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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 01 NOVEMBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 01 NOVEMBER 2018

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Tomorrow’s Static Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.


General Studies – 1


Topic: changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

1) India’s overexploitation of groundwater is leading to the worst water crisis in its history. Examine and suggest measures for improvement.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The question examines the reasons behind groundwater shortage in India and the steps that India needs to take to improve the scenario. The situation is quite critical with none other than Niti Ayog calling it the worst water crisis in India’s history and hence this topic needs to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out three things clearly in our answer

  • The status of groundwater crisis in the country
  • Reasons behind the same
  • Ways in which the current situation can be improved

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 – Explain the situation wrt ground water

Body

  • Discuss reasons behind the water crisis such as overexploitation of groundwater for agriculture, focus on water intensive crops like rice and wheat in water deficient areas etc
  • Discuss the ways in which the current situation can be improved through adoption of efficient irrigation techniques like drip irrigation, bottom up approach by empowering local community to become active participants in water management process etc

Conclusion – Discuss the gravity of crisis and the way forward.


General Studies – 2


Topic– Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

2) The Indian judiciary has time and again defined the federal character of the Indian constitution. Discuss. (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. 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 as to how judiciary has defined and explained the concept of federalism in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Indian federation and how the constitution explains it.

Body-

Discuss some of the important cases where the SC has presented its opinion on the Indian Federation. E.g

  • State of West Bengal vs Union of India
  • State of Rajasthan v. Union of India
  • State of Karnataka v. Union of India
  • Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala
  • S.R. Bommai v. Union of India etc.

Discuss the key findings of the SC in each case.

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

 


Topic– Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes;

3) Notwithstanding the improvement over RSBY, the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) does not offer the required solution to India’s healthcare problems. Examine. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The NHPS is one of the flagship schemes of the government of India. The article discusses the limitations faced by the NHPS vis a vis the problems faced by the healthcare sector in India.

Directive word

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 reasons as to how NHPS is an improvement over RSBY. It also wants us to bring out the reasons as to why the scheme does not offer the required solution to the healthcare problems in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  NHPS- its other names and when it was launched to supersede RSBY.

  1. Discuss how it is better than RSBY- e.g It does not require the renewal of the ID card every year, the ration or the Aadhaar card being adequate; services can be accessed from any empaneled hospital in the country; and an increase in the sum assured from Rs 30,000 to Rs 5 lakh, per family per year etc.
  2. Discuss its limitations. E.g hospital insurance schemes, that address a third of the out-of-pocket expenses, have not helped reduce impoverishment. Out-of-pocket payments constitute over 60 percent of health financing in India; The assumption of the scheme that there is “excess capacity” to be addressed under the facility of “portability” has been proved wrong by cases of emergencies in the supply deficit northern states while in the better-endowed southern states, the wait lists for elective surgeries are growing longer. Besides, indirect costs and constraints can be substantial deterrents etc.

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


Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “devolution of powers and finances up to local
levels and challenges therein”

4) In the absence of well – educated and organised local level government system, Panchayats and Samitis have remained mainly political institutions and not effective instrument of governance. Discuss.(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain certain key terms asked in the question in your answer such as

  • Highlight that panchayat have not turned out to be effective instruments of governance
  • Discuss the reasons why this is so. Here the question says absence of educated and organised local level government systems. Discuss what this means, whether mandatory educational qualification is correct etc
  • Discuss the 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 – Give a brief introduction to Panchayati Raj in India.

Body

  • Discuss the status of Panchayats and Samitis – where they have not brought any changes in governments structure and have not turned out to be effective agents of governance
  • Discuss the reasons why this is so (or not so). Explain whether making education mandatory for candidates or improving the organization structure by better devolution of power and finances would improve the situation

Conclusion – Give your opinion and discuss way forward


General Studies – 3


Topic – Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

5) Although India’s jump in ease of doing business should be welcomed, the index itself is not immune to criticism. Analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

India climbed another 23 points in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking to 77th place, becoming the top ranked country in South Asia for the first time and third among the BRICS. In this context it is essential to know about the criticism faced by the bank.

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 analyze India’s current position in EDB index, laud India’s performance and also discuss the criticism faced by the index.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent improvement in EDB.

Body-

  1. Briefly discuss why this improvement should be welcomed. E.g it will attract more investment; help the depreciating rupee; help towards structural reforms; boost entrepreneurship etc
  2. Discuss the criticism faced by the E.g A common criticism of the ranking is that it limits its sample size to just a few major cities, thus projecting an imperfect picture of overall business conditions. Others have wondered if governments may be gaming the rankings by tailoring their policies to specifically fit the World Bank’s criteria instead of trying to enact wider structural reforms. Another criticism is whether the bank is right to measure a country’s business environment based on written legal rules rather than investigating the actual ground conditions in which businesses operate. Many businesses, for example, may be able to bribe their way out of bad rules etc.

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


Topic– Conservation, environmental degradation

6) The findings of Living Planet 2018 Report suggests that when it comes to conservation efforts, it can not be business as usual. Analyze. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The article highlights the findings of the Living Planet 2018 Report and analyzes the horrors that human species has inflicted on our cohabitant species and the likely impact it is going to have. The question will help you prepare for conservation section or GS3 and changes in flora and fauna topic in GS1

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the details of Living Planet 2018 Report and explain the impact on fauna in detail. Thereafter, we need to bring out the reasons why situation has come to this and the impact it is likely to have on ecosystem. Finally, we need to provide a way forward.

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 Living Planet Report is and highlight the major finding that is – Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.

Body – discuss the findings of the report in greater detail such as the areas where the impact is severe, the reasons why situation has come down to this etc. Discuss the impact that this is going to have on ecosystem and human race. Suggest measures through which the situation can be salvaged.

Conclusion – Emphasize on the need to act on this with haste and mention way forward.


General Studies – 4


Topic-  ethical issues in international relations and funding

7) What are the ethical issues involved in international funding. Discuss.(250 words) 

Lexicon Ethics; Values and ethics in public administration

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 ethical issues involved in international funding.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  international funding- sources, purposes and patterns (e.g from developed countries to developing or underdeveloped countries) etc.

Body-

Discuss in points about the ethical issues involved in international funding. E.g Mention and briefly describe the conditional funding and its cons. E.g The donors shape the policy framework and strategies through impositions, seriously undermining the rights, choices and decisions of the people to determine their own demands and actions needed for their own development; Local societal diversities and local ownership are ignored by conditionality; aid conditionality infringes on countries’ democracy and sovereignty; economic policy decisions, such as whether to privatize essential services or liberalize trade barriers within any given country – developing or developed – should be made by national governments and not influenced by leverage of increased external funding etc.

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



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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