PSIR Previous Year Papers and Questions [ PDF ]

PSIR Previous Year Papers and Questions PDF

In this post, you will get many PSIR previous year papers with questions for your UPSC preparation. These questions and answers will be beneficial for students preparing for civil services examinations, who have chosen PSIR (Political Science & International Relations or PSIR) as their optional subject . These notes are fully handwritten, scanned and available to download for free. Being an optional subject, many students don't take PSIR seriously. Hence, getting good quality notes is important for students. Moreover, these question papers from last year are very concise and easy to understand.

PSIR Previous Year Papers and Questions [ PDF ]

PSIR Previous Year Questions PDF


Q: Comment on the following in about 150 words each: (10x5=50 marks)

1.(a) Resurgence of political theory.  10 marks
1.(b) Pluralist theory of the State.10 marks
1.(c) End of Ideology debate.10 marks
1.(d) Deliberative democracy. 10 marks
1.(e) M. K. Gandhi's concept of Swaraj.10 marks

2.(a)Explain Aristotle's critique of Plato's Idealism. 20 marks
2.(b) Examine communitarian perspectives on justice. 15 marks
2.(c) Compare negative and positive concepts of liberty. 15 marks

3.(a) According to Gramsci, 'hegemony is primarily based on the organisation of consent.' Comment.  20 marks
3.(b) Discuss Kautilya's views on the elements of the State.15 marks
3.(c) Distinguish between liberal feminism and radical feminism. 15 marks

4.(a) Critically examine Hannah Arendt's conceptual triad of labour, work and action. 20 marks
4.(b) Discuss the doctrine of 'rights as trumps'. 15 marks
4.(c) What is the contemporary relevance of Marxism ? 15 marks

5. Comment on the following in about 150 words each : 50x5=50 marks
5.(a) Unity and integrity of India was perhaps the single uppermost factor in the minds of the Constitution makers. Comment. 10 
5.(b) Dalit perspective on Indian national movement. Discuss.
5.(c) Despite constitutional mandate the Inter-State Council has not come of age. Discuss. 
5.(d) Political decentralization has not been matched by administrative decentralization at the grass roots level. Explain 
5.(e) Write short note on the significance of Chipko Movement.

6.(a) National movement in India was anti-imperialist and increasingly radical in its socio-economic and political programmes. Discuss.
6.(b) What has been the political fallout of the Green Revolution in India ? Explain. 
6.(c) The changing socio-economic profile of our legislators does not augur well for the health of Indian democracy. Comment.

7.(a) Development has overshadowed the influence of caste in electoral behaviour in recent elections. Discuss. 
7.(b) The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India enhances the accountability of the Government and serves as the watchdog of the finances of the Government. Explain. 
7.(c) Discuss, in brief, the role of the National Commission for women. Do you think it is a toothless organization ? 

8.(a) “The basic structure doctrine is implicit in the Indian Constitution; the Supreme Court has only given it an explicit form." Comment. 
8.(b) Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has emerged as the most powerful institution in India. Discuss. 
8.(c) Comment on the relevance of the Directive Principles of State Policy in an era of liberalization and globalization


Q1.Comment on the following in about 150 words each :

(a) Post colonial theory of the state

(b) Equality of opportunity

(c) Liberalism as a revolutionary idea

(d) Ambedkar's ideas on constitutionalism

(e) Machiavelli's secularism 

Q2.(a) Make a comparative assessment of Greek perspective of Justice with the Rawlsian concept of Justice.
(b) Representative democracy . . . . . . . means the people as a body must be able to control the general direction of government policy. (J. S. Mill). Comment

(c) Assess the significance of right to property in political theory. 

Q3.(a) Explicate the ideological components of Gandhism.
(b)Examine the nature and meaning of power.

(c) Explain the sources of ancient Indian political thought. 

Q4.(a) Trace the evolution of Western Political Thought from ancient to contemporary period. 
(b) Discuss the significance of a normative approach to Political theory.

(c) Discuss Karl Marx's concept of class. 


Q5. Answer the following in about 150 words each :
(a) Role of socialists in Indian National Movement

(b) Indian constitution makers' concerns on social inequality

(c) Right to constitutional remedies in India

(d) Judicial overreach in India

(e) Mechanism for settling inter-state disputes 

Q6.(a) Examine the role and functioning of the Election Commission of India and the Comptroller and Auditor General in the last two decades. 
(b) Trace the role of militant and revolutionary movements in Indian national movement.

Q7.(a) Does the functioning of the federalism in India tend to make it appear as a unitary state in practice ? 
(b) Has the thrust of government tilted towards executive in contemporary Indian Politics? Give your arguments. 

(c) ‘Liberalisation of Indian Economy has not been accompanied with adequate reforms'. Comment. 

Q8.(a) To what extent has the inadequate intra-party democracy affected the functioning of Indian Democracy ? 
(b) Examine the role of religion in Indian Electoral Politics in the contemporary times. 

(c) Examine the nature of the civil liberty movement in India. 


1. Comment on the following in about 150 words each : 10x5=50 
(a) Feminist critique of the State 10
(b) Affirmative action 10
(c) Equality of outcome as a political idea 10
(d) Tools of legitimating of the State 10
(e) J. S. Mill's ideas on women suffrage 10

Q2.(a) How has Rawls enriched the idea of justice in liberalism? 20 
(b) Examine the importance of behavioral approach in political theory. What led to its decline? 15
(c) Can there be universal conception of human rights? Give your arguments. 15

Q3.(a) Explain the Aristotelian view of politics. To what extent do you think it has contributed to the development of modern-day constitutional democracies? 20
(b) “When a nation becomes devoid of arts and learning, it invites poverty.” (Sir Syed Ahmad Khan). In the light of this statement, assess the role of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as a in as a reformer in modern India. 15
(c) Political ideology is primarrily concerned with the allocation and utilization of Power.” Comment. 15 

Q4.(a) Do you think that the buddhist traditions have lent greater ethical foundation to the ancient Indian political thought? Give your arguments. 20

(b) Marx's concept of 'alienation' is an essential part of the reality in capitalism. Explain. 15 
(c) Free and fair deliberation is key to the foundation of democracy.” Explain. 15

Section B

Q5. Answer the following in about 150 words each : 10x5=50 
(a) “The Constitution of India is a product of a historical process, rich with constitutional antecedents.” Comment. 
(b) “The Constitution makers faced the great task of forging a common national identity in the face of unparalleled social and cultural diversity in India.” Comment. 
(c) Mention the founding principles that define India's Constitution. 
(d) Analyze the Marxist perspective of the nature of Indian National Movement. 
(e) Underline the significance of the first constitutional amendment. 

Q6.(a) "Constitutionally reconciling the Fundamental Rights with the Directive Principles of State Policy has led to frequent amendments of the Constitution and judicial interventions." Comment. 
(b) The role of the President of India becomes more significant during a minority government and a coalition government. Explain. 
(c) Do you think that despite having significant limitations the Panchayati Raj institutions have strengthened the process of democratic decentralization? Give your views. 

Q7.(a) "The Indian party system is shaped by a complex interaction of the country's federal structure, electoral system and social cleavages.” Explain. 
(b) Do you think that there has been a gradual shift in the basis on which the demands for the creation of new States have been raised in different regions of India? Explain. 
(c) What explains India's modest improvements in social development outcomes even as the rate of growth has accelerated since the initiation of economic reforms? 

Q8.(a) The success of electoral democracy can partly be attributed to the status and role of the Election Commission of India.” Explain. 
(b) Examine the evolution of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India as a Constitutional Court.
(c) Explain how caste as a social category is also becoming a political category in the democratic politics of India.

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