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UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice – Insights SECURE: 04 January 2024

 

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General Studies – 1


 

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

1. The system of self-government in Chola villages played a crucial role in the overall governance of the dynasty, contributing to a well-organized and efficient administrative structure. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the Chola local self-governing villages. 

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by giving context of Uttarameruru inscription.

Body:

First, write in detail, the features of Chola local self-governing villages – various qualifications, disqualifications, committees and their natures of responsibilities.

Next, write about the level of autonomy enjoyed by these Chola local self-governing villages. 

Next, write about the significance of Chola local self-governing villages. 

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. The administrative features of the Vijayanagara Empire were characterized by a well-organized structure that contributed to the stability and prosperity of the kingdom Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the features of Vijayanagar empire and its importance.

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

In the first part, write about major features of the Vijayanagara empire – centralized governance under the king, provincial administration by Nayakas, a structured taxation system, and a strong military.

Next, write about infrastructure, arts and culture, and religious tolerance of the Vijayanagara Kings.

Next, write about the significance of the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

 

Topic: Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

3.  Effective regulation of NGOs is necessary to prevent misuse of resources and ensure accountability. However, it is essential to strike a balance that allows NGOs to operate effectively, respond to local needs, and contribute meaningfully to holistic development. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

False notions of sustainability, scaling up, systemic change and ulterior motives need to be tackled in NGOs.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of wetland ecosystem.

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Briefly mention the role of NGOs in civil society.

Body:

First, elaborate upon the role of NGO’s in achieving developmental aspiration.

Next, explain the issues with respect to NGOs and the need to regulate it. Mention the rationale behind such regulation. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

4. The proper construction, operation, and scientific management of landfills are critical to preventing environmental contamination. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

If the landfills are not scientifically constructed and operated, they can act as a hub of numerous kinds of contaminants including plastics.

Key Demand of the question:

To write issues with landfills and remedies for better waste management.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Give context about landfills.

Body:

First, write the problems associated with rapid urbanisation and waste management in India at landfills: Leaching of chemicals, spread of diseases, release of poisonous and toxic gages, fires, serious health and environmental hazards to the people etc.

Next, suggest strategies to deal with solid waste so that it may prove a resource instead of waste.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: basics of cyber security;

5. What is ‘cyber kidnapping’? Examine the measures needed to prevent this cybercrime. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

A Chinese student who was a victim of ‘cyber kidnapping’ has been found in rural Utah, unharmed.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about cyber kidnapping and measures needed to prevent it.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining cyber kidnapping.

Body:

First, mention that the modus operandi of cyber kidnapping and the threat it poses especially with rise of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Fake.

Next, write about the measures that are needed to prevent this cybercrime from taking place.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

6. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“Good means not merely not to do wrong, but rather not to desire to do wrong.” ― Democritus

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote and highlighting its core meaning.

Body:

Write about goodness is not only the absence of a wrongness of action but it is absence of wrong intentions/desires. Presence of wrong desires can lead to a wrong action.

Next, write a counter argument that merely having desires may not lead to bad actions. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote.

 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“Unnecessary laws are traps for honest people but a haven for the dishonest.” ―  Anonymous

Difficulty level: Tough

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote and highlighting its core meaning.

Body:

Write about the futility of enacting laws that are needed and how they weaken existing laws or the laws that are actually needed. Mention the impact of enacting laws that are not needed. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote.


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