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

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 17 OCTOBER 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) Insurance-based schemes like Ayushman Bharat are no substitute for public provisioning of health. Analyze. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Health is an important indicator and determinant of development of a country. Ayushman Bharat Scheme has been recently launched by the govt of Indian with an objective of health for all. In this context it is important to analyze the efficacy of insurance based schemes in improving healthcare in the country.

Directive word

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 dig deep into the insurance based healthcare schemes like the Ayushman Bharat scheme and bring out the deficiencies and inefficiencies in those schemes.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Ayushman Bharat scheme and how its aims to provide health for all the Indians.

Body

Discuss why such schemes based on insurance are not well placed for India. E.g large amount of financial resources will be needed for the scheme which will need higher budgetary allocation ( to the tune of around 12000 crore as against the present 1000 crore outlay)  and higher premium rates; out-of-pocket medical expenditure rises with a fall in expenditure on public provisioning. In India, where just 1% of GDP is allocated for public health, 65% of the health expenditure is out-of-pocket; It will lead to increase in hospitalisation in private hospitals and, as a result, the expenditure not covered under the scheme will rise. Moreover, most insurance schemes do not cover outpatient visit costs, which are significantly higher for chronic illnesses. If there is public provisioning of such services, the burden of spending would not have fallen on the patient; insurance-based government schemes have an inbuilt inflationary bias. For one, they induce more hospitalisation, which, without a commensurate increase in supply, increases the price of health care, which further increases the insurance premium, and, hence the burden on the government; insurance companies can cross-finance the losses arising out of private coverage through these guaranteed lump-sum premium commitments from the government, leading to an increased pressure on the exchequer etc.

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


Topic –  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

2) The recently proposed amendments to the RTI Act would, instead of strengthening the hands of the commissions, weaken them. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

RTI is one of the landmark acts which has led to a significant boost in accountability of the govt towards the people. The govt has recently proposed some changes in the act which are said to be regressive in nature.

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 changes proposed in the RTI act and discuss as to how they will dilute the powers of the commission instead of strengthening them.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  role of RTI act in improving the transparency and accountability of the government.

Body-

Discuss the recently proposed changes in the act and write in detail as to how they will dilute the powers of the CIC. E.g

Proposal to do away with the equivalence of the Central Information Commissioners with the Election Commissioners on the ground that the two have different mandates. The underlying assumption is that transparency is less important for a democracy than holding of free and fair elections; Proposal to replace the existing fixed five-year tenure of the Information Commissioners with a tenure as may be prescribed by it. This would make the tenure a largesse to be bestowed by the government and would be detrimental to the independence and authority of the Information Commissions; The Justice Srikrishna Committee has proposed an amendment that would broaden the definition of ‘harm’, restricting disclosure of personal information even where it may be clearly linked to some public activity etc.

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


Topic – Accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance;

3) Ethical leadership is influencing people through ethics. Do you agree. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

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 whether ethical leadership is influencing people through ethics. We have to elaborate the statement and form our opinion based on a proper discussion and back it up with valid and sufficient arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  leadership and ethics.

Body- elaborate the statement and discuss your opinion on the issue. E.g Ethical leadership is essentially a leadership theory, which uses ethical concepts as a guide to managing subordinates;  Since ethics deals with the principles of ‘right’ behavior and leadership with influencing other people to achieve goals, ethical leadership is influencing people through ethic; The idea of ‘doing the right thing’ can depend on your approach and whether you focus on the means or the end goals, for example. Therefore, ethical leadership requires a solid framework to work. There are three core components of the ethical leadership framework:

Internal uniformity – Different elements within the organization must be ethically consistent and not have contradictions.

Proactivity – The framework should tell people what to do, instead of outlining the things you shouldn’t do. Ethical leadership framework looks forward and acts preemptively.

Vigour –The framework is regularly re-examined and updated according to the needs of the organization and the subordinates. In short, the framework is dynamic instead of a static system etc.

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


General Studies – 3


Topic– Indian Economy : Issues

4) Trade and Development Report 2018 talks about issues of data sovereignty and the need to design national policies to ensure equitable distribution of gains arising from data which is generated within the national boundaries. Discuss the recommendations and how it can help shape India’s e-commerce policy?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

The article discusses the recommendations of UNCTAD’s TDR 2018 related to the need for developing countries to formulate their own policies to maintain control over their data. The findings of the report are crucial for India for two reasons – firstly because data is the new oil and secondly, because the country is currently in a phase where it is giving structure to data policies. Hence understanding the impact of the recommendations on national e commerce policy is important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss in detail the findings and recommendations of TDR 2018, and thereafter analyze how these findings are related to India in general and its e Commerce policy in particular.

Directive word

Discuss – Here in your discussion, you need to bring out the recommendations of the committee and highlight how these recommendations are helpful for developing countries in general and India in particular.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – We need to give a brief background to UNCTAD and TDR 2018.

Body – Highlight that the most valuable contribution of the report is its analysis of the policy challenges for developing countries in the digital era. Discuss the recommendations of the committee as mentioned in the article. While mentioning the recommendations, we also need to bring out how they would be helpful for the eCommerce policy of India. Recommendations wrt cash burning, need to analyze anti trust laws etc are hugely relevant for eCommerce sector in India, which has to be explained in your answer.

Conclusion – highlight the importance of data as suggested in the report and the impact of the report’s findings.


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

5) What do you understand by a charter city. Critically analyze the relevance of charter cities for a developing country placed like India.(250 words)

The hindu

Wikipedia

Why this question

One of the nobel prize winners of 2018 has forwarded the idea of charter cities for the sake of better urban development. However the concept has been criticized on various fronts. It is therefore important to understand the concept and analyze its relevance for a country like India.

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 an opinion on the issue.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out the meaning of the charter cities. It then wants us to discuss whether such cities are relevant for a country like India or not. Based on our discussion we have to form an opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Charter cities. E.g a charter city is a city in which the governing system is defined by the city’s own charter document rather than by general law. These cities may be administered predominantly by residents or through a third-party management structure, because a charter gives a city the flexibility to choose novel types of government structure.

Body-

Discuss the features of a charter city and form your opinion as to whether  charter cities are relevant for a country like India. E.g The idea of “Charter Cities” should be of interest to developing countries such as India grappling with strategies for rapid urbanisation; Charter cities will make a developing country relinquish part of its sovereignty over certain territories ostensibly in exchange for economic growth. Hence, “Charter Cities” go against the basic principles of democracy and citizenship; Emerging economies like India can create and govern new cities on their own; India’s experience in creating new cities with parallel rules and governance systems has also been fraught with conflicts. Lavasa, a city near Pune which was developed by a private company, has been caught up in environmental disputes for many years; Charter cities ignore the pre-existence of multiple social and political claims over space in these supposed clean areas where such cities are to be built etc.

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


Topic Internal security

6) Critically examine whether India’s drone policy is unnecessarily rigorous and sweeping?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article discusses India’s new drone policy and the lacunae in the policy. The article examines the reasons why India’s policy may be considered as unnecessarily rigorous and sweeping. Since the applications of drones is immense, the policy and its critical analysis needs to be prepared in detail.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the policy prescriptions in the drone policy. Next, we need to highlight the growing application of drones in various sector to prove its ubiquitous nature. Next, we need to discuss the pros and cons of the policy to examine whether the policy prescriptions are unnecessarily rigorous and sweeping. Finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced conclusion 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 that so far India did not have a drone policy which led to issues with internal security, air safety etc. Thus a policy was much needed.

Body – Discuss the policy prescriptions suggested for drones in India’s new drone policy. Highlight the growing applications of drones in various fields – recent Goldman Sachs report said the global spending on UAVs over the next five years will be approximately $100 billion. A large chunk of this spending is likely to be on the commercial and civil sector. Discuss the pros and cons of the new policy as discussed in the above article and elsewhere.

Conclusion – give a fair and balanced view on the policy, whether it is unnecessarily rigorous and sweeping and discuss the way forward.


Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “distribution of mineral and energy resources”

7) Location of thermal power plants and coal fields in India are not mutually conducive. Analyze.(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The questions expects us to explain the location and distribution of thermal power plants in India and the coal fields and discuss the reason why thermal power plants are distributed all over India and coal fields are found concentrated in a few regions.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss the relative importance of thermal power plants in electricity generation.

Body – First of all discuss the location and distribution of thermal power plants in India and the coal fields. Next, discuss why thermal power plants are scattered across India. Highlight that While access to coal is a key determinant for the thermal power plants, other factors such as power demand (especially in industrial complexes like Maharashtra and Gujarat), transportation network (especially railways) from coal fields to power plants, problems of overloading of electricity grid network (if powerplants are concentrated in a region) and the transmission losses of electricity due to long distances become a decisive factor in the location of power plants. Hence, distribution pattern of thermal power plant is not similar to the distribution pattern of coal fields.

 



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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