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 www.careerquest.co.in
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 www.careerquest.co.in
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

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