(Download) UPSC IAS Mains 2014: English Compulsory Exam Paper

(Download) UPSC Mains 2014: English Compulsory Question Paper

Time Allowed : Three hours
Maximum Marks : 300


1. Write an essay in about 600 words on any one topic:

(a) What kind of crisis is India facing-moral or economic?
(b) Participating in sports helps develop good character.
(c) Should students be allowed to grade their teachers?
(d) Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

2. Read carefully the passage below and write your answers to the questions that follow in clear, correct and concise language:

A complete reading program, therefore, should include four factors: at least one good book each week, a newspaper or news magazine, magazines of comment and interpretation, and book reviews. If you keep feeding your intelligence with these four foods, you can be sure that your brain cells will be properly nourished. To this must be added the digestive process that comes from your own thinking and from discussion with individuals or groups.

It is often desirable to make books that you own personally part of your mind by underlining or by marking in the margin the more important statements. This will help you to understand the book as you first read it, because out of the mass of details you must have selected the essential ideas. It will help you to remember better the gist of the book, since the physical act of underlining, with your eyes on the page, tends to put the thought more firmly into your brain cells.It will save time whenever you need to refer to the book.

Above all, never forget that creative intelligence is correlation of facts and ideas, not mere memorizing. What counts is what you can do with your knowledge, by linking it with other things you have studied or observed. If you read Plutarch’s life of Julius Caesar, think how his rise to political power paralleled the technique of Adolf Hitler, or that of your local political boss. If you read a play by Shakespeare, think how his portrayal of the characters helps you to understand someone you know. In everything you read, keep at the back of your mind what it means to your life here and now, how it supports or challenges the things you were taught in school, in church and at home, and how the wisdom you get from books can guide you in your thinking, in your career, in your voting as a citizen and in your personal morals.


(a) What are the four things required for a complete reading program and why?
(b) What else is required to feed your intelligence?
(c) Why does the writer recommend underlining or marking in the margin the more important statements?
(d) What use can you put your knowledge to?
(e) How can what you learn from books help you in your life?

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3. Make a precis of the following passage in about one-third of its length. Please do not give a title to it. Precis should be written in your own language.

If this century has, in the famous phrase, made the world safe for democracy, the next challenge is to make a world safe for diversity. It is in India’s interest to ensure that the world as a whole must reflect the idea that is already familiar to all Indians – that it shouldn’t matter what the colour of your skin is, the kind of food you eat, the sounds you make when you speak, the God you choose to worship (or not), so long as you want to play by the same rules as everybody else, and dream the same dreams. It is not essential in a democratic world to agree all the time, as long as we agree on the ground rules of how we will disagree. These are the global principles we must strive to uphold if we are to be able to continue to uphold them securely at home.

We want a world that gives us the conditions of peace and security that will permit us to grow and flourish, safe from foreign depredations but open to external opportunities. Whether global institutions adapt and revive will be determined by whether those in charge are capable of showing the necessary leadership. Right now many of us would suggest that there is a global governance deficit. Reversing it would require strong leadership in the international community by a number of powers, including the emerging ones. India is an obvious contender to provide some of that leadership. India should aim not just at being powerful – it should set new standards for what the powerful must do.

This is a huge challenge, and one to which India must rise. An analogy from another field is not encouraging; many would argue that India has not acquitted itself well when given the chance to have global impact in one domain – that of the sport of cricket, where India accounts for more that 80 percent of the game’s revenues and perhaps 90 percent of its viewership, giving it an impact on the sport that no country can rival. Clearly, international opinion does not believe that in its domination of world cricket, India has set new standards for what the powerful must do. Broadening the analogy to global geopolitics, one could well say : India, your world needs you.

SO India must play its due part in the stewardship of the global commons (including everything from the management of the Internet to the rules governing the exploitation of outer space). We can do it. India is turning increasingly outward as a result of our new economic profile on the global stage, our more dispersed interests around the world, and the reality that other countries, in our neighbourhood as well as in Africa, are looking to us for support and security. India has the ability and the vision to promote global partnerships across the broad range of its interests; it only needs to act.

The world economic crisis should give us an opportunity to promote economic integration with our neighbours in the subcontinent who look to the growing Indian market to sell their goods and maintain their own growth. But as long as South Asia remians divided by futile rivalries, and some ocntinue to believe that terrorism can be a useful instrument of their strategic doctrines, that is bound to remain a distant prospect. We in South Asia need to look to the future, to an interrelated future on our subcontinent, where geography becomes an instrument of opportunity in a mutual growth story, where history binds rather than divides, where trade and cross-border links flourish and bring prosperity to all our peoples.

4. (a) Rewrite the following sentences after making necessary corrections. Please do not make unnecessary changes in the original sentence.

  1. School is very near my home.
  2. They never fail who die n great cause.
  3. It rained an hour before.
  4. He wrote a most complete account of his travels.
  5. Either of the three answers is incorrect.
  6. You will be late until you hurry.
  7. He is seldom or ever absent from school.
  8. The colours so passed off one another that she could not distinguish them.
  9. The general as well as his soldiers were killed in the battle.
  10. The boat was drowned.

(b) Supply the missing words:

  1. If you see him give him ____ message.
  2. I hope to reach the station ___ an hour at the outside.
  3. ___ Rustam and Sohrab, there were three other boys present.
  4. Invalids are not capable ___ continued exertion.
  5. ____ he had not paid his bills, his electricity was cut off.

(c) Use the correct forms of the verbs in brackets:

  1. His company is greatly ___ after.(seek)
  2. His courage ___ him. (forsake)
  3. The terrified people ___ to the mountains. (flee)
  4. The police ____ no stone unturned to trace the culprits. (leave)
  5. The robber ___ him a blow on the head. (strike)

(d) Write the antonyms of the following:

  1. Ability
  2. Precise
  3. Constructive
  4. Extravagant
  5. Pretentions

5. (a) Rewrite each of the following sentences as directed without changing the meaning:

  1. He finished his exercise and put away his books. (Change into simple)
  2. In the event of his being late, he will punished. (Change into compound)
  3. He said to me, “I have often told you not to play with fire.” (Change into indirect speech)
  4. He said that he had come to see them. (Change into direct speech)
  5. He drove too fast for the police to catch. (Remove ‘too’)
  6. The audience loudly cheered the Mayor’s speech. (Change into passive voice)
  7. A reward was given to him by the Governor. (Change into active voice)
  8. Sita is not one of the cleverest girls in the class. (Change into comparative form)
  9. I was doubtful whether it was you. (Change into negative form)
  10. It is sad to think that youth should pass away. (Change into exclamatory sentence)

(b) Use each of the following words to make a sentence that brings out their meaning clearly. Do not change the form of the words. (No marks will be given for vague and ambiguous sentences)

  1. gratitude
  2. flavour
  3. explosion
  4. dismal
  5. clumsy

(c) Choose the appropriate word to fill in the blank:

  1. He got a ___ blow from his enemy. (deadly/deathly)
  2. The ____ of his speech was very lucid and natural.(delivery/deliverance)
  3. I do not know how to express my gratitude; you have been ____ to me. (beneficial/beneficent)
  4. My friend will ___ me to the hospital (accompany/escort)
  5. We sat in the ____ of a tree and relaxed a while. (shadow/shade)

(d) Use these phrases in sentences of your own to bring out their meaning clearly. Do not change the form of the words.

  1. According to
  2. All of a sudden
  3. Ready money
  4. A burning question
  5. Ins and Outs

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(E-Book) UPSC MAINS English (Compulsory) Question Papers (2009-2020) PDF



UPSC Mains English (Compulsory) Study Material

UPSC Mains Essay Study Material

UPSC Exam Complete Study Materials (Pre, Mains, Interview COMBO Study Kit)

Printed Study Material for IAS Mains General Studies

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