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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 22 February 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 22 February 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)


General Studies – 1


 

TopicIndian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1) Buddhism remains a key anchor for Asian identity and a phenomenon of unprecedented Pan-Asian importance, especially in terms of spiritual connectivity among nations with enduring impact. With special reference to India, discuss the statement. (250 Words)

IDSA

Why this question?

This question can be asked in GS-2 as well. This question is very important due to PM’s ‘Buddhist Diplomacy’ and China’s growing fears about India’s usage of Buddhism in culture battle

Key demand of the question:

As it’s asked in GS-1, its key demand is how and why Buddhism remains a key anchor of Asian identity (in terms of Asian values and art)  and how India is trying to leverage its Buddhist legacy.  

Directive Word:

Discuss – You should discuss important dimensions – How Buddhism became Asian identity, why it remains so; India’s Buddhist connectivity despite it’s not being major religion here and how India is trying to use it its advantage (to counter China).  

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, you should highlight both cultural and diplomatic aspects of Buddhism, especially from India’s perspective. 

In the body, there should be TWO mains parts. In the first part, divide it into sub-parts to highlight how and why Buddhism is an Asias identity and phenomenon (focus on cultural aspects – art, spirituality, values etc). In the second part, divide into sub-parts to write about India’s Buddhist heritage and its use for India to wield its soft-power diplomacy in Asia. 

In the conclusion, write if Buddhist diplomacy will be advantageous for India or not. (you can draw many conclusions – From China perspective; ASEAN perspective etc)


General Studies – 2


 

 

Topic:    Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these; Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies 

2) Regulators do not exist in a vacuum outside government policy and while regulators have independence in performing their role, they still fall within the broad definition of the executive branch of the State, and are accountable to the legislature. Analyse. (250 Words)

PRS-India

Why this question?

This question is very important for Mains. As regulators and their role is constantly in news, parliament oversight on them is a pressing issue.  

Key demand of the question:

Though it’s in the statement form, its demand is straightforward – What is the role of Parliament with respect to Regulatory bodies? What are the ways to strengthen parliamentary oversight of regulators? What has the role of parliamentary Standing Committees been, in this respect? How is this goal achieved in other parliamentary democracies?

 

Directive Word:

Analyse:  Divide answer into 4 parts, and within each part examine each aspects again by categorising into sub-parts (for ex, in the first part, categories(sub-parts) can be – Questions hour, Finance committees etc). For every part, give an example from current affairs. Paper-2 answers must be strictly linked to current affairs. If you write only theoretical part – that too without facts, you will score less marks.

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction write about need for regulating regulators, that too by the parliament. Link it with important current affair.    

In the body, there should be Four Parts as discussed above (under Key Demand). Each part should have sub-parts. Write only important points. It’s a challenge to write such lengthy answers within 9-10 minutes, but you should practice such questions to be more comfortable in answering other questions.   

In the conclusion, write about importance of regulators for the Indian polity and economy, and how parliamentary oversight should not affect autonomy of regulators. 

 

Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora. 

3) Recent events around the world have fuelled xenophobic and anti-immigration sentiments. Analyse how recent immigration policy changes in the Middle East will impact migration and remittances with respect to India, and how India should cope up with reducing remittances and returning migrants. (250 Words)

The Hindu

Why this question?

As India is reeling under unemployment and at the same time is being affected by protectionist policies around the world. Especially, policies in the Middle East have direct bearing on the Indian economy and also on Indian diaspora.  

Key demand of the question:

Write about how reducing remittances and migration to the Middle East will affect Indian economy and Indian diaspora. Kerala example should be a case study within your answer. One part should deal with what kind of policy should India come up with to address this issue (in this part, you should use your imagination).

Directive Word:

Analyse: Divide answer into parts and within them examine implications (see below)

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, highlight how Kerala has been affected by reducing remittances and also write a line highlighting protectionist and anti-immigrant policies around the world and their implications on developing countries like India.

In the body, there should be TWO mains parts, and within them sub-parts.

In the first part, write about recent immigration policies in the West Asia and their impact on India.

In the second part, with categories, using your knowledge, examine what kind of policy India should formulate to compensate for the restricted flow of remittances that is expected in the near future.

In the conclusion, you may link India’s “Think West’ policy to this problem (or use your creativity to come up with though-provoking, interesting conclusion)

 

Topic:  Role of civil services in a democracy

4) Do we really need a Chief Secretary in today’s politico-administrative ambience in the States and Union Territories? Critically comment. (250 Words)

The Hindu

The Indian Express

The Hindu

Why this question?

This question is very important for Mains. It’s directly related to syllabus. Moreover, as you are aspiring to be either Chief Secretary/Cabinet Secretary in future, knowing in and out of this concept is very important. It’s in news as well (AAP vs CS in Delhi) 

Key demand of the question:

Question is indirectly asking you about the important role CS plays in administration. You may go to the extent of saying he is irrelevant, but DON’T take this stand. CS is very much needed. Justify your answer through various examples. 

Directive Word:

Critically Comment: You should give your opinion based on sound facts and concepts. Critically comment means you should mention why it’s argued CS is irrelevant and repudiate this argument. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, in the light of current event, highlight the central role CS plays and take a stand that he/she is very much relevant.

In the body, divide answer into points/or small paragraphs. In each paragraph, comment on the important role of CS is various aspects of administration (for ex human resource development in the civil services, guardian of civil servants etc).

You should also comment on political interference, transfers, court judgements in this regard and finally suggestions to preserve the sanctity of CS office. (If the directive is Comment, you should give suggestions)

In the conclusion, talk about larger role of civil services in democracy. 

(Use the third link to write your answer, it’s very useful).

 

Topic:  India and its neighborhood- relations

5) India is one of the few countries to have warm and mutually beneficial relations on all sides of the divide in West Asia including the Shia/Sunni split and the Iran/Israel rift. In the light of India’s “Think West” policy, analyse the statement. (250 Words)

IDSA

The Indian Express

Reference

Why this question?

It’s an evolving concept – “Think West” policy. UPSC is fond of South East and Middle East, so it’s an important topic for Mains – 2018. 

Key demand of the question:

In the light of recent engagements of India with Israel, Palestine and Iran, you should analyse how India has managed to balance its relations with nations that are in perpetual conflict in the region. 

Directive Word:

Analyse: Divide answer into parts and within them examine nature of India’s relationship with each country. In all parts, keep focus on India’s Think West approach and its outcomes. 

Structure of Answer:

In the introduction, write about India’s new diplomatic approach and its positive outcome. 

After the introduction, define Think West policy. 

In the body, in few parts, such as de-hyphenation (Israel-Palestine), Iran’s geopolitical importance and Israel’s strategic permanence etc, discuss how India has managed to strike a balance in the region. 

In the conclusion, write about imperative of maintaining the balance in the region. 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:   Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology; Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics

6) Future space exploration will be driven by private intentions, commitments and contracts. In this regard, for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) frugal engineering plays its part but it is not an end unto itself. Discuss. (250 Words)

The Wire

Why this question?

India’s space program is a favourite topic for UPSC. It’s an important question both of GS and Essay.   

Key demand of the question:

Discuss why India’s space program should not be frugal – especially when private players and entering the sector.    

Directive Word:

Discuss: Through various angles such as entry of private players, increase in international space competition/collaboration, discuss why India’s space  ambitions can not be met by being frugal. 

Structure of Answer:

In the intro, applaud ISRO’s frugal achievements, but write that to be world-class money is needed. 

In the body, there should be 3-4 parts (as mentioned above). Within each part, with example, discuss why frugality is not an end in itself. 

In the conclusion, write about huge potential of India’s space program for domestic and international purposes. 

 


General Studies – 4


Topic:  Ethics in Human Actions

7) You are aspiring to become an IAS officer and you have cleared various stages and now you have been selected for the personal interview. Night before the interview, you are having dinner with your wife in a restaurant. Next to your table, suddenly a group of goons headed by a son of local MLA starts beating an innocent person. They are hitting him hard with certain weapons and the person is pleading for help. Others in the restaurant either run away or witnessing the scene mutely. Your wife is scared and wants to move away from the place. At the same time few of the goons are scaring away other customers and staff there. One of them comes to you and warns you to not to talk about the incident anywhere.

What would you have done in such a situation? Justify your action. (250 W0rds)

CASE STUDY

Why this question?

Similar question was asked by UPSC in CSM-2017. We have modified based on a recent event in Bangalore. It’s important because society is divided between the rich and poor where rich think they have more privileges. This is also important as most of us witness injustices as mute spectators.  

Key demand of the question:

This tests your values such as courage and emotional intelligence. It also tests your decision making abilities. 

Directive Word:

Justify: You need to substantiate why you are going to take particular action in this situation. You may substantiate based on certain examples, laws, rules, cases also. 

Structure of Answer:

There should be a general introduction highlighting important facts and the ethical issues in the case. Also mention stakeholders. You should also highlight values tat are tested in this case. Write in paragraph. 
In the body, you should go on constructing your answer based on options available to you. Start from least best option (such as escaping from the scene) and write its merits and demerits in a paragraph. Then think of next best option and its merits and demerits. For each option go on saying why you won’t opt these options. Finally, in detail, justify which course of action you want to pursue. Here, give all justifications. Here, answer varies from individual to individual. But, ultimately your interest and the interest of the victim should be preserved. At the same time, criminals should be punished.  remember all stakeholders while writing your answer. Don’t focus excessively on yourself (remember wife too).
Again, there should be conclusion. Here, write about need for average citizens to stand against injustices and need for upholding rule of law in society. 

NOTE: 
We are giving hints for each question. Please use your creativity and originality to come up with answers that are unique to you. But do so without deviating from core demand of each question. Ultimately you should use your reason and judgement to write your own answer. 

 Let us know in comments section what do you think about this new change in Secure. Thank you. 

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