Pulse Phase

UPSC Mains GS 2 Syllabus & Preparation Strategy

Crack UPSC Mains GS 2 Paper with Syllabus & Winning Strategy (2024)

General Studies-I. General Studies (GS) Paper-2 is often the first exam encountered in competitive examinations like the UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE). It tests a broad range of subjects to assess a candidate’s foundational knowledge and understanding of the world around them.it is a subjective type of paper consisting of the following subjects (Governance, Social Justice, Polity Constitution, International relations). it includes 10 questions for 10 marks in 150 words and 10 questions for 15 marks in 250 words.

Table of Content – UPSC Mains GS 2 Syllabus

  • Polity & Constitution
  • Governance & Society
  • International Relations
  • Standard Books to Prepare for GS Paper-2
  • UPSC GS Paper Preparation Tips
  • FAQs related to GS Paper-2

POLITY-Syllabus defined by UPSC:

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure.

Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges about the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels, and challenges therein.

Separation of powers between various organs disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries’ Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges, and issues arising out of these.

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.

Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Micro-listing Sub Topic for polity GS Paper-2:

1. Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure.

  • Historical evolution of the constitution since Regulating Act 1773 – Independence Act 1947
  • Constitutional Making
  • Salient features
  • Federal vs. non-federal features
  • Parliamentary vs. Presidential System
  • Centralized and decentralization features
  • India as a welfare state
  • Amendment process
  • Rigid or flexible
  • Some important amendments
  • Important pending amendments
  • Process of law-making in India
  • Role of constitutional and extra-constitutional bodies in law-making
  • Basic structure: How did it evolve?
  • Preamble values
  • Different types of majorities are required in the Indian constitution
  • DPSP, Fundamental Rights
  • Different concepts related to constitutional terms as “Procedure established by Law, Due process of law
  • Doctrines terminologies

2. Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States

  • Regulating functions of Government
  • Development functions of government
  • Service-providing functions of government
  • Problems in implementation
  • Recommendations for improvement
  • The interrelationship between union, state, and local government in the implementation of roles
  • Constitutional provisions related to financial devolution
  • Issues of financial devolution

3. Issues and challenges about the federal structure

  • Administrative relations
  • Legislative relations
  • Financial relations
  • Misuse of Article 356
  • Issues related to concurrent list
  • Issues related to the appointment of the governor
  • Issues related to state formation
  • Poor devolution of finances
  • Reserving bill for Presidential approval
  • Central sponsored schemes and issues
  • Special package for different states
  • Issues between centre and state after 1990 reforms
  • Foreign policy and centre and state relations

4. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

  • Features in American and UK constitutions
  • Whether present in India or not?
  • Checks and balances provisions in the Indian constitution
  • Judicial Review
  • concept of separation of powers

5. Dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions

  • What is the Dispute redressal mechanism?
  • Need for Dispute redressal mechanisms
  • Administrative tribunal and issues
  • Fast track courts and issues
  • Gram nyalayas and issues
  • Parivarik Mahila Lok-Adalats and issues
  • Family Courts and issues
  • Lok-Adalat and issues
  • NALSA and issues
  • Dispute redressal for Weaker section

6. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries

  • It should cover a Comparison of the USA, UK, India and neighbours

7. Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges, and issues arising out of these

  • Functions of Parliament
  • Composition of RajyaSabha
  • Composition of LokSabha
  • Composition of Legislative assemble and Legislative Council
  • Qualification and disqualification of MPs and MLAs
  • Vacation of seats
  • Sessions of parliament
  • Law making procedure
  • Officers of Parliament and state legislature
  • Parliament Proceedings
  • Motions and resolutions in Parliament
  • Powers and Privileges
  • Financial proceedings
  • Comparison of LokSabha and RajyaSabha
  • Comparison of Legislative Assembly and council
  • Women’s reservation in Parliament and issues
  • Lowering of Parliamentary powers
  • Parliamentary committees
  • Judicial activism and Parliament
  • Delegated legislation and issues

8. 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

  • President
  • PM
  • CM
  • Attorney General of India
  • Governor
  • Chief Minister
  • Advocate-General
  • Issues
  • Ordinance making power Passage of bills
  • Misuse of emergency provisions
  • 1.Pardon power
  • 2.Coalition government
  • Supreme court
  • The role of the Supreme Court of India as guardian of the Constitution and protector of Fundamental Rights
  • Judicial Review
  • PIL
  • Judicial activism
  • Judiciary appointment
  • High courts
  • Subordinate courts
  • Local and Urban Government

9. Ministries and Departments of the Government

  • Introduction
  • Functioning
  • Central secretariat
  • Pros and cons
  • Cabinet Secretary
  • Field organizations
  • Reforms needed
  • International methodology
  • State secretariat
  • Chief Secretary

10. Pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity

  • What are pressure groups?
  • Types
  • The significance of pressure groups in India
  • Differentiate between a pressure group and a political party
  • Evaluation of the pressure group’s role

11. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

  • CAG of India
  1. Appointment of CAG (procedure of appointment)- composition of CAG

2. Functions and responsibilities of CAG

3. Powers and privileges of CAG(provided by the constitution and different ACTs of Parliament).

  • Election Commission of India.
  1. Appointment of ECI (procedure of appointment)- composition of ECI

2. Functions and responsibilities of ECI

3. Powers and privileges of ECI (provided by the constitution and different ACTs of Parliament.)

  • UPSC
  1. Appointment to UPSC (procedure of appointment)- composition of UPSC

2. Functions and responsibilities of UPSC

3. Powers and privileges of UPSC (provided by the constitution and different ACTs of Parliament.)

  • Finance Commission

1. Appointment to Finance Commission (procedure of appointment)- composition of Finance Commission

2. Functions and responsibilities of the Finance Commission

3.Powers and privileges of the Finance commission (provided by the constitution and different ACTs of Parliament.)

  • National Commission for SCs and STs.

1. Appointment to SC/STs commission (procedure of appointment)- composition of commission

2. Functions and responsibilities of SC/STs commission

3. Powers and privileges of SC/STs

commission (provided by the constitution and different ACTs of Parliament.)

12. Statutory, regulatory, and various quasi-judicial bodies

  • SEBI
  • CVC
  • CBI
  • Planning Commission
  • NDC
  • PMO
  • Zonal Council
  • TRAI
  • IRDA
  • National Human Rights Commission
  • State Human Rights Commission
  • Central Information Commission
  • State Information Commission
  • National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
  • Tribunal
  • Medical Council of India
  • Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority
  • Biodiversity Authority of India
  • Press Council of India
  • Forward Markets Commission
  • Inland Waterways Authority of India
  • RBI

13. Applied Topics

1. Appointments in higher Judiciary

  • Collegiums system
  • Lacunas in the present system
  • NJAC controversy
  • National Court of Appeal

2. Judicial accountability

  • Enhancing accountability and transparency in the functioning of the judiciary
  • Issues of corruption in the judiciary
  • The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010- analysis

3. Appointment of CAG-Need for a new committee system– like in the case of CVC

4. Election Commission

  • Election Commission of India – Appointment of CEC- Need for a new committee system, like in case of CVC
  • Issue of paid news
  • Electoral reforms- state funding
  • Model code of conduct- need for statutory backup

5. CBI

  • Appointment of CBI director- committee system
  • Autonomy vs. accountability

6. Lokpal- Issue of constitutional status

7. Representation of People’s Act

  • Recent amendments to RPA
  • SC verdict on various sections of RPA

8. Relevance of Inter-state Council in dispute resolution between different states

9. Fiscal federalism in India

  • Issue of the structure of financial devolution between the centre and states.
  • Role of finance commission and planning commission.
  • Goods and services tax–related issues.
  • Residual Powers of Taxation
  • Restrictions on Borrowing by States
  • Issues and problems with Centrally Sponsored Schemes

10. Need for a well-functioning institutional mechanism for Centre-state dialogue.

11. Appointment and Role of Governors.

12. Misuse of Articles 356 and 355.

13. Performance of Parliament (during the 15th Lok Sabha) – declining standards, fewer debates more disruptions.

14. Public Engagement with the Legislative Process- Mechanisms for public engagement with the legislative process in India.

15. Conflict of Interest Issues in Parliament

16. The Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, 2011

17. The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 (Citizens Charter)

18. Bifurcation of states – need for small states.

19. Issue of Communal Violence

  • Role of state government
  • Role of centre
  • Role of media
  • Role of paramilitary forces
  • The Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill

GOVERNANCE-Syllabus defined by UPSC:

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • 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.
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, and Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of civil services in a democracy.

Micro-listing Sub Topic for Governance GS Paper-2:

1. Government policies and implementation

  • Need and importance of Government Policies
  • Growth and development
  • Human development and human capital formation
  • Equality (interpersonal and interregional) and social justice
  • Unity and integrity
  • Trust between state and citizens

2. Effective Implementation

a) What is effective implementation? Best outcomes given time, resources and constraints

b) Requirements of effective implementation- (Identification of priorities, objectives and a target-oriented

(short, medium and long-term) vision, identification of beneficiaries, Technical and human capacity building; Good Leadership, Efficient managerial and other staff (accounts and finance included), Sufficient funding and optimum use of funds, Good governance, transparency and accountability, Result and outcomes- delivering as promised and committed without time and cost overruns)

3. Challenges in effective implementation

  • Right Kind of human capital- Education, training, research, etc.
  • Lack of technology
  • Mobilisation of funds
  • Design of policies and modus operandi for implementation- Right design of policies and implementation mechanisms, simplicity of policies and methods, target orientation- outcome and result oriented, avoiding multiplicity and overlap, avoiding wastage and mistargeting, contingency plans for risk
  • Risks- Rationality and Sustainability of the policies, chances of mis-targeting, wastage, corruption and exploitation, time and cost overruns, conflict of interest, vested interest, etc.

4. Government intervention

  • Good Governance-Role of institutions, bureaucrats, and other stakeholders
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Optimum use of resources- Right targeting, plugging leakages and wasteful expenditure, use of available knowledge, research, and innovation.
  • Monitoring and evaluation- Outcome budget, zero base budgeting, input-output analysis, cost-benefit analysis
  • Setting up institutions and regulatory norms task forces, steering committees and review committees.

5. Development process and industry

  • Meaning of Development
  • Difference between Growth and Development
  • Development processes- Human Development (health, education, poverty, children and women, gender equality), Community Development, Relief and Rehabilitation, Economic development and structural changes, Social development and attitudinal changes, saving the environment and ecosystem and sustainable development, democracy, freedom and human rights

• Main Constraints of development

  • 1. Inadequate financial resources
  • 2. Lack of institutions and extension systems
  • 3. Lack of private initiatives
  • 4. Failure of delivery and leakages in public sector development delivery system

5. Lack of awareness and poor public participation

• Main stakeholders in the development process

  1. Self Help Groups
  2. Meaning
  3. Importance
  4. Objectives
  5. Institutional Structure and organization
  6. Funding
  7. Micro Finance
  8. Meaning and importance
  9. Objectives
  10. Structure and Organization
  11. Advantages
  12. Micro Finance in India- A Critical Evaluation
  13. Non-Government Organizations
  14. What are NGOs?
  15. Difference between Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and International Non-Government Organizations (INGOs)
  16. United Nations Criteria for INGO and NGO
  17. Main areas of activities of NGOs and INGOs
    1. NGOs and development projects
    1. NGOs and Community development
    1. NGOs involved in relief and rehabilitation
    1. NGOs involved in disaster management
    1. NGOs and advocacy
  18. Issues
  19. Whether money given to NGOs reaches the target groups and target activities or to the pockets of CEOs?
  20. How economical and effective NGOs are in realizing their targets?
  21. Accountability of NGOs and INGOs to people whose lives they affect.
  22. Multiple Interdisciplinary Projects
  23. CARE
  24. Oxfam
  25. World Vision International
  26. CAFOD
  27. Health
  28. Doctors Without Borders
  29. Health Right International
  30. International Committee of the Red Cross
  31. Charity: water
  32. Children
  33. Compassion International
  34. Plan
  35. Save the Children International
  36. SOS Children’s Villages
  37. Reggio Children Foundation
  38. World Organization of the Scout Movement
  39. Education
  40. ActionAid
  41. The Library Project
  42. Human Rights
  43. Amnesty International
  44. International Federation for Human Rights
  45. Friends of People Close to Nature
  46. Survival International
  47. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
  48. Environmental
  49. International POPs Elimination Network
  50. International Union for Conservation of Nature
  51. Greenpeace
  52. World Wide Fund for Nature
  53. Donor Agencies
  54. Special Purpose donors
  55. Blood Donation
  56. Donations for Alzheimer’s disease
  57. Eye donations
  58. Organ donation
  59. Financial donations
  60. Corporate Sector
  61. High Net worth Individuals
  62. Religious Organizations
  63. Development Charities in India

6. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States

  • Constitutional arrangement
  • Women welfare
  • Child welfare
  • Sc/St welfare
  • OBC welfare
  • Minorities welfare
  • Old age welfare
  • Legislations
  • Issues
  • Reforms needed

7. Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Issues relating to poverty and hunger

  • Education structure in India
  • Primary, secondary and higher education
  • Initiatives taken by GOI in education
  • Issues
  • Reforms needed
  • Recommendations of committees
  • Prospects in the education sector
  • Skill development
  • Health indicators
  • Health structure in India
  • Private and Public health structure
  • Issues
  • Reforms needed
  • 12th-year plan
  • Economic development and human development
  • Issues
  • Reforms needed
  • MDGs and India

8. Issues relating to poverty and hunger

  • Poverty definition by different committees
  • Poverty data in India
  • Causes of poverty
  • Poverty and unemployment
  • Poverty and social conflict
  • Impact of LPG on poverty
  • Linkage between poverty and development
  • Rural poverty
  • Urban poverty
  • Feminization of poverty
  • Poverty alleviation measures
  • Problems in the implementation of Poverty alleviation programs
  • Recommendations in XII FYP
  • Poverty and Hunger
  • Why hunger is increasing in India?
  • Food security programs and issues
  • Hunger and health
  • Impact of hunger and poverty on the economic development of the nation
  • Controversy related to poverty data estimation

9. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

  • Citizen-centric governance
  • Features of good governance
  • Legislative accountability
  • Administrative accountability
  • Judicial accountability
  • Ombudsman
  • Whistle-blowers concept
  • Anti-corruption machinery
  • Role of citizens
  • Role of media
  • Social audit
  • Systematic reforms

10. E-governance

  • Introduction
  • Applications
  • Models
  • Successes
  • Limitations
  • prospects

11. Citizens Charters

  • Introduction
  • Models
  • Features
  • CC in India
  • Issues in CC implementation
  • Reform needed

13. Role of civil services in a democracy

  • Concept of civil services
  • Need for civil services
  • Different roles of civil services
  • Law-making
  • Policy formulation
  • Policy implementation
  • Policy evaluation
  • Civil services as protector of democracy
  • To protect minorities (religious and linguistic)
  • To promote Inclusive and sustainable growth


  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional, and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests 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

Micro-listing Sub Topic for International Relations GS Paper-2:

1. India’s Foreign Policy

  • Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy
  • PanchsheelNAM (Non-Aligned Movement)
  • Cold War Era in India

2. Post-1990 Scenario

  • The Gujral DoctrineNuclear Doctrine
  • Energy Diplomacy
  • Global Issues
  • Disarmament
  • Climate ChangeTerrorismGlobal Governance
  • Indians Abroad

Key Debates

  1. Does India have the Ability to Protect and Enforce Human Rights and Civil Rights?
  2. Does India have the Ability to Safeguard the Environment through Sustainable Development?
  3. Does India have the Ability to Contribute to Global Economic Development?
  4. Does India have the Ability to Secure its Trade Routes?
  5. Does India have the Ability to Ensure its Energy Security?
  6. Does India have the Ability to Ensure a Favourable International Information Order?
  7. Does India have the Ability to Integrate its Diaspora?
  8. Opportunities and Challenges for Indian Foreign Policy in its Emergence as a Great Power South Asia
  9. What is the Strength of India’s Security Scheme?

India – Nepal Relations

  • Issues and Concerns
    • Background of Relation
    • Political
    • Economic
    • The Issue of Water and Hydropower Cooperation
    • Social
    • Psychological
    • The Recent Visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
    • Recommendations to Improve Relations

India-Bhutan Relations

  • Historical Perspective
  • Economy: A Broad Overview
  • India, Bhutan and China: issues
  • The Recent Landmark visit by the Indian Prime Minister

Indo-Afghanistan Bilateral Relations

  • India and Afghanistan: A Long History of Bilateral Relations
  • The India-Afghanistan Development Partnership
  • Strategic factors undergirding India’s Partnership with Afghanistan
  • Afghanistan after NATO Withdrawal of its troops
  • Options for India
  • Recent Development of relations with the Taliban

India-Bangladesh Relations

  • Development Partnership
  • India-Bangladesh Relations in line with ‘Look East’ policy
  • Recent Boundary Agreements and their analysis

India-Maldives Relations

  • A Brief History
  • Geostrategic Importance of Maldives
  • Development Cooperation
  • Security Risks
  • Recent developments

India-Sri Lanka Relations

  • Commercial Relations
  • Developmental Cooperation
  • Fishermen Issue
  • Modi’s Visit to Sri Lanka
  • Katchatheevu dispute

India-Myanmar Relations

  • Relation through ages
  • Recent change in policy
  • China Role
  • Myanmar Army relations with India

Indo-Pak Relations

  • Major Crisis
  • Water Dispute
  • Current Internal Scenario
  • Impact on India
  • Developments in the Last One Year


  • Problems Besetting the Organisation
  • Built-in Contradictions
  • Conflicting Security Perceptions
  • Problem of Diverse Political Culture
  • Indo-Pak Conflict
  • Main Problem: Absence of Required Political Thrust
  • Problem of Resource Development
  • Prospects For SAARC
  • Inherent Positive Points of the Region
  • Central Asia

CIS Countries of Central Asia

  • India-Turkmenistan
  • India-Kazakhstan
  • India Tajikistan
  • Recent Visit of the Prime Minister
  • China and Central Asia: issue
  • International North-South Transport Corridor
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation


  • India-Mongolia Bilateral Cooperation
  • Deal on Uranium Supply
  • PM Modi’s Mongolia Visit
  • West Asia

India–UAE Relations

  • Background of the relation
  • Political and economic relation


  • Iran Nuclear Deal
  • India-Iran Relations
  • US-Geopolitical and Geo-Economic Consideration in Iran
  • India’s Recent visit to Iran


  • Israel and Palestine
  • India – Israel Relations

India-Saudi Arabia

  • Areas of Cooperation
  • Challenges in relations
  • Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia
  • Asia – Pacific

Asia-Pacific Region

  • Zones of Activity
  • Regional Groupings
  • Geopolitics of Asia Pacific

India-South East Asia

  • Steps in Indo-ASEAN Relations
  • India-ASEAN Security Co-operation

India-ASEAN Economic Cooperation

  • Singapore
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • India ASEAN FTA in Services

Indo-Japan Bilateral Relationship

  • Historical Background
  • Economy-Centric Relationship
  • Contemporary Perspective
  • Indian Diaspora
  • Implications of the Recent visit by Indian PM

Indo-Australia Relationship

  • Background
  • Immigration Issue and Indian Diaspora
  • Economic Relationship
  • Issue of Nuclear Cooperation

India – South Korea

  • India-South Korea Relations: Brief Background
  • Economic Partnership in Recent Years
  • Recent Visit of The Prime Minister


  • Economic Cooperation
  • Strategic Cooperation
  • Geopolitical Issues concerning India-Vietnam Energy Cooperation
  • China’s Response
  • India’s Response
  • India & Africa
  • Historical Connections
  • Gandhi’s Role
  • Nehru’s Role
  • Strengthening of Ties
  • South-south Engagement
  • Current Dynamics
  • Economic Cooperation
  • Human resources development and capacity building
  • Energy Cooperation
  • Military Security Co-operation
  • Trade Policy under Modi
  • Afro-Indian Trade
  • Indian investment in Africa
  • African investment in India
  • Development cooperation and assistance
  • India & Europe

India-Russia Bilateral Relationship

  • Shanghai Co-operation Organization
  • Warming Relationship between Pakistan and Russia

The Ukraine Issue

  • About Crimea
  • The Issue
  • Eastern Ukraine
  • Eurasian Union


  • Strategic Partnership
  • Key Takeaway from Prime Minister’s Recent Visit to France


  • Key Takeaway from Recent Visit of the Prime Minister

United Kingdom

  • Ties in Current Context
  • Possible Developments
  • Scotland’s Referendum
  • Debate Britain Owe Reparations to India?
  • India-US-China

India-USA Relations

  • History of India-USA Relations
  • Area of Cooperation: Strategic Consultations
  • Area of Co-operation: Counterterrorism and Internal Security
  • Area of Co-operation: Trade and Economic
  • Area of Co-operation: Energy and Climate Change
  • Area of Co-operation: Science & Technology (S&T) and Space
  • Area of Co-operation: People-to-People Ties
  • Area of Co-operation: Defence Cooperation
  • Intellectual Property Issues
  • USA: Need for Gun Control

India-China Relations

  • Background of the Relationship
  • Economic Relation
  • China India Water Related Issue
  • “String of Pearls Strategy”
  • Key Takeaway from Prime Minister’s Visit to China
  • China’s Maritime Silk Route Implications for India

South China Sea Dispute

  • Main Disputes
  • Resources as a Driver of Competition
  • Attempts for Resolution
  • India and South China Dispute
  • Indian Ocean

Seychelles and Mauritius

  • India – Seychelles
  • India – Mauritius

Security Challenges in the Indian Ocean Region

  • The Pivot to Asia – US Policy Shift
  • South China Sea- Issues of Mistrust and CBM- ASEAN
  • Growing Economies in the Region and their Interplay
  • Tsunami
  • Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
  • Neighbourhood Issues and Terrorism
  • Energy Routes – SLOC Vulnerability; Malacca Straits/Straits of Hormuz dependence
  • Fisheries and Livelihood Issues
  • Environmental Security
  • Declaration of Indian Ocean as Zone of Peace
  • Indian Diaspora

Indian Diaspora

  • Role played by Indian Diaspora
  • Issue of the safety of Indians abroad
  • Schemes for the Welfare of Overseas Indian
  • Narendra Modi and Indian Diaspora

Indian Diaspora in the Gulf

  • Status of Indian Diasporas
  • Issue faced by Diasporas
  • Nitaqat law and Present Status

Must read Standard Books to Prepare for GS Paper-2

  1. Indian Polity for Civil Service examination – M. Laxmikanth
  2. Governance in India – M. Laxmikanth
  3. NCERTs of Class VI to XII
  4. Public Institutions in India: Performance and Design by Devesh Kapur & Pratap Bhanu Mehta
  5. Introduction to the Constitution of India by Durga Das Basu.
  6. India and the World: Through the Eyes of Indian Diplomats by Surendra Kumar
  7. Pax Indica – Shashi Tharoor
  8. Governance in India – M.Laxmikanth

Conquering UPSC GS Paper 2: Top 10 Preparation Tips by IAS Toppers

GS Paper 2 of the UPSC Mains exam, covering Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International Relations (IR), is a critical test of your understanding of core Indian and global issues. The top 10 UPSC Mains Exam preparation tips are given below by IAS toppers to ace the UPSC Mains GS Paper 2.

Master the Syllabus:

This forms the foundation of your preparation. Familiarize yourself with every topic in detail.

Newspaper Nirvana:

Develop a habit of reading a quality newspaper like The Hindu or Indian Express daily. Focus on editorials, opinion pieces, and news related to the syllabus.

Current Affairs Cocktail:

Don’t just read the news; analyze it. Link current events to relevant themes in the syllabus. How does a new policy affect governance? How does a global crisis impact India’s foreign policy?

Standard Source Savvy:

Build a strong foundation with standard textbooks like M. Laxmikant’s “Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations” and D.D. Basu’s “Introduction to the Constitution of India.”

NCERT Nectar:

Don’t underestimate the power of NCERT books from Class XI and XII for subjects like Political Science, Sociology, and History. They provide a clear and concise understanding of core concepts.

Magazines Matter:

Supplement your knowledge with reputed magazines like Yojana and Kurukshetra. They offer an in-depth analysis of contemporary issues.

Answer Writing Ace:

Practice writing well-structured, analytical answers within the time limit. Use past year papers and mock tests to hone your answer writing skills.

Develop a Dynamic Duo:

Combine theoretical knowledge with current affairs. Don’t just present facts; analyze them and offer well-supported arguments.

Focus on Interconnectedness:

Recognize the interconnectedness of the UPSC Mains GS 2 Syllabus topics. Governance issues can have social justice implications, and foreign policy decisions can affect domestic politics.

Find Your Perfect Balance:

Balance your preparation with other GS papers and optional subjects. Consistency is key, so create a realistic study schedule and stick to it.

Bonus Tip:

Many toppers recommend joining online forums or discussion groups to exchange ideas and learn from other UPSC aspirants.

More to Read

UPSC Mains GS 1 Syllabus & Preparation Strategy

FAQs About UPSC Mains GS 2 Syllabus

Q1.What are the main topics covered in GS Paper 2?

The paper focuses on Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International Relations (IR). This includes the Indian Constitution, its historical background, structure, and key provisions. You’ll also be tested on governance issues like transparency, e-governance, and corruption. Social justice themes like poverty, women’s empowerment, and welfare schemes are important. Finally, India’s foreign policy, global events impacting India, and international groupings India participates in are all part of the syllabus.

Q2.What kind of skills are tested in GS Paper-2?

Answer-This paper focuses on analytical and critical thinking. You need to be able to analyze situations, identify problems, and suggest solutions using your knowledge of the UPSC Mains GS 2 syllabus. Clear and concise writing is crucial as you’ll be presenting your arguments effectively within a limited time.

Q3.How can I prepare for GS Paper 2?

Answer- Start by thoroughly understanding the UPSC Mains GS 2 Syllabus. Focus on current affairs and how they connect to the syllabus topics. Practice writing answers with a timer to manage time effectively during the exam. Utilize past year papers and mock tests to get comfortable with the question format and expected responses.

Q4.Are there any recommended resources for preparing for GS Paper-2?

Answer-Standard textbooks on Indian Polity, Governance, Social Justice, and International Relations are a good starting point. NCERT books provide a strong foundation. Additionally, government websites, current affairs magazines, and coaching materials can be helpful.

Q5.What is the ideal approach to answering questions in GS Paper-2?

Answer-Read the questions carefully and identify the key elements. Use relevant concepts and theories from the syllabus to frame your answer. Analyze the situation from different perspectives and offer well-supported arguments. Use clear and concise language with proper structure.

Q6.How much time should I dedicate to GS Paper-2 preparation?

Answer- There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but UPSC Mains GS 2 Syllabus is a vast subject. Regular, consistent study is key. Aim for a dedicated study schedule based on your learning pace and the time remaining for the exam.