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[Insights Secure STHIR– 2021] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 29 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. “If Panchsheel principles are applied not only between various countries but also in international relations generally, they would form a solid foundation for peace and security”. Analyze why despite commitment to Panchsheel, Sino-Indian war happened? (250 words)

Reference: India’s Since 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 the reasons for the outbreak of Indo-China war despite commitment to principles of Panchsheel by both countries.

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 the aims and objectives Panchsheel.

Body:

Write the five principles of Panchsheel and the context in which they were propounded. Bring out how they would form a solid foundation for peace and security not only between Indo-China but also in the world

Mention the factors why despite commitment to peace, the war broke India and China. Tibet issue, Dalai Lama refugee crisis, incorrect boundary alignment between the two countries and Chinese forces crossing the McMahon Line etc.

Conclusion:

Summarize the lessons learnt from the war of 1962.

 

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

2. The need of the hour is to call out for Non-Aligned Movement’s (NAM) revitalisation for it to be able to cater to the 21st Century needs of Third World countries more efficiently. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: India’s Since 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 write about the need to revitalize NAM and to emphasize on its relevance in the 21st century.

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 writing about the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and context it was formed.

Body:

Write about how after the end of the cold war and emergence of multi polar worlds, NAM seemingly lost it relevance. Mentions reasons there for.

Mention the present relevance of NAM. NAM is needed for maintaining independence of action in international relations. To fight against international terrorism and neo­colonialism. NAM continues to be -very popular with developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. NAM has yet to achieve its long term objectives and Climate Change threats etc.

Suggest measures to revitalize the working of NAM. India’s more proactive role, frequent summits, and collective bargaining etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

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

3. China should show global leadership, in commitment to international principles of peace and justice, in fighting climate change and achieving sustainable development and avoid going down the path of arrogant superpowers. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

On January 23, eight bombers and four fighters from China entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, the latest warning to Taipei. Recent events have indicated China is resorting to ‘show of muscle’.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role China can take up as the global leader and avoid becoming an ‘arrogant superpower’

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 the context of rise of China as a superpower.

Body:

In the first part, give instances where china has transgressed in the recent past and resorted to show of power. Ladakh, Hong Kong and Taiwan etc. Link that various instances of superpowers abusing their power. Also, mention about the Uyghur crisis.

In the next part, write about how China can assume a role as global leader by adhering to the principles of peace and justice – resolving bilateral disputes with talks, recognizing rights of minorities etc. In leading climate change and sustainable development – commitment to Paris Climate deal, honoring the Carbon neutrality, avoiding trade wars and a new cold war

Conclusion:

Suggest a way forward on how China could make long lasting changes with a peaceful and moral approach to its global ambitions.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. Retrospective taxation is causing more harm to India’s interest than the revenue it could yield. Do you agree? Examine in the light of recent developments. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

India’s refusal to settle with Carin energy after their recent arbitration award has opened up a prospect of a private company having to legally seize sovereign property globally, a course of action some of shareholders are starting to recommend.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about retrospective taxation which has done more harm than good.

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:

Start by defining what constitutes a retrospective tax and its genesis in India.

Body:

Mention about the need for retrospective taxation in India. Talk about the Vodafone and the Cairns case.

Highlight with examples as to how the retrospective taxation has been more damaging than it has helped. Vicious cycle of arbitration and appeals which are ultimately lost, disincentive investor sentiment, a PR failure, fear of Indian tax regime, using retrospective tax as a tool to meet revenue targets, cost of appeals and now the possibility of seizure of sovereign assists globally which will have repercussions etc.

Put forward the opportunities that arise by moving away from retro tax such as formation of a coherent investment strategy, boosted investor confidence,  ease of doing business and harmonious bilateral investment treaties etc.

Conclusion:

State you balanced views on retrospective taxation while underscoring the need of India to respect the decision of arbitrators.

 

Topic:  Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

5. What is an anti-trust law? The question today before the policymakers is how to regulate these Internet firms from abusing their monopoly power while at the same time encouraging the positive externalities and consumer surplus they create. Critically Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu Business – Standard

Why the question:

There are ongoing investigations worldwide, including in the European Union and the United States, on the abuse of monopolistic power by the Big Tech firms, especially Facebook and Google.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need to develop balance between checking monopolistic tendencies of internet giants and to create an ecosystem of positive externalities.

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:

Begin by defining anti-trust law and the need for it.

Body:

In the first part, write about the limitations which the policy makers face while regulating the internet firms. Non-rival nature, jurisdictional issues, excludable nature etc.

Next, make a case for the regulation of the technological giants. Personalised advertisements, third-party sharing of the personal information, monopoly of some firms, Predatory pricing and erecting entry barriers for rivals etc.

Finally, write about the positive externalities created by these companies and the need to draw a balance between the both. Maps, Searches, Vaccine distributions and logistics etc. Suggest possible solutions like tax subsidy for their orderly behaviour in the marketplace, sharing of Non-Personal Data (NPD), fair payment to content creators etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance;

6. For Mahatma Gandhi, Good Governance meant Sarvodaya – the concept of actions for the common good beneficial to all. Explain. (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 write about the Gandhian Concept of Sarvodaya and its relation with good governance.

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:

Begin the answer by describing about the Sarvodaya concept of Mahatma Gandhi.

Body:

Mention about the Principles of the Sarvodaya and link them with the concept of good goveranance. Elaborate with examples about the Sarvodaya movement and how it impacted our nation. Stress upon the component of Agency of Common Welfare of all.

Conclusion:

Give the relevance of Sarvodaya in the contemporary times.

 

Topic:  Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7. The main objective of Citizens Charter is to evolve and lay down a code of conduct for the public utilities, various service providers and other governmental organisations that have an interface with the public, so that when published as a document it can serve as a “Charter”. Discuss. (150 words)

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the main objectives and components of Citizen Charters.

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 defining Citizen Charter.

Body:

In the body, write about main objectives and components of Citizen Charters. Quality, Choice, Standards, Value, Transparency, Accountability, Coherence between related service providers and code of conduct.

Write about how all these will help the government develop an interface with public and the vision of the charter is fulfilled.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing upon the need to make Citizen Charters more effective.


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