Menu Close

UPSC Mains Essay Previous Year Questions

UPSC Mains Essay Previous Year Questions

Essay Topic Wise PYQs (2018-2023)


  1. Neglect of primary health care and education in India are reasons for its backwardness [2019/Q B2/125m/1000-1200w]
  2. Management of Indian border disputes – a complex task [2018/Q A4/125m/1000-1200w]


  1. History is a series of victories won by the scientific man over the romantic man. [2022/Q A3/125m/1000-1200w]
  2. History repeats itself, first as a tragedy, second as a farce. [2021/Q B3/125m/1000-1200w]
  3. Technology as the silent factor in international relations [2020/Q B4/125m/1000-1200w]
  4. Biased media is a real threat to Indian democracy [2019/Q B3/125m/1000-1200w]


  1. Girls are weighed down by restrictions, boys with demands- two equally harmful disciplines. [2023/Q B1/125m/1000-1200w]
  2. A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity. [2023/Q B3/125m/1000-1200w]
  3. Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. [2023/Q B4/125m/1000-1200w]
  4. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. [2022/Q A2/125m/1000-1200w]
  5. Hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. [2021/Q B1/125m/1000-1200w]
  6. Culture is what we are, civilization is what we have [2020/Q B1/125m/1000-1200w]
  7. There can be no social justice without economic prosperity but economic prosperity without social justice is meaningless [2020/Q B2/125m/1000-1200w]
  8. Patriarchy is the least noticed yet the most significant structure of social inequality [2020/Q B3/125m/1000-1200w]
  9. South Asian societies are woven not around the state, but around their plural cultures and plural identities [2019/Q B1/125m/1000-1200w]
  10. Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere [2018/Q A3/125m/1000-1200w]


  1. Forests are the best case studies for economic excellence [2022/Q A1/125m/1000-1200w]


  1. Mathematics is the music of reasons. [2023/Q B2/125m/1000-1200w]
  2. What is research, but a blind date with knowledge! [2021/Q B2/125m/1000-1200w]
  3. Rise of Artificial Intelligence: the threat of jobless future or better job opportunities through reskilling and upskilling [2019/Q B4/125m/1000-1200w]
  4. Alternative technologies for a climate change resilient India [2018/Q A1/125m/1000-1200w]


  1. Thinking is like a game; it does not begin unless there is an opposite team. [2023/Q A1/125m/1000-1200w]
  2. Visionary decision-making happens at the intersection of intuition and logic. [2023/Q A2/125m/1000-1200w]
  3. Not all who wander are lost. [2023/Q A3/125m/1000-1200w]
  4. Inspiration for creativity springs from the effort to look for the magical in the mundane. [2023/Q A4/125m/1000-1200w]
  5. A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ship is for. [2022/Q A4/125m/1000-1200w]
  6. The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining? [2022/Q B1/125m/1000-1200w]
  7. You cannot step twice in the same river. [2022/Q B2/125m/1000-1200w]
  8. A smile is the chosen vehicle for all ambiguities. [2022/Q B3/125m/1000-1200w]
  9. Just because you have a choice, it does not mean that any of them has to be right. [2022/Q B4/125m/1000-1200w]
  10. There are better practices to “best practices”. [2021/Q B4/125m/1000-1200w]
  11. The process of self-discovery has now been technologically outsourced. [2021/Q A1/125m/1000-1200w]
  12. Your perception of me is a reflection of you; my reaction to you is an awareness of me. [2021/Q A2/125m/1000-1200w]
  13. Philosophy of wantlessness is Utopian, while materialism is a chimera. [2021/Q A3/125m/1000-1200w]
  14. The real is rational and the rational is real. [2021/Q A4/125m/1000-1200w]
  15. Life is long journey between human being and being humane [2020/Q A1/125m/1000-1200w]
  16. Mindful manifesto is the catalyst to a tranquil self [2020/Q A2/125m/1000-1200w]
  17. Ships do not sink because of water around them ,  ships sink because of water that gets into them [2020/Q A3/125m/1000-1200w]
  18. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication [2020/Q A4/125m/1000-1200w]
  19. Wisdom finds truth [2019/Q A1/125m/1000-1200w]
  20. Values are not what humanity is, but what humanity ought to be [2019/Q A2/125m/1000-1200w]
  21. Best for an individual is not necessarily best for the society [2019/Q A3/125m/1000-1200w]
  22. Courage to accept and dedication to improve are two keys to success [2019/Q A4/125m/1000-1200w]
  23. A good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge [2018/Q A2/125m/1000-1200w]
  24. Customary morality cannot be a guide to modern life [2018/Q B1/125m/1000-1200w]
  25. “The past’ is a permanent dimension of human consciousness and values [2018/Q B2/125m/1000-1200w]
  26. A people that values its privileges above its principles loses both [2018/Q B3/125m/1200w]
  27. Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it [2018/Q B4/125m/1000-1200w]
UPSC Prelims PYQ Book Image
UPSC Prelims PYQ Book
  • Collection of more than 3200 Previous Year Questions (1995-2023)
  • All questions divided into 10 Subjects
  • Subject further sub-divided into more than 75 topics
  • All answers according to official answer key
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments