Most of the questions in GS Paper 2 of UPSC CSE 2021 Mains were strictly based on the UPSC syllabus. Please find the questions in the General Studies Paper 2 (GS2) of UPSC 2021 Civil Services Mains Examination (written).
There were 20 questions. 10 questions were of 10 marks each, while the remaining 10 questions were of 15 marks each.
GS Paper 2 UPSC 2021: 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.
- The content of the answer is more important than its length.
General Studies Paper 2 Question Paper – UPSC Civil Services Main Exam (Written) 2021
Qn1. ‘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. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Qn2. Discuss the desirability of greater representation to women in the higher judiciary to ensure diversity, equity and inclusiveness. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Qn3. How have the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission of India enabled the states to improve their fiscal position? (Answer in 150 words) 10
Qn5. “Pressure groups play a vital role in influencing public policymaking in India.” Explain how the business associations contribute to public policies. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Qn7. “‘Earn while you learn’ scheme needs to be strengthened to make vocational education and skill training meaningful.” Comment. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Qn9. “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. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Qn10. “The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of a China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain. (Answer in 150 words) 10
Qn11. The jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) regarding lodging an FIR and conducting probes within a particular state is being questioned by various States. However, the power of States to withhold consent to the CBI is not absolute. Explain with special reference to the federal character of India. (Answer in 250 words) 15
Qn12. 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. Analyzing their structural and practical limitations, suggest remedial measures. (Answer in 250 words) 15
Qn13. Analyze the distinguishing features of the notion of Equality in the Constitutions of the USA and India. (Answer in 250 words) 15
Qn14. Explain the constitutional provisions under which Legislative Councils are established. Review the working and current status of Legislative Councils with suitable illustrations. (Answer in 250 words) 15
Qn15. 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. (Answer in 250 words) 15
Qn16. Has digital illiteracy, particularly in rural areas, coupled with lack of Information and Communication Technology(ICT) accessibility hindered socio-economic development? Examine with justification. (Answer in 250 words) 15
Qn17. “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? (Answer in 250 words) 15
Qn18. Can Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations present an alternative model of public service delivery to benefit the common citizen? Discuss the challenges of this alternative model. (Answer in 250 words) 15
Qn19. Critically examine the aims and objectives of SCO. what importance does it hold for India? (Answer in 250 words) 15
Qn20. 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. (Answer in 250 words) 15
GS2 Question Paper Analysis
General Studies Paper 2 was a perfect mix of Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations – as mentioned in the UPSC Syllabus.
Many questions like those on pressure groups, NGOs, and SHGs were very typical and with the exact keywords mentioned in the UPSC CSE (Mains) Syllabus.
Apart from AUKUS (which was announced in September 2021) and the question on CBI, none of the other questions can be considered having a direct connection with current affairs of the last 1 year. However, knowledge of current affairs in the span of the last 10 years could have added value to some of the other answers.
Rather than about the 15th Finance Commission, UPSC asked about the 14th Finance Commission (constituted on 2 January 2013).
Last year, there was a question on Constitutional Morality in the Ethics paper (General Studies Paper 4). This year the concept got repeated in General Studies Paper 2.
The topic ‘women’ was given big stress in the paper – with multiple questions connecting representation of women, microfinancing for women, and women empowerment.
Overall we rate the quality of the questions as good. Most of the serious aspirants should find the paper easy.
The questions adequately tested the understanding of future civil servants in the areas of Constitution, Polity, Governance, Social Justice and International relations.
Important Take-Aways from the GS Paper 2 UPSC 2021 (Mains) – Question Paper
All subjects mentioned in the UPSC syllabus were covered.
Those aspirants who prepared self-notes based on topics mentioned in the UPSC syllabus should have found this year’s GS 2 paper quite easy. This is something that we strongly recommend – even for aspirants who attend full-fledged ClearIAS online lectures.
Most of the questions were from expected areas.
No need to give undue importance to the last 1-year of current affairs eclipsing the time and effort to learn static areas. An overall idea about the events of national and international importance should be enough.
However, candidates should have a good understanding of contemporary events (in a span of the last 10 years).
The areas which a civil servant should address once he is in service like women issues, digital literacy, primary health care, education, pressure groups, SHGs, NGOs etc should be studied in depth.
What do you think of this year’s General Studies Paper 2 questions? What are your comments about this paper?