UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Important Questions for GS III (Economics & Agriculture Section)

UPSC: GS Paper III of UPSC mains comprises diverse subjects like Agriculture, Economics, Environment, Science & Technology, Disaster Management and Internal Security’s combined syllabus.  In this article, we have provided important questions from the Economics & Agriculture section for answer writing practice. 

Created On: Nov 26, 2020 17:23 IST
UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Important Questions for GS III (Economics & Agriculture Section)
UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Important Questions for GS III (Economics & Agriculture Section)

UPSC: Union Public Service Commission will conduct the UPSC Civil Services (Mains) examination 2020 from January 8, 2021. The GS III will be conducted on January 10, 2021. The time period between the Prelims results and Mains exams is often utilized by aspirants for answer writing practice. Candidates are supposed to attempt 20 questions in three hours which requires speed and content for answer writing. To help aspirants understand the type of questions asked in Mains exams from each subject, we have compiled a list of important questions that were previously asked in the UPSC IAS Mains papers. Candidates can solve these questions to practice answer writing. 

Also Read: Tips for Writing Better Answers in UPSC IAS Mains 2020

UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Important Questions for GS III Economics


Ques 1 Enumerate the indirect taxes which have been subsumed in the goods and services tax (GST) in India. Also, comment on the revenue implications of the GST introduced in India since July 2017.

Ques 2 Do you agree with the view that steady GDP growth and low inflation have left the Indian economy in good shape? Give reasons in support of your arguments.

Ques 3 It is argued that the strategy of inclusive growth is intended to meet the objectives of inclusiveness and sustainability together. Comment on this statement.

Ques 4 The public expenditure management is a challenge to the Government of India in the context of budget-making during the post-liberalization period. Clarify it.


Ques 1 “Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is the sine qua non to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.Comment on the progress made in India in this regard.

Ques 2 Comment on the important changes introduced in respect of the Long term Capital Gains Tax (LCGT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) in the Union Budget for 2018-2019.

Ques 3 The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is viewed as a cardinal subset of China’s larger ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. Give a brief description of CPEC and enumerate the reasons why India has distanced itself from the same.

Ques 4 How are the principles followed by NITI Aayog different from those followed by the erstwhile planning commission in India?

Ques 5 How would the recent phenomena of protectionism and currency manipulations in world trade effect macroeconomic stability of India?


Ques 1 Among several factors for India’s potential growth, the savings rate is the most effective one. Do you agree? What are the other factors available for growth potential? (Answer in 150 words)

Ques 2 Account for the failure of the manufacturing sector in achieving the goal of labour-intensive exports rather than capital-intensive exports. Suggest measures for more labour-intensive rather than capital-intensive exports.

Ques 3 Examine the developments of Airports in India through Joint Ventures under the Public-Private Partnership(PPP) model. What are the challenges faced by the authorities in this regard?

Ques 4 One of the intended objectives of Union Budget 2017-18 is to ‘transform, energize and clean India’. Analyse the measures proposed in the Budget 2017-18 to achieve the objective.

Ques 5 “Industrial growth rate has lagged behind in the overall growth of Gross-Domestic-Product(GDP) in the post-reform period” Give reasons. How far the recent changes is Industrial Policy are capable of increasing the industrial growth rate?

Ques 6 What are the salient features of ‘inclusive growth’? Has India been experiencing such a growth process? Analyze and suggest measures for inclusive growth.


Ques 1 How globalization has led to the reduction of employment in the formal sector of the Indian economy? Is increased informalization detrimental to the development of the country?

Ques 2 Women empowerment in India needs gender budgeting. What are the requirements and status of gender budgeting in the Indian context?

Ques 3 Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is necessary for bringing the unbanked to the institutional finance fold. Do you agree with this for financial inclusion of the poor section of the Indian society? Give arguments to justify your opinion.

Ques 4 What are ‘Smart Cities’? Examine their relevance for urban development in India. Will it increase rural-urban differences? Give arguments for ’Smart Villages’ in the light of PURA and RURBAN Mission.

Ques 5 Justify the need for FDI for the development of the Indian economy. Why is there a gap between MOUs signed and actual FDIs? Suggest remedial steps to be taken for increasing actual FDIs in India.

Ques 6 Comment on the challenges for inclusive growth which include careless and useless manpower in the Indian context. Suggest measures to be taken for facing these challenges.


Ques 1 The nature of economic growth in India is described as jobless growth. Do you agree with this view? Give arguments in favour of your answer.

Ques 2 In what way could replacement of price subsidy with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) change the scenario of subsidies in India? Discuss.

Ques 3 What are the impediments in marketing and supply chain management in the industry in India? Can e-commerce help in overcoming these bottlenecks?

Ques 4 The craze for gold in Indians has led to a surge in import of gold in recent years and put pressure on the balance of payments and external value of the rupee. In view of this, examine the merits of the Gold Monetization Scheme.

Ques 5 “Success of ‘Make in India’ programme depends on the success of ‘Skill India’ programme and radical labour reforms.” Discuss with logical arguments.

Ques 6 There is a clear acknowledgment that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are a tool of industrial development, manufacturing and exports. Recognizing this potential, the whole instrumentality of SEZs requires augmentation. Discuss the issues plaguing the success of SEZs with respect to taxation, governing laws and administration.

Also Check: Strategy to Prepare GS Paper III (Economics, Environment & Technology)

UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Important Questions for GS III Agriculture


Ques 1 How far is the Integrated Farming System (IFS) helpful in sustaining agricultural production.

Ques 2 Elaborate on the impact of the National Watershed Project in increasing agricultural production from water-stressed areas.

Ques 3 How has India benefited from the contributions of Sir M. Visvesvaraya and Dr. M. S. Swaminathan in the fields of water engineering and agricultural science respectively?

Ques 4 What are the reformative steps taken by the Government to make the food grain distribution system more effective?

Ques 5 Elaborate on the policy taken by the Government of India to meet the challenges of the food processing sector.


Ques 1 What do you mean by the Minimum Support Price (MSP)? How will MSP rescue the farmers from the low-income trap?

Ques 2 Examine the role of supermarkets in supply chain management of fruits, vegetables, and food items. How do they eliminate the number of intermediaries?

Ques 3 Assess the role of the National Horticulture Mission (NHM) in boosting the production, productivity, and income of horticulture farms. How far has it succeeded in increasing the income of farmers?

Ques 4 How has the emphasis on certain crops brought about changes in cropping patterns in the recent past? Elaborate the emphasis on millet production and consumption.


Ques 1 Explain various types of revolutions, took place in Agriculture after Independence in India. How these revolutions have helped in poverty alleviation and food security in India?

Ques 2 What are the reasons for poor acceptance of cost-effective small processing units? How can the food processing unit be helpful to uplift the socio-economic status of poor farmers?

Ques 3 What are the major reasons for declining rice and wheat yield in the cropping system? How crop diversification is helpful to stabilize the yield of the crop in the system? (Answer in 250 words)

Ques 4 How do subsidies affect the cropping pattern, crop diversity and economy of farmers? What is the significance of crop insurance, minimum support price and food processing for small and marginal farmers?


Ques 1 What is water-use efficiency? Describe the role of micro-irrigation in increasing water-use efficiency.

Ques 2 Discuss the role of land reforms in agricultural development. Identify the factors that were responsible for the success of land reforms in India.

Ques 3 Given the vulnerability of Indian agriculture to vagaries of nature, discuss the need for crop insurance and bring out the salient features of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).


Ques 1 Livestock rearing has a big potential for providing non-farm employment and income in rural areas. Discuss suggesting suitable examples.

Ques 2 In view of the declining average size of land holdings in India which has made agriculture non-viable for a majority of farmers, should contract farming and land leasing be promoted in agriculture? Critically evaluate the pros and cons.

Aspirants can practice writing answers for these questions and improve their answer writing skills for the UPSC mains exam. You can also download the previous years’ papers of GS III from the link provided below.

UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Previous Years Question Papers (GS Paper III) 2019 to 2008