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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 27 July 2020

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INSIGHTS NEW SECURE – 2020: YEARLONG TIMETABLE

 


General Studies – 1


 

Topic: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. Dadabhai Naoroji, throughout his career, stressed an Indian national identity which overrode religious, caste, class, or ethnic differences. However, India today is in critical need of remembering Naoroji’s brand of nationalism. Critically discuss. (250 words).

Reference: Indian Express 

Why this question?

Dadabhai Naoroji was an Indian first. He was the first modern Indian economic thinker, the first Indian elected to the British Parliament, and the first leader to establish swaraj as the goal of the Congress. But Naoroji was an Indian first in another important way. Throughout his career, he stressed an Indian national identity which overrode religious, caste, class, or ethnic differences. Over a century after his death, India is in critical need of remembering Naoroji’s brand of nationalism.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss about the contributions of Dadabhai Naorji and his brand of nationalism. Discuss about the challenges being faced in achieving such nationalism in today’s India. Provide the measures needed to strive for a more inclusive India.

Directive Word:

Critically 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. 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 Answer:

Introduction:

  • write a few introductory lines about Dadabhai Naoroji. E.g Dadabhai Naoroji was a legendary Indian political and social leader, academician, and intellectual. Famously called the ‘Grand Old Man of India,’.

Body:

Discuss in points his social, economic and political achievements in his role towards India.

Now argue that India is in critical need of remembering Naoroji’s brand of nationalism.

  • In all of his political activities, the Grand Old Man of India, as he was known, strove to be inclusive. He laboured to secure minority participation.
  • Today’s stark majoritarianism, under the banner of a very different form of nationalism, represents a striking betrayal of foundational principles that Naoroji bequeathed to India.

Provide measures that is needed to strive for a inclusive India which takes along all sections of the society towards developmental path.

Conclusion:

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

 

Topic: Role of women and women’s organization.

2. Society, grappling with the COVID-19 virus, the associated health crisis, and issues of economic revival, has missed out on the signals that reflect the impact of the pandemic on women. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express Indian Express 

Why this question?

The travails of women have increased manifold. Both within their homes and outside, women struggle with gender violence, health issues and face economic exclusion. Although the discourse has moved towards facilitating economic recovery and regrettably, there is no evidence that it includes women and their concerns.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss about the travails of the women during the pandemic both at home as well as outside. Provide measures to overcome the same and empower the women.

Directive Word:

Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion there upon. 

Structure of Answer:

Introduction:

write a few lines about the situation of women. 

  • The state of anonymity and curtailed contact with the outside seems to have increased the apathy in society, and perhaps encouraged the indifference and marginalisation of women from the collective consciousness.

Body:

Discuss the various challenges that women are facing during the pandemic.

  • The lockdown has curtailed employment opportunities and confined male members to their homes, a combination that is frustrating for men and potentially dangerous for women.
  • There are insufficient reports of community support or social interventions even while women are bereft of dignity and safety.
  • Equally evident are concerns around the health of women, especially of those who rely on community services and the official health machinery.
  • The pandemic has aggravated the trend of declining female participation in the labour force

Provide the various measures that are needed to overcome the challenges.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced way forward.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. Education is not only about tech; it is also about learning, interaction, and developing soft skills and social capital, which only brick-and-mortar schools can provide. Critically examine. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu Hindustan Times 

Why this question:

The author talks about the current situation; that is in what way Pandemic is being used to push online education.

Key demand of the question:

One has to evaluate whether online education must supplement, not replace, physical sites of learning and justify viewpoint suitably.

Directive:

Critically 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. 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:

Briefly explain how the pandemic situation has changed the education scenario across the world.

Body:

Student has to analyse in detail in the answer if online education is being force-fed to Indian education as a miracle cure — at all levels (school, college, university) and for all tasks (lectures, exams, admissions) — not only for pandemic conditions but for the future. Analyse if online educations is a viable alternative to traditional educational institutions in our country. Present points in favour and against.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced and fair opinion.

 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

4. Account for the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Discuss the measures needed to achieve the global goals in these turbulent times. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

With the pandemic derailing us, we need big initiatives to achieve sustainable development goals. The virtual High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development recently convened governments and stakeholders to focus on the imperative to build back better while keeping an eye on the global goals.

Key demand of the question:

The question is straightforward and aims to examine the impact of the pandemic on the SDGs. One must also provide the feasible solutions that can help achieve the SDGs.

Directive:

Account – 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 are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Explain that besides having a devastating effect on Global Health, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected almost all the SDGs.

Body:

To start with, explain briefly the SDGs and map the concerns posed by the pandemic that range from – health that has a significant place in the 2030 agenda (via SDGs) to education to climate change. Explain that in order to contain the pandemic, various countries have gone for lockdown affecting economic activity. The pandemic has exposed fragility and systemic gaps in many key systems.

Though everybody is feeling the pinch of a tottered economic activity, the people from lower socio-economic strata are finding it very hard and unaffordable. As the situation is today, hunger, unemployment and inequality stand exacerbated.

Children and youth are getting deprived of quality education due to the closure of schools and colleges. The reports of domestic violence against women are on the rise.

Discuss the measures taken by countries during these turbulent times:

However, there are many workable strategies that countries have used to accelerate progress related to development goals and strengthen resilience. Countries have taken steps to extend universal health care systems and strengthen social protection systems, including cash transfer and food distribution systems for vulnerable households. Accurate and regular data have been key to such efforts. Innovating to help the most disadvantaged access financing and small and medium-sized enterprise credits have also been vital. Several countries have taken comprehensive approaches to various forms of discrimination, particularly related to gender and gender-based violence. Partnerships, including with the private sector and financing institutions, have played a critical role in fostering creative solutions. These experiences provide grounds for optimism.

Provide solutions to overcome the same:

We need a revolution in policy mindset and practice. Inclusive and accountable governance systems, adaptive institutions with resilience to future shocks, universal social protection and health insurance, and stronger digital infrastructure are part of the transformations needed.

Conclusion:

Conclude that to summarize, human health is inextricably linked to environment, ecosystems and biodiversity which in no case be allowed to get spoiled. It has become all the more imperative that in order to achieve SDGs, a population growth which is sustainable and which goes well with our environment, biodiversity and ecosystems be determined and defined.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation.

5. What do you understand by Khazan farming? Discuss its importance in maintaining ecology? What are the challenge faced by Khazan farming and measures needed? (250 words)

Reference: Down to Earth

Why this question:

The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa’s smallest protected area, like most other low-lying floodplains of Goa, is characterised by an estuarine agricultural system called Khazan farming. This system is a carefully designed topo-hydro-engineered agro-aquacultural ecosystem mainly based on the regulation salinity and tides. Lands under estuarine agricultural system, called Khazan farming, are in state of decay.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the Khazan farming and its importance in preservation of ecology. Further, one must also discuss the challenges faced by the Khazan farming and the measures needed.

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Explain the concept of Khazan farming. And where it is practiced in India.

Body:

The question is straightforward.

Discuss the importance of Khazan farming in conserving the ecology.

What are the challenges being faced currently?

What are the measures that can be used to safeguard the same?

Conclusion:

based on your discussion, provide a possible way forward to protect the mangroves.

 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

6. With the likelihood of extreme weather patterns increasing because of global warming, operational management of dams deserves equal importance. Analyze. (250 words).

Reference: Down to earth 

Why this question

India’s reservoirs now have 155% more water than last year. Live storage in 123 reservoirs is at 66.372 billion cubic metres (BCM) or 39 per cent of total live storage capacity. However, in the past, we have noticed the mismanagement of dams has led to disastrous floods. One of the key role was played by dams and understanding their role in floods would pave the way for enhancing our readiness.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain how operational management of floods is critical in mitigation of impact of floods. We need to explain why this is so, along with lacunae in our dam management. Finally, we need to discuss the way forward for improving the status of dam management.

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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction

Mention that the India’s reservoirs now have 155% more water than last year. Live storage in 123 reservoirs is at 66.372 billion cubic metres (BCM) or 39 per cent of total live storage capacity dams in India. Talk about the Kerala floods, Chennai floods etc have shown the devastating impact of poor operational management of dams.

Body

Discuss the role played by operational management of dams in catalysing the devastating impact of floods.

Cite illustrations from the Kerala floods and Chennai floods in the past to show that release of water by dams enhances the destructive impact of floods. Highlight the other associated problems caused by dams in accentuating the destruction caused by floods – silting of rivers, problems in hilly areas etc

Discuss the issues with dam management in India – dam management is engineering oriented in its approach, detailed holistic study determining the impact of dams is not done, impact on community not ascertained, evaluation of spillway capacity not done etc

Discuss in brief about the Dam management bill that was brought in to address the issue.

Suggest ways in which the same can be improved

Conclusion:

Give your view on how important operational management of dams is in mitigating the devastating impact of disasters and discuss the way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case studies.

7. You are a Public Information Officer (PIO) in a government department. You are aware that the RTI Act 2005 envisages transparency and accountability in administration. The act has functioned as a check on the supposedly arbitrarily administrative behaviour and actions. However, as a PIO you have observed that there are citizens who filed RTI applications not for themselves but on behalf of such stakeholders who purportedly want to have access to information to further their own interests. At the same time there are these RTI activists who routinely file RTI applications and attempt to extort money from the decision makers. This type of RTI activism has affected the functioning of the administration adversely and also possibly jeopardises the genuineness of the applications which are essentially aimed at getting justice.

What measures would you suggest to separate genuine and non-genuine applications? Give merits and demerits of your suggestions. (250 Words, 20) 

Reference: Previous year mains paper.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to discuss about the challenges being faced in the separation of genuine and non-genuine applications pertaining to the RTI Act and measures to overcome the same along with its merits and demerits.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-

Briefly talk about importance of RTI act in ensuring transparency and accountability in Indian democracy. Highlight the challenges of RTI act being used as a weapon or tool for vigilantism or vengeance leading to disruption in achieving the true benefits of the act.

Body-

Discuss the various measures that can be taken in separating the genuine and non-genuine applications.

Also discuss the merits and demerits of each of them.

Provide the feasible solution that you would opt for in such a situation.

Conclusion–

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


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