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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 27 February 2020

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic:  population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

1. There are no existing concrete estimates of the number of poor and depth of poverty in India. Reason for it and explain the measures which can be taken to measure the poor. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

President Donald Trump praised India for having lifted “over 270 million people out of poverty” in “a single decade”, and said that “12 Indian citizens are lifted out of extreme poverty every single minute of every single day”.  Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the causes of lack of concrete estimates of the number of poor and depth of poverty in India and suggest measures that can be taken/adopted-to to measure poverty in the country.

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:

Briefly explain what poverty is, and how is it measured?

Body:

Discuss the aspects of Poverty and the established measurement systems in the country. Point out the flaws associated with it. Then move on to highlight why it is important to have the poverty numbers. Discuss the current levels of poverty in the country. Suggest possible measures that need to be taken to quantify and qualify the definition of poverty.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the need to recognize defining poverty as a key thing central to policies and programmes.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  Indian Constitution– historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

2. The Excerpt from Mahatma Gandhi’s book Hind Swaraj, “real rights are a result of the performance of duty” appears obsolete in the contemporary constitutional stage of development. Do you agree? Discuss. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

In the recently held International Judicial Conference 2020, the Chief Justice of India drew attention to the Constitution’s Fundamental Duties chapter and stressed on the importance of citizens’ duties by citing Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj, which quotes that “real rights are a result of [the] performance of duty.” Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the relevance/obsoleteness of the quote made by Mahatma Gandhi to the contemporary times of the Constitutional evolvement.

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 meaning of the excerpt – “real rights are a result of the performance of duty”.

Body:

The author of the article states that though on the outset the inter-relationship between duties and rights may seem reasonable, the merging of the ideas of rights and duties ought to be resisted. The author in the given article makes several arguments to justify his stand. One can use these justifications to argue for the question and substantiate. Discuss in what way to a major extent it’s the rights that prevail over duties in the present times. Take cues from the article to form a fair and balanced stand.

Conclusion:

Conclude that while determining the precedence of duties or rights it is very important to consider the position of the individual in the constitutional scheme of things and the Constitution’s commitment to combating hierarchy and that its time to rephrase the quote to “Real duties are the result of the fulfillment of rights.”

 

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

3. Discuss the idea of Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA); in what way will it protect the rights of the consumer in the country? (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why this question:

Last week, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan announced that a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will be established by the first week of April. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the coming of Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA); its scope and significance.

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 CCPA is.

Body:

Explain the following aspects – Definition, scope and significance of CCPA in the answer body in detail. The authority is being constituted under Section 10(1) of The Consumer Protection Act, 2019. The Act replaced The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and seeks to widen its scope in addressing consumer concerns. The new Act recognizes offences such as providing false information regarding the quality or quantity of a good or service, and misleading advertisements. It also specifies action to be taken if goods and services are found “dangerous, hazardous or unsafe”. The CCPA, introduced in the new Act, aims to protect the rights of the consumer by cracking down on unfair trade practices, and false and misleading advertisements that are detrimental to the interests of the public and consumers.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of such a body in protecting the rights of the consumers.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices.

4. The recent move of the union government to cap the premium on its flagship crop insurance schemes and making enrollment voluntary for these schemes will impact the agriculture sector in various ways. Discuss.  (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why this question:

The Centre has decided to restrict its premium subsidy in its flagship crop insurance schemes to 30% for unirrigated areas and 25% for irrigated areas (from the existing unlimited), and to make enrolment of farmers in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) voluntary from the 2020 Kharif season. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the impact of the measures taken by the union govt. on capping the premiums and making enrollment voluntary for flagship agri insurance schemes.

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 present schemes of insurance that are in existence.

Body:

The body of the answer must discuss the impact of the move – One of the impacts is that the Centre may stop supporting insurance of certain crops in certain areas where the rate of premium is more than 30%. By capping the subsidy for premium rates up to 30%, the Centre wants to disincentives certain crops in such areas where growing these crops involve high risks in terms of crop insurance premiums. While the average premium rate under PMFBY and RWBCIS at the national level was 12.32% for 2018-19, for some crops in certain districts, the rate of premium has been higher than 30% in recent years. For instance, the rate of premium for Kharif groundnut has reached 49% in Rajkot of Gujarat, and the rate for Rabi paddy crop Ramnathapuram (Tamil Nadu) has reached 42%. After the new changes come into effect, the share of the states is expected to go up in those states in which such crops are cultivated. As of now the schemes are compulsory for all loanee farmers and optional for other farmers. Non-loanee farmers under the crop insurance schemes are much fewer than loanee farmers. If the latter opt out of the schemes, the number of insured farmers will drastically come down.

Conclusion:

Conclude with multiple impacts that the move will bear on the agri sector of the country.

 

Topic:   Disaster and disaster management.

5. Present the governance and administration for coastal disaster risk reduction and resilience in the country. (250 words)

Reference: PIB

Why this question:

The National Institute of Disaster Management, under Ministry of Home Affairs, organized a conference on understanding the different approaches in coastal disaster risk reduction and resilience on February 25. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the aspects of governance and administration for coastal disaster risk reduction and resilience in the country.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what you understand by the coastal disaster risk reduction and resilience.

Body:

Discuss briefly the need of it – with 7,500 km-long coastline of India being threatened by many natural hazards resulting in the loss of life and property. About 40 per cent of total population of the country lives within 100 km of coastline. Among the coastal states, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are more vulnerable to coastal cyclone disasters as compared to other coastal states. Explain the governance mechanisms that are in place with respect to it. Highlight the scope, advantages, and limitations as well as issues, challenges, and opportunities in managing coastal disaster events including the ethical perspectives.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

6. Discuss some of the major ethical Concerns and dilemmas faced by the administrators in Government institutes as well suggest measures to address them. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and aims to highlight the major Ethical Concerns and dilemmas faced by the administrators in Government institutes and ways to address them.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss some of the key ethical Concerns and dilemmas faced by the administrators in Government institutes using suitable examples and suggest solutions to address the same.

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 define what constitute an ethical concern or a dilemma.

Body:

Explain the major Ethical dilemmas faced by public servants such as – administrative discretion, policy dilemmas, secrecy in administration, information leaks, corruption, nepotism, public accountability etc. In short present an illustration possibly covering 3-4 aspects from the above. Suggest what needs to be done to overcome these challenges.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7. You are posted as District Collector (DC). In a village where illegal Sand mining is rampant, local police seize ten trucks illegally carrying sand. The police are roughed up by an unruly mob said to be supporters of sand mafia. When the police refuse to give back vehicles despite facing threat, the mob demand that they would want to see DC on the spot or else situation would be made much worse by resorting to violent activities. When the news reaches you, you decide to go there in the morning as it was already dark. But you receive a message that if you do not go there the situation could turn worse. The SP of district, a lady, softly warns you not to go in the night and she would manage the situation till morning. She says that the situation is much worse than you have imagined and there will be threat to your life. But you get a call from Chief Minister that you must visit the spot immediately and negotiate with the mob to end the fiasco peacefully. What will you do? Justify. (250 words)

Reference: Case study

Why this question:

The situation is based on the themes from the static portions of GS paper IV, the case study presents the ethical concerns and dilemmas that civil servants face.

Key demand of the question:

The student must present a detailed analysis of the case and suggest actions that she/he would take in the case presented as a District collector of the place and justify it with suitable substantiations.

Directive:

Justify – When you are asked to justify, 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 using suitable case studies or/ and examples.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the details of the case relevant for the analysis that you would suggest.

Body:

Discuss the fact that the situation demands that in spite of the threat perception, as a DC you should act immediately to defuse the situation as it can quickly worsen during the night. Moreover you are bound by the orders of the Chief minister. The question being a case study, there can be ‘n’ number of ways to address but one must ensure that a middle path, practical and rational one is suggested along with suitable justifications.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the situation requires deft administrative skills and proper coordination on part of the DC using all the available resources at his disposal to avoid further escalation.