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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 14 MAY 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 14 MAY 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)

REVISION TIMETABLE FOR PRELIMS – 2018 

Revision Tests


General Studies – 1


TOPIC:  Role of women and women’s organization. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.


1) Temple movements in India have shifted focus from being caste based to gender based. Examine. (250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question makes an assertion that the focus of temple entry movements has shifted from ensuring non discrimination on the basis of caste to non discrimination on the basis of gender. This issue also gains importance in terms of the protests and court’s involvement required in Sabarimala etc. We have to first examine how the temple entry movements of early years were caste based and how they are placing greater emphasis on gender now.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. Here we have to probe deeper into the aims and objectives of the temple entry movement of past and present.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention about the various fault lines in Indian society which gets exacerbated when religion is introduced into the picture leading to demands for reforms.

Body

  • Examine the temple entry movements such as Aravipuram, Sikh Gurudwara reform movements etc and how caste was the dominant theme in those movements
  • Examine the recent demands for reforms in case of Sabarimala etc and how gender is also becoming a major issue
  • Examine whether caste is no longer relevant in temple reform movements now – talk about discrimination still persisting etc

Conclusion – Mention your view on the assertion made in the question based on your arguments above.

 


 

General Studies – 2


Topic – Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

2) Critically analyze whether India needs a modification in its nuclear doctrine to secure national interest?(250 words)

 Hindustantimes

Why this question

20 years post Pokhran II, and the prevailing geopolitical and geostrategic flux provides an opportune moment for India to analyze whether its current nuclear doctrine is best suited to secure India’s national security.

Key demand of the question

Following points needs to be covered in your answer

  • What is India’s nuclear doctrine
  • How the current doctrine helps India achieve India’s national security interests
  • How the current doctrine falls short
  • Expert opinion on modifications required in India’s nuclear doctrine
  • Your own view

Directive word

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. You need to conclude with  a fair judgement, after analyzing the nature of each component part and interrelationship between them.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the changes happening in geopolitical and geostrategic status quo which makes it prudent to revise our nuclear doctrine. Also mention that global disarmament is a distant dream and securing national interest is the priority.

Body

  • Discuss India’s nuclear doctrine, discuss India’s national interest and how the current doctrine helps in fulfilling it.
  • Discuss how the current doctrine falls short. Examine it from various angles such as as a deterrent, in line with foreign policy objectives , geopolitical status quo, technological advancement such as strategic nuckes etc
  • Discuss the changes that can be brought in
  • Summarise your arguments by providing your view

Conclusion – Highlight the need for constant review of India’s nuclear doctrine and the way forward.


Topic:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or
affecting India’s interests

 

3) In order to make Paris Climate deal successful, it is essential to create a fair and equity based rule book at the earnest. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Paris Climate deal is a historic agreement that aims to address climate change and global rise in ambient temperatures. The rule book under the Paris agreement, which will lay down the rules for operation of the agreement is to be finalised by this year end. The issue is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading-

Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to deliberate on the rule book under the Paris agreement, its significance, key issues involved and present our opinion on the need to finalise it by the year end.

Directive word

Comment- we have to present our opinion on the given issue and put behind a context and a body of arguments in its support.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Give a brief description of the meaning of rule book under Paris agreement and different subsidiary parties to be formed.

Body

Discuss in points various issues responsible for disagreement and slow progress.

e.g issues of Stocktake, accounting, finance, enhanced transparency framework, adaptation communications etc.

Opposition by developed countries to launch a process on deciding new quantitative goal for finance by 2025, to provide ex-ante biennial communication under Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement and to operationalise the Adaptation Conclusion- Mention the overall imperative of addressing Climate Change and global warming and need for the developing and developed countries to work together to frame a fair and equity based rule book under the Paris agreement.


Topic – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the
performance of these schemes

4) Mere construction of toilets to achieve ODF status will not lead to improvement in access to basic sanitation for Indians. Critically Examine.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Under the transformation of aspirational districts initiative, government is pushing for fulfillment of target of toilet construction under SBM. Whether or not this will help in achieving improvement in SDG targets etc needs to be analyzed in greater depth, now that 2019 is near. Status of toilet construction, other shortcomings in sanitation etc needs to be analyzed in greater depth.

Key demand of the question

Following points have to be incorporated in the answer

  • Details about SBM, the status of toilet construction and what it is trying to achieve
  • Examine why construction of toilets is not going to be sufficient – associated issues of maintenance etc, related issues of improving sanitation that includes solid and liquid waste management, clean water availability, behaviour change etc needs to be brought about
  • Also analyze the penchant of government to implement policies by a target based approach which shifts the focus away from the broader problem and instead makes us myopic in our vision
  • Discuss the way forward

Directive word

Critically examine –  When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss about the ODF target of the government under SBM and the current focus on achieving numbers prior to 2019 through transformation of aspirational districts initiative. Also mention what the government is trying to achieve – improvement in sanitation

Body

  • Mention how far India has come in construction of toilets – mention the benefits that will accrue through this step
  • Probe deeper to bring out the issues linked to improving sanitation that is being ignored – solid and liquid waste management, behavioural change etc.
  • Discuss why these issues are critical in improving India’s ranking in SDG and improving the sanitation situation in rural India
  • Discuss the shortcoming of adopting a target based policy approach
  • Summarise your arguments and present your point of view

Conclusion – highlight the need for broadening our outlook when it comes to questions of sanitation and discuss way forward.


General Studies – 3


TOPIC:Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5) Discuss the reasons behind farmer suicides in some of the agriculturally most productive regions of India like Punjab.(250 words)

EPW

Why this question

Farmer and farming distress is one of the burning issues for India, which witnesses one of the highest farmer suicide rates in the world. However, not only agriculturally impoverished states but also agriculturally productive ones like Punjab are grappling with the situation. The issue is related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading-

Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to highlight and explain the reasons behind farmer suicides in agriculturally productive regions of India.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in detail about the given issue- reasons behind farmers suicide in regions which are agriculturally very productive, like Punjab.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Give a brief description of farmer suicides in India, worst affected states, share of agriculture in GDP and employment etc.

Body– Discuss in points, about the probable causes of farm suicides in agriculturally prosperous  regions like Punjab and briefly elaborate each point.

e.g Low per capita land, financial intermediaries, high loan rates, high costs of production and labour, inability to pool up resources, need for hiring labor due to shortage of time, low agriculture products prices and low MSPS, decreasing water tables and increasing  costs of pumping water out, economic exploitation by dealers selling agriculture equipment, seeds, fertilizers etc.

Conclusion– Suggest some measures to ameliorate the situation. e.g Waiving off loan of small and marginal landholders, enhancing institutional credit, Zero Budget natural farming etc.

 


Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

6) Critically analyze the health and environmental effects of using water and air purifiers.(250 words)

EPW

 

Why this question

Air and water purifiers have become quite common and their demand has also been increasing across India. However, there are many issues associated with their usage, as they affect the health and environment. The issue is related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading-

Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to delve deeper into the issue and bring out the effects of using water and air purifiers- positive and negative, and then form an opinion on their efficacy and desirability.

Directive word

Critically analyze- We have to discuss the pros and cons of using water and air purifiers, and form an opinion on their use based on the discussion.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Mention the growing popularity of air and water purifiers and reasons behind that- growing pollution, growing population,  growing income, growing consciousness about pollution etc.

Body

  1. discuss the pros of using air and water purifiers.

    e.g air purifiers- recommended in highly polluted areas for children, asthma patients and patients suffering from some cardiovascular disease etc.

   water purifiers- recommend in areas where untreated water is supplied etc.

 

  1. discuss the cons of using water and  air purifiers.

   e.g air purifiers- no indicator for ensuring proper working of the equipment, outdoor pollution remains same and even aggravates, outdoor pollution can’t be avoided altogether etc.

   water purifiers- no indicator, wastage of water,  pollution of outdoor water, irrational use like in areas getting supply of treated water etc.

Conclusion- mention the lack of BIS standards and need to educate people about the usage of water and air purifiers, and the imperative to holistically address pollution at individual and collective levels.


Topic: Infrastructure: Energy

7)100% village electrification is a huge achievement but not sufficient to end India’s energy poverty. Discuss(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

100% village electrification is a huge milestone. India has been making rapid strides in the power sector with steps like UDAY, Saubhagya scheme etc. This historic milestone needs to be discussed in greater detail to appreciate how far we have come and how far we still have to go.

Key demand of the question

The question makes an assertion that despite 100% village electrification, the energy woes from India are not going to get over. Thus we have to first explain the significance of achieving 100% electrification and thereafter discuss the problems that still plague the energy sector in India. We should also discuss some way forward.

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss the huge challenge that was before India in connecting every village to the grid. Discuss Saubhagya scheme as a way out of this problem.

Body

  • Explain in detail the achievement of achieving 100% village electrification. How many villages have been connected and other such detail
  • Explain the benefits of the move in brief
    • Discuss the improvement in power he generation and distribution that made it possible
    • Etc
  • Explain the other issues that lead to India’s energy poverty – continuous supply of affordable electricity, cooking fuel etc – discuss how they contribute to energy poverty
  • Discuss why these problems persist, what needs to be done for resolving this problem

Conclusion – Emphasize that many more miles are yet to be covered and discuss way forward

 


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. 

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