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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 4 March 2020

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic:  Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

1. Discuss in detail the various policies and programmes aimed to preserve and promote languages, folk dance, Art and culture of tribals in the country.(250 words)

Reference:  PIB.GOV

Why this question:

Union Minister of Culture has informed Lok Sabha about the various schemes implemented by the Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) to preserve and promote languages, folk dance, Art and culture of tribals. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of preserving and promoting languages, folk dance, Art and culture of tribals in the country along with detailed elaboration of schemes and policies 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 why we should preserve and promote our language and culture in general.

Body:

The question is pretty much straight forward and one must discuss the relevance of preserving and promoting the language, culture and art of the tribals. List out various schemes and policies in this direction – Guru Shishya Parampara, shilpgram, octave, National Cultural Exchange Programme (NCEP) etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of such schemes and policies.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2.  Is state funding of elections possible in India? What are its pros and cons?Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

The debate on state funding on election has recently been revived particularly with the Election Commission informing the Government that it is not in favour of state funding of elections. The Election commission is of the view that it would not be able to prohibit or check candidates‟ expenditure over and above the state’s provision.

Key demand of the question:

The question is about discussing the possibility and effect of state funding of elections in India and its pros and cons.

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:

Briefly explain what is – State funding of elections.

Body:

Highlight about State funding of elections; brief history of the origin of the idea, its evolutions etc. The state funding of polls was recommended by the Indrajit Gupta Committee in 1998. The committee had suggested that state funding would ensure a level playing field for poorer political parties and argued that such a move would be in public interest. List out the merits of such a concept. Then move onto state that despite having some positive offshoot, the proposal is more unlikely to curtail the menace of corruption and it has too many systemic and other grey areas(state these cons) Discuss what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the success of state funding depends on a strong regulatory framework, stringent punishments, a quick and effective judicial system, an alert and demanding electorate, a broad consensus on political ethics—all of which we woefully lack.

 

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3. assessment of the quality of Teacher education is a true yardstick to check upon the schooling system, do you agree? Deliberate. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

The article highlights the value of teacher education and its impact in schooling system.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of teacher education and in what way it can be a true yardstick to measure the quality of schooling.

Directive:

Deliberate – 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:

Bring out some key facts relating to the context of the question.

Body:

Comment upon the existing quality of schools in the country ; learning aspects –  almost half of the children in grade 5 in rural India cannot solve a simple two-digit subtraction problem, while 67 per cent of children in grade 8 in public schools score less than 50 per cent in competency-based assessments in mathematics. Discuss the role of teachers and present statistics relating to the number of teachers, vacancies, training and relevant issues that are alarming.  There are over one lakh single-teacher schools present across the country. Discuss both the quantity and quality aspect of ‘teachers’ in the country. Establish the relation between them and the quality of education in schools.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of having robust teacher training in the country to ensure quality education throughout.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. What is Black Carbon? Explain the impact of recently witnessed black carbon spikes in the Himalayan glaciers.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

According to a research done by the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, the concentration of black carbon on Gangotri glacier has almost doubled in the past few years primarily because of agricultural burning and forest fires.

Key demand of the question:

The question is based on the concept of Black carbon and the impact of black carbon spikes that were recently witnessed in the Himalayan glaciers.

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 Black carbon is. Black carbon is a kind of an aerosol. An aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in the air.

Body:

Discus about Black carbon, its basic features. Among aerosols (such as brown carbon, sulphates), Black Carbon (BC) has been recognized as the second most important anthropogenic agent for climate change and the primary marker to understand the adverse effects caused by air pollution. It gets emitted from gas and diesel engines, coal-fired power plants, and other sources that burn fossil fuel. It comprises a significant portion of particulate matter or PM, which is an air pollutant. Discuss the impact of the recent black carbon spikes in the Himalayan glaciers. Explain what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

The Black Carbon (BC) aerosols contribute significantly towards global warming due to its light-absorbing nature. Their presence in the eco-sensitive zone, such as the Himalayan glacier valleys, is a matter of serious concern and needs to be meticulously monitored.

 

Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

5. Discuss the need for in- flight Wi-Fi and the benefits and concerns associated.(250 words)

Reference:   Economic Times

Why this question:

The Union Government has permitted airlines operating in India to provide in-flight WiFi services to passengers thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the need for in- flight Wi-Fi and the benefits and concerns associated.

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 that the Telecom Commission had given its permission to in-flight connectivity of Internet and mobile communications on aircraft in Indian airspace in 2018.

Body:

Explain what you understand by In-flight connectivity of internet Technology. Discuss the technology; its technicalities in short. By this the pilot of an aircraft may permit the access of Internet services by passengers on board an aircraft in flight, through Wi-Fi on board, when laptop, smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, e-reader or a point of sale device is used in flight mode or airplane mode. Broadly, in-flight connectivity systems use two kinds of technologies; discuss them. List down the advantages, challenges and concerns involved.

Conclusion:

Conclude with benefits.

 

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. Define what work culture is and compare and contrast the work culture of India with that of West. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

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

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the concept of work culture in the Indian context and compare it with that of the concept in the west and bring out significant differences if any.

Directive:

Compare and contrast – provide for a detailed comparison of the two types, their features that are similar as well as different. One must provide for detailed assessment of the two.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what work culture is.

Body:

Explain – Work Culture or Organization Culture is set of collective beliefs, values, rules and behaviour which organisation as whole conforms to. In a layman approach it is culture that a group as an organisation follows. Culture varies with family, region, social class and hence in work environment. Some differences between India‘s and West work cultures are: Indians focus on quantity of time spent in work rather than quality of work, this is because of impression of work by time as no innovative/creative work was done during colonial period. Hence, the image of hardworking by time. Working hours in India is 10 hours while in West it is maximum 6-8 hours.

  • West focuses individuality and hence relation between superior and sub-ordinates are very formal. Calling by their first name, only work related tasks, lesser interpersonal skills and bonding are prevalent in West unlike India.
  • West takes work place as place of recreation, fun, innovation and creativity. Hence they focus more on aesthetic and facilities like gym, clubs, lounges etc. This is unlike Indian counterpart, who focuses majorly on productivity.

Highlight the significance of both.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of work culture in general.

 


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 type of information can be requested through RTI?  Bring out the significance and criticisms against RTI.(250 words)

Reference: Governance by Lakshmikant, Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

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

Key demand of the question:

The answer essentially should deliberate upon the significance of RTI and its utility as well as bring out criticisms associated.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain RTI concept.

Body:

The right to information is a fundamental right under Article 19 (1) of the Indian Constitution. In 1976, in the Raj Narain vs the State of Uttar Pradesh case, the Supreme Court ruled that Right to information will be treated as a fundamental right under article 19. Talk about the Right to Information Act of 2005. Objectives of the RTI Act. Explain in detail what type of information can be requested through RTI. List down the Significance of the RTI Act. Discuss the criticisms against it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of RTI applied to the Indian context.