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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 17 SEPTEMBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 17 SEPTEMBER 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)


General Studies – 1


Topic– 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.

1) Explain the mechanism of cloud formation? Discuss the impact of air pollution on rainfall patterns in India?(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The question highlights the increase in the spate of erratic rainfall in India, and links it to the changes caused by air pollution. In GS1, UPSC at times asks questions linked to current happenings, and this would help you prepare about cloud formation as well as the impact of air pollution.

Key demand of the question

The question, in its first part, expects us to explain the factors impacting cloud formation, the mechanism of cloud formation. Next, we need to bring out how increasing air pollution has had an impact on rainfall patterns and the reasons for the same.

Directive word

Discuss – Your discussion should focus on explaining how increasing air pollution has had an impact on rainfall patterns and the reasons for the same.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss the factors responsible for cloud formation – moisture, condensation nuclei. Explain how clouds are formed – condensation or deposition of water above the Earth’s surface creates clouds. In general, clouds develop in any air mass that becomes saturated (relative humidity becomes 100%). Saturation can occur by way of atmospheric mechanisms that cause the temperature of an air mass to be cooled to its dew point or frost point. The following mechanisms or processes can achieve this outcome causing clouds to develop:

Body –

  • Explain the mechanism of cloud formation – clouds develop in any air mass that becomes saturated (relative humidity becomes 100%). Saturation can occur by way of atmospheric mechanisms that cause the temperature of an air mass to be cooled to its dew point or frost point, etc.
  • Explain the change in pattern of rainfall – the erratic behaviour of monsoon rainfall, including the phenomenon of concentrated heavy rainfall on a small number of days, could, at least in part, be attributed to the rising air pollution. Explain that excess aerosols, suspended solid particles like dust, smoke and industrial effluents, in the atmosphere is changing cloud patterns, its shape, size and other properties like temperature, which in turn is resulting in variability in rainfall over the Indian sub-continent during the monsoon season.

Topic World History

2) Democracy in this world has come in waves. Explain this statement while also discussing the status of democracy in the South Asia?(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The article highlights the status of democracy in South Asia, it examines the problems faced by democracy. The question would help you prepare how democracy has come in waves and the issues and challenges faced by democracy today.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the spread of democracy, how democracy has spread in phases. Next, we need to explain what democracy stands for and the status of democracy in the countries of south Asia.

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 – Explain that democracy has expanded in phases.

Body

  • Explain the 1st phase – when the ideas of French and American revolution were still taking root and mention that in the first phase, the questions were limited to issues of political equality, freedom and justice.
  • Explain the 2nd phase which came alongside decolonisation. Explain how the newly independent countries, adopted democracy, although not every country could succeed.
  • Explain the 3rd phase  – at the end of cold war when USSR disintegrated and several East European countries became democratic
  • Explain the 4th phase – Highlight that it started with Arab Spring.
  • Explain the status of democracy in south Asia as discussed in the article

Conclusion – Discuss how the idea of democracy needs to be understood and implemented properly.


General Studies – 2


Topic– Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

3) How far will the legal emphasis on “self-determination” go in helping LGBTQ persons navigate their lives in a society full of prejudices. Comment, in the light of the recent SC judgment on section 377.(250 words)

epw

Why this question

Recently the SC in its historic judgement has decriminalised homosexuality by declaring section 377 as unconstitutional. However, given the prejudices and patriarchal mindset of Indian society, legal solution alone would not be enough for LGBTQ persons. It is therefore necessary to understand the issue holistically, including its social aspects.

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 knowledge and understanding and come up with an overall opinion as to how far will the legal emphasis on “self-determination” go in helping LGBTQ persons navigate their lives in Indian society. We have to bring forward the non- legal issues faces by the LGBTQ community and thereof form an overall opinion.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the recent SC judgement which decriminalised homosexuality.

Body-

Discuss the issues involved. E.g The amount of protection that the law provides is determined by the level of privilege one wields and other intersectional positions in society, and it can be argued that the decriminalisation of sexual acts in private would do little to limit the harassment LGBTQ persons are subjected to in public spaces and the discrimination they face in employment opportunities; mention the the state of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016; it is stereotypes about gender roles that constituted the basis of criminalising same-sex relations, and which ensure discrimination etc.

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


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

4) Some of the mainstream arguments against the potential threat of blasphemy laws to a liberal democracy seem to be operating within a minimalist understanding of secularism. Critically analyze.(250 words) 

epw

Why this question

Punjab government is contemplating an anti-blasphemy laws which covers the religious books of all the major religions of India. However, the move has attracted a lot of criticism. It is essential to understand that criticism and see how the arguments put forward lack the proper understanding of the meaning and essence of secularism.

Directive word

Critically analyze-  Here we  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. Based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the arguments put forward against the anti blasphemy law. We have to analyze and  bring out the deficiencies in those arguments and discuss how they don’t conform to the core principles and the essence of the secularism.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the recent proposal of the Punjab government to introduce an anti blasphemy laws which will provide protection to the religious books of all the major religions of India.

Body-

Discuss the arguments made against the anti blasphemy laws and how those arguments lack a thorough understanding of the concept of secularism. E.g One line of criticism faults the bill for defiling the sacred or the transcendental character of holy texts by using this-worldly state power to protect it. This attempt to expose the apparent irony underlying the bill is inadequate, for it misses the very political purpose of blasphemy laws. To deem certain ideas/thoughts/norms/values to be out of bounds for criticism or contestation is to argue that certain forms of power are beyond criticism or contestation. The creation, delimitation and expansion of the domain of the sacred is always a political (and not merely theological) exercise to create barriers of defiance for entrenched power; A second line of criticism faults the bill for importing the “Judeo-Christian” concept of blasphemy into Hinduism by including the Bhagavad Gita among the holy books. This is taken as a violation of traditions of pluralism and tolerance. However, this view ignores the historical fact of persecution, social boycott, outcasting of nastika/non-vedic/pakhandi heterodox streams, and the individuals and groups associated with these. Whatever apparent tolerance there is for the deviance from sacred texts is overshadowed by the fierce/violent opposition to the deviance in practice, particularly the practice of caste-based norms etc.

Conclusion- based on your discussion form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue as to what should be our approach in dealing with the issue.

 


Topic – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

5) Despite the law banning manual scavenging, it is a harsh reality that the practice still exists in India. Critically examine.(250 words) 

Reference

Why this question

Manual scavenging is responsible for hundreds of deaths every year. It is a harsh reality that the inhuman practice still exists in India. In this connection it is important to understand the reasons behind this.

Directive word

Critically 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 a concluding opinion on the issue.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to explain why the practice of manual scavenging still exists in India despite the law strictly banning it. We have to form an opinion on the issue based on our discussion.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the manual scavenging in India- present some statistics about the number of people involved and mention the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993;  ‘Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act.

Body-

  • Discuss the reasons as to why the practice still exists in India. E.g mention the insanitary latrines; Septic tanks are designed badly. They have engineering defects which means that after a point, a machine cannot clean it; Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, millions of septic tanks are being built in rural India. By 2019, some 30 million septic tanks and pits would have been dug along the Ganga. If the Central, state and local sanitation programmes do not take up faecal sludge management as a priority, the onus will shift to the lowest rung of the society to clean millions of dry toilets built with tearing hurry; open drains which badly designed, allowing people to dump solid waste into them, which accentuates the problem. Improper disposal of condoms, sanitary napkins and diapers clog the drains, which machines cannot clear etc.

Conclusion– form an opinion as to what should be done in this regard. E.g using technology and machines for the scavenging work etc.


General Studies – 3


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

6) Draft Electricity Amendment Act, 2018 proposes a slew of measures to bring transparency in power generation market. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The draft electricity amendment act has forwarded a slew of measures aimed at bringing transparency in the power generation market. It is therefore essential to know those provisions.

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 salient provisions of the draft Electricity Amendment Act and bring out how these provisions aim at bringing transparency in the power generation market.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the draft act- e.g The draft Electricity (Amendment) Act 2018, which is an amendment to  the Electricity Act, 2003 aims at being in line with the country’s changing electricity markets and systems, with their large renewable capacities and the emergence of a smart grid network.

Body-

Discuss in points, the salient provisions of the act and discuss how the act aims to provide transparency in the power generation market. E.g licensing requirements extended explicitly to all electricity suppliers except a few exempted categories; Specific caveats for conventional assets, including mandatory spinning reserves (extra generating capacity) for new or expanding thermal power capacities, have been introduced in the proposed amendment. There have also been upward revisions of penalties to better reflect the market in 2018; the amendment allow for more than one distribution licensee to operate in a single area, signaling an end to area monopolies. Open access (OA) has also been structured further in the draft amendment. The proposal deems that every OA power purchase agreement (PPA), be it long-, medium- or short-term, shall be subject to review by the appropriate electricity regulatory commission. Their PPAs cannot be terminated without approval from the said commission and violation of terms can invite penalties up to Rs 1 crore etc.

Conclusion- sum up your discussion and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

 


TopicPart of statistics series under the heading – “Himalayas”

7) Himalayas are not only the physical barrier, they are also a climatic, drainage and cultural divide. Analyze. (250 words)

NCERT India Physical environment Pg 11

Key demand of the question

The focus of the question is explaining the multiple role played by Himalayas which impact India’s climate, drainage and culture. We need to explain first the physical presence of Himalayas and next, explain how are they a climatic, drainage and cultural divide.

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 how Himalayas serve as the physical barrier of India. Highlight that Himalayas has great impact on climate, drainage and culture

Body

  • Explain impact on climate – The Himalayas play a very important role in influencing the climate of India. India is a monsoon land only because of the presence of Himalayas. It traps the monsoon winds from Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal and forces them to shed their moisture content within the Indian sub-continent in the form of snow and rain. It also blocks the cold winter storms of East Asia from entering India, thus protecting us from severe cold. The Himalayas splits the westerly jet streams into two branches such that the southward branch entering India plays a significant role in bringing the monsoon.
  • Explain impact on drainage system of India – Discuss the drainage patterns of India’s Himalayan rivers and how Himalayas is the source of such rivers
  • Explain impact of Himalayas on culture

Conclusion – Explain that Himalayas play immense role in India’s context.

 



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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