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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 26 March 2020

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic:  Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent)

1. What are the factors that determine the location of Silk industries in India? Briefly explain the changes in the location of these industries from 19th century till the present times.(250 words)

Reference: Physical Geography by Savindra Singh

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the factors that determine the location of Silk industries in India and as well trace the change in these locations from 19th century till the present 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 first bring out the current locations of silk industries in the country.

Body:

Explain the factors that determine the location of silk industry.

Comment on the key factors – labor, raw material and market.

Use the map of India to highlight the factors and respective locations – Karnataka, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir etc.

Then move onto trace the changes in the location; discuss the factors such as technology, advancement in science etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of the industry in the country.

 

Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent)

2. Despite being mineral-rich, the Eastern states of India have failed to register expected growth and social indices. Examine the causes for this failure and suggest remedial measures.(250 words)

Reference: Physical Geography by Savindra Singh

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the factors that have been responsible to failure of Eastern states in terms of growth and development despite being mineral rich.

Directive:

ExamineWhen 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:

Introduce by mentioning about the mineral wealth of Eastern India.

Body:

Mention the reasons for poor socio-economic growth of the region; lacunae and neglect in policy making, difficulty owing to terrain and physiography in the region, historical milieu, lack of support from local people, negative impact of mining etc.

Suggest measures to improve the condition. Indicate towards policies which are already in place, suggest improvements if any that can be made.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Inclusive and sustainable growth is the way forward and the policies should focus on it.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. The tenth schedule has become a catalyst of political opportunism in the country, as new innovative measures have been brought up to bypass the law. Critically analyse perils of electoral politics in this context.(250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

 The perils of electoral politics can be seen recently in the case of Madhya Pradesh. Similar was the case in Uttarakhand assembly last year. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

One must provide for critical analysis of tenth schedule and bring out the lacunae in it while suggesting solutions to address.

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:

Explain the context of the question.

Body:

Explain the provisions under tenth schedule in short.

Then explain the case of Madhya Pradesh that happened recently, one can also mention cases of other states that witnessed similar fate.

Explain the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution was meant to deal with the politics of opportunism however it is working as a catalyst against the mandate with which it was brought in place.

Suggest what needs to be done to address these challenges.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

4. Amidst the all-round disruption caused to the economy by the COVID-19 outbreak, a concern across the world is the possibility of a loss of jobs, discuss the idea of ‘Kurzarbeit’ under such circumstances.(250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

Amid the all-round disruption caused to the economy by the novel coronavirus outbreak, a concern across the world is the possibility of loss of jobs.

Germany’s Kurzabeit is being mentioned time and again in this context. Also, the German cabinet is planning to extend the benefit of short-time work allowance by the first half of April through legislation. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the concept of Kurzabeit and its significance in the current times.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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 – Kurzarbeit; it is German for “short-work”. The policy provides for a short-time work allowance, called kurzarbeitgeld, which partially compensates for lost earnings during uncertain economic situations.

Body:

Explain how it works – When companies face a loss of earnings due to unforeseen economic situations, they often need to cut back on their working hours or send some of their employees’ home.

The Kurzarbeit scheme aims to address workers who are impacted by loss of income due to shortened work hours during such times. They can apply for short-term work benefits under the scheme, with the government stepping in to pay employees a part of their lost income.

This helps the companies retain their employees instead of laying them off, and allows the latter to sustain themselves for a period of up to 12 months.

Conclusion:

Conclude with benefits of such a system.

 

Topic:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

5. Economic policies can bridge the gap between the brutal downturn and eventual recovery due to COVID19. Deliberate. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

Minus 40 per cent, -30 per cent, -22 per cent, and -14 per cent are the estimated impacts (at an annualized rate) on the quarterly growth rates of China, the UK, Eurozone, and the US because of the Covid-19 virus. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

The question expects us to explain the role of economy in addressing the downturn caused by the outbreak.

Directive:

DeliberateWeigh 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 agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly discuss the current case, substantiate with necessary facts and data.

Body:

Explain that Economic policy needs to “bridge the gap” between the downturn and the eventual recovery.

Discuss the key role that economic policies across the countries must play – While public health policies force a sudden stop in the economy to save lives, economic policies need to ensure that the impact from the shutdown is cushioned, incomes of households and firms supported, credit stress is contained, and the recovery is not hamstrung by policy headwinds.

Discuss how these above factors need policy support.

Discuss the issues associated.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  , transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints

6. What India is at present facing is not a “supply”, but a “supply chain” problem in its agriculture sector. Analyse the statement amidst hurdles for free movement and trade in agricultural produce owing to lockdown.(250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

The Author explains that amid lockdown, hurdles for free movement and trade in agricultural produce must be cleared immediately.

Key demand of the question:

One should explain the issue the agriculture sector facing in the country and what needs to be done to save the sector amidst the ill-effects of the lockdown to it.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly highlight the ongoing problems in the agriculture sector.

Body:

To start with, explain first the effect of the lockdown on the agriculture system of the country.

Explain – What India is at present facing is not a “supply”, but a “supply chain” problem, list down the causative factors first – inter-state movement restrictions and arbitrary actions by local authorities to enforce the lockdown etc.

Take hints from the article and explain what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Case Study

7.  You are the head of a govt. office. One day you find out that your subordinate is infected with HIV. Before you could stop the news from spreading, it had already become a topic of discussion among other members of the office. Now, they are pressuring you to suspend, sack or transfer him as they fear that his presence in the office might lead to other members getting contaminated with the virus. You try to make them understand that HIV does not spread from touching, but they are so skeptic and scared that they refuse to even listen to your reasoning. They all decide to not work until a decision is met. Your office is already under a lot of work pressure and in the next week you are to finish an urgent work within a deadline. How will you tackle this problem? Elaborate the steps that you will take to handle it.(250 words)

Why this question:

The question deals with the ethical challenge of implementation problem of a decision (already in mind) and not with taking a decision.

Key demand of the question:

One must clearly explain the ethical challenges involved in the problem and suggest suitable solutions that address all the associated concerns in an ethical way.

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 your role should be as the head of the govt. office.

Body:

  • One can start by explaining the employees that a diseased person is to be empathized with and definitely not to be hated. To substantiate one’s arguments one can put forward few scientific researches in front of them to make them understand that they are not vulnerable to get infected.
  • In spite of the above if the employees persist with their stand then one can write to one’s seniors apprising of the situation and requesting to arrange an alternative team with similar skill sets so that they can complete the task.
  • In the meantime one can pass an executive order that the complaining employees have no option but to work with the current setup. Besides strict disciplinary action will be taken against all those who fail to comply with official orders.
  • In the meantime one can put all efforts to meet the deadline. One can try to organize medical educational camps to raise awareness.
  • You can set leadership by example, by making that employee sit next to you etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with necessity and importance of ethics and work culture.