The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) annually conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE) across India to recruit candidates towards Indian Bureaucratic system. Through the UPSC CSE test, candidates are selected towards various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Police Service (IPS). The exam has two stages of written examination followed by a personal interview. In the second stage of written examination (Main examination) essay paper is a compulsory and merit counting paper. The UPSC CSE Essay paper does not have a stand-alone syllabus, but most of its questions will be based on other general studies paper and the current affairs. Writing practice and a wide reading habit are necessary to score in this paper.
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UPSC CSE Exam Pattern
CSE Preliminary Examination
|Paper||Number of questions||Maximum Marks||Exam Duration|
|General Studies I||100||200||2 hours|
|General Studies II (CSAT)||80||200||2 hours|
|Paper||Subject||Exam Duration||Total marks|
|Paper A||Compulsory Indian language ( Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution)||3 hours||300|
|Paper B||English Language||3 hours||300|
|Paper I||Essay||3 hours||250|
|Paper-II||General Studies- I ( Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)||3 hours||250|
|Paper III||General Studies- II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)||3 hours||250|
|Paper IV||General Studies- III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)||3 hours||250|
|Paper V||General Studies IV ( Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude)||3 hours||250|
|Paper VI||Optional I||3 hours||250|
|Paper VII||Optional II||3 hours||250|
|Agriculture||Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science||Anthropology||Botany||Chemistry|
|Civil Engineering||Commerce and Accountancy||Economics||Electrical Engineering||Geography|
|Mechanical Engineering||Medical Science||Philosophy||Physics||Political Science and International Relations|
|The literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English.|
Before the final selection, there will be a personal interview for the successful candidates from the Main examination. The maximum marks allotted for the personal interview is 275. So the total marks for the merit are 2075.
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UPSC CSE Essay Paper
It is unfortunate that those candidates who spend hours on General Studies Papers simply ignores the Essay paper. Essay paper helps the candidates to improve their ranking, without sweating much. You have the choice of 08 questions from which only two has to address. Each question from the two sections. You have 03 hours for completing two essays and to score 250 marks. These two questions have a tremendous influence on your journey towards IAS. Don’t select any two topics randomly, select only if you know about it. Read the topic and understand what the question really is, so not be in a hurry to write the essay. Make a plan in your on what to write and how to write. Brainstorm to collect the points, and create an outline of your answer. A systematic methodology is necessary for Essay answers. Your answer should have an introduction, discussion on the given topic, and the conclusion. On your answer, you should discuss both sides of the argument, and try to sound as neutral. Unnecessary criticisms on government may not help you. Write in simple language, and try to include examples from the current affairs. On your conclusion, summarize your topic, and tell a way ahead.
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IAS Mains Essay Questions
Candidates have to writes two essays, one topic from each part. The answer should be in 1000- 1250 words.
UPSC CSE Essay 2018
- Part- A
- Alternative technologies for a climate change resilient India. जलवायु परिवर्तन के प्रति सुनम्य भारत हेतु वैकल्पिक तकनीके.
- A good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. एक अच्छा जीवन प्रेम से प्रेरित तथा ज्ञान से संचालित होता है.
- Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere. कही पर गरीबी, हर जगह की समृद्धि के लिए खतरा है.
- Management of Indian border dispute is a complex task. भारत के सीमा विवादों का प्रबंधन – एक जटिल कार्य.
- Part- B
- Customary morality cannot be a guide to modem file. रूढिगत नैतिकता आधुनिक जीवन का मार्गदर्शक नहीं हो सकती है.
- ‘The past’ is a permanent dimension of human consciousness and values. ‘अतीत’ मानवीय चेतना तथा मूल्यों का एक स्थायी आयाम है.
- A people that values its privileges above its principles loses both. जो समाज अपने सिद्धांतो के ऊपर अपने विशेशाधिकारो को महत्त्व देता है, वह दोनों से हाथ धो बेठता है.
- Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it. यथार्थ आदर्श के अनुरूप नहीं होता है, बल्कि उसकी पुष्टि करता है.
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IAS Mains Essay 2019
- Part- A
1. Wisdom finds the truth.
2. Values are not what humanity is, but what humanity ought to be.
3. Best for an individual is not necessarily best for society.
4. Courage to accept and dedication to improving are two keys to success.
- Part- B
5. South Asian societies are woven not around the state, but around their plural cultures and plural identities.
6. Neglect of primary health care and education in India are reasons for its backwardness.
7. Biased media is a real threat to Indian democracy.
8. Rise of Artificial Intelligence: the threat of jobless future or better job opportunities through reskilling and upskilling.
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