Are you gearing up for the upcoming UPSC exam? If you are reading this, then the answer is probably yes. Answer writing is a very important part for the UPSC mains exam and one has to simply master it to crack and rank well in the Civil Service Exam. What is an accurate format for answer writing for UPSC mains? How is the UPSC mains answer sheet?

Here in this article, you are going to have an idea of a good answer writing for UPSC mains. Read the blog until the end to understand the format and also get bonus weblinks that will boost your preparation.

UPSC Mains Question

Exercise of CAG’s power in relation to the account of the Union and the States is derived from Article 149 of the Indian Constitution. Discuss whether audit if the government’s policy implementation could amount to overstepping of its (CAG) own jurisdiction.

Answer Writing for UPSC Mains Question

“The Comptroller and Auditor General is a Constitutional body (Article 148) provided to audit the accounts of the state.

Article 149 authorises the Parliament to prescribe duties and powers of the CAG accordingly. The Parliament enacted CAG’s DPC (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act, 1971.

This law lays down duties of CAG as:

  • Auditing authority
  • Procuring accounts of the Union and the States
  • Laying audit reports in the legislature.

But, according to the above law, CAG has no authority to question the intent of the expenditure caused by the public policy making, which is the duty of the legislature.

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In this light, CAG is often criticised by the executive for overstepping its mandate with respect to the government’s policy implementation. Also, Paul H. Appleby criticises Indian CAG on these counts:

  • CAG is the primary cause of widespread policy paralysis
  • Auditors don’t know and cannot be expected to know much about good administration.

Is there a need for a Proactive CAG?

a) In a developing country like India, where financial discipline is not at it’s best and populist politics is quite widespread, a proactive CAG is imperative.

b) CAG has played an instrumental role in bringing out serious misappropriations of public fund, e.g. Trial of accused in case of 2G spectrum, cancellation of illegally allowed coal blocks by SC.

All these indicate that outreach of CAG is quintessential and indispensable for the enforcement of accountability.

c) The overstepping of CAG is very much in line with the changing scenario of public administration, whereby the New Public Management tools like social auditing of schemes, judicious use of meagre resources is required.

d) CAG as a watchdog of public finance enforces answerability of the Executive to the Parliament and to the people for all its decisions.

Wrapping it Up

Thus, the notion of overstepping CAG in auditing government’s policy implementation is not actually overstepping its jurisdiction per-se. But, it is a symbol of evolution of CAG in this vibrant democracy to induce proper checks and balances in the functioning of the executive arm of the government. As it can be observed, Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, in the Constituent Assembly debate said that the CAG is a more important Constitutional functionary than the judiciary itself.”

Why is UPSC Mains Answer Writing Good?

  • The answer has utmost relevance to the question. It doesn’t digress to some other issue/topic.
  • There are pointers marked in the answer which give visual clarity of the content of the answer.
  • All the sections mentioned are correct.
  • Introductory paragraph contains keywords from the question, which are explained properly.
  • Appropriate side headings.

Scope for Improving the Answer Writing for UPSC Mains

  • In case of changing the topic, always underline your sub-heading and use capital letters. A clean representation is quite important. (Is there a need for a proactive CAG?)
  • Flowcharts/ diagrams are also extremely important in making the examiner understand at a glance.
  • Too many Articles being quoted in the article makes it look bookish. Quoting articles as they are isn’t mandatory. You can write the context in your own words, as long as the subject doesn’t change.
  • Providing recent examples (if any) adds an edge to your understanding of the topic and thus to your answer.
  • Analyse as many dimensions as possible with respect to the question. A scholarly answer is rarely appreciated by the UPSC.

Hopefully, this article on answer writing for UPSC mains will help you prepare the best way for the upcoming UPSC mains exam. For even better preparation and guidance, you can always opt for one-to-one mentorship where you will be guided by an expert mentor throughout your preparation journey.

Also Read : Best Career Options after 12th: Science PCM PCB Medical Commerce

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About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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