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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 05 JUNE 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 05 JUNE 2018

Click on EACH question to post/upload you answers.

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)

REVISION TIMETABLE FOR PRELIMS – 2018 

Revision Tests


General Studies – 1


TOPIC: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the
present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1) Why did the Soviet Union sign the Non-Aggression Pact with Germany? What did Germany gain from it? Discuss.(250 words) 

Reference

Reference

Key demand of the question

The question asks us to explain the reason why Soviet union signed the Molotov Ribbentrop pact which took the world by surprise. Discuss what Soviet and Germany gained from the pact. Also discuss, why the pact broke and the overall impact of the pact.

Directive word

Discuss – Here, in your discussion, bring out the aspects mentioned in the discussion above.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Briefly mention the contents of the pact and the overall geopolitical situation when the pact was signed.

Structure of the answer

  • Discuss the content of the deal
  • Explain USSR’s motivation – lack of agreement over collective security deal with UK and France, German threat in eastern Europe and the prospect of facing it alone, the submissiveness of western powers at Munich conference etc
  • Explain Germany’s motivations – secure itself on one front from USSR’s threat
  • Explain what ended the pact and how it helped Russia to prepare it’s army as it got the luxury of time

Conclusion – discuss the overall impact of the pact.


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

2) There is little reason to celebrate the findings of the recent report from the World Health Organisation about the decreasing incidence of smoking in India. Critically analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question

A recent report by the World Health Organisation, indicating a sharp decline in the number of tobacco smokers in India, is a welcome news. However, India is also home to 66% of the world’s smokeless-tobacco users. This could offset the gains already made by India and can also lead to a lackadaisical approach on part of the government and policymakers. The question is related to GS 2 syllabus under the following heading-

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to highlight the key findings of the recent report of World Health Organisation, vis a vis India ( its achievements),  and also bring forth reasons as to why it’s not yet time to celebrate our achievement. We have to form a personal opinion on the overall issue.

Directive word

Critically analyse- here we have to identify all the key aspects of the question and frame our answer accordingly. The key demand here is to highlight India’s achievements in reducing the prevalence of smoking, as per the recent World Health Organisation report; and then discuss as to why India has fewer reasons to celebrate its achievements.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – mention the recently released report of World Health Organisation and briefly discuss India’s achievements as per this report. Mention the reduction of the prevalence of smoking in India and the projected decline by 2025.

Body

  1. Briefly discuss in points the positive effect of India’s achievement. e.g reduce expenditure on a bad habit, reduced health expenditure, reduced mortality, increased productivity etc.
  2. Discuss in points, why it’s not time to celebrate for India. E.g mention the number of smokeless tobacco users in the country, high proportion of adolescents among them, loopholes in the 2011 Food Safety and Standards Regulations- leaves unflavoured items, such as khaini or surthi, out of regulatory purview, mislabelling of smokeless tobacco is common etc.

Conclusion– mention the need to complement the efforts directed at reducing the prevalence of tobacco smoking with the more serious problem of smokeless tobacco in India.

 


Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

3) Declaring Indian ocean a “zone of peace “ would be in the interest of all the stakeholders, including India. Critically Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question

In 2015 India and Mauritius signed an agreement which gave India the right to build infrastructure on the small Mauritian archipelago of Agaléga. However, many small islands in Indian ocean have been historically exploited as Naval bases and there have been genuine apprehensions about India also building a Naval Base there. There are certain pros/ necessities as well as certain cons associated with the decision. the issue is related to GS2 syllabus under the following heading-

India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to bring forth reasons/ explanation for, why declaring Indian ocean a “zone of peace “ would be in the interest of all the stakeholders. Here we also have to identify the stakeholders in the region. We have to form a balanced opinion, keeping in mind the interest of all those stakeholders.

Directive word

Critically comment – here we have to present our personal thoughts/ opinion on the given statement- Declaring Indian ocean a “zone of peace “. We have to give reasons in support of our answer/ opinion and we also have to look at the other side- hear the complexity personal interests of countries involved.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– mention the economic and strategic importance of Indian Ocean and mention some of the important Islands in the Indian Ocean like Seychelles, Hambantota, Diego Garcia, La Réunion which are also Naval bases of various world powers.

Body-

  1. Bring reasons for declaring Indian ocean as a zone of peace. e.g mention the pledge of 1970 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Lusaka, Zambia; humanitarian and environmental issues associated with the militarization of small islands in the Indian Ocean, environmental threats faced by these islands are being total sidelined etc.
  2. Discuss why reaching such an agreement is a difficult task or what are the problems involved. the e.g rivalry between world powers amid huge economic and strategic significance of Indian Ocean, difficult to reverse historical agreements, rising tensions in the region, increasing Chinese naval presence which in turn has evoked India’s similar response.

Conclusion – based on your own opinion suggest the way forward.


General Studies – 3


Topic – Effects of liberalization on the economy

4) The experience of India with FTAs have taught us that we should proceed with extreme caution when it comes to RCEP negotiations. Analyze. (250 words)

Livemint

Economic times

Why this question

As RCEP negotiations with China gather pace, doubts over the efficacy of FTAs for India has been pointed out by several analysts. Moreover, in light of the growing trade deficit with China, RCEP negotiations assume much greater significance.

Key demand of the question

The question demands the answer to the following points incorporated in your answer

 

  • Examine the experience of India with FTAs. Bring out the positive and the negative impacts that FTAs have had on India’s trade balance, imports and exports.
  • Discuss the critical points of contention in RCEP negotiations both region wise and issue wise
  • Highlight the risks that are there for India in case of a bad decision and thus the need to proceed with caution
  • Discuss how India should approach the RCEP negotiations

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 – Mention that RCEP negotiations are upcoming which is a regional FTA. India has become a part of many regional and bilateral FTAs which have led to several issues which needs to be discussed before proceeding with RCEP.

Body

  • Highlight the benefits and losses of so many FTAs. In benefits bring out macro points like greater trade volume, price advantages due to duty waiver etc. Thereafter delve deeper into the impact of FTA on India by analysing the results of ASEAN FTA etc , take points from the economic times article
  • Thereafter, focus on bringing out the major points of contention in RCEP negotiations. Discuss the major issues and also discuss specific issues wrt certain countries like China
  • Bring out the risks that a faulty negotiation strategy has for India and this would prove why is it necessary to proceed with caution.
  • Discuss a way forward for india’s negotiation strategy at RCEP

Conclusion – Present your view on FTA in general and RCEP in particular and how should India go ahead with them.



 

Topic -Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

5) What are Bioplastics? Briefly explain the different variants of Bioplastics being used and promoted? Critically examine the impact of Bioplastics on the environment?(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

Plastics are being talked about again, thanks to the United Nations Environment Programme’s #beatplasticpollution campaign, backed in turn by a growing chorus worldwide against the material in its many avatars. Bioplastics at this stage are being proposed as a safe alternative to plastics, and examining whether this assertion is true is critical to how we deal with plastics in the future. Hence this question.

Key demand of the question

The question is fairly straightforward in its demands. We just need to mention some alternatives to the use of Bioplastics if we are taking a stand that using Bioplastics is not good for the environment.

Directive word

Critically 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. 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 – Highlight the anti plastic campaign in India which is gaining steam as world environment day approaches. Mention that plastics are one of the most stubborn pollutants and thus several alternatives have come up.

Body

  • Define Bioplastics and also discuss the features of different forms of Bioplastics being used and promoted
  • Thereafter, examine whether Bioplastics provide an environmentally safer alternative to plastics or whether they lead to several other issues which exacerbate the problem
  • Discuss some of the alternatives to the use of Bioplastics like composting, behavioural changes etc

Conclusion – present your view on whether or not the use of Bioplastics should be promoted.


Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

6) Saddling private sector with the burden of MSP will hurt the interest of both the farmers and the industry. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

MSP is controversial as convincing arguments can be made both in favour and against it. Here the focus of the question is the trend seen recently, where, to secure the interest of the farmers, the burden of MSP is thrust on the private sector. The proposed MSP policy in the case of cotton for purchase by mills is exhibit A. Discussing the impacts and justification of this move is important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to emphasize on the following points in our answer

  • The evidences where such a policy is being followed
  • The impact of imposing the burden of MSP on private sector – whether it would help in securing farmer’s income and the effect it would have on the economic viability of the industries. Other impacts that such a policy would have.
  • Discuss the situations where MSP makes sense and where it doesn’t. Suggest alternatives to MSP.
  • Present your view on whether or not it makes sense for the government to impose the burden of MSP on private sector.

Directive word

Critically analyze – You need to conclude with  a fair judgement, after analyzing the nature of each component part and interrelationship between them. 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 – explain MSP and the rationale behind government’s reliance on it. Thereafter, mention the proposed MSP policy for cotton and the experience of sugar. Mention that the impact of this move needs to be analyzed in depth.

Body

  • Discuss some of the merits of MSP (the usual). Thereafter, highlight the problem of imposing MSP on private sector. Discuss issues like distortion of market prices, post facto decision making tool, impacts the input cost of businesses making them less profitable etc
  • Take the case study of sugar to show that MSP has not served well. One can also examine the case of rice and wheat where the policy despite certain limitations has worked fairly well. However, one should point out the difference in the two situations (PDS – backward linkage) and where MSP makes sense.
  • Discuss other advantages / disadvantages like – issues in procurement, crops being grown which are ill suited to the climatic conditions etc.
  • Present your view on whether the burden of MSP should be imposed on private sector by summarising the arguments made above

Conclusion – Highlight some alternative to MSP as a way forward such as a robust futures market for agricultural commodities.


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;

7) Values play an important  role in the functioning as well as in determining the performance of an organization. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Values form an integral part of a person’s personality, his convictions and his behaviour. The question is related to GS4 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;

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to write in detail about the role played by different values at play in an organisation, in determining its functioning and its performance/ achievement.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive. It means that we have to write in detail about all the key aspects of the question. Here we have to discuss the nature of values which are present in a workplace and how they affect the functioning and performance of an organisation.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– give a brief definition of a value. e.g Values are desirable states, goals or behaviours on which individuals place a high worth.

Body

  1. Discuss the different types of values existing in a workplace (e.g based on source-individual values vs organisational values; based on content functional vs instrumental organisational values).
  2. Discuss how values affect the functioning add performance of an organisation. Take help of the article attached to the question and feel free to consult other sources/ references.

Conclusion- mention the strategy of providing incentives in various forms in order to strengthen certain values in an organisation.

 

 



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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