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UPSC Previous Year (Mains) Paper With Solution Subject Wise



1. Trace the rise and growth of socio-religious reform movements with special reference to Young Bengal and Brahmo Samaj.

2. To what extinct did the role of moderates prepare a base for the wider freedom movement? comment

3. Bring out the constructive programmes of Mahatma Gandhi during Non-Cooperation Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement.


1. Evaluate the policies of Lord Curzon and their long term implications on the national movement. (Answer in 150 words).

2. Since the decade of the 1920s, the national movement acquired various ideological strands and thereby expanded its social base. Discuss. (Answer in 250 words).


1. Assess the role of British imperial power in complicating the process of transfer of power during the 1940s.

2. The 1857 Uprising was the culmination of the recurrent big and small local rebellions that had occurred in the preceding hundred years of British rule. Elucidate.

3. Examine the linkages between the nineteenth century's 'Indian Renaissance' and the emergence of national identity

4. Many voices had strengthened and enriched the nationalist movement during the Gandhian phase. Elaborate


1. Why indentured labour was taken by British from India to other colonies? Have they been able to preserve their cultural identity over there?

2. Throw light on the significance of thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi in the present times.


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

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

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

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

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


1. Highlight the difference in the approach of Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom.

2. Explain how the upraising of 1857 constitutes an important watershed in the evolution of British policies towards colonial India.

3. Discuss the role of women in the freedom struggle especially during the Gandhian phase


1. It would have been difficult for the Constituent Assembly to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India in just three years but for the experience gained with the Government of India Act, 1935. Discuss

2. How different would have been the achievement of Indian independence without Mahatma Gandhi? Discuss

3. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate


1. In what ways did the naval mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India?

2. What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India?

3. The third battle of Panipat was fought in 1761. Why were so many empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat?

4. Examine critically the various facets of economic policies of the British in India from mid-eighteenth century till independence.


1. “In many ways, Lord Dalhousie was the founder of modern India.” Elaborate

2. Critically discuss the objectives of Bhoodan and Gramdan Movements initiated by Acharya Vinoba Bhave and their success.

3. Defying the barriers of age, gender and religion, the Indian women became the torch-bearer during the struggle for freedom in India. Discuss.

4. Several foreigners made India their homeland and participated in various movements. Analyze their role in the Indian struggle for freedom.




1. There arose a serious challenge to the Democratic State System between the two World Wars.” Evaluate the statement.



1. Explain how the foundations of the modern world were laid by the American and French Revolutions



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



1. The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa were led by the new elite of Western educated Africans.Examine.



1. To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically

2. Why did the industrial revolution first occur in England? Discuss the quality of life of the people there during the industrialization. How does it compare with that in India at present?



1. The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin had influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate.

2. What were the events that led to the Suez Crisis in 1956? How did it deal a final blow to Britain’s selfimage as a world power?



1. “American Revolution was an economic revolt against mercantilism.” Substantiate.

2. What policy instruments were deployed to contain the Great Economic Depression?

3. “‘Latecomer’ Industrial Revolution in Japan involved certain factors that were markedly different from what West had experienced.” Analyze.

4. “Africa was chopped into States artificially created by accidents of European competition.” Analyze



1. Differentiate the causes of landslides in the Himalayan region and Western Ghats

2. 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

3. what are the environmental implications of the reclamation of the water bodies into urban land use? Explain with examples

4. Mention the global occurrence of volcanic eruptions in 2021 and their impact on regional environment.

5. Why is India considered as a sub-continent? Elaborate your answer.

6. . Briefly mention the alignment of major mountain ranges of the world and explain their impact on local weather conditions, with examples.

7. . How do the melting of the Arctic ice and glaciers of the Antarctic differently affect the weather patterns and human activities on the Earth? Explain.

8. Discuss the multi-dimensional implications of uneven distribution of mineral oil in the world.

9. What are the main socio-economic implications arising out of the development of IT industries in major cities of India?


1. Discuss the geophysical characteristics of Circum-Pacific Zone. (Answer in 150 words)

2. The process of desertification does not have climatic boundaries. Justify with examples. (Answer in 150 words)

3. How will the melting of Himalayan glaciers have a far-reaching impact on the water resources of India? (Answer in 150 words

4. Account for the present location of iron and steel industries away from the source of raw material, by giving examples.(Answer in 150 words)

5. The interlinking of rivers can provide viable solutions to the multi-dimensional inter-related problems of droughts, floods and interrupted navigation. Critically examine. (Answer in 250 words)

6. Account for the huge flooding of million cities in India including the smart ones like Hyderabad and Pune. Suggest lasting remedial measures. (Answer in 250 words)

7. India has immense potential of solar energy though there are regional variations in its development. Elaborate. (Answer in 250 words)

8. Examine the status of forest resources of India and its resultant impact on climate change. (Answer in 250 words)


1. How can the mountain ecosystem be restored from the negative impact of development initiatives and tourism?

2. How is efficient and affordable urban mass transport key to the rapid economic development of India?

3. How do ocean currents and water masses differ in their impacts on marine life and coastal environment?

4. Can the strategy of regional resource-based manufacturing help in promoting employment in India?

5. Discuss the factors for localisation of agro-based food processing industries of North-West India

6. Empowering women is the key to control population growth." Discuss

7. What is water stress? How and why does it differ regionally in India?

8. Assess the impact of global warming on the coral life system with examples

9. Discuss the causes of depletion of mangroves and explain their importance in maintaining coastal ecology.


1. “The ideal solution of depleting ground water resources in India is water harvesting system”. How can it be made effective in urban areas?

2. Defining blue revolution, explain the problems and strategies for pisciculture development in India

3. What is the significance of Industrial Corridors in India? Identifying industrial corridors, explain their main characteristics.

4. Mention core strategies for the transformation of aspirational districts in India & explain the nature of convergence, collaboration & Competition for its success

5. Why is Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) needed? How does it help in navigation?

6. Why is India taking keen interest in resources of Arctic region?

7. Define mantle plume and explain its role in plate tectonics.

8. What are the consequences of spreading of ‘Dead Zones’ on marine ecosystems?


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

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

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

4. “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

5. Account for variations in oceanic salinity and discuss its multidimensional effects

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

7. “In spite of adverse environmental impact, coal mining is still inevitable for development”. Discuss

8. 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.

9. How does the cryosphere affect global climate?


1. South China Sea has assumed great geopolitical significance in the present context. Comment.

2. Major cities of India are becoming vulnerable to flood conditions. Discuss.

3. Present an account of the Indus Water Treaty and examine its ecological, economic and political implications in the context of changing bilateral relations.

4. Enumerate the problems and prospects of inland water transport in India.

5. In what way micro-watershed development projects help in water conservation in drought-prone and semi-arid regions of India?

6. With a brief background of quality of urban life in India, introduce the objectives and strategy of the ‘Smart City Programme.



1. Are we losing our local identity for the global identity? Discuss

2. Empowering women is the key to control population growth”. Discuss

3. What are the continued challenges for women in India against time and space?.

4. What makes Indian society unique in sustaining its culture? Discuss

5. What are the challenges to our cultural practices in the name of secularism?

6. Do we have cultural pockets of small India all over the nation? Elaborate with examples.


7. ‘Women’s movement in India has not addressed the issues of women of lower social strata.’ Substantiate your view.

8. ‘Globalization is generally said to promote cultural homogenization but due to this cultural specificities appear to be strengthened in the Indian Society.’ Elucidate.

9. ‘Communalism arises either due to power struggle or relative deprivation’. Argue by giving suitable illustrations.

10. “Caste system is assuming new identities and associational forms. Hence the caste system cannot be eradicated in India.” Comment.

11. ‘Despite the implementation of various programmes for eradication of poverty by the government in India, poverty is still existing’. Explain by giving reasons.

12. How the Indian concept of secularism is different from the western model of secularism? Discuss.


13. 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.

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

15. 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 viewpoint.

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


17. What is the basis of regionalism? Is it that unequal distribution of benefits of development on regional basis eventually promotes regionalism? Substantiate your answer.

18. To what extent globalisation has influenced the core of cultural diversity in India? Explain.

19. “An essential condition to eradicate poverty is to liberate the poor from the process of deprivation.” Substantiate this statement with suitable examples.

20. Why are the tribals in India referred to as ‘the Scheduled Tribes’? Indicate the major provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India for their upliftment.


21. Discuss the changes in the trends of labour migration within and outside India in the last four decades.

22. Discuss the positive and negative effects of globalization on women in India.

23. Debate the issue of whether and how contemporary movements for assertion of Dalit identity work towards annihilation of caste

24. Describe any four cultural elements of diversity in India and rate their relative significance in building a national identity.

25. Critically examine whether growing population is the cause of poverty OR poverty is the main cause of population increase in India.

26. How do you explain the statistics that show that the sex ratio in Tribes in India is more favourable to women than the sex ratio among Scheduled Castes?


27. Discuss the various economic and socio-cultural forces that are driving increasing feminization of agriculture in India.

28. How do the Indian debates on secularism differ from the debates in the West?

29. How does patriarchy impact the position of a middle class working woman in India?

30. Why do some of the most prosperous regions of India have an adverse sex ratio for women? Give your arguments.

31. The life cycle of a joint family depends on economic factors rather than social values. Discuss.


32. Critically examine the effect of globalization on the aged population in India.

33. Growing feeling of regionalism is an important factor in generation of demand for a separate State.Discuss

34. Discuss the various social problems which originated out of the speedy process of urbanization in India

35. “Male membership needs to be encouraged in order to make women’s organization free from gender bias.” Comment

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