Q.1)  Highlight the similarities and differences between Hindustani music and Carnatic music.

Why this question:Recently, the Department of Archeology,Heritage and Museum decided to commence field research work at Keshavpura in Araga Gram Panchayat (GP) of Thirthahalli taluk.

Intro: Before the 13th Century, there was only one classical music in India. Post 13th Century the Classical Music has been separated into two different styles. 


Discuss about similarities :

  • Carnatic Music originated in the Bhakti movement, while Hindustani music originated during the Vedic period. Therefore both have a great link with religion. Both the music developed with Sanskrit language scripts in itself and through Vedic traditions.
  • The main vocal forms of Hindustani music are Dhrupad, Khayal, Tarana, Thumri, Dadra, and Gazals. Carnatic music embraces much creativity comprising Alpana, Niraval, Kalpnaswaram and Ragam Thana Pallavi.

Discuss about differences like Hindustani Music is practiced in Northern Parts of India and Carnatic Music is practiced in the Southern Parts of India


Conclude by highlighting the significance of carnatic and hindustani music.


Q.2)Pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty(OST) would be yet another gift from the US Administration to Russia. Comment (250 words)

Why this question?

 The U.S administration recently said that it will withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty (OST) accusing Russia of violating the Treaty in various ways for years.


In brief about the OST 


  • Announcement by US administration
  • Details of OST
    • Background
    • Objectives
    • Provisions
  • Implications
    • Impact on US’s European allies especially regarding the tracking of Russian troops in the Baltic region.
    • New Start Treaty(Also mention earlier withdrawal from Paris agreement and Iran nuclear deal)


Find a balancing statement for the overall benefit of the globe including India.


Q.3) The nuclear tests could plunge the world back into a new Cold War. Discuss the statement in the context of the USA’s decision to pull back from arm control pacts recently. (15 marks - 250 word)

Why this question? -  President Donald Trump's administration has discussed holding the first US nuclear test since 1992 as a potential warning to Russia and China, the Washington Post reported recently. 

Intro - One can start with USA’s decision to come out of JCPOA, INF and Open Skies Treaties recently. Also, President Donald Trump's administration has discussed holding the first US nuclear test since 1992 as a potential warning to Russia and China, the Washington Post reported recently. 

Body - Tell briefly about these treaties and the impact of the USA pulling back unilaterally - could trigger nuclear arm race etc.

Way forward - Enforcing CTBT is the need of the hour etc.



Q.4) What do you understand by the term Heat Wave. How is it formed and when does IMD declare the same ? Comment.

Why this question:

Several parts of north India reeled under an intense heatwave with many districts in Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh posting temperatures over 45 degrees Celsius or five degrees above what is normal.


The heatwave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the pre-monsoon (April to June) summer season. 

Heat waves typically occur between March to June, and in some rare cases even extend till July. 


  • The heatwave is considered if the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains, 37°C or more for coastal stations and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions. Following criteria are used to declare heat wave:

a) Based on Departure from Normal

Heat Wave: Departure from normal is 4.5°C to 6.4°C

Severe Heat Wave: Departure from normal is >6.4°C

b) Based on Actual Maximum Temperature (for plains only)

Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥ 45°C

Severe Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥47°C

  • To declare a heat wave, the above criteria should be met at least in 2 stations in a Meteorological subdivision for at least two consecutive days.


  • Heat waves can form in many ways. They often form when high pressure aloft strengthens and remains over a region for several days up to several weeks.
  • This is common in summer (in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres) as the jet stream 'follows the sun'. 
  • On the equator side of the jet stream, in the middle layers of the atmosphere, is the high-pressure area.
  • Summertime weather patterns are generally slower to change than in winter. As a result, this mid-level high pressure also moves slowly.
  • Under high pressure, the air subsides (sinks) toward the surface. This sinking air acts as a dome capping the atmosphere. This cap helps to trap heat instead of allowing it to lift.
  • Without the lift, there is little or no convection and therefore little or no convective clouds (cumulus clouds) with minimal chance for rain. The lack of clouds means that an affected area is struck with strong sunlight.
  • The end result is a continual build-up of heat at the surface that we experience as a heat wave.


Formation of  robust heat action plans at state and district level is need of the hour.


Q.5) The nationwide lockdown due to the Coronavirus crisis has led to postponing of key government data gathering exercises. It means the govt. has  very few recent sources of primary survey data for enabling informed policymaking. Discuss.

Why the question?

  • Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the first phase of Census 2021 and updating of NPR, various related field activities have been postponed.

Introduction to the answer

  • Brief info about Census, HCE, NPR, SECC


  • Reasons for delay
  • Concerns due to delay in data: There is a considerable time lag before the release of the next HCE survey, Census and SECC findings. 
  • Virtual data vacuum
    • Delay in HCE survey: There was a plan of conducting back-to-back HCE surveys in 2020-21 and 2021-22 “after incorporating all data quality refinements”.
      • The 2020-21 survey is supposed to start from July, which looks unlikely given the novel coronavirus-induced situation.
    • Affecting Socio Economic caste census (SECC):  The SECC-21, too, cannot be undertaken without the demarcation of enumeration blocks as part of the Census houselisting operation.
  • Insufficiency of present data: The govt. has the Agriculture Census 2015-16, the NABARD All-India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17, and the NSO’s 2017-18 reports on social consumption (health and education) and access to drinking water and sanitation. But they do not provide information on poverty, food consumption etc.
  • Poor implementation of the government. schemes like Public Distribution System


  • Need for a robust mechanism for ensuring temporary data in case of an emergency situation.