General Studies-II

(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations).

  • Indian Constitution—Historical Underpinnings, Evolution, Features, Amendments, Significant Provisions and Basic Structure.
Indian Constitution
Historical Underpinning & Evolution

§  Regulating Act (1773) to Independence Act (1947)

§  Constituent Assembly

§  Objective Resolution

§  Enactment & Enforcement of Constitution


§  Written

§  Flexible & Rigid

§  Federal & Unitary

§  Parliamentary Form of Government (Presidential vs. Parliamentary Type of Government)


§  List of Significant Amendments & Their Provisions

§  Procedure for Amending Constitution

Significant Provisions

§  Fundamental Rights

§  Directive Principles of State Policy

§  Judicial Review

§  Universal Adult Franchise

§  Single Citizenship

§  Separation of Powers

Basic Structure

§  The Doctrine

§  Judgments & Cases

  • 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.
Functions & Responsibilities of the Union and the States
§  7th Schedule

§  Legislative Functions

§  Financial Functions

§  Administrative & Quasi-Judicial Functions


Issues & Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure
Federal Structure in India – Is India truly Federal?

Cooperative & Competitive Federalism

Centre-State Relations

§  Legislative Relations

§  Administrative Relations

§  Financial Relations

§  Trends in Centre-State Relations

Inter-State Relations

§  Inter-state Water Disputes

§  Inter-State Councils

§  Public Acts, Records and Judicial Proceedings

§  Inter-State Trade and Commerce

§  Zonal Councils

Emergency Provisions

Role of Governor

Reports of Various Commissions

§  2nd ARC, Punchhi, Sarkaria, etc.


Devolution of Powers & Finances to Local Levels & Challenges Therein
§  Role of State Government

§  Role of State Finance Commission

§  11th & 12th Schedule

§  Reasons for Ineffective Performance

§  Panchayat Devolution Index ( NITI Aayog)

§  Steps That Can Be Taken to Improve Their Performance

  • Separation of Powers between various organs Dispute Redressal Mechanisms and Institutions.
Separation of Powers Between Various Organs
§  Doctrine of Separation of Power

§  Separation of Power in Indian Constitution

§  Doctrine of Checks & Balances

§  Provisions for Checks & Balances in Indian Constitution

§  Related Judgments – Golaknath case, Kesavananda Bharati, Indira Gandhi Vs Raj Narain, Ram Jawaya vs Punjab


Dispute Redressal Mechanisms and Institutions
§  RTI

§  PIL

§  Tribunals, etc.
  • Comparison of the Indian Constitutional Scheme with that of Other Countries.
Comparison of the Indian Constitutional Scheme With That of Other Countries Parliament & State Legislatures
Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges

§  Written Constitution

§  Blend of Rigidity and Flexibility

§  Federal System with Unitary Bias

§  Parliamentary Form of Government

§  Synthesis of Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial Supremacy

§  Integrated and Independent Judiciary

§  Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy, Fundamental Duties

§  Secular State

§  Universal Adult Franchise

§  Single Citizenship

§  Emergency Provisions

§  Three-tier Government

§  Due Process of Law vs. Procedure Established by Law

§  Impeachment of President, etc.

  • Parliament and State Legislatures—Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.
Structure, Organization & Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

§  Union:

o    President

o    Prime Minister

o    Council of Ministers

o    Cabinet Secretariat

§  State:

o    Governor

o    Chief Minister

o    Council of Ministers

o    Secretariat


§  Three-Tier Structure

§  Chief Justice of India

§  SC & HC Judges

§  Jurisdiction

  • 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.
Ministries and Departments of the Government
§  Cabinet Ministries

§  Other Ministries

§  Parliamentary Secretaries
  • Salient Features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Salient Features of Representation of People’s Act

  • Appointment to various Constitutional Posts, Powers, Functions and Responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
Appointment to Various Constitutional Posts
Appointment, Powers, Functions & Responsibilities of:

§  Election Commission

§  Union Public Service Commission

§  State Public Service Commission

§  Finance Commission

§  National Commission for SCs

§  National Commission for STs

§  Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities

§  Comptroller and Auditor General of India

§  Attorney General of India

§  Advocate General of the State

  • Statutory, Regulatory and various Quasi-judicial Bodies.
Statutory, Regulatory & Quasi-Judicial Bodies
§  NITI Aayog

§  RBI

§  National Human Rights Commission

§  State Human Rights Commission

§  Central Information Commission

§  Central Vigilance Commission

§  Central Bureau of Investigation

§  Lokpal and Lokayuktas

§  National Commission for Women

§  National Commission for Backward Classes

§  National Commission for Minorities

§  Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority

§  Securities and Exchange Board of India

§  Competition Commission of India

§  Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

§  Central Electricity Regulatory Commission

§  Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

§  Central Pollution Control Board

§  Medical Council of India

§  Inland Waterways Authority of India

§  Central Ground Water Authority

§  Directorate General of Civil Aviation

§  Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority

§  Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

§  Bar Council of India

§  University Grants Commission

§  Financial Stability and Development Council

§  All India Council for Technical Education

§  National Green Tribunal

§  Competition Appellate Tribunal

§  Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal

§  Cyber Appellate Tribunal

§  Intellectual Property Appellate Board

  • 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.
Government Policies & Interventions for Development
Government Policies & Interventions in Various Sectors

§  Health, Gender, Education, Poverty, Economic etc

Issues Arising Out of Their Design & Implementation

§  Concerns/Issues

§  Suggestions for Improvement

§  Critical Assessment of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS)

§  Rationalisation of CSS

§  Analysis of Main Schemes:

o    Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

o    Smart City

o    Swachh Bharat Abhiyan


o    Digital India

o    Make in India

o    Skill India

o    PM Jan Dhan Yojana

o    Start-up India etc.


Development Processes & the Development Industry
§  Role of Social Capital Organisations

§  Indian Context

§  Classification

§  Provisions for the Third Sector in the Indian Constitution

§  National Policy on the Voluntary Sector 2007

Non-Governmental Organisations

§  Role and Impact of Non-governmental Organizations

§  Issue Areas: Accreditation, Legitimacy & Accountability, Foreign Funding etc.

Self Help Groups (SHGs)

§  Need for SHGs

§  Benefits of SHGs

§  Weaknesses of SHGs

§  Challenges

§  Measures to Make SHGs Effective

§  Case Studies: Kudumbashree (Kerala), Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (Maharashtra)

Societies, Trusts and Cooperatives

§  Societies

§  Trust

§  Religious Endowments

§  Cooperatives –

o    Need for Cooperatives

o    Constitutional Provisions

o    National Policy on Co-operatives, 2002

o    Issues and Challenges in the Cooperatives Sector

  • 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.
Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections
Schemes for the Following Vulnerable Sections

§  SCs & STs

§  Minorities

§  Children

§  Elderly

§  Disabled

§  Women

§  Transgender

Performance of These Schemes

Mechanisms, Laws, Institutions & Bodies Constituted for Protection & Betterment of These Vulnerable Sections

§  SCs:

o    The Protection of Civil Rights Act

o    The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act

o    National Commission for Scheduled Castes

o    Scheduled Castes Sub Plan

§  Disabled:

o    The Rehabilitation Council of India Act

o    The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act

o    Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act

o    The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with
Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act

o    Rights of the Persons with Disabilities Act

§  STs:

o    National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

o    Tribal Sub Plan


o    Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act

§  Minorities:

o    National Commission for Minorities

o    National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities

Women & Children

§  The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act

§  The Indecent Representation of Women (Prevention) Act

§  The Dowry Prohibition Act

§  The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act

§  The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act

§  Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act

§  Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act

§  Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA)

§  The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act

§  Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal)

§  Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC&PNDT) Act

§  Gender Budgeting

§  National Policy for Women

§  Domestic Violence Act

§  Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act


§  Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act

  • Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Issues Relating to Development & Management of Social Sector/Services

§  India’s Performance on Various Health Indicators

§  Weaknesses of Indian Healthcare System

§  Health Infrastructure in India

§  Universal Health Coverage

§  12th FYP Strategy

§  Universal Health Coverage

§  Health Insurance

§  National Family Health Survey

§  National Health Policy

§  National Health Mission

§  Maternal & Adolescent Health

§  Child Health

§  Antimicrobial Resistance

§  Disease Burden in India

§  Measures to Ensure Good Health Outcomes

§  Government Initiatives


§  Status of Literacy in India

§  Education Structure in India

§  Challenges Faced by Education Sector in India

§  Reforms Required

§  Government Initiatives

§  ASER Report

§  Financing Education

§  Subramanian Panel Report

Human Resource

§  Need For Skill Development

§  Skill Development Initiatives

§  Challenges in Skilling Landscape in India

§  Shortcomings of Current Skill Development Initiatives

§  Reforms Required

§  Steps that can Be Taken

  • Issues relating to Poverty and Hunger.
Issues Relating to Poverty & Hunger
§  Relation between Poverty & Hunger

§  Distribution of Poverty & Hunger

§  Magnitude & Trends of Poverty & Hunger

§  Causes of Poverty & Hunger

§  Cost/Impact of Poverty & Malnutrition

§  MDGs & SDGs

§  Food and nutrition insecurity – a consequence of structural inequities

§  Constraints in Reducing Poverty & Hunger

§  Measure to Reduce Poverty & Hunger – National Food Security Act, Mid-day Meal Scheme, MGNREGA etc.

  • Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency and Accountability, E-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; Citizens Charters, Transparency & Accountability and institutional and other measures.
Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency & Accountability

§  Dimensions of Governance

§  Good Governance (GG)

§  Aspects of GG

§  Barriers to GG

§  Necessary Pre-conditions for GG

§  How to Ensure GG


§  Applications

§  Models

§  Successes

§  Limitations

§  Potential

§  Recent e-governance Initiatives by Government

Citizens Charters (CC)

§  Components of CC

§  Features of CC

§  Six Principles of CC

§  Shortcomings of CC

§  Measures to Make CC Effective

§  Sevottam Model

Aspects of Transparency

Elements & Types of Accountability

Means to ensure Transparency & Accountability

§  RTI

§  Social Audit

§  Whistleblower Protection Bill

§  Lokpal & Lokayuktas Act

  • Role of Civil Services in a Democracy.
Role of Civil Services in a Democracy
Relationship Between Civil Service And Democracy

Role Played By Civil Services

§  Advisory Role in Policy Making

§  Institutionalise Socio-economic change

§  Discharge Delegated Functions

§  Administer Law of the Land

§  Watchdogs

§  Continuity in times of Political Instability

§  Record-Keeping

§  Channel of Communication

Ailments/Issues Afflicting Indian Civil Services

§  Lack of Professionalism & Poor Capacity Building

§  Inefficient Incentive Systems

§  Outdated Rules & Procedures

§  Systemic Inconsistencies in Promotion

§  Lack of Adequate Transparency & Accountability Procedures

§  Arbitrary & Whimsical Transfers

§  Political Interference & Administrative Acquiescence

§  Gradual Erosion in Values & Ethics

§  Redtapism

§  Elitist in Nature

§  Poor Pay

§  Tendency to Capture Power

Reforming Bureaucracy to Strengthen Democracy

§  Setting Right the Asymmetry of Power

§  Insulating Civil Servants from Undue Political Interference

§  Professionalisation with Stability of Tenure & Competition

§  Citizen-Centric Administration

§  Accountability

§  Outcome Orientation

§  Promoting Public Service Values & Ethics

  • India and its Neighborhood- Relations.
India and its Neighborhood – Relations
India’s Relations With

§  China

§  Pakistan

§  Myanmar

§  Bhutan

§  Bangladesh

§  Sri Lanka

§  Afghanistan

§  Nepal

§  Maldives

  • Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Bilateral, Regional & Global Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests
India’s Major Foreign Policy Doctrines Since 1947

§  Non-aligned Movement (NAM)

§  Nuclear Doctrine

§  Gujral Doctrine

§  Look East to Act East

§  Think West, etc.

Bilateral Relations With

§  Major Powers Like – USA, Russia, Japan

§  Central Asian Countries

§  West Asian Countries

§  African Countries

§  Australia & New Zealand

§  EU & European Countries

§  Latin American Countries

§  Pacific Countries

Regional & Global Groupings







§  India-Africa Forum

§  SCO

§  Ashgabat Agreement



§  Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC)

§  Raisina Dialogue

§  Heart of Asia Conference

§  East Asia Summit

§  G-20

§  Asian Development Bank

§  National Security Summit

§  Multilateral Nuclear Export Regulatory Regimes: Wassenar, MTCR, Australia Group

§  Asian Development Bank

§  APEC, etc

  • Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
Effect of Policies & Politics of Developed & Developing Countries on India’s Interests
§  One Belt One Road

§  International North–South Transport Corridor

§  Global Trade War

§  Global Currency War

§  Syrian Crisis

§  UN Reforms

§  WTO Reforms

§  South China Sea Conflict

§  Brexit

§  Deglobalisation & Protectionism – US Sanctions on Iran, US Pullout from Paris Agreement, H-1B Visa Issue etc.

§  OPEC Oil Prices Manipulation, etc


Indian Diaspora
§  Spread of Indian Diaspora

§  India’s Diaspora Policy & Engagement Initiatives

o    OCI

o    Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

o    Know India Programme, etc.

§  LM Singhvi High Level Committee on the Diaspora

§  Role played by Indian Diaspora

§  Issues Concerning the Diaspora:

o    Dual Nationality

o    Remittances, etc.

  • Important International Institutions, agencies and fora – their Structure, Mandate.
Important International Institutions
§  UN & its Agencies

§  WTO

§  World Bank

§  IMF

§  World Economic Forum

§  Commonwealth of Nations, etc.