Analysis of 2016 Mains GS Paper 3

This article talks about the 2016 UPSC mains GS paper III and gives you a detailed break-up of the questions.

 Candidates can download the 2016 UPSC GS Paper 3 PDF from below:

2016 UPSC GS Paper 3 PDF:-Download PDF Here

UPSC Mains 2016 GS 3 Analysis

Question paper format:

The format of the GS 3 question paper was no different from the one followed in the previous few years. There were 20 compulsory questions each for 12.5 marks thus making a total of 250 marks.

2016 GS III Analysis:

Take a look at the following pie chart which reveals the broad break-up of the questions. The percentage of questions asked from each topic in the UPSC syllabus for GS 3 is indicated.

This was the broad classification of the questions. Next, we give you detailed subtopics from where the questions have been asked. A table each is given for the broad topics and the marks accorded to each subtopic is provided.


Subtopic Marks
Growth & resource mobilization 25
Infrastructure, investment 25
Budget 12.5
Liberalization 12.5

Latest UPSC Information:

UPSC Prelims Syllabus UPSC 2021
Topic-Wise GS 2 Questions for UPSC Mains Topic-Wise GS 3 Questions for UPSC Mains
Topic-Wise GS 4 Questions for UPSC Mains Daily News Analysis

Questions on growth and resource mobilization:

  1. Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is necessary for bringing unbanked to the institutional finance fold. Do you agree with this for financial inclusion of the poorer section of the Indian society? Give arguments to justify your opinion.
  2. 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.

Questions on infrastructure and investment:

  1. 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.
  2. Justify the need for FDI for the development of the Indian economy. Why there is gap between MOUs signed and actual FDIs? Suggest remedial steps to be taken for increasing actual FDIs in India.

Questions on budget:

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

Questions on liberalization:

  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?


Subtopic Marks
Land reforms 12.5
Cropping 37.5
Food processing 0

Questions on land reforms:

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

Questions on cropping:

  1. What is water-use efficiency? Describe the role of micro-irrigation in increasing the water-use efficiency.
  2. What is allelopathy? Discuss its role in major cropping systems of irrigated agriculture.
  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)


Subtopic Marks
Science and tech 25
Environment 25
Disaster 25

Questions on science and technology:

  1. Discuss India’s achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. How the application of this technology has helped India in its socio-economic development?
  2. Why is nanotechnology one of the key technologies of the 21st century? Describe the salient features of Indian Government’s Mission on Nanoscience and Technology and the scope of its application in the development process of the country.

Questions on environment:

  1. Give an account of the current status and the targets to be achieved pertaining to renewable energy sources in the country. Discuss in brief the importance of National Programme on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
  2. Rehabilitation of human settlements is one of the important environmental impacts which always attracts controversy while planning major projects. Discuss the measures suggested for mitigation of this impact while proposing major developmental projects.

Questions on disaster:

  1. The frequency of urban floods due to high intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods. Highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events.
  2. With reference to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines, discuss the measures to be adopted to mitigate the impact of the recent incidents of cloudbursts in many places of Uttarakhand.


Subtopics Marks
Extremism, terrorism 12.5
Cyber security 12.5
Cross border terrorism 25

Questions on extremism/terrorism:

  1. “Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.” Analyse the above statement.

Questions on cyber security:

  1. Use of Internet and social media by non-state actors for subversive activities is a major concern. How have these have misused in the recent past? Suggest effective guidelines to curb the above threat.

Questions on cross border terrorism:

  1. The terms ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Surgical Strikes’ are often used in connection with armed action against terrorist attacks. Discuss the strategic impact of such actions.
  2. Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management.

The next pie chart talks about the percentage of questions asked from the various subtopics in the 2016 GS 3 paper:


Also See | Analysis of 2016 Mains GS Paper 2

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Some Related UPSC Links:

2017 UPSC Mains GS 3 question paper 2018 UPSC Mains GS 3 question paper 
2019 UPSC Mains GS 3 question paper  UPSC 2021
NCERT Notes For UPSC Topic-Wise GS 3 Questions for UPSC Mains
UPSC Prelims Syllabus Daily News Analysis


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