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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 30 MAY 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 30 MAY 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)

REVISION TIMETABLE FOR PRELIMS – 2018 

Revision Tests


General Studies – 1


TOPIC: Political philosophies like communism, Capitalism, socialism etc, their forms and
effect on the society.

1) Socialism is like a hat that has lost its shape because everyone wears it. Evaluate in context of the various forms of socialism in practice during 19th and 20th century. (250 words) 

 

Key demand of the question

The question makes an assertion that socialism has lost its meaning because of the various forms of socialism in practice. We have to examine the various schools of socialism, their similarities and differences and whether socialism still conveys some essential meaning or whether it is just a meta ideology.

Directive word

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight what the statement tries to convey before going into its evaluation

Body

  • Bring out the contrasts in the various forms of socialism in practice over the ages – revolutionary socialism as advocated by Mao, Marx, Lenin; Fabian socialism; Syndicate socialism etc
  • Examine whether their end objectives and their methods had some semblance of similarity.
  • Examine whether our understanding of socialism has reached some ground and what it means to us today

Conclusion – Highlight that till the time inequality exists in society, socialism will be relevant.


Topic:Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

2)Discuss the problems faced by women prisoners in India. Do you think they should be given more compassionate treatment than the male prisoners.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Women related issues are very important from the exam as well as humanitarian point of view. The issue was recently highlighted by a report of 46 children being in jail for no fault of theirs. The issue is related to GS 1 syllabus under the following heading-

Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

key demand of the question.

The question wants us to simply highlight the problems faced by women prisoners in India. It then wants us to present our opinion on the issue- whether they should be given more compassionate treatment than the male prisoners. We have to justify our opinion.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in detail about all the issues faced by women prisoners in India.

Do you think- It demands our opinion on the issue along with necessary justifications.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– mention the data about women prisoners in India. E.g India’s women prisoner population has ballooned 61% over the past 15 years, far outstripping the male growth rate of 33%.

Body-

  • Discuss the problems faced by women prisoners in India.

E.g overcrowding and lack of separate jails, lack of hygiene, healthcare, psychological help, majority are women who have been subjected to some crime earlier, petty offences dominate, lack of support for their children, shortage of women wardens, superintendents, assistant superintendents, doctors, and counsellors,  sexual and physical violence etc.

  1. Discuss in points why or why not women should be given more compassionate treatment than their counterparts. It would be easy to gather points if you agree with the idea and that seems logical and compassionate also.

Conclusion– Form a concise, fair and a balanced opinion, such that the law is also respected but the dignity and the rights of the women prisoners are also upheld.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:Separation of powers between various organs, dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions

3) Some of the issues faced by Indian judiciary today, are in fact, recurring problems left unaddressed for decades. Examine.(250 words)

The hindu

Reference

 

Why this question

Indian judiciary has been going through turbulent waters with a range of issues questioning its credibility and foundation. These issues, though apparently new are a result of some systemic deficiencies which have been left unaddressed for decades. The issue is related to the GS-2  syllabus under the following heading-

Separation of powers between various organs, dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the question, identify the important issues faced by Indian judiciary today and then examine them. We have to find necessary justification in the form of arguments and facts, to establish that some of the issues faced by Indian judiciary today, are in fact, recurring problems left unaddressed for decades.

Directive word

Examine- we have to dig deep into the issue and find out how the present issues faced by Indian judiciary are not new but recurring problems.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Identify and mention those issues which you think are faced by Indian judiciary today and have been existing there for decades. E.g appointments in judiciary ( rejection by the government of the collegium’s recommendation of K.M. Joseph), mechanism to deal with allegations of corruption in the higher judiciary ( recent CJI controversy), CJI’s  position as the master of the roster etc.

Body- Discuss in points how these problems have been existed there for decades. Take help of the articles attached to frame your answer. Discuss the issues individually and be  exhaustive and concise at the same time.

E.g appointments in judiciary- Discuss the logic of the makers of constitution in making such an arrangement of appointment, then discuss first judges case and how it was misused to get it replaced by a less desirable collegium system, which has its own flaws.

Similarly frame your answer for other two issues.

Conclusion– Form a concise, fair and balanced opinion on the issue and suggest a way-forward.

 


TopicIndia and its neighborhood- relations.

 

4) China’s actions threaten the fragile Himalayan ecosystem and makes it imperative for India to act. Examine.(250 words)

 

Why this question

Himalayan ecosystem is sensitive, and Tibetan plateau is rich in natural resources ranging from minerals to water etc which is being exploited by China. This raises several concerns for India and becomes an issue that is necessary to be dealt with in the context of their bilateral relations.

Key demand of the question

Following points are to be incorporated in your answer

  • How does Chinese actions in Tibet threatens Himalayan ecosystem
  • How does Chinese inaction threaten Himalayan ecosystem
  • What has India done to deal with this threat
  • Other steps that must be taken by India

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 .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that the Chinese unilateralism in its dealings with countries in its neighbourhood causes huge issues – building islands in SCS, dams in Tibet etc

Body

  • Examine Chinese actions in Tibet which threaten the Himalayan ecosystem like building of dams, overdrive to appropriate natural resources in Tibet etc
  • Examine Chinese inactions which are leading to problems – nom sharing of water data, no intention of signing a water treaty etc
  • Examine the challenges it poses for India and its neighbourhood
  • Examine India’s past responses to this situation – registered protest in building of a dam etc
  • Steps that India should take to deal with this challenge

Conclusion – highlight that off late there have been signs of rapprochement between the two countries courtesy Wuhan etc and India should ensure that it’s strategic and environmental interests are respected by China.

 


General Studies – 3


TopicScience and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

5) Zoonotic diseases will prove to be a big health risk going forward and India must gear itself to deal with this challenge. Examine (250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

Diseases like Zika, Nipah etc have huge health costs. Off late, Bill Gates has predicted that we are very near the next epidemic. The health infrastructure in India, already quite shabby, would bend it’s back in trying to deal with situations like these. Hence, understanding the threats of zoonotic diseases and steps to deal with them is critical.

 

Key demand of the question

Following points are to be brought out in your answer

  • What are zoonotic diseases
  • How they are a huge health risk – apart from the obvious fact that they can lead to loss of significant no of lives, what other factors exacerbates the risk
  • How India deals with these diseases and the changes required

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 . In the above case, discuss points as highlighted above.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – explain zoonotic diseases along with some current examples to establish the scare on account of zoonotic diseases.

Body

  • How they are a huge health risk – apart from the obvious fact that they can lead to loss of significant no of lives, what other factors exacerbates the risk. Explain points like ecosystem changes brought about, no vaccination etc
  • How we deal with such diseases , highlight our experience in dealing with Zika scare and now Nipah scare.
  • Examine how can we improve our handling of these diseases – virology centres, border screening, awareness etc

Conclusion – Mention that it is important to take proactive action, rather than reactive in this case as the health cost of an outbreak will be immense.

 

 


General Studies – 4


Topic:Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6) “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Courage is an important component determining the behaviour of  a person. It has a bearing on other virtues/ values and their expression.  The issue is related to GS-4 syllabus under the following heading-

Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to present our opinion and understanding on the importance of courage as a value and how it occupies a prominent place such that its presence or absence determines the presence/ absence of expression of other values.

Directive word

Comment- we have to form our opinion in favour or against the quotation and present necessary material accordingly. We have to provide necessary arguments along with our answer.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– mention the overall importance of courage in the life of a person. Or better if you can weave some story or situation which corroborates or negates the given quote.

Body-

Although the quotation is from Winston Churchill but it can be explained well by analysing and discussing Aristotle’s and other philosophers’ views on courage. Take the help of the articles attached with the question and use other sources to frame your answer.

Conclusion– Bring out a fair and balanced opinion on the importance and role of courage as a value.

 

 


Topic– lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators

7) “Our republic and its press will rise and fall together”. (J Pulitzer) Comment.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

Cobrapost sting has captured the imagination of the entire nation and lowered the image of media which was already down in the dumps. This calls into question the grave issue of ethics in media and why media’s role in crucial in sustenance of republic and democracy.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to present our view on the interrelationship between an ethical media and a thriving republic. It expects us to bring out the values which are to be upheld by media and how those values translate into a strong republic. We are also expected to bring out how those values are crumbling today which is also affecting the harmony in our nation and society.

Directive word

Comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences. These types of question offer you a chance to consolidate your reading of different subjects to justify your opinion.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention the Cobrapost scandal and the debates that it raises. Highlight that Pulitzer, the trailblazer of journalism, would have been ashamed.

Body

  • Explain the values which in your opinion is what media has to uphold. Like freedom of speech, asking questions, parliament of the people etc
  • Relate those values to how they would help in strengthening the republic. This should be the main part of your answer
  • Examine how the media has performed so far and the effects it has had on the nation and the society
  • Present your view

Conclusion – Stress on the importance of media for a democracy and suggest reforms like the findings of Leveson committee etc

 



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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