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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 21 February 2019

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 21 February 2019

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic: salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


General Studies – 1


Topic– Indian Art and culture

1) Literary account of foreigners proved extremely useful in writing the history of Ancient India. Discuss.(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

Literary account of foreigners have played a useful role in writing the history of ancient India. The question expects us to discuss the account of such travellers and how they enabled us to write the history of ancient India.

Directive word

Discuss – Here your discussion needs to focus on highlighting the account of foreigners and how they enabled us to understand in detail the society, polity, economy etc of Indian society.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that Foreign travelers in the past played a more profound role than tourists of the present day. They were agents of civilizational contact and exchange, bringing with them new ideas, skills and technologies and returning with new knowledge.

Body – discuss how Greek and Roman literary account has proven useful by discussion some works and highlighting it’s significance in writing the history of ancient Indian.

  • Hsuan-Tsang – Account during Harshavardhan’s era.
  • Al Beruni (AD 973 – 1048) – Mahmud of Ghazni. Culture of Indians especially the hindus.
  • Abdur Razzaq – Vijaynagar Empire
  • Fa-Hien – Account of the Gupta Period. An extensive account of society. first to talk about the caste system and shudras. Shudras were kept outside the town and entered the town by making a noise with a stick. Fahien had also mentioned about Shaiv and Vaishnav religion.

Conclusion – Highlight the impact and importance of such accounts.


Topic-  salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2) Kabir was one of the chief exponents of the Bhakti movement in the medieval period. Discuss the Relevance of the teachings of Kabir in Contemporary India?(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight the status of Kabir within the folds of bhakti movement and explain his teachings in detail. Thereafter, the question expects us to relate his teachings to the problems faced in contemporary India and how his teachings prove relevant.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Give a background of Kabir.

Body

Discuss his teachings and the relevance of his teaching in modern India.

  • He preached a religion of love which aimed at promoting unity amongst all castes and creeds. In fact he was the first saint who tried to reconcile Hinduism and Islam. Kabir was not interested in organising any religion
  • Kabir did not believe in extreme asceticism and abstractions from the world. He condemned idolatry and useless ceremonies. He believed in the equality of man and declared that before the high throne of God all were equal.
  • He wished to abolish the caste system as well as the antagonism of the religions based on blind superstition or on the selfish interest of the minority exploiting the ignorance of others. He desired to establish social and religious peace among the people who lived together, but who were separated from one another by religion.
  • Kabir made an attempt at a fusion of Islamic mysticism, having as its object a loving devotion to a single God, and Hindu tradi­tions”. Kabir’s teachings do not give preference either to Hindus, or Muslims. On the other hand he admired whatever was good in the two cults and condemned whatever was dogmatic.

Conclusion – explain how application of his views would prove beneficial for India and its contemporary challenges.

 


Topic-  salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

3) The Vijayanagar empire architecture was heavily borrowed from the earlier dynasties of the region. Analyze. (250 words)

Reference

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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 Vijaynagar architecture and bring out how it was heavily borrowed from the art of earlier dynasties.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Vijaynagar empire. E.g Vijayanagara or “city of victory” was the name of both a city and an empire. The empire was founded in the fourteenth century. In its heyday it stretched from the river Krishna in the north to the extreme south of the peninsula

Body-

Discuss in detail about the Vijaynagar architecture and write in detail about its relationship with the art and architecture of the earlier dynasties that ruled the southern parts of India. Give examples to corroborate your views. E.g

  • Vijayanagar era architecture can be broadly classified into religious, courtly, and civic architecture.
  • Its style is a harmonious combination of the Chalukya, Hoysala, Pandya, and Chola styles that evolved in earlier centuries and represents a return to the simplicity and serenity of the past.
  • It is also influenced by later Deccan and Dravidian styles.
  • Preferred for its durability, local hard granite was the building material of choice, as it had been for the Badami Chalukyas.
  • Vijayanagar temples are surrounded by strong enclosures and characterized by ornate pillared kalyanamandapa (marriage halls); tall rayagopurams (carved monumental towers at the entrance of the temple) built of wood, brick, and stucco in the Chola style; and adorned with life-sized figures of gods and goddesses.
  • This dravida style became popular during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya and is seen in South Indian temples constructed over the next two centuries.
  • The courtly architecture of Vijayanagar is generally made of mortar mixed with stone rubble and often shows secular styles with Islamic-influenced arches, domes, and vaults.
  • Some famous temples exemplifying the Vijayanagar style include the Virupaksha Temple at Hampi and the Hazara Rama temple of Deva Raya I etc.

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


Topic-  salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

4) The cultural creativity and intellectual efflorescence that were the hallmarks of the European Renaissance were conspicuous by their absence in the Indian situation. Comment. (250 words)

The hindu

 

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 Indian renaissance and express our opinion as to whether or not, cultural creativity and intellectual efflorescence that were the hallmarks of the European Renaissance were absent in Indian renaissance.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  western renaissance. E.g The European Renaissance was characterised by the discovery and triumph of humanism and the re-emergence of man to the centre of history with sensitivity to his creative ability, reflected in his achievements in the past.

Body-

Discuss  about the cultural and intellectual aspect of the renaissance and form an opinion as to whether they were a part of Indian renaissance as in Europe, or not. E.g

  • The social and religious reforms witnessed in 19th century India were neither a continuation of past efforts nor their reinvocations to face contemporary challenges.
  • While the pre-colonial movements were trapped in feudal ethics, the 19th century regeneration occurred in the context of an emerging middle class which mainly developed its social vision, political beliefs and cultural ethos from the history of Western societies, received through the medium of the ideological apparatuses of the colonial state.
  • Modernity in India had a different trajectory. Its origin was not in indigenous intellectual and cultural churning but in the influences disseminated by the colonial state and its agencies.
  • The relationship between the traditional and the “colonial-modern” was not dialogical but mainly one of domination. Restricted by prevailing caste and religious practices and attracted by the “colonial-modern” life, this new breed of Indians experienced the tension between what was possible in the new world and what was practised in the traditional.
  • The changes in the social and cultural life they sought to materialise emerged out of this tension.
  • The participation in the colonial order demanded a refashioning of the social world of the colonised, at the same time there was considerable social pressure to maintain traditional social practices.
  • The social and religious reform witnessed in 19th century India, which was an attempt to reconcile the cultural world of the middle class with the demands of the new way of life, emerged out of this dynamic.
  • As a result, unlike in Europe, reformation took precedence over renaissance in India.

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


General Studies – 2


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors.

5) Do you think India needs an anti-torture legislation. Critically analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Custodial torture is an inhuman and barbaric practice, which has been in vogue since ages, except in most of the modern liberal democracies, where it has been abolished. In this context it is important to discuss whether India also needs an anti-torture legislation or not.

Directive word

Critically 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. based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deeper into the issue of custodial torture in India and bring out the reasons as to why there is a need for an anti-torture legislation in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– mention about the huge pendency of cases in Indian courts of law and mention the prevalence of 3rd degree as an accepted form of custodial torture in India.

Body-

  1. Discuss in points as to why custodial torture is an inhuman practice. E.g
  • The practice of custodial power is about men — and sometimes, women — who are in positions of power, even if for a brief while and over a limited terrain, having custody over a powerless person.
  • It is about the use of custodial opportunity to torture the captive’s body and mind.
  • And there, in that arena of wantonness, it becomes something of a sport for the human “Gods” that rule mere humans.
  • Custodial death, when not ‘natural’, is the extreme end-point of custodial torture.
  • The death penalty, notwithstanding ‘due process’, is a close kin to this lawless and heartless game etc.
  1. Discuss why there is a need for an anti-torture legislation in India. E.g
  • India has practised and continues to practise the ‘third degree’ with impunity.
  • India has signed but not ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
  • Without such a law, there is no meaning to signing the Convention.
  • Mention about the lapsed bill.
  • Mention some Human Rights Commission reports which highlight custodial torture in India etc.

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


Topic– Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Human Resources

6) The advent of Industry 4.0 requires a human centric approach unlock growth. Discuss.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article discusses the potential human capital related challenge that is likely given the way 4th industrial revolution is shaping up. The article also discusses how nations have started gearing up and India needs to follow suit. The article touches several topics in GS2 and GS3 syllabus and thus needs to be discussed in detail.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the changes brought about by the advent of technology such as AI etc which is giving rise to 4th IR. Thereafter, it expects us to discuss how skill upgradation is necessary to deal with these changes and the efforts of India in comparison to other countries in bringing about such changes. Finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion and discuss way forward.

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 what do you mean by 4th IR.

Body

  • Discuss the changes brought about by 4th IR and how adapting to such changes require an emphasis on learning and unlearning.
    • The World Economic Forum estimates 75 million jobs may be displaced, but 133 million new roles may emerge globally in a few years. These new jobs will be different and will require higher application of cognitive skills alongside working with deep technologies.
    • McKinsey says pretty much the same thing with more alarming statistics over a broader time horizon. Globally, 400 to 800 million jobs may be displaced by 2030, requiring as many as 375 million people to switch job categories entirely. Numerous studies have been carried out (including by Nasscom) and it’s clear why re-skilling is an imperative.
  • Highlight how other nations have started dealing with this challenge –
    • Countries have started to put in place national digital skills strategies, including in Asia etc
  • Discuss what India needs to do.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced opinion and discuss way forward.


Topic– Issues related to education, human resources

7) Teacher training requires an urgent overhaul in India. Examine.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

One of the major reason for our poor ranking in education indicators can be attributed to the quality of teaching staff in India. The article examines the issue and proposes solutions and thus is an important topic to be prepared for mains.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the problem with respect to quality of teachers in India and how it is impacting the education indicators of the country. Thereafter it expects us to discuss the problems with the existing system and why and what kind of overhaul it requires.

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 teachers play an important role in improving education outcomes and the quality of teachers leave a lot to be desired in India.

Body

  • Explain the issue in detail
    • India’s persistently low-learning outcomes gain momentum once again in light of Pratham’s Annual Status Of Education Report
    • Pratham CEO Rukmini Banerji has highlighted the central role of teachers in improving learning outcomes
    • Unfortunately, teachers in India, especially those in the government school system, are largely seen as a governance problem, with the focus on getting them into the classroom rather than developing their skills and motivation.
  • Explain the problems with the current system
    • National Council of Educational Research and Training study finds there is no systematic incorporation of teacher feedback into designing trainings, and little variation or consideration of local issues
    • The outcome of such training is limited and there is no measure of whether this is translated into classroom practice. Eventually, such factors have significant multiplier effects in how they de-professionalize the larger teaching profession and drive down a teacher’s “internal responsibility”—the sense of duty to the job, shaped by the environment in which the teacher operates.
  • Discuss the nature of solutions required to the problem
    • Incorporation of teacher feedback
    • Strengthening the training system etc

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

 



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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