Mains 2020 : Essay and GS Discussion, Issues, Difficulty Level, Way ahead

Those who attended interview in previous years..can you please confirm if NOC is required during interview?

This NOC was part of Guidelines for Civils since a long time.

However, that compulsory checkbox while form filling and undertaking has been made stringent only this year ( and to some extent last year ). So we will not know that.


Having said that, there are two things you better keep in mind.


One, as Yo Yo has pointed somewhere, commission ( actually DoPT ) has not done Panga so far except for creamy layer certificate , caste certificate and EWS certificate. So that is a plus.


Two, in last three years the government ( read the current government ) has not been hesitant in acting on guidelines that have never been acted on before and enforcing them.


So, try your best to get whatever you can. However, final words, NOC may not be needed right before interview ( by UPSC ), but may needed for final induction or selection both by DoPT and UPSC or either of them.


In case you can not arrange for it, make sure you invest your energy in Interview preparation first and worry about the formalities once interviews are done.


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Can anybody clarify please... 

Which of these two will be allowed extra attempt? 

1. Who had last attempt and appeared for the exam

2. Who had last attempt and didnot appear for the exam due to covid 

3. Both (1) and (2) 


Please help

From what info we have in public domain, those who wrote their last attempt in 2020. That is (1).

And they are eligible age wise to appear in 2021.

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@Neyawn  It was governments submission I think. Court would have final say on Monday. 


Yes. I was part of a social event ( capped at 50 people )  where I happened to interact with an eminent member of higher judiciary. It was he who brought up the topic and said at least upsc aspirants should get an extra attempt.

Later, turned out that he may just occupy the top post.

Anyway, let’s see what the judges finally pronounce. Earlier reports said that govt was unwilling to grant extra attempts.

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@Neyawn  It was governments submission I think. Court would have final say on Monday. 


Precisely.


https://blog.forumias.com/extra-attempt-to-upsc-aspirants-in-ias-2021-exam/


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Yes, anyway the government stand is much better now than before.


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Halt said

Just a personal observation. 


This was my second mains, and thus my second year waiting for results of mains on forumIAS


As a general thumb rule, I have observed that most people who are confident, whether it be about their answers, or their perceived difficulty or easiness of papers, how intelligent or gifted they are and the papers were right up their alley are extremely shocked to see their role numbers missing from the mains result pdf.


On the contrary, glue sniffing and crayon eating candidates who are surprised each time a question is discussed, because they don't remember ever reading something like this, let alone attempting it, are often thanking God, their parents, their dogs and the local cigarette shop vendor for helping them go through the mains. What happens in the final list is anybody's guess.

Last year, a legendary character DKT was handing out genius answers to GS4 questions. Coincidentally, last year GS4 was inflated enough to single handedly carry you through mains. The poor sod didn't make it. This year, we don't have someone as confidently incorrect to rally around and make fun of, so everyone is sort off trying to give some vibes of "yeah, I knew that one".

Remember Yeats: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity".

Just a general observation, who am I to judge others.

Anyone giving genius answers was not probably sitting for the Mains exam.

Sitting at home and looking at the question paper makes the paper much easier anyway.

You will be surprised to see that the people who get 200+ In interview will usually have nothing very outstanding in their personality - some of them will be reticent too - and the most boisterous and the garrulous among the selected crowd will be usually scoring low in the interview.

There are always exceptions.

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Hey people, I had a question to ask.

In my Essay paper, I wrote on the topic "Patriarchy is the least noticed yet the most significant structure of social inequality". For some reason, I started by writing on how there are some obvious things, which don't look so obvious, and often go unnoticed, and how these unnoticed things have the potential to harm us significantly. So I don't know what got over me but I started the essay with that movie quote- "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

After this, to explain this I gave an example of this anecdote I read about- 

“There is an old story about a worker suspected of stealing: every evening, as he leaves the factory, the wheelbarrow he rolls in front of him is carefully inspected. The guards can find nothing. It is always empty. Finally, the penny drops: what the worker is stealing are the wheelbarrows themselves...” (Slovaj Zizek)

Then I connected this with the topic, and how Patriarchy is like the metaphorical wheelbarrow. It exists, and its existence is obvious which can be noticed in different manifestations, but it often still goes unnoticed or ignored. And this is why it is like the devil which has convinced us that it doesn't exist.  

Then I tried to define patriarchy, and tell the different ways in which it manifests itself. And that there are misconceptions about the concept of Patriarchy, and that it affects men too. I also wrote a bit on how patriarchy affects transgenders and sexual minorities. And then I wrote a little on how patriarchy and gender inequality aggravate other forms of social inequality (intersectionality essentially). Then on how patriarchy affects political, social, economic, cultural and legal life. 

So the gist of the entire thing was that patriarchy is a form of inequality in itself, and that it also aggravates other forms of social inequality. However, my essay was not solution-based and I did not write a lot on how to tackle patriarchy, apart from a few lines in the concluding paragraph.  

So I have the following doubts regarding the whole thing-

1. First biggest issue is that not only did I start with a movie quote, I terribly misattributed the quote to someplace where it wasn't from. I wasn't trying to bluff, but I did misattribute the quote, and the misattribution is obvious. So how would that affect my score?

2. I wrote almost three-fourth of the page on the anecdote, which wasn't relevant to my content, but was just used to add some literary value (which I don't think I was able to achieve). So how sensible or insensible was to do this?

3. I somehow feel that the content and examples I quoted were a bit radical.

4. Should my content have been solution-oriented instead on descriptive and problem-oriented?

Can you share your views on this?

My two cents.

1. I personally don't think misattributions are something to be worried about – as long as the point you are trying to make gets through to the examiner.

2. It is sensible to layout the groundwork of your essay in a detailed way. If you think you failed to achieve that, that's bad news. Maybe, the remainder of your essay might help you make your case.

3. During my first attempt, while I was answering a case study on corruption in one of the test series, I was taking the middle-road approach. Later, I learnt that some issues require radical solutions. You can't just take a middle-way both-sides approach on topics such as corruption, sexual harassment, and the like. I think patriarchy comes in this category. It requires bold and progressive solutions. 

4. Either approach is fine, IMHO. An extra emphasis on a long-term vision would have capped an extraordinary essay.

As the poster above me has mentioned, I feel that the marks in an essay would highly depend on the examiner's point of view. If I were the examiner, I would have liked the approach you have taken. Yours sounded original to me, rather than a lengthy GS answer.

Cheers, mate.

Pretty, well summed up. IMO, the examiner should award you the marks quite well, as long as reading your essay conveys the flow of ideas  close to the way you have explained it to us, in person.

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@TedMosbyArchitect Do people in your generation too watch(ed) HIMYM ? :)

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@Neyawn Sir ye nayi generation bhale hi chahe jitna B99 ke memes share kar le, laut ke inko FRIENDS aur HIMYM pe aana padta hai! :P
P.S.- kuch rajeev masand type log abhi friends is trash watch seinfeld kahenge! 


When HIMYM premiered ( on torrent ) , I had a feeling it will kinda replace friends. Looking back, I think Friends will stay the magnus opus of the sitcom era for years to come. 

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anknown said

Can anyone tell that how much upsc is strict wrt age relaxation.I have filled UPSC EPFO EO form but by mistake in the column of age relaxation i put no but after rechaecking it I found that I have to claim it.Can this mistake be solved by affidavit or should I stop preparing.I have the required obc certificate.

Can be solved by a written intimation or affidavit as long as you are legally eligible.

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MarcusA said

Neyawn said

@Neyawn Sir ye nayi generation bhale hi chahe jitna B99 ke memes share kar le, laut ke inko FRIENDS aur HIMYM pe aana padta hai! :P
P.S.- kuch rajeev masand type log abhi friends is trash watch seinfeld kahenge! 


When HIMYM premiered ( on torrent ) , I had a feeling it will kinda replace friends. Looking back, I think Friends will stay the magnus opus of the sitcom era for years to come. 

That is because in FRIENDS many see what they always wanted their lives to be but never actually got to live, so they end up living vicariously.   

I wanted to "Haha" this, so now I got back to making a plugin to add that feature. Will take two days :)

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anknown said

@Neyawn Yes, i am eligible with the right obc certificate.I have mailed them.Should I call and ask as well


You are good to go. Remember that Caste certificate issues do have to go through a minimal amount of harassment / troublemaking every year.

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Neyawn said

@Neyawn Sir ye nayi generation bhale hi chahe jitna B99 ke memes share kar le, laut ke inko FRIENDS aur HIMYM pe aana padta hai! :P
P.S.- kuch rajeev masand type log abhi friends is trash watch seinfeld kahenge! 


When HIMYM premiered ( on torrent ) , I had a feeling it will kinda replace friends. Looking back, I think Friends will stay the magnus opus of the sitcom era for years to come. 

Should I stay mum or should I reveal that I haven't watched either HIMYM or F.R.I.E.N.D.S?

Is this considered blasphemy?

oh, this is madness.

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Axel123 said

@deceptrix refer to Anudeep Durishetty's answer writing techniques.
I generally have 4 types of intros:
1. Definition of key word. I usually use it when asked or lack any alternative intro.
Advantage: simple and takes space
 Disadvantage: doesn't work in questions where multiple keywords linkage is demanded.
2. Data: can be used only with prior preparation for some topics or with prelims prep.
Advantage: specificity and keeps Intro concise and free from bs.
Disadvantage: wrong attribution or insipid answers if done incorrectly.
3.Current Context: If the issue is relevant.
Advantage: shows your analytical ability
Disadvantage: none really if you have spotted it.
4. General gyan: used when I have no/less idea about question or in time crunch.
Advantage: feel aati hai ki attempt kiya
Disadvantage: wastes time while trying to beat around the bush.


You could take a look at this article. Has some helpful stuff.

https://blog.forumias.com/minutes-to-midnight-scoring-better-in-mains-2017/

P.S. The approach #1 definition was given in a special session by your truly right before one of the Mains exams. The video is deleted now, sadly. leomessi10 implemented it the next year with very high density.

When I met him, amongst the first things he said was the approach helped him save time as till then he always used to think over how to start writing an answer.

P.S. The kid you see in the comment there, the one who says got IPS then IAS later, came one year later, for not getting a cadre of his choice. Then gave up IAS and wrote exam again, and got IAS home cadre. Can you believe that?


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Anyone lost hopes (on the purpose of this group) after seeing all these debates?

These are Pre result blues. I guess we should cut some slack right now.

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I have always wondered, ki why am i still on Forum, when Telegram offers a much easier way of interacting with UPSC Mains peers. 

But then after looking at the above debate I understand - Telegram grp can almost never discuss relevant issues (because it makes it too easy to comment), while here on Forum - people think and articulate much better. 

Indeed - no good thing in life comes easy

Plus the archival value of discussions. What you say will be archived forever on the internet. And a lot of people can benefit in posterity.

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Neyawn said

Anyone lost hopes (on the purpose of this group) after seeing all these debates?

These are Pre result blues. I guess we should cut some slack right now.

for a moment i thought ive travelled back in time and am waiting for pre results

Here “per” was used to mean “before” or “that which comes earlier” rather than a short form of preliminary.

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Caesar said

Neyawn said

I have always wondered, ki why am i still on Forum, when Telegram offers a much easier way of interacting with UPSC Mains peers. 

But then after looking at the above debate I understand - Telegram grp can almost never discuss relevant issues (because it makes it too easy to comment), while here on Forum - people think and articulate much better. 

Indeed - no good thing in life comes easy

Plus the archival value of discussions. What you say will be archived forever on the internet. And a lot of people can benefit in posterity.

That i would completely agree. For a good 8-10 months of preparation, my only source of entertainment was reading old forum threads.. it stretched way back to maybe 2013, when you or maybe some other senior member was asked in interview if whatsapp messages could be received when internet is off :P

Entertainment ? :(

Lets call it edutainment at least :P

Seriously, the perspectives you get as a fresher can be very useful, especially if you are away from Delhi and have to figure out A lot of things on your own.

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@Ragnar_Lodbrok go to this channel on tg @csp20info yahan ki history padhlo. Maan jaaoge insider exist karte hain


Feel like result wont come out till march 3rd week. This guy hasnt shared any insider info on this subject.

The minuscule number of people voting , 2/3rd of them expect it in not the coming week


https://forumias.com/post/detail/Vote-When-will-Mains-2020-results-come--1614482336

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Agog said

@LastBlast https://forumias.com/post/detail/kya-karu-kya-na-karu-yeh-kesi-uljhan-haye-1606458761?user=Phoebebuffay ths type of quarrelsome kiddish social justice u mean?And stop parroting "parody" man,it has been almost a year m writing here nd xcpt sm of u,tht 2 in ths month and in ths thread,evry 1 understood and cmmnted and dnt read no simple as tht,why do u guys keep making fun all the time,no1 has forced u guys!!Do u guys feel gr8 by making othrs low or hav contract 2 crrct othrs?plz save it and avoid the same Mr "Chauhan".I type casually nyway.

And @ othrs though i rested my point i fully agree with @whatonly maturity level.Nice lady.Both gender r culprits and victims.1 can find Delhi women staring at guys as if roast poor fella off and evn mocks,in metro fights xaggerate to the level of "Bharat ki betiyan and all",in even xam oriented decent area lik Delhi MN the othr gender aspirants asking 4 a separate line at ATMs during demonetisation(nanny feel), in name of body autonomy wear 2 short boxer at public place(cant do same at native place),just bcauz "Thappad"drama lead talks bold,she gives xpressive interviews as if she s the sole justice torchbearer,sm people r speaking against harssment not against ordinary person but nly against cherrypickd persons higher in authority,cant justify ths.Just lik few xceptions cant discredit whole movement but needs reform,same way divorce s not the soln rather shows poor relations mgnt skill until the issue snowballs out.Feminism if at all emancipatory shuld percolate grassroots, where most needed,not 2 make sm alpha human,wch seems happening.Plus the countries wch hav witnessd human beings massacred lik insects,objectified women via Hollywood/porn industry,racial discrimination originator nd having broken familes cant b the role model of an ancient healthy civilisation lik India,we shuld grow up,colonisation s dead,they themselves r looking twds us 4 hope.Nyway plz keep going.

@Neyawn how did this guy see my email id and know my name? it isnt public. meaning he works for forumias. is this the ethical norm there? making names public? i thought you guys respected privacy. if he doesnt work then please just ban my profile dont want to be here. 

No one active in this thread works with forumias or has access. I am not sure what gave away your name , unless you have interactive with a person through a different profile unknowingly. Currently people can have more than one account based on a unique mobile number.

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MarcusA said

» show previous quotes

Done guys 

Is there anyway to pin that spreadsheet link at the top, so that it's easily accessible? @Neyawn Sir

You can create a separate thread for it, and tag @root to announce it. At least for a few days. And for posterity sake, you can now Star or Bookmark comments that will in your saved history. So that you dont have to scavenge through the threads again later.

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What are these telegram groups which are mentioned often here? Are they useful? Can someone share few links?

I assure you, you are on the most useful group ever in the history of groups for Civils prep :)

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@Neyawn How I won't be banned for spamming the group with my graphs :see_no_evil:

 Nope.


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@Agog what are ur views on patriarchy bro

Those are not the things we discuss here. That, and feminism.

Speaking as a moderator of this community.

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Thankfully someone said it. I planned for myself a rigorous value addition and optional galvanizing February but all I have been able to do are newspapers plus some GS topics here and there. No coherence. Glad I am not alone.

Make short notes of things that you don’t have good content on. Even if it is not structured . Random isn’t too bad if you are bored of studying. I recommend doing things backwards just to break the monotonous of covering books / topics.

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@Neyawn Will follow your advice. Thanks.
Btw, was thinking on reading the ARC's. Any tip on that one?


Fourth Report and Personnel Administration. Read it not to memorise, but to understand what the commission was saying. Don’t go for the recommendations, go for the observations, you will be richer with your ideas , trust me. You don’t always need to write recommendations of committees and commissions, observations also work well.


And you can write everything that you read as an observation of the commission.


Once you are done, can you jot down 10 things you got from it ?

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P.S. I never thought the Mains thread would reach close to a million views ever. Looking back I guess Towface and goldberry are lucky for the forum.
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Omen said

Great watch. 

Explores how excessive focus on merit results in greater inequality and how meritorious people tend to believe that unmeritorious people are themselves to be blamed for their life situation. 

Thank you mate for recommending this. I think it would be great if we can keep on recommending such videos ; what better drug for us (self claimed 'buddhijeevis') than intellectual debates. Would be a good way to spend time while waiting for the results.

I kid you not. In poverty essay, people actually write that one reason why people are poor is because they are lazy , don’t wanna work hard and prefer staying poor.

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Agog said

@Neyawn so u guys fixed the zero day vulnerability,nice!!Hope u dint use the tracker 2 trace the same😝Analogy- Those saying  dont b judgemental r thmselves being the same.

If you knew of some, you should have informed us :/


You are a community member. If not you, who ?

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Hello All,

We don’t discuss religion, reservation, caste, feminism on this platform. Please use Twitter or TG.

Also please do not circulate fake pdfs.

We are okay with the traffic loss.

Thank you.

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@mahi2501 sorry @Neyawn  didn't saw your message. 

I am ending this discussion from my side. 



Regarding results, I called upsc last week, they said April 1st week. 

Though a close frnd of mine who has links in UPSC says that it will be before holi in any case. 


That’s more like it.

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This platform was much better this time last year. The bunch of people who participated in the discussion were always appreciative of the other view even if it didn't align with their's. I am struggling to understand what changed. Personal attacks and egotism is touching new levels.

For me, Forum had become a nice place to invest the leisure time for there was so much on the offer as new learning. I wish we were more appreciative and did not engage in childish insanity at this stage of our lives.

Shifting the discourse: I think this is a good time to explore ourselves, to understand who we really are! Sitting with the course books throughout the year takes a toll on one's personality. It's important to rejuvenate and keep ourselves caught up with the developments in the world outside preparation. Let's not relegate mental well-being into the background. It is not an elitist concern and affects each and everyone of us.

Read books. Explore music. Meditate. Free up your mind. Introspect yourself. Rebuild your personality. There's not much time before the next cycle begins- 1 more year of all that you have done last year, the year before, the year before...

Why don’t we start some new threads on completely new topics ?

Any suggestions? I agree with you that entry barriers for the community should be high.

Can we only make it an invitations only thing ?

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mehuifs said

@Agog I am not commenting about work ethics as how a person talks generally has no relationship with how he works. 
My comment was in regard to the rude tone in which they speak to the poor. 

Curious to know the answer.

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Nls9219 said

@Usain_bolt https://forumias.com/post/detail/Prelims-2020-Preparing-Repeatedly-Asked-Questions-1599284307 
You may find it here I guess.


Got it. Thank you bhai.

Please bookmark it. There is a star next to every comment.

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