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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 11 OCTOBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 11 OCTOBER 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)


General Studies – 1


Topic– Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc

1) The east coast of India is again going to be hit by a cyclone. Explain why Bay of Bengal is more prone to cyclones in India as compared to India’s west coast? Also explain, how are these cyclones classified?(250 words)

Timesof india

Why this question

Cyclone Titli is about to make landfall in India today and cause mayhem. The east coast of India is quite frequently ravaged by the destruction of such cyclones. Since this year, UPSC asked a lot of questions from the static section of all papers, we will make an attempt to cover the static portion of current happenings.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the reasons why cyclones are more frequent on the east coast of India as compared to the west coast. Next, we need to explain how the categorisation of cyclones into severe, moderate etc is done.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Link the static question to the current events, in this case landfall of Cyclone Titli.

Body

  • Evaluate the proposition that east coast of India receives more such cyclones as compared to west coast. Next, bring out the reasons for the same – Since sea surface temperatures and humidity both directly correlate with chances of cyclone formation, the Bay of Bengal is a more likely target because it gets higher rainfall, and because the sluggish winds around it keep temperatures relatively high: about 28 degrees around the year. Warm air currents enhance this surface temperature and aid the formation of cyclones. In addition, the Bay receives higher rainfall and constant inflow of fresh water from the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers. This means that the Bay’s surface water keeps getting refreshed, making it impossible for the warm water to mix with the cooler water below, making it ideal for a depression. On the other hand, the Arabian Sea receives stronger winds that help dissipate the heat, and the lack of constant fresh water supply helps the warm water mix with the cool water, reducing the temperature.
  • Also bring out that not all cyclones are formed in the Bay of Bengal. The basin is also host to cyclones that are formed elsewhere but move towards the water body, especially those formed in the Pacific Ocean. Cyclones usually weaken if they encounter a large landmass. However, due to the lack of any such presence between the Pacific and the Bay, cyclonic winds easily move into the Bay of Bengal. Once here, the winds encounter the Western Ghats and the Himalayas, either becoming weak or getting blocked in the Bay, but never reaching the Arabian Sea.
  • Next, discuss how such cyclones are classified. Explain about the Saffir Simpson Wind Scale and how cyclones and hurricanes etc are classified.

General Studies – 2


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

2) The judiciary is deviating from its own precedents in terms of civil liberties. Critically analyze the statement in light of some of the recent SC judgements.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Civil liberties are essential and perhaps the most vital essence necessary for the functioning of any modern democracy. Several SC judgements highlight the essence and scope of such liberties and it becomes essential to discuss those cases and the judgements.

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.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to look into the important SC judgements related to the concept of civil liberties. It wants us to analyze how those judgements are deviations from each other and then form a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  role and importance of civil liberties in a democracy.

Body

Discuss the SC judgements and the logic forwarded in detail and bring out the deviations as observed in those judgements.e.g

  1. Explain article 21 of the constitution.
  2. Discuss the case of Romila Thapar v. Union of India, and briefly discuss how the judgement has contravened the SC’s earlier judgements like Government of A.P. v. P. Laxmi Devi.
  3. Discuss the case of Abhijit Iyer-Mitra v. State of Odisha, and briefly discuss how the SC has contravened it’s earlier judgement in the case of State of Rajasthan v. Balchand.

Discuss the essence of judgements in each case in detail and take the help of the article attached to the question as well as other authentic sources to frame your answer.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g reiterate the importance of civil liberties and the importance of SC as an upholder of civil liberties in India.


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

3) The rising mental ill health is causing mounting disabilities, early deaths and fuelling cycles of poverty. Critically examine. (250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

Mental health is one of the most neglected areas of medical-care and mental health problems are increasing day by day. It is important to examine how it affects the person and his livelihood in terms of disability imposed, death caused and poverty inflicted.

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 probe deeper into the topic and bring out how poor mental health causes disabilities, death and propagates the cycle of poverty. Then we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  mental ill health and growing prevalence of mental diseases across the world.

Body-

Discuss about the mental ill-health in detail and examine how it inflicts disability and death and how it fuels the cycle of poverty. E.g

Most people with mental health problems do not receive care, which prolongs suffering and leads to colossal societal and economic losses. Even worse, they are often subjected to human rights abuses and discrimination. Perhaps no other cause of suffering has been so profoundly neglected; suicide is now the leading cause of death of young people, alcohol use is blatantly promoted by commercial interests and its abuse has been relegated to a moral issue to be addressed by primitive, punitive policies rather than through a public health approach, tens of thousands of people with severe mental health problems languish in horrific conditions in mental hospitals or on the streets and appalling deprivations — from undernutrition to neglect — that affect the development of the brain in childhood remain unchecked. There are virtually no community-based mental health services in the country etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. e.g mental health services must be scaled up as an essential component of universal health coverage; barriers and threats to mental health, such as the pervasive impact of stigma, must be assertively addressed; mental health must be protected by public policies and developmental efforts; new opportunities must be enthusiastically embraced, in particular those offered by the innovative use of community health workers and digital technologies to deliver a range of mental health intervention; substantial additional investments must be urgently made as the economic and health case for increased investments in mental health is strong. There is also an immediate opportunity for more efficient use of existing resources, for example, through the redistribution of budgets from large hospitals to district hospitals and community-based local services. Finally, investments in research and innovation must harness diverse disciplines to advance understanding of the causes of mental disorders and develop more effective interventions to prevent and treat them etc.


Topic – Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

4) Critically analyze whether an alliance such as a Free and Open India Pacific (FOIP) would benefit India, if India were to be a part of it?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

The article discusses the idea of FOIP, and analyzes the pros and cons of the idea from India’s point of view. The importance of Asia Pacific for geopolitics has only increased and as the polarity of the world changes in the months and years to come, the challenge will be in front of India to take all factors into consideration and decide on the future course.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to give a little explanation of the idea of FOIP, and the position of the major stakeholders. Thereafter, we need to analyze the pros and cons of the idea for India and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

Critically 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. 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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain the idea behind FOIP and that the idea is gaining currency, especially with US President throwing his weight behind the idea

Body

  • Give a brief background of the position of various stakeholders with respect to FOIP. From the US perspective, FOIP is an initiative for gathering a group of ‘like-minded’ countries into an anti-China alliance and a counter to BRI From the US perspective, such countries include its military partners in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Japan and Australia, as well as a major strategic partner like India and the adverse views of China on FOIP considering that it considers US presence in the area and such alliance as an attempt to obstruct it’s rise
  • Discuss the pros and cons for India when it comes to deciding India’s strategy for the Indo Pacific and its overall foreign policy with respect to the major powers. On the pro side we can talk about the unilateral approach of China in case of BRI and the need to counter it etc. On the cons side one can bring out the fact that The fundamentals of Modi’s vision are based on being a ‘free, open, inclusive region’ – note the equal emphasis on ‘inclusive’ – in pursuit of progress and prosperity, therefore, not to be ‘directed against any country’, nor is it to be seen as a ‘grouping that seeks to dominate’. This region ‘includes all nations in this geography, as also others beyond who have a stake in it’. We should also highlight that such a strategy may backfire with respect to China etc
  • Discuss the alternatives to FOIP that would enable India to fulfill its own vision for FOIP.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view on the situation and discuss way forward.


General Studies – 3


Topic:  Part of static series under the heading – “Major crops”

5) There’s more to the Indian diet than polished rice and wheat and for that reason we should diversify from the major emphasis on paddy and wheat. Examine. (250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight that Indian dietary regime is diverse and bring out the issues associated with farmers putting undue emphasis on growing rice and wheat. We need to discuss the reasons why this is problematic and the steps that can be taken to address the situation.

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 – Give a brief background into the major crops grown in India to highlight the preponderance of rice and wheat. Mention that even areas which were traditionally not growing these crops are now doing so.

Body

  • Explain the reasons why focussing so much on rice and wheat is wrong – the climate angle, the problem of hidden hunger, the drain on soils nutrients etc
  • Discuss the steps taken by the government to ensure that farmers cultivate a diversified set of crops and not just paddy and wheat
  • Highlight what more can be done to ensure that the cropping pattern changes for the better

Conclusion – Reiterate the problems associated with focussing on paddy and wheat and discuss way forward.

 


Topic-  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

6) Time is running out to keep global warming below 1.5°C since pre-industrial era levels. Do you agree. Discuss. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Climate change and global warming to levels above 1.5 degrees celsius of the pre-industrial levels will have devastating consequences especially for the world’s poor living in Asia, Africa etc. In this context it is important to gauge the gravity of the situation so that adequate efforts could be made towards avoiding such disaster.

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 climate change scenario and bring out the urgency to limit global warming levels within 1.5 degrees celsius of pre-industrial levels.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  Climate change and its association with development and quality of life.

Body-

Discuss the issue in detail and bring out the urgency to act fast in this regard. E.g The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has come out with a clear scientific consensus that calls for a reversal of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, to prevent severe harm to humanity in the decades ahead. The IPCC’s special report on global warming of 1.5°C, prepared as a follow-up to the UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change, provides the scientific basis for them to act. There is now greater confidence in time-bound projections on the impacts of climate change on agriculture, health, water security and extreme weather. With sound policies, the world can still pull back, although major progress must be achieved by 2030; The IPCC makes it clear that the human and economic costs of a 2°C rise are far greater than for 1.5°C, and the need for action is urgent. Human activity has warmed the world by 1°C over the pre-industrial level and with another half-degree rise, many regions will have warmer extreme temperatures, raising the frequency, intensity and amount of rain or severity of drought. Risks to food security and water, heat exposure, drought and coastal submergence all increase significantly even for a 1.5°C rise etc.

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


General Studies – 4


Topic– Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions

7) What do you understand about #Metoo and #timesup movement? Evaluate whether these movements take us closer towards gender equality?(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

Difficult questions related to gender discrimination and the unequal treatment of sexes have been raised in the current climate. Understanding what these movements represent and how is it going to impact the relationship between sexes going forward is important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what these movements stand for and our opinion as to whether these movements would bring out a nuanced understanding in society of the perverse ways in which one half of gender exerts power over the other half, and the changes that will be brought about as a result of these movements.

Directive word

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the current climate, whether gender issues are being highlighted and difficult conversations are being held.

Body

  • Explain what metoo and timesup movements are. Check this out- the most topical issue.The Me Too movement is against sexual harassment and sexual assault. The MeToo movement had already been around for years before it started gaining global attention. It is entered around a framework that’s central to survivors, and to make sure the marginalized among survivors have access to resources that will help them fight the battle..MeToo spread virally in 2017 as a hashtag used on social media in an attempt to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. It followed soon after the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein.It encouraged victims of sexual harassment to tweet about it and “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem”. MeToo movement has become a worldwide phenomenon.
  • Time’s Up is a movement against sexual harassment and violence began in 2018, by Hollywood celebrities in response to the MeToo. It has raised $20 million for its legal defense fund, and gathered over 200 volunteer lawyers.Time’sUp shares a similar vision for women’s empowerment with MeToo, but it has some different, specific goals. Time’s Up can be thought of as a solution-based, action-oriented next step in the Metoo movement. The organization’s aim is to create concrete change, leading to safety and equity in the workplace. Time’s Up was founded on the premise that everyone, every human being, deserves a right to earn a living, to take care of themselves, to take care of their families, free of the impediments of harassment and sexual assault and discrimination.
  • Discuss the impact that these movements are having and will have – Both have led to a culture shift that has been palpable — for the first time ever, the world has been put on notice that these once-fledgling women’s movements were not to be ignored. And people started to listen.
  • Examine the impact that these movements would have in improving the status of women.

Conclusion – Give your view on these movements and discuss the overall impact of these movements.



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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