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Last 25 Years Topic-wise Essay Questions From UPSC Mains (1994 - 2018)
Paper I of the UPSC Civil Services mains exam is the Essay. Here, prelims-qualified IAS aspirants have to write two essays out of a few given topics. The paper is for a total of 250 marks and its marks are taken into consideration for the Final Merit List. In this article, we have listed all the essay topics asked in the UPSC mains exam from 1994 to 2018. We have also classified the last 25 years essay questions into topics to make your preparation easier.
Latest – See the UPSC Essay Topics in the IAS Mains 2020 Essay Paper. Download UPSC Mains 2020 Essay Paper from the linked article.
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UPSC Essay Topics
- Politics, bureaucracy and business – fatal triangle. (1994)
- 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)
- How should a civil servant conduct himself? (2003)
Democracy/India since independence
- Whither Indian democracy? (1995)
- What we have not learnt during fifty years of independence. (1997)
- Why should we be proud of being Indians? (2000)
- What have we gained from our democratic set-up? (2001)
- How far has democracy in India delivered the goods? (2003)
- National identity and patriotism. (2008)
- 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)
- Is the colonial mentality hindering India’s success? (2013)
- Dreams which should not let India sleep. (2015)
- Management of Indian border disputes – a complex task. (2018)
Economic growth and development
- Resource management in the Indian context. (1999)
- GDP (Gross Domestic Product) along with GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) would be the right indices for judging the wellbeing of a country. (2013)
- Was it the policy paralysis or the paralysis of implementation which slowed the growth of our country? (2014)
- Crisis faced in India – moral or economic. (2015)
- Near jobless growth in India: An anomaly or an outcome of economic reforms. (2016)
- Digital economy: A leveller or a source of economic inequality. (2016)
- Innovation is the key determinant of economic growth and social welfare. (2016)
- Impact of the new economic measures on fiscal ties between the union and states in India. (2017)
- The language problem in India: its past, present and prospects. (1998)
- Water resources should be under the control of the central government. (2004)
- Evaluation of panchayati raj system in India from the point of view of eradication of power to people. (2007)
- Is autonomy the best answer to combat balkanization? (2007)
- Creation of smaller states and the consequent administrative, economic and developmental implication. (2011)
- Cooperative federalism: Myth or reality. (2016)
- Water disputes between States in federal India. (2016)
Indian Culture & Society
- The Indian society at the crossroads. (1994)
- New cults and godmen: a threat to traditional religion. (1996)
- The composite culture of India. (1998)
- Youth culture today. (1999)
- Modernism and our traditional socio-ethical values. (2000)
- Indian culture today: a myth or a reality? (2000)
- As civilization advances culture declines. (2003)
- From traditional Indian philanthropy to the gates-buffet model-a natural progression or a paradigm shift? (2010)
- Judicial activism. (1997)
- Judicial activism and Indian democracy. (2004)
- Justice must reach the poor. (2005)
- Reservation, politics and empowerment. (1999)
- Food security for sustainable national development. (2005)
- The focus of health care is increasingly getting skewed towards the ‘haves’ of our society. (2009)
- Farming has lost the ability to be a source of subsistence for the majority of farmers in India. (2017)
- Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere. (2018)
Media & Society
- Misinterpretation and misuse of freedom in India. (1998)
- Mass media and cultural invasion. (1999)
- Responsibility of media in a democracy. (2002)
- How has satellite television brought about cultural change in Indian mindsets? (2007)
- Role of media in good governance. (2008)
- Does Indian cinema shape our popular culture or merely reflect it? (2011)
- Is sting operation an invasion on privacy? (2014)
- Urbanization is a blessing in disguise. (1997)
- Protection of ecology and environment is essential for sustained economic development. (2006)
- Urbanisation and its hazards. (2008)
- Should a moratorium be imposed on all fresh mining in tribal areas of the country? (2010)
- We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws. (2017)
- Multinational corporations – saviours or saboteurs. (1994)
- Globalization would finish small-scale industries in India. (2006)
- BPO boom in India. (2007)
- Special economic zone: boon or bane? (2008)
- Are our traditional handicrafts doomed to a slow death? (2009)
- 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)
- Tourism: Can this be the next big thing for India? (2014)
- Restructuring of Indian education system. (1995)
- Literacy is growing very fast, but there is no corresponding growth in education. (1996)
- Irrelevance of the classroom. (2001)
- Privatization of higher education in India. (2002)
- Modern technological education and human values. (2002)
- What is real education? (2005)
- “Education for all” campaign in India: myth or reality. (2006)
- Independent thinking should be encouraged right from the childhood. (2007)
- Is an egalitarian society possible by educating the masses? (2008)
- Credit – based higher education system – status, opportunities and challenges. (2011)
- Is the growing level of competition good for the youth? (2014)
- Are the standardized tests good measure of academic ability or progress? (2014)
- Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man more clever devil. (2015)
- Destiny of a nation is shaped in its classrooms. (2017)
- The new emerging women power: the ground realities. (1995)
- Greater political power alone will not improve women’s plight. (1997)
- Woman is god’s best creation. (1998)
- Women empowerment: challenges and prospects. (1999)
- Empowerment alone cannot help our women. (2001)
- Whither women’s emancipation? (2004)
- If women ruled the world. (2005)
- The hand that rocks the cradle. (2005)
- Women’s reservation bill would usher in empowerment for women in India. (2006)
- Managing work and home – is the Indian working woman getting a fair deal? (2012)
- If development is not engendered, it is endangered. (2016)
- Fulfillment of ‘new woman’ in India is a myth. (2017)
- Youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle, old age a regret. (1994)
- Useless life is an early death. (1994)
- Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the lifeblood of civilisation. (1995)
- When money speaks, the truth is silent. (1995)
- Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds. (1995)
- Truth is lived, not taught. (1996)
- True religion cannot be misused. (1997)
- Search for truth can only be a spiritual problem. (2002)
- The paths of glory lead but to the grave. (2002)
- If youth knew, if age could. (2002)
- There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. (2003)
- Be the change you want to see in others. (2013)
- With greater power comes greater responsibility. (2014)
- Words are sharper than the two-edged sword. (2014)
- Lending hands to someone is better than giving a dole. (2015)
- “The past’ is a permanent dimension of human consciousness and values. (2018)
- Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it. (2018)
- Attitude makes habit, habit makes character and character makes a man. (2007)
- Discipline means success, anarchy means ruin. (2008)
- Character of an institution is reflected in its leader. (2015)
- Need brings greed, if greed increases it spoils breed. (2016)
- Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. (2017)
- A good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. (2018)
- A people that values its privileges above its principles loses both. (2018)
- Customary morality cannot be a guide to modern life. (2018)
- Modernisation and westernisation are not identical concepts. (1994)
- The world of the twenty-first century. (1998)
- The implications of globalization for India. (2000)
- My vision of an ideal world order. (2001)
- The masks of new imperialism. (2003)
- Globalizations and its impact on Indian culture. (2004)
- ‘Globalization’ vs. ‘nationalism’. (2009)
- Preparedness of our society for India’s global leadership role. (2010)
Science & Tech
- The modern doctor and his patients. (1997)
- Value-based science and education. (1999)
- The march of science and the erosion of human values. (2001)
- Spirituality and scientific temper. (2003)
- The lure of space. (2004)
- Science and Mysticism: Are they compatible? (2012)
- Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation. (2013)
- Technology cannot replace manpower. (2015)
- Alternative technologies for a climate change resilient India. (2018)
- The cyberworld: its charms and challenges. (2000)
- Increasing computerization would lead to the creation of a dehumanized society. (2006)
- Cyberspace and Internet: Blessing or curse to the human civilization in the long run. (2016)
- Social media is inherently a selfish medium. (2017)
- Restructuring of UNO reflect present realities. (1996)
- India’s role in promoting ASEAN cooperation. (2004)
- Importance of Indo-US nuclear agreement. (2006)
- Has the Non- Alignment Movement (NAM) lost its relevance in a multipolar world. (2017)
- Terrorism and world peace. (2005)
- Are we a ‘soft’ state? (2009)
- Good fences make good neighbours. (2009)
- In the Indian context, both human intelligence and technical intelligence are crucial in combating terrorism. (2011)
- India’s contribution to world wisdom. (1998)
- The pursuit of excellence. (2001)
- Geography may remain the same; history need not. (2010)
- Fifty Golds in Olympics: Can this be a reality for India? (2014)
- Quick but steady wins the race. (2015)
When preparing for IAS Mains, aspirants must focus on UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practise as this will improve one’s speed, efficiency and writing skills. It will automatically help in essay writing as well.
Frequently Asked Questions on UPSC Essay Topics for UPSC Mains
Q 1. how can i write a good essay in upsc, q 2. does handwriting matter in upsc.
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WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGE
Following are the topics on which our followers have written (and writing essays) every Sunday to hone their essay writing skills. The topics are chosen based on UPSC previous year topics. Writing one essay on each Sunday will help you get better marks in this paper.
ESSAY STRATEGY by Topper – Rank 1 CSE 2017
ESSAY STRATEGY by Topper – Rank 25 CSE 2015
ESSAY STRATEGY by Topper – Rank 40 CSE 2015
- [VIDEO] How to Improve Marks in Essay and Ethics Papers?
- [VIDEO] How to Write Philosophical Essays
WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2023
- November 5, 2023 : Clothes Make The Man
- October 29, 2023 : Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
- October 22, 2023 : Mathematics is the music of reason
- October 15, 2023 : Girls are weighed down by restrictions, boys with demands – two equally harmful disciplines
- October 08, 2023 : Inspiration for creativity springs from the effort to look for the magical in the mundane.
- October 01, 2023 : Not All Who Wander Are Lost
- September 24, 2023 : Visionary Decision-Making happens at the intersection of intuition and logic
- September 17, 2023 : Thinking Is Like A game. It does not begin unless there is an opposition team.
- September 10, 2023 : Unless we have well-educated people, we are vulnerable on National Security
- September 03, 2023 : Harsh Laws are, at times, better than No laws
- August 27, 2023 : Nations Do Not Die From Invasion. They Die From Internal Rottenness
- August 20, 2023 : In Individuals, insanity is rare; In groups, parties and nations, it is the rule.
- August 13, 2023 : Economics Is Too Important To Leave To The Economists.
- August 06, 2023 : A self without a book-shelf is naked.
- July 30, 2023 : Wrong Choices Lead To Right Places
- July 23, 2023 : Credit where credit is due.
- July 16, 2023 : A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take away from you.
- July 9, 2023 : The measure of intelligence is the ability to change
- July 2, 2023 : Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
- June 25, 2023 : In the long run , the sword will always be conquered by the spirit
- June 18, 2023 : The company you keep determines your Success
- June 11, 2023 : A disciplined mind brings happiness.
- June 4, 2023 : Our moral responsibility is not to stop the future but to shape it
- May 28, 2023 : Action breeds confidence and courage
- May 21, 2023 : A library is a hospital for the mind
- May 14, 2023 : Self-Education is Life-Long Curiosity
- May 7, 2023 : Silence is Spurious Golden
- April 30, 2023 : The price of greatness is responsibility
- April 23, 2023 : Progress is impossible without change
- April 16, 2023 : The Impact of Artificial Intelligence.
- April 9, 2023 : People would rather believe than know.
- April 2, 2023 : Prioritizing education technology for global growth
- March 26, 2023 : Technology is a weapon against poverty
- March 19, 2023 : Every choice you make makes you
- March 12, 2023 : Patience is a virture ; virtue is a grace
- March 5, 2023 : Before any fight, it is the fight of mind
- February 26, 2023 : The Measure of a man is what he does with Power.
- February 19, 2023 : When you kill time, you kill life.
- February 12, 2023 : Delayed success mostly stays forever.
- February 05, 2023 : The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
- January 29, 2023 : Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
- January 22, 2023 : I am what I am, so take me as I am
- January 15, 2023 : Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased
- January 08, 2023 : Time hurts but it also heals. It punishes but it rewards too- it is the greatest teacher ever for a human.
- January 01, 2023 : The Beginning is the End and the End is The Beginning.
WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2022
- December 25, 2022 : To tolerate is purely an act of mind
- December 18, 2022 : The arc of moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice
- December 11, 2022 : Religion is a culture of faith; Science is a culture of doubt.
- December 04, 2022 : My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read
- November 27, 2022 : Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits
- November 20, 2022 : We are always blind as we want to be
- November 13, 2022 : By your stumbling, the world is perfected.
- November 6, 2022 : You cannot step twice in the same river
- October 30, 2022 : Just because you have a choice, it does not mean that any of them has to be right.
- October 23, 2022 : A smile is the chosen vehicle for all ambiguities
- October 16, 2022 : The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining
- October 9, 2022 : A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ship is for
- October 2, 2022 : History is a series of victories won by the scientific man over the romantic man
- September 25, 2022 : Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world
- September 18, 2022 : Forests are the best case studies for economic excellence
- September 11, 2022 : Culture changes with economic development.
- September 4 2022 : We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
- August 28 2022 : The obstacle is the path.
- August 21 2022 : What is to give light must endure burning.
- August 14 2022 : “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” Aristotle.
- August 7 2022 : Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” Albert Einstein
- July 31, 2022 : A bad conscience is easier to cope with than a bad reputation. Friedrich Nietzsche.
- July 24, 2022 : Time is all we have and don’t
- July 17, 2022 : Life fritters away when distractions become your lifestyle
- July 10, 2022 : After every darkness comes the dawn July 10, 2022 : After every darkness comes the dawn
- July 3, 2022 : Mind – a beautiful servant? Or a dangerous master?
- June 26, 2022 : Education Breeds Peace
- June 19, 2022 : A great leader is never angry
- June 12, 2022 : That which hurts, instructs; That which instructs, creates; Creates Wonders!
- June 05, 2022 : Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do
- May 29, 2022 : The journey is a reward as well as destination
- May 22, 2022 : Imagination creates reality
- May 15, 2022 : The curious paradox is, only if we accept things as they are, things can change
- May 08, 2022: The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so certain of themselves, while wiser people are so full of doubts
- May 01, 2022: Loyalty To Country Always. Loyalty To Government Only When It Deserves
- April 24, 2022: Successful Investing Is Anticipating The Anticipations of Others
- April 17, 2022: Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear
- April 10, 2022 : Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn
- April 03, 2022 : Forgiveness is the final form of love
- March 27, 2022 : The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless
- March 20, 2022 : Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.
- March 13, 2022 : Everything we hear is an opinion; not a fact
- March 5, 2022 : There are better practices to “best practices”
- February 27, 2022 : History repeats itself first as a tragedy second as a farce.
- February 20, 2022 : What is research, but a blind date with knowledge!
- February 13, 2022 : Hand that rocks the cradle rules the world
- February 6, 2022 : The real is rational and the rational is real.
- January 30, 2022 : Philosophy of Wantlessness Is Utopian, while the philosophy of materialism is chimera.
- January 23, 2022 : Your perception of me is a reflection of you; my reaction to you is an awareness of me.
- January 16, 2022 : The process of self-discovery has now been technologically outsourced.
- January 09, 2022 : Knowing oneself is the beginning of all wisdom
- January 02, 2022 : Biased Media Is A Real Threat To Indian Democracy
WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2021
- December 26, 2021 : What Gets Measured Gets Managed
- December 19, 2021 : The enemy of stability is complacency
- December 12, 2021 : A clear conscience fears no accusation
- December 05, 2021 : Power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas
- November 28, 2021 : The whole is more than a sum of its parts
- November 21, 2021 : Scientific and technological progress cannot be equated with the progress of humanity
- November 14, 2021 : The price of our vitality is the sum of all our fears
- November 7, 2021 : Lawlessness is the result of failure to cultivate a sense of self-evaluation
- October 30, 2021 : What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make
- October 24, 2021 : Science for the economic freedom of humanity
- October 17, 2021 : An interdependent world cannot be an inequitable world
- October 03, 2021 : Strength comes from an indomitable Will
- SEPTEMBER 26, 2021 : Ethnocracy and concentration of power can derail even an affluent nation
- SEPTEMBER 19, 2021 : Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.
- SEPTEMBER 12, 2021 : Culture of entitlement comes with unreasonable expectations and insecurities
- SEPTEMBER 5, 2021 : Literacy is a vital skill that enhances dignity, improves health outcomes, empowers people to access their rights and bolsters opportunities
- AUGUST 29, 2021 : A parliamentary system of government rests on a functioning opposition as ‘no democracy can do without it’.
- AUGUST 22, 2021 : Development must lead to dismantle all kinds of human unfreedom
- AUGUST 15, 2021 : Sport is a reflection of larger social phenomena
- AUGUST 8, 2021 : Every social stratum has its own Common Sense and its own good sense
- AUGUST 1, 2021 : Capitalism without competition is not Capitalism. It is Exploitation.
- JULY 25, 2021 : We don’t have to sacrifice a Strong Economy for a Healthy Environment
- JULY 18,2021 : We Need not a social conscience, but a social consciousness.
- JULY 11, 2021 : The cure for evils of democracy is more democracy.
- JULY 04, 2021 : No Constitution by itself achieves perfect justice
- JUNE 27, 2021 : Our world has achieved brilliance without conscience.
- JUNE 20, 2021 : Our common humanity demands that we make the impossible possible.
- JUNE 13, 2021 : Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
- JUNE 06, 2021 : The political problem of mankind is to combine three things: economic efficiency, social justice and individual liberty.
- MAY 30, 2021 : Economics without ethics is a caricature & ethics without economics is a fairy tale.
- MAY 23 , 2021 : Indecisiveness is the rival of Progression
- MAY 16 , 2021 : Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.
- May 09, 2021 : The possession of arbitrary power has always, the world over, tended irresistibly to destroy humane sensibility, magnanimity, and truth
- May 02, 2021 : The truth of character is expressed through choice of act ions
- April 25, 2021 : It is not our differences that divide us; It is our inability to recognise, accept, and celebrate those differences.
- April 18, 2021 : Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
- April 11, 2021 : Solutions emerge if situations are not forced
- April 04, 2021 : Morality is subservient to materialistic values in present times
- March 28, 2021 : Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible
- March 21, 2021 : Our major social problems are not the cause of our decadence but are a reflection of it
- March 14, 2021 : The Future of Multilateralism : Towards a responsible Globalization
- March 07, 2021 : Subtlety may deceive you; Integrity never will
- February 28, 2021 :Technology as the silent factor in international relations
- February 21, 2021 :Patriarchy is the least noticed yet the most significant structure of social inequality
- February 14, 2021:There can be no social justice without economic prosperity but economic prosperity without social justice is meaningless
- February 07, 2021: Culture is what we are civilization is what we have
- January 31, 2021: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
- January 24, 2021: Ships do not sink because of water around them , ships sink because of water that gets into them
- January 17, 2021: Mindful manifesto is the catalyst to a tranquil self
- January 10, 2021: Life is long journey between human being and being humane
- January 03, 2021: The Covid pandemic has revealed the urgent need for effective governance everywhere”
- December 27, 2020: Challenges of 21st Century – insurmountable?
- December 20, 2020: Too much Democracy is Detrimental to Development
- December 13, 2020: Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination.
WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2020
- December 06, 2020 : As you Start to walk on the way, the Way appears
- November 29, 2020: Need of the Hour is to Maximise Possibilities of Agriculture in India
- November 22, 2020: The survival of democracy depends on its ability to lower social uncertainty
- November 15, 2020: There is no greatness where there is no simplicity
- November 08, 2020: Inequality can be Reduced by the Power of the Market rather than the Government
- November 01, 2020: Civil liberties are fundamental to the functioning of modern democracies
- October 25, 2020: Artificial Intelligence is Not All Evil – It can Promote Social Good Too
- October 18, 2020: Wherever law ends, tyranny begins
- October 11, 2020:Hyper-globalism is threat to human prosperity
- September 27, 2020: Our World is in a Surplus of Multilateral Challenges and a Deficit of Solutions
- September 20, 2020: In India Agriculture and the Farmer are both the Victims of Narrow Political Vision
- September 13, 2020: India Needs Aggressive and Pragmatic Neighbourhood Policy
- September 6, 2020: “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude .
- August 30, 2020: The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal
- August 23, 2020: Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.
- August 16, 2020: Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.
- August 09, 2020: Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value
- August 02, 2020: New Education Policy 2020: A Progressive Policy with Diverse Challenges
- July 26, 2020: In a democracy, the individual enjoys not only the ultimate power but carries the ultimate responsibility
- July 19, 2020: Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance
- July 12, 2020: The human spirit must prevail over technology
- July 05, 2020: When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
- June 28, 2020: Today India Needs ‘Harmony in Diversity’, Not Unity in Diversity.
- June 21, 2020: A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
- June 14, 2020: Post Independence, the Issue of Land is at the Core of India’s Non-Achievement of Its Development Aspirations
- June 7, 2020: Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste
- May 31, 2020: Despite Challenges, To be a Healthy and Successful Nation, India must Ensure Universal Health Coverage
- May 24, 2020: Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
- May 17, 2020:The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little
- May 10, 2020: Urban Exclusion of Migrant Workers in India is a Reality and Needs Urgent Robust Policy Measures
- May 03, 2020: Uncertainty should ignite creativity, not depravity
- April 26, 2020: The fool doth think he is wise but the wise man knows himself to be a fool
- April 19, 2020: Social Harmony, not Social Distancing, is the final solution to all our problems
- April 12, 2020: It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities
- April 05, 2020: Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking
- March 29, 2020: “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them”
- March 22, 2020: In order to understand the world one has to turn away from it on occasion
- March 15, 2020: Pandemics such as COVID-19, though Catastrophic, are in the end Meant to Reset Humanity and its Priorities
- March 08, 2020: Those who have wisdom have all: Fools with all have nothing
- March 01, 2020: Indifferentism is the worst kind of disease that can affect people.
- [VIDEO] Perspectives on Essay Topic of Feb 23
- February 23, 2020: To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.
- February 16, 2020 : When civil services does its job, people will not need social service
- February 09, 2020 : The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.
- February 02, 2020: Ability will get you success, Character will keep you successful.
- January 26, 2020: Media’s duty is to inform public, not manufacture opinion.
- January 19, 2020: Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes
- January 12, 2020 : Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition
- J anuary 5, 2020 : All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal
- December 29, 2019 : There cannot be daily democracy without daily citizenship
- December 22, 2019: War is the ultimate Price we pay for lasting Peace
- December 15, 2019 : Inclusivity and Plurality are the hallmarks of a peaceful society
- December 08, 2019: Justice Loses Character if it becomes Revenge
- December 01. 2019: Economic Growth and Development are Shaped by the Societies in which they Operate
- November 24, 2019: Social Media is the Fourth Pillar of Democracy
- November 17, 2019: Media is No More a Fourth Pillar of Democracy
- November 10, 2019: Rise of Artificial Intelligence: the threat of jobless future or better job opportunities through reskilling and upskilling
- November 03, 2019:Biased media is a real threat to Indian democracy
- October 27, 2019: Neglect of primary health care and education in India are reasons for its backwardness
- October 20, 2019: South Asian societies are woven not around the state, but around their plural cultures and plural identities
- October 13, 2019: Courage to accept and dedication to improve are two keys to success
- October 06, 2019: Best for an individual is not necessarily best for the society
- September 29, 2019: Values are not what humanity is, but what humanity ought to be
- September 22, 2019: Wisdom finds truth
WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2019
- September 15, 2019: Kashmir Problem – Historical Injustice or Misguided Geopolitics?
- September 08, 2019: India’s Space Ambitions – Are they Welfarist?
- September 01, 2019: India – $5 Trillion Economy: Dream or Reality?
- August 25, 2019 Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.
- August 18, 2019 The mind is everything. What you think you become.
- August 11, 2019: Virtue is Knowledge
- August 04, 2019: Inclusive governance begets Inclusive growth
- July 28, 2019: India’s headache: Unemployment or Underemployment?
- July 21, 2019: The road to science and spirituality are opposite, but we should tread both
- July 14, 2019: India is a leading power, rather than just a balancing power
- July 07, 2019: Should the world embrace democratic socialism or progressive capitalism?
- June 30, 2019: Impact of Digital Revolution on Human Wellbeing
- June 23, 20 19: Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty
- June 16, 2019: The definition of happiness is the full use of your powers, along the lines of excellence.
- June 09, 2019: Not Corruption, Communalism is the Greatest Threat India is facing Today
- May 19, 2019: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
- May 12, 2019: Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake
- May 05, 2019: Happiness equals reality minus expectations
- April 28, 2019: Political correctness is tyranny with manners
- April 21, 2019: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
- April 07, 2019: Dogma is the sacrifice of wisdom to consistency
- March 31, 2019: The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
- March 24, 2019: Terrorism has No Religion
- March 17, 2019: Money and Religion – Great Unifiers of Humankind?
- March 10, 2019: Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay
- March 03, 2019: Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower
- February 24,2019: Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens
- February 17, 2019: Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by fighting back
- February 10, 2019: Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
- February 03, 2019: You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality
- January 27, 2019: Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever
- January 20, 2019: All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
- January 12, 2019: All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.
- January 06, 2019: National security is Irreversibly linked to good economic growth
WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2018
- December 28, 2018: To plan for smart development, governments and business must recognize nature’s role in supporting economic activity
- December 23, 2018: Government Surveillance – Good or Bad?
- December 16, 2018: Trade Wars – Economic or Geopolitical?
- December 02, 2018: Immigration is Not a Threat, but Fundamentally it’s an Economic Issue
- November 25, 2018: A people that values its privileges above its principles loses both
- November 18, 2018: “The past’ is a permanent dimension of human consciousness and values
- November 11, 2018: A good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge
- November 04, 2018: Management of Indian border disputes – a complex task
- October 28, 2018: Alternative technologies for a climate change resilient India
- October 21, 2018: Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere
- October 14, 2018: Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it
- October 07, 2018: Customary morality cannot be a guide to modern life
- September 30, 2018: Commercialization of Space : Importance and the need for regulation
- September 23, 2018: E-commerce as a new form of trade and its challenges to India.
- September 16, 2018: Ability is nothing without opportunity
- September 09, 2018: Death Penalty eliminates Criminals, not Crime.
- September 02, 2018: Dissent is the foundation of democracy.
- August 26, 2018: Mars Mission and Mob lynchings are two obverse faces of India
- August 19, 2018: Strengthening Land Rights Strengthens Development
- August 12, 2018: Age of Big Data: Data is the New Oil, History is its oldest bank
- August 05, 2018: Strong Institutions and fair procedures, not personalities constitute the fundamentals of good governance
- July 29, 2018: Social reform is a myth if places of worship are open only to all castes and not to all genders.
- July 22, 2018: Section 377, not the carnal acts banned under it is ‘against the order of nature ‘
- July 15, 2018: Schooling Is Not Education
- July 08, 2018: Sometimes it takes a natural disaster to reveal a social disaster.
- July 01, 2018: Normal human activity is worse for nature than the greatest nuclear accident in history
- June 24, 2018: Gender Sensitive Indian Society is Prerequisite for Women and Child Empowerment
- June 17, 2018: Where Should India Invest More – Human Capital or Human Development?
- June 10, 2018: Has Democracy Taken Backseat Due to the Rise of Populists and Demagogues?
- June 03, 2018: We won’t have a society ,if we destroy the environment
- May 27, 2018: Can Development and Environment Protection Go Together?
- May 20, 2018: Governor is the Choke Point of Federal Circuit of India
- May 13, 2018: Anonymity is the Best and the Worst Feature of Urbanism
- May 06, 2018: A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes
- April 29, 2018: Guaranteeing Right to Vote may Establish a Democracy, But Ensuring it’s Right Use Only Will Bring a True Democracy
- April 22, 2018: Stereotyping is an Ideological Force Which Hinders and Endangers Consolidation of India
- April 15, 2018: Can Education and legislation Address Violence Against Women and Children in India?
- April 8, 2018: Banking Crisis in India – Failure of Governance and Regulation?
- April 1, 2018: Privacy is the fountainhead of all other rights
- March 25, 2018: Impact of Technology on Human Relations and Human Productivity
- March 18, 2018: India’s Focus should be on Ease of Living, not on Easy of Doing Business
- March 11, 2018: A friend to everybody is a friend to nobody
- March 04, 2018: Capitalism can not Bring Inclusive Growth
- February 25, 2018: The unprecedented advance of technologies facilitate individual empowerment but at the cost of Institutions and Democratic societies
- February 18, 2018: Threats being Faced by Liberal Democratic Systems are both Dangerous and Permanent
- February 11, 2018: For India, Stigmatised Capitalism is Better than Crony Socialism
- February 04, 2018: Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.
- January 28, 2018: Politics of Identity is the Politics of the Weak
- January 21, 2018: Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime
- January 14, 2018: Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding
- January 07, 2018: The Root Cause of Agrarian Distress in India – Failure of Policies or Failure of Governance?
WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2017
- December 31, 2017: Impact of the new economic measures on fiscal ties between the union and states in India
- December 24, 2017: Fulfilment of ‘new woman’ in India is a myth
- December 17, 2017: Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
- December 10, 2017: Farming has lost the ability to be a source of subsistence for majority of farmers in India
- December 03, 2017: Destiny of a nation is shaped in its classrooms
- November 19, 2017: Has the Non- Alignment Movement(NAM) lost its relevance in a multipolar world
- November 12, 2017: Social media is inherently a selfish medium.
- November 04, 2017: We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws
- October 29, 2017: Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
- October 22, 2017: Harith Diwali, Swasth Diwali : What measures are needed to deal with Festivity and Air Pollution?
- October 15, 2017: Biggest Threat to Humanity – Moral Crisis or Climate Change?
- October 08, 2017: The monsoon is a defining aspect of India’s nationhood
- October 01, 2017: India’s Infrastructure Story – Why is India not able to Build like China?
- September 24, 2017: Impact of Digital Technologies on Globalisation
- September 17, 2017: Urbanisation and Solid Waste Management in India – Challenges and Opportunities
- September 10,2017: Gender Equality and Peace: Are They Connected?
- September 03, 2017: Recent Natural Disasters – What do they Reveal about Humanity?
- August 27, 2017: Godmen – A Threat to Indian Society and Culture
- August 20, 2017: Corruption in India: Neither Systemic Reforms nor Surgical Strikes would End it
- August 13,2017: Interrelationship between Gender Equality and Sustainable Development
- August 06, 2017: Utility and relevance of Parliament in our polity
- July 30, 2017: Caste System – Source of India’s Eternal Inequality?
- July 23, 2017: Indian Democracy, Media and Public Opinion – Does Public Opinion Matter in Policymaking?
- July 16, 2017: Poverty and Environment – Their Interrelationship is the Key to Sustainable World
- July 09, 2017: Soft Power is India’s Strength, not its Weakness
- July 02, 2017: Technology and Jobs – Is Technology a Curse?
- June 25, 2017: Democracy’s Relevance in the Face of New Global Threats
- June 18, 2017: Federalism in India – Competitive or Cooperative?
- June 11, 2017: Peace, Environment and Development: Are these Interrelated?
- June 04, 2017: Role of Technology in Development – Is Technology Helping or Hindering Development?
- May 28, 2017: Poverty is a State of Mind
- May 21, 2017: Does India Need Superpower Status?
- May 14, 2017: India’s Achilles Heel – Lack of Ambition or Lack of Leadership in Achieving Greatness?
- May 07, 2017: Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.
- April 29, 2017: The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation
- April 23, 2017: To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom
- April 16, 2017: One-Party-Dominant System – Is it Good for India?
- April 09, 2017: Should Youth in India Consider Politics as Career?
- April 02, 2017: Can World Save Succeeding Generations from the Scourge of War?
- March 26, 2017: Low, stagnating female labour-force participation in India: An anomaly or an outcome of economic reforms?
- March 19, 2017: When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw
- March 12, 2017: The marks humans leave are too often scars
- March 05, 2017: Environmental Challenges and Geopolitics: How to save our Environment?
- February 27, 2017: Radical Solutions are Needed to Address Today’s Radical Problems
- February 19, 2017: India’s Importance in the Post-truth World
- February 12, 2017: The Role of Politics in Development
- February 05, 2017: Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored
- January 29, 2017: Building Walls and Banning Refugees – Does this Help Humanity?
- January 22, 2017: Digital economy: A leveller or a source of economic inequality
- January 15, 2017: Cyberspace and internet: Blessing or curse to the human civilization in the long run
- January 08, 2017: Water disputes between states in federal India
- January 01, 2017: Need brings greed, if greed increases it spoils breed
WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2016
- (December 25, 2016) – Cooperative federalism: Myth or reality
- (December 18, 2016) – Innovation is the key determinant of economic growth and social welfare
- (December 11, 2016) – Near jobless growth in India: An anomaly or an outcome of economic reforms
- (December 04, 2016) – If development is not engendered, it is endangered
- (November 27, 2016) – Social media is better at breaking things than at making things
- (November 20, 2016) – Deglobalization is good for the world
- (November 12, 2016) – Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others
- (November 06, 2016) – It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence
- (October 30, 2016) – Reducing Poverty while also Conserving Nature is an Impossible Task
- (October 23, 2016) – Poverty can be eliminated by putting science at the heart of development
- (October 16, 2016) – People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people
- (October 09, 2016) – Better Access is Key to Inclusive Cities
- (October 02, 2016) – The weaker sections of Indian society – Are their Rights and Access to Justice Getting Better?
- (September 25, 2016) – Imagination is more important than intelligence
- (September 18, 2016) – Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life
- (September 11, 2016) – Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance
- (September 04, 2016) – It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it
- (August 28, 2016) – If one can Address Moral Crisis, many of World’s Problems can be Solved
- (August 21, 2016) – Overdependence on Technology will Advance Human Development
- (August 14, 2016) – Geography may remain the same ; history need not
- (August 07, 2016) – Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom
- (July 31, 2016) – To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all
- (July 24, 2016) – True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing
- (July 17, 2016) – We Can Not Fight Terrorism – We have to Live With it
- (July 10, 2016) – A house divided against itself cannot stand
- (July 02, 2016) – When the going gets tough, the tough get going
- (June 26, 2016) – India a Reluctant Participant in the New Global Order?
- (June 19, 2016) – Inclusiveness in India – Still a Dream?
- (June 12, 2016) – No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
- (June 05, 2016) – Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted
- (May 29, 2016) – It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere
- (May 22, 2016) – Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress
- (May 15, 2016) – Fire is a good servant but a bad master
- (May 08, 2016) – The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence
- (May 01, 2016) – Labour Reforms in India and its Role in Economic Development
- (April 24, 2016) – It takes a whole village to raise a child
- (April 17, 2016) – Trust take years to Build, Seconds to Break
- (April 10, 2016) – Cleanliness is next to Godliness
- (April 03, 2016) – Honesty is the Best Policy
- (March 27, 2016) – Before criticizing a man, walk a mile in his shoes
- (March 20, 2016) – Caste System – India’s Enduring Curse
- (March 13, 2016) – Fortune favors the bold
- (March 06, 2016) – Quick but steady wins the race
- (February 28, 2016) – Dreams which should not let India sleep
- (February 21, 2016) – Lending hands to someone is better than giving a dole
- (February 14, 2016) – Technology cannot replace manpower
- (February 7, 2016) – Character of an institution is reflected in its leader
- (January 31, 2016) – Can Capitalism bring Inclusive Growth?
- (January 24, 2016) – Crisis Faced in India – Moral or Economic?
- (January 17, 2016) – Too many cooks spoil the broth
- (January 10, 2016) – The Best Things in Life are Free
- (January 3, 2016) – Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
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UPSC Essay Topics - Important Essay Topics for UPSC Mains 2023
By vajiram & ravi.
Understanding UPSC Essay Topics holds significant importance as it evaluates the candidate's ability to analyse, present arguments, and communicate effectively. In this article, we will explore the diverse range of UPSC essay topics, their significance, and essential tips to excel in this section. Get ready to enhance your writing and analytical skills and make a strong impression on the evaluators with well-crafted essays.
UPSC Essay Paper
The Essay paper in the UPSC Mains examination requires candidates to write multiple essays , each on a different topic, chosen from a given list of options. The essay topics for UPSC cover a wide range of issues, including social, economic, political, cultural, and philosophical aspects, both national and international.
The essay paper holds significant weightage in the UPSC Mains examination, contributing 250 marks out of the total 1750 marks . Scoring well in this section can have a considerable impact on the overall ranking and selection for the coveted civil services.
Weekly UPSC Essay Topics By Vajiram & Ravi
The UPSC Essay Paper is an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their proficiency in expressing ideas and analysing complex issues. Vajiram & Ravi Pensive-Weekly Essay Writing Programme provides you with two Essay Topics every Saturday based on the previous year's question papers and the changing trends analysis. You can submit your Essay for peer evaluation on vajiramandravi.com. This will help you nourish your writing skills, give you clarity of thought, and build the capacity to express opinions in a logical and coherent manner.
Important Essay Topics for UPSC 2023
The purpose of the essay paper is to assess the candidate's ability to critically analyse a topic, present well-structured arguments, and communicate their ideas effectively. It also evaluates their knowledge of various issues, their clarity of thought, and their capacity to express opinions in a logical and coherent manner.
Some of the Important Essay Topics to prepare for the UPSC Mains Examination 2023 are:
- Gender Equality
- Economic Growth
UPSC Essay Topics on Philosophy
Every year, UPSC typically provides you with two or more essay topics centred around philosophical thoughts, Indian philosophical schools, or quotes from notable personalities. To effectively address these philosophical topics, you should refer to Philosophy Books to gain a foundational understanding. Here is a list of UPSC Essay Topics on Philosophy :
- Everything comes to him, who hustles while he waits.
- We are always blind as we want to be.
- You cannot step twice in the same river.
- A disciplined mind brings happiness.
- The price of Greatness is Responsibility.
- People would rather Believe than Know.
- Mind - A beautiful Servant? Or a dangerous Master?
UPSC Essay Topics on Art and Culture
The UPSC Essay Topics related to Indian society, art, and culture cover a wide range of subjects, offering great diversity. To gain knowledge about the static content on these topics, you should rely on fundamental books on society, as recommended for the exam. Here is a list of UPSC Essay Topics on Indian Art and Culture :
- Culture changes with economic development.
- Culture is what we are, Civilization is what we have.
- Social reform is a myth if places of worship are open only to all castes and not to all genders.
- Impact of Globalization on Indian Art and Culture.
- Caste System - India’s Enduring Curse.
- Godmen - A Threat to Indian Art and Culture?
UPSC Essay Topics on Science and Technology
UPSC essay topics on Science and Technology can largely be addressed through current affairs. You may also benefit from consulting a Science and Technology Book for UPSC to compose a comprehensive and well-rounded essay. Here are some UPSC Essay Topics on Science and Technology:
- Deglobalisation is good for the world.
- Science is organised Knowledge. Wisdom is Organised life.
- Technology is a Weapon against Poverty.
- Prioritising Education Technology for Global Growth.
- Technology is the silent factor in International Relations.
- Scientific and Technological Progress cannot be equated with Human Progress.
UPSC Essay Topics on Education
Education stands as one of the preferred UPSC Essay Topics, with an essay related to this subject often appearing in the paper each year. To tackle this topic effectively, you should stay abreast of Current Affairs , incorporating significant changes and advancements in the field. Let's explore some of the Essay topics for UPSC centred around education:
- Self Education is a lifelong curiosity.
- Education Breeds Peace.
- Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
- Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking.
- Schooling is not Education.
UPSC Essay Topics on Polity and Governance
To comprehensively address Polity and Governance topics, you should acquire fundamental knowledge from Polity Books for UPSC and Current Affairs. These resources offer static information about relevant issues and their historical context, which proves valuable while writing UPSC Essay Topics on Polity. Here are some Essay Topics on Polity and Governance:
- The Role of Politics in Development.
- Should Youth in India Consider Politics as a Career?
- Art, Freedom and Creativity will change society faster than politics.
- The politics of Identity is the Politics of the Weak.
- People should not be afraid of their Government. The Government should be afraid of its people.
- Government Surveillance - Good or Bad?
UPSC Essay Topics on Economy
Essays concerning economic growth are frequently included in the Essay Paper. To tackle these topics effectively, you should refer to Economy Notes for UPSC to gain a comprehensive understanding. Once the fundamentals are grasped, you can enhance their essays by incorporating examples, data, and statistics to create a multidimensional perspective. Here is a list of UPSC Essay Topics on Economy:
- We don't have to sacrifice a Strong Economy for a Healthy Environment.
- India, a $5 trillion Economy - Dream or Reality?
- Digital Economy: A leveller or a source of Economic Inequality?
- Innovation is the key determinant of social welfare and economic growth.
- Labour Reforms in India and its Role in Economic Growth.
UPSC Essay Topics on Social Issues
Social issues are a significant aspect of the UPSC essay paper, reflecting the candidates' understanding of societal challenges and their ability to propose viable solutions. These essays provide a platform for candidates to analyse, critique, and suggest measures for pressing social concerns. Topics related to social issues in the UPSC Essay paper may include:
- Inclusivity and Plurality are the hallmarks of a Peaceful Society.
- A Gender-sensitive Indian Society is a prerequisite for Women and Child Empowerment.
- The weaker sections of Indian Society - are their Rights and Access to Justice getting Better?
Previous Year UPSC Essay Topics
Practising previous year's essay topics will help you become familiar with the UPSC exam pattern , word limit, and the types of essay questions frequently asked in the Mains Examination. Analysing past essay topics will also allow you to identify recurring themes and trends, enabling you to prioritise their preparation accordingly. Regular practice with past essay topics will instil confidence in you, helping you feel more comfortable and prepared for the actual exam.
- Forests are the best case studies for economic excellence.
- Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
- History is a series of victories won by the scientific man over the romantic man.
- A ship in the harbour is safe, but that is not what a ship is for.
- The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
- A smile is the chosen vehicle for all ambiguities.
- Just because you have a choice, it does not mean that any of them has to be right.
Tips to Excel in UPSC Essay Paper
- Understand the Topics: Thoroughly comprehend the essay topics, including the keywords and instructions. Choose a topic that aligns with your strengths and interests.
- Plan and Structure: Devote some time to plan your essay. Create an outline and organise your thoughts in a structured manner, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Be Objective: Present balanced arguments and avoid a biased or one-sided approach. Consider multiple perspectives and present a holistic view.
- Provide Examples and Evidence: Support your arguments with relevant examples, data, quotes and evidence to strengthen your essay.
- Maintain Clarity: Write in a clear and concise manner. Use simple language and avoid jargon or overly complex vocabulary.
- Practice Regularly: Regular practice is essential to improve Essay writing skills. Write essays on diverse topics to enhance your versatility.
- Time Management: Allocate appropriate time for planning, writing, and revising each essay to manage time effectively during the examination.
- Revise and Edit: Review your essays for coherence, grammar, and structure. Make necessary edits to refine your work.
FAQs on UPSC Essay Topics
What are the important UPSC Essay Topics?
Here is a list of UPSC Essay Topics asked in Mains Examination previously:
- Culture is what we are, civilization is what we have.
- Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
- What is research but a blind date with knowledge?
- Best for an individual is not necessarily best for society.
- Wisdom finds truth.
- Ships don’t sink because of water around them, ships sink because of water that gets into them.
- Patriarchy is the least noticed yet the most significant structure of social inequality.
- Technology as the silent factor in international relations.
How do I Prepare for the UPSC Essay?
To prepare for the UPSC essay, focus on understanding the essay syllabus and past topics to identify recurring themes. Regularly practise writing essays on various topics to improve your writing skills and time management. Structure your essays with a clear introduction, main body, and conclusion.
Which is the best source to practise UPSC Essay Topics?
The best sources to prepare Essay for UPSC include official UPSC materials, newspapers, and magazines like The Hindu, Yojana , and Kurukshetra for current affairs, standard books on diverse subjects, government reports and publications, online platforms like PIB and PRS India, UPSC previous year papers for understanding the exam pattern, and regular practice of essay writing on various topics.
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Essay Paper UPSC 2023 (Mains) Question Paper and Analysis
Last updated on September 27, 2023 by ClearIAS Team
UPSC conducted the Civil Service Mains exam for essay paper on 15 September 2023.
The CSE mains essay paper comprises two sections. Each section contains 4 essay topics. Out of which 2 topics of choice from each section need to be picked.
Candidates were supposed to answer about 1000-1200 words for each essay.
Table of Contents
UPSC CSE Essay Paper 2023 Instructions
General instructions mentioned on the essay paper, that need to be followed by every aspirant are provided here.
- 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 a medium other than the authorized one.
- Word limit, as specified, should be adhered to.
- Any page or portion of the page left blank, must be struck off clearly.
Essay Question Paper: UPSC Civil Services Main Exam (Written) 2023
The question paper of the UPSC CSE mains essay paper is provided here.
Write two essays, choosing one topic from each of the following Sections A and B, in about 1000-1200 words each:
IAS, IPS, or IFS: How to succeed faster?
No. It's not by reading books!
1: Thinking is like a game, it does not begin unless there is an opposite team.
2: Visionary decision-making happens at the intersection of intuition and logic.
3: Not all who wander are lost.
4: Inspiration for creativity springs from the effort to look for the magical in the mundane.
5: Girls are weighed down by restrictions, boys with demands- two equally harmful disciplines.
6: Mathematics is the music of reasons.
7: A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity.
8: Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
UPSC Mains Essay Paper 2023: Exam Analysis
The essay topics for the UPSC Civil Services Main Exam in 2023 were intellectually demanding and philosophical in nature.
They required candidates to engage in deep critical thinking and present their thoughts logically.
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All the questions in this year’s paper aimed at assessing the candidates’ ability to handle abstract concepts and express their ideas effectively in a structured manner.
This year’s essay topics look like that UPSC has taken inspiration from a wide range of sources, including philosophical and literary works.
Thinking is like a game, it does not begin unless there is an opposite team
This topic seems to revolve around the idea that critical thinking often emerges in response to opposing viewpoints or challenges.
Candidates may have been asked to explore how the clash of ideas leads to innovation and progress.
Visionary decision-making happens at the intersection of intuition and logic.
This famous saying belongs to Paul O’Brien.
This statement likely prompted candidates to discuss the balance between intuition and rationality in making important decisions.
It encourages a reflection on the role of both factors in effective leadership and problem-solving
Not all who wander are lost
This saying belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring.
The topic expected from candidates to think about how exploring and being spontaneous in life’s journey can be really good.
It’s a deep topic that can be understood in many different ways.
Inspiration for creativity springs from the effort to look for the magical in the mundane
This essay topic appears to emphasize the idea that creativity is not limited to rare moments of inspiration but can be found in everyday experiences.
It probably asked people to think about where creativity comes from and how we can express it in our daily lives.
Girls are weighed down by restrictions, boys with demands- two equally harmful disciplines
This is the saying of Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir was a prominent French existentialist philosopher and feminist thinker. She made significant contributions to feminist philosophy through her work, including “The Second Sex,” where she discussed the concept of “The Other” and examined the role of societal expectations in shaping women’s lives.
The quote by Simone de Beauvoir presented the idea that both girls and boys or individuals of different genders, often face distinct but equally harmful forms of societal pressures and constraints.
It suggests that expectations placed on girls (referred to as “restrictions”) and boys (referred to as “demands”) can be damaging and limit their potential.
Mathematics is the music of reasons
The complete saying of James Joseph Sylvester is that mathematics is the music of reason. May not music be described as the mathematics of the sense, mathematics as music of the reason? The musician feels mathematics, the mathematician thinks music: music the dream, mathematics the working life.”
This statement suggests a poetic connection between mathematics and music. Candidates likely had to discuss the beauty and logic inherent in mathematics and its role in shaping our understanding of the world.
A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity
This topic seems to touch upon the ideas of social justice and charity, which have been discussed by philosophers like John Rawls and the concept of the “veil of ignorance.”
Candidates may have been asked to explore the relationship between justice, equality, and philanthropy in society.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school – Albert Einstein .
This essay topic likely demands from candidates to reflect on the value of education beyond rote memorization.
It may have expect discussion on the practical application of knowledge and lifelong learning.
What Should Aspirants Preparing for UPSC CSE for Next Year do for an essay paper?
Taking the essay paper in the UPSC exam seriously is important. This paper requires you to write 10-12 pages about abstract or philosophical topics, which can be challenging if you’re not well-prepared.
To succeed in this exam and perform well in the essay paper, you should work on improving your comprehension and analytical skills. To get additional guidance you can join the ClearIAS essay writing program as well.
One helpful way to prepare is by reading various types of essays, especially philosophical ones. Pay special attention to the ideas of famous philosophers like Immanuel Kant, Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, and others.
Practice writing essays based on famous quotes, as this is a common format in UPSC exams.
Additionally, be ready to write essays on a wide range of topics, including society, politics, the economy, and technology. UPSC asks such types of questions too.
Keep in mind that there isn’t a fixed pattern for UPSC questions. Analyze previous year’s question papers to get valuable insight. So, focus on understanding the way UPSC frames questions rather than expecting a consistent trend.
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UPSC Essay Topics
The Upsc Essay Topics change every year, and aspirants are never sure what they will be. They can be about things like how the economy is doing, how women can be stronger, art and culture, or how the media affects us. Moreover, it’s a good idea to look at the essay questions from previous years to get an idea of what might be asked. This will help you practice writing essays and do well in the exam. With enough practice, you can become good at writing essays for the UPSC exam .
Furthermore, the IAS Essay section is very important in the UPSC exam. It contains 250 marks, and you must write two essay questions in three hours, each 1000 to 1200 words. Additionally, to prepare, it’s a good idea to look at previous upsc essay papers to understand what essay topics upsc might come up in the exam.
You can also check for UPSC Mains Toppers Booklist . [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am5JYNs9Y08[/embedyt]
UPSC Essay Topics 2024
The UPSC essay paper is one of the nine papers in the UPSC Mains exam . It’s a chance for candidates to share their opinions on social, economic, and political issues. UPSC usually chooses topics that are either related to current events or have a big impact on society. Moreover, some important IAS essay topics for the UPSC exam could include:
- Bureaucracy/Civil Service
- Water Security
- Poverty/Hunger/Food Security
- Human Resources- Employment
- Social Media
UPSC Essay Topics: Previous Year Question Paper
Having access to the previous year’s essay topics can be useful. It gives you an idea of the types of essays asked in previous years. Moreover, That’s why we’ve provided the UPSC essay topics from the previous year’s UPSC question paper below.
- UPSC Essay Topics for year 2022
- UPSC Essay Topics for year 2021
- UPSC Essay Topics for year 2020
- UPSC Essay Topics for year 2019
- UPSC Essay Topics for year 2018
You can also check for how to write an essay for upsc .
UPSC Essay Topics: Topic wise
Here, we will discuss different UPSC Essay Topics that are frequently asked in the UPSC Examination.
UPSC Essay Topics on Administration
If you want to prepare for Polity and Administration topics for the UPSC exam, you can start by reading books on Polity and Public Administration. Moreover, these books provide basic information about relevant issues and their history, which can be useful when writing essay questions on Polity and Public Administration for the UPSC exam. Some UPSC essay topics on these topics could include:
- Is autonomy the best answer to combat balkanisation?
- Politics without ethics is a disaster.
- Judicial activism and Indian democracy.
- The language politics in India: its past, present, and future.
- Is a better disaster management system need of the hour?
- Cooperative federalism: Myth or reality.
- Need for transparency in public administration.
- The VIP cult is a bane of Indian democracy.
UPSC Essay Topics on Science and Technology
To write an essay on Science and Technology topics for the UPSC exam, you can start by following current affairs related to this field. You can also refer to books on Science and Technology for UPSC to get a multidimensional perspective. Moreover, some possible Science and Tech UPSC essay topics could include:
- The modern doctor and his patients.
- The process of self-discovery has now been technologically outsourced.
- Alternative technologies for a climate change-resilient India.
- Technology cannot replace manpower.
- Social media is inherently a selfish medium.
- Value-based science and education.
- Cyberspace and Internet: Blessing or curse to the human civilisation in the long run.
- The lure of space.
- Spirituality and scientific temper.
- The march of science and the erosion of human values.
- The cyberworld: Its charms and challenges.
- Science and Mysticism: Are they compatible?
UPSC Essay Topics on Women Empowerment
UPSC encourages gender equality in the workplace and often includes essay topics related to women. The UPSC Essay topics aims to understand the candidate’s level of critical thinking and ability to express their thoughts. Including data, references, and real-life examples can help earn extra marks while writing essays. Moreover, some possible UPSC essay topics related to women and women empowerment could include:
- Challenges and Prospects of Women Empowerment
- Ground realities of the new emerging women power
- Fulfillment of ‘new woman’ in India is a myth.
- Is the Indian working woman getting a fair deal- Managing work and home?
- Hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
- What if all the developed countries had women as their heads?
- Greater political power alone will not improve women’s plight.
- Whither women’s emancipation?
UPSC Essay Topics on Indian Culture & Society
The UPSC essay topics related to Indian society, art, and culture are always diverse. To prepare for these topics, candidates can read basic books on society that are typically referred to during the exam. Moreover, you can also use Art & Culture Notes for UPSC to help with your preparation. Some possible UPSC essay topics related to Indian culture and society are:
- Are new cults and godmen threats to the traditional religion?
- Modernism and our traditional socio-ethical values.
- Indian society is at a crossroads.
- The composite culture of Indian society
- Where the Youth culture of today is heading towards
- As civilisation progresses, culture declines.
UPSC Essay Topics on Philosophical Type
Every year, UPSC includes two or more UPSC essay topics related to philosophical thoughts, Indian philosophical schools, or quotes from famous personalities. Students can refer to Philosophy Books for UPSC to prepare for these topics to gain a basic background. Moreover, some possible UPSC essay topics related to philosophy or quotes from famous personalities are:
- Be the change you want to see in others.
- Reality does not conform to the ideal but confirms it.
- The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
- Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
- If youth knew if age could.
- Useless life is an early death.
- Search for truth can only be attained through spiritual means.
- Lending hands to someone is better than giving a dole.
- Words are sharper than a two-edged sword
UPSC Essay Topics on Education
Education is a popular UPSC essay topics , and almost every year, an essay related to education is asked in the paper. Moreover, to prepare for this topic, staying updated with current affairs and major changes and developments related to the field is important. Some possible UPSC essay topics related to education for UPSC could include:
- Privatisation of the higher education system in India.
- Does growth in literacy correspond to growth in education?
- Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather make a man a more clever devil.
- Concept of Real Education
- Restructuring of the Indian education system with respect to the NEP
- The destiny of a nation is shaped in its classrooms.
- Education for all”: myth or reality.
UPSC Essay Topics on Economic Growth
UPSC frequently includes IAS essay topics on economic growth, development, and the MNC (multi-national corporation) sector. To prepare for these topics, candidates can refer to Economy Notes for UPSC to get a general overview of the subject. Moreover, once you grasp the basics well, you can add examples, data, and figures to make your essay more multi-dimensional. Some possible UPSC essay topics related to economics for UPSC could include:
- Can tourism be the next big thing for India?
- GDP (Gross Domestic Product) along with GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) should be the right indices for judging the well-being of a country.
- Are the Multinational corporations saviours or saboteurs?
- Is the Digital economy a leveller or a source of economic inequality?
- Is it the policy paralysis or the paralysis of implementation which slowed the growth of our country?
- Future of BPO Culture in India
- Crisis faced in India – moral or economic.
- Is the near jobless growth in India an anomaly or an outcome of economic reforms?
You can also check for UPSC Calendar 2023 .
Upsc Essay Topics: Things to keep in mind
Writing is a way to show how you think. When an examiner reads your essay, they can understand your thought process. An essay is a well-structured set of ideas on a specific topic. Moreover, to score well on the UPSC Essay paper , it’s important to practice and be persistent. The essay is about factual knowledge, creativity, and critical thinking. To score well on the UPSC Essay paper, follow these steps:
- Choose the Right Essay
The UPSC Essay paper has two sections, and you have to write one essay from each section. Both essays have 125 marks each and must be 1000-1200 words. Before choosing a topic, it’s important to reflect on it and consider if it’s too controversial or if you have enough information to write about it.
- Examine the Topic
When you select UPSC Essay Topics , it’s important to take some time to think about the topic and write down the main keywords that you will use in your essay. This will help you organise your thoughts and ensure you cover all the key points.
Taking a multidimensional approach is important when writing your essay, which means considering different perspectives and angles.
Additionally, structure your essay clearly and concisely, with an introduction that sets the stage for the rest of the essay, a body that covers your main points, and a conclusion that summarises your key ideas and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.
- Structure well
The introduction is a crucial part of the UPSC Essay Topics and should provide a brief idea about the topic. It should convey your perspective on the topic. The essay’s main body should be divided into well-connected small paragraphs. The language should be simple, clear, and easy to comprehend.
Moreover, the focus should be on critical thinking rather than using complex vocabulary. If necessary, include relevant facts and data. Using quotes and sayings can add weight to the essay. The conclusion should be clear and concise. While writing, strive for a neutral or balanced approach.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Do UPSC Topics get repeated?
Ans: That’s correct. While UPSC may repeat essay topics from previous years, they are likely to ask a different question with the exact same wording. Instead, they may tweak the language or focus of the question slightly to test a candidate’s understanding and analytical skills. Moreover, it is also true that certain topics, such as history, economics, and Indian polity, tend to be asked more frequently than others.
Q2: How many essay questions are asked in the upsc essay paper?
Ans: The UPSC Essay Paper consists of two sections, each containing four to five essay topics. Candidates need to choose one essay topic from each section and write an essay of 1000 to 1200 words on each topic. Moreover, each essay is worth 125 marks, and the total mark for the UPSC Essay Paper is 250.
Q3: How can I write a good essay for UPSC?
Ans: Keeping notes and staying updated with current affairs is crucial in developing a deep understanding of various topics. Reading books, journals, and other publications related to the UPSC Essay Topics can also help enhance knowledge and vocabulary. Moreover, ractising writing essays regularly and getting feedback from mentors or peers to improve writing skills is also important.
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UPSC Essay Paper 2023, Download PDF
UPSC Mains 2023 Essay Question Paper: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) mains exam started today, September 15, 2023, at 24 centres across the country. Check and download the Mains essay question paper PDF from this article.
UPSC Question Paper 2023: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has started conducting the UPSC Mains Examination 2023. Candidates can download the UPSC Essay question paper 2023 from the direct link that is given below. UPSC essay question paper is a useful preparation and self-assessment tool for candidates to practice and understand the trend of topics asked in the examination. Candidates who are preparing for the next cycle of the UPSC Exam must download the UPSC essay question paper as it will help in knowing the difficulty level and topic asked in the examination.
UPSC Essay Paper 2023
The UPSC essay question paper 2023 is available for download. The UPSC is divided into 2 sections i.e. Section A and Section B. Each section contains 4 questions each from different topics where students have to choose one topic from each section and write an essay of approximately 1000 - 1200 words. The time allowed to write the essay is 3 hours which contains a total of 250 marks
Download UPSC IAS Essay Question Paper 2023 PDF
UPSC successfully completed the UPSC IAS Mains Essay Paper on September 15, 2023. Candidates can download the essay paper from the table given below here. We have shared the UPSC essay question paper
Topics Asked in the IAS Mains Essay Paper
The UPSC IAS Essay question consists of two sections where questions from 4 topics were asked in each section. Candidates need to write an essay of 1000-1200 words on 1 topic of their choice from the section
- Thinking is like a game, it does not begin unless there is an opposite team
- Visionary decision-making at the intersection of intuition and logic
- Not all who wander are lost
- Inspiration for creativity springs from the effort to look for the magical in the mundane
- Girls are weighed down by restrictions, boys with demands - two equally harmful disciplines
- Mathematics is the music of reason
- A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity
- Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school
UPSC IAS Mains Exam Dates
Below we have tabulated the exam dates announced by UPSC for the IAS Mains Examination
For more details click here
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