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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 10 September 2020

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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. Discuss the challenges in a democratic form of governance and suggests ways to strengthen the democratic governance structure in India.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article brings to us the fact that Strong local governance remains the unfinished agenda to make India’s democracy strong and deep.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is direct and aims to discuss the challenges in a democratic form of governance and suggests ways to strengthen the democratic governance structure in India.

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:

Start by discussing the challenges in a democratic form of governance.

Body:

Explain one by one, challenges in representative democracies – Money as a factor in elections, Quality of elected representatives, process flaws, multi-party systems etc.

Explain then the fact that ; Given the above-discussed challenges to representative democracy, it is tempting to abandon political parties and parliaments and revert to direct forms of democracy where every decision can be put directly to all citizens to vote on. New Internet technologies could provide relevant tools to make this possible. However, there are challenges with respect to direct democracy as well. If all voters have not understood what is at stake, they cannot decide well and they could be guided by emotions rather than objective facts and figures. Complex issues, where many interests collide, must be resolved by reason, not settled by the numbers.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable solutions.

 

Topic : Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora. India and its neighborhood- relations.

2. In the recent times there has been a growing perception that India has abandoned the policy of non-alignment, have we really abandoned NAM? Discuss the ongoing dynamics of foreign politics and suggest way forward. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, has stated recently that non-alignment as a foreign policy was a concept of relevance in a specific era and a particular context (Cold War era), though the independence of action enshrined in it remains a factor of continuity in India’s foreign policy. This statement seems to strengthen the growing perception that India has abandoned the policy of non-alignment. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the relevance of NAM to India’s foreign policy as of today while bringing out the changing dynamics of the same.

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 discuss the background of NAM.

Body:

Non-alignment policy gained traction during the Cold War era. It meant not seeking to formally align with or against the two politico-military blocs led by the United States or the Soviet Union. It meant remaining independent or neutral and retaining autonomy of policy for the country.

Discuss then if the relevance of NAM is diminishing in today’s times.

Explain what India’s geo-strategic objectives are, what its associated challenges are and how they ought to be addressed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way forward for India, what should be the status of NAM in the current context.

 

Topic : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3. COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted perils of illiteracy. In this context discuss the need for the country to have a mass movement for literacy. Also bring out the key highlights of Padhna Likhna Abhiyan. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article highlights the need for a Mass movement for literacy.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss I detail how COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted perils of illiteracy and then explain the need for the country to have a mass movement for literacy. Also bring out the key highlights of Padhna Likhna Abhiyan.

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:

Discuss some key facts related to literacy in India and its status.

Body:

Start by highlighting the impact of covid-19 on literacy in the country.

Explain that though we have witnessed steady progress in the attainment of literacy, the COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the need for revamping the teaching process. We must make adult literacy an integral part of our COVID-19 recovery plan.

Discuss why there is a need for mass movement in the country.

To tackle the literacy-related challenges in the post-COVID-19 world, the ministry of education, under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is about to launch a new scheme for adult education, the Padhna Likhna Abhiyan. The focus of the scheme will be on the Basic Literacy component in a four months cycle — priority will be given to the 112 Aspirational Districts identified by the NITI Aayog.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of recognising the significance of literacy for our country.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic : Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

4. Increased focus on horticulture crops in the country will be a win-win formula as it will help increase farm income and support nutritional security. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express

Why the question:

The article presents to us a detailed picture of Indian horticulture and its current status.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the importance of horticulture and in what way diversification in this sector may increase farm income and support nutritional security.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

The area under horticulture crops increased to 25.5 million hectare in 2018-19, which is 20% of the total area under food grain, and produced 314 million tonnes. However, the area under total food grain declined from 129 million hectare in 2016-17 to 124 million hectare in 2018-19.

Body:

Horticulture crops are characterized by high-value crops, higher productivity per unit of area and lower requirement of irrigation and input cost.

Start explaining in what way increased focus on horticulture crops could be a win-win formula both at the top level as well as the bottom level for the government to accomplish its endeavor in nutritional security as well as increasing farmers’ income.

Discuss the efforts of the government in this direction; The NHM, a centrally-sponsored scheme, was launched in 2005-06 with one of its major objectives being to increase horticulture production and doubling farmers’ income. Horticulture production in India has more than doubled approximately from 146 million tonnes in 2001-02 to 314 million tonnes in 2018-19 whereas the production of foodgrain increased from 213 million tonnes to 285 million tonnes during the same period.

India is now self-sufficient in foodgrain production and is the largest global producer of farm products like pulses, jute, buffalo meat, milk, and poultry. It is also is the second-largest producer of several horticulture products, especially fruit and vegetables.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of the sector to overall economy of the country.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic : Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: 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; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

5. All the discourse of ethics ultimately is another side of bureaucratic incompetence. Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and aptitude by G SubbaRao and P N Chowdhary

Why the question:

The question talks about the relation between Ethical discourse and Bureaucratic incompetence.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail with relevant example in what way discourse of ethics ultimately is another facet of bureaucratic incompetence.

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:

Start by explaining what you understand by bureaucratic Incompetence.

Body:

Bureaucracy is the administrative structure and set of regulations in place to control (rationalize, render effective and professionalize) activities, usually in large organizations and government. The bureaucracy act as the most visible part of the government which mainly participate in proper implementation of programmes and policies for better governance.

The ideal-typical bureaucracy is characterized by hierarchical organization, delineated lines of authority  in a fixed area of activity, action taken on the basis of and recorded in written rules, bureaucratic officials need expert training, rules are implemented by neutral officials,career advancement depends on technical qualifications judged by organization, not individuals.

Due to these rigid rules the bureaucracy has suffered from many lacunas such as red-tapism, lack of professionalism, lack of transparency and accountability. The organizational inefficiency has reduced the very purpose of bureaucrats.

However, bureaucracy is not just about rationality, duties; etc, moral aspect of bureaucracy is also there. Over a period of time it has been analysed that only laws and rules are not sufficient to govern the society, they have limitations too, thus the discourse of ethics came into being.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need to recognise the perfect harmony between ethics and bureaucracy to ensure better governance.

 

Topic : Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6. Has our nation lost its moral compass? In the context of suicide prevention day today, analyse critically the role of Indian society as a key factor driving the suicides in the country. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

Today happens to be world suicide prevention day and thus the context of the question.

Key Demand of the question:

The question talks about the role of society and the factors the society contributes morally ethically while often the moral compass in our country is seen to be diminishing.

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:

One can start with key facts related to suicides and their rates in the country.

Body:

Explain that instead of compassion and empathy for the grieving family and friends, and respect for the deceased person’s dignity and privacy, vast sections of our citizenry have been blinded into a frenzied attack on his colleagues, friends and relatives and, if that was not enough, the person’s character for good measure.

Discuss in what way our society has lost the moral compass, explain with suitable case studies such as one of Sushant Singh Rajput.

Analyse with suitable substantiation in what way society contributes majorly to Suicide rates in the country.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need to align back the moral compass of the society and suggest methods for the same.

 

Topic: Case study

7. You are a senior civil engineer in charge of a very big road project. You find that project contractor is working honestly and strictly as per the work schedule and also maintaining the quality of work. Suddenly his only son met with an accident and hence he is preoccupied in his treatment. The project got delayed and the quality of work got slightly affected. Your subordinates are putting pressure on you to take strict action against the contractor.  What are the various options available to you? Evaluate the merits and demerits of each option and choose the option you would adopt, giving reasons. (250 words)

Why the question:

Case study based question.

Key Demand of the question:

The question involves the case of ethical dilemma and decision making.

Directive:

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with the fact that the projects contractor had been working honestly and strictly and also maintaining the quality of work prior to the time his son met with an accident.

Body:

Start by discussing the options available before the civil engineer –

  1. He can ask to the laborer head (sub-contractor) to give reasons for poor quality and tell him that action will be taken if he does not give consideration to matter. But the demerit lies in the point that the sub-contractor might take advantage of the situation on the pretext that he does not have necessary authority.
  2. The subordinates should be called to give explanation about the delay in the project and the poor quality. This will help in ensuring accountability. But it is possible the subordinates might take the engineer lightly. Also in the element of suspicion, the engineer might accuse wrong man.
  3. The civil engineer should himself carry out investigation into the matter as to why the quality of the work deteriorated and take remedial action. This requires carrying out a fair investigation.

Then examine each of the option and suggest your opinion.

Conclusion:

Thus, the civil engineer should first try to seek the cooperation of the subordinates and carry out an investigation into the matter since the son of the contractor is ill and the contractor had been honest in his work, so some time can be given but it should not be in general in the road projects.


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