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

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

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems;
ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations
and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance;
strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international
relations and funding; corporate governance.


General Studies – 2


Topic Indian polity : issues

1) Getting rid of the minimum education criteria for contesting panchayat polls is a welcome decision, especially in India which is home to 35% of the world’s illiterate population. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article discusses the recent decision of Rajasthan government to do away with educational qualification as a criteria for contesting local polls. When this decision came out, there was huge debate over the constitutional as well as the functionality of the decision, including a verdict by court in rajbala vs state of Haryana 2015. It is expected of aspirants to form a perspective on this issue.

Key demand of the question

Th question expects us to explain the recent decision of the government with regards to minimum educational qualification and discuss the pros and cons of the decision including the judicial verdict on the issue. Finally we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion and discuss way forward.

Directive word

Critically analyze –

Structure of the answer

Introduction – explain about the recent decision of Rajasthan government to do away with educational qualification as a criteria for contesting local elections.

Body

  • Highlight the fact that such preconditions have been prescribed by several governments including Rajasthan and Haryana. Discuss the rationale behind such legislations. Explain that the idea behind such educational qualification criteria, two child policy etc is to ensure that people who come into governance are socially and ethically aware of their duties and responsibilities.Explain the verdict of SC in rajbala vs state of Haryana India regarding constitutionality of such preconditions.
  • Discuss the impact of such judgments – Highlight that it acts as exclusionary as a sizable section of population who are illiterate because of the ineffectiveness of state in imparting education to all are being penalized.
  • Discuss the cons of having such preconditions. Explain that While the Constitution states the eligibility criteria for becoming MLAs and MPs in India in terms of, say, the age of a person, there are no required minimum educational qualifications for them or even the ministers. Etc

Conclusion – Give your view on this issue and discuss way forward.


General Studies – 3


 

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

2) Stress on economic indicators like GDP is catering to people’s’ needs as consumers but is not fulfilling their aspirations as citizens of good societies. Analyze.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article written by an ex-member of erstwhile planning commission briefly discusses the perils of economic progress unmatched by an equal measure of social and political progress and why there is a need to shift human endeavours towards a holistic, sustainable and democratic setup which caters to all the human needs and not just their economic hunger.

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 deep into the central role played by GDP figures in modern economies and why such a myopic approach is not good for a healthy democracy and environmentally sustainable society.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  economic indicators like GDP being in use to compare nations and states and quantifying their progress etc.

Body

  1. Discuss the benefits of measuring growth in terms of GDP figures. E.g
  • Growth can be easily measured and quantified.
  • It indicates increase in overall purchasing and investment capacity of a society.
  • GDP is also used as an indicator of a nation’s overall standard of living because, generally, a nation’s standard of living increases as GDP increases etc.
  1. Discuss the perils of measure human progress in strictly economic terms. E.g
  • many complex forces—ecological, social, political and economic—interact to shape the future. No expert in any one discipline can comprehend the interactions among all these forces.
  • progress is too unequal.
  • Economists have focused too narrowly on the economic side of human aspirations, setting aside human yearnings for belonging to social collectives and nations.
  • Capitalist systems founded on a religion of property rights have treated nature that nurtures as an “externality” to be exploited etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g to make the world better for everyone, consumers must learn to be better citizens and to democratically govern the local systems within which they live.


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

3) GST 2.0 will arrive in incremental stages, not at one go. Do you agree. Comment.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

Many political parties and politicians have called for reforms in the GST structure and there have been calls to bring GST 2.0, a revised and more progressive GST regime. The article discusses the need for reform arising in the current regime and why one-time reforms in GST regime are not possible.

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 current GST structure and its shortcomings which call for the arrival of GST 2.0. We have to express our opinion as to why/ why not GST 2.0 would be a progressive achievement rather than a wholesale reform.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:– write a few introductory lines about the GST 2.0 E. g GST  2.0 is a revised form of GST that aims to resolve the problems and deficiencies associated with the present GST regime. Among others it aspires to cover excluded item like electricity real estate and petroleum, and evolve a common composition scheme for goods and services etc.

Body

  1. Discuss the shortcomings of current GST structure and thus discuss why there is a need of adopting a newer version of GST E.g
  • Finding a revenue-neutral rate by adding up state and central value-added taxes on various products
  • Need to keep inflation down in the initial phases of the exercise, which resulted in many items of common consumption being kept out of the GST;
  • Need to compensate states for losses, which resulted in the imposition of a cess to create a separate revenue corpus from which losses would be compensated;
  • Need to coax small businesses into the GST net, if needed by giving them an entirely different set of rules to live by (as in the composition scheme)
  • Political compulsion to create a progressive rate structure
  1. Discuss why only incremental rather than drastic reforms are possible under GST. e.g
  • In the GST Council, a vote on any issue needs 75% backing, which means the centre can block any proposal with its 33% voting rights.
  • A coalition of states with 25% backing can also block. When Mizoram’s vote equals Uttar Pradesh’s, a coalition of tiny states can block proposals that lack consensus. This is why the only way forward is to make one or two tweaks every few months etc.

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


Topic-Effects of liberalization on the economy

4) The recent updates to the regulations governing FDI in e-commerce does well to close out the transgressions and violations in the existing policy wrt FDI in e-commerce. Critically Analyze. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

Online shopping has witnessed a very high growth rate in India and is bound to further increase in future. Indian government has recently issued some new rules for e-commerce and it is important to discuss those rules and their possible impact in detail

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the recent regulations brought in by the government regarding FDI in e-commerce. Thereafter, we need to explain the pros and cons of the decision including the impact on such online marketplace. Finally we need to provide a fair and balanced view and discuss way forward.

Directive word

Critically analyze –

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Write a few introductory lines about the  recently released e-commerce rules. E.g the new rules stipulate  that e-commerce entities will have to maintain a level playing field, and ensure that they do not directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods and services etc.

Body

  • Discuss the provisions of the rules in detail.
    • From February 1, 2019, e-commerce companies running marketplace platforms cannot sell products through companies, and of companies, in which they hold equity stake;
    • Inventory of a vendor will be deemed to be controlled by e-commerce marketplace entity if more than 25% of purchases of such vendor are from the marketplace entity or its group companies etc.
  • Analyze whether these rules amount to micromanagement on the part of government which would adversely impact such investments into e-commerce sector which is a high growth sector in Indian economy. On the other hand, also explain that these explanation to the rules are a clarification of existing regulations governing FDI in e-commerce and will positively impact the domestic players.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced conclusion after analysing all aspects and discuss way forward.


Topic: Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

5) Without being sincere about enlarging the democratic space in Kashmir, every call for de-escalation will be seen by people as an invitation to surrender and will be vehemently resisted. Comment.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

SItuation in Kashmir has worsened with time as can be gauged from the number of civilian and security personnel killings in 2018, one of the highest in this decade. The article provides an insider view of the present distress in the valley and calls for deepening and strengthening of 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 knowledge and understanding about the present situation in Kashmir and express our opinion as to why/ why not, without being sincere about enlarging the democratic space in Kashmir, every call for de-escalation will be seen by people as an invitation to surrender and will be vehemently resisted.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  present situation in Kashmir. E.g mention about the fall of BJP-PDP coalition and governor’s rule and also mention that 2018 saw the highest number of casualties since 2008 etc.

Body-

Discuss the relationship between shrinking democratic space and rise of violent forms of protest against the government. E.g

  • DIscuss the erosion of democracy and democratic institutions in the valley- interference by the central govt. In the functioning of state govt; no respect for rule of law and accountability on part of the government; rise in corruption in the state etc.
  • Voter-turnout has been time again misused to negate the legitimacy of the political aspirations of the people and governance issues are used to confuse their narrative.
  • If the people’s call for the restoration of their political agency is responded to only by deploying stronger and more lethal weapons, then this asymmetric war is not ending anytime soon.
  • The way out of the deadlock in Kashmir is to strengthen democracy. The Indian state must be extra accommodating of dissent, when dealing with Kashmir. Those who win elections must have the freedom to truthfully represent their electorate. The existing “mainstream” political parties must not feel threatened by intrigues originating in Delhi etc.

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


General Studies – 4


Topic-Part of static series under the heading – “ethical issues in international relations and funding”

6) Our inability to come to an adequate agreement with regards to financing, technology transfer etc to prevent climate change reflects the lack of ethics in international relations. Discuss(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The agreement which has come out of the recently concluded summit at Katowice has been criticized for its lack of ambition in devising a solution to the trenchant problem of climate change. We need to examine whether the issue is on account of lack of ethics in international relations. We need to provide a fair and balanced opinion and discuss way forward.

Directive word

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the inadequate nature of the agreement meant to tackle climate change – one of the gravest danger posed before the world today.

Body

  • Explain the issue of climate change and the problems associated with financing and technology transfer.
  • Discuss that the focus of the countries is on ensuring that other nations can’t progress on their account instead of thinking of the significant problem that faces us
  • Similarly, explain that our inability to come up with a framework for loss and damage reflects our lack of empathy.
  • However, also bring out that in international ethics the primary responsibility of the nations is to secure their interest but for the sake of our planet there is a need for all nations to come together

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


Topic– Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

7) What do you think can be the strategies required to make public servants ethically compliant. 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 bring out a strategy which is practical and at the same time effective to make public servants more ethically compliant and end the ethical laxity experienced by them

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention that In the wake of many revelations of criminal offences among public and community service officials, one is justified in asking whether there is a systemic problem of ethical behavior and morality defects in public service agencies etc.

Body-

Discuss the strategy to make public servants ethically compliant and morally upright. E.g

  • Establish rules which require public officials to give reasons for their official decisions;
  • Institute management approaches that enable public officials to deal assertively with corruption and unethical practice when they encounter it, even at the risk of offending their superiors.
  • ‘whistleblower’ protection law to protect appropriate ‘public interest disclosures’ of wrongdoing by officials;
  • ethics audits to identify risks to the integrity of the most important processes (for example financial management, tendering, recruitment and promotion, dismissal and discipline);
  • new Human Resource Management strategies (which link, for example, ethical performance with entry and advancement, and ethical ‘under-performance’ with disciplinary processes), merit based promotion and recruitment, anti-discrimination protection;
  • training and development in the content and rationale of Ethics Codes, the application of ethical management principles, the proper use of official power, and the requirements of professional responsibility, and
  • effective external and internal complaint and redress procedures.

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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