UPSC CSE Topper Mains Answer [Part 1]

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UPSC CSE Topper Mains Answer [Part 1]


  1. The below answers have been reproduced purely from my memory of what I wrote. They may not be accurate. All discussions are welcome 🙂
  2. All answers were written more or less in the same sub-heading wise and point wise format. But the exact content may not be the same and I may be putting some additional points here or missing out some points written in the exam due to the gap between writing this and writing the exam.

Instructions: Answer each question in not more than the word limit specified. Content of the answer is more important than its length.

Q 1. Though not very useful from the point of view of a connected political history of South India, the Sangam literature portrays the social and economic conditions of its time with remarkable vividness. Comment. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Sangam literature is the Tamil literature composed during the great poetic confluences of ‘Sangams’ during 1-3rd century AD in Tamil land. 

Economic significance of Sangam literature

  1. It tells us about the brisk Indo Roman trade. It tells us we used to import gold, wine, pottery, slaves and export spices, textiles, silk.
  2. It tells us of the important ports of the age (Muchiri, Arikamedu), important cities (Kanchivaram), important economic activities (textile making, agriculture).
  3. It tells us the important role played by women in the economy.
  4. It tells us that rice cultivation was important.
  5. It tells us that economic decline had set in by the end of 3rd century as the poets don’t praise the then kings highly.

Social significance of Sangam literature

  1. It tells us that brahmanisation of tamil society was going on, it was not complete. 
  2. It tells us at the top of the society were brahmans. Below them everybody was shudra but among them the vellalars held importance.
  3. It tells us of the clan based society, the importance of kinship. The poets praise entire kins of the kings and not just the king.
  4. It tells us that main clans were hillsmen, forestmen, delta people, coastal people.
  5. It tells us untouchability had come into existence.
  6. It tells us of kannagi worship and thus the virtues expected from a noble woman i.e. chastity and devotion to husband.
  7. It tells us education was dominated by brahmans.

Political significance of Sangam literature

  1. Some of the stories like attempts to link to mahabharata war and pandavas are obviously an exaggeration. Yet it tells us some important real political events.
  2. For example the Chola king Karikala who won his kingdom back after defeating an alliance of opponents.

Q 2.a Discuss the ‘Tandava’ dance as recorded in early Indian inscriptions. (100 words)  (5 marks)


Note: Didn’t know much about this answer.

  1. Tandava dance was performed by Shiva – the destroyer. 
  2. It represents the angry mood of Shiva. 
  3. It signifies that destruction is inevitable. What takes birth, must be destroyed. Its the 2 sides of same coins.
  4. Shiva in this form terrifies all the other gods who plead for his mercy.

Q 2.b Chola architecture represents a high watermark in the evolution of temple architecture. Discuss (100 words)  (5 marks)


The Chola temples like Brihadeshwara temple and Gangaikondacholapuram temples took the Dravidian temple architecture to new heights.

  1. These temples had huge pyramidical vimanas and massive gopurams.
  2. These also had huge thousand pillars mandapas to house devotees.
  3. They were linked to wars and battles.
  4. They were linked to the greatness and power of the king.
  5. They also had idols of the kings and queens in them.
  6. During Chola period, the temples grew both horizontally and vertically. Many new structures came up within the temple compound.

But the temple architecture continued to flourish even after Cholas. Many massive and beautiful temples were built during Vijaynagar times and their nayakas.

Q 3. Defying the barriers of age, gender and religion, the Indian women became the torchbearer during the struggle for freedom in India. Discuss. (200 words)  (10 marks)


 – Started with Rani Laxmi Bai in 1857 revolt.

 – Moved over to revolutionary extremism movement: Women used to act as couriers, give shelter, food to revolutionaries. Then slowly with Bhagat Singh and Surya Sen, they began to participate as equals, fire weapons.

 – Talked about Swadesi, how women used to picket shops and burn foreign cloth.

 – Arrival of the Mahatama – Until now the focus was only on the reproductive potential or motherly image of women. Gandhiji realised the immense sacrificing potential of the women. S

 – In NCM and CDM, floodgates to women participation really opened. The womenfolk of CR Das stunned the nation by leading protests in Calcutta and courting arrest.

 – Sarojini Naidu led the Dharsana satyagraha.

 – Quit India Movement: talked about the role of Aruna Asaf Ali, Usha Mehta (Azad Radio) and Sucheta Kriplani.

 – Captain Laxmi Sehgal was the leader of INA women regiment.

 – Rani Gadileiu was just 14 years of age when she was arrested for leading CDM protests in Nagaland and was released only after Indian independence.

Q 4. Sevaral foreigners made India their homeland and participated in various movements. Analyze their role in the Indian struggle for freedom. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Indian national movement had the force of righteousness and justice. And so it attracted many foreigners too who contributed in its cause. Some of the major contributions are as below:

  1. Madam Annie Baesant: INC president, home rule league which led to August declaration.
  2. A O Hume: INC founder
  3. Margeret Cousins: worked for women awakening which contributed in women participating in INM in large numbers.
  4. Henry Vivian Derozio: Young Bengal Movement which contributed in national awakening, unity, getting rid of superstitions and divisive practices.
  5. Lt. Governor of Bengal during Indigo movement: He was sympathetic towards indigo farmers’ cause and used his powers to prevent continuation of anti-farmer legislation.
  6. Besides these there were numerous journalists and activists who were associated with Gandhiji and other leaders and contributed immensely in INM.

Q 5. “In many ways, Lord Dalhousie was the founder of modern India.” Elaborate. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Lord Dalhousie (1848-1856) was a staunch imperialist and had a profound impact on shaping India of the age.

Positive actions of Dalhousie

  1. Founded Roorkee college of engineering which led to spread of modern education.
  2. Started penny post which replaced the costly postal system and was used extensively by the nationalists later.
  3. Started the indian railways which brought India closer.
  4. Started the telegraph which was used extensively by nationalists.

Negative actions of Dalhousie

  1. He annexed states after states by whatever means he could – doctrine of lapse (satara, jodhpur, nagpur, jhansi), doctrine of misgovernance (oudh), wars and battles (punjab).
  2. He kept all princely checks under effective check.
  3. He doubled the area of british indian empire and made it contiguous.
  4. All this discontent united major part of India in the revolt of 1857!

Q 6. Critically discuss the objectives of Bhoodan and Gramdan movements initiated by Acharya Vinobha Bhave and their success. (200 words)  (10 marks)



  1. Bhoodan was started so that big land owners and zamindars could voluntarily donate their excess land to landless and marginal farmers. Its objective thus was to reduce land inequality.
  2. Gramdan was where entire village decided to come together and pool their land and cultivate it together. Each would then get a share in the produce as per his need. From each according to his caacity, to each according to his need. 
  3. Bhoodan could work in areas with high land inequality. Gramdan on the other hand could work in the areas where inequality was low. 

Performances / Success

  1. Only some thousand villages could come under gramdaan. This was due to its inherent nature that it could succeed only in areas with low inequality whereas Indian villages had high inequality in land ownership. Bhoodan could succeed in getting vast amount of land. But if we compare it to overall cultivable area then it was very less.
  2. Even here it got affected by massive corruption. Peasants had to wait for years to get land.
  3. Many areas got involved in land litigation.
  4. Many zamindars donated land to bribe the officials / make a good name for themselves and earn political points.
  5. Many lands so transferred were ‘voluntarily’ given back. Overall the movement left much to desire.

Q 7. Write a critical note on the evolution and significance of the slogan, ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri coined this slogan during his prime ministership.

Evolution and Significance

  1. India had just fought a war with Pakistan in 1965 and also China in 1962. 
  2. We were surrounded by hostile neighbors with who we had long running border disputes. The cold war politics was also complicating the situation in the sub-continent. 
  3. So India needed the strength of its soldiers and to boost their morale and develop our armed forces. Hence ‘Jai Jawan’.
  4. At the same time India was facing severe twin droughts. 
  5. Our economy was mostly agriculture based and agriculture was still primitive. Green Revolution had not yet come in. 
  6. Acreage under crops had more or less constant while our population was increasing rapidly thus increasing the mouths to feed.
  7. We were dependent on large scale food imports and USA had threatened to stop the food aid under PL-480 program to change our stand on Kashmir and Pakistan. Our sovereignty was under threat.
  8. Naturally under these circumstances it was essential for us to strengthen our farmers and develop agriculture. Hence the ‘Jai Kisaan’. 
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Q 8. Discuss the contributions of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to pre- and post-independent India. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Note: I had skipped all articles in Hindu on Maulana Aza thinking yeh to nahi aayega :-(((( And this question only came… so I knew nothing about him.

Maulana Azad was one of the greatest freedom fighters and nation builders of India.

Pre-independence contributions

  1. He was a great Gandhian and freedom fighter. He joined Gandhiji and had full faith in his Satyagraha and non violence. He played an important part in all freedom movements.
  2. He was a great secular leader and played an important role in diffusing the communal tensions, specially in UP. At a time when muslim league was playing the communal hatred card to its extreme, he was a great peaceful force.
  3. He was a journalist as well and used to run his own paper to further the cause of freedom and secularism.
  4. He was a great champion of education and was associated with many education institutions.

Post independence contributions

  1. He was the education minister of the country after independence and helped founding many prominent education institutions.
  2. He continued his great role in spreading communal harmony which was specially needed post-independence during the communal riots.
  3. His contributions have been so immense that he was awarded Bharat Ratna.

Q 9. Analyze the circumstances that led to the Tashkent Agreement in 1966. Discuss the highlights of the Agreement. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Note: Only had a vague idea about the agreement.

India had fought a war with Pakistan in 1965 and scored a decisive victory. Indian forces had occupied Lahore. It was expected that finally Kashmir issue could be resolved decisively in India’s favor. Then Tashkent Agreement was signed.

Highlights of the Agreement

  1. Both sides would end all hostilities and resort back to pre war boundaries. They would give up all occupations. 
  2. But nothing was said on restoring Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. No progress was made to resolve the Kashmir issue.
  3. Thus India was literally forced to give up all her gains.

Circumstances leading to the Agreement

  1. Although India had won the 1965 war, it was the era of Cold war and the big powers interfered routinely in the matters of the subcontinent.
  2. USA was with Pakistan. It applied pressure on India so that the Agreement would not resolve Kashmir issue in India’s favor.
  3. This pressure consisted of diplomatic, arms transfer to Pakistan as well as the threat to suspend PL-480 food aid.
  4. India, on the other hand, was going through a very tough economic period despite winning the war.
  5. The war had put a huge drains on the finances of our poor economy.
  6. On top of it we were going through huge drought and needed grain imports to feed our population.
  7. So in the peace talks in Tashkent, India had to yield. Shastri ji died in Tashkent only after the Agreement.

Q 10. Critically examine the compulsions which prompted India to play a decisive role in the emergence of Bangladesh. (200 words)  (10 marks)


India fought a war with Pakistan in 1971 which resulted in the emergence of free Bangladesh. Following factors led to India’s involvement:

  1. Exploitation of Bangladesh by Pakistan: West Pakistan had always treated Bangladesh (or East Pakistan) as its colony. It was always busy in suppressing the liberal elements in Bangladesh. It was against the unique Bangla culture and wanted to suppress it and encourage the hardliners. The brutalities increased particularly closer to 1971.
  2. Emergence of Bangladesh Mukti Vahini: Under Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman the mukti vahini emerged to demand for the freedom of Bangladesh. It had popular support but Pakistan tried to suppress it violently and brutally.
  3. Increase in the influx of refugees: East Pakistan had always treated its religious minorities and the liberal and secular muslims harshly. The suppression became extreme during 1971 leading to massive inflow of refugees into India. This complicated the situation immensely and necessitated India’s reaction.
  4. Strategic compulsions: Pakistan was a hostile state to India. Whenever there was a war, we had to fight on both fronts – east and west. Therefore it suited India’s strategic interests to split the country and secure an independent Bangladesh. Also this would weaken Pakistan gravely and benefit India.
  5. Cold war politics: Still due to US support to Pakistan, India’s intervention was not easy. So India signed a Treaty of Friendship with Soviet Union and went ahead. Soviet Union blocked the moves of US to intervene in the sub continent.

Q 11. ” ‘Latecomer’ Industrial Revolution in Japan involved certain factors that were markedly different from what West had experienced.” Analyze. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Japan’s industrial revolution started late after the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century. It had many characteristics which were different from west.

  1. West’s industrialization was based on scientific discoveries and inventions. West had to discover all technologies on its own. Japan started from where West was there at that point in time. They reverse engineered most of the technologies and machines.
  2. West’s industrial areas were rich in both coal and iron. Japan on the other hand was poor in these resources and was mainly reliant on imports. So Japan’s heavy machinery industry came up closer to the coast.
  3. West had seen agriculture revolution and commercial revolution before IR. It wasn’t the case in Japan.
  4. In west, the capital for industrial revolution came from colonies and was voluntarily invested by large landholders and businessmen. In Japan, it was a forced extraction by the state from the agricultural sector.
  5. State played a very important role in Japanese IR whereas in west it was private sector led.
  6. Japan didn’t rely on colonies to finance its IR.
  7. Western products were better in quality and sold worldwide. Japanese products were inferior in quality and so couldn’t sell in Europe.

Q 12. “Africa was chopped into states artificially created by accidents of European competition.” Analyze. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Africa was cut into states by the Europeans in a process which had no African participation or respect for their tribes and communities. The present African states are largely a result of colonization in which competition and ‘accidents’ played a major role.

West Africa

  1. By 1878, King Leopold of Belgium had carved out a large sphere of influence for himself in Equatorial Africa on west coast called Congo. This was rich in mineral resources and timber. He used a combination of treachery, treaties with local tribal chiefs, battles, missionary activities.
  2. Naturally the other European powers got alarmed and they met in Berlin and carved out Africa into their individual spheres of influence. The African customs and tribal areas were given no respect in this and this is the reason why most African boundaries are straight lines.
  3. British got Nigeria. France got Morocco, French Congo and large parts of interior Africa. 
  4. US founded Liberia to resettle the slaves liberated from America. But it continued to intervene heavily in the internal matters of Liberia. 
  5. Portugal got Angola.

Southern Africa

  1. South Africa
  2. The Dutch had settled in Cape of Good Hope first as it was a strategic point where ships on route to India turned from. 
  3. But after the Dutch lost to Napoleon, the government had to surrender her overseas colonies to English. South Africa was surrendered too. Even after Napoleon was defeated, South Africa remained under British control.
  4. The Dutch settlers didn’t like British control, so they moved in to Natal and Transvaal regions fighting and eliminating the local tribes using treachery and lopsided wars.
  5. Soon the English came here too following the gold rush and whole of South Africa was formed.
  6. Rhodesia
  7. This is present Zambia (North Rhodesia) and Zimbabwe (South Rhodesia). It was founded by an English explorer Cecil Rhodes by combining all the territories he could explore and establish his influence on. 
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East Africa

  1. Here the English got Kenya, Germans got Cameroons, French got Madagascar and Portugal got Mozambique. 
  2. The local ruler of Zanzibar was given a narrow strip along the coast and even that was annexed later by the British and the Germans.
  3. After German defeat in the war, her colonies were not made independent, but were given to the victor powers.
  4. Italy was given Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia but was defeated by the Ethiopean king in 1896. So Ethiopia could retain her independence for some time.

North Africa

  1. Here Algeria and sub-saharan Africa was given to France. England got Egypt and Sudan. British and French fought over Sudan for a while, but it went to British. 
  2. Italy got Tunisia and Libya. All the boundaries were drawn in the paper map in Berlin.

Q 13. “American Revolution was an economic revolt against mercantilism.” Substantiate. (200 words)  (10 marks)


  1. America was not exploited by the British like her non white colonies like India. She had her own legislative system and even the taxes were not oppressive.
  2. A British army was maintained there to protect her from the French armies in Canada. After the defeat of French in Canada in 1863, their threat was eliminated. But still the British army was maintained in America.
  3. British then decided to use Americas for their own commercial benefit and pay for their army. They began to follow many mercantilist policies.
  4. Quartering Act was imposed to prevent Americans from moving westward and thus protect the land rentals and values of the British landowners in America.
  5. Similarly Stamp duty was imposed. Britain also decided that only British ships could move in and out of American ports. This made shipping expensive for the Americans and made them discontent.
  6. Finally the British East India Company was incurring heavy losses. So Britain gave it the monopoly over the tea trade with Americas. This was so unpopular that it led to the famous Boston tea party which marks the beginning of the American Revolution.
  7. Some of the ideals of the revolution like protection private property rights, lassize fairre, judicial supremacy, meritocracy, free trade all are anti-mercantilist ideals.
  8. Yet it would be a narrow reading to label American revolution as merely an economic revolt. Its ideas such as natural rights of men, separation of powers, checks and balances had implications over much wider aspects of life.

Q 14. What policy instruments were deployed to contain the Great Economic Depression? (200 words)  (10 marks)


The Great Depression struck in 1929 in USA following the stock market crash. Soon many companies and banks failed and the depression spread all over world (except Soviet Union). 

  1. The initial policy decision was in line with lassize fairre approach. Government simply let the banks and companies fail. The depression became worse instead of getting better.
  2. Then Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected US president. He launched the “New Deal”.
  3. New deal was a programme of massive fiscal expansion of the government. Many large scale public words like the construction of inter-state expressways, public schools, hospitals etc. were taken up. 
  4. These not only built the infrastructure for future but also gave the economy much needed demand boost in line with Keynesian economics. 
  5. At the same time, social security programmes like health insurance, unemployment benefits were started. This gave assurance to people.
  6. In the monetary policy, interest rates were lowered and easy monetary policy was followed. 
  7. Banks were separated from risky investment banking activities by the passage of the Glass Stegall Act.
  8. Deposit insurance by the state also came into being so as to assure the depositors.

These policies were soon followed by other countries as well and when the world war 2 came up, the entire world had come out of depression.

Q 15. Discuss the various social problems which originated out of the speedy process of urbanization in India. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Note: These are the kind of questions where if one thinks merely for 2 mins, one can come up with a lot of points. But for some reasons, don’t know why, I wasn’t able to come up with many points in the exam on this question.

India is rapidly urbanizing and already around 30% of our population lives in cities. This has created many social problems some of which are:

  1. Crimes: Explained linkages with unemployment, unorganized sector here.
  2. Ghettoization.
  3. Neglect of elderly.
  4. Crimes against women.
  5. Clash between tradition and modern cultures.
  6. Neglect of health, education: Pressure on infrastructure, slums etc.

(wrote a couple of sentences explaining each point).

Q 16. “Male membership needs to be encouraged in order to make women’s organization free from gender bias.” Comment. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Women in India are traditionally suppressed and exploited. There is a need to bring in gender equality in India. For this women need to be awakened and hence the need for women’s movement and organization. That is why the need to make laws somewhat gender biased. But some organizations in their zeal go overboard.

 – talked about the misuse of dowry laws.

 – talked about the misuse of rape / sexual harassment charges. 

 – talked about the recent changes to divorce laws (women getting share in inheritable and pre-marriage property as well). 

So the need to include more male members. But this is not the sole thing needed. One needs  better training and sensitization of women members as well. Things should be balanced.

Q 17. Critically examine the effect of globalization on the aged population in India. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Globalization has had many intended and unintended impacts on the elderly population.

Positive impact of globalization

  1. People now have become more economically prosperous and have fewer children. So they are able to save more for their old age.
  2. Average life expectancy has increased and health as well. This is due to newer medicines and medical techniques.
  3. People now have become more educated, better aware of their pension rights etc.
  4. Wrote 2-3 factors more, can’t remember now.

Negative impact of globalization

  1. Loneliness as fewer children now.
  2. Indian culture used to hold elderly in high regard. Western culture is materialistic and treats elderly as a burden. 
  3. Crimes against elderly have gone up.
  4. Lifestyle factors have created new diseases.
  5. Wrote 1-2 factors more, can’t remember now.

Q 18. Growing feeling of regionalism is an important factor in generation of demand for a separate state. Discuss. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Initially misunderstood the question and started by saying that distinct culture strengthens feeling of regionalism leading to state demand. Then realize question is not about what leads to growing feeling of regionalism but about what leads to separate state demand. So changed track… 

  1. Growing feeling of regionalism is definitely important in statehood demand. Statehood is a strong expression of regional feelings. People have to feel belonging to a region, culture, language, ethnicity etc. eg. Bodoland
  2. But other factors are equally important. 
  3. Example, perceived or real sense of economic exploitation / deprivation may lead to separate state demands. eg. Telangana.
  4. Better administration or initial state may be too large to manage well, then separate state demand may come up. eg. UP into 4 states.
  5. Tribal population or geographical features which are distinct from rest of the state, then it may demand separate statehood. eg. Uttarakhand, Jharkhand.
  6. If a region is more developed than rest of the state, then too it may demand separate statehood. eg. Coorg.

Q 19.a What do you understand by the theory of continental drift? Discuss the prominent evidences in its support. (100 words)  (5 marks)


This theory hypothesizes that all the present continents have come from pieces of an ancient super continent called Pangea drifting apart. Pangea broke into Laurasia (N America, Eurasia, Greenland) and Gondwanaland (S America, Africa, India, Australia, Antarctica). Similarly modern oceans too come from a single ancient ocean. This drifting of land masses was later found to be due to tectonic plate movements.


  1. Eastern boundary of South America can fit into western boundary of Africa.
  2. Similar fossils have been found in Antarctica and Africa.
  3. Similar rocks have been found in eastern parts of S America and west part of Africa.

Q 19.b The recent cyclone on the east coast of India was called ‘Phailin’. How are the tropical cyclones named across the world? Elaborate. (100 words)  (5 marks)


Bay of Bengal

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  1. Each country has given a list of indicative names. eg. Phailin was a Thai name. Indian names include megh, bijli.
  2. Cyclones are named from this list depending upon the country near to which it first originates. 

Western Pacific

  1. Here too a roaster system is followed where each country has given a list of names.

Atlantic (Gulf of Mexico)

  1. The US navy officers initially used to name the cyclones after their wives and girl friends. Later they began to name them after unpopular politicians.
  2. Now again an indicative list of names is there and the names are assigned from the list.

Q 20.a Bring out the causes for the formation of heat islands in the urban habitat of the world. (100 words)  (5 marks)


Note: Didn’t know what a heat island was. But guessed it must be a hot locality in a city from the question. Naturally it has to be due to human activities.

Causes for heat islands

  1. Crowded area.
  2. Concrete buildings and road network.
  3. Congested area with lot of heat radiated from automobiles.
  4. Tall buildings, many people living vertically. 
  5. Electrical appliances used by people radiate heat.
  6. Lack of trees and green belts.

Q 20.b What do you understand by the phenomenon of ‘temperature inversion’ in meteorology? How does it affect weather and the habitants of the place? (100 words)  (5 marks)


Temperature inversion

  1. Normally air temperature falls as we go up. But in temperature inversion, it rises. The cooler air is below the hot air. 
  2. This may be formed as a result of frontal conditions, or in tropical deserts with clear sky and col nights or in valleys surrounded by mountains.

Effects on weather

  1. Leads to very stable atmospheric conditions.
  2. Sky is clear, temperature is low. 
  3. Less humidity, no vertical currents (because cool dense air is already below warm light air).

Effect on habitants

  1. Have to face cool weather. 
  2. Valleys may become very cold due to this. They may have to migrate up the hills.

Q 21. Major hot deserts in northern hemisphere are located between 20-30 deg N latitudes and on the western sides of the continents. Why? (200 words)  (10 marks)


  1. Sub tropical high pressure belt leading to air subsidence and anti cyclonic conditions. These don’t favor precipitation.
  2. Area under the effect of NE trades which have already become dry blowing over vast stretches of land before arriving on western sides of continents.
  3. Cool ocean currents (California in N America, Canary in Sahara). This means air has less moisture and relative humidity falls further as air reaches land.
  4. Vast stretches of land and hence may be far from ocean influence. eg. Thar, Sahara.
  5. May be on the leeward sides of the mountains. eg. Rockies in N America.

Q 22.a Bring out the causes for more frequent occurrence of landslides in the Himalayas than in the Western Ghats. (100 words) (5 marks)


  1. Himalayas are young, still rising and unstable. W Ghats are stable and old.
  2. Both the core and overgrowth falls in Himalayan landslides. Only overgrowth falls in W Ghats as a reason.
  3. Himalayas are taller and steeper.
  4. Himalayas have loose soil and mightier rivers.

Q 22.b There is no formation of deltas by rivers on the Western Ghats. Why? (100 words)  (5 marks)


  1. Rivers flowing west flow in narrow trough valleys. They don’t have scope to widen and form deltas.
  2. Western coastal strip is narrow. Scope for wide delta formation not there.
  3. Most of the sediments carried by west flowing rivers are already deposited to fill the gaps in their narrow beds only. 
  4. S E Monsoons also lead to turbulence – not a good condition for delta formation.
  5. They form estuaries.

Q 23.a Do you agree that there is a growing trend of opening new sugar mills in southern states of India? Discuss with justification. (100 words)  (5 marks)


  1. Sugar is a heavy weight losing industry (over 90% weight of cane is lost). So sugar mills have to be located close to the source of cane.
  2. The bagasse is also used to generate electricity to power the mills. So again mills have to be located close to the cane.
  3. In S India, climatic conditions are favorable for cane growth.
  4. It is closer to ocean. Air carries moisture and hence higher sugar content in cane.
  5. Temperature remains warm throughout and hence better for cane growth.
  6. The area is also close to ports which are needed for export of sugar.
  7. The area also has better infrastructure connectivity in terms of roads than UP.

So cane cultivation is shifting south.

Q 23.b Analyze the factors for the highly decentralized cotton textile industry in India. (100 words)  (5 marks)


  1. Cotton textiles is neither a weight losing, nor a weight gainer industry. So location close to raw material is not needed and other factors become important.
  2. Historical factors like emphasis on charkha by Mahatama Gandhi have helped it spread even in remotest of villages.
  3. Government policies of favoring handlooms has also favored decentralization.
  4. Cheap labor is a requirement. This is abundant all over India.
  5. Family labor is used in textiles industry. Workers pick up necessary skills working within the family itself.
  6. Some areas like Gujarat and Maharashtra have large industries due to better infrastructure and location close to major cities and ports.

Q 24 With growing scarcity of fossil fuels, the atomic energy is gaining more and more significance in India. Discuss the availability of raw material required for the generation of atomic energy in India and in the world. (200 words)  (10 marks)



  1. It is used in the nuclear fuel cycle and converted to U-232 which then generates energy. 
  2. In India it is found in rich quantities in the monazite sands of Kerala. 
  3. India is very rich in Thorium.
  4. Had no idea about availability in the world.


  1. Naturally occurring uranium contains only 0.7% of U-235 and rest U-238. 
  2. Availability in India
  3. India is poor in uranium availability and imports most of its needs.
  4. Thumallapalle mines in Andhra Pradesh have the largest uranium reserves in India.
  5. Jaduguda mines in Jharkhand are the other major source of uranium in India.
  6. Availability in the World
  7. Nigeria, Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan are the major uranium producers and exporters in the world.
  8. Besides these USA, China and Russia too produce large amounts of uranium but it is mostly used for domestic consumption.

Q 25. It is said that India has substantial reserves of shale oil and gas, which can feed the needs of the country for quarter century. However, tapping of the resource does not appear to be high on the agenda. Discuss critically the availability and issues involved. (200 words)  (10 marks)


Shale oil and gas is the oil and gas located in the hard shale rock beds inside the earth. These shale beds are very tough to crack.


  1. Various estimates, including those by leading firms, put Indian reserves of shale oil and gas at a large number.
  2. Shale oil and gas are more widespread than natural oil and gas.
  3. Major regions of availability are Gujarat, Rajasthan, central India, KG Basin and offshore areas in Bay of Bengal.


  1. Expensive fracking and horizontal drilling technology.
  2. Large scale use of water.
  3. Contamination of ground water aquifers.
  4. Risk of earthquakes.
  5. Many areas of shale oil and gas are located where natural oil and gas exploration licenses have been given under NELP. So there is an issue of how to let 2 separate miners work in the same area – one producing natural gas and other shale gas. 

New shale gas policy

  1. To resolve some issues, the new shale gas policy has been announced.
  2. Initially only PSUs will be allowed to explore in their pre-NELP blocks. Only later private sector would be allowed.
  3. Shale gas and natural gas would be kept at arms length distance.
  4. Revenue sharing instead of the cost recovery method will be followed.