of India.” Discuss
  6. Individual parliamentarian’s role as the national lawmaker is on a decline, which in turn, has adversely impacted the quality of debates and their outcome. Discuss.
  7. Do you think the Constitution of India does not accept the principle of strict separation of powers rather it is based on the principle of ‘checks and balance’? Explain
  8. What can France learn from the Indian Constitution’s approach to secularism?
  9. What are the methods used by the farmer’s organizations to influence the policy-makers in India and how effective are these methods?
  10. Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based projects/programmes usually suffers in terms of certain vital factors. Identify these factors and suggest measures for their effective implementation.
  11. On what grounds a people’s representative can be disqualified under the representation of people act, 1951? Also, mention the remedies available to such a person against his disqualification.
  12. ‘In the context of the neo-liberal paradigm of developmental planning, multi-level planning is expected to make operations cost-effective and remove many implementation blockages’- Discuss
  13.  The need for cooperation among various service sectors has been an inherent component of development discourse. Partnership bridges the gap among the sectors. It also sets in motion a culture of ‘collaboration’ and ‘team spirit’. In the light of statements above examine India’s development process.
  14.  Performance of welfare schemes that are implemented for vulnerable sections is not so effective due to the absence of their awareness and active involvement at all stages of the policy process. Discuss

2018

  1. In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (Answer in 150 words) 10
  2. Whether National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) can enforce the implementation of constitutional reservation for the Scheduled Castes in the religious minority institutions? Examine. (Answer in 150 words) 10 
  3. Under what circumstances can the Financial Emergency be proclaimed by the President of India? What consequences follow when such a declaration remains in force? (Answer in 150 words) 10
  4. Why do you think the committees are considered to be useful for parliamentary work? Discuss, in this context, the role of the Estimates Committee. (Answer in 150 words) 10
  5. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has a very vital role to play." Explain how this is reflected in the method and terms of his appointment as well as the range of powers he can exercise. (Answer in 150 words) 10
  6. "Policy contradictions among various competing sectors and stakeholders have resulted in inadequate 'protection and prevention of degradation' to environment." Comment with relevant illustrations.(Answer in 150 words) 10
  7. E-governance is not only about utilization of the power of new technology, but also much about critical importance of the 'use value of information. Explain. (Answer in 150 words) 10
  8. How far do you agree with the view that the focus on lack of availability of food as the main cause of hunger takes the attention away from ineffective human development policies in India? (Answer in 250 words) 15
  9. How far do you agree with the view that tribunals curtail the jurisdiction of ordinary courts? In view of the above, discuss the constitutional validity and competency of the tribunals in India. (Answer in 250 words) 15
  10. Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can settle the political tussle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine.(Answer in 250 words) 15
  11. How is the Finance Commission of India constituted? What do you know about the terms of reference of the recently constituted Finance Commission? Discuss. (Answer in 250 words) 15
  12. Assess the importance of the Panchayat system in India as a part of local government. Apart from government grants, what sources the Panchayats can look out for financing developmental projects? (Answer in 250 words) 15

Social Justice

2022

  1. Besides the welfare schemes, India needs deft management of inflation and unemployment to serve the poor and the underprivileged sections of society. Discuss.  (Answer in  250 words) 15 mark
  2. Do you agree with the view that increasing dependence on donor agencies for development reduces the importance of community participation in the development process? Justify your answer.  (Answer in  250 words) 15 mark
  3. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 remains inadequate in promoting an incentive-based system for children’s education without generating awareness about the importance of schooling. Analyze.  (Answer in  250 words) 15 mark

2021

  1. Discuss the desirability of greater representation to women in the higher judiciary to ensure diversity, equity and inclusiveness.
  2. Can the vicious cycle of gender inequality. poverty and malnutrition to be broken through microfinancing of women SHGs? Explain with examples.
  3. “Though women in post-Independent India have excelled in various fields, the social attitude towards women and the feminist movement has been patriarchal.” Apart from women education and women empowerment schemes, what interventions can help change this milieu?

2020

  1. In order to enhance the prospects of social development, sound and adequate health care policies are needed particularly in the fields of geriatric and maternal health care. Discuss.
  2. “Micro-Finance as an anti-poverty vaccine is aimed at asset creation and income security of the rural poor in India”. Evaluate the role of Self-Help Groups in achieving the twin objectives along with empowering women in rural India.
  3. National Education Policy 2020 is in conformity with the Sustainable Development Goal-4 (2030). It intends to restructure and reorient the education system in India. Critically examine the statement.

2019

  1. Despite Consistent experience of high growth, India still goes with the lowest indicators of human development. Examine the issues that make balanced and inclusive development elusive.
  2.  There is a growing divergence in the relationship between poverty and hunger in India. The shrinking of social expenditure by the government is forcing the poor to spend more on non-food essential items squeezing their food-budget – Elucidate.

2018

  1. Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieve 'Health for All' in India. Explain. (Answer in 150 words) 10
  2. 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. (Answer in 250 words) 15
  3. The Citizens' Charter is an ideal instrument of organizational transparency and accountability, but it has its own limitations. Identify the limitations and suggest measures for greater effectiveness of the Citizens' Charter.

(Answer in 250 words) 15

International Relations

2022

  1. How will I2U2 (India, Israel, UAE and USA) grouping transform India’s position in global politics? (Answer in  250 words) 15 mark
  2. ‘Clean energy is the order of the day’. Describe briefly India’s changing policy towards climate change in various international fora in the context of geopolitics.  (Answer in  250 words) 15 mark
  3. Do you think that BIMSTEC is a parallel organisation like the SAARC? What are the similarities and dissimilarities between the two? How are Indian Foreign Policy objectives realised by forming this new organisation? (Answer in  250 words) 15 mark
  4. ‘India is an age-old friend of Sri Lanka’. Discuss India’s role in the recent crisis in Sri Lanka in light of the preceding statement. (Answer in  150 words) 10 mark

2021

  1. “If the last few decades were of Asia’s growth story, the next few are expected to be of Africa’s.” In the light of this statement, examine India’s influence in Africa in recent years.
  2. “The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of a China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain.
  3. Critically examine the aims and objectives of SCO. What importance does it hold for India?
  4. The newly tri-nation partnership AUKUS is aimed at countering China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region. Is it going to supersede the existing partnerships in the region? Discuss the strength and impact of AUKUS in the present scenario.

2020

  1. What is the significance of Indo-US defence deals over Indo-Russian defence deals? Discuss with reference to stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
  2. ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD)’ is the transforming itself into a trade bloc from a military alliance, in present times – Discuss.
  3. “The incidence and intensity of poverty are more important in determining poverty based on income alone”. In this context analyze the latest United Nations Multidimensional Poverty Index Report.
  4. ‘Indian diaspora has a decisive role to play in the politics and economy of America and European Countries’. Comment with examples.
  5. Critically examine the role of WHO in providing global health security during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

2019

  1.  ‘The time has come for India and Japan to build a strong contemporary relationship, one involving global and strategic partnerships that will have a great significance for Asia and the world as a whole.’ Comment.
  2.  ‘Too little cash, too much politics, leave UNESCO fighting for life.’ Discuss the statement in the light of the US’ withdrawal and its accusation of the cultural body as being ‘anti-Israel bias’.
  3. “The long sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalized nations has disappeared on account of its newfound role in the emerging global order.’ Elaborate
  4.  What introduces friction into the ties between India and the United States is that Washington is still unable to find for India a position in its global strategy, which would satisfy India’s national self-esteem and ambitions’. Explain with suitable examples.

2018

  1. "India's relations with Israel have, of late, acquired a depth and diversity, which cannot be rolled back." Discuss. (Answer in 150 words) 10
  2. A number of outside powers have entrenched themselves in Central Asia, which is a zone of interest to India. Discuss the implications, in this context, of India's joining the Ashgabat Agreement, 2018. (Answer in 150 words) 10
  3. India and USA are two large democracies. Examine the basic tenets on which the two political systems are based. (Answer in 250 words) 15
  4. In what ways would the ongoing US-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy affect the national interest of India? How should India respond to this situation?

(Answer in 250 words) 15

  1. What are the key areas of reform if the WTO has to survive in the present context of Trade War', especially keeping in mind the interest of India?

(Answer in 250 words) 15