[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 21 NOVEMBER 2018

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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 21 NOVEMBER 2018

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Tomorrow’s Static Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators.

 


General Studies – 1


Topic – Indian Art and culture.

1) The onset of Kambala in Karnataka will once again bring alive the debate between animal rights and celebration of customs. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

From Saturday onwards, the Kambala season will be here which is basically a customary sport in Karnataka involving racing bulls. In the backdrop of jallikattu protest, the issue of animal rights vs celebration of customs will again come to light and hence this question.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain about Kambala and the debate that it gives rise to. Thereafter, we need to present both side of the debate and give a fair and balanced conclusion along with way forward.

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 – Explain about Kambala.

Body

  • Explain the background to the issue – Karnataka government had promulgated Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 on July 20 last year. The President gave his assent to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill making Kambala a legal rural sport in Karnataka. The Bill seeks to exempt kambala and bullock-cart racing from the ambit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
  • Highlight that the debate arises because activists claim that the buffaloes run in the race due to fear of being beaten, which the organizers dismiss, saying no violence is involved and that several modifications had been made to ensure that it is an animal friendly event.
  • Discuss both sides of the debate

Conclusion – Give your fair and balanced opinion on the matter and discuss way forward.


Topic –  Effects of globalization on Indian society, Social empowerment

2) Unfolding of the MeToo Campaign in India recently lays bare the critical failure of our education system. Do you agree. Comment. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article examines the role of education in ending sexism and misogyny that the present education system has failed to deliver.

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 express our opinion as to whether or not, the unfolding of the MeToo movement in India points out to the failure of our education system.  We have to form our opinion based on a proper discussion and presentation of valid arguments and facts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent MeToo movement which shook the world, including India.

Body-

  1. Discuss how the movement highlights the failure of our education system. E.g The purpose of education is not to only ensure that people secure employment or rise to coveted positions of power alone, it is also to ensure that they learn and practice equality and mutual respect. Many of the accused are qualified, educated men. Their actions compel us to ask whether those years spent in school, college and university have been unsuccessful in instilling basic values. It seems as though rising to top positions and enjoying power have emboldened men to behave in unacceptable ways, and the education system has done nothing to prevent this.
  2. It is not uncommon to hear of incidents of sexual harassment being justified as “casual flirting” or being attributed to the offender’s “glad eye”. Using these terms to explain away or even justify these acts reflects the depth and expanse of the problem; blatant display of inappropriate behaviour, which makes women uncomfortable, shows that men in power enjoy the impunity that accompanies attitudes and acts entrenched in patriarchy.
  3. our education system is failing to teach boys and men to recognise, challenge and refrain from sexist and even unlawful behaviour must be acknowledged and tackled

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


General Studies – 2


Topic– Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

3) The State Election Commission of Maharashtra has undertaken a series of electoral reforms in the last few years. Discuss.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

Electoral reforms are much needed in India, given the importance of the elections in  democracy and also given that our electoral processes are abound with many problems and ills. In this context it is important to discuss the progressive measures and reforms undertaken by the SEC of Maharashtra.

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 reforms undertaken by the SEC of Maharashtra in recent years.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Write a few introductory lines about the  various ills surrounding the electoral processes in India.  E.g mention the influence of money and muscle power, criminalization of politics, reduced interest of the educated people in the democratic exercises as evident by low voter turnouts etc.

Body-

Discuss in points the reforms undertaken by the Maharashtra SEC in recent years. E.g

  1. It is the first one to go fully digital in the filing of nomination papers and affidavits of all candidates. It is also the first one to disqualify an elected representative for failure to comply with expense disclosure rules.
  2. Most importantly, it took a giant step recently by giving teeth to the idea of the NOTA (none of the above) button. If NOTA is the winner in any election in Maharashtra, there will be a mandatory re-poll. The Supreme Court mandated the NOTA option in all elections two years ago.
  3. Recently, the Supreme Court too, while dismissing a petition that asked to disqualify criminal candidates, prescribed that such tainted candidates be given prominent publicity. The law to disqualify anyone with a pending criminal case, especially if charged with heinous crimes like murder, rape or assault, can only be passed by Parliament. But in the interim, the SEC of Maharashtra has moved the needle by giving NOTA much needed teeth. It is up to the national ECI and other SECs to follow suit.

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g Even so, India’s democracy has progressed and is more robust. Ultimately, there is no substitute for an educated, enlightened and vigilant voter.


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

4) Indian policymakers need to be mindful of domestic industry’s concerns and not get into a raw deal with respect to the RCEP. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

The article discusses the concerns that the domestic industry has with respect to finalization of RCEP negotiations. The article brings out the issues over which consensus is elusive as well as the threat of China in RCEP. RCEP being a very important mega regional trade agreement, is important for mains.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain in brief about RCEP, the issue that India is facing in finishing negotiations and the concerns of domestic industry of india.. We are expected to discuss the pros and cons of the stand India is taking and finally provide a fair and balanced view on India’s stand along with way forward.

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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what RCEP is and the current status of the agreement.

Body

  • Explain India’s stand at a macro and micro level in RCEP negotiations. Discuss the concerns being raised by domestic industry in India. Eg. access to Chinese goods may have impact on the Indian manufacturing sector, There are demands by other RCEP countries for lowering customs duties on a number of products and greater access to the market than India has been willing to provide, developed countries such as Australia and Singapore are unwilling to accommodate India’s demands to liberalise their services regime and allow freer mobility of Indian workers.
  • Discuss the advantages that RCEP deal would offer to India.
  • Examine what stand should India take which would make sense from  IR, social, political perspective.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view to the question asked and discuss the way forward ie what could be an agreeable middle ground.


Topic – Indian polity : Issues

5) The controversy with respect to demand for reservation by communities such as Marathas, Jats etc highlight that there is a need to reexamine the reservation policy. Comment.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

Maharashtra government has cleared reservation for the Maratha community in education and government jobs. This constant tussle between the judiciary and executive regarding reservation policy, and the demand for reservation by several groups has raised the need for understanding issues with the reservation policy.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain the context of Maratha reservation issue. Thereafter, we need to discuss the reasons why reservation policy might need a rethink and suggest some ways. Finally we need to comment on the need for reform in reservation policy and discuss way forward.

Directive word

Comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – highlight the decision of Maharashtra government to grant 18% reservation to Marathas.

Body

  • Highlight that the issue has been discussed ad infinitum in the past few years with demands for reservation rising from communities such as Jats, Marathas etc. Highlight the verdict of the court in this regard.
  • Discuss why there might be need for re-evaluation of reservation policy
    • Changed conditions since independence with greater economic growth
    • Lucrative government salary post salary revision by pay commission
    • Issues in agriculture sector etc
  • Discuss how the normative idea or reservation has changed
  • Give some suggestions as to what needs to be done such as data surveys, re-evaluation of reservation policy eyc

Conclusion –  Give your view on the statement in the question and discuss way forward.


General Studies – 3


Topic – Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

6) Solving the open defecation challenge requires an investment in technology. Examine.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has done some exemplary work in ensuring that the sustainable development goals related to sanitation do not just remain a pipe dream. The technological innovation brought in by them is important particularly for India considering our very own swachh Bharat abhiyan as the well as the socio economic costs that we pay on account of poor sanitation.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first highlight the status quo wrt sanitation and highlight that the goal is to achieve sanitation related targets in SDG. Thereafter, we need to explain why technological solution is the way to go. Next we need to explain the kind of technology developed by BMCG and how they can find application in India.

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 about the SDG target related to sanitation and the target of ODF in India.

Body

  • Discuss the status quo with respect to sanitation and highlight the socio economic damages that it causes.
  • Explain how technology can help in resolving this issue. Discuss the innovations which have com out of BMCG such as Multi-User Reinvented Toilets which solves many of the issues faced in installation and use of toilets especially in countries such as India
  • Using experience from swachh Bharat mission, explain how we are also working on deploying technologies like waterless urinals etc and these innovations will help us in saving time by not reinventing the wheel

Conclusion – emphasize on the gravity of the problem and highlight how technology can come to the aid.


General Studies – 4


Topic-Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

7) Zeno’s (of Citium) philosophy offered a middle way between the Cynics’ complete rejection of society and the  Stoics’ obsession with duty. 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 express our knowledge and understanding of the philosophy of Zeno of Citium. We have to bring out in detail how his philosophy was a middle way between the Cynics’ complete rejection of society and the  Stoics’ obsession with duty.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Zeno of Citium. E.g He is considered the founder of the Stoicism school of philosophy (which became the dominant philosophy of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, and an influence on early Christianity).

Body- Discuss in detail about his philosophy and teachings and discuss how he propagated a philosophy which offered a middle way between the Cynics’ complete rejection of society and the  Stoics’ obsession with duty. E.g Zeno recognized a single, sole and simple good, which is the only goal to strive for and which can only consist of Virtue. However, he deviated from the Cynics in his view that things which are morally indifferent could nevertheless have value to us.

Zeno preached that “man conquers the world by conquering himself”. He lectured his students on the value of “apatheia” (or the absence of passion), arguing that only by controlling one’s emotions and physical desires could one develop wisdom and the ability to apply it. He held that the practicing Stoic could suppress the influence of the passions by developing an indifference to both pain and pleasure by means of meditation.

Zeno’s philosophy offered a middle way between the Cynics’ complete rejection of society and the later Stoics’ obsession with duty. The famous Stoic acceptance of Fate, in Zeno’s formulation, is nothing more than that: what happens, happens, and there is no point in complaining about it. Despite the influence of Stoicism on later Christian doctrines, Zeno’s worldview was probably closer to that of Taoism, Hindu Vedanta or some varieties of Sufism than to orthodox Christianity or Islam.

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


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

8) Discuss the contribution of Jean-Jacques Rousseau towards the field of philosophy.(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 about the philosophical works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. We have to highlight some of the major works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and bring out the dominant philosophy of those works.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  Jean-Jacques Rousseau.E.g He was a French philosopher and writer of the Age of Enlightenment His Political Philosophy, particularly his formulation of social contract theory strongly influenced the French Revolution and the development of Liberal, Conservative and Socialist theory.

Body-

Discuss in detail about the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the philosophy expounded by him in those works. E.g

  1. Rousseau saw a fundamental divide between society and human nature and believed that man was good when in the state of nature (the state of all other animals, and the condition humankind was in before the creation of civilization), but has been corrupted by the artificiality of society and the growth of social interdependence.
  2. “Discourse on Inequality” (1755) expanded on this theme and tracked the progress and degeneration of mankind from a primitive state of nature to modern society in more detail, starting from the earliest humans (solitary beings, differentiated from animals by their capacity for free will and their perfectibility, and possessed of a basic drive to care for themselves and a natural disposition to compassion or pity).
  3. Rousseau was one of the first modern writers to seriously attack the institution of private property, and therefore is considered to some extent a forebear of modern Socialism, Marxism and Anarchism. He also questioned the assumption that the will of the majority is always correct, arguing that the goal of government should be to secure freedom, equality and justice for all within the state, regardless of the will of the majority.
  4. Rousseau set out his influential views on Philosophy of Education in his semi-fictitious “Émile” (1762). The aim of education, he argued, is to learn how to live righteously, and this should be accomplished by following a guardian (preferably in the countryside, away from the bad habits of the city) who can guide his pupil through various contrived learning experiences. He minimized the importance of book learning and placed a special emphasis on learning by experience, and he recommended that a child’s emotions should be educated before his reason.

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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