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[Insights Secure – 2020] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 24 November 2020

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General Studies – 2


 

Topic : Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

1. Despite the guarantees in the Constitution, free speech, dissent and even legitimate criticism is looked at as an exercise in bad faith, and projected as an attack on democratically elected authority. Critically analyse the statement in the light of recently passed ordinance in the state of Kerala. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

Kerala Governor recently signed an ordinance amending the law to give the police more powers to prosecute persons who exploit various communication platforms to slander fellow citizens. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to critically examine the statement in question with the recent example of the Kerala ordinance related to free speech and dissent.

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:

Present briefly the background of the question; the ordinance has introduced a new provision, Section 118-A, to the Kerala Police Act, 2011. The amendment proposes three years of imprisonment and a fine of up to ₹10,000 for those convicted of producing, publishing or disseminating derogatory content through any means of communication to intimidate, insult or defame any person.

Body:

Present the issue at hand; what are the concerns with the amendment through the ordinance; the drastic amendment to the Kerala Police Act, 2011, would give the local law enforcement more powers to curb defamation. The ordinance would allow whimsical interpretations by law enforcement agencies.

Opposition parties, journalists’ bodies and civil rights activists see it as a threat to the freedom of the press and free speech in the State. It is argued that the amendment would reverse the course on media freedom, muzzle free speech and jeopardize civil liberties.

Throw light on Section 66 A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Conclusion:

Conclude that despite the guarantees in the Constitution, free speech, dissent and even legitimate criticism is looked at as an exercise in bad faith, and projected as an attack on democratically elected authority. As a result, existing laws are being weaponised to arrest journalists and citizens for a tweet or a slogan or a Facebook post.

 

Topic : Issues relating to poverty and hunger. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

2. While accounting for the key findings of the survey taken by ‘hunger watch’, discuss how far have the recent efforts of the government been able to address them? Also bring out the challenges associated and suggest solutions to the same. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

Since the lockdown, the Government of India (GoI) has announced Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) and Atmanirbhar Bharat. However, numerous studies have shown their inadequacy. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Account for the key findings of the survey taken by ‘hunger watch’ and elaborate on the recent efforts of the government been able to address them and express the challenges and concerns while also suggesting solutions.

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:

The Right to Food campaign in partnership with several civil society organisations initiated “Hunger Watch”, a rapid survey across 11 states from mid-September to mid-October. The objective was to assess the situation of hunger among vulnerable groups, as well as to take immediate local action to support those in extreme need.

Body:

Present the key findings of the survey – Widespread hunger continues to be a major issue irrespective of the income levels, more than half the respondents said their current consumption of rice/wheat was less than what it was pre-lockdown. Discuss other aspects from the findings.

Present the schemes and policies that have been directed to curb the problems of hunger in the country.

Discuss the issues and concerns associated.

Conclusion:

Suggest solutions to address the problems, take hint from the article.

 

Topic : Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora. Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate

3. What are the obstructions to international cooperation in the 21st century? Discuss and analyse the need for a more democratic global governance system to address the challenges facing the world. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article presents to us a detailed discussion on bringing a new democratic global governance system.

Key Demand of the question:

Analyse the need for common global governance.

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 first setting the context of the question.

Body:

In the answer body discuss the impediments to international cooperation in the 21st century.

Bring out the challenges like – Ensuring affordable availability of the COVID vaccine to the entire global population. Making the world economy inclusive, equitable and sustainable for complete eradication of poverty, achieving time-bound climate action to protect the planet, preventing the militarization of oceans, outer space and other global commons etc.

Suggest remedies to address these problems, discuss the need to have a new democratic global governance system to address the issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. What is Virtual currency? Why did RBI ban it? elaborate upon the supreme court judgments in relation to it. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The 4th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies was organized by the Interpol, Europol and the Basel Institute on Governance.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss what virtual currency is and talk about the RBI ban related to it and SC judgments.

Directive:

Elaborate – 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:

Briefly discuss the context – Representatives from 132 countries attended the virtual conference to shape international cross-sector solutions against the criminal use of cryptocurrencies.

The conference’s agenda included trends and investigations on cryptocurrency-related offences, exploring criminal flows and operations in the dark markets, ransomware and sextortion case studies, money laundering involving virtual assets, and the transfer of drug proceeds using cryptocurrencies.

Body:

As of now, there is no globally accepted definition of what exactly is virtual currency. Generally, it is known as a digitally tradable form of value, which can be used as a medium of exchange.

Cryptocurrency is a specific type of virtual currency, which is decentralized and protected by cryptographic encryption techniques. (Ex: Bitcoins, Ethereum, Ripple, Petro, Alber etc.)

In 2018, RBI prohibited banks and entities regulated by it from providing services related to virtual currencies. Discuss elaborately the reasons behind the ban.

Then detail upon the Supreme Court Judgment on Virtual Currencies.

Conclusion:

Conclude with its importance.

 

Topic : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

5. An important element to correct in the policy matrix addressing the menace of air pollution in the country is the policy of subsidies on power, fertilizers and procurement. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

The article presents to us a relook at the agri-subsidies to curb agri-pollution. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain the grim need to shift the nature of support to farmers from input subsidies to investment subsidies to curb the menace of air pollution in the country.

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:

Briefly present background for air pollution in the country.

Body:

In the answer body present the main reasons for air pollution in India and discuss its impact in detail.

Then discuss the effect of policy of subsidies on power, fertilizers and procurement; Power subsidies have not only led to an alarming overuse of groundwater, but also it has severely damaged the health of power distribution companies. Subsidized Urea has led to massive overuse of nitrogenous fertilizers, leading to damaged soils and pollution of local water bodies etc.

Suggest what needs to be done? – hint at solutions like crop diversification, direct cash transfers to farmers etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

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

6. What is a bank moratorium, and when does it come into play? Give examples of how a moratorium can prevent a ‘run’ on the bank? (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu The Hindu 

Why the question:

As the financial ecosystem navigated one more pothole last week, with depositors in Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited (LVB) getting bailed out, the implications of the Reserve Bank of India’s sleight of hand have got all stakeholders thinking about the way forward.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain the concept of Moratorium in banking sector and its applications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining what Moratorium is.

Body:

The RBI, the regulatory body overseeing the country’s financial system, has the power to ask the government to have a moratorium placed on a bank’s operations for a specified period of time. Under such a moratorium, depositors will not be able to withdraw funds at will.

Then explain when it comes into play; usually, the RBI steps in if it judges that a bank’s net worth is fast eroding and it may reach a state where it may not be able to repay its depositors. When a bank’s assets (mainly the value of loans given to borrowers) decline below the level of liabilities (deposits), it is in danger of failing to meet its obligations to depositors.

Present the past experiences of India with respect to Moratorium in the country.

Explain how does a moratorium prevent a ‘run’ on the bank?

Conclusion:

Conclude with its relevance and importance.

 


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. Explain how John Rawls intends to use “veil of ignorance’ for distribution and redistribution of resources and responsibilities? Is it ethically consistent? (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question intends to ascertain the role of the veil of ignorance in Rawls theory of distributive justice.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the role of the veil of ignorance in Rawls theory of distributive justice and give your opinion as to whether it is ethically consistent.

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:

The Veil of Ignorance, a component of social contract theory, allows us to test ideas for fairness. First brief upon what veil of ignorance is.

Body:

Rawls suggests that you imagine yourself in an original position behind a veil of ignorance. Behind this veil, you know nothing of yourself and your natural abilities, or your position in society. Behind such a veil of ignorance all individuals are simply specified as rational, free, and morally equal beings.

Then move on to explaining the two principles that Rawls says we would choose behind the veil of ignorance. By being ignorant of our circumstances, we can more objectively consider how societies should operate. Two primary principles supplement Rawls’ veil of ignorance: the liberty principle and the difference principle.

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving your opinion as to whether it is an ethically consistent theory.


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