As i have been guiding for essay for CSE examination and my students with diverse academic background have scored pretty well( like 156, 157,161…)in the previous mains examination, I feel I should comment on the topics of this year paper.
Many students, after reading the topics of essay given in the section A of essay paper of CSE 2019, may think that these are highly philosophical and they can’t handle any of them as effectively as the students of phylosophy could do.
This, however, is not exactly the case. These topics are related to something that could be called philosophical by someone but other individuals like engineers, doctors would think about them as merely principles of social and behavioural sciences . For instance, the question – courage to accept and dedication to improve are two keys to success – is simply belief of everyday life. This could be seen as a big philosophy or simply as a belief or principle that could be tested under the light of evidences and experience. I think almost everyone, who wants to achieve something in his or her life possesses such kind of beliefs. Such a belief is not highly philosophical by nature that would require higher order abstract thinking and intuitive analysis. This could be seen as a simple life philosophy or beliefs that could be analysed and tested scientifically. As we know, our behaviours are influenced by our attitudes which, in turn, are guided by our beliefs, we often juge such beliefs in daily life. Depending upon if the beliefs are rational( based on evidences and reasons) or irrational, we appreciate or criticise.
In simple words, I just want to say that such a topic of the essay may appear highly philosophical but it is not. It is related to practical and everybody beliefs and behaviour. Even the students of science can write excellently on this topic under the light of of evidences and logical reasons. They need not to have knowledge of opinion and quotes of big philosophers. Logical analysis and approach are good enough to yield good score.
And if, some beliefs are not fully & scientifically testable, then we can use the philosophical criteria of comprehensiveness, coherence and compellingness of ideas as supplement to empirical criteria to examine their validity.
A final word: ‘Practice’ is the key to good score in essay.
Mentor, Beautiful Mind IAS