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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 19 March 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 19 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: Role of women

1) How does trade impact women? Examine how international trade can be made gender-fair. (250 Words)



Why this question?

This is an important dimension vis a vis gender equality. This topic integrates topics from GS-1, GS-2 and GS-3.  

Key demand of the question:

Explain the impact of trade on women (rights, opportunities, freedom, fairness, employment etc) and examine measures to make international trade gender-fair. 

Directive Word:

Examine–  Inspect closely how governments and international institutions can make international trade gender-fair. Present supporting facts. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, write how women are discriminated in variety of fields in variety of ways. And why recognising and strengthening their role (gender inclusivity) in trade is important. 

In the body, there should be TWO main parts: One to explain the impact of trade on women. Explain why it’s discriminatory, how it has affected women entrepreneurship, etc. In the second part, examine measures to make international trade gender – fair: through decision making roles, enabling rural women to participate in trade, etc. Focus on rights-based approach. Talk about strengthening policies (including gender dimension in trade policies at country level). Give data, mention SDGs, treaties, declarations etc. Mention India example too. 

In the conclusion write why women in key roles make key contributions to economic growth. 

For more, refer to this document (only introduction and first chapter)

Related current affairs/questions/articles: Here

General Studies – 2



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

2) Examine the key objectives of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the challenges it faces today. (250 Words)



Why this question?

ISA is in news. It’s India’s major leadership initiative in the international arena. Very important question for Mains – 2018. 

Key demand of the question:

Direct question: Write its objectives and challenges it faces today (domestic and international/ long-term  and short-term)

Directive Word:

Examine: Write down relevant information to explain objectives and challenges. Don’t comment. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 2-3 lines significance of ISA for India’s global aspirations and challenges it needs to face and resolve. 

Write 1-2 lines about ISA background.

In the body, divide answer into TWO main parts as per demand of the question: First to write about objectives. There are many objectives – write all, but explain only 3-4 important ones. Second part to write challenges – here, based on short-term and long-term nature, categorise into finance, tariff, cooperation, capacity building, governance etc. Within these, try to write about both domestic and international challenges. 

In the conclusion, write 1-2 lines about the need for making ISA a huge success in the interest of climate and India’s development too. 

Related question/Articles: Here, Here , Here ,



Topic:  Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein. 

3) What are the structural problems that the Indian federalism faces today? What are the consequences of these problems? Has time come to allow each state to have its own model of governance, bureaucracy and local governments? Comment. (250 Words)



Why this question?

Federalism related issues gain prominence whenever there are elections and budgets. However, problems are real and their consequences are visible. Important question for Mains – 2018 (UPSC is fond of asking federalism related questions and essays)

Key demand of the question:

Direct question – what are the ‘structural’ problems, their consequences and your opinion about giving more autonomy to states. Give more weightage to first two parts. 

Directive Word:

Comment:  In the third part of the question, briefly comment why you think states should be given more autonomy

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write in 2-3 lines how federalism in India has come a long way and is facing new challenges. Write a line about your opinion – whether to give states more autonomy or not. 

Briefly define federalism and constitutional background (articles/provisions)

In the body, divide answer into THREE main parts: first to write structural problems; Second to write their consequences and Third to write your opinion regarding giving more autonomy to states with respect to their own model of governance, bureaucracy and local governments.  Within each part, categorise and write points. . 

In the conclusion, highlight in 1-2 lines the need for union government(s) to empower states to reduce inequalities and bring development to all. 

Related questions/articles on Insights: Here, Here, here



General Studies – 3



Topic: Conservation, Environmental pollution, Land reforms, Economic growth

4) Does proper implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 act as an obstacle to economic growth? Critically comment. (250 Words)

The Indian Express


Why this question?

It’s in news thanks to farmer/tribal rallies.  Important question for Mains- 2018. 

Key demand of the question:

Comment objectively about the impact of FRA on economic growth and development. Comment whether its true implementation would negatively affect economic growth or not. 

Directive Word:

Critically comment:  Present both sides of the story – but, major part should be on negating the given statement and supporting your arguments. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write 2-3 lines about the linkages between agrarian distress, tribal unrest and  non-implementation of FRA in letter and spirit, also its dilution in some cases. Then take your stand with respect to demand of the question. 

In the body, divide answer into 5-6 categories( such as Reverse migration, conflicts, conservation etc) – each category should be devoted to prove a point that FRA indeed supports economic growth. Provide facts for all your arguments. (you have to think and generate points, you won’t get all in the given link)

In the conclusion, highlight that legislations such as FRA are progressive and must be implemented fully to ensure rights enshrined in the constitution are respected and upheld. (Or write your own very thoughtful conclusion for topics like these)

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



General Studies – 4

Topic: Human Values; Ethical dilemma; Public services

5) You are preparing for civil services exam. Your parents, who are farmers, do not understand the nature of this exam. They have given up agriculture due to frequent losses. They are forcing you to work and earn some money so that they can sustain themselves with three meals a day. You decide to conduct tuition to rich kids in your area. On applying online, you get 3-4 homes to conduct evening tuitions. These sessions would consume 4-5 hours daily, but help you earn enough to sustain yourself and parents back home. One day you notice that few children of migrant workers are helping their parents near a construction site. You come to know that these children are not going to school. You decide to teach these children too.

  1. How will you convince parents of these children, and also children themselves to attend your classes?
  2. In case managing classes to both rich kids and migrant kids becomes hectic and starts affecting your civil services preparation, to which kids you will continue to teach? Justify.

Why this question?

It’s a case study that poses classic ethical dilemma. Similar case studies have been asked previously by UPSC.

Key demand of the question:

In both questions, through practical arguments, justify your stance. Focus should be on making arguments based on ground realities. Both Q 1 & 2 should be given equal weightage – around 175 words each.  

Directive Word:

Justify: Through illustrations, facts and examples, justify why you want to help a particular section of kids (or both). 

Structure of Answer:

Write a general introduction about facts, issues and stakeholders of the case. Also write a line on inaccessibility of quality education to poor children.

Question- 1: No introduction needed. 

Write in 5-6 paragraphs, how you will convince parents of these children: focus in ground realities, concerns of these parents, on what arguments they will actually agree to send children etc. (safety, fees, peer group, moving away from exploitation, trafficking, escaping from becoming anti-social elements etc)

Question- 2: One line introduction about your stance.

Justify through 6-7 arguments you stance. For each argument, provide an example/fact etc. Remember all stakeholders – your parents, yourself, poor children, their parents etc, while making arguments. 

In a general conclusion highlight the need for ensuring state sponsored initiatives to help these children access education.   


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

  1. Microplastics problem
  2. The centre’s failure to steer agriculture right
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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