(Download) UPSC IAS Mains Exam Paper - 2017 : English Compulsory
Time Allowed : Three Hours
Maximum Marks : 300
All Questions to be attempted
The number of marks carried by a question is indicated against it.
Answers must be written in ENGLISH only.
Word limit in questions, wherever specified, should be adhered to and if
answered in much longer or shorter than the prescribed length, marks will be
Any page or portion of the page left blank in the Question-cum-Answer Booklet
must be clearly struck off.
Q1. Write an essay in about 600 words on any one of the following topics :
(a) Recent Economic Relorens in India
(b) Threats to Environment
(c) Uses and Abuses of Social Networking
(d) Caring for the Aged
Q2. Read carefully the passage given below and write your answers to the
questions that follow in clear, correct and concise language :
Man, since antiquity, has been an inveterate traveller. Only the motivations
for travel have changed. In ancient times, the main motivations for travel were
trade, pilgrimage and conquest. It is not often realised how extensive among the
peoples several thousand years ago. For instance, there was considerable
interchange of ideas and knowledge between India and West Asia and the Graeco-Roman
Travel became the means of acquiring culture in Europe. The tradition of the
Grand Tour which started in the 17th century was more firinly established in the
18th and the 19th centuries by the emergence of an affluent mercantile class.
After the Second World War, Europe lay in ruins. The Marshall Plan which was
introduced by the United States for the revival of the economies of European
countries made tourism as one of its planks. It provided large amount of money
for the reconstruction of hotels and tourism infrastructure of Western Europe.
What was Inore significant was that for the first time tourism was viewed as an
engine for economic development. This made the Governments start assuming
responsibility for the promotion of tourism.
Three technological inventions have fuelled the growth of travel on a large
scale in successive periods. First, the steam engine which made travel by rail
and steamship possible before 1914; then the internal combustion engine which
popularized travel by automobile in the inter-War years and lastly, the jet
propulsion engine which has led to the international tourist explosion of the
The Government of India also took note of the new phenomenon of tourism and
its economic implications. In 1947, the private sector consisted of a number of
hotels and travel agencies in the main cities mainly owned and operated by
foreign interests. As it happened in other industries after Independence, the
control of many of these hotels passed into the hands of Indian entrepreneurs.
At the same time, a number of new indigenously owned and operated travel
agencies and hotels started being set up. In the last 50 years, the Indian
travel industry has shown remarkable enterprise. Some of the leading Indian
hotel groups and travel agencies have branched out overseas and their
performance is highly regarded in the international tourism markets. The tourism
revolution which started in full measure 50 years ago has not run its course.
There are several reasons for taking a long-term optimistic view of tourism.
First, the increase in leisure time in industrialized societies; paid holidays
which were introduced as a social welfare measure have now become an accepted
feature not only in industrialized countries but also in many developing
countries. The length of paid holidays has increased. The working week, both in
public and private sectors, has come down to 40 hours, spread over 5 days.
Evidently Governments will have to concern themselves with the quality of use of
leisure. Tourism has become a preeminent form of recreation for the younger
people. This is reflected in the increase in travel in the age group of 18 to 25
years. Second, the rise in literacy and educational standards. Third, better
health care has made it possible for retired persons, above 60 years, to
undertake travel for pleasure. Fourth, the increase in discretionary incomes in
real terms in the last twenty years, partly due to two income families with
fewer children. Tourism is highly susceptible to income elasticity. Many
research studies have established that increase in income level in rcal terms
results in increase in propensity for travel. And lastly, taking a vacation,
generally twice a year, has become a way of life in modern societies.
(a) What, according to the author, were the main motivations for travel in
(b) What was the state of tourism in Europe and the United States?
(c) What part did technology play in the growth of tourism?
(d) How does the author describe the state of tourism in the post-Independence
(e) Why does the author think that there is a bright future for tourisın in
Q3. Make a précis of the following passage in about one-third of its
length. Do not give a title to it. The précis should be written in your own
The work of a lawyer or a politician must contain in a more delectable form a
great deal of the same pleasure that is to be derived from playing bridge. Here,
of course, there is not only the exercise of skill but the outwitting of a
skilled opponent. Even where this competitive element is absent, however, the
performance of difficult seats is agreeable. A man who can do stunts in an aero
plane finds the pleasure so great that for the sake of it he is willing to risk
his life. I imagine that an able surgeon, in spite of the painful circumstances
in which his work is done, derives satisfaction from the exquisite precision of
his operations. All skilled work can be pleasurable, provided the skill required
is either variable or capable of indefinite improvement. If these conditions are
absent, it will cease to be interesting when a man has acquired his maximum
skill. A man who runs three-mile races will cease to find pleasure in this
occupation when he passes the age at which he can beat his own previous record.
Fortunately there is a very considerable amount of work in which now
circumstances call for new skill and a man can go on improving, at any rate
until he has reached middle age. In some kinds of skilled work, such as
politics, for example, it seems that men are at their best between sixty and
seventy, the reason being that in such occupations a wide experience of other
men is essential. For this reason, successful politicians are apt to be happier
at the age of seventy than any other men of equal age. Their only competitors in
this respect are the men who are the heads of big businesses.
There is, however, another element possessed by the best work, which is even
more important as a source of happiness than is the exercise of skill. This is
the element of constructiveness. In some work, though by no means in most,
something is built up which remains as a monument when the work is completed. We
may distinguish construction from destruction by the following criterion. In
construction, the initial stage of affairs is comparatively haphazard, while the
final state of affairs embodies a purpose; in destruction, the reverse is the
case : the initial state of affairs embodies a purpose, while the final state of
affairs is haphazard, that is to say, all that is intended by the destroyer is
to produce a state of affairs which does not embody a certain purpose.
Destruction, is of course necessary very often as a preliminary to subsequent
construction; in that case it is part of a whole which is constructive. But not
infrequently a man will engage in activities of which the purpose is destructive
without regard to any construction that may come after. Frequently he will
conceal this from himself by the belief that he is only sweeping away in order
to build afresh, but it is generally possible to unmask this pretence, when it
is a pretence, by asking him what the subsequent construction is to be. On this
subject it will be found that he will speak vaguely and without enthusiasm,
whereas on the preliminary destruction he has spoken precisely and with zest.
This applies to not a few revolutionaries and militarists and other apostles of
violence. They are actuated, usually without their own knowledge, by hatred; the
destruction of what they hate is their real purpose, and they are comparatively
indifferent to the question of what is to come after it. Now I cannot deny that
in the work of destruction as in the work of construction there may be joy. It
is a fiercer joy, perhaps at moments more intense, but it is less profoundly
satisfying, since the result is one in which little satisfaction is to be found.
You kill your enemy, and when he is dead your occupation is gone, and the
satisfaction that you derive from victory quickly fades. The work of
construction, on the other hand, when completed, is delightful to contemplate,
and moreover is never so fully completed that there is nothing further to do
about it. The most satisfactory purposes are those that lead on indefinitely
from one success to another without ever coming to a dead end; and in this
respect it will be found that construction is a greater source of happiness than
Q4. (a) Rewrite the following sentences after making necessary
corrections. Do not make unnecessary changes in the original sentence :
(i) The older the wine, better it tastes.
(ii) You cannot cross the bridge until you do not come to it.
(iii) He asked me what was my profession.
(iv) Give me a pencil to write.
(v) Netaji is one of the bravest patriot of the country.
(vi) I met an one-eyed beggar in the street.
(vii) The traders dealing with garments are jittery about the impact of GST.
(viii) His efficiency soon made him the boss's blue eyes boy,
(ix) She does not know cooking, doesn't she?
(x) No sooner the bell rang than the children rushed out of their classrooms.
(b) Supply the missing words :
(i) The quarrel was unnecessary as they were making a_ out of a molehill.
(ii) Let us ring_ the New Year with gaiety.
(iii) The custom of SATI was done away_ during the British period.
(iv) One should not always blow one's own_
(v) I cried myself_ to make him hear.
(c) Use the correct forms of the verbs in brackets :
(i) Bread and butter_ his usual breakfast.
(ii) Some of the protestors were_ by bullets.
(iii) When I came out of the building I saw that it_(rain)
(iv) Floods_if it continues to rain. (occur)
(v) I_for you since 10 o'clock. (wait)
(d) Write the antonyms of the following:
Q5. (a) Rewrite each of the following sentences as directed without
changing the meaning:
(i) The truth of the matter is too obvious to require any proof. (Remove
(ii) Radhika says, "I have pain in my Knee." (Change into indirect speech)
(iii) He is not hungry. He is not thirsty. (Combine the sentences using 'neither
(iv) Give him a glass of water. (Change into passive voice)
(v) The prisoner was set free by the court. (Change into active voice)
(vi) He was ill. He came to school. (Rewrite as one sentence beginning with
(vii) When the sun rises, the birds leave their nests. (Change into a compound
(viii) Those who come late shall be punished. (Change into simple sentence)
(ix) Both his parents died in a train accident,_? (Add a question tag)
(x) Gold is the costliest metal. (Use comparative degree)
(b) Use the following words to make sentences that bring out their meaning
clearly. Do not change the form of the words (No marks will be given for vague
and ambiguous sentences):
(c) Choose the appropriate word to fill in the blanks :
(i) He ran like a_ through the forest. (doe/dough)
(ii) The teacher encouraged the students to understand things and not learn by_.
(iii) Indians were determined to throw away the_ of foreign rule. (yolk/yoke)
(iv) After his morning prayers, the priest remained _for the rest of the day.
(v) The hunter killed the bird sitting on the_. (bow/bough)
(d) Use the following idioms/phrases in sentences of your own to bring out
their meaning clearly. Do not change the form of the words :
(i) Wild goose chase
(ii) Crocodile tears
(iii) Sea change
(iv) Fool's paradise
(v) On cloud nine