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UPSC Prelims 2017: Analysis of Paper 1 General Studies examination

The Civil Services preliminary examination was held on June 18 and here is a crisp and targeted analysis of the General Studies (Paper 1) exam for all the civil service aspirants.

education Updated: Jun 23, 2017 20:31 IST
Candidates coming out after attending the Union Public Service Commission Civil Services preliminary exam 2017 at Havlock Square near Gole Dak khana in New Delhi on June 18, 2017.
Candidates coming out after attending the Union Public Service Commission Civil Services preliminary exam 2017 at Havlock Square near Gole Dak khana in New Delhi on June 18, 2017.(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

The Civil Services preliminary examination was held on June 18 and here is a crisp and targeted analysis of the General Studies (Paper 1) exam for all the civil service aspirants.

A.Common observations:

1) In 2017, the rotational shift has moved towards Indian Polity and Governance in place of Economic and Social Development.

2) History, Geography, Environment, and Science & Tech maintained their importance and visibility in terms of number of questions asked.

3) Current affairs have also moved towards (Direct approach) in place of more inclination towards (Indirect influence) in 2016. All in all, it remains a major anchor.

4) Contemporary issues of last couple of years were also focused.

5) General Science remained invisible.

6) Language and key words were little confusing, hence paper required focused reading, interpretation and rational guessing.

B.Sectional evaluation:

1) History of India and Indian National Movement (Difficulty level: High)

The questions were asked from the core subject so much so that this time questions were also asked from prominent Acts. For eg questions on Factories Act, Trade Disputes Act, etc.

Fine examples of questions asked are given here under:

Q.With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements:

1. Sautrantika and Sammitiya were the sects of Jainism.

2. Sarvastivadin held that the constituents of phenomena were not wholly momentary, but existed forever in a latent form.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Q.The Trade Disputes Act of 1929 provided for

(a) the participation of workers in the management of industries.

(b) arbitrary powers to the management to quell industrial disputes.

(c) an intervention by the British Court in the event of a trade dispute,

(d) a system of tribunals and a ban on strikes.

Thus, this section required comprehensive knowledge of history to confidently attempt the questions. Hence, it was difficult.

2) India and World Geography (Difficulty level: Easy)

The questions were mostly drawn from daily reading of current affairs highlighted locations on Indian and Global maps.

Fine examples of questions asked are given here under:

Q. Mediterranean Sea is a border of which of the following countries?

1. Jordan

2. Iraq

3. Lebanon

4. Syria

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only(c) 3 and 4 only

(b) 2 and 3 only (d)1, 3 and 4 only

Q. Which of the following is geographically closest to Great Nicobar?

(a) Sumatra

(b) Borneo

(c) Java

(d) Sri Lanka

3)Indian Polity & Governance (Difficulty level: Moderate)

The questions were directly asked from the core subject and all of these focused on conceptual clarity of basic polity.
Questions required interpretation, interconnection, deduction etc. which can only be done by an aspirant who has understood rather than mugged up the things.

The questions were asked from diverse topics like conceptual analysis of democracy, equality, rights and duties, decentralization, mind of the Preamble makers, DPSP, Fundamental Duties, form of government including parliamentary and cabinet, Parliamentary proceedings, elections and voting, Speaker, Judicial Review, Indian federalism etc.

Fine examples of questions asked are given here under:

Q.Which of the following are not necessarily the consequences of the proclamation of the President’s rule in a State?

1.Dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly

2. Removal of the Council of Ministers in the State

3. Dissolution of the local bodies

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Q.Which of the following are envisaged by the Right against Exploitation in the Constitution of India?

1. Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour

2. Abolition of untouchability

3. Protection of the interests of minorities

4. Prohibition of employment of children in factories and mines

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 4 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 1 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

4)Economic and Social Development (Difficulty level: Moderate)

In the questions on Economy, the factual element was higher for e.g. questions on TFA ratification date, fund value of NIIF, question on NPS, etc.

Focused on prominent contemporary issues of last couple of years for e.g. questions on Small Finance Banks, NPCI on financial inclusion, BTIA etc.

In all, Finance and Banking, Government Budgeting and International Economics remained focused areas in this section.

Fine examples of questions asked are given here under:

Q.Who among the following can join the National Pension System (NPS)?

(a) Resident Indian citizens only

(b) Persons of age from 21 to 55 only

(c) All State Government employees joining the services after the date of notification by the respective State Governments

(d) All Central Government employees including those of Armed Forces joining the services on or after 1st April, 2004

Q.What is the purpose of setting up of Small Finance Banks (SFBs) in India?

1.To supply credit to small business units.

2.To supply credit to small and marginal farmers.

3. To encourage young entrepreneurs to set up business particularly in rural areas.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

5)Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change (Difficulty level: Moderate)

In the questions current affairs influence was visible. The major focus areas were:

Biodiversity based questionsfor example questions ongharial, lion translocation, m-stripes, etc.This has been a trend of past couple of years.

National parks and Tiger reserves remain important.

International organisations remain important (TRAFFIC, Global Climate Change Alliance)

Fine examples of questions asked are given here under:

Q.Consider the following statements in respect of Trade Related Analysis of Fauna and Flora in Commerce (TRAFFIC):

1. TRAFFIC is a bureau under United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

2. The mission of TRAFFIC is to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Q. If you want to see gharials in their natural habitat, which one of the following is the best place to visit?

(a) Bhitarkanika Mangroves

(b) Chambal River

(c) Pulicat Lake

(d) DeeporBeel

6) Science and Technology (Difficulty level: Moderate)

The questions on Science and Technology were clearly focused on application of Science in day to day life. Hence, most of the questions were directly from current affairs and were moderate in answering after logical deduction.

Fine examples of questions asked are given here under:

Q.In the context of solving pollution problems, what is/are the advantage/advantages of bioremediation technique?

1. It is a technique for cleaning up pollution by enhancing the same biodegradation process that occurs in nature.

2. Any contaminant with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead can be readily and completely treated by bioremediation using microorganisms.

3. Genetic engineering can be used to create microorganisms specifically designed for bioremediation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Q.The terms ‘Event Horizon’, ‘Singularity’, ‘String Theory’ and ‘Standard Model’ are sometimes seen in the news in the context of

(a) Observation and understanding of the Universe

(b) Study of the solar and the lunar eclipses

(c) Placing satellites in the orbit of the Earth

(d) Origin and evolution of living organisms on the Earth

7) Current Affairs (Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate)

In all 22 questions were directly from Current Affairs (CA), but the influence of CA in giving a shape to core and concept questions remained quite high.

In all, it was a fine balance between direct CA and CA highlighted ‘Core’ and related ‘Concepts’.

Fine examples of questions asked are given here under:

Q.The term ‘Digital Single Market Strategy’ seen in the news refers to

(a) ASEAN

(b) BRICS

(c) EU

(d) G20

(Direct CA)

Q.With reference to the Parliament of India, consider the following statements:

1. A private member’s bill is a bill presented by a Member of Parliament who is not elected but only nominated by the President of India.

2. Recently, a private member’s bill has been passed in the Parliament of India for the first time in its history.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a)1 only

(b)2 only

(c)Both 1 and 2

(d)Neither 1 nor 2

(CA highlighted ‘Core’ and related ‘Concepts’- Transgender Bill, a Private Member Bill was in news.)

C.Other observations:

Questions from Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of important originations/Institutions were asked.

Questions were directly asked from the Homepage of the important organisations/institutions.

Fine examples of questions asked are given here under:

Q.For election to the Lok Sabha, a nomination paper can be filed by

(a) anyone residing in India.

(b) a resident of the constituency from which the election is to be contested.

(c) any citizen of India whose name appears in the electoral roll of a constituency.

(d) any citizen of India.

(FAQs section of E.C.)

Q.With reference to the role of UN-Habitat in the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future, which of the statements is/are correct?

1. UN-Habitat has been mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities to provide adequate shelter for all.

2. Its partners are either governments or local urban authorities only.

3. UN-Habitat contributes to the overall objective of the United Nations system to reduce poverty and to promote access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1 only

(From Homepage of UN-Habitat)

Conclusion:

Final verdict: Moderately difficult

History may or may not be influenced or highlighted by current events so comprehensive knowledge for attempting History questions is must. Thus, barring History section which was relatively difficult to tackle, rest of the sections can easily be handled by any conceptually enriched and current affairs updated aspirant.

Key Focus Area: Aspirants should inculcate skills like: - art of focused reading, reading between the lines, interconnections, interpretation, rational guessing, and rational ignorance. All these will help in substantially reducing the errors.

Finally, strong basics are required to inculcate the above skills, and for the basics core basic books remain completely relevant and reliable.

( DP Singh is consultant Rau’s IAS study circle. The analysis of Civil Services Preliminary GS Paper 1 Examination, 2017 has been provided by Rau’s IAS Study Circle, a private institute. HT does not take the responsibility for any of its findings.)