Mains General Studies Answer Writing IAS UPSC
Welcome to Mains Answer Writing for IAS UPSC, TLP- 2019, Day 60. Questions are based on
Note: Click on the links and then answer respective questions!
Q1. In an unfortunate accident, one of your subordinates is hit by a car while riding his bike to office. He dies at the spot and his body is brought to the morgue of the city hospital. You and your colleagues visit the city hospital. The wife and kids of your subordinate are unconsolable. You are deeply disturbed to see all this. The kids are still in school and the wife is a homemaker. The savings aren’t much to sustain the family for long. The only way out of the suffering can be the compensation paid by the life insurance company. However, the insurance company would require a report from the police about the accident that took the life of your subordinate. Your talk to the police and get to know that the accident has taken place on the highway passing right across the city. Two wheelers aren’t allowed on the highway and if the police mentions the same in the report, the family would be denied any compensation from the insurance company. That would mean an effective end to the last hope for the family.
Your colleagues suggest that the only way out of this situation is to bribe the concerned police officer to fudge the report to show that the accident took place on the service road. The police officer has agreed to give a false report if paid Rupees Fifty Thousand in cash.
Now answer the following questions:
- What kind of dilemma confronts you in this situation?
- How would you address this dilemma?
Q2. Your younger brother has got influenced by a radical religious outfit that promotes hatred for the minority and aspires to build a nation based not on territoriality but on religion. You have tried to make him understand the fallouts of such thinking and even reprimanded him for joining such groups. However, the conviction with which he debates and counters your arguments has forced you to rethink about your own notions. He presents gory details of the atrocities committed in the past by the minority community and also gives an account of the appeasement policy pursued by various governments since independence. He argues as to why can’t the majority assert its identity in its own country. He seems perturbed by the fiction that the minority community is trying to outnumber the majority in the near future by exploding a population bomb and also through forced conversions. You get to realise that even though his fears are real, their basis is rather absurd and illogical.
In a situation like this, how would you convince your brother to abandon the path of radicalism?
Q3. While driving through the city traffic, you and your spouse have to stop at a red light signal. To your notice, you find a little girl begging on the footpath with her mother. Standing next to her, is an old couple probably in their 70s, selling the tricolour for few bucks. It is clear that they aren’t able to have their ends meet with their meagre income. Your attention is diverted by your spouse who is cursing the city traffic and constantly complaining about the dysfunctional air conditioner of the car that has left him/ her hapless in the scorching heat. You are pained to realise the stark differences that mark one human being from another. You thoughts become introspective and start asking tough questions-
- Why are they poor? Is it their Karma?
- Am I in anyway responsible for their deprived status?
- Does my indifference towards them puts me in bad light morally?
- Can’t I do something about them?
- Even if I intend to do something, for how many such people would I be able to make a difference in their lives?
Now answer the following questions:
- Do you think your thoughts represent the normal discourse of human dilemma? Doesn’t everybody think similarly? What are the fallouts of this thinking?
- How do you envisage ‘Sarvodaya’ as a philosophy to address the gross inequality being meted out to the deprived and downtrodden?
Q4. You belong to a traditional Indian middle class family. Your parents hold Indian values in high esteem and have taught you and your siblings the same. Their emphasis on good ‘sanskar’ means that they intend to marry you to a cultured, traditional and devoted girl. They have their expectations spelled out clearly to all the families and prospective brides they meet with. One family fits in perfectly in their matrix of expectations. The family is deeply religious, visits temples regularly, eats only vegetarian food and in certain aspects outscore your parents’ ‘sanskar’ parameters. It makes your parents really happy and they fix a meeting immediately. They also decide that you should meet with the girl to know her and have some level of acquaintance before taking any decision.
On the day of the meeting, the expectations of your family are not only met but exceeded with the hospitality offered by the family and their display of ‘sanskars’. Gauging the expressions of your parents, you have realised that they are really elated and would fix the marriage then and there. You are a bit sceptical as you don’t know the girl yet. However, once you meet he girl, all your doubts start vanishing. She is the perfect match for you as she has interest in football that you are crazy about, she likes adventure sports that you are so passionate for and above all she does poetry in which you are so good at. Everything starts appearing like a dream to you and you tell yourself that you have found your ‘soulmate’.
But then, there comes few shockers from the girl. Before tying the knot with you, the girls wants to reveal few truths about herself. She tells you that she has been in many relationships before and had even been physical with her partners. She also lets you know that she loves tattoo art and intends to have a couple of them on her neck and forearm and that one day she wants to become a tattoo artist herself. She also wants you to agree to the condition that she won’t take your title after marriage. Finally, she expects that in return of the respect, love and care that she would bestow upon you and your family, she shouldn’t be prohibited from doing what she wants, be it her choice of clothes, her aspirations of a good career or her desire to have a baby or not!
While her truths and demands hardly make a difference to your liking for her, the thoughts of your parents start popping up while you are still chatting with her. In no way, the girl you like fits into the parameters of a ‘sanskari’ daughter-in-law that they have always wanted. You are sure that when they come to know about it, they wouldn’t let this marriage happen. But that would leave you broken hearted.
Now answer the following questions:
- What would you do in this situation? Discuss.
- Why do families in India have such values? Are such values compatible to modern life? Critically examine.
Q5. While processing an important file of your department, you realise that something is fishy about the proposals made by your subordinate. A decision based purely on merit would mean the rejection of proposal and hence saving crores of rupees to the exchequer. However, you realise that your seniors have been pressing too hard for the proposal to be accepted by the concerned Minister. In fact, your immediate boss has given you indirect signals that there is tremendous pressure from higher political echelons to pass the proposal without delving too much into its merits. In a nutshell, the incumbent political class is ‘interested’ in the proposal as it would benefit their friends and family.
You firmly believe that the proposal sans merit and if passed, it would be illegal and incorrect. You decide not to buckle under pressure and write your views on the file independent of any bias or pressure. When the file reaches your boss, he gets furious and calls for you. When you meet him, he scolds you badly, tears the note from the file and asks you to either cooperate or face consequences. When you tell him that you can’t go beyond the legal boundaries and that any future inquiry might jeopardise your career, your boss directs you to go on a medical leave. By doing so, not only you will be saved; in your absence a willing and compliant officer would be deputed in your place to get things done.
Now you are in a big dilemma. If you don’t go on leave and stand by your views, you can be transferred far way from your family in the remotest of locations possible. That would mean misery for you and your family. But if you go on leave and in your absence, the proposal gets through, it would amount to turning a blind eye to the wrongdoings you are well aware of.
Now consider the following alternatives:
- You would take leave and go out for a long holiday with your family.
- You won’t agree to the idea of taking leave and insist that the file be sent with facts and views based on actual merit and unbiased assessment.
- You would become a whistleblower and bring it to the notice of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Examine the pros and cons of each of these alternatives and also give reasons for the one that you would choose.