[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 19 JUNE 2018

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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 19 JUNE 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)

REVISION TIMETABLE FOR PRELIMS – 2018 

Revision Tests


General Studies – 1


 

Topic – Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1) Secularism in the Indian setting calls for the maintenance of a “principled distance” between state and religion. Examine the above statement in light of constitutional provisions related to secularism and the practice of secularism by state.(250 words)

The hindu

The hindu

Why this question

Indian definition of secularism has a lot of controversies associated with it. This question examines one of the key confusion in the definition of secularism in India – Sarva dharma sambhava vs dharma nirpekhshta.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight what is meant by principled distance in Indian context of secularism, how this principle manifests itself in the constitution and the practice of secularism by state and the impact of it.

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 .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what is meant by principled distance – means that the state is not equidistant from all religions, but the definition of state’s secularism changes with context.

Body – Examine why is it that the assertion has been made. Highlight the instances when the state involves itself in the affairs of one religion and doesn’t do so for other religions. For eg. Art 25(2) in the case of constitution and the earlier practice of providing subsidy for haj Yatra. Post explaining what this means, the focus should shift on explaining the impact and the controversies associated due to not maintaining equal distance from all religions. Finally, bring out the problems associated with this model of secularism.

Conclusion – Conclude by mentioning whether there is a need to change the meaning of secularism in India and how should it be modified.


Topic– changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

2) Composite Water Management Index developed by Niti Aayog is the first of many steps required for tackling the water crisis in India. Examine.(250 words)

The hindu

Reference

Why this question

Water crisis is a common news event, with the crisis in Shimla being the latest incident. NITI Ayog has flagged the issue in its report and has also come out with the index to deal with the crisis by leveraging the spirit of cooperative competitive federalism. Examining this step along with discussing other steps required to address the water crisis is necessary.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the index, its purpose, the impact it would have. The question also mentions that it is one of the many steps required for dealing with the crisis. We need to examine the other steps required, and the impact that it would have. We need to end with a way forward.

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 .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the dreary picture related to water issues that NITI Ayog paints.

Body – Explain what composite water management index is. Examine how will it help in resolving the issues related to water. Discuss whether benchmarking exercises and instilling sense of competition would suffice. Highlight the other steps needed to tackle the existing issues related to water in the country. Here divide your answer in parts like administrative, infrastructure creation, policy changes etc.

Conclusion – Discuss the necessity of tackling this issue ASAP and the way forward.


Topic: Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

3) Discuss the contribution of Mughal rulers to Indian painting.(250 words) 

Reference

Why this question

The issue is related to GS 1 syllabus under the following heading-

Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to deliberate upon the role of Mughal rulers in the development and evolution of Indian painting. We have to give an account of contribution of the Mughal rulers to Indian painting.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive, which wants us to write in detail about the contribution of Mughal rulers to Indian painting. We have to provide examples of different Mughal rulers and their contribution.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention the ancient origin and gradual evolution of indian painting.

Body- mention that Mughal rulers further enriched the Indian painting. They introduced persian court culture into Indian paintings. Then give an account of contribution of different Mughal rulers.  From this period book illumination or individual miniatures replaced wall painting as the most vital form of art.

E.g Emperor Akbar patronised artists from Kashmir and Gujarat; Humayun brought two Persian painters to his court. Mention Baburnama, Akbarnama, Abd-us-Samad Dasawanth and Basawan and their works. Take the help of the article attached to the question to frame your answer.

Conclusion- Form a concise and a fair conclusion on the above issue, based on your discussion.


Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

4) Indian ocean has a great political and economic significance. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The question is related to GS 1 syllabus under the following heading-

Salient features of world’s physical geography.

Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent);

The question is also related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out the economic as well as the political importance of Indian ocean in the present times.

Directive word

Comment- We have to express our understanding and knowledge on the above issue. We have to answer both the aspects of the question.- economic part, as well as the political aspects.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that Indian o Ocean covers almost 20 percent of the world’s waters and includes Andaman Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Flores Sea, Great Australian Bight, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Java Sea, Mozambique Channel, Persian Gulf, Red Sea,  Strait of Malacca, Timor Sea, and other tributary water bodies.

Body-

  • Discuss the economic importance of Indian ocean. E.g Strait of Hormuz connects the oil fields of Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean and carries almost 88 per cent of the Persian Gulf oil to the world; Strait of Malacca connects the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, this strait serves as the shortest route between the Persian Gulf and its markets in Asia. etc. Similarly, discuss the economic role of other such areas of the Indian ocean.
  • Discuss the political importance of the Indian ocean. E.g involvement of world powers in the area, presence of military bases in various islands, increasing naval presence and posturing of world powers etc.

Take the help of the article attached to the question and other references to frame your answer.

Conclusion– Bring out a fair, concise and a balanced conclusion on the overall importance of the Pacific Ocean and mention the imperative for free trade lanes and peace in the region.

 

 


General Studies – 2


Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities
of various Constitutional Bodies.

5)“The edifice of our constitution is based upon the basic element in the Preamble. If any of these elements are removed the structure will not survive and it will not be the same constitution and will not be able to maintain its identity”. Analyze.(250 words) 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to analyze how far the preamble can be amended and what constitutes basic structure, which can not be amended.

Key demand of the question

Introduction – Mention that the question of whether or not preamble could be amended came before the court in two key cases.

Body – Mention what the court had to say about the amenability of the preamble and why it said so in Berubari Union case – because preamble is not a part of the constitution. Highlight what made the court change its stand in Keshavananand Bharti case where the court accepted that the preamble is key to understanding the provisions of the constitution, preamble walks with the constitution and thus can be amended but without changing the basic structure. Highlight the impact of it.

Conclusion – Mention the present stand on the amendability of the preamble.

 


General Studies – 3


TopicInternal Security

6) Kashmir has proven to be an intractable challenge for the Indian state and requires a fresh strategy. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The recent spate of killings in the valley has again demonstrated how fragile peace in the valley is. Considering that the situation has shown no signs of improvement, critical analysis of the policy of Indian state in Kashmir is required.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the status quo in Kashmir. Thereafter, we need to mention the current strategy of dealing with the issue. The pros and cons of the strategy are to be mentioned and what kind of fresh thinking is required needs to be mentioned.

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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – highlight the recent killing of a noted journalist and the rise of militancy in Kashmir and point to the fact that situation in Kashmir has only worsened with time.

Body – Mention the new challenges that have arose in Kashmir – ground unrest, youth getting disillusioned by the idea of militancy in huge numbers, mass agitation in the form of stone pelting etc. Mention how the Government is dealing with the issue – excess of stick and less of carrot. Highlight the pros and cons of this strategy. Thereafter analyze what kind of new thinking is required – focus on the fact that more of carrot policy is required.

Conclusion – Mention your view on the present strategy employed by the government in Kashmir. Discuss the way forward for dealing with kashmir issue.

 

 


General Studies – 4


Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance;

7)Discuss why ethical standards are important in the delivery of public services.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

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

Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance;

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out reasons as to why it is essential to follow ethical standards in the delivery of public service.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive, which mandates us to write at length about the key demand of the question- why we need to be ethical in public service.

We have to give reasons/ justifications in favour of the statement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – briefly discuss the importance and role of public service in a modern society.

Body– mention that it is essential to have in place and follow ethical standards in the delivery of public service. Then discuss in points why it is essential.

E.g outcomes for society are better when the decisions of public office holders are made fairly and on merit and not influenced by personal and private interests; low levels of corruption and confidence in the integrity of the trading and operating environment are crucial factors in the functioning of advanced democracies;  high standards benefit the economy through their effect on international confidence; impartiality and objectivity increases predictability, which improves economic efficiency etc.

Conclusion– Form a fair, balanced and a concise conclusion based on the above discussion.



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. 

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