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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 3 March 2020

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic:  women, Social empowerment

1. What do you understand by ‘Period Poverty’? Discuss the status of it in India. To what extent does our society promise ‘period dignity’? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

The Scottish Parliament passed the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill. Thus the question analyses the aspects of period poverty applied to the context of Indian society.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the concept of ‘Period Poverty’ and ‘Period dignity’ applied to the Indian context.

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 ‘Period Poverty’ is.

Body:

Define period poverty – Some circumstances make menstruation a “difficult experience” for women. These include homelessness, coercive, controlling and violent relationships and health conditions such as endometriosis. Some trans people may also experience difficulties in accessing sanitary products.  Discuss the context within the Indian setup. Explain how often it is a taboo in our country leading to extreme incidences of period poverty, Comment on the lack of period dignity. Discuss the case of Scotland bill. Suggest what needs to be done in India to improvise the conditions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with policy measures already in this direction while suggesting stronger ways forward.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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.

2. The U.S.-Taliban settlement may not bring lasting peace to Afghanistan and the region at large. Examine. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The question is based on the article that presents a critical analysis of the Peace accord between the US and the Taliban that was signed recently.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must critically present a detailed analysis of the peace accord and the concerns associated with it.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly narrate the background of the whole issue in the region.

Body:

The U.S. seeks to exit Afghanistan with assurances from the Taliban that the insurgents will not allow Afghan soil to be used by transnational terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and that they would engage the Kabul government directly to find a lasting solution to the civil war. Discuss the concerns associated in detail. The fundamental issue with the U.S.’s Taliban engagement is that it deliberately excluded the Afghan government in the negotiations. The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan will invariably weaken the Kabul government, altering the balance of power both on the battlefield and at the negotiating table of the intra-Afghan talks. The deal, though sets the stage for America to wind down the longest war in its history, leaves the Afghan people at the mercy of violent, tribal Islamists. Etc. Discuss the concerns specifically posed by the deal to India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting what should be the way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment. Disaster and disaster management

3. Recent activities in Climate change and geopolitics meet to yield locust swarms that could disturb the productivity of Indian crops. Examine. (250 words)

Reference: Live mint

Why this question:

Reuters suggest that while locust swarms continue to plague African countries, for now, the outbreak has tapered down in India with swarms headed back towards Sindh and Baluchistan. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the issues and concerns posed by the spread of locust swarms and the interlinkages with climate change and the changing geopolitics.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what the problem of locust swarms is.

Body:

Explain first the impact of changing climate and geopolitics. Discuss the issues of locust swarms; explain how it has been impacting the productivity of crops in general. Present the case of it in India. Take cues from the article and explain the need to recognise the issue and address it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting way forward.

 

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

4. “The coronavirus is driving the world into a recession, and India cannot be insusceptible to it”, do you agree with the statement? Critically analyse. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The article presents a detailed discussion on the global spread of the coronavirus and the economic impact.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the impact of the Corona virus on the economy of the world in general and in what way India is no exception to it.

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 spread and coming of the corona virus outbreak.

Body:

  • Discuss the global impact – The virus has crippled global supply chains, hit air travel and affected markets.
  • The Chinese economy is in deep trouble due to the impact of the virus and the virus appears all set to adversely impact the U.S. economy, the global economic engine.
  • S. companies ranging from Apple and Nvidia to Procter & Gamble and Adidas are facing troubles because of their large exposures to the Chinese market or their reliance on suppliers from China.
  • A slowdown or worse, recession, in the two global economic engines may push the entire world economy into recession.
  • Markets reflected these concerns as important indices plunged and investors pulled out money.
  • Unlike a financial crisis which can be sorted out with measures such as rate cuts and bail-outs, the present crisis is immune to financial solutions.

Then discuss specifically the impact on Indian economy.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done to overcome the ill-effects of such a global epidemic.

 

Topic:  Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

5. As commercialization and privatization transform humankind’s activity in outer space, India needs imperative and drastic reforms in its space sector.Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

At author talks about the changing dynamics of outer space and the transformation of commercialization and privatization that it has witnessed in the recent years and how at the same time India needs to ace-up.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must present an analysis of the changing dynamics of the space as an avenue of commercialization and where India stands today and what needs to be done in the coming future.

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 aspects of Space and the space race the world countries are contesting.

Body:

Highlight first the growing role of the private sector and the effort by nations in Space research, development and exploration. Discuss the aspects of privatization and commercialization of space. Take hints from the article and discuss where does India stand? What are the challenges before t and how should it overcome them. Suggest the leap forward that India is yet to take and must focus on the reforms and radical changes in its approach to Space.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of Space as an avenue for commercialization and future for many.

 

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.  Distinguish between “Code of ethics” and “Code of conduct” with suitable examples. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The concepts of ‘code of ethics’ and ‘’code of conduct’ are important which share some similarities and several differences which need to be discussed upon.

Key demand of the question:

The question wants us to simply bring out in detail the differences between the Code of Ethics and the Code of Conduct.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Mention that both Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct are similar as they are used in an attempt to encourage specific forms of behaviour by employees. However, the two have several differences between them.

Body:

Discuss the differences between the two. E.g define both the terms in order to clarify their meaning. Code of conduct – A legally enforceable code of conduct sets out the standards of behaviour expected of those working in the public service. The Civil Service code outlines the Civil Service’s core values, and the standards of behaviour expected of all civil servants in upholding these values. Code of ethics – Such a code contains a declaration of values for the civil services, reflecting public expectations of the relationship between the civil service and the government, the legislature, and the members of the public, with specific reference to political impartiality, maintenance of the highest ethical standards, accountability for actions and responsibilities to the government of the day. Quote suitable examples wherever required to substantiate better.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of the two to public administration.

 


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. Discuss some of the key principles of probity that serve to maintain integrity. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and aims to analyse the underlying key principles of probity and in what way it serves the process of integrity.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of probity in attaining integrity and the principles that define probity.

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 Probity is.

Body:

Probity in governance is basic requirement for successful operation of governance and for socio-economic growth of country. It is defined as a risk management approach ensuring procedural integrity. Explain the key principles of probity – accountability, transparency, confidentiality, management of conflict areas etc. Discuss the relevance of it to the processes involving preservation of integrity.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of it.