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Essay Topics for UPSC Mains from Past 25 Years

Essay Topics for UPSC Mains from Past 25 Years [1993-2017]


2017Section A –
  1. Farming has lost the ability to be a source of subsistence for majority of farmers in India
  2. Impact of the new economic measures on fiscal ties between the union and states in India
  3. Destiny of a nation is shaped in its classrooms
  4. Has the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) lost its relevance in a multi-polar world?
Section B –
  1. Joy is the simplest form of gratitude
  2. Fulfilment of ‘new women’ in India is a myth
  3. We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws
  4. Social media is inherently a selfish medium
2016Section A –
  1. If development is not engendered, it is endangered
  2. Need brings greed, if greed increases it spoils breed
  3. Water disputes between states in Federal India
  4. Innovation is the key determinant of economic growth & social welfare
Section B –
  1. Cooperative federalism – Myth or reality
  2. Cyberspace and Internet: Blessing or curse to the human civilisation in the long run
  3. Near jobless growth in India: An anomaly or an outcome of economic reforms
  4. Digital economy: a leveller or a source of economic inequality
2015Section 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 devil.
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?
2014Section A –
  1. With greater power comes greater responsibility.
  2. Is the growing level of competition good for youth?
  3. Are the standardized tests good measures of academic ability or progress?
  4. Words are sharper than the two-edged sword.
Section B –
  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?
2013Section A –
  1. Be the change you want to see in others (Gandhi)
  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.
  1. In the context of Gandhi ji’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 the 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?
  1. Creation of smaller states and the consequent administrative, economic and developmental implication.
  2. Does Indian Cinema shape our popular culture or merely reflect it.
  3. Credit – based higher education system – status , opportunities and challenges
  4. In the Indian context , Both human intelligence and technical intelligence are crucial in combating terrorism
  1. Geography may remain 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 philanthropy to the Gates-Buffet model-a natural progression or a paradigm shift?
  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 neighbours”
  5. ‘Globalisation’ vs. ‘Nationalism’
  1. Role of Media in good governance
  2. National Identity and Patriotism
  3. Special Economic Zone : 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?
  1. Independent thinking should be encouraged right from the childhood.
  2. Evaluation of Panchayati Raj System in India from the point of view of eradication of power to people.
  3. Attitude makes, 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 Indian mindsets?
  6. BPO boom in India.
  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. 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. India’s Role in Promoting ASEAN Co-operation.
  2. Judicial Activism and Indian Democracy.
  3. Whither Women’s Emancipation?
  4. Globalizations and Its Impact on Indian Culture.
  5. The Lure of Space.
  6. Water Resources Should Be Under the Control of the Central Government.
  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. 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. Privatization of higher education in India.
  6. Responsibility of media in a democracy.
  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. Why should we be proud of being Indians?
  2. The cyber-world: Its 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 globalization for India.
  6. Modernism and our traditional socio-ethical values.
  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. 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. 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. Literacy is growing very fast, but there is no corresponding growth in education.
  2. Restructuring of UNO reflect present realities
  3. New cults and God-men: a threat to traditional religion
  4. The VIP cult is a bane of Indian democracy
  5. Need for transparency in public administration
  6. Truth is lived, not taught
  1. Politics without ethics is a disaster.
  2. The new emerging women 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 lifeblood of civilisation.
  7. Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
  1. Youth is a blunder, Manhood a struggle, old-age a regret
  2. The Indian society at the crossroads.
  3. Modernisation and westernisation are not identical concepts.
  4. Useless life is an early death.
  5. Politics, bureaucracy and business – Fatal Triangle.
  6. Multinational corporations – saviours or saboteurs
  1. My vision of India in 2001 A.D.
  2. The global order: political and economic
  3. He would reigns within himself and folds his passions and desires and fears is more than a king.
  4. Compassion is the basic of all morality would
  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 silent revolution.


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