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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 20 DECEMBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 20 DECEMBER 2018

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Tomorrow’s Static Topic:  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment. 


General Studies – 2


Topic– Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

1) Discuss the important issues concerning elections in India, which have been highlighted in recent years.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Elections is an essential democratic exercise which expresses the will of the people as well as the authority decided to be the driver of the society for a specified period of time. It is therefore essential to know about the major issues surrounding the largest democratic exercise in the world.

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 discuss in detail about the various issues concerning the elections in India. We have to discuss the most important issues that have been in news in the recent years.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Write a few introductory lines about India being the world’s largest democracy and Indian elections being a magnanimous democratic exercise but still there are several critical issues concerning elections in India.

Body-

Discuss in paragraphs,various issues plaguing the electoral process in India. E.g

  • Criminalization of politics and the recent SC decision on the matter of barring politicians with serious criminal charges from contesting elections etc.
  • Hate speech by politicians
  • EVM tampering issue and the case for VVPATs
  • Issue of electoral bonds introduced in the recent past

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


Topic– mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

2) The new law on rights of transgender fail to take into account the lived realities of the lives of transgenders. Discuss.(250 words)

Financialexpress

Why this question

The bill had been pending since a long time and was recently passed by the Lok Sabha. The provisions of the bill have been criticized on various fronts. It is essential to analyze the bill in detail and bring out its shortcomings.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the details of the bill and examine its shortcomings and how it fails to address the issues in the lives of transgenders.

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 – write a few introductory lines about the  Transgender people passed by the LS recently. E.g the objectives of the bill includes protecting interests of transgenders, defining of the term ‘transgender’, to give them recognition and setting up of a national transgender council.

Body

  • Discuss the pros of the Bill – The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 seeks to empower the transgender community by providing them a separate identity; The bill proposes to setup a National Transgender Council to look after the interests and grievances of the transgender community etc.
  • Discuss how it ignores the lived realities of transgender people –
    • wever, retained only some of the recommendations and added a host of new problems. For instance, the definition of transgender persons includes intersex persons as well—persons with several variations of sex characteristics, including gonads, chromosomes, etc. The problem is that intersex persons can be comfortable with the gender assigned to them at birth but the new law forces them to be clubbed with transgender persons.
    • The law talks of a National Commission for Transgenders, but has nothing on membership structure, objectives, grievance redressal and other features of the commission.
    • completely negates the concept of self-identification as the touchstone of determining transgender identity, and instead relies on a physical examination for conferring legally recognised transgender identity to an individual.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced opinion about the bill and discuss the way forward.


General Studies – 3


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

3) It is important for India to widen its direct tax net. Analyze.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

It has been repeatedly highlighted that India has one of the lowest direct tax payer to population ratio. In this context it is essential to discuss why there is a need to increase that base and what are the benefits it will accrue.

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 issue and bring out as to why there is a need for India to widen its direct tax base- what benefits it will provide and why it is important.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Write a few introductory lines about the need to widen direct tax base  E.g to end extreme poverty sustainably, the states governing the world’s poor need to be strengthened such that they are both accountable to the needs of the poor and have the capacity to meet those needs etc

Body-

Discuss why there is the need of fiscal deepening of India and also discuss its consequences E.g

  • India is trapped between the very poor countries that get a lot of foreign aid and the wealthy ones with very strong tax collections;
  • the tax collected for every unit of economic output in India was minuscule compared to other countries;
  • the Indian state will be in a better position to perform its key duties without running into repeated fiscal crises;
  • higher direct taxes could provide space for significant cuts in indirect taxes such as the goods and services tax, which in effect means a shift from a regressive to a progressive tax system;
  • a widening tax pool because of formalization means the current perverse system in which efficient firms are taxed at a high rate because inefficient firms manage to slip outside the tax system will end etc.

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


Topic: Climate Change

4) At Katowice, the Paris accord didn’t die—and that, however meagre a success in the larger scheme of things, is significant. Critically analyze. (250 words)

Financialexpress

Financialexpress

Why this question

The outcome of the recent summit at Katowice has come out with a rulebook for creating a framework for implementing the Paris accord. It is important to analyze how far this rulebook would go in keeping the catastrophic impacts of climate change at bay.

Key demand of the question

The question basically expects us to analyze how far the rulebook coming out of Katowice would be successful in mitigating the impact of climate change. IPCC report has painted a really bleak picture of the future scenario and we need to examine whether the framework agreed at the cop24 summit can be considered as a success or not. 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 about the Katowice summit and what it intended to achieve.

Body

  • Discuss about the major agreements reached upon in the rulebook.
    • The rulebook provides what kinds of financial flows — loans, concessions, grants — can be classified as ‘climate finance’, which developed countries are supposed to provide to developing countries to help them deal with climate change. It also specifies how they should be accounted for, and the kind of information about them needed to be submitted.
    • details on funding and building capacity have been postponed. References to “equity” in the draft rule book were erased by the U.S. delegation.
  • Critically analyze how far the rulebook can be considered a success. Highlight that issues related to equity, loss and damage etc have been put on the backburner, India and many other developing countries rued the fact that the “balance” that they would have liked to see in the agreement was missing etc
  • Discuss that it provides a basic framework on which to work upon to highlight the meagre success the agreement provides.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced conclusion about how far the process at COP24 has been a success and what more needs to be done.


Topic-Part of static series under the heading – “Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation”

5) A strong political will is required to come out with strict regulations to manage e waste in India. Increased public awareness is the need of hour. Examine the issues surrounding e-waste management and suggest the steps that need to be taken?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight the problem of e-waste management, examine the reasons why they exist, discuss the impact of e-waste and give suggestions for improvement.

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 overview of the status of e-waste management in India. In India, e waste accounts for 4% of global e-waste and 2.5% of global GDP  – so it has a higher share of e-waste than its share of gross domestic product (GDP).

Body

  • Discuss the issues surrounding e-waste management –
    • The producers/manufacturers do not have adequate information on their website regarding e waste management.
    • Customer care representatives do not have inkling about any take back or recycling programme and even if they have set up collection centres, they are simply not enough for a geographically vast country like India.
    • India being a vast country, setting up collection mechanism is a big challenge. If any of the brands try individually to reach out to all corners of the country, it will economically not be sustainable or feasible.
    • Improper enforcement of the existing laws is another hurdle.
  • Discuss the impact that improper management of e-waste had on health, environment etc
  • Give suggestions as to what needs to be fine – Along with digitalisation plans, our nation needs a matching ewaste plan to contain the e-mess, an advance type of planning rather than a post-facto approach. The first big step is to recognise that the ewaste monster is being created right now.Besides, manufacturing processes in India have to adopt better technology so as to generate less waste. Discuss the Norway model of dealing with e-waste

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss the way forward.


Topic– Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation,

6) Building standards need to evolve to reflect the urgency for more resilient buildings in the face of climate change and extreme weather events. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Building sector is one of the major, rapidly growing and largely neglected sectors responsible for climate change and environmental degradation. It is essential to underline its importance in our efforts to combat climate change and environmental degradation.

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 about the importance of building standards in the face of climate change and extreme weather events. We have to express our opinion, with sufficient arguments in support of our opinion, as to why/ why not there is a need to evolve building standards in the face of climate change and extreme weather events.

Structure of the Answer

Introduction– mention that the 2018 Global Status Report – Towards a Zero-Emission, Efficient and Resilient Buildings and Construction Sector, highlights that emissions from buildings and construction may have peaked in the past few years.

Body

Discuss the role of buildings in climate change and environmental degradation. E.g Buildings are a key driver of energy demand, and developments within the sector such as the growing uptake of air conditioners are having a big impact on energy and environmental trends at the global level; If we don’t make buildings more efficient, their rising energy use will impact us all, whether it be through access to affordable energy services, poor air quality or higher energy bills; The number of new buildings is likely to grow rapidly in the coming years, especially in Africa and Asia. This rapid growth will challenge the target of a 30 percent energy intensity improvement in buildings by 2030, needed to put the sector on track to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement; Energy use for ‘space cooling’ has already increased 25 per cent since 2010 and there are now more than 1.6 billion air conditioning units in buildings globally etc.

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g building standards need to evolve to reflect the urgency for more resilient buildings in the face of climate change and extreme events like storms, floods, high wind speeds and soaring temperatures.


General Studies – 4


Topic– Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics

7) The key assumption in normative ethics is that there is only one ultimate criterion of moral conduct, whether it is a single rule or a set of principles. 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 theories of normative ethics and bring out as to how they assume that there is only one ultimate criterion of moral conduct.

Structure of the answer

Write a few introductory lines about the normative ethics. E,g Normative ethics involves arriving at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct. In a sense, it is a search for an ideal litmus test of proper behavior. The Golden Rule is a classic example of a normative principle: We should do to others what we would want others to do to us.

Body

Discuss the most commonly appealed normative principles in applied ethics E.g

  • Personal benefit: acknowledge the extent to which an action produces beneficial consequences for the individual in question.
  • Social benefit: acknowledge the extent to which an action produces beneficial consequences for society.
  • Principle of benevolence: help those in need.
  • Principle of paternalism: assist others in pursuing their best interests when they cannot do so themselves.
  • Principle of harm: do not harm others.
  • Principle of honesty: do not deceive others.
  • Principle of lawfulness: do not violate the law.
  • Principle of autonomy: acknowledge a person’s freedom over his/her actions or physical body.
  • Principle of justice: acknowledge a person’s right to due process, fair compensation for harm done, and fair distribution of benefits.
  • Rights: acknowledge a person’s rights to life, information, privacy, free expression, and safety.

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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