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UPSC Essay Topics – Download UPSC Essay Previous Year Question Paper

Updated on: February 24th, 2023


UPSC Essay Topics have been a topic of discussion every year due to their uncertainty. The Essay Topics for UPSC range from diverse topics including economic growth, women empowerment, art & culture, media & society, etc. One should at least analyze the last 10 years’ Essay Previous Year Question Paper UPSC to get an idea about Important UPSC Essay Topics for 2023. Practicing the UPSC Essay Topics from the previous year helps during the UPSC Mains exam and the aspirant, through immense practice, can ace the essay paper.

The UPSC Essay exam plays a very decisive role in the UPSC Mains examination. The paper carries 250 marks and candidates are expected to write two essays in three hours, ranging between 1000 to 1200 words. Candidates should read newspapers daily, to get an idea about the UPSC Essay Topics.

Table of content

UPSC Essay Topics 2023

The UPSC Essay paper is one of the 9 papers of the UPSC Mains . The essay paper analysis the perspective of the candidates on social, economic, and political issues. UPSC generally picks up topics that are either Current Affairs oriented or are impacting the present society to a large extent. Some of the relevant UPSC Essay Topics which could be asked during the UPSC Exam may include:

UPSC Essay Topics for 2022

Candidates should be aware of the recent trends of the UPSC exam. It means the types of questions asked, and the important UPSC Essay Topics recently. The Essay Topics for UPSC asked in the mains 2022 exam are also mentioned below.

Essay Previous Year Question Paper UPSC

One of the best sources to practice UPSC Essay is by referring to the UPSC Essay Previous Year Question Paper.

UPSC Essay Topics Previous Year’s

The essay paper is an important aspect of the Civil Services Exam . Having a regular reading habit and watching analysis of topics helps a lot during the UPSC Essay paper. Practicing UPSC Essay Topics from the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers would definitely help in the long run. Below is a list compiled of some of the topics that were asked in the UPSC Essay paper, and would be beneficial for candidates if they practice it.

Philosophical UPSC Essay Topics

Every year, UPSC tends to give two or more essay topics related to philosophical thoughts or quotes from famous lines by eminent personalities. To cover and know a basic background to write on philosophical topics, for reference students can refer to Philosophy Books for UPSC . The UPSC Essay Topics asked on Philosophical/ Quotes asked are-

Essay Topics for UPSC on Indian Culture & Society

The UPSC Essay Topics on Indian Culture and Society are always very diverse. Static content on this can be read from the basic books on Society referred to during the exam. The topics asked are-

UPSC Essay Topics on Education

Education is one of the favorite UPSC Essay Topics. Mostly, every year an essay topic related to education is asked in the paper. To cover this topic, one needs to be updated with Current Affairs to include major changes and developments related to the field. The topics asked are-

Science and Technology UPSC Essay Topics

Science and Technology essay topics for UPSC can be generally covered from Current Affairs. Students can also refer to Science and Technology Book for UPSC to write a multidimensional essay. The UPSC Essay Topics may include:

UPSC Essay Topics on Women Empowerment

UPSC encourages gender equality in the workplace and hence, topics on women are always favorite. Through the essay, the main aim is to understand the candidate’s level of thinking and critical thinking ability. Stating data, references and day-to-day examples can be added while writing essays, which will fetch extra marks. Some of the UPSC Essay Topics related to women and women empowerment include:

Essay Topics for UPSC on Polity & Administration

To cover Polity and Administration topics, one can gain basic knowledge from Polity Books for UPSC and Public Administration Books for UPSC . These books provide static knowledge about the relevant issues and their background, which can be used while writing the UPSC Essay Topics on Polity and Pub Ad. The essays on the topic include:

Essay PYQ UPSC on Economic Growth, Development Sectors

Essays on economic growth, development and MNC sectors are asked mostly every year in the UPSC Essay Paper. To write essays on these topics, one can refer to Economy Notes for UPSC to get a general overview of the topics. Once the basics are clear, one can add examples, data, and figures, to make the essay multidimensional. The UPSC Essay Topics from this section may include:

Notes on UPSC Essay Topics

While preparing for the UPSC Essay topics candidates must have adequate information on every topic to come up with a solid essay. Candidates can follow various UPSC Books, study materials, and notes for the preparation of Essay topics for UPSC. Below we have provided the direct link of the essay topics that candidates can refer to.

How to Score Marks on UPSC Essay Topics?

Writing is a window to your thought process. This is exactly what is accessed while the examiner goes through your answer script. An essay is basically a well-structured collection of ideas on any specific topic. Mastering the art to score maximum marks on the paper requires immense practice and perseverance. The essay is not merely a test of factual knowledge, but rather a test of creativity and spirit. To score good marks on the UPSC Essay Topics, follow these steps:

Select the Essay Topic Carefully

The UPSC Essay paper contains two sections, and candidates need to write one essay from each of the two given sections. Both essays are 125 marks each; 1000-1200 words. Before selecting, think over the topic, whether it is too controversial or do you have enough data to write on it, etc.

Ponder of the Topic

Once the topic is selected, think over the topic and write the main keywords that you will use during the essay. Try giving a multidimensional approach to the essay and adhere to a good structure of intro-body and conclusion.

Structure well

The introduction paragraph is the essence of the UPSC Essay Topics and should contain a concise idea about the topic. The basic theme should talk about your views on the topic. The main body of the essay should be divided into small paragraphs but should be well interlinked. The language of the essay should be convenient, lucid, and easy to understand. The essay evaluates your critical thinking ability rather than the usage of fancy jargon. If required, facts and data should be included. The usage of quotes and sayings adds weight to the UPSC Essay Topics. The conclusion paragraph should be self-explanatory. Candidates should try to have a neutral or balanced approach while writing the essay.

Follow the ABC of Essay Writing

The ABC of essay writing stands for Accuracy/appropriateness, Brevity, and Consistency of the essay. Following this rule helps a lot while writing on the UPSC Essay Topics.

UPSC Essay Topics FAQs

Do upsc essay topics get repeated.

Yes, UPSC Essay Topics do get repeated from the previous year’s papers, but only there is always a tweak in the language. Other than this, it has been observed that repetitive topics are asked from the areas of History, Economics and Indian Polity majorly.

What are the best UPSC Essay Topics?

Essay Writing for UPSC can be tricky, so any topic on which the candidate has enough knowledge and material is best to write upon. While writing UPSC Essay Topics, always write in paragraphs and avoid points. Adding Quotes for Essay UPSC , references, and data fetches the essay extra brownie points.

How Many Questions are asked in Essay Previous Year Question Paper UPSC?

On seeing the UPSC Exam Pattern, it is concluded that the UPSC Essay paper has two sections, comprising 4-5 essays each. A candidate needs to write on two UPSC Essay Topics, one from each section, comprising 1000 to 1200 words. The UPSC Essay Paper is 250 marks; each essay contributes 125 marks.

What is a good score in Essay Questions UPSC?

A score of 125 and above is considered a good mark in the Essay Questions UPSC, while a score between 100-120 is considered average. However, it is not easy to score marks on this paper if you haven’t prepared well enough.  So, make sure you prepare in the best possible way.

How do I start practising UPSC Essay Topics?

To start practicing with the UPSC Essay Topics, keep the following points in mind:

How to download Essay Previous Year Question Paper UPSC?

Candidates can download the Essay Previous Year Question Paper UPSC from the official website of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). However, we have also provided direct links to download the previous year’s Essay question paper in the below-mentioned link.

What are the four types of UPSC Essay Topics?

UPSC Essay Topics can be divided into four categories: expository, argumentative, narrative, and descriptive essays. The essay should be written in such as way that it would provide meaningful information to the reader.

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Following are the topics on which our followers have written (and writing essays) every Sunday to hone their essay writing skills. The topics are chosen based on UPSC previous year topics. Writing one essay on each Sunday will help you get better marks in this paper.

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Last 25 Years Topic-wise Essay Questions From UPSC Mains (1994 - 2018)

Paper I of the UPSC Civil Services mains exam is the Essay. Here, prelims-qualified IAS aspirants have to write two essays out of a few given topics. The paper is for a total of 250 marks and its marks are taken into consideration for the Final Merit List. In this article, we have listed all the essay topics asked in the UPSC mains exam from 1994 to 2018. We have also classified the last 25 years essay questions into topics to make your preparation easier.

Latest – See the UPSC Essay Topics in the IAS Mains 2020 Essay Paper. Download UPSC Mains 2020 Essay Paper from the linked article.

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UPSC 2022

UPSC Essay Topics


Democracy/India since independence

Economic growth and development

Federalism, Decentralisation

Indian Culture & Society

Social justice/Poverty

Media & Society


Economic sectors/MNCs



Science & Tech


International organisations/relations


When preparing for IAS Mains, aspirants must focus on UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practise as this will improve one’s speed, efficiency and writing skills. It will automatically help in essay writing as well. 

Also, read:

Frequently Asked Questions on UPSC Essay Topics for UPSC Mains

Q 1. how can i write a good essay in upsc, q 2. does handwriting matter in upsc.

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Important essay topics for upsc mains exam.

With every passing day, the democratic setup of India is strengthening, so are its administrative wings where transparency and accountability are evident. Well, it gives credibility to the fact that there are top administrative officers whose brilliant performance is at par excellence. Amid rigorous competition, UPSC ( Union Public Service Commission ) gets efficient candidates on-board who crack this toughest exam in India to serve the nation. This competitive examination includes 3 steps, Prelims, Mains and Personal Interview. Nevertheless, it’s a daunting task to crack such exam without meticulous preparation and strategies. In this blog, we have collated information related to the UPSC essay writing topics and their related components. It is paramount to have a tap on all those important UPSC Essay Topics which have been widely asked in previous years question papers .

Let’s take a look at important UPSC essay writing topics , you need to start practicing:

Social Topics

Like above questions Mirant Parikh, IAS(AIR 67, CSE 2016) has written Essay on one of above questions:

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Click here for Full Copy

Political topics.

Economic Topics

International Topics

Mock answer by Mirant Parikh, IAS (AIR 67, CSE 2016)

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Click here for full copy

Philosophical/imaginative topics.

Other topics

Essay Preparation Strategy By: Mirant Parikh (AIR 67, CSE 2016)

Apart from these topics, candidates should browse through articles, columns, features of newspapers, magazines, journals for the preparation of good essays. Regular clippings and jotting down of important points on the side of clipped topics will ease your time and tension while giving a cursory look during the UPSC IAS examination period.

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Total Questions : 161

Essay topics.

1. All education is a search for truth and a pursuit of social betterment.

2. Unless it’s people-centric and people-driven, any reform is bound to face resistance and failure.

1. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

2. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

1. The true measure of a society's greatness is how it treats its weakest members.

2. The purpose of life is not to be happy, but to fulfill one's potential and contribute to the betterment of society.

1. The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.

2. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

1. Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.

2. Detachment isn’t about owning nothing, it’s about nothing owes you.

1. The mind is everything; what you think you become.

2. The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one's destiny to do, and then do it.

1. Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions and thought.

2. The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

1. Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

2. The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

1. The need for gender-sensitive policy-making in India and the challenges in achieving it.

2. The role of the Indian judiciary in protecting civil liberties and ensuring accountability of the state.

1. The future of transportation: electric vehicles and self-driving cars.

2. A prudent foreign policy requires both pragmatism and opportunism.

1. The role of civil society organizations in promoting sustainable development.

2. Life is an exam where the syllabus is unknown and question papers are not set.

1. Shackles of slavery can never be stronger than the quest of freedom.

2 .Scourge of Left Wing Extremism can be tackled only through the twin-pronged strategy of development and deterrence.

1. The endless wait for justice in India.

2. A fire cannot be extinguished with another fire. It is only water that can make a difference.

1. Terrorism is today an industry of evil.

2. Ultimately, education in its real sense is the pursuit of truth. It is an endless journey through knowledge and enlightenment.

1. Winners are not those who never fail but those who never quit.

2. The future of India: Entrepreneurs, inventors and dreamers.

1. E-Governance: the most easy, effective and economical governance.

2. There are no “natural disasters”- only inadequately planned human settlements.

1. Trade money for time, not time for money. You’re going to run out of time first.

2. Without development of knowledge and reason, a civilization cannot advance.

1. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.

2. Peace cannot be kept by force but can be achieved only by mutual-understanding.

Essay Topics:

1. It is not wealth that creates road, but it is the roads that lead to the creation of wealth

2. Wisdom brings freedom

1. Men have failed; let women take over.

2. Nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

1. You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

2. The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it.

1. India and China- the Epicenter's of Asian geopolitics.

2. He who struggles is better than he who never attempts.

1. What we are suffering doesn't exist.

2. The fulfilment of a ‘new woman’ in India is a myth.

1. Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.

2. War is a cowardly escape from the problems of Peace.

1. Calculation is not just arithmetic but life.

2. The truth of nature is inadmissible fanaticism.

1. History is dictated by the victor in the war and not by the vanquished.

2. Technological changes and increased household burden have turned private patriarchy into public patriarchy.

1. Climate Change and Lifestyle 2.The unexamined life is not worth living.

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Essay Topic

1. Environmental pollution violates the fundamental right to a dignified life. 2. Curiosity is the mother of knowledge.

1. One must win his internal battle to awaken his consciousness. 2.The primary goal of education policy should be to create liberal and tolerant individuals.

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UPSC Civil Service Exams – 20 Important Essay Topics

UPSC through its essay paper, consisting of eight topics divided  in two parts with maximum marks  being 250, and time duration of 3 hours , checks the coherence in the writing of the candidate, the construct of ideas in his/her mind and the way one can systematically put them on paper. The topics range from contemporary social issues to ethical-philosophical enquiries. A list of some of the very important topics for essays for this year has been prepared for you guys:

Also See : UPSC Exams

20 Important Essay Topics for UPSC Civil Services Exam

1- judiciary  and its working.

New points to be added: The master of the roaster controversy , issue of selection of judges through collegium system, the difference  of opinions between the Chief Justice and the senior supreme court judges. Previously asked questions: Judicial activism and Indian democracy. -2004 We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws. -2017

Also See Article: Art of Making Notes for Civil Service Exam – Part 1

2- Water disputes between States.

New points to be added: Cauvery Water Dispute and the Satluj Yamuna Link Canal case, Model/ Mandovi/Mahadayi river in Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha with the provision the tribunal’s decision on a dispute within a period of three years. This period is extendable by a maximum of two years. Previously  asked questions: Cooperative federalism : Myth or reality. -2016 Water resources should be under the control of the central government. -2004

3- Modi’s agricultural schemes in the era of rampant farmer suicide

New points to be added: Increased MSP by 1.5 times, Loan waivers, fiscal affects of such schemes,if the farmers are really benefited  or not, Atal Bhujal Yojana scheme, groundwater will be conserved efficiently and it will provide adequate amount of water for the use of agricultural purpose. Previously asked questions: How far has democracy in India delivered the goods? -2003 Food security for sustainable national development -2005

4- Apolitical Education

New points to be added: Proximity of politics has degraded the education system, the alleged saffronisation of curriculum, autonomy of our educational institutions or have they become tools to disburse political patronage. Previously asked questions: Literacy is growing very fast, but there is no corresponding growth in education. -1996 Is an egalitarian society possible by educating the masses? -2008

5- The importance of higher education

New points to be added: Centres of higher education and their issues: universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, conservatories, institutes of technology. Significance of higher education available through certain college-level institutions, including vocational schools, trade schools, and other career colleges that award academic degrees or professional certifications. Previously asked questions: Privatization of higher education in India. -2002 Credit – based higher education system – status , opportunities and challenges -2011

6- Skilling the youth of India

New points to be added: Schemes: Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Skill India, StandUp India; acquire the market-relevant skills , Public-private partnerships in preparing the curriculum for training packages, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Skills Fund, National Policy on Skill Development. Previously asked questions: Are the standardized tests good measure of academic ability or progress? -2014 Irrelevance of the classroom. -2001

7- Environment  vs Growth

New points to be added: Weakening of the ancient symbiotic relationship between society and the environment on account of development and population growth, introducing greater scientific rigour in environment impact assessment of projects, lack of policy enthusiasm towards environment. Previously asked questions: Ecological considerations need not hamper development. -1993 Protection of ecology and environment is essential for sustained economic development. -2006

8- Why is administration insensitive about the plight of slum dwellers

New points to be added: Third of India’s slum dwellers live in unrecognised slums, over representation of Scheduled Castes (SC) in slums, with 1 out of every five slums residents belonging to SC, compared to just over one out of 10 for urban India as a whole, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Bihar–had 51% of India’s slum households. Previously asked questions: Economic growth without distributive justice is bound to breed violence. -1993 The focus of health care is increasingly getting skewed towards the ‘haves’ of our society. -2009

9- India’s role in changing global world order

New points to be added: Demographic dividend, technological  revolution, increased FDI, Ease of doing business, position as against China, New alignments eg. Quad, BIMSTEC etc. Previously asked questions: The implications of globalization for India. -2000 Preparedness of our society for India’s global leadership role. -2010

10- Foreign Policy of Modi era

New points to be added: Act East policy, improving ties with India’s immediate neighbours in the neighbourhood first policy, development of a dedicated SAARC satellite, , Indian Ocean outreach, Project Mausam, Fast track diplomacy, Para diplomacy, Link West policy, Friendly- Israel policy. Previously asked questions: The global order: political and economic -1993 India’s role in promoting ASEAN cooperation. -2004

Also See Article: Study Tips for UPSC Civil Service Exam-part II GS paper 3,4

11- National  health  protection  scheme

New points to be added: Provisions, Universal Health, funding provisions, executional hierarchy, Populism or Welfare?. Previously asked questions: The focus of health care is increasingly getting skewed towards the ‘haves’ of our society. -2009

12- Universal Basic Income vs Subsidy

New points to be added: Is it a simple antidote to poverty? , demolish complex welfare bureaucracies while meeting some social transfer obligations ,amount to about 5% of GDP, mobilising public opinion and activate social movements, UBI is funded by taxes and withheld current subsidies to the rich, The tax-GDP ratio in India. Previously asked questions: Economic growth without distributive justice is bound to breed violence. -1993

13- Nationalism debate

New points to be added: Effect of globalisation, possible substitutes such as global capitalism, socialist internationalism and UN multilateralism.The major challenges are coping with new problems arising within their territories and those which affect the very survival of mankind, sub-nationalisn, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, which significantly abridged the space for macroeconomic policymaking by nation states. Previously asked questions: Globalization would finish small-scale industries in India. -2006 Multinational corporations – saviours or saboteurs -1994

14- Indian Model of Secularism

New points to be added: The lack of secularisation of society, groups gravitate to their own communities, politicisation  of religion, Triple Talaq, Universal Civil Code, personal laws etc. Previously asked questions: Spirituality and scientific temper. -2003 Science and Mysticism : Are they compatible ?-2012

15- Feminisation of agriculture

New points to be added: Male out migration from rural areas, decreasing women’s opportunities in agricultural productivity, and lower rural pay due to skill exclusions, dangerous to food security, social subsidies on education and health were removed, women became responsible for supplementing the increased cost. Previously asked questions: If development is not engendered, it is endangered. -2016 Farming has lost the ability to be a source of subsistence for majority of farmers in India. -2017 Whither women’s emancipation? -2004

Also See Article: Civil Service Exam Optional Subjects – Science, not popular, but scoring

16- Digitalisation  Drive

New points to be added: the Digital India Land Record Modernisation Program (DILRMP),EShakti or Digitisation of SHGs, UPI, BHIM, AADHAR linkages, aim of connecting entire India digitally in the span of 4 years, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity,  National Rural Internet Mission, E-kranti. Previously asked questions: Increasing computerization would lead to the creation of a dehumanized society. -2006 Computer: the harbinger of silent revolution. -1993

17- India’s standing in BRICS countries.

New points to be added: Utility of the organization for India’s strategic and economic interests, membership yields greater opportunity than risk, BRICS Development Bank, “anti-Western” sentiment, struggles of other BRICS members, “China factor”.

18- Pollution Crisis in urban areas

New points to be added: Burning of farm residue, transportation scheme, better management of resources, loss to national income, international reputation, threat of diseases, WHO reports, Ranking of Indian cities. Previously asked questions: Urbanization is a blessing in disguise. -1997 Urbanisation and its hazards -2008

19- Cultural Transformation in 21st century

New points to be added: Institutionalization of science in society, adaptive changes in religious values and beliefs, process of social restructuration, emergence of new classes, decline of traditional cultural institutions, social mobility, migration, occupational diversification. Previously asked questions: Modernism and our traditional socio-ethical values. -2000 The composite culture of India. -1998 The Indian society at the crossroads. -1994 From traditional Indian philanthropy to the gates-buffet model-a natural progression or a paradigm shift? -2010

Also See : UPSC Exam Dates

20- Artificial intelligence

New points to be added: Narrow and general artificial  intelligence, recursive self-improvement, triggering an intelligence explosion leaving human intellect far behind, risks associated,  legal and safety concerns, misaligned  goals. Previously asked questions: Technology cannot replace manpower. -2015 Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation-2013 These were some of the ‘hot topics’ that were in highlight  for some reason or the other throughout  the year. However exhaustive  this list may be, but UPSC has a tact of asking the same topic in a way that no one could imagine. Hence, candidates  are suggested to practice  as many mocks/tests as possible because with practice  comes precision.

Latest Essay topics for UPSC Civil Services Exam

1. Is CAA against the spirit of the Indian Constitution? What are the social and economic ramifications?

What is CAA

Latest amendment to CAA in 2019

Repercurtions of the said amendment

Opinion of the Supreme court

Stand taken by the Modi Government

Public outcry against CAA

2. New India @75

Give details of NITI Aayog’s ambitious scheme that defines the objectives for 2022-23

3. Mob Lynching

The problem, social outlook

Legal aspect

Suggestions of the Rajnath singh and Rajeev Gauba Committee

Proposal to curb it

4. Article 370 abrogation in Kashmir

Historical overview

Latest developments and the impact

5. Feminism

What is it, why is feminism propagated, the hype around feminism.

Is feminism worth the popularity that it has gained

More Essay Topics

6. Higher Education versus skill acquisition

7. Entrance exams versus Qualifying exams – what is the relevance of entrance exams for admissions to UG and PG courses in India?

8. scrapping of section 377 – the latest addition to Human rights protection

9. Pro poor policies of Modi Government

10. Controversies surrounding the Present day NDA government in India

11. Relevance of the Supreme court’s decision to decriminalize the crime of adultery laid under section 497 of IPC

12. Worsening INR

13. Impact of increasing oil prices on Indian economy

List of Previous Years UPSC Essays

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.Joy is the simplest form of Gratitude

5.Fulfilment of ‘new women’ in India a myth.

6.We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws.

7.’Social Media’ is inherently a selfish medium.

8.Relevance of Non-Alignment Movement (NAM)

9.If Development is not engendered, it is endangered

10.Need Brings Greed , if need increases it spoils breed

11.Water Dispute Between States in Federal India

12.Innovation is the key determinant to Economic Growth and Social welfare

13.Co-operative Federalism –Myth or Reality

14.Cyberspace and Internet – Blessing or curse to the Human Civilization in the long run

15.Digital Economy- A leveler or a source of Economic Inequality

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Contributions of DRDO in Indian Defence

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Essay on My school in Hindi

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Essay on Diwali in Hindi

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Essay on Demonetization in Hindi

Essay Writing in Hindi

Happy preparation, guys!

Author: Anushka Mishra


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UPSC Civil Services Mains 2022 Essay Paper

UPSC Mains Essay Paper 2022: The Union Public Service Commission started the UPSC Civil Services Main Exam 2022 on September 16, 2022. The UPSC mains exam started on September 16, 2022 , and will be held on 17, 18, 24, and 25, 2022, at various locations around the country. GeeksforGeeks have brought the UPSC Mains Essay Paper 2022 to make your exam preparation perfect. 

The highest score in the Mains Written level is crucial since 7 out of 9 papers are counted for merit ranking. Preliminary level marks, on the other hand, are not counted for merit ranking. As a result, the candidate’s attention should not only be on passing the exam but also on obtaining the best and highest possible grades. 

To gain a notion of Important Essay Topics for UPSC 2023 , one needs at least to look at the previous seven years of UPSC Essay Topics. Practicing the UPSC Essay Topics of Previous Years helps throughout the UPSC Mains exam, and the aspirant may ace the essay paper with enough preparation.

UPSC 2022 Mains Essay Question Paper:

The UPSC Essay paper is divided into two portions. Section A and Section B are the two. Each segment has four questions. Candidates must select one topic from each section, resulting in a total of two essay questions.

The word count for each question should be between 1000 and 1200 . Each question is worth 125 marks , thus the total number of marks is 250. The question paper will be evaluated on merit.

The Essay Topics asked in the UPSC Mains 2022 are given below:

1) Forests are the best case studies for economic excellence.

2) Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

3) History is a series of victorious won by the scientific man over the romantic man.

4) A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is for. 

1) The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. 

2) You cannot step twice in the same river. 

3) A smile is the chosen vehicle for all ambiguities. 

4) Just because you have a choice, it does not mean that any of them has to be right.

Aspirants can evaluate and plan their approach for the Civil Services Examination’s Mains level based on the question paper of 2022. UPSC Mains 2022 Essay Paper UPSC Mains 2022 GS Paper 1 UPSC Mains 2022 GS Paper 2 UPSC Mains 2022 GS Paper 3 UPSC Mains 2022 GS Paper 4

UPSC Mains Essay Previous Year Question Paper:

How to Score Marks on UPSC Mains Essay Topics?

Writing provides insight into your cognitive process. This is precisely what the examiner looks at when reading your answer script. An essay is essentially a well-organized collection of ideas on any given topic. Mastering the skill of getting the highest possible grade on a test involves a lot of effort and dedication. The UPSC Mains essay is more than just a test of factual knowledge; it is also a test of creativity and confidence. 

Follow these strategies to get high marks in the UPSC Mains Essay paper:

1. Choose your topic carefully

The UPSC Essay paper 2022 is divided into two portions, and applicants must write one essay from each area. Both essays are worth 125 points and are 1000-1200 words long. Before choosing a topic, consider if it is too contentious or whether you have enough facts to write about it.

2. Think about the subject

Once you’ve decided on a topic, think about it and jot down the essential keywords you’ll use in your essay. Try to take a multifaceted approach to the essay and stick to a decent format of introduction, body, and conclusion.

3. Structure the essay in a proper manner

The opening paragraph is the heart of the essay and should provide a clear overview of the issue. The main focus should be on your thoughts on the subject. The primary body of the essay should be broken into little paragraphs that are interconnected nicely. The essay’s wording should be simple, clear, and easy to grasp. 

The UPSC Mains essay assesses your critical thinking abilities rather than your use of fancy language. Facts and statistics should be supplied whenever necessary. The use of quotations and sayings strengthens the essays. The final paragraph should speak for itself. Candidates should aim to write the essay in an unbiased or balanced manner.

Economic Growth, women empowerment, art & culture, media & society, social justice or poverty, education, renowned quotes from notable individuals , and other themes are among the UPSC Essay Topics.

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essay themes upsc

UPSC Essay Topic wise Question Papers of last 30 years (1993-2022) for Civil Services IAS/IPS Exam Free Download

In the UPSC mains examination, essay paper is worth 250 marks and three hours. Here is the topic wise questions from the earlier years for the benefit of civil service IAS IPS aspirants.

1.1 India Since Independence

1.2 federalism, decentralization, 1.3 administration, 1.4 judiciary, 1.5 poverty, social justice, 1.6 indian society, culture and values, 1.7 media, tv & cinema, literature, 2.1 growth vs development, 2.2 environment vs development, 2.4 sectors of economy, 3.1 values in education, 3.2 scheme implementation, 3.3 higher education, 4.1 character, honesty, ethics, 4.2 knowledge, 4.3 compassion, 4.4 truth and reality, 4.5 youth, discipline, 4.6 towards excellence, 5.1 @national politics, 5.2 @world / quote type, 5.3 empowerment overall, 5.4 compared to men, 6.1 globalization, 6.2 international org./ bilateral, 6.3 security, 6.4 history, 7.1 science and religion, 7.2 science and education, 7.3 computer and internet, 7.4 sci-tech: others, appendix: linear paper of upsc essay 2022, appendix: model answer pe free lecture & powerpoint, appendix: syllabus of essay paper in upsc, 1 india: democracy, administration, society, culture.

2 Economy, Development

3 Education

4 Quote based, Philosophy, Ethics

5 Women empowerment

6 International issues, Internal Security, History

7 Science-Technology

Answer one-one essay from each section in 1000-1200 words

Essay: Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They 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.


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  1. UPSC Essay Topics that You Can't Miss!

    UPSC Essay Topics-Important Areas · Democracy · Media & Society · Judiciary · Philosophies · Education · Environment/urbanization · Social justice/poverty · Economic

  2. UPSC Essay Topics: Essay Previous Year Question Paper UPSC

    UPSC Essay Topics 2023 · Religion · Social Media · Privacy/Surveillance · Democracy · Urbanization · Globalization · Bureaucracy/Civil Service


    October 01, 2017: India's Infrastructure Story – Why is India not able to Build like China? ... September 10,2017: Gender Equality and Peace: Are They Connected?

  4. What are the major themes that UPSC asks essay topics?

    Philosophy- morality, values, quotes etc. 20 times · Science technology and innovation - 10 times · Education- 5 Times · Federalism- 4 Times · Women- 4 times

  5. Last 25 Years Topic-wise Essay Questions From UPSC Mains (1994

    UPSC Essay Topics · Administration · Democracy/India since independence · Economic growth and development · Federalism, Decentralisation · Indian

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    Important Essay Topics for UPSC Mains Exam ; Literacy and education. Modernization and Westernization in India · Indian culture: Unity in

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    1. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft. 2. Peace cannot be kept by force but can be achieved only by mutual-understanding. ... Essay Topics: 1. Men have

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    20 Important Essay Topics for UPSC Civil Services Exam · 1- Judiciary and its working · 2- Water disputes between States. · 3- Modi's agricultural schemes in the

  9. UPSC Civil Services Mains 2022 Essay Paper

    The Essay Topics asked in the UPSC Mains 2022 are given below: · 1) The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. · 2) You cannot step

  10. UPSC Essay Topic wise Question Papers of last 30 years (1993-2022)

    UPSC Essay Topic wise Question Papers of last 30 years (1993-2022) for Civil Services IAS/IPS Exam Free Download · 1 India: Democracy, administration, Society