PSIR Paper 1 UPSC 2023 with Solutions

In this article, all questions of PSIR Optional Paper 1 are answered. Click on the question links to view tha answers.

This article is part of Synopsis IAS Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Optional Course.


PSIR Paper 1 UPSC 2023 - Question Paper with Solutions 

Click on the links for the solutions


PSIR 1a. Normative Approach in Political Science. UPSC 2023, 10 Marks

PSIR 1b. Multicultural perspective on rights. UPSC 2023, 10 Marks

PSIR 1c. State of Nature as State of War (Hobbes) UPSC 2023, 10 marks 

PSIR 1d Foucault's concept of power UPSC 2023, 10 marks

PSIR 1e Decline of political theory UPSC 2023, 10 marks 

PSIR 2a Success of contemporary democracies lies in the State limiting its own power. Explain. UPSC 2023, 20 marks

PSIR 2b Rawls' idea of the liberal self' is too individualistic. Explain, in this context, the communitarian critique of Rawls' theory of justice. UPSC 2023, 15 marks

PSIR 2c 'Credo of Relevance' in post-behaviouralism advocates the importance of action science. Analyze. UPSC 2023, 15 marks

PSIR 3a. Fascism displays an ambivalent stance towards parliamentary democracy. Explain. UPSC 2023 / 20 Marks

PSIR 3b. Affirmative Action Policies draw as much strong critisim as strong support. Analyze this statement in the context of equality. UPSC 2023, 15 Marks

PSIR 3c. Eurocentrism is both the target and the motive force of the post-colonial political theory. Discuss. UPSC 2023, 15 Marks

PSIR 4a. Buddhist thought on Dhamma facilitates the emancipation of political action. Explain. UPSC 2023, 20 Marks

PSIR 4b. "The legal subordination of one sex to another is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human development." (J. S. Mill). Comment. UPSC 2023, 15 Marks

PSIR 4c. Sri Aurobindo's idea of Swaraj has deep significance in the Indian social, political and cultural history. Analyze. UPSC 2023, 15 Marks

PSIR 5 Comment on the following in about 150 words each: 

PSIR 5a. Imprint of the British Constitution on the Indian Constitution. UPSC 2023, 10 Marks

PSIR 5b. Environmentalism of the poor. UPSC 2023, 10 Marks

PSIR 5c. Functions of District Planning Committee. UPSC 2023, 10 Marks

PSIR 5d. Satyagraha and Indian Nationalism. UPSC 2023, 10 Marks

PSIR 5e. National Commission for Minorities. UPSC 2023, 10 Marks

PSIR 6a. Discuss the major provisions of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. Do you think that the Act remains an 'unfulfilled dream'? Argue your case. UPSC 2023, 20 Marks

PSIR 6b. How does NITI Aayog as a 'policy think tank with shared vision' visualize the reorganization of planning in India? Justify your answer. UPSC 2023, 15 Marks

PSIR 6c. The Constitution of India is the 'cornerstone of a nation'. (Granville Austin). Analyze. UPSC 2023, 15 Marks

PSIR 7a. Does the actual working of Indian federalism conform to the centralizing tendencies in Indian polity? Give reasons for your answer. UPSC 2023, 20 Marks

PSIR 7b. The main goal of the Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution is to generate civic responsibility among the citizens. Explain. UPSC 2023, 15 Marks

PSIR 7c. Dr. Ambedkar's clarion call, “Educate, Agitate and Organize", strategizes the Dalit movement towards achieving civil liberty. Discuss. UPSC 2023, 15 Marks

PSIR 8a. The rise of caste politics is to be attributed to both regional aspirations and electoral manifestations. Comment. UPSC 2023, 20 Marks

PSIR 8b. The decade 1989-1999 has created an epochal shift in the Indian party system at the national level. Identify the major national trends in the party system during this era. UPSC  2023, 15 Marks

PSIR 8c. Do you agree that over the years the Supreme Court has become a forum for policy evolution? Justify your answer. UPSC 2023, 15 Marks



PSIR Optional UPSC Paper 2023 Solutions with Analysis

Choosing the right optional subject is a crucial decision for aspirants of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Examination. Among the myriad of optional subjects available, Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) is a popular choice for many aspirants. PSIR is not only intellectually stimulating but also provides an in-depth understanding of political systems, theories, and international affairs. 

Why Choose PSIR as an Optional Subject?

1. Interest and Aptitude:

   - If you have a genuine interest in politics, governance, and international relations, PSIR is an excellent choice.

   - Strong analytical and writing skills are essential for PSIR, making it suitable for those who excel in these areas.

2. Availability of Study Material:

   - A wealth of study material, books, and resources are available for PSIR, making it easier to prepare.

   - The subject has a well-structured syllabus, making it convenient to cover.

3. Scoring Potential:

   - PSIR has a reputation for being a scoring subject if prepared diligently.

   - The subjective nature of the subject allows you to present your arguments and ideas effectively.

4. Overlap with General Studies (GS):

   - There's significant overlap between PSIR and GS papers, especially in Paper 2 (International Relations).

   - This reduces the burden of preparing an additional subject.

Analysis of Past Question Papers

To excel in PSIR, it's crucial to understand the pattern and trends of UPSC question papers. Here's an analysis of past question papers:

Paper 1 (Political Theory and Indian Politics):

   - Questions in this paper are designed to test the candidate's understanding of political theory, political thought, and Indian politics.

   - Focus areas include the works of political philosophers, Indian political thinkers, and contemporary political issues.

   - Recent papers have featured questions on topics like secularism, feminism, and the Indian Constitution.

Paper 2 (Comparative Politics and International Relations):

   - Paper 2 primarily covers topics related to comparative politics and international relations.

   - Questions often revolve around global issues, foreign policy, and comparative analysis of political systems.

   - Recent papers have focused on subjects like climate change, terrorism, and the role of international organizations.

Strategies for Success

1. Start Early: Begin your PSIR preparation early to cover the vast syllabus systematically.

2. Understand Concepts: Develop a deep understanding of political theories, thinkers, and international relations concepts.

3. Practice Answer Writing: Regularly practice answer writing to improve your writing skills and learn how to structure your answers effectively.

4. Current Affairs: Stay updated with current affairs, especially in international relations, as this is crucial for Paper 2.

5. Revision: Revise your notes and important topics regularly to retain the information effectively.

6. Mocks and Test Series: Enroll in a good test series to evaluate your preparation and get feedback on your performance.

7. Interdisciplinary Approach: Relate PSIR concepts to current events and other GS subjects to provide a holistic perspective.

8. Balance Between Paper 1 and Paper 2: Allocate your study time wisely between both papers, as both are equally important.


Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) can be a rewarding optional subject for UPSC aspirants who have a keen interest in political and international affairs. By understanding the syllabus, analyzing past question papers, and following a structured preparation strategy, you can master this subject and increase your chances of success in the UPSC Civil Services Examination. Remember that consistency, dedication, and a clear understanding of the subject matter are the keys to excelling in PSIR.