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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 2 March 2020

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2020: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 


General Studies – 1


 

Topic:  Role of women and women’s organization, 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.

1. “Female literacy has a direct positive multiplier effect in tackling the problem of malnutrition in the country”. Comment.(250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

Ashok Gulati writes that India is on track to achieving top two Sustainable Development Goals: Elimination of poverty and hunger and to ensure good health and well-being by 2030, focus should be on agriculture and female literacy.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significant impact that female literacy carries with it to contribute to resolve the issue of malnutrition in the country.

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 current scenario of malnutrition in the country.

Body:

Quote some relevant data in the beginning such as – The World Bank’s estimates of extreme poverty — measured as .9/per capita/per day at purchasing power parity of 2011 — show a secular decline in India from 45.9 per cent to 13.4 per cent between 1993 and 2015. Discuss the aspects of challenge for India; to achieve the third goal of SDG – good health and well-being by 2030, and then discuss how female literacy can be a game changer to achieve this goal. Explain that ‘Female literacy’ – is one of the most important factors that has a positive multiplier effect on child care and access to healthcare facilities. It increases awareness about nutrient-rich diet, personal hygiene; etc. This can also help contain the family size in poor, malnourished families. Discuss the efforts of the government in this direction, highlight some key policies and programmes.

Conclusion:

Conclude that thus, a high priority to female literacy, in a mission mode through liberal scholarships for the girl child, would go a long way towards tackling this problem.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. Explain the dissimilarities between National Citizenship Register and National Population Register. Remark upon the need of these registers in the current times. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The Bihar assembly resolution stating that the National Population Register (NPR) would be done according to the 2010 format has forced us to ponder upon the relevance and dissimilarities between the two.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the differences between National Citizenship Register and National Population Register. Remark upon the need of these registers in the current times.

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 discuss about the recent news related to NCR and NPR.

Body:

Explain the differences between the two in detail. Explain the need for such registers and their relevance in the midst of India’s economic and political situation. Discuss the case of Government of Bihar. Elaborate upon the concerns associated; Given the poverty levels in India and the inability of the underprivileged to formalize their birth due to lack of access to health care, the task of disclosing the exact birth and place of birth, especially of the aged parents and orphans, would prove to be a challenging task. Discuss the link between NPR and the National Register of Citizens. Highlight the Assam experience.

Conclusion:

Conclude by discussing what should be the way ahead.

 

Topic:  India and its neighborhood- relations. 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.

3. The ratification of the peace deal between the U.S. and Taliban though marks a noteworthy step forward; it also carries new challenges to India’s interests in the region.  Analyse and discuss what should be India’s step to preserve its interests in the region. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

The context is – The long-drawn negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban and the signing of the peace deal.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of the recently ratified peace deal and the impact of it on India with special emphasis on the challenges India may face due to it in the region.

Directive:

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.

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 peace deal was signed in the Qatari capital Doha by U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

Body:

Discuss briefly the key features of the agreement first. Explain then, how the US withdrawal from Afghan not only affects Indian policy on Afghan but also changes the regional balance of power in fundamental ways. Discuss that the diplomatic mandarins of New Delhi are apprehensive about the growing influence of the Taliban in Afghan and the centrality of the Taliban in ensuing peace processes. Subtly, comment upon the history of Afghan and India’s role in various stages of this history to highlight the complete relevance of Afghan’s stability for India.

Conclusion:

Conclude that India’s developmental approach has earned it immense goodwill among the Afghan people. However, the “soft power” strategy has limitations.  However It is time for New Delhi to engage the Taliban to secure its interests and reassess its policy choices in close coordination with Russia and Iran, constantly reminding them that complete surrender to the Taliban’s demands will be detrimental to their own security.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. Discuss the causes and concerns over red snow in Antarctica. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

The article captures the formation of Red snow in the Antarctica and the concerns posed by it.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the causes and concerns posed by the ‘Red snow’ in the Antarctica.

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 “Red snow”; it is a phenomenon that has been known since ancient times.

Body:

Explain the basic features of it; It is the algae that give the snow its red tinge. This alga species, Chlamydomonas Chlamydomonas nivalis, exists in snow in the polar and glacial regions, and carries a red pigment to keep itself warm. Discuss briefly the history and the discovery of red snow. Explain the causative factors responsible for the formation of the Red snow. Discuss the impact of it on the climate of the world and more so specifically upon the Antarctica. Elaborate on why it is a cause of concern.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to address the issue and way forward.

 

Topic:  Government Budgeting. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

5. What do you understand by Budget Transparency? Discuss the advantages associated as well as the ways through which it can be promoted in working of a government. (250 words)

Reference: Times Of India

Why this question:

The question is based on the concept of ‘Budget transparency’ and the advantages it carries in the effective functioning of the government.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the concept of ‘Budget transparency’ and its utility to the government in detail.

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 the what ‘Budget transparency’ is.

Body:

Budget transparency refers to the extent and ease with which citizens can access information about and provide feedback on government revenues, allocations, and expenditures. Explain the importance of the concept; Budgets are key documents since they lay out a government’s priorities in terms of policies and programs. Opening up budgets and democratizing the budget process gives citizens a say in policy formulation and resource allocation. Highlight the pros and cons associated in implementing the concept. Elaborate on its effect on the functioning of the government. Explain the ways through which budget transparency can be promoted.

Conclusion:

Conclude that budget transparency, while not a goal in itself, is a prerequisite for public participation and accountability. Such information must be disseminated in a timely manner so that citizens can effectively provide feedback that can influence policy formulation and resource reallocation.

 

Topic:  Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. Case Studies on above issues.

6. Discuss the new public service management model. What are the principles of it? Explain.  (250 words)

Reference: UUDP

Why this question:

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

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the new public service management model in detail and explain the key principles of it.

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.

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 new public service management model is.

Body:

Start with the origin of the concept – The concept was propounded by Denhardl and Denhardt. Highlight the need for such a system – Explain that the central role of government is to provide service and to improve the service delivery mechanism. Government should run like a democracy, not like a business

Discuss key elements of the NPM :

  • An attention to lessons from private-sector management;
  • A focus upon entrepreneurial leadership within public service organizations;
  • An emphasis on input and output control and evaluation and on performance management and audit;
  • The disaggregation of public services to their most basic units and a focus on their cost management;
  • And the growth of use of markets, competition and contracts for resource allocation and service delivery within public services.

Explain the importance of the new system applied to the Indian context.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of it.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption. Case Studies on above issues.

7. What do you understand by ‘Information sharing’ and ‘transparency’? Based on your understanding of the term, suggest measures for ensuring Information sharing and transparency in government. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications  

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of ‘Information sharing’ and ‘transparency’ and the relevance of it to the functioning of a government.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of ‘Information sharing’ and ‘transparency’ to the government’s functioning and methods and means by which a government can apply these traits in its functioning.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what ‘Information sharing’ and ‘transparency’ are.

Body:

Bring out the significance of these elements –  Information is fundamental need of humans to perform various tasks. It has been found that the ability to seek, receive and circulate information is crucial to secure human rights. An information-driven society leads to transparency and accountability. Transparency upholds accountability and delivers information for peoples about the activities of Government. Then discuss the relevance of the two to good governance. Move onto suggest measures for ensuring Information sharing and transparency in government. One can quote the existing efforts of the government in this direction(Name few policies and programmes aiming in this dimension)

Conclusion:

Conclude that Information sharing and transparency are vital components for any government to enhance the living of society. Information is valuable for every citizen to participate in the life and governance of society.  Transparency is considered imperative to procure the support and participation of citizens in management of public services.