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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 26 DECEMBER 2018

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 26 DECEMBER 2018

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Tomorrow’s Static Topic:  Disaster and disaster management

 


General Studies – 2


Topic– Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

1) Critically analyze whether the existing surveillance framework in India needs to be revisited. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The government has recently brought out a notification which authorizes several government agencies to intercept, monitor, and decrypt online communications and data. Besides, there have been several instances like the facebook fiasco which point out the importance of privacy in the modern times. In this context it is essential to analyze the surveillance framework in India and deliberate upon it 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.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the surveillance framework in India and bring out its salient aspects and issues arising out of it. Based on our discussion we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  growing surveillance tendencies on part of the states. E.g mention the recent notification authorising 10 Central agencies to intercept, monitor, and decrypt online communications and data etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss the surveillance framework in place in India today. E.g Two statutes control the field: telephone surveillance is sanctioned under the 1885 Telegraph Act (and its rules), while electronic surveillance is authorised under the 2000 Information Technology Act (and its rules); the procedural structure in both cases is broadly similar, and flows from a 1997 Supreme Court judgment: surveillance requests have to be signed off by an official who is at least at the level of a Joint Secretary etc.
  2. Discuss the problems with the present regime. E.g First, it is bureaucratised. Decisions about surveillance are taken by the executive branch (including the review process), with no parliamentary or judicial supervision; Second, the surveillance regime is vague and ambiguous. Under Section 69 of the IT Act, the grounds of surveillance have been simply lifted from Article 19(2) of the Constitution, and pasted into the law; the regime is opaque. There is almost no information available about the bases on which surveillance decisions are taken, and how the legal standards are applied etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g Any impingement upon the right to privacy must be proportionate. One of the factors of the proportionality standard is that the government’s action must be the least restrictive method by which a state goal is to be realised.


Topic – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

2) The proposed amendment to section 79 of IT Act would amount to serious curbing of free speech. Critically discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The article analyses the proposed amendment to IT Act and discusses the implications of the amendments on privacy and national security. This is a developing news and needs to be prepared to understand the nuances of the debate.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the proposed amendments to IT act and debate the amendment by bringing out its pros and cons. Finally we need to provide our fair and balanced opinion and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

Critically 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. 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 in an effort to curb fake news etc, central government has proposed stringent changes under the draft of Section 79 of the Information Technology (IT) that govern online content.

Body

  • Explain the changes that are proposed.
    • The changes will require online platforms to break end-to-end encryption in order to ascertain the origin of messages.
    • deploy technology based automated tools or appropriate mechanisms, with appropriate controls, for proactively identifying or removing or disabling access to unlawful information or content
    • social media platforms will need to comply with the central government “within 72 hours” of a query.
    • There should be a ‘Nodal person of Contact for 24X7 coordination with law enforcement agencies and officers to ensure compliance
  • Discuss the rationale behind such proposed amendments
    • rising incidents of violence and lynching in the country due to misuse of social media platforms
    • Threat to national security etc
  • Discuss how the amendment might be a threat to freedom of speech and expression. Analyze other issues in the proposed amendment

Conclusion – Based on arguments made above, give your view on the issue and highlight what should be the way forward.


Topic– Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

3) A centralised judicial recruitment process will help in solving the problems in the lower judiciary. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The NITI aayog has recently put forward the idea of a centralised recruitment for judicial posts under the aegis of UPSC. The idea has been mooted as a solution to several problems faced by the lower judiciary in India. It is therefore important to look into the issue and bring out its credibility.

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 issue and form an opinion as to how/ how not the centralised judicial recruitment process will help in solving the problems in the lower judiciary. Your opinion has to be based on a proper discussion and presentation of valid arguments and facts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  problems faced by lower judiciary. E.g delayed justice, high number of vacancies, less use of technology and mention that a central judicial recruitment process under the UPSC is aimed at solving the vacancy problem and that it will lead to a better represented lower judiciary etc.

Body-

DIscuss about the issue in detail so as to form an opinion thereupon. E.g The argument that the creation of the AIJS and a centralised recruitment process will help the lower judicial services is based on the assumption that the current federal structure, that vests the recruitment and appointment for the lower judiciary in the hands of State Governors, High Courts and State Public Service Commissions, is broken and inefficient. On facts, however, this assumption does not hold up; Going by the latest figures published by the Supreme Court in its publication Court News, many States like Maharashtra and West Bengal are doing a very efficient job when it comes to recruiting lower court judges; the problem of vacancies is not uniform across different States. The solution is to pressure poorly performing States into performing more efficiently;  several States already provide for reservations in their lower judicial service etc.

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


Topic – mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

4) The passage of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 has been criticized by the very community it seeks to protect. Examine.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The bill had been pending since a long time and was recently passed by the Lok Sabha. The provisions of the bill have been criticized on various fronts. It is essential to analyze the bill in detail and bring out its shortcomings.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the details of the Bill and discuss the reasons why the Bill has faced such criticism. Thereafter, we need to highlight the changes that are required and discuss 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 – write a few introductory lines about the  Transgender persons bill passed by the LS recently. E.g the objectives of the bill includes protecting interests of transgenders, defining of the term ‘transgender’, to give them recognition and setting up of a national transgender council.

Body

  • Discuss the provisions of the bill and highlight the issues
    • The Bill fails to legally recognise a self-defined gender identity – which is a cornerstone of the universal battle for transgender rights and has been recognised by the Supreme Court. In 2014, in National Legal Services Authority versus Union of India, the Supreme Court stated that a trans person could choose to identify as male, female or third gender. Explain that the Bill requires transgender persons to go through a district magistrate and “District Screening Committee” to get certified as a trans person.
    • While the Bill prohibits discrimination, it does not explicitly include a definition of discrimination that covers the range of violations that transgender persons face.
    • despite the Supreme Court in 2014 directing the government “to extend all kinds of reservations in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments” to transgender persons, the Bill does not contain any provisions related to affirmative action.
    • Criminalisation of anyone who “compels or entices a transgender person to indulge in the act of begging” increases the risk that transgender persons – many of whom have limited employment opportunities – will be criminalised because of misuse of the law, as has occurred in several instances.
    • This Bill simply does not go far enough to protect transgender individuals who are subjected to abuses relentlessly, and with relative impunity.
  • Discuss the changes required in the Bill to make it more constructive for the transgender population

Conclusion – Give your view on the Bill and discuss way forward.


General Studies – 3


Topic: Indian economy : Issues

5) Having a standard GST rate for majority of goods will make GST much simpler and take it closer to the idea of one nation, one tax. Critically analyze.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article discusses the recent decision by GST council to prune tax rates on various items and the announcement of the vision of our PM to have 99% of goods in a single tax slab. The idea of having a single rate for majority of goods was one of the initial promises of GST reform. The idea, however, needs to be analyzed in depth to understand its implications.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the vision of having a standard GST rate, highlight the steps taken off late to achieve this and the pros and cons of such a measure. Finally, we have to provide a fair and balanced conclusion and discuss the 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 – Highlight the recent step of the GST council and the vision of PM.

Body

  • Discuss that GST was initially promoted as one nation, one tax, and one market. Thereafter, GST council decided to have multiple rates to take care of revenue losses, make indirect taxes more equitable and progressive etc
  • Analyze the advantages offered by having a standard tax rate such as ease of tax administration, simplified taxation structure etc
  • Discuss the issues that a standard rate might lead to – concerns related to revenue losses of the state, make the tax less progressive etc
  • Discuss how such issues can be resolved such as through centre’s assurance to state regarding funds transfer, having demerit and luxury goods in higher tax bracket etc

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced opinion on the need for a standard GST rate and discuss the way forward.


Topic – Disaster and disaster management

6) Discuss the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) of the government of India. (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 NCRMP, its  aims and objectives and the strategy enunciated by the project to achieve those aims.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  NCRMP. E.g The Government of India has initiated the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) with a view to address cyclone risks in the country.The overall objective of the Project is to undertake suitable structural and non-structural measures to mitigate the effects of cyclones in the coastal states and UT’s of India.

Body

Discuss about the NCRMP in further detail. E.g

  • NDMA under the aegis of MHA implements the Project in coordination with participating State Governments and the NIDM.
  • The Project has identified 13 cyclone prone States and Union Territories (UTs), with varying levels of vulnerability. These States/UT have further been classified into two categories,based on the frequency of occurrence of cyclone,size of population and the existing institutional mechanism for disaster management. These categories are:
  • Category I: Higher vulnerability States i.e. Andhra Pradesh,Gujarat,Odisha,Tamil Nadu and West Bengal; Category II:Lower vulnerability States i.e. Maharashtra,Karnataka,Kerala,Goa,Pondicherry,Lakshadweep,Daman and Diu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The strategies of the project include-

(i) improved early warning dissemination systems

(ii)enhanced capacity of local communities to respond to disasters

(iii)improved access to emergency shelter, evacuation, and protection against wind storms, flooding and storm surge in high areas

(iv)strengthening DRM capacity at central, state and local levels in order to enable mainstreaming of risk mitigation measures into the overall development agenda 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 – “Disaster and Disaster management”.

7) Bhopal Gas tragedy which still rocks the conscience of the nation was an industrial disaster. Explain what are industrial disasters and discuss ways through which they can be prevented. (250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to list out and explain the various kinds of industrial disasters along with ways through which we can address them.

Directive word

Discuss – Your discussion should revolve around explanation of various kinds of industrial disasters and how to prevent them.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what industrial disasters are and mention what kind of disaster Bhopal Gas tragedy is.

Body

  • Discuss and explain the various kinds of industrial disasters such as chemical disasters, nuclear disasters, biological disasters, fire related disasters etc. Give examples for them as well
  • Explain the impact of such disasters such as loss of lives, property, harm to surrounding environment etc
  • Discuss ways through which they can be prevented – quality control standards, Inspection and maintenance etc

Conclusion – highlight that of precautions are taken, such disasters can be avoided.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic– Part of the series of Ethics case studies.

8) An undergraduate course required for graduation has a reputation for being extremely hard to pass, much harder than similar courses. When posting materials to the class website, the teacher accidentally posts a test with answers indicated at the end. The teacher notices the error immediately and deletes the test, but before she does so a student downloads the test. The website does not allow the teacher to see whether the test was downloaded, and because she deleted the test with the answers so quickly, the teacher later uploaded the same test without the answers and required students to take the test. The Student Code of Ethics prohibits students from taking a test when there is reason for them to believe they have confidential information regarding the answers to a test they are not supposed to have. Violations of the Student Code of Ethics are punishable.

 

  1. What are the issues of integrity, ethics and law posed in the case study?
  2. What options do the teacher and the student have?
  3. what should they do and why?(250 words)

 

Guidelines for framing the answer

Some of the issues raised in this case study include

  • the reasons why the teacher reposted the same test;
  • the undue difficulty of the course, and whether that or the teacher’s actions justify a student who uses the answers accidentally disclosed by the teacher;
  • the relationship between ethical concerns and the Student Code of Ethics;
  • and the relationship of the student to the teacher and fellow students,
  • and the effect the student’s actions may have on fellow students etc.

This list is not exhaustive and therefore it is directed to critically study the issue and bring out the issues involved therein.



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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