(Paper) IAS Mains Previous Year Paper : English Compulsory (1977)

Paper : IAS Mains Previous Year Paper : English Compulsory (1977)

ESSAY - 1977

Q. Write essays on any two of the following topics:
1. “More than the means of production science transforms the producer himself”.
2. Indian science should be rooted to the Indian soil.
3. Is ecology relevant to India?
4. Education as an avenue of social mobility.
5. Modernization as a contemporary myth.
6. Is consumer protection possible in India?
7. The concept of a welfare state.
8. Role and responsibilities of the judiciary in a Parliamentary democracy.
9. Democracy and the leadership principle.
10. India’s composite culture.


1. Make a précis of the following passage in about 340 words. The précis should be in your own words. It should be written on the special sheets provided, which should be fastened securely inside the answer-book.

N.B. – You will be penalized if your précis is much longer or shorter than the length prescribed.

New things are more evident in the social history of the Western countries than the decline of interest in inequality as an economic issue. This has been particularly true in the United States It is only necessary to observe that for some 15 years no serious effort has been made to alter the present distribution of income. The principal public device for redistribution income is the progressive income-tax. Not since the Second World War has there been a major effort of modify this tax in the interest of grater equality. Loopholes have been opened and a few closed. Liberal has not, however, proposed any important new steps to make the tax more progressive and hence more egalitarian. 

The present nominal surtax rates put into effect during the was a temporary measure are now regarded as permanent. As a part of the present compromise, liberals do not seek to make current taxes more progressive. They would, however, rally in opposition to any general reduction in rates on the higher  income brackets. Those who believe the tax has gone too far in enforcing equality are more vocal  But not even a conservative administration such as that of President Eisenhower thought it wise to  tackle the question of surtax reduction.  Apart from the income-tax almost no legislation has been enacted or even discussed in recent  years which have as its main aim the reduction of inequality. Fifty years ago, at the height of the  debate over socialism and capitalism, it would have been hard to imagine there was any other issue.  The decline in concern for inequality cannot be explained by the triumph of equality.  Although this is suggested in the conventional utterances of conservatives and the complaints of  businessmen, inequality in the U.S. is still great. In 1955 the highest ten per cent of the population averaged as income 27 times as much as the lowest ten per cent. Present laws are also notably  favorable to the person who has wealth as oppose to the individual who is only earning it. Yeats all  this does not arouse the kind of animosity which leads readily to agitation and action.  

The first reason why inequality has faded as an issue is that it has not been showing the  expected tendency to get worse. It no longer seems likely that the ownership of the tangible assets of  the republic will be concentrated in a few hands. There has actually been a modest reduction in the  disparity. While taxes have restrained the concentration of income at the top, full employment and  upward pressure on wages have increased well-being at the bottom. In 1928 the 5 per cent with the  highest income received over a third of all income; by 1946 their share was only about 18 per cent.  The war and post war years were a time of rapid improvement for those in the lower bracket.  Between 1941 and 1950 the lowest fifth had a 42 percent increase in income; the highest fifth had  only an 8 per cent increase.  Emulation and envy have always played a large role in the economist’s view of human otivation. But every operates only as regards nearby neighbors; it is not  directed towards the distant  rich. When the individual’s real income is rising, he is not much worried by the wealth of distant. 

New Yorkers or Texans.
Another reason for the decline is interest in inequality almost certainly, is the drastically altered political and social position of the rich in recent times. Broadly speaking, there are three basic  benefits from wealth. First is the satisfaction in the power with which it endows the individual.  Second is the physical possession of the things which money can buy. Third is the esteem that  accrues to the rich man as the result of his wealth. All of these returns to wealth have been greatly  circumscribed in the last fifty years and in a manner which vastly reduces the envy of the not-so-well  of.  In the last half-century the power and prestige of the U.S. government have greatly increased.  

This has meant some surrender of authority to Washington. Furthermore, trade unions have invaded  the power of the entrepreneur from another quarter. But most important, the professional manager or  executive has taken away from the man of wealth the power that is implicit in running a business.  Fifty years ago, men like Morgan and Rockefeller were the undisputed masters of the business  concerns, they owned. Their sons and grandsons still have the wealth, but with rare exceptions, the  power implicit in the running of the firms has passed to professionals. As the power that went with  active business direction was lost, so was the hostility.  The enjoyment of the physical possession of things would seem to be one of he prerogatives  of wealth which has been little impaired. 

Presumably nothing has happened to keep the rich man  who can afford them from enjoying his art treasures. This is all the more enjoyable because it is all  the more noticeable, in a world where nearly everyone is poor. But as the rich have become more  numerous, they have inevitably become a debased currency. Moreover, the display of wealth which  was a characteristic of the latter part of the last century in the United States has come to be 
condemned as vulgar. Thus, with the decline of ostentation, or its vulgarization, wealth and hence inequality were no longer flagrantly advertised. Being less advertised hey was less noticed and less  resented.  At one time the intellectual, politician, or man of general ambition saw the rich man achieve  distinction without effort, in contrast with his own struggle. He reacted by helping to focus the  resentment of the community as a whole on the rich. Now he rises into the ranks of the professional  managers and may even compete on tolerably equal terms with the grandson of the founder of the  firm. Prestige and power are now far more intimately identified with those who, regardless of  personal wealth, administer productive activity. (998 words) 


2. (a) After being trained at one of the foremost engineering institutions in America you have been working for 5 years in a responsible position in a manufacturing concern in that country. You  now wish to return to India. Your father, while welcoming the prospect of having you with  him, wonders why you want to return. Write him a letter of about 400 words, explaining your  reasons.


You are an officer in the storage department of a government agency whose business is the  purchase, storage and distribution of food grains. You are faced with the problem of finding  storage space for 20,000 tons of wheat. The monsoon is expected in a month’s time.  Write a letter of about 400 words to your superior officer, describing the situation and  requesting permission to devise such make-shift arrangements as you can so as to save the  wheat from being damaged by the weather, and by pests and rodents, and also from being  depleted by thieves. Describe the arrangements you propose to make.

N.B. – Sign yourself X. Do not give your name or roll number or address or any other clue to your identity.
(b) Write a SINGLE paragraph of not more than 150 words making a critical examination of one of the following statements:
(i) “There is no duty we so much understate as the duty of being happy”.
(ii) “Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless”.
(iii) “The true university of these days is a collection of boods”.
(iv) “Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is necessary”.
(v) “To may mind, there is nothing so illiberal and so illiberal as audible laughter: