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UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice – Insights SECURE: 31 January 2024

 

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General Studies – 1


 

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.

1. Bolivar’s vision extended beyond the liberation of individual countries; he aspired to create a united and independent South America. Discuss. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: History of modern world by Jain & Mathur

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the contributions of Simon Bolivar to Latin American independence.

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 brief description of Simon Bolivar – who is known as The Liberator.

Body:

First write about the political philosophy of Simon Bolivar and that penned two political treatises—the Cartagena Manifesto and the Letter from Jamaica.

Next write about his military achievements – encouraging the people of South America to rebel against Spanish colonial rule, leading multiple expeditionary forces against the Spaniards, liberated territories etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising that his contributions earned him the epithet – The Liberator from the Latin American people.

 

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. By the early twentieth century, European colonial powers had established control over most of Africa. The consequences of this colonial legacy continue to shape the social, political, and economic dynamics of many African countries today. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: History of modern world by Jain & Mathur

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about colonialism and pattern in which Africa was colonised and its impact.

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.

Body:

First, write about the Colonisation of Africa – late as 1880 only 20 per cent of Africa had come under European rule. With the spread of the Industrial Revolution to other countries of Europe rivalries increased as did the search for colonies. The emerging industrial powers looked for a place in the sun. A continent of over 28 million square km was partitioned and occupied by European powers by a combination of two strategies, treaties and conquest.

Next, write about the impact of the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

3. Moving towards a fairer and simpler income tax regime in India will be a positive step toward improving compliance, reducing tax evasion, and fostering economic growth. Elucidate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

Tax reforms must fix its current skew in favour of corporate taxpayers and the non-salaried rich.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need to move towards fairer and simpler income tax regime.

Directive word: 

Elucidate – 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: 

Start by giving context.

Body:

First, with examples, write about the issues in tax collection –

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the scope of Micro finance in inclusive growth.

 

Topic: Government Budgeting.

4. The budget in India is not just a financial statement but a comprehensive policy document that guides the economic and social direction of the country. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Down to Earth Insights on India

Why the question:

To start the process, the budget division issues an annual budget circular around the last week of August or the first fortnight of September every year.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the weaknesses in the budgetary system and measures to overcome them.

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 budget and major objectives of budgeting.

Body:

First, elaborate up on how budget provide framework of achieving annual objectives.

Next, write about the weaknesses in the budgetary system and its implementation – budget estimates, Skewed expenditure pattern, Poor planning and lack of long-term perspective etc.

Next, suggest measures to overcome the above weaknesses in order to ensure that budgetary objectives are achieved.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Topic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security

5. Maoist insurgency continues to pose a threat in some parts of India, despite efforts to curb their activities. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Three personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), two of them commandos of the elite jungle warfare unit CoBRA, were killed and 15 injured in an encounter with Maoists along the boundary of Sukma and Bijapur districts in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the challenges posed by Maoism and government’s counter-insurgency measures but the need for further vigil and action to successfully overcome it.

Directive word: 

Comment– here we must express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by citing stats about the trends of Maoism and Maoist violence.

Body:

First, write the about the challenges posed by Maoist insurgency to internal security of India. Write how the Naxalist movement still remains a potent threat to the internal security of India in the various ways. Cite examples and data to substantiate your points.

Next, write about various measures taken by the government to tackle Maoist violence, successes and limitations of the same.

Next, suggest various measures that are further required to tackle this issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward on taking a multi-pronged approach to defeat Maoism.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

6. Integrity is a crucial moral virtue that is foundational to building good character. It helps us establish trust and reliability in our interactions with others, cultivates self-respect and self-esteem, and guides us to act in accordance with our values and principles. Substantiate. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how Integrity is at the core of good character.

Directive word: 

Substantiate – When you are asked to Substantiate, you must 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.

Introduction: 

Begin by defining what is Integrity and any relevant quote is possible.

Body:

Mention how integrity boosts the moral values such as honesty, fairness, decency etc that boosts one’s moral character and contributes to an ethical system. Use examples to support the argument.

Also, write about how with having Integrity as foundational value, we can add more virtues for ethical development.

Conclusion:

Mention that it further boosts self-awareness of individuals and aids for a just society.

 

Topic: ethical issues in international relations and funding;

7. If we can uphold pluralism, responsibility, and fairness, then the ethics in international relations will transform from a normative theory to a practising principle. Elaborate. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To explain environmental ethics and how it has become an important dimension of ethics in the twenty first century.

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:

Start by describing the ethical issues in international relations.

Body:

Write about as to how ethics in international relations remain a theory as they are seldom implemented in practice. Substantiate with examples.

Next, write about how pluralism, responsibility and fairness can make a difference in transforming ethic in international relations. Link these to recent happenings across the world.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning the need of uphold ethics in international relations.


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