[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 01 January 2019

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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 01 January 2019

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic:  Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-
partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion
towards the weaker sections.


General Studies – 2


Topic – India and its bilateral relations.

1) India’s strategic interests are better served through a continuity in USA’s foreign policy. Evaluate.(250 words)

Reference

Indianexpress

Why this question

The article discusses the impact of changes and continuity in US foreign policy on the strategic interests of India. The articles discusses the impact on a range of issues from peace in Afghanistan to crackdown on pakistan, all of which fall within core strategic interests of India. Hence this question would enable us to develop a perspective on India USA bilateral relations.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what we understand by continuity in USA’s foreign policy. Thereafter, we need to bring out why continuity in USA’s foreign policy is important for India and its impact on India’s core strategic interests. Finally, we need to provide our view and discuss way forward.

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 about the change in guard at the helm of USA’s foreign establishment and mention that it can have several bearings for India and her foreign policy.

Body

  • Explain what you understand by a continuity in USA’s foreign policy.
  • Discuss the impact on India’s core strategic interests as a result of USA’s foreign policy
    • Talk about the implications of USA’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and how it it would affect India’s strategic interests
    • Discuss about how change or continuity in USA’s foreign policy wrt Pakistan can have a bearing on India’s core strategic interests
    • Examine the impact of USA’s policy in Asia Pacific on India’s strategic interests in the region
  • Discuss what should be India’s strategy to deal with such variables

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced opinion on how important continuity in USA’s foreign policy is for India and discuss way forward.


Topic – India and its bilateral relations

2) The recent political results in Bangladesh will provide a fillip to India Bangladesh bilateral relations. Comment(250 words)

Economictimes

Why this question

The recent elections in Bangladesh will have a bearing on the relationship between India and Bangladesh as has been seen earlier. It is important to understand how the recent elections impact India Bangladesh relations.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out how the election result in Bangladesh would impact the bilateral relations between the two countries and discuss the way forward.

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 – Talk about the results in Bangladesh national elections. Mention that in case of Bangladesh we have seen that the relationship with India has historically been dependent on who is in power there.

Body

  • Discuss the impact of election result in bilateral relations between the two countries. You should discuss the impact by classifying them into strategic , economic and geopolitical impacts.
    • steadfast partner in the fight against counter-terrorism, connectivity initiatives, and sub-regional cooperation, Hasina is poised to play a major role in Delhi’s initiatives in Bay of Bengal and Northeast amid China’s massive inroads in South Asia. Stability in Bangladesh like Bhutan is imperative for India amid political uncertainties in certain other parts of neighbourhood that includes Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, according to experts’ familiar with Delhi’s South Asia strategy.
    • staunch ally in Dhaka further assists Delhi against Pak Army & ISI’s designs to foment cross-border extremism in the region
    • Bangladesh that is all poised to emerge as a middle-income country opens up a huge market for Indian investors etc
  • Discuss about the fact that erstwhile Khaleda Zia regime in Bangladesh had strong reservations against granting connectivity and transit to the neighbours on the pretext that it would infringe on the sovereignty of Bangladesh. It was the Sheikh Hasina-led government that realized that granting connectivity and transit was a win-win situation for Bangladesh.

Conclusion – Give your view on the future prospect of India Bangladesh relations in light of these factors.


Topic– Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating
to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3) Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana has a number of challenges to contend with as it seeks to improve the status of healthcare in India. Discuss.(250 words)

Financial express

 

Why this question

The article delves deep into the challenges that are likely to come before PMJAY as it tries to address the issue of out of pocket expenditure in healthcare. This question would help you understand the challenges that lay before this scheme and how to overcome them.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain about PMJAY and thereafter, bring out the likely challenges before the scheme. We need to explain these challenges in detail and bring out the ways through which we can address them. Finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion regarding the possibility of PMJAY becoming a success 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 about PMJAY.

Body

  • Bring out the various challenges involved for the future of the scheme
    • How the programme propose to level the playing field between the public and private hospitals, as public hospitals would continue receiving budgetary support
    • Issues over how lower-middle class and middle-class households are brought under the fold in this programme etc
  • Discuss about the ways through which these challenges can be addressed going forward.

Conclusion – Mention that it is important to make longer-term commitments and resolve programme uncertainties, especially with regard to the inclusion of the APL and discuss the way forward.


Topic –  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

4) The era of specialisation has its own achievements but it has also created narrow reductionist viewpoints on environment and nature. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Specialization of fields of education and profession is an ever-growing phenomena. The article discusses what it entails for the society in terms of technological and economic progress and what are its effects in terms of our interaction towards nature.

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 about the pros and cons of specialization that we have witnessed since the onset of modern economies and express our opinion as to how it affects our understanding as well as response towards nature.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  growing importance of specialization like in the fields of medicine, management, research etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss why specialization has occurred in the modern society.e.g  With greater and deeper development of various fields of science, technology and even the social sciences, specialisation is inevitable and even necessary in the contemporary world. This has yielded many important, even life-saving results etc.
  2. Discuss the perils of specialization. E.g it leads members of the knowledge industry to see little beyond their bulwarks; The world views of highly specialised domains are often so distinct that they have created not only disparate paradigms but distinct worlds; It, therefore, becomes difficult or impossible for an economist to appreciate the importance and value of biodiversity or why its loss is a major casualty (unless he or she tries to monetise it), or for an engineer to understand why decentralised solar power that allows greater democratisation among local communities is an opportunity to be grabbed instead of installing large solar parks by mega-corporations; corporate interests, personal promotion, careerism and pandering to their own vested interests create elite networks of corruption etc.

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


General Studies – 3


Topic-Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5) Repeated loan waivers may be in the interest of political parties but are not in the interest of farmers. Critically examine.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Farm loan waivers introduced recently by several state governments have been criticized time and again on many accounts. It is therefore necessary to analyze the perils of such schemes and what could be the best strategy to address the issue holistically.

Directive word

Critically examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.  

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deeper into the issue, bring out the pitfalls and deficiencies of farm loan waiver schemes and express our opinion on the issue as to what should be done in this regard.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  farm loan waivers introduced recently as well as in the recent past in many states of India. Mention that The NSSO Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households (2013) shows that 52% of farming households are indebted, with rates as high as 89-92% in some States.

Body-

  1. Discuss how farm subsidies are not enough to address the farmers’ woes. E.g
  • A loan waiver is only an element of immediate relief. It is an acknowledgment that farmers have been pushed into debt due to the systemic failures of the government.
  • The burden on farmers on account of just three items (lack of compensation during drought and disasters, the failures of the crop insurance scheme, and the deficit due to prices falling below the announced Minimum Support Prices) runs to tens of thousands of crores every season.
  • Farm loan waiver does not cater to the vast small and marginal farmers who don’t have access to formal credit and are indebted to local money lenders etc.
  1. Discuss what should be the line of action to address the agriculture distress in a sincere and holistic manner. E.g
  • Guarantee access to institutional credit to not only big farmers but also small and marginal farmers, sharecroppers, tenants, adivasi and women farmers, and animal-rearers;
  • Registration of all cultivators and providing them Kisan credit cards
  • establish farmers’ distress and disaster relief commissions at the national and State levels, based on the model of Kerala Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission.
  • In addition to reforming the credit system, agriculture should be made profitable by ensuring fair remunerative prices, lowering the cost of cultivation, and promoting viable farmer collectives and sustainable models of agriculture.

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


Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

6) A small cohort of technology firms now guards the door to the modern economy. Discuss why information technology markets of today are highly concentrated. Also discuss the need to adapt our regulatory policies to new business models.(250 words) 

Livemint

Why this question

MNCs, especially those based on IT platforms have grown at a tremendous rate owing to their inherent strengths. However as can be easily observed their growth has been highly concentrated and at the same time the regulatory environment has not adapted itself to the rapidly evolving business models. The article looks into those issues in detail.

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 reasons as to why the information technology markets of today are highly concentrated and also discuss at length the need to adapt our regulatory policy in line with the newly emerging business models.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the multi-national, multi-billion IT companies representing the modern economy- Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss why information technology markets of today are highly concentrated. E.g
  • network externality: We need to be on the same network as the person with whom we want to interact.
  • The dominant firms benefit from economies of scale
  • There are exceptions, of course. Economies of scale and network externalities have not played a paramount role in the markets for digital music and movies, where there are a number of platforms but these services are differentiated by their degree of interaction with the user etc.
  1. Discuss why there is a need to adapt our regulatory policy in line with the newly emerging business models. E.g
  • the reasoning behind traditional competition measures is no longer valid. It is now common for a platform like Google or Facebook to set very low prices—or provide a service for free—on one side of the market and very high prices on the other side.
  • And yet, even small digital firms and startups now practice this kind of asymmetric pricing: consider, for example, free online newspapers that are funded wholly by advertising.
  • Two-sided markets are prevalent in the digital economy, and a regulator who does not adequately account for this unusual business model could incorrectly declare low pricing to be predatory, or high pricing to be excessive, even though such price structures have also been adopted by the smallest platforms entering the market.
  • Regulators, then, will need to refrain from mechanically applying traditional principles of competition policy. When it comes to multi-sided platforms, these principles simply are not applicable in many cases.

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


General Studies – 4


Topic-Part of static series under the heading – “Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service”

7) Many civil servants have left a huge impact in the areas they have worked in. What do you think are the qualities which enable such civil servants to excel? Give an example of a civil servant who inspires you and how he imbibes the qualities described above?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first talk about the qualities that help a civil servant to excel in the discharge of his duties. In the next part of your answer, discuss about a civil servant whose work, conduct etc has impressed you and enumerate the qualities that such civil servant possesses.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that the office of a civil servant is an office of trust and thus requires the civil servant to display a range of qualities to be worthy of that trust.

Body – In the first part of your answer, discuss about the various qualities that a civil servant should possess which would enable him to excel in his job. Talk about qualities such as integrity, uprightness, objectivity, impartiality etc and how they help a civil servant. Next, we need to give an example of a civil servant we consider our role model and the qualities that make him/her so.

Conclusion – Emphasize on the difficult nature of the job of a civil servant and the need of qualities discussed above for success of civil servant.


Topic– Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

8) What is empathy and why is it important in public services. How can we increase empathy among civil servants. Discuss.(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 meaning and importance of empathy as a value and also discuss in detail as to how empathy can be increased among civil servants.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– define empathy. E.g Empathy is the ability to share and understand the emotions of others.

Body-

  1. Discuss the three ways of looking at empathy. E.g
  • Affective empathy- the ability to share the emotions of others.
  • Cognitive empathy- the ability to understand the emotions of others.
  • Emotional regulation- the ability to regulate one’s emotions
  1. Discuss the importance of empathy. E.g
  • It helps us understand how others are feeling so we can respond appropriately to the situation.
  • It is typically associated with social behaviour
  • Empathy is an interpersonal skill that can be viewed as part of emotional intelligence
  • Empathy can however also inhibit social actions, or even lead to immoral behaviour.
  1. Discuss how empathy can be inculcated/ increased among civil servants. E.g
  • Some people are genetically inclined to be highly empathic or not.
  • it is possible to increase cognitive, emotional and behavioural empathy through formal training
  • instruction about the benefits of showing empathy, how to identify emotions in others, how to feel those emotions and how to comment appropriately on them.
  • providing models of a person showing empathy in response to something another has said or done.
  • practice at showing empathy 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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