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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 09 January 2019

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 09 January 2019

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic:  Salient features of world’s physical geography.


General Studies – 1


 

Topic– Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1) Discuss the different theories explaining the formation of Coral Islands.(250 words)

Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong; Islands and Coral Reefs

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 simply write in detail about the theories trying to explain the formation of Coral Islands across the world.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-Mention that the subject of the origin of coral reefs has been debated for our one and a half centuries and several theories have been put forward but none has been universally accepted.

Body-

  1. Discuss the theory put forward by Charles Darwin- subsidence theory. E.g
  • This theory assumes that all coral reefs began as fringing reefs around and Island are the topmost portions of extinct volcanoes that stood above ocean bed. Due to the general down-wrapping of the earth’s crust, the islands gradually subsided but the corals continue to grow upwards to keep pace with the subsidence etc.
  1. Discuss the theory put forward by R.A Dally- Glacial control theory. E.g
  • This theory believes that during the height of Ice Age the water was too cold for any Coral growth take place but with the return of warmer climate water locked Up in ice sheets melted. Consequently, there was a rise in sea levels and columns begin to grow @ around 1 foot in a decade to keep pace with the rising water level etc.

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


Topic- Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2) The Cool Temperate Continental Climate of the world is home to a flourishing lumbar industry. Examine.(250 words)

Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong; Cool Temperate Continental (SIberian)  Climate

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.

The question wants us to write in detail about the Cool Temperate Continental Climate of the world and its flourishing lumbar industry- why such climate supports lumbar industry and the features of such climate as well as the industry.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the Cool Temperate Continental Climate/ Siberian climate. E.g It is only experienced in the Northern Hemisphere where the continents inside the high latitudes have a large east-west spread, unlike the southern hemisphere.

Body-

  1. Mention that the predominant vegetation in this climate is coniferous forests, which stretches in a vast continuous stretch across North America, Europe and Asia.
  2. Discuss further, about coniferous forests in such climate. E.g no other trees are adapted to survive such hostile climates as the conifers.
  3. The conifers of Eurasia and N. America are the richest sources of softwood, used in building construction, pulp, matches, furniture, paper, rayon manufacturing etc.
  4. US leads in wood pulp while Canada tops in newsprint.
  5. The trees are present in pure strands and only a few species exist, which makes them highly advantageous for commercial exploitation.
  6. Conifers have moderate density, grow uniform and straight and tall, and are well spaced from each other.
  7. Snow Cover is exploited to transport/ haul the cut trees from one place to another etc.

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


Topic – Salient features of world’s physical geography.

3) Explain the formation of thousands of islands in Indonesian and Philippines archipelagos.(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the formation of these islands with detailed explanation of the processes entailed therein.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what archipelago is. Highlight that Indonesia and Philippines constitute two of the five main archipelagos in the world, with Indonesia being the largest archipelagic state in the world, in terms of area and population.

Body – Explain the geography of the region like the fact that it falls at the boundary of continental plates. Explain the reasons for the formation of these island. Both Indonesian and Philippines archipelagos are a result of a combination of volcanic activity and tectonic plate movement. Both islands have been hotbeds of volcanic and seismic activity due to the convergence of continental plates. Explain the physical processes involved in the formation of these islands.

Conclusion – highlight that the region is prone to volcanoes and tsunamis.


General Studies – 2


Topic–  Indian polity issues

4) The policy of reservation has transformed from an affirmative action policy to an anti poverty measure. Critically examine. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The recent decision of the government to introduce 10% reservation for economically weaker section in general category marks another chapter in the never ending reservation saga and needs to be analyzed.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the policy of reservation and examine whether the policy has transformed from a policy meant to provide a level playing field for those suffering from historical discrimination and those who are weaker sections of the society to a policy meant as a dole for those sections of society who are are poor and lack jobs.

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 recent measure to introduce 10% reservation for economically weaker section in general category.

Body

  • Explain in detail the measures taken by the government
    • Those who have an annual salary of less than ₹8 lakh per year and possess less than 5 acres of land will be able to avail themselves of reservation in educational institutions and jobs.
    • A Constitution Amendment Bill was approved by the Cabinet in this regard.
    • The Bill will also cover those from the Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and other minority communities.
    • The quota will be over and above the existing 50% reservation to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes (OBC).
  • Examine whether the policy is in contravention to the Indra Sawhney judgement and what the judgement says regarding reservation for economically weaker section
  • Examine whether the policy has transformed from a policy meant to provide a level playing field for those suffering from historical discrimination and those who are weaker sections of the society to a policy meant as a dole for those sections of society who are are poor and lack jobs.

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


Topic– India and its neighborhood- relations.

5) Faith based diplomacy has several limitations and may prove costly for India’s national interests in the long run. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question

India has been at the forefront of religious diplomacy as can be gauged from conducting Yoga sessions and enlightening the world about Ayurveda to high profile visits to/ from foreign countries to important religious sites. In this context it is essential to look into the issue and find whether religion based diplomacy should be pursued or not.

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 recent efforts by India to capitalize on faith based diplomacy and bring forth an opinion as to whether it may/ may not prove costly for India’s national interests in the long run.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about some of the recent diplomatic moves of the government which involved or emphasized religion. E.g Sri Lanka officials visit to Bodh Gaya; Citizenship Bill,  Visits of high level Indian officials including the PM to several foreign shrines etc.

Body-

Discuss the flaws in such approach and why it can be dangerous for India. E.g

  • It can trigger a backlash from communities and countries hostile to any particular religion.
  • Such an approach which focuses on a single or a few religions undermines India’s rich cultural and religious heritage.
  • It also undermines India’s secular foundations.
  • It can cause deep rifts between countries disfavouring any particular religion being promoted and India etc.

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


General Studies – 3


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

6) The Gujarat model which focuses on megaprojects at the expense of SMEs is not the solution for India. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The plan to introduce reservation in jobs for economically weaker sections of the upper castes in India points out the growing concerns about employment growth in India. In this context it is important to analyze the Gujarat model of development and see whether it offers the required solutions.

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 dig deep into the Gujarat model of development and bring forth its positive as well as negative points. Based on our discussion we have to form an opinion on whether this model should be emulated across India, given the present pressing concerns of the economy.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Gujarat model of development. E.g mention what exactly it refers to- which period of Gujarat story it relates to and mention that it is being hailed as role model for other states to emulate.

Body-

  1. Discuss the positive points of Gujarat model. E.g It ensured a high growth rate and attracted foreign investment; It led to substantial economic growth of the state and created a positive business friendly image among the investors; It made governance simpler and business easy to be done; A large number of industries were exempted from obtaining No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Pollution Control Board. They were allowed relatively easy and quick possession of land through the ‘urgency’ clause, as well as a simplification of the administrative processes to release agricultural land for industrial use etc.
  2. Discuss the flaws in such model. E.g  it was more about business-friendliness than market-friendliness, as evident from the non-market prices some companies paid for their land. While market-friendly economies minimize interventions by the state, in business-friendly economies, politicians (and “their” bureaucracies) intervene in favour of the companies they seek to favour; by focusing on “mega-projects”, the “Gujarat model” has relied on big companies that have boosted the growth rate but have not created many good jobs, not only because the rules pertaining to job creation have been relaxed, as mentioned above, but also because big companies are very capital intensive etc.
  3. Discuss the importance of job creation for India and link it with people’s agitations, recent reservation plans for economically weaker higher castes etc.

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


Topic– Disaster and disaster management.

7) The disaster in Meghalaya shows that lives of people matter little in India. Examine.(250 words)

livemint

Why this question

The article highlights the apathy shown by policymakers towards the weaker sections of the society who keep on dying in accidents or tragedies one after the other. These instances remain in public memory for some time and thereafter, it ceases to bother one. The recent Meghalaya tragedy was one such incident which could have been averted but wasn’t because no one was paying attention. Hence this question

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first discuss the reasons behind the tragedy in Meghalaya, and underline the causes why the disaster happened. Thereafter, we have to bring out that such disasters are a lack of proactive steps taken by the government and in certain cases, downright negligence. We have to give our opinion and discuss way forward.

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 – Highlight about the recent incident in Meghalaya and other such incidents where a number of people have died in totally avoidable circumstances.

Body

  • Explain the causes behind the disaster in Meghalaya
    • Highlight the tardy response response of the Centre and the State which has exposed the extraordinary indifference in government to labour welfare and the law.
    • Highlight that such mines were being operated despite ban by NGT which again highlights the apathy of the state.
    • Explain that Justice B.P. Katoki committee appointed by the NGT had warned about the continued operation of the illegal mines. However, Meghalaya government failed to act and take appropriate actions.
  • Discuss about the other such incidents such as death caused during demonetization, death due to hunger in Jharkhand etc which necessitated to enquiries and no corrective measures highlighting that lives of common people matter little and shows governmental apathy
  • Explain how the situation can be improved

Conclusion – Highlight that such incidents reflect utter neglect on the part of the state 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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