General Studies Mains Paper-II Material

GS-II: 1- Historical Underpinnings

Regulating Act 1773, Amending Act 1781, Pitt’s India Act, 1784, Act of 1786, Charter Act of 1793, Act of 1797, Act of 1800 and Establishment of Supreme Court of Madras & Bombay, Charter Act 1813, Charter Act of 1833, Charter Act of 1853, Government of India Act, 1858, Indian Council Act 1861, Indian Council Act 1892, Indian Council Act 1909, Government Of India Act 1919, Government of India Act 1935, Analysis: The Policy of Equal Federation, Indian Independence Act 1947, Evolution of Central Legislature in Numbers, Evolution of Judiciary in India, Evolution of Panchayati Raj System. Click Here

GS-II-2: Analysis of Salient Features of Constitution

Longest Written Constitution; Drawn From Various Sources; Partly Flexible and Partly Rigid; Unique Blend of Federal and Unitary Features; Constitutional Supremacy & Judicial Supremacy; Parliamentary System; Secularism; Other Salient Features. Click Here

GS-II-3 – Important Amendments of Constitution

Procedure of amendment of the Constitution; Constitution 1st Amendment, 1951; Constitution 7th Amendment Act, 1956; Constitution 10th Amendment Act, 1961; Constitution 11th Amendment Act, 1961; Constitution 12th Amendment Act, 1962; Constitution 13th Amendment Act, 1962; Constitution 14th Amendment Act, 1962; Constitution 24th Amendment Act, 1971; Constitution 42nd Amendment Act, 1976; Constitution 44th Amendment Act, 1978; Constitution 52nd Amendment Act, 1985; Constitution 61st Amendment Act, 1988; Constitution 65th Amendment Act, 1990; Constitution 73rd Amendment Act, 1992; Constituting 74th Amendment Act, 1992; Various issues with 74th Amendment; Constitution 86th Amendment Act, 2002; Constitution 93rd Amendment Act, 2006; Constitution 96th Amendment Act, 2011; Constitution 97th Amendment Act, 2011; Constituent 100th Amendment Act, 2015; Constitution 101st Amendment Act, 2016 Click Here

GS-II-4: The Basic Structure Doctrine

Emergence of the Basic Structure Concept; Beginning of Tussle – The Right to Property; Reversal of the verdict: Golak Nath Case; Nationalisation of Banks and Abolition of Privy purses; Kesavanada Bharti Case, 1973; List of Basic structure of the Constitution according to different cases; Significance of the Basic Structure Doctrine; Criticisms about Kesavanada Bharti case; Criticism of Basic structure doctrine; Minerva Mills v. Union of India(1980) and Waman Rao v. Union of India(1981); Implications. Click Here

GS-II-5: Functions and Responsibilities of Union and States

Division of Legislative Functions & Powers, Doctrine of Territorial Nexus, Territorial limit on parliament with regard to making laws, Other Provisions for Control Over State, Division of Executive / Administrative Functions & Powers, Article 365 – An extension to emergency powers?, Relation of Article 355, 352 and 356, Financial Functions & Relations, Allocation of Taxation Powers, Distribution of Tax Revenue, Grants-in-aid, Finance Commission, Protection of states’ interest in financial matters, Borrowings by states and centre, Inter-Governmental Tax Immunities, Implications of Emergency on Centre-State Financial Relations, Inter-state Council, Zonal Councils, Arbitrary Removal of Governors: Recommendations of Various Panels, Proposed Centre-State Investment Agreement. Click Here

GS-II-6: Indian Federalism- Issues and Challenges

Indian Federalism and Regionalism; Federal Structure, Diversity and Insurgency in India; Indian Federalism and Division of Powers; Various symmetries in the Indian Federation; Other Issues and Challenges with Regard to Indian Federalism; Fiscal Federalism; Questions and answers. Click Here

GS-II-7: Separation of Powers / Dispute Redressal Mechanisms

Doctrine of Separation of Powers – Historical Overview; Constitution of India and Separation of powers; Inter-state Disputes and their Redressal; Administrative Tribunals and Their Role in Dispute Redressal; National Green Tribunal; Competition Appellate Tribunal; Securities Appellate Tribunal; Over- tribunalisation and Tribunal Reforms; Other Mechanisms for Dispute Resolution; Redressal of Consumer Disputes; Consumer Protection Bill, 2015; Alternative Dispute Redressal Mechanism; Lok Adalats; Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015. Click Here

GS-II-8: Comparison of Indian Constitution with other Countries

GS-II -9: Various Issues Related to Legislature

GS-II-10: Various Bodies

A reference document covering various Constitutional, Statutory, Regulatory and Quasi-judicial Bodies of India and select issues around them. Click Here

GS-II-11: Ministries and Departments.

GS-II-12: Pressure Groups and Formal / Informal Associations

Pressure Groups: Meaning & Examples, Comparison of Pressure Groups and Political Parties, Types of pressure groups, Functions of Pressure Groups, Pressure Groups: Methods of Exerting Influence, Plurism and Pressure Groups, Pressure groups and Democracy, Pressure Groups versus Lobbying. Click Here

GS-II-13: Representation of Peoples Act

Electronic Voting Machines Constitutional Provisions: Election Commission of India; Key Provisions Representations of Peoples Acts; Various Amendments of Representation of Peoples Acts; Jan Chowkidar and Lily Thomas Case; SVEEP Programme; NOTA; Election Expenditures; Electoral Trust Scheme; Delimitation and Delimitation Commission; Electoral Reforms: Various Committees; Key Electoral Reforms in India; Election Finance reforms; State Funding Of Elections; Elections Laws Amendment Bill 2016; Merits and Demerits of Direct and Indirect Elections; Determinants of Voting Behavior in India; Universal Adult Suffrage: Evolution and Comparison; Inner Party Democracy In India; First Past the Post Versus Proportional Representation; Anti-defection Law; Concept of Whip; Regulatory Framework on Political Parties; Issue of Bringing Political Parties under RTI; Election Freebies; Paid News; Opinion Polls; Issue of Compulsory Voting; Right To Recall; Restriction on Number Of Seats Of Contest; Voting rights of Overseas Electors and Migrants; Voting Rights Of Defense Personnel. Click Here

GS-II-14: Government Policies & Interventions and Development Industry

Click here for backgrounder on important Government Schemes

GS-II: 15: Current Policy & Issues in Social Sector

GS-II: 16: Current Policy and Issues in Public Health

Institutional Framework around Public Health in India; MDG Achievements and Way Forward for SDGs; National Health Mission; Draft National Health Policy 2015; Universal Health Coverage; Right to Health as Fundamental Right; Issues Around Medical Council of India; National Medical Commission Bill, 2016; Privatisation of Health Sector; Growing Concerns about Hysterectomies; Neglected Tropical Diseases; Mental Healthcare Bill, 2016; Growing Concerns of Dementia; Generic Medicines and Public Health; Issues Around Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS); Quercetin and Public Health; Health Technology Assessment and MTAB; Comparison of ASHA, ANM and Anganwadi Workers and proposal of Urban ASHAs; National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016-2030; Jan Aushadhi Scheme; Debate on injectable contraceptives for women; Fixed Dose Combination Drugs; Schedule H, Schedule X and Schedule H1 Drugs; Various Issues Around E-Pharmacies; Issues around Control of Tuberculosis and achievements / challenges of Mohalla Clinics of Delhi. Click Here

GS-II: 17: Current Policy and Issues in Education and Human Resources

Draft National Education Policy 2016, Past Policies, T.S.R. Subramanian Committee, Draft Indian National Defence University (INDU) Bill, 2015, Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA), National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), National Education Mission, Right to Education and No-detention Policy, Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN), Education Qualification Issue in Panchayati Raj Elections in Rajasthan, Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) Phase III (2016-20), Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Role of Private Sector in Education, Improving Learning Outcomes, Education in Minorities, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Skill Development: Challenges and Way Forward, Choice Based Credit System, Techno-centered development approach and Higher education, Community Schooling in India, No Detention Policy (NDP), Public Expenditure in Education Sector. Click Here

GS-II-18: Current Issues Related to Poverty and Hunger

Definition of Poverty and World Bank Benchmark; Estimation of Poverty Line in India: Background and Issues; Issues with Calorie Based Model; Multidimensional Aspect of Poverty; Poverty and SDG-I {End poverty}; Analysis: Urban Poverty versus Rural Poverty in India; Poverty and Globalization; Analysis: Poverty and Terrorism; Poverty and Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC); Poverty and State Of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) by FAO 2015; Global Hunger Index 2015; 2016 Global Nutrition Report; Select previous questions. Click Here

GS-II:-19: Aspects of Governance in India

Governance: Meaning and Different Aspects, Good Governance, Corporate Governance, Transparency and Accountability, RTI and Transparency and Accountability, Whistleblower Protection (Amendment Bill), 2015, E-Governance, Digital India, Digital Locker, E-Kranti, Rural India and e-governance, Digital signatures, Other notes on E-Governance, Citizens Charters Click Here

GS-II-20: Role of Civil Services

Constitutional Provisions Regarding Civil Services, Minister – Civil Servant Relationship, Role of Civil Services in Democracy, Issues with Cadre Based Organization, 360 Degrees Performance Appraisal in Civil Services, Objectives behind creation of independent, permanent and impartial All India Services (AIS), Sardar Patel’s observation on continuance of Pre-independence Civil Services Structure, Areas of conflict between elected representatives and civil servants, Desired attributes of a civil servant, Role of civil servants in policy making, Statutory Role of the Civil Servants, Discharge of Delegated Functions. Click Here

GS-II- 21: India’s Foreign Policy: Historical Underpinnings till 1991

Concept of Raja Mandla and Shadguna Siddhanta; Foreign Policy of British India; Effects of British Rule on Independent India’s Foreign Policy; Influence of Indian Renaissance; Role of Indian National Congress; Influence of Freedom Movement on India’s Foreign Policy; Influence of Mahatma Gandhi on India’s Foreign Policy; Foreign Policy Debates in the Constituent Assembly; Various Phases of Indian Foreign Policy Till 1998; Foreign Policy of Jawaharlal Nehru; Nehru’s Relations with USA, USSR and China; Panchsheel; Non-alignment Movement; Nehru’s Tibet Policy; Foreign Policy of Lal Bahadur Shastri; Foreign Policy of Indira Gandhi; Shimla Agreement; Foreign Policy of Rajiv Gandhi. Click Here

GS-II-22: India’s Neighbourhood

Foreign policies of VP Singh, Chandra Shekhar, Narsimha Rao, HD Deve Gowda, IK Gujral, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, Katchatheevu Island Issue, Fishermen Issue, 13th amendment of Sri Lankan Constitution, UN Resolutions against Sri Lanka, Jammu & Kashmir Issue, Siachen Glacier Dispute, Sir Creek Issue, Indus Water Treaty, Baluchistan Issue, India China Border Dispute, China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Uyghur Unrest and Recent Visa Controversy, Issues around India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Indo-Nepal Hydel Co-operation, India-Bhutan Relaitons, Myanmar’s Transition to Democracy, Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project, Ethnic Conflicts in Myanmar, India-Bangladesh Relations, India –China Competition in Indian Ocean, IOR-ARC. Click Here

GS-II-23: India’s Extended Neighbourhood

India-Afghanistan, India – Maldives, India’s Engagement with South East Asia, India-Vietnam Relations, Trans-Pacific Partnership, India and BRICS, New Development Bank, Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA), India – Japan Click Here

GS-II- 24: Current Issues related to International Organizations

GS-II-25: Current Issues Related to Indian Diaspora

GS-II: 26: Compendium of IDSA Questions-2

This is a compendium of recent relevant questions published under Ask an Expert Feature of Click Here.


  • Ankitkukrety

    Certain topics were not covered here. When will we cover them?