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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 20 SEPTEMBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 20 SEPTEMBER 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)


General Studies – 1


Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “coastal plains”

1) Explain the differences between India’s western and eastern coastal plains?(250 words)

NCERT India Physical Geography – pg 18

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the major differences in the physiography and characteristics of western and eastern coastal plains.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that India has a long coastline which can divided on the basis of location and other geomorphological processes into western and eastern coastal plains.

Body – Explain the differences between western and eastern coastal plains such as the width, the nature of the coast, the type of weather etc


General Studies – 2


Topic – Issues related to health

2) In recent years, suicide and other mental ailments have received intense attention, for they account for the majority of India’s health burden. Discuss the reasons behind high suicide death rate in the country and how India is responding to this health challenge?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article analyzes in depth the problem of suicide and other mental ailments in India, discusses the reason why Indian society is prone to it and assesses how we have responded to the challenge. As the focus on mental health increases, the question would enable us to understand the problem and the steps taken to tackle it.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the following in our answer

  • Bring out the fact that suicide and mental ailments form a chunk of India’s disease burden
  • From data on suicide death rates, gather insights into the high suicide death rates in the country
  • Explain the reasons why suicide death rate is so high for India
  • Bring out the steps taken to deal with this challenge and discuss the way forward

Directive word

Discuss – Here in your discussion, you need to bring out the reasons why suicide death rate is so high in the country and how India has responded to this health issue and way forward

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Discuss the Lancet report which bring out that suicide and other mental ailments form a major chunk of India’s mental health epidemic.

Body

  • From data, comment on what can be said about the pattern of suicide death rates in the country
  • suicide makes up a higher percentage of deaths in the more developed states of the south and western and central states have mid-level SDRs. The northwest and less developed north have low SDRs, while the east and north east have mixed rates
  • Indian women’s SDRs are almost three times higher than the rates expected globally for countries at similar levels of socio- demographic development. By contrast, Indian men’s SDR, although higher than peer countries’ average, is less strikingly so.
  • Discuss the reasons why suicide death rates are so high in India –
  • Among the women, the death rates are linked to the socio economic burdens, societal factors etc
  • Result of economic dislocation and change in social and community links it brings which can be destabilizing etc
  • Discuss the steps taken by government to improve the situation – decriminalizing suicide and other steps and the impact of such steps

Conclusion – Give your view on the status of mental health issue and the way forward.


TOPIC: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

3) Discuss the implications of COMCASA agreement on India and the wider region?(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The article highlights the benefits and issues that would arise out of signing COMCASA. The India USA 2+2 strategic dialogue hogged the limelight and the agreement has been under discussion for long. Preparing this agreement is important for mains.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to provide answers to the following points

  • Details of COMCASA agreement
  • What it holds for India USA strategic relations
  • Implications of the agreement on India’s relations with other nations and wider region.
  • Way forward

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 recent turn of events which culminated in the signing of COMCASA.

Body

  • Explain COMCASA  – The 10-year COMCASA facilitates transfer of high-tech US communications platforms and specialised equipments like armed surveillance drones, and encrypted communications for US origin military platforms like the C-17, C-130 and P-8Is to India. It enables greater communications interoperability between both militaries and puts in place a framework for closer cooperation between their militaries and defence establishments.
  • Explain the benefits arising for India – reflects the strategic partnership with USA, the sorting out of the worry that the agreement would  open up its communications network to the US military” but its in built provisions safeguards India’s security interests by preventing the disclosure of data acquired through these systems to a third party without India’s consent etc
  • Discuss the wider strategic impact of the agreement on India USA relation and other strategic relations in India’s neighbourhood along with Russia etc

Conclusion – Give your view on COMCASA and the way forward for India.


General Studies – 3


Topic– Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems;

4) The new operational guidelines for PMFBY address the current challenges faced while implementing the scheme by putting forth effective solutions. Discuss.(250 words) 

Pib

Why this question

PMFBY is a flagship irrigation scheme of the GoI. But the scheme was facing several implementation and other issues which limited its potential. The government has recently issued new guidelines in this direction which need to be discussed in detail.

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 recently issued guidelines for implementing PMFBY and discuss how they address the current challenges faced while implementing the scheme.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the PMFBY- nature of the scheme, coverage, outlay etc. mention that the new guidelines have been issued for implementing the scheme.

Body-

Discuss in points the salient provisions of the guidelines and how they address the challenges. E.g The farmers will be paid 12% interest by insurance companies for the delay in settlement claims beyond two months of prescribed cut-off date. State Governments will have to pay 12% interest for the delay in release of State share of subsidy beyond three months of prescribed cut-off date submission of requisition by insurance companies; the guidelines provide a Standard Operating Procedure for evaluation of insurance companies and remove them from the scheme if found ineffective in providing services; include perennial horticultural crops under the ambit of PMFBY on a pilot basis.; add on coverage for crop loss due to attack of wild animals, which will be implemented on a pilot basis; Aadhaar number will be mandatorily captured to avoid duplication of beneficiaries etc.

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

 


TopicEffects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

5) Most of the blame for the implosion of the financial sector in 2007-08 lies in the failure of regulation. Comment. Also discuss what are the core issues that still need to be resolved to prevent such crisis in the future.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The 2008 subprime financial crisis had a devastating effect on global economy.It is important to understand how the crisis was largely a result of regulation failure, and what needs to be done to prevent such crisis in the future.

Directive word

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

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our opinion as to whether the blame for the implosion of the financial sector in 2007-08 lies in the failure of regulation, or not. It also wants us to write in detail as to what are the still unresolved issues which need to be resolved in order to prevent any such incident in the future.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the 2008 financial crisis and mention the factors other than regulation failure, which have been implicated for the crisis. E.g Global macroeconomic imbalances, a loose monetary policy in the U.S., the housing bubble in the U.S. again and elsewhere, a bloated financial sector, a flawed belief in efficient markets, greedy bankers, incompetent rating agencies.

Body-

  • discuss how the regulation failure was the main cause behind the crisis. E.g One, banks were allowed extraordinarily high levels of debt in relation to equity capital. Two, banks in the advanced economies moved away from the business of making loans to investing their funds instead in complex assets called “securitised” assets. The securitised assets consisted of bundles of securities derived from subprime loans, that is, housing loans of relatively higher risk etc.
  • Discuss the unresolved issues. E.g First, the ‘too big to fail problem’ — some banks being so large that they cannot be allowed to fail.; rising debt to GDP ratio; Third, financial globalisation makes the world vulnerable to U.S. monetary and fiscal policy etc.

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


Topic– Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

6) Explain how celestial objects are classified as planets? Discuss the status of Pluto as a planet?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article discusses the debates surrounding the status of Pluto as a planet and gives background information into how a particular celestial body is classified as a planet. Such news related to space has become important for mains. Last year, UPSC had asked a question on Juno mission. Also, such small pieces of information is sometimes asked in mains like the 2013 question where they asked how storms are named.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain first the criteria followed in classifying celestial objects as planets. Thereafter, we need to provide a brief context into the debates surrounding the status of Pluto as a planet, and explain why scientists are reconsidering the decision to downgrade Pluto as a planet.

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 – Mention that in 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted to remove Pluto’s planetary status and now scientists are debating once again over the taxonomy of planets.

Body

  • Explain how celestial objects are classified as planets – The meeting of IAU in 2006, where Pluto’s status as a planet was being decided, defined three conditions for a celestial object to be called a planet: one, it must orbit the Sun; two, it should be massive enough to acquire an approximately spherical shape; three, it has to ‘clear its orbit’, that is, be the object that exerts the maximum gravitational pull within its orbit. Also explain what a dwarf planet is.
  • Explain the reasons why Pluto was no longer considered a planet – insufficient gravity of Pluto in comparison to Neptune – the reason why it got classified as a dwarf planet
  • Explain why some scientists are reopening the case of Pluto’s status – that the only work in history that used this rule to classify planets was an article by William Herschel in 1802. They also argue that this work was based on reasoning and observations that have since been disproved.

Conclusion – Explain the issues that might arise by challenging the classification done by IAU.


General Studies – 4


TopicUtilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7) The lack of guidelines relating to the content of government advertisements in India works against the public interest. Critically examine.(250 words)

The hindu

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.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to discuss how the lack of guidelines related to advertisements made by the government affects the public interest. We have to bring out the explanation as to how public interest is affected by lack of such guidelines.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the nature of advertisements made by the government- e.g for giving publicity to different government schemes, initiatives, programmes; conveying messages to public commemorating/ celebrating events of  several public holidays etc.

Body

Discuss how the lack of guidelines relating to the content of government advertisements works against the public interest. E.g public funds could be misused by releasing information and announcements in a politically partisan way so that the gains of publicity rebound to the ruling party or a reigning leader; the generous use of advertisements as an incentive to select media houses in return for favourable coverage; While in normal circumstances ruling parties tend to use advertising as a site for self-glorification, in the run-up to elections it could be a form of electioneering that is free of cost etc.

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue- give your opinion as to what should be done in this regard e.g advertisement material should be objective and not directed at promoting the ruling party’s interests or in defaming the opposition parties etc.



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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