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[Insights Secure STHIR– 2021] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 14 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. Foundation of the Congress was the natural culmination of the political work of the previous years. 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 trace the culmination of the political awakening in India, starting from local/regional organization to the pan Indian organization in the form Indian National Congress.

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:

Write about the circumstances leading to the formation of Congress in 1885 in brief.

Body:

In brief mention about various theories regarding the formation of Congress – Safety Valve Theory and The Nationalist Theory.

Write about the evolving political consciousness among Indians. Mention the factors responsible for it. Also, write about the various local organizations that sprang up across India as result of political awakening. Mention their demands.

Conclusion:

Culminate as to how these resulted in a Pan Indian organization in the form of Indian National Congress.

 

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

2. Ghadarites fought in vain as they failed to achieve their desired objectives and hence Ghadar movement can be classified as a failure. Do you agree with this statement? 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:

To Analyze critically as to whether or not the Ghadar movement was a failure.

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:

In brief, write about the Ghadar Movement and its aims and objectives it sought to achieve.

Body:

In first part, in line with its aims and objectives, write about how Ghadar movement in India and abroad took shape. Write briefly about its leaders and their attempts to overthrow the British rule.

In the next part, in detail analyze the success and failure of the Ghadarites in achieving their stated objectives. Mention about the preparation of the Ghadarites, the lack of secrecy and the suppression of the movement by the colonial government. Also, their relative failure in causing mass defections from the India army.

Mention the contributions of Ghadar movement in further deepening nationalist consciousness and ideology, the economic critique, impact on revolutionary nationalists and spread of nationalism abroad.

Conclusion:

Mention that the success or failure of a political movement is not always to be measured in terms of its achievement of stated objectives but by overall contribution and the legacy it created.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3.  America’s acrimony towards Cuba has its roots in the Cold War period. As the U.S-Cuban relationship takes yet another turn following re-designation of Cuba by U.S.A as a state sponsor of terrorism. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Outgoing President Donald Trump has reclassified Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism” in a last-minute move that could complicate efforts by Joe Biden’s incoming administration to re-engage with Havana.

Key Demand of the question:

To trace the complicated relationship between U.S and Cuba and the impact of the recent move in them.

Directive:

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by the giving context regarding re-designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism in the final hour of Trump presidency.

Body:

In the first part, trace the path of relations between the tiny Caribbean nation of Cuba and the might U.S.A during Cold war until now. Bring out the complication and hostilities witness during the regime of Fidel Castro including the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Mention the current reasons as to why the trump administration sanctioned it as state sponsor of terrorism.

In the next part, bring out how the move complicates the relationship between the two nations and makes it tough for incoming Biden administration undoing the good work achieved in the Obama era.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money laundering and its prevention

4.  Supply chain viruses are quickly becoming the new face of cyber warfare. India should proactively take steps to prevent India from such attacks. Examine. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

In the last week of 2020, news came in that Vietnam had been found to be the target of a sophisticated supply chain cyber-attack.

Key Demand of the question:

To examine the nature of threat that supply chain viruses pose and steps India should in that regard to prevent them from happening.

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:

Being by describing as to what constitutes a supply chain virus with an example.

Body:

In brief, describe the mechanism of the supply chain virus attack and the implications it poses for the supply chain of the country. Use the example of Vietnam and U.S.A to substantiate your points.

Given the vast nature of India’s supply chain bring out the potential implications of supply chain viruses in India in destabilizing them and affect the public.

Mention the steps India should take in that regard in proactively identifying and capacity building to ward of any supply chain viruses.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

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

5. Cryptocurrencies present a multiplicity of risks. Discuss in detail the risks associated with crypto currencies and suggest measures that RBI has to take to prevent them. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

In March 2020, the Supreme Court set aside a circular of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that banned regulated entities from providing any service related to the purchase and sale of virtual currencies. It said any restraint or regulation must be exercised with proportionality and responsibility, backed by adequate empirical evidence.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the downside of cryptocurrencies and the risk that they bring and suggest steps that RBI can take to prevent them and regulate cryptocurrencies.

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 defining cryptocurrencies.

Body:

In brief, mention the application of cryptocurrencies. You can use a buddle diagram as well to represent the same.

In the next part, in detail, bring out the risk that are associated with cryptocurrencies. Mention any reports that mention about the potential risks emanation from crypto currencies. Anonymity, Money Laundering, Terror financing, asymmetries of information, not backed by tangible assets or other securities, market manipulation, hacking, firesales and risk of bankruptcy etc. Mention reports, facts and figures to substantiate your points.

In the last part of the body, mention the steps RBI can take to address the above risks in order to regulate cryptocurrencies.  development of crypto products in a controlled environment, build regulatory and supervisory capacity, public discussion, engage industry players and mine the potential of regulatory technology etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward which ensures the development of cryptocurrencies in a regulated environment.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information;

6.  By being accountable and transparent and countering misinformation, the government can improve vaccine intake of the masses which crucial for us in the fight against Covid-19. Elaborate. (150 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

India on Tuesday began the mammoth task of ferrying the first lot of Covid-19 vaccine Covishield doses, developed in Pune’s Serum Institute of India, with 9 flights carrying as many as 5.6 million doses to 13 cities ahead of the vaccination drive scheduled from January 16.

Key Demand of the question:

To develop the link between improving transparency and accountability which is crucial for success of vaccination policy against Covid-19.

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:

Begin by giving context of what will the one of the largest vaccination drive witnessed and the relationship between the success of vaccination drive and transparency.

Body:

In the first part, write about how lack of transparency and public information regarding the trials and subsequent roll out can damage the public sentiment against the vaccine. The growing misinformation in the media and public domain can lead to vaccine hesitancy.

Mention steps that the government can take to over the fear and skepticism. Education, Information, Participatory decision making, levering community leaders etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

Topic:  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics;

7. Are white lies ethically justified? Using examples debate on the concept of white lies. (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 examine the concept of white lies and to determine if they are ethically justified.

Directive:

Debate – 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 agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define as to what constitutes a white lie with an example.

Body:

In the first part, examine the nature of white lies and analyze the concept using various ethical theories and thinkers. Give examples to substantiate your arguments.

In the next part, give situations where it would be okay to use white lies and situations where white lies would not be right.

Conclusion:

Pass a balanced judgement that usage of white lies is based on situation but all lies are a form of deception. It would not be okay to justify white lies ethically unless there exist extra-ordinary circumstances.


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