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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 02 February 2019

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 02 February 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 – 2


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

1) India’s National Mission for a Green India assumes arbitrary targets that are rooted in habits of neo-colonial governance rather than “sound science”. Comment.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The article examines the goals of the National Mission for a Green India and brings out its limitations.

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 National Mission for a Green India and express our opinion as to whether the mission has arbitrary targets which are rooted in neo-colonial governance.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  National Mission for a Green India. E.g The Green India Mission is one of eight missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change and aims at “protecting, restoring and enhancing India’s diminishing forest cover and responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures”.

Body-

Discuss how the missions targets are rooted in neo-colonial governance and are devoid of any scientific backing. E.g

  • “Ostensibly aimed at improving forest-based livelihoods, the initiative has all the qualities of past forestry efforts in India, which have historically performed a reverse role: disinheriting forest-rooted populations,”
  • Given that forest cover of Europe in the colonial period was estimated at roughly one-third, and that this region serves as the source of knowledge, law and statecraft,afforestation rate of 30-33% became the widely accepted minimum for civilization.
  • Exported to India, this targeted minimum, it can easily be concluded, became a conceptual ghost that haunted successive generations of forest policymakers, whose goals might have been diverse… but whose mechanism represent a disordered form of repetitive compulsion, imposed over and over on arid and semi-arid ecosystems and the local communities.
  • Commitment to fixed rates of forest cover encourages tree plantations in “ecologically inappropriate sites and conditions”.
  • Again, afforestation typically extends the “authority” of Indian state forest departments in a way that is mostly “at the expense of local livelihoods” rather than in “support of them.”
  • One problem of plantation ecologies in India, according to the study, is “enthusiasm for fast growing species and exotic and invasive species, planted in the name of increasing land cover dedicated to ‘forest’.”

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


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

2) While the cash-transfer model may be popular and politically rewarding, it is unlikely to solve the crisis in agriculture. Examine.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

This year’s interim budget has pledged to provide cash transfers of Rs 6000 to farmers. Besides, various state governments have also launched similar programmes. In this context it is important to discuss the efficacy of such cash transfers in ameliorating the situation of the farmers.

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 dig deep into the cash transfer schemes being initiated in several Indian states and also the central budget, and bring out the reasons as to why they are not enough to solve the agricultural crisis in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  Cash transfer schemes to Indian farmers. E.g mention the various state schemes and the announcement in the recent interim budget introduced by the centre.

Body-

Discuss in points as to why such schemes would not likely solve the agricultural crisis in the country. E.g

  • The crisis in agriculture has continued to worsen with the latest estimates of inflation suggesting that the trend of decline in farm produce prices has continued unabated.
  • Primarily because the crisis is not just of low incomes in agriculture.
  • The genesis of the current crisis lies in the faulty and ad hoc export-import policy, lack of infrastructure and cartelisation and collusion in agricultural markets, which have prevented farmers from realizing the market prices for agricultural produce.
  • It is the combination of these, along with the twin droughts of 2014 and 2015, which created the crisis in the first place.
  • It is also true that the crisis worsened due to the sudden shocks of demonetization and the hasty implementation of goods and services tax, which affected the rural economy adversely.
  • Cash transfers do nothing to resolve any of these, nor are they any guarantee of protection against unforeseen events, whether natural or policy induced.
  • It is neither a substitute for the structural reforms needed in agriculture, nor does it adequately compensate the farmer for the risks and uncertainty of crop cultivation.
  • The current crisis may have worsened due to the sharp fall in agricultural crop prices, but is finally a result of multiple failures of policy.
  • But it is also a crisis which is caused by the failure of the non-farm sector in creating enough jobs as is evident from the deceleration in real wages in rural areas.

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

3) Development of India-Iran axis and Pakistan- Saudi axis in the region can undermine regional peace and security. Analyze. (250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The article digs into the recent developments in the region defined by India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan relationship. It is important to analyze the writeup in detail in order to broaden our understanding about the international affairs of our country.

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 regional politics and the recent developments in the region and bring out how the apparent formation of  groupings can impact peace and security.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent developments between the four countries. E.g mention the US sanctions on Iran and exemptions provided to India.

Body-

  1. Discuss about the Iran-India relationship. E.g
  • India formally took over operations of the Chabahar port last month.
  • For New Delhi, Chabahar is important to reach out to Afghanistan.
  • Last month, senior bureaucrats of all the three countries, India, Iran and Afghanistan, held the first meeting for the implementation of the trilateral Chabahar agreement signed in 2016.
  • They agreed on the routes for trade and transit corridors between the three countries and, according to the official communique, finalised the protocol to “harmonise transit, roads, customs and consular matters”.
  1. Discuss how it has impacted Pakistan- Saudi relationship. E.g
  • Pakistan has similarly been pushed towards Saudi Arabia by the compulsions of financial circumstances.
  • For Riyadh, this move precludes any Iranian presence in Gwadar, contrary to some of the plans talked about in Tehran and Islamabad etc.
  1. Discuss how these developments can affect regional peace and security. E.g
  • While Pakistan will continue to try not to take sides, a significant upgrading of its relations with Iran may become more difficult — saying “no” to Saudi Arabia may also become more difficult.
  • While the situation remains fluid, the present trends may eventually result in the crystallisation of two axes, bringing Pakistan closer to Saudi Arabia and Iran closer to India and this new regional game.
  • This evolution will foster the Arabisation (or Wahabisation) of Islam in Pakistan. It may also relaunch sectarian tensions in the region under the aegis of foreign countries.

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


General Studies – 3


Topic- Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

4) The possibility of emerging military technologies prompting inadvertent escalation and conflict cannot be ruled out. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Emergence of technological warfare has gained prominence in recent times and conventional warfare has taken a backseat. In this context it is important to analyze how such developments can affect the conflicts between the countries.

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 rise and development of the emerging military technologies and express our opinion as to how they can lead to inadvertent escalation and hostility between nations.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  emerging military technologies. E.g The current focus in military thinking across the world is increasingly moving away from traditional heavy-duty military hardware to high-tech innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, satellite jammers, hypersonic strike technology, advanced cyber capabilities and spectrum denial and high-energy lasers.

Body-

Discuss how these technologies can inadvertently lead to escalation of conventional conflicts between the various countries. E.g

  • In the light of the unprecedented capabilities that these systems offer, there is also an increased focus on developing suitable command and control as well as doctrinal concepts to accommodate and calibrate them.
  • The arrival of these technologies might deeply frustrate strategic stability as we know it given their disruptive nature.
  • Strategic stability in the contemporary international system, especially among the nuclear weapon states, depends on several age-old certainties, the most important being the issue of survivability of a state’s nuclear arsenal and its ability to carry out a second strike after a first attack.
  • Once accuracies get better, hypersonic glide vehicles replace conventional delivery systems, real time tracking and surveillance make major strides, and AI-enabled systems take over, survivability of nuclear arsenal, which lies at the heart of great power stability, could take a severe beating.
  • While on the one hand, it is imperative for states to redesign their systems in the light of these new technologies, especially the digital and cyber components, this also makes the cyber- and digital-enabled systems vulnerable to covert cyberattacks.
  • More so, given that such surreptitious attacks might take place in the early stages of a conflict, ensuing confusion and scare might lead to uncontrolled escalation with little time for assessment and judgement.

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


Topic- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

5) St. Petersburg declaration has been unable to achieve the goals for tiger conservation set by it. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

A decade has passed since the St. Petersburg declaration was made. However the progress on the targets envisaged by the declaration has not been at par. In this context it is important to discuss the achievements of the declaration.

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 St. Petersburg declaration, its resolutions and to what extent it has been able to achieve the targets set by it.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  St Petersburg declaration. E.g In the 2010 St. Petersburg Declaration, the countries agreed to a Global Tiger Recovery Program and pledged to double the global tiger population by 2022.

Body-

  1. Discuss the progress on the font of tiger conservation after the declaration. E.g
  • over one-third of tiger conservation sites in the world are severely at risk of losing their wild tigers — the majority of which are in Southeast Asia.
  • Many of these areas lack basic plans for effective management, with over 60 per cent of the sites facing several limitations in anti-poaching.
  • Countries like India, Nepal and Russia have shown that tiger recovery is possible, despite challenges in poaching, funding and sustaining community livelihoods, which can be overcome with strong political commitment.
  1. Discuss the reasons behind the poor performance. E.g
  • Known hot spots for illegal trade in tiger parts include the Indo-Nepalese border, South India, Central India, Mekong-China, Indonesia-China and Russia-China.
  • Due to lack of centralised data across tiger range countries, it is difficult to enforce laws.
  • Lack of political will.
  • There is need for more cross-country cooperation between countries where there is high demand for tiger parts as well as countries which are home to tiger populations.

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


Topic-Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

6) Poor implementation of environmental laws is a global concern. Discuss with a special focus on India. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The recent UN report highlights the issue of poor enforcement of environmental laws across the globe. It is therefore important to discuss the topic in detail.

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 poor implementation of environmental laws across the globe.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent UN report. E.g The world fares poorly on implementation of environmental laws and regulations despite the fact that 38 times more green laws have been framed and approved in the last four decades, says the United Nations (UN) in its first ever global assessment of environmental laws.

Body-

Discuss how the environmental laws are not being implemented sincerely, across the globe and especially in India. E.g

  • Like the Water Act, which was implemented in 1974, a number of laws and regulations have been existing for more than four decades now, but are proving to be ineffective.
  • We are perfect in the policy department but implementation is a problem. We have weak deterrents. The systems of accountability have been weakened, so monitoring is a huge problem.
  • Coal-based power plants continue to be the major source of air pollution in the country as more than 300 coal thermal power plants still violate emission standards
  • More than two-thirds of the states/union territories in the country have neither bothered to comply with the orders passed by the Supreme Court, nor complied with the directions given by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
  • In a scenario where the judiciary is already struggling to clear the existing backlog of over 21,000 environment-related cases, lack of respect and poor implementation of the judiciary’s  orders only provides an explanation for degraded environment we live in.
  • Poor coordination across government agencies, weak institutional capacity, lack of access to information, corruption and stifled civic engagement are the key factors behind the poor effectiveness and implementation of environmental regulations 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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