Mains (2011) GS (General Study) Paper 2 Question Paper

Q.1) Answer any two of the following in about 250 words each:      20×2= 40

(a) List the Central Asian Republics and identify those of particular strategic and economic importance to India. Examine the opportunities and bottlenecks in enhancing relations with these countries.

(b) Critically examine the security and strategic implications of the so-called ‘string of pearls’ theory for India.

(c) “Compared to the South Asian Trade Area (SAFTA), the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation Free Trade Area (BIMSTEC FTA) seems to be more promising.” Critically evaluate.

Q.2) Answer any three of the following in about 150 words each:     15×3=36

(a) Subsequent to the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) waiver in 2008, what are the agreements on nuclear energy that India has signed with different countries?

(b) Trace the progress of India’s efforts for a joint counter-terrorism strategy with China. What are the likely implications of the recent Xinjiang violence on these efforts?

(c) Bring out the importance of the Small and Medium Enterprises Expo and Conference held in Dubai last year for Indian business.

(d) What are the salient features of the political and economic relationship between India and South Africa?

Q.3) Answer either of the following in about 250 words:    20

(a) “The causes and implications of the Jasmine Revolution and its spread are as much economic in nature as they are political.” Critically evaluate.

(b) In the context of the ‘Euro-zone’ debt crisis, examine the proposed ‘six-pack’ solution. Do you think that this has a better chance of success than the earlier stability and growth pact?

Q.4) Answer any four of the following in about 150 words each:     12×4=48

(a) “As regards the increasing rates of melting of Arctic Sea ice, the interests of the Arctic Council nations may not coincide with those of the wider world”. Explain.

(b) Is there still a role for the concept of balance of power in contemporary international politics? Discuss.

(c) “Strategic interests seem to be replacing commercial interests for the host country with regard to Cam Ranh bay.” Amplify.

(d) To what extent has the withdrawal of al-Shabab from Mogadishu given peace a real chance in Somalia? Assess.

(e) On a Formula-one (F-1) racing car track, information to drivers is generally signalled through the standardized use of flags of different colours. Describe the meaning associated with any six of the flags listed below:

(i) White Flag

(ii) Black Flag

(iii) Yellow Flag

(iv) Blue Flag

(v) Black and White Flag divided diagonally

(vi) Chequered Flag

(vii) Yellow and Red Striped Flag

Q.5) Comment on any thirteen of the following in about 50 words each:    5×13=65

(a) International Year of Chemistry

(b) The scourge of e-waste

(c) Designer poultry eggs

(d) INSPIRE programme of the Department of Science and Technology

(e) The Kessler syndrome with reference to space debris

(f) Omega-3 fatty acids in our food

(g) Difference between ‘spin-drying’ and ‘tumble-drying’ technology with reference to drying of washed clothes

(h) The admonishing population of vultures

(i) ‘Arsenic-bug’ and the significance of its discovery

(j) F-22 ‘Raptor’ aircraft

(k) ‘Concentrated’ solar energy and’ photovoltaic’ solar energy

(l) Analog hybrid and IP systems in CCTV technology

(m) Various applications of Kevlar

(n) Differences between Compact Disc (CD), Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) and Blu-ray Disc.

Q.6) Comment on the following in about 50 words each:    5×5=25

(a) Functions of the World Customs Organisation (WCO)

(b) Success of international intervention of Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

(c) Strategic adopted by Colombia to eliminate its drug cartels

(d) World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations (UN)

(e) Sculpture of the broken chair in front of the UN building at Geneva

Q.7) Why each of the following been in the news recently? (each answer in a sentence or two only);     2×10=20

(a) Tiangong – 1

(b) K-computer

(c) Gliese 581 g

(d) MABEL robot

(e) Operation Shady Rat

(f) SAGA-220

(g) Billion Acts of Green

(h) L’Aquila earthquake

(i) OPERA detector at Gran Sasso
(j) Saturn’s Titan

Q.8.)  Why have the following been in the news recently? (each answer in a sentence or two only):     2×5=10

(a) ‘News International’ newspaper

(b) Mustafa Abdul-Jalil

(c) Abel Kirui

(d) Natalie Portman

(e) Nawaf Salam

Q.9) (a) List the requisites of a good table:

Present the following in a suitable tabular form: 5

(b) Draw an ogive for the following distribution. Read the median from the graph. How many students get between 60 and 72?

MarksNo. Of Students

(c) From the following data calculate the missing frequency:    4

No. of tabletsNo. of Persons cured

The average number of tablets to cure fever was 19.9

No. of tabletsMiddle PointNo. of Persons curedProduct
1772+22x/90+x = 19.9
1772 +22x =  1791 + 19.9x
2.1x = 19
x = 9

(d) Life-time of 400 tubes tested in a company is distributed as follows:

Life time (hours)No. of tubes

Determine :     4
(i) Relative frequency of sixth class.

(ii) Percentage of tubes whose life-time does not exceed 600 hours.

(iii) Percentage of tubes whose life time is greater than or equal to 900 hours.

(iv) Percentage of tubes whose life time is at least 500 but less than 1000 hours.

Q.10) (a) A car travels 25 km at 25 kph, 25 km at 50 kph, and 25 km at 75 kph. Find the average speed of the car for the entire journey.

(b) The mean of 200 items was 50. Later on it was found that two items were wrongly read as 92 and 8 instead of 192 and 88. Find the correct mean.

(c) Students were asked how long it took them to walk to school on a particular morning. A cumulative frequency distribution was formed.

Time taken (minutes)c.f.

(i) Draw a cumulative frequency curve.
(ii) Estimate how many students took less than 18 minutes.
(ii) 6% of students took x minutes or longer. Find x.    6

(d) An investor buys ` 1200 worth of shares in a company each month. During the first five months he bought the shares at a price of ` 10, ` 12, ` 15, ` 20 and ` 24 per share. After 5 months, what is the average price paid for the shares by him?

Previous Year UPSC Mains Papers

Year GS Paper IGS Paper II GS Paper III GS Paper IVEssay
2015Paper I  PaperII Paper III Paper IV Essay  
2016Paper I Paper II  Paper IIIPaper IV Essay  
2017 Paper I Paper II Paper III Paper IV Essay   
2018Paper I Paper II  Paper III Paper IV Essay 
2019 Paper I Paper II  Paper IIIPaper IVEssay  
2020Paper I Paper II Paper III Paper IV Essay  
2021Paper IPaper IIPaper IIIPaper IVEssay
2022Paper IPaper IIPaper IIIPaper IVEssay
2023Paper IPaper IIPaper IIIPaper IVEssay
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