Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Civil service mains exam 2013 - Analysis of Essay Paper with 2012 examination

UPSC 2013 Mains Official Question Paper – ESSAY

2012 vs 2013 Paper

2012 2013
No word limit mentioned. they've specifically instructed "Not more than 2500" words
Attempt any one out of four essays.Same. Attempt one out of four essays.Despite speculation that more than one essay will be asked.
200 mark| 3 hours 250 marks | 3 hours (which you already know)
Asked essay about Gandhi's idea on 'Swadhinata', 'Swaraj' and 'Dharmarajya', and their contemporary relevance to Indian democracy. Gandhi Prem continues: Be the change you want to see in others.
Science vs. Mysticism Sci.Tech=Growth + security for nation.
Economy on Economy: PPP= Boon / bane? Love for economy continues: GDP + Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH)
women related essay asked
  • No, despite wide speculations due to frequent news of crime against women.
  • Similarly, nothing on Criminalization of politics, Indo-China, Indo-Pak, elections, Mangalyaan, Chess, Bharat Ratna etc.
  • However, to drag the speculation non-seriously: During Bhutan elections (July 2013), most newspapers mentioned about its "Gross National Happiness (GNH)". So examiner must have got inspirationfrom there to ask essay on GDP vs GDH.
Three essays are in 'question' format- requiring you to take a 'stand'. Observe

  1. 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?
  2. Science and Mysticism: Are they compatible?
  3. Managing work and home – is the Indian working woman getting a fair deal?
Only one essay in 'question' format:

Is the Colonial mentality hindering India's Success?

Essay-list: Topic wise last 21 years (1993-2013)

Economy/ India vs Bharat theme

  1. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) along with GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) would be the right indices for judging the wellbeing of a country-2013
  2. 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
  3. Protection of ecology and environment is essential for sustained economic development. -2006
  4. BPO boom in India.   -2007
  5. Globalization would finish small-scale industries in India. -2006
  6. Economic growth without distributive justice is bound to breed violence. -1993
  7. Ecological considerations need not hamper development. -1993
  8. Multinational corporations – saviours or saboteurs -1994
  9. Special economic zone : boon or bane -2008
  10. Resource management in the Indian context. -1999
  11. Should a moratorium be imposed on all fresh mining in tribal areas of the country? -2010
  12. Are our traditional handicrafts doomed to a slow death? -2009
  13. The focus of health care is increasingly getting skewed towards the 'haves' of our society. -2009
  14. Urbanization is a blessing in disguise. -1997


  1. Modern technological education and human values. -2002
  2. Credit – based higher education system – status , opportunities and challenges -2011
  3. "Education for all" campaign in India: myth or reality. -2006
  4. Privatization of higher education in India. -2002
  5. Irrelevance of the classroom. -2001
  6. Value-based science and education. -1999
  7. Is an egalitarian society possible by educating the masses ? -2008
  8. Independent thinking should be encouraged right form the childhood. -2007
  9. Restructuring of Indian education system. -1995
  10. Literacy is growing very fast, but there is no corresponding growth in education. -1996
  11. What is real education? -2005

Indian Democracy, society, culture, mindset

  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. Does Indian cinema shape our popular culture or merely reflect it -2011
  4. Indian culture today: a myth or a reality? -2000
  5. Modernism and our traditional socio-ethical values. -2000
  6. Youth culture today. -1999
  7. Mass media and cultural invasion. -1999
  8. The composite culture of India. -1998
  9. The Indian society at the crossroads. -1994
  10. Geography may remain the same ; history need not. -2010
  11. From traditional Indian philanthropy to the gates-buffet model-a natural progression or a paradigm shift? -2010
  12. Modernisation and westernisation are not identical concepts. -1994
  13. New cults and godmen: a threat to traditional religion -1996
  14. How has satellite television brought about cultural change in Indian mindsets? -2007
  15. ' globalization' vs. ' nationalism' -2009
  16. National identity and patriotism -2008
  17. Responsibility of media in a democracy. -2002
  18. Why should we be proud of being Indians? -2000
  19. True religion cannot be misused. -1997
  20. Globalizations and its impact on Indian culture. -2004

International issues

  1. India's role in promoting asean co-operation. -2004
  2. The masks of new imperialism. -2003
  3. As civilization advances culture declines. -2003
  4. The implications of globalization for India. -2000
  5. My vision of an ideal world order. -2001
  6. India's contribution to world wisdom. -1998
  7. The world of the twenty-first century. -1998
  8. Preparedness of our society for India's global leadership role. -2010
  9. The global order: political and economic -1993
  10. Importance of indo-u.s. nuclear agreement -2006
  11. Good fences make good neighbors -2009
  12. Terrorism and world peace -2005
  13. Restructuring of uno reflect present realities -1996

Quote based / Philosophical

  1. Be the change you want to see in others (Gandhi)-2013
  2. Discipline means success , anarchy means ruin -2008
  3. Attitude makes, habit makes character and character makes a man.  -2007
  4. There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. -2003
  5. Search for truth can only be a spiritual problem. -2002
  6. Spirituality and scientific temper. -2003
  7. Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the lifeblood of civilisation. -1995
  8. Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds. -1995
  9. Youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle, oldage a regret -1994
  10. Useless life is an early death. -1994
  11. He would reigns within himself and folds his passions and desires and fears is more than a king. -1993
  12. Compassion is the basic of all morality would -1993
  13. If youth knew, if age could. -2002
  14. The paths of glory lead but to the grave. -2002
  15. The pursuit of excellence. -2001
  16. Truth is lived, not taught -1996

Polity, administration

  1. Creation of smaller states and the consequent administrative , economic and developmental implication -2011
  2. Evaluation of panchayati raj system in India from the point of view of eradication of power to people.  -2007
  3. Justice must reach the poor -2005
  4. Water resources should be under the control of the central government. -2004
  5. The misinterpretation and misuse of freedom in India. -1998
  6. The language problem in India: its past, present and prospects. -1998
  7. Reservation, politics and empowerment. -1999
  8. When money speaks, the truth is silent. -1995
  9. How should a civil servant conduct himself? -2003
  10. Politics without ethics is a disaster. -1995
  11. Judicial activism. -1997
  12. The vip cult is a bane of Indian democracy -1996
  13. Need for transparency in public administration -1996
  14. Whither Indian democracy? -1995
  15. Politics, bureaucracy and business – fatal triangle. -1994
  16. How far has democracy in India delivered the goods? -2003
  17. What we have not learnt during fifty years of independence. -1997
  18. My vision of India in 2001 a.d. -1993
  19. In the Indian context , both human intelligence and technical intelligence are crucial in combating terrorism -2011
  20. Is autonomy the best answer to combat balkanization? -2007
  21. The country's need for a better disaster management system. -2000
  22. Are we a 'soft ' state ? -2009
  23. Role of media in good governance -2008
  24. Judicial activism and Indian democracy. -2004
  25. What have we gained from our democratic set-up? -2001
  26. Urbanisation and its hazards -2008
  27. Food security for sustainable national development -2005


  1. Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation-2013
  2. Science and Mysticism : Are they compatible ?-2012
  3. Computer: the harbinger of silent revolution. -1993
  4. The march of science and the erosion of human values. -2001
  5. The modern doctor and his patients. -1997
  6. Increasing computerization would lead to the creation of a dehumanized society. -2006
  7. The cyberworld: its charms and challenges. -2000
  8. The lure of space. -2004

Women empowerment

  1. Managing work and home – is the Indian working woman getting a fair deal ?-2012
  2. Men have failed: let women take over. -1993
  3. Women's reservation bill would usher in empowerment for women in India. -2006
  4. The hand that rocks the cradle -2005
  5. If women ruled the world -2005
  6. Whither women's emancipation? -2004
  7. Empowerment alone cannot help our women. -2001
  8. Women empowerment: challenges and prospects. -1999
  9. Woman is god's best creation. -1998
  10. Greater political power alone will not improve women's plight. -1997
  11. The new emerging women power: the ground realities. -1995
Source :

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