Please find the questions in the General Studies Paper 1 (GS1) of UPSC 2020 Civil Services Mains Examination (written).
UPSC conducted the General Studies Paper 1, as part of the Civil Services Main Exam 2020 on 09-01-2021.
There were 20 questions. 10 questions were of 10 marks each, while the remaining 10 questions were of 15 marks each.
GS Paper 1 UPSC 2020 UPSC 2020 Instructions
- Total Marks: 250 marks, Time duration: 3 hours.
- There are 20 questions printed both in ENGLISH and HINDI.
- All questions are compulsory.
- The number of marks carried by a question/part is printed against it.
- Answers must be written in the medium authorized in the admission certificate which must be stated clearly on the cover of this question-cum-answer (QCA) booklet in the space provided.
- No marks will be given for answers written in the medium other than the authorized one.
- Answers to questions no. 1 to 10 should be in 150 words, whereas answers to questions no. 11 to 20 should be in 250 words.
- Keep the word limit indicated in the questions in mind.
- Any page or portion of the page left blank, must be struck off clearly.
General Studies Paper 1 Question Paper – UPSC Civil Services Main Exam (Written) 2020
- The rock-cut architecture represents one of the most important sources of our knowledge of early Indian art and history. Discuss. (Answer in 150 words) 10
- Pala period is the most significant phase in the history of Buddhism in India. Enumerate. (Answer in 150 words) 10
- Evaluate the policies of Lord Curzon and their long term implications on the national movements. (Answer in 150 words) 10
- Discuss the geophysical characteristics of Circum- Pacific Zone. (Answer in 150 words) 10
- The process of desertification does not have climate boundaries. Justify with examples. (Answer in 150 words) 10
- How will the melting of Himalayan glaciers have a far-reaching impact on the water resources of India? (Answer in 150 words) 10
- Account for the present location of iron and steel industries away from the source of raw material, by giving examples. (Answer in 150 words) 10
- Has caste lost its relevance in understanding the multi-cultural Indian Society? Elaborate your answer with illustrations. (Answer in 150 words) 10
- COVID-19 pandemic accelerated class inequalities and poverty in India. Comment. (Answer in 150 words) 10
- Do you agree that regionalism in India appears to be a consequence of rising cultural assertiveness? Argue. (Answer in 150 words) 10
- Indian Philosophy and tradition played a significant role in conceiving and shaping the monuments and their art in India. Discuss. (Answer in 250 words) 15
- Persian literary sources of medieval India reflect the spirit of the age. Comment. (Answer in 250 words) 15
- Since the decade of the 1920s, the national movement acquired various ideological strands and thereby expanded its social base. Discuss. (Answer in 250 words) 15
- The interlinking of rivers can provide viable solutions to the multi-dimensional inter-related problems of droughts, floods and interrupted navigation. Critically examine. (Answer in 250 words) 15
- Account for the huge flooding of million cities in India including the smart ones like Hyderabad and Pune. Suggest lasting remedial measures. (Answer in 250 words) 15
- India has immense potential of solar energy though there are regional variations in its developments. Elaborate. (Answer in 250 words) 15
- Examine the status of forest resources of India and its resultant impact on climate change. (Answer in 250 words) 15
- Is diversity and pluralism in India under threat due to globalisation? Justify your answer. (Answer in 250 words) 15
- Customs and traditions suppress reason leading to obscurantism. Do you agree? (Answer in 250 words) 15
- How have digital initiatives in India contributed to the functioning of the education system in the country? Elaborate your answer. (Answer in 250 words) 15
GS1 Question Paper Analysis
The pattern of 20 questions in GS Paper 1 of UPSC CSE 2020 (10*10 marks + 10*15 marks = 250 marks) was familiar to most aspirants. The Commission didn’t create any major surprises there.
Last year UPSC question paper had a loaded question with wordings placing culture above the constitutional value of secularism. This resulted in a lot of controversies. However, this year UPSC was cautious to set questions befitting its constitutional role of selecting impartial civil servants.
Many of the questions placed significance to the values that should be upheld by civil servants.
In Question 19, UPSC asked whether customs and traditions suppress reason leading to obscurantism. Question number 18 was about the threats to diversity and pluralism of India. Glad to see that UPSC question setters give importance to the values like reasoning, diversity and pluralism.
Interesting to see a question on the digital initiatives in India connected with education. (Question 20)
The theme of droughts and floods appeared again (Question 14 and Question 15). This is a repeated theme with respect to GS1.
The question on Covid 19 was special as it raised a crucial thought – whether the Corona pandemic accelerated class inequalities and poverty in India.
Indian culture was given its due weightage in the form of questions from Rock-cut architecture, Buddhism and Pala period. One question was about the Persian literary sources. The link between philosophy and monuments was not an easy question to answer.
Questions from geography were mainly from expected areas (Eg: location of iron and steel industry, Himalayan glaciers etc).
Questions from India society demanded good analytical skills.
Altogether, the GS1 question paper was a balanced paper. Questions which totally surprised candidates were less in number.
What ultimately matters in this exam would be the quick comprehension of each question and proper answer writing skills.