Word limit reduced but complexity & vagueness increased. साला इतना डिटेल में कोन प्रिपेर करता है? (Who prepares everything in this much detail?)
It seems Mains exam has become a competition, not to select “best among good answers” but rather “less bad among the worst answers”. Because it’s impossible to write 25/25 in honest manner even with sincere preparation.
Easy to give arm-chair commentaries like “UPSC is testing candidate’s emotional aptitude, and for xyz question- Hindu, old-NCERT or some random optional subject book has given 1-2 points, so candidate ought to have web-researched backwards and prepared a decent 200 words notes on everything under the Sun”….Plain waste of demographic dividend, electricity and bandwidth it is.
But positive side: Paper doesn’t put those without coaching, at disadvantage. Even for Mains-2015 exam, if coaching-walla try to revamp their material from scratch, perhaps UPSC will come up with yet another Back-Breaking MoveTM.
More can be said after analyzing the paper and preparing its Answerkey in peace.
10 marks = 200 words
No five-marker questions this time. 10 mark = 150 words. Word limit reduced. Seems UPSC examiner realized it’s difficult to assemble 200 words for every topic under the Sun.
More difficult, and weightage doubled from 20 to direct 40 marks.
Modern Indian History: Lord Dalhousie asked. (1850s)
Rewind the tape even further (1760s). Panipat asked.
World history: slightly easier than 2013. Straightforward questions like Suez crisis, factors motivating anti-colonial struggle in India.
But nothing about fall of Berlin wall, despite 25thAnniversary.
Freedom struggle complicated- like role of foreigners who made India their homeland. Women freedom fighters.
Freedom struggle relatively easier – British Policies, naval mutiny, because they’re available in Bipan and Spectrum.
But no question on Ghadhar, Komagata Maru incident, Gandhi in South Africa, Shurawady-Sarat Bose, Sardar Patel, Nehru (except indirect about Lenin) etc. topics which were in Hindu and Frontline.
Less questions of this format.
Question with interlinking between two syllabus topics Example
Influence of Lenin’s Policy (1921) on Indian policies after independence. (World History’s communism + Post Independent India)
Harappa and Present day urbanization (Culture + Urbanization)
Green revolution bypassed Eastern region (Agro-location + Post-Independence)
India’s place in African resources (Geography + Diplomacy)
Globalization topic asked
Geography 70 marks.
Both marks and difficulty level increased further. e.g. British tea planters, thousand islands in Indonesia etc.
But at the same time, some straight forward questions like El-Nino, Ocean resources etc.
sociology vague (increase male membership in women organization)
Slightly less vague because there is ample opportunities to ‘invent’ answers in joint family-economic factors, patriarchy and working women.
Anyways, let’s check the paper:
Instructions for General Studies Paper1
There are TWENTY-FIVE (25) questions printed both in HINDI and ENGLISH.
All the questions are compulsory.
The number of marks carried by a question/part is indicated against it.
Answers must be written in the medium authorized in the Admission Certificate which must be stated clearly on the cover of this Question-cum-Answer (QCA) Booklet in the space provided. No marks will be given for answers written in a medium other than the authorized one.
Word limit in questions, wherever specified, should be adhered to.
Any page or portion of the page left blank in the answer book must be clearly struck off.
Answer the questions in NOT MORE THAN 150 words each. Contents of the answer is more important than its length. All questions carry equal marks.
Syllabus Topic:Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
To what extent has the urban planning and culture of the Indus Valley Civilization provided inputs to the present day urbanization? Discuss.
Gandhara sculpture owed as much to the Romans as to the Greeks. Explain.
Taxila university was one of the oldest universities of the world with which were associated a number of renowned learned personalities of different disciplines. Its strategic location caused its fame to flourish, but unlike Nalanda, it is not considered as a university in the modern sense. Discuss.
Sufis and medieval mystic saints failed to modify either the religious ideas and practices or the outward structure of Hindu / Muslim societies to any appreciable extent. Comment.
Indian History (30m)
The third battle of Panipat was fought in 1761. Why were so many empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat?
Examine critically the various facets of economic policies of the British in India from mid-eighteenth century till independence.
In what ways did the naval mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India?
World History (30m)
Syllabus Topic:History of the world will include events from 18thcentury such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India?
What were the events that led to the Suez Crisis in 1956? How did it deal a final blow to Britain’s self-image as a world power?
The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin had influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate.
Social issues (50m)
Role Of Women
How does patriarchy impact the position of a middle class working woman in India?
Why do some of the most prosperous regions of India have an adverse sex ratio for women? Give your arguments.
The life cycle of a joint family depends on economic factors rather than social values. Discuss.
Role Of Women / Poverty-Development
Discuss the various economic and socio-cultural forces that are driving increasing feminization of agriculture in India.
How do the Indian debates on secularism differ from the debates in the West?
Industrial Location (30m)
Whereas the British planters had developed tea gardens all along the Shivaliks and Lesser Himalayas from Assam to Himachal Pradesh, in effect they did not succeed beyond the Darjeeling area. Explain.
Account for the change in the spatial pattern of the Iron and Steel industry in the world.
Why did the Green Revolution in India virtually by-pass the eastern region despite fertile soil and good availability of water?
Physical Geography (20m)
Explain the formation of thousands of islands in Indonesian and Philippines archipelagos.
Why are the world’s fold mountain systems located along the margins of continents? Bring out the association between the global distribution of Fold Mountains and the earthquakes and volcanoes.
Tropical cyclones are largely confined to South China Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico. Why?
Most of the unusual climatic happenings are explained as an outcome of the El-Nino effect. Do you agree?
Bring out the relationship between the shrinking Himalayan glaciers and the symptoms of climate change in the Indian sub-continent.
Resource distribution (20m)
Critically evaluate the various resources of the oceans which can be harnessed to meet the resource crisis in the world.
How does India see its place in the economic space of rising natural resource rich Africa?