20 UPSC Essay Topics for Civil Service Exams, Current Essay Topics


List of Topics of Essays for UPSC Exams


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
Whether 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

Repercussions 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 2024-25


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. Mind – A Beautiful servant or a Dangerous master?

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

12. Worsening INR

13. Should the youth in India consider Politics as a career?


List of Previous Years UPSC Essays

1. Impact of the Farm laws on Indian economy and the agricultural community.

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. You cannot step twice in the same river.

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. Schooling is not education.

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

16. Deglobalization is good for the world.

17. Scientific and technological progress cannot be equated with human progress.

18. Government Surveillance – Good or bad?

19. Labour reforms in India and their role in economic growth.

20. Just because you have a choice does not mean that any of them is right.


Also See :

Essays in English

Essay on Demonetization

Essay on Pollution

Essay on Water conservation

Essay on Global Warming

Essay on Diwali in English

Essay on Holi in English

Essay on Chandrayaan in English

Essay on Women Empowerment in English

Essay on Child labour in English

Essay on Swachh Bharat Mission

Contributions of DRDO in Indian Defence

Essay on Digital India in English


Essays in Hindi

Essay on My school in Hindi

Essay on Corruption in Hindi

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Essay in Hindi

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Essay in Hindi

Essay on Republic Day in Hindi

Essay on Independence day in Hindi

Essay on Diwali in Hindi

Essay on Holi in Hindi

Essay on Demonetization in Hindi

Essay Writing in Hindi


Happy preparation, guys!


Author: Anushka Mishra

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