UPSC Mains 2014 GS1 Question Paper Analysis

Analysis of UPSC Civil Services Question paper always helps. It brings new realizations every time you go through the paper. The changing UPSC requirements will become clear upon careful observation and analysis. has already done an analysis of 2014 essay paper. Now it’s time to dive into the details of UPSC Mains 2014 GS1 Question Paper.

UPSC Mains 2014 GS1 Question Paper

There were TWENTY-FIVE (25) questions printed both in HINDI and ENGLISH. All the questions were compulsory. Each question was of 10 marks. UPSC wanted to answer the questions in NOT MORE THAN 150 words each. It was also mentioned that contents of the answer is more important than its length. 2 pages were left blank to answer each question.

  1. To what extent has the urban planning and culture of the Indus Valley Civilization provided inputs to the present day urbanization? Discuss.
  2. Gandhara sculpture owed as much to the Romans as to the Greeks. Explain.
  3. 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.
  4. The third battle of Panipat was fought in 1761. Why were so many empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat?
  5. 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.
  6. Examine critically the various facets of economic policies of the British in India from mid-eighteenth century till independence.
  7. In what ways did the naval mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India?
  8. What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India?
  9. 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?
  10. The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin had influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate.
  11. How does patriarchy impact the position of a middle class working woman in India?
  12. Why do some of the most prosperous regions of India have an adverse sex ratio for women? Give your arguments.
  13. The life cycle of a joint family depends on economic factors rather than social values. Discuss.
  14. Discuss the various economic and socio-cultural forces that are driving increasing feminization of agriculture in India.
  15. How do the Indian debates on secularism differ from the debates in the West?
  16. Most of the unusual climatic happenings are explained as an outcome of the El-Nino effect. Do you agree?
  17. 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.
  18. Explain the formation of thousands of islands in Indonesian and Philippines archipelagos.
  19. Tropical cyclones are largely confined to South China Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico. Why?
  20. Bring out the relationship between the shrinking Himalayan glaciers and the symptoms of climate change in the Indian sub-continent.
  21. 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.
  22. Why did the Green Revolution in India virtually by-pass the eastern region despite fertile soil and good availability of water?
  23. Account for the change in the spatial pattern of the Iron and Steel industry in the world.
  24. Critically evaluate the various resources of the oceans which can be harnessed to meet the resource crisis in the world.
  25. How does India see its place in the economic space of rising natural resource rich Africa?

IAS Mains 2014 General Studies Paper 1 (GS1) : Break-Up of Marks

UPSC Mains 2014

  • History – 100 Marks.
  • Indian Society – 50 Marks.
  • Geography – 100 Marks.
Also read:  Clear IAS Mains High Value Answer Writing: Test Series -1

Comparison of Mains 2014 GS1 Question Paper with Mains 2013 GS1 Question Paper

In 2013, the mark split was like this : History – 140 Marks, Indian Society – 40 Marks, Geography – 70 Marks. Detailed analysis of 2013 GS1 paper is available in this link. It can be seen that in 2014, the weightage for History section (with subsections like culture, Indian history, world history etc) decreased by 40 marks, but still it carried 100 marks. Geography section (Physical geography, Human geography) grew big by adding extra 30 marks, gaining an equal share like History with 100 marks.

It seems, 2014 GS1 paper is well balanced than 2013 GS1 paper, due to 1:1:0.5 share for History, Geography and Indian Society. But questions on India since independence were surprisingly absent. The exception was a single question connecting world history and Indian history (The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin). Post-independence section had fetched 5 questions (50 marks) in 2013.

 UPSC Mains 2014 GS1 Question Paper Analysis

  • No undue benefit to those who took expensive classroom coaching in Delhi or other metros. Many coaching institutes failed to predict the analytical pattern, and continued with factual/ conceptual ready made notes. UPSC skipped almost all important questions, available in capsule form from leading coaching institutes. Had direct questions been asked, aspirants who were doing self study might have found it difficult to match the quality of capsule answers. Even the 2013 question paper had analytical questions, but 2014 increased the percentage share of analytical questions from peripheral areas. This trend of asking analytical questions is a welcome move, which helped candidates doing self study.
  • Though the question paper gives a first impression that the paper is easy, it was actually not. Questions like ‘life cycle of a joint family’, ‘feminisation of agriculture’, ‘roman influence in Gandara Sculpture’ etc gave a feeling that UPSC started to ask everything under the sky. No coaching institute can prepare students to answer all these questions, even after 2-3 years of coaching.
  • Though there can be difference of opinion among the benefit of overlapping optionals, with 100 marks each from History and Geography, and 50 marks from Indian society, those candidates with good knowledge in popular optional subjects like History, Geography and Sociology, might have felt their section as easy.
  • The 2014 official UPSC question paper had many questions from Clear IAS Answer Writing Test Series and Mock Tests. We shall come up with the details of that in another post later.

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