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UPSC Mains Polity Previous Year Questions

UPSC Mains Polity Previous Year Questions

Constitution and Polity Topic Wise PYQs (2018-2023)

1] INDIAN CONSTITUTION HISTORICAL UNDERPINNINGS, EVOLUTION, FEATURES, AMENDMENTS, SIGNIFICANT PROVISION AND BASIC STRUCTURE

  1. ” The Construction of India is a living instrument with capabilities of enormous dynamism. It is a constitution made for a progressive society”. Illustrate with special reference to the expanding horizons of the right to life and personal liberty. [2023/Q11/15m/200w]
  2. Explain the constitutional perspectives of Gender Justice with the help of relevant Constitutional Provisions and case laws. [2023/Q12/15m/200w]
  3. “Right of movement and residence throughout the territory of India are freely available to the Indian citizens, but these rights are not absolute.” Comment. [2022/Q2/10m/150w]
  4. ‘Constitutional Morality’ is rooted in the Constitution itself and is founded on its essential facets. Explain the doctrine of ‘Constitutional Morality’ with the help of relevant judicial decisions. [2021/Q1/10m/150w]
  5. Indian Constitution exhibits centralising tendencies to maintain unity and integrity of the nation. Elucidate in the perspective of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and recently passed Farm Acts.   [2020/Q11/15m/200w]
  6. “Parliament’s power to amend the constitution is limited power and it cannot be enlarged into absolute power”. In light of this statement explain whether parliament under article 368 of the constitution can destroy the Basic structure of the constitution by expanding its amending power? [2019/Q12/15m/200w]

2] 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

  1. “The states in India seem reluctant to empower urban local bodies both functionally as well as financially.” Comment. [2023/Q3/10m/150w]
  2. Explain the significance of the 101st Constitutional Amendment Act. To what extent does it reflect the accommodative spirit of federalism? [2023/Q15/15m/200w]
  3. To what extent, in your opinion, has the decentralisation of power in India changed the governance landscape at the grassroots? [2022/Q3/10m/150w]
  4. “While the national political parties in India favour centralisation, the regional parties are in favour of State autonomy.” Comment. [2022/Q13/15m/250w]
  5. How have the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission of India enabled the states to improve their fiscal position? [2021/Q3/10m/150w]
  6. The jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding lodging an FIR and conducting probe within a particular state is being questioned by various States. However, the power of States to withhold consent to the CBI is not absolute. Explain with special reference to the federal character of India. [2021/Q11/15m/250w]
  7. How far do you think cooperation, competition and confrontation have shaped the nature of federation in India? Cite some recent examples to validate your answer.   [2020/Q3/10m/150w]
  8. The strength and sustenance of local institutions in India has shifted from their formative phase of ‘Functions, Functionaries and Funds’ to the contemporary stage of ‘Functionality’. Highlight the critical challenges faced by local institutions in terms of their functionality in recent times.   [2020/Q13/15m/200w]
  9. “The reservation of seats for women in the institution of local self-government has had a limited impact on the patriarchal character of the Indian political process”. Comment. [2019/Q13/15m/200w]
  10. Assess the importance of the Panchayat system in India as a part of local government. Apart from government grants, what sources the Panchayats can look out for financing developmental projects? [2018/Q15/15m/200w]

3] SEPARATION OF POWERS BETWEEN VARIOUS ORGANS, DISPUTE REDRESSAL MECHANISMS AND INSTITUTIONS

  1. “Constitutionally guaranteed judicial independence is a prerequisite of democracy”. Comment. [2023/Q1/10m/150w]
  2. To what extent, in your view, the Parliament is able to ensure accountability of the executive in India? [2021/Q4/10m/150w]
  3. Judicial Legislation is antithetical to the doctrine of separation of powers as envisaged in the Indian Constitution. In this context justify the filing of large number of public interest petitions praying for issuing guidelines to executive authorities.   [2020/Q12/15m/200w]
  4. Do you think the Constitution of India does not accept the principle of strict separation of powers rather it is based on the principle of ‘checks and balance’? Explain. [2019/Q1/10m/150w]

4] COMPARISON OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTIONAL SCHEME WITH THAT OF OTHER COUNTRIES

  1. Compare and contrast the British and Indian approaches to Parliamentary sovereignty. [2023/Q4/10m/150w]
  2. Critically examine the procedures through which the Presidents of India and France are elected. [2022/Q14/15m/250w]
  3. Analyze the distinguishing features of the notion of Equality in the Constitutions of the USA and India. [2021/Q13/15m/250w]
  4. The judicial systems in India and UK seem to be converging as well as diverging in recent times. Highlight the key points of convergence and divergence between the two nations in terms of their judicial practices. [2020/Q4/10m/150w]
  5. What can France learn from the Indian Constitution’s approach to secularism? [2019/Q5/10m/150w]
  6. Indian and USA are two large democracies. Examine the basic tenets on which the two political systems are based. [2018/Q13/15m/200w]

5] PARLIAMENT AND STATE LEGISLATURES – STRUCTURE, FUNCTIONING, CONDUCT OF BUSINESS, POWERS AND PRIVILEGES AND ISSUES ARISING OUT OF THESE

  1. Discuss the role of Presiding Officers of state legislatures in maintaining order and impartiality in conducting legislative work and in facilitating best democratic practices. [2023/Q5/10m/150w]
  2. Discuss the contribution of civil society groups for women’s effective and meaningful participation and representation in state legislatures in India. [2023/Q14/15m/200w]
  3. Explain the structure of the Parliamentary Committee system. How far have the financial committees helped in the institutionalization of Indian Parliament? [2023/Q16/15m/200w]
  4. Explain the constitutional provisions under which Legislative Councils are established. Review the working and current status of Legislative Councils with suitable illustrations. [2021/Q14/15m/250w]
  5. Do Department -related Parliamentary Standing Committees keep the administration on its toes and inspire reverence for parliamentary control? Evaluate the working of such committees with suitable examples. [2021/Q15/15m/250w]
  6. ‘Once a Speaker, Always a Speaker!’ Do you think this practice should be adopted to impart objectivity to the office of the Speaker of Lok Sabha? What could be its implications for the robust functioning of parliamentary business in India?   [2020/Q5/10m/150w]
  7. Rajya Sabha has been transformed from a ‘useless stepney tyre’ to the most useful supporting organ in past few decades. Highlight the factors as well as the areas in which this transformation could be visible.   [2020/Q14/15m/200w]
  8. Individual parliamentarian’s role as the national lawmaker is on a decline, which in turn, has adversely impacted the quality of debates and their outcome. Discuss. [2019/Q15/15m/200w]
  9. Why do you think the committees are considered to be useful for parliamentary work? Discuss, in this context, the role of the Estimates Committee. [2018/Q4/10m/150w]

6] STRUCTURE, ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONING OF THE EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIARY – MINISTRIES AND DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, PRESSURE GROUPS AND FORMAL /INFORMAL ASSOCIATIONS AND THEIR ROLE IN THE POLITY

  1. Account for the legal and political factors responsible for the reduced frequency of using Article 356 by the Union Governments since mid-1990s. [2023/Q13/15m/200w]
  2. “The most significant achievement of modern law in India is the constitutionalization of environment problems by the Supreme Court.” Discuss this statement with the help of relevant case laws. [2022/Q1/10m/150w]
  3. Discuss the role of the Vice-President of India as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. [2022/Q4/10m/150w]
  4. Discuss the essential conditions for exercise of the legislative powers by the Governor. Discuss the legality of re-promulgation of ordinances by the Governor without placing them before the Legislature. [2022/Q12/15m/250w]
  5. Discuss the desirability of greater representation to women in the higher judiciary to ensure diversity, equity and inclusiveness. [2021/Q2/10m/150w]
  6. “Pressure groups play a vital role in influencing public policy making in India.” Explain how the business associations contribute to public policies. [2021/Q5/10m/150w]
  7. What are the methods used by the farmer’s organizations to influence the policy-makers in India and how effective are these methods? [2019/Q3/10m/150w]
  8. From the resolution of contentious issues regarding distribution of legislative powers by the courts, ‘Principle of Federal Supremacy’ and ‘Harmonious Construction’ have emerged. Explain. [2019/Q4/10m/150w]
  9. Under what circumstances can the Financial Emergency be proclaimed by the President of India? What consequences follow when such a declaration remains in force? [2018/Q3/10m/150w]
  10. Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can settle the political tussle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine. [2018/Q11/15m/200w]

7] SALIENT FEATURES OF THE REPRESENTATION OF PEOPLE’S ACT

  1. Discuss the procedures to decide the disputes arising out of the election of a Member of the Parliament or State Legislature under The Representation of the People Act, 1951. What are the grounds on which the election of any returned candidate may be declared void? What remedy is available to the aggrieved party against the decision? Refer to the case laws. [2022/Q11/15m/250w]
  2. “There is a need for simplification of procedure for disqualification of persons found guilty of corrupt practices under the Representation of Peoples Act.” Comment.   [2020/Q1/10m/150w]
  3. On what grounds a people’s representative can be disqualified under the representation of people act, 1951? Also, mention the remedies available to such person against his disqualification. [2019/Q11/15m/200w]
  4. ‘Simultaneous election to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies will limit the amount of time and money spent in electioneering but it will reduce the government’s accountability to the people’ Discuss.   [2017/Q3/10m/150w]
  5. To enhance the quality of democracy in India the Election Commission of India has proposed electoral reforms in 2016. What are the suggested reforms and how far are they significant to make democracy successful? [2017/Q14/15m/200w]

8] APPOINTMENTS TO VARIOUS CONSTITUTIONAL POSTS, POWERS, FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF VARIOUS CONSTITUTIONAL BODIES

  1. Discuss the role of the National Commission for Backward Classes in the wake of its transformation from a statutory body to a constitutional body. [2022/Q5/10m/150w]
  2. Discuss the role of the Election Commission of India in the light of the evolution of the Model Code of Conduct. [2022/Q15/15m/250w]
  3. Though the Human Rights Commissions have contributed immensely to the protection of human rights in India, yet they have failed to assert themselves against the mighty and powerful. Analyzing their structural and practical limitations, suggest remedial measures. [2021/Q12/15m/250w]
  4. “The Central Administrative Tribunal which was established for redressal of grievances and complaints by or against central government employees nowadays is exercising its powers as an independent judicial authority.” Explain. [2019/Q2/10m/150w]
  5. “The Attorney-General is the chief legal adviser and lawyer of the Government of India.” Discuss  [2019/Q14/15m/200w]
  6. In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? [2018/Q1/10m/150w]
  7. Whether National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) can enforce the implementation of constitutional reservation for the Scheduled Castes in the religious minority institutions? Examine. [2018/Q2/10m/150w]
  8. “The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has a very vital role to play.” Explain how this is reflected in the method and terms of his appointment as well as the range of powers he can exercise. [2018/Q5/10m/150w]
  9. How far do you agree with the view that tribunals curtail the jurisdiction of ordinary courts? In view of the above, discuss the constitutional validity and competency of the tribunals in India. [2018/Q12/15m/200w]
  10. How is the Finance Commission of India constituted? What do you know about the terms of reference of the recently constituted Finance Commission? Discuss. [2018/Q14/15m/200w]

9] STATUTORY, REGULATORY AND VARIOUS QUASI-JUDICIAL BODIES

  1. Who are entitled to receive free legal aid? Assess the role of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in rendering free legal aid in India. [2023/Q2/10m/150w]
  2. Discuss the role of the Competition Commission of India in containing the abuse of dominant position by the Multi-National Corporations in India. Refer to the recent decisions. [2023/Q7/10m/150w]
  3. “Recent amendments to the Right to Information Act will have profound impact on the autonomy and independence of the Information Commission.” Discuss.   [2020/Q2/10m/150w]
  4. Which steps are required for constitutionalization of a Commission? Do you think imparting constitutionality to the National Commission for Women would ensure greater gender justice and empowerment in India? Give reasons.   [2020/Q15/15m/200w]
  5. Multiplicity of various commissions for the vulnerable sections of the society leads to problems of overlapping jurisdiction and duplication of functions. Is it better to merge all commissions into an umbrella Human Rights Commission? Argue your case. [2018/Q16/15m/200w]
UPSC Prelims PYQ Book Image
UPSC Prelims PYQ Book
  • Collection of more than 3200 Previous Year Questions (1995-2023)
  • All questions divided into 10 Subjects
  • Subject further sub-divided into more than 75 topics
  • All answers according to official answer key
  • BEST PYQ CLASSIFICATION EVER !

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