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[MISSION 2024] Insights SECURE : Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 2 May 2024

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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. Cultural heritage structures and monuments in our country face various risks. Efforts should be undertaken to protect our cultural heritage for future generations and ensure its continued significance to our society and identity. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

The article highlights the issue of damage to heritage sites in India due to neglect and human activities.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the reasons as to why heritage is under threat and the need to safeguard India’s art heritage and the steps that need to be taken for the same.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Explain about what all is included in India’s art heritage – paintings, sculpture, monuments etc

Body:

First, highlight that preserving our heritage is enshrined as a fundamental duty

Next, Examine the threats to art heritage such as Lack of public awareness -This makes the local administrator break the buildings and replace it with other structures, Duplication of paintings and art forms, Theft, Vandalism and Smuggling etc. Discuss why it is crucial to safeguard such heritage such as maintaining identity and pride of our country, tourism etc

Next, Discuss the way forward such as – Strengthening institutions – Ministry of Culture, ASI, Museums, Archives, Cultural awareness programs etc

Conclusion:

Summarize on why this issue requires attention and what needs to be done.

 

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

2. The socio-religious reform movements played a transformative role in shaping modern India by challenging social norms, advocating for inclusivity and progressiveness, and contributing to the emergence of a more egalitarian and pluralistic society. Elucidate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how reforms movement were aimed at India society and their contributions.

Directive word: 

Elucidate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning that the reform movement was a holistic socio-religious reform movement aimed revitalising our society and religion.

Body:

First, elaborate on features such as the movement focussed on aspects such as to bring in an enlightened society, removal of superstition, to establish a democratic society, to promote rationality and scientific temper etc. Mention steps taken by reforms to achieve these. Mention about the reformist movements and revivalist movements. Mention the major reformers of major religions.

Next, write about the contributions of the reform movements to modern India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by saying that the same approach was carried forward by the national movement and was included in the vision of independent India.

  


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. To truly empower the country’s citizens and public sector, public-policy education must evolve to become more accessible, practical and contextually relevant. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

Engaging students and executives from various disciplines in tackling social challenges will bring forth talented problem-solvers. A wider and better understanding of our problems could improve policymaking.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of public policy education and ways to make it more accessible and practical.

Directive word:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of public policy education.

Body:

First, write about the importance of public policy education and the role it can play in country’s development.

Next, write about ways of making it accessible, practical and contextually relevant – focusing on real-world applications, tailoring content to local needs, embracing interdisciplinary approaches, and promoting lifelong learning and adaptability etc

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

  


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

4. The evolution of the India’s service sector after economic reforms in 1991 has been instrumental in driving economic development, fostering innovation, and improving standards of living. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

A deep-dive research report from global investment banking major Goldman Sachs, evocatively titled ‘India’s rise as the emerging services factory of the world’, has captured India’s recent success in providing global services and sought to forecast growth prospects and risks in the medium term.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of service sector.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start with brief background of the context of the question.

Body:

In the first part, explain that the service sector in India has played a critical role in helping it deal with the Covid-19 crisis. Had it not been for digital platforms, (hundreds were created overnight by both large and small Indian IT companies), school and college students would not have been able to attend classes and continue with their education.

Next, write about how service sector is vital to India’s goal of five trillion-dollar economy. And measures needed in this regard to further leverage it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5. Inequality in India stems from various factors, both historical and contemporary. Hence, targeted interventions should focus on vulnerable groups to ensure equitable access to social services and support systems. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

French economist Thomas Piketty, along with a few other economists, recently came out with some startling findings on economic inequality trends in India over the last century. In Income and Wealth Inequality in India, 1922-2023: The Rise of the Billionaire Raj, Piketty and his co-authors estimate that inequality in India today is far worse than during the inter-war British colonial rule.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the causes of inequality and measurers needed to address it.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining inequality and cite statistic to show inequalities in the Indian society.

Body:

First, write about the various reasons for inequality in India – Historical reasons, poverty, informal employment, lack of social security, regional imbalances etc. Write about the impact of inequality in India.

Next, write about the steps that are needed to address this and move towards a more equitable society.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

  


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance;

6. Brand ambassadors should be held accountable for misleading advertisements and endorsements to protect consumers, uphold ethical standards, and preserve trust and integrity in advertising. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the ethical issues in brand endorsements and accountability of the person who endorses it.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate 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: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

First, wite about the various negative impact of endorsement of socially harmful products by celebrities. Cite examples to substantiate.

Next, write about the extent of accountability of the person endorsing the product.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced opinion.

 

Topic: Case Study

7. An elevated corridor is being constructed to reduce traffic congestion in the capital of a particular state. You have been selected as project manager of this prestigious project on your professional competence and experience. The deadline is to complete the project in the next two years by 30 June 2021, since the project is to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister before the elections are announced in the second week of July 2021. While carrying out the surprise inspection by the inspecting team, a minor crack was noticed in one of the piers of the elevated corridor possibly due to poor material used. You immediately informed the chief engineer and stopped further work. It was assessed by you that a minimum of three piers of the elevated corridor have to be demolished and reconstructed. But this process will delay the project minimum by four to six months. But the chief engineer overruled the observation of the inspecting team on the ground that it was a minor crack that will not in any way impact the strength and durability of the bridge. He ordered you to overlook the observation of the inspecting team and continue working with the same speed and tempo. He informed you that the minister does not want any delay as he wants the Chief Minister to inaugurate the elevated corridor before the elections are declared. Also informed you that the contractor is a far relative of the minister and he wants him to finish the project. He also gave you a hint that your further promotion as an additional chief engineer is under consideration by the ministry. However, you strongly felt that the minor crack in the pier in the elevated corridor will adversely affect the health and life of the bridge and therefore it will be very dangerous not to repair the elevated corridor.

a) Under the given conditions, what are the options available to you as a project manager?

b) What are the ethical dilemmas being faced by the project manager and his response to overcome such challenges?

c) What are the professional challenges likely to be faced by the project manager and his response to overcome such challenges?

d) What can be the consequences of overlooking the observation raised by the inspecting team?

 (250 words) (UPSC 2021)

Difficulty level: Moderate

 

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