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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 30 October 2020

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Elucidate the main aspects of the policy of Dhamma as propounded by Ashoka and to what extent are they relevant to present-day India. (250 words)

Reference: NCERT – History of Medieval India class XI

Why the question:

The question is premised on the theme of the Policy of Dhamma proposed by Ashoka and its relevance as of today.

Key Demand of the question:

One must explain the main aspects of the policy of Dhamma as propounded by Ashoka and explain to what extent they are relevant to present-day India.

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:

Start by explaining what the Policy of Dhamma is.

Body:

Discuss in detail the principles underlying the policy of Dhamma; People should live in peace and harmony. Everyone should practice the principle of ahimsa, i.e. non-violence and non-injury to all living beings. People should love one another and display respect and tolerance towards other religious faiths. Children should obey their elders and elders should treat children with understanding. People should be truthful, charitable and kind to all, even towards servants and slaves.

Explain in points, how the policy of Dhamma was meant to reduce various conflicts and discords present in the Mauryan society at that time. Also draw conclusion as to how that makes it more than ever relevant to today’s times.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Ashoka’s Dhamma can still be an answer to the socio-political needs of the world even today.

 

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

2. Examine the ideas and ideology of Jyotiba Phule. Can he be termed a radical? (250 words)

Reference: Modern Indian history by Spectrum Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the ideas and ideologies of the famous personality of eighteenth century.

Key Demand of the question:

One must delve into the ideas and ideologies propounded by Jyotiba Phule, his contributions and assess if he could be termed as a radical personality of his times.

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:

Jyotirao Govindrao Phule was an Indian social activist, thinker, anti-caste social reformer and writer from Maharashtra. His work extended to many fields, including eradication of untouchability and the caste system, and women’s emancipation.

Body:

He is mostly known for his efforts in educating women and lower caste people.

Discuss his ideas and ideologies in detail while substantiating his works in the same direction. Phule’s social activism included many fields including eradication of untouchability and the caste system, education of women and the dalits, and welfare of downtrodden women.

In his struggle against the caste system, Jyotiba Phule’s innovation lay in overturning the ideological foundation of what he called Brahmanical order. He sought to transcend the caste-based division to unite the lower castes and untouchables in the category of Sudras-atisudras.

Give your opinion on his radical views; Jyotiba Phule’s radical humanism made him distinct from other nationalist leaders and was emulated by both E V Ramaswamy and Bhimrao Ambedkar. His remarkable legacy could be attested by the fact that a set of social movements in Maharashtra involving women, farmers, Dalits, and environmentalists consider Phule as their forerunner.

Conclusion:

In Phule, thus, we have an intellectual and activist with a global vision seeking to reform his own society.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

3. Do you agree that the Covid pandemic and rural distresses are the two prominent reasons behind the current slowdown in the Indian economy? Substantiate. (250 words)

Reference: blogs.worldbank.org

Why the question:

The question aims to assess the contributions of Covid-19 and rural distress in the current slowdown of the Indian economy.

Key Demand of the question:

Directive:

Substantiate – When you are asked to Substantiate, 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 using suitable case studies or/ and examples.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Best way is to start your answer with some data/statistics substantiating the stand of the question.

Body:

The answer must discuss two parts of the question; one is the effect of Covid-19 directly on the economy and thus slowdown. Two, it must explain the rural distress that already existed partly and part of the distress that was augmented owing to the pandemic and related lockdown effect and its overall impact on the slowdown of the economy.

Assess the immediate challenges that COVID19 has posed to the farm sector and suggest mitigation measures to ensure a sustainable food system in the post-crisis period.

Give examples wherever possible to substantiate.

Conclusion:

One can conclude with the efforts of the government to undo the slowdown and mitigate the effects of the pandemic and rural distress on the overall economy.

 

Topic: GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

GS-3: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

4. India is moving towards becoming a gas-based economy. In this context discuss the prospects of a potential Blue-flame economy that India is ushering to achieve. (250 words)

Reference: davp.nic.in

Why the question:

The article in the magazine brings to us insights on the efforts of the government in making India a gas based economy in order to usher a blue flame revolution.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the prospects of a potential Blue-flame economy that India is ushering to achieve and highlight the efforts being made by the government in this direction.

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:

First explain what you understand by a Gas-based economy and explain what blue-flame revolution is.

Body:

Start explaining the fact that Natural gas will play a pivotal role in underpinning the world’s fastest-growing major economy as the government grapples with its energy trilemma—to make its supply secure, affordable and sustainable.

Explain in what way blue flame revolution can transform India’s energy landscape.

Discuss the prospects in detail and suggest challenges if any.

Conclusion:

Conclude with efforts of the government in this direction and suggest what more needs to be done.

 

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.

5. Discuss the importance of agro-forestry, social forestry and natural forests in supplementing the income of farmers. (250 words)

Reference: geographyandyou.com

Why the question:

The question is straightforward and aims to discuss the importance of agro-forestry, social forestry and natural forests in supplementing the income of farmers.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the importance of agro-forestry, social forestry and natural forests in supplementing the income of farmers.

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:

Define first what agro-forestry, social forestry and natural forests are.

Body:

Agroforestry is the cultivation of trees and shrubs as crops or for animal rearing with a view towards the environment, their utility or other social benefits. Social forestry refers to the management of forests for the benefits of local communities. It includes aspects such as forest management, forest protection, and afforestation of deforested lands with the objective of improving the rural, environmental, and social development.

Discuss the existing policies on both agro and social forestry in our country. Discuss what the lacunae are; the problem in both agro n social forestry is a lack of policy outreach, and is borne from the transition from traditional ways of living in rural communities to modern forms of agriculture and livelihood. There is thus a lack of participation from local communities with respect to policy, that has not yet assimilated the traditional methods and ethos of agro n social forestry. While social forestry is invaluable to conservation efforts towards forests and ecosystems, agro forestry opens up certain tree-species to production processes.

Likewise also discuss in what way natural forests can as well contribute to the farmers income.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the need to recognise the importance of these three policies in augmenting the income of farmers in the country.

 

Topic : Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. Basics of cyber security.

6. What do you understand by Deepfakes? Critically analyse the threats posed by them and suggest solutions to address them. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article discusses the threats posed by the use of Deepfakes and analyzes possible solutions.

Key Demand of the question:

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:

Define what Deepfakes are.

Body:

Deepfakes are the synthetic digital media content (video, audio, and images) manipulated using Artificial Intelligence. Deepfakes use a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning to make videos/images of fake events, hence the name deepfake. Deepfakes leverage powerful techniques from machine learning and artificial intelligence to manipulate or generate visual and audio content.

Discuss then the concerns posed by them. Deepfakes can be and have been weaponised to inflict harm. Deepfakes can inflict damage to individuals, institutions, businesses and democracy.

Explain methods to overcome the challenges posed by it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward that to counter the grave threat posed by deepfakes there is the need for a multi-stakeholder and multi-modal approach.

 


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. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7. In what way the concepts of love and moral percepts aid in building an ethical society? Discuss with examples. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the importance love and moral percepts in building an ethical society.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way the concepts of love and moral percepts aid in building an ethical society.

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 with concept of Love and moral precepts in general.

Body:

Discuss first the importance of having an ethical society.

Explain then the need for love and moral precepts in achieving an ethical society.

One must give examples or present case studies to better substantiate such questions.

Quote philosophers and propounders who assert that concepts of love and moral percepts aid in building an ethical society.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.


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