[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 30 AUGUST 2018

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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 30 AUGUST 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)


General Studies – 1


Topic– Salient features of Indian Society

1) Evaluate whether gender bias is all pervasive in Indian societies. Discuss how we are dealing with correcting these biases?(250 words) 

Indianexpress

Why this question

The article discusses the issue of gender bias in our country and exposes how it is prevalent in more 0fields than just economic. The article discusses the stages in which gender movement in India has evolved, the steps taken and required to be taken to overcome these biases. The article is important for preparing women related issues for society section of GS1.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to give our opinion on whether gender bias is pervasive in Indian society and the areas where its impact can be seen. Thereafter, it expects us to explain our efforts to correct the gender bias and discuss their effectiveness.

Directive word

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

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 – Highlight the status of women in today’s society.

Body

  • Mention that the status of women in India has been highlighted via several indices and reports. Discuss the biases in various domains like social, political, economic etc. Highlight the reasons for such biases
  • Explain the steps taken by India so far in correcting these biases. Discuss the steps taken over the course of history as explained in the article. Highlight currently how we have started giving more importance to gender issues with steps like beti bachao beti padhao etc
  • Discuss the problems faced by women still such as threat to physical safety etc and highlight the steps that can be taken

Conclusion – Give your opinion on the status of women in Indian society and the steps that can be taken to further improve the situation.


General Studies – 2


Topic–  India and its neighborhood- relations.

2) India China reset is necessary for India to pursue meaningful engagement with South East Asian countries. Critically analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article discusses the impact and links that China has with ASEAN. The article argues that in terms of India’s relationship with ASEAN, India would gain if it has deeper ties with china. Off late, India has started resetting it’s ties with China due to several reasons and the question expects us to bring out these issues.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first describe the status of India’s relationship with china and ASEAN. Thereafter, we need to provide both sides of the debate that whether it would be prudent for India to reset ties with China for pursuing a closer partnership with ASEAN, or whether, China is not a factor in India Asean ties as well as ties with other countries of south Asia. Finally, a fair and balanced view needs to be provided.

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. 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 – Mention the importance of ASEAN in India’s foreign policy and the importance is reflected in act East policy of India.

Body

  • Mention the difference in approach of India and China vis a vis ASEAN – India pursues influence through heightened diplomatic, bilateral and military engagement, China has started to garner influence through hard investments in cash-strapped littoral nations suffering from massive infrastructural deficits.
  • Discuss other influences of China on Asean – code of conduct in South China sea, the heavy investment that China has made in countries like Cambodia and Vietnam etc
  • Highlight the pros and cons of the need for India to reset ties with china to pursue closer relationship with ASEAN and other nations of south Asia.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view on this and discuss the way forward.


Topic– Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

3) Evaluate whether the current focus on collecting and highlight various forms of data reflects a commitment to evidence based policy making?(250 words)

Hindustantimes

The hindu

Why this question

The article discusses the current focus on data in terms of comparison between states, refining data collection and analysis methodology in the case of GDP data. The article gives its view on whether the current focus on data reflects a commitment to evidence based policy making, or whether it shows that data is being utilised for perverse gains.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the role of data in evidence based policy making. Thereafter, it expects us to highlight the current debates wrt data such as GDP backseries data, data on achievements made under several flagship projects of the government. We need to give our view on whether with focus on data collection and analysis , we are moving towards evidence based policy making.

Directive word

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that data interpretation and analysis is one of the worst casualties in a post truth era. Highlight the debate wrt GDP data, employment data etc and the questions it raises.

Body

  • Discuss the  role of data in evidence based policy making and examine whether the current focus on data in India is due to this reason
  • Highlight the problems with data collection and analysis in India – relatively little by way of independent data on politically contentious issues, frenetic race to the top, focus on achieving targets rather than measuring effectiveness. Discuss the cons by taking examples of the recent debates wrt data collection methodology and the results.
  • Highlight how data can be better incorporated in policy making and the advantages it has

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view on role of data and data collection methodology in India and discuss how the process can be improved going forward.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic– Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

4) Bioremediation process is a better, alternate low-cost solution to capping of solid waste management and disposal in our cities. Analyze.(250 words)

indianexpress

Indian express

Why this question

Open dump sites and mismanaged landfills are the harsh realities of most of the Indian cities today. They contribute to air and water pollution, compromise the public health and also decrease the aesthetic appeal of an area making it less desirable for residential and commercial purposes.

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 dig deep into the issue and compare bioremediation as an alternative to capping of landfills. We have to bring out the limitations of the latter and highlight the benefits of the former.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few lines about the problem of solid waste management in Indian cities- growth of poorly managed landfills and open dump sites which due to the growth of city limits have come in close association with the population.

Body

  • Discuss the limitations and disadvantages of capping of landfill sites. E.g capping is successful only when the landfills have a certain height which has been already crossed in most of the landfills; it requires proper scientific designing and construction in the absence of which the structure faces the same problems as open dump sites- leakage of gases, foul smell, leachate etc.
  • Define the term bioremediation and discuss its desirability and advantages. E.g Bio-remediation and bio-mining are clearly specified as the first choice under Rule 15 (zj) of The Rules for the Safe Treatment of Legacy Waste in all open dumpsites and existing operational dumpsites in India; near-zero emission of harmful gases (such as methane, hydrogen sulphide, and ammonia) and leachate; organic fraction of the original waste is degraded biologically by the bioculture. Specific microbes are also used for leachate treatment. Once the waste is stabilised, it is ready for bio-mining, and can be separated into different fractions which can then be used for different purposes — for compost, road subgrade, making RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) pellets, recycling plastics, or inert for landfills 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

5) Ecosystem based adaptation focuses on the benefits humans derive from biodiversity and ecosystem services, and how these benefits can be utilized in the face of a disaster. Discuss.(250 words)

indianexpress

Reference

Why this question

The recent Kerala floods have demonstrated the vulnerability of today’s habitations and the magnitude of harm disasters can inflict on a society. In this regard it is essential to discuss the ecosystem based approach to disaster reduction. The concept has been supported by not only many environmentalists, conservationists but also by several international institutions including UNEP.

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 ecosystem based adaptation- what it means, why it is important and how to follow it.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few lines about ecosystem based approaches to disasters. E.g Ecosystem-based Approaches to Disaster Adaptation, or Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) involves a wide range of ecosystem management activities to increase the resilience and reduce the vulnerability of people and the environment to disasters. Such an approach  involves the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.

Body-

  • Discuss the need for such a approach. E.g The role of ecosystems in adaptation is well-recognized at the international level, under the UNFCCC, the CBD and the UNCCD;The ability of people to adapt to climate change is inextricably linked to their access to basic human rights and to the health of the ecosystems they depend on for their livelihoods and wellbeing; If adaptation policies and programs are to be effective, they must integrate efforts to sustain and restore ecosystem functions and promote human rights under changing climate conditions etc.
  • Discuss how such an approach can be followed. E.g coastal habitat restoration, agroforestry, integrated water resource management, livelihood diversification, and sustainable forest management interventions that use nature to reduce vulnerability to climate change and other natural disasters etc.

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


Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “tropical cyclones and temperate cyclones”

6) Compare and contrast Temperate cyclones vis a vis tropical cyclones.(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to give similarities and differences in the nature, origin, physical traits etc of temperate cyclone vis a vis tropical cyclones.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what tropical and temperate cyclones are.

Body – Give a point wise answer where each point would bring out some element of similarity or difference between the two. Discuss origin, latitude, presence of a frontal system, formation, season, size, shape etc in your answer.


General Studies – 4


Topic-   Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7) The aim of education is knowledge, not of facts but of values. Comment. (250 words)

ncert

Livemint

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 bring out the role of education in so far as provision of knowledge of values and not facts. We have to defend our opinion by presenting adequate, valid arguments/ facts/ examples.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about education. E.g Education is the aggregate of all the processes by which a person develops abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour of practical values in the society in which he/she lives; the social process by which people are subjected to the influence of selected and controlled environment, so that they may obtain social competence and optimum individual development

Body-

Based on your convictions, knowledge and understanding which guide your opinion, discuss points in favour of your opinion.

Discuss the narrower meaning of education- e.g in a narrow sense, education is nothing, but a purposeful activity, deliberately planned for the optimum development of an individual’s potentials. There is a deliberate effort made with a definite purpose to develop certain amount of knowledge, skills, attitudes and habits in these institutions. This is a narrow concept of education, which is confined only to a few specific, deliberate, and planned efforts that have a bearing on the development of the individual. The educator, in the narrow sense, aims at producing the literate or a professional person such as an engineer, a doctor, a teacher, a businessman and so on. Here, the individual is deliberately ‘taught to think’ as predetermined by the educators etc.

Discuss the broader meaning of education. E.g In the broader or wider sense, education is not limited to a classroom or a school only. It is considered to be a lifelong process, where all the experiences, knowledge and wisdom that an individual acquires at different stages of one’s life through different channels (i.e., formally, informally and incidentally) are termed as education. The broader view considers education as an act or experience that has formative or additive effect on the personality of an individual. It also provides social capacity to students, equipping them with social and relationship skills, intelligences and attitudes to succeed at school and throughout their lives.  

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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