[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 12 SEPTEMBER 2018

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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 12 SEPTEMBER 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)

 


General Studies – 2


Topic– Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

1) What are the different clemency provisions available in India. Discuss. Also discuss what precautions should be taken in deciding the questions of granting clemency to convicts.(250 words)

The hindu

Reference

Why this question

The Rajiv Gandhi assassination case has again been in news. The case involves several legal concepts and provisions. In this context it is essential to discuss different clemency granting provisions available in India. It then wants us to write in detail as to what precautions should be taken in cases involving grant of clemency to convicts.

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 about the different clemency provisions available in India. It also wants us to discuss what precautions should be taken in deciding the questions of granting clemency to convicts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the pardoning powers and procedure.

Body-

  • Discuss the different clemency powers available to the President and the governor. Discuss the power of Pardon,  Reprieve, Respite, Commute, Remission. Briefly discuss the meaning of each term and how the powers of the governor are different from that of the president.
  • Discuss the precautions that ought to be taken while deciding cases involving grant of clemency to convicts. E.g need for a case-by-case evaluation; case must be decided on the basis of legal principles alone; it should be immune from political, religious or any other considerations/ pressures;

Conclusion-sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.


Topic-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.

2) Divyang-friendly measures need to be integrated at planning stage for ensuring inclusive growth in smart cities in India. Discuss.(250 words) 

Pib

Why this question

Divyangs as the persons facing any disability are more aptly called, form an important segment of our population. The recently held interactive session on “Divyang Friendly Measures and Policy Recommendations for Smart Cities in India” has highlighted the issue of inclusive growth in India . It is therefore important to analyze the issue.

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 about the need to undertake Divyang-Friendly measures at planning stage for ensuring inclusive growth in smart cities in India. We also have to discuss how those measures can be undertaken- what should be the direction of approach.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the growing urban population, and mention India’s smart city program.

Body-

  • Discuss the need to undertake such measures. E.g Census 2001 has revealed that over 21 million people in India as suffering from one or the other kind of disability. This is equivalent to 2.1% of the population; tourism-based cities are likely to face an opportunity loss of an estimated 15-20% of the global market share if they exclude tourists with disabilities. ; Leaving people with disabilities out of economic opportunities leads to a loss of 3-7%of GDP annually; the disabled have the right to life with dignity; according to the United Nations, a mere 1% additional cost is incurred for incorporating universal design and accessibility in the design and planning stage itself etc.
  • Mention that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 mandates making all buildings, services and products accessible giving definite timelines for implementation and retrofitting.Discuss how these measures can be undertaken vis a vis the smart cities programme. E.g update the National Building Code 2016 to ensure that accessibility cuts across all chapters and section; with a growing digital interface, technology must be made accessible – municipal apps, bus shelters, kiosks, red light junctions, ATMs, all need to be made accessible for people with disabilities. Signage captioning is important for the deaf and hearing-impaired. Products that we use must be accessible- e.g. low floor buses, lifts and elevators that announce the floor reached for people with visual disabilities, etc.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

 


Topic – Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate; Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

3) Examine how US actions are undermining the mandate of WTO? Discuss the impact of lessening importance of WTO for India?(250 words) 

Financial express

Why this question

The article explains the various steps being taken by USA under Trump that undermines the importance of WTO, and explains the wider implications of such action. This is going to have a significant impact on all trading nations including India which has been trying to negotiate a mega regional trade deal. The question is important as free trade among nations is the casualty in current climate of anti globalisation and anti trade.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the actions taken by USA which is undermining the status of WTO and the impact of such actions on other nations. Thereafter, we need to discuss what it means for India and how India is responding to the challenge. Finally, way forward needs to be given.

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 – 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 – Give a background of the role played by WTO and how USA had played a pivotal role in the establishment of a rules based free trade among nations.

Body

  • Highlight US actions which are undermining the trading order – diatribe against rule based free trade under the mandate of WTO, frequent recourse to the exception clause of national security ( which Pakistan has been using to deny MFN status to India) , restrict trade in steel and aluminium with trading partners, unilateral trade action against China under Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, the US gives up even the pretence of acting within the WTO framework, the retaliatory measures taken by other countries, non implementation of WTO rulings by USA, taken a stand which impacts the dispute resolution process of WTO etc
  • Examine what it means for the consensus established after much difficulty to create a rule based trading order.
  • Discuss the impact on India – investment across borders is likely to get impacted, capital flows might get impacted, India will have to negotiate mega regional trade deals to fill the void, the impact of which on Indian economy is uncertain etc

Conclusion – Give your view on what India’s position should be and the way forward.


General Studies – 3


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

4) India’s GDP growth continues to be powered by consumption which raises several concerns. Analyze in the context of the recent GDP estimates for the Indian economy.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The GDP estimates for the first quarter of this year (April-June,2018) shows a 8.2% GDP growth rate. However, the figures are hard to reconcile with the present macroeconomic environment and investment figures. It is essential to understand the issue in detail and discuss the reasons for a high GDP growth rate.

Directive word

Analyze-Here we  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.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to delve deep into  the recent GDP estimates for the country and analyze how the GDP growth continues to be powered by consumption and also discuss what could be the consequences  of walking down this path.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about India’s recent GDP estimates. E.g India’s GDP is estimated to have grown at 8.2% in Q1 2018-19 — the highest quarterly estimate ever put out under the incumbent government etc.

Body-

  • Discuss how the GDP growth is due to consumption. E.g mention that the faster growth has come on a low base which has produced a statistical effect, making growth appear faster. This is partly correct. The low base does explain a part of the growth estimated, but not all of it; Agricultural GDP growth quickened as two successive years of good rains improved farm produce; Private consumption expenditure growth has quickened, relative to the preceding quarter, as well as compared to the same quarter last year. Government salary and pension hikes including at the State level are feeding this consumption spree.Consumer industries are also reporting robust rural sales growth; The share of investments in GDP dropped from 32.2% in January-March to 31.6% in April-June this year-  a direct consequence of the worsening NPA crisis etc.
  • Discuss the implications of the GDP growth being led by consumption and not investments. E.g Consumption-led growth is sustainable up to a point, especially if it is financed by expanding the government (Centre plus States’ cumulative fiscal) deficit; global economic challenges and mounting macroeconomic pressures ranging from rising international crude prices to the risk of inter-country trade wars,  are likely to keep the current account deficit under stress. A depreciating rupee will inflate retail fuel prices, unless the governments cut the taxes on them. But tax cuts will increase the fiscal deficit. The Reserve Bank of India can hike interest rates to arrest the rupee’s depreciation. But that will further increase the cost of borrowing, including the government’s debt etc.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.


TopicIndian economy : issues

5) Besides the economic management, the politics of a weaker rupee will also need careful handling. Analyze. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The sharp decline seen in INR has been in the news headlines off late. The reasons behind the decline, and the impacts of it need to be prepared in depth. This article discusses the reasons why rupee has declined so much in value as well as the future course of action.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the reasons why rupee has seen a sharp decline in value. Next, we need to focus on the what needs to be done next and how to ensure that political and economic issues are simultaneously handled. We need to conclude with 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 – Paint the current picture with respect to status of rupee vis a vis USD and currencies of other peer economies.

Body

  • Explain the reasons behind fall in value of rupee – widening CAD, wider emerging market sell-off which is also affecting capital flows, Higher interest rates in the US which will affect capital flows to emerging market economies and make things difficult for countries with higher CAD, the geopolitical factors due to which oil import bills have been increasing etc
  • Give your view on the falling value of INR – whether it is merely rupee reaching its true value in line with REER, or whether the fall in currency’s value is alarming and needs urgent redressal
  • Highlight the economic responses that would be apt for the course in this case – adjustments in interest rate in the short term and taking steps to control CAD in the long term
  • Highlight that the political response to this issues is likely to ignore all these factors focussing primarily on the ensuing inflation due to fall in value of rupee. Explain that knee jerk reaction to the crisis should be avoided

Conclusion – Give your view on the status of rupee and the way forward.


Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Coral reef and marine ecosystem”

6) Explain the factors that impact the formation of coral reefs? Also, distinguish between fringing reef, barrier reef and atoll?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects to bring out the various factors such as temperature, salinity etc that are conducive to the formation of coral reefs. Next, we need to explain the difference between various types of coral reefs ie fringing reef, barrier reef and atoll.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that coral reefs are considered to be the tropical forests of marine ecosystem. Coral reefs are built by and made up of thousands of tiny animals coral polyps.

Body

  • Explain the factors that lead to the formation of coral reefs – sunlight; clean, clear and warm ocean water, temperature generally between 20-42 degrees C; depth of water; salinity requirement of 27-40 ppm; adequate food supply to nourish the polyps etc
  • Draw a diagrammatic representation of fringing reef, barrier reef and atoll.
  • Fringing reef – Fringing reefs are reefs that grow directly from a shore. They are located very close to land, and often form a shallow lagoon between the beach and the main body of the reef.A fringing reef runs as a narrow belt [1-2 km wide]. This type of reef grows from the deep sea bottom with the seaward side sloping steeply into the deep sea. Coral polyps do not extend outwards because of sudden and large increase in depth.The fringing reef is by far the most common of the three major types of coral reefs, with numerous examples in all major regions of coral reef development.
  • Barrier reef – Barrier reefs are extensive linear reef complexes that parallel a shore, and are separated from it by lagoon. Mention that it is largest in size of the three. Barrier reefs are far less common than fringing reefs or atolls, although examples can be found in the tropical Atlantic as well as the Pacific.
  • Atoll – An atoll is a roughly circular (annular) oceanic reef system surrounding a large (and often deep) central lagoon.
    The lagoon has a depth 80-150 metres and may be joined with sea water through a number of channels cutting across the reef. Atolls are located at great distances from deep see platforms, where the submarine features may help in formation of atolls, such as a submerged island or a volcanic cone which may reach a level suitable for coral growth.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic- Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7) Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to analyze the given quotation and bring out its essence and meaning in detail. We have to give our overall opinion in favour or against the statement. Whatever our stand we have to support it with proper and valid arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– give a brief definitive of ethics. Try to give the definition in terms of legality and purpose of our actions.

Body-

Discuss in detail the meaning of the statement as you understand it. E.g mention that while the law provides clear responsibilities and limits to officials and other individuals responsible for the planning of communities, there is a great deal of flexibility where individuals or groups must make judgment decisions in the best interests of their community, and being guided by strong ethical principles ensures that the best decisions are being made etc.

Discuss how what is right to do can be decided. E.g Ethics are developed from an individual or group’s beliefs, values and morals, which vary from person-to-person and can often be in direct conflict and opposition to another’s.To address these differences and to avoid conflict, communities often adopt a code of ethical standards which they agree to abide by while serving in a public capacity for the common good of a community. This practice provides a clear understanding to officials and the public they serve as to expected conduct etc.

Conclusion- Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given 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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