UPSC Mains 2020 GS - 1 Question Paper
Baljit Dhaka

UPSC Mains 2020 GS - 1 Question Paper

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UPSC Mains 2020 GS - 1 Question Paper

General Studies
Paper- 1 

Question paper specific instructions 

Please read all the following instructions before attempting the question paper.

There are 20 questions printed in both Hindi and English language.

All questions are mandatory.

The number of marks carried by each part/ question is indicated in front of it.

Answers to questions no. 1 to 10 should be in 150 words, whereas answers to questions no. 11 to 20 should be in 250 words.


Q1. The Rock-cut architecture represents one of the most important sources of our knowledge of early India art and history. Discuss (Answer in 150 words) 10 marks.


Q2. Pala period is the most significant phase in the history of Buddhism in India. Enumerate. (Answer in 150 words) 10 marks 


Q3. Evaluate the policies of Lord version and their long term implication on the national movement. (Answer in 150 words) 10 marks.


Q4. Discuss the geophysical characteristics of Circum- Pacific Zone. (answer in 150 words) 10 marks 


Q5. Process of desertification does not have climate boundaries. justify with examples. (Answer in 150 words) 10 marks.


Q6. How will the melting of Himalayan glaciers have a far-reaching impact on the water resources of India? (Answer in 150 words) 10 marks.


Q7. Account for the present location of iron and steel Industries away from the source of raw material by giving examples. (Answer in 150 words) 10 marks.


Q8. Has caste lost its relevance in understanding the multi-cultural Indian society? Elaborate your answer with illustrations. (Answer in 150 words) 10 marks.


Q9. Covid-19 pandemic accelerated class inequalities and poverty in India. Comment. (Answer in 150 words) 10 marks.


Q10. Do you agree that regionalism in India appears to be a consequence of rising cultural assertiveness? Argue. (Answer in 150 words) 10 marks.


Q11. Indian philosophy and tradition played a significant role in conceiving and shaping the monuments and their art in India. Discuss. (Answer in 250 words) 15 marks.


Q12. Persian literary sources of medieval India reflect the spirit of the age. Comment. (Answer in 250 words) 15 marks.


Q.13 Since the decade of the 1920s, the national movement acquired various ideological strands and thereby expanded its social base. Discuss. (Answer in 250 words) 15 marks.


Q14. The interlinking of revivers can provide viable solutions to the multi-dimensional inter-related problems of droughts, floods and interrupted navigation. Critically examine. (Answer in 250 words) 15 marks.


Q15. 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) 15 marks.


Q16. India has immense potential of solar energy though there are regional variations in its developments. Elaborate. (Answer in 250 words) 15 marks.


Q17. Examine the status of forest resources of India and its resultant impact on climate change. (Answer in 250 words) 15 marks.


Q18. Is diversity and pluralism in India under threat due to globalization? Justify your answer. (Answer in 250 words) 15 marks.


Q19. Customs and traditions suppress reason leading to obscurantism? Do you agree? (Answer in 250 words) 15 marks.


Q20. How have digital initiatives in India contributed to the functioning of the education system in the country? Elaborate your answer. (Answer in 250 words) 15 marks.

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As you all can see, the number of questions asked from art and culture has increased and on the contrary, the weightage of modern India has decreased with only 2 questions. The weightage of art and culture increased to 4 questions worth 50 marks.
The maximum weightage was of geography with 8 questions worth 100 marks.

After geography, society has proved to be the second most important topic with 6 questions worth 75 marks.
Surprisingly there was no question asked from world history and post-independence history of India.

The questions from Geography were straightforward and conventional. But the questions from art & culture were a bit difficult considering their factual nature. 

The questions from the society section were moderate in difficulty. Some of the questions were open-ended testing the analytical and critical thinking of the students.

The overall GS-1 paper has been moderate in difficulty.