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Some of the judgments based by the Supreme Court have shaped and given more meaning to the Constitution of India. Below are a few of those important landmark cases:

A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras

AK Gopalan was detained under the Preventive Detention Act 1950. He filed a petition challenging the validity of the Act. The petition challenged the legitimacy of the Act as it took away the basic fundamental rights as guaranteed under Articles 13, 19 & 21, and 22 of the Indian Constitution.

In the AK Gopalan case, the Court held that any competent authority could deprive a person of his life or personal liberty. In the A.K.Gopalan Case, Article 21 was interpreted extremely literally.

Indra Swahney v. Union of India

Indra Sawhney v. Union of India, known as the Mandal Commission case, is a very significant pronouncement of the Supreme Court on the question of reservation of posts for backward classes. The Court has dealt with this question in a very exhaustive manner. This case has overruled the judgment laid down in the case of Devadasan v. Union of India stating that the rule of carried forward is applicable unless it does not breach the 50% rule. Analysis of this case gives a clear picture of how reservation works in India.

Maneka Gandhi v. UOI

Maneka Gandhi, a journalist whose passport was issued on June 1, 1976, under the Passport Act, 1967. The very next year, the Regional Passport Officer ordered her to surrender her passport. And later, the Ministry of External Affairs declined to state the reason “in the interest of the general public.”

When a writ petition was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India stating the seize of her passport as the violation of her fundamental rights; specifically Article 14 (Right to Equality), Article 19 (Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression), and Article 21 (Right to Life and Liberty) guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

Maneka Gandhi’s case is considered a landmark case for the interpretation of Article 21. This case also threw an entire viewpoint of Chapter III of the Indian Constitution.

for part 1 –> Click 

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Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released calendar 2022 for the exams which are scheduled to be in 2022.

Candidates who are planning to appear in the Civil Services Examination, CDS Examination, CAPF(AC) Examination, and other examinations conducted by UPSC can visit the Official Website of UPSC to check the dates.

UPSC 2022

Prelims Strategy




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Some of the judgments based by the Supreme Court have shaped and given more meaning to the Constitution of India. Below are a few of those important landmark cases:

Re Berubari Case 

Berubari Union was omitted by the Radcliffe commission and erroneously depicted on the map. This led to a tussle between India and Pakistan as the latter claimed the territory. The dispute was resolved in 1958 by the Nehru-Noon agreement. According to the agreement, the Berubari Union was divided equally between India and Pakistan.

This move was severely criticized and the matter was referred to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court stated that the parliament has to first amend article 3 of the constitution under article 368 as article 3(c) doesn’t give parliament the power to cede but only in case of diminishing the state territory.

Thus, the 9th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1960 was enacted to give effect to the agreement.

The Supreme Court ruling of 1969 stated the settlement of boundary dispute between India and any other country would not require a constitutional amendment. 

It can be sorted by executive action in cases that do not involve the cession of territory.

Golaknath v. State of Punjab 

Henry and William Golaknath possessed over 500 acres of farmland. But the brothers were allowed to keep only 30-acres of land each as per the Punjab Security and Land Tenures Act, 1953. The rest was to be declared surplus. They challenged this act in court and were referred to the Supreme Court in 1965.

The most important issue was discussed during the case, whether the Parliament has the vested power to make an amendment to the fundamental rights, guaranteed under Part III of the Indian Constitution, 1950. The Court then held that Parliament cannot amend the Fundamental Rights.

This ruling was later reversed in the Kesvananda Bharati case, 1973.

Keshvananda Bharti v. State of Kerala 

Keshvananda Bharati is known as a landmark case. This gave birth to the concept of the basic structure doctrine of the Constitution. The judgment s given by the bench rightly balanced Parliament’s right to amend laws and citizen’s right to protect their Fundamental Rights. 

Indra Nehru Gandhi case 

Raj Narain contested against Indira Gandhi in the 1971 Lok Sabha General Elections. However, he, filed for a petition before the High Court of Allahabad on grounds of Election malpractices by Indira Gandhi. The Court found Indira Gandhi guilty and ordered her to step down from the Prime Ministerial post. Further, she was disqualified from contesting in elections for another six years.

Aggrieved by this decision she appealed the ruling in Supreme Court. Before SC could look into the matter, a state of emergency was declared.

Further an emergency–stricken India passed 39th Constitutional (Amendment) Act, 1971. The amendment added Article 329-A, which expressed that no court of law can question the election of the Speaker and the Prime Minister.

Then this amendment was challenged in the Apex court and the court declared clause 4 of Article 329-A as unconstitutional.

Minerva Mills v. UOI

The Parliament decided to reconstruct the bad assets of Sick companies and subsequently enacted the sick textile undertakings (Nationalization) Act, 1974. One such undertaking was the Minerva Mills, the textile industry in Karnataka. This undertaking was nationalized and taken over by the Central Government under the provisions of the above-mentioned act. 

Through the 39th Constitutional Amendment Act, the Nationalization Act was added to Ninth Schedule. Any act placed under the ninth schedule was outside the purview of judicial review.

Further, the 42nd amendment was passed in the parliament which amended Article 31C and Article 368. The petitioner was now barred to appear on the court because of 42nd Amendment Act. Thus, the Validity of the 42nd CAA was questioned in the Apex court.  

The court ruled that the parliament has the power to amend the Constitution but should be within its basic framework. 


For more such content, Visit: Skholar 

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The countdown to UPSC CSE prelims 2021 has begun. The last 3 months are crucial for the preparation. This phase can convert hard work into positive results. The preliminary exam is designed in a way to filter out a maximum number of candidates.  

In order to maximize the chances of clearing the prelims exam, aspirants need to have a concrete revision strategy. It should contain plans for at least 2 revisions.

It is important to keep the following in mind while preparing the plan:

Revision Plan

Frame a revision plan with the remaining number of days. The revision cycle should be planned in a way to get in touch with all the major subjects regularly. Long gaps should be avoided.

Solve enough number of test

Solving more questions helps one to identify weaknesses, mistakes, and frame strategies.

  • Work on weaknesses. Identify topics to be re-visited. Focus on topics that is not clear.
  • Work on Common mistakes such as shading the wrong bubble, Skipping a question while shading etc
  • Frame strategy based on the accuracy of correctness. For example, go with more number of questions if accuracy is low.
Do not ignore CSAT:

Since it’s a qualifying paper, students often tend to ignore practicing CSAT before the exam. 

It can prove to be a spoiler, if one neglects CSAT. It is important to keep in mind that without qualifying CSAT, GS paper cannot be qualified. 

Give equal importance to GS & Current affairs: 

With the recent pattern of question paper, it is advisable to focus on both GS & current affairs equally. For quick revision, you can refer to  the monthly capsule by Skholar IAS. 

 Divide the day into several sessions:

Reading same subject throughout the day causes monotony. To break it, divide the day into smaller sessions. Furthermore, allocate a session at night to revise what is read throughout the day.

 Prepare daily timetable:

Plan your day early in the morning and try to stick to the plan. Do not have an over-ambitious target which causes anxiety. Lack of planning results in wastage of time.

Notes making:

Make small and crisp notes for all subjects. These notes can be revised over and over again. Remember not to add any lengthy statements. 

Stick to the minimal source:

No Ph.D. is required in every subject. A basic understanding of most topics is essential. The key to UPSC is revision, to remain minimal with the source. The more the no. of sources, the more difficult the revision is.  

Proper food and Sleep:

Healthy and Nutritious food with adequate sleep is very important. Sleep is essential for a proper working of memory. And to perform well, remaining healthy is very essential. Include short physical exercise in the routine. 


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Basic structure doctrine is a judicial innovation to preserve, protect and maintain the constitutional values envisaged by the Constituent Assembly of India. It keeps our constitution as a living document and helps it to adapt to the changing times. It has become one of the key safeguards against any transgressions on the key principles of the original constitution enacted after independence.


The Basic structure doctrine has evolved by the Supreme Court through numerous landmark judgments.

The question of whether fundamental rights can be amended or not came into consideration after the 1st constitutional Amendment act. This amendment heavily diluted the freedom of speech and right to property. The Amendment was then challenged before the Court of Law. The Supreme Court, in Shankari Prasad Case (1951), upheld the amendment and ruled that parliament can abridge or take away any fundamental rights and such an act cannot be deemed void under Article 13.

In 1964, the 17th Amendment Act included 44 Acts in the Ninth Schedule.  This amendment led to the same question that whether parliament has the power to amend fundamental rights.

In the Golaknath case (1967) the Apex Court held that Parliament cannot amend the Fundamental Rights. This was a reversal of earlier judgement given in the Shankari Prasad Case.

To counter the judgement delivered in Golaknath Case, the 24th Amendment Act to the Constitution was passed in 1971 that altered the relationship between the Parliament and the judiciary. The Amendment Act allowed Parliament to amend the Fundamental Rights under Article-368.

Further, the 25th Amendment Act provided that any law made to give effect to Directive Principles contained in 39(b) and (c) cannot be challenged on grounds of violation of rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 19, and 31. These amendments were challenged in the ‘Kesavananda Bharati case’ (also called the “Fundamental Rights case”) in the Supreme Court.

In this case, the court upheld the validity of the 24th Constitutional Amendment Act. It further held that the Parliament is vested with the power to bring amendments to the constitution including Part III and at the same time laid the ‘Doctrine of basic structure’.


The crux of the doctrine lies in fixing the extent of amending powers exercised by the Parliament i.e. Article 368. The doctrine holds that there are certain implied limitations on Parliament’s amending power although these are not explicitly mentioned. It was held that Parliament cannot touch certain parts of the Constitution that are fundamental to democracy, even with the consent of electoral supermajorities.

While the court observed certain features of the constitution like separation of power, federal character, democracy, etc. as a part of this doctrine, it kept the list open for addition and interpretation in the future.


The doctrine was reaffirmed and applied in the Indira Gandhi case which invalidated a provision of the 39th Constitutional Amendment. This amendment kept the election disputes involving the Prime Minister and Speaker outside the jurisdiction of all courts. The Supreme Court said that the provision was beyond the amending power of Parliament.

In the Minerva Mills case, the Court invalidated a provision introduced in the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act. The Act declared that there was no limiting power of Parliament and curtailed the power of Judicial Review.


In Keshavananda Bharati Case, Supreme Court not only effectively applied the Revisional jurisdiction it had been vested with but also vocally reinforced the faith in the Constitution by preserving the time-tested values of our freedom movement.


IAS Preparation & Strategy Mains Exam

Why and How to prepare Current Affairs for UPSC CSE?

Current Affairs play a major role in UPSC Civil Service Exam (CSE) preparation. It has dominated both Prelims and Mains in recent times with questions being directly based on recent news items/articles. Saturation in terms of questions being created from the static syllabus is also a reason for UPSC to go after Current Affairs topics.

While you can’t always expect questions to be directly lifted from news articles, following current affairs becomes important to shape and build your knowledge. The knowledge build-up will be reflecting in your ability to make your answer stand out and to add value to whatever you have studied from standard textbooks. So, there are unlimited reasons to justify “Why” you should be religiously following Current Affairs and almost “Zero” reasons to skip it in your UPSC CSE preparation.

Now moving on to the next part of the question on “How” to prepare, the first thing one needs to understand that there is no water-tight compartmentalization of Current Affairs and static subjects. All Current Affairs topics are one or the other way related to the static topics. So, broadly saying there are two ways in which one can effectively prepare Current Affairs

  1. Relate and interlink the news articles with relevant UPSC syllabus/static topics. For example, News related to topics like Bifurcation of J&K should be read in relation to India’s cooperative federalism topics.
  2. Background research of news articles that are about very new discoveries/inventions or not-so-familiar topics. This is important for getting a conceptual understanding of what one is studying. For example, if the article is on Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), a basic understanding of black hole is necessary. (But limit your research only to get an understanding. Don’t get engrossed in it.)

As the UPSC syllabus is vast, you can’t cover all the newspapers/magazines within the time you have at your disposal. But following one newspaper, preferably The Hindu, on a daily basis and making notes out of it is important.

  1. Read articles that are only relevant to the UPSC syllabus. This can be done by referring UPSC syllabus and Previous Year Question papers before starting with the newspaper.
  2. Follow a structured approach in making notes. Keep different segments for each GS paper/topic. So, it will be easy to update and revise in the future.
  3. Cover important articles of various other newspapers/sources from free online UPSC platforms. Skholar IAS helps you in this aspect by providing lucid and comprehensive coverage of news articles from exam point of view. Most often, you can make notes directly from the points given there.
  4. Once you start making notes, you will realize after 5–6 months, all that you do is update the existing notes. This helps you to keep track of developments in each topic/subject without much energy & time being spent in the process.
  5. Have a holistic approach by interlinking various current affairs topics to get a broad understanding of developments around issues/events. For example, while studying Social Security Code 2020, you should be able to link it with the Social Justice section of the GS-II paper and Unemployment & Migrant Crisis news items related to the Economic Development section of GS III paper of Mains.
  6. Finally, making notes out of Current Affairs is mandatory as it helps you in your preparation for Mains answer writing and also in retention of things you studied.
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UPSC Civil Services 2020 Interview Tips

The Union Public Service Commission released the much-awaited results of the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2020.

If you are on the list, Congratulations!!! But it is not over yet as there is one final hurdle to make it to the merit list- The Interview/Personality Test. UPSC CSE Personality Test carries 275 marks and your performance in this stage can be a decider. So, don’t take it lightly.

First things first. Fill out the Detailed Application Form II (DAF II) to indicate the order of preferences for the Services, Zones, and Cadres. Be wise in giving the order of preference as a potential question can be expected on it and also it will play a role in your career progress.

Know about yourself. While Prelims & Mains tested your knowledge across various subjects, the interview will be dominated by questions about you. The board is going to test your personality, character, and inherent qualities. So, understand yourself well and find areas to work upon.

Be fully aware of information in your DAF. Make a list of expected questions based on DAF and important current developments, and work on them. Questions on hobbies, graduation, current job, the place you hail from, etc. are the much-expected type.

Confidence is the key to crack. This stage is very subjective and so, expressing your views confidently with a positive attitude is very important. But remember to carry only self-confidence and not arrogance. While taking a stand in your views/beliefs is self-confidence, being non-accommodative of other views would sound like arrogance.

Composure gives clarity. There are going to be instances demanding you to think on your feet and questions you don’t know answers to. To bring the best in you at those times, you need to remain calm and composed throughout the 20-30 minutes of the process.

Get exposure. Attend mock interviews and read transcripts of toppers. A simulated interview set-up will help in overcoming anxiety and stress. Constructive feedback from mock interviews and self-analysis will guide you in the actual interview. But don’t overdo it as too many suggestions and mental molding will shatter your originality.

Don’t fake or bluff. You are going to face a panel of members with extensive experience in public life. They can spot any fake facts on DAF, or lies you say to impress them. So, don’t jeopardize your chances of getting into the service by making such silly mistakes. Also, admit it when you don’t know something instead of bluffing about it.

Communication & Simplicity. Command over the language is important to drive the point across the panel. The ability to convey your opinions, thoughts simply and in a crisp manner is required. It is also a way for the panel to comprehend the clarity of your thought.

Be conscious of etiquette & body language. Behavior like wishing the panel members, being polite and respectful while disagreeing with any views of panel members, thanking the panel before leaving may sound simple but are basic. It is also a part of presenting the best of yourself to the panel.

In addition to this, being conscious of body language is crucial as your gestures express more than what you say. Make sure to maintain eye contact, appropriate body posture, and calmness. Avoid fidgeting, crouching, and sitting in an unnaturally stiff position.

Spontaneous self-evaluation is detrimental. “OMG!!! Did I answer it wrongly?”, “This answer would have impressed them”. During the interview, these kinds of spontaneous assessments of your response are not only unproductive but also detrimental. Lingering in the past responses is going to affect your performance to the follow-up questions. Once said can’t be unsaid. So, don’t stress about it and focus on the moment.

Finally, realize one thing- getting a call letter for the UPSC CSE personality test means you have done everything right so far. Remind this to yourself before entering the interview hall at Dholpur House and finish it off in style. All the best.

Exam Details IAS Preparation & Strategy Mains Exam

UPSC Mains 2020 General Studies II Analysis

GS 2 Paper Analysis

UPSC CSE GS 2 Mains paper yet again proves that civil services exam demands not a good rote memory but the ability to interrelate and analyze multiple aspects, facts and examples linked to the issue.

A detailed section-wise analysis of GS 2 paper clearly shows how UPSC is encapsulating issues that requires thorough understanding of Issues and extensive Newspaper analysis of past 1 year.


Questions Level Marks
 Polity & Constitution


 Q 1 Moderate 10
 Q 2 Moderate 10
Q 3 Moderate 10
Q 4 Difficult 10
Q 5 Difficult 10
Q 11 Difficult 15
Q 12 Difficult 15
Q 13 Difficult 15
Q 14 Difficult 15
Q 15 Moderate 15
Total  10 125


  1. “There is a need for simplification of procedure for disqualification of persons found guilty of corrupt practices under the Representation of peoples Act”. Comment.
  2. “Recent amendments to the Right to information Act will have profound impact on the autonomy and independence of the Information Commission”. Discuss
  3. How far do you think cooperation, competition and confrontation have shaped the nature of federation in India? Cite some recent examples to validate your answer.
  4. The judicial systems in India and UK seem to be converging as well as diverging in the recent times. Highlight the key points of convergence and divergence between the two nations in terms of their judicial practices.
  5. “Once a speaker, Always a speaker’! Do you think the practice should be adopted to impart objectivity to the office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha? What could be its implications for the robust functioning of parliamentary business in India.
  6. Indian constitution exhibits centralizing tendencies to maintain unity and integrity of the nation. Elucidate in the perspective of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897; The Disaster Management Act, 2005 and recently passed Farm Acts.
  7. Judicial Legislation is antithetical to the doctrine of separation of powers as envisaged in the Indian Constitution. In this context justify the filing of large number of public interest petitions praying for issuing guidelines to executive authorities.
  8. The strength sustenance of local institutions in India has shifted from their formative phase of ‘Functions, Functionaries and Funs’ to the contemporary stage of ‘Functionality’. Highlight the critical challenges faced by local institutions in terms of their functionality in recent times.
  9. Rajya Sabha has been transformed from a ‘useless stepney tyre’ to the most useful supporting organ in past few decades. Highlight the factors as well as the areas in which this transformation could be visible.
  10. Which steps are required for constitutionalizing of a commission? Do you think imparting constitutionality to the National Commission for Women would ensure greater gender justice and empowerment in India? Give reasons.


  1. Polity section tested aspirant’s conceptual understanding and articulation skills for effective time management to deal with lengthy issues asked in the questions.
  2. Keeping up with the trend, questions based on recent legislations on RTI, farm laws, etc. were asked. Hence newspaper editorial analysis is a must.
  3. To a great extent the questions were analytical in nature, demanding the aspirants to link recent developments with fundamental concepts.
  4. Overall this section of the paper falls under the Difficult category.
Questions Level Marks


                Q 7 Moderate 10
 Q 8 Moderate 10
Total  2 20


  1. “Institutional quality is a crucial driver of economic performance”. In this context suggest reforms in Civil Service for strengthening democracy.
  2. “The emergence of Fourth Industrial Revolution (Digital Revolution) has initiated e-Governance as an integral part of government”. Discuss.


  1. Questions were direct in nature and of moderate level, though quoting good examples like Supreme Court Judgements for question 7 and e-Governance initiatives for question 8 would be necessary to stand out from the rest.
Questions Level Marks
Social Justice


 Q 6 Moderate 10
 Q 16 Moderate 15
Q 17 Difficult 15
Q 18 Difficult 15
Total  4 55


  1. In order to enhance the prospects of social development, sound and adequate health care policies are needed particularly in the fields of geriatric and maternal health care. Discuss.
  2. “The incidence and intensity of poverty are more important in determining poverty based on income alone”. In this context analyze the latest United Nations Multidimensional Poverty Index Report.
  3. “Micro-Finance as an anti-poverty vaccine, is aimed at asset creation and income security of the rural poor in India”. Evaluate the role of Self-Help Groups in achieving the twin objectives along with empowering women in rural India.
  4. National Education Policy 2020 is in conformity with the Sustainable Development Goal-4 (2030). It intends to restructure and reorient education system in India. Critically examine the statement.


  1. Questions on Social Justice section was a mix of static and current affairs-based topics. Hence NCERT coverage along with proper current affairs analysis is what was required.
  2. The questions were more of moderate level but can also be looked upon as mini essays. As such writing practice of the candidates will be a big factor.
Questions Level Marks
International Relations  Q 9 Moderate 10
 Q 10 Difficult 10
Q 19 Moderate 15
Q 20 Moderate 15
Total  4 50


  1. Critically examine the role of WHO in providing global health security during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. ‘Indian diaspora has a decisive role to play in the politics and economy of America and European Countries’. Comment with examples.
  3. ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD)’ is the transforming itself into a trade bloc from a military alliance, in present times – Discuss.
  4. What is the significance of Indo-US defence deals over Indo-Russian defence deals? Discuss with reference to stability in the Indo-Pacific region.


  1. Consistent with previous years trend, the questions on International Relations were on dynamic topics requiring good command over current affairs.
  2. The questions while were moderate in difficulty but it also required multiple points to be presented in brief, if possible, with current examples.

Overall, this year’s GS 2 Mains paper was lengthy and analytical in nature. Hence, aspirants ability to articulate answers well within word limit was tested . Like prelims, Comprehensive NCERT coverage is also now a must for Mains. There is a clear predilection towards questions based on recent issues in news and the paper is testing how well an aspirant has studied editorial analysis of past 1 year.

Exam Details IAS Preparation & Strategy Mains Exam

UPSC Mains 2020 General Studies I Analysis

GS 1 Paper Analysis

After facing a challenging Essay paper, General Studies 1 gave some relief to candidates sitting for UPSC CSE (Mains) 2020. Despite significant change in the weightage allocation to different sections of GS 1 paper, the direct and basic nature of majority of the questions makes it a reasonably good scoring paper.

The following detailed section-wise analysis will give an insight about the nature and difficulty level of the paper.

  Questions Level Marks
 Indian Heritage and Culture


 Q 1 Moderate 10
 Q 2 Moderate 10
Q 11 Difficult 15
Q 12 Difficult 15
Total  4   50


Q1. The rock-cut architecture represents one of the most important sources of our knowledge of early Indian art and history. Discuss.

Q2. Pala period is the most significant phase in the history of Buddhism in India. Enumerate.

Q11. Indian Philosophy and tradition played a significant role in conceiving and shaping the monuments and their art in India. Discuss.

Q12. Persian literary sources of medieval India reflect the spirit of the age. Comment.


  1. The weightage for the Art and Culture topic has increased significantly from previous years.
  2. Questions were a mix of analytical and factual nature and falls in the Moderate to Difficult category.


  Questions Level Marks
 Modern India


 Q 3 Easy 10
 Q 13 Moderate 15
Total 2   25


Q3. Evaluate the policies of Lord Curzon and their long term implications on the national movements.

Q.13 Since the decade of the 1920s, the national movement acquired various ideological strands and thereby expanded its social base. Discuss.


  1. Increase in weightage for Art & Culture topic has been compensated with reduced weightage for History.
  2. No questions on Post-Independence and World History topics were asked.
  3. Modern India topic was of Easy to Moderate level with straight forward questions.
  Questions Level Marks
          World Geography  Q 4 Easy 10
 Q 5 Easy 10
Indian Geography Q 6 Easy 10
Q 14 Moderate 15
Q 15 Moderate 15
Q 17 Moderate 15
Economic Geography Q 7 Moderate 10
Q 16 Moderate 15
Total  8   100


World Geography

Q4. Discuss the geophysical characteristics of Circum- Pacific Zone.

Q5. The process of desertification does not have climate boundaries. Justify with examples.

Indian Geography

Q6. How will the melting of Himalayan glaciers have a far- reaching impact on the water resources of India?

Q14. The interlinking of revivers can provide viable solutions to the multi-dimensional inter-related problems of droughts, floods and interrupted navigation. Critically examine.

Q15. Account for the huge flooding of million cities in India including the smart ones like Hyderabad and Pune. Suggest lasting remedial measures.

Q17. Examine the status of forest resources of India and its resultant impact on climate change.

Economic Geography

Q7. Account for the present location of iron and steel industries away from the source of raw material, by giving examples.

Q16. India has immense potential of solar energy though there are regional variations in its developments. Elaborate.


  1. Highest weightage in GS 1 paper was given to Geography, with questions on World, Indian and Economic geography.
  2. Questions tested the conceptual understanding of the aspirant and were direct in nature.
  3. Overall the section was on the Easy to Moderate side.
  Questions Level Marks


 Q 8 Difficult 10
 Q 9 Moderate 10
Q 10 Difficult 10
Q 18 Moderate 15
Q 19  Difficult 15
Q 20 Moderate 15
Total 6   75


Q8. Has caste lost its relevance in understanding the multi- cultural Indian Society? Elaborate your answer with illustrations.

Q9. COVID-19 pandemic accelerated class inequalities and poverty in India. Comment.

Q10. Do you agree that regionalism in India appears to be a consequence of rising cultural assertiveness? Argue.

Q18. Is diversity and pluralism in India under threat due to globalisation? Justify your answer.

Q19. Customs and traditions suppress reason leading to obscurantism. Do you agree?

Q20. How have digital initiatives in India contributed to the functioning of the education system in the country? Elaborate your answer.


  1. Society section was the trickiest part in the whole paper, with open-ended questions.
  2. Questions tested the analytical ability and knowledge on Indian society by demanding real-life examples and opinions.
  3. Overall the section was of Moderate to Difficult level.

In short, smartness to tackle the society section and a good command over concepts and important topics of History and Geography would have helped aspirants sail through this paper comfortably.

Exam Details IAS Preparation & Strategy

Last Minute Preparation Tips for Mains Exam

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for the Civil Services (Mains) Examination is an intense 10-day period that will test both your knowledge and mental tenacity. Following tips will guide you to be at your best in this test.

Revise, Do not Read

This exam requires you to comprehend and present in your answers a complex web of concepts and data from across subjects. By now, you would have made notes for all topics. Prudence on your part requires you to trust your preparation and revise your notes. Reading new topics, concepts and reports is not going to be helpful and could even compromise what you have prepared and learned.
Revision improves your memory and makes you deliver answers effectively.

Time Management

In the Mains exam, time management is as much a skill as answer writing is. The Mains paper will not only test your knowledge but also your ability to present a comprehensive answer within stipulated time. So, make sure you keep the following pointers in mind while you sit for your exam.

  1. a) Stick to the word limit. Don’t get carried away with questions about which you know a lot. Exceeding the word limit compromises the prospective answers that you would attempt.
  2. b) Move on to the next and don’t get stuck with a question. You can come back after completing the paper or when you recollect any pointers. Always attempt the questions you are confident of first.
  3. c) Use appropriate flowcharts & diagrams wherever possible to be more efficient in both time and content in expressing your points
  4. d) Stick to one pen. Remember, a good presentation is about proper structure, coherence and legibility in your answers and not excessive beautification.


This is closely related to proper and methodological preparation along with revision.

Brainstorming will train your brain to be active and efficient. On average, with hardly 8-9 minutes are available for each question to be answered, you don’t have the luxury to ponder upon the question for long.

One way to brainstorm in order to generate points is by analyzing the topic in a question in multiple dimensions. For example, if a question comes on the recent farm laws, think about it from constitutional, economic, social, political perspectives. Not only will this help in generating points faster, but also in presenting a holistic answer.

Do not Panic

The questions asked in the mains exams are a mixture of tough and very tough questions. At times candidate panics at the first look of the paper and stresses himself/herself excessively which ultimately compromises the answers that could have been attempted well. The key is being calm and composed while attempting answers and figuring out how best an answer can be constructed with information you know. Often one who does not panic ends up churning out a good answer.

Stay Positive

Remember you are one among few thousands who made it to the Mains. This shows that belong here. You possess the potential to be on the final merit list. Never doubt yourself and trust your preparation Be confident, focused, and positive throughout the process.