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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 19 May 2020

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2020: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 


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 therein.

1. Without a paradigm shift in politics, Centre-state relations will only become more fractious, and federalism the victim in the current pandemic times in the country. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  Hindustan Times 

Why this question:

The question is amidst the ongoing turmoil that the centre-state relations are facing owing to the pandemic.

Key demand of the question:

Analyse in detail how and why the centre-state relations will require a paradigm shift in politics to ensure that they don’t become fractious.

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:

Firstly explain the context of the question, highlight the changes that pandemic has posed to the federal fabric of the country.

Body:

Explain that the month-long national lockdown has exposed fault lines in a system under stress from competing alternate visions of what India should be. Centre-state conflicts are mounting over myriad issues: the management of the disease itself; the management of the lockdown; a roadmap for lifting restrictions so that normalcy returns; and allocation of financial resources to meet the health, social and economic challenges ahead. Discuss the need for strong political shift in favour of federalism. Suggest solutions like – approach would have been for the Centre to give broad guidelines for the management of the epidemic and the lockdown, arrange for finances to tackle the health and economic emergencies overwhelming the country, and keep the inter-state supply chain functional so that there are no shortages and economic activity doesn’t die completely.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

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. India finds itself on the margins of international diplomacy on Afghanistan despite having stood by the country economically and historically, Critically examine the need for changed Afghan policy and corrective diplomatic action for better neighborhood.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu 

Why this question:

The question is about the India’s need to relook at its Afghan policy and need for corrective diplomatic action for better neighborhood.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the factors that are forcing India to relook at its Afghan policy and correct its diplomatic actions.

Directive:

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to 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. 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:

Recently, in a major development in Afghanistan politics the two opposite rivals Ashraf Ghani and Abdulah and Abdulah have joined hand to form the government. This development has happened amid US-Taliban peace talks. This makes it inevitable for India to revisit its Afghan policy.

Body:

To start with, explain that India has always emphasized on policy of Afghan Led-Afghan. Highlight the historical and economic relations of the past to present. India wants a form of government in the Afghanistan which respects religious minorities and women rights. Taliban is infamous for its treatment of minorities and killings. But continuous changing dynamics in Kabul makes it important for India to keep all its options open. Discuss the Indian interests in Afghan and the region. Explain why there is need to change its existing afghan policy and relook at it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way ahead.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

3. Do you think the reforms proposed for agricultural sector under the realm of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan ensure better price realization for farmers? Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu 

Why this question:

The question is amidst the farm sector tranche that was announced by the finance minister recently under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the possibility of the package given to the farm sector in ensuring price realization to the farmers.

Directive:

Elucidate – 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:

The pandemic Covid19 has highlighted the persistent and deep rooted problem of Indian agriculture system, thus the context of the question.

Body:

Students must remember that the question is not about the scheme the question is about how the scheme helps the farmer for price realization. Thus one has to discuss the possible positives that the scheme could bring to the farm sector and mention associated challenges if any.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what more needs to be done and in what way one particular scheme may not suffice to aid price realization and the approach needs to be multi-pronged.

 

Topic:  Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

4. Explain the Contributions of Livestock Sector to Indian Economy.(250 words)

Reference:  Indian Geography by Majid Hussain

Why this question:

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

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the contributions of Livestock Sector to Indian Economy.

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 explicate what constitutes the livestock sector in the country,  quote some relevant and latest facts.

Body:

To start with, explain that about 20.5 million people depend upon livestock for their livelihood. Livestock contributed 16% to the income of small farm households as against an average of 14% for all rural households. Livestock provides a livelihood to two-third of the rural community. It also provides employment to about 8.8 % of the population in India.Then discuss the importance of animals as an efficient and economical means of food production. Discuss what needs to be done to augment the sector. Suggest the policy measures that exist in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges. Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance

5. Discuss the initiatives and measures that social media platforms and companies must make to self-regulate themselves so as to ensure information hygiene.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu 

Why this question:

The article talks about the importance of maintaining information hygiene by the social media platforms and importance of self-regulation in doing so.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the initiatives and measures that social media platforms and companies must make to self-regulate themselves so as to ensure information hygiene.

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 current conditions and issues with respect to social media platforms and companies like facebook, Instagram etc.

Body:

One can start by explaining what you understand by information hygiene. Present the issues or problems posed by social media platforms such as filter bubbles, echo chambers, information silos, viral virus, misogynist trolling and amplification of toxic content etc. Narrate any recent incidents that explain the context of the question better. Discuss what practices of self-regulation the media platforms and companies must take.

Conclusion:

Take hints from the article and conclude with what needs to be done to overcome such issues.

 

Topic:  Case study

6. Sunita was a young, idealistic development officer in a district panchayat. After joining the district, she studied about its social and economic situation. She consulted various plan documents and looked at the social and economic parameters of the district. She found that the district is relatively better off than other districts in terms of irrigation, crop diversification and industry. But its social indicators were poor with high infant mortality rate, high maternal mortality rate and low literacy percentage among women. Based on her analysis, Sunita thought that large investments in the social sector will be necessary in order to tackle these problems. The panchayat was an elected body. It has decided to spend 40% of its budget on minor irrigation. Sunita felt that the large allocation to minor irrigation will benefit land owning farmers and starve other social programmes. What should Sunita do in these circumstances? (250 words)

Reference:  Case Study

Why this question:

The question is based on Ethical Reasoning and Moral Dilemmas that public servants face.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail what the available choices to Sunita are, the development officer in a district panchayat.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the situation in the question, point out the moral dilemmas posed by the situation to Sunita, and explain here the importance of ethical reasoning.

Body:

Explain how she should not adopt improper means in trying to achieve higher spending on social sector. Following are the possible options that one can discuss and substantiate opinion based on ethical backing –

  1. She should tell officers to surreptitiously divert money to social welfare programmes under some pretext.
  2. She should follow the Panchayat’s decision.
  3. She should discuss matters with elected officials of the Panchayat and try to convince them of the need to accord greater priority to social sector.
  4. She should reconcile herself to the economic inequalities and the power structure of the rural society.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced approach.

 

Topic:   challenges of corruption.

7. What are the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission on widening the definition of corruption? Explain its basis briefly. (250 words)

Reference:  drapg.gov.in 

Why this question:

The question is based on the need of widening the definition of corruption as pointed out by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission on widening the definition of corruption while highlighting the rationale behind it.

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 the nuances associated with corruption.

Body:

To start with, talk about the Prevention of Corruption Act that lists offences which are acts of corruption by government servants. Explain that Second Administrative Reforms Commission makes a distinction between two kinds of corruption which it calls coercive corruption and collusive corruption. It has recommended that the Prevention of Corruption Act should be amended to combat collusive corruption. It recommended that in collusive corruption, the ‘burden of proof’ should be shifted to the accused. According to SARC, an offence could be classified as ‘collusive bribery’ if the outcome or intended outcome of the transaction leads to a loss to the state, public or public interest.

 Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.