1. Instructions
  2. Section-A
  3. Section-B
  4. Analysis
  5. Essay Keypoints: Chakra vs Charkha
  6. Essay Keypoints: Identity groups


  • Write two essays, 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. Should Indian poor be given ‘universal basic income’?
क्या भारत के गरीबो को 'सार्वत्रिक बुनियादी आय' दी जानी चाहिए?
Context: Next Eco. Survey will focus on this. UPSC has asked economy essays where you've to take a 'yes / no' type stand in 2009, 10, 12, 14 and 2015.

2. Skill development: the critical ingredient for faster, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
कौशल विकास: तेज, सतत और समावेशी आर्थिक विकास का महत्वपूर्ण घटक.

3. Can we become "Modern" without becoming “Western”?
क्या हम 'पाश्चात्य' बने बिना 'आधुनिक' बन सकते है?
Context: Visit of Singapore PM, how they managed to do it within one generation. Death of Lee Kuan Yew in 2015.

4. India: A model of relevance to the globalizing world.
भारत: वैश्वीकृत दुनिया के लिए प्रासंगिकता का एक प्रतिमान.
Context: Melting Pot vs Donald Trump's Anti Migration stand


5. Justice: the first objective in the Preamble of our Constitution.
न्याय: हमारे संविधान की प्रस्तावना का प्रथम उदेश्य.

6. Identity groups: a challenge to Indian Democracy?
पहचान समूह: भारतीय लोकतंत्र के लिए एक चुनौती?
Context: Jat, Maratha, Patel agitations.

7. Mohan with (Sudarshan) Chakra OR Mohan with Charkha- What should be India's priority?
(सुदर्शन) चक्रधर मोहन या चरखाधर मोहन: भारत की प्राथमिकता क्या होनी चाहिए?
Context: Uri Attack

8. Where wisdom is called for, force is of little use.
जहां बुद्धिमत्ता की आवश्यकता हो, वहां बल की उपयोगिता कम है.
Context: One Babu-ji anecdote asked each year since 2013.


2015's Official Essay paper was peculiar in giving 'illusion of options' i.e. You had choice to pick 2 out of 8 essays. But in reality –

  • Entire section "A": was just anecdotes and Babu-ji wisdom/anecdote related topics;
  • Entire section "B": Intermixed themes of [Capitalism and Technology] on one side, and [Morality, Inclusive growth] on the other side.

Following the similar trend, I've designed this mock paper wherein….

Section A
  • Essay no.1 and 2 similar theme that we've to focus on skill development rather subsidies.
Section B
  • Essay no. 5 you'll have to discuss 'social' and 'economic' justice, and same is the base material for identity groups/politics.
  • Essay no. 3, 4 and 7 are related to Indian ethos like Peace, tolerance, Vasudhev Kutumkamb and other values.

Essay Keypoints: Chakra vs Charkha

Context: Modi speeches aftermath of Uri attack, demands for waging war on Pakistan.

Introduction (can start with "quote")

[x_blockquote cite=”Saint Teresa of Calcutta” type=”left”]I will never participate in anti-war demonstration, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there.[/x_blockquote]

  • Saint Teresa advocated peace, yet, understood the inevitability of war at the same time.
  • Even if tiger decides to turn vegetarian, should not remove its fangs lest the poachers get courage. Our "Panchsheel-giri" emboldened Chinese to attack in 1962?
  • ISIS managed to lure Indian youth who had reasonable income and jobs. Bin Laden hailed from a wealthy family. Therefore, wrong to presume if poverty is eliminated, there will be no war.
  • शठे शाठ्यम समाचरेत – Chankaya. Do evil to evil, only then they shall stop. (e.g. "surgical strike")

Charkha necessary

  • War takes away youth and demographic dividend.
  • Countries face gender imbalance, family-breakdown, inflation and economic crisis for atleast a decade after a war is over.
  • Such economic crisis created by Post-WW1's Versailles "PEACE" Treaty gave political power to Hitler => Holocaust, World War 2.
  • Poverty, unemployment breeds feeling of alienation- such people more susceptible to be brainwashed by agents of ISI, ISIS, LWE & secessionism. Eg. Stone pelters in Kashmir.
  • Therefore, "SWADESHI", Sustainable, inclusive development necessary to combat poverty.
  • SWADESHI mode of development- because, if we are dependent on first world aid for poverty, then our war-preparedness may be hampered by whatever preconditions they dictact about controlling nuke/missile development.
  • If India-Pak both are prosperous, then demand for goods, economic ties will strengthen. Then war less likely, because easier to break 'strategic/peace alliances' than 'economic alliances'.

Conclusion (can end with quote)

[x_blockquote cite=”Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit” type=”left”]The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.[/x_blockquote]
Poverty elimination and peace should be the priority of India, but so should be the preparedness for war.

Essay Keypoints: Identity groups


  • Indian: Patel-Jat-Maratha demands for reservation; Assam Bandh by 6 castes that want to be included in ST-list.
  • World: Trump's whole election propaganda that White people are facing all troubles due to Mexican and Black; anti-refugee parties in EU esp. Germany.

Introduction (can start with definition)

  • Definition: Identity group are made up of members of certain social groups based on ethnicity, caste, position, language, gender, sexual preference etc.
  • Purpose: People form such groups to attain empowerment, representation and recognition. Want to recover from previous exclusion and denigration in socio-economic plateau.

They pose Challenge when

Issue Challenges
Linguistic groups demanding economic boycott, separate states, anti-migrant policies:

  • Tensions between Maharastra and Karnataka over the district of Belgaum
  • Anti-Hindi agitation in Maharashtra, Tamilnadu
Ethnic groups
  • Secessionist movement in North Eastern India
  • USA: Voter intimidation by Black Panther party; Germany: Neo-Nazi/White Supremacist/Aryan-Nation type elements opposing migrants.
  • Bangladesh: Hardcore Jihadis murdering bloggers; Pakistan: Persecution of Sikh and Hindus.
Religious groups Too many pages to fill up about Riots, Ghar Wapsi, Love Jihad, Opposition to Triple Talaq, Khalistan etc.
Caste based groups Too many pages to fill up about Mandal Commission, Reservation Politics.
Lacking Tolerance They use the power of myths, cultural symbols and customs to claim superiority over others. Ultimately they become overly sensitive, Oppose authors and film makers- including hooliganism e.g.

  • India: James Laine's Shivaji; Perumal Murugan's Mathorubhagan; Stopping Taslima Nasreen from attending Kolkata Book fair and so on.
  • USA: black groups demanding ban on Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn for the use of 'n-word'.
Internal dialogue denied Not all members of a particular group may be prescribing to all things.
Yet, stereotype image portrayed about the entire identity group. Leads to police brutality, airport check, negative campaign in media and movies.
They keep Breeding
  • Internal leadership struggle: gives birth to new identity groups. Shiv Sena to MNS. Hardik Patel to other splinter groups.
  • Appeasing/Placating one group leads to competition for the socio-economic resources. This gives birth to new identity groups. (e.g. After Jats, Rajputs also demand OBC reservation)

Not always challenge; We need them

  • Voting rights for women, Black civil rights, Protection to LGBT etc. could not have happened, unless those people formed a group to assert their demands.
  • PIL filing NGOs alone can NOT cure all the injustice from the society. Victims themselves have to make their presence known through such groups.
  • In the name of artistic freedom, the jholachhap artists with long hairs and beards will denigrate Indian caste-culture-religion and leaders- IF there are no identity groups to oppose them otherwise.
  • They prevent any specific section from dominating / cornering all socio-economic resources.
  • Deepening of Democracy- When they're involved in political mobilization and peaceful demonstration.
  • When they pursue reformist movements such as anti-liquor campaign, abolition of superstitions etc.
  • In absence of identity group, victims may fall into traps of godmen. Then godmen dictates them whom to vote, thereby gaining criminal immunity from ruling party.


  • Identity groups are part and parcel, necessary ingredients in a democracy.
  • But, they do pose challenge when resort to use of violence.
  • It's the duty of state, society, media to channelize their energies in positive manner.

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.

Visit mrunal.org/essays for more essay topics.