UPSC Essentials: Mains answer practice — GS 2 (Week 13)

UPSC Essentials brings to you its initiative for the practice of Mains answer writing. Mains Answer Writing covers essential topics of static and dynamic parts of the UPSC Civil Services syllabus covered under various GS papers. This answer-writing practice is designed to help you as a value addition to your UPSC CSE Mains. Attempt today’s answer writing on questions related to topics of GS-2 to check your progress.

Thank you for joining us for LIVE sessions. You know that we are LIVE every week on Wednesdays to take up your queries, provide you with cues from the news, and discuss relevant themes revolving around news and UPSC preparation in general.

This week’s theme: CHANDRAYAAN-3 — What to know & read from The Indian Express ?

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We will take up more questions too. You can send your queries at or join Telegram: The Indian Express UPSC Hub or ask me Live! at 8 PM on August 23.

Freedom Sale


What is a delimitation commission? Discuss the procedure for delimitation in India.


India’s relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of our foreign policy and the foundation of our Act East Policy. Discuss the recent development that took place between India and South-East Asian Countries.

General points on the structure of the answers


— The introduction of the answer is essential and should be restricted to 3-5 lines. Remember, a one-liner is not a standard introduction.

— It may consist of basic information by giving some definitions from the trusted source and authentic facts.


— It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

— The answer must be preferably written as a mix of points and short paragraphs rather than using long paragraphs or just points.

— Using facts from authentic government sources makes your answer more comprehensive. Analysis is important based on the demand of the question, but do not over analyse.

— Underlining keywords gives you an edge over other candidates and enhances presentation of the answer.

— Using flowcharts/tree-diagram in the answers saves much time and boosts your score. However, it should be used logically and only where it is required.

Way forward/ Conclusion

— The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach. However, if you feel that an important problem must be highlighted, you may add it in your conclusion. Try not to repeat any point from body or introduction.

— You may use the findings of reports or surveys conducted at national and international levels, quotes etc. in your answers.

Self Evaluation

— It is the most important part of our Mains answer writing practice. UPSC Essentials will provide some guiding points or ideas as a thought process that will help you to evaluate your answers.


You may enrich your answers by some of the following points

QUESTION 1: What is a delimitation commission? Discuss the procedure for delimitation in India.


A simple introduction to this answer can revolve around a general statement about Delimitation Commission.

— According to ECI, delimitation means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body.

— The job of delimitation is assigned to a high-power body known as Delimitation Commission or a Boundary Commission.

— In India, such Delimitation Commissions have been constituted 4 times

1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952,

1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962,

1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and

2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002.



You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

— Delimitation is the act of redrawing boundaries of Lok Sabha and state Assembly seats to represent changes in population.

— The main objective of delimitation is to provide equal representation to equal segments of a population and it also aims at a fair division of geographical areas so that one political party doesn’t have an advantage over others in an election.

— The Delimitation Commission in India is a high-power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court. These orders come into force on a date to be specified by the President of India.


— Under Article 82, the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.

— Once the Act is in force, the Union government sets up a Delimitation Commission made up of a retired Supreme Court judge, the Chief Election Commissioner and the respective State Election Commissioners.

— The Commission is supposed to determine the number and boundaries of constituencies in a way that the population of all seats, so far as practicable, is the same.

— The Commission is also entrusted with selecting seats allocated for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in areas with a sizable population.

— This is done on the basis of the latest Census and, in case of difference of opinion among members of the Commission, the opinion of the majority prevails.

— The draft proposals of the Delimitation Commission are published in the Gazette of India, official gazettes of the states concerned and at least two vernacular papers for public feedback.

— The Commission also holds public sittings. After hearing the public, it considers objections and suggestions, received in writing or orally during public sittings, and carries out changes, if any, in the draft proposal.

— The final order is published in the Gazette of India and the State Gazette and comes into force on a date specified by the President.

(Source: Explained: How states are split into seats by Ritika Chopra)


Your conclusion should be short. You may include:

— Recently, the Election Commission of India has begun the process of delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Assam. The process will be based on Census data from 2001. The last delimitation of constituencies in Assam was done in 1976 on the basis of the 1971 Census.

— The Delimitation Commission works without any executive influence. The Constitution mandates that the Commission’s orders are final and cannot be questioned before any court as it would hold up an election indefinitely.

(Source: Election Commission begins ‘delimitation’ in Assam: What this exercise is, why it is important)

Related Previous Year Questions

Discuss the role of the National Commission for Backward Classes in the wake of its transformation from a statutory body to a constitutional body. (2022)

Discuss the role of the Election Commission of India in the light of the evolution of the Model Code of Conduct. (2022)

QUESTION 2: India’s relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of our foreign policy and the foundation of our Act East Policy. Discuss the recent development that took place between India and South-East Asian Countries.


A simple introduction to this answer can revolve around a general statement about ASEAN.

— India’s emphasis on a deepened and multifaceted connection with ASEAN stems from considerable developments in the world’s political and economic landscape.

— The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.

— India has taken other policy initiatives in the region that involve some members of ASEAN like the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), etc.



You may incorporate some of the following points in the body of your answer:

— The Act East Policy is meant to serve the purposes of stronger trade and business ties with South East Asia and other Indo-Pacific countries and to create development opportunities for the North East States of India. Commerce, Culture and connectivity – the three Cs- are therefore the pillars of India’s current Act East Policy.

— India’s Act East Policy is at the heart of its eastward orientation and ties in with the broader approach to the Indo-Pacific.

— The collaboration between India and Asean has accelerated across a range of economic and strategic issue, including trade and investment, connectivity, energy, culture, people-to-people contacts, and maritime security.

Recent Developments

India and ASEAN countries declared to:

— Strengthen cooperation on cybersecurity by establishing new dialogue platforms between India and the ten-member bloc.

— Establish a comprehensive strategic partnership and enhance cooperation against terrorism.

— Enhance cooperation in the digital economy through a series of regional capacity-building activities in digital transformation, digital trade, digital skills and innovation, as well as Hackathons.

— Enhance cooperation in smart agriculture including the exchange of best practices in the use of new technologies to develop a future-ready, resilient, and sustainable food supply.

— Expedite the review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) to make it more user-friendly, simple, and trade-facilitative, and work together to forge resilient supply chains, explore cooperation on a single window platform to enhance trade facilitation and integration.

— Enhance ASEAN-India cooperation in the space sector including through the establishment of tracking, data reception and processing stations in Vietnam and Indonesia, and encourage cooperation between ASEAN and Indian space industry players, including in new areas of collaboration.

— Revive tourism and related industries which have been severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic through effective implementation of the ASEAN-India tourism work plans.

— India and several Southeast Asian nations including Singapore and Thailand have signed for cross-border trade of renewable energy (RE) electricity will help expand cross-border sale of electricity by India manifold. Currently, cross-border interconnections exist with Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar.

(Sources: India, ASEAN countries promise to boost cooperation against terrorism, Explained: The historical and cultural connections between India and Thailand by Adrija Roychowdhury)


Your conclusion should be short.

— India and Southeast Asia have a long history of cultural and trade ties. The place is mentioned in Indian ancient Sanskrit and Pali manuscripts under numerous names such as Kathakosha, Suvarnabhumi (the realm of god), or Suvarnadvipa (the golden island), indicating that it drew Indian traders. aIt is known that trade in spices, fragrant wood, and, most crucially, gold prospered.

(Source: Explained: The historical and cultural connections between India and Thailand by Adrija Roychowdhury)

Points to Ponder

India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway

Asian Development Bank


Related Previous Year Questions

Indian Diaspora has an important role to play in South East Asian countries economy and society. Appraise the role of Indian Diaspora in South-East Asia in this context. (2017)

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