[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 24 MAY 2018

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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 24 MAY 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)

REVISION TIMETABLE FOR PRELIMS – 2018 

Revision Tests


General Studies – 1


Topic:  The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors
/contributions from different parts of the country.

1) A real breakthrough in terms of revolutionary ideology and the goals of revolution and the forms of revolutionary struggle was made by Bhagat Singh and his comrades. Critically analyze.(250 words)

India’s struggle for independence Pg 245

Key demand of the question

The question is making an assertion that the revolutionary ideology espoused by Bhagat Singh and his comrades were a break from the past revolutionary ideology. We have to critically analyze this claim by examining how Bhagat Singh made a breakthrough in the ideology. We also have to bring out those aspects of the ideology which were not transformed. Based on this, we have to provide our view on whether Bhagat Singh and his comrades actually made a breakthrough in the revolutionary ideology.

Directive word

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, 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. You need to conclude with  a fair judgement, after analyzing the nature of each component part and interrelationship between them. Here focus on the terms goals of revolution and the forms of revolutionary struggle and mould your answer under these two heads.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention details of the new phase of the revolutionary terrorists which is being talked about in the question such as where did it behind, what was the overall objective etc

Body

  • Discuss the changes brought about in the revolutionary ideology by Bhagat Singh and his comrades. Eg talk about the ideas of socialism like ending exploitation of man by man, focus on peasant and labour organisation, lesser emphasis on individual acts of heroism etc
  • Discuss the things that did not change in the ideology. Eg they could not realise that gaining mass support was needed, post the lathi charge etc they again resorted to their tested method of individual acts of heroism etc

Conclusion – Present your view on the assertion based on the arguments made above.

 


General Studies – 2


TopicIndia and its neighborhood- relations.

Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

2) Recent strategic decisions indicate a post-normative turn in India’s foreign policy. Critically analyse.(250 words) 

The hindu

 

Why this question

India’s foreign policy has gone some major changes in the recent years, some of which are in contrast with the norms laid down by our foreign policy in the past. This reshuffle has positive as well as negative repercussions. The issue is related to GS 2 syllabus under the following heading-

India and its neighborhood- relations.

Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to provide an account of the major changes witnessed in India’s foreign policy and then analyse in detail, the pros as well as cons of such change. We have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Directive word

Critically analyze- we have to identify the key demand of the question and present our personal opinion on the issue. Here we have to give an account of, and bring out the pros as well as cons of the recent change in the foreign policy of India. Based on that analysis we have to form ou personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Briefly discuss the key tenets of India’s traditional foreign policy- panchsheel and non-alignment etc.

Body

  • Discuss the changes in India’s foreign policy- e.g US replacing Russia as major defence partner, increased cooperation with Israel along with shift in stance on Israel-Palestine conflict, treatment of Rohingya refugees- in contrast to earlier instances of handling international migration etc.
  • Discuss the pros and necessities of such a change in foreign policy.

E.g change in international order and sturdy growth of Indian economy and interests,  realpolitik, wish to join the league of developed nations etc.

  1. Discuss the cons of such a policy.

E.g Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement gives comparatively less advantage to India, fading appeal of SAARC, presence of a politico-ideological narrative in foreign policy could be counter productive for a diverse country like India etc.

Conclusion– Form a fair and balanced conclusion on the above issue and mention changing national interests and international order which make foreign policy highly dynamic etc.

 

 


 

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive

3) Grassroot bureaucracy in India suffers from several flaws and merits reform. Examine. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Implementation challenge is indeed a recurrent theme in Indian administration and understanding the reasons behind such challenge becomes critical. This is how  we can suggest related reforms to enable alleviation of these issues. Hence this question.

Key demand of the question

Following points are to be detailed out in your answer

  • What do you mean by grassroot bureaucracy
  • What are the flaws in its working and the challenges arising out of these flaws
  • Whether reforms are required and if yes, the details of the reforms required

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any . Discuss the issues as highlighted above.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss what grassroot bureaucracy is and why is it important to evaluate their performance by highlighting some of the challenges arising out of their functioning.

Body

  • Discuss the issues plaguing grassroot bureaucracy due to which they face challenges in their functioning
  • Discuss the causes behind these shortcomings in grassroot bureaucracy – take ideas from the article as well as any other relevant point you can think of
  • Analyze the impacts of a less than optimum bureaucracy
  • Comment briefly on whether reforms are required or not
  • Highlight the reforms required based on your reading of 2nd ARC etc

Conclusion – Mention the need for an optimum bureaucracy to ensure that the developmental needs are met and steps that should be taken in this regard.


General Studies – 3


TOPIC: Storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related
constraints.

4)Improving agriculture productivity entails greater focus on agricultural research and education, along with extension and training (AgRE&XT). Analyse.(250 words) 

Financial express

Why this question

Agriculture is the mainstay of Indian economy and question related to agriculture are often asked in mains. Moreover, agriculture extension is a very important aspect of agriculture on which much focus has not been given by government so far, which means that India’s performance is not up to the mark. Hence understanding the issues in AgRE&ST becomes important.

Key demand of the question

Following points are to be focused upon in your answer

  • Explain in brief why improving productivity is necessary and how agricultural extension services help in improving productivity
  • Examine India’s performance in providing such services to it’s farmers
  • Highlight where all are we falling short
  • Elucidate changes required

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, 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 why improving productivity is critical and thus focus on extension services is required.

Body

  • Explain how agri extension services help in enhancing productivity
  • Analyze India’s performance so far in providing agri services to the farmers
  • Analyze where are we falling short – the causes due to which it’s not picking up. Eg lack of finances , personnel etc
  • Examine what are the changes required and whether improving productivity has some other quick fix.

Conclusion – Summarize the arguments above and mention the way forward .


TOPIC: environmental impact assessment

5) Examine the process related to granting environmental clearances in India and bring out the shortcomings in the process?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

The recent office memorandum, as highlighted in the article, talked about introducing certain changes in the process of granting environmental clearances. While the new idea of corporate environment Responsibility is important in itself, the important thing to be discussed is the entire process of EIA

Key demand of the question

The question expects that we detail out the entire process of EIA – both the operational as well as the legal angles. Thereafter, we are required to examine the status of environmental clearances in India and whether there are any shortcomings in the process which need to be eradicated.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any . Discuss the issues as highlighted above.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention about the need for having a sound environmental clearance process to ensure sustainable development.

Body

  • Detail out the entire process including the legal and operational angles.
  • Discuss the current situation in India with regards to the said process to understand how the working of the process is.
  • Examine whether there are any shortcomings in the process which need to be reformed
  • Way forward

Conclusion – Mention that there is a need of paradigm shift in environmental management before the water crosses the bridge.


Topic: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

6) Examine why majority of Agriculture credit provided by Indian banks under priority sector lending, does not accrue to small and marginal farmers.(250 words)

The hindu

Reference

 

Why this question

As per a report submitted by the RBI to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture in response to its queries, only 42.2% of agricultural credit disbursed in 2016-17 went to small and marginal farmers. This is a serious issue, given the need for credit by such farmers and, under the present intensity of agricultural stress. The issue is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us give an account of and bring out the reasons for poor disbursal of credit under priority sector lending to small and marginal farmers in India.

Directive word

Examine- we have to write down the key reasons behind the low disbursal/ accrual rates of credit to small and marginal farmers under PSL. We have to look into the details and accordingly frame our answer in alignment with the demand of the question.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention the recent RBI report which highlights the percentage of agricultural credit disbursed to small and marginal farmers under PSL.

Body– Discuss in points the main reasons behind the low rates of disbursal. Try to give a balanced answer, keeping in mind the concerns of all stakeholders, including banks.

E.g poor credit rating and worthiness of small and marginal farmers, high concentration of banks in agriculturally developed areas and towns and low concentration in areas where most of the small and marginal farmers live, political pressure to disburse loans to usually big farmers, shortage of staff and time on part of banks etc.

Conclusion– suggest a way forward- e.g Under the priority sector lending the mandate is not to reach a particular type of farmer therefore mandating necessary sub-targeting of small and marginal farmers, nudging private and foreign banks in this direction, motivating bank employees and relaxing quantitative targets while enhancing qualitative ones, using SECC and aadhar for proper targeting etc.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections

7) In itself, toleration/ tolerance is not a virtue or value; it can only be a value if backed by the right normative reasons. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question

The question is related to GS 4 syllabus under the following heading-

Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to deliberate on the value of tolerance and present our opinion on whether it is useful only if backed by right normative reasons.

Directive word

Comment- we have to describe tolerance as a value and then form a personal opinion on the issue- whether tolerance by itself is  a value or does it require normative reasoning to be of any value.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– briefly define and describe the meaning of the value of tolerance.

Body- discuss in points about how tolerance as a value is meaningless when viewed in isolation from normative logic/ reasoning.

E.g mention in points the three paradoxes- paradox of the tolerant racist, paradox of moral tolerance, paradox of drawing the limits. Explain these paradoxes. Take help of the article attached with the question to frame your answer.

Conclusion– Bring out a fair, concise and balanced opinion on the above issue

 



NOTE: 
We are giving hints for each question. Please use your creativity and originality to come up with answers that are unique to you. But do so without deviating from core demand of each question. Ultimately you should use your reason and judgement to write your own answer. 

We suggest you to Compliment Secure with Insights Daily Current Affairs to comprehensively cover Mains GS Syllabus

 

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