Essay Paper In Civil Services Pa

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UPSC Question Paper (Prelims & Main)

The Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) conducts exams for the citizens every year to induce them into the civil services of the country. In order to get into the UPSC, aspirants must take up the respective exam for the particular area of specialisation in UPSC that they are looking for and clear it.

Usually, the exam is divided into two parts. First, a preliminary exam with objective type questions is conducted. Here, a good number of aspirants are filtered. Then, a main exam comprising essay type questions for the eligible candidates is conducted, after which candidates will be selected on the basis of an interview.

UPSC Prelims Question Papers

The preliminary examination of UPSC is for screening purpose only. The marks obtained in the UPSC prelims examination will be a qualification to take the UPSC Main examination and will not be counted for determining their final order of merit. 

  • The Preliminary examination consists of 2 papers with objective type questions.
  • Both papers carry 200 marks each and it serves as a screening test only.
  • CSAT is the Paper-II of Preliminary Exam the candidate will have to score a minimum 33% of marks for qualifying in Mains (written).
  • Paper-I of prelims includes mainly the current affairs, while Paper-II or CSAT is the aptitude test.

Note: A candidate qualified for mains in a particular year will be eligible to appear for main exams of that particular year only.

Download Prelims Questions

UPSC Mains Question

The Civil Services Main examination is designed to test the academic talent of the aspirant, also his/her ability to present his/ her knowledge in a clear and coherent manner.

Download Main Questions

Question Paper for Optional Subjects:

Language Question Papers:

Literature Question Papers:

The pass percentage of this exam is very less due to the difficulty level and the seriousness of the civil services positions. UPSC is conducted for the recruitment of officers into IAS, IFS, CDS, IPS, IAAS, IRTS, IDAS, IRS, ITS and IRAS departments.

Rigorous preparation for this exam is mandatory in order to crack it. General Knowledge is a prime requirement and to test oneself before appearing for the exam is the best method to boost the candidate's confidence level before appearing for it. This can be done through practising the previous years question papers published by Careerindia.

Old question papers help candidates identify the important and frequently asked questions and give them a good practise for their aptitude and knowledge. In the last few months prior to the exams, it is sufficient for candidates to simply keep practising these questions in order to gain mastery over the subjects studied. Not only the candidate's confidence level, but also their scores will show good improvement upon following it.


  1. Prologue
  2. PubAd.Paper 1: Section A
    1. Questions 1 (Compulsory)
    2. Question 2
    3. Question 3
    4. Question 4
  3. PubAd Paper I: Section B (Question 5 to 8)
    1. Question 5 (Compulsory)
    2. Question 6
    3. Question 7
    4. Question 8
  4. PubAd.Paper II Section A
    1. Question 1 (Compulsory)
    2. Question 2
    3. Question 3
    4. Question 4
  5. PubAd.Paper 2: Section B
    1. Question 5 (Compulsory)
    2. Question 6
    3. Question 7
    4. Question 8


  • UPSC comes with new word limits here: 10 marks = 150 words and 20 marks = 250 words. There is one question worth 30 marks- but word limit not mentioned.
  • Gandhi Prem continues here also. (in paper II)

The Question Paper ‘skeleton’ remains same like earlier i.e.

  • Eight Questions in two sections (A and B)
  • Candidate has to attempt five questions.
  • Question #1 and #5 are compulsory.
  • Out of the remaining, pick any three- but choose at least one from each section.

Detailed analyses later, Let’s check papers: each with 250 marks and 3 hours’ time limit.

PubAd.Paper 1: Section A

Questions 1 (Compulsory)

Answer the following, questions in not more than 150 words each. 5 questions x 10 marks each.

  1. How did the traditional Public Administration resolve the fundamentally irresolvable problem- creating an administration strong enough to be effect but not strong enough to endanger accountability?
  2. The theory of organizational incompetence has two separate and distinct faces. Examine Chris Argyris’ views on this
  3. In the globalized Public Administration, hierarchy creates more ethical problems than it solves. Comment
  4. Public Administration in the neo-liberal era is government less by the instruments of accountability and more by those of external accountability Elaborate
  5. Discuss the views that “tribunals should have the same degree of independence from the  Executive as that enjoyed by the supreme court and high courts, especially for those tribunals that look over the functions of high courts.

Question 2

  1. New Public Administration may have neither been the savior its enthusiasts promised, nor the devil its critics worried it would be. Discuss. (25 marks | word limit not mentioned)
  2. “The design of physical structures, the anatomy of the organization came first, and was indeed the principle consideration.” “An organization is a system of interrelated social behaviors of participants” Analyses these statements and evaluate the contribution of the respective approach to Administrative theory. (25 marks | word limit not mentioned)

Question 3

  1. Decisions are not made by organizations, but by human beings behaving as the members of organizations. How do Bernard and Herbert A. Simon conceptualize the relation between decision of the individual employee and the organizational authority? 20 marks
  2. A variety of different organizational arrangement can be used to provide different public goods and services. Example the theory underlying this proposition and its potential contribution. 15 marks.
  3. What is the nature of psychological contract persued by organizational management through authority and employees through exertion of upward influence? 15

Question 4

  1. Structure theory is by and large, grounded in classical principles of efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. Explain. 25 marks
  2. Public interest is still inadequate as a ground concept to evaluate public policy. Discuss. 25 marks.

PubAd Paper I: Section B (Question 5 to 8)

Question 5 (Compulsory)

Answer all five, in not more than 150 words each. 10 marks x 5 = 50 marks.

  1. Comparative Public Administration both resembles and differs from modern organization theory. elaborate
  2. In organizational analysis, there is always gender around (Gouldner). Argue
  3. What is Administrative elitism? How does it evolve in Public Administration? elaborate your response with reference to historical examples
  4. The success of e-government projects in most developing countries s is state to be rather low. Assess the reason.
  5. What new models of budgetary capacity and incapacity have emerged after the decline of planning programming budgeting and zero based budgeting?

Question 6

  1. “For those who use the euphemism of ‘shared power’ for participation, the appropriate literature for guidance is practical politics and not organization and Management.” “Stronger state and strong civil society are the need to develop both participatory democracy and responsive government as mutually reinforcing and supportive.” Bring out the myths and realities associate with public participation. 20 marks
  2. “….in most cases….newly independent states, of the nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America, despite their differences…are in transition.” (Ferrel Heady). What common features are indicative of characteristics of their Administrative patterns (cultures)? 15m
  3. “To talk about the regulatory framework is to talk about short governance.” Analyze the statement in the context of public private partnership and identify the elements of regulation. 15m

Question 7

  1. Economic reforms are a work in progress, with the state reluctant to fully relinquish its reins. Discussion the statement with regard to implementation of economic reforms in India . 15
  2. “the policy process was not structured in the way required by bureaucratic planning.”  “Arguably, instrumentalism now stands most in contrast to neo liberal nationality  that impose market against both gradual change and democratic liberalism.” analyses these two statements. 20 marks.
  3. Budget allocations involves series of tensions between actors with different backgrounds, orientations and interests and between the short term goals and long term institutional requirements. Discuss. 15 marks

Question 8

Q8a. Read following instances carefully and suggest what specific perspectives on organizational psychology of motivation would help the concerned organization to reconcile the needs of the following four persons with the needs of organization:  30m

  1. Mr.A comes to his office with clocklike punctuality; does his work with impeccable honesty and integrity; takes orders from above gladly; responds well to overtures by peers; but neither mixes with anyone himself nor seeks anyone’s company. what is more, he seem quite happy in his isolation.
  2. Mr.B is an efficient charge hand at the welding shop. He is very outgoing and makes friends fast, but falls out with them very fast too. He is, however, easily pacified when anyone asks him to calm down in the name of the organization.
  3. Mr.C is completely happy and absorbed when he is teaching in the classes, and doesn’t at all mind when is workload gets heavier and covers new areas. But he gets angry when the finance section raises objection about his medical bills; and is furious that the higher administration is yet to give him full tenure.
  4. Mr.D is a metallurgist in the forge shop of the steel plan, and has received honors for his innovativeness in modifying conventional alloys. He also paints well and values his painting skills far more than his metallurgy and is extremely unhappy that company house journal did not finally carry his water sketch on its front cover.

Q8b. Suppose the government of India is thinking of constructing a dam in a mountain valley girded by forests and inhibited by ethnic communities. What rational techniques of policy analysis should it resorts to for coping with likely uncertainties and unforeseen contingencies.

End of paper 1, here comes paper 2

Same instructions for Paper two i.e. 5 out of 8, Q1 and 5 compulsory, attempt remaining three from any section but atleast one from each section.

PubAd.Paper II Section A

Question 1 (Compulsory)

Attempt following about 150 words each. 10 marks x 5 = 50m

  1. The charter act of 1853 marked the beginning of parliamentary system in India. Explain
  2. Civil service neutrality is founded on the application of the principles of rule of law. Comment
  3. The second generation reforms in Panchayati Raj institution have changed Panchayats from an agency of Development at local level into a political institution. comment
  4. Finance commission in India performs the job of statistics aggregation. comment
  5. Planning enables comprehensive and scientific understanding of problems. Examine the statement in context of planning methodology.

Question 2

  1. Bureaucratic agencies, characterized by established procedures, specialization, leadership, clean objectives, are not ideal to handle disaster Management. examine with reference to the need for Administrative flexibility in managing disasters. (20 marks | 250 words)
  2. The liberal -democratic ideology of the west influenced in shaping of value premises of the Indian Constitution. Discuss.  (20 marks | 250 words)
  3. Autonomy to public sector undertakings is a myth. Analyze in the context of the use of government Expenditure by politicians to control governments at different levels. (10 marks | 150 words)

Question 3

  1. Laws are enacted without involving police in the conception stage, with the result implementation of these laws leaves much to be desired. Examine the role of police in protection of children. (10 marks | 150 words)
  2. Central Secretariat is the nodal agency for administering the union subjects and establishing coordination among the various activities of government discuss. (20 marks | 250 words)
  3. Is there is need to dispense with the office of the governor? Examine in the context of coalition governments. (10m | 150w)

Question 4

  1. “There is a tendency of centralism in Indian federalism, but it is not because of its institutional framework but because of its socialist goals and centrally devised plan development.”  explain the statement in the context of union-state relationships (20m|250w)
  2. Use of information and communication technology in Panchayat’s function enhances efficiency, transparency and accountability and also induces mass ICT culture. Examine (20m|250w)
  3. Judicial review of administrative tribunal’s decision defeats the very objective of establishing tribunals. Comment with reference to central Administrative tribunal. (10m|150w)

PubAd.Paper 2: Section B

Question 5 (Compulsory)

Attempt following about 150 words each. 10 marks x 5 = 50m

  1. Public Administration today tends to be less of public in quantitative terms, but more responsive to public needs than before in qualitative terms. Examine with reference to citizen centric administration
  2. Performance budgeting failed because it was applied to sectors/ programs where quantitative evaluation was not feasible. Examine the principles underlying performance budgeting techniques.
  3. The design of the Indian police was to subjugate the India n people in the aftermath of 1857. Analyze in the context of Indian police Act of 1861.
  4. Reducing the size (geographical area) of the district will provide relief to the overburdnened and overworked collector. comment
  5. The concept of social audit is more comprehensive than that of traditional audit. comment

Question 6

  1. Gandhian model of decentralization is similar to the process of reinventing governance. Analyze in the context of good governance. (20m|250 words)
  2. Accounting is the essence of producing promptly and clearly the facts relating to financial conditions and operations that are required as a basis of management. Substantiate the statement in the context of accounting methods and techniques in government (20m|250 words)
  3. Explain the important recommendations of VT Krishanamachary Committee (1952) on the Indian and State Administrative services and problems of district administration. (10m|150w)

Question 7

  1. The 73rd amendment, it is felt, may accentuate fiscal indiscipline by establishing between states and local governments a system of transfers, similar to the one in place between central and state government (world d bank) Comment (20m|250w)
  2. Municipal administration in India  faces both structural and operational challenges. examine in context of the post 74th amendment act (20m|250w)
  3. Self-help groups (SHG) have contributed to a change in the role of rural women in development from symbolic participation of empowerment (10m|150w)

Question 8

  1. There is both criminalization of politics and politicization of criminals in India . Examine and identify the challenges they cause for law and order administration. (20m|250w)
  2. The basic ethical problem of an administrator is to determine how he/she can use discretionary power in a way that is consistent with democratic values. comment with reference to corruption in administration (20m|250w)
  3. Justify the Constitutional provisions to treat certain expenditure as charged upon Consolidate fund of India  (10m|150w)

click me if you want last 34 years’ Public Administration papers (1979 to 2012).

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