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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 17 February 2020

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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 17 February 2020

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic:  Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1. Discuss the concept of geomagnetism and explain the impact of the recent shift in the Earth’s magnetic pole. (250 words)

Reference: National Geographic 

Why this question:

The question is from the Geography subject of GS paper I and is based on the concept of Geomagnetism.

Key demand of the question:

The question is straightforward and there isn’t much to deliberate, one must discuss the concept of geomagnetism and explain the impact of the recent shift in the Earth’s magnetic pole.

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 geomagnetism and mention the facts related to recent shift in Earth’s magnetic pole.

Body:

Start by explaining the aspects of Geomagnetism, Geomagnetism is the study of the dynamics of the Earth’s magnetic field, which is produced in the outer core. Discuss the shift – Earth’s magnetic field is known to have wandered and flipped in the geologic past.  The wandering of the magnetic pole has generally been quite slow, around 9 km a year, allowing scientists to easily keep track of its position. But since the turn of the century, this speed has increased to 50 km a year. Highlight the fact that recently, Earth’s magnetic North Pole has drifted so fast that the World Magnetic Model (a large spatial-scale representation of the Earth’s magnetic field) have had to officially redefine the location of the magnetic North Pole much earlier than expected. Discuss the impact of the shift in detail; explain how these changes can affect health and safety, and economic well-being in a myriad of ways like they can hamper navigation and surveying techniques, affects the power of Earth’s magnetic field to deflect harmful solar radiation and cosmic rays from entering Earth’s atmosphere etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the need to understand such geophysical changes for better understanding of the Earth.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary; Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

 2. “Judicial impartiality is a significant element of justice”, Elucidate in the backdrop of recusal made recently by Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar, Supreme Court judge. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

Recently, Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar, Supreme Court judge, recused from hearing the petition filed by Sarah Abdullah Pilot, sister of former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, challenging his detention under the J&K Public Safety Act. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the need and importance of Judicial impartiality and in what way it is a key element of Justice.

Directive:

Elucidate – 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:

Briefly explain what you understand by Judicial Impartiality.

Body:

Discuss the recent incidence of Recusal. In short explain what recusal is and how it acts as a tool to be impartial in the judicial system. Explain various options/methods available in the Indian judiciary that aid a judge to remain impartial. Highlight case studies from past to present of key judgments that mark the pivot of impartiality in the Indian Judiciary. Explain why Impartiality is a key factor in Judiciary.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Judicial impartiality is a significant element of justice. Judges should decide legal disputes free of any personal bias or prejudice. As a result of a conflict of interest, a judge may be unable to maintain impartiality in a case and thus should be disqualified. 

 

Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora. . Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

3. The United States Trade Representatives (USTR) has taken India and other countries off the developing country list. Account for in detail how this could affect Indian economy. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

Last week, The office of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) has updated its list of developing and least-developed countries, removing India from the list of countries that are designated as developing. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the impact of such a step taken by USTR on the Indian economy.

Directive:

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what the USTR list of Developed, Developing and least-developed countries is.

Body:

Discuss first the background of the issue. Explain why the classification was made and to what extent is it justified to categorize countries; any classification of whether a country is “developing” or not is bound to be arbitrary. While the economic progress that India and China have achieved over the last few decades is seen by some as reason enough to get rid of their special status, others point to the various development indicators in which India and China still lag behind the rich world. Highlight the fact that the global community is further divided on its opinion on whether such a classification is required in the first place. Then explain the reasons of why India being stripped of this status. Discuss the effects of such a step in detail.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the effects that India will have to face as a result of such decisions and suggest what India should do to face the challenge.

 

Topic:  Indian Constitution– historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.

4. The Reservation debate in India with the recent Supreme court’s pronouncement has pitted individual mobility versus class entitlements and the need of the state to identity ‘legitimate claimants’. Do you agree with the view that reservation benefits in Job promotions are not a fundamental right? Give reasons in support of your arguments. (250 words)

Reference: Economic Times

Why this question:

The recent Supreme court’s ruling that reservations in jobs, promotions are not a fundamental right reiterates a long-held reading of constitutional provisions on quota. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

One has to analyse the recent Supreme court’s decision upon the debate of reservations in promotions and present viewpoints with suitable justifications as to whether the judgment justifies the fact that reservation benefits in Job promotions are not a part of fundamental right.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the recent verdict of the Supreme court.

Body:

According to the recent verdict, there is no fundamental right to reservations in appointments and promotions under articles 16(4) and 16(4A) of the Constitution. The apex court ruled that it was the discretion of the governments, either at the state or central level, to grant reservation in promotions. First discuss what the constitution says on reservations – explain the Articles relevant to the discussion. Then discuss the various judgments of supreme court from past to present – case of 1 962 in the M.R. Balaji v. State of Mysore, 1967, C.A. Rajendran v. Union of India, Indra Sawhney v. Union of India (1992), M Nagaraj v. Union of India (2006) etc. Present your viewpoint and justify it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by asserting the significance of the judgment.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

5.What are Green Buildings? Do you think innovation in green buildings can help address the carbon challenge and harness an opportunity for sustainable development? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why this question:

The Bengaluru Smart City Limited (BSCL) has signed an MoU with CII’s Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) to give a boost to the Green Building Movement & Sustainable Development, and to facilitate greening of the city as per IGBC’s Green Cities Rating System.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the concept of Green building and in what way they can help in addressing the carbon challenge and attain sustainable development.

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:

Define what Green buildings are.

Body:

A ‘green’ building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment. Green buildings preserve precious natural resources and improve our quality of life. Then move onto discuss the salient features of Green buildings. Explain how green buildings can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and address the carbon challenge of the world. Discuss the efforts being made by India on this front.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Green buildings can prove to be true catalysts for addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues.

 


General Studies – 4


 

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.

6.“The virtue of integrity does not exist in isolation rather it involves several other virtues to supplement and complement it”, In the light of the above statement discuss in detail what way Integrity is not just a single trait in itself. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The theme of the question is the virtue of Integrity and the importance of it.

Key demand of the question:

The question expects one to explain how and in what ways the virtue of integrity is not a single virtue but one that complements and supplements many other virtues and traits.

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 virtue of Integrity.

Body:

Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Explain that In ethics when discussing behavior and morality, an individual is said to possess the virtue of integrity if the individual’s actions are based upon an internally consistent framework of principles. Highlight the relation of the virtue of integrity with other virtues, quote examples to justify it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of Integrity in general and to administration in particular with the fact that the virtue is more a key that supplements and complements many other factors.

 

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.

7. “With the advent of the new public administration and increasing diversity in the administrative field, an administrator needs to adorn both physical and mental aptitude. “Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is based on the topic of Aptitude and essence of it to a civil servant.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the need of both physical and mental aptitude for a civil servant to be successful.

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:

Define what Aptitude is; A natural/inherent talent to acquire a certain skill or ability in the future through appropriate training. Aptitude can be both mental as well as physical.

Body:

Discuss briefly the different types of aptitude. Explain the role and importance of Aptitude in Civil Services. Explain why physical and mental aptitude? Write about the need of having mental and physical aptitude for a civil servant. Illustrate with suitable case studies.

Conclusion:

Conclude that With the role and functions of administrators having become swiftly changing and increasingly challenging, civil servants must be equipped with the necessary skills and capabilities to meet these new challenges. They must have the aptitude to master new technologies and new styles of functioning. They should serve as the ‘Agents of Change’ to catalyze reform initiatives.