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[Insights Secure STHIR– 2021] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 13 January 2021

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General Studies – 1


 

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

1. A peculiar distinction to the politics of the Swarajists was their avowed intention of wrecking the reforms from within councils as well outside it. Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To elaborate upon the modus operandi adopted by the Swarjists – The methods of obstruction to all government sponsored in order to destroy the prestige of the councils as well as to carry out the nationalist work outside it.

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:

Begin by mentioning the reason for the formation of Swaraj Party, its aims and objectives.

Body:

Mention about the nature of the struggle and resistance that the swarjists carried out.

In the first part, mention the nature they adopted within the councils in order to destroy the prestige of the councils. Throw out all proposals for legislative enactments, force recognition of their rights, support measures and bills necessary for the healthy growth of national life, help the constructive programme of the Congress, to prevent the drain of public wealth, project the rights of labour etc.

In the next part, write about the nationalistic work done by the swarjists outside the legislative councils. Inter-communal unity, removal of untouchability, Village organization, boycott of selected British goods, organisation of agencies for propaganda outside India of national work and enlisting sympathy and support of foreign countries in the struggle for ‘Swaraj’ etc.

Conclusion:

Underscore the importance of the Swarjists and their contribution to Indian national Movement.

 

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

2. The appointment of the Simon Commission revived a ‘moribund Indian nationalism’. Critically Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

The appointment of an all-White Simon Commission sprung to action nationalists of all creed and shades as the national movement had entered in to a state of passivity. But was it really ‘moribund’?

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:

Start the answer by writing about the need to appoint Simon Commission and why it was opposed by Indians.

Body:

Write about the immediate and unanimous response in nationalists of India regarding the insult heaped on them by not including an India in deciding their own future. Boycott of the Commission, Hartals, mass rallies, processions and black-flag demonstrations all over. New form of Protests which were improvised to send the message and the popular slogan of ‘Simon Go Back’.

Also, write about the repressive government response resorting to lathi charges and arrests.

In the next part, analyze that the Simon boycott movement provided the first taste of political action to a new generation of youth and provided impetus to a passive national movment by re-invigorating the leaders.

However, analyse that nationalism was not ‘moribund’ but just passive after the withdrawal of the non-cooperation movement. Mention about the struggle of swarjists, congress constructive work etc to substantiate your points,

Conclusion:

Conclude by the summarizing the overall impact of Anti-Simon Commission protests.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

3. Reviving SAARC is crucial to countering the common challenges brought about by the pandemic and India can use it as a stage for its global ambitions. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Thirty-six years after it first began, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), appears to be all but dead in the water. But despite the despondency, the rationale for its existence is intact.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of SAARC in addressing the covid-19 related common challenges in South Asia and using it as platform for India’s global ambitions.

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:

Begin by writing about the formation of SAARC and how over the years the organization has stopped being an effective because of Indo-Pak bilateral tensions.

Body:

In the first part, write about the reasons for as to why the SAARC has been practically defunct.

In the next part, address as to how SAARC can be helpful in countering the common challenges posed by COvid-19 and the disruptions caused by it south Asia. Unique South Asia’s experience of the pandemic, counter future pandemics, developing cold storage chains, The pandemic’s impact on South Asian economies, promoting a more intra-regional approach towards tourism, health security, food security, and job security.

In the next part, mention how India can leverage SAARC for its global ambitions.  A growing distaste for ‘globalisation’ of trade, travel and migration, preference for nativism, self-dependence and localising supply chains, dealing with the challenge from China etc. India’s proposal to launch a COVID-19 Emergency Fund was given positive reception etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the importance of SAARC and need to revive it.

 

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

4.  As the New Year brought new tidings, old ties are being reinvigorated in West Asia. Comment. What are its impact on India? (250 words)

Reference: Indian ExpressThe Hindu

Why the question:

On January 5, the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) met at the ancient town of Al-Ula in Saudi Arabia to end the bitter discord that three of its members — Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, along with Egypt — have had with their partner, Qatar.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain about nature of reconciliation process between Qatar and major GCC members and its impact on India.

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:

Begin by giving context regarding the ending of the discord between Qatar and the GCC leaders.

Body:

In brief, mention the background as to how in the aftermath of Arab spring relations soured between Qatar and other GCC powers, leading to a total boycott of Qatar. Account for the reasons for the boycott.

Also, mention as to how Qatar was able to manage the boycott and mange to find new alliesand resist the boycott by the west Asian countries.

Mention as how with a change in administration the U.S, the countries ended the discord and resume ties. Bring out its impact on India – Energy ties, Indian diaspora, Post-Covid economic recovery, major trading and investment partners, and west Asia as employment destinations.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a summary of the overall impact the new reconciliation process will have.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. What are development finance institutions (DFIs)? Account for the need of DFI to channel funds for infrastructure projects in India. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her July 2019 budget speech. She spoke about the need for a specialist DFI to channel funds to the ₹1 trillion of infrastructure projects planned over the next five years. Ever since there have been calls to consider a new DFI.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain regarding DFI and their role in funding developmental projects and to assess whether India needs DFI 2.0.

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:

Define development finance institutions (DFIs).

Body:

In the first part, briefly mention the India’s experience with DFI’s so far.

In the next part, mention the aims and objectives of DFI’s. Give the advantages of having DFI’s fund the infrastructure projects in India and mention some special concessions made for DFI’s to function which make them an interesting choice to fund infra projects. Also mention about, as how DFI’s are more suitable than banks infra financing.

Next, bring out the drawbacks of DFI’s and the why they were converted to universal bank. Suggest steps to overcome those drawbacks to make DFI’s as good alternative to fund Infra projects.

Conclusion:

Pass a balanced judgement regarding DFI’s to fund infra projects in India.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections

6.  Honesty alone is not enough. As a civil servant, you need to be efficient and effective as well while staying morally upright. Analyze. (150 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon publications.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To argue for the need for a civil servant to be efficient along with being honest as just the virtue of honesty itself will not be able to fulfil the goals and aspirations of the government.

Directive:

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:

Write about honesty as a virtue in civil servants.

Body:

In detail, analyze that though honesty is a very good virtue to have but it alone it is not enough to get the work done. The ‘honest-only’ bureaucrat is a crusader who smells a rat everywhere and in every file. Hence, nothing gets delivered.

Mention the repercussion that extreme honesty without emotional intelligence can cause to the civil servant as well as the overall administration.

Give the need to supplement honesty with efficient and getting the work done. Bureaucrats who are honest and efficient. They may not be as visible as those who are going hammer and tongs against the “dishonest”. They are not crusaders. They are the “doers”. A civil servant must be practical.

Give examples of the above.

Conclusion:

Summarize that honest and efficient bureaucrats committed to the cause for which they are paid from the public exchequer. They are performing their tasks as professionals.

 

Topic:  Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7. India must redefine its public services delivery in order to enhance citizen service experiences that will also be aiding in revenue generation. Comment. What key factors that should be considered in redefining delivery of public services in India? (150 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon publications.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

With the unforeseen break in economic activity and a new paradigm of operating in a home-office, we are confronted with a new normal where everything is going to be far more digital. In all of this, the citizen becomes an important asset. And in order to support citizens, improving public service delivery becomes a key task for governments.

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:

Begin by giving a simple definition of public service delivery.

Body:

Argue for the need to redefine India’s public service delivery – ever increasing population, high rate of population, inequalities, women empowerment, rapid growth in urbanization, bolstering economic development, driving global environmental programmes and the disruptions created by the Pandemic.

Mention the key factors to be considered in redefining the public service delivery. Citizen centricity, digitization, Scalability considerations, Monetization etc.

Conclusion:

Mention the importance of having an efficient and robust public service delivery service.


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