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[Insights Secure STHIR– 2021] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 26 February 2021

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

1. Discuss the challenges to urbanization in India. Also, suggest methods for improving the efficiency of urban agglomerations in India. (250 words)

Reference:  “No more urban legend” – The economic times

Why the question:

15th Finance Commission has provided some insights for improving the efficiency of urban agglomerations in India. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

One must explain the challenges to urbanization in India and suggest methods for improving the efficiency of urban agglomerations in India.

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 with some key data on urban setup in India.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

First explain the benefits of urbanisation in detail.

Then explain the challenges to urbanization in India such as – Slow growth , Emphasis on self-sufficient villages, Spatial and functional fragmentation in the governance of urban agglomerations, Lack of Integrated and coordinated governance across an urban agglomeration, Non-compliance with 74th Constitutional Amendment (Articles 243P and 243ZE)  etc.

Later present some initiatives for planned urbanization like – Urban employment programme Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY)-1997, Housing programme Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana (VAMBAY)-2001, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)-2005 etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting way forward.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Indian polity – President

2. Account for the control that president can exercise on the executive by virtue of his/her discretionary powers. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I , part Indian polity.

Key Demand of the question:

The question expects us to describe the discretionary powers of the president and how through these powers the president becomes more than just a nominal head.

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:

You can start by mentioning some of the terms used to describe the president – nominal head, titular head, ceremonial post etc.

Body:

Examine the powers of the president. Discuss his discretionary powers and how through his discretionary powers he does indeed hold a position more than being just a ceremonial head. You can mention the relevant constitutional provisions as well. Thereafter debate whether it is desirable in a prime ministerial form of government for the president to have a say. Mention both sides of the debate.

Conclusion:

Mention that despite BR Ambedkar opining that president is merely a ceremonial head, he can through his discretionary powers wield at least moral authority over the government.

 

Topic: Indian polity – Governor

3. Although in India, Governor of the state is Constitutional head like President he may have more rights, do you agree? Explain. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The question is amidst the recent controversies around the government formation in the UT of Puducherry and the role played by the Governor.

Key Demand of the question:

One must discuss and provide for a critical analysis as to in what way role of the Governor outweighs the role of president who is the head of the state.

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:

Define the constitutional positions of the president and the Governor.

Body:

Explain with suitable examples in what way Governor of the state has more rights at times compared to the president.

Justify your stand with recent examples.

The question is straightforward and there isn’t much to deliberate.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of the post and its relevance in the Indian constitutional setup.

 

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

4. UTs having legislatures with ultimate control vested in the central administrator reflect the Structural Fragility of Union Territories in India. Critically examine. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article presents the political turmoil in the Union Territory of Puducherry and this the structural fragility associated with UTs in India.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically examine how UTs having legislatures with ultimate control vested in the central administrator reflect the Structural Fragility of Union Territories in India.

Directive:

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to 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. 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 with a brief background of the question.

Body:

Explain that the original Constitution under Article 239 provided for the administration of UTs directly by the President through the administrators. However there was a general perception that this framework fails to meet the democratic aspirations of the people.

Article 239A was brought in 1962, to enable Parliament to create legislatures for the UTs. In this direction, some UTs were provided with a legislature and Council of Ministers to fulfil the democratic aspirations of the people of these territories.

Then present an analysis of the constitutional provisions and their implementation brings to light the structural fragility of Union Territories (UTs) in the Indian federation.

Conclusion:

Conclude that experience shows that the UTs having legislatures with ultimate control vested in the central administrator are not workable. There should a relook at the existing legal and constitutional provisions to realize the vision of a free and autonomous government in the UTs.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

5. The human rights agenda in the world is facing a major challenge from terrorism, in this context discuss the challenges posed by Terrorism  and suggest steps to be taken by the world countries to combat the menace. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

Terrorism is a “crime against humanity”, said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar recently addressing the High Level Segment of the 46th Session of Human Rights Council (HRC). Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the threats that the World is facing because of Terrrorism and suggest solutions to address the same.

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:

“Terrorism continues to be one of the gravest threats to humankind. It is a crime against humanity and violates the most fundamental human right, namely the ‘Right to Life’

Body:

Explain first how human rights agenda in the world is facing a major challenge from terrorism.

Discuss the issue of terrorism in detail, give examples to substantiate better.

Then suggest solutions such as – Stopping terrorism requires tackling issues such as foreign fighters, border controls and cutting off funds.

Present Indian case as well as that of world.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting both long term and short term solutions.

 

Topic : Money Laundering

6. What is Money Laundering? How does it work? Discuss its impact and explain the Legal Framework in India to deal with it.  (250 words)

Reference:  Hindustan Times

Why the question:

Jailed diamond merchant Nirav Modi can be extradited to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering, a UK court ruled on Thursday.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the concept of Money Laundering and discuss its impact while throwing light upon legal framework in India.

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 with the definition of money laundering.

Body:

Money Laundering refers to converting illegal earned money into legitimate money. The government does not get any tax on the money because there is no accounting of the black money. So Money Laundering is a way to hide the illegally acquired money.

The term “money laundering” originated from the Mafia group in the United States of America. Mafia groups have made huge amounts of extortion, gambling, etc. and this money is shown as legal money. In India, “money laundering” is popularly known as Hawala transactions.

Then move on to explain how Money Laundering works? Discuss the impacts of money laundering.

Present in detail the Legal Framework in India to deal with Money laundering

Conclusion:

Thus, the evolving threats of money laundering supported by the emerging technologies need to be addressed with the equally advanced Anti-Money Laundering mechanisms like big data and artificial intelligence. Both international and domestic stakeholders need to come together by strengthening data sharing mechanisms amongst them to effectively eliminate the problem of money laundering.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case Study

7. You, a reporter currently working as an intern, accompanied a small group of reporters to a political event organized by the ruling party’s state unit. The party was followed by dinner where you were also asked to join. Here, you noticed that alcohol was being served to some members of the ruling party. Consumption of alcohol had been declared illegal in the state a few months ago and the ban is being enforced strictly across the state. The other reporters in your group ignored the issue and asked you to ignore it as well. However, it was clear to you that the law was not being followed. (250 words)

(a) Identify the issues involved in this scenario.

(b) What are your duties in such a scenario?

(c) What course of action would you follow and why?. 

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is a case study based on ethics involved in maintaining law and that in politics and its breach.

Key Demand of the question:

First identify the ethical concerns in the case and address the questions one by one with ethical dimensions in mind.   

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with facts of the case.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss issues such as political apathy, insensitivity and lack of values.

Highlight the duties as an ethical journalist and a responsible citizen.

Discuss the action which you would take.

Conclusion:

Conclude the answer with a fair and balanced opinion.


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