Monday, 15 October 2012

Blog Success in 2012 Mains- GS

Heylo All,

As a first step to assess my preparation for the 2012Mains, am taking stock of how well I was able to identify issues of relevance for our GS and optional papers. So am listing out questions and posts that could have been useful in answering it. [The questions are paraphrased]. I would love to hear back from you all as well.


GS Paper I [Questions worth 160 mks had information of varying relevance]

1(a) What do you understand by the term "Innovation"? Discuss the need for launching a national innovation policy in India. (25mks)
Decade of Innovation: 2010-2020
Science research in Indian universities

1(b) Examine inclusive measures initiated by GoI for informal sector, and critically examine their effectiveness. (25mks)
Definitions of Unorganized sector
Financial inclusion
National policy on urban street vendors

1(e) Tourism in tiger reserves (25mks)
Eco-tourism and ban on toursim in tiger reserves

2(a) 12th Plan document on Health (15mks)
12th FYP approach paper (a very brief indication of what the plan says about  Health)

2(c) "Domestic resource mobilization, though central to the process of Indian economic growth, is characterized by several constraints". Explain. (15mks)
Ashok Chawla committee on allocation of natural resources
National exploration licensing policy
External commercial borrowings policy
FII investment in bonds

2(d) 'Flute-playing Krishna' theme in Indian art is very popular. Discuss. (15mks)
Indian painting:other styles- Madhubani and Pattachitra
Indian painting-schools of painting- Pahari and Rajasthani schools of painting
Traditional theatre forms of India- Rasleela
Indian classical dances- Manipuri and Odissi (a main theme of Odissi is Geet Govinda centered around Krishna)
Traditional embroidery forms - Chamba rumal has a krishna figure embroidered on the rumals.

2(f) What do you understand by MDR-TB? (15mks)

2(g) Is renewable energy a viable option for India's future? (15mks)
Integrated energy policy 2008
Akshay urja shops

3(b) List objectives of National Manufacturing Policy. (5mks)
Manufacture sector in india [Albeit this post was written before the NMP was officially declared and there was one change, i.e. achievement of objective of jobs and GDP contribution by 2022].

5. Personalities question (5mks)
Ashoke sen, Mario de Miranda
P.V. Sindhu

GENERAL STUDIES II [Questions worth 170mks had information of varying relevance]

1(a) Growing India-China trade and its affect on settlement of border problems. 25mks.
India-China trade
Bhutan-China border issues and Indian interests
Assessing China's strategy
Dumping and anti-dumping

1(c) Constitutional logjam in Nepal. [25mks.]
Nepal [i cannot claim any input on this issue apart from pointing you in the right direction]

1(d) Plant genomics as a solution to problem of feeding growing population. 25mks.
Biotechnology regulatory authority of India

2(a) New and old diaspora [15mks]
Public diplomacy in India [programmes to link diaspora to India]

2(c) Putin's return and shift to confrontationist Russia. [15mks]
Eurasian Union and Eurasian Commission
Japan-Russia on Kuril islands
Pussy Riot

3(b) Why international trade has not acted as 'engine of growth' in India and other developing countries. [10mks]
India and Africa - complaints about China's trade model
Meles Zenawi - role of India in development of Africa

3(c) Five commonly used performance-enhancing drugs and their risks. [10mks]
Lance Armstrong.

3(d) Possibilities opened up by Curiosity Rover and potential benefit for humankind. [10mks]
Curiosity-Gale crater-Bradbury landing. - for purpose of Curiosity

3(f) Impact of US sanctions on Iran on India-Iran bilateral relations. [10mks]
Iran task-force.- to supplement answer
P5+1- to supplement answer

4 (a) Features and purpose of Sequoia supercomputer [5mks]
IBM Sequoia.

4(c) Why was Human Papilloma Virus in news and who are ideal candidates for receiving it and what are its benefits? [5mks]
Clinical trials - HPV was in news for ethical violations in the clinical trials of the HPV vaccine. If someone knew this angle then the post could have enhanced the answer.

4(d) India's stakes in South China sea [5mks]
Controversies in South-China sea
Issues in US China relationship.

4(e) "Environmental Sustainability" and "Sustainable development of people". Explain concepts [5mks]
Hedgehogs and foxes- The growth vs. Environment debate  -just realising now that I could have interpreted this question as a growth or/and environment debate also
Eco-tourism and ban on toursim in tiger -am only now realising that this instance could have been used in this answer
UN decade on biodiversity: 2011-2020 - especially Aichi targets and Nagoya protocol
Green India Mission
Elephant Conservation

4(f) Explain Clean Development Mechanism of UNFCCC [5mks]
Carbon capture - this could have helped in a very tangential manner


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. spurthi maam remarkable blog .. i mean i have been following this blog for some time .. yet i could relevantly figure out the issues which u had written about .. great work... i mean it would be commendable if u still write about the topics for which u may have a hunch.. maybe that will be a big boost for people who are giving c.s 2013.. ne remarks on that maam?

  3. Thanks a lot Spurthi for such awesome blog!
    I started dedicated preparation from less than a year and wrote my first mains 2012. I could possibly attempt more than 500 marks in GS only because of your blog. Though I missed to follow some latest posts like one on tiger reserve on 3rd october which cost me 25 marks.
    Anyways, please do continue updating it.
    I am sure there are many of us who look at you for such great help!
    Thank you!!!

  4. Hello Spurthi Ma'am!
    Hope you performed well.. And thanks a lot for the blog : It was really a helpful source to prepare for the mains. It had so much information that could help us to score more and provide value addition in the answers.
    I would really appreciate if you could please provide us the way, you went in for the issues covered - the sources.. How you gathered the important topics.. streamlined the relevant issues etc.. For PubAd and Sociology too.
    Please try to provide us with this information. Would be grateful.
    Thanks a lot ma'am!

  5. Well done Spurthi!

    And I sincerely hope all this effort of your's translates into amazing scores!

    Way to go open source learning ;)

  6. deependra shekhawat17 October 2012 at 18:54

    hello spurthi, first of all wishes for ur service upgradation and thanks a lot for ur efforts. i like to have an authoritative comment from u on perceived toughness of papers this year. maybe u would like to share something for interview prep. waiting to listen from u. thank u and best wishes for ur success.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Thankyou everyone for your wishes. I too hope that you all do exceedingly well.

    I would just like to address one comment in of the readers commented that the "issues were only marginally touching the topic and not as per the demand of question" and that my estimate of blog performance was flawed, (and then deleted the comment). I wish to say that I agree that many of the posts were, individually, only marginally useful/relevant to the question, and I haven't claimed that all of them held info that will help you answer each question satisfactorily. Moreover am sure you would concede that it is difficult for anyone to guess what the questions of UPSC would be, and cater specifically to that demand-even Vajiram can't. :)

  9. well i agree with u surthi maam. nowdays upsc has dynamically changed the pattern of the paper and with that its quite difficult to estimate the issues.. yet certain ideas of the topic will help though.. i mean no one can't mug up each and every issue.... neways..a pretty happy with the topics dat has been covered up..surely the best part is dat its a summary of all the articles falling under heading.. way to go maam... i hope u continue to write as well.. an earnest request though !!! hope it falls into ur ears :D :P

  10. Well i just want to congratulate on blog's success. personally i found it very useful. but I think let us move forward for next step either for UPSC 2013 or interview

  11. No UPSC aspirant should expect to find all materials in one place(to just pick and mug up). Very decent and genuine effort in pointing to relevant international and national events.
    Found the blog extremely helpful.

    Thanks....All the best!

  12. hey spurthi as a individual who cleared the interview i think you can help in the interview preparation. i hope you will not let your blog followers down or atleast some tips on how to prepare for interview

  13. Thanks for the indeed was highly valuable(strike rate turned out to be excellent,after all).and hope your painstaking efforts have paid off(at least for you,if not for others).
    Hope to see new posts regularly.
    Good luck!!
    plz copy paste the same for optionals post as well.