UPSC General Studies – Question Papers and Study Materials

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Four papers


GENERAL STUDIES STUDY MATERIALS

  • Revision of project outlay for setting up of India Post Payments Bank from Rs 1435 Cr to Rs 2255 Cr - The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the revision of project outlay for setting up of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) from Rs.1435 crore to Rs.2255 crore as equity infusion to meet regulatory requirement. The Cabinet also granted in principle approval for future fund infusion to the tune of Rs.500 crore for meeting regulatory requirements and technological upgradation.
  • Evolution of India’s Africa Policy-lecture by Ambassador Gurjit Singh-17/02/2022  - When the Cold War ended around 1989 to 1991, the traditional colonial partners or even post-colonial partners of Africa, became embroiled more in their neighbourhood like Europe, and the Russians became involved in their own resettlement, the Americans got involved in Iraq. So suddenly Africa was open to new partners.
  • PAKISTAN OR THE PARTITION OF INDIA Indian Foreign Policy: yesterday, today and tomorrow, lecture by Satish C Mehta-28/02/2022 - The 1962 China War shattered that illusion. We lost territory, we lost global esteem - after all losers aren’t good examples- and we lost our self-belief. The lessons were clear. Our help to China in its freedom struggle or other support when it was isolated didn’t carry much weight.
  • India – Peru diplomatic relationship - India established diplomatic relations with Peru in March 1963. The Indian Ambassador in Chile was concurrently accredited to Peru. In September 1969, India opened its resident mission in Lima, Peru. The first resident Indian Ambassador in Lima took charge in November 1973
  • Ministry of Ayush has established Central Council of Research in Ayurvedic Sciences - The Ministry has developed a Central Sector Scheme for Promotion of International Co-operation in AYUSH (IC Scheme) under which Ministry of Ayush provides support to Indian Ayush Manufacturers/ Ayush Service providers to give boost to export of AYUSH products & services; facilitate International promotion, development and recognition of AYUSH system of medicine;
  • UPSC General Studies – Question Papers and Study Materials - Four papers GENERAL STUDIES STUDY MATERIALS Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2021 [Link]
  • Urban Unskilled/Skilled Workers in India as per Periodic Labour Force Survey conducted by National Statistical Office-21/03/2022 - As per the Quarterly Bulletin ( January-March 2021) of Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted by National Statistical Office (NSO), the estimates of Unemployment Rate (UR) according to Current Weekly Status (CWS) in urban areas of different States for female, male and persons of age 15 years and above is 11.8%, 8.6% and 9.3% respectively.
  • Modi Remarks by Indian PM at 2nd India-Australia Virtual Summit-21/03/2022 - Our relations have made remarkable progress in the last few years. Trade and investment, defence and security, education and innovation, science and technology – we have very close cooperation in all these areas. Our collaboration has grown rapidly in many other areas, such as critical minerals, water management, renewable energy, and Covid-19 research.
  • Major Port Authorities Act 2021 provides regulation, operation and planning of Major Ports in India - The Major Port Authorities Act, 2021 provide for regulation, operation and planning of Major Ports in India and vests the administration, control and management of such ports upon the Boards of Major Port Authorities. The legislation empowers these ports to perform with greater efficiency on account of increased autonomy in decision making and by modernizing their institutional framework. 
  • Cow dung procurement from farmers is the responsibility of State Government- GOI-15/03/2022 - Under Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund and Dairy Infrastructure Development Fund, provision has been made to provide interest subvention for the projects which can convert cow dung and agri- wastes into Compressed biogas and organic fertilizers.
  • IMF summary of economic responses of India Govt on human and economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic - The economic impact of COVID-19 has been substantial and broad-based. GDP contracted sharply in 2020Q2 (-24.4 percent year-on-year) due to the unprecedented lockdowns to control the spread of COVID-19. The contraction moderated to -7.4 percent year-on-year in 2020Q3, and growth returned to positive territory in 2020Q4 and 2021Q1, at 0.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. The national statistical office revised up FY2020/21 GDP growth to -7.3% in the latest provisional estimate.
  • India’s bilateral trade turnover with Ukraine was US$ 2.52 billion in 2019-20 - Pharmaceuticals account for majority of Indian exports to Ukraine. India is the third largest exporter of pharmaceutical products to Ukraine, after Germany and France, in value terms. A number of Indian companies like Ranbaxy, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Sun Group etc. have their representative offices in Ukraine. Representatives of major pharmaceutical companies have set up an Indian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (IPMA) in Ukraine.
  • Borrowing and Lending in foreign currency in India - The Reserve Bank of India, is the custodian of the country’s foreign exchange reserves and is vested with the responsibility of managing their investment. The legal provisions governing management of foreign exchange reserves are laid down in the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. The Reserve Bank issues licences to banks and other institutions to act as Authorised Dealers in the foreign exchange market. In keeping with the move towards liberalisation, the Reserve Bank has undertaken substantial elimination of licensing, quantitative restrictions and other regulatory and discretionary controls.
  • Food Products Testing Labs in India - There are 726 Testing Laboratories for food products in the country as per study conducted by Ministry of Food Processing Industries in 2020-21 and these Laboratories are operational at different levels of operation and testing of food products. Out of these, 585 food testing laboratories have obtained Accreditation as per the international standards i.e. ISO/IEC 17025/NABL.
  • Food Corporation of India is operating 2199 warehouses for storage of food grains across the country - The Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabhaon 11 FEB 2022, informed that that augmentation of capacity is a continuous process.  Food Corporation of India (FCI) continuously assesses and monitors the storage capacity and based on the storage gap assessment, storage capacities are created/hired. 
  • Special Economic Zones : 376 SEZs are notified and 268 SEZs are operational in India - Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as on 14/02/2022 Presently, there are 425 formally approved Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the country. As on date, 376 SEZs are notified and 268 SEZs are operational. SEZs are primarily private investment driven initiatives. The…
  • PM’s address at dedication of 216-feet ‘Statue of Equality’ of 11th century Ramanujacharya-5/02/2022 - The Statue is made of ‘panchaloha’, a combination of five metals: gold, silver, copper, brass, and zync and is among one of the tallest metallic statues in sitting position, in the world. It is mounted on a 54-ft high base building, named ‘Bhadra Vedi’, has floors devoted for a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theatre, an educational gallery detailing many works of Sri Ramanujacharya. The statue has been conceptualised by Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami of Sri Ramanujacharya Ashram.
  • Indian Defence Manufacturing Sector as on 4/02/2022 - As part of the modernisation process of the Indian Navy, four Visakhapatnam class destroyers (Project 15B), which are upgraded version of the Kolkata class ships, are being constructed at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, Mumbai. The first ship of the Project 15B, INS Visakhapatnam was commissioned on 21 November 2021. Balance three ships of the project are being targeted for delivery between 2022 to 2024.
  • Pricing Policy of Costly Medicines in India - The Indian pharmaceutical Industry, driven by knowledge, skills, low production costs and international quality products has witnessed a robust growth from the production turnover of about Rs. 5000 crores in 1990 to over Rs1 lakh crore in 2009-10 comprising about Rs, 62,055 crores of domestic market and Rs. 42,154 crores of exports. It is, globally, the 3rd largest producer of medicines by volume yet 14th in terms of value. The lower value is due to the fact that Indian medicines are amongst the lowest priced in the world. However, despite this medicine costs continue to be an important component in the overall medicare expenditure in the country.
  • Creation of National Agriculture Disaster Management Scheme – 2022 - The Government of India has launched the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), which is one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). NAPCC has identified the focus areas on Dryland agriculture, risk management, access to information and use of biotechnology under NMSA and are implemented in schemes of Rainfed Area Development, OnFarm Water Management, Soil Health Management and Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture: Monitoring, Modelling and Networking.
  • Russian FM Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media on Russian-Ukrainian border after meeting with US SOS Antony Blinken on 21/01/2022 - Our experience of working with our Western colleagues on European security issues contains abundant examples when promises were made but not kept. I have already quoted the words said by the then US President Gerald Ford immediately after the signing of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. Celebrating the occasion, he said: “History will judge this Conference not by what we say here today, but by what we do tomorrow - not by the promises we make, but by the promises we keep.” Our American and West European colleagues and NATO members are not very good at this.
  • NITI Aayog, RMI, and RMI India released ‘Banking on Electric Vehicles in India-2022’ Report- Pushed for Electric Vehicle finance - NITI Aayog, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), and RMI India today released a report, titled ‘Banking on Electric Vehicles in India’, which outlines the importance of priority-sector recognition for retail lending in the electric mobility ecosystem. The report provides considerations and recommendations to inform the inclusion of EVs in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) priority-sector lending (PSL) guidelines.
  • Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference-2021 - As for small and medium-size enterprises – catering, gyms, cinemas, and even theatres, museums, etc., all the enterprises in the service sector – of course, they were the first to suffer. However, they were also the first to receive our support. There was a whole range of measures. I do not know whether I need to list them all. This included subsidised loans, direct support to save jobs and wages, reduced interest rates, loan payments in installments, lease subsidies, etc. By the way, some of these measures are still in place, and you know this.
  • RBI Monetary Policy Framework of RBI : As Assessed by Bank of International Sattlement - The monetary policy framework aims at setting the policy repo rate at an appropriate level to achieve the monetary policy objectives based on an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation. Liquidity management is the operating procedure of monetary policy which envisages modulation of liquidity conditions, aimed at anchoring the WACR to the policy repo rate.
  • Administrative Structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the North Korea (DPRK) - The Institute for Disarmament and Peace, as a policy research institute under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seeks ways for achieving disarmament and peace on the Korean Peninsula, strengthening peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world and preventing war.
  • Minority Concentrated Districts under National Commission for Minorities Act 1992 - Under Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK), which is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, the communities notified as minority communities under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act (NCM), 1992 are taken as Minority Communities. The Central Government under the NCM Act, 1992 has notified six religious minority communities namely Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Muslim, Parsi and Jain.
  • The Government and Security Coal Controller Organisation collects and maintains coal production data in India - Directorate General of Mines Safety [DGMS] is the Indian Government Regulatory agency for safety in mines. The mission of the DGMS is to continually improve safety and health standards, practices and performance in the mining industry and upstream petroleum industry by implementing pro-active safety and health strategies, continuous improvement of processes, effective use of resources and commitment and professional behaviour in its personnel.
  • India’s food processing sectror as on 15/12/2021 - The output data for registered manufacturing sector including food processing sector is brought out by the M/o Statistics and Programme Implementation through the Annual Survey of Industries. As per latest Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) 2018-19, the total output in food processing sector was Rs.12,76,995 crore, which contributed 12.83% of total output in the registered manufacturing sector in India.No projection of output growth is made in the ASI data.
  • G7 LEADERS STATEMENT: Partnership for infrastructure and investment-3/12/2021 - The G7 Leaders have issued a joint statement, setting out principles and next steps to modernise the G7's approach to infrastructure finance and narrow the infrastructure investment gap in developing countries. This supports a key part of the agreement reached by Leaders at the G7 Carbis Bay Summit in June, as a part of the G7's commitment to build back better for a greener, more prosperous future.
  • Development and end of Indian Ordnance Factories - During 1775 British authorities accepted the establishment of Board of Ordnance in Fort William, Kolkata. This marks the official beginning of the Army Ordnance in India.In 1787 a gun powder factory was established at Ishapore which started production from 1791 ( at which location Rifle Factory was established in 1904).
  • Responsible Digital Innovation-T Rabi Sankar - Fintech, or technology that provides digital financial services is transforming the provision and delivery of financial services. At its most basic level digital technology enables speed – speed in processing information and speed in communication. Processing speed has reduced cost and time for transactions while communication speed has enhanced connectivity of systems expanding the reach of transactions.
  • Payroll Reporting in India: An Employment Perspective - Since April, 2018 this Ministry has been bringing out the employment related statistics in the formal sector covering the period September 2017 onwards, using information on the number of subscribers who have subscribed under three major schemes, namely the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Scheme, the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme and the National Pension Scheme (NPS).
  • Home-ministry Cabinet Secretariat Govt of India - The Cabinet Secretariat ensures that the President, the Vice President and Ministers are kept informed of the major activities of all Ministries/Departments by means of monthly summary of their activities. Management of major crisis situations in the country and coordinating activities of various Ministries in such a situation is also one of the functions of the Cabinet Secretariat.
  • Computer Central Bank Digital Currency – Is This the Future of Money-T Rabi Sankar - . Except as currency notes, all other use of paper in the modern financial system, be it as bonds, securities, transactions, communications, correspondences or messaging – has now been replaced by their corresponding digital and electronic versions.
  • India’s external debt is US$ 570.0 billion -21.1% of GDP- as on 30/06/2021 - RESERVE BANK OF INDIA Date : Jun 30, 2021 India’s External Debt as at the end of March 2021 The stock of external debt at end-March 2021 as well as revised data for earlier quarters are set out in Statements…
  • India’s Foreign Trade for June 2021 - India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) in June 2021* are estimated to be USD 49.85 Billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 31.87 per cent over the same period last year and a positive growth of 17.17 per cent over June 2019. Overall imports in June 2021* are estimated to be USD 52.18 Billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 73.65 per cent over the same period last year and a positive growth of 1.08 per cent over June 2019
  • Indian intervention at Ministerial meeting of WTO on fisheries subsidy negotiations - Fisheries are a common endowment to humanity, a global public commons. Therefore, the sharing of this should be in an equitable and just manner. Any unbalanced or unequal agreement would bind us into current fishing arrangements which may not necessarily meet everyone’s future requirements. As we discuss sustainability, it is essential that big subsidizers take greater responsibility to reduce their subsidies and fishing capacities, in accordance with the principles of ‘Polluter Pays’ and ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities’.
  • IMF Concludes Surveillance Review 2021 of global crisis resulting from COVID-19 pandemic - Directors agreed with the CSR’s assessment that a macroeconomic landscape characterized by elevated uncertainties about the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will create difficult trade-offs for policymakers as they seek to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth and stability. Important trends—in digital technology, climate change, inequality, demographics, and geopolitics—affecting economic sustainability will also present opportunities and challenges and, where macro-critical, will need to be incorporated in the Fund’s surveillance.
  • Turkish Foreign Policy - Turkish Foreign Policy aims to protect Turkey’s interests in a volatile regional and global environment, while also shaping conditions for sustainable peace and development in our neighborhood and beyond. In the pursuit of this primary goal, Turkey contributes to peace, prosperity, and stability around the world.
  • Ground Water Pollution in India-2021 - Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) generates ground water quality data on a regional scale through ground water quality monitoring throughout the country. This monitoring indicates the occurrence of Fluoride, Arsenic, Nitrate, Iron and Heavy Metals beyond the BIS permissible limits for human consumption in isolated pockets in various parts of the country.
  • Status report of Indian Eight Core Industries for December 2020 - Index of Eight Core Industries (Base: 2011-12=100) for December 2020 DATE: 29 JAN 2021 1- The Office of The Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade is releasing Index of Eight Core Industries for the Month of…
  • Indian National Baseline Geoscience Data Generation Programmes (2020-2024) - To expedite exploration activities in the country, Geological Survey of India (GSI), has embarked upon an ambitious scheme to complete some major National level surveys by 2024: National Geochemical Mapping (NGCM), National Geophysical Mapping (NGPM), National Aero Geophysical Mapping Program (NAGMP). GSI is also going to adopt sophisticated deep penetration geophysical techniques such as Magneto-Telluric Surveys and Deep Seismic Reflection Surveys (DSRS) in order to define the crustal architecture for deep-seated mineral targeting.
  • USA U.S.-India bilateral partnership - The United States seeks an expanded trade relationship with India that is reciprocal and fair. In 2019, overall U.S.-India bilateral trade in goods and services reached $149 billion. U.S. energy exports are an important area of growth in the trade relationship. In 2018 India purchased 48.2 million barrels of U.S. crude oil, a significant increase from 9.6 million in 2017. Last year, Indian students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities contributed over $8 billion to the U.S. economy.
  • Review of Climate of India during 2020 - The annual mean land surface air temperature averaged over India during 2020 was above normal. During the year, annual mean land surface air temperature averaged over the country was+0.290C above normal (based on the data of 1981-2010). The year 2020 was the eighth warmest year on record since nation-wide records commenced in 1901.
  • Economic package for Development for handloom industry - To promote e-marketing of handloom products, a policy frame work was designed and under which any willing e-commerce platform with good track record can participate in online marketing of handloom products. Accordingly, 23 e-commerce entities have been engaged for on-line marketing of handloom products.
  • Govt of India is implementing Venture Capital Fund for Powerloom and Allied Products and Services - The Government of India is implementing the Venture Capital Fund for Powerloom and Allied Products and Services (TEX-Fund), as a component under PowerTex India scheme w.e.f. 01.04.2017. The TEX Fund has a minimum corpus of Rs.35 crores with Government of India’s contribution of Rs.24.50 crores and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has a minimum contribution of Rs.10.50 crores.
  • Parliament LS passed Industrial Relations Code, Occupational Safety Health & Working Conditions Code, & Social Security Code 2020 - Labour Codes will Establish transparent, answerable and simple mechanism reducing to one registration, one license and one return for all codes- Inspector to be now made as Inspector – cum- Facilitator and introduction of Random, Web Based Inspection System to remove Inspector Raj
  • Control and prohibition of Cannabis and Cannabis-Related Substances - Cannabidiol can be chemically synthesized or it can be prepared from the cannabis plant. The approved medication (Epidiolex) is a preparation of the cannabis plant. The Committee noted that medicines without psychoactive effects that are produced as preparations of the cannabis plant will contain trace amounts of delta- 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC; dronabinol).
  • Evaluation of Indian Agriculture-General Studies - Organic Farming Organic Farming resources for India International Foundation for Organic Agriculture Movements UN FAO website on organic farming Organic Farming Research Foundation (general information) Organic Farming vis- a – vis modern agriculture Organic Farming: Potentials And Strategies (by ICAR director) Indian organic farming news. National Centre of Organic Farming Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (ministry of agriculture) Agriculture and Organic Farming Group with contacts of organic farming
  • Directorate of Arecanut & Spices Development reported Cardamom Cultivation in India - Directorate of Arecanut & Spices Development (DASD) has reported that the Cardamom plantation sector has been affected due to the outbreak of COVID 19 and consequent lockdown and restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the pandemic.
  • Indian petrol policy shifted to reduction on oil importation dependency - Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has identified a basket of strategies inter-alia including primarily increasing domestic production of oil and gas and promoting biofuels/alternate fuels with a view to achieving a reduction in import of crude oil. Government has also taken a number of initiatives to encourage the use of alternative fuels like ethanol and bio-diesel through Ethanol Blending in Petrol (EBP) Programme and Bio-diesel blending in diesel.
  • Improved Cultivation And Retting Exercise (Jute-ICARE) programme for jute agriculture in India - The government has been implementing Improved Cultivation And Retting Exercise (Jute-ICARE) programme for jute agriculture. Among other scientific packages for jute cultivation, supply of certified and high quality jute seeds to the farmers is one of the main activities under the Jute-ICARE programme.
  • Eight beaches of India tagged with “Blue Flag” International eco-label - Clean beaches are the testimony to environment in the coastal area. He said, the issue of marine litter and oil spilling has caused disturbances to the aquatic life and the Government of India is undertaking various efforts for the sustainable development of coastal regions.
  • Organic farming in India 2020 - Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): The scheme promotes cluster based organic farming with PGS certification. Cluster formation, training, certification and marketing are supported under the scheme. Assistance of Rs.50,000 per ha /3 years is provided out of which 62% i.e., Rs. 31,000 is given as incentive to a farmer towards organic inputs.
  • Space Activities Bill, 2017 Private Sector Participation in Indian Space Sector - About 2,51,000 value-added data products were disseminated to users since April 2020. The value-added products comprise of geophysical & remote sensing data products derived using the data from meteorological, oceanographic and land remote sensing satellites.
  • India signed 38 contracts with desi vendors and 32 with Foreign vendors in 2019-20 - During last financial year (2019-20), 38 contracts have been signed with Indian vendors and 32 contracts have been signed with Foreign vendors. During current Financial Year 2020-21 (Upto July, 2020), 10 contracts have been signed with Indian vendors and 6 contracts have been signed with Foreign vendors for capital procurement of defence equipment for Armed Forces.
  • FDI IN DEFENCE SECTOR IN INDIA - Government has brought in significant reforms to promote FDI in Defence sector in the country, to complement and supplement the domestic investment. Through FDI, domestic companies are benefited by way of enhanced access to supplementary capital and state-of-art-technologies, and also exposure to global managerial practices resulting in employment generation and accelerated growth of the sector.
  • Historical Review of Prison Reforms in India - The constitutional changes brought about by the Government of India Act of 1935, which resulted in the transfer of the subject of prisons in the control of provincial governments, further reduced the possibilities of uniform implementation of the recommendations of the Indian Jails Committee 1919-1920 in the country.
  • India’s Foreign Policy: An overview of core objectives, Fundamental principles and current priorities - The first and overarching objective of India’s Foreign Policy –like that of any other country-is to secure its national interests. The scope of "national interests” is fairly wide. In our case it includes for instance: securing our borders to protect territorial integrity, countering cross-border terrorism, energy security, food security, cyber security.In short, the first objective is to protect India from traditional and non-traditional threats.

Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2021 [Link]


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