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[Insights Secure STHIR– 2021] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 2 February 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. Plassey and Buxar breached the gates and set the stage for the British conquest of India. Critically Comment. (250 words)

Reference: A Brief History of Modern India by Spectrum Publishers

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 outcomes of Battle of Plassey and Battle of Buxar and to determine to the extent the facilitated the conquest of India.

Directive:

Critically comment – 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 ‘comment’ is prefixed, we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In brief, mention about the Battle of Plassey and Battle of Buxar – emphasizing on its impact.

Body:

In detail, outline the major outcomes of Battle of Plassey and mention how it played a part in setting the stage for foundations of British Indian Empire. Foot in the door, riches of Bengal, role of Plassey in victory in third Carnatic War.

Next, outline the major impact of Buxar and mention how it played a part in setting the stage for foundations of British Indian Empire. Defeat the major powers, making East India Company as prominent political entity and territorial increase etc.

Finally, examine to the extent the battles facilitated the conquest of India by British. Presence of important powers like Mysore, Marathas and Punjab, still a relatively new entrant to Indian politics, commercial nature of the company etc.

Conclusion:

Pass a balanced judgement to the extent Plassey and Buxar played in the formation of British Indian Empire.

 

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

2. The course of the Second World War as well as it outcomes hastened the demise of the British Empire in India. Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: A Brief History of Modern India by Spectrum Publishers

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how the Second World War played a part in India’s independence.

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 regarding the Second World War and India’s Struggle for Independence.

Body:

In the first part of the body, Mention about the response of Indian nationalists to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Next, mention the impact of World War-II on the India’s national movement. Weakening of British Empire, Pressure from Allies, Quit India movement, RIN Mutiny etc.

Conclusion:

Summarize the role of Second World War in India’s independence.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  Issues relating to poverty and hunger

3. Urgent steps are required to address the widening inequalities exacerbated by the Pandemic. Examine in the light of recommendations of Economic Survey 2021. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The Economic Survey seems to privilege wealth creation over reduction of income disparity.

Key Demand of the question:

To argue for the steps needed to reduce the growing inequality.

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:

Begin by giving context about the growing in equalities in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Body:

Cite relevant statistics regarding the widening inequalities and mentions the reasons for it.

Write about the Economic Survey and its take on this topic. Analyze the various facets of it in employment, health, economic recovery, rural joblessness, and migrant workers.

 Argue growth should not prioritized over inequality in tackling poverty and suggest steps to achieve the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Government Budgeting.

4. Enumerate the key Highlights of the Union Budget 2021-22. Given the lessons learnt during the pandemic, do you think the budget offers proper solutions to the issues faced in public health? Critically analyze. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a brave effort to make good use of the lessons learnt from the unprecedented global health crisis and ensuing economic setback to put lives and livelihoods back on track.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the important highlights of the budget to analyze if the budget offers proper solution to issues faced in the public health sector.

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 giving the context and the announcement of Union Budget 2021-22.

Body:

In the first write about the key highlights of the budget – health and well-being, physical and financial capital and infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, innovation and R&D, and ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.

Next, write about the major lessons learnt during the pandemic regarding the health sector. Overburdened, lack of doctors, unavailability of life saving devices, medicines, lack of R&D etc.

Write in detail about the proposals of the current budget in this regard and analyses their pros and cons. Mention if the allocation for vaccine overshadows the infrastructure aspect for health.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

Topic:  Government Budgeting.

5. What is Fiscal Deficit? What are the impacts of Fiscal Deficit on the economy? What are the ways to financing the Fiscal deficit? Suggest steps for fiscal consolidation in the light of the Union Budget proposals. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a brave effort to make good use of the lessons learnt from the unprecedented global health crisis and ensuing economic setback to put lives and livelihoods back on track.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about impact of the fiscal deficits on the economy, ways to finance a deficit and the suggest steps for fiscal consolidation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining Fiscal deficit.

Body:

In the first bring out the short and long term impact of Fiscal deficit. short-term boost in operations and profitability, encourage rent-seeking, stimulus spending, welfare, public good, infrastructure, war financing, and environmental protection. Negative impact like accumulate more debt, interest rates tend to go up, danger of rating agencies downgrading India’s credit rating, depreciation in the value of the rupee etc.

Next, mention ways to finance it. Deficit financing and monetisation of fiscal deficit, sale of government securities, such as Treasury bonds (T-bonds) etc.

In the light of breaching of the limits of FRBM act due to the emergency, suggest way to achieve fiscal consolidation.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

6. Define attitude. What is the process through which attitudes are formed? Elucidate. (250 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:

Question is based on the concept of ‘Attitude’ and the processes through which it is formed.

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:

Briefly define what you understand by attitude.

Body:

An attitude is a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favour or disfavor. Attitude has three components: cognitive, affective and conative or behavioural. Explain these components in detail and quote examples as and when required to justify better.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of it.

 

Topic:  accountability and ethical governance.

7. In government circles, truth-tellers are known as “whistleblowers,” but their role is immense, a single individual can become a powerful agent of change. Discuss. (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 role of whistleblowers in contemporary 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 defining whistleblowers.

Body:

In the first write about the need for whistleblowers in the modern day governance and ethical issues involved. Whistleblowers help bring accountability, stability and justice when things go deeply wrong. These modern-day Davids v. Goliath have saved lives and institutions, not to mention huge amounts of tax payer’s money. Substantiate with examples.

Next, write about the need for their protection and recognizing their efforts.

Conclusion:

Suggest measures to ensure their protection.


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