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UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice – Insights SECURE : 10 January 2024

 

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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. Mughal painting stands as a testament to the cultural synthesis that occurred in the Mughal Empire. Analyse. (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.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about features, development and evolution of painting under Mughal rulers.

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: 

Mention the origin and gradual evolution of Mughal painting.

Body:

First, mention that Mughal rulers further enriched the Indian painting. They introduced Persian court culture into Indian paintings. Then give an account of contribution of different Mughal rulers.  From this period book illumination or individual miniatures replaced wall painting as the most vital form of art.

E.g Emperor Akbar patronised artists from Kashmir and Gujarat; Humayun brought two Persian painters to his court. Mention Baburnama, Akbarnama, Abd-us-Samad Dasawanth and Basawan and their works.

Conclusion:

Form a concise and a fair conclusion on the above issue, based on your discussion

 

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

2. Although the sub-schools of Rajput style of paintings were geographically close, they significantly varied in their execution and development of pictorial styles. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy     

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the main style and themes of Rajput (Rajasthani) School and its main centers.

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:

Write in brief about aesthetics of Rajput paintings and their origins.

Body:

In the first part, write about the main style and themes that are depicted in the paintings. Elements depicted, colors used, notable genre and any other important features.

Next, write about the major centers where it flourished – Mewar School, Bundi school and Kishangarh school. Write about their important features.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting their special place in the artistic history of India.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

3. What are Rock glaciers? Analyse the consequences of Himalayan permafrost melting due to the phenomenon of global warming. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

The Kashmir Himalayas are dotted with permafrost structures called ‘rock glaciers’, with significant ice volumes within, a new study mapped.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about rock glaciers, its distribution in the Himalayas and impact of its thawing.

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 Rock glaciers.

Body:

First, with a map, show the major distribution of permafrost in the Himalayas.

Next, write about the thawing of permafrost under the impact of global warming.

Next, write about the impact of thawing of permafrost – Thawing permafrost can raise water levels in Earth’s oceans and increase erosion, resurrecting trapped pathogens, giving rise to potential public health threats etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward to handle the above challenges.

 

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

4. International law can provide a basis for humanitarian interventions in cases of widespread human rights abuses or atrocities, allowing for collective action to protect vulnerable populations. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

International law and its attendant structures are not ideal. But the world would be worse off if they weren’t there

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of international law.

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 international law.

Body:

First, write about the major features and components of international law.

Next, write about the importance of it – global challenges, promoting cooperation, and preventing conflicts.

Next, major criticisms it has faced – enforcing its provisions, inequality, sovereignty concerns etc.

Next, write about the various measures that are needed to address the criticism.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: issues relating to intellectual property rights.

5. Do you think the award of a Geographical Indication (GI) tag is effectively serving its primary purpose of linking the quality, reputation, and characteristics of the product with its geographical origin? State your opinion. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

17 products from across six States/Union Territories got the Geographical Indications (GI) tag.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about GI tag and its benefits and limitations.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining a GI tag.

Body:

In the first part, in brief, write about the various aspects that are considered before according a GI tag.

Next. write about the benefits offered by the GI tag – legal protection to traditional products and their producers, preserves traditional knowledge and skills, creates market differentiation, and leads to increased demand and better prices for traditional products etc.

Next, write about the limitations and shortcomings of the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a balanced opinion.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

6. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”  – Aristotle

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Write about difference that people say one thing and do not follow it up with action. Mentions that practising what one preaches is the hallmark of one’s character. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote in the present day.

 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” – Isaac Newton

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote and highlighting its core meaning about importance of truth.

Body:

Write about facts can be manipulated and manufactures to suits the narrative. Give examples of justify your points. Mention that despite facts may point to different things generally the truth is only one.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote in the present day.


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