Main examination special - Topic 2
In UPSC main examination, General Studies accounts for 1000 marks! The importance of this topic is proportional to the excitement you would feel hearing “1000 marks”. It is also the topic that helps to score a lot of marks easily. This is because most of the General Studies topics are the ones that we have already covered for preliminary examination. You have studied them well, cleared that stage and passed to reach this second stage, namely main examination. Therefore, start preparing with the confidence that if you study well, you can surely win.
General Studies paper 1:
For General Studies paper 1, the main topics we need to study are Indian culture, art, literature, architecture. Even though we have studied these previously, in main examination questions would be such that you will have to write notes on these subjects.
Madhubani art (2 marks)
Madhubani and Kalamkari paintings - compare (5 marks)
How do you justify the view that the level of excellence of the Gupta numismatic art is not at all noticeable in later times? (10 marks - UPSC main 2017)
Similarly, starting from the events of the Indian freedom struggle, the questions will be framed to test not just the facts but also our understanding of Independence, events of historical importance post Independence, etc.
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? (UPSC 2017 10 marks)
Similarly, world history, world politics, policies, principles, Indian society and its components, role of women, organisations related to them, urbanisation, globalisation, communalism, regionalism, secularism, etc., are important topics.
World geography, its salient features, natural resources of India and the world, main natural disasters and their reasons, changes caused by them, global warming and changes caused by it, are the topics from which many questions are asked.
General Studies paper 2:
Polity is the main component of General Studies paper 2. We need to prepare well by learning all topics covered for preliminary examination in greater detail, and overlaying our own ideas on them.
Discuss each adjective attached to the word ‘Republic’ in the ‘Preamble’. Are they defendable in the present circumstances? (UPSC 2016, 12.5 marks)
We can answer this question only if we know the words used in the preamble of our Constitution (Sovereign socialist secular democratic republic). After describing each term, if we explain the present day challenges on each term with current examples, we can score well.
Other than Polity, for second paper, we need to also focus on the various government schemes, policies, development works, difficulties in implementing them, social activists, non-governmental organisations, self help groups, special developmental schemes for weaker sections, major laws and policies for them, etc. Also, health, education, poverty alleviation and their related acts and schemes, developmental schemes, administrative set up, information technology, its development, e-governance, accountability, transparency, current state of civil services, role, India’s foreign policy, international relations, agreements, major international organisations, their structure, functions, etc., need to be learned in detail.
General Studies paper 3:
Environment, disaster management, preserving biodiversity, development and such topics, as well as topics about Indian economy are extremely important in this paper. Other than this, agriculture, irrigation, food safety, rationing, technology, animal husbandry, land reforms, roads, ports, rail stations and airports, energy sources, etc., need to be studied.
Discuss the role of land reforms in agricultural development. Identify the factors that were responsible for the success of land reforms in India. (UPSC 2016 10 marks)
This is a direct question. It is sufficient to answer the two parts clearly and separately.
Discuss India’s achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. How the application of this technology has helped India in its socio-economic development? (UPSC 2016 10 marks)
In addition to these, liberalisation, changes brought about in the economy by it, defence, securing the borders as well as territories with India, the challenges involved in it, etc., also need to be understood.
The remaining topics and papers of main examination will be dealt with in the upcoming topics. We will meet in the next topic.