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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 28 January 2019

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 28 January 2019

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic:  Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

 


General Studies – 2


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

1) Saving the Constitution is not about saving a text, it is about renewing a commitment to each other. Comment.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

This republic day we need to introspect our relationship with the constitution and with the fellow citizens which ascribe to that constitution. In this context it is important to discuss about the need for renewing our commitment to each other in order to preserve and uphold the constitution in its true spirits.

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 constitution and express our opinion as to how underlining the importance of fraternity and commitment to each other can help upholding the constitution.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  constitution. E.g mention the process of framing of constitution and the source from which it derives its authority.

Body-

Discuss the importance of fraternity in upholding the constitution. E.g

  • We speak of the Constitution as if it were a thing: A self-evident truth, recourse to which can resolve all our disputes.
  • We ask: What does the Constitution “say”? If we just discovered what it says, it would bind us.
  • The question is not what the Constitution says. But what we can get the Constitution to say. It does not make us, as much as we make it.
  • The Constitution is a slow but steady expansion of liberty and equality, institutionalisation of an accountable state, and the creation of a new collective power that is capable of acting in concert to chart its own destiny.
  • Its success is that it has endured, different parties repose their faith in it.
  • The constitutional project is not a leap of faith in a thing called the Constitution, it is a leap of faith in each other.
  • Its controversies cannot be settled by something called “the constitutional text”; it can be settled only by a mutual consensus 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.

2) Constitution alone cannot fight social evils. Comment in the context of the Sabarimala temple controversy.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The recent Sabarimala controversy highlights the deep social divides still relevant In Indian society. In this context it is essential to discuss whether constitution alone can help India in solving its social problems.

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 Sabarimala controversy and express our opinion as to whether constitution alone can help us in fighting social evils like the one being exposed by the Sabarimala controversy.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Sabarimala controversy. E.g throw some light on the nature of the dispute and how it affects women’s rights.

Body-

  1. DIscuss the SC judgement allowing all women to visit the inner shrine.
  2. Discuss whether Constitution alone is enough to fight social evils in India. E.g
  • By cheering on the Supreme Court ramming through of changes that cut across deeply- held beliefs of Ayyappa devotees — rather than engaging with them, we are actually compromising the prospects for religious reform.
  • We are therefore risking the credibility of the courts and undermining our secular democracy.
  • By relying on the SC, we have a missed opportunity for how Sabarimala doors might have been opened to all women by drawing on its richly liberal heritage rather than dissing it.
  • The issue needs empathetic and respectful engagement, accompanied by moral pressure and even peaceful protest.
  • When we cross into the terrain of illiberal — but not obviously harmful — beliefs and practices, the courts and the government need to exercise restraint.
  • By wading into thorny matters of doctrine and tradition, on which it has little expertise, the Supreme Court will only damage its credibility. We can see this in the tortured reasoning in the Sabarimala verdict, for instance, on whether or not Sabarimala worshippers constitute a distinct religious community or whether they are part of the multi-layered, diverse, and overlapping strands that make up the Hindu tradition etc.

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


Topic– Indian polity : issues

3) The judicial appointment to the higher courts remains riddled with arbitrariness, opacity, and an ­absence of accountability. Analyze. (250 words)

epw

Why this question

The article highlights some of the controversies in the appointment of judges which brings the focus back on appointment process of judges. It makes sense to revise the issues involved and think of a way forward to prevent this issue from recurring.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain the appointment process, thereafter highlight the issues with the appointment process and give suggestions regarding what needs to be done.

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 the recent controversies pertaining to the collegium which has brought the focus on this issue.

Body

  • Explain about the appointment process in brief and mention the 3 judges case
    • he right to select judges to the Supreme Court was taken upon itself by the apex court in 1993 and revalidated in a 1998 judgment (Third Judges case).
    • The current government tried to change that with the passage of a law on the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), but the law was shot down — again by the Supreme Court.
    • NJAC was struck down by the SC because it would have compromised the independence of the CJI and given a role to the government in the appointment of judges.
  • Discuss the controversies often associated with the collegium system and the need for reforms
    • Credibility of the SC: Controversial collegium system of judicial appointments undermines the independence of judges and raises  doubts about the credibility of the highest court. The judiciary off late has been caught in many such situations of credibility crisis off late.
    • Politicization of appointment: Government is not only the biggest litigator but also the greatest threat to the abuse of power. Judicial review as a concept is supposed to control the government and keep it in check.
  • Discuss what needs to be done – memorandum of procedure of appointment of judges

 

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.

 


Topic– Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s
interests.

4) Examine the fears of the developing countries with regards to displacing the “development agenda” in the WTO for a new agenda on digital trade?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The article discusses the issues raised by civil society groups and others with respect to nefarious designs of transnational organisation in setting down the new WTO agenda related to digital trade. We need to be aware of the implications of such a trade deal and what must be the way forward.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the discussion at the buenos Aires summit with regards to displacing the “development agenda” in the WTO for a new agenda on digital trade. Thereafter we need to examine the issues that the developed countries have with wto rules governing digital travel and e-commerce and the impact it would have on domestic economy. Finally, we need to give a fair and balanced opinion and highlight what needs to be done.

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 that at the Buenos Aires summit of wto, developing countries rejected the idea of displacing the “development agenda” in the WTO for a new agenda on digital trade

Body

  • Discuss the issues with such a new agenda on digital trade
    • India fears that new rules could provide unfair market access to foreign companies, hurting the rapidly growing domestic e-commerce platforms. A key demand by the developed countries is to make permanent the current ban on customs duties on global electronic transactions—they were suspended in 1998.
    • playing on India’s mind is the previous WTO deal on the Information Technology Agreement, under which it agreed to abolish tariffs on hardware, squeezing the domestic electronics manufacturing industry.
  • Discuss what needs to be done
    • what is needed around the world for structural transformation is a jobs-and-development-focused digital industrialisation strategy.
    • Digital industrialisation indicates the need for investment in countries’ technical, legal and economic infrastructure and policies to develop and support domestic digital businesses and platforms and build capacities to use domestic data in the public interest;
    • to strategically promote domestic MSMEs including through technology transfer and national data use frameworks

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.

 


Topic– Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

5) Belt and Road Initiative of China poses a threat to the unipolarity enjoyed by USA post 1990s. Comment. (250 words)

epw

 

Why this question

The article wonderfully explains the theory of international relations by juxtaposing it to the current global power dynamics. It will enhance our understanding of geopolitical events and enable us to develop a better perspective on belt and road initiative and what it means for India.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out details of the belt and road initiative and explain how it poses a threat to unipolar status enjoyed by USA post cold war. Thereafter, it expects us to explain the impact on global power relations including on India and discuss way forward.

Directive word

Comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the geopolitical flux in recent years.

Body

  • Explain about the unipolarity of USA since cold war and the ways in which it has been extended as discussed in the article. Highlight about the emphasis given by USA on developing maritime capabilities, sea lanes of communication and exercising influence through a military industrial complex and regime change.
  • Explain about the belt and road initiative and how the Chinese approach differs from that of USA. Explain about debt diplomacy, land lines of communication etc
  • Discuss the issues in Belt and Road initiative which prevents countries like India from coming on board

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


Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate

6) Highlight the issues in dispute resolution process of WTO?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the dispute resolution process of WTO and thereafter examine the issues and discuss way forward.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that many analysts have said that Buenos Aires summit has highlighted the existential crisis faced by WTO especially during a time when emerging economies have adopted assertive and developed economies have adopted protectionist attitude.

Body

  • Explain about the structure of dispute resolution at wto and issues caused by USA.
    • The nature of the trade disputes is now increasingly getting hypertechnical. Despite this, the WTO currently faces a trade dispute settlement crisis. The U.S. has systematically blocked the appointment of new Appellate Body members (judges). This has impeded the work of the WTO appeal mechanism.
    • The WTO dispute settlement mechanism is not a world trade court. The process remains political and diplomatic. In trade wars, the objective is not to settle a dispute; it is to win the battle.
    • WTO members are thus concerned over the politicisation of the Appellate Body appointment and reappointment process.
    • there is concern over the possibility of China finding its way to have a permanent seat.
  • Discuss china’s prospect
    • Despite limitations ensured by US and EU, China has largely benefited from the rules-based WTO system. It might well be the new WTO leader in the coming future. China’s growing assertiveness, in fact, may be the reason for the U.S.’s hard measures. Its emerging power and the impact of its commercial domination on other economies are evident.
  • Highlight the way forward
    • Emerging economies and developing countries should have their fair say
    • Multilateralism in such institutions must be encouraged

 

Conclusion – give your view and discuss way forward.


General Studies – 3


Topic– Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

7) Despite its many challenges, wind energy in India has a lot to gain from its experience and its large manufacturing base. Analyze.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

India has been placing huge importance to renewable energy and has launched various missions in this regard. Wind Energy Mission however has been recently witnessing a downfall. In this context it is important to discuss the challenges faced by the sector.

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 wind energy sector in India and bring out the challenges involved in the sector and what we can learn from our experience.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Write a few introductory lines about the  wind energy generation in India. E.g mention the capacity added in recent years and also mention the decrease in capacity addition witnessed recently.

Body-

  1. Discuss the challenges faced by the sector. E.g
  • In 2016 the government shifted to the auctioning regime for tariff determination. This was a worthy effort to bring competition into a cost-complacent market, especially in light of the success solar energy had achieved.
  • Due to failure to adapt to this measure, Installations stalled, falling from 5.4 GW in 2017 to 1.7GW in 2018, and less than 1 GW is expected in 2019.
  • The financial issues faced by distribution companies (DISCOMs) pose a significant threat to wind energy and so do payment delays, curtailment and PPA defaults.
  • The failure of the UDAY scheme, introduced to ease the financial stress on the DISCOMs, has further added to the concerns. With increasing concentration of wind installations in just a few states, these DISCOM issues are bound to intensify.
  1. Discuss the lessons learnt so far and what needs to be done. E.g
  • Repowering old wind projects — replacing them with newer, efficient technology — could optimise utilisation of high wind potential sites.
  • There is need to reform and reduce fragmented ownership and captive consumers.
  • There is the need for a third-party player who acts as intermediary — someone who consolidates the old project owners (probably 70-80%) — and then facilitates repowering
  • in addition to consolidating, there was a need to compensate the old project owner for the remaining life of their assets.

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


Topic- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.

8) Declaring Climate Change as an international security issue is the best approach to handle the issue. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

India has questioned the rush at the UN to declare climate change an international security issue. It is therefore important to analyze and discuss upon the issue in detail.

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 opinion as to whether there is a need to declare climate change as an international security issue, what repercussions it will have and whether it will be the best way to solve the issue of climate change. We can form our opinion in favour of or against the statement but we have to substantiate our opinion with proper arguments and facts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the issue. E.g mention the UN idea being recently mulled about designating climate change as an international security issue.

Body-

Discuss the pitfalls of such decision being implemented, and why climate change can’t be handled by such an approach. E.g

  • the trends of heat waves, heavier rains, higher sea levels and severe damage to agriculture “represent a security risk for the entire world.”
  • But a  “mere decision of the Council” to take over enforcement of climate change action will disrupt the Paris Agreement and multilateral efforts to find solutions
  • “The relationship between climate-related risks and conflict is complex and often intersects with political, social, economic and demographic factors,”
  • The decision would extend UN’s reach beyond what is allocated in the UN Charter by redefining other issues, even as it struggles to fulfil its primary functions.
  • It would lead to shifting climate law-making from the inclusive UN Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) to decision-making by a structurally unrepresentative institution with an exclusionary approach decided in secretive deliberations.

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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