UPSC Sociology 2021: Every question was driven by Current Affairs

Sociology Current Affairs were the driving force behind all questions of UPSC Sociology 2021. Know more in this article!

Paper 2: UPSC Sociology 2021


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(a) Caste system studies in India have been dominated by the “book view” initially. How did the entry of “field view” bring about a balance in the study of Indian caste system? Discuss. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
India needs a caste count: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/india-needs-a-caste-count/article37060696.ece


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(b) What does Dr. B. R Ambedkar mean by the concept of “annihilation of caste”?

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Remembering the Annihilation of Caste: https://thewire.in/caste/on-ambedkar-jayanti-remembering-the-annihilation-of-caste

85 years of ‘Annihilation of Caste: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/85-years-annihilation-caste-whose-responsibility-it-annihilate-caste-150018


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(c) Discuss the different forms of kinship system in India.

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Inter-caste marriages the way forward to reduce communal tensions: Supreme Court: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/inter-caste-marriages-the-way-forward-to-reduce-communal-tensions-supreme-court/article33819146.ece

Need to continue supporting, monitoring needs of children affected by COVID-19: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/need-to-continue-supporting-monitoring-needs-of-children-affected-by-covid-justice-ravindra-bhat/article38004890.ece


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(d) Critically examine briefly the phrase “Little Republics” as used to denote India’s villages. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Ambedkar, Gandhi and the idea of village: https://telanganatoday.com/opinion-ambedkar-gandhi-and-the-idea-of-village


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(e) Caste-like formations are present in Non-Hindu religious communities as well. Discuss with examples. 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Caste census needed for Muslims too, says Pasmanda community leader: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/we-need-a-caste-census-of-muslim-community-too-says-pasmanda-community-leader-khalid-anis-ansari/article36227039.ece

New book focuses on caste system among Muslims: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/new-book-focuses-on-caste-system-among-muslims/article37731641.ece


Dedicated program for
Sociology Current Affairs: Click here

Snippet from Sociology Current Affairs Program

UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(a) What is identity politics? Discuss the main trend in Dalit movements in India. 20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Why Dalits and a Dalit CM matter in Punjab’s politics: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/punjab-dalit-chief-minister-charanjit-singh-channi-congress-7523739/

Gail Omvedt’s anti-caste vision: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/gail-omvedts-anti-caste-writings-dalit-bahujan-movement-7492063/


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(b) Is Indian society moving from “Hierarchy” towards “differentiation”? Illustrate your answer with suitable examples. 20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Decoding the purpose and politics of caste census: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/decoding-the-purpose-and-politics-of-caste-census-101629741365130.html


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(c) Discuss the salient features of the ‘new middle class’ in India. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Why saving the middle class is critical for India’s economy and its democracy: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/why-saving-the-middle-class-is-critical-for-indias-economy-and-its-democracy-7279620/

633,000 ‘New Middle Class’ households In India: Hurun India report: https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/633-000-new-middle-class-households-in-india-hurun-india-report-121031600357_1.html


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(a) Discuss in detail the major contribution of Prof. Yogendra Singh in theorising India’s modernisation. 20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Yogendra Singh, founder of JNU’s sociology centre, passes away at 87: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/yogendra-singh-founder-of-jnus-sociology-centre-passes-away-6403729/

In Yogendra Singh’s work, historicity and universality went hand in hand: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/professor-yogendra-singh-jnu-sociology-centre-dead-dipankar-gupta-6405266/


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(b) Examine the factors responsible for rural unrest in contemporary India. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
‘Farmers’ agitation is very strong, has a deeper connect with rural people,’ says Jayant Chaudhary: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/farmers-agitation-is-very-strong-has-a-deeper-connect-with-rural-people-says-jayant-chaudhary-7231755/

‘It isn’t just men who drive tractors’: Women help lead India’s historic farm protests: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-01-27/indias-farm-protests-driven-by-women


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(c) Discuss the changing dimensions of family structure in urban India. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
The devastating toll of the pandemic on families: https://www.thehindu.com/society/the-pandemic-has-robbed-families-of-their-time-apart-and-is-taking-a-toll-on-relationships/article34223244.ece

Why Indians continue to live in joint families: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-54053091


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(a) What are the sociological reasons and implication of “reverse migration” during the recent pandemic in India? 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Are we seeing early signs of reverse migration in India? https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/health/are-we-seeing-early-signs-of-reverse-migration-in-india–79709


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(b) Discuss the main features of the debate between G S Ghurye and V Elwin on tribal development. 20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Enlarge the Panchsheel approach to Tribal upliftment: https://www.livemint.com/opinion/online-views/enlarge-the-panchsheel-approach-to-tribal-upliftment-11630526171859.html


The Changing Dynamics of Tribal Societies in India: https://www.epw.in/journal/2021/34/book-reviews/changing-dynamics-tribal-societies-india.html


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(c) What are the various forms of untouchability in India? Critically examine. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Learning about modern-day Untouchability is a step in the right direction: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/learning-about-dalits-and-untouchability-7326175/

The Continuing Practice of Untouchability in India: https://www.epw.in/journal/2020/2/special-articles/continuing-practice-untouchability-india.html


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(a) Analyse the idea of developmental planning in India. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Gati Shakti to change ‘sarkari’ perception about development plans: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/gati-shakti-to-change-sarkari-perception-about-development-plans-pm-modi/articleshow/87007286.cms


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(b) Comment on the role of co-operatives in rural development. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Cooperative model best suited for development of India: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cooperative-model-best-suited-for-development-of-india-having-130-cr-population-amit-shah/article37736721.ece

Why a Ministry of Cooperation: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-a-cooperation-ministry-7395784/


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(c) Urban slums are sites of social exclusion. Explain. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Missing an inclusionary vision for the urban poor: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/missing-an-inclusionary-vision-for-the-urban-poor/article37569210.ece

‘City of Shadows: Slums and Informal Work in Bangalore’ review: Living on the margins of wealth: https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/city-of-shadows-slums-and-informal-work-in-bangalore-review-living-on-the-margins-of-wealth/article36497848.ece


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(d) Does regionalism essentially lead to decentralisation of power? Substantiate your answer with relevant examples. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Do Indians relate more to their regional identity or national identity? https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/how-indians-identify-as-regional-or-national-7249762/

Fresh stirrings on federalism as a new politics: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/fresh-stirrings-on-federalism-as-a-new-politics/article35179732.ece


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(e) Discuss the role of technology in agrarian change in India. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Experts underline key role of tech in modern agriculture: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/experts-underline-key-role-of-tech-in-modern-agriculture/article34743979.ece

Why agrarian reforms should go beyond meeting demands of the agitating farmers: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/farmers-protest-agrarian-reforms-farm-laws-7474428/

The future of Indian agriculture: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/agriculture/the-future-of-indian-agriculture-75384


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(a) Explain the sociological significance of the New Education Policy and its thrust on vocationalisation and skill development. 20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
A long road: On National Education Policy 2020: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/a-long-road-the-hindu-editorial-on-national-education-policy-2020/article32233472.ece


Dedicated program for
Sociology Current Affairs: Click here

Snippet from Sociology Current Affairs program

UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(b) Is ‘ageing’ an emerging issue in Indian society? Discuss the major problems of the old age people in India. 20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Number of India’s elderly to triple by 2050: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/number-of-indias-elderly-to-triple-by-2050/article33515101.ece

India and its shades of grey: https://www.thehindu.com/brandhub/india-and-its-shades-of-grey/article34141625.ece


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(c) Underline the socio-cultural factors responsible for India’s skewed sex-ratio. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
National Family Health Survey says women outnumber men: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/family-health-survey-suggests-more-women-than-men-in-india/article37678156.ece

How India fared in Global Gender Gap Report 2021: https://www.livemint.com/news/india/how-india-fared-in-global-gender-gap-report-2021-11617726598143.html


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(a) The problem of displacement is inherent in the idea of development. Analyse the statement critically. 20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Forced displacement is the new norm in India: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/forced-displacement-is-the-new-norm-in-india-71303

Displacement Explained: How Many Climate Refugees Does India Have? https://www.thequint.com/climate-change/explainer-who-are-climate-refugees-and-why-migration-is-rampant


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(b) Rising ‘ethnocentrism’ is leading to conflict in our society. Assess this statement with appropriate reasons. 20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
How the many imaginary lines drawn by the British continue to generate and impact conflicts in the Northeast: https://indianexpress.com/article/research/how-the-many-imaginary-lines-drawn-by-the-british-continue-to-generate-and-impact-conflicts-in-the-northeast-assam-mizoram-7445550/

How the many imaginary lines drawn by the British continue to generate and impact conflicts in the Northeast: https://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/tripura/tripura-13-injured-in-ethnic-clash-in-village-near-mizoram-border-7425385/


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(c) Is social democracy a precondition for political democracy? Comment. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
What India must do to be a functioning social democracy: https://theprint.in/opinion/what-india-must-do-to-be-a-functioning-social-democracy-stop-practising-state-capitalism/565264/

The 21st century challenge for democracy: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-21st-century-challenge-for-democracy-7704716/


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(a) Discuss the role of social media in communal polarisation. Suggest ways to combat it. 20 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
CJI flags ‘communal content’ in media: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/certain-sections-of-media-communalise-everything-says-cji/article36243837.ece

Tripura Police file FIR against 102 social media accounts in October ‘communal violence’ case:
https://theprint.in/india/tripura-police-file-fir-against-102-social-media-accounts-in-october-communal-violence-case/762343/


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(b) Urban settlements in India tend to replicate its rural caste-kinship imprints. Discuss the main reasons.  20 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Maharashtra to drop caste names from localities: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-to-drop-caste-names-from-localities/article33234784.ece

‘As Delhi becomes a global city, people cling to caste, religious identities more’: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/as-delhi-becomes-a-global-city-people-cling-to-caste-religious-identities-more/article36935657.ece


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(c) Does “economic empowerment” automatically bring about “substantive empowerment” for India? Briefly describe the main issues in women empowerment in India. 10 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Raising legal age of marriage for women: the law, the reasons and the criticism: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/raising-legal-age-for-marriage-for-women-law-reasons-criticism-7675447/

Two-way street: women’s empowerment and economic development: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/two-way-street-womens-empowerment-and-economic-development-7219508/

Dedicated program for
Sociology Current Affairs: Click here

Snippet from Sociology Current Affairs program

Paper 1: UPSC Sociology 2021

UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(a) Europe was the first and the only place where modernity emerged. Comment. 10 


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(b) Do you think ethnomethodology helps in getting reliable and valid data? Justify your answer.
10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
2011 caste census data unusable, can’t add caste to 2021 data:  ttps://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/2011-caste-census-data-unusable-centre-tells-sc-1856315-2021-09-233

Harold Garfinkel, a Common-Sense Sociologist, Dies at 93: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/us/04garfinkel.html


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(c) Discuss the challenges involved in collecting data through census method.  10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Census activities postponed amid Covid surge: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/census-activities-postponed-amid-covid-surge-101641232471939.html


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(d) Explain whether Durkheim’s theory of Division of Labour is relevant in the present day context.  10 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Is the ‘malady of infinite aspiration’ a permanent condition of the modern age? https://scroll.in/article/1011719/is-the-malady-of-infinite-aspiration-a-permanent-condition-of-the-modern-age

Humans only started assigning men and women different jobs with advent of farming, study suggests: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/gender-division-of-labour-farming-b1831763.html


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
1(e) Critically examine Max Weber’s theory of Social Stratification.

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Profaning the allegedly religious: https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/profaning-the-allegedly-religious/article6520395.ece


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(a) From the viewpoint of growing importance of multidisciplinarity, how do you relate sociology to other social sciences?  20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Education for civic reconstruction: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/education-for-civic-reconstruction-7222677/

Researchers look to human ‘social sensors’ to better predict elections and other trends: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/06/210630115436.htm


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(b) How far are sociologists justified in using positivist approach to understand social reality? Explain with suitable illustrations.

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
The Myth of Value-Neutral Teaching: https://thewire.in/education/the-myth-of-value-neutral-teaching


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
2(c) How is sociology related to common sense? 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
An AI expert explains why it’s hard to give computers something you take for granted: Common sense: https://theconversation.com/an-ai-expert-explains-why-its-hard-to-give-computers-something-you-take-for-granted-common-sense-165600


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(a) How do qualitative and quantitative methods supplement each other in sociological enquiry?

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Why Studying Sociology Has Become More Important in the Pandemic Era:
https://www.news18.com/news/education-career/why-studying-sociology-has-become-more-important-in-the-pandemic-era-4064210.html


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(b) Critically examine the dialectics involved in each mode of production as propounded by Karl Marx.

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Why Karl Marx and his 150-year-old philosophy will always be relevant: https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/opinion/why-karl-marx-and-his-150-year-old-philosophy-will-always-be-relevant


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
3(c) Do you agree with Max Weber’s idea that bureaucracy has the potential to become an iron cage? Justify your answer.  10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Bureaucratic resilience necessary but not enough for governance: https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/bureaucratic-resilience-necessary-but-not-enough-for-governance-101629885791328.html

UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(a) Explain the concept of social mobility. Describe with suitable illustrations how education and social mobility are related to each other.

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
English Language Education in India: How Aspirations for Social Mobility Shape Pedagogy: https://www.epw.in/engage/article/english-language-education-india-aspirations-pedagogy


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(b) How has the idea of ‘Work From Home’ forced us to redefine the formal and informal organisation of work. 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
New study shows how much more productive a hybrid workforce can be: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/07/work-form-home-hybrid-working-covid-pandemic-us-office


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
4(c) With suitable examples, explain how conformity and deviance co-exist in a society as propounded by RK Merton.

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Voyeuristic narratives of ‘bad’ women: What the media gets wrong in depicting women on death row: https://www.newslaundry.com/2021/10/09/voyeuristic-narratives-of-bad-women-what-the-media-gets-wrong-in-depicting-women-on-death-row

UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(a) Explain the emerging challenges in establishing gender equality in the informal sector.

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Women comprise nearly half of informal sector workers, data from new national portal shows: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/women-comprise-nearly-half-of-informal-sector-workers-data-from-new-national-portal-shows-101634862406702.html


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(b) Critically examine the relevance of Vilfredo Pareto’s theory of Circulation of Elites in the present scenario. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/bihars-circulation-of-elites/article32965853.ece


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(c) Critically compare the views of E.B Tylor and Max Muller on Religion. 10

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Religion, the concept of Fundamentalism, and the sui-generis Hindu way: https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/culture/religion-concept-fundamentalism-sui-generis-hindu-way


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(d) What is cult? Explain the growth of cults in the contemporary world. 10 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
What creates culture also creates cult: https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/what-creates-culture-also-creates-cult/article37338327.ece

Hindu Sect Is Accused of Using Forced Labor to Build N.J. Temple: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/11/nyregion/nj-hindu-temple-india-baps.html


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
5(e) Do you think Talcott Parsons gave an adequate theory of social change? Justify your answer.  10 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Rasode Mein Kaun Tha? – The Kitchen As A Site Of Contention In Feminist Politics: https://feminisminindia.com/2020/09/30/rasode-mein-kaun-tha-kitchen-feminist-politics/


Dedicated program for
Sociology Current Affairs: Click here

Snippet from Sociology Current Affairs program

UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(a) Elucidate the main problems and challenges faced by the migrant labourers in the recent ‘Lockdown period’. 20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
https://scroll.in/article/998278/india-failed-its-migrant-workers-again-during-the-second-wave-of-covid-19


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(b) Explain how political parties and pressure groups are dialectically related to each other in terms of achieving their goals. 20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
India failed its migrant workers yet again during the second wave of Covid-19: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/toi-editorials/jai-which-kisan-protests-by-big-farmers-a-complication-in-bjps-up-strategy-can-making-small-farmers-happy-work/


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
6(c) Give your comments on the growth of religious revivalism in the present day context.  10 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
When politics takes the path of religious revival: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/columns/c-gopinath/when-politics-takes-the-path-of-religious-revival/article32327739.ece


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(a) Explain how the pattern of patriarchy is being altered in a family and at the workplace in the present context.  20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Women vs patriarchy: Challenges women face at work and what can be changed:
https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/jobs-and-careers/story/women-vs-patriarchy-challenges-women-face-at-work-and-what-can-be-changed-1732813-2020-10-18


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(b) Critically examine the contribution of dependency theories in understanding the present global scenario.  20 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Developed countries should do a Net-Minus in order to vacate carbon space in 2050 for developing countries to grow: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/developed-countries-should-do-a-net-minus-in-order-to-vacate-carbon-space-in-2050-for-developing-countries-to-grow-india/article36910252.ece


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
7(c) Explain the growing salience of ethnicity in the contemporary world with illustrations. 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Inequalities between ethnic groups are stark, new UN report reveals : https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/10/1102382


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(a) Discuss the changing nature of kinship relations in the contemporary world. 20

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Why Indians continue to live in joint families: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-54053091


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(b) Describe the role of Science and Technology in enabling us to face the challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. 20 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
Technologies during the pandemic: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/technologies-during-the-pandemic/article34678158.ece

How the COVID pandemic is changing global science collaborations: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01570-2


UPSC Sociology 2021 question:
8(c) Highlight the roles and functions of civil society in a democratic system. 10 

Related Sociology Current Affairs:
The role of civil society organisations: https://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/the-role-of-civil-society-organisations-101631794388685.html


UPSC papers are dynamic and unconventional. Your preparation should also reflect the same.

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