IAS Mains 2011
English (Compulsory Paper)
Time Allowed : Three hours
Maximum Marks : 300
QUESTION PAPER SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS
Time Allowed : Three hours
Maximum Marks : 300
Q1. Write an essay in about 300 words on any one of the following:
(a) The predicaments of Democracy.
(b) In India when inflation rises governance stalls.
(c) Modern world’s fears about nuclear energy.
(d) Information Technology transforming the Indian society.
(e) Inventions generate necessity.
Q2. Read carefully the passage below and write your answers to the questions
that follow in clear, correct and concise language:
‘Water is the basis of all life. Every animal and every
plant contains a substantial proportion of free or combined water in its body,
and no kind of physiological activity is possible in which the fluid does not
play an essential part. Water is, of course, necessary for animal life, while
moisture in the soil is equally imperative for the life and growth of plants and
trees, though the quantity necessary varies enormously with the species. The
conservation and utilisation of water is thus fundamental for human welfare.
Apart from artesian water the ultimate source in all cases is rain or snowfall.
Much of Indian agriculture depends on seasonal rainfall and is therefore very
sensitive to any failure or irregularity of the same. It is clear that the
adoption of techniques preventing soil erosion would also help to conserve and
keep the water where it is wanted. In other words, on and in the soil, and such
techniques therefore serve a double purpose. It is evident, however, that in a
country having only a seasonal rainfall an immense quantity of rain-water must
necessarily run off the ground. The collection and utilization of water is
therefore of vital importance. Much of it flows down into the streams and rivers
and ultimately finds its way to the sea. The harnessing of our rivers, the
waters of which now mostly run to waste is a great national problem which must
be considered and death with on national lines. Closely connected with the
conservation of water supplies is the problem of afforestation. The systematic
planting of suitable trees in every possible or even in impossible areas and the
development of what one can call civilized forests as distinguished from wild
and untamed jungle is one of the most urgent needs of India. Such plantation
would directly and indirectly prove a source of untold wealth to the country.
They would check soil erosion and conserve the rainfall of the country from
flowing away to waste and would provide the necessary supplies of cheap fuel and
thus stop unnecessary waste of farmyard manure.
- Where does the world get water from?
- What is the national problem relating to our rivers?
- What are the benefits of afforestation?
- What is fundamental for human welfare?
- What are the advantages of preventing solid erosion?
Q3. Make a precis of the following passage in about 204 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.
‘While all the religious teachers tell us that compassion
gives us a movie for existence, a guide for action and a reason for courage and
helps us to diminish the sum of human suffering, in the very name of God, who is
all compassion, abominable crimes have been committed in the world. It is not
enough to believe in a God of love but we must love. The rains that make the
lower plains fertile are formed in the upper layers of the atmosphere. The
saints are the masters who are not stained-glass figures, remote and ethereal in
their sanctity. There is nothing in them, which we would like to spread
everywhere in the world. It is there but what it is, we cannot say. It is there
in their blood and bones, in the breath of their speech, in the lights and
shades of their personalities, a mystery that can be lived but not spoken in
On the rock of moral law and not on the shifting sands of
political or economic expediency can be built a civilized society with
individual freedom, social justice and political equality. Truth, freedom and
righteousness are essential to peace. The Evangelist tells us how ‘the devil
taken him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms
of the world, and the glory of them.’ And saith unto him, ‘All these things will
I give thee, if thou will fall down and worship me.’ Then saith Jesus unto him,
‘Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, ‘Thou shalt worship thy Lord, thy God
and Him alone shalt thou serve’.
In the new society we need a new universal religion. By it
we mean not a uniform religion but a religion of awareness and love of wisdom
and compassion, prajna and karuna, of truth and love. Religions must be cured of
their provincialism and made to reveal their universality. This does not mean
spiritual vagueness or ambiguity.
Tolerance implies an elementary right belonging to the
dignity of every man. The right to believe like the right to live a free,
unfettered life is fundamental to the concept of brotherly love. We have had in
our country peaceful co-existence of different religions. It is not mere passive
coexistence but an active fellowship, a close interrelation of the best of
different religions. Co-existence is the first step and fraternity is the goal.
We have not adhered steadfastly to these ideals and have suffered often. Yet the
ideas has been kept in view and supported by great leaders like Ram Mohan Roy,
Ramkrishna, Tagore and Gandhiji.
The view of tolerance is based on the conviction that all
transcendental use of the logical categories, all attempts to submit the
transcendent to the finite, are wrong. Nature and history announce God’s
presence but do not disclose his whole nature. Religions are cut off from one
another by mutual in comprehensiveness. We are born or trained in certain
traditions of religion. Loyalty to tradition does not mean imprisonment within
it. We adopt different symbolic representations of the supreme determined by our
age, circumstances, upbringing and by narrower loyalties of caste, class, race
or nation. Whatever progress we make at the expense of those values is morally
The seers of all religions affirm that the various peoples
of the world form a community with a common purpose and a common destiny. It is
said that the whole world is the fatherland of a noble soul. The application of
this universality of spit requires us to look upon our common enemies not as
monsters of evil but as misled by their obsessions and as capable of change.
4. (a) Rewrite the following sentences after making necessary corrections :
- Saints desire nothing ___ the society.
- I regret at the delay in doing this.
- I congratulate you for your success.
- Ram as well as Mohan have gone.
- He has passed order on my application.
- He is more intelligent than any boy.
- What will be ensued on this?
- This is high time that we should change the bike.
- I did nothing but laughed.
- I informed him, “Leave the room.”
(b) Supply the missing words:
- The wages of sin ___ death.
- I trust ___ God.
- I have no fondness ____ music.
- I have no doubt _____ your honesty.
- I am conscious ____ my duties.
(c) Use the correct forms of the verbs in brackets:
- I remember ___ her when she was a little girls. (SEE)
- You will ____ twenty-four hours to consider your decision. (GIVE)
- Can you hear what he ___ ? (SAY)
(d) Write the opposites of the following:
5. (a) Rewrite the following sentences removing ‘too … to’:
- He is too honest to steal.
- He is too weak to run.
- She is too shy to sing.
- He was too shocked to speak.
- The matter will be too complicated to resolve.
(b) Rewrite the following sentences using ‘It’ in the beginning as a
- To scold the boys would be foolish.
- Smoking is bad for him.
- To call after ten was unusual for him.
- Keeping the windows open on the roadside does not look decent.
- To play games on Sundays is not allowed.
(c) Combine each pair of sentences using one of the words: ‘nor’, ‘and’,
‘but’, ‘if’ or ‘when’. Use each word only once:
- He turned pale. He saw me.
- They are poor. You consider their bank balance.
- She wanted to make a speech. She did not know how to begin.
- He took a pen. He started writing.
- She doesn’t like Rakesh. She doesn’t like Mohini.
(d) Change the narration of the following sentences:
- The teacher said to me, “Why are you late?”
- He said that his mother was just then absent from home.
- A wrote to N, “Your letter reached me here early this morning.”
- Ramesh requested his sister, “Please keep my things ready when I return
from my trip tomorrow.”
- He said, “What a strange man you are!”
(e) Rewrite the following sentences using the passive voice structure:
- He gave her a book to read.
- Even a child can handle this machine.
- Who has put the book on the shelf?
- Everyone rejected the bold idea.
- Ramesh is driving Sunita’s car.