UPSC IES-ISS Exam Papers 2018 : General English

UPSC Indian Economic Service/Indian Statistical Service


Exam Name :  UPSC Indian Economic Service/ Indian Statistical Service Exam

Subject : General English

Year : 2018


  1. Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting questions.
  2. There are SIX questions and all are to be attempted.
  3. The number of marks carried by a question / part is indicated against it.
  4. Answers must be written in ENGLISH only.
  5. Candidates are required to write clear, legible and concise answers and to adhere to word limits, wherever indicated. Failure to adhere to word limits may be penalized.
  6. Any page or portion of the page left blank in the Question-cum-Answer Booklet must be clearly struck off.

1.Write an essay on any one of the following topics in about 800 words : 30 
(a) Accountability, not mere stability, essential for good governance 
(b) Pros and Cons of online education and examinations 
(c) Rural Sector's potential to contribute to the Indian economy 
(d) Social Media attains credibility with objectivity and humanity 
(e) Effective Centralised Enforcement Agency necessary to prevent harassment and violence against women

2.Make a précis of the following passage in about one-third of the original length, using your own words : 30

Education has not been of the kind that can help you towards happiness. It has not been of the kind that can make you capable of freedom. The aim of education in a democracy must be the same for all the people. Education must aim at making them all capable of freedom, for they are all to be free. Whatever education will achieve, this aim must be given to every person in proportion to his capacity to receive it. If education is necessary for one, it must be necessary for all. Only in this way can we hope to prevent the exploitation of one group by another. Only in this way can we develop a true community. The citizens must be able to understand one another. They must have a common culture. They must have the intellectual training needed to comprehend it and to communicate with those who share it.

Education for freedom consists in transmitting to the rising generation the civilization they have inherited, together with the techniques by which it may be understood. No man or woman is equipped to be a ruler without this education. As liberal education helps us to establish a free community, so does it to preserve it. As Thomas F. Woodlock has said in the Wall Street Journal, “Democracy rests ultimately upon 'public opinion' as its base. Public opinion follows upon free speech, free interchange of ideas, of judgements, of opinions; it is generated by these things. Men interchange these things by words..... Sound logic it was that put grammar, logic, and rhetoric as preliminary to geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy in the scheme of the seven liberal arts in an age which was notable for the clearness of its thinking and the exactitude of its expression. Both these things are absolutely necessary for the functioning of democracy as the best form of government. If we are going to educate for democracy', we had better find the right way to teach them.” And the ability to read and write is the best defence against anti-democratic propaganda. Under the name of 'indoctrination of democracy a host of lies is being propagated. When a person equipped with the liberal arts has critically studied the basic theoretical questions, he is proof against the. seductions of the New Order. The reason why we may justly fear such propaganda today is that we are uneducated.

In addition to all the above merits, liberal education has yet another : it is the best vocational training. Vocational training of the usual sort trains hands. The ideal education for freedom is a liberal education in the liberal arts and the cultural heritage of the country. Since it is the ideal, we must aim at it for every citizen. Unless the citizen can master the liberal arts and the fundamental principles of a free society he cannot function as a member of a free community. He cannot help to keep the community as a free community. If we cannot give liberal education to every citizen in proportion to his capacity to receive it we might as well give up our hopes achieving a democratic community. We cannot insist on free men and at the same time say that we cannot educate our population for freedom. We cannot insist on a community and at the same time say that it is imp ossible to strengthen the basis of communication among our people. Individual happiness, good citizenship, and the improvement of society all depend on our success in helping the people to achieve liberal education. These objectives do not depend on our success in training people to earn a living or in adjusting them to their environment. What the world needs, what the country must have, is free minds. This does not mean minds loaded with archaic information or equipped with obsolescent techniques. It means minds committed to the general good by good moral and intellectual habits. It means minds informed by principles derived from human experience through the ages, minds that will operate well no matter what waves of change beat upon them. If we are to admit everybody to citizenship we must try to give everybody this kind of education. In so far as men are men they must have this education. Since in our society all men are politically equal, since all men are either rulers or the ruled, they must all be educated to be rulers and the ruled. If we cannot give them all this education, we may as well drop the pretence of democracy. We may as well admit that, though it was a good idea, it would not work. (770 words)

3.Write a paragraph in about 200 words on any one of the following expressions / statements : 10
(a) Every cloud has a silver lining.
(b) Handsome is as handsome does.
(c) Good fences make good neighbours.
(d) That's the way the cookie crumbles.
(e) If gold rusts, what shall the iron do.

4.Use the following words in sentences so as to bring out their meaning clearly. Do not change the form of the word. No credit will be given for a vague or ambiguous sentence.2x5=10(a) recondite
(b) largesse
(c) macabre
(d) zealot
(e) disingenuous

5.Use the following idioms and phrasal verbs in sentences so as to bring out their meaning clearly : 2x5=10(a) infringe upon
(b) hear on the grapevine
(c) fend for
(d) caught in the crossfire
(e) go off at a tangent

6.Correct the following sentences without changing their meaning. Do not make unnecessary changes in the original sentence:1x10=10

(a) My friend reached the airport on time to have a coffee before boarding.
(b) He was found guilty of stealing his employer.
(c) Sonu got a present from his father but he hasn't opened it.
(d) I am obliged to serve him, isn't it?
(e) I would watch a football match than a cricket series.
(f) They were annoyed at not to be able to see the puppet show properly.
(g) The economics of the plan is worrying the investors.
(h) He got up at 5 O'clock not to be late for the interview.
(i) If they offered me the position, I shall decline it.
(j) I go to the work in afternoon.

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