CSS 2018 exam is over. Different candidates would have opted for different topics to write the essay on. The purpose of this write-up is to comment on some most-opted-for topics as to what course should have been adopted while writing those essays and what sort of argument should have been included. In order to enable the students to maintain their focus while reading this commentary, effort has been made to keep all the comments extremely focused, avoiding unnecessary details

1. Real development should transform people’s lives, not just economic statistics

In my opinion, this topic was not easy to write on. The topic was not Pakistan-specific and, thus, required examples and facts and figures from developed and underdeveloped countries of the world to substantiate the arguments. The topic required that the aspirants discuss all the social indicators in detail as they directly reflect the living standards of the people living in a particular state. Reference should, however, have been definitely made to the economic indicators in different decades of the history vis-à-vis the factual condition of the people of Pakistan. In such essays after the main argument part, different factors should be highlighted which are responsible for the variance between the economic indicators and prevalent conditions of the people. Finally, some practicable measures should be recommended that can prove helpful in transforming the economic development into social development ensuring better standard of life for all the citizens of a state. Keeping in view the demands of the topic that make it mandatory to develop a link between the economic indicators and social development – a bit technical task – the topic should have been avoided.

2. Higher Education in Pakistan: Ills and Remedies

This one, by all means, is a good topic to write on. It is an unambiguous and Pakistan-specific topic regarding which no aspirant would have experienced scarcity of material, if he were to attempt it. As all the aspirants have their personal experience regarding the higher education system of Pakistan, it is too easy to fulfil the demands of the topic. Basic focus in this topic would be maintained on the prevailing ills of the higher education system of Pakistan, followed by the recommendations for sloughing them off. The only principle that ought to be followed while writing on this topic is the principle of practicability: only those measures which are highly practicable keeping in view the socio-political conditions of Pakistan and the available resources should be recommended to get rid of the ills.

3. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and its Socio-economic Implications on Region and the World

A deceptive topic; I would say. Mostly, the topic of CPEC is prepared in the context of Pakistan, China and the other regional countries. Its implications for the world, as have been asked in the question, are rarely focused on during the preparation phase. Without describing the implications of CPEC for the world to a reasonable extent, it would be a daydream to secure passing marks, if someone opted for this topic in the exam. In a nutshell, this topic should not have been chosen as it demands something that is not easy to provide.

4. The Emerging Power of Social Media: Prospects and Problems

Again a good topic: no ambiguity in the statement, material easily available, no question of going for or against the topic. Many of the candidates have opted to write on this topic, to my information. This essay requires a rational, analytical approach meticulously highlighting the evils that social media entails along with the opportunities that it has created. In other words, the topic requires shedding light on the merits and demerits of the social media that the present age is experiencing. Obviously, the problems of social media would be followed by the causes of the presence of these problems and recommendations for their appropriate handling. As social media is the most used network in the present era, the essay can be written even without having any sort of formal preparation of it.

5. The threat of global Warming and ways to counter it

A highly bookish topic: prepared by almost all the candidates in the very same dimension before the exam. The main points of the outline include understanding the concept of global warming, an overview of contributing factors of global warming, analysis of threats caused by global warming, a review of efforts already made for handling the issues, and the way forward. As the topic is highly technical in nature, use of scientific terminology and acronyms is immensely important.

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