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[Insights Secure STHIR– 2021] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 31 March 2021

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1. The economic challenges of the 21st century have been a major influence on the life cycles of joint families. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: www.un.org

Why the question:

The question is aims to discuss the role of economic factors on the joint families in the society.  

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in what way economic challenges of the 21st century have been a major influence on the life cycles of joint families.

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:

The life cycle of a joint family denotes the different phases that a family goes through. A joint family evolves into a nuclear family, and then goes back to being a joint family. For example, parents and their child live together till the child reaches marriageable age.

Body:

Explain that once the child grows up, he/she leaves home to start his/her own family. At this stage, the joint family evolves into a nuclear family. At a later stage, the old parents might move back in with their son/daughter for various reasons.

Explain the phases of joint family and various factors influencing them.

Discuss in what way economic factors are a bigger influence. The economies of sharing and running a common household make it simpler for extended families to share a living space. By sharing accommodation, members of the same extended family can save their expenditure on rent, which can be quite substantial in big cities. Rising property prices also makes it difficult for people of the lower and working classes to afford a home of their own; which, again, makes a joint family an economic necessity. Hence, though cultural and social perspectives that attached importance to living in a joint family have changed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with your opinion.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. Critically analyse on the impacts of recent developments on India’s soft power paradigm. (250 words)

Reference:  Times of India

Why the question:

The article brings to us the impacts of recent developments on India’s soft power paradigm.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain in detail why soft power matters and analyse the impacts of recent developments on India’s soft power paradigm.

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 with what you understand by soft power and its significance.  

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss the significance of soft power briefly and discuss its components viz. cultural component and political component.

Present the concerns over recent developments that destabilize India’s soft power such as – Dent in India’s rating by international agencies, Institutional intolerance, Institutional misconduct, Coercive federalism, Threats against inclusive civilizational society etc.

Conclusion:

Thus conclude that civilizations are judged not only by artifact, merchandise or arsenal but by what they stand for, the spirit that animates them.

 

Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

3. Although the Good Samaritan law is a stride in the right direction, at the same time there needs to be more wakefulness around the subject. Deliberate. (250 words)

Reference:  The wire

Why the question:

The Good Samaritan Law is an important legislation passed in the year 2016. This is important for UPSC from the point of view of polity, governance, road safety, health facilities and society.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain although the Good Samaritan law is a stride in the right direction, at the same time there needs to be more wakefulness around the subject.

Directive:

Deliberate – 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:

Start with some data such as – According to studies, almost 1,50,000 people are killed in road accidents in India every year. Nearly 50% of these cases could be prevented if the victims were given basic care on time, according to the Law Commission of India.

Body:

Define who is a Good Samaritan – “A person who, in good faith, without expectation of reward and without any duty of care or special relationship, voluntarily comes forward to administer emergency care to an injured person.”

Then discuss though there is law in place why there is need to ensure more awareness is spread among the public about the same. Discuss the challenges associated.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the problem of road safety is multi-faceted and requires to be assessed from a much broader lens of understanding. There is a larger problem of law and order. Unplanned, flawed road design and engineering, road rage is other issues that need serious attention of policy makers.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

4. Highlight and explain the key challenges for global recovery from the pandemic and the importance of a proactive response from the developed countries. (250 words)

Reference: Business standard 

Why the question:

The question is premised on the article – Avoiding a K-shaped global recovery.

Key Demand of the question:

Highlighting key challenges for global recovery from the pandemic and the importance of a proactive response from the developed countries.

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:

Briefly present the context of the question.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Challenges in recovery from COVID-19 pandemic –

  • Global character and the continuing crisis in many developing countries: Report by Institute for New Economic Thinking’s (INET) Commission on Global Economic Transformation cited that achieving a rapid global recovery requires all countries to be able to declare independence from the virus.
  • Threat of mutation: Will put everyone at risk as long as the virus continues to flourish anywhere.
  • Supply constraints due to poorly designed international intellectual-property regime:
  • IP reform, in general, is long overdue, vested interest corporate lobbies and myopic governments in developed countries holding back reforms.
  • Rise of “Pandemic nationalism”: Exposed deficiencies in global trade, investment, and IP regimes.
  • Inequality: Based on World Bank data, US spending have been some 8,000 times higher than that of least-developed countries.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Five-year Plans: Priorities and Performance, Issues related to planning

5.  Besides the achievements, there are many unfulfilled tasks which the planning in India is yet to achieve completely. Examine. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian economy by Dutta and Sundaram

 

Why the question:

The question is based on the context of Indian planning system.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to examine the unfulfilled tasks of planning and thus the way forward to achieve it.

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 with few lines on the concept of planning in India.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Briefly discuss the achievements of planning in India.

Then move on to discuss the drawbacks or failures of planning, Failure to Remove Poverty and Inequality completely, Problem of Unemployment Persists, Failure to Curtail Corruption and Black Money etc.

Discuss the current status of planning in India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: case study – Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

6. You are a senior level officer in the government responsible for utilisation of a corpus of Rs. 800 crore fund for some welfare activities. You have been told by a minister of the state to divert the fund for flood relief in the state. Although you have power to do so but any diversion of the fund needs proper justification in the annual financial report and if found any lacuna then it can be the case of financial impropriety. Will you divert the fund? Explain and give your view. (250 words)

 

Why the question:

The question is a case study involving ethical factors and dilemma.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the nuances of the case in detail and present your viewpoint with suitable ethically sound justifications.

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:

Start with identification of the ethical concerns in the case study.

Body:

The case study involves the following ethical dimensions – probity in governance, prudent utilisation of public funds, civil services- politician relations and integrity.

Then present your viewpoint in detail with sufficient reasoning such as –

There should not be complete denial or Officer should first look into Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) or whether legally possible to divert with the permission of higher authority or other ways Or Diversion if permissible then set a mechanism for proper utilisation of fund etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by explaining why effective utilization of public funds is crucial.

 

Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7.  Should civil servants be concerned about the decisions of the government even if they are not directly linked to them and raise their voice if they are not in the letter and spirit of the constitution? Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: darpg.gov.in

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of decision making involved in civil services.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain with relevant example the importance of decision making to civil services and in what way decision of the government can have an impact on them.

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:

Introduction can give the context about recent resignations by civil servants after abrogation of Article 370.

Body:

Explain why civil servants should be concerned and raise their voice. Civil services are implementation arm of the government while political executives  (government) takes the decisions. When Max Weber gave his model of bureaucracy, he put principle of neutrality as most important value of civil services. According to him, civil servants should not be concerned about decisions of the government.

However, role of civil servants have gone through sea change over the period of time. They need to uphold public interest and should be committed to the constitution. Therefore, when they come across such decision taken by government, which is against spirit of constitution, they should raise their voice.

Conclusion:

There are many platforms and channels through which civil servants can raise their voices and dissent their concerns with the permission of superiors such as newspaper articles and debates. However, they should not resort to resign from the position to just express their dissent.

 


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