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Essay Question Paper – UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2021

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Write two essays, choosing one topic from each of the following Sections A and B, in about 1000-1200 words each:


1. The process of self-discovery has now been technologically outsourced.

2. Your perception of me is a reflection of you; my reaction to you is an awareness of me.

3. Philosophy of wantlessness is Utopian, while materialism is a chimera.

4. The real is rational and the rational is real.


5. Hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

6. What is research, but a blind date with knowledge!

7. History repeats itself, first as a tragedy, second as a farce.

8. There are better practices to “best practices”.


General Studies Paper-1 Question Paper – UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2021

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Q1. Evaluate the nature of the Bhakti Literature and its contribution to Indian culture. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q2. Trace the rise and growth of socio-religious reform movements with special reference to Young Bengal and Brahmo Samaj. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q3. Assess the main administrative issues and socio-cultural problems in the integration process of Indian Princely States. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q4. Differentiate the causes of landslides in the Himalayan region and the Western Ghats. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q5. Despite India being one of the countries of the Gondwanaland, its mining industry contributes much less to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in percentage. Discuss. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q6. What are the environmental implications of the reclamation of the water bodies into urban land use? Explain with examples. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q7. Mention the global occurrence of volcanic eruptions in 2021 and their impact on the regional environment. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q8. Why is India considered a subcontinent? Elaborate on your answer. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q9. Examine the uniqueness of the tribal knowledge system when compared with mainstream knowledge and cultural systems. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q10. Examine the role of the ‘Gig Economy’ in the process of empowerment of women in India. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q11. To what extent did the role of the moderates prepare a base for the wider freedom movement? Comment. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q12. Bring out the constructive programmes of Mahatma Gandhi during Non-Cooperation Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q13. “There arose a serious challenge to the Democratic State System between the two World Wars.” Evaluate the statement. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q14. Briefly mention the alignment of major mountain ranges of the world and explain their impact on local weather conditions, with examples. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q15. How does the melting of the Arctic ice and glaciers of the Antarctic differently affect the weather patterns and human activities on the Earth? Explain. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q16. Discuss the multi-dimensional implications of the uneven distribution of mineral oil in the world. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q17. What are the main socio-economic implications arising out of the development of IT industries in major cities of India? (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q18. Discuss the main objectives of Population Education and point out the measures to achieve them in India in detail. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q19. What is Cryptocurrency? How does it affect global society? Has it been affecting Indian society also? (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q20. How does Indian society maintain continuity in traditional social values? Enumerate the changes taking place in it. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)  


General Studies Paper-2 Question Paper – UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2021

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Q1. ‘Constitutional Morality’ is rooted in the Constitution itself and is founded on its essential facets. Explain the doctrine of ‘Constitutional Morality’ with the help of relevant judicial decisions. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q2. Discuss the desirability of greater representation to women in the higher judiciary to ensure diversity, equity and inclusiveness. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q3. How have the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission of India enabled the states to improve their fiscal position? (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q4. To what extent, in your view, the Parliament is able to ensure accountability of the executive in India? (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q5. “Pressure groups play a vital role in influencing public policy making in India.” Explain how the business associations contribute to public policies. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q6. “Besides being a moral imperative of Welfare State, primary health structure is a necessary pre-condition for sustainable development.” Analyse. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q7. “‘Earn while you learn’ scheme needs to be strengthened to make vocational education and skill training meaningful.” Comment. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q8. Can the vicious cycle of gender inequality, poverty and malnutrition be broken through microfinancing of women SHGs? Explain with examples. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q9. “If the last few decades were of Asia’s growth story, the next few are expected to be of Africa’s.” In the light of this statement, examine India’s influence in Africa in recent years. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q10. “The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of a China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q11. The jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding lodging an FIR and conducting probe within a particular state is being questioned by various States. However, the power of States to withhold consent to the CBI is not absolute. Explain with special reference to the federal character of India. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q12. Though the Human Rights Commissions have contributed immensely to the protection of human rights in India, yet they have failed to assert themselves against the mighty and powerful. Analysing their structural and practical limitations, suggest remedial measures. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q13. Analyse the distinguishing features of the notion of Equality in the Constitutions of the USA and India. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q14. Explain the constitutional provisions under which Legislative Councils are established. Review the working and current status of Legislative Councils with suitable illustrations. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q15. Do Department -related Parliamentary Standing Committees keep the administration on its toes and inspire reverence for parliamentary control? Evaluate the working of such committees with suitable examples. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q16. Has digital illiteracy, particularly in rural areas, couple with lack of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility hindered socio-economic development? Examine with justification. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q17. “Though women in post-Independent India have excelled in various fields, the social attitude towards women and feminist movement has been patriarchal.” Apart from women education and women empowerment schemes, what interventions can help change this milieu? (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q18. Can Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations present an alternative model of public service delivery to benefit the common citizen. Discuss the challenges of this alternative model. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q19. Critically examine the aims and objectives of SCO. What importance does it hold for India? (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q20. The newly tri-nation partnership AUKUS is aimed at countering China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region. Is it going to supersede the existing partnerships in the region? Discuss the strength and impact of AUKUS in the present scenario. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)


General Studies Paper-3 Question Paper – UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2021

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Q1. Explain the difference between computing methodology of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) before the year 2015 and after the year 2015. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q2. Distinguish between Capital Budget and Revenue Budget. Explain the components of both these budgets. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q3. How did land reforms in some parts of the country help to improve the socio-economic conditions of marginal and small farmers? (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q4. How and to what extent would micro-irrigation help in solving India’s water crisis? (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q5.  How is S-400 air defence system technically superior to any other system presently available in the world? (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q6.  Explain the purpose of the Green Grid Initiative launched at World Leaders Summit of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, 2021. When was this idea first floated in in the International Solar Alliance (ISA)? (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q7.  Discuss the key points of revised Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) recently released by the World Health Organisation (WHO). How are these different from its last update in 2005? What changes in India’s National Clean Air Programme are required to achieve these revised standards? (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q8. Discuss about vulnerability of India to earthquake related hazards. Give examples including the salient features of major disaster caused by earthquakes in different parts of India during the last three decades. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q9.  Discuss how emerging technologies and globalisation contribute to money laundering. Elaborate measures to tackle the problem of money laundering both at national and international level. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q10.  Keeping in view India’s internal security, analyse the impact cross-border cyber attacks. Also discuss defensive measures against these sophisticated attacks. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

Q11. Do you agree that the Indian economy has recently experienced V-shaped recover? Give reasons in support of your answer. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q12. “Investment in infrastructure is essential for more rapid and inclusive economic growth.” Discuss in light of India’s experience. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q13. What are the salient features of National Food Security Act, 2013? How has the Food Security Bill helped in eliminating hunger and malnutrition in India? (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q14. What are the present challenges before crop diversification? How do emerging technologies provide an opportunity for crop diversification? (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q15. What are the research and developmental achievements in applied biotechnology? How will these achievements help to uplift the poorer sections of the society? (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q16. The Nobel Prize of Physics of 2014 was jointly awarded to Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura for the invention of blue LEDs in 1990s. How has this invention impacted the everyday life of human beings? (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q17. Describe the major outcomes of 26th session of Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). What are the commitments made by India in this conference? (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q18. Describe the various causes and effects of landslides. Mention the important components of the National Landslide Risk Management Strategy. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)

Q19. Analyse the multidimensional challenges posed by external trade and non-state actors, to the internal security of India. Also discuss the measures required to be taken to combat these threats. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)


Q20. Analyse the complexity and intensity of terrorism, it causes, linkages and obnoxious nexus. Also suggest measures required to be taken to eradicate the menace of terrorism. (Answer in 250 words, 15 Marks)


General Studies Paper-4 Question Paper – UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2021

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Q.1. (a) Identify five ethical traits on which one can plot the performance of a civil servant. Justify their inclusion in the matrix. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

(b) Identify ten essential values that are needed to be an effective public servant. Describe the ways and means to prevent non-ethical behaviour in the public servants. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)


Q.2. (a) Impact of digital technology as reliable source of input for rational decision making is a debatable issue. Critically evaluate with suitable example. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

(b) Besides domain knowledge, a public official needs innovativeness and creativity of a high order as well, while resolving ethical dilemmas. Discuss with suitable example. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)


Q.3. What does each of the following quotations mean to you?

(a) “Every work has got to pass through hundreds of difficulties before succeeding. Those that persevere will see the light, sooner or later.” -- Swami Vivekananda.  (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

(b) “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until and unless we obtain peace within ourselves.”-Dalai Lama (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

(c) “Life doesn’t make any sense without interdependence. We need each other, and the sooner we learn that, it is better for us all.”- Erik Erikson (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)


Q.4. (a) Attitude is an important component that goes as input in the development of human being. How to build a suitable attitude needed for a public servant? (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

(b) In case of crisis of conscience does emotional intelligence help to overcome the same without compromising the ethical or moral stand that you are likely to follow? Critically examine. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)


Q.5. (a) “Refugees should not be turned back to the country where they would face persecution or human right violation.” Examine the statement with reference to ethical dimension being violated by the nation claiming to be democratic with open society.  (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

(b)  Should impartial and being non-partisan be considered as indispensable qualities to make a successful civil servant? Discuss with illustrations. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)


Q.6. (a) An independent and empowered social audit mechanism is an absolute must in every sphere of public service, including judiciary, to ensure performance, accountability and ethical conduct.  Elaborate. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)

(b) “Integrity is a value that empowers the human being.” Justify with suitable illustration. (Answer in 150 words, 10 Marks)


Q.7. Sunil is a young civil servant and has a reputation for his competence, integrity, dedication and relentless pursuit of difficult and onerous jobs. Considering his profile, he was picked up by his bosses to handle a very challenging and sensitive assignment. He was posted in a tribal dominated district notorious for illegal sand mining. Excavating sand from river belt and transporting through trucks and selling them in black market was rampant. This illegal sand mining mafia was operating with the support of local functionaries and tribal musclemen who in turn were bribing selected poor tribal’s and had kept the tribal’s under fear and intimidation.

Sunil being a sharp and energetic officer immediately grasped the ground realities and the modus operandi followed by the mafia through their devious and dubious mechanism. On making inquiries, he gathered that some of their own office employees are in hand and glove with them and have developed close unholy nexus. Sunil initiated stringent action against them and started conducting raids on their illegal operations of movement of trucks filled with sand. The mafia got rattled as not many officers in the past had taken such strong steps against the mafia. Some of the office employees who were allegedly close to mafia informed them that the officer is determined to clean up the mafia’s illegal sand mining operations in that district and may cause them irreparable damage. The mafia turned hostile and launched counter-offensive. The tribal musclemen and mafia started threatening him with dire consequences. His family (wife and old mother) were stalked and were under virtual surveillance and thus causing mental torture, agony and stress to all of them. The matter assumed serious proportions when a muscleman came to his office and threatened him to stop raids, etc. otherwise; his fate will not be different than some of his predecessors (ten years back one officer was killed by the mafia).

(a) Identify the different options available to Sunil in attending to this situation.

(b) Critically evaluate each of the options listed by you.

(c) Which of the above, do you think, would be the most appropriate for Sunil to adopt and why? (Answer in 250 words, 20 Marks)


Q.8. You are Vice Principal of a degree college in one of the middle-class towns. Principal has recently retired and management is looking for his replacement. There are also feelers that the management may promote you as Principal. In the meantime, during annual examination the flying squad which came from the university caught two students red-handed involving in unfair means. A senior lecturer of the college was personally helping these students in this act. This senior lecturer also happens to be close to the management. One of the students was son of a local politician who was responsible in getting college affiliated to the present reputed university. The second student was son of a local businessman who has donated maximum funds for running of the college. You immediately informed the management regarding this unfortunate incident. The management told you to resolve the issue with flying squad at any cost. They further said that such incident will not only tarnish the image of the college but also the politician and businessman are very important personalities for the functioning of the college. You were also given hint that your further promotion to Principal depends on your capability in resolving this issue with flying squad. In the meantime, you were intimated by your administrative officer that certain members of the student union are protesting outside the college gate against the senior lecturer and the students involved in this incident and demanding strict action against defaulters.

(a) Discuss the ethical issues involved in the case.

(b) Critically examine the options available with you as Vice Principal. What option will you adopt and why? (Answer in 250 words, 20 Marks)


Q.9. An elevated corridor is being constructed to reduce traffic congestion in the capital of a particular state. You have been selected as project manager of this prestigious project on your professional competence and experience. The deadline is complete the project in next two years by 30 June, 2021, since this project is to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister before the elections are announced in the second week of July 2021. While carrying out the surprise inspection by inspecting team, minor crack was noticed in one of the piers of the elevated corridor possibly due to poor material used. You immediately informed the chief engineer and stopped further work. It was assessed by you that minimum three piers of the elevated corridor have to be demolished and reconstructed. But this process will delay the project minimum by four to six months. But the chief engineer overruled the observation of inspecting team on the ground that it was a minor crack which to not in any way impact the strength and durability of the bridge. He ordered you to overlook the observation of inspecting team and continue working with same speed and tempo. He informed you that the minister does not want any delay as he wants the Chief Minister to inaugurate the elevated corridor before the elections are declared. Also informed you that the contractor is far relative of the minister and he wants him to finish the project. He also gave you hint that your further promotion as additional chief engineer is under consideration with the ministry. However, you strongly felt that the minor crack in the pier of the elevated corridor will adversely affect the health and life of the bridge and therefore it will be very dangerous not to repair the elevated corridor.

(a) Under the given conditions, what are the options available to you as a project manager?

(b) What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by the project manager?

(c) What are the professional challenges likely to be faced by the project manager and his response to overcome such challenges?

(d) What can be the consequences of overlooking the observation raised by the inspecting team? (Answer in 250 words, 20 Marks)


Q.10. The Coronavirus disease (COVID 19) pandemic has quickly spread to various countries. As on May 8th 2020, in India 56342 cases of corona had been reported. India with population of more than 1.35 billion had difficulty in controlling the transmission of Coronavirus among its population. Multiple strategies became necessary to handle this outbreak. The ministry of health and family welfare of India raised awareness about this outbreak and to take all necessary actions to control the spread of Covid 19. Indian Govt. implemented a 55-day lockdown throughout the country to reduce the transmission of virus. Schools and colleges had shifted to alternative mode of teaching-learning-evaluation and certification. Online mode became popular during these days.

India was not prepared for the sudden onslaught of such a crisis due to limited in terms of human resource, money and other facilities needed for taking care of this situation. This disease did not spare anybody irrespective of caste, creed, religion on the one hand have and have not on the other. Deficiencies in hospital beds, Oxygen cylinders, ambulances, hospital staff and crematorium were the most crucial aspects.

You are a hospital administrator in a public hospital at the time when Coronavirus had attacked large number of people and patients were pouring into hospital day in and day out.

(a) What are your criteria and justification for putting your clinical and non-clinical staff to attend the patients knowing fully well that it is highly infectious disease and resources and infrastructure are limited?

(b) If yours is a private hospital, whether your justification and decision would remain the same as that of a public hospital? (Answer in 250 words, 20 Marks)


Q.11. A reputed food product company based in India developed a food product for the international market and started exporting the same after getting necessary approvals. The company announced this achievement and also indicated that soon the product will be made available for the domestic consumers with almost same quality and health benefits. Accordingly, the company got its product approved by domestic competent authority and launched the product in Indian market. The company could increase its market share over a period of time and earned substantial profit both domestically and internationally. However, the random sample test conducted by the inspecting team found the product being sold domestically in variance with the approval obtained from competent authority. On further investigation it was also discovered that the food company was not only selling products which were not meeting the health standards of the country but also selling the rejected export products in the domestic market. This episode adversely affected the reputation and profitability of the food company.

(a) What action do you visualize should be taken by the competent authority against the food company for violating the laid down domestic food standard and selling rejected export products in domestic market?

(b) What course of action is available with the food company to resolve the crisis and bring back its lost reputation?

(c) Examine the ethical dilemma involved in the case. (Answer in 250 words, 20 Marks)


Q.12. Pawan is working as an officer in the State Government for the last ten years. As a part of routine transfer, he was posted to another department. He joined in a new office along with five other colleagues. The head of the office was a senior officer conversant with the functioning of the office. As a part of general inquiry, Pawan gathered that his senior officer carries the reputation of being difficult and insensitive person having his own disturbed family life. Initially, all seem to go well. However, after some time Pawan felt that the senior officer was belittling him and at times unreasonable. Whatever suggestions given or views expressed by Pawan in the meetings were summarily rejected and the senior officer would express in the displeasure presence of others. It became a pattern of boss’s style of functioning to show him in bad light highlighting his shortcomings and humiliating publicly. It became apparent that though there are no serious work-related problems/shortcomings, the senior officer was always on one pretext or the other and would scold and shout at him. The continuous harassment and public criticism of Pawan resulted in loss of confidence, self-esteem and equanimity. Pawan realized that his relations with his senior officer are becoming more toxic and due to this, he felt perpetually tensed, anxious and stressed. His mind was occupied with negativity and caused him mental torture, anguish and agony. Eventually, it badly affected his personal and family life. He was no longer joyous, happy and other family members contented even at home. Rather without way reasons he would lose his temper with his wife and other family members. The family environment was no longer pleasant and congenial. His wife who was always supportive to him also became a victim of his negativity and hostile behaviour. Due to harassment and humiliation suffering by him in the office, comfort and happiness virtually vanished from his life. Thus, it damaged his physical and mental health.

(a) What are the options available with Pawan to cope up with the situation?

(b) What approach Pawan should adopt for bringing peace, tranquillity and congenial environment in the office and home?

(c) As an outsider, what are your suggestions for both boss and subordinate to overcome this situation and for improving the work performance, mental and emotional hygiene?

(d) In the above scenario, what type of training would you suggest for officers at various levels in the government offices? (Answer in 250 words, 20 Marks)



History (Optional) Paper-1 Question Paper – UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2021

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Q.1 Identify the following places marked on the map supplied to you and write a short note of about 30 words on each of them in your Question-cum-Answer Booklet. Locational hints for each of the places marked on the map are given below seriatim:  (2.5 X 20 = 50 Marks)

(i) Paleolithic Site

(ii) Mesolithic Site

(iii) Neolithic Site

(iv) Neolithic-Chalcolithic Site

(v) Harappan Site

(vi) Proto-historic and historic site

(vii) Inscriptional Site

(viii) Jain monastic Site

(ix) Coin hoard

(x) Paleolithic site

(xi) Terracotta Site

(xii) Roct-cut caves

(xiii) Ancient learning centre

(xiv) Political and cultural centre

(xv) Buddhist Site

(xvi) Ancient port

(xvii) Early historic site

(xviii) Ivory hoard

(xix) Buddhist monastic centre

(xx) Temple complex


Q.2 (a) Do you agree that ecological factors influenced the flow and ebb of Harappan Civilisation? Comment. (20 Marks)

(b) Do you agree that the Upanishadic principles embody the high point of Vedic religious thought? Comment. (15 Marks)

(c) Analyse the significance of external influences and indigenous developments on post-Mauryan art. (15 Marks)


Q.3 (a) Will it be proper to consider the megaliths to represent a single, homogenous or contemporaneous culture? What kind of material life and cultural system was revealed in Megalithic cultures? (20 Marks)

(b) How would you characterise the nature of Mauryan state on the basis of Kautilya’s Arthashastra? (15 Marks)

(c) How did the Varnashrama Dharma manifest the increasing social complexities in the Gupta and post-Gupta period arising from social and economic developments? (15 Marks)


Q.4 (a) “The political and economic needs of rulers, combined with economic and status needs of merchant class, together provided the receptive cultural milieu in which Buddhism flourished”. Comment. (20 Marks)

(b) Large number of land grants in hitherto non-arable tracts invariably meant expansion of agriculture in early medieval India. How did the management of hydraulic resources (different types of irrigation works) facilitate expansion of agriculture in this period? (15 Marks)

(c) Discuss the relationship between emergence of literature in vernacular languages and formation of regional identities in early medieval India. (15 Marks)


Q.5. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each: (5 X 10 = 50 Marks)

(a) Discuss the different stages of Indian feudalism and analyse its impact on Indian political system.

(b) Do you consider Sultan Iltutmish to be the real founder of the Delhi Sultanate? Discuss.

(c) Identify different categories of Persian literature which emerged during the Delhi Sultanate.

(d) Examine the causes of Babur’s success against Ibrahim Lodi in the First Battle of Panipat.

(e) Discuss the attitude of Chishti saints towards the state. How were the Suhrawardi saints different in their attitude towards the government?


Q.6 (a) Discuss the transformation of Sikh community from a Nirguna Bhakti sect into a politico-military organisation. (20 Marks)

(b) Give your assessment of Bahlul Lodi’s relation with his nobility. (15 Marks)

(c) Examine the basic features of Mughal tomb architecture with special reference to the Taj Mahal. (15 Marks)


Q.7 (a) Discuss the importance of Iqta system. How did it help in centralisation of administration of the Delhi Sultanate? (20 Marks)

(b) Why is the reign of Khaljis known as the ‘Khalji Revolution’? (15 Marks)

(c) The late seventeenth century Mughal India is considered to be a period of Jagirdari crisis. Discuss. (15 Marks)


Q.8 (a) “The Chola rulers were not mighty conquerors, efficient administrators but also builders of fine temples.” Comment. (20 Marks)

(b) Discuss with relevant illustrations the relation between Akbar and the Rajput states. (15 Marks)


(c) How far is it justified to consider the states like Bengal, Awadh, and Hyderabad as ‘successor states’ of the Mughal state? (15 Marks)



History (Optional) Paper-2 Question Paper – UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2021

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Q.1. Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words: (5 X 10 = 50 Marks)

(a) The introduction of western education transformed India in unforeseen ways.

(b) Tipu Sultan had little success in setting forth a course of change significantly different from the general experience of 18th century crisis of Indian politics and society where public life tended over and over to become a system of plundering.

(c) The Vernacular Press Act of 1878 was designed for better control of vernacular press and to empower the government with more effective means of punishing and repressing seditious writings.

(d) The rise of Communist Movement in India in the 1920s lent a militant and revolutionary content to the Trade Union Movement.

(e) In the first decade of the 20th century, the atmosphere was ripe for the emergence of revolutionary groups to fill up the vacant space in the political map of country.


Q.2 (a) India had been the world leader in the field of hand spun and hand-woven yarn and cloth for many centuries. Many nationalist and Marxist critiques considered that the British dominion deliberately shattered the traditional and world-famous handicrafts of India. Comment. (20 Marks)

(b) What were the various ways in which nationalism manifested itself in India during colonial rule? (20 Marks)

(c) The East India Company had thought that they had found an ideal puppet in Mir Kasim. Mir Kasim, however, belied the expectation of the company. Examine critically. (10 Marks)


Q.3 (a) How did the British Utilitarian thinking impact India in the British era? (20 Marks)

(b) The same Gandhiji who withdrew the Non-Cooperation Movement on the issue of violence at Chauri-Chaura, refused to condemn people’s violence during the Quit India Movement. Do you think that he was using his faith in the efficacy of non-violence and was willing to deviate from his path? Elucidate. (20 Marks)

(c) While individually Marathas were clever and brave, they lacked the corporate spirit so essential for national independence. Discuss with reasons. (10 Marks)


Q.4 (a) Discuss the major constitutional development in India after 1858 and their impact on society and polity. (20 Marks)

(b) Discuss the changing nature of Dalit assertion in India in the twentieth century. (20 Marks)

(c) How were the princely states integrated in the Indian Union after the partition? What role did Sardar Patel play in it? (10 Marks)


Q.5. Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words: (5 X 10 = 50 Marks)

(a) There were many reasons why industrial revolution first happened in England.

(b) Napoleon’s continental system may be reckoned as the greatest blunder and may be described as a “monument of misdirected energy”.

(c) Chartist Movement failed to achieve its stated objectives, but succeeded in seeding the idea that a representative democracy should include all citizens.

(d) During Cold War, some important leaders of Non-Aligned Movement wanted to keep the movement away from the military blocs.

(e) The Arab countries looked up to Nasser as a leader who could withstand the pressure exerted by Western countries on Egypt to make peace with Israel.


Q.6 (a) What was “enlightened” about the Age of Enlightenment? (20 Marks)

(b) What were the causes and consequences of the revolutionary upsurge of 1840s in Europe? (20 Marks)

(c) The white-minority government of South Africa treated the natives very badly by denying them fundamental rights and made Apartheid as official policy. How were the people able to end the Apartheid policy and establish a transitional rule? (10 Marks)


Q.7 (a) The rise of nationalism across nations shattered the chains which held together the empires of modern Europe. Discuss. (20 Marks)

(b) In American Civil War, the victory of the North had many consequences. Some of them were direct and obvious. However, its indirect effects on American development were perhaps even more important. Comment. (20 Marks)

(c) Revolutions, whether in Russia (1917) or in China (1949), are a disastrous way of transforming a country. Comment. (10 Marks)


Q.8 (a) Europe was at war with itself in the first half of the twentieth century with a long cease-fire. Comment. (20 Marks)

(b) The impact of the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the US as the lone superpower has been both, good and bad. Discuss. (20 Marks)

(c) Do you think that the United Nations Organisation has played a significant role in resolving international disputes and ensuring peace in the world? (10 Marks) 


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UPSC CSE Mains 2021 | Know the Expected Cut-off 

Find above the question paper of Mains Exam 2021. Know about the expected Cut-off of IAS Mains 2021 Exam from expert faculties of Insight IAS and check your answers with the most accurate answer key of Mains 2021. 

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