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[Insights Secure – 2015] UPSC Mains Questions on Current Events, 17 January 2015

Archives – Secure 2015

17 January 2015

Monday’s Topic for GS-1Fundamentals of Physical Geography, Class – XI, Units Four (Chapters 1 and 2)

(As it requires more time to read and understand these chapters, today we are not asking questions from above chapters)

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General Studies – 1

Topic: changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes. 

1) “In the annals of climatology, 2014 now surpasses 2010 as the warmest year in a global temperature record that stretches back to 1880.” Critically comment on the causes and significance of this event. (200 Words)

The New York Times

Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world 

2) India is set to become the world’s largest producer of cotton in 2014-15, yet  India faces numerous problems thanks to local and global factors. Critically examine. (200 Words)

Down to Earth

General Studies – 2

Topic: Issues relating to poverty 

3) Discuss how the poverty line computed by the Rangarajan group is different from that of earlier groups’ formulae. (200 Words)


Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements; Important International institutions

4) “The US shale oil and gas production is likely to play a greater role in keeping Russia at bay rather than Nato troops on Europe’s borders.” Examine. (200 Words)

Business Standard

TopicWelfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes

5) It is now argued by some economists that the forced lending to agriculture has not only resulted in a sharp expansion of credit to the farm sector, but also in indebtedness of a kind that demands periodic debt waiver and relief schemes at the expense of bank balance sheets and productive investment. Do you agree with this perception? Critically comment. (200 Words)


TopicEffect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries  

6) The United States’ offer to normalise relations and lift the economic embargo imposed in 1960 is perceived as a victory for Cuba. Critically examine why. (200 Words)


Topic: Indian diaspora.

7) “There is no logic to the way in which the Indian government grants Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cards to citizens of certain countries and not to others.” Critically examine why the latest move by the government is viewed as discriminatory. (200 Words)


General Studies – 3

Topic:  issues of buffer stocks and food security

8) Recently the government approved raising the quarterly buffer stock and strategic reserve limits of Food Corporation of India (FCI) for both wheat and rice, for the first time since 2005. Examine the reasons and its implications. (150 Words)

Business Standard

TopicAchievements of Indians in science & technology; Awareness in the fields of Space

9) Discuss why the successful launch of ISRO’s GSLV-Mark III is seen as a milestone event for India’s space ambitions. Also highlight the features of  GSLV-Mark III. (200 Words)


Topicissues relating to intellectual property rights. 

10) Recently the Indian Patent Controller rejected one of Gilead’s key patent applications for the drug Sofosbuvir, used to treat hepatitis C (HCV). This move was welcomed by activists fighting for access to affordable medicines. Critically examine the issue and its significance to India’s healthcare sector. (200 Words)

Down to Earth

TopicAchievements of Indians in science & technology

11) “India has not produced any Nobel Prize winner in science in the last 85 years — largely because of the lack of a scientific environment in the country.” Do you agree with this assessment? Justify. (200 Words)

The Hindu

General Studies – 4

TopicAptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, 

12) What do you understand by non-partisanship in public administration? How will you ensure non-partisanship in administration when you become an IAS officer? Elucidate. (200 Words)