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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 04 October 2019

[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 04  October 2019

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General Studies – 1


Topic: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

1) Explain the essential features of the Vijaynagara Architecture Period. Elaborate also upon prominent foreign influences over it if any. (250 words)

 Indian art and culture by Nitin Singhania/ Tamil Nadu NCERT

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS-I and is based on the study of architectural features of the Vijaynagara empire.

Key demand of the question:

The question asks the features of Vijaynagara architecture and the foreign influences over it.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Introduce by writing about the Importance or significance of Vijaynagara architecture.

Body:

First part should cover the features of Vijaynagara architecture in detail along with examples of famous engineering marvels found in the period.

The next part should deal with how the Bahamani Sultanate, The Deccani Sultanate and Portuguese etc. influenced the Vijaynagara architecture.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the fact that though influences were present, the core of Vijaynagara architecture was completely indigenous.


Topic: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

2) Discuss the causative factors that led to rise of Jainism and Buddhism in India and comment on their significant impact on the socio-economic fabric of the India society.  (250 words)

 Indian art and culture by Nitin Singhania/ NCERT – Ancient History by R S Sharma

Why this question:

The question is based upon the theme of evolution of Jainism and Buddhism as significant turning points in the ancient history of India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate the rise of Buddhism and Jainism, causes and the impact that they left on the society.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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: 

One can start by stating that Jainism and Buddhism emerged as the most potent religious reform movements during later Vedic period.

Body:

The answer must capture the following points in detail:

  • Discuss the conditions prevailing prior to rise of Jainism and Buddhism.
  • Discuss the factors that led to their rise – social, economic factors and the Brahminical supremacy.
  • Examine the impact that Jainism and Buddhism made on India – on the development of literature, art and architecture, philosophy, caste system etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Jainism and Buddhism arose to suit the needs of a changing society, patronized by an emerging class and left an indelible mark on India’s culture, architecture, philosophy and way of living that persist even today.


Topic: population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3) Many reports have found that people not only across rural India but also in urban areas defecate in open due to a lack of toilets, especially in impoverished settlements. In the light of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s declaration of India being “Open Defecation-Free”, Analyse if India’s ODF status is truly a reality. (250 words)

The hindu

The hindu

Why this question:

The question seeks to examine the status of Open defecation in India.

Key demand of the question:

October 2nd 2019 was Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary; it was also the anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Speaking in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared India “open defecation-free”.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, 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. 

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In short define – Open defecation free is broadly defined by the absence of visible feces in the environment.

Body:

Explain first the relevant statistics in the country with respect to ODF status.

Then discuss what has been the government’s strategy.

Explain the Behavioural pattern – Many reports have found that several people in villages across India, including the national capital, were still forced to defecate in open due to lack of toilets, especially in impoverished colonies.

People in few pockets in the states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have functional latrine but have continued to defecate in the open.

Discuss other areas that need introspection – India generates over 150,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. Only 83% of waste is collected and less than 30% is treated. As noted above, the government has chosen to prioritise toilet construction at the cost of waste management services.

Lives of manual scavengers across Indian cities do not seem to have changed much in the years of SBM.

Many rural Indians were threatened with or even denied their legal rights, such as PDS ration, for not building a latrine. Officials resorted to threats of fines and jail terms to intimidate people in some places etc. 

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward by highlighting the positives of the move.


General Studies – 2


Topic:    Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

4) US – China trade war has now entered an unchartered territory and has begun to affect sectors other than just economy. Critically analyse the statement in the backdrop of ongoing trade war.(250 words)

The hindu

The hindu

Why this question:

The question is based on the ongoing trade war between US-China and the spillover effect of the same across different sectors.

Key demand of the question:

One has to bring out different dimensions other than just economy that have taken a hit across the world owing to the trade war between the two.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen asked to analyse, 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, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief explain the context of the question.

Body:

Explain in detail the following aspects – 

First discuss the tariff aggression between the two countries, how it began and what the underlying causes were.

Explain Why US faces a trade deficit vis-à-vis china? – Imports from China account for more than a fifth of aggregate U.S. imports. With exports to China being nowhere as large, the U.S. runs an annual trade deficit with that country of around $420 billion, which ‘imbalance’ is attributed to Chinese policy.

Discuss the various fronts other than economy that have taken the hit like the technology front, currency front, deglobalisation etc.

Also have a brief write up specifically discussing impact on India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.


Topic:   Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

5) Regardless of digitisation bringing an epitome shift in governance, challenges exist in Indian Governance methodology. Evaluate.(250 words)

Financialexpress

Why this question:

The article discusses in detail how India has managed to leverage digital technology to usher in socio-economic equity and growth in the last 10 years.

Key demand of the question:

One is expected to analyse the challenges or shortfalls that Indian governance system faces despite the aid of digitization.

Directive:

EvaluateWhen you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgment 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: 

In brief start by explaining the relevance of digitization to Indian governance approach.

Body:

First explain how Digitization brought in a paradigm shift in governance—from welfare mode to entitlement mode.

Discuss the merits and demerits of Digitization to the Indian governance system.

Relate it to the concept of good governance.

Explain the challenges associated and in what way digitization alone cannot be a quick fix to the issues and that a multi-pronged approach is needed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.


General Studies – 3


Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

6) The excess rains and the wettest monsoons in 25 years have led to widespread flooding across states, and an avoidably heavy death toll. In this context discuss the urgency for pan-India institutional mechanisms for disaster management to mitigate and control floods.(250 words)

Economictimes

Why this question:

The article details upon the recent disasters faced by the country across its states ranging from drought to floods that have left the country in vein.

Key demand of the question:

One must elucidate upon the urgency for pan-India institutional mechanisms for disaster management to mitigate and control floods.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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: 

In brief narrate the recent incidences of floods across the country.

Body:

Explain first how excess rains and the wettest monsoons in 25 years have led to widespread flooding across states, and an avoidably heavy death toll.

Use a case study to explain and justify the demands of the question better.

Explain how Odisha’s community-based disaster preparedness and response serves as a model.

Discuss methodologies and strategies that need to be designed and followed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.


General Studies – 4


Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7) Elaborate on the virtues of courage and insistence on inter-faith harmony as propounded by Mahatma Gandhi.(250 words)

Economictimes

Why this question:

The article talks about the greatest virtues of courage and insistence on inter-faith harmony that was practiced by Mahatma Gandhi.

Key demand of the question:

The question is straightforward and is about elaborating upon the two virtues of courage and insistence on inter-faith harmony.

Directive:

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief define the two virtues in short.

Body:

Discuss the significance of courage – It is a virtue when we choose to do good, especially when that is most difficult. Courage most demands our respect when it incurs risk without selfish motivation. Courage is moral strength in the face of danger. Courage is most virtuous when it is combined with knowledge, wisdom, and opinion.

Discuss the idea as propounded by Gandhi and other thinkers such as Aristotle who described the virtue of courage.

Also discuss the importance of inter-faith harmony from the perspectives of Mahatma.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance that the two virtues hold even today.



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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