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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 13 AUGUST 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 13 AUGUST 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)

 


General Studies – 2


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

1) Examine the reasons behind reduction in number of insured farms, agricultural area under the PMFBY.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

PMFBY is an important scheme of the govt of India, and an instrument of the goal to double the farmer’s income by 2022. The scheme offers huge scope of providing a comprehensive risk cover to farmers in India, which are faced with numerous uncertainties of nature, income and markets. It is important to know the reasons behind apparent/ real failure of the scheme.

Directive word

Examine- Here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out the reasons behind the decrease in the  agricultural land area and the no. of farms (which is correlated with the area covered) which is/ are insured under PMFBY.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Write a few lines about PMFBY and its importance and mention the decrease in no. of farms covered and hence agricultural land covered (30% covered against the target of covering 50 per cent of the gross cropped area by March 2019, under PMFBY.

Body-

  1. Discuss in points the possible reasons behind the poor performance of the scheme. E.g Discuss the concept of Crop Cutting Experiments and the issues involved in it- use of technology to save time and costs, as mandated, is not being implemented; private insurance companies influencing decisions of these experiments and reducing the compensation available to the farmers; States do not have manpower to conduct  the targeted CCEs, poor grievance redressal on part of insurance companies as mandatory under PMFBY; several states are not regular in paying their share of premium citing heavy financial load;  high cost of actuarial premium as it accounts for nearly one-third of the budget of the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare under the Union government- which is due to untimely notification by states for bidding by insurance companies and change in the fundamental structure of insurance business etc.

Conclusion- Stress upon the need to remove these anomalies and bring corresponding changes in the scheme in order to achieve the aim of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.


Topic– Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

2) Discuss the aim and the working of the CITES. Also discuss the criticism faced by the organization.(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

The international trade of animals and plants stands as one of the biggest threats to many endangered species worldwide. Illegal wildlife trade is approx. worth  USD 175 billion annually. India is unfortunately one of the biggest victims of wildlife trafficking. CITES is an important international institution working towards  and it is important to discuss its aim, structure, functioning as well as issues surrounding them.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the aim and the working of the CITES. Also  it wants us to discuss the criticism faced by the organization.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the nature of CITES and its aim- CITES  is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.  Today, it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN

Body-

  1. Discuss its working of the organization- CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species. The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need- Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances, Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival,  Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade.
  2. Discuss the criticism faced by CITES- e.g many of its member countries lack the strong governance needed to effectively enforce CITES restrictions; Treaty is often criticised for being open to influence by political or emotional motives; The “classic” approach to wildlife protection – law enforcement and protected areas – is holding back conservation in developing countries etc.

Conclusion- sum up your discussion by presenting CITES achievements and the form a balanced opinion on the overall importance and role of CITES.


Topic– Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

3) Despite people’s faith in the police becoming precarious, the pace of police reforms is dismal. Critically comment.(250 words)

EPW

Why this question

This article discusses the need for police reforms in India which has been repeated ad infinitum by several committees in India. Police is still governed by archaic pre independence laws and practices. The need for police reforms is huge, and this question helps you in preparing for it.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the need for police reforms in the country, a peek into the recommendations of committees as well as court’s regarding police reforms, and finally the way forward, along with emphasis on the need for police reforms.

Directive word

Critically 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. Critically comment is also forming opinion on main points but in the end you have to provide a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that while governance reforms has taken place in several departments to keep them in sync with the needs of the time, police is bereft of such reforms which has led to the clamouring for such reforms.

Body –

  • Explain the need for police reforms – role of police not in tune with the needs of the society, laws are from pre independence era which needs to be replaced, HR issues, administrative issues, lack of accountability, poor internal management systems etc . Discuss the need for police reforms as highlighted in the recent “Status of Policing Report” 2018
  • Give a peek into the history of police reforms by talking about the suggestions made in the past – By Soli Sorabjee committee, Julio Ribero committee, SC in Prakash Singh vs UoI and Niti Ayog.
  • Examine why such reforms have not been implemented so far and comment on the need for police reforms in the country

Conclusion – In the end, give way forward for implementation of police reforms.


General Studies – 3


Topic– Indian Economy – Issues

4) A plethora of regulations are already in use to combat fugitive economic crimes in India. Examine the legislative void that Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill is trying to fill and analyze its effectiveness?(250 words)

epw

Why this question

In recent years a lot of economic offenders have fled from the country and escaped the judicial system of the country. The investigative agencies rue the fact that the existing legislations are ill equipped to deal with the scenario where the offenders flee the country. The question is based on examining what kind of legislative void exists in the country and how FEOB will improve the situation.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss whether any legislative void exists  in the country. Thereafter, we need to discuss the provisions of the Bill and analyze how the Bill would help us in dealing with economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Moti.

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.

Directive word

Introduction – Highlight the background in which FEOB has been introduced in Parliament.

Body

  • Examine whether any legislative void exists in the country. Argue from both side of the debate and give a fair and balanced conclusion. Mention that the absence of offenders during investigations poses problems for the probing agencies, and discuss the deterrent effect that the legislation creates. On the other side, we can bring out that the implementation of existing laws PMLA etc can only serve the purpose as argued in EPW article
  • Bring out the main features of the Bill and what the Bill is trying to achieve – discuss the expected impact first which is expected to re-establish the rule of law as the accused will be forced to return to India and face trial for his offences. This would also help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders, improving the financial health of such institutions. Discuss how this is expected to be done.
  • Examine the Bill from constitutional, practical, legal perspectives and how the Bill would stand the test of time.

Conclusion – Give your view on whether the Bill would help in resolving the issue and what should be the way forward.


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

5) Several factors have contributed to the slow progress in India’s biodiesel development programme. Critically examine.(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Pib

Why this question

Biodiesel and ethanol are one the most important economically as well as technologically feasible alternatives to fossil fuel use in automobiles. India has not realized the potential in both these fronts. Here we have to concentrate on biodiesel. And it is important to discuss the reasons behind the slow progress in India’s biodiesel programme.

Directive word

Examine- Here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. Based on our discussion we have to form an opinion on the issue.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to dig deep into India’s BIOFUEL Programme and discuss what are the factors responsible for the slow progress in achieving the desired objectives of the Biodiesel part of the programme. Then we have to form an opinion on the question accordingly.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about India’s Biofuel policy, 2009 and it’s biodiesel component- its target/ mandate of 20% blending of ethanol and biodiesel etc. mention the failure to achieve the set targets.

Body-

Mention that In India, there is a vast potential for the production of biodiesel from Jatropha and the Indian Beech-Karanj, as they occur in plenty in forests and wastelands.Discuss in points the factors responsible for the slow progress of the biodiesel programme. E.g  an acute shortage of Jatropha seeds- due to very poor Jatropha seed yield; limited availability of wasteland and high plantation and maintenance costs rendering biodiesel projects unviable; Trial results with High Yielding Varieties (HYVs) of Jatropha for production of biodiesel have not been satisfactory; thus because of limited availability of biodiesel and the volatile nature of its prices, the speed of blending had suffered a setback; higher gestation period of biodiesel crops (3–5 years for Jatropha) results in a longer payback period and creates additional problems for farmers where state support is not readily available; sub-optimal processing and marketing infrastructure and under-developed distribution channels; several existing biodiesel plants shifted operations to adopt multiple feedstock technology; several existing biodiesel plants shifted operations to adopt multiple feedstock technology etc.

Conclusion– Bring out the importance of the success of biodiesel programme in terms of India’s primary reliance on diesel, for transportation and to achieve energy security and reduce energy imports. Write in few lines the way-forward.

 


Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “ Earth’s lithosphere and rocks”

6) Explain the three major groups of rocks along with their sub types which are found in Earth’s lithosphere?(250 words)

GC Leong – Ch2: Earth’s crust

Key demand of the question

The question is straightforward in its demand. It expects us to explain the major categories of rocks along with their subtypes. We need to explain the formation, origin, characteristics and subtypes of these rocks.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that earth is made up of different types of rocks, each different from the other.

Body – Explain the origin, formation and characteristics of Igneous rocks along with its subtypes – Plutonic and Volcanic; sedimentary rocks and its subtypes – mechanically, organically and chemically formed sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks. Give examples for each.


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

7) India is the world’s fastest growing domestic aviation market and regional connectivity is critical if this high growth is to be sustained. In this context, discuss the achievements of UDAN-RCS and the challenges lying in front of it.(250 words)

Yojana Magazine, July 2018 issue.

Reference

Why this question

UDAN Regional Connectivity Scheme has been quite successful in improving regional connectivity in India, which fares very poor compared to the metropolitan connectivity. It is therefore essential to underline the achievements of the scheme as well as the challenges faced by it.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the achievements of the UDAN-RCS and what are the challenges lying ahead of it.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few lines about the concentration of most of the air-traffic in India at metropolitan airports and write a few lines about the UDAN-RCS- e.g launched in 2017; its aim is to “enhance regional connectivity through fiscal support and infrastructure development” etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss the achievements of the scheme. E.g After two rounds of UDAN bidding, routes from following Airports/ Heliports awarded ; • Unserved Airports 56 • Underserved Airports 17 • Heliports 31 ; Till date RCS operations from 30 Airports have been commenced etc.
  2. Discuss the challenges lying ahead. E.g Not all the underserved and unserved airports which were envisaged to become operational have been revived; all the routes for which Airlines had placed their bids have not been started and there is operationally no helicopter service yet; some of the airlines which have participated in the bidding under the  scheme have little previous experience or short on funding and seem to be struggling with the economics and logistics of offering connectivity from remote locations; new number of occupied seats on some routes along with high cancellation rates; till now there has been no scheduled helicopter services anywhere in the country so norms have to be laid down from scratch; soaring oil prices and only a three-year window of viability gap funding available to operators etc.

Conclusion– sum up your discussion in a few lines and 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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