UPSC IAS 2020 Mains: Check the Exam Analysis (January, 9) and Exam Paper of General Studies Paper I Here

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Jan 11, 2021

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UPSC IAS 2020 Mains General Paper I was conducted during the first half of January 9, 2020. There are two papers held every day except January 8. For each day, there are two time slots i.e. 9 am to 12 noon for 1st paper and 2 pm to 5 pm for 2nd paper. 

UPSC conducts the UPSC IAS exam in three stages - Prelims, Mains, and Interview phase. It is the most well-known and high-profile exam in the country. The exam is taken to recruit candidates to various civil service posts of the Government of India. The IAS Mains paper asks subjective questions, unlike the Prelims stage. 

There are two types of papers in the UPSC IAS Mains Exam. These are - Merit subjects and Qualifying subjects (exam). The merit exam subjects are those whose marks are taken into account for the final result whereas Qualifying subjects do not carry any marks for the result evaluation. Although, both types of exams are compulsory in nature. The detailed blueprint of the subjects is shown below:



Nature of Exam

Total Marks

Duration (in hours)

Paper A

Indian Language




Paper B




Paper I





Paper II

General Studies (GS) I



Paper III

General Studies (GS) II



Paper IV

General Studies (GS) III



Paper V

General Studies (GS) IV



Paper VI

Optional Subject Paper-I



Paper VII

Optional Subject Paper-II



UPSC IAS 2020 Mains: General Studies I Paper

The Commission conducted the General Studies paper I on January 9, 2021 in the morning slot of 9 am to 12 pm. The General Studies paper I covered concepts from Indian Heritage and Culture, Governance, History, and Geography of the World, Society, Social Justice, and International relations. 

The major questions from different sections and topics that were asked in the GS I paper are given below:

Q.1) The rock-cut architecture represents one of the most important sources of our knowledge of early Indian art and history. Discuss. 

Q.2) Pala period is the most significant phase in the history of Buddhism in India. Enumerate. 

Q.3) Evaluate the policies of Lord Curzon and their long term implications on the national movement. 

Q.4) Discuss the geophysical characteristics of the Circum-Pacific zone. 

Q.5) The process of desertification does not have climatic boundaries. Justify with examples. 

Q.6) How will the melting of Himalayan glaciers have a far-reaching impact on the water resources of India? 

Q.7) Account for the present location of Iron and steel industries away from the source of raw material, by giving examples. 

Q.8) Has caste lost its relevance in understanding the multi-cultural Indian society? Elaborate your answer with illustrations. 

Q.9) COVID-19 pandemic accelerated class inequalities and poverty in India. Comment 

Q.10) Do you agree that regionalism in India appears to be a consequence of rising cultural assertiveness? Argue. 

Also check- IAS Mains Essay exam 2020 analysis

Q.11) Indian philosophy and tradition played a significant role in conceiving and shaping the monuments and art in India.Discuss

Q.12) Persian literary sources of medieval India reflect the spirit of the age. Comment? 

Q.13) Since the decade of 1920s, the national movement acquired various ideological strands and thereby expanded its social base. Discuss.

Q.14) The interlinking of rivers can provide viable solutions to the multidimensional interrelated problems of droughts, floods, and interrupted navigation. Critically examine 

Q.15) Account for the huge flooding of million cities in India including the smart ones like Hyderabad and Pune. Suggest lasting remedial measures. 

Q.16) India has immense potential of solar energy though there are regional variations in its development. ELaborate 

Q.17) Examine the status of forest resources of India and its resultant impact on climate change. 

Q.18) Is diversity and pluralism in India under threat due to globalisation? Justify your answer. 

Q.19) Customs and traditions suppress reason leading to obscurantism. Do you agree? 

Q.20) How have digital initiatives in India contributed to the functioning of the education system in the country? Elaborate your answer.

The candidates who appeared for the exam found the examination paper easy to moderately difficult on overall analysis. 

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*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.