How to improve Answer Writing Skill?

How to improve Answer Writing Skill?

Civil Service system acts as the most vital tool for governance of India; it is the implementation arm of the government that’s why its selection process is one of the toughest.

Civil Services Examination is a form of a puzzle – with each solution of puzzle candidate moves upward in the trajectory. Each step of the examination: Prelims – Mains – Interview acts as an elimination point. Every year lacs of student gives Civil Services Examination and about 1000 (this year even number of seats are less) get selected in the services. Thus the probability of success is very minimal. Every candidate gives his best in the process but very few are able to attain success.

But Right Skill and Directional Preparation are needed for clearing the Examination.

One parameter for it is learning the Art of Answer Writing.

However, before learning the Art of Answer Writing, answer the following question?

  • Are you not able to express your knowledge in the mains answers?
  • When you start Answer writing, do you fail to consolidate your thoughts?

The Answer usually consists of three parts:

  1. Introduction: Under this a student should give brief definition on which the question is based or introduce the whole concept on which question is based.
  2. Main body: Under this the views, description with examples, critical analysis should be placed.
  3. Conclusion: Under this the whole gist of answer should be concluded with way forward or neutral conclusion based on the question asked.

Let’s understand this with proper examples:

Question 1:  Do you think that “one-size-fits-all’ approach of fire protection is perhaps incompatible with the ecology of India’s tropical dry forests?

Subject: Disaster Management

Sub-topic: Forest Fire


ü  Introduction: Forest fire in India and its causes

ü  Main body: Issues in one-size fits all approach of Forest fire management

ü  Conclusion: What needs to be done?


Note for the Aspirant

ü  The question has specifically mentioned about the tropical dry forests, thus stick to that angle. Do not beat around the bush.

ü  The focus should be more on the challenges and recommendations.



The forest fires in India mainly occur in the tropical dry forests of our country, an umbrella category encompassing scrub, savanna grassland, dry and moist-deciduous forests.

The incidence of forest fires in the country is on the increase and more area is burned each year.

Issues in Forest management

The major cause of this failure is the piecemeal approach to the problem.

Both the national focus and the technical resources required for sustaining a systematic forest fire management programme are lacking in the country. Important forest fire management elements like strategic fire centres, coordination among Ministries, funding, human resource development, fire research, fire management, and extension programmes are missing.

Lacuna of one-size fits all approach

The roots of our current fire crisis lie squarely in the blanket implementation of ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for fire protection. For example, the fires in Bandipur Tiger Reserve were immensely difficult to control because of ample fuel supplied by the alien invasive species Lantana camara.

Forest dwellers set fire to forests to clear walking paths, to collect non-timber forest products like gooseberry and mahua flowers, and to encourage the fresh growth of grass for their livestock, and sometimes as a part of ritual practice. Thus there are various reasons for forest fire in different regions of the nations as it is also linked with cultural and livelihood factor of tribes.

Hence one-fits-size policy cannot be implemented for forest fire management. There should be bottom-up approach. In a centralised, top-down hierarchical system, these two broad ways of wielding fire are clearly incompatible. By enacting legislation that made the setting of forest fires an offence, the forest department gradually legitimised one world view of forests as timber and wildlife production systems and ignored other world views that envisioned forests as cultural and livelihood spaces.


Instead of viewing forest fires as being purely destructive in nature, forest managers should perhaps expand their world view and be more inclusive to information from ecological and local knowledge systems that view fires as being both rejuvenating and revitalising.

Question  2: Discuss the Supreme Court judgment on Right to Privacy with respect to Aadhar.

Subject: Polity and Governance

Sub-topic: Fundamental Rights



ü  Introduction: What is the meaning of Privacy?

ü  Main body: What is aadhar, issues related to it and SC judgment on that

ü  Conclusion: Impact of judgment.


Note for the Aspirants:

ü  This is a multi-dimensional type question. There are three concepts – SC functioning, Right to Privacy and Aadhar.

ü  In such type of question articulation is must to maintain the inter-connection and flow among the three.



Privacy is a basic human right enjoyed by every human being by virtue of his or her existence. Privacy can also extend to other aspects, including bodily integrity, personal autonomy, informational self-determination, protection from state surveillance, dignity, confidentiality, compelled speech and freedom to dissent or move or think.

A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, ruled that the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right for Indian citizens.

What is Aadhar?

Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identity number that can be obtained by residents of India, based on their biometric and demographic data.

Issues with the Aadhar

  • No Statutory backing: The UIDAI and the Aadhaar project are still functioning on the basis of an executive action since it was set up.
  • Wide Mandate: UIDAI has wide mandate which includes defining the usage and applicability of Aadhaar for the delivery of various services.
  • Lack of accountability: The UIDAI also lacks accountability to Parliament if there is a failure in the system and someone suffers in consequence.
  • Private Players: There are many private players involved in the whole chain of registering for and generation of Aadhaar numbers.

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has upheld the validity of Aadhaar but with certain changes. It has struck down Section 57 that allows private entities to seek Aadhaar data, but has allowed the unique number to be used for government schemes and subsidies.

  • Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act revoked. This section of the Aadhaar Act provided that private companies could ask consumers for Aadhaar details for identification purposes. The court’s judgement means that private bodies like telecom companies, e-commerce firms, private banks and other such firms cannot ask for biometric and other data from consumers for their services.
  • Section 33(2) of Aadhaar Act revoked. This provision in the Aadhaar Act allowed sharing of data with security agencies on the ground of national security.
  • Section 47 of the Aadhaar Act struck down. This section allowed only the government to complain in case of theft of Aadhaar data. Now the individual too can file a complaint.
  • Further, Aadhaar card, shall be necessary for availing facilities of welfare schemes and government subsidies as it empowers the poor and marginalised.
  • The Supreme Court has made exception for children saying that no child can be denied benefits of any scheme if he or she doesn’t have Aadhaar card.


The judgment narrows the scope of Aadhaar but provides a framework within which it can work. The majority opinion has sought to limit the importance of the scheme to aspects directly related to welfare benefits, subsidies and money spent from the Consolidated Fund of India. Thus, controversial circulars and rules making it mandatory to link mobile phone numbers and bank accounts to Aadhaar numbers have been declared unconstitutional.

Few tips

Bullet format vs Paragraph format

  • There is no fix format for writing any answer. The structure changes according to the question asked.
  • As in the above question related to forest fire – the question is analytical in nature thus paragraph format will suit in better whereas in the question related to Privacy, pros, challenges associated with it have to be discussed, thus bullet point format will suit better as it will increase visibility.

 Grammar and language

  • The language should be easy. In the General Studies answers avoid very tough jargons.
  • Use the terminologies associated with the concept properly.
  • Avoid spelling mistakes, it develop very wrong impression.
  • Do not write important terms as India, President, Prime Minister, etc in small letters.

Structure of Answer

  • Bring articulation in the Answere. while switching from one paragraph to another, there should be symmetry and flow.
  • Bring Objectivity in the Answere. if you are critically analyzing the topic, justify your points with proper examples.

Enrichment of Answer

  • Read different sources to enrich your content. But while reading it jot down crux of the topic in about 200 words so that you can use that easily in the answer.

Hope the above tips while help you in improving the Answer writing skill.