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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 21 JUNE 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 21 JUNE 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)

REVISION TIMETABLE FOR PRELIMS – 2018 

Revision Tests


General Studies – 1


 

Topic – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1) Although the contact between the Macedonians and ancient Indians was for a brief period, its impact was fairly wide in range. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Greek invasion of northwest India and contact with the Indian civilization though short lived had a profound impact. The issue is important as far as UPSC mains exam is concerned and is indirectly related to GS 1 syllabus under the following heading-

Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Key demand of the question.

The question simply wants us to describe at length, the effect of Greek contact with India. We have to dig deep into the issue and describe how the Greek contact affected India’s economy, polity, society etc.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question- what was the impact of Greek contact with India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – briefly discuss the Alexander’s invasion of north-western India and (brief but with significant impact) extension of Macedonian empire.

Body

Discuss in points about the impact of contact between Macedonians and ancient Indians.

E.g  It brought Europe, for the first time, in close contact with India, as routes, by sea and by land, were opened between India and the West. A close commercial relation was also established, Greek writers  left many valuable geographical accounts of this region , it paved the way for political unification of north western India, Gandhara art school developed, making of coins, the date of Alexander’s invasion – 326 BC provides a definite ‘marker’ for arranging the sequence of historical events in India. Etc.

Name the Greeks who have left an account of the period e.g Arrian, admiral
Nearchus, and Megasthenes.

Conclusion– Form a balanced and concise opinion based on your discussion.

 


Topic– Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2)Discuss how plateaus are classified and also discuss their economic significance.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The question is related to GS-1 syllabus under the following heading –

Salient features of world’s physical geography.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to classify the plateaus of the world and also write in detail about their economic significance.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to provide the classification of plateaus and write in detail about the economic benefits they provide us or hold for us.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Give a brief definition of the term plateau and mention that plateaus cover about 18% of the earth’s surface.

Body-

  1. Present the classification of plateaus on the basis of their geographical location and structure of rocks- a) Intermontane Plateaus (b) Piedmont Plateaus (c) Continental Plateaus. Describe the each type, briefly along with examples. You can also draw a diagram for illustration purposes.
  2. Discuss in points, their economic significance.  E.g mineral storehouse, generation of hydel power, cool/ pleasant climate and tourism,  good for agriculture and livestock rearing, polar plateau- Antarctica- storehouse of ice, rich wildlife and biodiversity etc.

Conclusion– Form a fair and a concise conclusion on the overall importance of plateaus.


General Studies – 2


 

TopicFundamental Rights

3)What do you mean by negative and positive rights? Discuss the category in which fundamental rights provided by Indian constitution fall into?(250 words)

The hindu

Key demand of the question

The question is quite straightforward. It expects us to explain what fundamental rights are and assess whether the fundamental rights provided by Indian state fall into the category of negative or positive rights.

Directive word

Discuss – Post explaining what negative and positive rights are, we need to assess and categorise fundamental rights into the aforementioned categories by giving suitable reasons.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Start with the importance of fundamental rights and the kind of empowerment that fundamental rights in India does.

Body – explain what are positive and negative rights. Negative rights are limitations on the action of the state, the occurrence of which would have curbed the freedom that an individual/community enjoys. Positive rights are direct action by the state which improve the ability of the individual/community to live the life they desire.

Thereafter, assess the nature of fundamental rights and categorise them into negative and positive rights.

Conclusion – Mention that for true empowerment of India, both positive and negative rights are important and thus implementation of DPSP is as important as the protection of FRs.

 


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

4)SCO provides immense opportunities for India provided India understands the dynamics of the region and of individual nations of SCO. Critically analyze the statement in light of the recently held SCO summit.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

With the conclusion of the recent SCO summit, where India and Pakistan participated as full members for the first time, SCO has opened up several opportunities as well as certain risks to be mindful of. Analysing the impact that SCO would have on India’s overall role in central Asian region and relations with member nations of SCO is important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to analyze the opportunities that membership of SCO provides for India. However the question puts a rider that India has to understand the dynamics of Central Asian region and the member countries of SCO. We have to critically analyse this view, by providing arguments in favour of and against the given view. Finally we have to provide our 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 – Talk about the recent summit of SCO in Qingdao and the other geopolitical developments around the time which will have an impact on SCO and its members.

Body – Highlight the importance of SCO for India – focus on the advantages that India can gain in bilateral relations and in the larger Eurasian region. To critically analyze the view expressed in the question, we need to first analyze how understanding the dynamics of the region and of bilateral relations is important for gaining the maximum out of SCO. On the other hand, also point out that the opportunities for India groom SCO is going to be limited because of certain challenges – discuss the challenges. 

Conclusion – provide a fair and balanced viewpoint and way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


TopicIndian Economy – Issues

5) Assess the performance of GST regime so far and discuss challenges going forward?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

GST on 1st July will complete a year which makes it the opportune time to discuss about the impact that this taxation system had on our economy and on revenue collections. It is also time to reflect on the challenges posed and how to address them.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the impact of GST on economy and tax collections, the lessons that we should learn from our experience with GST so far and the ways in which we can address these challenges.

Directive word

Assess – The meaning of this word is similar to evaluate. Here we have to analyze the impact of GST.

Discuss – Here we have to discuss the challenges and way forward.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that GST is about to complete a year and the time is ripe for assessing impact and addressing challenges.

Body – Bring out the impact GST has had on tax collection, tax buoyancy, business and commerce, economy in general. Mention the challenges that still remain in smooth implementation of GST regime like poor IT infrastructure – issues with GSTIN, many provisions of GST not yet implemented, delayed refunds etc. Mention ways in which we can address these challenges.

Conclusion – Mention that GST is still in its nascent stage. We have seen what happens when GST is not implemented properly such as in Malaysia where it had to be reversed. Mention your view on its performance and way forward.


Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

 6) Offshore wind generation offers several benefits over onshore wind energy generation but there are many challenges involved. Discuss.(250 words) 

Economic times

Reference

Why this question

The central government has recently revealed its aim to build 30 GW of offshore wind energy. Offshore wind energy offers several benefits over onshore wind energy. But there are also several challenges involved in exploitation of such energy. The issue is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to describe the benefits of offshore wind energy generation in general and also vis a vis onshore wind energy generation. It also wants us to enlist and describe the challenges involved in harnessing offshore wind energy in India.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive. We have to write in detail about both the key demands of the question-  Opportunities i.e benefits as well as challenges involved in harnessing offshore wind energy.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention that India has a long coastline, high economic growth rate, high energy demand, increasing pollution which necessitates exploitation of all economically feasible renewable energy generation methods.

Body-

  1. Discuss in points the benefits of offshore wind energy generation over onshore wind energy generation. E.g more area available, lesser turbulence, less visual impact, more consistent and stronger winds, closeness to load centres, lower gestation period etc.
  2. Discuss in points the challenges involved. E.g lack of bathymetric data and wind resource maps, high initial costs, need for policy and regulatory support in the form of a dedicated mission on the lines of JNNSM etc.

Conclusion- Bring out a fair, concise and a balanced opinion on the overall scope of onshore wind energy generation in India.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic: Case Studies

7) In 2003, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) launched a new campaign, named “Holocaust on Your Plate,” that compares the slaughter of animals for human use to the murder of 6 million Jews in WWII. The campaign centers around the power of emotion, and Lisa Lange, the vice president of PETA communications, stated that “The idea for the effort came from the late Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer, who wrote: ‘In relation to them [animals], all people are Nazis; for them it is an eternal Treblinka’ — a death camp in Poland”

Is “Holocaust on Your Plate” ethically wrong or a truthful comparison? Critically Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The question forms a part of case studies portion/ aspect of GS 4 syllabus/ question paper.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the issue and analyze the ethical issues involved in it. We have to form a personal opinion on the issue based on our discussion.

Directive word

Critically Comment- We have to look at both the aspects of the act- Why it is right and why it is wrong. We have to argue in favour of both of them. Based on our discussion, we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that such ethical dilemmas are common in our world and sometimes we are enticed to go through any means to achieve something of value to us.

Body

  1. Discuss why the act is right- e.g it will achieve the noble end of protecting animal rights and life, save them from cruelty, motivate people more emotionally and better  etc.
  2. Discuss why the act is wrong- wrong means for right ends is not always justified, it makes the issue proportionately much more emotional thereby liable to exploit rather than guide human behaviour, sets a wrong precedent, etc.

Conclusion- Form a fair, concise and a balanced conclusion based on your discussion.



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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