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

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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. Coins form an invaluable source in reconstruction of India past. Explain with examples from ancient India. (250 words)

Reference: Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania

Why the question:

The question seeks the importance of coins as the source of archaeological evidence the reconstruction of Ancient Indian History.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the significance of coins in the reconstruction of Indian History. Discuss that with relevant examples.

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 with briefly introducing how coins form a invaluable part in reconstruction of India’s Ancient past.

Body:

Body should explain in detail coinage provides information about various different components of Ancient India.

The body should be clearly demarcated in political, economic, social, cultural and technological information provided by the coins of the Ancient Indian age.

Relevant examples should be provided to substantiate your answers and they should be clearly highlighted as it is specifically asked in the questions.

In a sentence or two, just mention a passing reference regarding certain limitations of the coins as source of history.

Conclusion:

Summarize the entire answer as to how coins form an invaluable part of the past.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. Discuss in what way ground realities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic make a sound case for increased investments in the health and social sectors. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The editorial throws light upon how the ground realities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic make a sound case for increased investments in the health and social sectors.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the need for increased investments in the health and social sectors.

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:

Present briefly the background of COVID-19 situation in the country.

Body:

Among the most affected during the COVID-19 pandemic are homeless persons and the ultra-poor, many of whom are employed in the informal sector.  Oppressed classes suffer the most as a consequence of multidimensional poverty.

They are exposed to greater adversity against the backdrop of intergenerational social disadvantage and lack of social security.  There is plenty of evidence pointing to relative poverty and its co-relation to stress, mental health and well-being. Data suggest that deaths by suicide and common mental disorders have also been on the rise during the pandemic.

Conclusion:

Suggest the efforts of the government in this direction, advice as to what more can be done to improvise the situation.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic : Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

3. Discuss the basis of MSP and explain if it is beneficial to the Indian agricultural economy? Bring out the challenges in MSP Regime in the light of recently passed farm Bills. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The newly passed farm trade Bill has raised concerns that farmers may no longer be assured MSP for their crop. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain first the basis of MSP and explain if it is beneficial to the Indian agricultural economy and bring out the challenges of MSP regime in the backdrop of recently passed farm bills.

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:

Set the context of the question first by explaining the fact that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill does not give any statutory backing to MSP.

Body:

Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices. The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). MSP is price fixed by Government of India to protect the producer – farmers – against excessive fall in price during bumper production years. The minimum support prices are a guarantee price for their produce from the Government.

Discuss the key objectives of MSP, highlight the challenges associated with it.

Discuss the context of the recently proposed and passed farm bills, explain in what way they it raises concerns.

Conclusion:

Conclude with fair and balanced opinion and suggest suitable solutions.

 

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

4. Without internet connectivity and market intelligence market participation is meaningless for Indian farmers, Should every Indian farmer get a smartphone? Discuss the urgent to recognise the important role that technology can play without which all agri reforms are more of failures than successes. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint 

Why the question:

The article brings to us detailed insights of the need and essence of technology to Indian farmers.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain in the context of recent reforms how without internet connectivity and market intelligence market participation is meaningless for Indian farmers.

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 in brief the scenario of Indian agriculture; explain the plight of farm markets vis-à-vis farmers.

Body:

Start by explaining that the recent reforms seek to increase the availability of buyers for farmers’ produce and motivate farmers to diversify crops by reducing existing restrictions on licenses and stock limits. The hope is that increased competition will result in better prices for farmers. However without technology aid these reforms are worthless. Because we know that for competition to create efficient outcomes, high information access and low (preferably zero) transaction costs are essential.

Explain with suitable examples need for technology and information to every farmer to ensure the objective of the Farm bill is truly met.

Conclusion:

Agriculture today needs rapid tech diffusion and it is urgent for the government and the private sector to fund it. It is amply clear that investments towards digitalization will bring the greatest improvements in farm productivity.

 


General Studies – 4


 

 Topic : Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

5. “Transparency is not only necessary for maintaining a democratic polity, but necessary for making the economy work” in the context of the recent steps taken by government of promoting a culture of secrecy and undermining legislation such as RTI, analyse the above statement. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article in detail explains how transparency is not only necessary for maintaining a democratic polity, it is also necessary for making the economy work.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail the significance of transparency in maintaining democratic polity.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen 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:

Start by explaining the importance of transparency in general to a country.

Body:

While transparency is a cornerstone of democracy, today’s India is cultivating secrecy. Paradoxically, this culture of secrecy is sometimes justified in the name of transparency.

The article presents a good case of how the current government has failed to uphold the values of RTI in the name of secrecy, explain with suitable examples the lacunae and its ill effects of the “Transparency” factor in the system.

Take hints from the article present examples and justify valid points in support of your answer.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable way forward.

 

Topic : Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6. Discuss the Mill’s concept of the harm principle. Also discuss its applicability in contemporary times. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics

Why the question:

The question is premised on the Mill’s concept of “Harm principle” and its applicability in today’s times.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail Mill’s concept of “Harm principle” and its applicability in today’s times.

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:

The harm principle holds that the actions of individuals should only be limited to prevent harm to other individuals. John Stuart Mill articulated this principle.

Body:

The harm principle states that the only actions that can be prevented are ones that create harm. In other words, a person can do whatever he wants as long as his actions do not harm others.

If a person’s actions only affect him, then society, which includes the government, should not be able to stop a person from doing what he wants. This even includes actions that a person may do that would harm the person himself.

There are many actions which affects only the agent ‘directly and in the first instance’. They may still affect other people, but if they do so, they will affect other people ‘through’ the agent as all people are interconnected and no human being live in isolation.

Give examples and explain in what way it can be applicable in certain situations even today.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the principle.

 

Topic : Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7. What do you understand by ethics in Governance? Discuss in detail its significance. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the concept of Ethical governance and its significance.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the meaning of ethical governance and explain its significance.

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:

Define what you understand by ethical governance.

Body:

Ethical governance meant that the manner in which power is exercised for an organisation by using its resources, including social and economic, is acceptable by all. It could range from personal rights to effective service delivery for all.

Ethical governance is the right and justified conduct of activities of an organization (or government) to serve the larger public interest. Impartiality, accountability, transparency, honesty , integrity, probity, perseverance, truthfulness, citizen centricity, patriotism among other are some of the values which are must for attainment of ethical governance.

Discuss its objectives and highlight its importance in ethical conduct of governance in general.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Ethical governance is a continuing focus, starting with the administration and extending to all citizens. With transparency and unwavering ethics, people will seek to earn the trust of those they partner with, forge lasting service relationships and strengthen business over the long term.


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