[Download] UPSC Mains-2018 Essay Paper, Including Topicwise last 26 YEARS Essay Question Papers (1993-2018)

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  1. Instructions
  2. Section-A: 125 Marks
  3. Section-B: 125 Marks
  4. Analysis of Essay-2018 Paper
  5. Essay-list: Topic wise last 26 years (1993-2018)
    1. 1) India: Democracy, administration, Society, culture
    2. 2) Economy, Development
    3. 3) Education
    4. 4) Quote based, Philosophy, Ethics
    5. 5) Women empowerment
    6. 6) International issues, Internal Security
    7. 7) Science-Technology

Instructions

  • On 28th September 2018, UPSC conducted the Essay paper for the civil services mains examination. Total Marks: 250 marks, Time duration: 3 hours.
  • 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.
  • Word limit, as specified, should be adhered to.
  • Any page or portion of the page left blank, must be struck off clearly.

Section-A: 125 Marks

Write any one of the following essay in 1000-1200 words (125 marks)

  1. Alternative technologies for a climate change resilient India. जलवायु परिवर्तन के प्रति सुनम्य भारत हेतु वैकल्पिक तकनीके.
  2. A good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. एक अच्छा जीवन प्रेम से प्रेरित तथा ज्ञान से संचालित होता है.
  3. Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere. कही पर गरीबी, हर जगह की समृद्धि के लिए खतरा है.
  4. Management of Indian border dispute is a complex task. भारत के सीमा विवादों का प्रबंधन – एक जटिल कार्य.

Section-B: 125 Marks

Write any one of the following essay in 1000-1200 words (125 marks)

  1. Customary morality cannot be a guide to modem file. रूढिगत नैतिकता आधुनिक जीवन का मार्गदर्शक नहीं हो सकती है.
  2. ‘The past’ is a permanent dimension of human consciousness and values. ‘अतीत’ मानवीय चेतना तथा मूल्यों का एक स्थायी आयाम है.
  3. A people that values its privileges above its principles loses both जो समाज अपने सिद्धांतो के ऊपर अपने विशेशाधिकारो को महत्त्व देता है, वह दोनों से हाथ धो बेठता है.
  4. Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it. यथार्थ आदर्श के अनुरूप नहीं होता है, बल्कि उसकी पुष्टि करता है.

Which essay did you attempt or would have attempted? Share your major keypoints in the comments section!

Analysis of Essay-2018 Paper

UPSC Mains-2018 ESSAY PAPER

Essay and GS In recent years Essay-2018
Since 2014: Total 8 essay topics divided equally in two sections and you’ve to write one essay from each section System continued
In 2014 & 2015 also, UPSC had devoted asked good number of quotations but they were of pedestrian / school-level quotes such as “with great power comes great responsibility, words sharper than sword, lending hands better than giving dole, education without values…” Section-B’s philosophical quotations are tough, unique and unprecedented compared to earlier years.
– 2016, 2017 continuously asked about federalism. Nothing.
– 2016, 2017 continuously asked about cyberspace and social media. Nothing.
Fear of technology – 2015: Technology cannot replace manpower. – 2016: 1) Cyberspace- blessing/Curse? 2) Digital economy creates inequality? – 2017: “social media is a selfish medium” Nothing
– 2016, 2017 continuously asked about gender issues. Nothing directly. However, you could connect the “people that values its privileges above its principles loses both” essay with the gender judgements on Triple Talaq and Adultery Decriminalization.
Fear of capitalism, need for inclusivity – 2015: (1) Can capitalism bring inclusive growth? (2) Crisis faced in India – moral or economic. – 2016: (1) Near jobless growth: in India An anomaly or an outcome of economic reforms. (2) Digital economy: A leveler or a source of economic inequality. – 2017: Agriculture can’t provide subsistence to majority of the farmers. Fear continues: – Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere. -2018

Do you see any other patterns or connections with current affairs? Do share in the comments section!

Essay-list: Topic wise last 26 years (1993-2018)

Each year, along with essay paper, I also upload topicwise compilation of all essays asked since 1993. However, this time, I’ve further refined the internal classification of the topics. Here it goes:

1 India: Democracy, administration, Society, culture

1.1 India Since Independence

  • Is the Colonial mentality hindering India’s Success? -2013
  • In the context of Gandhiji’s views on the matter, explore, on an evolutionary scale, the terms ‘Swadhinata’, ‘Swaraj’ and ‘Dharmarajya’. Critically comment on their contemporary relevance to Indian democracy -2012
  • Dreams which should not let India sleep. -2015
  • Why should we be proud of being Indians? -2000
  • Whither Indian democracy? -1995
  • How far has democracy in India delivered the goods? -2003
  • What we have not learnt during fifty years of independence. -1997
  • What have we gained from our democratic set-up? -2001
  • My vision of India in 2001 a.d. -1993

1.2 Federalism, Decentralization

  • Impact of the new economic measures on fiscal ties between the union and states in India. -2017
  • Water disputes between States in federal India. -2016
  • Cooperative federalism : Myth or reality. -2016
  • Creation of smaller states and the consequent administrative, economic and developmental implication -2011
  • Evaluation of panchayati raj system in India from the point of view of eradication of power to people. -2007
  • Water resources should be under the control of the central government. -2004
  • The language problem in India: its past, present and prospects. -1998

1.3 Administration

  • How should a civil servant conduct himself? -2003
  • Politics without ethics is a disaster. -1995
  • The VIP cult is a bane of Indian democracy -1996
  • Need for transparency in public administration -1996
  • The country’s need for a better disaster management system. -2000
  • Politics, bureaucracy and business – fatal triangle. -1994

1.4 Judiciary

  • We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws. -2017
  • Justice must reach the poor -2005
  • Judicial activism and Indian democracy. -2004
  • Judicial activism. -1997

1.5 Poverty, Social Justice

  • The focus of health care is increasingly getting skewed towards the ‘haves’ of our society. -2009
  • Food security for sustainable national development -2005
  • Reservation, politics and empowerment. -1999

1.6 Indian Society, Culture and Values

  • A people that values its privileges above its principles loses both. -2018
  • Indian culture today: a myth or a reality? -2000
  • Modernism and our traditional socio-ethical values. -2000
  • The composite culture of India. -1998
  • The Indian society at the crossroads. -1994
  • From traditional Indian philanthropy to the gates-buffet model-a natural progression or a paradigm shift? -2010
  • New cults and godmen: a threat to traditional religion -1996

1.7 Media, TV & Cinema

  • Responsibility of media in a democracy. -2002
  • Role of media in good governance -2008
  • Does Indian cinema shape our popular culture or merely reflect it? -2011
  • How has satellite television brought about cultural change in Indian mindsets? -2007
  • Is sting operation an invasion on privacy? -2014
  • Mass media and cultural invasion. -1999
  • The misinterpretation and misuse of freedom in India. -1998

2 Economy, Development

2.1 Growth vs Development

  • Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere. -2018
  • Digital economy: A leveller or a source of economic inequality. -2016
  • Innovation is the key determinant of economic growth and social welfare. -2016
  • Near jobless growth in India: An anomaly or an outcome of economic reforms. -2016
  • Crisis faced in India – moral or economic. -2015
  • Was it the policy paralysis or the paralysis of implementation which slowed the growth of our country? -2014
  • GDP (Gross Domestic Product) along with GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) would be the right indices for judging the wellbeing of a country-2013
  • Can capitalism bring inclusive growth? -2015
  • Resource management in the Indian context. -1999
  • Economic growth without distributive justice is bound to breed violence. -1993

2.2 Environment vs Development

  • Alternative technologies for a climate change resilient India. -2018
  • Should a moratorium be imposed on all fresh mining in tribal areas of the country? -2010
  • Urbanisation and its hazards -2008
  • Protection of ecology and environment is essential for sustained economic development. -2006
  • Urbanization is a blessing in disguise. -1997
  • Ecological considerations need not hamper development. -1993

2.3 MNCs

  • Globalization would finish small-scale industries in India. -2006
  • Multinational corporations – saviours or saboteurs -1994
  • Special economic zone: boon or bane -2008
  • 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 ?-2012

2.4 Sectors of Economy

  • Farming has lost the ability to be a source of subsistence for majority of farmers in India. -2017
  • BPO boom in India. -2007
  • Tourism: Can this be the next big thing for India? -2014
  • Are our traditional handicrafts doomed to a slow death? -2009

3 Education

3.1 Values in Education

  • Destiny of a nation is shaped in its classrooms. -2017
  • Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man more clever devil-2015
  • Independent thinking should be encouraged right form the childhood. -2007
  • Are the standardized tests good measure of academic ability or progress? -2014
  • Irrelevance of the classroom. -2001
  • Is the growing level of competition good for the youth? -2014
  • Literacy is growing very fast, but there is no corresponding growth in education. -1996
  • Is an egalitarian society possible by educating the masses ? -2008
  • What is real education? -2005

3.2 Scheme implementation

  • “Education for all” campaign in India: myth or reality. -2006
  • Restructuring of Indian education system. -1995

3.3 Higher education

  • Privatization of higher education in India. -2002
  • Credit – based higher education system – status , opportunities and challenges -2011

4 Quote based, Philosophy, Ethics

4.1 Character, Honesty, Ethics

  • Customary morality cannot be a guide to modem file. -2018
  • We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws. -2017
  • Need brings greed, if greed increases it spoils breed. -2016
  • Character of an institution is reflected in its leader. -2015
  • With greater power comes greater responsibility. -2014
  • Words are sharper than the two-edged sword. -2014
  • Attitude makes, habit makes character and character makes a man. -2007
  • He would reigns within himself and folds his passions and desires and fears is more than a king. -1993

4.2 Knowledge

  • ‘The past’ is a permanent dimension of human consciousness and values. -2018
  • A good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. -2018
  • There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. -2003
  • Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the lifeblood of civilisation. -1995

4.3 Compassion

  • Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. -2017
  • Compassion is the basic of all morality of the world -1993
  • Lending hands to someone is better than giving a dole. -2015
  • Be the change you want to see in others (Gandhi)-2013

4.4 Truth and reality

  • Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it. -2018
  • Truth is lived, not taught -1996
  • When money speaks, the truth is silent. -1995
  • Search for truth can only be a spiritual problem. -2002

4.5 Youth, Discipline

  • Discipline means success, anarchy means ruin -2008
  • Youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle, old age a regret -1994
  • If youth knew, if age could. -2002
  • Youth culture today. -1999
  • Fifty Golds in Olympics: Can this be a reality for India? -2014

4.6 Towards excellence

  • Quick but steady wins the race. -2015
  • Useless life is an early death. -1994
  • Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds. -1995
  • The paths of glory lead but to the grave. -2002
  • The pursuit of excellence. -2001

5 Women empowerment

5.1 @National Politics

  • Greater political power alone will not improve women’s plight. -1997
  • Women’s reservation bill would usher in empowerment for women in India. -2006
  • The new emerging women power: the ground realities. -1995

5.2 @World / Quote type

  • If women ruled the world -2005
  • The hand that rocks the cradle -2005

5.3 Empowerment overall

  • Fulfilment of ‘new woman’ in India is a myth. -2017
  • If development is not engendered, it is endangered. -2016
  • Whither women’s emancipation? -2004
  • Empowerment alone cannot help our women. -2001
  • Women empowerment: challenges and prospects. -1999

5.4 Compared to men

  • Woman is god’s best creation. -1998
  • Men have failed: let women take over. -1993
  • Managing work and home – is the Indian working woman getting a fair deal ?-2012

6 International issues, Internal Security

6.1 Globalization

  • Geography may remain the same ; history need not. -2010
  • Modernisation and westernisation are not identical concepts. -1994
  • ‘globalization’ vs. ‘nationalism’ -2009
  • National identity and patriotism -2008
  • Globalizations and its impact on Indian culture. -2004
  • The masks of new imperialism. -2003
  • As civilization advances culture declines. -2003
  • The implications of globalization for India. -2000
  • My vision of an ideal world order. -2001
  • India’s contribution to world wisdom. -1998
  • The world of the twenty-first century. -1998
  • Preparedness of our society for India’s global leadership role. -2010

6.2 International Org./ Bilateral

  • Has the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) lost its relevance in a multipolar world ? -2017
  • Restructuring of UNO reflect present realities -1996
  • The global order: political and economic -1993
  • India’s role in promoting ASEAN co-operation. -2004
  • Importance of Indo-US nuclear agreement -2006

6.3 Security

  • Management of Indian border dispute is a complex task. -2018
  • In the Indian context , both human intelligence and technical intelligence are crucial in combating terrorism -2011
  • Are we a ‘soft’ state ? -2009
  • Good fences make good neighbours -2009
  • Is autonomy the best answer to combat balkanization? -2007
  • Terrorism and world peace -2005
  • True religion cannot be misused. -1997

7 Science-Technology

7.1 Science and Religion

  • Spirituality and scientific temper. -2003
  • Science and Mysticism : Are they compatible ?-2012

7.2 Science and Education

  • Modern technological education and human values. -2002
  • Value-based science and education. -1999
  • The march of science and the erosion of human values. -2001

7.3 Computer and internet

  • ‘Social media’ is inherently a selfish medium. -2017
  • Cyberspace and Internet : Blessing or curse to the human civilization in the long run -2016
  • Increasing computerization would lead to the creation of a dehumanized society. -2006
  • The cyberworld: its charms and challenges. -2000
  • Computer: the harbinger of silent revolution. -1993

7.4 Sci-Tech: others

  • Technology cannot replace manpower. -2015
  • Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation-2013
  • The modern doctor and his patients. -1997
  • The lure of space. -2004

visit Mrunal.org/download for more papers.

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12 Comments on “[Download] UPSC Mains-2018 Essay Paper, Including Topicwise last 26 YEARS Essay Question Papers (1993-2018)”

  1. Sir.. How to tackle these philosophical qoutes im essay paper.. If not having the same as optional ?

    1. Brother you can use Knowledge of philosophical thinkers and leaders from GS-4 like Plato, Aristotle, Kant etc and add some current issues to correlate your bookish knowledge with practical issues to develop an answer relevant to the topic.
      Also ensure that you do not deviate from the topic as it will only waste your time and energy without fetching any extra marks.

    2. You don’t need to write the essay with the knowledge of your optional subject. Every topic, whether philosophical or issue-specific, needs to be written from a general point of view- what you think about the topic in question – should be written. Also, multiple dimensions and implications of the topic needs to be addressed – political, social, economic, cultural, environmental, international, etc. This is how you get marks. Not by writing some sophisticated language, or quoting too many thinkers or philosophers (a few can be mentioned but in a general manner). You will get marks by being yourself!

  2. 1. There is undercurrent Trend of International Relations Like NAM, Border Disputes Management (Doklam and others and initiatives like connecting North east India with Thailand through Myanmar).
    2. Technology was again in question but this time it was not fear of technology rather use of Technology (alternative technologies for a climate change resilient India)

  3. One of the essay in Part-B was a tweet by President Donald Trump

      1. A people that values its privileges above its principles loses both

  4. Section B ne hila ke rkh diya sirr

  5. very good facility

  6. I want to subscribe the mrunal.

  7. Ans of alternative technologies for climate change resilient india

  8. Hindi medium student available are mains and prelims test series pls help and how much charges.

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