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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 25 December 2019

[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 25 December 2019

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General Studies – 1


Topic:  Indian Culture will cover the salient aspects of Art forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Art of Gandhara echoed largely Buddhist patronage, although other deities and themes were not ignored. Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Art and culture by Nitin Singhania

Why this question:

The question is based on the principle art of Gandhara and the contributions of Buddhist patronage it received during the period.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the coming of Gandhara art, key features and the influence of Buddhism through the route of patrons upon the art.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining what constitutes Gandhara art and its evolution.

Body:

Gandhara art is a style of Buddhist visual art that developed in northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan between the 1st century BCE and the 7th century CE.

Discuss the features that assert the influence of Buddhist culture on the Gandhara art form.

List down features that assert Buddhist influence such as –

  • Buddha, who was hitherto designated only by a symbol, was conceived in human form.
  • His person was given some of the 32 suspicious bodily signs associated with the Mahapurushalakshana, such as the protuberance of the skull, the hair-knot, bindi between the eyebrows and elongated ears.
  • Buddhist practice incorporated some aspects of popular religion, evident from Stupas and female figures at Stupas.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance and that though the art was largely influenced by Buddhism other cultures of Gods and goddesses were not totally ignored.


General Studies – 2


Topic:  Indian Constitution– historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

 1. Constitutional Morality necessitates a co-existence of freedom and self- imposed restraint. Examine.  (250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

On the occasion of Constitution Day, at a joint sitting of Parliament to mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution, President Ram Nath Kovind, (quoting B.R. Ambedkar) made a significant observation that all three organs of the state, persons occupying constitutional posts, civil society members, and citizens should abide by ‘constitutional morality’.

Key demand of the question:

Explain what constitutional morality is and discuss the significance of the necessary coexistence freedom and self-restraint.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what you understand by constitutional morality.

Body:

Recently, concerns are increasingly being voiced by different segments of people regarding violations of the Constitution by those in authority; about the future of democracy and democratic traditions are growing across the world.

Explain that in quite a few democracies, one can also perceive a decrease in democratic freedoms and a trend in favour of illiberal populism. India was hitherto perceived to be an exception to this, being protected by safeguards found in its Constitution — the product of a Constituent Assembly that consisted of not only the best legal minds, but also of compassionate individuals who espoused the finest human values.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the challenges and suggest that such policies and acts by the govt. are portents of danger, and call for a great deal of introspection. They merit a calibrated response.

 

Topic:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

2. Russia is looking forward to India concluding a new Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), in this context discuss the prospects that India can have going forward with EAEU. (250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

Russia is looking forward to India concluding a new Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the importance of EAEU, the prospects it holds for India with Russia wanting India to participate and contribute to the grouping through FTAs.

Directive:

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:

In first, discuss what EAEU is.

Body:

Discuss briefly about EAEU –

  • The Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization for regional economic integration.
  • It was established in 2015 by the Treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union.
  • The EAEU provides for free movement of goods, services, capital and labor, pursues coordinated, harmonized and single policy in the sectors determined by the Treaty and international agreements within the Union.
  • The Member-States of the Eurasian Economic Union are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation.
  • The Union is being created to comprehensively upgrade, raise the competitiveness of and cooperation between the national economies, and to promote stable development in order to raise the living standards of the nations of the Member-States.

Discuss its importance for India and relevance to the Eurasian economies.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

3. Governments recent decisions have affected India’s international standing amidst such circumstances do you think India stands the risk of isolation? Analyse. (250words)

Business Standard 

Why this question:

The article presents a critical analysis of recent government actions and policies that have created a sense of fear and isolation.

Key demand of the question:

Provide for a detailed analysis of recent govt. policies taken by the govt and in what way they pose a risk to the govt.

Directive:

analyze – When asked to analyse, you 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Highlight the key issues ongoing in the country.

Body:

Explain the following aspects in detail –

  • It is a truism of international relations that rising powers, such as India, should seek out friends and allies on their periphery and maintain relations further afield that are of long-term benefit to their economic rise.
  • For example, amid the widespread protests over the combination of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Act amendment, some implications need to be borne in mind for India’s international relations. Bangladesh has been India’s most stalwart partner in the neighborhood. Co-operation on security and extremism reached new heights, and the economic relationship has also developed.
  • But NRC problem has been compounded by the citizenship amendment law, which implies in its text and motivation that Bangladesh is not a secular country. This is seen as deeply offensive in Bangladesh, which has had divisive discussions about its identity before reaffirming its constitutional secularism.
  • Domestic political concerns may have also played a part in India’s decision to stay out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
  • Recent actions, including the internet shutdown in Kashmir, have depleted that store of capital. The sharp growth slowdown means that India is a less attractive partner, and the actions taken against foreign companies operating on Indian soil, including changing the rules of the game at the last minute to benefit domestic players, reduce the number of advocates for New Delhi abroad.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done to address these challenges.

 

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

4. There is poor coverage of mental health services, lack of awareness, and the stigma attached to mental disorders in the Country. In the set context discuss the challenges and concerns associated with mental health in the country. (250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative has released the first report on disease burden attributable to mental health from 1990.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the challenges and concerns associated with mental health in the country.

Directive:

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:

Discuss the key highlights of the report.

Body:

The study finds that roughly one in seven Indians or 197 million people suffered from mental disorders of varying severity in 2017.Among these, depression and anxiety disorders are the commonest mental disorders in India.

The contribution of mental disorders to the total disease burden in India in terms of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) increased from 2.5% in 1990 to 4.7% in 2017.One DALY is at least one lost year of ‘healthy’ life.

The prevalence of mental disorders is increasing and is relatively higher in the southern states and in females.

The Southern states namely Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh accounted for a higher prevalence of mental disorders.

Discuss the challenges and concerns of the mental health.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suggestions to improve the overall health of the country.

 

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

5. Do you think National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) detrimental for the secular nature of India? Critically Analyse. (250 words)

India Today

Why this question:

The question is amidst the uproar across the country against the implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that are being considered detrimental for the secular nature of the nation.

Key demand of the question:

Explain that lately, it would seem, that some biases are beginning to emerge in many circles in India as well, undermining its long held secular precepts.

Discuss the impact of the two policies brought out by the government and their repercussions on the secular fabric of the country.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Provide briefly the details of the two.

Body:

First explain what are the issues of concern associated with the NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) of 2019 has had huge consequences on both the domestic and foreign policy front.

In India, widespread protests that began in the Northeast are now raging across the country.

On the international front, soon after the protests broke out, two Bangladesh ministers cancelled their visit to India, the Japanese Prime Minister postponed his visit to the country and the annual India-Japan summit was cancelled.

From the perspective of India’s ambitious development plans and strategic diplomacy, the question that arises is whether the Central government factored in the ramifications of the CAA on India’s Act East Policy and its potential side effects on the country’s relationship with foreign stakeholders heavily invested in the Northeast.

Discuss the short term and long term challenges posed and what needs to be done to address such concerns.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to ensure the secular fabric is conserved and protected.

 

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

6. Cleared by the Cabinet, the Personal Data Protection Bill is due to be placed in Parliament. How does it propose to protect personal data, how is it different from previous draft, and why is it a subject of debate? Discuss in detail. (250 words)

Indian Express

Economic Times

Why this question:

Global negotiations today revolve around debates about the transfer of data. India’s first attempt to domestically legislate on the topic, the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019, has been approved by the Cabinet and is slated to be placed in Parliament this winter session.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain in detail the current case of data protection, issues and challenges and way forward.

Directive:

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 first why data matters.

Body:

  • Data is any collection of information that is stored in a way so computers can easily read them (think 011010101010 format).
  • Data usually refers to information about your messages, social media posts, online transactions, and browser searches.
  • The individual whose data is being stored and processed is called the data principal in the PDP Bill.
  • This large collection of information about you and your online habits has become an important source of profits, but also a potential avenue for invasion of privacy because it can reveal extremely personal aspects.
  • Companies, governments, and political parties find it valuable because they can use it to find the most convincing ways to advertise to you online.
  • Discuss how the PDP Bill proposes to regulate data transfer, what are the key concerns associated with it.
  • Suggest solutions to overcome these issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.