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Insights SECURE : Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 19 January 2023

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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. Subhas Chandra Bose’s belief in uncompromising anti-imperialism and undiluted socialism is still very much relevant in the present day. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

There is an element of intrigue that trails Subhas Chandra Bose’s persona, his life, disappearance and death. He was a dynamic personality of India’s freedom movement who inspired hundreds of Indians to join the struggle.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about steps taken by Bose towards National freedom, his belies and his present-day legacy.

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 giving a brief intro of Subhas Chandra Bose and his way of politics.

Body:

First, in detail, mention the various approach taken by Bose towards Indian freedom after resigning from Indian Civil Service.

Next, mention the various measures towards national reconstruction and his socialistic tendencies to achieve the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing about his legacy in the present day.

 

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. The continental System designed by Napoleon to paralyze Great Britain through the destruction of British commerce, proved disastrous for Napoleon. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how the continental system played a part in the downfall of Napoleon.

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 defining continental system.

Body:

First, write about the design of continental system and how its major target was to cripple Britain Economically.

Next, write about the limitations of continental system with respect to its design, implementation, aspects of under estimation the economic prowess of Britain etc which led to its failure.

Next, mention other factors that were responsible for the downfall of Napoleon.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning to what extent continental system was responsible for the downfall of Napoleon.

 

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.

3. Evaluate the role of Bismarck in the process of unification of Germany. What was the impact of Bismarckian policies on the contemporary global politics of that time? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about role of Bismarck in the unification of Germany and its impact.

Directive word: 

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, 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. There is scope for forming an opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

First, write about the policy of blood and iron is and how Bismarck employed it in the 3 wars he fought, and how it brought Germany closer to the goal of unification. Explain the various other policies of Bismarck which led to German Unification.

Next, write about the impact of Bismarckian policies on contemproray politics – alliances, secret alliances, isolation of France, colonialism etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.


General Studies – 2


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

4. The Annual Status of Education Report 2022 (ASER) showing that post-Covid, there has been a sharp rise in enrolment for the first time in 16 years in government schools is a welcome news. But at the same time, a drop in basic literacy levels of children is a matter of grave concern. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu , Indian Express

Why the question:

According to the 17th ASER report released in New Delhi on Wednesday, as the pandemic ebbed, school enrolment touched a record high in 2022 — 98.4% children in the 6-14 age group are now in school, up from 97.2% in 2018, when the last full pre-pandemic survey was conducted by Pratham.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the impact of the pandemic on education and steps needed to offset the impact.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context and citing statistic.

Body:

Firstly, mention the progress in education system before the pandemic. Cite a statistic to substantiate your point. Bring out the impact of learning deficit caused by the pandemic in India.

Next, mention the various ways to bridge the learning deficit that has emerged – readmitting dropouts, ensuring access to e-learning, special focus on most vulnerable states etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

5. With the establishment of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), India became the third country in the world to set up a specialised environmental tribunal. However, its performance has not been up to the mark to uphold its mandate. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExoressInsights on India

Why the question:

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has set a four-month deadline for remedial actions and recovering damages from the Kulda coal mine run by Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) in Odisha and the Tamnar thermal plant operated by Jindal Power Limited (JPL) in Chhattisgarh for transporting coal through villages in violation of environmental clearance (EC) conditions.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the limitations of NGT in upholding its mandate and measures needed to make NGT more effective.

Directive word: 

Critically 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving a brief introduction on context for introduction of NGT and its mandate

Body:

First, mention some of the landmark environmental reforms brought in through NGT.

Next, list out its shortcomings such as appeals against NGT rulings in High Court and Supreme Court leading to long delays through litigation, lack of overall environmental expertise of the members of tribunal. 

Next, bring out the positive aspects such as the power of NGT to Suo-motu take up causes in order to protect the environmental sanctity in the country. Mention the drawbacks of the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to leverage functional capacity of the NGT and do full justice in its environmental mandate.


General Studies – 3


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

6. Hydropower has the ability to generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gasses. However, it can also cause environmental and social threats. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Down to EarthInsights on India

Why the question:

The proposed Etalin hydroelectric project in Arunachal Pradesh has been scrapped in its present form, reported English daily Hindustan Times (HT). The project was mired in controversy, with wildlife scientists and conservationists flagging environmental threats due to the plant in a biodiversity hotspot.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the potential of hydroelectric power and risks posed by 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 defining hydroelectric energy and give the statistic highlighting extent of it being generated in India.

Body:

First, mention the potential of hydroelectric energy – plenty of rivers, favourable geology, presence of technological expertise, past success etc.

Next, write about the various risks that are associated with hydropower projects – political conflicts, social impact, economic viability and ecological concerns must be written in detail. Substantiate them with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to remedy the above-mentioned limitations.


General Studies – 4


Topic: ethical issues in international relations and funding;

7. What do you understand by international morality? Does morality exist in international relations? (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude 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 international morality and its nature.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining international morality.

Body:

Start by explaining what is international ethics – moral principles, customary International Law, Human rights, Cooperation, Non-aggression etc. Cite examples to substantiate your points.

Next, write about if it is just a theoretical concept or it is applied in practise as well.

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving a balanced opinion on international morality.


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