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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 01 February 2019

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 01 February 2019

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic:Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-
technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


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 is a polar vortex? Examine whether the extreme chill seen in USA is related to climate change?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The extreme chill seen in USA has been in the news. Also the tweets of a famous president has questioned the link between such extreme chill and global warming. We need to be aware of the reasons and how global warming is cooling the planet.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what polar vortex is and thereafter bring out its impact on weather and how is it related to climate change.

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 extreme cold weather in USA and explain that they have been caused due to polar vortex.

Body

  • Explain that polar vortex is found around the north pole. It’s a band of strong winds, high up in the atmosphere that keeps bitterly cold air locked around the Arctic region. This circulation isn’t considered a single storm, or even a weather pattern as such.
  • Explain that Occasionally, the vortex can become distorted and meander far further south than normal. The phenomenon became widely known to Americans during a particularly frigid spell in 2014, when the media first started using the term “polar vortex”. It was also a factor in the “bomb cyclone” that battered the US east coast last year. This time, the polar vortex has broken in two, bringing the coldest conditions in decades to the midwest US. On Wednesday, Chicago was 10 degrees F colder than Antarctica.
  • Discuss how is it related to climate change – Scientists also point to a complex sequence of events involving sea ice, which is rapidly diminishing in the Arctic. As the ice retreats, summertime heat is absorbed by the dark ocean that lies underneath. This heat is released into the atmosphere during winter, spurring winds that can disrupt the polar vortex.

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward

 


General Studies – 2


Topic – Indian polity – Issues

2) What do you understand by online curated content providers? Do you think adoption of self regulation amounts to unnecessary censorship? (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article highlights the decision of OCCs to start self regulating themselves to curate their content instead of waiting for government to make regulations. We are expected to examine whether self regulation amounts to censorship and its impact on free speech.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – highlight that digital media is on the rise and is fast becoming the staple way through which we consume our entertainment leading to worries about lack of censorship on such platforms.

Body

  • Explain about what online curated content providers are – clutch of over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platforms adopted a self-regulatory content code to avoid probable government censorship. Among the signatories are streaming platforms of big broadcasting companies such as Hotstar, Voot, Zee5 and SonyLIV as well as independent firms such as Arre, ALT Balaji, Netflix and Eros Now. In the self-regulatory Code of Best Practices signed under the aegis of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the streaming platforms have been referred to as Online Curated Content Providers.
  • Highlight the issues that lack of censorship in digital media space were causing in terms of impact on impressionable minds. Also explain that the stakeholders thought it wise to adopt best practices before a government department stepped in and imposed unnecessary censorship. The pressure mounted as public interest litigations (PILs) and complaints against the OTT platforms started emerging.
  • Highlight about similar measures taken in related industries such as advertising which follows self-regulation through the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) for non-news channels respectively etc. Discuss the impact such self regulations have had on freedom of speech and government censorship.

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.


Topic– Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability.

3) There is a need to stifle investigative adventurism on part of investigation agencies and hold accountable for their judgements in order to promote businesses in India. Comment.(250 words) 

Indianexpress

Why this question

The high rate of litigation is a serious problem in India and government is the biggest litigant in the country in this context it is essential to examine the need for investigative agencies to shun investigative adventurism and improve their accountability

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 hefty litigation and adventuristic attitude of our investigation agencies and form an opinion as to why such attitude needs to be stifled and their accountability increased.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – write a few introductory lines about the high incidence of tax litigation in India and mention that government is the biggest litigant in the country.

Body –

  1. Discuss the issue of investigative adventurism as shown by the investigating agencies in India. E.g
  • For long there has been a fear-induced inertia, especially in the higher echelons of the bureaucracy. Important decisions are invariably deferred, especially by officials due to fear of investigations, with the attendant risk of incarceration.
  • The lack of judiciousness in investigations also invariably clogs judicial pipelines. The government is already the biggest litigant at all levels of the judicial system.
  • It is averse to business interests and increases compliance costs
  • n this, it is small and medium businesses with scarce capital and resources who are the worst sufferers. Not only are professionals to be hired and paid to defend unreasonable demands, but delays in adjudication and appeals, all due to crawling government machinery, leads to a burden of interest which could lead to bankruptcy etc.
  1. Bring out the need to increase their accountability and alter their attitude. E.g
  • This attitude  feeds on irresponsibility, for there is little in form of punishment to the offending officers for harassing businesses, sometimes in order to achieve imposed targets and sometimes for self-enrichment.
  • Each adjudicating officer’s record should be perused and ascertained how many such orders result in recoveries, penalties or prosecution and how many do not stand the test of law and rules.
  • According to these metrics, promotions and other incentives should be denied.

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

 


General Studies – 3


Topic– Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

4) By recognising unpaid labour as genuine work, India will not only benefit in terms of its GDP figures but also empower its women. Analyze.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The women constitute half of our population and play a huge yet unrecognised role in our economy. In this context it is important to discuss how Indian economy can benefit form recognising unpaid labour of women as genuine work.

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 issue and highlight the unpaid work performed by Indian women and bring out how formal recognition of such work can benefit Indian economy and empower its women.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  unpaid work done by women in India. E.g These tasks can include domestic upkeep, cooking, cleaning and childcare, while a broader definition would also include the hours of emotional labour that goes into holding families together and putting up with patriarchal constructions of what women are expected to tolerate and expect.

Body-

  1. Discuss in detail about such work. E.g
  • The fact that 49 per cent of women in a country of 1.3 billion people don’t have their work accounted for in the annual GDP, throws up several problems.
  • According to the Census in 2011, people engaged in household duties have been treated as non-workers, even when 159.9 million women stated that “household work” was their main occupation.
  • While the global value of unpaid domestic labour by women hovers around 13 per cent, in India, the number is almost 40 per cent of its current GDP.
  1. Discuss how formal recognition of such work can help Indian economy as well as the women. E.g
  • In a report, the International Monetary Fund also suggested that if women’s participation in the economy was raised to that of men, then India could grow its GDP by 27 per cent.
  • Recognition is one of the most central processes in empowerment, and the recognition of their primary occupation as genuine work, that contributes not only to the family but to the welfare of the nation state as a whole, is such that it gives them a claim to equality within the patriarchal Indian household that only recognises the work done by men.
  • It moves us towards a more holistic understanding of labour that isn’t purely tied to the exchange value of a service on the market.

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


Topic-  Awareness in the field of space

5) Gaganyaan mission of ISRO is an indication that there is a marked strategic shift in India’s approach to space. Examine. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question

ISRO has announced about its manned space mission which highlights the progress made by ISRO. The article delves into the strategic shift in India’s approach to space and point to the process of maturing of ISRO as a global player in the space arena. The question would help you prepare on Indian achievements in space arena.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain about the Gaganyaan mission and how this mission marks a strategic shift. We need to discuss the purpose for which ISRO was formed and how the space agency has taken small steps so far and is on the cusp of something big now. We need to provide our opinion on the strategic shift 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 – Explain about Gaganyaan mission .

Body

  • Discuss what the Gaganyaan mission signifies – strategic shift in India’s approach to space and point to the process of maturing of ISRO as a global player in the space arena.
  • Highlight about the role of ISRO as per Vikram sarabhai’s mission and how ISRO has worked hard so far to realise that.
  • Discuss about the bigger ambitions of ISRO and examine what it means for India and ISRO.

Conclusion – finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion and discuss way forward.


Topic-   Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

6) Tax incentives are a significant of revenue foregone and the govt should prevent private companies from rent-seeking through tax incentives. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The article discusses the issue of revenue foregone by the government on account of various tax incentives provided to the companies and industries. It is therefore necessary to read the article in detail and discuss why there is a need to and rent seeking on account of such fiscal structure and policy.

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 as to how various forms of tax incentives promote rent seeking behaviour and add to the revenue foregone by the government. It wants us to express our opinion as to why there is a need to revise such policies and incentives.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  tax incentives given by the government to the businesses. E.g India provides a large number of tax incentives for different objectives — to promote exports, tax rebate on inputs are provided; to promote R&D etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss the nature of revenue foregone due to those incentives. E.g
  • Due to a prevalence of a large number of incentives, there is a difference between the statutory rate of tax and the effective rate of tax.
  • The largest source of revenue foregone from incentives offered to businesses is accelerated depreciation.
  • SEZ-related incentives form the next biggest component of revenue foregone from corporate taxes.
  • There are a number of incentives related to SEZs; however, close to 90 percent of SEZ-related revenue foregone comes from export-promoting incentives etc
  1. Discuss how it affects the economy and why it should not be encouraged. E.g
  • Tax incentives work when their use is properly justified, when they deliver intended short- and long-term results (i.e. attract the right investments and generate social benefits), and when associated costs, both expected and unintended, are economically and socially acceptable.
  • There must be rules setting clear criteria for determining which investments and firms are qualified to avail of tax incentives.
  • Given the high economic, political and social costs associated with tax incentives, it is essential that tax incentives are underpinned by clear, transparent and credible legal, technical and political processes to deter rent-seeking behaviour etc.

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.

7) Plato’s life and teachings provide us with many valuable lessons for life. 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 was asked to dig deep into the life and teachings of one of the great philosophers of history – Plato. It wants us to write in detail as to what life lessons can be deduced from his life and teachings.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – write a few introductory lines about the  Plato. E.g mention his relation with Socrates and his pivotal role in western philosophy.

Body-

Discuss what lessons – moral, ethical and practical, can we learn from the life and teachings of Plato. E.g

  • We can easily see the reflections of Plato’s classification of regimes in today’s political climate.
  • We may deem democracy to be the best regime for all people, but we must question the character of men that it produces.
  • If we are more aware of the link between the character of the city and the character of the soul, we are able to make an immense difference in the world around us.
  • Plato’s aristocracy is by far the most influential of these characters. We can learn so much by noticing the relationship between our desires, our logical reasoning and our spirituality.
  • Plato believes that, much like a city, the soul is composed of parts, and that a healthy or just soul will maintain a harmonious relationship between its parts, namely, the appetite, spirit, and reason.
  • Plato demonstrates that it’s not just the desire for possessions that causes our decay, but also the desire for more recognition (what the Greeks meant by ‘honor’), more success, more status, more power, more comfort and pleasure 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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