[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 18 February 2019

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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 18 February 2019

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2019: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 

Tomorrow’s Static Topic: Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance
and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information,
Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery,
Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.


General Studies – 1


Topic: Modern Indian History.

1) What was the third battle of Panipat all about? Examine whether the battle had distinctly religious undertones? What were the consequences of the battle?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The article examines the 3rd battle of Panipat and discusses whether the battle had only religious undertones. It discusses the impact of the battle and the parallels that can be drawn in current times. The article gives us an opportunity for us to revise the battle and its impacts.

Key demand of the question

The demand of the question is clearly spent out in the question. We need to answer the three parts of the question in sequence.

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

Body – Highlight the stakeholders in the battle and its outcome.

  • Highlight the details of the battle – who were involved, causes of the battle and the outcome
  • Examine whether the battle was solely motivated by religious reasons
    • The combined army of Durrani and his allies were numerically superior to the Maratha army. Shuja-ud-daulah’s support also proved decisive as he provided the necessary finances for the Afghans’ long stay in northern India.
    • The century saw an array of social movements, organised around religion, community articulations, and agrarian expansion, often crystallising into coherent political entities. It was a period made for political adventurism, with shifting alliances making any political calculation virtually impossible.
    • In terms of realpolitik, what mattered was the steady growth of Maratha power northward, in the form of both territorial control as well as mediation in matters of deciding succession in regional states. Maratha operations were not especially well received — for example, by Jat ruler Surajmal.
    • Durrani chief was able to enlist the support of several malcontents (the Rohilla chief, the Nawab of Awadh) and most impressively, of the warrior ascetics, the Naga sanyasis and Gosains etc
  • Discuss the impact of the battle
    • More than anything, the Marathas’ inability to persuade the Rajputs, Jats and Sikhs to fight on their side proved fatal for the Marathas and such divisions allowed the east India company to establish their dominance
    • Battle of Panipat temporarily halted the Maratha advance, and enabled the East India Company to maintain a low profile for a while, consolidate its early gains in Bengal, and subsequently make a strong bid for supremacy in the subcontinent.

Conclusion – Give your view on the impact of the third battle of Panipat on modern Indian history.


General Studies – 2


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

2) Discuss how Swachh Bharat changed India and became a global inspiration?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The news that On the lines of Swachh Bharat mission Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari declared a state of emergency and launched a new National Action Plan for the sector. It is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery and the news calls for assessing the impact of SBM both domestically and globally.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss in brief about SBM, examine in detail the benefits accrued by the mission both domestically and internationally. Thereafter it expects is to highlight the reasons behind the Nigerian government’s decision and give our view on the success of SBM.

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 the Swachh Bharat Mission

Body

  • Discuss the domestic impact of SBM
    • The SBM has transformed into a massive ‘Jan Andolan’ created on the ground using information, education, and communication, aiming to bring behaviour change.
    • Since the inception of the program, the rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39% in October 2014 to 95% today. Nearly 8.7 crore household toilets have been constructed under the Mission.
    • As a result, almost 25 States/Union Territories, 529 districts, and 5,09,067 villages have declared themselves as free from open defecation.
    • National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) conducted under the World Bank support project found that 93.4% of the households in rural India who have access to a toilet use it, confirming that behaviour change is happening on the ground etc
    • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6.1 and 6.2 deals with water and sanitation respectively in which SBM is playing a massive role
  • Highlight about Nigeria’s decision to take learnings from the implementation of the programme in India
    • Experts are worried that Nigeria may overtake India as number one in open defecation.
    • Country made several efforts towards improving access to sanitation such adoption of the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to scale up sanitation in rural areas. National and sub-national specific roadmaps were developed on lines of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
    • Many developing countries share similar challenges to India which makes Indian experience in this area invaluable – large population, decentralised government structure and WASH challenges. Etc
  • Discuss about the limitations of the mission in India which these countries should be wary of

Conclusion – give your view and discuss way forward.


 

Topic– Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

3) Effective drug pricing in the country is a problem still waiting for a solution. Examine in context of the parliamentary panel report ?(250 words)

Downtoearth

 

Why this question

The article analyzes the parliamentary committee report on how the centre has failed to not just reign in escalating drug prices but has also not been able to curb the business of substandard drugs. High OoPE is a huge issue when it comes to health management in the country and the issue is closely related to that.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the details of the parliamentary committee report, discuss the reasons why the parliamentary committee report has come to the conclusions that it has and the impact of the report. Thereafter, we need to give suggestions regarding what can be done to improve the situation.

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 OoPE is a major health management related issue in the country in which high drug cost has a huge role. Also, highlight the problem of spurious drugs.

Body

  • Discuss details of the report
    • The Centre has failed to not just reign in escalating drug prices but has also not been able to curb the business of substandard drugs, according to a Parliamentary standing committee report
    • drugs account for more than 70 per cent of one’s medical expenses.
    • anyone hardly ever invests on drug innovation in India
    • panel also highlighted that difference between prices of drugs sold at Jan Aushadhi Kendras (JAKs) and that of branded medicines is too high due to promotional cost. So it asked the government to ensure drug prices are not more than a certain ceiling fixed by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority. But, it did not define the ceiling.
    • there are too few JAKs in the country etc
  • Discuss the reasons for the issues as highlighted above and evaluate the findings of the committee
    • The recommendation of the committee to bring more number of drug formulations under the NLEM will not sit well with the drug manufacturers who feel that such ceiling adversely impact innovations
    • Moreover the focus should be on ensuring adherence etc
  • Discuss the impact of the recommendations of the committee

Conclusion – Give your view and suggest way forward.


General Studies – 3


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

4) The concept of social media democracy is a myth because of its unequal architecture. Comment.(250 words)

Epw

Reference

Why this question

Recently Indian Parliamentary forum has summoned Twitter CEO and in the recent past Facebook CEO was summoned by the US parliament. In this context it is important to discuss the democratization of social media and the myth of digital democracy.

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 dig deep into the issue of digital democracy and the efforts to democratize the social media and bring out why the same is a myth because of the unequal digital architecture.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  recent attempts of the world to democratize social media.

Body-

  1. Discuss what do you understand by democratization of social media. E.g creating social media as an institution of political activism and participation; giving political voice to the social media users; providing information and initiating dialogue/ discussion among social media users around a policy/ welfare measure etc.
  2. Discuss why social media democracy is a myth. E.g
  • We tend to presume that the internet is an inherently equalising space, but why do some voices get amplified, while others remain unheard
  • When anonymous private entities with high capital can pay for more space for their opinions, they are effectively buying a louder voice.
  • Not every voice on the internet commands the same kind of audience. If political discourse in the digital sphere is a matter of out-shouting one’s opponent till an election is won, then the quality of politics suffers.
  • Voices from the grass roots do not have the volume to compete with the kind of resources that larger political parties can employ for mobilising the vote bank.
  • We can scrutinise expenditure of political parties on social media, but can we scrutinise the money spent by individuals at the behest of political parties? These nebulous connections within the architecture of social media platforms have enabled political parties to meet the dual goals of profitability and popularity etc.

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


Topic – Environment conservation

5) The biodiversity of the Hindu-Kush region, faces huge challenges, and there is an urgent need to protect it. Analyze.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Recently a report highlighting the plight and fate of biodiversity in the Hindukush region has been released. In this context it is important to analyze the threats faced by the region and the need to increase our conservation efforts in this direction.

Directive word

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 recently released report of the ICIMOD and bring out the threats faced by the region of Hindu Kush and then bring out the need for preservation of the same.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  recently released ICIMOD report. E.g According to data cited in the assessment report, 70–80% of the region’s original habitat has already been lost and that loss may increase to 80–87% by 2100.

Body-

  1. Discuss the threats and challenges faced by The biodiversity in the Hindu Kush region. E.g A quarter of endemic species in the Indian Himalayas alone could be wiped out by 2100;  And this is only set to worsen with the growing impacts of climate change, along with new infrastructure development, trade routes and hydropower dams planned for the fragile region; Along with species loss this will mean the loss of the key environmental services the region provides – such as water and carbon storage – to the rest of Asia; bout 40% of the HKH region is designated as protected areas, but actual implementation of conservation measures is patchy. Many of these areas are remote and authorities have little control over border regions sometimes plagued with ongoing conflict etc.
  2. Discuss the need to preserve the same. E.g The mountains of the Hindu Kush Himalaya contain the most biodiverse regions in the world – some of it still undiscovered; Spanning a vast distance from Afghanistan in the west to China in the east – the region is not only vast tracts of snow and ice. It encompasses lush tropical valleys, mountain forests, alpine meadows to high altitude grasslands and wetlands as well as arid steppes; These provide habitat to a diversity of rare endangered animals – including tigers, elephants, musk deer, red panda and snow leopards. Most of these species – apart from the Tibetan antelope and Giant panda of which numbers have rebounded in the past decade – are being driven to extinction; Rhododendrons, orchids, rare medicinal and wild edible plants are also under threat etc.

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

 


General Studies – 4


Topic– Code of Ethics

6) Code of ethics is not a solution for the problems of any organisation, and can on the contrary make things worse. 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 of the code of ethics and form an opinion as to why/ why not the code of ethics is sufficient for an organisation and what problems it could create for an entity.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Code of ethics. E.g write a simple definition of the term.

Body-

  1. Discuss briefly the advantages of having a code of conduct. E.g it motivates and guides employees to behave ethically; provides a moral direction and purpose to the organisation; helps build standards and is useful in decision making etc.
  2. Discuss why it is not sufficient and what problems could possibly arise because of the code of ethics. E.g Codes of ethics need a strong institutional backing to function effectively. Without a positive culture of support, they can be useless; The very idea of parcelling ethics into a formal ‘code’ is also dangerous, if it leads to the attitude that ethics itself is just some separate part of life and of activities; it’s not; there is a background assumption that ethics can be fully articulated, and not only that, articulated well enough to be distilled into a set of instructions and recommendations that can be understood by a variety of people working within an institutional context etc.

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


Topic-  work culture

7) What do you understand by the bureaucratic work culture and how can we deal with it. 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 meaning and issues faced under a bureaucratic work culture and also write in detail as to how we can deal with the issues therein.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  work culture. E.g mention the meaning of work culture and highlight what signifies bureaucratic work culture.

Body-

  1. Discuss the key issues and problems faced under a bureaucratic work culture. E.g lack of transparency; Seemingly Useless Policies; Lack of Decision-Making Ability; Endless Paperwork and Red Tape etc.
  2. Discuss how can we solve those issues and problems. E.g There’s really no guaranteed way to gain insight into your organisation’s inner workings. So we need to regularly communicate with your supervisor and ask what he or she knows about certain situations; It helps us to accept (and enforce) rules better if we are able to get more information about those reasons; By setting the correct expectations with anyone involved, you’ll eliminate the frustration that would have come with impossible or out of reach promises;  rules and policies are there because they make it possible for business to run smoothly. They may be frustrating, but they’re not going anywhere. But by adjusting the way you deal with the bureaucracy, you’ll be able to more easily navigate the waters—and you’ll make a big difference in your everyday work life 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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