(Download) UPSC IAS Mains 2012 : English Compulsory - Question Paper


(Download) UPSC Mains 2012 : English Compulsory
Question Paper

Time Allowed : Three hours
Maximum Marks : 300


1. Write an essay in about 300 words on any one of the following:

(a) Indian women in international sports
(b) Cultivation of organic foods
(c) Foreign Direct investment in retail – boon or bane?
(d) How effective are our systems and institutions in dealing with disasters?
(e) Food security – legislation and implementation

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

Oratory demands enthusiasm, which can spring only in an earnest soul; and neither beauty of composition nor graceful delivery can compensate for want of passion. To be able to interest people without tiring them is a prime test of oratory. It is a gift that may draw valuable aid from such natural advantages as a noble figure, handsome countenance, and pleasant voice. But there has been no lack of eminent orators of ungainly mien at any time. Few have equaled Sir Robert Peel in skillful management of the House of Commons, but the often assumed very undignified postures standing with his hands behind his coat trails, or thumbs buried in the pockets of his waistcoat, and thees one leg over the other in attitudes of nonchalance. The composition of his speeches was slovenly and they were noted for the disorder of their contents. Oliver Cromwell was one of the most influential speakers of his day, but he rarely wore clean linen and his voice was “harsh and untenable.”

The indispensable requisite of oratory is a mind well-stored with knowledge and information, sound well-stored with knowledge and information, sound reasoning, wit and humour, vehemence, fire, and imaginative insight all conductive to enhance the power of eloquence; but the same speakers are not able to make the same impression in all places, nor secure the same effect at all times. The pinnacle of triumph of oratory is reached when a speaker is able to magnetise his hearers into thinking as he thinks, and feeling as he feels. When Sheridan had concluded his famous speech in Parliament on the “Begum Charge”, so great was the excitement caused by it that the Minister concerned besought the House to adjourn the decision of the question, “as being incapacitated from forming a just judgement under the influence of such powerful eloquence.”

It is clear that there is a rivalry between the orator and the occasion and the dazzling effect of the moment does not always endure through later cool reflection.

The world moves in continual cycles of action and reaction, and the homage paid to speakers is followed by tests in the course of which there is unrelenting research as to what extent precept and example tally. When there is no wide gulf between the two, further speeches are listened to with increased respect.


(a) What are the most important qualities required for becoming a good orator?
(b) What was the effect created by Sheridan’s speech?
(c) How can one judge the true effect of a good oration?
(d) What research does the audience to when they listen to speakers?
(e) Which speeches are not taken seriously by an audience?

3. Make a precis of the following passage in about 200 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.

Taking into account the compelling and inescapable reality of an increasingly resource-constrained world, India needs to link the aspirations of the people and its prospects for accelerated growth to what I would call a “resource-frugal” instead of a “resource-intensive” strategy of development. I believe that such a strategy would enable India to sustain a high rate of growth over a more extended period of time, delivering affluence without waste, and current welfare without sacrificing the welfare of future generations. I will touch upon just a few illustrative examples.

The notion of frugality is current in some sectors of our economy and has been successful enough to attract international attention. “Frugal manufacture” is already acclaimed as Indian industry’s contribution to innovative production processes. This involves the stripping down of complex machinery or devices, to their most essential applications without frills. An example is the cost-effective, easy to use, hand-held ECG machine, which is a major contribution to public health. The other is the use of the mobile telephone to deliver information, services as well as funds on a low-cost and widely spread platform. Even in agriculture, there have been significant successes in promoting production processes which are dramatically economical in the use of water, dispense with the use of costly chemical fertilizers and pesticides or G.M. seeds and still deliver high agricultural output, ensuring food security. This is frugal agriculture. What should be appreciated is that these innovations, by making products affordable, lead to significant market expansion. This in turn brings economies of scale, further lowering of costs and generating even greater demand in a virtuous, self-reinforcing circle.

The hallmark of any modern society is its ability to deliver rapid affordable and efficient means of mobility to its people. Enabling people to exercise their right to mobility is a critical state responsibility. However, mobility is a critical state exercise their right to mobility is a linked to the use of energy and the use of scarce land, both of which are in short supply in our country. It follows, therefore, that we must have a transport strategy that ensures the most economical use of these resources. The continued expansion of private vehicular transportation is not sustainable. If the density of private car ownership in India were to approach U.S. or European levels, we would be using liquid fuels far in excess of the total consumption of all such fuels globally today. Just as the space required for parking a billion cars and constructing highways for them to run on, would occupy land on a scale that would leave little space for any other activity. Therefore, shifting resources from private transportation to public transportation and investing in the latter to make them convenient, comfortable and cost-effective is another essential component of a “resource-frugal” strategy. Greater mobility ensures a more productive population and a more efficient distribution of goods and services. This is what can ensure a sustained and high rate of growth.

What is more, each of these innovations enable inclusive growth, because they empower the poor; they profit from leveraging the power of numbers. What we need is to upscale these successes from the margin to the mainstream, from the local to the national level.

(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

4. (a) Rewrite the following sentences after making necessary corrections, if any:

  1. The vehicular pollution causes serious harm to human beings.
  2. Both a Ashish and Smita came late to college today.
  3. There is many problems relating to this matter.
  4. Not only David passed but got a distinction.
  5. We’d like some informations about the types of cars available.
  6. I prefer to pay by cash.
  7. My uncle has proposed me a job in his company.
  8. All of a sudden she burst in tears.
  9. I enjoy this type of music still now.
  10. The teacher said me to submit the assignment the next day.

(b) Rewrite the following sentences inserting suitable article(s), wherever necessary:

  1. Oranges and lemons are citrus fruits.
  2. Aijaz is tallest boy in class.
  3. She teaches at University in Indian but I don’t know which one it is.
  4. New teacher seems to be very strict.
  5. It was beautiful sight to see.

(c) Rewrite the following sentences inserting suitable prepositions in the blank spaces:

  1. The Minister gave ___ the prizes on the annual day.
  2. Seeing the children playing brought ___ memories of my childhood games.
  3. Randhir is always ready to take ___ any responsibility.
  4. The members decided to deal ___ the problem collectively.
  5. I hope the picnic will not be called ___.

(d) Give the antonyms of the following words:

  1. useful
  2. active
  3. encourage
  4. rational
  5. timely

5. (a) Rewrite the following sentences using the passive structure.

  1. They have permitted me to leave.
  2. The rains have completely ruined the roads.
  3. Why did you close the door?
  4. History records his great achievements.
  5. They awarded her the degree at the Convocation.

(b) Change the following sentences into indirect speech:

  • Anil to Ajay: “Why don’t you join us for a party on saturday?”
  • Mrs Nair to Mr Shah: “Good Morning! There’s a small problem I want to speak to you about.”
  • Jack to Parimala: “How was your trip to the National Park?”
  • Mr Patil to the Cashier: “Do you have change for five hundred rupees?”
  • Susil to Prasad: “Congratulations! I’m so glad to you receive the young scientists award.”

(c) Use the correct form of the verb in brackets to fill in the blanks:

  1. The first such prize ___ in 1999. (AWARD)
  2. The computer is a complex gadget and ___ of many parts. (CONSIST)
  3. I ___ the groceries for you tomorrow. (BRING)
  4. Jacob ___ his report already. (COMPLETE)
  5. The postman ___ his bag and left. (COLLECT)

(d) Supply the missing words:

  1. The music was too loud ___ she adjusted the volume.
  2. ___ the technician worked for an hour he was unable to repair the machine.
  3. ___ you pay attention you are likely to miss the important points.
  4. Raju calls his mother ___ he finds it difficult to manage on his own.
  5. Leave a wide margin ___ the tutor’s comments can be written in it.

(e) Rewrite the following sentences using ‘It’ in the beginning as a preparatory subject:

  1. Finding fault with someone is easy.
  2. For them to close down the family business would be right.
  3. To clean your car yourself would be a good idea.
  4. To eat alone was embarrassing for her.
  5. Shouting out to someone across the room is rude.

(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