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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 10 JULY 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 10 JULY 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)

REVISION TIMETABLE FOR PRELIMS – 2018 

Revision Tests


General Studies – 1


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

1)The distinctive features of its culture and its uniqueness are the precious possession of the Indian society. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question

India is a unique country with a rich ancient history and with one of the oldest yet dynamic culture. It has a distinct identity and although diverse in all respects, there is an underlying unity in Indian culture.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the uniqueness of Indian culture and its salient characteristics. Here we have to be as exhaustive as possible while confining ourselves to the given word limit.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates to write at length about the key demand of the question- salient characteristics and uniqueness of Indian culture.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the prehistoric origin of Indian civilization and the diversity of our culture in all forms ranging from dance to literature, architecture to philosophy etc.

Body– Mention that in spite of all these differences and diversity, Indian culture as a whole has some unique and salient characteristics. Discuss in points, about the uniqueness and salient features of our culture. E.g

  • Continuity and Change
  • Variety and unity
  • Secularism
  • Universalism
  • Materialistic as well as spiritualistic etc.

Discuss each point in detail and discuss how each aspect is highlighted in our culture. Take the help of the article attached to the question to frame your answer.

 


Topic-Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

2)Although cyclones bring sheer devastation, they also bring several benefits with them. Comment, in the context of India.(250 words)

Why this question

India is highly vulnerable to several kinds of natural disasters and cyclone is one of them. It is essential to know about the vulnerability of India to cyclones, their negative effects as well as positive effects, if any.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding of the vulnerability of India to cyclones, and the positive as well as negative effects of cyclones.

Directive word

Comment- here we have to form an opinion on the issue – impact of cyclones in India and whether cyclones have any positive effects along with the apparent negative effects it brings.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Define what is a cyclone and their types- tropical vs temperate cyclones.

Body

  1. Mention that India is highly vulnerable to tropical cyclones, present the picture of Indian coastline and vulnerable areas(3 coastal states/UTs encompassing 84 coastal districts)  in the country; months of the year when cyclones usually hit the Indian coast etc.
  2. Discuss the negative effects of cyclones. E.g strong winds and associated loss of life and property; torrential rainfall and flooding; storm surge and its effects on the low-lying coastal areas etc.
  3. Discuss the positive effects of cyclones. E.g relief in drought conditions; Carry heat and energy away from the tropics and transport it towards temperate latitudes, thus helps to maintain equilibrium in the Earth’s troposphere ; maintaining a relatively stable and warm temperature worldwide etc.

Conclusion– discuss in 2-3 lines about India’s efforts in dealing with the cyclones- National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP).


General Studies – 2


Topic: Part of static series under the heading – “ Comparison of the powers of president with the respective powers of the Governor “

3)Both President and the Governor are the nominal heads in centre and state respectively, yet, their powers differ a lot. Discuss. (250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss that despite the fact that the constitution has cast both the president and the governor in the role of nominal head of the centre and state executive respectively, their powers differ significantly from each other. We have to bring out how their powers differ as well as how they are similar.

Directive word

Discuss – Here you have to compare and contrast the powers of the governor and president in your discussion.

Structure of the answer

  • Discuss the role that constitution envisages the governor and president to play.
  • Discuss their powers and how their are similar to each other – veto power, clemency power, ordinance power, discretionary power etc
  • Discuss how their powers differ from each other in above respect

Conclusion – Mention the overall sense of the role that these two constitutional authorities have to play and whether president exercises control over the governor.

 


Topic-mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

4)Despite the protection granted by RpWD Act, the status of the differently abled with respect to reservation remains dicey. Examine.(250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question

The article talks about the status of reservation for disabled persons and how the mandate of RPwD Act is being flouted. The question is important as RPwD Act was a key legislation expected to drastically improve the rights enjoyed by the differently abled.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the provisions of RPwD Act with respect to reservations. Thereafter we have to examine the status two years hence. We also need to write corrective actions.

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 the recent findings wrt reservation for the  disabled which raisedls issues over the performance of RpWD Act.

Body – Mention the aims and objectives of RpWD Act. Discuss the key provisions which secure rights of persons with disabilities. Discuss why is it, that despite such an act the status of reservation for differently abled remains dicey. Examine what precautions and steps should be taken to ensure that persons with disabilities get what is rightfully theirs by virtue of RpWD Act.

Conclusion – Mention that disabled form a very vulnerable section of the society, the government is giving extra attention to their empowerment which makes it necessary to ensure that RPwD Act functions effectively.


Topic:Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

5) The optimal policy response to  a structural surplus cannot be higher procurement prices. Critically examine the statement in the light of the increasing MSPs for farm products.(250 words)

Livemint

Indian express

Why this question

Agriculture remains a critical employment and  livelihood source for around half of the Indian population. Getting a decent profit out of agricultural activities is essential to ensure sustainability of this critical sector. In this direction, the govt announces MSPs for several agricultural products. However, this does not simply translate into immediate or long term gains for the agricultural economy and has many negative ramifications as well.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into issue underlying the question and discuss why there is a structural surplus in agricultural production and why higher MSPs will not help in solving the problem to the desired extent. Based on our discussion we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Directive word

Critically analyze- here we have to form an opinion on the issue after discussing the reasons behind the structural surplus in agriculture and the implications of providing higher MSPs for agricultural products.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – write a few lines about the state of Indian agriculture today where periods of abundance are followed by short periods of low production. Mention the emerging agricultural surplus state of our economy etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss why there is agricultural surplus. E.g improved seed varieties, faster diffusion of technology, low per capita land availability, better roads, electricity, irrigation and communication infrastructure etc.
  2. Discuss the implications of higher MSPs vis a vis its limitations and negative effects. E.g they provide incentive to grow more of a particular crop whereas in present times there is already agricultural surplus; limited procurement capacity of FCI; MSPs don’t guarantee procurement; spillover to generalized inflation which in turn will hurt the rural and agricultural economy etc.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced opinion on the issue in the form of a way forward. E.g allowing agro trading companies to buy more in the Indian market, fixing procurement caps above which no procurement will be guaranteed and upto which the whole produce will be procure; building the capacity of RBI monetary policy committee  to target inflation etc.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic– Indian agriculture – issues

6) A recent OECD and ICRIER research has highlighted that despite higher positive inputs in comparison to global averages, Indian farmers have negative PSE. Critically examine whether focussing on e-NAM would bring a change in PSE of Indian farmers?(250 words)

Financial express

 

Why this question

The article talks about an important research report which highlights that despite higher than average government support, those inputs are not getting transformed into corresponding income gain for the farmers. This calls for a paradigm shift in the way agriculture support is thought of and implemented. This question is thus important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the findings of the report, examine the causes behind the lack of translation of government support into positive PSE. Thereafter we need to discuss whether promotion of e-NAM would bring about the desired impact, or whether we need simultaneous focus on different aspects to improve farmers situation.

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. Here in the bad part, we have to write how focussing on e-NAM alone would not alleviate the issues, but an amalgamation of steps are required to bring about lasting change.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that a sizeable chunk of Indian LFPR finds employment in agriculture , which necessitates keen focus on how effective the government interventions have been.

Body

  • Discuss the findings of the report that says that despite positive input support, farmers output price realisation lags behind peer economies.
  • Examine what might be the reasons. Highlight the shortcomings of governmental intervention through MSP and how it is unable to improve farmers situation across a variety of regions and crops. Discuss other support like fertilizer subsidy, insurance support, export policy etc and why they are not translating into desired outcomes.
  • Discuss whether the shortcomings of APMC is one of the key reasons why farmers are not enjoying positive PSE. Examine whether success of e-NAM would ensure that farmers start enjoying apt price for their produce.
  • Discuss how focussing on e-NAM alone would not be sufficient and requires a comprehensive approach as suggested by Shanta Kumar Committee, Niti Ayog report on smart agriculture etc

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view on what should be the way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic :Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7)You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Key demand of the question

The question wants to check our analytical skills and come up with an opinion on the issue- whether a person reveals himself more in a play than in a conversation; why/ why not.

Directive word

Introduction– write a few lines about the behaviour of a person and what are the important factors deciding a particular behaviour/ disposition.

Body- Discuss how a person will reveal himself more during a playful event rather than during a planned/ unplanned conversation. Try to brainstorm and find the reasons behind such behaviour. E.g less control over behaviour during a play; competitive nature of the play which brings out the true character of the participants; broad set of behaviours involved during a play than during a conversation; higher consciousness and a relaxed atmosphere during conversation which favours more control over one’s behaviour etc. These examples are just for guidance purposes and it is advised to refer the articles attached to the question, and other relevant material, to frame your answer. The purpose of the question is to build your analytical capabilities, which should be the prime concern while answering this question. If you can relate the quote to static portion of ethics- behaviour, determinants of ethics; emotional intelligence; attitude etc then the purpose of the question will be well served.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.

 


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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