IAS Mains 2009
English (Compulsory Paper)
Time Allowed : Three hours
Maximum Marks : 300
QUESTION PAPER SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS
1. Write an essay in about 300 words on any one of the
(a) Why are our farmers committing suicide?
(b) Ragging: should it be distinguished from brutality or criminality?
(c) “Sweet are the uses of adversity.”
(d) Reforms of sports bodies in our country
(e) Alternative sources of energy for our country
2. Read carefully the passage below and write your answers
to the questions that follow, in clear, correct and concise language:
The altogether new thing in the world then was the
scientific method of research, which in that period of Galileo, Kepler,
Descartes, Harvey and Francis Bacon was advancing with enormous strides. All
walls, all the limitations, all the certainties of the ages were in dissolution,
tottering. In fact this epoch, in which we are participating still, with
continually opening vistas, can be compared in magnitude and promise only to
that of the 8th to the 4th millenniums B.C. : of the birth of civilization in
the Near East, when the inventions of food production, grain agriculture and
stock breeding, released mankind from the primitive condition or foraging and so
made possible an establishment of soundly grounded communities: first villages,
then towns, then cities, kingdoms, and empires. Leo Frobenius wrote of that age
as the Monumental Age, and of the age now dawning as the Global :
“In all previous ages, only restricted portions of the
surface of the earth were known. Men looked out from the narrowest, upon a
somewhat larger neighbourhood, and beyond that, a great unknown. They were all,
so to say, insular: bound in. Whereas our view is confined no longer to a spot
of space on the surface of this earth. It surveys the whole of the planet. And
this fact, this lack of horizon, is something new.”
“It is chiefly to the scientific method of research that
this release of mankind is due, and every developed individual has been freed
from the once protective but now dissolved horizons of the local land, local
moral code, local modes of group thought and sentiment. Not only in the sciences
but in every department of life the will and courage to credit one’s own senses
and to honor one’s own decisions, to name one’s own virtues and to claim one’s
own vision of truth, have been the generative forces of the new age. There is a
growing realization even in the moral field that all Judgments are (to use
Nietzsche’s words) “human, all too human,”
1. What is the “epoch in which we are participating still”?
2. In what way is it comparable to the period of the 8th to the 4th millenniums
3. What is meant by the new “lack of horizon”?
4. What do you think is implied by “all the certainties of the ages” that were
“in dissolution” during the period of Galileo and his fellow scientists?
5. What is the new freedom we have found, and why does it require courage?
3. Make a precis of the following passage in about 235 words. It is not
necessary to suggest a title. Failure to write within the word limit may result
in deduction of marks. The precis must be written on the separate precis sheets
provided, which must then be fastened securely inside the answer book.
There are, of course, many motivating factors in human
behaviour, but we would claim that nationalism is particularly worthy of study.
Why is it particularly significant? Its significance lies in its power to arouse
passionate loyalties and hatreds that motivate acts of extreme violence and
courage; people kill and die for their nations. Of course it is not alone in
this: people are driven to similar extremes to protect their families, their
extended families or ‘tribes’, their home areas with their populations; and
their religious groups and the holy places and symbols of their religions.
However, these other loyalties are often rather easier to understand than
nationalism. Parents making supreme sacrifices for their children can be seen as
obeying a universal imperative in life forms, the instinct to protect one’s own
genetic material. This instinct can also be seen at work in the urge to protect
one’s extended family; but then the extended family, or on a slightly larger
scale the ‘tribe’, can also be seen, in perhaps the majority of circumstances in
which human beings have existed, as essential for the survival of the individual
and the nuclear family. The nation is not generally essential to survival in
this way. Of course, if the entire nation were to be wiped out, the individuals
and their families would die, but the disappearance of the nation as a social
unit would not in itself pose a threat to individual or family survival: only if
it were to be accompanied by ethnic violence or severe economic collapse would
it be life-threatening, and such cataclysmic events are not an inevitable
consequence of the loss of political independence. Conversely, there is no
logical connection between the gaining of political independence by a subject
nation and increased life chances for its citizens. In many, perhaps the vast
majority, of modern nations there is likewise no evidence that in defending the
nation one is defending one’s own genetic material; the notion that the citizens
of modem nations are kinsfolk, while the citizens of (potentially) hostile
neighbours are aliens, makes no sense in view of the highly varied genetic
make-up of most modern populations.’
Devotion to one’s religious group, like support for one’s nation, is much less
obviously to the individual’s advantage than is defence of the family, but we
would maintain that it can be more comprehensible than nationalism. It can be
seen in ideological terms as the defence of a world view and its symbols,
against rival world views, which are considered to be fundamentally erroneous
and which, if successful, would force the conquered to act in ways abhorrent to
their beliefs. While the defence of one’s nation has often been seen as the
defence of one’s religion, and while modern hostilities between nations
frequently do have a religious dimension, there are many serious national
conflicts that have no clear religious element; the two world wars were fought
in Europe with Catholic France, Protestant Britain, and Orthodox Russia opposing
Germany with its mixed Catholic and Protestant population. Thus, while modern
nationalism may be linked to religion, many cases can be found without any clear
religious dimension. Not only do modern nationalism lack a religious element:
there is often (to outsiders) no obvious ideological difference between rival
nations. Hence, while defence of one’s religion can be seen as defence of an
entire system of beliefs, a world view, it is difficult in many cases to claim
that this is true of the defence of one’s nation. There is in fact a good case
for seeing nations as ‘imagined communities’, and such would be the view of some
Such imagined communities could not, of course, exist unless they fulfilled a
need. We can postulate that the need to belong to a community of some kind is a
fundamental human characteristic, and that nations have arisen to fulfill this
need, as earlier more primary communities – local, ‘tribal’, and religious –
have lost their significance through economic and social change. But why should
this need be fulfilled by nations, rather than some other type of unit? There is
strong support in the literature for a view of nations as products of particular
social and economic conditions operating from around the mid-eighteenth century,
as products of ‘modernization’.
4. (a) Rewrite the following sentences after making necessary corrections:
1. The bear had a ring on it’s nose.
2. This shirt is too lose for me.
3. This coat looks a bit small – l’d like to try on it.
4. Let’s listen the music.
5. Do you know what is the answer?
6. The weather today is too good.
7. I saw him yesterday only.
8. Who you want to see?
9. The ice cream’s good – may I please have little more?
10. His office is quite opposite to my house.
(b) Supply the missing words:
1. The shopkeeper refused to bargain ___ the customer.
2. He did not be believe ___ bargaining.
3. He had already decided ___ a fair price.
4. The customer was looking ___ a bargain.
5. They argued ___ the price for a long time.
(c) Use the correct form of the verb in brackets:
1. I do not usually ___ an umbrella but today I’m ___ one. (CARRY)
2. She never ___ about her children. (WORRY)
3. That child always ___ when he has a bath. Listen, he’s ___ now. (CRY)
(d) Form the opposites of these words by adding a prefix:
5. (a) Combine the following sentences using too ___ to
1. The coffee was hot.
We could not drink it.
2. You are now old.
You cannot continue to work.
3. The child was very small.
It could not walk.
4. This book is heavy.
I cannot carry it.
5. She was shocked.
She did not react.
(b) Rewrite these sentences so that they begin with the word it.
1. To talk like that is silly.
2. To hear your voice was good.
3. To tell the truth is essential.
4. To have friends is better than money.
5. To think for yourself is difficult.
(c) Combine these sentences using one of the words although, but, yet, so or
because. Use each word once.
1. They were tired. They worked late into the night.
2. He slept early. He woke up late.
3. He was on medication. He felt drowsy.
4. She was very angry. She said nothing.
5. The engine stopped. It had heated up.
(d) Combine the following sentences using enough to.
1. The wind was strong. It could blow people away.
2. The print was clear. We could read it easily.
3. It was hot. We could cook food with the sun’s rays.
4. You are old. You should know better.
5. The essay was good. It earned full marks.
(e) Rewrite these sentences, using a form of the word get and a suitable
preposition or prepositions instead of the word(s) underlined.
1. Has the company recovered from its losses?
2. I’d like to continue with my cooking now, if I may.
3. How do you manage with so little to eat?
4. Did you establish a connection with New York on the telephone?
5. Put the milk away where the cat can’t reach it.