Upsc Mains Essay Paper 2015 Crafts

As UPSC Civil Services Mains 2014 is over, we are providing the official UPSC question paper for essay with detailed analysis. UPSC asked students to write 2 essays this year. We hope this move didn’t bring shock to our regular readers, who took Clear IAS Free Mains Mock Exam in 2 essay pattern, each essay with 1250 words. UPSC essay paper asked students to write TWO Essays, choosing ONE from each of the Sections A and B, in about 1000-1200 words each. (125×2= Total 250 marks).


  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?

UPSC Mains 2014 Essay Question Paper Analysis

UPSC requirement for each essay was 1000-1200 words. Though the average number of words per page varies for different candidates, taking 100 words per page as a standard, the requirement comes to writing an essay of 10-12 pages. 13 blank pages were given for each section, giving room for those with bigger handwriting.

The logic behind selection of one question as a mandatory requirement from each section is not very clear. As 2 questions in Section A was philosophy/quote related (greater power, words) , one may infer that the Section A was general and philosophy oriented and Section B was more sort of reality/application. Besides Section B demanded analysis at a wider platform, often at national level.

How different was Essay Paper for 2014 from 2013?

The introduction of two essays with a total of 2000-2400 words (20-24 pages) was the major change. Last year essay paper demanded a single essay not exceeding 2500 words.Time management became more crucial in 2014. In 2014, one had to brainstorm for 2 essays and write for more pages than one used to do before the 2014 era.

Again, there was wide variation in essay marks in pre 2014 era; there were low marks like 60 and high marks like 160! Though the lows and peaks can be attributed to quality of the essay, the element of impulsive like or dislike played a major role then. The role of impulsive factor diminished with the introduction of two essays, and mistakes made is one essay may get balanced if the second essay is good. However, quality of the essay still be the major criterion for UPSC while awarding marks.

Conclusion: Unless there is quality in the essay paper, there can still exists the scope for good variation in marks for essay paper between candidates. Ultimately everything boils down to quality in case of Essay, GS and optional paper. It’s time that aspirants give due importance to essay paper, to get an edge.

Question from Clear IAS Test Series in UPSC Mains 2014

We were close in predicting the pattern of essay paper for 2014 (2 essays, near 1250 words). There were also some questions from our mock tests and answer writing practice tests that were very close to actual UPSC mains exam 2014. We had touched topics like sports, tourism, power, privacy and education which came in actual essay paper. We hope the practice helped aspirants to equip themselves better. Have a look at the close/related questions.

  1. Is cricket the hindering the growth of other Indian sports and games? (Test 12)
  2. Should India invest in sports and games? (Test 22)
  3. India should claim its rightful place in tourism. (Test 23)
  4. India as a soft power. (Test 31)
  5. Quality of higher education in India. (Test 34)
  6. Social media and privacy. (Test 41)
  7. The great aim of education is not knowledge but action. (Test 42)

Here’s a complete list of essay topics that were asked in UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination from 1993 to 2015.  


Also Read | 7 Easy Steps on Essay Writing for UPSC Mains Exam




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.


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?


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.


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?
20131.      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 wellbeing of a country
4.      Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation.
20121.      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 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?
20111. 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
20101. 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?
20091. 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’
20081. Role of Media in good governance
2. National Identity and Patritism
3. Special Economic Zone : Boon or Bane
4. Descipline means success , anarchy means ruin
5. Urbanisation and Its Hazards
6. Is an Egalitarian society possible by educating the masses?
20071.      Independent thinking should be encouraged right form 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.
20061. 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.
20051.      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
20041.      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.
20031.      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.
20021.      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.
20011.      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.
20001.      Why should we be proud of being Indians?
2.      The cyberworld: 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.
19991.      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.
19981.      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.
19971.      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.
19961.      Literacy is growing very fast, but there is no corresponding growth in education.
2.      Restructuring of UNO reflect present realities
3.      New cults and Godmen: 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
19951.      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.
19941.      Youth is a blunder, Manhood a struggle, oldage 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
19931.      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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