UPSC CSE main analysis 2020: ‘Essay paper

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Section A


– Life is long journey between being human and being humane

– Mindful manifesto is a catalyst to tranquil self

– Ships do not sink because of water around them, ships sink because of water that gets into them

– Simplicity is ultimate sophistication.

Section B

– Culture is what we are, civilisation 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 noted but most significant structure of social inequality

– Technology as a silent factor in international relations.

The UPSC expert said that all the four topics in Section A were philosophical in nature and also involved an element of ethical thinking. “These kinds of topics are particularly challenging given the paucity of content with candidates. It requires the candidates to have the originality of thought and have the ability of critical and analytical thinking. Factual knowledge is less relevant for these kinds of topics,” he analysed.


“Topics for essays 5,6 and 7 were more focused on society and related issues. Topic 5 was a bit abstract in nature. These topics require a deeper knowledge of abstract concepts and ideas,” the UPSC expert said.” Only the last topic in section B was easier as it combined international relations with science and technology.”.