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UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice – Insights SECURE: 24 June 2024

UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice
UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice

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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. Nalanda University was a pioneering centre of education that transcended geographical boundaries and fostered a global exchange of knowledge and culture. Throw light on the observations of foreign travellers regarding Nalanda. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the campus of Nalanda University. The extant University is only a decade old. But roughly 12 km away lie the ruins of the eponymous Nalanda mahavihara — one of the greatest centres of knowledge in the ancient world.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about issues in Indo-Bangladesh relation and ways to overcome them.

Directive word: 

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: 

Start by giving context of Nalanda University and its origins.

Body:

First, write in detail the significance of Nalanda – one of the world’s first residential universities and a significant centre for learning. It offered a wide range of subjects, had an extensive library, and used innovative teaching methods, attracting students from across Asia. Write about notable scholars associated with it

Next, write about the observations of foreign travellers regarding it – Foreign travellers like Xuanzang and Yijing visited Nalanda and provided detailed accounts of its grandeur, academic rigor, and diverse student body etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising its legacy.

 

Topic: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

2. A strong emphasis on sub-national identities like religion, caste, region or ethnicity can dilute the sense of a shared national identity. Examine. (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.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about factors responsible for the growth of communal tendencies and its impact on national unity and our society.

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 communalism.

Body:

First, present the case of Communalism in India on the basis of religious, caste or ethnic; Discuss the major factors that contributed towards the emergence and growth of communalism in modern India. Present the current situation.

Next, write about the impact of the above on national unity and society.

Next, present measures to deal with the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: India and its neighbourhood – International relations

3. A sustained commitment to dialogue and collaboration will be crucial for India and Bangladesh to foster long-term stability and prosperity in their bilateral relations. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

The third consecutive innings of the partnership between Indian Prime Minister Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina marks a pivotal moment in relations between the two South Asian neighbours.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the various strengths and issues in Indo-Bangladesh relations and ways to overcome them.

Directive word: 

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: 

Start by giving context of the question.

Body:

First, give a brief snapshot of India- Bangladesh relation and how it has progressed over the years. Economic, Energy, Security ties etc. Cite recent developments in it.

Next, write about the issues still holding the relationship back – water sharing, illegal migration, trade imbalances, the Rohingya crisis. Cite examples to support your points.

Next, suggest how those issues can be addressed.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

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

4. The recent approval of a draft logistics agreement between Russia and India is a significant development in the context of international relations and defence cooperation. Analyse its importance and its potential impact on India’s relations with the U.S. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

After being held up for several years, the India-Russia mutual logistics agreement is ready for conclusion, with Russia approving the draft agreement over the past week.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the Indo-Russia relations, the significance of logistics agreement and its impact.

Directive word: 

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: 

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of ‘all weather’ friendship between India and Russia.

Body:

In the first part, Highlight the strength of the relationship – Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership, cold war era friendship, the long history, defence partnership, nuclear power plants etc.

Next, write about the features of logistics agreement between Russia and India – military exchanges for exercises, training, port calls, disaster relief, and ease access to Russian military facilities, especially in the Arctic

Next, write about how it will affect India and U.S relations.

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving a balanced opinion on the issue.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. A conscious focus on green policies is crucial for India to tackle environmental issues and ensure sustainable development. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The article discusses the prevalence of drug abuse at educational institutions across India and its impact on students’ mental health.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need for a focus on green policies.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving about the state of Indian’s environment.

Body:

First, write about the major environmental issues that India is facing – climate change, air and water pollution, deforestation, and waste management etc. Cite statistics regarding it.

Next, mention the need to green policies and what should be done to tackle the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Topic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security

6. The Maoist insurgency in India, like a hydra with many heads, persists despite ongoing security operations and development efforts. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

Two jawans of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) were killed Sunday afternoon after Maoists set off an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting their truck near Timapuram village in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the challenges posed by Maoism and government’s counter-insurgency measures but the need for further vigil and action to successfully overcome it.

Directive word: 

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: 

Begin by citing stats about the trends of Maoism and Maoist violence.

Body:

First, write the about the challenges posed by Maoist insurgency to internal security of India. Write how the Naxalist movement still remains a potent threat to the internal security of India in the various ways. Cite examples and data to substantiate your points.

Next, write about various measures taken by the government to tackle Maoist violence, successes and limitations of the same.

Next, suggest various measures that are further required to tackle this issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward on taking a multi-pronged approach to defeat Maoism.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance

7. What is moral character? Strengthening and improving the moral character of civil servants is imperative for them to serve with integrity and uphold the public trust. Discuss. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the ways to strengthen moral character among civil servants.

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: 

Begin by defining moral character.

Body:

With examples, write ways to strengthen moral characters in civil servants – training, creating a value system, rewards and punishment etc.

Conclusion:

Mention the importance of having civil servants of high moral character in administration.

 

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