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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 24 July 2020

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General Studies – 1


Topic: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

1. Chandrashekhar’s ‘Azad’ vision has not been fructified in India even after all these years. Comment on Azad’s ideology and his contributions to India’s struggle for Independence. (250 words)

Why this question?

Revolutionaries like Azad dreamt of liberating their country from the shackles of enslavement and did not shy away from making any sacrifice whatsoever on the altar of their motherland. The question is, how have their cherished dreams been taken forward? How have things come to such a pass that notwithstanding all the slogans of making the revolutionaries’ dreams come true, those at the helm of the nation today have not the slightest affinity for their hopes and aspirations?

Key demand of the question:

Entire focus should be on his ideology and contributions. However, you should comment on these aspects.

Directive Word:

Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion there upon. 

Structure of Answer:


write a few lines on how heroes like Azad has left indelible mark and why their ideology and sacrifice is relevant even today. 


In the First part, comment on Azad’s ideology – its merits, demerits, its influence etc.

Discuss why his ideologies have still not been fructified in India even after all these years. Try to link with present issues.

In the Second part, comment on his contributions – their futility or enduring relevance etc.


write which traits of these revolutionaries can emulate. Or come up with a conclusion that honours sacrifices of Azad and other revolutionaries.


Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent).

2. Northeast has the potential to become India’s growth engine. Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu  ,

Why this question:

The northeast has the potential to become India’s growth engine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, noting that peace is now being established in the entire region.

Demand of the question:

This question seeks to examine the potential of North East Indian region to be India’s growth potential as most of the resources are still left untapped and unexplored.

Directive word:

analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:


Start with an introduction about the North East region.

India’s North Eastern Region is a ‘rainbow country …extraordinarily diverse and colourful, mysterious when seen through parted clouds’. It stretches from the foothills of the Himalayas in the eastern range and is surrounded by Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal and Myanmar. It includes the seven sisters – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, along with a small and beautiful cousin in the Himalayan fringes, namely, Sikkim.


Discuss about the natural resources of the region and the potential for growth.

  • Richly endowed with natural resources, the region is identified as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots; it hosts species-rich tropical rain forests and supports diverse flora and fauna and several crop species.
  • reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the region constitute a fifth of the country’s total potential.
  • The region is covered by the mighty Brahmaputra-Barak river systems and their tributaries providing great opportunity for hydroelectricity, irrigation etc.

Discuss the challenges that are currently being faced.

  • For instance, floods in Brahmaputra basin, challenges of connectivity, poor infrastructure etc.

Give an account of the steps already taken in this regard.

Discuss about the feasible solutions that can be pursued.


Conclude with a balanced way forward.


General Studies – 2


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development.

3. The COVID-19 pandemic can contribute to food shocks leading to malnourishment, the next big public emergency in India. Examine and also discuss the significance of food fortification to tackle the issue of Malnourishment. (250 words)

Reference: Down to Earth 

Why the question:

The nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic can contribute to such food shocks and, in turn, increase the chances of malnutrition, said the study published in journal Global Health Science July, 2020. The study is based on possible weight loss due to the immediate food shock children may face because of the pandemic.

Demand of the question:

The question is about discussing the issue of Malnourishment, its prevalence in India and in what way it has become a public health emergency. One must emphasise on how fortification of food is a way forward to tackle the menace.

Directive word:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:


Start with brief introduction of the current scenario in the country.


Discuss the following points in detail:

How pandemic leads to food shocks which in turn could lead to malnutrition?

Highlight how Malnutrition affects Indian population

Why would it become a public health emergency?

Discuss why other missions to tackle malnutrition haven’t been able to succeed fully – National Food Security Act (NFSA), a free Mid-day Meal Scheme (MDM), National nutrition mission etc.

Discuss what is Food fortification and its importance and relevance to Indian case.

Conclude by listing governments efforts in this direction.


Conclude with way forward.


Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

4. India should pursue its largely successful policy of maintaining positive relations with Iran and guard against hasty conclusions while monitoring the ties between China and Iran. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express  ,

Why this question:

Reports that Iran and China are close to concluding a 25-year strategic partnership — which may involve a trade and investment partnership totalling a massive $400 billion — have generated considerable angst in India. This is being linked to reports that Iran has decided to undertake the construction of the Chahbahar-Zahedan railway line to the border with Afghanistan on its own because India continues to delay its implementation of the project.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the healthy relations that has existed between India and Iran in the past. Despite the USA sanctions, India continued the oil trade with Iran in past. In the recent days, there have been a few hiccups w.r.t to the Chahbahar port railway line being awarded to China. India must not act in haste but in the meantime we must also be wary of the growing bonhomie between Iran and China.


Analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:


Start with brief introduction about India Iran ties and recent happenings of Chahbahar railway line project and alleged involvement of China.


Discuss in detail the ties that exists between India and Iran.

Discuss how China’s increasing closeness with Iran.

Now argue as to why India must not act in haste and take knee-jerk reactions.

Discuss how we should be watchful of the China-Iran ties.

Provide measures to strengthen the India-Iran ties.


Conclude with way forward.


General Studies – 3


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

5. Evidences suggests that India’s Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has been a huge success compared to the earlier loan recovery process. However, there have been a few misses too, in this light comment on how UKs insolvency reforms can show the way. (250 words)

Reference:  The Print 

Why this question:

Introducing certain provisions that form part of the UK’s new law on corporate insolvency can help save Indian companies that can still be rescued from going into the insolvency process.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the effectives of the IBC 2016 till now and the challenges it has been facing. Later, one must explain how the UK’s insolvency law, possibly, can help bring in reforms in the IBC, 2016.

Directive word:

Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion there upon.

Structure of the answer:


Give a brief about the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. And talk about the recent introduction of the UK’s insolvency law too.


Talk about the success of the IBC 2016 in the last 3 years.

Highlight the few misses and limitations of IBC, 2016.

Discuss in brief how the UK’s insolvency law can help in bringing in reforms in IBC, 2016.


based on your discussion, provide a possible way forward.


Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

6. What do you understand by “Reverse Osmosis” Technology? Critically discuss the indiscriminate use of RO technology from the environmental point of view. (250 words).

Reference: Business Standard 

Why this question:

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has set the year-end as the deadline for the environment ministry to bar the use of reverse osmosis (RO) water purifiers in places where the available water conforms to the prescribed quality norm of dissolved solids content of below 500 mg per litre. The move aims chiefly at preventing the wastage of water and several useful minerals and essential salts that are lost during RO treatment.

Key demand of the question:

This is a straightforward question where one must discuss in detail the concept of reverse osmosis technology. Discuss its usages and why the RO technology is being used in such large scales. One must also argue how the RO technology has been affecting the environment.


Critically Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:


Start by explaining the concept of Reverse Osmosis and the NGT judgement.


Discuss the usages of Reverse Osmosis.

Why there has been an increase in the usage of RO technology.

Now argue about how the RO Tech has been impacting the environment.

Provide alternative measures, if any.


Conclude with way forward.


General Studies – 4


Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

7. “An unexamined life is not worth living”. – Socrates. What does the following quotations mean to you? Discuss the importance of self-realization? (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to explain the meaning of the quote and discuss the importance of self-realization for every individual.

Structure of the answer


Briefly talk about Socrates and his philosophy.


Highlight the importance of getting to know oneself by examining their strengths, weaknesses and how to overcome the same.

Discuss the importance of self-realization and what happens when one does that.


based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

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