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[MISSION 2022] Insights SECURE 2022 : Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 20 August 2021

 

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Dear students,

Weekend is here. That means 3 things:

  1. You have completed one week of consistent answer writing. Congratulations! Keep it up.
  2. Today is case study Friday, so first case study of mission 2022 cycle is here. Solve it in a time bound manner.
  3. Tomorrow is weekly revision test. 10 questions. 5 new ones and 5 repeated from the week for effective revision. Hope you all give it diligently and make best use of it.

Note: Ethics test will be separate and as per the syllabus given in the timetable.

Have a productive weekend. 🙂


General Studies – 1


  

Topic:  The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. The ‘constitutional reforms’ of 1909 were nothing short of a farce. The people of India demanded a responsible government in the country, but “benevolent despotism” was introduced as Indian Council Act of 1909. Critically comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Chapter-12 – A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum Publishers)

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 as mentioned in Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question: To write about how Morley-Minto reforms were another tool of despotism rather than being constitutional reforms.

Directive word: 

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: 

Start by giving the context for the introduction of the Reforms of 1909 such as the dissatisfaction of the moderates of the Indian Councils Act, 1892 and the rise of the Extremists in the arena of Indian leaders.

Body:

Briefly mention the key changes brought in by the reforms of 1909 and then why it cannot be termed as “Constitutional reform”, as it brought out minor additive changes only and not met the demands of the Indian leaders genuinely such as provision for asking questions and supplementary questions but at the same time the question may be rejected, further the Indian representatives could not question on many forms of expenditure of the British etc.

Mention why the reform was termed Benevolent Despotism, as the British tried to paint a colour of benevolence to the reforms by bringing small additive changes to the existing provisions but it was still an act of despotism as there was no substantial reform meeting the needs or demands of the Indian representatives in the legislative council. The introduction of separate electorates which formalised the British policy of divide and rule.

Conclusion:

Write about the impact of the reforms and response of the nationalists to it.

 

Topic: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

2. Tilak was a pragmatic politician and worked towards political emancipation of India by popularising the four-point programme of action – National Education, Boycott, Swadeshi and Passive Resistance. Discuss the contributions of Tilak to India’s national movement. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum Publishers)

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 as mentioned in Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To understand the key role of Tilak as a leader in India’s struggle for Independence.

Directive word:

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: 

Give a brief introduction of Tilak – the nationalist, the politician and a fearless leader of the masses.

Body:

Mention key factors that leads to term Tilak as a pragmatic leader – to realise the need to connect to the masses, the true nature of British rule etc. Further elaborate on his four  point programme such as stating of Deccan education Society, two newspapers, and New English school to promote education and awareness of the masses. Tilak’s approach to economic exploitation of the British was to Boycott and protect and promote the  indigenous industries and artisans while passive resistance was an extension of the Boycott principle, to encourage the masses to not pay taxes and prepare them for self-rule.

In the next part, mention the contributions of Tilak in detail apart from the above. His part in spreading nationalist consciousness, Home rule league, creation of mass base etc.                                                  

Conclusion:

Stress on the timely interference of Tilak to demystify the true nature of the British and bring in a new vigour to India’s freedom struggle.

 

Topic: Role of women and women’s organization,

3. Gender equality in the armed forces remains a distant dream as policy makers tread carefully and prefer a status quoist approach rather than to undertake reform. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an interim order allowing women candidates to take the National Defence Academy examination, scheduled to be held on September 5, while questioning why “co-education is a problem” in the Armed Forces.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the attempts at achieving gender parity in Indian armed forces and the reasons for reluctant approach by the policy makers towards it.

Directive word: 

Analyse – 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 giving context of recent interim judgement of the Supreme Court (SC) – yet another attempt at introducing gender parity by the apex court in the armed forces.

Body:

Mention that the position of women in the armed forces, offers a limited window for any kind of change in the role of women in occupational and bureaucratic structures. However, there are changes being witnessed but at a slow pace.

Next, write about as to how the attempts at reform have been through litigation and by the orders of the SC. Mention the Babita Puniya case and the observations of the court in that regard.

Write about the reluctance of policy makers in this situation and their preference to maintain the status quo and their reasons, thereof.  

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced way forward.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

4. Explain the interpretation of ‘fraternity’ as mentioned in the preamble of our Constitution and what did our founding fathers envisage by incorporating it in the preamble? Do you think that the ideal of fraternity is now more relevant than ever in our country? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

A recent survey by US-based Pew Research Centre has indicated that religious communities in India, though they value religious tolerance as important, believe in the segregation of community spaces. This makes us ponder on the status of Fraternity in India.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain Fraternity and the reasons as to why it was included in the constitution and to comment on its relevance in the present day.

Directive word: 

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by defining Fraternity.

Body:

Write about how Fraternity mentioned in the constitution has been interpreted in India. Fading of divisions of caste and religion, ideology of friendship, mutual respect, despite all our differences, of religious belief, caste, language, culture, ethnicity, class and gender which leads to unity of the nation.

Mention the reasons why constitutional makers chose to include Fraternity in our preamble. Especially the arguments of Dr B.R Ambedkar in this context.

Write about the relevance of fraternity in the present day, especially in the times of pandemic. striving for a just and humane society, collective caring, social protection and reducing intolerance and communalism etc.

Conclusion:

Summarise the importance of Fraternity as the conclusion.

 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

5. Abraham accords marked the beginning of a new chapter in Arab states-Israel relationship dynamics. The accords also present an opportunity for India to increase its strategic foothold in West Asia and Middle East, but it requires a diplomatic balancing act. Substantiate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The recent visit by the Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal R.K. Bhadauria, to Israel offers a window to study how New Delhi is taking advantage of the Abraham Accords deal signed between Israel and a consortium of Arab States led by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2020.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the delicate diplomatic balancing act with which India must engage various stakeholders in middle east and west Asia to take advantage of the opportunity presented by Abraham Accords.

Directive word: 

Substantiate – When you are asked to Substantiate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidence.  You must appraise the worth of the statement in question using suitable case studies or/ and examples.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about Abraham Accords deal signed between Israel and a consortium of Arab States led by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2020 and this how started a new chapter in their diplomatic relationships.

Body:

Give a brief context about the turmoil and hostile relationships between the Arab states and Israel in the past and how it impacted India.

Write about the new opportunities for India after the signing of Abraham Accords in middle east and west Asia and how it will lead to deepening cooperation with various stakeholders and increased strategic footprint of India in that region.

Mention the need for careful and calculated diplomatic balancing act with multitude of stakeholders in the region with varied interests. The Iranian angle, the Palestinian issues etc must be written in brief.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6. As India stares at a grave water crisis, urgent interventions and measures are needed with a special focus on sustainable water management in agriculture to prevent acute water scarcity. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

A disastrous water crisis has been creeping up on us for years. Water tables have declined precipitously, even by thousands of feet in some parts of Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh. This calls for urgent intervention.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about urgent and immediate measures need to mitigate the water crisis in India.

Directive word: 

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 the status of water stress in India. Mention facts from NITI Aayog reports of 2018.

Body:

You can draw a bubble diagram showing activities that are the major consumers of surface and ground water in India. Emphasize on the point that agriculture consumes about 90% of India’s water supply, and of this, 80% is consumed by just three water-guzzling crops: rice, wheat and sugarcane.

Mention the urgent steps that are needed to make sustainable water practises in agriculture more mainstreamed. cropping pattern shifts, water-saving seed varieties, regulation of groundwater usage, rejuvenation of catchment areas, participatory and bottom-up systems led by farmer producer organizations at conservation etc.

Write about the other steps that are required to tide over the crisis. Innovative solutions, mission mode management, aquifer recharge, rainwater harvesting and technology to monitor progress, community participation and rejuvenating existing water bodies etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

Topic: Case Study.

7. You are the Commissioner of the corporation of a metropolitan city. The city is divided in 4 zones of almost equal population and each zone is put under a Deputy Commissioner who are your subordinates. The state government in order to boost vaccination, launches a drive to overcome vaccination hesitancy announces reward for the best performing zone in terms of vaccination coverage. The reward is additional allotment for creation of sports and recreational infrastructure.

This is report of the coverage and the government has left it up to your discretion to choose the best performing zone:

ZonePercentage of people VaccinatedRemarks
155%Zone consists of well-off societies and gated communities belonging to affluent classes. Prior to the drive vaccination coverage was 42%.
253%It is an industrial area. Consists mostly of employees of middle and lower level. Prior to the drive vaccination coverage was 47% as workers had been given priority earlier.
344%Consists of market area and small and medium business establishments, hotels etc. The area has many migrants. Priorly, vaccination coverage was only 22%.
421%Consists of urban slums and large number of people from disadvantaged sections. Earlier the coverage was about 7%. The Deputy Commissioner poster here is the son of your batchmate who happens to be your good friend.

As the commissioner of the corporation, which among the above is the best performing zone considering all factors mentioned above? Justify your answer.

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Case Study Fridays’ in Mission-2022 Secure.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

You may begin the question by briefly talking about the challenges faced by the Covid Pandemic and incentive-based vaccination drive of the administration.

Body:

Mention the key facts of the case study.

Firstly, discuss the varying demographics and their socio-economic placement in the society of the four Zones. Secondly, analyse the various factors that hinder or promote one to vaccinate further such as – the affluent class (Zone 1) do not need much push or incentive for vaccination as they are literate and have resources at their disposal to get the vaccination done. However, the middle class (Zone 2 and Zone 3) would be fence sitters wherein some would get vaccinated voluntarily and others may need some push such as the proposed sports and infrastructure facility in their zone. The people of Zone 4 are mostly dependent on their daily wages and have least awareness of the need for vaccination.

Further, a day of body ache or fever post vaccination may also discourage them to get vaccinated as their livelihood for the day depends on that day’s labour. Also, they may not be very incentivised with sports and infra incentive. Discuss the various levels of Maslow’s need hierarchy and accordingly the incentive must be designed based on the need of the people in a particular zone to increase vaccination rate.

Within the given limits of the incentive scheme, it is important to appreciate the increased percentage levels of vaccination in Zone 4 i.e. increase by 200% in spite of the challenges of the deputy commissioner to motivate the people to take vaccination. Thus Zone 4 qualifies for the best performing zone.

But since there is potential for conflict of interest there, it is imperative that decision is made by taking all the deputy commissioners in confidence and stating objective reasons for the selection, which are recorded and forwarded to the state government to as well.

Conclusion:

Stress on the role objectivity and transparency to resolve potential conflict of interests in public administration.


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