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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 04 DECEMBER 2018

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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 04 DECEMBER 2018

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic: “History of the world will include events from 18th century such as  colonization, decolonization”.

 


General Studies – 1


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

1) Although Germany had very disadvantages it became the most industrialised state by the end of 19th century. Examine. (250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.  

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to delve deeper into the Germany of the 19th century, describe the challenges it faced and bring out the reasons as to how it was able to overcome those challenges and become the most industrialised state by the end of 19th century.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  19th century Germany. E.g Germany had the natural resources required to start an industrial revolution. Large coal reserves located in the areas of Saar, Ruhr, Upper Silesia, and Saxony. Iron deposited sited in the areas of Erzgebirge, Harz Mountains, and Upper Silesia.

Body-

  1. Discuss the disadvantages suffered by Germany at that time, which hampered Industrialisation. E.g Germany had challenges after the Napoleonic War ended in 1815. Only the major ports of Bremen and Hamburg had clear and secure access to the North Sea. But even so, it did not had any clear access to the vibrant trade routes in the Atlantic; many medievalist economic institution remained in place, hampering the growth of agriculture and industries. Feudalism returned and continued; Moreover, guild controlled much of the industries and because with their licensure policies, the establishing of factories became difficult and limited; Germany before 1871 was made of numerous German States with Prussia being biggest. And so trade was difficult and circulation of raw materials to factories was also hard etc.
  2. Discuss how despite those disadvantages, Germany became the leading industrial power by the end of 19th century. E.g Among the German states, Prussia emerged as the most economically powerful country in 1815. Prussia controlled major manufacturing towns, coalfields, and trade routes. The Prussian government showed great enthusiasm towards economic progress, which became vital to its status as a great power. In 1818, Prussia moved immediately to counter the problems arising from the post-Napoleonic era; The Zollverein grew from the Prussian Tariff of 1818 to a full pledge customs union that became a catalyst for German unification. The Tariff of 1818 became the basis of Prussia and signed commercial treaties with neighboring German states in order to form of customs union etc.

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


Topic– Social empowerment; Role of women and women’s organization

2) Maternity benefit Act has increased the entry barrier for women in Labour Force. Discuss. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

This article highlights that one of the criticism of the maternity benefits act when it was introduced, was that it would increase entry barrier for females. The same has happened and we need to think of ways through which the act can be amended to ensure that it’s purposes are met.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain how amendments to maternity benefits act have increased entry barrier for women. Post that, we need to discuss changes through which the Act can be made more beneficial for women and discuss the 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 – Explain that there is a need to enhance female participation in LFPR, and for the same purpose India brought in well intentioned amendments to maternity benefits act.

Body

  • Explain the benefits accorded to women under the act and highlight how it has increased entry barriers for women under the Act. India offers one of the world’s most generous maternity leave policies. But India is also probably the only country where the entire financial burden of the maternity leave is supposed to be borne by the employer. In most countries, the cost of maternity leave is shared across the government, employer, insurance and other social security programmes (Singapore—eight weeks employer and eight weeks public funds; Australia and Canada—100% public funds; France—social insurance scheme; Brazil—mixed contribution from the employer, employee and government).
  • Discuss the changes required in the act and the impact it would have. Cost sharing between employer and government by way of reimbursement once the employer furnishes the proof of payment of maternity leave wage, slab-based tax rebates offered by the government on actual maternity wages paid, setting up a government insurance scheme to pay for maternity wages, and leave sharing in the form of 13 months maternity and 13 months paternity to negate any possibility of gender bias.

Conclusion – Highlight that there is a need to enhance female participation in LFPR for which changes in the Act have to be brought in and discuss the way forward.


Topic-  social empowerment

3) Our understanding of disability must expand to include people with invisible disabilities. Examine.(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The article highlights that our understanding of disability remains limited to visual markers of disability and in the process we end up ignoring the needs and aspirations of a sizeable section. Hence there is a need to broaden our understanding.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what invisible disability is, explain the current provisions for taking care of persons with special needs and how it fails those with invisible disabilities. Next, we need to discuss changes which needs to be brought in and discuss the 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 – Explain what is meant by invisible disabilities.

Body

  • Highlight the protections in place for securing the rights of persons with disability – The United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disability tells us that persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full participation in society on an equal basis with others. The Rights of persons with Disability Act of India, 2016, also clarifies that disability includes people with mental illness, epilepsy, intellectual impairment and other disabilities which are not evident to a casual observer.
  • Highlight the problem in the current regime – Many people with disabilities cannot be identified by a casual observer as they don’t have the identity ‘badges’ of a wheelchair, or a crutch, or a hearing aid and thus their needs are often ignored
  • Discuss ways in which the situation can be improved – inclusion and empowerment of people with visible and invisible disabilities must include policy action by the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Justice. The criteria and process for identifying people and certifying people with disability must find processes to recognise the disability of people with fluctuating disability such as that experienced by many with severe mental illness. It must also include active responses to include people with invisible disabilities from agencies working in Inclusive sports, inclusive sanitation and inclusive community-based development are the catch-cries of organisations working in disability.

Conclusion – Give your opinion and discuss the way forward.


Topic: Part of static series under the heading – “World History”

4) “New imperialism was a nationalistic, not an economic phenomenon.” Critically examine.(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what new imperialism is and post that, examine the factors that led to its rise and continuation. We have to debate whether there were only nationalistic imperatives or whether economic imperatives led to its rise. Finally we need to provide our fair and balanced opinion.

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 – Explain that new imperialism was a period of colonial expansion and its accompanying ideology by the European powers, USA, Japan etc during the late 19th and early 20th century.

Body

  • First, explain why new imperialism can be considered as a nationalistic phenomenan. The later part of the 19th century was a period of intense Nationalism. Nationalism came to be also created with Chauvinism. Many nations developed myths of their superiority over other people. Each one felt that it too, must have colonies to add to its prestige and power. Imperialism became the fashion of the age.  Writers and speakers in England, France and Germany opened institutions to promote the idea of imperialism, and took great pride in calling their territories empires. Imperialist countries took over some places in Asia and Africa because of their military or strategic importance. The imperialist nations established naval bases and coaling stations to strengthen her overseas empire. Rival nations got similar base elsewhere. Acquiring a colony also had a chain reaction. If a country needed a colony, it needed another to protect it and so on. Overseas possessions were also useful because they added to an imperialist country’s manpower. Some of the people of the colonized countries were taken into the enemy, for use in wars and conquests.
  • Discuss the economic imperatives of new imperialism – New Imperialism was as economic as it was nationalistic. The imperial countries acquired colonies because the colonies served their economic referents. The industrial Revolution resulted in a very great increase in the production of goods. It also created the capitates system of production. The production of goods was far in excess of the demand at home. So capitalist countries had to find new markets and buyers for the goods their industries were producing. The possibilities of one industrialized country were also limited. European countries could find markets for their surplus goods in Asia and Africa. In addition to the markets, the imperial powers needed new sources of raw-materials to feed over growing number of industries. For attaining this objective, the imperial powers established their colonial stronghold over parts of Asia and Africa and patrolled the areas among themselves.

Conclusion – give a fair and balanced conclusion on following lines – New Imperialism thus was fed on as much as nationalism as on economic forces. It was not either Nationalism or economic considerations alone but the two acting in tandem that drove New Imperialism.


General Studies – 2


Topic: Issues related to health

5) Health and Wellness centres as envisaged in Ayushman Bharat will play a key role in strengthening primary health care in India. Discuss. (250 words) 

Financial express

Why this question

The article discusses the importance of strengthening primary health care, highlights why PHC is important and the ways through which Health and wellness centre can be a vital step towards improving primary health outcomes. In light of Ayushman Bharat scheme and the fact that health and wellness centre form an important component of the scheme, the question becomes important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first briefly focus upon why improving PHC is critical. Thereafter, we need to explain what health and wellness centres seek to achieve and how they focus on strengthening primary health care. Next, we need to bring out the obstacles going forward and discuss what needs to be done.

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 that the Union government’s policy push for developing health and wellness centres is a well thought out step for renewing focus on comprehensive primary care.

Body

  • Discuss why focussing on PHC is critical – to reduce out of pocket expenditure, most developed nations have a strong PHC network etc
  • Explain the objective of creating Health and wellness centres – National Health Mission too has planned to strengthen sub centres as Health & Wellness Centers (H&WCs) for implementing public health programmes better and to enable comprehensive primary health care service delivery, including disease prevention and health promotion. The policy expresses the specific need of providing healthcare in the farflung corners of the country through upgraded sub centers by converting them into Health & Wellness Centres.
  • Discuss the advantages of Health and Wellness centres – These centres are intended to provide outpatient care, immunisation, maternal and child health services, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other services. These centres will be linked to secondary and tertiary care and will be supplied with adequate drugs and diagnostic services. Once developed, these centres will help ameliorating basic health problems including early diagnosis and treatment of NCDs, avoiding complications in the latter stage and thereby, lessening costs of treatments. This would translate into reduction of costs at the secondary- and tertiary-care levels.
  • Discuss the advantages offered by this approach over the current approach.

Conclusion – Discuss in your opinion the balance of advantages and limitations of the said approach and highlight way forward.


General Studies – 3


Topic – Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

6) The conversation on raising farmer income needs to embrace non-farm diversification. Examine, with examples. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The government has an objective of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. However farming distress is worsening and there are not much hopes in this regard. Therefore it is vital to discuss as to how farmers’ income can be doubled by analyzing the role of non-farm diversification.

Directive word

Examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.  

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to delve deeper into the agricultural crisis in India and bring out the need for non-farm diversification so as to increase the farmers’ income.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-

Write a few introductory lines about the  issues plaguing the agricultural sector- small and marginal landholdings, lack of access to agricultural credit, environmental degradation, low value addition etc, which in turn affect the agricultural income.

Body-

  1. Bring out the need for non-farm diversification. E.g A recent survey by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey) shows that the average monthly income of rural households is ₹8,059, with agricultural households deriving only 43% of their income from agriculture; most of it is from providing daily wage labour and government jobs; The government has sought to double farmer income by raising minimum support prices, but such initiatives would apply directly only to 48% of rural India, with non-agricultural households being left behind; Diversification, away from marginal farming, helps to overcome land constraint to income growth, while allowing farmers to cope with exogenous shocks through additional income. In some cases, it ‘even allows them to reinvest in productivity enhancing agricultural technologies’ etc.
  2. Discuss the examples of non farm diversification. E.g discuss the importance of livestock and improving the conditions of construction workers, the two areas which employ agricultural families/ workers on a large scale.

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


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

7) In the wake of the recent scientific reports on Climate change, it is imperative to finalise the rule book by 2018. Comment.(250 words) 

Indian express

Why this question

The IPCC has recently released its report on climate change and the future prospects. Rule book under the Paris Climate pact is also being prepared in Katowice, Poland and is an important document as far as our endeavours against climate change are concerned.

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 express our knowledge and understanding of the recently released scientific reports in relation to climate change. It also wants us to express our opinion as to why framing the rule book under the Paris Climate pact is to be done at earnest.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-

write a few introductory lines about the  recently released report of IPCC. E.g The report presented last month has said that to attain the 1.5°C target, the world needs to bring down its greenhouse gas emissions to about half of its 2010 levels by 2030, and to net zero by about 2050.

Body-

  1. Discuss about the other reports in brief detail. E.g This week’s Emissions Gap report, released by the UN Environment Program, has said if the countries do not substantially enhance their actions before 2030, the 1.5° target would get out of reach. Calling for “unprecedented and urgent action”, it has reported that total annual global greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, at 53.5 billion tonnes carbon dioxide-equivalent, was 0.7 billion tonnes higher than the previous year. This is the first time in four years that the total emission has shown an increase; Last week, the World Meteorological Organization reported that global average surface temperatures in 2018 was all set to be the fourth highest ever recorded. The 20 warmest years have all been in the last 22 years, with the top four being the last four years etc.
  2. Discuss the meaning and importance of the rule book to be formed as per the Paris Climate pact. E.g rule book will consist of rules, procedures, guidelines, and institutional mechanisms through which the provisions of the Paris Agreement would be implemented. These include such things as agreeing on accounting standards to measure emissions, processes for monitoring, reporting and verification (commonly referred to as MRV in climate negotiation circles) of actions being taken by individual countries, mechanisms to raise financial resources and ensure the flow of funds for climate projects, and institutions to facilitate the diffusion of appropriate technologies to countries and regions that need them.

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


General Studies – 4


Topic– Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s

8) What do you understand by a code of conduct. What purpose does it serve. 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 give a detailed description of the code of conduct and also bring out in detail, the purpose and advantages of having a code of conduct in place.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Code of Conduct. E.g give a simple but complete definition of code of conduct.

Body

Discuss the purposes a code of conduct serves. E.g it clarifies an organization’s mission, values and principles, linking them with standards of professional conduct. The code articulates the values the organization wishes to foster in leaders and employees and, in doing so, defines desired behavior. As a result, written codes of conduct or ethics can become benchmarks against which individual and organizational performance can be measured; it is a central guide and reference for employees to support day-to-day decision making. A code encourages discussions of ethics and compliance, empowering employees to handle ethical dilemmas they encounter in everyday work; encourages compliance with law 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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