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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 11 DECEMBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 11 DECEMBER 2018

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


General Studies – 1


TopicRole of women and women’s organization

1) SDG 5 on gender equality is seen as a key goal, both in itself and for achieving other goals. In this context, critically examine how crucial gender equality is for food security?(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

Gender equality has several direct and indirect benefits and the article examines the role of gender equality in ensuring food security. This question is important to understand how critical the role of gender equality is.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain why gender equality is a key goal because of the direct and indirect benefits associated with it. Thereafter, we need to critically examine the role of gender equality in achieving food security.

Directive word

Critically 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 . 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 about SDG5.

Body – Explain that Women play key roles in food provisioning as producers, home food managers, and consumers. Explain their role as an produces , consumers and food managers. Discuss about feminization of agriculture and how that impacts food security. Thereafter examine the issues that hinder the contribution of women with respect to food security. Discuss issues such as lack of ownership of land etc.

Conclusion – Give your view on the role that women have to play in ensuring food security and discuss way forward.


General Studies – 2


Topic – Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability,

2) The Electoral Bond Scheme propagates corruption and inhibits the citizen’s capacity to meaningfully participate in political and public life. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

The hindu

Why this question

Corruption is a critical issue in India and corruption in the one of the basic processes of democracy – electoral funding can be very dangerous. In this context it is important to discuss the Electoral bond Scheme and the impact it has on corruption and democracy.

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 the newly introduced EBS propagates corruption and inhibits meaningful participation if the citizens in the democratic exercise, or not. We have to form our opinion based on a proper discussion and presentation of valid arguments and facts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Electoral Bond Scheme. E.g The scheme permits not only individuals and body corporates, but also “every artificial juridical person,” to purchase bonds, issued by the State Bank of India, in denominations of ₹1,000, ₹10,000, ₹lakh, ₹10 lakh and ₹1 crore, during specified periods of the year. Issued in the form of promissory notes, once a bond is purchased the buyer can donate it to any political party, which can then encash it on demand.

Body-

Discuss how the scheme propagates corruption and hinders the capacity of the citizens to meaningfully participate in political and public life. E.g he scheme allows for complete anonymity of the donor. Neither the purchaser of the bond nor the political party receiving the donation is mandated to disclose the donor’s identity. Therefore, not only will, say, the shareholders of a corporation be unaware of the company’s contributions, but the voters too will have no idea of how, and through whom, a political party has been funded; the programme removes an existing condition that had prohibited companies from donating anything more than 7.5% of their average net-profit over the previous three years which means that even loss-making entities can make unlimited contributions. Additionally, the requirement that a corporation ought to have been in existence for at least three years before it could make donations — a system that was meant to stop shell concerns from being created with a view purely to syphoning money into politics — has also been removed; When the power of that vote is diluted through opacity in political funding, democracy as a whole loses its intrinsic value etc.

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


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

3) Is Artificial Intelligence The Way Forward For improving the learning outcomes of education in India. Examine.(250 words) 

Reference

Why this question

Education in India needs a systematic overhaul in the wake of growing concerns for the plethora of problems faced by it and due to new demands created by the growing popularity and adoption of technology in our lives. In this context it is important to discuss how AI can help improve learning outcomes in education.

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 bring out the role that AI can play in transforming education in India and improve the learning outcomes.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  various ills faced by education in India. E.g low enrollment particularly in higher education, unequal access to quality education; poor learning outcomes etc.

Body-

Discuss in points how AI can help mitigate the woes of education in India. E.g Teachers are often quite unable to decide which methods of teaching will resonate with the majority of their students. AI can make these decisions with less errors than human beings; Learning skill-sets requires students to grasp multiple aspects. Hence, a fair assessment should evaluate a student on both their strengths and areas that need improvement. AI can create fairer, unbiased ways to assess candidates by taking into account all the limitations of fixed-format exams, such as varying weightage and the curriculum’s difficulty level. AI can set our compass straight so we head in the right direction; AI can reduce wastage of time and resources at the grading stage because it allows each student to know how they are performing in real-time from both the lens of proficiency level and expertise; AI prevents us from designing a templated single-course, and instead allows adjustments as each user progresses through their learning cycle by keeping track of what is working and what is not; AI can make excellent recommendations after evaluating content at multiple checkpoints and also redirect students to free learning resources. That’s a win-win situation; Traditional learning is not serving the purpose anymore as the world becomes increasingly complex. A student-driven approach toward education boosts retention and encourages each individual to learn how to apply concepts to troubleshoot real issues happening in the world. Personalized, AI-driven learning empowers every single student to accelerate their progress and both discover and harness their full potential  etc

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


Topic –  corporate governance

4) Understanding ethical behavior in the context of corporate governance requires two levels of analysis: the internal concerns of corporate agency and the emergent effects on social welfare. 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 about the determinants and consequences of ethical behaviour on part of the corporate organisations in terms of the internal concerns of the organisation and its social welfare activities.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  importance of ethics in general and in corporate structure which usually works on purely commercial interests.

Body-

  1. Discuss the importance and role of internal concerns of the corporate agency in deciding the ethical/ unethical behaviour by the corporates. E.g Corporate agency is based on the premise that Agents- employees, managers, and directors should behave in the best interests of Principal-  owners or shareholders . Two things get in the way of that ideal: managers’ interests, while overlapping with those of shareholders, are distinct. Sometimes agents can help themselves in ways that hurt the firm and its shareholders; Second, shareholders have neither the specific knowledge nor skills possessed by management. That can create a dynamic where even well-intentioned managers may feel compelled to “short-termism,” i.e., acting in ways that look good to shareholders now, but actually undermine value creation over time etc.
  2. Discuss the importance  and role of the emergent effects on social welfare. E.g Social welfare is based on the premise that companies should engage in fair dealing with all of their stakeholders—including customers, employees, suppliers, and communities, as well as shareholders—in accordance with the expectations of the larger society in which they operate; companies benefit from at least nurturing their reputations among all stakeholders, and minimizing their negative externalities (pollution, plant closures, etc.) preserves the freedom of companies to operate with otherwise minimal external constraints 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 – “Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources”

5) Low standards in education, lack of requisite skills and unemployment form a vicious cycle which is detrimental to India’s demographic dividend. Comment. How can human resource development play a role in addressing this problem? Examine.(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss how low education standards, poor skill education and unemployment feed into each other leading to a creation of a vicious cycle. We need to highlight how this essentially hinders the growth opportunities for the country which is provided by demographic dividend. Finally we need to explain how focussing on human resource development can help in alleviating these issues.

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 India has a short window of time where it can focus on the strength of its demographic dividend and accelerate its growth.

Body – Initially explain the problem of low education standards, poor skill level and how these issues feed into the problem of unemployment. Thereafter, highlight how these issues are likely to snowball into a major impediment for India going forward considering the amount of youth that are being added to the labour force. Explain in brief that India has a short window to capitalise on its demographic dividend and examine what needs to be done to build up skill level and education level amongst the young population so as to ensure that India is able to reap the advantage of its demographic dividend.

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss the way forward.


Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Issues related to health”

6) Tribal communities lag behind the general population on most health parameters. Critically Examine.(250 words)

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to find out the reasons as to why the tribal population of India fares poor in most of the health parameters and then form a concluding and substantive opinion on the issue.

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. Based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  tribal communities in India, their proportion in the population and the environmental conditions in which they live.

Body-

Mention that health is an interplay of a number of social, political, cultural, environmental and genetic factors; Access to healthcare depends on a number of factors of which female literacy is an important determinant — it is instrumental in shaping a group’s healthcare seeking behaviour. According to the 2011 Census, the female literacy of Scheduled Tribes is 56.5 per cent; this is almost 10 per cent below the national rate and is one reason for tribal groups doing poorly on health parameters. Financial insecurity is another major cause of the ill-health of tribal people; The poor health of an ethnic group is very often a result of the exclusion of that group from a country’s national imagination; Exclusion and marginalisation of a group leads to poverty, which in turn makes people from such groups vulnerable to diseases. This holds true for India’s Scheduled Tribes as well; Moreover, some Scheduled Tribe communities are known to be vulnerable to specific diseases — people of Odisha’s Gond tribe, for example, are susceptible to sickle cell disease etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g Improving the health of Scheduled Tribes requires a multi-pronged approach. However, honest attempts at inclusion — politically, administratively and socially — should be behind all such endeavours. Measures to tackle group specific health issues and capacity building of a group in terms of improving their education and literacy, would go a long way in promoting their health.


General Studies – 3


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

7) What are the benefits of deep sea mining and what are the potential harms it can inflict on the society and the environment. Discuss.(250 words) 

The hindu

Reference

Why this question

Oceans hold the new resource frontier in the form of polymetallic nodules which contain elements vital for the digital societies. In this context it is important to analyze the pros and cons of deep seabed mining, which is gaining increasing popularity across the world, including India.

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 pros/ need of deep seabed mining and also the cons in terms of its effects on environment and coastal communities.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  UNCLOS and ISA and its relation to seabed mining. E.g under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), any country or deep sea mining company that wishes to exploit the seabed needs an exploration contract from the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

Body-

  1. Discuss the pros/ benefits/ necessity of pursuing seabed mining. E.g Hailed as a ‘new resource frontier’, the deep seabed is home to a variety of valuable minerals and metals, which lie hidden in underwater ridges, seamounts and sediment; polymetallic nodules comprising copper, nickel, cobalt, manganese, iron and rare earth elements are key to making modern gadgets, from smartphones and laptops to pacemakers, hybrid cars and solar panels; “These metals are not widely available in India, so they have strategic importance, as well; Sediment kicked up by underwater mining would dissolve and resettle, and there would be no carbon emissions, unlike on land; There would be no need to build roads, infrastructure or relocate communities etc.
  2. Discuss the cons. E.g Mining for nodule resources on the seafloor is likely to be highly destructive in the mined area, with long-lasting impacts; Sediment plumes and disturbance caused by mining could wipe out habitats for slow-growing corals and fish; It could also have long-term effects on how the ocean, which absorbs carbon dioxide and heat, regulates the world’s climate; Aside from the impact on aquatic ecosystems, these issues could also have serious consequences for the livelihoods and well-being of coastal communities; mining exposes sea life to metallic and acidic substances, which introduce toxic particles to underwater food chains. Deep sea trawling has already shown that the destruction of oceanic topography takes a big toll on fish, particularly slow-breeding species such as redfish and orange roughy. Aside from the impact on aquatic ecosystems, these issues could also have serious consequences for the livelihoods and well-being of coastal communities etc.

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


Topic– Indian Agriculture issues

8) Thousands of farmers from different parts of India marched to Delhi on November 29-30 to register their protest. Critically examine the effectiveness of AASHA in resolving farmers distress? What do you suggest are the reforms required to resolve rural distress?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

Agrarian distress is an important issue for mains and has been in news continuously since last year. The article explains the major demands of the farmers and analyzes the government response and what it would mean. The issue of farmers not getting adequate price for their produce is important and in this context, ASHA needs to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

First the question expects us to explain the reasons and demands of the farmers who were protesting in Delhi. Thereafter, we need to highlight that farmers are not getting adequate price for their produce. In this context, explain ASHA and analyze its achievement in resolving the issue of inadequate prices for farm produce. Finally, we need to highlight the reforms required.

Directive word

Critically 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 . 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 about the poor status of farmers and the rise of farmer protests.

Body

  • Discuss the demands of the recently held protests in Delhi – debate in the Parliament to discuss farm distress; one-time loan waiver; and  raising minimum support prices (MSPs) to 50% above comprehensive cost (cost C2) of production, and making MSPs legally binding on private traders
  • Explain about AASHA and critically examine its impact – PM’s AASHA (Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan) tried to give support through three sub-schemes, Price Support Scheme, Price Deficiency Payment (PDP) and Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme. However, none of the states have implemented the scheme. Even MP, which had piloted the PDP scheme in kharif 2017, has discontinued it.
  • Discuss about the reforms required – India needs massive reforms in its agri-markets, from reforming APMC markets to abolishing the Essential Commodities Act, and abolishing all export restrictions. Encouraging contract farming, allowing private agri-markets in competition with APMC markets, capping commissions and fees to not more than 2% for any commodity at any place in India, opening and expanding futures trading, a negotiable warehouse receipt system, e-NAM, with due systems of assaying, grading, delivery and dispute settlement mechanisms, are some of the necessary steps needed urgently.

Conclusion – Emphasize on the plight of farmers and discuss the 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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