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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 27 AUGUST 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 27 AUGUST 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)

 


General Studies – 2


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

1) Pricing of medicines in the face of rising healthcare costs, has been an persistent issue of concern for the Indian government. Critically examine. (250 words)

epw

Timesofindia

Why this question

Healthcare is a critical sector for any society or economy but more so for India where the majority of population still does not have access to quality healthcare services and a prohibitive out-of-pocket expenditure on health and medicines stifles the development of millions of people. In this context it is imperative to discuss the reasons of failure of pricing of medicines.

Directive word

Critically examine- Here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. Based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to discuss the reasons as to why Pricing of medicines has been an issue of concern for the Indian government. We have to bring forward the causes behind this and form a personal opinion on the overall issue accordingly.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few lines about dismal public healthcare, India’s exorbitant private healthcare, high out-of-pocket expenditure and rising prices, as well as share of medicines in health care expenditure.

Body– mention that the government loosely regulates prices of all medicines in public interest. Prices of around 850 essential drugs are however capped by the government. The drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) revises these prices annually based on the wholesale price index (WPI). For all other medicines, companies are allowed to raise prices by no more than 10% in a year. Discuss why drug pricing has been ineffective- e.g the domestic pharmaceuticals market, which is highly concentrated with the top 10 companies accounting for more than two-fifths of the total sales. In such a set-up, the market-based price ceiling mechanism proposed by the new DPCO is potentially susceptible to the phenomenon of regulatory capture. The price cap is a simple average of prices of all brands with more than 1% market share in a medicinal area. This is prone to overestimation if firms, especially the big ones, collude to raise the price of the regulated formulation in the period preceding the regulation; deficient supply chain management prevents the utilisation of low-cost generic drugs from picking up. The crumbling status of the already existing Jan Aushadhi Kendras due to procurement delays and errant supplies are rampant. Poor forecasts, archaic procurement systems, and small markets, among other things, can cause supply bottlenecks; at the same time, demand is constrained by the lack of clarity on the quality of generic drugs. With the key parts of the drug regulatory systems in the country being controlled by the states, there are no consistent standards for enforcement etc.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. Mention the Ayushman Bharat scheme and need to complement it with commensurate supply-side strategies, such as strengthening the public sector provisioning of essential healthcare etc.


General Studies – 3


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

2) Discuss the steps taken by the RBI in recent years to clean up the balance sheets of commercial banks. (250 words)

epw

economictimes

Economictimes

Why this question

India’s NPA problem is huge and has been gradually resolving but the pace has not been upto the mark. In this context RBI has been at the forefront and has taken several measures in recent years to resolve the problem of NPAs. Thus it is important to discuss these steps and inform ourselves about them.

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 all the measures taken by the RBI to resolve the problem of rising NPAs in Indian banking system.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about india’s NPA problem its status etc.

Body– Discuss the measures taken by the RBI in recent years. E.g insisting on a more vigorous asset quality review and providing a realistic picture of NPAs and provisioning ratios for the existing stock of restructured loans that are showing signs of stress. In order to prevent banks from liberally restructuring loans, the RBI cautioned that units not found viable would henceforth be treated as substandard assets for the purpose of provisioning;  scheme for sustainable structuring of stressed assets,” (S4A); Taking cognisance of the continuous increase in bad debts, the RBI further initiated stringent measures in February 2018, as per which the lenders should identify incipient stress in loan accounts and classify the stress accounts into three categories of special mention accounts (SMA), depending upon the default of payments and report the data to the RBI under CRILC. The resolution plan thereof would entail downgrading or upgrading of the loan accounts without loss of time. The loan classification and reclassification would be an ongoing exercise. according to which a portion of the stressed assets could be converted into equity of the company; scrapped numerous loan restructuring programmes prevalent among banks to restructure defaulted loans(CDR, SDR, S4A, JLF schemes) and made resolution of defaults time bound with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code becoming the main tool to deal with defaulters etc.

Conclusion- Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue- e.g in view of the stringent measures imposed during the last two years and to maintain the stipulated CRAR norms, care should also be taken to ensure that there is no erosion of capital for any eventual decline in profits. If the repayments are not forthcoming as per the terms and conditions, and the assisted units are not found to be viable, steps need to be taken for fast recovery; need for a relook and review the database on NPAs of commercial banks etc.

 


Topic – Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

3) Tariff liberalisation policies and the liberal FDI policy regime, enveloped within a passive industrial policy framework, have resulted in India’s increased electronics import dependence. Critically analyze.(250 words)

epw

Reference

Why this question

Liberalization in India helped India becoming a leading IT services hub of the world. But its electronics manufacturing industry has not been able to even (substantially) reduce ,leave alone eliminate  import dependence. This is a serious economic and policy matter which needs to be probed in detail.

Directive word

Critically 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.Based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the issue and bring out how these factors-  tariff liberalisation policies , a liberal FDI policy regime, a passive industrial policy framework- have led to India’s increased electronics import dependence. We have to discuss each factor separately but present them all as contributing factors to- India’s increased electronics import dependence.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-write a few lines indicating the present status of the Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector in India and about the electronics imports in India. Mention the predicted growth in the sector and the need of the hour to seize that opportunity.

Body-

Discuss how each of the three factors have led to India’s increased electronics import dependence. E.g

  • Tariff liberalization policies- India joined the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA-1) in 1996, with the conviction that lowering duties on a range of ICT products under the ITA-1 would boost the competitiveness of India’s software exports, apart from increasing their market access. Compared to the 1993–98 period electronics sector witnessed significant net decline in total factor productivity growth (TFPG) between 1999 and 2004. This downward trend continued after trade liberalisation was intensified from 1997 onwards under the ITA-1 which was then exacerbated by the equally non-strategic tariff liberalisation carried out by India under its free-trade agreements (FTAs) with the ASEAN and Japan and South Korea, countries that were already deeply integrated into global value chains (GVCs) in the electronics sector.
  • FDI policies have provided limited incentive for large foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and electronics manufacturing service providers to invest in local production. Instead, they typically choose to only set up final assembly plants in India . A trade policy that promotes duty-free imports will clearly reduce the appeal of domestic production, particularly in a scenario where there is inadequate policy support for enhancing productivity at the firm and industry levels.
  • Discuss how the industrial policy framework failed to recognize the need to encourage technological innovation through government funding; protect domestic industries; enhance the productivity of the industry as well as labour, ensure significant value addition; integrate ourselves into global value chains etc.

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


Topic-Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

4) Analyze the reasons behind the differences in performance of some of  India’s large cities, with respect to transport related pollution.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Urban commuting has become one of the most energy- and pollution-intensive activities in India, contributing to increased greenhouse gas emissions. Transport sector is the third highest GHG contributor among all the sectors. On top of that, motorisation in India is happening at a breakneck speed. Thus it is important to understand why some cities have performed better while others fared poor in terms of air-quality standards, as is revealed by a recent CSE report.

Directive word

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 dig deep into the issue and bring out the reasons behind difference in the performance of India’s large cities with respect to transport-related pollution. It wants us to discuss what are the factors behind the decrease in air quality standards in the face of  transport related pollution and how they lead to difference in performance of different cities.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the role of transport sector in GHG emissions and air pollution in the form of release of NOx, SOx, CO2, CO, particulate matter etc.

Body-

  • Discuss the performance of various big cities as revealed by the CSE report. E.g Delhi is most polluted, Kolkata least polluted among the 4 largest metro cities and Bhopal being the least polluted.
  • Discuss the factors which decide the air pollution by transport sector and how they vary among different cities. E.g level of motorisation, travel demand based on population, share of different modes of transport (public transport, walking, cycling, and personal vehicles), average length of daily travel trips, and quality of vehicle technologies and fuels. Discuss what is lagging in each such city and what are the factors in favour of that city. Take the help of the article attached to the question to frame your answer.

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


Topic – Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

5) The absence of legislation for curbing the practice or paid news requires urgent attention. Analyze.(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

The question discusses the problem of paid news, the problems created by the absence of a specific legislation, the measures being contemplated by the government to curb this practice and the recommendations of committees regarding the same. Hence , this question is important for paper 2 of GS.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the problem of paid news, highlight the issues created by the absence of a legislation governing paid news, discuss the recommendations of LCI regarding paid news and the overall measures being contemplated by the government for tackling it and an examination of the same.

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 – Explain what paid news is and discuss data highlighting that the menace, if left unchecked, will severely impact electoral process in the country.

Body

  • Discuss the stand taken by ECI in dealing with matters related to paid news. Highlight that the stand taken by ECI has been reversed by Delhi HC decision and the issues that it creates in the absence of a specific legislation
  • Discuss the recommendations of ECI regarding paid news and the steps taken by government for checking the menace
  • Analyze the effectiveness of those steps

Conclusion – Emphasize on the importance of tackling paid news and suggest way forward.


Topic– Part of static series under the heading -”Jet Streams”

6) Explain Madden Julian oscillation? How do jet streams impact monsoons in India?(250 words)

NCERT Class XI – India : Physical environment Chapter 3

Key demand of the question

The first part of the question expects us to explain what Madden Julian oscillations are. In the second part, we need to examine how jet streams impact the onset, departure and nature of Indian monsoons. Discuss the impact of Subtropical jet stream and Easterly Jet Stream.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what jet streams are.

Body

  • Explain what Madden Julian oscillations are. Draw diagram as well.
  • Explain what subtropical westerly jet stream are and how is it related to the onset of monsoon in India
  • Explain what tropical easterly jet is. Mention that the formation of TEJ results in the reversal of upper air circulation patterns and leads to the quick onset of monsoons
  • Explain the role of Somali jet and what Somali jet in particular and temporary jet streams in general are

Topic – Achievements of Indians in science & technology

7) Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest health challenges of 21st century. Examine why. Also discuss the threat posed in this regard by gut bacteria?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article discusses the findings of Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) that describes the role gut bacteria play in transmitting antimicrobial resistance. The topic of AMR is important and hence this research can help in preparing feeder points.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the reasons why AMR is the most significant public health challenge of 21st century. Your view on this is expected as a part of the answer. In the next next part, we need to explain the research study and its implication

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 AMR.

Body

  • Give reasons why AMR has become a big headache for researchers, doctors and administrators such as excessive use of medicines in poultry, lack of complete treatment in case of TB etc
  • Discuss the findings of the report and analyze how it leads to development of resistance.
  • Discuss the threat posed by AMR in general.

Conclusion – Discuss a way forward for dealing with this situation.


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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