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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 13 February 2020

[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 13 February 2020

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2020: YEARLONG TIMETABLE


General Studies – 1


 

Topic:  Social empowerment . Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

1. The gender gap in the STEM sector has been snowballing in the past few decades. Critically examine the reasons behind such trend spatially and temporally. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

February 11 was celebrated as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, established by the United Nations to promote equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must critically examine the reasons behind the widening gender gap in the STEM sector and suggest solutions to overcome the same.

Directive:

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. 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:

Briefly explain key facts indicating the gender gap in the field of Science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Body:

According to a 2018 fact sheet prepared by UNESCO on women in science, just 28.8% of researchers are women. It defines researchers as “professionals engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge”. In India, this drops to 13.9%.

Highlight more such facts to substantiate the criticality of the gap.

Discuss the underlying causes of it, such as –

  • Various studies have found that girls excel at mathematics and science-oriented subjects in school, but boys often believe they can do better, which shapes their choices in higher studies.
  • In 2015, an analysis of PISA scores by OECD found that the difference in math scores between high-achieving boys and girls was the equivalent of about half a year at school.
  • But when comparing boys and girls who reported similar levels of self-confidence and anxiety about mathematics, the gender gap in performance disappeared — when girls were more anxious, they tended to perform poorly.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting solutions to overcome the issue.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

2. Without the requisite rules, regulations, and machinery in place, it is not surprising that the Lokpal has failed to meet expectations. Critically analyse the statement with respect to the functioning of Lokpal in India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

More than six years after the Lokpal law received the President’s assent; the institution of the Lokpal is yet to play any significant role in tackling corruption in the country.  Thus the background of the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the lacunae with respect to the ill-functioning of the office of Lokpal and suggest what needs to be done.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When 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:

Briefly explain the background of the coming of the office of Lokpal into existence.

Body:

A nationwide public campaign in 2011 demanding an independent anti-corruption ombudsman resulted in the passage of the Lokpal law in India. The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 had been enacted to ensure a prompt and fair investigation and prosecution, in cases of corruption against public servants. The Lokpal had been envisioned to be independent and was accorded a high stature and given extensive powers including the power to inquire, investigate and prosecute acts of corruption. Then explain the concerns involved – Delay in appointments, Government’s lack of intent, lack of Independence of the Lokpal etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting way ahead; recommend steps that need to be taken to overcome the challenge.

 

Topic:  Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

3. Discuss the provisions available to resolve the problem of criminalization of politics in India and also suggest steps that need to be taken to address it more effectively. (250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times

Why this question:

The Supreme Court on Thursday will pronounce its verdict on steps to be taken to address the problem of criminalization of politics. In its judgment, the court is expected to decide whether directions can be issued to political parties to deny tickets to candidates with criminal background.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the available provisions to decriminalize politics in the country and the steps that are yet to be taken in this direction.

Directive:

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:

Briefly explain what you understand by criminalization of politics.

Body:

Criminalization of Politics means that the criminals entering the politics and contesting elections and even getting elected to the Parliament and state legislature.

Discuss the underlying causes of it.

  • It takes place primarily because of the nexus between the criminals and some of the politicians.
  • The criminals need the patronage of politicians occupying public offices to continue with their criminal activities and the politicians need the money and muscle power that the criminals can offer to the politicians to win elections. In course of time, the nexus led the criminals themselves to contest elections.

Present the case of India.

Suggest key provisions that are yet to be put in place.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the need for cleansing politics of criminal influence has been flagged once again. The primary sacrifice at the altar of criminalization is that of governance, along with transparency and accountability. Expensive election campaigning favour candidates with strong financial background. Such candidates, when elected, seek to recover their expenses besides securing a corpus for the future election as quickly as possible, especially in the era of coalition governments with tenuous stability.

 

Topic:  India and its neighbourhood- relations.Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

4.Discuss the indispensability of a strong relation between India and Sri Lanka. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The question is in the backdrop of Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s official visit to India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the indispensability of a strong relation between India and Sri Lanka despite odds and the strains that the two countries faced in the past.

Directive:

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:

Briefly explain the background of relationship between the two countries.

Body:

Trace the relationship over a timeline from past to present. Discuss the avenues that the two countries have for each other, where they can manifest a strong bilateral relationship. Explain the challenges involved. Suggest what steps are being taken by the government of India to ensure better and stronger ties between the two countries.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

5. India needs more podiums like the National Bio-Entrepreneurship Competition, to democratize innovation for ideas with great prospective societal impact. Comment.(250 words)

Reference: Financial Express

Why this question:

The article discusses in detail the fact that India needs more platforms like the National Bio-Entrepreneurship Competition, which democratizes innovation access for ideas with large potential societal impact

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of innovation and entrepreneurship platforms in the country to foster the same for greater societal impact.

Directive:

Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the need for innovation.

Body:

Discuss that India is home to the third-largest congregation of startups, after the US, and China. This infectious spirit of innovation is permeating everywhere. Unlike any other time in India’s recent history, multitudes are endeavoring to create bottom-up science-based solutions to our challenges. The need for nationwide ideas platforms to support innovators is paramount. Highlight the significance of platforms like National Bio-Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC). Take hints from the article and explain the significance of entrepreneurship to the country.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

6. Discuss the role of Social influence, peer-pressure in shaping behavior of a person. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper IV.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the role of Social influence, peer-pressure in shaping behavior of a person.

Directive:

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:

Discuss what you understand by peer pressure.

Body:

Peer pressure (or social pressure) is the direct influence on people by peers, or the effect on an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitudesvalues or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing group or individual. This can result in either a positive or negative effect, or both. Discuss the effect of social pressure on different sections of the society – children, adolescents, young and old. Explain the positives and negatives of it.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Susceptibility to social influence is associated with a host of negative outcomes during adolescence. However, emerging evidence implicates the role of peers and parents in adolescents’ positive and adaptive adjustment.

 

Topic:  Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

7. Discuss some of the key theories of Attitude formation. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is again straightforward and from the static portions of GS paper IV.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the key theories of Attitude formation.

Directive:

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:

Briefly explain what you understand by attitude formation.

Body:

The body of the answer must explain – Theories of Attitude formation:

 (1) Classical/Pavlov conditioning

 (2) Instrumental / Operant learning

 (2) Observational learning

Discuss the theories in detail; explain how these theories can be applied in real life.

Explain the significance of formation of right attitude.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of attitude formation.