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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 15 DECEMBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 15 DECEMBER 2018

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic:  Role of civil services in a democracy. 


General Studies – 1


Topic: Effects of globalization on Indian society.

1) Critically analyze whether death penalty is justified in the modern times.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Some of the activist have made representations for speedier execution of Nirbhaya case accused. This brings out the need to discuss the old topic of the pros and cons of death penalty in a modern society.

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 a concluding opinion on the issue.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to look into the death penalty in detail and discuss why it is unwarranted in the present times and also discuss where it should be allowed. Based on our discussion we have to from a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent demands for executing Nirbhaya case accused.

BODY-

  1. Discuss the pitfalls and problems of death penalty. E.g
  • The death penalty is error-ridden. Between January 1, 2000 and June 31, 2015, the Supreme Court imposed 60 death sentences. It subsequently admitted that it had erred in 15 of them (25%).
  • The death penalty unfairly targets the poor and marginalised. Those without capital get the punishment. Penurious prisoners on legal aid get it the most, while others with private lawyers remain untouched.
  • The death penalty is impossible to administer fairly or rationally. The Supreme Court has repeatedly admitted that it has arbitrarily imposed this most extreme punishment. Executions occurred in 5.2 cases for every 1 lakh murders etc.
  1. Discuss the situations where death         penalty has been thought imperative to serve the sense of justice. E.g
  • The Law Commission of India has attempted to analyse the need for the death penalty on two separate occasions. While the 35th Report correctly called for its retention in order to see its impact on a new republic, the more recent 262nd Report could not recommend the punishment’s absolute abolition despite a rather desperate attempt to do the same for the first 240 pages;cases of violent terror are constant reminders of the need to protect national stability by ensuring appropriate responses to such actions, and the death penalty forms part of the national response.It is in this idea that there exists a moral support for the death penalty. A punishment cannot be judged by its impact on criminals but by its impact on those who are still innocent etc.

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

 


General Studies – 2


Topic Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

2) Judicial independence is not just independence from the government. Do you agree. Comment in the context of growing judicial activism in India.(250 words) 

The hindu

Why this question

Some of the recent judgements of judges from various courts of India point out the pitfalls of unrestrained judicial liberty, which in itself is a product of judicial activism. The article discusses the need for judicial independence and how judicial activism affects it.

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 knowledge and understanding of judicial activism in India and express our opinion as to why it underlines the statement that judicial independence is not just independence from the government or the executive.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the judicial activism in India. E.g mention the names of a few famous cases related to judicial activism- e.g doctrine of the basic structure of the constitution to BCCI restructuring to overseeing NRC etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss how judicial independence is more than independence from the executive. E.g Judicial independence, depends on judges recognising a law, while being influenced by politics, is not reducible to it; Law and adjudication must remain autonomous from partisan politics in important ways; control brings with it accountability. Politicians, for example, remain “accountable” to the people in at least some sense, because they depend upon them in order to continue in office after five years. Judges who are insulated from any external control are accountable only to themselves, and their own sense of the limits of their constitutional role etc.
  2. Discuss the perils of unrestrained judicial activism. E.g  The judgments like the national anthem order, the Tirukkural order, the NRC process, and Justice Sen’s recent foray raise an altogether more frightening prospect: that of an “executive court”;whose moral and political compass finds itself in alignment with the government of the day, and one that has no compunctions in navigating only according to that compass. Instead of checking and limiting government power, an executive court finds itself marching in lockstep with the government, and being used to set the seal of its prestige upon more controversial parts of the government’s agenda etc.

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


Topic – Role of civil services in a democracy.

3) What do you think is the importance of civil services for a democratic country like India. 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 role and importance of civil services for a country like India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  Civil services in India. E.g

Body-

Discuss in points the role played by civil services in a democracy and try to connect them with Indian civil services. E.g

  • Role in Governance
  • Role in provision of public goods and services
  • Economic policy improvement and implementation
  • Role in fiscal sustainability
  • Role in institutional development

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


Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability”

4) In recent years, a lot of effort has been put into technological initiatives like digitalization. Analyze how it can help in improving transparency and governance with examples?(250 words) 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out how digitalization would help in improving transparency as well as governance. We also need to provide examples of government schemes and programmes which can help in improving governance and transparency.

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 – Highlight that the current government has taken us on the path of digitalization through Digital India etc

Body

  • Explain how by bringing digitalization, transparency and governance improves.
  • Give examples of e-governance initiatives like mygov.in which enhance interaction between citizens and government, discuss about the pillars of digital India and how focus is on better service delivery for citizens, discuss the role of JAM in curbing corruption etc
  • Discuss what more can be done to further improve transparency and governance

Conclusion – emphasize on the role of technology in improving governance and the significant strides that we have taken in recent years.


General Studies – 3


Topic: Indian economy – issues

5) “The progress made in Ease of Doing Business (EODB) rankings is real, but it’s time for another exercise that takes a ground-up look at our current regulatory frameworks.” Analyze in the context of regulatory architecture for MSMEs?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article highlights the problem of regulatory maze that surrounds the MSME sector and the challenges it creates for them. At a time when credit availability for MSMEs has been focussed on a lot, simplifying the regulatory architecture will also help in the progress of MSMEs.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight the plethora of regulations that exist for MSME sector and why and how rationalising these regulations will help in freeing up the shackles of MSME sector and accelerate their growth.

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 – Highlight that India has recently made rapid strides in EODB rankings. To further improve EODB for MSMEs there is a need for relook into the regulatory architecture for MSMEs.

Body

  • First of all highlight the sheer quantum of regulations that the MSME sector has to contend with.
  • Discuss the challenges caused for the MSME sector as a result of the present regulatory architecture – compliance burden, lack of capacity etc
  • Discuss what needs to be done. Mention that focus has to be on 3 things – vectors—rationalization (cutting down the number of laws), simplification (cutting down the number of compliances and filings) and digitization (architecting for true paperless, presence-less and cashless). Also bring out how the same can be achieved.

Conclusion – Emphasize on the importance of MSME sector for the economy and how tackling this issue would have a multiplier effect on our economy.


Topic-Indian economy : Issues

6) Discuss why have conditions for workers in most parts of the world not improved commensurately given the global output recovery of recent years?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article discusses the fact that despite global growth seeing an upturn in recent years, wage growth for workers has not increased at the same pace. The article analyses the reasons behind it and suggests alternate policy measures. In India too, wage growth across sectors has not kept pace and hence this question will help you understand the reasons and give suggestions for improvement.

Key demand of the question

The question expects you to first highlight the status of global growth and bring out the fact that wage growth has not kept pace. Thereafter, we need to delve deeper into the issue to understand why this is so. Your analysis need not necessarily be limited to Indian situation but should also bring out the issues with neoliberal policies all around. Thereafter, we need to give suggestions for bringing about a change in status quo.

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 the findings of ILO. The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) latest Global Wage Report finds that, excluding China, real (inflation-adjusted) wages grew at an annual rate of just 1.1% in 2017, down from 1.8% in 2016. That is the slowest pace since 2008.

Body

  • Bring out the situation in developed and developing countries. Also highlight that gap between wage growth and labour productivity remained wide in 2017. In many countries, labour’s share of national income is still below the levels of the early 1990s.
  • Discuss the reasons behind the same
    • large labour-surplus economies’ deepening integration into the global market, together with increased reliance on automation and Artificial Intelligence, has weakened workers’ bargaining power and shifted labour demand into very specific and limited sectors.
    • Highlight the political reason behind the same – governments focused solely on improving “labour-market flexibility” have pursued policies that privilege employers’ interests over those of workers, not least by undercutting workers’ ability to organize. An obsession with fiscal consolidation and austerity has prevented the kind of social spending that could expand public employment and improve workers’ conditions. The current regulatory environment increasingly allows for large corporations to wield power without accountability, resulting in higher monopoly rents and greater bargaining power. Etc
  • Discuss the alternate approach followed by China and how it has been able to get wage growth. Explain that in China what has happened  is productive sector has absorbed surplus labour and push up wages over all. China has augmented this effect through systematic state policies designed to improve labour conditions.
  • Give suggestions for improvements – suggest tweaking the neoliberal paradigm, better policies to protect workers rights etc.

Conclusion – Summarize your findings as regards to the reason behind falling wage growth and suggest way forward.


General Studies – 4


Topic– Part of  the series of Ethics Case Studies

7) An international soft drink company has a signature soft drink that it sells all over the world. In India, the version of the soft drink complies with Indian food and health regulations, but is less healthy than the drink sold in the European market where the law is stricter. The soft drink company is obeying the law in India, but it is selling an inferior, less healthy product in a developing country.

 

  1. What are the issues of integrity, ethics and law posed in the case study?
  2. What options does the soft drink company and the government of India have
  3. What should they do and why?(250 words)

 

Guidelines for the answer

Some of the questions raised by this case study include;

  • how the issue first arose, including globalization, and why the company and the country would benefit and not benefit from the current position;
  • whether the company and country are acting ethically, with integrity, and consistent with law;
  • the role that consumers in India and elsewhere play in this case study;
  • and the different approaches the company could take to health standards, e.g. establishing its own standard to meet even if that standard exceeds what is required in a particular country.

Take the help of these guidelines and use your own critical understanding to frame your answer.


Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “citizen charter”

8) Though Citizen’s charters have been formulated by many public service delivery organizations, there is no corresponding improvement in the level of citizens’ satisfaction and quality of services being provided. Analyse.(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the purpose of citizen charters and thereafter, examine why despite the formulation of citizen charters corresponding improvement in service delivery by has not happened. Finally, we need to provide suggestions for improvement.

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 citizen charters are.

Body

  • Discuss the reasons why despite many public organizations coming out with their charters consequent improvement in public service delivery has not happened. Discuss the findings of 2nd ARC regarding the same
    • Lack of training and awareness at cutting edge level
    • Top driven approach and not bottom up approach
    • standards/time norms of services mentioned in Citizens’ Charter were either too lax or too tight and were, therefore, unrealistic and created an unfavourable impression on the clients of the Charter. Etc
  • Give suggestions for improvement
    • Internal restructuring should precede charter formulation
    • No one size fits all charter
    • Involve customers in the creation of guarantees, standards, redress policies, complaint systems, and customer service agreements
    • Effective redressal mechanism etc

Conclusion – Summarize your arguments 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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