Previous year’s XAT essay topics Year

Essay Topic

1999

“Television really is, another eye so you can see anywhere, another part of your heart so you can feel and care about things you never felt and cared about before, another ear to hear strange music....The first and only International language.”

2000

Ships are safer in the harbour. But they are not meant for the same.

2001

“Economic Growth without distributive justice can only lead to violence

2002

“Indian Economy in the Post WTO Era.”

2003

To give real service, one needs to add something that cannot be bought or measured, like sincerity and integrity.

2004

Asked at the age of 83, as to which of his project would he choose as his master piece, Frank Lloyd wright, the architect answered, “The next one”

2005 2006 2007

More than one billion Indians: A gigantic problem or a sea of opportunities. India has one of the largest pool of talented manpower, but few innovations and patented products. “Economic growth without environmental damage – a mirage or a reality.”

Some tips on Essay Writing: 1. A good essay should have the following structure. a. An introduction b. A body c. A conclusion Always introduce the topic before launching into an analysis of the same. The introduction could be a brief analysis of the topic, your interpretation of the same etc. The Body contains the main points either ‘For’ or ‘Against’ or ‘Both For and Against’. There is no hard and fast rule as to what stand is correct and what is not. Ideally, try and not

introduce too many points into the body as in that case you would not be in a position to do justice to them all. Stick to the more important points and develop them properly. If you want to speak ‘For’ a topic, it always helps to introduce an opposite view-point, so that you can effectively counter it. For instance, let us suppose that, the topic for the essay is:

Reservations are required in India for the equitable growth of the Nation You are ‘for’ the topic (say), and you have given three points in support of the same. It would make a lot of sense to now introduce a counter-point in this manner: Some opponents of reservation would say that it does not promote merit, but I would like to counter that by saying that even if there were no reservations, we still are left with institutes charging capitation fees and taking students under the management quota. Do these promote merit? And so on….. The whole idea is that by accepting an opposing point of view, you show that you have an open mind and also by opposing it successfully, you prove your point. This strategy always creates a favorable opinion in the mind of the reader. Finally, in conclusion, it is always recommended to summarize all that you have written and (if required) to once again present your personal points of view on the matter being discusses. Do not leave the essay hanging, incomplete so that the reader is left with a feeling of emptiness!

Analysis of past year questions and tips to approach them The short essays that appear in XAT can be classified into the following two types: 1. Short essays on contemporary topics related to economy/polity/society of India. It could be a burning international issue as well. E.g. The US Presidential Election provides better entertainment than many Bollywood blockbusters! Or serious ones like the impact of 9/11 on India. The student should not worry much about these, if he/ she has been merely glancing through headlines or even half-heartedly listening to news. He can safely attempt most of these, with reasonable confidence. The most important thing to be kept in mind is that students are not supposed to write research papers on such topics. If they can approximately, capture the few major points related to the topic, the job is done for them. Even if they miss a few points, it should not bother them too much. The only suggestion is that out of the allotted time, spend at least 5 minutes to recall, plan and organize what you intend to write. Use the remaining time to write 150-200

words in a cogent and coherent manner using grammatically correct English. Avoid flowery, bombastic language. To elaborate, the 2002 essay is discussed below

Indian economy in the post WTO era The answer should elaborate on the following key points (which the student must identify in the first 5 minutes): a. What is WTO? What is its role? (25-30 words) b. First, the student should identify what all should come in Indian economy, and then discuss the impact on each of these one by one. Following sectors/areas are important in this context • • •

The three sectors viz. manufacturing, agriculture and service sector. Divide the three sectors into industries for example manufacturing into pharmaceutical, automobile, steel, textile etc., service sector into IT, education entertainment, tourism, etc. Now discuss impact on each of these. For example in case of pharmaceutical sector, Indian companies will have to shift to product patenting from process patenting, under the TRIPS (Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights) obligations of WTO

c. After impact, also briefly discuss, what is the Indian government and industry doing to adjust to new realities. d. Lastly, conclude with your suggestions what should be done to rise to the challenges and to make best use of emerging opportunities. 2. Abstract topics like those, which appeared in 2003 and 2004 (discussed in detail later). The major problem with them is that students get in awe of the flowery and twisted language used in them, and cannot figure out what should he write in them. Following guidelines may be helpful: a. Once again spend some time to interpret and understand what the author implies? Are there any subtle nuances intended? b. It is very important to understand that there may be more than one interpretation possible for the given topic. But all interpretations are equally valid provided the student rationally explains it, and logically takes it forward. c. Thus the student should clarify how he understands/ interprets the given topic, clearly stating his reasons for doing so, right in the very beginning. The student may also disagree with the given statement. d. Next the student should build his case in support of his interpretation. The use of anecdotes, daily life examples, fables etc., can prove very helpful in this regard. e. Lastly, the student should conclude, and end on a definite and concrete note. To elaborate, the 2003 and 2004 topics are discussed below.

To give real service, one needs to add something, which cannot be bought or measured like sincerity and integrity. (2003) Following tips may be helpful here: a. You start by clarifying as to what you construe by real service. Is the author excluding materialistic service? b. You also clarify whether you agree with the author or not. Clearly understand that you can take either stand or even the middle path. The important thing is how you support it. c. Now, proceed by giving reasons and examples to support the stance you have taken. e.g., in case you want to support the argument, give the example of the myth of Ramayana in which Shabri offers berries to Lord Ram, or the example of Sudama and Krishna, or elaborate on the life of Mother Teresa. d. Keep on building your answer and conclude with a definite statement. e. Once again avoid flowery English, and use grammatically correct English with a lucid style. Asked which of his works would he select as his master piece, architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright at the age of 83 remarked, ‘ my next one’ (2004) It is based on a direct quotation and the students are expected to elaborate the idea intended. Following guidelines should be helpful: a. Write something on the creative urge that is unique to mankind. b. If you come from humanities background and are aware of Karl Marx and his works, stress on his concept of creative humanism, that man feels incomplete without the products of his creation and sees his reflection in them, just as a father sees his reflection in his son. c. Also elaborate on the idea that it is the body, which gets older, the mind can remain as young as it wants to, immune to fluctuations in time. d. Also stress on the fact that most creative works in the field of art and architecture have come from people towards the end of their life, for e.g. Goethe wrote Faust at the age of 70; M F Hussain has been creating his masterpieces and indulging in movie-making at the ripe old age of 90+. e. You can also stress on the desire to ever improve in certain people, which constantly keeps them restless. f. You can also show your disagreement with Frank by, observing that some people never feel contentment, irrespective of their age and remain restive. g. Similarly, you can develop new dimensions in the topic and write 150- 200 words.

To practice, few sample Essay topics are suggested below: 1. When asked what is the essence of science, French philosopher Auguste Comte replied: ”to know is to predict and to predict is to control” 2. If youth knew, if age could! 3. I am great; God may be great as well! 4. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” Lord Acton. 5. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. 6. Impact of Globalization on Rural India 7. HR issues in a knowledge economy 8. The politics of Poverty 9. US - India relations and its impact on SE stability 10. Multi-nationalism and democracy 11. Real impact of reservation in social justice 12. Glass ceiling in Indian Corporate world 13. Values for the new millennium 14. Alternatives to marriage: a feminist perspective 15. Anomalies of Secularism 16. Western Imperialism in Knowledge production 17. People get the Governments they deserve 18. Rural-Urban divide - a paradox of development 19. Has corruption become a way of life in India 20. Is urbanization detrimental to sustained development 21. Can knowledge economy be the backbone of India economy 22. PIL is misused in India 23. Hindutva makes a mockery of Hindus 24. The politics of Greed has brought the world on the threshold of an economic collapse 25. America: the land of the Capitalist or a new beacon for Socialism?

XAT essay - PT SRC

pharmaceutical, automobile, steel, textile etc., service sector into IT, education entertainment, tourism, etc. • Now discuss impact on each of these. For example in ...

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