UPSC Essay Topics - Important Essay Topics for UPSC Mains 2023

by Vajiram & Ravi


05:53 AM

Understanding UPSC Essay Topics holds significant importance as it evaluates the candidate's ability to analyse, present arguments, and communicate effectively. In this article, we will explore the diverse range of UPSC essay topics, their significance, and essential tips to excel in this section. Get ready to enhance your writing and analytical skills and make a strong impression on the evaluators with well-crafted essays.

UPSC Essay Paper

The Essay paper in the UPSC Mains examination requires candidates to write multiple essays, each on a different topic, chosen from a given list of options. The essay topics for UPSC cover a wide range of issues, including social, economic, political, cultural, and philosophical aspects, both national and international.

The essay paper holds significant weightage in the UPSC Mains examination, contributing 250 marks out of the total 1750 marks. Scoring well in this section can have a considerable impact on the overall ranking and selection for the coveted civil services.

Weekly UPSC Essay Topics By Vajiram & Ravi

The UPSC Essay Paper is an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their proficiency in expressing ideas and analysing complex issues. Vajiram & Ravi Pensive-Weekly Essay Writing Programme provides you with two Essay Topics every Saturday based on the previous year's question papers and the changing trends analysis. You can submit your Essay for peer evaluation on This will help you nourish your writing skills, give you clarity of thought, and build the capacity to express opinions in a logical and coherent manner.

Important Essay Topics for UPSC 2023

The purpose of the essay paper is to assess the candidate's ability to critically analyse a topic, present well-structured arguments, and communicate their ideas effectively. It also evaluates their knowledge of various issues, their clarity of thought, and their capacity to express opinions in a logical and coherent manner.

Some of the Important Essay Topics to prepare for the UPSC Mains Examination 2023 are:

  • Literacy
  • Gender Equality
  • Environment/Urbanization
  • Economic Growth
  • Technology
  • Religion
  • Federalism/Decentralization
  • Health
  • Poverty
  • Judiciary
  • Culture
  • Agriculture
  • Democracy
  • Economics 

UPSC Essay Topics on Philosophy

Every year, UPSC typically provides you with two or more essay topics centred around philosophical thoughts, Indian philosophical schools, or quotes from notable personalities. To effectively address these philosophical topics, you should refer to Philosophy Books to gain a foundational understanding. Here is a list of UPSC Essay Topics on Philosophy:

  • Everything comes to him, who hustles while he waits.
  • We are always blind as we want to be.
  • You cannot step twice in the same river.
  • A disciplined mind brings happiness.
  • The price of Greatness is Responsibility.
  • People would rather Believe than Know.
  • Mind - A beautiful Servant? Or a dangerous Master?

UPSC Essay Topics on Art and Culture

The UPSC Essay Topics related to Indian society, art, and culture cover a wide range of subjects, offering great diversity. To gain knowledge about the static content on these topics, you should rely on fundamental books on society, as recommended for the exam. Here is a list of UPSC Essay Topics on Indian Art and Culture:

  • Culture changes with economic development.
  • Culture is what we are, Civilization is what we have.
  • Social reform is a myth if places of worship are open only to all castes and not to all genders.
  • Impact of Globalization on Indian Art and Culture.
  • Caste System - India’s Enduring Curse.
  • Godmen - A Threat to Indian Art and Culture?

UPSC Essay Topics on Science and Technology

UPSC essay topics on Science and Technology can largely be addressed through current affairs. You may also benefit from consulting a Science and Technology Book for UPSC to compose a comprehensive and well-rounded essay. Here are some UPSC Essay Topics on Science and Technology:

  • Deglobalisation is good for the world.
  • Science is organised Knowledge. Wisdom is Organised life.
  • Technology is a Weapon against Poverty.
  • Prioritising Education Technology for Global Growth.
  • Technology is the silent factor in International Relations.
  • Scientific and Technological Progress cannot be equated with Human Progress.

UPSC Essay Topics on Education

Education stands as one of the preferred UPSC Essay Topics, with an essay related to this subject often appearing in the paper each year. To tackle this topic effectively, you should stay abreast of Current Affairs, incorporating significant changes and advancements in the field. Let's explore some of the Essay topics for UPSC centred around education:

  • Self Education is a lifelong curiosity.
  • Education Breeds Peace.
  • Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
  • Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking.
  • Schooling is not Education.

UPSC Essay Topics on Polity and Governance

To comprehensively address Polity and Governance topics, you should acquire fundamental knowledge from Polity Books for UPSC and Current Affairs. These resources offer static information about relevant issues and their historical context, which proves valuable while writing UPSC Essay Topics on Polity. Here are some Essay Topics on Polity and Governance:

  • The Role of Politics in Development.
  • Should Youth in India Consider Politics as a Career?
  • Art, Freedom and Creativity will change society faster than politics.
  • The politics of Identity is the Politics of the Weak.
  • People should not be afraid of their Government. The Government should be afraid of its people.
  • Government Surveillance - Good or Bad?

UPSC Essay Topics on Economy

Essays concerning economic growth are frequently included in the Essay Paper. To tackle these topics effectively, you should refer to Economy Notes for UPSC to gain a comprehensive understanding. Once the fundamentals are grasped, you can enhance their essays by incorporating examples, data, and statistics to create a multidimensional perspective. Here is a list of UPSC Essay Topics on Economy:

  • We don't have to sacrifice a Strong Economy for a Healthy Environment.
  • India, a $5 trillion Economy - Dream or Reality?
  • Digital Economy: A leveller or a source of Economic Inequality?
  • Innovation is the key determinant of social welfare and economic growth.
  • Labour Reforms in India and its Role in Economic Growth.

UPSC Essay Topics on Social Issues

Social issues are a significant aspect of the UPSC essay paper, reflecting the candidates' understanding of societal challenges and their ability to propose viable solutions. These essays provide a platform for candidates to analyse, critique, and suggest measures for pressing social concerns. Topics related to social issues in the UPSC Essay paper may include:

  • Inclusivity and Plurality are the hallmarks of a Peaceful Society.
  • A Gender-sensitive Indian Society is a prerequisite for Women and Child Empowerment.
  • The weaker sections of Indian Society - are their Rights and Access to Justice getting Better?

Previous Year UPSC Essay Topics

Practising previous year's essay topics will help you become familiar with the UPSC exam pattern, word limit, and the types of essay questions frequently asked in the Mains Examination. Analysing past essay topics will also allow you to identify recurring themes and trends, enabling you to prioritise their preparation accordingly. Regular practice with past essay topics will instil confidence in you, helping you feel more comfortable and prepared for the actual exam.

  • Forests are the best case studies for economic excellence.
  • Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
  • History is a series of victories won by the scientific man over the romantic man.
  • A ship in the harbour is safe, but that is not what a ship is for.
  • The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
  • You cannot step twice in the same river.
  • A smile is the chosen vehicle for all ambiguities.
  • Just because you have a choice, it does not mean that any of them has to be right.

Tips to Excel in UPSC Essay Paper

  • Understand the Topics: Thoroughly comprehend the essay topics, including the keywords and instructions. Choose a topic that aligns with your strengths and interests.
  • Plan and Structure: Devote some time to plan your essay. Create an outline and organise your thoughts in a structured manner, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Be Objective: Present balanced arguments and avoid a biased or one-sided approach. Consider multiple perspectives and present a holistic view.
  • Provide Examples and Evidence: Support your arguments with relevant examples, data, quotes and evidence to strengthen your essay.
  • Maintain Clarity: Write in a clear and concise manner. Use simple language and avoid jargon or overly complex vocabulary.
  • Practice Regularly: Regular practice is essential to improve Essay writing skills. Write essays on diverse topics to enhance your versatility.
  • Time Management: Allocate appropriate time for planning, writing, and revising each essay to manage time effectively during the examination.
  • Revise and Edit: Review your essays for coherence, grammar, and structure. Make necessary edits to refine your work.

FAQs on UPSC Essay Topics

What are the important UPSC Essay Topics?

Here is a list of UPSC Essay Topics asked in Mains Examination previously:

  • Culture is what we are, civilization is what we have.
  • Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
  • What is research but a blind date with knowledge?
  • Best for an individual is not necessarily best for society.
  • Wisdom finds truth.
  • Ships don’t sink because of water around them, ships sink because of water that gets into them.
  • Patriarchy is the least noticed yet the most significant structure of social inequality.
  • Technology as the silent factor in international relations.

How do I Prepare for the UPSC Essay?

To prepare for the UPSC essay, focus on understanding the essay syllabus and past topics to identify recurring themes. Regularly practise writing essays on various topics to improve your writing skills and time management. Structure your essays with a clear introduction, main body, and conclusion.

Which is the best source to practise UPSC Essay Topics?

The best sources to prepare Essay for UPSC include official UPSC materials, newspapers, and magazines like The Hindu, Yojana, and Kurukshetra for current affairs, standard books on diverse subjects, government reports and publications, online platforms like PIB and PRS India, UPSC previous year papers for understanding the exam pattern, and regular practice of essay writing on various topics.