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CD Mains Guidance Program 2019 Test 1 Discussion

View the detailed discussion of Test 1 of our Mains Guidance Program below

Here is the Question Paper of Test 1 for reference: Click2Download

Know all details about the course and join here: https://bit.ly/2yrFMr6

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Answer Writing Enhancement (AWE) Program under the guidance of a UPSC veteran

The only daily answer writing program that you’ll ever need. Under the aegis of Pritam Sir who has faced 3 UPSC interviews. Scored exceptionally well in all Essay and GS papers during his attempts.

Daily Answer Writing for Mains has always been a point of contention at Civilsdaily. Essentially, it suffered from the following issues that made it a bad deal for the students.

  1. Forming questions from today’s news – Questions asked in UPSC are generally on an overarching theme. Very rarely will you find a question based on just one single op-ed or news item.
  2. Repetition of questions – As an issue updates with time, the answers become obsolete. That is why it is more important to frame questions on issues when 3-4 articles have already been written on them.

Moreover, the issue that we see with other platforms is that they post similar questions every 2nd 3rd day. Follow the example at the end to understand what we are talking about

  1. Quality of both questions and answer checking – If we are making questions every day, they will not be intelligent. They will come directly from op-ed/news headings.
  2. The unreliability of peer reviews – Peer reviews cannot be relied upon and show a lot of variabilities. It is very important that you get feedback from someone experienced when it comes to your style, content, and presentation.

However, we have come to realize that many students do see a value in practicing questions every day. It keeps the momentum going and incrementally builds a database of questions and answers that can be used for Mains.

So we have tried to create a program that is truly effective.

1. We have roped in a UPSC Veteran.

2. We will ask 4 questions every day covering GS 1,2,3,4. Questions will cover both contemporary and static part. 1 question will be from ethics. Questions will not be specific or formed from op-ed titles. Instead, they will be broad-based aligned with the UPSC pattern.

3. There will be a guaranteed detailed review of the answers written by the paid subscribers. Review of free subscribers will depend on the time available with mentors. Priority will be given to students who engage in peer reviews. 

4. Approach and Model answer to be published and will be accessible to all. 

5. Dedicated telegram groups for doubts and monthly call post writing answers for paid subscribers.

6. Free Monthly AWE Magazine with questions and sample solutions.

 

Program Details

Duration of the Program: 10 months

15th October – 28th Feb (Phase 1) – We stop 3 months before prelims. 

15th June – 31st August (Phase 2) – We stop a month before mains. 

7 month program. 

1. The program will operate on the Weekdays. Saturdays and Sundays will be off to allow students to contribute to other programs during the weekends.

2. Answers submitted after the last day of every month will not be considered for review. We do not guarantee when they will be reviewed but we will try to do so.

3. The program will start from the 5th of every month. 1st-4th will be kept to clear the backlog.

4. We will follow a monthly cycle. Meaning you enroll for a particular month. If you join on the 9th of December, you will have access to the month of December from the first day to the last day of December. It will *NOT* be from 9th December to 9th January. You will be expected to manage the time to submit the answers for the days you’ve missed.

5. Students joining after 25th of a particular month can opt for AWE for the next month. Meaning – if you join on 26th of November, you have the option of enrolling for the month of December(1st to last day of December). Students who join on the 23rd of November will have close to 18 days to submit all answers for the month of November. We believe it is a good enough time to clear the backlog.  

6. We are committed to providing you reviews ASAP. But we will keep a 1-week deadline for students submitting their answers on the same day and a 2-week deadline for students submitting their answers late. This is to ensure that we don’t compromise on the quality just to stick to a deadline. It is better to get a proper review than to get a quicker review.

As you can see the focus of the programme will not be on the quantity but the quality of questions and model answers.

Monthly Rs. 1k + taxes: Click2Join

Yearly Rs 8K + taxes: Click2Join

(Comes out to be Rs. 13/review which is nothing for the time and effort our mentors will be putting in)

Example

On a well-known site, the question on data localization has been asked 5 times in the last 2-3 months.

Let us further illustrate our point with an example:

Superfluous Questions from the well-known website

Q.) What do you understand by data localisation? Discuss the importance of data localisation for India and analyze India’s present and proposed policies related to data localisation with respect to their effectiveness?

Q.) The debate on data localisation must not be reduced to a simple binary of whether data localisation is good or bad. Comment.

Repeated – Q.) What do you understand by data localisation? Discuss the importance of data localisation for India and analyze India’s present and proposed policies related to data localisation with respect to their effectiveness?

Our Selected Question?

Q.) What do you understand by Data localization? Recently Draft Data protection bill and Draft E-commerce policy has recommended localisation of data. Can data localization help protect Indian national and economic interests?

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[Introductory Video] Target 160+ Essay Program under the aegis of VIPUL SHRIVASTAVA, IPS

Essay Paper in UPSC can be tricky. It requires a mentor with both wide knowledge and a sense of what is expected by UPSC to score high marks.

Hence, we roped in Vipul Sir. He is serving as an IPS officer presently.

During his time, he had consistently scored the highest marks in Essay papers in consecutive attempts. He is extremely well read and his proximity to the government helps him identify key focus areas better than others.

He stays humble and down to earth always willing to help young aspirants achieve their dreams. We couldn’t have asked for a better mentor than him. His video on tips is as follows –

 


10% discount for all students joining on or before November 15

30% discount for CD Prime Prelims Test Series Subscribers

20% discount for other old students of our paid programs

Join Comprehensive Essay Guidance Program here: Click2Join

Join Sectional Tests Essay Guidance Program here: Click2Join


The importance of essays for the exam cannot be underscored.

While the performance of students is more or less the same in GS papers (especially 1,2,3), they have an excellent shot at scoring over 150+ in essays which could spearhead them to the top

Practicing essays can also be the best way to consolidate what you’ve read so far and make good revision notes helping you for both prelims and mains GS papers as well

Writing good essays can be very challenging. Time and again we’ve received many queries from students like

1. Reviews provide additional points but don’t address the inherent shortcomings and deficiency in my skills

2. Will reading ready-made sample essays help me prepare for essays?

3. Don’t know how to start an essay, how to organize one.

4. Can we do well in essays without practicing by re-using our GS paper knowledge alone?

5. Is there a universal format that I can stick to?

That’s why we’ve invested a great deal of energy to create a program the likes of which are offered by no one else

What are we offering and how is it unique?

We’ve innovated at every step of the process.

1. More precise topic selection 

Our research tells us there are 8 broad themes of essays being asked since 2010.

1. Economy

2. Polity

3. Women Issues

4. Education

5. Science & Tech

6. Philosophy

7. IR

8. Miscellaneous

We plan to develop your competencies in each of these themes so you are extremely well prepared for the exam

We will have 14 tests in total where you will get to write 28 essays. 8 tests before prelims and 6 tests after prelims. The 8 tests will be theme-wise. So you would’ve covered all the themes before prelims.

2. An innovative methodology for reviews  

Our biggest innovation lies in our review methodology.

Specific portions of your essay will be highlighted with symbols to indicate issues in essay writing

1. (X) Cross  – FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS like judgments/strong postures which need to be avoided at all costs.

2. (*)Star -APPRECIATION for uniqueness.

3. STRUCTURE is not maintained. Issues with Language and expression.

4. GENERAL SUGGESTIONS for candidates.

Along with this, Sir will also leave specific reviews on strengths and weaknesses

Other institutes suggest additional points which can be googled by the student himself or point out superficial flaws like not sticking to the topic. They don’t necessarily highlight the shortcomings in the essay. This adds very little value to students. We go much beyond that and help students fix major flaws in their essays.

3. Sample Structure, video solutions and personalized attention. 

Sir will discuss the topic in considerable depth, appropriate structure, pitfalls to avoid, etc.

Along with that, Sir will also discuss copies presenting different styles in which the essays could be attempted

This component of the program is the most important.

Students have an incorrect impression that going through a sample essay will somehow help them write better essays. This is absolutely incorrect

While this strategy works for GS because there is a good chance of the question being repeated, with essays it is not true. You have to understand that the broader theme of the essay might be similar but the topics are always unique and require to be tackled differently.

To develop your competency in tackling different topics, you have to be able to come up with appropriate structures This aspect of the program addresses this issue

The expectation from you would be that you study the solutions in detail and try to address the shortcomings in your essays. Should doubts still persist, contact us and we will help get them resolved.

4. Good essay copies 

You will be provided with good essay copies to serve as sample answers. This is a better alternative than sample answers which are hastily written and at times not updated with the latest figures.

5. Improvement tracking excel

Your essays will be marked on the following parameters.

  1. Comprehension of the topic
  2. Language and Expression
  3. Structure and Organisation of thought.
  4. Objectivity and Biases. Balance of perception
  5. Attitude whether learner or judgmental
  6. Focus and attention
  7. Content and Source matter, Knowledge and information processing capability
  8. Ability to forge links in an interdisciplinary manner
  9. The simplicity of disposition
  10. Observational Skills

We’d suggest students maintain a copy of the following excel sheet and keep a track of their performance.  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12A0G3ypGls8J4tAzcvvg9bKol3vnqPuEj60Ap0E8yp4/edit?usp=sharing

6. Besides these, you will be given the following 

>CD Current Affairs Monthly Magazines.

>Any additional material that we release for essays.

What will be the program structure?

Total of 14 tests (28 essays)

The program starts on 27th October.

Paper will be made live every Saturday.

Before Prelims – 8 Tests (16 essays)

-The first round of 4 tests will have topics from previous year papers that have relevance even today. This will establish your baseline performance.

-It is very important that you understand the uniqueness of topics and expectation of the essays. No better way than to attempt previous year questions and get them reviewed.

-Our reviews will help you deepen your understanding of the Essay Paper.

The time-table is as follows

27 Oct
17 Nov
8 Dec
29 Dec
19 Jan
2nd Feb
16 Feb
2nd Mar

After Prelims – 6 Tests (12 essays)

-On topics with the highest probability of appearing in the exam


We made the decision simpler for you

10% discount for all students joining on or before November 15

30% discount for CD Prime Prelims Test Series Subscribers

20% discount for other old students of our paid programs

Join Comprehensive Essay Guidance Program here (14k + taxes): Click2Join

Join Sectional Tests Essay Guidance Program here (8k + taxes): Click2Join

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App is down for Maintenance

Hi All,

Apologies for the inconvenience . The mobile app is down for routine maintenance.

We will be back in 4-5 hours.

We request you to please hold on for few hours and use website until we are back.

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[Batch 2] Samachar Manthan Yearly Program 2018-19

View the schedule for covering backlog of the previously held tests here: Click2View

We are delighted to launch Batch 2 of Samachar Manthan Yearly Program for 2018-2019. All the students who were not able to join the first batch of the program and were waiting for next 6 months batch can join this yearly batch and cover up the tests and CA portion already covered and also get in sync with the program schedule. This will also help students get entire year CA at one place instead of two separate batches.

The course is designed to help you develop a solid command on your newspaper reading and current affairs analyzing skills. Since it builds your core, it is important for both prelims and mains.

10% discount for all students joining before 25th October (Date of start of yearly batch 2)

Prime Students get their usual discount of 30%

Join Batch 2 of Samachar Manthan Yearly 2018-19 (with Answer Writing Module) here: Click2Join

Join Batch 2 of Samachar Manthan Yearly 2018-19 (only videos and notes) here: Click2Join

For any queries, mail us on hello@civilsdaily.com or message on Whatsapp on 89299-87787


What are we offering and how is it unique?

1. Mentorship and guidance taken to a whole new level 

Once you enroll, you’ll be assigned a Telegram group headed by Sajal Sir and rankers like Dr. Vipin Garg AIR 20, Swapnil Pawar AIR 525 and others.   Our past students have found this immensely beneficial.

  • A convenient way to resolve your doubts and queries.
  • You’ll be provided with value-added material which is very important.
  • You’ll have an ecosystem to study and learn from.
  • Above all, it will help you stay focused every day.

Here’s what some of our students had to say about our mentorship.    

2. 4 stage structure of Video->Notes->testing->review to perfect your preparation    The sequence of video->Notes->testing->review is the best way to ensure maximum retention and a rock solid preparation. Each component of the program has been meticulously crafted.

3. Our video lectures and notes on weekly CA are brief but comprehensive   Packed 2 lectures of 2 hours each on a Weekly basis (1 on Sunday & 1 on Tuesday) which will focus on news and its importance from both prelims and mains perspective. We understand that the UPSC exam is a generalist exam.

It’s important to cover more issues than to cover one issue in more depth. Hence, we maintain a fine balance of covering cover many important news items and have a detailed discussion on selected topics which require the same. This program will also help you understand how to utilize current affairs in all your prelims and mains papers. This ideology makes this course the best utilization of your time.

Here’s what some of our students had to say about the lectures.

   

4. Guest Lectures on specific issues by UPSC Toppers and other expert faculties   Besides the above, you will have access to our monthly magazines and weekly notes/links to important news/external material. You will have access to all modules included in our Mentorship program – Study-plan, strategy discussion, specific weaknesses, overall guidance. Since our mentors will have information about your performance

5. Weekly Mains Test and Evaluation by our team of subject experts   The video and notes will be followed by a test released every weekend. It will have 10 high-quality questions. This will complete your study loop and enhance your retention. >Mains level questions with feedback. Sample review is attached.

     > Answer Enhancement We chose the Question & Answer format because it is perfectly aligned with the requirements of the exam. Having information is very different from presenting it in an answer with a proper structure. This will help in better retention of prelims specific information and prepare a solid ground for your mains prep. After every 2nd test you attempt, you can reach out to our mentors for personalized feedback.

   6. Current Affairs Monthly Prelims Test package This was a feedback we received from many students. They wanted appropriate focus on the current affairs program.

We are also providing 10 Prelims CA tests along with this package.


Join Batch 2 of Samachar Manthan Yearly 2018-19 (with Answer Writing Module) here: Click2Join

Join Batch 2 of Samachar Manthan Yearly 2018-19 (only videos and notes) here: Click2Join

 

10% discount for all students joining before 25th October (Date of start of yearly batch 2)

Prime Students get their usual discount of 30%

For any queries, mail us on hello@civilsdaily.com or message on Whatsapp on 89299-87787

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UPSC Mains 2018 GS Paper 4 – Solutions, Sample Structures and Repeated Questions from CD Mains TS

In GS 4, close to 9 out of 13 questions from Section A came from our 3 Full-Length-Tests. We obviously couldn’t predict the precise quotes and generic questions, but our students could easily attempt those.

*These are not solutions but pointers/line of thought to be followed.

**Please do not look for a precise 1-1 match between the UPSC paper and our Test Series. The comparison is there to help you get a feel of the approach we follow while designing questions in our TS.
***In the comments section, let us know interesting points along with the reasons that could enrich these answers.


Section A
1) (a) State the three basic values, universal in nature, in the context of civil services and bring out their importance. (150 words) 10
Various questions have been asked in our tests on a similar theme. We have provided reviews asking students to quote committees, contemporary examples, quotes to highlight the importance and score maximum marks.
You could easily score 7+ marks if you had gone through our solutions + feedback on answers.
Round1 GS4
2. Examine the relevance of the following in the context of civil service citing examples. (10 Marks)
a)Probity
b)Taking Accountability
c)Delegation
d)Developing Others
e)Consultation and Consensus Building
Round2 GS4
1.a. Accountability is the need of the hour for Civil Servants. Analyze. (10 marks)
(b) Distinguish between “Code of ethics” and “Code of conduct” with suitable examples.
Round2 GS4
5.a. What is the difference between Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct. Should Code of Ethics be preferred over Code of Conduct?  (150 words) 10
Should Code of Ethics be preferred over Code of Conduct? – asked in our TS directly. Our TS question was more nuanced and required critical analysis. On the contrary, the actual exam question was quite simple. 
Approach
Start by defining Code of Conduct first. It is a set of instructions that ensure
Say it is being governed by All India Services (Conduct) Rules,1968
https://www.civilsdaily.com/reforms-needed-in-civil-services-2nd-arc-report-and-other-committee-recommendations/
2) (a) What is mean by public interest? What are the principles and procedures to be followed by the civil servants in public interest? (150 words) 10
Many case-studies involving a conflict of interest between public interest and private interests. 
(b) “The Right to Information Act is not all about citizens’ empowerment alone, it essentially redefines the concept of accountability. Discuss. (150 words) 10
A case study of RTI was asked in our TS. No specific question was asked. 
3) (a) What is meant by conflict of interest? Illustrate with examples, the difference between the actual and potential conflicts of interest. (150 words) 10
There are many case studies on conflict of interest across the 3 tests explicitly mentioning the term. This would’ve given you a fair idea of conflict of interest and also helped you come up with very effective examples for both actual and potential conflicts of interest.
Approach
Define conflict of interest
Conflict of interest refers to conflicts between one’s professional responsibilities as a public servant or as a member of an organization and ones private interests as an individual. They are the most obvious examples of an ethical dilemma.
An actual conflict of interest –
You are in the interview board of a selection committee. Your family member is appearing for the same interview.
This scenario represents an actual conflict of interest. Your responsibilities demand you to demonstrate neutrality. However,  with your family member being present it is going to be very difficult to do the same.
conflict of interest can be managed appropriately by recusal (withdrawal) – that is, by having another official temporarily sit in the interview panel.
potential conflicts of interest
A “potential conflict of interest” is different from actual conflict of interest in the sense that they may arise at some time in the future.
If a person agrees to give a contract to a party without holding competitive budding and justifying it on grounds of superior technology/first come first serve, etc.
The person might not have gained anything from the contract. The contractor might not be known to the person. But following the above process gives rise to a potential conflict of interest.
At the same time, many situations might seem like conflicts of interest but are actually not. Eg. If you are a teacher and you see your son cheating, it should seem like a conflict of interest but it is not. Punishing your son, not treating him differently from other students will help him evolve as someone more responsible and aware of what needs to be done.
(b) “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they do not have the first, the other two will kill you.” – Warren Buffett
What do you understand by this statement in the present-day scenario? Explain. (150 words) 10
We asked a question on Probity but not Integrity. Probity is a more difficult term to bluff around, hence we stressed on that. The question talks about the importance of integrity. At the same time, it is asking you to discuss in the present-day context.
Approach
Integrity not only means upholding the values of public or private service like honesty, decency, frankness, fairness but also ensuring that consistency is maintained in exercising these values. It ensures reliability and establishes one as trustworthy. If one has acted in a certain manner, then it is more likely that he/she will repeat it. ARC expands the meaning of the concept of the integrity of public servants need to be amplified. While financial integrity is one element of it, functional integrity and a high level of efficiency at work are equally important.
The above statement highlights the importance of integrity. It says that without it, intelligence and energy can be detrimental to an organization and the person himself.
An intelligent and energetic man is capable enough to do unethical tasks and tricks a system. Without integrity, he is more likely to do so.
Take the eg. of Mallya or Nirav Modi. Both intelligent and energetic businessmen who have built their empires. Unfortunately, they lacked integrity and hence it proved dangerous both of them and the country.
Hence, integrity holds primacy over all other values. Hiring someone smart might seem like the right thing to do in the short run.
4) (a) “In doing a good thing, everything is permitted which is not prohibited expressly or by clear implication”. Examine the statement with suitable examples in the context of a public servant discharging his/her duties. (150 words) 10
Approach
The question focuses on widespread discretion a public servant enjoys and yet they have become more cautious in discharging their duties and taking risks due to the 4Cs – CVC, Courts, CBI, CAG.
Laws and rulebooks lay down broad-based restrictions. They can neither cover all circumstances as it is impossible to foresee them nor can they be very detailed to become restrictive in scope.
Hence, everything outside the restrictions is permitted.
A civil servant should use his good judgment to ensure that he does his public duty and works in the best interest of the public even if it involves the fear of coming under scrutiny by the 4Cs. His aim should not be to keep himself away from any controversy and unforeseen legal hassles.
Eg. Tamil Nadu IAS officer had pointed out the lapses in urban planning and construction which led to his transfer. Once urban flooding happened, he stood vindicated.
Similarly, the courts giving relief to upright IAS officers of UP and Bihar in discharging their duties highlight the great work done by them.
The need of the hour is civil servants taking quick decisions, ensuring that files and proposals are not stuck and evolving effective means for private sector participation.
(b) With regard to the morality of actions, one view is that means is of paramount importance and the other view is that the ends justify the means. Which view do you think is more appropriate? Justify your answer. (150 words) 10
The same question with more complex wordings was asked in our test. Go through it and our model answer provided in our TS. We have further left reviews highlighting concepts of Absolutism
Round 1 GS 4
6. a. Is it as much of a mistake to define ‘right action’ as to define ‘good consequence’? (10)
Model Answer for the TS
The above statement captures the essence of consequentialist and deontological approaches. Consequentialism talks of a good consequence regardless of whether the action was right or wrong. It say ends justify means. Deontological view talks of the right action regardless of the end consequence. Meaning, end is not important, it’s more important to follow the right path. As an eg. – the Utilitarian perspective is consequentialist while Kant’s categorical imperative is deontological. Both theories have their flaws. Utilitarian perspective is only concerned with the greatest happiness of the greatest number. If killing a person gave happiness to 100 other people, it would be just to execute that one person. On the other hand, Kant’s categorical imperative would condemn lying but there are many instances where lying can save one’s life. So it cannot be universally applied.
From the above, we cannot say that defining ‘right action’ is a mistake and ‘good consequence’ should have primacy. There cannot be a narrative that can be universally applied. Their applicability depends on a case by case scenario. Gandhi was of the opinion that not only are the ends important but so are the means. It is not enough to fight for freedom but to have Dharma on our side which means right action. This implies that the right action and good consequence need not be in contradiction. They cannot be seen in dichotomous terms. A harmonious synthesis of the two is always possible and one should always think of solutions that do justice to both means and ends.
5) (a) Suppose the Government of India is thinking of constructing a dam in a mountain valley bond by forests and inhabited by ethnic communities. What rational policy should it resort to in dealing with unforeseen contingencies (150 words) 10
Question on EIA. Elaborate on the points below –
Screening often results in the categorization of the project and from this a decision is made on whether or not a full EIA is to be carried out. Here I’ll decide that a full EIA is be carried out.
Scoping is the process of determining which are the most critical issues to study.
Here I’ll ensure community participation. Come up with a detailed analysis of the impact of constructing the Dam.
-List of People who are affected by the project will be drawn and they need to hear about it as soon as possible.
-The impact on the environment, flora, and fauna of the region will have to be laid out.
-The costs to the government will be communicated.
If the community agrees with the project design and are ready to accept the terms offered by the government, we will move ahead. Else changes in design of the project, looking at alternate venues will be considered and the same step will be repeated.
Detailed prediction and mitigation studies follow scoping and are carried out in parallel with feasibility studies.
The main output report is called an Environmental Impact Statement and contains a detailed plan for managing and monitoring environmental impacts both during and after implementation.
Finally, an audit of the EIA process is carried out sometime after implementation. The audit serves a useful feedback and learning function.
(b) Explain the process of resolving ethical dilemmas in Public Administration. (150 words) 10
Throughout our test series, we have tested on your knowledge of attempting questions around virtue ethics, consequentialist ethics and deontological ethics. Utilitarian, Kantian, Gandhian principles.
This question primarily wanted to assess your understanding of the above theories and their limitations and understand that they need to be applied on a case by case basis.
6) What do each of the following quotations mean to you in the present context?
(a) “The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject anything, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more evil than good. There are few things wholly evil or wholly good. Almost everything, especially of governmental policy, is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgement of the preponderance between them is continually demanded. ”Abraham Lincoln ( 150 words)10
(b) “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding. “ _ Mahatma Gandhi (150 words) 10
Since a question on intolerance has been so common, we tried to ask a more difficult question on dissent.
Round 2 GS4
2.a. What do you understand by dissent and why is it important for a democracy. With examples explain why dissent needs more focus in India?
Approach
In this question talk about how emotional intelligence is hit if you are angry and intolerance. Hence it distorts our understanding of self and the environment, makes us draw wrong conclusions.
Provide relevant examples.
In the model answer, we had provided quotes that could’ve been used here –
Voltaire had remarked – I might disapprove of what you say but defend to death your right to say so. We as individuals, society and a country have to realise this.
Such tolerance can help us understand different perspectives to arrive at a more correct, accurate understanding.
(c) “Falsehood takes the place of truth when it results in unblemished common good.” _ Tirukkural (150 words)10
Approach
The above quote is similar to Gita’s quote that one lie spoken to benefit someone is greater than 100 truths.
Talk of consequentialism. That ends justify the means.
Counter by proposing deontological ethics.
Finally saying both means and ends are necessary. Lying to achieve ends might not always be a preferred way.
Check out GS 1 Solutions here – 
https://www.civilsdaily.com/upsc-mains-2018-gs-paper-1-solutions-sample-structures-and-repeated-questions/
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All Optional Papers from Official UPSC Site

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[Video] GS 2 & 3 Mains 2018 Paper Analysis and Strategy for 2019 Mains

Know more about our Mains Guidance Program 2019 and join here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/mains-ts-2019/

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[Video] GS 1 Mains 2018 Paper Analysis and Strategy for 2019 Mains

Know more about our Mains Guidance Program 2019 and join here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/mains-ts-2019/

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UPSC Mains 2018 GS Paper 1 – Solutions, Sample Structures and Repeated Questions from CD Mains TS

Click here to view the schedule + detailed syllabus with sources

Click here to know the features and enroll.


Our Mains Test Series had the highest hit ratio among all the Test Series. In GS 1 itself, close to 13 questions came directly from our 3 Full-Length-Tests(60 questions). If you followed our website/study material, you would’ve written above average answers for all questions. YES! All questions.     

*These are not solutions but pointers/line of thought to be followed.

**Please do not look for a precise 1-1 match between the UPSC paper and our Test Series. The comparison is there to help you get a feel of the approach we follow in our Test Series.
***In the comments section, let us know interesting points along with the reasons that could enrich these answers.

1) Safeguarding the Indian art heritage is the need of the moment. Comment (10 marks)

We had written a note on heritage 2 years back.

1. What is heritage erosion and how can we manage it?

2. What are the components of heritage?

It was accessible via clicking on Paper 1 on left sidebar – https://www.civilsdaily.com/gspaper/paper1/

We can’t claim this question but at the same time, we will work to ensure that good content from which questions are expected are made more accessible before the exams.

Approach

>Introduction – Start with defining Indian Art Heritage.

The term heritage has wide connotations spanning across nature, culture, food and other dimensions. Art heritage primarily refers to the tangible heritage comprising of

1.Paintings and art forms

2.Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites

3.Sculpture

4.Scriptures

5.Artifacts

Preserving our heritage is enshrined as a Fundamental Duty in our Constitution

Threats to Art Heritage

1.Lack of public awareness -This makes the local administrator break the buildings and replace it with other structures.

2.Duplication of paintings and art forms

3.Theft

4.Smuggling

Reasons for safeguarding

Cultural

1.Identity and pride of our country.

Economic

2. Tourism involves around monuments.

3. Infrastructure development takes place in and around the areas. Eg. Khajuraho despite being a small village has excellent infrastructure.

4. Creates jobs.

Social

5. It creates a feeling of community, a sense of attachment. enhances a sense of belonging.

Way forward

Strengthening institutions

-Ministry of Culture, ASI, Museums, Archives, etc.

Cultural awareness programs.

-Curriculum modification – Identification and inclusion of heritage as an asset in school, Open departments of Heritage management on the lines of Ahmedabad University

-Introduction of a compulsory offline and online training for tourism purposes willing to undertake ventures.

-Heritage depiction and promotion through immersive technology & augmented reality

-Re-Classify heritage and announce awards for people with exceptional heritage sense.

Adaptive reuse of heritage sites

-Restoring the historical sites in the form of festivals and inducing festivity link perceptions.

 

2) Assess the importance of the accounts of the Chinese and Arab travelers in the reconstruction of the history of India. (10 marks)

Similar question from Test Series – Round1 GS1

19. Greek and Roman literary account proved extremely useful in writing the history of Ancient India? Discuss.

This shows how our thinking is on the spot. Make a note of this question. Absolutely important for prelims and mains next year.

Approach

Foreign travelers in the past played a more profound role than tourists of the present day. They were agents of civilizational contact and exchange, bringing with them new ideas, skills and technologies and returning with new knowledge.

They left elaborate records of their travels often mentioning facts that native writers simply took for granted and hence ignored.

Chinese travelers visited India during the Gupta and Post-Gupta period when Buddhism was prominent while notable Arab travelers can be seen during the medieval period with the advent of Islamic rulers. Few important accounts are as follows.

Fa-Hien – Account of the Gupta Period

An extensive account of society. first to talk about the caste system and shudras. Shudras were kept outside the town and entered the town by making a noise with a stick. Fahien had also mentioned about Shaiv and Vaishnav religion.

Comprehensive eyewitness account of the history and customs of Central Asia and India.

Economic account. Stated that income of the government was mainly based on the revenue taxes which were one-sixth of the total production.

Similarly, talk about

Hsuan-Tsang – Account during Harshavardhan’s era.

Al Beruni (AD 973 – 1048) – Mahmud of Ghazni. Culture of Indians especially the hindus.

Abdur Razzaq – Vijaynagar Empire

Conclusion – They provide enriching narratives highlighting the diversity of our past.

 

3) Throw light on the significance of the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi in the present times. (10 marks)

Similar question from Test Series – Round3 GS1

5. By offering an ideological critique of the western civilization in its modern phase, Gandhiji was effectively contesting the moral legitimacy of the Raj that rested on a stated assumption of the superiority of the west. Comment (10 marks)

One of the most important topics from UPSC perspective relevant for Essay, GS1, GS4. A more difficult question was asked in the test series.

Approach

Start with a line like Gandhi is regarded as the greatest Indian since Gautama Buddha and the greatest man since Jesus Christ.

Elaborate on the following writing 1-2 lines and you’ll score an 8/10.

1.Truth

2.Ahimsa – believer in peace and harmony.

3.Satyagraha

4.Swaraj – Multidimensional concept spanning political, cultural, economic and technological spheres.

5.Dharma – Multidimensional concept meaning many things depending upon the situation – obedience to law, morality, being virtuous, etc.

6.Trusteeship Model – Though a failed model but inspired Corporate Social Responsibility. The best companies in the world invest heavily in social projects.

7.Ram Rajya/ Decentralized polity – Democracy is about giving power to the masses. Debates around strengthening the Panchayati Raj system all based on this ideal.

8.Sarvodaya and Antyodaya

9.Campaign against untouchability

10.Campaign for cleanliness – Inspired swatch bharat.

11.Ethical journalism – Gandhi was a journalist at heart. He published 4 newspapers and used it as a medium to generate awareness.

12.Opposition to western materialism, appreciation for sciences and bringing back spiritualism from our past.

4) Why is the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) needed? How does it help in navigation? (10 marks)

Straightforward question.

Approach

IRNSS constellation of eight satellites, NavIC. Three satellites are located in suitable orbital slots in the geostationary orbit and the remaining four are located in geosynchronous orbits with the required inclination and equatorial crossings in two different planes.

It is needed for the following

  • Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation
  • Disaster Management
  • Vehicle tracking and fleet management
  • Integration with mobile phones
  • Precise Timing
  • Mapping and Geodetic data capture
  • Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travelers
  • Visual and voice navigation for drivers

Besides the above applications, it has implications for India’s security. It will help India become self-reliant to keep a close watch on its boundaries and remove its dependence on US-based GPS. Hence, its military applications remain important.

It is also playing an important role in India’s softer diplomacy by providing services to our neighboring countries.

It helps in navigation in the following manner

>It uses the principle of triangulation.

It requires only three satellites to provide a precise location. The other satellites add to the accuracy.

<draw a diagram with the intersection of 3 circles>

If you are positioned somewhere on Earth with three satellites in the sky and if you know how far away you are from satellite A, then you know you must be located somewhere on the red circle. If you do the same for satellites B and C, you can work out your location by seeing where the three circles intersect.

5) Why is India taking a keen interest in the Arctic Region? (10 marks)

Similar question from Test Series – Round 3 GS 3. 

Q2 As the Arctic has continued to warm and the temperature difference relative to the equator has reduced, many strange climate anomalies have been witnessed around the world. Examine. 

Previously asked mains question on Arctic Council. Since questions are hardly repeated we had left this question.

Approach

The introduction can start with the definition

Arctic Region refers to the polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. It consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of countries like Alaska, Finland, Greenland, etc.

Once ignored because of the prevalence of ice, it has started gaining importance due to the melting of ice caps because of global warming. Its implications have caught India’s interest.

1. Climate change concerns – Global Warming leading to the melting of ice can lead to the release of more methane and CO2 accelerating Global Warming. This can further lead to a rise in sea levels across the globe impacting India as it remains surrounded by water on 3 sides. This concern needs to be addressed.

2. Navigation routes – New and shorter strategic sea routes that will change the pattern of energy flow on sea lanes of communications (SLOCs).

3.Oil Beds – Arctic seabed may contain substantial oil fields which may become accessible if the ice covering them melts.

4. Finally, Arctic Region is not considered as a global common and its discourse remains dominated by the Arctic Five countries and the Arctic Council. This doesn’t work in India’s favor.

Hence, it’s in India’s interest to make Arctic talks more accessible. With Russia, China already laying their claims on various parts of the region, India should try to push its agenda in the Arctic Council. It should try to ensure that developing countries have a say in the matters of Arctic Region. This will not only ensure that its economic, security and environmental interests are protected but will see India play a leadership role in promoting south-south solidarity.

6) Define mantle plume and explain its role in plate tectonics. (10 marks)

Similar question from Test Series – Round1 GS1 

16. Without magma man’s survival and progress would have been difficult. Comment.

17. The theory of plate tectonics has greatly contributed to our understanding of the earth. Comment.

Though not precisely the same question, attempting the test would’ve ensured that you don’t leave the question blank and write some quality points on plate tectonics and mantle.

7) What are the consequences of spreading of ‘Dead Zones’ on marine ecosystem? (10 marks)

8) “Caste system is assuming new identities and associational forms. Hence, the caste system cannot be eradicated in India.” Comment. (10 marks)

Similar question from Test Series – Round 2 GS1 

Q.18) Caste in its old form is irrelevant and cannot exist in the modern or contemporary Indian society. Comment(15)

Hope you appreciate the similarities in the questions. We asked Caste in its old form is irrelevant and the question said caste system is assuming new identities and associational forms. Had you gone through the model answer, you would’ve gotten some rich points to attempt this question.

9) ‘Despite the implementation of various programmes for the eradication of poverty by the government in India, poverty is still existing’. Explain by giving reasons. (10 marks).

Very general question. Asked across our TS in GS1, GS2, GS3 in various forms linking with lack of female participation, etc.

10) How the Indian concept of secularism different from the western model of secularism? Discuss. (10 marks)

Similar question from Test Series Round 2 GS1

Q.19) India needs a reinvented secularism 2.0 rooted in the complete separation of religion and state. Critically comment(15)

Approach

Secularism broadly refers to the separation of religion from state and its confinement to the private sphere. It’s a western construct whose roots can be traced back to the treaty of Westphalia which called for state sovereignty and its separation of religion. However, the relationship between religion and states remain complex.

There are 2 prominent models of secularism regarded as western models

1.France –> wall of separation model – which calls for a water-tight separation between the religion and state exists. The state actively tries to confine people’s religion to their private spheres and bans public appearances. Eg. banning burkinis, hijab, etc.

2.USA -> no-preference model – which calls for equal treatment of all religions by the state and no preferential treatment. In USA, you have every right to wear your religion in public.

The version of Indian Secularism has been a matter of intense debate. Secularism is a part of the Preamble and the Constitution calls for no discrimination on the basis of religion. However, it also allows the state to intervene in matters of religion via Art. 25-30. The DPSP for establishing UCC also goes against the principles of Secularism.

Some matters where the state has interfered

1.The Hindu Marriage Act.
2.The Triple Talaq Ban
3.Jallikatu, Temple Entry, etc.
Hence one can see it is neither a wall of separation model nor a no-preference model.
The Indian Secularism can be best described as that of ‘Principled Distance’. The doctrine of Principled Distance allows states to interfere in matters of religion to stop discrimination and ensure that all religion are treated equally.

11) The Bhakti movement received a remarkable re-orientation with the advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Discuss. (15 marks)

Similar question from Test Series – Round3 G S1

4.Kabir was one of the chief exponents of the Bhakti movement in the medieval period. Discuss the Relevance of the teachings of Kabir in Contemporary India? (10 marks)

Instead of Chaitanya, we asked Kabir. We could’ve asked any Bhakti saint like Dadu Dayal, Tulsi Das. We went with Kabir so students could at least attempt Kabir if it was asked in the exam.

Approach

Chaitanya – Bengal+Orissa. He takes Bhakti Movement to the east of India where it flourishes.
Popularised Kirtans
Founder of Gaudiya Samaj. Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Gaudiya Nritya is one of the dances accepted in the UNESCO world heritage.
Bhidabhida philosophy school.

Leads to many important cultural developments in east India.

15) Defining blue revolution, explain the problems and strategies for pisciculture development in India. (15 marks)

Straightforward question asked in GS3. 

16) What is the significance of Industrial Corridors in India? Identifying industrial corridors, explain their main characteristics. (15 marks)

Approach

Industrial Corridors are envisioned to create a strong economic base with the globally competitive environment and state-of-the-art infrastructure to activate local commerce, enhance foreign investments and attain sustainable development
Their significance is as follows
1. The corridor approach is a proven concept to ensure industrial development in under-utilized regions.
2. Integration between industry and infrastructure
-World class infrastructure such as high-speed transportation (rail, road) network, ports with state-of-the-art cargo handling equipment, modern airports, special economic regions/ industrial areas, logistic parks/transshipment hubs, knowledge parks focused on feeding industrial needs, complementary infrastructure such as townships/ real estate, and other urban infrastructure along with enabling policy framework.
3. Opportunities for private sector investment in the provision of various infrastructure projects associated with the exploitation industrial opportunity. Enhancing ‘Make in India’.
4. Ensure smooth access to industrial production units, decreased transportation, and communications costs, improved delivery time and reduction in inventory cost. The strategy of an industrial corridor is thus intended to develop a sound industrial base, served by world-class competitive infrastructure as a prerequisite for attracting investments into export-oriented industries and manufacturing.
5. Technological Prowess.
6. Social Upliftment.

Write a few unique points about the following, the involvement of foreign organizations, etc.
Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor
Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor
Bengaluru Mumbai Economic Corridor
Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor
East Coast Economic Corridor

17) Mention core strategies for the transformation of aspirational districts in India and explain the nature of convergence, collaboration, and competition for its success. (15 marks)

18) ‘Women’s movement in India has not addressed the issues of women of lower social strata.’ Substantiate your view. (15 marks)

Approach

Women’s movement in India has come a long way since the humble efforts of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Ishwar Chand Vidyasagar to fight for women’s rights.

In their time, it was the upper social strata who were subjected to inhumane practices like Sati. However, the scenario seems to have changed today. Women of lower social strata either belonging to lower castes, minority religion or economically backward regions continue to face hardships.

Political sphere
-elite women with influence occupying offices in governments, panchayats and other bodies.
Economic sphere
-glass ceiling breaking in corporations like google, microsoft. But the wage gap remains prominent for semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
Social sphere
The worst forms of Patriarchy is more prominent in the lower social strata. Haryana with primarily agricultural economy had the poorest child sex ratio.
Education sphere
Access to both lower and higher education remains limited.

Women empowerment can happen when everyone works towards it – the government, society, families, and individuals.

The government programs targeted towards women empowerment have started to bear fruits. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Dhanlaxmi scheme and others have acted as catalysts to promote behavior and mindset changes.

The society should be forthcoming to support women. The story of Phogat Sisters tells us how women can bring accolades to the country. All started with a father, an individual questioning established norms.

19) ‘Globalisation is generally said to promote cultural homogenisation but due to this cultural specificities appear to be strengthened in the Indian society.’ Elucidate.

Similar question from Test Series – Round 2 GS1

18. While Globalization has destroyed many traditional practices and Industries in India it has also given new lease of life to some of them who were on the ventilator. Examine. (15)

We did not ask a question on Globalization and culture as it had been asked by UPSC before. Hence we went with other dimension of Globalization. 

Approach

Globalisation refers to the increases interconnected due to technological advancements leading to a shrinking of time and space and flattening of the world. Though thought of as an economic phenomena, it is now accepted to impact all spheres of life – political, social and cultural.

In its initial days, globalisation was equated with westernisation or americanisation which meant that the culture of the west was spreading across the globe. One could travel to new york and new delhi and find them to be similar in almost all spheres including culture. Thus globalisation was supposed to have a homogenizing tendency.

However, the relationship between globalisation and culture is a complex one. Globalisation has not been able to replace old existing cultures. Instead evidence suggests that globalisation has strengthened them and even modified them.

1.Indian cuisines traveling to the west
Indian food restaurants are now available all around the world. Indian curries and masalas have also become a part of our soft power diplomacy.
2.Ancient indian practices like yoga and ayurveda being adopted around the globe.
People are now looking for the most authentic experience.
3. With the advent of ecommerce, global value chains and internet, local arts and crafts are also
Top hotels of the world are buying handwoven Indian designs sourced from traditional communities. Ikkat, block painting, etc designs are gaining popularity world over.
4.Traditional Indian forms of music and communities like the Manganiars are being studied in the Berkeley School of Music.
5. Contemporary cinema Bollywood has increased its fan following across the globe.

At the same time, local cultures are modifying western cultures. McDonalds serving a menu catering to Indian taste buds is a case in point. This phenomena has been termed as ‘glocalization’

From the above, it can be seen that the relationship between globalisation and culture is complex with each impacting the other. The above examples indeed prove that cultural specificities appear to be strengthened in the Indian society.

20) ‘Communalism arises either due to power struggle or relative deprivation.’ Argue by giving suitable illustrations. (15 marks)

Communalism in the Indian context refers to the ideology which states that society is divided into different religious communities whose interests differ from, and at times oppose, each other. Historically, Indian society has been regarded as  a melting pot of various religions that have been tolerant of each other. However, the British policy of divide and rule laid the foundations of communalism which the Indian state has found hard to tackle post-independence.

Communalism indeed arises due to power struggle and relative deprivation

Power struggle
-Power struggle between political parties leading to vote bank politics with each trying to garner votes based on identity markers such as religion. Eg. Congress and BJP both trying to appease Muslims and in turn strengthening the Hindu Muslim divide.
-Between majority and minority groups. Eg. Sikhs and Hindus.

Relative deprivation

Deprivation makes groups to fight for limited resources.
-Case with Assamese and Non-Assamese. Deprivation of the native groups led to movements throughout the state.
Deprivation makes it easier to influence a group. Rather than self-introspect they blame others for their condition. It causes them to support anyone who can help them marginally move above their misery.
-Vice President Ansari had pointed out the relative deprivation among Muslims to be the biggest causes of communal tension.

Long-Term Remedy for Communalism

  1. There is a need to initiate the process of de-communalization of the people at all levels, say, by exposing communal assumptions, by explaining to them the socio-economic and political roots of communalism, and by letting them know that what the communalists project as problems are not the real problem and what they suggest as remedies are not the real remedies.
  2. Communalism of state and of the political elite in power has to be checked because it leads to inaction against communal violence and covert or overt political and ideological support to communalism by the state apparatuses, including the media under state control.
  3. Communalization of civil society also needs to be checked because it leads to more communal roots and other forms of communal violence. It is here that intellectuals, political parties, and voluntary organizations can be the most effective.
  4. The role of education, particularly value-oriented education, both in schools and colleges is important in preventing communal feelings.
  5. The media can prove to be significant in preventing communal feelings. Communal press can be banned and legal action can be taken against communal writers.
  6. 6.   The ideology that economic development, industrialization, the growth of capitalism and the growth of the working class would automatically weaken and ultimately eliminate communalism should not be overplayed.

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GS Paper 4 – UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination – 2018

Section A

1. 

(a) State the three basic values, universal in nature, in the context of civil services and bring out their importance. (150 words)

(b) Distinguish between “Code of ethics” and “Code of conduct” with suitable examples.
(150 words)

2.

(a) What is mean by public interest? What are the principles and procedures to be followed by the civil servants in public interest? (150 words)

(b) “The Right to Information Act is not all about citizens’ empowerment alone, it essentially redefines the concept of accountability. Discuss. (150 words)

3.

(a) What is mean by conflict of interest? Illustrate with examples, the difference between the actual and potential conflicts of interest. (150 words)

(b) “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they do not have the first, the other two will kill you.” – Warren Buffett

What do you understand by this statement in the present-day scenario? Explain. (150 words)

4.

(a) “In doing a good thing, everything is permitted which is not prohibited expressly or by clear implication”. Examine the statement with suitable examples in the context of a public servant discharging his/her duties. (150 words)

(b) With regard to the morality of actions, one view is that means is of paramount importance and the other view is that the ends justify the means. Which view do you think is more appropriate? Justify your answer. (150 words)

5.

(a) Suppose the Government of India is thinking of constructing a dam in a mountain valley bond by forests and inhabited by ethnic communities. What rational policy should it resort to in dealing with unforeseen contingencies (150 words)

(b) Explain the process of resolving ethical dilemmas in Public Administration. (150 words)

6.

What do each of the following quotations mean to you in the present context?

(a) “The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject anything, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more evil than good. There are few things wholly evil or wholly good. Almost everything, especially of governmental policy, is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgement of the preponderance between them is continually demanded. ” -Abraham Lincoln ( 150 words)
(b) “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding. “ – Mahatma Gandhi (150 words)

(c) “Falsehood takes the place of truth when it results in unblemished common good.” -Tirukkural (150 words)




Section B

 7. Rakesh is a responsible district level officer, who enjoys the trust of his higher officials. Knowing his honesty, the government entrusted him with the responsibility of identifying the beneficiaries under a health care scheme meant for senior citizens.

The criteria to be a beneficiary are the following:
(a) 60 years of age or above.
(b) Belonging to a reserved community.
(c) Family income of less than 1 Lakh rupees per annum.
(d) Post-treatment prognosis is likely to be high to make a positive difference to the quality of life of the beneficiary.

One day, an old couple visited Rakesh’s office with their application. They have been the residents of a village in his district since their birth. The old man is diagnosed with a rare condition that causes obstruction in the large intestine. As a consequence, he has severe abdominal pain frequently that prevents him from doing any physical labour. The couple has no children to support them. The expert surgeon whom they contacted is willing to do the surgery without charging any fee. However, the couple will have to bear the cost of incidental charges, such as medicines, hospitalization, etc., to the tune of rupees one lakh. The couple fulfils all the criteria except criterion ‘b’. However, any financial aid would certainly make a significant difference in their quality of life.

How should Rakesh respond to the situation? (250 words)

 

 8. As a senior officer in the Ministry, you have access to important policy decisions and upcoming big announcements such as road constructions projects before they are notified in the public domain. The Ministry is about to announce a mega road project for which the drawings are already in place. Sufficient care was taken by the planners to make use of the government land with the minimum land acquisition from private parties. Compensation rate for private parties was also finalized as per government rules. Care was also taken to minimize deforestation. Once the project is announced, it is expected that there will be a huge spurt in real estate prices in and around that area.

Meanwhile, the Minister concerned insists that you realign the road in such a way that it comes closer to his 20 acres farmhouse. He also suggests that he would facilitate the purchase of a big plot of land in your wife name at the prevailing rate which is very nominal, in and around the proposed mega road project. He also tries to convince you by saying that there is no harm in it as he is buying the land legally. He even promises to supplement your savings in case you do not have sufficient funds to buy the land. However, by the act of realignment, a lot of agricultural lands has to be acquired, thereby causing a considerable financial burden on the government, and also the displacement of the farmers. As if this is not enough, it will involve cutting down of a large number of trees denuding the area of its green cover.

Faced with this situation, what will you do? Critically examine various conflicts of interest and explain what your responsibilities are as a public servant. (250 words)

 

9. It is a State where prohibition is in force. You are recently appointed as the Superintendent of Police of a district notorious for illicit distillation of liquor. The illicit liquor leads to many death, reported and unreported, and causes a major problem for the district authorities.
The approach till now had been to view it as a law and order problem and tackle it accordingly. Raids, arrest, police cases, and criminal trials – all these had only limited impact. The problem remains as serious as ever.

Your inspections show that the parts of the district where the distillation flourishes are economically, industrially and educationally backward. Agriculture is badly affected by poor irrigation facilities. Frequent clashes among communities gave boost to illicit distillation. No major initiatives had taken place in the past either from the government’s side or from social organizations to improve the lot of the people.

Which new approach will you adopt to bring the problem under control? (250 words)

10. A big corporate house is engaged in manufacturing industrial chemicals on a large scale. It proposes to set upon the additional unit. Many states rejected its proposal due to the detrimental effect on the environment. But one state government acceded to the request and permitted the unit close to a city, brushing aside all opposition.

The unit was set up 10 years ago and was in full swing till recently. The pollution caused by the industrial effluents was affecting the land, water and crops in the area. It was also causing serious health problems to human beings and animals. This gave rise to a series of agitation thousands of people took part, creating a law and order problem necessitating stern police action. Following the public outcry, the State government ordered the closure of the factory.

The closure of the factory resulted in the unemployment of not only those workers who were engaged in the factory but also those who were working in the ancillary units. It also very badly affected those industry which depended on the chemicals manufactured by it.

As a senior officer entrusted with the responsibility of handling this issues, how are you going to address it? (250 words)

 

11.  Dr X is a leading medical practitioner in a city. He has set up a charitable trust through which he plans to establish a super-speciality hospital in the city to cater to the medical needs of all sections of the society. Incidentally, that part of the State had been neglected over the years. The proposed hospital would be a boon for the region.
You are heading the tax investigation agency of that region. During an inspection of the doctor’s clinic, your officers have found out some major irregularities. A few of them are substantial which had resulted in considerable withholding of tax that should be paid by him now. The doctor is cooperative. He undertakes to pay the tax immediately.
However, there are certain other deficiencies in his tax compliance which are purely technical in nature. If these technical defaults are pursued by the agency, considerable time and energy of the doctor will be diverted to issues which are not so serious, urgent or even helpful to the tax collection process. Further, in all probability, it will hamper the prospects of the hospital coming up.

There are two options before you:

1) Taking a broader view, ensure substantial tax compliance and ignore defaults that are merely technical in nature.
2) Pursue the matter strictly and proceed on all fronts, whether substantial or merely technical.

As the head of the tax agency, which course of action will you opt and why? (250 words)

12. Edward Snowden, a computer expert and former CIA administrator, released confidential Government documents to the press about the existence of Government surveillance programmes. According to many legal experts and the US Government, his action violated the Espionage act of 1971, which identified the leak of State secret as an act of treason. Yet, despite the fact that he broke the law, Snowden argued that he had a moral obligation to act. He gave a justification for his “whistle blowing” by stating that he had a duty “to inform the public as to that which is done in there name and that which is done against them.”
According to Snowden, the Government’s violation of privacy had to be exposed regardless of legality since more substantive issues of social action and public morality were involved here. Many agreed with Snowden. Few argued that he broke the law and compromised national security, for which he should be held accountable.

Do you agree that Snowden’s actions were ethically justified even if legally prohibited? Why or why not? Make an argument by weighing the competing values in this case (250 words )

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GS Paper 3 – UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination – 2018

  1. “Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is a sine qua non to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).” Comment on the progress made in India in this regard. (150 words) (10 Marks)
  2. Comment on the important changes introduced in respect of the Long-term Capital Gain Tax – (LCGT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) in the Union Budget for 2018-2019. (150 words) (10 Marks)
  3. What do you mean by Minimum Support Price (MSP)? How will MSP rescue the farmers from the low-income traps? (150 words) (10 Marks)
  4. Examine the role of supermarkets in supply chain management of fruits, vegetables and food items. How do they eliminate the number of intermediaries? (150 words) (10 Marks)
  5. Discuss the work of ‘Bose-Einstein Statistics’ done by prof. Satyendra Nath Bose and show how it revolutionized the field of physics. (150 words) (10 Marks)
  6. What are the impediments in disposing of the huge quantities of discarded solid wastes which are continuously being generated? How do we remove safely the toxic wastes that have been accumulating in our habitable environment? (150 words) (10 Marks)
  7. What is wetland? Example the Ramsar concept of ‘wise use’ in the context of wetland conservation. Cite two examples of Ramsar sites from India. (150 words)(10 Marks)
  8. Sikkim is the first ‘Organic State ‘in India. What are the ecological and economical benefits of Organic State? (150 words) (10 Marks)
  9. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is viewed as a cardinal subset of China’s larger “One Belt One Road” initiative .Give a brief description of CPEC and enumerate the reasons why India has distanced itself from the same. (150 words) (10 Marks)
  10. Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is showing a downward trend, but still effects many parts of the country. Briefly explain the government of India’s approach to counter the challengers post by LWE.
    (150 words) (10 Marks)
  11. How are the principles followed by the NITI Aayog different from those followed by the erstwhile planning commission in India? (250 words)(15 Marks)
  12. How would the recent phenomena of protectionism and currency manipulations in world trade effect macroeconomic stability of India? (250 words) (15 Marks)
  13. Assess the role of National Horticulture Mission (NHM) in boosting the production, productivity and income of horticulture farms. How far has it succeeded in increasing the income of farmers? (250 words) (15 Marks)
  14. How has the emphasis on certain crops brought about changes in cropping patterns in recent past? Elaborate the emphasis on millets production and consumption. (250 words) (15 Marks)
  15. Why is there so much activity in the field of biotechnology in our country? How has this activity benefitted the field of biopharma? (250 words) (15 Marks)
  16. With growing energy needs should India keep on extending its nuclear energy programme? Discuss the facts and fears associated with nuclear energy. (250 words)(15 Marks)
  17. How does biodiversity vary in India? How is the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 helpful in conservation flora and fauna? (250 words) (15 Marks)
  18. Describe various measures taken in India for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) before and after signing ‘Sendai Framework for DRR (2015-2030)’. How is this framework different from ‘Hyogo Framework for Action, 2005’? (250 words) (15 Marks)
  19. Data security has assumed significant importance in the digitized world due to rising cybercrimes. The justice B.N Sreekrishna Committee Report addresses issues related to data security. What, in your view, are the strengths and weaknesses of the Report relating the protection of personal data in cyberspace? (250 words) (15 Marks)
  20. India’s proximity to two of the world’s biggest illicit opium-growing states has enhanced her internal security concerns. Explain the linkages between drug trafficking and other illicit activities such as gunrunning, money laundering and human trafficking. What countermeasures should be taken to prevent the same? (250 words) (15 Marks)
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Announcements

Demystifying Economics- Core & Current Affairs Buildup Lecture Series

View the schedule of lectures here: Click2View

Importance of Economics for UPSC

Prelims exam

Year   Questions asked

2016   29

2017   29

2018   25

Thus on an average 1/4th of the prelims paper can be solved easily if you have good command in economics.

Mains exam

GS paper 3

Year    Total Marks

2017    125 Marks

2016    112.5 Marks

2015    125 Marks

In Essay Paper

1 topic Every year

Total Weightage in mains: 375 Marks

Objectives of this course

Economics is not only the most important subject in all 3 tiers of the exam (Prelims, Mains and interview) but also the most feared subject

Rather than understanding the concepts, many aspirants indulge in rot learning and mugging up the concepts but since Economics is not a theoretical subject like History this method does not actually work in the actual exam. The objective of this course is to make Economics as a subject interesting, lucid, layman and enjoyable.

After the end of the course, economics will be on your fingertips and you will be able to apply that knowledge not just in UPSC exam but also in other subsidiary exams like State PSC, RBI Grade B, CAPF, SSC, Bank PO etc.

The other focus of this course is to strengthen the basics and conceptual clarity of the student so that he can apply that knowledge in understanding the contemporary economic issues.

Is it relevant only to UPSC students?

This course is relevant for not just UPSC students but also for State PSC, RBI Grade B, SSC, Bank PO and other competitive exams

What will this course offer?

1. Static Lectures

100 hours of static Lectures covering NCERT’s, All advanced UPSC books like Mishra and Puri, Dutt and Sundaram, Paul Krugman, Mankiw etc

Watch sample videos of the course here:

2. Lectures on contemporary issues both 2019 Mains specific and 2019 Prelims specific

35 – 40 Hours of lectures on Contemporary issues (From 2012 to 2018)

Sources: All important magazines and newspapers like Economist, EPW, Livemint, Business Standard, Economic times

3. Notes

Notes on both static and current part will be given

4. Tests

6 Prelims test of Economics (100 Questions each)

6 Mains test (10 Questions each)

5. Mentorship

-Telegram group where students can ask any doubts with the faculty. Students can also call the faculty at a defined time every day.

6. Unlimited access

Unlimited access to videos during the validity of the course. Can access the course 24/7 as per your convenience.

7. Special Coverage of Budget and Economic Survey 2019

Get all the details of the course and join here: Click2Join

 

About the Faculty

Himanshu Arora

MPhil Economics (JNU)

Works at Prime Minister Economic Advisory Council

-Writes regularly in various famous Indian and international weeklies like Millenium post and Huffington Post.

-Worked as Assistant Professor in Delhi University

Read some of his articles here:

Looking beyond geopolitics

Empowering citizens is better than entitlements

China in Xi Era

‘We the People’

Sajal Singh

MSc Economics (Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics)

MS Financial Economics Carleton University Canada

NET (JRF) Economics Qualified

Core Faculty @ Civilsdaily.com

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GS Paper 2 – UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination – 2018

  1. In the light of recent controversy regarding the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), what are the challenges before the Election Commission of India to ensure the trustworthiness of elections in India? (10 marks, 150 words)
  2. Whether National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) can enforce the implementation of constitutional reservation for the Scheduled Castes in the religious minority institutions? Examine. (10 marks, 150 words)
  3. Under what circumstances can the Financial Emergency be proclaimed by the President of India? What consequences follow when such a declaration remains in force? (10 marks, 150 words)
  4. Why do you think the committees are considered to be useful for parliamentary work? Discuss, in this context, the role of the Estimates Committee. (10 marks, 150 words)
  5. “The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has a very vital role to play.” Explain how this is reflected in the method and terms of his appointment as well as the range of powers he can exercise. (10 marks, 150 words)
  6. “Policy contradictions among various competing sectors and stakeholders have resulted in inadequate ‘protection and prevention of degradation to environment.” Comment with relevant illustrations. (10 marks, 150 words)
  7. Appropriate local community level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieve ‘Health for All’ in India. Explain. (10 marks, 150 words)
  8. E-governance is not only about utilization of the power of new technology, but also much about critical importance of the ‘use value’ of information. Explain. (10 marks, 150 words)
  9. “India’s relations with Israel have, of late, acquired a depth and diversity, which cannot be rolled back.” Discuss.  (10 marks, 150 words)
  10. A number of outside powers have entrenched themselves in Central Asia, which is a zone of interest to India. Discuss the implications, in this context, of India’s joining the Ashgabat Agreement, 2018.  (10 marks, 150 words)
  11. Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can settle the political tussle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine. (15 marks, 250 words)
  12. How far do you agree with the view that tribunals curtail the jurisdiction of ordinary courts? In view of the above, discuss the constitutional validity and competency of the tribunals in India. (15 marks, 250 words)
  13. Indian and USA are two large democracies. Examine the basic tenets on which the two political systems are based. (15 marks, 250 words)
  14. How is the Finance Commission of India constituted? What do you know about the terms of reference of the recently constituted Finance Commission? Discuss.  (15 marks, 250 words)
  15. Assess the importance of the Panchayat system in India as a part of local government. Apart from government grants, what sources the Panchayats can look out for financing developmental projects? (15 marks, 250 words)
  16. Multiplicity of various commissions for the vulnerable sections of the society leads to problems of overlapping jurisdiction and duplication of functions. Is it better to merge all commissions into an umbrella Human Rights Commission? Argue your case.  (15 marks, 250 words)
  17. How far do you agree with the view that the focus on lack of availability of food as the main cause of hunger takes the attention away from ineffective human development policies in India?  (15 marks, 250 words)
  18. The Citizen’s Charter is an ideal instrument of organisational transparency and accountability, but it has its own limitations. Identify the limitations and suggest measures for greater effectiveness of the Citizen’s Charters.  (15 marks, 250 words)
  19. What are the key areas of reform if the WTO has to survive in the present context of ‘Trade War’, especially keeping in mind the interest of India?  (15 marks, 250 words)
  20. In what ways would the ongoing US-Iran Nuclear Pact Controversy affect the national interest of India? How should India respond to its situation?  (15 marks, 250 words)
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GS Paper 1 – UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination – 2018

  1. Safeguarding the Indian art heritage is the need of the moment. Comment (10 marks, 150 words)
  2. Assess the importance of the accounts of the Chinese and Arab travellers in the reconstruction of the history of India. (10 marks, 150 words)
  3. Throw light on the significance of the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi in the present times. (10 marks, 150 words)
  4. Why is Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) needed? How does it help in navigation? (10 marks, 150 words)
  5. Why is India taking keen interest in the Arctic region? (10 marks, 150 words)
  6. Define mantle plume and explain its role in plate tectonics. (10 marks, 150 words)
  7. What are the consequences of spreading of ‘Dead Zones’ on marine ecosystem? (10 marks, 150 words)
  8. “Caste system is assuming new identities and associational forms. Hence, caste system cannot be eradicated in India.” Comment. (10 marks, 150 words)
  9. ‘Despite implementation of various programmes for eradication of poverty by the government in India, poverty is still existing’. Explain by giving reasons. (10 marks, 150 words)
  10. How the Indian concept of secularism different from the western model of secularism? Discuss. (10 marks, 150 words)
  11. The Bhakti movement received a remarkable re-orientation with the advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Discuss. (15 marks, 250 words)
  12. Discuss whether formation of new states in recent times is beneficial or not for the economy of India. (15 marks, 250 words)
  13. Why indentured labour was taken by the British from India to their colonies? have they been able to preserve their cultural identity over there? (15 marks, 250 words)
  14. “The ideal solution of depleting groundwater resources in India is water harvesting system.” How can it be made effective in urban areas? (15 marks, 250 words)
  15. Defining blue revolution, explain the problems and strategies for pisciculture development in India. (15 marks, 250 words)
  16. What is the significance of Industrial Corridors in India? Identifying industrial corridors, explain their main characteristics. (15 marks, 250 words)
  17. Mention core strategies for the transformation of aspirational districts in India and explain the nature of convergence, collaboration and competition for its success. (15 marks, 250 words)
  18. ‘Women’s movement in India has not addresses the issues of women of lower social strata.’ Substantiate your view. (15 marks, 250 words)
  19. ‘Globalisation is generally said to promote cultural homogenisation but due to this cultural specificities appear to be strengthened in the Indian society.’ Elucidate. (15 marks, 250 words)
  20. ‘Communalism arises either due to power struggle or relative deprivation.’ Argue by giving suitable illustrations. (15 marks, 250 words)
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ESSAY PAPER – UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination – 2018

No questions on women, education, social issues. Mostly philosophical topics.

Section A had objective topics (1&4) but Section B was a bummer. Let us know what you think?

SECTION – A

1.Alternative technologies for a climate change resilient India
2.A good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge
3.Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere
4.Management of Indian border disputes – a complex task

SECTION – B

1. Customary morality cannot be a guide to modern life
2. ‘The past’ is a permanent dimension of human consciousness and values
3. A people that values its privileges above its principles loses both
4. Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it

 

 

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Batch 4: CD Prime Test Series for Prelims 2019

We are now accepting admissions for Batch 4

Join Batch 4 of Test series here: Click2Join

Click2View the detailed schedule of test series with complete booklist to be followed.

 

Get a 10% discount for early joiners. We will be extending the discount on this batch till 7th October (the date for the first test of this batch) to ensure that students join before tests start and they stay regular with the schedule

UPDATE #2

We are upgrading the program further to provide you more Comprehensive Preparation

Apart from the static subject videos, now we will also provide Economic Survey & Budget Analysis Videos covering key concepts and important terms for Prelims 2019.  Economic Survey analysis will be available from 2016 to 2018 covering trends in Indian Economy as well as key issues related to it.

That makes the total video lectures to be 75 hours

UPDATE  #1

Demolish UPSC series
We are releasing 60+ Hours of Advanced Video Lectures on Static subjects – Polity, History, Geography, Economy

These cover the most important topics from prelims perspective

Basic knowledge will be helpful in understanding these though it’s not mandatory
CD remains committed to its students’ success. We are ready to go the extra mile to turn your dreams into reality.

Join Batch 4 of Test series here: Click2Join

 

Here is the detailed schedule of lectures:

Importance of Economic Survey and Budget

Economic Survey and Budget are the 2 most important documents that you will go through in your exam preparation.

  • Economic Survey discusses all the major government initiatives with the explanation.
  • If we go by the trend, every year around 20 questions in prelims and 7-8 questions in mains are directly related to the Economic Survey and Budget.
  • Questions in prelims paper stress on important phrases, key analysis, and technical terms. Hence they have to be thoroughly studied.
  • Almost mandatory to imbibe actual phrases used in Economic Survey to frame answers for Main Examination. for example, if a Question is asked on Banking sector problems in the mains exam, you can always quote the 4R recommendations of the 2016th economic survey.
  • Adding the important and relevant facts and figures significantly enhance your marks in General Studies Paper-III.
  • Deep knowledge of the current policies and programs of the government also help an aspirant to write meaningful Essays in UPSC Civil Services Main Examination. For example, Wiping every tear from every eye “Twin balance sheet problem”, “translating potential into actuality” “ Chakravuyh challenge” etc.
  • According to the new trend economy and the environment is going hand in hand. So questions can come from that perspective also.
  • Many statistics and schemes are now being asked in Prelims

Watch the video to know how we ensure you get 120+ score in Prelims

The only TS that is supervised by top rankers and provides personalized attention to students. Check out the 7 points that make it the best in the market.

Follow the video below to understand what makes the TS unique. Our planning and execution remains perfect.

 

It goes without saying that Civilsdaily’s Flagship Test Series Program has created a name for itself. It is preferred among students in their advanced stages of preparation.
Here is what ABHILASH BARANWAL, AIR 44, CSE-2017 had to say about CD

Here is what  JITENDRA KUMAR SHARMA, AIR 392, CSE-2017 had to say –

This year, we have upgraded the program to make it the best offering in the market.

Introducing CD Prime TS 2019

1. One comprehensive program – Our TS is a full-fledged course in itself! With a mix and match of various kinds of questions and detailed explanation wherever need. It is a very effective way of both, starting a subject and revising one.

2. Telegram Groups moderated by to Toppers.  Mentorship taken to a whole new level. You will be helped at every step of the way.

3. Introducing questions-types – Judging the quality of any TS is very subjective. While some will say its great, others will say its quality has decreased over time. That is why we have introduced the concept of question-types. They ensure consistency in quality. How? We have explained that in the end.

4. Dedicated monthly CA Tests – Exclusive focus on Current Affairs(CA) by having dedicated monthly CA tests. Besides, exhaustively preparing for CA questions, it has helped students precisely figure out what their weaknesses are.  

5. Tikdams and mastering the art of intelligent guesses – Tikdam Technique is an innovation by Dr. V(AIR 20) and has helped students gain additional marks. Our TS is the only TS that puts a conscious effort to build student’s risk-taking appetite.

6. Subject and sub-subject Level Tagging – These tags will help you understand the importance of themes and revise other questions from them.

7. Two-tier quality check  – Our questions pass through a rigorous true stage assessment criteria. The first being done by CD’s core content team with the final approval from a coterie of rankers.


What are questions types 

Wherever applicable, we will try to stick to the format decided below. It standardizes questions to a decent extent.

A. Consolidation Questions
These questions consolidate information from different topics to help you see concepts holistically and also aid retention.
Eg. Consider this question. You would not have studied all the ‘Majorities’ together but under separate topics. This question will help you understand the concept in entirety.

Consider the following questions on the types of Majority
1. Special Majority of not less than 2/3 of the Members present and voting is required in the passage of a resolution under Art. 249 and Art. 312ONLY.
2. Impeachment of the President requires Not less than 2/3 of the Members present and voting along with Majority of the Total Strength of the House.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a)1
b)2
c)Both
d)None

Explanation – A very detailed account of the types of Majority is given here https://www.civilsdaily.com/types-of-majorities/
Statement 1 is correct despite having ‘ONLY’ in it.

B. Comparative Questions
Comparative questions help you understand the relative differences between related topics. Consider the question below. Instead of asking a question on HC or SC separately, we have clubbed it together.

Consider the following statements with respect to the appointment of judges of High Court & Supreme Court
1. The minimum qualifications prescribed in the Constitution is same for judges of HC & SC.
2. While SC judges are appointed by the President, HC judges are appointed by the SC.
Which of the following is/are incorrect?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) None

Explanation – 3 qualifications are common to both judges of HC and SC
1. Citizen of India
2. Judge of HC for 5 years
3. Advocate in HC for 10 years
In case of judges of SC, there is an additional qualification – If he/she is a distinguished Jurist in the opinion of the President. Judges of HC are also appointed by the President. The controversy around appointments has been in news very frequently. Please read – https://www.civilsdaily.com/story/judicial-appointments-conundrum-post-njac-verdict/

C. Interactive Questions
These questions will ask you to go through a concept/related concepts and reply back with comments. This will help you re-visit the entire concept rather than simply answer one specific aspect of the topic.

Eg., consider the following question –
The conversion of Ammonia (NH3) to nitrite (NO2-) and then to nitrates (NO3-) is called

a) Nitrification
b) Ammonification
c) Assimilation
d) Denitrification
Answer A

Explanation
Nitrification
In this process, the ammonia is converted into nitrate by the presence of bacteria in the soil. Ammonia is oxidized to form nitrites by bacteria such as Nitrosomonas species. Nitrates are converted into nitrates by Nitrobacter. This conversion is very important as ammonia gas is toxic for plants.
Make a note of all the processes involved in the Nitrogen Cycle – nitrogen fixation, assimilation, ammonification, nitrification, and denitrification process.
Leave their definitions/organisms involved in the comments.

D. Star-marked/special questions
These are advanced questions that are not from standard sources but relevant for the exam. These questions will help you build additional knowledge without going through specialized books.
Eg. Questions on books by freedom-fighters, News not covered by the Hindu, IE, PIB but of very high importance in world affairs.

Besides these, questions indirectly related to CA will also be asked. 

Do I need to join a TS for prelims at all?

Despite UPSC being unpredictable, prelims TS is the only program that can help you assess how your preparation is. Besides few questions that are directly asked from TS, it helps in developing a good understanding of how to prepare/what to prepare/what to prioritize and so on.

In today’s hyper-competitive exam scenario, it’s almost impossible to clear the exam without a good TS in hand.

Join Batch 4 of Test series here: Click2Join

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UPSC Mains 2018 Admit Card now available for download

Check your centers.

Click on the link below –

https://upsconline.nic.in/eadmitcard/admitcard_csm_2018/admit_card.php#hhh1

 

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How to write Essay in UPSC Mains

Related image

The first paper in the Civil Services Examination (Mains) is the Essay writing paper. This paper doesn’t have any well-defined syllabus, so it is one of the most neglected paper during preparation. The vast syllabi of optional papers and general studies papers coupled with the lethargy of aspirants to practice answer writing often leads to unpreparedness for this paper. If prepared well, this paper can be a game changer.

The most commonly asked question by the aspirant is, “How to prepare for essay paper?”

Let us start by understanding what is expected from a candidate in this paper. The notification of UPSC mentions that “Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.” Thus, it is very clear that UPSC is looking for

  1. Discussion to be close to the subject ie; minimum digression from the topic.
  2. The arrangement of ideas in an orderly fashion ie; the structure of essay should be well organized.
  3. To write concisely ie; the assertions should be terse and succinct. One should avoid lengthy discussions on the same point in the essay.
  4. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.

The evaluation of the essays written considers comprehension, originality of thought, clarity of expression and integrated thinking with the assimilation of ideas. Thus, the notification makes it very clear that UPSC is expecting short, precise, accurate and exact discussion on the topic. Describing your thoughts in fewer words requires practice.

We will now discuss in detail various aspects related to essay paper.

1. Choosing Essay Topic

Choosing the topic is the most decisive part of essay paper. One should deliberate seriously over the options given before starting to write. Below mentioned are some tips one can follow for choosing a topic.

  • One should deliberate about all the topics given by reading them carefully. One should not choose the topic haphazardly.
  • Rule out the topics that seem interesting, but you do not know much about them. One cannot make effective arguments without much knowledge.
  • There is no empirical evidence that one receives more marks in unconventional topics. You should choose the topics in which you can easily write 5-7 points in favour and at least 3-4 points counter to the topic.
  • Some topics are too specific and not much can be written about them. If you cannot think of at least 3-5 arguments for and against, you should avoid choosing such a topic.
  • You may have a lot of information on the topic, but merely reproducing information does not make for a good essay; you should have few good ideas around that topic.
  • After finalizing the topic, you can write down all the ideas you have around it before starting to plan the essay structure. This step will give you an idea about the kind of topic you have chosen and the arguments you are going to make. If you spot any problem, you can change the topic at this stage before it is late.
  • One of the better practices is to make a mind map related to the topic in a rough space. It helps in organising ideas. Also, it can be seen by the examiner and gives a good impression.

2. How to Write an Essay Introduction

The introduction is the first impression upon the examiner. Given the subjectivity in this paper, the introduction is the key to good marks. The introduction should be crisp and precise laying down the thesis statement in an effective manner.

  • The introduction should not be vague and general like “since the beginning of time…” It should be targeted to the topic. Given the paucity of time, if nothing comes to mind, try to incorporate the topic given in the introduction. It gives direction to the discussion.
  • The introduction can be in more than one paragraph. One should lay down the thesis statement and the relevance of the topic. One should also mention his plan of discussion in the introduction. This is a good method of transition from introduction to the main body of the essay.
  • Some techniques of evoking interest of the reader are:
    • Starting with a story.
    • Writing a statement/assertion at the beginning that evokes the interest of the reader.
    • Asking poignant or rhetorical questions related to the topic and your thesis statement.
    • Writing a quote. Although quotes should not be too commonly used and if you are using quotation marks, they should be exactly in a way written by the author. You can also paraphrase the quote and attribute it to the author.
    • Using relevant statistic. However, numbers can be boring. So, it should be used tactfully. Further, statistics should not be common or too obvious.
  • Following points should be kept in mind about thesis statements:
    • The thesis statement is essentially what you want to discuss in the essay. It will guide the tone of your essay and arguments that follow.
    • The thesis statement should not be too general.
  • The introduction should also mention the approach you are going to take for further discussion.
  • How can you transition from the introduction to the body of the essay?
    • The best way to transition is to talk about how the essay is structured; like tracing what arguments will be followed.
    • For instance, after the thesis statement one can write “this essay surveys major issues surrounding reproductive rights and then discusses arguments for and against for giving say over such issues to only women…”

3. How to Write Body of the Essay

The main body of the essay should exhibit your capability of coherent analysis. One should desist from discussing only one-sided view of the topic even if you are trying to take a one-sided stand in conclusion. Discussing both sides of the topics leads to an impression that you are open to discussion. Below mentioned are some points which can help in writing the main body.

  • Dividing the essay into different sections and giving subtitles helps the reader get an overall idea of the essay at the end without having to search for your line of thought. However, one should not write over simplistic subheadings like pros, cons etc.
  • A transition from introduction to body of the essay should be clear and one of the better ways to do it is through a subtitle suggesting next part of the essay.
  • Let each paragraph represent one argument. The best way to structure a paragraph is to write the argument in first sentence of the paragraph and then explain it or give examples in following sentences. Consider each paragraph to be a mini-essay, which will present an argument, explain it, provide example/s, and write a very short concluding remark or transitory sentence for the next paragraph. Paragraphs should not be too long as they make the essay monotonous.
  • As the time and space in essay paper is limited, one should refrain from giving too many examples to corroborate an argument.
  • Avoid using technical terms of your field or your optional subjects.
  • Do not use shorthand expressions and symbols such as “&,” “can’t” and “don’t” in formal essays even if the time is limited.
  • Do not spend time in making your language flowery and your sentences long and difficult. Write in simple, short sentences and words. The examiner is not checking your prowess over the language, but your ability to think critically, present arguments in a logical manner and produce a crisp yet convincing essay in a short period of time. At the same time, maintain a certain formality and avoid writing as if you are texting or e-mailing a friend.
  • Underline the quotations and important words, but do not overdo it.
  • If you are quoting, make sure that you write the exact quote in quotation marks. If you do not remember the quote, you can paraphrase it without using quotation marks and attribute it to the writer, but the essence of original quote should not be lost.
  • Your arguments should be balanced and logical. Do not write controversial statements or give controversial examples especially on polemic topics. Consider all the sides of arguments and always think of counter-arguments, which can be used to strengthen your arguments in following ways:
    • Show that the counter-argument is weak.
    • Demonstrate that the counter argument is irrelevant to your example.
    • Prove that the counter argument does not apply universally.

4. How to Write Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is the difficult part because of the short amount of time available for writing a conclusion. One should not write it in a haphazard manner.

  • There should be a clear transition from body to the conclusion. One of the common ways to do so is to use phrases such as “To conclude the discussion..,” “In conclusion…,” “Consequently…” etc. Do not merely say “As discussed above…” or “As shown in the essay…” instead of stringing the arguments together.
  • Conclusions that state main argument of the essay for the first time do not make an effective impression.
  • Given the word limit for this exam, at least two paragraphs should be written to conclude the essay.
  • The conclusion should not be too short and very generalist either.
  • Do not introduce new arguments/philosophers/examples in the conclusion.
  • The conclusion should contain a brief summary of the discussion done in the main body of the essay.
  • Generally, one should avoid concluding on a negative or pessimistic note. Conclusions should be optimistic, positive and forward-looking. Some practical suggestions given in the conclusion make the whole essay very effective.
  • The conclusion can be said to be reverse-introduction. In the introduction, we start with a general discussion to lay down a specific topic for discussion. In conclusion, we summarize the discussion on a specific topic and end with a general tone

-Vipul Shrivastav (IPS -2011 Batch)

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100 Most Probable Topics for IAS Mains 2018

Civilsdaily team brings you the 100 Most Important Issues that need to be read and understood for Mains 2018. This compilation contains all 100 issues that have high probability of appearing in Mains 2018 and beyond.

One of the great advantages of having a tech platform which connects daily news and op-eds dynamically to its relevant newstrail is that over the time it helps us understand how a topic has evolved both qualitatively (facets of issues, complexity) and quantitatively (number of newscards, op-eds written and connected).

With that objectivity in hand and UPSC’s changing patterns in mind, we sat together to write down Explainers on the 100 probable topics for this years’ IAS Mains.

Each explainer has a Mains level question for you to attempt and review. We have also included Mindmap in most of the issues for better retention and quick revision before the exam

Get the compilation here: Click2Buy

Note: This PDF is already provided to the subscribers of our Prelims TS, Samachar Manthan Program & Mains TS subscribers. They don’t need to buy it separately