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[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 14 SEPTEMBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 14 SEPTEMBER 2018

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LIST of TOPICS (Static)


General Studies – 1


Topic-Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

1) Discuss the difference between tropical cyclones and non-tropical cyclones.(250 words)

Reference

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 differences between a tropical cyclone and a non-tropical (mid-latitude cyclone).

Structure of the answer

Define a cyclone- e.g a cyclone is a large scale air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure. Mention that there are two kinds of cyclones- tropical and mid-latitude (non-tropical).

Body-

  • Discuss the features of a tropical cyclone. E.g A tropical (or warm core) cyclone (area of low pressure) usually forms over warm waters in the tropics. Air rises rapidly around the edges of the center of the storm. Hurricanes and tropical storms are (warm core) tropical cyclones etc.
  • Discuss the features of a non-tropical cyclone. E.g A non-tropical (or cold core) storm has the coldest temperatures in the center of the storm. Temperatures cool as you move higher in the atmosphere and there is a trough at the highest levels. Unlike tropical (warm core) storms, winds are not as concentrated near the center of the storm etc.

Conclusion- mention that tropical cyclones can convert into non-tropical cyclones and both can have devastating effects on environment and livelihood etc.


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

2) The Utilitarian interpretation of Indian Civilization by the British has resulted in distortion of Indian history, the effects of which can be still felt today. Comment.(250 words) 

Early India, by Romila Thapar, Chapter-Perceptions of the past.

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 discuss whether the Utilitarian interpretation of Indian Civilization by the British has resulted in distortion of Indian history, and if yes, then how its impact can still be felt today. We have to justify our opinion why presenting proper and valid facts, arguments and examples.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the utilitarian interpretation of the Indian civilization. e.g it drew from the utilitarian, legalistic philosophy current in Britain at that time and was largely critical of the Indian culture.

Body-

Discuss the utilitarian interpretation of Indian Civilization by the British in detail. e.g it was largely the contribution of this writing on India but based in Britain. This interpretation is best represented in the Waves of James Mill and Thomas Macaulay. James mill divided the Indian passed into Hindu civilization, Muslim civilization, and the British era. This division has got deeply embedded in the consciousness of those who study Indian history and it prevails to this day. It is at the root of the ideologies of current religious nationalism and plays a huge role in the politics of India.

Indian civilization was said to be lacking in the values of rational thought and individualism. A critical attitude towards Indian education and learning was adopted. This resulted in undermining the traditional knowledge, culture and learning methods. Western ideas and models of education were enforced on the Indian population without any regard for the unequal capacities and access to such education system etc.

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


General Studies – 2


Topic – Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

3) In the wake of the growth of PILs, the SC has to weigh the imperatives of public debate against the objective of discouraging frivolous PILs. Critically Comment.(250 words) 

Indian express

Reference

Why this question

PILs have helped millions of Indians to claim their rights against the government overreach, or private actions. However, the growth of PILs has also led to a rise in the number of frivolous cases filed before the court. It is essential to discuss the issue in detail.

Directive word

Critically comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue. Based on our discussion we have to form an opinion on the issue/ controversy.

Key demand of question

The question wants us to express our knowledge about the issue- how has the growth of PILs made it important for the SC to weigh the imperatives of public debate against its stated objective of discouraging frivolous PILs. We also have to express our opinion in the form of how we should proceed in this matter.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– define PIL- Public Interest Litigation (PIL) means a legal action initiated in a court for the enforcement of public interest or general interest in which the public or a class of the community have pecuniary interest or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected.

Body-

  1. Present some statistics about the number of PILs filed before Indian courts. Mention that a number of PILs are filed on the frivolous basis.
  2. Discuss the importance of PILs. e.g Vigilant citizens can find an inexpensive remedy because there is only a nominal rate of court fees; Litigants can focus attention on and achieve results pertaining to larger public issues especially in the field of human rights, consumer welfare, corruption, and the environment etc.
  3. Discuss the need to thwart filing of frivolous PILs before the courts. e.g The judiciary has to be extremely careful to see that there is no private malice and/or publicity seeking behind the beautiful veil of public interest; courts have to ensure that they are not exploited for personal gain, private profit, political motive or any oblique consideration etc.

Conclusion-Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. Suggest the way forward as to what should be done in this matter.

 


General Studies – 3


TopicIndian Economy – issues

4) Critically analyze whether the process of recoveries from stressed accounts under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code will have adverse impact both for the banks as well as the stressed accounts?(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The article discusses the problems that are likely to arise as an outcome of the resolution process under IBC. The issue gains criticality as the RBI has come out with strict guidelines for the banks to initiate proceedings under IBC. NPA is the most important economic issue and IBC is widely seen as a panacea for the bad loan and bankruptcy problem faced by India. The question would enable to critically analyze the issue.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain in brief the resolution process under IBC, discuss the RBI circular. Thereafter, we need to bring out the positive and adverse effects of the resolution process of IBC on banks as well as the loan defaulting entities. This is the key demand of the question and a major portion of your answer should be dedicated to analyzing the impact. We need to end with a fair and balanced conclusion on the outcome of the resolution process. Our views should be based on critical analysis of the issue done above.

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 – First of all discuss, why this issue is in news. Highlight the news around NPA and the recently concluded resolution process of Bhushan steel. Discuss the RBI directive and the ensuing court order.

Body

  • Explain in brief the objective of IBC and the resolution process of IBC. Its object was to clean up the balance sheets of banks, make the corporate sector pay for its sins, prosecute those who manipulated and conspired to manipulate the banking system and, above all, transfer non-performing assets to more responsible corporate successors.
  • Examine the positive and negative impact of IBC on banks – an opportunity to clean their sheets, a chance to salvage some part of the loan through a well defined, time bound process, help them in their adherence to Basel norms etc. Mention that participating banks agreed that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) had made the recovery process faster and improved the recovery position of banks.Highlight the likely issues that might be faced by the banks such as – the steep haircut that banks might have to take because of the inability of the defaulting parties to raise capital etc
  • Examine the positive and negative impacts of IBC for the companies – mention that the conclusion of the sale of Bhushan Steel to Tata Steel via the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) process is confirmation that the insolvency process is working, time bound resolution process etc. Discuss the adverse impact on capital intensive sectors like power sector which has been suffering as a result of several systemic factors, the problems being faced in turning around the companies by the resolution professionals etc. Mention the findings of the report highlighted in the article to substantiate your answer.
  • Examine the positive and negative impact on economy – highlight that it has helped India improve its EODB ranking, raise investment levels etc. On the other hand, it is likely to cause issues for crucial sectors like power.

Conclusion – Based on the arguments made above, give your view on the resolution process under IBC.


TopicIndian economy – issues

5) MSME sector has immense economic significance for India but lending to them poses acute challenges. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Raghuram Rajan in his report to Parliament Estimates Committee on bank non-performing assets (NPAs) cautions about the looming financial crisis on account of loans given to MSME sector. MSME sector forms a large part of the economy of India and understanding their potential, and the likely issue is important for GS3.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to focus on the status of MSME sector, their potential and the likely crisis that can arise as a result of the efforts of the government to ease credit access to them. We need to highlight the pros and cons of lending to MSME sector and give a 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 – Highlight the contribution of MSME sector to the economy in numbers by talking about their share in GDP, exports etc

Body

  • Discuss the immense potential of MSME sector for India. Based on this potential, explain the various schemes brought out by the government to promote capital access for MSME sector – MUDRA.
  • Flag the issue highlighted by Mr Rajan in his report – MUDRA loans while popular, have to be examined more closely for potential credit risk. The Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSME (CGTMSE) run by SIDBI is a growing contingent liability and needs to be examined with urgency
  • Discuss the positive impact of MUDRA for MSME sector – how it has alleviated concerns of the sector related to capital requirements, led to creation of new jobs etc
  • Highlight that according to industry estimates, gross non-performing assets arising out of Mudra loans vary between 10 and 15 percent, especially in some pockets. Mention the impact of demonetization on MSME sector and the challenges arising for the sector due to cash crunch. Discuss the impact of GST on MSME sector, and the problems that all these factors have brought in related to loan repayment.
  • Analyze the future course of action required to deal with this challenge – professionalising bank boards with appointments done by an independent Banks Board Bureau; inducting talent from outside banks to make up for the deficit within; revising compensation structures to attract the best talent; and ensuring that banks are not left without a leader at the top etc

Conclusion – Give your view on the comments made by Raghuram Rajan in his report and discuss the way forward.


Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Ocean energy”

6) Discuss the potential of oceans as a renewable energy source? Also discuss the potential of such energy source in india?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the main form of renewable energy that can be harnessed from the oceans, the technology available, the challenges faced. In the second part , we need to highlight where all in India can such energy be harnessed and the potential of such energy resource in India.

Directive word

Discuss – Here your discussion should focus on explaining the various facets of energy resources that can be harnessed from the oceans and the places in India having such potential.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that ocean can produce two types of energy: thermal energy from the sun’s heat, and mechanical energy from the tides and waves. The fact that the marine renewable sector is less well developed than other energy industries presents companies with both opportunities and challenges

Body

  • Explain how tidal energy works – Energy can be extracted from tides by creating a reservoir or basin behind a barrage and then passing tidal waters through turbines in the barrage to generate electricity. Tidal energy is extremely site specific requires mean tidal differences greater than 4 meters and also favorable topographical conditions, such as estuaries or certain types of bays in order to bring down costs of dams etc. Discuss the challenges in utilizing this energy source – intermittent supply, cost, altering ecosystem at bay, limited time in the day when it can work when the tides increase, power transmission etc
  • Highlight the potential of tidal energy in India – Since India is surrounded by sea on three sides, its potential to harness tidal energy has been recognized by the Government of India. The most attractive locations are the Gulf of Cambay and the Gulf of Kachchh on the west coast where the maximum tidal range is 11 m and 8 m with average tidal range of 6.77 m and 5.23 m respectively. The Ganges Delta in the Sunderbans in West Bengal also has good locations for small scale tidal power development. The maximum tidal range in Sunderbans is approximately 5 m with an average tidal range of 2.97 m. The identified economic tidal power potential in India is of the order of 8000-9000 MW with about 7000 MW in the Gulf of Cambay about 1200 MW in the Gulf of Kachchh and less than 100 MW in Sundarbans
  • Explain ocean wave energy is captured directly from surface waves or from pressure fluctuations below the surface. Wave power systems convert the motion of the waves into usable mechanical energy which in lump can be used to generate electricity. Mention that it can be harnessed with the help of float or buoy systems, oscillating water column devices etc. Highlight challenges such as – variable energy supply, suitable site requirement, high cost etc.
  • Discuss the potential in India – The potential along the 6000 Km of coast is about 40,000 MW. This energy is however less intensive than what is available in more northern and southern latitudes
  • Explain ocean thermal energy – The main objective of ocean thermal energy or Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is to turn the solar energy trapped by the ocean into useable energy. OTEC systems use the ocean’s natural thermal gradient”the fact that the ocean’s layers of water have different temperatures to drive a power-producing cycle.
  • Mention that its potential is likely to be around 180,000 MW and is still evolving

Conclusion – Highlight the need for India to diversify its energy sources and discuss the potential of harnessing energy from waves.


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) Utilitarianism is an effort to provide an answer to the practical question “What ought a person to do?” . Discuss.(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 utilitarian philosophy of ethics- what it means, what is its approach, and criticism faced by it, if any.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the utilitarian philosophy of ethics- e.g It is a form of consequentialism and its core idea is that whether actions are morally right or wrong depends on their effects. More specifically, the only effects of actions that are relevant are the good and bad results that they produce.

Body-

Discuss the concept further in detail. E.g Utilitarians believe that the purpose of morality is to make life better by increasing the amount of good things (such as pleasure and happiness) in the world and decreasing the amount of bad things (such as pain and unhappiness). They reject moral codes or systems that consist of commands or taboos that are based on customs, traditions, or orders given by leaders or supernatural beings. Instead, utilitarians think that what makes a morality be true or justifiable is its positive contribution to human (and perhaps non-human) beings.

Utilitarianism appears to be a simple theory because it consists of only one evaluative principle.In fact, however, the theory is complex because we cannot understand that single principle unless we know (at least) three things: a) what things are good and bad;  b) whose good we should aim to maximize; and c) whether actions, policies, etc. are made right or wrong by their actual consequences (the results that our actions actually produce) or by their foreseeable consequences (the results that we predict will occur based on the evidence that we have) 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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