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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 05 March 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 05 March 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: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times. 

1) It is said that the Pala period witnessed the last great phase of Buddhism and of the Buddhist art in India. Examine the main features of Pala art and the reasons why it ended suddenly in the 13th century. (250 Words)


Why this question?

It’s in our list of topics(miniature paintings). Important question as it’s related to Buddhist art. 

Key demand of the question:

Write main features of Pala art and reasons why it ended suddenly. Give more space to first part. 

Directive Word:

Examine– Inspect thoroughly features and reasons for Pala art’s end. Present facts and examples without your opinion.  

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, write general significance of miniature paintings and how they contributed to future trends of new styles of paintings in one line. Then in another line, write why Pala miniatures are distinct in history. 

In the body, in TWO main Parts address demand of the question: First part to write features – divide into 3-4 sub-parts to examine features with examples(like, material, subjects, form, etc); Second part to write about demise of Pala art – write in points. 

In the conclusion, write how Buddhist art from India travelled to East Asia with it carrying India’s artistic tradition. 


General Studies – 2



Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests  

2) BIMSTEC is a desirable alternative to SAARC and an extra feather to India’s Act East Policy. Analyse. (250 Words)



Why this question?

There will be a question on regional agreements. With moribund SAARC, Bay of Bengal where Pakistan is not a member, experts are urging India to use region’s potential by being more proactive.  Important question for Mains-2018

Key demand of the question:

It’s a statement based question where sometimes parts of the questions are not directly evident. However, the meaning of the statement is clear. Also in this question there are TWO main parts that are evident. You have to analyse whether you agree or not with the statement. You may give both sides and provide suggestions too.  

Directive Word:

Analyse: Divide answer into TWO main parts and sub-parts within these two main parts.  

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction in 1-2 lines write importance of Bay of Bengal and why BIMSTEC can be ver useful for India especially when SAARC is not working thanks to uncooperative/uninterested neighbours(give context). In one line you may express your stand (like it’s too early to say BIMSTEC is an alternative or you may strongly agree too – depending on amount of facts you have to substantiate your stance)

In the body, divide answer into TWO main parts: First part to prove/disprove(or give both views) why BIMSTEC is alternative to SAARC. Further divide into small parts to analyse each aspect. In the Second main part, analyse if it’s a feather to India’s Act East Policy (give current affairs examples – Myanmar and Thailand related)

In the conclusion, you may conclude that both are very much needed and should be strengthened. 

Tip: In statement based questions, give context in the introduction. 


General Studies – 3



Topic Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. 

3) What’s the difference between blue economy and blue-water economy with respect to maritime diplomacy? Examine why both blue economy and blue-water economy are important for India. (250 Words)



Why this question?

This issue is in news. It’s an interesting concept as well. This issue might be asked in CSM-2018. 

Key demand of the question:

Write difference between blue economy and blue-water economy with examples. Then explain importance of both for India. 

Directive Word:

Examine: Present facts and examples to support demand of the question. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write increasing importance of oceans and greener and more sustainable and inclusive economic avenues for countries like India. 

In the body, there should be TWO mains parts. In the First Define both and differentiate with examples (draw a table)

In the  Second part, in points, examine importance of both for India. Give examples for as many points as possible. 

In the conclusion, you may write a suggestion/caution like “India should upgrade its maritime infrastructure and defence capabilities to fully realise potential of blue-water economy and blue economy. 

Tip: Highlight definitions and examples. make sure evaluators notice them.  

Related Insights Current Affairs Here, Related question, Here


TopicLand reforms in India; Agriculture

4) Examine the significance of the Section 24 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act and reasons why it has become an issue nowadays. (250 Words)

The Hindu


Why this question?

This issue is in news thanks SC hearing. This question is asked to make you learn this issue as a whole. May not be important for exam (Most of the times, UPSC will not ask very specific or narrow issues)

Key demand of the question:

Write significance of Section 24 of LARR act and then explain why it has become an issue in recent years with major focus on SC observations on this Section.

Directive Word:

Examine: Present facts and examples to support demand of the question. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 1-2 lines about importance of justice in land acquisition to all those who have lost land and the role of state in ensuring it. And how Section-24 fits in here.

In the body, There should be TWO main parts:  One part to write significance of Section – 24. Write 4-5 points. In the Second part write about reasons why it has become an issue: SC observation, Union government amendment (through ordinance), views of experts/other stakeholders etc. 

In the conclusion, write a need for SC to again lead with good verdict.


 Related questions, Here, Here, Here


Topic: Environmental pollution; Transport

5) Does replacing existing  bus transport, especially the CNG-based ones, with e-buses and encouraging citizens to move towards using e-vehicles address pollution in cities? Critically examine. (250 Words)


Why this question?

E-vehicles issue in gaining prominence across the world and also in India.  

Key demand of the question:

Write merits and demerits of e-buses and e-vehicles.  

Directive Word:

Critically examine: Present both sides of the story. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 1-2 lines about need for weighing cost benefit before enforcing policies such as e-buses. Link it with current affairs.  

In the body, There should be TWO main parts:  One to write merits and another for demerits. In each part address both e-buses and e-vehicles parts. 

In the conclusion, write a line or two about reducing pollution through more greener interventions. 

Related Mindmap, Here; Related Questions, Here and Here



General Studies – 4

Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ; Quality of service delivery,  challenges of corruption. 

6) A building permitted for three floors, while being extended illegally to 6 floors by a builder, collapses. As a consequence, a number of innocent labourers including women and children died. These labourers are migrants of different places. The government arrested the builder and owner of the building. Government also suspended  few engineers. The dead migrants are given monetary compensation.

  1. Can such incidences, where most of the times poor people are the victims, be prevented? How?
  2. Discuss the ethical issues involved in such incidences.
  3. Examine the issues faced by migrant workers in cities.

Why this question?

Recently in Bangalore many migrant construction workers died due to negligence of builder.    UPSC also asked similar case study in CSM-2017. 

Key demand of the question:

This is an unconventional case study which seeks to test your understanding of the issue especially from ethics point of view. Answer all three questions in about 100-120 words each (even though word limit is 250) 

Directive Word:

Discuss(2nd Question): Write about all dimensions of the issues involved: Identify 3-4 major ethical issues, and write their dimensions – what, why and how(how it affects stakeholders) aspects. 

Examine (3ed Question): Identify and write 2-3 lines on each issues faced by migrants in cities. Try to restrict answer to ethics framework (rights, access, fairness, justice etc)

Structure of Answer:

There should be general introduction before starting with Question – 1. In this general introduction write about facts and stakeholders of the case and also highlight major ethical issue.   

Question-1: No need for another introduction. You should comment on the issue briefly and suggest measures to prevent such incidents in future. Based on ethics syllabus, restrict your answer to key topics such as especially values – empathy, attitude, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct,  Work culture, Quality of service delivery etc

Question-2:   Identify 3-4 ethical issues such as empathy vs greed etc. To identify ethical issues, you should consider all the stakeholders (government, builder, engineers, migrants, public etc). Then write different dimensions of each issue briefly -what, why and how(how it affects stakeholders) . 

Question-3: This is like other GS question, however try maximum to restrict to ethics framework. 

Write a general conclusion for all 3 parts in 2-3 lines. You can write conclusion like why such incidents are antithetical to India’s moral standing/posturing about protecting human rights. 

Tip: No need to write introduction or conclusion to sub questions. 


 Other Important issues that are NOT covered Today in Secure:

  1. National Urban Housing Fund
  2. Non-lethal use of AI 

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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