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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 06 February 2019

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 06 February 2019

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized
crime with terrorism


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) Why are the earth’s magnetic poles shifting. Discuss. Also discuss its implications.(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 reasons as to why the earth’s magnetic poles are shifting. It also wants us to write in detail about the implications of such a phenomenon for the world.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  shift in earth’s magnetic poles. E.g Earth’s north magnetic pole has been drifting so fast in the last few decades that scientists say that past estimates are no longer accurate enough for precise navigation.

Body-

  1. Discuss the reasons as to why the magnetic poles are shifting. E.g
  • Since 1831 when magnetic North Pole was first measured in the Canadian Arctic it has moved about 2300 kilometers toward Siberia. Its speed jumped from about 15 km/h to 55 km/h since 2000.
  • The reason is turbulence in Earth’s liquid outer core. There is a hot liquid ocean of iron and nickel in the planet’s core where the motion generates an electric field.
  • The magnetic south pole is moving far slower than the no
  • In general Earth’s magnetic field is getting weaker, leading scientists to say that it will eventually flip, where north and south pole changes polarity, like a bar magnet flipping over. It has happened numerous times in Earth’s past, but not in the last 780,000 years.
  1. Discuss its possible implications for humans, animals and the world in general. E.g
  • some birds that use magnetic fields to navigate.
  • An overall weakening of the magnetic field isn’t good for people and especially satellites and astronauts.
  • The magnetic field shields Earth from dangerous UV radiation etc.

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


Topic – World history

2) Afghanistan is rightly called the graveyard of empires. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article discusses the various failed attempts made by the powers of the world in subjugating Afghanistan due to its strategic significance. All such attempts including the US war on Afghanistan has failed to bring any fruit for the aggressors. The question would enable us to revise British foreign policy and cold war.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the various attempts made by several countries in exerting control over Afghanistan but ended up counting their wounds. The question expects us to discuss the reasons for it. We can relate the question to the present context where USA is facing a similar situation in Afghanistan and discuss its impact.

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 – Highlight about the US war on Afghanistan and how it turned out for USA.

Body

  • Discuss the various attempts made at subjugating Afghanistan such as the Anglo Afghan wars and its result, the result of USSR’s intervention in Afghanistan and lastly the result of the current US war on Afghanistan.
  • Discuss the reasons for the failure of several world power in exerting their control over Afghanistan – tough geography, lack of understanding of the tribal loyalties of the country etc
  • Discuss the impact of likely withdrawal of USA from Afghanistan and how it impacts India

Conclusion – Give your view on how apt it is to call Afghanistan as the graveyard of empires.


General Studies – 2


Topic– Security challenges and their management in border areas

3) Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management.(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the challenges of border management and the strategies India has employed to tackle such challenges.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – highlight that India shares borders with several countries, a few of those countries don’t share good relations with India making the task of border management challenging.

Body

  • Discuss the challenges wrt border security
    • Undemarcated boundaries with overlapping claims cause constant friction along borders.
    • Unilateral actions by some nations to change the status quo in their favour.
    • Misuse of borders(especially porous open borders) for smuggling, illegal migration, etc.
    • Little or no support from counterparts of neighbouring nations and in some cases active support by cross border elements to illegal activities .
    • Cultural, ethnic and linguistic affinity across borders and clan loyalties
    • Multiple agencies are involved in border management, lack of Inter agency cooperation and coordination
    • Support of state and non-state actors to aid infiltration,smuggling, trafficking,etc
  • Discuss the measures taken by India to deal with such challenges
    • 24x7x365 day surveillance along Indo-Pak border with 5 layer smart fence
    • Agreement on basic guiding principles and standard operating procedures
    • Increasing confidence building measures and communication linkages to avoid unnecessary confrontation and escalation
    • Integrated border management by involving and enhancing cooperation with counterparts of neighbouring countries especially along open borders. Etc

Conclusion – Comment on the difficult nature of the task and how India has been faring so far.


Topic – Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

4) Discuss the major drug trafficking patterns and trends in India. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question

India is placed in a precarious geographical position which makes it susceptible to drug trafficking. The problem of drug abuse has shown its ugly head in Punjab’s society, economy and polity. In this context it is important to analyze the drug trafficking process in India.

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 what are the patterns of drug trafficking in India and what are the recent trends in drug trafficking.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about India’s precarious geographical position. E.g mention about the Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle.

Body-

  1. Discuss the broader patterns and trends of drug trafficking activities in India. E.g
  • Trafficking of Heroin from South West Asia to India and then from India to Sri Lanka, Maldives and other western countries.
  • Trafficking of hashish and cannabis from Nepal to India.
  • Suspected diversion of opium from licit cultivations and indigenous production of low quality Heroin.
  • Illicit cultivation of opium poppy. • Wild growth of cannabis.
  • Diversion of precursor chemicals and other controlled substances.
  • Diversion of pharmaceutical preparations and prescription drugs containing psychotropic and controlled substances and their smuggling to neighbouring countries etc.
  • Try to make a map showing the trends and patterns as shown in the document (link to the article).  

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

 


General Studies – 3


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

5) India is still vulnerable to the twin account deficits on account of increase in oil prices. Discuss.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

Many oil producing nations have been witnessing tumultuous politics and it has an important bearing on India which imports most of its oil needs. In this context it is important to discuss why India is susceptible to twin deficit shocks due to oil price increase.

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 India’s dependence on oil imports and why it is susceptible to twin deficit challenges on account of increase in oil prices.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about India’s oil imports and oil exporting countries. E.g Oil imports constitute around 25 percent of total imports in a year etc.

Body-

Discuss the reasons as to why India is susceptible to twin deficits on account of increased oil prices. E.g

  • India will continue to remain vulnerable to oil price shocks due to its high import dependence.
  • This vulnerability can lead to episodes of sharp increase in the current account deficit and rising GDP growth would be insufficient to counter it.
  • Considering the geopolitical risks surrounding major oil producing countries such as Iran, Qatar and Venezuela, and the threat of Opec (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) production cuts, stable crude prices are never a foregone conclusion.
  • The Union Budget 2019-20 has expectedly shown a slip in the fiscal deficit, at an estimated 3.4% for the current, as well as the next fiscal year.
  • On the domestic front, such episodes will lead to surge in inflation or fiscal deficit, or both, depending on how much of the increased prices the fiscal authority decides to pass-through.
  • Lower crude prices have enabled the government to charge higher excise duties on petrol and diesel. However, the gains from the excise duties have plateaued as the government has been compelled to roll back the rate of excise in the face of rising crude prices etc.

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


Topic– Indian economy : Issues

6) Union Budget 2019 contained many measures for socio economic improvement including direct income transfers which can likely affect fiscal prudence. Examine. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The budget presented this year introduced and expanded several schemes for overall socio economic improvement. There is a risk of such measures affecting the fiscal deficit of the country especially since indirect tax revenue growth has been muted because of GST. The question expects us to frame a perspective on these issues.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the various measures introduced for socio economic improvement and whether it is likely to have an adverse impact on fiscal prudence. The question expects us to highlight the risks and challenges, and discuss the 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 – Highlight that the budget has expanded social welfare spending and has announced a direct income transfer scheme as well.

Body

  • Discuss the major measures introduced for socio economic welfare such as income support of Rs 6,000 per year to small farmers who own less than 2 hectares of land, income tax rebate, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan for unorganised sector workers with monthly incomes of less than Rs. 15,000 etc
  • Discuss the likely impact it is likely to have in government spending. Discuss how the government plans to mobilize this revenue.
  • Highlight the track record of the government on fiscal prudence by talking about the FD levels of the past year and projections. Examine whether tax revenue target is ambitious.

Conclusion – Give your view as to whether such measures make for smart economics or smart politics and discuss way forward.


Topic – Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology

7) India’s new drone policy is shortsighted. Critically comment.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The article does an in-depth analysis of India’s drone policy by getting into its pros and cons along with suggestions regarding what would work in Indian milieu. Drone policy is an issue of importance and has the potential to act as a catalyst for this nascent industry in India.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the pros and cons of India’s drone policy and expects us to provide a fair and balanced personal opinion over the merits of the policy.

Directive word

Critically 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. 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 – Discuss about the evolution of India’s drone policy

Body

  • Discuss the key points of India’s drone policy
    • DGCA has defined remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) as an unmanned aircraft piloted from a remote pilot station
    • The DGCA has segregated drones into five different categories
      i) Nano : Less than or equal to 250 grams.
      ii) Micro : From 250 grams to 2kg.
      iii) Small : From 2kg to 25kg.
      iv) Medium : From 25kg to 150kg.
      v) Large : Greater than 150kg.
    • All drones, other than in the nano category, shall apply to DGCA for import clearance and based on that Directorate General of Foreign Trade  shall issue license for import of RPAS.
    • Operators of civil drones will need to get a permit from the DGCA. There are exceptions for:
      i) Nano RPA operating below 50 feet (15 m) in uncontrolled airspace / enclosed premises.
      ii) Micro RPA operating below 200 feet (60 m) in uncontrolled airspace / enclosed premises – but will need to inform local police 24 hours prior.
      iii) RPA owned and operated by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies but after intimating local police.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of the policy
    • While the new drone policy establishes an intricate system of application and approval procedures, it is lacking when it comes to thorough monitoring of drones. It also ignores the implications of free movement of smaller drones, which have been exempted from many of the regulatory procedures.
    • Exceptions to permit criteria for specific sized drones are likely to cause a mushrooming of drone operators. In that event, how will the government monitor all drones flying below 15 meters
    • Risk of unethical activity in high rise cities etc

 

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced opinion and give suggestions.

 


General Studies – 4


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

8) Discuss the contribution of early Greek thinkers towards the 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 the contribution of some of the greatest early Greek thinkers towards the field of moral philosophy.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  early Greek philosophy. E.g Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BC and lasted through the Hellenistic period (323 BC-30 BC). Greek philosophy covers topics like political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, ontology , logic, biology, rhetoric, and aesthetics.

Body-

Discuss in points the contribution of early Greek philosophers. E.g

  • Socrates, born in Athens in 470 BC, is often credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. His largest contribution to philosophy is the Socratic method. The Socratic method is defined as a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to illuminate ideas. This method is performed by asking question after question with the purpose of seeking to expose contradictions in one’s thoughts, guiding him/her to arrive at a solid, tenable conclusion.
  • Plato, student of Socrates, known for being the founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. His Theory of Forms was created to solve two problems, one of ethics and one of permanence and change. The ethical problem is: how can humans live a fulfilling life in an ever changing world if everything that they hold close to them can be easily taken away?
  • Aristotle, student of Plato, lived from 384 BC-322 BC. At eighteen, he joined Plato’s Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven. There, he honed his talents of understanding the world. In his understanding of the world, he wrote his theory of the universals 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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