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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 21 January 2019

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 21 January 2019

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic – Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

1) The 2014 NGT ban on rat hole mining in Meghalaya has only accentuated the problem. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Downtoearth

Why this question

The recent disasters involving rat hole mining in Meghalaya has brought the focus on rat hole mining in the state. The NGT order on rat hole mining, it appeared, had dealt with the problem conclusively. However, the recent disasters have shown that the problem persists. Hence this question.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the pros and cons of NGT decision on banning rat hole mining and discuss the way forward for ensuring that a fair and practical solution is devised.

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 2014 order banning rat hole mining.

Body

  • Discuss the impact of the ban. Highlight that while it was thought that the ban had succeeded in tackling the problem of rat hole mining, the recent incidents have shown that the problem continues.
  • Discuss how the ban has magnified the problem
    • Blueprints of mines are not available which hampered rescue operations in the current disaster
    • rat-hole mining has to be regulated and not banned as it will impact the livelihood of many people. Moreover the current legal limbo is only benefiting the rich etc
  • Discuss what needs to be done to effectively deal with the situation. Evaluate whether ban is the way forward or regulations are required

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss the way forward.


Topic– Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

2) What do the draft  CRZ rules imply from the perspective of environmental justice and distributive justice.Discuss. (250 words)

Epw

Why this question

The draft CRZ rules have been widely criticised for their material approach towards coastal development and under the conspicuous and increasingly more vital role of climate change it is important to discuss the draft rules and see how they affect the environment and the society.

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 as to how the draft CRZ rules will possibly affect the environment and the notion of distributive justice.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent CRZ rules. The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), 2018 notification approved by the MoEFCC has revoked some of its stringent provisions to permit the expansion of development activities into the environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs), hitherto deemed inaccessible by law.

Body-

  1. Discuss the salient provisions of the rules. E.g
  • reduction of the CRZ limits and the no-development zone (NDZ) area,
  • and the classification of coastal zone areas, according to the density of population.
  • For the setting up of “strategic projects,” for defence and public utilities, even the most ecologically critical areas that fall under the CRZ I classification have not been excluded.
  1. DIscuss the impact of the draft rules vis-a-vis environmental and distributive justice. E.g
  • By facilitating the large-scale intrusion of commercial and industrial activities into the fragile coastal territories, the new CRZ policy would upset the prevailing human–ecological balance.
  • This would lead to further degradation of marine ecosystems, and disrupt the livelihoods of resource-dependent populations, especially artisanal fishers living off the coasts.
  • Regions that lie along India’s west coast and those adjoining the river deltas on the east coast are known to be amongst the most vulnerable areas.
  • In effect, the policy would not only serve to facilitate the unhindered implementation of the central government’s ambitious Sagarmala project but also promote the development of infrastructure, real estate and tourism, while permitting affordable housing along the coast.
  • The utilitarian approach of the policy reveals a clear bias favouring business interests, while overriding the needs of coastal ecology, conservation and the fishers etc.

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


Topic– Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

3) The 10% quota for higher-caste EWSs discredits the moral foundation of the principle of social justice. Comment. (250 words)

Epw

 

Why this question

The recently introduced act to provide 10% reservations to the higher caste EWSs of the society has been highly criticized for its callous and highly political approach towards some of the most important economic questions of India. It is important to discuss how this policy affects India and the principle of natural justice.

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 the issue of providing reservations to high-caste EWS of India and express our opinion as to how it does/ does not discredit the moral foundation of the idea of social justice.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  recent bill for providing reservations to higher-caste EWS of Indian society. E.g mention the criteria used for identification of the beneficiaries and mention the benefits provided directly.

Body-

  1. Discuss the pros and cons of the bill. E.g
  • If the Court assents to the legislation and it is implemented by the government, it is expected to help the needy among the higher castes.
  • In some cases, it is also expected to eliminate the desperation of those who, in the past, would resort to obtaining fake Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificates that were used to seek entry into professional courses
  • Centre did not give enough time for discussion on it before it was tabled in Parliament for its final approval.
  • Similarly, an objection is raised about the procedure that the government adopted in order to fix the criteria for educational and economic backwardness.
  • How has the government arrived at the figure of 10%, without any proper and thorough documentation by a duly constituted commission?
  1. Discuss how the scheme discredits the moral foundations of the principles of social justice. E.g
  • Issue of fake certificates
  • he 10% quota is expected to reinforce the urge among the higher castes to be a part of the reservation fraternity, along with the SCs, STs, and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
  • The 10% quota is at variance with the very normative basis of the reservation policy, which was envisioned for the benefit of the SCs.
  • It is needless to mention that the potential beneficiaries of the legislation would benefit from a 10% quota based purely on the economic criterion, that is, without having had to experience being subjected to the practices of untouchability, which originally served as the fundamental basis for providing the quota for the SCs etc.

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


Topic-Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

4) The Draft Patents Rules, released by the Ministry of Commerce undermine safeguards against frivolous patents. Analyze.(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

India is still a technology importing nation by large ,and has also resisted various moves of the developed countries to make its patent laws less strict. In this context it is essential to discuss how the draft patent rules undermine safeguards against frivolous patents.

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 look deeper into the draft CRZ rules released by the ministry of Commerce and bring out how they undermine safeguards placed against frivolous patents.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent changes being mulled over by the government.

Body-

Discuss the salient provisions of the bill and how they affect safeguards against frivolous patents. E.g

  • It proposes a new mechanism which will expedite decisions on patent applications.
  • This proposed fast-track process seems to come with various other compromises on the functioning of India’s patent architecture and for protecting access to medicines.
  • The monopoly of patents is often justified as an incentive to promote R&D. But in practice, patents are used to control competition and give fewer options to consumers. Towards this purpose, big corporations are known for obtaining multiple patents claiming minor changes on the same technology or molecule.
  • This practice of creating patent-fences adversely impacts the industrial and technological development of countries like India, by preventing their firms from catching up with the latest technology.
  • As a technology-dependent country, India’s patents Act discourages patenting frivolous inventions and excludes patenting software, plants, animals or their parts and known chemical molecules.
  • The proposed changes for fast-track examination say that if a patent is granted in a foreign patent office, then the applicant can apply for fast-tracking of the same application in India, provided that there is a bilateral agreement between the Indian Patent Office and the concerned foreign patent office.
  • This may lead to the “harmonisation” of Indian patentability criteria with foreign countries like US, Japan.
  • It can also lead to the granting of patents prohibited under the Indian Patents Act, such as a patent on software or a known molecule. In other words, the stringent standards for granting patents set by parliament in the Act would be ignored in practice etc.

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


Topic:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

5) India’s reluctance to admit China into the SAARC serves no better purpose. Examine. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The article highlights the scope and need of India-China cooperation in various fields, including the advantages of admitting China as a SAARC member.

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 reasons as to why refusal of India to admit China as a member of SAARC is working against India’s own interests.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  SAARC- its members and position of China as an observer state.

Body-

Discuss why preventing China from SAARC membership is working against India’s interests. E.g

  • The US-China trade war and frequent meetings between the leaders of India and China post-Doklam standoff worked towards setting up a hotline between India-China military headquarters to strengthen communication and build trust and mutual understanding to make their military maneuvers and movements more predictable.
  • Currently, as an observer, China cannot initiate any proposal nor can it participate in discussions and deliberations within the forum. New Delhi must reconsider its strategy, as China’s inclusion as a dialogue partner will not grant it a veto but rather increase the likelihood of bringing in Chinese economic and political capital to strengthen the SAARC.
  • As the SAARC is mostly dysfunctional, having only paltry and symbolic successes to its credit, Chinese inclusion as a dialogue partner needs to be mulled over.
  • Further, the inclusion of China as a dialogue partner in the SAARC framework would provide a forum to discuss concerns related to Beijing-led regional infrastructure development and connectivity projects and address several issues related to terms and conditions of loans, benefits for the local economy and sovereignty concerns of countries in the region etc.

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


Topic – India and her neighbourhood relations.

6) There is a need for India to have a better focus on the non-conventional security threats prevalent in South Asia. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

India places significant stress on its external security threats but there is a growing need for India to place more emphasis on non-conventional security threats faced by it and shared by other South Asian members.

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 non-conventional threats faced by South Asian nations, including India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Give a brief description of the conventional sources of threat to India in the context of South Asia. E.g Chinese threat, Pakistani aggression; nuclear threats etc.

Body-

Discuss in points the non-conventional threats prevalent in South Asia. E.g

  • Terrorist attacks on the Indian mainland have surged – consider high-profile cases such as the assault on Parliament in 2001, the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the Gurdaspur attack in Punjab in 2015, the Pathankot attack in January 2016, and the attacks on the Uri military camp in September 2016, as well as regular attacks that get less media coverage.
  • It can be argued that addressing a threat by gathering credible intelligence and tightening defense mechanisms would do more to counter terrorism than mounting offensive strategies that often do not work and sometimes backfire.
  • Furthermore, India and its neighbors also face many other non-conventional threats such as;
  • poverty,
  • illiteracy,
  • unemployment,
  • underdevelopment
  • and the illicit trafficking of people and drugs etc.

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


Topic– India and its neighbourhood relations.

7) Space technology has great potential to help social and economic development, especially in parts of the developing world such as South Asia, however, the potential remains untapped. Analyze.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

We have seen in case of India that space technology has benefited us immensely especially when it comes to fields such as agriculture etc. This would have enabled south Asia to collectively resolve many of the problems related to development that the region faces. However due to reasons, as discussed in the article, we have been unable to tap this potential. Hence this question

Key demand of the question

The question first expects us to bring out the potential that space technology has for South Asia. Thereafter, we need to bring out the reasons why this potential remains untapped. Finally, we need to discuss how the status quo can be reversed.

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 that South Asia is a region with several developmental challenges and space technology could have played a role in dealing with those challenges.

Body

  • Discuss how space technology would have helped south Asia –
    • South Asia is a region with uneven development and serious social, economic, and developmental challenges.
    • Space technology capabilities are also unevenly spread with China and India as established space players in the region but with more new entrants in the field. Countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and the Maldives have a clear requirement for space capabilities for a number of different utilities such as dealing with natural disasters and communication. The region has remained prone to many weather-related calamities on a fairly frequent basis, making disaster warning and mitigation important drivers for pursuing an outer space agenda.
    • Strengthening connectivity, communication, and broadband internet across rural and remote areas of the region too should be strong imperatives.
  • Discuss the reasons why potential remains untapped
    • Availability of resources and lack of visionary leadership in the region are important factors, but so are international insecurity and conflict.
  • Discuss how the situation can be corrected
    • confidence building measures (CBMs) can help promote space development in South Asia
    • Using alternatives to SAARC such as BIMSTEC etc

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.


General Studies – 4


Topic– Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

8) Discuss the contribution of Socrates towards ethics and moral philosophy.(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 Socrates- his thoughts related to morality and ethics.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about Socrates. E.g Socrates is considered as the father of modern Western philosophy. The great example of the trial and death of Socrates demonstrates the close connection between his character and his philosophy etc.

Body-

Discuss in points about the thoughts and works of Socrates. E.g

  • Self-knowledge is a sufficient condition to the good life. Socrates identifies knowledge with virtue. If knowledge can be learned, so can virtue. Thus, Socrates states virtue can be taught.
  • He believes “the unexamined life is not worth living.” One must seek knowledge and wisdom before private interests. In this manner, knowledge is sought as a means to ethical action.
  • Socrates presupposes reason is essential for the good life: Socrates argues for the view that all of the virtues—justice, wisdom, courage, piety, and so forth—are one.  He provides a number of arguments for this thesis.
  • Socrates states no one chooses evil; no one chooses to act in ignorance. We seek the good, but fail to achieve it by ignorance or lack of knowledge as to how to obtain what is good.
  • It is Better to Suffer an Injustice Than to Commit One”: This argument must be understood in terms of the Socratic emphasis on the care of the soul.  Committing an injustice corrupts one’s soul, and therefore committing injustice is the worst thing a person can do to himself.

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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