“What are the challenges to our cultural practices in the name of secularism?” – (150 words)General Studies Paper I, Civil Services Examination, 21-09-2019
In Hindi, the question read: धर्मनिरपेक्षताकेनामपरहमारीसांस्कृतिकप्रथाओंकेसामनेक्याक्याचुनौतियाँहैं? (Dharma nirpekshtake naam par hamarisanskritikprathaokesamnekyakyachunautiyanhain?)
The point to be noted is that most of the candidates facing the Civil Services Exam would naturally be in for a great surprise for more than a single reason(s). The question assumes that there are quite a few of the practices prevalent in the Indian culture that are being challenged by secularism. So, does the question ask you to voice your opinions against secularism that is a core value of Indian culture?
Besides, the question does not carry any directive, e.g., Critically Examine. Had UPSC provided the question with a directive, the candidates would have been at greater ease, answering the question, presenting both the sides.
“Do you agree with the view that steady GDP growth and low inflation have left the Indian economy in good shape?” Give reasons in support of your arguments. – (150 words)
General Studies Paper III, Civil Services Examination, 22-09-2019
Once again, the question makes presumptions as listed below:
- India has a steady GDP growth
- India has low inflation
The candidates are left with only a single choice. They must specify whether they consider they consider the Indian economy to be in a good shape at present or not. They have to support the argument with reasons.
Quite obviously, an IAS aspirant who has been preparing hard to face the CSE successfully understands fully well that India’s GDP growth has not been steady in the recent past. And the inflation has not been low either. As a result, many a candidates are left uncomfortable with these types of questions.
However, it should be noted that not all the questions asked by UPSC in the Civil Services Exam are tricky to the extent as the examples given above. It’s only to judge a logical presence of the mind and the unprejudiced bent of the mind in the candidates that UPSC asks such questions.
UPSC is a government body that enjoys an excellent reputation for being thoroughly unprejudiced as well as impartial while making a selection of the candidates. UPSC CSE General Studies Paper IV asked the candidates the consequences of the politicization of bureaucracy.