Categories
Announcements

Released – IOS Update for iPad

Dear Students,

On popular demand, we had released the IOS app. It was well received by everyone. Post that we’ve received many requests to ensure that the app works for iPads. Our present upgrade addresses this issue.

We have received many more queries from IOS users to make the app more jazzy with superior experience since they are used to it. We believe the app at its present state is functional and serves its purpose. Critical bugs and important updates will definitely be addressed, but more aspirational features will need to wait. 

At the same time, we request students to rate our apps with a 5 star. This helps us stay motivated and put more efforts into refining our offerings.

  

Categories
Announcements

Enrolments to the PDP Mock Interview Program

Dear Students,

We have started receiving entries for the interview program.

There are a few details we thought were important to communicate.

  • Students appearing for the first time should go through the following transcripts to get an idea of the actual interview program.

https://www.civilsdaily.com/category/interview-transcripts/

We are in the process of adding more transcripts.

  • Students, who have given the interview last time but haven’t scored well, we would like to understand their assessment of what they lacked. Hence, we request you to email the same. Such introspection is indeed beneficial. 

As an eg. email we received – “My answers were generally short and non-engaging. There were moments of long pauses from the panelist side. Thats how I knew it wasnt going that great. Dont know how to handle that if it happens again.”

Looking forward to your mails.

Categories
Announcements Interview Program

Launching Mock Interviews + Personality Development Program(PDP) for Interview Round

Folks,

The importance of the 3rd round of exam – The Personal Interview, cannot be underscored. If you perform exceptionally well, it will help you compensate for your any shortage in your mains score. At its worst, it will undo the hard work that you put in to get a high score in mains and push you to a lower service.

 

People who have cleared the mains generally don’t face any difficulty in navigating through the interviews. However, we have come across many cases that have failed to perform exceptionally well. Hence, we want to work towards a robust program.

 

The approach followed by coaching institutes to mock interview programs is very unstructured. You present before a panel and are asked questions one after the other. If you fail to answer them, you are asked to prepare those topics. In the next round, you are asked a completely different set of questions independent of your first round of performance.

We want to follow a very different approach. It is not about merely answering ad-hoc questions but testing your capabilities across the following competencies.

General 

1. Economy

2. International Relations

3. Governance and social issues

4. Current Affairs

 

DAF Specific 

1. Past background

2. Hometown/state information

3. Hobbies

4. Your optional subject

 

Here is how the program will work

General guidelines –  

1. Mail us your DAF with filename changed to yourname-rollnumber and subject as PDP yournamerollnumber. 

2. In the email, tell us what areas you feel require special attention/are most uncomfortable with.

3. We will join you to our exclusive telegram group.

4. You can connect with students from the same hometown/city & hobbies. This will help you collaborate and prepare these competencies better.

5. The telegram group will be moderated by our panelists who will answer your general queries and pose relevant questions.

6. We will try to pose stress based question regularly so you have

7. At the same time, we will be posting videos and notes which we believe can be of help in tackling the interview program.

Individual focus 

1. 1-1 online/on-call interviews with our panelists.

2.  2nd round of mocks will be held offline.

3. DAF specific material wherever possible.

We will sincerely try to help all our students. However, the program will require few iterations to be perfected. We hope to collect information on specific hobbies and hometown/city so they can be of help for future aspirants. We look to your cooperation in this regard.

Our Panel 

We have a commitment from the following academicians, seasoned bureaucrats, and subject matter experts. They believe in our cause and are willing to put in hours to train aspirants.

Virendra Pratap Singh, IRPS

Virendra Pratap Singh did is B.Tech from IIT Kharagpur in 2003. He joined the services with immense experience in the Private Sector working across domains in high profile companies like Tata Steel, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, and Tata Motors. He has consistently scored very high marks in interviews. His 2009 score of 213/300 was among the toppers.

His insights have proved to be very helpful to aspirants appearing for exams year after year.

Dr. Makhan Saikia 

Dr. Saikia is an Author & Expert on International Affairs. He holds an MA & M. Phil (Pol. Sc.) from JNU and Ph.D (Globalization and Governance) from TISS, Mumbai.
He has taught at some of the finest universities.
Occasionally, he has written for various newspapers.
His articles can be found here.

 

Vipul Shrivastava, IPS

Vipul Shrivastava did his B.Tech from IIT Powai. He was one of the highest scorers during his time. He is presently also dedicating time to help aspirants with their essay preparation.

Dr. Vipin Garg, IAS  

Dr. Vipin Garg is a Founding Mentor at Civilsdaily. He did his MBBS from AIIMS and then moved to the services. He was the highest scorer in CSE Interview 2016 with 209 marks. His notes and insights have been of immense help to the students.

Rohit Pande, Consultant  Social Enterprises

Rohit Pande is a Founding Mentor at Civilsdaily. He did his B.Tech from IIT Guwahati. After a stint in various consulting roles across top firms, he is exploring problems in the social sector and has immense ground level knowledge about issues in waste management, education, health, and financial services. His insights can be extremely useful as discussion points in the interview.

Our faculty members who are well aware of recent trends and have immense experience with the interview rounds will also be working with you.

Here are the links to Mock Interviews –

Interview Enrichment Program – Mock interviews

 

Categories
Announcements

[Video] Samachar Manthan Week 22: Rift Between RBI & Government

To know more about our Samachar Manthan course which deals with enhancing your Mains answer writing skills along with Current Affairs preparation, read & Subscribe here:

https://www.civilsdaily.com/samachar-manthan/

Categories
Announcements

Launching Samachar Manthan 2018-19 (December 2018 to May 2019)

We are delighted to launch the new batch for Samachar Manthan for 2018-2019 covering Current Affairs from December 2018 to May 2019

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


Join Samachar Manthan 2018-19 (December 2018 to May 2019) [without Answer Writing Module] here: Click2Join

Join Samachar Manthan 2018-19 (December 2018 to May 2019) [with Answer Writing Module] here: Click2Join

Want to cover Current Affairs for 1 Year (June 2018 to May 2019)?

Join Samachar Manthan Yearly 2018-19 Program

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

Enrol to Batch 2 of Samachar Manthan Yearly 2018-19 (without Answer Writing Module) here: Click2Join


Our students have benefited a lot from the classes and many have done well in 2018 prelims despite the paper being tricky. We are in the process of compiling their reviews.

What are we offering and how is it unique?

1. Mentorship and guidance taken to a whole new level 

Once you enrol, 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. Four 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 2-2.5 hours Weekly videos will focus on news and its importance from both prelims and mains perspective.

There are 2 lectures each week- Economy, Polity, IR & miscellaneous CA on Friday by Sajal sir & SciTech + Environment on Tuesday by Rakesh sir. All lectures have in-depth coverage of Mains as well as Prelims issues.

We understand that the UPSC exam is a generalist exam. It’s more 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 being provided in the program: 

4. Guest Lectures on specific issues by Dr. Vipin Garg, IAS (Rank 20, UPSC 2016), Vipul Shrivastava, IPS (2012 batch)

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  (Available only in Answer Writing Module)

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. 


Join Samachar Manthan 2018-19 (December 2018 to May 2019) [without Answer Writing Module] here: Click2Join

Join Samachar Manthan 2018-19 (December 2018 to May 2019) [with Answer Writing Module]: Click2Join

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

Enrol to Batch 2 of Samachar Manthan Yearly 2018-19 (without Answer Writing Module) here: Click2Join


Prime Students get their usual discount of 30%

Old students will get a discount of 20% on joining

All other students get a discount of 10% until 2 December 2018 (Date of program start)

Categories
Announcements

[Video] US China Trade War: Basics of Trade Barriers & more

This video is a part of our Demystifying Economics- Core & Current Affairs Buildup Lecture Series

The lecture covers the following topics:

1) The theory of protectionism

2) The basic theory of trade barriers: Tariffs

3) US-China trade war

4) Cost of tariffs imposition

5) Gains and losses from impositions of tariffs

Know more about the program and join here: https://bit.ly/2x1rWe4

Categories
Announcements

[Video] Samachar Manthan Week 19: Cold War in the Middle East & its Impact on India

To know more about our Samachar Manthan course which deals with enhancing your Mains answer writing skills along with Current Affairs preparation, read & Subscribe here: https://www.civilsdaily.com/samachar-manthan/

Categories
Announcements

Message from Civilsdaily

Dear students,

This week we launched the AWE program and we’ve seen a tremendous response. Though we had earlier rejected the idea of the daily answer writing, we now understand its importance especially for those who are not confident about going for the elaborate Mains Guidance Program.

This month also saw the launch of our ios application. It is not perfect and is a work in progress. It has limited features but our ios audience will now have access to the most important content. An ipad compatible version is on its way.

While many new initiatives are in the pipeline, we wanted to reach out to our students to what lies in our journey ahead.

A traditional coaching would take over 1.5L for a 1-year program. Neither do they revamp their content depending upon observed trends, nor do they provide any personalized attention. you are stuck in a classroom full of 500 students. The teacher is accessible but it requires you to either catch him/her after the class or schedule an appointment. There is no standard 1-1 interaction time thus discouraging interactions.

We want to change all of that. We are constantly working towards improving our offerings. We want to get better at guessing the precise questions that will be asked in both prelims and mains. We want our students to prepare better so they can handle adverse situations. Our Mains Guidance Program has institutionalized 1-1 interaction with the mentors. 

Moreover, we are trying to get the best people with a proven track record to help you out. Vipul Sir conducting our Essay Program is an IPS officer while Pritam Sir for the AWE has appeared for 3 interviews. These are solid guys capable of uplifting your preparation to a whole new level.

Not to forget, we are doing all this at almost 1/2 the price of similar programs.

The goals we have set out to achieve are not easy. We want to spend more time talking to you, discussing your strategy and your level of preparedness. And we are nowhere near perfect. But we are evolving and strengthening our frameworks. In the coming days, you will see further fine-tuning of our initiatives. 

Having said that, end of the day, our support has to be backed by ruthless efforts from you. You have to be consistent. We are always pushing our students to attempt tests, to be regular with lectures. Hopefully, such messages will put you back on track.

Good luck.

Categories
Announcements

Essay Writing Open Test

As a part of our Essay Test Series, we are conducting an open test so students can get their hands dirty.

1. Submissions are open till Thursday (1 November 2018) midnight. The sooner you submit, the earlier it will be reviewed
2. The top 10 entries will be announced by next week
3. Vipul Shrivastava Sir, IPS will discuss top 10 entries, what they did well, what they didn’t in a video discussion
4. Submissions will be via comments (below this post)
5. As you can see, the topics are in line with the pattern asked this year.

Be innovative, make a point, get noticed

Topics here

Part A

1. If you want to test a man’s character, give him power
2. Should religion be limited to only private sphere

Part B

1. Should India adopt a more aggressive foreign policy
2. Virtual reality: Boon or Bane

Categories
Announcements

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

Categories
Announcements Daily AWE

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?

Categories
Announcements

[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

Categories
Announcements

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.

Categories
Announcements

[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

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

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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 )