[Download] Essay 2013 Question Paper of UPSC Civil Service Mains

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  1. Essay Paper 2013 UPSC Mains
  2. 2013 vs 2012 Paper

Essay Paper 2013 UPSC Mains

Write an essay on any one of the following topics, in not more than 2500 words. (250 marks)

  1. Be the change you want to see in others (Gandhi)
  2. Is the Colonial mentality hindering India’s Success?
  3. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) along with GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) would be the right indices for judging the wellbeing of a country
  4. Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation.

Courtesy: Mr.Abhi Kapoor

  • @Mains-Players: which essay did you write and what points did you include in it? (Reply after Mains is over.)
  • @Non-Mains 2013 players: Which essay would you write and what points will you include in it? (You may post comment right now!)

Want to see Hindi version of Essay Titles? Click on following


click me to enlarge

2013 vs 2012 Paper

No word limit mentioned.they’ve specifically instructed “Not more than 2500” words
Attempt any one out of four essays.Same. Attempt one out of four essays.Despite speculation that more than one essay will be asked.
200 mark| 3 hours250 marks | 3 hours (which you already know)
Asked essay about Gandhi’s idea on ‘Swadhinata’, ‘Swaraj’ and ‘Dharmarajya’, and their contemporary relevance to Indian democracy.Gandhi Prem continues: Be the change you want to see in others.
Science vs. MysticismSci.Tech=Growth + security for nation.
Economy on Economy: PPP= Boon / bane?Love for economy continues: GDP + Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH)
women related essay asked
  • No, despite wide speculations due to frequent news of crime against women.
  • Similarly, nothing on Criminalization of politics, Indo-China, Indo-Pak, elections, Mangalyaan, Chess, Bharat Ratna etc.
  • However, to drag the speculation non-seriously: During Bhutan elections (July 2013), most newspapers mentioned about its “Gross National Happiness (GNH)”. So examiner must have got inspiration from there to ask essay on GDP vs GDH.
Three essays are in ‘question’ format- requiring you to take a ‘stand’. Observe

  1. Is the criticism that the ‘Public-Private-Partnership’ (PPP) model for development is more of a bane than a boon in the Indian context, justified?
  2. Science and Mysticism: Are they compatible?
  3. Managing work and home – is the Indian working woman getting a fair deal?
Only one essay in ‘question’ format:Is the Colonial mentality hindering India’s Success?

To download all the Essay papers- from 1993 upto the latest 2014 exam, click me.

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha

145 Comments on “[Download] Essay 2013 Question Paper of UPSC Civil Service Mains”

  1. The 2012 players certainly at advantage .. repetitive quests in 2013. great

    1. Though UPSC again asked on Gandhi and Economy, but topics and themes are different. One would need separate set of points to handle these essay. so, hardly any advantage to senior players from 2012.

  2. i think i would have written 4th one
    science and technology is panacea for growth and security of india.
    there is so much to write about it.

    1. that is very problem of the topic …organisation is bit tricky in this topic,secondly few students with better structure and organisation will raise the standard for getting moderate marks..

  3. I would go for the 3rd one

    We should focus on not just Quantitative indicators as a
    developing nation but also go for Qualitative improvement
    of the People of India….

    That would be the right definition of Human Development….

  4. @mrunal bhai they allowed question papers to be taken home? I see that u have posted a scanned copy

    1. They have attached an extra copy with the question cum answer sheet so that we can take the same at home.

  5. i would have gone for the 4th one..science and tech..students from science background like b.tech have a good advantage on this issue..u can start by saying that 21st century is the age of information and technology.

  6. But there is a catch in 4th topic…most of us have written it from India perspective but the topic is “…panacea for the growth and security of the nation.” :(

    1. whts wrong in writing from india perspective??????? it is asked the nation which obviously refers to our country… not a nation… so there is nothing wrong in writing from an indian perspective…

      1. ya dude after giving some broader perspective it was to be told from indian perspective. there is no wrong in it.

      2. You exactly said it dude.. People simply try to scare you after exams are over in the centre. Anshul, don’t fall into such traps.. :)

      3. Definitely we can write about India but I personally think that India, as a nation, hasn’t done much in the field of S&T so that it could have led to the growth of India or towards the security of the nation. Regarding growth, we should not forget big players like USA, Germany, Japan. For them S&T is one of the main components through which they are driving their economy in a big way and S&T is also . Remember every now and then, we have to import technological equipments from some of these developed countries. e.g. in the field of nuclear energy, we are getting our nuclear reactor through France and US. Regarding security of the nation also, the same thing applies. We are getting almost all of our security apparatus from the developed world and Even if we are making some of them on our own, its only possible by some kind of assistance from these developed countries. Definitely, we are moving forward in the direction of indigenization of technology but a lot of miles have to be covered before we can really say S&T is leading to growth and security of our nation.

  7. Can we take the question paper home

  8. 4th topic is so much wide that it became hard to confine it in 3 hours and after writing so many issues, some issues still left untouched. neither it could be organised in manner as was planned in the outline framework

  9. i hope you are correct..but the problem is some have written it from other country’s perspective as well…so they will have a broader dimension..
    P.S.: I have also written from India perspective only…

    1. Me too..After all, genuine ideas and the way you wrote matters.. Don’t worry man. :)

  10. Why is essay of 250 marks?
    Is it a typo?
    In the notification of CS 2013 they have mentioned that essay will be of 200 Marks.

    1. Later they brought a change through another notification

  11. 4th essay…indian constitution in FDs..scientific temper

    growth is determined by several factors.. like agriculture,industry,service sector,rural problems,urban problems,poverty eradication,education,health related problems,pri linkages,banking system,disaster mmgt,sustainable dev,.enviroment problems,etc…in all areas we can use science and tec for inclusive growth egs…online rti,e-autions,e books…e governance,portals,single window clearance of projects,…in planning from panchayats to centre…aadhar project,cash transfer,…e election for 100 % turnout…e parliament,court for speedy disposal of case…in all ministries..e medical…online confrences.


    SECURITY — cyber security..interlinkages btwn all securites agencies,global information of tracking of terrorist and nuclear material,better arms and missiles for all defence forces,bitcoins for stopping finance of terrorist,satellites and submarines etc…recent eg of ins vikramaditya ,viraat etc..moon and mars mission ..

    plz let me know if i am wrong..thanks

    1. security related aspects doesnt mean internal and external security issues alone..u can include dimensions like food security, energy security, disaster management and so on

  12. I attempted GDP vs GDH.points included: Economic growth,development, human development, various components of Human development(poverty and inequality,education,health etc. other aspects of development such as women empowerment, environmental aspect i.e sustainable growth. conclude with human development(HDI)a more balanced approach than 2 extremes GDP & GDH.

  13. Pls reply me…can we take away the question paper to home

  14. even we can historic thins…industrial rev leds to colonalism..advacement of europe and us due to science and tec..british rule over india also due to modern arms,telegram etc..

  15. picked up 4th S&T good fodder material. started j Nehru vision. then highlighted importance by SRISHTI then went to growth gdp & hdi then to security realms. expecting above 100. all the best.

  16. Mrunal sir can you plz tell me ,what points should be covered in 2nd question.as Iam interested in writing that question and I have grip on it

  17. S n t in admn. Is it possible to implement programs

    N policies by Using. IT. all the way? Since india is a nation,where majarity r illiterate living In villages without electricity n other necessary infrastructure facilities etc. so it can’t b panacea.
    But in this globalised era its not choice but to adapt,adopt to s n t.

  18. I will go for the 1st one. Because there is lot share about our views, even we can write from the birth of gandhi to till today. Gandhi perception, his ideology, his determination towards his aim. I can also use a lot of cotations where needed because somewhere his popular in our daily life. At last gandhi’s contribution rule whole of india’s struggle for freedom this whole helps me to justify the given sentence.

    1. dude it was nothing to do with gandhi ji in particular
      Its more like a philosophical topic!!!

  19. Are they allowing to take the question papers home?

  20. no one wrote 2nd…. I wrote it :( !!! is it so dangerous ?

    1. Are they allowing to take the question papers home?

    2. No topic is ever dangerous .

  21. As a science graduate would have gone for 4th one obviously but will try to think on 2nd one .

    Points on which i would have focused
    1.Show of power and wealth in public life like gundas,politicians,corporators etc.
    2.Corruption–Absolute obidience demanded from public servants hinder wistle blowers chance of bring corruption to light .
    3.Chalta hai atitude towards lack of civil aminities.
    4. Lack of respect for national wealth like forest,minerals,utilities …e.g. electricity pilferage.
    5.Sense of distrust towards authority thinking they are there to exploit the poor .
    6.Emulating western public service programs without completely converting to suit indian requirement and dynamics . example –direct cash to poor from Brazil(even though not developed still far above India in average GDP etc). and Social security cards from America (NOW UID in limbo after order by Superem Court)
    7.Accepting many global demands from WTO to lower out social spending which is still lower than given out by UK on National Health Service etc.

    I agree in first glance all the points raised here might look i am writing a right wing esaay but these are the point i can come up with right now.

  22. Thank you posting essay paper. Can you post all the papers including compulsory papers ( Hindi & English )once these exams are over.

  23. I wrote 4th one, nd also added some points frm mrunals snt article. Thnx mrunal.

  24. The examiner must have watched the Movie ‘The Lunch Box’.. Tats y GDP Vs GDH LoL..

  25. Thanks for posting Essay paper. Can you post all the papers including compulsory papers like English and Hindi. Regards

  26. its good topic. there was a lot TO RIGHT.
    COLONIALISM, INDIA UNDER COLONIAL GOVT, colonial economic policy of exploitation, india’s forein trade policy since independence, sluggished growth of India’s manufacturing sector, india’s trade balance, problems that india facing due to this, govt’s initiative to overcome this such as New manufacturing policy, national skill development programme…

    kindly let me know whether i covered points precisely or not?

    1. Bhai essay was on colonial mentality n not colonialism. Boss upsc is always tricky.

  27. I wrote second one….the sequence was
    The era of british colonialism in india
    political mobilisation till 1920
    then process of emancipation of depressed people
    british strategy to impose colonialism like racial discrimination etc
    then at independence our stance towards planning and constitutional framework
    non alignment strategy
    parameters of success in contemporary scene
    atttitude of middle class
    importance to english..bpo industries..fairness creams
    bureaucratic setup maibaap orientation
    reforms taken out
    so inspite of 200 yr long struggle we have developed ourselves..though some problems..we trying to remove

    (constructive feedback welcome)

    1. Essay is in the form of argument…so both side should have included right…the points above support….but there should be some negating argument like spread of education, democrats estd, rule of law, science knowledge, etc. n then taking balance conclusion.

  28. I would have opted for GDP+GNH one.
    Main content is as listed.

    breif expalanation of GDP/GNH/HDI.
    why we need these Indices from countries perspective
    a dimension with on current sitaution of countried like eu countried north america who are on top of indexes
    then south east asian and african countries who are bottom.
    GNH example for bhutan and then with example i would argue that GDP + GNH may upto some extend can be good to judge country’s well being but not completely.

    Conclusion – to include gdp+ HDi+ gnh for measuring .

  29. @DEB But i think it can be express in number of dimension without restricting in only philosophical.

  30. i would have opted essay topic number-3,i.e gdp along with gnh.
    reason is – if anyone would have studied indian economy from ramesh singh’s book(which is absolutely MUST for indian economy,both from prelims and mains point of view),that person would have got loads of points for the essay,as a complete chapter is dedicated on this topic.
    and finally thanks to mrunal sir for uploading this article,from this one can conclude,how important economy subject is,as almost in every year there was one topic related to economy.

  31. Seriously speaking now a days topics are simple , but it is difficult to write decently on Such topic , so variation should be more in essay marks.

  32. Yup Marudavanan i too thought the same .For 3 we could have wrote some thing on growth development quantative and qualitative indicators

  33. Yup Marudavanan i too thought the same .For 3 we could have wrote some thing on growth development quantitative and qualitative indicators

  34. Would have gone for the 2nd one..history being my optional and just saw the video of raghuram rajan talking about the same…would have included his positives and not negatives..

  35. Hi mrunal,
    Can you please suggest me how to choose any topic in essay paper. For example i am from science background and i don’t know extensively about gandhiji to write an essay as asked in Q1,so on.. Is it better to choose easy topics or hard once but involving technical . ?

    Please reply. Thanks

    1. hey dude..
      stick with topics that u r comfortable with and which you can write a lot about. Since you are from science background u will have hell lot of things to write about snt. whereever u look, u will be seeing SnT only..so relate that with growth and security aspects of he nation..Voila!! u will be writing for more than 20 pages..
      and dont listen to those crappy comments about intellectual people who went for tough topics thinking that every tom, dick and harry is writing SnT and I’ll stand out by writing something out of the world. Better play safe and try to assure urself of minimum marks in essay- ie-50%.
      Have a broad perspective and include various dimensions while writing an essay. Read UPSC notification about what they expect from essay. ” you will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.” From my personal experience, you will get 50% marks if you address all the dimensions mentioned in the essay statement. Remember that you are not going to write an academic or research paper. U r expected to be a ‘glorified stenographer’. So write in simple, lucid language with appropriate government jargons such as inclusiveness, participatory, dovetailing, streamlining,people-centric and so on. Go through government/plan documents or pib articles to get a feel.

      1. Good suggestions.tnx

    2. I am from science background, junior researcher by profession but I chose first topic as I think this topic can reflect my personality. So I personally don’t think that background matters, it is all about the fodder material you have for any topic and the understanding. Good luck

  36. mrunal ji i salute u for putting the papers faster than others

  37. being a economics student i’ll go for the 3rd topic: GDP and GDH .I Have a good concepts to analyze this topic …guys can u give me some suggestion on the 2nd topic:colonial mentality

  38. Would definitely have gone 4 science and technology,

  39. Thank u very much mrunalji for putting us in update mode with ur site which s helping many aspirents as success manthra

  40. Thank you mrunal ji..its very helpful.

  41. Hi mrunal….most of the people are writing on 4th topic….
    My question is
    1. Does opting for another essay gives any advantage?
    2. If we do write on 4th one….how do we ensure we get good marks…
    Do we write some unique points…Bcoz chances are we may write similar points like others…

    I would have taken gandhiji quote – be the change you want to be…

    – I look at it as responsibility/duty before right….so will try to introduce this with some constitution related stuff…
    – since Nobel winner mr Obama highlighted this many times in his speech…modern day relevance and how
    – will explain principle behind this quote and how it can be solution for many current problems
    – hence would include all the current problems – social, economical, political, historical, cultural, enviornmental etc.
    – how how can we introduce changes to solve these problems with many examples..
    – conclude with thought that change is permanent – so instead of violent revolution we can counter it by silent revolution by being the change

  42. English paper is for qualifying or they include marks in total?

    1. its just a qualifying paper…will not be counted in total marks

  43. I want to ask 2 things:-
    i) can we write essay in hindi, while remaining other papers in English?
    ii) does selection of topic also matters ? or is it just the content and style of presentation?

    1. pls rly to this comment

    2. I) NO
      II) topic does not matter . Content and Style does .

  44. I wuld hv optd d 4th one. It includes a wide range of perspectives, points, etc. Though 3rd one is also gud. Bt being a computer science student its much better to write on 4th one :)

  45. Sir one question.
    wats d job profile of district military welfare officer? Just a short brief if u cn. Plz.

  46. Uploaded compulsory English paper: Click ME
    from there, we can add two more essays (both compulsory)
    1. We Indians are hypocrites.
    2. Fitness and healthcare — latest fad in urban India.

  47. I Just prefer 1st topic
    “Be the change You want to see in others”.

    On introduction part i Will little introduce the definition of satyagraha that Ghandi followed
    By self suffering we can change the minds of opponent.etc

    Body part: Probabally we all know that train problem in mathametics if we are moving in train and what we see through window that all trees are moving.reason we think we are constant. So,we need to see any thing that we put ourselves constant and we will judge them that weather right or wrong, criticize them.
    But fact is that we are also indulging in the scene.So, kindly we need to start analyzing with ourselves that weather i am right or wrong that.then we get conclusion on the topic.
    2. We know the concept of leadership that inspires others.when u think u are leader then u may inspire others.
    3. The mirror is the best example that if see in front of mirror with a smile u ll receive the same reflection, like anger it reflects the same.

    Conclusion: As we are part of society we need see drastic change in society means stick to truth, environment friendly,etc.. that may reflect on others that leads to changing themselves.

    My first assignment in my life , if any wrongs Or suggestions let me know i ll change by myself.

  48. Hella easy paper ! All 4 topics are doable . Candidates must have enjoyed writing this one .

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