UPSC Civil Service Mains 2020-21 Exam: (January 8, Day 1): Check Essay Paper Analysis Here

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Jan 8, 2021

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Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has finally decided to conduct the UPSC Civil Services Mains 2020-21 Exam from January 8, 2021 till January 27, 2021. UPSC IAS Mains 2020-21 Exam will be conducted in two shifts from 9 AM to 12 noon and 2 PM to 5 PM. However, on January 8, 2021, the UPSC IAS Mains 2020-21 Exam will be conducted only in 1 shift for the Essay paper from 9 AM to 12 Noon. 

Candidates who successfully qualified the UPSC Civil Service Prelims 2020-21 Exam are only eligible to appear for the UPSC Civil Service Mains 2020-21 Exam. And those who qualify the UPSC Civil Service Mains 2020-21 Exam will be shortlisted for the UPSC interview and personality test. UPSC conducts this civil service exams for the candidates who aspire to become IAS, IFS, IPS, and IRS officers. It is to be believed that a total of 10,000 candidates will be appearing for the UPSC Civil Service Mains 2020-21 Exam as there are a total of 796 vacancies this year. 

Check: UPSC IAS Main Exam 2020: Last-minute tips 

UPSC Civil Services Mains 2020-21: Exam Pattern 

UPSC Civil Services Mains 2020-21 Exam will consist of essay descriptive papers (theory papers). A total of 9 papers will have to be taken up by the IAS aspirant, in which 7 papers including the Essay and the General Studies (Paper II to Paper V)

 will be counted on the basis of merit and 2 papers which are Optional Subject (Indian language and English) will be qualifying in nature. Aspirants are required to choose 1 optional subject for the UPSC Mains 2020-21 Exam. A total of 1750 marks will be awarded for 7 papers (7 papers *250 marks). The aforesaid exam is scheduled to be conducted for 3 hours. Check out the table below to know the exam pattern for the UPSC Civil Service Mains 2020-21 Exam. 


Exam nature

Exam Pattern 




General Studies I Merit-based 250
General Studies II Merit-based 250
General Studies IV Merit-based 250
Optional Paper I Merit-based 250
Optional Paper II Merit-based 250
Indian Language Qualifying 300
English Qualifying 300

Check: IAS Exam Pattern 2021, Syllabus, Marking Scheme and Compulsory Papers

UPSC Civil Services Mains 2020-21 Exam: Essay Paper Analysis

In the Paper-I of Essay, candidates are required to write 2 essays out of the given topics for a total of 250 marks. UPSC has notified the candidates that they're likely to keep close to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in order and write it concisely. Credits will be awarded for effective and exact expression of the Essay. The word limit for the essay is 1000-1200 words.

Check: UPSC IAS 2020 Main Exam Syllabus: Check Important Essay Topics, Areas Here

The following are the topics which were given as options in the UPSC IAS 2020 Essay Paper:


  1. Life is a long journey between human being and being humane.
  1. Mindful manifesto is the catalyst to a tranquil self.
  1. Ships do not sink because of water around them, ships sink because of water that gets into them.
  1. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.


1.Culture is what we are, civilisation is what we have.

  1. There can be no social justice without economic prosperity but economic prosperity without social justice is meaningless.
  1. Patriarchy is the least notices yet the most significant structure of social inequality.
  1. Technology as the silent factor in international relations.

Candidates can also check the Essay paper of the UPSC Civil Service Mains 2020-21 Exam here. 

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*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.