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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 23 AUGUST 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 23 AUGUST 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)


General Studies – 2


Topic–  Issues relating to development and  management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

1) What do you understand by hemoglobinopathies. Discuss. Also, discuss the objectives and the recommendations of the draft policy for Prevention and Control of Hemoglobinopathies.(250 words)

The hindu

Reference

Why this question

The centre has recently released the draft policy for Prevention and Control of Hemoglobinopathies. It is therefore necessary to know what are hemoglobinopathies and what are the objectives and the strategy of the draft policy.

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 meaning and significance of hemoglobinopathies. It also wants us to write in detail about the objectives of the recently mooted draft policy for Prevention and Control of Hemoglobinopathies as well as the strategy recommended by it.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Define hemoglobinopathies- e.g A genetic defect that results in abnormal structure of one of the globin chains of the hemoglobin molecule. Thalassemia major, sickle cell disease and Hb E are the three most important clinical syndromes among hemoglobinopathies in India. They impose a heavy burden on the affected families and the health sector.

Body

  • Write a few more lines about hemoglobinopathies. E.g The severity of these disorders manifests in children of ‘healthy’ carrier couples which makes their prevention and support for management an issue of public health importance. They require lifelong blood transfusions and iron chelation treatment, with monitoring and management of disease complications. Presently, the only cure available for thalassemia major is bone marrow transplantation(BMT), which is possible in only a few patients, mainly because of non-availability of a suitable HLA matched donor.
  • Discuss the objectives of the draft policy. E.g Provide affordable and quality care for all patients with Thalassemia major and Sickle Cell Disease;  Reduce the prevalence of hemoglobinopathies.
  • DIscuss the strategy envisaged (recommendations). E.g compulsory genetic screening of all pregnant women along with putting in place advanced facilities for comprehensive care of such patients;  provision of medicines, including iron chelating agents, leukocyte filters and infusion pumps free of cost to the poor patients; waiver of GST and custom duties to reduce cost of treatment for the affected families; creating awareness of these disorders in the community for better acceptance of carrier screening etc.

Conclusion– sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.


Topic–  Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

2) SFCs have not been provided with the necessary environment to play their rightful role in Indian fiscal federalism. Comment.(250 words) 

The hindu

Why this question

While Union Finance Commissions (UFC) have been regularly constituted and their reports have influenced Indian federalism, State Finance Commissions (SFCs) have not been given due attention. It is important to discuss the problems faced by them which have resulted in suppressing their role in the Indian fiscal federalism.

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our opinion as to how SFCs have not been provided with the necessary environment to play their rightful role in Indian fiscal federalism. We have to substantiate our point with proper facts and arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few lines about the SFCs. e.g The State Finance Commission (SFC) is a unique institution created by the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments (CAs) to rationalise and systematise State/sub-State-level fiscal relations in India. Its primary task is to rectify growing horizontal imbalances in the delivery of essential public services to citizens. But there has been inadequate appreciation of the significance of this institution.

Body

  • Discuss the role of SFCs.
  • Discuss how have not been provided with the necessary environment. E.g mention article 243I; Till date, only Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have submitted their fifth SFC reports. Many States are yet to cross the third SFC stage; The seriousness, regularity, acceptance of recommendations and their implementation which characterise the Union Finance Commissions (UFCs) are conspicuously absent when it comes to SFCs; overwhelming presence of serving and/or retired bureaucrats in SFCs; local governments with no proper budgetary system are in deep disarray and, because of that, SFCs face a crucial problem of reliable data etc.

Conclusion- Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic– Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

3) In light of the strategic status quo in South Asia, there is a growing need to revise India’s nuclear doctrine. Analyze. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

Various experts have called for a revision of India’s nuclear policy which they claim is not in accordance with the strategic realities of the times. The article discusses this issue in much depth by comparing the nuclear posturing of the three nuclear powers in Asia, the changes made by them in td suggests reforms. Hence this is important for mains.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain India’s nuclear policy, examine the issues in it, compare it to the policy of the nuclear powers in our neighborhood and discuss the challenges it poses for strategic security of India. In such questions where criticism of current policy is mentioned, it is always better to suggest alternatives or reforms.

Directive word

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 – Explain what India’s nuclear doctrine is

Body

  • Highlight the issues in India’s nuclear doctrine – issues with the wording of minimum credible deterrence, debate over NFU in light of nuclear doctrines of Pak and China etc
  • Highlight the changes made in nuclear doctrine of Pak and China and the likely impact that it could have for strategic security of India.
  • Also highlight why a toughened nuclear doctrine would make India lose the moral high ground even more when it comes to the aim of denuclearization.
  • Discuss alternatives to the current doctrine – a doctrines which incorporates the threat of strategic nukes, examine the alternatives suggested in the article

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view on the nature of changes (if any) are required in our nuclear doctrine and the way forward.

 


Topic–  Challenges to internal security through communication networks

4) Mandating messaging apps to screen messages to curb the problem of fake news is wrong at multiple levels. Discuss (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The recent increase in incidents of lynching all over the country poses grave security challenges. The government has responded by placing the onus on messaging platforms like WhatsApp to screen messages and tackle the problem of fake news, which is wrong at multiple levels as highlighted in the article. Hence this question requires you to form an opinion on this important contemporary issue.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the issue and discuss the various legal, ethical, constitutional etc parameters on which the directive of the government falls short. Thereafter, it expects us to discuss ways in which we can tackle the issue of fake news.

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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the problem of fake news, role of messaging platforms in spreading fake news and the government’s directive to messaging apps like whatsapp.

Body – Examine the legal, constitutional, technological and ethical challenges such a move raises. Constitutional – Curbing freedom of speech and expression; legal – how WhatsApp fulfills the definition of intermediary as per IT Act 2000; technological challenge posed by end to end encryption; ethical challenges such as lack of consent, violating the privacy of individuals etc. Discuss ideally the role government should play in curbing such fake news by enhancing its human resource and technological capabilities as well as bringing law curbing such practices by deterrence. Highlight the steps taken by WhatsApp in this regard. Also highlight the opposite side of the coin that is, why is it necessary in light of billions of messages being transmitted through such apps which makes it virtually impossible for the government to keep a check.

Conclusion – Give your opinion on whether it is okay to shift the liability on whatsapp and discuss way forward.


Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “pressure belts of the world”

5) Explain what causes the shifting of pressure belts and the impact it has on the climate of different regions of the world?(250 words).

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to describe what causes the shift of pressure belts with shift in position of the sun. Thereafter, it expects us to explain how the shifting pressure impacts the different climatic zones of the world such as Mediterranean climate etc

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what these pressure belts are and what causes them to shift. In the absence of the revolution of the earth around the sun, the global pressure belts would have been permanent and stationary at their places but the relative position of the earth with the sun changes within a year due to earth’s revolution and thus the position of all the pressure belts except the polar high pressure belts changes with the northward and southward migration of the sun.

Body – Explain the impact that the shift in pressure belts has on Mediterranean type of climate, regions lying between 60°-70° latitudes are characterized by two types of winds in a year because of shifting of pressure and wind belts, Monsoon climate is the result of the shifting of pressure and wind belts. Explain the impact of shifting pressure belts on such types of cases in greater detail.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic – Part of the series of case studies on ethics.

6) The Drinking Water Monitoring Programme initially detected the presence of a chemical pollutant in the well supplying a coastal resort whose economy was based primarily on tourism. The analysis results showed a level of contamination that exceeded the limits established in the applicable legislation. After taking fresh samples and analysing these, the results were confirmed and recorded in the regional Water Quality Information System. The public health officer responsible for testing this supply issued a report in which, despite recognizing that the limits established by law had been exceeded, he stated that consumption of water from the well did not pose an imminent, extraordinary threat to the health of the population. Despite this, the technical report concluded with a proposal to take the precautionary measure of closing the well and informing the population about the ongoing situation. Upon receipt of the technical report, the health authority with competence for adoption of the precautionary measure evaluated the scale of the violation, its imminent impact on the health of the affected population, the economic impact on the locality of closing the well, and the social alarm that this would cause at the start of the tourist season. Following this, it met with the public health management team to inform it of its decision not to ratify the proposed precautionary measure in view of the fact that, having taken into consideration the other public interests at stake, it took the view that it was preferable that the well should continue to supply the population with drinking water while alternative solutions were sought. When the officer responsible for monitoring the supply was informed by his management that, despite the report, the proposed measure would not be adopted, he asked himself what he should do.

 

  1. Discuss the ethical issues involved in the above situation? (250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question.

Structure of the answer

Discuss individually the ethical issues involved in the question. E.g

  1. Protection of public health: Protecting the health of the population, an intrinsic value of the greatest importance, is not just an ethical imperative for health authorities but also a legal obligation.
  2. Information: Citizens have the right to be informed about factors that affect individual and population health and, in particular, significant biological, chemical and environmental hazards, together with their potential impact on health. Information enables the population to exercise its freedom of choice.
  3. Transparency: Transparency is an essential aspect of health information. Both from an ethical and from a legal perspective, public health actions must be clear and comprehensible for the general population, so that citizens can exercise their autonomy when making decisions on the basis of the information provided.
  4. Precaution: The existence of clear evidence of a potentially serious impact on the health of the population, even where there is scientific uncertainty regarding the nature of the risk, places the competent authorities under an obligation to decide whether to suspend or restrict the activity. Failure to do so would violate the principle of nonmaleficence.
  5. Legality: the public authorities are obliged by this principle to comply with the applicable legislation, without exception.
  6. Hierarchy: Hierarchy in public health organizations is expressed through the principle of competence. Political decision-makers and technical staff have different spheres of competence and their fields of action are clearly delimited. Violating this principle of hierarchy or competence has both ethical and legal consequences. Action taken by those who lack the competence to do so is invalid, and all those involved in public health must therefore act within their powers. Hierarchical competence is related in this case to the principle of justice in the widest sense etc.

Read the document attached to the question carefully and frame your answer accordingly.


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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