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UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice – Insights SECURE: 4 June 2024

 

UPSC Mains Answer Writing practice : 4th June 2024

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent);

1. The current status of water bodies in India is alarming. Fresh water bodies are facing significant challenges due to various anthropogenic and natural factors. 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.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the present status of water bodies, major issues affecting their distribution and utilisation.

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 water resources. Cite statistics.

Body:

First, write about the current status of water resources – current status of water bodies in India, including rivers, lakes, ponds, wetlands, and groundwater resources etc.

Next, write about the various issues in the above – including encroachment and destruction due to urbanization and industrialization, pollution, climate change, and inadequate water management policies.

Next, write about the steps that must be taken in order to overcome the above issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward. 

 

Topic: Social empowerment

2. The persistent practice of manual scavenging in India is a stark reminder of the deep-seated social and economic inequalities. Examine. (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 persistent practise of manual scavenging despite being banned and steps needed to stop it.

Directive:

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 reasons for lack of effective implementation of the laws to prevent the practice of manual scavenging – lack of alternative livelihood opportunities for affected communities, political will, resources, and capacity-building of government agencies.

Next, write about the steps we can take in this regard – multi-pronged approach that addresses the root causes of the problem, provides alternative livelihood opportunities, ensures effective implementation of laws and policies, and promotes public awareness campaigns to change societal attitudes etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3. Making healthcare in India more accessible and affordable is essential for improving public health, fostering economic stability, and promoting social equity. Discuss. Suggest steps to make healthcare more accessible and affordable. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

As we navigate the dynamic landscape of Indian health care, cost considerations are increasingly influencing every aspect of service delivery and patient care

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of making healthcare more accessible and affordable.

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 context.

Body:

First, write about the various bottlenecks in accessibility and affordability of health care in India.

Next, write about the importance of accessible and affordable healthcare.

Suggest reforms to ensure the that healthcare is accessible and affordable by all.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

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

4. The government must prioritize education, nutrition, and health of children in their policies due to their critical role in fostering socio-economic development and ensuring future well-being. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Children form about 30% of India’s population, but they are invisible during elections.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need for prioritising education, nutrition, and health of children in its policies.

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 context.

Body:

In the first part, write about the importance of child education – enhances human capital, drives economic growth, and promotes social stability.

Next, write about the importance of child nutrition – physical and cognitive development, leading to better educational outcomes and long-term health etc.

Next, write about the importance of child health – boosts productivity, reduces healthcare costs, and improves quality of life. Mentions ways to achieve the above

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: e-technology in the aid of farmers.

5. Policymakers need to carefully weigh the benefits and risks associated with herbicide-tolerant (Ht) rice and consider alternative sustainable agricultural practices that ensure economic viability for farmers, protect the environment, and safeguard national food security. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has commercialised herbicide-tolerant (Ht) basmati rice varieties, claiming they can control weeds in rice crops while also promoting water-saving direct seeded rice (DSR).

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the pros and cons of commercialising herbicide-tolerant (Ht) rice.

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 need for Ht rice.

Next, write about the advantages it offers – weed control and labor savings, potentially leading to higher yields etc.

Next, write about various risks associated with it – high costs of seeds and herbicides, increased, risk of herbicide-resistant weeds, biodiversity loss, soil health degradation, food security and water pollution etc

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

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

6. The widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in India faces several key challenges. Addressing these challenges is essential to overcome the barriers to EV adoption and pave the way for a cleaner and more sustainable transportation future in India. Evaluate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

Last November, Delhi came up with its Delhi Motor Vehicle Aggregator and Delivery Service Provider Scheme, 2023. It mandates licensing and regulatory requirements for aggregators, delivery service providers and e-commerce entities.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the evaluation of India’s move towards electric vehicles (EVs), focusing on progress, challenges in it and government initiatives need to overcome it.

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:

Start by giving aa statistics related to EV vehicle adoption for context.

Body:

First, write about India’s progress in transitioning towards electric vehicles (EVs). Highlight the increase in the number of EV sales, the growth of EV charging infrastructure, and the initiatives taken by automakers to introduce EV models in the market.

Next, write about the key challenges hindering widespread EV adoption in India. Discuss issues such as high upfront costs, limited charging infrastructure, range anxiety, and consumer perceptions. Address the need for addressing these challenges through policy interventions and public awareness campaigns.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case Study

7. Sreekanth is District Magistrate of La La Land. The land is home to diverse communities, living in harmony despite occasional tensions. However, recent events have led to an increase in communal tensions and an atmosphere of distrust.

Sreekanth’s reputation as a just and fair administrator is well-known. As the District Magistrate, he finds himself in the midst of a delicate situation when he receives a call from both the influential MLA and the Mayor. They request his assistance in demolishing what they claim are illegal constructions linked to the minority community.

The MLA and Mayor assert that these constructions have been established without proper permits and are a result of the recent riots, which they attribute to the minority community. They claim that these buildings serve as hotbeds of dissent and must be torn down to maintain peace and security in the region.

Sreekanth is faced with an ethical dilemma. On one hand, he understands the importance of maintaining law and order in the region. On the other, he senses a hidden agenda behind the MLA and Mayor’s request. He knows that blindly complying with their demands could lead to further unrest and fuel division among the communities.

    1. What are the options available to Sreekanth?
    2. Critically analyse the above-mentioned actions?
    3. Which actions should Sreekanth choose? Why?
    4. What are the ethical issues in the above case?

 

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