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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 03 DECEMBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 03 DECEMBER 2018

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic: “History of the world will include events from 18th century such as  colonization, decolonization”.

 


General Studies – 1


Topic -Events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

1) Discuss the factors that led to the overthrow of the provisional government in Russia, formed after the February revolution of 1917. (250 words)

Mastering World History by Norman and Lowe; Russia and the revolutions, 1900-24

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 factors which were responsible for the downfall of the provisional government formed after the February revolution of 1917.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-

Write a few introductory lines about the February revolution of 1917. E.g By January 1917, most groups in society were disillusioned with the incompetent way the Tsar was running the war. The aristocracy, the Duma, many industrialists and the army were beginning to turn against Nicholas, feeling that it would be better to sacrifice him to avoid a much worse revolution that might sweep away the whole social structure.

Body-

Discuss in points about the factors responsible for the downfall of the provisional government formed after the February revolution. E.g It took the unpopular decision to continue the war, but the June offensive, was another disastrous failure; The government had to share power with the Petrograd soviet, an elected committee of soldiers’ and workers’ representatives, which tried to govern the city; The government lost support because it delayed elections, which it had promised, for a Constituent Assembly (parliament), arguing that these were not possible in the middle of a war when several million troops were away fighting. Another promise not kept was for land reform – the redistribution of land from large estates among peasants; There was increasing economic chaos, with inflation, rising bread prices, lagging wages and shortages of raw materials and fuel. Industry was severely handicapped by a shortage of investment. In the midst of all this, Lenin and the Bolsheviks put forward what seemed to be a realistic and attractive policy etc.

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


Topic– Events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

2) What were the benefits that fascism provided to the people of Italy. What  were the problems it could not solve. Discuss.(250 words)

Mastering World History by Norman and Lowe; Italy, 1918-45: the first appearance of fascism

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 delve deeper into the rise and fall of fascism in Italy and bring out in detail as to what benefits did fascism provide to the people of Italy and then also discuss in detail about the problems which it could not solve.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the emergence of fascism under Mussolini in Italy. E.g Beginning in the summer of 1924, using a mixture of violence and intimidation, and helped by divisions among his opponents, Mussolini gradually developed Italian government and society along fascist lines.

Body-

  1. Discuss the benefits that accrued to the people of Italy on account of Fascism. E.g Industries were encouraged with govt. support wherever necessary; so that iron and steel production doubled by 1930 and artificial silk production increased tenfold; Mussolini believed that Italy must have a strong currency if it wanted to be a strong state. He revalued the lira at 90 to the pound sterling instead of 150 (1926). This had mixed results: it helped some industries, notably steel and chemicals, by making imported raw materials cheaper. But unfortunately it made Italian exports more expensive on the world market and led to reduced orders, especially in the cotton industry; The ‘Battle for Wheat’ encouraged farmers to concentrate on wheat production and raised tariffs (import duties) on imported wheat as part of the drive for self-sufficiency; The ‘Battle for Births’, launched in 1927, was a campaign to increase the birth rate. Mussolini believed that a population of 40 million was too small for a country aiming to be a great power; they simply wouldn’t have enough soldiers! The target was to double the birth rate and raise the population to 60 million by 1950; this was to be achieved by taxing unmarried men heavily, giving tax relief and promotion at work for men with large families and paying generous family allowances; A programme of land reclamation was launched in 1928, involving draining marshes, irrigation, and planting forests in mountainous areas, again as part of the drive to improve and increase agricultural yield etc.
  2. Discuss the problems that fascism in Italy could not solve. E.g Little had been done to remedy Italy’s basic shortage of raw materials – coal and oil – and much more effort could have been made to develop hydroelectric power. In spite of the modest increase in iron and steel production, Italy could not even match a small state like Belgium; Although the ‘Battle of Wheat’ was a victory, it was achieved only at the expense o f dairy and arable farming, whose output fell; the climate in the south is suited much better to grazing and orchards than to growing wheat, and these would have been much more lucrative for the farmers. As a result, agriculture remained inefficient and farm laborers the poorest class in the country; Another failing of the government was in social services, where there was nothing approaching a ‘welfare state’ 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 – “History of the world will include events from 18th century such as  colonization, decolonization”

3) The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa were led by the new elite of Western-educated Africans. Examine.(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain that freedom struggles in several West African countries were also led by such western-educated Africans. It expects us to bring out the role played by leaders in African National movement and the impact of their struggles.

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 introduction to the anti colonial upsurge in western Africa – Anti-colonial upsurge in West Africa was a part of the larger rush of decolonization after the massive wanton destruction of the World War II.

Body

  • Highlight that just as Indian freedom movement, in the 20th century, found a leader in M. K. Gandhi, a western-educated lawyer, freedom struggles in several West African countries were also led by such western-educated Africans
  • Discuss the role of leaders such as
    • Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, educated in London and US, led Gold Coast to freedom in 1957, and rechristened the country Ghana.
    • Nnamdi Azikiwe, educated in US, led Nigeria to a successful anti-colonial struggle, leading to its independence in 1960.
    • Amilcar Cabral, educated in Portugal, led Guinea-Bissau to freedom from Portugal. He was assassinated before the official independence declaration of the country, but served as an inspiration for other revolutionary leaders elsewhere, such as Fidel Castro.
    • Tovalou Houenou, defended the equality of race, opposed Eurocentricism and founded the Negritude movement, the writings of which gave a fillip to anti-colonial struggles in West Africa.
    • Leopold Sedar Senghol and Felix Houphouet- Boigny were western educated individuals who respectively led Senegal and Ivory Coast to independence.
  • Explain the nature of movement led by them – Some of these struggles were peaceful and constitutional while some had the blueprint of non-cooperation and civil disobedience. Some struggles were outright violent revolutions.

Conclusion – Nations of West Africa, however, have seldom witnessed stability and peace after independence. The countries have been marred by civil wars, brutal dictatorships and military coups.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic: India and its bilateral relations

4) Despite sharing a congruence of values and democratic ideals, India and the EU have both struggled to build a partnership that can be instrumental in shaping the geopolitics and geoeconomics of the 21st century. Comment. (250 words) 

Reference

Why this question

European Union releasing its strategy on India after 14 years. Launching the strategy document, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to India, Tomasz Kozlowski, underlined that “India is on the top of the agenda of the EU in the field of external relations… this strategy paper reflects that EU has taken India’s priorities very seriously. We are ready for a joint leap.” The 2004 EU-India declaration on building bilateral strategic partnership, which this road map replaces, has not had much of a success in reconfiguring the relationship as was expected. Hence it is important to know about the status quo of India EU relations along with the impact of this strategy document.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the status of India EU relationship along with the impact of 2004 EU-India declaration. Thereafter, it expects us to explain the new strategy document and how it will benefit India EU relations going forward. Finally, we need to provide a view of why good relationship between the two matters and how it is to be achieved.

Directive word

Comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the new strategy document and the 2004 declaration.

Body

  • Discuss the status quo of India EU relationship from an economic, political, strategic view point.
  • Bring out the reasons behind limited progress in the relationship – dealing with the bureaucratic maze of EU, India also objected to the high moralistic tone emanating from Brussels. Where individual nations of the EU started becoming more pragmatic in their engagement with India, Brussels continued to be big-brotherly in its attitude on political issues and ignorant of the geostrategic imperatives of Indian foreign and security policies.
  • Explain how the strategy document released seeks to change that – The new strategy underscores a transformative shift in Brussels vis-à-vis India and talks of key focus areas such as the need to conclude a broader Strategic Partnership Agreement, intensifying dialogue on Afghanistan and Central Asia, strengthening technical cooperation on fighting terrorism, and countering radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorist financing. More significant from the perspective of the EU, which has been traditionally shy of using its hard power tools, is a recognition of the need to develop defence and security cooperation with India.

Conclusion – Give your view on the future of the relationship and discuss way forward.


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

5) What are Trans Fats. Discuss their impact on health and, measures taken by the government to decrease the consumption of trans fats. (250 words)

Downtoearth

Reference

Why this question

FSSAI has recently launched a campaign to end consumption of trans fats by 2022. In this connection it is essential to discuss and understand trans fats in detail.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write a detailed description of trans fats and also write in detail about the recent initiative of the government taken to decrease the consumption of trans fats.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  trans fats. E.g Globally, trans fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular disease every year etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss about the trans fats in detail. E.g There are two broad types of trans fats found in foods: naturally-occurring and artificial trans fats. Naturally-occurring trans fats are produced in the gut of some animals and foods made from these animals (e.g., milk and meat products) may contain small quantities of these fats. Artificial trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid; Trans fats are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time. Trans fats give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers etc.
  2. Discuss the health impact of consuming trans fats. E.g Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It’s also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  3. Discuss the recent FSSAI initiative in this direction. E.g FSSAI has launched a new mass media campaign calling for the elimination of industrially produced trans fat in the food supply.Called “Heart Attack Rewind”, the 30 second public service announcement (PSA) – the first mass media campaign of its kind – will support FSSAI’s global target of eliminating trans fat in India by the year 2022, a year ahead of the global target by the World Health Organization (WHO) for complete elimination of trans fat. This is in line with its objective to get Freedom from ‘Trans Fat: India@75.

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


General Studies – 3


Topic –  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.

6) To hear the call of the Ganga, both political will and ethical responsibility are required. Analyze in the context of recent developments with respect to Ganga river. (250 words)

Epw

Hindustantimes

Hindubuisnessline

Why this question

Ganga is the largest and one of the most important rivers of India given the population it caters to and the extent of pollution and threats it faces. The govt recently allowed first inland vessel voyage across the river Ganga and it also has put forward a draft NRGB which aims at Ganga rejuvenation. In this context it is essential to look into these happenings and deliberate upon the same.

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 deeper into the plight of the Ganga river and the recent developments associated with it in order to bring out why there is a need for both political will and ethical responsibility for saving the Ganga river.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent developments related to the Ganga river. E.g mention the recent inland voyage of PepsiCo container and also mention about the draft National River Ganga Bill 2018 (NRGB).

Body-

  1. Discuss briefly about the draft NRGB. E.g It has proposed the setting up of an armed ‘Ganga Protection Corps’, with the powers to arrest offenders who pollute it, to keep the river clean and help in its rejuvenation; The offences and penalties punishable under the draft NRGB include spoiling or defacing ghats or stairs or throwing any “offensive matter” in the river; stone quarrying, commercial fishing without permission, deforesting hill slopes or other sensitive areas, withdrawing groundwater for organised consumption through tube wells or industrial needs, among many others;  These offences are punishable with imprisonment up to two years or fine of up to Rs 50,000.
  2. Bring out the lack of political will and ethical responsibility on part of the government and the people to preserve the Ganga river. E.g bring out the deficiencies in the draft bill- like the major issues are building barrages and diverting flow of the river, dredging to make way for inland waterways, hydroelectric projects that impact the flow and massive deforestation destroying the overall ecology. The draft doesn’t mention how these will be tackled etc; Instead of freeing the flow of the river, maintaining its flow regime, monitoring sewage disposal, checking the excess withdrawal of water, saving and increasing the forest cover, and revitalising the water bodies feeding into the rivers, river rejuvenation in most cases has been equated with riverfront development. Thus, it involves concretisation and encroachment of riverbanks and floodplains for commercial activities, and water diverted from other sources to create an impression that the river is still alive etc

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g As long as the river continues to be seen merely as an entity for extraction, its further concretisation and pollution will continue unabated. There is a need for the government as well as the civil society to take the responsibility and tackle the problem of river pollution upfront etc.


Topic – Issues related to agriculture

7) In recent years, we have seen a lot of farmer’s protests demanding loan waivers. Discuss the effectiveness of loan waivers in solving farmer’s issues?(250 words) 

Epw

Why this question

Loan waiver has been a very frequent demand by the farmers in India including in the current protests in Delhi. Despite several experts advising against it, the political capital gained through such an exercise makes such waivers a politically convenient tool. This question therefore seeks to help you prepare the finer points of the loan waiver issue.

Key demand of the question

The question expects you to first highlight the frequent demand for loan waivers and thereafter, bring out the pros and cons of it in terms of improving the status of farmers. Finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced conclusion and 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 – Highlight that loan waiver is a very frequent demand raised by farmers.

Body –

  • Explain why loan waivers are frequently demanded by farmers. Discuss the pros and cons of loan waivers.
  • This idea seems to be bad politics as well as bad economics because it may win the political party some votes but is not sustainable in the long run. Waiver of loan is a plain action where the credit climate is hampered. It will be counter productive not only for the state but for the entire credit market. It is a sub-optimal policy. A good policy would have been a set of things which were suggested by the Swaminathan Committee Report. On an average, the income of farmers is so low that their daily survival becomes a problem. Farm loan waivers is becoming a necessity now because these deep rooted problems are not being addressed related to farmers and their sufferings cannot be ignored. As per the NSSO’s 59th survey, about 40% of farmers dislike farming and would quit if they can therefore, finding of short-term and long-term solutions can severely impact food security.
  • Examine the impact it has on the condition of small and medium farmers.

Conclusion – Give your opinion on farm loan waivers and discuss the way forward. farm loan waivers act only as a temporary solution to the problems of farmers and it will not make them free from issues like decreasing farm income, debt trap or crop failures. The problems need creative engagement through which the surplus workers in the farming sector can be taken away to more productive sectors through education and skilling thereby making farming more profitable and sustainable for all stakeholders.


Topic – Climate Change

8) Examine the adverse impacts caused by heat waves and how India should deal with it?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The Lancet countdown on health and climate report was released recently. Coming on the eve of the UN climate conference in Katowice, Poland, the report of the Lancet panel for 2018 brings clarity, placing connected issues in perspective for governmental action. At a time, when climate change is having multifaceted impacts, understanding the health impact of climate change as explained in the report is important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first highlight that heat waves have become quite frequent as a result of climate change. Thereafter, we need to examine the adverse socio economic and health impact of heat waves and analyze how India should deal with the problem.

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 that one of the major fallouts of climate change is persistent heat waves.

Body

  • Explain the adverse health impact of heat waves
    • There has been increase in frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves in India which has resulted in increased deaths due to heat stroke, heart failure, acute kidney failure and frequent cases of dehydration.
    • Because of heat waves, there has been loss of work hours and labour capacity. The maximum impact of heat wave has been in the agricultural sector – a large section of the population that depends on farming.
    • This has resulted in decline in household income. As per World Bank estimate, in India there will be high socio-economic cost which may lead to erosion of 2.8% of GDP by 2050.
    • The increase in heat wave may also result in pre-mature deaths, increase in vector borne disease, decrease in labour capacity and it will also adversely affect food production leading to food insecurity.
  • Highlight what should be India’s response
    • Identification of heat spots
    • Review occupational health standard
    • regulate safety of work force amid rising temperature. Etc

Conclusion – emphasize on the seriousness of the problem and discuss way forward.



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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