[Insights Secure STHIR– 2021] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 14 July 2021 – PuuchoIAS


 

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic: population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

1. Explain why smart cities and towns are becoming more prone to floods in India? (250 words)

Reference:  Deccan Herald

Why the question:

The article explains to us, why and how off late smart cities and towns have become more prone to floods in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain why smart cities and towns are becoming more prone to floods in India.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with fact such as – As much as 56 per cent of smart cities are prone to floods which are responsible for 77 per cent of all disasters in India.

Body:

The answer body must explain the why factor first; discuss why smart cities and towns have become prone to floods and other forms of Disasters in India.

Discuss in detail how the trajectory of development in urban India, especially after the smart cities projects, is for more concretization and infrastructure projects without raising adequate and proper concern for the hydrology and ecology of a region.

Such answers are best explained with examples; Dehradun flash floods, Dharamshala, Mumbai etc.

Suggest measures to address these concerns.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

2. The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has steered emergence of new tests for the regional powers. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article talks about the scenarios emerging in Afghanistan and the region after withdrawal of American troops.

Key Demand of the question:

Analyse in what way withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has steered emergence of new tests for the regional powers.

Directive:

Analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief background of the question.

Body:

The speedy withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has been matched by the swift advance of the Taliban across the nation. While the US has confirmed that 90% of the withdrawal is done, the Taliban has claimed that it is in control of 85% of Afghanistan territory.

These developments have moved Afghanistan into the court of regional powers that now have the burden of managing the military vacuum created by the US retreat.

Talk about US Withdrawal and regional Powers.

Highlight India’s role; India should focus on intensifying its engagement with various Afghan groups, including the Taliban and finding effective regional partners to secure its interests in a changing Afghanistan.

Conclusion:

The US’s exit from Afghanistan has triggered Taliban emergence, geopolitical flux and thus, instability in the region. Explain that as these factors will increasingly push India into a geopolitical tough spot in the region, smart statecraft, therefore, is required to deal with changing dynamics in Afghanistan.

 

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

3. Examine the significance of North-East Council in the development of North-East India. (250 words)

Reference:  Economic Times

Why the question:

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister has expressed that North-East Council (NEC) can be to north-eastern states what the NITI Aayog is for the country – a one-point solution centre.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to examine the significance of North-East Council in the development of North-East India.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into 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 with what North East council is.

Body:

It is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the North-Eastern Region consisting of the eight States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura.

The Shillong-based advisory body was constituted in 1971 by an Act of Parliament, with a twin mandate of planning and facilitating development and to serve as a forum to address common security challenges of the region.

Discuss the factors affecting performance of the NEC.

Explain how the NEC can develop to become a one-point solution centre for north-east India.

Conclusion:

The northeast lies at the crossroads of ambitious international corridors — the Asian highway, the east-west corridor and the BCIM highway. NEC is expected to play a much greater role in view of the opening up of South-east Asian countries. Delhi is far too remote to plan for a region with such complexity and diversity.

 

Topic: Representation of the People Act (1950)

4. How far do you think linking Aadhaar with electoral voter information is a fitting electoral reform? Critically analyse.  (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article presents to us a detailed critical analysis of linking Aadhaar with electoral voter information.

Key Demand of the question:

Present your opinion with respect to linking Aadhaar with electoral voter information.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole 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 fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief on the electoral reforms involving Aadhaar identity.

Body:

First discuss the context – recently, the Election Commission of India (ECI), reminded the Law Ministry to approve a slew of pending electoral reforms. Among these was hastening the linking of voter ID cards (EPIC database) with Aadhaar.

Then weigh the advantages and disadvantages of such a move.

Concerns can range from – The absence of a law to protect personal data, lack of clarity on the mechanism of integration, danger of leaks and possibility of disenfranchisement of voters. Also, explain the constitutional difficulties and hurdles it may generate.

Discuss the positives: improved accessibility to voting, reducing voter fraud etc.

Conclusion:

Based on the above discussion conclude with a fair and balanced opinion.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. What are flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs)? Discuss the challenges that need to be addressed before the adoption of flexible fuel vehicles policy. (250 words)

Reference:  Business Standard 

Why the question:

New guidelines for use of flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) using flex engines is expected to be issued by the third quarter of current year (FY22) that would specify engine configuration and other changes required in vehicles to conform to stipulated changes in fuel mix. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concept of Flexible fuel vehicles and associated challenges.

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:

Start with what flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) are.

Body:

A FFV is a modified version of vehicles that could run both on gasoline and doped petrol with different levels of ethanol blends.

These are currently being used successfully in Brazil, giving people the option to switch fuel (gasoline and ethanol) depending on price and convenience.

Discuss the challenges that need to be addressed before the adoption of flexible fuel vehicles policy such as – will require adoption of vehicle standards, technologies and retrofitting configurations, would require additional investment in production lines and technology transfers to change the character of the vehicles etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

6. The entry of the private sector into the space race brings new dimensions to the monetization of space technology; In this context discuss the prospects of space tourism and challenges ahead. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

Three high-profile billionaires — Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic, Jeff Bezos of Blue Origin, and Elon Musk of SpaceX — are all invested in space. Recently, the first crewed flight of Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity carried Branson as a passenger.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the prospects of space tourism and challenges ahead.

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:

Start with brief context of the question through some facts.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss how Space tourism is gaining popularity in the field of Space.

Explain in what way the entry of the private sector into the space race brings new dimensions to the monetization of space technology.

Space tourism could soon be an option for the well-heeled adventure tourist. For instance, Virgin Galactic has received over 500 advance bookings at $250,000 per seat on the VSS Unity.

Discuss the potential and prospects that Space holds as a tourist spot.

Explain the advantages and challenges in detail.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7. “One has not only a legal but also a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” Discuss what the afore mentioned quote means to you in today’s context. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.  

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of moral responsibility.

Key Demand of the question:

One must elaborate the significance of moral responsibility and in what way it is important in both obeying just laws and disobeying unjust laws.

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:

Briefly highlight your understanding of the quote.

Body:

Explain that in a democracy, a law not only has the statutory sanction but also reflects the will of the people. Obedience to the law of the land is also a moral obligation for maintaining social and political order in the interest of common good. Socrates when condemned to death, did not flee the city. According to him, it would have been violation of law amounting to mistreatment or disrespect of his fellow citizens.

Discuss its importance in the current context. Give examples such as that of Criminalizing Homosexuality, Adultery and sexual harassment etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance.


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