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[Insights Secure STHIR– 2021] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 1 January 2021

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography;

1. The Salinity of the ocean water varies due various geographical as well as ecological factors. Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Certificate of Human and Physical Geography by G.C Leong.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key demand of the question:

Write about salinity in the ocean, its variation. Next, explain the factors affecting variation in oceans salinity. Write about variation in salinity both in terms of latitudinal change and change with depth. Discuss the impact of such variations in salinity

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:

Explain what ocean salinity is and how it varies with latitudinal variations and depth.

Body:

Discuss the factors affecting changes in ocean salinity – precipitation and evaporation, enclosed or not etc.

Discuss the impact of such variations. Highlight the impact of increasing salinity on water cycle, on physiographic factors like density and how that impacts the movement of current, on climate such as in the case of el nino etc.

Conclusion:

Mention about the impact of salinity on the oceans around the world.

 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography;

2. Explain the factors responsible for the formation of ocean currents? What are the reasons for formation of Sargasso Sea? (250 words)

Reference: Certificate of Human and Physical Geography by G.C Leong.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To bring out the factors responsible for formation and movement of ocean currents and Sargasso Sea.

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:

Begin by defining ocean currents.

Body:

Draw a small illustrative diagrams showing major ocean currents.

Mention factors responsible for their formation such as insolation, atmospheric circulations, gravity and the effect of Coriolis force, Temperature and salinity differences and water density etc.

In the next part, introduce Sargasso Sea and mention the factors behind its formation.

Conclusion:

Summarize the importance of Sargasso Sea.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. In theory, The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is the first step towards Uniform Civil Code but in practice, its implementation is farcical. Critically Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

States such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh framing laws that target inter-faith marriage, the procedural requirements of the Special Marriage Act (SMA) — such as the need to give prior notice, and allowance for ‘objections’ — seem to be undermining its original intent by opening the doors to violent moral policing by vigilante groups.

Key Demand of the question:

To mention as to how SMA, 1954 aims to achieve uniform civil code and analyze the drawbacks in its implementation and attempts to dilute it.

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:

Write about the Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954 and why it is enacted.

Body:

In the first part of the body. Mention how SMA is a first step towards achieving UCC. Marriage is one thing and religion quite another. If two citizens of India professing different religions wish marry, it is open to them to do so under the SMA which is one of the earliest endeavours towards a UCC. The effect of the SMA is that once marriage is registered under it, your religion’s personal laws won’t apply.

In the next part, mention about the farcical implementation of SMA and the impediments to its implementation.  Giving notice prior to marriage, lack of equality, prone to societal reactions and nuisance of self-proclaimed vigilante groups, lack of protection in inter-faith and inter-caste marriages and anti-conversion laws/ordinances by some states targeted at diluting the law etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to make SMA act hold true to its spirit of liberalism and pluralism.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

4. 5G technology is poised to open up a plethora of possibilities in terms of business models, and enhanced lifestyles for one and all. But managing the economies of scale is a hurdle for telecom companies that they need to overcome. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The government has repeatedly spoken of India’s aspirations to deploy 5G and be a significant player in its development and growth. K. Ramchand, Member (Technology), Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said that it would soon announce 5G spectrum bands for auction.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the multitude of opportunities that 5G technology will offer and to examine how the already overburdened companies will have an issue in scaling up 5G.

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:

Briefly introduce the 5G technology and its features, the opportunities it offers.

Body:

Elaborate up on the opportunities that 5G will offer. High speeds, low latency, enhanced user experience, increased operational efficiency and a competitive edge for the enterprise businesses. These all are useful in digital marketing, IoT, Augmented Reality, enhanced opportunities for research, tele-education and tele-medicine etc.

In this part, mention how economies of scale is an issue for telecom companies for 5G to usher. Barriers in discontinuing 2G and introducing 5G services, burden of AGR dues, reluctance of telecos to participate in the auction because of high spectrum costs etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward where TRAI and the government can take concrete steps to incentivize phasing out of 2G and the rollout of 5G.

 

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

5. Though India is on track to achieve its Paris climate goals, it will still need collaborative efforts of policymakers, industry captains and citizens to make climate proof choices and build climate resilience. Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

Several parts of north India are in the grip of a severe cold wave. While winter may be longer and harsher in some regions due to La Niña, forecasters suggest that 2021 would still be among the Earth’s hottest years recorded. Rising temperatures have led to a sharp increase in climate extreme events in recent years.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about India’s performance in NDC’s of Paris Accords and make a case for collaborative efforts in building climate resilience.

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 mentioning the performance of India on its climate commitments.

Body:

Mention the India’s targets as per the Price and in detail bring out India’s performance which puts it on course to achieve them in the intended timeline. India had reduced its emissions intensity by 21% since 2005. Installed solar capacity has grown to 36 gigawatt in 2020. The country’s renewable energy capacity was the fourth largest in the world and would reach 175GW before 2022.

Though, above is good news but much remains desired to prevent the country and the world from the negative impacts of Climate Change. Mentions in which we can build collaborative climate resilience as mentioned in the article.

Conclusion:

Complete the answer by underscoring, with collaborative cooperation, not only will be a step closer to Paris Goals but as well SDG 12, 13 and 17.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections;

6. Distinguish between Empathy, Sympathy and Compassion. Compassion towards all living beings should be followed in letter and spirit in this new decade. (150 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

In detail, to bring out the differences between the three related yet different terminologies of Empathy, Sympathy and Compassion.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining Empathy, Sympathy and Compassion.

Body:

Bring out the differences between the three concepts of Empathy, Sympathy and Compassion with examples. Empathy means that you feel what a person is feeling, Sympathy means you can understand what the person is feeling and Compassion is the willingness to relieve the suffering of another.

Write about the need for more compassion in present times. As the world recovers from a pandemic, as climate change challenge mounts, world is divided by hate and bigotry. The world could do well with more compassion.

Conclusion:

Bring out how compassion can impact and transform our lives for the better or end with a quote about compassion.

 

Topic:  Case Study.

7. The Government in the anticipation of vaccine for Covid-19 had taken a list of frontline workers such as doctors, nurses, ward boys, police personnel and other essential workers to be vaccinated first.

As the vaccine arrives, a limited number of vials of vaccine is disbursed as per pervious list that was recorded. You, as the Health Officer, are put in charge of making sure all the previously enlisted people are vaccinated in your city.

The instructions given by the Government for vaccination are as follows:

  1. Only the people who were enrolled as Frontline workers in the list can be given vaccine. The health officer should ensure no enrolled Frontline worker, who is available on the day of vaccination, is left behind for whatsoever reason.
  2. The vaccination process has to be finished on the same day as vaccine arrives due to limited shelf life of the vaccine and limited cold storage facilities.
  3. In case there is any additional vial of vaccine or any of the enlisted frontline warriors are unable to take the vaccine due to any important reason, it is left to discretion of the Health Officer to select ‘most urgent’ cases from general public to be vaccinated from the extra vials remaining.

On the day, the vaccination process goes seamlessly as the Frontline workers are vaccinated. At the end of the process it is found out that there are 3 vials remaining. You being an enlisted Frontline worker are yet to be vaccinated and there are some urgent cases in front of you as follows:

  1. A youth from rural village has qualified for international athletic meet in Russia but the international sports association is allowing only vaccinated candidates to partake in the meet. It’s a once in lifetime opportunity for the youth, who with immense difficulty arranged the finances for travel in absence of a sponsor. He also has a decent chance of winning laurels for the country.
  2. The mayor of the city, who had enlisted as an essential worker got himself vaccinated. After coming to know of additional vials, demands one for his wife. He states that his wife is diabetic, has high blood pressure and hence qualifies to be an urgent case. You even get a call from the Municipal Commissioner, who is your superior, to consider mayor’s wife for vaccine.
  3. A person who is immuno-compromised, is in need of a lifesaving surgery. Though the hospital is not insistent on vaccine but doctors feel it will be better if the patient is vaccinated. This will prevent the risk of nosocomial infection of Covid-19 as number of cases are on rise in the city due to the new strain and the hospital in which the surgery is to take place also treats covid-19 patients.
  4. A family friend who is a senior doctor, posted and enrolled for vaccine in the neighboring city, which also happens to be your hometown, has come to your current city for his personal work. As he is still in your city and unable to go back, he contacts you for vial of vaccine. He says that, in case you allow him vial of vaccine, he will get his designated vial allotted in the neighboring city to a person of your choosing. He reminds that it will be better that your mother who is Asthmatic and has breathing issues, takes a vaccine in his place in your hometown and you give him a vial here in your city.

The Vaccine has a limited shelf life and will expire in a few hours. Given the above scenarios, who will you allocate the vaccine vials? (250 words)

Why the question:

As the New Year brings new beginnings, the vaccination drive is imminent. Initially, there will a lot of dilemmas and confusion regarding it. This hypothetical and futuristic case study, highlights some of the dilemmas we may face.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by giving the context of the case study.

Body:

This is a very interesting and dilemmatic case study which tests your empathetic nature, emotional intelligence and your obedience to authority.

First highlight the facts of the case and mention all the relevant stakeholders.

The guidelines for solving the case study are. One, follow the instructions given the government. Two, be compassionate and empathetic. Three, address all the issues arriving from the case study and ensure all stakeholders are taken care of. Finally, you should display your emotional intelligence in handling contingency situations like this.

Conclusion:

Justify the actions taken by you on the basis of ethical philosophies and theories.


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