The second stage of the selection process, the IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains, consists of nine examinations in total, followed by a personality test. The General Studies Paper-II is a required paper for all candidates who are taking the exam. This is a scoring paper because it is entirely based on governance, politics, and international relations.

All candidates must take the IAS General Studies Paper-II. This paper has a total of 250 points. Despite being a non-technical paper, this paper has been proven to be more scoring over time. It can be divided into four sections based on the topics covered. The following section of the article will provide you with 2021 paper analysis strategies and the best books for every type of IAS Main 2022 candidate.

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UPSC Mains 2021 GS Paper 2

#Time allotted: 3 hours; Total marks: 250

#There are a total of 20 questions, which are printed in both Hindi and English.

#All of the questions are required.

#The number of marks a question/part carries is printed next to it.

#The medium authorised in the admission certificate must be clearly stated on the cover of this question-cum-answer (QCA) booklet in the space provided.

#Answers written in a medium other than the authorised one will receive no credit.

#Questions 1 to 10 should be answered in 150 words, while questions 11 to 20 should be answered in 250 words.

#Keep in mind the word limit specified in the questions.

#Any blank page or portion of a page must be clearly struck off.

#The importance of the content of the answer outweighs its length.

UPSC Mains 2021 GS Paper 2 Question Paper


Q1. ‘Constitutional Morality’ is rooted in the Constitution itself and is founded on its essential facets. Explain the doctrine of ‘Constitutional Morality’ with the help of relevant judicial decisions. (Answer in  150 words) 10

Q2. Discuss the desirability of greater representation to women in the higher judiciary to ensure diversity, equity and inclusiveness. (Answer in  150 words) 10

Q3. How have the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission of India enabled the states to improve their fiscal position?(Answer in  150 words) 10

Q4. To what extent, in your view, the Parliament is able to ensure accountability of the executive in India? (Answer in  150 words) 10

Q5. “Pressure groups play a vital role in influencing public policy making in India.” Explain how the business associations contribute to public policies. (Answer in  150 words) 10

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Q6. “Besides being a moral imperative of the Welfare State, primary health structure is a necessary precondition for sustainable development.” Analyse. (Answer in  150 words) 10

Q7. “‘Earn while you learn’ scheme needs to be strengthened to make vocational education and skill training meaningful.” Comment. (Answer in  150 words) 10

Q8. Can the vicious cycle of gender inequality, poverty and malnutrition be broken through microfinancing of women SHGs? Explain with examples. (Answer in  150 words) 10

Q9. “If the last few decades were Asia’s growth story, the next few are expected to be Africa’s.” In the light of this statement, examine India’s influence in Africa in recent years. (Answer in  150 words) 10

Q10. “The USA is facing an existential threat in the form of China, that is much more challenging than the erstwhile Soviet Union.” Explain. (Answer in  150 words) 10


Q11. The jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) regarding lodging an FIR and conducting a probe within a particular state is being questioned by various States. However, the power of States to withhold consent to the CBI is not absolute. Explain with special reference to the federal character of India. (Answer in  250 words) 15

Q12. Though the Human Rights Commissions have contributed immensely to the protection of human rights in India, yet they have failed to assert themselves against the mighty and powerful. Analysing their structural and practical limitations, suggest remedial measures. (Answer in  250 words) 15

Q13. Analyse the distinguishing features of the notion of Equality in the Constitutions of the USA and India. (Answer in  250 words) 15

Q14. Explain the constitutional provisions under which Legislative Councils are established. Review the working and current status of Legislative Councils with suitable illustrations. (Answer in  250 words) 15

Q15. Do Department -related Parliamentary Standing Committees keep the administration on its toes and inspire reverence for parliamentary control? Evaluate the working of such committees with suitable examples. (Answer in  250 words) 15


Q16. Has digital illiteracy, particularly in rural areas, coupled with lack of Information and Communication Technology(ICT) accessibility hindered socio-economic development? Examine with justification. (Answer in  250 words) 15

Q17. “Though women in post-Independent India have excelled in various fields, the social attitude towards women and feminist movement has been patriarchal.” Apart from women education and women empowerment schemes, what interventions can help change this milieu? (Answer in  250 words) 15

Q18. Can Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organisations present an alternative model of public service delivery to benefit the common citizen? Discuss the challenges of this alternative model. (Answer in  250 words) 15

Q19. Critically examine the aims and objectives of SCO. What importance does it hold for India? (Answer in  250 words) 15

Q20. The newly tri-nation partnership AUKUS is aimed at countering China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region. Is it going to supersede the existing partnerships in the region? Discuss the strength and impact of AUKUS in the present scenario. (Answer in  250 words) 15

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UPSC Mains 2021 GS Paper 2 Analysis

Polity, Governance, Social Justice, Constitution, and International Relations are the topics of UPSC Mains GS Paper 2. It’s a subjective paper worth 250 points.

Outside of the exam centres, candidates rated the previous paper as average. They were of the opinion that the paper was quite average this year as well. While GS paper 2 was easier because it was more basic, many students found GS 3 to be difficult and time-consuming.

Analysis and Questions in 2021

Many of the questions, such as those about NGOs, pressure groups, and SHGs, were very common and used the exact keywords from the UPSC CSE (Mains) Syllabus.

Apart from AUKUS (announced in September 2021) and the CBI question, none of the other questions can be considered having a direct link to current events in the previous year. Knowledge of current events over the last ten years, on the other hand, might have added value to some of the other responses.

Overall Analysis

UPSC inquired about the 14th Finance Commission rather than the 15th Finance Commission (constituted on 2 January 2013).

In the Ethics paper last year, there was a question on Constitutional Morality (General Studies Paper 4). This year, the concept was repeated in Paper 2 of General Studies.

The paper placed a strong emphasis on the topic of ‘women,’ with multiple questions linking microfinance for women, representation of women, and women empowerment.

Overall, we think the questions are of good quality. The paper should be simple for the majority of serious candidates.

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UPSC Exam Strategy

#Constitution and Polity have a large curriculum. So begin your preparation at least six months in advance, so that you can cover the entire syllabus of the General Studies Paper-I in the first three months.

#Start your polity preparation with NCERT books if you are a beginner. These are written in a simple language and are useful for clarifying basic concepts.

#When you’ve mastered the fundamentals, move on to the advanced books, which will provide you with a greater depth of knowledge.

#Laxmikant’s books are a good place to start for advanced preparation.

#It is absolutely necessary to read the passage 4-5 times. The more times you read, the more clearly you will remember.

Pointers to Keep in Mind

The main goal will be to extract information without delving too deeply.

Prepare short notes with highlighted keywords and incorporate current events in a practical way to make your writing more current.

Nowadays, the UPSC does not ask about current events directly; instead, it inquires about background knowledge of any subject or issue. As a result, current events concerning the polity and constitution must be noted.

Examine previous years’ question papers first and foremost. Look at the types of questions that are being asked and how they are being asked.

Practising sample question papers and previous year questions will help you identify your weak spots and areas where you make mistakes.


To pass the IAS Mains, you cannot rely solely on the strategies listed below. Each candidate must study 12 to 15 hours per day to achieve a good score. To stay on track, schedule writing answers on alternate days. If at all possible, take notes online or on, as this will make it much easier to count words and stay within the word limit.

Candidates are having difficulty maintaining their preparation as before due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We sincerely wish you success, and we are confident that our strategies will enable you to pass the IAS Mains with the desired rank and marks. Hopefully, this article provided insight into GS paper 2 and 2021 questions.

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UPSC Mains 2021 GS Paper 2: Let’s Analyse the Question Paper and Prepare for 2022
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UPSC Mains 2021 GS Paper 2: Let’s Analyse the Question Paper and Prepare for 2022
Let’s analyse UPSC 2021 gs question paper. 2022 dates are out and many aspirants will be preparing for it. Let's look at some previous years papers, which will help in your revision.
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