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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 19 February 2019

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[Insights Secure – 2019] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 19 February 2019

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Tomorrow’s Static Topic: salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


General Studies – 1


Topic: salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1) Benode Behari Mukherjee made great strides in Indian paintings besides his physical disability. 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 contribution and legacy of B.B Mukherjee towards Indian art and culture.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  B.B Mukherjee. E.g Born into a highly literate family, a childhood illness had left him blind in one eye and myopic in the other. Unable to pursue formal education, Santiniketan is where Mukherjee gave new life to the close association he had built with nature.

Body-

Discuss in points the works and contribution of B.B Mukherjee towards Indian art and culture. E.g

  • Back in Santiniketan, in 1946-47 Mukherjee designed what has been described as “perhaps the single most important work painted in modern India” — his mural Life of the Medieval Saints which featured the numerous saint-poets of India.
  • In the exhibition, we see the mountainous terrain with sloping roofs and cloudy skies. The landscape changes in the ’50s, when Mukherjee moves to Mussoorie
  • With further deterioration in his eyesight, there is a visible change in the line detailing of his landscapes.
  • Appointed educational adviser at the Art School of Patna in 1954, he began to draw more from memory.
  • “The definite strokes, the graceful web of assured touches, and the measured wash of colour, characteristic of his work so far, give way to vague scribbles, harder edges, and thicker layers of pigment etc.

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


Topic-  salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2) Discuss the emergence and evolution of Buddhist art in 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 as to how Buddhist art and architecture emerged in India and how did it evolve over the course of time.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the early  Buddhist art. E.g “Early Buddhist art did not show the Buddha in human form. In relief sculptures at early stupa sites, his presence is indicated by symbols such as the lotus (signifying purity), the eight-spoked wheel (emblem of the Buddha’s law), the parasol (ancient symbol of royalty), and a footprint (the Buddha’s presence).

Body-

Discuss how Buddhist art emerged and evolved in India. E.g

  • There is no Buddhist art that dates back to period when Buddha was alive nor is there any from and the centuries that followed.
  • Not until the first century A.D., more than five hundred years after his death, do images of the Buddha in human form begin to appear.
  • In the first century A.D., under the Kushan rulers, the Buddha began to be depicted in human form.
  • Different styles of art emerged from the two Kushan capitals, one in the Peshawar area of Gandhara and the other at Mathura further southeast in India.
  • After Mahayana Buddhism began to take hold in the A.D. 1st century “a whole pantheon of Mahayana Buddhist deities began to appear to aide the devotee—Buddhas of the past, bodhisattvas such as Maitreya (Buddha of the Future), and Vajrapani (“thunderbolt bearer”), who had evolved from the chief Vedic god Indra.
  • “In the Gupta period, artists developed a vocabulary of idealized forms derived from nature with which they constructed images of transcendent beings: for example, eyes like lotus petals, head oval like an egg, eyebrows like an archer’s bow, and chin like a mango stone. These conventions continued to be used in India after the Gupta period etc.

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


Topic-  salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

3) Avadhana is a unique classical Indian art of spontaneous creation. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

wikipedia

The hansindia

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 Avadhana as an art form and write at length about the creativity involved therein.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  Avadhana. E.g Avadhana literally means concentration. Avadhana is a unique classical Indian art of spontaneous creation. It is a feat of the mind.

Body-

Discuss in points about Avadhana, in detail and discuss the creativity involved in the art form. E.g

  • In an avadhana, a person is expected to simultaneously cogitate and answer questions on a variety of topics related to literature, music, astronomy, medical science and more.
  • The oldest available details of Ashtavadhana are recorded in Kannada language, dating back to 1200 A.D.  In ancient India, the method of “avadhana-kala” or “art of concentration” was developed to memorize the Vedas.
  • It involves the partial improvisation of poems using specific themes, metres, forms, or words.
  • The true purpose of an Avadhanam event thus is the showcasing, through entertainment, of superior mastery of cognitive capabilities – of observation, memory, multitasking, task switching, retrieval, reasoning and creativity in multiple modes of intelligence – literature, poetry, music, mathematical calculations, puzzle solving etc.
  • Avadhānaṃ can be considered as the Divided attention (clinical model of attention) as it is the highest level of attention and it refers to the ability to respond simultaneously to multiple tasks or multiple task demands.
  • There were many types of avadhanas which have been developed, depending on the number of examiners and the types of questions which are posed to the subject. If there are eight examiners, it is called ashtavadhana (ashta = eight in Sanskrit).

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

 


General Studies – 2


Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers

4) Supreme Court’s recent decision flags the need to address complexities in Centre- NCTD relations.Analyze. (250 words)

The hindu

The hindu

Why this question

The recent judgement of the SC on centre-Delhi relations has increased the ambiguity in the matter. The judgment follows a previous judgement by the SC last year. In this context it is important to discuss the issue in detail.

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 dig deeper into the Centre- NCTD relations and bring out their complexity and the need to address the same.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  NCTD- Centre relations. E.g mention the legal/ legislative status of NCTD.

Body-

Discuss the complexity of the relationship. E.g discuss the recent judgement of the SC and the judgement given last year in the LG vs Delhi case. E.g

  • 2018 judgement – It held that the Lt. Governor has to act either on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, or abide by the decision of the President on a reference made by him.
  • The power to refer “any matter” to the President did not mean “every matter” should necessarily be referred to the President.
  • Recent judgement  (Union Territory of Delhi in Bir Singh versus Delhi Jal Board)    – Both judges agree that there is no ‘service’ in the Delhi government, as all its employees come under the ‘Central services’. Its civil servants are drawn from the DANICS cadre, a service common to various Union Territories.
  • Justice Sikri believes that going by a Constitution Bench decision last year, the NCTD would indeed have the power to deploy officials within its own departments. However, the absence of a public service in Delhi means Entry 41 in the State List (services; service commissions) would imply that it is a matter inapplicable to ‘Union Territories’, and therefore, the LG need not act on the Delhi government’s aid and advice.
  • Therefore, he favours a solution under which transfers and postings of officers in the rank of Joint Secretary and above could be directly submitted to the LG, and those of others be processed by the Council of Ministers and sent to the LG. In case of any dispute, the LG’s view will prevail.
  • Justice Bhushan, on the other hand, has ruled that once it is accepted that there is no ‘service’ under the NCTD, there is no scope for its government to exercise any executive power in this regard.
  • A larger Bench will now decide on the question relating to control over the services.

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


 

Topic– India and its bilateral relations

5) India has a lot to gain from supporting the reform agenda of Mohammed Bin Salman.  Critically analyze. (250 words)

Indianexpress

 

Why this question

This article delves deep into the background of India’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and the issues and enablers of the relationship. The article makes a case in factor of supporting MBS’s reform agenda as he speaks about overturning the policies pursued since 1979. This question is important because of the importance of bilateral relationship, impending visit of MBS and the situation in Kashmir.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain about the reform agenda of Mohammed Bin Salman, discuss the historical perspective and other issues and possibilities of the relationship and give our view on what would be a good strategy for India going 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 – Explain why the issue is in news – importance of bilateral relationship, impending visit of MBS and the situation in Kashmir.

Body

  • Explain about the reform agenda of MBS –
    • According to him policies that Saudi arabia pursued after 1979 are now a drag on a productive Saudi future. Prince Salman vowed to overcome the deviations of 1979 and return Saudi Arabia to “moderate Islam”.
    • House of Saud began to promote a more conservative Islam at home and support Sunni extremism abroad. This included support to the jihad in Afghanistan and the American and Pakistani war against the Soviet-backed regime in Kabul. Gen Zia-ul- Haq took advantage of the new regional dynamic push Pakistan towards Islamic conservatism.
    • Highlight the other items of the agenda in brief such as ending corruption and the way in which the agenda is being put in place by MBS including the Khashoggi incident
  • Discuss the historical perspective of India Saudi relationship, the issues involved such as
    • Stand of Saudi Arabia on Kashmir issue
    • Oil diplomacy
    • India as an attractive investment decision for Saudi Arabia
    • The religion issue and the Pakistan Ange etc
    • The agreements in pipeline
    • Human rights issues

Conclusion – Based on your arguments made above, give a fair and balanced opinion and way ahead for India.


General Studies – 3


Topic – challenges to internal security

6) India urgently needs a national security doctrine and another knee jerk reaction will not suffice. Critically comment. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Reference

Why this question

The Pulwama strike has raised several questions over the internal security situation in the country particularly with respect to Kashmir. The issue highlights the need for a national security doctrine as discussed in the article.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the recent incident which has brought intense focus on the Kashmir issue. Here based on reasoned arguments and from different perspectives we need to discuss what should be our next step, with a special emphasis on whether and what revisions does India require in its doctrine. We need to conclude with our own take on the issue and justify our stand.

Directive word

Critically 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. 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 – Discuss why this issue is in news and set the foundation for the discussion that follows.

Body

  • Highlight why this attack has shaken the nation and posed new challenges for national security
    • deadliest ever terror strike against security forces in three decades of militancy in Kashmir.
    • Jaish has carried out other attacks in Kashmir in recent years, including the one at Uri and at Pathankot, highlights terrorism emanating from Pakistan
    • Issues of strategic significance such as relationship with China, developments in Afghanistan
    • One of the first instances of a vehicle-borne IED being used in J&K, the success of this tactic could mark a new phase in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations.
  • Comment on how should India react. Highlight the pros and cons of your suggestion. Also discuss what is India’s national security doctrine and what inclusions /exclusions should be made in that.

Conclusion – Give your view and justify it on the basis of the arguments made above.

 



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. 

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