1. Mock Question for UPSC Mains GSM1/ GSM2:
  2. Introduction
    1. Body#1: Affordable housing helps in human development
    2. Body#2: Affordable housing helps in Economic Development
  3. Conclusion: futuristic note, Agree and Appreciate
  4. MISTAKES in Affordable Housing Question

Mock Question for UPSC Mains GSM1/ GSM2:

Q. Explain the significance “Affordable Housing for All” in the human and economic development of India. 150 words, 10 marks.

प्र. ‘सबके लिए किफायती आवास’ का भारत के मानव-विकास व् आर्थिक विकास में महत्व समजाइए.

Relevance to Syllabus?

  • GSM1: Urbanization, Issues related to population
  • GSM2: Schemes for Vulnerable sections of the society.


  • (For 150 words) Food, cloth and housing are the basic necessities of any individual. Affordable housing improves well being of an individual and a country in following manner…<LISTICLE> OR
  • (For 250 words) In recent decades, the world has experienced unprecedented urban growth.  Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more.  OR Cities enables people to advance socially and economically. The affordable housing further catalysis the process in following manner: <BODY LISTICLE>
  • Poor introduction: Government has launched “Housing for All 2022”. (That’s better suited for conclusion that “…considering above benefits Government has launched housing for all.”)

UPSC Mains Answer Writing Affordable Housing

Body#1: Affordable housing helps in human development

  1. Life-expectancy: Affordable housing will help the poor families move out of slums. They’ll be saved from the unhygienic conditions of sewer, smoke from wooden stoves. Thus, reduced disease burden- Family’s wages and savings on education and business instead of medicine.
  2. More safety from floods, lightening, stampede, slum/forest fire and other natural and man-made disasters. Thus, Disaster Vulnerability reduced.
  3. Education: 24/7 Lights, safety from rain, harsh winter and summer compared to slums = better environment for child’s education and homework.
  4. Affordable Pucca houses = privacy, safety for 24/7 = Women empowerment.
  5. Affordable housing generates further demand for Government schemes for LPG connections, toilets and electricity. This further reduces the miseries of poor women.
  6. Affordable housing will help entire family to migrate together, instead of just male members. Thus, more love, warmth for the wife and children; and less social nuisance such as gambling, alcoholism, prostitution etc. which are more prominent in them male-only slums and boarding houses in the diamond polishing units of Surat city, slums near ship-breaking industries of Alang and Seelampur e-waste market of Delhi.
  7. Urban local bodies can eventually impose property tax on such affordable houses and use the money for public welfare.

Body#2: Affordable housing helps in Economic Development

Government schemes for affordable housing usually have following mechanisms: 1) either land and lumpsum amount is paid to family for construction of house OR 2) interest-subvention provide to the housing loans OR 3) subsidy / financial assistance /tax-relief provided to the builder for slum-redevelopment etc. In all such mechanisms, economic development is assured BECAUSE:

  1. Direct employment for construction workers, masons, plumbers, carpenters
  2. Demand for bricks, steel, cement, copper wire, aluminium pipe industries- and the indirect employment there.
  3. Growth in the credit / lending operations bank and housing finance companies. Their internal competition may lead to reduction in the interest rates and further boost demand.
  4. To ensure affordable houses for the poor, the government has to free up land by taking action against the land mafias and illegal encroachments. It may lead to recovering of black money. It will discourage speculative investors to park their ill-gotten wealth in real-estate. It also puts a check on the inflation in housing sector due to speculative investment.
  5. People living in pucca houses will fare better on health and education outcomes compared to slum-dwellers. Such healthy workforce by itself helps in economic growth.
  6. Clean and pleasant image of the city can attract more foreign tourists, thus boosting economy.

Conclusion: futuristic note, Agree and Appreciate

  • Considering these benefits, Government of India has launched the mission “Housing for All by 2022” and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana with urban and rural components.
  • Considering these benefits, United Nations has also included affordable housing as a target in under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #11 which requires all members to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by providing access to affordable housing to all by 2030.
  • WRONG CONCLUSION: Candidate digressing that it’ll help channelise the youth energy to take the benefits of various other scheme such as Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, stand up India, skill India, stand up India.

MISTAKES in Affordable Housing Question

  • Digression: Writing about the Salient features of PM Awas Yojana.
  • Giving localized examples of slums unknown to the evaluator e.g. Khadda Basti of Jaipur. Besides, you should avoid writing information that could disclose your identity. What if the evaluator has some anti-Rajasthan mentality!?
  • Poor logical structuring:
    • Candidates not bifurcated the economic and Human Development angles in two separate list.
    • Candidates forget steel, cement, construction jobs angle in the economic development. They only focus on health, education, aspirations of poor people.

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