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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 22 July 2020

 

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2020: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 


General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

1. What do you mean by “faults” in the context of Plate Tectonics? Discuss its types, significance and implications for India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu  

Why this question

Data from an oil and gas exploration company has now helped geologists discover a series of faults at the foot of the Himalaya. The international team notes that this fault system in the southeastern region of Nepal has the potential to cause earthquakes in the densely populated country.

Directive word

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.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to explain in detail the faults, its types, significance in the context of Plate Tectonics. One must also discuss the positive and negative implications of the same for India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Define the term faults.

A fault is a fracture or zone of fractures between two blocks of rock. Faults allow the blocks to move relative to each other. This movement may occur rapidly, in the form of an earthquake – or may occur slowly, in the form of creep. Previously unknown faults at the foot of the Himalaya discovered.

Body-

Discuss in points the various types of faults.

  • Three kinds of faults: Strike-slip, Normal fault and Thrust (reverse) faults.

Now explain the significance of faults and the process in Plate Tectonics.

Finally, explain the positive and negative implications of the same.

Conclusion:

Give a way forward with how we can be earthquake prepared as most of the Himalayan region is in seismic Zone 5.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

2. India achieved “food security” decades ago, it’s now time to plan for “nutritional self-reliance”. Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question

Overflowing granaries give us the smug satisfaction of having solved the food security problem — it is actually a momentary cereal surplus phase. It appears so only because India’s per capita consumption of protein, meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables is amongst the lowest in the world, limited by the still appallingly low purchasing capacity of the majority.

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, 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.

Key demand of the question.

The answer must discuss how India has already the overflowing granaries indicating the achievement of food security. However, the need of the hour is nutritional security of the people as we have few of the highest indicators of stunting, wasting etc. One must provide the necessary steps needed to ensure the nutritional security which could help people as well as the farmers in becoming self-reliant.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Start by showing that we have been having a cereal surplus phase leading to overflowing granaries, wastage of grains due to rotting etc. However, India’s per capita consumption of protein, meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables is amongst the lowest in the world, limited by the still appallingly low purchasing capacity of the majority.

Body-

Discuss a few points about the India’s nutritional status and argue that we are still talking of “food security” which was achieved decades ago, it’s time to plan for “nutritional self-reliance”..

Now, discuss the measures that are needed to make Indian people and the farmers nutritionally self-reliant.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced way forward.

 

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

3. A formal revival and re-invigoration of the Quad is called for to maintain peace and tranquillity and to ensure observance of the UN Law of the Seas. Examine. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why this question:

The time for ambivalence is over and while India will have to fight its own territorial battles with determination, this is the moment to seek external balancing. It is also time to seek an enlargement of this grouping into a partnership of the like-minded.

Key demand of the question:

The question wants us to dig deeper into the lacunae of public healthcare in India and provide solutions as to how the current crisis can be turned into an opportunity.

Directive word:

Critically analyze-  here we 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. based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

write a few introductory lines on what is the QUAD.

Body:

Discuss in points the need for revival of QUAD for India and the other like-minded nations.

  • given Chinese intransigence and our misreading of their imperialist-expansionist intent, Sino-Indian tensions are likely to persist.
  • If India is not to cede ground physically or diplomatically, it must muster all elements of its “comprehensive national power”, including the maritime, and create a strong negotiating position.
  • Apart from the balance of forces on land favouring China, there is also the Beijing-Islamabad Axis that awaits activation.
  • Keeping tensions confined to the Himalayan arena is, therefore, not only militarily advantageous to China but a continental focus also helps to keep India contained in a “South-Asia box”.
  • If Exercise Malabar and the Quadrilateral concept are at long last going to be leveraged to make common cause in the maritime domain, the provenance of both needs to be seen in perspective.

Now discuss the challenges in organizing the multi-country group like QUAD.

Discuss the possible solutions and how India can incorporate other like-minded countries to join QUAD.

Conclusion:

Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

4.The Economic Survey for 2019-20 has pointed out that generally Free Trade Agreements have been beneficial for India. Explain the underlying reasons and discuss what should be the way ahead to change this experience into a positive outcome. (250 words)

Reference: The Print

Why this question:

The Economic Survey for 2019-20 has pointed out that generally FTAs have been beneficial for India. Between 1993 and 2018, India’s exports of manufactured products grew at an annual average of 13.4% to partners with which it has trade agreements and such imports grew 12.7%, it says. In comparison, its overall goods exports grew at an average of 10.9% and imports 8.6% during this period.

Speaking at an online interaction, the External Affairs Minister said era of multilateralism is over, and there are ways of engaging with the world that are not FTA-centric.

Key demand of the question:

India signed a series of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) in Asia that came into force in the 2000s. Across industry and policy-makers, a view has emerged that these FTAs have not served India well, and even actively damaged Indian industry. Thus one has to analyse in detail the aspects of FTAs with respect to Indian economy.

Directive word:

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:

  • In brief define what FTAs are and present the views of the Economic Survey 2019-20 about the same.

Body:

Explain in what way the success of an FTA should be judged against its objective of enhancing trade.

Discuss the factors responsible for such an effect and also suggest what steps should be taken to ensure better realization of the FTAs.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


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

5. The extent of financial relief measures does not seem to be commensurate with the economic disruption and dislocation caused by the severity of the lockdown. Critically Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu , Indian Express

Why this question:

India has surpassed almost all others in the stringency of its containment measures. Consequently, the relief measures do not seem to be commensurate with the economic disruption caused by the lockdown. Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Egypt, all while averaging less stringent measures than those in India, have announced stimulus measures that are as large or more substantial, as a share of GDP.

Key demand of the question:

One must define case fatality rate and talk about the importance of the same. Discuss the various factors that have led to low Case fatality rate. One must also provide the measures for further reduction of the same.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, 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 judgement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Give a brief introduction about the economic situation of India and similar countries in the wake of the pandemic. Also, brief about the challenges in enhancing the fiscal responses.

Before the announcement of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, India lagged significantly behind comparable developing countries that are similar in GDP per capita, state capacity, and structure of the labour force. As of early July, the gap seems to have narrowed.

Body:

Discuss the various measures taken by the government to extent the relief measures to revive the economy.

Now taking the support of article, discuss how the measures are not sufficient.

On the other hand, one must also argue about how Fiscal deficit must be kept in mind during such measures and the law in India for the same.

Provide measures to strengthen the fiscal conditions keeping in mind the continuing situation of pandemic.

Conclusion:

Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

 

 

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

6. Critically examine as to how the planned privatisation of some services of the Indian Railways could impact maintenance, operations and welfare. (250 words).

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The Indian Railways is the lifeline of India. With its vast network across the length and breadth of India, it is not just a mere transporter of passengers and goods but also a social welfare organisation. While the addition of more trains with high technology coaches to meet passenger expectations is a welcome feature, it is the way of privatising these trains that is the problem. The question seeks to examine the aspects of privatizing the Indian Railways services.

Demand of the question:

One must discuss in detail the opportunities and obstacles that the idea of privatizing Railways pose.

Directive word:

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start by explaining in what way the decision is both ideal and inclusive but a challenge on the other hand.

The Railway Board says the “objective of the initiative was to introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced maintenance, reduced transit time, boost job creation, provide enhanced safety, provide world class travel experience to passengers, and also reduce demand supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector”. But this is a step which will lead to dual control and split responsibility, resulting in higher fares, depriving the common man of travel by these trains, and repercussions in terms of maintenance and operations.

Body

Discuss the act of introducing private players in the Indian Railways.

Explain in what way such a move can be a game changer, discuss the possible prospects in detail. Bring out the associated challenges; suggest in what way such challenges and concerns can be tackled.

Define the efforts of the government in this direction in the past.  Talk about the policy measures that are already in place in this direction.

Conclusion

Conclude with way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

7. “The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.” Comment. (250 words)

Reference 1

Reference 2

 

Why this question:

COVID-19 continues to spread – but it’s bringing out the best in people across the globe. Volunteers are looking out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours. Across Europe, people are singing to one another to keep spirits up, as social distancing and self-isolation become the norm.

Key demand of the question:

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding about solidarity in ethics. We have to express our opinion as to how and why a sense of solidarity is the first step in the evolution of ethics.

Directive word:

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon. 

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

 Write a few introductory lines about the solidarity.

Solidarity highlights in a particular way the intrinsic social nature of the human person, the equality of all in dignity and rights and the common path of individuals and peoples towards an ever more committed unity.

Body:

Discuss the importance of solidarity in ethics in detail.

  • Solidarity must be seen above all in its value as a moral virtue that determines the order of institutions.
  • Solidarity is also an authentic moral virtue, not a “feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far.
  • On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good. That is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all
  • Solidarity rises to the rank of fundamental social virtue since it places itself in the sphere of justice. It is a virtue directed par excellence to the common good.
  • The principle of solidarity requires that men and women of our day cultivate a greater awareness that they are debtors of the society of which they have become part.

Substantiate using examples as seen across the globe during the COVID-19 crisis.

Finally, talk about why we need solidarity the most during such testing times of pandemic.

Conclusion:

Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

 

 

 


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