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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 24 OCTOBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 24 OCTOBER 2018

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Tomorrow’s Static Topic: Salient Features of Indian Society + Diversity (Click Here)


General Studies – 1


Topic Part of static series under the heading – “salient features of Indian society and diversity”

1) Indian family system has undergone drastic change in response to development in terms of industrialization, education and urbanization. Comment. (250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

Various changes have taken place in our society over the years as a consequence of industrialization, spread of education and urbanization. These have also impacted the nature of families in India. The question expects us to comment on the changing nature of Indian families, if at all they have changed, as a result of changes brought by industrialization, urbanization and spread of education.

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 – Mention that Indian family system is marked as a very important social institution in society. Earlier Indian societies were mostly joint or extended family but owing to industrialisation and urbanisation there is a trend of a subsequent change to nuclear family.

Body

  • Discuss the impact of industrialization and urbanization on Indian family
  • Change in family structure – forced families to live in nearby urban clusters leading to change in family structure
  • Greater individuality
  • Heightened ambition as a result of which people are willing to overlook the comforts of joint family for a nuclear family
  • Reduced solidarity – Some sociologist are of the view that industrialisation and urbanisation resulted in reduced mechanical solidarity i.e. feeling of likeness, fraternity to organic solidarity which are more orientated towards cooperation and need basis.
  • Social problems such as wearing down of social security of senior and very senior individuals.
  • Improved HDI as a result of urbanization. This has also led to better education, less social stratification among indian caste system.
  • Discuss the impact of education
  • Better education has led to better family planning etc
  • Aspirations have increased – People are willing to travel long distances for better education in the hope of better quality of life etc
  • Social issues such as gender inequality etc within families has declined
  • Etc

Conclusion – Comment on the nature of changes that have taken place in Indian families as a result of aforementioned factors.


TopicSalient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2) The bronze casting technique and making of bronze images of traditional icons reached a high stage of development in South India during the medieval period. Discuss.(250 words)

NCERT, An Introduction to Indian Arts.

Ncert

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 bronze art of the southern India and its significant aspects and achievements.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  bronze art of India. E.g Indian sculptors had mastered the bronze medium and the casting process as much as they had mastered terracotta sculpture and carving in stone. The cire-perdue or ‘lost-wax’ process for casting was learnt as long ago as the Indus Valley Culture.

Body-

Discuss the bronze art of south India as it developed during the medieval period of Indian history. E.g Although bronze images were modelled and cast during the Pallava Period in the eighth and ninth century south India, some of the most beautiful and exquisite statues were produced during the Chola Period in Tamil Nadu from the tenth to the twelfth century. The technique and art of fashioning bronze images is still skillfully practised in South India, particularly in Kumbakonam. The distinguished patron during the tenth century was the widowed Chola queen, Sembiyan Mahadevi; The well-known dancing figure of Shiva as Nataraja was evolved and fully developed during the Chola Period and since then many variations of this complex bronze image have been modelled;

A wide range of Shiva iconography was evolved in the Thanjavur (Tanjore) region of Tamil Nadu. The ninth century kalyanasundara murti is highly remarkable for the manner in which Panigrahana (ceremony of marriage) is represented by two separate statuettes; During the sixteenth century, the Vijayanagara the sculptors experimented with portrait sculpture in order to preserve knowledge of the royal patron for posterity.Life-size standing portrait statues were cast in bronze, depicting Krishnadevaraya with his two queens, Tirumalamba and Chinnadevi. The sculptor has combined the likeness of the facial features with certain elements of idealisation. The idealisation is further observed in the manner the physical body is modelled to appear imposing as well as graceful etc.

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


Topicurbanization, their problems and their remedies.

3) Slums are a natural development of India’s economic and political structure. Do you agree. Comment. Also discuss why the various slum development strategies in India have not delivered the required results. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

Slums are an omnipresent reality for most of the major cities of India and various efforts have been made by the government to address the issue. In this context it is essential to understand the relationship of India’s slums with its political and economical structure and discuss why the slum development and relocation strategies have not bore the results.

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

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 express our opinion as to whether slums are a natural development of India’s political and economic structure. We have to form our opinion based on a proper discussion and presentation of valid arguments and facts.

The question also wants us to write in detail as to why various slum development initiatives and strategies have failed in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  growth of urbanization in India and the problems this has led to.

Body-

  • Discuss how slums are a natural development of India’s political and economic structure. E.g most of the nation is still rural and agriculture dominated; Seasonal nature of employment in agriculture and various other push and pull factors have led to migration of poor people from the rural areas and led to slums; urban India’s growth is built on the back of cheap labour in everything from construction to domestic work. Various combinations of rent control, opaque and distorted land markets, stifling regulation and laughably low floor space indexes have resulted in a severe lack of affordable housing in India’s premier cities. Slums are the natural outcome etc.
  • Discuss why most slum development strategies have failed in India. E.g There are many hurdles, both major and minor. The lack of adequate data and land titles in slums meant expensive, time-consuming delays were common. Failure to take slum dweller representatives on board meant that the informal economic networks underlying the slum economy would be disrupted by the redevelopment. So would the community networks that fill the gaps left by missing social safety nets. Lack of common standards meant that the housing built for slum dwellers was often of execrable quality. As for the problem of slum dwellers selling or leasing the houses and returning to their previous housing, poor quality, unaffordable maintenance costs and disrupted networks often had a role to play here etc.

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


TopicIndian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

4) The lofty mountains on the north-west of the Indian subcontinent served more as channels of economic, political and cultural exchange than as barriers, as often claimed. Discuss. (250 words)

Early India by Romila Thapar; Landscapes and Peoples

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 north-western lofty mountain ranges and why they were important channels of communication rather than barriers to exchange.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the Indian subcontinent and its historical association with the lofty Himalayas on the north, northwest and northeast.

Body- Discuss how the northwestern lofty mountain passages acted as channels of communication and exchange. E.g mention the Gomal, Bolan, khyber pass; mention that due to low height as compared to the mighty north himalayas, they remained open for most of the year; mention the pastoralists of central asia and Afghanistan who used the pass regularly; the Indo-Aryans; missionaries from Persia; Trade caravans; Armies; Shakas; KUshans; Parthians; Alexander’s army etc. Mention and discuss in detail about the use of the north-west mountain passes

Also discuss to what extent they acted as barriers to exchange.

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


Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “salient features of Indian society and diversity”

5) There is an emerging trend where we are witnessing many dominant and Landholding castes asking for backward reservation. Examine.(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question basically talks about the phenomenon of dominant castes asking for reservations such as the Jats, Marathas, Gujjars etc. We need to discuss the reasons why this is so and whether giving them reservations is going to solve whatever issues they are facing. We need to conclude with a way forward.

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 – Mention that there is a growing trend of dominant castes asking for reservations and give some examples such as Patels in Gujarat, Jats in Haryana, Marathis in Maharashtra and Kapus in Andhra Pradesh.

Body

  • Discuss the reasons why they are asking for reservations
  • Agricultural distress
  • Crippled urban economy leading to lesser number of jobs availability
  • Successful quota system
  • Political support as they are the “dominant caste” as defined by MN Srinivas
  • Examine whether giving them reservations would solve the issue
  • Mere inclusion in OBC list will not address structural deficiencies in the caste system and the societal hold it enjoys. This will lead to demand for reservation by more castes.
  • Already we are seeing in several areas that even within reservation, there is a stiff competition
  • Etc
  • Discuss the way forward
  • Rethinking the idea of reservation
  • Fulfill the real purpose of reservation which was substantive equality
  • Etc

Conclusion – It is high time that we rethink the idea of reservation. The revised idea of reservation should ideally exclude creamy layer, develop capabilities of deprived section.


Topic – Indian Geography: Issues

6) Critically analyze the need for multiple time zones in India?(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The debate over the need to have multiple time zones in India has always been there considering India’s vast longitudinal extent. However, a recent report by CSIR – NPL itself argues for having two time zones in India which means the topic needs to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain what is meant by multiple time zones – the basic geography behind it. Thereafter, we need to discuss the proposal of CSIR – NPL and analyze its pros and cons. Finally, we need to give a fair and balanced opinion and discuss 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 in brief how time is maintained.

Body – First, discuss the proposal of CSIR NPL. Thereafter discuss the pros and cons of such a move. Eg on the pros side, we can discuss energy savings etc. On the cons side, one can talk about the practicality of such a solution.

Conclusion – Based on arguments made above, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion and discuss way forward.


General Studies – 2


Topic: Indian Polity : Issues

7) It is trite to say that there must exist a balance between the freedom of expression and the right to reputation. In this light, critically analyze India’s defamation laws?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Criminal defamation complaint is again in the news, courtesy the metoo movement, where the rich and powerful have again used this tool to preserve their “reputation”. While the SC last year, had upheld the validity of criminal defamation laws, the misuse of the law by the rich and powerful as a means of coercion is problematic and needs to be discussed.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the conflict between the need to protect reputation which is done using the defamation laws and the need to protect freedom of speech, which is threatened by defamation laws. The question expects us to bring out the pros and cons of having a defamation law like India does and give a fair and balanced opinion on whether a change is required.

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 in brief about India’s defamation laws and an overview of the debate surrounding it.

Body

  • Explain what it meant by the statement in question – why maintaining a balance is necessary.
  • Discuss the issues with having a strict defamation law and how it stifles freedom of expression
  • unlike many other countries, defamation in India is a criminal offence (and not just a civil wrong), and a conviction entails both social stigma and potential jail time.
  • Second, there is a very low threshold for a prima facie case of defamation to be established by a complainant. Simply put, he must only show that an “imputation” has been made that could reasonably be interpreted as harming his reputation.
  • while in a civil defamation case, a defendant need only show that her statement was true in order to escape liability, in a criminal defamation proceeding, an accused must show that her statement was true and in the public interest. This leads to the paradoxical situation where our legal system is more advantageous towards those at the receiving end of civil defamation proceedings, and harsher towards those who have to go through the criminal process!
  • Discuss why having strict defamation laws are necessary – Can give the arguments given by the 2 judge bench while declaring section 499 as constitutional
  • Discuss the problem in the present context , in light of Metoo allegations and the use of criminal defamation to silence the victims.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced opinion and discuss way forward.

 


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. Human Values.

8) Nearly boundless scope of AI technology poses several ethical challenges before us. 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 ethical challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence before humanity.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  potential applications of AI and the rate at which AI technology is evolving.

Body-

Discuss in paras the ethical challenges posed by AI. e.g

  • Unemployment. What happens after the end of jobs?
  • Inequality. How do we distribute the wealth created by machines?
  • Humanity. How do machines affect our behaviour and interaction?
  • Artificial stupidity.
  • Racist robots. How do we eliminate AI bias?
  • Security. How do we keep AI safe from adversaries
  • Evil genies. How do we protect against unintended consequences?
  • Singularity. How do we stay in control of a complex intelligent system?
  • Robot rights. How do we define the humane treatment of AI?

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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