[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 16 AUGUST 2018

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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 16 AUGUST 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)


General Studies – 1


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

1) The dark ages in ancient India, spanning from the fall of Mauryan empire to the rise of the Gupta empire, was a period of significant socio-cultural transformation. Discuss.(250 words)

NCERT, Themes in Indian History- part I.

Directive word

Discuss- Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about how the dark ages as mentioned in the question was a period of significant socio-cultural transformation and not really a dark age.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Write a few lines about the polity of the ancient dark ages of India i.e the period spanning from the fall of Mauryan empire to the rise of the Gupta empire. Mention the political instability for most of the times, small divided territories except the Kanishka empire etc.

Body-

Discuss in points the salient aspects of socio-cultural transformation witnessed t=during those dark ages. E.g

Revival of Hinduism in the form of rise of cults around Shiva, Krishna and Vishnu-Vasudeva; organization of empires in a new way-large scale incorporation of local rulers, a trend that influenced India’s future polity; Indo-Kushan art, Sarnath school art; compilation of dharmashastras; internal contacts and cultural exchange- central Asia, Greeks, Southeast Asia etc.

Conclusion- Conclusion- sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue. E.g the period called as dark ages was actually a precursor of the classical age etc.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic–  India and its bilateral relations

2) Unless economic interconnection between India and Pakistan increases, there is very little possibility of an end to the feud between the two nations. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article focuses on emphasizing on the economic potential of trade between India and pakistan, the immense economic significance it will be of for the two countries and the role that deepening economic relations between India and Pakistan will play in normalising bilateral relations. Several questions, over the past few years have been asked on India Pakistan bilateral relations and hence this question is important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the status quo of trade between  the two countries, explain areas in which the potential of trade between the two countries can be exploited for mutual advantage, the role that enhanced economic integration will play in the future if bilateral relations between the two countries.

Directive word

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 – Discuss the change of government in Pakistan and how it has led to a heightened focus over India Pakistan relationship.

Body

  • Discuss the status quo of trade between the two countries. Highlight reasons why trade between the two countries is at such a deplorable level despite immense potential.
  • Explain the potential areas in which trade between the two countries will boom
  • Examine the hypothesis made in question that deepening economic integration will yield peace – on the flip side we can talk about why this is not true, based on empirical evidences of regions like EU, strategic reasons etc .  Also we need to discuss the positive aspects of enhancing trade like more resources for development, better channels of communication and appreciation of each other’s point of view etc

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view on whether enhancing trade will help in normalising relations between the two countries, and discuss way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic– Indian economy – issues

3) Increasing fiscal deficit of states is a cause of worry and there is a considerable need to focus on state government finances. Analyze. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article discusses the increasing fiscal deficit of the states, the reasons for the same and the issues that might arise out of unchecked expenditure. Economic Survey last year had also discussed the need for keeping a tab on state government finances. This question expects you to prepare an important macroeconomic issue with wider ramifications.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to analyze the situation of the states with respect to their fiscal deficit, the reasons for the worsening performance of the states over the years, the need to refocus on state government finances as highlighted in the article as well as by NK Singh committee. Finally, we need to suggest a way forward.

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 – Discuss the recommendation of FRBM Act wet state finances and why the issue of state finances has been in the news off late.

Body

  • Discuss the status quo of states wrt their fiscal performance – fiscal deficit has widened from 18% in FY12 to 44% in FY18. Consolidated state government expenditure is around 1.4 times the size of the Central government expenditure.
  • Discuss the aims of FRBM Act and NK Singh committee wrt state finances
  • Examine the causes behind poor performance of state wrt their finances – GST, share of state’s own revenue, rising expenditure commitment etc
  • Discuss the need to refocus on state finances to ensure that the macroeconomic stability is not disturbed

Conclusion – emphasize on the need to refocus on state finances and discuss the way forward.

 


TopicScience and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

4) Discuss the history of evolution of Artificial Intelligence and examine the challenges for further development of AI?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

AI is a disruptive innovation that has had a huge impact so much so that it is being compared to the advent of a new Industrial Revolution. India has also stated its commitment to incorporating AI in its developmental journey. The article discusses how AI came to its present state and the future challenges that AI will have to overcome to reach its full potential.

Key demand of the question

As the question demands, first, we need to discuss how AI came to its present form starting from rudimentary systems to systems that can imitate human action. Thereafter, our focus has to shift to explaining how AI would need to evolve in light of the challenges that it faces. The first part of the question is primarily theoretical where we need to discuss the evolution of AI, whereas, the second part expects us to discuss the way forward for AI.

Directive word

Discuss – Here your discussion should focus on bringing out the various stages in evolution of AI, and the challenges therein which have to be overcome.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what AI and discuss AI is expected to usher in the era of post industrial revolution.

Body

  • Discuss the significant milestones in evolution of AI to the stage it is today – from deep blue to alpha go to self driven cars. Explain how the technology has evolved
  • Discuss that AI today is performing the jobs that human perform and therefore the main focus is on ensuring that AI imitate human actions which means that several variables have to be controlled.
  • Post examining the challenges, we need to highlight what the way forward is.

Conclusion – Emphasize on the role that AI is going to play in the years to come and discuss how the challenges discussed herein can be resolved.


Topic Part of static series under the heading – “Earthquakes”

5) Examine why earthquakes occur? Explain the various kind of waves produced in an Earthquake? (250 words)

NCERT Class XI Physical geography – Pg 22

Key demand of the question

The question is self explanatory in its demand and needs to be answered accordingly.

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 earthquakes are.

Body – Discuss the various theories wrt formation of earthquake and thereafter explain the type of waves produced in earthquakes which are P, S, L, R.


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

6) The destructive power of Tsunamis is all because of the topography of the seafloor near the shore, and is bound to increase in the future. Discuss.(250 words) 

Reference

Reference

Why this question

In a recent scientific research paper, it has been claimed that climate change will increase the destructive power of the tsunamis. It is pertinent under these circumstances to discuss about Tsunamis as well as the research findings.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the tsunamis and their relationship with the topography of the seafloor and how it determines the destructive power of the tsunami waves.  It also wants us to discuss how this destructive power is going to increase in the future.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Write a few lines about the nature of tsunami waves and how they are caused.

E.g Tsunami waves are huge waves – generally on oceans, but sometimes in lakes or large rivers caused by sudden motions, which displace a large amount of water like  an earthquake, a volcanic eruption or underwater landslide.

Body-

  1. Discuss how the wavelength, speed and wave-height of tsunami waves is influenced by the depth of the water and how on coming in contact with the seafloor near the shore the wavelength is decreased and wave height increases etc.
  2. Discuss the impact of global warming on the destructive power of tsunami waves. Mention the sea-level rise, which will lead to more inundation of the coastal areas and  hitherto untouched areas, as well as mention the higher destruction potential of much weaker tsunami waves which would increase in future etc.

ConclusionBased on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.


General Studies – 4


Topic– Right to Information, Transparency and accountability

7) Discuss how information about the Central and state legislatures of India can be made more accessible to the public.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail as to how information about the workings of the central and state legislatures should be made more accessible to the public.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few lines about  the lack of information sharing about the workings of the legislatures in India. E.g  The proceedings of the Legislatures are open to public and media and even telecast live in recent years. However, legislatures are storehouses of enormous amount of information on public policies and executive actions and a vast amount of information is not shared with the public etc.

Body-

Discuss the ways in which information can be shared in a better way. E.g  all information with the legislatures needs to be indexed, catalogued and computerised, with online access to all citizens and supply on demand. This access should be provided as part of the proactive disclosure requirement under RTI Act;  Parliamentary (Legislative) questions, proceedings of various committees, follow up action on the reports of CAG, action taken reports submitted by the government are a few vital mechanisms for such legislative oversight. However, except through media reports, the citizens rarely have direct access to such information. This lacuna needs to be addressed by making all such information available to the public both online (electronic) and on demand (print).;  a computerised tracking mechanism, so that the legislators as well as the general public can trace the sequence of events and compliance by the executive agencies on matters like petitions, CAG reports and action taken on reports of enquiry commissions or House committees etc.

Conclusion– sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion 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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