This year’s essay for UPSC Mains was the opposite of last year. Last year’s article was a play on the English language and abstraction, while this year it’s been more conventional. The test subjects were those expected.
For example – The best time to repair your roof is when the sun is shining, it is part of the quotes and sayings family. Young people would have thought about their childhood, got good ideas from it, and should have written grade essays.
Likewise, using the best case studies for economic excellence, talking about efficient use of resources, overcoming scarcity, interdependence, sustainability, etc. Many students have thought about these lines during the detailed preparation for the exam.
Another topic was about Narayan Moorthy, founder of Infosys quote “A ship is safest in port, but that’s not where it’s supposed to be.” It is about undertaking, taking risks, overcoming challenges, and the students also considered these topics during the preparation.
The quote from an ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “No man ever walks twice in the same river..” speaks of nothing being permanent. The idea here is to discuss that change is the only constant and the challenges that come with change. It was also an expected topic.
Likewise, poets being dreamers is the substance of the subject of the essay where it is said that poets are the undeclared, unrecognized and unrecognized legislators. For example, William Wordsworth celebrated the French Revolution, “Was happiness at that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heavenly”
Another Essay Topic – History is the advancement of science or romanticism. Romance is like being a tourist, visiting places and being superficial, not delving into it. Whereas science is an art, a collective effort. Science triumphs over romanticism because it is about catching material reality, the bull by a horn. Science prevailed.
For candidates who like to explore more behavioral or interpersonal topics, they could choose – Smile is the best device, it is often the device that hides ambiguities. In this topic, we can dissect smiles, the variety of smiles, their purpose, what is the social decorum of it that can make your smile contagious. We have a lot of folklore about smiles. And since the subject mentions that a smile is a device used to mask ambiguities, it’s socially, behaviorally, and psychologically explorable. So many candidates would surely have chosen that.
— The article is written by Sriram Srirangam, Founder and Director, SRIRAM’s IAS