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Home UPSC Mains 2017 GS-1 Model Answers

UPSC Mains 2017 GS-1 Model Answers

Note: All questions are compulsory to answer.

    1. How do you justify the view that the level of excellence of the Gupta numismatic art is not at all noticeable in later times?

      Ans:Gupta’s numismatics is not just a medium of exchange but also gives an historical account The Gupta monarchs were famous for their gold coins. They also issued silver coins. However, coins made of copper, bronze or any other alloy metals are scarce. The abundance of gold coins from the Gupta era has led some scholars to regard this phenomenon as the ‘rain of gold’.

      The Gupta gold coin is known as dinaras. The gold coins of the Gupta rulers are the extraordinary examples of artistic excellence. The coins depicted the ruling monarch on the obverse and carried legends with the figure of a goddess on the reverse.

      The artists depicted the ruler in various poses. The study of these imageries is very interesting. Mainly the images celebrated the martial qualities and the valor of the ruler. In many coins of Samudragupta, he is depicted as carrying an axe. In others, he is carrying a bow in his left hand and an arrow in his right hand. The coins of Kumaragupta I depicted him riding an elephant and killing a lion. Another very interesting image of Samudragupta depicted him as playing a ‘veena’, a stringed musical instrument. There are also some instances of Gupta coins which were jointly issued by the king and the queen. The ‘king-queen’ types of coins were issued by Chandragupta I, Kumaragupta I, and Skandagupta. These coins depicted both the figures of the king and queen in a standing pose. Kumaradevi, the name of the queen of Chandragupta I is known from these coins. But the other two kings did not mention the name of their queens in their joint issues.

      The ‘Asvamedha’ or horse-sacrifice coins were issued by both Samudragupta and Kumaragupta I. Horse sacrifice is an ancient Hindu ritual in which a very powerful monarch sacrificed a horse after some elaborate rituals to demonstrate his political power. A very few among the ancient kings of India had performed this sacrifice as it was allowed for only those with enormous power and wealth. The fact that two of the Gupta monarchs performed it is evident from their coins. It also showed their immense power and wealth. Almost every Gupta coin carried the figure of a goddess and an inscription in the reverse. Sanskrit was the language of the inscription. The goddess posed in either sitting or a standing position. There were many goddess depicted in these coins. The most common was the image of Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. Other goddesses who featured in the Gupta coins included Durga, the Hindu goddess of valor; Ganga, the goddess of the river Ganges; etc. Some of the Gupta coins, mainly the silver ones, carried the images of Garuda, a mythical bird of Hindu tradition. These coins are found in large numbers in western India. In some cases, the Garuda is replaced by a peacock. This variety of coins is extremely rare. And thus, carry a great value for the numismatists.


    1. Clarify how mid-eighteenth century India was beset with the spectre of a fragmented polity.

      Ans:With the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 Mughal empire started declined and disintegrated in next fifty years. The rulers ruled during this period are Bahadur shah -I, Jahandar shah , Faruk siyar , Mohammad shah, here Mohammad shah completely neglected the kingdom, two of his ministers established Avadh and Hyderabad , Bengal states. During this time nadir shah invaded , he destroyed the then mughal wealth and military power , with this entire kingdom get weakened further.Marathas at that time were ferocious warriors but with the attack of ahmad sha abdali (independent ruler of Afghanistan, attacked India in retaliation to Maratha kings attack on afghan governor) ruined the glory of Marathas, this also weakened Maratha king dom. During that time Mughal ruler was shah alam, by this time alam territory confined to only Palam (present Delhi). During the time literally prime ministers ruled the kingdom , kings were became puppets in the hands of prime ministers.

      War of succession among rulers also led to fragmentation of territory. In the south Carnatic wars also disturbed the kingdoms, battle plasy, buxar finally Shah alam granted diwani rights of Bengal, Bihar, Odisha states to British East India company, with this entire mughal empire confined to only red fort area of Delhi. Britishers started establishing their influence.


    1. Why did the ‘Moderates’ failed to carry conviction with the nation about their proclaimed ideology and political goals by the end of the nineteenth century?

      Ans:Moderates started their protest against Britishers with the launch of Indian national congress. Their main path is petitions, prayers, protests. Their goal in not sampoorna swaraj but a dominion status. In their struggle they had a lot of confidence on British administration; they never estimated the tactics, mind set of Britishers. They even never introspect themselves whether their ideology and goals are in according with the people aspirations or not. And their social base is very limited even they could not propagate their ideas completely. But they created some sort of national consciousness but not certainly the consciousness of liberation. Their ideas are so novel but some people criticized openly that you can’t achieve our goals with your ideals. So finally they did not achieved their goals at the end of 19th Century, but sowed the seeds of independence that has given the fruits in 1947. No mass mobilization, no mass campaign, only newspapers they used which has limited role in disseminating information. They don’t have much political representation and did not have any support from princely states are some of the reasons for their limited success.


    1. What problems are germane to the decolonization process in the Malay Peninsula?

      Ans:During the world war -II, Invading from the north, the Japanese rapidly overran Malaya and took Singapore in 1942. After the war, in 1948, a Federation of Malaya was created under British protection, but British and Commonwealth troops had to put down a Communist insurrection, which lasted into the early 1950s. It was by now agreed that Malayan independence was the answer to the Communist claim that they were fighting to free the Malayan people from the British yoke. An election in 1955 was won hands-down by the United Malay National Organization (UMNO) by running Malay candidates in Malay-dominated areas, Chinese candidates in Chinese areas and Indian candidates in Indian ones. The UMNO’s leader Tunku Abdul Rahman became prime minister when the independent Federation of Malaya came into being in 1957. .

      The federation was renamed Malaysia in 1963, when besides Singapore and all the Malay states it also included two areas in North Borneo – Sarawak and Sabah. Singapore opted out and went its own way in 1965.


    1. How does the Juno Mission of NASA help to understand the origin and evolution of the Earth?

      Ans:NASA launched the Juno mission to study the surface and atmosphere of plane Jupiter. Once we study the surface composition and atmospheric composition of the biggest planet of solar system then it helps in understanding the formation of earth. Some of important findings are, the images show both of Jupiter’s poles are covered in Earth-sized swirling storms that are densely clustered and rubbing together. Studies are going on how they could be formed, how stable the configuration is, and why Jupiter’s north pole doesn’t look like the south pole. The data also suggest the ammonia is quite variable and continues to increase as far down as we can see with MWR(Microwave Radiometer), which is a few hundred miles or kilometers. This reveal about possibility of initial composition of gases. The data collected from great red spot of Jupiter reveals the secrets of storms on the surface of Jupiter. Once we completed the study regarding the solar influence, magnetic field influence, composition of metals in the surfaces, pole structure, gases available on it ,we can extrapolate the same results and try to find the origin of earth. Because all are came from same source called nebula.


    1. “Inspite of adverse environmental impact, coal mining is still inevitable for development”. Discuss

      Ans:In India 60% of electricity comes from thermal sources, mostly generated from coal. Coal in non-renewable energy sources and it creates lot of environmental pollution. But in ordered to develop the country at a faster pace we need to catch up the growing electricity demand. Almost 60% now occupied by this sector, it provides a stable level supply throughout the day and night. No need to have any storage mechanism. We are seriously thinking about alternative sources like, solar, wind electricity. But the power from those sources is uncertain depending on the condition of light and wind. They can’t work for 24 hours continuously, destabilize the grid. Though we have substantial amount of installed capacity of renewable sources, If we calculate the total number of units produced per annum form this non-conventional resources it is very minimum. Their production capacity is also less.

      . Nuclear electricity may be one of the best alternative but the problems like safety, cost and technology are making us difficult in adopting that. In order curb the pollution we can supplement with the renewable sources, but this can’t be an alternative to coal power. If at all we want to reduce the pollution we can go for super critical boilers like technology which emits less pollution..


    1. Mention the advantages of the cultivation of pulses because of which the year 2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by United Nations.

      Ans: Advatages in cultivating pulses are :
      1. It is one of cheap source of protein , improves food security , diversify dietary habits, nutritional security also improves.
      2. It require less amount water to cultivate it and no need of much fertiliser,pesticide requirement, less affected by pests.
      3.3. While it is growing it will prepare the land for next crop because it will improve the nutrient content of land, Pulse crops have a significant impact on soil biology and increasing soil microbial activity even after the pulses are harvested and contributed to more sustainable food system.
      4.4. Pulses have also been shown to exude greater amounts and different types of amino acids than non-legumes2, 3 and the plant residues left after harvesting pulse crops have a different biochemical composition (e.g. Carbon/Nitrogen ratio) than other crop residues
      5. Pulses, crop resides are also used as a fodder in dairy sector.


    1. How does the cryosphere affect global climate

      AnsCryosphere is an area where water available in solid form i.e., in ice form and climate frozen. This region has its own impact in shaping the global climate. Ice acting like a highly reflective blanket, the cryosphere protects Earth from getting too warm. Snow and ice reflect more sunlight than open water or bare ground. The presence or absence of snow and ice affects heating and cooling over the Earth’s surface, influencing the entire planet’s energy balance. Changes in snow and ice cover affect air temperatures, sea levels, ocean currents, and storm patterns all over the world. The cold environment like Antarctica plays a major role in forming the polar stratospheric clouds, which in turn play an important role in enhancing the ozone depletion. Because of global warming temperature are increasing that results in melting of this cryosphere lead to sea level rise. This increase sea level, submergence of coastal areas will produce more methane gas. It is high potential greenhouse gases. Mixing of more fresh water with oceanic water may affect the evaporation process and influence the rain pattern.


    1. In the context of the diversity of India, can it be said that the regions form cultural units rather than the States? Give reasons with examples for your view point.

      Ans:For administrative convenience we divided country into states, though we consider language as parameter in dividing the states, language was not the lone factor. That means every state is not having a homogenous culture, same culture may prevails over on or more states. When it come to the diversity of India, if at all we want to divide it into regions we may divide on the basis of cultural practices instead of regions of states. Then possibly we might get more number of states, that is richness of India in diversity point of view. If at all you want to identify a region in state its better to figure out with culture rather than state. For example : Rajgond region, Guttikoya region, chenchu region, Yaksha gana region, are the some of regions in Telangana state, which covers on or more districts or sometimes part of a district, which is cultural unit. If we go to north east it looks like all are belong to same culture , though the belong to mongoloid , their culture vary from state to state and even within the state we have much diversity. In Tamilnadu also people along border with karnataka, south of Tamilnadu, bordering district with Andhra Pradesh, bordering with Pondicherry have different cultures.


    1. What are the two major legal initiatives by the State since Independence addressing discrimination against Scheduled Tribes(STs)?

      Ans:Scheduled tribes are distinct in their culture, language, customs, they reside far from the plain areas, away from civilized society. Because of that constitution itself included some provisions in safeguarding the interest of tribals. Parliament also enact some other acts to protect their rights and against discrimination. SC/ST attracities (prevention) act 1989, which enable the tribals to file case and get remedy for the violation of their rights. If they were discriminated, they were attacked on the name caste, language, even if they were denied of loans, denial access to welfare and developmental schemes ST’s can file a case.

      Special courts are also provided to deal with such cases. Another act is Forest (Rights) act 2006. According to this act tribals who are living in the forest are since three generations can claim forest land, they are liable to get registration of the land up to 4 hectares. Along with individual rights, community rights also can be claimed. This will not allow outsider to enter into the forest and exploit the tribals. According to this act land is not allowed to transfer to outsiders. Former act is giving the political and social rights against discrimination, later is giving economic rights.


    1. The spirit of tolerance and love is not only an interesting feature of Indian society from very early times, but it is also playing an important part at the present. Elaborate.

      Ans:Indian society from very early times is tolerant society, our ancient religions like, Buddhism, Jainism preaches us tolerance and path of nonviolence. There were attacks from foreign rulers, internal wars were fought, but incident of communal riots, communal attacks among different sections were not taken place in the Indian history. Though attackers, rulers plundered the temples and destroyed them belonging to different religions, but people never fought among themselves by taking it as a pretext. We accepted foreign culture without any hesitation and assimilated in our culture. Level of acceptance shown at Foreign religions like Islam, Christianity revels the tolerant levels of Indian society.

      Except Cholas no Indian ruler invaded any foreign Territory, we accepted many hegemonies. We fought independent struggle under the aegis of Mahatma Gandhi with principle of nonviolence and tolerance. Satyagraha is the best example to that in modern times. Even today in our country we are choosing Satyagraha as the best method to achieve our demands, that heritage have been continuing even today. Though sometimes politicians, antisocial elements, communal organizations trying to disturb the order, but still common man is showing lot of tolerance. If their genuine concerns are there they will fight with the government but not with the other sections. Accepting the culture, movies, dressing style etc. Shown that our tolerance levels of the day.


    1. Examine how the decline of traditional artisanal industry in colonial India crippled the rural economy.

      Ans: Industrial revolution, establishment full pledged British power in India happened simultaneously. Britishers want India to be their colony, they will take away the resources and import the cheap goods to India. Those products are machine made, less cost, so our rural handmade costly products did not given enough competition to them, with that entire market taken over by the Britishers. Because of historical reasons land in India concentrated in few hands, these artisans who lost their livelihood cannot do agriculture. If at all they want to do they will work like a coolly or share cropper or tenant , which gives only meager income. Because of this, rural economy get completely destroyed. Prior to Britishers the jamindars, local kings, lords used to patronize the artisans in their court. Decline of traditional artisans and removal of jamindari and other local kings started same time. With this artisans lost their patronization , this also get effected their economic condition which in turn effect the entire rural economy.


    1. Highlight the importance of the new objectives that got added to the vision of Indian Independence since the twenties of the last century.

      Ans:Prior to 1920, the aim of then leaders is liberation from the Britishers. But after that many values we are added to our vision. By that time communal elements are raising, so we decided to establish a secular India. By looking at USSR we adopted the socialistic model of economy. Subash Chandra Bose believed that we need wage two wars; one is against foreigners other is against the local lords, jamindars who are exploiting the common man. B.R. Ambedkar enumerated the ideas of Justice, Equality, Fraternity (taken from French revolution) in writing constitution because to eliminate the inhumane practices against some backward sections .then we decided to build a just, equitable India. Mahatma Gandhi introduced the concepts like nonviolence, tolerance and ahimsa. These principles also became the part of vision of India. During the Britishers time India depending on British goods, later we decided to build self-reliant India. Grama swarajyam was the dream of Mahatma Gandhi. By experiencing the past WW-I, WW-II India decided to be nonaligned country.


    1. Account for variations in oceanic salinity and discuss its multi-dimensional effects.

      Ans:Oceanic salinity is depending on multiple factors , at the equator is mild because high amount rain fall( though evaporation is more), if go to poles it increases but once we cross the tropics it again reduce. Seas enclosed by continent are more saline than open seas, fresh water flow to oceans will reduce salinity. Precipitation reduces salinity while evaporation increases the salinity. Wind also influence, if wind flow is high water get spread over a larger area, which reduces salinity. Ocean currents also contributed for variation of salinity

      Effects of salinity :
      1. Salinity determines compressibility, thermal expansion, temperature, density, absorption of insolation, ocean currents, evaporation and humidity.
      2.It determines the presence of marine resource including creatures like fish.
      3. Sea surface salinity can have dramatic effect on the water cycle and ocean circulation which in turn affects the climate of planet.
      4. on sea voyage , travelers also get effected.
      5. Ships, maritime vehicles, submarines, war ships , strategic installations near by sea and in islands are also effected.
      6.local whether conditions also changed in coastal areas.


    1. Petroleum refineries are not necessarily located nearer to crude oil producing areas,particularly in many of the developing countries. Explain its implications.

      AnsFor Petroleum refineries, the raw material sources were less decisive factors for industrial location. Petroleum refining does not lead significant weight loss, unlike the aluminum /copper /sugarcane /timber processing. Virtually all the by-products can be used. Therefore, refineries can be set up near the raw material or near the market or at an intermediate break of the bulk location (ports/coastal locations). ).

      Raw material site: Disadvantages
      Refinery will become useless after oil is exhausted from oil well. So whatever millions of dollars you had invested in setting up that refinery is wasted. oil refining close to production site represents a weight loss of 10-11 % only, is not much cost saving in transport even if located near raw material site. Refined products have higher rate of evaporation, therefore it is better to set up the refinery near the source (where you want to use that products). ).

      After 1970s, many of the Middle East and African countries started nationalizing their oil operations. The ownership of refineries/oil wells were transferred from MNCs to government owned PSUs. Hence nowadays, MNCs are reluctant to setup refineries in this region for the fear of nationalization.


    1. In what way can floods be converted into a sustainable source of irrigation and all-weather inland navigation in India

      Ans: In India normally floods don’t occur to all the rives at a same time . Because of the monsoon pattern different rivers get affected with floods at different point of time. When floods occur to a river , that entire water flows and finally meet with sea/ocean . Instead of allowing it into the sea if we inter link the rivers, that excess water can be diverted into the other river. This water is stored and transferred to the other river, where ever is required in that link. That water can be used for the purpose of agriculture, we can also develop inland water ways also. Here source of irrigation become sustainable because at one or other point of time in an year any of the part is experiencing the Monsoon, which results in floods, now we can divert that water into other deficit area. We can also use that flow for inland water ways.

      The project already proposed are :
      1. Ganga-Kaveri link
      2. Ganga-Brahmaputra link
      3. ken-betwa-son link
      4. west flowing rivers of western ghats link
      Most of the flood waters of Ganga, Brahmaputra wasting every year on one hand. The southern states in Krishna, Kaveri, Penna basins facing acute water shortage for agriculture. Linking is the best solution to solve this problem.



    1. What characteristics can be assigned to monsoon climate that succeeds in feeding more than 50 percent of the world population residing in Monsoon Asia?

      Ans: i. Monsoon winds are not trades as trade winds are steady and permanent winds.
      ii. They are not steady winds but are pulsating in nature.
      iii. They are affected by different atmospheric conditions encountered by it. On its way over the warm tropical seas.
      iv. The duration of the monsoon varies from 100 to 120 days.
      v. Around the time of its arrival, the normal rainfall increase suddenly and continues regularly for several days.
      vi. Complete reversal of the wind is main feature of monsoon
      vii They are distinguished from the pre-monsoon showers because of their increase in rainfall amount and regularity.
      viii. It is ocean to land and land to ocean wind.

      characteristics of a tropical monsoon climate :
      Two dry seasons with a low rainfall, Cool and dry (winter) , Hot and dry (summer).
      Rainy season with very high rainfall
      High annual temperature (about 26˚C)
      Seasonal distribution of rainfall
      High annual rainfall (more than 1800 mm)
      High humidity


    1. The women’s questions arose in modern India as a part of the 19th century social reform movement. What are the major issues and debates concerning women in that period?

      Ans:During the 19th century, under social reform movement women issues are also became the part. Raja rama mohan roy, Eshwara Chandra Vidyasagar, D.K. Karve, Ramabhai Ranade, Veereshlingam Pantulu were some of the social reforms who fought against the social evils of the society. There focus was on abolition of sati system, promotion of widow remarriages, infanticide if the child is girl, Education facilities to the girl child, against child marriages. These reformers started questioning the discrimination against women, against to the roy there was an other association started which promote the traditional ideas of Hinduism. They started seperate residential schools for girls, they performed many widow remarriages. With this pressure from reformers British India government brought some progressive legislations, abolition of sathi act ,due to the efforts of keshav chandra sen ,one of the leader of brahmo samaj, abolition of poly gomy and child marriage act was passed in 1872.this act also supported inter caste marriages. Brahmo samaj also fought against child marriages after roy. Parsi reformers Dada Bhai Nauroji and Nauroji firdaunji also fought for progress of women and against child marriages.


    1. Distinguish between religiousness/religiosity and communalism giving one example of how the former has got transformed into the latter in independent India.

      Ans:Religiousness/religiosity mean lead your life according to the principles and rules enshrined in religious text. This also include practice, profess, preach the religion. Communalism means giving priority to your own religion, hatrate other religions. Promote your religion and don’t tolerate when others do the same. Protect the interest of your own community at the cost of others. Peace, pious, sacred, love, tolerance are the characteristics of the former while hatrate, violence are the characteristics of later. In the independent India this transformation took place because of political reasons. For example the issue of Babri Masjid and Ram Janmabhoomi , there was a dispute since independence ,Hindus believed that the place where masjid was build is birth place of Lord Rama , there was a temple existing there, that was demolished and constructed a new masjid by the governor of Mughal emperor Babur 500 years back .

      After court Intervention doors were opened people from both religions offering the prayers side by side without any hatrate. This is religiousness, here they follow their religion, their beliefs according to their texts. Suddenly some elements started provoking the people by saying, “this is the Hindu Rashtra, Muslim ruler who is foreigner, practised foreign religion and this is the religion destroyed many Hindu temples and converted many Hindus into islam and ruled this country for hundreds of years according to their religious guideline under which hindus were lived like slaves”, this king destroyed our Rama’s temple and built their masjid. We need to destroy that monument revive our own religion, with this provocation they demolished the masjid . After this some groups from other sections started hatrating Hindu groups and involved in killings this has become a riot, and continuing since so many years. Godra roits, Malegao blast, Samjhautha express blast, Mumbai serila blast, Muzaffar nagar roits all are consequences of such hatrate. So for your personal gains, in solving a complex problem if start blame the others then instead of finding a solution they started hatrating others. This is what communalism. Peace loving people now became like a war mongerer.


  1. “The growth of cities as I.T . hubs has opened up new avenues of employment, but has also created new problems”. Substantiate this statement with examples

    Ans: As the cities grown as IT hubs it has created new avenues of employment but it also brought new problems , here entire development is concentrated in one city, people rush to the same city because it has created various employment avenues for different sections of people. City get congested, roads are not in a position to handle such traffic levels, pollution levels are increasing as the use of personal vehicles are increasing. More concrete buildings by clearing the greenery. Income levels are also increased, who earn more are living in citadels and less earning people living in slum like areas i.e., it created gap between rich and poor, earlier it was not the case. Cost of living increased because demand for housing also increased. For example if we take the case of cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad are became hubs of IT industry. Now these cities facing problem of pollution, drinking water crisis in summer, flooding in monsoon season, relatively high cost of living , rich -poor gap is increasing. When the city become more crowd, if we don’t maintain law order problem properly then city becomes a fertile ground. Easy spread of communicable diseases like H1N1 , because of changing life style and pollution non communicable diseases, respiratory diseases are also raising.

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