Application based question in polity for UPSC Prelims


We all read M.Laxmikanth for Indian polity. However, in last few years UPSC has asked questions in polity that were beyond the scope of the book. While the book contians legal and constitutional provisions, questions from actual implementation of acts, policies, provisions etc were asked. These are what I call ‘application based questions in polity’.

For example, consider this from UPSC Prelims 2012 –

Which of the following can be said to be essentially the parts of Inclusive Governance?
1. Permitting the Non-Banking Financial Companies to do banking
2. Establishing effective District Planning Committees in all the districts
3. Increasing the government spending on public health
4. Strengthening the Mid-day Meal Scheme Choose the correct answer:
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 3 and 4 only
c) 2,3 and 4 only
d) 1,2,3 & 4

It is an application based question on the concept of governance.

Similarly this one again from UPSC Prelims 2012

Which of the following provisions of the Constitution of India have a bearing on Education?
1. Directive Principles of State Policy
2. Rural and Urban Local Bodies
3. Fifth Schedule
4. Sixth Schedule
5. Seventh Schedule
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 3, 4 and 5 only
c) 1, 2 and 5 only
d) 1, 2, 3 4 and 5

You won’t find provisions dealing with education at one place. You need to correlate to get the answer

Take this one from UPSC Prelims 2014 –

Consider the following statements :
A Constitutional Government is one which
1. places effective restrictions on individual liberty in the interest of State Authority
2. places effective restrictions on the Authority of the State in the interest of individual liberty
Which of the statements given above is / are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only.
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Self Study IAS conducted Mock Test 2 of its GS Prelims Mock Test Series 2015 yesterday. We asked such application based questions in Indian polity to give ample practice to candidates. No one knows what’s going on in UPSC’s mind and what kind of questions it will ask. Therefore, it is essential that a candidate must be ready for all types of questions – factual, conceptual and application based.

 

Let us understand these application based questions on polity through examples from Mock Test 2 of our GS Prelims Mock Test Series 2015

The Supreme Court quashed section 66A of the IT act. It did so on which of the following basis?
1. the punishment prescribed was extreme.
2. expressions in the section were vague.
3. it had no proximate relationship to public order.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 1 and 3 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

A factual question on section 66A of the IT act would have asked about its provisions, but an application based question asked on what basis it was quashed. So, you can see it asked about its actual implementation. This was also in news, so you can include it in current affairs category too.

The articles of the constitution which has a bearing on the rights of women are
1. Article 15
2. Article 42
3. Article 39
4. Article 123
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a) 1, 2 and 3 only
b) 1 ,3 and 4 only
c) 2 ,3 and 4 only
d) 1 ,2, and 4 only

You do not find articles which have a bearing on women rights listed anywhere in Laxmikanth. So for this question you need to correlate the provision of the articles and how women rights can be impacted by them.

Which of the following is/are a part of the participatory development process?
1. State
2. NGOs
3. Pressure groups
4. Cooperatives
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a) 1, 2 and 3 only
b) 1 ,3 and 4 only
c) 2 ,3 and 4 only
d) 1 ,2, 3 and 4

You must have surely come across the term ‘participatory development process’. But who all plays an active role in it? Should state be also included in that. Again, you won’t find these things in the books. Some application from your part is therefore needed.

With reference to regionalism, consider the following statements:
1. Regionalism is a disintegrating force unlike nationalism which is a unifying force.
2. Regionalism is not conducive with the idea of federalism.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

A simple application based question on the concepts of regionalism, nationalism and federalism.

In a democracy, civil services plays an important role in
1. policy making
2. policy implementation
3. socio-economic development
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 1 and 3 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

You all might be familiar with the articles and provision related with Civil services. But are you also familiar with their functions? Most people beleive that civil services is all about policy implementation? Is it? Think of the answer.

The collegiums system of appointment of judges has been criticized on the basis that it leads to
1. undue interference by executive.
2. submissiveness of puisne judges.
3. destruction of judicial independence
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1, 2, and 3

This was in news throught 2014. But instaed of asking on the provision/mechanism of collegium system or the newly constituted NJAC, UPSC might very well ask on the merits or demerits of the system. This then concerns with the actual implmentation of the collegium system. The requires integrating your bookish knowledge with the information you gather through newspapers.

The Election process in India follows the First past the post (FPTP) system. THE FPTP system offers many advantages like
1. providing a proportionate outcome of seats based on votes.
2. less wastage of votes.
3. establishing a clear link between representatives and constituencies.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 1 and 3 only
c) 3 only
d) 2 and 3 only

You all know how the First past the post (FPTP) system works? But you are also expected to know its merits and demerits.

With reference to government and governance, consider the following statements:
1. Government is the structure while governance is a process.
2. There can be governance without a government.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

With the slogan of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ attracting so much attention, it is imperative that you know the basic difference between the two terms. This question was designed to test exactly that.

Some other examples

Apart from law making, Indian parliament also performs the function of
1. providing representation.
2. constraining executive power.
3. providing legitimacy to government.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 1 and 3 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

The major benefits of federalism is/are
1. it helps in quick decision making.
2. it gives voice to regional interests.
3. it creates a network of checks and balances.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 1 and 3 only
c) 2 only
d) 2 and 3 only

 

You do not need to change your preparation technique for such questions. Whatever type of questions UPSC asks – factual, conceptual or application based, your preparation has to be simple – 1. Reading the base book 2. Practicing questions 3. Correlating your bookish knowledge with information gathered from newspapers. With this technique you can answer any type of question.

 

Finally the advice is to be prepared for all types of questions. We do not know exactly what type of questions UPSC will ask. However, one thing can be said with certainty – that the question paper will be a mix of all three types – factual, conceptual and application. You will surely not have a paper containing only factual or only application based questions. In the next post of Prelims MCQs we will take up these questions and provide the answer.

 

Self Study IAS’s 1000 Prelims MCQs with answer & detailed explanation @ Rs 350. Click here for more information.

Please read these important articles about prelims preparation

1. How UPSC asks current affairs in GS Prelims

2. How to practice prelims MCQs for UPSC

3. Applying logic in UPSC General Studies Prelims

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