Was Reading From Civilsdaily Worth Your Time? GS Mains 2015 Analysed

UPSC is bending towards the dynamic GS. A quick look on how Civilsdaily is matching up to it!


Heartly congratulations to all who have written IAS Mains 2015. We hope that the readers of this community would have found it a tad more easier to follow with the GS papers this year, which was heavily perched on the dynamic GS.

As the whole philosophy behind Civilsdaily hinges on “Making current affairs approachable”, CD Newscards + Stories and CD Explainers should have provided great assistance in Mains 2015.

Here in this article we try to figure out this premise. It would provide more ammo for those appearing in 2016 to stay ahead of teh competition by dealing with the news in a better, more efficient way.

GS Paper 1

#Q. Mesolithic rock cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a fine aesthetic sense comparable to modern painting. Critically evaluate this comment. (12.5M)

#1. We covered architecture extensively in this story – Indian Heritage & Culture


#2. Ref: A Digest on Indian Painting

#Q. Discuss the positive and negative effects of globalization on women in India? (12.5M)

This running story (with connected newscards) deals with the theme of women & various facets of public policies + issues in India.

#Q. Smart cities in India cannot sustain without smart vilages. Discuss this statement in the backdrop of rural urban integration. (12.5M)

#1. Explainer written on – Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission: Making Smart Villages

#2. Story connected the daily newscards – Smart City: Explore The Unexplored

GS Paper 2

#Q. Discuss the possible factors that inhibit India from enacting for its citizen a uniform civil code as provided for in the Directive Principles of State Policy.

#1. Explainer written on – Do We Want Uniform Civil Code in India?


#Q. The concept of cooperative federalism has been increasingly emphasised in recent years. Highlight the drawbacks in the existing structure and extent to which cooperative federalism would answer the shortcomings.

This topic was beaten to death in 2015. We had more than one instance where we curated news stories for you on this –

#1. Op-ed on The distant goal of cooperative federalism

#2. Explainer on – Key Points: Top 10 Recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission

#3. Here’s Panagaria for cooperative federalism in higher education


#Q. Resorting to ordinances has always raised concern on violation of the spirit of separation of power doctrine. While noting the rationales justifying the power to promulgate, analyse whether the decision of the Supreme Court on the issue have further facilitated to resorting to this power. Should the power to promulgate the ordinances be repealed?

#1. Manasi Phadke to the rescue here – Econ Mom talks Mann ki Baat on Land Ordinance

#Q. Examine critically the recent changes in the rule governing foreign funding of NGOs under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1976.

#1. Here’s the most comprehensive compilation on this theme – NGOs vs. GoI: The Conflicts and Scrutinies


#Q. The quality of higher education in India requires major improvement to make it internationally competitive. Do you think that the entry of foreign educational institutions would help improve the quality of technical and higher education in the country. Discuss.

#1. Connected newscards for this theme – The State Of Affairs In Higher Education


#Q. Public health system has limitation in providing universal health coverage. Do you think that private sector can help in bridging the gap? What other viable alternatives do you suggest?

Three stories, all dealing with this concept heavily!

#1. Policy Wise: India’s Health Sector

#2. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare: Important Updates

#3. The Fight Against Tuberculosis


#Q. Though there have been several different estimates of poverty in India, all indicate reduction in poverty over time. Do you agree. Critically examine with reference to urban and rural poverty indicators.

Two newscards & one story to the rescue here –

#1. World Bank estimates show fall in India’s poverty rate

#2. MGNREGS reduced poverty, empowered women

#3. India’s Urbanisation Agenda


#Q. For achieving the desired objectives,it is necessary to ensure that the regulatory institution remain independent and autonomous. Discuss in the light of experiences in recent past.

#1. The merger explained, here – FMC-SEBI Merger: The Road Ahead


#Q. Increasing interest of India in Africa has its pro and cons. Critically Examine.

#1. Explainer on Indo-Africa relations – India-Africa Forum Summit: Old Friends – Old Family

#2. Story – Foreign Policy Watch: India-Africa

#Q. Discuss the impediments India is facing in its pursuit of a permanent seat in UNSC.

#1. Explainer – India’s Bid to United Nations Permanent Seat

Project ‘Mausam’ is considered a unique foreign policy initiative of Indian government to improve relationship with its neighbours. Does the project have a strategic dimension? Discuss.

#1. Project Mausam – Cultural ties deepen for the 39 countries
#2. Project Mausam – India’s answer to China’s Maritime Silk Road


#Q. Terrorist activities and mutual distrust have clouded India – Pakistan relations. To what etent the use of soft power like sports and cultural exchange could help generate goodwill between the two countries. Discuss with suitable examples.

#1. Explainer on Indo Pak relationship (although it was written on 19th Dec) China-Pakistan Equation: Is it India’s Dilemma?

#2. Old time readers would find this running compilation useful – Foreign Policy Watch: India-Pakistan

GS Paper 3

#Q. The nature of economic growth in India in recent times is often described as a jobless growth. Do you agree with this view? Give arguments in favour of your answer.

#1. Story – Indian Economy – Growth Estimates


#Q. How can the Digital India program help farmers to improve farm productivity and income? What step has the government taken in this regard?

#1. Story – Digital India Initiatives: What’s Buzzing!

#Q. Craze for gold in Indian has led to surge in import of gold in recent years and put pressure on balance of payments and external value of rupee. In view of this, examine the merits of Gold Monetization scheme.

#1. Explainer on the issue – PM Modi Launches 3 Gold Schemes: A Golden Opportunity


#Q. “Success of make in India program depends on the success of Skill India programme and radical labour reforms.” Discuss with logical arguments.

#1. Story – The Mammoth Task Of Skilling India

#2. Story – Make in India: Challenges & Prospects

#3. Story – Labour Reforms In India


#Q. To what factors can be the recent dramatic fall in equipment cost and tariff of solar energy be attributed? What implications does the trend have for thermal power producers and related industry?

#1. Story – Solar Energy: The Emerging Sector


#Q. What do you understand by “Standard Positioning System” and “Precision positioning system” in the GPS era? Discuss the advantage India perceives from its ambitious IRNSS programme employing just seven satellites.

#1. Story – ISRO – India’s Space Program


#Q. Discuss the Namami Gange and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) programmes and causes of mixed results from the previous schemes. What quantum leaps can help preserve the river Ganga better than incremental inputs?

#1. Story – Mission Clean Ganga


#Q. The frequency of earthquakes appears to have increased in the Indian subcontinent. However, India’s preparedness for mitigating their impact has significant gaps. Discuss various aspects.

#1. Story – Nepal’s Earthquake & the Way Forward

#2. Story – Disaster Management and Way forward


#Q. Human right activists constantly highlight the fact that the Armed forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) is a draconian act leading to cases of human right abuses by security forces. What sections of AFSPA are opposed by the activists. Critically evaluate the requirement with reference to the view held by Apex Court.

#1. Story – Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act

#2. Explainer – AFSPA explained in one infograph


#Q. Religious indoctrination via social media has resulted in Indian youth joining the ISIS. What is ISIS and its mission? How can ISIS be dangerous to the internal security of our country.

This was the most talked about topic of the year. We wrote 2 explainers & 2 stories which we follow up till this day!

#1. Story – Foreign Policy Watch: Cross-Border Terrorism

#2. Story – The Crisis In The Middle East

#3. Explainer – Syrian Civil War and The Refugee Crisis

#4. Vienna Conference to end Syria’s endless agony



#Q. Considering the threats cyberspace poses for the country, India needs a “Digital Armed Forces” to prevent crimes. Critically evaluate the National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 outlining the challenges perceived in its effective implementation.

#1. Story – Cyber Security: Challenges and Developments



PS: We know that some of the uninitiated readers may find the idea of story & newscards (and following them) a bit difficult to keep up with. We are working on further simplifying the interface so that you get to the crux of the issue right on. For now, our only advice is that you follow the daily feeds on app & web. Sooner or later, we will catch up with all the issues.

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

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