IAS Essay Topics From 1993 to 2017

Compulsory Paper in UPSC IAS Examination
Time Allowed: Three Hours
Max. Marks: 250

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Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. The choice of subjects will be given. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay, to arrange their ideas in their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

Examiners will pay special attention to the candidate’s grasp of his material, its relevance to the subject chosen, and to his ability to think constructively and to present his ideas concisely, logically and effectively.

Write an Essay on any one of the following topics:

1) My Vision of India in 2001 A.D.
2) The emerging Global Order, Political and Economic.
3) “He who Reigns within himself and Rules his Passions, Desires and Fears, is more than a King”.
4) Compassion is the Basis of All Morality.
5) Men have failed; let Women take over.
6) Economic Growth without Distributive justice is bound to breed Violence.
7) Ecological considerations need not hamper development.
8) Computer : The Harbinger of a Silent Revolution.


1) Youth is a blunder. Manhood a struggle. Old age a regret.
2) Indian Society at the crossroads.
3) The Challenge before a Civil Servant Today.
4) Modernisation and Westernization are not identical concepts.
5) A useless life is an early death.
6) Politics, Business and Bureaucracy-a fatal triangle.
7) Multinational Corporations-saviours or saboteurs.


1) Politics without ethics is a disaster.
2) The new emerging woman-power: the ground realities.
3) When money speaks, the truth is silent.
4) Whither Indian democracy?
5) Restructuring of Indian education system.
6) Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the life-blood of real civilization.
7) Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.


1) Literacy is growing very fast but there is no corresponding growth in education.
2) Restructuring of the UNO to reflect present realities.
3) New cults and godmen: a threat to traditional religions.
4) The VIP cult is a bane of Indian democracy.
5) Need for transparency in public administration.
6) Truth is lived, not taught.


1) What we have not learnt during fifty years of Independence.
2) Judicial activism.
3) Greater political power alone will not improve women’s plight.
4) True religion cannot be misused.
5) The modern doctor and his patients.
6) Urbanization is a blessing in disguise.


1) The composite culture of India.
2) Woman is God’s best creation.
3) The misinterpretation and misuse of freedom in India.
4) India’s contribution to world wisdom.
5) The language problem in India: its past, present and prospects.
6) The world of the twenty-first century.


1) Women empowerment: Challenges and prospects.
2) Youth culture today.
3) Mass media and cultural invasion.
4) Resource management in the Indian context.
5) Value-based science and education
6) Reservation, politics and empowerment.


1) Why should we be proud of being Indians?
2) The cyberworld: It charms and challenges.
3) The country’s need for a better disaster management system
4) Indian culture today: A myth or a reality?
5) The implications of globalisation for India.
6) Modernism and our traditional socio-ethical values.


1) What have we gained from our democratic set-up?
2) My vision of an ideal world order.
3) The march of science and the erosion of human values.
4) Irrelevance of the classroom.
5) The pursuit of excellence.
6) Empowerment alone cannot help our women.


1) Modern technological education and human values.
2) Search for truth can only be a spiritual problem.
3) If youth knew, if age could.
4) The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
5) Privatisation of higher education in India.
6) Responsibility of media in a democracy.


1) The Masks of New Imperialism.
2) How far has democracy in India delivered the goods?
3) How should a civil servant conduct himself?
4) As civilization advances culture declines.
5) There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
6) Spirituality and Scientific temper.


1) India’s Role in Promoting ASEAN Co-operation.
2) Judicial Activism and Indian Democracy.
3) Whither Women’s Emancipation?
4) Globalisation and its Impact on Indian Culture.
5) The Lure of Space.
6) Water Resources should be under the Control of the Central Government.
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1) Justice must reach the poor.
2) The hand that rocks the cradle.
3) If women ruled the world.
4) What is real education?
5) Terrorism and world peace.
6) Food security for sustainable national development.


1. Women’s Reservation Bill Would Usher in Empowerment for Women in India.
2. Protection of Ecology and Environment is Essential for Sustained Economic Development.
3. Importance of Indo-U.S. Nuclear Agreement.
4. “Education For All” Campaign in India: Myth or Reality.
5. Globalization Would Finish Small-Scale Industries in India.
6. Increasing Computerization Would lead to the Creation of a Dehumanized Society.


1. Independent thinking should be encouraged right from childhood.
2. Evaluation of Panchayati Raj System in India from the point of view of eradication of poverty to empower to people.
3. Attitude makes habit, habit makes character and character makes a man.
4. Is autonomy the best answer to combat balkanization?
5. How has satellite television brought about cultural change in the Indian mindset?
6. BPO boom in India.


1.     Role of media in good governance 
2.     National Identity and patriotism 
3.     Special Economic Zones : Boon or Bane  
4.     Discipline means success, anarchy means ruin
5.     Urbanisation and its Hazards 
6.     Is an egalitarian society possible by educating the masses ?
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1. Are our traditional handicrafts doomed to a slow death?
2. Are we a ‘Soft ’ state ?
3. “The focus of health care is increasingly getting skewed towards the ‘haves’ of our society”.
4. “ Good Fences make good neighbors”
5. ‘ Globlisation’ vs. ‘ Nationalism’


1. Geography may remains the same; history need not.
2. Should a moratorium be imposed on all fresh mining in tribal areas of the country?
3. Preparedness of our society for India’s global leadership role.
4. From traditional Indian philantrophy to the Gates-Buffett model-a natural progression or a paradigm shift.

Essay  topics 2011
1. Creation of smaller - states and the consequent administrative, economic and developmental implications
2. Does Indian cinema shape our popular culture or merely reflect. it?
3. Credit- based higher education system - tatus, opportunities and challenges
4. In the Indian context, both human intelligence and technical intelligence are crucial are crucial in combating terrorism

essay topics 2012
1. 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.
2. Is he criticism that the 'Public-Private-Partnership' (PPP) model for development is more of a bane than a boon in the Indian context, justified?
3. Science and Mysticism : Are they compatible?
4. Managing work and home - is the Indian working woman getting a fair deal?

Essay Topics -2013
1. Be the change you want to see in others - Gandhiji.
2. Is the Colonial mentality hindering India's success?
3. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) along with GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) would be the right indices for judging the well-being of a country.
4. Science and Technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation.

2014 Essay Topics
Section -A
1. With greater power comes greater responsibility.
2. Is the growing level of competition good for the youth?
3. Are the standardized tests good measure of academic ability or progress?
4. Words are sharper than the two-edged sword.
1. Was it the policy paralysis or the paralysis of implementation which slowed the growth of our country?
 2. Is sting operation an invasion on privacy?
3. Fifty Golds in Olympics:Can this be a reality for India?
4. Tourism :Can this be the next big thing for India?

 2015 Essay Topics
Section 'A'
1. Lending hands to someone is better than giving a dole.
2. Quick but steady wins the race.
3. Character of an institution is reflected in its leader.
4. Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man more clever.
Section 'B'
1. Technology cannot replace manpower.
2. Crisis faced in India- moral or economic.
3. Dreams which should not let India sleep.
4. Can capitalism bring inclusive growth?

UPSC Civil Services Mains 2016: Essay Paper
Section ‘A’
If development is not engendered, it is endangered
Need brings greed, if greed increases it spoils breed
Water disputes between states in federal India
Innovation is the key determinant of economic growth and social welfare
Section B
Cooperative federalism: Myth or reality
Cyberspace and internet: Blessing or curse to the human civilization in the long run
Near jobless growth in India: An anomaly or an outcome of economic reforms
Digital economy: A leveller or a source of economic inequality

Essay Paper of UPSC Mains 2017
Write Two Essays, choosing One from each of the Sections A and B, in about 1000-1200 words each.
Section-A (125 marks) – Choose any one Essay
Farming has lost the ability to be a source of substance for majority of farmers in India
Impact of new economic measures on fiscal ties between the union and states in India
Destiny of a nation is shaped in its classrooms
Has the non-alignment movement lost its relevance in a multipolar world?
Section-B (125 marks)- Choose any one Essay
Joy is simplest form of gratitude
Fulfilment of new woman in India is a myth.
We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws
Social media is inherently a selfish medium

IAS/IPS Interview Questions UPSC


My interview was scheduled on March 29, 2010 in the afternoon session. I dressed up in a sky blue shirt and grey trousers with a grey tie and reported at UPSC at 2 pm. After initial formalities, I came to know that I was assigned Mr. Nirbhay Sharma’s Board. I was third in line to be interviewed. Though, a lot of calculations started in my mind about the board but I kept myself cool, confident and open by talking with fellow candidates. I was called by the peon at 3:30 pm. While waiting outside the room, I was taking deep breaths and also ensured that my dress was proper. When my turn came up around 3:50 pm, the peon opened the door.

Me: May I come in Sir?

Chairman: Yes, come in.
Me: (While walking towards chair)
Good afternoon Sirs (All male members in my board)
Good afternoon.
Chairman: What is your name?
Me: Sir, Gagandeep Singla.
Chairman: What is your DoB?
Me: Sir, its 18th Feb 1985.
Chairman: What is your role number?
Me: Sir, its 160002
Chairman: OK, take your seat.
Me: (After taking a seat) thank you, Sir.
Chairman: Mr. Gagan, you are a doctor?
Me: Yes, Sir
Chairman: You passed out in 2008, so what are you doing these days?
Me: Sir, I am totally devoted to civil services preparation.
Chairman: Ohh! So you haven’t done anyjob after passing out?
Me: Sir, I have done JRship for 5 months from Dec-2008 to April 2009
at KBM hospital, Ambala.
Chairman: What are your preferences?
Me: Sir, services preferences?
Chairman: Yes, Services preferences.
Me: Sir, myfirst choice is IAS, second is IPS.........
Chairman: OK, OK
Chairman: China is increasing its influence in Pakistan, what do you
have to say?
Me: Definitely China is increasing its influence in Pakistan by
developing port (Gwadar), supplying arms and communications,
nuclear fuel etc.
Chairman: Yes, Yes why China is doing so?
Me: India is an emerging power in South Asia region and seen as a
strong competitor by China, so to neutralise that growing influence of
India in the region, China is doing so.
Chairman: India is hosting commonwealth games. Where?
Me: New Delhi
Chairman: When?
Me: This year only.
Chairman: Specify month?
Me: Sir, October 2010
Chairman: How many nations are there in the commonwealth?
Me: Sir, 53 nations.
Chairman: Which Nations?
Me: Sir, nations which were earlier colonised bythe British Empire.
Chairman: Whyit is called the commonwealth?
Me: Sorry Sir, I am not aware of this.

1st Member
Member: What are the various education reforms occurring in India?
Me: Sir, starting from primary education?
Member: No, No come directlyto higher education.
Me: Sir, in the field of higher education, recently four proposals were
passed bythe cabinet committee viz. National Accreditation Authority.
Member: These are Bills or proposals?
Me: Sir, till now these are proposals only.
Member: OK, tell me in context of introduction of semester system.
Me: Sir, Government is planning to introduce semester system at college level and is also considering the recommendations of Yashpal Committee like setting up NCHER in place of AICTE, UGC etc.
Member: What is this AICTE?
Me: All India Council for Technical Education.
All members: Good, Good......Very Good.
Member: What do you understand by EU and its structure?
Me: European Union. It has a common Parliament, Central Bank etc.
Member: How many nations are there in the EU?
Me: Sorry Sir, I am not able to recall.
Member: What is Eurozone?
Me: The EU nations which opted Euro as currency.
Member: Which other currencyis there?
Me: Pound
Member: What is the relation between Euro and Rupees?
Me: Sorry Sir, I do not know.
Member: Compare IMR of India with surrounding countries?
Me: Sir, I know IMR of India but I do not know IMR of surrounding
Member: OK, tell me IMR of India.
Me: Sir, its 54, according to 2004 data

IInd Member
Member: budget is presented in February but passed in May-June
Me: It is forwarded to PRSC for consideration.
Member: “Small steps lead to big leap...........” Who said this statement?
Me: Sorry Sir, I do not know.
Member: It is related to Moon.
Me: Sorry Sir, not able to recall.
Member: Have you heard of Neil Armstrong?
Me: Oh....Yes Sir, Yes Sir. Now I can make out. I have read it
Member: Ha, Ha, Ha. (Big laugh from the chairman.)
Me: It somehow slipped from my mind.

IIIrd Member
Member: You are gold medalist in ophthalmology; tell me the
difference between ophthalmologist and optometrist?
Me: Sir, optometrist has a limited scope pertaining to vision whereas
ophthalmologist has a wider area dealing with every type of disease
related to the eye.
Member: What is etiology of cataract?
Me: Sir, Old Age, Hypertension, Diabetes etc.
Member: What happens to anterior chamber during cataract surgery?
Me: Sorry Sir, I do not know.
Member: What are the drugs that cross Blood Brain Barrier?
Me: Sorry Sir, I am not able to recall.
Member: What percent of GDP is formed by agriculture?
Me: Around 20 percent
Member: Do you agree that health of Punjab agricultural land is
Me: Definitely Sir, it is deteriorating.
Member: Where is a green revolution possible now?
Me: According to Mr. Pranab Mukherjee’s statement, we are now
looking towards eastern states like eastern UP, Bihar, Madhya
Pradesh etc.
Member: What is white revolution?
Me: It is related to diary products.
Member: Blue?
Me: Related to fishery.
Member: Pink?
Me: Related to pharmaceutical.
Member: Black?
Me: Sorry Sir, I do not know.
Member: From where do the micronutrients in crops come?
Me: Sir, mainly from soil because fertilizers are meant mainly for macronutrients.
Member: Who is the 10th Sikh Guru?
Me: Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Member: Now which Guru?
Me: Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

IVth Member
Member: What is the difference between Panjab (my university) and Punjab?
Me: There is no difference. Both words are derived from Panj + ab.
Member: No, No. Relate it with some sociological aspect.
Me: Sorry Sir, I could not understand the question.
Chairman: Bombayis Mumbai, Madras is Chennai, Calcutta is Kolkata. Why?
Me: Sorry Sir, I do not know.
Chairman: Punjab represents colonial legacy while Panjab represents
modern India, do you agree?
Me: Sir, Punjab University was established in 1956 in India so by that
time the concept of Pa-Panjab might emerge rather than Pu-Punjab.
Member: Scientific name of Mango tree?
Me: Sorry, Sir I am very weak in scientific names.
Member: Suppose you are DM of a district and you are allocated Rs 100 crore and you have 3 options to spend upon:
a) school b) hospital c) clean water On which one you will spend?
Me: On School.
Member: Why?
Me: Because I do think illiteracy is root cause of many problems. If we
spend on school then at a time we can directly hit on many problems.
Member: What if people are sick?
Me: Sir, presently GoI is running such wonderful health programmes but because of lack of awareness, people are not accessing such facilities.
Member: Ok, but being a doctor you should go for drinking water.
Me: yes, that is also important.
Member: Which one is bigger 1/3 or ¾?
Me: sir, ¾.

Chairman: What do you understand by paid news?
Me: I was explaining it when the chairman interrupted me.
Chairman: Ok, what is your opinion?
Me: Sir, paid news should be banned.
Chairman: What is harm if someone is paying for some service?
Me: But it is against the ethics. People should get correct information about their candidates and party.
Chairman: Mr Gagan, your interview is over.
Me: Thank you, sirs.

My interview lasted for 35-40 minutes. They asked me questions from every field. Though, I was not fully satisfied, I was happy that nothing wrong happened inside. Interview training at Career Quest by Sanjeev Kabeer sir was really helpful. I gained the confidence and also came to know how to face interview.


A Personal Interview shall be conducted to assess the candidates’ academic record, power of expression, clarity of thought, qualities of leadership, extra curricular activities, hobbies, general demeanor, behavior, communication skills, suitability for the post, etc.


Interview Guidelines for candidates by UPSC

The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest.

The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in banking service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental calibre of a candidate.

In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers.

Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own state or country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity.


Interview Coaching for UPSC 


"All the major and minor care for Interview was taken by Kabeer Sir. The nitty gritties and intricacies of the interview were imparted to us by Sir, in a very positive, simple and lucid manner.

Not just in the interview, but off the UPSC Bhavan also, I am a changed person. The very success of mine is all in all credited to Kabeer Sir.

One may have a plethora of knowledge but if it’s not showcased properly, it’s futile. Kabeer Sir mentored me, to hone and polish my skills for the same.

I am really grateful to him for his ‘priceless’ guidance. I am honoured to be associated with Sir and Career Quest."


"Interview Training programme at Career Quest is not run-of-the-mill, where every candidate is considered as the same. Rather, it believes in working on each candidate separately according to his need, with extremely useful mock sessions, on the spot analysis and right feedback. I was able to remove negative points and built-up on my positives in a very short period of time.

Career Quest is the right place for sincere candidates to help realise their dreams."


Study Kit For Govt Job Interviews

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