Essay Paper For IAS Exam - Abhipedia

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Essay Paper in IAS Exam?

Essay ( IAS Exam ) is a piece of writing that represents writer's perspective about the topic. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author etc.The importance of writing essays needs to be underlined because in Civil Services Main examination Essay is a separate paper whose marks are counted in the mains examination.

Essay paper is crucial in deciding candidate's rank in overall merit in the examination process.

Syllabus Of Esssay Paper In IAS Exam

The essays in IAS Exam must be written in the medium as specified in the admission certificate issued to the candidates. The name of the medium must be stated clearly on the cover of the answer- book in the space provided for the purpose. No credit will be given to the essay written in a medium other than that specified in the admission certificate.

Any page or portion of the page left blank, must be struck off clearly.

From 2014, there are eight topics in the IAS Mains Essay paper segregated in 2 sections. Write two essays choosing one from each of the sections A and B in about 1,000-2,000 words each. The word limit must be adhered to strictly.

Each essay will be marked on 125.

Candidates will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.


Previous Year Essay Topics Of IAS Exam


  • Be the change you want to see in others (Gandhi)
  • Is the Colonial mentality hindering India's Success
  • GDP (Gross Domestic Product) along with GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) would be the right indices for judging the wellbeing of a country
  • Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation.


  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Science and Mysticism: Are they compatible?
  • Managing work and home – is the Indian working woman getting a fair deal?


  • Creation of smaller states and the consequent administrative , economic and developmental implication
  • Does Indian Cinema shape our popular culture or merely reflect it
  • Credit – based higher education system – status , opportunities and challenges
  • In the Indian context , Both human intelligence and technical intelligence are crucial in combating terrorism


  • Geography may remain the same ; history need not.
  • Should a moratorium be imposed on all fresh mining in tribal areas of the country?
  • Preparedness of our society for India's global leadership role.
  • From traditional Indian philanthropy to the Gates-Buffet model-a natural progression or a paradigm shift?


  • Are our traditional handicrafts doomed to a slow death?
  • Are we a 'Soft' state?
  • "The focus of health care is increasingly getting skewed towards the 'haves' of our society".
  • "Good Fences make good neighbors"
  • 'Globlisation' vs. 'Nationalism'


  • Role of Media in good governance
  • National Identity and Patritism
  • Special Economic Zone : Boon or Bane
  • Descipline means success , anarchy means ruin
  • Urbanisation and Its Hazards
  • Is an Egalitarian society possible by educating the masses?


  • Independent thinking should be encouraged right form the childhood.
  • Evaluation of Panchayati Raj System in India from the point of view of eradication of power to people.
  • Attitude makes, habit makes character and character makes a man.
  • Is Autonomy the best answer to combat balkanization?
  • How has satellite television brought about cultural change in Indian mindsets.
  • BPO boom in India.


  • Women's Reservation Bill Would Usher in Empowerment for Women in India.
  • Protection of Ecology and Environment is Essential for Sustained Economic Development.
  • Importance of Indo-U.S. Nuclear Agreement
  • "Education for All" Campaign in India: Myth or Reality.
  • Globalization Would Finish Small-Scale Industries in India.
  • Increasing Computerization Would lead to the Creation of a Dehumanized Society.


  • Justice must reach the poor
  • The hand that rocks the cradle
  • If women ruled the world
  • What is real education?
  • Terrorism and world peace
  • Food security for sustainable national development


  • India's Role in Promoting ASEAN Co-operation.
  • Judicial Activism and Indian Democracy.
  • Whither Women's Emancipation?
  • Globalizations and Its Impact on Indian Culture.
  • The Lure of Space.
  • Water Resources Should Be Under the Control of the Central Government.


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


  • Modern technological education and human values.
  • Search for truth can only be a spiritual problem.
  • If youth knew, if age could.
  • The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
  • Privatization of higher education in India.
  • Responsibility of media in a democracy.


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


  • Why should we be proud of being Indians?
  • The cyberworld: Its charms and challenges.
  • The country's need for a better disaster management system.
  • Indian culture today: A myth or a reality?
  • The implications of globalization for India.
  • Modernism and our traditional socio-ethical values.


  • Women empowerment: Challenges and prospects.
  • Youth culture today.
  • Mass media and cultural invasion.
  • Resource management in the Indian context.
  • Value-based science and education.
  • Reservation, politics and empowerment.


  • The composite culture of India.
  • Woman is God's best creation.
  • The misinterpretation and misuse of freedom in India.
  • India's contribution to world wisdom.
  • The language problem in India: Its past, present and prospects.
  • The world of the twenty-first century.


  • What we have not learnt during fifty years of Independence.
  • Judicial activism.
  • Greater political power alone will not improve women's plight.
  • True religion cannot be misused.
  • The modern doctor and his patients.
  • Urbanization is a blessing in disguise.


  • Literacy is growing very fast, but there is no corresponding growth in education.
  • Restructuring of UNO reflect present realities
  • New cults and Godmen: a threat to traditional religion
  • The VIP cult is a bane of Indian democracy
  • Need for transparency in public administration
  • Truth is lived, not taught


  • Politics without ethics is a disaster.
  • The new emerging women Power: the ground realities.
  • When money speaks, the truth is silent.
  • Whither Indian democracy?
  • Restructuring of Indian education system.
  • Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the lifeblood of civilisation.
  • Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.


  • Youth is a blunder, Manhood a struggle, oldage a regret
  • The Indian society at the crossroads.
  • Modernisation and westernisation are not identical concepts.
  • Useless life is an early death.
  • Politics, bureaucracy and business - Fatal Triangle.
  • Multinational corporations - saviours or saboteurs


  • My vision of India in 2001 A.D.
  • The global order: political and economic
  • He would reigns within himself and folds his passions and desires and fears is more than a king.
  • Compassion is the basic of all morality would
  • Men have failed: let women take over.
  • Economic growth without distributive justice is bound to breed violence.
  • Ecological considerations need not hamper development.
  • Computer: the harbinger of silent revolution.


Qualities of Essay For IAS Exam

Relevance: Corroborative support to your main argument.

Completeness: Multi-faced and should present a holistic and multi-dimensional view of the given topic.

Well organised: Ideally, an essay should have the following three parts:

  • Introduction - provides an insight into what follows.

  • Body - organize points/ideas, arrange sub-arguments.

  • Conclusion - should have a sense of closure and leave something in the mind of reader to think about.

Sustained Cohesiveness: Not be haphazard or randomly arranged. They should all stick together to the central theme and a coherence, direction and purpose to the essay.

Concise: Examiner desires a well thought out stream of arguments systematically arranged and rationally substantiated. The arguments should be brief and concise and write only relevant things in the essay.

Sign posted: Unless there are suggestive and appropriate sign-posts at the relevant places, there is a danger of getting lost. Thus try to use connectors to connect a paragraph with its preceding and succeeding paragraphs.


Be Focused For Essay In IAS Exam

  • To the extent possible while extending arguments in essay.

  • Vagueness, arbitrariness and ambiguity: Say Big No!

  • While quoting specific data or general statement, understand the relevance and appropriateness if the context.

  • Take the pain to explain and connect quotes or statement to the main argument. Always put the quote in inverted commas.

  • Misquoting can be disastrous.

Analytical / Critical Thinking: Independent opinions based in sound facts and analysis and critical unbiased analysis are always appreciated by the examiner.

Explanatory: The arguments, though concise and relevant, should serve to explain their core points to the reader.

Fluently paced: Reader should not feel bored and disillusioned, get the thrill like reading a detective novel, maintaining an urge in him to finish reading the whole piece with heightened interest and in one go.

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