Compulsory Language Paper in UPSC: Tips to Clear the Indian Language Paper for IAS Mains

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : December 23rd, 2022

Compulsory Indian Language Paper is one of the nine papers of the UPSC Mains exam. Since it is a qualifying paper, the grade received there will not be considered for deciding the final rank. To pass Compulsory Indian Language Paper, you must obtain a score of 25%, or 75 or more points, out of 300. The 22 official languages listed under the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution must be chosen by the pupils. It is vital to note that candidates from the North-Eastern states of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Sikkim are not required to take the Compulsory Language Paper.

Let’s discuss the Compulsory Indian Language Paper in detail through this article. The article covers all the aspects, such as the list of indian languages, paper pattern, preparation trips and more.

Table of Content

Compulsory Indian Language Paper: Paper A of UPSC Mains

The second stage of the UPSC Exam consists of nine subjective papers. The first paper, known as "Paper A," is the required Indian language paper and is one of the nine exams in the Mains test. Paper A is simply a qualifying paper; the marks earned there do not factor into the IAS Exam's merit ranking. To qualify, candidates must receive at least 25% of the possible points on this exam. This means that the minimum required score is 75 out of a possible 300.

  • It is important to note that one needs to qualify for the compulsory Indian Language Paper. Otherwise, the marks obtained in the GS Papers and Optional Subjects won’t be disclosed.
  • According to the UPSC Syllabus, Paper A or the Language Paper tests the candidates regarding reading, writing and comprehension skills. 

List of Indian Languages for UPSC Language Paper

The Indian languages listed in the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution are listed below. You must achieve a minimum of 75 out of the 300 maximum scores on the exam to succeed.

Language

Script

Assamese

Assamese

Bengali

Bengali

Gujarati

Gujarati

Hindi

Devanagari

Kannada

Kannada

Kashmiri

Persian

Konkani

Devanagari

Malayalam

Malayalam

Manipuri

Bengali

Marathi

Devanagari

Nepali

Devanagari

Odia

Odia

Punjabi

Gurmukhi

Sanskrit

Devanagari

Sindhi

Devanagari or Arabic

Tamil

Tamil

Telugu

Telugu

Urdu

Persian

Bodo

Devanagari

Dogri

Devanagari

Maithili

Devanagari

Santhali

Devanagari or Olchiki *

*For the Santhali language, the question paper will be in the Devanagari script; but candidates will be free to answer either in the Devanagari script or Olchiki.

Exemption from Indian Language Paper: Conditions

In the northeastern states, candidates from Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland are excluded from taking the required Compulsory Indian language exam. When submitting their Detailed Application Form (DAF) for the UPSC Mains, qualified applicants must provide a scanned copy of a document proving that they are citizens of one of these states to be eligible for this exemption.

  • The same authorities who give certificates proving OBC, SC, or ST status- District Magistrate, Sub-divisional Officer, or any other officer authorised by the government to issue such certificates must issue this certificate for the district where the candidates' parents reside.
  • Candidates whose parents have passed away should contact the appropriate district office where they currently reside.

UPSC Language Paper: Exam Pattern

Let us now take a look at the UPSC exam pattern of the Indian Language Paper or Paper A. The table below shows the marking scheme as well.

Sections of the Compulsory Language Paper

Marks Allotted

Essay 

100

Reading Comprehension

60

Precis Writing

60

Translation (to and from a specific language to English)

40

Questions on Grammar of the Compulsory Indian Language

40

Preparation Tips for Compulsory Indian Language Paper

The Compulsory Language Paper is almost similar to the English Language or Paper B of the UPSC Mains, except for the translation and vocabulary-based section. We have mentioned some sure-shot tips to ace the Indian Language Paper on the first attempt only.

  • Choose an Indian Language that you are proficient in. It may be the language you spoke and learned as a child or your mother tongue.
  • You should skim through the school textbooks for the selected language up to Class X to review the grammar section.
  • Read the newspaper in your chosen language to learn how to write essays and summaries.
  • To improve your English and verbal skills, solve a few questions from Previous Years Question Papers.
  • Aim to read the question completely before beginning the paper. Do not hurry.
  • Ensure your writing is clear and understandable and that you always stay within the word count restrictions.
  • Practice translating from and to the language of your choice in English. Newspaper reading helps a lot during this process.

Strategy to Clear UPSC Language Paper/ Paper A

Given below are some of the best strategies to tackle the UPSC Language Paper, no matter which language you choose.

  • Practice to Succeed: This is not a recommendation to study less for the language exam but to remember that this is merely a qualifying exam. Therefore, while preparing for the compulsory language paper, you shouldn't sacrifice your preparation for your UPSC Prelims.
  • Choose a Language That Is Comfortable: The exam's questions are of matriculation-level difficulty or an equivalent. Select the Indian language you feel most at ease with, preferably one you have studied in school. CBSE-level books up to Class X standard are sufficient, per the UPSC Syllabus, for this paper's preparation.
  • Read newspapers: Add reading a local newspaper in the language of your choice to your regular newspaper regimen. This will improve your readiness for your Indian language exam and aid your linguistic comprehension. For writing practice, you may also write a brief essay right after finishing the assignment.
  • Stay away from literal translations: You will need to translate from your chosen language to English and vice versa in the translation area. Avoid literal translations as you do this. By that, we mean literal translations, which might distort the meaning of a passage or an essay and cost you valuable points.
  • Learn to Write: Given that English is now the only language taught in schools, it's likely that if you choose your home tongue, you won't be very familiar with it. Practice writing in your chosen language every day to stay in touch.

Comments

write a comment

Compulsory Indian Language Paper FAQs

  • The Compulsory Indian Language or the Paper is one of the nine papers A of the UPSC Mains. In the UPSC Language Paper, the candidate needs to select an Indian Language mentioned under schedule 8 of the Indian Constitution. In the northeastern states, candidates from Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland are excluded from taking the required Compulsory Indian language exam.

    Download the Compulsory Indian Language Paper PDF

  • Papers A and B are prerequisite exams for the Compulsory Indian Language and English languages. These essays gauge how well candidates can read, comprehend, and articulate their thoughts in different languages.

  • No, one has to choose from the 22 official languages mentioned in the Indian Constitution. The Paper B of the UPSC Mains is in English Language and one needs to appear for it too.

  • There are two language papers in the UPSC Mains- English language, compulsory for all candidates. Indian language- compulsory for all candidates except those hailing from Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya.

  • The Compulsory Indian Language Paper is Paper A of the nine-paper UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam. Since it is a qualifying paper, the grade received there will not be taken into account for deciding the final rank. To pass this paper, you must obtain a score of 25%, or 75 or more points, out of a possible 300.

  • The first paper, known as "Paper A," is the required Indian language paper and is one of the nine exams in the Mains exam. All applicants, with the exception of those from India's northeastern states, must take this paper.

  • Yes, it is compulsory to choose the language for UPSC. Except for the Qualifying Language Papers Paper-A and Paper-B, candidates may choose to write their answers in either English or any other language included in the Eighth Schedule, as long as they state this choice when completing their online UPSC CSE application. The language selection cannot be altered later.

  • No, unless you specifically choose it as the UPSC Mains compulsory paper, Hindi Language is not required. Additionally, Hindi is an option for the UPSC Mains and Prelims.

  • Yes, Hindi language paper is compulsory for UPSC as Indian language paper. This is not applicable to candidates hailing from the northeastern states of India. The Hindi language paper compulsory for UPSC is known as Paper A and includes other languages as well, listed under the eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Follow us for latest updates