[Part 2] IAS Mains 2014 GS 1 Answer key

Click here to see the first part of GS 1 2014 Answer key

Question 9: What were the events that led to the Suez Crisis in 1956? How did it deal a final blow to Britain’s self-image as a world power?

10 Marks

Answer: In 1956, Egypt decided to nationalize the Suez Canal. However, it posed a threat to the commercial interest of the British, French and Israel. They decided to use force to maintain their interest. Egypt was a non-aligned country and needed significant aid. But she was not able to secure it from any of the major powers. Thus, the plan to nationalize the Suez canal was proposed. Earlier, Suez Canal was under a French Company, which had a right to operate it for 99 years. However, Egyptian army took over the control of the canal.

Britain decided to use military action against Egypt. But it was opposed by the USA. Thus, Britain, France and Israel decided to conspire against Egypt. On October 29, 1956, Israel invaded Sinai in Egypt. In response, UK and France threatened the conflicting parties to intervene, if Egypt and Israel did not withdraw from the canal region. Britain-France arrived on November 5, 1956.

However, Britain and France were countered by the US and USSR. By November 6, 1956 the crisis was over, and UN peacekeeping forces were deployed in Suez Canal. Britain and France had to face a diplomatic and military setback. Suez canal crisis added to the Soviet popularity in the Arab region.


Question 10: The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin had influenced  the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate.

10 Marks

Answer: The New Economic Policy of Lenin was adopted to reshape the Soviet economy, and transform it on the lines of a socialist model. The policy, in a long term, influenced the policies adopted by India after independence.

  1. On the model of land reforms and commune system, Indian policy makers went for the massive land reforms project, and dismantling of the zamindari system. Also, the reforms of land reforms and tenancy rights reforms could be traced from the reforms introduced in the Lenin’s New Economic Policy.
  2. At the industrial front, the reforms of the independent Indian state had a close appearance to that of the Soviet Union. Through state ownership of industries and a planned economic model, Indian economy made advances into the industrial world. Thus, the policies that made Soviet one of the major powers in the world, also worked for the Indian economy.
  3. The New Economic Policy worked to save Soviet Economy from the ravages of the war communism. A similar effect of the policy took place for India, where the economy was suffering due to partition and underdeveloped industries.



Question 11: How does patriarchy impact the position of the middle class working women in India?

10 Marks

Answer: Patriarchy refers to the domination of the men over the society and it’s resources. In the modern, though women are an active participant in the workforce, they face restrictions and hardships due to a patriarchal model of society.

  1. It has been observed that due to the patriarchal set up of the society, the labour of the women is under-valued and under-paid. Generally, women are allotted only the low paying and less-valued jobs.
  2. Under the patriarchal model, middle class women are forced to perform dual responsibility of work as well as home. Even when the middle class women are allowed to work professionally, they are expected to perform the household chores and the functions of caring and nurturing, without any compromise. This puts an additional burden on the working women.
  3. Patriarchy also creates several stereotypes which place additional burdens and restrictions on women, in terms of mobility and social life. Middle class women are often forced to comprise with their professional life.
  4. The life of a middle class women is linked inextricably with her husband/family, such that, it becomes an impediment to the growth and development of their professional life.
  5. finally, the labour of the women is not recognised as income, and is often treated as an additional income only. Thus, the concept of a women as the bread-winner has been unable to find it’s place in the society.


Question 12: Why do some of the most prosperous regions in India have an adverse sex ratio for women? Give your arguments.

10 Marks

Answer: While there is no direct reason for prosperous regions to have an adverse sex ratio, there does exist a number of socio-cultural reasons:

  1. One of the main reasons is the socio-cultural discrimination faced by the female sex. While there is an economic advancement in a particular region, a similar advancement in socio-cultural sphere lags behind. Thus, many families in the prosperous regions continue to practice socio-cultural discrimination against women, which often translate into sex-preference of male child.
  2. An economic reason for adverse sex ratio in the prosperous regions could be the high level of working male migration into the regions of economic prosperity. India, particularly, being a male-dominated society has a majority of workers as males. Thus, the inflow of large number of male workers render the region with a highly adverse sex ratio.
  3. Widespread availability of technology and modern means of diagnostics could be another reason of lower sex ratio. Under the framework of patriarchy, and the associated social evils there are a number of restrictions and obstacles for women that create long-term hurdles for a healthy development of the society, in general, and women in particular.


Question 13. The life cycle of a joint family depends on economic factors rather than social values. Discuss

10 Marks

Answer: Joint families are a peculiar characteristic of the Indian society. Though the practices and traditions of such societies are largely governed by the socio-cultural norms, in practice, the life cycle of the joint families depends upon economic factors.

  1. Due to the comparatively larger size of the joint family, there is an additional burden on the earning members, upon which the food and living habits of the family depends.
  2. The performance of the social and cultural practices are often decided by the economic conditions of the family. Thus, a prosperous family can afford to undertake ceremonial practices, while the poorer ones are forced to adjust to the needs of the time.
  3. The impact of globalisation has affected the joint families by changing their tastes and preferences. Today, people aspire to follow tastes and practices that are reflected in the media, and thus often neglect the values and practices of the joint families.
  4. However, the social values are still an important paradigm guiding the life cycle of the joint families. The kinship network and social obligations often dominate the relationships and social behaviour and choices of the people.


Question 14: Discuss the various economic and socio-cultural forces that are driving increasing feminization of agriculture in India.

10 Marks

Answer: A trend towards an increasing feminization of agriculture in India might be taking place because:

  1. Agriculture, in India, is generally labour-intensive and uses obsolete technology. Since most of the agricultural families are poor, the participation of women is a common sight. While men undertake the tasks of visiting the market or urban centers for other jobs, women shoulder the task of farming and threshing.
  2. With greater number of State sponsored welfare programmes, male members are enrolled for state-aided activities. As a result, the task of farming falls upon the women members of the family.
  3. Due to increasing urbanisation and industrialisation near the villages, the male members hand-over the responsibility of farming to women and start working at the industrial centers for better pay. This causes an increase in the women worker in agriculture.
  4. Further, in India, women have a relatively lower level of education and training as compared to men. Thus, there are a lesser number of employment opportunities available to them. Forced with no other option, women have to work in unskilled jobs, like agriculture and manual labour.



Question 15: How do the Indian debates on secularism differ from the debates in the West?

10 Marks

Answer: The concept of secularism originated in the West, to refer to the separation of the religion and the state. However, the concept of secularism has also been present in the Indian culture and Constitution, in a different and broader way:

  1. Secularism in West stands for a complete separation of the state and religion. In India, on the other hand, State and religion are not compartmentalised. Rather, state is seen as the protector and regulator of various religious communities.
  2. The concept of Secularism in West has been evolved in a temporal sense, that is, out of the influence of the religion. But, in India, the concept of secularism is often entwined with that of religion, in the form of concepts like- ‘universalism’ and ‘sarvadharma sambhav’.
  3. Since there is a deep inter-linkage between religion and culture in India, it is hard to define secularism, on lines similar to the West. Secularism, in India, is thus defined in terms of Rights of the Individual and the community.
  4. The concept of secularism, as understood in India, does not stop the state from managing and regulating the affairs of the religious groups. The Constitution of India, itself, provides for the rights of the religious communities in relation to the individuals, other communities and the state itself.

Thus, there is a major difference in the understanding of the secularism in the West and in India.


Question 16: Most of the unusual climate happenings are explained as an outcome of the El-Nino effect. Do you agree?

10 Marks

Answer: A warming of the ocean surface off the western coast of South America that occurs every 2 to 7 years ,when upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water does not occur,is called EL-NINO.


  1. El Nino can have impacts on weather at various locations around the globe. Off the east coast of southern Africa, drought conditions often occur. In countries such as Zimbabwe, the effects of drought can be devastating. In 2002, a moderate El Nino unexpectedly wrecked the monsoon and produced a massive drought in India.

  2. The clouds and rain associated with warm ocean waters also shift toward the east. Thus, rains which normally would fall over the tropical rain forests of Indonesia start falling over the deserts of Peru, causing forest fires and drought in the western Pacific and flooding in South America.

  3. Sometimes El-Nino effect  support monsoon and lead to above average rainfall. In 1997, even before the monsoon began, waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean had warmed sharply, leading to one of the most powerful El Nino events in the last century. As such a phenomenon typically suppresses monsoon rains over India, a severe drought was widely predicted. As it turned out, the monsoon that year ended with above average rains.

  4. It causes die-offs of plankton and fish and affects Pacific jet stream winds, altering storm tracks and creating unusual weather patterns in various parts of the world.



Question 17: Why are the world’s fold mountain systems located along the margins of continents? Bring out the association between the global distribution of fold mountains and the earthquakes and volcanoes.

10 Marks

Answer: Fold mountains are formed when two plates move  towards each other (a compressional plate margin). This can happen when two continental plates move towards each other or a continental and an oceanic plate. The movement of the two plates forces sedimentary rocks upwards into a series of folds. Fold mountains are usually formed from sedimentary rocks and are usually found along the edges of continents. This is because the thickest deposits of sedimentary rock generally accumulate along the edges of continents.

Most known volcanic activity and the earthquakes occur along converging plate margins and mid oceanic ridges where the rising limbs of convention currents within the earth’s mantle meet.There is a strikingly close agreement between volcanic and earthquake zones of the earth which indicates that there is a definite relationship between these two groups of phenomena.The location of volcanoes on the steep continental borders near great ocean deeps and in or near youthful fold mountains correlates them definitely with zones of weakness in the earth’s crust.



Question 18: Explain the formation of thousands of islands in Indonesian and Philippines archipelago.

10 Marks

Answer: A group of island or an island arc can be of volcanic origin, which is formed along the convergent margin of two oceanic plates. The origin of thousands of islands of  Indonesia and Philippines  archipelagos can be explained on the same line.

Ocean-ocean convergence or the Island arc convergence occurs when the oceanic plate is plunged into another oceanic plate away from the continents. As a result of collision, the plate with greater density plunges beneath to form a trench. As the ocean floor crust loaded with sediments subducts, the rocks on the continental side of the trench become metamorphosed under high pressure and temperature. After reaching a depth of 100 km, plates melt causing an upward movements of magma. A continuous piling of rocks raises them above the ocean crust and ultimately exposes them to form island arcs.

In case of Indonesia and Philippines, island arcs are formed along the convergent boundary of Indian ocean and pacific ocean.



Question 19: Tropical cyclones are largely confined to South China Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico. Why?

10 Marks

Answer: The frequency of cyclones over Northwest Pacific is quite high (about 35 % of the global annual average) which influences the Bay of Bengal also. The South China sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico are tropical cyclone prone areas, the reason behind it are as follows :-

  1. Average warm temperature throughout the year (proximity to equator) keeps ocean temperature high, which is a necessary phenomenon for formation of cyclone.

  2. The variation in air pressure and moisture plays important role in making tropical cyclone in these areas.

  3. The warm ocean current plays important role in making these regions prone to tropical cyclones.


Question 20: Bring out the relationship between the shrinking Himalayan glaciers and the symptoms of climate change in the Indian sub continent.

10 Marks

Answer: The symptoms of climate change in Indian sub-continent has appeared clearly in late Nineteenth century after the revelation through various research report and analysis. One of the major reason behind climate change in Indian peninsula is shrinking Himalayan glaciers. The relationship between the shrinking Himalayan glaciers and the symptoms of climate change can be brought out through following interpretation :-

  1. The Shrinking glacier as an increased seasonal melt coupled with rains are bringing more intense floods and irregular flow of water in glacier rivers is bringing drought condition.

  2. Because of melting of ice the Sea level is rising at around 3.5 mm per year and the frequency of tropical cyclones is predicted to increase in recent future as a result of ice melting.

  3. The irregular rainfall pattern and monsoonal rainfall has been observed in recent years which is due to glacier shrinking.

  4. The biodiversity in Himalayan drainage and Himalyan region has been disturbed and became vulnerable for extinction.




Question 21: Whereas the British planters had developed tea gardens all along the Shivaliks and Lesser Himalayas from Assam to Himachal Pradesh, in effect they did not succeed beyond the Darjeeling area. Explain.

10 Marks

Answer: *will be updated soon* [Sorry]



Question 22: Why did the Green Revolution in India virtually by-pass the eastern region despite fertile soil and good availability of water?

10 Marks

Answer: Green revolution in India has not been possible with fertile soil and good availability of water only but with various other factors, which were absent in Eastern region of the country. The factors can be accumulated as following :

  1. Lack of Canal and channelized Irrigation :- Absence of this has resulted into unavailability of water in required areas as the reason that it depends on rainfall only.

  2. Lack of Technology :- It leads to remain the agriculture in primitive mode and made the per hectare production low.

  3. Agricultural Pattern :- The eastern region preferred Rice and other crop production while green revolution was most successful in Wheat.

  4. Lack of Awareness :- The lack awareness among the farmers of the region made them unaware of scientific methods like- using HYV seeds and chemicals

  5. Lack of Appropriate govt. policy :- The inadequate policy and inappropriate governmental support kept farmers away from the collection of required finance for adopting scientific method.



Question 23: Account for the change in the spatial pattern of the Iron and Steel industry in the world.

10 Marks

Answer: Earlier the iron and steel industries were located near mines that required for production of steel but with the advancement of transport network and modern technology the pattern of location of this industry has changed. The location of iron and steel industry is now decided by availability or presence of following factors :-

1. The industry is shifting towards the market, where the demand of steel is more, i.e- near urban centre

2. The industry is being shifted towards the location, which is a transport hub, i.e towards international harbor so that the produced steel can be exported or raw material can be imported

3. The most significant change in pattern of location of this industry is “it being shifted towards the industrial hub so that the produced steel could be consumed by other industries like automobile and heavy engineering at same place.



Question 24: Critically Evaluate the various resources of the oceans which can be harnessed to meet the resource crisis of the world.

10 Marks

Answer*will be updated soon* [sorry]



Question 25: How does India see its place in the economic space of rising natural resource rich Africa?

10 Marks

Answer: The natural resource-rich geostrategic location of Africa has made it a location of interest to the countries across the world. Many of the developed countries, that are resource scarce, have been putting up the efforts to tap upon the vast resource wealth of Africa. India, also, has been making political and economic strides to fulfill her interest through the opportunities available in Africa. However, the fulfillment of the Indian interest faces a number of challenges from the developing and developed countries of the world. While India has made a significant presence in Africa, India still lag behind the USA, China and the European Union in general. On the contrary, there are a number of developments which position India at a higher pedestal:

  1. There is a significant presence of the Indian diaspora in the African continent, particularly in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Mauritius. There is a considerable level of Indian entrepreneurship in African continent.
  2. There is also a growing agricultural presence of Indians in Liberia.
  3. Economic ties have been made between African Union Trade Union (AUTU) and India in terms of custom duties and other measures, including free trade between India and Africa.
  4. Further, through a number of social welfare programmes and grant-in-aid measures, Indian state has been extending humanitarian support to the African countries, thus extending it’s soft power among the African countries. As a result of this, India has been able to create a good image in the African nations, and in groups like IBSA and BRICS.


More Coming Soon…

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6 responses to “[Part 2] IAS Mains 2014 GS 1 Answer key”

  1. kumar deepak says :

    Kepulauan Seribu [Thousand Island] is located in Java Sea and Jakarta Bay, it is an area with characteristic and natural potential that is different with other parts of Jakarta Capital City, because this area is basically a cluster of formed coral islands and shaped by coral biota and other associated biota (algae, malusho, foraminifera, and others) with the help of dynamic natural process… it doesn’t mean that the total number of islands within the clusters is a thousand. There are approximately 342 islands in total, including sand islands, including vegetated and non-vegetated coral reefs.

    I think this question had 2 parts one about coral and other about plate tectonics. That’s what i interpreted and written. plz correct me if i m wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ranjanshubhaarambh says :

      Deepak,thanks for your valuable comment.
      You are right,”thousands islands” does not mean that the number of islands should be 1000.It is symbolic.As far as nature of island is concerned,Indonesia and Philippines archipelagos have both type of islands coral as well as tectonic.coral triangle is the region of group of coral islands including Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia….etc .You are very right,both,the formation of coral islands and formation of islands which are tectonic in nature should be explained as part of answer.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jai Prakash Narain Srivastava says :

      Ur answer is correct


  2. hary says :

    Question 18: Explain the formation of thousands of islands in Indonesian
    and Philippines archipelago.

    in response to above question reason mentioned by you is secondary….as per my view
    question clearly and explicitely used word “thousands of” means mention of coral reef is primary
    philipins has more than 7000 coral island out of 7200 approx.
    indonsia has about 17% of world coral.


    • hary says :

      Question 20: Bring out the relationship between the shrinking Himalayan
      glaciers and the symptoms of climate change in the Indian sub continent.

      in these as per i have written is release of methane which is trapped in glacier will increase green house emission which will further aggreviate ghg…


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