According to the syllabus, general knowledge includes the understanding of current affairs as well as ordinary observations and experiences that have scientific underpinnings that may be anticipated by a well-educated person who has not specifically studied any scientific subject.
Importance of General Studies
General Studies here refers to the study related to current as well as static.
The general studies paper is not common for both the examination, i.e. for Indian Economic Services as well as for Indian Administrative Services.
General Studies paper consists of 100 marks.
In Indian Economic Services, the general studies syllabus is a little bit limited as compared to UPSC Indian Administrative Services. In this General Studies paper, one will get questions from every corner of the general awareness; be it economics, science, history, technology, biology, geography, and many more.
In this paper, you don’t have to give much emphasis on preparing for Economics, as it’s already prepared by you for the other papers.
PYQ Solution Hints
Q1. Is India overpopulated? Provide arguments to substantiate your answer.
Overpopulation describes a situation in which a population in a given ecosystem limit the resources available for survival.
- India’s growth rate has declined significantly over the past few decades, attributed to growing urbanization, rising education levels, specifically among women, and increasing alleviation of poverty.
- While India’s population growth has slowed remarkably, it is still growing faster than China and is expected to surpass China in population by 2026, when both will have about 1.46 billion people.
- The population density of India in 2011 was 382 per sq. km with a decadal growth of 17.72 percent with a total leading to low per capita income- Around $2200 against $70,000 in the USA Lack of nutritional security, shortages of water, and electricity, housing
- Eg- Metro stations, airports, railway stations, roads, highways, bus stops, hospitals, shopping malls, markets, temples, or even social/ religious gatherings, all these places are overcrowded at any time of the day. This is a clear indication of overpopulation in the country.
- Although the population policies, family planning, and welfare programmes undertaken by the Govt. of India have led to a continuous decrease in the fertility rate, yet the actual stabilisation of the population can take place only by 2050.
There is flipside-some researchers are of the view that India is not as overpopulated as it is publicised to be:
- Huge stock of natural resources, enough to sustain a huge population
- Food security
Q2. Discuss the similarities and differences between the basic tenets of Buddhism and Jainism.
Buddhism and Jainism are both very old religions that originated in ancient India. While Jainism is based on the teachings of Mahavira, Buddhism is based on those of Gautama Buddha.
Aside from this, Buddhism and Jainism are very similar in terms of vocabulary and ethical ideas, although they are practised in very different ways.
Q3.Critically examine the role of Pressure groups on Indian Politics
A pressure group is a group of people who are organized actively for promoting and defending their common interest.
- Prevent autocracy
- Accountability of Govt. For E.g.- India is against corruption for Lokpal.
- Feedback to Govt by checks and balances. Eg-Bhartiya Kisan Union protesting against farm laws.
- Smooth implementation of policies
- Compilation data- Source of specialist information for an overburdened legislature and bureaucracy, helps in bringing reforms. Eg- ADR for the electoral system.
- Bringing up the unheard voices, especially minorities, Access point for grievance redressal
- Promoting participative democracy(decentralisation), and affirmative policies ensured the upliftment and emancipation of backward classes.
- Safety valve since public movement.
- Increasing awareness of people, increasing self-identity, preservation of ethos and culture. Eg-Bhima-Koregaon celebration by Dalits.
- Builds social capital-Pluralism and diversity.
- Looking with a narrow perspective. E.g.-Loan Waiver without realizing the impact on the economy.
- Sue of unconstitutional methods-Violence. E.g.- reservation Bases, Bhima-Koregaon Riots, and lockouts.
- Politicisation-E.g.-Gujarat and Maharashtra’s Upper caste got reservations even though they are not socially or educationally backward.
- No accountability.
- Fragmentation of society and enhanced caste consciousness-Communalism.
- Instability-Shifts Loyalties to changing political situation. Having incompetent functionaries.
These are some model answers for General Studies. For more model answers, tap on the link given below
Strategies and Time-Management
This test will include questions on Indian politics, the country’s history, the constitution, and geography—topics that a candidate ought to be able to respond to it without extensive research.
For General Studies as the syllabus is not that vast, candidates can cover it in a few days itself.
- One must be aware of current happenings
- Some knowledge of the past is a must, as it will come in a static part.
- Solve PYQs
Also, refer to Ecoholics social media page for the daily quiz, which will help you to be updated with current events and also for the static.
Indian Polity– Please refer to newspaper articles to learn about current topics of discussion such as party democracy in political parties, judicial activism vs. judicial restraint, LGBTQ legislation, and Article 497 (take note of the issues in the newspaper on a daily basis). Laxmikant’s book on Indian politics is a good starting point.
History– Modern India is a good starting point; if you want to go deeper, read Modern India by Bipin Chandra. However, one must be aware of fundamentals such as Nehru’s, Gandhi’s, and Ambedkar’s contributions to shaping modern India’s history.
Current events, economy, and science and technology– From the Economic Survey of India, topics such as demonetization, universal health care, and GST must be covered. For Science and Technology, one must be aware of recent developments in the fourth industrial revolution elements such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and other topics such as information technology and bitcoins. Please refer to “The Hindu” or any other reputable source. It will be beneficial to have a monthly vision or insight source for current events.
Geography– Please read the NCERT books for the 11th and 12th grades on geography and keep up with current events in geography. India has an extremely rapid rate of urbanisation.
That’s all folks…
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