General Studies-II, syllabus

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

  • Indian Constitution—Historical Underpinnings, Evolution, Features, Amendments, Significant Provisions and Basic Structure.
  • 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.
  • Separation of Powers between various organs Dispute Redressal Mechanisms and Institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian Constitutional Scheme with that of Other Countries.
  • Parliament and State Legislatures—Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.
  • 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.
  • Salient Features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional Posts, Powers, Functions and Responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, Regulatory and various Quasi-judicial Bodies.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to Poverty and Hunger.
  • Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency and Accountability, E-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; Citizens Charters, Transparency & Accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of Civil Services in a Democracy.
  • India and its Neighborhood- Relations.
  • Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  • Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.
  • Important International Institutions, agencies and fora – their Structure, Mandate.


Indian Constitution
Historical Underpinning & EvolutionRegulating Act (1773) to Independence Act (1947)Constituent AssemblyObjective ResolutionEnactment & Enforcement of ConstitutionFeaturesWrittenFlexible & RigidFederal & UnitaryParliamentary Form of Government (Presidential vs. Parliamentary Type of Government)AmendmentsList of Significant Amendments & Their ProvisionsProcedure for Amending ConstitutionSignificant ProvisionsFundamental RightsDirective Principles of State PolicyJudicial ReviewUniversal Adult FranchiseSingle CitizenshipSeparation of PowersBasic StructureThe DoctrineJudgments & Cases
Functions & Responsibilities of the Union and the States
7th ScheduleLegislative FunctionsFinancial FunctionsAdministrative & Quasi-Judicial Functions
Issues & Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure
Federal Structure in India – Is India truly Federal?Cooperative & Competitive FederalismCentre-State RelationsLegislative RelationsAdministrative RelationsFinancial RelationsTrends in Centre-State RelationsInter-State RelationsInter-state Water DisputesInter-State CouncilsPublic Acts, Records and Judicial ProceedingsInter-State Trade and CommerceZonal CouncilsEmergency ProvisionsRole of GovernorReports of Various Commissions2nd ARC, Punchhi, Sarkaria, etc.
Devolution of Powers & Finances to Local Levels & Challenges Therein
Role of State GovernmentRole of State Finance Commission11th & 12th ScheduleReasons for Ineffective PerformancePanchayat Devolution Index ( NITI Aayog)Steps That Can Be Taken to Improve Their Performance
Separation of Powers Between Various Organs
Doctrine of Separation of PowerSeparation of Power in Indian ConstitutionDoctrine of Checks & BalancesProvisions for Checks & Balances in Indian ConstitutionRelated Judgments – Golaknath case, Kesavananda Bharati, Indira Gandhi Vs Raj Narain, Ram Jawaya vs Punjab
Dispute Redressal Mechanisms and Institutions
RTIPILTribunals, etc.
Comparison of the Indian Constitutional Scheme With That of Other Countries Parliament & State Legislatures
Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & PrivilegesWritten ConstitutionBlend of Rigidity and FlexibilityFederal System with Unitary BiasParliamentary Form of GovernmentSynthesis of Parliamentary Sovereignty and Judicial SupremacyIntegrated and Independent JudiciaryFundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy, Fundamental DutiesSecular StateUniversal Adult FranchiseSingle CitizenshipEmergency ProvisionsThree-tier GovernmentDue Process of Law vs. Procedure Established by LawImpeachment of President, etc.
Structure, Organization & Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary
ExecutiveUnion:PresidentPrime MinisterCouncil of MinistersCabinet SecretariatState:GovernorChief MinisterCouncil of MinistersSecretariatJudiciaryThree-Tier StructureChief Justice of IndiaSC & HC JudgesJurisdiction
Ministries and Departments of the Government
Cabinet MinistriesOther MinistriesParliamentary Secretaries
Pressure Groups & Formal/informal Associations & Their Role in Polity
Characteristics of Pressure GroupsPressure Groups & Political PartiesPressure Groups & Interest GroupsTypes of Pressure GroupsFunctions, Role & Importance of Pressure GroupsTechniques/Methods of Pressure GroupsPressure Groups in IndiaShortcomings of Pressure Groups
Salient Features of Representation of People’s Act
Appointment to Various Constitutional Posts
Appointment, Powers, Functions & Responsibilities of:Election CommissionUnion Public Service CommissionState Public Service CommissionFinance CommissionNational Commission for SCsNational Commission for STsSpecial Officer for Linguistic MinoritiesComptroller and Auditor General of IndiaAttorney General of IndiaAdvocate General of the State
Statutory, Regulatory & Quasi-Judicial Bodies
NITI AayogRBINational Human Rights CommissionState Human Rights CommissionCentral Information CommissionCentral Vigilance CommissionCentral Bureau of InvestigationLokpal and LokayuktasNational Commission for WomenNational Commission for Backward ClassesNational Commission for MinoritiesInsurance Regulatory and Development AuthoritySecurities and Exchange Board of IndiaCompetition Commission of IndiaTelecom Regulatory Authority of IndiaCentral Electricity Regulatory CommissionAtomic Energy Regulatory BoardCentral Pollution Control BoardMedical Council of IndiaInland Waterways Authority of IndiaCentral Ground Water AuthorityDirectorate General of Civil AviationPension Fund Regulatory and Development AuthorityFood Safety and Standards Authority of IndiaBar Council of IndiaUniversity Grants CommissionFinancial Stability and Development CouncilAll India Council for Technical EducationNational Green TribunalCompetition Appellate TribunalIncome-Tax Appellate TribunalCyber Appellate TribunalIntellectual Property Appellate Board


Government Policies & Interventions for Development
Government Policies & Interventions in Various SectorsHealth, Gender, Education, Poverty, Economic etcIssues Arising Out of Their Design & ImplementationConcerns/IssuesSuggestions for ImprovementCritical Assessment of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS)Rationalisation of CSSAnalysis of Main Schemes:Beti Bachao Beti PadhaoSmart CitySwachh Bharat AbhiyanMGNERGADigital IndiaMake in IndiaSkill IndiaPM Jan Dhan YojanaStart-up India etc.
Development Processes & the Development Industry
Role of Social Capital OrganisationsIndian ContextClassificationProvisions for the Third Sector in the Indian ConstitutionNational Policy on the Voluntary Sector 2007Non-Governmental OrganisationsRole and Impact of Non-governmental OrganizationsIssue Areas: Accreditation, Legitimacy & Accountability, Foreign Funding etc.Self Help Groups (SHGs)Need for SHGsBenefits of SHGsWeaknesses of SHGsChallengesMeasures to Make SHGs EffectiveCase Studies: Kudumbashree (Kerala), Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (Maharashtra)Societies, Trusts and CooperativesSocietiesTrustReligious EndowmentsCooperatives –Need for CooperativesConstitutional ProvisionsNational Policy on Co-operatives, 2002Issues and Challenges in the Cooperatives Sector
Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency & Accountability
GovernanceDimensions of GovernanceGood Governance (GG)Aspects of GGBarriers to GGNecessary Pre-conditions for GGHow to Ensure GGE-GovernanceApplicationsModelsSuccessesLimitationsPotentialRecent e-governance Initiatives by GovernmentCitizens Charters (CC)Components of CCFeatures of CCSix Principles of CCShortcomings of CCMeasures to Make CC EffectiveSevottam ModelAspects of TransparencyElements & Types of AccountabilityMeans to ensure Transparency & AccountabilityRTISocial AuditWhistleblower Protection BillLokpal & Lokayuktas Act
Role of Civil Services in a Democracy
Relationship Between Civil Service And DemocracyRole Played By Civil ServicesAdvisory Role in Policy MakingInstitutionalise Socio-economic changeDischarge Delegated FunctionsAdminister Law of the LandWatchdogsContinuity in times of Political InstabilityRecord-KeepingChannel of CommunicationAilments/Issues Afflicting Indian Civil ServicesLack of Professionalism & Poor Capacity BuildingInefficient Incentive SystemsOutdated Rules & ProceduresSystemic Inconsistencies in PromotionLack of Adequate Transparency & Accountability ProceduresArbitrary & Whimsical TransfersPolitical Interference & Administrative AcquiescenceGradual Erosion in Values & EthicsRedtapismElitist in NaturePoor PayTendency to Capture PowerReforming Bureaucracy to Strengthen DemocracySetting Right the Asymmetry of PowerInsulating Civil Servants from Undue Political InterferenceProfessionalisation with Stability of Tenure & CompetitionCitizen-Centric AdministrationAccountabilityOutcome OrientationPromoting Public Service Values & Ethics


Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections
Schemes for the Following Vulnerable SectionsSCs & STsMinoritiesChildrenElderlyDisabledWomenTransgenderPerformance of These SchemesMechanisms, Laws, Institutions & Bodies Constituted for Protection & Betterment of These Vulnerable SectionsSCs:The Protection of Civil Rights ActThe Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) ActNational Commission for Scheduled CastesScheduled Castes Sub PlanDisabled:The Rehabilitation Council of India ActThe Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) ActMental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities ActThe National Trust for Welfare of Persons with
Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities ActRights of the Persons with Disabilities Act
STs:National Commission for Scheduled TribesTribal Sub PlanTRIFEDScheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) ActMinorities:National Commission for MinoritiesNational Commission for Religious and Linguistic MinoritiesWomen & ChildrenThe Immoral Traffic (Prevention) ActThe Indecent Representation of Women (Prevention) ActThe Dowry Prohibition ActThe Commission of Sati (Prevention) ActThe Prohibition of Child Marriage ActProtection of Women from Domestic Violence ActJuvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) ActCentral Adoption Resource Agency (CARA)The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) ActSexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal)Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC&PNDT) ActGender BudgetingNational Policy for WomenDomestic Violence ActMaternity Benefit (Amendment) ActElderlyMaintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act
Issues Relating to Development & Management of Social Sector/Services
HealthIndia’s Performance on Various Health IndicatorsWeaknesses of Indian Healthcare SystemHealth Infrastructure in IndiaUniversal Health Coverage12th FYP StrategyUniversal Health CoverageHealth InsuranceNational Family Health SurveyNational Health PolicyNational Health MissionMaternal & Adolescent HealthChild HealthAntimicrobial ResistanceDisease Burden in IndiaMeasures to Ensure Good Health OutcomesGovernment InitiativesEducationStatus of Literacy in IndiaEducation Structure in IndiaChallenges Faced by Education Sector in IndiaReforms RequiredGovernment InitiativesASER ReportFinancing EducationSubramanian Panel ReportHuman ResourceNeed For Skill DevelopmentSkill Development InitiativesChallenges in Skilling Landscape in IndiaShortcomings of Current Skill Development InitiativesReforms RequiredSteps that can Be Taken
Issues Relating to Poverty & Hunger
Relation between Poverty & HungerDistribution of Poverty & HungerMagnitude & Trends of Poverty & HungerCauses of Poverty & HungerCost/Impact of Poverty & MalnutritionMDGs & SDGsFood and nutrition insecurity – a consequence of structural inequitiesConstraints in Reducing Poverty & HungerMeasure to Reduce Poverty & Hunger – National Food Security Act, Mid-day Meal Scheme, MGNREGA etc.


India and its Neighborhood – Relations
India’s Relations WithChinaPakistanMyanmarBhutanBangladeshSri LankaAfghanistanNepalMaldives
Bilateral, Regional & Global Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests
India’s Major Foreign Policy Doctrines Since 1947Non-aligned Movement (NAM)Nuclear DoctrineGujral DoctrineLook East to Act EastThink West, etc.Bilateral Relations WithMajor Powers Like – USA, Russia, JapanCentral Asian CountriesWest Asian CountriesAfrican CountriesAustralia & New ZealandEU & European CountriesLatin American CountriesPacific CountriesRegional & Global GroupingsSAARCBRICSBBIN & BCIMBIMSTECIBSAASEAN & RCEPIndia-Africa ForumSCOAshgabat AgreementFIPICIOR-ARCMekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC)Raisina DialogueHeart of Asia ConferenceEast Asia SummitG-20Asian Development BankNational Security SummitMultilateral Nuclear Export Regulatory Regimes: Wassenar, MTCR, Australia GroupAsian Development BankAPEC, etc
Effect of Policies & Politics of Developed & Developing Countries on India’s Interests
One Belt One RoadInternational North–South Transport CorridorGlobal Trade WarGlobal Currency WarSyrian CrisisUN ReformsWTO ReformsSouth China Sea ConflictBrexitDeglobalisation & 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 DiasporaIndia’s Diaspora Policy & Engagement InitiativesOCIPravasi Bharatiya DivasKnow India Programme, etc.LM Singhvi High Level Committee on the DiasporaRole played by Indian DiasporaIssues Concerning the Diaspora:Dual NationalityRemittances, etc.
Important International Institutions
UN & its AgenciesWTOWorld BankIMFWorld Economic ForumCommonwealth of Nations, etc.

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