UPSC Essay Topics

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UPSC Essay Topics

With every passing day, the democratic setup of India is strengthening, and 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 tests without meticulous preparation and strategies. In this blog, we have collated information related to the UPSC essay topics and their related components. 

UPSC Exam Dates 2023

The following are the important dates for the UPSC exam in 2023:

UPSC Exam Notification Release Date1 February 2023
Last Date of Receipt for UPSC Exam 202321 February 2023
Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2023 28 May 2023
Civil Services (Main) Examination, 202315 September 2023 onwards

General Overview 

UPSC is India’s apex body that recruits candidates across the country for All India Group A & Group B central services. While prelims is an objective type of paper, the UPSC mains comprises nine subjective papers including an essay paper. Candidates have to write two UPSC essays on the allocated topics with a word count of 1000-1200. 

Have a Look at the Public Administration Syllabus for UPSC!

UPSC Essay Topics Previous Years

UPSC Essay Topics

It is paramount to have a tap on all those important UPSC essay topics which were widely asked in previously based question papers. Let’s take a look at important UPSC essay topics, you need to start practising:

UPSC Essay TopicsEssay Ideas
Judiciary and it’s workingMake sure you hold strong arguments on major points including; Judicial activism and Indian democracy, the issue of the selection of judges through the collegium system, the roaster controversy as well as the difference of opinions between the Chief Justice and the senior supreme court judges.
Water disputes between StatesMake a valid argument on points related to the Cauvery Water Dispute and the Satluj Yamuna Link Canal case, the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill etc. 
Modi’s agricultural schemes in the era of rampant farmer suicideDon’t forget to include key details including the Atal Bhujal Yojana scheme and various schemes with effectiveness. 
Apolitical EducationYou can hold a strong argument on Politics and the degradation of the education system as well as changes in the educational curriculum.
The importance of higher educationDiscuss thoroughly key details including; the importance of higher education and its core issues.  Significance of vocational-based schools and business institutions. 
Skilling the youth of IndiaWrite core points related to CSR fund development, the National policy over skill development and various schemes. 
Environment vs GrowthWrite major points like; ongoing environmental crisis, globalization and its impact on the environment. 
Why is the administration insensitive to the plight of slum dwellersWrite factual information related to slum dwellers; India’s unrecognised slums, and compare with different states. 
India’s Role in Changing the global world orderInclude major points on; demographic dividend, the impact of globalisation on India, technological innovation and revolution, and growing FDI.
Foreign Policy of the Modi EraIndian Ocean outreach, Para diplomacy, Link West policy, Friendly- Israel policy, Act East policy etc. 
National  health  protection  schemeFunding provisions, universal health and its dynamism, 
Universal Basic Income vs SubsidyTax-based GDP ratio of the country, how subsidized schemes can eradicate poverty. 
Nationalism debateSocialist internationalism and UN multilateralism,  sub-nationalism, World Bank, International monetary fund etc. 
Indian Model of SecularismTriple Talaq, religious barriers, abrogation of article 370, Universal Civil Code, personal laws etc.
Feminisation of agricultureFarmer suicide, agriculture and technological boom, the role of women in agricultural production
Digitalisation driveAADHAR issues and ramifications, digital payment, UPI, PAYTM, Bhim, E Kranti etc. 
India’s standing in BRICS countries.The China policy, various BRICS development etc. 
Pollution crisis in urban areasAlarming level of pollution in the country, urbanisation and its implications for transportation schemes, WHO reports etc.
Cultural Transformation in the 21st CenturySocial mobility, the emergence of new classes, and how traditional cultural institutions are losing their essence. 
Artificial intelligenceImplications attached to artificial intelligence. Legal and safety concerns. 
CAA BillIntroduction to the bill, implications, factual in-depth reportage on CAA, supreme court’s decision, the ruling party (BJP) stand, public outcry etc. 
Mob LynchingIntroduction to the topic, mainstream media’s coverage, ramifications, legal aspects related to it, Rajnath Singh and Rajeev Gauba’s suggestion before the Committee etc. 
FeminismIntroduction, why it is propagated, why it has got much hype etc. 
Scrapping of Article  377Reasons that led to its revoke, Freedom provided after the abrogation of the article, etc
Abrogation of Article 370Introduction to the Article, Features of the Article, Normalization after it being revoked, Consequences of Abrogation, etc. 

Now that you have got the list of important UPSC essay topics, have a look at the History Questions for UPSC & SSC Exams!

UPSC Essay Topics-Important Areas

Usually, the UPSC Essay questions cover these areas:

  • Democracy
  • Media & Society
  • Judiciary
  • Philosophies
  • Education
  • Environment/urbanization
  • Social justice/poverty
  • Economic sector
  • Indian Culture & Society
  • Character
  • Administration

UPSC Essay Topics in English

  • Cauvery Water Dispute
  • Satluj Yamuna Link Canal case
  • The Inter-State River Water Amendment Bill
  • Agricultural schemes of the government in the era of farmer suicide:
  • effectiveness of the schemes
  • Atal Bhujal Yojana scheme
  • Apolitical Education
  • Politics and the Degradation of the education system
  • Frequent changes in educational curriculum
  • The higher education system and its issues
  • CSR funds for skill enhancement
  • National Policy for skill development
  • Current environmental crisis due to extensive population growth
  • Lack of initiatives and policymaking to save the environment
  • The impact of globalization on the environment
  • The unrecognised slum areas and the slum dwellers
  • Unequal economic distribution
  • Revolution of technology
  • Demographic dividend
  • The position of India against China
  • The modern Foreign policy
  • International relations- changing nature
  • Fast track diplomacy and Para diplomacy
  • Basic income and subsidy policy
  • Can subsidies eradicate poverty?
  • The debate over nationalism
  • The effect of global capitalism
  • UN multilateralism and its role
  • Universal civil code
  • Agriculture
  • Impaired food security
  • UPI, BHIM, and ADHAAR linkage and cyber security
  • BRICS developmental bank and its policy
  • The anti-western attitude
  • The China factor
  • The pollution in urban areas
  • Threatening diseases and health hazards
  • Progressive thoughts regarding religious beliefs
  • Social mobility
  • Artificial intelligence

Essay Topics for UPSC 2023

  • Emerging Threats to India’s Internal Security
  • Crime against women is an expression of male domination
  • Crisis of Credibility in Indian Electronic Media
  • Securing India’s International Borders is a Challenging exercise for the Indian Armed Forces
  • Parenting in a competitive Indian Society is a challenge
  • Ensuring social justice is a human right
  • Life is a Long Journey between Human Beings and Being Humane
  • Mindful Manifesto is the catalyst to a tranquil self
  • Ships don’t sink because of water around them, ships sink because of water that gets into them
  • Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
  • Culture is what we are, Civilization is what we have
  • There can be no social justice without economic prosperity but economic prosperity without social justice is meaningless
  • Patriarchy is the least noticed yet the most significant structure of social inequality
  • Technology is the silent factor in the international relations

Essay Topics on Arguments For or Against 

  • Solitude during a Pandemic is not welcome
  • Political awareness amongst the social elite is inconsequential

Essay Reports for 200 Words

  • Provision for Primary Education Sector in the New Education Policy
  • Impact of the Agricultural Laws on Farmers

UPSC Essay Topics Previous Years

Here are the previous year’s questions for UPSC Exam:

2019 Essays

  • Wisdom finds Truth
  • Values are not what humanity is, but what humanity ought to be
  • Best for an individual is not necessarily best for the society
  • Courage to accept and dedication to improving are two keys to success
  • South Asian societies are woven not around the state but around their plural culture and plural identities
  • Neglect of primary health care and education in India are reasons for its backwardness
  • Biased Media is a real threat to the Indian Democracy
  • Rise of Artificial Intelligence: the threat of a jobless future or better job opportunities through reskilling and Upskilling
  • The Earth is not for Humans Only
  • The Impact of Social Media on Social Relationships
  • Role of the Indian Army in Nation Building

2018 Essays

  • Alternative Technologies for a climate change resilient India
  • A good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge
  • Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere
  • Management of Indian border disputes- a complex task
  • Customary morality cannot be a guide to modern life
  • The past is a permanent dimension of human consciousness and values
  • People that value privilege above principle lose both
  • Reality does not conform to the ideal but confirms it
  • Civil wrong emerging from religious bigotry, constitutionally punishable
  • Reservation suppresses civil dynamism
  • Privacy is an elitist Idea

Must Read: Beginner’s Guide to Writing an Essay

Other UPSC Essay Topics

UPSC essay topics

Now that you have a clear picture of the major UPSC essay topics, we have another set of current affair-based topics for you:

  • Kashmir Problem – Historical Injustice or Misguided Geopolitics?
  • India – $5 Trillion Economy: Dream or Reality?
  • COVID-19 Pandemics, though Catastrophic, are in the end Meant to Reset Humanity and its Priorities
  • Biased Media is a Real Threat to Indian Democracy
  • Apolitical Education
  • Importance of Skilling the Youth of the Nation
  • New India at 75
  • The Future of TV Channels with the Advent of OTT Platforms
  • Impact of Work From Home on Employees’ Health
  • Remote Working vs Working From Office
  • Environment vs Growth
  • Cyberspace and Internet
  • Digital Economy

What is UPSC Looking for in an Essay?

You will be asked to write answers to different essays on the question. Your essay should be closer to the subject and organize ideas in an orderly fashion, and write concisely. In UPSC Exam, your marks are only based on the content however, the examiner will pay attention to your grammar, coherence and the manner in which you have structured your content.

How to make Transition from One Para to Another

Making proper transitions from one paragraph to another is important. It can be done in three ways:

  • Create a connection sentence at the end of the paragraph.
  • Add a question at the end of the paragraph to create interest for the next paragraph.
  • Use transition words to signal a change in the paragraph.

Read Essays

Topper Tips for UPSC Essay Writing

Apurva Pandey from batch 2017 shared her topper tips on how to prepare and write essays for UPSC.

YouTube: Delhi Knowledge Track


How many essays are there in UPSC?

In UPSC exams, there will be 2 essay questions for which you have to write essays within 1000-1200 words each.

What kind of essays are asked in IAS?

The IAS exam usually consists of topics related to general awareness. For a clear insight, you can refer to the aforementioned UPSC essay topics.

What are the current topics for essay writing?

The latest topics for essay writing are: Kashmir Problem – Historical Injustice or Misguided Geopolitics?; India – $5 Trillion Economy: Dream or Reality? COVID-19 Pandemics, though Catastrophic, are in the end Meant to Reset Humanity and its Priorities; Biased Media is a Real Threat to Indian Democracy, etc

Hopefully, this blog on UPSC essay topics has helped you with a clear understanding of the way forward. To read informative articles like this one, keep following Leverage Edu!

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