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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 8 April 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. Amidst the coronavirus confinement, women are at high risk not only from the perspective of the disease but mainly with respect to domestic violence. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why this question:

The article explains how as the lock-downs impose stricter control on one’s mobility, they put women in abusive relationships at extremely high risk of damage from physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Key demand of the question:

One should present the case of domestic violence- physical, sexual and emotional abuse that women face along with the risk of getting exposed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 state the necessary facts/data to establish the context of the question. India reported double the usual number of domestic abuse cases in the first week of nationwide movement restrictions, according to the country’s National Commission for Women.

Body:

First discuss the possible factors owing to which Lockdowns around the world have brought rise in domestic violence –

  • Increased abuse is a pattern repeated in many emergencies, whether conflict, economic crisis or during disease outbreaks, although the quarantine rules pose a particularly grave challenge.
  • According to our statistics, 90% of the causes of violence [in this period] are related to the Covid-19 epidemic.
  • Channels of communication are closed, thus the situation worsens. Etc.

Discuss what needs to be done

  • Helplines to remain open, assault victim shelters to serve amidst the lockdown. For ex. Police in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, which has one of the worst track records on violence against women in the country, have launched a new domestic violence helpline as cases surge.
  • Setting up emergency warning systems in pharmacies and groceries, and for safe ways “for women to seek support, without alerting their abusers.” Etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need to recognise the urgency of the issue and work to resolve it as a coordinated effort between govt., citizens and other NGO’s and socieities.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges.

2. Local bodies need to be seen as institutions of self-governance not as ‘delivery mechanisms’ to ensure prospects of decentralisation are met. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference:  Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

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

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in what way local bodies are to be seen as institutions of self-governance and not as delivery mechanisms.

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 scenario of local self-governments in the country, narrate the historical background and its coming into existence.

Body:

To start with, explain the importance of local self govt. –

Rapid human development and strong local democracy go hand in hand. Articulate the connection between economic dependency of vulnerable groups on the local elite, on the one hand, and effectiveness of local governance institutions in delivering basic services to the poor, on the other. Recognize the existence of structural impediments to the effective functioning of local government institutions. In order to transform present realities, it is imperative to strengthen decentralization from below, so that voices of the poor could carry weight in village assemblies and ward council meetings etc.

Explain why it is necessary that they shouldn’t be merely seen as delivery mechanisms.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Local bodies need to be seen as institutions of self-governance not as ‘delivery mechanisms’, for this to happen, decentralization from above must converge with decentralization from below. This can be achieved by forging links between local bodies and informal associations and user groups.

 

Topic:  Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges.

3.  “The issue of state autonomy has been a major issue in the dynamics of Indian federalism”, deliberate with examples. (250 words)

Why this question:

The question is concerning the demand for autonomy in the system of Indian federalism.

Key demand of the question:

Explain The demand for more autonomy is one of the most controversial issues of the Indian federalism, although federalism is an important feature of the constitutional structure of the Indian democracy. Use suitable examples to explain.

Directive:

Deliberate – Weigh 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 explain the Indian system of federalism.

Body:

To start with, explain that Federalism is an important feature of the constitutional structure of the Indian democracy. Present the historical background of agitation for State autonomy.

Explain the coming of various commissions to resolve the issues; Sarkaria Commission, Rajmannar Commission, 1969,  Anandpur Sahib Resolution, 1973, National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC), Punchi Commission in 2007 etc.

Explain why states demand for autonomy, present some recent case studies.

Discuss the various articles that address the concerns.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the Constitution aims at co-operative federalism, which seems to be a panacea for the grievances of the State. The Centre’s powers should not be diminished further. But it is essential to make more effective all the constitutional, extra-constitutional and statutory institutions devised so far for solving the Centre-State problems.

 

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

4. Community health workers are a key communication mechanism between the healthcare system and the population, however they face several challenges, Analyse the statement in the backdrop of recent attacks ASHA worker conducting COVID-19 survey.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

The question is amidst the recent attack on an ASHA worker conducting a COVID-19 survey, due to an alleged suspicion that she was a government National Register of Citizens agent betrays the faltering of our community health worker programmes in a way.

Key demand of the question:

Explain Community health workers are a key communication mechanism between the healthcare system and the population and the challenges they face in delivering their responsibilities to the society.

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:

Explain in short who community health workers are.

Body:

To start with, explain how community health worker schemes begin to play an important role; It was realised that a cadre of health workers recruited by and from within the community, and also accountable to the community, would have greater affinity with people, thus ensuring greater community participation in care delivery.

Discuss in detail the challenges faced by them.

Present the example of ASHA workers; their role, importance and challenges before them.

Suggest solutions to address the issue.

 Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done and suggest way forward.

 

Topic:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

5. Do you think parallels can be drawn from the assassination of plague commissioner by the Chapekar brothers in 19th century and the present day decisions to control the pandemic at the expense of human rights and democracy? Examine.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

The article highlights the recent restrictions posed by the different countries amidst the pandemic and it hints towards the violation of human rights in some countries like that of Zimbabwe.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the scenario of plague in the history of India and the current conditions of lockdown, provide for a comparison and suggest the contrast between the two incidents.

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 the current situation of lockdown and its needs.

Body:

To start with, explain the story of assassination of plague commissioner by the Chapekar brothers in 19th century, the conditions in which the incident took place in the history of modern India.

Then compare and contrast it to the current situation of lockdown.

Explain that thought the lockdown takes toll on the human rights, it is inevitable yet different from the scenarios of the plague epidemic of the past.

Discuss that it is important to not trade off the values of democracy at the cost of administration/lockdowns.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the government of the day however is not letting away the democratic values to go away and is persuasive in its approach. The most vulnerable and neglected people in society are being  protected both medically and economically.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

6. “The coronavirus speeds up the transition to a digital economy while exposing the digital gap between countries and societies”, Examine.(250 words)

Reference:    Indian Express

Why this question:

The question aims to evaluate the effect of the corona pandemic on the digital economy of the world society.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the impact of the pandemic on the digital economy, the hints towards the digital divide and the need and necessity to bridge 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 explain the current stage of digital economy across the countries.

Body:

Explain that the global crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has pushed us further into a digital world, and changes in behaviour are likely to have lasting effects when the economy starts to pick up. But not everyone is ready to embrace a more digitized existence.

new analysis from UNCTAD maps the changing digital landscape since the last major global calamity, the 2008/09 financial crisis. It looks at how a digitally enabled world is working for some, but not all equally.

According to the analysis, the coronavirus crisis has accelerated the uptake of digital solutions, tools, and services, speeding up the global transition towards a digital economy.

Explain that Inequalities in digital readiness hamper the ability of large parts of the world to take advantage of technologies that help us cope with the coronavirus pandemic by staying at home.

Suggest way forward.

Conclusion:

This situation has significant development implications that cannot be ignored. We need to ensure that we do not leave those who are less digitally equipped even further behind in a post-coronavirus world.

 

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

7. Can Health sector be a way out of the middle-income trap for India in the coming future? Discuss the possibilities and give your opinion.(250 words)

Reference:  Economic Times

Why this question:

The question propounds upon the prospects of the Indian health sector in the coming future.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the prospects of Indian health sector/industry post corona pandemic and if it can be a way out for its middle-income trap.

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 importance of India’s health sector.

Body:

First explain in what way India is amongst one of the most capable countries that are handling/containing the situation very well.

Explain the potential that India has in terms of Health industry.

Post-pandemic, India may thus support the world with health infrastructure as its centerpiece.
Hint at the on-going efforts of India to fight the pandemic.

Conclusion:

With a health-centered investment agenda, India can supply doctors, nurses, paramedics, technicians and other medical professionals to the world. It can also supply valuable data and analytics. Even with the country busy fighting the coronavirus, planners need to start thinking of tomorrow’s battles.