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[MISSION 2023] Insights SECURE : Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 20 October 2022

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Harappan civilisation along with its remarkable features of architecture and town planning also has contributions towards India’s diverse maritime heritage. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening reviewed the construction of the National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) site at Gujarat’s Lothal via video conferencing. “There are many such tales of our history that have been forgotten,” the PM said. “Lothal was not only a major trading centre of the Indus Valley Civilisation, but it was also a symbol of India’s maritime power and prosperity

Key Demand of the question:

To write Harapan architecture, urban planning and maritime heritage of Harapan civilisation.

Directive word: 

Elaborate – Give 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: 

Begin by context about Harappan architecture.

Body:

First, write about various remarkable features of Harappan architecture and town planning – urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems etc. Cite examples.

Next, write maritime features of Harappan towns and cities and how they have contributed towards India’s diverse maritime heritage. Cite examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

 

Topic: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

2. At Cuba, the Cold war almost blew hot and the confrontation is often considered the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express , Insights on India

Why the question:

Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden said that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s veiled threat of using tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine marked the first prospect of nuclear “armageddon” since the Cuban missile crisis. A day later, his administration said there was no evidence for this claim.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about Cuban missile crisis and its impact on Cold war.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate 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 giving context of the Cuban missile crisis.

Body:

First, write about the events leading to the Cuban missile crisis.

Next, write about how the Cuban missile crisis could have led to outbreak a full-fledged nuclear war and its possible ramifications.

Next, write about the steps that were taken to diffuse Cuban missile crisis and emphasise on diplomatic solutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning the key lessons learnt from the crisis.    

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

3. Analyse the reasons behind low voter turnout in the elections across the country. Suggest steps to improve voter participation in the electoral process and measures that Election Commission of India (ECI) can take in this regard.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

Election Commission had signed MoUs with over 1,000 corporate houses undertaking to monitor “electoral participation of their workforce” and publish on their websites and notice boards those who do not vote.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the reasons for the low voter turnout and steps needed to improve it.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context and citing statistic.

Body:

First, write in detail about the various reasons behind low voter turnout – lack of willingness, economic compulsions, ideological reasons etc.

Next, write about the measures that are needed to improve the voter turn out and measures that ECI can take in this regard – systematic voter education, registration, ease of access etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

4. Infrastructure has a two-way relationship with economic growth. Infrastructure promotes economic growth, and economic growth brings about changes in infrastructure. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the two-way relationship with economic growth and infrastructure.

Directive word: 

Elaborate – Give 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.

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

First, write about the ways in which infrastructure promotes economic growth – write about forward linkages and backward linkages etc.

Next, write about how economic growth can bring about change in infrastructure – with increase in income levels, the composition of infrastructure changes. Cite examples and facts to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

 

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

5. Examine the various obstacles to an energy secure India. How can the government ensure energy security while honouring its net zero commitments? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the various obstacles to energy security in India and ways to ensure energy security.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate 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 regarding the energy security in the country.

Body:

First, write about the various impediments to India’s energy security – coal shortages, volatility of crude oil, increasing demand, climate commitments and lack of diversification of resources.

Next, write about ways to balance between clean energy commitments while balancing energy security.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

6. Risk reduction rather than emergency response, with an emphasis on timely evacuation of population with proper warning periods, sheltering in fortified structures and emergency communications is key to mitigation. Discuss. (250 words) 

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

The Odisha government has ramped up preparation for evacuation and emergency services in the state’s coastal districts in the face of Cyclone Sitrang that is expected to make landfall on the Odisha coast October 23-23, 2022.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need of a long-term mitigation measures for cyclones.

Directive word:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by providing context and the increasing frequency of cyclones in India.

Body:

In first part, cite the data and write the reasons for increasing frequency of cyclones on both the eastern and western coast of India. Increasing sea surface temperatures in the northern Indian Ocean and the changing geo-climatic conditions in India etc.

Next, bring out the economic costs and human costs as a result of devastation caused by the severe cyclones.

Mention the measures that are needed – installing a disaster warning system in the coastal districts, and construction of evacuation shelters in cyclone-prone districts etc. Mention long term measures – Embankments that are resilient to storm surges, improved prevention of flooding from swollen rivers and coastal mangrove habitats regeneration etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: ethics – in private and public relationships;

7. Conflict of interest can lower overall morale and productivity. What are the various ways to overcome conflict of interest in public service? (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘abstract Thursdays’ in Mission-2023 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the ways to overcome conflict of interest.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Write about how there is a conflict of interest between private and public relationships during day-to-day administrative work.

Body:

Bring out the various facets of integrity, impartiality and nonpartisan ship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections that an administrator must consider before taking any actions in case of conflict.

Mention certain principles, theories and benchmarks one can take the right decision especially when faced with a conflict or dilemma.

Conclusion:

Complete by summarizing the need for doing the right thing especially for those who are in power.


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