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UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice – Insights SECURE : 29 March 2024

 

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic: population and associated issues

1. In Harnessing India’s demographic dividend, the government faces the imperative of bridging gaps in skills training to align with a rapidly evolving technological economy. Analyse.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

A recent report that focused on the current status and outlook for youth employment in India paints a grim picture of the country’s widely touted ‘demographic dividend’, which appears set to waste away unless there are immediate and targeted policy interventions.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about demographic dividend, impediments to achieving it especially skill mismatch and ways to overcome 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 demographic dividend and its various features.

Body:

First, write about the various impediments to achieving the dividend – demographic dividend may turn into a liability in the absence of enough jobs and the required skilled workforce etc.

Next, suggest ways to overcome the limitations.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. The World Health Organization (WHO) Pandemic Agreement aims to address the systemic failures exposed by the COVID-19 crisis and prevent future pandemics from becoming catastrophic human crises. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The World Health Organization Pandemic Agreement represents a critical step towards rebuilding trust and coordination between nations.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need and importance of a global agreement on pandemics.

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.

Body:

First, write about the various issues faced during the COVID19 pandemic that necessitated a global pandemic agreement.

Next, write about the importance of such agreements – greater international cooperation, addressing systemic vulnerabilities, and prioritizing investments in pandemic preparedness and response etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

3. In the light of frequent coal shortages, diversifying energy sources, promoting energy efficiency, and increased domestic coal supplies are crucial for a more stable energy future. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu ,Insights on India

Why the question:

The spectre of electricity shortages rises again as hot weather descends across the country.

Key Demand of the question:  

To write about the importance of coal for India and steps that are needed to harness it effectively and efficiently.

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 facts regarding the coal production in the country.

Body:

First, write in detail about the importance of coal to India’s energy security and economy. Cite statistics to substantiate.

Next, write about the measures that are needed for better planning, infrastructure development and increase of domestic supplies of coal

Next, write about the need to cut dependency of coal and move towards renewable source of energy.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

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

4. Discuss importance of biodiversity conservation in light of the services it provides. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

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-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question: To write about the importance of biodiversity conservation in light of the services it provides.

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 defining biodiversity.

Body:

First, Write about the reasons as to why Biodiversity is important to humans. Economic—biodiversity provides humans with raw materials for consumption and production, Ecological life support, Recreation—many recreational pursuits rely on our unique biodiversity, Cultural and scientific.

Next, bring out the major threats to bio diversity and ways to conserve it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

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

5. Discuss the major reasons for an increase in man-animal conflict in recent years. What have been the major steps undertaken by the government for abatement of the conflicts? (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-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain the major causes for rising cases of man-animal conflict and steps taken by government to control it.

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: 

start with what you understand by Man-Animal conflicts.

Body:

Start by explaining what you understand by man-animal conflicts. Discuss what the main causes of man wildlife conflict are – The cause of human wildlife conflict was human settlement, agricultural expansion, illegal grass collection, over grazing by livestock and deforestation in national park. As a result, local communities disliked wildlife inhabiting in and around their surroundings. human population growth and expansion, habitat degradation and fragmentation, land use transformation and increasing densities of livestock grazing in protected areas are considered as major causes of man-carnivore conflicts.

Write about the various government policies and programmes in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: dimensions of ethics;

6. Maintaining environmental integrity is crucial for safeguarding the welfare of both human beings and the natural environment. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about environmental integrity, its features and its importance.

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 defining ‘environmental integrity’.

Body:

In the first part, write about the various features of environmental integrity and its dimensions.

Next, write about the importance of environmental integrity and cite examples to substantiate your points.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

 

Topic: Case Study

7. You have just been appointed as Additional Director General of Central Public Works Department. The Chief Architect of your division, who is to retire in six months, is passionately working on a very important project, the successful completion of which would earn him a lasting reputation for the rest of his life. A new lady architect. Seema, trained at Manchester School of Architecture, UK joined as Senior Architect in your division. During the briefing about the project, Seema made some suggestions which would not only add value to the project, but would also reduce completion time. This has made the Chief Architect insecure and he is constantly worried that all the credit will go to her. Subsequently, he adopted a passive and aggressive behaviour towards her and has become disrespectful to her. Seema felt it embarrassing as the Chief Architect left no chance of humiliating her. He would very often correct her in front of other colleagues and raise his voice while speaking to her. This continuous harassment has resulted in her losing confidence and self-esteem. She felt perpetually tense, anxious and stressed. She appeared to be in awe of him since he has had a long tenure in the office and has vast experience in the area of her work. You are aware of her outstanding academic credentials and career record in her previous organisations. However, you fear that this harassment may result in compromising her much needed contribution in this important project and may adversely impact her emotional well-being. You have also come to know from her peers that she is contemplating tendering her resignation. (UPSC Mains 2023)

 (a) What are the ethical issues involved in the above case?

(b) What are the options available to you in order to complete the project as well as to retain Seema in the organization?

(c) What would be your response to Seema’s predicament? What measures would you institute to prevent such occurrences from happening in your organization?

 

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