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Section A

1. Forests are the best case studies for economic excellence

  • A simpler topic from the area of Environmental Economics where much of the content could have been derived from GS paper.
  • Case studies as examples could enrich the arguments, Aspirants may have been reminded of the State of Forest Report, ‘Forests, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment Study by UN Forum on Forests (2019), Investing in Forests: The Business insight report by WEF (JUNE 2021)

2. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world

  • A topic that would have excited students of literature. This topic is a direct lift up from ‘The Defence of Poetry’ 1821 by Shelley.
  • As simple as it looks, required substantiating points with examples of poet, poetry and their effect on society keeping in mind a multidimensional approach.

3. History is a series of victories won by the scientific man over the romantic man

  • A topic that may have taken aspirants to their History classes and notes. Thomas Carlyle stated that “The History of the world is but the Biography of great men”.
  • Students must have thought of noble prize winners, successful scientists and their inventions, wisdom, objectivity etc.
  • But the antithesis of the topic also demanded an aspirant to think from the perspective of romanticism, poetry, art and literature.
  • It is a test of a candidate of what he or she understands of victories

4. A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what a ship is for

  • The quote that is mostly credited to John A. Shedd takes back to the ethics paper which reminds me of how risk-taking ability is necessary to try something new and challenging.
  • This topic invites ideas and examples from different fields like politics, economy, science and sports.
  • An easier topic to attempt but the challenge lies in striking the right balance between arguments, analysis and examples.

Section B

5. The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining

  • Credited to John F. Kennedy (1962), the quote is a reminder to fix what is broken as soon as possible.
  • Between the lines, it talks of attitude, preparedness, swiftness and pro-activeness.
  • Stories of failure of individuals, events and programs could have further supported the arguments.

6. You cannot step twice in the same river

  • Credited to Heraclitus, a philosopher. The quote continues as, “For it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” As we move on, time moves on. And therefore it is not possible to repeat past actions and experiences.
  • At face value it appears true but digging deep doesn’t it reminds us of the mistakes we as individuals, nations and the world keep repeating.
  • Also, don’t we keep trying and attempting to reach a particular goal?
  • This topic required careful thinking and intelligent examples.

7. A smile is the chosen vehicle for all ambiguities

  • Identified as a quote by Herman Melville, an American novelist, it simply means that in situations of doubts, dilemma and unclarity, the smile is the way out.
  • It talks about human nature and attitude.
  • Is the smile product of cool-mindedness while handling challenging and confusing situations or an excuse to avoid? The essay aspects a candidate to discuss why such an attitude? What it leads to? and many other questions.
  • A topic which we all agree too, but the task lies in elaboration.

8. Just because you have a choice, it does not mean that any of them has to be right.

  • Picked from The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Theories of ethics will make you think of Ethical relativism and morality.
  • What appears to be an easy topic required good examples and dimensions to elaborate.

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