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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 31 January 2019

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 31 January 2019

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.


General Studies – 1


Topic – changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

1) What do you understand by tropospheric and stratospheric polar vortex? How is it related to deep freeze in USA?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Parts of USA are expected to remain colder than Antarctica in the days to come. It is important for us to understand what will cause this deep freeze.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain what polar vortex is and examine the role that it would play in the deep freeze in USA.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the news that weather reports have predicted deep freeze in USA .

Body

  • Explain what is a polar vortex. Thereafter, explain what are tropospheric and stratospheric polar vortex
    • One exists in the lowest layer of the atmosphere, the troposphere, which is where we live and where the weather happens. The other exists in the second-lowest, called the stratosphere, which is a shroud of thin air that gets warmer at higher altitudes.
    • The low-level vortex in the troposphere is a large mass of brutally cold air and swirling winds coiled around omnipresent polar low pressure. The year-round cold temperature causes air to condense and shrink in size, which creates a vacuum effect that draws air inward.
      The tropospheric polar vortex is the one that affects our weather. Most of the time, its harsh conditions are out of reach. But every so often, lobes of it pinch off from the main flow and crash south. This can lash the Lower 48 with piercing shots of cold, intense bouts of storminess and bitter wind chills well below zero.
    • stratospheric polar vortex lives above and separate from the troposphere. It is much more compact than its tropospheric cousin. It forms in a similar way but is smoother and maintains a much sharper edge. That is because there is very little mixing with the air below it. With lots of rotational energy, this counterclockwise gyre can speed with little to slow it down.
  • Explain their impact on weather – Most of the time, the stratospheric polar vortex has little impact on our weather. The two layers of the atmosphere remain largely disconnected. Once in a while, the stratospheric vortex gets disrupted – a sudden stratospheric warming event. When this happens, the vortex can split and affect the weather below it. It can cause kinks in the jet stream so that, instead of flowing west to east, there are a lot of dips and ridges. And the waves in the jet stream can disrupt the lower (tropospheric) polar vortex, break off a lobe and force it south causing extreme chill in parts of USA.

Conclusion – Summarize your answer by focussing on the impact of polar vortex.


Topic– struggle for independence : significant personalities.

2) Discuss Mahatma Gandhi’s view on representative democracy?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The article explains Gandhi’s view on representative democracy and would enable us to understand his views on democracy and hind swaraj more deeply.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out Gandhi’s views on representative democracy while explaining about his own idea of hind swaraj. Finally, we can discuss how democracy in current time can be made more representative using Gandhi’s ideas.

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 – explain about the idea of representative democracy

Body

  • Discuss Gandhi’s view on representative democracy
    • Gandhi’s view of British style parliamentary democracy can be guaged from his view that parliamentary form of democracy was ill-suited for India, when he wrote in the Hind Swaraj, “I pray to God that India may never be in that plight”.
    • Gandhi supported the idea of direct democracy instead of representative democracy.
    • dislike for representative democracy sprang from his conviction that it would in no time degenerate into an anti-people institution in a multicultural and multi-religious context like India.
  • Explain about the form of direct democracy that Gandhi advocated – talk about the idea of village republics and Hind swaraj
    • Gandhi envisaged the creation of interrelated self-sufficient non-hierarchical socialist village communities called “swaraj”, with each of them functioning as a direct democracy.
    • Gandhi devised his constructive programme for the implementation of “swaraj”. He believed that “swaraj”, if implemented through the constructive programme, would help people conceive development as freedoms instead of economic advancement.
    • He also needed, a non-violent interim arrangement during the transition from a capitalist state to a stateless socialist society. Gandhi’s idea of trusteeship, like Marx’s idea of dictatorship of the proletariat, was intended for that purpose. He believed that this was the only way India could escape the threat of becoming a nation state and being forced to choose between the two evils.
  • Give your views in Gandhi’s ideas

Conclusion – Explain how third tier of government can be strengthened in line with Gandhi’s vision.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the
performance of these schemes

3) Direct income support has been cast as a panacea for ending mass poverty. Critically examine in this context the idea presented by Arvind Subramaniam and others regarding direct income support. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

With elections round the corner, the issue of Direct income support has again come into the political limelight. This article examines the pros and cons of such a measure and will help you in building a perspective on the issue.

Key demand of the question

The question expects you to explain the contours of such a measure and thereafter, highlight the pros and cons of it. In the end, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion about the utility of guaranteed basic income and discuss the way forward.

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 that Direct income support  has become a major talking point and explain what it means.

Body

  • Explain the form that direct income support might take in the country. Explain the idea put forth by Arvind Subramaniam and others
    • direct cash transfer to 60-80% of the rural poor that will work as an effective cushion against rural distress. Using an illustrative calculation, the article argues that annual transfer of ₹18,000 or ₹1,500 a month to three-fourths of the rural population can be covered at a fiscal cost of about 1.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), or ₹2.64 trillion in 2019-20 prices.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of the idea of direct basic income. Highlight that the idea has been toyed around by members of Planning commission earlier.

Conclusion – Based on your discussion, give your opinion and discuss way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


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

4) A simple UBI will not solve the fundamental problems of the economy. analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question

The article discusses the other side of UBI as a tool of the capitalists in the wake of growing inequality. It is important to analyze the UBI for its cons and limitations.

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 UBI as a simplified version and bring out why it will not help in solving the fundamental problems afflicting Indian state.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  UBI. E.g mention the growing popularity and support for the scheme among academic and political circles and also mention about the Sikkim.

Body-

Discuss in points, the cons of UBI and also why it would not help in solving the fundamental problems afflicting India.

  • It side-steps the challenge of actually providing the services required: education, health, food, etc. Just give the people cash: let them buy what they need.
  • However, if the cash will not provide citizens with good quality and affordable education and health, because neither the government nor the private sector is able or willing to, this will not solve the basic human development problems that must be solved.
  • UBI fails to strengthen institutions of the state to deliver the services the state must (public safety, justice, and basic education and health), which should be available to all citizens regardless of their ability to pay for them.
  • Fails to strengthen institutions of the state also to regulate delivery of services by the private sector and ensure fair competition in the market.

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


Topic-  Indigenization of technology and developing new technology

5) If ‘Make in India’ is to succeed, it needs to encompass ‘Make it the Indian Way’. Examine in context of popularity of additive manufacturing technology.(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what additive manufacturing is and the opportunities that it presents for India. We need to highlight why India needs to adapt to this paradigm shift in manufacturing to ensure that make in India is a success.

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 the emphasis of make in India on transforming domestic manufacturing.

Body

  • Explain the focus of make in India scheme – to boost domestic manufacturing in India.
  • Explain what do you understand my additive manufacturing and how is it disrupting the traditional manufacturing models.
  • Highlight the opportunities and challenges for India and what exactly is meant by make it the indian way

Conclusion – discuss the importance of adapting to the changed needs while highlighting the early movers advantage that India might enjoy.


Topic-   Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

6) India is uniquely positioned to create a vibrant defence manufacturing ecosystem that can help us achieve self-reliance. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

India is the world’s largest arms importer and given our economic size and talent pool, this is a matter of grave concern for us. In this context it is important to discuss how India can achieve indigenisation of defence technology.

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 India can achieve indigenisation of defence technology- what are its strengths and potential vis a vis this aim.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Indian defence imports. E.g mention that India is the world’s largest defence importer etc.

Body-

Discuss in points as to how India could achieve indigenisation of defence technology vis a vis its potential and strengths. E.g

  1. a) India harbours an immense amount of potential that can be tapped into by way of key strategic partnerships that add value across the entire length and breadth of R&D, manufacturing and supply chain.
  2. b) As per government estimates, a reduction in 20-25 percent in defence related imports could directly create an additional 100,000 to 120,000 highly skilled jobs in India.
  3. c) Government’s offset policies, procurement policies and regulatory incentives spurring the growth of a domestic defence industry, the SMEs need to play a more active role in developing a robust supply chain.
  4. d) Lack of adequate infrastructure drives India’s logistics costs upwards thus reducing the country’s cost competitiveness and efficiency. While the government is investing in this area the pace of development needs to pick up considerably and public-private participation can go a long way in hastening this process.

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


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

7) “The Future of Rail Opportunities for energy” report, released by the International Energy Agency, has painted a bright future for indian railways. Discuss the report and the efforts made by the government in recent years to modernize Indian railways.(250 words)

Pib

Timesofindia

Why this question

The report highlights the future of Indian railways and its potential in terms of its size, scope and economy. It is therefore important to discuss the excerpts from the report related to India’s lifeline and largest employer.

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 achievements of Indian railways in recent years and also write in detail about the key findings/ predictions of the report titled, The Future of Rail Opportunities for energy.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Indian railways. E.g mention the size, no of passengers catered to, no of persons employed etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss about the reforms and achievements of Indian railways in recent years and the future plans. E.g  
  • The investment Railways has achieved in the last 5 years has helped country improve safety, complete long-delayed projects and introduce modern & unprecedented technology in services.
  • the indigenously produced Vande Bharat Express is an engineering marvel that will change approach to train manufacturing as well as revolutionise train travel in India.
  • Indian Railways’ successful effort to convert diesel locomotives to electric locomotives as truly innovative and added that it will be a game-changer in the way forward as we move towards 100% electrification for the Indian Railways.
  • 5 years ago, Railways had electrified about 600 km of tracks across the country. Last year alone, 4,000 km was electrified, and in the coming year  over 6,000 Km are planned to be electrified.
  1. Discuss about the key findings/ predictions of the report. E.g
  • “The Future of Rail” analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world through the perspective of its energy and environmental implications.
  • The report reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail, and explores the key policies that could help to realise an enhanced future rail.
  • This first ever global report has a focus on India, elaborating on the unique social and economic role of rail in India, together with its great enduring potential, to show how India can extend and update its networks to harness rail at a scope and scale that is unparalleled.

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

 


General Studies – 4


Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators.

8) There is a process of learning in the Gandhian act of self-suffering. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

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 Gandhi and his acts of self- suffering and bring out how that was used by him as a tool for self learning.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Gandhi and his self-suffering. E.g mention his fasts and giving up of luxuries and even clothes etc.

Body-

Discuss in points as to how those acts of self- suffering evoked self-learning. E.g

  • In the Gandhian philosophy of resistance, we can find the intertwining of non-violence and exemplary suffering.
  • Perhaps, self-sacrifice is the closest we come to ethical dying, in the sense that it is a principled leave-taking from life; an abandonment of one’s petty preoccupations in order to see things more clearly.
  • As such, there is a process of learning in the Gandhian act of self-suffering. For Socrates, to philosophise was to learn how to die.
  • In the same way, for Gandhi, the practice of non-violence began with an act of self-sacrifice and the courage of dying for truth.
  • for Gandhi, there was a close link between the use of non-violence and the art of dying, in the same manner that cowardice was sharply related to the practice of violence etc.

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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