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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 27 February 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 27 February 2018

Click on EACH question to post/upload you answers.

How to Follow Secure Initiative?

How to Self-evaluate your answer? 

LIST of TOPICS (Static)

General Studies – 1


Topic Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues 

1) What might have happened to India if Subhash Chandra Bose had survived the plane crash and lived? Critically comment. (250 Words)

The Hindu


Why this question?

There was a similar question is UPSC CSM-2015 (How different would have been the achievement of Indian independence without Mahatma Gandhi? Discuss). Also Netaji Bose is in news. Moreover, every year there will be a question on one of the prominent freedom fighters. Important question for Mains. 

Key demand of the question:

You should use your imagination and knowledge of India’s freedom struggle to give a different picture of India that would have been shaped under the leadership of Netaji Bose. Restrict your imagination to period between 1945 to early 1950s. 

Directive Word:

Critically comment– As this answer demands your imagination and opinion, you should objectively write your views based on facts. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, write 1-2 lines about the towering role Netaji  Bose played in the Indian national movement and how his demise was a great loss to the struggling nation. Then address the demand of question in one line (like, how his life would have altered course of independence, partition or the Constitution)

In the body, divide answer into 4-5 categories, and comment on these broad categories (Secularism, Freedom, Democracy etc) Refer article for more examples. 

In the conclusion, end with a praise for Bose. You may also end with a note on Nehru as well (like, he largely succeeded in implementing some of Bose’s vision)

(Related questions asked by Insights previously – Here and Here)

Topic Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times. 

2) How did the medieval Sufi and Bhakti movement get represented in the contemporary north and south Indian vernacular literature? Examine. (250 Words)


Why this question?

In UPSC CSM-2016 there was a question on Vijayanagara literature.(completely factual one). This question intends to test your knowledge about Sufi and Bhakti tradition and how these were represented in medieval India. 

Key demand of the question:

Write about the ways in which medieval Sufi and Bhakti movement got represented in the contemporary north and south Indian vernacular literature. It’s a straightforward factual question. 

Directive Word:

Examine– Examine all the relevant facts. No need to write your opinion. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, write 1-2 lines on impact  Bhakti and Sufi traditions have had on vernacular literature and how they enriched literary traditions of India. 

In the body, under various categories (You can categorise two ways: Under Sufi and Bhakti; or categorise as Kannada, Telugu and within them examine Sufi and Bhakti trends)

In the conclusion, write about enduring relevance of Sufi and Bhakti traditions(especially in our movies and literature)

General Studies – 2



Topic:   Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these. 

3) Developments following the 2G spectrum allocation and the Lok Pal issue have led to increased interest in understanding the work of Parliamentary committees. Analyse how effective the committee system has been and explore ways of strengthening it. (250 Words)


Why this question?

Functioning of parliamentary committees is under scanner due to their role in oversight of various aspects of our political economy. It’s a very important question. 

Key demand of the question:

Direct question. Keep main focus on analysing effectiveness of parliamentary committees and measures to strengthen them.  

Directive Word:

Analyse:  Divide answer into parts, and within each part, further divide into sub-parts. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write about a recent current affair where parliamentary committee was in news and why strengthening them is need of the hour.  

In the body, There should be TWO mains parts: First part for Effectiveness of these committees (explain with current affair examples and categorise these into 3-4 broad sub-parts) In the Second part, write about strengthening these committees. Again divide into categories.  

In the conclusion, write how new challenges need more deliberations and robust policies to tackle them, and how these committees can play crucial role here (cyber related challenges, security related etc)



General Studies – 3


Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism; Money-laundering and its prevention

4) The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has become the spearhead against global efforts combating the financing of terrorism (CFT).  Analyse the basis for FATF’s growing effectiveness in the fight against terrorist finance and how it helps India to deal with cross-border terrorism.  (250 Words)


Why this question?

It is in news. Recently, the FATF Plenary was held in February 2018. Moreover, it’s directly related to syllabus. Also when we are worried about dealing with Pakistan, FATF has an important solution. Important question for Mains. 

Key demand of the question:

In two parts, analyse reasons for FATF’s increasing effectiveness and how it helps India.     

Directive Word:

Analyse: By dividing answer into two parts as demanded by question. Further divide into sub-parts. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, write about role the illicit money is playing in financing terrorism and how it’s affecting peace around the world. Then write about FATF’s role.

Immediately after introduction, briefly write about FATF – mainly objectives.  

In the body, there should be TWO main parts: First part about reasons for increasing effectiveness of FATF; Second part about how it helps India. In the reference article, it’s written about punishing Pakistan. Use the argument in your answer from India’s perspective. 

In the conclusion, write about the need for institution and bodies like FATF today and why international community should strengthen them.  


TopicAgriculture;  Government Budgeting.

5) Critically analyse the merits and shortcomings of three new measures that were announced in the recent union budget with an aim to address agrarian distress in India. Also examine what else could have been introduced in the budget to address agrarian distress. (250 Words)

The Hindu

Why this question?

This question, in one place, tries to test your understanding of the issues surrounding new agriculture related initiatives/measures announced in recent budget. Important question for Mains -2018.  

Key demand of the question:

You should focus more on demerits of these new announcements. Mention few positives too. And also write on missing initiatives to address rural distress. 

Directive Word:

Critically analyse: in parts, examine in detail TWO main parts. Here you can give your opinion as well (Analyse = Examine + Opinion)

Examine: In the Second part of the question, you just have to present facts. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write why agrarian distress needs holistic, practical solutions. Also highlight importance of political will.  

In the body, in THREE parts, analyse and examine merits, shortcomings and missing initiatives in the recent union budget. As stated above, be critical and write more about demerits. (some have this notion that we should not criticise government! You are required to objectively analyse issues, hence wherever there are loopholes, you need to comment on them. But do so objectively with facts. Also praise wherever good things exist)

In the conclusion, suggest why it’s urgent to address agrarian distress. (or come up with a thoughtful conclusion where your concern should be evident)


General Studies – 4

Topic:  Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion. 

Why this question?

This question is about attitude and role of ethics and persuasion in changing negative attitudes.  Superstition, especially which are harmful show that individuals who practice them lack certain values. This question is important from essay point of view as well (any essay on superstitions)

Key demand of the question:

Write why it’s difficult to remove superstitions, role of social persuasion, science and ethics in removing them.  

Directive Word:

Examine: With suitable examples, address the demand of the question. No need to comment here. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, highlight how superstitions have held us back in time and how science alone can’t help remove them. 

In the body, in TWO Main parts, address the demand of the question (why it’s difficult to remove them; and how ethics and social persuasion along with science can remove them ) Write in paragraphs (you can write in points wherever it’s required). 

Write a conclusion saying that ethics and morality have larger role to play in society. (make sure your answer doesn’t look like other GS answer. Make it look like Ethics answer)


 Other Important issues that are NOT covered today in Secure:

  1. GST Anti-profiteering – Legality
  2. MSP and Food Inflation
  3. India – Jordan Relations

We are giving hints for each question. Please use your creativity and originality to come up with answers that are unique to you. But do so without deviating from core demand of each question. Ultimately you should use your reason and judgement to write your own answer. 

 Let us know in comments section what do you think about this new change in Secure. Thank you. 


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