UPSC Mains Model Questions – January, 2022


GS-I: Indian Culture

1. Taxila university was one of the oldest universities of the world with which were associated a number of renowned learned personalities of different disciplines. Its strategic location caused its fame to flourish, but unlike Nalanda, it is not considered as a university in the modern sense. Discuss.

2. Sufis and medieval mystic saints failed to modify either the religious ideas and practices or the outward structure of Hindu / Muslim societies to any appreciable extent. Comment.

3. Gandhara sculpture owed as much to the Romans as to the Greeks. Explain.

GS-I: Modern Indian History

1. What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India?

2. The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin had influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate.

3. The third battle of Panipat was fought in 1761. Why were so many empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat?

4. Examine critically the various facets of economic policies of the British in India from mid-eighteenth century till independence.

5. In what ways did the naval mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India?

6. Discuss the importance and role of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in India history.

7. Explain in brief the significance and contribution of Veer Savarkar in Indian freedom struggle movement.

GS-I:Modern World History

1. What were the events that led to the Suez Crisis in 1956? How did it deal a final blow to Britain's self-image as a world power?

GS-I: Indian Society

1. The life cycle of a joint family depends on economic factors rather than social values. Discuss.

2. How do the Indian debates on secularism differ from the debates in the West?

3. How does patriarchy impact the position of a middle class working woman in India?

4. Why do some of the most prosperous regions of India have an adverse sex ratio for women? Give your arguments.

5. Towards the end of the previous government�s tenure, a number of bills on social issues were introduced in Parliament. Discuss the issues related to these bills in brief.

6. Extending the concept of foreigners tribunals from Assam to rest of India will result in an upheaval that will stir memories of Partition. Comment.

7. What are your views about women dropping out of the labour force due to inability to find work?

8. What is the severity of water crisis in Maharashtra?

9. How can governments promote balanced and sustainable urbanization to address issues of inequality and development? Critically discuss with suitable examples.

GS-I: World Geography

1. Critically evaluate the various resources of the oceans which can be harnessed to meet the resource crisis in the world.

2. Tropical cyclones are largely confined to South China Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico. Why?

3. Why are the world's fold mountain systems located along the margins of continents? Bring out the association between the global distribution of fold mountains and the earthquakes and volcanoes.

4. Whereas the British planters had developed tea gardens all along the Shivaliks and Lesser Himalayas from Assam to Himachal Pradesh, in effect they did not succeed beyond the Darjeeling area. Explain.

5. Most of the unusual climatic happenings are explained as an outcome of the El-Nino effect. Do you agree?

6. Explain the formation of thousands of islands in Indonesian and Philippines archipelagos.

7. Account for the change in the spatial pattern of the Iron and Steel industry in the world.

8. Discuss effects of volcanic eruptions. Why the Pacific region is known as the ring of fire?

9. Why fewer cyclones originate in Arabian Sea compared to Bay of Bengal? Discuss the details of the cyclone warning system in India.

GS-II: Indian Constitution & Polity

1. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in India can be most effective when its tasks are adequately supported by other mechanisms that ensure the accountability of a government. In light of the above observation assess the role of NHRC as an effective complement to the judiciary and other institutions in promoting and protecting human rights standards.

2. The penetration of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in rural areas in promoting participation in development programmes is facing socio-cultural hurdles. Examine.

3. What do you understand by the concept "freedom of speech and expression"? Does it cover hate speech also? Why do the films in India stand on a slightly different plane from other forms of expression? Discuss.

4. Instances of President's delay in commuting death sentences has come under public debate as denial of justice. Should there be a time limit specified for the President to accept/reject such petitions? Analyse.

5. The size of the cabinet should be as big as governmental work justifies and as big as the Prime Minister can manage as a team. How far the efficacy of a government then is inversely related to the size of the cabinet? Discuss.

6. The 'Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and its Members' as envisaged in Article 105 of the Constitution leave room for a large number of un-codified and un-enumerated privileges to continue. Assess the reasons for the absence of legal codification of the 'parliamentary privileges'. How can this problem be addressed?

7. Discuss in detail the powers available to the Lok Sabha speaker and functions allotted to him to be performed.

8. What do you mean by the term Pro-tem speaker? Discuss the duties and functions of a pro-tem speaker.

9. For a new party contesting in election, registration as National party is a stepping stone. Discuss the criteria of being a national party and benefits related to this.

10. What is the collegium system? Discuss its evolution and criticism in detail.

11. Explain in detail the provisions provided in the Indian constitution regarding vacation of seats for simultaneously elected candidates.

12. What is Rule 49MA in context of Indian election system? Elaborate the arguments against the rule.

13. Explain in detail the provisions of the Article 370 and Article 371A.

14. What do you understand by jobless growth? What makes Indian economy prone to jobless growth?

15. Critically analyse the Role of independent candidates in elections of India.

16. What are the objectives of National Green Tribunal? Give a brief overview of the different laws in legal jurisdiction of NGT Act.

17. Suggest some ways to improve the electoral funding.

18. Do you think that TV and radio have given an unfair edge to Modi in the Lok Sabha elections?

19. Government should build consensus before pushing ahead partisan agenda. Discuss this in light of one nation one election proposal.

20. NITI Aayog can play an important role in rejuvenating the fiscal federalism of India. Comment.

21. Non-political appointments, security of tenure and rigorous procedure for removal are some of the measures which were needed to strengthen the institution of judiciary. Comment.

22. Critically analyze the debate on ‘one nation, one election’ in India while keeping light light the key arguments made for and against this idea by different stakeholders.

23. What are the key restrictions imposed by the model code of conduct during elections?

GS-II: Social Justice

1. Should the premier institutes like IITs/IIMs be allowed to retain premier status, allowed more academic independence in designing courses and also decide mode/criteria of selection of students. Discuss in light of the growing challenges.

2. The Neem Plant is a plant that is also praised in Ancient books on medicines for its useful properties. Analyze the statement in context of modern uses of the Neem plant.

3. Involvement of local governments and communities of water users is necessary to address India�s growing water challenges. Analyze the statement in the context of recent status of water situation in the country.

4. Explain in detail the features of the Wage code bill. What is the need of such a bill?

5. While India has a robust legal and policy framework to protect child rights, issues persist in effective enforcement and outcomes. Analyze the key challenges in translating the constitutional safeguards and legislative measures into tangible protection for children in the country.

6. What are the symptoms of Nipah Virus in humans? What care should be taken to reduce its cases from occurrence?

7. Explain the features and cure of hemophilia. How early management can be a solution to stop the spread of this disease?

8. What is Special Category status? What assistance do states with Special Category States get?

9. What is Institutes of Eminence Scheme? Explain in detail the criteria for selection of an IOE and its benefits for India.

10. Why is it said that rural India will have to pay for better electricity?

11. How do you see the proposal of reservation of 20% beds for the poor in the private hospitals? Should it be allowed?

12. Do you think digitisation of government processes should be the next step in the Digital Revolution of India? Comment.

13. The NRC experiment in Assam has led to a divisive political posturing. What do you think will be the result of similar experiments in other north-eastern states?

14. While southern states top NITI’s health index, inadequate pandemic pivot likely eroded nationwide gains. Critically analyse core bottlenecks and strategic reforms needed.

15. Government has to push for robust reforms in the healthcare system to get World Bank funding. The government has to work to strengthen the management of non-communicable diseases. Comment.

16. The draft National Education Policy reinforces outdated ideas about the goals of a foundational literacy programme. Comment.

17. How do you think a Parliamentary majority will help the government to deliver more agricultural programmes?

GS-II: International Relations

1. How does India see its place in the economic space of rising natural resource rich Africa?

2. Foreign governments do not have the right to criticise India�s vibrant democracy and dedication to rule of law. Critically analayse the statement in context of the recent report of United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

3. What is S-400 �Triumf� Air Defence System? Enumerate how buying this system will strengthen India�s defense capabilities and will hamper India-USA relations.

4. USA terminated preferential trade status for India under GSP. How the termination will affect India and how India can prepare for this?

5. Explain in brief the significance of UNSC along with reforms needed at present times. Why India should be given permanent membership to the council?

6. What is the significance of the Kartarpur Sahib Pilgrim Corridor? Explain the issues involved in its construction.

7. Give a brief overview of BIMSTEC explaining its significance for India.

8. What repercussions do the growing tensions between Iran and the US hold for India?

9. India is aiming to win a non-permanent seat at UNSC for 2 years. Do you think Indian government should think in terms changing its image of being a fence-sitter for consolidating its bid for the same?

10. G-20 is an important platform for pressing issues and India should lead in making G-20 more effective in dealing with some inequities of the system. Has G-20 become more pronounced for its bilateral meetings than the main summit? Comment.

11. India is playing a highly inactive role in the confluence of civilisations which is being played by China. Comment.

12. The situation which is developing in the Gulf between US and Iran can be referred to as the Game of Chicken. Comment.

13. The draft Emigration Bill is more about managing the export of human resources than being a humanitarian framework. Comment.

14. Libya�s UN recognized government�s decision to launch a peace initiative which is directed at stabilizing the civil war-stricken country is a welcome step. Comment.

15. Indian stance on Pakistan that talks and terror cannot go together runs anti to the idea of reconciliation. Explain.

16. Do you think PM Modi�s call for inclusiveness in Maldives holds any relevance in India?

17. How is Vietnam set to benefit from the on-going trade war between US and China?

18. Why building connectivity with South Asia is the top-priority of Indian foreign policy?

19. Critically examine the implications of the US decision to remove India from its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme.

GS-III: Economy & Economic Development

1. The setting up of a Rail Tariff Authority to regulate fares will subject the cash strapped Indian Railways to demand subsidy for obligation to operate non-profitable routes and services. Taking into account the experience in the power sector, discuss if the proposed reform is expected to benefit the consumers, the Indian Railways or the private container operators.

2. Though 100 percent FDI is already allowed in non-news media like a trade publication and general entertainment channel, the Government is mulling over the proposal for increased FDI in news media for quite some time. What difference would an increase in FDI make? Critically evaluate the pros and cons.

3. Why did the Green Revolution in India virtually by-pass the eastern region despite fertile soil and good availability of water?

4. In any economy, three sectors namely employment, agricultural and banking sector are of utmost importance. What steps must be taken to boost these sectors in India?

5. Enumerate the concerns regarding GM crops and steps taken for their safe use in India.

6. Global competitiveness needs to be improved in context of Indian agriculture. Analyze

7. Explain the meaning and need of the multilateral instrument to implement tax related measures in Indian context.

8. India is blessed with plenty of sunlight for most of the year yet it is energy deficient. Explain the need of solar sufficiency in present context and reforms taken by Indian government to harness the solar potential available.

9. What are the reasons for price meltdown in the ongoing rabi marketing season? Explain in brief the issues with PM-AASHA.

10. What is the Blockchain technology and how it is beneficial for small farmers in present times?

11. Explain in detail the draft rules for NBFCs-Liquidity Risk Management Framework, recently put up by RBI.

12. Who is a Debenture Trustee? What are the eligibility and duty of a Debenture trustee?

13. Explain different monetary policy instruments along with their effects on the Indian money market.

14. How do you see the effect of the new GDP series on the fortunes of states in India?

15. In your view, what policy line must be adopted by the new government which takes charge in India to contain the worsening economic indicators?

16. RBI has made some crucial recommendations for the MSME sector for stimulating it s actual potential. Examine the above in line with the recommendations made.

17. Creation of national electricity distribution company could help turn around the power distribution segment. Comment.

18. Why is the problem of water-logging is still bringing havoc to the cities in Punjab?

19. The dovish turn of the major central banks indicates that the threat of global slowdown is looming. Comment.

20. The economy must be evaluated in terms of how much it contributes to he ease of our living. Comment.

21. Ban on genetically-modified crops has not just restricted the farmers from accessing technology but is also promoting flourishing of an illegal market. Comment.

22. Why there is a need to pass public procurement laws in India?

23. SEBI�s new framework for financial disclosure by credit rating agencies may not be enough. Examine.

24. What are your views about the revival in industrial activity?

25. What are your views about the FCI plans for increasing the storage space?

26. What is the meaning of modern monetary theory?

GS-III: Science & Technology

1. Analyze the concerns related with the concept of Data localization. What importance does it hold in context of Indian society?

2. Analyse various crypto currencies, their uses and concerns over their regulation and issues associated.

3. What is International Space Station? Why is the Space Station important?

4. Discuss the immense possibility 5G holds in its basket that can be utilized in daily life.

5. What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Discuss its various applications and scope for development in India.

6. Discuss in brief the importance of Mission Gaganyaan for a country like India.

7. What is a superconductor material? What are the benefits of superconductors?

8. Although there is no international consensus on the issue but it is the right time for a global tax net for the internet. Comment.

9. Do you think the idea of Indian Space Station will be a futile exercise especially as it has to master a lot of expertise which is needed to ensure human viability in space?

10. How is democracy twined with Artificial Intelligence?

GS-III: Environment & Disaster Management

1. Over-supply of nutrients can cause a condition of hypoxia in water bodies. Discuss the harmful effects of such a condition and ways to avoid it.

2. There is no Plan B because we do not have a Planet B. Explain the statement in the context of recent agreement of G20 Members to tackle ocean plastic waste.

3. Indian fertilizer industry is growing day by day. Enumerate the environmental concerns related with the growth of this sector in India.

4. What are the key highlights of the State of India�s Environment 2019? Discuss the concerns raised and measures required to be done.

5. Disucss the features of the Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap. How it will strengthen our Defence system?

6. There is an urgent need to protect forest rights in India right now. Enumerate some of the steps that should be taken to protect Forest rights.

7. While enumerating main characteristics of CFC-11, explain the current issues and controversies around it.

8. What do you know about White Throated Rails and Crested ibises? Explain in detail with their present status.

9. The government of India had made an election promise that it will ensure speed and effectiveness for issuing environmental clearances. Why do you think that project nods for such green belts need more scrutiny?

10. Punjab is faced with a sharp decline in the groundwater. What in your opinion can prevent the state from further depletion of the precious resource which has already become a source of concern for the country?

11. How will the Golden Langur species benefit from the MGNREGA scheme?

12. What is the cause of the increase in the frequency of wildfires at the Bandipur Reserve?

13. While carbon pricing is considered an effective policy tool to curb carbon emissions and transition to cleaner sources of energy, there are several economic and social challenges associated with its implementation in the Indian context. Do the perceived challenges outweigh the environmental benefits of carbon pricing in India? Examine.

GS-III: Internal & External Security

1. Indian Navy is very active in Indian Ocean Region. Discuss the role played by the Indian Navy to maintain its presence in the said area.

2. What in your opinion are the five major security challenges which will be faced by the next Indian government?

3. India�s police force is among the weakest in the world. How is the understaffing in police force related to the issues plaguing it?

4. The government has started to zero-in on the companies which have not declared their geo-tags. This is based on suspicions of illegal money market or even routing to terrorist funds. Comment.

5. India is headed to become the most-polarised society in the world with the growing rarity of reasoned argument. Comment.

6. The recent strike by the doctors is highly unfortunate but the situation points towards larger malaise which has no boundaries. Comment.

7. The lack of nuances on social media arises from the limitations of the medium itself. Comment.

8. India is developing as a state of fear for the journalists as there are increased number of attacks on journalists. Comment.

9. 2019 has been ranked as the worst years in terms of losses to IAF. Comment.

GS-IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

1. Do government’s schemes for up-lifting vulnerable and backward communities by protecting required social resources for them, lead to their exclusion in establishing businesses in urban economics?

2. An athlete participates in Olympics for personal triumph and nation’s glory; victors are showered with cash incentives by various agencies, on their return. Discuss the merit of state sponsored talent hunt and its cultivation as against the rationale of a reward mechanism as encouragement.

3. Bring out the relationship between the shrinking Himalayan glaciers and the symptoms of climate change in the Indian sub-continent.

4. Starting from inventing the 'basic structure' doctrine, the judiciary has played a highly proactive role in ensuring that India develops into a thriving democracy. In light of the statement, evaluate the role played by judicial activism in achieving the ideals of democracy.

5. Though the federal principle 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 Centre, a feature that militates against the concept of strong federalism. Discuss.

6. What in your opinion is the significance of the discovery of remnants of Ice-age seawater?

7. What do you understand by the “Smoke Detector Principle” in psychology?

8. What do you understand by self-awareness? How can developing self-awareness help drive meaningful personal change for a Civil servant? Discuss with examples.


1. Discuss what factors cause fall of global FDI flows considering the fall of the global FDI flows in 2018.

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