Do you know the 100 areas from which UPSC framed Questions in 2021? Have you done research on the UPSC Prelims 2021 Question Topics?
This is the case with most aspirants.
However, UPSC questions are of real quality and standard. It tests the knowledge, curiosity, and understanding of well-read youth.
Do you wish to narrow your gaps with the UPSC way of thinking?
This is possible only if you properly analyse the UPSC question papers of previous years.
Let’s now analyse the UPSC Prelims General Studies Questions Paper of 2021 (Version A). It may help you get important insights into the priority areas of UPSC.
UPSC Prelims 2021 Question Topics: Subject-wise Break-Up
It’s my practice to break the previous year’s UPSC question papers subject-wise and topic-wise. I have done this in 2019 and 2020 as well.
In 2021, UPSC followed subject-wise order in questions throughout Version A. The Commission didn’t shuffle questions between subjects. This made my job easy.
The break-up of questions was as below:
- Economics and Indian Economy – 15 questions
- Environment – 15 questions
- Indian History and Culture – 20 questions
- Geography – 14 questions
- Science and Technology – 12 questions
- Indian Polity – 20 questions
- Current Affairs – 4 questions
Note: Questions that can be purely categorised as Events of national and International Importance (current affairs) were only four in number. However, some questions from subjects like Environment, Indian Economy, Science and Technology had connections with items in recent news (last 3-4 years).
UPSC Prelims 2021 Question Topics: 100 Areas from which UPSC Framed Questions
- RBI Act
- Casual Workers
- Economic Recession
- Demand and Supply: Law of Demand, Inferior Goods, Complementary Goods
- Urban Cooperative Banks
- Indian Government Bond Yields
- FDI: Types
- Effect of devaluation of a currency
- Effect of creation of black money
- Inflation: Creation of new money
- Money Multiplier
- Demand-pull inflation
- Government Securities Market
- Water Credit
- Reserve Bank of India: Lender of last resort
- R2 Code of Practices: Electronics recycling industry
- Copper smelting plants
- Furnace Oil
- Blue Carbon
- Organisms: Surviving without soil
- Natural Mosquito repelling plant
- Primary food producers in oceans
- Animals that roll up to protect themselves
- New York Declaration on Forests
- Magnetite particles
- Filter feeder
- Biogeochemical cycles: weathering of rocks
- The Common Carbon Metric
- Symbiotic Relationships
Indian History and Culture
- Chausath Yogini Temple: Indian Parliament
- Ancient Towns: Dams in Indus Valley
- Factories of the English East India Company
- Post-Gupta Political History
- The women in Vijayanagar Empire
- Madanapalle of Andhra Pradesh
- Historical place: Well-known for
- Medieval Indian History: Major events timeline
- St.Francis Xavier
- History of ancient India: Mitakshara system vs Dayabhaga system
- History of ancient India: Playwrights
- Acts enacted by British Parliament: Women’s rights
- 8th August 1942 in Indian History: Quit India Movement
- Songs from Prison: Mahatma Gandhi
- Medieval India: Paragana-Sarkar-Suba
- Secretary with Hindu Female School: Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
- Officers of the Indian National Army: Shah Nawaz Khan, Prem Kumar Sehgal and Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon
- Indian History: Kingdoms – Hyderabad State, Vijayanagara Empire, Rohilkhand Kingdom
- Heritage locations: Rivers
- National languages
- Permaculture farming vs conventional chemical farming
- Palm Oil
- Indus River system
- Saline Lakes in India – Didwana, Kuchaman, Sargol and khatu
- Rivers that rise from the Eastern Ghats
- Seabed exploration and mining in international waters
- Least water-efficient crop
- Tropical Zone: Temperate Zone
- Climate-smart Agriculture
- Tropical rain forest – Description
- Vegetation of savannah
- Water on the planet Earth
- Moringa and Tamarind
- The black cotton soil of India
Science and Technology
- Recombinant Vector Vaccines
- Hereditary diseases
- Bollgard I and Bollgard II technologies
- Pressure cooker mechanism
- Microorganisms: artificial/ synthetic medium
- Adenovirus vs Retrovirus
- Solubility of water: Dipole
- Street lighting: Sodium Lamps vs LED Lamps
- ACE2: Spread of Viral Diseases
- Bisphenol A (BPA): Polycarbonate Plastics
- Triclosan: Toiletries
- Astronomical distance: Light years
- Parliamentary democracy: India vs Britain
- Union Government: Administrative Reforms
- Right to Privacy: Article
- Election: candidates contesting from multiple constituencies
- Right to the City
- Judicial custody
- Parole Rules
- Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
- Uncontrolled discretionary power: Article
- Federal Character
- Defenition of the State
- Indian Judiciary
- Best safeguard of liberty in a liberal democracy
- Indian constitution – concentration of wealth: DPSP
- Position of the Right to Property in India
- The exact constitutional status of India on 26th January 1950
- Constitutional government
- Tribal languages: halbi, Ho and Kui
- Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards
Current Affairs: Events of National and International Importance
- Hyderabad: Tree City of the World
- Laureus World Sports Award
- 32nd Summer Olympics
- ICC World Test Championship
Analysis of the UPSC Questions Paper 2021
The priority of UPSC will not remain stagnant.
UPSC in one year gives priority to a few subjects or topics. The weightage can vary in the next year.
What UPSC gives priority in the Civil Services Examination (CSE) has changed a lot in the last 3-4 years.
However, there are certain key points to be remembered.
(1) You should be conceptually strong in static subjects: There are static areas and there are dynamic areas (current affairs). Current affairs are not separate from static areas. They are highly connected. However, priority should be given to static areas. Only if you know static areas, you can properly connect them with items in news (Economy related news, Polity related news, Technology related news etc).
(2) UPSC has increased the sources from which questions are prepared: In earlier days, UPSC used to prepare 100 questions by referring to only a few sources. But now, in the online age, there is no dearth of sources for the Commission. The Commission does not stick to just the popular textbooks most aspirants limit their preparation with.
(3) Don’t limit your preparation just to traditional sources: Most of the questions asked in UPSC CSE 2021 cannot be answered by just referring to NCERT text-books or standard reference textbooks. I am not saying textbooks are unimportant. But you may get only 30-40% of questions nowadays from traditional textbooks. You need wide reading (Eg: Newspapers, Online Sources, New Textbooks etc) and the application of Intelligent Elimination Techniques (IETs) to ensure that you cross the cut-off score.
(4) Focus on the new topics along with evergreen question areas: There are certain favourite areas for UPSC. For example, FDI, Inflation, Monetary Policy etc are evergreen topics with respect to the Indian Economy. However, aspirants cannot limit their preparation just to these repeated areas. UPSC nowadays includes questions from a lot of new areas which is of interest to a serious aspirant.
(5) First things first: It’s impossible to go behind all possible sources. You should focus your attention on those resources which give maximum results in minimum time. From that perspective, I recommend the 3 items – ClearIAS Online Classes, ClearIAS Online Mock Exams, and UPSC CSE Re-Take Exams – to be part of the Core Resources.
(6) There is no alternative to newspapers: The monthly compilations of coaching websites may help. But they should be clubbed with at least 30-minutes of daily newspaper reading. I recommend TheHindu and TheHindu Business Line. Questions like The Tree City of the World in 2021 and The Bud Chip Settling of Sugar Cane in 2020 could have been answered from the Hindu Business Line. You can use the discount code CLEARIAS to get an extra Rs.100 discount on TH and BL e-papers. More details here.
100-Topics Break Up of UPSC Previous Year Question Papers
- 100 Areas from which UPSC prepared Prelims questions in 2020.
- 100 Areas from which UPSC prepared Prelims questions in 2019.
More insights on UPSC Previous Year Question Papers
This is not the end of the discussion. I have many more insights to share on the previous year’s UPSC CSE Question Papers.
A detailed analysis of the paper will be conducted live in the coming days as part of the ClearIAS 50-Days Prelims Marks Booster Program.
Let me know what you think of the break-up of the 100-topics in this article. You can use the comment section.
I shall also guide you on how to prepare for the upcoming prelims based on the trends and patterns noticed in the previous year’s question papers.
Catch you in the live interactive class!