PAPER-2: General Studies -II: 250 Marks

This is GS Paper II . Before we proceed keep in mind “

 The questions by far and in general likings are designed to test the candidate’s take on replevant issues, his/her ability to analyse and perceive, guiding his/her responsiveness on conflicting socio-economic goals, its objectives and demand it raises.”

The level of paper always remains of good quality . GS paper 2 remains more or less the most difficult paper. The best approach is to cover the syllabus topic wise and balanced preparation of current affairs along side theoretical knowledge. The aspirants also need an ability to reuse the information they needed in prelims paper to subjectify their objectivity in the mains paper.


  • Governance
  • Constitution
  • Polity
  • Social Justice
  • International Relations

शासन व्यवस्था, संविधान , शासन प्रणाली, सामाजिक न्याय तथा अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय सम्बन्ध

PART I (Constitution)

 Indian Constitution—Historical Underpinnings, Evolution, Features, Amendments, Significant Provisions and Basic Structure.

भारतीय संविधान-ऐतिहासिक आधार, विकास, विशेषताएं, संशोधन, महत्वपूर्ण प्रावधान और बुनियादी संरचना।

Must Read Books-

  • NCERT Class XI- Indian Constitution at work
  • Indian Polity M.Laxmikant


  • -Indian Public Administration: Institutions and Issues: Fadia & Fadia
  • Introduction to the Constitution of India: D.D. Basu

Reports/ Website

Syllabus: “Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.”

  • संघ एवं राज्यों के कार्य तथा उत्तरदायित्व, संघीय ढाँचे से सम्बन्धित विषय एवं चुनौतियाँ, स्थानीय स्तर पर शक्तियों और वित्त का हस्तांतरण और उसकी चुनौतियाँ।

This is static part and basic knowledge of it can be taken from Indian Polity by M Laxmi Kant. However, UPSC is not interested in what part and Mains Paper demand analysis. `That can be prepared from:

  • 6th report of ARC-Local Governance
  • Indian Public Administration: Institutions and Issues- Fadia & Fadia (Selected Chapters)
  • For Federal Part have a conceptual clarity from Indian Public Administration: Institutions and Issues- Fadia & Fadia (Selected Chapters)
  • Current Issues


  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions   (संघ एवं राज्यों के कार्य तथा उत्तरदायित्व, संघीय ढाँचे से सम्बन्धित विषय एवं चुनौतियाँ, स्थानीय स्तर पर शक्तियों और वित्त का हस्तांतरण और उसकी चुनौतियाँ।) 

Dispute resolution from 7th ARC  Report – ‘Capacity Building for Conflict Resolution’ 

  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries

विभिन्न घटकों के बीच शक्तियों का पृथक्करण, विवाद निवारण तंत्र तथा संस्थान।

No question has been asked yet and this topic can be prepared from:

Books : Indian Public Administration: Institutions and Issues- Fadia & Fadia .

Apart from this, A book by S. Chand – Select Constitutions of the world also covers this topic comprehensively. However, be careful don’t read in much depth and waste your time in research work.

QUESTION are dynamic in nature

न्यायालयों के द्वारा विधायी शक्तियों के वितरण से संबंधित मुद्दों को सुलझाने सेपरिसंघीय सर्वोच्चता का सिद्धांत और समरस अर्थान्वयन उभर कर आए हैं। स्पष्ट कीजिए।10 Marks  (2019)

 From the resolution of contentious issues regarding distribution of legislative powers by the courts, ‘Principle of Federal Supremacy’ and ‘Harmonious Construction’ have emerged. Explain. (10 Marks)

  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these. ( संसद और राज्य विधयिका-संरचना, कार्य, कार्य संचालन, शक्तियाँ एवं विशेषाधाकार और इनसे उत्पन्न होने वाले विषय।
  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
  • (कार्यपालिका और न्यायपालिका की संरचना, संगठन और कार्य-सरकार के मंत्रालय एवं विभाग, प्रभाव समूह और औपचारिक/अनौपचारिक संघ तथा शासन प्रणाली में उनकी भूमिका।) )
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act. (जन प्रतिनिधित्व अधिनियम की मुख्य विशेषताएं।)
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies. (विभिन्न संवैधानिक पदों पर नियुक्ति और विभिन्न संवैधनिक निकायों की शक्तियाँ, कार्य और उत्तरदायित्व।) 
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies. (सांविधिक, विनियामक और विभिन्न अर्ध-न्यायिक निकाय।) 

These parts of syllabus discussed well but analysis part is not there in M. Laxmikant. Best resource for this part is Indian Public Administration: Institutions and Issues- Fadia &Fadia  and D.D Basu or Subhash Kashyap. Apart from this RSTV/RSTV debates, 13th Report- Organisational structure of Govt of India and Current Issues.

UPSC demands analysis like this question which was asked in 2019 is there in laxmikant but without analytical writing one can not do justice to question

महान्यायवादी भारत की सरकार का मुख्य विधि सलाहकार और वकील होता है। चर्चा कीजिए।15 Marks (2019)

 “The Attorney-General is the chief legal adviser and lawyer of the Government of India.” Discuss (15 Marks)

                              Part 2 Social Justice/Welfare Policies

Policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. (सरकारी नीतियों और विभिन्न क्षेत्रों में विकास के लिए हस्तक्षेप और उनके अभिकल्पन तथा कार्यान्वयन के कारण उत्पन्न विषय।) 

Must Read Books/ reports Reference
Economic Survey, Yojana, India Year Book, Kurukshetra EPW, Frontline Magazine, Niti Ayog Reports

Syllabus: Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders. (विकास प्रक्रिया तथा विकास उद्योग-गैर सरकारी संगठनों, स्वयं सहायता समूहों, विभिन्न समूहों और संघों, दानकर्ताओं, लोकोपकारी संस्थाओं, संस्थागत एवं अन्य पक्षों की भूमिका।) 

This part is dynamic and question. For example, Question on NGO. This was in news due to an adverse report of IB against foreign funding 

Examine critically the recent changes in the rules governing foreign funding of NGOs under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1976. CSE 2015

Must Read Books/ reports Reference
Indian Public Administration: Institutions and Issues- Fadia & Fadia  , Current Daily Business News Paper

Syllabus: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections. (केन्द्र एवं राज्यों द्वारा जनसंख्या के अति संवेदनशील वर्गों के लिए कल्याणकारी योजनाएं और इन योजनाओं का कार्य निष्पादन, इन अति संवेदनशील वर्गों की रक्षा एवं बेहतरी के लिए गठित तंत्र, विधि, संस्थान एवं निकाय।) 

  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. (स्वास्थ्य, शिक्षा, मानव संसाधनों से सम्बन्धित सामाजिक क्षेत्रों/सेवाओं के विकास और प्रबंधन से सम्बधित विषय।) 
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger. (गरीबी और भूख से सम्बन्धित विषय।) 

There is no need to mug up all the schemes and their analysis. Just focus on current part and whichever scheme is in news. Also read summery of some important reports like

  • Human Development Report by UNDP
  • Migration Report by IMO
  • Hunger Report & Hunger Index

सुभेद्य वर्गों के लिए क्रियान्वित की जाने वाली कल्याण योजनाओं का निष्पादन उनके बारे में जागरूकता के न होने और नीति प्रक्रम की सभी अवस्थाओं पर उनके सक्रिय तौर पर सम्मिलित न होने के कारण इतना प्रभावी नहीं होता है। -चर्चा कीजिए।15 Marks (2019)

Performance of welfare schemes that are implemented for vulnerable sections is not so effective due to absence of their awareness and active involvement at all stages of policy process. Discuss (15 marks)

Part 3 Governance

Syllabus: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures. (

  • शासन व्यवस्था, पारदर्शिता और जवाबदेही के महत्वपूर्ण पक्ष, ई -गवनेर्स-अनुप्रयोग, मॉडल, सफलताएं, सीमाएं और सम्भावनाएं, नागरिक चार्टर, पारदर्शिता एवं जवाबदेही और संस्थागत तथा अन्य उपाय।
  • Role of civil services in a democracy. (  लोकतंत्र में सिविल सेवाओं की भूमिका।) )

This part has some overlapping with Paper IV but here purpose is different than Ethics Paper. You should have some basic understanding of all the concepts which are mentioned in syllabus

Must Read Books/ reports Reference
Indian Public Administration: Institutions and Issues- Fadia & Fadia  , 2nd ARC REPORT (Right to Information, Promoting e-Governance, Citizen Centric Administration, Social Capital) Development Administration – Mohit Bhattacharya, Democracy and Development (IGNOU MPS 003)

This is toughest part of this paper from theoritical understanding perspective but once that is there questions can easily be attempted through general awarness

सूचना और संप्रेषण प्रौद्योगिकी (आई-सी-टी-) आधारित परियोजनाओं/ कार्यक्रमों का कार्यान्वयन आम तौर पर कुछ विशेष महत्वपूर्ण कारकों की दृष्टि से ठीक नहीं रहता है। इन कारकों की पहचान कीजिए और उनके प्रभावी कार्यान्वयन के उपाय सुझाइए। 10 Marksb(2019)

Implementation of Information and Communication technology (ICT) based projects/programmes usually suffers in terms of certain vital factors. Identify these factors and suggest measures for their effective implementation. (10 marks)

Part IV International Relation

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations. 
  • भारत एवं इसके पड़ोसी सम्बन्ध।
  • भारत के हितों, भारतीय परिदृश्य पर विकसित तथा विकासशील देशों की नीतियों तथा राजनीति का प्रभाव।
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. ( द्विपक्षीय, क्षेत्रीय और वैश्विक समूह और भारत से सम्बन्धित और/अथवा भारत के हितों को प्रभावित करने वाले करार।)
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. ( महत्वपूर्ण अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय संस्थान, संस्थाएं और मंच-उनकी संरचना, अधिदेश।)

This part is completely dynamic but for basic understanding of Indian foreign policy after Independence can read Book of V.P.Dutt & India & Neighbourhood relation from Ministry of External Affairs Website.

Must Read Reference Important Website/ Author

NCERT Class XII – Political Science II (

  • NCERT XII-Contemporary World Politics) 

, V.P. Dutt

Does the Elephant Dance, book by David Melon, Book by Rajiv Sikri,  , Article of C. Raja Mohan (INDIAN EXPRESS), Observer Research Foundation)

This question of 2019 was asked because this organisation was in news in December 2018. Same way for 2020 Question may be asked on WHO

आवश्यकता से कम नगदी, अत्यधिक राजनीति ने यूनेस्को को जीवन रक्षण की स्थिति में पहुंचा दिया है। अमेरिका द्वारा सदस्यता परित्याग करने और सांस्कृतिक संस्था पर इजराइल विरोधी पूर्वाग्रह होेने का दोषारोपण करने के प्रकाश में इस कथन की विवेचना कीजिए।10 Marks (2019)

 ‘Too little cash, too much politics, leaves UNESCO fighting for life.’ Discuss the statement in the light of US’ withdrawal and its accusation of the cultural body as being ‘anti-Israel bias’. (10 marks)



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