UPSC Mains 2014 GS2 Question Paper Analysis

General Studies Paper 2 – GS2 Question Paper deals with topics related to polity (constitution, governance, social justice etc) and foreign relations of India. UPSC Mains 2014 GS2 Question Paper had TWENTY (20) questions printed both in HINDI and ENGLISH. All the questions were compulsory. Each question was of 12.5 marks. UPSC wanted to answer the questions in NOT MORE THAN 200 words each. It was also mentioned that contents of the answer is more important than its length. 3 pages were left blank to answer each question.

UPSC Mains 2014 GS2 Question Paper

  1. 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.
  2. Though the federal principle is dominant in our Constitution and that priniciple 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.
  3. 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?
  4. What do 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.
  5. Instances of President’s delay in commuting death sentences has come under public debate as denial of justice. Should there be a time specified for the President to accept/rejectsuch petitions? Analyse
  6. 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 is the efficacy of a government then inversely related to the size of the cabinet? Discuss.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 above observation assess the role of NHRC as an effective complement to the judiciary and other institutions in promoting and protecting human rights standards.
  10. The penetration of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in rural areas in promoting participation in development programmes is facing socio-cultural hurdles. Examine.
  11. 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 economies?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Has the Cadre based Civil Services Organization been the cause of slow in India? Critically examine.
  15. Two parallel run schemes of the Government, viz the Adhar card and NPM, one of voluntary and the other as compulsory, have led to debates at national levels and also litigations. On merits , discuss whether or not both schemes need run concurrently. Analyse the potential of the schemes to achieve development benefits and equitable growth
  16. With respect to the South China sea, maritime territorial disputes and rising tension affaire the need for safeguarding maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation and ever flight throughout the region. In this context, discuss the bilateral issues between India and China.
  17. The aim of Information Technology Agreements (ITAs) is to lower all taxes and tariffs on Information technology products by signatories to zero. What impact would such agreements have on India’s interests?
  18. Some of the International funding agencies have special terms for economic participation stipulating a substantial component of the aid used for sourcing equipment from the leading countries. Discuss on merits of such terms and it, there exists astrong case not to accept such conditions in the Indian context.
  19. India has recently signed to become founding member of New Development Bank (NDB) and also the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). How will the role of the two Banks be different? Discuss the strategic significance of these two Banks for India.
  20. WTO is an important international institution where decisions taken affect countries in aprofound manner. What is the mandate of WTO and how binding are their decisions? Critically analyse India’s stand on the latest round of talks on Food security.

IAS Mains 2014 General Studies Paper 2 (GS2) : Break-Up of Marks

  • Polity – 15 questions = 187.5 marks.
  • Foreign Relations – 5 question = 62.5 marks.

Comparison of Mains 2014 GS2 Question Paper with Mains 2013 GS2 Question Paper

In 2013, the mark split was like this : Polity – 170 marks (17 questions) and Foreign Relations – 80 marks (8 questions). There were 25 questions in 2013, but that was reduced to 20 questions in 2014. Detailed analysis of 2013 GS2 paper is available in this link. It can be seen that in 2014, the weightage for Polity section (with subsections like constitution, social justice, governance etc) increased by 17.5 marks, making a total of 187.5 marks out of 250. UPSC skipped many of the important events in International relations, asking only 5 questions, making a total of 62.5.

A deep analysis into sub-section break-up of polity section reveals more or less uniform break up. 3-4 question were asked from each of the sections like constitution, polity, social justice and governance adding up to 15.

UPSC Mains 2014 GS2 Question Paper Analysis

UPSC Mains 2014

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  • Just like other subjects/papers, there is no single book/source which helps aspirants to answer all the questions. A few questions like federalism or judicial review could be answered from popular text books for Polity like Laxmikanth. But most other questions demanded not only good knowledge of current affairs, but good analytical abilities too. Wide reading, especially newspapers and magazine was the only solution.
  • UPSC skipped many expected questions like Planning commission or Maritime Silk route. On bilateral relations, only 1 question was asked (India- China). Inspite of Modi’s visit to Nepal and Bhutan, SAARC summit etc, UPSC tried to avoid the predictable questions.
  • Questions on ‘Olympics-state sponsored talent hunt’ doesn’t fit the UPSC syllabus in strict terms, as sports is not specifically mentioned in it. But ministries and state sponsorship comes under polity and governance and this question is an indication that UPSC has tried to broaden the scope of syllabus.
  • The 2014 official UPSC question paper had many questions from Clear IAS Answer Writing Test Series and Mock Tests like AIIB and BRICS bank. We shall come up with the details of that later in another post.
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