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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 16 March 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 16 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 Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues 

1) It is said that Winston Churchill was a war criminal and a blinkered imperialist untroubled by the oppression of non-white peoples. Do you agree? Critically comment, especially considering his role in India’s struggle for Independence. (250 Words)

The Washington Post




Why this question?

Churchill is in news thanks to Oscar for best actor.  He is also in news because according to many even his character doesn’t deserve an Oscar. For us, it’s important because he is part of our syllabus. Important question for Mains (almost 100 % chance that a question on Churchill will be there)

Key demand of the question:

You have to critically comment whether Winston Churchill was evil as argued by many. Be unbiased and argue from India’s perspective. 

Directive Word:

Critically comment– Based on facts, register your opinion. But praise him wherever he deserves to be praised. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, write 1-2 lines about contradictory role Churchill played during the World War II and India’s freedom struggle. Write a line why he is considered both a hero and a villain. Then, write your opinion – agree or disagree, or both. 

In the body, divide answer into 4-5 categories: Role in great Indian Famine, role in WW II, etc. Within each category, write your opinion based on historical facts. 

In the conclusion write few lines how perceptions change with times and why Churchill is not an exception. 

TIP: Don’t be biased in answers. Don’t be too much one-sided. 


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

2) Post 1857, for peasants the fight was not much against colonialism. Analyse. (250 Words)

Bipan Chandra, India’s Struggle for Independence, Chapter 3


Why this question?

This topic is from out topic list. Related to syllabus.  

Key demand of the question:

Prove that peasant struggles and uprisings after 1857 were not against colonialism, but were against various actors who oppressed them. 

Directive Word:

Analyse– In several parts(categories), address demand of the question through facts and opinions. Refer the reference for facts and opinions. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, write how peasants in the 19th century, especially after 1957 Revolt were oppressed by colonialists and other domestic oppressors, but lacked understanding of the nature of colonialism to wage a fight against the British.

In the body, through 4-5 arguments(categories/themes) prove that peasant uprisings such as Indigo were more to do with preserving and protecting their own interests rather than waging war against colonialism. Explain the causes. 

Restrict answer to 19th century, uprisings (1857 to 1900). 

In the conclusion write that how in the twentieth century peasant movements became integral part of the national movement and fight against colonialism. 

General Studies – 2



Topic:  Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

3) For RBI, the framework for the exercise of powers in private sector banks is different from the one for public sector banks. Critically examine what issues this dual control over banks gives rise to? Does this make RBI toothless? Comment. (250 Words)



Why this question?

Role of RBI is in news thanks to Nirav Modi scandal. Important issue also because of overall banking crisis that exists and role RBI has in it.   

Key demand of the question:

Examine objectively how the dual control i.e. two set of powers to deal with private and public sector banks give rise to many issues related to RBI’s powers, role of the Finance Ministry  that eats RBI’s share of powers etc. 

Directive Word:

Critically examine: Here, you have to be critical i.e. being objective. Don’t blame RBI or Finance Ministry harshly. Give facts and present opinions (of others wherever necessary). 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 2-3 lines how RBI has become weak or victim over the years, and why there is a need for giving it more autonomy and powers. 

In the body, divide answer into TWO main parts: one to critically examine issues related to dual control; Second is your opinion – if RBI has become toothless or not. In the first part, focus on 4-5 issues from the perspective of private banks, co-operative banks, finance ministry, public sector banks and RBI. 

In the conclusion, write 1-2 lines about need for reforming the governance structure of public sector banks and making RBI accountable. 

Related question/Articles: Here, Here , Here ,



Topic:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential;

4) Critically examine examine how much the MGNREGA and its website have gained after the introduction of Digital India. (250 Words)

The Wire


Why this question?

Directly related to syllabus. Similar question was asked by UPSC previously. This question to create awareness (you can fix the problem as an IAS officer, especially computer science guys)

Key demand of the question:

Direct question – objectively examine impact of digital India mission on MGNREGA and its website. 

Directive Word:

Critically examine: Provide both positives and negatives. Don’t go solely by article (sometimes they are biased)  

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 2-3 lines about making schemes like MGNREGA more transparent and efficient through initiatives like digital India. 

Write briefly objectives of both Digital India and MGNREGA.

In the body, divide answer into 4-5 parts such as MIS, Payment issues, Job card issues, UI etc. Wthin each write both merits and demerits. 

In the conclusion, write in 1-2 lines on the need for simplifying Digital India and making it accessible for all sections of people. 


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

5) In legislative parlance, what does “guillotine” mean? Why and when is it used in the Indian context? Do you consider its frequent use goes against the spirit of the constitution? Comment. (250 Words)

The Indian Express

Why this question?

It’s in news.    Polity concept – will be helpful for prelims as well. 

Key demand of the question:

Direct question : What is guillotine, why and when it is used. Then write few lines if it’s against the spirit of the constitution. Give more weightage to first two parts. 

Directive Word:

Comment: In the third part of the question, register your opinion.   

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 1-2 lines about decreasing productivity of the Parliament and how businesses are shabbily conducted due to fault of both the opposition and ruling parties. 

In the body, there should be THREE main parts: First to explain what it is; Second to write why and when it’s used. Here give examples of past and present instances. Third part to write your opinion.  

In the conclusion, write 1-2 lines on necessity of making Parliament accountable. 


General Studies – 3



Topic: Infrastructure – Energy

6) Is the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) an all-encompassing solution for power sector woes? Critically evaluate its performance. (250 Words)




Why this question?

Because power sector woes are continuing. UDAY scheme was supposed to solve all power problems. It didn’t (according to the article). Important question for Mains- 2018. 

Key demand of the question:

You should evaluate performance of UDAY scheme. Objectively. Though article provides one sided view, try to write few positives as well (if any). 

Directive Word:

Critically evaluate:  Based on solid data and facts, assess performance of the scheme. Focus on outcomes – merits and demerits. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write 2-3 lines on continuing problems of power sector and how many schemes have failed to solve them. Write why UDAY is not an exception.   

In the body, divide answer into 5-6 categories such as power offtake distribution process, bad loan resolution in the power sector etc. You will have to do some research to dig more points (refer to related links below)

In the conclusion, write that problems in power sector requires multi-pronged approach and UDAY alone can’t solve power sector problems. 

Related Questions/Articles:Here, Here, HereHere, Here,



General Studies – 4

Topic: ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance;

7) Should active euthanasia be made legal? In the light of recent Supreme Court directives in ‘Common Cause’ case, discuss the legal and ethical issues involved. (150 Words)

Why this question?

It’s in news. Important issue – might appear either in essay or ethics paper.    

Key demand of the question:

Argue  if active  euthanasia should be made legal and then discuss ethical and legal issues involved. Do so within the ambit of recent SC observation/guideline is Common Cause case. 

Directive Word:

Discuss: Try to cover all legal and ethical dimensions of this issue.   

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write a line that active euthanasia needs consideration considering many people who demand it as a right. 

In the body, divide answer into TWO main parts: One  to write about your opinion. Justify it with 2-3 arguments (quote foreign examples/cases). Second part to discuss ethical and legal issues. Further divide here into legal and ethical issues. 

In the conclusion write a line to argue that rights, fairness and dignity are important issues and in future SC should consider these. Or write any other related conclusion. 


 Other IMPORTANT issues that are NOT covered Today in Secure/Covered Previously:

  1. India – Pakistan – How to mend relations
  2. LoUs and LoCs (Already covered in Secure – read for extra info)
  3. Indian – Russia Relations
  4. Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018
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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