More than 4 lakh candidates had appeared for the Civil Services Preliminary Exam conducted by UPSC on 23rd August 2015. Compared to 2014 this year General Studies Paper I had more straightforward and factual orientation. Certain topics like Polity, Current Affairs were easier to solve compared to Science & Technology, Art & Culture and History because of factual and direct orientation of the questions.
The overall paper can be bifurcated into easy, moderate and hard based on the complexity of the questions.
Current Affairs has gained prominence, thereby making it essential for the candidates to read newspapers. Economics and Geography together hold a weightage of 40 percent. Overall the paper was not very tough for those who had done detailed and systematic preparation.
Classification of Questions of IAS Prelims 2015:
Economics and Social Development- 22 Geography- 12
Current and International Events- 14 Indian polity- 12
Environment and Ecology- 13 Science & Technology- 9
History- 13 Art and Culture- 5
Economics and Social Development - 22 Questions
Economics has the highest weightage of more than 20 percent in overall GS paper 1.It had all together 22 questions with most being moderate and easy.
Question: When the Reserve Bank of India reduces the Statutory Liquidity by 50 basis points, which of the following is likely to happen? (Easy)
a) India’s GDP growth rate increases drastically
b) Foreign Institutional Investors may bring more capital into our country
c) Scheduled Commercial Banks may cut their lending rates
d) It may drastically reduce the liquidity to the banking system.
Answer: option (c); if SLR is reduced, banks have to keep lesser liquid assets with themselves in form of govt securities, cash, gold etc. So, they have more money to lend which will help them to earn more. Hence, the scheduled commercial banks may cut their lending rates.
Current and International Events- 14
Current Affairs this year has more questions compared to last three year papers and was next only to Economics in total number of questions. Questions were mostly moderate and easy in nature. There were few questions related to International events.
Question: The ‘Fortaleza Declaration’ recently in the news, is related to the affairs of: (Easy)
Answer: option (b); The 6th BRICS summit was held in Fortaleza in Brazil in 2014. BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The 6th BRICS summit resulted in the official inauguration of the New Development Bank.
Environment and Ecology- 13 Questions
Environment and Ecology had total 13 questions which are mostly moderate and easy with few hard and indirect questions.
Question: What is Rio+20 Conference, often mentioned in the news? (Easy)
a) It is the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
b) It is a Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization
c) It is a Conference of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change
d) It is a Conference of the Member Countries of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Answer: option (a); The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as Rio 2012, Rio+20, or Earth Summit 2012 was the third international conference on sustainable development aimed at reconciling the economic and environmental goals of the global community. Hosted by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro from 20 to 22 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).
History- 13 Questions
History had total 13 questions mostly hard and moderate in nature. 4 questions are from Ancient and medieval history and rest from modern history. Few questions of modern history had options which are hard to deduce and not commonly read while preparing.
Question: With reference to cabinet mission, which of the following statements is/are correct? (moderate)
1. It recommended a federal government.
2. It enlarged the powers of the Indian courts.
3. It provided for more Indians in the ICS
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3
c) 1 and 3
Answer: option (a); The cabinet mission plan of 1946 proposed that there shall be a Union of India which was to be empowered to deal with the defence, foreign affairs and communications.
• All subjects other than the Union Subjects and all the residuary powers would be vested in the provinces.
• The Cabinet Mission plan proposed a federal structure of government.
Geography- 12 Questions
Geography had all together 12 questions mostly moderate in nature. Few questions of Current Affairs had geographical relevance and together with these questions its count increases to 16.
Question: “Each day is more or less the same, the morning is clear and bright with a sea breeze; as the sun climbs high in the sky, heat mounts up, and dark clouds form, than rain comes with thunder and lightning. But rain is soon over.” (Moderate)
Which of the following regions is described in the above passage?
Answer: option (b); At equator the length of day and night is same throughout the year. Almost each day rainfall occurs which are convectional in nature. Equatorial climate is characterized by consistently high temperatures (around 30 °C) and high humidity, with very little annual temperature variation. Wet equatorial regions lie within about 12° latitude of the Equator.
Indian Polity- 12 Questions
Questions of polity were of easy and moderate level. There were few questions of conceptual in nature. Based on chances of making mistake we have classified paper into Hard, Moderate and Easy level.
Question: With reference to the Union Government consider the following statements. (moderate)
1. The Department of Revenue is responsible for the preparation of Union Budget that is presented to the parliament
2. No amount can be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund of India without the authorization of Parliament of India.
3. All the disbursements made from Public Account also need the Authorization from the Parliament of India
Which of the following statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 2 only
d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer: option (c); The constitution has provision for three types of funds – Consolidated Fund of India; Public Account; Contingency Fund. Prior authorization is required for withdrawing from Consolidated Fund of India. Contingency fund of India is an imprest kept under president of India; withdrawal can be authorized by the Parliament afterwards from Consolidated Fund of India. For Public Account, no such authorization is needed.
Question: The provisions in Fifth Schedule and Sixth Schedule in the Constitution of India are made in order to (Easy)
(a) protect the interests of Scheduled Tribes
(b) determine the boundaries between States
(e) determine the powers, authority and responsibilities of Panchayats
(d) protect the interests of all the border States
Answer: option (a), for administration of areas having tribal population Constitution has envisaged Fifth Schedule. The Sixth Schedule contains provisions concerning the administration of tribal areas in the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
Science & Technology- 9 Questions
Questions of Science & Technology were toughest in nature and required meticulous studying of all that is happening in the field of Science & Technology. Most of the candidates struggle to answer this portion.
Question: The term ‘IndARC’ sometimes seen in the news, is the name of? (Hard)
a) an indigenously developed radar system inducted into Indian Defence
b) India’s satellite to provide services to the countries of Indian Ocean Rim
c) a scientific establishment set up by India in Antarctic region
d) India’s underwater observatory to scientifically study the Arctic region
Answer: option (d); IndARC India’s first underwater moored observatory in the kongsfjorden fjord in Spitsbergen Island of Svalbard. Designed and developed by scientists from Earth System Science Organisation (ESSO), NCAOR Goa, NIOT Chennai and INCOIS Hyderabad. It will collect real- time data on seawater temperature, salinity, ocean currents and other vital parameters of the fjord.
Art and Culture- 5 Questions
Art and Culture all together had 5 questions which are mostly hard and moderate in nature.
Question: With reference to art and archaeological history of India, which one among the following was made earliest? (Moderate)
a) Lingaraja Temple at Bhubaneswar
b) Rock-cut Elephant at Dhauli
c) Rock-cut Monuments at Mahabalipuram
d) Varaha Image at Udayagiri
Answer: option (b); Lingaraja Temple at Bhubaneswar was created in 11th AD. Rock-cut Monuments at Mahabalipuram are 7th century AD creation. At Udayagiri, it is 5th century AD creation.
Dhauli hills has major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock. Dhauli hill is presumed to be the area where the Kalinga War was fought.
Qualifying in Civil services exam requires both hard and smart work given the enormity and vastness of syllabus. Smart work requires prioritising the syllabus based on weightage that is number of questions asked in the previous year paper. Going through the previous year papers of General studies one can comprehend that there are certain topics and areas which holds greater weight like Geography, Economics and Social Development, Indian polity, Modern history and Environment and Ecology. Other topics like Science & technology, Ancient history, medieval history, Art & Culture and Current events should be done after finishing those with higher priority. Clarity of basic concepts in various topics should be the focus of students preparing for this exam.