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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 02 January 2019

[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 02 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 – 1


Topic – Economic Geography.

1) Despite a ban, rat-hole mining remains a prevalent practice in Meghalaya. Explain what is rat hole mining and the issues associated with it?(250 words)

Economictimes

Why this question

The incident in Meghalaya where miners are trapped in one of the rat hole mines exposes the issues with this unsafe mining practice and also brings out the fact that NGT orders are being violated. It is important to understand what rat hole mining is and the issues associated with it.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out what rat hole mining is, explain the 2014 NGT order regarding the ban on rat hole mining and why such mining practices are still being continued. Finally, we need to discuss ways through which such practices can be stopped.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the recent incident in Meghalaya which is the reason why rat hole mining is in news.

Body

  • Explain what rat hole mining is – involves digging of very small tunnels, usually only 3-4 feet high, which workers (often children) enter and extract coal. Rat-hole mining is broadly of two types – side-cutting procedure, where narrow tunnels are dug on the hill slopes and workers go inside until they find the coal seam, box-cutting, a rectangular opening is made, varying from 10 to 100 sq m, and through that is dug a vertical pit, 100 to 400 feet deep. Once the coal seam is found, rat-hole-sized tunnels are dug horizontally through which workers can extract the coal.
  • Explain that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned it in 2014, and retained the ban in 2015, on grounds of it being unscientific and unsafe for workers. The state government has appealed the order in the Supreme Court.
  • Discuss the reasons why rat hole mining was banned and the reasons why it continues despite the ban

Conclusion – emphasize on the ill effects of rat hole mining and discuss solutions to the problem.


General Studies – 3


Topic – Indian Economy : Issues

2) What do you understand by GAFA tax? Explain the rationale behind devising a separate framework to tax online service providers? Explain how such services are taxed in India and issues arising out of it?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article discusses a novel issue regarding taxation provisions for online service providers and the challenges involved therein. With online companies like Google, Facebook etc repeatedly coming under the scanner of regulatory authorities, this issue becomes important and needs to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain what GAFA tax is. Next, we need to discuss the reasons why special tax provisions are required for such online service providers. Thereafter, we need to discuss how such services are taxed in India, the issues involved therein and finally give suggestions as to what needs to be done.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that France recently announced introduction of GAFA tax and explain what it is.

Body

  • Discuss the rationale for having separate taxation provisions for such services – digital economy is characterized by a unique system of value creation resulting from a combination of factors such as sales functions, algorithms and personal information of users. What distinguishes technology companies from traditional businesses is user participation in creating value, which, in turn, translates into revenue.
  • Explain about similar taxation provisions in India. Finance Act, 2016, accommodated a 6% equalisation levy (EL) in lieu of specified digital services provided to residents in India. However, EL can only be imposed on advertising services. Thereafter, through the Finance Act, 2018, the Income Tax Act was amended to expand the meaning of business connection to “significant economic presence”, which includes digital services
  • Discuss about the issues involved therein such as assessing the value created, difference of opinion between source countries and others etc and how such issues can be resolved.

Conclusion – Explain that this is an important tax revenue for government and discuss the way forward.


Topic-Inclusive growth

3) The aspirational districts programme will play a key role in bridging the development gap is vital to social and political stability. Examine. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The progress shown by some of the districts under the aspirational districts programme leads us to harbour belief that sustained focus on the progress of these districts would enable us to bridge the developmental gap. It is important to know about this programme and the impact that it creates.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain about the aspirational districts programme. Next, we need to explain about the impact that this programme is having in the social indicators of these backward districts and bring out how it can help us achieve SDG etc.

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 – Highlight that unevenness of development has been flagged as a major issue by economic survey.

Body

  • Explain what aspirational districts programme is and how it plans to take India on to the path of inclusive growth. Under the “aspirational districts” programme, central and state officials are working closely to identify the strength of each district and use it to catalyse growth. NITI Aayog, which anchors the programme, has ranked these districts on their performance in key development areas of health and nutrition, education, farming, water resources, financial inclusion, skill development and access to basic infrastructure such as road, potable water and power.
  • Discuss about the progress shown by some of the districts in achieving their targets and what it means for achieving SDG and bringing the inequality across regions.
  • Explain why bridging this inequality vital to ensure political and social stability.

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.


General Studies – 4


Topic-Part of static series under the heading – “Tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections”

4) What do you understand by tolerance? Evaluate the importance of tolerance in contemporary world?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what tolerance is and bring out the importance of tolerance in contemporary world. We need to discuss how tolerance is important for resolving the issues faced by contemporary world.

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 what tolerance is – Tolerance is restraint from reacting to unpleasing or unfavorable happenings. It requires high moral, forbearance, patience and a large heart to tolerate. Tolerance is fundamental for forgiveness and respect for contradictory views and practices.

Body

  • Discuss about the importance of tolerance in contemporary world at multiple levels – tolerance at individual level, at societal level, at government level, in terms of international relations etc
  • Discuss about issues such as religious strife, migration problem etc which can be addressed by cultivating the quality of tolerance.
  • Explain that the ethics of tolerance reinforces many values useful in current world such as respect for others, strengthening our own resilience etc

Conclusion – summarize your answer by re-emphasizing the importance of tolerance.

 


Topic– Aptitude and foundational values for civil service.

5) The Indian Constitution contains all such values, the values that are the universal, human and democratic of the modern age.
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 various constitutional values enshrined in the constitution of India and try to analyze them as universal, humanistic and democratic.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  meaning and role of values of a person/ organisation.

Body-

Discuss the key constitutional values of Indian democratic republic. E.g

  1. Discuss the values enshrined in the preamble to the constitution- sovereignty, socialism, secularism, unity and integrity, liberty, equality, fraternity, dignity of an individual etc.
  2. Discuss some other important constitutional values- promotion of international peace and justice etc
  3. Discuss their importance vis a bis public services. E.g discuss how fraternity is an important value or discuss about equality and secularism etc. Mention how constitutional values form the bedrock of other values of a nation and how they are prim

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

 


Topic– Foundational values for civil service

6) “Empathy without sympathy is dangerous; sympathy without empathy is blind.” Comment.(250 words)

Reference

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 empathy and sympathy and form an opinion as to whether empathy without sympathy is dangerous and whether sympathy without empathy blind. We have to support our opinion with substantial and valid arguments and facts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  meaning of empathy e.g ability to comprehend the emotional state of the other person etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss the meaning and scope of empathy and sympathy in detail. E.g Empathy means “feeling into” — the ability to project one’s personality into another person and more fully understand that person. Empathy allows you to imagine what it’s like to be me, him, or her; Sympathy means “feeling with” – the ability to project another person’s experience into our heart and feel benevolence for her etc.
  2. Discuss why empathy without sympathy can be dangerous. E.g Empathy is cognitive. It is the capacity to infer how another person senses, feels and thinks. It doesn’t mean anything more than ‘I am aware what it feels like to be in your shoes and see the world from where you are.’ It is a purely operational concept without moral value. You can be a very empathetic psychopath. In fact, the most dangerous psychopaths are highly empathetic etc.
  3. Discuss why sympathy without empathy is blind. E.g Sympathy allows you to feel compassion and concern for others; You can’t relate effectively until you see the world the way others do. But to relate effectively with another human being you also need sympathy. You cannot appreciate others in a mature way until you respect them, accept the legitimacy of their perspectives and take them on sympathetically.

Give real life examples to illustrate your point and score better marks.

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


Topic– Foundational values for civil service- empathy.

7) Do you think we can help other people in managing their emotions. Comment, along with an an example.(250 words)

Reference

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 emotional intelligence and whether people can be taught from outside, by other persons, to manage their emotions. We have to form our opinion based on a proper discussion and presentation of valid arguments and facts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Emotions. E.g Although you can’t observe the internal states of others, you can observe external signs. Emotions have a physical component (flushing cheeks) and a behavioral component (tightening fists).

Body

  1. Write a few lines indicating your opinion as to whether other people can be helped to manage their emotions. E.g You can make valid inferences about the other’s feelings based upon these observable emotional clues (physical and behavioral), an understanding of the other’s situation; your attribution of values and objectives to the other, and your projection onto the other of the emotional dynamics you would experience in a similar situation (empathy);  You can’t read another’s mind. On the other hand, disregarding emotional signs is a great disadvantage. The skillful way to work with attributions (inferences about another person’s emotional and mental state) is to base them upon the best evidence available, state them tentatively (acknowledging that they are just your interpretation) and ask the other to verify them.
  2. Discuss the ways and process of  teaching other people to manage their emotions. E.g Acceptance—diffusion—Inquiry and listening—coaching questions 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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