1. Instructions
  2. Section-A
  3. Section-B
  4. Essay-hints / Points to Consider
    1. #1: Literature and humane society
    2. #5: Modern Educator’s role


  • Write two eassys, choosing one from each of the following sections A and B in about 1000-1200 words each (2 x 125 = 250 marks)
  • Word limit, as specified, should be adhered to.
  • Any page or portion of the page left blank, must be struck off clearly.
  • The essay must be written in the medium authorized in the admission certificate which must be stated clearly on the cover of this question-cum-answer (QCA) booklet in the space provided. No marks will be given for answers written in medium other than authorized one.


1) There is no surer foundation for a humane society than cultivating a taste for literature among its adolescents.
मानवीय/दयाशील समाज की स्थापना के लिए, किशोरों में साहित्य-प्रेम के उपार्जन से अधिक विश्वस्त आधार कोई नहीं हैं.

2) Climate: A common good, belonging to all and meant for all.
जलवायु: एक सार्वजनिक माल, जो सभी का है, और सभी के लिए मायने रखता है.
(Quote: Pope Francis, Context: India to ratify Paris Treaty on 2nd October)

3) The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.
स्वतंत्रता की लागत दमन की कीमत से कम है.
(Context: Police brutality against the African-American in USA)

4) Democracy, good governance and modernity can’t be imported from outside a country.
लोकतंत्र, सुशासन और आधुनिकता को देश के बाहर से आयात नहीं किया जा सकता।


5) The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
आधुनिक शिक्षक का कार्य जंगलों की कटौती नहीं, परन्तु रेगिस्तान की सिंचाई करना है.
(Quote: C.S.Lewis, Context: New Education Policy; and since last two mains continuously topics related to youth, education, innovation.)

6) The only place where ‘success’ comes before ‘work’ is dictionary.
केवल (अंग्रेजी) शब्दकोश ही ऐसी जगह है, जहां ‘सफलता’ ‘काम” से पहले आती है.
(Context: Since last two Mains at least one motivational quote related to work, management etc.)

7) Peace cannot be kept by force but can be achieved only by mutual-understanding.
बल नही केवल आपसी समझ से ही शान्ति को स्थापित रखा जा सकता है.
(Quote: Einstein, Context: Uri Attack)

8) Root cause of our social and national degradation is our treatment of women.
महिलाओ के प्रति हमारा व्यवहार हमारी सामाजिक और राष्ट्रीय गिरावट का मूल कारण है.
(Quote: Swami Vivekanand, Context: Daily news, Movie “Pink”; since last 3 Mains, no Essay on women, so it might end up as backbreaking moveTM to Current-Affairs as in CSAT-2016!)

Essay-hints / Points to Consider

Due to paucity of time, I’m unable to prepare hints/brainstorm points for all eight essays but you’re most of welcome to put them in the comment section. The good ones will be added back in this article.

#1: Literature and humane society

  • How can literature (reading/writing) as a ‘hobby’ make a person ‘humanist’?
  • Are there any age-appropriate novels/ poems that can help teenagers to develop a ‘humane’ outlook?
Harry Potter (J.K.Rowling) Racial struggle between pure-blood wizards vs. others.
Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) Post-apocalyptic nation where “Union” government itself organizes reality show cum ‘gladiator’ type matches among 12 states. Protagonist is a girl from coal-mining area who has seen poverty, hunger and child labour throughout her life, and winning such match would help her escape from all of it.
Charlie and Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket) plot similar to hunger games- young boy wants to win a lottery based competition to help his poor family.

[x_alert heading=”Caution” type=”danger”]Shouldn’t attempt this essay, if your knowledge of literature is confined to above stated Hollywood blockbusters (or to the titles prescribed in your literature optional subject). You must narrate classical titles as well- to connect with the uncle-ji, babu-ji demography of examiners! [/x_alert]

For example:
To kill a mocking bird (Harper Lee): Through the eyes of Scout Finch, you learn about her father Atticus Finch, an attorney who tries to defend the innocence of a black man unjustly accused of rape in a racially prejudiced town in USA of 1930s.
Similarly Animal farm,1984, Diary of a young girl, Les Miserable, Tale of Two cities; Charlotte’s Web, Fahrenheit 451, Old man and the sea; Plays of Shakespeare; Short stories of Tagore, Premchand et al.

[x_alert heading=”Caution” type=”danger”]When you cite example of a novel- it should not merely narrate the plot- but rather highlight the values that will imbibe humane outlook in its reader.[/x_alert]

  • Doesn’t school syllabus already have poems, short stories of Tagore, Prem-chand et al? Has it cultivated the appreciation of literature among teens? or students merely merely mugging up points to pass exam?

[x_alert heading=”Caution” type=”danger”]Focus your Essay around how literature helps making a person humane. Don’t digress too much bashing the present education system or the ills/intolerance in the society or how students love movies and video games more.[/x_alert]

  • In highschool, apart from prescribing supplementary reading list, what else can be done to make teenagers like literature? What are the pros and cons of just showing the hollywood / Bollywood movies based on novels?
  • Churchill won Nobel for literature (1953) for his six volume history on 2nd world war. Vajpayee- a poet and a humane prime minister. Do you know any other examples of famous personalities with fondness for literature?
  • Isn’t it too ‘extreme’ to say there is no other way to develop humane society than literature? Shouldn’t we give equal emphasis to NCC, NSS, Sports, Painting, Drama etc.?
  • Isn’t it too ‘extreme’ to believe that literature will automatically lead to humane society? The French are known as connoisseurs and patrons of art and literature, yet (some/many of them) demanding ban on ‘burkini’!

[x_alert heading=”Caution” type=”danger”]Essay should end on positive note/ conclusion- rather than focusing mainly that it’s too extreme to say/believe xyz![/x_alert]

#5: Modern Educator’s role

You’ve to focus on the contrasting roles: “cutting forest” vs. “irrigating desert”:

Theme: Cutting Forest

We cut forest to start farming / plantation, where prime motive is ‘mass-production’ of economic commodity with “uniform” quality. What will happen If educator teaches in this style?

  • Education shapes our sense of morality, so, isn’t it desirable to have uniform morality by cutting jungle?
  • Isn’t it desirable to have “uniform” quality in certain trades such as accountancy and civil engineering?
  • Cutting jungle means cutting over grown vegetation to make the land clean, barren, naked and exposed. Then, isn’t this required sometimes? e.g. Narration of (original) history – the religious persecutions, massacres and atrocities.
  • Will teacher fortify the youth mind against creativity, emotions and empathy. Will student become “all head, no heart”?
  • Student trained for uniformity and order – Will he fight against ill-practices by society and government?
  • Can we blame teachers of Nazi soldiers and ISIS terrorists?

Theme: Irrigating desert:

Desert irrigation (without subsequent farming or plantation) may lead to growth of any variety of plants. Not necessarily that all plants will be uniform, not necessarily that all plants will be of economic value. What will happen If educator teaches in this style?

  • Moisture reduces dryness. Will students become less apathetic and cynical towards life?
  • Will it encourage students to take of liberal arts and humanities subjects after highschool? Is this desirable for current economy?
  • If educator gives only water (=ideas?), then student’s mind (=desert?) will grow whatever seeds fall from self-reflection, parents, society, movies, internet? Is this desirable? At what stage- school or college?
  • What safeguards should the teacher take while irrigating the desert – to ensure his students…
    • don’t start glamorizing drug, sex, hippi-culture, anarchy, sedition and LWE?
    • don’t criticize everything under the sun as theH**** columnists.
    • don’t protest against everything above the earth at Jantar-Mantar.
  • Do you know any teacher who ‘irrigated’ minds of his student? Aristotle to Alexander, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to Vivekanda, Chanakya to Chandragupta?

[x_alert heading=”Caution” type=”danger”]Personal glory of teacher (in freedom struggle / scientific discovery) is less irrelevant, because the essay topic here is about nurturing student.[/x_alert]

  • Is the present system conductive for teacher to work like this?- when
    • syllabus is prescribed by government.
    • institutes lack the instruments and infrastructure to pursue R&D/creativity.
    • students themselves want ‘exam-oriented’ material instead of studying DD Basu?

[x_alert heading=”Caution” type=”danger”]Focus your essay on educator’s role. Don’t digress too much on the ills of society as a result of faulty education system or the nuisance of coaching factories. [/x_alert]

Visit mrunal.org/essays for more essay topics.