UPSC Mains 2019 Optional paper: Management Paper-I Frontier IAS
Baljit Dhaka

UPSC Mains 2019 Optional paper: Management Paper-I Frontier IAS

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UPSC Mains Optional Paper Management Part-I

In this topic, we will talk about UPSC CSM Management optional paper-i previous year 2019 question paper.

Marks-250                                                                                                                          Time- Three Hours

Question Paper Specific Instructions:

Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting questions.

  • There are EIGHT questions divided into two sections.
  • A candidate has to attempt FIVE questions in all.
  • Questions no 1 and 5 are compulsory and out of the remaining, THREE are to be attempted choosing at least ONE from each section.
  • The number of marks carried by a question /part is indicated against it.
  • Word limit in questions, wherever specified should be adhered to.
  • Attempts of questions shall be counted in chronological order. Unless struck off, an attempt of a question shall be counted even if attempted partly. Any page or portion of the page left blank in the answer book must be clearly struck off.


1. Answer the following in about 150 words each:  10x5=50 marks
(a) “There is only one thing permanent in this world, i.e. change.” Comment on this statement. In your opinion, what is more, important for a government organization- stability or change? 10 marks
(b) Most of the government officers fail to serve the purpose of overseas learning and development assignments. Suggest different interventions which can improve the return on investment on overseas training. 10 marks
(c) (i) Whether all types of stress are bad? Justify your answer.   5 marks
(ii) Discuss the role of Yoga and Meditation in managing stress.  5 marks
(d) Apart from physical ability, language, intelligence, and emotional stability, honesty, and integrity are the two most sought after characteristics required in any candidate. Describe the techniques followed in Recruitment and Selection to check these two characteristics of honesty and integrity. 10 marks
(e) “In India, social responsibility is more in theory than in practice.” Do you agree with this statement? Support your answer with suitable examples. 10 marks

2. (a) New generation Human Resources (HR) managers are well-versed with numbers and technology. Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is one example of it. Briefly discuss HRIS. What attributes will you consider while framing an HR dashboard metrics, which can give a realistic picture of Human resources in an organization? 15 marks
(b) In what respect is Henri Fayol’s contribution to management different from that of Taylor’s Scientific Management theory? Do the general management principles given by Fayol still hold good and are they relevant to the modern organizations? Justify your answer. 15 marks
(c) What is a learning organization? Outline the prerequisites for a creative and innovative organizational culture. How does it help the organization to survive in cut-throat competition? 10 marks
(d) How can the performance of a government employee be appraised? Discuss the 360-degree performance appraisal method. How can the barriers in the appraisal process be removed? 10 marks

3. (a) With the advent of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), there has been a sea-change in all the functional areas of Management. In this context, discuss the future challenges of the Human Resource Management (HRM) area in the next decade. 10 marks
(b) “Absolute Decentralization is as hypothetical as absolute centralization.” Discuss. Explain the factors which affect the degree of decentralization. 15 marks
(c) “It is said that an organization devoid of power and politics is lifeless.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer. How can power and politics in an organization be positively moulded for better performance? 15 marks
(d) Distinguish among classical, Neo-classical, and contingency approaches to Organizational Design. Which approach in your opinion is the best? why? 10 marks

4 (a) Informal organizations are detrimental to the interest of formal organizations.” Comment on this statement. In what ways can managers make most effective use of informal organizations to their advantage? 15 marks
(b) What do you understand by employee morale? How can it be boosted? In this context, give an example of a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). 15 marks
(c) “Personality factors influence individual behaviour.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer and also give suitable examples. 10 marks
(d) Do you think that there are universal principles of management that affect the success of all organizations and managers? Support your answer with suitable examples. 10 marks

Section- B

5. Answer the following in about 150 words each: 10x5=50 marks
(a) Examine how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has transformed the traditional marketing processes and buyer’s purchase behaviour. Justify your answer with the help of suitable illustrations.
(b) “Accounting ratios are mere mathematical relationships expressed between interconnected accounting figures and at times may be misleading.” Elucidate the statement with suitable examples.
(c) Explain briefly the costs and benefits associated with holding inventory. What are the considerations determining the maximum level and minimum level of inventory?
(d) Distinguish between Job and process costing. Also state the industries, where the above costing methods are used.
(e) Distinguish between ‘pull’ and ‘push’ strategies. Explain the marketing situations with suitable illustrations that influence a marketer’s decision to adopt ‘pull’ vs. ‘push’ strategy.

6. (a) India is the largest producer of milk in the world accounting for over 21% share in global milk production. However, its share in the International market remains negligible. Prepare a comprehensive Market Research Plan to explore potential for India’s dairy products in the international markets. 15 marks
(b) Explain the Modigilani-Miller hypothesis of dividend irrelevance. Also critically examine the assumptions underlying the irrelevant hypothesis. 15 marks
(c) Mohan Ltd. has earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of ? 5,00,000. The firm currently has an outstanding debt of ? 20,00,000 at an average cost, kd of 12%. Its cost of equity capital, ke is estimated to be 18%.
(i) Determine the current value of the firm using the traditional approach.
(ii) Determine the firm’s overall capitalization rate, ko.
(iii) The firm is considering to issue the capital of ? 10,00,000 in order to redeem ? 10,00,000 debt. The cost of debt is expected to be unaffected. However, the firm’s cost of equity capital is to be reduced to 16% as a result of decrease in leverage. Would you recommend the proposed action? 20 marks

7. (a) (i) Creating differentiation even in commodities such as milk, water, edible oil, etc., lead to creation of strong brands. Explain alternate branding strategies employed to create such differentiation. 8 marks
(ii) Differentiate between ‘brand equity’ and ‘brand identity’. 7 marks
(b) What is Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)? What are its underlying assumptions? How will you distinguish between Capital Market Line (CML) and Security Market Line (SML)? 10 marks

(c) Two competing retail vendors A and B are located adjacent to each other. Both occupied buildings of the same size, paid the same rent, i.e.,? 1,250, and charged similar prices for their products. Vendor A employed three times as many employees as B and has twice as much income as B. Other data are as follows:

You are required to answer the following questions:
(i) Explain why vendor A is twice as profitable as vendor B.
(ii) By how much vendor B’s sales have to be increased in order to justify the doubling of the number of employees at the same rate of pay if B’s desired operating income is ?350? 15 marks
(d) Is depreciation charged due to fluctuations in the value of fixed assets? Should depreciation be provided even if the firm is in loss during the financial year? Do firms charge depreciation on fixed assets, although the market value of the assets is higher than its book value? 10 marks

8. (a) Distinguish between Cash flow and Fund flow statements of a firm. What is the significance of preparing these statements? 10 marks
(b) What is the significance of cost of capital in capital budgeting? Is the cost of preference shares lower than the cost of equity shares? State reasons for your answer. 10 marks
(c) A firm has sales of ?20,00,000, Variable cost of ?14,00,000, fixed cost of ?4,00,000 and debt of ?10,00,000 at 10% rate of interest. Calculate the operating, financial and combined leverages. If the firm wants to triple its earnings before interest and tax(EBIT), how much of a rise in sales would be needed on a percentage basis? 15 marks
(d) (i) ‘Everything is fair in ‘love and war’ and marketing is considered to be a strategic war fought against competitors in a civilized manner. Examine the above axiom with reference to prevalent unethical marketing practices in India. (ii) Briefly evaluate the relevant legal framework and enforcement mechanism to curb unethical marketing practices. 15 marks