UPSC Mains English Compulsory Paper 2018
Baljit Dhaka
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UPSC Mains English Compulsory Paper 2018

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UPSC Mains English Compulsory Paper 2018

Marks- 250                                                                                                                                  Time: Three Hours

Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting questions.

  • All questions are 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 deducted.
  • Any page or portion of the page left blank in the Question-cum-Answer Booklet must be clearly struck off.

1. Write an essay in about 600 words on any one of the following topics:    100

(a) Impact of westernization on the Indian Family
(b) Literature Mirrors Society
(c) Women in Indian Politics
(d) Rural-Urban divide in India

2. Read carefully the passage given below and write your answers to the Questions that follow in clear, correct and concise language:    15×5=75

It is often said that the Ghaznavid and Ghurid soldiers regarded death in a war against infidels as martyrdom in the cause of Islam. But it is more likely that the real draw was the attraction of plunder, the likes of which they had not seen in campaigns in more arid lands. For Indian Commanders, apart from plunder, battles incorporated the niceties of a sport with its own rules of play. Immortalizing the heroism of kings in battle, the poets and bards emphasized the rules of war and chivalry. To apply the chivalric code in minor campaigns may have relieved the tedium of war, but the campaigns against the Ghurids were of an entirely different nature and this may not have been realized initially. Notions of honour and devotion were often placed above expediency, and gradually the astrologically determined auspicious moment for attack took precedence over strategy and tactics. Inflated claims to valour, such as the hero who could defeat a thousand warriors simultaneously, began to enter the rhetoric of courtly literature.

The organization of Indian armies added to their weakness. Each army had as its permanent core the standing army, but many of the soldiers were local levies or soldiers supplied by Samantas where this was part of the latter's obligation to the suzerain. In addition, mercenaries were a visible section of the armies of these times. Such a collection of soldiers had not always been trained to fight as a consolidated army. It was possibly also the dispersed character of the army that gave it a license to plunder indiscriminately. Villagers were harassed and looted by armies on the march, particularly if the campaign coincided with the harvesting of the crop, as it often did. For peasants and merchants.war was a nightmare that disrupted the routine of earning a livelihood. Laying waste vast tracts of inhabited and cultivated land, merely because it was part of the enemy's territory, was a proud boast attributed to Prithviraj Chauhan on defeating the Chandella ruler.

Historians have sometimes commented, perhaps more from hindsight, on why Indian rulers did not make a conjoint effort through the centuries to defend the NorthWestern passes. Time and again invaders came through these passes, yet little was done to prevent this, the defence of the region lying arbitrarily in the hands of the local rulers. It appears the construction of a series of fortifications along the passes was not thought feasible. Perhaps the need for defence was not given priority, the area being viewed as a natural frontier. Alternatively, given the mountainous terrain the only routes for pastoralists and caravan were through the passes and it was, therefore, thought better to leave them open. The local kings and chiefs who controlled the passes derived an income from this trade. There would have been familiarity too with those coming across the passes and therefore a slow recognition that sometimes friendliness had turned into hostility. The effectiveness of mountains as a frontier was also thwarted by the many occasions when the Punjab was conquered from across the borders or was involved in the politics of Afghanistan and Central Asia. This closeness militated against a properly focused perspective on political developments across the borderlands and in Central Asia.

Invasions by outsiders are known in many parts of the world: the Huns attacking Rome, the Arabs invading Spain, or the Spanish and Portuguese conquering Latin America. The potentialities of invasions were recognized only in Hindsight. These invasions were mounted by alien peoples who were little known, if at all, to the societies they invaded. But the Turks had been a contiguous people, familiar from trade in horses and other commodities and from the Turkish mercenaries employed in some Indian Armies. However, the historical scene in Central Asia and West Asia had now changed, with new political ambitions after the rise of Islam. For the rulers of Northern India, to recognize this would have required an understanding of a wider range of politics beyond the areas enclosed by the immediate frontiers. This does not appear to have been an Indian concern. Indians who travelled to different parts of Asia on a variety of assignments wrote little about what they observed, remaining silent on the politics of other lands. It was almost as if the exterior landscape was irrelevant Political interests, therefore, tended to be parochial. This marks a striking contrast to the world of the of the Chinese and the Arabs, both made aware of distant places through the the detailed accounts of travellers and traders. The Arabs had a fascination for the geography of other lands and the Chinese were wary of happenings in their neighborhood in Central Asia.

Alberuni, in the opening chapter of his book om recording observations concerning the wider perception of the w or, may not agree with : "The Hindus he no nation like theirs, no king like their theirs ........ They are by nature niggardi. they take the greatest possible care to withhold it among their own people, still more of course from any foreigner".

(a) What was the nature of campaign against Ghurids?  15
(b) According to the passage "the Indian rulers did not find it necessary to the North-Western Pass". Why? 15
(c) Explain the statement "The potentialities of invasions were recognized only in hindsight". 15
(d) Give your critical observations on Alberuni's comments on Hindus.  15
(e) Enumerate the major viewpoints of the given passage.  15

3. (a) Make a Precise 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 words:  75 marks

The Renaissance in India was not like the Renaissance in Europe. It was not a return to India of the past. It was essentially a matter of spirit which produced striking changes in the realm of religion, society and culture along with a demand for natural regeneration. There arose a new self-consciousness among the people of India. The soul of India began to unfold itself and break the shackles of the past. It is maintained that the Renaissance in India stirred the Indian soul to its very depths n and Modern India owes everything to the Renaissance which was followed by $ reformation movements all over India. It also paved the way to national a regeneration. The spirit of Renaissance and the subsequent reform movements affected almost all the aspects of national life. There were new developments in religious, social and political life. There were new trends in the fields of education, literature, fine arts and science.

The view of Sir JadunathSarkar is that the Indian Renaissance was at first an intellectual awakening that profoundly affected our literature, education thought Sand art. In the next succeeding generation, it became a moral force and reformed the Indian society and religion. In the third generation, it brought about the economic modernisation of India and ultimately political emancipation.
In his book entitled, “The Renaissance in India". Sri Aurobindo has attempted anve analysis of the Renaissance in India. He points out that the eighteenth and early go nineteenth centuries in India were periods of political decline, defeat and anarchy which practically killed the creative spirit in religion and art. India began to imitate Europe and forgot her own achievements in the past. However, the life-breath of the mination moved as a subordinate undercup 6, and Punjab, in the political aspirations of Maharashtra and the literary activity of Bengal.

Sri Aurobindo points out that the Renaissance in India in the nineteenth century had three aspects. In the first place, it aimed at a recovery of the old spiritual gospel contained in the sacred groups of the country The researches of European Indologists helped the people in the West and India to understand and appreciate the achievements of the Indians in the past. Philosophers and thinkers like Schopenhauer Emerson Thoreau Royce highly praised India's wisdom in the past Indian saints and mystic leaders in India also helped the same process Secondly, this re-invigorated spirituality inspired fresh activity in the fields of philosophy, literature, art etc. Thirdly, an attempt was made to deal in an original su way with modern problems in the light of the new inspiration.

Sri Aurobindo did not compare the Indian Renaissance with the European 36 Renaissance of the fifteenth century. He compared it with the Celtic Renaissance 37 when Ireland wanted to go back to the older culture after a long period of British domination. In his analysis of the Indian Renaissance, Sri Aurobindo put great emphasis on the recovery of the spiritual tradition and heritage of the past. 40 According to him, the establishment of new religious sects in India was a central A event in the Indian Renaissance. The BrahmoSamaj, the AryaSamaj, Ramkrishna 42 Paramhans and Vivekananda, the neo-Vaishnavism of Bengal and the Renaissance in 43 Islam tried to go back to the past and recover the light of old wisdom. Sri Aurobindo A4 referred to the cosmopolitanism, eclecticism, religious rationalism and logic of the 4€ BrahmoSamaj. Of all the leaders of the Renaissance in India, Dayananda appealed 4. most to Sri Aurobindo. He considered him as a unique personality which created a 69 Vigorous Aryan manhood in India. Aurobindo found a national instinct in the reliance of Dayananda on Vedic wisdom. To quote Aurobindo, Dayananda “brings 1. back an old Aryan element into the national character". Aurobindo gave credit to the Theosophical Society for getting some recognition in the West for some of the psychic, occult and esoteric achievements of the old Hindus. According to Aurobindo, Ramkrishna Paramhans was "the man who had the greatest influence and 53 has done the most to regenerate Bengal”. Vivekananda proclaimed to the world that India was awake not only to exist but also to conquer. In India itself, Vivekananda was a leader who wanted "preservation by reconstruction". Aurobindo also referred me to the achievements of J. C. Bose and Rabindranath Tagore in the field of the Indian Renaissance. Aurobindo believed that the spiritual and intellectual advance of India was bound to come. To quote him, “The Renaissance in India is as inevitable as the rising of tomorrow's Sun and the Renaissance of a great nation of three hundred million with so peculiar a temperament, such unique traditions and ideas of life, so powerful an intelligence and so great a mass of potential energies cannot but be one of the most formidable phenomena of the modern world." (795 words)

4. (a) write the following sentences after making necessary corrections. Do not make unnecessary changes in the original sentence:   1×10=10

(i) He died with fever
(ii) Ram acted with my proposal.
(iii) She Quarreled against me over the property the property issue.
(iv) Be careful for your mother's health
(v) A Sikh, tall than any of his
(vi) They cheated each another.
(vii) Old father looks to his children.
(viii) Many a man have been ruined by speculation.
(ix) Let him and I go together.
(x) The priest was very kind for all of us.

4. (b)Supply the missing words:      1×5=5

(i) The boy cannot cope-the pressure in the school.
(ii) Do not take law _your own hands.
(iii) The criminal was whisked _ to the court.
(iv) I want to push_as soon as I finish my work.
(v) The girl _ into depression two years ago.

4.(c)Use the correct forms of the verbs in brackets:    1×5=5

(i) Her path was _ with flowers. (strew)
(ii) He had _ his speech before we arrived. (begin)
(iii) The book has__ the test of time. (stand)
(iv) Recently the price of petrol has- up. (go)
(v) The old beggar was- by a mad dog. (bite)

4.(d)Write the antonyms of the following:     1×5=5

(i) Sagacious
(ii) Attenuate
(iii) Bawdy
(iv) Dormant
(v) Dunce

5(a). Rewrite the following sentences as directed without changing the meaning:    1×10=10

(i) Rabi said, “I'll eat rice for lunch today". (Change into an indirect speech)
(ii) The man was running the shop for a long. (Change into passive voice)
(iii) He was in Delhi. He did not meet his friend. (Rewrite by using though)
(iv) I landed at the airport. It started raining. (Rewrite by using ‘no sooner')
(v) Though we were under the British rule we had a rich cultural heritage. (Change into a simple sentence)
(vi) India can change only when education is reached to all. (Use 'unless')
(vii) People in a developing country are both rich and poor. (Rewrite by using 'either' and 'or')
(viii) If you work hard you will achieve success. (Rewrite by using 'in order to')
(ix) Most of the corrupt politicians do not find themselves in Jail. (Change into a complex sentence)
(x) He is old. He cannot climb stairs. (Rewrite by using 'too')

5.(b) Use the following words to make sentences that bring out their meaning clearly. Do not change the form of the words Se form of the words : (No marks will be given for vague and ambiguous sentences):  1×5=5

(i) Mandatory
(ii) Dilemma
(iii) Petrified
(iv) Obfuscate
(v) Diligent

5.(c). Choose the appropriate word to fill in the blanks:  1×5=5

(i) The terrorists __fear in the minds of the people. (install / instill).
(ii) The boy _ to the words of their teacher. (return / retort)
(iii) Ever since the dictator's _has arrived people are suffering. (rain /reign)
(iv) It is almost _ to suggest that he does not lie. (ascertain / ascetic)
(v) An individual's life is just a _ to the grand history of mankind. (preclude / prelude)

5.(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:  1×5=5

(i) Through Thick and Thin
(ii) Sitting on the fence
(iii) Threw Cold Water
(iv) Foot the bill
(v) Chapter and Verse