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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 04 JULY 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 04 JULY 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)

REVISION TIMETABLE FOR PRELIMS – 2018 

Revision Tests


General Studies – 1


Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “Powers of president”

1) Discuss the control that president can exercise on the executive by virtue of his/her discretionary powers?(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to describe the discretionary powers of the president and how through these powers the president becomes more than just a nominal head.

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. Here we have to debate the discretionary powers of the president as to whether or not they are required in a West Ministerial system.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – You can start by mentioning some of the terms used to describe the president – nominal head, titular head, ceremonial post etc.

Body – Examine the powers of the president. Discuss his discretionary powers and how through his discretionary powers he does indeed hold a position more than being just a ceremonial head. You can mention the relevant constitutional provisions as well. Thereafter debate whether it is desirable in a prime ministerial form of government for the president to have a say. Mention both sides of the debate.

Conclusion – Mention that despite BR Ambedkar opining that president is merely a ceremonial head, he can through his discretionary powers wield at least moral authority over the government.


General Studies – 2


TopicStructure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.

2) Better listing of cases can improve the quality and efficiency of the functioning of the courts in India. Critically analyze. (250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question

Indian judiciary forms a vital, dynamic institution in Indian society. However, despite its successes  (particularly the role of SC in upholding democracy and constitutional values), Indian courts have a staggeringly high case pendency ratios.  This is turn is a result of many ills affecting Indian judiciary. The issue is related to GS-2 syllabus under the following heading

Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the process of listing of cases, how they affect justice delivery; and bring out the amendments that can be made therein in order to improve the quality and efficiency of functioning of the courts.

Directive word

Critically analyze- we have to dig deep into the issue and discuss all the relevant and important aspects of the question in terms of the key demand of the question. We have to connect those aspects and at the end come with a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that for decades, the primary measure of court efficiency has been case disposal rates. Mention the number of pending cases in SC, HC, Lower courts.

Body-

  • Bring out how case listing impacts justice delivery. E.g erratic pattern, cases at the day end left, disinterest in older cases,  etc.
  • Discuss how case listing can be improved. E.g more systematic, distributed according to case type and stage, priority to older cases etc.

Conclusion– form a fair and balanced conclusion in 2-3 lines. Mention other factors affecting justice delivery- appointments, vacancy, corruption etc.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3) Although HECI will bring substantial reforms in education sector, it fails to address several problems affecting higher education in India. Critically analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

pib

Why this question

HECI has been recently proposed by the central government as a body which will replace UGC. It will have significant impact on higher education in India. But there are several issues in the body itself as well as unrelated to it, which need attention. The issue is related to GS- 2 syllabus under the following heading –

Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out  how HECI will bring reform in education sector, what are the issues that are still left or arising out of HECI itself. Finally, we have to express our personal opinion on the issue.

Directive word

Critically analyze- Here we have to dig deep into the issue and address the key demands of the question individually, while maintaining a synergy between them. Based on our discussion, we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – write a few lines about HECI replacing UGC.

Body-

  • Discuss how HECI will reform higher education. E.g segregation of regulatory functions and power of grants, expanded powers in terms of closing down institutes, transparent public disclosures, merit-based decision making on matters regarding standards and quality in higher education, mentoring etc.
  • Discuss the issues arising out of HECI. e.g While the proposed Bill seeks to empower the HECI with all academic functions, its role vis-à-vis professional bodies is unclear; whether depriving the HECI completely of funding functions will affect its efficacy and stature in discharging its onerous responsibility remains a major question; HECI as an overarching regulator vs its aim to  develop mechanisms so that more institutions are encouraged to move out of its regulatory ambit ; multiplicity of roles of the chairperson etc.

Conclusion- mention the other challenges in the path of reforming higher education like allocation of resources etc. Form a fair and balanced opinion on the issue.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic– Indian Economy – Issues

4)Examine why disinvestment is necessary? Analyze whether there is a need to relook at the policy of disinvestment?(250 words)

Financial express

Reference

Why this question

Disinvestment, especially after the attempt at strategic sale of Air Asia, is in news often and quite important for mains.

Key demand of the question

The question is basically a static question, where the points mentioned in the article can be incorporated to embellish your answer. We need to examine the need of disinvestment, discuss the macro features of the policy of disinvestment and analyze in light of examples highlighted in the article, whether there is a need to have a relook at it.

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.

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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that the recent attempt at air India sale, and the hesitant approach in case of IDBI etc shows the reticence of government towards disinvestment.

Body

  • Mention the benefits of disinvestment
  • role of the government versus the market was sought to be redefined
  • loss-making public enterprises were sought to be revived
  • Inability of the government to be present in all function and no necessity of it as well. etc
  • discuss the policy of disinvestment
  • Public Sector Undertakings are the wealth of the Nation and to ensure this wealth rests in the hands of the people, promote public ownership of CPSE
  • While pursuing disinvestment through minority stake sale in listed CPSEs, the Government will retain majority shareholding, i.e. at least 51 per cent of the shareholding and management control of the Public Sector Undertakings
  • Strategic disinvestment by way of sale of substantial portion of Government shareholding in identified CPSEs upto 50 per cent or more, alongwith transfer of management control
  • Examine whether this has yielded results. Highlight that public sector is wary of government partnership, objectives of LPG to be met etc. Also discuss why there is a need to remain cautious with respect to disinvestment.

Conclusion – Discuss what should be the way forward.

 


Topic – Conservation and Environmental degradation

5) Critically analyze whether the practice of compensatory afforestation under CAMPA is ecologically sound?(250 words)

Indian express

 

Why this question

The article highlights a problem inherent in CAMPA where the value of natural forests is unrecognised and compensatory afforestation is deemed equivalent to recreating forest land. This article will help us in critical analysis of CAMPA.

Key demand of the question

The focus here is on understanding whether the provisions of CAMPA serves well the very purpose it is designed to achieve which is ecological conservation. We have to highlight the merits and demerits of the act and a fair and balanced view on it.

Directive word

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the growing threat of climate change and the risk India is under as pointed out by a recent WB report.

Body – Describe the main provisions of the Act like it ensures expeditious  and transparent utilization of amounts realised in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose. Examine the main ecological issues that the design and implementation of the act creates. Examine the role of the implementation agency as highlighted in the article. Thereafter, mention the need of an Act like CAMPA because of the  developmental imperative. Discuss how can we improve the situation.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view on how far CAMPA helps in protecting the ecology. Mention that the challenge lies more in implementation than the design.


General Studies – 4


TopicPublic/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance.

6)A dilemma is more demanding than a problem and it comes with a prescription to argue, not act. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

 


Why this question

Ethics, particularly the practical aspect of it, more or less revolves around dilemmas of various sorts. However the concept is often confused with “problem”, which has a very different meaning altogether. This is one of the basic concepts in ethics and is related to GS-4 syllabus under the following heading- Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to explain and bring out the difference between a problem and a dilemma and explain how dilemma is more wider and demanding than a problem.

Directive word

comment- we have to take the stand on the given statement and then present justifications in favour of our opinion in the answer.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– define what is a problem

Body-

  • define a dilemma
  • discuss its meaning in relation to a problem-  e.g two possible alternatives none of which is more  desirable than the other,caught on the horns of a dilemma, sacrifice of one alternative in favour of another, more inclined to argue rather than act as taking decision is more protracted and difficult etc.
  • Discuss how to solve a dilemma- i.e  the terms of reference should be altered and the whole situation is reformulated and redefined so that full account is taken and due respect paid to the warring value options, which are then ordered and linked among themselves in a more systematic and coherent manner.

Conclusion- present your conclusion of the above discussion in relation to the demand of the question.


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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