[Download] UPSC Mains-2020 Essay Paper, Including Topicwise last 28 YEARS Essay Question Papers (1993-2020) with booklist, strategy!

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Unacademy Plus Mrunal Economy for Prelims and Mains UPSC!
  1. UPSC Mains-2020’s Essay Paper Compared to the past papers.
  2. UPSC Essay Preparation/Strategy/Booklist?
  3. 2020’s Essay Paper in linear/sequential format
    1. UPSC-CSM20-Essay: Section-A
    2. UPSC-CSM20-Essay: Section-B
  4. Topic wise Essays of last 28 years (1993-2020)
    1. 1 India: Democracy, administration, Society, culture
    2. 1.1 India Since Independence
    3. 1.2 Federalism, Decentralization
    4. 1.3 Administration
    5. 1.4 Judiciary
    6. 1.5 Poverty, Social Justice
    7. 1.6 Indian Society, Culture and Values
    8. 1.7 Media, TV & Cinema
    9. 2 Economy, Development
    10. 2.1 Growth vs Development
    11. 2.2 Environment vs Development
    12. 2.3 MNCs
    13. 2.4 Sectors of Economy
    14. 3 Education
    15. 3.1 Values in Education
    16. 3.2 Scheme implementation
    17. 3.3 Higher education
    18. 4 Quote based, Philosophy, Ethics
    19. 4.1 Character, Honesty, Ethics
    20. 4.2 Knowledge
    21. 4.3 Compassion
    22. 4.4 Truth and reality
    23. 4.5 Youth, Discipline
    24. 4.6 Towards excellence
    25. 5 Women empowerment
    26. 5.1 @National Politics
    27. 5.2 @World / Quote type
    28. 5.3 Empowerment overall
    29. 5.4 Compared to men
    30. 6 International issues, Internal Security
    31. 6.1 Globalization
    32. 6.2 International Org./ Bilateral
    33. 6.3 Security
    34. 7 Science-Technology
    35. 7.1 Science and Religion
    36. 7.2 Science and Education
    37. 7.3 Computer and internet
    38. 7.4 Sci-Tech: others

UPSC Mains-2020’s Essay Paper Compared to the past papers.

  • On Jan-08-2021, UPSC Conducted Civil Services Mains Exam (CSM-2020)’s Essay Paper (Because of the Corona lockdown, the exam cycle is running late).
2019’s Essay Paper 2020’s Essay Paper (Continuity and Change)
Values are not what humanity is, but what humanity ought to be -2019 Another essay on humanity asked
No Essay topic on women empowerment since 2017 Finally makes a re appearance in relation to patriarchy
Artificial intelligence asked in context of job skill -2019 Artificial intelligence and technology asked in context of international relations
2018, 2019- Majority of the papers focused on philosophy, ethics abstract quotation type of titles – Same pattern continues. Main challenge is the entire Section-A is devoted to such philosophy, ethics, quotation essays So whether you like it or hate it, you have to attempt at least one of them.

– Whereas, all the conventional areas (culture, women, technology, economy-social justice) are ask in section-B- So even if you are good at 2 of them you can attempt maximum one in section-B!

[Download] UPSC Mains-2020 Essay Paper, Including Topicwise last 28 YEARS Essay Question Papers (1993-2020)

  • New aspirants need to take care not to get brainwashed by one sided analysis of coaching-classes that “just because so many philosophical topics are asked so you should blindly take philosophy as an optional subject And automatically you will get a ticket to IAS selection!” – As per the latest annual report of UPSC uploaded on their website, the number of UPSC selection from Philosophy was 53 candidates among 1056 candidates selected in 2017 i.e. 7% (btw, It seems UPSC uploads the annual reports with a lot of delay so as to avoid controversies about selections)

What to do for Essay Preparation/Strategy/Booklist?

  • In the market there are lot of readymade books available for the essay. However, as far as the Civil Service exam is concerned they’re not very useful.
  • you have to manually gather the content and cultivate the skill for essay writing. Common resources include:
  • Last 3 years Yojana and Kurukshetra magazines: They are available in English, Hindi and other Vernacular languages. They can be downloaded for free from their official website: http://yojana.gov.in/Recent_archive_2018.asp (Tip: Replace the year in URL, when you want to access previous years). There is no need to read each and every article, at least go through the preface / Editor’s Note in the beginning of each PDF.
  • Last 3-5 years economic surveys available for free at https://indiabudget.gov.in/bspeecha.asp No need to read entire PDFs, just the introductions and conclusions of each chapter.
  • IGNOU MPS-003 module. Available for free at https://egyankosh.ac.in
  • NCERT textbooks, especially those related to Sociology, Political Science and World History.
  • Newspaper Columns: English (TheHindu or IndianExpress), Hindi (JanSatta). In the vernacular language newspapers (e.g. Divya-Bhaskar Gujarati etc)= the quality of the column is not worthy of civil service exam essays.
  • Ethics (GS Paper 4) related preparation would also come handy here.

2020’s Essay Paper in linear/sequential format

UPSC-CSM20-Essay: Section-A

(write any one essay in 1000-1200 words, 125 marks)

  • 1) Life is a long journey between human being and being humane. (मनुष्य होने और मानव बनने के बीच का लम्बा सफर ही जीवन है)
  • 2) Mindful manifesto is the catalyst to a tranquil self (विचारपरक संकल्प स्वयं के शांतचित्त रहने का उत्प्रेरक है )
  • 3) Ships don’t sink because of water around them ships sink because of water that gets into them (जहाज अपने चारों तरफ के पानी के वजह से नहीं डूबा करते, जहाज पानी के अंदर समां जाने की वजह से डूबता हैं )
  • 4) Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication (सरलता चरम परिष्करण है )

UPSC-CSM20-Essay: Section-B

(write any one essay in 1000-1200 words, 125 marks)

  1. 5) Culture is what we are, civilization is what we have (जो हम है, वह संस्कार; जो हमारे पास है, वह सभ्यता )
  2. 6) There can be no social justice without economic prosperity but economic prosperity without social justice is meaningless (बिना आर्थिक समृद्धि के सामाजिक न्याय नहीं हो सकता, किन्तु बिना सामाजिक न्याय के आर्थिक समृद्धि निरर्थक है )
  3. 7) Patriarchy is the least noticed yet the most significant structure of social inequality (पितृ-सत्ता की व्यवस्था नजर मैं बहुत काम आने के बावजूद सामाजिक विषमता की सबसे प्रभावी संरचना है)
  4. 8) Technology as the silent factor in international relations (अंतर्राष्ट्रीय संबंधों मैं मौन करक के रूप मैं प्रौद्योगिकी)

Topic wise Essays of last 28 years (1993-2020)

1 India: Democracy, administration, Society, culture

1.1 India Since Independence

  1. Is the Colonial mentality hindering India’s Success? -2013
  2. 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
  3. Dreams which should not let India sleep. -2015
  4. Why should we be proud of being Indians? -2000
  5. Whither Indian democracy? -1995
  6. How far has democracy in India delivered the goods? -2003
  7. What we have not learnt during fifty years of independence. -1997
  8. What have we gained from our democratic set-up? -2001
  9. My vision of India in 2001 a.d. -1993

1.2 Federalism, Decentralization

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

1.3 Administration

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

1.4 Judiciary

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

1.5 Poverty, Social Justice

  1. There can be no social justice without economic prosperity but economic prosperity without social justice is meaningless (बिना आर्थिक समृद्धि के सामाजिक न्याय नहीं हो सकता, किन्तु बिना सामाजिक न्याय के आर्थिक समृद्धि निरर्थक है ) -2020
  2. Neglect of primary health care and education in India are reasons for its backwardness. -2019
  3. The focus of health care is increasingly getting skewed towards the ‘haves’ of our society. -2009
  4. Food security for sustainable national development -2005
  5. Reservation, politics and empowerment. -1999

1.6 Indian Society, Culture and Values

  1. Culture is what we are, civilization is what we have (जो हम है, वह संस्कार; जो हमारे पास है, वह सभ्यता ) -2020
  2. Indian culture today: a myth or a reality? -2000
  3. Modernism and our traditional socio-ethical values. -2000
  4. The composite culture of India. -1998
  5. The Indian society at the crossroads. -1994
  6. From traditional Indian philanthropy to the gates-buffet model-a natural progression or a paradigm shift? -2010
  7. New cults and godmen: a threat to traditional religion -1996

1.7 Media, TV & Cinema

  1. Biased media is a real threat to Indian democracy. -2019
  2. Responsibility of media in a democracy. -2002
  3. Role of media in good governance -2008
  4. Does Indian cinema shape our popular culture or merely reflect it? -2011
  5. How has satellite television brought about cultural change in Indian mindsets? -2007
  6. Is sting operation an invasion on privacy? -2014
  7. Mass media and cultural invasion. -1999
  8. The misinterpretation and misuse of freedom in India. -1998

2 Economy, Development

2.1 Growth vs Development

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

2.2 Environment vs Development

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

2.3 MNCs

  1. Globalization would finish small-scale industries in India. -2006
  2. Multinational corporations – saviours or saboteurs -1994
  3. Special economic zone: boon or bane -2008
  4. 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

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

3 Education

3.1 Values in Education

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

3.2 Scheme implementation

  1. Neglect of primary health care and education in India are reasons for its backwardness. -2019
  2. “Education for all” campaign in India: myth or reality. -2006
  3. Restructuring of Indian education system. -1995

3.3 Higher education

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

4 Quote based, Philosophy, Ethics

4.1 Character, Honesty, Ethics

  1. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication (सरलता चरम परिष्करण है ) -2020
  2. Ships don’t sink because of water around them ships sink because of water that gets into them (जहाज अपने चारों तरफ के पानी के वजह से नहीं डूबा करते, जहाज पानी के अंदर समां जाने की वजह से डूबता हैं ) -2020
  3. Life is a long journey between human being and being humane. (मनुष्य होने और मानव बनने के बीच का लम्बा सफर ही जीवन है)-2020
  4. Values are not what humanity is, but what humanity ought to be -2019
  5. Best for an individual is not necessarily best for the society -2019
  6. Courage to accept and dedication to improve are two keys to success -2019
  7. Wisdom finds truth -2019
  8. A people that values its privileges above its principles loses both. -2018
  9. Customary morality cannot be a guide to modem file. -2018
  10. We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws. -2017
  11. Need brings greed, if greed increases it spoils breed. -2016
  12. Character of an institution is reflected in its leader. -2015
  13. With greater power comes greater responsibility. -2014
  14. Words are sharper than the two-edged sword. -2014
  15. Attitude makes, habit makes character and character makes a man. -2007
  16. He would reigns within himself and folds his passions and desires and fears is more than a king. -1993

4.2 Knowledge

  1. Mindful manifesto is the catalyst to a tranquil self (विचारपरक संकल्प स्वयं के शांतचित्त रहने का उत्प्रेरक है )-2020
  2. ‘The past’ is a permanent dimension of human consciousness and values. -2018
  3. A good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. -2018
  4. There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. -2003
  5. Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the lifeblood of civilisation. -1995

4.3 Compassion

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

4.4 Truth and reality

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

4.5 Youth, Discipline

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

4.6 Towards excellence

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

5 Women empowerment

5.1 @National Politics

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

5.2 @World / Quote type

  1. If women ruled the world -2005
  2. The hand that rocks the cradle -2005

5.3 Empowerment overall

  1. Patriarchy is the least noticed yet the most significant structure of social inequality (पितृ-सत्ता की व्यवस्था नजर मैं बहुत काम आने के बावजूद सामाजिक विषमता की सबसे प्रभावी संरचना है) -2020
  2. Fulfilment of ‘new woman’ in India is a myth. -2017
  3. If development is not engendered, it is endangered. -2016
  4. Whither women’s emancipation? -2004
  5. Empowerment alone cannot help our women. -2001
  6. Women empowerment: challenges and prospects. -1999

5.4 Compared to men

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

6 International issues, Internal Security

6.1 Globalization

  1. South Asian societies are woven not around the state, but around their plural cultures and plural identities. -2019
  2. Geography may remain the same ; history need not. -2010
  3. Modernisation and westernisation are not identical concepts. -1994
  4. ‘globalization’ vs. ‘nationalism’ -2009
  5. National identity and patriotism -2008
  6. Globalizations and its impact on Indian culture. -2004
  7. The masks of new imperialism. -2003
  8. As civilization advances culture declines. -2003
  9. The implications of globalization for India. -2000
  10. My vision of an ideal world order. -2001
  11. India’s contribution to world wisdom. -1998
  12. The world of the twenty-first century. -1998
  13. Preparedness of our society for India’s global leadership role. -2010

6.2 International Org./ Bilateral

  1. Technology as the silent factor in international relations (अंतर्राष्ट्रीय संबंधों मैं मौन करक के रूप मैं प्रौद्योगिकी) -2020
  2. Has the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) lost its relevance in a multipolar world ? -2017
  3. Restructuring of UNO reflect present realities -1996
  4. The global order: political and economic -1993
  5. India’s role in promoting ASEAN co-operation. -2004
  6. Importance of Indo-US nuclear agreement -2006

6.3 Security

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

7 Science-Technology

7.1 Science and Religion

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

7.2 Science and Education

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

7.3 Computer and internet

  1. Technology as the silent factor in international relations (अंतर्राष्ट्रीय संबंधों मैं मौन करक के रूप मैं प्रौद्योगिकी) -2020
  2. Rise of Artificial Intelligence: the threat of jobless future or better job opportunities through reskilling and upskilling. -2019
  3. ‘Social media’ is inherently a selfish medium. -2017
  4. Cyberspace and Internet : Blessing or curse to the human civilization in the long run -2016
  5. Increasing computerization would lead to the creation of a dehumanized society. -2006
  6. The cyberworld: its charms and challenges. -2000
  7. Computer: the harbinger of silent revolution. -1993

7.4 Sci-Tech: others

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

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Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

35 Comments on “[Download] UPSC Mains-2020 Essay Paper, Including Topicwise last 28 YEARS Essay Question Papers (1993-2020) with booklist, strategy!”

  1. Thank you sir…

  2. Hi… I’m pallavi

    1. Please send pdf 11th edition of Disha’s “26 Years UPSC IAS/ IPS Prelims Topic-wise Solved Papers 1 & 2 (1995-2020)”

  3. Sir it’s seeming question no -3 translation is not correct by upsc . Sir please clarify sir please

  4. In question no 3 (essay ) topic

  5. Please provide the pdf

  6. Thank you, sir, for your great efforts

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  18. Sir tq sir help and showing a way how to prepare in smart and anyalsss .god bless u sir

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    1. Plz send me pdf

  21. Kafi saalo baad visiting mrunal.org, been about 2 years since I moved from upsc, after nearly 6 yrs of only UPSC madness,
    kuch jyada nhi badla in essay trend…shift towards from knowledge to philosophy type essays infact seems more stronger in this 2020 paper….attempting one topic seems so much more challenging than other, upsc should definitely put differentiated weights on different essay topics…but then who am I :)

  22. Kindly send the PDF

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  24. this site is very good for upsc practice & study quickly .

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