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[Insights Secure STHIR– 2021] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 22 January 2021

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues;

1. Tribal and peasant movements and revolts were often put down in history as spontaneous movements, when uneducated, apolitical groups of people break forth in anger and not as conscious decision makers. But, the Santhals of the Rajmahal Hills did not revolt on a whim. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about Santhal Uprising and how it differed from other spontaneous movement.

Directive:

Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Give a brief context about the Santhal and their uprising against ‘Dhikus’.

Body:

In the first part, mention how many peasant and tribal revolts and rebellions were spontaneous, disorganized and reactionary. Give examples.

In the next part, write about the Santhal Rebellion. Mention the causes for the outbreak of the rebellion in brief. In detail, write about how the Santhal Rebellion differed from others. In the nature of the movement – nature of grievances, oppression on the Santhals, Leadership, full fledged conflict, capture of land by Santhals and outcomes etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing about the legacy of the Santhal Hool.

 

Topic:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues;

2.  The conquest of India by the British, exposed some serious weaknesses and drawbacks of Indian social institutions. As a consequence several individuals and movements sought to bring about changes in the social and religious practices with a view to reforming and revitalizing the society. Elucidate. What were the various methods that were adopted to reform the Indian society? (250 words)

Reference: India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the evils prevailing in the India society which started the process of socio-religious reform movements and the methods adopted to achieve them.

Directive:

Elucidate – Give 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:

Begin by giving context to socio-religious reform movement of India in the nineteenth century.

Body:

In detail, mention the various evils – Sati, Child marriage, female infanticide, opposition to widow remarriage, caste system, lack of female education and communalism that were prevailing in the Indian society. Add how the British conquest of India exposed these drawbacks.

Next, mention various individuals and organisations that took up the cause of socio-religious reform movement in India. Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Brahmo Samaj, Ishawr Chandra Vidyasagar, M.G Ranade, Arya Samaj, Aligarh Movement and Jyotiba Phule etc.

Finally, mention the various steps that were taken to reform the India society. Reform from within, reform through legislation, reform through symbol of change and reform through social work. Give examples to substantiate your points.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing how these played a part in revitalizing the Indian society as well as kindled nationalism among the masses.

 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

3. Ancient Indian sculptural art is highly rich in its traditions. Trace the development ancient Indian sculpture that go back to the Indus Valley civilisation. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

Ancient Indian art is highly rich in its traditions. Our myths and lore eulogise the artists. The roots of ancient Indian art and culture go back to the Indus Valley civilisation. The artists in those days were very creative with their sculptures and terracotta seals that have beautiful relief figures depicting animals and humans. The article covers the same.

Key Demand of the question:

Directive:

Trace – find or describe the origin or development of. Follow or mark the course or position of something.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by giving a brief intro about the glorious and rich Indian sculpture.

Body:

As you have to trace the development of Indian sculupture, divide your anser in to various time period starting from Indus Valley, Maruayn age, Post Mauryan age, Gupta age and Post Gupta age. Also, cover about the development of Sculpture in South India under the Cholas. Also, mention about religious sculptures – Buddhist, Jain and Hindu.

Cover the major and defining features of the sculpture of that age with examples

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the importance of sculpture in the rich cultural history of India.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

4. Of the three legitimate ways of engaging the State effectively and meaningfully, protest has become the only way in which the State under a powerful ruler can be influenced in India. Critically Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: Business Standard 

Why the question:

Indians are facing momentous change, a shattered economy, an almost absent opposition, a reticent judiciary, and no real means to represent themselves before the power except with their physical selves.

Key Demand of the question:

To analyze the various ways that the citizens can engage with the state and to see the why people resort to protests rather than go through the electoral route or litigation.

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:

Write about three lawful ways to engage with the State: Vote, litigation and protest.

Body:

In the first part, mention why protests are seen as the only way to influence the government and reasons for increasing trends of protests over the past decades. Emergence of populism, Lack of effective opposition, lack of judicial checks and single party majority etc. Give examples to substantiate your points.

In the next part, though protests are a constitutional right, mention about the limitations of protests and the need to make use of all the three modes available in the democracy to hold the government accountable. Suggest steps to strengthen the voter accountability and litigation.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices;

5. Illustrate the methodology of Market Price Support for agriculture. What are the factors that affect the gap between international and domestic prices? What are the limitation in the OECD methodology to calculate Market Price Support for agriculture? (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Many media reports, based on data by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), have ostensibly stated that the support provided to Indian agriculture is extremely low or negative, and, therefore, net taxed.

Key Demand of the question:

It’s a three part question, first part demands the methodology of Market price support, second part, the reasons for divergence between international and domestic prices, and the third asks the limitations of OECD methodology.

Directive:

Illustrate – A similar instruction to ‘explain’ whereby you are asked to show the workings of something, making use of definite examples and statistics if appropriate to add weight to your explanation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by describing market price support for agriculture in clear and simple terms.

Body:

In the first part of the body, taking examples from the article, mention the working of market price support for agriculture. Write about the various components that are considered. Cite illustrations from the article.

In the next part, mention the factors that affected the positive or the negative gap between domestic and international prices. Changes in supply and demand conditions in the domestic and international market, shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic, weather conditions, depressed international price, and subsidies given by other countries etc.

In the last, part mention the limitations of OECD methodology to calculate Market Price Support.

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving balanced views of Market Price Support and its need for Indian agriculture.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships.

6. What are sources of ethics and their ideals in Indian tradition? (150 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon publications.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

A very straightforward question where we have to determine the source and ideals of ethics in Indian culture and philosophy.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by mention that the India tradition is repository of numerous ethical and moral discourses.

Body:

In detail mention the various sources – Vedas, Upanishads, Dhramashastras, Smritis, Buddhist canon, Jaina ethics, Bhagwad Gita, folk talks, teachings of sufi and bhakti saints, teachings of modern philosophers like Swami Vivekanada and Mahtma Gandhi etc.

Describe the major ethical and moral tenets of the above mentioned sources or teaching of the personalities.

Conclusion:

Conclude by drawing the contemporary importance of the above.

 

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

7. Write a short note on the ethical philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. (150 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon publications.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

Another very straightforward question to write about ethical philosophy of Thomas Hobbes.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Give a brief introduction of Thomas Hobbes.

Body:

In the body, briefly cover the major aspects of the teachings of Hobbes. Cover Hobbes’ Hedonistic views, Ethical Egoism, his views on rightness or wrongness of an action, Social Utilitarianism and Moral Positivism.

Write about Hobbes’ other theories on the state and individual liberty. Also, add a sentence or two of critique of Hobbs.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the importance of Hobbes’s ethical theory.


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