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[Insights Secure STHIR– 2021] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 16 July 2021

 

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic: GS-1: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

GS-2: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

1. Discuss what are the issues with making welfare conditional? Comment in the light of recent controversy of Coercive policy measures taken to control population in the state of Uttar Pradesh. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

Recently, the government of Uttar Pradesh released a “Population Policy” in which it stated its intention to bring the gross fertility rate in the State down from the existing 2.7 to 2.1 by 2026.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the issues with making welfare conditional with suitable illustrations.

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:

Start with recent example of population control measures taken up by UP.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss the issues with coercive population control policies; through an affidavit filed in court, the central government argued that “international experience shows that any coercion to have a certain number of children is counter-productive and leads to demographic distortions”,against international obligations, against right to reproductive freedom and privacy etc.

Suggest why welfare should not be made conditional.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora – their structure, mandate.

2. How are the Judges elected to International Court of Justice (ICJ)? Discuss the importance of ICJ seat to India’s diplomacy. (250 words)

Reference:  https://www.icj-cij.org

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper II , theme international institutions.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the method of elections of Judges at the ICJ and importance of ICJ seat to India’s diplomacy.

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:

Start with what ICJ is.

Body:

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.

The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America). The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French.

Judges are elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in accordance with the Statute of the ICJ, the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly, and the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council.

Usually, the General Assembly and Security Council meet simultaneously. Depending on the number of vacancies and nominations, ballots are prepared. There may be several rounds of voting by secret ballot. Summary voting results are given in the meeting records of the meeting at which the vote was held. The outcome of the vote is usually a decision.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

3. Elaborate upon India’s Infrastructure Investment as the part of India- Afghanistan Strategic relationship. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article explains India’s Infrastructure Investment as the part of India- Afghanistan Strategic relationship.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the importance of India’s Infrastructure Investment as the part of India- Afghanistan Strategic relationship.

Directive:

Elaborate – 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:

Start with the context of the question.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss the about the India-Afghanistan partnership agreement first; The 2011 India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement recommitted Indian assistance to help rebuild Afghanistan’s infrastructure and institutions; education and technical assistance for capacity-building in many areas; encourage investment in Afghanistan; and provide duty-free access to the Indian market. Bilateral trade is now worth $1 billion.

Then talk about the projects India has taken up.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

Topic: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and issues arising out of their Design and Implementation

4. Discuss the issues associated with Draft Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, do you think drafted in the name of consumer interest, the proposed e-commerce rules shield vested interests? (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The proposed Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, have been drafted ostensibly in the name of the consumer.  The rules are driven more by the desire to shield the traditional brick-and-mortar stores, and handicap e-commerce firms, especially the foreign ones.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the issues associated with Draft Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020.

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:

Start with basics of the draft Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020.

Body:

Discuss the issues with the provisions of draft Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020.

Explain how the fall-back liability clause is unfair for those operating through marketplace model. Identifying goods based on country of origin and providing fair opportunity to domestic sellers, Overlapping/competing jurisdictions.

Explain that the lines of demarcation that have been drawn up in the retail landscape — single brand vs multi-brand, online vs offline, domestic vs foreign — serve only to protect powerful vested interests, not benefit the consumer as is often proclaimed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

5. By analyzing several issues over Virtual Water Trade, suggest measures to control the virtual water export from India. (250 words)

Reference:  Down to Earth

Why the question:

The article explains the issues over virtual trade of water that India is facing.

Key Demand of the question:

By analyzing several issues over Virtual Water Trade, suggest measures to control the virtual water export from India.

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:

Explain that it is critical for us to adopt the circular water management model of treating and rejuvenating wastewater at source, along with efficient water management strategies to reduce water demand.

 Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Start with some key facts; India’s agricultural exports registered a growth of 17.34 per cent, garnering $41.25 billion in foreign exchange for 2020-21 despite the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. In rupee terms, this is equivalent to Rs 3.05 lakh crore. For a government faced with negative growth for over 15 months and limited financial inflows into its kitty, such numbers provide a sense of hope.

Explain the concerns around virtual trade of water; Virtual Water Trade (VWT) is slowly altering the global hydrological cycle in many ways. Several countries have begun to act early, adopting the VWT route to address worldwide water distress.

Suggest solutions to address.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 


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. 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.  Examine the ethical challenges with respect to the use of artificial intelligence in health sector and throw light at the principles which can guide this sector beyond such tests. (250 words)

Reference:  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of ethical challenges involved in Artificial intelligence.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to examine the ethical challenges with respect to the use of artificial intelligence in health sector.

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:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released its report ‘Ethics & Governance of Artificial Intelligence for Health’.  Start by quoting some key facts from there.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Explain that an AI system is a machine-based system that can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, make predictions, recommendations, or decisions influencing real or virtual environments. AI systems are designed to operate with varying levels of autonomy.

Discuss the ethical challenges and risks with the use of artificial intelligence of health.

Elaborate and suggest frameworks that should guide the laws and policies for the use of AI for health.

Conclusion:

AI for health is a fast-moving, evolving field, and many applications, not yet envisaged, will emerge with ever-greater public and private investment. Thus should be the way forward.

 

Topic: Case Studies on above issues.

7. Public policy is being increasingly informed by insights from the behavioural sciences. One such behavioural approach is the Nudge theory. It is mainly concerned with the design of choices, which influences the decisions we make. Nudge theory proposes that the designing of choices should be based on how people actually think and decide, rather than how leaders and authorities traditionally believe people think and decide.

In this context, answer the following questions:

(a) Giving examples, illustrate the difference between enforced change and ‘Nudge’ techniques?

(b) Identify the ethical concerns associated with the nudge technique. Also, suggest ways for using nudging theory ethically. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The question is based on the Nudge theory.  

Key Demand of the question:

Illustrate the difference between enforced change and ‘Nudge’ techniques and Identify the ethical concerns associated with the nudge technique. Also, suggest ways for using nudging theory ethically.

 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:

Start with a brief note on the use of behavioral insights to inform public policy.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Differentiate between Traditional methods of social change and change brought through the use of ‘Nudge’ techniques. Behavioural sciences are being used these days to make policy interventions more effective. One of the behavioural theories, which is being considered better than the traditional ones suggest ‘nudging’ or modifying people’s choice architecture that impacts their behavior without coercing them.

Discuss the fundamental issues arising out of designing people’s choices using insights about their thought and behavior.

Conclusion:

Conclude with – Nudge techniques try to solve important problems in smart and inexpensive ways. They have potential to increase social welfare as well. However, it is marred with several ethical concerns. Therefore, the choice architect must follow transparency while conceiving a possible nudge.


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