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List of Essays Asked in Civil Services Mains Exam

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  • Published
    18th Aug, 2021

Reading and analyzing the Previous year essay paper would provide a very good insight into the nature of the question. You are required to attempt essay on one topic out of a given set of 6 to 8 topics. Since 1996 there have been six topics. In 1995 and 1994, there were seven topics and prior to that there used to be 8 topics. Therefore, one may reasonably assume that in the years to come the number of topics given may not remain constant. However, there will be enough choice to select and write on.

Trend analysis

At the outset it should be clear, that any classification is not hard and fast. We are making trend analysis of the topics to be covered in essay paper. Broadly speaking, all the topics within the essay paper may be divided into two distinct categories:

  1. Statement based essay topics
  2. Issue based essay topics

Statement Based Topics

Under this class, a pithy statement, often in the form of a slogan or a phrase may be provided. For instance see the topics below:

  • Compassion is the basis of all morality. (1993)
  • Youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle, old age a regret. (1994)
  • A useless life is an early death. (1994)
  • Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the life blood of real civilization. (1995)
  • Our deeds determine us as much as we determine our deeds. (1995)
  • Truth is lived, not taught. (1996)
  • True religion cannot be misused. (1997)
  • Woman is God's best creation. (1998)
  • The pursuit of excellence. (2001)
  • If youth knew, if age could. (2002)
  • There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. (2003)

If you notice these topics carefully, you might realize that these topics are more of philosophical in nature than factual. However, in writing or attempting these topics, analysis and interpretation must be backed by facts, information, examples etc. So as to make your essay writing more effective.

Issue based topics

The next set of topics is issue-based in nature. They are current topics or topics of burning nature. These topics may be found currently being debated, discussed and written about in various forums and media. For example, see the topics below:

  • The emerging global order, political and economic. (1993)
  • Economic growth without distributive justice is bound to breed violence. (1993)
  • Ecological considerations need not hamper development. (1993)
  • Computer : The harbinger of a silent revolution. (1993)
  • Politics, business and bureaucracy: A fatal triangle. (1994)
  • Multinational corporations : Saviors or saboteurs. (1994)
  • Restructuring of Indian education system. (1995)
  • The new emerging women power: the ground realities. (1995)
  • Whither Indian democracy. (1995)
  • Restructuring of the UNO to reflect present realities. (1995)
  • Need for transparency in public administration. (1995)
  • Language problem in India: Its past, present and prospects. (1998)
  • Reservations, politics and empowerment. (1999)
  • The country's need for a better disaster management system. (2000)
  • Empowerment alone cannot help our women. (2001)
  • Privatization of Higher education in India. (2002)
  • The masks of new imperialism. (2003)

In attempting these topics, a thorough understanding of the subject matter in all its aspects is essential. Besides, you must be able to form and hold an opinion and convincingly put it across. It is not denied that the essay writing topics of these types can be easily attempted by any one as everyone is aware of the issues involved there in. But a marked qualitative difference would be visible between someone who has done his home-work well and someone who has not done it well. Apart from a sound grasp over facts and information, one must also undertake exercises in improving one's writing skills. The very nature of the questions under even this category demands it.

Essay Copy: Vikram Grewal, IAS (AIR 51, CSE 2018)

For Full Copy Click Here

These two broad categories of topics are not really water tight. Within these two broad categories you may come across some kind of a twilight zone, the kind of topics, that could well be somewhere at the inter section of the two. For convenience, call these topics, “Describe Topics”. While touching upon the current issues, these topics also demand a philosophical and logical insight, analysis and discussion. Examples of such topics are given below:

  • My vision of India in 2001 AD. (1993)
  • Men have failed, let women take over. (1993)
  • Indian society at the cross roads. (1994)
  • The challenges before a civil servant today. (1994)
  • Politics without ethics is a disaster. (1995)
  • Literacy is growing very fast but there is no corresponding growth in education. (1996)
  • New cult of God men : a threat to traditional religions (1996)
  • What we have not learnt during fifty years of independence. (1997)
  • The modern doctor and his patients. (1997)
  • Urbanization is a blessing in disguise. (1997).
  • India's contribution to world wisdom. (1998)
  • Value based science & education. (1999)
  • Why should we be proud of being Indians. (2000)
  • My vision of an ideal world order. (2001)
  • Modern technological education and human values. (2002)
  • How should a civil servant conduct himself. (1993)

We shall briefly indicate with the help of few actual examples of essays asked in the exam as to how points on those topics can be developed which will help in expanding the narrative in our writing.

For Instance: Vikram Grewal's Copy

For Full Copy Click Here

Men have failed, let women take over

  • Status of men vis-a-vis women throughout the ages
  • Nature of duties and responsibilities of both men and women.
  • The achievements and failures of men can be contrasted with those of women.
  • The rise of the modern women in the 20th century- educated, independent and free from economic dependence on men.
  • The speed with which male bastions are being taken over by women e.g, sports, aviation, defense, etc.
  • Analyzing the reasons why women are becoming successful in their way of th
  • The intrinsic nature of woman that makes her more responsive and accommodative to human needs.

Computer: Harbinger of silent revolution

  • Life before the computer and life after computer. A brief intro¬duction.
  • Coming of computer and beginning of changes in work and leisure activities.
  • Brief description of the principles on which computer functions and the possibilities of its capabilities on the basis of this principle.
  • Changes and likely changes in our society due to computers and likely modifications in computer. Expansion and popularity among PC users — both horizontal and vertical dimension.
  • Problems due to computers.
  • Suggested remedies.
  • Conclusion and description of the revolutionary dimension of computers

Ecological consideration need not hamper development

  • Introduction: definition of ecology and development.
  • Importance of ecological balance.
  • Importance of development and its economic aspects.
  • Consequences of ecological neglect with suitable examp
  • Consequences of blind race for development, and its harmful consequence.
  • The best alternative and reason thereof

In the above essays topics you may either take the view in favor or against or you may even strike a balance between the two.

Essay Strategy by:- Vikram Grewal, (AIR 51, CSE 2018)

Analyzing further, we notice that these questions, though issue based are of a broader nature unlike the specificity of the issue-based questions that we saw earlier. The issue based questions are specific and contextual. For instance, the topic ‘Men have failed, let women take over’ may appear apparently similar to ‘The new emerging women power: the ground realities, but both the topics are inherently different. The thrust and emphasis required in answering the two are different.

We Have uploaded Essay copies of Toppers like: Vikram Grewal (AIR 51, CSE 2018), Khushboo Lather, Ankur Kaushik, Mirant Parikh and many more.

Verifying, please be patient.

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