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Download UPSC Mains 2016 Essay Question Paper

Dear Aspirants,

Click Here for UPSC Mains 2016 Question Papers : General Studies

So the big day has arisen. The UPSC Mains 2016 Essay Paper just got over. The Essay Paper of UPSC Mains 2016 is of 250 marks and candidates had to write two essays. Interestingly, unlike the essay paper of Mains last year, the essay paper of Mains this year in 2016 did not have philosophical topics. Rather the essay topics asked this year were more from current affairs.

Instructions: Write two essays, choosing one from each of the following Section A & B, in about 1000-1200 words.

Total Marks : 250

Section A

1. If development is not engendered, it is endangered.

2. Need brings greed, if greed increases it spoils breed

3. Water disputes between states in federal India

4. Innovation is the key determinant of economic growth and social welfare

Section B

1. Cooperative federalism: Myth or reality

2. Cyberspace and internet: Blessing or curse to the human civilization in the long run

3. Near jobless growth in India: An anomaly or an outcome of economic reforms

4. Digital economy: A leveller or a source of economic inequality

Download the Question Paper by Clicking Here




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  • ForumIAS

    Well tried. Keep writing.

  • ForumIAS


  • ForumIAS


  • ForumIAS


  • ForumIAS


  • theonlylion

    thanks sir

  • “With this demonetisation, I want to direct India towards a cashless society”, were the words of Indian PM after two three days of demonetisation of old rs 500 and 1000.It was a step to curb black money and corruption.
    When we made transition from barter system to traditional economy, little did we realise the challenges we were going to have. Above mentioned challenges are two (black money and corruption) among many. Faced with such insolvable challenges, we decided to move towards digital economy. Digital economy is nothing but involvement of hardware, software and network in economic activities. It has been called leveller because of the hopes and opportunities it offers as against the face of traditional economy.
    Firstly, Traditional economy deprives the countries with less human workforce to be developed. No workforce means who will help in large scale production? Who will help in taking the product to market and who will do the bargaining with customers to have a decent pay. Digital economy here acts as leveller by removing the use of human workforce. You can produce with the help of technology, advertise the product online through various apps and do the bargaining with consumers even with the little requirement of meeting them.
    Secondly, traditional economy involves the usage of money. This gives rise to many issues. Some people or countries may not have enough cash. Even if cash is arranged somehow, greed for cash arises. This leads to role of many middlemen and actors which ultimately culminates into corruption and black money. India is the best example to be quoted here. China started its reforms processes after India but it achieved many laurels in the form of infrastructure, investments, improving the quality of living etc with which India is still struggling. Reason was India’s diverse politics and involvement of many actors which led to nothing or little.
    Digital economy provided the hope here that when there will remain no use of fiat money, there will be no greed. Since everything will be done online, so it will be transparent process. This will reduce the role of middlemen as well as diverse opinions to some extent as everybody wants some good measures to be taken at the end of the day. In this respect India’s recent efforts of moving towards cashless economy are promising. It will help in improving India’s ease of doing business index, gender gap,transparency index etc.Once realized,they all may lead India to become global superpower.
    Now as India moves towards substantial reforms, its citizens, communities and individuals will also want levelling among themselves. We see dalits in India are struggling to meet there ends due to the unavailability of cash and infrastructure. Their social status also prevents them to have linkages. Digital economy offers a solution here in the form of doing away with such requirements. You need not to have cash to innovate an idea which may be financially beneficial. By making it popular on internet, one can earn decently and bargain for the same. Who knows the founder of bitcoin belonged to which caste or community? But today it had become popular and recently has taken a plunge in Indian market too. This also does away with having linkages with people of same caste and community.
    Followed from above, digital economy helps in levelling the identities at individual level. A person may not be respected in person always but when he outsmarts in the form of technical and software industries and earns well than other, respect for him increases automatically. All the identities of belongingness to nations, cultures and communities become worthless and meaningless then.
    But inspite of all the opportunities and hopes that digital economy has to offer, all is not green. It has been argued by many that it may bring inequality too. This fear is not ungrounded as far as developing and diverse countries like India is concerned. Challenges here are many.
    Firstly, Digital illiteracy is the most important challenge .most of the Indians are still dependent upon physical cash. In the wake of demonetisation, we saw how people preferred to die in queue for cash than doing digital transactions. This was not because of their happiness but because of their compulsion. They didn’t know how to do online transactions. Such illiteracy increases the gap between the urban and rural people mostly. Many uneducated and earlier generation people may also face such inequalities due to digital illiteracy.
    Secondly, availability of digital infrastructure and network is the basic requirement of digital economy. How can existence/development of such sophisticated infrastructure may be presumed when country like India is still grappling to build the toilets and provide shelter to its people? So if implemented fully, digital economy is going to increase the inequality due to the unavailability of network and infrastructure.
    Thirdly, it may lead to the unemployment of many unskilled and poor people. Plight of Informal and unorganized sector in India is not unknown. Still people are ready to do as they want to earn and have some bread and butter. But digital economy has the potential to take away their jobs. A driver who transports the money to ATM kiosks at least earns something to support his family. What will he do when he comes to know that money is no longer required to be transported?
    However, such arguments and fear can be addressed. These issues may be difficult to be solved but not impossible. Once people realize the importance of digital economy, behavioural change will become easy. Nobody would love to die when he knows that he can transfer his money in simple and easy method. So concept of digital education gains importance here. Argument of digital infrastructural problem stands defeated in 21st century where govts are trying to build them. Concept of smart cities and villages address not only basic problems of physical infrastructure but also of digital infrastructure. With respect to unemployment problem, it has some substance but still advent of digital economy does not mean elimination of human workforce. We would require someone to build software, someone to do networking, and someone to transport the required hardware to some place etc. So digital economy may act as complementary to the human workforce and can act as burden divider.
    Thus, the only problem of digital economy arises is of cyber threats and internal security. Terrorists may also take shelter in digital economy by finding out the ways to finance themselves online. Also, as everything becomes online, eavesdropping and hacking become problems to be addressed. For this coordination and cooperation among countries of globe is important. Their participation will not only help in transition to digital economy but would also help in realising the true meaning of globalization. Then only perhaps we can know what it means to be a citizen of cosmopolitan world. And digital economy has the potential to achieve that which recently even Indian PM could see.


    Thank You.

  • Captain America

    True, but there are certain points that would be common in all copies & anything extra is going to raise the standard of checking for example low marks in Pub Ad or Geography. What do you suggest ??

  • That does not happen. for example, take a look at this.

    We asked a question in MGP Test 10 – Question 17

    Look at this :-

    Now, writing it in limited time and limited words is both a function of knowledge as well as practice. No two copies are alike. You do not get low marks because everyone writes on it.

    You will be surprised by variation in quality of you own answers when you attempt the question at different points of time, unless u have practised enough.

  • That doesn’t happen. You will be surpised by the variation in quality of essay in people with equal knowledge. Structure is key in essay. There are things like deviation from topic, addressing all dimensions asked, and being able to put in a limited number of words all that you know – is a matter or practice and not merely knowledge

  • Captain America

    Thanks forum.. I have a question there is a lot going in recent times regarding water disputes & jobless growth & most of the candidates are going to attempt the same. Does it reduces the chances of getting marks on the higher side ?? How to tackle this ???

  • Yamuna

    Thanks sir.

  • ForumIAS


  • drkatty