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Tips for the Hindi Language Paper

Paper ‘A’ is the first paper in the UPSC civil services exam and it is the compulsory Indian/regional language paper. It is mandatory for all candidates to take this paper except candidates hailing from the north-eastern states of Mizoram, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland. Other candidates can take any of the languages in the 8th schedule of the Constitution. Most candidates, on an average, 65% select Hindi as the Indian language paper, although only 43.63% of the people in India have Hindi as their mother tongue. In this article, we give you a few pointers on how to tackle the Hindi language paper in the UPSC mains exam.

Daily News

Why you should not ignore the Compulsory Language Papers?

Even though the language papers are qualifying in nature and the marks obtained in them are not counted for the final ranking, it would be foolish to ignore their preparation entirely. As per official information, in the year 2010, around 10% of the candidates who took the mains were failed because they did not secure the minimum marks required in the language papers. In this scenario, candidates would not be able to know how they performed in the GS papers because these papers wouldn’t be evaluated unless they clear the compulsory papers. So, candidates should invest the minimum time required to clear these papers.

The minimum marks required for the compulsory Indian language paper: 30% (90/300 marks)

Study Material for Hindi Language Paper (Hindi compulsory paper UPSC book):

  • Samanya Hindi Book by Unique Publications
  • UPSC question papers of the past 10 years

It should be noted that you don’t need to study the literature of Hindi but only the basics of the language since it is a test of the Hindi ‘language’. For English medium aspirants, there is no need to read Hindi newspapers. You just need to clear this paper.

Point to remember:

The paper is to be written in the Devanagari script only except the translation from Hindi to English which you must, of course, write in the Latin script (script of the English language).

Questions asked in the Hindi language paper:

  • Nibandh: Hindi Essay: 2 essays (no choice in the topics) each for 50 marks totalling 100 marks.
  • Gadyansh: Reading comprehension: 12 passages each for 5 marks totalling 60 marks.
  • Sankshepan: Précis writing: Here you have to condense a piece of prose given, for 60 marks.
  • Anuvad: Translation: From English to Hindi (20 marks) and Hindi to English (20 marks) totalling 40 marks.
  • 10 marks questions: Muhavare; Shudhi; Paryayavachi; Yugm (totalling 40 marks)

UPSC Exam Tips in Hindi:

  • Before the exam, have writing practice in the Devanagari script (especially if you are not from a Hindi medium background/Hindi medium aspirant).
  • Have a good vocabulary of Hindi words. Note down words and their usage during preparation.
  • For the essay questions, read about 20 essays from a good essay book. Before the exam, practice around 5 essays. That should be sufficient for you to get through.
  • The last section on proverbs and grammar are generally easy and you can easily score maximum marks here since they are objective questions.
  • Attempt the précis writing question at the very end as it takes a lot of time.

Paper A in UPSC

See the list of Indian languages for Paper ‘A’ below/Language for paper A in UPSC:

Assamese Bengali Gujarati Hindi Kannada Kashmiri
Konkani Malayalam Manipuri Marathi Nepali Odia
Punjabi Sanskrit Maithili Tamil Telugu Urdu
Bodo Dogri Sindhi (Devanagari/Arabic script) Santhali (Devanagari/Olchiki script)

Also, see:

IAS Exam UPSC Books
UPSC Online Application Form 2022 UPSC Notes
UPSC Syllabus UPSC 2023
How to Tackle the Compulsory English Paper in UPSC Civil Services Exam Important books for Hindi literature optional for UPSC IAS Mains
Exemption from Indian Language Paper in UPSC UPSC Calendar 2023


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