UPSC Mains 2018 – Download General Studies Paper 3 (GS3) Question Paper

UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2018 - GS3 Question Paper

UPSC Mains 2018 – Download GS3 Question Paper – UPSC conducted the General Studies Paper 3 (GS3) Paper, as part of Civil Services Main Exam 2018 on 30-09-2018. Aspirants can now download General Studies Paper 3 (GS3) Question Paper (scroll down and use the print-PDF option).

GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 3: UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination – 2018


  • 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 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.


  1.  “Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is a sine qua non to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).” Comment on the progress made in India in this regard. (150 words) 10
  2. Comment on the important changes introduced in respect of the Long-term Capital Gain Tax – (LCGT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) in the Union Budget for 2018-2019. (150 words) 10
  3. What do you mean by Minimum Support Price (MSP)? How will MSP rescue the farmers from the low-income traps? (150 words) 10
  4. Examine the role of supermarkets in supply chain management of fruits, vegetables and food items. How do they eliminate the number of intermediaries? (150 words)10
  5. Discuss the work of ‘Bose-Einstein Statistics’ done by prof. Satyendra Nath Bose and show how it revolutionized the field of physics. (150 words)10
  6. What are the impediments in disposing of the huge quantities of discarded solid wastes which are continuously being generated? How do we remove safely the toxic wastes that have been accumulating in our habitable environment? (150 words)10
  7. What is wetland? Example the Ramsar concept of ‘wise use’ in the context of wetland conservation. Cite two examples of Ramsar sites from India. (150 words)10
  8. Sikkim is the first ‘Organic State ‘in India. What are the ecological and economical benefits of Organic State? (150 words)10
  9. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is viewed as a cardinal subset of China’s larger “One Belt One Road” initiative .Give a brief description of CPEC and enumerate the reasons why India has distanced itself from the same. (150 words)10
  10. Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is showing a downward trend, but still effects many parts of the country. Briefly explain the government of India’s approach to counter the challengers post by LWE.
    (150 words) 10
  11. How are the principles followed by the NITI Aayog different from those followed by the erstwhile planning commission in India? (250 words)15
  12. How would the recent phenomena of protectionism and currency manipulations in world trade effect macroeconomic stability of India? (250 words) 15
  13. Assess the role of National Horticulture Mission (NHM) in boosting the production, productivity and income of horticulture farms. How far has it succeeded in increasing the income of farmers? (250 words) 15
  14. How has the emphasis on certain crops brought about changes in cropping patterns in recent past? Elaborate the emphasis on millets production and consumption. (250 words) 15
  15. Why is there so much activity in the field of biotechnology in our country? How has this activity benefitted the field of biopharma? (250 words) 15
  16. With growing energy needs should India keep on extending its nuclear energy programme? Discuss the facts and fears associated with nuclear energy. (250 words)15
  17. How does biodiversity vary in India? How is the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 helpful in conservation flora and fauna? (250 words) 15
  18. Describe various measures taken in India for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) before and after signing ‘Sendai Framework for DRR (2015-2030)’. How is this framework different from ‘Hyogo Framework for Action, 2005’? (250 words)15
  19. Data security has assumed significant importance in the digitized world due to rising cybercrimes. The justice B.N Sreekrishna Committee Report addresses issues related to data security. What, in your view, are the strengths and weaknesses of the Report relating the protection of personal data in cyberspace? (250 words)15
  20. India’s proximity to two of the world’s biggest illicit opium-growing states has enhanced her internal security concerns. Explain the linkages between drug trafficking and other illicit activities such as gunrunning, money laundering and human trafficking. What countermeasures should be taken to prevent the same? (250 words)15

UPSC CSE General Studies Paper 3 (GS3) Question Paper: Analysis

Just like GS2, GS3 question paper too was set in the same pattern with the motto “Go back to textbooks”.

Many current issues recently in news were omitted while issues or topics which were in news 3-4 years back were included in this question paper. Aspirants should note that this what UPSC has done in Prelims 2018 also.

ClearIAS Prelims Online Test Series

Why such a move?

Most aspirants learn topics from the ready-made notes of coaching institutes which focus on only on the last ‘365’ days. UPSC wish aspirants get a more level playing ground, and hence they increased the span of current affears to at least last 5 years’ most important topics. Also, more traditional questions re-appeared, just as in a theoretical exam.

For example, the question on Biodiversity Act 2002 or difference between NITI Aayog and Planning Commission.

UPSC didn’t ask about NITI Aaayog when it was formulated in 2015, but now, in 2018, they started asking about the same. Same was the case with CPEC/OBOR.

Dear aspirants, take clues from this question paper and prepare accordingly for next year.

Never go with any prejudice. As you can see, this year, many questions came from Science and Technology, which was usually a less important area in previous years.

UPSC can ask any type of question, and the only way to score well in any pattern is to be thorough with the conventional topics as well as current affairs (of at least last 5-year important topics).

Do refer ClearIAS study materials and ClearIAS Mock Question Papers for UPSC Mains (and our archives) and see how many questions came directly or indirectly from this same. Considering that we provide only what is most necessary for UPSC, these would have added valuable marks had aspirants referred to it before the exam.

We feel the most of the questions of GS3 check the conceptual understanding of fundamental issues/topics, evoking opinion from the candidates on many items recently in news. This paper cannot be called an easy paper unless you prepared holistically. Clearly, 2018 GS3 paper was not for those who did a selective study.

Feel free to post your feedback about the question paper in the comment section below.

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