UPSC CSE 2015 prelims official answer key and disputed questions

UPSC has released the official answer key for the Civil services examination held in 2015. It can be viewed at the following link – Official ans key prelims 2015.

Here we look at the disputed questions that became a point of debate. The answer given here is the one provided by UPSC.


1. Who/Which of the following is the custodian of the Constitution of India?
(a) The President of India
(b) The Prime Minister of India
(c) The Lok Sabha Secretariat
(d) The Supreme Court of India

(d) The Supreme Court of India


So, the debate between president and SC is over and UPSC has selected SC as the ans.

The Supreme Court acts as the custodian of the Constitution through its power of judicial review. Integrated and relatively powerful judiciary, headed by the Supreme Court is the custodian of the Constitution.


2. The arrival of Babur into India led to the
1. introduction of gunpowder in the subcontinent
2. introduction of the arch and dome in the region’s architecture
3. establishment of Timurid dynasty in the region
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) I and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 3 only

Introduction of the arch and dome in the region’s architecture was done during the Delhi Sultanate itself. Introduction of Gunpowder was during the mid 14th century.


3. A decrease in tax to GDP ratio of a country indicates which of the following?
1. Slowing economic growth rate
2. Less equitable distribution of national income
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) I only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither I nor 2

(a) 1 only


4. In the South Atlantic and South-Eastern Pacific regions in tropical latitudes, cyclone does not originate. What is the reason?
(a) Sea surface temperatures are low
(b) Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone seldom occurs
(c) Coriolis force is too weak
(d) Absence of land in those regions

(b) Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone seldom occurs


The most proximate reasons for the lack of cyclone formation in the South Atlantic are sea surface temperatures that tend to run a shade cooler than ideal for tropical cyclone formation even in the southern summer, climatologically high values of vertical wind shear across that basin throughout the year, and a lack of pre-existing centers of rotation (vorticity) in that area.

This last point is due both to the absence of tropical waves similar to those generated over west Africa in the northern hemisphere and to the fact the the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITZC), which shifts toward the north in our summer and toward the south in the southern summer, usually stays at or north of the equator.

Though many people might speculate that the sea surface temperatures are too cold, the primary reasons that the South Atlantic Ocean gets few tropical cyclones are that the tropospheric (near surface to 200mb) vertical wind shear is much too strong and there is typically no inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) over the ocean.Without an ITCZ to provide synoptic vorticity and convergence (i.e. large scale spin and thunderstorm activity) as well as having strong wind shear, it becomes very difficult to nearly impossible to have genesis of tropical cyclones.

So, ITCZ stays at or near the equator and does not shift southward over the south Atlantic or south Pacific region. Therefore, these regions do not have the ITCZ over them which is a major cause of lack of cyclone. While lower sea temperatures is also a cause, absence of ITCZ is the major cause, so the correct answer is b.

Reference – Why cyclone does not occur in south Atlantic

Google Books – Physical Geography

Climatology FAQs


5. What explains the eastward flow of the equatorial counter-current?
(a) The Earth’s rotation on its axis
(b) Convergence of the two equatorial currents
(c) Difference in salinity of water
(d) Occurrence of the belt of calm near the equator

(b) Convergence of the two equatorial currents


There are two equatorial current flowing from east to west – the North EC and South EC. In between the two, there flows a equatorial counter current in the opposite direction, i.e from west to east. Now, it is said that piling up of waters in the area near Brazil, due to convergence of the two equatorial currents give rise to the equatorial counter current. This is because in this area due to convergence, the water is raised.

Reference – Savindra Singh’s Physical Geography


6. The fundamental object of Panchayati Raj system is to ensure which among the following?

I. People’s participation in development
2. Political accountability
3. Democratic decentralization
4. Financial mobilization
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) I, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2 and 4 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

(c) 1 and 3 only



We can eliminate financial mobilization as that is not the “fundamental” objective of PRIs. Even though panchayats have powers to collect revenue, it is a mechanism to ensure they fulfill their fundamental objectives.

Peopl’s participation in development and Democratic decentralization are definitely the fundamental objectives of PRIs. PRIs brings the administration closer to people (decentralization) and provides a mechanism for people’s participation in development.

Now, the confusion is over whether, Political Accountability is an fundamental objective of PRIs or not.
Political accountability refers to the responsibility or obligation of government officials (both politicians and civil servants) to act in the best interests of society or face consequences. Public officials should be held responsible for their actions. In this sense, PRIs, which brings the administration closer to people will definitely help in political accountability. PRIs provides a mechanism through which local needs and requirements of people can be addressed. So, answer seems to be a) 1, 2 and 3 only.

However, it seems UPSC has directly lifted the question from this Objective GK book, and modified the options. The answer given in the book says that Political Accountability is not the fundamental objective of PRIs.

So UPSC has taken c) 1 and 3 as the correct ans. So political accountability is not a fundamental objective of PRI. 


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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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